Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Pioneer & Patriot Families of Bradford County PA 1770-1800
Vol. I - Clement F. Heverly - Pages 092-110
Bradford County PA
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Bradford County Families

1770-1800

Children and Marriages

RUDOLPH FOX, a Palatinate German, born March 29 (o. s.), 1739, came down the Susquehanna river with his family from the Mohawk Valley in May, 1770, and stopped at Towanda. He purchased land of the Indians, erected a log cabin on the west side of Towanda Creek, about a half mile above its mouth, and became the first permanent white settler in Bradford county. Here in a vast wilderness, surrounded by savage men and ferocious wild beasts, the life of Mr. Fox and his family was one of greatest danger, privations and hardships. Frequently, for weeks, their only subsistence was berries and roots, or the milk and flesh of the flock. Upon the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, Mr. Fox joined and was made an ensign in the Ninth or Up-River Company of the 24th Connecticut Militia. Although this organization was never called together for active service, Mr. Fox was loyal to the American cause and gave assistance. In March, 1777, while in search of his cattle, he was seized by a party of Indians and taken to Quebec where he was held nine months, during all of which time his family were ignorant of his fate. He was again captured in May, 1778, but soon made his escape, then taking his family removed to Sunbury, a place of safety. In 1783 Mr. Fox returned and re-established his home at Towanda. His life was brought suddenly to a close March 4, 1806. While fishing on the river a short distance above the mouth of the creek, the ice being thin gave way and he was drowned. Mr. Fox was a man of heroic mould, having all the elements that combine in courage and physique to make a man equal to the test in a wild country. He was short and thick-set, a regular German both in figure and language. He, however, acquired the English vernacular but spoke it very brokenly. In religion he was a Methodist as were all the family save Deacon John.

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Rudolph Fox married, 1763, Catharine Elizabeth Miller, also German. She was born May 4 (o. s.) 1748, and is described as "a large fleshy lady, weighing over 200 pounds, possessed of a kind and noble heart." In sickness she was ever ready to assist the afflicted, and at the instance of her death (April 3, 1810), she was on her way to care for the sick. Mr. and Mrs. Fox were the parents of fifteen children, ten daughters and five sons:

Catharine, born Nov. 9, 1764, married Henry Strope of Wysox, died Nov. 14, 1843;

Mary, born Sept. 7, 1766, married Jacob Bowman of Towanda, died May 23, 1841;

Philip, born Sept. 12, 1768, lived in Ohio some years but returned and died in Towanda;

Elizabeth, born Sept. 1, 1770, being the first white child born in Bradford county, married William Means of Towanda, died July 21, 1851;

Dorothy, born August 1, 1772, married Mr. Townsend of near Penn Yan, N. Y.;

Daniel, born August 27, 1774, married Abigail ------, and settled in Ohio;

Rudolph, born September 24, 1776, located in Ohio and died at Cincinnati;

John, born October 31, 1778, married Mary Fowler of Monroe, occupied the homestead, died April 15, 1855. Their children were Olive, Miller, Mary, John Marvin, Priscilla Brunette, Hiram Chapman;

Anna, born October 24, 1780;

Eleanor, born October 24, 1782, married John Strope of Wysox;

Susanna, born February 15, 1785, married Nathan Farr and removed West;

Abraham, born March 30, 1787, married Nancy Fowler and settled in Monroe township;

Margaret, born Feb. 12, 1789, married Amos Goff and moved to Ohio with her brothers;

Delia, born April 4, 1791, married William Goff of Monroe, died June 25, 1865;

Christiana, born 1793, married Mr. Grant of Penn Yan, N. Y.

In 1790, the Fox family was the largest in Bradford county.
 
 

The Van Valkenburgs and Stropes, the second permanent settlers in Bradford county, were of Holland descent. In 1773 they emigrated from Catskill on the Hudson and located first at Indian Meadows in Wyalusing where they remained until early in 1776 when, having purchased a right in the Susquehanna Company, they came to Wysox and located on the west side of Wysox creek near its mouth. These settlers consisted of Isaac VanValkenburg, his wife (Jennette Clement), brother, Herman VanValkenburg (a bachelor), three daughters, Eva (unmarried), Mrs. Sebastian Strope and Mrs. John Strope, their husbands and children. Here in the wilderness these hardy Dutch lived, struggled and prospered until 1778 when on the 20th of May they were surprised by a band of Indians who, after burning their house and driving off their cattle, carried all into captivity with the exception of Sebastian Strope who had started for Wyoming.

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While the destruction of their articles were going on, old Mr. VanValkenburg had taken possession of his Bible, a large, heavily bound book, and holding to it with great care, an Indian snatched it from his arms and flung it into the fire. The old man at once sprung forward and pulled it from the flames, carried it with him through all his journeyings, and it is now preserved, bearing the marks of the fire, as an heir-loom in the family. The men were separated and sent to various parts of Canada. The women and children were kept for some time about Tioga Point, Niagara and Montreal. After nearly three years arrangements were made for their exchange, which was effected near White Hall, N. Y. Here they were met by Sebastian Strope and the whole family except John Strope who was not included in the cartel, were re-united and returned to their old home on the Hudson. In 1784, Sebastian Strope and his son returned to Wysox, rebuilt their house, planted corn and potatoes, and in the Fall the rest of the family gathered on the old spot to begin life anew. Here Mr. and Mrs. Isaac VanValkenburg died a few years after their return. Herman VanValkenburg is believed to have died in Wysox before the captivity of the family.

