The Family of my Maternal Great-Great Grandparents


Medad Porter Junior (1802-1863)

According to interviews with Medad’s eldest daughter done about 1913, Medad was born in Waterford, Saratoga County, New York in January of 1802. His parents, Medad Porter and Mary “Polly” Davis died when he was young and Medad was brought up by an aunt. It was said that Medad had two brothers, Asahel and Levi.

The censuses bear that out to some degree. The census of 1800, taken two years before Medad was born, in Half Moon, which lies 3 miles northwest of Waterford, has Medad and a wife with one child under 10 years old who might be brother Asahel, or Levi, about whom nothing more has been found. That family does not appear in the successive censuses, but Asahel Porter is found in Half Moon in 1810 and 1820 with a family of two boys in 1810 and four in 1820. This is possibly Medad’s uncle, Medad senior’s brother.

It is in the intervening censuses of 1810 and 1820 that the mystery occurs as to Medad and his brothers Asahel and Levi. There are two single women in Half Moon in 1810, Sarah Porter and Sally Porter, each with a boy under ten, and each with girls. The boy could be Medad who later would live with his uncle Asahel in 1820; one can only guess without church or bible records.

In his mid-20s the young carpenter Medad moved to Chittenango where he is on the 1830 census with a wife and two young daughters. A smart move. With the opening of the Erie Canal in 1828 just north of the little town, it became a hub of goods brought from the south to be ferried on the canal. Maps of Chittenango done in 1850 and 1859 both show where Medad lived in Chittenango. Interestingly, in 1850 his house is shown as “Porter & Davis,” Davis being Noble Davis born about 1795 who could be a cousin of Medad’s, whose mother was Polly Davis. See the map below.

We know from the censuses of 1830 and following what happened to Medad. He and his wife Charity raised four girls and a boy in Chittenango working as a carpenter, a trade his son Abram continued.

Read some speculation as to Medad's ancestry.

Charity Dubois (1804-1877)

We know a lot more about Charity’s ancestry than her husband Medad’s but that is for another page. She raised six children, five of whom grew to maturity, four girls and one boy. William Cornelius Porter, her fourth child, died when he was 15. All but the eldest, Elizabeth, married and had issue.

During the decades preceding and following the Civil War, Charity began to see her family disappear into the “wilds” of Wisconsin, namely Winnebago County. Leading the way was her older sister Margaret who married Peter Ham and moved to Vinland township, just bordering Oshkosh to the north. In 1850, Peter and Margaret were next-door neighbors in Ballston Spa, New York, with Mayhew Daggett Mott; he followed Peter and Margaret to Winnebago County in 1853 with his family. Charity’s sister Christina went about the same time to Vinland with her husband Henry Gardinier. Charity's sisters Christina and Margaret are buried in Brooks Cemetery, just off the road at the intersection of Jackson Street and Interstate 41 north of Oshkosh. Her young brother Cornelius would also find his way to the Fox River Valley, living in Menasha in 1870 and then Green Bay where he taught school.

Of her five surviving children, both Harriet and Jane would end up in Wisconsin, Neenah and Oshkosh respectively. Harriet would meet her husband Wesley Mott, Mayhew’s son, when she went west to visit her aunt Margaret. Jane married her first cousin, Charity’s sister Eliza’s son George Scott. Eliza had raised her family in Ohio. Charity’s oldest, Elizabeth, split her time between her native Chittenango living with her brother Abram, and then Oshkosh with sister Jane and then Harriet in Neenah.

Both Charity and Medad are buried in Chittenango, but without markers.


My Great-Great Grandparents raised their family in the town of Chittenango, New York, a few miles east of Syracuse.
Two maps below locate the town today, and their place in the town in the 1850s.

Click on the map or image to enlarge

Chittenango today.

The four Porter sisters

Elizabeth Porter Jane Porter
Harriet L. Porter Mary Porter

1853 map of Chittenango


Burials in Chittenango

While there are ten Porters, including Asahel who died in 1908 and both his wives, buried in Chittenango cemeteries, nine in Oakwood Cemetery and one in Harrington Cemetery; it is not known where Medad and Charity are buried. My guess it is in Harrington where William was buried in 1848. His Find-a-Grave memorial says “Son of Medad and Charity Porter,” but I do not know if that is on the headstone or not. A photo was requested August, 2020. Harrington is a very small cemetery directly across the street from the high school. In a letter to my mother, Ruth Mott Spicer, her Aunt Bessie describes her Aunt Libbie’s (Elizabeth Porter 1827-1916) fruitless effort in 1910 to locate Medad and Charity’s graves using a map her sister Harriet had written. Bessie wrote in the letter that Harriet had tried to get headstones erected following their mother’s death in 1877 but her older sister Libbie would have nothing of it.

