Table of Contents
Edition 3.2 - 1 May 2010
The Kemmis family history has been maintained for centuries. Unfortunately, the Sushan, New York, USA branch has been somewhat neglected for the past two hundred years or so. Only a few persons have traced their lineage back to John Kimmis of Sushan. This is a compilation of that knowledge and an attempt to present that information in hypertext format.
This particular version begins with John Kimmis. Branches of the family have been determined by the general location of settlement or burial. Please check revision level and revision record (within document source) for latest update information.
Among the Colonists during the Revolutionary War with Great Britain was John Kimmis. He was a soldier in Captain John Armstrong's Company, Alexander Webster's regiment, Charlotte County (Dorset) Militia. The regiment served locally and never served as a part of the regular colonial troops. "It is certain that the Militia held the Hudson River and prevented Burgoyne from crossing to the mouth of the Battenkill where Baron Reidessel had made a survey with a view of making his stand rather than at Saratoga where he was later compelled to surrender. Shushan, where John Kimmis lived was but a short distance up the Battenkill and this river ran through his farm. Dorset was a little farther east, now in Vermont and practically all this regiment was made up of men living right in the vicinity. They would have fought hard to prevent the British from crossing the Hudson to the mouth of the Battenkill River where their homes were. They are not mentioned in reports of the Battle of Saratoga, but I am sure they were there." (1) "A James Kemmis who was a Gt-Gt-Gt uncle of the Colonel Kemmis who is my correspondent in England was with Burgoyne, having enlisted in 1775, sailed for Quebec in 1776 and surrendered to the Colonists in 1777, returned to England and did not again participate in the war on American soil."(1) "A Colonel W.H.O.Kemmis living in England tells me that the name is very commonly spelled Kimmis in Ireland..." "I am inclined to think that John Kimmis was Irish. That he married a Darragh and his son William also married a Darragh rather helps to confirm my theory in my mind. Darragh is distinctively an Irish name."(1)
A John Kimmas, private, Webster Regiment, Hamilton company is listed in the «Roster of Troops», Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Volume XV, State Archives, Vol. I dated 1887.
A John Kimmans is listed as an enlisted man in the Dutchess County Militia - Sixth Regiment New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, Vol. I, a compilation of documents and records from the office of the state comptroller, 1904.
The following is an account taken from historical journals of Dr. Asa Fitch, Salem, New York. This account was told to him on 10 April 1868 by John K. Crosier:
John Kimmis (says John K. Crosier, Salem, April 10, 1868) came from Ireland, there being some relationship between his family and that of Crosiers, though they did not come over together. He might have been one of Dr. Clark's company. He was well educated, his parents interested in him studying medicine and he had passed throughout the preparatory studies, when he emigrated. His first wife dying, he married Mary (Darragh?), who came over with the Crosiers and was living with the family. Kimmis first settled Lot 271 where Stanley now lives, his house being nearer the bridge than Stanley's is. He was a violent Whig and served in the Revolutionary War, but the family never got any pension money. At one time he was on the point of shooting old Alex. Wright who was a Tory and lived next east of him on Lot 272 ----his daughter was Esquire Andrew Martin's wife, and mother of the lawyer John W. Martin now in Cambridge. Wright had been hid or away with Tory bands, sometime, and Kimmis seeing him stalking about home drew up his gun to shoot him. It was the rules for a sentry to ask "Who goes there?" three times before shooting at the man who crossed his track, and Kimmis was eager to shoot his Tory neighbor that he called out "Who goes there three times?" and was on the point of firing thereupon when Wright called to him not to fire upon him. Such are the particulars of the incident I have heard told a hundred times in my childhood.
After the Revolutionary War, Kimmis bought all the north part of Lot 4 of the Quassacook Patent in Jackson, a little below Sushan, on which he afterward lived until his death. (He died 1822 aged 91---and was therefore born 1731). He occupied gallery seat No. 24 in Dr. Proudfit's Church. He had but 3 children vis. W., Sam, and Agnes.(2)
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Kemmis of Novi, Michigan, USA
Kemmis of Prophetstown, Illinois, USA
Crosier of ..., ..., USA
John L. & Irene Kemmis