Biographies of Bequillard, Burrows, Doolittle, Mexico, NY  
Many thanks to Esther Rancier for sharing her information on these 3 biographies. Esther is researching in Richland and Mexico the Soul/Soule, Brace and Daniel P. Smith families, and would appreciate hearing from anyone researching these surnames.   Esther Rancier at:
 Probably after 1842 Jaques Vernier Bequillard  in eastern France gathered his family, sons Louis and Charles and traveled to America.  He may have heard about the free land of the west, the wonders of the new Erie Canal or knew about a French family who was doing well in America.  He likely came from Alsace-Lorraine where warring armies marched through too many times.  In his lifetime Jaques had possibly been both a French and a German citizen.

 When the group reached Syracuse, the canal boats were usually met by a person who spoke French with an Alsace-Lorraine accent.  They heard about the wonderful pasturage, the climate much like home and fair leases for the land.  Whether they wanted to settle in Oswego County or were just tired of the journey remains unknown, but this Catholic family went to inspect the area.

 Whether they arrived before the Catholic Church at Mexico, NY, St. Ann’s was built in 1845 or later, they found a population of fellow Catholics primarily from Alsace-Lorraine.  They stayed on content with familiar sights and sounds of home.

 Jaques was never recorded in an U.S. census.  His sons and grandsons were not enumerated until 1880.  But son Louis enlisted as a private on 4 May 1861 in Co. D, 24th Infantry Regt. NY which established their presence in the county.

 The 24th Infantry was called the Oswego Regiment.  They went into battle for the first time on 26 July 1861.  Louis must not have cared much for this experience for her deserted on 18 September 1861 at Arlington, VA.  Maybe he was the smartest man in the unit for he was gone before the group served at Second Bull Run where 237 men from the 24th were killed and wounded.

 On 27 September 1877 Jaques V. Bequillard wrote his last will and testament.  On  12 January 1878 the will was presented to the Surrogate Court for probate.

 Jaques’ will said, “In the name of God Amen.  I Jaques Vernier Bequillard, of the town of Mexico, the County of Oswego and State of New York, of the age of seventy-eight years and being of sound mind and memory do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following, that is, to say:

 “I give and bequeath to my wife Susane[sic] Bequillard the use of the sum of five hundred and fifty dollars being my property in money during her natural life with the privilege of using as much out of said property as it may become necessary to her for her own maintenance and support, I give for her also the remained of my personal property of whatever nature, it may be and I hereby appoint my son Charles Bequillard as Executor of my last will and testament hereby revoking all former will by me made.
 “In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-seventh day in the year of our Lord one thousand eight-hundred and seventy-seven..  Jaques Bequillard
“Peter Gray and Georgr Turot witness”
 The Susan mentioned in the will was Susan Breed.  She was born in France, coming to America with her husband and sons.  Son Charles mentioned in the will was wed to Virginia also born in France.  They were living in the 1880 census in the 1st Ward of Oswego with their son Albert, age 15.  Charles was 46 and Virginia, 50.  Charles worked as a jeweler.

 The other Bequillard son Louis wed Adaline.  They were age 43 and 38 respectively in the 1880 Mexico census.  Their children were Rosa, age 17; Charles, age 15; William, age 11; and Louis, age 3.  Louis worked as a tailor.  Son William by 1888 became as coat maker living at Oswego in the Brown’s Hotel.

 Another Bequillard family at Mexico on the 180 census was headed by Charles T., the namesake son of Charles and Virginia.  Young Charles, age 23, married Mary F. Simard, age 18.  They lived with his brother Leon, age 21, a farm hand., and the grandfather and grandmother of Charles T. and Leon.  The grandparents were Anthony Robert, age 83 and Claud Robert, age 67.  Her formal name was Claudine.  The Roberts were Virginia’s parents both born in France.  

 In 1910 at Mexico there were two Bequillard families.  Charles T. and Mary, married 30 years, lived with two children: Florence, age 13, and Charles F., age 25.  This group resided on the road from Kenyon School House to Villard School Louse.

