French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

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The Hannibal French House, 186 Main St., Sag Harbor, Long Island, NY, built in 1799.
See photos of the Hannibal French House.

Chart #207, Peter French, 1793
his son Hannibal French, 1817
Sag Harbor, Long Island, NY

This chart updated by Mara French on 5/10/15. Send any corrections or comments to this chart to Although this is not my line, I make additions to it, and you will be notified when your data or someone else’s data is added.


FFA Home Page

Peter French Home Page

First Generation

Second Generation

Third Generation

Fourth Generation

Fifth Generation

Sixth Generation



Undetermined Frenches of Sag Harbor

Origin of this Family



For details on this outline, click the corresponding generation shown in the “Links” above.

1.1  *Peter French, b. 19 Feb 1793, d. 6 Mar 1845 in Sag Harbor, NY, m. *Sally Smith ca. 1816, daughter of *Selah Smith (her father), who was b. 8 Dec 1776, d. 12 Mar 1844. Peter, Sally, and Selah are all buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor.

2.1 *Hannibal French Sr., b. 13 Oct 1817 in NY, d. 5 May 1889 in Sag Harbor, m. *Cornelia W. Hedges in 1846. Cornelia was b. 8 Mar 1822 in Sag Harbor and d. 7 Jun 1890 in Sag Harbor.

3.1 *Florence Eva French, b. 19 Sep 1847 in Sag Harbor, d. 1933 in Sag Harbor, never married.

3.2 *Arthur S. French, b. 30 Jun 1849 in NY, d. 1916, m. *Anna L. Buckley, b. 1853, d. 1923.

4.1 *Arthur P. (Percy) French, b. May 1879 in NY, d. 18 Aug 1908 in Chestertown, NY.

3.3 *Blanche Hedges French, b. 8 Jan 1851 in Sag Habor, d. 1918 in Sag Harbor, m1. Samuel Huntting Sherry (brother of Mary Sherry who married Peter French Jr.), m2. *George Morton Travis, b. 1866, d. 1936. (all buried with the Sherry family)

3.4 *Hannibal French Jr., b. 5 Jul 1852 in NY, d. 1933, m. Emily Goodale Myers.

3.5 *Frank Conrad French, b. 3 Jul 1854 in Sag Harbor, d. 1927 in Sag Harbor, m. *Harriet Wade, b. Dec 1855, d. 1928.

4.2 Cornelia M. French, b. 21 Apr 1892 in NY, d. 1975, m. Milton Harwell Smith.

4.3 Frances Wade French, 18 Apr 1896 in NY, d. 10 Feb 1987, m. William Washington Vaughn.

4.4 Wade French, b. 13 Feb 1899 in Sag Harbor, d. Apr 1981 in Sag Harbor, m. Charlotte Moore.

5.1 Barbara French, m. Carl J. Kohler Jr. and had children Julia and Jennifer.

5.2 Nancy French, m. Richard R. Achenbach Jr. and had children Wade and Timothy.

3.6 *Geneveive E. French, b. 28 Nov 1856 in Sag Harbor, d. 1930 in Sag Harbor.

3.7 *Henry French, b. 15 Oct 1858 in NY, d. 1925, m. Emma Walton.

3.8 *Willie French, b. 7 Oct 1859, d. 18 Feb 1860.

3.9 *Cornelia (Nellie) Hedges French, b. 25 Sep 1860 in Sag Harbor, d. 1935 in Sag Harbor, m. *William F. Goldbeck, b. 1860, d. 1920, and had son Willis Goldbeck.

2.2 *Abel Smith French, b. 13 Nov 1819 in Riverhead, NY, d. 10 Aug 1882 in Sag Harbor, never married.

2.3 *Chauncey H. French, b. 15 Sep 1826 in NY, d. 22 Jun 1841, never married.

2.4 *Stephen Bull French, b. 16 Jan 1829 in NY, d. 3 Feb 1896, m1. *Mary Ann Hand who was b. 31 Mar 1837 in Sag Harbor and d. 11 Feb 1866 in Sag Harbor, daughter of Robert Forest Hand and Louisa Pinoa. Stephen had 3 children by her. After she died, he m2. *Julia M. Prentis and had 3 children by her. Julia was b. 8 Mar 1848 in New London, CT.

3.10 Clara Slate French, b. 19 Jan 1857 in NY, d. ______, m. Auguste Mathez on 16 Feb 1881, he was b. ca. 1856, moved to Denver, Colorado, early 1900s.

3.11 *Forrest H. French, b. 20 May 1860 in Sag Harbor, d. 27 Jun 1863 in Sag Harbor.

3.12 *Eugene Smith French, b. 23 Jan 1862, d. 23 Feb 1899, m. Frankie Reynolds.

4.5* Hallett R. French, b. 14 Mar 1896 in Helena, Montana, d. Oct 1968 in Seattle, WA, m. Nora.

5.3 Peter French, b. 29 Jun 1938 in Seattle, d. 5 Feb 2008.

6.1 Eugene Lee French, b. 13 Feb 1970, lived in Snohomish and Everett, WA, before moving to Fort Worth, Tarrant County, TX.

6.2 Eric Lewis French, b. 15 Feb 1973, lived in Snohomish and Olympia, WA, before moving to Birmingham, Alabama, m. Rebecca R.

6.3 Elliott L. French, b. 27 Dec 1974, lived in Centralia, WA, before moving to Hoquiam, Washington, m. Misty D.

3.13 *Mary Prentis French, b. Feb 1869 in Sag Harbor, d. 1940 in NY, NY, m. *William Clarence Cox on 23 May 1893. William was b. Nov 1868 in NY, d. 1946 in Sag Harbor.

3.14 *Lester C. French, b. 21 Jan 1871 in NY, d. 15 Mar 1923.

3.15 *Stephen B. French Jr., b. 23 Aug 1874 in NY, d. 3 Jan 1931, never married.

2.5 *Frances (Fanny) E. French, b. Apr 1831 in Riverhead, NY, d. 29 Sep 1832 in Sag Harbor.

2.6 *Anna E. French, b. 10 May 1833 in NY, d. 15 Jan 1858, m. John Robert Hinds. John was b. 5 May 1831 in Hebron, Washington Co., NY.

*Ella Hinds, Sep 1854 in Oneida, NY, d. 1902.

2.7 *Sarah F. French, b. 18 Sep 1836 in Riverhead, NY, d. 7 Aug 1908, m. *Henry A. Babcock who was b. 8 Apr 1821 in NY, d. 29 Jul 1886.

*Howard C. Babcock, son of Henry A. and Sarah F. Babcock, b. 9 Jun 1863, d. 30 Dec 1925.

2.8 *Colonel Peter A. French, b. 20 May 1838 in NY, d. 19 Oct 1912, m1. *Mary Sherry (sister of Samuel Huntting Sherry who married Blanche French). Mary Sherry was b. 13 Dec 1839 in Sag Harbor, d. 1867, m2. Catherine (Kate) Wilkinson, and had 2 twin daughters. He served in the 81st NYSV and 46th NYSV. Many young men had enlisted on 22 Nov 1861 under Lieut. Peter French for Col. Edwin Rose’s 81st N.Y. Vols. Lieut. Peter French was presented with a sword and belt on 6 Mar 1862 [17].

3.16 Barbara French, twin, unmarried when her father died in 1912.

3.17 Katherine French, twin, unmarried when her father died in 1912. She m. Myron? Rockwell.

2.9 *Josephine Bonaparte French, b. ca. 1842, d. 8 Dec 1918, never married.

*Buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, NY, as well as Captain Henry O. French and Charles E. French listed below.

