Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dr's Sweet - 5 generations of bone doctors

and Family memoirs
under the editorial supervision of Cuyler Reynolds
Vol IV, New York, Lewis historical Publishing Company 1911
pages 1441-2

Genealogical Society of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: #50622


The Sweet family of Amsterdam, New York, descends from Dr. Samuel Sweet, immigrant ancestor, who came to America from Wales, where the family name is not uncommon.  A remarkable fact connected with the family is that each of the four generations in the United States has produced one or more members who have been noted for their skill in the treatment of diseases of the bones and joints.  Their methods have been handed down from father to son, and while differing from the regular prescribed treatments for such diseases laid down by regular schools of medicine, have been very successful.  Each generation of the four has had a Dr. Sweet who enjoyed more than a local reputation for skill in bone surgery, there is described as a “simple, natural treatment.”

(I) Dr. Samuel Sweet was born in Wales.  He settled in Rhode Island at a date previous to the revolutionary war, and was then a comparatively young man.  He was noted around Providence for his skill in bone treatment and must have had the method taught him by his father in Wales.  By his “natural treatment” he was able to perform some cures of dislocated bones and joints that were considered very remarkable.  Leaving providence, Rhode Island, he journeyed north and westward with his wife, whom he married in Rhode Island, using the method of transportation then available - the covered wagon drawn by horses or oxen.  He settled at Bullshead, Montgomery county, New York, on a farm where he resided until his death at an extreme old age.  He was often called upon by his pioneer neighbors to treat their disabled or disjoined limbs and gained a reputation that extended far beyond local limits.  He reared a family and it is a matter of regret that the name of his wife has not been preserved.

(II) Dr. Waterman, son of Dr. Samuel Sweet, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, April 8, 1776, died 1849.  He inherited the method of bone treatment followed by his father.  His fame extended over a large section of country, and he was much sought after by those afflicted with diseases he was reputed to successfully cure.  To his business of a healer he added that of farmer, and was an active worked in the Baptist church.  He studied theology and was licensed to preach, which he often did, in fact was known as widely as a preacher as a healer.  During his latter years his eyes failed and he became totally blind.  So skilled was he and of such delicate touch that his blindness did not interfere with his work of healing.  He was greatly respected all over Montgomery county.  At the time of his death, 1849, he was living in Amsterdam, New York.  Rev. Waterman Sweet married, in New York Elizabeth Hodges, born in New England, died in Amsterdam and buried in Florida, Montgomery county, New York.

(III) Dr. Waterman (2), son of Dr. Waterman (I) and Elizabeth (Hodges) Sweet, was born in Florida, Montgomery county, New York, August 12, 1809, died August 18, 1886.  He also became famous as a “bone healer,” having succeeded to his father’s practice.  He cultivated a small farm successfully and died possessed on considerable property.  He and his wife were members of the Baptist church.  He married, in Florida, June 1, 1815, died march 28, 1902.  Children:
1.  Elizabeth, born August 1, 1839, died July 25, 1859.
2.  Twins, died in infancy
3.  Twin, died in infancy
4.  Waterman (3), April 17, 1843.
5.  David M., see forward.
6.  Ira S., march 14, 1849; resides in Utica, New York and is a successful practitioner of the family method of bone treatment; married Martha Brown and has five children.
7.  Sherod L., November 6, 1850, died aged three years
8.  Leonard G., November 21, 1852, died January 21, 1890.

(IV) Dr. David M., son of Dr. Waterman (2) and Ruth (Mallory) Sweet, was born in Florida, Montgomery county, New York, June 4, 1845.  He quite naturally adopted the profession of his father, in which he has achieved remarkable success besides a local patronage, people from all over the United States coming to consult him concerning their bone ailments.  He has resided for many years in amsterdam, New York, where he is a highly respected citizen and professional man.  He has now (1909) largely withdrawn from active practice, surrendering it to his son, who is the fifth of his name to follow the particular methods employed.  The “Old Original Sweet’s Liniment” was made by the emigrant who settled in Rhode Island, and the same liniment is used to this day.  Dr. David M. Sweet married, December 23, 1863 Hannah M. Greene, born June 11, 1843, in Greenfield, Saratoga county, New York.  Children:
1.  Emma L., born November 11, 1864; married John S. Sterling, of Pattersonville, new York; they have a son, Lincoln S., born October 11, 1894.
2.  Harry L., November 30, 1869; was educated in the public schools and is rapidly succeeding to the business of his father, whom he will succeed as the fifth in direct line to follow the “natural method”; married Harriet M. Ransler, born in Schenectady, New York, June 13, 1874; has one child, Vinnie M.
3.  Vinnie E., August 21, 1873, died February 3, 1885.
4.  Infant, deceased,

Mrs. Hannah M. (Greene) Sweet is a daughter of Anson Greene, born in Saratoga county, New York, January 23, 1814, died June 1, 1891, and Lucinda (Lincoln) Greene, born in Saratoga County, March 7, 1818, died November 9, 1851.  Anson Greene was the son of James Greene, born in Rhode Island, died in Saratoga county, new York, aged seventy-seven.  James Greene married Pamelia Hendrick, who died in May 1868, aged seventy one.  Lucinda Lincoln, wife of Anson Greene, was daughter of Henry and Hannah (White) Lincoln, who were married in Rhode Island, settled in Saratoga county, New York, where they died, both having passed their eightieth year.


  1. for more info possibility

  2. Do you know of any information on a John G Sweet (born circa 1785), brother of Dr. Waterman Sweet? I'm truly desperate to find information, and I can't seem to find anything besides census date proving he did, indeed, exist. I am the great-great-great granddaughter of Nathaniel Spencer Sweet, supposedly the son of Erasmus Darwin Sweet and Almariah Huntley (census data has proven they existed, as well). Here is where John G Sweet is supposed to come into the picture, as he is shown to be the father of this Erasmus Darwin Sweet (born 1813). Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time!

    1. Sorry I do not. I'll keep my eyes open though as I research. Thanks for your comment

    2. Thank you very much, I greatly appreciate it.

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