Gazlay Family History

SearchSources: Genealogy of the Gazlay Family

The Genealogy of the Gazlay Family, collated by Theodore Gazlay in 1890, is the oldest known surviving account of the descendants of John Gazlay who emigrated from England about the year 1715. The location of the original document, if it still exists, is unknown, and is apparently longer than the first seven pages that are reproduced here from a faded, typewritten photocopy (possibly a transcription of the original). Formatting and pagination shown below vary from the available photocopy, although the text is otherwise reproduced as accurately as possible (including several spelling and punctuation errors).


Of the

Gazlay Family,


Collated by

Theodore Gazlay,

from old Bibles, and older relatives, in the year 1890, at

Cincinnati, State of Ohio.


The original ancestors of the Gazlay family, came to the United States, from England. The name has undergone some changes, in spelling and pronunciation. Where our ancestors first landed, in the State of New York, the name was pronounced with long sound of the letter a in the first syllable, as though spelled Gazeley; and is still so pronounced in the East; in the West it is pronounced, with short short sound of a , Gaz-lay; this would seem to indicate that the pronunciation Gazeley, came from England, with our ancestors, where they first landed.

In corroboration of this theory, there is a family now residing in Albany, State of New York, who spell their names Gazeley. The father of this family is named James Gazeley, and he informs me that he came to this country some thirty years ago from England; that he has family relatives still residing in England; and he sent me a photograph of his brother, still in England, which show unmistakable signs of being of Gazlay blood; in fact it would do for a portrait of one of my brothers. I know nothing more of the derivation of the name, or where the original stock came from. But I think it is an old name in England. In looking over an old law book, many years ago, I accidently came across a note, stating that a certain Judge Gaselee has made a ruling in a Case, from which I infer that the name was originally so spelled.

The Gazlay family are prolific. There are people of that name in Texas, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, and in Kentucky and other States, and the Gazlay blood, scattered by marriage, may be found under other names, in nearly every State in the Union. Many of the Gazlay family, particularly the male portion, have what the Rev. David Swing, calls the Gazlay mark, that is a deep indentation on each side of the face running from the outerside of the nostrils, towards the corners of the mouth.

Theodore Gazlay, the writer of this, was born in the State of New York, where the family resided, and removed to the State of Ohio, at an early day, and being a young member of the family, had but little knowledge of its history.

He called upon his older brother, Rev. Sayrs Gazlay, for a statement, in relation to the family who, in 1852, gave to him the following statement, which he now has, (1890) in his writing.


Statement of Rev. Sayrs Gazlay--made in 1852, related to the Gazlay family.

“John Gazlay, our Great grand-father, emigrated from England to America (the United States,) about the year 1715, married Elizabeth Sayrs (or Sayer,) in the Northern part of New Jersey, or in the adjoining part of New York. He left only one heir, John Gazlay, (our grand-father,) who was born July 9th, 1722, (old style,) who served apprenticeship to the business of mill-wright, in Orange County, New York State. He early removed to Great Nine Partners, in Dutchess County, (New York,) and purchased 500 acres of new land, married Anna Ward, by which he had 12 children, who attained maturity; whose name were, Polly, Anna, John, Daniel, Hannah, James, Jonathan, Elizabeth, Diadama, (Joseph and Benjamin, twins,) and Abigail.

Her husband dieing, Elizabeth Sayrs Gazlay, (wife of our grand-father,) married Mr. North: The North’s of Walton, on the Deleware river, N.Y. are her descendants.

Polly Gazlay, married Dr. Forman, of Albany, N.Y., and had children named William, Nancy, (Mrs. Purdy,) Mrs. Mott, Bradner, David, Abraham, (Presbyterian Minister).

Anna Gazlay, married William Carter, (our grand-father on mother’s side,) which was the first of our families connection; and during the Revolutionary War, for it was the business of the War that made them acquainted. Giles W. Porters family are her grand-children.

Francis Purdy, married Nancy Furman, who left a family, at Fishkill, New York. [Nancy is the daughter of Polly (Gazlay) and Dr. Forman; see above.]

Elizabeth, married Samuel Forman, and left a family; names, Charles, Edwin, Forman.

Hannah, married Wright, left one son, John, (and two daughters, deceased,) John married and left a family, at Troy, on the Hudson river, New York.

Diadama, married Philip Hart, (in 1789,) left children, named; Jonas, Coe, Christopher, Albert, Ann-eliza, Maria, Philip. [Their surname is actually Heartt. The first two names belong to the same person, Jonas Coe. Missing from the list are Jonathan Titus Heartt and Charles Henry Heartt who both died in infancy.]

Abigail died single. [In the original document, this line is included at the end of the preceding paragraph on Diadama.]

