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Breese Ancestry - Part II

I now come to my line:

Samuel Breese, born April 17, 1758; died July21, 1837. Married Hannah Pierson, daughter of Wyllis Pierson, born Feb. 15, 1760; died April 9, 1817. They were married and had children, to wit:

  1. Wyllis, born March 18, 1781; died Oct. 17, 1853.
  2. Daniel, born May 11, 1783; died May 19, 1864.
  3. Mary, born May 23, 1785; died Dec. 21, 1871.
  4. Lot, born January 8, 1788; died May 1868.
  5. These were all born in New Jersey.

  6. Ezra, born June 13, 1790; died June 28, 1869.
  7. Elizabeth, born March 27, 1793; died Oct. 22, 1871.
  8. John, born August 28, 1795; died March 12, 1879.
  9. Henry, born December 21, 1797; died Oct. 21, 1875.
  10. Samuel, born Oct. 6, 1802; died Dec. 13, 1875.

This family exhibits a most extraordinary case of longevity. These last named married as follows, and all had families of children.

Wyllis Breese married Polly Quick
Daniel Breese married Abigail Love
Mary Breese married Samuel La France
Lot Breese married Falla Jenkins
Ezra Breese married Sarah Whisler
Elizabeth Breese married James Jenkins
John Breese married Jerusha Johnston
Henry Breese married Sarah Johnston
Samuel Breese married Sarah Woodward

My descent is from Elizabeth and James Jenkins.

The three whose families I lhave given and who are our ancestors, all served in the revolutionary ware on the side of their country in behalf of her liberties.

John was a soldier in Captain William Bond’s company, in the 4th battalion, 2nd Establishment in New Jersey line. He was in the expedition commanded by Major General Sullivan against the Six Nations and passed over the ground where Horseheads now stands on September 1st, 1779. His colonel was Ephriam Martin.

Henry Breese was also a Revolutionary soldier in Captains Henry Luce’s company, 2nd Battalion, New Jersey line; also in Captains Stillwell’s company, 4th Regiment, Hunterdon company; also in state troops.

Samuel Breese was also a Revolutionary soldier. He gives this account of his services under oath: "He was called out in 1776. He served one tour previous to the battle of log Island; one tour at the battle of August, 1776; one tour when Jersey was over-run in December, 1776; one tour when general Burgoyne was taken in October, 1777; one tour or month at the Battle of Bound Brook, which he was in; one tour at the battle of Spanktown, with he was in; one tour at the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778; one tour general Lee was taken at Elizabeth Town Point and on tour at Pluckemin, making in all ten months or tours. His officers were Colonel Frelinghuysen, Captain Andrew Kirkpatrick, Gaman McCoy, et al. At time of service his was a resident of Barnard township, Somerset county, N.J. In the year 1780-81 was under Pomeroy forage Mater Morristown for four months.

As to the time when John Breese removed to and settled at Horseheads there seems to be some discrepancy of dates, which it would be interesting to have removed, but which I am aware it would be difficult to do with entire satisfaction.

John L. Sexton, Jr. in his sketches of Elmira, Horseheads, etc., says of Horseheads: "The first permanent settler of Horseheads was John Breese, who came here in 1787, and built a house in 1788." And again: "John Breese first settled in Horseheads in 1798." "Asa Gildersleeve, his brother-in –law, settled in 1790." "The first white child born in Horseheads was Sarah Breese, Feb. 18, 1789."

Elmira Gazette. Vol. 11, No. 4 Published 1874. The history of Horseheads written by DeWitt C. Curtis, Esq. and published in the "Elmira and Horseheads Directory", July, 1868, in the "Historical Sketch of Horseheads", page 2, etc., gives a fuller and somewhat different account from that given by Sexton of the first settlement of the village.

He makes the arrival of John Breese on the flats about two mile below Elmira, to have been June, 1787. "In 1789 he, with his family moved to Horseheads. On the 18th of February, in the same year, Mrs. Breese gave birth to a daughter who was named Sarah, who is still living, -- 1868—and is the widow of the late John Jackson". She was probably born on the Lebens Hammond place below Elmira before the removal of Horseheads. "She was undoubtedly the first white child born in Chemung Valley".

I leave the further elucidation of the history of John Breese and his family to your local historian, who should be better able to give us all the facts bearing upon the case, with this addition on my part.

Dr. D. William Patterson gives the data of John Breese’s coming to Chemung valley as 1789.

Without undertaking to dicide which of these statements are correct, I will give a copy of a record of the concurrent period, made by my granfather, Smuel Breese, who may be Presumed to have known somewhat of the history he was writing: On the third day of June, 1789, John Breese, Henry Breese and Samuel Breese, Sons of John Breese and Dorothy Riggs, left their home in New Jersey and migrated to Pennsylvania, taking their families with them. John had married Hannah Gildersleeve and Samuel had married Hannah Pierson and four children.

