The Nye Family





            Elizabeth Matilda Nye, grandmother of Betty Chimicles, was a descendent of the Moore and Nye families.  She married Charles Woodberry McLellan and united the Nye and McLellan families.  The Nye family can be traced back to the year 985.


            The Nye lineage is shown to be the following:


            X.  Unknown Person, descendent of Harold Blautand, died in 985

            1.  Lave Nye (circa 1316) - was descendent of above person, Bishop

            2.  Sven Nye (died 1363) - heir of father, Bishop of Roskilde

            3.  Marten Nye (circa 1363) - declared heir of father in Tudse

            4.  Nils Nye (circa 1418) - possessed land in Tudse

            5.  Bertolf Nye (circa 1466) - had two sons named James and Randolf.  Had duel with Tostig,

                        son of Gytha and fled to England with his younger brother Randolf and settled in

                        Wiltshire, after removing to Hampshire.

            6.  Randolf Nye (circa 1527) - came to England in 1527

            7.  William Nye (died 1556)

            8.  Ralph Nye (circa 1556)

            9.  Thomas Nye (married September 9, 1583)

            10. Thomas Nye (married June 10, 1619 to second wife who was 39)

            11. Benjamin Nye (b. May 4, 1620) - came to America in 1635

            12. Jonathan Nye (b. Nov. 20 or 29, 1649 - ?) - had 14 kids, two wives

            13. Isaac Nye (1702-1779) - Served in French and Indian War

            14. Elias Nye (1752-1838) - Revolutionary War soldier

            15. Bartlett Nye (1799-1857) - married Matilda Moore & Laura Moore

            16. Elizabeth Nye (1840-1914) - married to Charles McLellan

            17. Malcolm Nye McLellan (1877-1963) - married Florence Sherwood

            18. Elizabeth McLellan (1907-1987) - married George Chimicles


            A view of the Nye family tree starting with Elias Nye is shown next.  Note the large number of unmarried people or people who were married but that had no children.  Also note that the Patrick family branch is one of the few generations that may have survived the longest.  Most of the other branches of the family tree, starting since 1787, may now be dead ends.  It is unknown whether people in several of the branches had more children.  


