Buyce Family of Gilmantown

This family genealogy has been genorously donated by Harry Buyce and a large portion of this was taken word for word from his book "A brief History of the Nineteenth Century Hamilton County, New York Families; Morrison, Buyce & Gallup," by Harry Buyce, An Unpublished Work, copyrighted, April 2000. Anyone wishing further information on the Buyce family should contact the author, Harry Buyce, directly.

This is the lifelong home of George Henry Buyce [1832], located on Buyce Hill in Gilmantown. Click on the image to view the a larger version of the people within this photo. They are from left, front row: George Henry Buyce, his wife Harriett Malinda Morrison, his step-mother, Mary Ann Wagar Buyce, son Peter, daughter Harriett, son Robert, sister-in-law Hepisbah Morrison Simons, unknown child [probably a Simons], son Charles, Peter Simons [husband of Hepisbah], brother of Peter Simons. Those on porch are unknown, but probably family.


My great-great-great grandfather was named John Buyce, and he appeared in the 1800 Montgomery County Federal Census, both he and his wife being 26 to age 45. Remember, Montgomery County included part of Hamilton County in that time frame.

By the 1840 town of Gilman census the "old folks" were gone and John Nelson was with his second wife and children, living on the old Hamilton Lake Rd in Gilmantown. It is hard to explain if you are not a native, but the road from Wells to Speculator went in a totally different direction than it does today. He was both Comm on Highways and Tax Collector for the town in 1844.

About 1845 his second wife died and he married for a third time, having two more children. They continued living on his farm until 1863 when he died. She then moved to Wells and lived with a son.

During this time period, his eldest son Nelson [by his first wife], married and raised a family in Gilmantown. He ran a saw mill there and eventuallymoved to Lake Pleasant and became a sheep farmer.

My great grandfather, George Henry [by his second wife], lived in Gilmantown all his life in the house in the picture. By the time my grandfather was born [1863] there were Buyces all over Gilmantown. Some stayed, many left for Wells or Speculator, but until the 20th century began, most Buyces stayed in Hamilton County.

The Morrison and Gallup families followed about the same pattern. "My" side of each of those families lived in Gilmantown for the better part of a century. Many of the Morrisons were Justices, the highest being Isiah Morrison, who was Hamilton County Judge in 1863 [appointed by the Governor after the death of the sitting judge]. That runs in the family, as many of the Colonial New Hampshire Morrisons were judges also. It is all in my book.

Gallup Family: The first Gallup was Jesse M., born in Albany County in 1762, died in Lake Pleasant in 1823. He enlisted in the early part of the Revolution and fought most the entire war. It is all well documented and the family has the records. He even spent that winter at Valley Forge. The Speculator Gallups still have his rifle. Anyway, he is just interesting.

This photo was taken on the steps of the hotel in Gilmantown. From left to right: Betty Rose Gallup, age 9, Daivd Gallup, age 5, David B. Gallup, age 74, Rose Perkins Gallup, age 33 and Cornelia Weaver Gallup, age 64.

His son, Benjamin M. lived his life in Lake Pleasant. His son, Jesse B. lived and died in Gilmantown. His son David B. is the man in the photo, who was justice of the peace, postmaster and ran the hotel in Gilmantown. His son, David W. was the guy who married my aunt and had 16 kids.

The family of John Nelson Buyce

1. John Nelson Buyce (aka Jack){1,2,3,4,5,6,7}, was born 6 Oct 1791 in NY State, a son of John Buyce. He died 6 Dec 1863 and is buried in the Methodist Cemetery, Wells, NY. He was married about 1825 to Laurinda {8} who was born about 1800 in Schenectady, NY and died between 1827-1831 in Gilmantown, Wells, Hamilton, NY. He was married second to Jane Van Alstine {9, 10, 11} about 1832 in Speculator, Hamilton, NY and lastly to Mary Ann Wagar {12, 13, 14} about 1845 in Wells, Hamilton, NY.

