People and Family Histories


For information on the Palatine families in the area go to the website of Hank Jones


Assessment List of People in area- before 1775

This section, of the Tryon County, NY USGenWeb site, is set aside for profiles of your ancestors. We invite you to submit information on your early settler(s) of New York State west of the Catskill and Adirondack mountains including the Mohawk, Susquehanna, Schoharie and Cherry Valleys, from time of settlement up to the end of the Revolution in 1783. We are interested in short pieces, (up to a page in length) that will illustrate where the family emigrated from, dates and places they settled in the western wilderness, names of children to help others establish links to the area. Topics of particular interest include Loyalists, Palatine German settlement, early Dutch families, and Native American connections. Please include any short narrative that might be of interest.



submitted by Jack D. Frank

    Two young men, Henry and Christopher Frank, immigrated to America about 1740 landing at the Port of Philadelphia. It is suspected that at a location about 50 miles north of Philadelphia, Henry married a girl named Catherine and they had twin daughters, Eva and Maria, born in 1743. Then about 1745, Henry moved his family to the Mohawk Valley to a fertile farming area called German Flats which was a settlement established by the English New York Governor William Burnet in 1721 for the many displaced Palatine immigrants from the German Rhine Valley . Like the other farmers in this area, Henry Frank prospered and maintained friendly relations with the Oneida Indian tribe.

    Henry and Catherine continued to increase their family; Elizabeth b. 1746, Henry Jr b. 1747, Lawrence b. 1749, Margaret b. 1750, Jacob b. 1756. On November 12, 1757, a surprise raid was made on German Flats by a French and Indian war party. Henry Frank was a settler, farmer, and soldier who participated in the French and Indian War, probably under the direction of Colonel John Johnson, a British supporter. During the raid, Catherine Frank and 6 of the 7 children were taken prisoner and marched to Montreal where they remained until after the war. Evidently Henry and his son Henry Jr were fighting with the settlers at the time of the raid and were not captured.

    The French and Indians continued to harass the German Flat area until finally a fort was built in the present town of Rome, New York called Fort Stanwix. During the Revolutionary war, Henry Frank Jr. served as a private in Captain Demuth's Company. Many other men from one of the Frank families, (John, Michael, and Henry) served under General Herkimer in the Tryon County Militia, and fought in the Battle of Oriskany in 1777 which ended in a stalemate, after which the Iroquois Indians withdrew from the British army and St. Leger was forced to retreat to Canada. It was at Fort Stanwix where the our present flag, the Stars and Stripes, often referred to as "Old Glory" first saw the light of day. Many historians mark this as the battle that marked the turning point in the war.

    History books indicate that the present town of Frankfort, New York was named after Lawrence Frank, the son of Henry. Frankfort is a village in German Flats, located on the south side of the Mohawk River. A plaque was placed at the edge of town by the D.A.R. that denotes the place the Frank Family lived in 1747. Lawrence Frank married Mary Myers, the twin of Lt. General Michael Myers, a soldier during the Revolutionary War. Lawrence and Mary had 15 children, many of which migrated to Western New York State to Lake Chatauqua in 1811 and settled in the town later called Busti in honor of the Holland Patent agent that sold the land. The Frank Family farmed, and built a tannery and shoe factory that employed 25 persons. During the War of 1812, Joseph, the youngest son of Lawrence and Mary Frank was killed while defending Buffalo. He was scalped by the Indians who were aiding the British, and buried there in a common grave.

submitted by Sharon Stanfield

Cornelis Van Alstyne Family

  • Cornelis Van Alstyne m. Neeltje
    Maria (Mary) Van Alstyne b. c1762, m. Jacob Collier (Colyer), 9-25-1761

    Isaac b. c1760, Montgomery Co., NY, m. Christina Van Valkenburg
    Helena Magdalena b. 1761, same place, m. Nicholas Quackenbosch, 8-4-1777
    Johannes (John) b. 7-13-1764, same place, m. 1. Susanna Mabie, 2. Mary H(G)oeway
    Catherina b. 12-21-1767, same place, m. Andrew Wessels
    Neeltje b. 11-26-1769, same place
    Cornelia b.3-18-1772, same place, m. Hendrick Spore, 5-6-1790
    Petrus b. 11-29-1775, same place
    Jannetje b. 5-18-1778, same place, m. Abraham Spohr, 8-11-1793

submitted by Bob Tull

Sammons-Veeder Family

    There is a wonderful story of the adventures of the brothers Jacob and Frederick Sammons of Caughnawaga, Tryon Co., NY (now Fonda NY) during the early years of the revolution, following their capture by the loyalist Sir John Johnson who had been their neighbor. It is written up in detail in Stone's Border Wars of the American Revolution.

    Jacob Sammons married Eva Veeder; they are my ancestors. Jacob's father and mother were Sampson Sammons and Rachel Schoonmaker, who came to Caughnawaga from Ulster Co. about 1769. Sampson Sammons was a member of the earliest of the "Committees of Safety" as was, I think, Johannes Veeder, father of Eva. In any case they both were involved in some of the earliest meetings held to form these committees; one of those meetings was disrupted by Sir John and became the source of the story of the first blood shed west of the Hudson during the revolution when Jacob was roughed up. (There's another related story of the first shot, when a bullet missed Sampson Sammons. I think that's in Stone's Border Wars of the American Revolution also. Jacob and his father were also involved in the Battle of Oriskany, at Rome, NY. Incidentally it was the Sammons family who occupied Johnson Hall in Johnstown after Sir John fled to Canada; I believe they leased it from the government and used the lands to grow crops for the revolution.

    Among the Palatine immigrants were four families named Stall or Stahl, who settled along the Hudson in 1710 (Henry Z Jones wrote of them). I have not been able to prove their connections to my ancestor Peter Stall who was born just after the revolution in Caughnawaga, nor have I found his birth record. However, his parents seem to have been Joseph (Joost) Stall and Maria (Polly) Grant who lived there during the revolution. Joseph's name appears on the State Militia records. (Later, Peter Stall married Elizabeth, the daughter of Jacob Sammons and Eva Veeder.)

submitted by John Gile

    I have family members that moved to Mohawk area 1770 - Warrens Bush, - from Preston, CT - John Guile moved with his 2nd wife, Asenath Eliot, with 4 sons from 1st m. - Asa, Henry, Levi, Rea; from 2nd m. dau. Sarah; while there had Joseph, Mary, Andrew, Stephen, William, Freelove, Asenath, Sally, Daniel, Samuel.

    John was in the Tryon Co. Militia, his farm was burned in Indian raids, and Fort Gile/Guile was erected as a local refuge. His first 5 sons served in the Rev. War This move accompanied the family of 2nd wife's, Andrew Eliot./Hannah Palmer.

    Henry married at Warrensborough Priscilla Herrick, dau. of Capt. Daniel Herrick and Mary Guile; Asa lived later in New Lebanon, Columbia Co.; Levi lived later in Blandford, MA. Rea married Molly Hodge - they were members of the Free Baptist Church at Warrensburg, and moved (apparently) with that church when it moved to Bowman's Creek ca 1797. Joseph enlisted Rev. War 1784/5.

    About 1800 John and sons Henry, Rea, Joseph, and on down, moved to Otsego Co.

    Descendants of this and other Guile?Gile families intermarried with families who were present in that time frame including several Palatine families, and many descendants till live in the area.

    I have just published the "Guile - Gile - Guiles Genealogy" (960 pp) which includes anecdotes on this time, and I have substantial research files on the area and would be happy to correspond with any who wish.

submitted by Joe Dewald

    Samuel Prentice was the son of Elihu Prentice and his wife, Abigail Jamison of Preston, New London Co., CT. He was a great-great-grandson of Valentine Prentice who came from England in 1631 with his wife, Alice Bredda, and settled in Roxbury, MA.

    Samuel was born 4 Oct 1749, in Preston, CT where he married Anne Benjamin in 1771 and had a daughter, Abigail Prentice who was born at Preston on 12 Nov 1772. He apparently moved from Preston soon thereafter as no further Preston record of his family is found.

    It is not presently known where Samuel and his family lived between 1772 and 1778, but the next record of Samuel Prentice shows him living in Canajohari (now in Montgomery Co.) NY during the twelve-year period from 1778 to 1790 (see Census Record, 1790). Shortly thereafter, civil records showed he moved later in 1790 to Paris (now Oneida Co.), NY. On 1 Jan 1793 he married Milicent/Millicent Judd in New Hartford, NY. She was the daughter of Dr. Elnathan and Mirriam (Richards) Judd. About 1795-6, Samuel and his family settled in Cooperstown and operated a small inn and a bakery.

    Samuel died in 1815 in Cooperstown (now Otsego Co.), NY. The cause of his death is unclear. A published 1883 genealogy says that Samuel died in a fall from a loaded wagon. However, local Presbyterian Church records seem to show cancer as the cause of death. It is not known where his first wife, Anne Benjamin died, but his second wife, Milicent/Millicent, died 23 Feb 1828.