Link: The 10 Find-a-Grave Porter burials in Chittenango.
There are some 102 Find-a-Grave memorials of Porters in Madison County.


Children of Charity and Medad

Elizabeth “Libbie” Porter (1827-1916)

Elizabeth never married and lived alternately with her brother Abram in Chittenango or her sister Jane in Oshkosh. She taught school evidently, but there is no clear indication of that. She became the source of many of the stories, some apocryphal no doubt, about the family when she returned to Neenah to live with her sister the last five years of her life. It was during that period that her mid-20s niece, Harriet Elizabeth Mott, “Aunt Bessie,” gathered many of her memories and knowledge of the Dubois and Porter families.


Mary Porter Hesler (1829-1887)

Mary married a widower, the Rev. Oliver Hesler who was a Methodist preacher. All of her children died at a fairly young age, but one son, Albert, who died at the young age of 33, did have issue, three children, two of whom lived long lives and had issue. Mary lived out her life in Madison County and was evidently a very devout Methodist. Following her husband’s death, a paper was presented to the United Methodist Church Conference of Central New York recommending her, for what I’m not sure since I’ve not been able to track down much more. Mary and her family were very important to her sisters. A number of photos of her children were passed down and remain in my possession.


Abram C. Porter (1831-1909)

Abram followed in his father’s footsteps, a carpenter in Sullivan township. While nothing has been found about his daughter Lizzie, his son William Wells Porter, had issue. Abram, his two wives, his son and two of his granddaughters are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Chittenango.


William Cornelius Porter (1833-1848)

Died at the young age of 15. He, his parents, and his brother Abram are the only ones of the family buried in Chittenango. He is in Harrington Cemetery where his parents are likely buried in unmarked and unrecorded graves.


Harriet Lavinia Porter Mott (1836-1912)

Harriet Lavinia fostered an extended family following her marriage in 1871 to Wesley Mott. She was educated at the Yates Polytechnic Institute which was just down the road from where she grew up and then graduated from Cazenovia Seminary in 1857. After graduation she taught at a boarding school in Warrenton, North Carolina, returning to New York State just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Her entry in the 1875 “First Fifty Years of Cazenovia Seminary” reads

Porter, Harriet L., Chittenango, N.Y. 1857. Preceptress of Vernon Academy, Vernon, N.Y.; Preceptress of Cortland (N.Y.) Academy; teacher of French and Mathematics in Warrenton (N. C.) Collegiate Institute; and since Preceptress of Yates Polytechnic Institute, Chittenango, N.Y. Married, May 29, 1871, to Wesley Mott. Residence, Winchester, Wis.

She taught math, French, painting and drawing and was known in the family for her water-colors that she did near her home in New York.

She met her husband, Wesley Mott, when she traveled to Wisconsin to visit her mother's sister Margaret. They returned to New York to be married in Chittenango before beginning their family in Winchester, Wisconsin.


Jane “Jennie” Emily Porter Scott / Sanders (1838-1900)

Jane married her first cousin, George Scott, the son of Eliza Dubois, Charity’s sister. Together they came to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the years following the Civil War and took up residence on 13th Street, now South Park Ave. Jane had been educated at the Yates Polytechnic Institute in Chittenango. She had two sons by George and when he died in 1875, she married the widower Elisha Sanders, also a Chittenango native, who brought four children to the household. One of Jane’s sons, his father’s namesake, George Alvin Scott, taught Physics at the University of Pittsburgh for 20 years prior to his death in 1947. Jane, as well as both her husbands, are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Oshkosh.


Desendants of Charity and Medad through Four Generations

1-Charity Dubois b. 4 Jun 1804, Catskill, NY, ch. 1805, East Greenbush, Rensselaer Co., NY, d. 12 Sep 1877, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

+ Medad Porter Jr. b. 5 Jan 1802, Waterford, Saratoga Co., NY, m. 9 Feb 1826, d. 12 Sep 1863, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

2-Elizabeth Porter {FGID: 175427943} b. 26 Apr 1827, d. 9 Jan 1916, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. 13 Jan 1916, Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI

2-Mary Porter b. 21 Mar 1829, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 13 May 1887, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

+ Rev. Oliver Hesler b. 1818-1819, New York, m. 16 Mar 1847, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 31 May 1872, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY.

3- Olin "Ollie" C. Hesler {FGID: 126126288} b. 22 Feb 1846, Gerogetown, Madison Co., NY, d. 16 Oct 1867, Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY.

Always considered a son, Ollie was likely the son of Oliver and not Mary, he being born before the recorded marriage of Mary and Oliver.

3-Albert P. Hesler b. 17 Sep 1849, Dryden, NY, d. 16 Jun 1883, Rochester, Monroe Co., NY.

+ Mary W. Weston b. Abt 1850, New York, d. 24 Jan 1903, Rochester, Monroe Co., NY

4-Clarence Lee Hesler b. 19 Jan 1875, d. 19 Dec 1956, Rochester, Monroe Co., NY

+ Anna Palmer b. Abt 1883, Canada, m. 15 Nov 1905, Rochester, Monroe Co., NY, d. 15 Mar 1968, Rochester, Monroe Co., NY

4-Lillian A. Hesler {FGID: 134824690} b. 1878, New York, d. 16 Jul 1936, Rochester, Monroe Co., NY

+ Henry F. Simmons {FGID: 145439318} b. 17 Sep 1869, Caledonia, Livingston Co., NY, m. 27 Mar 1895, Rochester, Monroe Co., NY, d. 22 May 1942, Bur. Avon, Livingston, New York

4-Gertrude A. Hesler b. 1880, New York

3-Mary E. "Lily" Hesler b. 18 Jul 1856, New Hartford, NY, d. 31 May 1861, Sharon Springs, Schoharie Co., NY

3-Lawrence C. Hesler {FGID: 105703123} b. 24 May 1863, Marathon, NY, d. 11 Jun 1889, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

2-Abram C. Porter {FGID: 144455238} b. 5 Apr 1831, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 19 Jan 1909, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

+ Amanda Wells {FGID: 135807679} b. 1835, New Jersey, m. 8 Jan 1856, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 1894, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

3-Lizzie Porter b. 7 May 1858, Plumville, NY

3-William Wells Porter {FGID: 131293545} b. 5 Apr 1860, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 22 Oct 1940, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

+ Mary Coleman {FGID: 131293570} b. Oct 1859, New York, m. 1879, d. 1941, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

The children were difficult to sort out given that their names on the 1900 census don't quite match the names they used as adults. I still don't know about "Minnie Mary."

4-Minnie Mary Porter b. Oct 1880, New York

4-Anna L. "Anita" Porter {FGID: 144525933} b. Sep 1881, New York, d. 1973, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

+ Michael Joseph Shea {FGID: 178831481} b. Abt 1877, East Liverpool, OH, m. 17 Apr 1911, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY, d. 27 May 1930, Lakewood, Cuyahoga Co., OH, Bur. Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio

4-Alice M. Porter {FGID: 129173309} b. Dec 1883, d. 22 Mar 1967, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

+ Electa V. Tryon {FGID: 49149626} b. Feb 1836, New York, m. 23 Jun 1898, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 29 Mar 1921, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

2-William Cornelius Porter {FGID: 36776455} b. 31 Mar 1833, d. 4 Aug 1848, Bur. Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY

2-Harriet Lavinia Porter {FGID: 182539302} b. 30 Jun 1836, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 24 Dec 1912, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI

+ Wesley Mott {FGID: 104764399} b. 28 Feb 1835, Rome, Oneida Co., NY, m. 30 Jun 1871, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 24 Dec 1918, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI

3-Florence Beatrice Mott {FGID: 105363914} b. 10 Aug 1872, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 22 Feb 1954, Briarcliff, Westchester Co., NY, Bur. Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, WI

+ Dr. Ernest Smith Bradford Ph.D. {FGID: 105363886} b. 19 Aug 1877, Moorhead, Clay Co., MN, m. 23 Aug 1906, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 12 Mar 1965, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co., CA, Bur. Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, WI

4-Alice Elinor Bradford {FGID: 6308151} b. 21 Oct 1910, Washington, DC, d. 4 Nov 1998, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co., CA

+ Martin Milton Rypins {FGID: 6308150} b. 10 Oct 1904, New York, New York, m. 10 Dec 1940, Los Angeles, CA, d. 12 Oct 1984, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co., CA

4-Anne Louise Bradford {FGID: 43557935} b. 10 Jul 1915, Washington, DC, d. 14 Sep 2007, Bur. Arlington National Cemetery

+ George Russell Cadman b. 31 Oct 1917, Mount Kisco, NY, m. 28 Jun 1941, Lake George, Warren Co., NY, d. 19 Jul 1993, Barnstable, MA

+ Randal Richard Walker {FGID: 49332537} b. 22 Dec 1923, m. 28 Jul 1979, d. 28 Nov 2001

4-George H. Arms Bradford b. Abt 1916, Connecticut (Adopted)

+ Alberta Crowe {FGID: 196113722} b. 1915, m. 1 May 1938, d. 1997, Bur. Oakland, Kennebec Co. ME

3-Wesley Mayhew Mott {FGID: 94004343} b. 3 May 1874, Winchester, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 23 May 1960, Menasha, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, WI

+ Emma Amalia Holmes {FGID: 94004398} b. 29 Jan 1885, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, c. 13 Aug 1899, Baptist Church In Neenah, WI, m. 22 Sep 1910, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 8 Mar 1917, Stevens Point, Portage Co., WI, Bur. Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, WI

4-Ruth Harriet Mott b. 9 Oct 1912, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 7 Dec 1960, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. 10 Dec 1960, Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, WI

+ Rev. William James Spicer {FGID: 93962931} b. 22 Oct 1904, Mankato, Blue Earth, Minnesota, m. 17 Sep 1935, St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Menasha, WI, d. 26 Jan 1984, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI

4-Marion Elizabeth Mott {FGID: 86817110} b. 19 Dec 1913, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 11 Mar 2006, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI

+ Walter Weaver {FGID: 134674479} b. 9 Jun 1915, Neilsville, Clark Co., WI, m. 31 Dec 1938, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 12 Feb 2000, Orange Park, Clay Co., FL

+ Nathan Wauda {FGID: 86817134} b. 29 Jul 1912, m. 30 Sep 1944, Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, CO, d. 12 Mar 2008, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. 15 Mar 2008, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI

4-Robert Holmes Mott {FGID: 175139878} b. 19 Dec 1913, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 14 Mar 1998, Appleton, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin

+ Helen Althea Coy {FGID: 44290782} b. 18 Feb 1914, Hickory Corners, Oconto, Wisconsin, United States, m. 6 Sep 1938, Menasha, Winnebago, Wisconsin, United States, d. 31 Jan 1946, Vincennes, Knox Co., IN, Bur. Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, WI

+ Eva Jensen {FGID: 175140306} b. 19 Mar 1906, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, m. 10 Apr 1948, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 19 Dec 2004, Menasha, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. Menasha, Winnebago Co., WI

4-Edward Mayhew Mott {FGID: 65374782} b. 16 Jul 1916, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 30 Dec 1990, Eau Claire, Eau Claire Co., WI, Bur. Eau Claire, Eau Claire Co., WI

+ Martha Marie Kaphaem {FGID: 65374848} b. 25 Sep 1917, Rhinelander, WI, m. 20 Feb 1938, Tomahawk, Madison, Wisconsin, d. 2 Oct 2000, Eau Claire, Eau Claire Co., WI

+ Ethel Harris {FGID: 174933059} b. 12 Jun 1886, Delton, Sauk Co., WI, m. 9 Jul 1918, White Bear Lake, MN, d. 24 Mar 1973, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, WI

4-Jean Ethel Mott {FGID: 182549725} b. 14 Oct 1921, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 6 Aug 1998, Omro, Winnebago, WI, Bur. 8 Aug 1998

3-Harriet Elizabeth Mott {FGID: 182531815} b. 16 Jan 1879, d. 20 Aug 1972

2-Jane "Jennie" Emily Porter {FGID: 187486181} b. 14 Oct 1838, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 7 Aug 1900, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI, Bur. Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI

+ George A. Scott {FGID: 130692478} b. Abt 1837, Ohio, m. 15 Oct 1867, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, d. 15 Aug 1875, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI

3-Daniel S. Scott b. Dec 1873, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI, d. After 1904

3-Dr. George Alvin Scott {FGID: 91077266} b. 19 May 1875, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 8 Jan 1947, Rowlesburg, Preston Co. WV, Bur. Pittsburgh, Allegany Co. PA

+ Celeste Strobridge b. 20 Jul 1879, New Jersey, m. 1915, New Jersey, d. 29 Apr 1971, Fort Lauderdale, FL

+ Elisha W. Sanders {FGID: 130670568} b. 1 Jan 1833, Chittenango, Sullivan Township, Madison Co., NY, m. 28 Mar 1877, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI, d. 31 May 1889, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI


Appendix

Sometime in her lifetime, probably the 1940s, my Aunt Bessie wrote up biographies of her grandparents using information provided by her Aunt Libbie. They contain little anecdotes and stories that are interesting to read. I've included them here. Click on the PDF icon.

The biography of Charity Dubois Porter:

The biography of Medad Porter, Junior:


Page created August, 2020

© Text copyright: Steve Spicer

Feel free to email me: steve@spicerweb.org