Among the early settlers of that portion of Dutchess County, New York now known as Putnam County, was one Titus Travis who came from the vicinity of White Plains, Westchester County and settled in Philipse Precinct. From him have descended many who now reside in Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester Counties while some reside in various states throughout the country.
It will be of interest to these descendants to know that Luther Travis of New York City and his brother, Gideon Baxter Travis of Cold Springs on Hudson, New York, are compiling a sketch of this family, their purpose being to cement ties of relationship; to create pride in the knowledge that they have in Titus Travis an ancestor who served in the Revolutionary War; and to stimulate a desire to affiliate with the S.A.R., D.A.R. and other kindred patriotic organizations in which they are thus entitled to membership.
To locate definitely the place where Titus Travis made his home and raised his
family, the following is quoted from pages 719 and 720 of Pelletreau's History of
Putnam county, a book which was published a half century ago (1886) relating to that
part of what is now Putnam Valley through which flows the Peekskill Hollow Creek:
" On the east side of the creek a short distance above the road that runs over Bryant Hill, is the old Travis homestead, now run by Chadwick Travis. This was the home of Titus Travis who came here before the Revolution and was the ancestor of several of the families of that name. Titus Travis died February 25 1816, at the age of 76. His grandson Chadwick an aged man is the only one of the name in the immediate vicinity.
On the west side of the Peekskill Hollow road, a little way north of the road running west by the school house are the remains of an old house, whose curious chimney dates back to Revolutionary days. This was the dwelling of George Travis, one of the sons of the original settler. At the corner of the main road and the one going over Bryant Hill is the old Travis burying ground where rest some of the former residents among them are:
Titus Travis, Feb. 25, 1815 76
Elizabeth, wife, Feb 19, 1821 80
George Travis, June 23, 1843 83"
The remains of the old house with the curious chimney have long since disappeared
and the old Travis burying ground once well kept,
has been allowed to become neglected and is now overgrown with trees and brush, but the tombstones
of Titus Travis and his wife Elizabeth are still standing side by side in a fair state of preservation.
With the passing of Chadwick Travis, who died Aug. 21 1901, the extensive farm lands, which formerly belonged to Titus Travis have been
transferred to other ownership.
Titus Travis was not a well educated man due to the limited opportunities offered in his day to secure an education, but he was rated as a man of sound judgement. In 1786 he was on of the assessors of Philipse Precinct and was later elected Commissioner of Highways.
He appears to be the first of the Travis name to be called Titus, and at the time the first census of the United States was taken, 1790, he was the mentioned as listed in "Muster Roll of New York Provincial Troops" as having enlisted during the year 1755. He was then a mere youth of but 16 years of age.
Later on after settling in Dutchess County (now Putnam) he enlisted as a private in the Seventh Regiment of the Dutchess County Militia under Colonel Henry Ludington. By this time he had become the head of a family. Two of his sons, George and James, also enlisted in the same regiment as soon as they were old enough to serve.
Members of the militia were mostly farmers. They were not required to perform military duty continously, but were mustered whenever their community was menaced by the approach of British forces.
On one of such occasions after the British had sacked and burned Danbury, Conn. where supplies and ammunition were stored for the use of the American forces, a message was sent to Colonel Luddington calling on him to assemble his men and come to the assistance of the Connecticut forces. Colonel Luddington's men were scattered throughout the surrounding country within a radius of 20 milesof his home and extending to the Connectiut State line . At that time the Colonel was wiithout an available messenger to call his men together. His sixteen year old daughter, Sibyl thereupon mounted on horseback rode throughout the district over rough and mountainous roads spreading the news of the attack of the British forces and called her father's men to be mustered. Thus it was that Colonel Ludington mustered his men on that occasion and joined forces with those in Connecticut and as a result the British were overtaken and routed at Ridgefield Conn. Due to her bravery Sibyl Ludington has become known as a "Feminine Paul Revere". The home of Colonel Ludington was located in a small settlement now called Ludingtonville, situated in the northern part of Putnam County, N.Y.
The early Travis family from whom Titus Travis was descended first settled in the vicinity of Rye and White Plains, Westchester County about 1660. Owing to the difficulty in securing documentary evidence showing his line of descent it has been decided to present such evidence as has been secured and submit the same in the concluding chapter of this sketch.
Owing to the fact that early families were not always careful to keep records of their vital statistics and in some instances where such records were made they have sometimes been lost or destroyed, it has been no easy matter to compile an unbroken line of descent of the Travis Family.
Fortunately, for the purpose of this sketch, Titus Travis kept a record of the names and dates of birth of the members of his family. A debt of gratitude is due to Mrs.Harriet Newel (Travis) Lee, R.F.D., Peekskill, N.Y., now deceased, for having preserved this record. She was the daughter of Daniel D. Travis, youngest of the family of Titus Travis.
On Oct. 12, 1905 she wrote Luther Travis, one of the authors of this sketch, giving him a copy of her grandfather's record. The record appears to have been started on a page in an old account book and finished on a preceding page. Mrs. Lee wrote:
"The family record is contained in an old account book belonging to Titus Travis. There are
two pages which refer to family history. All the rest are accounts. I will copy it word for word:
'Anney Travis was born July 17 day in year 1774.
Titus Travis (Jr.) was born Feb. 27 day in year 1777.
Susaney Travis was born Oct. 29 day in year 1779.
Samuel W. Travis was born June 15 day in year 1782
Daniel D. Travis was born May 12 day in year 1786.
A trew copy of the ages of the family of Titus Travis
taken by himself'.
All the above is on one page. Over the leaf is the following:
Titus Travis in the year 1786 of this book made for the age of his family.
Titus Travis was born in the year 1739 November 11 day.
Elilzabeth Travis French was born in year 1741 February 7 day.
George Travis was born January 3 day in year 1760.
Jeaims Travis was born April 11 day in year 1762.
Gilberd Travis was born in year 1764 July 28 day.
Elizabeth Travis was born on May 12 in year 1767.
Marget Travis was born on July 11 in year 1769.
(here is added in a different hand writing "and died in year 1806, Sept.26")
Elizabeth Travis was born on 2 day of January in year 1772.'
This is all there is on the subject of family history."
The only record that has been discovered that pertains to "Jeaims" or James who was the second child of Titus Travis besides the mention of his name and date of his birth in his father's record appears in the list of those who served in the Seventh Regiment of the Dutchess County Militia as mentioned in the foregoing.
It also appears that two of the children in the family of Titus Travis were named "Elizabeth" which indicates that the first "Elizabeth" died in infancy. This sketch will therefore pertain to the nine other children and their descendants including the second "Elizabeth."
By the time the first Census of the United States was taken, in the year 1790, George Travis was 30 years of age and Gilbert Travis was 26 and we find them listed in the Census records as heads of families. Titus Travis is also listed as the head of a family, but the census enumerator entered their names as "Traverse" instead of "Travis." This error is obvious as it will be seen that their families at the time the census was taken coincide with the record that will be shown in the sketch, as to location, ages, sex and number of members.
Furthermore the names Titus, George and Gilbert whose surnames are either "Travis" or "Traverse" appear but once in the census for the State of New York. This fact also should serve to identify both Titus Travis and his son George as haviing been members of the Seventh Regiment of the Dutchess County Militia.
With these explanatory remarks as a "Foreward," this sketch will be considered in nine separate chapters, one for each of the children of Titus Travis with the two exceptions already mentioned.
Chapter I George Travis (Jan.3, 1760 -)
Chapter II Gilbert Travis (July 28, 1764 -)
Chapter III Margaret Travis (July 11, 1769 -)
Chapter IV Elizabeth Travis (Jan. 2, 1772 -)
Chapter V Anna Travis (July 17, 1774 -)
Chapter VI Titus Travis Jr. (Feb. 27, 1777 -)
Chapter VII Susan Travis (Oct. 29, 1779 -)
Chapter VIII Samuel W. Travis (June 15, 1782 -)
Chapter IX Daniel W. Travis (May 12, 1786 -)