The Greene family is an English and American family,
its history being divided into two periods, from 1202 to 1635 in England,
and from 1635 to the present in America. In the period for 1630 to 1640,
that of the great Puritan Migration into Massachusetts, several men by
the name of Greene came to the colonies, most of them settling in New England.
Of all these, two of them are of particular interest to us. Both of their
names were John, and their wives names were Joan. They were second cousins
german, that is, one was the second cousin of the other's father. The elder
of these John Greenes settled in Warwick, Rhode Island, after a short sojourn
He was the founder of the Warwick Greenes, who have furnished more men in public life to the State of Rhode Island than any other family in the state. It is from this family that General Nathanael Greene is descended.
The other John Greene settled at Quidnessett and became the founder of the Quidnessett Greenes. These two related families ha ve multiplied so that today, not even the Smiths, Joneses, or Johnsons outnumber them in their native state. It is said to be unwise to speak ill of any Rhode Islander to a Greene because he is sure to be a Greene or a kin of the Greenes! Rhode Island itself might better have been called the State of Greene because of the part the Greene family has played in its entire history from the beginning, the two John Greenes being associated with Roger Williams in the founding of the colony.
The John Greene in which we are particularly interested
in this sketch is he of Quidnessett, often spoken of as John of Quidnessett.
There was a tradition or legend that persisted long years after his coming
to Rhode Island that he was really John Clarke, one of the Regicide Judges
who condemned Charles I to death in 1649, and that he fled to Massachusetts
after the Restoration in 1660 to escape the fury of the Cavaliers, changing
his name to the common one of Greene.
The story is impossible, however, because we have positive proof, through an affidavit of his written in 1679 that he was with Richard Smith "forty years and more ago" when the latter established his trading post at Aquidneset, or Quidnessett. That would be 1639 at least, ten years before Charles I lost his head. The origin of this story is explained by Mrs. La Mance in her book, The Greene Family and Its Branches, and I shall repeat it later in this sketch. According to the same authority, there is not a single doubt as to John Greene's a ncestry. She has made a thorough study of it from documents, letters and other sources in Rhode Island and England.
That which follows is copied almost verbatim from Mrs. La Mance's book.
He who steps out into the night finds at first
that all is gross darkness, but as he gropes his way, dim landmarks begin
to shape themselves out of the darkness. The faint rays of light grow plainer,
and the traveller at last walks in a path that has familiar objects to
the right and the left to show him how far he has come and in what direction
he is going. So in this history, the beginning of the Greene family is
shrouded in the night of the unchronicled story of centuries ago. A date
or two comes down to us. The hazy figure of Lord Alexander rises like a
ghost from his seven centuries of dust. There is a certain branching and
widening out of the family.
Not until the fourth lord of the line comes more than the name of the Lords de Greene.
All that we really know of the first Lord de Greene may be summed up in this brief paragraph. Alexander, of the House of Arundel, a Knight of the King's court, was the great-great grandson of Alen de la Zouche, the uncle of William the Conqueror and Duke of Bretagne, and the great grandson of one of the Norman nobles who invaded England with William the Conqueror in 1066. King John bestowed the estate of Boughton in Northampton upon him in 1202. John was the ruler of both England and France and apparently awarded Boughton, or Boketon, to Lord Alexander in return for the latter's support during a rebellion that raged in England while the king was in France putting down a similar rebellion there. The exact extent of the estate is not known, but the least a great baron could own and hold his rank was fifty hides of land, i.e., six thousand acres. Halstead, in his Succinct Genealogies, a very rare work done in 1585, says that at one time the Greenes were the largest land owners in the kingdom.
Lord Alexander assumed a surname after his chief
estate de Greene de Boketon, i.e., the Lord of the Park of the Deer Enclosure.
A green in the early day was a park. Boketon is an old, old word meaning the buck's ton, or paled-in enclosure.
Centuries ago the terminal syllable, ton, had lost its original sense and meant a town. So that Boketon, still used in the original sense, shows that Lord Alexander came to an estate named long before and noted for its extensive parks and deer preserves. Boketon became Bucks, Buckston, and later Boughton, its present name. It lies in Northampton.
For five generations the de Greenes spoke Norman-French.
They were a family that delighted in athletic sports.
They hunted, hawked, and attended tournaments, played games of tennis, cricket, and bowls. All of them in their generations were noted for their fine bowling alleys, two or three of which were the finest in England.
Charles I was arrested at Althorpe, where he had gone to bowl, and this once belonged to the Greenes.
Alexander had a passionate love of horticulture
that has throughout these seven centuries dominated his entire line of
descendants. There is probably no other English speaking family today that
has so many members that delight in beautiful home grounds and in flowers
and fruit and finely kept farms.
In 1215, when the English Lords forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, there were only seven barons that adhered to John and Lord Alexander de Greene de Boketon was not one of them.
Therefore, he must have been one of the two thousand nobles who put their united protests in the hands of twenty-five lords who presented the Magna Carta to the king and forced him to sign that document that guaranteed both the lives and the property of his subjects from arbitrary spoliation.
One of the signers was Roger, Earl of Winchester, whose great-great granddaughter, Lucie de la Zouche, married Sir Alexander de Greene's great-great grandson, Lord Thomas(5).
2. The second baron of the line, as listed in old rolls of the twentieth year of Henry III (1236) and the forty-fifth year of the same king (1261) was Sir Walter de Boketon, son of Lord Alexander, who was a Crusader in the seventh Crusade. He is again listed in the roll of the seventh year of Edward II (1214), and the name of his son, John de Greene de Boketon, is given at the same time.
