Sunday, November 2, 2008

A few thoughts on family history

What posseses someone to get head over heels researching their family history......for some I'm sure its to find someone worthy in order to join a prominent society..i.e. DAR, Society of Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, SAR or Huguenot Society and a long list of groups where you must prove your descent from someone relating to the criteria of that group. Those people tend to stop when they have that one person who meets the criteria needed. Then there are those like me...loves history and enjoys it more when I know an ancestor lived in that era or had something to do with a famous battle or event in history......and just loves to solve a mystery story you'd heard from someone in the family. That could be a mysterious death or a run away bride, perhaps a change of last name and curious stories told about it that just don't add up.

Then there are the surprises you find when you start digging......a relationship to a famous pioneer or a group you've heard of and wondered about.

Being a family historian is a game or puzzle.....and sometimes just a bit of stubborness is necessary to figure out what happened to someone who is there one year and gone the next. Its tying up loose ends for one family and giving them a history. Its also sharing with someone who perhaps was adopted and feels lost till he understands his place in the scheme of things.

My own quest started as a ten year old. We had read our Weekly Reader in fifth grade one day...all about the reasons people left Europe to come to America. I was familiar with my mothers family as I had been around them all my life at that point...heard them telling stories about this ancestor or that one, visited cemeteries on Decoration Day and Easter Sunday with my Grandpa Wright and spent time with various relatives of my mothers parents as I grew up.

My dad's family had always been something of a mystery as we didn't visit often, for one reason or another. He told me what he knew of his grandpas family on his dads side...his grandpa was James Perry Adams from South Carolina. James married Emily McClellan in Fl and came to KY when she was pregnant with my Grandpa, Ancil Adams. He was the first born in Kentucky. On his mothers family he said they were kin to President Zachary Taylor. Thats one story I've never been able to prove though I've had others in the family repeat the same story.

About his mother's family, he said he knew three things....they were French Huguenots, came to Kentucky very early and their last name was Montfort with both t's pronounced and the last syllable emphasized. Something about that word huguenot. I had always loved big words...pronouncing them, learning the meanings, spelling them.....and huguenot was perfect in my book. From that point I determined to learn to speak French, the language of my ancestors.

One day we went to my Grandma Adams show to celebrate her birthday...all her kids and grandkids were to be least the ones that lived closeby. I have a picture of my Grandma and me looking at a photo of my Grandpa Adams..the first time I had ever seen what he looked like. She later gave me a copy of the same photo to take home with me. We sat and talked about her family. I was thirteen or nearly so and started paying attention to the stories she told me that day.

Her father died when she was four and her mother died when she was ten...leaving her to live with this aunt or another, then finally keeping house for her older brothers till her marriage. I suppose the stories she knew came from her mothers sister, Jennie Montfort Satterwhite Jensen. She knew the names of her aunts and uncles on her mothers side but knew little of her dad's family....except someone in Missouri had passed away and the estate was looking for next of kin. Grandma had moved to Indiana at this point and in the early 1900's it wasn't as easy to locate as it is now. Not long ago and with some surprise I learned the story was true.

There are some things I've learned that did not come from Grandma....and boy what surprises they have been. The family connection to the Boone family, the Shaker religious society of Kentucky, the Traveling Church that migrated in 1780 from Virginia to Kentucky, the Low Dutch Colony in Kentucky in 1780, quite a long list of Rev War veterans including FOUR women, and descending from a family that were among the first group of settlers that came from Holland to what is now Nieuw Amsterdam in 1624.

I used to say my ancestors were mainly from England, Ireland and Scotland, but now have more from Holland and France than all the others combined. Oh and learning to speak French, the language of my ancestors????? After two years of struggling and the teacher rolling her eyes at my attempts to pronounce words.....I later learned they were more likely speaking a language known as Walloon...a mix of Dutch and French and even more likely spoke Dutch after their arrival in America.

All of this came from the three things my dad told me when I was ten.

Barbara Whiteside
November 1, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

The family history has expanded

Just this week, when I thought I had found all I could find on the nine children of Francis Sr and Charity Banta Montfort, a sudden whim took me to Heritage Quest online through my local library. Browsing the 1840 census for Indiana, I located the daughter I thought had died soon after her marriage. Now the challenge will be to find names for those children listed with her on that head of household names only census. Life as a family historian has been vastly simplified with more credible information being posted online.

My goal for the past year has been to trace down each of the nine children of Francis and Charity as far as possible and locating descendants who may be starting to search their own family history. I am glad to share via email or through this blog and a website as well as on rootsweb, what I've found in over 55 years of asking questions and searching courthouses and libraries.

The nine children are :

Rachel and Catherine who married the Voris brothers, John and Francis

Marya who married Stephen Terhune

Charity who married Cornelius Luyster/Lyster

Henry who married his first cousin Catherine Montfort and moved to Ohio

John Calvin who married Nancy Agnes Mitchell and then Ruth Gess

Francis Jr who was married to his cousin Polly Banta [and my line of interest]

Jacob who married his cousin Margaret/Peggy Banta then Nancy Lineback

Sarah or Sallie who never married.

John Calvins line pretty much stayed in Kentucky and were fairly easy to trace. Several of his descendants have also been actively working on this line and shared their work with me. Catherine's line was simplified in recent communications with some of her descendants both in Indiana and in Kentucky. Though a slow bit of work at first, I've been able to locate descendants of Marya Montfort Terhune as they moved into Indiana and then westward. Henry was a bit more of a challenge as he married and moved to Ohio with his cousin/bride and till I located online Ohio information, that line had come to a standstill till recently.

Those that went to the Shakers in the early 1800's were complicated at first but access to the original Shaker journals at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky helped with the lines of Rachel Voris and her children, Jacob and his interesting association with the Shakers, Francis Jr and the youngest daughter Sarah. Once the children of these four left the Shakers, I then had to resort to the usual means of investigation; courthouses, libraries and census records but while some of them were a challenge, I've not only found most all of their descendants but found several descendants interested in their family history.

My own line through Francis Jr was easy once I got beyond his joining the Shakers. His brother Jacob led an interesting life with the Shakers and his expulsion in 1836 led me to Indiana and finally at least one descendant who is interested in the familyhistory.

That left Charity who married Cornelius Luyster and moved to Indiana...till this week. I now have her living till sometime in the 1840's as she is no longer living in the 1850 census. She had moved to Jackson County, Indiana and I believe soon I'll be able to figure out who the children are as they are only listed by age in that particular census. At least I know now she did have children and there are descendants still to locate.

This week after I found the information I had been seeking on Charity Montfort Lyster, I received emails from a Montfort descendant in California on a line I've been bringing down to the current generation. From my beginnings in the 1950's when it seemed NO one was looking into this family, suddenly the interest has become a groundswell and I'm happy to share what I have with any and all.

All of that came on the heels of locating the three daughters of my grandmothers Uncle James Montfort, who had gone to Texas. My grandmother started all this by telling me the names of her aunts and uncles and what little details she had of each but this particular uncle was never mentioned. I was able to locate him through a census showing him to be the eldest son in the family and shortly after that he married and moved south, then west to Texas where he disappeared for a time. My grandmother was very young when she lost both her parents and was shuttled back and forth between kith and kin till old enough to live and care for her older brothers till she married. I find it amazing to know the stories and names she was able to tell me have all been proven, even the one where she missed out on a large inheritance because she had moved to Indiana and couldn't be located.

A recent addition to research came across in a message posted on the Dutch-Colonies discussion group about 6 weeks ago....and I finally had an opportunity to try it out this past week. WOW, what a boost to genealogy. I was able through this search program locate those three daughters of James Francis Montfort who went to Texas...found his death certificate as well as that of his second wife, one of the daughters and several grandchildren. It also will pull up fairly easy to read census records and is constantly adding more information to the search engine.

The site I am praising is at
I think there might be an easier way to find it but that is how its listed on my favorites.

That is all for this post, I may come back and edit or add more later as my mind recalls something specific I want to note here.

