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Ch/grch of Aaron Van Cleave (John-AIJ) & Elizabeth Griffin
Posted by: Richard Lawson (ID *****2474) Date: March 10, 2003 at 15:12:40
In Reply to: Ch/grch of Aaron Van Cleave & Rachel Schenck by Richard Lawson of 724

Fellow Van Cleave family researchers;

This post, to the Vancleave Family Genealogy Forum, is about my dad's mother Dulcena Elizabeth (Van Cleave) Lawson's direct paternal Van Cleave line. Her genealogy goes on forever, literally, with several lines back to Adam & Eve. Those are from the proven royal lines, which I have tried to avoid spending too much time on, after I have indentified them. After several days of considering different options of how to post the most interesting facts & stories about her family, I have decided to divide her ancestry into two separate posts.

In this first of these two posts, I will concentrate on the continuation of her direct paternal Van Cleave line, primarily, with the dates & places of the spouses birth and death, and a few stories, comments and explanations throughout. In the second, I will post the vital records of her ancestors going backwards in the number-wheel or ancestral chart fashion, i.e. father's # is 2x the child's # and the mother's 2x the child's # + 1. The second post will take awhile, and will be after several other posts by me, I'm sure.

4-4 AARON Van Cleave, b 3/25/1769, md 6/2/1791 Jefferson Co, KY to Elizabeth Griffin, d 2/24/1846 Browns Valley, Montgomery Co, IN. Elizabeth was a dau of Ralph Griffin & Catherine Munson, dau of Samuel Munson & Sarah (???) Prudden (widow of Bois John Prudden). Elizabeth Griffin was b 7/5/1775 (Rowan Co, NC?, or Chester Co, Camden Dist, SC?; where her father enlisted in Rev War 1779), and she d 9/30/1834 Browns Valley, IN. Aaron & Elizabeth (Griffin) Van Cleave are said to be buried in the Old Hickory Cem, Mont. Co, IN.

Samuel Munson md (1) 11/9/1743 Elizabeth Potter (no children), md (2) 10/91745 Mary Allen (ch: twins-Ruth & Elizaph/Elisha Munson b 7/10/1746 chr 6/19/1748), md (3) 5/1/1751 Mrs Sarah (???)) Prudden (ch: Elizabeth chr 1/27/1854; Catherine b 2/15/1756; Charity b abt 1758/9; Samuel b abt 1761/2 & Isaac b abt 1764/5).

Samuel Munson's 3rd wife, Sarah (???), md (1) Bois John Prudden (ch: Boice John 1743, md Elizabeth Baldwin; Amos 1745, md Damaris Harrison; Sarah 1748 & John 1751 md Abigail Riggs). Bois was a son of Joanna Lyon & Joseph Prudden, son of John Prudden & Grace (???).

My 3rd grt granfather, Aaron Van Cleave, was about six years old when he moved with his parents to KY, and he was only about twelve years old when his mother was killed by Indians (see "Tragedy in the Woods" in Vancleave fam genforum post #491). He was md there in KY when about 22, and spent most of his life there. I have only one story about Aaron, other than what was mentioned about him in post #491. It was written by my grt grandfather, Benjamin Milton Van Cleave, and sent to me by Ben's grson, Julien Van Cleave Root, in 1971.

"Grandfather Van Cleave was a very tall man, tradition stating that he was over seven feet tall [and his brother was called "Big John"]. One day he and others were hunting in Kentucky and were in the midst of the Indian country. It was night and they had made camp. In the night they heard a turkey calling from a tree near the camp. The hunters were for getting the turkey, but grandfather told them that the turkey had no feathers, and to 'leave it to him.' He slipped out of camp from the opposite side and, crawling around to the far side of a large tree that overlooked the camp, he spied a large dark object up in the top of the tree, giving the turkey call. Raising his rifle he fired at the object and brought down an Indian who was awaiting an opportunity to shoot the hunters."

Children & grandchildren of Aaron Van Cleave & Elizabeth Griffin:

4-4-1 Samuel, b 3/18/1792 Shelbyville, Shelby Co, KY, md (1) 1/31/1816 Mont. Co, IN to Rachel Catherine Van Cleave, dau of John Van Cleave (Ben-AIJ) & Marjory Kerns, md (2) 8/27/1834 Mont. Co, MO to Lydia Van Cleave, dau of John Van Cleave (John-AIJ) & Eunice Van Cleave (Ben-AIJ), d 10/17/1843 Mont. Co, IN, when & where his younger brother David, my gg grandfahter, was admin of his estate. Rachel was b abt 1798 Shelbyville, Shelby, KY & d 5/5/1833 Mont. Co, IN. Samuel & Rachel are buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem, Mont Co, IN. Lydia was b abt 1807 Sh'yv., Shelby, KY & d (when/where?), after 1850 FC of Ft.Dodge, Webster, IA.

Samuel was almost certainly named for his mother's maternal grandfather, Samuel Munson prob still living in 1792, although her paternal grandfater's name was Samuel Griffin. Also, Aaron's step-mother was Rachel Demarest-Ryker-VanCleave, dau of Samuel Demarest & Leah Demarest, and Aaron's father was said to have had a brother named Samuel.

Children of Samuel Van Cleave & Rachel Catherine Van Cleave:

4-4-1-1 Preston B, b 2/10/1817 Shelbyville, Shelby, KY, md 4/16/1840 Mont. Co, IN to Mary Elizabeth Van Cleave, dau of Benjamin S Van Cleave (Aaron Van Cleave [Ben-AIJ] & Elizabeth Van Cleave [John-AIJ]) & Matilda B Taylor, d (when/where?), after 1880 FC of Lyndon TP, Furnas, NE & before 1900 FC of Bear Prec, Wash., ID. Mary E was b 6/12/1822 Sh'yv., KY & d 7/9/1914 (when/where?), after 1900 FC of Bear Prec, Wash., ID.

4-4-1-2 Richard L, b 2/22/1822 Sh'yv., KY, md 6/4/1846 Mont. Co, IN to Amanda M F Pottinger, d (when/where?), after 1860 FC of Ft Dodge, Webster, IA & before 1900 FC of Des Moines, Polk, IA. Amanda M F was b abt 1827 OH & d (when/where?), after 1900 FC of Des Moines, Polk, IA.

4-4-1-3 Marjory, b 2/5/1823 Sh'yv., KY, md 3/28/1842 Mont. Co, IN to John Richardson Hall, son of Bainbridge Hall & Polly Nichols, d 3/18/1903 Mont. Co, IN. John was b 1819 KY & d after 1880 (& poss after 1900) prob in Mont. Co, IN.

4-4-1-4 Elizabeth, b 3/17/1825 Sh'yv., KY, md (1) 9/10/1846 Mont. Co, IN to Benjamin McMullen, son of James McMullen, Jr & Martha Van Cleave (John-Ben-AIJ), md (2) Benjamin Harden Elrod, son of Benjamin Elrod & Polly Carver, d 3/15/1908 near Emporia, Lyon, KS. Benjamin McMullen was b 12/11/1820 Sh'yv., KY & d 9/18/1854 Browns Valley, Mont, IN. Benjamin Elrod was b 4/21/1821 IN & d 8/24/1880 near Emporia, Lyon, KS.

4-4-1-5 Sarah, b 8/1/1828 Browns Valley, Mont, IN, (never md?), d 7/14/1900 Mont. Co, IN Poor Farm.