Undetermined Frenches of Sag Harbor

Keep in mind that Henry O. French b. 1808, Peter French b. 1793, and William C. French b. 1795, were all living in Southampton in the 1840 census in the Sag Harbor district. Furthermore, Peter and William C. were both living in Ward 6 in New York in the 1820 census. Furthermore, Peter and Henry were both buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor and William was buried in another cemetery in Suffolk County. No other Frenches were living in all of Suffolk County, NY, at this time; hence, they could have been related.

Captain Henry O. French

Captain Henry O. French, b. 17 Jun 1808 in Connecticut, d. 17 Oct 1884 in Islip, Suffolk County, NY, 76 years and 4 months. This date also agrees with the census record as well as other records, but it does not agree with one record, and that is the 1805 date on his gravestone. He would be 15 years younger Peter French who was born in 1793.

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Henry O. French was buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor letting us know that he most likely was part of Peter French’s family. Islip, where he died, is halfway between Sag Harbor and New York City (Islip is about 55 miles from Sag Harbor); probably no one would be buried far from where they died unless they had family there. In other words, he would not be buried in an arbitrary city. Henry O. French married Mary Brown Fordham, the daughter of Jarus Fordham and Mary Latham whose children were all born in Sag Harbor, and buried at the Oakland Cemetery. Jarus was b. 2 Aug 1767 in Sag Harbor and d. 24 Jul 1831 in Sag Harbor. Henry O. French and Mary B. Fordham had no children.

Henry O. French in the census records follows.


Birth date






Henry was b. 17 Jun 1808 in Connecticut



Mary B. Fordham was born 3 Apr 1808 in Sag Harbor, NY



Age 2 years, most likely lived in Connecticut with parents.






Age 12. Cannot find Henry.




At this census, Peter French was living in New York Ward 6, NY, but not with Henry.


Henry was age 20-29 and cannot be found.



Jarus Fordham living in Southampton, age 60-69, with daughter Mary, age 20-29, her mother, and a male under 5.

Mary B. Fordham’s father Jarus Fordham died on 24 Jul 1831.


Henry is not listed in this census with the Fordham family.


Mary Latham Fordham, wife of Jarus, is listed as age 50-59.


1801-1810 CT, male 30-39

Navigation of the ocean.

Southampton, Suffolk Co., NY

Henry married Mary B. Fordham by this census, but she appears as age 40-49 or born 1791-1800, incorrect transcription.

Also living with a female age 60-69 or born 1771-1780 who was most likely Mary Latham Fordham, Henry’s mother-in-law, after her husband had died in 1831. Of these 76 pages, listed are also Peter French (page 1) and William C. French (page 53).

12 Aug 1850

Henry, 42, born in CT, living with his mother-in-law Mary Fordham, 78, b. 1772, and his wife Mary B. French, age 32, and with Wm. H. Burdick, 18.


Southhampton, Suffolk, NY

Mary Brown Fordham’s mother died on 3 Nov 1852.

The Fordham family lived on Long Island since the mid-1600s, immigrating  from Sacombe, Herfordshire, England.

2 Jun 1860

1810 CT, age 50


Islip, Suffolk Co., NY

Mary B. was also 50.



Age 57, 1808 CT


Islip, Suffolk Co., NY

Mary, 57, born in Suffolk


6 Jul 1870

Age 61, b. 1809 CT


Islip, Suffolk Co., NY, Sayville P.O.

Mary B. 62, keeping house, born in CT


16 Jun 1880

1808 CT


Islip, Suffolk Co., NY

Mary B. 72

Henry states that BOTH his parents were born in CT. And BOTH her parents were born in NY.


Henry died 17 Oct 1884


Islip, Suffolk Co., NY

Mary died 28 Feb 1888


Henry states that he and both parents were born in Connecticut. Mary Brown Fordham, his wife, was born 3 Apr 1808 in Sag Harbor, NY, and died 28 Feb 1888, aged 79 years, 11 months, and is also buried at the Oakland Cemetery. Both are buried in the plot with these surnames: Burdick, Godbee, Hildreth (no other French in this plot).