Sebastian Strope, who had married Lydia VanValkenburg, joined the patriot army in defense of the common interest, was engaged at the battle of Wyoming and escaped from the fearful massacre by hiding in a patch of thistles which had grown up in an old stack-yard. He was a fearful and silent spectator of the butchery of Lieutenant Shoemaker by the Tory Windecker after he had promised his unfortunate victim quarter. Mr. Strope died in Wysox, June 4, 1805, aged 70 years. His neighbors bore testimony to his worth and integrity as a man and citizen. Mrs. Strope was killed by a fall from a wagon about 1814. The children of Sebastian and Lydia Strope were:

Henry married Catharine, daughter of Rudolph Fox. Henry died in Ohio and Catharine died in Wysox. Their children were Lydia (Mrs. George Scott), Catharine (Mrs. Robert Hewitt), Jane (Mrs. Jared Leavenworth), Dollie (Mrs. Ebenezer Stevens), Mary A. (Mrs. William Hart), Henry (married Fanny Keeler);

John, in 1801, married Eleanor, daughter of Rudolph Fox, and removed to Ohio;

Isaac married Lucy White--children, Deborah, Isaac, John and Miner--having lost his wife, he sold his farm in Wysox and died in 1861 at an advanced age with his son, Miner, in Wisconsin;

Mary married Henry Tuttle of Wysox;

Jane married first Jeremiah White, and second Mr. Whittaker of Owego, N. Y.;

Elizabeth married first Mr. Vanhorn, second William F. Dininger, and removed West;

Hannah was drowned with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Isaac Strope, while going down the river in a canoe.

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John Strope, who married a daughter of Isaac VanValkenburg and whose wife and children had been taken with him in captivity, at the close of the war was released, then he returned to Wysox. He was known as "Big John" Strope, a man of large frame and indomitable will, and suffered the persecutions of his tormentors like a martyr. When he returned, his person showed scars and callosities made by the tortures he had endured. In 1790, Mr. Strope's family consisted of himself, wife, one son and three daughters. The son, Isaac, married Abigail ----, settled in Rome township and had children, Henry, William, Alfred, Isaac, Samuel, Elisha, Rachel (Mrs. Nathaniel Bennett), Deborah (Mrs. Michael Russell), Polly (Mrs. Enos Bennett), Margaret (Mrs. John Parks) and Millie (Mrs. Godfrey Eiklor). Of Isaac's three sisters, we have no further record.

Harry Birney, a native of Ireland, first located at Plymouth and about 1775 removed to Standing Stone, settling on the Asa Stevens farm. Upon the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, he moved his family back to Plymouth and entered the Continental army, in which he served most of the time until the close of the war when, in 1791, he came back with his family to Standing Stone. Here he remained until 1812, when he sold his farm to Judge Stevens and removed to Scioto, Ohio, where he died at an advanced age. Rachel Shears, wife of Henry Birney, died July 22, 1805 in Standing Stone, aged 57 years. In announcing her death, the Luzerne Federalist says: "She lived on the river 33 years, and suffered many losses and hardships with her family during the long and bloody wars by the inhuman savages." She was buried in the old cemetery on the Clagget farm. The children of Henry and Rachel Birney were:

John lived at Wyalusing;

Sarah married Capt. Peter Loop and spent her last days near Painted Post, N.Y.;

Rebecca married Peter Matthews and removed to Belvidere, Ill.;

Eleanor married Mr. Myer and removed to Ohio;

Hannah married Judge Miller and also went West;

Mary married John Gordon, was the mother of a large family, and died in Standing Stone.
 
 

Richard Fitzgerald and William Huyck were the first to make Standing Stone their permanent home. The former had been a resident of Schodac, Albany county, N.Y. While living there, he had been drafted for the old French war, and for a year was on garrison duty at the British fort at Oswego. William Huyck was of German parentage. His mother died when he was an infant, and her sister, Mrs. Robert Fitzgerald, reared and educated him in both English and German. Mr. Huyck came to Standing Stone with his uncle, and of their advent into the county and what followed, he says: "In the year 1776,

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our family emigrated from the county of Albany, in the state of New York, and went on as far as Springfield, at the head of Lake Otsego. There we waited until the lake was clear of ice. We stayed there about three weeks. My Uncle Fitzgerald bought a large bateau, and we moved on down the river with considerable difficulty. There were many obstructions in the way until we got to Unadilla, and we proceeded on to Standing Stone." Here they were successfully engaged in farming until the early part of December, 1777, when a party of "about 20 of those refugees came to his uncle's house, having the Indian, Hopkins, and his lieutenant, Parshall Terry, with them, plundered the house of an abundance; putting it into a boat of our own, proceeded up the river with their booty, driving off four cows, young cattle, 18 sheep and three good horses. Two other families above us shared the same fate, and Mr. Fitch, a neighbor, was not only plundered, but himself captured and never returned." To this, Elisha Harding adds that the party took Mr. Fitzgerald as far as Wysox, where they bound him to a flax-brake and declared they would break every bone in his body unless he would hurrah for King George. The honest old Dutchman replied, "I am an old man and cannot live long at any rate. I had rather die now, a friend to my country, than live longer and die a Tory." They released him. The Whig families had intended to go down to Wyoming with the troops, but they moved so rapidly that the opportunity was not afforded. Soon after the departure of the expedition (Colonel Dorrance's), Mr. Fitzgerald gathered what effects the enemy had left him, and with his family started in a canoe down the river. Their progress was slow, on account of the thickly floating ice, and tedious on account of the cold. When they reached Black Walnut, they found the river frozen over and they could proceed no further. Taking one of the deserted houses, there they remained until Spring, when in the month of March, with other Whigs living in the neighborhood, they retired to Wyoming. Two fat hogs, which the plunderers did not discover, and the corn they could not take away, afforded the family subsistence. They remained at Wyoming until the battle, in which Mr. Huyck served in the ranks and escaped, while old Mr. Fitzgerald remained in the fort. Immediately after the battle, they pressed out of the fort with other fugitives. Stopping a day or two at Northumberland, they made their way to Paxton, where they remained until October following, when "we returned to Wyoming, which place we now kept possession of by garrison. I was young, but as we were compelled to live in a state of perpetual defense, I entered the military service, in which I continued until I joined the army under General Sullivan." In this expedition, Mr. Fitzgerald was one of the guides.

