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Historical Information   

The Read Family



"When the history of Kane county is written it will record the names of none who have been more respected or have played a more important part in shaping the early development and later progress of the district than has the Read family.  Since Joshua Read came to the county in 1838 he and his descendants have been active factors, especially in the agricultural development and in upholding the political, legal and moral status of the community."

  -History of Kane County Illinois by Joslyn and Joslyn



This line of Reads began with: 


American colonists representing the advance guard of civilization in this country



One generation prior to the move to Illinois:


Eliphalet Read, Joshua's father, was a native of Massachusetts.  He was a conspicuous soldier, New England volunteer, who organized an expedition northward, and, in 1758, wrested from the French, the fortified town of Louisbourg Cape Breton.  In the following year, he assisted the British forces in the memorable capture of Quebec from the French.  After this war (1754-1760), the Reads relocated to New Brunswick.



First generation of Reads in Virgil Township:  


Joshua (1783- Sept 21, 1846/7?) and his wife Percilla (sometimes referred to as Priscilla) (?- June 7, 1858)  arrived in Kane County October, 1838 from Sackville, Westmoreland Co., New Brunswick.  They brought with them 11 of their 12 children.




Percilla's parents were Captain Charles and Hannah (Sommers) Chappel.  Charles was of the United States Coat Marine Survey.  She was a native of Troy, NY. 







Eliphalet (May 23, 1808) – Wives: First wife was Malinda Meyers (m.1840) (their children were Roxanna, Charles Chappel, and Hannah Jane).  2nd wife was Margaret Crabtree (their children were Malinda, Marian and Richard (twins), and Henry C.)  The third wife was  (m. 1860) Sarah C. McClanathan (their children were twins Caroline and Seth [Seth died at 10 days old], Elizabeth, and Eloise).


Ruth (1810 – 1874)


Charles (1812 - 1894) - Wife (m. 1852) Adeline Baxter (1837 – 1906).  Children Charles T., Orissa (Husband Hinston Wheeler), Martin H. (physician), Gordon (farmer), and Harry B. (July 21, 1864 - ?).  Harry's wife (m. 1886) was Tillie M. Jacobson (June 21, 1866 - ?).  Children Charles G. and Hinton H.


(Fannie) Maria (October 12, 1812 – 1893) Husband (m. 1840) Orson Kendall (one of the first couples to marry in Virgil). Daughter Flora Hannah Kendall m. Archibald Moody --> son Orson Alexander Moody m. Margaret Ellen Newsom --> son Sam Newsom Moody m. Nellie Mae Edgington --> daughter Nancy Lee Moody

(Orson and Marie's house)


Hannah (?)


Joseph (mechanic who came in 1840, died 1859 in Missouri) Wife Nancy Cady


Richmond (May 25/21?, 1821 - May 16/19?, Feb. 25, 1891/1890?) (government surveyor for Kane county)- Wife (m. Dec. 1852/51?) Miranda Sweet (1835-1916) (child John J. (Nov. 6, 1852 – 1931) {John (a school director) married (Jan. 10. 1877) Lola Footh (1857 - 1929), children, Fred R. (1878 – 1921), Maude (1879 – 1885) and Edith}, Welford A.(Nov. 17, 1859 - ?), Emma D., Otho E. (1868-1921), and George R.  Welford married (Nov. 21, 1882) Cora B. Walker; children: Stella May (Dec. 29, 1883), Ernest O. (Aug. 4, 1885), Maude Blanche (March 10, 1887), Floyd S. (June 4, 1888), Richmond R. (July 16, 1890), Arthur H. (Dec. 2, 1894), Florence C. (April 28, 1897), Maurice W. (June 30, 1899).


Elizabeth (Nov. 12, 1813 - Nov. 19, 1899) Husband (m. Jan. 10, 1833 in Sackville, NB) James Outhouse (June 4, 1804 - Dec. 16, 1892).  They had 7 children, including William and Mary Elizabeth.  --> Mary Elizabeth (July 24, 1846-Dec. 23, 1914) Husband (m. Sept. 22, 1870 in Boston Mass.) James Morris Leighton (June 28, 1842 - Dec 13, 1909).  Mary Elizabeth and James (a lumber contractor) had 4 children. --> Louella L. Leighton (Oct. 31, 1876 - June 12, 1966) Husband (m. June 29, 1904 in Perry, Maine) Hugh Lesley (Aug. 10, 1867 - 1938).  Louella and Hugh had 3 children. --> Joseph (Dec. 28, 1907 - March 31, 1992) Wife (m. April 17, 1931) Bertha Engle Brubaker (Nov. 15, 1907 - March 3, 2000).  They were Penn state students who eloped and had 4 children. --> Sem Joseph (Oct. 19, 1945 - ) Wife (m. Feb. 10, 1968 in New London, PA) Barbara Elizabeth Cope (May 9, 1944-)They had 3 children and one grandson.



Otho R. (Oct. 5, 1825 - 1905?) Wife (m. Sept. 26, 1894) Rosara Crane (Rosaria Craine) (nee Casey in Baie Verte.  D/o Daniel and Rosaline), no descendants. They married in Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia.


George (?) – Wife (m. 1856) Adaline Marian Chaffee (nee Worcester)


Albert (Oct. 19, 1828? – Nov. 10. 1893) Wife (m. 1861) Catherine E. Sweet (July 23, 1841 – March 12, 1910)


Susan (?) Husband Josiah Pride



‘Living’ descendants of Joshua Read family as of 1938:


James Easterbrook

Mary Easterbrook,

Anna Priscilla Easterbrook

Mary Rowe-Whildin (1918) - Living in Aurora (Descendant of Richmond)

James Rowe (Descendant of Elizabeth)



Stray Read tombstones found in Kane County:


-Father Clarence E. (1910-1980)  Mother Isabel C. (1913-1989)  Son James P (1940- ) Grandson James L. (1971- )

-Albertus E. (May 31, 1864-Sept. 10, 1925)

 G. Henry (Nov. 8, 1867-Dec. 6, 1931)

 Flora A. (March 5, 1862-June 26, 1926)



For more information on the Read family tree, may I suggest...


A Read Genealogy was compiled by Hugh S. Austin and published in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1973.  The Read Family History 1740-1978, was compiled by Mildred Edgington and published in Grinnell, Iowa in 1980.  The Reads, an American Saga, was compiled by Dorothy Lutomski and published in De Pere, Wisconsin in 1980.





More History:


The Read Family  -  Otho Read  -  The Read House




Note: Unfortunately, we were not meticulous with citing resources while collecting this information over a year ago.  We visited the St. Charles Library's Genealogical section, the Kane County Historical Society, Garfield Farm, and every cemetery in the area.  Images of Joshua and Percilla's head stones taken digitally at the Lily Lake cemetery in 2001.  Portraits courtesy of Nancy Murphy and Mary Campbell.  Virtually no information was found on the internet.