Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Back Creek Valley, Virginia Pioneers

RINKER & ROGERS: Although the Rinker and Rogers families had far different origins, they came together in the settlement of Frederick Co., Virginia.

Hans Casper Rinker was a native of  Nuerensdorf, Zurich, Switzerland. Casper arrived in Philadelphia in 1743 with his step-mother and siblings. They settled in Germantown and Casper married Maria Schultz there in 1757. The Rinkers settled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in 1762. Casper acquired nearly 2000 acres of land in the region. He served as a Lieutenant and later Captain in the Frederick Co. Militia during the Revolutionary War.

In 1770, George Washington was returning from a trip to the Great Kanawha [now WV and Ohio], he spent the night at the Rinkers' in Back Creek Valley. Washington commented, according to family tradition, "first clean sheets in three weeks."

Casper died in 1804 at the age of 76. He was buried in the Back Creek Quaker Cemetery near Gainsboro.

Evan Rogers was the son of Welsh Quakers. He was born in Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania to John Rogers and Ellen Pugh. Evan's parents settled in Back Creek about 1742. He married Sarah Ballinger at the Hopewell Monthly Meeting in 1749.

Evan helped establish the Bear Garden and Back Creek Meetings in Frederick Co., Virginia. The Rogers family, like most Quakers, maintained neutrality during the Revolutionary War. Evan Rogers acquired considerable holdings in the Back Creek Valley. He and Casper Rinker were two of the largest landholders in the region. Sarah died after giving birth to twin girls in 1770. Evan died in 1805. Both are believed to be buried in unmarked graves in the Back Creek Quaker Cemetery.

John Rogers was born in the Back Creek Valley in 1750, eldest child of Evan and Sarah. Maria Magdalene Rinker was born in 1759 to Casper and Maria. She married Danel Allemong in 1779. Allemong died before 1786. On 30 October 1787, John and Maria were married by Christian Steit, the first Lutheran minister born in the colonies. John was reported to the Hopewell Meeting in December for "marrying out of unity" and was disowned by the Quakers.

The Rogers family eventually allied themselves with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Maria died in 1823 and was buried next to her father. John died in 1826 and is believed to be buried in the same cemetery. There is a marker for a John Rogers, died 6 October 1826. The age on the fieldstone used for the marker appears to be 11. Is this Maria's husband? Was the 11 a poorly etched 76? Another family mystery!

Monday, March 30, 2015

"And Never Again Heard From"

RHODES: Captain Holden Rhodes and Susannah Wall were the parents of nine children, two girls and seven boys. The girls lived into middle or old age. Such was not the case for the boys. Only one, Holden, reached forty. The other six died between the ages of 14 and 34. The fates of three of the boys [Daniel, Wanton and Samuel] has yet to be determined. The remaining four [Holden, Isaac, Zachariah and Perry] were taken by the sea.

Holden was lost at sea on a voyage to London in 1811. Isaac died in the coast of Guinea or Jamaica in 1800.

Zachariah was born in Rhode Island, but found his way to the port of Baltimore. He married Harriet Cunningham in 1810. Daughter Ann Bathia was born in 1812. The Rhodes family resided at in the Baltimore waterfront community of Fells' Point.

Zachariah's story had been related by his grandson, Isaac Prall, in a short history of the Rhodes, Cunningham, Rittenhouse and Prall families. Isaac gave no dates and provided some misinformation as well. According to Isaac, the ship piloted by Rhodes was the Polix and Castor.

After finding bits and pieces of the story in Descendants of Roger Williams and The Life and Times of Samuel Gorton, the lasts details fell into place during a visit to the NEHG Society Library courtesy of The Holden Family in America, Vol. VII.

 Zachariah Rhodes was the captain of the schooner Hannah. He had been joined in Baltimore by his youngest brother, Perry, who served as Zachariah's first mate. The Hannah left Baltimore on 14 August 1815 for Puerto Rico, "never again to be heard from."

Harriet Cunningham Rhodes died about 1818. Ann was taken in by her aunt and uncle, Bathia Cunningham and Ralph Porter. Porter was also a sea captain. Captain Porter died in 1822. Bathia and Ann moved to Harford Co., Maryland shortly thereafter.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Revolutionary Privateer

RHODES: The Rhodes family of Rhode Island was allied with many prominent families of that colony: Arnold, Waterman, Williams, Remington, Greene, Gorton and Holden among them.

Holden Rhodes would do his heritage proud:

Holden Rhodes, an only child, was born to Holden Rhodes, Sr. and Mary Remington at Warwick in September of 1750. He married Susannah Wall, daughter of William Wall and Patience Pierce, on 12 March 1768 in Warwick, Rhode Island. The couple had nine children born between 1769 and 1792. [There is a discrepancy in the date of the marriage. Arnold records the date as 12 May 1769, while Bamberg gives the date as 19 May 1769.

Holden Rhodes was listed as the head of a household in the 1774 Rhode Island Census with one male above 16, one male under 16, one female above 16, and two females under 16. At that time, Holden [24] and Susanna [24] were the parents of Mary [5], Holden [3], and Ann [newborn].

With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Holden chose to side with the patriot cause, as did many of his relatives. The foundling nation did not have a navy and had to rely on privateers to act in that regard. Holden Rhodes served his country as a prize master*aboard at least two vessels.

Holden was prize master aboard the sloop "Joseph" on 15 August 1776. The sloop based in Providence was entered "50 tons, 6 guns, 10 swivels, 45 men: Capt. John Field, 1st Lieut. William Ham, 2nd Lieut. _____ Anthony, Master Nathaniel Coddington, Prize-Master Holden Rhodes." While prize master aboard the "Satisfaction", Holden was captured and committed to Forten Prison from 27 July 1778 until his exchange on 11 December 1779.

Forten Prison was located at Gosport near Portsmouth, England. It was one of two prisons in England, along with Mill Prison at Plymouth, where American prisoners were housed. The prison was originally a privately built Naval Hospital, Fortune Hospital. When the British government built its own Naval Hospitals, Fortune was closed. The building and surrounding neighborhood became known as Forten when it was converted into a military prison. The site of the old prison is now a hospital for Sea Cadets at the H.M.S. St. Vincent Naval Training School.
After the Revolutionary War, Holden remained a mariner. Rhodes was master of the sloop "Sally", owned by Jonathan Gorton of Warwick, on 14 December 1792. On 4 November 1793, Holden Rhodes was master of the sloop "Friendship", owned by Charles Briggs of East Greenwich. He was again master of the "Sally" [owned by Charles Briggs] on 11 June 1795.

Tension was again building between the U.S. and Great Britain in the 1790s. Britain was again at war with France. In an effort to fill out the crews of their ships, the British impressed [kidnapped] U.S. seaman to serve in the Royal Navy. In an effort to combat this act, Congress required customs officials to register seamen serving aboard U.S. vessels. The men were issued a "Seaman's Protection Certificate" which vouched for his citizenship and included a physical description. On 8 December 1796, Holden Rhodes was issued a Seaman's Protection Certificate [Book 1, p. 22], which listed him as age 46, with light complexion, and born in Warwick, Rhode Island. Sons Isaac, Samuel R., and Perry were also issued certificates.

The 1790 Federal census shows Holden Rhodes as the head of a household in Warwick, Kent Co., Rhode Island with 2 free white males over 16, 5 free white males under 16, and 5 free white females. In 1800 the Kent Co., Rhode Island Census lists the Holden Rhodes household with the following: 1 male under 10, 2 males 10 - 16, 1 male 16 -26, 1 male over 45, 1 female 26 - 45, 1 female over 45.

The seafaring life was not friendly to the Rhodes family. Of the six sons born to Holden and Susanna, at least four, Holden, Isaac, Zachariah, and Perry, were lost to the sea. Susanna Wall Rhodes died in 1806 and Holden in 1809.

* Prize master: officer in charge or command of a captured vessel. [atasegment.com - online dictionary]

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Prence v. Quakers

PRENCE: Thomas Prence arrived in Plymouth aboard the Fortune in 1621. His first marriage was to Patience Brewster, daughter of Elder William Brewster. In 1627, Prence became a member of Plymouth's inner circle, known as the Undertakers. He was elected governor of the colony in 1634 and was reappointed in 1638. Prence served again from 1657-1672. Thomas held various other high officer in between terms. The governor would marry three more times, to Mary Collier, Apphia Quick and Mary Burr.

Prence staunchly opposed the Quaker residing in Plymouth Colony. Among the leaders of the Quaker community were Arthur and Henry Howland, brothers to Mayflower passenger, John Howland. Prence's problems with the Howlands intensified when Arthur Jr. married his daughter Elizabeth.

Prence had brought suit against young Howland for proposing to Elizabeth. The Howlands were excommunicated from the Marshfield Church for their Quaker beliefs and even jailed for a short time.

Gov. Prance died in March of 1672/3. 

In spite of the conflicts between the governor and his daughter and son-in-law, the Howlands named their 2nd son Thomas [b. 1672] and their youngest son  Prence [b. c1686].

Friday, March 27, 2015

Isaac and Ann: Unanswered Questions

PRALL & RHODES: When Pathiah/Bathiah Cunningham Porter and her orphaned niece, Ann Bathia Rhodes, moved from Baltimore to Harford Co., Maryland, the stage was set for some interesting family relationships. Bathiah had been the wife of sea captain Ralph Porter. They took in her niece, Ann, following the death of Bathia's sister, Harriet about 1818. [Ann's father, Zachariah Rhodes, had died at sea in 1815.

In 1827, Bathia married Cornelius Prall, Jr. The following year Ann married Cornelius' son, Isaac Rittenhouse Prall. Isaac was named for his maternal grandfather.

Fortunately for the family tree, Cornelius and Bathia did not have any children. Isaac and Ann, on the other hand, had ten.

The family spent a couple of years in Harford Co. before moving to York Co., Pennsylvania. Nine of the ten children were born in York Co.

A short biography of Cornelius Prall, the third son, appeared in a York Co. history. That bio was the only clue to the deaths of Isaac and Ann. According to the entry, Isaac died in 1880 and Ann in 1865.

Deeds helped narrow Ann's date of death. She probably died in January of 1865.

Isaac was a different story! He seemed to vanish after Ann's death. The Prall children had begun heading west by the end of the decade. Only Cornelius Prall and Harriet Cunningham Prall Grove remained in York Co.

By 1870, the remaining eight kids had moved to Illinois, Missouri and Ohio. The 1870 census had been a mystery of sorts during the early 1990s. In those pre-online index days, you had to rely on the census index in book form. It took awhile before the 1870 volumes were published.

Thanks to the hardcover 1870 index, I was able to track down Isaac and his youngest son, Hugh McDonald Prall [my great-grandfather]. Isaac was living with daughter Anne and her 2nd husband Leander Kohler in Clinton Co., Ohio. Hugh Prall was living with older brother Charles Wesley and his family, in Highland Co., Ohio.

