Sunday, August 17, 2014

Where did the come from: Stone Arabia, Montgomery, New York

Stone Arabia is where the first Germans of the Palatinate ended up after leaving England.

In 1705 a company of Lutherans fled to Holland. In 1707, they sailed for New York but storms drove them to Philadelphia. They set off on foot towards New York but settled on their way in New Jersey. Prior to 1709, the British government was believed to have circulated the so-called “Golden Book” to exploit the Palatines’ dissatisfaction and entice emigration to the new world. This pamphlet with its title page in gold

lettering and its frontispiece bearing a portrait of Queen Anne, was more likely produced by Rev. Joshua Kocherthal, or two Swiss land speculators. In May, 1708, Rev. Kocherthal with about fifty others went to London and applied to be sent to America. On January 1, 1709, they were settled on the shores of the

Hudson River near the present town of Newburgh, in hopes of producing pine tar products for the Royal Navy. The settlers sent reports home to the Palatine of how wonderful everything was. The heavy

taxes, the continual warfare, the wasted land and the severest winter of the century, turned the trickle of refugees into a flood. In April 1709, the Elector Palatine issued a decree of death to anyone leaving the Palatinate. Some boats were stopped and some people were imprisoned but the exodus continued.

By May, thousands had left the Palatine along the Rhine River to travel four to six weeks to Rotterdam, Holland. Both for charity’s sake and their own self interests, the authorities in Rotterdam sent them speedily over the channel to England, on the English ships, which took another four days. They began arriving in London in May 1709 and by August 13,000 had arrived. They were poor, without clothes, food, or lodging. They were sleeping in the parks and stirring the resentment of the locals. Queen Anne took these poor Palatines under her special care. They were housed in army tents, warehouses, barns, empty buildings, and four specially constructed buildings.

Although records indicate that emigration to America was the intention of most, in 1709, 3000 Catholic Palatines, who refused to convert, were sent back (at the Queen’s expense). Approximately 3800 were sent to Ireland (to establish a “Protestant presence”) and about 600 were sent to North Carolina. Another 5000 stayed in England taking work in the countryside or joining the army. A ship took an unknown number to Virginia in January 1710, but it was the 3000 people who journeyed to New York that interest us. 1.

When in 1720, the colonial governor lent an open ear to the desire of about 60 Schoharie families in the Schoharie settlement to join the others who had gone to Stone Arabia without leave, a new era dawned for the distressed Palatines. They were now to find a more tolerant and kindly attitude even though that attitude was inspired by hope of protecting the Mohawk frontier by settling these sturdy and stubborn folk along the upper reaches of the river. So the Stone Arabia and the Burnetsfield settlements were given official countenance. The grants were permitted and bestowed "for their loyalty to government" - a belated return for their help in the Colonel Nicholson expedition of 1711.

The Indian deed for the Stone Arabia land cost 300 pounds in Indian goods and bears date of 12 February 1723 and approved 9 March 1723. The warrant to grant was issued 14 September and the patent dated 19 October 1723. On the first division, most of the patentees took 100 acres, two lots of 50 acres each; in 1733 another division was made. The survey was made by Nicholas Schuyler. A third division is said to have been made but we have never seen any record of it. In 1793 the lines about the patent were re-run because of variation of compass in former surveys and disputes which had arisen with neighbors in other patents. The field books of both surveyor Schuyler of 1733 and of surveyor Beekman of 1793 are extant and were studied. The first is in the possession of Mr. Wyman of Fonda and the later and last survey is in the possession of Joseph H. Reaney of St. Johnsville. 2.

The Pine Tar production was a failure and in 1712 a group of Families abandoned Stone Arabia and ventured to Schoharie.  By 1725 of the 800 or so people living in Schoharie about half went to Pennsylvania to accept the offer of “asylum” offered by Governor Keith.  The rest moved to the Mohawk Valley.  This second group included the Countryman family.  The new settlement was called West Camp.

In the mean time the area allowed nature to take back the land until recently.

The second settlement of Stone Arabia has taken place in the past 15 years. The settlers are Amish. The first of them came in the mid-1980s from other Amish communities in New York and Pennsylvania, and now their children have begun to farm on their own nearby. The result is uncanny. In America, as a rule, farmland changes more than we imagine it does, but it changes in only three directions—toward development, toward consolidation into larger and larger farms, or toward neglect and abandonment. Around Stone Arabia, something different has happened. Average farm size has decreased since the mid-'80s, while the number of persons that each farm directly supports has increased. To put it another way, the soil is growing more farmers than it used to, farmers whose offspring want to farm. And the soil is supporting those farmers in ways that have generally been forgotten.

Some of those ways are immediately visible, as distinctive as the Amish carriages parked along the blank wall of an empty storefront at the mall in Palatine Bridge. In Stone Arabia you could see, if you knew what you were looking at, a panorama of agricultural history since the late 19th century. I stood on one Amish farm, looking across the road at three non-Amish farmers—Englishmen, as their Amish neighbors would call them—on tractors that were raking the hay and pulling an old baler that made small square bales in a way that most up-to-date farmers would call old-fashioned. Up the road a little farther, a still more modern farmer drove a much bigger tractor that pulled a machine to gather the grass, chop it, and fling it into a silage wagon trailing still farther behind him. Alone, he was doing all the work of the tractors and men down the road. 4.

1. Source: Book: Jacob Countryman, United Empire Loyalist; Ancestors and Descendants in Canada and the United States

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An interesting thing to note when researching Genealogy

When researching our families we should strive to find out what kind of life they lead and what made them make the decisions they did.  That is one of the reasons I do the blogs "Where did they come from".  I like to learn a little about what was happening  and why they stayed or left.  But those are big events and issues that shape our lives.

Sometimes, the small events make a world of difference.  When you are born can mean a lot in where you go.  School districts have cut off points that can change what year you start school.  Do you end up with a teacher on their last year before retirement or a new teacher fresh out of school?  So you have to wonder what influences when you are born.

That brings me to one family in the Countryman line.  They had 4 children.  One born the first week of October and 3 the 6th, 7th, and 9th of  September.  Man that must have been invited to some great New Years Eve parties.  We don't like to think about older family getting it on but we wouldn't be here if they didn't at least once.

In this one family it looks like the holidays influenced their child making endeavours.  However, I do wonder about that kid born in October.  It was the 1950's, the first 2 were born in Sept, 1951 and Oct, 1952.  The father would have been 20 in  1951.  Should I look for Korean War information.  Perhaps he was on leave at the time and they took the short time together to get in a year's worth of time together.  That's just a guess but it could explain a lot.  Then next 2 were Sept 1956 and 57.  Was he away for all that time?  Technically the Korean Police Action has not ended, so he may have been stationed along the DMZ for a while.  Was he injured and unable to get things done?

I did my best to keep it clean but when we do the research these questions will come up and could lead to some interesting discoveries.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Where did they come from: New Castle, Delaware

New Castle is a city in New Castle County, Delaware, six miles (10 km) south of Wilmington, situated on the Delaware River. In 1900, 3,380 people lived here; in 1910, 3,351. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 5,285.[1]

New Castle, Delaware was originally settled by the Dutch West India Company in 1651 under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant on the site of a former aboriginal village, "Tomakonck" ("Place of the Beaver"), to assert their claim to the area based on a prior agreement with the aboriginal inhabitants of the area.  Originally named Fort Casimir, the town changed name and ownership several times over the next 30 years and through the second and third Anglo-Dutch wars.

William Penn Historic Marker
A marker on the corner of The Strand and Delaware Street tells us he landed on October 27, 1682, proceeded to the fort and performed "livery of seisin", a common law ceremony transferring possession of lands. The ceremony in 1682 involved Penn taking a key, he was given "1 turf with a twig upon it, a porringer with river water and soil, in part of all"

The land was transferred to Lord Penn and quickly contested by Lord Baltimore and the boundary dispute was not resolved until the survey conducted by Mason and Dixon, now famed in history as the Mason-Dixon Line.

The spire on top of the Court House, Delaware's Colonial capitol and first state house, was used as the center of the Twelve-Mile Circle forming the northern boundary of Delaware and part of the Mason-Dixon Line. The Delaware River within this radius to the low water mark on the opposite shore is part of Delaware. Thus the Delaware Memorial Bridge was built as an intrastate span by Delaware, without financial participation by neighboring New Jersey.

The traditional Mason-Dixon line is actually west of the state, although all of Delaware's borders were established by this survey team. The line is the traditional dividing mark between the slave states of the south and the free states of the north. Delaware was a slave state, and voted with the south on all north/south issues. Delaware's northernmost county, New Castle, was more industrial and closely aligned with the north, while the southern two counties, Kent and Sussex, remained agricultural and based on slavery. During the Civil War, Delaware was a border state.

Prior to the establishment of Penn's Philadelphia, New Castle was center of government. After being transferred to Penn, Delaware's Swedish, Dutch, and English residents used to the relaxed culture of the Restoration monarchy grew uncomfortable with the more conservative Quaker influence, so Delaware petitioned for a separate legislature, which was finally granted in 1702. Delaware formally broke from Pennsylvania in 1704. New Castle again became the seat of the colonial government, thriving with the various judges and lawyers that fueled the economy. Many smaller houses were torn down and replaced in this era. In February 1777, John McKinley was elected the first President of Delaware (a title later renamed "Governor"). During the Revolution, when New Castle was besieged by William Howe, the government elected to move its functions south to Dover in May 1777, which pleased the representatives from Kent and Sussex, anyway. McKinley was captured by the British and held prisoner for several months. New Castle remained the county seat until after the Civil War, when that status was transferred to Wilmington. Two signers of the Declaration of Independence were from New Castle — Thomas McKeanand George Read.

The 16-mile (26 km) portage between the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay saved a 400-mile (640 km) trip around theDelmarva Peninsula, so this brought passengers, goods, and business to New Castle's port. In the years following the Revolution, a turnpike was built to facilitate travel between the two major waterways. Later, New Castle became the eastern terminus of theNew Castle and Frenchtown Railroad, the second-oldest rail line in the country, launched in 1828 with horse-drawn rail cars, then converting to steam power when an engine was purchased from Great Britain in 1832. The line traversed the Delmarva Peninsula, running to the Elk River, Maryland, from where passengers changed to packet boats for further travel to Baltimore and points south. This helped the New Castle economy to further boom; however, by 1840, rail lines were in place between Philadelphia and Baltimore, which had a stop in Wilmington, thus leaving New Castle to deal with a substantial decline in traffic and revenue.

The decline in New Castle's economy had the long-range fortunate effect of preventing most residents from making any significant structural changes to their homes. So, the many buildings of historic New Castle look much as they did in the colonial and Federal periods.

New Castle has a tradition, dating back to 1927, of tours of historical homes, churches, and gardens. These tours, called "A Day in Olde New Castle", are usually held on the third Saturday of May. Householders dress in colonial costumes and an admittance fee is collected which is used toward the maintenance of the town's many historic buildings. In June the town holds its annual Separation Day celebration.

Historic sites

New Castle Historic District
Old Arsenal, The Green, New Castle (New Castle County, Delaware).jpg
The Old Arsenal
LocationRoughly bounded by the Delaware River, Broad Dike, 4th, 6th,7th, and Penn Sts., New Castle, Delaware
Area135 acres (55 ha)
Architectural styleColonial, Georgian, Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian, Federal
Governing bodyLocal
NRHP Reference #67000003
84000312 (increase)
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 24, 1967
November 08, 1984[4]
Designated NHLDDecember 24, 1967[5]

The New Castle Historic District is an area approximately 4 by 5 blocks square in the center of town with about 500 historic buildings that date from c. 1700 to 1940.

It is a site significant for its architecture from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. New Castle was founded by Peter Stuyvesant.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1967.[5][6]

The historic district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1967 and it was relisted, perhaps with expanded boundaries, in 1984. The historic district included 135 acres (0.55 km2) of area and includes Amstel House and Old Courthouse which are separately listed on the NRHP. In 1984, the historic district included 461 contributing buildings, one other contributing structure, and one contributing object.[4]

The Green, and the town itself, was laid out in 1651 by Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch Governor. It was the place where whatever was happening at the time happened, and where the old jail and gallows were located. It was also where "grand fairs" were held and the site of the weekly markets. Today, it's a great place to park your car and explore the town on foot. On 2nd Street, a quaint, dappled cobblestone thoroughfare, behind the Court House, is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in the country.

On the other side of the Green, on 3rd Street you'll find the Dutch House, a late 17th century home furnished in the style of New Castle's early Dutch settlers. It's open April 1 - December 31, Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. Dutch House tours begin at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Admission is $5 for adults. $9 for combination ticket to Amstel and Dutch Houses. All tickets are sold at the Amstel House.The Amstel House on 4th Street is a colonial brick mansion, built in the early American Georgian style of architecture by Dr. John Finney. The house is furnished to reflect 18th and 19th century life in New Castle. The woodworking and architectural detailing is original. Hours: Wed. - Sat. 10AM - 4PM. Amstel House tours begin at 10 am, Noon, and 2 pm. Sunday, 12-4. Amstel House tours begin at Noon and 2 pm. (Tours are approximately 40 minutes)

The Old Library on 3rd Street, is built in the shape of a hexagon and in the Victorian style. Inside is an exhibit on New Castle's history. Self-guided tours are available May - November. Holidays: The Old Library Museum is closed on Memorial Day and July 4 for Independence Day. Admission is free.

The George Read II House and Garden at 42 The Strand, is "the grandest mansion and oldest garden in New Castle." The house was completed in 1804 by the son of George Read, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Owned by the Historical Society of Delaware it is run as a living museum. It is a showcase of the decorative arts of the Federal period. You'll see an iron balcony, marble window sills, trompe-l'oeil decoration, elaborate woodwork and plaster detailing.

There are small antique and collectible shops, an art gallery and book and jewelry stores all about the town to browse through and if you want to spend a lazy afternoon watching the world go by, there's Battery Park with swings and slides for the children. You can get water ices and drinks from vendors near the river on weekends during the summer. From the park, the view of the Delaware River is panoramic. To your left, you can see the Delaware Memorial Bridges in the distance.

There is also an old ticket office for the Frenchtown Railroad, one of the first in America, near the park. It was moved there in the 1950s. The railroad was built in 1832 using granite sleeper blocks supporting wooden rails covered with iron straps. It was part of a water-rail-water route from Philadelphia to Baltimore and connected New Castle to the Elk River. Some of the granite sleeper blocks can be seen along the water's edge near the Wharf and a section of the strap rail can be seen near the old ticket office.

This is VERY good to see.
Genealogy AssistanceThe Register of Wills Office has extensive archives the public can access for the purpose of tracing genealogies or to check title on real estate. Our records date back to the 1600s for New Castle County.

Andrew Hendrickson he married Maria Hendrickson in New Castle.  Their son Andrew Hendricks moved west towards Ohio.  I have very little information on these farther back ancestors.  One of the reasons for these blogs is to hopefully find someone that has more to tell me.,_Delaware

Saturday, August 9, 2014

More car tragedy

In my blog post Easter Family Tragedy I showed the information for 3 in the Easter family that died in a car accident.

Faith is the spouse of [Private]
[Private] is the son of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of Victor Easter.
Victor is the son of Curtis F. Easter.
Curtis is the great grandfather in law of Faith.

Shannon is the daughter of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of Victor Easter.
Victor is the son of Curtis F. Easter.
Curtis is the second great grandfather of Shannon.

Lynea is the daughter of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of Victor Easter.
Victor is the son of Curtis F. Easter.
Curtis is the second great grandfather of Lynea.

 Now I learn of more car tragedy in the same family.

Audrey (Easter) Shipman
Audrey is the daughter of Victor Easter.
Victor is the son of Curtis F. Easter.
Curtis is the grandfather of Audrey.
Philip Bough
Philip is the son of [private parent].
[Private] is the daughter of Philip T. Easter.
Philip is the son of Curtis F. Easter.
Curtis is the great grandfather of Philip.

Curtis seems to be the common ancestor to all of them  From his Wikitree profile you find this:
Curtis was a brewer by trade. Once he suffered a head injury while working for McCarny's Brewery in Prescott, when horses hitched to a wagon were frightened and the beer barrels fell on him.

Another vehicle accident before the car.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Easter Family Tragedy

While going through the Countryman Family line I came across this family tragedy.  This happened August 31, 1996.

 These are my wife's cousins.  From Wikitree's relationship finder:

Relationship Found: Lisa and Shannon are 5th cousins

Relationship Trail

[Private] is the daughter of [private parent].
[Private] is the daughter of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of Cassie H. Wilson.
Cassie is the daughter of Richard H. Countryman.
Richard is the son of Jacob Countryman.
Jacob is the son of William Countryman.
  • William is the fourth great grandfather of Lisa.
Shannon is the daughter of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of [private parent].
[Private] is the son of Victor Easter.
Victor is the son of Barbary E. Easter.
Barbary is the daughter of Hannah H. Martin.
Hannah is the daughter of William Countryman.
  • William is the fourth great grandfather of Shannon.

What is amazing is that we live a very short distance away from where this happened and had no idea at the time that there was a connection.  After going through 750+ family members these were the first that were in the Buffalo area besides my wife's immediate family.  Most of the family is either in Upstate New York (Buffalo is Western New York not Upstate regardless of what NYC thinks) or Ontario.

This is the mom

And the two daughters

Glad to see someone was looking out for the family

I couldn't imagine what that night could have been like for the father and son.  Kyle would have been 11 at the time.  This happened the week before school starts in this area.  The funeral would have been on the first day of school, Wednesday, September 4th.