Barbara Whiteside
Oct 31, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Geertje Banta Montfort, better known as Charity during her lifetime, did NOT die in Henry County, Kentucky but at the Shaker village at Pleasant Hill in Mercer County, Kentucky. She left her husband of some thirty seven years to join the Shaker religious society that began forming in Feb 1805. Her half brother John Banta, held the first organized meeting of the Shakers in his barn on the Henry/Shelby County [KY] line in Feb of 1805 and Charity and her husband Francis Montfort Sr were in attendance as were some 300 other men and women of that area, with another 200 meeting that same evening in the Banta barn. Charity made the decision to join and with her youngest child, Sarah/Sally, entered into the society of Shakers in August 1805. She lived there at Pleasant Hill till her death in December of 1828 and is buried in the Shaker Cemetery at Pleasant Hill. Her grave can be seen though identified by only her initials, research has shown this is her final resting place marked with a stone slab and her initials C.M.
Her husband was not happy about her leaving him and eventually sold off their original 200 acres of the Low Dutch Colony at Pleasureville and bought a smaller farm north of the first one. This farm passed to their son, John Calvin, in exchange for care of the father till his death in 1825. Charity is not mentioned in her husbands will though she outlived him by three years. There are likely two reasons for this....he was not happy that she left him and if he did leave her anything it would have immediately reverted to the Shaker society who had a communal style of living, all for one, one for all. He did however, name all nine of their children in the will even the four who followed their mother into the Shaker society, Rachel Voris, Sarah Montfort, Francis Jr and Jacob. They each received a share of his property in Indiana and it is likely the reasoning was that the Shakers could not get this land being that it was in Indiana, not in Kentucky.
Charity and Francis had nine children:
Rachel b 1768 in Conewago, York County, PA and named for her maternal grandmother Rachel Brower married John Voris and had 12 children when they joined the Shakers in 1810. Several of the children left the Shakers and have descendants.
Catherine b 1772 in Conewago, York County, PA and married to Francis Voris with many descendants
Charity b 1773 in Conewago, York County, PA and named for her mother married Cornelius Luyster
Marya b 1776 in Conewago, York County, PA married to Stephen Terhune with descendants living
John Calvin b 1778 in Conewago, York County, PA married twice, Nancy A, Mitchell and Ruth Gess with descendants through the first wife only.
Henry b 1781 in Conewago, York County, PA and married to his first cousin, Catherine Montfort daughter of Lawrence and Joanna Langstraat Monfort of Ohio where he moved after the marriage.
Francis Jr b 1784 in Conewago, York County, PA and married to his half first cousin, Maria/Polly Banta, daughter of John and Polly Riker Banta [John was half brother to Charity Banta Montfort] with descendants living today in spite of his joining the Shakers with his pregnant wife and two children in March of 1806. The third child, David, was born in December of that same year, considered a Shaker from birth and left the society in 1827. THIS IS MY LINE OF DESCENT THROUGH THE LAST BORN CHILD, DAVID.
Jacob b 1787 in Mercer County, KY and married to his half first cousin, Margaret/Peggy Banta, daughter of Cornelius [half brother to Charity Banta Montfort]. In 1836 after having been a member of the Shakers since 1809, he was expelled. He divorced Peggy in 1837 and married Nancy Lineback, also expelled from the Shakers with Jacob. His two sons by Peggy left the Shakers in the mid 1820's, a daughter born at Shakertown shortly after they arrived there stayed with the Shakers till her death as did Peggy Banta Montfort. He had 2 children by the second wife after leaving the Shakers but only one would have descendants down to 1900 when they have disappeared,
Sarah/Sallie b, 1789 Mercer County, KY never married and joined the Shakers with her mother in 1805. She died at Shakertown and is buried in the cemetery of the restored Shaker village at Pleasant Hill in Mercer County.
Charity joined the Shakers with three half brothers, Samuel, John and Hendrick [called Vestus by the Shakers] Banta and numerous nieces and nephews as well as her daughter and later another daughter and two sons.
Sources include the 33 original Shaker journals in the manuscript dept of the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, KY as well as the journals on microfilm from the Harrodsburg Historical Society of Harrodsburg, KY. I have also read all the transcripts of journals held in the collection at the offices of Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, KY as wells as microfilmed journals in the collection at Western Reserve Historical Socity in Cleveland, Ohio and at the U of KY, Lexington, KY. I own a microfilm of journals from South Union Shaker Society and kept in the archives of the library at Western KY University at Bowling Green, KY.
I have also used the genealogy collection at the Filson Historical Society, the Thomas D. Clark Library at the KY History Center [Frankfort, KY], the archives found in Frankfort, KY, the SAR National Library, Louisville, KY and the Louisville Free Public Library Kentucky Room collction. Other sources include the Indiana History Room of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in New Albany, IN [where I worked for six years], the library at Madison, IN, and the Genealogy Library at Corydon, IN. Courthouses used for source material include the ones at Switzerland County, Jefferson County, Harrison County, all in Indiana and Jefferson, Henry, Mercer, Shelby, Frankfort Counties in Kentucky.
I have a blog started at with a picture of the grave of Charity Banta Montfort, confirmed by Mrs Larrie Curry at Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, KY.
Happy to share or answer questions on the Montfort family and the Shaker religious society in KY as well as the Low Dutch Colony of Shelby and Henry Counties in KY.
My research has been over the last fifty five years and most before the advent of the super highway of information made searching a bit easier. I appreciate credit for anything I post and invite you to find my rootsweb site at
Its work in progress but will list sources.
Thanks Barbara Whiteside
my line is from both of Hendrick Bantas two wives...
Charity Banta Montfort is from his first marriage to Rachel Brower.
Her half brother, John is from the marriage of Hendrick and Antie Demarest and would marry Polly Riker.
A son from Charity [Francis Jr.] and a daughter from John [Marya/Polly] would marry and I descend a son of this marriage, David W. Montfort.

The Family of Francis Montfort Sr

Francis was born in 1746 and moved to York County, PA about 1767. He married Geertje Banta, daughter of Hendrick Banta 3rd and his first wife Rachel Brower, before 1768 when their first child, Rachel, was born. Geertje was always known by the name Charity, and I will refer to her by that name in this journal.

