Major Snell and Elizabeth Gill

    Major Snell was from Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England [1]. He married Elizabeth Gill 26 May 1771 in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, England.[2] According to passenger lists, Elizabeth was baptized 15 June 1750[3] in Pateley-Bridge, Yorkshire, England, the daughter of Matthew Gill and Anne Bunting. Major and Elizabeth arrived with their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, in New York aboard the York Packet in 1774. Major was a flax dresser [4] and Elizabeth was a mantua maker [5]. He seems to have later been a merchant. He was jailed in Albany in 1776 for refusing to accept the Articles of Association. In 1777, however, he took an oath, thus remaining a resident of New York to the end of his life. In 1790, Major is shown having one slave. He seems to have married a much younger woman and to have had children fairly late in life. Major died 21 Sep 1818 in Schenectady, Schenectady, New York and was buried October 1818 in St. George's Yard, St. George's Episcopal Church, Schenectady, Schenectady, New York. His will is dated 7 Mar 1809 and was proved 7 Nov 1818.
    There is a Mrs. Elibeth Snell listed as having an obituary in the Schenectady Cabinet on 8 October 1834 and as having died 2 October 1834. This is probably Elizabeth Gill. However, there is also a Mrs. Snell in the same newspaper on 22 August 1832, having died 16 August 1832. I believe that Elizabeth Gill's obituary was one of 1834. There is only one Snell family that I have seen in Schenectady at this time. The women who would have been called Mrs. Snell at this time are: Elizabeth (Gill) Snell, Maria (Lytle) Snell, Margaret (Bohannan) Snell, and Elizabeth (Reese) Snell, and maybe the wives of any grandsons of Major and Elizabeth who were old enough to marry. Mrs. Elibeth Snell's age may have been slightly exaggerated by the newspaper. It was fairly common in those days to slightly overestimate the age of elderly people. But, even with that in mind, the only one old enough to be anywhere near her nineties would have been Elizabeth (Gill) Snell.

Major and Elizabeth had:

1. Elisabeth Snell, born in 1772-3 in Yorkshire, England, [6] married Wilhelmus Veeder before 1809.
2. John G. Snell, born 6 Jul 1776 in Schenectady, Albany, New York, baptized 9 Aug 1776 at St. George's Episcopal Church, Schenectady, Albany, New York, married Maria Lytle 12 Jul 1794.
3. Robert Snell, born 2 Jun 1779 in Schenectady, Albany, New York, baptized 13 Jun 1779 in Schenectady, Albany, New York, married Mary Bohannan 11 Jun 1796.
4. Major Snell, born 30 Mar 1784 in Schenectady, Albany, New York, baptized 2 May 1784 in Schenectady, Albany, New York, married Elisabeth Reese.
5. Ann Snell, born 10 Dec 1781 in Schenectady, Albany, New York, married Robert Buchanan before 1809.
6. Sarah (Sally) Snell, baptized 28 Feb 1787 in Schenectady, Albany, New York, married John I. Smith before 1809.
7. Maria (Polly) Snell, married Peter Truax 8 Jul 1805 at St. George's Episcopal Church, Scenectady, Albany, New York.
8. Margaret Elizabeth Snell, born 29 August 1796, married William A. Ennes, died 7 Apr 1858 in York, Union, Ohio in 1858, buried in MaKendrie Cemetery, on the old Davis/Ennes farm in York, Union, Ohio.

Sources:
1. Ennes, Calvin, A Bit About the Ennes, Au Gres, Michigan, 1969.
2. Gravestone Inscription for Margaret, wife of Wm. Ennes at York, Union, Ohio.
3. Pearson, Jonathan, Contributions to the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800, 1873.
4. IGI Record, Source: Batch Number A455198, Source Call Number 455198-455202, Type-Film, Printout Call Number-None, Marriage of Major Snell and Elizabeth Gill.
5. Hanson, Willis T., Jr., A History of Schenectady During the Revolution, 1916.
6. Censuses: 1790, 1800, 1810, Schenectady County, New York.
7. van Schaick, Sally, Schenectady County Historical Society Deed Listings, Vols. I-IV.
8. Records of St. George's Episcopal Church Schenectady, Albany, NY.
9. Records of the Reformed Dutch Church at Schenectady, Albany, NY.
10. "Names on Tombstones and Tablets Located in the Churchyard and Church of St. George's Church (Episcopal) - Schenectady, N.Y.", compiled by St. George's Church.
11. Obituaries, Schenectady Cabinet, 8 Oct 1834 (Mrs. Elizabeth Snell) and 22 August 1832 (Mrs. Snell).
12. Fothergill, Gerald (transcriber), Emigrants for England—1773-1776, Baltimore, MD:  Genealogical Publishing Co., 1976, p. 56. (Courtesy:  Kim Sanders).
13. Cooney, M.F. (mcooney@eminorame.karoo.co.uk), Database of Emigrants of Yorkshire, taken from the Register of Emigrants (kept at the Public Records Office, Kew, listed T47, vols. 9-12).
14. Bishop's transcripts, 1686-1880, Church of England, Chapelry of Pateley-Bridge, Yorkshire (FHL BRITISH Film 991081).

