Pioneering Families
... with Roots in Madison County

Index to

While there are Searle records in all the New England states showing the family to have been seated in America during the early colonial period, definite descent from any of them cannot be traced to Elisha Searle, of Madison county, New York. The most likely theory is that he was a descendant of Andrew Searle, of Rowley, Massachusetts, through the New Hampshire branch.

(I) Elisha Searle was born 1781, died 1852, He was a harness maker by trade and also engaged in farming in Madison county, New York. He married (first), in 1807, Lucy Witter, born December 28, 1763, died 1833. A family tradition is that both were orphans at the time of their marriage. She died shortly after their removal to Chautauqua county, New York. He married (second) Betsey Park. The children of Elisha and Lucv Searle were all born in Madison county. The Chautauqua county home was in the town of Villenova, where Elisha settled in 1832, on lot twenty-two, and where his death occurred twenty years later. Children (not in order of birth : Nelson, died in Madison county; Wellington, married Azuba Nichols; Nathan, married Lucy Nichols and lived in Cattaraugus county; Frederick, married Lora Hilliard; Tyler H. (of further mention); Alvira, married Benjamin Vincent; Emeline, married Chauncey R. Smith.

(II) Tyler H., son of Elisha and Lucy (Witter) Searle, was born in Brookfield, Madison county, New York, July 29, 1822, died in Villenova, New York, February 6, 1904. He was educated in the public schools, and grew up on the Villenova homestead a farmer. He acquired ownership of the home farm and cultivated it all his life in connection with other business enterprises. For ten years he was superintendent in Leonard's Mills, and for six years was justice of the peace. He was a Republican in politics, and a man of high character. He married Jane Ostrom. Children: William E. (of further mention); Fred, married Minnie Terry; Adolphus,

(III) William E., son of Tyler H. and Jane (Ostrom) Searle, was born in Villenova, Chautauqua county, New York, October 22, 1850, on the homestead erected by his grandfather. This property he now owns and will never allow to go out of the family, if in his power to prevent. He was educated in the public schools and Forestville Academy. For some time after completing his studies he taught school. Later he became clerk in the dry goods store of Amos Dow & Son, remaining four years. He then established a dry goods store in East Randolph, which he successfully operated for eleven years, then sold out the entire stock, good will and fixtures. He was associated with M. V. Benson in organizing the People's State Bank of East Randolph, and in 1890 was elected cashier of the bank, a position he yet fills (1911). He is a capable, trusted official, and a thoroughly posted financier. He is a director and treasurer of the Montreal River Lumber Company and interested in other concerns of a minor character. He is a Republican in politics,

He married, April 19, 1877, Lelia L. Woodford. Children: 1. Robert T. (of further mention). 2. Wilmah Woodford, married Walter L. Holdridge; child, Helen, 3. Helen Jennette.

(IV) Robert T., only son of William E. and Lelia E. (Woodford) Searle, was born in East Randolph, Cattaraugus county, New York, January 10, 1881. After attending public school he entered Chamberlain Institute, graduating at the end of a commercial course. He then entered Cayuga Military Academy at Aurora, New York, This school was discontinued in February which prevented Robert T. from graduating the following June. He then entered the New York Military Academy at Cornwall-on-the-Hudson. remaining, however, but a short time. He finished with a post-graduate course at Chamberlain Institute. After completing his studies he was appointed assistant cashier of the People's State Bank of East Randolph, a position be held continuously until January. 1911. The first four years he was constantly employed in the bank, since then as a supply to fill his father's place during sickness or absence from any cause. In 1903 Robert T. purchased an interest in the Nansen Supply Company, at Nansen. Pennsylvania, to which enterprise he gave personal attention until called back for six months. He still retains his interest in the Nansen Company. In August, 1904, he become interested in the "Original Bath and Hotel Company," of Mt. Clemens, Michigan, and was for one year manager of the same. In August, 1905, he returned to Randolph and engaged with T. E. Adams as clerk: February 1, 1906, the T. E. Adams Company was incorporated with Robert T. Searle as secretary and treasurer. He is also a director in the People's State Bank, of East Randolph. He is a member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and of Elm Creek Lodge, No. 359, Free and Accepted Masons. In politics he is a Republican.

He married. June 20, 1904, Florence Crowley Adams, born May 19, 1881. Children Roberta, born May 13, 1905; William Adams, June 10, 1906; Mary Lenett, March 7, 1910.

Source: Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and family history of western New York: a record of the achievements of her people in the making and the building of a nation. New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1912, pp. 182-183. 


1999- All rights reserved