4-4-1-6 Angeline 10/27/1830 Br'ns Vy, IN, md 3/29/1849 Mont. Co, IN to Jeremiah Ledbetter Hinkle, son of ____ Hinkle & ____ ____ d 11/17/1915 New Ross, Mont, IN. Jeremiah was b 5/5/1824 Botetourt Co, VA & d 12/3/1902 New Ross, Mont, IN.

Children of Samuel Van Cleave & Lydia Van Cleave:

4-4-1-7 Silas, b abt 1835 Br'ns Vy, IN, md 10/1/1857 (Ft. Dodge, Webster, IA?) to Rosanna Broadstone, d (when/where?) after 1870 FC of Ft. Dodge, IA. Silas was a veteran of the Civil War.

4-4-1-8 Eunice Matilda, b 4/21/1840 Br'ns Vy, IN, md 8/20/1857 (Ft Dodge, IA?) to Isaac Reardon Williams, son of John H Williams & ____ ____, d 7/12/1883 (where?), after 1880 FC of Ft Dodge, IA. Isaac was b 6/24/1840 IN & d 5/11/1923 KS.

4-4-1-9 George W, b abt 1842 Br'ns Vy, IN, md?, d after 1860 FC of Ft Dodge, IA.

4-4-2 Mary "Polly", b 10/24/1793 Shelbyville, Shelby, KY, md 1/1/1815 Shelby Co, KY to Thomas G Van Cleave, son of Ralph Van Cleave & Lydia Combs or Coombs, d (when/where?), after 1875 Fannin Co, TX.. Apparently, there has been some question whether Thos G was a son of Ralph & Lydia, or if he was a son of Benjamin & Ruth Munson. Please feel free to post a follow-up, or to contact me directly by e-mail, with questions or additional information about that subject.

Mary was actually listed in the widow's pension record for service of Thos G in the War of 1812 as Mary/"Polly S", although none of the ch of Aaron & Elizabeth (Griffin) Van Cleave were recorded in the births section of their Family Bible with any middle names. I have not found any references to the S standing for Shepherd, except on a few internet sites, but it seems very fitting & honorable that Mary/Polly would have been named for her father Aarons's mother, who was killed by Indians when Aaron was so young. However, it is quite possible that she chose to use Shepherd as a middle name herself.

Thomas G was b 8/20/1792 Sh'yv., KY & d 4/2/1856 Harrison Co, MO, a veteran of the War of 1812. The 1/1/1815 date of marriage is from pension records, while in Shelby Co, KY marriage records, it is given as 12/31/1814 (perhaps the date license was issued?). Apparently, the marriage was performed by Rev. Samuel Van Cleave (Ben-AIJ, see Van Cleave post #496 for more info about Rev. Samuel), and the bondsman was Mary's elder brother, Samuel Van Cleave.

Neither date of marriage explains the date & year of birth recorded for Jesse, this couples eldest son, given by several sources. Personally, I tend to believe that Jesse was probably b 3/27/1816, but that would leave me to argue that he was only 16 1/2 years old at tthe time of his 1st marriage, and that Elizabeth Combs/Coombs & Nancy Griffin were probably twins born 18/19 Nov 1816/17. As there is no conclusive evidence of either being the case, I will have to leave it to others to find an explantion for Jesse's year of birth in relationship to his parent's marriage.

Children of Mary "Polly" Van Cleave & Thomas G Van Cleave:

4-4-2-1 Jesse, 3/27/1815 Sh'yv., KY, md (1) 11/29/1832 Mont. Co, IN to Anna McMullen, dau of James McMullen, Jr & Martha Van Cleave (John-Ben-AIJ), md (2) 3/22/1836 Mont. Co, IN to Ellen Sullenger, dau of ____ Sullenger & ____ ____, md (3) 2/?/1839 Mont. Co, IN to Charity Brewer, dau of ____ Brewer & ____ ____, d 7/2/1895 Mont. Co, IN. Anna was b 7/8/1815 KY & d 1835, age 20 yrs, Mont. Co, IN. No further info about Ellen, and Charity was b abt 1815 KY & d after 1880 FC of Mont. Co, IN. Charity was possibly a sister of Daniel Brewer who md Catherine Heddon 4-4-5-2, see below.

4-4-2-2 Elizabeth Combs/Coombs, 11/19/1816 Sh'yv., KY, (md Harvey Van Cleave [John-John-AIJ], see 4-3-9 of VanCleave post #491).

4-4-2-3 Nancy Griffin, 11/18/1817 Sh'yv., KY, (md Benjamin C Van Cleave [John-John-AIJ], see 4-3-11 of VanCleave post #491).

4-4-2-4 (female?, b abt 1819? dy?)

4-4-2-5 Levi Cyrus, b abt 1821/2 Sh'yv., KY, md (when/where?) to Louisa Barnard, dau of Owen Barnard & Mary (???), d (when/where?), after 1880 FC of Mercer Co, MO (& before 1900 FC of Nance Co, NE?). Louisa was b 5/19/1830 Sh'yv., KY & d 2/27/1914 Fullerton, Nance Co, NE. Louisa had md (2) (when/where?) to Herman Rood/Root, and her father Owen md (2) Louisa Van Cleave (Rev. Sam-Ben-AIJ), who became Louisa Barnard Van Cleave's step-mother.

4-4-2-6 Matilda, b abt 1824 Sh'yv., KY, md (when/where?) to Joseph Young, nothing further.

4-4-2-7 Mary Jane, b abt 1826 Sh'yv., KY, md 1/7/1851 Mont. Co, IN to Charles H Van Cleave, son of Joseph N Van Cleave (Ralph-AIJ) & Mary "Polly" Allen/Alling, d (when/where?), after 1880 FC of Mont. Co, IN. Charles was b abt 1825 Sh'yv., KY & d (when/where?), after 1880 FC of Mont. Co, IN. His mother was a dau of ____ ____ & Stephen Allen/Alling, son of Martha Crane & John Allen/Alling, son of Samuel Allen/Alling & Abigail Prudden.

4-4-2-8 Lindsay Thomas, b 7/4/1831 Br'ns Vy, IN, md 3/24/1853 Mont. Co, IN to Rebecca Barnard, dau of Owen Barnard & Mary (???), d 4/7/1914 Headrick, Navajo TP, Jackson Co, OK. Rebecca was b 12/8/1833 Sh'yv., KY & d 8/?/1914 Headrick Co, OK.

4-4-2-9 Serilda A(nn?), b abt 1834 Br'ns Vy, IN, md (when/where?) to Joseph Lee, nothing further.

4-4-2-10 Gilbert Barnett, b abt 1836 Br'ns Vy, IN, (never md?), prob d before 1850.

4-4-3 Elisha, b 7/13/1795 Sh'yv., KY, md 11/15/1826 Mont. Co, IN to Elizabeth Davis, d 185_ Parke Co, IN. Elizabeth was b abt 1807 KY & d after 1860 FC of Parke Co, IN. Elisha Van Cleave has the distinquished honor of being the 1st Van Cleave md in Mont. Co, IN, that I've found. This brother of David apparently left no presently living desc's, same as Sarah Jane's brother, Aaron (4-3-12 of VanCleave post #491).

Elisha was apparently named for the twin brother of Ruth Munson who md Benjamin Van Cleave (AIJ), whose name may have been spelled Elizaph Munson, and who md Sarah (???). Elizaph/Elisha Munson & Sarah (???) were said to have been the parents of Allen Munson who md Sarah "Sally" Griffin, dau of Ralph Griffin & Catherine Munson.

Child of Elisha Van Cleave & Elizabeth Davis:

4-4-3-1 Martha E, b abt 1831 IN, (never md?), d after 1860 FC of Parke Co, IN.

