Biography of John Hanby
FROM: History of Livingston County, New York
By James H. Smith
Assisted by Hume H. Cole
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1881


John Hanby was born in the town of Geneseo, March 15, 1805. He is the only son of William and Mary (McNeil) Hanby. the former of whom was born in England, and the latter in the county of Northumberland, Penn. Her parents were natives of county Antrim, Ireland: their names were Robert and Jane McNeill. They were among the first settlers in the town, and bought their farm from Benj. Squires, who got his title from the Wadsworths. The parents of John were married about 1804.

His father returned to England a short time after his marriage and died there, and Mrs. Hanby soon thereafter married Isaac Hall, of Geneseo. by whom she had six children, three sons and three daughters. Viz: Elizabeth, now the wife of Chas. Hazleton. and residing at Lawrence. Mich.: Robert, also in Lawrence, Mich.: Dorothy, who married Walter Smith, of Geneseo. and died about 1850; James Thompson, who died in the spring of 1880; Eli, now living at Kalamazoo, Mich.. and Mary Ward. married to Samuel Perkins. of Parkinsville, Steuben county, and now living on the old homestead in Geneseo. The mother died in 1859, aged 78 years. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Geneseo, nearly fifty years. Before she was married she used to attend church in the town of Grovelaud, at a locality then and now known as Harens’ Tavern, eleven miles distant from where she lived, walking the entire distance both ways.

John lived at home with his mother until he was of age, working on the farm and teaming when the latter employment could be found, and attending the district school winters. He worked the farm from the time he was twenty-one until he was married in 1830, and two years thereafter. He married Margaret M., a daughter of Samuel and Hannah (Scholl) Begole, of Geneseo. Her father was born August 22, 1783. and died July 12, 1861, and her mother was born Dee. 25, 1795, and died Nov. 6, 1873. They had four children: Margaret M., born Nov. 24, 1812: Mary Ann, born Sept. 10, 1815, married to Dwight Webb and now residing in Punxsutawney, Jefferson county, Penn.; Joshna R., born Nov. 19. 1817. residing in Niagara county, and Samuel, born Feb. 12, 1820, and living in Geneseo.

At the time of his marriage Mr. Hanby moved on the farm on which he still lives, which then contained fifty acres, (having purchased the same before he was married,) and occupied a log house fifteen years, until he built and moved into his present comfortable and substantial residence. Having added by purchase from time to time, he now owns four hundred. and sixty-five acres, all in one body. He has made life a success mainly by steady application to the performauce of his duties. In all business relations he is honorable and upright. Sociable, hospitable, benevolent and possessed of ennobling Christian virtues, he has won friends and admirers among all classes. In politics Mr. Hanby was formerly a Whig, but since the formation of the Republican party has given a consistent support to the measures and principles of that party. He has maintained a membership of high standing in the First Presbyterian Church of Geneseo for more than forty-fire years. His wife is also a member of the same church, having joined it forty-six years ago. Mr. H. helped to build the brick church in the village of Geneeseo, giving liberally of his means for that object. He is one of that class of self-made men that we may well desire long to keep with us, and whose worth cannot be over-estimated. The supreme words to be written over his life are starling fedelity.

There have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hanby seven children who grew to maturity, as follows: William Henry, born Nov. 15, 1832, married Eliza McComb, and was drowned in Conesus lake Nov. 13, 1874; Nancy Caroline, born Jan. 26. 1837. is unmarried aud resides in the home of her uncle, the late J. Thompson Hall, of Geneseo: John R.. born March 9, 1839, married Augusta Boyden and residing in the town of Geneseo. Hannah C., born July 11, 1840, married Bela Richmond and residing in Lansing, Mich.: Mary S., born April 17, 1842, married George Forsythe and residing at home with her parents; Margaret C.. born April 18. 1844, is unmarried and resides at home Helen L., born Jan. 28, 1848, married to George Williams. of Geneseo. and is now residing in Auburn, N. Y.

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