He probably moved to Kentucky about 1785-86, in the spring, and seems to have first settled in Mercer County, Kentucky where his youngest two children, Jacob [1787] and Sarah [1789] were born. Several sources give the last two childrens birthplace as being in Mercer County, KY, including the original journals of the Shaker Society at Pleasant Hill, KY [Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY], as both Jacob and Sarah were members of the religious society.

Following his father in law to Henry/Shelby County, Kentucky, he was part of the Low Dutch Company that formed there by 1790 and received his 200 acre allotment as part of the company. This land sits next to the site of the current location of the Six Mile Meeting House just outside the town of Pleasureville in Henry County, KY. His name and signature appear in the "MINUTE BOOK 1790-1831 and ACCOUNT BOOK 1784-1813 OF THE LOW DUTCH COLONY OF SHELBY COUNTY, KENTUCKY" found in the Jayne Beers Collection of the Filson Historical Society archives MSS A B415.

He would eventually sell this 200 acres and purchase a smaller lot where he lived with his son John Calvin till Francis' death in the spring of 1825. In lieu of caring for his father, John Calvin would eventually inherit this piece of property.

In February while still on the original farm, Francis and Charity walked over to the farm of his wife's half brother, John Banta, to listen to the Shaker missionaries from Ohio talk about their society and encourage those attending to join with them. This ended up being the first organized Shaker meeting in the state of Kentucky with 300 in attendance in the afternoon gathering and another 200 attending the evening meeting in the Banta barn. Francis was not impressed. Perhaps he questioned turning over his property to the Shakers, perhaps it was the part about being celibate, who's to know? But he did not join and was very upset when his wife did.

Francis and Charity had been married about thirty eight [38] years when she left him to become a member of the Shakers. Along with her she took their youngest child, Sarah, who also joined the society at the age of 16. Besides Sarah, they had eight [8] other children, Rachel married by this time to John Voris and having numerous children; Catherine who had married Francis Voris; Marya the wife of Stephen Terhune; Charity wife of Cornelius Luyster; Henry who had married his cousin Catherine Montfort and moved to Ohio; John Calvin married to his first wife, Nancy Agnes Mitchell; Francis who had married his half first cousin, Polly Banta, daughter of John Banta; Jacob who had just recently married his half first cousin, Margaret/Peggy Banta, daughter of Cornelius.

Of the nine children he fathered, four would follow their mother in to the Shaker society, Sarah in 1805, Francis Jr in 1806, Jacob in 1809 and Rachel in 1810. All but Sarah brought into the society, their wives, husband and children.

When writing his will, Francis seems to have made a point of leaving out of it his wife Charity, though he did mention all nine of the children, including those who followed her into the Shakers. I think there are two reasons for his leaving her out, though she outlived him by three years. One is anger. He was still angry that she left his side to become a Shaker. The other is about any property left to Charity. It would automatically have been taken into the communal property of the Shakers. This seems bolstered by the fact that property left to the four children who followed her into the society, were left property held by their father in Indiana. I am not up on law, let alone laws governing this time frame, but it would seem more difficult for the Shakers to acquire property from their members that was left to them in another state.

Francis died at the home of his son John Calvin, or so it appears and was probably buried on the family farm a bit to the north of Pleasureville. He died the 22nd of April, 1825 in Henry County, KY.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I've been noticing over the years, discrepancies in the wife and children of my great great great grandfather, Francis Montfort Jr [1784-1867]. Since I can prove the errors are wrong, here is my blog entry to answer it. Way too many sites are giving Francis as the husband of Margaret Banta, daughter of Cornelius Banta and his children as John, Henry, and Leah. I am not sure where these folks are getting this information., but it is incorrect. These are the children of Margaret/Peggy Banta who married Jacob Montfort in 1805 Henry County, KY, younger brother of Francis Jr. I have corresponded with Elsa Banta who wrote the Banta Pioneers and Allied Families with my proof of an error in the book and she has been very kind to consider and accept my proof and sources. In her book, on page 145, she has Francis married to Polly Banta which is correct but listed as their children are Anna, Leah, Rachel and Rebecca. These are the younger sisters of Polly Banta Montfort. This is proven by the will of their father, John Banta and the Shaker records. Francis and Polly had three children, John [1803], Charity [1805] and David W. [1806]. The last was born 8 1/2 months after Francis and Polly joined the Shakers. She sent me a list of all the libraries where her book was donated and I spent a month getting the new information sent...a few came back and one of these days I'll find the time to get new corrected addresses and they'll go out again. Since there are many descendants from both Jacob and Francis, it's not a good idea to perpetuate the error any longer. This is one way to make the correction, another is to put the information in various sites online that accept information..i.e. Genforum. So bear with me kin and friends. If anyone is confused or wants more information....just give me an email...glad to answer, set straight...even a stubborn Dutchman...when I'm right, I'm have only to check with Indiana Dept of Revenue....they were wrong and I proved it. I can really dig in my heels when I KNOW I'm right.