3.John de Greene de Boketon, above mentioned, was doubtlessly the young crusading Knight who perished in Palestine in 1271, leaving a son born the same year. John died before he came to his title, his father still living, so the states passed onto his young son.
4. Sir Thomas de Greene, the son of John, was born in 1271. Halstead says of him: "Sir Thomas we find recited in an ancient catalog of the knights who accompanied Edward I against the Scots in 1296." Sir Thomas' wife was Alice, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Bottisham of Braunstonl. Sir Thomas de Greene was mentioned in the records of 1319 as then alive.
5. 5. Sir Thomas de Greene, the fifth lord, was
born in 1292. When he was about forty, he was made High Sheriff of Northampton
(1330-1332) in the early part of the reign of Edward III. He married the
Lady Lucie de la Zouche, lineally descended from Alen, the famous Earl
and Sovereign of Bretagne. Her ancestry follows:
(1) Robert the Strong, son or grandson of Wittekind, the famous Saxon chieftan who defied Charlemagne. Charles the Bold, the grandson of Charlemagne, called on Robert the Strong of Germany to aid him when he was fighting his brothers. In return for his services, Robert was rewarded with rich territorial grants and the titles of Count of Anjou and Duke of the Isle de France. This was in 861. Some time later, he married the granddaughter of Charlemagne. He fell in battle with the Norsemen who were harassing the Frankish kingdom. (2) Duke Robert, the son of Robert the Strong, and his brother, Duke Eudes, are sometimes considered among the kings of France because of the great power that they exercised.
(3) Count Hugo the White, or Hugo the Great, became Duke of France and was king in all but name. He was the son of Duke Robert. (4) Hugh Capet, the son of Hugo the Great, seized the throne of France from the weak descendant of Charlemagne in 987 and was crowned king at Rheims.
He was the founder of the long line of kings that reigned in France down to 1848. He married a sister of Guilhelm Fier-a-Bras (William of the Iron Arm), Duke of Aquitaine. (5) Robert the Pious, Hugh's son, came to the throne in 996 and reigned until his death in 1031. He was a good man but a weak king. He married Constans of Provence.
(6) Henry, who became king in 1031 on the death of his father, was the third of the Capetian line. The whole of his twenty-nine years' reign was a constant struggle with his great nobles. Guerilla warfare was carried so far that the Church proclaimed a "Truce of God", by which no hostilities could take place from Thursday evening until Monday morning, or on feast days, or during Lent or Advent. King Henry married as his second wife and mother of his children Anne of Russia, daughter of the Grand Duke Jarolsav and descendant of Jaroslav the Great.
(7) Hugh Magnus, Count of Vermandois, better known as the Great Crusader, was the first of the great leaders to reach the Holy Land in 1096.
He was the second son of King Henry. He died in the city of Tarsus in 1102. (8) Lady Isabel, daughter of Count Hugh, married Robert de Bellemont, Earl of Mellent and first Earl of Leicester. (9) Earl Robert, the second, married Aurelia de la Ware, daughter of Ralph, Earl of Norfolk. Earl Robert was the Lord Chief Justice of England.
(10) Earl Robert, third Earl of Leicester, married Petronella, daughter of Hugh de Grantes-Mismil. (11) Lady Margaret de Bellemont, married Sieur de Quincy. He was in the Crusade of 1188-1192, under Richard Coeur de Lion, King of England. One of his fellow crusaders was Robert, third Earl of Leicester, afterward his father-in-law.
In 1207, King John created t his nobleman Earl of Winchester.
Neverthe less, when the barons rose against King John eight years later, he was one of the twenty-five great barons who signed the Magna Carta and compelled the king to do likewise. (12) Earl Roger, second Earl of Winchester, married Helen, daughter of Alen, Lord of Galloway. (13) Lady Elene de Quincy married Alen, Lord de la Zouche, Governor of the Castle of Northampton, who died in 1260. (14) Eudo de la Zouche married Lady Millicent de Cantelupe. (15) Lady Lucie de la Zouche married Sir Thomas, fifth Lord de Greene.
6. Sir Henry de Greene as well as his father,
Sir Thomas, received high honors form the hand of King Edward III, one
of the best and strongest kings England ever had. Edward's trusted adviser
was Sir Henry de Greene, the foremost lawyer of his day.
Sir Henry's rank would not permit his pleading before the bar, but he put all his mental acumen and legal knowledge at his royal master's command.
Let Halstead tell the rest of his story: "He was a Commissioner to examine certain abuses of which there was great complaint. He was much employed and in special trust and authority under those ministers the king left to govern the land in all the long wars he made in France…
His integrity, wisdom, and great abilities did occasion his advancement (1353) to the office of Lord Chief Justice of England. He was Speaker of the House of Lords in two Parlements (1363-1364) and became at last of the King's nearest Counsel (State Cabinet). And such was his good fortune, he left to his posterity one of the most considerab le estates of that age. He died possessed of his ancient manor of Buckton, of Greene's Norton, East Neaston, Heydmon Court, Heybourn, Ashby Mares, and Dodington, with lands in Whittlebury, Paulsbury, and Northampton; the lordships of Drayton, Luffwich, Pesford, Islip, Shipton, Wolston, Wamingdon, Chalton, Houghton, Boteahaseall, with lands in Harringsworth, Harrowden, Hardwich, Raunds, Ringstead, Titchmarsh, Warrington, and sundry other places."
