Biography of John Sayles, Oswego Co., NY  
Oswego Co., NY
Many thanks to Esther M. Rancier for all her hard work and time put into these biographies of Oswego County, NY families.   It is much appreciated.  There are many more coming online. 
      Conrad Seel, born in the Palatinate area of Germany near the Rhine Valley, was the father of Frans/Francis Seel who came to America with the early Palatine immigrants to New York State. He settled at East Camp, Albany Co., NY. He wed Elizabeth Sophia Bartel in 1746 at Tarbush, NY. German speaking Lutheran pastors were in short supply so they traveled from location to location. They often only recorded marriages at their home church, in this case the Loonenburg Church, now called the Zion Lutheran Church of Athens at Athens, Greene Co., NY. Elizabeth was the daughter of Andrew/Johan Andreas Bartel and Sophia Elizabeth Mertz. Andrew was born ca. 1692 in Epstein Commune, Darmstadt, Germany. 

      Elizabeth and Francis had four children, all born in East Camp, now called Germantown, Columbia Co., NY. Their son Johan/John Seel/Sales, born 1751, married Annatje/Hannah Westfall, a Dutch girl, daughter of Wouter/Walter Westfall and Jannatie Piers from Ulster Co., NY. By 1775 they were residents of Hoosick, NY now in Rensselaer County. They had seven children. During the Revolutionary War John served in the Albany County New York Militia in the 13th Regiment. His name was spelled "Sayles" on the military rolls, possibly for the first time. They were enumerated in the first U.S. census of 1790 at Hoosick, 2-2-5, four males and five females. 

      Between 1791/1800 the family moved to Montgomery County, NY in the Mohawk Valley, John resided with his son-in-law Jacob Cronkhite and his daughter Elizabeth plus John’s wife Hannah and two younger Sales children at Charleston, NY. His youngest son John, baptized in 1784 at Gilead Lutheran Church, Brunswick, NY, married in 1806 in the First Reform Dutch Church of Charleston (now located in Glen, NY) Catherine Pauter.

      John, the father, bought land in Bloomfield, Ontario Co., NY (now called Victor, NY). The land was on the west bank of Mud Creek. His youngest son John does not go to Victor, settling instead at Warren, Herkimer Co., NY.

      In 1821 the father John Sales wrote his will signing his name "Johan Seel". He named each of his children, leaving each $1. His farm and the residue of his estate went to his youngest daughter.

      Young John and his wife Catherine plus one son and two daughters were enumerated in the 1810 census of Warren, NY. In 1812 the town of Warren was divided with 220 families becoming the Town of Columbia. During the War of 1812 John served in the 27th New York Militia Regiment headed by Shoemaker. 

      About 1816 the family removed to Vermilion, Oswego Co., NY, according to

Historian John C. Churchill. In 1820 at Volney, Oswego Co., NY a son Francis was born who died on 23 December 1824, according to the IGI. In the 1820's the couple had two more sons. The family was enumerated at Volney in the 1820 and 1830 censuses.

      Their oldest son John, Jr., born ca. 1808 in Montgomery County, wed in 1832 Margaret Knight. She had a daughter Adeline and a son Manville, but she died in childbirth on 8 June 1840. John remarried ca. 1842 Adaline Loomis. 

      On 3 January 1836 John and Catherine’s daughter Angeline, born ca. 1815, wed Guy P. Loomis. She had the following children: Charles Comstock, born 11 September 1837; Margaret A., born 4 June 1840; Olive V., born 7 September 1843; Lydia A., born 2 February 1847; Perry John , born 21 May 1851; and Warren Henry, born 10 April 1855. Angeline died in 1877 at Palermo. 

      John and Catherine’s daughter Rachel, born 15 November 1810, was christened on 23 February 1811 at Lutheran St. Pauls Church, Minden, Montgomery Co., NY, according to the IGI. This event was entered under the names "Rachel Sail, daughter of John and Catharina Sail". Nothing further was found.

      Son Guy D. Sales, born 12 April 1817 according to thte IGI, wed _______ who gave birth to son Chauncey S. Sales. The unknon wife died before the 1840 Palermo census. Guy married again ca. 1842 Mary ____.