* 1. Elias Nye (1752-1838) - married Elizabeth Bartlett        

            2. Ruth Nye (1787-1880) - not married

            2. Margaret Nye (1788-) - died young

            2. Freeman Nye (1791-1877) - married Cornelia Schuyler (no children)

            2. Elizabeth Bartlett Nye (1793-1864) - married R. Hoyle

                         3.  Sarah Hoyle - married Van Vliet

            2. Isaac Nye (1796-1871) - not married

         * 2. Bartlett Nye (1799-1857) - married Matilda Moore and Laura Moore

                         * 3. Elizabeth Matilda Nye (1840-1914) - married Charles McLellan

                                    4. Donald McLellan (1873-1881) - died young

                                    4. Hugh McLellan (1874-1963) - married Margaret Bowman

                                                5. Dorothy McLellan (1904-1986) - married George Kellogg

                                                            6. Hugh McLellan Kellogg (1934) - not married

                                                5. Woody McLellan (1907-1983) - married Hulda Bredenberg

                                 * 4. Malcolm Nye McLellan (1877-1963) - married Florence Sherwood

                                             * 5. Elizabeth McLellan (1907-1987) - married George Chimicles

                                                5. Bryce McLellan (1918-1935) - killed by car

                        3. Caroline Nye (1843-1846) - died young

                        3. Margaret Barnes Nye (1846-?) - married Seargent Stearns

                                    4.  Charles Freeman Nye Stearns (1871-1893) - died young

                                    4.  Grace Nye Stearns (1874-?) - married W. Angus

                                    4.  Seargent Prentiss Stearns (1878-1878)

                                    4.  Margaret Prentiss Stearns (1881-?)

                        3. Ellen Rose Nye (1847-1922) - unmarried

                        3. Charles Freeman Nye (1849-1905) - unmarried

                        3. Grace Cornelia Nye (1851-1871) - unmarried

                        3. Mary Laura Nye (1854-?) - married Isaac Dyer

                                    4.  Laura Dyer (1888-?) - married Paul Powers

                                    4.  Isaac Dyer (1891-?) - married Margaret

                                                5.  Isaac Watson Dyer II (April, 1914 - ) - a picture of him states his name. 

                                                5.  Watson - children?

                                                5.  Richard - children?

                                                            6.  Margaret Dyer

                                                                        7.  Child

                                                            6.  Clinton Dyer

                                                            6.  Dyer - died


                        3. Bartlett Nye (1856-1917) - married Edith Rae

                                    4.  Patricia Nye (1909-1998) - unmarried

            2. Thomas Nye (1801-1877) - married Corinna Bowman (no children)


            The following is known about the Nye family, which was written in the book Genealogy of the Nye Family in the early 1900s.   


            The name Nye as a family name made its first appearance about the middle of the thirteenth century in the Sjelland Section of Denmark.  At that time their were great internal uprisings in Sweden and many of the Swedes fled to adjoining countries to escape the dangers which threatened them at home.  These people settled in little communities throughout Denmark and we find traces of their settlements in such compound names as Ny-borg, Ny-stead or other towns named after their Swedish homes; in like manner to the naming of New Amsterdam by the Dutch settlers in America the prefix Ny in the Danish language, meaning new or new comer. 


            In the adoption of surnames which hitherto had been practically unknown they employed much the same method.  Great confusion often resulted from the lack of a surname and so to distinguish a man he was given a surname which suggested itself from some characteristics of the man, as for instance, a trade or occupation, such as Baker, Carpenter, or Gardener, often his figure made the necessary suggestion, as Broad, Short or Tallman; or the simple addition of son, as Johnson, Williamson or Robinson. 


            And so one of these immigrants from Sweden was given by the inhabitants of his new country the name Nye or Newcomer. 


            For the ancestry of this man we must look to the traditional history of Denmark.  There are several stories of his origin but one will be sufficient to give us a point from which we may start.  This tradition tells us that about the middle of the thirteenth century a person came and settled in Fredericksborg, Bailiwick and Slangerup Parish in the Sjelland Section of Denmark.  There was a rumor that he was the descendent of Harold Blautand, who died in 985, through his daughter, who married one of the most famous Swedish heroes, Styribiorn, son of Olaf, King of Sweden.


            A number of people in subsequent generations are listed, along with descriptions of their lives, that lead to Benjamin Nye, who was the first Nye to arrive in America.  He was the son of Thomas and Agnes Nye and was born in Bidlenden Kent, England, on May 4, 1620.  He came to America in the "Abigail" and settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1635 with Edmund Freeman's Company. 



1.  Benjamin Nye 


            The following is written about Benjamin Nye in the Nye genealogy book:


            Benjamin Nye, son of Thomas and Agnes Nye, was born at Bidlenden Kent, England, May 4, 1620.


            He came in the "Abigail" to Lynn, Mass., in 1635, with Edmund Freeman's Company.


            (Dennis Geere of Saugus, who came in the "Abigail", in his will, dated December 10, 1635, leaves 30 shillings to Benjamin Nye).


            Rev. Thomas Tupper was also a passenger on the "Abigail".  In 1637 he removed to Sandwich, Mass., where October 19, 1640, his daughter Katherine and Benjamin Nye were married.


            The following extracts from the town and colony records give the history of Benjamin Nye.


            In 1643 the name of Benjamin Nye appears in the list of those able to bear arms.


            In 1650 he complained of Thomas Dexter, Jr., for trespass for damages to the amount of ten pounds and was awarded by the jury the sum of fifteen shillings.


            In 1654 his name appears on a list of those contributing toward building a mill.


            March 29, 1655, his name is on the subscription list for building a meeting house.


            In 1655 he was supervisor of highways.


            July 17, 1657, he engages to pay fifteen shillings toward the minister's salary yearly, and in the same year takes the oath of fidelity.


