This family is of French extraction, descended from the ancient house of de Leonne in France. The family derived its origin from the noble house of "Leones" of Rome. In the tenth century a person of the first rank among them went to England with William the Conqueror and had a command in his army. His son, Sir Roger De Leonne, born in France, 1040, came to England, 1066. He went into Scotland with King Edgar, about the year 1091, and for good and faithful services against Donald Bain, "the usurper," obtained from King Edgar certain lands in Perthshire, which after him were called "Glen Lyon." The family have been noble in England from that period down to the present.
(I) William of Heston, England, and Roxbury, Massachusetts, founder of the Lyon family in America, fourth child of William Lyon, of Heston, Middlesex county, England, was baptized there Dec. 23, 1620. He emigrated to America on board the ship "Hopewell," Sept. 11, 1635, then aged fourteen years, and settled in Roxbury, Mass., where he was buried May 21, 1692.
In 1648 the town granted him six acres of land. He was admitted into full communion in the church, 1665. He was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston, 1645. He married, in Roxbury, June 17, 1646, Sarah, daughter of John Ruggles, of Nazing, Essex county, England, and Roxbury, Mass. She was born at Nazing, England, April 19, 1629. He married (second), 1677, Mrs. Martha (Philbin) Casse, widow of John.
John (see forward); Thomas; Samuel; William; Joseph; Sarah; Jonathan, and Jonathan.
(II) John, eldest son of William, the pioneer, and Sarah (Ruggles) Lyon, was born in Roxbury, Mass. in April, 1647, where he died Jan. 15, 1703. It is said that he and his wife died the same day and were buried in the same grave, at West Roxbury cemetery. He inherited the landed property of his father; lived and died in Roxbury. He married, May 10, 1670, Abigail Palley, born June 4, 1654, daughter of John and Susanna Palley of Roxbury. John Palley was born in England, in 1618, and was in Roxbury in 1650.
John Lyon and his wife were members of John Eliot’s church, which they joined March 24, 1672.
John (see forward); William; Joseph; Benjamin; Abigail; Benjamin (2); Susanna; Bethia; Ebenezer; Nehemiah; Hannah.
(III) John (2) son of John (1) and Abigail (Palley) Lyon, was born in Roxbury, Mass., May 14, 1673, and died in Rehoboth in Feb. 1725. In 1698 he removed to Woodstock, in 1705 to what is now Pomfret, and later to Rehoboth.
He married Elizabeth _____.
John (3); Susanna; Benjamin; Elizabeth; Abigail; Joshua; Caleb (see forward); Hannah, and perhaps Bethia, although the last named is in doubt.
(IV) Caleb, on of John (2) and Elizabeth Lyon, was born (according to Rehoboth records) April 15, 1709, died at Woodstock, Conn., Nov. 14, 1792. He married when he was but nineteen years old, his cousin Margaret, daughter of William and Deboraih (Colburn) Lyon, born in Woodstock, Conn. Nov. 19, 1708. Several of his sons and one of his sons-in-law rendered distinguished service in the revolution.
Children, the first nine baptized in the Newman Congregational Church, Seekonk, Mass., the remaining six in Woodstock:
Deborah; Benjamin; Margaret; Caleb (see forward); William; Lemuel; John; William (2); Susannah, and Luther.
(V) Caleb (2) son of Caleb (1) and Margaret (Lyon) Lyon, was born at Seekonk, Mass., June 29, 1734. He removed after his marriage to Goshen, Mass. He married, April 28, 1756, Elizabeth Hodges, of Norton, Mass. His children’s names are not of record except one, Hannah, born in 1760. But little is known of this Caleb, as he seems to have been a rolling stone, and it is difficult to trace him. There is no reasonable doubt that he is the father of Caleb of the next in line, as the name Caleb was a family name through many generations.
(VI) Caleb (3), son of Caleb (2) and Elizabeth (Hodges) Lyon, was born in East Windsor, Conn., in 1761. He removed from Conn. to Greenfield, Mass., when a child, attended Harvard College, but did not graduate. About the year 1800 he removed to Walworth, Wayne county, N.Y., where he engaged for several years in the manufacture of salt at Salina. In 1810 he removed to the mouth of Four Mills creek (North Penfield), and there laid out a village, but the enterprise was not successful. He then went to Carthage Landing, near Rochester, N.Y., where he purchsed a thousand acres of land and erected buildings. In 1816 he sold the property, removed again, and settled at Lyonsdale, Lewis county, N.Y., settling there about 1823. He built a bridge across Moose river in 1829, a grist mill in 1830, and engaged in other industries. He was elected to the state assembly in 1824, and was active in promoting the construction of the Black river canal. He was a personal friend of De Witt Clinton, and an enthusiastic advocate of the grreat public improvement inaugurated and brought to ultimate success during his administraton as governor of New York. He was an advanced agriculturalist and a frequent contributor to journals devoted to the interests of the farm. He ws found dead in the woods a mile from the Davis bridge, Sept. 15, 1835.