4-4-4 Katherine, b 8/1/1797 Sh'yv., KY, md 12/19/1818 Shelby Co, KY to James Heddon, son of Abraham Heddon & Charity Munson, d (when/where?) prob in Shelby Co, KY after 1840. James was b abt 1793 (KY?) & d 1836 Shelby Co, KY.

Katherine was no doubt named for her mother's mother, Catherine Munson Griffin. I mentioned above that Samuel Van Cleave was almost certainly named for Catherine's, & Ruth's, father Samuel Munson, even though there were several other Samuels on both sides. One reason was Samuel Munson was prob still living in 1792.

Another reason is that, apparently, Samuel 4-4-1, Elisha 4-4-3 & Katherine 4-4-4 were all named for Elizabeth Griffin's mother's side. There also seems to be several close relationships between Aaron & Elizabeth and her mother's relatives, including various Griffin-Munson-Heddon connections. It took 14 children & seven sons for Aaron & Elizabeth to name a son John, after Aaron's father. Aaron's father & step-mother & Elizabeth's parents all moved to Madison, Jefferson Co, IN in the 1st decade of the 1800's, but Aaron & Elizabeth stayed in Shelby Co, KY, where his Uncle Benjamin Van Cleave & Aunt Ruth Munson Van Cleave (also Elizabeth's Aunt & Uncle on her mother's side) & where many of the other Griffin-Munson-Heddon families remained for the rest of their lives.

Children of Katherine Van Cleave & James Heddon:

4-4-4-1 Aaron J(ames?), b abt 1819 KY, (never md?), died after 1880 FC of Harrisonville, Shelby, KY. See comments with Rachel 4-4-5 & family for the middle name of James.

4-4-4-2 Matilda J, b abt 1821 KY, md (when/where?) prob Shelby Co, KY to ____ Hankins, d after 1880 FC of Harrisonville, KY (she was listed as wd sis living with Aaron).

4-4-4-3 Abram/Abraham, b abt 1823 KY, md (1?) (when/where?) prob Shelby Co, KY to ____ ____, md (1?/2?) (when/where?) prob Shelby Co, KY to Ann ____, d late 1870's Harrisonville, KY. Ann ____ was b 1843 KY & d after 1880 FC of Harrisonville, KY (she was listed as wd sis-in-law living with Aaron, with her 2 ch listed as his niece & nephew).

4-4-4-4 Francis, b abt 1825 KY, (never md?), d 1840-1846 Shelby Co, KY.

4-4-4-5 female, b abt 1827 KY, (never md?), d 1840-1846 Shelby Co, KY.

4-4-4-6 female, b abt 1829 KY, (never md?), d 1840-1846 Shelby Co, KY.

4-4-4-7 Isaac Munson, b abt 1831, md (when/where?) prob Shelby Co, KY to Nancy ____, d after 1880 FC of Harrison, KY. Nancy was b abt 1831 KY & d after 1880 FC of Harrisonville, KY.

4-4-4-8 Elizabeth, b abt 1833 KY, (never md?/md when/where/to whom?), nothing further.

4-4-4-9 Nancy A, b abt 1835 KY, md (when?) Shelby Co, KY to Solomon Griffin Heddon, son of Ruth Griffin & Samuel Heddon, son of Abraham Heddon & Charity Munson, d after 1880 FC of Harrisonville, KY. Solomon Griffin Heddon was b abt 1833 KY & d after 1880 FC of Harrisonville, KY.

Solomon's mother, Ruth Griffin was a dau of Ralph Griffin & Catherine Munson, and a sister of Elizabeth Griffin who md Aaron Van Cleave (see other relationships of Munsons & Heddons above). I do believe there were a few more marriages between these maternal relatives of Eliabeth Griffin-VanCleave, and prob some that I have not found or proven, yet. When I first found out that my gg granfather's sisters, Katherine & Rachel, had md Heddons, I must admit that I was somewhat surprised they had not married their cousins, as all of their other siblings, except Elisha, and as even my gg grandfahter himself had. I had spent much more time researching the Van Cleave side, and had no idea of the many connections of the Heddon's to the Griffin-Munson families.

4-4-5 Rachel, b 12/30/1799 Sh'yv., KY, md 1/8/1822 Shelby Co, KY to William Heddon, son of Gilbert Heddon & Priscilla McHuren, d 1840-1846 Marion TP, Putnam Co, IN. Wm was b abt 1799 Shelby Co, KY & d 1861 Marion TP, Putnam Co, IN. Gilbert Heddon was son of Abraham Heddon & Charity Munson, so the Wm Heddon who md to Rachel was a nephew of the James Heddon who md Rachel's sister Katherine. Rachel could have been named for Aaron's step-mother, Rachel Demerest-Ryker-Van Cleave, or even though less likely, for Aaron's paternal grandmother, Rachel Schenck-Van Cleave.

Children of Rachel Van Cleave & William Heddon:

4-4-5-1 Elizabeth (named for Griffin-Van Cleave?), b abt 1823 Sh'yv., KY, (never md?), nothing further.

4-4-5-2 Catherine (named for Munson-Griffin?), b abt 1823 Sh'yv., KY, md 3/30/1843 Putnam Co, IN to Daniel Brewer, d after 1880 FC of Hendricks Co, IN.

4-4-5-3 Emily Jane, b abt 1826 Sh'yv., KY, (never md?), nothing fruther.

4-4-5-4 Sarah Ann, b abt 1833 Sh'yv., KY, md (when?) Putnam Co, IN to ____ Ridpath, d after 1880 FC of Putnam Co, IN.

Wm Heddon md (2) 1/29/1846 Putnam Co, IN to Mary Smith, and had Mary Ellen b abt 1849, Isaac Munson b abt 1851 & James Aaron, or poss Aaron James, b abt 1853. Note: James Heddon & Katherine Van Cleave (4-4-4) also had son named Aaron J(ames?) & a son named Isaac Munson Heddon. Also see Isaac Munson Van Cleave (4-4-11-2) below.

4-4-6 Matilda, b 11/20/1801 Sh'bv., KY, md 4/12/1824 Shelby Co, KY to Levi Van Cleave, son of Mary Van Cleave "said to be silly, and seduced by Mr. Tague", dau of Ralph Van Cleave (AIJ) & Lydia Combs/Coombs, d 3/31 1876 Browns Valley, Mont., IN. Levi was b 9/1/1799 Sh'yv., KY & d 9/10/1868 Br'ns V'y, IN. Matilda & Levi are buried in Old Hickory Cem, Mont Co, IN. I believe Levi was the admin. of Matilda's father Aaron Van Cleave's estate in 1846.

Children of Matilda Van Cleave & Levi Van Cleave:

4-4-6-1 Elizabeth, b 2/22/1825 Sh'yv., KY, md 4/11/1848 Mont Co, IN to Adam Wible, Jr, son of Adam Wible, Sr & Jane Van Cleave, dau of Benjamin Van Cleave (AIJ) & Ruth Munson, d 4/30/1883 Br'ns V'y, IN. Adam, Jr was b 1/29/1813/4 Sh'yv., KY & d 1/19/1889 Br'ns V'y, IN. Elizabeth & Adam are buried in Old Union Cem., Mont Co, IN.

4-4-6-2 Nancy J, b 7/27/1827 Sh'yv., KY, md 10/5/1848 Mont Co, IN to Robert L Coons, son of George W Coons & Julia Ferree, d 11/7/1884 Br'ns V'y, IN, and she is buried in Old Hickory Cem, Mont Co, IN. Robert was b abt 1829 Overton Co, TN & d (when, where?).