Once again Isaac seemed to vanish. He was not living with any of his children in 1880. The Kohlers had moved on to Paulding Co., Ohio. Had Isaac died in Clinton Co.? Had he died during the move to Paulding Co.? Had he returned to York Co. and died there? Where was he buried, Ohio or Pennsylvania? Did Isaac die in the months preceding the 1880 enumeration or was Cornelius' bio in error? As of yet, none of these questions have been answered. Isaac has not been located in the 1880 Mortality Schedule.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Aaron & Cornelius Prall Story

PRALL: Sticking with the same family as the past two days, Aaron and Cornelius Prall are today's focus. It took roughly five years to prove that all of Aaron's offspring were really his. Aaron's widow, Mary left a will dated 20 September 1760. Mary named her eldest son James, son Benjamin and daughters Elizabeth and Jemima. An Edward Prall transcribed and witnessed the will. No mention was made of Cornelius Prall, believed to be Aaron and Mary's son as well.

Based on Mary's will, she and Aaron were assigned just four children. The Cornelius Prall in question had become two people among some  Prall researchers. Cornelius Prall had died in 1813, but his estate wasn't settled until 1819, thus the dual identity. The two Corneliuses had spouses and children assigned to them.

Unraveling Cornelius' story was a matter of following the paperwork related to the estate. It took the nearly six years to settle and divide the estate. Complicating matters was the fact that Cornelius had been married three times. Eventually, the correct nine children of Cornelius and 1st wife, Rebecca [Garrison] were identified. A couple of the children were new additions to the Prall family, not having appeared in anyone's research at the time.

That left proving that Cornelius was Aaron's son. Back in the early '90s, I had two very dedicated long-distance research buddies, Betty Gerlack and Berniece Cowan, also researching the Aaron line. [This was back in the olden days of telephone and postal communication.] A package arrived one day with copies of several documents. One had a sticky note with "read this one first." The paper was a court case identifying Cornelius Prall as the son of Aaron!

Deeds in which James Prall deeded to brother Cornelius the land that would be his share of the family estate were also included. Cornelius had not been named in his mother's will because he had already received his inheritance.

Other documents that we uncovered proved the family group. Cornelius and several of James' children were named heirs to the estate of Edward Prall and Cornelius was named as an heir to Benjamin Prall. Sample of Edward Prall's handwriting from later documents matched that of Mary's will.

The issue of Aaron and Mary Prall: James, Cornelius, Edward, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Jemima.

Aaron's date of death had been a mystery. We knew he predeceased Mary, but that was it. The last record of Aaron in the Hunterdon Courts was on 9 March 1757. He was to provide for the well-being for one year of one John Carr and to be reimbursed for expenses. On 18 October 1757, James Prall deeded land to Cornelius. This narrowed Aaron's death to a seven month period.

Three family mysteries resolved. Two 100%, Aaron was Cornelius Prall's father and Cornelius' family had been identified. The other, close. Aaron's death had been narrowed to a seven month period.

That court case identifying Cornelius as Aaron's son? It now appears in a book of compiled records for Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Sigh! [I will admit seeing the copy of the document in hand beats seeing a transcription in a book!]

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prall Posts II

PRALL: Benjamin Prall, Edward's younger brother, was an interesting research project. Early on all that was known about him was that he was the son of Aaron and Mary [Whittaker] Prall. There was some misinformation published about him as well.

The breakthrough came when I came across his will in a folder of "miscellaneous" information at the Deats Library in Flemington, NJ. [Info has since been filmed.] There were two pertinent documents, Benjamin's will and an affidavit from the man who had been in possession of the will.

Benjamin had been on a business trip in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania in 1784 and became seriously ill.  Prall wrote his will and left it with George Wegner, at whose house he had been staying. Benjamin died intestate in 1791. Various family members [siblings, nieces and nephews] were named legal heirs. Wegner eventually learned of the merchant's death and submitted the will to the Hunterdon Co., NJ Court.

In the will, Benjamin named his sister Elizabeth executrix and heir. His estate was to go to Benjamin Jr. when Elizabeth died. Junior was to provide for his sisters Elizabeth and Jemima.

Unfortunately for Benjamin's children, all three were illegitimate and could not inherit the estate. Ironically, the kids all had the same mother, Rachel Snyder.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Stories and Legends: A Few Prall Posts

PRALL: The next few posts will be dealing with my Prall ancestors, both direct and collateral. Up first, 3rd great-grand uncle Edward Prall. Edward wore many hats during his lifetime: he was a merchant, a Freemason, served on several treasonous committees, served with the Maryland Line during the Rev. War, was a POW, was a member of the Society of Cincinnati and was active in politics. Here is his story:

Edward Prall was the third son of Aaron and Mary [Whittaker] Prall. Edward was most likely named for his maternal great-grandfather, Edward Whittaker. He grew up on the family farm located west of the Neshanic River and north of the Old River Road in Amwell Township. Maternal grandfather, James Whittaker had purchased a farm near Larison's Corner in 1745, but may have lived with the Pralls since he was an elderly man. Edward may have been sent to Kingston as an apprentice to one of the Whittakers, or at least to receive an education. Edward wrote and witnessed his mother's will on 20 September 1760. The document followed the English style commonly found in Kingston records, rather than documents with a Dutch influence, more common to the region. Whether through family connections or other means, Edward nonetheless received a better education than his brothers and sisters. He also witnessed the will of William Rittenhouse on 27 August 1761. Rittenhouse was the grandfather of Elizabeth Rittenhouse, who would marry Edward's nephew Cornelius Prall, Jr. thirty years later. He also took the inventory of his mother's estate following her death in November. Edward and John Stout signed the papers and presented them to the court on 9 November 1761.

At some point, either while residing in New Jersey or in Maryland, Edward Prall joined the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He was known as "Worshipful Brother Edward" in his later years, indicating that he was a Past Master of his lodge. Many prominent men of the merchant and planter class were Masons.

By 1761 Edward had formed a partnership with fellow trader Richard Reading. Richard's father, John, was a prominent surveyor and man of influence in the area. Reading had received from his father 446 acres fronting the Delaware River. There were several buildings on the tract including a stone store that was about a mile from Howell's Ferry. Trenton was 21 miles away and Philadelphia was 32 miles away.

In 1763 Edward was paid £18 by Dennis Woolverton, administrator, from the estate of Charles Woolverton [a local peddler and landowner north of Rosemont who died 7 October 1763] "for cash lent the dec'd at Sundry times to enable him to carry on his business." The following year on 13 March, Edward attended the Amwell Township Meeting held at the home of John Ringo. He was elected town clerk, a position that he would hold for more than two and a half years.

Reading and Prall incurred a few debts that they were unable to pay. Edward borrowed £3.19.8 from his cousin Peter Prall and was unable to settle the debt until 3 April 1779, by which time interest increased the amount to £5.2.10. The partners also were unable to collect payments from some of the transactions, which included extending credit and personal loans. Over the years, their names would appear in the records of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas held at Trenton.

In a case that was initiated by an incident from 19 April 1761 and settled on 15 September 1764, Dirck Lefforts of Trenton sued the partners over nonpayment of a hogshead [100-140 gallons] of rum. The rum was valued by R&P at £19.8.8. Lefforts demanded payment several times and finally took them to court, demanding £30 for the rum. The traders refused to pay such a large amount. In February 1764 a twelve man jury judged that they should pay £22.2.8 plus court costs of £9.7.6.

Robert Gilbert Livingston, a prominent Hunterdon Co. land owner sued Reading and Prall for £80 and court costs during the February Term of 1764. By the August Term, Livingston was asking for £51.2.9, indicating that part of the debt had been paid. The sheriff reported at the October session that he had confiscated goods from the defendants to cover the debt, interest, and court costs. However, the goods were still in his possessions for want of buyers. The case was closed at the February 1765 session.

The following notice appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal on 25 September 1766: "All persons indebted to Richard Reading or to the partnership of Reading and Prall, by bond, bill, note, or book debt, are hearby desired to pay their respective debts by the twentieth day of October next, to Joseph Reed, jun. of Trentown, who is empowered to receive them. Those who neglect this notice, must expect to be sued for the same immediately after that time. John Cox Jun., Thomas Smith - Assignees"

Edward enlisted the services of attorney Jasper Smith to help collect accounts on the "diverse goods, wares, and merchandise which was ordered and delivered" to local taverns, inns, stores, and local residents.

On 29 November 1766, the Amwell Township meeting was again held at the home of John Ringo. It was recorded into the minutes that "Whereas Edward Prall, a chosen clerk for the Township of Amwell in the County of Hunterdon is rendered unable to serve by his removal out of the said Town, John Ringo is appointed to fill the position until the next meeting."

Edward had moved to Trenton and taken up residence at the Indian King Inn. The inn was located on the west side of North Warren Street, facing east Hanover and owned by Charity Brittain, the young widow of Joseph Brittain. Mrs. Brittain's inn furnished meat, drink, and lodging. Edward made special arrangements to have his washing done and occasionally stabling and pasturing his horse. There is no record of Edward's dealings in Trenton, but he may have continued trading with local merchants.

After Edward left the Indian King Inn late in 1768, Charity Brittain sued him for non-payment of £36.10.4. Prall appeared in court and admitted that he owed her money, but not that amount. Charity acknowledged a debt of £23, but felt she was entitled to more because of damage inflicted upon her by his promises and assumptions. Edward hired an attorney and wrote out an affidavit stating that he would abide by the ruling of the court. He signed and sealed the document. The final judgment against him was £44.19.10. Perhaps it was worth it to him to further escape Charity's wrath.

Edward Prall was last recorded in Hunterdon County records on 26 September 1769, when the executor of the will of Johannes Williamson, dec'd. paid him 10 shillings. Edward's attorney would represent him in unresolved cases in 1770 and 1771. Edward Prall was on his way to Harford County, Maryland and about to take an extremely active role in the birth of a new nation.

Edward Prall, at age 36, had settled in Harford County by 1770 and gone into business. He and Henry Thomas, Jr. were named as creditors in the probate of the estate of Thomas Wheeler, dec'd. Wheeler's will was dated 18 September 1770 and proved 8 July 1771.

By 1774 Edward Prall had established himself among the men of influence in Harford County, Maryland. His name was on the list of the "Taxable in Susquehanna Hundred" and he was appointed to the Committee of Safety in Harford County that year. He was in fairly regular attendance at weekly committee meetings late in the year. On 26 December 1774 the Lower Crossroads Militia met to elect officers. The militia was to muster weekly until 16 September 1775. Edward Prall was chosen 1st lieutenant in Captain Archer's Company Number 2.