    Additional information about the ancestors and descendants of Samuel Prentice may be obtained from the PRENTICE genealogy published by L. J. Dewald.

submitted by Joe Dewald

    Peter Bundy Jr. Born, 11 Sep 1754, in Preston, CT. The date of his death is unclear, but he may have died 7 Apr 1822 in Otego (now Otsego Co.), NY. The History of Otsego County calls him Capt. Peter Bundy, one of the earliest settlers in Otego. He moved to Otsego from Mass. in 1777 with his large family of young children and wife, using a wood-shod sled drawn by a small pair of oxen. A part of a barrel of pork furnished them with food, the brine of which was afterwards boiled down for salt for their daily use. They camped out in the woods many nights, building large fires to protect them from the cold. It calls him Captain Peter Bundy, identifies him as one of the early settlers, and says he initially settled on the south side of the river on the farm later owned by Warren Goddard.

    Peter married Bersheba Avery, 27 Apr 1776, in Westfield, Hampden, MA. Born, 1759. Of Southampton, Hampshire, MA. Died, 4 Jan 1832, in Otego, Otsego, NY. Burial in Bundy Cemetery.

    Additional information about the ancestors and descendants of Peter Bundy, Jr. may be obtained from the PRENTICE genealogy published by L. J. Dewald

submitted by Rick Schulte - 4 Jan 1998

    Johannes Georg Hiller, abt. age 19 and his wife Anna Catharina (Hetterich) Hiller, abt. age 18 arrived with other Palatine settlers on one of the first English ships bringing Palatines to the colonies in 1707. After landing in New York, them moved to the Mohawk Valley to a place above Canajoharie. Trace records were found in Montgomery Co. showing Hillers Hetterich, and other Platine families had settled in this area in the early 1700's. One of their children was Jacob Hiller who married about 1747 or 1748 and settled with his wife (name unknown) near Fox's Mill.

    Jacob and his wife raised at least two sons and three daughters by the time the Revolutionary War broke out in the Mohawk Valley. In 1777, Lt. Jacob Hiller, then about 48 years old and left with the Palatine Militia and joined up with Gen. Nicholas Herkimer on a march to aid the sieged Fort Stanwix. Jacob and one son, name unknown, died in the Battle of Oriskany. Jacob's other son, John (Johannes) Hiller fought in and survived this battle. John was a private in the German Flats Militia under Lt. Bellinger. John Hiller was married to Catherine Myers, daughter of Lt. Peter Myers, another veteran of the Oriskany battle.

    John Hiller returned to German Flats and his wife Catherine to continue raising their children:

    Johannesb. 1776, married Elizabeth Franck 2-15-1796
    Michelb. 1780
    Catrina b. 1783
    Simon b. 3/26/1790, m. (1) Catherine Belts 1810, (2) Rebecca
    Lindsay 1835
    Eva b. 1795

    John Hiller died between 1810 and 1820. His son, Simon Hiller, served with Capt. Jonathan Leonard's Co. of Atchinson's Regiment of the New York Militia in the War of 1812. Simon later moved to Kentucky, then to Carbondale in southern Illinois where he raised his 15 children. Simon became a minister of the Christian Church. Rev. Hiller established many Christian Churches in southern Illinois.

    My name is Elizabeth Hiller Schulte and the above information has been researched by myself, my uncle James Robert Hiller and a cousin, Mildred Moss, author of The Simon Hiller Family History.

submitted by Donna MacBain Johnson - Feb. 14, 1998

    After fighting with the British in the French Indian War, Donald McBain is thought to have become a tenant of Sir Wm Johnson. A record in Schenectady in 1764 shows a Donald McBain borrowing money to buy Ft. Brewerton (to set up a trading post). Unfortunately, under an agreement with the British, the Indians burned down the fort, and Donald ends up owing triple his original loan. (Brant the Indian is shown on the debtors list in 1771 beside Donald's name). Whether this is my ancestor or not, my Donald McBain left the Mohawk Valley in 1783 with his wife, Rachel McIntosh, and five children and after some moving around the Montreal area, getting land in Charlottenburg, (and selling it) settled in Roxborough, Stormont Co. ON in 1810. My ancestor, Angus McBain married Ann McDonald (Sandfield line) in 1815. I have traced Angus's brother, Donald,'s descendents to present day Cornwall, Ont., but my greatgrandfather, Donald (b.1816), moved to Middlesex Co. ca 1845, then Bruce Co. ca 1850, then to Strathclair,Manitoba ca 1876.

submitted by Donna MacBain Johnson - Feb. 14, 1998

    Another ancestor from the Mohawk Valley was Archibald Grant. He arrived from Scotland in 1773, settled on Sir Wm. Johnson's land, joined the KRRNY, settled on the front concession of Charlottenburg. His wife, Catherine McDonell, died leaving two children, John and Janet; Archie remarried, to Mary McDonell, and had five more sons.

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