Sunday, December 16, 2007

Getting the Christmas Spirit.

Very slowly, here it is the 16th and I finally found the Christmas wreathe but little else. Trying to prepare for the holidays is getting in the way of writing on the blog, reading, crocheting and the weather is little help. We escaped the more severe of the snow and ice that went through Central Indiana but it is cold and blustery and not conducive to shopping for the gifts I still need to buy. Our cards are made but my goal of getting them out by the 15th is a pipe dream as they are more likely going to the post office on the 17th or 18th. One of these years I will make good the threat to send them in late March....that is either avoiding the rush for the next season or just a fit of picque about the hustle and bustle right before the holidays.

I received from a Montfort cousin some copies of pictures of her older ancestors and am struck by their similarity to ones of my lines. She also sent me a good copy of the Vories/Montfort book that I was glad to get for my collection.

I was commenting on the gathering of the cousins in KY in late Sept.....and must add the visit to the grave of the grandfather of Pres Abraham Lincoln, with the OLD spelling of the name, Linkhorn, on the marker. The grandfather for whom he was named, was killed by Indians in 1786 just east of present day Louisville, KY. The Lincoln family had married into the family of Daniel Boone a few generations before both moved to KY. The site is near the Long Run Massacre and there is where my Leah Demarest met her fate at the hands of a marauding band of Indians in 1781. I cannot begin to imagine the fear she had when the group of settlers she was traveling with, were set upon in mid September.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Communing with Grandpa Francis

Marker for the grave of Charity Banta Montfort in the cemetery at Pleasant Hill, Shakertown, Mercer County, Kentucky
taken by her great great great great granddaughter, Barbara Whiteside 2007

On Sunday, the last day of the gathering, and following services at Old Mud Meeting House and the dedication of fifteen Rev War markers at the cemetery there, Diana and I left for Shakertown. A short drive out of Harrodsburg, we managed to get the room we wanted in the East Family House for two nights. We believe this may have been the room that our Grandpa Francis lived in his last twenty plus years as a Shaker and from where he was taken for burial in the Shaker Cemetery in Jan of 1867.
The food in the Trustees House is always good and plentiful......and the rooms are comfortable with reproduction Shaker furniture. We love the quiet of the Shaker village, it is such a tranquil place, more so when it is dark. Lit by street lamps and the lights in the buildings, it is so peaceful to walk down the old Hwy 68 as the old Shakers did in their heyday.

We visited with Mrs. Larrie Curry at the offices of Shakertown where she made a copy of the survery map of the old Shaker cemetery and gave permission to go inside the wooden gate. One section is the original section and where you will find most of the remaining stones of the Shakers buried there. The center section is nearly bare of stones which had been taken over the years to use as foundations for barns and houses. A few newer stones might be found in the section nearest to the new Hwy 68. Grandpa Francis is most certainly buried in the center section and no stone will ever be located for him.