      In the 1840 Palermo census John and Catherine lived with 2 males and one female who were likely sons Gerrit and Lewis plus an unknown female servant. Gerrit wed ca. 1846 Adaline L. Johnson from Butterfly, NY, according to the IGI. She gave birth to son David ca. 1848, dying 10 March 1849.

      By the 1850 Palermo census Gerrit had become the head of household. His wife was deceased. The census showed the following Palermo households for the family.

      Sales, Gerrit -26-farmer-NY-$3000

      Osterhout, Cornelia -18-servant-NY

      Sales, David -2-son-NY

      Sales, Marcus -14-unknown-NY

      Sales, John -67-father-NY

      Sales, Catherine -64-mother-NY


      Sales, Lewis -23-farmer-NY-$850

      Sales, Phebe-18-wife-NY

      Lewis H. Sales, born ca. 1827, had wed on 12 June 1849 according to the IGI. He married Phebe S. Loomis, born 12 August 1831, the daughter of Raysford Loomis and Ruth Parren. Raysford died on 22 May 1867 in Palermo.


      Sales, Guy G. -33-farmer-NY-$1200

      Sales, Mary -29-wife-NY

      Sales, Chauncey S. -14-son-NY

      Sales, Harvey W. -1-son-NY


      Sales, John, Jr. -41-farmer-NY-$7000

      Sales, Adeline [sic] -29-wife-NY

      Sales, Adeline [sic] -16-daughter-NY

      Sales, Immanuel [sic] -9-son-NY

      Father John died 29 September 1858, age 74, in Palermo. His son John, Jr. Died on 7 November 1859, age 51, in Palermo. Both were buried in the Sayles Corners Cemetery, Palermo.

      The 1860 Palermo census enumerations showed changes. One of the most striking was the new spelling of the family name: Sayles. Most of the sons used the new spelling. The original Sayles family were English who settled in Rhode Island, but when they came into New York State particularly in Rensselaer County, they encountered the German Seel/Sales family. It was at this time that the colonies became the United States and there was a wave of sentiment about becoming Americans that affected people especially in New York where the Dutch and German families altered their names to sound more American, to belong as they hadn’t before. As more records were done only in English the new spellings became permanent. Soon after 1880 the Sales spelling was dropped entirely. There were still three family households.

      Sayles, Catherine -72-widow-NY-$1200

      Austin, Eliza -54-helper?-NY


      Sayles, Adaline -39-widow-NY-$2675

      Sayles, Malvern [sic] -20-son-NY

      Sayles, Mary -18-daughter-NY


      Sayles, Lewis -33-blank-NY-$3500

      Sayles, Phebe -28-wife-NY

      Sayles, Ellie -7-daughter-NY

      Sayles, Frank -4-son-NY

      plus one teacher being boarded

      Catherine (Pauter) Sales died on 24 February 1863, age 85. She was buried in the Sayles Corners Cemetery, Palermo, with her husband and son John, Jr.

      Before 1870 Lewis moved his family into Mexico, NY, a few miles away. The 1870 census showed the following:

      Sayles, Lewis -42-farmer-NY-$7245

      Sayles, Phoebe [sic] -38-wife-NY

      Sayles, Ella -17-daughter-NY

      Sayles, Frank -14-son-NY

      Sayles, Mina -6-daughter-NY

      In 1869 Phebe S. (Loomis) Sayles had a daughter Gertie M. who lived 12 days only. She was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery, Also buried there was their son Warren L. Sayles, who died at age 2 months, probably in 1860 soon after their arrival in Mexico. There appeared to be a typographical error in the Cemetery Census for the town. 

      Lewis H. Sayles prospered in Mexico opening a hardware store which were popular at the time because they offered factory made, uniform goods at cheap prices. The family was enumerated in the 1880 Mexico census.

      Sales, Lewis -52-hardware merchant-NY

      Sales, Febe [sic] -48-wife-NY

      Sales, Mina -16-daughter-NY

      Dooley, Lizzey -23-servant-CAN

      Also residing in Mexico was the son of John, Jr. He was enumerated in the 1880 census.

