The nationalities of my ancestors thus far: English, Tsalagi (Cherokee), Mohican, Nottoway, German, Welsh, Abenaki, Dutch, Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish, Wampanoag. Quite possibly Schaghticoke, Shawanese (Shawnee), Lenape (Delaware), and Choctaw.

Family Photos

Please note that I do NOT endorse the history posted on This information was posted without any communication from me and isn't very accurate. The author does NOT have the latest research findings, either.>

Since I first moved to rural northern Rensselaer county, near the site of the native village of Schaghticoke, and felt the ancestral spirits, I have been researching my ancestry.

Please note that this information has been available on the internet since 1997. Various people have used my information without doing me the courtesy of quoting me. This selfish, inconsiderate behavior makes me loath to post any additional updates. A lot of time and energy has been involved in the work given below. If you would be upset if someone stole your and posted it without any sort of acknowledgement, DO NOT POST THIS without asking me.

On my father's side, I am descended from a Mohican (also known as Stockbridge or Mohican) Indian named John VAN GILDER. Information indicates he was born in the Catskill, NY area. His Indian name was Toanunck. There is a deed on record in Hampden County, Mass., stating that the Mohicans of the area gave land to Andrew KARNER. The family tradition seems to be this was in exchange for allowing John VAN GILDER to marry his sister Mary KARNER (Anna Maria KOERNER). Andrew and Mary were children of Jan Nicholas and Anna Magdalena KOERNER, German Palatine religious refugees from Bayern, Switzerland.

John VAN GILDER and Mary KARNER were married 1719 in Kingston, N.Y. John was well known as a trader and as an interpreter and intermediary for the Stockbridge Indians in western Massachusetts. He translated the first Christian prayers for the Mohicans. His daughter Cartharight/Garthiat married my gggggreat-grandfather Hezekiah WINCHELL.

The WINCHELLs were among the first European settlers of Sheffield (known as Ousatunin or Housatunnok) Massachusetts, moving there in the 1720's. Hezekiah and his son Eliakim, both fought in the American Revolution. Hezekiah fought in 5 battles, including the Battle of Saratoga. I don't know who Eliakim married.

Eliakim's son George married Sarah LIVINGSTON, whom I believe came from a group of part Mohican people nicknamed Livingston Indians. I believe her father Daniel LIVINGSTON was Mohican. Her mother was Rachel BOICE. I don't the nationalities of her parents, Thomas and Tryphena Boice/Boyes. The Livingston Indians may have moved to the western side of the Hudson River to the Rensselaerville area.

George's son John married Winifred ASHLEY, the daughter of Abraham ASHLEY and Delilah BEMAN, Quakers from Columbia County, New York. I had no idea that I had several Quaker ancestors who lived in the county I grew up.

Winifred's grandfather Isaac BEMAN also fought in several Revolutionary campaigns. He came from Kent, Connecticut. He lived in the Town of Chatham for over 40 years and I believe he died there. He married a woman named Lydia, but I don't know what family she came from. I am trying to pursue that.
I've found records concerning three male ancestors in the early English settlement of Springfield: Simon BEMAN, Benjamin COOLEY, and Benjamin PARSONS.
My grandfather Earl WINCHELL's mother Cora (THATCHER) WINCHELL was supposed to be mixed blood. I have traced one of her lines back to Jared and Annis BISHOP at Stockbridge, Mass., at the time of the Stockbridge Mission. Jared was English in descent. It is possible that Annis was Mohican. Their son Bohan married Deborah ----, born ca 1782 in Connecticut. I don't know what family she came from.

I believe I had more Mohican ancestors, but I've been unable to document them. One reason is that the Town of Egremont records were destroyed in a fire in the 1830s.

My paternal grandmother Gertrude BAKER was the daughter of Andrew BAKER and Margaret GATTON. They lived in Paulding County, OH, before moving to Kalamazoo, MI. Several of her brothers were blacksmiths. It is clear Margaret had Indian blood.

Margaret's parents were Albert G. GATTON and Emaline DEVORE. One or both were Indian. They were both recorded as non-white on the federal census. They had ties with other people named DENNISON, BERRYMAN and SUNDERLAND. They were also recorded on the federal census as non-white. These families seemed to maintain social ties throughout the 1800's. Emaline was possibly the daughter of Rachael BERRYMAN, a non-white woman born in New Jersey.

Andrew's parents were Adam BAKER and Elizabeth SPEAKER.

My maternal grandmother Mary Myrtle VANDIVIER, daughter of George and Martha (DANIEL) VANDIVIER. George was the son of Richard VANDIVIER and Elizabeth PEAVLER of Cornishville, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Elizabeth Peavler's parents Joseph PEAVLER Sr. and Mary RIDGE were both listed as non-whites on the federal census. I have been told that Mary Ridge had Cherokee heritage. Joseph's lineage is unclear.

Martha was the daughter of Jacob DANIEL and Rhoda FAR. Martha's grandfather Charles FARR was consistently listed as non-white on federal census records. Charles's parents were William and Elizabeth FAIR. William's parents were Joseph FAIR and Nancy CHOATE. They were Cherokee people living in the original homeland of North Carolina.

Jacob DANIEL's parents were John DANIEL and Mary WICKERSHAM. I'm not sure if I agree with what someone has determined is his lineage.

My maternal grandfather Frederick Everett WILSON, was the son of George WILSON and Viola HISE. George's mother Mary SKEETERS, daughter of David SKEETERS and Catherine TURNER, was listed as a non-white woman on the federal census. It has been rumored that the SKEETERS family had Cherokee heritage. A photo of a SKEETERS family reunion and of aboriginal features of the elderly seem to back up the claim.

Viola's father Andrew HISE and paternal grandparents Aaron HISE and Anna TURNER, both from Ohio were also listed as non-white people on the census. Viola's mother was Catherine FUQUAY. Her parents were George Washington FUQUAY and Sarah. They were noted as non-white on the federal census records. I have been told that the FUQUAYS were of French, African and Chickahominy descent. This has yet to be proven. However, other people's research seem to back up a native heritage for some branches of the family, i.e. burial in an Indian burial ground. My cousin told me that our aunt learned from her Indiana cousins that her father, our grandfather, was approximately half Indian.

For further genealogical and historical research in upper New York State and adjacent areas:

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