Hugh Fiddis, Seaman

Hugh Fiddis. According to his pension application #R-3525, Hugh Eldridge Fiddis was born in Groton on 5 August 1766. He was the son of a Scottish refugee who came to America about 1762, Hugh Fiddis (c.1739-c.1767) and Hannah Eldridge (1/25/1743-6/25/1828), who were married in New London on 22 November 1764. According to the pension file, Fiddis was a mariner for thirteen months beginning at New London in 1781 aboard the privateer sloop Prudence, afterwards called the Defiance, under Captain Thomas Park and Lieutenant Thomas Eldridge. Captain Thomas Park (1744-1833) was his stepfather, having married his mother Hannah Eldridge Fiddis in 1768. Lieutenant Eldridge was likely her brother. This ship captured the Tartar, sending it into the Mystic River and also served as a transport tender and lookout for the French Fleet at Rhode Island. Fiddis claimed in the rejected pension application, to enter on board the Confederacy in late September 1782 for three months, leaving service in late December in New London. He claimed the ship cruised to the West Indies and to the Banks of Newfoundland. The time of service, place of disembarkment and cruise destinations suggest that his memory was extremely faulty or his testimony untrue. If he served for three months and left the ship in New London in December, the year would have been 1778 and the later cruises of the ship would not have included him in the crew. The ship never returned to New London after her departure on 1 May 1779. After the war he was “engaged in navigation”, sailing from his home in Groton for four years then the Port of New York for several more years before moving in the mid-1790’s to Tioga County, NY. Captain Parks also moved his family to upstate New York, moving to Vestal and then in 1788 to Candor where he founded Parks Settlement. A Catskill Landing, NY advertisement dated 1 October 1792 notes, “Hugh Fiddis – Begs leave to inform the public in general and his friends in particular – that he has lately purchased a sloop, well calculated for freight, or accommodation of passengers; which will sail from this place to New York, as often as once a fortnight, until the river closes. He having heretofore been favoured with constant employment, expects by assiduous and carefulness in business, to merit the continuance of past favours; and believes that his employers will find no reason to complain, For freight or passage, please to apply on board, or to Mr. Jacob Bogardus.” In 1860, ninety-four year old Hugh Fiddis and his wife Anna (born 1777) were living with their son James Eldridge Fiddis (born 1819) and his wife Emeline in Tioga Center, Oswego County, NY.

This entry was posted in Undetermined. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *