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(Captain) John Favill and Nancy Lewis

(Captain) John FAVILL (FAVILLE).
Born in (1749-S2,S7,S10,S15)(1755-S?) (in England-S1,S3,S15)(in Bound Brook, New Jersey-S2,S10,S13); son of Thomas FAVILL and Mary. (S15). A descendant, Stephen Favill of Madison, Wisconsin, a descendant of John Favill, wrote in 1899 that John Favill came to America from England sometime before the Revolutionary War. (S6). The question is when did Thomas Favill arrive in Bound Brook, New Jersey.

John spelled the family name Favill. Later branches of the family added “e” to the name to make it Faville.

His name appears on the rolls of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. John Favill served as a private in 1778 in Captain John Lafler's Company of Bateaumen, Continental troops. See Captain John Lafler's Company.

He is mentioned as being in command at Fishkill, which lies east of the Hudson river, in Dutchess County, New York. His neighbors always honored him with the title of Captain. Fishkill played an important role in the Revolutionary War when a vast military encampment was established one mile below the village to guard the mountain pass to the south. Signal fires lay in readiness on tops of the surrounding mountains. The Fishkill encampment became the main supply depot for the northern division of the Continental Army.

His burial record (S7) also indicates that he served in the Revolutionary War.

For services in the Revolutionary War, he and Cornelius Lamberson were each given, in 1778, a tract of land in the town of Salisbury, described as being westerly from a clearing then known as Yankee Bush (now Burrells Corners), New York. Burrells Corner lies southwest of Salisbury village.

Shortly after the Revolutionary War, he married Nancy LEWIS. This occurred about 1779. They apparently lived first at Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York. Haverstraw is located along the western shore of the Hudson River, at a point where the river is at its widest point; and approximately 40 miles upriver of New York City. Haverstraw is named from the Dutch word Haverstroo, meaning "oat straw"; named for the wild grasses that grew along the river.

They apparenly lived for a short time in Bloomfield, where daughter Betsy is said to have been born in 1780. There are several possibilities for Bloomfield:

John Favill was said to be engaged in boating on the Mohawk River quite early. {S2}. This is apparently a result of his work with the bateau boats during his service in the war, but could have also preceeded the war. It was perhaps this activity that led him to settle the land in Montgomery County.

John and Nancy apparently moved quite soon to the land John had received in Salisbury, where they settled on a farm in the southwestern part of the town of Salisbury, Montgomery County, New York. They lived there for about 10 years.

About 1790 he bought land further south, near the town of Manheim, which was then part of Palatine, Montgomery County, New York. He was one of the first settlers in what would become the upper portion of the Town of Manheim. This area lies in the spurs of the Adirondack Mountains. It was beautifully situated, with fine opportunities for water power and surrounded by timber. It was at first a wilderness area accessible only by a trail through the forest, the first road all the way to Salisbury Corners being completed only in 1815. South of them, six miles away, lay the Mohawk Valley.

The land they settled on was owned in Albany. They worked and earned enough to pay for twenty-five acres and bought the balance on the farm on contract, five dollars per acre was counted reasonable. {S15}.

His first structure was some sort of a bark shelter just below the falls, now known as Faville Falls, on Gillett Creek, later renamed Ransom Creek. About 1792 he built a log house. {S13,S15}. Source 2 says he moved to the northwest part of the town of Manheim in 1795, but this may have been earlier. {S2}.

On 3 MAR 1797 the township of Manheim was formed from Palentine, and included Ransom Creek. It was named by its early German emigrants after Mannheim, Germany.

Prior to 1800 he built a grist mill and later a saw mill there on the creek. {S2}.

About 1802 he dug a cellar and built a two-story house of sawn lumber, of which the remnants of stone walls still exist that mark his home site along Gillett Creek at the bottom of the falls. The fireplace occupied one half of the greater part of the first floor, with trap door to go to the cellar, which must have made rather close quarters for the sleeve bed and trundle bed and table and benches and blocks. The house stood about one hundred feet down stream from the mill. Their nearest neighbors lived three miles away. {S15}.

He had eight sons and four daughters. The first school in the area was started at John Faville’s place on Ransom Creek.

Francis Asbury, an itinerant preacher and first bishop of the Methodist church, preached in John Faville's barn in the upper field on the east side of the creek. The Favilles were very musical and loved to sing traditional hymns as a family. {S13}.