One of the Lord Chief Justice's enterprises was
the establishment of a Fair, held each year upon the spacious green or
park of Boughton. A charter was granted to him to hold a three day's fair
on the "vigil, day, and morrow" of the Day of St. John the Baptist, i.e.
the twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-sixth of June each year.
The Boughton Fair became second only to the London Fair itself, and noblemen brought their horses and livestock for exhibition, racing, and sale.
The Boughton Fair still exists, five and a half centuries after its rise.
The Lord Chief Justice died in 1370, a little under sixty, and was buried at Boughton, the last of the Lords of the line to be buried there. He was early married to Katherine, daughter of John, and the only sister of Sir Simon, of Drayton.
7. Sir Henry de Greene, Lord Chancellor of England. Athough Henry was the second son, his father and older brother, Thomas, the rightful heir, set aside the old English law of primogeniture and gave the titles and most of the lands to him, a thing almost unheard of in those days of entailed estates.. Besides all but two of his father'ss estates, he gained through marriage to Matilda, sole heiress of her father, Lord Thomas Manduit, the lordships of Werminster, Westburg, Lye, Grateley, Dyechurch, and "other fair possessions". More than this, Henry's childless uncle, Simon, Lord of Drayton, settled his large estate upon Henry, stipulating that when he was dead, Henry should assume the title and bear on his escutcheon the Drayton coat-of-arms. According to Halstead, this Sir Henry de Greene was the largest landholder in all England.
Like his father, Henry refused to follow the usual
Greene policy of burying himself on his estates. He loved public life.
His ability was so great that he became as prominent a statesman as his
father before him. He was sent to the House of Commons and soon was one
of the leaders. The king knighted him, and Sir Henry was made one of the
King's near counselors, and later was appointed one of the Parlamentary
Commissioners who helped the king govern the country.
Better for him had he not been so popular with kings and princes.
When Edward III died, his grandson, Richard II came to the throne.
Richard II's reign was one of conspiracies and queer doings. One of the conspirators Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford and Lancaster, was banished for ten years, with the king's promise that he should not be deprived of the lands and titles to rold Duke of Lancaster died, called upon Sir Henry de Greene to help him obtain the coveted estates, and Sir Henry pointed out to the commission that the king's demand was lawful because all fiefs in England were held directly or indirectly from the king and could be confiscated by him at will , whereupon the unanimous Board of Commissioners sanctioned the king's action. There was about this time a rebellion in Ireland which Richard set out to quell, leaving the field open for Bolingbroke to seize the throne. He blamed Sir Henry as the "brains" of the commission for his loss of lands and titles and seized him with his two companions, Sir John Bushy and the Earl of Wiltshire, at Bristol where they were beheaded September 2, 1399.
The scene is decribed by Shakespeare in his Richard II, Act I and II, although not sympathetically with the "conspirators". Shakespeare did not let actual historical fact interfere with a good story, however.
8. Sir Thomas de Greene was knighted on the field of battle for great bravery. He married his cousin, Ela de Greene. He had a beautiful castle.
9. Sir Thomas Greene, also knighted on the field
of battle, ten years after his father was knighted. When Henry VII obtained
the kingdom over his enemies, he hated the very name of Greene.
He threw the last Sir Thomas into prison, in the Tower, where he died, and Sir Thomas' second son, John, had to flee for his life. It might be interesting to add here that Henry VII's son, Henry VIII, married as his sixth and last wife Lady Catherine of Parr, a daughter of the House of Greene, and she was the only one of Henry's wives to survive the ordeal!
10. John Greene, the Fugitivel. During the Wars
of the Roses, 1455 to 1485, the Greenes were the faithful adherents of
the House of York. The Yorkist king, Richard III, was one of the worst
kings of England but the Greenes remained loyal to him because he represented
the Yorkist House. In July 1485 Richard III plotted to have his two nephews
murdered and sent this John Greene to the Earl of Warwick, ordering him
to put the two princes to death. The good Earl, Sir Robert, refused to
do the deed and sent John back to his king with the answer that he would
not do so horrible a piece of work. Here the curtain falls on the too faithful
messenger. Two years later Richard III was slain in battle, and Henry,
the head of the House of Lancaster, came to the throne after marrying Elizabeth,
heiress of the House of York, thus ending the Wars of the Roses. He held
a grudge against the House of Greene as one of the supporters of the Yorkists,
even imprisoning the old Sir Thomas Greene on the charge of plotting trea
son. John Greene fled to the continent, where he became famous as the best
swordsman in Europe. Homesick for England and family, he ventured back
to an English city in which he was a stranger and passed as John Clarke,
seeing his family occasionally. Becoming less cautious, as he was not discovered,
he was drawn into a bout with the sword and his identity was discovered,
from his previous fame in that direction. Again he fled and remained abroad
until the death of the king. This story of flight and change of name is
the original legend that the family once bore the name of Clarke.
In the way of such traditions, the yarn was accredited to a later John Greene who came to America, and to his son, Lieutenant John Greene of Coventry, the details changing to fit the needs and the times. The story was that John Greene of Quidnessett was really a Regicide Jodge by the name of John Clarke who fled from England in 1660 to escape the wrath of the returning Cavaliers, changing his mane to the common Rhode Island
name of Greene. This story could fit neither John Greene of Quidnessett, who was in the colonies ten years before Charles I was executed, nor his son, who was not more that four years old when the Stuart lost his head.
