The Cudbeth Leaf

leafOne of the most perplexing problems in tracing the Ferris family tree is known as the “Cudbeth Leaf.” In the mid-1800s, one Henry Dean Ferris (1755-1807) appears in Saratoga County, New York. His wife is listed as Priscilla Cudbeth (1754-1848).

The two and their descendents have products quite a lineage of Ferrises. However, Henry’s link to the Jeffrey Ferris family tree, or to any Ferris family tree is unknown.

The couple “seems” to have originated in Dutchess County, New York. The county was a hotbed of Ferris folks from both the Jeffrey lineage and that of Nathaniel Ferris. The two families migrated to the area from Connecticut at nearly the same time and lived relatively” near each other.

The name “Cudbeth”

, however, is far harder to trace. I believe that it should be “Cuthbert.” That surname originates in Rhode Island, with the descendents of one Samuel Cuthbertson. The family is found in Dutchess County in colonial times.

There is a belief that Priscilla’s father was named John. I have identified a John Cuthbert (b. 1718, Rhode Island). His father was James and his mother was Mary Ripley. I have not yet found a connection between James Cuthbert and the lineage of Samuel Cuthbertson. The sole link is Rhode Island, and I would suggest that James is a son of Samuel though I have not yet found proof.

John Cuthbert (b. 1718, Rhode Island) was married, it appears, to Sarah Moore. And that is where the trail ends at this time. None of the other John Cuthberts that I have found were born early enough to father Priscilla.

Looking at Henry, if his middle name is reported correctly, Dean ought to be his mother’s maiden name. The convention for the Ferris family at the time was to give mom’s maiden name as the middle name for one or more of the children. That’s a guess.

I have a Rachel Dean (1735 or 1731-1779) who married Jonathan Ferris (1732-1798) in 1757. The family lived in Westchester County, New York, and the couple have a large number of children. But no Henry that I can find.

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  1. As a descendant of both Henry Ferris and his son, Henry, I am very interested in this post. You seem to have some information that my family does not, and I believe that I may have some that you would find interesting as well. Priscilla Cuthbert was my ggg-grandmother. She lived out her final years on the farm owned by her son, Henry. This land has remained in our family and is currently owned by my brother. My brothers and I are the sixth generation of Ferrises to live on this farm.
    Please contact me if you would like to compare notes.

    1. I would love to hear more. The e-mail address you left, however, seems to be bouncing my response.

    2. Hi Nancy –

      I found this page after googling Henry Ferris, Dutchess County. I’m doing research on my mother’s family, and Henry would be my 5th great grandfather. We come from Henry – Henry Jr. – George C. – Henry Ranson Ferris. I’m stuck on Henry and George C. Would love to hear more about your side, if you would like to share info with your Cincinnati, OH cousin. 🙂

      1. I live in Cincinnati, as well (Anderson). Henry is my 6 times gg.

  2. Sorry, that’s what I get for not proofreading. I had left out a number.

    1. Nancy, I just saw your post in my search for the ancestry of John “Cudbeth” Ferris, son of Henry and Priscilla. I have a lot of questions that you might have answers to, maybe the first being, is the middle name Cudbeth documented? I have not seen it in any documents. Have you? Does it come only from the James S. Ferris genealogy? I would love to know what you have on any of the other children of Henry and Priscilla. I am thinking that Henry might be a son of Elijah Ferris of the Nine Partners Patent in Dutchess county, NY.
      Susan Murphy

      1. Susan, it appears that Priscilla’s last name might have been Cuthbert. That family is known in Dutchess County at the time. I have a suspicion that the Ferris involved is from the Zachariah lineage and not Jeffrey.

        1. Simminch, I agree about Cuthbert, although I have seen the Cudbeths supposedly connected to a French name, Caudebec, or something similar.
          Weren’t the Zachariah branch Quakers? I think Henry and Priscilla were married at the Baptist church in Bangall, Stanford town, Dutchess co in 1806. The Quakers mostly lived in the Oblong. The Elijah I mentioned lived in the same area and married Phoebe Bullock. The early elders of that Baptist church were almost all Bullocks. Except for a Jedidiah, Elijah’s children seem to be unknown. I’m hoping to find evidence that Henry was one of them, but so far, no luck. Are you related to this line?

