We, too, have a Van Pelt problem that is made worse by Effie Smith's book. At the end of her Family Sketch (p.17) she writes: "It is not claimed that this is a complete list of all members of the family. Names of VanPelts have been found which could not be traced to any line, and some who have been invited to add their records have failed to send them in, while very many have been omitted through not having the addresses of living descendants. An earnest effort has been made to secure lists of every branch, and while it must be confessed that that effort has not been as successful as could be desired, it has resulted, at least, in a genealogy that it is sincerely hoped may prove of some value to members of the family for reference as well as to give the founders their rightful places among those who made the history of those early days."
In scanning messages on this Van Pelt Forum, I've noticed that her history has already been corrected and that we are not the only family with questions about her information. The lack of date and place of birth and/or death for so many of the names is especially troubling.
We have one source (only) for the following and that's information referred to as the LDS Family Search Pedigree Resource File (compact disk #44, pin # 236149). We're trying to contact the submitter by mail, too, to see where this came from.
He says that Elias Welton (1776-1832) m. Hannah Van Pelt (1777-1854) in 1800 (no location nor parents given). So far, so good - that's close, anyway.
We started on this quest because in the 1880 census, both Mary (Welton) Beers in PA, and Sarah (Welton) Carr in MI, said that their father was b. CT and their mother b. NJ. By tracking census records, it certainly looks like Elias (who was born 18 Jul 1776 at Waterbury, New Haven Co., CT and died between 1830 and 1840, poss. 1832 and prob. at Genesee Co., NY) and Hannah (VanPelt) Welton were their parents.
In the 1850 census, we actually found Hannah Welton, b. 1775/6 NJ, near both Mary Beers and Hezekiah B. Welton at Dryden, Tompkins Co., NY.
The trouble started when I borrowed the Smith book through interlibrary loan. Instead of confirming what we've found, she lists only two Hannahs: one on p. 70 who was b. 1798 in OH and m. Abner Johnson, and what at first looked like ours on p. 158.
Smith says (p. 158) that Garret Van Pelt, son of Thys Gysbrechtse Van Pelt and Jennetje Adriens, or Ariens, was b. 3 Nov 1716 at Marlboro, NJ and died at Brunswick, NY (again, no date). It doesn't make sense that Garret's first child would have been born when he was 60... but Garrett was the name given to the youngest son of Sarah (Welton) Carr, so this still has possibilities. I'm now wondering if Smith even listed the children in birth order? According to her, they were: Hannah, Sarah, Polly, Alexander, Daniel and Walter. Daniel m. Anna Barnhart (no date or place of marriage), Walter served as a private in the Revolution - and that's all the information given on this family -- no dates of birth, etc.
So, we have no birth dates for any of the children of Garret Van Pelt and Mayke Sutphen and only one son, Daniel, is followed (sort of). His son Christopher was b. 1794, about the time Hannah's first child was born, which would make them born c. 1770-80. That name is indexed as Effoon Welton in the 1830 census at Bergen, Genesee Co., NY (and no clearer on the census image), but we may never know if his was a Dutch name or yet another census taker couldn't spell Ephraim because we can't find him in 1840. He was b. 1795-1800, which does put the marriage date into question, too, but he fills a consistent hole in the early Elias Welton family's census numbers. They were at Charlotte, Chittenden Co. VT in 1810; Dryden, Tompkins Co., NY in 1820; Sheldon, Genesee Co., NY in 1830; Hannah (with an unknown daughter) was next to youngest son Elias and near son Hezekiah B. at Westfield, Chautauqua Co., NY in 1840; and by 1850, Elias (Jr.) disappears while Hannah and Hezekiah B. have returned to Dryden. (We can't find Elias, Sr. in 1800, which would probably help, too.)
Where the problem actually lies in this information is anyone's guess at the moment. We're now trying to document all of this with more than census records, but Hannah VanPelt remains a huge problem in this jigsaw puzzle.
If anyone has more substantial information on this family, or any other NJ/NY/VT family where Hannah might fit, we would appreciate hearing from you.
Jo Ann Kaufman
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