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 
Thaddeus A.
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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