Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hans Georg Gutekunst. Our 5th Great Grandfather. Leaving Germany. Peril on the Sea. Revolutionary Soldier at Valley Forge. An Honorable Death. Williamson Line

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
My 5th Great Grandfather, Hans George Goodykoontz (Gutekunst) fought in the Revolutionary War.
Gutekunst in German means being good at one's trade.  He was born in Germany and immigrated to America early in his life.  This blog has other posts on the life of Hans George Goodykoontz so I won't labor you with a retelling of things you may have already read.  The purpose of today's post is to clarify points in his history from a new source.

Let's start with the Relationship Chart.

Relationship Chart
Hans Georg Goodykoontz (Gutekunst) (1732 - 1784)
is your 5th great grandfather
daughter of Hans Georg Goodykoontz (Gutekunst)
daughter of Anna Margaretha Goodykoontz (Gutekunst)
daughter of Arabella Phlegar
son of Margaret Ann Willis
son of William Jonathan Williamson
son of Charles Williamson
To Us.

The following information comes from a section of US Congressman Wells Goodykoontz'a "A Historical Sketch of the Goodykoontz Family in Virginia." The manuscript of this book (which was never published) is held by the Virginia Historical Society.

We start with his journey from Germany to America.

George Gutekunst as a Soldier of the Revolution

From the same manuscript we have this information on the death of Hans Georg Gutekunst.

The following Information covers the Battle of Germantown, in which our ancestor fought.
The Battle of Germantown
Battle of Germantown - Date:
Fought less than a month after the British victory at the Battle of the Brandywine (September 11), the Battle of Germantown took place on October 4, 1777, outside the city of Philadelphia.
Battle of Germantown - Background:
Following their victory at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, British forces under General William Howe captured the colonial capital of Philadelphia. Unable to prevent this, General George Washington moved the 11,000-man Continental Army to a position along Perkiomen Creek between Pennypacker's Mills and Trappe, PA, approximately 30 miles northwest of the city. Concerned about the American army, Howe left a garrison of 3,000 men in Philadelphia and moved with 9,000 to Germantown. Five miles from the city, Germantown provided the British with a position to block the approaches to the city.
Battle of Germantown - Washington's Plan:
Alerted to Howe's movement, Washington saw an opportunity to strike a blow against the British while he had numerical superiority. Meeting with his officers, Washington developed a complicated attack plan which called for four columns to hit the British simultaneously. If the assault proceeded as planned, it would lead to the British being caught in a double envelopment. At Germantown, Howe formed his main defensive line along the Schoolhouse and Church Lanes with Hessian Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen commanding the left and Major General James Grant leading the right.
On the evening of October 3, Washington's four columns moved out. The plan called for Major General Nathanael Greene to lead a strong column against the British right, while Washington led a force down the main Germantown Road. These attacks were to be supported by columns of militia which were to strike the British flanks. All of the American forces were to be in position “precisely at 5 o’clock with charged bayonets and without firing.” As at Trenton the previous December, it was Washington's goal to take the British by surprise.
Marching through the darkness, communications quickly broke down between the American columns and two were behind schedule. In the center, Washington's men arrived as scheduled, but hesitated as there was no word from the other columns. This was largely due to the fact that Greene's men and the militia, led by General William Smallwood, had become lost in the darkness and heavy morning fog. Believing that Greene was in position, Washington ordered the attack to commence. Led by Major General John Sullivan's division, Washington's men moved to engage British pickets in the hamlet of Mount Airy.Battle of Germantown - Problems Arise:
Battle of Germantown - American Advance:
In heavy fighting, Sullivan's men forced the British to retreat back towards Germantown. Falling back, six companies (120 men) of the 40th Foot, under Colonel Thomas Musgrave, fortified the stone home of Benjamin Chew, Cliveden, and prepared to make a stand. Fully deploying his men, with Sullivan's division on the right and Brigadier General Anthony Wayne's on the left, Washington bypassed Cliveden and pushed on through the fog towards Germantown. Around this time, the militia column assigned to attack the British left, arrived and briefly engaged von Knyphausen's men before withdrawing.
Reaching the Cliveden with his staff, Washington was convinced by Brigadier General Henry Knox that such a strongpoint could not be left in their rear. As a result, Brigadier General William Maxwell's reserve brigade was brought up to storm the house. Supported by Knox's artillery, Maxwell's men made several futile assaults against Musgrave's position. At the front, Sullivan and Wayne's men were exerting heavy pressure on the British center when Greene's men finally arrived on the field.
Battle of Germantown - The British Recover:
After pushing British pickets out of Luken's Mill, Greene advanced with Major General Adam Stephen's division on the right, his own division in the center, and Brigadier General Alexander McDougall's brigade on the left. Moving through the fog, Greene's men began to roll up the British right. In the fog, and perhaps because he was intoxicated, Stephen and his men erred and veered right, encountering Wayne's flank and rear. Confused in the fog, and thinking that they had found the British, Stephen's men opened fire. Wayne's men, who were in the midst of an attack, turned and returned fire. Having been attacked from the rear and hearing the sound of Maxwell's assault on Cliveden, Wayne's men began to fall back believing they were about to be cut off. With Wayne's men retreating, Sullivan was forced to withdraw as well.
Along Greene's line of advance, his men were making good progress, but soon became unsupported as McDougall's men wandered away to the left. This opened Greene's flank to attacks from the Queen's Rangers. Despite this, the 9th Virginia managed to make it to Market Square in the center of Germantown. Hearing the cheers of the Virginians through the fog, the British quickly counterattacked and captured most of the regiment. This success, coupled with the arrival of reinforcements from Philadelphia led by Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis led to a general counterattack all along the line. Learning that Sullivan had retreated, Greene ordered his men to disengage retreat ending the battle.

