The Pagans


Robert Pagan                                   Helen Pagan
1797-1870                                      1799-1875
On June 24, 1834 Robert (b. December 3, 1796), his wife Helen McDowal (b. 1799), and 4 of their 5 children emigrated to America from Scotland on the Ship Francis from the port of Greenock.  Robert's profession was listed as miner.  According to the ship manifest, their children's names and approximate birth years were as follows: Catherine (b. 1824), Sophia (b. 1826), James (b. 1828), and Agnes (b. 1833).  On the journey to America, Agnes died and was buried at sea.  Another daughter Jane (b. April 14, 1829) is not listed on this ship manifest.  Once in America the Pagans had 4 other children: Helen (b. 1838), Elizabeth (b. November 30, 1840), Jemima (b. 1846), and Robert (b. 1851). 
The 1840 U.S. Census for Queens County lists Pagan's occupation as a farmer. 
At this time, the community did not have a post office, so mail had to be picked up in Hempstead. Pagan petitioned the appropriate authorities for a post office. He was advised that the community needed a name. Pagan chose "Valley Stream" based on the topographical appearance of the area.  In 1843, the U.S. Post Office formally accepted the name of Valley Stream and the post office opened in on what is now known as Hendrickson Avenue (Pagan-Fletcher Restoration). Pagan is credited with naming the community. A general store Pagan passed away on March 25, 1870.
In 1847, the Pagan house was expanded to a two-story farmhouse.  Their daughter Catherine married William Fletcher the same year and the house was given to them as a wedding gift.  Catherine died on August 17, 1874 of dysentery. William died in 1883.  Both Catherine and William are buried in St. John's United Methodist Church in Elmont, New York.
Ellen Pagan was a devout Methodist as well as a homemaker and mother.  Prior to establishing Sinner's Hope Chapel, she had an itinerant minister conduct services at the Pagan homestead. She passed away on February 24, 1875. Robert, Ellen, and other members of the Pagan family have found their final resting place in the graveyard at St. John's United Methodist Church in Elmont.
The Pagan's seventh daughter Elizabeth (b. 1840) married William Boyd (b. 1835) in 1861.  The Boyd's had seven children.  Two of their daughters, Jessie (b. 1870) and Catherine (b. 1871) married two brothers: Louis Fairchild and Edmund Fairchild, respectively.  The Fairchilds were the founders of Fairchild Publications and Women's Wear Daily, an apparel trade newspaper.  Descendents of Fairchilds, the last occupants of the Pagan homestead on Hendrickson Avenue, lived there until approximately 1948.

1834 - Paggan Immigration

The Pagan Family Tree is a work-in-progress. If you would like to contribute to this tree in way of edits, corrections, deletions or editions, please email the society:

Pagan Family Chart (first generation only)