 Charles’ brother Leon, age 51, and his wife Catherine, age 43, were domiciled with their five children..  The children were Fred R., age 20; Blanche J., age 19; Lilian [sic] M., age 16; Grace F., age 14; and Helen C., age 11.  Catherine declared in the 1920 census she had given  birth to five children and all were still surviving.  They lived on the Cross Road to Villard School House.

 The Robert and Bequillard families became members of the St. Ann’s Catholic Church on French Street in Mexico.  This small Catholic Church remains in operation in the summers into the 21st century.

 Upon their deaths the families of Charles and the Roberts were buried at St. Ann’s Cemetery.  Jaques and Susan may also have been buried there, but have no stone at present. Anthony Robert, 1797-1884, was buried along with his wife, Claudine, 1812-1895.  Claudine maiden name was given as Fofry.  Virginia Roberts Bequillard, 1831-1907, born in France, was the wife of Charles F., 1835-1918, also born in France.  Their daughter-in-law Mary F. Simard Bequillard, 1862-1934, and son Charles T., 1857-1948, were buried last.
 Louis Bequillard and his family were laid to rest in the Mexico Village Cemetery .  The stones said: Louis, “1833-1917”; son Louis,”1876-1894”; C. L., “1864-1896”; and Adaline, ‘1842-1920”.C.L. was a son Charles.  Another stone noted, “Rose”, but had no dates. 

 In the 1920 Mexico census Adaline, age 73, a widow was listed, living alone.  She died later that year.
 More of the family was given in the 1930 Mexico census.  There were two Bequillard households.  Charles T., age 72, and Mary F., age 67, lived quietly in the town.  Brother Leon, age 71, had his own home with wife Catherine, age 65, and children: Frederick, age 29, and Lillian, age 32.  This Frederick had to register for the draft in World War I.  He listed his father as his nearest relative.  His birthplace was Mexico, NY and his birthdate was 2 August 1889.  He had brown eyes and hair.

 Leon’s daughter Blanche wed James Earl LaRobardiere.  They later lived in Parish, NY.  Blanche died in 1958.  Her husband survived to 1970.  They were both buried in the Pleasant Lawn Cemetery in section 8, lot 120.  Their son Leon LaRobardiere, born in 1917, wed Beatrice Bellinger.  He died in 1992 and was buried also in Section 8, lot 120 in Parish.

 In the early 21st century no one with this surname remained in Oswego County.  

American Civil War Soldiers.  Available [online] [15 March 2004].
 Cemetery Census for the Town of Mexico, Oswego County, New York.  Mexico: Mexico Historical Society, 1984.
 N.Y.  Oswego Co.  Surrogate Ct.  Probate, v. N, p. 35-36. (LDS microfilm #0872719).
 Pleasant Lawn Cemetery, Parish, NY.  Available [online] [22 February 2004].
 U.S. Census, Mexico, Oswego Co., NY 1880, 1910, 1920 & 1930.
 U.S. Census, 1st Ward, Oswego Co., NY 1880. 
 World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.  Available [online] [16 March 2004].


Biography of JOHN BURROWS, 

 That Mexico, NY actually had a Civil War Sailor, was unusual situation.  In both the North and South sailors were in short supply.  The Army paid bonuses of such size that sailors joined the Army.  There were some exceptions.  The Confederate Navy found easy recruiting for the ships: Alabama, Florida and Shenandoah which raided commercial ships.  These crews were paid well in gold.  The Florida would come to play a roll in the career of John Burrows.

 Although born 20 January 1819 in Middletown, CT John Burrows moved to the Bahamas at three months with his parents, John and Margaret (Braddock) Burrows.  Near Nassau his father made salt probably on Great Inagua which today in the home of Morton Salt.  This very isolated life had no appeal for young Burrows.  When he was ten, he arranged to go to sea where he enjoyed his new life as a sailor.  He entered the U.S. Naval Service as a private on 7 August 1845 at age 26.  

