Monthly Archives: April 2011

Trials of Life in the Minisink Valley

In the last post, I talked about Captain Daniel Brodhead (b. 1693) and Hester Wyngart leaving Ulster County, New York in 1738*, to settle in the Lower Minisink Valley of Pennsylvania. They founded Dansbury (named after Daniel and now known as East Stroundsburg), Pennsylvania. It was there he’d purchased one thousand acres of land (I also read that he was given land for his service in the NY militia) along the Analoming Creek (later referred to as Brodhead’s Creek).  It’s hard to imagine moving to a wilderness with young children in tow to face the complete unknown. One can only imagine what they and their impressionable young children thought as they moved towards a place where nothing but adventure and uncertainty awaited them.

Luke Wills Brodhead, mentioned in previous posts, gives a great account of what life was like for early settlers and talks about the Moravian missionaries, Shaw, Bruce, and Mack, who were in the area trying to convert the Indians of the Delaware–the Lenni Lenape. On a side note, if you look on the Find a Grave website for the Moravian Cemetery in Bethlehem, you can come across graves belonging to Indians whom the Moravians converted.

Daniel was very encouraging of the Moravians’ efforts, and let them build a mission on his land. From what I have read, the Indians and early settlers in that region coexisted rather peacefully for a number of years, until slow boiling grievances led to an outbreak in 1755, at which time Daniel defended his property from attack together with his sons and daughter, Ann, and neighbors who had come to seek refuge there. The surrounding countryside was virtually abandoned in lieu of the safer side of the Delaware River– New Jersey. Peace with the Indians ended in the Minisink Valley, and troubles continued for a number of years, pushing those with less fortitude back to safer havens. Only the most determined and heartiest stayed put to defend their new homeland.

One interesting and worthwhile book I’ve discovered is The Reminiscences of George La Bar, the Centenarian of Monroe County, PA., Who Is Still Living In His 107th Year! by A. B. Burrell (Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 1870).

George, born in 1763, was a descendant of three French Huguenot brothers who settled very early on (1730) in the Minisink Valley. It was their intention to live in wilderness beyond the official frontier. They chose their spot and built a cabin and developed a  good relationship with the Indians. They were somewhat disheartened to discover the Nicholas DePuy home not long thereafter, but decided that having a neighbor of high caliber was not a bad thing, especially when it came to securing provisions and mutual defense (the DePuys owned a mill).

The eventual troubles with the Indians stemmed from the “Great Walk” of 1737 by Edward Marshall (Marshall’s Creek is named for him), an event that left the Indians feeling cheated out of vast hunting grounds. Prior to 1737 there had been a walk to define the purchase of land from the Indians by William Penn. Penn himself took part, and the idea was that the colonists could have whatever land they could define during a walk within a certain time period. Penn walked unhurriedly and the Indians felt satisfied with the outcome. Later Penn’s agents got the Indians to agree to a second walk that would take place over 1.5 days, but this time Penn’s agents advertised for a professional walker, a path was cut out in advance, and a trial run was made. Edward Marshall was hired and promised five hundred acres of land in return (land that he never received, by the way). On the day of the Great Walk in 1737, Marshall set off and the Indians were flabbergasted at his speed–by the end of Day One, he had exceeded the amount of land they expected him to be able to cover for the whole 1.5-day walk by three hours of walking. The Indians were fed up with what they considered to be a scam–and who can blame them? Marshall finished his walk at the river at Lackawaxen, taking advantage of the curve of the Delaware and thus managing to bring the entire Minisink into the Penn Colony. The Indians’ favorite hunting ground was theirs no more, which led to retaliation against the white settlers with the fiercest fighting taking place in 1755. George’s father described to him the scenes of slaughter he witnessed at that time when two hundred Indians attacked a funeral ceremony taking place by the Marshall home, dispersing most of the settlers across the Delaware River. The Indians had killed one of Marshall’s sons in 1747. This time they shot Marshall’s daughter through the chest, but she managed to escape and survive. They took Marshall’s wife with them and after several miles, killed her. Marshall, who was not home at the time, managed to escape the Indian’s wrath and lived to a relatively old age.

