THE PADGET/PAGET FAMILY IN AMERICA
The name of Padget, or sometimes Padgett, is a corruption of the name of Paget in England. The Paget family came from France, and the name meant "little page." When Lucy Adams married Horace Padget in 1898, she reverted to the spelling of Paget, and some of their children followed the practice in school. Finally, the high school principal suggested that they get together on the spelling, and they chose Padget.
Horace Padget's sister, Frances, always used the spelling of Paget. She married a well-known educator, Dr. William Price. On her death in 1940, her husband having preceded her in death, she left her estate, including the family home that she had inherited from her father and 32 acres of land, to establish a home for retired Presbyterian ministers.
The first Padgets in America emigrated from England just before the American Revolution, probably in 1772, since John and Hannah Padget brought with them their four year old son, John the second, born in England in 1768. Their marriage had not been pleasing to the parents of John Padget's wife, since they considered her above him in rank. Descendents spoke of her as a lady-in-waiting to the queen, her name mentioned as Hannah Wilson. Presumably there was later a reconciliation, as manifested by gifts of silver sent from England.
The statements regarding John Padget's wife would be interesting to research. What ship brought them to America and where did they land? We know only that they came to Oxford, New York, very early in that town's history. They settled near Walker's Corners in the east part of the town and had several children, all born in the town of Oxford. One of their daughters was named Hannah, an uncommon name at that time and somewhat supporting the supposition that such was the given name of the mother, wife of John the first.
Near where the Padgetts settled in Oxford is a brook which bears their name. Beartrap Falls came by its name in connection with the death in the autumn of 1800 of William Padget, son of John 1st, caught in a primitive bear trap at that site. John Padget 2nd married Anna Preston of Oxford, whose parents had come from Vermont. She died in 1823 and he in 1834, both in Oxford.
The Padgets had come to a wilderness inhabited by Indians, but settlers from New England were beginning to come in, having heard of fine land in faraway "Chenango country." The Chenango canal, running through the center of what would become the village of Oxford, would be an important waterway between Utica and Binghamton. But the first settlers, including the Padgets, had to clear the land, build a log cabin, and depend on fish and wild game as their main food until harvest of the first crops.
The "Chenango 20 Towns" were ceded to New York by the Oneida Indians in a treaty made by Gov. George Clinton at Fort Schuyler (Utica) in 1788. The land was surveyed after the Revolution and sold at public auction in New York in lots a mile square. A price of four shillings and one penny an acre is mentioned, and many of the officers of the Revolutionary army were obliged to take payment for their services in land.
John Padget 3rd, one of eight children of John 2nd and Anna Preston, was born in Oxford, New York on October 15, 1808. Little is known of him, except that he was called "a good man," a Methodist, and apparently an itinerant preacher. He married Almira Scott, born at Unadilla, a village in the Chenango Valley, September 23, 1806. They were married June 13, 1832 and lived at Unadilla, Oxford, Bainbridge, and finally at Ninevah, all in the same area. They were buried at Ninevah in a plot with two unmarried children, Henry Ogden and Sarah Almira Emma.
A granddaughter of John Padget 3rd, Vesta Padget Robinson, remembers him for a favorite expression of his, "Oh, well, you can catch more flies with molasses than you can with vinegar." She remembers, too, hearing him tell that his father, John 2nd, had double teeth all around his mouth, so strong that he could pick up a barrel by the bung and lift it off the ground.
Almira Scott, wife, of John 3rd, was the daughter of Esq. Silas Scott (always termed "Esquire" in the records) and Sarah, daughter of Philemon Lee of Unadilla. Silas and Seth Scott, brothers, had arrived at Unadilla about 1796. Silas Scott died January 1, 1838, according to his tombstone in the old burying ground.
Besides a son who died in infancy and two unmarried children, John and Almira Scott Padget had a son, Leonard L., born in 1834 at Unadilla, who married Sarah A. Titus at Sandford, New York, in 1859.
Also, Silas Edgar Padget was born February 22, 1836 at Unadilla. He married Frances Ingersoll, daughter of James and Lucinda Ballou Ingersoll, at Owego, New York on February 24, 1863 and died on May 13, 1916.