 During the Mexican War he served on the frigate USS Congress.  He was present in Monterey, CA when the first American flag over California was hoisted.  On 10 February 1849 he was made an Acting Master’s Mate. President Millard Fillmore signed his commission to Boatswain on 15 November 1850.  He then served on the sloop USS Germantown.

 On 2 February 1851 he married Eliza McKee of Brooklyn.   In 1854 the couple removed to Mexico, Oswego Co., NY.  They came to the scenic small village as a result of their friendship with T.C. Herbert, a sail maker, who was a boon companion of John’s.

` Eliza died 17 January 1881.  She was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery with her two sons, Henry P. and Theodore H.  She was 51 years old, daughter of Irish immigrants.  Her brother, Alexander McKee, lived with her family in 1880.  He was also a sailor.

 On 6 September 1882 in Oswego John married Sarah Shannon Allen in the home of her wealthy brother-in-law, Leonard Ames.  The Rev. D. Tully officiated.  She was the fourth daughter of William and Emily (Chandler) Allen.  She was born 27 November 1830 in East Lyme, CT, making her 52 years old at the time of her marriage to John.

 With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 he was aboard the sloop USS Hartford.  In 1862 he was transferred to USS Wachusetts, an Iroquois class screw sloop commissioned in 1862.  She saw her first action in Hampton roads in the James River, VA.  Burrows would have been likely been in the attack on the Drewry’s Bluff fortifications on 15 May.  Soon the sloop was the flagship of the special “Flying Squadron” sent to search for rebel raiders operating in the Caribbean.  On 7 October 1864 the sloop went into the port of Bahia, Bazil.  The USS Wachusetts captured the Confederate cruiser CSS Florida towing that ship to sea and taking it to the U.S.  But it developed that this action was ruled to be illegal.  The career of Burrows hung in the balance as the case was considered.   Convicted for this illegal undertaking the commander was sentenced to be dismissed.  The crew knew their trials would be next.  However, since the seizure of the Florida was both militarily effective and the public acclaimed the deed all over the north, the sentence was not carried out.  Burrow’s career continued.

 By 1865 Burrows was attached to the USS Wyoming.  After the war he was assigned in 1868 to shore duty in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, allowing his to move his family to the 20th Ward of Brooklyn where they could be together for two and a half years.  

 In 1874 he was assigned to rig out Old Ironsides for the receiving ship Constitution at League Island Navy Yard.  In the next three years he and his family lived in Philadelphia.  But by 1878 he was assigned to service in the Pacific.  This work ended in August 1879 when he returned to Mexico.  On 30 January 1881 he was placed on the retired list.

 While in Mexico he had been a member of the Presbyterian Church which he joined on 7 June 1855.  His picture with that of each of his two wives appeared on p.  33 of the “Grip’s”   for Mexico.  

 Sometime during 1868-78 Eliza had a child who was not buried in Mexico.  She had five children, only 2 of which survived, Addie and Sarah.  Neither of these women married.  The sisters are both buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery with their father.  John died 30 June 1900.  Also in the cemetery were their mother and stepmother Sarah who died 18 December 1895.  
 Children of John and Eliza Burrows:

1. Theodore Huston Burrows b. ca. Mexico, NY 1855
2. Addie C. Burrows                b. ca, Mexico, NY 1859; d. 1926.
3. Henry P. Burrows    b. ca. Mexico, NY  & d. 1859.
4. Baby    b. & d. between 1868-78 ??
5. Sarah Burrows   b. Mexico, NY 1864; d. 1924.
In 1903 John had a living sister in the Bahamas.

 Cemetery Census of the Town of Mexico, Oswego County, New York.  Mexico:  Mexico Historical Society, 1984.
 “Grip’s Historical Souvenir of Mexico.  Syracuse: 1903.
 Naval Historical Center Home Page.  Available [online]  http: // [27 December 2002]
 Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion.  Ser. 1, v. 3.  Washington: GPO, 1896.
 Simpson, Elizabeth M.  Mexico: Mother of Towns. Buffalo: Clement, 1949.
 Stoddard, Frances M. Genealogical History of the Allen Family.  Boston: 1891.
 U.S. Census Kings Co., NY for 1870.
 U.S. Census Oswego Co., NY for 1860 & 1880.
 WorldConnect Project.  Available [online] [26 December 2002]


Biography of Miles Doolittle & Widow Lucinda Doolittle, 
Mexico, NY

Part 1 – Miles

 In early Mexico late in 1799, there were only 12 families.  To have more than half of the men wiped out in one incident just about caused the end of  the settlement.  Luckily new people arrived in 1800, so the village stayed alive.