Notes for John Nelson Buyce:

Ted Aber was a big help to people like me, with his work in writing the History of Hamilton County. In order to do this he and Stella King had to find quite a bit of background information on the "old families" of the County. With what they found, added to the information that I developed, a reasonable background of the family can be told. There is still a lot of work left to be done.

In the 1800 census of Wells [then partly Northampton], John, age nine, is listed as living with his parents, his father also a John. The sibling question is a little confusing, but possibly he had four older brothers and sisters. About 1825 he was married to someone named Laurinda, and their son Nelson was born in Schenectady on 29 Sep 1826. I am not certain if Schenectady refers to City or County. About 1830-1832 they were living in that portion of the town of Wells that was to become the town of Gilman on 23 Apr 1839, only to be disannulled in 1860 and returned to the town of Wells.

For those of you who are familiar with the area, travel to the northern end of the Village of Wells, cross the bridge, and directly in front of you, by the State DOT building, Rt 30 curves to the right. The road that goes straight ahead is called the Gilmantown road - and has been since 1839. Today it goes directly up the mountain and on to the southern edge of the Village of Speculator, by the Camp-of-the-Woods. Before 1850, it went up the mountain to, roughly, that portion known as "Buyce Hill", then turned left and wound through the forest to Hamilton Lake, continuing on to the northwest shore of Lake Pleasant, and the Village.

After you made the left turn, the Buyces lived about one mile in, near a clearing. I have been there with my father, and the building foundations are evident. At the time we were there, he was not positive that the foundations were "ours", but it was confirmed by others later. One graveyard has fieldstones and two regular gravestones [both sons of Nelson Buyce]. Other families lived on the road, and it si really impossible to figure who is buried where.

When I first started this endeavor, one of my nagging questions was about the fate of John's first two wives. The third one is buried down in the Methodist cemetery. I did not believe that I would ever find out, until last fall when I started talking to John [Jack] Buyce of Northville. [Allow me to go off point for a moment]. There have been several John Buyces through the years, and most of them are called "Jack". One of the few exceptions was George Henry, who was called Jack as his father was also George Henry. You get the idea....

Jack explained that his father had taken him there years ago, as had his father before him. It seems that old John did not bury his first two wives with everyone else, as they are buried side by side in a private plot, on a knoll behind the house. It really pleased me to hear that tidbit of information.

John lived at that location the rest of his life. He was a farmer, Overseer of Roads in 1835, and Township Tax Collector in 1844. From his home there was a trail through the woods to Gilman Lake, shwere he operated a sawmill. His eldest son Nelson, and a younger son Joseph Fitch, also ran this same mill at different times in their lives. The stone work of the mill can still be seen.

The last census that John appears in was taken on 12 Jul 1860, as he died in 1863. In that particular census there is a John Taylor, age 72, of England, "pauper and blind", and Brantha Taylor, age 85, of Connecticut, "pauper", living with them. I do not know who they were or why they were there. The only guess I could make is that they were some relation to one of John's wives.

Here is some trivia for you. As I read this census, I am reminded that the modern "politically correct types", would raise perfect hell over this form. Pre Civil War census forms have classifications and categories, i.e., "free white males or free white females", or "persons over 20 who cannot read or write". There is another for "color". In that event, they put a checkmark in the clumn, with no name listed. "Slave" is not listed because we did not use them. Finally, there is a catch-all catagory that includes just about everyone else, "whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict". Interesting.

The short of it is, that John was the first Buyce who lived in Hamilton County. He had three wives, eight children, and by now, several hundred descendants. John is buried in the southeast side of the Methodist cemetery, toward the rear where the pines begin. At first glance from a distance, his grave stands alone on a little knoll. A closer look reveals the tiny stone of his one year old grandaughter Jenny, nestled close by his.

Notes for Jane Van Alstine Buyce:

Jane Van Alstine is the second enigmatic spouse of John Buyce. I have always known who she was, and she is referred to in official documents any number of times. We just do not know much about her. The best source that I have found is Gerald Buyce of Lake Pleasant. He developed the information that she had relatives in Lake Pleasant, and that the family came from the Albany area. That does not sound like much, but it is the best that I have at the moment. Unfortunately, the Speculator and town of Lake Pleasant records are not readily available to the public... but that is another story.

