The Children of John Humphrey Noyes

John Humphrey Noyes (In White Coat) 1868

George Bernard Shaw wrote about the goals of the Oneida Community’s eugenics experiment in the Revolutionist’s Handbook, a supplement to his play, Man and Superman ~ “the question of what sort of men they should strive to breed being settled once and for all by the obvious desirability of breeding another Noyes.” Noyes fathered nine of the fifty-eight children born during the experiment.

Who were the children of John Humphrey Noyes?  Who were their mothers?  What role did they play in the history of the Oneida Community, and the development of the joint stock corporation that became the legacy of the utopian ideas of the John Humphrey Noyes and the Community?  Were they as Tirzah Miller, Noyes’ niece, described “the aristocracy” of the Oneida Community?

While living here in the Mansion House, it certainly is apparent to us that being a direct descendant of John Humphrey Noyes is a source of pride and distinction for many descendants.

This post will provide a list of the 13 children of John Humphrey Noyes – four from before the eugenics program and nine during.  I am indebted to Walt Lang for his work on the genealogy of the Oneida Community “Family” that is essential for identifying the progeny of Noyes, and to Anthony Wonderley, the curator of the Oneida Community Mansion House, who provided Walt Lang’s lists of children born in the Oneida Community.  Future posts will present more in-depth portraits of the Noyes’ children.

Theodore Richards Noyes

Born ~ July 26, 1841 in the Putney Community, Vermont

Mother ~ Harriet Holton Noyes, age 33

John Humphrey Noyes was 30.

Theodore was Noyes’ first child with his only legally married wife.  Theodore was educated at Yale as a doctor.  He briefly held the leadership of the Community (May 1877-January 1878).  He influenced the development of Oneida Community Limited.  He had three children during the eugenics experiment: Richard Worden Noyes (later Wayland Smith), Rhoda Hero Noyes (Dunn) and Cora Chadwick Noyes.  He also had a child after the Break-up: G. Raymond Noyes.

He died June 6, 1903 at age 61.

Victor Cragin Noyes

Born ~ September 6, 1847 in the Putney Community

Mother ~ Mary Cragin, age 37 – who died from drowning less than three years later

John Humphrey Noyes was 36.

Victor Cragin Noyes was Noyes’ second son.  His twin sister, Victoria, died three days after her birth.  Victor suffered from mental illness in his youth and was put in an asylum by his father.  He recovered and worked in the Community as a horticulturalist and a salesman.  He had one child during the eugenics experiment, Corinna Ackley (Noyes), who later married another son of John Humphrey Noyes, Pierrepont.

He died April 8, 1905 at age 78.

Constance Bradley Noyes

Born ~ February 15, 1857, the 7th child born in the Oneida Community

Mother ~ Sarah Ann Summers, age 30.  She was adopted by George and Mary Cragin before they joined John Humphrey Noyes in Putney, Vermont.

John Humphrey Noyes was 46.

Constance, sometimes called Consuelo, was Noyes’ first daughter, but towards the end of the Community she refused to admit that Noyes was her father.  She worked as a bookkeeper.  She had two children during the eugenics program: Karl Hatch and Benjamin W. Barron, one child after the Break-up, Hugh Stanley Reeve.

She died June 4, 1917 at age 67.

Jessie Catherine Baker (Kinsley)

Born ~ March 26, 1858, the 18th child born in the Community

Mother ~ Catherine E. Baker, age 43

John Humphrey Noyes was 47.

Jessie was Noyes’ second daughter.  She grew up in the Children’s House in Oneida, and taught children at the Wallingford Community, the satellite colony in Connecticut.  She had no Community children.  At the Break-up, she married Myron Kinsley and they had three children: Edith Maria Kindley, Albert Kinsley and Jessie Janet Kinsley (Rich).  She became an artist at the age of 50, and created a new art form ~ tapestries made from silk braidings.  She wrote a memoir of her childhood in the Community, A Lasting Spring.

She died February 10, 1938 at age 79.

John Humphrey Noyes II

Born ~ November 18, 1869, the 44th child born in the Community and the 2nd eugenics child

Mother ~ Charlotte Miller Leonard, age 23

John Humphrey Noyes was 58.