They arrived at Wilkesbarre on the 11th of June, 1789. On account of the unsettled condition of land titles at wyoming, John passed up the river, stopping for a year or two at Hammond’s place below Elmira, and finally came to a satisfactory place at Horseheads, where he bought and settled for life, and where at his death he left a fine property and a long line of descendants.

Soon after their arrival in Wyoming Valley, to wit, on the 15th day of July, 1789, Henry and Samuel bought of Parshall Terry two lots of land in Kingston township, to wit, meadow lot No. 19, containing 50 acres, and back lot No. 8 in the 45th division, containing 50 acres, and back lot No. 3 in the 4th division, containing 170 acres, which on account of defective title they conveyed back to Terry on the 1st of April, 1791, when Henry returned to New Jersey. Hearing of good reports from his bother John in reference to the land at Horseheads, he moved with his family to that locality, near which he settled and remained until his death in 1834, leaving a long line of descendants.

Samuel remained in Wilkesbarre, near the Parsons place, until the purchase of the farm Terry, when he moved onto that place, and made his home there until they sold back to Terry some two years after. He remained and continued an inhabitant of Kinston township in the now borough of Wyoming, until his death on July 21, 1837. He left nine children and they and their Husbands and wives were all living at the time of his death.

He left a valuable property and a long line of descendants.

IF the story told by samuel Breese, as to the time when he and his brothers, John and Henry, left New Jersey and their arrival at Wyoming, and that of John in the Chemung Valley be true, then we are here today celebrating the centinnial of the arrival of John Breese and his family in the Chemung Valley, and although we may not be gathered on the spot of his first stop in the valley, yet we are on or near the place of his first purchase of land, and the building by him of a home, and the clearing away of the wilderness, which covered these plains. That he was a pioneer of this region there is no doubt, and no one has been able to dispute successfully the claim that he was the pioneer settler of this region.

In an obituary notice of William Buchanan, a cousin of President Buchanan, who died in Elmira at the age of 90, on April 19, 1874, and who married Phebe, daughter of Henry Breese, it is stated that "He was born Jan. 12, 1784, between Elmira and Horseheads, near the Center Mills." If this be true, he and his father’s family lead all competitors in the claims as pioneers of this region. But I think there is some mistake in this statement. It is not sustained by any other authority I have seen.

The following mention I find in relation to other persons of the name, for whom I have not been able to find a place, in our line,, although they may belong there, at least some of them. Some may have been descendants from Henry.

Samuel Breese was colonel of a regiment of New Jersey militia, from Monmouth County. He resigned July 9, 1776. He was one of a committee at Allentown, N.J., who were addressed by the Committee of Safety at Philadelphia October 14, 1776, at or near Shrewsbury. --- Supposed to be a son of Sidney

There was a Garett Breese of Somerset County, a member of Captain Mead’s company, First Regiment, NJ, in Revolutionary War, and a Timothy Breese, captain and conductor of the Team Brigade, N. J., Revolutionary War.

There were two by the name of John Breese in service in the Revolutionary war. On of whom was from Somerset County, and the other from Monmouth.

There was a Nehemiah Breese at Sunbury, Northumberland County, PA, on July 2 1775, surveying the Sneager’s tract, now Chappell’s Hollow. On August 12, 1775, he surveyed Thomas Smith’s tract fo Joseph Green, latterly know as Bellas’, on Penn Creek.

John Breese was private in 7th Company, Captain Jacob Weaver, 10th Regiment Pennsylvania, Revolutionary war. He died in Mason County, Ky., Aug. 27, 1827, aged 79.

James B. Breese, 2nd Lieutenant Marine Corps. Born in Illinois and appointed from that state. Entered service March 18, 1864. On board Receiving Ship Vermont in 1867.

S. Livingston Breese, Lieutenant Commander and Inspector of Navy Yard at Pensacola, Fla., in 1867. Born in Illinois. Resides in Pennsylvania. Entered service May 14, 1846. Present commission July 18, 1862. Time in service 1867, 20 years, 8 months.

E. Marshall Breese, Engineer U. S. Navy, born in Delaware. Resided in Detroit, Mich. Entered service March 25, 1862. Present commission , July 25, 1866. Time of service 1867, 4 years, 9 months. A grandson of Ezra Breese of Wyoming, PA.

Rear Admiral Samuel L. Breese, born in New York. Residence in Pennsylvania. Entered service December 17, 1862. In service in 1867, 55 years, 4 months.

Died, September 1, 1884, at Newport, R. I. Mrs. Lucy Ann Breese, widow of the late Purser Thomas Breese, United States Navy, and a daughter of the late R.K.Randolph, in her 81st year. She was the mother of the late Captain K. Randolph Breese, of the United States Navy.

K. Randolph Breese, born in Pennsylvania. Appointed from Rhode Island, and a resident of R. I. Entered service Nov. 6, 1846. Date of commission as commander , July 25, 1866. He had 16 year of sea service. Total service on May 2, 1867, 20 years, 2 months.

