January 4, 2014

Tracking Matthew Patton

Descendants of Clinton County's oldest man find 19th century ancestor's grave

MOOERS — Eighteen-year-old Justin Trembley’s lifelong interest in war and history has led to the discovery of a family patriarch, Matthew Patton of Mooers.

“Justin’s always been interested in stuff and decided to try the,” said Kim Gariepy, 46, Trembley’s mother, who lives in Quebec.

“So, he got on there for a free trial for two weeks and found information. He signed up for the Canadian ancestry, and he was on there for about a month.”

Trembley soon encountered a genealogical brick wall.

“Then, he was interested to go international to the States and Europe,” Gariepy said. “My husband and I told him if he was interested in that we would pay half of it. Because of that I went on with him. We played with that and were able to get information about the States.”

Gariepy’s mother, Ruby White, 63, lives 45 minutes away from Mooers. Through, Gariepy and Trembley were able to locate her mother’s mother, Agnes Irene Robert, of Hemmingford, Quebec.

“Through her, we went to her parents, and we found her mother and father,” Gariepy said. “Susan Richard, she’s born in Hemmingford, and we found her parents. Her mother is Margaret Susan Patton, born in Mooers, Clinton NY.”

The next leap backward was to Matthew Patton, who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Throughout the historical record, his name varies from Patton to Patten to Pattan. On the Northern New York Historical Newspapers website, there is a Feb. 7, 1891, article touting him as “the oldest man in Clinton County.” 

He died Jan. 15, 1897, at the age of 109, according to the “Town of Mooers, Vital Records 1804-2004” published by the Northern New York American-Canadian Genealogical Society.

“What happened was we found that he had three wives and 17 children at three different times,” Gariepy said.

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