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Hannah Jones Floyd


Wife of William Floyd

Hannah Jones,* daughter of William Jones of Southampton, L. I., was married to William Floyd of Setauket, L. I., in 1760 (or '6I). He was a wealthy young farmer who had received a liberal education but chose to superintend the estate left him by his father, rather than enter upon a professional or business career. But little is known of the young woman beyond the fact that she was a capable, well-brought-up girl, who, from the throe her husband began to take part in public life, which was as delegate to the first Continental Congress which convened in Philadelphia in 1774, was left with the practical management of his affairs. William Floyd was already in command of the militia of Suffolk County and active in county and local matters. He was re-elected to the Congress of 1775 and 1776, and was one of the first of the signers to suffer personally for the stand which he had taken.

General Floyd's estate included a fine plantation, highly productive and well stocked, and with an abundance of fruit and ornamental trees, many acres of fine timber and firewood, and a handsome mansion. Lying contiguous to New York with its ready market, it was highly valuable. As soon as the American troops were withdrawn from Long Island, the British took possession of the farm. Mrs. Floyd and her little family were forced to fly across into Connecticut for safety and for seven years the family derived no benefit from their property. Every bit of the live stock and the crops that had been planted were taken by the British, the barns, and even the house, were used for the stabling of the horses of the British troops, the fruit and ornamental trees were wantonly cut down, and acres of the timber destroyed and such serious inroads made upon his patrimony that after the establishment of peace, General Floyd declined further re-election to Congress or to the State Senate where he had done eminent service, and retired to begin life anew at the age of sixty-nine years, to an unbroken tract of land which he had purchased on the Mohawk River.

His wife did not live to take part in this migration; the anxieties and hardships to which she had been subjected had undermined her health and she passed away, May 16, 1781, in the forty-first year of her age. She was a public-spirited and patriotic woman and upheld uncomplainingly the course her husband pursued, and all his public actions.

Hannah Floyd was the mother of three children, one son and two daughters. Nicoll Floyd, the oldest of the children, married Phebe Gelston, daughter of David Gelston of New York. Mary Floyd, the eldest daughter, married Col. Benjamin Tallmadge of Litchfield, Conn., and Catharine, the second, married Dr. Samuel Clarkson of Philadelphia.

In 1783, General Floyd married as his second wife Joanna Strong of Setauket, L. I., by whom he had two children, Ann, who married, first George W. Clinton, son of the Vice-President, and second, Abraham Varick of New York. Eliza, the youngest married James Platt of Utica.

Source: Wives of the Signers: The Women Behind the Declaration of Independence, by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilder Press, 1997). Orignaly Published in 1912 as volume 3 of The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons). Pages 112-115. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)

*[From pg. 151] The name has been given in some histories as "Isabella" but the marriage license, secured by William Floyd, Aug. 20, 1760 (or '61, the date has been blurred) gives the name as "Hannah," and that is the name given in family traditions.


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Last modified January 5, 2004