Saturday, March 25, 2017

Musings on the Buckalews

I'm in the habit of working on my genealogy on Saturday mornings while listening to my favorite radio programs Car Talk and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. A while ago I determined that my ancestress Sarah Livingston was probably descended from Rev. John Livingston and a relative of the New York Patroon Robert Livingston that gave her husband George Winchell's family such grief in western Massachusetts. From the reading I've done, it seems like all the early Livingstons were descendants of Rev. Livingston.  Until I have the time and patience to visit the history room of the Troy Public Library to see if I can find the records that show just how Sarah is descended from him, I've been slowly adding ancestors to Rev. Livingston's tree from information on-line. 

I found some very good information on Electric Scotland and thought I'd look to see what the site had on the Scotts.  The Buckalews are descendants of Clan Scott, and my great-grandmother Margaret Gatton's ancestors.  The current chief, the Duke of Buccleuch, paid for genealogical research that proved the Buckalews were descendants of the Scotts. I just wish he'd publish the research. 

Here's another case where I need to build the path back to Scotland. One family story is that the ancestor was a soldier in the Netherlands. I believe I just found the origin of the story on Electric ScotlandWalter, second Lord Scott of Buccleuch, was created Earl of Buccleuch in 1619. 
"and entered the service of the States-General, as he did, at the head of a detachment of Scotsmen, though, strange to say, only half-a-dozen of them belonged to his own clan and bore his name. He was present at the sieges of Bergen-op-Zoom and Maestricht. As Sir Walter Scott says of him, ‘A braver ne’er to battle rode.’ He was recalled from the Netherlands, in 1631, by Charles I., who desired his presence in London, as his Majesty had occasion for his services, but he subsequently returned to his command in the Netherlands, and was in active service there six weeks before his death."
 Earl Walter enjoyed having people around him and entertaining. Novelist Sir Walter Scott wrote this verse about our social kinsman:

‘Nine-and-twenty knights of fame,
Hung their shields in Branksome Hall;
Nine-and-twenty squires of name,
Brought them their steeds to bower from stall;
Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall
Waited, duteous, on them all:
They were all knights of metal true,
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch.
‘Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
With hiked sword, and spur on heel:
They quitted not their harness bright,
Neither by day, nor yet by night:
They lay down to rest
With corslet laced,
Pillow’d on buckler cold and hard;
They carved at the meal
With gloves of steel,
And they drank the red wine through the helmet barr’d.
‘Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men,
Waited the beck of the warders ten;
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight.
Stood saddled in stable day and night,
Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow,
And with Jedwood-axe at saddlebow;
A hundred more fed free in stall:-
Such was the custom of Branksome Hall.’


Branxholme Castle
Major reasons Scottish people came to the British colonies of North America were because they were banished as border rievers (which the Scotts were at one time), they were Protestant Covenanters who opposed Catholic King James II or they were dispossessed by the Highland clearances. During the life of Earl Walter's successor, Francis, Second Earl of Buccleuch, the family's story changed from that of riever to Covenanter.  The page states that Francis also had a brother and six illegitimate half-siblings, but their histories aren't given. I'm not certain which family line Frederick Buckalew came from.

Did you know that castles were originally built by the Norman conquerors of Britain to maintain control of their new subjects?  They were square, stone structures of French origin. The Normans built at least 420 castles after conquering England. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Maple Sugaring

I felt compelled to change the blog background to what was the normal seasonal activity in my area, maple sugaring.  It was a food-gathering activity that Europeans learned from the resident Native Americans.  Before the Europeans came, this was the primary source for a sweetener for the Native people.  It was an activity that anyone could do.  It has become a big business in New York and New England, an important one in rocky areas. 

This past winter is about the mildest I remember. I've lived through 57.  There was only a week or two of bitter cold before the winter solstice.  After that the temperature didn't go below zero Fahrenheit.  The temperatures bounced back and forth from the twenties and the thirties.  We didn't have a snowstorm until February.  Maple trees need the normal cold winter night to produce the amount of sap we're used to.  I love the lovely, shady maple trees and the maple syrup we produce from their sap. I'm very worried for them. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pardee Connection Made

I have connected with a descendant of Rev. Ira N. Pardee and Mary Lucinda Winchell.  Unfortunately she doesn't have much knowledge of the pioneer generation to the Mid-West.  She was able to tell me that their daughter Eva had red hair.

Eva W. Pardee married Harold Chester Peters 11 October 1893 in Cortland, NY.  Their sons were Harold Pardee Peters and Chester Lewis Peters, both born in Sioux City, IA.  Harold passed away in that city 2 July 1950.  

Eva lived to be 103 years old, passing away 18 Jan 1974. Is it my imagination or does she look to be a high-spirited woman?  

Her great-great-great-granddaughter was tickled to finally have information on her family.

The Motivation Behind My Research

I recently found this quote when I was investigating a potential purchase of a book:
"[James Joseph] Buss persuasively argues that the removal of the .American Indians from the landscape of the lower Great Lakes region was intertwined with and reinforced by a much longer process of writing those same Indians out of the historical narrative of America western expansion and the growth of the United States."  (The American Historical Review, Vol. 118, Issue 1, p. 182.
I realized that I and many others have been trying to correct this and trying to put Native Americans back into the historical perspective.  My efforts have been to show that Native people have always been part of American society, albeit in different ways in different regions.  My Mohican ancestors did not move west like their relatives.  They stayed in the homeland for a long time.  They became farmers, carpenters, mill workers, railway men, businessmen, Methodist ministers, musicians, postmasters, medical practitioners and one banker. There are many military veterans.  Whose lives didn't they affect?

Life was more fun when I had more time to write.  Real life interferes too much.  I am hoping to get back to the practice.  I may reach that point when I finally go to the Troy Public library to research James Livingston in Rensselaer County.

I've been researching part of an unrelated family for a cousin from a different branch.  This is not information I feel I can share here.  It was fun to do, though, and I get a thrill anyway from the interesting discoveries.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Livingston Clue Doesn't Work

I stopped at Clermont State Historic Site today and looked through the Livingston genealogy in the visitor center.  My Livingston clue did not fit into the published genealogy.

Here is a graphic representation of the relationships I found.  I think Catherine Livingston was related to Sarah Livingston.  Here are my reasons why.
  • Catherine was born five years after Sarah, in Castleton that is not terribly distant from Ancram where my gggreat-grandmother Sarah Livingston was supposedly born, or Hillsdale where Sarah's mother Rachel was born.
  • Catherine and Sarah both had a mother named Rachel.  Her father was listed as James, a common Livingston given name. Sarah's father was listed as Daniel, and I'm not sure that was correct.
  • Catherine married Sarah's son-in-law's brother and ended up living in the same area, What brought Catherine to the area in the first place?  To visit Sarah?  
I have to find out more about James Livingston of the Castleton area.  I also want to see if I can find anything about Rachel Boyes' marriage to Lawrence Vosburgh.  He was her third husband. Possible branches Sarah may have come from is James Livingston in the same area as the patroon; Washington County, New York; or Wallingford, Connecticut.  From what I read on-line, those branches all go back to the same Livingston family in Scotland.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Correct Location of Indian Field

After reading both archaeological surveys of Indian Field, I knew I had to determine for myself where Indian Field was located.  With any report, certain questions are being asked and data analyzed, determining the author's viewpoint.  

I realized the information laid in the maps.  Here is the original Simcoe map, contemporary to the battle:

Here is the Simcoe map superimposed on a modern map of the area:

Here is my rough estimate of where Indian Field truly lies in the modern landscape:

I present this in hopes that other people will confirm what I see.  I'm at a loss for knowledge of the area since I've never even visited it.  I don't know what that little brown Indian Field section is at the bottom.  I don't know if the officially designated Indian Field, the location of the DAR monument or a ball park with the name. It is clear, however, that much of Indian Field has already been destroyed by Euroamerican construction.  It is a clear sign that Indian Field needs guardians.   More on that in my next post.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Origin of Van Gilder Surname

One thing I’m usually asked when I’m contacted by a Van Gilder descendant is how did John Van Gilder get his surname.  Unfortunately it hasn’t been documented, but I have a theory.

Robert S. Grumet wrote in his book The Munsee Indians, A History
“…Indians in particular tended to identify themselves as people from a particular place or a certain river. This practice is reflected in the way they used ‘Delaware,’ a loan word adopted from the English. ‘Delaware’ comes from the name of Thomas West, Baron de la Warr, second governor of the Virginia colony.  Early Virginian explorers gave his name to the river that Unami-speaking Delawares called Lenapewihittuck and that Munsees called Kithanne, ‘Large River.’ Colonists and Indians both began calling the river Delaware by the early 1700s. At about the same time, most Unami- and some Munsee-speaking people living along the river’s shores began using the word when referring to themselves. Most of their descendants continue to identify themselves as Delawares….”
Shirley W. Dunn wrote in The Mohicans and Their Land “Schermerhorn , or Manueenta, also a significant Mohican sachem and leader, was one of a group of Catskill Mohicans who used Dutch names.” An abstract in the appendix lists the people she must have been referring to in a Greene County deed dated 8 July 1678 “Tamongwes alias Volkert, Papawachketik alias Evert, Mamaetcheek alias Joris, Kachketowas alias Cobus, and Unekeek called Jan de Backer….Manueenta alias Schermerhorn….”  Another member of the band was Catharickseet, alias Cornelius.

John’s father was Wappinger, who were Munsee, and his mother was Mohican.   Below is an  excerpt of the report that New York Attorney General John Tabor Kempe made to New York Governor Mockton dated 2 April 1762.
 ...Awansous a Wappingoe Indian Grandfather to the Complainant (Daniel Nimham, the last Wappinger chief) on the mother’s side, was possessed of a certain Tract of Land lying on the East side of Hudson’s River, beginning at the mouth of the Fish kills called in the Indian language Nataowawmungh thence running down Hudsons River southerly to Anthony’s Nose called in the same language Wacoghquanuk, and Eastward into the woods as far as the Oblong croping the Peeks kill.... Awansous died leaving behind him two Sons Tawanaut otherwise called John Van Gilder and Sancoolakheekhing, to whom the Body of the Nation solemnly confirmed their Fathers Land according to the Custom of their Nation at a publick Toast & sacrifice [sealing their Grant]. Sancoolakheekhing Died without any Children and on his Death the Nation confirmed the whole of the Lands to John Van Gilder who was Uncle to the Complainant, being his Mothers Brother & he [John Van Gilder] in the year of the Defeat at Ticonderoga (July 1758) hath since given the whole of these Lands to the complainant....
John was also a member of the Catskill band that was on the move since selling their land, and probably was born in northwestern Connecticut. He was living in western Massachusetts by 1707. He identified with the ancestral location so strongly that a non-related, English man was able to provide the name of the band to the New York attorney general in October 1768, and was not contradicted by John’s son Joseph. 

John was originally recorded in a Dutch church record in Kingston as Jan Van Gelder in June 1719.  There’s only one record of a Van Gelder living above New York City before the American Revolution, Elizabeth Van Gelder, an elderly woman.  She probably was a widow living in the home of an adult daughter. Therefore we know this is the Mohican-Wappinger man otherwise known as "Tawanant" or "Toanunck." 

Other men of the Catskill band had starting using Dutch names. A perceptive man, John may have realized that it was better to have both a first name and a last name, especially since one of the Mohicans was already using Jan.   The Munsees identified with a particular place.  We know John identified with the Catskill area.  Shirley told me that Kaaterskill/Catskill was mostly likely named after a Mohican man named Kaankat who was nicknamed “Cat.”  She noted “he signed for the land sold to Rensselaerwyck at Catskill.”  “Kill” is definitely Dutch. Either the place names weren’t being used yet in 1719 or John thought using either version wasn’t appropriate.  The Catskill band sold its land to people from Gelderland which may have been the Duchy of Guelders at the time in the Netherlands.  I believe John took the surname Van Gelder to memoralize his ancestral land where the people from that foreign land lived after his band sold its land to them.