Scholes Family Website

Historical and Genealogical Record of the Scholes Family, 1690-1838



In 1934, the compiling of data of the Scholes' family was begun. We have accomplished as much as has been possible without the assistance of a salaried genealogist.

All of the data has been furnished by members of the family, by diligent effort and generosity, without which it would have been impossible to publish this record. For all of this hearty co-operation I wish to thank each member that contributed in any way. I would gladly mention the names of all those assisting were it possible to do so without omitting some one, but such a long period of time has elapsed since it was begun. I am unable to do this. The committee on publication, consisting of Grace Dort, Elizabeth Gelser, Edith Sylor and myself, ask that all be tolerant of errors or omissions inasmuch as it has been with much difficulty that the data was procured since so many of the family have passed away.

Margaret Bradt Sutherland.

Historical Sketch

The following sketch was written by John W. Seholes,  Angelica, N. Y. and by his sister, Mrs. Margaret J. Scholes Bradt of Castile, N. Y., and read by Mrs. Bradt at an annual Scholes' reunion.  

John Scholes, 1784-1875

The site of the Scholes settlement at Birdsall in Allegany County. In this field, now of waving corn, once stood the family’s rude log cabins.

          The history of the Scholes family in America begins with their emigra­tion during the latter part of  the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century.

James II, King of England, was a bigoted Catholic. He tried to stamp cut the Protestant religion in England and Ireland and restore Catholicism. William III, Prince of Orange, had married Mary, daughter of James of England, which gave him -a claim to England, and at the invitation of the English Parliamant, he crossed over from Holland to take the throne from James and to protect the Protestants in Ireland. He landed in England at-Torbay on 5th November 1688 with an army of Dutch soldiery. James fled to Ireland and there for a year and a half withstood William. William succeeded, however, in the notable battle of the Boyne, 1st July 1690, in dislodging James, who fled to France and exile.

Among William's followers from Holland were two brothers, namely, John and James Scholz. John Scholz was killed in Ireland in the battle of Carrickmacross. Scholz was the Dutch spelling of the name. Therefore our lorefathers were Holland Dutch.

When William drove James into exile and became King of England, he gave portions of the confiscated estates of the conquered Irish Catholics, to his followers who had distinguished themselves for bravery. To grandfather's. forefather, he gave the town of Radeery, situated in the Province of Ulster, Monaghan County, North of Ireland. But through his extravagance, James encumbered the property to such an extent that none of his descendants were able to redeem it. It was James Scholz who changed the spelling of the name to Scholes (the English spelling). It was also spelled Scoles, Scoales, etc. His estate was called Brookvail or Brookvale.

James Scholes was married to Ann McEnaigh (?) of Scotch-Irish descent and they had ten children, seven sons and three daughters. The daughters were the eldest. The names of the sons were John, Richard, Andrew, Thomas, William-James and Robert. As they arrived at manhood their father helped them to make a start in life. Andrew moved into County Antrim, John to County Tarmanagh (Fermanagh), Robert to County Armagh, Richard to Aghaboge (?), the south side of County Monaghan, James lived with his father at Brookvale until the latter's death.

James married Elizabeth Colven, and to them were born six daughters and two sons, the sons, John and Andrew, being the youngest. James while young became a sportsman, dealing in race horses and steeple chasers. At one of these steeple chase races, he was seriously injured and remained an invalid the remainder of his life. His eldest daughter married and James gave his son-in-law power of attorney to conduct his estate and in a few years the latter had sunk it so deeply in debt that it still remains so.

James Seholes (Scoles) died leaving two unmarried daughters and two sons. The older boy John, at the age of eighteen enlisted in the 8th Light Dragoons, under King George III, King of England. He received his training in horsemanship and sword practice in England. He, grandfather, was an expert swordsman. In time, he with others were ordered to India to put down the Sepoy Rebellion and took part in some hard fought battles. He related an amusing incident, as follows: "When they were riding all night to meet the enemy the next day, on each man's helmet was a large brass plate kept at, mirror polish. Before sunrise the order was given, `Turn helmets.' The sun striking suddenly on so many bright plates caused a panic within the enemy ranks and they fled in disorder, crying ‘The British have two faces' “.