Battle of Germantown - Aftermath

The defeat at Germantown cost Washington 1,073 killed, wounded, and captured. British losses were lighter and numbered 521 killed and wounded. The loss ended American hopes of recapturing Philadelphia and forced Washington to fall back and regroup. In the wake of the Philadelphia Campaign, Washington and the army went into winter quarters at Valley Forge. Though beaten at Germantown, American fortunes changed later that month with the key victory at the Battle of Saratoga.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Reverend Thomas Tupper, Our 10th GGrandfather. Missionary to the Indians. Mattson Line

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today we learn about our 10th Great Grandfather, the Reverend Thomas Tupper on the Mattson line.
We begin with the Relationship Chart:

Reverend Thomas Tupper (1578 - 1676)
is your 10th great grandfather
son of Reverend Thomas Tupper
daughter of THOMAS Henry, Capt. Tupper
daughter of Anne Tupper
son of Abigail Gibbs
son of Ebenezer Swift Jr Swift
son of Judah Swift
daughter of Phineas Swift
daughter of Almira Swift
daughter of Isabel Deanora McCrilles
daughter of Vesta Althea Dennis
daughter of Violet Mae Pierce
You are the son of Luella Mattson 

The following information is sourced below.



The Tupper Family

The birthplace of THOMAS TUPPER, the emigrant ancestor of the Tupper family of America, was the Parish of Bury in County Sussex, England. The name itself is of Anglo-Saxon origin of the earliest form, derived from the occupation of the person known. During the 8th Century, a male sheep or ram was a tupp, and the breeder of tupps or rams was a tupman or tupper. One of the most important occupations of South Downs in West Sussex, was the breeding of sheep, and in later years they were famous for the fine quality of mutton. There is a farm on the fringe of South Downs, overlooking the Isle of Wight, still owned by Tuppers.

THOMAS TUPPER'S father was HENRY TUPPER and his grandfather was RICHARD TUPPER, both of County Sussex. It was possible to identify them by the study of biographies (1563-1624), recorded deeds and wills, tax rolls, post mortem, and other documentary evidence. The records of the Parish of Bury exist only in manuscript form in the British Museum at London, and are not readily accessible, so that it is not possible to present a complete record of the families of Henry and Richard Tupper.
Wills on file and other probate documents in the Ecclesiastical Courts of Canterbury and Winchester, wherein it was the custom to mention the deceased's occupation or station in life, reveal the TUPPERS were yeomen, husbandmen, fishermen, shoemakers, weavers, wool-combers, shepherds, etc. While none of the immediate progenitors of Thomas Tupper were classed as "GENTLEMEN" there is abundant evidence that they were property and landowners on the tax rolls as men of means. The University of Cambridge record that several Tuppers of an earlier generation matriculated there. Richard Tupper, grandfather of Thomas, was pastor of the Church at Bury.

