The Rundel Family in Genessee County


The history of the Rundel family in Alexander, Genessee County, New York, begins with Daniel Rundel, my 3rd great-grandfather. His date and place of birth are not known, but he died in 1853 in Oneida County, NY. I have the following information on Rundels in Oneida County.

1814 Oneida Co. census lists as Owners of Land in Paris Township: Daniel and William Rundell.
1825 Paris Census lists William and Daniel Rundale.
1830 census for Marshall Township: Daniel and William Rundel
1835 census for Marshall Township, Daniel Rundel.

(Note the variety of spellings, which is common to this family.) I suspect, but have not been able to prove, that William was the father of Daniel. The major reference work on Rundels, "The Rundle, Rundel, Randle, Randol, Randall, Rundall, Rundell, Runnell, Family Ancestry of Long Island and Greenwich 1667 - 1992," by Geroge Ardel Rundall, lists this William Rundel, great-grandson of the original William Rundel who came to the New World in the 1660s, as born in 1764 in Greenwich, CT, died August 14, 1833, possibly in Oneida County, NY, married to Mary ?, with one child, Mindwell, born September 24, 1782, and possibly others.

I have the will of Daniel Rundel, dated August 5, 1853, probated November 7, 1853 (Book 12, pg. 261, Utica County, NY, Courthouse), which is most interesting.

In the name of God Amen: I Daniel Rundel of the town of Marshall County of Oneida and State of New York being of sound mind and memory being sensible of my mortality and not knowing the time when it shall please God to call me away by death; and wishing to set my house in order, do make publish and declare this my last will and Testament in manner following that is to say--

I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Rhoda all my household furniture, carpets and for her use during her natural life--

I give and bequeath to my unfortunate daughter Polly the bed she now occupies together with the bedding for the same and all her wearing apparel for her use and comfort for ever--

I give and bequeath to my oldest son Willis S. Rundel one hundred dollars to be paid by Watson W. Rundel within eighteen months after my decease without interest for his use and comfort forever--

I give and bequeath to my daughter Betsy Howard Ten dollars to be paid by Watson W. within eighteen months after my decease without interest for her use and confort forever--

I give and bequeath to my daughter Roxany Smith Fifty dollars to be paid by Watson W. within eighteen months after my decease without interest for her use and comfort forever--

I give and bequeath to my son Milton F. one hundred dollars to be paid by Watson W. within eighteen months after my decease without interest for his use and comfort forever--

I give and bequeath to my daughter Harriet E. Fifty dollars to be paid by Watson W. within eighteen months after my decease without interest for her use and comfort forever--

I give and bequeath to my son Watson W. one hundred dollars for his use and comfort forever--

I give and bequeath to my three sons Willis S. Milton F. and Watson W. all the remaining part of my property if any not otherwise provided for to be equally divided among them for their use and comfort forever--

I hereby appoint my son Watson W. Rundel sole executor of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made--

For witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifth day of August 1853--

Daniel Rundel L. S.

Errors and interdictions made before signing {
The above instrument consisting of half a sheet was at the date thereof signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Daniel Rundel as and for his last will and Testament in person of us who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, subscribed our names as witnesses thereto--

Charles Wicks Residing at Paris in Oneida County--

Thomas Murphy Residing at Marshall in Oneida County--

State of New York, Oneida County

I Othaniel S. Williams Surrogate of Said County do hereby certify the foregoing to the Records of the Last Will and Testament of Daniel Rundel deceased and of the proof and examination taken thereon

Othaniel S. Williams, Surrogate


Now begins the Genessee County portion of this story. At some time, most of the Rundel family moved to Alexander, NY. I have a list of gravestones in a cemetery in Alexander for the following:

Willis S. Rundel. 1805-1887 buried in Alexander Cemetery
Malinda T. Rundel 1814-1897. buried in Alexander
Morton W. Rundel. 1838-1911. Buried in Alexander
Alice J. Rundel Wheeler. 1847-1885 buried in Alexander
Harriet L. Rundel 1850-1928 buried in Alexander
Watson W. Rundel 1818-1866. buried in Alexander

I also have a marriage record of Willis Rundel and Malinda Tullar, in a book entitled Genesse County Michigan Marriages 1836-1856 by Van Tifflin. In it were marriages performed in New York. "1835 Oct. 1st. Married W.S. Rundel of Aurora, Erie Co. and Malinda Teller of Penfield, Monroe Co. N.Y. in the presence of Joseph and Malinda Harvey, both of Penfield, Monroe Co. N.Y. by me. Jonathan Benson."

Willis and Malinda had four children, Morton Wellington Rundel, Henry P. Rundel (my great-grandfather), Alice J. Rundel, and Harriette L. Rundel. Henry, his wife Emma, and an infant daughter Alice all died within a few months of each other in 1886, leaving four children, Clarence H., Laura E., Morton Stanley (my grandfather), and Ruth. These children were distributed to various realtives and family friends. Morton went to live with his aunt Harriet in Alexander. The destination of the other children is unknown, although I do know that Laura eventually married Roderick E. Kibbe.

