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Query Number: 1411-4 November 2014

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Requested Information:

Gayle recently found the grave of Maj. Samuel Sayre, son of Thomas Sayre and Susannah Seeley of Goshen, Goshen, NY in Stanhope Union Cemetery. The cemetery is rather odd in that it is in western Morris Co., but the town of Stanhope is in southern Sussex Co. During a visit, Gayle saw a downed stone, and with her husband cleaned it off. She researched the name, based on the birth date. Samuel Sayre’s first wife was Mary Cooper. Her father, Nathan, ran a grist mill in what was then Black River, NJ, and is today Chester, NJ. The mill was restored and is now part of the Morris Co. Park system. His second wife, buried next to him, was Margaret Stone of Woodbridge, NJ, where he ran a tavern and inn. Per a deed in the Morris Co. Courthouse, he was back in Orange Co. in 1802.
A woman and her two daughters have been the only women to join DAR under him. This woman told Gayle that she did not list a death date for Samuel because she could not find a solid source. A 1901 book by Thomas Banta, Sayre Family: Lineage of Thomas Sayre, a Founder of Southampton, lists his death date as December 1802, but it contains no sources. Someone at DAR National handwrote “Cumberland County, NJ 1802.” No one knows from where this information came from; Cumberland Co. is in the southern part of the state. Gayle wrote to the historical society in Cumberland Co. They List a Samuel Sayre on county tax rolls, but not until 1807. Margaret’s stone reads, “Margaret Stone consort of Samuel Sayre.” Samuel’s stone indicates that he died in 1816, and, given that her stone reads “consort” not “relic,” Gayle is inclined to accept the 1816 date.
According to Gayle, the original stones are very weathered, so she asked her Congressman for assistance in getting a VA stone. The stonemason for the cemetery transcribed Margaret’s stone verbatim on the back of the VA stone, so both graves will be preserved. The Congressman is dedicated the new stone on Oct. 24. Although she is not related to Samuel, Gayle would like to know more about him. She says there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about him, even in militia records.

Requester: Gayle Ann Livecchia | gayle.ann.livecchia@gmail.com

Initial Response Information:

We have Samuel Sayre, b. 5 May 1741, with his two wives listed as SGS# 444. We don’t have a death date for him or information on his descendants. His mother, Susannah Seeley, is SGS# 176. Her line is Susannah, Samuel, Jonas, Obadiah. It sounds as though Samuel was named after his mother’s father. There are quite a few other Sayres who married into the Seeley family as well. If you have information about Major Samuel Sayre, please let me know.

Responder: Query Editor


Update to Query #1411-4 // Update to Query 1411-4

Gayle had been working on getting a new stone for Samuel Sayre, SGS# 444. Now she is getting a VA stone for Col. Sylvanus Seely, SGS# 447, a cousin of Samuel Sayre. Gayle found a descendant of Sylvanus who just joined the DAR under him and was willing to fill out an application for a stone. Gayle said the cemetery is quite excited, since its officials did not know it was possible to get new stones. Now she has been to Washington’s headquarters, which was willing to have its transcription of Sylvanus Seely’s diary scanned. Once that is done volunteers will be needed to compare scans to the transcription to ensure the scans are good. This can be done from home. If you would like to help with this project please get in touch with Gayle. Kudos to her for being interested in this project, which is not even for her family!

Responder: Query Editor

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