Sunday, November 15, 2009

Parley Coye

Parley Coye was an early settler of Hornby who first appeared there in the 1825 census. I believe he was the Parley Coye in the 1820 Truxton, Cortland County census and the son of Levi and Hannah Lilly of Union, CT. The sexes and ages of family members in the censuses and onomastically, the use of the given names in the families listed in The History of Union, Conn. compiled by Rev. Harvey M. Lawson, 1893, support this theory. The obituaries of Alva, Parley's son, and Sarah, his daughter, list their birthplace in 1815 and 1817 as Georgetown which is in Cortland County and Alva's further states he moved to Hornby about 1824. It should also be noted that according to the 1850 census Mortality Schedule, widow Olive Coye age 65, born Connecticut, died of cholera December 1849 in Hornby. She was probably the Olive Underwood in Rev. Lawson's book listed as the wife of Parley Coye. Olive's brother Jesse was also an early settler of Hornby.

Parley and Olive had at least six children, all of whom have been identified by the research of direct descendant Tom Euchner in Iowa. Levi married Hannah Goodsell and remained in Hornby. Polly married John Hilton and Caroline married Morris Randall. Both couples lived in Chemung County. Alva, married Fanny (whose maiden name remains unknown) and moved to Amboy, Lee County, Illinois. Louisa married George Jacob Murphy and they followed Alva to Amboy. Records from there spelled the name Coy. Sarah was the sixth, although she was identified as a McCoy in A Record, Genealogical, Biographical, Statistical, of Thomas Stanton, of Connecticut, and His Descendants. 1635-1891 compiled by William Stanton, 1891. She married first Elijah Hill and moved to Amboy. After his death she married the widowed Samuel Bixby who had also moved from Hornby to Amboy.

Identifying Parley and Olive's children was a very satisfying genealogical exercise and I'd like to take credit for it but most of the research was done by Tom. We have been corresponding for about six months. It may be interesting for the die-hard genealogist to see how the connections were made so here goes.

The oldest son Levi appeared in the 1850-1880 Hornby censuses so that was the beginning. I didn't know who his parents were; however, I suspected it was Parley who appeared in the 1830 Hornby census. Years ago while searching the internet for items about Hornby, I found in the book Greene Family by Frank L. Greene, 1894, Celestia (Coye) Greene, born Hornby 1839, daughter of Alva and Fannie. Her obituary appeared in the USGenWeb Archives verifying the information in the Greene book.

Tom sent me Alva's obituary. It indicated he resided in Hornby from 1824-1850 and identified his daughter Celestia. It also identified his nephew Henry Murphy who was Tom's great-grandfather. Tom had Henry's marriage record which listed his mother as Louisa Coy. Tom, who has spent many hours in the library perusing the Amboy News also sent me an article he transcribed from 21 March 1885, "Alva Coy … has gone east to visit a sick brother." [Levi Coye died less than a month later in NY]. So Louisa, Alva and Levi were siblings.

My internet searches for Hornby stuff had also led to the discovery in The Genealogical and Family History of Western New York by William Richard Cutter, 1912, a biographical sketch of John C. Hilton of Hornby who married Polly Coye. Tom's library work came through again with this 4 July 1885 article, "Mr. & Mrs. Hilton, of Steuben Co., New York, have been visiting at Samuel Bixby's and at Alva Coy's. They returned home this week."

So Polly was visiting her brother Alva, but why Samuel Bixby? Samuel (also from Hornby) was living with his second wife Sarah, widow of Elijah Hill. She was identified as a McCoy but Tom and I thought she was a Coye, the fifth sibling. Then Tom found the following article in the 2 November 1881 edition of The Amboy News, "Levi Coy, of Hornby, N.Y., and his sister Mrs. Morris Randall and her husband of Chenango [sic] Co., N.Y., are visiting their brother Alva Coy, and their sister Mrs. Samuel Bixby, of this place." So not only did we positively identify Sarah as a Coye, we were able to identify the sixth child Caroline (Coye) Randall, wife of Morris.