 Even today the crisis has not been forgotten.  Life on the frontier always hung by a hair.   So much could go wrong – and did.

 In the fall of 1799 Captain Geerman needed supplies.  He took a helper, 16- year old Welcome Spencer, and together they sailed north to Canada along the coastline of Lake Ontario across the St. Lawrence River to Kingston.  It was a routine journey so they thought.

 On the trip back the wind and waves pushed the boat onto the shore rocks.  Three weeks went by.  People left at Mexico had no way of  learning that the men were dead.  A light was seen out on Strong Island visible from Mexico.  Welcome Spencer’s father was frantic.  He believed his son was on Strong Island starving, hurt, needing aid.  He rounded up for more men including Miles Doolittle and they set off in haste on their mercy errand.

 They found no one, no trace as they went from isle to isle.  After they gave up and set sail for home, a huge wind came up and capsized the boat.  All hands drowned.  Seven out of 12 men in a few days were gone.  There was despair everywhere.  Many wanted to abandon the place.  Before spring, however, oxen drawn sleds brought new families and renewed hope.  

 Miles Doolittle had arrived in 1797.  He bought lot 68 and paid taxes on it in 1798.  In a special meeting of the town on 1 June 1798 Miles was elected Collector and Assessor for the town.  Young Miles was unmarried, but planned to make Mexico his home.

 After his death no heirs stepped forward.  In 1806 the town sold lot 68 to Joel Savage.  Apparently not much search was made for Miles’ heirs.  His father was still alive and not too far away.

 Without a DNA match it is not possible to be sure of Miles’ lineage, but here is his likely descent. In Kidderminster, England two brothers Abraham and John Doolittle were born and raised ca. 1620.  The parents moved to Birmingham where the boys grew to manhood.  The brothers decided to migrate to New England with their wives.  Both were staunch Puritans from all descriptions and subjected to persecution.

 Abraham arrived in Boston by 1640, but by 1642 he removed to New Haven, CT.  He was made a chief executive officer of the New Haven Colony when he was only 25 years old.  Seven times he was chosen as deputy from New Haven to the General Assembly in Hartford.

 In 1669 he was one of the first settlers of Wallingford, CT.  In 1673 he was a sergeant in the first militia which was needed against the Indians.  He died 11 August 1690.

 He wed in England Joanna Allen/Alling who died after 1659.  She was the mother of six children, about which more later.

 On 2 July 1663 at New Haven Abraham married again Abigail Moss who had seven children.  Their son Theophilus Doolittle, born 28 July 1678, was only 12 when his father died.  He wed on 5 January 1697/98 Thankful Hall.

 Their son Theophilus, born 20 June 1709, wed twice.  His second wife was Sarah Dorchester.  She had ten children.  Their son Elisaph, born 1 June 1750, wed twice.  He wed his second wife, Mabel Potter, on 8 April 1776 at Watertown, CT just before the outbreak of fighting against the British in Massachusetts.  In spite of the war, they had nine children.  Mabel’s oldest son was Miles Doolittle, born 16 February 1777 at Watertown.

 Elisaph settled land at Westmoreland in Oneida Co., NY, but did not move his family there.  In 1802 Elisaph [Jr.] settled in Camden, Oneida Co., NY. Another son Giles went to nearby Jefferson Co., NY.  It is reasonable to believe that brother Miles, the older son set off by 1797 and reached Mexico, finding it a beautiful place on the edge of Lake Ontario with an abundant river of salmon for food.  