The story is similar to many other legends of the Middle Ages, attributing the most amazing deeds of the German heroes and the Crusaders to Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar! Shakespeare did the same thing in his historical plays, which were written for an ignorant palace who knew nothing of history and wanted only a good story.
11. Robert Greene, Gentleman. Re purchased an
estate called Bowridge Fall, at Gillingham in Dorsetshire, the family seat
of the three preceding generations. On the old records it is usually spoken
of as Porridge Hill, the local pronunciation of its name.
His wife's name is unknown. Whoever she was, it is believed that through her came that extraordinary mathematical ability that has made the majority of her descendants "quick in figures", for every now and then
since her day has there cropped out one of those phenomenal cases of instantaneous calculators. In the subsidy rolls of 1543, Robert Greene of Gillingham is listed as an elderly man with grandchildren. One of his daughter's name was Anne, a very popular name with the Gillingham Greenes, their diminutive for which, Welthian, was used in the family for several generations after the family came to America. Of Robert Greene's children, two sons were the forebears of the two families of Greenes who settled in America.
Richard was the grandfather o f John Greene who settled at Warwick, becoming the founder of the Warwick Greenes, and John was the great grandfather of the John Greene of Quidnessett, whose line follows.
12. John Greene. He died in 1560. The rolls of theat year list his father, Robert as "very old".
13. Henry Greene, the youngest son of John. He "died suddenly", as the parish records put it, August 22, 1578.
14. Robert Greene. Little is known about him, except that he was the son of Henry Greene and the father of John Greene who came to the New World in 1635 and became known as John Greene of Quidnessett. It was Robert Greene's second cousin, John Greene, who settled in Warwick, Rhode Island.
In order to conform to the number of the generations used in Frank L. Greene's book, The Greene Family, I shall begin again, with John Greene of Quidnessett as number one.
1. John Greene was born in England in 1606.
As a young man, in 1635, he migrated to the New World, sailing on the ship, Matthew, to the West Indies, where he stayed for a few months. Finding the people there a "Godless set", he sailed to Massachusetts, the great Puritan settlement. Differing with the religious authorities there, he accompanied Richard Smith to Narragansett Bay where the latter had a trading post at Quidnessett, or Aquidneset. The two together established a flourishing trade with the Indians. For some years, Smith and Greene were the only white settlers at Quidnessett. Roger Williams and a Mr. Wilcox purchased land there in 1643 or 1644, and Williams sold his holdings to Richard Smith in 1651. On June 11, 1659 the Indian Sachem, Coquinaquant, sold the entire region of Quidnessett, which had belonged to the Narragansett Indians, to a land company headed by Major Humphrey Atherton. There were few Rhode Islanders in the company but Richard Smith was among them, the rest being Boston and Connecticut speculators.
John Greene was one of the early shareholders but not one of the original ones. He became the leader of the Atherton land purchasers when trouble came up concerning the title to the land. The reason for the dispute is not clear, but the settlers were told that there was a Rhode Island law forbidding settlers to buy lands from the Indians, and that they must rebuy their homes from the Rhode Island colony. Connecticut and Massachusetts also claimed the same land. In 1663 John Greene, Richard Smith, and others petitioned to be under the Connecticut jurisdiction. This made the Rhode Island officials angry, and Greene was ordered arrested.
He did not go peacefully, and when he arrived in Newport, he stood his ground so sturdily that the authorities came to some terms and he was released on the promise that he would be from that time on a "loyal freeman of Rhode Island". He was "loyal" until he could reach home. The fight between John Greene and Rhode Isand went on for seven years more, and Rhode Island finally gave in, May 1671. A special court was held at that time at Aquidneset, and Greene and his followers were assured full possession of their lands if they would acknowledge Rhode Island's jurisdiciton, so on May 20, 1671, John Greene and his son, Daniel, became "freemen" of Rhode Island and the dispute was at an end.
Several times after this, John Greene's name appears
on the records as witness to the transfer of land, etc.
March 23, 1682, he divided his land among some of his sons who remained in Rhode Island, some of them having gone to New Jersey. John Greene's wife was alive when these deeds were executed. There are some old and dilapidated graves in what was once a part of John of Quidnessett's land. Two of these rude headstones bear the initials D.G. and R.G., marking the graves of John's son, Daniel and his wife, Rebecca. The other gravestone, the oldest of all, is marked I.G. It is believed to mark the grave of Mrs. Joan Greene, wife of John. The letters I and J were often confused and used interchangeably in those days.
His grave does not appear beside hers. In Rhode Island they point out a grave some miles away as that of John Greene. He is believed to have lived with his son, John, at Coventry from the time of his wife's death until his own in 1695 and was buried in the Old Field Graveyard, a mile we st of the Maple Root Church.
John's wife was Joan. There has been much idle
conjecture as to who she was. She was not the daughter of Surgeon John
Greene of Warwick, as some have claimed, for that Joan died when a child.
Nor was she the daughter of Richard Smith, for Joan Smith
married a Mr. Newton. Governor Winthrop, of Massachusetts, speaking of one held to be John of Quidnessett, uses this language: "One Greene who married the wife of one Beggarly".
So his wife was a young widow, Mrs. Joan Beggarly, whom he married on one of his business trips to Massachusetts around 1642. It is interesting to note here that the wife of John Greene of Warwick, second cousin of our John, was also a Joan, her name being Tatarsole. They were married and had several children before they came to America.
