Generously donated by Harry Buyce!
The following information was compiled primarily from "A Brief History of the Nineteenth Century Hamilton County, New York Families Morrison, Buyce & Gallup; An Unpublished Work," by Harry E. Buyce, copyright April 2000 with some additional information provided by the author.
Posted with express permission of the author. This work may not be copied in part or whole for publication or internet posting without the express permission of the author. All rights reserved.
1891 - 1968
A Veteran of the
WWI and WWII
This photo was taken during World War II, sometime after July 1942. He is wearing the standard dress blue uniform of a U.S. Navy First Class Petty Officer with the "CB" flash of the newly formed Sea Bee units. The outboard medal on his breast is the World War I Victory Medal and the inner medal is the Mexican Campaign Medal.
George Schuyler1,2,3 was born 5 Jul 1891 in Edinburg, Saratoga, NY and died 21 Nov 1968 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. He married Maude Buyce on 5 May 1923 in Northville, Fulton, NY. Maude was born on 6 May 1898 to James and Lillis Adelia [Morrison] Buyce in the Town of Lake Pleasant, Hamilton, NY. She died on 7 Dec 1965 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY.
George and Maude were both baptized in the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Gloversville, NY, on 16 Jun 1940, which was rather unusual at their age. Both are buried in the Ferndale cemetery, Johnstown, Fulton, NY.
When I was young I spent quite a bit of time with George as he and my father were friendly. For several years they always had a large field of potatoes in our garden. As you older people might guess, I was the guy with the coffee can with kerosene in it. While working, George and I talked quite a bit, and I always managed to get the conversation around to his life in the Navy. It was not hard to do, and he seemed to enjoy speaking of it, as it occurred forty years before. I very quickly observed that George was not prone to telling "sea stories"; he simply related facts and happenings that were burned into his memory so long ago.
As someone who spent time in the Marine Corps, I was most interested in George's first tour, which was from 17 Jul 1912 to 16 Jul 1916, when he was stationed aboard a destroyer [I never wrote the name down and cannot remember it]. Anyway, in 1914 the United States went to war, though a short one, with Mexico, and George's ship was one of those used in the Marine landing at Vera Cruz. In those days there were no landing craft of the World War II type, so Marines landed in ships boats. In the Vera Cruz operation George was one of a crew of two on one of these small boats. The rest of the occupants were Marines. His problem was that his post was in the bow, ready to assist with anything that was needed when the boat actually landed. He said that the armed Marines behind him were not a lot of comfort, considering that he was first, armed only with a coil of rope. There was sporadic rifle fire and some naval gunfire, which certainly contributed to his discomfort. In the next couple of days he made several trips to shore, mostly carrying supplies. The problem there was that they had to off load and hand carry the supplies to a distribution point inland. He said that there was just enough sniper fire around that you, in his words, "went like hell". It was only two or three days in a very small war, but to a 23 year old farm boy from Edinburg, New York, it was a big deal.
One of my prized possessions is his Mexican Campaign medal, that was given to me by my cousin, Inez Becker, along with some of his other things. I have a picture of him wearing the medal in World War II. I have thought about it carefully, and there cannot be more than a handful of those medals anywhere, because not that many men were involved in the campaign in the first instance.
George was out of the Navy less than a year when World War I broke out. His enlistment for that war was 6 May 1917 to 5 May 1921. His discharge states that during the war his home port was Liverpool, England assigned to escort duty on the cruiser USS Chester, followed by the USS Zeppelin [I do not know what kind of a ship it was, but it has the wrong type of name to be a cruiser]. His rate at discharge was Chief Water Tender [confirmed rating]. His ship was constantly in harms way, but never harmed. His one heart stopping incident, occurred off the African coast, near the Azores, early in the war. He was in a squadron of two cruisers and four destroyers, looking for a German cruiser that was supposedly in the area. Well, they found him, only he was not alone, but rather with several other warships. They spotted each other at a great distance, and each group started to maneuver to fire. [Remember, no radar in that war.] First a squall passed between them, then a bigger squall, then darkness. No contact was made, no rounds fired. That was George's big "almost". Most of his time was spent escorting British troop ships from England to South Africa, where there was fighting.
When World War II started, George went out to enlist again but the Navy would not take him, as he was too old. [50 was a little much!] They soon started forming the Sea Bee's and he was accepted. His service time was from 16 Jul 1942 to 17 Feb 1945. He liked to tell me the Navy axiom that went, "never hit a Sea Bee, he may be your grandfather." George served in the Solomon Island chain, building airbases and such. In his living room at home, George had an ashtray [not to be used] that was made form the metal of a Japanese Zero that was shot down on Bougainville. I got to know a side of George that very few others, if any, did. In all, he served just shy of twelve years active duty, encompassing two wars and one campaign, in thirty three years.
- Marriage certificate. Original cert. in possession of Harry Buyce.
- Military discharge and papers. Originals in possession of Harry Buyce.
