About Our Site
Our goal is to document and preserve our family history for future generations. Our earliest ancestors were Joseph Holley and Rose Allen who helped settle Sandwich, Massachusetts in 1637. Our line springs from Joseph 4th who moved from Sandwich to Dartmouth where he married Hannah Soule, a Mayflower descendant. Joseph and Hannah, along with several of Hannah's siblings and their spouses moved to Pawling in Dutchess County, NY in about 1741. No record has been found of their children's births, but they appear in tax and other surviving Dutchess County records. Joseph 5th, our 4th great-grandfather left Pawling for Hancock in Delaware County, NY in the mid-1790s where he died in 1809. We continue to search for contemporary records on these early pioneers and will appreciate any help you may be able to offer.
A DNA Test Helped
Shatter Our Brick Wall
You have undoubtedly encountered a "Brick Wall" at some point in your research. Ours was rooted in the dearth of vital records for rural New York State from the 18th and early 19th centuries. After several generations spent pursuing false leads and blind alleys, we were rescued by the emerging use of DNA science for genealogical research. You may find the story of how we found our origins to be helpful in your own research efforts.... read more.
Proof Of Our Heritage
We have documented the first six generations of our family in America and included links to the sources that prove the connection between our Delaware County family and the Joseph Holley who helped settle Sandwich, Massachusetts in 1637. Click on the notes to see our sources for yourselves.... read more.
For Civil War Buffs
Several of our direct ancestors served in the Civil War. One lost a leg at Gettysburg. We've researched some of the battles in which they participated and you may find that part of the site of interest, especially if an ancestor served in the Union Army's Excelsior Brigade of the New York Volunteers.... read more.
Our Family Photo Album
Our photo album contains 40+ pictures of family members, some dating to the late 1800s and others much more recent. ... browse the album.
Looking for someone?
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The Early Generations
Joseph Holley was born ca. 1605 in England and died at Sandwich, Massachusetts in 1647. He was probably a grantee of Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1634 and was certainly among the first settlers of Sandwich, ca 1637. He was a millwright and married Rose Allen, probably in England before emigrating to Dorchester ca. 1634. Rose was born ca. 1621 in England and died ca. 1693 in Sandwich.... read more.
Our database has records on 7,160 descendants and spouses with 1,503 unique surnames. Family group pages include sources used to validate the information. Click
to review the page for Joseph Holley. Click on an earth icon
to launch a map of birth, death or marriage locations. You can also find map coordinates for those locations and find the distance between any two places.
We'd Appreciate Your Help
If you have questions related to our research, some history or pictures to share, or suggestions to improve the site, please e-mail
them to us.
Our Son Jared's Art Folio
Jared was born at Bitburg, Germany on Jul 11, 1970. He left us to be with the Lord on April 5, 1994. We include these photographs as a memorial to his short but full life. ... see Jared's art.