The genealogy of the Colby family is as follows: Its progenitor in America, as far as known, was Isaac Colby, who lived in old Amesbury, Mass. He was a farmer by occupation and the father of the following children: John, Eliphalet, Isaac, Nehemiah, Richard and Elizabeth.
Of these, Eliphalet Colby was the great-grandfather of our subject. He married Polly Rodgers, who is a direct descendant of Rev. John Rodgers, a Protestant minister, who was burned at the stake February 14, 1554, at Smithfield, England, at the instigation of Queen Mary, the Catholic Regent. Rev. John Rodgers assisted Tyndale in the translation of the Bible into the English language. His great-grandson came to Massachusetts in 1636. His son, John Rodgers, was President of Harvard College from 1682 to 1684. Eliphalet and Polly (Rodgers) Colby were the parents of four children, viz: Eliphalet, Nicholas, Levi and Polly Colby.
Of the above, Nicholas Colby was born in 1755 and died in 1836. He married Lois Martin, who was the mother of the following children, viz: Molly, Nicholas, Ruth, Jerusha, Oliver, Joshua, Levi and Joel.
Of these Levi Colby was born January 30, 1800, in Henniker, N. H. His wife, Lydia B. Colby, was born July 13, 1894, in New Hampshire. Her great-grandparents, Joseph Bartlett, was captured by the Indians during colonial times and taken to Canada, but afterward rescued. She is also a relative of Ashmead Bartlet, who married the Countess Burdett Coutts, the wealthy philanthropist.
Levi Colby and wife have both passed the four-score years, and, although the evening shadows of life are gathering about them, are still in the possession of their mental faculties.
They make their home with their only son, F. Colby. The latter was educated in his native town. He followed various occupations, principally farming. He is a good mechanic, and has erected all the buildings on his farm, among others a fine residence. He came to Bureau County in 1868, and here owns 200 acres in Indiantown Township.
He was born October 22, 1826, in Henniker, N. H. and was married in his native State, September 4, 1848, to Julia A. Morgan, born in the above place March 10, 1827. She is of English descent, and is the mother of Morris A. and Elmer A. Colby, the latter deceased, aged ten years and ten months.
Morris A. Colby was born February 7, 1850. He is farming with his father, is an I. O. O. F. He is married to Sarah Anthony, who was born September 3, 1849, in Morristown, N. J. They have three children, viz: Anna F., Mary E. and Norah E. Colby.
Mr. F. Colby and his whole family are religiously connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885