My Ancestors (23) – Elijah Guion – 1770 – 1844

(1) Elijah Guion, Sr.; (2) Elijah Guion, Jr.;  (3) Alfred Beck Guion; (4) Alfred Duryee Guion; (5) Alfred Peabody Guion; (6) Judith Anne Guion

Elijah Guion, son of John Guion, was born in Rye, New York but eventually became a resident of New York City and until 1838 lived at 542 Broadway, near Prince Street, when that region was open country. His residence stood just below the site was occupied by Niblus Garden and later by the Metropolitan Hotel.

Elijah Guion learned the trade of house joiner and carpenter and in that capacity spent some time in the West Indies. When about 22 years old he then engaged in the grocery business in New York City. He was married to Elizabeth Marshall by the Rev. Dr. Pilmon, May 10, 1798 in New York City where they afterward lived. In about 1810 or 1811 he carried on a block and pump-making business. During the war of 1812 he secured the monopoly of furnishing the vessels of the US Navy with his blocks and pumps and the materials for their gunnery. In the hands of some, this monopoly would have been the means of amassing an immense fortune, but he was far too honest to make the business very profitable. During the latter part of his life his pecuniary means were very slender and precarious. On May 20, 1839 he was appointed Collector of Assessments under the City Government. He was removed from his office in 1842 by a political change in the corporation. His various residences were as follows: Broadway, Oliver St., Franklin Street, Walker Street. Then again on Franklin Street, east of Broadway, then at the S.E. corner of the Bowery and Grand Street, where his son George kept a drugstore. He then boarded at Thomas Brown’s at 542 Broadway, thence removed in 18 39 to 223 Mulberry St. and in May, 1839, to 507 Bowery, Eastside, second door above 13th St., where he died.

He was in all respects a godly man and spent a life of toil in the cause of religion. In 1831, according to his private journal which he kept from 1819 to the time of his last sickness, he was a principal mover in establishing the Protestant Episcopal City Meeting Society and, during the same year, the Presbyterian Meeting House on Vanderwater Street was purchased for a station. In 1832 he was instrumental in opening a city mission Sunday School in Ridge Street and from this sprang the Church of the Epiphany which was erected under his superintendence. The cornerstone was laid August 26, 1833. “Among the deposits,” he says, “in the cornerstone was a letter purported to be from the dead to the living, written by myself and directed to my descendants, earnestly entreating them to seek the salvation of their souls through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, through whose name alone we can obtain forgiveness of our sins; and humbly beseeching Almighty God that His blessing might rest upon all who may descend from me, down to the end of time. That he would excite skill and animate the industry of the workmen and protect them from accidents and danger and grant to all who are in any way connected with this earthly temple and all who may ever enter within its walls, the influence of His Spirit, that may become living stones of this spiritual building not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens, —- I also besought the Lord that when my frail body shall be for centuries mingling with its parent earth, my prayer might continue still to come up as a memorial before Him.”

He was for 30 years a member of the congregation of Christ Church. He and his wife first went forward to the Communion in 1813.

He was for seven years (1830 to May, 1837) the honored superintendent and for a long time was Senior Warden of the Parish. He died in New York City on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1844, deeply lamented, after a long exemplary and useful life, “A bright example to his fellow Christians, seldom has there been one of greater worth or one more respected and loved by all who knew him.” (From the Funeral Sermon).

The funeral service was performed in St. Mark’s Church and his remains were interred in the graveyard of that church. A Funeral Sermon was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Lyell of Christ Church.

He witnessed the building of old Trinity in New York and its removal in 1839. His four eldest children were baptized by the Rev. Joseph Pilman, D.D., and the remaining eight by the Rev. Thomas Lyell, D.D., who succeeded Dr. Pilman about AD 1805 in Christ Church.

Elijah Guion served as Captain in Col. David Hobby’s Westchester County regiment in 1812. He married his wife, Elizabeth, born on October 11, 1779, on May 10, 1798. She was the daughter of Maj. Ellihu Marshall, Staff Officer of General Poor’s Brigade in the Continental Army during the war of the Revolution. She died August 9, 1872, and was buried in Philadelphia. (See My Ancestors # 8 and # 9 for Elizabeth Marshall’s ancestors.)

Sources:

COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952.

Descendants of Louis Guion,  Huguenot, of La Rochelle, France and New Rochelle, West Chester County, Provice of New York, A Guion Family Album, 1654 – 1976,Compiled by J. Marshall Guion IV, Edited by Violet H Guion, Olean, New York, 14760

A French Huguenot Legacy by Debra Guiou(n) Stufflebean, Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition, LuLu Enterprises, Inc, Morrisville, NC

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Tomorrow I’ll begin posting letters written in 1946.. Lad and Marian have just added twins to the Guion family and are living in the Trumbull House. Dan is still in France with Paulette and baby Arla awaiting the time when both mother and baby can travel to Trumbull. Ced remains in Alaska. Dick and Jean are also living in the Trumbull House along with Dave, Grandpa and Aunt Betty.

Judy Guion

6 thoughts on “My Ancestors (23) – Elijah Guion – 1770 – 1844

  1. M.B. Henry says:

    How amazing to have all that history of your family :)

  2. Barbara Johnson says:

    Really enjoy these reports of our grandparents. Check the dates at bottom of page of Elizabeth. Does it read her birth date and marriage date. Birth 1799 and marriage 1798?

    Love,

    Babs

    Sent from Windows Mail

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