John (called Humphrey as a child) was Noyes’ third son.  He was educated in the Children’s House and began working for the Oneida Community Limited at age 19 in the Fruit Department, later the Silk Department.  He became a silk representative in New York for the Company in 1903, and then became an assistant to his brother, Pierrepont, when Pierrepont became general manager.  John became the Secretary of Oneida Limited.  He married the daughter of Tirzah Miller and James Herrick, Hilda Herrick, and they had six children: Adele Charlotte Noyes (Mines, Davies), David Herrick Noyes, Tirzah Miller Noyes (Rothschild, Orton) , Julia Hayes Noyes (Burnham), John H. Noyes III, and Silvia Winifred Noyes (Paquette).

He died May 3, 1940 at 70.

Pierrepont Burt Noyes

Born ~ August 18, 1870, the 49th child born in the Community and the 7th eugenics child

Mother ~ Harriet Worden, age 30

John Humphrey Noyes was 59.

Pierrepont (called Pip as a child) was Noyes’ fourth son.  He was educated in the Children’s House, but spent a year at Colgate University.  He went into business with his brother Holton Noyes, before working for the Oneida Community Limited in Niagara Falls.  At the age of 25, he effectively took over the Company and directed it for twenty years, leading Oneida Ltd to international success.  He married his cousin, Corinna Ackley, Victor Noyes’ daughter, and they had three children: Constance P. Noyes (Robertson), Barbara Worden Noyes (Smith) and Pierrepont Trowbridge Noyes (“Pete”).  He wrote a moving account of growing up in the Community, My Father’s House.

He died April 15, 1959, at 88

Holton Van Velzer Noyes

Born ~ March 7, 1871, the 55th child born in the Community and the 13th eugenics child

Mother ~ Mary Elizabeth Van Velzer, age 23

John Humphrey Noyes was 60.

Holton (“HV”) was Noyes’ fifth son.  Holton moved with his siblings to Niagara Falls to live with his father, John Humphrey Noyes, after Noyes fled Oneida in 1879.  He joined Pierrepont in running Oneida Community Limited, becoming a Director.  He wrote a history of the Company with his cousin, another eugenics child, Stephen Rose Leonard, son of Charlotte Leonard.  He married another eugenics child of the Community, Josephine Kinsley, and they had three children: Howard Holton Noyes, Helen Dorothy Noyes (Wood) and Albert Kinsley Noyes.

He died March 17, 1953, at 82.

Gertrude Hayes Noyes

Born ~ December 29, 1871, the 58th child born in the Community and the 16th eugenics child

Mother ~ Harriet Olds, age 22

John Humphrey Noyes was 60.

Gertrude was Noyes’ third daughter was raised in the Children’s House.  She married the son to one of John Humphrey Noyes’ brothers, who did not join the Community.   They had four children: John Rutherford Noyes, Richard Woodman Noyes, Margaret Stacey Noyes (Goldsmith) and Charles Hayes Noyes.

She died April 25, 1951, at 79

Irene Campbell Newhouse Noyes

Born ~ June 5, 1873, the 65th child born in the Community and the 23rd eugenics child

Mother ~ Arabelle Campbell Woolworth, age 23

John Humphrey Noyes was 62.

Irene was Noyes’ fourth daughter.  She was adopted by Milford Newhouse, when her mother married him at the Break-up.  She began her education in the Mansion House, but later went to Cornell University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.  She taught school for four years.  She married Tirzah Miller’s son, George Wallingford Noyes, her cousin, and they had three children: Imogen Campbell Noyes (Stone), Charlotte MacCallum Noyes (Sewall) and Janet Woolworth Noyes.

She died May 9, 1956, at 83.

Godfrey Noyes

Godfrey Barron Noyes

Born ~ August 22, 1876, the 68th child born in the Community and the 26th eugenics child

Mother ~ Maria Fanny Barron, age 31

John Humphrey Noyes was 65.

Godfrey was Noyes’ sixth son.  His mother never married at the Break-up.  Little is known about Godfrey.

He died February 2, 1893, at 19

Dorothy Hendee Noyes

Born ~ August 22, 1876, the 86th child born in the Community and the 44th eugenics child

Mother ~ Beulah Foster Hendee, age 29

John Humphrey Noyes was 65.

Dorothy was Noyes’ fifth daughter.  She was named Jenny after a Dickens character, “Jenny Wren”, but was soon renamed Dorothy.  Her mother married Alfred Barron at the Break-up.  She married Stephen Rose Leonard, Charlotte Leonard’ son.  They had three children:  Mary Irene Leonard (Beagle), Catherine “Kate” Leonard (O’Halloran) and Stephen Jr.  She became a poet.  A collection of her poems, Buttressed by Moonlight was acclaimed in The New Yorker.  Many of her poems are about the Community and the surrounding area.  She was a founding member of the Oneida Community Historical Committee.

She died June 3, 1965, at 87

Miriam Trowbridge Noyes

Born ~ August 19, 1877, the 91st child born in the Community and the 49th eugenics child

Mother ~ Helen Campbell Miller (Barron), age 30, the sister of Tirzah Miller and John Humphrey Noyes’ niece

John Humphrey Noyes was 66.

Miriam was Noyes’ sixth daughter.  She was adopted by Homer Barron when her mother married him at the Break-up.  She married Wilber Earl who was not a descendant. They had three children: Virginia Earl (Brown), Joan Earl (Held) and Wilber Jr.  She chronicled the take over of the Oneida Community Limited by Pierrepont and his generation and Theodore Noyes’ influence on their efforts.

She died May 6, 1965, at age 87

Guy Hatch Noyes

Born ~ April 23, 1879, the 100th child born in the Community and the 58th eugenics child

Mother ~ Lenora Hatch, age 21

John Humphrey Noyes was 68.

Guy was also known as George Langstaff Noyes and was Noyes’ last son, the seventh.  He was adopted by his cousin, Horatio T. Noyes, when his mother married him at the Break-up.  He was a poet, who became addicted to laudanum, exhibiting erratic behavior including jumping off the North Tower of the Mansion House into a snowdrift.  He wrote character sketches of Community members.  He never married.

He died April 13, 1910,  age 39

Stirpicults 1887

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21 Comments

  1. ann kemp said,

    June 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Hi!
    Miriam is my grandmother but you probablly already know that.
    Jennifer Allen gave me this blog site.

  2. Walt Patrick said,

    June 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you for laying all this out in such detail; very helpful and much appreciated. Is there a mistype as to either the date of birth or death for Jessie Catherine Baker (Kinsley)?

    — Walt

  3. Tina said,

    December 8, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Hello, I am also a distant relative to the Herrick line. Very interesting.

  4. Nora Leonard Roy said,

    April 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    The photograph of my great grandmother, Beulah Hendee (1847-1903), and her baby daughter, my grandmother Dorothy, is beautiful. Dorothy was born in August of 1876, so I think this photo would have been taken sometime in 1877. I had never seen it until I happened upon this website! Thank you very much. By the way, Beulah named her only child Jennie Wren, after a Dickens character. Others in the OC believed the name was too common, and so my grandmother was named Dorothea, and that name eventually was shortened to Dorothy. She might have chosen to use her biological father’s surname, Noyes. However, she was beloved and adopted by Alfred Barron, who married Beulah at the time of the breakup of the community, so she became known as Dorothy Barron. I hope to meet you someday. Best wishes with your work to document the lives of people in the Oneida Community.
    Nora Leonard Roy

    • tontine 255 said,

      May 2, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Hi Nora

      It is always very satisfying to read a comment like yours from a descendant. I am happy that you found our blog.

      Best wishes,
      Frank Christopher

  5. Ben Wise said,

    August 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Just joined, and honored to be included. Not a relative, but an ardent student of Noyes and the O.C., newly inspired by a visit to the Mansion House just a couple of weeks ago. I live close to Putney, VT, and have just discovered the lovely collection of materials at their Historical Society, which I plan to peruse in detail over the coming months.

    I am also most grateful for this illustrated list of JHN’s children, with essential biographical details. I did notice a couple of other typos, though:

    (1) Under Victor Cragin Noyes: He is (mis)called John Humphrey Noyes II (which confused me quite a bit until I scrolled down and found the “real” JHN II, and realized it must have been a slip of the fingers!)

    (2) Birth and death dates given for Irene Campbell Noyes do not add up (even close!) to the age given for her at death. I presume the death date was in error.

    I hope these are taken as helpful observations, not in any way to detract from the wonderful presentation in this list. I’m looking forward to looking over other pages of the blog and seeing what’s to come.

    Thanks again.

    Ben Wise
    West Chesterfield, NH

    • tontine 255 said,

      August 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Hi Ben

      Thanks for your careful reading of our blog. Good catches on typos. I corrected them this morning.
      I appreciate the feedback and your keen interest in the Oneida Community.

      Best wishes,
      Frank Christopher

      • Ben Wise said,

        August 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

        Thanks, Frank. Glad to make the connection.

        Ben

  6. Clifton Drew said,

    October 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Trying to find the history on Raymond C. Noyes born in 1921. I’ve been told he was an adopted son of Pierrepont Burt Noyes. Thought you might be able to add some clartification. My Wife’s maiden name is Antoinette Rosalie Noyes.

  7. October 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Very interesting, My grandmother was from the Oneida Community. Our family kept in touch with friends there, chiefly Edith Kinsley. I have tried to find my grandmother Beatrice’s descent-without success. She was Beatrice Stuart Dunn Tuttle , b. Aug. 1879 -Bloom is another last name (stepfather?). Confusing. My aunt said there was a genealogy written in the 1980’s which caused an uproar in the Community and was not published. Many happy memories from Oneida.

    TH
    Thanks for your website,
    Rosemary MacKown

  8. December 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I talked to the office at the Community and received some genealogical info, on my grandmother Beatrice Dunn Tuttle’s descent. I appreciate this site and enjoy it.

  9. SilverSeason said,

    July 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Thank you for the detail given here. It has helped me to straighten out the different between Pierrepont B. and Pierrepont T. Noyes.

  10. Ralph Dascomb Rhodes said,

    December 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I am a descendant of Sarah Averell Dascomb ( She was from Cameron and Bath, NY) who was a resident of Oneida from 1873 until the break up. I just read Nora Leonard Roy’s comment and was reminded by the Oneida curator that Nora may have information on Oneida members from Bath.Does Nora or anyone else, have information about this group especially Candace Bushnell who along with Wm kelly converted 4 girls from Bath to Join the Oneida Community?

    Ralph Dascomb Rhodes

  11. karla zounek mclaughlin (granddaughter of Julia Noyes Burnham fr Sherrill) said,

    March 21, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I really enjoyed reviewing this as I devour any and all info on the OC. My grandmother’s (Julia Burnham, nee Noyes) grandfather was JHN. I wanted to name one of my babies Noyes, but my husband, a rock musician refused . . .

  12. Nora Leonard Roy said,

    August 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

    “The Bath Girls”: I am still trying to find more information about Candace Bushnell, nee Johnson, and the four “Bath Girls” (Beulah Hendee, Frances Hillerman, Emity Otis, and Portia Underhill). I hope to have an article ready for the Oneida Community Journal sometime in 2015. At this point, I am still trying to find Beulah’s birth mother’s name, exactly when and how she died, and where she was buried. I have discovered that Beulah was placed by Candace Bushnell with the Hendee family in West Bloomfield, NY. I am not certain she was legally adopted by the Hendees, although she used that surname as an adult. Her placement in the Hendee household was effected before the 1850 census, in which her name appears as “Buler Foster”, age 3, living with the Hendee family. I have learned that it is important to be flexible and imaginative in searching for people in the US census. Errors of information and errors of transcription abound!

  13. Nora Leonard Roy said,

    August 27, 2014 at 11:25 am

    correction: Emily Otis

  14. Alan Parkhurst said,

    January 24, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I

  15. January 24, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    I am Alan Parkhurst, the great grandchild of Karl Hatch, daughter of Constance Noyes. I have her baby quilt in perfect condition as well as several other Oneida items like the famous small chests, handed down to me from my mother, Martha Harriet Sanderson Parkhurst. I enjoy this site and found it while trying to find information on Karl Hatch. I knew him as a child and believe he died around 1960. My cousins grew up in Sherrill/Oneida and are much more knowledgeable about the Community. I read as much as I can find about it and have been to the mansion house many times.

    • Nora said,

      February 6, 2016 at 10:33 am

      I was born in 1947, grew up in Kenwood, and I remember Karl Hatch very fondly. He was a soft-spoken, gentle man who was very tolerant of children and their shenanigans. My grandparents, Stephen Leonard, Sr, and Dorothy Barron Leonard were childhood friends of Karl.

  16. Betsy Garris said,

    February 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Very interesting info…do you know anything about the Noyes cottage on the north shore of Oneida Lake…there are 4 cottages built in a bay there with Russian designed stone fireplaces rumored to have been built by Noyes . I know it was owned by a John Noyes who retired to the Mansion House to live in 1982. Any more information would be helpful! Thank you


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