The Shakers seem to have buried in chronological order and after death it didn't matter if females were buried next to males. Using the map and a book that has dates of deaths recorded, we were able to piece together those Shakers buried between 1811 to 1830 and hoped we might learn at least where the grave for Grandma Charity Banta Montfort might be located. Grandma Charity died in Dec 1828. I walked right to a marker with a very clear M on it and feeling the letter in front of it, found the shape of a C. But to be sure, I did a rubbing and it confirmed what we found....C. M. The Shakers only used initials on gravestones as they did not believe anything else was are dead, your soul is not there, only a shell. The most important part of the deceased has gone to Heaven to sit next to Mother Ann. Laying out a chart with dates of death by year, then by month and date of death it was easy to figure that the grave marked on the survey map and the marker we located is that of Charity Montfort. It appears in the right area if they buried in chronological order and the time frame for her death. AND she is also the only one in that time frame to have the initals C.M.
Charity was the dauaghter of Hendrick Banta 3rd and his first wife, Rachel Brower. Her given name was Geertje but was always known as Charity by the family. She was born shortly before her mother's death in December of 1749 in New Jersey. Sometime before 1768 she was married to Francis Montfort, son of Jan and Knierte Marston Monfoort of York County, PA. It seems likely they were married in York County, but no record of their marriage has been found to date.
They would have nine children, Rachel [Voris], Katherine [Voris], Marya [Terhune], Charity [Luyster], Henry [Catherine Montfort of Ohio], John Calvin [Nancy Agnes Mitchell and Ruth Gess], Francis Jr [Polly Banta], Jacob [Margaret/Peggy Banta and Nancy Lineback] and Sarah [never married.]
In February 1805, Charity and her husband Francis Montfort Sr, attended the first recognized meeting of the Shakers religious society in Kentucky at the farm of her half brother, John Banta. His farm adjoined the farm belonging to Francis and Charity in Henry County, Kentucky at Pleasureville. Charity would make the decision to join the society with her youngest daughter, Sarah and in August of 1805, they became among the first of the Shakers in Kentucky.
She left behind her husband of thirty seven years to live life as a celibate Shaker. Francis was not happy being left by his wife and when writing his will in 1825 pointedly left her out of it, though he named all nine of their children, including the four who joined her at Pleasant Hill, the Shaker community in Mercer County, KY. However he left those four children who had become Shakers, the land he owned in Indiana, perhaps to make it difficult if not impossible for them to deed it over to the Shaker Society.
Finding the marker for the grave of Charity was a real find for Diana and myself. It was not what we expected so it was so much more rewarding to us. The marker is shown above .
What a weekend; new Montfort cousins, finding the original two hundred acres of Francis Montfort Sr, seeing where Grandma Leah Demarest lost her life during the Indian attack at Long Run Massacre, finding the marker for Grandma Charity.
Barbara Whiteside

Sunday, December 2, 2007

More Gathering notes

At the gathering various speakers gave short talks on their particular family from the Low Dutch Colony. Diana was tossed into the fray when I volunteered her to speak for our Montfort kin. I took on my Riker family of which I knew very little. I had some imput by several Riker descendants that helped immensely with my presentation and I have to thank Lynn Rogers, Mary Parks and Edgar Nutt for their emails and information. I think it went well and was informative for those in attendance. Each family had set up displays for their particular lines of the Low Dutch and Diana and I were among those with displays, charts, and binders with information. I had prepared charts to show how each of my Low Dutch ancestors fit into it...the Demarests, Rikers, Bantas, Montforts, Terhunes and the connection to the Boone family through my Montfort line. I had also made a chart showing the names of all the Low Dutch members who joined the Shaker society in Kentucky in the early 1800's, some 89 in all.
The best part was meeting old friends from the first Dutch gathering in 2005 and finding new friends and relatives at this one. I was very excited to meet Artist and Hartwell Montfort from Kentucky, as well as Tom Wylie who just recently began searching for his Montfort family. Jeanne and Steve Carlisle were also there representing their Montfort line and Ed and Charlotte Westerfield who also have a connection to the Montforts. Carla Gerding is another searching the Montforts and hopefully we can help each other out with her line of the family. I missed Joyce Hardin. She came to the Old Mud Meeting House but Diana and I had stopped on the way to find more about the Six Mile Meeting House which sits on or next to the original 200 acres of our Francis Montfort Sr. We just missed meeting her but have been writing since coming home and comparing notes. Her husband is my Montfort relative but in a bit of irony, Joyce is kin to me through the Boone line!!! Our common ancestor is Squire and Sarah Morgan Boone, the parents of Daniel and Squire. Joyce is from son Israel and I am from daughter Sarah Boone Wilcoxson, older siblings of Daniel and Squire and the reasons the Boone family left the Quaker church. I must get off for now and get ready for an important has to tend to the job of grandparenting and be on hand for the oldest grandsons Christmas Band Concert this afternoon. More later.

Barbara Whiteside