DATING THE THOMAS LYON HOUSE

OWNED BY SEVEN GENERATIONS OF THE LYON FAMILY

The title search shows that Thomas Lyon Sr. (and known in succession as “of Fairfield” “of Greenwich” and “of Rye”) bequeathed to his second son, Thomas Lyon Jr., “my homelot lying on the Byram River above ye Country Road” in 1690. No buildings are mentioned and it is reasonable to assume that none existed. The house of the senior Thomas Lyon was on Byram Neck and it was bequeathed to his fourth son, Joseph, still a minor, with his widow to have dower rights in it until her death or remarriage. Since Thomas Lyon Jr. married c.1695 (based on the birth of his third child in 1701), and the evidence apparent in the house shows that the house was originally a one-over-one structure, later expanded to two-over-two with a lean-to kitchen, it is reasonable to assume that he built this house when he married and subsequently expanded it as his family grew to 11 children by 1719.

Thomas Lyon Jr. bequeathed to his sixth son, Gilbert Lythe-lyon-familyon, the “Homestead called the house farm with dwelling house, Barn and orchard” in 1739, and the title search shows that it passed through successive generations to Frances Lyon Saunders. She gave it to the Lions and Rotary clubs when the widening of Putnam Avenue would have resulted in its demolition.

In The Lyon Memorial, a three-volume genealogy written in 1907, this statement appears about Thomas Lyon, Jr.: “He built the house near Byram Bridge, which is still standing, having been occupied continuously until the present time by his descendants.”

Susan Richardson and Nils Kerschus — August 2007