He married Mary, daughter of Major Jean Pierre Du Pont, nephew and aide to the French general Montcalm, last commandant of Quebec, Canada. An authority says: "His grandmother was a daughter of Judge Sherburne, of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and his mother was Margaret Hodges of Jamaica."
Mary (Du Pont) Lyon died June 11, 1869, at the age of eighty-one.
1. Lyman Rasselas; see forward.
2. Caleb (4), born in Lyonsdale, Lewis county, N.Y. Dec. 7, 1822, died at Rossville, Staten Island, Sept., 1875. He was widely known as a poet, lecturer, traveler and statesman. Norwich University conferred on him in 1861 the degree of L.L.D. He was consul to Shanghai, China, in 1847; was of the convention that farmed the constitution of the state of California, and designed the great seal of that state. In 1850 he was elected to the New York state assembly; in 1851 to the state senate; in 1852 elected on the independent ticket to Congress, serving until 1855. In 1864 he was appointed first territorrial governor of Idaho by President Lincoln. He left a son, Dr. Caleb Lyon.
(VII) Lyman Rasselas, eldest son of Caleb (3) and Mary (Du Pont) Lyon, was born in what is now Walworth, Wayne county, New York, in 1806. He was a lad of twelve years when his father settled in Lewis county. He was educated at Trenton under the tuition of the renowned John Sherman, and at the Lowville Academy. he began at an early age to manifest unusual interest in public affairs, and seemed predestined to figure prominently in public and official life. In 1830-35 he was deputy clerk in the state assembly at Albany, and was for years employed on government contracts in widening and deepening rivers and harbors. For several years he ws cashier and president of the Lewis County Bank. He was the largest resident land proprietor in Lewis county, and it was his energy, enterprise and capital that started the Moose River and Otter Lake tanneries. In 1859 he was elected to the state assembly, and there actively urged and finally secured the construction of locks and dams on the Black river which completed water connection between Carthage and the Erie canal. Another great gift to the people of his section was the time and energy he spent in laboring for the construction of the Black river canal, which was finally completed from Boonville to Lyon’s Falls. In 1856 he built the first steamboat used on the Black river. The steamer was modeled after those on the Ohio river, and toward the canal boats, thus securing an additional forty miles of water transportation from Lyon’s Falls, north on Black river. The steamboat was called "The Lyman R. Lyon," and, when burned some years later (through accident) the iron lion which adorned it was recovered from the river and is now  on the old Lyon homestead grounds.
At the outbreak of the civil war he was intensely patriotic, and offered his services to the army, but was declined on account of years. He strove in other ways to show his devotion to the cause. To every man enlisted he gave a musket, and in numberless ways served his country’s cause. His anxiety over the extended struggle between North and South, together with his weighty business affairs, broke down his health, and in 1867 he went abroad with his family, traveling through southern Europe, Palestine and Egypt, regaining in a measure his health. On his way home from a winter’s visit in Florida he stopped at Savannah, Georgia, where he died April 7, 1869.
His home was east of the Black river, just below the falls, which he owned. The village of Lyon’s Falls is on the west side of the river at the falls from which the village derives its name. Near his home, but above the falls, is the famous "bridge with the three ends," built by the state across the Black and Moose rivers, one of the ends being at the junction. There is probably but one other of similar construction in the whole world.
Lyman R. Lyon married in July, 1839, Mary B. Northrop, born in Conn., April 28, 1812.
1. Lyman Howard, married Ida Bryan, of Tarboro, North Carolina, no issue.
2. Mary L., married William Hubbell Fisher of Cincinatti, Ohio (See Fisher family).
3. Chester J., died without issue.
4. Julia J., married William Scott DeCamp, of New Jersey; both decased, leaving three children, Lyon DeCamp, an Adirondack lumber operator at Fulton Chain, Herkimer county, N.Y.; Mary, married Dr. Harold Geyer (now deceased); Harold De Camp, a recent graduate of Cornell University.
5. Florence I., married Charles Collins Merriam, Lyon’s Falls, Lewis county (see Merriam family).
For several years the daughters of the family were associated in business interests with Hon. G. H. P. Gould, under the name of Lyon & Gould.