It was decided, on 23 January 1775, that Aquila Hall would be responsible for the purchase of a Magazine of Arms and Ammunition. Two donated barrels of flour were to be sent to Baltimore for shipment to the "poor of Boston." At the meeting held on 22 February, Edward Prall was elected to serve on the Committee of License in Susquehanna Hundred and was among those present who resolved to aid their brethren in Boston. During the year he would be elected to the New Committee of Harford, the War Committee and the Committee of Observation.

The boldest move of the patriots of Harford County came during their meeting of 22 March 1775. The members present decided to voice their support for the actions of the Continental Congress with a written and signed declaration.

The "declaration" reads: "We the Committee of Harford County having most seriously and maturely considered the resolves and association of the Continental Congress and the resolves of the Provential Convention, do most heartily approve of the same, and as we esteem ourselves in a more particular matter, entrusted by our constituents to se[e] them carried into execution we do solemnly pledge ourselves to each other and to our country and engage ourselves by every tie held sacred among mankind to perform them at the risque of our lives and our ffortunes."

The names of those who attached their signatures and thus risked their lives and fortunes are: Aquila Hall, Jos. Carvil Hall, George Patterson, William Morgan, Francis Holland, Samuel Calwell, Aquila Paca, James Lytle, Aquila Hall Jr., Robert Morgan, Robert Lemmon, Thomas Brice, Thomas Johnson, Alex. Rigdon, Edward Ward, Abraham Whitaker, Charles Anderson, William Fisher Jr., Richard Dallam, John Durham, James McComass, William Bradford Sr., William Smithson, John Donahuy, John Patrick, Daniel Scott, Benj. Bradford Norris, James Harris, EDWARD PRALL, Greenberry Dorsey, John Archer, W. Smithie, William Webb, John Taylor. [All of those recorded as present signed except three.]

[A photo copy of the handwritten document is in the possession of the author, with Edward Prall's signature.]

From "The Tercentary History of Maryland": "The Harford Resolves”: In the village of Bush, once "Harford Town" and the county seat, there is a granite shaft which bears the following inscription: "This tablet marks the site of the building in which were held the courts of Harford County from its organization in March 1774, until March 1783. In this house the Committee of Harford County held its meetings before and during the early years of the American Revolution. Here, at a meeting held on the 22nd day of March, 1775, the following members of the Committee passed and signed a formal declaration pledging their lives and fortunes to the cause which, a year later, resulted in the Declaration of Independence"

At the meeting of 5 April, it was moved that Treasurer Aquila Hall ship from Baltimore for Boston "as much French Burrn Middlings* as he can purchase for the money he may have received for that purpose within the fifteen days from the date hereof." It was also resolved that the Captains of the militia companies be requested to consult with their companies as to when and where it would be convenient to meet and to report "their determinations before this Committee." [*middlings appear to have been biscuits.]

On 1 May it was resolved that three horses were to be purchased for the purpose of delivering expresses and other messages. Two of the horses would be stabled at Harford Town and the third at Susquehanna. M. John Lowe, Edward Prall, and Samuel Ashmead were appointed to purchase the horses.

Edward Prall continued to attend the majority of the committee meetings through 22 January 1776. At the meeting held on 4 March 1776, Ignatius Wheeler was unanimously chosen to replace Edward Prall as Committeeman and to serve on the Committee of License.

On the 1st of January of 1776 William Smallwood was named colonel and commander of the Maryland Battalion. Francis Ware was Lieutenant Colonel, Thomas Price first Major and Mordecai Gist second Major. On the 3rd, the 4th Company of what would be known as "Smallwood's Battalion" was organized with Captain Thomas Ewing commanding and 1st Lieutenant Joseph Butler, 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Baxter, and Ensign Edward Praul as his officers. Baxter resigned and Ensign Praul was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in March. At age 42, Edward Prall was about to begin a career as an officer in one of the most heralded regiments of the Continental Army.

The Battle of Long Island: Smallwood's Battalion was ordered to Annapolis to await further orders as the war ignited in Massachusetts. On 10 July 1776 six companies under Smallwood's command left Annapolis for Head of Elk, where they were joined by three companies from Baltimore. The Marylanders arrived in New York on 8 August and reported to General Washington. Washington placed them in General John Sullivan's brigade; then transferred them to General William Alexander [Lord Stirling] on the 12th. Fate now awaited Lt. Prall and the Marylanders.

On 26 August the Maryland and Delaware troops were ordered to cross over to Long Island, where the British had been landing since the 21st. Col. Smallwood and Lt. Col. Ware were serving on a Courts Martial Board, so Major Gist assumed command of the battalion.

On 27 August 1776 [probably in the morning as the troops prepared for battle, Ensign Praul and Captain Joseph Ford witnessed the verbal will of Lt. Joseph Butler, "of Col. Smallwood's Company at Long Island, New York." [proved 17 October 1777.] Butler's name would be listed among those captured during the hostilities.

The battle began early on the 27th; Stirling's Brigade of approximately 1600 met the onslaught of 5000 British and Hessian troops. The British troops included grenadiers and the Scottish 42nd [ eventually known as the famed Black Watch]. The Maryland and Delaware troops held their ground from eight o'clock until noon, when they were forced to retire. Alexander ordered an orderly retreat across Gowanus Creek. The Continentals had staged five counterattacks against British troops holding the Cortelyou House, twice gaining control of the "Stone House.” Gist and his men had repeatedly charged the enemy with bayonets. When the sixth counterattack was ordered, fresh British troops arrived. Gist's 200 remaining Marylanders tried to fight their way back to the American lines. Ten were successful, many had drowned trying to cross Gowanus Cree. Watching the engagement, George Washington exclaimed, "Good God, what brave fellows I must loose today!"

Smallwood had returned to the field around noon and requested troops to support and cover the retreat. Washington refused, then relented, giving the Colonel a New England Regiment and Thomas's 5th Independent Company, just over from New York. A large marsh and a deep creek, about eighty yards wide at the mouth, lay between the place of action and the American line. The bridge crossing the creek had been burnt the day before; so it was necessary to cross the creek or surrender to the British. Smallwood took up a position at the mouth of the creek opposite Stirling's Brigade. With two field pieces, Smallwood silenced the six British pieces that fired upon the fleeing troops. All but twelve waded or swam to safety, aided by Thomas's men. Maryland suffered 256 killed, wounded, or captured.

The losses of Smallwood's Battalion were as follows: killed, Captain Edward Veazey [7th Independent Company]; mortally wounded, Captain William Harrison; wounded and captured, Captain Daniel Bowie, Lieutenant Joseph Butler, and LIEUTENANT EDWARD PRAUL; wounded, Lieutenants Walker Muse, William Ridgley, and William Sterrett, Ensigns William Courts and James Fernandis; Captured, Lieutenants John Stockton [4th Battalion Flying Camp], Daniel Cresap [Stephenson's Rifle Regiment], and Samuel Turbutt Wright [Veazey's Independent Company].

On the 29th a retreat from Long Island was ordered. The Maryland Troops were ordered to Fort Putnam to cover the general retreat. New York was abandoned and the Continentals removed to Fort Washington. On 15 September, the enemy affected a landing at Montressor's Island, opposite the American Line with a small creek in between. The British attacked and put to flight two brigades of Connecticut troops. This spurred Washington to ride among the fugitives and cane everyone from brigadiers on down. The General detached Smallwood's Battalion from Stirling's Brigade to march toward New York to cover the retreat and defend the baggage. The British attacked on the 16th, but were repulsed by Colonel Knowlton's Connecticut Rangers, the 3rd Virginia, three Independent Companies of Marylanders under Major Thomas Price, and part of the Maryland Flying Camp. Casualties: about 400 British killed or wounded and 15 Americans killed and 85 wounded, including Knowlton. Smallwood and the rest of Stirling's Brigade arrived at White Plains on 21 October. Smallwood was promoted to Brigadier General on the 23rd.

The Marylanders went on to fight at White Plains and Fort Washington [where another 400 Marylanders were taken prisoner] as Washington's army retreated across the Jerseys to the Delaware River. With the help of local patriot sympathizers, the Continentals were able to collect enough boats to cross the river and take refuge in Pennsylvania. Washington then marched down river and recrossed the Delaware to make a startling Christmas march and attack on the Hessian barracks at Trenton on 26 December.

2nd Lt. Prall was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in the 1st Regiment, 6th Company, on 10 December 1776 and then to captain on 10 June 1777. [There is an item in Edward's service file dated 11 May 1779 that reads "That Lt. Prawl was entitled to a Captaincy on the 10th June 77." Could this mean that he was not present for the promotion due to being a prisoner?]

If he was exchanged on the 2nd of December, Edward saw action at Trenton [26 December] and Princeton [3 January 1777], before moving into the winter encampment near Morristown, New Jersey. The 1st Maryland took part in Sullivan's Raid at Staten Island [22 August 1777], and the defeats at Brandywine [11 September 1777] and Germantown [4 October 1777]. General Washington moved his beleaguered army into its winter encampment at Valley Forge, just outside Philadelphia. Good news had reached Washington amid his string of defeats; Arnold and Gates had defeated Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York. With proof that the Americans could win a major battle, the French were about to send aid to the Continentals.

As of 18 January 1777, Smallwood's Battalion consisted of eight infantry companies and one of light infantry. The 8th Company listed Captain Bowie killed; Lieutenant Butler killed; Second Lieutenant Praul - prisoner, promoted lieutenant 6th company; Ensign Coats promoted to second lieutenant - 3rd company.

On 19 December 1777, Washington ordered Smallwood to Wilmington, Delaware to guard the coast. Smallwood was to keep his men on alert and grant no furloughs unless absolutely necessary. The General feared the British might move from Philadelphia and seize Wilmington. The British brig "Symetry" ran aground near Wilmington in late December and surrender to Smallwood after a brief defense. The brig contained the wives of several British officers, officers' baggage, clothing for four regiments, over a thousand stands of arms and ammunition, pork, butter, wine, and other foods. A sloop containing flour, pork, poultry, and other supplies was also captured. Smallwood left Wilmington in June 1778 and rejoined Washington at Valley Forge on the 19th. If Edward Prall was released on 20 April 1778, he may have first reported to the main army at Valley Forge. There he would have learned of his promotion to Captain and taken the oath of affirmation [see below] before being ordered to rejoin the Maryland Regiment at Wilmington.

A letter from Elias Boudinot to George Washington, with list of Exchanged Prisoners: ["Writings from the Valley Forge Encampment of the Continental Army" by Joseph Lee Boyle, p. 112]

Sir Camp, April 22nd, 1778

Being just returned from German Town, I beg to inform your Excellency that I was happy to perfect the Exchange of the following Officers, for those of equal rank due to us from the Enemy, which I hope will meet with your Excellencys Approbation -

I have the Honor to be your Excellencys
Most Obed't Hble Serv't

The first officer listed: Major General Charles Lee

Named on the list of lieutenants exchanged: Edward Prall

[This letter would seem to verify Edward's release in 1778.]

On 3 February 1778, Congress decided that every commissioned officer should subscribe the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the United States. In the spring of 1778 the oath was administered to those encamped at Valley Forge. Among those officers named as having taken the oath before camp broke was Captain Edward Prall. (http://colonialancestors.com/revolutionary/oath5.htm)

The Marylanders spent the winter of 1778-1779 at Middlebrook, New Jersey. The company muster roll for February 1779 lists Edward Praul as captain of the 8th company of the 1st Maryland Regiment of Foot. The muster roll for 3 March 1779 also showed him as command the 8th Company 1st Maryland Regiment. In both cases the regimental commander was Col. John H. Stone.

On 15 July 1779 General Anthony Wayne, with 1350 handpicked men, attacked the British outpost at Stony Point on the Hudson River, garrisoned by about 6000 men. Major John Stewart led one of the two advance columns, about 150 men, mostly Marylanders. Wayne, eager to avenge the British bayonet-charge massacre at Paoli, gave orders for all but one battalion to attack with bayonets. Stony Point was an overwhelming American victory.

Edward Praul was among ten officers of the 1st Maryland Regiment ordered to be paid by the Western Shore Treasurer on 29 September 1779. [Maryland Archives, Vol. 21, p, 539]

General Washington would send his best to effect the Southern Campaign. The Maryland Division and Delaware Regiment with twelve field pieces left Middlebrook on 16 April 1780. They were to reinforce Major General DeKalb. Smallwood commanded the 1st Brigade, consisting of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th Regiments. Gist commanded the 2nd Maryland Brigade [2nd, 4th, and 6th Regiments] and the Delaware Regiment. Major General Horatio Gates was sent South by Congress. The reputed hero of Saratoga would supersede DeKalb as commander of the Southern Army. DeKalb was given command of the new arrivals from Maryland and Delaware.

Before the 1st Maryland headed south, Captain Prall was mentioned in other accounts. He was one of the officers who gave a receipt for provisions provided to the regiment by John Randall. Twice before war's end, Edward would also issue receipts to his younger brother, Benjamin, who was a merchant-trader back in New Jersey. The captain was furloughed in January and February 1780.He was also shown as being absent without leave from the 1st to the 3rd of April. Edward was at that time the captain of the 3rd company of the 1st Maryland, then under command of Major Levin W. Winder.

As of 5 February 1780, Captain Prall's company strength was shown with 2 officers, 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, 2 drummers & fifers, and 24 privates totaling 32 men. Of these, one officer [probably Edward himself] was on furlough, one drummer/fifer was recruiting, and two privates were sick.

On 19 June 1780, the Treasurer was ordered to pay Captain Edward Prall of the 1st Regiment $2250 to be expended in Recruiting Service and accounted for. [v43, p.199] The Commissary of Stores was ordered to deliver Cloth for a Jacket and Breeches with Trimmings to Captain Prall on the 20th of June. [v43, p. 200] Captain Edward Prall of the 1st Maryland would apparently enter action in the Southern Campaign attired in a new uniform. He would also have the funds available for recruiting new troops that would be badly needed following the Battle of Camden.

General Horatio Gates decided to attack General Cornwallis on the morning of 16 August 1780. The armies met about six miles north of Camden. Smallwood's 1st, 3rd, and 7th Regiments formed to the rear of the reserve force. The 5th was sent to assist Sumter. Gist was on the right wing. The British advance panicked the Virginia and North Carolina militia. The 1st Maryland reformed as the militia fled, but Smallwood was swept away with the militia. Colonel Otho Holland Williams took command and tried to bring the 1st up on the exposed flank of the 2nd Maryland. The Maryland Line twice rallied only to be driven back by the British, and forced from the field. The 2nd held awhile longer, battling the British in hand-to-hand combat. DeKalb was mortally wounded. The Americans lost about 700 men. British casualties were just over 300. As for General Gates? By the time the battle was over, "The Hero of Saratoga" was well on his way at full gallop toward Charlotte, about 60 miles away. He told Congress that he had hoped to rally the survivors as they reached Charlotte. He was exonerated, but never held command again.[From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South, by Henry Lumpkin, toExcel Press, 1987, p. 64]

Among the names of 1st Brigade losses were Thomas Hale, John James, and John Phillips - missing; John Parison, Patrick Riley, William Bulley, and James Gwynn - prisoners. [http://www.battleofcamden.org/1bdeloss.htm] These men were listed on the February 1779 muster roll for Captain Edward Prall's Company.[www.footnote.com/image/10109012]

Washington sent his most trusted officer, Major General Nathanael Greene, to replace Gates in the South. American victories at Kings Mountain and Cowpens began to turn the tide of the war. John Eager Howard commanded the 320 surviving Maryland and Delaware Line troops of the 2nd Brigade at Cowpens. Col. William Washington commanded 80 light dragoons. General Daniel Morgan was in overall command. Also on hand were militia from Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Morgan's crafty use of the militia helped rout the British forces under Col. Banastre Tarleton on 17 January 1781.

The disaster at Camden forced the reorganization of the badly depleted Maryland Line. On 1 January 1781 the Maryland Line was reorganized into five regiments. Edward Prall was a captain in the 1st Regiment under Colonel Otho Howard Williams. Captain Prall commanded the 2nd Company, with Lieutenant William Raisin and Ensign Basil Burgess as company officers.

The War in the South would continue to take a dramatic turn. Lord Cornwallis marched against General Greene at Guilford Court House, North Carolina on 15 March 1781. Brigadier General Otho Howard Williams with 630 men of the 1st Regiment and the 5th Regiment were on the front. British artillery fire, killing both British and American soldiers, forced Greene to order a retreat. American casualties numbered about 258, while British casualties numbered about 592. Technically, Guilford Court House was a British victory, but the loss of nearly a quarter of his troops was a devastating blow to Cornwallis. One British historian called the 1st Regiment "The finest battalion in the American Army."

The 1st Maryland was in action at the defeat at Hobkirk's Hill [about a mile from Camden] on 25 April and the successful Siege of Ninety Six from 22 May - 19 June. On 8 September the 1st saw action in the hotly contested Battle of Eutaw Springs. Greene withdrew from the field, giving the British a tactical victory. However, the British were forced to evacuate Eutaw Springs and retreat to the Charleston area.

The Maryland State Papers show the following entries for Captain Edward Prall: #15702: 12 March 1781: Account and receipt of order for provisions. #15701: Same date: Order to pay above account. #15762: 28 July 1781: Account and receipt of order for provisions. #18393: 30 August 1781: From John Crisall; promise to issue rum. #18425: 31 August 1781: Receipt for pay to Robert Denny.

Captain Prall of the 1st Regiment was to have 28 gallons of rum and 112 pounds of sugar delivered to him by order on the 12th of March 1781. [v45, p.349] On 18 June 1781 Captain Edward Prall was ordered to serve on a Court of Judicature for the trial of Thomas Doyle, who was suspected and apprehended as a Spy or Emissary from the Enemy.[v45, p. 479] On the 28th of July, the Treasurer was ordered to pay Captain Prall "£14.5 due him for Stores per account passed by the Dept'y."[v45, p. 479]

Edward may have been dispatched to Annapolis, or on a recruiting mission back to Maryland, in late July or early August. Joseph Beall wrote Governor Lee on 3 August 1781 that "our recruits march tomorrow under care of Captain Praul about 45 in number recruits & Deserters." [v45, p. 39] Benjamin Nicholson wrote the governor on 4 August, "Sir - Please to order payment to Captain Edward Prall for $1500 due James Phillips in part of his Bounty for Enlisting & which sum I could not Borrow nor by any means get in the County." [v45, p. 42]

Captain Prall was evidently active in dealing with deserters from his company. He was also named three times on a list of "Recruits and Deserters sent to Annapolis" aboard the sloop "Liberty" on 17 August. Peter Scott enlisted in the Regiment and his enrollment was given to Captain Praul. Daniel King, a deserter, deserted from Captain Praul and was taken again. A recruit sent before by Captain Praul - Edward Freeman and deserted from Annapolis. [v45, p. 50] On 27 August, Thomas Hanan a Deserter sent to Annapolis by Captain Praul & from thence deserted & again taken up & re-enlisted on pretence of being discharged by the Council. [v45, p. 62]

The Commissary of Stores was ordered on 23 August to deliver 2¾ yards of Russia duck [heavy cotton linen] to Captain Edward Prall of the 1st Regiment and to be charged to him.

Captain Prall had a large number of soldiers from Charles County, Maryland in his company by 1 January 1782. His company would see action at least once during the year. Private William Pherson was taken prisoner on the 1st of May. [Md Arch: v18, p. 463]

On 1 January 1783, Captain Edward Prall resigned as a commissioned officer in the 1st Maryland Regiment of the Continental Army. He was approaching his 49th birthday. The Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland was organized at Annapolis on 23 November 1783. The purpose of the society was both fraternal and beneficial. The officers contributed a month's pay which went for widow's pensions, educational funds for fatherless and orphaned children, and other needs that arose. Edward Prall was an original member of the Maryland chapter.

1783: 2072 Sundry Accounts disbursed to Capt. Edward Prall -

pay of the army for subsidy from 1 June 1778 to 1 August 1780 - $ 175.70

pay and subsidy from 1 August 1780 to 1 January 1782 - $ 793.37

pay for the year 1782 - $ 480 / $ 1449.17

Communication account for five years full pay in lieu of half pay for life - $ 2400 / $ 3849.17

Capt. E. Prall - Disbursements to Sundry Accounts:

To United States for O Emiss [probably officer discharge:BEC] reduced $ 54.74 [possibly for lost equipment]

for sundries - $ 113.57 / $ 171.41

To State of Maryland for goods and cash -$ 419.37

To General Greene for cash - $ 24

To Cincinnati Society for 1 mo. pay - $ 40

To Certificates issued for 89171 & 89174, interest from different periods - $ 2895. 86 / $ 35550.79

Vol. 142, page 115 T.A. Johnson, copyist

[American Revolutionary War Service Records: Series M860, film #398]

The officers and enlisted men who served their country between 1775-1783 were due back pay from Congress. Congress was unable to meet the payrolls and offered bounty land in lieu of money. During the 1781 November session of the Maryland General Assembly it was decided that "All vacant lands west of Fort Cumberland [within the limits of Allegheny and Cumberland Counties] were appropriated for division into lots to be awarded to the men who served Maryland in the Revolution. Captain Edward Prall was assigned lots 1574, 1575, 1576, and 1577. [Officers received 4 lots, privates one lot.] Edward Prall received 300 acres in Muskingham County, Ohio.[http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/PatentSearch/Detail; History of Western Maryland, J. Thomas Scharf, p. 145-146]

Service: Maryland. Name: Prall, Edward. Number: BLWT. 1729-300. Captain

Issued: August 14, 1789, only one paper, no original papers. Under 'Service':

"This man also appears as "Praul" in Heitman's Historical Register in the Maryland Archives. The 2nd sheet [the only one in the files] states: Received of the Secretary of War, one land warrant for 300 acres of land in favor of Cap. Edward Prale, No. 1729-300, which I promise to deliver to his heirs or legal representative. War Office: 7 March 1805 John Auker

Edward Prall retired from military service and returned to Harford County. The record of his remaining years is from an assortment of county records. Where he resided from 1783-1803 is not known.

