Friday, October 16, 2015

MICHIGAN PIONEERS #5: Joshua Secord

WINSOR/SECORD FAMILY CONNECTIONS: New York to Michigan 1821

4th GGF Joshua Secord (1781-1851)
a millwright, was born in Clarkstown, Rockland County, New York. His daughter, Mary Abigail "Polly" Secord married Mortimer Winsor and parented my 2nd great grandmother, Lydia Secord Winsor, wife of Andrew Jackson Dort. 
1661Protestant expulsion from La Rochelle.Luiken
BACKGROUND:
(From "Biographical Sketches and Index of Huguenot Settlers of New Rochelle  1687-1776" by Morgan H Secord:)
"AMBROISE de SICAR was a native of La Rochelle, France.  He owned a small vineyard there which supplemented his income as a "saunier" or salt maker.  The revocation of the Edict of Nantes made La Rochelle a target for anti-Protestant forces.  How and when Ambroise and his five children left France is not known.  The first entry in the records of the Huguenot Church in New York City is a baptism of a daughter of Ambroise and his wife JEANNE PERRON.  On 09 Feb 1692 he purchased 109 acres of land in New Rochelle NY from Guillame LeCount for which he paid thirty-eight pistoles & 8 shillings, current money of New York, equal to about $150 in gold."
(From HUGUENOT TRAILS, “Family History-The Secor Family,” published by The Huguenot society of Canada. Founded 1966. Vol. XV Number 3, 1982, ISSN-0441-6910:)
Secor family cairn, Scarborough
"The Scarborough SECOR family descend from Jacques Sicard born 1675 and the Niagara SECORD family descend from Daniel born 1672. Jacques and Daniel were probably born in Mornac where their father Ambroise was a Saunier (maker of salt).
Records show that most of JACQUES and ANN [Geertje Terrier]'s children moved across the Hudson River to the area around Tappan in Orange County, a predominately Dutch settlement.
We find in the existing documents, that this branch of the family as a rule, dropped the final "d", while the members of Ambroise Sicard's family who remained in Westchester County, retained the final "d".
According to Morgan Seacord, who was for many years the historian in New Rochelle, Jean Sicar born 1712 was the father of John Secor ca 1730. It was this JOHN SECOR (ca 1730) who married MARIA GIRAUD (Gerow). Maria was the daughter of Benjamin Giraud and his wife Annatye Kuyper whose marriage is recorded in the Hackensack Dutch Reformed Church records. Maria was the granddaughter of Daniel Giraud born ca 1665 in France and died in York.

John Secor and Maria lived in Kakiat, Orange County N.Y. (this area now Rockland County). Their son ISAAC
was born 11 August 1751 probably at Kakiat N.Y. [My records show Clarkstown, about 10 miles away.] He died in Scarborough, Ont. Canada 27th of August 1835. Isaac married MARY SIMMONS (1752-1819). During the Rev. War Isaac and Mary lived in the Haverstraw Precinct of Rockland County. With the exception of their two youngest children, Rebecca and Joseph, we find the birth dates and the baptism dates of their other children in the Clarkstown register of the Tappan Dutch Reformed Church.

This seems to be proof enough that the family remained in this area during the Rev. War.  While Isaac Secor did not fight in the Rev. War, he was loyal to the Crown and assisted the Loyalists in other ways. In his land petitions he mentions that he suffered many hardships at the hand of the Rebels. Because of his mother's illness and his young helpless family he was forced to remain.  Isaac's mother Maria died in 1785. Soon after that he and his family started out on the long trek to Canada. It is possible they stayed in Ballston Falls N.Y. enroute. This was a Loyalist stronghold during the Rev. War. Isaac and Mary's daughter Rebecca was born the 26th of November 1787. It is likely that she was born in Ballston Falls which would account for the family tradition that Isaac and Mary were from Ballston Falls New York.

Isaac Secor entered Canada in 1788 with his wife and five children: Isaac, the younger, Sarah, JOSHUA, Peter and Rebecca. Another son Joseph was born 22 October 1790. Rebecca and Joseph were baptized by Rev. Robt. McDowell, Hamilton Township.  He was in Kingston before going to Napanee where he built the first stone mill. In 1797 Isaac resided in the Township of Marysburg.  By 1804 Isaac Secor and his family had arrived in York. He purchased lot 19 Conc. D in Scarborough where a grist mill was erected. He was located on the West side of the road access and his son Isaac, the young, on the East side. The Highland Creek flowed through the property. The road access became the Markham Road. His son Peter later ran the mill.
Scarborough Historic Mills includes Secor Grist Mill
Isaac and Mary's children all married and had families:
Isaac, the younger (1773-1853) married (1) Rachel Ferguson, (2) Ellithear Ferguson.
Sarah (1775 - ?) married 91) Isaac Benn, (2) James Jones
 

JOSHUA (1781 - ?[1851]) married Lydia, surname unknown. [Harris]
Peter (1785-1861) married Elizabeth Winslow
Rebecca (1787 - ?) married Simmons Mallory
Joseph (1790 - 1874) married (1) Ann Stevens, (2) Bridget Ryan

The Secor Cairn, overlooking the Secor Memorial Park, stands on what was known as Secor Hill, now Stevenwood Rd. This commemorative cairn is a tribute to a family of principle who helped build the township of Scarborough [York, Ontario, Canada]." 
JOSHUA'S STORY: 
Joshua's headstone suggests he was born in 1783
We know that JOSHUA SECORD descended from 1681 French Huguenot immigrant, Ambroise Sicard.  The "d" at the end of his surname might lead us to believe that he was great-great grandson of Daniel rather than Jacques but the available records lead back to the Scarborough family that is known as SECOR.  (By his father's generation, Secor and Secord were both used.) 
In Silas Farmer's History of Detroit and Wayne County and Early Michigan (1890), a biographical sketch of Joshua's son Lorenzo states that Joshua Secord, wife Lydia (Harris), and 4 children came to Detroit area in Jan. 1821.  Since Joshua's daughter (my great-great-great grandmother) MARY ABIGAIL "Polly" SECORD was born in 1815 in Erie County, New York, it seems reasonable to assume that this family was once again on the move, eager to take part in the "Michigan Fever" migration of New Yorkers (and also former New Yorkers who were compensated with territorial land for Revolutionary War damages to homes and property) to claim acreage in Michigan Territory.   
Lydia Secord Winsor Dort
Having lived thirty years in Michigan, Joshua died April 9, 1851 in Wayne County where he had fifty acres of farmland, four milk cows, two working oxen and other cattle and hogs.  He grew Indian corn and oats.  His estate, estimated at $800, listed his granddaughter LYDIA SECORD WINSOR as an heir along with her brothers Henry and Oscar, since their mother and Joshua's daughter, MARY ABIGAIL, had died prior to Joshua's death.

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