1720 – 1786
Information gathered by Lynn Beedle on September 8, 1972:
Jan (John) Van Etten is the one with the famous will, and was the grandfather of our great grandfather, John Dick Van Eaton, who went west and settled, finally in San Jose. As for Jan before he wrote that will: Born in Knightsfield, Ulster County, New York, in 1720. Second marriage was to Maratje (Mary) Westfael in 1738, and they resided in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1750. (We don’t know what happened to his first wife.) Jan was commissioned a Captain by Benjamin Franklin and was placed in charge of a Fort Hydshaw, which is (or was) in Monroe County at Bushkill, not far from Hellertown, Pennyslvania. Later he was in charge of Fort Hamilton at Stroudsburg. In 1754 he was judge of the orphan court.
In 1757 Jan married Margaret LeFevre whose father owned Le Fevre’s tavern, 5 miles from Easton. It was a popular stopping point for the soldiers coming to report to General Washington’s (or was he a colonel then?) headquarters. In 1760, Jan was the Coroner of Northampton County. In 1775 he sold his 368 acres to a Fred Diehl. The next record is a state deed for land in Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1780, for 2 cents per acre.
The rich land to which the Van Ettens moved in North Carolina just prior to the Revolutionary War. The bridge above crosses the Yadkin River; the barn and well are on propery owned by the Van Ettens.
The oldest son of Jan and Margaret LeFevre appears to be Samuel (11/19/1761 to 1845) who married Ruth Neely (born 6/18/1763). Samuel and Ruth’s oldest son was John (1792 to ?) who married Lydia Lowry (probably Lowery, born 9/9/1802) in 1820. Thence came John Dick Van Eaton (1826 to 1894) who went west to eventually end up in San Jose, California.
The famous will of Jan (John) Van Etten.
The following information was copied from “Van Eaton & Allied Families” by Steven Earl Coulter, 1974.
Jan “John” Van Etten, son of Jacob Van Etten & Anna Westbrook; b. at Knightfield Patent, Wawarsing, Ulster Co., N.Y.; bpt Apr 17, 1720 at Knightsfield or Kingston, N.Y.; d. after March 20, 1786 in Rowan Co., N.C.; m.l) Apr 13, 1738 at Machackemeck Church, Deerpark (now Port Jervis), then in Ulster Co. (now Orange Co.), N.Y., to Maritje “Mary” Westfael, dau of Jurian Westfael & Maria Cuddeback; b. at Minisink & bpt Jan 31, 1720; 9 children (one record says 11). John Van Etten m.2) about 1757 in Pa., Margaret Lefevre, dau of John Lefevre & Christina Wentz (see p. 81); 11 children.
Mary (Westfael) Van Etten was received into the Reformed Dutch Church at Machackemeck (Deerpark), June 19, 1745; and Jan Van Etten was elected Deacon in 1745, and appointed Prelector or Reader. About 1750 they crossed the Delaware River & settled near Easton in Northampton Co., Pa. In 1754 John Van Etten was a judge in Orphans Court. The French & Indian War began in 1754, and Capt. John Van Etten commanded Fort Hyndshaw near the present town of Bushkill, Pa., and also Fort Hamilton at Stroudsburg, Pa. in 1756-57.
The following is from “A Frontier Village: Pre-Revolutionary Easton,” by A.D. Chidsey, Jr., 1940, pages 69-70:
“A chain of forts had been constructed along the Blue Mountains from the Delaware River to the Susquehanna River, and thence continuing to the Maryland line. In the course of duty, it often became necessary for the commanders of these forts to go to Easton (Pa.) to report and receive orders from William Parsons, who had been appointed Major in command of the forces in the county. Lefevre’s Tavern was on the road leading from many of these forts to Easton and at a most convenient distance for those traveling to or from the County Seat, To be served by one of the six attractive daughters of the landlord made the food taste better, the drink more refreshing, and their rest a pleasure long to be remembered.
“John Van Etten, of the Minisinks, was commissioned a Captain by Benjamin Franklin in January of 1756, and placed in charge of Fort Hyndshaw, located in what is now Monroe County, near the present town of Bushkill. He had not made many trips to Easton before the anticipation of again seeing Margaret Lefevre was a pleasure, the realization of which more than offset the hazards of the journey. This friendship soon ripened into love and eventually Margaret Lefevre became the wife of Captain John Van Etten.
