The Tiffany Family
1795-1902

from "The "Old Times Corner"

First Series 1929-1930 George Halcott Chadwick editor and compiler. Mrs. Jessie Van Vechten Vedder (Greene County Historian) co-editor. Republished from The Catskill Examiner by the Greene County Historical Society at Catskill, N.Y. 1932


Transcribed and contributed by Celeste MacCormack


If everybody would follow the example of Mrs. Flora Tiffany of Hensonville, these columns would increase greatly in interest to our readers. Remember, it is your turn next, and send in the family records, the family anecdotes, and the stories of life hereabouts when you were a boy or a girl. Mrs. Tiffany’s account of her husband’s family follows, with our grateful acknowledgments.

Mr. Chadwick,

Dear Sir:

I see by the paper you are asking for more family history and, as Mrs. Clara Merwin is to continue the records of the Merwins, I thought I would give you something about the Tiffany family who used to live in Athens.

William Tiffany was born in 1774. He married Sarah Day, who was born in 1777. I have not the dates of their marriage or deaths. They were the parents of twelve children whose names are as follows: Mary, Thomas, Jacobus, John D., William, Sally Ann, Isaac Chaney, Adaline, Jared, Charley, Almira, Clark.

If I remember rightly their ancestors were emigrants from the Lowlands of Holland, hence they were called "Low Dutch." The following sad story I have heard from my husband’s people. One day in summer, as William Tiffany was returning to his home, which was situated on the Athens road, he found a man lying beside the road who appeared to be very sick, so, like the good Samaritan, he carried him to his own home instead of the inn, and as he got no better sent for a doctor, who, when he came, pronounced it cholera. The family quickly moved into an out-building on the farm, leaving the father to care for the sick man, who shortly died. William contracted the disease, and, as everyone was frightened, no one would go near him (no trained nurses in those days). Imagine the poor wife at her wits’ end, with her large family to consider on one side, and her sick husband on the other. She took care of him in this way: Fastening a pail to a long pole, she gave him food and drink through an open window as long as he required, which was not long, for he soon passed away.

How she managed to keep her home and a part of her family together, no one remains to tell the story. We know, however, that some of the boys were apprenticed out, one of whom was Chaney. He learned the blacksmith’s trade which he followed the rest of his life mostly in Hensonville and East Jewett. He married Eleanor Henson, daughter of John Henson, the founder of Hensonville. They had two sons, William and Jared. He had a grandson, William Tiffany, still living at East Jewett and a nephew, Andrew Tiffany, son of Clark, living at Preston Hollow, now over eighty years old. The latter has one son named Bert.

The family of William Tiffany was widely scattered, especially the sons. The writer and family visited a number of their descendants in Buffalo, East Aurora and South Wales in 1902. There we found three generations of the Tiffanys and the aged widow of Jared Tiffany, who was a soldier in the Civil War and died in 1864, at the age of 44 years. He had an infant great-grandson bearing his name, living in the place. Jared seemed to be a favorite name on both sides, the Days and Tiffanys.

The eldest girl, named Mary but called Polly, married Phineas Chitester. They were the parents of Lyman, William, Samuel and a daughter who was called Doll, who married Morgan Kelly or Keller. Another named Jane, married Josh Carman and one whose name I do not know married an Overbaugh. The above is correct as far as I know.

(signed) Mrs. Jared Tiffany
-C. July 17, 1930.


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