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Returning with the expedition, they remained at Wyoming until peace, when the family returned to their old plantation at Standing Stone. Here Mr. Fitzgerald died in the early part of 1789. His wife, Nellie, survived him several years. They had no children. Mr. Huyck inherited and occupied his uncle's farm.

William Huyck, after the Sullivan expedition, served two enlistments under Capt. John Franklin, one as a drummer. In his closing years he was given a pension. Born February 10, 1763, he died February, 1849, in Standing Stone, aged 86 years. After the war he married Margaret, sister of Leonard Westbrook. She was born September 27, 1769, died -----. Their children, who married as follows, were:

Ellen ("Nellie"), born Feb. 3, 1788, married David Vought, died Nov. 16, 1824.

Blondens, born Feb. 16, 1790, married David Eiklor, died 1879.

Jane, born May 26, 1793, married Benjamin Brown, died Oct. 28, 1872; her husband, born April 27, 1782, died April 14, 1834.

Richard ("Derrick"), born April 8, 1795, married Sarah Stevens, died March 3, 1829.

Abraham, born May 17, 1799, married Asenath Schoonover, died Nov. 8, 1872.

Isaac, born November 23, 1801, married Cynthia Lyon.

John, born May 6, 1804, died unmarried.

Anna, born June 10, 1806, married Nathaniel Moger.
 
 

Amos York, son of William and Hannah (Palmer) York, was born Oct. 13, 1730 at Stonington, Conn. He married, 1752, Lucretia, daughter of Manassah and Keziah (Geer) Miner of Voluntown, New London county, Conn. In 1773 he removed with his family to Wyoming, thence to Wyalusing about 1774. Here he had carried on his improvements with much success. He had erected a good log house, a log barn and had a considerable stock of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, and had raised sufficient quantities of grain for their support. Upon the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, he was known as an active and ardent Whig, which arrayed against him the enmity of his Tory neighbors. Apprehending trouble from the Indians, in the Fall of 1777 he went to Wyoming to seek the advice of friends and make arrangements for the removal of his family. At Wyoming, it was thought that there would be no danger from the savages in the winter, and if in the Spring they continued to favor the interest of the British, there would be ample time to seek the protection of the lower settlements. The capture of some of his neighbors occasioned new alarm, but there seemed to be no alternative but run the risk of being undisturbed until Spring.

On February 12 and 13, 1778, there occurred a severe snow storm. Each evening, a negro from the old Indian town came to Mr. York's on a trifling excuse and remained until late in the evening. On the 14th the storm ceased and Mr. York determined to find out the reason for the negro's strange conduct. Immediately after breakfast he set out on horseback on an errand to Mr. Pauling's. Without suspicion, he entered the house of this supposed friend and received a cordial welcome. But it was the malicious welcome of a treacherous enemy.

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Between 40 and 50 Indians, led on by Parshall Terry, Jr. and Tom Green, Tories who had arrived in the settlement and were waiting there during the storm. The moment they saw Mr. York, they gave the war whoop, and his white neighbor told him that he was their prisoner.

Terry and Green, accompanied by twelve of the savages, repaired with Mr. York to his house for plunder. Mrs. York, with the devotion of a wife and mother, made a most touching plea with Terry and Green for the safety of her husband and the protection of her family. "Then," says a daughter of Mr. York, "They drove the cattle into the road, stripped the house of everything of value they could carry away, broke open the chests, tied up the plunder in sheets and blankets, and put the bundles on the backs of the men. Father had to take a pack of his own goods. When they got prepared to start, my father asked permission to speak to his wife. He took her by the hand but did not speak. When the company started, my father was compelled to walk, carry a bundle and assist in driving his cattle, while his favorite riding mare carried Terry." The journey was one of indescribable suffering from exposure to the cold as well as from grief of mind. Mr. York was taken to Canada, subsequently exchanged and returned to his old home in Connecticut, where hearing of the disastrous battle of Wyoming, and learning nothing of his family, he fell sick of fever and died (October 30, 1778) eleven days before his family reached him.

The helpless family--a mother and eight children, her son nine years of age and her youngest child only eight months old, were thus left in the depth of winter without protection and with but little clothing, bedding and provisions. They remained here three weeks, when Captain Buck arrived and escorted them to Wyoming. Mrs. York was a witness of the horrible battle in which her son-in-law, Capt. Aholiab Buck, was killed, leaving her widowed daughter with an infant four months old. As soon as it was safe to do so, she set out with her son, eight daughters and orphan grandchild for her home in Connecticut. On the way, her youngest child died, and Mrs. York was compelled to bury it with her own hands. In narrating their flight to Connecticut, a daughter, Sarah, says: "When we were at the North river, where General Washington lay, an officer informed him there was a woman in distress. Washington ordered her to be brought to his tent. She told him her story, and Washington gave her fifty dollars. But we did not need money to bear traveling expenses, for the people on the road treated us with great sympathy and kindness." In 1785, Mrs. York and her children returned to their old home in Wyalusing,

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occupying a 600-acre tract, which had been conveyed to her father, Manassah Miner, who was one of the original stockholders in the Susquehanna Company. "Mrs. York was a woman of remarkable energy, deep piety, and ardently attached to the doctrines of the Presbyterian church, of which she was the nursing mother." She was born February 16, 1733; died October, 1821.

The children of Amos and Lucretia York were: Wealthy Ann (died in infancy), Esther M., Lucretia, Wealthy Ann, Keziah, Sarah, Temperance, Manassah, Berinthia, Hannah, Amos (died in infancy).

Esther M., born November 15, 1754, married Aaron Smith of Brooklyn, Conn.

Lucretia, born April 21, 1757, married first Capt. Aholiab Buck, second Major Justus Gaylord of Wyalusing;

Wealthy Ann, born November 3, 1759, married Benjamin Smith of Kingston, Pa.;

Keziah, born January 1, 1762, married Job Turrell of New Milford, Conn.;

Sarah, born May 4, 1764, married Robert Carr of Yates county, N.Y.;

Temperance, born May 1, 1766, married Daniel Turrell;

Berinthia, born September 27, 1770, married William Sherman Buck;

Hannah, born April 27, 1773, married Stephen Beckwith.

The son, Manassah Miner, born October 11, 1769, became a man of great usefulness and was noted as a Presbyterian minister. "He was abundant in labors. He wrought with his hands, taught school, preached through a large section of country not only on the Sabbath, but through the week gathered the children for catechetical instruction, and older persons for Bible study. He occupied an extensive field, preaching regularly at Towanda, Wysox, Wyalusing, Black Walnut and occasionally at out stations. His name is still spoken with respect and veneration, and his memory is blessed." He died January 2, 1830 in Wysox. He married, 1792, Elizabeth Arnold of Black Walnut. Their children were: Amos, Vesta, Augusta, Miranda, Lucretia, Polly, Miner and Sarah. Amos, born Oct. 17, 1793, married Harriet Hinman, died May 16, 1878 in Wysox; Vesta married Adonijah Alden of Monroe, and died in the West; Augusta married Abner C. Hinman of Wysox; Miranda married George Carr and died in New York state; Lucretia married Hannibal Hamlin and died in the West; Miner removed West, married there and died at Fort Scott, Kansas; Sarah never married, died in Illinois about 1864. Mrs. York died about 1845 at Byron, Illinois.
 
 

The Bowmans (originally Bauman)--Jacob Bowman settled on the east side of Towanda Creek, opposite Mr. Fox, in or before 1775. He was a Loyalist and, upon the breaking out of hostilities, retired to Canada. After the war his son, Jacob, returned, purchased of the state and occupied the place until his death.

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Jacob Bowman, the latter, was a man of enterprise. He opened a house for public entertainment in 1801, and a little later had a store, mill, ferry and distillery. "Bowman's" became a place of note and was a favorite rendezvous for raftsmen. Mr. Bowman did a flourishing business for several years and at one time it was a question whether he or his brother-in-law, William Means, would succeed in establishing the place of more importance. He married Mary, daughter of Rudolph Fox; died June 21, 1845, aged 86 years, 3 months and 27 days. The children of Jacob and Mary Bowman were:

George married Orace Miller, lived and died in Towanda township;

Jacob married Sally Rockwell, sister of Abner C. Rockwell of Monroe, and succeeded to the homestead;

John married Margaret Rolls, settled and died in Ulster;

Daniel married Sarah A. Daugherty, lived and died in Towanda township;

Mary married William McGill of Towanda;

Rebecca married James Watts of Towanda;

Hannah married Henry Fausey of Towanda;

Susan married Means, brother of James Watts;

Harry died a young man, unmarried.
 
 

Samuel Cole and sons may be properly accredited as the founders of the Macedonia settlement. Mr. Cole was a native of New England. About the year 1775 he removed from Gageborough, Mass., to what is now Bradford county, settling at Macedonia. His claim originally embraced the plains from the river to the mountains. Upon this he remained until the breaking out of hostilities, when he retired with his family to Wyoming. He enlisted in Capt. Simon Spalding's company and served a considerable length of time. His son, Samuel, and a son-in-law, Mr. Crooker, were also soldiers, and both were slain at the battle of Wyoming. It appears that Mr. Cole removed his family from Wyoming to Windham county, Conn., where they remained until after the war. Upon the establishment of peace, he returned with his family to Macedonia. His claim, however, did not hold under Connecticut title, and in 1813, of the land occupied by him, 615 acres were purchased from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by his son, Elisha. After a few years, Mr. Cole removed to the Genesee country, where he died. His children were: Solomon, Samuel, Elisha, Abisha, John, Mary and one other daughter, who married Philip Fox.

Abisha and John sold their farms and removed out of the state.

Elisha, born August 15, 1769, became celebrated as the pioneer Methodist preacher, married Amy Salisbury, settled near Monroeton, where he died April 6, 1852. His children were: Dollie (Mrs. Frederick Fisher), Catherine (Mrs. Isaac P. Lawrence), Abigail (Mrs. Thomas M. Wilson), Isabella (Mrs. John Wilson), Amy (Mrs. Minor Knapp), Salisbury and Samuel.

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Solomon remained in Macedonia, where he died Aug. 18, 1832, in his 74th year. His wife, Hannah, died June 19, 1842, in her 82nd year. Their children were: Solomon, Samuel, Daniel, John and Sally (Mrs. Richards). Solomon married Sally, daughter of Jonathan Fowler of Monroe, and was a physician and preacher; he died in 1876, aged 84 years. Samuel was a soldier in the War of 1812. He died in 1861, in his 74th year. He had sons, Francis, I. Dikeman and William F. Daniel was a prominent physician and also preacher. John was drowned in December, 1849, in his 52nd year.

Mary, or "Molly Cole," as she was commonly known, the widow of Mr. Culbertson, lived near her brother at Monroeton, where she died.
 
