This ancient English family comes into New England colonial history with the other Puritans, and in the early records the surname is found written variously St. John, Sension and Sention; but however written the record refers to the immigrant ancestor of the family here treted or to some of his descendants.
(I) Matthias St. John, immigrant, was born in England and first appears in New England as of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 131-32, and was made freeman there September 3, 1634; had a grant of lands January 14, 1635, "at the bounds betwixt Roxbury and Dorchester." In 1636 the town ordered "that Matthias Sension and Thomas Stampford shall keepe the cowes this yere to begin the 17th day of April and to continue the keeping of them till the 15th day of November to have for their pay in keeping 5 shills the head for as many as are brought in; the sayd five shill p' head to be payd 1-3 in hand 1-3 at halfe the tyme and the other at the end of the tyme." The Dorchester records show that Matthias St. John became possessed of several small tracts of land in the town, some by grant and others by purchase, but in 1640 he left that town and took up his abode in Windsor, Connecticut, where he was one of the early planters, and where he acquired lands by grant and by purchase. There he was known as Mathias Senchon, Mathewe Sension and also as Matthias Sension. He is mentioned among the first settlers of Wethersfield, between 1636 and 1645, but he was grand juror in Windsor in 1643. He was "Juryman in Particular Court" at Hartford in 1650, and 1651, also afterward, and he appears to have been frequently chosen to perform public service, from which it may be assumed that he was a person of some consequence in the plantation. In 1654 he removed with his family to Norwalk, and there he discharged important duties in connection with the affairs of town government. His will is dated October 19, 1669, and he died in that or the following month. His will mentions his wife, but does not give her name. His estate was inventoried as of the value of three hundred pounds. Children: 1. Matthias, born 1630; died December, 1728-29. 2. Mark, 1633-34; died August 12, 1693. 3. Samuel, 1637-40; died January 14, 1685. 4. Mecry, June 8, 1645. 5. James, 1649; died May 9, 1684.
(II) Matthias (2), first son of Matthias (1) St. John, was born probably in England in 1630, died in December, 1728-29. He lived in Norwalk, Connecticut, and held various offices; was selectman, fence viewer in 1659, and his name appears frequently in the records as having discharged various duties, some of them of an important character in the affairs of the town government. The baptismal name of his wife was Elizabeth, but her family name does not appear. Children: 1. Ebenezer, born about 1660, died 1723-24; married Elizabeth Comstock. 2. Matthias, born in Norwalk, 1667-68; see forward. 3. Mary, married Thomas Hyatt, a soldier in King Philip's war; died March 29, 1698. 4. James, born 1674; died in January, 1754; married, December 18, 1693, Mary Comstock.
(III) Matthias (3), son of Matthias (2) and Elizabeth St. John, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, 1667-68; died (says one authority) August 17, 1748, in Wilton, Connecticut. He owned land at what was called Flaxhill, in 1699, and was a husbandsman. He also filled various town offices, assisted in building the school house, was fence viewer, and was selected "to beat ye drum on Sabbath days." This last duty was imposed on his son in case he should not do it himself. He had various grants of lands in Norwalk and Ridgefield, Connecticut. In March, 1734-35, he served as juror. He married Rachel Bouton, born December 16, 1677, daughter of John Bouton Sr., of Norwalk, who married Abigail (or Elizabeth) St. John, and had ten children: 1. Ebenezer. 2. John, born about 1685; died March, 1773; married (first), April 29, 1724, Eunice Hayes; married (second), 1749, Sarah Scribner. 3. Matthew, born 1686; died August 3, 1755; married, October 13, 1709, Anne Whitney. 4. Samuel, born about 1688; see forward. 5. Nathan, born 1692; died March 10, 1749; married, June 7, 1721, Hannah Seymour. 6. Matthias, born 1695; died 1732; married, about 1723-24, Elizabeth Trowbridge; she married (second) Nehemiah Gregory. 7. Benjamin, born about 1700; married (first), 1729, Mary _____; (second) Elizabeth, widow of Richard Everett. 8. Rachel, born about 1700, died in Sharon, Connecticut, February 5, 1774; married, 1721, Captain Ebenezer Carter. 10. Elizabeth, born about 1717-18; married Ezra Hickok.
