PORTER, Medad Senior
DAVIS, Mary "Polly"

PORTER, Medad Junior


Family Links

DU BOIS, Charity

PORTER, Medad Junior

  • Born: 5 Jan 1802, Waterford, Rensselaer Co., NY
  • Marriage: DU BOIS, Charity on 9 Feb 1826
  • Died: 12 Sep 1863, Chittenango, Madison, NY at age 61
  • Buried: Chittenango, Madison, NY

bullet  General Notes:

Sources: (File 61): A three page biography of Medad was prepared by his graddaughters Harriet Elizabeth Mott and her sister Florence Mott Bradford. The 'genealogical data' was based on notes that Florence took in conversation with Medad's eldest child Elizabeth (ca 1913). The stories were from conversations with Elizabeth Porter and her sister Harriet Porter Mott, the mother of Florence and H. Elizabeth Mott.

As far as personal data is concerned, the biography indicates that:
1. Medad was a Methodist and a Mason.
2. His parents died when he was young and he was raised by an aunt.
3. He was a skilled carpenter and cabinetmaker who built in 1826 the house in Chittenago in which his children grew up. The house burned in 1901 shortly after it's sale. (Writing on the back of the picture of said house indicates 1834 as the date of it's building.)
4 He taught school and raised food on the homestead.
5. He was never healthy, having contracted 'fever and ague' (malaria) as a young man and suffered more or less from its effects his whole life. "An odd peculiarity of his was that when ill with fever he was prone to express himself in rhyme, as, 'Come my daughter, bring some water, To put on my head while I'm in bed."
6. He died of an overdose of opium administered by the family physician.

The stories include a tale from his youth about being chased by a wolf on his was back from town with a churn which he used to scare off the wolf and in the process destroyed the 'dasher' churn.

There's a story about a man who worked for Medad in the fall of 1843 or '43 who was evidently a Millerite and refused pay because the 'world was coming to an end'. Medad told him that if it didn't he could come back for his pay. He did.

Another story: "A minister was once being entertained at the Porter home when some one called at the house for the church keys of which Medad Porter was custodian. The occasion was a lecture to be given at the church. The visiting clergyman, when he learned that the speaker was to be a woman, drew himself up in pompous austerity and delivered himself of his opinion of such doings in full voice: 'Everything in creation, even the beasts of the field, knows its place, except the women!' The woman speaker was Sucan B. Anthony."

There is a story of his assisting a slave woman in flight to Canada from Texas.

There is also an assertion that Medad "assisted in the investigation of a claim that one, Louis Leroy, was the 'Lost Dauphin' of France". (The son of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI) and although the biography goes on at length about this 'fascinating' story, there is no indication as to how Medad "assisted" or was even related to the case.

The several things the family knows of Medad Porter, Jr are quite reliable, being based on interviews taken in 1913 with his eldest daughter and since written down. Medad was a Methodist and a Mason. A skilled carpenter by trade he was also a farmer. Several stories of him indicate that he liked to speak in rhyme. Unfortunately, he was never a healthy man, dying of an overdose of opium administered for pain by a doctor. He was only 61 years old.


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

He was employed. Carpenter And Cabinetmaker

He appeared on the census in 1850 in New York, Madison Co., Sullivan Township. 1


Medad married Charity DU BOIS, daughter of Jonathan DU BOIS and Elizabeth HAM, on 9 Feb 1826. (Charity DU BOIS was born on 4 Jun 1804 in Catskill, NY, christened in 1805 in East Greenbush, Rensselaer Co., NY,2 died on 12 Sep 1877 in Chittenango, Madison, NY and was buried in Chittenango, Madison, NY.)



1 National Archives, Ancestry.com Census Images Online, New York, Madison Co., Sullivan Township (Roll M432_526, Page 23
), New York, Madison Co., Sullivan Township, Roll M432_526, Page 23.

2 Greenbush Reformed Church, East Greenbush, Rensselaer Co., NY, Vital Records of the Greenbush Reformed Church: East Greenbush, Rensselaer County Greenbush Reformed Church 1788-1899
(Ancestry.com database: New York Births and Baptisms, Eastern Region, 1683-1928

), Item 578. Father: Jonathan De Bois
Mother: Elizabeth Ham.

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