The boys were all strong and delighted in feats of strength. All were good wrestlers, especially Uncle Jim. They used to attend all town meetings, training and barn raisings for miles around, and loved the rough and tumble fun of these occasions. None of them were quarrelsome, but if anyone insisted on trouble--anyone or all of them would accommodate. {S15}.

The Favill family would run down deer in winter snows since they had no guns. {S13}. None of the boys were hunters. Grandfather had no gun. But all of them, including the mother, were fishers. Trout were not a delicacy or luxury. Simply used to fill up space. Five or six miles northwest of us in the town of Salisbury is a Big Cedar Swamp or Spruce Creek. One winter when the snow was immensely deep there, three of the brothers on snow shoes, with an axe on the shoulder, went up to the big swamp, stayed in the wood two nights, and each dragged home a deer. No gun; just ran them down. {S15}.

They were fairly good singers. Grandson Frank Faville said, "As a boy I heard the seven brothers and Aunt Nat sing the old anthem "While Shepherds Watched the Flocks by Night" all seated on the ground. "The Angel of the Lord came down and glory shown around", and "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name", etc. I thought then that it was wonderful music and as I write these lines I believe I hear them right now singing. They are all there, not one voice missing. To any of the cousins who read this, just stop--listen, can't you hear them? If you don't, my faith is you will sometime." {S15}.

Soon a little settlement sprang up in the area, as other settlers moved in; with a blacksmith shop, tannery and school house. This was about 1805. Families by the names of Ayers, Spencer, Ransom, Spofford, Lamberson, Brockett and Randall soon followed and settled the adjoining lands which they cleared for farms. Gillette Creek was renamed Ransom Creek, after the Ransom family. {S14}. The settlement was first named Green's Bridge, after the first settlers to build a bridge across East Canada Creek.

Each of the Faville boys as soon as they were able to swing an axe were encouraged to make clearings for these settlers. These cuttings were known as Tom's clearing, John's clearing, Bill's, Jim's, Rob's, Asa's. Their first clearing was made one half mile south of the house. The wood was mostly sugar maple and the soil around the roots of the trees was very good. As soon as they had downed enough of these big trees so the sun could get in Nancy was on hand to see that her carefully saved stock of seed was not wasted. Beans and potatoes were the most important item. In an occasional spot where they had fallen a bunch of timber so they could burn it over, they sowed turnips and later as the clearing was larger, patches of wheat and corn. {S15}.

Berries do not flourish in a dense forest; so the only chance for them was in a wind fall quite a long way from home. Nancy occasionally took her troop there for a big fill up. Once they stayed in the bush over night and lugged home a year's supply. Dried them in the sun, of course. {S15}.

One fall while the boys were still at home, someone who had made a clearing four miles to the west of them had the smallpox. Tom was delegated to go and see the man and to bring home the disease. At that time it was an act of prudence to have the disease when you were ready for it, rather than when it took you unawares. The boys all moved in with the new neighbor. They were supposed to do considerable work, enlarge the clearing while thus interned, but they also played checkers, wrestled, set snares, went away down stream fishing and chopped some. None of them were much sick, but two of the boys had scars. After that the family was supposed to be immune. {S15}.

The first stores were not started here until 1830. Before then, trading was done at Salisbury Corners. In fact, there was no road into the area until that time, and prior to this access to the area was only by a trail through the woods. The Salisbury Covered Bridge, built in 1875 and still in use, is the only original covered bridge in Herkimer County.

The best known of the first roads was State or Military Road that was built across the hills, originally called the State Road when it was surveyed in 1806 and then opened to travel in 1808. After leaving Albany to Johnstown, it followed a course through the Town of Oppenheim to Dolgeville and then turned northwesterly through the settlements of Salisbury, Salisbury Corners, Norway, Cold Brook, Russia, Boon's Bridge on the West Canada Creek near Prospect, and then northward to Remsen and Boonville, and eventually to Sackett's Harbor. During the War of 1812 this road was used to supply the fort at Oswego on Lake Ontario. Troops were marched over it and chains were carried north to close the St. Lawrence River to the British. It is thus also called the Military Road. {S17}.

John participated in the War of 1812. {S2}.

On 7 APR 1817, Manheim was changed from Montgomery County to Herkimer County.

In 1826 the area received its first post office, with Zephi Brockett as postmaster, and the area was renamed from Green's Bridge to Brockett’s Bridge in his honor. In 1881 the name was changed to Dolgeville, in honor of Alfred Dolge, its most prominent citizen. Under his leadership, Dolgeville prospered and grew in importance, while Manheim faded.

