The Daniel Jr. Puzzle

In the last post, I said I’d leave Daniel Brodhead Jr. (son of Brig. General Daniel Brodhead of Revolutionary War fame) who “died when young” to another post since there is a bit of a story there.  I’d always assumed “died when young” meant that young Daniel was a child when he died. Then one day I read on Wikipedia that he died of wounds he suffered in 1776 at the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War. He was in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment and had been wounded and captured. He was quickly exchanged, but died of his wounds shortly after being released. He’d have been just 20. And I found information on page 986 of Armstrong County Pennsylvania: Her People, Past and Present, Vol II, Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1914, to corroborate that version of events: “The son, Daniel, Jr., was wounded at the Battle of Long Island and captured, was exchanged and died soon afterward.”

I thought that was the end of that mystery, but then I made a few new discoveries that made me question Daniel Jr.’s fate once again:

  • In his article “General Daniel Brodhead” Patriot in War, Civil Servant in Peace” (Milestones Vol. 17, No. 2), Dr. John C. Appel, a history professor at East Stroudsburg State College, stated: “Colonel Brodhead had seen very little of his family during the war. A son, Daniel, saw military service until captured by the British. After release he entered business in Philadelphia.” Hmmm…
  • Volume II of the book, Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, edited by John W. Jordan, LLD, and published by The Lewis Publishing Company of New York and Chicago in 1911, makes no mention of Brig. Gen. Daniel Brodhead’s children, Daniel Jr. and Ann Garton. See pages 906-911. However on page 907, we read that Luke Brodhead (1737-1806; Brig. Gen. Daniel Brodhead’s brother) enlisted in the Revolutionary War in “the spring of 1776 as a third lieutenant, First American Rifle Regiment, Colonel William Thompson commanding. He was appointed second lieutenant, October 24, 1776, in Major Simon Williams’ regiment. He was wounded and taken prisoner at battle of Long Island (italics mine). Later he was commissioned captain of the Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment under Colonel Magaw in Continental service.” Could Luke have been confused with Daniel Jr? Or were both men indeed wounded and taken prisoner in the same battle?
  • Most surprising, I came upon a World Connect Project genealogy showing Daniel Jr. as having married someone named Christian Abel. Together they produced six children. But as there was only one person showing such a genealogy, I had my doubts.

Then I re-read the excerpt mentioning Daniel Jr. in Dr. John C. Appel’s article, “General Daniel Brodhead: Patriot in War, Civil Servant in Peace” (Milestones Vol. 17, No. 2): “Colonel Brodhead had seen very little of his family during the war. A son, Daniel, saw military service until captured by the British. After release he entered business in Philadelphia.” I wondered about the pronoun “he” in that last sentence. Perhaps, the “release” referred to Brig. Gen. Daniel Brodhead’s exit from the military because he did indeed wind up in Philadelphia…. But that seemed a bit of a stretch.

Well, through the Brodhead Family Association of Port Ewen, NY, I learned that, indeed, Daniel Jr. did survive the Revolutionary War and did go on to marry and have children! Wow–that was quite a surprise! The reason they are sure about this is that at some point this Daniel Jr. applied for a pension and when doing so submitted an affidavit of his service and identity-related documentation. So the World Connect Project listing, it would seem, is correct: Daniel Jr.’s dates are listed as 1756 – 2 Feb 1831; he was married to ‘Christian Abel’ (have not found anything to verify) and fathered six children (Ellen, Julianna, Amanda, Evelina, Mira, and Daniel). Other evidence of this Daniel Jr. exists in Genealogical Abstracts Revolutionary War Veterans Scrip Act 1852 by Margie G. Brown. (6/7/2011 Follow-up Note: In checking Brodhead Family History (Vol. IV, page 295) published by the Brodhead Family Association, I discovered that they do not show the identity of Daniel Jr.’s spouse; as that volume appeared in 1986, they could have issued an amendment at some point, so this is something I’ll have to look into).

