Elroy McKendree Avery.

Avery notes and queries : a quarterly magazine devoted to the history of the Groton Averys (Volume 1-18) online

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Hvery jVotcs and Queries.

A Quarterly Magazine devotedt^Nhe History of the Groton Averys.
No. J. ♦♦Honor thy Father and thy Mother." February, 1 898.

Notes and <I^ueries will be sent to every member of the Groton
Avery History Club. Some of the subsequent issues may contain
only eight pages each instead of sixteen.

The question is often asked, Who are the "Groton Averys?"
Cl:ristopher Aveiy and his only son, later known as Captain James
Avery, came from England with Winthrop and landed at Salem,
Mass.. in 1630. They subsequently settled at Groton (pronounced
Graw-tun). across the river from New London, Conn., and there lived
until they died. Their descendants are known as the Groton Averys.

The descendants of Dr. William Avery of Dedham, Mass., are
known as "Dedham Averys." Tlie Dedham tribe is not nearly so
numerous as the Groton tribe. The founders of tlie two tribes lived
at the same time ni Massachusetts, but the relationship between them
is not yet known.

Mr. Sweet's history of the Averys of Groton \vas indexed in niany
different parts, making search very difficult. Probably fewer than
two-thirds of the names were indexed at all. The present family
historian has had made, at considerable cost, a card index of every
name in the book and of every name reported to him. New names
are indexed as fast as received.

Once in a while I receive a letter from an Avery whom I can not
yet "hitch" to the Groton or the Dedham line. vSuch letters are put
on file as "Unidentified Averys.'' Further information from their au-
thors, or some njw additron to the card index, may take the letter out
of that list, and enroll another member of the tribe any day.

The page md number references used in this magazine are to
Sweet's History of "The Averys of (jroton."

Sweet's his.orv of "The Averys of Groton" is out of print, and
can be secured e.nly as a stray copy is picked up. A clean copy read-
ily sells now for fifteen dollars, three times the subscription price.

2 A\ HKV Notes and ULJiiiiKS.

Many persons are now trying to get copies of Mr, Sweet's his-
tory of the (Jroton Averys at prices much greater than the subscrip-
tion price. And yet Mr. Sweet was not able to get four Inmdred
subscribers to his work!

Tlie family historian lias a few pamphlets containing the appendix
to Sweet's "The Averys of Groton,"' and relating to "Avery Coats
of Arms" (with illustrations of four coats) and to "The Avery
Family in England and France." These pamphlets will be furnished,
as long as the supply lasts, at fifty cents per copy.


Last October, I received a letter from a lady in Michigan who
had heard from Groton, Conn., that I was the historian of the Avery
family. She desired to trace the connection of her family with the
Groton Averys, if such a connection existed. We, therefore, entered
into correspondence for that purpose. They knew little of their an-
cestry ; their grandfather's name was Benjamin Perkins Avery; they
had a cousin by the name of Bissell, descended from Benjamin P.
Avery's sister; their people came from \'ermont by way of Palm^'ra,
N. Y.

Search of the records in my possession revealed several tilings :
Mr. Sweet's history of "The Averys of Groton," page 434, showed
that a Nathan xA-very had gone from Connecticut to Vermont, and
thence to Palmyra, N. Y., where he applied for a pension. He had
a son by the name of Benjamin Pearson Avery, and a daughter
" Betsey who married a Mr. Russell." After Nathan's death, his
widow went back to \'ermont and there died, after applying for a
pension. This removal from Vermont to Palmyra, N. Y., was com-
mon to both parts of the broken chain for which we w-ere seeking
the connecting link, and suggested careful study on both sides of the
break. In a case like this, Mrs. Avery has a faculty of " observation
and inference" worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Study of the applica-
tions for a pension showed that Nathan's widow returned to Vermont
"to be with some of her other children, among whom was Betsey

Evidently, the family record had been printed wrong, and the
daughter Betsey had married a Mr. Bissell, and not "a Mr. Russell."
This made stronger the probability that " the missing link " had been
found; but "Benjamin Pearson" was not "Benjamin Perkins."

Avery Notes and Queries. 3

Further correspondence with the parties in Michigan brought out the
fact that the name of the father of Benjamin Perkins Avery was
Nathan. The probabihty now was very strong. Still further corre-
spondence and study established the fact that Benjamin Perkins
Avery and the alleged "Benjamin Pearson Avery " were identical.
Nathan Avery, the father, had married a Miss Pearson, and it would
have been natural for Mr. Sweet to assume that the name of a son re-
ported to him as Benjamin P. Avery should be amplified into " Ben-
jamin Pearson Avery." The information at his hand was scanty
enough. However the error arose, it was detected ; and the claim of
these Michigan Averys to a descent from Captain James Avery of
Groton was definitely established.