Whether Joan Beggarly was handsome or plain featured;
whether she was brilliant or dull, we do not know. But we do know that
she possessed a remarkably even, sweet temper that nothing could ruffle
or disturb. After the English custom, she had been baptized Joan but was
always called Jane. There is an old family superstition among the Quidnessett
Greenes tht all their Janes will be self-sacrificing women who will take
special care of the sick and care for the old and infirm.
This superstitions likely dates from the good, placid Joan.
Ever since this good dame's day there have appeared again and again among her descendants some of her own sunny tempered kind. They look through rose-colored glasses and keep up a good heart and serene spirit whate'er betide. This disposition is illustrated by the stock family story of one of these good-natured Greenes whose wife had a furious temper. The story goes that when she was pleasant, he always blandly spoke to her as "Wife". When she began to fret and scold, he would soothingly remonstrate "Come! Come! Sister Greene, let's have no trouble"; but when the storm broke into a tantrum of rage and abuse, he would pick up his hat and beat a hasty retreat, philosophically saying, "Well! Well! Mrs. Greene, have it your own way, have it your own way!"
2. Benjamin Greene, the youngest son of John of
Quidnessett, was born probably in Quidnessett (North Kingstown) about 1665.
About the year 1687, he married Humility Coggeshall, the sixth child of
Joshua and Joan (West) of Newport and Portsmouth, who was born in Portsmouth
in January 1670 or 1671. Her father, Joshua, together with Mary Dyer, the
Martyr and Daniel Gould , founded the first Friends Society in Rhode Island.
She was the granddaughter of John Coggeshall, the first President of Providence
Plantations, dying in office November 27, 1648. Benjamin Greene's name
appears in the freeman's list of North Kingstown in 1696. In 1698-1703
he was deputy to the General Assembly; 1701-1704, member of the Town Council;
1702, rate-maker; 1703, appointed to lay out highways. On March 26, 1705
he sold his land in Kingstown and soon removed to East Greenwich, where
he died in the winter of 1718-1719. His will, dated January 7, 1719, was
proved in East Greenwich March 5 following. In it he mentions his wife,
Humility, who survived him, and twelve children, of whom the three youngest wer under eighteen.
3. John Greene, the eldest of the family, was born about 1688, probably in Quidnessett. About the year 1708 he married Mary Aylsworth, born as early as 1688, the oldest daughter of Arthur and Mary (Brown) of Quidnessett, but originally from England or Wales. This Mary Brown was the daughter of Reverend John and Mary (Holmes) of Providence, and granddaughter of Reverend Obadiah Holmes, the Baptist minister of Newport. Who was so brutally whipped for being a Baptist in Massachusetts that he had to lie for three days on his face.
On October 13, 1726, John gave his wife a receipt
for her share of her father's estate. In 1732 he is styled "Lieutenant
John". On January 9, 1733 or 1734, being then of East Greenwich, he purchased
149 ¾ acres in what is now West Greenwich, it being "The first farm
in the first division in the right of Samuel Cranston".
In 1743 he sold farms formerly belonging to his father and brother, Caleb, both deceased. The Cranston farm in West Greenwich was the site of his homestead.
In the records preserved by Ethan Greene, his son Joseph's grandson, he is styled "White Hat John" and was also called "Lord John" because of his haughty air. He died in West Greenwich March 29, 1752. His will was made March 26 and proved April 25, 1752.
Of his fifteen children, the ninth was Joseph, with whom we continue our story. It might be interesting to note here that, with his large family, he died leaving a fortune quite large for that day.
4. Joseph Greene was probably born in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, about 1725. He was married in Westerly, Rhode Island, September 20, 1747, to Margaret Greenman, the daughter of Edward Jr., and Sarah (Clarke) of Charlestown, Rhode Island. She was born October 17, 1725.
The births of their eight children are recorded
in Westerly, and it is probable that they lived there for twenty years
or more, removing to West Greenwich between 1768 and 1774. In the census
of June 1774, he is given as a resident of West Greenwich, where also lived
his sons, Charles, Luke, John, and his son-in-law, Randall Spencer.
They were Seventh Day Baptists, as all their children and a large part of their numerous posterity have been.
This may have been due to the influence of his wife, Margaret, who was reared in that faith, though some of his brothers and their children have held to the same belief.
In 1779, or early in 1780, all his children with
their families removed to Little Hoosick (Berlin), Rensselaer County, New
York and settled there; and there is little doubt that he and his wife
went with them and died thaere, though no record of thir later years and
death has been preserved.
Of their nine children, Edward was the fifth, and it is with him that this account continues.
5. Judge Edward Greene was born in Westerly, Rhode
Island, March 20, 1760 and died in Alfred, Allegany County, New York, February
24, 1845. In 1778, probably in Rhode Island, he married Huldah Sweet, who
was born January 29, 1758 and died in Alfred, March 16, 1839. No record
of her parentage has been found, but she is said to have been a sister
of "John Sweet of Williamstown, Massachusetts" and probably a sister of
Jeremiah and Thomas Sweet, who served in the same company and regiment
(Van Rensselaer's) with her husband and whose names were bestowed upon
two of her own sons. Judge Edward was a farmer as were his fathers before
him and his sons and grandsons after him for four or five generations.
During 1777 and 1778 he served in the Revolution with his brothers, Charles and John, in Colonel John Topham's regiment in Rhode Island. Soon after he removed with all his brothers and sisters to Berlin, Rensselaer County, New York. There he served during 1780 and 1781 with his four brothers in the company of Captain Samuel Shaw, 6th Albany Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry K. Van Rensselaer.