 

Nathan Kingsley was not only a man of much prominence in the early settlement of the county, but stood high in the estimation of the people throughout the Wyoming Valley. He was the eldest son of Salmon Kingsley and was born January 23, 1743 in Scotland, Windham county, Conn. He married Roccelana Wareham of Windsor, Conn., and removed to Wyoming about the year 1772. He was one of the original proprietors of Springfield and came to Wyalusing in 1776. In the latter part of 1777 he was captured by the Indians and remained a prisoner nearly a year. While in captivity he secured the friendship and confidence of the Indians by his skill in doctoring their horses. He was, in consequence, allowed considerable liberty, and permitted to go into the woods to gather herbs and roots for his medicines. Seizing a favorable opportunity, he made his escape and reached Wyoming in safety. During his captivity, his family found a home with Jonathan Slocum of Wilkes-Barre. On the 22nd of November, 1778, while Mr. Kingsley was yet in captivity, his son, Nathan, was killed by the Indians, and a younger son and Frances Slocum, famous in story, carried away by them. He served as a lieutenant in Capt. John Franklin's Wyoming Company (1782), 5th Regiment of Militia, state of Connecticut. In 1775 he was appointed one of the committee of inspection of Westmoreland, and in May, 1776, was chosen lieutenant of the 9th, or Up-River Company of the 24th Connecticut Militia. At the close of the war, Mr. Kingsley, his wife and surviving son, Wareham, returned to the old home in Wyalusing. Upon the organization of Luzerne county in May, 1787, he was commissioned one of the judges, which office he resigned in 1790. Mr. Kingsley is described as "a large, tall man of more than ordinary intelligence, deeply interested in the prosperity of the community and the development of the county. He built a distillery, fell a victim of the habit of the times and in his old age lost his property." He died in Ohio in 1822, aged 80 years.

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Mrs. Kingsley died in Wyalusing, and is buried in the old cemetery there.

Wareham, the son, married Urania Terrell. They had children: Lydia (Mrs. Jabez Brown), Roswell, Nathan, Chester B., Abigail and Roccelana. Nathan removed to Connecticut; Chester went South; Roswell died in Standing Stone. The father died at the home of his son, Nathan.
 
 

Lemuel Fitch, a native of Colchester, Connecticut, in the Spring of 1774, with James Wells, laid out Standing Stone, the "Long Township" as it was called under the Susquehanna Company's grant, and the same year moved upon the lot he had selected for himself. Here he remained until December, 1777, when he was captured by the Tories and Indians, who plundered his house and carried off whatever was of value. Mr. Fitch died in captivity. He had married Rebecca Comstock. They had no children. Mrs. Fitch afterwards married a Mr. Gromet and died about 1795.
 
 

Wells Family -- The name Wells is of English origin and the history of the family dates back to 1194, when William de Welles became founder of that long line of noblemen in Lincolnshire. The line of descent from him to James Wells was Thomas, Noah and Jonathan.

James Wells, born 1732 at Colchester, Conn.; on March 28, 1754 married Hannah Loomis, also of Colchester. In 1771, with his wife and nine children he removed from Colchester to the Wyoming Valley, where he rendered valuable assistance as surveyor in establishing the boundaries of Kingston and Plymouth townships. In the Spring of 1774, in company with other Connecticut people, he came up the river to Springfield, now Wyalusing, where he settled, being the first to follow the Indians and Moravians there. Danger becoming imminent from the savages, in the Spring of 1776, Mr. Wells returned with his family to Wyoming. The same year he and his eldest son, James, enlisted in the 1st Independent Company of Wyoming, under the command of Capt. Robert Durkee. In this company Mr. Wells was first lieutenant and his son a private. Early in 1778, while with Washington's army in New Jersey, he learned of the threatening conditions at Wyoming and, fearing for the safety of his family, obtained a leave of absence and hastened to Wyoming the latter part of June. Lieutenant Perrin Ross accompanied him. In the battle which followed on the 3rd of July, both went out to meet the enemy and were slain. Tradition says that Lieutenant Wells was wounded in the leg and the Indians attempted to capture him. Being a man of stalwart frame, 6 feet and 7 inches tall and giant strength, he hurled off his enemies until one sunk a tomahawk into his skull, ending the struggle.

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After the battle, the mother, with ten children, fled with other fugitives to their friends in Connecticut, where they remained until 1787 when they returned to Wyalusing. Here she died in 1795, aged 70 years, hers being the first grave in the Merryall cemetery, over which a monument has been erected by descendants. The children of James and Hannah Wells were: James, Hannah, Betsey, Olive, Amasa, Guy, Reuben, Cyrus, Theodosia, Alice and Mary ("Molly").

James, born 1755, served in Captain Spalding's company until the close of the war, then settled at Honeoye Falls, N.Y.

Amasa, born 1765, settled for a time at Camptown, later removed to Pike township where he died. He married Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Turrell) Lewis. Their children were: Loomis married, Nov. 10, 1810, Orabella Keeler; Cyrus married, Nov., 1814, Harriet Beecher; Sally married, Nov., 1809, Elijah Camp; Mary married, Nov., 1812, Jonas Fuller; Amasa married, Nov., 1820, Mary Ayres; Beebe married, 1832, to Betsy Miles; Martha married, 1818, to Asa Lathrop; Calista married, 1822, to Horatio Roberts; Amy married, 1825, to David Wood; Harriet married, 1830, to Abner Wood.

Guy, born 1766, married Elizabeth, daughter of Perrin Ross, who fell with his father at Wyoming. She was a direct descendant of John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden, of Mayflower celebrity. He was a man of prominence and usefulness, and for many years a justice of the peace. He died April 8, 1828, at Merryall, aged 62 years. The children of Guy and Elizabeth Wells were: Eliza, born Jan. 17, 1793, married Israel Buck; Chester, born Nov. 12, 1794, married April 25, 1819, Rebecca Hines; Mercy, born Sept. 13, 1796, married Israel Camp; Levi, born Nov. 23, 1798, married Fanny Baird of Bridgewater; Hannah, born Nov. 3, 1800, married Asahel Graves; Sophia, born Dec. 7, 1803, married Niram Ackley; Perrin, born Nov. 30, 1806, married Emily Peck of Browntown; William Sterling, born Oct. 8, 1808, married Sophia Baird of Bridgewater; Guy, born July 21, 1813, married Caroline Sturdevant of Skinner's Eddy.

Reuben, born 1768, married Abigail Turrell, lived for a time on Wyalusing Creek, then removed to Susquehanna county.

Cyrus, born 1770, settled in the state of New York.