John Favill died on 14 JUN 1817, at age 68 (S7), in Manheim Township. The first burying ground in the vicinity is called the Faville-Peck or Sherwood Cemetery. It is located in the Town of Manheim, which cemetery lies 2 Miles northwest on Route 83 from Dolgeville, on the north side of Peckville Road. It was here that John was buried.

A Jacob Faivill is listed in the 1800 census in the Town of Manheim, Herkimer County, New York. He must be a near relative to John Faville, possibly a brother. In his household, Jacob had 2 males under the age of 10 years, 1 male over the age of 45, 4 females under the age of 10 years, 1 female between the age of 10 and 16, and one female over the age of 45. (S8). [see FAVILLE FAMILY STUDY].

Nancy LEWIS. (or Fox-S15).
She was born about 1758 (about 1761-S7) and was said to be of Bloomfield. Bloomfield, New Jersey is the most likely. See above and also see [see LEWIS FAMILY STUDY].

Several of the descendants call her both Lewis and Fox. See Source 15, especially the DAR records section. No explanation is given for the two names. If she was a Lewis, Bloomfield, New Jersey is the most likely place for her origin. If she was a Fox, there was a large family in the Mohawk Valley area that could be her place of origin.

Nancy was said to be of Dutch descent, known in this country at that time as “Mohawk Dutch.” (S15). It is said that she is the daughter of Johannes Lewis and Annatje Hendricksen. (S18). This needs to be verified.

She married John FAVILL about 1779, said to be before the close of the Revolutionary War. {S15}.

One of her sons said his mother could do any work that any other woman could and then some--braid a fish line out of horse hair, set a snare or trap for anything that ran or flew, make baskets of all kind, spin, weave, help the boys in every way, showed them how to tan deerskins and smaller pelts. {S15}.

She died on 24 March 1834, age 73 (S7), in the area that was then called Brocketts’ Bridge, Herkimer County, New York, but is now known as Dolgeville, and was buried in the Faville-Peck or Sherwood Cemetery in the Town of Manheim, which cemetery lies 2 Miles northwest on Route 83 from Dolgeville.

