Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys


A Family History donated by: Harry Windecker


Farrington is an old English name (pre-dating the Norman invasion) and means "place of ferns." The family takes its name from this, or from a place called Ferndon or Farendon (Fern hill). The family name is also spelled ffarrington or Ffarrington, where ff is a "corrupt" form of capitalization (ffrance for France). There is an ancient town of Farrington in Berkshire England, and a town of Farrington in Lancashire. The family ffarrington of Worden and ffarrington of Woodvale are descendants of John de Farrington of the era of Henry III. The Farrington family can then be traced back even further, directly to Warine de Farrington, born before 1210 in Farendon Parish, Lancashire, England. The family motto is: Domat omnia virtus.

Our Farrington ancestors in America are from Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. Thomas Farrington married Alice Heald about 1560 in Chorley. Thomas was born, about 1539/40 in London, and Alice was born, 1542 in Chorley. Thomas and Alice had at least one child, Caldwell Farrington, born 1565, who married Anne French, daughter of Edmund French. Their son Edmund, born 1586/8, married Elizabeth Martin on November 29, 1613, raised a family in England and came to America.

On April 1, 1635 Edmund (age 47, and possibly also called Edward) and his family set sail from London to America on the "Hopewell." His wife, Elizabeth (Martin), age 49, and children, Sarah (also spelled Sarra), 14; Mathew (our ancestor), 12; John, 11; and Eliza (Elizabeth), 8, accompanied him. The Farrington family arrived in Boston in June and settled in Saugus (now called Lynn), Massachusetts. The family held considerable land, 200-acres in Saugus, and later, secured a large tract of land on Long Island in the 1640s. Edmund had two other sons, Thomas and Edward, who may have preceded the rest of the family to America.

In 1639, Edmund obtained the Long Island tract by grant, and moved there (temporarily) from 1640 to 1643. This tract was located in Southampton. He transferred the lot to John Cooper in 1643 (what a pity). On the deed, his name is spelled "old goodman Ffarington of Lynn." He then returned to Lynn (formerly Saugus). In 1654, Edmund was granted permission to build a gristmill. Farrington family members were millers.

His son Mathew, born 1623, married Elizabeth Sisley, daughter of Henry Sisley, in 1648. They had six children, Mathew, Jr., John, Sarah (deceased at age 2), William (our ancestor), Sarah, and Theophilus. Wife, Elizabeth, inherited the gristmill and, in turn, granted it to Mathew, who granted it Mathew Jr.

William, born March 6, 1660, married Liddy Mansfield on April 6, 1683. They had six children, William (died at age 2), Elizabeth (also deceased at age 2), William, Theophilus, and John (our ancestor), who was born November 12, 1698.

John married Abigail Fuller in 1720 and had seven children, Lidia, Theophilus, Abigail, John (our ancestor), born February 8, 1727, Daniel, Mary and William.

John Farrington, Jr. had two marriages, the first to Hannah Hawkes, who died on April 4, 1756 while giving birth to her son, William (deceased, 1757). Hannah previously gave birth to Hannah Farrington, in 1754. John then married Eizabeth Smith in November 1756. John and Eizabeth had six children, John, William, Elizabeth, Amos (our ancestor), born January 20, 1763, Ruth, and Abigail.

Amos, born January 20, 1763, Lynn Massachusetts, married Sarah Upham of Chelsea in 1788. It is unknown if Amos fought in the Revolutionary War, as he was age 13 at the beginning of the war, but 19 by the end. His two older brothers, John, and Captain William Farrington, obviously did so, and were each granted two hundred acres of land. It is known, however, that considerable land in upstate New York was granted to veterans of the Revolutionary War. Many New England families migrated to this area of New York to claim and occupy such land. Upstate New York, at this time, was the "frontier." The construction of the Erie Canal later provided a major waterway for rapid expansion into the Midwest via the Great Lakes.

Amos and Sarah moved to Lancaster, MA, and had John (our ancestor), Henry, Harvey, Amos, Jr., and possibly other children, including Sarah, born 1792. Other children are unknown at this time. In 1810, the family moved on to Herkimer County, New York.

John Farrington was born, 1788, and married Sophronia Johnson in 1812 in Herkimer County. They had eight children, Cephus, Elizabeth, Parmelia, Almeda Helen, Frances Sophronia, John Wesley, Horace Greeley (our ancestor), and Varnum Seward Farrington.

Amos Jr., John's brother, married Aurelia Minott, and had a daughter, Frances, in Schuyler. Frances died at an early age, and is buried in the cemetery on Minot Corner Road adjacent to the Farrington-Windecker farm. Amos Jr. and family, later departed for Wisconsin .

Horace Greeley Farrington, born February 21, 1831, had two marriages. The first marriage was to Susan E. Christman (also listed as Erzelia, Urzelia, Urzula or Erzula Christman) in 1853. She is the daughter of Zimri Christman and Susanna Folts and is reported to have died in 1863. He then married Libbie Wright. A conflict occurs here, between dates supplied by our own family historian, Helen Hyer, and the history of the Farrington Family. The historical record of the life of Horace Greeley Farrington is quite sketchy in the history, and knowing as well as I do, the numerically oriented mind of my aunt Helen and her fixation with dates, I am inclined to follow Helen's lead from here on out. The history of the Farrington Family, incidentally, ends with Horace's second son, Grant, but makes no mention of his first son, Elmer (our Great Grandfather). Helen Hyer supplies much of the rest.

According to our aunt Helen, Horace Greeley Farrington was born, February 21, 1830 in the Town of Schuyler, and died January 26, 1904 in Pulaski, Oswego County, New York. He married Erzelia Christman, October 4, 1853. She was born in 1832 and died in 1868. They had two children, Elmer and Grant, who married Carrie Balsey and moved to Pulaski. Elmer was born in 1860, and Grant, in 1868. Horace's marriage to Libbie Wright in 1869 resulted in a daughter, Mary, who later married John Abbott.

The 1850 census shows that Horace resided in the Town of Schuyler and his mother, Sophronia was living with him. Sources indicate that he had a farm, probably located on the State Road, and also conducted business at a cotton mill located in Middleville that was owned by his father, John. Later in life, he departed for Pulaski, New York, and purchased a farm there. He was a devout Methodist and was active in the community, in both Schuyler and Pulaski. He also worked as a bookkeeper, a trade he learned at the cotton mill. It was reported that he was working on accounts for a business in Pulaski and suddenly took ill and died that day.

Copyright 2001. Harry Windecker. All rights reserved.

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