Photocopies:
Major Snell's Will
Obituaries for Mrs. Elibeth Snell & Mrs. Snell


From Contributions to the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers
of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800,
by Jonathan Pearson, 1873

    "Snell, Major (his Christian name), merchant, m. Elisabeth Gill. He was a native of Yorkshire, England; made his will Mar. 7, 1809, proved Nov. 7, 1818; spoke of wife Eliza, dau. Elisabeth, wife of Helmus Veeder; sons John, Robert and Major; Major L., son of my son John; my dau., Ann, wife of Robert Buchanan, Sarah, wife of John Smith, Maria, wife of Peter Truax, and Margaret. He d. Sept. 24, 1818, a. 98 ys., 4 m., 29 d. Ch. bp: Elisabeth, wife of Wilhelmus Veeder; Robert, June 13, 1779; Major, May 2, 1784; Sarah, Feb. 28, 1787. Major, son of Major, m. Elisabeth Reese. Ch: Elisabeth, b. July 8, 1801. John G., son of Major, m. Maria Lytle, July 12, 1794. Robert, son of Major, m. Margaret Bohannan, June 11, 1796."


Under 1750 Baptisms (Jun):
"Elisabeth Daughter of Matthew Gill of Low Bishop Side......15"


Marriage record of Major Snell and Elizabeth Gill

Under 1771 Marriages:
"Major Snell of the Parish of Knareborough and Elizabeth Gill of this Chapelry by License May the 26th"

Source:  Bishop's transcripts, 1686-1880, Church of England, Chapelry of Pateley-Bridge, Yorkshire (FHL BRITISH Film 991081).


Passenger List, York Packet, 14-21 Mar 1774

Name Age Occupation From Ship To As a
Elizabeth Snell 24 Mantua Maker Yorkshire York Packet New York going to settle there
Major " 36 Flax dresser
"
"
"
"
Elizabeth " 1 Child
"
"
"
"

    On the same list is a Richard Gill, age 40, flax dresser, with wife, Sarah, 41, daughter Ann, 10, son Richard, 6, and sister Ann Snell, 46, all from Yorkshire and going to settle in New York. Whether or not, this family has any relationship at all to our Elizabeth is completely unknown.

    M.F. Cooney of Hull, Yorkshire confirmed that Elizabeth Snell, 24, mantua maker, Major Snell, 36, flax dresser, and Elizabeth Snell, age 1, did sail on the York Packet on 21 Mar 1774 from Liverpool, England to New York

Source:  Fothergill, Gerald (transcriber), Emigrants for England—1773-1776, Baltimore, MD:  Genealogical Publishing Co., 1976, p. 56. (Courtesy:  Kim Sanders).
Also, Cooney, M.F. (mcooney@eminorame.karoo.co.uk), Database of Emigrants of Yorkshire, taken from the Register of Emigrants (kept at the Public Records Office, Kew, listed T47, vols. 9-12). [7]


From A History of Schenectady During the Revolution,
by Willis T. Hanson Jr., 1916

"Snell, Major
Born April 26, 1720; died September 24, 1818. He came from Yorkshire, England. A merchant. On September 11, 1776, he was ordered confined to the Albany jail by the Schenectady Committee of Safety [8]. On the eighteenth he refused to sign the Association [9] or to swear allegiance and was therefore ordered recommitted. In May, 1777, he was recommended to the field officers as "a dangerous person," and on the twenty-second voluntarily took an oath that he would take up arms in defense of the country in case of any invasion."


Schenectady County, New York Federal Census Schedules

1790
Schenectady South of the Mohawk

Page 221
Snell, Major
Free White Males to 16:
2
Free White Males 16 and up:
1
Free White Females:
5
Slaves:
1

1800
City of Schenectady - First Ward

Page 7
Snell, Major
Free White Males to 10:
1
Free White Males 16 to 26:
2
Free White Males 45 etc.:
1
Free White Females to 10:
1
Free White Females 10 to 16:
2
Free White Females 45 etc.:
1

1810
City of Schenectady - First Ward

Page 7
Snell, Major
Free White Males 10 to 16:
1
Free White Males 45 etc.:
1
Free White Females 10 to 16:
1
Free White Females 45 etc.:
1


Deeds mentioning Major Snell
From the Schenectady County Historical Society Deed Listings, Vols. I-IV
Compiled by Sally van Schaick

D 1222 12 Dec 1797 see VB 6
Trustees of Schdy (D 1212) to John Peek and Jesse Peek, Schdy
Land 2 1/2 miles NE of Schdy on N side of Mohawk w side of road that leads from village to farm of Major Snell's
Names: Arent Bradt; Harmanus Peek; John Schermerhorn and his wife Lench; Simon Schermerhorn; Cornelius Van Santvoord
Wit: Josiah Swart; Cornelius Santvoort; Henry Oothout

D 501 Car# 214c 1779
Nicholas Swits, surveyor, "Boundaries taken from the deed of Major Snell dated 1779"
Beginning at a white oak tree, etc. to land heretofore granted to Cornelius Van Dervolgen to land granted to John De Graff to land of Nicholas Van Patten to land of John P. Barhydt to land of Daniel Cornu.
101 acres in all

D 696 10 December 1810
Archibald Craig, Schenectady to Joseph Horsefall, Schenectady
House and lot Second Ward Schenectady
Bounded: N by lot of John Hudson, Dec'd; W by lot of Alexander Kelly and Henry Dellmont; S by lot of Major Snell; on W side of Ferry Street

D 365 9 September 1815
Gerrit Benson and wife Mary to Joseph Horsfall
House and lot 1/2 part Second ward, Schenectady
W side of Ferry Street, Bounded in front by Ferry Street; N by Resolved Givens, formerly heirs of John Hudson; W by Alexander Kelly and Henry Dellemont; S by Major Snell (now Peter MacDougall)

D 349 7 December 1819
Joseph Horsfall and wife Nellie, Schenectady to Albert A. Vedder, Schenectady
House and lot, second ward in Schenectady
Bounded: in front by Ferry St.; N by lot of John Hudson, Dec'd, heirs conveyed to Resolved Givens; now in possession of
Albert Vedder; W by Alexander Kelly and Henry Dellmont, being lot conveyed to James Watson by Major Snell and wife Elizabeth; subsequently by Lawrence Van Kleeck, sheriff of Albany to Gerrit Benson and finally to Joseph Horsfall


Records of St. George's Episcopal Church Schenectady, Albany, NY

Parish Records of Baptisms

Page Number Baptism Date Parents Child Birthdate
17 1776 Major & John 6 Jul 1776
9 Aug Elizabeth Snell

Annual Register of Births


Page Number Date Birth
181 6 Jul 1776 Mrs. Snell was deliver'd of a Son baptized John
188 2 Jun 1779 at Eight in the Morning was born unto Major & Elizebeth
Snell a Son baptized Robert
194 10 Sep 1781 at 4 in the Afternoon was born unto Major & Elizebeth
Snell a daughter baptized Ann
201 30 Mar 1784 Mrs. Snell deliver'd of a Son baptized Major

Parish Records of Marriages

Page Number Marriage Date Names of Gentlemen Names of Ladies
98 8 Jul 1805 Peter W. Truax to Polly Snell

Parish Records of Burials

Page Number Burial Date Name of Deceased Age Place of Burial
124 October 1818 Mr. Snell
155 3 Jul 1876 Maria Snell 84 y. St. George's Yard
158 30 Sep 1882 Mary Litle Snell 67 y. St. George's Yard


Records of the Reformed Dutch Church at Schenectady, Albany, NY

Baptisms

Page Number Baptism Date Parents Child & Birthdate Witnesses
38 1787 Major Snell Sarah
28 Feb Elizabeth Gill Sept. 7
188 1779 Major Snell Robert Joseph Dason
13 Jun Elizabeth Gill Johannes van antwerpe
Hanna Miller
20 1801 Major M Snell Elizabeth Wilhelmus Veeder
9 Aug Elizabeth Reeses 8 Jul Elizabeth Snell

Marriages

Page Number Marriage Date Parties
119 3 Jul 1791 Wilhelmus Veeder with Elizabeth Snell, by Do Bassett both of Schenectady
132 12 Jul 1794 John G. Snell with Maria Lytle, both of Schenectady
138 6 Apr 1796  Thomas Bohenen with Ann Snell, both of Schenectady
  " 11 Jun 1796 Robert Snell with Margriet Bohannan, both of Schenectady
158 9 Jun 1804 John I. Smith with Sally Snell


In a file entitled "Names on Tombstones and Tablets Located in the Churchyard and Church of St. George's Church (Episcopal) - Schenectady, N.Y.", compiled by St. George's Church, is found the following: Major Snell, male, died Monday, 21 September 1818, aged 93 years, 1 month, 29 days, born in Yorkshire, England, inscription: "God my redeemenr is-/And-the skies/L-."


From the Schenectady Cabinet, 8 Oct 1834: "Died...In this city, on Thursday last, Mrs. ELIZABETH SNELL, between 90 and 100 years of age." From the same newspaper, 22 August 1832: "Mrs. Snell who was taken with cholera in Ferry St. on Wednesday last, died in the hospital out of the city, on Thursday morning."


The Last Will & Testament of Major Snell

In the name of God Amen I Major Snell of Schenectady in the County of Albany & State of New York considering the uncertainty of human life & being through the blessing of Almighty God of sound mind and memory Do make and publish this my last Will & Testament in manner and form following—
First I give & bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth Snell the whole of my property Real & personal of ever kind & nature whatever whereof I shall die seized to remain to her the said Elizabeth Snell during her natural life or until her marriage with some other person. And after the death of the said Elizabeth or marriage as aforesaid my will is that all my property then remaining be disposed of in manner following—
Vizt to my Daughter Elizabeth Veeder wife of Helmus Veeder one equal share to remain to the said Elizabeth Veeder during her natural life and then to revert to her children each a equal share neither one having more than the other—
 To my son John Snell one equal share to him his heirs & assigns forever—
But provided the said John Snell should die before his Mother my will is that his share of said Estate revert to my sons Robert and Major Snell their heirs & assigns forever they the said Robert & Major Snell paying to Major L. Snell the son of said John the sum of Twenty five dollars—
To my son Robert Snell my daughter Ann wife of Thomas Buchanan my son Major Snell my daughter Sarah wife of John Smith my daughter Maria wife of Peter Truax and my Daughter Margaret Snell single woman each an equal share of my Estate after the decease or marriage of my said wife Elizabeth to the said Robert Ann Major Sarah Maria & Margaret their heirs & assigns forever—
And lastly I hereby institute and appoint my said beloved wife Elizabeth my son Robert Snell and Augustus Taylor of the City of Schenectady Executors of this my last Will & Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me made
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the Seventh day of March in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred & nine—
Signed Sealed published
& Declared by the
above named Major Snell
to be his last Will &                                    Major
Testament in the presence                         Snell
-- who have hereunto
subscribed -- as
Witnesses in the
presence of the
Testator
     Archd Craig
     Saml White
     Samuel Lee

Schenectady County -- Be it remembered -- on the Seventh day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & Eighteen personally appeared before me John Yates Surrogate of the County of Schenectady Samuel White one of the subscribing -- to the last Will & Testament of Major Snell -- of the City & County of Schenectady deceased -- being duly Sworn on his Oath declared that he saw the aforesaid deceased sign and seal the Instrument hereunto annexed purporting to be the last Will & Testament of him the said deceased & heard him declare the same as & for his last Will & Testament that at the time of Executing the same he was of a sound disposing mind memory & understanding according to the best knowledge & belief of this Deponent that his name subscribe thereto as witness is of his own proper hand willing and that he also saw Archibald Craig & Samuel Lee sign their names thereto as such in the presence of the Testator and of each other—

John Yates Surrogate
Will found in Schenectady Historical Society Files.
-- denotes a difficult-to-read area.


Footnotes

[1] According to his gravestone inscription he would have been born 23 Jul 1725. However, according to the passenger list of the York Packet, he would have been born 1737-8.
    Knaresborough (in the West Riding of Yorkshire) is about 14 miles from Pateley Bridge. From A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire, For the year 1822, by Thomas Langdale:   “KNARESBROUGH, or KNARESBOROUGH, a market and parish-town, in the lower-division of Claro, liberties of St. Peter and Knaresborough; 5 miles from Ripley, 7 from Boroughbridge and Wetherby, 11 from Hopper-Lane Inn, 12 from Ripon, 13 from Otley, 18 from Leeds and York, 24 from Skipton, 201 from London.--Market, Wednesday.  --Fairs, January 13; first Wednesday after March 12; May 6, (unless it falls on a Sunday, then the day following,) first Wednesday after August 12; first Tuesday after October 11; Wednesday after December 10, for horned cattle, .&c.  --The sheep Fairs are held on the days preceding the first and last Fairs; the Statute days for servants, are on Wednesday before November 2, and Wednesday after.  --Bankers, Messrs. Harrison and Terrys, draw on Messrs. Willis, Percival, and Co. 79, Lombard-Street; Messrs. Coates and Co. draw on Sir James Esdaile, Bart. and Co. 21, Lombard Street. --Principal Inns, Crown, Bay Horse, and Old Elephant and Castle.  --Pop. 5,283.  The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, in the deanry of Boroughbridge, diocese of Chester, value, 9L. 9s. 4.5d.  Patron, Lord Rosslyn.”
[2] From A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire, For the year 1822, by Thomas Langdale:   “PATELEY BRIDGE, in the township of High and Low Bishopside and parish of Ripon, lower division of Claro, liberty of Ripon; 9 miles from Ripley, 10 from Grassington, 11 from Ripon, 14 from Knaresborough and Harrogate, 15 from Skipton, Masham, and Otley, 16 from Kettlewell, 32 from York, 224 from London.  --Market, Saturday.  --Fairs, Easter and Whitsun-Eve; May 11; September 17, (if on a Saturday,) if not, on the first Saturday after; Monday after October 10; and Christmas-Eve; for cattle, woollen cloth, pedlary-ware, &c.  --Principal Inns, the Crown, and George.  ---Pop. included in High and Low Bishopside.  The Church is a perpetual curacy, dedicated to St. Mary, in the deanry of Ripon, value, p.r. !87L. 11s. 4d.  Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Ripon. This is a small market-town situated upon the banks of the river Nidd, and may be considered as the capital of Nidderdale.  It derives considerable wealth from the lead-mines on the opposite side of the river, at Greenhow-Hill, &c.  A little above the town, there is a lead-mill, where the manufacture of sheet-lead, and lead-pipes is carried on to a great extent. The market was granted to the Archbishop of York, in the 18th Edward II when the King was at York.  The town consisting of one street, is tolerably well-built.” It is in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
[3] The year is difficult to determine as both 1749 and 1750 are listed at the top of the page. However, her baptism is on the right hand column of the page and I could determine that there were a number of baptisms and then an entry that was very faint (the entries on the left side were in a very dark area of the page) that read January. The June baptisms, including Elizabeth's, were after this. Therefore, I believe Elizabeth was baptized in 1750. She gave her age as 24 in March 1774, when she boarded the ship. She actually would have been just a few months younger.
[4] One who prepared the flax prior to spinning.
[5] A fashionable dressmaker. This was typically a woman’s occupation and usually involved an apprenticeship.
[6] The IGI shows an Elizth. Snell being christened 9 May 1773 in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England, to — Snell and Elizth. This is another possible lead. (Batch # C058891, Source Call # 0207554)
[7] According to Cooney, “Following many expressed fears about the large number of people emigrating to North America, the British Government ordered the Treasury to set up a Register of Emigrants. From late in 1773, until the American War of Independence brought this record to an end, customs officers sent weekly reports to the Treasury from all English and Scottish ports. In all there were 8,206 registered passengers, of these some 938 were from the Yorkshire Ridings. The records usually only show the county and not the town of origin.”
[8] "In 1775, as tensions with England grew, Schenectady residents formed a Revolutionary Committee of Safety. This group attempted to ensure that the area be well protected in the event of a major conflict." Ellen Fladgler and Sarah Henry, instructors, Union College, Schenectady, NY.
[9] This likely refers to the Articles of Association, drafted in Philadelphia on 20 Oct 1774 and adopted by several colonies, including New York. This stated, "that the present unhappy situation of our affairs is occasioned by a ruinous system of colony administration, adopted by the British ministry about the year 1763, evidently calculated for enslaving these colonies, and, with them, the British Empire. In prosecution of which system, various acts of parliament have been passed, for raising a revenue in America, for depriving the American subjects, in many instances, of the constitutional trial by jury, exposing their lives to danger, by directing a new and illegal trial beyond the seas, for crimes alleged to have been committed in America: And in prosecution of the same system, several late, cruel, and oppressive acts have been passed, respecting the town of Boston and the Massachusetts-Bay, and also an act for extending the province of Quebec...To obtain redress of these grievances, which threaten destruction to the lives liberty, and property of his majesty's subjects, in North-America, we are of opinion, that a non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement, faithfully adhered to, will prove the most speedy, effectual, and peaceable measure..." Considering Major's occupation as a merchant and the fact that he was probably a newcomer to America, having been born and raised in England, it is easy to see what his objections would have been.


(c) 2002 by Michelle Boyd, All rights reserved.
 

Return to Ennis/Snell Page
Return to Home Page

To contact me:  michelle@boydhouse.com
Last updated 2 Aug 2002.