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Albany County New York Family Sketches - Surnames R

Transcribed by Lynn Tooley

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Albany County New York Family Sketches - surnames R, extracted from the Landmarks of Albany County, New York, Edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1897.

REAVY, Frank C., Family Sketch

Reavy, Frank C., has been one of the leading undertakers of Cohoes since 1870. His father was John Reavy, a merchant who went from Montreal when Frank was born in 1843, to Chicopee, Mass., in 1844, coming here in 1858. Mr. Reavy began business life at fifteen years of age. After remaining in the cotton mills for a few years he learned the carpenter's trade, spending three years in New York at the business before establishing for himself. He served as school commissioner, supervisor, city hall commissioner, and many minor offices. He is a member of the Business Men's Association, of the A. O. U. W., the A. O. H., and K. of C.

REILEY, Patrick, Family Sketch

Reiley, Patrick, came to West Troy when twelve years of age, and is one of the older citizens of this city. He has always resided in the same block, and has conducted a grocery store here for forty-nine years. He has led an active political life and is now postmaster. Among the many public offices he has held are school trustee, village trustee, supervisor, overseer of the poor, and many others. Mr. Reiley was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1822, coming to America when seven years of age, and settling in Troy. He has served thirty-six years as treasurer of St. Patrick's church, and forty-two years as trustee.

RELYEA, Abram, Family Sketch

Relyea, Abram, was born in Guilderland, November 19, 1835. David D., his grandfather, was a native of Guiiderland and a farmer by occupation. He reared five sons and six daughters, all of whom he provided liberally for. Peter D., his father, was also a native of Guilderland, born in 1808. He came in possession of his father's homestead, where he spent most of his life. His wife was Magdalen Mann, and their children were Mrs. Sarah Miller, Abram, Mrs. Adeline Van Patten, Mrs. Mary Jane Schermerhorn of Schenectady, Mrs. Catherine Van Buren, and Emma. He died in 1848 and his wife died in 1883. Abram attended the common schools, and at his father's death he was twelve years of age. and was obliged to care for himself. He then went to Cato. Cayuga county, and engaged at farm work, and also lived in Onondaga county. He later worked at blacksmithing for a short time and spent five years in Schenectady, and in 1862 came to New Scotland, where he was on a farm until 1864. He then enlisted in the 11th New York Independent Battery and served until the close of the war. Upon his return to Voorheesville he engaged in the meat business and later engaged in carpentry and followed contracting and building until 1893. He erected the Presbyterian church in Voorheesville, several of the prominent residences, and some of the stores. He was elected justice of the peace in the town of New Scotland in 1880, being the first Democratic justice elected in thirty years. He was constable for some time and was deputy sheriff for nine years, and was also court crier in 1895. He has often been chosen delegate to County and Assembly Conventions, and was chairman of the Democratic town organization, and is now a member of the general Democratic county organization. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Noah Lodge No. 754 of Altamont, and is also a member of Temple Chapter No. 5, Commandery No. 2, and the Shrine of Albany. He is also a member of the Odd Fellows' fraternity. No. 068 of Voorheesville, in which he has passed through several of the chairs and is now trustee and treasurer, and at one time was treasurer of the Presbyterian church and also of the Driving Association. In 1868 he married Amelia M. Earl, born in New Scotland and daughter of Benjamin and Margaret (Stalker) Earl. Their children are Charlie A. and Grace. The Relyeas were originally French Huguenots, who fled from France to Holland, whence they came to America.

ROBINSON, Walter Foote, M. D., Family Sketch

Robinson, Walter Foote, M. D., son of Albert David and Helen (Fay) Robinson, was born in Albany October 13, 1860. His father was appointed paymaster in the army and moved the family to Washington, D. C, where Dr. Robinson prepared for Princeton College in Mr. Young's Academy. After graduating from Princeton with the degree of B. S., he entered the Albany Medical College and was graduated therefrom in 1884 with the degree of M. D. He spent one year in the Albany Homeopathic Hospital and two years in general practice and then for three years made a specialty of the study of mental and nervous diseases, attending lectures in all the principal hospitals of Pans, Vienna, Berlin and Heidelberg. In October, 1890, he returned to Albany, where he has since practiced his specialty of mental and nervous diseases. Dr. Robinson has perfected a number of electrical appliances of value to the medical profession. He is a member of the American Electro-Therapeutic Association, the Albany Medical Society and the Albany Country Club.

