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Bio Sketch: Oel Durkee s/o Alba Durkee & Thankful Whitcomb
Posted by: Sheryl Williams (ID *****7003) Date: June 03, 2011 at 09:06:46
  of 377

This is perhaps redundant info. but while scanning through an online copy of the "History of Lorain County, Ohio", researching my own Lorain County ancestors, I noticed the following text. Normally I would simply provide the link, but this is a lengthy book, so in the nature of -free flowing- genealogical information I share the excerpt. I hope it's helpful for researchers of this line.


Full text of "History of Lorain County, Ohio"

pp. 205 - 206


"The Durkee family in America traces its ancestry
to three brothers who left Scotland at an early day
and settled in New England. Prior to the com-
mencement of the present century, we find Joseph
Durkee, grandfather of our subject, settled in Con-
necticut, where Alba Durkee, son of the latter and
father of Oel, was born. They were a hardy and
industrious race, and also ])ossessed the quality of
economy, that has become a well-known characteristic
of their race. The mother of Oel Durkee was Thank-
ful Whitcomb, and she died at Pottsdam, St. Law-
rence county. New York, in 1811, when he was but
four years of age. On the death of his wife. Alba
Durkee returned to Pittsfield, Rutland county, Ver-
mont, where he had resided previous to his removal
to New York State. Two of his daughters rode
horseback, and Mr. Durkee carried on a pillow an
infant of only four months old.

"Oel Durkee was born in Pittsfield, Vermont, Octo-
ber 28, 1807. His early boyhood was passed in Stock-
bridge, Windsor county, in the same State, where he
lived until he was about seventeen years of age. On
his parents' removal to York State, he was an infant,
and, on his father's return to Vermont, he rode be-
liind him on the same horse. He then went to live
with an uncle, Norman Weber, and resided with him
until he was about fifteen. His sisters made their
home with Ebbe Durkee, an uncle. The father mar-
ried again and i-eturned to Pottsdam, New York,



"where lie remained a few years, returning temporarily
to Pittsfield, and subsequently removing to Bethany,
Genesee county, New York, where lie died. His
second wife's maiden name was Sarah Newton. By
her he had six children ; by his first wife, seven,
namely: Elizabeth, Joseph, Cynthia, Thomas, Lucy,
Oel and Nancy, of whom the first, thinl, sixth and
seventh named survive.

"At the age of seventeen, Oel went to Nashua, New
Hampshire, and worked on the canal five years. He
met with many reverses. He made his home, winters,
at Stock bridge, Vermont. He afterward removed to
Allegany, now Wyoming county. New Y'^ork, where
he engaged as a farm laborer. He there married
Betsey Terrey, in 1830. Four years later, he came
to Ohio, and settled on the farm where he still
resides, in Eaton township. Their children num-
bered eleven, of whom six are living. They were
Mason A., born November 12, ls;jl; Nancy, born
July l(i, lSI5:i; (two dying in infancy unnained); Fi-
delia, liorn June 20, 1838, died July 17, 1871; Hiram,
born January 2, 1840, killed at South Mountain,
JIaryland, Septeml)er 14, 18G"2; Persis, born March
12, 1841, died February 20, 184S; Oel, .Jr., born De-
cendier 2, 1843; Betsey Eveline, born February 18,
184.5; Horace A,, born June 29, 1848; and Oscar A.,
born August 1, 184'.). Those deceased are Fidelia,
Persis and Hiram. Tlu)sc living are all married, and
are resjiectable members of society. Mr. and Mrs.
Durkee have three great-grand children and twenty-
two grand-children, with fair prospects of having
these numbers largely augmented. Mrs. Durkee was
born in the town of Pike, Allegany C'ounty, New Y^ork,
June 12, 1810. Her father was Peleg Mason Terry;
her mother, Betsey Swift. They were married on
Thanksgiving day, 1808. They had three children:
Lorinda and Betsey, the other dying in infancy. The
Terrys moved into Ohio in 1836, settled in Eaton
township, and lived and died there Mrs. Terrv dying
in 1838, and her husband January 28, 1875. He
married the widow of a Mr. Nye, and she survives.

"Mr. Durkee can recall the time when there had not
besn a tree cut from a half mile south of 15utternut
ridge and Rawsonville, the whole territory being cov-
ered with a dense forest. On arriving in Eaton, he
moved into a log shanty, with eight others, all livino-
in one room, and continued to live in this way for
almost three months. The shanty served as a habita-
\tion for almost two years, when he built a small frame
house, which was succeeded in 1849, by his present
residence an illustration of which appears on another
page of this volume.

"Mt. Durkee and his excellent wife are in every
sense a worthy couple. They have lived together nigh
unto half a century, and we trust they will both live
and enjoy g((od health and prosperity for many years
after celebrating their golden wedding. Mr. Durkee
is in politics a staunch republican; in religion, a free

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