sources repeatedly state that the two Oliver brothers who came to Penn Yan
the only children of their parents. On the contrary, the Rev. Andrew
Oliver and his wife Elizabeth Ormiston had at least eight children, and
long and eventful lives which can only be summarized here.
Both Andrew and Elizabeth
were born in Scotland and emigrated from there to the United States. It
was said that Andrew was descended from the Oliver family who produced an
Attorney General and a Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts at the beginning
of the Revolution. I have seen no actual evidence of this connection. Apparently
the young couple eloped (either before or after their arrival in the New
World). Their eldest child was Mary Given Oliver, who was born in Saco,
Maine (then still part of Massachusetts) in 1786.
Their second daughter
was born at Londonderry, N.H., where Andrew had gone to study for the ministry,
in 1788. Her name was Jane Freeman Oliver and she died single at her parents'
home. Twin sons were born to the couple at Londonderry in 1791: William
Morrison Oliver and Andrew Freeman Oliver; then a daughter Elizabeth Ormiston
Oliver in 1793. Nancy
Agnes Oliver was born in 1794 at Pelham, Mass., and another son in 1802
named Robert Ormiston Oliver.
Of these, only the
twins came to Penn Yan. They were born at Londonderry, and young Andrew
in 1814 married Margaret Sutphin at Springfield in Otsego County, where
the family now lived and where in 1828 his father died. Young Andrew studied
medicine at Springfield under Dr. Little when he was just a boy. He was
licensed by the Otsego County Medical Society in 1813 and in March 1814
he was appointed by the governor as surgeon of the 9th Regiment, with which
he briefly served in the war against Great Britain.
About as soon as he
returned, in 1815, Andrew and Margaret went to Spencer in (then) Tioga County,
and finally in 1818 to Penn Yan. On August 3o of that year he put a notice
in the Penn-Yan Herald that he had opened an office for the practice
of medicine at Giles Kinney's tavern at the crossroads now called Kinney's
Corners, just west of Penn Yan in the town of Jerusalem.
At nearly the same
time he bought an acre of land in Penn Yan, and presumably built his house
at 204 Main Street soon afterward. He was appointed Surrogate of the County
of Yates in 1827 by Governor Dewitt Clinton, and served in that capacity
until 1840. In 1829 his wife died, and he remarried in 1832 to a widow,
Almira (Marsh) Gilbert.
He received (unexpectedly)
the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of the State
of New York, in 1845, and was unanimously elected a permanent member of
the State Medical Society in 1857, the year of his death. He had helped
form the local Medical Society in 1823, was subsequently its president and
for some years its delegate to the state body.
Dr. Oliver had these
children with his first wife: