The earliest known effort to compile Nye family genealogy was made by Cape Codders Calvin B. Nye and Charles H. Nye in the late 1800s. Together they worked on a chart of their ancestors, the descendants of John and Ebenezer, early settlers of North Falmouth, MA. Later Charles conceived the idea of creating a family organization and holding reunions, the first of which was held in 1903.
At the first reunion businessman George Hyatt Nye (12175-113) of Auburn, NY read a paper on Nye genealogy and notable family figures, which was received with great enthusiasm. Later he hired Chicago genealogist Frank E. Best to compile data. Edited by David Fisher Nye (14638-621) of Elyria, Ohio, their work, A Genealogy of the Nye Family was published by the Nye Family Association in 1907.
In the 1960s the original volume was re-printed by the Association, and R. Glen Nye of San Diego (17951-22(10)6) compiled Volume II, bringing the genealogy up-to-date. L. Bert Nye, Jr. (14(13)54-(10)52) of Shallot, NC took over from Glen, and he produced revisions of Vols. I and II, called American Nyes of English Origin. These books are currently available from our association (see the “Online Shopping” section on this website. Bert also produced a genealogy of German Nyes, which is no longer available.
In 2007 a booklet was published which describes the effort to correct errors made in the 1907 genealogy. Origins of Benjamin1 Nye: Examining the Sources by Ian Hilder, George R. Nye and Jonathan A. Shaw is described below.
At the present time Nye Association president and genealogist Judy Hendy continues to compile and correct family data, aided by computer, Ancestry.com, and other resources. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nye Family of America Association, Inc. is an historic non-profit organization with the following interests:
- First, we preserve, restore, and open to the public seasonally the Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum. It is the oldest house in East Sandwich, built in 1678 by one of the first settlers of Sandwich. Benjamin Nye (1620-1706) was a farmer, miller, and active citizen. With rooms restored to different eras, the Homestead & Museum is furnished with interesting antiques from the colonial period through Victorian. This diverse slice of Americana helps us understand life before electricity powered our homes. The museum also features displays of Nye Family memorabilia donated to us by our members over the years.
- Second, we serve as an organization for Nye family descendants. We have two volumes of published genealogy available, ongoing collection of family data which is available on ancestry.com, a reunion held every other year, a fall newsletter and an e-newsletter. Our membership and Board of Trustees does include people who are not Nye descendants, but who wish to support our museum and projects.
- Third, we own two other historic buildings adjacent to the Homestead & Museum. The East Sandwich Grange Hall, built in 1889 was once the home of East Sandwich Grange #139, a farm family fraternity which did much to improve life for the rural population. We continue that heritage by operating the hall for community benefit in modern terms – meetings, music, contra-dancing, yoga classes, historic programs and small private gatherings.
In 2009, we acquired a circa 1855 grist mill building which was moved here from Centerville in 1889. It sits on the foundation of the grist mill built by Benjamin Nye in the late 1660s, which stood from 1669 to 1867. The current mill building is unfortunately in a state of serious decay. Possibilities for its repair or restoration are under investigation.
The Nye Family Association has a strong interest in local history, especially in East Sandwich and Spring Hill Village a few miles away where Benjamin Nye built his first home. We have documents and artifacts from the homesteads of several other local families: Hoxies, Holways, and Armstrongs.
Finally, we are located in a rural part of town at the center of what was once a tiny farming village, with 18th century homes along a winding road. We work to preserve this historic atmosphere in any way we can. We have a management agreement with our neighbor, the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, with whom we maintain nature trails and wildlife habitat.
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Nye Family of America Association, Inc.