Biographical / Historical
William Purdy, Quaker farmer and minister, was born about 1769; Quaker records give his birth variously as 1763 or 1767, and family records indicate 1769. There is evidence that he first married Mary Williams whose name is also given as Elizabeth in the Amawalk Monthly Meeting records. They had eight children: Fanny (1793), Charlotte (1794), Jesse (1797), Abraham (1799), Deborah (1801), Micajah (1803), Simeon (1805), and Henry (1807). After his wife's death, in 1812 and under the care of Amawalk Monthly Meeting, William married Elizabeth (McDonald) Farrington (1767 -1840), a widow. They had four children: Burling (1813), Ann (1815), John (1817), and Ebenezer (1820). William Purdy died in 1847.
William Purdy bought land in Cortlandt on the Croton River from Pierre and Peter van Cortlandt in 1801. He attended the Croton preparative and worship meetings and traveled in the ministry, leaving an undated record of the Friends and meetings that he visited. Purdy was also active in his town, donating money, land, and labor towards building a new bridge and school house.
His son Abraham (1799-1855) married Mary Sarles in 1824, and they had six children. The correspondence is primarily from their daughter, Deborah Ann, who married Charles Williams. The genealogical notes and correspondence were compiled by Elliot Baldwin Hunt who was the grandson of Micajah William Purdy, the fifth child of Abraham and Mary S. Purdy. He published an article and transcription of the travel record in The Quarterly Bulletin of the Westchester County Historical Society in April 1934.