Humphrey J. GIFFORD and Hellen M. (WYCKOFF) GIFFORD
Submitted by Judith K. Baker
Huron County, Ohio First Family Member 316

As the youngest son of Humphrey and Jane (JENNEY) GIIFFORD, Humphrey J. GIFFORD remained in Huron County, Ohio, while all but one of his six siblings moved on to settle new frontiers or find work in more promising locations. Born 14 October 1842 in Greenwich township, Humphrey grew up on his parents' farm in the northeast section of the town and received a typical education for that time. Since his parents were Society of Friends, he would have received instruction and guidance in that faith. There is no evidence that Humphrey served in the Civil War as the family's religious convictions did not support military service.

On or about 11 JAN 1869, Humphrey married in Huron County, Hellen M. WYCKOFF, a daughter of James Fenton and Caroline (WHITING) WYCKOFF. Hellen was born 27 JAN 1850 in Seneca County, New York. She had moved with her parents and siblings, James Fenton Jr. and Carrie (who married Henry Jay WASHBURN) to Huron County in 1857, living first in Bronson, then in Ripley township.

Humphrey and Hellen lived near the elder GIFFORDS in Section Two on the 50 acres Humphrey bought from John L. Eddy's heirs in 1868. There Humphrey raised cattle and sheep for market. Both husband and wife were charter members of the local Grange, and active in the Masonic Order. Humphrey also served on the local school board. Their marriage was blessed with six children - Charles L., George D., Jane C., Howard W., Nick J., and Fenton Eugene. All lived to adulthood and like the generation before, four eventually left Greenwich to seek their livelihoods in New York, Connecticut and Texas. Only Charles and Jennie remained in Ohio.

Humphrey J. GIFFORD died suddenly at the age of 53 on 12 FEB 1896. One obituary (source unknown) described him as a "kind and devoted husband and father, possessing a pleasant and genial desposition which endeared him to many." His widow remained in Greenwich, where she raised the two youngest children with the help from daughter Jennie, who was a schoolteacher in Greenwich District 7.

Hellen (WYCKOFF) GIFFORD died at age 80 at the home of her youngest son in Port Arthur, Texas on 16 DEC 1930. She was buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, Greenwich, next to her husband and near three of her children, who predeceased her.

With appreciation to Patricia DeArman Fite for her generously sharing her research on our Gifford ancestors.