For the moment, just suffice it to say that she was his wife, and the mother of the five children named. She too, is buried behind the house in Gilmantown.

Notes for Mary Ann Wagar:

Mary Ann was the daughter of Michael Wagar, DOB 1786 and Mary Dennie, DOB 1793, whom I presume lived the latter part of their lives in the Wells/Lake Pleasant area, probably passing on by mid century. I have not spent much time on her family, but it is a large one. The Wagar name appears in Wells community life throughout the 19th century. Many are buried in the Methodist Cemetery.

What I do know about her, is that shortly after the death of John's second wife, Jane Van Alstine, she married him and assumed the mantle of female leadership within the family. Even before their own children were born, she inherited the five of Jane, ranging in age from about one year to thirteen years. This is quite a burden to take on in any age, but in the so called "old days", it was necessary for survival itself. The only "help" that people got came from within the family, or neighbors within walking distance. Hamilton County roads were barely passable at best, and I am sure that a horse and wagon ride in Gilmantown in 1845 would be unforgettable.

The point I am trying to make here, is that in a typical large family, if one spouse died, the other had to get a replacement pretty quick. It was just a cold fact of life. Transportation and communication was poor, there was no electricity, sanitation was poor, medicine was still backward, and even food was hard to get for some. In the time frame that I am speaking of, small pox and diptheria were dread conditions that caused the death of many. I realize that you older people do not need a lecture on this, but I am speaking to the young, who have this terrible tendency to take everything for granted. Consider that this is all just a stone throw back in time.

Anyway, John died in 1863, so then Mary Ann was alone with a five year old [Lucien]. I would guess that she moved in with either Nelson or George Henry. They both had families and they all lived in Gilmantown. In the twilight of her life she always lived with Lucien and Charlotte down in the Village of Wells.

Adelbert Buyce and family

This is a photo of Adelbert Buyce, [1861, son of Nelson and Luna Serena Leeland Buyce] and some of his family, probably taken in Gilmantown, very, very close to 1895. The boy in the foreground is his eldest child, Lester [1890], and the lady is his wife Charlotte [1871], who was always called "Lot". The man with the rifle is probably his brother George Louis [1864], Horace [1866] or even John nelson, who died in 1895. The young girl does not "fit" in the Buyce family during this time frame, so the best guess is that she was a Morrison niece of Lot [several of them lived nearby]. A more interesting speculations it that she was a younger sister of Lot. It certainly could be, as I only found one sibling for Lot and there could have been more.

Child of John Nelson Buyce and Laurinda:

1.1. Nelson Buyce {15, 16, 17} was born 29 Sep 1826 in Schenectady, NY. Nelson was married in 1850 to Luna Serena Leeland. Nelson died 18 Jun 1910 in Wells, Hamilton, NY and is buried in the town of Wells, Hamilton, NY. They had children: Lester (b. 1852), Emery (b. 1853), Martha (b. 1855, m. George Schuyler), John Nelson (aka Jack, b. 4 Sep 1857), Delphine (b. 1860), Adelbert C. (b. 18 Apr 1861), George Louis (aka Tinker, b. 1864), Horace John (aka Scrub, b. 13 Jul 1866), Joliett (b. 1867), Marvin (b. 1868), Mary Martha (b. 1873, m. Napoleon Parker), Gertrude May (b. 9 Apr 1876, m. Willis Wilbur Hall).