How long he lived here is not known, but he removed to Brookfield, Madison County, New York and perhaps for a time to Adams, Jefferson County, and while in Brookfield served as captain during the War of 1812, in which three of his sons, at least, took part.
In 1816 he accompanied his children to Alfred, Allegany County, New York, the eldest, Luke, having preceded them, and took a farm in the eastern part of the town. They were among the eighty pioneer families of Alfred. Here the rest of their lives were spent.
He was a man vigorous in mind and in body; he was the first judge of Madison County, and in his later years was known as "Judge" Edward. A veteran of two wars, his autograph, written at the age of eighty-four, is bold and firm. His son Paris, was the fourth child of the family of ten, and it is he who next holds our interest in this account.
6. Paris Green was probably born in Berlin, Renssalaer
County, New York November 23, 1785 and died in Alfred, Allegany County,
New York March 29, 1868. In Brookfield, Madison County, he married Polly
(Mary) Sweet on March 19, 1807. She was the daughter of James Sweet of
East Greenwich, Rhode Island (born April 17, 1753, died April 24, 1844)
and Mary Baker (born September 22, 1753, died March 17, 1836). When married,
Polly was known as Polly Spencer, but afterward was acknowledged and made
his heir by her father. She was born in East Greenwich, July 17, 1789 and
died in Alfred, New York August 16, 1883.
He settled first in Brookfield, whence he moved to Alfred in 1816, being among the pioneer families, and took up a farm about one mile east of Alfred Station, where his long life was spent. He served in the War of 1812 with his father and brothers.
Of Paris and Polly Green's family of nine children, Edward was fourth, and it is with him that we continue.
7. Edward Green was born in Alfred, New York July
5, 1816, in the year of the "Great Cold", when it snowed every month of
the year, and several people starved to death in Alfred.
He died April 14, 1909 on his homestead in Lanphear Valley, midway between Alfred Station and Andover. On June 19, 1847 he married his third cousin, Tacy Hamilton, daughter of Freeborn and Tacy (Green) of Alfred.
(See page 18 for her family.) She was born at Alfred, March 15, 1830 and died March 7, 1910 on the farm where she and her husband had always lived.
Their's was a small family, there being only two
children. The older was Maxson Alvaro, with whom the story continues. The
younger was Ella Adell, born February 5, 1853.
She was a very lovely and talented girl, but died July 29, 1873, following a lingering illness, which the doctors of the day called "Tuberculous peritonitis" and did not know how to treat properly.
Before his marriage, Edward Green taught school for a few years, some of them being spent in the District School in Lanphear Valley, where his children, grandchildren, and some of his great grandchildren attended.
As a young man, he was told by the doctors that
he had a cancer of the stomach and that he could not live for more than
a few months. He was engaged to be married at the time, but broke the engagement
because he felt it would not be right to marry.
The doctors told him to chew tobacco and swallow the juice and to eat frugally.
He followed their directions, and died at the age of ninety-four, a vigorous, keen minded, old man who did his full share of the farm work up until a few months of his death. His death was caused by the ravages of old age and the malady which afflicted his entire family, cancer.
8. Maxson Alvaro Green(e) was born in Alfred,
Allegany County, New York on June 12, 1850 on his father's farm in Lanphear
Valley. It is around him and his entire family that this sketch has been
prepared. He died August 17, 1917 at the home of his cousin, Mrs. Polly
Green, at Alfred Station, having had a stroke of apoplexy while driving
his car. His youngest son, Ernest, was with him at the time.
He was married in Clarksville, Allegany County, January 28, 1880 to Mary A Capen, the daughter of Cyrus N. and Ruisa (Beebe) of Clarksville.
She was born October 15, 1853 and died March 3, 1932. (See page 17 for her family.) The Reverend Walter B. Gillette performed the marriage ceremony at her father's home.
He spent his entire life on his father's farm,
which was also his. There they brought up their family of six children,
giving them all they possibly could. There the children learned the principles
of right living which helped them to make their own lives successful and
which they are passing down to their own children.
Although the home was one of the strict Seventh-Day Baptist homes of the community, there was always time for fun and play, into which the father entered with zest and which the mother enjoyed without full participation.
Practical joking was always the order of the day, and there are many amusing stories that are told of all the family. In his sermon at the funeral of Mary A. Greene, Reverend Walter Greene summed up their whole lives by saying that their's was the most hospitable home in the community.
The people are many who can still hear ringing in their ears and memories "Mac" Green's hearty "Hello, there! Come right in!" and see the quiet, kindly "Mate", hustle another plate onto the table, for few ever got away without eating at the loaded table.
Mary or "Mate", as her husband always called her,
was a teacher. She taught for ten years before she married and continued
to teach all the rest of her life. She not only taught the Three R's to
her children and grandchildren, but also she taught them the meaning of
honest, kindly living and the strictest observance of what they considered
to be their duty regardless of personal discomfort or consequences.
Beneath a rather stern and forbidding exterior manner was hidden the kindliest and warmest of hearts, revealed to the uninitiated only by her kindly, smiling eyes.
Their family of six children are of interest to
all who read this sketch, and each follows in the order of his birth.
The number, nine, which precedes each name is the number of the generation in descent from John Greene of Quidnessett.