Silas Edgar, always known in the family as "Z" and later in life as Grandpa Z, was considered very well educated for his day. He attended the Oxford Academy, chartered in 1794 as one of the first four academies to be chartered by the state of New York west of the Hudson River. It gained a wide reputation for scholarship, and its boarding students came from all sections of the country.
Family records tell that Z, driving a team and peddling lightning rods for a man in or near Ninevah, came to Owego, New York, in Tioga County. He sold lightning rods to Moses Ingersoll, whose wife, Adaline, liked the young man and suggested that he come to teach at the local school.
It is said that his decision was influenced by his immediate attraction to a young girl, Frances Ingersoll, niece of Moses, a very pretty girl with a complexion that gave her the nickname of "Pink." She was nine-and-a-half years younger than he and one of the pupils of the new schoolmaster. Ivory Foster, who married Frances' sister, Lillian, used to tell with a chuckle how Pink soon came walking up over Bodle Hill from school with the new schoolmaster at her side.
They were married at Owego on February 24, 1863, lived for a few years at Ninevah, then returned to Owego, where they bought a home near the school where Z would teach his children. They lived there for the rest of their lives, members of the Presbyterian Church of Owego. Frances died August 12, 1911. Silas died May 13, 1916. Both were buried at Broadway Cemetery near Owego.
Vesta Padget Robinson writes the following description of her father: "Father was a large man, smart, quick tempered, nervous, ambitious, a great reader. He had thick, heavy, curly black hair." He was keenly interested in politics and named a son for the man of the day whom he admired, Horace Greeley. His nephew, Fred Foster, remembers "Z" as a very well-read man, greatly interested in public affairs, and as a very sarcastic man.
Frances Ingersoll Padget was born November 30, 1845, daughter of James and Lucinda Ballou Ingersoll. The Ingersoll Family in America 1629, a book with genealogical information available in public libraries, records Moses, who had served under his father, Capt. Peter Ingersoll, in the Revolution, as first of the line in Owego. He came from Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1790.
Lucinda Ballou was the daughter of Stephen Ballou, who came from Vermont to Preston, Chenango County. Stephen was a brother of the Rev. Hosea Ballou, called "justly regarded as the most distinguished Ballou in America," especially in the Universalist church. Two biographies of him exist.
Of her mother, Vesta Padget Robinson writes, "Frances Ingersoll had only a district school education, but was a great reader of good literature. During the years her husband served in the Civil War, she taught his school. She was a strong character in her home and community, loved and respected by all."
It is indicative of Silas Edgar and Frances Padget's appreciation of the importance of education that, at a time when high school was generally accepted as sufficient for children, four of their five children went beyond that level. Two sons went through medical school, Vesta to Cortland Normal School, and Frances to Elmira College.
Children of Silas Edgar and Frances Ingersoll Padget were:
Gurdon Edgar, born April 24, 1865, married Frances Easton of Candor, New York in 1903 and graduated from the College of Medicine, Syracuse University, in 1904. He was a physician in Cuyler, New York for 40 years. He died May 3, 1944 and was buried at Candor. He was survived by one daughter, Mrs. Elmer (Frances) Randall of Cuyler.
Florence, born October 10, 1868, died in infancy.
Lyman Alexis, born May 11, 1871, died May 17, 1941. No survivors.
Horace Greeley Padget, born November 26, 1872, married December 28, 1898, died April 29, 1935, buried in Tully. Survived by five sons, five daughters.
Vesta, born November 3, 1877, married James R. Robinson, died December 10, 1953, buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Owego. Survived by one son, J. Riker Robinson.
Frances, born July 23, 1879, died April 26, 1940, buried at Broadway Cemetery, Owego. No survivors.
Compiled by Lucie Padget Panshin from
Annals of Oxford and family records
Note: As our recent research has shown, there are several errors in this account, mainly resulting from its reliance on the Annals of Oxford in the early portions: John Padget and Hannah Wilson's children were all born before they came to Oxford. William Padget probably died in 1798, not 1800. Anna Preston's parents did not come from Vermont and she died in 1824, not 1823. John Padget, Jr. and Anna Preston had thirteen children, not eight.
Also, Lucie does not appear to have known of Gurdon Padgett's first wife and the two children by that marriage, or of Lyman Padgett's daughter, Florence.
Return to Genealogy
Return to Trogholm