(IV) Captain Samuel, son of Matthias (3) and Rachel (Bouton) St. John, was born probably about 1688, died at Corland Manor, New York, 1755. He went with his father from Norwalk to Ridgefield and was one of the original proprietors in that town in 1709, when a colony of twenty-four settlers bought lands there from the Indians. In the subsequent division of their purchase Captain St. John received lot No. 1, which was Granted by ye Proprietors of ye Town of Ridgefield unto Serjeant Samuel Saint John and recorded unto the said Samuel Saint John his heirs and assigns forever." Subsequently he had other lands and appear to have been one of the principal men of the town. He was one of three men appointed to "look over town and propriety votes and as much as they think necessary, order for file," in 1715; was made townsman, 1718; fence viewer in 1720-21; lister in 1724; townsman in 1727-28; surveyor and moderator of the town meeting in 1729; appointed lieutenant of the train band of Ridgefield in 1718, and became captain in 1727. He evidently removed to Cortland Manor in Westchester county, New York, about 1740, perhaps earlier, for in a deed executed by him in 1740-41, he is described as "Samuel Saint John lately of Ridgefield now living on Cortland Manor in ye County of West Chester." In 1742 he describes himself as "late of Ridgefield, now living in Cortland Manor in ye County of Westchester and Province of New York." Captain St. John married Rebecca Olmstead, born about 1681, daughter of Lieutenant John and Elizabeth Olmstead. She survived him and married for her second husband a Lockwood. Captain Samuel and Rebecca (Olmstead) St. John had elevent children: Samuel, born about 1703; see forward. 2. Joanna, married, December 21, 1727, Christopher Burt. 3. Jane, married in Ridgefield, August 27, 1730, Ebenezer Brooks. 4. Peregrina, married, August 27, 1730, Nathan Northrup. 5. Abigail, died April 28, 1720. 6. Abigail, married John Warren Jr. 7. Rebecca, married Samuel Lobdell. 8. Noah, born 1713; died October 5, 1778; married, October 6, 1737, Jane Smith. 9. Daniel. 10. Job. 11. Ebenezer.
(V) Samuel (2), son of Captain Samuel (1) and Rebecca (Olmstead) St. John, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, about 1703-04, died in Ridgefield, Connecticut, November 9, 1777. He was one of the founders of the church in Ridgefield in 1769, and appears to have been a man of influence and means. The records show that he owned several tracts of land in different localities. He married (first) March 6, 1727-28, Sarah Northrup, born July, 1702, died June 20, 1731; married (second) January 8, 1735-36, Sarah Wallace, born December 1, 1714, died January 6, 1754; married (third) Hannah Hyatt, who died April 26, Rebecca, June 18, 1743. 7.1765. His children: 1. Sarah, born May 31, 1729. 2. Samuel, May 4, 1733. 3. James, born October 27, 1736; died February, 1829; married, April 13, 1758, Jerusha Thomas. 4. Thomas, October 12, 1738; died January 12, 1816; married (first), March 8, 1759. Susanna Northrup; married (second) April 14, 1760, Betty Thomas. 5. John, 1740; died April 14, 1746. 6. Rebecca, June 18, 1743. 7. Jacob, August 30, 1745. 8. Daniel, July 16, 1748; died March 29, 1813; married, February 26, 1768. Abigail Holmes, of Bedford, New York. 9. Martha, January 2, 1750; married (first) September 19, 1767, John Thomas; married (second) August 29, 1782, Solomon Goodwin Jr. 10. John, April 11, 1753; died October 22 or 26, 1825; married, October 22, 1779, Hannah Fitch.
(VI) Daniel, son of Samuel (2) and Sarah (Wallace) St. John, was born July 16, 1748, died probably March 29, 1813. He married, at Bedford, New York, and is supposed to have spent the greater part of his life in that state. In 1796 he is mentioned as of Scoduck, Van Runsleywck county (Rensselaer). He married, February 26, 1768, Abigail Holmes, of Bedford; children: 1. Azuba, married Amos Bowen. 2. Noah, born April 2, 1769; see forward. 3. John, August 17, 1770; married, November 27, 1796, Jane Brown. 4. Stephen, February 7, 1772; died August 28, 1773. 5. Daniel, November 7, 1775. 6. James, about 1778; died about 1826; married Betsey Brown. 7. Enos Frost, married Martha Waterbury. 8. Wallace. 9. Arna.
