Royal Abbott
Col. Royal Abbott

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

COL. ROYAL ABBOTT was born in Pittstown, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., Feb. 20, 1812, the fifth child of Royal and Wilmira Abbott. The line of his ancestors is as follows: 1st, George Abbott, who came from Yorkshire, England, about 1640; was among the first settlers of Andover in 1643; married Hannah Chandler in 1647, by whom he had thirteen children. 2d, George Abbott, born June 7, 1655, the fifth child of the above; married, 1678, Dorcas Graves; by this union nine children. 3d, Daniel Abbott, fifth child of former, born Jan. 10, 1688; married, September, 1711, Hannah Chandler, daughter of Capt. John Chandler; moved about 1732 to Connecticut; eleven children. 4th, Joseph Abbott, fourth child of the above, born Dec. 19, 1716; married Abigail Cutler in 1738; five children. 5th, Joseph Abbott, second child of the above, born Feb. 27, 1743; married Persis Perrin, Jan. 3, 1765; six children. 6th, Royal Abbott, father of the colonel, born Oct. 7, 1777, in Woodstock, Conn.; married Wilmira Van Woert, Nov. 2, 1802, seven children, viz.: Leonard J., Dr. John Van Woert, Peter Perrin, Jacob Lansing, Col. Royal, Caroline, Wilmira, widow of Alfred Bosworth, and William Pray. All the above, except Dr. John Van Woert, are at this date (1879) living, and residents of Pittstown.

Joseph Abbott, the colonel's grandfather, settled in Pittstown, then Albany County, in 1787 or 1788, and on Jan. 27, 1789, purchased the farm where he died, and which is now owned by William P. Abbott.

His maternal grandfather, John Van Woert, was a captain in the Revolution, and in his last days received a pension. Col. Royal Abbott was born on the old homestead farm named above. He received his education in the district schools of the neighborhood, improving his leisure hours and evenings in reading and self-culture. Taught school six winter terms, working on the farm summers. He was married, May 11, 1837, to Harriet Lamb, daughter of John and Elizabeth Lamb. Mrs. A. was born Oct. 1, 1812, in Pittstown, and has always lived there. They have had eight children, as follows: John Royal, Wilmira Elizabeth, Harriet Jane, Emily Frances, Mary Jennette, Minerva Caroline, Nancy Finette, and Edith Lutherea, all living except the latter.

In 1849 he purchased and moved on to the farm where he has ever since resided. After passing through the lower grades, on July 22, 1842, he was elected colonel of the 78th Infantry Regiment, composed of the town of Hoosick and east half of Pittstown, and received a commission signed by Governor William H. Seward, which he now holds, having been made supernumerary by change of the military law.

The colonel has always taken a leading part in the politics of his neighborhood. He is one of the only two men now living who attended the first meeting in town to organize the Whig party. He was also one of the first to organize the Republican party, and has been, and is still, one of it's most staunch supporters. He has served at various times on the town, district, and county central committees. For years has generally been delegate to political conventions in district and county, a number of times from the Second District to the State convention; one at Saratoga in 1878, and Rochester in 1877, also at Utica and Syracuse in former years. He has held the office of assessor, also of town clerk, several terms, justice of the peace three terms, and supervisor two terms. He has paid particular attention to the drawing of wills, conveyances, etc. and has held the office of notary from 1867 to the present time; was one of the board of town officers during the war, and was one of a number of citizens of Pittstown who signed a note to raise money to pay bounty to volunteers, trusting to the Legislature to legalize a tax for the same. He took the State census of Pittstown in 1835, and United States census of Pittstown, Brunswick, and Grafton in 1870; was chairman of the county convention in 1878, and served pervious years. He was also chairman of the committee appointed to represent the remonstrants before the Legislature of 1879 opposed to a division of the town, who succeeded in their opposition. The colonel has always taken an active interest in the support of the schools of his locality. He united with the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, June 3, 1848, and was a member of the Pittstown Lodge, passed through its different degrees, and was a delegate to the State Lodge.

As will be seen, the colonel has for many years been one of the most active public men of his township and a representative man of his party. Though a strong partisan in whatever cause he enlists, he is a man who by his probity of character and upright life has always commanded the respect, not only of those who agreed with him in his views, but equally of those who differed from him.

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