          1. There are Ferrises and Cuthberts listed as Quakers. For the Jeffrey lineage, a few Quakers especially from the John Ferris who was a Tory, went to Canada and then returned. Actually, more Mormons in the Jeffrey lineage, I think, as one group followed Brigham Young to Utah.
            Zachariah’s lineage had one large family move to Delaware from Westchester who were Quakers. Most others were not.
            Interestingly, the Richard Ferris that began a lineage in Jamestown is listed in a Quaker genealogy.
            I’ll look into Elijah.
            I am the author of this site. My maternal grandmother was a Ferris.
            Chuck Simmins

  3. Chuck, thanks for your response, and for hosting this site! I have to point out the error in my last message: It was not Elijah or Henry but John “Cudbeth” who married Phoebe Bullock at Bangall in 1806. Elijah married Hannah Reynolds, probably in Greenwich, CT.
    I have yet to find a record of either Henry or John with a middle name. Where did “Dean” come from?
    I am still trying to write from memory, but my memory is not as good as it used to be! Used to be able to keep all this straight in my head. Now I should look it up before I put my foot in my mouth. Feel free to question if I write something that sounds strange.
    The only religion I have found for these Ferrises is Baptist, but that began with John. I guess Henry and Elijah could have been anything. Wish I knew, especially whether they belonged to the SAME church!
    Let me know if you find anything new, and I will do the same.

    1. Hi Chuck,
      I think I may have a lead on the Cuthberts, ancestors of Priscilla Cudbeth. Benjamin Cuthbert and Priscilla Coe were married in 1745 in Little Compton, RI. They had a daughter Sarah born there in 1746, and the parents went to Dutchess county, NY, sometime after that. He is listed in North East precinct in 1775, Washington town in 1790 and Stanford in 1800. In 1790 the name is spelled Cudberth. Benjamin and Priscilla had a son Benjamin, born about 1750, and a daughter Amy, born about 1756. Amy married first Moses Haight in Dutchess in 1778 and second John Ferguson in 1792, at Bangall Baptist Church in Stanford. This is the same church where John Ferris married Phebe Bullock in 1806, so the two families were in the same area. Amy and her brother Benjamin and mother Priscilla are all buried in Starksboro, Addison co, VT. (Much of this comes from “Settlers of the Beekman Patent”, by Doherty.)

      Two other possible daughters of Benjamin and Priscilla are Hannah Cudberth, who married Silas Haight, probably in the 1770s, and Elizabeth Cudbuth, who married Joseph Finch in 1782, the latter at Bangall Baptist church. It seems likely that they may also have had a daughter Priscilla, born in 1754, though this is yet to be proven. The name Priscilla was passed down through the family from Priscilla Mullins Alden, from whom the Coes descend, so this is a Mayflower line.

      Going back to the Ferrises, I don’t think I mentioned that Elijah and Henry Ferris both signed the 1775 Articles of Association in Ulster County, NY. Whether this is the possible father Elijah (who disappears from Dutchess after 1767) or another son, brother of Henry, I don’t know. Henry went back to Dutchess and died there in 1807, but I will try to track down more on this Elijah.

      Your comments would be appreciated.

    2. I have an Elizabeth Cudbuth (1755-1844) who married Joseph Finch (1760-1869) 7 Nov 1782 at the First Stanford Baptist Church at Bangall, Duchess, New York. They both are buried in the Clark Chapel Cemetery Schodack, Rensselaer, New York. I’m not sure of Priscilla and Elizabeth are related. I see common threads in the post here.

  4. 4 years later? I have the Elizabeth Cudbuth/Joseph Finch connection and now Ancestry is pointing to Benjamin Cudbuth b 11/21/1721 in Little Compton RI as a potential father. The dates don’t work but Ancestry is also showing Benjamin Cudbuth 1749-1842 as a son of Benjamin. The dates work as the Benjamin’s being father and grandfather but I can find nothing firm.
    Does any of this fit? Could Priscilla be a sister to Elizabeth?

    1. 8 months later! I think there is a good chance that they were sisters. The name Cuthbert, with several variant spellings, was very rare in Dutchess County. I have only found six or seven; Elizabeth, Amy, Priscilla, Hannah, William, and one or two Benjamins, possibly father and son.
      Hannah, born in 1752, is another of my ggg-grandmothers. She married Silas Haight, brother of Amy’s first husband, Moses. My father’s mother, Ethel Haight was her descendant. That Priscilla and Hannah had the same last name was always known in our family, also that they were only about two years apart in age, but we did not realize that they came from the same small area in northern Dutchess Co.

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