Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan



Philip Bessey II (1775/1780-after 1835) and Susanna ____ (???-1825/1835)

Philip Bessey II (also called Jr) was born between 1775 and 1780 in New York, son of Philip Bessey I and Sarah Dunham (probably). He was married prior to 1806 to Susanna. (Susanna, according to the 1880 census, was born in Rhode Island). In 1800, Philip II and his family lived in Washington Co., NY. His household included one male aged 16 to under 26 (Philip), one female aged 16 to under 26 (Susanna), one male under 10, and one female under 10.

They lived in Onondaga County from 1807 to 1820. In 1807 he purchased land from J. Fuller in Fabius, Onondaga County. Around 1820, they moved to Steuben County, settling between the Marsh and Talbot families. The 1825 New York census finds him in the town of Canisteo, Steuben Co., NY with four males and four females. One male was of voting and military age (Philip). Two males could vote (Philip and ?), one female was married and under 45 (Susanah?), two females were under the age of 16 (Harriet and ?). The family appears to have been quite poor, living on only two acres of improved land. They had five cows, three hogs, and had made 20 yards of cloth in the last year. They had substantially less land and property than their neighbors.

In the 1835 New York census, Philip Bessey's family was counted in Jasper. His household had three males and four females: one male eligible for the military (?), two male voters (Philip and ?), two women under the age of 45 who were unmarried (Harriet and ?), and one female under the age of 16 who was unmarried. The census recorder (who finished in November 1835), noted that the Bessey family farmed 12 improved acres, had 12 head of cattle, 16 sheep, 7 hogs, and had woven 73 yards of cloth in the last year. Philip II's wife Susanah appears to have died between 1825 and 1835.


i.    Lemuel Bessey was born in 1800 in New York.

ii    Lucinda Bessey was born on 2 December 1806, possibly at Erie Co., New York.

iii.    Philinda Bessey was born on 1 April 1812 in Onondaga County, New York.

iv.    Harriet Bessey was born 10 August 1815 in New York.

v. Phillip Bessey, Jr. was born in 1815/1816 in Onondaga County, New York.

Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County