Morton Wellington Rundel, son of Willis, went on to great distinction through his investment in Eastman Kodak stock and his bequest to the city of Rochester of money for the Rundel Memorial Library. This interesting story is told in an article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 4, 1936.

"Dedication this afternoon of the new Rundel Memorial Building that will shelter the Rochester Public Library at South Avenue and Broad Street will recall into prominence a man long a citizen of Rochester, a benefactor in his will, as this monument attests, and a man strangely unfamiliar to his fellow townsmen.

"A business man, lover of art, fond of elegance in apparel and surroundings, Morton W. Rundel led a singularly retiring life in the heart of the growing city of Rochester. He was a cousin of the late George Eastman. There were similarities in the lives of the two men. Their mothers were sisters. When a picture of Mr. Eastman's mother was published at the time of his death, it might well have been used as a portrait of Mr. Rundel's mother, so striking was the resemblance.

"Few can be found who knew Mr. Rundel well. Even in Alexander, eight miles south of Batavia, where he spent his school years and early manhood, reminiscences are scarce.

"Among the exceedingly few men who knew Mr. Rundel intimately in Rochester is Clark H. Quinn, business man and former newspaper man.

"Barely comfortable prosperity, much less wealth, came to Mr. Rundel in the first half of his life. He invested in Eastman Kodak stock when it sold at a low figure and it was regarded as quite unsound. Although he had a store for selling and framing pictures in the old Smith's Arcade, where the Rochester Trust and Safe Deposit Co.'s bank now stands, he didn't meet financial success until the Eastman stock began soaring to its undreamed of heights.

"Little was in newspapers about Mr. Rundel when he died. His death received scarcely a headline until it was found that he had bequeathed to the city a sum for an art gallery or library. Litigation kept the legacy in the bank for years. Finally the suggestion was made by Robert C. Watson, executor, that the city might better use it before it should revert to the estate under the law and while many men in building trades were unemployed. Fund then had increased with interest to almost $1,000,000. It was used to build the new library building.

"Through his life a bachelor, Mr. Rundel never erected a house to live in and purchased one only when his health had failed and those who cared for him were needed at his side. It was a spacious house in Main Street East.

"This man's fondness for beautiful surroundings was expressed chiefly in a large suite of rooms in the old Delano House in Clinton Avenue South, later absorbed by the present furniture establishment of Howe & Rogers.

"The house, built first for a private home, retained that atmosphere after it was a boarding house and Mr. Rundel occupied a long suite across the hall from the drawing room. His rooms apparently had once been the family sitting rooms.

"After Mr. Rundel retired from the business of selling pictures and picture frames, he retained some of the fine paintings for himself. At the east end of his apartment, between two long windows that reached to the floor, stood the handsome mahogany table that Miss Bessie Moulson has presented to the library. She had procured the piece when Shady Rest, the Rundel homestead, was dismantled.

"Mr. Rundel was in the habit of going to Atlantic City every summer. It was there that he was overtaken by his last illness, an affection of the heart. Although he seemed close to passing at intervals, he lived for more than a year after the first attack. During that period Mr. Rundel directed his affairs from his rooms.

"There was an earlier period for Mr. Rundel in Rochester with far less money but much better health. He and Mr. Eastman were boys together when the future multimillionaire doubtless had to count his dollars as carefully as did his cousin from Alexander. Mr. Rundel lived at the home of Mr. Eastman's mother when he attended business college in Rochester. The two boys fished together and passed hours that fostered a friendship that continued until Mr. Rundel's death.

"Both those men remained bachelors through life. Both seemed exceptionally fond of their mothers. They surrounded themselves with fine things. Mr. Rundel's taste inclined more toward art in paintings, while Mr. Eastman is known far beyond his intimate circles to have had a love for music.

"Mr. Rundel had a deep interest in life after death. He frequently consulted a medium, although he attended no church or frequented public Spiritualist meetings. When Kodak stock was regarded as unsafe and he, much in need of funds, was inclined to sell his shares, a medium advised him to buy more.

"That experience, combined with his eagerness to peer behind the veil of death, caused him to feel indebted to the medium. He held the stock, regardless of his financial straits when he thought about selling it, and became wealthy.

"Shrubbery and blossoms about the home, Shady Rest, where Mr. Rundel lived in Alexander and where he returned to visit as long as health permitted, reflected the taste of both him and his sister, Harriette. In that home friends paid their last tribute before he was laid to rest in the cemetery that already numbered among its tenants his parents, Willis S. and Malinda Rundel; a sister, Alice H., and a brother, Henry."

Anyone knowing further details of the Rundel family in Genessee County is invited to contact

Robert Rundel

Rundel@aol.com

141 Nantucket Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901, 415-456-3913



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