From “The Corrector”, Sag Harbor, Long Island, 25 Oct 1884, states that Henry O. French of Islip, age 76 years, 4 months, died, remains brought to this village (Sag Harbor) for interment as per This reference also states that Mary B., was the widow of the late Capt. Henry O. French, age 79 years and 11 months.

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      In the same newspaper as above AND on the same page, dated 25 Oct 1884, is this ad, in which they talk about:

      H. & S. French:
      Hannibal French b. 1817, d. 1889 and
      Stephen French b. 1829, d. 1896
H. French & Co.
      Henry French, b. 1858, d. 1925 (son of Hannibal)
F. C. French
     Frank Conrad French, b. 1854, d. 1927 (son of Hannibal)

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Also, in the same newspaper as above AND on the same page, is this announcement where his wife’s sister’s name is given as Mrs. Burdick of Sag Harbor (Eliza Ann Fordham married Captain William Burdick).

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From “The Corrector”, Sag Harbor, Long Island, 3 Mar 1888. Mary H., wife of Captain Henry O. French, d. 28 Feb 1888, aged 79 years and 11 months, buried at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, Suffolk County, NY. She was born 28 Mar 1808.

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If already in NY in the 1810 census, the only one who fits this description would be Joseph French, living in Newburgh, Orange, NY:
2 males under 10, b. 1810-1820
1 male 10-15, b. 1805-1810 (could be Henry)
1 male 16-25, b. 1795-1804
2 males 26-44, b. 1776-1794 (could be Peter and William C.)
1 male over 45, Joseph French, b. 1775 or before (could have had Peter in 1793)
5 females under 10
1 female 10-15
2 females 16-25
2 females 26-44
1 female over 45, perhaps Joseph’s wife


William C. French

1795 – William C. French was born in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

1820 census – Age 25. Peter was living in New York Ward 6, NY, NY. “A” William French also shows up in Ward 6, but no verification that this is the same one of this line. William is on page 39 or 69 pages. Peter is on page 60 of 69 pages.
1 male 16-25, b. 1795-1804
1 male 26-44, William French
1 female 10-15, b. 1805-1810
1 female 26-44, his wife?
1 female 45+

1830 census – Must be married and in this census in NY as wife was born in NY. Age 35. Peter French was living in Riverhead, Suffolk Co., NY.

1840 census -- William C. French, head of household in Southampton, Suffolk, NY, page 53 of 76. All these residents were free and white; 1 of them was employed in navigation of the ocean, and one in commerce.
1 male under 5
1 male 15-19, William, age 15
1 male 30-39, b. 1801-1810
1 male 40-49, William, born 1791-1800, actually born in 1795 in Massachusetts or Rhode Island
2 females under 5, Laura and Lesley
2 females 5-9, Charlotte and Alice
1 female 10-14
1 female 15-19
1 female 30-39, his wife, Mary R. French, born 1804 in Suffolk County, NY.

1850 census -- Southampton, Suffolk, NY, states William was born in 1794 in Rhode Island, age 56, farmer, with his wife Mary R., age 46, born 1804, and several other children all born in NY:
perhaps a daughter Theodotia White, age 23, b. 1827, who may have married a White and had son, Edward White, age 1, b. 1849.
Plus William’s children:
Charlotte French, age 18; born 1832
Alice, age 14; she died 18 Sep 1850 and is buried with her parents.
Laura, age 12; b. 1838, same person as in 1865 census.
Lesley, age 12;
William, age 25, born 1825 in NY, seaman.

1865 census -- William appears as born 1795 in Massachusetts, age 70, living in Southampton, married to Mary R. French, age 61, living with daughter Laura French, age 26, born 1839 in Suffolk, NY. From other sources, it states that Laura C. French was born in Bridgehampton, Suffolk Co., NY, age 26.

1868 Nov 13 -- William was born in 1794 and died 13 Nov 1868 at age 73 and is buried at the North End Graveyard in Southampton, Suffolk, NY, with his wife Mary who died 25 Dec 1868, the following month.

