Potter Family History  

Grave of James Neilson Potter and family

provided by David Blackburn (who is researching 20 American Families that lived in Pau in the late 19th and early 20th centuries)

The Potter Grave has the following inscriptions:

James Neilson Potter
Born in Schenectady, New York August 25, 1841

He actually died in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England, on July 22 1906
buried in Pau, France July 22, 1906 

Wife : Harriet Duer Jones
Born in New York August 30, 1843
Died in Aix les Bains, France May 3, 1913

Henrietta Neilson Potter
Born in New York July 19, 1872
Died in Grenoble, France February 3, 1928

Margaret Renshaw Potter
Born in Paris, France September 2, 1876
Died in Pau, France December 8, 1950

Katherine Alexander Duer Potter
Born in New York September 26, 1885
Died in Pau, France October 15, 1969

Neilson Served with distinction throughout the ware of the Rebellion.  He was promoted to first lieutenant and, in March, 1864, to Captain, his commission on this occasion being signed by President Lincoln himself.  For some time before this he had been serving on the staff of General Darius Nash Couch, who commanded the Second Army Crops, and on this promotion when he left this position, General Couch bestowed on him the following citation:

Chambergsburg, April 4th, 1864.
"In consequences of having been commissioned by the President of the United States a Commissary of Subisitence of U.S.  Volunteers, Captain J. N. Potter, aide de camp and acting Judge Advocate is hereby relieved from duty on the personal staff of the commanding general.  In relieving Captain Potter from duty on his staff the commanding General does it with extreme regret, having been ably assisted by him on several battlefields, on each of which he exhibited all the traits of a good soldier and a faithful and gallant staff officer."

At the end of 1864 Neilson was made Colonel of the 146th New York Infantry, which was the last commission he held.
After the war he was in business for some time and then retired, and for the rest of this life lived in Europe, principally at Paul.​

James Neilson Potter was born August 25, 1841 in Schenectady, New York.  He married Harriet Duer Jones December 2, 1868 at Grace Church.  They had four children Elizabeth Schermerhorn Potter, Henrietta Neilson Potter, Margaret Renshaw Potter and Katharine Alexander Duer Potter.

​​James Neilson Potter
( 1841 - 1906 )

James Neilson Potter

photo provided by Robin Eccles