Grandfather told of another incident when they had been following the enemy for a number of days, each night found them at the camp the enemy had just left. Orders were given for an extra march. About dawn they came upon the enemy encamped in a hollow, and having no pickets, they were completely surrounded. The order was given, “No quarters”, and but for the accidental discharge of a pistol they would have been butchered in their tents. Toward the last of the massacre, the Sepoys would lean forward and cry, "Me, mar, sabe” meaning "cut off my head" -- and so off it would come.

Grandfather's last battle was fought at a place called Laswarree in India, where he used the sword that is a family heirloom, now in the possession of Thomas Gillies of Angelica (a descendant). He was wounded in this battle and received a medal with the clasp inscribed:

For bravery

To the Army of India


J. Scoles

8th Light Dragoons

The medal is now in the possession of John Scholes of Huntington, New York. The following is the account [of the battle] as told in grandfather's own words: "We had a hard fight, finally driving the enemy off the field. Orders to halt and rest. Our officers saw far out on the plain a lone horseman, well mounted, who appeared to be an officer. Our captain ordered one of his men to ride out and take him in or dispatch him. He did neither. The next man was ordered to go being a comrade of the first man. He did not return alive. The captain swore that he would send but one man at a time, if it took his whole regiment. My comrade was ordered next. The black man put him out of the saddle. Knowing that the next would be my turn, 1 did not wait for the.order, I put spurs to my horse and dashed for the field.

"When within shooting distance both of our pistols missed fire. In those days we did not have percussion caps and six shooters. They were the old muzzle loader and flint locks. If the powder in the pan was clamp or the flint failed to give a good spark, it was no go. We drew our swords, and a good man he was. He would parry every cut and thrust that I would make. I tried to cut his bridle rein, so that he could not manage to guide his horse. I found it, to be a chain covered with leather. In galloping around him, I made a thrust for his neck. I thought I pricked him, but was not sure until I saw him lean in the saddle. With a back stroke, I put him down. As he lie lay on his side, I rode around to his back. In leaning over to dispatch him, my knee bent out in so doing. He turned his face toward me, made a back stroke with his sword and cut my knee pan in two. I did not know that I was wounded, until I commenced to spring in the saddle, and saw blood coming out the top of my boot. 1 was sent to the hospital. When I improved so I could get around on crutches, I was told that a ship was about to sail for home. I was to go in her. Was not I glad? We did not have steamships in those days. It took six months to make the voyage. Think of it! Twelve months to make the round trip! A few days before our time to leave, I had an altercation with a fellow in the hospital yard and I knocked him down. A few minutes before an officer had stepped into the yard and he saw the whole operation. I did not see him, my back being toward him. He carne up and said, 'Ha, Scholes, Is this you? I think we will keep you another year. We will make quite a man of you yet,' and I had to stay.”

After the year was up, grandfather was sent home to England, got his discharge and returned to Ireland.

          Just before he returned from the war, Eliza Dodson of Mountain Hill, North of Ireland, then a young lady, dreamed that she went to a store or shop as it is called, and as she was trying on a pair of gloves she had purchased, a young man came in and helped her take off her glove. The dream seemed so real, to her, she sought a dream reader and was told that she would soon meet her future husband. Shortly afterward she met. John Scholes as he returned from war and recognised in him the young man of her dream. They were married and to them were born nine children, seven sons and two daughters. Nancy, the eldest married Alexander Hamilton.

          They had eight children, Alexander Hamilton Jr., Eliza Jane Gillis and the Malcolms belong to this family.