(VIII) Mary L., eldest daughter of Lyman R. and Mary B. (Northrup) Lyman, [sic: Lyon?] was born at Lyonsdale, Lewis county, N.Y. She married William Hubbell Fisher (see Fisher family). Her summer residence is near Lyon’s Falls, in Lewis county. She still continues with her son Clarence L. in the management of the large Adirondack properties. She is a member of the Presbyterian church.
Clarence Lyon (see Fisher X), Florence Lyon.
Henry Lyon, immigrant ancestor, was one of the family of Lyons of Glen Lyon in Perthshire, Scotland, and came to the colonies with his two brothers, Thomas and Richard, in 1648. The three brothers had been soldiers in Cromwell’s army, and were on guard before the Banqueting House at Whitehall, Jan. 31, 1648, when Charles the First was executed. Immediately after they fled to America.
Henry went to Milford, Conn., where he is first on record Feb. 24, 1649, when he was admitted to the church. In 1652 he married Elizabeth, daughter of William Bateman, of Fairfield, Conn., and was granted a house lot there. May 28, 1654, he was dismissed from Fairfield to Milford church. In 1666 he came to Newark, New Jersey, as one of its founders, with the Milford colonists. He was the first treasurer of Newark, serving from 1668 to 1673, and first keeper of the ordinary. In 1673-74 he removed to Elizabethtown, where he was a large land owner and a merchant of extensive interests. He was a member of the general assembly, Nov. 5, 1675; was appointed justice of the peace, Aug. 11, 1681 – in that period equivalent to judge of the supreme court; Feb. 4, 1681 was made judge of small causes; Feb. 28, 1681, a member of the governor’s council; Dec., 1682, commissioner; Nov. 26, 1684, representative in the council of the governor. Among his lands were one hundred acres of upland, since known as Lyon Farm.
He married (second) 1699-1700, Mary ____.
He returned to Newark in 1696, and died there in 1703.
Children of first wife:
Thomas, mentioned below.
Mary, born 1654-55, in Fairfield.
Samuel, 1655-56, Fairfield.
Joseph, 1658-60, Fairfield.
Nathaniel, 1663-64, Fairfield.
John, 1665-66, Fairfield.
Benjamin, 1668, Newark, N.J.
Ebenezer, 1670, Newark.
Children of second wife:
Mary, 1690-91, Elizabethtown.
Dorcas, 1692-93, Elizabethtown.
(II) Thomas, son of Henry Lyon, was born about 1652-53, in Fairfield, Conn., died in the fall of 1694, intestate. He took the oath of Elizabethtown in 1673, and was then twenty years of age. On Oct. 30, 1666, he signed the "fundamental agreement" with the men of Branford Colony, and received home lot No. 23 in the land division of Newark. In 1688-89 he had a deed from his father for a house lot and upland in Elizabethtown.
He married Elizabeth ____, Nov. 21, 1694, an inventory was made of his estate, and Jan. 29, 1694-95, his widow took out letters of administration. She died April 2, 1717. Her will was dated April 2, 1717, and probated March 31, 1729.
Isaac, mentioned below.
Thomas, born 1692.
Penelope, married Thomas Thompson.
(III) Isaac, son of Thomas Lyon, was born in 1691, in Newark, N.J., died Feb. 3, 1764, buried in Newark. He married Hannah, daughter of Rev. Abraham and Abigail (Clark) Pierson.
His will was dated Nov. 17, 1763, and mentioned his wife Hanna, children Abigail, Jane, John, Eliphalet and Mattaniah, and grandchild Lucy Pierson.
John, mentioned below.
Mattaniah, born 1724.
Eliphalet, Sept. 7, 1727.
daughter, married ____ Pierson.
(IV) John, son of Isaac Lyon, married and had children:
Ephraim, born 1740.
John, mentioned below.
(V) John (2), son of John (1) Lyon, was born about 1750 in Essex county, New Jersey, died in Ogdensburg, New York.
He married (first) March 17, 1775, Rachel Reeves, of Morristown, New Jersey. She died June 28, 1780, and was buried at Morristown. Both he and his first wife "renewed the covenant" in 1776 in the First Presbyterian Church, Morris county.
He came with Nathan Ford to Ogdensburg in 1796.
Children of first wife:
Mary, born April 18, 1778.
Rachel, Feb. 10, 1780.
Children of second wife:
Lewis, born March 4, 1790.
John, mentioned below.
