This is a guide for finding the ancestry and relationships between most of the Almys in the United States. It ties together over 3,000 persons born with the Almy surname. Although I have used some basic documents to verify the relationship between Almys, most of the information for later generations in this book was obtained through correspondence with over 700 Almy descendants. I thank all those that have provided data on their part of the Almy family genealogy. In addition to correspondence, I gathered information from all sources I could find, including microfilmed censuses, card catalogues, and historical/genealogical books at numerous libraries across the United States. Although I have compiled information on over 850 Almy families that are tied together, I know there are many more I have not been able to get the information on. A number of Almy families contacted did not wish to provide information on their families.
In addition to the over 850 Almy families that are tied back to the immigrant William Almy, information was also gathered on three other groups of Almys that can be tied together, but not back to William. These three groups total 180 individuals. The first group's ancestry goes back to a Job T. Almy, born about 1805 in Oneida, New York. This Job T. Almy is in the 1850 Federal Census in the city of Ogden in Monroe County, New York. He was listed as Job T. Almy, age 44, laborer, born NY. With him was his wife, Diadama (that's what it looks like), age 38, and four children. This Job T. Almy was in the 1855 New York Census for Sweden Township in Monroe County. It lists Job T. Almy, age 48, born Oneida, and a resident of Sweden for 2 years. His wife was listed as Elizabeth D. Almy, age 44, born in Delaware.
Another group of Almys not tied back to William, the immigrant, trace their Almy line back to an Andrew Almy born about 1843 in New York. This Andrew Almy is found in the 1880 Federal Census living in Vandalia, Cass County, Michigan. He was listed as 37 years of age, born in New York. In his household was Abigail, wife, age 40, born in Indiana, and 5 children. Andrew was not found in the 1900 Federal Census, but his wife Abigail was found living in Columbia Township, Van Buren County, Michigan. She was listed as 60 years old, born January 1839 in Indiana.
The largest group that cannot be tied back to William descend from an Andrew Allison Almy, born December 1848 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He does not show up in the Federal Censuses until 1880 when he is found in Christian County, Kentucky, age 30, born in Louisiana. With him is his wife Mary, age 23, born in Kentucky, and three children. I have in my records 100 descendants (including spouses), of this Andrew A. Almy, but information is needed on his parents and where they came from before they can be tied into the Almy family tree.
The above information pertains to persons born with the surname Almy. In my research I have found a few others with the name Almy that were not born with that name but adopted the Almy name because they wanted to have an American sounding name. They all had positive comments and said that they were very happy with the name they selected.
In the first days of my search for my ancestors, I traced my Almy line back to a Job Almy, son of a Job Almy. I looked in the records and found that there were three different Jobs, sons of Jobs, living in the area (in Rhode Island) at the same time. I could not tell which Job was my line. To solve that dilemma, I charted out the descendants of William Almy, the immigrant, until I had the three sets of Jobs in their rightful place in the Almy family tree. From the families of each, I was able to determine which was mine.
I had no idea how many Almy families there were as I had met, at that time, only one Almy outside of my immediate family. That one Almy I met while attending Ohio State University. It was there in the Fall of 1940 that Professor Emory F. Almy (1407-1C73-1) called and asked that I stop by his office to see him. I knew it was not regarding academics because I was in accounting/business administration and he was in agricultural chemistry. He stated he was interested in finding other Almys, but I was not much help. I only knew my father and grandfather Almy and that they were born in Rhode Island. It wasn't until about 30 years later that I started looking up my Almy ancestry and would have been able to answer his questions. Although Professor Almy had died by that time, it was partly due to his questions that I had kept in the back of my mind, that prompted me to work on the Almy family tree.
Having the small family tree prepared to find my ancestry in front of me, and having an analytical mind, I decided I would continue building on the family tree. I thought it would be a simple task. In order to find other Almys, I started looking up the names and addresses of Almys in phone books at the public library. At one time, I figured that these directories would make a stack 120 feet high. I would go to the library on my lunch hour and copy the name and addresses from the directories that I had time to review. Then in the evening I would write a letter of inquiry to each of them asking for their Almy ancestral line.
In the early days of looking at phone books, I thought there would be no more than 100 listings of Almy families. I sent out my first letter in September 1974 and by the end of December I had sent out 296 letters. By that time I realized that there were more Almy families because I didn't have all the phone books and many Almys would have had unlisted telephones. (This is before the age of computers and the computerized phone books.) I received replies from 127 Almys -- 43%, which I was told was very good. Information on their descent from William Almy was furnished in many of the replies and this I charted out. I now have about 10,000 persons, which includes spouses, tied to William Almy, the immigrant, on my charts.
To assist in compiling and controlling the information I adopted an identification system by which the Almy descendants were identified. I subsequently found that the system I used was basically the system now known in genealogical literature as the Henry system. The Henry numbering system is a way of numbering descendants of a person. It is named after Reginald Buchanan Henry, who used the system in his book "Genealogies of the Families of the Presidents." In this system of numbering, a digit or letter is added for each generation that a person represents from the immigrant. Children are given a number, added to their parents number, which reflects their birth order in the family. In my system in this book, the starting person, William Almy, is given the number 1. His first child is numbered 11, his second child is 12, his third child is 13, etc. The children of 12 are 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, etc. Each person's number starts with his or her parent's number and adds a digit to represent their position in the family. Thus if a person has the number 1428, he or she is the 4th generation (there are four digits), and is the eighth child of the second child of the fourth child of the starting person. I have put a dash after the fourth, eighth, and twelth digit to make the numbers easier to read. I have used 0 (zero) to designate the 10th child, and then the alphabet to designate the 11th and additional children (A for 11th, B for 12th, C for 13th, etc.)
This system is the simplest way to trace generations back and forth because with a person's number under this system the ancestors and descendants are known. Further, lines can be extended without renumbering when new information is found.
In this genealogy there is a page for each Almy head of family which lists his marriage(s) and children. In the upper right corner of the page is the Almy Descendant number. The paragraph number of children having their own family page is shown to the left of their name. Information for daughters is given on her father's family page.
There has been much speculation as to the origin of the Almy name. The story I like best was that the name was given to a soldier recruited in the Alsace-Loraine area of what was later France/Germany, to serve in the army of William the Conqueror in the invasion of England in 1066 -- the name meaning the "German." For his services that soldier must have been granted land or other property in Leicester, England. Records available today indicate that the name Almey (Allmy Aulmy, etc.) has been prevalent in that city and the surrounding towns of Leicestershire.
Research into the English ancestry of William Almy (spelled mostly Almey in England), the immigrant to America, was written about in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (pages 310-324 of the October 1917 issue and pages 391-395 of the October 1924 issue). This information shows three pedigrees of Almy families of Leicestershire, one of which shows three generations of the paternal ancestors, with some of the near relatives, of William Almy, the immigrant. The Almys that headed up these generations were born in Dunton-Bassett, Leicestershire.
Inquiries to Almeys in England over the years has indicated that large branches of the Almey family tree are to be found in the Leicestershire towns of Earl Shilton and Broughton Astley. There is another large group of Almey descendants in the nearby Holbeach area of Lincolnshire whose ancestors migrated from Leicestershire through the former Rutland County. A lot of these families have been tied together, but research in England is needed to tie these branches to the 15th century Almeys, especially those in Dunton-Bassett.