4-4-6-3 Sarah A, b 10/11/1829 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 11/22/1846 Mont Co, IN to James Madison Coons, son of George W Coons & Julia Ferree, d 12/19/1891 Br'ns V'y, IN, and she is buried in Old Hickory Cem, Mont Co, IN. James was b 1/27/1825 Overton Co, TN & d 4/15/1916 (Mont Co, IN?).

4-4-6-4 Aaron, b 1/27/1832 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 3/13/1853 Mont Co, IN to Lucinda E Taylor, dau of Benjamin S Taylor & Margaret Van Cleave, dau of Aaron Van Cleave (Ben-AIJ) & Elizabeth Van Cleave (John-AIJ), d 2/10/1913 Br'ns V'y, IN. Lucinda was b 12/25/1837 Br'ns V'y, IN & d 5/1/1878 Br'ns V'y, IN. Aaron & Lucinda are buried in Old Hickory Cem, Mont, Co, IN. Aaron was a Union veteran of the Civil War serving in Co C of the 4th IN Inf.

4-4-6-5 Lucinda, b 5/2/1834 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 12/24/1861 Mont Co, IN to James Burdin/Burden, son of ____ Burdin/Burden & ____ ____, d 4/28/1879 Br'ns V'y, IN, and she is buried in Old Hickory Cem, Mont Co, IN. James was b 12/5/1830 Bourbon Co, KY md (1) (when/where?) to ____ ____, (2) Lucinda Van Cleave, (3) 10/5/1879 Mont Co, IN to Harriet Castle, d 9/10/1908 Br'ns V'y, IN.

4-4-6-6 Malinda, b 3/26/1837 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 4/24/1867 Mont Co, IN to Samuel T Gott, son of ____ Gott & ____ ____, d 3/10/1920 Br'ns V'y, IN. Samuel was b 4/1/1841 IN & d 6th Feb/Apr 1917 Br'ns V'y, IN.

4-4-6-7 Amanda, b abt 1840 Br'ns V'y, IN, (never md?), prob dy, nothing further.

4-4-6-8 Mary F, b 2/7/1843 Br'ns V'y, IN & d 8/13/1849 Br'ns V'y, IN.

4-4-7 Elizabeth "Aunt Betsy", b 11/10/1803 Sh'yv., KY, md 9/6/1827 Shelby Co, KY to "Uncle Jonathan" Van Cleave, son of Elizabeth Stebbins & Ralph Van Cleave, son of Benjamin Van Cleave (AIJ) & Ruth Munson, d 4/23/1886 Br'ns V'y, IN. Uncle Jonathan was b 12/13/1805 Sh'yv., KY & d 3/5/1900. Aunt Betsy & Uncle Jonathan are buried in Old Hickory Cem, Mont Co, IN.

On p8 of JAN VAN CLEEF, a partial Genalogy of his Descendants in America, compiled by Edward S Harvey, 1931 (partly from notes by Ransom Van Cleave, son of Aunt Betsy & Uncle Jonathan) is written: "Jonthan came with his parents, to Indiana in the fall of 1826. After clearing ten acres of land for his father, he went back to Kentucky, and was married. They came back to Indiana on horseback, and built a cabin on the farm where James A Duncan now lives. (1914) They moved into their new home that fall, and lived there the remainder of their lives.

"Jonathan VanCleave, joined the Indian Creek Church, of the 'Old School' Baptists, on Saturday before the third Sunday of May 1842. Elizabeth, his wife, joined the same Church, the third Sunday of July in the same year. They were both born in Shelby Co. KY.

"In 1844 Jonathan had a Divine call to the Ministry, and was liberated to exercise his gift in public in 1846, was licensed to preach in 1848, and was ordained November 17 1849. He preached for the Indian Creek Church from 1846 to 1899, and period of fifty-three years. His last sermon was delivered the third Sunday of December, 1899. He was a Moderator of the Church for about the same length of time."

"I will now give Jonathan's own account of his call to the Ministry."

" 'I had a dream about the downfall of this government. I was standing with my face to the south, and saw George Washington on the face of the sky, surrounded by everything beautiful, all kinds of fowl, and one of the most beautiful peafowls I ever saw, and two monster beasts. One of the beasts was crouched ready to spring upon him, the other lying lazily by.

"I said to someone standing by, 'What does this mean?' He said, 'This is your form of Government, and Washington is the Father of it. If that beast does not destroy it, the other one will.'

"He took me by the arm and turned me around between the handles of a plow, which had the largest sorrel horse hitched to it, I ever saw.

"The horse and plow were between two rows of corn. He said, 'Plow those two rows of corn.' I said, 'I cannot. I am away from home.' He said, 'They are allotted to you to plow and no other man can plow them, but you.' I took hold of the plow and started the horse.

"The corn began to grow, and when I got to the North end of the rows, the corn was in roasting ears. I turned and started back, and the corn began to ripen, and when I got to the South end, the corn was ripeand ready to be gathered.

"I think that the plowing of the rows of corn, was my ministerial course, and all of the brothers and sisters who heard me when I began to preach, were the corn, and are about to be gathered home.

"I an 83 years old, and my labors are nearly ended, and I am ready to be gatherd home.

(Signed) Elder Jonathan VanCleave.

"Written in 1888, by his son, Ransom VanCleave."

On pgs 507 of A PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD, of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Co.s, Indiana, [I did not copy publisher, place or date-1892?], is written: "JONATHAN VANCLEAVE, the venerable and eloquent pioneer preacher whose early round of ministerial duties called him to speak the word throughout Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana, located in Montgomery County, Ind., more than three score years ago and is today an honored resident of Brown township. ... Rev. Jonathan Vancleave may claim direct descent from an ancestry of brave and hardy patriots. His great-grandfather, Aaron Vancleave, a man of strong character and earnest purpose, emigrated from Holland to America before the colonists had engaged in their determined struggle for independence from the mother country. Stirring events, however, were near at hand; the whole country was ablaaze with indignation, the colonies joined in a federal union and the war of the Revolution was declared. Actuated by stern resolve and ardent enthusiasm, seven stalwart sons of the old Hollander entered the ranks and bravely fought for God and liberty. Two of these patriotic defenders of our national existence served in the War of 1812.

"The Vancleaves settled in an early day in Kentucky and the five elder sons of old Aaron Vancleave--Jonathan [JOHN], William, Ralph, Aaron and Benjamin--made their home within the borders of that state, but one son located in Ohio and another in Virginia. The only sister of these energetic, hardy men was Jane, who married Squire Boone, the brother and devoted companion of the famous old hunter and Indian scout, Daniel Boone, whose wife and daughters were the first white women who ever stood upon the banks of the Kentucky River. While Daniel Boone and his brother were on a hunting excursion Squire Boone was killed and scalped by the Indians. Amid the perilous and exciting scenes of those pioneer days upon the borders of frontier life, the father of our subject, Ralph Vancleave, was born; his wife Elizabeth Stebbins, was a native of Puritanical New England and a woman of rare character and ability; both parents were deeply imbued with the spirit of religion and were active members of the Baptist Church.

"Jonathan Vancleave, their son and our subject, ... was the eldest in a family of seven children and was reared in the family home. In 1827 he married Elizabeth Vancleave, a daughter of Aaron Vancleave, [and] a distant relative [Aunt Betsy & Uncle Jonathan were 3rd cousins--distant?] of the family into which the young bride now entered. The newly-wedded couple journeyed at once to Montgomery County, Ind., and settled upon a farm, where they now reside [he resides--Aunt Betsy died 1886]. The Indians occupied a large body of land nearby, but the newcomers were fearless and soon grew accustomed to their daily presence. Our subject has never enjoyed the advantages of even a primary school, but soon after his marriage his intelligent and cultivated wife taught him how to read, and assisted by her earnest efforts the husband gained a wide book of knowlegde and a liberal education. Later, feeling himself called to preach 'the Gospel', he made a preparation and was ordained in the county in 1849. There were presnt at the ordination, from various localities, near and remote, the delgates of seventeen different church organizations, all deeply interested in the addition to their religious forces of a powerful leader and representative of a family long noted for their zeal in church work [Uncle Jonathan's grt Uncle Ralph, son of "Old Aaron Van Cleave & Rachel Schenk, was educated for the ministry at Princeton, NJ, and Uncle Jonathan's Uncle Samuel, son of Benjamin Van Cleave & Ruth Munson, was an early Baptist Minister of KY & IN, see Vancleave post #496 for more info about Rev. Samuel]."

With Jonathan's mother being from Puritanical New England, and with the knowledge that I have about the members the Vancleave family being generally very highly educated for their time, I have often been somewhat curious as to why Aunt Betsy needed to teach Uncle Jonathan to read & write, even though she was a full two years his senior. They lived in the same area of Shelby Co, KY and Uncle Jonathan was only about three months shy of being 22 years old at their marriage. "Old Aaron" Vancleave was actually born on Staten Island, NY, and he purchased Daniel Boone's land in Yadkin Valley, Rowan, NC when the Vancleaves and Boones left there for KY.

On page 508; ibid: "children, of whom seven are still livng. David is a farmer of Parkersburg; Ralph is a carpenter in Elmdale; Ransom lives upon the old homestead; Adam is a resident of Trenton, MO; Aaron is dead; Lucy is the wife of Mark Skelton; Jane married William Coons; Emily is the wife of Martin Badgley."

The following excerpts from the obituary of Uncle Jonathan Vancleave are from a Mar 1900 issue of The Crawfordsville Journal Weekly:


"The Patriarch of the Old School Baptist Church Passes to His Reward"

"Elder Jonathan Vancleave is dead. He was taken ill with the grip last week and grew steadily worse until death came Monday at five o'clock p.m. at his home nine miles southwest of town. He was unconscious most of Monday, but shortly before the end he became conscious and recognized his family. His demise closes the career if one of the most remarkable and intense personalites in the history of Montgomery county.

"Jonathan came to this county in 1826 and entered the 100 acre farm he died on. In the low rambling old house is still treasured the government deed in parchment bearing the sinature of John Quincy Adams. There is also held the deed to the farm entered by the Elder's father-in-law Aaron Vancleave, (the elder married a distant cousin), who entered his farm in 1833. This grant bears the signature of Andrew Jackson, who is the political saint of the Vancleave family, and for whom the first vote of Elder Vancleave was cast.

"His earliest recollections were of the big Baptist meetings in the bluegrass woods of Kentucky, but not until he was fourteen years of age [1820] did he become convicted of his sin. And for a number of years after that he wrestled with his lot, not reaching the mountain top of triumph until 1840 [abt same time his Uncle Samuel moved from KY to IN-see below], when 'he felt the spirit of the Lord come upon him like a dove' in the Indian Creek Church which had been erected in 1832 by Elder Steppleton, Elder John Lee and Randall Davis. Bonam Kester was pastor when Jonathan felt that he was at last gloriously converted and saved and he [Elder Kester] soon gave place in the pulpit to the new convert who entered a pastorate of over sixty years, just now closed by his death. A night or so after his conversion, Jonathan had a remarkable vision sent to him [see above], as he verily believed, by the Lord, the object of which was to present to him his duty to enter the Christian ministry. He did so at once, and while he was not formally ordained until 1849, he became in fact the pastor of the Indian Creek church immediately after his conversion and a most faithful shepherd did he prove. ... In 1896 he stated to a representative of The Journal that he had averagd three sermons a week, exclusive of funeral sermons, since 1840. And Elder Vancleave did not preach sermonettes. In the old school Baptist church, a three hour sermon is not a long one. The elder never received a cent for his services as a minister and had a profound and deep-seated contempt for 'a hireling ministry'. He would always quote on this subject the words 'a hireling fleeth and careth not for the sheep'. He made his living by farming, and in the early days by acting as a gunsmith for the rural community--an important trade forty or fifty yaers ago. His work nowise interfered with his effectiveness in the pulpit for he regarded it as wrong to prepare for a sermon. He spoke on the inspiration of the moment and prefaced his sermon with the statememt that the text would be found somewhere between the covers of the Good Book. ... He believed and preached the doctrine of election and a literal hell and in no church in which he preached was there ever such an abomination as instrumental music. 'We sing from the hymn book', said he, 'and the sound goes up to God from the souls of those who sing and not from squeaky music machines.'

"The elder was a Democrat among Democrats, and was proud of the fact that he had never scratched his ticket. He lived and died a sincere believer in states rights, and during the [Civil] war, he preached and prayed against the war with a religious fervor. He was bitterly opposed to slavery, but his sympathies during the war were with the south on the doctrine of state's sovereignty.

"The wife of Elder Vancleave died some years ago and of the six children born to them, four still live, Mrs. William Coons, Mrs. Mark [sic] Badgely [either Mrs. Mark Skelton or Mrs. Martin Badgley?] , Ralph Vancleave and Ransom Vancleave, the last named now living at the old homestead. Two children, David and Aaron are dead."

According to, VAN CLEAVE (VAN CLEEF-VAN CLEVE) FAMILY GENEALOGY, by Georgia Gosney Wisda, Norwalk, OH, 1956; p93: "F. 552. JONATHAN VAN CLEAVE (Ralph-Benj-Aaron-Isabrant-Jan) ... He preached between 10 & 15 thousand sermons; married more than 700 coulpes; his marriage records being excelled only by that of his cousin Elder Matthias Van Cleave [Benj-Benj-AIJ] of Crawfordsville.

"Jonathan was a Democrat, his 1st. vote for 'Gen. Jackson, the grandest man who ever lived.' He [Uncle Jonathan] also said: 'Slavery Wasn't right, our folks left Ky. because of it.' "

Children of Aunt Betsy Van Cleave & Uncle Jonathan Van Cleave:

4-4-7-1 William, b 7/19/1828 Br'ns V'y, IN, d 1/20/1832 buried in Old Hickory Cem.

4-4-7-2 David, b 11/15/1830 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 12/13/1849 or 12/9/1850 Mont Co, IN to Emaline Davis, d 9/28/1892 Mont Co, IN. Emaline d 2/9/1890 69yr. 8m. 24d. David & Emaline are buried in Old Union Cem, Mont Co, IN.

4-4-7-3 Lucy, b abt 1832 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 7/24/1848 Mont Co, IN to Mark Skelton, d (when/where?).

4-4-7-4 Ralph, b 7/31/1834 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 4/6/1854 Mont Co, IN to Catherine Coons, dau of John Coons & Mary Brunner, d 7/3/1903 Mont Co, IN. Catherine was b 5/28/1836 & d 2/4/1925 Mont Co, IN. Ralph & Catherine are buried in Pleasant Hill Cem, Mont Co, IN.

4-4-7-5 Jane, b abt 1837 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 11/22/1853 Mont Co, IN to Wm S Coons, son of John Coons & Mary Brunner, d (when/where?).

4-4-7-6 Ransom, b 12/27/1838 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 10/28/1858 Mont Co, IN to Sarah Zerface, dau of Adam Zerface & Sarah Rhinehart, d 3/13/1923 Mont Co, IN. Sarah was b 4/10/1837 OH & d 3/5/1906 Mont Co, IN. Ransom & Sarah are buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem, Mont Co, IN.