George Henry Buyce (#1.2) and his wife

Children of John Nelson Buyce and Jane Van Alstine:

1.2. George Henry Buyce {18, 19, 20} was born Sep 1832 in Gilmantown, Wells, Hamilton, NY. He was married on 28 Nov 1858 to Harriet Malinda Morrison. She was the daughter of Abram Morrison and Lucretia Cyertis Hutchinson and was born 28 Jan 1842 in Wells, Hamilton, NY. George Henry Buyce died 7 Sep 1912 in Wells, Hamilton, NY and is buried in Gilmantown. Harriet died 24 Oct 1917 in Wells, Hamilton, NY and is buried in Gilmantown. They had children: George Henry (aka Jack, b. 1859), James (b. 30 Jul 1861), William (b. 1866), Harriett A. (b. Jun 1867, m. Sidney Finch), Charles M. (b. 15 May 1870), Jenny (b. 28 Jul 1875), Robert (b. 19 Sep 1880), Peter (b. 1 May 1882), Daveda (b. abt 1885).

1.3. Hila Matilda Buyce {21} was born 26 Mar 1836 in Gilmantown, Wells, Hamilton, NY and died 10 Nov 1926 in Gloversville, Fulton, NY. She was married to Lucien E. Lewis on 21 Oct 1857 at the Methodist-Episcopal Church in Northville, Fulton, NY (per church records online at Northville Methodist Episcopal Church) . He was born in 1827, a son of Morgan Lewis and Polly, and died on 31 Dec 1892 in Northville. They are both buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery, Northville. They had a daughter Anna [b. 1863] who married Charles Sandner.

1.4. Orra Buyce {22, 23, 24, 25} was born 12 May 1839 in Gilmantown, Wells, Hamilton, NY and died 18 May 1880 in Wells, Hamilton, NY. He married Lydia in 1870. Orra was a veteran of the Civil War having served in Company K, 115th NY Infantry.

1.5. Michael Buyce {26, 27} was born 2 Sep 1843 in Gilmantown, Wells, Hamilton, NY and died 9 Sep 1864 in Washington, D. C. He was a Civil War soldier in Company B of the 2nd NY Heavy Artillery. He died in the "Lincoln Hospital", Washington, D. C., and was buried there, although there is a gravestone for him in the Methodist cemetery in Wells, Hamilton, NY.

1.6. Joseph Fitch Buyce {28, 29, 30, 31} was born Jul 1844 in Gilmantown, Wells, Hamilton, NY and died 16 Nov 1926 in Speculator, Hamilton, NY. He 1st married Amanda Dunning about 1862 and later married Deborah J. Parslow in 1868 at Lake Pleasant, Hamilton, NY. Joseph and Deborah had two sons: John Fitch (b. 13 Feb 1849) and Alvah Wallis, aka Allie (b. 19 May 1872).

Children of John Nelson Buyce and Mary Ann Wagar:

1.7. Myron H. Buyce {32, 33, 34, 35} was born 13 Jun 1847 in Gilmantown, Wells, Hamilton, NY and died 1 Aug 1899 in Wells, Hamilton, NY. He is buried in the Methodist cemtery at Wells, Hamilton, NY. He married Mary C. KIBLER BURNHAM on 25 Dec 1870 at Wells, Hamilton, NY. She was the daughter of George J. and Mary A. Kibler of Wartenburgh, Germany and was born 15 Nov 1850 in Germany and died 10 Nov 1928 in Wells, Hamilton, NY. Thereafter she was adopted by William Burnham, who ran a mercantile store in Wells. This is the store on the left, just before the bridge, leaving the north end of the village. The building still stands today. They had a daughter Nellie (b. 9 May 1875) who married Lewis PERRY.

1.8. Lucien Leroy Buyce {36, 37, 38} was born 10 May 1858 in Wells, Hamilton, NY and died 15 Sep 1928 in the village of Northville, Fulton, NY. He is buried in the Methodist cemetery at Wells, Hamilton, NY. He married Charlotte J. KIBLER in 1888 at Wells, Hamilton, NY. She was the sister of Myron's wife, Mary, born of the same parents. Charlotte was born Nov 1863 in Germany and died in 1925 in Wells, Hamilton, NY. She too lived with the Burnham family in her youth, however, she was not adopted, and thus retained the name Kibler until married. Why? At this juncture, I do not think anyone knows. Lucien and Charlotte had children: Arthur (b. 22 Jun 1882), Cora (b. Jul 1888, m. Lewis W. Vickman), Harvey (b. Sep 1889), Orra (b. 15 Mar 1892), Hassan L. (b. 1897), Luella (b. 2 Aug 1906, m1. Clifford Barner, m2. Townsend Fish), Lucien Leroy Jr. (aka Roy, b. 3 Aug 1909)

