The Olney Connection

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  • ID: I31430
  • Name: Jeremiah OLNEY
  • Surname: Olney
  • Given Name: Jeremiah
  • Prefix: Col.
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1749 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Death: 10 Nov 1812 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Burial: North Burial Ground, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Ancestral File #: 8H56-35
  • _UID: 80E4504453611A43B22B51620ED34A4004B0
  • Note:
    [Brøderbund WFT Vol. 7, Ed. 1, Tree #3182, Date of Import: Mar 17, 1999]

    Olney Genealogy page 32: "He early entered into the struggle for American Independence and was advanced to a Colonelcy. His sound judgment and military capacity caused min to be greatly esteemed by General Washington. He was actively engaged throughout the war, participating in many engagements, among which were Red Bank. Springfield, Monmouth and Yorktown. He received the appointment of first collector at the port of Providence from President Washington, the duties of which heperformed with honor and credit, as he did those of many other positions of trust bestowed upon him by his fellow citizens. Uponthe death of Washington, a mock funeral took place from his residence on Olney street, at which he assisted as one of the pall bearers, his associates being William Allen, Col. Christopher Olney, Ebenezer Macomber, John Spurr and John S. Sexter. His homestead was standing in 1888.
    *********************************************************************************************
    American Biographical Library
    The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women
    Volume II
    Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
    Troops at Valley Forge, Pa. 1777Ùv1778
    Signers of the Declaration of Independence
    Brigadier Generals
    page 12
    2d R. I Israel Angell Jeremiah Olney Simeon Thayer

    American Biographical Library
    The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women
    Volume II
    Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
    Field Officers of Regiments of the Continental Line
    Rhode Island Line
    First Rhode Island
    page 53
    Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremiah Olney, 1st January, 1781, to 14th May, 1781.

    American Biographical Library
    The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women
    Volume II
    Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
    Field Officers of Regiments of the Continental Line
    Rhode Island Line
    Second Rhode Island
    page 53
    Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremiah Olney, 13th January, 1777, to 1st January, 1781.

    American Biographical Library
    The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women
    Volume II
    Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
    Field Officers of Regiments of the Continental Line
    Rhode Island Line
    Olney's R. I. Battalion
    page 53
    Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant Jeremiah Olney, 14th May, 1781, to 3d November, 1783.

    American Biographical Library
    The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women
    Volume II
    Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
    Alphabetical List of Officers of the Continental Army
    O
    Fifteenth Virginia
    page 420
    Olney, Jeremiah (R. I.). Captain 2d Rhode Island, 3d May to December, 1775; Captain 11th Continental Infantry, 1st January to 31st December, 1776; Lieutenant-Colonel 2d Rhode Island, 13th January, 1777; transferred to 1st Rhode Island, 1st January, 1781; Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant Rhode Island Battalion, 14th May, 1781; served to close of war; Colonel, 30th September, 1783. (Died 10th November, 1812.) (The 1st Rhode Island Regiment after May, 1781, was also known as Olney's Rhode Island Battalion.)

    Search Terms: OLNEY (21)
    Database: American Biographical Library
    Combined Matches: 21
    Previous Hits American Biographical Library
    The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women
    Volume II
    Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
    A Proclamation
    Schedule of the Names and Rank of Most of the Officers of the War of Independence
    Rhode Island
    page 624
    Olney, Jeremiah, Lieutenant-Colonel commandant, Angel's.
    ******************************************************
    Colonel Jeremiah Olney, who married Sarah, Jesse's sister, received from Washington the appointment of first collectorship of Providence, and he turned an important department over to his brother-in-law Jesse. Jesse Cooke owned a large tract of land in the east part of the town, and he was so pleased by his appointment that he offered some of this to the Colonel, who refused it as "it was so far out of town," and he wished to live nearer. After some years Colonel Olney bought part of this lot and lived on it.
    *******************************************************
    Probably the Jeremiah Olney listed in First Owners of Ohio Lands as follows:
    First Ownership of Ohio Lands


    Name: Jeremiah Olney
    Residence: Providence
    Agency: [William] Corlis
    Shares: 2
    ***********************************************************
    Russell Genealogy

    Bartlett, John Russell. Russell Genealogy. This book contains information of the descendants of John Russell of Woburn, Massachusettes.

