Am seeking to locate people who are "in the know" about...Rev. Oliver Ayer and family once of Massachusetts and later of New York.
Oliver Ayer founded church congregations in many small places in New York... including (errors possible here) Victor, New Haven, Geneva, Perry, Augusta, Sandy Creek, Mexico, Marion, LeRoy, Wyoming, Bloomfield, "Green and Cosharie Counties," Pulaski, more. This activity began about 1798 and continued almost to his death. He worked for a Protestant missionary outreach sponsored by congregations in Connecticut, Massachusetts and eventually settled congregations in New York. It seems that he was on the road a great deal of his adult life until the last few years.
Oliver Ayer was born in 1765 in Connecticut and died in 1832 in Sandy Creek. His wife was Phoebe Brown b. 1767 in Mass. d. 1836 in Sandy Creek. I think they only lived in this last place for a few years. She seems to have been relatively settled and living at home with the boys at Augusta NY in 18teens and early 1820s.
--Dr. John Grier Ayer b. 1795 W. Stockbridge Mass, died before 1880; likely a batchelor; lived in Sandy Creek, Oswego Co, NY
--Oliver Ayer (Jr)--b. 1801 Ct or Mass, d. prob 1886 prob in NY --may have been a wagonmaker in Ellisburg, Jefferson Co, NY
--Clarissa (?) Ayer--this is a guess. If I'm right that there is a girl, she was born before 1800, probably W. Stockbridge Mass.
--Daniel Ayer b. 1802 West Stockbridge Mass d. 1861 at Herkimer NY, was a newspaper printer and owner in the area of Herkimer & Little Falls NY.
--Rev. Frederic Ayer--b. 1803 West Stockbridge Mass d. 1867 Atlanta Georgia. This man is the subject of my research. He because a missionary to Indians at Mackinaw and then in interior Mich. Territory (Wisc. & Minn.). He married Elisabeth Taylor, another missionary. They had two sons, Frederic (jr.) who died and Lyman Ayer who lived to marry Laura Hill and have two children Agnes (died) and Ina Ayer who married Osborne Sims.
The Frederic Ayer story is in New York at Utica, in Michigan at Mackinac Island, in Wisconsin at La Pointe and in the Danbury area at Yellow Lake, in Minnesota at Pokegama/Pine City, Little Falls/Belle Prairie, Red Lake, Fond du Lac, Sandy Lake, St. Cloud; in Atlanta Georgia 1865-67 at the AMA mission there. He was a participant in the revivals of the 1820s in the Utica area. At Belle Prairie in 1850s he and wife and son ran a farm and the "Belle Prairie Seminary" for Indians and frontier children which was sponsored by donations from Eastern friends and relatives I believe. His ordination occurred at Oberlin in 1843.
His wife Elisabeth Taylor b. 1803 at Heath Mass. d. 1898 at Little Falls, Minn. was a Mackinaw missionary as well. She was with him in all the other cited places during their marriage.
They wrote many informative letters to sponsoring donors as well as to relatives. Some of their pieces were published in local newspapers. I very much hope to find extant materials sent by them from their mission stations, esp from the Ojibwe (Chippewa) communities and from the freedmen mission in the South.
Frederic Ayer had clear handwriting and signed "F. Ayer." His wife had incredibly precise handwriting and signed "E.T. Ayer" which many observers thought was "E.F. Ayer" and may be listed in archives that way. I've never seen handwriting of rest of family.
Any chance you have any old letters that describe Indians at prayer along the trails of fur trade country or former slaves who are building a school and a church in bombed-out Atlanta? How about some kind of "mission Sunday" brochure or newspaper article that features an Ayer mission that your congregation once sponsored? Sure would like to learn about them!
1752 Gulden Place
Maplewood MN 55109