Posts Tagged ‘white creek’

Brickwall Break Through Fourth of July Weekend – Happy 4th of July!

While feeling quite patriotic for the holidays I decided to revisit one of my Revolutionary War patriot ancestors, Private Aaron HULET (1755-1835) who was a pensioner and is buried in Shaftsbury, Bennington County Vermont.

His second wife, my ancestor, was Cynthia (HOPKINS) HULET (1775-1860) and I have worked on them both for many years. Cynthia had at least two sisters, Bethia (HOPKINS) REYNOLDS and (presumed) ‘Sylvia’ (HOPKINS) PARKER, that I had previously noted were from an unknown place when they both signed an affidavit attesting to their sister Cynthia’s having been the widow of Aaron HULET.

Through the years I have left queries on many message boards and mail lists for these two sisters all to no avail.

So I decided to revisit the Revolutionary War pension file of Aaron HULET that is online at Got to tell you it pays to go back over your research and notes from time to time.

The document that the two sisters signed was written by an attorney and they both signed with their “X” and it very clearly states that I am a jerk. Well so to speak, because the one sister’s name was absolutely NOT ‘Sylvia’ as previously had read it from a quite dark microfilm image, and is very clearly “Lydia” PARKER in the online digitized scan of the document.

Not only that, and I don’t know how I ever missed this, it stated that at the time they signed the affidavit 1838, that they were both living in the Town of Jackson, Washington county, NY. Well that is embarrassing to say the least, as I am the self-appointed expert on the Families of the Old Cambridge District, which includes the now towns of Cambridge, Jackson and White Creek.

I did know that Aaron and Cynthia had been married in Foster, Providence county, Rhode Island on 28 MAR 1793, from published vital records of Foster, and the bible record in the pension file. The two sisters had attested to witnessing the marriage while living at their father, Joseph HOPKINS, in Foster in the spring of 1793.

Well needless to say this was exciting and I have been at the computer all through the holiday weekend. Did someone say there were fireworks?

So now I am putting together family records from various online secondary sources and entering all of these details into my computer database which will then provide a platform from which to go forth and do primary evidence research at Washington county, NY, Bennington county, Vermont, and Providence county Rhode Island.

I am hoping to find estate records, land records, possibly church records, as well as looking at all of the New York State censuses and Federal censuses that might shed some light on these families. I have already a fairly good picture of some of the descendants of both sisters.

I expect to find quite a lot of supporting details in various online resources in the mean time and will be looking at the USGenweb sites,,, Google Books, old maps online and dozens of other resources.

I just am amazed at how quickly one can put these family groups together now with online sources. Just remember all that is online is not necessarily proof and it all needs original records research to back it up.

The following is a transcript of the actual document that provided all of these choice clues.

State of New York
Washington County
Town of Jackson } SS.

Bethia REYNOLDS & Lydia PARKER of the Town of Jackson afore’md being duly sworn make oath and say that they are personally acquainted with Cynthia HULET, widow & relict of Aaron HULET deceased, of the Town of Shaftsbury in the County of Bennington & State of Vermont. They are sisters to the said Cynthia HULET, their maiden names were HOPKINS. In the year one thousand and seven hundred and ninety three they the said Bethiah REYNOLDS and Lydia PARKER together with their sister Cynthia HULET lived with their father Joseph HOPKINS in the town of Foster in the State of Rhode Island (the county is not now recollected) their residence was fifteen or sixteen miles from Providence in said State as they now recollect & verily believe – Some time in the spring of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety three they the said Bethiah & Lydia were present at their fathers Joseph HOPKINS house in said town of Foster and saw their sister Cynthia married to Aron HULET aforesaid – The marriage ceremony was solemnized by one Esqr SIMMONS a justice of the peace who resided in that vicinity and they now recollect and verily believe true – these deponents are not positive what month or what day of the month the marriage took place but believe it was in the month of March, are positive that it took place in the spring of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety three. They the said deponents have been acquainted with their said sister ever since she was married as aforesaid to the said Aaron Hulet whose widow she now is, these deponents have been informed & verily believe that the said Aaron HULET died in the month of May one thousand eight hundred and thirty five & their said sister Cynthia has remained his widow until this time & has not been married to any other person – and further these deponents saith not.