In looking Inirriedly over the Burhans' Genealogy in a library at
Buffalo, N. Y., I noticed the record of a Louise Snyder, daughter of
Richard and Blandine (Burhans) Snyder, born October 14, 1834, who
married January 15, i860, a Hezekiah Avery, who was born January
30, 1830.' They had a daughter Carrie, born October 27, i860. Mr.
Sweet's history of the Groton Averys does not record a Hezekiah
Avery who married a Louise Snyder, but it does mention a Hezekiah
Avery who married a Louise Burnham, time and place not given,
her birth and parentage not given, and who had a daughter
Carrie, birth not given. Mr. Sweet had not given the date or place
of birth of this Hezekiah Avery, but careful study of the record of
Hezekiah's father showed that the son must have been born not far

from 1830.

The following facts suggested, in spite of Mr. Sweet's record,
that this was the Hezekiah who married Louise Snyder :

( I.) He WAS born about the right time.

(2.) His parents lived in the right neighborhood.

(3.) His wife's name was Louise.

(4.) His daughter's name was Carrie.

(5.) Hezekiah's brothers married wives with Dutch names;
Burhans and Snyder are also Dutch names; family environment
counts for something.

(6.) It was very easy for Mr. Sweet, or some copyist, or com-
positor, to change a carelessly written "Burhans" into "Burnham,"

4 Avery Notes and Queries.

and to use the maiden name of the mother (Burhans) instead of the
maiden name of the daughter (Snyder), a//</ that is j'tist ivhat ivas dotze.

Thus we gain the date of Hezekiah's birth, the date of his mar-
riage, the real name of his wife, the names of her parents, and the
date of the birth of the daughter, Carrie.

If, in some famih' genealogy, you find an Avery connection,
please copy the record, making reference to page and title of the
book, and send it to the historian of the Avery family. The club
treasury should be full enough to enable the employment of copyists
to make such transcripts at the congressional and other great Ameri-
can libraries. See page eight.

Judge Edward Avery (page 132) was a member of the supreme
court of Ohio from 1846 to 1S51, when he resigned. A biographical
sketch of him, written by U. S. District Judge Martin Welker, may
be found in Proceedings of Ohio State Bar Association, July, 1889.

In the seventeenth century, the name Averv was often written
Averill. For instance, the letter that Joanna Greenslade took from
the church at Boston to the church at Gloucester, speaks of her as
"now the wife of James Averill."

Please send to the family historian for a supply of his little circu-
lar, "Are You an Avery ?" and then hand one to every Avery you meet.

Be sure to read the article printed on the eighth page of this

Please send to the family historian the name and address of every
living Avery or Avery descendant that you know. vSend him a
marked copy of any newspaper that contains a notice of an Avery.
Marriage and obituary notices are especially desirable.

If a change by birth, marriage or death occurs in vour family,
report it promptly to the family historian.

The opening chapter of Sweet's " The Averys of Groton " con-
tains all that is known of Christopher and James, the founders of
the Groton Averys. There are a few pamphlets containing this chap-
ter, and a view of the "Hi\e of the Aver^-s." These pamphlets (20
pages) will be furnished by the family historian, as long as the supply
lasts, at one dollar per copy.

Avery Notes and Queries. 5

Miiny corrections reported show errors in dates as printed in the
family history. Most of these errors are in giving January for June,
or June for January. Of course, the source of the error lies in the
similar appearance of the written abbreviations, Jan. and Jun. It is
safer to write the words out in full, or, at least, to write Jan'y.


The house that Captain James Avery built at (jroton in 16^6
was occupied by eight successive generations of Averys. It was
burned to the ground on the nigiit of July 20, 1894. It was often
called '"The HiA'e of the Averys," and never passed out of the posses-
sion of a member of the family. The "Avery Memorial Association"
was incorporated by the Connecticut Legislature, and has built a
beautiful granite and bronze memorial on the site of "The Hive." 1
hope to give other pictures of the old house and of the present
memorial in later numbers of Notes and Queries.

AvERv Notes and Queries.

Captain James Avery, the founder of the family known as the
Groton Averys, married Joanna Greenslade of Boston, November lo,
1643. Nothing is known of her ancestry. If you find anything that
you think may throw any light upon her ancestry, please communi-
cate it to the family historian.