JAMES SCHOLES married Elizabeth. They had seven children, girls and one boy. Mrs. Archibald Gillis, and Mrs. Maria Dixon belong to the James Scholes family, also Mrs. Voss (she was a granddaughter).

ANDREW SCHOLES married Margaret Jane Elliott of Killacronaghan, Ireland. They had five children, two sons and three daughters. John W. Scholes of Angelica, N. Y., and Eliza Manning belong here.

Here I will pause to give the younger members of the family an idea of courtship in the "old country".

When my mother, Margaret Jane Elliott, was seventeen, she had a lover by the name of Robert Gredden, but since he was much older, her parents objected to his attentions. Her father and grandfather Scholes met at the county' fair, and since grandfather Scholes had a son of marriageable age they talked of a match between my mother and father. An arrangement was made for the young people to meet, and as they were attracted to each other the dowry to be given by each parent was talked over, and agreed upon and a day appointed for the marriage. A few days before the wedding was to take place, her father went to Clones to purchase provisions for the wedding supper, not returning until after dark. That same evening her former admirer, Robert Gredden, having heard of her approaching marriage, came to her house with the pretence to light his pipe and while them asked my mother to step outside as he wished to speak to her. Her mother forbade her to do so. Just at that time, her father returned and turning to Robert Gredden said, "What means this? That so many horses and horsemen are standing outside my door?" and instructed him to leave at once. You see he was intending to take her by force and elope with her.

Going back again to the family tree:


WILLIAM SCHOLES married Susan Scholes. She died leaving two children, Elizabeth Hamilton being the only child left of this union.


RICHARD SCROLLS married Miss Campbell, for his first wife, and for his second wife, Caroline Roach. They had four children, John D., and Emogene Smith belonging here.


JOHN SCHOLES married Harriet Roach, a sister of Richard's wife and I think they had eight children. Melissa Hoffman and Hattie Coutant are of this family.


ROBERT SCHOLES, the youngest of the brothers, married Jane Hamilton. To them were born three daughters. Frances Selover is the eldest daughter. Robert afterward married Sarah Hill, who had three children by a former marriage and he and Sarah had two, making Robert's family eight.                        '


ELIZA SCHOLES, the youngest of the nine, married Thomas Williamson. Some of the Scholes and Williamsons moved to Brooklyn, N. Y., and there is a Scholes street there named after this family.


THOMAS SCHOLES, I must not forget Uncle Thomas' family. He married Elizabeth Campbell. They had eight children and Henry Scholes and and Mary Eisaman belong to this branch.


ANDREW SCHOLES, my father, after the birth of their two children decided to come to America. They settled in Indiana, then considered to be "Away out West". The state was wild and sparingly settled. They liked the people and they saw what great possibilities there were for any young couple but owing to ill health caused by fever and ague, they felt obliged to return to their old home, in Ireland. Father upon his return gave such glowing accounts of America, its laws, people and advantages that after about six years, he, his father and mother, brothers and sisters came to this country with the exception of one brother and one sister who came later. Father left mother and their five children to manage the grocery shop as means of support while lie came to America again to find a home for them. This was in 1851. They were nine weeks and three days on the voyage by sailing vessel. They all settled at Birdsall, N. Y., Allegany County, with the exception of Uncle William and Uncle Robert, who went to South Carolina where William married Frances Bates Hamilton, widow, with five children. Her first husband, I believe, being a cousin of Uncle Alexander Hamilton. Uncle Robert married Aunt Frances' eldest daughter Jane. So you see they were closely connected, the two brothers marrying mother and daughter.

Just prior to the Civil Warr, William and Robert with their families moved north, they also settling in Allegany County, N. Y. At that time that part of Allegany County was mostly forest and most of the houses, log houses, but

with strong arm and steady nerve, they were undaunted.. The timber was hewn, the land cleared, better houses built and you know the result of their labor.

