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Elias Avery's Geni Profile

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Elias Avery

Nicknames: "Papa"
Birthplace: Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
Death: Died in Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Oak Glen Cemetery, Aurora, Cayuga, NY, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Daniel Avery, Ens. and Deborah Avery
Husband of Sally Avery
Father of Maria Barber Smith; Elizabeth Denison Ridgway; William E. Avery; John Barber Avery; Latham Noyes Avery and 2 others
Brother of Daniel Avery, Congressman; Dudley Avery, M.D.; Isaac Avery, Lieut.; Deborah Avery; Latham Avery and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Elias Avery

THE GROTON AVERY CLAN, Vol. I, by Elroy McKendree Avery and Catherine Hitchcock (Tilden) Avery, Cleveland, 1912. Found in the DAR Library, Washington DC. Page 302-3.

Elias Avery and Sally (Barber) Avery, were born in the town of Groton, New London Co., Conn. Soon after their marriage they emigrated from their native town to Aurora, N. Y. The intervening country was a wilderness, which they traversed on horseback; they were among the earliest pioneers to Aurora, and here they resided until their death.


"Elias was an early merchant at Aurora. He was born April 6th, 1768, and died July 31st, 1837. Two of his children are living, John B., at Farmer, Seneca county, and Noyes L., at Grand Rapids, Michigan."

source: History of Cayuga County, New York, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, by Elliot G. Storke, p 397

The first merchant at Aurora was Abiather Hull, who opened a store about 1792, in a log building of small dimensions, which stood a little south of the Presbyterian church. He continued as late as 1798, and removed from the town. Elias Avery, Daniel Avery, brother of Elias, from Groton, Conn., Daniel Foote, brother- in-law of Daniel Avery, and probably from the same place, Wm. McCarthy, also from Conn., and Richard and Zebulon Williams were engaged in mercantile business here prior to 1800. The Williamses continued till about 1810 ; Daniel Avery and Foote, till about 1800; and McCarthy till about 1820, when he was succeeded by his son William, Jr., who continued till about 1825 or '6. Both Avery and Foote had families and died in the town, the former January 30th, 1812. Elias Avery, who had a separate store, continued till about 1810, and died here July 31st, 1837.

source: History of Cayuga County, New York, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, by Elliot G. Storke, p 405


From the Surviving Letters Project

Several original letters written by Elias survive and are still in the possession of the family through descent.

Transcribed letter from Elias Avery (1768 – 1837) to his nephew Sidney Smith Avery (1800 – 1869), son of Congressman Daniel Avery (1766-1842)

Sidney S. Avery Meadsville Halifax County Virginia

Ledyard, September 8th, 1835

Dear Sidney

Notwithstanding you have a number of very valuable and interesting correspondents (sic), Enough to Engross all your better thoughts, still I thought perhaps a Line or two from me would not be altogether unwellcome (sic) – Seeing it comes from one that feels a strong and abiding Interest in whatever matters to your wellfaer and happiness -- Especially in Regard to your health – which I was very sorry to hear was not as good as when you left home, and that your flesh had wasted Considerably, which Loss may be felt in more ways than one, as you had just a becoming Quantity -- which I hope may again be Restored together with Sound health -- you was pleased to make Some Kind Enquiries after mine and your Aunts – which I can say is much the same as when you were here – my Lameness is Rather more troublesome – and the Difficulty in my throat about as heretofore, sometimes Choaked (sic) up for a Day or two then got over it - I am now fast Recovering from a pretty severe attack of the of the Cholery Morbus which brought me Quite Low -- But none of those things move me, altho they all have a tendency to Lead the mind to reflect upon the future, and I believe I can Say in Sincerity that the nearer Death Seams to approach the more willing I am to meete it -- Not from a thoughtless fool hardyness, But from a full belief of Immortal Life and Blessedness in the world to Come for all the family of man -- This world is a mixture of joys and Sorrows – Each one having a portion allotted to them, I would not Complain of mine – but owing to my peculiar situation, I sometimes feel to wish my self out of it. But there is many things for which I do feel thankful to God and very greatfull (sic) to friends – for it is from the kind and affectionate attention which I Receive from Every member of the family, sweetens Life and Renders it a blessing. God will Reward them for I cannot. I will now proceed to give you a few of the Occurences which have taken place since you Left – as they occur to my mind -- to wit as the lawyer would say -- yesterday your father (Daniel Avery 1766-1842), his wife (prob. his 3rd wife Freelove Mitchell 1808-1841) & Abby, Alfred (Alfred Avery 1791-1854), Edwin (Edwin Avery 1795-1856) and their wives, stepped on board the Steam Boat on a visiting tour Down East – by the way of New York, and Hartford to New London and Groton. I hope they will Realize all the pleasures they anticipate – by them I had an opportunity of sending my best and kindest thoughts to Cousin C. (probably Christopher Lester Avery 1826-1904) and I could have added yours – but I concluded you could do that much better your self -- The Same Day she that was Matilda Foote started for the west – she had previously been Married a few weeks to a Gentleman by the Name of Campbell, a merchant from Ottoway (Ottawa), Illinois – the Seperation from her friends in particular from her Dear and affectionate Mother can be better felt than told – he is said to be a worthy (wealthy?) man and much of a Gentleman and withall very pious -- which you know is no Objection in auntys family -- Indeed true piety is to be admired in all --

