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Gordon-Cain Family History

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Chichester Greene County, New York
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"Our first generations of Chichesters were brothers James and Samuel, born in the middle of the 1700s. Although their parents have not been identified, there are nonetheless some clues as to their identity. The most viable possibility is there mother was the widow Sophia Chichester who was listed on the tax roll of 1787 in Coxsackie, Greene County; also listed were James and Samuel Chichester, presumably sons. Sophia's husbands name has yet to be found, but there are strong indications that his name was Samuel Sr. There may be a connection with a Simeon Fowler and with the Stanton family. Further research may carry the Chichester line back a few more generations.

The New York Historical Collections lists James and Samuel Chichester on the New York Muster Rolls of Provincial Troops, in Col. Anthony Van Bergen's Regiment, and notes that many Catskill Imboght and Coxsackie men served in this regiment. Our Chichesters came to Schoharie County from Greene County. Several other Chichesters came to Schoharie County at about the same time, but research has failed to find a common ancestor. A brief mention is made os these various families, to aid further identification of branches of the family:

A. Our branch, the James Chichesters, arrived from Greene County at least by 1830 and probably much earlier, as son Adonijah was here by 1823, and son Joseph by at least 1822.

B. Another Chichester family was John born c1780 in Schoharie County. His wife was Polly or Sopenia?, born Greene County c1794. Buried Safford Cemetery, near Mackey's Corners.

C. Another John Chichester was born c1809 in Albany County and lived in the Town of Broome. He married Margaret Syples, and their children included Rensselaer, Michael, Garrett.

D. Garet Chichester c1818. Married Elizabeth.

E. Rensselaer Chichester born c1806, wife Catherine Anthony. Children included Garrett, Lewis, Linus, Anthony, etc.

Some of these families were undoubtedly related, as they used the same names in naming their children.

Much of the Chichester data has been collected by Elmer C. Anderson and his wife Thelma Chidester Anderson of Burbank, California. The Andersons have spent years researching the name Chichester, both in England and the United States. They report that the Chichesters were in England as early as 1066, and in Salem, Massachusetts, as early as 1638. Here is what is known about the Chichester brothers, Samuel and James.


Samuel Chichester b ?, d 9-Nov-1819, buried near Cairo Junction Road, Cairo, N.Y. Married Milla Parker. Lived in Old Catskill (Leeds) near South Cairo. This branch of the family is believed to have stayed in Greene County. One descendant is William Smith of West Coxsackie. Children of Samuel and Milla (Parker) Chidester: Daniel (1780), William (1781), Ephraim (1784-1865), Abraham (1787), Benjamin (1791 - 1863) m Lydia Carnright, Phineas (1799-1870) m Mary Tiffany, Samuel (1801) and Lyman.

James Chichester, brother of Samuel. According to the Anderson data, James was born c1755 and died c1840 age 98. One of these dates is erroneous, as this would make him only 85 at his death. Since there was an 80/90 year old male living in son Joseph's household in 1840, this conceivably could be James Chichester. This would place his birth date between 1750/60, a logical assumption, as the first child was born in 1780. If James was really 98 when he died, his death date would range from 1848/58. However, since there is no sign of James after the census of 1840, we might assume that he died between 1840 and 1850.

James married Lavinia Huston, who, according to the Anderson data, was born c1756 and died at the age of 70. This would make her death date c1826, but since she was 70/80 in 1830 and not found in later census, she must have been born 1750/60 and died after 1830. Her parents and origin are unknown.

James Chichester was in the Gilboa area at least by 1830 (Federal Census of Schoharie County 1830). Roscoe's HISTORY OF SCHOHARIE COUNTY says that Broome Center was settled by the Chichester families: the 1856 atlas shows them on the Broome Center-Mackeys Corners Road. Comments about this source:

While this genealogy has been a valuable resource to my genealogy, there are some differences I have found in my research

In this genealogy, it states that the "first generation" of Chichesters, James and Samuel, were brothers. It is stated that they were on the New York Muster Rolls of Provincial Troops in Col. Anthony Van Bergen's Regiment. It also says that James, Samuel and Widow (Sophia) Chichester are on the 1787 Coxsackie tax list. It also says that the Samuel Chidester of Cairo, Greene County was the brother of our James Chichester.

My research has yielded the following about James and Samuel Chichester:

1. James and Samuel Chichester do both appear on the 1777 list of Provincial Troops under Anthony Van Bergen.

2. James and "Widow" Chichester both appear on the 1787 Coxsackie tax list. Samuel Chichester is not on this list. One possibility is that perhaps Samuel died between 1777 and 1787, and his widow (possibly Sophia or Zervia Osborn) is the "Widow" Chichester here. At this point, it is unclear if this Samuel was the brother or the father of our James Chichester.

3. One Chichester researcher I have been in touch with is Ken Parks of Coxsackie, who is a descendant of the Samuel Chidester of Cairo. Another researcher is Lois Salmans of California who is a niece of Elmer and Thelma Anderson mentioned in Joan Mullen's genealogy. Lois Salmans has inherited the Anderson research on the Chichester and Chidester families. According to both Ken Parks and Lois Salmans, the Samuel Chidester of Cairo is not the brother of our [Chichester-405|James Chichester]], but rather he is descended from another line of Chidesters from Connecticut.

It is important to note that there were a number of Chichester/Chidester families in Greene and Albany Counties in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It is very easy to confuse the different families and thei origins. Until we find more conclusive evidence on these families, we may never know their true origins.[1]"


  1. Printed Genealogy: Mullen, Joan Hess. "Gordon - Cain Family History". Copied pages 15 - 20. Original in pos. of Anne Willis of Stamford, NY.on 12 Nov 2000. Found at https://www.geni.com/people/Unknown/6000000091782090584.

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