HENRY TUPPER was a Puritan, but was not a fanatic and maintained friendly relations with those of his acquaintance, who still stayed with the Church of England. Through one William Greer, Merchant of London, Henry Tupper met Thomas Hampton, Cordwaiver of St. Sepulcher's of London, to whom he apprenticed his son Thomas from 1592 to 1599. Thus for 7 years Thomas Tupper was a worker in leather and learned his trade of shoemaker.
It was while in London that Thomas Tupper became acquainted with prominent London Merchants who sponsored the first settling of what is now New England. The first departure from England came about 1621, when he was one of the crew with Captain William Prince, and sailed for the West Indies, for Browne and Cradock of London. During this voyage he learned the craft of carpentry to add to his trade of shoemaker. He made 3 trips and in these sailings, Thomas Tupper was listed as one of the crew, worked at his trade, and received wages as well as a part of the profits. Thomas Tupper, from all data obtainable did not marry until he was 44 years of age. He was married twice in England, losing both wives by death before 1635

THOMAS TUPPER was born at Bury, County Sussex, England in 1578 and died 1676. He married Katherine Gator, of Parich Chelmsford, England in 1622. There were 2 children -- Katherine and Robert. Robert died in infancy. After his wife Katherin's death Thomas married Susan Turnar, in 1628 -- there were also 2 children -- Thomas and Robert. Thomas also died in infancy and his wife Susan died in 1634. After her death Thomas was left with a girl of 12 and a boy of 2. Just when and how they came to America is not known. Thomas married a third time in America -- a widow of Topsfield, Mass., Ann Hodgson (Hudson). She was born about 1585 and died 1676. There was one child Thomas II.

In 1637 permission was obtained from the government of New Plymouth to begin this settlement and in their oft quoted words: "--agreed by the court that these ten men of Saugus viz: EDMUND FREEMEN: HENRY PEAKE: THOMAS DEXTER: EDWARD DILLINGHAM: WILLIAM WOOD: JOHN CARMAN: RICHARD CHADWELL: WILLIAM ALMY: THOMAS TUPPER: GEORGE KNOTT: -- shall have liberty to view a place to sit down and have sufficient lands for three-score families upon the conditions propounded by the Governor and Mr. Winslow." The result of this action was the settlement of what came to be called SANDWICH, the first town on Cape Cod, and the 10 men named known as proprietors of the new town were soon on the ground. The grant was made to the 10 men on the assumption that they were all Church members and free men, and that being such they would receive unto the township when organized only such persons as already were Church members or fit to become so. The portion to THOMAS TUPPER was six and one-half acres and his rank 18th.

Record show that in 1658 Thomas and his son Thomas were among the largest land owners and tax payers in Sandwich. He farmed to some extent but legal documents always state his occupation as 'shoemaker.' He served in the General Court in 1644, was a Deputy for 20 years, served on juries, local boards and commissions and was Selectman for 3 years. He conducted Religious services and was deeply interested in Religious work among the Indians. He was a shrewd trader and invested heavily in real estate and had large holdings at his death. The Old Tupper House in Sandwich -- construction of which began in 1637, when the settlement was not yet a year old was so sturdily built that is stood for nearly 300 years, until destroyed by fire. It was a monument to the character of Thomas Tupper. The history of this house, one of the very few really old houses in America testifies to the worthy lives lived by the original owner and his wife Ann. The first wedding in this house was his daughter Katherine, who married Benjamin NyeRobert was also married in America -- Deborah Perry, but they returned to England.

THOMAS TUPPER II was born at Sandwich, Mass., in 1638 and died in 1706. He became a freeman at the age of 20. He served on a jury in 1664, was an Exciseman in 1677 and Town Constable in 1669. He was a Selectman for 14 years, Town Clerk for 10 years, Deputy to General Court at Plymouth for 11 years. A Representative to the Court of Boston and in 1680 was appointed Lieutenant of the Military Company in Sandwich, becoming Captain in 1790. He had strong religious convictions and for many years was a Missionary among the Indians. In 1645 he and Miles Standish, among others, were members of an arbitration board to determine Civil action. He married Martha Mayhew in 1661. She was the daughter of Thomas Mayhew, Governor of Martha's Vineyard and neighboring Islands. There were 11 children. MARTHATHOMASISREALELISHAJANEICHABODELDADMEDADANNE:ELIAKIMBERTHA.
ELIAKIM TUPPER was born in Sandwich, Mass. He was a man of prominence in Sandwich and was a Selectman for 12 years. In 1712 he was elected one of a committee "to supply the pulpit". In 1722 he was a large land holder and a 'shop keeper'. He did not agree with the doctrine preached and in 1732 was one of two contractors who built a new meeting house for the opponents of the established minister. He married Joanna Gibbs(daughter of Benjamin Gibbs, Sr.,) in 1707. In 1736 he moved his family to Lebanon, Connecticut where he died about 1758. There were 13 children. RUTH: ANN: ELIAKIM: ABIA: ELIAS: ABIGAIL: HANNAH: JOANNA: JOANNA:NATHANIEL: DEBORAH: CHARLES: SOLOMON. All were born in Sandwich, Mass.
NATHANIEL TUPPER was born in 1726 and died at Salisbury, Conn. in 1790. He married Elizabeth Gager, daughter of Rev. William and Elizabeth (Whiting) Gager. There were 3 children. ELISHAWILLIAMELIZABETH. He married the 2nd time, Sarah Hanchett of Suffield, Conn, daughter of Ebenezer and Sarah (Fuller) Hanchett. There was one child Samuel.
The first Census in the United States was taken in 1790. In that Census there were only 2 men by the name of Tupper, listed in New York State. NATHAN TUPPER -- of Westchester County, N. Y. with only one male over 16 - including the head of the family. WILLIAM TUPPER - Albany County, N. Y. with 2 males over 16 -- including head of family.