Sarah Avery, daughter of James and Deborah (Stallyon) Avery,
was born May 10, 168S. She married a Mr. Latham (No. 19, page
29). A\'hat were tlie dates of her death and marriage? What was
the full name of Mr. Latham? When and where was he born?
When and where did he die? Who ^vere his parents?

Benajah Aver\-, son of Edward and Joanna (Rose) Avery, was
born October 13, 17 10 (No. 36, page 30). What is his further record?

Sarah, daughter of Benjamin and Thankful (Avery) Avery was
born July 29, 1742 ; married Captain Hubbard Burrows (No. 78,
page 32). What was the date of her marriage? When and where
was each of her ten children born?

Dorothy Parke, daughter of John Parke of Preston, Conn., mar-
ried Ebenezer Avery, June 19, 170S (No. 14, page 30). Her sister
Abigail married Christopher Aver}^ December 19, 1704 (No. 15,
page 31). When and where were Dorothy and Abigail born? What
was the maiden name of their mother?

If you have not access to a copy of Mr. Sweet's book, I will send
you a brief, type-written copy of your line back to the founders
(Christopher and his son James Avery, A. D. 1630), for fifty cents, or
a fuller record, giving the names of the children in each generation,
for one dollar; provided I can ascertain just where you come into
the line. The profits of this '' business" will be used in pushing the
investigations of the Groton Avery History Club. See page eight.

I am under great obligations to many correspondents who have
taken pains to Jiuni up the information for which I have asked.
Some have very kindly undertaken to secure the records of a grand-
father and of all his descendants. They soon learn something of the
trials of a family historian, and are led into helpful sympathy with
one who has to secure the records of hundreds of grandfathers and
their thousands of descendants. To all who have tiius given help,
or are now giving it, I tender my most sincere thanks.

Avery Notes and Queries. 7

"There may be, and there often is, a regard for ancestry which
nourishes a weak pride, but there is also a moral and philosophical
respect for our ancestors which elevates the character and improves
the heart." — Daniel Webster.

Many families of Averys and Avery descendants have expressed
surprise and regret at the omission of their names, and the names of
their parents, from Mr. Sweet's book, while the records and letters
sent to me by Mr. Sweet's executor show that the omission was due
to tlie refusal or neglect on the part of parents to answer the inquiries
of the family historian. Every genealogist finds his most discourag-
ing experience in unanswered letters. Some persons thought that
Mr. Sweet's self-sacrificing efforts were part of a money-making
scheme ! I have, similarly, been offered a copy of a family record in a
Bible for a money eonsideration.

" These sought their register among those that were reckoned by
genealogy, but it was not found ; therefore were they, as polluted,
put from the priesthood."— A^('//('w/.r// r/V., ^^>J^. Join the History Club.

It is desirable that search be made in England for the connection
between the Groton Averys in America and the Avery family in the
mother country. It is hoped that an expert genealogist will be put at
this work this year. Many searches ought to be made on this side of
the Atlantic for items relating to members of the tribe, such as exam-
inations of the records of colonial, revolutionary and other wars, in-
cluding the civil war (in which many Averys fought honestly and
bravely on both sides), pension lists, town histories, family histories,
city directories and the records of hereditary societies, such as the
Society of the Colonial Wars, the Colonial Dames, the Sons and the
Daughters of the American Revolution, etc., etc. But such mining
enterprises require a considerable outlay of money-for which the
Groton Avery History Club is waiting. See page eight.

Notes and Queries ought to bring every Groton Avery, and
every Avery descendant who does not know that he belongs to some
other Avery branch, into direct communication with the historuin of
the Groton Averys. This means you, unless you have already written
to him, giving your post-office address and what you know of your
ancestry in the A.very line.

Aakry Notes and Queries.

Hvcry JVfotes and Queries^

PitbUshcd at Cleveland^ Ohio, by Elroy M. Avery

Subscription Price, Fifty cents per year. JFifteen cetits per copy.


Since the death of Mr. Homer De Lois Sweet of Syracuse, N. Y.,
I have become, by common consent, the family historian. No one
else seemed willing to do the work and bear the expense without any
possibility of pecuniary compensation. I entered upon the work with
enthusiastic zeal, and have already secured much in the way of cor-
rections and additions to the printed record that was the result of Mr.
Sweet's thirty years' labor. Methods of collecting, arranging and
utilizing genealogical material that Mr. Sweet did not employ, largely
because of the pecuniary losses that came to him in his later years,
have been adopted by me for the reason that yo/i are not ivilling to
wait another tliirty years fo'' a second edition of the family history.
In the year 1S97, I put more than a thousand dollars into the under-
taking ; I do not regret it, but two things I do regret :

1. I can not afford such an outlay every year.

2. I see ways in which I could advantageously spend a larger
sum. Some of these are mentioned in other columns of this paper.