9. Edward Vergil Greene was born July 19, 1881
at Alfred, on the farm of his father. After attending the District School
in Lanphear Valley, he went to Andover High School and then a few months
to Cornell University, in the Agricultural School there. On March 22, 1905
he was married to Elizabeth Tucker, of Almond, New York.
She was born July 28, 1880, the daughter of Milo and Anna (Bennett) Tucker of Almond.
At the time of his marriage, he bought a farm
about two miles south of Alfred Station, known as the Edwards Farm.
There they lived until 1914, when they moved to his father's farm farther south in the Valley. Their three children were all born at the first home.
Since 1914 they have lived on the old home farm, buying it after the death of his father. Their home has continued to be the traditional home for the rest of the family, the place to which they all turn in time of great joy or time of great sorrow, when they want to go "Home".
He has served his community in various capacities in elective offices and is now Justice of the Peace. His wife also served many years as the School Trustee in the District. He is a Mason, belonging to the Andover Lodge. At one time, he and three of his brothers belonged to the Lodge at Alfred.
They and their family are members of the Second
Seventh-Day Baptist Church at Alfred Station.
1. Eloise Anna, born March 16, 1907, married June
27, 1928 to Milton Baker, son of Arthur and Vera (Hill). She graduated
from the Alfred High School in 1924, then went to Geneseo Normal School
at Geneseo, New York, graduating from there in 1927. She taught a year
at Richburg, New York in the elementary school there and the following
year in the grade school at Alfred. At both places she was highly successful.
Children: i. Mary Elizabeth, born October 28, 1929 at Hornell, New York; ii. Richard Milton, born November 14, 1930 at Hornell, New York.
2. Rose Elizabeth, born June 22, 1910, married December 24, 1932 to Milton Emerson, son of Mark Henry and Lottie (Pierce), born December 24, 1906 at Alfred, New York. She graduated from Andover High School in 1929 and then went to train in the General Hospital at Buffalo, New York, completing two years of the work.
3. Elwin Carlton, born February 15, 1913 at Alfred, New York. He attended the Alfred High School for two years and is now working with his father on the home farm.
10. William Cyrus Greene was born October 30, 1883 at Alfred on his father's farm. After attending the District School in the Valley, he went three years to the Andover High School, then, during the winter of 1903 and 1904 to Willard's Business College at Hornell, New York, graduating from there in 1904. After carrying mail out of Andover a year, he went to Battle Creek, Michigan where he held a position in the Treasurer's Office of the Battle Creek Sanitarium until the spring of 1908. On April 2, 1908 he was married to Nettie May McCluer at Franklinville, New York. She was born April 29, 1887, the daughter of Frederick Odell and Agnes (McPherson) of Franklinville.
After they were married, they lived on his father's farm in Alfred until 1914. There both their children were born. In 1914 he resumed carrying mail, this time out of Alfred Station, to which place the family moved, living there until 1917. In September, 1917 he and his wife went to Davenport, Iowas to attend the Universal Chiropractic College there but had to return to the home farm in November because the school had to close on account of the War.
The next fall they moved to Warren, Ohio, where
he carried mail in that city until 1919, when he resumed his study at the
Universal Chiropractic College, which had moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
After graduation from there in 1920, he practiced his profession until the summer of 1921 in Warren, when he felt it necessary to stop because of the Ohio law antagonistic to Chiropractors. At this time he joined his brother, Harry, in the Greene Motor Company in Cleveland as a manager of the Parts Room. This position he held, with increasing responsibility in the business, until his death December 11, 1927, following an operation for Gall Stones, performed by Dr. Becker at Fairview Park Hospital, Cleveland.
He was buried in the family lost in the cemetery at Alfred, New York.
As are his brothers, he was a Mason, having the
distinction of being a charter member at two Lodges, the University Lodge
at Alfred and the Carroll F. Clapp Lodge of Warren, Ohio. At the time of
his death he was a member of Clifton Lodge of Lakewood, Ohio.
1. Maxson Frederick, born February 17, 1909, at Alfred, New York. Attended school at Alfred Station, Warren, and Lakewood, graduating from Lakewood High School in 1927. He went to Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio in 1927-1928, transferring to Alfred University, Alfred, New York 1928-1929 and back to Ohio Wesleyan University in 1929, graduating from there in 1931 with honors. At present he is teaching history in the Frank B. Willis High School of Delaware, Ohio. He is a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi and Phi Beta Kappa Fraternities and of the Presbyterian Church of Delaware.
2. Eleanor Agnes, born January 18, 1912 at Alfred, New York. She attended schools at Alfred, Warren, and Lakewood, graduating from Lakewood High School in 1929, second in a class of over three hundred. She went to Ohio Wesleyan University in 1929, graduating from there with high honors, second in a class of three hundred again in 1933. She is a member of Delta Gamma and Phi Beta Kappa Fraternities and the First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Lakewood, Ohio.
9. Harrison Carlton Greene (Harry) was born August
2, 1885 at Alfred on his father's farm. After going to the District School
in the Valley, he attended the Alfred Academy for several years, going
then to Syracuse, New York to work in the draughting room of the Franklin
Motor Company. There he met and married Lulu Myrtle Paddock, daughter of
Charles and Fannie (McCracken), formerly of Amboy, New York, where she
was born May 30, 1887. They were married August 22, 1910 and went directly
to Cleveland, Ohio where he worked for several years for the Peerless Motor
Company and later as a salesman for the Ford Motor Company of Cleveland.
