Penfield Cottage  
Penfield Family

Welcome to the Penfield Family Web Site

Penfield is not a common name. Not many people in North America today were born with that last name. If you are one of them, or if one of your ancestors was named Penfield, you are probably descended from Samuel Penfield (1653–1711) and Mary Lewis Penfield (1652–1742), who lived in Massachusetts and later Connecticut. Look at the on-line Penfield Genealogy to see where you fit in.

How many Penfields are there today? According to the U.S. Census Bureau study Frequently Occurring Surnames from Census 2000, only 1154 out of about 270 million Americans counted in 2000 had that name. Of those 1154, 1086 described themselves as “white” and 33 as “black” or “African-American” (also 13 Hispanics and 11 self-declared multi-racial). The name ranked number 21,192 in popularity, behind Smith, Jones, Brown, and 21,188 other names.

This Web site serves the needs of Penfield family members everywhere. It contains information about Penfields, past and present. It provides permanent e-mail addresses in the domain for family members.

Penfield Cottage. One branch of the family consists of the descendants of Thornton Bancroft Penfield (1867–1958) and his wife Martha Mee Martin Penfield (1868–1954). Since 1912, people in this branch have stayed remarkably close because they share the Penfield Cottage in the Adirondacks (picture above). A related Web site (restricted access) serves this branch of the family.     Private area.     Calendar.

Another Penfield family Web site, operated by Darren Penfield, is focused on the descendants of Vincent Penfield (1895–1989). Thornton and Vincent’s father were third cousins. There is no evidence they ever met.


Benjamin Van Buren’s Bay, by Penfield family member Charles G. Gosselink (Boathouse Books, Silver Bay, NY; 2002), describes the history of this bay. The Web version, including all photographs, drawings, and maps, is available here by special arrangement with the author.


Letters from Jamaica, 1858–1866, correspondence of Thornton Bigelow Penfield (1834–1871) and Sarah Ingraham Penfield (1839–1864) while missionaries in Jamaica, edited by Charles G. Gosselink (Boathouse Books, Silver Bay, NY; 2005), available courtesy of the publisher.   Cover.   Contents (3.6 MB).


Only for Jesus: The Penfield Correspondence, 1866–1872, edited by Charlotte E. Mertz (Boat House Books, Silver Bay, NY; 2011).  Thornton Bigelow Penfield (1834–1871) and Charlotte Hubbard Penfield (1844–1932) were missionaries in Madurai, India.   Contents, for smaller screens (5.8 MB)   Contents, for larger screens (5.7 MB).


Mattie’s Story, the true story of Martha “Mattie” Allen [a.k.a. Martha Devins] (1883–1965) who lived with and was brought up by John Devins and Charlotte Penfield Devins between 1892 and 1901, told by Charles G. Gosselink; 2008.   Contents.


Dear Folks at Home, Letters from Iraq, 1922–1925, by George Gosselink, edited by family member Charles G. Gosselink with introduction by the editor (Boat House Books, Silver Bay, NY; 2008), available courtesy of the publisher.   Cover.   Letters (21.5 MB).

What is this domain? Internet domain names consist of a few words separated by periods, or dots. They usually end in “.com” or “.edu” or “.org” or another three (or more) letter top-level domain. Two-letter top-level domains are assigned to countries. The Federated States of Micronesia, besides having great weather, allows “.fm” domains to be used by families (and FM radio stations). Welcome to the Penfield family site,

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