4-4-7-7 Adam, b abt 1841 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 1/9/1868 Grundy Co, MO to Martha E McConnell, d (when/where?, after 1910 FC of Grundy Co, MO).

4-4-7-8 Aaron, b 2/14/1844 Br'ns V'y, IN, (never md?), d 7/8/1868 buried in Old Hickory Cem.

4-4-7-9 Emily, b abt 1847 Br'ns V'y, IN, md (when/where?) to Martin Badgley/Badgely, d (when/where?).

4-4-8 Benjamin, b 1/5/1806 Sh'yv., KY, (never md?), d 2/23/1832 (Mont Co, IN?).

4-4-9 David, b 11/15/1807 Sh'yv., KY, md 8/16/1831 Orange Co, IN to Sarah "Jane" Van Cleave (4-3-5 of post #491), dau of John Van Cleave, Jr (John-AIJ & Mary Shepherd) & Eunice Van Cleave (Ben-AIJ & Ruth Munson), d 3/16/1874 Parkersburg, Mont Co, IN. Jane was b 10/7/1803 Sh'yv., KY & d 4/27/1896 Parkersburg, Mont Co, IN. David & Jane are buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem, Mont Co, IN.

David Van Cleave was abt 6'4" tall and of a rather large yet slender build. He was probably named for his father's 1/2 bro David Van Cleave, son of John Van Cleave, Sr & Rachel (Demarest-Ryker) Van Cleave. David, b 1807 Ky, moved to Montgomery Co, IN soon after his marriage in 1831, and he lived there with his wife until his death in 1874. He also had a parchment deed, for land he entered in 1831, signed by President Andrew Jackson.

The following story was told to me, Richard Lawson, by my Uncle George Patterson Lawson on Sunday the 27th of May 1984. Uncle George told me "this story was related to me by my grandfather, Benjamin Milton Van Cleave (4-4-9-5 below), many years ago."

"How a Bear Saved His Life"

"David Van Cleave, my father, was taking some grain to the local mill to be ground into flour and meal, when he saw a bear running out of the woods toward the road and his team and wagon, and then back into the woods. He evidently thought the bear was acting strangely, so he got off of his wagon and followed the bear into the woods. After some time, the bear was gone, and father returned to his wagon, and once again headed for the old mill. Upon arrival, all he could see was a cloud of smoke, and as he went closer, he discovered that the Indians had just burned the mill and killed all the white men who were there. By an investigation of the scene, he was able to reason that if he had not followed the strangely acting bear into the woods, he would have been at the mill at the very moment that the Indians had attacked it. Thus he concluded, and always told this story of, how a bear saved his life."

Children of David Van Cleave & Sarah Jane Van Cleave:

4-4-9-1 James Marshall, b 6/18/1832 Parkersburg, IN, md 9/13/1859 Putnam Co, IN to Frances Ann Washington Shanks, dau of David Shanks & Mary (Elizabeth/Eliza?) Brannick, d 10/28/1910 Yountsville, Mont Co, IN. Frances was b 8/31/1836 near Cynthiana, Harrison, KY & d 7/10/1907 Marion Co, IN.

Uncle James's life was full of heart aches. To begin with, soon after his marriage, he and Frances were blessed with a baby girl in the Spring of 1861, whom they named Mary Elizabeth, but she died at just a little less than a month old.

Then in Sept of 1861, Uncle James, age 29, enlisted in Co B, 10th Regt. IN Vols, along with his brothers, Uncle Wm, age 25 & my grt grandfather, Ben only 19 years old, for three years of service in the Union Army during the Civil War. Grt grandpa, Ben, still only 19 years old, was "wounded in action at Mill Springs, KY, January 19, 1862.", according to his certificate of discharge papers.

I have a picture, that was evidently sent back to their parents, of Uncle James holding his youger brother Ben on his knee, and grt grandpa Ben looked very weak. He was probably still in an Army field hospital at the time. Uncle James no doubt felt some responsibility as the eldest of the three brothers, to take care of his younger brothers.

Then, their youngest brother, Uncle Aaron, enlisted for two years of service in the Union Army, in Co C, 40th IN Inf., just a couple of months after his 17th birthday. About that same time, Uncle Wm was captured and taken prisoner by the Confederate Army, and was eventually taken to Andersonville Prison where he became very ill. He was then apparently taken out on a hospital boat, where he died. After his capture, Uncle Wm's family was trying to find out about his whereabouts, a picture was taken of him in his uniform, and it was sent to his folks back home. It is the only picture I have of any of the four brothers taken while in uniform.

Uncle James returned home to his wife, Frances, after his three years of service was up in Sept 1864, and on 3/10/1865, they were blessed with a baby boy whom they named James David (after father & grandfather), who md (1) Carrie Ruth Dodge (2) Wilhelmina (Diefenbach-Utrect) Harris. Just as things may have been looking up for this couple, near thirty years old now, and they were blessed with another liitle girl whom they named Eliza Jane (after grandmothers?), this 2nd baby girl died at just a few days after being a month old.

It was during this time that Uncle James wrote the following poem, dated 1866, and signed James Marshall Van Cleave:

"What vessel are you sailing in, Pray tell to me the same; Our vessel is the Ark of God, And Christ the captains name.

Hoist every sail to catch the gale, Each sailor apply the oar; The night begins to wear away, We soon shall reach the shore.

What port is this you're sailing for, Pray tell to me straightaway; The heaven of heavens it is our port, The realms of endless day.

Our company is the word of God, Our anchor blooming hope; The love of God our main top sail, And faith our cable rope.

But are you not afraid some storm, Your bark will overthrow; We cannot fear our captain's near, Our father's at the helm.

And when we all are landed safe, On that celestial plain; Our song shall be worthy of the lamb, That was for sinners slain.

Heave out the boat I'll go along, If you can find me room; There's room for you and all the world, Make no delay but come."

4-4-9-2 William Martin, b 4/14/1836 Parkersbrug, IN, d 11/30/1864 (on a "hospital boat" & apparently buried at sea?). Uncle Wm was captured and taken prisoner by the Confederate Army during the Civil War., and died in Nov 1864. His term of three years of service was up in Sept 1864, and he might have been released by being "paroled" or "exchanged" if his physical condition would have made that possible, or, more importantly, if the condition of the Confederacy & its Army in general, and the deplorable conditions at Andersonville Prison in particular, had not been so bad by this last few months of the war.

4-4-9-3 Elizabeth Katherine, b 3/12/1838 Parkersburg, IN, (never md?), d 12/11/1895 MontIN & buried near parents in Indian Creek Hill Cem. She was named for her mother Jane's sisters, who were born just before and just after Jane, and who both evidently died young.

4-4-9-4 Eunice Susannah, b 3/16/1840 Parkersburg, IN, (never md?), d 7/6/1875 MontIN & buried near parents in Indian Creek Hill Cem.

4-4-9-5 Benjamin Milton, b 5/19/1842 Parkersburg, IN, md 12/24/1868 Parkersburg, IN to Mary Elizabeth Chase, dau of Rev. Moody Chase, Jr & Hannah Jewett, d 11/21/1928 Topeka, Shawnee Co, KS. Mary was b 10/9/1849 Parkersburg, IN & d 3/18/1920 Topeka, Shawnee Co, KS. My grt grandparents, Ben & Mary, are buried in Mt Hope Cem, Topeka, KS.

