Where family is the story...
in New Paltz, New York
the heart of the Hudson Valley
After the Huguenots: New Populations Groups
Susan Irving, Undergraduate Intern
The steady influx of new immigrants throughout the 18th and 19th century from all over Europe and Asia has been a constant source of interest in every area of the United States. Many new immigrants that migrated to the eastern seaboard moved towards cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, but others chose towns and villages along the Hudson River. New Paltz, like many other thriving towns, saw a number of various immigrant groups emerging in the framework of the community and surrounding areas. Although the greatest number of non-French and Dutch immigrants did not come until the 1850's, people from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany began making their presence known in Ulster County during the early 1700s.
It is well known that the town of New Paltz was founded in 1677 by a small group of Huguenots from Northern France who soon intermarried with the areas Dutch families and created an isolated, conservative, tightly-knit farming communityconsisting primarily of relatives. By 1880, the town boasted almost 400 dwelling houses, several brick yards, three churches, two newspapers, two banks, two resort hotels, one institution of higher education, nine school districts, a railroad, trolley, fire department, post office, library, and several clubs and other social and business organizations. A horse racing track, historical society, electric streetlights, and a telephone service were soon to come. Today the town exists as a diverse college community of over 12,000 permanent residents and almost 8,000 college students, and boasts a vibrant business district and tourism industry. Over 5,000 of the town's inhabitants and students reside within one square mile of the Village of New Paltz , which was incorporated in 1887.
Much of the research into the history of the town has focused almost exclusively on the history of the original Huguenot and Dutch settlers and their immediate descendants, and to a lesser extent the English, African Americans and the Esopus Indians who inhabited the region. Ralph LeFevre's The History of New Paltz and Its Old Families , published in 1903, numerous articles written from the 1950s through the 1980s by the late director of the Huguenot Historical Society Kenneth E. Hasbrouck, and most recently, a 2001 City University of New York doctoral dissertation by Paula Wheeler Carlo entitled The Huguenots of Colonial New Paltz and New Rochelle: a social and religious history , among others, all stand as major contributions the historical literature of this unique Hudson Valley community.
Very little research has been done, however, to document the contributions of European ethnic groups who arrived in New Paltz towards the end of the Colonial Period and during the nineteenth century, despite the fact that these new arrivals significantly influenced the town's population, development, and character. This project is designed to begin the process of exploring and documenting the presence of immigrant arrivals in New Paltz from 1750 to 1850. Although by no means a comprehensive list of resources on the topic, this report should provide future historians with easy access to primary resources stored at the Huguenot Historical Society necessary for telling the stories of these under-documented individuals and peoples. However, it should be noted that this research focuses on the new minority groups to the region, such as the Irish, Scottish, German, and Swiss, rather than the burgeoning English population, which is better documented in other scholarly studies relating to the Hudson Valley and Shawangunk Valley regions.
The search to document the secondary influx of immigrants in New Paltz that occurred between 1750 and 1850 has uncovered a fair amount of information scattered throughout many different type of sources, including town government records, military rosters, census records, newspapers, church and cemetery records, published works on local history, and genealogical records.
For purposes of description, the collections listed here have been organized into four categories: Public Records, Military Records, Personal records, and Genealogical Records. The Public Records encompass a wide variety of records, including governmental records, cemetery records, and published materials such as newspapers and works on local history. Military Records such as rosters, correspondence, orders, reports, equipment lists, certificates of appointment and discharge, and pension papers provide information about the military experiences, physical characteristics, occupational experience, countries of origin, and other basic statistics concerning new immigrants. Personal Records are those records created directly by local families and individuals in the course of their daily lives. These collections typically include items such as wills, deeds, estate inventories, contracts, court records, property survey maps, account books, promissory notes, receipts, scrapbooks; photographs and photograph albums, diaries, greeting cards, family letters, invitations, marriage certificates, poetry and other creative writings, death notices, genealogical notes, and other records. Genealogical Records contain information about each family and their lineage and often represent collections of data gathered over a long period of time, providing very specific information about individuals sharing a common ancestor.