    Bibliographic Information: Bartlett, John Russell. 1879.

    The intrepid Colonel Jeremiah Olney,(*) who had married Sarah, a daughter of Governor Cooke, received from Washington the well-earned appointment of the first Collectorship of Providence, and confided an important department to his brother-in-law Jesse. The latter, owning a large tract in the east part of the town, was so pleased with the service rendered by a subordinate, that he offered to present the young man with a goodly plot on condition that he should live there. He declined -- "it was so far out of town." Years after, he purchased a part of it, lived upon it for a generation, and it passed to his children as a valuable inheritance, having become quite "in town."

    (*)Jeremiah Olney was one of the noblest of the many noble spirits by whose valor and
    fidelity American Independence was achieved. Olney is an honored name in Rhode Island
    history. Besides Col. Jeremiah, Col. Christopher, Capt. Stephen and Maj. Coggeshall Olney
    were brave and active Revolutionary officers. The papers left by Colonel Olney, quite
    numerous and well arranged, recently passed into the hands of one of his wife's relatives.
    Their examination has been highly interesting, revealing at every step the excellence of
    the man, and the esteem in which he was held. They include correspondence with Gen.
    erals Washington, Knox, Schuyler, Hamilton and Stirling, as well as officers of lesser
    rank.

    But his worth is not less evident in his private than in his public relations. A slight instance
    of this may be given here. What was termed the "Lyon Farm," was one of Gov-Cooke's
    properties--a tract of 425 acres on the east side of Providence river, now having
    many owners, and aggregating a very large value. It was more than a generation after
    his death before its final disposal. Meanwhile its management was entrusted to Colonel
    Olney, and as the settlements were yearly, the heirs numerous, and the rents payable in
    products of the farm, his time and trouble were correspondingly involved. At the end of
    seventeen years he made a charge of one dollar a year for tolls and ferriage paid, accompanying
    the item with the remark that he has charged the heirs nothing for all his services!

    Sarah, his wife, was the youngest of the Governor's daughters. Soon after their marriage,
    a false report of his death in battle gave her a shock from which, although her intellect
    recovered, it was not till a number of years had elapsed. A period of happiness ensued
    until his decease in 1812, and she survived him upwards of thirty years, very highly
    respected.

    He was a twin to Marcy. Jeremiah Olney was a Colonel during the Revolutionary War and was greatly esteemed by George Washington. He participated in many engagements including Red Bank, Springfield, Monmouth and Yorktown. After the war President Washington appointed him the first Collector for the Port of Providence. He was personal friend and great admirer of Washington's and held a memorial funeral for him from his home on Olney Street.

    Olney, Col. Jeremiah, late collector of the port and district of Provicence, and president of the Society of the Cincinnati of R. I., died at Providence, in his 63d year. He was a Soldier of the Revolution and a friend of the illustrious Washington. (Nov
    ----------------------------
    http://home.comcast.net/~fredra/JOlney.html

    0LNEY, Jeremiah, soldier, born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1750 died there, 10 November, 1812. His ancestor, the Reverend Thomas Olney, was a founder of the Baptist church in this country. He joined the patriot army at the beginning of the Revolution. He participated in the battles of Red Bank , Springfield, Monmouth, and Yorktown. After the war he was collector of customs at Providence for many years, and was president of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati.
    from:
    Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 & edited Stanley L. Klos, 1999 Estoric.com.
    Lovell, Louise Lewis. Israel Angell, Colonel of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment. [New York]: Knickerbocker Press, 1921.
    -------------------------------
    eremiah Olney Papers
    Customs Collector, soldier, investor; of Providence, R.I.
    Papers, 1775-1826
    Size: 1.5 linear feet
    Catalog number: MSS 18
    Processed by: Harold Kemble, April 1980
    Expanded and revised by Rick Stattler, February 1997
    USE MICROFILM CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1)
    ©Rhode Island Historical Society
    Manuscripts Division

    Historical note:

    Jeremiah Olney (1749-1812) was best known as the Colonel of the First Rhode Island Regiment during the last years of the American Revolution. He was one of twelve children of Joseph Olney (1706-1777). In 1780, he married Sarah Cooke (1755-1842), daughter of Gov. Nicholas Cooke. Their only child, Mary T. Olney (1799-1876), married Samuel Carr, and had three sons. It appears that the last surviving direct heir of Jeremiah Olney was his great-grandson George Anthony Carr of Warren, R.I., who died without children in 1920.
    Rejecting a captain's commission in the Army of Observation in May of 1775, Jeremiah Olney instead took command of a company in a regiment of the Continental Army, variously known as the 11th Regiment of Foot, Daniel Hitchcock's Regiment, or the Second Rhode Island Regiment. In action with the regiment at Red Bank, Springfield, Monmouth and Yorktown, Olney rose from captain to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1778, the Rhode Island General Assembly voted to raise a "Black Battalion" of slaves, who were offered freedom in exchange for military service. Olney was assigned the task of recruiting this battalion, which was incorporated into his command when he took command of the First Rhode Island Regiment as colonel in 1781.
    At the close of the war in 1783, Olney resigned his commission, but remained involved in military affairs. He was a founding member of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati (a veteran's organization), serving as treasurer and later president until his death. He refused to take command of the Rhode Island militia, despite repeated offers. He did, however, assist many veterans in securing pensions, and eventually accepted a post as Distributor of Pensions for Rhode Island Invalid Soldiers. He also spent years after the war seeking reimbursement for regimental debts he had paid out of his own pocket.
    Olney was an ardent Federalist, arguing vigorously for Rhode Island's adoption of the Constitution. His interest was personal as well as political; he had lobbied President Washington for the post of Collector of Customs for the Port of Providence, a position he needed to help restore his delicate finances. His support was rewarded after Rhode Island ratified the Constitution, and he served as Customs Collector through 1809. His insistence on the strict application of duty schedules and port fees irritated the shipping community, however, and there were unsuccessful attempts in both 1793 and 1802 to have him removed from office. His resignation in 1809 was precipitated by the Embargo Act, which cut into his income and encouraged open defiance by smugglers. He joined the majority of the state in hostility to the embargo, which he often referred to as the "Fatal Act".
    Olney made other efforts to improve his financial condition. Between 1784 and 1812, he managed a farm in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, owned by his wife's family. Between 1786 and 1797, he acted as agent for a group of ex-officers who owned shares in the Annaquatucket Farm in Tiverton, R.I. He invested in property for personal use and for business. One such venture was "Jeremiah Olney's Fountain", located on land north of Providence, from which he sold water to neighboring houses. He was interested in turnpikes (purchasing shares) and in canals (corresponding with Moses Brown about possible routes). He was an active participant in organizing the Providence Theatre, which he defended in print against reformers who claimed that it was an evil influence on the morals of the town. Olney invested in voyages by his brother-in-law Capt. Joseph S. Cooke (b.1746) to Africa and the West Indies, and between the years 1806 and 1811 he owned an interest in the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in Providence. He also sold lottery tickets and framed prints.
    Jeremiah Olney's brother, George, is also represented in this collection. During the Revolution, George surveyed and auctioned prizes taken by the Continental Navy, most notably including the cruise of the brigantine Resistance in 1777.
    Coggeshall Olney (1743-1805), another Revolutionary War colonel, was only a second cousin of Col. Jeremiah Olney. Captain Stephen Olney (1755-1832), another Rhode Island Revolutionary hero, was only a third cousin.

    Bibliography:
    Olney, James H. Genealogy of Descendants of Thomas Olney (Providence, 1889).
  • Change Date: 7 May 2010 at 01:00:00



    Father: Joseph OLNEY b: 7 Jun 1706 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    Mother: Elizabeth T. MAWNEY b: 22 Nov 1714 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

    Marriage 1 Sarah COOKE b: 1752 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    • Married: 26 Apr 1780 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    Children
    1. Has Children Mary Timmins OLNEY b: 1 Mar 1799 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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