ROGERS, W. Seymour, Family Sketch

Rogers, W. Seymour, son of Samuel and Gertrude A. (Snyder) Rogers, was born in Hudson, N. Y., July 12, 1854. He is of Holland-Dutch descent on his mother's side and English on his father's side, being a descendant of the original Rhode Island Rogers, who came to America early in the fifteenth century. He received his education at the Hudson River Institute and Claverack College and subsequently worked three years in a paper mill owned by his uncle, Harper W. Rogers, at one time mayor of Hudson and member of assembly. Mr. Rogers moved to Albany in 1876 and engaged in the poultry and game business, which he has since followed. In 1876 he married Maggie Miller, daughter of W. Ellsworth Miller, of Claverack, Columbia county, and they have two children: Elsie D. and Lola.

ROMEYN, Theodore F., Family Sketch

Romeyn, Theodore F., born in Amsterdam, N. Y., is a son of Henry S. and Agnes (Van Epps) Romeyn, and was educated in the public schools and academy of his native town. He spent two years in Canada and nine years in Wisconsin, as a bridge builder. In 1865 he came to Albany and engaged in box manufacturing at No. 214 Hudson avenue; he manufactured all kinds of wooden boxes, cases, etc. He was one of the organizers of The Pure Baking Powder Company and its secretary. He married Mary Conde, of Glenville, Schenectady county.

RUNDELL, Darius, Family Sketch

Rundell, Darius, born in Westerlo, September 3, 1832, is a son of Jeremiah and Eliza (Lockwood) Rundell, both natives of Westerlo, where she died in 1849. He removed to Columbia county, where he died in 1892. He was a Republican and a member of the Masons in Columbia county. The grandparents of Darius, Isaac and Hannah (Scott) Rundell, came to Westerlo from Dutchess county and settled on the farm now owned by Darius Rundell. Darius Rundell was educated at Charlottville Seminary, and farming has been his principal business. He has two farms, one of 126 acres and one of 128 acres, and a gravel bank at South Westerlo. He is a Republican and held theoflfice of justice for eight years, was elected supervisor in 1886 and has been elected at each succeeding election since (was president of the board in 1894). having held the office longer than any one man ever did in Albany county. He is president of Greene County Mutual Insurance Company, director of Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of four counties, also director in the Village Fire Insurance Company and a notary public. Mr. Rundell is a member of James M. Austin Lodge No. 557, F. & A. M., and of Chapter No. 283, R. A. M., and has been master of lodge ten years. In 1853 Mr. Rundell married Ann Eliza, daughter of Adam and Eliza (Hunt) St. John, farmers of Westerlo. Mr. and Mrs. Rundell attend the Christian church at South Westerlo.

