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Biography of Walker Dada, 
Hannibal, NY

Many thanks to Esther Rancier for sharing her information on the Butterfield family. Esther is researching in Richland and Mexico the Soul/Soule, Brace and Daniel P. Smith families, and would appreciate hearing from anyone researching these surnames.   Esther Rancier at:

For more information on the Butterfield Family, please contact the 
Historians and Historical Societies.

The Dady/Dada family immigrated into Massachusetts in the seventeenth century where several generations later William Dada, born in 1742, and his wife Jerusha Burt/Bert, born in September 1748, were the parents of Noah Dada, born on 27 June 1775 at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.  William died soon after on 10 April 1776.

Noah’s family was enumerated in the 1810 census at Southampton, Hampshire Co., MA.  He had married Elizabeth Rust on 1 November 1795 at the same place.  The census listed five children, who were according to the Cowles family records:

1. Jerusha Dada b. 17 September 1798 at Otisco, Onondaga Co., NY; m. 30 July 1820 Horace Cowles; d. 12 December 1871 Hannibal, Oswego Co., NY.  Issue: 8 children all born in Otisco.
2. Lydia Dada b. 11 Feb. 1801; m. (1) 30 July 1820 in Otisco Amos Churchill Cowles who d. before 1841; (2) Nathan Rice of Hannibal, NY; d. 18 May 1864 and was buried in Hannibal Village Cemetery.  Issue: 4 Cowles children – Betsey Ann Cowles who d. in Pontiac, MI; George Washington Cowles of Clyde, NY who helped train his half-brother Arvin Rice as a lawyer; Marinda V. Cowles; Philomelia Cowles who died at age 21 and was buried in the Hannibal Village Cemetery in 1848; and Arvin Rice, Jr. b. Hannibal (1845-1914).
3. Cynthia Dada b. 30 October 1802; m. (1) Sumner Atkins; (2) Rev. Elisha Cowles; d. 30 March 1871 in Otisco.  Issue: 8 children.
4. Walker Dada b. 6 May 1805; m. 14 September 1820 Nancy Maria Bardwell; d. 5 August 1885 Hannibal.  (More information follows.)
5. Elizabeth Dada b. 3 April 1807; m. John Post Storms, a Justice of Peace; d. 24 November 1880.  Issue: 9 children.
The above record which gives Jerusha (Dada) Cowles place of birth at Otisco may be in error.  The 1810 census still places the family in Massachusetts.  The date of arrival at Otisco is not certain, but Noah Dady [sic] was found in the 1820 Otisco census.  Dada/Dady, Rust and Cowles family members began to settle in Otisco soon after 1800.  Noah’s children were there well established by 1826 when his mother Jerusha died on 26 March 1826, age 77.  She was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery.

In the same cemetery there are two early stones which suggest Noah married a young second wife named Sarah who died on 14 November 1822 along with an infant who died also in 1822.  The name on these stones was spelled Dady [sic].

Two Dada daughters who married Cowles men had relevant stones at Oak Hill also.  Cynthia Dada was buried with her husband, Rev. Elisha Cowles who died 17 May 1826, age 27.  Their daughter Virena Cowles died 18 April 1875, age 86, was buried near her parents. Lydia Dada who married Amos C. Cowles as his second wife buried him at Oak Hill on 27 February 1830, age 33.  She then removed to Hannibal where she spent the rest of her life.

Walker Dada and his wife Nancy who was addressed usually as Maria, began their family in Otisco, but resided in Hannibal in the 1850 census under the name of Dady [sic].  W. Dada & Son owned a steam cheese-box factory which by 1895 had “gone-down” according to Historian John Churchill.
According to the Bardwell family recorders, Walker’s children were:

1. Henry Augustus Dada b. Otisco 27 September 1832.
2. George Williston Dada b. Otisco 22 March 1834; m. 7 June 1856 Louisa Smith; d. 21 November 1879.
3. Lemuel Verona Dada m. (1) Phebe Galloway; (2) Mary Ann Albring.
4. Emerette Elizaabeth Dada b. Hannibal 25 February 1841; m. 17 January 1868[63] Daniel Vedder of Cicero, NY, a farmer.
The 1850 Hannibal census said the following:
 Dady, Walker            45 farmer $1000  MA
  Henry                     18 son               NY
  Verona                   12 son               NY
  Maria                      43 wife             MA
  Emmett[sic]             9 daughter        NY
  The 1870 Hannibal census recorded:
 Dada, Walker        65 cheese box maker    $1800     MA
  Marie[sic]           62 wife                                    MA
  Henry                38 son                                     NY
Laury                    6  ?                                       NY
 Dada, Verona        32 cheese box maker   $200       NY
  Mary                  28 wife                                   NY
  Alice L.                1 daughter                             NY
  The 1880 Hannibal census showed little change:
 Dada, Walker             75 farmer                    MA
  Marian [sic]              72 wife                       MA
  Henry                      48 farmer                    NY
Dada, Verona              42 Cheese box maker    NY
 Mary                        39 wife                       NY
 Alice                        11 daughter                 NY
Soon after the 1880 census Maria, Walker’s wife died on 3 December 1880 at Hannibal.  Walker lived to 5 August 1885. 
All three of Walker’s sons served in the Civil War for Hannibal.  Their names were inscribed on the town monument.  Henry A. Dada enlisted as a private on 30 July 1862 at the age of 30 in Co. F, 110th Inf. Regt. NY.  He was mustered out on 28 August 1865 in Albany, NY.  Verona L. Dada enlisted as a private on 7 August 1862 at the age of 24.  He too joined Co. F alongside his brother Henry A.  Verona was discharged on 13 July 1865 in Elmira, NY.  George W. Dada, often called Willis, enlisted as a private on 30 November 1863 at the age of 28.  He joined Co. 1, 24th Cav NY.  He was seriously wounded and received a disability discharge on 14 June 1865 in Washington, DC.  Each brother had been cited for Distinguished Service. 

