Monday, September 15, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Michael Frederick Zeh

M, b. circa 1710, d. 15 July 1763

Catherine Vanderpool
F, b. circa 1725
Last week I posted information on John See. Tonight I'll tell you a little bit about his parents, Michael Fredeick Zeh and Catherine Vanderpool, my fifth great-grandparents.

Little is known of this family until about 1749, when the Sees set out to view the land of the south branch of the Potomac. It is said soon after this territory was open for settlement Frederick, perhaps with his father, journeyed there. He is thought to have made the entire trip on foot which is a distance of 500 miles round trip. In 1750 this family of Sees journeyed to Virginia to the Kanawha Valley, the land opened up for settlement. Listings of Greenbrier District of county settlers show Frederick See had 480 acres on May 1, 1751. His nephew Felty Yokeham also had 480 acres near him at this same time. Five months later George See is listed with 368 acres, John See with 250 acres. Other See families who came, settled in different counties nearby which later formed into one county. 

In 1755 many settlers retreated from their Greenbrier settlement due to the English-French war going on around. It is believed Frederick See with his family remained and continued to raise their family of seven children. If there were other children born to this couple, which of course is possible, they are not known. In this time stillborns were common and seldom named. In 1761 those settlers who had retreated returned to find their peace short-lived. For in 1763 the Indians broke out in war and terrorized the Kanawha Valley. It is believed the Indians approached the See home under a guise of friendship. After being kindly entertained by Frederick See, their home was attacked. Frederick See, his son-in-law Greenberry Roach, and his nephew Felty Yokeham were massacred by Indians on July 15, 1763. 

The women and children of these and other victims of this massacre were taken prisoners. Leaving the dead where they were slain, the Indians began marching their prisoners back to their camp. On the way to Oldstown, in Ohio, these women and children who were unable to keep up were killed. The first born child of Margaret (See) Roach, a boy, was killed in a most brutal fashion after being snatched from her breast. Accounts related by James Olson, also told by a descendant, was that Frederick See's children held up for two to three days. The smallest, John, was quite weak and Catherine feared for his life. Seeing a warrior riding their horse, Catherine indicated to him that she wanted it. When he refused, she picked up a club and attempted to knock him off the horse. About to kill her, the amused Indians prevented the warrior from doing so, calling her a "fighting squaw." Once they reached the Indian campgrounds in what is now Ross County, Ohio, it is said the Shawnee had a celebration. The women were forced to sing for them, and Catherine was called upon to run the gauntlet. Grabbing a stick she began making whirling moves swinging the stick which pleased all the warriors greatly. Captives now for several months, soon cold weather was upon them. There was not enough room inside for all the prisoners, and was crowded by old Indian squaws they shared a tent with. A child of Catherine's, a son, had to sleep outside with the dogs to keep warm. One day the warriors went off hunting leaving Catherine in charge of all the old Indian squaws sitting around the campfire. One had a fainting spell, falling into the fire. Catherine let her fall, thus making room for her children in the tent, a bravery which helped her family to survive, intact. 

A document written by Colonel Henry Bouquet to William Penn, Governor of Pennsylvania, on November 15, 1764, stated all Indian tribes lead by Chief Cornstalk had at least agreed to release the prisoners. The 150 prisoners were to be handed to troops who would send them to the fort at Carlish, Pennsylvania, where they would be provided with the necessities of life until all were claimed. Records indicate a total of 206 captives were released from November 1764 and 1765. The three sons of Frederick See were taken to Ft. Pitt, Virginia. However, the youngest, John, escaped the first night of his release, rejoining his captors. John See spent several more months with his captors until his Uncle Adam could again secure his release. Tradition is that John's behavior caused his aunt to throw her hands up in despair during her attempts to civilize him. 

Frederick See's widow is thought to have remarried, but nothing has been found to indicate she did or who to. Her whereabouts were unknown. The massacre on Muddy Creek in 1763 completely destroyed one of Greenbriers' first settlements. Yet in spite of such terrifying occurrences the brave pioneers continued to fight for the foothold they had gained in the wilderness. A stone marker in a field on a hill marks the site of the massacre. Frederick See's name, spelled "Sea" is listed. The graves of the victims may still be seen in what is known as the McKee burying ground. In 1772 a lone man, Samuel McKinney, built his cabin near this tragic spot. Others soon followed and two years later there were enough settlers to warrant the building of Fort Arbuckle on Muddy Creek for their protection. Muddy Creek, and its companion Mill Creek, which joins it at Blakkers mill seemed to have appealed to the pioneers. Perhaps a chief reason being their suitability as grist mill sites. Though most mills are long gone, several early houses are still existing. One was an early settler, Jacob Hockmans. He was not the original patentee but purchased the 365 acres of land on the west side of the creek in 1794 from GEORGE SEE who was the son of Frederick, for 5 shillings currency money of Virginia, to them hand-paid. This tract of land joined the lands of Peter Shoemaker and John Wilson, including the survey made in1751 for Frederick See, one of the few recorded victims of the massacre which occured on his land. The house on this land is on a carefully selected site on a high hill which gives a distant view. One of the best of the earliest stone buildings in appearance and preservation. The house is barely noticeable because of its inaccessible spot. It was believed to have been built in the 1790s, probably by the Sees who owned the land from 1751-1794. Linda M. Nixon, "The Ellison Tribe," pp. 293-94. Michael FrederickZeh was also known as Frederick See. Michael was born circa 1710. He was the son of George Ludwig Zeh and Margaret Tschudi. He married Catherine Vanderpool circa 1744. Michael died on 15 July 1763.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks -- Week 1

Saw this challenge at NoStoryTooSmall,, to blog about an ancestor each week, for a total of 52 during the year. I'm kind of slow getting started, but better late than never.  I thought I would begin the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge with the ancestor who first got me into DAR, my 4th great grandfather, John See.

John was taken hostage at age six by Shawnee Indians as part of the Muddy Creek Massacre. I'll delve into this story more next week.  

An agreement was reached where all the prisoners were to be released. The three sons of Frederick See were taken to Ft. Pitt, Virginia. However, the youngest, John, escaped the first night of his release, rejoining his captors. John See spent several more months with his captors until his Uncle Adam could again secure his release. Tradition is that John's behavior caused his aunt to throw her hands up in despair during her attempts to civilize him. John was raised by his uncle Adam See after his father was killed in the Muddy Creek area. 

Reaching manhood he fought in and around Greenbrier County in 1775-76 against the Indians. Then in August 1776 he enlisted in the regular army for a term of one year. John See was a dedicated Revolutionary soldier. After he had served his year he re-enlisted again. This time he began serving three years under a Capt. Lapsely in the 12th Regiment of General Scott's troop which was later to join General Washington's army. General George Washington met the forces of the British led by a general named "Howe" who had the Americans far outnumbered. This was known as the famous Battle of Brandywine. During this battle John See was wounded in the chest. How he managed to continue is unknown, but he remained with the troops while recovering. When Washington took his 11,000 men, ragged and tired, to make winter quarters at Valley Forge, John was with him and he and many fellow soldiers remained loyal to Washington in spite of the many hardships. There were only about 1,000 blankets for 11,000 men to keep warm. Half the troops were without shoes, and the supply of food was always scarce. Malnutrition, pneumonia, inadequate clothing, and lack of the medical supplies needed for the wounded killed hundreds of men. John See survived through such difficulties and went on to fight in the "Battle of Germantown" near Philadelphia; he was in the "Battle of Stony Point" near Monmouth, New Jersey; and the last battle he served in, "Battle of Camden." These were very important engagements of the war. After Camden he was discharged after fighting for five years for his country. 

Returning from the war, John See married Margaret Jarrett. After their marriage John and Margaret was to settle down in Greenbrier County where they began raising their family. They had nine known children. About 1790 John See became a Baptist minister in Virginia but continued to farm as well, owning land in different areas. In 1809 he deeded 60 acres of land to Peter Likens. In 1818 he deeded 60 acres on the Kanawha River to John Nugen, his son-in-law. And its been told that he gave each of his nine children property. He assigned a land warrant that he had received in the service to a James Galloway, which was used in Hardin County, Ohio. Documents indicated John and Margaret See left Virginia going to Indiana in 1814. But son Michael See said in a county history they went when he was two years of age; this seems unlikely but it is possible they went there and returned. They positively were in Indiana for several years thereafter but where this couple passed away has a log of Sees wondering. According to Linda Nixon, she read where Margaret See died in 1836; as well she has read that John See died in 1837, others saying he died in 1845. Some say Peoria, Illinois is where he died, and others say Decatur County, Illinois, while others think Indiana. A document on file at the War Office Department states that John See of Koscuiski County, Indiana, appointed John Nugen to be his lawful attorney. But it didn't say how long if, John See lived there. Pension papers state that he received his last pension payment in January 1837. This is most cases an indication the pensioner had died. But when Linda Nixon wrote a letter to the Henry County Genealogy Association, they sent a letter back which stated John See was buried on a farm once his in Henry County, Indiana. She believes this is correct. John was born in Hardy, West Virginia on 10 October 1757.  He was the son of Michael Frederick Zaharias and Catherine Vanderpool. He married Margaret Garrett at Greenbrier zcounty, West Virginia on 3 September 1780.
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Fall is in the air

Beautiful day in Iowa. Fall is in the air--my favorite time of the year. Started my day out with my Daughters of the American Revolution. meeting with a new Regent and officers and some new ideas on encouraging getting to know each other and lots of great new projects and ideas. The Daughters of the American Revolution is an organization with a deeply rich history while also being truly relevant in today’s world. More than 930,000 women have joined the organization since it was founded close to 125 years ago. They became members to honor their heritage as well as make a difference in their communities across the country and the world. To Learn more about the amazing history of the DAR and what members are doing today to continue that legacy visit 
Daughters of the Ameican Revolution.

Had family over for dinner yesterday and today. Last night it was daughter, son-in-law, three oldest grands, and grand dog over for homemade pizza and game night. Last night' shame was Monopoly Empire, a fast-moving game. Tonight it was son, daughter-in-law, three youngest grands, and grand dog for grilled steaks, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, homemade French bread, and chocolate chip cookies. Followed dinner up with Monopoly Empire -- two games. Son won both games.

Finished up the night on the deck, in the dark with a glass of wine and wine-bottle lamp burning.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Welcome to my town

As I settle into my new community after our move last summer, I felt the need to step up and become involved. I learned of an opening on the Parks and Recreation Commission and applied. I was honest in my letter that I had only lived in the community for one year, but believe I would be an asset to the community. I pointed out that I had formed the Fort Des Moines Neighborhood Association in 2010, was elected president, a position I held until moving in 2013. I didn’t know what my chances of even being considered might be, but was thrilled when I received a call letting me know they were interested. The commission is a seven-person commission with only one other woman. Because they are trying to achieve gender equality, I was informed they were most interested in interviewing women.  I was very honored to be told I had been selected and my appointment went before the City Council last night. My letter expressing my interest was in the City Council’s packet of material, which was also made public on the Internet. I have no problem with the letter being made public. Never did I anticipate the outpouring of comments my appointment would bring.

So last night after work I stopped and picked up the three youngest grandchildren and their dog and brought them home to feed them dinner, prepare snacks and drinks for tee-ball practice at 6:15. (Even though it is true that none of my six beautiful grandchildren live in my community, they have chosen to participate in various recreational programs—paying the nonresident registration fees vs. the resident, and tee-ball is one such activity.) While waiting for the practice to begin, I glanced at my phone and see that a gentleman (I’ll refer to him by his initials—BM), had posted his “latest email to our mayor…what a slap in the face after all I’ve done for the parks and rec….” The posting was placed at 6:13 PM. The City Council meeting started at 6:00 PM, with public comments at 6:05. BM wrote (this is word-for-word what he typed and not typos on my part),