  1. Betsy FAVILLE. Born in 1780, said to be in Bloomfield, New York. She married James WEBB Jr. about 1802. She died 27 JUN 1808, and was buried in the Faville-Peck or Sherwood Cemetery in the Town of Manheim, which cemetery lies 2 Miles northwest on Route 83 from Dolgeville.
  2. Mary FAVILLE. Born in 1781. She married Amos SHERWOOD. They had three children. She died in 1868.
  3. John FAVILLE. Born 24 JAN 1783. He married Elizabeth GUILE on 2 April 1807 (1817). Her father and grandfather were both in the Continental Army of the Revolutionary War. Her grandfather, Richard HEWETT was a Captain. John and Elizabeth had 12 children. John died 22 JUL 1859.
  4. William FAVILLE. Born 19 DEC 1785 in Salisbury, Montgomery County, New York. (S2,S10). He married (1) Desire HEWITT. They had a daughter Mary Ann. He married (2) Happy GUILE. They had three children. He died on 27 JUL 1865, and was buried in the Faville, Peck or Sherwood Cemetery in the Town of Manheim, which cemetery lies 2 Miles northwest on Route 83 from Dolgeville.
  5. Thomas B. FAVILLE. Born in (1786-S15)(1788) in Salisbury, Montgomery County, New York. He married Elizabeth WEST. They had 12 children. The Will of Thomas Favill was drawn up on 19 Mar 1860. Thomas Favill died on or about 22 Mar 1860 at his own residence in the town of Manhiem in the county of Herkimer. He was buried in the Faville, Peck or Sherwood Cemetery in the Town of Manheim, which cemetery lies 2 Miles northwest on Route 83 from Dolgeville. His grandson, Judge Fred Favill says of him, "He was commonly and familiarly known as "Uncle Tom". Rugged, perhaps somewhat uncouth, not illiterate but yet unlearned. A man of intense convictions and fearless in asserting them, he was a leader in his community. He was a man "set in his ways"; of iron will and firm to a point exceedingly close to stubbornness. He was conscientious, and unbending in his religious convictions. I have heard my father say of him that he would sooner cut his throat than shave on Sunday. I remember that upon one occasion when my father and I were indulging in one of those delightful confidences that tie father and son close together, he told me that when he told my grandfather that he was going to marry my mother, then the village school teacher, "if he could get her", Grandfather's comment was-"Why and, don't you know that she believes in election?" To which Father replied, "Well, Dad I don't care if she does, if only I am the successful candidate". My grandfather was an intense abolitionist, long before the days of the civil war. He joined the American "Know Nothing" party in 1852. This unique organization in American politics was characteristic of the period preceding the war."
  6. James FAVILLE. Born in 1790 in Salisbury, Montgomery County, New York. He married. (1) Hannah ABRAMS. They had 2 children. She died 16 DEC 1819 in New York. He married (2) Katharine TIBBITS. They had 9 children. He died in 1860, and was buried in the Rock Lane Cemetery in Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. (confirmed by FindAGrave). It is noted that though he was buried in Wisconsim, the Favill family had a cenotaph erected in his memory in the Faville, Peck, Sherwood Cemetery in the Town of Manheim, which cemetery lies 2 Miles northwest on Route 83 from Dolgeville. This connection of the Wisconsin family with the old home folks in New York is also indicated in that the son of James Faville and Katharine Tibbits, also named James Faville, served in the New York 34th Regiment in Herkimer County, New York in the Civil War.
  7. Cornelius FAVILLE. Born in 1793 in Salisbury, Montgomery County, New York. He married Hannah GAGE. They had 4 children. He died in 1868. The Official Copy of Cornelius Faville's discharge papers & pension certificate is located in the War of 1812 collection at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, Canton, NY. Cornelius had the advantage of one term at Casanovia School.
  8. Nancy FAVILLE. Born in 1795, probably in what was then Palatine Township, Montgomery County, New York. She married Michael L. BENNETT. They had 9 children. She died in 1864.
  9. Harriet FAVILLE. Born in 1797 in Manheim Township, Montgomery County, New York. She married William JOHNSTON. They had six children. She died in 1868.
  10. Reuben FAVILLE. Born 11 NOV 1799 in Manheim Township, Montgomery County, New York. He married Nancy CRAMER. They had six children. In 1887 his farm was sold to Alfred Dolge. It included the picturesque High Falls of the East Canada Creek. He died 30 OCT 1884, and was buried in the Faville, Peck or Sherwood Cemetery in the Town of Manheim, which cemetery lies 2 Miles northwest on Route 83 from Dolgeville.
  11. Asa D. FAVILLE. Born in 1802 in Manheim Township, Montgomery County, New York. He was baptized into the Methodist church in 1819. He married (1) Nancy Jane SMITH about 1828. She was of Oswego County, New York. They had three children, one was named Eliza Faville, and she married (1) Sumner FRENCH [or she married a T.C. French according to marriage records, and that they had a son named Sumner French born about 1854, who was living as late as 1870 Census. (S9).] and (2) Henry DREW, with whom she had several children. The second daughter of Asa and Nancy was named Tamazon (1831-1905), who married Henry C. DRAKE 11 OCT 1854. The third was named Merriam, who died 16 SEP 1843 at age 4 years, 8 months. His wife (Jane) died in 1849. Asa married (2) Helen SMITH in 1862. She was of Milford, Wisconsin. They had a daughter Genevieve, who married Henry TOPPING. The moved in (1843-obituary of Tamazon)(1845-obituary of Asa) to Wisconsin and settled first in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Two years later they moved to an area they called Faville Grove at Milford, Wisconsin. [The obituary of Asa says the opposite order, but this is obviously correct.] Asa Faville died on 3 DEC 1889 in Milford, Jefferson County, Wisconsin; and was buried in the Rock Lake Cemetery in Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Records for Asa also appear in the Faville Peck, or Sherwood, Cemetery in Manhiem, Herkimer County, New York. I suppose that his death in Wisconsin was recorded in Manheim as well, since that was the seat of the extended Faville family.
  12. Elijah FAVILLE. Born in 1805 in Manheim Township, Montgomery County, New York. He died 27 AUG 1816, age 11 (at age 12-S7) years, and was buried in the Faville, Peck, Sherwood Cemetery in the Town of Manheim.


Nancy Lewis  md  John Faville 
(1) Betsy Faville  md (Elder) James Webb
     |                               |  
Eliza Webb md William Tenney.       Amanda Melvina Webb md Burton Harmon Phelps  
     |                                       |  
Warren Reed Tenney     md       Julia Amanda Phelps  
Warren Moroni Tenney  md Ella Ann Hamblin  
Clive Vernon Tenney  md  Minnie Williams  
Mildred Ella Tenney  md  Glenn Russell Handy 
                Deborah Lee Handy