“At the time Benjamin Franklin granted the commission to John Van Etten, he also sent him a long letter of instructions. In this letter, the Captain was commanded to keep a diary or journal of each day’s happenings. The diary which John Van Etten wrote is still preserved. It touches the romance of the Captain and Margaret Lefevre, provided you read between the lines. On June 3rd, 1757, Captain John Van Etten left Fort Hyndshaw for Philadelphia. The trip presented a fine opportunity to see his sweetheart; an opportunity which was not neglected.
In his diary, under date of June 5th, he writes: ‘I 1-ay sick by the way within five miles of Easton.’ Perhaps he was ill, but what a coincidence that he, a rugged frontiersman, should fall ill, figuratively speaking at the very door of John Lefevre’s Tavern. The next day he paid his respects to Major Parsons at Easton. It may be that his conscience troubled him a little, and for fear that his sudden case of indisposition might appear strange, he entered in his diary to allay suspicion and as a matter of confirmation or proof, the following, under date of June 7th: ‘Not withstanding the 111 Surcomstance of Body I was in I persued my Journey.’ On his return trip, he reached Easton on June 14th.
His notes for that day end with the statement that he ‘”i.eft Easton about six o’clock (P.M.) and went about five miles.’ Due to a bashful and somewhat guilty feeling, he never mentioned Lefevre’s Tavern, which was ‘about five miles’ from Easton. It has taken two centuries to diagnose his illness.”
Journal kept by Captain John Van Etten from December 1, 1756 to July 21, 1757, as it was published in the “Pennyslvania Archives, 1st series, vol 3, pages 222-235”.
It was also published in “History of Northampton, Lehigh, Monroe, Carbon and Schuykill Counties” by I. Daniel Rupp, 1845; but that 19th century editor “corrected” the grammar and spelling of the original 18th century version.
JOURNAL KEPT BY CAPTAIN JOHN VAN ETTEN, 1757
Of all proceedings and Circumstance of AfFairs, to gether with all Busnis and Scouting Done by said Company, from the 1st Day of December, 1756.
December ye Ist, 1756.
1. I went on Scout with the oldest Sert., to see if there ware Indians on the Cost, but discovrd none; we .Returned safe to the fort.
2. After Releaving Guard Imployd the men in hallind firewood.
3. Relievd Guard and kept the men about the Garrison.
4. and 5. Paid some of the men, and for some provissions.
6. Kept the men in their posts about the Garrison.
7. 1 went on Scout with 2 men and made no Discovery; Returnd Safe to the Fort at Night and found all in Good order.
8 and 9. The men Divided, one part standing on Scetery while the other Cut and Halld firewood.
10. I went out on Scout with one man and made no Discovery, and Returnd safe to the fort.
11. The Leut. went on his Journey to Philadelphia, in order to get the pay for my men for 3 months; the same Day, about 11 0’c 1 wont out on Scout with 6 men and Traviled four milds out making no Discovery, Returnd to the fort.
12. Sunday and Rainey, we all staid at the Garrison.
13. In the morning, after Guard Relvd, I went out with six men on Scout and one Neighbour, and Traviled about eight milds out and made no Discovery, and Returnd to the Garrison all safe.
14. After Guard Relievd I went out with four men on Scout, and sent two men with Jacob Swortwood to Guarde him in fetching his Grane, where it might be thrashd.
15. I went with five men on Scout, and sd Jacob Swortwood went a gain to his place with sd Guard, it being about four milds from the fort. At night, when I returnd, told me, that before he and sd Guard came to the field they saw a small Stack of Rye set out in a Large Shock of 30 Sheves on a side, and places Left in the midle to Soot out at, and a bee hive set on the top.
10. “After the Guard Relievd, I went with six men to the place, and orderd two men with the Wagons to come sometime after when I had surrounded the field, then to come and take their Loads which was Done, but no Discovery made of the Enemy. I wend then with two men through the woods and the rest of the men Guarded the Waggon, and we all returnd safe to the fort.
14. Kept the men to their Exercise.
16. Hall firewood for the fort.
17. The men Exercisd twice.
18 and 19. The same.
20. Sunday, Kept the Fort.
21 Went out on Scout with 4 men, but finding it so uncomfort-able Traviling, and making no Discovery, Returnd to the fort.
22 and 23. The men kept to’their Exercise.
24.: After Guard Relievd halld fire wood.
25. Kept the men to their Exercise, and to the End of the
March the I”, 1757.