            May 18, 1658, he was chosen Grand-juryman.


            In 1659 he made payment of five shillings for the meeting house.


            In 1660 he complained against William Newland in an action of defamation, to the damage of fifty pounds, by testifying in court that a message was brought or sent to him from Elizabeth Freeman "affeirming that Jacob Burgis was drawne to testify that which he did conserning Barlow through Feare, By Benjamin Nyes threatening him, in case hee would atend Barlow in his ocations against the Quakers, and giue the psent euidence, hee should not haue his daughter to wife."  The jury found for the plantiff fifty shillings, or that the defendant bring fourth the informer, and the cost of the suit.


            In 1661 he was chosen constable and 1662 he was on the jury.  In 1664 he served on a coroner's jury on Thomas Fitch.  In 1665 he was on a committee to settle a road dispute between George Allen and R. Chadwell.


            May 15 1668, he was again chosen Grand-juryman.


            On March 18, 1669, the town voted to lay out twelve acres of land to him because he built the mill at the little pond.


            September 13, 1669, the town "granted Ben Nie 8 acres of land adjoining his six acres adjoining to his meadow by the little river."


            June 13, 1671, he was on a committee to look after the uplands and meadows which are the town's commons.


            In 1673, he was constable.


            March 31, 1674, voted a committee take a deed of Thomas Dexter for the towns's land and ordered Benjamin Nye, the collector, to pay the said Thomas Dexter four pounds for it.


            On February 21, 1675, a list of names was recorded of those having a just right and interest in the town's privileges — the list contains the names of Benjamin Nye and John Nye.


            August 8, 1675, it was voted that Benj. Nye have permission to build a fulling mill upon Spring Hill River, providing it does not damnifie the country road, and to keep up a mill in said place as long as he keeps a fulling mill in the same place.  (The history of Barnstable County states "at Spring Hill, just east from East Sandwich the remains of the old Benjamin Nye saw mill are still extant in the brook.")


            A receipt appointed to be recorded:


            Receiued of Benjamin Nye and Steuen Skiffe, agents for the town of Sandwich, and on their accompt the sume of fifty pounds, and is in full of what is owing from this town unto ours upon balance of accompt ordered by the councell of the Collonie of New Plymouth Wee say, receiued this second day of February, 1676, in behalf of the town of Barnstable. 


                        Thomas Hinckley

                        Thomas Huckens

                        Barnabas Laythrope


            A book recently published (as of 1995) showing historic New England homes lists Benjamin Nye's home as being built in 1685 in East Sandwich.  The house had recently been restored.


            Benjamin and Katherine Nye had at least nine children.  They were named:


            Mary Nye - married June 1, 1670

            John Nye

            Ebenezer Nye

         * Jonathan Nye (Nov 20 (29?), 1649 - ?) - married Patience Burgess 

            Mercy Nye (April 4, 1652 - )

            Caleb Nye

            Nathan Nye

            Benjamin Nye - killed by Indians at battle of Rehoboth in King Phillips' War on March 26, 1676. 



2.  Jonathan Nye


            Jonathan Nye was born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, on November 20, 1649.  His name appeared in the list of those taking the oath of fidelity on July 4, 1678, at the age of 28.  In 1681, he served on the Grand jury and as Selectman in 1698.  Town records do not show the date of his death.  He first married Hannah(?) and then Patience Burgess. 


            Jonathan's Will in the Nye book stated:


In the Name of God, Amen I Jonathan Nye of the Town of Sandwich in the County of Barnstable in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England being grown into years & knowing it is appointed for all men once to Dye and being now of perfect mind and memory blessed be God do make and Ordain this my Last Will and Testament principally and first of all I Give my Soul to God that gave it and touching my worldly Estate having heretofore disposed of my Real Estate there Remains only the Personal Estate to be Disposed off.


Imprimis.  I will that all my Just Debts due to any person in might of Conscience be first paid. 