Jacob Montfort 1787-1864/1870

I am not sure where the information is coming from that lists his date of death as 1824, but I can track him to 1864 and his date of death between that year and the 1870 census of Indiana where he is no longer listed.

Jacob was born in Mercer County, Kentucky on February 8, 1787 after his parents and older siblings had moved there from York County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Francis Sr and Geertje/Charity Banta Montfort and his maternal grandfather was the man called Father Hendrick, Hendrick Banta 3rd, leader of the Low Dutch Colony. There were seven siblings older than him, Rachel, Catherine, Marya, Charity, Henry, John Calvin and Francis Jr. All were born in York County, PA. A younger sister, Sarah, would be born in Mercer County, Kentucky in 1789, completing the family of nine children.

On the fourth of February 1805, a license for marriage was filed in Henry County, Kentucky for Jacob Montfort to Margaret/Peggy Banta, daughter of Cornelius Banta and Mary Magdalene Durie Schuck Banta. Many online sites give his wife as Polly Banta but this is incorrect. His elder brother, Francis Jr was married to Polly Banta with their license filed in Shelby County, Kentucky in May of 1802. Polly was the daughter of John and Polly Riker Banta. Francis Jr is also listed as father of John, Henry and Leah Montfort, known children of Jacob and Margaret/Peggy Banta Montfort, from records of the Shakers of Pleasant Hill, KY.
In a typical case of family's intermarrying within the Low Dutch Colony, John and Cornelius Banta were half brothers of Charity Banta Montfort. Charity was the youngest of six children born to Hendrick Banta 3rd and his first wife, Rachel Brower. John and Cornelius were from the second marriage of Hendrick Banta 3rd and Antie Demarest Banta. Antie and Rachel were cousins through the Demarest lineage.

Jacob and his wife, Margaret, would have three children, sons John born December 13, 1805 and Henry born November 24, 1807, both in Henry County, Kentucky. John was named for his paternal grandfather, Jan Monfoort and Henry was named after his maternal grandfather, Hendrick Banta 3rd. A third child would be born November 25, 1809 at Shakertown at Pleasant Hill in Mercer County, Kentucky. She would be named Leah after her great grandmother, Leah Demarest Demarest, who had been killed at the Long Run Massacre in September 1781. And yes, her maiden name was Demarest.

Jacob and Margaret had joined the Shaker religious society in June of 1809 with the two sons and the expected baby that would be called Love by the Shakers. In joining they would be one of many of the Low Dutch Colony that would “go to the Shakers” in the early 1800's and most of those who joined were related to them in those early years. Charity Banta Montfort and her youngest daughter, Sarah, had joined in August of 1805. Francis Montfort Jr and his wife, Polly Banta Montfort joined with two children, John [1803] and Charity [1805] and a third born after they joined in March of 1806. This last child would be called David W. Montfort. An older sister, Rachel who had married John Voris, had joined with her large family in 1810.
Serving as elder at several of the family houses at Shakertown, Jacob was a trusted member of the society. His expulsion in October of 1836 thus came as a surprise when found written in a Shaker journal. Along with him, a young lady, Nancy Lineback/Lyneback was also sent out of the village at the same time. She was born November 8, 1805 and was the age of his two sons by Margaret. Her pregnancy could no longer be concealed and the father of the expected baby was revealed. Of all the rules one can break as a Shaker this was the worst. The Shakers as a rule were very forgiving of transgressions but this was against the backbone of the society's beliefs......celibacy.

The date of the child's birth is not known but must have been sometime after the first of the year of 1837. It was a girl and her name is not known, but she is no longer listed after the 1840 census.

Jacob had filed for divorce from his first wife, Margaret/Peggy Banta Montfort and it was granted in February of 1837. Kentucky law at that time granted divorces if one party of the marriage was a Shaker and would not leave the society. The divorce can be found in records of the Kentucky General Assembly for the year 1837, as that body had the authority to grant divorces. Within the same month he was married to Nancy. They would have a son about 1841, named Jacob and no other children.

Margaret/Peggy Banta Montfort remained a Shaker till her death August 23, 1874 and is buried in the cemetery at Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. Their daughter, Leah/Love died November 25, 1882, her 73rd birthday and is also buried at the Shaker cemetery at Pleasant Hill.

Their sons, John and Henry, both left the society in 1827 and 1828. John disappears and nothing more is known of him. Henry left the society in 1828 and made his way north to Indiana where he marries Mrs. Susan Lewis Samples in Madison on October 25, 1828. They would have four children, Susannah [Davis], Louisa [Spink], Cornelius B. and Robert H. There are descendants of at least two of these children.

