61. Lain


  1. ____ Lain m. ____ Ferguson; Long Island, N. Y.
  2. William Lain (1743–1811) m. 1768 Keziah Mather (1749–1814); Morristown, N. J., Minisink, N. Y.
  3. William Lain (1780–1843) m. 1800 Deborah Alger (1782–1848); Minisink, N. Y.
  4. Reuben Lain (1805–1881) m. (2) 1828 Rosetta Stewart (1809–1886); Minisink, N. Y.; Lehman Twp., Luzerne Co., Pa.
  5. Deborah Lain (1835–1896) m. 1852 Washington Alanson Thompson (1829–1916); Vermontville Twp., Eaton Co., Mich.


This family is treated most thoroughly in Beatrice Linskill Sheehan, Descendants of William Lain and Keziah Mather, with Her Lineage from Rev. Richard Mather (Brooklyn: Theo Gaus’ Sons, 1957). This work rests largely on an earlier Mather genealogy and on materials collected by family members, including William Alger Lain (1807–1881), a brother of Reuben Lain (gen. 4). Given the closeness with which this lineage follows William’s, we may be sure that Sheehan was well informed about its composition. Deborah’s parentage is also corroborated by her husband’s biography in Portrait and Biographical Album of Barry and Eaton Counties, Mich., Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, Together with Portraits and Biographies of All the Presidents of the United States and Governors of the State (Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1891), 797-8.

Sheehan also reprints a letter that William Alger Lain received from a first cousin, Richard Allison Lain, dated 9 April 1879. In it Richard writes:

Now I am quite certain that Grandfather [William] Lain was born on Long Island, N. Y. in the year 1743 and when he was small his mother died. His father left for parts unknown. The child had an aunt living near Deckertown, N. J. She and her husband took him in and and he lived with them until he was 21 years of age. (p. 9)
Richard gives further information in another letter to William, dated 27 December 1880:
Today I have been to my brother’s Lebbeus Lathrop Lain, to see that we could make out by the old deeds. . . . My impression is, from what I have heard that Grandfather Lain (Wm. Lain, 1st) was born on Long Island, and when quite a young boy his mother died. His mother having a sister living near Deckertown in New Jersey and had married Andrew Willson. (p. 11)

This couple is more firmly identified by the biography of Andrew Wilson in James P. Snell, History of Sussex County, New Jersey, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, 2 vols. (1881; reprint, Washington, N. J.: Genealogical Researchers, 1981), 1:309-10.

For Rosetta Stewart, see Miles L. Davenport, “Rosetta Lain,” memorial no. 39358175, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/39358175: added 12 July 2009), with gravestone photograph by HBE/Nan [the late Harold Bulford Elston], added 1 July 2010.

Related surnames

489. Mather · 123. Stewart · 15. Thompson

No further information on the Alger and Ferguson families is available at this time.

Created 25 May 2003; last updated 21 September 2020.
Austin W. Spencer | email: spencer@rootedancestry.com