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.  He was 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.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Heavy Historical Research Using Deeds

It occurred to me this year that if we use deed information we can more closely estimate where my Mohican-Wappinger ancestor John Van Gilder lived.  It all has to do with the split rock in a legal deposition in 1768.  I haven't been happy with the estimate I made previously. If we can figure out where the rock was, we’ll know approximately where John Van Gilder lived.  I just realized rereading the deposition that John lived there before he was married, since about 1707. His father Awansous and his mother must have moved there with him and his siblings.

I was chasing those deeds down, but I don't know if I'm done.  It looks like different areas of the Town of Egremont were divided and parceled out to the proprietors at different times. Then at least some people bought and sold land to consolidate what they were given. Unfortunately, after the proprietors divided the land up, they didn’t put survey information in deeds.  They started doing it again sometime in the 1800s.  I can't remember if the oldest deeds mentioned the bounding owners. I hope they do, especially if the deeds I currently have don't bring the area into focus. I might be in for a long spell of studying deeds in Great Barrington, but not until my arm is better.

I suffered for my historical research this past week.  I went to the Registry of Deeds twice in Pittsfield and once in Great Barrington.  Lifting those heavy books hurt my arm and my shoulder healing from a sprain.  The old deed books are very heavy, I'd say at least fifteen pounds, much more than one of my cats.  This was one time I was not happy that researching deeds in Berkshire County is self-serve.  I always found the staff friendly and helpful, though.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

John Van Gilder Home Site

A while ago I realized that I might be able to use deeds to more closely locate where my Mohican-Wappinger ancestor John Van Gilder lived.  There's a court document from 1762 with testimony from his son Joseph, his son-in-law's brother Samuel Winchell Jr and others about whether a large split rock with a sapling in it was the same as a pile of rocks called Wawanaquasick that marked a boundary between the Mohicans and the Wappingers.  There's a lot of discussion about what people lived near the rock and how far.  Most tantalizing is this statement about John Van Gilder's home site: "his Fathers Land was near the flat Rock, the Rock fifty or sixty Rods to the East of his Fathers Land."  

I just grasped the meaning of another phrase:  "His father lived there better than fifty Years as his Mother and father told Schnapk."  John died in 1758.  That means he was living in the Egremont area about 1708, when he was about ten, eleven years before he married his wife.  I hadn't realized that before.