March 20th, 2011

Caughnawaga

When I first went to the local library to find out what they had in the way of genealogical resources, I had not yet acquired any New England ancestors (and as suspicious as I am of that John Hamlin/Joanna Royce marriage, I am _not_ suspicious about Hamlin's New England ancestry), so they pointed me at Heritage Quest Online, which has in it a bunch of scanned genealogical works. Along with the extremely useful Poage genealogy (1954), I stumbled across the Caughnawaga church records in the course of looking for a Veeder genealogy. Because the church records covered a time period earlier than my then earliest Veeder, it didn't look like it would do me any good.

Of course, now that a couple weeks have gone by, I have now found numerous relatives in the Caughnawaga marriage and baptismal/birth records and am reasonably certain that I'll find a lot more if I make a concerted effort. This is, in fact, where the Plantz line which came over from the Palatinate at the instigation of the British (my earliest arrivals being towards the early end of the Palatinate migration, around 1710) and settled near what is now Fonda in New York. There they encountered the Veeders and a long and prolific series of intermarriages between the families began. The Veeders had come over almost certainly earlier and were part of the Dutch Colony which was in its twilight at the time, altho at least some people doing Veeder work think they were originally French Huguenots.

After thoroughly frustrating myself once again with the Hamlins (centuries -- literally -- of descendants have frustrated themselves with the Hamlins, so I feel well-accompanied, altho I think some of the confusion is gratuitous), I decided to find some of the women who married Veeder and Plantz men. Specifically, I was curious about a man named Michael Plantz who married a woman named, supposedly, Elizabeth Hough. There was quite a lot of consensus about the year they got married, which suggested there was a readily available record somewhere if I could only find it. I _did_ find it, in Caughnawaga, and there were a number of people (fewer) who were convinced that Elizabeth's parents were also in Caughnawaga, John Hough and Margaret Algire.

Never having encountered the surname "Hough" (or, for that matter, Algire), I tried to understand where it came from, and it seemed to be English, which made me suspicious right away. This is a DRC record, and it's one thing to have them marrying people coming in from the Palatinate. It's a whole other thing for them to be marrying English. I looked instead for Hoog, which seemed like a perfectly good Dutch name, and sure enough, there is John Hoogh marrying Maragrita Algire in Caughnawaga. They have a couple sons a few years later (Jacob and Martinus), but I can find no indication of an Elizabeth until she married Michael Plants.

Several things start sticking out about the records. First of course there are all those Veeders. Second is that I am feeling like I'm looking at a lot of very conspicuously South Holland surnames. Connecting them to my people on the other side might well be possible, but would require an in person visit to Dutch archives because genlias doesn't go back that far (yet). Finally, I'm noticing that a lot of people I believe to be attached to the Stone Arabia DRC are showing up as godparents in records in Caughnawaga. The churches are only 15 miles apart (or so); this makes perfect sense.

Fortunately, Stone Arabia's records are in ancestry.com, too, altho it took me a while to think to look for them.

The going theory on Ms. Algire (Alguire, etc.) is that she was born in 1749 in Pennsylvania, came up to Mohawk Valley where she married and had a few children. There, her family fought with the English in our Revolution, and decamped afterwards to Canada where as United Empire Loyalists they were rewarded with substantial tracts of land. This is a theory documented in a book entitled Loyal Lineages (plus a lot more) published in Canada (duh). If this theory is true (I'm so not going there), then Elizabeth cannot possibly have been born to Ms. Algire in 1787 in Mohawk Valley, because Hoog/Algire would have been gone by then. I suspect (and I'm not going to try very hard to confirm this) that someone found Elizabeth Hoogh marrying Michael Plants in Caughnawaga and backed up to find a plausible marriage involving a male Hoogh that could have produced an Elizabeth and then relied upon gaps in the Caughnawaga record to explain why there isn't a birth record for Elizabeth. If all you want to do is fill out a beautiful tree, this works great. However, if someone (like, say, me) shows up and wants your information to conform to other people's information, then this isn't going to map well to the theory about Ms. Algire.

After a few hours of attempting to expand upon Elizabeth Hoog(h)'s parentage, what, precisely, did I have to show for it? Well, no additional ancestors. I _did_ have some additional supporting records and a _lot_ more confidence that Elizabeth is indeed one of my ancestors (this whole limb of the tree is one of the speculative ones where I trusted someone else's data until it hit a point where it became clear they were confused -- again, amazingly, because of the Palatinate migration and people thinking someone came up from Pennsylvania to settle in Mohawk Valley). I know that Maragrita Algire is _not_ Elizabeth's mother. I'm actually quite certain of that at this point. I'm mildly bummed about this, because for a brief 20 or 30 minutes, I thought I had sort of a genealogical run: ancestors on both sides of the Civil War AND both sides of the Revolutionary War. That would have been _awesome_. I may yet turn up Loyalists, however; hope remains.

I also have a "better" surname for Hoog(h): one that suggests Dutch ancestry, rather than English, and one that matches the existing records better. I know a _lot_ more about Caughnawaga's records, and now better understand the sourcing on the DRC records in general (yeah, Kinship looks a little eccentric, but really quite awesome). I _wish_ I knew of someone who was doing community wide genealogy on the DRC churches (in Stone Arabia, in Caughnawaga, in AcquaIcan'tspellitright); I still hope I'll find someone or some group doing that.

Also, I stumbled across some Schanks. That's pretty cool, because I'm pretty sure a Schank married Michael's nephew. Oh, and some F[u|o]ndas, who are also in my tree. And Gondermans...

You can sort of see why I'm hoping someone mapped all the lineages. Because if these people are as Dutch as they look, then everyone reused names like crazy and it's impossibly confusing with the cousins-with-the-same-name.