Item.  I give and bequeath unto my well Beloved wife Patience Nye the use and Improvement of all my Personel  Estate of what kind nature or Quality whatsoever, both within Doars and without for her comfort supporting and maintenance During the term of hir natural life and what and so much of said Estate as shall be and Remain upon Expiration of hir Term of Life, my will is that it be Equally Divided Between my three Daughters viz. Patience Abigail and Zurviah The rest of my children viz Mary Sarah Jabez Joanah Ichabod Jonathan Joseph Benjamin Thomas and David I have allready  Given such Portions unto as I Judge sufficient for them. 


And Lastly.  I do Constitute and appoint my well beloved wife Patience and my son Joseph Nye to be Executors to this my last Will and Testament.  Hereby Revoaking and Disannulling all other and former wills by me made and do Rattify allow this and no other to be my last will.  In witness whereof I have Hereunto set my had and seal the seaventh Day of July Anno Domini 1744. 


                                    Jonathan Nye   [seal]


Signed Sealed pronounced and Declared to be his Last will and Testament in presence of us,


John Otis.

Silvanus Bourn.

Nathaniel Otis.


Proved May 13, 1747.  


            Jonathan had 14 children with his two wives.


By his first wife, Hannah:


            Jabez Nye

            Sarah Nye

            Joanna Nye (January 16, 1686 - )

            Ichabod Nye (May, 1689 - )


By his second wife, Patience:


            Jonathan Nye (Nov, 1691 - )

            Patience Nye (Nov, 1693 - )

            Joseph Nye (Nov 16, 1695 - )

            Benjamin Nye (Oct 16, 1697 - )

            Thomas Nye (August, 1699 - )

            Abigail Nye (Sept 2, 1702 - ) - twin

         * Isaac Nye (Sept 2, 1702 - Mar 1, 1779) - twin - married Sarah Freeman

            Mary Nye

            David Nye (July 1, 1706 - ) - twin

            Zerviah Nye (July 1, 1706 - ) - twin



3.  Isaac Nye


            Isaac Nye was born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, on September 2, 1702, and died in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on March 1, 1779, at the age of 76.  He married Sarah Freeman on February 7, 1725,  when he was  22 and she was 21 years old.  She was the daughter of Edward and Sarah Freeman and was born on December 6, 1703, and died in Carver, Massachusetts, in June of 1786 at the age of 82.  The two lived in Middleborough, Massachusetts, a few years but later moved to Plymouth, Massachusetts.  He served for a time in the French and Indian war.  


            Isaac and Sarah's children were:


            Miribah Nye (April 11, 1726 - )

            Son Nye (June 1729 - ) - died young

            David Nye (1731 - )

            Isaac Nye (April 1, 1733 - )

            Joseph Nye (October 4, 1735 - )

            Mary Nye (May 10, 1738 - )

            Sarah Nye (June 3, 1741 - )

            Philip Nye (1744 - )

            Jonathan Nye (June 21, 1746 - )

         * Elias Nye (Mar 25 (Apr 5?), 1752 - Dec 17, 1838) - married Elizabeth Bartlett



4.  Elias Nye


            Elias Nye was born in Plympton, Massachusetts, on April 5, 1752, and was the son of Isaac Nye.  He married Elizabeth Bartlett and is buried with her in the Elmwood Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont.  The following is written in the book Genealogy of the Nye Family:


            His name appears in the list of Revolutionary soldiers both as Elias Nie and Elias Nye.  He served as a private in Captain Isaac Gray's company, Jonathan Brewer's regiment; muster roll dated August 1, 1755; enlisted May 1, 1775; service three months eight days; residence Hardwick.  Also, same company and regiment; order for bounty coat or its equivalent in money due for the eight months service in 1775, dated Prospect Hill, November 4, 1775, payable to Lieutenant Thomas Willington; private, Captain Isaac Gray's company, Colonel Jona.  Brewer's (7th) regiment; residence Plympton; company returned, dated Prospect Hill, October 6, 1775.  He married (1st) Ruth Shurtleff.  He married (2nd) in 1786, Elizabeth Bartlett, of Plymouth.  She was born October 21, 1758, and died May 17, 1825.  He resided in Plympton, Carver, Boston, and again in Plympton and later removed to Burlington, Vermont, where he died December 17, 1838.



