Monday, June 18, 2007

Welcome family members

This blog is intended to collect and share with other Averills as many family stories, pictures and geneological documents as possible.

Please feel free to add info about each descendant under their name listed in the Blog Archive at bottom right. Please tell us who got the story (you or some other interviewer/family member/etc.) and from whom/where you heard it (which family member -- first person??? -- or Web page, historical document, etc.)

Helpful historical/family links and descendant e-mails also can be added to lists on the main page.

Having trouble adding info? E-mail me and I'll help, (the great-grand-daughter of Edgar Averill)

To access the blog, sign-in to (user:; password: averilloregon). Click "posts" to the right of the Manage option in the center of the page, then click "Edit" before the name you'd like to add to.

William Henry Harrison Averill

William H.H. Averill was born Sept. 18, 1843 in McDonough, Ill., and died Dec. 27, 1924 in East Corvallis, Ore. During that time he married and had children with Mary Gennett Moss (MGM in the following listing of children), who was born May 30, 1849, and died April 1, 1890, in Bandon, Ore.

After Mary's death, William married Martha Jane Robison, who was born Dec. 31, 1860 in Elston Station, Mo., and died May 22, 1959 in Corvallis, Ore.

(This from March, 21, 1939 interview of Martha J. Robison, WHHA's second wife; interview at her farm home about two miles east of Corvallis in Linn County)

My own family are not really pioneers. My father's name was Lewis Robison and we came to Oregon in the year 1871. Most of my people settled in Coos County, in this state.

Concerning the Averills, the first member of the family to come to Oregon was H.J.C. Averill who emigrated in the year 1852. He took up a Donation Land claim a short distance west of Albany and lived there for several years. There were a number of small lakes and swamps near this original claim and the malaria was bad. The family was sick a great deal and several children died of that disease. He finally sold his claim and moved to the present Halsey region, and later moved to Brownsville. He died at Brownsville about 1897.

H.J.C. Averill was a pioneer surveyor. A great many of the early town sites and roads were laid out by him, among them the old town of Boston, or "New Boston", near Shedd.

"Grandfather (H.J.C.) Averill was first married to Hulda Ann Warren. She died in 1859, only a few years after coming to Oregon. Grandfather Averill married again, this time to a Mrs. Jack whose maiden name had been Sarah Leggett. This Sarah Liggett Jack Averill married a third time after H.J.C. Averill's death, this time a man named Bilyeu. Thus the Jack-Averill-Bilyeu clan are a peculiar mixture in so far as relationship is concerned. Sarah Averill was a Methodist and her husband was a Baptist. This also led to some peculiar mix-ups.

In those days the Baptists were most particular concerning closed communion. Grandfather Averill often went to church with Sarah, at the Methodist meeting house. When the Methodists observed communion grandfather Averill thought it nothing wrong to join with her in the free Methodist way. The Baptist elders heard of this and felt that discipline should be maintained.

They brought H.J.C. Averill up before the church and reproved him for his looseness, telling him that he must acknowledge his fault or be expelled from the church. This grandfather would not do. He would have been expelled forthwith but a number of prominent members-among them the Stannards (2007 NOTE: the Averill house in Brownsville today stands at the corner of Stannard and Averill) of Brownsville-protested and declared that if Averill was expelled, they, too, would withdraw. Grandfather Averill was allowed to retain his membership but not in very good favor with the stricter Baptist members.

My husband's name was William Henry Harrison Averill. He was the oldest son of H.J.C. Averill and was born in Illinois in 1843. Other brothers and sisters in the same family were:
Alfred Averill, father of Virgil Averill who now lives at Halsey, Oregon and is a newspaper publisher. Henrietta Averill, whose married name is Walton, and lives in Campbell, Calif.
Perm Averill. (Still living) Olive Averill Stannard; wife of Ed? Stannard, a Brownsville pioneer merchant. She died a few years ago.

My husband, W.H.H. Averill came to Oregon with his parents in 1853. The train in which they had travelled had some trouble with the Indians. My husband has told me that he usually rode a little pony and sometimes fell considerably behind the train. One day he was left behind for a considerable distance and an Indian came along and was about to take him from his mount but he raised a great shout and members of the train came to his rescue. After that he managed to keep his pony up with the rest of the train, even though its legs were rather short. He was ten years old at that time.

W.H.H. Averill was first married to Mary G. Moss in 1867. The Moss family were pioneers of the Sweet Home valley. After his marriage, he went out to the Summer Lake country in southern Oregon. He was the post master at Summer Lake for some time. His wife was the only white woman within twenty-five miles. While at Summer Lake, he hauled freight from Oregon City by way of the Oakridge route up the Willamette forks to Summer Lake. The Indians were sometimes rather troublesome. One time while out on a freighting trip, the Indians went on a rampage.

To escape, he left his wagons and took one of his horses to rescue his family. A man with him rode the other horse. When he reached Summer Lake he found that his wife had already left in the care of another party and the uprising proved not to be serious, at least in their neighborhood.
He often used to tell of his adventures when hunting. At one time he was following a deer and chancing to look behind him he found a Cougar was also following him. He turned just in time to shoot the animal as it was preparing to spring. He had only one shot in his muzzle-loader but he made that one count. The cougar measured over nine feet in length. At another time he was out hunting and a bear got after him. He killed that one, too, just in time.
Mary Moss Averill died in 1890. I married W.H.H. Averill in 1892. We came to this place to live in 1895 and I have lived here ever since. My husband died in 1924.
-- Martha Robison Averill

-- © 2000 Patricia Dunn;

Euphemia Ann Averill (WHHA-MGM)

Euphemia was born April 2, 1868 in Brownsville, Ore., and died in 1935 in Salem, Ore.