This Day as we are told. F. E. Curtis & S. Marsh take Each Other for better for worse, and of(f) they tilt to New York – I wish them no evil -- Lydia & the Esqr. still jog along with a steady pace – true as the Needle to the pole – and I dont know but they feel satisfyed that Courtship is happyness Enough for them, but I guess however it will Not be Long before they take one Degree more towards Matrimonial fidelity (felicity?) – and I hope it may be a Bliss Compleat, and as Lasting as Life. Page 2

There has been an unusual Number of Deaths in the viliage this Season – Some that perhaps you have Not heard of – Mary Burnham, Mary Allen, Mary Baley (prob. Bailey), and Jonathan Richmond junr. a very Sudden Death -- a Greate grief to the family – and much Lamented by his acquaintance – he was a very Interesting young Man – we have Likewise had the news of the death of your Uncle Isaac’s (Isaac Avery 1772-1858) wife (Sarah Brooks (1774-1834) Notwithstanding it was somewhat expected by the family, Still it was an afflictive stroke, in particular to your Uncle, for Never was mans heart more bound up in a woman, he Loved her almost to adoration – She was to be Loved, Because She was Lovely -- I am Thankful that I have no more Deaths to Record at this time. Your father has Bought the Swan place – for $4500 – with some perquisites attached – takes possession in the Spring. Lewis comes into the Oald Hive -- E. B. & H. Morgan have sold the Aurora Home to Wm. Wood, for what sum I cannot say, I presume at a Heavy Discount from the East, they take Woods House in part pay -- Charles E Shepard has failed, or blown up as the Saying is – his personal property was sold some time since. The Real Estate is to be sold 15th this month, I expect the Esqr. will be a bidder for the house and Lot, if he gets it, what Next -- Further the Deponent saith Not -- The family, those now absent, and those present are in pretty good health. Likewise Lewises and and ant Genoa. Your Colt I saw a Days since for the first time since I saw you – he was in good order and Looked well --- If your patience holds out to the end of this confession of thoughts if Not of tonges I shall feel fully compensated for wrighting it -- give my best respects to Benjamin – hope to Live to see you both. yours with much Love & Respect

Elias Avery

P. S. The Oald Mill is almost a New one She is progressing quite fast, the Capt. has ordered a third Run of stones to be added, so then will 2 of Burn & 1 of Rock -- it is thought she will be Ready for business by the Middle of Oct. Next – and will be as fine a Mill as any in the County. E. A.


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Elias Avery's Timeline

April 6, 1768
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
September 28, 1800
Age 32
Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States
December 30, 1801
Age 33
Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States
July 19, 1803
Age 35
Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States
July 19, 1805
Age 37
Aurora, Cayuga, New York, United States
August 9, 1808
Age 40
Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States
May 19, 1811
Age 43
Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States
April 15, 1813
Age 45
Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States
December 11, 1815
Age 47
Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States
July 31, 1837
Age 69
Aurora, Cayuga County, New York, United States