Census Records provide one of the best sources of information on population groups. The types of information available in the census records changed over time, with different years providing more information about immigrants than others. All census records, however, can be used to document new population groups within a given location. The 1800 Census shows a slight influx of immigrants to the New Paltz area during the early part of the century. Likewise, the census records from 1810-1840 also show evidence of small influxes of Irish, Scottish, and Germans into New Paltz. The 1850 Census is the first of the New Paltz census that lists country of origins as one of the types of information. Because of this addition, it is possible to find information on 103 new immigrants, mostly identified as either Îlaborers' or Îpaupers' from England , Ireland , Scotland , and Germany . Some examples here include Andries Laxan, a 22 year-old laborer from Germany, Elizabeth Golden, a 20 year-old a pauper from Ireland , and Isabelly Brush, aged 34 from Scotland . There are also a few family groups listed in this census. One of these is the Dunne (Dunn) family of Ireland, consisting of William Dunn, aged 55, and two young women, Bridget and Bridget Lee, aged 26 and 20, respectively. Another Irish family listed is the Kellehan (Callaghan) family, consisting of John, aged 50, his wife (presumably) Mary, aged 49, and five children and young adults ranging in age from three to nineteen.
The New Paltz Town Records (1677-1932) stored at the Huguenot Historical Society comprise the largest source for documenting the early history of the town. Records include minutes, reports, election tallies, court records, receipts, maps, deeds, tax records, property surveys, account books, leases, inventories, agreements and contracts of the Proprietors ("Duzine") and Municipal Government of the town. There are also records relating to poor relief, livestock management, food and alcohol licensing and regulation, and the manumission of slaves. Found in the election records from 1770-1796, for example is a listing of a man named Thomas Murphy who was elected to Overseer of the Road in 1786. Other examples can be found in the records of the Overseers of the Poor, as in the case of 1823 to a widow named Laney Donaldson who was identified as Îindigent' who in 1823 was awarded Îrelief' of one dollar per week until she can provide for herself. Another case is that of a six year-old boy named Maureturus Weldon whose mother received four shillings and six pence a week for the boy's ãsupport and maintenance.ä
The Early American Newspaper Collection is a miscellaneous aggregation of 31 newspapers (15 different titles) dating from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The majority of the titles were printed at Kingston, NY, but other issues come from Newburgh , NY New York City , Philadelphia , and Staunton, VA. There are no runs of papers, only single issues, although there are multiple issues of the Ulster County Gazette, Ulster Palladium, and The Plebian, all from Kingston. The Kingston newspapers provide information about public events, like land/cattle sales, crimes, and deaths occurring within the localized area. Of specific interest in relation to new immigrant groups is an article entitled ãBeware of Bad Booksä which attacks Catholicism and alcohol consumption, traits that were at the time often accorded to new immigrant groups. Also found in these newspapers are advertisements and articles relating to temperance, anti-immigrant, and other social organizations such as the Anti-Saloon League, the Anti-Nowhere League, and the Know Nothing Society. Some newspapers also published stories, poems and jokes degrading Jews and African Americans.
Published local histories also provide some information on new population groups. The two histories that have proven the most useful in relation to this topic are Ralph LeFevre's The History of New Paltz and It's Old Families, originally published in Albany in 1903 and Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester's The History of Ulster County, New York published in Philadelphia by Everts & Peck, 1880. Both of these have been recently been republished and are readily available on the genealogical book market. Both works provide information about history, biography, and the accomplishments of prominent members of the community, including those of non-French or non-Dutch descent. The History of New Paltz is particularly useful for the information it offers in regard to variant spellings of local family names. It also gives thorough genealogical and biographical information for several families of alternate origin, most notably the Hardenbergh, Auchmoody, and Wurtz families. The main interest in Sylvester's book for the topic of new population groups lies in its treatment of church history. According to Sylvester, Kingston 's first Catholic Church was St. Mary's, which was established in 1838 under the leadership of a "Father O'Reilly," an Irishman. Other Catholic churches were established in Esopus in 1875 (under the leadership of Archbishop McCloskey), and in Hurley in 1857.