 Even with the modern search engines of today no one claims to have found the death dates for this Miles.  His brothers named sons after him, but those Miles’ lives have been documented.  Only Elisaph and Mabel’s Miles still pose a mystery after all these years.  

 Miles Doolittle who drowned on the attempted rescue mission in 1799 at Mexico was the likely son of Elisaph and Mabel (Potter) Doolittle.

Part 2 – Widow Lucinda

 Mexico had one more Doolittle family settle there in the early years.  Oddly enough they enjoyed a similar lineage.  Did the new family know about Miles and his relationship to them?  Probably not.

 The original Abraham Doolittle born in England, wed his first wife, Joanne Allen/Alling in England.  After their arrival in Connecticut, she had six children.  
Abraham [Jr.] was born 12 February 1648/49 at New Haven.
 Young Abraham was reared a strict Puritan.  The family moved to Wallingford before he was twenty.  At that time there was not a fence, road, church, school, or store nearer than New Haven.  There were, however, plenty of wolves that attacked the cattle and sheep.  On 27 May 1672 Abraham was elected Constable.  He married Mary/Mercy Holt on 9 November 1680.  She was the daughter of William and Sarah Holt.  For a woman of her time, she was well educated and industrious.  She died on 1688, leaving four children.

 Her oldest son John, born 17 August 1681, was only 7 years old when his mother perished.  He grew up hearing stories of England and the local wolves.  On 28 February 1704/05 John wed Mary Fredericks.  They had eleven children.  John died on December 1746 at Cheshire, CT.

 Their oldest son was John, born 6 February 1711/12.  He wed Hannah Royce, settling at Wallingford also.  They had five children when John died in 1747.  Hannah was appointed Administrix of the estate and guardian of the younger children.  Her eldest son Philemon was made the ward of Solomon Royce.    

 Philemon, born 1 September 1738, wed on 5 January 1757 Lydia Hall.  In 1771 they removed to Blanford, MA.  In 1795 they went to what was called “Western, New York,” which was actually in Oneida County, NY.  Philemon and his sons Jared, John and Jesse were all enumerated in the 1800 Paris, NY census in separate households.

 Son Jesse, born 25 September 1778 at Blanford, wed Lucinda ______.  They had nine children.  According to family records these children were the following:

1. Persis L. Doolittle b. 32 August 1800.
2. Keziah L. Doolittle b. 10 September 1802.
3. Phebe R. Doolittle b. 31 August 1804; d. 16 July 1806.
4. Prudence Doolittle b. 28 July 1806.
5. Lucina Sophia Doolittle b. 9 October 1808.
6. Alta Maria Doolittle b. 15 January 1810; m. Who Mather.
7. Abigail Purna Doolittle b. 22 October 1812; d. 29 December 1830.
8. David Jesse Doolittle b. 20 May 1819.
9. Solomon l. Doolittle b. 14 December 1822.

Jesse died 23 March 1830 in Clinton, Oneida Co., NY.  Soon after Jesse’s death the Widow Lucinda took her family and settled them at Mexico, NY.  Her daughter Keziah married Mexico Widower David Goit.  Sadly Lucinda died in 1836.  She was buried in Mexico’s Primitive Cemetery.  Her daughter Persis died in 1846.  Se also was laid to rest in the Primitive Cemerty.

   In the 1850 Mexico census the household of David Goit showed:  

Goit, David –50-miller-NY-$7,000
Goit,Keziah –47-wife-NY
Goit, Mary –20 daughter-NY
Goit, Fortis – 20-son-NY
Goit, Mayarette –19-daughter-NY
Goit, Jenette –16-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Solomon –25-grocer-NY
In the Oswego 1850 census David Doolittle maintained another household.  The enumeration revealed:
Doolittle, David –31-farmer-NY
Doolittle, Sally –29-wife-NY
Doolittle, Maria –7-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Silva(?) –4-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Henriett [sic] –4-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Daniel – 6 months – son-NY
David’s wife was Sally Penfield.

