Savage, Hamilton, Crossett 

Families 

Ireland and Massachusetts

 

 

Family Data

Conten

 

The Savage family of the Ards is an ancient one.Savage Arms Followers of John de Courcy in the Norman conquest of Ulster in 1177, they received lands there. They fortified and held their land through wars, changes of sovereigns, and religions. Their hereditary line did not expire until 1823.  Likewise, the Hamiltons were early settlers in Ulster, though not as ancient as the Savages. Our interest in these illustrious families stems from the fact that they intermarried with Crossetts in Ireland and in America and, in fact, accompanied them here in 1716. This is attested by the oldest family traditions.

An example of this intermixing can be seen in the early families. Edward Savage, born 1684, died in Ireland. He married Sarah Hamilton who, with her children and second husband, another Hamilton came to America in 1716. Hamilton ArmsTheir three sons, Edward, and twins Abraham and John were born 1704 and 1706 respectively. Edward Jr. later married Mary Hamilton, daughter of John and Eleanor and settled in Rutland, Massachusetts. His brother, John married Eleanor Hamilton, his step-sister, likewise in Rutland. Abraham for some reason, married a Mary Barnes. This family ultimately lived in Quebec, Canada, probably because they were loyalist during the Revolution.   

That's not all. Edward Savage Jr.'s daughters Mary and Sarah, married Robert and Archibald Crossett whose mother, of course, was a Hamilton. Crossett ArmsArchibald's sons, Israel and Jacob married respectively, Martha Hamilton and Fanny Savage (a second marriage for Jacob).  

The exact relationships of these people to each other is very difficult to sort out. Suffice it to say, they were all related closely. In the early years of settlement they stuck together as they had done in Ireland. In the second generation the vastness of the country began to attract them and farms became available for all the sons not just the eldest. Families moved to different locations and the intermixing of families lessened, no doubt to the benefit of all.

There are good stories about this extended family. Take John Savage for instance. Known as Captain John Savage. The History of Pelham, Mass. says:

" John Savage was 10 years old at that time (his arriving in America) and followed the seas as a sailor for the early part of his life. He gradually accumulated property and became sole owner of the vessel which he commanded. In a storm the vessel was wrecked off Cape Breton, his men and cargo being all lost, and he barely escaped with his life. After this experience he abandoned the sea .... and settled upon a farm in Pelham. (a good distance from the ocean)

In 1758 he was selected as Captain  of one of the Massachusetts companies in the old French War, and served under General Bradstreet in his expedition against Fort Frontenac, and under General Abercrombie in his disastrous assault upon Fort Ticonderoga. Captain Savage was lame at the time of the latter engagement, but notwithstanding this he placed himself at the head of his men and led them into the fight."

John was variously a selectman, agent of the town before the Court of General Sessions, and town representative on the Presbytery. His son, Edward was a sheriff of Washington County New York and a member of the state legislature for 21 years. His grandson, John, son of Edward, was in the U.S. Congress in 1814 and 1816 and later was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York. (1822-1836)

These pioneers were peaceable men and women who respected the rights of others and deeply resented anyone as the History says; "whom they believed was endeavoring in any way to prevent the full enjoyment of their liberties." This did not except the King's officers when the settlers thought they were being wronged. A case in point is recorded in the 1763 court records of Northampton where the trial was held. Here is the record:

"De Rex vs. Savage, etc.

John Worthington, Esq. Attorney to our soverign Lord the King in this behalf here instantly complains and give this court to understand and be informed that John Savage of Pelham in the County of Hampshire Gent., Alexander Turner, Yeoman, Alexander Turner Jr., Yeoman, James Turner, Yeoman, Robert Gilmore, Yeoman, Hamilton McCollister, Yeoman, Jane Savage, Spinster, wife of John Savage Jr., Elizabeth Savage, Spinster, Eleanor McCollister, Spinster, and Sarah Drane, Spinster, all of Pelham aforesaid, did at said Pelham on the 12th day of February last past, with force of arms, that is to say, with Axes, Clubs, sticks, hot water, and hot soap in a riotous and tumultinous(sic) manner and riotously and unlawfully meet and assemble themselves together to disturb the peace of the said Lord the King, and the said (repeats the names)  being so met and assembled together did then and there with force and arms made an assault on one Solomon Boltwood (what a great name) of Amherst, then, and ever since, being a deputy Sheriff....he then being in due execution of his said office and in the peace of God and of the said Lord the King, and then and there uttered menace and threatenings of bodily hurt and death against said Solomon, and then and there with force and arms obstructed, opposed, hindered and wholly prevented said Solomon from the due execution of his said office contrary to law and against the peace of the said Lord the King, his crown and dignity. And now comes before ye court the said John Savage, Gent. and Alexander the first above named, the said Jane, Elizabeth, and Sarah being held by Recognisance for this purpose. the said James, Robert, and the other Alexander not being present...severally plead that they were in nothing guilty of the same and thereof put themselves on ye County.

A jury being sworn...after a full hearing return their verdict therein, that is, the jury on their oath say the said defendants are not guilty. It is thereupon ordered that the defendants be dismissed and ye go without delay."

One year later (1764) John Savage, Turner, and some others of these people,  started out on horseback to begin the settlement of White Creek, now Salem, in Washington County, New York in what was called Turner's Patent.

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