            Elias and Elizabeth's children were:


            Ruth Shurtleff Nye (April 5, 1787 - October 15, 1880) - unmarried

            Margaret Nye (Dec 1, 1788 - ?) - born in Carver, died young

            Freeman Nye (November 2, 1791 - November 13, 1877) – married, no children

            Elizabeth (Eliza) Bartlett Nye (Sept 27, 1793 - Sept 24, 1864) – married Hoyle, children

            Isaac Nye (November 1,1796 - April 27, 1871) - unmarried

         * Bartlett Nye (Jan 8, 1799 - Dec 1, 1857) – married Matilda and Laura Moore, eight children

            Thomas Nye (November 23, 1801 - May 15, 1877) – married Corinna Bowman, no children


            A letter written on June 21, 189(?) to Charles Freeman Nye shows the inscriptions on the gravestones in Burlington, Vermont.  A Sexton of the Unitarian Church wrote it.  They might be buried in Elmwood Cemetery.




to the Memory of

Elias Nye

Born at Plymouth Mass

April 5 1752

died Dec 17, 1838



to the Memory of

Elizabeth Bartlett

Wife of Elias Nye

Born at Plymouth Mass

Oct 21 1758 died

May 17, 1825



5.  Ruth Shurtleff Nye


            Ruth Shurtleff Nye was born on April 5, 1787, and died on October 15, 1880.  She was unmarried.  Her middle name was from Elias’ first wife’s last name.  It is not known if Ruth was the daughter of Elias’ first wife, named Ruth Shurtleff.  Ruth lived in Burlington, Vermont, for a while and later moved to Champlain since her brothers Freeman and Bartlett Nye were living there.


            In Ruth’s Will, she bequeathed her property to her nephews, Charles Freeman Nye and Bartlett Nye, and also some property to her niece, Mrs. Sarah A. Van Vliet, daughter of her sister Elizabeth.  Sarah, who lived in Lacolle, Quebec, was not satisfied with the settlement and decided to sue Ruth’s estate.  Two similar articles about the suit were in The Champlain Interview of February 4, 1881, and the Plattsburgh Republican of January 8, 1881. [OR]


            An important legal hearing was had before Hon. Judge Watson, in this village, on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, in the matter of Mrs. Sarah A. Van Vliet of Lacolle, Canada, who contested the will of Miss Ruth S. Nye.   G. H. Beckwith of Plattsburgh, associated with Hon. Matthew Hale, of Albany, appeared for Mrs. Van Vliet, and Hon. P. S. Palmer, S. A. Kellogg, and Corbin [Royal Corbin of Plattsburgh] & Dobie for the will.  The hearing was adjourned to the 24th of February. 



5.  Freeman Nye


Another of Elias's children, Freeman Nye, was born on November 2, 1791, and died on November 13, 1877, at the age of 86.  He moved to Champlain and in 1807 was in business with his brother Bartlett.  Their firm was called "F. and B. Nye" and was a major business enterprise in Champlain, owning many farms, stores and buildings in Champlain and Canada.  Freeman married Cornelia Schuyler, a grandniece of General Philip Schuyler, but had no children.  She was born in 1800 and died in 1854.  Both are buried in the Nye vault in the Glenwood Cemetery in Champlain.  Elizabeth Matilda Nye made mention of Freeman when she used him as her lawyer.


            The following is the obituary notice of Freeman Nye who died on November 13, 1877, at the age of 86.  The obituary was printed in the New York Daily Tribune on Wednesday, December 12, 1877. 


            In the obituary, it stated that Freeman was born in Plimpton, Massachusetts, and was a descendent of Puritans who came to America in 1623 on the ship “Anne” (the section on Benjamin Nye stated that Benjamin came to America in 1635 on the ship “Abigail”).  He fought during the War of 1812 and saw the Battle of Plattsburgh.  He was also a friend of the founder of the Tribune, Horace Greeley, who is well known even in 1998. 