(VII) Noah, son of Daniel and Abigail (Holmes) St. John, was born about April 2, 1769; died October 25, 1854. There was a Lieutenant Noah St. John in the New York militia in 1798, who is thought to have been the head of the family here under consideration. He married Betsey Waterbury, born in 1769, died September 24, 1857. Children: 1. John Waterbury, born April 24, 1789; died July 31, 1855; married Sally Fancher. 2. Stephen, 1790; died 1863; married Polly Webb. 3. Daniel, January 15, 1793; died September 23, 1879; married Belinda Rhodes. 4. David, November 24, 1794; see forward. 5. Enos, married Elizabeth _____. 6. James, married Louisa Webb. 7. Noah, married Eliza Webb.
(VIII) David, son of Noah and Betsey (Waterbury) St. John, was born November 24, 1794; died December 31, 1857. He married (first) Tamer Rhodes, born in 1794, died in 1837. He married (second) about 1842, Mary Johnson, born in 1811, died in 1891, daughter of Caleb and Kate (Ross) Johnson. He had seven children, three by his first and four by his second wife: 1. George R., born 1814; died 1852; married Emeline Tubs and had Almeda, Isabella, Hiram T. and Amasa. 2. Emeline, married (first) Ira Owen; (second) Clark Sherman and had on child, Charles. 3. Marietta, married Francis Wager. 4. Elizabeth Tamer, born 1844; died 1875. 5. Catherine Townsend, August 17, 1845; married, January 2, 1867, Harvey Wesley Bell. 6. Mary T., twin, March 27, 1849; married Charles Hochstrasser. 7. David, twin, see forward.
(IX) Dr. David (2), youngest child of David (1) and Mary (Johnson) St. John, was born March 27, 1849, in Berne, Albany county, New York. He first took up the study of medicine in the office of his brother-in-law, Dr. H. W. Bell, in his native town; later he entered the office of the Professor James H. Armsby, M. D., at that time the leading surgeon of Albany, New York. After taking a course at the Albany Medical College and the Buffalo Medical College, he entered the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City, whence he graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1875. After graduating he located in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 1888 he was instrumental in organizing the Hackensack Hospital, and has been a prominent factor in contributing to the success and high rank of this institution. He is the medical and surgical director, president of the medical board and visiting surgeon. At his own expense he added a wing to the hospital containing two wards, and these were refurnished after the death of Mrs. St. John, by the Ladies' Auxiliary, as a memorial to her. In 1886 he was appointed by Governor John W. Griggs a manager of the State Hospital at Morris Plains, which position he still holds. As a physician and surgeon, Dr. St. John enjoys the confidence and respect of a large clientele, and in addition to his professional duties takes an active interest in the civic welfare as a public-spirited citizen. He is first vice-president of the Hackensack Trust Company, a director of the Hackensack National Bank, a director of the Hackensack National Bank, a director of the Spring Valley National Bank, New York; president of the Gas and Electric Company of Bergen County, New Jersey; president of the Hackensack Heights Association. He is now president and was formerly vice-president of the State Medical Society of New Jersey, and a member of the American Medical Association, also a member and ex-president of the Bergen County Medical Society, member of the New York State Medical Association and the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. St. John married (first) October 1, 1879, Jennie Angle, born November 25, 1855, died in Hackensack, September 8, 1903, daughter of John and Mary (Reed) Angle. Children: 1. Olive Graham, born March 12, 1882; graduate of Dana Hall, Wellesley, Massachusetts. 2. Fordyce Barker, February 10, 1884; graduate of Princeton University in 1905, graduate of College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, 1909, and is now serving a two years course in Roosevelt Hospital in New York. 3. Florence Angle, June 26, 1887; graduate of Dana Hall, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 1907. D.r St. John married (second) September 27, 1907, Alice Vera Connell, daughter of William N. Connell, Esquire, of Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada.