Recording the Minisink 1701 - 1738

Using Bob Billard's wonderful search engine of translated Dutch Records for the keyword Minisink reveals a glimpse into colonial travel to the valley and 18th century surnames variants. 

Marriage Register of the Dutch Church at Kingston 
jm - young man
jd - young woman
wid - widow or widower

Husband; [semicolon] Wife
1701 21 Apr; Jurie Quick, jm, of Mombaccus; Rebecca Titsoort, jd, born Schenectady, live Minisink.
1702 18 Oct; Stephanus Titsoort, jm, born Schenectady, live Minisink; Sara Hoornbeek, jd, born Hurley, live Mombaccus.
1712 03 Feb; Jacob Van Kuykendaal, wid Ariaantjen Tietsoort; Zara Westvaal, jd, both live Minisink.
1714 05 Oct; Jacobus Swartwoud, jm, born Hurley, live Minisink; Gieletjen Nieuwkerk, jd, of Horly.
1715 27 Mar; Matheus Van Kuykendaal, jm, born Rochester; Jannetjen Westvaal, jd, born Kingstown, both live Minisink.
1716 20 Aug; Johannes Kwik, jm, born Rochester; Bregjen Middag, jd, born Nescotak, both live Minisink.
1716 20 Aug; Juriaan Westvaal, wid Styntjen van Kuykendaal; Marytjen Koddebek, jd, both born Kingstown; live Minisink.
1717 06 Feb; Frederick Schoonmaker, wid Annaatjen De Wit; Eva Swartwout, jd, live Minisink.
1717 25 Feb; Abel Westvaal, jm; Antjen Bogaart, jd, both live Minisink.
1717 19 Nov; Jacob Westvaal, jm, born Kingstown; Margrieta de Duyster, jd, born Hurley, both now live Minisink.
1718 27 Sep; Roeloff Brink, jm, born Hurley; Antjen Kuykendaal, jd, born Minisink.
1719 08 Jul; Pieter Kuykendaal, jm; Femmetjen Dekker, jd, both live Minisink.
1719 25 Sep; Manuel Consalisduk, jm, of Marbletown; Reymerig Kwik, jd, born Rochester, live Minisink.
1721 30 May; Jacobus Swartwoud, jm, born Hurley; Antjen Gomaar, jd, born Kingstown, both live Minisink.
1721 22 Sep; Salomon Freer, jm, born New Palz; Klaartjen Westvaal, jd, born Minisink, both now live Kingstown.
1722 13 Mar; Hendrik Dekker, jm, born Rochester; Hanna Titsoort, jd, born Minisink, both now live there.
1722 20 Jun; Gysbert Bogert, jm, born Minisink; Catrina Dekker, jd, born Rochester, both live Menissing.
1723 14 Mar; Cornelis Devoor, jm, born New York; Helena Westvaal, jd, born Minisink, both live there.
1724 18 Oct; Jacob Middag, jm, born Neschotah; Zara Van Kuykendaal, jd, born Minisink, both live Rochester.
1724 18 Nov; Jan Emans, wid Rachel Stout, born on L.I.; Neeltjen Van Aaken, jd, both live Minisink.
1724 14 Dec; Cornelis Brink, jm; Maria Kool, jd,both living Minisink.
1725 11 Mar; Jan Van Vlied, junior, jm, born Marbletown; Ezyntjen Swartwoud, jd, born Minisink.
1727 12 Feb; Lambartus Brink, jm; Rachel Van Garde, jd, both born Rochester, both now live Minisink.
1727 04 Jun; Thomas Dekker, jm; Janneken Van Nimmegen, jd, both of Minisink.
1727 11 Jun; Harmen Van Garden, jm, born Rochester; Elsjen Koddebek, jd, born Minisink, both live there.
1727 18 Jun; Jacobus Dekker, jm, born Rochester; Neeltjen Titsoort, jd, born Minisink, both live there.
1728 24 Apr; Johannes Elting, jm, born Kingston, live New Palz; Marytjen Gemaar, jd, born Kingstown, live Minisink.
1728 29 May; Jan Eduwaartsz, jm, born Albany liv Poughkeepsie; Marretjen Consalis Duk, jd, born Minisink live Kingston
1729 09 May; Ary Van Etten, jm, born Knightsfield, live Marbletown; Sytjen Kuykendaal, jd, born Minisink, live Kingstown.
1729 21 Nov; Willem Freer, jm, born New Palz; Margrieta Van Keuykendaal, jd, born Minisink, live Kingstown.
1731 22 Aug; Gerardus van Nimwegen, jm, of Minisink; Jannetjen De Wit, jd, of Rochester.
1732 27 May; Luer Kuykendaal, jm, of Minisink; Lena Consalisduk, jd, of Kingstown.
1733 02 May; Willem Koddebek, jm, born Minisink; Jacomyntjen Elting, jd, born Kingstown, live New Palz.
1738 07 May; Jacobus Westvaal, jm, of Minisink; Sofia Van Aaken, jd, of Kingstown.
1738 31 May; Abraham Louw, jm, live Rochester; Dina Koettebek, jd, live Minisink.