RUSSELL, George H., Family Sketch

Russell, George H., was born in Rochester, Windsor county, Vt , August 13, 1848, of New England stock, his ancestors having gone from Northern Massachusetts into New Hampshire and thence into Vermont, in the days when that State was first settled. His parents, Horace and Abigail S. (Worcester) Russell, removed to Albany in 1849, coming by their own conveyance, an uncle. Dr. Andrew W. Russell, being in practice here for many years and dying in 1871. Dr. Russell's wife was a sister of James T. Lenox and Lionel U. Lenox, the latter colonel of the 10th Regt. in the war of 1861-65, James T. being one of the firm of Ubsdell, Pierson & Co., of New York, who opened the New York store (now W. M. Whitney & Co.) May 7, 1859. In this store on the first day of its opening, George H. Russell commenced work as a cash boy, later as a clerk, continuing until the spring of 1863, when his parents removed to Pittsfield, Mass., where his time was spent at the high school and in the store connected with the woolen mills of L. Pomeroy's Sons. Thence he went as superintendent of the mills run by Sarsfield & Whittlesey and then was for a time in the employ of the American Express Company. In 1867 he returned to Greenbush with his parents, his father being for nearly forty years in the employ of the Boston Albany Railroad, and at the time of his death in 1889 one of the oldest conductors connected with the road. Returning from Pittsfield and having finished a course at the Albany Business College, he was for a year in the employ of Hinckley & Lewis shippers and forwarders. He was next emploj-ed in the office of the tobacco factory of Benjamin Payn, which he left to go to Weslfield, Mass., returning to Greenbush in November, 1871, where he entered the employ of Charles R. Knowles, then, as now, a large fire insurance manager of several companies for New York State with headquarters at Albany. In 1874, after eight months spent in travel in the Western and Southwestern States, he associated himself with E. J. Knowles, who had been appointed manager for the Stale for the Western Assurance Company of Canada. In 1878 the firm of Knowles & Russell was formed for the transaction of the fire insurance business locally and this connection continued until January 1, 1897, when the firm dissolved and Mr. Russell took over the entire business. He has represented a large number of companies and has built up a very large and profitable business. Mr. Russell is also connected with various business enterprises in Albany and Greenbush. He is a past master of Greenbush Lodge No. 337, F. &A. M., past high priest of Greenbush Chapter No. 274, R. A. M., companion of De Witt Council No. 22, R. & S. M., and a member of Temple Commandery No. 2. K. T. He is a trustee of the Albany County Savings Bank, the Albany Camera Club and the Greenbush Methodist Episcopal church and was trustee for the Fourth ward two terms and president of the village one term, declining a renomination. In 1875 he married Phebe A. Hermance, a descendant of the old Columbia Dutch settlers. They have two children: Mabel A. and Clarence H. Mr. Russell has resided for twenty-two years at No. 14 Third street, Greenbush; he has also a summer cottage at Vischer's Ferry, on the Mohawk.

RYALL, John, Family Sketch

Ryall John.— This honorable gentleman was born in Wales, August 3, 1839. He is the son of James and Margaret (Kerwick) Ryall, natives of the county of Tipperary, Ireland, who went to Wales in early life shortly after their marriage, and returned to Ireland about six months after the birth of the son, John. James was a farmer and spent his early life as a farm foreman. He was one of four sons, George, Michael, John and James. George went to Australia and the others came to America. In 1851 Margaret, the mother of John, left her home in Ireland without the knowledge of her husband and came to America. She communicated her intentions to her husband as she was about to board the ship in Liverpool; after arriving in America she worked, accumulated money, and assisted her husband and family to join her, which they did in 1853. They spent their remaining days in the town of New Scotland where he died in 1857, four years after their arrival in America. His wife died February 23, 1895, at the age of eighty-six. To them were born seven children: John, James, Elizabeth, Mary Ann, Thomas, Edward and Margaret. Elizabeth and Mary died in Ireland at the residence of their grandmother, aged respectively nine and eleven. John spent his early life at farm work and attended the common district school winters for a limited number of terms; he being the eldest, it fell upon him to care for his mother and younger brothers and sisters. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in Co. D, 91st N. Y. Vols., and later re-enlisted in the same company and served until the close of the war. He was at the siege of Port Hudson, Five Forks, Petersburg, and Appomattox. His brother James was also a soldier in the army from the beginning until the close of the war, enlisting as a private in the 3d N. Y. Vols., and being promoted to a captain; he died in 1881. Mr. Ryall again engaged in farm work, which he has followed more or less to the present time. He was elected and re-elected four successive terms of four years each as justice of the peace. The years 1893-94 he was justice of sessions; he is a United Stales loan commissioner for the county of Albany. He is a member of the G. A. R., Lew Benedict Post No. 5 of Albany, also a member of the Veteran League of Albany. In 1864 he was married to Miss Mary Stapleton, daughter of John Stapleton of New Scotland, by whom he has had six children: Mina, wife of Garret Bradt, Idella, Mary, Lillie, who died when seventeen, Estella and Gertrude.

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