At the age of 16 Solomon had become blind.  He was considered to be feeble by his family and lived near kin throughout his life.  He wed in March 1853 Maria E. Haskins.  Blind or not, he ran a business which Historian Elizabeth Simpson described as part “oyster saloon” and sweet shop. He knew his customers by their voice and step.  He flawlessly counted out change for coin money. 

Mexico, like many wooden towns, suffered many fires over the years.  The town had just started their own fire company to try to combat flames more effectively than a bucket brigade of volunteers.  But another huge blaze started on 10 March 1861.  It swept a row of buildings where Solomon did business.  No one was hurt, but the store was lost.  Solomon was wiped out.  He worked no more.

Sister Keziah Goit died in 1856.  She was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery.  Her sister Prudence died in 1860.  She was buried in the Primitive Cemetery.

In the 1870 Oswego census David Doolittle still lived near town on his farm.

Doolittle, David –51-farmer-NY-$1500
Doolittle, Sally –49-wife-NY
Doolittle, Albert –9-son-NY
By 1880 David and Sally (Penfield) Doolittle lived alone in Oswego.  At age 61 David continued to farm.  He died before 1901.  On 11 January 1901 the Utica Saturday Globe newspaper ran the following obituary: “Oswego, Jan. 11 – Mrs. Sally Doolittle, wife of the late David Doolittle, of Oswego Town, died at the home of her daughter Mrs. J.B. Millot, the early part of the week.  She was born in Oneida County 80 years ago and moved to this county when a young girl.  She leaves two children, Albert Doolittle, of Minetto, and Mrs. Millot, of Oswego.  She was the sister of Chester Penfield of this city, and of Mrs. Sidney Goodnow, of Oswego town and Mrs. William, Dundon of Auburn….”   

In the 1880 Oswego census the household of John B. Millot was enumerated.  John settled in Oswego in 1859.  Born in Jefferson County of a French father and a German mother, he ran a hotel and brewery on the corner of West Bridge St. & Water.

  Millott, John B. – 42-brewer-NY  
  Millot, Henrietta –34-wife-NY
  Millot, Mabel E. –11-daughter-NY
  Millot, Frederick C. –23-brother-NY
Henrietta’s brother Albert R. Doolittle wed Elizabeth Furness(?).  They lived in Minetto from at least 1901 through 1930.  Albert ran a farm.  In the 1930 Minetto census Albert, age 68, and Elizabeth, age 64, had been joined by John R. Furness, age 84, called a brother-in-law.

In the 1880 Mexico census Solomon., age 57, and his wife Maria, age 51, were living with Cora Moore, age 18, a niece, and Albert C. Moore, age 14, a nephew.  The Moore children were not related through the Doolittles.  They were likely Maria’s kin.  Albert C. Moore wed Mary Burgess.  He worked on the railroad in the 1920’s.  They lived at 80 W. Niagara St., Oswego.

Solomon died in 1896.  His wife Maria died three years later in 1899.  They were both buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery.  Her maiden name was included in her tombstone.


Allen, O.P. Abraham Doolittle and Some of his Descendants. Newport: Tilley, 1893.
Cemetery Census of the Town of Mexico, Oswego County, New York.  Mexico: Mexico Historical Society, 2002.
Cutter, William Richard.  New England Families Genealogical and Memorial, v.4.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1996.  
International Genealogical Index.  Available [online] [15 April 2004].
Johnson, Crisfield.  History of Oswego County, New York.  Philadelphia: Evarts, 1877.
Pike, Elizabeth et al.  Pioneer History of the Town of Camden.  1897.
Obituary of Sally (Penfield) Doolittle, Utica Saturday Globe, 11 January 1901.
Simpson, Elizabeth.  Mexico: Mother of Towns.  Buffalo: Clement, 1949.
U.S. Census, Paris, Oneida Co., NY 1800.
U.S. Census, Mexico, Oswego Co., NY 1850 & 1880.
U.S. Census, Minetto, Oswego Co., NY 1920 & 1930.
U.S. Census, Oswego, Oswego Co., NY 1850, 1870, 1880 & 1920.
WorldConnect Project.  Available [online] [15 April 2004].

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