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Charles E. French

Charles E. French was b. 1861, d. 1922, buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor with the Converse and Brown families.


Dates Analyzed Showing Migration Pattern

1793 -- Peter French was born

1795 -- William C. French was born in Massachusetts

1808 -- Henry O. French was born in Connecticut

1816 -- Peter French married Sarah Smith in Orange County, New York

1831 – Peter moved to Sag Harbor, Suffolk, New York, age 38

1840 -- Peter, William C., and Henry O. French lived in Southampton, Suffolk, New York, in the district of Sag Harbor

1845 -- Peter died and was buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, New York

1868 Nov 13 -- William at age 73 and is buried at the North End Graveyard in Southampton, Suffolk, NY, with his wife Mary.

1884 Oct 17 -- Henry was buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, New York, at age 76 years and 4 months, determining that he was born about 17 Jun 1808.


Origin of this Family

Peter French may have been born in Montreal, Canada, or in France, or in New York. The theory has been noted that he lived in his very early years with his parents and younger sister, and that his parents had died, possibly in a shipwreck, leaving Peter and his sister as orphans. Not knowing their surnames, they were given the surname French as they were thought to have come from France.

Naming Conventions

The Christian names for earlier generations, repeating those of later generations, could have been Peter, Hannibal, Abel, Chauncey, Stephen, Fanny, Anna, and Josephine. Certainly the names Bonapart and Bull used as middle names of Peter’s children have some significance. The names Chauncey and Bonapart (Napoleon Bonaparte – Emperor of France) are of the French language, and therefore the family could have come from Montreal as one record suggests. Another record says New York, and yet another suggests Ireland.

From France?

During the French Revolution, 1789-1799, Peter’s family left France for Montreal, Canada, and were living in Montreal sometime between 1789-1792. Peter’s father died before 1816 when Peter appears in Orange County, NY. As Peter’s children were named Hannibal, Abel, Chauncey, Stephen, Frances, Anna, Sarah (named after her mother), Peter (named after his father), and Josephine, it is possible that the earlier siblings were named after earlier family members.

Another source suggests they came from France on a ship that had a wreck and killed both parents. The only survivors were Peter and his younger sister. They called them the “French” family as they were from France; no further information is known. If this is true, they probably immigrated between 1800 and 1816 when Peter married Sally.

“A” Pierre (no last name) was baptized in 1793 in Montreal, Quebec at the Basilique Notre-Dame. His name may have been any one of these men, all born in 1793 in Montreal, but the documents are hard to read as they are in French:

Pierre Abraham
Pierre Billet
Pierre Davy
Pierre Casimir Duranseau
Pierre Ellis
Pierre Fisette
Pierre Philippe Ganocheau
Pierre Gaudon
Pierre Laurent Goujon
Pierre Marie Hutubise
Pierre Laramee
Pierre Leduc
Pierre Pepin
Pierre Paul Poirier
Pierre Poupart
Pierre Ambroise Provost
Pierre Robineaux
Pierre Jean Marie Saintamant
Pierre Tessier
Pierre Tournut

I would imagine that Pierre’s father was age 20-30 when Pierre was born; therefore, born 1763-1775. I would also imagine that Pierre’s father died very shortly after Pierre was born, or Pierre would have known what his surname was. I also assume there is no record of his father’s death, assumedly as a result of a shipwreck. Death probably occurred between 1794-1798. Pierre’s children’s names may be important clues for the past, but certainly the name Hannibal, Pierre’s first child, was an important name, perhaps after the adopted family he lived with. It is difficult searching for the surname French, as thousands of hits show up in Montreal concerned with the country, not the surname.

Because Peter’s first sons were named Hannibal and Abel Smith, it could be that his wife Sarah was Sarah Smith and Peter’s biological or adopted father or guardian was Hannibal or Abel, but this is just an assumption. Please don’t propagate this tale unless you have proof of the ancestry; it is here only for future researchers.

