William Floyd was born to a family in Brookhaven, Long Island, New York. His Welsh great-grandfather, Richard Floyd had settled on Long Island about 1650. He was the second child and eldest of two sons in a family of nine. William’s parents died when he was young, he inherited the estate and the responsibility for raising his brothers and sisters.
He was active in his local community, supported the Brookhaven church, became town trustee in 1769-71 and moved up in the ranks of the Suffolk County militia, becoming Colonel in 1775. He would eventually become Major-General in the American Revolutionary War.
New York was less affected by the unrest against British colonial policy than other American colonies. New York and Georgia were the only colonies in which the patriots did not control the government. From 1774-1777 William Floyd represented Suffolk County in the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress, served in the State senate and was a member of the council of safety then returned to Congress in 1779-83.
In 1776 William Floyd risked everything to support the cause of independence, he was the only person from Suffolk County N.Y. to sign the Declaration of Independence.
In 1776, the British occupied Long Island making his home at Mastic their barracks and his wife Hannah (Jones) Floyd and family were forced to take refuge in Middletown, Connecticut. Loyalists plundered his lands and belongings. His wife died in Middletown in 1781, and when he brought his children back in 1783, he found the fields and timber stripped, the fences destroyed, and the house damaged.
He married again in 1884 to Joanna Strong and began to acquire more property, a tract in central New York and property at the headwaters of the Mohawk River followed by a grant of 10,000 or so acres in the same area which became his life’s interest.
In 1803, in his late sixties, he passed the family Long Island property to his son Nicoll, and set out with the rest of his family to make a new life on the frontier.
He built a new home at Westernville, upstate New York, where he died aged 86 on the 24th August 1821. William Floyd was buried in the local Presbyterian Cemetery at Westernville.
On 1 Aug 2014 William Floyd wrote:
On 28 Aug 2013 William Floyd wrote:
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On 28 Aug 2013 at 00:48 GMT William Floyd wrote:
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