James Fenton WYCKOFF and Caroline (WHITING) WYCKOFF (Builders)

Submitted by Judith K. Baker
Huron county, Ohio First Family Member 316


James Fenton WYCKOFF was born 22 JULY 1820 in Romulus, Seneca County, New York. He was the son of Amy FINTON/FENTON and William WYCKOFF. When James was just a baby, his father died at the age of 25 on 28 FEB 1821. Several years after her first husband's death, Amy married Jonathan SWARTHOUT, a farmer and widower with two sons.

James grew up in Romulus with his mother, stepfather and siblings. Though we know little about his early years, church records show he was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Romulus in 1842. This was the church where James' maternal grandfather, John FINTON had been a founding member and deacon. John and Elizabeth (ROBERTS) FINTON/FENTON had settled in Romulus from Orange County, New York in 1804, James' paternal grandparents, Joseph and Keziah (FOREE) WYCKOFF, moved to the area from Lycoming County, Pennsylvania about 1795. John FINTON was a Revolutionary War soldier in the Orange County, New York militia and New Jersey line; the WYCKOFF grandparents were prisoners of War in Canada during the Revolution.

On 28 DEC 1848, James Fenton WYCKOFF married Caroline WHITING, daughter of Anna and Alanson WHITING of the town of Covert in Seneca County. Their first child, Hellen M. WYCKOFF was born 27 JAN 1850 near Ovid. By April 1850, the young couple had moved to the town of Catherine in Chemung County. From there they moved to Michigan for a few years, and then in 1857, James purchased property in Huron County, Ohio where Caroline's sister, Elizabeth WHITING, wife of David MAYNARD lived. There James and Caroline raised their three children Hellen, James Jr., and Carrie in Bronson then later, Ripley township.

James F. WYCKOFF's enlistment came late in the Civil War, on 10 MAR 1865. James was 44 years old when he signed up at Sandusky, Ohio to serve for one year as a substitute in Company K, 43rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Though Private WYCKOFF saw little combat from the time of his enlistment on 10 MAR to the end of the war on 9 APR 1865, it is likely he contracted his final illness in service. He was listed as sick in hospital at Philadelphia during the last two months of his service, and was officially discharged on 14 JUNE 1865.

While James was in service, Caroline (WHITING) WYCKOFF had purchased their last property, 60 acres in Ripley township. It was there that James reunited with his family and took up farming again. The year 1869 brought the marriage of their eldest, Hellen, to Humphrey J. GIFFORD of Greenwich township, son of Humphrey and Jane (JENNEY) GIFFORD. The WYCKOFFs' first grandchild, Charles L. GIFFORD, was born on 6 JUNE 1870.

Sadly, both Caroline, 46, and James, 50 died of consumption at their home in Ripley township on the same day, 22 DEC 1870. Their final resting place is in Edwards Grove Cemetery in Ripley township.