There are many interesting passages in this book, and I will probably carry on a bit in my next posts about some of them. To finish this post, I’ll mention two things that stood out for me:

1) Longevity–George lived to be 112 and was chopping wood at 106/107 when the author visited him. He walked everywhere to the end. Chapter 11 onwards give a good glimpse of who George was and what life was like especially in the early days. In addition, George’s father (also named George), after raising a large family and accumulating property in the Mt. Bethel area, decided to sell everything and move–at the ripe old age of 85(!)–to Ohio. George Sr. took his wife with him but left all the kids behind. He hired George Jr. to drive their cart of possessions. It took two weeks over bad roads to get there. George Sr. was pleased with his new home. His wife died when George Sr. was 98. At 100, he remarried! He lived to be 105. So much for my amazement at Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart moving to the PA wilderness in their 40s!!! These early settlers were very hearty people who were, by and large, thoroughly self-reliant.

2) Revolutionary War–while we know the Brodhead sons threw themselves into the war efforts against the English, many of the inhabitants of the Minisink Valley resisted involvement in the cause because they were exhausted from the blood and carnage of the Indian troubles. Some went to New Jersey to avoid what they believed would be a disastrous rout in their Pennsylvania lands, others joined the British, some even joined the Indians to keep out of the reach of authorities wanting them to take an oath of allegiance to the new government. Some were even arrested.


*Some sources say 1737, e.g., The Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys by Hayden, Hand and Jordan (pub. 1906)

Categories: Brodhead, LaBar, Moravian Cemetery Bethlehem PA, Stroudsburg | Leave a comment

Daniel & Hester Brodhead —You Have to Wonder

Photo of portrait of Capt. Daniel Brodhead (1693-1755), husband of Hester Wyngart, only child of Capt. Richard Brodhead & Magdalena Jansen, and grandson of Capt. Daniel Brodhead & Ann Tye Current location: Senate House, Kingston, NY;

IMAGE COPYRIGHT: BARBARA & JAMES BRODHEAD. Used with permission. Photo of portrait of Capt. Daniel Brodhead (1693-1755), husband of Hester Wyngart, only child of Capt. Richard Brodhead & Magdalena Jansen, and grandson of Capt. Daniel Brodhead & Ann Tye Current location: Senate House, Kingston, NY;

Recently I received an e-mail from a volunteer photographer from Findagrave that he had photographed Daniel Brodhead’s grave in the Moravian Cemetery in Bethlehem, PA. I had made the photo request a very long time ago, so I was very surprised and pleased to hear this news. Daniel had died in Bethlehem in 1755 after traveling there for medical treatment. He was only about 62, not nearly as long-lived as his father Richard, but this should probably come as no surprise given how stressful his life must have been over the previous 18 years, a period during which he was actively engaged in settling what initially was Pennsylvania wilderness. He would have made numerous trips back up to the Kingston area during those years to sell goods, taking advantage of the rough “Old Mine Road,” a route that started out as an Indian trail circa 10,000 BC and is today known as State Rd 209.

I am still in awe of Daniel (b. 1693, son and only child of Richard Brodhead and Magdalena Jansen, who were both mentioned in the post of 15 April 2011) and Hester Wyngart Brodhead, in their early forties, going off to the wilds of the Lower Minisink Valley of Pennsylvania in 1738 with all their young children in tow. Their children, Richard, Ann, Charles, Garret, and Daniel (future Brig. Gen. Daniel Brodhead mentioned in the 13 April 2011, post), and John, would have been aged roughly 12, 11, 9, 5, 2, and 1. Children Luke and Ann (the first Ann died before 1743 when this Ann was born) were born in the Minisink Valley.  Evidently very little is known of any early settlers who might have been in this area of Pennsylvania prior to 1725. The only ones around when the Brodheads arrived in those parts were the DePuy and Van Campen families. Luke W. Brodhead gives details about them in his book (see again the aforementioned post of 15 April). Luke also talks about the Strouds who settled in there in the late 1760s. 

What time of year did the Brodheads arrive? Spring or summer?–to get a house built in time for winter. The children weren’t really old enough to be of too great assistance. What did they eat? Where did they secure provisions? Easton to the south was not settled until 1739. What kind of hunting did they do? What was the fishing like in the Delaware? Every day would have been a new adventure filled with discovery and possible dangers. The valley must have been extremely verdant, peaceful, and beautiful, as it still is in many places. Hard for us to fathom a world without electricity, communications, medical facilities, and other modern conveniences. One thing is for sure–they worked a lot harder physically than most of us do today, and they surely would have had the slim waistlines to show for it. The word “calorie” was probably not in their vocabulary! Yesterday I stumbled upon some old Colonial recipes and could not help but try one, which I share below and can recommend. I wonder if it is one that Hester would have made for the family in her Dutch oven?

Swamp Yankee Applesauce Cake

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup raisins
1 tsp soda, dissolved in warm water (just enough to do the job)
1 cup cooked applesauce
1 3/4 cups sifted flour

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bread pan. Cream sugar and shortening. Add salt, cloves, nutmeg, and raisins. Add soda that has been dissolved; stir in the applesauce. Beat until well mixed. Add flour. Mix. Pour in loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover with white frosting if desired.

Categories: Brodhead, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Moravian Cemetery Bethlehem PA, Stroudsburg | Leave a comment

Lyrics Dear to Uzal Trowbridge’s Heart

The final two items I have that came from Uzal Trowbridge’s pen are not letters, but copies of songs/poems. The first poem, copied by Uzal on Wednesday, January 22, 1862, while stationed at St. John’s Seminary near Alexandria, Virginia, is Mary D. James’ To the New Jersey Volunteers which appeared in Bridgeton, New Jersey’s West Jersey Patriot newspaper on May 18, 1861.

Uzal penned his copy of the poem eight months after that publication:

The second item copied by Uzal, Corporal Kelly, appears to be a song as he says it is “to the Tune of Rasin the bow [his spelling]”. I was unable to find any reference to this tune on the Internet, nor for that matter was I able to find references to the song. Uzal took pen to paper on Saturday, February 1, 1862, and wrote down the words.

Although Uzal had very good penmanship, there are a few words here and there which were hard to make out. So I have done my best to interpret them:

Away with the mallet and chisel

No more of a stone-cutters life.

My books and my papers shall mizzle,

For I’ll follow the drum and the fife.

I was once a stone-cutter hard fisted,

But the “ranks” had a charm for my eye;

So I bent down my head, and I ‘listed

To the tune of the “Bould Sojer Boy.”

I am covered with trappings and facings,

And a gilt eagle sits on my cap;

I am learning my marchings and facings,

And at last I’m a good-looking chap.

Oh! Bomb shells may fly like the divil-

They may blow up foundation and roof-

They can light on my head and be civil,

For, I’ve mind, its entirely bomb-proof.

I’ve courage enough, I am thinking,

And I’ll always the enemy meet;

But when a friend’s glass I am drinking,

I’ll not be the last at re-treat.

The ladies can’t help but desire me,

Since I’ve caught their sweet hearts in a trap:

But there’s one that must never admire me–

Her name, I believe, is “Miss Hap.”

The whip never marked my broad back,

Nor gave my big stomach the gripes:

Yet I may be stretched on the rack,

If I haven’t been getting the stripes.

But the stripes, you must know, were no harm-

They were a great honor, I tell ye;

For they were all laid on my arm.

And I am bould Corporal Kelly.

And Uzal finished the letter with:

The end



Uzal H. Trowbridge jersey.volunteers

Camp Seminary, Virginia

United States Army

Saturday, February 1st 1862

“Thunder Drum”!

What is the use of a seat of war for a standing army?

Categories: Camp Seminary, VA, Civil War, Trowbridge, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Amazing Things Come in Tiny Packages

Among the same papers I went through that contained the Trowbridge brothers’ Civil War letters was this tiny strange piece of memorabilia:

Like the Trowbridge letters, we saw this little tiny item sporadically through the years and had no idea what it was or who made it. At one point we’d magnified it and realized it was the Lord’s Prayer in minute script. Well, the other day, I took a closer look since I was wondering if somehow this came to Uzal Trowbridge in a letter. After all, it would seem normal for someone in his family to send him something small and special like this so that he could keep it with him during his military service.

As I looked at the bottom, I made out “Written without [could not make out straight away] by MA Honeywell”. Well, my first reaction was to be disappointed that it was created by someone named Honeywell and not an ancestor of mine. Then I was wondering what the word next to “without” was. And as I looked more closely, I thought it said “hands.” Well that’s strange, I thought–“without hands”–someone without hands made this?! Amazing. So, of course, I was keen to figure out who MA Honeywell was. So I searched for him/her on Google, and imagine my amazement to get hits on the name straight away. I was even more amazed to read who MA Honeywell was.

It turns out that MA Honeywell was Martha Ann Honeywell of Lempster, New Hampshire, who was born in 1787 without hands, forearms, and a foot. On the one foot she did have, she only had three toes. With her toes and mouth, using pens and scissors, she created silhouettes for which she became quite famous. She also did needlework and paper cutouts and specialized in writing the Lord’s Prayer on dime-sized circles of paper which she placed in elaborate cutout paper frames, like the one seen here.

From 1798 to 1848, Miss Honeywell traveled around the United States and even Europe, making public appearances during which she demonstrated her talents and sold her creations. For a mini-bio of Miss Honeywell, see the Encyclopedia of American Folk Art. Apparently there were a small number of other armless silhouette artists working during that era, but Miss Honeywell was one of the few women doing so.

Now, I still don’t know to which of my ancestors this small piece of art belonged. I tried to find out information on any Union County, New Jersey, performances but was not successful. But I did come across a book by Robert Bogdan, Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit
(on Google Books), that provided what could be a clue: “In August 1828 she began a long run at the Peale Museum in New York, lasting until 1830.” New York City is just across the river from Union County, NJ, so perhaps one of our ancestors ventured into the city to see her at the museum. In any case, neither Uzal nor Henry Trowbridge, who were both born after Miss Honeywell’s passing, appear to be linked to this amazing little piece of artwork. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful slice of history and I am so glad to have discovered it.

Below are some resources containing information about Miss Honeywell:

Silhouette Artists Born Without Arms blog

The Virtual Dime Museum: Adventures in Old New York blog [sorry – think link does not appear to work anymore; the blog is still worth a visit, however–lots of great info]

Blumenthal, M.L. “Martha Ann Honeywell Cut-Outs.” Antiques (May 1931): 379

Carrick, Alice Van Leer. Shades of Our Ancestors. Boston, 1938.

Groce, George C., and David H.Wallace. The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564–1860. New Haven, Conn., and London, 1957.

Rifken, Blume J. Silhouettes in America, 1790–1840: A Collectors’ Guide. Burlington, Vt., 1987.

Rumford, Beatrix, ed. American Folk Portraits, Paintings, and Drawings from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center. Boston, 1981.

Categories: Honeywell, Martha Ann, Trowbridge, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Letter from Camp Seminary

(Continued from previous post)

January 1862 found Private Uzal Trowbridge of Company A, 1st New Jersey Infantry, in Camp Seminary, Virginia. From here he sent his niece, Emma Woodruff, aged 16, another letter:

Dear Niece:

Your welcome letter of the 2nd just reached me to day. I was very glad to hear you spent your Christmas and New Year so pleasant. I spent my Christmas in camp but New Year found me on picket in a large pine forest near Annandale on the little river turnpyke. we were out here one week and this evening we returned to camp we had a very pleasant time until last night when we had a light fall of snow just enough to track a rabbit by, we fetched a fine lot of them in camp with us, we had no shot, but made some slugs by cutting up some balls out of the cartriges and buck shot. Not to enter into a long and tedious story of our adventures of the week I will briefly say that we saw no rebels all the time we were out. we sent out scouts every day who went very near to Fairfax but brought no signs of the enemy. we was very glad to get into camp once more after living in our rude chanties of pine branches for seven nights but we made it very comfortable by keeping up a large fire all night on each post of ten or twelve men we had a large fire and around this fire we made our beds by laying down rails and on them we put pine branches for feathers. and this way we slept as we ever did in the best feather bed. a man does not know what he can endure until he is forced to it. we would not know how to sleep in a bed now. that we have been without so long and made our beds in the wood, we have fine quarters in camp now we have basements made to the tents four feet high. I mean they are fine for a soldier but I suppose you would feel sorry to see them and to know that they are the only home for us. rude as they may appear to the citizen we are very glad to get back to them after being from them a week. While I was on picket I recieved a letter from Mary Cooper they are all very well there she writes a very nice letter. That was a very nice fellow you had for your beau I heard about it. I did not know the Major had gone home again he must have left while the company was on picket Since I wrote you last we use many signals on going on the out posts they are to tell if the men which are coming up to us are friends or foes these signs are done by inverting our muskets and swinging them to and fro and upon their giving the desired motion with their arms they can pass our post. I am nearing the end of this sheet and must close for this time. Good Bye All From your affectionate Uncle U.H. Trowbridge

Categories: Civil War, Trowbridge, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Pvt. Uzal Trowbridge

General McClellan stationary letterhead

Among some old family papers, I recently came across 6-7 handwritten letters dating back to the Civil War. I’d seen these letters on one or two occasions growing up, but nobody ever seemed to know who the authors (Henry and Uzal Trowbridge) were, what their connection to our family was, nor for that matter to whom the letters were written (“Niece,” “Matt”, and “Will”).

Well, last summer I stumbled upon an old photo with the name Mary Jane Trowbridge written on the reverse. It was in a frame identical to one that surrounded another photo–that of my great great

grandfather, Francis Woodruff. I did a little research and confirmed for myself that Mary was indeed Francis’ wife. All of this led to my pursuit of information about the Trowbridge line, and I was amazed by all that I was able to find. Given that we recently marked the anniversary of the start of the Civil War, I’d like to devote this particular post to Uzal H. Trowbridge.

Of course, the first thing that struck me about Uzal was his very unusual name, a name shared with his grandfather, Uzel Trowbridge. The name Uzal has Biblical origins. According to Wikipedia, Uzal was mentioned in Genesis (10:26-27) as a descendant of someone named Joktan whose clan allegedly settled in Yemen and was believed to have founded an Arabian tribe.

Uzal Hand Trowbridge was the son of John Trowbridge (1798 – 1881) and Clarissa Hand (1799 – 1883). The couple had ten children. Mary Jane was the oldest, born in 1821, and Uzal, born in 1839, was the youngest. Mary married in 1845 when Uzal would have been just six years old. It seems plausible to assume that Mary and Uzal would have had a very close relationship–given she was so much older, she probably played an integral role in his upbringing.

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

Francis Woodruff

Francis Woodruff

From census records, I learned that Mary Jane and her husband Francis Woodruff had three children in addition to my great grandfather William Woodruff (b. 1848)—Emma (b. 1846), Matt (b. 1851), and Phoebe (b. 1855). At that point I knew to whom the Civil War letters were addressed (“Matt,” “Will,” and “Niece”).

Uzal enlisted in the Union Army on 16 May 1861, at 22, for a three-year tour of duty. He enlisted in Company A, 1st New Jersey Infantry, on 21 May 1861. His nephews and nieces by sister Mary would have been roughly 7 to 15 years in age when Uzal’s service began.

The first letter I have of Uzal’s is dated August 29th 1861 and it was sent from Camp St. John’s. Note: the spelling and punctuation are his.

Willie Matt


Well boy’s I suppose you would like to know something of the Soldiers life. I suppose you are having a fine time going possuming [?] and crabing, we are having some pretty nice times too a scouting around When we are out from the camp we build houses of pine branches to lay in at night and keep of the heavy dews and rain and if there is a barn near where we stop we tear of the boards and make huts of them nearly to Bailies Cross roads [Here, I believe he is referring to Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, the site of a massive review of troops by President Abraham Lincoln on November 20, 1861] the huts are thick as can be, where we stayed three nights Watching the enemies movements, William Ousted is very down hearted and says Enoch nor Enos do not answer his letters every time I get a letter he wants to know if there is anything in it about him and says you have forgot ale about him entirely he saw the Doctors and they ale told him that they could not keep him if he wanted to go home on account of his not talking very plain but he sais he will not leave until I do if it is not in three years time. he is still in the hospital waiting on the sick ones of our company. At the Generals headquarters they are building two large bake ovens and will bake bread for the whole brigade, instead of carting it from Alexandria and Washington city every day, we have the best bread fresh every day now of which every man has one loaf daily, they have also put up a slaughter house for killing the beef. Alfonso Nickols is butcher out of our company if you see a song about town about the fancy volunteer I wish you would send one to me it is a rig upon Alfonso Nickols got up by Sargeant Martin while he was in the hospital it metions the names of all the boys in Washington tent company A. Ask Henry [Uzal’s older brother, b. 1835] if he has got the letter from Mose Ogden that I sent by him when he left our camp on wednesday last and if he has not to get it and answer it as soon as possible. I believe this will be ale this time Write soon and tele Will Grummon William Ousted want him to write him once in a while and his father too

Good Bye Boys

I remain your affectionate uncle Uzal H Trowbridge

Comp. A.

The next letter I have was written by Uzal to his niece, probably the eldest Emma, from Camp Seminary, Virginia, on September 26th, 1861.

Dear Neice,

I received your letter of the 21st in at this evening and was very glad to hear from you I received a letter from you on Sunday last and answered it immediately I knew you had not had time for my letter with the note in to reach Elizabeth [New Jersey] before you wrote I received your last papers on Sunday last and also received a Journal and Vanity Fair which I supposed you sent but I was mistaken somebody from town must have sent them as you would not send two papers of the same date the reason I thought you sent them was the directions was so much like your writing I could not tele the difference. Tele Henry [Uzal’s older brother] he sent the right song It mentions all the names that put up in Washington tent company A. the other of it is in Elizabeth yet he having went home with the remains of Daniel H. Brower drummer of our company, Mayor Hatfield is a getting better pretty fast Together with the rest of the sick belonging to the regt. today we had another review by General McClellan and his staff it was a fine sight to see ale the regiments belonging to Kearneys Brigade and that of Franklins which consists of the 15th, 17th, 18th, and 32nd New York state Volunteer regts. The two brigades were drawn up in a line. the same as though they were a going to have a battle and marched around the field with the Cavalry and Artilery belonging to each brigade. As I was rambling through the camps of the 18th regiment of NY the other day I came across several fellows from Elizabeth John Joe Meeker who belongs to the fifth NJ regiment was up from their camp near Alexandria to see us the other day to gather with others from your place they all said they liked liked soldiering very well indeed I do not see any troops that can beat or any that can compete with those of New Jersey either in uniforms or any other man, there is a very large army of federal troops lying in camp betwen the Fairfax Seminary and the chain bridge at Georgetown the fields are white with the tents, and as the dress parade of the whole army comes of at the same hour in the evening the bands are all playing at the same time and consequently make just one of the biggest concerts that you ever heard. [Here the letter may continue; if that is the case, unfortunately, I do not have the additional page(s)].

(post to be continued)

Categories: Census Records, Civil War, Elizabeth, Union Co., McClellan, Gen. George B., Trowbridge, Woodruff | 2 Comments

Richard Brodhead (1666-1758)

Funny how you can go for years without being aware of some rather significant and highly relevant information. For decades our family tree lay dormant showing the 1664 Capt. Daniel Brodhead’s son Richard (1666-1758) as having only one child Daniel (1693-1755). I always thought that was a bit peculiar given the fact that the Brodheads (like most folks back then) typically produced a boatload of children. The Daniel above had 8 children according to my research, though I have seen 10 stated in materials authored by Luke W. Brodhead. But Daniel’s mother, Magdalena Jansen, died in 1695 at 27 yrs of age, so his being an only child, while a tad suspect, was highly possible. But that meant our Richard remained a widower until he died at 92 (What an amazing age for that era!) in 1758. Granted his busy son and daughter-in-law’s abundant offspring would have kept him a very busy grandpa (until they departed for the Pennsylvania wilderness in 1737), but the thought of him without a partner and family close by in later life was quite sad.

Lo and behold I was winding through the Web in search of some information having nothing to do with Richard, and came across the amazing Wyntie/Wintie Pawling (b. 1679) who married our widower Richard in 1698 at the age of 19. He would have been 32. She was the daughter of Capt. Hendrick Pawling** of Padbury, Buckinghamshire, England, and Neeltje Roosa of Herwynen, Gelderland, and herself was the eldest of 6 children (some Rootsweb entries show more). And, yes (!), together Richard and Wyntie had the obligatory boatload of children! So our Richard was not a lonely widower after all, which was a bit of a relief.

Wyntie gave birth like clockwork until 1722 when she would have been 43. Her offspring included 6 girls (Magdalene-whom I would like to believe was named after dear Magdalena Jansen; Ann; Neeltje; Elizabeth; Mary; and Rachel) and 3 boys (Henry, William, and Jan). Wyntie, like her amazingly long-lived husband, survived into her 90s, attaining the ripe old age of 91 years, 6 months, and 7 days. While the Richard/Wyntie line is separate from our Richard/Magdalena line, I am fascinated nonetheless. Living to such an age at that time was quite a feat! We’ve all seen films (e.g. HBO’s John Adams) and museum displays showing how medical problems were (or weren’t) dealt with. For that reason alone, Wyntie & Richard are small miracles. And imagine how many grandchildren and great grandchildren got to spend time with them in their golden years. I am sure their impact was felt for years to come.

You can see Wyntie’s worn tombstone on Click here or go to the site and search under the name: Wintie Brodhead. She is located in Marbletown Cemetery, Ulster County, New York. I would like to find Richard’s grave. Perhaps, with luck, it is in the same place.

On another note, I’ve heard and now I cannot remember where, that the below pictured home located outside of Ellenville, NY, was actually built by Richard Brodhead. I find that hard to believe as he would have been 87 years old at the time, but you never know. If anyone has confirmation one way or another, I’d love to know.

UPDATE (3/29/12): I learned this house was built by John Brodhead (b. 1716) and his wife Ann Nottingham (b. 1716). John was a son of Richard Brodhead and Wyntie Pawling. Ann was the daughter of William Nottingham and Anne Tye. Anne Tye married William Nottingham after her first husband Capt. Daniel Brodhead died. So, basically Anne Tye’s grandson (via her 1st marriage, to Daniel Brodhead) married her daughter (from her 2nd marriage, to Wm. Nottingham).

Richard Brodhead house, built 1753, northside

Photo taken by me in 1977

Richard Brodhead house, built 1753, distant view

Photo taken by me in 1977

Richard Brodhead house, built 1753

Photo taken by me in 1977

**For more on the Pawlings, see and Some Account of the Pawling Family of New York and Pennsylvania by Josiah Granville Leach, LLB, Lancaster: Wickersham Press, 1918–downloadable here.

Categories: Brodhead, Ellenville, Jansen, Marbletown, Marbletown Cemetery Ulster Co NY, Pawling | 2 Comments

Sally Wister’s Journal

One little gem I’ve come across is the book, Sally Wister’s Journal: A True Narrative, which describes “a Quaker maiden’s experiences with officers of the Continental Army, 1777-1778.” This 1995 paperback offered by Applewood Books of Bedford, MA is a reprint of the original 1902 publication. You can find it (the 1995 publication) on Amazon. It’s a very quick read–just 62 pages. The Foulke family website offers the 1902 publication’s introduction by Albert Cooke Myers which is absent from the 1995 reprint. Mr. Myers’ lengthy introduction really needs to be read in tandem with the Journal as it contains important information about the Wister family and the historical context. However, I highly recommend viewing the original 1902 book. You can download it for free from Google Books. It contains a great deal of rich detail including Mr. Myers’ excellent introduction. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Sally was just sixteen when she wrote this journal during a year’s absence from her home in Philadelphia. She and her family left the city once it was clear to them that the British would soon be arriving to occupy the city. They stayed in the countryside to the northwest of the Philadelphia in one half of a mansion owned by the Foulke family with whom they were extremely close. She wrote the journal as a way of keeping up correspondence with a dear friend in Philadelphia with the thought that the friend would get to read the journal once Sally got back to the city. In reality, the friend never actually knew of the journal’s existence until after Sally’s death in 1804. The journal is full of details about her daily activities, thoughts, and flirtations. She describes all the comings and goings of the American army’s generals, colonels, lieutenants and other important military figures, as well as Sally’s and her family’s trepidation at news reports of troops on the move or upon hearing sudden strange sounds. At some points the mansion was used for extended stays by various officers. Sally’s descriptions of them are often quite amusing–she develops an obvious crush on a major who enters her life on several occasions and seems to reciprocate her feelings. I won’t spoil anything for you by telling you what happened to each of them, detail contained in Mr. Myers’ introductory information.

So what does this have to do with our bit of the Brodhead family? Well, our fifth-great uncle appears in this journal entry dated May 11, 1778:

“In the afternoon, we were just seated at tea,–Dr. Moore with us. Nelly (our girl) brought us the wonderful intelligence that there were light horse in the road. The tea-table was almost deserted. About 15 light horse were the vanguard of almost 1,600 men under the command of Gen’l Maxwell. I imagin’d that they wou’d pass immediately by, but I was agreeably disappointed. My father came in with the Gen’l, Col. Broadhead, Major Ogden and Capt. Jones. The Gen’l is a Scotsman–nothing predisposing in his appearance; the Col. (Broadhead) very martial and fierce; Ogden a genteel young fellow, with an aquiline nose.”

This is our fifth-great-grandfather Garret Brodhead’s brother, Daniel (1736-1809). You would not necessarily know this straight away unless you read the 1902 book which contains additional biographical detail. Sally, of course has misspelled his last name–you know how it is–someone’s always adding that extra “a.” Though later a brigadier general, Daniel was a colonel when he led his troops in 1777 during the defense of Philadelphia and during his winter with Gen. Washington at Valley Forge (1777-1778). Valley Forge by the way is very close to where the Wisters were staying.

Lastly, of special note are an autograph and a photograph of a miniature included with the 1902 book:

The description of the miniature states that “it was in the possession of Mrs. Johnson of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, widow of the late Henry Johnson, Esq., of Muncy, PA, to whom it descended through his mother, Mrs. Rebecca J. Johnson, granddaughter of General Brodhead. In his will dated August 8, 1809, probated in Wayne Co., Pennsylvania, November 25, 1809, General Brodhead thus disposed of his portraits: “I give to my Granddaughter Rebecca Johnson (late Rebecca Heiner) my miniature picture set in gold” and “to my Granddaughter Catharine Brodhead my small portrait picture.” The miniature, in size 1 5/8 x 1 1/4 inches, is painted on ivory and set in a gold frame. The eyes are blue, and the hair white. The uniform is blue with scarlet facings. The waistcoat and stock are white.

The autograph is “from signature to a letter, dated Sommerset, April 24, 1777, to General Lincoln, Dreer Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.”

Categories: Brodhead, Philadelphia, Revolutionary War, Sally | 2 Comments

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