Thomas Davenport, "Pioneer"
Thomas Davenport, referred to hereinafter as the Pioneer, was born 1682 and died Dec. 30, 1759. At a date (unknown) between 1714 and 1732 he located in the South Precinct of Dutchess County in that part now known as Philipstown, Putnam County, New York. There he became a tenant of Adolph Philipse, and as far as is known, the first to make a permanent settlement on the water front of the Highland Patent.
The location of his house was on the slope of the present Main Street, Cold Spring, a short distance west of the Methodist Church and near the Fountain Head spring which furnished this pioneer and his family with water.
The extent of his leasehold is not known. Certainly it embraced all the land between Bull Hill and Indian Brook. Lambert's map of Water Lot No. 2 made in 1769, after the partition of the patent among the grandnieces and one grand nephew of Adolph Philipse, shows the leaseholds of Thomas and William Davenport, sons of the pioneer Thomas Davenport, extending from Bull Hill to the north shore of Indian Brook.
The pioneer, Thomas Davenport, was buried in a vale, a short distance from his home, as were members of his immediate family, in unmarked graves. Here, too, lie many of his descendants. This "God's Acre" later became the village burying ground. The Old Cold Spring Cemetery is located north of the Town Hall of Philipstown, adjoining the grounds of the Haldane Central School District.
The name of Thomas Davenport first appears among the freeholders of Dutchess County in 1710. In 1745, he was appointed one of the commissioners to lay out highways in the South Precinct. He continued to serve as commissioner up to and including the year 1749, and is designated in the record as Captain Thomas Davenport. His original signature, wherein ever seen, is always Davenport, and will be so used throughout this record. Some of his descendants used the name Devenport, and this is seen in family records and on tombstones. In later times the name usually appears as Davenport.
Further information may be obtained from our reference book "Thomas Davenport and His Descendants," as well as from our genealogical records.