Biography of Jeffrey P. Thomas
Rensselaer County, NY Biographies





Thomas, Jeffrey P., is descended from an old Rhode Island family, his earliest traceable ancestor being Peleg Thomas, a Revolutionary soldier, who married Miss Russell Aylsworth, and who, about the close of the war, brought his family on an ox cart from Warwick, R. I. (where he was probably born) to a farm in the south part of the town of Berlin, Rensselaer county, where he died. He was a pioneer of that then rude locality, and had twelve children. Rowland Thomas, his eldest son, was born in Warwick in 1761, served in the Revolution under Washington, and died in Berlin, aged twenty six. His wife, Sarah, daughter of Joseph and Phebe (Langford) Greene, was born June 21, 1764. Peleg Rowland Thomas, their only son and one of three children, was born in Stephentown, Rensselaer county, December 7, 1780, was a blacksmith and farmer, and in the spnng of 1826 moved with his wife and six children to Sand Lake, in the same county, settled on the old Fellows farm, and died there February 9, 1847. He married Freelove, daughter of George and Mary (Hopkins) Arnold, descendants of the Arnold and Hopkins families of Rhode Island.' She died June 18, 1863. [William Arnold, born in Dartmouth England, set sail May 1, 1635, for America, arriving in Hingham, Mass., June 24, and on April 20, 1636, settled with his family in Providence, R. I. Receiving grants of land from Roger Williams his initials, W. A. are second in the famous initial deed. His estate was mostly in Providence, Pawtuxet and Warwick, where he had houses. He held various offices. Stephen Arnold, his youngest son, was born in Dartmouth, England, December 22, 1622, came to America in 1635, and died November 15, 1699. He married Sarah, daughter of Edward Smith, of Rehoboth, R. I., and their children were Esther, born September 22, 1647; Israel, October 30, 1649; Stephen, November 27, 1654; Elizabeth, November 2, 1659; Elisha, born February 18, 1662, died March 24, 1710; Sarah, born January 26, 1665; and Phebe, November 9, 1671. Elisha Arnold was born in Warwick, R. I., where his son James was also born. James Arnold was appointed by Gov. Stephen Hopkins an ensign in the 2d company of trained band of Warwick March 14, 1758, and by Gov. Josias Lyndon a major in the Kent county militia June 20, 1768, and by Gov. Joseph Wanton, lieutenant colonel May 6, 1769. He had a son James, who was deputy governor of Rhode Island in 1788, member of Assembly, and an officer of militia. George Arnold, son of James, sr., was born in Warwick Oct. 12, 1754, and was appointed by Gov. Arthur Fenner the ninth justice of the peace of that town May 7, 1792. He married, Sept. 7, 1781, Mary Hopkins, who was born Aug. 15, 1760, and who died April 15, 1803. He died March 22, 1829. Their children were Gorton, born January 25, 1783; Benjamin, Nov. 10, 1784; Zilpha, Feb. 25, 1786; Simon, Oct. 4, 1787; Joseph Hopkins, Feb. 17, 1789; Wate, September 12, 1790; Freelove (Mrs. Peleg Rowland Thomas), April 16, 1792; Mary, May 13, 1793; Phebe, April 2, 1795: George Anson, November 19, 1796; Aylsey and Elizabeth (twins), October 5, 1799; Elijah, March 15, 1801; and Minerva, April 12, 1803. The children of Peleg Rowland and Freeluve (Arnold) Thomas were Burton Arnold, born July 15, 1809. died December 28, 1880; Sarah Greene, born December 21, 1810, married William Vary, October 12, 1833, and died January 26, 1849; Rowland, born March 4, 1813, drowned in the Mohawk river at Glenville, N. Y. by a falling bridge, June 9, 1880; Phebe, born October 13, 1814, married Alvaro R. Traver December 24, 1835, and died January 19. 