The Bullis family traces its origins to the immigrant ancestor, Philip Bullis. Philip, a mariner living in Boston, married Judith Hart, the daughter of John Hart and the widow of Robert Ratchell, on December 3, 1663. They had five children: Elizabeth, born November 19, 1664, Sarah, born July 21, 1666, John, born, January 8, 1669, Thomas, born August 3, 1671, and Rachel, born September 28, 1673. We are descended from Thomas. Philip served under Lieutenant Gillam from February 1675 to May 1676 on the Connecticut River during King Philip's War.
We know very little about Thomas, except that he was the father of John Bullis, who was born about 1695, and Thomas, who was born about 1708.
John Bullis married Mary Gorman on March 8, 1720 in Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut. They had two sons, John Bullis, born July 15, 1722, and Charles, born on November 8, 1723. According to one family tradition there were six more sons in the family, one of whom moved to England, some of whom moved to Canada, and some of whom stayed in Dutchess County, New York.
Our ancestor Charles Bullis married Elizabeth Busch, who was born
on March 16, 1725 in Holland. The Bullises moved north with a group of their
neighbors from Greenwich to Amenia in Dutchess County, New York. Three Bullis
children were born in Amenia: Jarman (called David) who was born about 1748,
Henry, born November 24, 1749, and Elizabeth, born in 1753. The family then
moved further north to the new frontier of Vermont, settling in Manchester.
Charles and his son Henry were among the original organizers of the First Episcopal Church in Manchester on October 4, 1782. The church is still standing and is now called the Zion Episcopal Church. Charles died July 6, 1809 and is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in Manchester.
Henry married Hannah Purdy on April 28, 1773 in Manchester. She was the sixth child of Benjamin and Deborah Smith Purdy. This family had made the same moves from Greenwich to Amenia to Manchester, but Hannah was born in 1754 in Greenwich, before their immigration. Hannah's parents are buried in the Dellwood Cemetery in Manchester.
Henry and Hannah had ten children: Elizabeth, born September 2, 1774, Henry Hillard, born May 28, 1776, Benjamin, born November 25, 1778, David, born December 18, 1781, John, born December 31, 1783, Charles Henry, born January 23, 1786, Hannah, born March 12, 1789, Deborah, born January 12, 1791, Hiram, born December 6, 1793, and Levi B., born April 5, 1795. The Bullis men were all blacksmiths, except for Levi who was a doctor, and Henry who was an invalid as the result of injuries caused by a dog bite. Hannah was called "Little Grandmother" because she was so tiny. Henry died April 30, 1828 and is buried in the Factory Point Cemetery in Manchester. Hannah moved across the Connecticut River to Plattsburgh, Clinton, New York, where she died February 15, 1837.
Benjamin Bullis, our ancestor, was born on November 25, 1778 in Manchester, Bennington County, Vermont, the son of Henry Bullis and Hannah Purdy Bullis. Like his brothers, he was trained to be a blacksmith, as well as a farmer.
He married Rachel Hoyt, the daughter of David Hoyt and Lucy Dudley Hoyt around 1802. They first moved to Dorset, Vermont where their five children were born: Mead on April 28, 1803; Keziah on June 24, 1806; Seth Madison on January 22, 1808; Harmon, on October 12, 1809; and Lucy, named for her grandmother and aunt in 1810. They next moved across the Hudson River to Plattsburg, Clinton County, N.Y.
The family made the long move out west in 1816, coming to Griffin's Mills, in the town of Aurora in Erie County. One of his descendants, Martha Ferris, writing in New Jersey in 1931, recalled hearing many stories about life back then. The move was made by ox team, since there was no railroad, and the Erie Canal had not been completed.
Martha wrote: "He told me that in his boyhood his father had hired him to read their weekly newspaper, saying that it would educate him. He was required to read every word, advertisements and all, and did it at first for the pay he received which was one cent a week. Then he kept on because he had become interested and all the rest of his life he was never without a weekly paper. It seems a strange thing now when all people read a daily paper, but I well remember that at that time his was the only paper subscribed for in the neighborhood. Quite a number of families about him were comfortably situated, having well-stocked farms "free and clear" but in their homes there was scarcely any reading matter except the family Bible. All had one.
On the day of the week when Grandfather went to the village, called "The Corners" for the weekly mail, his neighbors would come in at his house after his return to hear him read the news. I can see them now in the big kitchen, sitting around Grandfather's chair while he read aloud in his clear voice."
Martha Ferris recalled her Grandmother's cooking. At the beginning of winter she would make 25 mince pies which would be stored on a long shelf upstairs in anticipation of guests arriving for dinner. A pie would be brought down and warmed and there were always doughnuts and gingerbread on hand as well as preserves. Butter and cheeses were also stored upstairs. She explained that housewives then would cook a boiled dinner one day, and it would be served again cold the next day, leaving time for the spinning and sewing that had to be done.
Benjamin fought in the War of 1812, serving in Captain Ezra Turner's Company, 36 Regiment of the New York Militia. The Company Muster Roll during his final tour of duty with Lieutenant Nathaniel Cochran's Company of Infantry from August 31, 1814 to September 4th, lists under remarks that he deserted!
This plus his accumulated time of 12 days in 1813, and 11 days in 1814, wasn't sufficient to earn him bounty land when he applied for it in 1857. Many years of correspondence with the Pension Office is contained in Benjamin Bullis #110 926 file, but it is difficult to ascertain if it ever was concluded. The last entry in 1880 seems to repeat most of the information offered 23 years before.
Benjamin and Rachel are buried in the Deuel's Corner Cemetery in Orchard Park, Erie County, New York. They both died in 1859, she on May 4th, and he, 2 months later on July 4th.
Rachael's stone is upside down and leaning against the back of her husband's stone.
Rachel's father, David Hoit was born on March 9, 1743, in Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, the eldest son of the five born to David and Rebecca Allis Hoit. Only David and his sister Rebecca lived past infancy.
David was married first to Rachel Judd on March 19, 1767. She died after having four children, and he next married Lucy Dudley on January 11, 1775. She was the eldest of the three children born to Simeon and Lucy Starr Dudley. The Hoit's first three daughters, Rachel, Hannah and Beriah were born in Guilford in 1776, 1777 and 1779. The family then made the long trip north to Sunderland, Bennington, Vermont where their children, William, Henry and Rebecca were born in 1781, 1783 and 1785. The youngest daughter, Lucy, was born in Sandgate, Vermont close by to Sunderland, and it was there that the mother, Lucy, died two months later on December 2, 1787.
David married for a third time to Sarah Fowler on January 25, 1789. They had four more children. He died March 27, 1822 and is buried in the Sunderland, Vermont cemetery beside Lucy's grave.
David served as a private in Captain Hand's Company, Colonel Talcott's regiment from Guilford, Connecticut. He enlisted on March 22, 1776 for service on the New York Expedition and was discharged on April 18. After moving to Vermont he served in a company of Militia, 6th regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Lemuel Bradley for service in the Alarms in October 1780. In May, 1782 he served as a guard for prisoners being taken to jail in Bennington for two days.
|Zion Episcopal, Manchester VT||Charles Bullis house, Manchester VT|
|Deuel's Corner Cemetery, Orchard Park NY||Orchard Park NY|
(To see pictures of tombstones, click links below)
┌── Philip BULLIS (Immigrant prior 1663), b. circa 1630
┌── Simon HOYT (Immigrant 1628), b. circa 1593, d. 1657