Benjamin Milton was named for David's brothers who were born just before and just after David, and who both were (never md?), dying at ages 26 & 15 respectively, and for a long list of other Benjamin Van Cleaves. "Ben" was born & raised on the farm near Parkersburg, that had been entered by his parents in 1831. When my wife and I, and our oldest five children lived near Crawfordsville in the late 1970's, we used to go and draw & drink water from the spring at Parkersburg. Steps leading down to the spout were broken and generally in bad need of repair, but I would go down and draw a gallon or two of water for us to all drink. The Parkersburg Spring had been "known" in the "early days" for its "purity & medicial benefits". I drew & drunk it mainly because I knew that many of my ancestors had once drawn & drunk spring water from it.

Ben entered Wabash College in Crawfordsville when he was about 17 or 18 years old, but left there at age 19 to serve in the Union Army with his brothers. He was apparently unable to complete his studies upon his return due to poor health. There is a plague on the outside of one of the buildings, with the names of the students from Wabash College who served in the Civil War, including B.M. Van Cleave.

While teaching school, he met Mary Chase, who perhaps also taught school. She had attended college at Terre Haute, IN, along with her sisters, Harriet, Abbie, Myra and Cassie, all of whom were school teachers. Ben & Mary were married on Dec. 24, 1868, in the home of the bride by the bride's father, Rev. Moody Chase.

In 1881, after six children were born to this couple and Mary was expecting the seventh child (my grandmother, Dulcena Elizabeth), their little son Raymond died, and Ben was stricken with typhoid fever. While he was convalescing, the doctor felt he needed a change of climate. Mary's father had died in 1879, so her mother sold the property from his estate, and Mary's brother, Uncle James Chase went to Texas and bought a ranch on the fork of the Nolan, near the Brazos River. After their little dau "Lizzie" was born, Ben & Mary, with their six children and the rest of the Chase family, moved to Cleburne, Johnson Co, TX, and began a stock-raising business on an elaborate scale. Being unfamiliar with the climatic and other conditions of the new area, and not knowing anything about raising cattle on that scale, the Van Cleave & Chase families lost disastrously in the venture. Ben then became an engineer in one of the large flour mills of Cleburne. A little dau Nellie was born to Ben & Mary, but she died three days later.

In about 1888, the surving members of the Van Cleave & Chase families moved to KS, from where some of them later moved on west to Colorado & California. Ben & Mary moved to Topeka where he worked at the carpenter's trade for a time, until he entered the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad, where he remained until he was retired on a pension. After his retirement, Ben raised poultry at his Oakland, KS (now part of Topeka) home until the death of his wife in early 1920. He then sold that home and made his home with his daughter & her husband, Minnie & George Allen Root.

Ben was an interesting man to chat with. He was well read and had a remarkable memory and a fine choice of words. He wrote many articles for religious periodicals after his wife's death. He also wrote many poems, and a number of them were published in the Topeka Daily Capitol and in the Herald and Presbyter. Uncle George Root, his son-in-law, was curator of records for the Kansas State Historical Society, and many of Ben's poems were included in a pamphlet entitled, GLEANINGS ALONG LIFE'S PATHWAY, by Benjamin M Van Cleave; Topeka, Kansas; 1922.

Ben was a large man, standing about six feet, two inches tall & weighing from 185 to 200 lbs, and never having an once of fat. He was a Repubican in politics, and he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) and of the Modern Woodmen of America. He was also an elder in the Presbyterian Church. As long as he was able, he walked to the Potwin Presbyterian Church where he maintained his membership until his death in 1928. The Grand Army and the Ladies of the G.A.R. took charge of his funeral services, as he had expressed a wish to that effect. Rev H.L. Nelson, minister of the Potwin Church, officiated at the services and he was buried in the Van Cleave-Lawson lots at Mt Hope Cemetery in Topeka, KS.

The family of Ben & Mary (Chase) Van Cleave: Edwin Spencer b 8/20/1870, md Mattie Miller; Minnie Jewett b 3/8/1872, md George A Root; Walter Wilson b 11/4/1873, md Cora Lester; Arthur Chase b 11/22/1875, md Lennie Georgia; Grace Vernon b 1/27/1879, md (1) Calvin Harrop (2) Hervy Barrett; Raymond Morton b 1/27/1879 & d 2/9/1881; *Dulcena Elizabeth b 8/19/1881 Parkersburg IN, md 2/19/1902 Topeka, KS to George Henry Lawson, an intern of the School of Medicine, at Washburn University of Topeka, and d 12/19/1921 in a hospital in Topeka, KS, while she was a resident of Bloom TP (near Morganville), Clay Co, KS; and little Nellie b 8/15/1884 & d 8/18/1884.

*Dulcena Elizabeth, my dad's mother, named her youngest son Benjamin, but I knew him as "Uncle Benny". After learning more about my grandmother's Van Cleave family, while living in Indiana in the late 70's, my wife & I named our youngest son Benjamin after Uncle Benny & Grt-grandpa Benjamin Milton Van Cleave.

The following is the author's note on p1 inside the front cover of GLEANINGS ALONG LIFE'S HIGHWAY, by Benjamin M Van Cleave; Topeka, Kansas; 1922:


"I'm sending out these verses small, To meet the critic's eye; And pray that you be kind enough, To pass my errors by.

I do not claim a poet's wreath, Or long for worldly fame; But only 'mongst the comforters, Would I inscribe my name.

And if I may induce one smile, Where frowns were seen before; Or add one word that speaks of peace, I would not ask for more."

A true soldier & defender of the Union cause during the Civil War, my grt grandfather, Ben wrote the following poem, Sept.1921, p8; ibid:


"Just sixty years back! Ah, is it so long? Our ranks were complete in each file; With uniforms bright, and limbs that were strong, We met every care with a smile.

Our marches were made with a very good grace, And our battles unflinchingly fought;
Each comrade was there, every one in his place, And no easy places were sought.

But soon as we marched it was easy to find, Our feet on the journey would lag; And life seemed one wearisome circle and grind; And our former good spirits would flag.

And we listened for 'taps', but 'twas only 'retreat', And the the night did not bring us much glee; And we listened to hear the 'long roll' as it beat, Or be waked by the loud reveille.

The nights were so short ere the reveille's call, And the day seemed to stretch out before; And we longed for the shadows of evening to fall, For our feet with the journey were sore.

Our ranks have grown thin, and our step is more slow, And the glow of the fires we can see; We have only a few marches to go, To the camp where there's no reveille.

We have fought for the right and the victory won, And we now only wait for release;
We are weary of war and our marching all done, And we now have the blessings of peace.

There will be no 'long roll' to disturb that sweet rest, For from conflict we then shall be free; And we'll hear the glad 'welcome' that comes to the blest, In the camp where there's no reveille."

4-4-9-6 Aaron Wilson, b 10/2/1844 Parkersburg, IN, md 1/17/1870 Mont Co, IN to Mary E/C Hamilton, dau of ____ Hamilton & Marian ____, d 12/18/1908 at the homestead of David & Jane in Parkersburg, IN. Mary was b abt 1849 & d (when/where?). Uncle Aaron (and Aunt Mary?) is/are buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem. After a search of my files, I'm wondering if the several desc's of this couple that I met & corresponded with did not know more about Aunt Mary (Mollie?), or if I somehow neglected to ask. I would very much appereciate knowing the names of her parents, and about her death & burial.

4-4-9-7 Sarah Jane, b 7/26/1848 Parkersburg, IN, md 9/5/1883 Mont Co, IN to Levi N Lee, d 3/9/1923 Parkersburg, IN. Evidently, her marriage to Levi was of short duration, and she died as Sarah Jane Van Cleave, leaving no ch. Nothing else is mentioned abt Levi.