Considering that Peter was living in Orange County, New York in 1816 when he was age 23, his guardian could be listed as Hannibal in the 1810 census of Orange County, NY. No Hannibal appears in 1810 in Orange County, NY.

Abel Gale Smith

Considering Peter’s wife could have been Sarah “Sally” Smith, and that their second son was named Abel Smith French, the 1810 census of Goshen, Orange County, NY, lists an Abel Smith with 10 children. Peter could have married within this family, perhaps his adopted family. In the 1810 census, he would have been age 17 and his future wife, Sarah Smith, would have been 11. The closest male in age was 15, and a female exists the age of Sarah. Abel Smith is probably the one listed as age 45+ or born before 1765.

In the 1790 census of Goshen, Orange County, NY, Abel Smith is the head of household of a family of 5. He was age 16+, living with his wife who was probably also 16+, assumedly 2 daughters as 3 females are listed, plus a male under 16 (Peter French was not yet born).

The 1800 census should list Abel Smith as age 34:
Abel, head of household, age 26-44, living in Minisink, Orange County, NY (1756-1774)
with 3 males under 10 (one could have been Peter French), born 1790-1800.
a male 10-15 (this corresponds with the 1790 census), born 1785-1790.
a female under 10, born 1790-1800.
plus his wife for a total of 7 in the household.

The 1810 census of Minisink lists
Abel as over 45, born before 1765
3 males age 10-15, born 1795-1800 (one could have been Peter French)
1 male age 16-25, born 1785-1794 (agrees with 1800 census)
1 male age 26 thru 44,
1 female under 10
1 female 16-25,
and his wife over 45 for a total of 9 in the household.

The 1820 census of Minisink lists
7 children, and 2 of the older sons are no longer living within the household – could have been Peter French as he was living in New York Ward 6, NY, NY and married.

Abel Gale Smith’s death record states he was born 20 Jan 1766 and died at age 81 on 9 Jul 1847 in Greenville, Orange County, NY. It states he was husband to Mary Smith and had children Peter Mills Smith*, Catharine Smith, James Smith, Samuel Gale Smith, Jacob Denton Smith, Theodore Lewis Smith, and Adaline Smith, and that he was the son of Derrick Smith and Hannah Gale and was buried at the Manning Cemetery in Greenville, Orange County, NY. This would indicate that Mary Smith might be in the 1850 census alone.

The 1830 and 1840 census records are consistent in ages and in Minisink.

The Smith family buried at the Manning Cemetery are all consistent with the above data. Abel Smith’s wife was born 15 Dec 1764 and died 30 Apr 1848, and therefore does not appear in the 1850 census, which has been verified. She was born in Orange County, NY, to Henry Smith and Catherine Denton. Their daughter Catherine Smith was born 6 Jun 1792 and died 17 Jan 1864, and appears in the 1800 and 1810 census records above.

*A coincidence that they named a child Peter. He was born 13 Feb 1790 in Orange County and died 16 Mar 1853 in Luzerne County, PA at age 63. Husband to Amy Bodle. Their children: Theodore Lewis, Nancy Jane, Daniel B., Harriet, James A., Mary Catherine, Samuel Riley, and Arthur Van Type Smith. His parents: Abel Gale Smith and Mary Smith. Peter Mills Smith went to Northmoreland Twp. (now Franklin Twp. ) Luzerne County, PA about 1828. Peer was a farmer. His brother Jacob Denton Smith was there earlier and his brother Samuel Gale Smith came there about 1833. Peter purchased 100 acres of unseated land lot #14 in Northmoreland from the Commissioner of Luzerne County (unseated lands for taxes #14), 5 February 1828. He paid $13.54. Peter M., his wife Amy Bodle, daughters Nancy Jane Wilcox, Mary Catharine, James A. Smith and wife Eliza and some of his children along with Theodore L. Smith and his wife Anne are all buried in Orange Methodist Church Cem. also know as Brace Cemetery, Orange, Franklin Twp., Luzerne Co., PA. Sara Watson mother of Anne Watson Smith is also buried there.