Edward purchased seven acres of land on 24 December 1783

His name frequently appeared in the proceedings of the Orphans Court of Harford County numerous times between 1785 and 1799. Edward was appointed to settle disputes, summoned as a witness in several cases, and witnessed the signing of various documents. Edward Prall replaced as auditor of estates of Samuel and Benjamin Baylis in August of 1785.

Prall was named co-executor of James Walker's estate on 14 March 1789. Also in 1789 he was a presidential elector and land commissioner. Captain Prall was granted Bounty Land Warrant # 1729-300 issued to Edward Prall for service during the American Revolution on 14 August 1789. On 28 August, while serving as Land Commissioner, he helped set boundaries for "Neighborhood" and "Bachelor's Good Luck." He was a taxpayer in 1798, being assessed $67.50 for 1 tract of 22 acres and 80 perches in the Susquehanna Hundred with no slaves.

On 12 April 1790 Edward Prall and five other justices authorized William Pinkney to act as an attorney for the county in a dispute between Harford and Baltimore Counties in a case to be heard on the 2nd Monday in May. In 1790 Edward was a candidate for the Maryland General Assembly, receiving 468 votes and served as judge of the county court..

On 3 January 1791 Edward witnessed the marriage between Samuel Grover and Ann Hopkins at the Deer Creek Quaker Meeting House. [Probably Darlington Friends Meeting House.][Quaker Records of Northern Maryland 1716-1800, Henry C. Peden, Jr., p.122]

From 1791-1793 Edward Prall was a member of the House of Delegates.

On 26 September 1792 Edward Prall was one of the managers of a lottery. The proprietor was Patrick Cretin. The prize was a plantation near the Lower Crossroads, Harford Co., Maryland. There were also prizes of livestock. The drawing was to be held at James Cretin's at the Black Horse Tavern on the York Rd.

On 12 October 1792 Edward was elected as delegate to the Maryland legislature for Harford County.[Notice in the "Baltimore Sun"]

Edward was named as an heir to Benjamin Prall, deceased.

He served on a Grand Jury in March 1798 and on a Petit Jury in August 1799.

Prall served on a petit jury for the August term 1800.

On 20 November 1800 Edward, named as Major Edward Prall, purchased 15 acres of land called "Good Neighborhood Enlarged" at the Lower Crossroads from George and Mary Vandergrift for $1. Vanergrift and James Bell had purchased the land jointly, but Bell died before the transaction was completed. On 10 November 1800, Major Prall had purchased a tract of land lying between that of Bell and Vandergrift from Thomas Haines of Mifflin Co., Pennsylvania, through Haines' attorney Dr. John Archer, for $1.[Harford Co. Deed Book JLG, p. 396-399] The land was sold by Edward's heirs [Cornelius and Christian Prall, Asher and Agnes Atkinson, Aaron Prall, Thomas Prall, Ann Prall, Elizabeth Prall, Mary Moore, Edward Prall, and Phineas and Deborah Ely] on 2 June 1812.][Harford Co. Deed Book HDW, p. 413-415]

On 10 February 1803 Captain Edward Prall, Esq. was treated by Dr. John Archer. [Ailment unspecified.]

Captain Edward Prall died intestate, probably during the latter part of July 1803. Whether he was being treated for an unspecified illness by his long-time friend Dr. Archer is not known. He was 69 years old.

Power of Attorney dated 31 August from Thomas Jeffrey of Harford County, Maryland administrator of Edward Prall, Esq., of the same dec'd [intestate] to Thomas Prall of Hunterdon County [New Jersey]. Letters of administration were granted to Thomas Jeffrey on 4 August 1803 in Harford Co., Maryland. Witness: Joseph Brownley - 10 December 1804.

The surviving heirs sold Edward's bounty land in Muskingham Co., Ohio in 1817.[Muskingham Co., Ohio Deed Book E, p. 310-313] The sale of the land verified several family relationships. Asher Atkinson stated that he was the only son and heir of Jemima Atkinson who was a sister of Captain Edward Prall. He received $100, a third of the sale price. Aaron, Thomas, Edward, and Anne Prall stated that they were the children of James Prall, also a brother of Edward. Mary Moore stated that she was a daughter of Pamelia Moore, daughter of James Prall. As a group, they received a third of the profits. Edward received $20, but the others only receive $16 each as $12 in back taxes were deducted from their share. Since Mary accepted her mother's full share, which meant none of her siblings were still alive. John Prall of Trenton stated that he was the son of Edward's brother, Cornelius. He accepted a sixth of the sale [$17], meaning that another of his siblings had died [probably Mary.]

The life of Edward Prall spanned approximately seventy years. He had grown up a farm boy, was the best educated among his siblings, and became a prominent merchant-trader in New Jersey. The rise of revolutionary activities marked him as a traitor to the crown and a patriot to his adopted home of Maryland. He served with the "Maryland Line", which became one of the most feared and respected battalions among their British opponents. He was wounded and captured at Long Island [a memorial to the memory of the "Maryland 400" was erected in Brooklyn's Prospect Park] and a veteran of the post-Valley Forge campaign and the Southern Campaign. The Maryland Line would be decimated in the south, but maintain its reputation. After resigning from service, Edward remained active in the political, business, and public arenas until his death. His was a long, active, and rewarding life.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Family Lore: John Oldham: New England Adventurer

OLDHAM: John Oldham was a controversial character in Plymouth Colonial history - in life and in death. He arrived in Plymouth in 1623 aboard the Anne with his sister Lucretia, his wife, step-son William Bridges, and six others. [Two other kinsmen, John and Thomas Oldham - possibly nephews - arrived on the Elizabeth and Ann in 1635.] He and his party, which probably included servants, were granted ten acres. On 1 April 1624, he was granted five hundred acres near Mount Frakes on the northwest of the Charles River.

Shortly after his arrival, Oldham involved himself with the Reverend John Lyford. Rev. Lyford had been sent by the "Adventurers"* as a possible pastor for the settlement. He had lived in Ireland before making the trip to Plymouth. Lyford almost immediately drew the ire of the Pilgrim Fathers. He wanted to practice Anglican rites, which the Separatist Pilgrims strongly opposed, and baptized a child whose parents were not members of the Plymouth Church. Rev. Lyford and his associates, including Oldham, were banished from Plymouth in mid-1624.

John Oldham's movements for the next several years were somewhat shadowy. He supposedly made an unsuccessful trading venture to Virginia. He also spent time at Nantasket [Hull], before returning to Plymouth in 1625. Bradford wrote that a guard of musketeers was appointed with each order to give Oldham a "thump on the birch with the butt end of his musket." Essentially, Oldham was forced to "run the gauntlet." Oldham convinced the leaders he was repentant and accepted back into the community.

Oldham was given the task of escorting Thomas Morton back to England in 1628. Morton had been involved in a servant revolt, in selling guns and ammunition to local Indians, and "cavorting" with the Indians. Morton had been warned to curtail his activities and eventually banished to England in June of 1628.

The Plymouth leaders orderd Oldham to turn Morton over to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, one of the men who controlled the Council of New England. John was able to secure from Gorges a grant of sizable proportions at the bottom of Massachusetts Bay. He was apparently trying to gain a position of influence in the colony. Charlestown was settled in 1629, possibly to prevent Oldham from gaining too much influence. He obtained a 500 acre grant in Watertown and became a leading citizen of that community.

He became active in coastal trading. One of his ventures, in July of 1636, took him near Block Island and Fisher's Island off the coast of present-day Rhode Island. John Oldham's fate was reported by John Gallup. In passing by water from Connecticut to Boston, he came upon Oldham's shallop. Indians were unloading goods from the vessel into a canoe. Gallup fired duck shot and the Indians, many of whom then abandoned the vessel. Others tried to hide on board, but Gallup rammed the shallop several times and several Indians jumped into the water and drowned. Gallup boarded Oldham's vessel and killed or took prisoner the remaining natives. He found Oldham's corpse on board. The trader's head had been split and his body badly bruised and mangled. Gallup cast the body overboard and tried to tow the vessel back to port. A high wind forced Gallup to set the shallop adrift. It soon broke apart with the Indian prisoners still on board. Two young boys [10 and 12] who were reportedly kinsmen of Oldham were rescued. [They were probably nephews of John Oldham.] Plymouth and Massachusetts colonists retaliated against the Indians. Oldham's death was one of the events that ignited the Pequot War in 1637.

*The Adventurers were those businessmen who had financed the Plymouth settlement in hopes of making great profit from the venture.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Hanging in Salem

NURSE & TOWNE: Francis Nurse and Rebecca Towne were married in Salem, Massachusetts in 1644 and reared a family of four sons and four daughters in Salem Village. In 1688, Francis was appointed to the committee to select a new minister for the church. Samuel Parris was selected, but by 1691 the Nurses and other families began to mistrust Parris. They stopped attending church and refused to contribute to the reverend's salary.

The Putnam family led the supporters of Rev. Parris. The Nurses were part of the anti-Parris faction led by the Porters. The Putnams and Porters had been at odds for nearly 20 years.

When several girls in the village, including Parris' daughter and niece, started behaving strangely in January of 1692, accusations of witchcraft were made. Over the next few months several citizens were accused of being witches. Among them were 71 year-old Rebecca Nurse and two of her sisters. Rebecca was hanged as a witch on 19 July 1692.

Many of those accused and executed were opponents of the Putnams and Rev. Parris. Parris was finally removed as minister in 1697.

Most of the Nurse family remained in Salem Village. Francis died there in 1695.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The McHugh Migration: West then Back East

MCHUGH: My McHughs had one of the more interesting migration patterns of the ancestral families. John McHugh and his elder brother Daniel came to the US from County Donegal, Ireland during the early 1830s. They found work in the coal mines near Mahanoy City, Schuylkill Co., PA. John married Sarah Hickey and started a family while Daniel added to his.

The brothers decided to head to west and north to the Galena, Illinois area during the early 1840s. The McHughs then moved north to Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, just across the state line, before 1850. The families would reside in the town of Gratiot and then Shullsburg.

John and Sarah died in Gratiot and were buried in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery. Daniel and his wife, Francis were buried at St. Matthew's Catholic Cemetery near Shullsburg.

Of John's children, all but one remained in Lafayette Co. Son Charles caught gold fever and headed to California in 1878. A cousin had him declared dead in 1914. Most of Daniel's brood stayed put as well. Eldest son, John went to Nebraska.