In my last post, I shared that I’d read that Brig. General Daniel Brodhead left all his lands to his daughter Ann Garton Brodhead Heiner, and from her the lands all went to her son, John. That made me wonder what kind of relationship existed between Daniel Sr. and Daniel Jr. We know they saw very little of each other given Daniel Sr.’s extensive military service and travels. Were they pretty much estranged? Somewhere along the way, I’d heard/read that Daniel Jr. had business dealings out in Kentucky, buying and selling land. Apparently he was not a great success at it. Did Daniel Sr. see the way his son operated out in KY and then decide not to trust him with his belongings and property? And why was Daniel Jr. dropped from family descriptions (e.g. the previously mentioned Luke W. Brodhead’s book)? I’d love to know the answers to these questions some day.

Update 5/30/13: Daniel Jr.’s military service dates as a 1st Lieutenant and then a Captain can be found on the State Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania website.  Also, this recent post may hold some clues about the Daniel Sr./Daniel Jr. relationship.

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Categories: Brodhead, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “The Daniel Jr. Puzzle

  1. Jerry Harper

    I very much appreciated your commentary on The Daniel Puzzle. I have been researching this problem for the last year and keep running into the same questions for the same reasons. My wife is a direct descendant of Mira Brodhead, one of his children but I have not been able to prove his parentage and do not seem to be able to definitively establish who his wife is.

    Both Christian Able and Blandina Elmendorn have been shown but only one source shows the children. If you succeed in finding any additional information I would appreciate knowing about it.

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    • Thank you, Jerry, for your comment. Indeed, it’s quite a puzzle. I looked up Blandina Elmendorf as the name sounded very familiar. According to Vol. I, pages 35 & 52 of the Brodhead Family History published by the Brodhead Family Association of Port Ewen, NY:
      Blandina Elmendorf (daughter of Jonathan Elmendorf & Magdalena Smedes) was married to a Daniel Brodhead, but not the Daniel of our “puzzle.” The Daniel Brodhead married to Blandina Elmendorf was born in 1756. He was a great grandson of Capt. Daniel Brodhead via: Capt. Daniel Brodhead’s son Charles Brodhead (b. 1663) and his wife Maria Ten Broeck; and their son Daniel Brodhead (b. 1694) who was married to Marritje Cox Constable (widow of Jan Constable). So perhaps that will eliminate that issue for you. Certainly if I stumble on some more information about Christian Abel/Daniel Brodhead, I will let you know. I remember seeing a message board at some point with a post by someone (not bearing Brodhead surname) who was a descendant of that Daniel. They may have clues at this point as I saw that post a good couple years ago. If I find it again, I’ll let you know. Thanks again for your comment.

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  2. Stephanie DeWees Garrett

    I am trying to find the connection between a Phebe Brodhead (who married Joseph DeWees and moved to Kentucky) and a Daniel Brodhead. Ancestry.com indicated that she was the daughter of the Captain, but I cannot find anything to substantiate that. Have you seen her name mentioned in anything you have come across? Any information you can pass on would be awesome!

    Like

    • Perhaps this will be of help:
      On page 140 of Volume II of The Brodhead Family published in 1988 by the Brodhead Family Association of Port Ewen, NY, there is the following about Phebe: Phebe Brodhead – b. c. 1759 Smithfield Twp. Monroe Co., Pa; d 17 May 1843 Grayson Co., Ky; m. 10 Feb 1774 Douglasville, Amity Twp., Berks Co., Pa. to Joseph Dewees, son of William DeWees and Rachel Farmer (b. 1744 d. 1816 Grayson Co., Ky) She was mentioned in Gen. Daniel Brodhead’s will. At first she was thought to be his step-daughter who had taken his name but now we think she was his daughter. The children listed are Daniel Dewees (1775); Benjamin F. Dewees (1780); Edward Dewees (1786), James Dewees (1793), and John W. Dewees (1795). If I can be of further help, let me know.

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  3. I am very interested in children of Phebe Brodhead and Joseph Dewees – especially Benjamin F. Dewees. How do I find the proof you quote above. Thank you, hmfoltyn@yahoo.com

    Like

    • I’ll send you a separate email to ensure you get this information, but for anyone else who is curious, check with your library to see if they carry the History of the Brodhead Family or purchase the volumes you need through the Brodhead Family Association. Their current address is under the “Helpful Links” tab above. Cost is about $25 per volume. It may have gone up since I last ordered.

      Like

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