Jacob, his new wife, Nancy and family moved north to Indiana and lived near his son, Henry, for a time. They are listed in the 1840 census of Jefferson County, Indiana with a male between 50-60., a female between 30-40, and a female child under the age of five. By August of 1850, the family had moved west to Harrison County, Indiana where they are found living in Blue River Township. Jacob is a farmer, age 63, born in KY. Nancy is 44, born in North Carolina and no daughter is listed. A son, Jacob, age 9 is listed as having been born in Indiana. They are still living in this same area in the 1860 census.

March of 1864 is the last known date Jacob Sr is still living. He signs a paper for the girl his son is going to marry stating she is “of lawful age to marry, being acquainted with her since her birth.,” Jacob Montfort Jr marries Martha Edmonson in Washington County, IN March 14th , 1864. The entire letter he wrote to present to the court allowing his son to marry is as follows: “Jacob is 23 and could marry anyone he pleased, and he wishes to marry Martha Edmison, a girl with no mother or father living. I hereby certify Martha is of lawful age to marry, being acquainted with her since birth. She is 21 years of age and her relations are willing.” The letter was dated March 11, 1864 and signed by Jacob Montfort.. By 1870, Jacob Sr is no longer found listed in census records for Harrison County, IN and indications are he had deceased by this time. The marriage is found in Book G, page 349, Washington County, IN Marriages 1844-1877 found in the archives of the Indiana History Room of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, New Albany, Indiana.

Nancy is listed for the last time in the 1880 census for Harrison County, IN, living alone in Blue River Township.

Jacob Jr and his wife, Martha would have at least known 6 children, Elizabeth [1867]. Ulysses Grant [1870], Eliza [1872], Martin [1874], and John [1876] , and Nancy [1879-80] before they disappear from records. It is possible one or more of the girls married although no records appear in records at Harrison County, IN. Like their parents, they could have married in Washington County, IN as it was nearer to their farm but no records have yet been found.
Sources include the original Shaker journals found at the Filson Historical Society in Louisvlle, KY as well as the three rolls of microfilm by the Harrodsburg Historical Society of Harrodsburg, KY from originals they have in their archives. The University of Kentucky at Lexington, Kentucky has some journals from Pleasant Hill Shaker Society on microfilm in their archives, as does the Western Kentucky University Library archives that deal with the South Union Shaker Village near Bowling Green , Kentucky. Their journals at WKU include many references to the early days of the society at Pleasant Hill. Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland, Ohio and the archives at Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky have also been used for sources.
The courthouses of Shelby, Henry, Mercer, Anderson, Jefferson Counties in Kentucky as well as those in Jefferson, Harrison and Switzerland Counties in Indiana for birth and marriage as well as divorce records.

Libraries utilized include the National SAR Library in Louisville, Kentucky; Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, Kentucky; Lawrenceburg, KY Library; Shelby County, KY Library at Shelbyville, KY; New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in New Albany, IN; Jefferson County/Madison Public Library at Madison, IN; Filson Historical Society library in Louisville, KY; Harrodsburg Historical Society library at Harrodsburg,KY; my own personal collection of Shaker material in my library. Also the Henry County Historical Society in New Castle, Kentucky.

Barbara Whiteside

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hot Days in Hoosier Land

I just received this picture of the Hendrick Banta 3rd cabin near Conewago, York County, Pennsylvania from my cousin Paul Gibbs. He lives near the site and found the cabin in relatively good condition this summer and gave permission to share on my blog. It sure seems large enough to house the 13 children Hendrick Banta 3rd had by Antie Demarest and 8 grandchildren they raised following the deaths of their parents and some of the children from Hendricks first marriage to Rachel Brower. I suspect the addition in the back of the house is not original to the home. I am looking forward to the Gathering of Dutch Cousins in the Conewago area in 2011 so I can visit the old homestead personally.

There is a new face in our family, a new baby born to a descendant of Francis and Polly Banta Montfort through their son, John. William Russell Montfort was born in Louisville, KY in late July this year and am so pleased to see both the family name and the next generation carried on.

I am currently updating my website at rootsweb with new information, data, sources and stories as I know them. Soon I am going to add to my MONTFORT FAMILY website at tripod as well. Its time to get it going again. One thing at a time though....add to this blog today, then try to complete the rootsweb site and then start adding chapters to the big site at tripod. It can happen.

Also preparing for the gathering of Dutch Cousins next year at Harrodsburg, KY with collecting things for two silent auction is a Dutch theme, the other will have a Shaker theme to it. With my cousin, Diana, we need to start planning something for the day at Shakertown. Many of our Dutch cousins have visited there but till recently knew little of the Low Dutch connection to the Shakers. Since we have direct connections to both, we want to share, teach and show off the most tranquil spot in the state of Kentucky.

