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Isaac Sykes   1780 - 1862

 

     Isaac Sykes [1780-1862] was the son of Titus Sykes Jr. and his wife Abigail, of Dorset, Vermont.  In 1819 Isaac brought his wife, Hannah Raymond [daughter of Joshua Raymond & Phebe Collins], and his children to Hannibal, NY.  That village is now in Oswego County but was in Onondaga County then.  An early history of the area says that Isaac Sykes built the first house in Hannibal, "without the aid of liquor".

Isaac continued to reside in Hannibal until his death in 1862.  His wife, Hannah, had died before him in 1847, and Isaac had remarried to Mrs. Sarah Lester [a widow with two sons], who survived him.  In his will Isaac directed the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Hannibal to purchase three tombstones for himself and his two wives.  He was then buried in the Hannibal Village Cemetery by his first wife, Hannah.

     Time passed and a church of another denomination was built along the side of the cemetery.  The pastor's wife looked out on the oldest part of the cemetery and saw that many of the tombstones were toppled over and neglected.  She decided they would make wonderful paving stones for the front walk leading to the church.  So she ordered that they be pulled up and the paving process begun.  When the residents of Hannibal Village found out about this, they strongly objected because many had relatives buried in that  part of the cemetery.  So the stones were ordered returned.  However, there was a problem, because by now many of the monuments were broken, and there was no map of that old section of the cemetery to show exactly what their original position had been.  I don't know what happened then to the stones, but I believe that Isaac's was placed in another spot, close to where it had been originally because it can be found today.  The stones belonging to his two wives evidently did not survive, as they cannot be located.  The oldest section of the cemetery is free of stones now, but is maintained as a grassy area.  The entire cemetery is beautifully maintained, since a few years ago a benefactor left nearly a million dollars to the village, for the perpetual care of the cemetery.  The village of Hannibal hires a full-time cemetery groundskeeper, who is very helpful when visitors request help in locating where their relatives are buried.

Marilyn Appling Owen [3rd great granddaughter of Isaac Sykes & Hannah Raymond]
mao@jps.net
 
      



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