I just posted the following on the Van Pelt and Nevius forums as "Mary Neefus(Nevius)not Mary Naphew m. Garret Van Pelt. If any Bucks County scholars can shed more light on this family, ours will appreciate it. Thank you in advance!
I have deciphered my share of old handwriting and read about phonetic spelling among the Dutch families enough to know that we may never solve the "Garret Van Pelt m. Mary Naphew" mystery, but here is what I believe to be the answer... as of today, and with my sources. I'm putting it out there now, not as the new Van Pelt gospel but in the hope of collecting more documented puzzle pieces and useful opinions from knowledgable researchers. Many thanks to all those who have already shared documented information about this family here and at RootsWeb World Connect, especially Dorothy Koenig and Pam Pearson who provided the missing links and helped connect the essential dots through their research. Needless to say, there is much more work to be done on this family.
First, forget about Effie Smith's Van Pelt book. She did the best she could with what information was available at the time but stated in her preface that she sent out letters of inquiry, many of which were never returned to begin with. There are better sources now, based on church records.
Also, the Mary Naphew name comes only from DAR records and "the genealogy column of the 'Boston Transcript'." I have not been able to access the original column, but perhaps someone else can provide that information?
The following is what I believe to be true today.
Maria Neefus was born in 1748, probably in Bucks County, PA, the daughter of Peter Neefus and Gertie Sutfen / Sutphen. She is the only Maria/Mary "Nevius" born at that time who survived to adulthood, and Bucks County, PA borders NJ. Nevius source: Honeyman, A. Van Doren. "Joannes Nevius and his Descendants, 1627-1900." [Plainfield, NJ: Honeyman, 1900] Alternate spellings and slightly different information abounds among the Dutch names, and Honeyman lists 203 alternate spellings traced back to Joannes Nevius, but Naphew is not one of them. See also the Nevius GenForum for all 203 variations and Honeyman's explanation of how that happened, if interested. In Honeyman, see Peter #1540, pp. 541-542, son of Joris Neefies and Willemptje Barcaloo/Barkalow; Joris #1151, p. 454+, son of Cornelis Neefies and Agatha Joriszen (Bouman); Cornelis #330, p. 254+, son of immigrant ancestors, Joannes Nevius and Adriaentje Bleijck.
Gerret (also as Garret Van Pelt and Vanpelt) was baptized 7 Oct 1743 at the Harlingen Reformed Dutch Church, Montgomery Township, Somerset County, NJ, the son of Alleksander Vanpeldt and Arreyentie (unknown). [source: The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, v. 17, page 83 continued from page 64, Register of Baptisms] No marriage record has been found.
And this, from very knowledgable researcher, Dorothy Koenig: “Now I am going to speculate. Wouter Van Pelt, a younger son of the immigrant Teunis Janszen Lanen Van Pelt, married in the Flatbush Church on 22 Mar 1686: 'Wouter Thuenesen Lanen, young man from Feydersweeof, residing at New Utrecht, and Maria Jansen Schaers, young woman from Midwood, residing at the Yellow Hook.' On 21 May 1728 'Wouter Van Pelt of Brooklyn' wrote his will, and the will was proved on 29 Sep 1744. In the will he names his children: Teunis, Alexander, Peter, Johannes, Mary, Elizabeth, Jackomyntie. Sons Teunis and Alexander were made executors. The witnesses were Seyner De Hart, Joseph Hegeman, and S. Gerritsen. I *predict* that Wouter's second son -- Alexander -- was the father of the brothers Walter Van Pelt and Gerret Van Pelt of NJ, and that both Walter's son Alexander and Garret's son Alexander were named for their grandfather.”
Garret and Mary are the spellings used in his will and by the DAR patriot look-up service [Garret Van Pelt, b. NJ, d. bef 1805, NY; wife, Mary; service NJ, rank soldier, no pension to soldier, wife or heirs.] Garret and Mary were reportedly married in 1763 at Essex County, NJ, source unknown.
The will of Garret Van Pelt of Troy, Rensselaer County, NY was dated 7 Feb 1798 and recorded 4 Feb 1805. Source: Phillips, Ralph David. "Abstracts of wills of Rensselaer County, New York: in the office of the Surrogate at Troy, New York, 1791-1850." Nassau, N.Y.: unknown, 1938.
VAN PELT GARRET Troy
Sons Walter, Daniel
Daus. Sarah, Hannah, Polly
Exec. son Alexander
Daniel Van Pelt
Walter Van Pelt
Wit. James Spotten
Dates Feb 7, 1798 Prob Feb 4, 1805 Vol.2, p. 206
More about the children of Garret and Mary Van Pelt:
Alexander was born 28 Nov 1768 in NJ, and his will was recorded 11 July 1849 in Rensselaer County, NY. Alexander Van Pelt m. Hannah Anderson. Their children (from his will)were John, Alexander, Elizabeth, Mary and Julia Ann.
Daniel was born 1756-1774 [from 1800 census only, closer to 1770] and his will was probated 29 Mar 1817 at town of Brunswick, Rensselaer County, NY. Daniel Van Pelt married Anna Barnhart and their children (from his will) were Christopher, Isaiah, Lydia, Rebecca, Rachel, Sally Ann, and Elizah Jane.
Sarah probably fits in here. In 1798, Sarah was married and had a daughter Ada and there is a reference in Garret's will to "the land she now lives on between my line and John Barney’s," but Sarah remains a mystery.
Hannah was born 1775/76 in NJ, probably in Essex County, NJ, on 1 Jan 1776, and she died after 1850 (1854?) at Dryden, Tompkins County, NY, where she lived near her brother, Walter. In 1798, Hannah was single, with a son Garrit, and she was possibly the Hannah Van Pelt who married William Springer on 21 Jun 1794 at Troy. Hannah married Elias Welton, reportedly in 1800, and their children were said Gerrit, b. 1795-1798; Mary B. (Beers), b. 1802; Sarah H. (Carr), b. 1803; Hezekiah B., born 1804/05; and Elias, b. 1807/08. More about the Welton family can be found at the Welton Genforum.
Walter was born 1778/79 in NJ, and he died after the 1860 census at Dryden, Tompkins Co., NY. Walter married Submit Baxter and they had four sons, Francis, Garret, Levi, Lorenzo D. and two unknown daughters according to census records. Walter and Submit were buried in a private Van Pelt Family burying ground in Tompkins County, NY and it is likely that Hannah Welton and possibly even Mary Van Pelt are there, too, among other family members in 10-12 no longer marked graves, according to neighbors. [courtesy of Janet Nash, http://www.rootsweb.com/~nytompki/cemeteries/
Mary/Polly was probably the youngest child, not married in 1798 and no further information has been found to date about her.
New information - and new cuzzins - always welcome!
Jo Ann Kaufman
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