Summer is half gone and about now with all this heat and humidity in the lower Ohio River Valley...we start thinking cold.......then about February we are hoping to see the middle of summer again.....cannot please us in this part of southern Indiana at all.

My main goal for todays entry is to share the new photo of the Banta cabin in Pennsylvania. I will probably add it to my tripod site later on too.

My youngest granddaughter will be seven in Sept and loves ghost stories. She has hinted strongly that she wants to spend the night at Shakertown in the room that was her 5th gt grandfathers when he was a resident and member of the Shakers. I think she hopes Grandpa Francis will knock on the door as happened last year when my cousin and I stayed there. I only know we were the only people staying in the three story East House and knew the sounds made by the creaking floor when folks walked through...knew the sounds the front doors made as they opened and closed and there was NO one near our door when we opened after hearing three distinct taps on it. We had a creaky floor right in front of our room.....not a sound was heard but the three taps. Gwynn is sure Grandpa Francis will come see her when she stays there.

Thats all today from hazy, hot, humid southern Indiana.....

Barbara Whiteside

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Kentucky Montforts

I thought I'd start writing about my familys arrival in Kentucky. The Montforts were part of the Low Dutch Colony and closely connected to the leader of the colony, Hendrick Banta 3rd. Francis Montfort Sr [1746-1825] married the youngest daughter of Hendrick Banta and his first wife, Rachel Brower before 1768 when their first child was born. Geertje Banta Montfort was more well known by the name Charity. There are several variations on the spelling of her Dutch name but I choose Geertje as it seems to be the one most used by sources I trust. Charity was born the third of November 1749 in Hackensack, New Jersey. Shortly after her birth her mother died, more than likely from complications of giving birth to her sixth and last child.

Francis Sr was the son of Jan Monfoort and his wife, Kniertje Marston Monfoort and named for his maternal grandfather Frans Marston. The family goes back to the arrival in 1624 of the first ship of settlers sent by the Dutch West Indies Company to the new world. Most likely this first family, Jan and Jacqueline Moreau Monfoort, went up the Hudson River to Fort Orange for a time before moving back to the tip of Manhattan Island at the Nieuw Amsterdam settlement. They were one of only two families documented by name on the EENDRACHT when it set sail from Amsterdam in late January of 1624, arriving in late March of that same year. By the time Francis was born, he was the sixth generation of this family in America.

The Monfoort family farm in the Conewago Colony in York County, PA belonging to Francis was called Walnut Bottom which makes you think the farm must have been abundant with walnut trees. His father in law, Hendrick Banta 3rd called his farm Loss and Gain and you can only imagine why he chose that name.

When Hendrick Banta 3rd made the decision to move westward it was probably due to infringement of other ethnic groups around them in PA. that threatened the Dutch need to maintain their religion, culture, education, farming methods and language. Even though the Revolutionary War was still waging and land in Kentucky was still under threat of Indian attack, it still drew Banta to seek out land for a Dutch settlement where their culture could be preserved and where their children would not be tempted to leave their inherited beliefs.

In 1780 from Fort Pitt, Banta led a group down the Ohio River to what is now Jefferson County/Louisville, Kentucky. His brother in law took another group of Low Dutch from what is now West Virginia through the Cumberland Gap and northward to Mercer County, KY. The two groups planned to join forces there. The Indians had other ideas and many obstacles were placed in their way until the joint venture failed and each set up a Low Dutch Colony where they in Mercer County and the other straddling the county lines of Shelby and Henry Counties in Kentucky.

Francis and Charity were not in this first group but probably came in the spring of 1785 or early 1786. A son, Francis Jr was born in 1784 and records show he was born in York County, PA. The next child, a son Jacob, is recorded as having been born in Mercer County, KY in Feb 1787. On the journey they brought with them their young children, Rachel, Catherine, Henry, Marya, Charity, John Calvin, and Francis Jr. It is not clear whether this family ventured down the Ohio River or took the route through the Cumberland Gap. I favor the route coming through the Cumberland Gap since the youngest children were born in Mercer County. Arriving in Jefferson County and along the Ohio River route was hazardous for moving back and forth from the Louisville area to Mercer County at the time, especially with very young children. In addition to Jacob being born in Mercer County, Kentucky, another daughter arrived in 1789 and was also born in Mercer County.

It is not clear when Francis decided to move to the Low Dutch Colony in Shelby/Henry County but most likely chose to move there because it was near Charity's father and stepmother. The Montfort family made the move to Pleasureville by 1792 when Francis starts appearing in the minutes of the Low Dutch Company Minute Book[now found in the archives of the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, KY].

