Saturday, March 10, 2018

Golden Wedding and the Golden Coins

The Evening Leader, Staunton, Virginia
Wednesday, November 15, 1922

   Mr. and Mrs. J. W. White celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their home near Mt. Solon on Nov. 14, with their children and many other relatives present. The occasion was a delightful one, and a real old Virginia dinner was served to the large company assembled to greet Mr. and Mrs. White. Yellow chrysanthemums were used in profusion for house and table decorations. Many beautiful presents were received.
   Mr. and Mrs. White have six children, 40 grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren.
   Present at the golden wedding were Mrs. Clara Brown and two sons, White Throne, Va.; Mr. and Mrs. A. S. White and four children, White Throne; Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Clemmer and nine children, of near Staunton; Mr. and Mrs. B. B. White and daughter, Staunton; Mr. Ernest White, at home; Mr. Walter Sandy, a son-in-law, and two children, Mt. Solon; Mrs. I. S. Brown, Abilene, Texas; Miss Leila Brown, Waynesboro; Mrs. G. C McClain, Greenville; Mr. and Mrs. John Props, Mt. Solon; Mr. and Mrs. James Props, Mt. Solon; and the Rev. Mr. Harris.

The honorees, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. White, were my 2nd Great Grandparents Mary (aka Mollie) Agnes Brown and John William White. I introduced my readers to Great Grandfather in post JOHN WILL WHITE, Father, Grandfather, GreatGrandfather – 52 Ancestors. It’s Good to See you, Grandma Mollie features Great Grandmother.

Mollie Agnes Brown married John William White near Waynesboro, Virginia Nov. 14, 1872. They lived in the Middle River District, Augusta County, VA with their children—Clara Louise, James William, Arthur Stuart, Ella Virginia, Olive Leora, Bernard Brown and Ernest Boyd White.

So who are these folks that spent an enjoyable Sunday at the Great Grandparents’ place?

The first five guests listed above were the White siblings who celebrated their parents’ golden wedding anniversary along with children and spouses. Olive Leora (White) Sandy died in 1919 but widower Walter Sandy attended the party.
Mrs. I. S. Brown from Abilene, Texas was Lou Brown--the wife of Great Grandmother’s brother, Isaac Stuart Brown. The family called him Uncle Ike and they traveled from Abilene to be at the golden wedding. Uncle Ike left Augusta County for Texas years before. His Virginia family called him their millionaire uncle because he became wealthy in the sheep and cattle business. While remembering Uncle Ike in the Clemmer History, Uncle Casper Garber wrote “On the occasion of Grandfather and Grandmother White’s 50th anniversary, he and his wife came back, and the family remembers that he left them some gold coins for the occasion.”

Miss Leila Brown and Mrs. G. C. McClain were sisters and nieces of Grandma Mollie. Leila and Alma’s father, Henry Weed Brown, passed a few months earlier leaving Uncle Ike and Grandma Mollie the surviving Brown siblings.

I don’t know of any connection to Mr. and Mrs. John Props nor Mr. and Mrs. James Props. Perhaps they were neighbors.

Clergyman Rev. Mr. Harris completed the Evening Leader’s guest list.

Ignace Henri Jean Fantin-Latour

My ancestry
2nd Great Grandparents John William White and Mary Agnes Brown
Great Grandmother Ella Virginia White and husband James Clyde Clemmer
Grandmother Lucy Leora Clemmer and husband James McFall Joseph
My Father

Saturday, March 3, 2018

#52 Ancestors: Where there’s a Will

Join me as I share my ancestor’s will and annotations. Don’t forget to contact me if we’re related. 

In the name of God Amen I Joseph Brundige of the town of Minisink in Orange County being sick and weak in body but of sound mind memory and understanding do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say  

When Joseph prepared his will Feb. 2, 1830, 4th Great Grandfather was 60 years of age. The section in Minisink where Joseph Brundage lived would later become the town of Wawayanda.

