Anyone who has done extensive research into their family tree has experienced a genealogical road block. A point on the family tree where you are unable to find the next generation back on your tree.

Mine was finding the parents of my second great grandfather, Almon Hoyt. I knew his name from my grandfather, George Moses Hoyt. Almon was grandpa’s grandfather. Not finding the parent’s of Almon was made more maddening because a distant cousin, David W. Hoyt, wrote an extensive family history “Hoyt Family”. This volume was developed in the mid-1850s. He did extensive research throughout New England. At one point, he advertised throughout New England to have a Hoyt family reunion. Over two thousand people showed up and shared their genealogies and histories with David. Unfortunately, Almon is not in this book.

Early U. S. census records (1790 to 1840) only show the name of the head of a household and only age and gender information on the other members. Almon was born about 1805 in New York, so the census records did not provide the information on his parents and did not include the names of his siblings. Having the siblings name may have allowed me to back into Almon’s parent’s names. Almon died in 1866 but there is no death record. New York did not begin requiring that information until 1881.

For several years after getting hooked on genealogy, I periodically searched for info on Almon but I found nothing. Finally, one Saturday night I was inputting information on other ancestors and relatives. I was so engrossed in what I was accomplishing, I didn’t realize the time. At 2 a.m. Sunday morning I completed inputting the information. However, I was still wide awake and couldn’t get to sleep.

I performed a simple search by looking for “Almon Hoyt” + New York. Two “Fold-3” web pages showed as possibilities. Fold-3 is a website that specializes in military records-service records, military death records and pension records. If you are looking for military records this is the site to use.

I clicked on the first page; it was a deposition by Amy Hoyt, who was trying to get her husband’s Revolutionary War pension extended to herself. To get the pension extended, Amy had to prove that she was married to Silas Hoyt but after 56 years, she was the only one still living from the wedding. She had no way of proving her marriage to Silas. No family Bible or other official papers existed. The deposition was witnessed by Almon Hoyt. The document showed no indication of the relationship between Amy and Almon. It would be reasonable to assume that Almon was Amy’s son but that would still be just an assumption.

I next clicked on the second page. This was a deposition by Elihu Wing, who said he first met Silas and Amy when he was about 10 years old in the early 1790s. He always knew them as husband and wife. When he first met them, they had one child, a girl named Eunice. I had seen information that Almon had an older sister, Eunice, but the information was circumstantial. Mr. Wing’s deposition continued that over the years Silas and Amy had four additional children–Betsy, Jesse, Almon and Warner and that all of them were now over forty years of age. Mr. Wing was considered a creditable witness because he had been Supervisor of the county for several years.

Researching the histories of Almon’s siblings confirmed that this Almon was my second great grandfather and Amy and Silas were my third great grandparents.

Within Fold-3, I next moved to the first page of Silas’ pension application. The application held a wealth of information. It included Silas’ history of service, which covered several different times of service. It also included the names of his parents, his birth year and location, when, where and to whom he got married (Amy Warner).

Silas’ parents were Gideon Hoyt and Elizabeth Weed Hoyt. This information opened a floodgate to Silas’ family. He had two brothers who both served in the Revolutionary War, as did his father. He had five sisters. His grandparents were Job Hoyt and Elizabeth Lockwood Hoyt (relative of Almont’s Terry family). Silas’ great grandparents were Joshua Hoyt Jr. and Mary Pickett Hoyt. His second great grandparents were Joshua Hoyt Sr. and Mary Bell Hoyt. His third great grandfather was Simon Hoyt. Simon Hoyt was the first Hoyt to come to America. He arrived on the Lyons Whelp in 1629 as part of the Winthrop fleet. He was a founder of Charlestown, Massachusetts (site of Bunker Hill). Who was his wife and what happened to her are not known. She may have died in England before they left, or died on board ship or died shortly after getting to Charlestown. Simon brought five children with him–four boys and a girl.

Simon was a rolling stone. After helping found Charlestown, he moved in 1630 and helped found Dorchester; moved to Scituate in 1634 and got married, had nine more children including Joshua Sr.; was a founder of Windsor Locks, Connecticut; Fairfield Connecticut; and finally Stamford, Connecticut. In 1644, the family finally found a permanent home in Stamford.

Breaking a genealogical road block can unleash a flood of information, not just on the researched family line but also on the lines of their spouses–the Weed’s, Pickett’s, and Bell’s.

Copies of the Almont Historical Society’s various books can be purchased by contacting Jim Wade at 810-796-3355 or jrwade49@ or stopping by the museum on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.