Finally, cemeteries such as the New Paltz Burial Ground, Esopus Burial Ground, Ascension Church Cemetery , and St. Remy's Cemetery all contain within their grounds the remains of early Scottish, Irish, and German immigrants to the area. Published compilations of cemetery records such as New Paltz Rural Cemetery Records, 1860-1962, by Ruth P. Heidgerd (1962), Old Gravestones of Ulster County, New York, by J. Wilson Poucher and Byron Terwilliger (1931), Ulster County Cemeteries by Florence Prehn (1992), and Ulster County Cemetery Records, by Kenneth Hasbrouck, can all be used to find the burial listings of New Paltz area residents.
The Philip DuBois Bevier Family Papers (1685-1910) stored in the archives of the Huguenot Historical Society contains a series entitled Revolutionary War Records (1775-1780). This series includes bound volumes and loose papers primarily documenting the financial transactions of Captain Philip DuBois Bevier's and David Dubois' companies while stationed at Fort Montgomery , New York (1775-1780). These records contain information on clothing expenses, soldiers' wages and bounties, furloughs granted, registers of trials, courts martial, casualties, discharges, and accounts of arms, ammunition and other equipment used by the company. David Bevier's Orderly Book contains orders given by General Clinton and ãMorning Reportsä given by commanding officers. Other items include an orderly book kept by Philip's brother, David Bevier C-114 (1776-1777), and one order given by Lieutenant Daniel Birdsall to pursue deserters (1778). Of specific interest for our study here is the 1780 ãSize Rollä of Captain Bevier's Company, which, for each soldier, lists information about their current and original residences, as well as occupation, skills, and physical characteristics. From the Size Roll, for example, we learn that among the soldiers in Captain Bevier's Company were a 23 year-old shoemaker from Colenain, Ireland named John Fulton, a 23 year-old blacksmith from Glasgow, Scotland named William Whriten, and three other men from Ireland with no trade specified. These latter men include a 50 year-old man named Edward Welch from Limerick, a 20 year-old William Jaimeson from Armagh, and John Anarmey, a seventeen year old from Segewing.
There is also wealth of information available on new immigrant groups in published collections of manuscript materials. One such source is a ten volume set entitled The Public Papers of George Clinton First Governor of New York: War of the Revolution Series , published by the State of New York in 1899. Consisting primarily of correspondence with other military officers, these records provide information about numerous Irish and Scottish soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War. Of particular interest are reports concerning the departure of ships and troops from Ireland to support the British Army. Other reports mention Irish deserters from the American forces and a petition by a number of settlers newly arrived from Scotland who are complaining of losing their land for not joining the militia. A very detailed and comprehensive index to this large collection adds considerably to its usefulness. Another published source containing useful information about new population groups is Ulster County In the Revolution: A Guide To Those Who Served, compiled by Ruth P. Heidgerd and published in 1977 by the Huguenot Historical Society at New Paltz, N. Y. This source provides an alphabetical index to all of the soldiers and officers from Ulster County who served in the Revolutionary War, many of whom were of Irish, German, and Scottish descent.
Another collection of military records stored in the Society's archives is the Ulster County Militia Records (1797, 1814). Records in this collection include military orders, letters, returns, muster rolls, and pay lists from 1814. The majority of the records contain orders to officers to schedule meetings of the eligible soldiers within their respective districts. The orders also provide information about the locations of these meetings.
Finally, an unpublished paper written by Craig Evans in 1969 adds to the record of new immigrant groups to the New Paltz area. This paper, Revolutionary Activities in the Huguenot Settlement of New Paltz, N. Y.discusses the impact of the Revolutionary War on the New Paltz community in political, economic, and social terms. In his paper, Evans gives listings of tax records, land records, and suspected Tories, all of which bear evidence of non-French and non-Dutch residents in the area.
The holdings of the Huguenot Historical Society's Archives contain several collections of personal and family papers relating to local families of non-French and non-Dutch origin, most notably the Hardenbergh, Dunn, and Wurtz, families. Although information about these other immigrants can also be found in the papers of French and Dutch families only those collections created specifically by new immigrant families are discussed here.