After working as a salesman for several years, his ability was recognized
and he was given one of the first Ford Agencies in Cleveland, he and Harry
Gahn going into the business together in a location on Detroit Avenue near
Winchester Avenue in Lakewood, as the G. & G. Motor Company. In 1921
he and Mr. Gahn parted company and he established and agency of his own
at 5417 Detro it Avenue.
In May of that year his brother, William C., then living in Warren, Ohio, joined him and they enjoyed a very happy and pleasant relationship until the latter's death, December 11, 1927.
Due to the shock of his brother's sudden death,
the business gradually slipped away from his grasp, after having given
up the Ford Agency and taken over a Chevrolet Agency in 1929.
In 1931 due to the wretched business conditions and his own loss of power he gave up the business entirely and went into the South, selling whatever he could find to sell.
In October 1930 he obtained a divorce from his
wife and on May 30, 1931 married a divorcee, Mrs. Dora (Patrick) Brandenburg
of Cleveland, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky. He is a Mason and a Shriner.
Child: (by first wife)
1. Christine Adele, born May 4, 1913 at
Cleveland, Ohio. She attended the grade schools and Emerson Junior High
School of Lakewood, graduating from Lake wood High School in 1931. The
year 1931-1932 she spent at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and
in the summer of 1932, she and her mother moved to Delaware, Ohio where
she is attending Ohio Wesleyan University.
She is doing fine work in the Home Economics Department.
9. Ellen Euphemia Greene was born May 30, 1887 at Alfred on her father's farm. She was married June 23, 1909 at the home of her parents' to Clark Milford Crandall, son of Sherman and Nora (Wood) Crandall of Andover, New York, where he was born September 2, 1882. Since their marriage, they have lived on his father's and his farm in the town of Andover.
She attended the District School in Lanphear Valley, then Alfred Academy, from which she graduated in 1906. For several years after graduation she taught in the district schools of the vicinity, the Goose Pasture School at Alfred Station and the Tip-Top School in the home district.
She and her family are members of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Independence. Her mother lived with her from 1923 until her death in 1932.
1. Edward Wood Crandall, born May 15, 1912 at
Andover, New York. After graduation from Andover High School in 1929 he
went to a trade school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he learned the
watchmaker's trade. He is now developing a fine business for himself in
Canisteo, New York.
2. Wayne Nelson Crandall, born April 22, 1914 at Andover, New York. After attending the district school at Independence, he went to Andover High School, graduating from there in 1932. At present he is doing excellent work in the Agricultural College of Cornell University.
3. Philip Sherman Crandall, born November 27, 1916. He is a fine student at Andover High School.
4. Mary Maxine Crandall, born October 4, 1919. She is also a fine student at Andover High School.
9. Clarence Eugene Greene was born June 21, 1889
at Alfred, New York on his father's farm in Lanphear Valley.
After attending the District School in the Valley, he went to Alfred Academy and then to Alfred University, from which he graduated in 1913, the president of his class. He was married on December 24, 1913 to Vida Stillman at Alfred, New York, by President Boothe C. Davis of Alfred University.
She was born July 17, 1888 at De Ruyter, New York, the daughter of George and Cora (Stillman) Stillman.
After he graduated from Alfred he taught Mathematics
at Governeur, New York for a year, then went to Medina, New York, where
he taught Mathematics and was Assistant Principal. In 1915 they needed
a strong Principal at Hornell, New York, and he was called there, where
he successfully cleaned out a gang of high school ruffians.
A few years later he went to Spring Valley, New York as Principal of the High School there. He remained in school work only a short time after that, and is now engaged in the insurance business with the Prudential Insurance Company of New York. He, too, is a Mason.
1. Clarida Stillman, born February 16, 1915 at
Medina, New York. She graduated from the Spring Valley High School in 1932
and is at present doing fine work in the Ceramics Arts School at Alfred
2. Clarence Eugene, Junior, born May 22, 1917 at Hornell, New York. He is a student in the Spring Valley High School.
3. Edward Barton, born December 20, 1920 at Spring Valley, New York.
4. Barbara Ruth, born July 17, 1924 at Spring Valley, New York.
5. Marjorie Jeanne, born February 22, 1929 at Spring Valley, New York.
9. Ernest Germaine Greene was born January 26,
1893 at Alfred on his father's farm in Lanphear Valley.
After attending the District School in the Valley, he went to the Alfred Academy, graduating in 1912. In 1913 he went to the Hornell Business School and attended Alfred University on year, 1916-1917, in the Class of 1920.
He served in the World War, both in the United States, at Camp Dix in New Jersey and Camp Joseph E. Johnston in Florida, and in France, as a Corporal, Batter C, 307th Field Artillery in 1917 and as a Second Lieutenant, Transport Corps, Motor Transport Company #406 at Bordeaux, France in 1918.
After returning from France, he worked in several banks in Cleveland, Ohio and is now with the Cleveland Trust Company, Broadview Office, as Head Teller.
He was married on July 10, 1926 to Welhelmina Brandt, daughter of Herman and Wilhelmina Brandt of Cleveland, at Garrettsville, Ohio. He, like all his brothers, is a Mason.
I am inserting an extra page after this one for each of the families to make any additions or corrections to their own family records that they may desire.
Maxson Frederick Greene.
TO BE CONTINUED.........
Back to the Member Family Links Page
This page is maintained
by the PHGS
Last Update November 20, 1999
| Email Us | Membership
Chat and Meeting Room | Disclaimer