Two of John's grandsons by son Daniel went to Iowa. Charles was a farmer, railroader and plumber. He became Plumbing Inspector for Cedar Rapids. Cornelius eventually ended up in Cedar Falls, where he was mayor for several years.

John's son James fathered six children who lived to adulthood. They moved to Chicago with their mother, Louisa, in 1904. John was a cigar maker in Galena, IL, but moved back to Chicago, William worked in the steel industry in Joliet, George was a machinist for a tool company,  Frank was a tool maker and salesman, Josephine married a meat inspector and Charles was a tool and die maker. He moved to Indianapolis when his father-in-law was transferred there by the federal government in 1911. [see yesterday's post for his story.]

The latest generation of the McHugh clan is well scattered. Georgia, Texas, Florida and Indiana have been stops for us.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Putt-Putt Boat & the Tool & Die Business

MCHUGH: Very few of you are old enough to remember the "Putt-Putt Boat." It was a power propelled toy boat that gained popularity after 1915.  Here is how it came about. Charles J. McHugh, owner of Universal Tool and Die in Indianapolis, Indiana, designed the toy and applied for a patent on 8 February 1915.

The "Putt-Putt Boat" was made of thin sheet metal and a pipe to allow steam to escape. The invention consisted of "a conduit having one open end to be immersed in water and another open end inclosed in a steam boiler whereby the water is alternatively drawn into the conduit and forcibly expelled therefrom to produce power..." The patent [#1,200,960] was issued 10 October 1916. The "Putt-Putt" was produced by the H-K Toy and Novelty Co. of Indianapolis. The boat became a tremendously popular item in the years after World War I.

A second patent was applied for on 25 June 1924 by Charles McHugh and Durward Rivers. The second patent called for modifications and improvements in the original design of and method of propulsion for the "putt-putt" boat. Patent # 1,596,934 was issued by the U.S. Patent Office for the power-propelled boat on 24 August 1926.

The toy boat brought the McHugh family a nice profit. Unfortunately, the Depression hit and Universal Tool and Die was lost. Charles got back into the tool and die business in 1937. He started Indianapolis Tool and Die and ran it until 1942. McHugh and his two eldest sons then started Craftsman Tool and Engineering Co., which they operated until the end of WWII. Charles opened a small tool and die shop behind his house during the early 1950s. He also taught his son-in-law the business.

My Dad was co-owner of Van All Tool and Die for many years.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


LAUBSCHER -WAGNER: Tracking these two families was an interesting Problem Solving project. I knew that they hailed from Pennsylvania and emigrated from Baden thanks to census records. There were a lot of blanks to fill in. Quite a few remain, but I have part of the story of John Wagner and Catherine Laubscher pieced together.

The first part of the mystery was figuring out Catherine's maiden name, which was given on her son William's death record. The handwriting was not the best and determining the surname was difficult. Lansher, Lancher, Laubacher and Laubscher seemed the most likely candidates. My Problem Solving consultants and cohorts determined 'Laubscher' was it. [That had been my vote as well.]

Catherine Laubscher and John Wagner, German Catholics, were married in Pennsylvania about 1842. A son, Henry was born in 1844. By 1845 they were in Missouri, evidently attracted by the lead mining opportunities around Madison County in the southeastern part of the state. William and Louisa were born there.

The 1850 census offered a surprise. A George Laubscher, miner, was indexed in Madison Co. In the same householder was a Wagner family, Margaretha and her three children John, Henry and Mary. The ages and birthplaces were a match for Catherine, Henry, William and Louisa. Had the enumerator erred? Were the names given the baptismal names? John and Catherine Wagner and George Laubscher were involved in land transactions in Lafayette Co. The Wagners in 1860 were exactly 10 years older than the 1850 family. Wisconsin in 1851. Catherine and Margaretha had to be the same person.

The 1855 Wisconsin State census showed Catherine as head of household with 2 males and 2 females. John had died between 1851 and 1855.

George and Lewis Laubscher served the Union Army with Company C of the 2nd Missouri Light Infantry that was assigned to defend the forts around St. Louis. Lewis was discharged in 1863 due to medical problems and returned to Pennsylvania. He died in 1878. George was injured while helping to lower a drawbridge and was discharged in 1862. Like Lewis, he returned to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1886. George was living with Charles Laubscher in 1870. It is believed that Lewis, George, Charles and Catherine were siblings.

Catherine remained in Lafayette Co., Wisconsin until her death. The only clue to the year of Catherine's death came from a petition to the Probate Court in 1892. Lester Metcalf , the petitioner, stated that he was residing on 40 acres that had belonged to Catherine Wagner, who had "died 10 or more years ago." Her husband, John, had "died many years ago." That placed Catherine's death around 1882. She was still living in 1880.

You never know! As I was confirming that Catherine was indeed in the 1880 census, another item popped up on Ancestry.com: 21 July 1841 German Reformed Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
marriage of Johannes Wagner to Catharina Laubscher, both of the city! Holy Cow!!
TDP -3/12/15

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Perhaps It Was A Matter of Family Honor: A Tale of the Old West

JERRELL: Once again, a collateral family takes the forefront. In 1866 the Reno Brothers Gang of Jackson Co., Indiana introduced a new concept to American outlawry - the train robbery. Among the local boys who joined the Renos was a young house painter named Henry Jerrell. Henry was the eldest of eight children born to Henry and Serepta Jerrell.

Henry and other gang members fled to Illinois after an aborted train robbery in 1868. Young Jerrell wrote his girlfriend in Louisville how to contact him under an assumed name. There was a problem, the girl was illiterate and had to have the letter read to her. A Pinkerton agent was within earshot and Henry and his confederates were arrested two days later.

A wagon carrying Henry and the other gang members to Brownstown, Indiana was stopped by 200 masked vigilantes. The outlaws were lynched. Henry Jerrell was 22 years old.

Now for the rest of the story......

Henry's younger brother William left Indiana about the time of Henry's death. William headed west and settled in Las Cruces, Dona Ana Co.,New Mexico Territory. There he settled, raised a family, ran a grocery and a saloon. In 1884, another Las Cruces merchant was held up. A deputy was sent after the thief, but wired that he had run out of funds. A townsman was enlisted to deliver more money to the deputy, but gambled it away. William Jerrell was then appointed a Deputy Sheriff for Dona Ana and sent after the robber.

William was on a stagecoach bound for San Angelo, Texas when the driver was warned by another stage that  hold-up men awaited them. Jerrell and a Texas Ranger onboard the coach shot it out with the outlaws. William Jerrell was wounded and died at the San Angelo Hotel that night. He had been killed in the line of duty as a Deputy Sheriff.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Who was George Gulley?

GULLEY: Every once in awhile a record pops up that is just out and out confusing! Such is the case of a DAR application for one George Gulley.

My ancestor Enoch Gulley had two brothers Richard and John who served in the Revolutionary War. There is no record of Enoch having served, however.

A DAR application was filed in 1916 and accepted for a descendant of a George Gulley. This George Gulley served as a private in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. He was born in England in 1750 and died in 1814 and married to Frances Franklin. The application was filed through the lineage of daughter Frances [1792-1878] who married David Pruitt. Also named as children were George, Betsy, and Sally.

Enoch Gulley was born in 1750, married Frances "Franky" Franklin, had a daughter Frances who married David Pruitt, and had children named George, Betsy, and Sally. He was, however, alive and well in 1814. Enoch Gulley died about 1829 in Indiana.

The DAR has since declared the 1916 application for the George Gulley line an "error in lineage."

Was George Gulley actually Enoch?

Monday, March 16, 2015

George's Right-hand Man

GREENE: The collateral lines can provide some fascinating "cousins." This is one of my favorites!

Nathanael Greene, "The Quaker General", was born in 1742. His father was described as "an anchor-smith, a Quaker and a fanatic, who brooked no compromise with the world, the flesh and the devil, whose broad brim and cut-a-way, high-collared and stiff, were always of the most sanctimonious fashion - the lines of whose life had no softening save as found in the gentle 'thee' and 'thou' of Quaker speech. Unsparingly severe toward himself, he scorned and pitilessly scourged all self-indulgence in his bright, gay-tempered son, who evaded the iron rule of his sire for his own conscience sake, whenever occasion presented itself." The same person described Nathanael as "a brave, ingenious strategist long before George Washington found him out! The youngsters of that day called him 'Natty,' but to the Quakers he was known as Nathanael, though not 'without guile,' as despite his collarless, spike-tailed drab coat, Nathanael was a sad dandy at heart and a worldling Quaker!"

In 1740 Nathanael's father and uncles became owners of the mill properties. They opened a second mill at Coventry in 1741. The Coventry mill maintained over one hundred families. The mill village was called "Greenville."

The elder Greene believed that his sons should receive a limited education and be trained to work at the family "Forge Mill." Nathanael, like his brothers, worked as "blacksmiths" at the family business. Nathanael and his brothers established a successful forge on the southwest branch of the Pawtuxet River in Coventry near the Warwick town line.

In spite of his father's beliefs, Nathanael managed to study mathematics, history, and law. He was described as an involuntary member of the Society of Friends. As was the rule of the society, the parents were Quakers, therefore the children were also members.

In 1769 an agreement was made by Nathanael, Griffin, John, and Benjamin Greene for the management of the Coventry facility. With the move to Coventry, Nathanael was out from under his father's stern rule. He was able to pursue his self-education and help organize the first public school in the town. Nathanael was elected Deputy to the General Assembly from Coventry in April 1770 and held the office almost continuously until he was promoted to Major-General in the Continental Army.

The fever of independence overtook the colonies into the early 1770s. In 1773 Nathanael attended a military meeting with his cousin, Griffin Greene, and took an active part in military drills. The Quaker authorities made clear their displeasure and eventually excluded Nathanael from the Society.

He was influential in forming the Kentish Guards military unit at East Greenwich in 1774. Ten of the thirty-seven charter members of the outfit bore the surname Greene. That December, Nathanael and four others of high military rank were appointed by the General Assembly to revise the militial laws of Rhode Island.

Nathanael had married Katharine "Kitty" Littlefield in July of 1774. Kitty's family had settled in New Shoreham, Block Island in 1721. The marriage took place at the home of his third cousin, William Greene, who would become Governor of Rhode Island. William's wife, Catharine Ray was the bride's aunt. The births of Nathanael's and Kitty's children coincided with the winter encampments during the war.

On 8 May 1775, Nathanael was chosen Brigadier-General of the Rhode Island Army of Observation. He was at Boston on 24 March 1776, to begin his distinguished career in the American Revolution. General Greene was assigned to the defense of Long Island, arriving on 17 April 1776. His command was transferred to the Jerseys in October. He was actively involved in the disastrous Battle of Long Island and retreated with Washington across the Jerseys into Pennsylvania in December. By this time Brigadier-General Greene was Major-General Greene.

Nathanael's loyalty and dedication to General Washington was rewarded with his appointment as Quartermaster-General of the Army on 2 March 1778. It was not a job he enjoyed. Greene longed to serve his country in the field. He was assigned to the Rhode Island Expedition in August of 1778.

1780 proved to be an eventful year for Nathanael Greene. On 26 July he resigned as Quartermaster-General. After Benedict Arnold's failed attempt to turn the plans to West Point, New York over to the British, Greene served as president of the Courts Martial at British Major John Andre's trial on 29 September. Andre, General Arnold's co-conspirator in the West Point Incident, was hanged as a spy. Greene was next put in command of West Point on 6 October, replacing Arnold.

Washington had long lobbied Congress for Greene's promotion. The failures of Charles Lee and Horatio Gates finally earned him the opportunity.

Gates was placed in command of the Army in the South by Congress, without consulting with Washington. Gates suffered a humiliating defeat at Camden, South Carolina and fled to safety, leaving his troops in the field.

On 14 October 1780 Nathanael Greene was appointed Commander of the Army in the Southern Department. This made him second in command to the Commander-in-Chief. He assumed command of Gates' shattered army and began the task of running British commander Lord Cornwallis to ground.

Following Daniel Morgan's brilliant victory at Cowpens, North Carolina, Greene met Cornwallis at Guilford Court House. Although the battle was technically a British victory, the Americans soundly thrashed Cornwallis' troops. Cornwallis retreated from the Carolinas to Yorktown, Virginia on 19 March 1781. The British claimed victory over Greene at Hobkirk's Hill, near Camden, on 25 April. Greene laid siege to Ninety-Six from 22 May - 19 June. He defeated the British at Eutaw Springs on 8 September. Meanwhile the combined forces of the Americans under Washington and the French under Rochambeau laid siege to Yorktown, forcing Cornwallis to surrender on 18 October. After Hobkirk's Hill, Greene wrote, "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again."

General Greene marched his army triumphantly into Charleston, South Carolina to reoccupy the city on 14 December 1782.

For his service in the war, Greene was awarded with two pieces of captured ordinance, a British standard, and a gold medal. On 18 January 1782, the South Carolina General Assembly voted the General 10,000 guineas. The North Carolina Legislature voted him 5000 guineas and 25,000 acres of land on 13 April of that year. From the Georgia Legislature, on 1 May 1782, Nathanael received 5000 guineas and 24,000 acres of land. Part of the Georgia grant was the confiscated plantation of Lieutenant-Governor John Graham, who had remained loyal to the Crown. The plantation, known as "Mulberry Grove", was located on the Savannah River, about twelve miles from Savannah and consisted of about 2171 acres. Cumberland Island, near Georgia's southern border, was also part of the grant.

Major-General Nathanael Greene had received frequent praise from General Washington and Congress for his actions in the Southern Campaign. He had been a loyal and trusted officer under Washington's command. After Greene was appointed to command the Army in the South, he became second in command to General Washington. Had Washington died in battle, Greene would have been at the head of the Continental Army.

After the war, the Greene family settled at Mulberry Grove. On 19 June 1786, Nathanael Greene died suddenly from "a congestive chill induced by exposure to the hot sun when unprotected." He was 44 years old. On 8 August of that year, Congress resolved that a monument to General Greene's patriotism, valor, and ability be erected. The people of Georgia erected a statue of Greene in Savannah's Johnson Square on 21 March 1825. The corner-stone was laid by the General's friend, the Marquis de Lafayette. When the states were invited by Congress to furnish two full-length marble statues for the old Hall of the House of Representatives in 1864, Rhode Island submitted a statue of General Greene. In 1877 an equestrian statue of Greene was erected in Sherman Square, east of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Kitty Greene remarried 28 June 1796 at Philadelphia to Phineas Miller. Miller had served as a tutor to the Greene children and was eleven years Kitty's junior. The couple lived at Dungeness, Cumberland Island, Georgia. Kitty died there 2 September 1814.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

All in the Family or Families

FAUCETT & CAWBY: A brief return to my Faucett and Cawby families. Benjamin Franklin Faucett and Nancy Clark were the parents of five children, four boys and a girl. The three eldest boys were Alpheus, James and Charles. Martin Cawby Jr. and Lucinda Gulley had three girls and a boy. The daughters were Mary Alice, Helen and Elizabeth.

On 19 August 1884 James Fauctt and Helen Cawby were married in Indianapolis, Indiana.

On 18 April 1885 Charles Faucett and Elizabeth Cawby were married in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Alpheus Faucett had married Sarah Kidder on 12 September 1878 in Hendricks Co., Indiana. Sarah died in 1887. Alpheus remained a widower for 13 years.

On 13 August 1900 Alpheus Faucett married Mary Alice Cawby in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The three Faucett brothers married the three Cawby sisters.

John and Eve [Fry] Faucett and Joseph and Rebecca [Hurin] Faucett are buried at Shiloh Methodist Cemetery near Avon, IN. Benjamin was originally buried at Shiloh, but his remains were removed to Crown Hill in Indianapolis in 1893.

Section 39, Lot #122 at Crown Hill contains the remains of Benjamin and Nancy [Clark] Faucett, James Edmund and Helen [Cawby] Faucett, Charles and Elizabeth [Cawby] Faucett, Alpheus and Mary Alice [Cawby] Faucett, Martin and Lucinda [Gulley] Cawby, Edwin Ray Faucett [Charles], Leroy [Benjamin], an infant son of James and Blanch [Campbell] Faucett, James' daughter-in-law.
The names of Benjamin F. and Edwin R. Faucett, whose remains were transferred from Shiloh to Crown Hill are the only names on the monument.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Family Story: Indian captive, Army scout, Pioneer and Farmer

FAUCETT: John Faucett has been the topic of more than one post. He is one of many ancestors I would love to meet. [Just to fill in some blanks in his story, if for no other reason!]

John was born in August 1751 in the Greenbrier Valley of Augusta County, Virginia. [Now Greenbrier Co., WV] About 1760, Indians, probably Shawnee, raided the valley. John was taken captive and his mother and siblings killed. He spent several years with the Indians and was adopted into the tribe. John probably had frequent contact with other whites during peaceful interludes while he was with the Indians. Versions vary as to how John returned to his people, but young Faucett was back among the whites by the early 1770s.

John was living near Beeson's Town about 12 miles from the Old Redstone Fort in when he was called into service with the Pennsylvania  militia in 1777. He would serve six tours of duty as a "ranger and spy" on the western Pennsylvania, northern Virginia and eastern Ohio Territory frontier. In May or June of 1780 or 1781, while serving under Captain Pierce, John saw his first and only assignment to Virginia Regulars.

After the war, John turned to farming in Washington Co., PA. By 1797, John decided it was time to move on west. Faucett and his wife, Eve Fry, traveled overland to the Ohio River and began the trek along the river to Cincinnati, Ohio. Son Joseph was born along the way. The Faucetts settled north of Cincinnati in what would become Warren County. John saw his family grow and four of his children marry in Ohio. It was time to move again in the 1820s. John purchased two tracts of central Indiana land in 1823 and moved the family west the next year.

One tract was in Marion County, while the other was in newly formed Hendricks County. John settled in Marion and deeded the other to Joseph and his two sons-in-law. Family social activities seemed to have taken place in Hendricks County. The Faucetts attended church at Shiloh Methodist Church and several of them were buried in the church cemetery.

John and son David farmed the Marion Co. land until John's death in 1838.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Welsh Cousins

EVANS & PUGH: Robert Pugh and Sarah Evans were natives of Merionethshire, Wales and were Quakers. They were married by 1695 and arrived in Philadelphia in 1698. They settled in the Friends community of Gwynedd.

Robert's paternal lineage was Hugh ap Griffith, Griffith ab Evan & Evan Robert Lewis. Sarah's paternal line was Evan Lloyd Evans & Evan Robert Lewis. That made them first cousins once removed.

A similar relationship existed with my grandmother's sister and brother-in-law. Freda Faucett and Dewitt Clinton Pentzer shared a common great-grandparents, Willis Gulley and Betsy Land. They were 2nd cousins.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dutch Mariner, Morocco, Piracy, Islam, New Amsterdam, Pioneers, Fallen Women and Scandal

THE JANSEN VAN SALEE AND EMANS FAMILIES: This tale would probably make a great series for cable TV. It is a doozy!

Jan Jansen Van Haarlem was known as Murat Rais, The Admiral of the Barbary Coast Pirate Fleet. The career of Jan Jansen Van Haarlem is fascinating.

Jan's origins were typical of his time. He was born are reared in Haarlem in the Netherlands. He married and fathered a daughter, Lysbeth, and most likely two or three other children. [According to the Shoemaker Genealogy site the other children may have been two sons named Symon and Hendrick and a second daughter.] The young man eventually abandoned his Dutch family. Jan chose the life of a merchant seaman, and the adventure began!

He would be known by many names over the next four decades: Captain John, John Barber, Little John Ward, Caid Moroto, Morat, Morat Rais, Murad, Murad Reis, Mutare Reis, Morato Reis, and Murat Reis.

About 1600, Jan sailed into the port of Cartagena, Spain. Here he met and married a Mudejar Muslim woman named Margrietje. It is believed she was employed by a Christian Spanish noble. The Mudejares were Muslims who helped the Spanish defeat the Moors in 1492 and remained in the employ of the Spanish nobles. Jan started a second family in Spain - four sons, one of whom was Anthony van Salee.

In 1605 Jan sailed from La Rochelle with letters of marque to capture Spanish pirates from Duinkerken [Dunkirk] on the coast of France. Duinkerken was a base of operation for Spanish privateers. [A letter of marque was authority given to private persons to fit out an armed ship and use it to attack, capture, and plunder enemy merchant ships in time of war.]

The Mudejares and Moriscos [Christian Moors] were expelled from Spain in 1610. Jan Jansen probably moved his family to Salee, Morocco. This was the place of settlement for most of the refugees.

In 1618 Jan Jansen was captured by corsairs at Lancerote in the Canary Islands and taken to Algiers, Algeria. Jan joined the corsairs and sailed with Van Veenboer [Sulayman Rais.] Van Veenboer "quit to shore" that same year and Jan became captain [Rais] of his ship. When attacking Spanish ships, Jan flew a Dutch flag; otherwise he flew the red half moon of the Turks.

Algiers made peace with some of the European nations in 1619. This forced Jan to set up his base in Salee. Salee declared itself a semi-independent pirate republic and became the home base of the "Sally Rovers." Jan was elected Admiral of the corsair fleet and president of the city. He had about seventeen fast corsairs built for his fleet.

Jan converted to Islam in 1622 and becomes a renegado [a European who joined the Turks.] In November, he sailed into the port of Veere, Zeeland, under a Moroccan flag and claimed diplomatic immunity. There Jan was reunited with his Dutch family. His wife and children tried to persuade him to return home. [It is likely that he had been supporting his first family, even after abandoning them.] Several Dutch seamen, in opposition to the government, joined Jan's crew and he returned to sea, attacking several French ships.

About 1623 Sultan Moulay Ziden laid siege to Salee. Unable to capture the city, the sultan appointed Jan Governor of Salee. The next year Jan married one of the sultan's daughters to cement their friendship. [Although this was Jan's third marriage, only two were recognized by Islam. The first marriage to a Christian woman did not count. There may have been children from the marriage to the Sultan's daughter.]

Jan captured a Spanish ship in 1626 and sold it in Veere, Zeeland. The next year he set up his base of operations in Algiers. He led a raid on Reykjavik, Iceland and returned to Algiers with booty and 400 captives to sell as slaves.

Jan sent two of his sons, Abraham and Anthony, to Amsterdam, Noord Holland, The Netherlands to escape a 1629 famine in Morocco. Anthony left Amsterdam for New Amsterdam, New Netherland and married Grietje Reyniers on board ship.

Jan Jansen led the sack of Baltimore, Cork, Ireland in 1631 and returned with booty and 108 captives to sell as slaves. He participated in a truce between Sultan el Walid and Louis XIII in 1635. Jan was captured by the Maltese Knights that same year. He escaped from the Maltese Knights five years later. Jansen was appointed Governor of Oualidia in southern Morocco upon his return home.

Jan was appointed Governor of the Castle of Maladia on the west coast of Morocco and was visited by daughter Lysbeth and her husband in 1641. This was the last year of record for Murat Rais. Following his death, the old privateer was buried in an unmarked grave, according to Muslim custom.

Anthony Jansen Van Salee, son of Murat Rais, was Of Dutch origin. Young Anthony joined his father in career and religion, Islam. He would return to Europe as a sea captain for Spain and venture to America. He and his wife would be outcast for their reputations and his faith, only to return and become pioneers at Gravesend.

There has been some question as to Anthony Jansen van Salee's heritage. Some sources report that he was a mulatto, others that his mother was Jan's first wife. If the account presented here, that Jan abandoned his first family and started a second in Spain with a Moorish woman is correct, then Anthony was indeed of mixed blood. [Were his bloodlines Dutch - Arabic or Dutch - Moorish?] Anthony listed himself as a seaman from Cartagena. Had he listed his home as Fez or Salee in Morocco, he would be advertising his connection with his father's pirate fleet. Whether Anthony was using his birthplace or covering his tracks is up to the reader to decide.

Anthony Jansen was born in Cartagena, Spain about 1607. His father had been a merchant seaman from Haarlem, The Netherlands. Cartagena was one of his ports of call. Here Jan Jansen met and married a Moorish woman and had four sons by her. Jan had left behind a family in Haarlem, a wife and at least a daughter, possibly other children. By the time Anthony had reached adulthood, his father had been captured by Moroccan pirates, converted to Islam, and had become the Admiral of the Sultan's fleet based in the North African town of Salee. Throughout the region Jan Jansen van Haarlem was known at Murat Rais. Anthony became a "seaman" and served in his father's fleet.

When a famine struck Morocco in 1629, Anthony and his elder brother, Abraham, were sent to safety in the Netherlands. Anthony continued his career as a seaman, listing his home as Cartagena, Spain. Anthony decided to try his luck in New Amsterdam and sailed for the Dutch colonial city in 1629.

According to the records of the Gemeente-Archief in Amsterdam Anthony married widow Grietje Reyniers of Wesel, Germany on 15 December 1629. Grietje was 27 and Anthony was 22. They were married on board ship enroute to New Netherlands. The shipboard marriage was probably more convenient for the couple due to Anthony being a Muslim. It would be an interesting marriage.

At the age of 24, Grietje had married 20 year-old Aelbert Egberts, a tailor from Haarlem, on 26 September 1626. Aelbert died before Grietje set sail for America.

In Amsterdam, Grietje had been discharged from her job as a waiting girl in Pieter de Winter's tavern for improper conduct. Anthony had been a pirate, a profession not regarded with favor by the Dutch, even though the sultan's ships were built and outfitted in The Netherlands.

The couple arrived in New Amsterdam in 1630. Anthony became an excellent and prosperous farmer. His troubles started in 1638, when Anthony and Grietje refused to pay their share of the Rev. Bogardus' salary and called the reverend and his wife liars. The Jansens were forced to apologize and pay their share of Bogardus' salary.

Jansen was sued for debt by Bogardus on 3 June and Hendrick Jansen sued Anthony for slander on the same date. On 30 September Anthony sued Bogardus for debt. An alleged report concerning Grietje questioning the father of her third daughter came about on October 6th. When told that the child was dark-skinned, Grietje was satisfied that Anthony was the father. [This story has recently been brought into question due to Anthony's Muslim upbringing and that faith's views on infidelity.] Throughout the rest of the year, Anthony was charged slander, bound to keep the peace and fined, and sued for the loss of a hog.

Grietje's previous dismissal from de Winter's tavern came to light on 21 March 1639. On the 30th she was charged with intoxication following a quarrel. Anthony charged Hendrick Jansen with calling him a rogue and a horned beast. Two people made declarations against Anthony concerning the death of his dog, which appeared to have been offered as a sacrifice. On 7 April the Jansens were charged with being "public disturbers of the peace."

They were then "banished forever" from New Amsterdam on 17 April, 1639. Instead of leaving the colony, the couple went briefly into hiding. Anthony sold his New Amsterdam holdings on 7 May. On 3 August Anthony was granted 100 morgens [200 acres] on Long Island that was to become the sites for Gravesend and New Utrecht, across from Coney Island on Gravesend Bay.* The purchase was confirmed 19 May 1643. Jansen was sued by Andries Hudde on 4 August and 27 October 1639, then lent Hudde three goats on 14 February 1640.

There were numerous other court cases in the years that followed..

In December of 1653, Thomas Southard, Anthony's son-in-law, brought suit against him. The action involved Annica's dowery and some cattle. Southard had Anthony imprisoned, but the governor and his council ordered an immediate release. David Prevost and Hendrick Kip, along with a third party were to decide the case at Anthony's request, to "avoid a tedious suit between father and son." The outcome is unknown, but the Southards moved to Hempsted and the Jansens remained in Gravesend.

Anthony was involved in several real estate transactions in New Amsterdam after his banishment. He bought and sold several lots and may have returned to New Amsterdam after renting his Long Island farm to Edmund Adley. Among his Long Island holdings were his farm [lot # 29] in Gravesend and land he bought from the Indians on 26 September 1651.

There were also long and quarrelsome disputes between Jansen and others involving the boundaries of Gravesend and New Utrecht.

Anthony must have converted to, or at least followed, Christian beliefs; for in a document dated April 1660, Jansen, Jan Emans [his eventual son-in-law], Nicholas Stillwell, and others complained that "the town had a licentious mode of living, and that desecration of the Sabbath and confusion of religious opinion prevailed. As a result, many had grown cold in the practice of Christian virtues." They requested that a pastor be sent to them. [A descendant of Anthony Jansen later sold a beautiful copy of the "Koran"[in Arabic], which was supposed to have belonged to the immigrant.]

Grietje died in 1666 and Anthony remarried in 1670 to Metje Gravenraet. All four of Anthony's daughters were by Grietje.

In May 1674 Anthony was charged with harboring a Quaker and fined 600 beaver pelts. His second wife claimed that she had let the Quaker stay overnight believing that the local authorities had granted permission. The fine was reduced to one pelt.

Anthony's brother Abraham is mentioned in 1643. He, brother Phillip Jansen, and Jan Jansen were partners in the privateer vessel, "Seven Stars" which landed at Jansen's Long Island farm. According to witnesses, the crew took 200 pumpkins. Abraham and Philip declared that there was only a small lot of pumpkins, cabbage and fowl.

Abraham fathered a child by a Negress and left them property, although he never married the child's mother. Abraham died in April 1659 at the home of Catalyntje Rapaljie, wife of Joris. Abraham van Salee was referred to as "Turk" and as "alias the mulatto" in 1658 when he was charged with not contributing to the support of Reverend Polhemus. He claimed to not understand Dutch.

Abraham, Philip and Jan Jansen were part owners in the privateer, "La Garce" in 1643-44. A Jan Jansen Van Ryn owned lot # 27 in Gravesend and Anthony owned lot # 29. In 1659, Jan Jansen purchased lots # 9 and # 10 for his son, Abraham and in February 1660, bought lot # 18 for his brother, Cornelius.

Anthony died sometime during 1676. His widow had produced an inventory and prenuptial agreement [stating that the "longer lived" was to retain full possession of the estate]. On 26 September of that year, Anthony's daughters and their husbands petitioned for their share of the estate and claimed the inventory to be incorrect. Apparently the petition was disallowed, as widow Maetje was granted letters of administration by Governor Andros on 25 March 1677.

The "life and legend" of Anthony Jansen van Salee had come to an end.

Sarah Jansen, third daughter of Anthony and Grietje, married Jan Emans. He was
likely the son of John Eman, a London goldsmith who arrived at James City, Virginia aboard the Bonny Bess on 24 September 1624. Eman was a notary public in York Co., Virginia in 1645. Young John was probably born about 1625 in James City.

It would appear that Jan Emans migrated to New Netherland with Lt. Nicholas Stillwell, possibly as one of his soldiers. Stillwell and Emans appear to have been close acquaintances. Stillwell arrived on Manhattan Island in 1639, but returned to Virginia where he was conscripted to fight Indians on 3 December 1644. Lt. Stillwell and some of his soldiers went to New Netherland afterwards. Emans may well have been among those soldiers. Stillwell was a noted citizen of Manhattan, Gravesend and Staten Island.

Jan Emans was one of the 39 petitioners for a grant of land for the village of Gravesend on Long Island, which was granted by patent 19 December 1645. Gravesend was recorded as a town in 1688. Emans was listed as a freeholder in 1656. On 12 April 1660, along with his brother-in-law, J. Kim, he signed an application for the appointment of clergymen for villages in Kings Co. Emans was a juror in 1677, a constable in 1678, Deputy Mayor of Gravesend in 1679, and clerk of courts from 1698-1702. In 1696 he was witness to a document and signed his name as "John Eman, Sr." John Emans, Sr. was listed on the 1698 Census roll as being of English extraction. According to the family genealogy, Jan Emans was a master cooper.

Jan Emans was married twice. The first, about 1660, was to Sarah Jansen. At least five and most likely seven children were born to Jan and Sarah: John, Jr., Andries, Abraham, Jacobus, Sarah, and probably Anthony and Hendrick.* [The latter two would have died prior to 1699.] Jan married for the second time about 1680 to a young woman named Engeltie. They had a daughter, Cornelia.

Jan's will was dated 7 August 1714 and proved 11 October 1715. This would probably place his death sometime in September of 1715.