Henry A. never married.  In the 1920 census at Auburn, Cayuga Co., NY he was 88 years old living with the family of Albert W. Pierce and his wife Marie.  He was called a great uncle.

George W. and his wife Louisa Smith had four children.  The 1870 census for Ward 2, Auburn, NY recorded:

Dada, George          37 laborer
 Louisa                   29  wife
 Hattie                   13 daughter
 Libbie                    10 
Charles                   8 son
 Flora                     5 daughter
Hattie was Harriet Emerette Dada born in Hannibal on 27 September 1856.  She later married James MacNichol.
Libbie was Elizabeth Dada born January 1858.  She married Howard E. Rice.  By 1880 in Auburn, NY they had a son Duane Rice, age 4.

Charles Dada was born in Hannibal.  He died at age 15.

Flora Dada was born in Auburn 25 February 1865.  She married Frederick Youngs.  They lived with Elizabeth at Auburn in 1880.

Verona Dada had no issue with his first wife.  With his second wife, Mary Albring, they had a daughter Mary Alice Lillian, born on 3 August 1868. 

Verona died in 1903 followed by wi8fe Mary in 1913.  They were buried in the Hannibal Village Cemetery.  Daughter Mary called Alice L. married in 1888 Eugene Chamberlain, a miller.  They had two children: Worden D. Chamberlain born on 20 February 1891 and Nettie Arnell Chamberlain, born on 12 October 1894. Alice lived until 1958. She was buried in the Hannibal Village Cemetery Chamberlain plot in section 6 near her parents.
Worden D. lived in district 119 in Syracuse in 1930.  He had married Laura McIntyre, daughter of John William and Nora (Van Patten) McIntyre. She was born 28 April 1897 in Sterling, NY.  They had one son Worden A. Chamberlain born ca. 1930.  Worden D. Served in WWI.  He died 23 May 1980 in Phoenix, NY.  He was buried at Springbrook Cemetery at Fair Haven, NY.

Emerette Dada, born in Hannibal 25 February 1841, married Daniel Vedder on 17 January 1868.  He was a farmer living at Cicero, NY.  In the 1870 census the family was recorded thusly:

Vedder, Daniel 30 farmer NY
Emerette E 29 wife  NY
John F. 7 son  NY
Dana?  62  mother? NY
In the 1880 census the family had grown:
Vedder, Daniel 41 farmer NY
Emmerett[sic] 39 wife  NY
John F.  17 son NY
Frances H  7 son NY
Jennie B  2 daughter NY

According to the Bardwell family records only two children survived: Frances Henry Vedder born 21 August 1872 and Jennie Belle Stewart Vedder born 9 February 1878.

Only a few Dady lines changed the spelling to Dada.  Walker’s heirs “daughtered out”.  The Dada spelling continues in other lines from Southampton, MA.  Some of them also lived in Oswego County and nearby. Most of the remaining family spells the name Dady.


  American Civil War Soldiers.  Available [online] 8 Nov. 2003.
  Churchill, John C. Landmarks of Oswego County, New York.  Syracuse: Mason, 1895.
 Cowles, Col. Calvin Duvall. Genealogy of the Cowles Families in America.  New Haven: Tuttle, 1929.
Descendants of Thomas Royce.  Available [online] 9 Nov. 2003.
Hannibal Village Cemetery.  Available [online] 10 Nov. 2003.
Oak Hill (Cowles or West) Cemetery.  Available [online] 9 Nov. 2003.
  Obituary for Worden D. Chamberlain, May 1980 Syracuse Herald-American.
  Robert Bardwell Descendants’ American Ancestry Association.  Bardwell/Bordwell Descendants.  1864.
  U.S. Census Southampton, Hampshire Co., MA 1810.
  U.S. Census Auburn, Cayuga Co., NY 1870, 1880 & 1920.
  U.S. Census Cicero, Onondaga Co.,  NY  1870 & 1880.
  U.S. Census Otisco, Onondaga Co., NY 1820 & 1830.
  U.S. Census Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY 1930.
  U.S. Census Hannibal, Oswego Co., NY 1850, 1870 & 1880.
WorldConnect Project.  Available [online] http://worldconnect.rootsweb 7 Nov. 2003.

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