Hannah, born 1757; Betsey, born 1760; Olive, born 1762; Theodosia, born 1772; Alice, born 1774, believed to have been the first white child born in Wyalusing township; Mary, born 1776.
 
 

Gen. Simon Spalding was a descendant in the sixth generation from Edward Spalding, the first of the family to come to America. He was a son of Simon and Anne (Billings) Spalding, and was born January 16, 1742 at Plainfield, Conn. In 1761 he was married to Ruth Shepard, and a few years thereafter removed to the Wyoming Valley. He took up Connecticut lands in Standing Stone, 1775,

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remained there a year, then returned to Wyoming. On the 26th of August, 1776, he was commissioned second lieutenant in Capt. Samuel Ransom's company; promoted and commissioned first lieutenant, January 1, 1777; promoted to captain, June 24, 1778, and given command of the two independent companies of Wyoming (united in one), bore a prominent part in Colonel Hartley's expedition, and accompanied General Sullivan in his campaign against the Indians. He was at Valley Forge with his company, participated in the battles of Germantown and Brandywine, and also had a command at "Mud Fort" on the Delaware river during the long continued and severe cannonading at that point by the British in October, 1777. Captain Spalding was transferred to the First Regiment, Connecticut line, and continued in the service till January 1, 1783. He was a brave and faithful officer and distinguished himself in various engagements, one of which was Bound Brook, where he captured several prisoners and recovered a quantity of forage gathered by the British. After the war he was made a general of militia.

Captain Spalding led a little band of patriots from Wyoming and on May 30, 1783, established the first settlement in Sheshequin. He was a member of the Connecticut Society of the Cincinnati, and prominent in Wyoming affairs before his removal to Sheshequin. In 1791 and '92 he represented Luzerne county in the Pennsylvania legislature, and took an active interest in all popular movements that tended to good government. General Spalding is described as "a large man, kind-hearted, of imposing and pleasing appearance, calculated to gain the love and esteem of men, even of a savage." He died January 24, 1814 in Sheshequin, aged 72 years. His wife died October 1, 1806 in her 65th year. The children of Simon and Ruth Spalding were: Sarah, John, Ruth, Rebecca, Mary, Anna, George and Chester Pierce.

Sarah, born January 31, 1763, married Joseph Kinney, died in Sheshequin, June 9, 1840.

John, born November 14, 1765, was a fifer in his father's company and accompanied him on the Sullivan expedition. He took an active part in military affairs and was commissioned colonel of State Militia. He married (page 3) Wealthy Ann Gore; died in Sheshequin, February 19, 1828. Their children were: Harry, born Sept. 30, 1784, married Lemira Satterlee, died May 23, 1821 in Towanda; William Bela, born Aug. 24, 1786, married Delight Spalding, died in Texas, Sept. 10, 1848; Noah, born June 28, 1788, married Huldah Kellogg, died in Towanda, Feb. 5, 1835; Obadiah Gore, born Aug. 11, 1790, married Clotilda Hoyt, died in Michigan, December, 1847;

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Simon, born June 5, 1792, died May 15, 1814; Sarah, born Aug. 26, 1794, married Gen. Henry Welles of Athens, died Dec. 29, 1877; Ulysses, born July 3, 1796, married Jane A. Smith, died in Peru, Ill.; Wealthy Ann, born July 14, 1798, married Luther Carner, died April 8, 1833; George W., born Aug. 18, 1800, married Prudence Brown, died Aug. 24, 1840 in Illinois; John Avery, born Aug. 14, 1802, married Amanda Tracy, died Aug. 7, 1842; Charles M., born Dec. 20, 1804, married Jane Crawford, died in Texas, Jan. 20, 1858; Zebulon Butler, born Dec. 20, 1807, married Keziah B. Ovenshire, died Nov. 19, 1870; Avery Gore, born March 28, 1810, died Sept. 19, 1835; Mary Ann, born April 30, 1812, died Oct. 26, 1831.

Ruth Shepard, born July 2, 1771, married Silas Hutchins of Killingly, Conn.

Mary, born July 20, 1776, married Moses Park, died May 2, 1842.

Anna, born April 21, 1779, married Col. Joseph Kingsbury, died Sept. 18, 1864.

George, born September 5, 1782, died May 26, 1800, unmarried.

Chester Pierce, born June 18, 1784, married Sarah Tyler, died at Palmyra, N.Y., 1811.
 
 

Miner Robbins, a nephew of Mrs. Amos York, came to Wyalusing probably at the same time as his uncle, about 1774. He married a Miss Phelps of Meshoppen. In the autumn of 1777 he retired down the Valley, joined Captain Hewitt's Company, and was identified with the patriots in the defense of the settlements and the protection of the inhabitants. In June, 1778, while on a scout up the river, he was fired upon by a party of Tories and Indians, and was fatally wounded. He was buried near the present Carpenter burying ground.
 
 

Captain Robert Carr, one of the original proprietors of Springfield, came to Wyalusing in 1775. Before his advent here he had been a sea captain; also interested in different mill properties from Wyoming to Wyalusing. In May, 1776, he was chosen captain of the 9th, or Up River Company, of the 24th Connecticut Militia. It appears, however, that the members of this company were so widely scattered that, as an organization, they were never brought together for active field service. In 1777, Captain Carr retired to Wyoming. On the 9th of November, 1778, while in company with David Goss below Wapwallopen, they were attacked by a band of Indians; Carr was shot through the thigh, tomahawked and scalped. Goss was also killed. Carr evidently had never married.

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Samuel Ketchum and Amaziah Ketchum, in 1776, came from Warwick, Orange county, N.Y., and located on the Storrs farm in Asylum. They cleared several acres, built a log house and made other improvements. During the war they returned to Warwick, joined the association of Sons of Liberty, and were in active service until the close of the Revolution. After the declaration of peace they came back to Asylum and in 1791 sold their possession to Amos Bennett and removed to other parts.
 
