The newest entry in this series takes a look at a document that hangs on the wall in the library. This document dates from 1745 and is the marriage certificate of Ruth Livingston Mills' great-great-grandparents, Francis Lewis and Elizabeth Annesely. Several documents signed and written by Ruth Livingston Mills' ancestors grace the wall of the library as a way to emphasize Ruth's Livingston heritage and the history of her family at this site. Francis Lewis signed the Declaration of Independence, which was a clear point of pride for Ruth. It created a clear link from Ruth to the foundation of the country.
|Francis Lewis (1713-1802)|
“This is to certify all whom it may concern, that the underwritten did on the fifteenth day of June, in the year Seventeen Hundred & forty five did join together in the holy Band of Matrimony according to the form and manner of the Church of England as by law Established Francis Lewis of the City of New York, Merct. & Elizabeth Annesly of the same [??]; by virtue of a license granted by Governor Clinton. In testimony to which I have here unto set my hand & seal this eighth day of February Seventeen Hundred Forty Seven.”
Thomas Standard, Rector of WestchesterSadly, Lewis outlived his wife by more than 20 years after she was captured by the British army during the Revolutionary War. Lewis's home was targeted because he had become a strong supporter for the Revolutionary cause. The home was destroyed and his wife was kept in poor conditions during her imprisonment. Sadly, her health never recovered from the ordeal and she died less than two years later.
Francis and Elizabeth had three children who survived infancy, Francis, Jr., Morgan (Ruth's grandfather), and Ann. Ironically, Francis married a woman from a Tory family and Ann married a British soldier. Only Morgan married someone who was loyal to the Revolutionary cause. He married Gertrude Livingston, sister of the Chancellor Robert Livingston of Clermont. The Livingstons were another family whose home was attacked and burned by the British. (For more information about the burning of Clermont, read this blog.) Ultimately Morgan Lewis survived the war and purchased the land where Staatsburgh is located to build a home for his family. When his home was burned (not by the British) in 1832, he rebuilt a larger home that was remodeled to its current state by his great-granddaughter in 1895.
|Morgan Lewis (1754-1844)|