1. State of New York. Census Record. Census Record. 1800 census, Northampton.
2. Ibid. Clerk, town of Wells, 1830-40-50-60.
3. Chyrene Buis Barnes. Found on LDS microfiche 6111022. Marietta, Georgia: C. Barnes, 1990. pages 1-10.
4. Frederick Aber, Jr. and Stella King. History of Hamilton County, NY. Willard Press, Boonville, NY, 1965. T/O Wells & Gilman chapter.
5. Family records & personal knowledge. Gerald, John Buyce [Northville] Gerald [Lk Pl].
6. Death certificate. Of sons Orra, Michael, Myron, Lucien Buyce.
7. Ibid. Sons George, Nelson, dau Matilda Buyce.
8. Ted Aber. Ted Aber Ham Co Historian, notes. Buyce family history notes.
9. Family records & personal knowledge. Gerald and Jack Buyce.
10. Ted Aber. Ted Aber Ham Co Historian, notes. Buyce family history, work sheets.
11. Death certificate. Clerk, T/O Wells, George Henry Buyce.
12. Death certificate. Clerk, T/O Wells.
13. State of New York. Census Record. Census Record. T/O Wells, 1870, 1880, 1892
14. Ted Aber. Ted Aber Ham Co. Historian, notes. Notes on Buyce family.
15. Death certificate. Town Clerk, Wells, NY
16. Ted Aber. Ted Aber Ham Co Hisotrian, notes. Work sheets on Buyce family.
17. Family records & personal knowledge. Author interviews with Gerald Buyce [Northville].
18. Marriage certificate. T/O Wells Town Records.
19. Family bible. Family bibile entry of son Robert Buyce - Marriage to Harriet Melinda Morrison.
20. Death certificate. Town Clerk, T/O Wells.
21. Ibid. On file with the City of Gloversville, NY.
22. Frederick Aber, Jr. and Stella King. History of Hamilton County, NY. Willard Press, Boonville, NY, 1965. Page 78 and 92.
23. Report of the Adjutant General of New York, Annual Report of 1904, Volume 35, page 174. Annual report 1904, vlome 35, page 174.
24. Deed, 27 Sep 1869, Book 9, page 409, Hamilton County Clerk. Book 9, Page 409.
25. T/O Wells, 1865. Record of Soldiers and Officers of the Civil War. New York State. See Hamilton Co., T/O Wells, page 10.
26. State of New York. Census Record. Census Record. 1860 T/O Wells Census.
27. Report of the Adjutant General of New York, Annual Report of 1904, Volumne 35, page 174. Report of deaths of Civil War Veterans, volume 6, T/O Wells.
28. Family records & personal knowledge. Gerald and Jack Buyce for this side of family.
29. State of New York. Census Record. Census Record. 1892 T/O Lake Pleasant census.
30. Death certificate. 1926 Hamilton County News obituary.
31. Ted Aber. Ted Aber Ham. Co. Historian, notes. re: Joseph Fitch Buyce family.
32. Death certificate. Town Clerk, Wells, NY.
33. Morning Herald. Obituary of Myron Buyce 10 Feb 1924. Published in Gloversville, NY. Obituary of Myron, Feb. 1924.
34. Frederick Aber, Jr and Stella King. History of Hamilton County, NY. Willard Press, Boonville, NY, 1965. Page 960-963.
35. Family records & personal knowledge. Leona Aird, gr. grand dau. / Town Historian.
36. Marriage certificate. Clerk, T/O Wells.
37. Death certificate. Clerk, T/O Northampton, Fulton.
38. Family records & personal knowledge. Helen Buyce, Dau-in-law.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:18:15 PDT
Copyright © 2003:  Harry Buyce