 

Benjamin Skiff and Stephen Skiff of Windham county, Conn., settled on Wyalusing Creek in or before 1776. Jonas Ingham afterwards owned and occupied their possession. Stephen Skiff enlisted in Captain Ransom's company and served through the Revolutionary war. The Skiffs subsequently removed to Montgomery county, N.Y.
 
 

Peter Schufeldt (Shoefelt), a Palatinate German who had settled in the Mohawk Valley, in common with hundreds of his people, was driven out, it might be said, on account of the treatment of the New York authorities and danger from the Indians. In the month of May, 1770, Shoefelt and Rudolph Fox brought their families down the Susquehanna. The latter stopped at Towanda and Shoefelt at what was afterwards known as Frenchtown, where he remained until after the breaking out of hostilities between this and the mother country, when in 1776 he sold out to James Forsyth, removing to the West Branch, where he was killed by the Indians two years later.
 
 

Anthony Rummerfield, a blacksmith by occupation, came from the Mohawk region in or before 1774, and located at the mouth of Rummerfield Creek in Standing Stone. He made a considerable improvement but left during the Revolutionary troubles. Subsequently he removed to Catherines town, N.Y., where, January 9, 1794, he sold to Matthias Hollenback, "a piece of land near Standing Stone, including the mouth and falls of a creek, which empties into the Susquehanna river * * with my possession, improvement and mill-work, formerly erected by me, the said Anthony Rummerfield."
 
 

Benjamin Budd of Southampton, Long Island, who had moved to Orange county, N.Y., "having tired of contending with a rigorous climate and ungrateful soil, entered with enthusiasm into the new project of the Connecticut people for a colony on the Susquehanna river." Accordingly, he removed early with his wife, six sons and two daughters to Wyoming. Having purchased lots in Springfield, he erected a house and settled with his family at Terrytown in 1774.

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Budd's three oldest sons, John, Joseph and Asa, took part with the Whigs, while he, though a non-combatant and pacificator, became obnoxious on account of suspected Tory sympathies and was obliged to retire to Wyoming. On the approach of the enemy, Mr. Budd and his family, consisting of wife, three young children, daughter and son-in-law, took refuge in the stockade. After the battle they started for Shamokin, but finding (a) lack of accommodations, pushed on to Northumberland. Here Mr. Budd and two of his sons died of smallpox. His wife, Rachael, and other members of the family were finally escorted to Orange county. None of the Budds ever returned to Terrytown.
 
 

The Pawlings -- Henry Pawling (Pauling), a wealthy gentleman of Providence, Montgomery county, Pa., in 1775 purchased of Job Chillaway, a prominent Indian, 625 acres of land (Pennsylvania title), covering the site of the Mission village at Wyalusing. Mr. Pawling, who was a supporter of the patriot cause, the next year (1776) sent his three sons, Benjamin, Jesse and William, single young men, to Wyalusing to manage the affairs of the plantation. "Being generous of their means, fond of the hunt and the rough sports of the times, the Pawlings soon became the leading spirits in the community, and lived on terms of great friendship with their neighbors until the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, when their ardent zeal for their Pennsylvania title led them to join the Loyalists and identify themselves with the interests of the mother government." In 1777 the Pawling Brothers joined Col. John Butler and were commissioned officers in his rangers. "They were all personally down against the settlement at Wyoming with the savages and exercised great severities upon the prisoners." The Pawlings retired to Canada with the British and Indians. Henry Pawling in his will bequeathed a portion of the Chillaway purchase to his daughter, Catherine, the wife of Joseph Stalford. The Stalford family has since been in possession of these lands.
 
 

Isaac Hancock, in 1776 came from Montgomery county to Wyalusing with the Pawlings as tenant and housekeeper. In the Fall of 1777 he returned to Montgomery county with his family. After the conclusion of peace, he was one of the first to again make Wyalusing his home. He built a log house on the west side of the Sugar Run ferry road and opened it as a hostelry. He was licensed a taverner in 1788 and "Hancock's Tavern" became noted as a stopping place and the first public house in the county. In 1788 he was appointed an overseer of the poor for Springfield, and in 1791 was commissioned a justice of the peace for the same district. Later he moved up the Wyalusing Creek and settled near Stevensville. In 1801 he was commissioned a justice of the peace for Rush.

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"The old 'Squire was a portly, jovial, light-complexioned man, the very opposite of his grave, dignified Quaker wife, whose dark face and black tresses contrasted strikingly with the light blonde locks of her husband." Mr. Hancock died March 2, 1820, in his 80th year, and his wife, April 12, 1822. Their remains rest in the Stevensville cemetery. The children of Isaac and Jemima Hancock were:

Patty married Silas F. Andrews of Sugar Run, removed to New York state;

Polly married Ezekiel Brown of Wyalusing;

Jennie married Daniel, son of Lieut. Perrin Ross, lived in Rush;

Sally married James Hines of Wyalusing;

Betsy, born September 10, 1777 at Wyalusing, married Jesse Ross, brother of Daniel, died March 15, 1823 in Pike;

Rebecca married Dr. Reuben Baker and died childless, 1834, in Pike;

Nancy married February, 1805, Benajah Frink of Auburn;

John;

Jesse married Louisa -----, and had children--Leroy, William, Lloyd, Elizabeth, Jerusha, John, Mary and Henry--died, 1835 in Pike.
 