Information on the Hardenbergh family, originally of Germany, can be found in two small collections, which collectively encompass approximately fifty pages of material. One of these collections is the Hardenbergh Family Papers (1775-1859). This collection consists of 26 items, including receipts , bonds, accounts, notes, letters, relating to members of the Hardenbergh and other families of Ulster County , New York. There is also a 1775 military appointment of John A. Hardenbergh, and an undated Judge's opinion on the settlement of the estate of Johannis Hardenbergh. The other collection is the Joseph and Jacob J. Hasbrouck Family Papers (1723-1860), which includes letters, receipts, bonds, bills of sale of Joseph Hasbrouck and Jacob J. Hasbrouck, as well as Hardenbergh family. Some items relate to military issues and family slaveholdings. In addition to these two collections, there are also items with Hardenbergh family provenance stored in the Huguenot Historical Society Bible and Religious Book Collection. These are discussed in the next section on Genealogical Records.
Another collection of interest is the Dunn Family Papers (1791-1967), which documents five generations of the Dunn family, who are believed to be of Northern Irish descent. Records include letters, photographs, photograph albums, and other memorabilia of the Dunn and related families such as the Hoornbeck, Traphagen, LeFevre, Deyo, Elting, Jenkins and Ward families. Other families represented in the papers include Ronk, Donahue, Nigua, Garrison, and Erwin. Items of note are wills of Margaret Dunn (1789), Mary Dunn (1790), George Dunn (1851, includes estate inventory), Walter Dunn, Jr. (1892) and Esther E. Ward (1931); appointment of George Dunn to school board trustee in the town of Shawangunk (1836); letters to Walter Dunn from J. A. Stoutenburgh concerning the settlement of George Dunn's estate (1852); and a marriage certificate of Willett Dunn and Maggie Linda Smith (1872); Papers are organized into folders by type and within folders by date. Also in among these papers is an extensive collection of photographs, some of which date from the mid-nineteenth century. Many of these photographs depict farm scenes, or show groups of people, most of which appear to be members of the Dunn and Hornbeck families. One of these belonged to a woman named Maggie L. Smith. Two Bibles in the Huguenot Historical Society Bible Collection relate to the Dunn family. The Walter Dunn Family Bible contains genealogical records of the Dunn family (1815-1926), and the Ward Family Genealogical Record contains records of the Ward family (1832-1963).
The Mathusalem Wurtz Family Papers (1802-1913 ) contains letters, wills, deeds, articles of agreement, photographs, daguerreotypes, receipts and death notices primarily concerning various members of the Wurtz family, eighteenth century immigrants from Switzerland. The letters mainly discuss family issues (births, deaths, marriages, illnesses, visits, etc.); school life; farming; politics; and family history. Also in this collection is a letter from John S. Wurtz to New Paltz in regards to erecting a memorial for his ancestor Rev. John Conrad Wurtz, who was the first of the Wurtz family to come to America in 1706 from Zurich .
There are many types of genealogical records, including both published and unpublished sources. The published sources typically come in the form of compilations of data recorded by descendants interested in their own family history. These sources typically contain specific demographic information about thousands of people who share a common ancestor. These records are often well-indexed and well-documented, although variations and inconsistencies do occur.
Unpublished genealogical records are also useful, but are generally more haphazard in their organization and format. A great source for unpublished genealogical information is the Huguenot Historical Society Bible and Religious Book Collection . Within the bibles, family members often recorded genealogical records directly onto pages. These records chiefly include notices of births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths of family members, although occasional listings of slaves appear as well. Other unpublished genealogical records can be found in collections of personal and family papers, usually in the form of hand- and type-written correspondence, charts, notebooks, scrapbooks, pamphlets. Newspaper clippings often appear as well. These records are rarely well organized or indexed, however, and can be difficult to use. Other unpublished genealogical records can be found in the genealogical files held in the Huguenot Historical Society Library. These files are arranged alphabetically by surname and typically contain genealogical correspondence, charts, clippings and other materials.
List of Irish, Scottish, German, and Swiss Surnames
The following list contains the surnames found during the course of the research for this project. It is not a comprehensive list, but it is hoped that this list of names will provide a good starting point for further research in this area. There is some overlap between surnames and spellings, particularly in relation to prefixes, but in most cases only one version of the spelling of the name is given. More information about these names and the topic of new population groups in general is available at the Huguenot Historical Society Library.