(Family note: I just returned from a short trip to Minnesota and South Dakota updating our Skillman family. I began my trip in Mazeppa, Minnesota, where Francis Martin Skillman arrived from New York State in 1856. I followed the path of my greatgrandfather Charles Nelson Skillman as he moved westward into South Dakota and Montana. One of the Most interesting items found in South Dakota was a photograph of Charles Nelson Skillman and several famous Indian chiefs. I will publish the photo later on this site. One other interesting piece of information uncovered was detailed accounts of Francis Martin Skillman’s life while he was an elected member of Minnesota’s first state legislature. I will add more later.)
My Skillman line is on my mother’s side of the family; her name is Helen Elizabeth Skillman Hall. The Information for the first six generations of the Skillman family comes from “The Skillmans of America and Their Kin” written by Rev. William Jones Skillman and published in the “New York Genealogical and Biographical Record” in 1906 – 1908. If you wish a more thorough and detailed record of the first six generations, Bill Skillman has the complete collection of articles on his website
; then scroll down the page and click “Skillmans of America and Their Kin.” Beginning with generation seven below, the data was collected by myself with help from my mother.
Thomas(1) Skillman, b. 1635-1640 (another source lists his birth as 1641). Soldier under Col. Richard Nicolls (sailed with his commander on the Guiney, one of three or four ships in the expedition)in Expedition of Duke of York, ordered by the King, 2/25/1664,(to region New Amsterdam from the Dutch for the English), sailed from Portsmouth, 5/15, and dropped anchor in the harbor of Nieuw Amsterdam(near present Fort Hamilton), 8/18 same year. After the surrender he stayed in this country and become “inhabitant and freeholder” at Newtown, L.I. under Nicoll’s Patent of 1/23/1666. Served in Esopus War; honorably discharged 4/6/1668. In 1669 he m. Sara, dau. Of John Petit, Newtown, of whom Huntingdon (History fo Stamford) says: “John Petet was here early, and had children recorded to him before 1650. (More recent sources say that Sara Petet’s parents were Thomas Pettit b. 6/1609-1610, d. 10/1668, and Christina Mellowes, b. 1611.) Inventory, dated 4/5/1676, made by Rich. Law and Francis Bell, mentions his widow, Sarah (Scofield), two sons and daus. Sarah Mary, and Bethia. Rich Law appointed guardian of his (John Petet’s) children in a court of magistrates, the Gov. being present, 4/14/1662. Debrow Petit here (Stamford) in 1657 (brother of John). Name afterward spelled Petit. “Rev. Samuel Orcutt (Hist. of Stratford and Bridgeport) says: “John Petit was in Roxbury in 1639, and at Stratford in 1651. Probably soon removed to Stamford, and thence to New Town, L.I. “John Petit and Sarah Scofield, his wife, were the parent of Sara, wife of Thomas Skillman. Children:
Elsje, b. 1672.
Sara, b. 1675.
Lijsbet, b. 1677.
Thomas(2) Skillman (Thmas(1))b. 1671. Name signed with others, “inhabitants of Helgate Neck,” to ap petition, 5/11/1703. Was Commissioner of Highways, Newtown, 1714; joint owner also with Jos. And Sam’l Hallett, Sam’l and Jos. Moore, and Isaac Bragaw, of a plat, 30×22 feet for a School House, 5/20/1721. This building was at Middletown (near Dutch Kills), on the road from Hallett’s Cove to Netwon Village. His name appears as witness to deed given by his son, Isaac to Sam’l Albertus in 1729. Subscribed 5 pounds for erection of Dutch Ref. Chruch of Newtown, 1731. The first board of Kerck Meesters (wardens or trustees) of this church, chosen 1736, were Peter Berrien, Thomas Skillman, and Petrus Schenck. His pew in this church was No. 1, on the northwest side of the middle aisle, and his family home (which had been his father’s, the homestead), was at Dutch or Maspeth Kills. In 1693, Thomas, m. Annetje, dau. Of Adriaen Hendricksen Aten (Aaten, Aate, Aeten, Atje) “immigrant, 1651, 36 y’r” ( his age then), from Holland (Van Doesburg), who settled at Flatbush, L.I.; was chosen Constable, 10/1665; sold parcels of land there, 4/3 and again 11/5 of that year, bought house-lot af Flatbush of Jan Strycker, 3/27, 1680. The father and his son Thomas, “native of Flackbush,” took oath of allegiance, 1687, wife and mother being Lysbet Thomas, widow of Guysbert Lubbertse. Annetje Aten, wife of Thomas Skillman and mother of his children, was communicant of member of Newtown (Ref. Dutch) Church, 1741. Her parents, 3/20/1696, made a joint will, dividing their estate at death equally among their children, except that Maritje (bap. At Flatbush Dutch Church, 3/31/1678) was given a double portion, as she remaining unmarried and having chief care of the father and mother. The will of Thomas(2) Skillman (Records of Kings Country and Queens), dated 2/13/1739, witnessed by Barnadus Van Zandt, John Rapalje, and Cornelis Berrien, Jr., probated 7/4/1740, names his wife, Ann, and all their then living children, Two had died young. Children:
Peter, bap. 3/4/1694; d. in infancy.
Elizabeth, twin of Peter, bap. at same date; d. 8/29/1917 giving birth to a daughter who also died.
Jan, b. 1696.
Mary, b. 1698.
Mercy, bap. in Brooklyn, 2/2/1701.
Annetje, b. 1703.
Isaac, b. 1706.
Jacob, b. 1708.
Benjamin, b. 1710.
Joseph(3) b. 1712.
Joseph(3) Skillman (Thomas(2), Thomas(1)), b. 1712; record of bap. in non-extant, Joost, as he was called, was lame in one of his feet from childhood, and much kept within doors at home in his yout, and yet had spent apparently a rahter robust out-of-door ife for sixy years. He was a farmer in Bushwyck (heart of Brooklyn today), Skillman Street getting its name from this family, and the farm on which he spent his life he gave at death to his 4th son, John, by will of 10/1/1767, probated 4/18/1772. The witnesses to this will were William Craambos, Peter Vandewater, and Jno. Roosevelt, the executors being Sarah, his wife, Jacob Messerole, his brother-in-law, and his friend Theodorus Polhemus. By this will other small lots of land in “Bushwick were bequeathed to his son Joseph, and varying sums of money to each of the remaining members of family. To his wife (who survived him), the testator devised “also the use of my negro Tom to wait on here during her life.” All the heads of families of his generation of Skillmans were probably owners of salves, though they never called them such; Abraham and Benjamin as well as Joost or Joseph were, and quite certainly the others. Thomas(2), their father, in his will of 1739, gave his executors full power “to sell my negro mand Sam and my negro women Dorcas, as soon as convenient after my decease.” In 1735, Joseph m. Sara, dau. Of Jan Messerole and Elizabeth his wife, of Bushwick. Sara was sister of Isaac Messerole who m. Catherine Skillman, the dau. Of Abraham, Joseph’s elder brother. Issac and Sara here were grandchildren of Jan or Jean Messerole. Jr., the “sucking child” (and only son) of Jean Messerole and Jonica, his wife, brought with them in 1663 from Picardy. Their grandmother was Meritje Coevert. Children of Joseph(3) and Sara Messerole Skillman:
Thomas(4), b. 1736.
William, b. 1739?.
Elizabeth, b. 1741.
Sarah, b. 1743.
Mercy, b. 1745.
Joseph, b. 1748.
John, b. 1750.
Antje or Anna Maria, bap. 10/22/1752.
Thomas(4) Skillman (Joseph(3), Thomas(2), Thomas(1), b. 3/13/1736; m. Janitje, dau. Of Francis Titus (license issued 4/11/1761) and wife Ida de Bevoise, granddaughter of Francis who first settled at Bushwick (m. Antje Fontyn), the ancestor being Capt. Titus Syraechs de Vries, part owner of the grist mill at N. Utrecht, 1660, whose sons were Syraech Titus (great grandfahter of Janitje), and Teunis Titus, head of New Jersey family of this name. Francis Titus was a tory, while his son-in-law, Thomas(4) Skillman, was a Lieut. In the Militia on the patriot side in the Battle of Long Island. At Kip’s Bay (34th Street, N.Y.), the latter was taken prisoner, 1776, and confined in New York, but his royalist father-in-law interceded, and both he and his brother John took advantage of Lord Howe’s proclamation, and returned to their homes in Bushwick. Their uncle Abraham then also came back to Dutch Kills. Janitje died previous to 1797, and with sister and other of Thomas was buried at Red Hook, L.I. The same year Thomas(4) bought a 200-acre farm at Aquebogue and married a Jemima Wells. Children of Thomas(4) and Janitje:
Joseph, b. 1763.
Francis, b. 1764.
Sarah, b. 1766.
Thomas(5), b. 1770.
Thomas(5) Skillman (Thomas(4), Joseph(3), Thomas(2), Thomas(1), b. 7/17/1770; m (1788) Jerusha Rogers (Note: I have the genealogy of Jerusha Rogers back 17 generations to Sir Tancred de Hautville, b. abt 970 in Normandy, France; d. abt. 1058; included in her family is Count Roger II, King of Sicily, b. 1063, d. 2/26/1154.); 1824 sold his farm at Aquebouge and removed to McDonough, N.Y.; d. 11/4/1833, and is buried in Smithville, Chenango Co.; wife d. 2/21/1850. Children:
Thomas, b. 1789
Rachel, b. 1/3/1792, d. 5/21/1876.
Josiah, b. 1794.
Sarah, b. 3/25/1797, d. at Riverhead, L.I., 8/26/1847.
Joseph, b. 1802.
Maria, b. 9/24/1804.
Jane, twin of Maria.
Elsey, b. 2/12/1808, d. unmarried 2/25/1837.
Francis Martin(6), b. 1812.
Francis Martin(6) Skillman (Thomas(5), Thomas(4), Joseph(3), Thomas(2), Thomas(1),), b. at Aquebouge, L.I., 1812, and as a lad of 12 removed with family to Chenango Co., N.Y.; lamed by accident, he become a teacher and farmer; m. 1837, Julia A. Chappell (b.1815, d. 1879); removed 1856 to Mazeppa, MN, and took up land; elected to first State Legislature, 1858; d. 1886. Children:
Evander, b. 1838; m. 1865, Electa C. ont; had five boys; d. in Livingston, MT. Fought in Civil War, captured at Murfreesboro, TN, and returned home. Elsie, b. 1840, m. 1857 to J. O. Wilcox who was killed in Civil War; m. 1869 T.F. Sturtevant, one child Nellie.
Milon, b. 1842, served in Co. B. Brackett’s Bat., MN Cav., moved to Tyndall,
Frank, b. 1844, served in Civil War; m. Lizzie Hopkins, four children; druggist 1880-90 at Valley Springs, S.D., moved then to Oregon City, Oregon.
Phil, b. 1845, served in Civil War; m. Fannie A. Rawson; lawyer, city clerk, Red Wing, MN; mayor of Aberdeen, SD; moved to Olympia, WA; three children.
Sarah, b. 1847, m. Stephen Lont, home in Waterbury, CT. (moved to Portland, Oregon).
Ida, b. 1/18/1850; d. 4/13/1871.
William B., b. 1851; m. Mary E. Annible; two sons, Charles A. and Edward;
home, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA.
Charles Nelson(7), b. 1855.(Barry Hall’s great-grandfather)
James H., b. 1859; lived with Elsie.
Nellia E., b. 1862; m. Lynn Merrick; one son, Albert. Home Alleghany City, PA.
Charles Nelson(7) Skillman, Francis Martin(6), Thomas(5), Joseph(3), Thomas(2), Thomas(1)); the following is from “Montana; Its Story and Biography,” pages 264-265, published in 1921 by The American Historical Society and edited by Tom Stout; “Apart from the fat that he was born in New York State and Spent Several years as a youth in New England, Charles N. Skillman has spent his entire life in the Northwest, in the territories and states of Minnesota, Dakotas, and Montana. He came to Montana more than forty years ago. He knew many of the old time characters of the territory, and has filled in his years with varied activities as a rancher, merchant, real estate operator and public official. He is one of the earliest settlers and has been one of the men most prominently identified with the upbuilding of Big Timber and surrounding district.
He was born at German, Chenango County, New York, April 14, 1855. His paternal ancestors came from Holland (actually the original Skillman was an Englishman who married a Dutch woman) while his mother’s family were English. His father, Francis Martin Skillman, was born on Long Island, New York, in 1814, was reared and married here, and at the age of twenty-five moved to a farm in Chenango County. In addition to the cultivation of his acres, he was a licensed local preacher of the Methodist Church and he filled practically all the township offices in Chenango County. In 1856 he led his family in another move out to the western frontier, locating at Mazeppa in Minnesota Territory. Here he broke and developed some of the virgin soil of the farm and again become prominent in local affairs. He was a member of the First State Legislature of Minnesota, representing Wabasha Country. He also held local offices. He was a steadfast republican from the organization of the party until his death. The last three years of his life he spent retired at Minneapolis, where he died in 1887. Francis M. Skillman married Julia Ann Chappell, who was born in New York State in 1816 and died near Mazeppa, Minnesota, in 1879. Several of their sons were soldiers and officers in the Civil War. Evander, the oldest, was with the Third Minnesota Regiment of Infantry, re-enlisted and served through the war (he was actually captured at Murfreesboro, TN, and returned home) and in 1894 came to Montana and was a well-known rancher. He died at Livingston in 1917. Milo, the second of the family, is a retired farmer at Portland, Oregon, and he served two years in Company G of Hatcher’s Battalion of Cavalry in the Civil War. Elsic lives at Portland, widow of Thomas F. Sturdevant, who was a merchant. Franklin, living retired on his fruit farm at Portland, was a first lieutenant in the Third Minnesota Infantry and re-enlisted and went through the entire war. Philip was a second lieutenant in the same Minnesota regiment, and is still practicing law a Olympia, Washington. Sellie (Sarah) lives at Portland, widow of Stephen Lont, who was a rancher. Ida died at the age of twenty years at Mazeppa. William was a merchant and died at Portland, Oregon, in 1917. Charles N. is the ninth of this large family. His younger brother, James, is living retired at Portland, and the youngest in Nellie, a widow living at Portland. Charles N. Skillman was too young to recall any of the incidents of the family removal to Minnesota Territory. As a boy he attended school at Red Wing in that state, and completed his education at the age of sixteen, for three years he learned the trade and worked as a map mounter at Hartford, Connecticut. He then went back to Mazeppa, Minnesota, lived there four years, and for five years was a rancher and cattleman at Ipswich, South Dakota. In 1887 he came to Livingston, Montana, and for three years was employed by G.H. Carver, a merchant of that town.
He joined the new Community of Big Timber in 1890 and took up ranching. From 1891 to 1893 he was also associated with the Big Timber Mercantile Company. Through all the years, however, his chief activity has been ranching. He has bought and sold land both on his own account and for others and since 1892 has done a thriving real estate business, with officers on McLeod Street in Big Timber. He owns ranch of 200 acres on the Boulder River in Sweetgrass County, has eighty acres of irrigated land a half mile west of Big Timber, and has another place of 320 acres at Hunters Hot Springs in Park County. His land is devoted to grain and cattle.
Probably from his father Mr. Skillman inherted a tendency toward politics and public affairs. He has always been a leader in every community where he has lived. While in South Dakota he served as mayor of Ipswich three years, for three years was county commissioner of Edmunds County and for three years deputy sheriff. Upon the organization of Sweetgrass County he was appointed, February, 1895, clerk of the court and was regularly elected to that office in 1896 and held it for six years As a public official Mr. Skillman is doubtless best know as a United States (Land) Commissioner an appointment he received in 1895, and it has been continuous for over twenty years. He is a steadfast republican in politics. He has also served on the school bard of Big Timer, and is affiliated with Big Timber Lodge No. 25, Knights of Pythias, and was formerly a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Fraternal Order of Eagles.
On November 7, 1877, at Rochester, Minnesota, he married Miss Julia A. Prescott, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Prescott, both now deceased. Her father was rancher and active in republican politics. Mr. Skillman has two sons, Roy and Guy F. Roy has a fruit ranch at Afton, Virginia, and is also licensed pharmacist. Guy is a rancher and stock man at Big Timber and agent for the Continental Oil company.”
The following is taken from “Historical Atlas of Dakota” by A.T. Andreas, published in 1884: “EDMUNDS COUNTY, SD – On the 14th day of July, 1883, L. F. Diefendorf , L. A. Barbour and C.N. Skillman were appointed by Governor Ordway to organize this county. Their first meeting was held at the Skillman House in Edmunds, on the northwest quarter of the northwest of Section 5, Town 122, Range 68, on the 26 day of July, 1883. They adjourned until the following day, when they established the county seat at Edmunds, and appointed county officers….In March, 1883, E. E. Noble, T. A. Gilmore, C. N. Skillman and W. H. Adams located on claims adjoining the town site of Edmunds….Brown County, SD – Philander Skillman (old brother of C. N. Skillman)was awarded a pension (Cert#179,083)because of liver disease; he lived in Aberdeen.”
Julia Prescott Skillman (wife of Charles Nelson) died suddenly while hosting a dinner at her home in Bit timber, MT; the year was 1923. Charles Nelson seemed to lose all interest in life and eventually became ill. He moved to Afton, VA, to live with his son, Silas Leroy (Roy). He died in 1928 and is buried in Waynesboro, VA. Julia and Charles had two boys, Guy Franklin and Silas Leroy.
Guy Franklin, b. 1885, Medford, MN, d. 1935, Big Timber, MT. He married Estelle Cora Hanche in 1909. Estelle was b. Ft. Supply, OK, d . Los Angeles, CA, 2/18/37, buried in Big Timber, MT. Guy and Estelle had three children: Charles Lee, b. 8/16/1910, d. Burbank, CA; still born; Guy Ronald, b. 9/16/18.
Silas Leroy (Roy)(8) Skillman, Charles Nelson (7),
Francis Martin (6), Thomas (5), Thomas (4), Joseph (3), Thomas (2), Thomas (1), b. 8/11/1877 in Re Wing, MN; d. 2/1933 in Charlottesville, VA, buried in Waynesboro, VA. Roy ran a fruit ranch in Afton, VA and was licensed pharmacist. He married Fannie Ruth Dedrick (or Deadrick) in 1911 in Waynesboro, Va. Her father war Merchant Dedrick and her mother was Elizabeth Taylor. After Roy’s death, she married Walter Atkins. Fannie Ruth was born 12/27/1892 in Waynesboro, VA, and died 6/8/1967 in Radford, Va; she is buried in Waynesboro, VA. Roy and Fannie Ruth had six children: Helen Elizabeth, b. 5/9/14 in Waynesboro, VA; Allen, b. 11/22/1916 in Afton, VA, d. 8/70 in Waynesboro, m. Virginia Brown; Donald, b. 10/15/1919, d. 8/29/1980 in a motorcycle accident in West Virginia; Betty, b. 8/23, 1929, first husband, Calvin Via, two children David and Susan, second husband, Lyle Harman; Robert Kenneth, b. 12/27/1931, m. Betty Drumheller, two children Julia and Christopher.
Helen Elizabeth (9), Silas Leroy (8), Charles Nelson (7), Francis Martin (6), Thomas (5), Thomas (4), Joseph (3), Thomas (2), Thomas (1), b. 5/9/19, m. Robert Stanley Hall 7/29/1939; moved to Chattanooga, TN, in 1948 to help open new DuPont Plant; three children, Barry Lee, b. 5/21/42, Rita Diane, b. 7/4/43 (adopted), Donna Kay, b. 3/21/461. ( See more details in the Hall Geneology section).
Barry Hall (10), Helen Elizabeth (9), Silas Leroy (8), Charles Nelson (7), Francis Martin (6), Thomas (5), Thomas (4), Joseph (3), Thomas (2), Thomas (1), b. 5/21/1942 in Waynesboro, VA; graduated from Red Bank HS in 1960 and from Emory and Henry college in 1964; began teaching school in Hamilton Co., TN, in 1964; lef Hamilton Co. and began teaching at The Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN, in 1981; as of this writing, he was completed 19 years at Baylor School. Barry married Maureen Keithley Smart on April 8, 1979. Maureen’s parents are Maury Smartt and Bettye Brown Smartt, both of Middle Tennessee; she has one older sister, Julia Suzanne Smart of Chattanooga. Maureen was born in Chattanooga 8/11/54. Barry and Maureen have two children: Robert Tyler, (11) b. 6/21/82 and Kathryn Suzanne, (11) b. 7/9/1987.
Tyler has a son, Robert Aaron Hall, b. 12/31/2013
Kathryn has a son, Avery Haynes Buszka, b. 10/12/2014
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