Last night I was forwarded a copy if the women’s notice starring she would like to be on the park and rec board. I’m completely amazed that anyone thinks a grandmother with no grandkids or kids in our Town, who moved here less than a year ago is more qualified to be on commission than a person who has volunteered for park and rec for years coaching several teams each session. Like tonight I would be there but I have practice for my Thursday tee ball. I’m sure she will have plenty of thoughts and ideas to improve the department. Beings she’s never coached 1 program here. Like I previously stated I’d love to be there to let all in attendance know how everything in this town is political or who the mayor likes. I do know that several people have forwarded here approved app around town. It truly is sad when u can’t put your feeling about someone who doesn’t always agree with your aside to make better programs for our children. You truly are the Barack Obama of [CITY] as I recently heard it said. Hopefully this great young woman will be able to pick up the slack from the many volunteer coaches who will soon be exiting.

Of course BM’s post, as of this morning, has over 87 comments, some in support of him and also threatening to quit coaching, many of them attacking his spelling and grammar and others posters attacking the grammar police’s grammar. As one person stated, “I hope your letter had less grammatical errors than this post. If I were the mayor reading this, I would have thrown it out after 3 sentences. I would have assumed the author having little enough sense to send a letter riddled with grammar mistakes had nothing intelligent to say. After parsing through the tome I have found that to be a valid initial impression. If this is typical of your decorum I believe the city is justified in passing over your interest in the board position.”

Then there were those individuals who can see the whole picture, and not just organized sports at the sports complex. She expressed the exact reason I applied for the position.  “If the majority, or all of the board of the parks and rec have kids, grandchildren, or coach perhaps it would be best to get a representative of someone from a different group. Although most of the parks and rec services [CITY] provides are for kids, that certainly isn’t the only group [CITY] caters too. People with out children can use parks, bike trails, and pools, and from what I remember the classes offered from time to time are for adults like the exercise programs or crafts. Maybe a voice from someone without children would add additional services to adults. I totally understand why the mayor would hope to have a larger variety of people on the board.”

The Mayor did respond to BM in the Facebook thread.

I assume that the “slap in the face” you indicated on Facebook is because I didn’t answer this email right away. I thought you knew that [CITY] City Council meetings start at 6:00. After seeing your post on Facebook, I apologize for not responding right away, but I was in the middle of the council meeting and not able to respond to your email, which came in at 6:04pm. We had public comment around 6:0, so instead of writing your email, if seems you could have easily been at the council meeting, stated your complaint, and then heading to your practice. I’m sure any of your assistant coaches could have handled practice for a few extra minutes.

Thank you for your interest in wanting to serve on the Parks and Recreation Committee. As we discussed in an earlier message, you missed the deadline for applying, so you weren’t considered for the spot. Also, the committee is supposed to be gender balanced and the open spot was ideally supposed to go to a female. Since a woman applied, they got preference over any males that applied. In 2016, there might be some spots open up. I would encourage you to apply before the deadline to be considered for the appointment.    

You also need to realize that sports are not the only thing that the Parks and Rec Committee oversee. We not only have activities going on up [SPORTS COMPLEX], we have a variety of activities for a variety of age groups and it is good to have a wide range of ages and experience on the Park and Rec Committee. While the candidate was chosen moved here one year ago, that candidate brings a wide variety of experience and knowledge to the committee and is a welcome addition to our community. And to set the record straight, I’ve never met her, but I’m looking forward to doing so.

Thank you Mayor, the individuals who see the complete picture, my son who called me around midnight to talk about the events of the evening, and my daughter who I woke up this morning to find this beautiful posting congratulating me on the appointment:

She brings a lot of community involvement experience with her, having helped organize and lead [CITY] neighborhood association. She participated in the Neighborhood Resident Leadership Certificate Program which provides “training and tools residents need to help neighborhoods achieve results through smart use of data, strategic planning, effective meetings, and developing partnerships with the public and private sector. Core leadership courses emphasize communicating for results, leading through conflict and change, and fundamental leadership skills.” She knows how to work with other community leaders and will do so professionally and articulately. I am wondering if the Facebook troll who has enough tech skills to locate her personal blog to mock it also was able to locate all of her community work?

I love you and I’m looking forward to serving my community.

And for the Facebook trolls and the record, I have over 13 years experience coaching, and it was in bowling.

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