Subscribed & sworn this seventh} her
day of September 1838 before } Lydia X PARKER
me - mark
Anderson SIMPSON Justice of the }
peace } her

(next digital image) (verso?)

[affidavits of witnesses to the signatories of above, see pension file for full document]

Fun stuff.

Real Estate and Personal Estate Values on Census Returns

Have you ever wondered what the Estate valuations meant in the various census returns where they were reported?

The 1850 federal census asked the value of real estate.
1860 census value of real estate and value of personal estate.
1870 census asked value of real estate and personal property.

You could actually use these numbers to put your family in economic perspective within the community in which they lived.  All you would have to do is enter the town or area into a database and then sort by the value to find out where your ancestors stood in the pecking order of their neighbors.

I did this one time on the 1825 New York State census for White Creek, Washington County, NY and it was quite surprising.  Unfortunately this was about 30 years ago and the data was on an old Apple II computer in Works format, which I have since lost track of.

It was quite interesting though to see just where my family fit on the economic ladder.  As I recall it was down near the grass roots rung of the ladder, but that seems to be the norm for most of us.

Here is an excerpt from one of my Revolutionary War Patriot ancestors, Aaron HULET (1755-1835), of Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont, taken directly from his Federal Rev war pension file.  This was from his 1818 application where he had to show need for the 12 bucks.  Spelling as actual:

“The following is a schedule of all real and personal estate, to wit:
1 gun which has been thro the French war & the war of the revolution supposed 200 years old.
1 cow,
1 oxe,
2 sheep,
3 hoes,
1 scythe & 2 snaths,
1 pitchfork,
1 wash tub,
1 small churn,
fire shovel,
2 qt. bottles,
1 pint bottle,
1 stone jug holds 2 qts.,
1 water pail,
1 milk pail,
1 small pail,
3 hogs purchased with pension money,
some few articles of other old and unsailable household furniture,
as 5 old chairs,
pounding panel,
1 table near 40 years of age,
1 old chisl,
a few articles of crockery viz 3 white bowls,
12 home made earthen bowls,
3 milk pans,
6 white plates,
6 knives,
6 forks,
7 pewter and 2 iron spoons,
6 tea cups,
6 saucers,
6 pewter tea spoons,
1 fire shovel,
1 5 qt. pail kittle,
1 dish kittle,
1 tea kittle,
1 broken spider,
1 broken pot, leg out and cracked up to the top,
4 pint tin casons,
1 3 pint tin cason,
1 broom,
1 scive.”

Note his most prized possession was a 200 year old gun and there was no “Real Estate”.  I’ll just bet that each and every one of you have more stuff than this man owned.  “1 broken pot, leg out and cracked up to the top, “ indeed!

When I think about how much junk/stuff that I have as compared with my ancestor’s official inventory I am almost overwhelmed.  I own enough clothes that if I were to make a change of clothes every day and go out in the yard and roll down hill every day, I am sure I would be six feet under long before the clothes wore out.

Our ancestors got by quite nicely with their meager holdings.  They lived and prospered with very little so that all of their spoiled brat descendants could live the life of luxury.  I don’t know about you but I am down-sizing.

American Archives, the Manuscript and Book Collection of Peter Force, (1790-1868.)


Peter Force was a 19th-century politician, newspaper editor, archivist, and historian.

Born near the Passaic Falls in New Jersey, to William and Sarah (Ferguson) Force.

His greatest achievement came as a collector and editor of historical documents. He published Tracts and Other Papers, Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America.

His American Archives was a collection of the most important documents of the American Revolution, 1774–1776. 9 volumes were published between 1837 and 1853. Force’s lifelong desire to establish an American national library finally came to fruition in 1867 when Congress purchased his own collection of original documents for $100,000 to found the Library of Congress.