First I give and devise to my sons Orzimus C., William T., Samuel, Abijah, Mastin and Merrit all my real estate consisting of about one hundred and twenty acres of land to hold to their and to their heirs and assigns forever subject to the legacies charges and conditions herein after mentioned

Great Grandfather purchased several pieces of land in the Minisink area according to deeds at the Orange County Government Center, Goshen, NY.  On Sept. 24, 1804 he acquired 61 and 3/4 acres from John Green and his wife Cloe. [Deeds Liber L, page 78.]  The June 15, 1813 issue of the Orange County Gazette reported the 61 3/4 acres was slated to be sold for non-payment of interest.

In March of 1815, Joseph bought 70 acres he formerly owned from Holloway Stephens and wife Amy. [Deeds Liber 39, page 189.]  Joshua Mulock and wife Sarah sold him 50 acres Jan. 4, 1823.  [Deeds Liber 39, page 191.]

also I give and devise to my six sons before named all my personal property of whatever nature or kind except as in herein after excepted,

That would be the six who shared the120 acres.

also I give and bequeath to my oldest son Epenetus Two hundred Dollars to be paid to him when my youngest son shall attain to the age of twenty one years,

It sounds like Epenetus didn’t take to farming. According to his father’s wishes, he needed to wait until the youngest boy became 21 years old (1845) before he could collect the $200.

Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Rosanah Brundige one hundred and fifty Dollars for an outset which I consider equivalent to the portions which I have already given to her sisters Azubah King and Sophia Knapp the said legacy to be paid to her when she shall be married, or if she should continue single when her youngest brother shall arrive at the age of twenty one and until one or the other of the said events shall happen my will is that she shall live at home with the family and be supported out of the proceeds of the property but if my said daughter Rosanah should die without being married and before her youngest brother shall attain to the age of twenty one years I then will and order that her legacy be distributed equally amongst all her surviving brothers and sisters

As you probably guessed, Rosanna was a girl when Joseph planned for her future without him. He had already provided for his married daughters Azubah and Sophia. Isaac P. King was Azubah’s husband and Sophia married Nathaniel Knapp.

also I give and bequeath to my wife Martha Brundige three cows and six sheep to be kept upon the farm also my clock and family Bible

What happened to the Bible? Did 4th Great Grandmother entrust it to one of the children and if so, which one?

she is also to be provided with a horse and wagon as often as she shall request the same and my desire is that she shall continue upon the farm and take the charge of my younger children,  Also to the end that my family may be kept together and that my younger children may have a home and a support  

it is my will that all the stock and farming utensils which I may have at the time of my decease shall be continued upon the farm and farther that there shall be no partition or division of my estate either real or personal until my youngest son shall arrive at the full age of twenty one years 

If I can rely on census records, Martha Brundage was 47 when Joseph passed. Great Grandfather definitely wanted her to remain on the farm until their youngest boy Masten reached his majority in 1845. Joseph needn’t worry about his land as his son Orsamus C. retained it by buying out his brothers.

I further order that the surplus funds arising from my estate if there should be any after defraying the necessary expenses of the family and after discharging such debts as are outstanding at the time of my death shall be appropriated to the erection of suitable buildings and in making such other necessary improvements upon the farm as shall be deemed advisable and proper

It’s a shame Great Grandfather Joseph died two years after the will was drawn up on Feb. 4, 1832. His thoughtfulness and love for his family and farm are evident. Ten children including six that were not yet 21 years old grieved their father.

Also I will and order that if any of my sons should die without leaving lawful issue before my youngest son shall arrive to the age of twenty one years then the share or shares of such deceased son or sons shall be distributed equally amongst his surviving brothers   

I do hereby constitute and appoint my wife Martha Brundige Executrix and my son Orzimus Brundige and my son in law Nathaniel Knapp Executors of this my last will and testament 

Nathaniel Knapp declined to serve as an executor April 30, 1832.

In witness where of I have signed sealed published and declared by the testator as and for his last will and testament in our presence who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto
Joseph Halstead of Minisink in Orange Co
Phebe Halstead of the same place
John E. Phillips of the same place

On March 15, 1832, Joseph Brundage's will was probated. An inventory was conducted by Abijah Wells and Jonathan Tuthill June 20, 1832 appraising his property to be worth $849.22.  (Inventory on file at Orange Co., NY Surrogate Court)

I’m on the lookout for Joseph Brundage’s bible. Brundage family researchers, can you help?

Source Orange County, New York, Wills, Liber I, page 324-328

My ancestry
4th Great Grandfather Joseph Brundage and wife Martha Oakley
3rd Great Grandfather Orsamus C. Brundage and wife Phebe Maria Kimber
2nd Great Grandmother Emily Brundage and husband Richard Wight
Great Grandmother Emily Wight and husband Lewis Penny Doty
Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty and wife Viola L. Wilson
My Mother


Saturday, February 24, 2018

#52 Ancestors Heirlooms: The Earring

Amy Johnson Crow’s writing challenge this week is heirlooms so I’m going to tell you the story of a very old earring.

The earring was made into a necklace and passed down to me by the women in my mother’s line. Of course, it used to be paired with another and belonged to my 2nd Great Grandmother Harriet (Ogden) Clark.

When my Grandaunt Ella died in 1975, she left a sealed envelope for my mother. On the outside of the envelope Aunt Ella wrote:
   Grandpa Clark gave them to her before they were married. I don’t know where the other earring is—maybe Laura or Clara has it.

Shirley Keep this

   This is your Great Grandmother’s Earring—made into a necklace way over a hundred years old. You can see it on her ears in her picture—my bottom drawer.

Harriet married Jeremiah B. Clark July 3, 1861at Westtown, NY meaning the earring is at least 156 years old. As you can see from the photo above, it’s looking a little worn but still treasured.

Harriet C. (Ogden) Clark
Wearing earrings given to her by
Future husband Jeremiah B. Clark

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fallen Heroes Come Home 43 Years after the Battle of Minisink

5th Great Grandfather Benjamin Bennett was one of the Orange County, New York men who died at the Battle of Minisink July 22, 1779. See my last blog post Abraham and Benjamin Bennet: July 20, 1779 Minisink, NY for more information.

After the battle, thirty-three newly widowed women attempted to travel to the battle-ground to bring their husbands home. They met hardships on the trail and were forced to turn back. The ladies then hired a guide to retrieve their dead. Unfortunately, he was never heard from again.

In 1820, Dr. David R. Arnell published a sketch about Col. Benjamin Tustin who died July 22, 1779 with Great Grandfather Benjamin Bennet. The account roused public interest and a committee was organized to bring the heroes’ bones home to Orange County.

Goshen, New York’s newspaper, Independent Republican, April 29, 1822 issue, updated the committee’s progress:

   “All the bones that could be found of the brave men who fell in the battle of Minisink were collected from the battle-ground on Wednesday last, and brought to the village on the day following. They are now in the possession of the committee, with whom they will remain until the anniversary of the day upon which the battle was fought.
   “In securing the bones neither pains nor expense were spared. The party traveled about forty miles the first day, and half of that distance was a complete wilderness. They put up for the night at Mrs. Watkins’, who lived about six miles from the battle-ground, to which they proceeded the next morning. Some left their horses behind, it being very difficult to get along with a horse. The country around was a complete wilderness, scarcely exhibiting a trace of human footsteps. The battle was commenced on the banks of the Delaware, opposite the mouth of the Lackawack, and terminated about three-quarters of a mile from the river. It was a matter of astonishment to many of the party when they were shown the course taken by our troops. Some of the descents are really frightful. Most of the bones were found on the ground where the battle was fought; but some were found some distance away, which undoubtedly belonged to the wounded who had died with hunger and fatigue.”
     Source E. M. Ruttenber & L. H. Clark’s History of Orange County, New York, page 547

Courtesy Wikipedia
Monument at the Minisink Battleground County Park in Sullivan County, NY

The committee members planned a funeral procession to coincide with the 43rd anniversary of the battle. An estimated 15,000 people gathered in the village of Goshen, New York for the event.

The Goshen Patriot covered the day in their July 22, 1822 edition. I’ll share a few excerpts with you.

   “On Monday morning, the 22nd, the people began to assemble in crowds, at an early hour, to witness the public solemnities which were announced to take place on that day. At ten o’clock the preparations commenced. The cavalry, the infantry, the cadets, the mourners, the clergy, survivors of the Minisink battle, officers and soldiers of the revolution, military officers in uniform, civil and judicial officers, gentlemen of the bar, medical society, masonic brethren, &c. &c. all collected and moving from different points, at the same time to join the procession, formed a most sublime, interesting, and solemn scene.”

   “The procession was formed immediately after 12 o’clock. The bones of the brave men, who fell a prey to the merciless savages and painted tories, at the battle of the Minisink, having been deposited in two plain mahogany coffins, at the house of James W. Carpenter, were brought out, shrouded in black, surrounded by 16 grey-headed officers and soldiers of the revolution, as pall bearers, and placed each upon a separate hearse drawn by two white horses.”

    “Thirteen of the sons of those who fell on that disastrous day—major Tusten, capt. Barker, H. G. Wisner, esq., Moses Thomas, esq., Michael A. Jones, Jonathan Bennett, Samuel Bennett, John Little, Alsop Vail, Samuel Vail, Jared Mesher, Wm. Baker, and John Knap, followed as chief mourners, and beside them there were a long train of remote connexions.”

Jonathan and Samuel Bennett represented their father Benjamin in the procession. No doubt other members of the Bennett family were in attendance.

   “All things being ready, the mournful music struck up and the line moved off with a slow and solemn step. Both sides of the street were lined with spectators, from one end to the other, nearly a mile—every house was full and every sloop was crowded. The whole procession, which was something like a half mile in length, moved with great regularity and precision, and minute guns were fired, and the bell tolled during the march.”

   “When the procession arrived at the place of interment, the battalion of cadets first encircled the vault, which had been hewn out of a rock on the south side of the church—next to them were drawn up, in succession, the different societies and the military; and then the citizens, who had only been spectators. A stage was erected near the vault, where the solemn services were performed. Here we beheld an interesting spectacle—gen. Hathorn, who commanded that unfortunate expedition, as a colonel, forty-three years before, now verging upon eighty—on his left major Poppino, who was an officer under him in the same battle, now 96 years of age, and Thomas Waters, about 60, also in the same battle. Although 96 years of age, major Poppino walked with the procession, and was one of the pall-bearers.”

I located the Goshen Patriot article in Niles’ Weekly Register, Volume XXIII including Supplement to Volume XXII, pages 75-76. Hezekiah Niles became an influential journalist and was the editor of the Weekly Register magazine published in Baltimore. I’ve included a link to the complete article if you care to read it here on Google Books.

My ancestry
5th Great Grandfather Benjamin Bennett and wife
4th Great Grandfather Abraham Bennett and wife Lydia Shultz
3rd Great Grandfather Alvah Bennett and wife Esther Penny
2nd Great Grandmother Fanny Jane Bennett and husband Albert Doty
Great Grandfather Lewis Penny Doty and wife Emily Wight
Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty and wife Viola Wilson
My Mother

Monday, February 5, 2018

Abraham and Benjamin Bennet: July 20, 1779 Minisink, NY

The last I wrote about Abraham Bennett, I promised a story from his childhood.  When Great Grandfather was 15 years old, he played a small role in what would lead to suffering for the Bennett family and Orange County, New York residents.

So what happened? American colonists were fighting the English army to gain their independence from the King of England. The British enlisted local Native American tribes to their cause. Thayendanegea, also known as Joseph Brant, a Mohawk war chief, became one of their captains.

July 19, 1779 Joseph Brant led a combined force of Indians and Tories and attacked the Minisink settlement (Port Jervis and town of Deerpark) in Orange County, New York while people slept in their beds. They burned buildings, killed people, stole cattle and took prisoners to Brant’s headquarters on the Delaware.

News spread; the next day two militia groups led by Lt. Col. Benjamin Tusten from Goshen and Maj. Samuel Meeker of Sussex Co., New Jersey met in Port Jervis. After debate and discussions, they decided to pursue Brant up the Delaware River to recover what he had plundered from the Minisink residents.

This is where we find Abraham Bennett. Abraham accompanied his father Benjamin Bennett to the rendezvous. Horace E. Twichell describes Abraham’s participation in the day’s events in his book History of the Minisink Country, page 70:

   “Abraham Bennett was a boy at the time of the battle of Minisink; but when Tusten was leaving Goshen he became very anxious to join the expedition against Brant; and having had some experience in the fife and drum corps, he begged his father, *Benjamin Bennett, who was one of the militia to let him go as drummer boy. The drum corps did not go any farther than Minisink. There they were advised by Capt. Tyler and his men, who had come down the Delaware valley from Cochecton, to return home, as the march of the army would be through a vast wilderness and the hardships would be too great for their endurance.”

Capt. Tyler sent young Abraham home. Lt. Col. Tusten and Major Meeker were joined by Col. John Hathorn’s Regiment marching to Minisink Ford, New York for battle. Forty-eight militia men were killed; 5th Great Grandfather Benjamin Bennett among them.

Horace E. Twichell provides a rare account of Benjamin’s last moments footnoted on page 70:

   “*Benjamin Bennett was severely wounded in the thigh, and when the retreat began, after the battle, he besought one of his companions to aid him in making his escape. The wounded man clung to his friend, thinking that if he could reach water and slake his thirst he would have strength sufficient to get away into the forest and hide for the night and proceed toward home the next morning. They succeeded in getting as far as a spring (supposed to be the large one east of the plateau on the Twichell farm) when they heard the enemy coming close upon them.
    Mr. Bennett, being very much exhausted and knowing what his fate would be, drew his pocketbook from his pocket and handing it to his friend, said, “Flee for your life and, if you reach Goshen, give this to my wife.” His companion, reluctantly, took it from his hand and fled, but before he was out of hearing, the death yell reached his ears and he knew Benjamin Bennett was dispatched by the cruel tomahawk. His friend reached home after great suffering to deliver the pocketbook and bring the sorrowful news to Mrs. Bennett that she was a widow and her children orphans.”

My post only gives you a glimpse of the history that took place those few days in July 1779. I encourage you to learn more about the heros who protected their families and neighbors.  Google “Battle of Minisink” and step back in time.

I’ve shared Prof. Twichell’s writings with you and would like to close with his words:

   “There was no glory in the Battle of Minisink. For the Colonists there was naught but defeat and disaster, and for their foe a partially satisfied thirst for human blood. Although the Colonists fought in a just cause and with unparalleled heroism to drive a plundering foe from their homes and recover their stolen stock, there was no glory in the battle for them. For they felt their army was destroyed and many of their comrades slain.”

Illustration from
History of Minisink Country
Page 59

My ancestry
5th Great Grandfather Benjamin Bennett and wife
4th Great Grandfather Abraham Bennett and wife Lydia Shultz
3rd Great Grandfather Alvah Bennett and wife Esther Penny
2nd Great Grandmother Fanny Jane Bennett and husband Albert Doty
Great Grandfather Lewis Penny Doty and wife Emily Wight
Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty and wife Viola Wilson
My Mother