Records of Trinity church, Newport, R. I.: Married Feb. 1, 1778, John Breese to Elizabeth Walbone. –Steuben Jenkins.


Addional History Sketch, author unknown,

attached to the orginal written by Jenkins

The historical reminiscences connected with the early settlement and subsequent development of Horseheads, constitute and interesting chapter in the history of Chemung Valley. Its settlement date back to the time when that powerful confederation of Indians known as the Six Nations, held almost undisputed sway over Central and Southern New York. Although we are unable to state, with certainty, that the immediate locality of the village was settled by white men, prior to the advent of the expedition under General Sullivan, it is certain that very soon thereafter the white pioneer was found erecting his log cabin, and cultivating with rude implement, the soil where now stands the flourishing village of Horseheads. The contest for the supremacy between the white settler and the wily Indian, was sharp and bitter, but victory of the forces under General Sullivan, on the 29th of August, 1779, near the residence of the late Dr. Everett, in Chemung, and the successful pursuit and dispersion of the vanquished foe, into the wilds beyond the Chemung Valley, gave peace and quiet to the early settler.

The name of this village not infrequently elicits remarks from those unacquainted with the history of its early settlement. General Sullivan found the plains surrounding the village a convenient spot on which to rendezvous his tired soldiery and jaded cavalry. After having sufficiently punished the Indians for their attacks upon the inoffensive settlers, and their horrible massacre in the Wyoming Valley, he encamped on these plains. The forage for the horses attached to the expedition having been nearly exhausted, and many having become unserviceable, an order was issued on the 25th of September 1779, by the officer in command, that a large number should be killed. The bleaching bones of the horses killed in pursuance of this order, especially their heads, were found by those who, a few years thereafter visited here. These circumstances gave the locality the name of Horseheads. It is said the Indians, after the forces of General Sullivan lift , arranged the bones of these Horses’ heads along side the path, to indicate, doubtless, the probable fate that would await any adventurous white man that should pass that way. This name, though not as euphonious as some, is still cherished, by especially the older citizens, with great respect, and efforts to change it have always met with very decided opposition.

The New York State Gazetteer states that on Nathan Huntingon, fist settled here in 1788, but upon what authority is not given, and upon investigation we are unable to find any one of the old settlers who came here about the same year that have any knowledge of a man by that name as settling here at that time. The better opinion is therefore, that John Breese with his wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Gildersleeve, and eight children, came from Somerset County, New Jersey. They started in the spring of that year,, traveling through the wilds of Northern Pennsylvania till they reached the Wyoming Valley. Taking the river at Wyoming, they followed it to Tioga Point, stopping a few days here to rest, with an acquaintance, they embarked again, and coming up the Chemung, stopped at the Flats, About a mile and half below the present city of Elmira, arriving in June, 1787.

Mr. Breese found settler had already preceded him. They were Lebeus Hammond, Lebeus Hmpton, Smauel Tubbs, and Phineas Stephens. Of these, Samuel Tubbs had a family. These settlers, having ascertained that Mrs. Breese received them under a tent, constructed from the cloth covering of their traveling wagon; and here, with the old family chest for at table, was held the first tea party in the Chemung Valley.

Mr. Breese, not content that his wife should bear all the honors of the occasion, brought out his case of 12 three pint bottles of rum he had brought from New Jersey – all the party tin basins. And it is still a question which his numerous descendants are unable to answer, which the company best enjoyed. – the delicious flavor of Mrs. B’s old hyson, or the exhilarating contents of Mr. B’s New Jersey case of three pint bottles.

Mr. Breese, thereafter, arrived about on year prior to the coming of Colonel Hendy, in April, 1788.

In 1789 Mr. Breese, with his family, came to Horseheads, building the first log house, which he located on the east side of the road leading from the river to Seneca lake, on the farm now owned by Civilian Brown, a short distance south of the village.

On the 18th day of February, in the same year, Mrs. Breese gave birth to a daughter, who is still living, and is the widow of the late John Jackson. She was, undoubtedly, the first white person born in the Chemung valley. Though now in her 80th year, her recollection of the events of her childhood, and occurrences in the vicinity, seems as fresh as though they had happen but yesterday.

Azariah Breese, a brother of Mrs. Jackson, who died June21, 1866, was born Sept. 5, 1781, and prior to the removal of the family from New Jersey, and was in his sixth year when his father landed on the shores of the Chemung. His oft repeated relation of the transactions of his boyhood, the scenes of the settlement of the locality, the well remembered recitals of his father, together with recitals of his father, together with the recollections of his only remaining brother, John Breese, who was born in 1791, in the old log house, erected by his father, and who has always resided her, and the corroborating testimony of several other old settlers, who came here about the same time, furnish the most satisfactory evidence attainable of the first settlement of the Chemung Valley, and leaving the question beyond doubt that there were several white settlers in the valley as early as the spring of 1787 --- Sketch written 40 year ago

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