(VI) John (3), son of John (2) Lyon, was born about 1795 in Morristown, N.J. or soon afterward in Ogdensburg, N.Y. He lived at Ogdensburg and was a farmer, engaging also in lumbering extensively.
He married (first) in 1808, Betsey Blanchard, who died April 9, 1810.
He married (second) Patience ____, born at Fort Ann, Washington county, N.Y.
Child of first wife:
Rev. David C., graduate of Union College and a Presbyterian clergyman at St. Paul, Minnesota.
Children of second wife:
Harvey, of Hammond, St. Lawrence county.
Charles, mentioned below.
George, lived at St. Joseph, Missouri.
(VII) Charles, son of John (3) Lyon, was born at Fort Ann, Washington county, N.Y. Oct. 30, 1814, when his parents were visiting in his mother’s native place. Early in life he began to assist his father on the farm and in the lumber camp, and by the time he was fifteen he was entrusted with the management of his father’s lumber yard. He attended the public schools and spent one year at Ogdensburg Academy.
At the age of nineteen he went to New York City and worked for one year as clerk in a wholesale dry goods store. Then for three years he was clerk in the fur esablishment of Banesvoort Melville, in Albany, N.Y. He engaged in business in the firm of Lyon & Cheesebro, which bought the business of Mr. Melville. After four years he withdrew from the firm and engaged in the lumber business at Ogdensburg and followed that line of business during the remainder of his active life.
Soon after returning to Ogdensburg he purchased the homestead that his grandfather had settled upon when he came to St. Lawrence county, adding to it later one hundred and sixty acres of timber land adjoining and a part of the original land purchase of Judge Nathan Ford, who came with the grandfather. Mr. Lyon lived on the homestead for more than twenty years, and in the course of his business cleared more than sixteen hundred acres of timber land, making for forty-eight thousand cords of wood, in addition to the eleven million feet of lumber prepared for the market. He sold the land for farming after cutting the timber. At various times he owned twenty-eight thousand acres of land, and at the time of his death had about seventeen hundred acres.
He was one of the leading business men of Ogdensburg for many years, and constantly exhibited his public spirit and patriotism. He was originally a Whig, but a Republican after the Whig party went to pieces. He never sought or liked public offices, but he served the town as supervisor one term. He was prominent in the St. Lawrence County Agricultural Society.
He was an active member and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian church and interested in the Sunday school.
He married, Dec. 19, 1836, Maria, born in Cortland county, N.Y., May 22, 1813, daughter of Henry and Maria Vandenburg. Her father was a native of Coxsackie-on-the-Hudson, and her grandfather came from Holland. Mrs. Lyon joined the Second Presbyterian church of Albany during the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Chester, when she was only thirteen years old, and afterward was a member of the Presbyterian church at Ogdensburg.
Martha Safford, died young.
David Howard, mentioned below.
Emma Sophia (twin).
Anna Maria (twin).
(VIII) David Howard, son of Charles Lyon, was born in the city of Brooklyn, N.Y., where his parents lived for a short time, Oct. 21, 1845. When he was three years old he came to Ogdensburg with his parents and was educated there in private and public schools.
He enlisted Oct. 27, 1861, in Company C, Sixtieth New York Regiment of Volunteers, and served with his regiment until after the battle of Lookout Mountain in 1863. He re-enlisted for three years more, Dec. 24, 1863, and served to the end of the war, taking part in twenty-six general engagements and being wounded once. After the war he took a course in Eastman’s Business College at Poughkeepsie, and in 1866 went into partnership with his father in the lumber and saw mill business. In 1871 he sold out his share of the business and formed a partnership with C. S. Phillips to conduct the old Furnese mill. In 1874 he disposed of his interests in the firm and engaged in the steamboat business, in which he was very successful. He bought the steamship "New York," on the ferry at Ogdensburg, and gradually extended his operations until in 1886 he organized the Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company, which he managed until 1893, though he continued afterward as managing director of the company. The company in his day had facilities for transferring seven hundred and eighty cars a day and the business was not interrupted by the cold weather, the river being kept open all year.
Captain Lyon is also interested in farming, in real estate, woolen mills and manufacturing of agricultureal implements in Ogdensburg and at Brockville, and in cottom mills at Canton. He is a director of the Carthage National Bank.
He is a Republican in politics and president of the board of public works of Ogdensburg. He is a member of Ogdensburg Lodge, No. 128, Free and Accepted Masons.
He married, in 1866, Ella M. Potter, niece of the late Bishop Potter. They have one son, Charles Potter, the present (1910) secretary of the Transfer Company.