Thereafter most marriages would take place in one of the four churches established in 1737 in the valley as detailed in the 1738-1762 Marriage Records (pp 265 -272, those which note both birth and dwelling places) in the Minisink Valley Dutch Reformed Records. Variant:  Menissinck

Juxtaposing these records with the Interrogatories  & Exhibits presented to the 1769 Royal Commission to settle the provincial boundary between New Jersey & New York adds another layer of information to the landscape and early families of the Minisink.

The Answers of Jacobus Quick, age 53.
"The deponent [Jacobus Quick] saith that he knows the settlers at Mackhackamack, and has known them these forty years - that old Johannes Westfall, Nicholas Westfall, old Teunis Quick, old Cornelius Dedoucher [var. de Duyster], John Middagh, Antje Quick, old John Decker, Jacob Decker, Cornelius Bogart, Hendrick Kortright, Willem Provoost & Albertus Provoost, Cornelius Kuykendall, Stephanus Teetsworth, Solomon Davis & Jacob Kuykendall were settlers there when he first became acquainted with that Place..."

Exhibits &Interrogatories:

Document, 1697 May 20 - Columbia Digital Library Collections  - "Grants and confirms to Arent Schuyler, his heirs and assigns a certain tract of land in the Minnissincks Country...Grants and confirms to Arent Schuyler, his heirs and assigns a certain tract of land in the Minnissincks Country..."

Document, 1697 October 14 - Columbia Digital Library Collections  - Recorded for Jacob Codebec & Company - Grants & confirms land to "...our Loving Subjects Jacob Codebec, Thomas Swartwout, Anthony Swartwout, Bernardus Swartwout, Jan Tys, Peter Ginar, and David Jamison... at a Place called Waghaghkemeck being the quantity of twelve hundred acres..."

Document, 1714 August 12 - Columbia Digital Library Collections -  A Warrant from the Council of Proprietors for 2500 Acres of Land bearing the Date of 28th of February Anno 1712 ... there is surveyed these two Tracts of Land sent Johannis Westphalia, Claus Westphalia, Simon Westphalia, Tunis Quick, Remora Quick, Cornelius Douchor, lying upon a Branch of the Delaware called Machok Mack in the Western Division of the Province of New Jersey.

Document,  1721 August 14 - Columbia Digital Library Collections  - The Petition of Thomas Swartwood & Jacobus Swartwood, Junr. in Behalf of themselves & Others - "The petitioners having lived for about thirty years at a place called Mackaghkamack near the division between the provinces of New York and New Jersey, obtained in 1697 a royal patent from Governor Fletcher of New York for these lands as well as a title from the Proprietors of New Jersey, in case the lands should happen to fall in that province...."

Document,  1769 September 9 - Columbia Digital Library Collections  - "The Answers of Harmanus Rosenkrans..."

Document,  1769 September 12 - Columbia Digital Library Collections  - "The Answers of Daniel Cooley..."

See also: The Ulster County Migrants into the Minisink, 1716.

The Rafting Season

The Delaware at Conashaugh Creek & Namanock Island
"Nothing can exceed the life and hilarity of the lumbering population on that river, on the opening of spring in the month of March and April, as the boards, plank and scantling of a thousand saw mills the river and its tributary streams, have during the winter been discharged by the means of ten thousands of sleighs, sleds and wagons, and triple that number of men, horses and oxen. On every part of the river from within a short distance of its head, at Collier’s mills to the tide waters, where is found suitable eddy for rafting, in a lumbering neighborhood may be seen in those months vast heaps of the product of the piney mountains, ready on the break up of the ice and rise of the water to be put in the river and run to Columbia or to Baltimore, as well as from Delhi to Philadelphia. Everywhere the country is in motion, engaged in the general enterprise; provision for the long and hazardous voyage is pouring onto the shores from every quarter. But this part of the arrangement falls under the care and disposition of the hardy wives of the lumbermen, and of their beautiful daughters. The provisions consisted of the best the larder could furnish stowed away in the great provision chest of each raft, even where the shouts of the raftsmen are heard, with the load clap of the boards as they were laid in cribs in the water. The eddies were alive with men and boys at work, making haste to be off, lest they might lose the freshet before they could reach their destination. ...when the moorings withs are cut loose, and the long ponderous raft is swept by the whirl of the waters into the heading current. Now all along the river could be seen a large amount of the population afloat on its waters, as at certain times it was literally covered with lumber and people, hastening swiftly away to other regions.
An excerpt from Stories of the Early Settlers In The Wilderness, Josiah Priest, 1837, p44
@ the Delaware County NY History & Genealogy website 

 Rafting Days in Pennsylvania, by John H Chatam, 1922.

Jeffersonian Republican., February 14, 1850

"In the spring of 1828 as many as one thousand rafts, containing fifty million feet of lumber, passed by Trenton. A great percentage of this footage was hemlock. ... The great problem of the raftsmen was, of course, to avoid the numerous shoals below Trenton and to gain the channel in which the swiftest current flowed. At the height of the rafting era in the ‘40’s, the rafts were usually towed down the river in long strings by the Lenox Towing Company, a firm managed by the Lenoxes of Lamberton who were well known among the river people of that time." 
An excerpt from History of Trenton, 1679-1929, Chapter V, Transportation, by William J Backus.  

                       A raft of railroad ties, circa 1900, near the bridge from Port Jervis NY to Matamoras PA.  

Van Fleets' Watering Trough

One thing leads to another when rambling through records of the families in the valley.  Bits & pieces of factoids litter the pathways one has ventured down for however brief a time.  Such was the case which set me off on the track of the early settler family Van Fleet who originally traveled down the Old Mine Road before the Revolution as Van Vliets.

A headstone for Thomas Van Fleet, born in 1788, led to working up a family tree sketch which turned up The Evening Gazette column, That New Watering-Trough on the Huguenot Road -- A Permanent Thing -- The Lease, in April 1873. The article details the brothers Solomon & Benjamin Van Fleet's grant of access to a Spring for public use providing a watering trough is built and maintained. This in turn led to the search for a map.  Van Fleet's Spring lies in about the middle of this clip from the Beers 1875 map of Deerpark, Orange Co NY, just south of the Deer Park Trotting Ground.  A trip is in order, photos forthcoming, if the old trough is still standing.

Click on the image to enlarge.

B & S Van Fleet on the map is Benjamin & Solomon.  M Van Fleet is Michael, their uncle.  Michael died, age 92, as the Beers Atlas was going to press. He never  married, leaving everything to his nephews & sister Clara.

Delaware Raftmen - G.D. Wheeler, Simon Ennis, Ellis Carhuff

"Before the railroad came, said Colonel [George D.] Wheeler, we lived just about as our ancestors had lived for two hundred years before us. Now we are within five hours of New York. Then no road had been broken through to New York, even for wagons. Our highway to the outside world was overland a hundred miles to Catskill and then down the Hudson by sailing sloops. My father settled on the East Branch of the Delaware in 1798 and built him a log hut there where his married life began. My mother thought nothing of riding horseback thirty miles with one of her children in her arms and when my brother was born in 1807 mother being then in her old home in Connecticut took him when he was six weeks old and rode a horse two hundred miles to Hancock [NY].

Our few neighbors were all in the lumbering business. For seventy five years this was entirely a timber country and Deposit [NY] was a gathering place for the rough and hardy raftsmen who made up their rafts at this point and floated down to the market at Philadelphia. Because better prices could always be obtained at Philadelphia than Baltimore, the timber cut on the Susquehanna eighteen miles across country was hauled to Deposit and here made into rafts. A hundred teams used to trail through the village streets in one procession from the valleys and hills and the saw mills clattering on the bank of every creek within twenty miles.

It cost eighteen and a half cents to send a letter to New York and the mail was carried once a week. Lumbermen don't make good farmers and sometimes food ran short. At such times I have known my father to strap his knapsack on his back and walk over to the Susquehanna and bring back a load of salt pork on his shoulders, a round trip of nearly forty miles in a day. I used to hear the wolves howling in the hills back of our home and the charcoal burners in these woods would throw chunks of fire around them at night to drive the wolves away.

The rafts were taken down to tide water in four days and then their crews walked home on foot. To show that they were a hardy race it is worth mention that their employers paid them as a rule five days wages for the time taken in coming home. This meant that they must foot it up the valley at the rate of forty miles a day to cover the two hundred mile journey and come out even. I have known raftsmen to come back from Philadelphia in three days walking better than sixty miles a day along a trail that could hardly be called a road.

An excerpt from: "Before the Railroad Came" by David Lansing, The Outing Magazine:  The Outdoor Magazine of Human Interest, edited by Caspar Whitney, Volume XLVI, April-Sept, 1905, p747.

Raftmen Agreement ~ Mouth of the Lackawac to Trenton, 1831.

Copy of the original ledger entry, Pike Co. Historical Society, Ennis Family file.
Simon Cortright Ennes [Ennis], son of John Ennes & Maria Seely, was 18 years old in 1831.  Simon and his wife, Minerva Ridgway, would live in Rowland on the Lackawaxen River for over 30 years.

Jacob S. Davis, Esq., Sketches of Wayne County, The Register of Pennsylvania, Feb. 28, 1829., p138.

The Pennsylvania Register, Vol 1, 1828, p 188.

The Minisink Valley

'The Minisink country consists of the valley of the Neversink, west of the Shawangunk Mountains, and the Delaware valley, as far as the Delaware Water Gap. 
      ~ Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records, ed. R W Vosburgh, 1913.

Confluence of the Neversink & Delaware Rivers ~ Tri-state NJ NY PA, 1894

"It is pretty difficult at this late day to describe exactly by meets and bounds just what amount of territory was comprised in the term 'Minisink.'

In general terms, it was a portion of our country extending from the Delaware Water Gap, on either side of the Delaware River in a northerly direction for about forty or fifty miles to Cochecton, covering a considerable land in the Townships of Montague, Sandyston and Walpack, Sussex County, NJ, -- what is now known as the Town of Deerpark, in Orange County, and taking in a part of Sullivan County, and which last mentioned strip comprises part of the Towns of Lumberland, Forestburgh and Mamakating -- and also part of the Counties of Pike, [Wayne,] and Monroe Pennsylvania which bordered on the Delaware River. 
    ~  Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, Vol 7, Minisink, T Schoonmaker, 1907.

Click on any Surname in the  'Labels' section below to continue exploring the Minisink country heritage.