In 1858, Father sent for us, and you may be sure there was great rejoicing that we would so soon see America, the beautiful, of which we had heard such fairy tales. Sister Eliza had told me all that would be expected of me, her youngest, sister, would be to “ride” a pony, "dust the stairs" and wear "swan skin petticoats". Weeks of preparation followed, Grandmother Elliott, and daughters assisting us to make ready for the voyage, and I shall never forget the farewell between my mother and her mother, as they realized, with the great distance between them, that it would be their last. meeting. We were six weeks making the voyage. It was in November when we reached Birdsall. Our air castles and fairy tales vanished. Instead of the beautiful houses and polished stair cases that I was to dust, I found to my dismay, log houses, the second story reached by means of ladders.

My memory of Grandmother and Grandfather Scholes is very vivid and particularly can I remember their daily devotions. In the morning, Grand­mother would read a chapter from the Bible, Grandfather offered prayer and all present would rise and sing the hymn:

Awake my soul and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run

Shake off dull sloth and joyful rise

To pay thy morning sacrifice


In conversation be sincere

Keep conscience as the noon-day, clear

Think how all seeing God thy ways

And all thy secret thoughts survey.


Lord, I my vows to Thee renew

Scatter my sins as morning dew

Guard my first springs of thought and will

And with thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest this day

All I design, or do or say

That all my powers, with all their might

In thy sole glory may unite.

Composers: Francois H. Bartholomew, Thomas Ken; 1695-1709-1789


I should like to know how many of us, their descendants, follow their example in our homes.

Grandmother died in 1861 of abscess in her side. Just before her. death, she called all of her children to her bedside, urged them to lead a Christian life and then in a feeble voice sang:


Farewell! My dear children

The hour is at hand

When I must be severed

From this happy band

My Saviour is calling

And I must obey

The trumpet is sounding

And I must away.


After Grandmother's death, Grandfather lived for a short time alone in his own home with his grandchild, Lizzie Ann, whom he had brought up from childhood. It was his habit to come to our home evenings for prayers. During his visit he would often tell us of his soldier days, his dangers and tearlessness, of his fight with a Bengal tiger in the jungle while carrying dispatches and of being on the great river Ganges, supposed to be sacred, where certain times in the year the Hindu would cast their infants to the crocodiles to appease their Gods. Also of seeing the car of Juggernaut, at a place sacred to the Hindu where they held a great yearly festival, when they would push this car about a mile with its mighty god Vishnu, with its golden arms and diamond eyes. Many of its devotees would cast themselves beneath its ponderous wheels and be crushed to death.

We children, listening to him, did not credit all of his daring and thought he could be frightened if we went about it in the right way. One winter's night, after chilling our hands with ice, we crawled under his bed and as grandfather came into the dark house (upon his return from the usual visit at our home) hobbling along and talking to himself, and had one knee on his bed, ready to draw up the other. I caught him around the ankle with my cold hands and he said, "I, I, ghosts,' eh?" and reached for his cane and prodded us, until we were glad to quit.

Grandfather lived with his children the remainder of his life. A few days before his death, father asked him what his hopes of the future were, and he replied: "I have not the shadow of a doubt." He closed his eyes at the ripe age of ninety-six years. He and Grandmother sleep in Angelica cemetery.

There are a good many Scholes in Holland, also in Canada, some them holding prominent, positions, and many descendants throughout the United States.

In closing, as I look back upon the pioneer days of our fathers, I am impressed by their sterling qualities, integrity, industry, courage and optimism in the race of almost insurmountable obstacles and privations of those early days, while seeking to make a home in an unknown land and wilderness, and I am amazed at the progress made durin one generation, and as I look around at this large family, gathered here today, 1 think of the promise that God gave to Abraham when he said: "Thy seed shall be as the sands of the sea, without number".

This promise also brings to us a challenge, to continue to strive, to live up to our heritage and in days of prosperity, that we forget not our God.


There follows a Genealogical Record of the descendants of John Scholes. For an outline family tree, go to:

And for some links about Birdsall: