The GFA has four members who have volunteered to be “Line Leaders” for the membership. This involves giving a history of the line and being available to other members of the same line who may need help in their genealogic search or who may want to add names to fill out the research. We start this account with Medina Ed and some background for the Ezra Line.
In the early days of GFA there were two Ed Grinnells and so Medina, referring to the village in NY where Ed was born and has lived most of his life, simply became a part of Ed’s name. Ed joined the family business in 1945 when the firm lost a foremen and Ed’s father offered him the job. Now married to Swanie Mae Kelly, Ed was happy to return to Medina as life in the big city of Buffalo never quite agreed with him.
Swanie and Ed were blessed with three sons now 60, 57 and 48. Youngest son, Jim (GFA #106) joined the family business in 1976 and this allowed Ed to retire in 1988. Bowling, Rotary Club for 47 years, life long Methodist and founding father of the GFA in addition to three solid citizens for sons, seven grandchildren and six great granddaughters and two step great granddaughters combine to fill out Ed’s life. As he says, “What more could Swanie and I wish for?”
Webmaster's note: Sadly, Ed's beloved Swanie passed away on 28 Jan 2011, after 65 years of marriage. Our deepest condolences to Ed and his family.
SOME OF EZRA (1795-1862) GRINNELL’S DESCENDANTS
By Medina Ed Grinnell
With this year’s GFA dues I received a bookmarker with my ancestors listed, generation by generation since immigrant, Matthew and family first arrived in America. GFA President Hugh Grinnell has an on going plan to have a member of each line (i.e. the ancestors on the markers) write a short biography of an early descendant and the additional descendants that have come since. EZRA Grinnell, born April 14, 1795 was picked as the starting place on my marker and I volunteered to be “Line Leader” for Ezra in the hope that something of value could be published in future newsletters.
Matthew Greenell is believed to have been born in England about 1590, probably near Colchester, Essex Co. Matthew married Rose French and they came to North America some time after 1630. The first stop was MA and then Newport, Rhode Island which was recorded in 1638. Rose later married Anthony Paine and the anti-nuptial agreement named three sons of Rose; Matthew, Thomas and DANIEL. By other records there was a daughter, Mary. The family moved to Portsmouth, RI, perhaps with the marriage of Rose and Anthony Paine.
Daniel/Dannel Greenell probably born in MA in 1636 spent his youth and young adulthood in Portsmouth, RI. He married Mary Wodell of Portsmouth and this union produced three sons: Daniel, Jr., RICHARD and Jonathan.
Richard Grinnell was born in Portsmouth, RI about 1669. His monument in Little Compton reads that he died in 1725 in his 56th year. He married Patience Emery and they had nine children all born in Little Compton. The first born was GEORGE, our line.
- GEORGE GRINNELL married Mercy Sanford July 3, 1726. They had seven children, four daughters and three sons. The second son, ISAIAH, was in our line. George died in Little Compton in June of 1768. No cemetery marker has been found for either George or Mercy.
- ISAIAH GRINNELL was born in Little Compton, RI, December 24, 1732. He married Katherine Hill in Newport, RI in 1757 where he is recorded as Isaiah Greenhill. His wife died very early and Isaiah then married Sarah Austin sometime in 1759 in West Greenwich where he is listed as Isaiah Grinold in the town record. The second marriage gave birth to five children: Amos b. ca 1760, Utsey, perhaps short for Betsey. 176?, Ann, b.176?, ISAIAH, JR. b . 1771 or 1773 and Elsie, b. 1777. Sarah Grinnell is recorded in the first US census, 1790, In Providence, Saratoga Co., NY which is the general area where sons Amos and Isaiah, JR. had farms of their own.
- ISAIAH GRINNELL, JR was probably born in West Greenwich, RI. October 1, 1773 according to his gravestone. He married Jane Crane in Edinburg, Saratoga Co. NY in 1793 perhaps in a double ceremony as Jane’s brother, Stephan Crane married Isaiah’s sister. Family history states the two families lived and farmed together for 35 years. During this time Isaiah and Jane had twelve children. The first child was EZRA, b. April 14, 1795; he d. June 9, 1862.
- EZRA GRINNELL was born north of Albany, NY. He married Lucretia Leonard and the ceremony was believed to have taken place in the township of Fabius.
Lucretia and Ezra had eleven children. We will be attempting to follow the descendants of Ezra that have joined the GFA. Their children were: (Note the [*] indicates a descendant leading to members of the GFA)
- Marcus,*b. June 23, 1816; m. (1) Josephine Manchester, (2) Deborah Wheeler; he d. Feb. 22, 1882.
- Ira,* b. May 24, 1818; m.Betsy Ann Balcom; he died October2,1865, age 47 years
- Lauren, b.October 28, 1821; m. Marilla Leach; he died September 9, 1910, age 88 years.
- Isaiah, born March 10, 1824; died June 22, 1841, age 17 years.
- Leonard, born 14 May 1826; died December 14, 1846, age 20 years.
- Horace*, born September 22, 1828; m. Thurza Green; he died March 21, 1912, age 83 years.
- Almira Jane, born April 8, 1831; m. Seth Balcom; she died 1891, age ca 60 years.
- Perry, born November 9, 1833; m. Catherine Clark; he died October 15, 1922, age 88 years, 11m.
- Eliza Ann, born May 8, 1836; m. Wesley Gregory; she died 1878, age ca 42 years.
- Jeanette, born August 29, 1838; m. Franklin Carpenter; she died October 31, 1921, age 83 years
- Willis Amos, born Feb. 12, 1841:m.(1) Lura Avery, (2) Emily Roth; he died April 8, 1907, age. 66.
Note: In a span of 10 to 12 years (1820s to 1830s) seven of Isaiah and Jane’s children migrated from Spafford, NY to Orleans County. John and Major came in 1821; Ezra and Amos in 1826, followed by sisters, Betsy (Tinkham), Chloe (Tinkham) and Anna (Wetherbee). The four sons had 41 children, 29 of them were boys.
Questions or comments on this article may be sent to me by email or regular mail. Both addresses are listed under my name as Senior Vice President of Grinnell Family Association.