- Death certificate. City clerk, City of Gloversville.
Maude Buyce Schuyler's Parents:
The Family of
James & Lillis Morrison Buyce
This picture was taken in Wells, NY in 1913.
First row, left to right, Dorothy Buyce Lawton, age 5 - James Buyce, age 52 - Lillis Morrison Buyce, age 43 - Roland Buyce, age 1.
Second row, left to right, Lydia Buyce Sweet, age 10 - Ruth Buyce Gallup, age 16 - Glenn Buyce, age 12 - Maude Buyce Schuyler, age 15 - Marie Buyce Murray, age 7.
James Buyce1,2 was born 30 Jul 1861 in Gilmantown, Town of Wells, Hamilton county, NY and died on 5 Mar 1940 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. He married Lillis Adelia Morrison3,4,5 on 30 May 1891 in Wells, Hamilton, NY. Lillis was born on 16 Jun 1870 in Wells, Hamilton, NY, the daughter of Andrew and Lydia S. Miller Morrison. Lillis died on 21 Jan 1966 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY.
My grandfather James was a typical man of his time and place, in that he worked in the lumber woods until middle age, at which time he engaged in carpentry. His only real distinction was that he worked on the river drives and was able to ride a log, something that very few men could do. In fact they made about $2.00 per week more in wages. Working the river drives was his lifestyle as a single man, and continued to be during the first six years of marriage, when they had no children. They moved to a house in Speculator, on Rt 8, right at the T/O Lake Pleasant line, where there first five children were born. That is where he took up carpentry, and working in the more "local" lumber woods.
I have asked about him to many older family members, including my father, of course. Sooner or later in conversation, the fact was pointed out that he had huge hands [look at the picture], and that in an age when all men worked physically hard, he was exceptionally strong. Perhaps not in the class of his cousin, John F. Buyce the blacksmith, but quite noticeably so.
I do not understand the "why" of this, but my grandfather was always one of my favorite ancestors, even though I did not know him, as I was only two when he died. I have his studio portrait and marriage certificate on the wall in my den, where they have been for many years. Sometimes I feel that I have missed something. Crazy, I know.
My grandmother was like most women of her time, in that she spent her life "keeping house", a quaint little phrase that is always used in 19th century census records. In her younger life she also worked in a lumber camp, cooking and cleaning. Some of these were camps run by one of her brothers at Perkins Clearing, which is located south of Indian Lake, or over in Morehouse.
James and Lillis Adelia Morrison Buyce had the following children:
- Ruth Buyce6,7 was born on 7 Apr 1897 in Speculator, Hamilton, NY and died on 10 Dec 1984 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. She married David William Gallup on 15 Aug 1915 in Wells, Hamilton, NY.
- Maude Buyce was born on 6 May 1898 in Speculator, Hamilton, NY and died on 7 Dec 1965 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. She married George Schuyler on 5 May 1923 in Northville, Fulton, NY.
- Glenn Buyce8,9 was born on 6 Aug 1901 in Speculator, Hamilton, NY and died on 24 Jan 1974 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. He married Mildred Grace Santus on 31 Dec 1930 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY.
- Lydia Buyce was born on 10 Oct 1903 in Speculator, Hamilton, NY and died on 9 Oct 1978 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. She married Henry Leon Sweet on 24 Dec 1925 in Gloversville, NY.
- Marie Buyce was born on 7 Jan 1906 in Speculator, Hamilton, NY and died on 21 Feb 1988 in Johnstown Fulton, NY. She married James Leon Murray on 22 Jul 1933 in Amsterdam, Montgomery, NY.
- Dorothy Buyce10 was born on 6 Jul 1908 in Wells, Hamilton, NY and died on 14 Oct 1995 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. She married Alpheais Burdette Lawton on 16 Apr 1927 in Mayfield, Fulton, NY.
- Roland Buyce11 was born on 6 Oct 1912 in Wells, Hamilton, NY and died on 14 Sep 1989 in Mayfield, Fulton, NY. He was married first to Arlene Emma Cooker on 27 Nov 1930 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY and second to Stella [Davis] Loux in 1960 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY.
- Marriage certificate. In papers of grandson Harry Buyce.
- Death certificate. Clerk, City of Gloversville.
- Family records & personal knowledge. Conversations with sons and daughters.
- Death certificate. Clerk, City of Gloversville.
- Marriage certificate. In papers of grandson Harry Buyce.
- Personal knowledge & family records, kept by Ruth Orr, Johnstown, NY.
- Family records & personal knowledge. All her living children contributed to record.
- Birth certificate. In papers of Harry Buyce.
- Death certificate. In papers of Harry Buyce.
- Marriage certificate. From Inez Becker, Mayfield, NY.
- Family records & personal knowledge. Harry Buyce and Audrey Perham.
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:17:36 PDT
Copyright © 2001: Harry Buyce
P.O. Box 32
Mayfield, NY 12117