I've had the good fortune to hold in my hands the minute book held by my 4th and 5th great grandfathers over 200 years ago. The feeling of touching something they held in their hands is emotional and satisfying...a chance to touch a part of your family.

I'll stop here and continue with the Shakers coming to Kentucky and how that involved so many of my direct ancestors.

Barbara Whiteside
10 June 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Second Sat in May...

is upon us and I'll be glad when it's done and gone. The big race at Churchill Downs is late afternoon on May 3rd and by Sunday we locals are hoping the hoopla is finished, the celebs have gone home and the gas prices have gone down from the current $3.75-$3.89 range that had been with us for about two weeks now. We rank right up there with California on gas prices it seems.

My goal to put together the descendants of the Montforts that came to Kentucky with the Low Dutch Colony is proceeding quite well. Now to make the charts to show each and every one that I've managed to locate. That is going to take some time and patience and hope I've got the patience to finish it. I am working now on the line of John Calvin, son of Francis Sr and Charity Banta Montfort....his line has proven to be very prolific and challenging.

I have found descendants for a cousin living now in Florida, David Quinn. I found in him the same off the wall sense of humor as some other Montforts I have had the privilege to meet. I had first learned about David when I stopped at the Jefferson County Historical Building in Madison, IN and found a letter of inquiry about his ancestor, Henry Monfort, son of Jacob and Margaret/Peggy Banta Monfort. I shot off a letter as soon as I returned home and was sad when it was returned a week later. When I got an email from him about 4 months can imagine my surprise. A very fast reply got us started on his line of the family and I hope we get to meet at the next gathering of our Dutch cousins.

Tom Wylie is another cousin..and have been able to give him his Montfort family and start a friendship with him and his wife, Joanie. He and Joanie came to the Dutch cousins gathering in 2007 and it was great to get to put a face with a name finally.

I am working with Craig Montfort to figure out which of the Montforts is his. I have an idea it goes back to one in Ohio, based on the naming pattern used for the children of Jacobus and Leah Banta Monfoort. Montforts directly connected with Hendrick Banta 3rd, ALWAYS have a son named for the patriarch of the Low Dutch who came into Kentucky and this pattern follows for Jacobus Montfort and his wife, Leah Banta, daughter of Hendrick Banta 3rd. This Jacobus was the son of Peter and Margrietje Haff Monfoort and a brother to my Jan [Kniertje Marston] Monfoort. I am hoping Craig and I can come to an agreement and find proof that I am correct.

The next Gathering of Dutch Cousins has been set for the last weekend in Sept of 2009, at Harrodsburg, KY with one day at Shakertown about 7 miles away. More details will be coming as plans are set and I will post them here on my blog. Diana Davis and I are planning the event at Shakertown and so much of it we want to show off as our direct ancestor was one of the first of the Shakers to join the religious society in 1805 and early 1806.

It looks like we may be in for a bumpy ride later today, weatherwise..just hoping the storms die down by the time they reach us here in Kentuckiana. Cousins out west of us have had a hard time with tornadoes, straight line wind damage, hail and heavy rain and hope to hear all are okay. I see me writing several messages later today to make sure of that.

Barbara Whiteside

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dreary Day in Southern Indiana

It's about time I added to the blog after quite a long absence. Today is so nasty outside, a good time to stay in and catch up. We had snow last night..maybe 3 or 4 inches and today freezing rain...had ice built up early this a.m., amounting to about half an inch. Cold tonight, which doesn't bode well for early morning traveling on Wed.

We have had Christmas, the New Year, several birthdays including my 65th, anniversary [number 46], a wedding to attend and now not a thing for awhile.

My goal is to find descendants from each of the children of Francis and Charity Banta Montfort, nine children in all with only one never marrying. So far I have managed to bring down Francis Jr, Jacob, John Calvin, and Rachel [though it needs a bit more research], and with the help of Judy Cassidy just this week managed to work out a good portion of Henry's line. I have a couple of people to tap for the descendants of Katherine Montfort Voris but wish I could find more about Charity who married Cornelius Luyster and Marya who married Stephen Terhune. I suspect one or both may have moved to Indiana territory with a group of others of the Low Dutch Colony. Sarah or Sallie is the only one of the nine not to have married. She joined the Shakers in Aug 1805 with her mother and moved to Pleasant Hill where she died in 1823 in her 34th year.

I think I have it fixed where folks can log on to comment...or hopefully it worked. If anyone is working on the lines of Cornelius and Charity Montfort Luyster or Stephen and Marya Montfort Terhune I hope they might get in touch with exchange information.

New Years resolution? Add more often to the blog, write at least one or two more chapters to my website on the Montforts [
THE MONTFORT FAMILY: A NARRATIVE] and who knows??? write a book??? It can happen!!!

Barbara Whiteside