Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sept 11 Another Historic day to remember

We seldom have two National events 200 years apart on the same day.  This Sept 11 1814, while extremely important to our nation has for the most part been tucked away in history.
The war of 1812 was not as spectacular as the Revolution and did not have the complete backing of everyone.
When the federal government issued a embargo on Canada, making it unlawful to trade with them, states like Vermont looked the other way-the British were buying for hard money naval store form Vermont and they were not interested in passing this up.  According to my ancestor, Berlin Olyer, his   grandfather's Grandfather  Henry Scott had served in the Revolutionary war when he lived in Claverack, and moving to Isle la Motte, was one of those trading with the British. He had a son Harry who was born 1763 in Middle Hero, Vt.  The two of them owned a boat on Lake Champlain that they used to transport goods to the British in Canada. This was stopped in spring of 1814 when they lost a mast and some Spars they were taking to Ile-aux-Noix, the English ship yard on the Sorel river. were the Frigate "Confiance was being built.  Henry and his son Harry were upset due to the loss of there ship but they were more upset with the stories they picked up from the north end of the lake--The British had assembled a force of 11,000 English regulars who were going to march on Plattsburgh shortly.  They had seen the British fleet being readied to take on the Americans. When they arrived home a better picture of what was going to happen became clear..General Sir George Prevost , who would command the English land force of 11,000 was pressuring Captain George Downie, who would be the naval officer and captain of the "Confiance" a 1200 ton fifth rate Frigate  to get the ship finished.  Prevost wanted to start his campaign early, before bad weather set in. Downie had problems, getting material to fit the ship and a crew to man her. His carpenters gave him a completion date of Sept 15, She was launched on Aug. 25. Provost would not wait he gave the order to start the march Aug. 31 he would use the west side of the lake, the Vermont people were still doing business with the Canadians and he did not want to upset that.
Meanwhile the American commander Major General George Izard, was ordered to take 4,000 regulars to Sacketts Harbor to defend the ship yards there. This left  Brigadier Alexander Macomb in command at Plattsburgh with a force of 1500 American regulars[most of these were recruits, invalids, and detachments of odds and ends] Macomb ordered up the state militia and appealed to Governor of Vermont for militia.  With the breath of the lion in there face feeling changed and over 2000 volunteers mustered including our relatives the father and son Scutt family.  Most of the residence of Plattsburgh left the area knowing full well Macomb could not defeat the English with only 3500 troops.  The saving face for the American was a Lieutenant Thomas MacDonough, commander of the American Navy on lake Champlain. desperate for supplies and men he was able to put together a navy only after sending his second in command to Washington to plead for  financing-April 1814, the  "Saratoga" 734 tons 26 gun, Corvette/Frigate was launched, a partially built schooner "Ticonderoga" 350 tons of 14 guns was converted, just a few days before Prevost arrived  the 20 gun "Eagle" was finished, this with the existing sloop "Preble" of 80 tons with 7 guns gave the Americans a edge.  Macomb set up a field hospital on Crab Island, consisting of several tents, he was unable to get straw for flooring until a day after the battle. He also placed two cannon on the island and the invalid or slightly wounded could man these [they did capture one British ship during the fight]  MacDonough, was a brilliant officer, picked the place for the upcoming battle, his ships were anchored in a line from North to south, the crew was trained in the use of spring anchors, which he placed on both the bow and stern  which they would use in battle to turn the ships, his flagship "Saratoga was fitted with extra Kedge anchors which would help to spin the ship. All of there cannon were lined to fire broadside , the ship had to be turned to correct firing position  The British had to tow the "HMS Confiance" down the river against the tide and wind but eventually they got under way, at about 9 am he rounded the land fall into Plattsburgh bay  Downing fired the signal shots for Prevost that he might attack. Downing  had no choice but to anchor his fleet in line about 350 to 500 yards from the Americans, his ship was not completely finished and he had no time to train his crew, while doing this the American ships began to fire-the battle was on
The American were fireing broadside after broadside from the "Saratoga" this was 4 24 pounders, 3 42 pound and 6 32 pounders, they were tearing apart the "Confiance" when Downie did finally fire they killed or wounded about 40 men on the "Saratoga" after about a hour, the USS Eagle had the springs from one anchor shot away and was unable to avoid the raking fire from HMS "Linnet" so they cut the remaining anchor and moved to end of line. Both flag ships were badly beaten on the Saratoga the starboard side  was nearly out of action the guns were dismantled. On the "Confiance" thing were just as bad and her captain Downie had been killed along with nearly all the officers. Macdonough ordered the bow anchor cut and hauled in the kedge anchors he had laid out before the battle this allowed the "Saratoga" to bring its port side battey into play. The "coinfiance" unable to make this maneuver struck her colors- a bit more correction of the kedge brought her in line on the HMS Linnet, there captain also aware of the damage his ship had and knew another broadside might sink her struck colors. The HMS Finch drifted aground on Crab Island and was captured by the invalids. The HMS Chubb badly damaged drifted to shore by American lines and was taken by the army. the small English gun boats drifted away and were later found deserted..  Prevost made no attempt on Plattsburgh until after the naval battle was nearly over, then he received a message Downie was killed and British lost, he gave the signal to the buglers to announce a withdraw and they went back to Canada.
Lieutenant Macdonough had won the day with 14 ships a crew of 882 men  they took on the English of 16 warships and 937 men and won  Had they lost our map of America would look much different. the peace treaty of Ghent was being negotiated and the English had the upper hand, this battle gave America all the rights to the great lakes and lake Champlain.
Prevost was relieved of his command, MacDonough was promoted to Commodore, Macomb promoted to Major General, Commander Downie was taken to Crab Island and buried there with both the British and American dead. some 921 men were taken to Crab Island from wounds or sickness and transferred to Burlington, Vt. On duty at Crab Island was one doctor James Mann and one assistant.

Four of the gold medals were struck by congress and presented to Capt Thomas Macdonough, Capt Robert Hensley, Lieutenant Stephen Cassin and Alexander Macomb.
History takes on such a greater significance when we realize that one of our own was there, not just another page in history but an event in our own ancestors lives.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Judge Hugh White pioneer Oneida county

Some of our ancestors were pretty strong-
The clouds of the American Revolution where just fading away when Hugh White a native of Middletown, Conn. and his neighbors Zepheniah Platt, Ezra L'Hommedieu and Melanethon Smith became joint proprietors of  the Sadaquada Patent. A tract of land on the western frontier about were Utica, New York now stands.  Life was comfortable their in Middletown but the drive to own land and build wealth was making the frontier a dream. They agreed to meet on the tract of land in the summer of 1784. to survey it and partition it among them.
Hugh White deciding to make this land his new home, gathered his four grown sons, his daughter and daughter-in laws and set out for Albany, from there they crossed to Schenectady were they procured a batteau and ascended the Mohawk river, west to the mouth of the Sauquoit creek arriving late in June. Hugh White selected a spot along the Indian path from Fort Schuyler to Fort Stanwix, were they built a small log cabin to live in during the coming winter. four years later he erected a fine home which he enjoyed until his death.  In January of 1785 he went to Middleton and brought his wife back to be with the family.. some years later he would become a judge and preformed that duty for Oneida county.  The first two years of residence in the log cabin was really existing- the nearest mill was situated at Palatine, a distance of about 40 miles, the pathway was just that a foot trail not wide enough to accommodate a wagon, Meat being rather scarce, they salted down several barrels of passenger pigeon breast, the birds being very plentiful then.
While living in this remote cabin his daughter was put to a test-I wonder how many girls could endure it today.
during the American Revolution which had just ended four years before Hugh built the cabin, the Oneida Indian were split in there allegiance - some of the tribe sided with the English burning and destroying  the Mohawk valley, one of these was a chief named Han Yerry, who now resided a few miles down the path with his family. One day Chief Yerry appeared at the cabin with his wife and a mulatto women who belonged to him-the conversation stated with the chief asking  "are you my friend" Yes replied White "Well then, said the Indian, do you believe I am your friend" yes answered white, I believe you are"  Well said Han Yerry if you are my friend and you believe I am your friend, I will tell you what I want, and then I shall know whether you speak true words"  "and what is it you want" replied Mr White. The old Indian chief pointed to the little grandchild, the daughter one of his sons, about three years old, and said "My squaw wants to take this papoose home with us to stay one night, and bring her home tomorrow, if you are my friend you will now show me".
The room went quiet, Hugh White was being called on to make a difficult decision, the mother stared in silence with the horror and alarm of though of in trusting her darling baby to the rude tenants of the forest. on one hand the necessity of unlimited confidence in the savage and the in trusting the welfare of his beloved grandchild. The chief was a man influence and consequence in his nation, but he had been a known enemy of his country man in the recent war.  Judge White told him to take the child.-the mother responded mechanically relinquishing her hold into the hands of the old mans wife.  That night was long and silent, as the sun came up the mother began the vigil, from a elevated place on the property she began to watch the trail. as she went about the chores of the day she found herself returning often to this place to stare down the path, but no Indian came into sight.  Noon arrived but no sign of anyone on the trail, it became herder to restrain her for by now she feared the worst.  Hugh White explained the indignity the Indian would have to endure if she went after him. The after noon was longer than the morning , just as the sun began to settle in the tree tops the shadowy figure of the old Indian with the tiny baby on the shoulders of his squaw. dressed in new complete Indian attire more Oneida Indian than white.  This established a firm friendship between the Oneida Indians and judge white. the tiny grandchild was Mrs Eells of Missouri the widow of Nathan Eells of Whitesboro, N. Y.
This is a true story, but it must have been hard turning her 3 year old daughter over to a man who 4 years earlier had been killing there friends and burning there homes-but life was pretty hard when your nearest town was 40 foot miles away

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lest we forget the real heros-Paulding, Williams, Van Wart

How many of us remember three teen age farmers from    Terrytown, John Paulding, David Williams, Isaac Van Wart. I do not recall learning about them in school. Then there is a guy named John Andre, you may remember him, there are about 200 hits on the Internet.  Without a doubt every person in America knows the name Benedict Arnold-not for his exploits and bravery in the early years of the American Revolution , no we remember him because he was a traitor. Of These five men are linked together in history  is John Paulding a self-sufficient individual
farmer was born in New York
City about 1758, a farmer in Terrytown area,
 over 6 ft tall, married three times, father of nineteen children. He died in 1818 at Staatsburgh, Dutchess Co., New York. When the American Revolution broke out he joined the Militia,  He was captured three times by the British and was able to escape each time.
Isaac Van Wart born 25 Oct 1762 died 23 May 1828 was also a farmer and militiaman from Duchess co.Born in the farm country of Greensburgh, N.Y. near Elmsford, he married Rachel Storm,
David Williams  also a militiaman, born about 1756 of Dutch ancestry.
These three young volunteers were on overnight patrol 22-23 September 1780, there had been a increase in activity of the loyalist driving cattle at night to New York City to aid the British troops posted there. While setting behind some brush taking a break they noticed a young man was fast approaching on a chestnut horse, the three men seized the traveler who they discovered was a British Officer Major John Andre, dressed not in British officers uniform , but in civilian cloths, after searching  him and finding  a map and classified material hid in his boots, they informed him he was  under arrest and they  return him to there headquarters. En route he offered these three very poor farm boys 1000 Guineas in cash [about $5,000] for his release. John Paulding having just 3 days earlier escaped from his British captors, declined the bribe and delivered Major Andre to his commander Lt.
  Col Jameson..  What a mess, Jameson did not know what to do so he sent a message to his commander at West Point, Benedict Arnold, Bad timing  the day Arnold was to hand over west point to the British and it is all falling apart, Arnold was to have dinner that night with George Washington. Another member of Lt Col Jameson staff sent message to Washington about Andre , which Washington received before arriving at West Point.  Benedict Arnold wasted no time as soon as he received the note about Andre being captured he left his wife Peggy Shippen and daughter at West Point and he fled to New York City.---
Benedict Arnold was a very successful, well to do merchant. At the outbreak of the
Revolution he volunteered,   made a Colonel he raised a regiment and captured Fort Ticonderoga 10 May 1775. After this he joined General George Washington's
Continental Army. Given command of the attack on Quebec, failed but Arnold
and his men managed to sustain the blockade. Arnold was wounded in the knee
during this time. he was promoted to Brigadier General 10 Jan 1776. When he
heard that General Burgoyne was invading New York state, he marched his
forces first to relieve the siege of Fort Stanwick then back to Saratoga, were he made two heroic attacks against the British. which were instrumental in Burgoyne's surrender. He was again wounded in the same leg. Some say his exploits at Saratoga made Gen Gates feel upstaged,  Arnold was removed from his command by Gen Gates. This did not set well with Arnold, Gen Washington a true friend of Arnold's placed him in Philadelphia as military Commander in 1778. here he met Peggy Shippen , a loyalist
Had his first wife Margaret Mansfield not died in 1775, and still been with him, history might have  played out much differently. Peggy was a very popular girl in Philadelphia, well acquainted with the handsome artistic John Andre. who was taken prisoner at the battle of St Johns 2 Nov 1775 and was living in Philadelphia, prisoner of the American Army and top intelligent officer for British Commander Clinton. very popular in Philadelphia and a very close friend of Peggy  Shippen.  When he left the City he gave Peggy a lock of his hair in a golden locket.  Later at the age of 18, she would meet and marry on April 8 1779  Benedict Arnold, age 38 they moved to new home in Mount Pleasant, on the Schuylkill River. she appears to have stayed with him until his death  in 1801 in London.   it was her friendship with Major John Andre that Arnold was brought into the plot-Andre a professional intelligent agent who's job it was to extract information from anyone that could help the British cause, latched onto Arnold who was by now unhappy about his being snubbed after the battle of Saratoga, deep in debt, no doubt being reminded by his wife Peggy of his being cast aside,  was a easy target. Arnold arranged to get the appointment to West Point, which his good friend Gen George Washington was quick to endorse.
Back to West Point, After the dinner date with Arnold's stranded wife Peggy, Washington met with his staff and gave the order to execute the captured Major John Andre by hanging as a spy. Andre pleaded with him to shoot him as a gentleman but Washington having not yet recovered from the treachery of Arnold made no effort to intervene and Major Andre having been found guilty 29 Sep 1780 at Tappan, New York of being behind American lines "under a feigned name and in a disguised habit" Andre when led to the gallows placed the rope around his own head and was hanged 2 October 1780 as a spy.

The three heroes, who brushed aside the opportunity for gold were recognized by Gen. Washington's request to the Continental Congress to award them each $200.00 annually for life, plus a silver medal struck in fine silver with "Fidelity" on one side and
"Vincit Amor Patriae" with there initials on the other. for there Fidelity
and service they gave our country. passed by congress 3 Nov 1780
and presented by General George Washington 7 Aug 1782, at which
time he also gave each a brace of silver mounted pistols. The County
also gave each man a farm in Westchester valued at about 500 pounds.,
They were allowed to stand in the inner circle when Major Andre was hung. When the state of Ohio was being formed a county was named for each man. While these men were alive they got a lot of publicity, there was also a few followers of Major Andre that tried to slander them-but time took care of that--today of the five, Benedict Arnold is the best known, Major Andre has nearly as many hits on the Internet as Arnold, and alas the three real hero's of this plot have nearly been forgotten.To add insult to injury two of the three medals John Paulding's and David Williams's [the were about of Isaac Van Wart is unknown]were donated to the New York Historical Association and while on display in a locked case in 1976 they disappeared, along with Major Andre's watch.

Today 230 years later the real heroes , willing to give up instant reward to protect our nation and prevent West Point from falling into the hands of the British are nearly forgotten while the spy and traitor are instantly recognized something wrong with this. This was the first time that a common soldier was recognized for doing anything, it was common to strike medals for officers and leaders but never before for a regular rank and file soldier.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

my Fathers Grt Grandmother Gertrude ???? Mrs Martin Lord

My father could not tell me who his grandfather was-- He knew they called him "Barny" and he married a sister of Aunt Hellen Johnson That either of these people had parents-beyond the need to know- so involved we will skip over Barny for now.
If he did not know anything about his grandfather suppose there was no need to think he would know who his grandfather's parents.
We lived most of our lives in Nelliston, New York maybe 12 miles from Johnstown, New York between the two villages is Fort Hunter were my dads father lived, he died in 1935 so I could not question him, there is a possibility he may have known his grandfather who lived in Johnstown but he must not have shared this with my dad.

After several years of research which is a story in itself we found out the man in question was Martin Rooney Lord, lived his adult life in Johnstown, owned a slaughter house on Williams street and a meat market on main Street., he had a son the grandfather of my dad and two daughters , Emma and Jane. one married a Moore and he had a saw and file business in Johnstown and built a big three story brick building on main street.
I can not imagine how they could live so close and my dad not know.
This brings us to our story-- I researched Martin Lord's family for over 60 years, I know when he moved from Gallaway to Johnstown, when he married about 1844 Gertrude, how hard it was when the first child Myndert died 31 July 1853. I even visited the cemetery there in Johnstown and copied all there stones [good thing I did on a recent visit the lot was completely bare of head stones??] Found out they were married in Methodist church which has been torn down --no one knows where the records are.
I am used to working hard to find just the basic clues, after 60 years or plus some knowledge of the hobby has to wear off and you should know how to proceed. I was sure I was doing things right but I just could not find out what Gertudes family name was.When her husband Martin died he was in Henrietta N. Y. his body was brought back to Johnstown and a full page told the story of his life, but nothing about Mrs Martin Lord.. She went to Canada and lived with one daughter, when the daughter died Gerturde went to Henrietta to live with the other daughter.
I became so desperate to find her maiden name I spent several weeks and copied every Gertrude baptized in every church record held at Fonda, History and Archives during the period of 1805 and 1845, figured that one of 67 Gertrudes had to be her [No I never found her baptism]

Little over a 2 years ago I made my last trip from Florida to Johnstown, visited the cemetery only to find they had removed all the stones on Martin Lord Lot, no one could tell me why, caretaker said he remembered some of them??? while on this trip last day I had about a hour to waste so my wife let me out at the Johnstown Library, been there a hundred times or more when I lived in Johnstown.  This day I went to second floor they had just rearranged a card file and the custodian suggested that I look at it.  The index referred to a Mrs Martin Lord so I pulled the card and there was the clue that I had missed for over 60 years. "attending funeral service from Johnstown,  Mrs Martin Lord sister of the deceased  Eliza Van Meter w/ of Horrace Wadsworth". I managed to get a little more time from my wife next day and it took less than a hour to locate her family and extend her line back several generations. And to think that clue was right there for years and I just never found it. So if you have a brick wall- go back over your path you may have over
looked the obvious.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Peterloo Massacre of 1819 my Ancestor John Rhodes

Tw's a fine Sunday day on the 16th of August 1819, the Parliamentary reformers had been planning a rally at St Peters Field for several weeks, Samuel Bamford a native of Middleton had emerged as a natural leader. The event called for the best so Henry Hunt was engaged to be main speaker. B y mid morning it was apparent this would be a record turn out--every one had been instructed to bring no weapons -peace at any price-the common man had had it with the unfair method of electing Parliament, the suffrage ladies were pressing hard for reform, the high cost of the battle of Waterloo was only four years past, and as always the wealthy were getting richer and the poor getting further behind.
the 16,000 Sq foot St Peters Field was bulging with some 60,000 to 70,000 commoners mostly women very well dressed in their Sunday best.
Now St Peters Field has three main arteries and four very narrow lanes., with buildings and walls along it's outer edges.
 William Hulton chairman of the magistrates is watching from the house on the edge of St Peters Field, saw the enthusiastic reception that Bamford and Hunt received on there arrival at the assembly, encouraged him to action he issued an arrest warrant for Henry Hunt,and all the rest of the leaders-Chief Constable Andrews asked for military assistance. two notes were handed to two horsemen who were standing by. The
Manchester and Salford Yeomanry were stationed just a short distance away in Portland Street  they immediately drew there swords and galloped full tilt toward the Field , one trooper in a frantic attempt to catch up knocked down a lady causing the death of her child two year old William Fields first casualty of the day.
Sixty Cavalrymen of Manchester arrived, the route was narrow and the inexperienced horses were thrust further and further into the crowd they reared and plunged as people tried to get out of there way. As they neared the speakers stand they became stuck in the crowd and in panic started to hack about them with their sabers--the crowd had no weapons their only thought was to get away. The magistrates answer was to form the 15th Hussars into a line stretching across the eastern end of St Peters Field and charge with fixed bayonets into the crowd, at same moment the Cheshire Yeomanary charged from the southern edge. the crowd had some difficulty in dispersing the 88th regiment of foot, standing with fixed bayonets closed the south edge
At the cost of 11 dead and over 600 injured the crowd had melted away, leaving the park scattered with the dead and wounded.
A true count of the dead will never be known our ancestor John Rhodes a woolen merchant was their he received two saber wounds to the head but he lived three days and the office of the magistrate ordered his body examined and determined he died of natural causes.

In the end both Samuel Bamford and Henry Hunt were arrested and jailed for disturbing the peace ????
guess I missed something,  The caricature shown appeared at the time the text reads" Down with 'em'! chop em down my brave boys; give them no quarter they want to take our beef & Pudding from us!--remember the more you kill the less poor rates you'll have to pay so go at it Lads show your courage & your loyality"

Ancestor Approved Award

Thank you Terri Kallio at The Ties That Bind
your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated, for the past couple of years I know many people have read my attempt to tell the family history but only a couple have made comments.
As a recipient of this award, I am to list 10 things I have learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers who I feel are doing their ancestors proud.

Where do I begin? My genealogy adventure has been so full of surprises that have both enlightened and humbled me. My parents while interested in their ancestors could not help with any factual information, and one grandmother was trying to conceal her families past.

My greatest surprise happened only a few months ago-I was scanning a little Falls, N.Y.newspaper file when I found a court case about a 16yr old Olyer girl who was married and her parents had it annulled. I was a only child my mother was a driving force for me to unravel the family genealogy-I knew she married my dad in Albany when she was 20 yrs old The 16 yr old was her-- a well kept secret.

My grandmother Margaret Cummings Olyer would not tell me the truth about her fathers parents, she gave me conflicting information from 1942 until her death in 1965

Once I knew what the family name was a call to Martin Town, Ontario Provincial Police led me to Alex King who turned out to be my grandmothers older brother-learn as I did why there was a secret--

My grandmother wold tell of the ancestors who came from France and fought the Indians, what a feeling it was to see this in print.

Grampa Olyer was a family story teller and as a pre teen the war stories were always exciting but the truth that I uncovered was much more moving--

Having parents and grandparents who were interested in history and genealogy it was indeed a proud moment for me when my son was recognized by our community for his interest--

During my high school years had a great friend in Darwin Lasher, my parents and his were also friends and we were often told we were related but no one knew just how-unfortunatly Darwin has passed away and I did not sort it all out until just recently--

I had read about the orphan trains but not until if saw the documents about the 4 small children and learned of my aunts having to turn them over to the sponsors of the orphan trains did it really sink in how emotional this must have been--

bought a old rusty gun turns out to be family heirlom after years of research and some lucky finds--

One of my grandfather Olyer stories was about his mothers grandfather-- was his life cut short in a early spring late winter marriage--this is a enlightening story what do you think--

The following Bloggers are doing a great job most of them are far better Bloggers than me so it is a honor for me to pass this award on to them.   Gen wish list   Tina Lyons Destination Austin Family Thomas MacEntee Old Stons Undeciphered  Lisa Wallen Logsdon  Benotforgot  Vickie Everhart   west in new England  Bill West   WW! Experiences of an English Soldier  William Henry Bonser Lamin     the educated genealogist   Sheri Fenley  Miriam Robbins Midkiff   a tale of two ancestors  Amanda Acquard   roots digging

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lasher Family of Stone Arabia

Our Lasher Ancestry begins with the Palatine immigration of 1710 when Sebastion Loescher  at the age of 40 years left his homeland in Hochspeyer, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany and embarked on a journey that would take him and his family across thousands of miles of ocean, hundreds of miles of Rivers, forest and mountains to untold joys and hardships in unfamiliar and rugged land, with a language barrier , to forge out a new life in a new untamed world.
The ship "Medford" one of a fleet of 10 to arrive in June 1710, the next three years was a struggle to keep alive, broken promises and dashed dreams found the Lashers on the "Palatine Debtor" list 1718-179 and the Livingston Manor Debt list 1721 - 1726- 26 Aug 1734 Sebastioin and his family was among the few who stayed on the Livingston Manor, were they settled and began to work the land. Three of the sons stayed on the Manor where they built fine stone homes, being thrifty they held joining property  and built on the corners that one well could be used by all the families. 
 Our ancestor John Conrad Loscher built the stone house known as the "Stone Jug" although it has changed hands many times it still stands today.  John married at Wattenheim Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany, Angeline Weingar  born in Switzerland 14 Sep 1699.
John Conrad's oldest sons Johannes born 17 Aug 1726 and his brother Gerhart born 29 Dec 1732, started out working with their father on the Livingston Manor, when the call to arms was issued by Gen William Johnson in 1755 for the campaign against the French, they volunteered and traveled to Albany for the encampment of men being assembled for the Gov. Shirley and Gen Johnson campaign.  They met Andrew Dillenbach from the Palatine area , both Lashers visited  the Stone Arabia area and  had purchased land near  the Dillenbecks, and became friendly with his two sisters on 1 Feb 1763 Gerhart married Catherine Dillenbeck, and by 27 Sep 1763 Johannes married her sister Anna Dillenback  These families were very close , the danger of attack by the French and Indian was always a threat 24 May 1763 their company under Soverines Deygert was called up by Sir William Johnson to serve at German Flats
 The Lasher brothers and Andreas seemed to be very active in the local militia and when the winds of the revolution began they served in Col Klocks regiment. in fact the three of them were at Oriskany.
In the morning on the march, Andrew was joking with the Lashers and mentioned he would not be taken by any of his tory neighbors this is a quote An eye witness recalls the event  "...three of Johnson's Greens attempted to capture Capt. Andrew Dillenbeck. He had said just before, to his friends [possibly Gerhardt, Andrew's father was among them], that he would not be made a prisoner by his old neighbors, and he was not. One of them seized his gun, but he wrenched it from his grasp, clubbed him, and felled him to the ground. The gun was still loaded, and with it he shot the second and thrust the third through with the bayonet; but in the moment of victory, another of the enemy shot him down and he immediately expired... he was a strong and powerful man - rendered such by hardships from childhood. as the reader may well suppose, such men could not be conquered."  - Jeptha R. Simms.
The next child that Gerhardt Loescher had was named Andreas.  Our ancestor was Gerhardt son Henry Loescher born 11 Aug 1765 , he married Elizabeth Bauder 1789 her father Michael Melchior Bauder was also killed at battle of Oriskany. their son George Lasher married Magdalena Klock, was a farmer living in Stone Arabia, when he sold his farm he moved to Nelliston, N. Y. 
were he built a small store in front of his home and made shoes.  Georges son was John "Jack" Lasher, Born there in Nelliston, N. Y. member of the 115 N.Y. Vol. Inf. in Civil War taken prisoner in Florida and held at Andersonville.  In the 1870's he went west to look for gold, returning to Nelliston he built a brick home for his family, operated his fathers store as a meat market, and built a two story apartment house on Main Street in Nelliston.

His daughter was my Grandmother Anna Lasher Lord
She looks very stern but I remember her as being everything but firm-I of course could do no wrong being the only grandchild for many years, she would tell me about the family and share there triumphs and tragedies. She was always quick to remind me of my Lasher and Klock ancestors and the sacrifices they made, especially when I did not want to eat some horrible vegetable, would hear about the starving Armenians or shortage of food during the war years. Never could figure out how my eating helped them. I still do not eat rudabakers, broccoli, or turnips

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Captain William Scott 13th Baron Balweirie

Our Ancestor Capt. William Scott 13th Baron of Balwearie was the eldest son and heir of Sir James Scott. Scion of an ancient military aristocracy, elected to follow his uncle, Captain Robert Scott, serving in the military, with a Scottish regiment , in Holland, assisting that country in its war with the Spanish. On 23 Oct 1616, William Scott surviving heir of conquest to Andrew Scott, his brother, Dutch records indicate Capt William Scott was killed in action 19 Sep 1622 at the seige of Bergen op Zoom.

During the early modern period, Bergen op Zoom was a very strong fortress and one of the main armories and arsenals of the United Provinces. It had a remarkable natural defensive site, surrounded as it was by marshes and easily-floodable polders. Furthermore, it could receive reinforcements and supplies by sea, if the besieging army did not have a fleet to blockade its port.
Due to these features, the city was one of the strategic points held by the revolting Dutch in the Eighty Years War. It was at that time besieged by Alessandro Farnese first in 1587, and by Don Ambrogio Spinola Doria, 1st Marquis of the Balbases (1569 – September 25, 1630) was an Italian aristocrat, who, as a Spanish general, won a number of important battles. He is often called "Ambrosio", especially in Spanish-speaking countries.                
On the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War he made a vigorous campaign in the lower Palatinate which included ,The Siege of Bergen-op-Zoom On 18 July 1622, The Spanish had to lift the siege on 2 October, as a result of recent defensive constructions and intervention by the Dutch Stadtholder Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. Maurice of Nassau and his army relieved the city on the next day. The siege cost Spinola 5000 troops.
The Dutch had become a powerful naval country, There denomination linked closely to the official states, and adopted as state religion, was the Lower German Dutch Reformed Church, the later Reformed Church of the Netherlands. The public exercise of Catholicism was strictly forbidden. Catholics were viewed by the government with suspicion and supervised;
This time period is known in the Netherlands as the Golden Age. The Dutch dominated world trade in the 17th century, conquering a vast colonial empire and operating the largest fleet of merchantmen of all western nations. The County of Holland was the wealthiest and most urbanized region of Europe. without a army but with the wealth of commerce they hired mercinaries from all over Europe including the Scotish Regiment of my Ancestor.  The competitor was Spain another wealthy nation, with a great naval force, upholding the Catholic religion-This opposite polarity between the two powerful nations would end up battle.

Captian William Scott left a wife  Elizabeth Graham, and four small children,  living on the Isle of Wieringen, Netherlands, among the Scotish military that her husband had served with. The youngerst son Jan Willemse Schutt was born 1621, less than a year old when his father was killed. Young William was a soldier under Kirk Patrick, he married Marijchie Jans in Noord, Netherlands and bore among other children a son William, born at Ehrungen, Husse-Cassel, Germany (Just across the Netherlands border) By the age of 16 he joined a group resettling in New Netherlands, Arriving in America on ship "Eagle" 19 Mar 1663 out of Netherlands. .    Son of William of the Netherlands, settled in the Kingston area amoung others from their homeland.
William married Margaret Grietje Jacobs probably in New Utrecht, Long Island, N. Y. , after this we find him in Albany, Marbletown, settling in Shawangunk (Wallkill) where his will writtten in Dutch, was drawn 6 May 1706, Proved 4 Jun 1722 were in he mentions his wife Grietje, who survived him, also mentions his surviving children, all 12 of them.
Our ancestor Patrick Scutt born 1665 New Utrecht, Long Island, N. Y. used the Dutch spelling Scutt and apparently the next six generations continued with this spelling.  The name Scutt died out in our family with the marriage of Charlotte Scutt (Who had 27 generations of Scotts back to 1100ad) she married John Vernon Olyer my grt grandfather. The 27 generations of this Scott family are discussed in my latest book "Ancestors of Charlotte Scott" which you can examine by going to my store

Saturday, April 3, 2010

FORT PLAIN 3 story block house

As a child was awed by this fort, when I went to the movies there was a large painting on the wall next to the screen and I used to study this and wish I might some day see it. Later in life I lived on upper Canal Street only a short distance from the site were it once stood.
The year 1960 was one of indecision for your author, a three year position as Curator and Gen Manager of Fort William Henry was coming to a close and something new and challenging had to be found. a 500 acre recreation area and amusement park was going to be sold in our area Pine Lake, owned for many years by Joseph Groshans who had died without a will and would be auctioned off. That sounded good we owned a store just three miles from the park so my parents and my family hired a lawyer to watch it and buy it if the price was right. My wife and I had been interested in a piece of land near Saratoga were Burgoyne had surrendered-that seemed like a possibility. For many years the whole family had been associated with Fort Klock and new that the old fort in Fort Plain was just up on top of the hill behind our house on Canal Street in Fort Plain.
By the end of September,Fort William Henry, was closing, Sir John Johnson and Lady Johnson who had been staying with us was now gone and on his way to England, we finally had time on our hands so we contacted Allan Samuels attorney in Fort Plain and with him formed the Fort Plain Restoration Inc. arranged for a lease with purchase on the old Lipe farm just beyond our house on Canal Street which included that great stone house and the hill behind it.The site of the old blockhouse
What a great fall we would try and get Fort Plain started, the veteran parade was coming up, wife , children and I dressed in colonial cloths and carried big banner "lets put the Fort in Fort Plain" No one realized how placid and peaceful those couple of months were, nothing to do on the fort property until spring---a call from our lawyer was about to complicate things- the auction was on for the Pine Lake property and in a couple of weeks we would be the new owners-Not much could be done until the snow melted in May and then everything had to be done before decoration day and we had not even been in the buildings. but tugging at us was Fort Plain a life long dream to find and reconstruct that famous block house.
Stanly Gifford had been the archaeologist at Fort William Henry and we had developed a close friendship. A call to Stan and I had a right hand which was fortunate as I had no training in this field. Stan came to stay with us and we contacted a old school mate Adilaid Lenneker, her husband was a skilled heavy machine operator and could barrow a earth mover. Our plans were to get on the property on the hill above Lipes house and locate the site of the three story blockhouse that had become the symbol of Fort Plain just as soon as the snow was gone enough to work. This was late March and early April 1961. we estimated the surface had been plowed for nearly 200 years , to a depth of about a foot so the top soil while it might have colonial items they would have been moved in every direction so carefully taking 6 inches on each pass and depositing it in one place would not do to much damage. as the earth mover, moved along Stan and myself followed with a bundle of colored flags to mark any anomaly in the undisturbed soil. The moisture content would be different were the soil had been disturbed so we could see this for about 4 hours, after this we would stop and commence work the following day. time was very important, I only had couple of weeks and would have to leave to open Pine Lake. We were not having very good luck, there was a large deposit of cut stone laid up in circular pattern that suggested a possible well and some lime stone foundations. On the second pass very close to the edge of the hill directly above the stone house we found the first indication of disturbance about 2 foot by 5 foot three of them very close together. now Stanly was a very accomplished archaeologist and had been associated with the museum of American Indians, so he knew at once what we had, He elected to work on this site and let me follow the earth mover and flag the fire pits and other spots were I could do the least damage.
We had started about 6.00 a.m and it was crowding noon when we had to quit the earth moving thing. I had a newspaper bag full of items turned up by the earth mover brass pot, knife blade, pipe stems, etc. but Stanly was in a hole about 2 ft deep with a partially exposed skeleton. The male Indian was in a very unusual position for the period laying on his back with hands at his side, on the right side was the remains of a flint lock musket, the wood was gone but the metal parts were easily identified, on the left side in small pile which probably had been a bag of some sort was 4 flint lock plates complete with frizzen and spring and hammer with flint. lower on this same side at about the knees were three pair of ice skates these had the front and back of the blades turned like a coil with the end of the turn hammered into a ball. across the breast was a beautiful beaded vest unfortunately over the years someone while building a fence drove a fence post just a little to the left of center on the vest and destroyed so much the pattern was hard to determine. The beads were very early trade purple, red and white. the pattern included some sort of bone or porcupine quills about two inches long forming a boarder of beads and spacers around the edge both sides and along the bottom. near the waist area was two knife blades and a iron small axe or hatchet. In the area of the right hand was a brass frog about the size of a golf ball and in the pile of flint lock plates was a brass frog large perhaps the size of a tennis ball. There were several 4 and 6 inch brass kettles. Stan inventoried everything and we did keep a few beads and one of the frogs for the museum. I understand someone broke in the museum and stole it. The rest of the material we left just as it was, we did not open the other two graves. This must have been a very important individual to have so much dutch trade items.

to quot J.R.Simms Fort Plain Block-House.--This was erected in the fall of 1780 and spring of 1781, and was constructed of pine timber 8X14 inches square, dovetailed at the ends, and Thomas Morrel, of Schenectada, father of the late Judge Abram Morrel, of Johnstown, superintended its erection. It was octagonal in form, three stories in height, the second projecting five feet over the first, and the third five feet over the second, with port holes for cannon on the first floor, and for musketry on all its surfaces; with holes in the projecting floor for small arms, so as to fire down upon a closely approaching foe. The first story is said to have been 30 feet in diameter, the second 40 and the third 50, making it look top heavy for a gale of wind. It mounted several cannon for signal guns and defense--one of which was a twelve pounder--on the first floor; where was also an immense oven. . . . It stood upon a gentle elevation of several feet--which at the of an hundred years, the plow and the cultivator have nearly obliterated--and about 20 rods from the palisaded inclosure, which was constructed mainly by the farmers. The block-house was not palisaded, but a ditch or dry moat several feet deep and ten feet wide, extended around it, requiring a draw bridge to gain its entrance.

Two days later we found what we thought was the base of the fort about 30 square foot of disturbance, subsequent archaeology digs proved that this was the base of the block house and it was square, a fact that had been argued for years, some historians claimed it was round, octagon and square.
From the fire pits and post holes found during the earth removal program there apparently was a village on this hill over which the block house and redoubt was built.
only a couple of fire pits were examined and they indicted they were most likely from Indian occupation, the bones found were all broken, there were no cut bones in the fire pits. Since we did not uncover all the area in line with these fire pits Stanly suggested the long house might have been as long as 40 foot or more.

Unfortunately Stanly and I worked only a couple of weeks but it was rainy and cold, Stan developed a real bad cold and did not take care of his self, for many years he had a drinking problem and was very run down, he died a few weeks later. By this time I became involved with opening the Pine Lake park and all the notes that Stan and I had made were with Stan for a paper he was going to write, I have no idea of were they are , thought this might be a record as I recall it, of the finding of Fort Plain block house and the apparent Indian Chief or some one with wealth enough to afford such highly prized trade items. three pair of ice skates and all the flint lock plates It was strange that there were frogs as the known clans in the area were turtle, bear.

As we go through life some decisions are forced upon us other we make without sound advice, 50 years later perhaps my youthful dreams might have worked out better.