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.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Preserve Indian Field

The Bronx Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) are looking for female descendants of the Van Gilders from Berkshire County, Massachusetts to join its chapter. 

In 1778 an  Indian corp of light infantry was formed at the request of General George Washington.  That company had been suggested to General Horatio Gates by Abraham Nimham.  Abraham was the son of Daniel Nimham, the last Wappinger chief, and first cousin to the children of John Van Gilder and Mary Karner. 

This company was ambushed by a company of British and Hessian soldiers on 31 Aug 1778.  The Mohicans at Stockbridge lost a third of their men that day.  Daniel Nimham, the nephew of John Van Gilder, was killed when he shot a British officer.  There is a cairn memorializing the regiment in Van Cortlandt Park, the site of the ambush.

 A large portion of the battlefield, called Indian Field, has been preserved since then and currently is part of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Now New York City wants to build a $500,000 dog park there.  I think this is disrespectful to the site.  So far it seems to be the only Revolutionary War memorial to the Native American men of New England. I believe the Bronx Chapter of the DAR will press for the creation of a state or national historic park at the site instead.  I know that’s what I’d like to see. I have already determined that in addition to the Mohicans and Wappingers, Tunix, Schaghticoke, Paguset, Mohegan, Pequot, Nipmuc and Wampanoag men served there that day.  The DAR would like descendants of the men of the Indian Corp and the Van Gilders and Winchells to join the DAR to help preserve Indian Field.

Below is a list I’ve compiled of Van Gilder descendants and their Mohican Winchell cousins who served in the American Revolution:

Continental Army:
Andrew Van Gilder
Benjamin Van Gilder
Daniel Van Gilder
David Van Gilder
Ebenezer Van Gilder
Isaac Van Gilder
Jacob Van Gilder
James Van Gilder
John Van Gilder
Joseph Van Gilder
Matthew Van Gilder Jr.
Nathaniel Van Gilder
Nicholas Van Gilder
Reuben Van Gilder
Stephen Van Gilder
David Winchell
Joel Winchell

Green Mountain Boys:
Henry Van Gilder
John Van Gilder Jr.
Jonathan Van Gilder

Service Details:
Daniel Van Gilder
Joseph Van Gilder
(Battle of Saratoga)
Matthew Van Gilder Sr
(Battles of Saratoga, Burgoyne’s Surrender)
Eliakim Winchell Sr.
(Battles of Saratoga, Burgoyne’s Surrender)
Hezekiah Winchell Jr.
(Battles of Saratoga, Burgoyne’s Surrender, Mount Independence)

Albany County Militia:
Andrew Van Gilder
Henry Van Gilder
Jacob Van Gilder
John Van Gilder Jr.

In the table below I list the men belonging to the Indian Corp as found on the Patriot's Blood web site and their tribes.

Massachusetts Men

Joseph Aaron

Hendrick Aupaumut (aka Lt. Solomon Hendrick)

Amos Babcock
from 5th mass.Mashpee
Joseph Cheenequan
John Cheenquin
Isaac Esop (Aesop)
David Hatch
from Mashpee
Isaac Johns

from Upton
Benjamin Jones

from Sandwich
James Keeter
Jacob Keeter
Abraham Konkpott

Job Long

from Hanover
Ephraim Louden

from Milton
Joseph Mamanash

Ebenezer Maunauset
Benjamin Metacaman
Andres Mohhewch
Moses Mole

Eli Moses

from Sandwich
Pedro Murcock

from Pembroke or Plymouth
David Naunauneck

Abraham Nimham

Daniel Nimham

John Nimham

Jacob Pautauwaupeet
John Pearce

from Mashpee
Joseph Pegan, Jr.

from Bridgewater
John Peters

from Southwick
William Placy

Hosea Pocknet
from Mashpee
James Quamhos

James Rimmons

from Mashpee
Aaron Sausonkhok

Jeffrey Sechemus

from Roxbury
George Shawn

from Mashpee
John Shepaubweenk

David Shupaumwaunhun

Samuel Squintoop

Robert Sukkaumick

Abel Supposon

12th Mass.
Isaac Swift

Job Tampum

from Mashpee
Timothy Taunkauwat

Job Tobias

from Barnstable
Cornelius Touwohauunnuk

Jacob Tusnuk

Solomon Wamsquam

from Needham
Benjamin Waunehnauweet

Samuel Wampee

Sandwich or Falmouth
Solomon Wamsquam

from Needham
Andrew Waumankey

Isaac Waupeek

Hendrick Wautaunkauwot

Daniel Wauwaumpequunnaunt

Francis Websquish
from Sandwich
Isaac Wnaumpey
from Watertown
Jacob Yaunpohkhok

Timothy Yokun

Antony [ ]

Connecticut Men

John Chops
from Fairfield,
Phillip Dorus

Middlesex, ct
Samuel Haney

from Hartford
Joseph Hannabal

from Groton
Simon Hobart

New London
Tom Indian

John Jeffords
East Haddam/Canterbury/Stonington
Joseph Johnson

Peter Keyhole

from Woodbury, African American
John Meason

from Killingly or Enfield
Daniel Mossucks
Eleazor Pegan
from Woodstock
William Placey

from Windham
Josiah Poheague

from Stonington
Jabez Pottage

Windham, Pension account
Joseph Read

Fairfield, CT
Joshua Robins

from Windham
James Simon

Amos Temple

from Woodbury
Abimeleck Uncas
son of Ben Unca
Peter Warwehew

from Fairfield,
Thomas Worroups

Abel Washauks

John Wompee

Rhode Island Men

Toby Coys

from Charlestown
Caesar Finch

from Warwick or Coventry
Widsor Fry

Mustee, from E. Greenwich

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Too Much Time Team?

Is there such a thing as too much Time Team?  My right shoulder is almost normal.  My sprained right ankle is almost normal.  I still want to watch Time Team, though.  I've watched all twenty seasons and all the specials.  I've started watching it from the first program again.

I'm not an archaeologist and I haven't even participated in a dig. ( The closest I've got was helping to clean out the old stone barn at the New Lebanon Shaker site.)  Once I found archaeology uninteresting.  I tended to fall asleep during the archaeological presentations during the Mohican Seminars. Before the last one I attended, something clicked inside me, though, and I realized the importance of the artifacts and the information obtained.  It's physical confirmation of history and the people who came before us.  Sometimes when that history is missing, such as the unknown Mohican history that went up in smoke in 1911, it's all that more important.

Time Team is a unique show.  The photography is well done.  I've seen parts of the British Isles I thought I never would.  I've managed to absorb knowledge without knowing it.  Last Christmas time while helping to decorate our team's area, I gave my team leader an impromptu lecture on bricks used in Britain.

The cast made the program unique as well.  The impression given to the audience is of people who were very knowledgeable and enjoyed their work.  They also liked and respected each another enough to have friendly arguments and challenges.  It was very informative and sometimes very amusing when team members became involved with projects involving ancient technology, or role-playing.  I seem to recall Phil Harding involved with a lot of it.  He comes across as a good sport.  

If I were more talented, I'd put together a video of my favorite moments.  I do get a kick out of it when a tent starts moving across the field, with many legs underneath it like an extremely obese, top heavy centipede. I enjoy Phil Harding's enthusiasm greatly.  It's such a delight to see someone who enjoys his work so much and who is so generous in sharing his knowledge.  I still don't understand flint-knapping, though, and I'm in awe of anyone that can work rock like that.

It's been very interesting to learn that at one point the ancient Britons and the ancient Native Americans were much alike.  They both started as hunter-gatherers. They both started to farm and settle down in small communities.  They both made stone tools and projectiles.  They both made round dwellings to live in.   I think I even saw ancient British shoes that looked like moccasins.  

I have a feeling that there could be more commonalities, but because of the lack of attention paid to Native American sites and their disruption and disappearance we might never know.  Will we ever know if they had enclosure ditches like the Britons?  Did they erect anything similar to the stone henges? I wonder why Britain evolved like it did and why were the Native Americans so different?  Was it because the Roman Empire invaded Britain and conquered it, bringing in new ideas and ways of doing things?  Was it because of even more new information were brought back to Britain from the Crusades?

Mick Aston, I hope where you are now you realize that Time Team has not failed.  Over two hundred sites were listed after Time Team worked on them.  Thanks to the web, Acorn TV and Youtube, new people around the world are discovering Time Team, enjoying it and learning to appreciate archaeology and history, and a more considered and well-rounded view of life.  

Sometimes my brain seems to go on thinking while I'm sleeping.  I had an interesting dream last night.  I dreamed that Time Team came over to America to investigate Mohican sites in Washington County, New York.  Phil Harding wanted to go to a pow wow with me after I mentioned them.  I think that would have been a lot of fun, and it's too bad it was only a dream.  Maybe I ought to watch a movie or two, though.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gilder Meadow

This photo is of Gilder Meadow, the land given to John Van Gilder by the Mohican Nation.  The mountain to the left is Jug End.  Since I started my research over twenty years ago, I've always seen the area referred to as "Guilder Hollow."  While researching deeds recently, I discovered that might be a fairly recent name.  An 1873 deed of land from the estate of George L. Tullar to George F. Bradford refers to the area as "the 'Gilder Meadow' so called."  The deed of 1837 from John Tullar to George L. Tullar refers to it the same way.  I want to research the area deeds more thoroughly in part to track this usage. 

My apologies for the line in the photo.  I was given what was once a very good camera.  Shortly after I received it, the camera developed this line.  I understand I can fix this and will put this on my list of things to do.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Simeon Van Gilder

While using Fold3 during its recent free promotional period, I found another Van Gilder, Simeon.  He was listed on an account of forage received for the use of the First Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army. It was dated November 1780.  I think it was for the state of New Jersey since soldiers were assigned towns in the counties of Morris, Essex, including the town of Newark.  Simeon Van Gilder was assigned the town of Totoway in Essex County.  He  brought back 2 tens(?) and 5 hundreds of hay, 18  bushels of oats, 14 bushels of corn, and 15 horses.  

 It's the only trace of Simeon I've been able to find so far. He did not appear at all on Rootsweb World Connect, FamilySearch or Mocavo.   According to the site

[The First Massachusetts Regiment] was first authorized on 23 April 1775 in the Massachusetts State Troops as Paterson's Regiment under Colonel John Paterson and was organized at Cambridge, Massachusetts. It consisted of eleven companies of volunteers from Berkshire, Hampshire, Suffolk, Middlesex, Worcester, and York counties in Massachusetts and the county of Litchfield in the colony of Connecticut. The regiment was adopted into the main Continental Army on 14 June 1775 and was assigned to William Heath's brigade on 22 July 1775. On 1 January 1776 the regiment (less two companies) was consolidated with Sayer's and Sullivan's companies of Scammon's Regiment; re-organized to eight companies and redesignated as the 15th Continental Regiment of Heath's Brigade.

On 1 August 1779 the regiment was assigned to the Highland Department, which would fit with this assignment.  The department was based at West Point, New York.  

Because Paterson recruited men from Berkshire County, it is possible that Simeon Van Gilder was a descendant of John Van Gilder.  I don't know if it could ever be proved one way or another.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Thatcher Brick Wall

It annoys me that I haven't been able to find any new information on my great-grandfather Alexander M. Thatcher (born 18 July 1818 and died 13 Jan 1880).  It doesn't help that he was working class, an employee in a paper company, who died from tuberculosis.  I decided to take advantage of resources listed at  I couldn't access the ones from Ancestry, but I could get to the ones by Michael John Neill.  I found the Problem Solving one helpful and I decided to look at the information again. 

In my family you can't always arrive at the truth following a straight line.  Some document said that Alexander was from Chester.  Most documents said he was from Pennsylvania.  What if Chester was right but the state was wrong?  I decided to take a look at that.  It turns out that would give me several more places to look:

  • Chester, Delaware, PA
  • Chester, Hampden, MA 
  • Chester, Middlesex,CT
  • Chester, Morris, NJ
  • Chester, Orange, NY
  • Chester, Rockingham, NH
  • Chester, Windsor, VT
I will try the New England ones first.  Alexander once lived in Hampshire County, next to Hampden Co. Middlesex County, CT, and Windsor County, VT, are along the Connecticut River, which could have brought him to Hampshire County.  Chester, NH, is a little farther away, but makes more sense than Chester in New York or New Jersey. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Searching for Mid-Western Landrum Cousins

I would like to get in touch with the family of my great-aunt Pearl G. Baker and her husband John L. Landrum.  Pearl was the only child of my great-grandparents Andrew Baker and Margaret Gatton to stay behind in Ohio when they moved to Kalamazoo in 1909.  Pearl was their oldest surviving daughter and she had married John Lewis Landrum 5 Dec 1896 in Paulding Co.  By this time John and Pearl had four children, one dying without a first name and probably stillborn.  Their fifth child was born in 1909.  The 1900 federal census shows them living six households away from Pearl’s parents. The family must have been close and it must have been very difficult for the grandparents and grandchildren to part. 
Grandmother Gertrude Baker Winchell
Pearl’s sister Gertrude Baker (my grandmother) was the only sibling to move east, to eastern New York State.  My father and his three siblings were all born in Kalamazoo.  The family moved east in 1930 and it must have been another emotional time for the grandparents.  
Andy and Maggie's grandsons Andy and Roy in Michigan
My family lost contact with the Michigan cousins after my uncle Andy stopped driving out to the state to visit relatives.  However, in 2006 the wife of my great-aunt Osie Baker Dunifin’s grandson found me because of the Internet and I drove out there that summer to visit and attend a family reunion.

Osie's grandson Wayne Dunifin and wife Karon

I’m in contact with the granddaughter and great-grandson of my great-grandfather’s brother Albin Baker who moved to the state of Washington.  I’ve corresponded with a descendant of their brother Stephen.  I’m in touch with granddaughters of their brother Riley. Great-Aunt Pearl’s family is the only one completely unaccounted for.  I’ve collected some names and dates, but I’d really like to know more about Pearl and her family, my cousins.  Pearl herself wouldn’t even be able to tell me much because she died at the age of 39 and her youngest child was one year old. 

Here is information I have on Pearl Baker, her husband John Lewis Landrum and their family. Many of the family were buried in Dealey Cemetery in Payne, Paulding Co.

John Lewis Landrum (back left) and his brothers
I. John Lewis Landrum was born on 24 September 1871 in Paulding Co., Ohio, the son of Robert Leon Landrum and Nancy Huff.   John Lewis Landrum and Pearl Baker were married on 5 December 1896 in , Paulding Co.   On By April 1910 the family was living in Benton Township, Paulding Co. where John made his living as a farmer. That is where Pearl died on 14 February 1920, age 39. 

By 1926 John married his second wife Rose Vonier. They had daughter Mary in December 1927.  On 4 April 1930 John was a farmer in Monroe Township, Adams Co., IN.  However, their son John Landrum died not even a year old in Three Rivers, St. Joseph Co., MI, on 10 April 1932.

Rose passed away before 1940 when John was enumerated living in Monroe Township and had his daughter Donna and her family living with him.  John died from a stroke on 4 December 1945 at the age of 74 in Monroe, Adams Co., IN.

John Lewis Landrum and Pearl Baker had the following children:

Donna and Eva Landrum

a.      John William Landrum was born on 24 October 1897 in Union Township, Van Wert Co., OH. He died in 1965 at the age of 68 in Benton Township, Paulding Co.  John William Landrum and Oletha Merl Brown were married on 1 February 1919 in Paulding Co. Oletha Merl Brown, daughter of Clark Brown and Mary Riggs, was born on 2 August 1897 in Homer, Champaign Co., IL. She died in 1940 at the age of 43 in Benton Township.

John William Landrum and Oletha Merl Brown had the following children:

                                                     i.     Louis Landrum was born on 6 November 1903 in Payne, Paulding Co. Louis Landrum and Naomi Sapp were married on 6 February 1943. Naomi Sapp, daughter of Joe Sapp and Lillie Brunner, was born on 17 September 1924 in Adams Co., IN.

                                                  ii.     Ralph W. Landrum was born on 25 August 1919 in Paulding Co., OH.  Ralph W. Landrum and Mary K. Kiser were married on 19 March 1946 in Adams Co., IN. Mary K. Kiser, daughter of Kenneth Kiser and Clara Uhrick, was born on 28 April 1928 in Adams Co.

                                                 iii.     Helen Agnes Landrum was born on 26 July 1929 in Grover Hill, Paulding Co. Helen Agnes Landrum and Carl Richard Breman were married on 14 October 1950 in Indiana. Carl Richard Breman, son of Richard Paul Breman and Florence Opal Archbold, was born on 14 December 925 in Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN.

b.       Male Landrum was born in 1898. He died in 1898 at the age of 0.

c.      Gladys M. Landrum was born on 5 February 1901 in Benton Township, Paulding Co. She died on 21 March 1991 at the age of 90 in Benton Township. Gladys M. Landrum and Homer F. Price were married on 4 May 1920 in Paulding Co. Between 1930 and 1940 the couple lived in Benton Township.  In December 1945 Gladys and Homer lived in the village of Payne, Paulding Co. Homer F. Price, son of William David Price and Estella Craig, was born in September 1895 in Benton Township. He died on 30 June 1987 at the age of 91 in Benton Township, Paulding Co.

d.     Gladys M. Landrum and Homer F. Price had the following children:

1.      Dorothy M. Price was born circa 1921.

2.     Teresa Price was born circa 1922.

3.      June Price was born circa 1923.

4.     William Dean Price was born on 13 August 1925 in Payne, Paulding Co. He died on 9 December 1977 at the age of 52 in Paulding Co. William Dean Price and Betty Lou Robinson were married on 13 April 1946 in Auburn, Dekalb Co., IN.  Betty Lou Robinson, daughter of James B. Robinson and Cora A. Mercer, was born on 13 May 1927 in Grabill, Allen Co., IN, USA.  She died in 1986 at the age of 59.

William Dean Price and Betty Lou Robinson had the following child:

a.      Brenda J Price was born on 25 July 1950. She died on 9 August 1999 at the age of 49 in Kendallville, Noble Co., IN. She was married to a man with the last name of Jackson

e.      Maggie Ellen Landrum was born on 28 August 1905 in Paulding Co. She died on 29 August 1991 at the age of 86 in Adams Co., IN. Maggie Ellen Landrum and Roy White were married on 20 December 1922 in Payne, Paulding Co. The couple lived in Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN in 1930 and moved to Decator, Adams Co., IN in time to appear in the 1930 federal census. They lived there through December 1945. Roy White, son of Lewis White and Belle Driver, was born on 21 April 1903 in Payne, Paulding Co.  

Maggie Ellen Landrum and Roy White had the following children:

                                                    i.     Isabel E. White was born circa 1924 in OH. She died in 1994 at the age of 70.

                                                  ii.     Lois Ann White was born circa 1934 in IN.

f.        Robert Andrew Landrum was born in June 1909 in Benton Township, Paulding Co. He died at age 12 years 13 days on 25 June 1921 in Paulding Co.

g.       Lillian Landrum was born in 1915. She died in 1915 at the age of 0.

h.     Donna B. Landrum was born on 11 August 1916 in Benton Township, Paulding Co. She died in 2004 at the age of 88 in IN. Donna B. Landrum and Robert Louis Bailey were married on 20 March 1937 in  Adams Co., IN. They appeared in the census in 1940 in Monroe Township, Adams Co., IN. Robert Louis Bailey, son of Peter Bailey and Mamie Urick, was born on 4 December 1912 in Monroe, Adams Co., IN.  He died in 1980 at the age of 68 in Adams Co.

Donna B. Landrum and Robert Louis Bailey had the following children:

                                                    i.     Norma Jean Bailey was born circa 1938. She married Larry Wilson and they lived in Celina, Mercer Co., OH, in 2011.

                                                  ii.     David L. Bailey was born on 1 May 1945 in Decatur, Adams Co., IN He died on 20 September 2011 at the age of 66 in Decatur, Adams Co., IN. David L. Bailey and Carol A. Rumschlag were married on 11 August 1988.

David L. Bailey and Carol A. Rumschlag had the following child:

1.      Danielle R. Bailey lived in Decatur, Adams Co., IN, in 2011.

                                                 iii.     Nancy Bailey who married a man with the last name of Sidle. She lived in Decatur, Adams Co., IN, in 2011.

i.      Eva R. Landrum was born in February 1919 in Benton Township, Paulding Co.  Her husband was  W. L. Durham.

I.                John Lewis Landrum and Rose Vonier were married about 1925. She was born about 1908 in Ohio. She died before 1940.

John Lewis Landrum and Rose Vonier had the following children:

a.      Mary Landrum was born in December 1927.
b.     John Landrum, died less than one year old on 10 April 1932 in Three Rivers, St. Joseph Co., MI.