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William J. Forson/John Forson(1829-1872)
Posted by: Mary Alice Forson Nassief Date: July 02, 2001 at 23:56:14
  of 133

Researching John Forson, 1829-1872, who was a stone mason. Family legend is that his ancestors were from VA and also GA.

John Forson moved from the south to New York. He eventually settled in Cold Spring, Putnam County, New York, and finally in Forsonville, now Garrison, New York. He married Mary Orkney Elis Smeaton, of Orkney, Scotland, and had several children: Elizabeth R. (1853-1881); John (1863-1959)born in Garrison, NY; Alice (1868); James Smeaton (1871); William (born before James Smeaton); Isabella, and Mary. (The last living Forson in that area, Eleanor, passed Feb. 28, 2001, but there are many buildings,including a church, and bridge built by John Forson still in existence; there is still a Forsonville Road with two homes beautifully built by Forsons.

My Forson relatives (John and James Smeaton) owned a general store in Garrison beginning in 1880 after the death of John Forson, which was used in the filming of "Hello Dolly" with Barbara Streisand. It is presently an historical site and Art Gallery Museum; it is located accross the Hudson River from West Point.

I believe that this John Forson may be the same John Forson who was the son of William J. Forson, but I only have a calculated date of William J. Forson's son John as 1835, and we know that "calculated" means inaccurate! Would be very grateful to know more info about William J. Forson's son John Forson as well as any information about John Forson from Cold Spring, NY, as all may fit into family legends and clarify links.

Also, legend has it that one of the "brothers" of John Forson (1829-1872) eventually had family settling in Texas. John Forson's son, William, also settled in Brooklyn, NY, and several other daughters settled in NJ and NYC.


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