Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Thomas" Oneida Sachem unknown Hero Fort Schuyler

Most people that read this probably remember Gen Herkimer when wounded at Oriskany Battle said"let me face the enemy", from this position propped against his saddle he directed the militia to a successful day. did you know the rest of the story--

The campaign of 1777 had long been contemplated by the British ministers, Sir Henry Clinton and Gen Burgoyne, with the southern and northern armies would unit at Albany N. Y. cut off all communication with the eastern provinces. Gen Burgoyne, with 7500 well disciplined troops and a large train of artillery, accompanied with numerous body of Canadian militia and Indians, arrived at Ticonderoga 3rd July 1777. Garrisoned by 3000 continental soldiers and militia under Gen St Clair, finding themselves unable to defend the fortress against such a superior force with drew under the cover of darkness to Fort Edward and joined Gen Schuylers bolstering there combined colonial force to 4000 here we stop for a moment.
Allied with Clinton and Burgoyne was Brig Gen Barry St Ledger famous for offering $20.00 for each scalp the Indians could get, was to join them at Albany by way of the Mohawk Valley further splitting New York..

Meanwhile15 July a unsung hero comes into play. Thomas Spencer a highly respected Oneida sachem had returned from the Indian castle Cassassenny, Canada from a joint meeting of the British and Iroquois nation. Addressing the Committee of safety Thomas remarked:
Col Claus invited the Indians to join his expedition to Fort Schuyler, mentioning that Sir John Johnson now at Oswego with 700 Indians, 400 white men and 600 Tories lying on a island at Oswegatchie Now then is your time, brothers to awake and not sleep longer otherwise Fort Schuyler will go as already Ticonderoga without a shot fired. The Oneidas will remain loyal but if you continue to sleep they will have to join the British and the valley will be reduced to ashes. Pleas brothers show yourselves as men to defend your country and march at once to clear brush at the Fort and fell trees in wood creek to slow there advance. If you show no effort we can stay not much longer on your side. But by alert already Brant and butler are guarding the road from the east to Fort Schyler to stop any reinforcements.
These pleas fell on half closed ears in the spring of 1776 Col Dayton had been order to build a fort at Rome N.Y. to protect the forage place. called Fort Stanwix, the local militia was mustered to help. The fort was renamed Fort Schyler in April of 1777 Col Gansevoort, with 3rd rgt New York line was ordered to Fort Schyler, were he stubbornly defended the position.

A few days before Thomas's communication, the committee of Safety ordered 200 militia to aid Fort Schyler but only a few showed up. on the 17 July Brig Gen Nicholas Herkimer issued a decree all men 16 to 60 should prepare there equipment to be ready a moments notice to assemble and march.

on the 30th July the committee received a message from Thomas dated at Oneida 20 Jul 1777 "at a meeting of the chiefs they tell me there is but 4 days remaining of the time set to take Fort Schyler, and they think it might be sooner. the chiefs desire it not by another Ticonderoga, they hope you will be courageous in defending your homeland. Let all the troops that come to Fort Schyler take care on the march as there is a party of Indians to stop them below the Fort, about 80 or 100 we hear they bring their cannon up fish creek. we hear there will be 1000 men to take the fort. to many for so few to defend Thomas added "it looks to me the troops are near, hope all friends to liberty and that love their families will not be backward, but exert themselves as one resolute blow would secure the friendship of the six nations and nearly free this part of the country from incursions of the enemy"
Already a string of Batteaux, and men were in route, Gen Schuyler upon receiving this ordered out the militia.
4 Aug 1777 Gen Herkimer gave the alarm and 800 men answered the call including several of my direct ancestors,Thomas Lendersen, his father John Lendersen, Micael Bauder. also a Thomas Spencer who urged Herkimer to post advanced scouts and keeping out flanking parties but some of the other officers were making remarks , imputing cowardice and urging Herkimer to advance as rapidly as possible, which he did. this was a 50 to 60 miles march extremely hot day and rough teran on 6th Aug. as the came down a slop to a swampy area know as Oriskany, where the road had been elevated, well into the ravine, the blood curtailing scream of the Iroquois shattered the quiet of the forest and all hell broke out the first volley about 100 men were wounded or killed my ancestor Michael Bauder was killed, 100 hundred of Thomas's Oneida Indians killed, about 30 Seneca Indians, Herkimer was shot in leg and his horse killed. he was moved to a higher spot on the side of the ravine that he might face the enemy. No official record was kept as to the British losses but it must have been nearly the same. Things were going bad every time a militia man shot, a Indian would charge the position and tomahawk the man Herkimer gave the order to place two men at each spot one man could fire while the other waited as a result many Indians were killed. the ambush was mid morning and lasted over 5 hours the militia was nearly our of ammunition when all of a sudden "Johnson Greens" entered the battle, these were the hated Tory friends that had left the area and was now returning to do as much damage as possible. That was all the spent militia needed it was as if they were suddenly infested with magical power, they sprang from there concealed positions and attached these Tories using bayonets, and rifle's as clubs and bare hands, in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes they had bare handed killed 60 or more. at about the same time Gen Willet hearing the musket fire sallied out from the fort with several hundred men to save Herkimer and the supplies, they rapidly carried back to the fort the wounded and as much of the supplies as possible.
The fort was still under siege, Gen Arnold at Schenectady learned of ambush and siege and set out immediately for the scene a few miles from the fort, Thomas Spencer joined him with a suggestion to be sent to St Ledgers command.
St Ledger question Thomas about Arnolds forces and he made the famous statement "I know not how many were with Arnold but they were as thick as the leaves on the trees" on the 22 day of August St Ledger having failed to make the fort Capitulate gave up and left for Canada. Arnold arrived at Fort Schyler on the 24th.
There is much to be written about the vengeance and horror of the Indians torturing and eating of the militia in retaliation for the friends they lost in the battle, but this is about Thomas Spencer Sachem In his quiet way shamed our ancestors into making an effort to stand up and fight, then he faded into history to be overlooked far all he contributed

After his visit with St Ledger there seems to be no other record but I am sure his speeches to the Committee of Safety helped arouse an interest in defending the Mohawk Valley and think history has been very unfair to this Indian ally, certainly 100's could have been saved at Oriskany if Herkimer had paid attention to his words. I have always favored to Oneida nation, it was my honor to have been made a blood brother of the Oneida in 1964 at a very impressive ceremony, The headdress and many gift items are still in my collection, my Oneida name was "Standing Tall Pine".


Friday, August 21, 2009



Some of my ancestors and many of my grt Grandfathers descendants

My Father Edwin B Lord the handsome guy on far right and my mom Mary Olyer with her parents Berlin and Margaret Olyer, shown in this group picture at the Olyer Reunion held at Brookwood Park in Herkimer, New York. these are all descendant of John Olyer [1853-1911] and his wife Charlotte Scutt [1852-1923] former residents of High Street, Little Falls, N.Y. shown in the photo are Johns three sons Berlin Olyer and wife Margaret Cummings Olyer, Adelbert Olyer and Riley Olyer.
also the four daughters Florence Olyer Hoffman, Nora Olyer Burney, Mary Olyer Trombley Taylor, and Beatrice Burney.
Also in the photo is Wilbur Olyer and his wife Clara, from Athol, Mass some of you might remember her ladies Hats store on main street Athol, Mass
she is the lady with the large hat and hand bag standing in the front right and Wilbur is the man kneeling in right front row. he was the oldest person there and while not a son of John Olyer was the son of Johns brother Philip.
The family had just started holding reunions this first one had over 60 people in attendance. Another outing was held same place the following year, the attendance was still good over 45 people, the photo at the left is just John and Charlott Olyer's children, guess the group photo was to hard to get everyone to pose for. By the following year,
with the war breaking out some of the younger men answered the call, and the reunions were still held for two more years but with only a very few as some of the original members had passed away or were to old to attend. As I recall the family sort of drifted apart and in few years later by late 40's and early 50's there was no interest.
I was pretty young in 1940 but old enough to remember my grandfather Berlin and his siblings and am sure these outing helped keep the spark and kindle that desire to know more about this family. I have spent the 65 years since the reunion gathering information and some of my early blogs are about the Olyer's and lately the blogs have been about my grandmother Margaret Cummings. Her family history is at the publishers right now and will be available through Amazon Books and directly from me in about a week. The manuscript for the Olyer family is complete and being proof read and this will be available in plenty of time for Xmas. Almost everyone shown in the reunion photo is identified in the book. I was at the reunion but under pressure from my parents and a bribe that I could bring my high school flame, must have been at the punch bowl when the photo was taken. I think Donald Rose, standing on back right side next to my dad is the only person in photo that is still alive--well it was 69 years ago--if we held a reuinion today I am afraid I would not know anyone, it sure would be great to try--

Nothing to do with the reunion but I have to vent someplace
Do you have a pet??got your shots up to date? read the blog my wife just posted at maybe if you read it you will not have to watch your pet slowly die.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Francois Pelletier dit Antaya my 8th great grandfather

My 8th great grandfather in James Cummings Ancestral line was
Francois Pelletier-dit-Antaya-Sieur d'Antaya-Sieur d'Orvilliers was born 1 Jan 1635 st St Pierre, Gallardon, Chartres, Beauce, France. his father was Nicolas Pelletier and mother Jeanne de Vouzy [devoissy-Roussy]
Francois arrived in New France probably on one of the three ships that arrived in Quebec 11 Jun 1636 as his father is mentioned at baptism of his sister in the spring of 1637, so Francois was only couple years old. Nicolas Peltier the father a master carpenter was granted a fifty acre concession of land in the Seigneury of Sillery, were the Peltier family settled. In a few years Francois had brothers and sisters for a total of eight children. [ The plaque to the right was placed on the sight of the original land owned by Nicholas]

Francois and his brother Nicolas were in pursuit of a life of adventure , beginning life as fur traders with Noel Jeremie de La Montagne, who married Francois sister Jeanne in 1659. on a voyage to the vast "Domain du Roy", a trade area encompassing the great Saguenay-Lac St-Jean area. Francois goes along and apparently meets a young Indian maiden we are not sure why he went or how long he stayed.
Some time before the autumn of 1659, François has returned to Québec; the Jesuites say that on November 21, François accompanies the Jesuit Albanel to Tadoussac, stating that he is not at their expense, but is under their name. his returns from Tadoussac April 24, however, Francois' reasons for returning to Tadoussac become a little clearer, Albanel has married François to a Dorothee Antaya Christian Amerindienne,16 Apr. 1660, without publication of banns, or permission from his parents, the bishop, or the governor, noting that this has caused quite a controversy.
Albanel was undoubtedly sympathetic to François and Dorothée's situation, or else he certainly would not have taken upon himself to marry them without their having gone through the proper channels and necessary steps.
Their happiness did not endue long as she died in Quebec Hospital 13 Apr.1661 . On the 26 Sep 1661 Francois married Margereta Madeleine Morriseau in Sillery, Quebec. born 1640 at St Pierre de Roy, Somme, Picardie, France, the daughter of Julien Moraisseau and Anne Barclancour. Margurete was a Filles a Marier, contracted for marriage by Francois Pelletier, brother of Jeannie & Marie Pelletier. Francois was so in love with his first wife Dorothee Antaya that upon her death he added the dit name Antaya. He and his children were the only ones using this dit name and eventually future generations dropped the Pelletier surname and used only Antaya.
June of 1666 Captain Pierre de Saurel with a group of 300 French and Huron Indians went to attack and recover a few French soldiers that had been taken prisoners by the Mohawks of the Iroquois nations. They were discovered in route and the Mohawks offered up the prisoners without bloodshed. These men related that some of their group had been tortured one of the Indians wanted a finger bone for a necklace, he took a prisoner and with help from the others, they amputated a finger at the knuckle, with flint knife and when the tenon could not be cut they pulled the partly severed finger off. The hand and arm became so swollen during the following weeks he could not preform any chores so his captive killed and scalped him.

Francoise purchased on 22 Oct 1675 the Seigneurie of Dorvilliers, sieur de Comporte, located with frontage abt 1.5 miles along the St Lawrence River opposite Sorel between Berthier and Autray estates, extending inland abt 3 miles. Francois renames his land "Antaya" , while he no longer uses the title "Dorvilliers" or "Comporte" having been well known it sometimes is called by this name. It was a couple of years before the Pelletioers established their self at Anataya, after Francois sold his 80 Arpent properly in Sorel to Pierre Coutois 17 Sep 1777. With this estate the couple can now use the title "Sieur" and "Seigneuresse"
The name Pelletier dit Antaya, is strictly of French Canadian origin, it was never used in France and in Canada only by children of Francois.
Francois died May 1690 at Dautray, Quebec, he and Marguerite bequeathed one half of their estate to son Lean-Baptisti dit Pierre Pelletier dit Antaya [1675-1757], while dividing the remaining among their other surviving children, Michael, Marguerite, Marie-Angelique, Genevieve, Catherine.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mary Elizabeth Lord Ready to ride on life's journey

Just a break in genealogy for a lighter moment
My mom astride this beautiful mount could not have envisioned the events that would shape her life during the coming years.

This photo was taken at High Street in Little Falls New York probably about 1910.

Life started out in Spring Cove, New York later part of April 1904 her mother Margaret Cummings Olyer took the train to tupper lake, and buggy to her mothers home at Sporing Cove. a few days later evening of 4 May 1904 , Jim Cummings father of Margaret raced to Tupper Lake to find the doctor, not good the Doctor was in the booze bottle and came back to the house with Jim but was unable to be of much help.
Mary was born despite the odds. After a few days she returned with her mother to High Street in Little Falls, N. Y. off to a good start. She had two older sisters and soon had 3 brothers and another sister.

At age of about 2 she looked like a doll, her father Berlin A. Olyer was a armature photographer so we are lucky to have a few photos for her.

Being in the middle of the family she had good roe models and learned life in happy environment. Her father worked for the New York Central railroad , while not wealthy, they enough income to live comfortably. Unfortunately her older sisters were married quite young so as she approached her 16th birth day not wanting to be an old maid, marriage seemed important so she ran away from home and married a school mate, this only lasted a few months when her parents found out it was annulled, after a 3 day court trial. while this was going on her parents moved from Little Falls to Nelliston, N.Y. As time does she moved on to age 19 when she met Edwin B. Lord . 6th Oct 1923 they slipped of to Albany, N. Y. and were married at the first Baptist church. From there to Delaware, where Edwin was employed as a Machinist in Circular Knitting mill, 1925 Mary and Edwin returned to Nelliston, N.Y. were a Son Robert Lord was born. The family lived in Nellistron N. Y. until 1960's during these years they ran the Elms Hotel in Nelliston, both worked outside the home Edwin in the Knitting trade and Mary worked in the undergarment factory in Fort Plain, The family was very close, Robert being the only child, lived with them in a duplex home which his father had owned. We got through the depression years and by combining our income, and efforts were able to own and operate the store at Canada Lake, were Mary was the postmaster, and in the 60's the family purchased Pine Lake Park.

Mary's life was taken 16 Jul 1965 due to cancer, I am sure there were bad times but I never knew about them, to my knowledge her marriage to my dad was a good one I never heard them raise ther voices, or use bad language, my dad drank a bit more than he should but this only made him more the life of the party, families seemed much closer, our pleasures seemed to be family outings, picnics, swim trips to Carogs Creek, Camping in tents, short motor trips.
Our family while very close, none of them including cousins and aunts and uncles were also close lipped I thought I new my mom but it was not until last year, while searching court records did I find out about the short marriage she had a 16 do not know if my dad new about it I had questioned him many times about being married in Albany but you know he never did give me a answer--maybe that was the answer, he thought I would never know.

Someone put me on this mighty steed probably in very early 1930's I could not reach the stirups and that is probably why its been such a up and down ride ever since, was hanging on pretty tight then and I still am--guess it a goods thing we do not have a outline about this tour, I like the hat my mom has on not much help in the sun or rain

Sieur Guillaum Couillard de L'Espinay First Slave Holder

In the Family History and Genealogy of my Great Grandfather Moses Genereaux alias James Cummings, mother Marie Dupuis, was the 5th great grand daughter of Guillaume Couillard dit Dupuis, son of Guillaume Senior and Elisabeth De Vesins, married on August 26, 1621. Guillementte Marie Hebert, Metis dau of Louis Hebert and Marie Rolet. This was the first recorded marriage of a French couple in New France. Guillaume had arrived in Kebec in 1613, employed as a carpenter and caulker by the Compagnie des Marchands de Rouen et de Saint Malo. The ceremony was performed by Recollect Father Georges and witnessed by Champlain himself and his brother-in-law Eustach Bouille (brother of Helene). In all reports sent to France by Champlain, he always spoke very highly of the young man who would play an important role in the settlement of French Quebec.
When Quebec was captured in 1629, by the Kirke Brothers [really privateers sailing for English Crown] nearly all of the French including Champlain were shipped to England and eventually to France. The Couillards became the only complete family to live under English occupation. Champlain entrusted the fort to two young Montagnais girls [Natives], Charite and Esperance, whom he had adopted, and Marie-Guilemette was asked if she would keep an eye out for them. They had already spent a lot of time at her home, as she and her mother instructed them in French customs, so that they might one day marry one of the male colonists.
The Treaty of St German En Laye of March 1632 restored the Kebec and Acadia post to France.

The Couillard family continued to work doggedly for the colony and was always held in high regard. He took part in it’s defense against the Iroquois, frequently piloting boats between Quebec and Tadoussac. He also gave part of his land for the construction of a church and became the warden of the parish.

The Couillards may have been the first French-Canadians to own a black slave. [Slavery in the Americas was very common among the native population, most all of the tribes used captives as slave labor] When the Kirke brothers removed themselves from Quebec, they left behind a little boy that they had captured at Madagascar, so Guillaume purchased him from the bailiff. In July of 1632, they had him baptized under the name Olivier, after son-in-law Olivier Tardiff. Later, a Jesuit priest called him "Paul the Young Person", so the little boy grew up as Olivier Le Jeune.
In one letter, Champlain refers to him as the Couillard's "pet", and on official documents he is listed as a servant.When the new Company of 100 Associates, were in control of New France, Guillemette's husband made lime for the new buildings, while continuing to work his farm and perform other duties as needed.

In December of 1654, the Governor Jean de Lauson, on the authority of the king, presented him with a noble title, "on account of services rendered to the country of Canada", Sieur and Madam de L'Espinay. These honors were later passed down to their sons; Charles and Louis.
Sieur Guillaume Couillard de L'Espinay, died at home on March 4, 1663 and is buried in the chapel of the Hotel Dieu, and three years later Madam Guillimette de L'Espinay sold the house and a portion of his land to Jean Talon and gave the rest to Bishop Laval, for the establishment of the Seminary of Quebec; though later her children would contest the transaction.

A statue of her husband part of the Louis Hebert's monument, beside the city hall of Quebec.
All the while they continued to farm and by 1632, had more than 20 acres cultivated. In 1639, they opened a flour mill and the same year, the governor of Quebec, appointed Guillaume as “clerk responsible for inspecting the sown lands and the food of the settlers of Quebec".

The Manor home of Couillard and Dupuis, while still standing was not built until about 1800 on or near Guillaum's original home.
The bronze statue of Sieur Guillaume Couillarde is part of the Hebert monument, it is interesting to note Guillaume ordered from France a ox and a plow before he died, the ox arrived but not the plow until after his death.

One can not study the ancestry of this united Genereaux and Dupuis family without becoming richly rewarded with history of the founding of New France on the American Continent, the sacrifices, hard work, disappointments, and successes of these early pioneers, carving out a settlement in a hostile environment without much more than there bare hands.