 

Gaylord Family in Bradford county are descendent from Deacon William Gaylord of Dorchester, whose third son was Walter, whose first son was Joseph, whose first son was Joseph, whose second son was Lieutenant Samuel, whose second son was Justus. Justus Gaylord, born March 12, 1732, was among the early settlers of Wyoming, having moved there with his family from Norwich, Conn. He became interested in Connecticut lands and purchased certain rights in Springfield (Wyalusing). Two of his sons, Ambrose and Justus, came on, 1776, and occupied these lands, remaining until the breaking out of hostilities, when they entered the Continental Army. After the battle of Wyoming, Mr. Gaylord took his family back to Connecticut, but returned after the war. In the great ice flood, 1784, his house and effects were swept away, the family narrowly escaping with their lives. Soon after this disaster, he moved up to Wyalusing. Here and at Black Walnut he resided until after the death of his wife in 1814, when he went to Delaware county, Ohio, to live with his son, Elihu, where he died in 1820, aged 88 years. The children of Justus and Elizabeth Gaylord were: Ambrose, Justus, Eleazer, Ludd, Timothy, Elihu, Dama, Elizabeth and Chauncy.

Ambrose enlisted in Captain Ransom's company and served until the close of the Revolutionary War. He married Eleanor, daughter of John Comstock, and settled at Black Walnut, where he died June 12, 1844, aged nearly 95 years.

Ludd lost his life in the Revolutionary War.

Eleazer lived for a time at Frenchtown and then removed to Black Walnut.

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Elihu settled in Ohio.

Timothy died at Candor, N.Y. in 1852, aged 80 years.

Chauncy, the youngest, went to Geneva, N.Y., where he was accidentally killed by being thrown from a building.

Dama married David Shoemaker and resided at Homets Ferry.

Elizabeth married Thomas Wigton and lived many years at Homets Ferry.

Justus Gaylord, Jr., born 1757 in Connecticut, came to Wyalusing in 1776 with his brother, Ambrose, occupying Indian Meadows until 1777, when they joined Capt. Samuel Ransom's Company (afterwards Captain Spalding's) and served with distinction until the close of the Revolution. In 1785 he returned to Wyalusing and in 1792 purchased 900 acres of land on the north side of Wyalusing Creek, to which he removed and where he remained until his death. Major Gaylord, as he was known, was among the foremost in every public enterprise, extensively engaged in business and often called to fill responsible places of trust. He was elected one of the first commissioners of the county, was one of the founders of the Presbyterian church at Wyalusing, and all through life one of its strongest supporters. He married first a Miss Garner, who died without issue. Subsequently he married Lucretia (York) Buck, widow of Aholiab Buck, who was slain at Wyoming. Major Gaylord died May 23, 1830. His wife survived him many years. She was a superior woman of great energy and industry, and of decided firmness of character. Mr. Miner paid her a visit in 1845 and says, "We found the good old lady in fine health and spirits. The profusion of lace upon her cap speaking of habitual fondness for dress, her round full face and cheerful smile indicating, in early life, remarkable personal beauty. She had walked a mile to visit Mrs. Taylor, wife of Major John Taylor, her daughter who was on her nursing bosom in July, 1778." She died January 15, 1846, aged nearly 88 years. Justus and Lucretia Gaylord had one child, Ludlow.

Ludlow married first Violata, daughter of Henry Champion of Wyoming, who died in 1810. They had two sons: (1) Henry, born 1806, married Martha, daughter of John and Deborah (Buck) Taylor, died January 1, 1875; (2) Justus married Amanda Cogswell of Tuscarora. For his second wife, Mr. Gaylord married, 1812, Olive, daughter of Benjamin and Wealthy Ann (York) Smith, and had five sons and four daughters, who married as follows: Violata to Chauncy Corbin; Permelia to Benjamin Stetler; Joseph to Lorinda H. Jayne; Pierce to Catharine Gregory; Phebe to Rofaxon Rogers; John to

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Anna Stetler; Asahel to Nancy Smith; Manassah Miner to Mary Lewis; Wealthy died unmarried.
 
 

William Dunn, from York county, Pa., who had become a speculator in Susquehanna lands, came to Springfield and settled at Camptown. He retired and was killed by the Indians during the Wyoming troubles.
 
 

Ephraim Tyler, who was one of the original proprietors of Springfield, came from Wyoming and located at Merryall. He was a participant in the Wyoming battle. In the second Pennamite war he was an active partisan on the Yankee side, and one of the abductors of Timothy Pickering. After the Revolutionary War he settled in Wyoming county, but subsequently removed to Susquehanna county.
 
 

James Forsyth, a Scotchman, who was one of the original proprietors of Springfield, moved from Wyoming with his family to Wyalusing in 1776. He sold to Abraham Bowman, purchased and resided at Frenchtown until the autumn of 1777, when he returned to Wyoming.
 
 

Abraham Bowman, a native of Germany, came from Albany, N.Y., to Springfield, 1777, and purchased of James Forsyth. He retired to Dover, York county, Pa., where he died soon after the close of the Revolutionary War. He was unmarried.
 
 

Leonard Lott came from Stillwater, N.Y. to Wilmot township in 1777. He removed to Plymouth and was at Forty Fort at the time of the battle. After the war he returned to Wilmot, remained two or three years, then went to Wyoming county, where he died.
 
 

John Seacord, who gained notoriety as a Tory and spy for the British, established himself at Tioga Point in 1777, coming from near Tunkhannock. He sold his improvement, 1785, to Matthias Hollenback and left the country with his family.
 
 

Other Settlers who had located within Bradford county prior to 1778 were: Springfield (Wyalusing and Wilmot)--Caleb Atherton, Richmond Berry, Prince Bryant, Jacob Burt, William Crooks, Josiah Dewey, Benjamin Eaton, Calvin Eaton, Edward Hicks, Casper Hoover, Philip Painter, Isaiah Pasco, ---- Page, John Segar, Parker Wilson, ----- Winters; Standing Stone--Charles Angers, John Pensil, Conrad Sill, Adam Simmons, Isaac Van Alstine, James Van Alstine, Old Van Alstine; Asylum--Henry Anguish, Jacob Bruner, Philip Fox, Michael Showers, Stephen Sarah, Jacob Sipes; Wysox--Isaac Larraway, Isaac Larraway, Jr