The Presbyterian Church of Schenectady, New York, states that RUFUS TUPPER died there Nov. 9, 1811 at the age of 41 years. Therefore we can place the birth of Rufus Tupper in 1770, so he would have been over 16 in 1790 and his father would have to be WILLIAM. Further data places William Tupper in Watervliet Town, then called West Troy. Later records show Rufus Tupper to be in Blooming Grove, Orange County, N. Y. in 1800, with all children under 10 years of age. A Troy newspaper published in 1825 " Sylvanus Tupper of Goshen (Blooming Grove is just a few miles from Goshen) New York was appointed guardian of Isaac N. born March 24, 1811 -- son of Rufus Tupper -- late of Schenectady County, New York." It seems logical to assume William Tupper is the father of Rufus, but as yet I have been unable to find any further record of William. RUFUS TUPPERmarried ABBIE (Abba--Abbe--Abigail) COOPER. The children were SALLY POLLYISAAC NEWTONARTAMISSYLVANUSISAAC NEWTON: (2nd) ABBY or ABIGAILHILA ANN. (born Troy, New York 1806)

[hand written] Hila Ann married Oct 26, 1826 to John Smith Carris - Born Feb 6, 1804 - New York - Family History continued in Carris Genealogy.
After the death of Rufus Tupper, Abba married Abraham Bancker of Goshen N. Y. He was a farmer in Westchester County, N. Y. He sold his farm in 1811 and moved to Orange County, N. Y. and settled near Goshen. He was a cabinet maker. There were 2 children. George and Charles. She survived him, dying in 1855.
TUPPER LAKE and the town of TUPPER LAKE were both named after a surveyor by the name of Tupper, who discovered the Lake while surveying. The given name is unknown.

Grandma Elda's First Marriage to William John Zderick. New Information.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Last Sunday I did a bit more research on Grandma Elda's (Elda Vercellino, mother to Charles Williamson) first marriage to William Zderic.
I found them in the 1930 U.S. Census.
This is the South Dakota record of their marriage.  You'll notice they wed in 1926.

The 1930 U.S. Census shows them still married.

That's four years married, much longer than I had originally believed.  Charles was just as surprised to learn that his mother was married to Mr. Zderic that long.  Everyone believed they were married for a short time before the divorce and the Catholic annulment. 

Elda and William lived at 632 Prospect Avenue, Lead South Dakota (shown below) 

This is William Zderic's entry in the South Dakota 1935 Census. He is listed as divorced. 

Elda Vercellino married Charles Williamson on May 4, 1934.  So we know Elda and William divorced sometime between 1930 and 1934.  I haven't found the divorce record.

According to Grandma Elda, William's mother was against the marriage in the first place and never liked her as a daughter-in-law.  The Zderic family obtained an annulment of the marriage from the Catholic church sometime before William married his second wife Ida in 1936.  You'll notice that William declares himself divorced in the 1935 state census, but changes that status to bacheler for the marriage license issued in July of 1936.

The Catholic Church grants annulments for many reasons, one of which is a civil marriage not blessed by the Church.  I believe William was given the Church annulment because he and Grandma Elda were married by a municipal judge.

The topic of Grandma's first marriage was taboo while she was alive.  However, she did say that they loved each other, but family pressure to divorce was more than the marriage could take.