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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HENRY R. GAY is a son of Rodolphus and Anna (Loomis) Gay, and was born in Herkimer county, New York, on April 4, 1805. His grandfather, Ephraim Gay, was a native and life-long resident of the State of Connecticut, a typical New Englander in life and a farmer by occupation. In political faith he belonged to the Federalist party. Together with his two sons, Harvey and Henry, twins, he entered the Revolutionary struggle, he as a private and the boys as drummers. They took part in many battles, and through the favorable turn of fortune’s wheel, were again permitted to return to civil life. Grandfather Gay was married and had a family of one daughter and three sons. Maternal grandfather, Ephraim Loomis, was also a native of Connecticut and took part in the Revolutionary war. Rodolphus Gay (father) was born in Connecticut, where he lived until after his marriage, when he changed his fortunes to the State of New York, Herkimer county, about 1790. Here he reared his family and calmly met his death. He was a farmer by occupation, a democrat in politics, and at one time was captain of a company of New York State militia. By his marriage with Anna Loomis he had four daughters and three sons.

Henry R. Gay was united in marriage to Clara A. Tennant, a daughter of John Tennant (see sketch of Tennant), by which union were born the following children: Laura N. (born August, 1828), married first to Isaac Palmer (deceased), at the time of his death a native of Illinois, to whom were born five children — Galon, Frank, Alice, Clara and Etta. Laura N. was married the second time to John Ward; Ira R. (born May 5, 1830), married to Diana Mason, a daughter of Hezekiah Mason, of Ripley, New York; Edith, wife of Allen Bartlett (deceased), an employee of the clerk’s office at Buffalo, New York; Bertha, wife of Moses Smith (deceased), a merchant at State Line, New York; Cassius, married to Julia Fessenden, an ice manufacturer of Carthage, Missouri; Ira, a farmer, and Frank H. Alonzo, born in Ripley, February 8, 1841, a telegraph operator now located in Chicago, Illinois.

Henry R. Gay received a scanty education, took up the work of and became a farmer. He removed to Chautauqua county, town of Ripley, April 15, 1833, where he has since resided. Through hard work and unremitting energy he has succeeded in acquiring a good farm and considerable personal property. Politically he is a democrat and has filled with credit a number of town offices.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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