James Steven Alexander Averill (WHHA-MGM)

James was born Jan 24, 1871 in Brownsville, Ore., and died 1901 (allegedly) in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Lorena Alice Averill (WHHA-MBM)

Lorena was born Feb. 26, 1876 in Summer Lake, Ore., and died Oct. 6, 1950 in Bandon, Ore.

Edgar Francis Averill (WHHA-MGM)

Edgar was born March 24, 1881 in Chetco, Ore., and died March 19, 1955 in Portland, Ore.

Here's a link to the "Edgar Averill Papers 1934-1939," which is stored in the University of Oregon library system. This would give us all the info if we'd like to retreive them.

twins: Harrison Moss Averill & Henry Cleveland Averill (WHHA-MGM)

Moss and Henry were born May 9, 1884 in Floras Creek, Ore. Moss died Nov. 24, 1961 in Port Orford, Ore. Henry died Nov. 10, 1950 in Astoria.

Almira Henrietta Averill (WHHA-MGM)

Almira was born Feb. 20, 1887 in Bandon, and died May 21, 1963 in Halsey, Ore.

William Samuel Averill (WHHA-MJR)

William was born Oct. 23, 1893 in Bandon, and died Sept. 6, 1970 in Tigard, Ore.

Warren Lamson Averill (WHHA-MJR)

Warren was born Mar 9, 1897 in Brownsville, Ore., and died Jan 11., 1982 in Junction City, Ore.

Linn O Averill (WHHA-MJR)

Linn was born May 21, 1899 in Brownsville, Ore., and died Sept. 28, 1983 in Torrance, Calif.

Martha Lucina Averill (WHHA-MJR)

Martha was born Oct. 17, 1901 in Brownsville, Ore., and died April 12, 1969 in Salem, Ore.

Aunt Sarah and others from way back...

Here's a link to more info about the first Averills in America, including William (born in 1600 in Ash, Kent, England, the son of Nicholas Averill and Dorcas ) & Abigail (Hinton) Averill.

Here's some information that complements Jacky Averill's research about Ipswich town politics that ultimately led to accusations against Sarah Averill. This comes from the book "Mormon Roots."
-Laura Gunderson Suo (Edgar Francis Averill)

William Smith and Rebecka Keas married at Topsfield on July 6, 1657, and were among the earliest Massachusetts Bay Company settlers. Salem Village was settled in 1639 (40)and Topsfield township became its neighbor with lines established between them in 1658. (41) When Witchcraft Hysteria gained attention, three of those put to death, (42) all women, were from Topsfield -- Mary Esty, Elizabeth How and Sarah Averill Wildes. (43) William Smith and Rebecka Keas had by then (1692) been married for thirty-five years and their son Samuel was twenty years old but apparently old enough to pass for twenty-five and sign a deposition against Mary Esty:
The deposition of Samuell Smith of Boxford about 25 yers who testifieth and saith that about five years sence I was one night att the house of Isaac Estick sen'r. of Topsfeild and I was as farr as I know to Rude in discorse and the above said Esticks wife [Mary Esty] said to me I would not have you be so rude in discorse for I might Rue it hereafter and as I was agoeing whom that night about a quarter of a mille from the said Esticks house by a stone wall I Received a little blow on my shoulder with I know not what and the stone wall rattleed very much which affrighted me my horse also was affrighted very much but I cannot give the reson of it . . . .

/s/ Sam'll Smith ag'st. G. Easty 44 _______________________39 The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Vol. X, pp l31-47, 1893, Houghton Mifflin & Co.40 Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts, 1975, prepared by Paul Guzzi, Secretary of the Commonwealth, p 58.41 Ibid.42 A total of 25 "Innocents" died and more than 100 accused. There is a 1992 (Tercentennial) monument at 176 Hobart Street, Danvers (Old Salem Village) MA, to commemorate the events of 1692. 43 Engraved into a Granite Stone on the Topsfield Common, approximately 75 feet from the town's impressive 95' (+/-5') timber flag pole, directly opposite the white spired Congregational (formerly Puritan) Church of Topsfield, within a home run shot from the 1683 Parson Capen House and surrounded by community buildings, historical landmarks and other monuments commemorating past wars. 44 The Salem Witchcraft Papers, Verbatim Transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692, Vol. 1, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, pp 301-2.
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Other Smith ancestors had been involved in "Witchcraft Hysteria." One of the accused, Sarah Averill Wildes, (45) was John Wildes' second wife. (46) His first, Priscilla Gould, (47) was the daughter of Zaccheus Gould, a seventh generation ancestor of Joseph Smith, Jr., and sister to John Gould. When Priscilla died in 1663 (48) "It would seem that the relations between the Wild and Gould families became strained after the death of Priscilla . . . The fact that John Wild, Jr.'s, will was made in 1676, in order 'that my father may com to no trobell by any claims of my onkel gould,' is further evidence toward this conclusion . . . When the terrible Witchcraft delusion swept over Essex county, the Wild family were among the greatest sufferers. The wife, two daughters, and a son-in-law of John Wild, were all imprisoned, but all escaped except his wife . . . ."(49) The problems that precipitated Witchcraft Hysteria centered around property disputes and ancestors of Joseph Smith -- John Curtis and Mary (Looke) Curtis -- were personally involved in the middle of those disputes, having been accused by neighbors in order to take Curtis' land, a ploy that failed -- John and Mary Curtis prevailed against their neighbors -- but agitation was ongoing.