      Sayues [sic], Manvill [sic] -F -40-gentleman-NY

      Sayles, John M -2-son-NY

      Sayles, Adeline -59-stepmother-NY

      Manville F. Sayles, born 1 June 1840 in Palermo, was the son of Margaret (Knight) Sales, the first wife of John Sales, Jr. According to the IGI, he wed on 20 June 1876 in Rock, WI Olive E. Antisdel who died on 27 May 1878 in childbirth. Manville’s stepmother assisted with his son until her death on 8 March 1895. Manville’s sister Adaline, born 1833, wed Hiram Warren Loomis, a member of the New York State Assembly in Albany among other distinguished positions. She died in 1907 and was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery along with her husband. Dates of her birth and death were taken from her tombstone. She had three sons. The eldest Ira died at age 34. The two younger, Elmer H, Loomis and Fred M. Loomis had very successful academic careers. Elmer became the chair of the Physics Department, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

      Brother Guy D. Sayles and his wife Mary remained in Palermo on their farm. They were enumerated in 1880. Mary died soon after the census on 29 July 1880. Guy passed on 3 December 1881.

      Lewis’ wife Phebe died in 1882. In the 1910 census Lewis H. Sayles, retired farmer, age 83, had remarried to Lovisa A., age 74. They lived in Ward 14, Syracuse, NY. Lewis died soon after the census. He was buried with his wife in the Mexico Village Cemetery.

      Also in 1910 Lewis and Phebe’s daughter Mina, age 46, who never married, was enumerated at Ward 6, Hartford, CT. She lived as a roomer working as a stenographer at an insurance company. Mina died at age 65 in 1929. She became the last Sayles burial in the Mexico Village Cemetery where all the tombstones used the spelling: Sayles. 

      Special thanks are due Kathy Miller <kathybluecat@bellsouth,net> for her outstanding and detailed research on the Seel family which she made available to all. This research should be consulted as it is rich with data not included in this short sketch. Care should be taken with the IGI entries as there was considerable error in the many duplicate records which had no documentation or source given. 


      Cemetery Census of the Town of Mexico, Oswego County, New York. Mexico: Mexico Historical Society, 2002.

      Churchill, John C. Landmarks of Oswego County, New York. Syracuse: Mason, 1895.

      Documentary History of New York, v. 3. (LDS microfilm #0896505 item 1).

      Fagan, Rose Marie, Ann Guiffre and Mary Joan Snyder. A History of Victory, New York. Victor: History Committee of the Victor Bicentennial Commission, 1976.

      First Reformed Dutch Church (Glen, N.Y.) Records, 1799-1882. (LDS microfilm #0534217).

      International Genealogical Index. Available [online] [6 May 2005]

      Jones, Henry Z. The Palatine Families of New York. v. 1. Rockport: Picton, 1985.

      Loomis, Elias. Descendants of Joseph Loomis in America. New Haven: Tuttle, 1880.

      N.Y. Comptroller’s Office. New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, v. 2. Albany: Lyon, 1904.

      Records of Zion’s Evangelical Luthern Church at Athens, Greene County, New York, 1704-1872. (LDS microfilm #0533478 items 1-5).

      Schaghticoke Dutch Reformed Church Records. (LDS microfilm #0017919 item 1).

      U.S. Census Hartford, Hartford Co., CT 1910.

      U.S. Census Warren, Herkimer Co., NY 1810.

      U.S. Census Charleston, Montgomery Co., NY 1800 & 1810.

      U.S. Census Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY 1910.

      U.S. Census Mexico, Oswego Co., NY 1870 & 1880.

      U.S. Census Palermo, Oswego Co., NY 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870 & 1880.

      U.S. Census Volney, Oswego Co., NY 1820 & 1830.

      U.S. Census Hoosick, Rensselaer Co., NY 1790.

      Vosburgh, Royden W. Records of the Gilead Evangelical Luthern Church at Center Brunswick, in the Town of Brunswick, Rensselaer County, New York. (LDS microfilm #0534202 items 2-3).

      War of 1812 Service Records. Available [online] [7 May 2005].

      WorldConnect Project. Available [online] [5 May 2005]. 


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