The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
BIRDSALL Family - Otego
As near as can be ascertained from tradition the BIRDSALL
family sprang from a Huguenot, who, fleeing from France into
Holland, came about 1640 or 1650 to Long Island, settling in
Queen's county. A great-grandson of his, named Nathan BIRDSALL,
in 1747 or 1748 emigrated from thence, with his family, to Dutchess
county, settling on Quaker Hill, a well-known locality in that part
of the State. The maiden name of Nathan's wife was Jane LANGDON.
They were the parents of ten children, - John, Lucretia, Anna, Sarah,
Jane, Mary, Phoebe, James, Nathan, Benjamin. These all married and
settled in the immediate neighborhood of their father's home, and
their children, with the exception of those of John and Benjamin,
also remained in the county of Dutchess, or those adjacent thereto.
Benjamin's children removed to Chenango county, and they or their
descendants became and are quite prominent citizens of that locality.
John, the oldest son and child, was born Aug. 11, 1727, twenty
years before his father's removal from Long Island. He was twice
married. The maiden name of his second wife was Rebecca ELWELL.
By this marriage there were nine children, six girls and three boys.
Some of these married and remained near their father; others of them
emigrated to the head-waters of the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers.
John died Sept. 17, 1815, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. The
name of his first wife was TRIPP. She bore but one child, who was
named Lemuel, and who was born April 12, 1749. He married Martha
CALKINS, and soon after removed to Harpersfield, Delaware Co.,
N. Y. He was the father of ten children, - John, Nancy, Abigail,
Sally, Michael, Oliver, Benjamin, Lydia, Chloe, William. All of
these married, and, with the exception of William, lived and died
within one hundred miles of their father Lemuel's home. William
removed to Erie county, and became the father of many sons and
Michael Birdsall, whose portrait is given on this page, was born
in Harpersfield, on May 10, 1775. His wife, Wealthy WEBSTER,
whose likeness also embellishes this book, was born in Hudson,
Columbia Co., N. Y., Dec. 5, 1782. They were married March 2, 1800,
and two years thereafter removed from Harpersfield to the Susquehanna
valley, settling upon a farm about three-quarters of a mile west of
the village now called Otego, then Hamburg, which has been in the
possession of the family since. A log house was erected on the spot
now occupied by the carriage-house, where they lived nearly twelve
years. Nearly the whole of the present highly-cultivated and prolific
farm was then an unbroken forest, the part of it lying between the
highway and the railway being a swamp. Michael died in 1863, having
survived his wife three years. Their children were George, Lemuel,
Hiram, Maria, Wealthy, Ausburn, Oliver, William, Thaddeus A. and
Henry Dwight. Four of these only now reside in this county, at Otego, -
George, Wealthy (who married Harvey HUNT, Esq.), William, and
William, whose portrait is given on another page, at present owns
and occupies the old homestead. He has made many improvements
on it since it came into his possession in 1864, soon after the death
of his father, by purchase from the other heirs, and it is now one of
the most valuable, attractive, and noticeable places in Otsego County,
or along the line of the Albany and Susquehanna railroad. It can
readily be seen by the railroad passenger lying a short distance west
of the Otego station. For more than half a century it has been the
abode of peace, plenty, and content, the home of cordial welcome and
boundless hospitality. The present proprietor preserves, in a marked
degree, the well-known characteristics of the home of his father.
He was married on Nov. 10, 1875, to Marian JENNINGS, a daughter
of a prominent citizen of Otego. Her likeness now occupies a place
on another page.
Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, between page 242 & 243
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