The family of Uncle Aaron & Aunt Mary (Hamilton) Van Cleave: Benjamin Franklin b 3/23/1871, md Almeda Margaret Cline; David Ulysses S Grant b 8/18/1872, md Winifred May (Hampton) Points; Nancy Ellen b abt 1874, prob d.y.; Eunice Jane b abt 1877, prob d.y.; and Wilber Hamilton b 9/3/1879, md Mary Maude Hester.

4-4-10 Milton, b 1/23/1809 Sh'yv., KY, (never md?), d 10/29/1824 (note that David had a son named Benjamin Milton, also see note after Catherine 4-3-6 of post #491).

4-4-11 Sarah, b 12/9/1811 Sh'yv., KY, md 7/22/1830 Mont Co, IN to Crawford Van Cleave (5-2-6 of post #489), son of Aaron Van Cleave (Ben-AIJ & Ruth Munson) & Elizabeth Van Cleave (John-AIJ & Mary Shepherd), d abt 1840 Mont Co, IN. Crawford was b abt 1808 Sh'yv., KY, md (2) Eunice King, dau of Cornelius King & Mary Van Cleave (4-3-2 of post #491), dau of John Van Cleave (John-AIJ & Mary Shepherd) & Eunice Van Cleave (Ben-AIJ & Ruth Munson), & d after 1870 FC of Trenton TP, Grundy Co, MO. Eunice King Van Cleave then md (2) James F Layson of Grundy Co, MO.

Children of Sarah Van Cleave & Crawford Van Cleave:

4-4-11-1 Elizabeth (Griffin?), b 4/15/ 1834 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 10/6/1853 Mont Co, IN to Henry C Lisby, d 9/30/1897 Grundy Co, MO. Henry was b 8/19/1830 KY & d 4/6/1906 Grundy Co, MO. Elizabeth & Henry are buried in Stepp Cem, Grundy Co, MO. Elizabeth was prob named for Sarah's mother

4-4-11-2 Isaac M(unson?), b abt 1836/7 Br'ns V'y, IN, md (1) (when/where?) Elizabeth Husted, (2) 12/26/1865 Grundy Co, MO to Elizabeth E(lmira?) Stevenson, d (when/where?, after 1880 FC of Buchanan Co, MO). Elmira was b abt 1830/31 OH & d (when/where?, after 1880 FC of Buchanan Co, MO). Isaac was prob named for Rev Isaac Munson, an early Baptist Minister of KY, a brother of Sarah's grandmother, Catherine Munson & a 1/2 brother of Crawford's grandmother, Ruth Munson.

See children of Crawford Van Cleave (5-2-6) & Eunice King in post #489:

4-4-12 James (twin of Nancy), b 11/23/1813 Sh'yv., KY, d 8/28/1814 Sh'yv., KY. (Coincidently, my father who was named at birth Donald James, was b 11/23/1913).

4-4-13 Nancy (twin of James), b 11/23/1813 Sh'yv., KY, d 9/15/1814 Sh'yv., KY.

4-4-14 John (named for Aaron's father?), b 9/10/1815 Sh'yv., KY, md 9/3/1835 Mont Co, IN to Malinda Van Cleave, sis of Uncle Jonathan who md Aunt Betsy 4-4-7 above, and dau of Elizabeth Stebbins & Ralph Van Cleave, son of Benjamin Van Cleave & Ruth Munson, d 2/28/1846 Mont Co, IN. Aunt Malinda was b 5/15/1814 Sh'yv., KY & d 4/4/1846 Mont Co, IN.

Both Uncle John & Aunt Malinda died quite young in 1846, leaving four young children, the youngest of whom died in 1847. In the 1850 FC of Brown TP, Mont Co, IN, the other three children; Isaiah, Edwin & Marion were living with their grandfather, Ralph Van Cleave, whose wife had died in 1848, and also with their Aunt Lucy. Evidently, it was Uncle Ralph who had the paper that his brother, Rev Samuel (see Vancleave post #496 for more info about Rev Samuel), had written the names of their parents and sibs down on. In any case, it was Mrs. America Sayler, dau of Edwin Van Cleave, son of Uncle John & Aunt Malinda, who had in her possesion, in 1937, this "brown piece of paper". If only the families of the other sons of Aaron Van Cleave & Rachel Schenck had been recorded and preserved that way.

Children of Uncle John Van Cleave & Aunt Malinda Van Cleave:

4-4-14-1 Isaiah, b 10/4/1836 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 2/28/1861 Mont Co, IN to Mary A Catherine Van Cleave, dau of Mary Brown & Benjamin Van Cleave, son of Marjory Kerns & John Van Cleave, son of Benjamin (AIJ) & Ruth Munson, d 12/25/1907 Mont Co, IN. Mary was b abt 1843 IN & d 5/29/1887 Mont Co, IN. Isaiah (and Mary?) is/are buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem, Mont Co, IN.

4-4-14-2 Emily E, b 7/4/1838 Br'ns V'y, IN, d 8/24/1841 Br'ns V'y, IN.

4-4-14-3 Edwin, b 5/2/1841 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 12/26/1861 Mont Co, IN to Sarah Hicks, dau of ____ Hicks & ____ ____, d 10/14/1916 Mont Co, IN. Sarah was b 7/301842 IN & d 9/16/1923 Mont Co, IN. Edwin & Sarah are buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem, Mont Co, IN.
I met with Edwins grson, "Ed"win Armstrong b late 1890's, in the late 1970's while living in IN, and we shared many notes and stories about our Van Cleave families.

4-4-14-4 Marion, b 11/10/1843 Br'ns V'y, IN, md 3/10/1864 Mont Co, IN to Sarah "Sally" E/C Taylor, dau of Benjamin S Taylor & Margaret Van Cleave, dau of Aaron Van Cleave (Benjamin-AIJ & Ruth Munson) & Elizabeth Van Cleave (John-AIJ & Mary Shepherd), d 10/18/1925 Br'ns V'y, IN. Sally was b 12/23/1842 Br'ns V'y, IN & d 4/5/1894 Br'ns V'y, IN. Marion & Sally are buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem, Mont Co, IN. I believe my father's brother, Marion Van Cleave Lawson, who was lost in Colorado, was named after this cousin of my grt grandfather, Benjamin Milton Van Cleave.

4-4-14-5 Rebecca, b 4/3/1846, Br'ns V'y, IN, d 2/18/1847 Br'ns V'y, IN.

I suspect that Uncle John & Aunt Malinda, and their two little daus, are also buried in Indian Creek Hill Cem, but with sand-stone or other well-worn and unreadable grave markers or headstones.

This concludes my post about the paternal Van Cleave line of my grandmother, Dulcena Elizabeth "Lizzie" Van Cleave Lawson. Please feel free to post a follow-up with any questions, comments, suggestions of possible corrections or errors, etc. I'll leave you fellow Van Cleave family researhers with just one more coincidence in the Van Cleave family trivia. My 4th grt grandparents, John Van Cleave & Mary Shepherd had a son they named Benjamin Van Cleave who md Sarah Kerns, while Benjamin Van Cleave & Ruth Munson, also my 4th grt grandparents, had a son they named John Van Cleave who md Marjory Kerns. So, 1st cousins Benjamin & John md sisters Sarah & Marjory, daus of Peter Kerns & Anna Jordan.

Thanks in advance for any additions, corrections, or comments of follow-ups &/or e-mail messages..

More later,
Richard Lawson
Niangua, MO

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