Freeman Nye.


            Freeman Nye, who recently died at his home near the village of Champlain, Clinton County, was a man whose rare excellence of character merited attention and received it.  His sudden death, though at an advance age, has left in sorrow a large circle of friends.  They will miss not only his trusty counsels but his cheerful companionship.  He was born in Plimpton, Plymouth County, Mass., November 2, 1791, and was a descendant of a puritan family that reached America in the ship Anne, in 1623.  In 1807 Mr. Nye went from Plimpton to Champlain, then a place of no importance.  To its increase in prosperity he largely contributed, becoming one of the most vigorous business men, and continuing at work for seventy years.  He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and distinctly remembered the battle of Plattsburg.  In 1817, with his younger brother, Bartlett Nye, he established the firm of F. & B. Nye, which soon became one of the most active and successful in Northern New York.  Soon after, for business reasons, he took up his residence just across the Canada line.  He never, however, gave up his American citizenship and all his sympathies and associations were with the inhabitants of the United States.  In 1841 he married Cornelia Schuyler, grand-niece of General Philip Schuyler.  She died in 1854.   In 1857 his brother Bartlett died, leaving a widow and several young children to his care.   He promised to do for them as for his own, and nobly fulfilled his promise.  He managed the estate left to them by his brother with fidelity.  Mr. Nye was a man of strong mind, and had an excellent judgement, and an extraordinary memory.  He was a great reader, and was thoroughly well informed on all the current topics of the day.  He was an ardent admirer of THE NEW-YORK TRIBUNE and its distinguished founder.  He was somewhat reticent, yet genial and companionable, and entered heartily into the sympathies of young people.  He was exact in his business affairs to the very pennies, yet free in charity, kind to his employes [sic], and generous to his family.  He had an excellent constitution, and a strength of mind which remained unimpaired to the last.  His illness was short, and he died without a murmur or complaint, on morning of November 13, at the age of eighty-six.


            An interesting article was found in the Champlain Counselor of March 5, 1897, and described the life and family of Stephen Schuyler, the son of General Philip Schuyler.  The Schuyler, Nye and Moore families were related through the marriage of several people.  [OR]


            It was known by Hugh McLellan and others years ago that Freeman Nye had married Cornelia Schuyler, a grandniece of General Philip Schuyler and brother to Stephen Schuyler.  This was stated in some old family trees.  The following obituary confirms this relationship.  What was not known until now was that three Hoyle brothers, George, Timothy and John, were half-brothers to Stephen Schuyler.  George Vischer Hoyle probably married Helen Margaret Moore (1831-1908) and Timothy probably married Sophia Whiteside Moore (1826-1900), both daughters of Royal Corbin Moore, Pliny Moore’s son. 