Daniel was shot in Poughkeepie, during the War. [In the original document, this line is included at the end of the preceding paragraph on Diadama after the sentence on Abigail.]

John, the eldest son, married Sarah Furman; had nine sons, and two daughters. Aaron, the father of David and Harley, and those in Louisville, Kentucky; and Daniel, Alexander, Nancy, Elizabeth, Denton, John Furman, Joseph, Jacob, Benjamin, and Harry.

Jonathan, married Karenda Carter, and James, (our father,) married Huldah, (whose mother was Ward;) so that both of our, (Sayrs, Theodore and others,) Grand-mothers, were of the same name, but not related, as far as known, but probably descended from one stock of the Puritan settlers of New England.

Our blood is all English as far as we can trace our descent.

Besides clearing his land, grand-father built both a saw-mill and a grist-mill. The grist-mill is standing yet, (in 1852,) in the town of Clinton, Dutchess County, Nine Partners. The saw-mill has been rebuilt; the mill was built about 1765, and furnished flour for the Revolutionary Army. Its owner was once a member of the Continental Congress. Grand-father sold it to his son, John, in 1790.

Jonathan had 14 children; James 12; of Jonathan’s children two sons and two daughters, (1852) are still living, viz: Samuel, Thomas Jefferson, Patty, and Maria; of James’ children (1852) nine are living viz: James W., Ann, Carnelia, Aribert, Karenda, Julia, Theodore, and Delia, (hereinafter more fully explained.)

Elizabeth and Samuel Forman left a numerous family, names; Nancy, Eliza, Susan, John, Robert, Charles, Abigail. Nancy married David Lamberson, of Jamaica, Long Island; C.E. Furman, a Presbyterian Minister, now on Railroad between Buffalo and Albany, New York.”

The above statement given to Theodore Gazlay, by his brother Sayrs Gazlay, May 5th, 1852, and relates to the family as it then existed with antecedent information.

Among the Records of the family Bible of Sayrs Gazlay, I find the following, among the deaths, referring I suppose, to the old members, ancestors of our family.

Daniel Gazlaydied1777
Abigail Gazlay"1795
Anna Gazlay"1797
John Gazlay, Senior"1811
John Gazlay, Junior"1812
Mary Gazlay Foreman"1805

Also the following:

John Gazlay, born July 9th., 1722 (old style,) at Goshen, Orange County, New York.

Anna Ward, his wife, born Nov. 15th., 1725, married Oct. 30th., 1746.

Children of John Gazlay and Anna Ward, and dates of birth:

Mary GazlaybornOct.4th.,1747
John Gazlay"Jany.11th.,1750
Daniel Gazlay"March22nd.,1752
Ann Gazlay"July8th.,1754
Hannah Gazlay"April18th.,1756
James Gazlay, (father of Theodore Gazlay and others,) 
Jonathan Gazlay"Aug.17th.,1760
Elizabeth Gazlay"Feby.9th.,1763
Diadama Gazlay"June18th.,1765
Abigail Gazlay"April27th.,1768
Joseph and Benjamin, twinsbornNov.24th.,1771

James Gazlay, father of Theodore Gazlay, born Jany. 23rd., 1758; Huldah his wife Feby. 11th., 1767.

I, Theodore Gazlay, now come to my own inadequate family; James Gazlay, the father of Theodore Gazlay, (and other children hereinafter named,) was born Jany. 23rd., 1758, and Huldah, his wife, Feby. 11th., 1767; said James Gazlay was married to Huldah Carter, October 20th., 1783, and had 12 children, whose names are as follows:

Family of James and Huldah Gazlay:

  Born  Died 
James William,July23rd.,1784June8th.,1874
Elizabeth,March26th.,1792  1829
Mary Elizabeth,Dec.9th.,1805  1833
Juliann,  1806   
Huldah Jane,June3rd.,1808  1830
Adelia, or Delia,Dec.14th.,1813   

All of there children lived to maturity. The family formerly resided in Cairo, Greene County, State of New York, where Theodore Gazlay, and Adelia were born. James W. the oldest son, (lawyer,) had removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, about the year 1818? About the year 1820 or 1821, the whole family removed from Greene County, New York, to Cincinnati; and on their arrival, the father and mother, and eleven of the children, (Sayre only being absent, in New York,) sat down to dinner, at the house of James W. Gazlay, in Cincinnati.

The family afterwards, in 1821 or 1822, removed to Switzerland County, Indiana, on a farm, near Patriot, and after the death of James Gazlay, the father, changed residences, and became scattered as the following will show, to some extent.

[This is the end of page seven of the typewritten photocopy. The last sentence of this page (above) suggests that there is at least another page, which is not included in the photocopy.]


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