Family Line

Below is my Van Gilder and Winchell family line.  

1.   Awansous, husband with unknown Mohican woman from the Catskill band of Mohicans.  Awansous was a Wappinger chief recorded in documents from 1680 to 1707.  He originally lived in the area of Putnam County, N.Y.

2.   John Van Gelder was born about 1698 and died 1758.  He married Anna Maria Karner.  The banns registered June 28, 1719, NY.  Anna (also known as Mary Karner)  was born 1700 Germany, the daughter of daughter of Jan Nicholas Koerner and Anna Magdalena.  She died before after April 1782.  They resided in the Town of Egremont, Berkshire County, Mass.

John was a farmer and sawyer at a mill located in South Egremont that he operated with his brother-in-law Andrew Karner.

3.   Catharine Van Gelder was the wife of Hezekiah Winchell Sr., born 19 Oct 1731 Sheffield, Berkshire Co., Mass., and died before April 1778 (son of Samuel Winchell Sr. and Hannah Parsons). Catherine later moved to Vermont where she died.
Hezekiah fought in the Seven Years’ War and in the American Revolution at Mount Independence.  Nineteen other male Mohican relatives fought in the American Revolution, including three in the Green Mountain Boys and nine others in the Continental Army.

4.   Eliakim Winchell was born about 1744, died before Apr 1818 Mt. Washington, Berkshire Co., Mass.. He was married Sarah and an unknown second wife, thought to be Native American, most likely Mohican.

      Eliakim was a wheelwright and farmer and a veteran of the American Revolution at Saratoga, along with six other family members.  He was the last known Van Gilder grandchild to retain family land in Berkshire County.  It was auctioned off in 1818 after he died in debt.

5.   George Winchell (son of Eliakim and second wife) was born after 1805, most likely in the Town of Mount Washington, Berkshire Co., Mass., and  married Sarah Livingston (daughter of Unknown Livingston and Rachel Boyes).

George was a farmer.  Sarah is a descendant of fundamentalist minister Rev. John Livingston, and I'm still trying to figure out how.  Somehow she was related to the Livingston patroons, a high irony considering the history of her husband's family in the area.   

6.   John Winchell born 1829 Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Conn. married Winifred O. Ashley born 17 Jan 1830 Chatham, Columbia Co., N.Y., died 25 July 1800 Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Mass, (daughter of Abraham Ashley, who was Quaker, and Delilah Beman).

      John was a carpenter.  During the Civil War he was a private in Company D, 49th Massachusetts Volunteers.  Winifred may be the descendant of a Native man from Connecticut named Zephaniah Wix.  He was imprisoned in Robert Livingston's sugar house by the British during the American Revolution, released that December because he was one of the sickest and died on his way home.

7.    Henry Franklin Winchell was born 11 Aug 1857 Berkshire Co., MA. He  married (1) Cora Leona Thatcher born 30 Sep 1858, daughter of Alexander M. Thatcher and Huldah Bishop, died 18 Jul 1892;  married (2) Esther Haskell (daughter of Nathan Haskell and Susan Seavor) and later divorced;  and married (3) Alice Belle Snyder 1895 Great Barrington, Berkshire Co, Mass., born 16 April 1876, daughter of John Martin Snyder and Jane Frances Hoyt and who died 24 Feb 1912.

Henry F. Winchell and son Earl 

Cora Leona Thatcher

Alice Belle Snyder

Henry worked as a carpenter, a clerk and in the local factories.  He is pictured in a photo of the construction crew working on Searles Castle in Great Barrington.  Alice’s great-grandmother was a Native woman from Hudson, Columbia Co., N.Y.

8.   Earl John Winchell born 27 May 1892 Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., MA, died 5 Jul 1966 at Salt Point, Dutchess Co., NY.  His first wife was a Native woman named Myrtle, most likely from Dutchess County.  I'd really like to find out who she was.  His second wife was Gertrude Baker, born 10 Aug 1890 Blue Creek, Paulding Co., Ohio, daughter of Andrew Baker and Margaret Gatton, died 14 Sep 1960 Amenia, Dutchess Co., NY.  My grandparents were married 19 Dec 1918 in Cass co., Mich.  They moved back to Dutchess County after 1930.  Gertrude's family was also of Native descent.

Earl Winchell with first wife Myrtle

Gertrude Baker, Earl's second wife and my grandmother


  1. Too bad you can't find more info on Awansous wife..I am also descendent of John VanGelder I heard about it all my life especially tomahawk he gave to Karner.. keep up the good work

  2. Thank you for your research. I have struggled with finding ancestors of Janette Bathsheba Van Guilder for weeks. She married George Godfrey, child is Helen Godfrey married to William Wright. All searchable ancestors were from the New York areas, apparently leaving New York in the mid 1800,s and ending up in Ohio and Michigan. Perhaps these are the western pioneers. Judging from the trail of birthplaces for offspring, they may have left New York and traveled through Ontario, Canada to Ohio and Michigan. I am now able to trace back to David Winchell 1710 who married Mary Trumble 1709 and Joseph VanGuilder 1722 who married Mary (Molly) Winchell 1733. Still working on this line and it is yet unverified.

  3. I am a descendant of Jannet Bathsheba VanGuilder and George E. Godfrey as well and just discovered her ancestry today. We always knew that she was of Indian descent, but that was all. We didn't know her maiden name. Thought it was Bathsheba all these years.