Force died January 23, 1868 at the age of 77. His son, Manning Force, was an officer during the American Civil War.

(source – wikipedia – Peter Force)


To the readers of the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog;

I have a personal story abut this collection that goes back many years in my own genealogy research. My mother’s direct line 4th great grandparents were Seth Chase and Sarah (MILK) CHASE, of Little White Creek (Cambridge District, Albany County, New York.)

Seth CHASE was a Loyalist, a Quaker, and a Tavern Keeper in Little White Creek. His home/tavern was immediately the first farm north of the Battle of Bennington battlefield in the town of Hoosick, Rensselaer County. His house still exists and I have been all through it through the courtesy of the present owners. It is located on Cobble Hill Road south of the hamlet of White Creek adjacent to the town of Hoosick border.

About 25 or so years ago I was at the library in Cornell University and I came across a transcription description of Seth’s arrest in 1776 by the Americans, and being excited did not cite the exact reference. All I remembered when I went back later was that it was in a large book which was part of a multi-volume set. See boys and girls, cite your sources!

Well it turns out that Cornell has since put their set of this collection of transcribed manuscript records in their Kroch Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. Earlier today I was in discussion with another researcher friend, Deanna Smith, and I was reminded of this collection so set about locating it in today’s wonderful digital world.

Found it! Thanks to I found the title “American Archives” by Peter Force, and then wonder of wonders, the whole collection is digitized and online at the University of Northern Illinois.

What follows is just a snippet from the manuscript testimony of the two men that gave evidence against Seth CHASE:

The Deposition of Captain Isaac Peabody, of lawful age, being duly sworn, saith: That on Sunday morning, the 13th instant, he returned to the house of Seth Chase, in Little White Creek. I asked Mr. Chase if he had seen any of our Kinderhook friends the night past. He answered, no. I told him I wanted to see Mr. Hughs, the man we discoursed with last night in the road. He then told me Mr. Hough told him the discourse he had with us, and that Mr. Hough knew no more of the plan than what he had communicated to him. I asked him if he had for certain that Burgoyne with his Army was coming round the lakes? ….

The page further saith, that the people of Arlington had made such preparations for their march, that they could not forego it without being discovered; therefore, would march to-night. Mr. Chase then said, the people of White Creek are secure, they would not march till further order from Colonel Man. He likewise said, that Colonel Man had twelve fat oxen for the purpose of victualling the friends of Government on their march to join the King’s Army. And others had several more cattle for the same purpose. I then asked him to direct me to a plan whereby our Kinderhook friends could get safe to the King’s Army.

He then told me that Colonel Man had given countersigns at two places, and if these countersigns could be conveyed to your friends, they can pass safe, and get all intelligence necessary. He then spoke to his wife to bring him a paper, on which she immediately came to us and takes a paper out of her bosom and gave it to her husband, and he handed it to me, saying, Now I give you my life. I took the paper and read it to be this: “At Landlord Northrop’s the countersign is Tryon; and at Jacob Lansing’s Ferry, the countersign is Burgoyne.” I told him for fear I should make a mistake in these countersigns, I would write them down. Then wrote them down. He then said that upon giving these countersigns out at these two places, we could be secreted, have provisions, or be helped on our way, or any thing we desired to forward.

He further said, that Simon Covill was a good friend to Government, and that I might not be afraid of him; he further said, that his house was a place where Colonel Man’s page came for entertainment, and to bring news to the friends to Government.
Bennington, October 14, 1776.


Seth was arrested and put in jail for 14 days in Albany, then with many other prisoners was marched to Exeter, New Hampshire, to be banished to stay within the gaol limits of the town of Exeter for one year. At the end of the year he was allowed to return to his home and he also was allowed to keep his property.

As I said, I have been in that house where this event happened and I have this image burned in my mind of my fifth great grandmother pulling the secret password code out of her bosom.

Damn, I love history!

I encourage you all to search through these marvelous original documents that are online. There is just a world of exciting finds to be made!

American Archives – Peter Force

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