I shall keep right on, doing the best that I can without any help.
I would not take a cent for my labor; it is a labor of love. But if
you feel, as I know that some of you do feel, that the burden ought
not to be borne by one, and that the work should go forward as
rapidly as possible, I would respectfully call your attention to the
following suggestions :

Let us organize the Groton Avery History Club, with annual dues
ranging from one to ten dollars, each member to fix the exact amount for
himself or herself. All dues shall be payable to the family historian,
to be used by him for the sole purpose of defraying the cost of col-
lecting and arranging for publication all available material for a com-
plete and satisfactory family history. The historian shall record in a
book kept for that purpose each payment of dues, giving the name of
the member, and the date and amount of the payment ; said record
for each quarter year shall be printed in Notes and Queries, a copy

AvKRY Notes and Oukries. 9

of which shall be mailed to each member of the club. At the end of
each year, the account of receipts and expenditures shall be examined
by an auditing committee of three, to be chosen by the members of
the club, or, if that shall not be practicable, to be appointed by the
probate judge of Cuyahoga county, Ohio. The report of said au-
diting committee shall be printed in Notes and Queries.

I agree not to take as compensation for my services any of the
money sent to the club. If, with this understanding, you are willing
to join the club, please make your remittances for dues, as above in-
dicated, to the self-appointed ti'easurer of the club,

Elroy McKendree Avery,

657 Woodland Hills Avenue,

Cleveland, Ohio.

It will be noticed that the •' Club" plan outlined on page eight is
little more than a device for sparing the feelings of the family histo-
rian, who really holds all the club offices. It does what seems practi-
cable in the w^ay of business checks, but, after all, it implies contidence
in his honesty. If you do not know him personally or by reputation,
you may make inquiry of any bank in Cleveland ; of any judge or
other magistrate at Cleveland ; of any official of the Cleveland Cham-
ber of Commerce; of any Cleveland daily paper ; or of his publishers,
Sheldon & Company, 43-45 East i3th street. New York City (please
enclose stamped and addressed envelope for reply). If you cannot re-
move every doubt that all moneys paid in as dues to the club will be
spent honestly for the purposes above indicated, of course, you
ought not to pay such dues.

Will you not copy from your city directory the names and ad-
dresses of the Averys that appear therein and send them to the family
historian, Elroy McKendree Avery, 657 Woodland Hills Avenue,
Cleveland, Ohio.

The portrait of James Avery facing page 14 is out of its proper
place. It is not a picture of Captain James Avery, the founder of
the family. I do not know what James it represents. The picture of
Samuel Avery that faces page 558 should face page 598. The picture
of William Avery that faces page 609 should face page 458. These
mistakes of the binder probably would not have been made had it not
been for the death of Mr. Sweet just before the completion of his
thirty years' work.

Not every modest man can maintain a personal ''organ" like

Notes and Queries.

lo Avery Notes axd Queries.


Lineal descent from any person mentioned under this heading
constitutes eligibih"ty for membership in the "Colonial Dames" or in
the "Society of Colonial Wars." Brief records like those below, with
citations of authorities, are desired.

1. Captain James Avery, the founder of the tribe known as the
Groton Averys. See the opening chapter of Sweet's "The Averys
of Groton."

2. Christopher Avery (Xo. 15, page 31 ), commissioned lieutenant
in 1714; captain in October, 1730; deputy to the general court of
Connecticut. 1724 and 1725; justice; town clc-rk in 1730. See
Colonial Records of Connecticut (printed). His colonial record does
not appear in "The Aver3-s of Groton.'"

3. Christopher Avery (No. 53, page 39, son of No. 15, above
given), commissioned captain of the eighth Connecticut regiment,
October, 1735; lieutenant-colonel, same regiment, October, 1739;
colonel, same regiment, October, 1746; deputy to the general court of
Connecticut. 1732, 1734. 1736. 1738 to 1764 inclusive; speaker of
the house. 1751: justice. 1732 to 1768: town clerk of Groton for
many years, the last term being in 176S. See Colonial Records of
Connecticut (printed). His colonial record does not appear in -'The
Averj-s of Groton "

4. Theophilus Avery (No. 35. page 35). commissioned ensign of
first company, fifth Connecticut regiment, October, 1746, bv the
general assembly ; lieutenant of the second Groton company, 1749.
See Colonial Records of Connecticut (printed). His colonial record
does not appear in the "Averys of Groton."