1851; Russell (a daughter), born May 20, 1818, married Mervin C. Traver November 20, 1841, and died March 22, 1869; Alonzo, born July 2, 1820, died December 17, 1889; Mary Esther, born May 28, 1827, married William Vary December 20, 1849, died November 28, 1854; Marilla, born March 16, 1831, married Charles M. Traver February 19, 1848, and died August 21, 1885; Albert Peleg, born January 15, 1834, died June 23, 1886; and Minerva, born March 12, 1836, married Reuben Van Decar March 25, 1856, and died September 29, 1893. Burton irnold Thomas spent his early life on his father's farm and attending the district schools, developed a taste for surveying and landscape gardening and at the time of his death was one of the oldest surveyors in Rensselaer county. He read law and was admitted to the bar October 10, 1842, under George R. Davis, first judge, practiced successfully in the probate courts, settled many estates, was commissioner and inspector of schools, town clerk, supervisor, justice of the peace twelve years, was first a Democrat and later a prominent Republican, and died December 28, 1880. He married Maria, daughter of Henry Cipperly, of Sand Lake, who survives at the age of eighty seven. [Her family descends from Barrent Zippertie, a blacksmith, a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and one of the religious refugees brought to America by Gov. Robert Hunter in 1710. He came with one son, Barrent, jr., and settled in Rhinebeck, N. Y. In 1712 his two other sons, Frederick and Michael. joined him. He was a widower, and married here, February 27, 1711, Anna Maria Reichard (or Rykert), daughter of Hans Rykert, of Wurtemberg. Michael Zippertie (Cipperly) was born in 1707, and had a son Joseph Henry Cipperly, who was born in Rhinebeck in 1743. The latter married Elizabeth Teall and had five children. Henry, George, Katharine, Regina, and Gertrude. Henry Cipperly, born in 1768, married Catharine Minick, of Greenbush, who was born the same year. Their children were Elizabeth, born May 14, 1792; Peter, June 14, 1793; Margaret; George; Jacob; Michael and Philip (twins), May 25, 1802; Henry, October 22, 1803; Nicholas, September 1, 1805; David, June 8, 1806; and Maria (Mrs. Burton Arnold Thomas), February 14, 1810. The family moved from Rhinebeck to Sand Lake, Rensselaer county, about 1790.] Burton Arnold and Maria (Cipperly) Thomas had two children: Alsina, born August 1, 1833, married George N. Goewey March 2, 1854, and died June 13, 1854; and Jeffrey Peleg, born in West Sand Lake December 2, 1838. Jeffrey P. Thomas was educated and studied surveying at Hartwick Seminary in Otsego county, and when nineteen began surveying with his father, continuing about fifteen years. He was superintendent of the Albany Rural Cemetery from June 1, 1868, to July 1, 1893, and many adornments of that beautiful spot are due to his taste and skill. His father did more or less work on that cemetery for thirty two years. January 1, 1896, Mr. Thomas formed a partnership with Charles G. Witbeck, as Thomas & Witbeck, and opened an office in Troy.. He is a Republican, was town clerk of Sand Lake, and is a 32° Mason. June 14, 1865, he married Sarah Henrietta, daughter of Jacob and Jane A. Warner. [Jacob Warner was born January 1, 1800, married Jane Ann Cochrane June 5, 1839, and had five children, all born in Wynantskill, Rensselaer county, viz.: Eliza Maria, (Mrs. James H. Chapman), born April 16, 1840; Matilda Ann, born January 1, 1842, died May 25, 1855; Almyra Jane. born January 9, 1845, died July 30, 1845; Sarah Henrietta (Mrs. Jeffrey P. Thomas), born January 1, 1847; and Nancy Catharine, borne January 23, 1850.] Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey P. Thomas have had three children: Burton Arnold, born April 21, 1868, died May 22, 1894; Jeffrey Warner, born September 3, 1871, died September 19, 1871; and Jessie Florence, born November 7, 1872, who married James Annan Ayers September 2, 1896.

From:
Landmarks of Rensselaer County
BY: George Baker Aaderson
Published By: D. Mason & Co. Publishers
Syracuse, NY 1897


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