            There passed away at Huntingdon on the 16th of Feb. last in his 89th year in the person of Stephen Schuyler, one whose name will be remembered as one of the pioneers of Champlain.  The deceased was a half brother of the late George, Timothy and John Hoyle and full brother to the late Mrs. Freeman Nye, Mrs. Hotchkiss, of Lacolle, and to the mother of our townsman, S. M. Lighthall, of Rouses Point.  Mr. Schuyler was born on the site of Troy, then owned by his father, Gen. Schuyler.  The Montreal “Daily Witness” of last Friday has the following concerning him and the illustrious family he sprung:  “In the late Mr. Stephen Schuyler, who died the other day at Huntingdon, there passed away the Canadian representative of the Schuylers of Albany, a stock whose claim is to be ‘the greatest family of the New World.’  Sprung originally of a noble race in Holland they have since 1650, always taken a leading part of a noble race in Holland they have [sic ¾ sentence repeats], influenced history for all time.  They produced the most determined opponents of French power, established the British Indian Department and policy, brought about the reorganization of the army under Lord Howe, which prepared the way for the final conquest of Canada, originated the first conquest of Canada, originated the first conquest of Louisbourg and Acadia, led the earliest invasion of Canada by land, commanded the founding of Oswego, which broke the power of France on the great lakes, took an active part in all the other French wars, and contributed Schuyler’s regiment and several officers of the conquest of Montreal.  In the war of the Revolution, they were somewhat divided, but in the person of General Philip Schuyler, himself a grandson of the first land invader of Canada, they contributed the influence which brought over New York to the patriot side, and the military skill which effected the decisive campaign of Saratoga, thus winning the Revolution.  Daniel Webster and others adjudge General Schuyler the place next Washington.  The General’s son-in-law, the Great Alexander Hamilton, made the United States a nation and founded its constitution.  Another son-in-law, the Patron van Rensselaer was commander-in-chief in the war of 1812.  Mr. Stephen Schuyler was the grandson of the General’s brother, Brigadier Schuyler.  On his mother’s side he was a cousin of President Van Buren and connected with other distinguished names in America and England; while as a member of an old Knickerbocker family he was one of the last who were able to speak the New York Dutch.”


5.  Elizabeth “Eliza” Bartlett (Nye) Hoyle


            Elizabeth Bartlett married Robert Hoyle and may have had a child named Sarah.  Sarah married Van Vliet.  Elizabeth died in Lacolle, Quebec.


            Hugh wrote what was on the gravestone of Elizabeth Nye.  It is not known where the grave is.


Elizabeth B. Nye

Wife of

Sg. Col. Robert Hoyle


in Carver, Plymouth Co. Mass

Sept. 27, 1793

Died in Lacolle, CE

Sept. 24, 1864


6.  Sarah (Hoyle) Van Vliet


            Sarah married a person named Van Vliet and lived in Lacolle, Quebec.  A lot of Van Vliet’s lived in LaColle. 


            In Ruth Nye’s Will, she bequeathed her property to her nephews, Charles Freeman Nye and Bartlett Nye, and also some property to her niece, Mrs. Sarah A. Van Vliet, daughter of her sister Elizabeth.  Sarah, who lived in Lacolle, was not satisfied with the settlement and decided to sue Ruth’s estate.   Two similar articles about the suit were in The Champlain Interview of February 4, 1881, and the Plattsburgh Republican of January 8, 1881. [OR]


            An important legal hearing was had before Hon. Judge Watson, in this village, on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, in the matter of Mrs. Sarah A. Van Vliet of Lacolle, Canada, who contested the will of Miss Ruth S. Nye.   G. H. Beckwith of Plattsburgh, associated with Hon. Matthew Hale, of Albany, appeared for Mrs. Van Vliet, and Hon. P. S. Palmer, S. A. Kellogg, and Corbin [Royal Corbin of Plattsburgh] & Dobie for the will.  The hearing was adjourned to the 24th of February. 


5.  Isaac Nye


            Isaac Nye was born in Boston on November 1, 1796, and died on April 27, 1871, at the age of 74.  He lived in Burlington, Vermont, all of his life and was a businessman.  He ran a small store near the wharf for many years but ended that business for unknown reasons.  He then lived a rather “hermit” life and acted very strangely. 




            The following article was probably written in a local newspaper or historical publication about Isaac Nye:


Boats have captains and wharves have warf masters.  Isaac Nye, Burlington, Vt., was one of the latter, a man “of parts”.


Born in Boston, Mass., on Nov. 1, 1796, Mr. Nye died at Burlington on April 27, 1871 and was buried at Champlain N.Y., the home of other members of the Nye family. 