5. Charles Avery, private in 1756 in Ebenezer Billings' com-
pany; sergeant in 1758 in Captain Benadam Gallup'scompany ; com-
missioned ensign by the general assembly of Connecticut in 1758, in
the eighth company ( John Stanton's), second regiment: lieutenant,
1759.11^ the second company (Israel Putnam's), fourth regiment;
lieutenant, 1760, in Captain John Tyler's company. The fourth reg-
iment was raised in 1759 to invade Canada by way of Crown Point.
See Colonial Records of Connecticut (printed J. Was not this Charles
Avery, No. 61, page 42?

(to be continued.)

Avery Notes and Queries. h


Lineal descent from any person mentioned under this heading
constitutes eligibility for membership in the "Daughters of the
American Revolution," " Sons of the American Revolution, Chil-
dren of the American Revolution," and similar societies. Brief rec-
ords of Revolutionary service, with citations of authorities, are




1 Joshua Averv 76.. .Sandwich. Mass

2. John Avery 82...Conway, Mass .....■-■ •■—•_••

3 Jonathan Avery 84...Charleniont. Mass , No. 92, page 33/)

4. Mansford Avery 85...Southampton, Mass ■•• • ■■•""•

5. Rufns Avery 81...Groton, Conn , No. 261, page 86)

6. Marv.\very 71...Groton, Conn IV'V^o «L'

^, - . -o Prp<;i-on Conn ( No. 153, page 64)

7. Ebenezer Avery /8... Preston, conn v - t- » ^

8. Oliver Avery 83.. N. Stonington, Conn (No. 18o,page /O)

9'. David Avery 75. ..Lebanon, Conn

10. Abel Avery 79. ..Corn wall, Conn

11. Daniel Averv 78.. .Coventry, Conn ■■;■■■■■■:■■, «-V

12. Nathan Avery 81. .. Newbury, Vt ( No. 15S, page 60)

13. Constant Avery 81. ..Eaton, N. Y V:; ■■""; 70^

14. Roger Avery 79...Royalton. N. Y (No. 231, page .8)

15. John H. Avery 79. ..Preston, N. Y

16. Christopher Avery 75. ..Warren, Pa

17. Ezekiel Averv 77. ..Auburn, Pa

18. George Avery 70. ..Wilson Co., Tenn •■.■■.■■■■■ ••"••

19. DenisonAvery 90...Salina, N. Y -f^oo^'^et?

20. Benjamin Avery 82...Lyons, N. Y ( No. 230. page / O

21. Williams Averv 76. ..Cairo, N. Y •••• -•■"•

22. Abraham Ave'ry 76...Hamilton, N. Y (No. o5, page 416)

23. Marietta Avery 75...Mentz,N. Y

24-. Marv Averv 84...Barnstead, N. H :;"•;;" qoV

25. Pete'rEverv 76...Groton, Conn (No. 280. paRe 98

26. Stephen Every 77...Manheim. N. Y (No. 96. page 578)

The surnames given for the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth in the
above list are misspellings for Avery. They have been fully identified.

It is possible that the ninth in the above list is identical with
David. No. 312, page 447 ' ^bat the eleventh is identical with Daniel.
No 17.- page 437; and that the twenty-first is identical with Wil-
liam, No. 82, page 423. If you can identify any of the above, please
send the informauon to the family historian.

12 A VERY Notes and Queries.

Tlie next issue of Notes and Queries will give a list of other
Avery pensioners taken from the census rolls of 1832. It is thought
that these rosters, continued from quarter to quarter, will be very-
valuable to the readers of Notes axd Queries.

(to be continued.)


The name Avere appears in the Domesday Book, Vol. I., pp. 44
and 46. The Domesday Book was completed about A. D. 1084.
From Salisbury Church Records :

" 1591 Buriel, Mary, wife to Christopher Aveyre."
Mr. H. Hatcher, the antiquarian who copied the record in 1842,
wrote: "There were Averys in the town within my recollec-
tion," See Mass. Hist. Collections, 3d. series, Vol. X., p. 139.

From London Marriage Licenses :

" Dudley Avery of St. Michael, Bassishaw, citizen and merchant-

taylor, of London, bachelor, 23, with consent of his father, the

right worshipful Samuel Avery, alderman of London, and Jane

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

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