Mr. Nye settled at Burlington in his youth, formed the firm of Nye and Dinsmore with headquarters on the north side of the Court House Square in that city, was later in partnership with Horace Lane, then took up residence in a small wooden store at the head of his wharf on Water Street.  When only 44 years old, Isaac Nye announced that business was “distastefull” to him and closed the shutters of his storehouse, never to open them again.  He lived a sort of hermit life, sleeping in a room at the rear of the store and having his meals brought to him by a family living in the upper storey of the building.  Goods mouldered on store shelves, he would sell nothing and finally lumber rotted on his wharf.  About 1855 James Fraggarty, an Irish boy about 12 years old, came to live with Mr. Nye and Dr. Atwater attended him when ill.  He rarely spoke in his later years unless spoken to and appeared in public at funerals only, his special recreation.  When he died he was “laid out” on the counter in his store, at his request.


Entries in the storage book of Isaac Nye, 1839-42, like the story of Isaac Nye’s life, have interest as indicating volume of business at his wharf, type of cargoes, names of commercial craft and their masters. 


            The following article was written in the Champlain Journal, Vol. 6, No 23, on May 6, 1871.  The original article appears to have been written in the Burlington Free Press on April 28, 1871.  Isaac Nye was born in Boston on November 1, 1796, and died in Burlington on April 27, 1871, at the age of 74.  He was buried in Champlain.  Hugh wrote the comments that were inserted in the brackets. 


An Eccentric Life Closed.


            Mr. Nye died Thursday last at noon ending his strange life in the old store on Water street, in which he had lived for so many years.   Mr. Nye came to Burlington at an early age with his parents.  Fifty years ago he was a merchant in Burlington, of the firm of Nye & Dinsmore [dissolved on November 30, 1823], his place of business being on the north side of Court House Square.  He subsequently formed a partnership with Horace Lane, long since deceased and in time removed his business to the small wooden store at the head of Nye’s wharf.   For what reason we know not, his mercantile business became distasteful to him, and over 30 years ago [1841] he closed the shutters, which have never been opened since.  In this store he has lived a sort of hermit life, though possessed of property enough to eneable [sic] him to live comfortably.  He slept there in a small bed room at the rear.   His meals were brought to him there by a family who occupied the upper story and there he kept himself a great part of the time.   The goods in the store when he closed it, remained and mouldered upon the shelves.   He would sell nothing of them, and what is left of them are still there.  He owned the wharf and did some wharfing business after he abandoned general business, but this, too, mainly ceased.  He had a quantity of valuable lumber, most of which lay and rotted at his wharf. 


            Some fifteen years ago [1856] he took an Irish boy, of ten or twelve years, Jas. Foggarty, to live with him, who has been his sole companion ever since.  Mr. Nye was very ill last summer and though he recovered so as to be out, he has since been feeble.  He took to his bed on Saturday.  Dr. Atwater attended him, and his brother from Champlain, N. Y., who was over to see him Monday, left him thinking he would probably get along.  He grew worse, however, and died a few moments past twelve Thursday.   He was laid out, by his own request, upon the counter of the old store.  On the shelves around were the remnants of piece goods and glass ware, &c., placed there perhaps forty years ago, and with the dust of a generation upon them.  We suppose that Mr. Nye was nearly 80 years of age.  He was never married.  Of late years he rarely spoke unless spoken to.  He attended no gatherings of his fellow men except funerals, at which he was a frequent attendant.  He exhibited little interest in most that interests other men, yet he had friendships and acquaintances, who hold him in kindly remembrance. — Free Press, 28th. 


5.  Thomas Nye


            Thomas Nye was born in Carver, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, on August 23, 1801, and died on May 15, 1877, at the age of 75.  He married Corinna Bowman but had no children.  He was a lawyer in Montreal.  Elizabeth Matilda Nye later made mention of Thomas when she visited him in Montreal as a teenager. 


            Thomas was also active in civic affairs.  A University of Vermont Commencement Announcement dated August 14, 1822, showed that he was the speaker for the English Oration titled “Scenic Representations.”  The commencement announcement had been owned by Ellen Rose Nye in 1918.  Also speaking was Pliny Moore Corbin (1801-1874) who did an English Oration entitled “Intellectual Superiority”.  Pliny was the son of Royal Corbin.  Royal was the brother of Martha (Corbin) Moore who had married Judge Pliny Moore.

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