At Eight 0’c Relievd Guard and Exercisd the men twice.
4. After Guarde Relievd, orderd the old Guard to Hall firewood for the fort.
6. Sunday, Relievd Guard at 8 Oc and then Exercisd the men.
7. After Guard Relievd went out on Scout with ten men, Travild about Six milds, made no Discovery, and Returnd to the fort.
9. Exercisd the men twice.
10. Exercisd the men twice.
11. After Guard Relievd at 8 0’c, Halld fire wood for the fort.
12. After Guarde Relievd I went with Six men on Scout, and traviled about Six milds and made no Discovery, and all Returnd safe to the fort. ” .
13. Sunday, Relievd Guard at 8 0c, and all Kept the Garrison.
14. After Guard Relievd went on Scout with 8 men, Discovering nothing Returnd to the fort.
16. After Guard Relievd, halld fire wood for the fort.
17. Dissiplind the men twice.
18. After Guard Relievd I went on Scout with 5 men, made no Discovery, and Returnd to the fort.
19. Relievd Guard, Dissiplind the men, and halld fire wood.
20. Relievd Guarde at 8 O’c, and all kept the fort.
21. Went on my Journey for Easton in order to attend Court, Leaving the Charge of the Company wt the Leut., and being Detaind by Reson of Bad weather I attended the whole term.
28. I Returnd Safe to my Company at Fort Hyndshaw, finding all thing in good order and my men in health.
29. Relievd Guarde and Dissiplind the men twice.
30. After Guarde Relievd went on Scout with 4 men, and others imployd in halling fire wood for the fort.
After Guard Relievd I went on Scout with 4 men, and went about 4 milds, making no Discovery Returnd to the fort.
2. Relievd Guard and Disciplind the men.
3. Sunday, Relievd Guard and Kept the Fort.
4. Dissiplind the men twice.
5. Relievd Guard, then imploy the men in halling fire wood.
6. Dissiplind the men.
7. Recd an Order, dated March 28th, from the Honbl Corll Wizer, commanding me immediately to Send an Atachment of men, 16 in number, to Relieve the Company stationd at Fort Hambleton.
8. Took possession of sd fort according to my orders, and the Company marchd of Leaving the fort in my care.
9. A Coppy of a Letter from Majr Willm Parsons, sent to then commander at fort Hambleton, I being there and no other. I opened the same, and found it to be a Coppy from the original, sent by Jacob Snyder, Insign, being then Commander at fort Norris, with which I could not content my self, but went of immediately to Easton to see the Majr.
10. Then spoke with the Majr at his own House, who orderd that the Leut., with 25 men of my Company, should immediately march to Riddin, to the Corlls, there to Recd further orders.
11. Returnd home to fort Hyndshaw, Receiving the Original of the Majrs order by the way, and acquainted the Leut. with the affair.
12. Got the men Ready for a march.
13. Conveyd the Leut’ with sd Company as far as fort Hambleton.
14. The Lieut. marchd with said Company about Eight O’Clock in the morning from Fort Hambleton, and 1 Returned to fort Hyndshaw.
I5. Dissiplind the men.
16. Went to see the Majr.
20. Return to Fort Hyndshaw, visiting Fort Hambleton on my way, and found all things in good order at both Forts. The Night following an Express came from fort Hambleton to me at fort Hyudshaw, with an accompt of a murder Committed about Sun set.
21. Went to Fort Hambleton with 7 men, and found it to be one Contryman, a Lad of about 17 years of age, Killd and Sculpd by the Indians, about 100 Rods from the fort Hambletou, which I took up and Buried the same day; Returnd safe with my men to fort Hyndshaw.
22. Dissiplind the men twice.
23. Imyloyd the men in halling firewood to the fort.
24. Sunday, all Keept the fort.
25. My Serjt Leonard Den, with 2 men of for subsistance to Samll Depues, having got within about 2 milds of sd Depues, sd Serjt. was shot, the 2 men Returnd and informd me of it, where upon an allarm was beat, and the neighbours all
gatherd to the fort; my self with 7 men went of immediately and found him Killd and Scalpd, and intirely Stripd and shamefully cut, that his bowls was Spred on the Ground, I immediately sent of 3 men to sd Depues for a Wagon, which being come we carried him to sd Depues, where we kept guarde that night.
26. Early in the morning we Buried him in a Christian manner, & all Returnd to Fort Hyndshaw.
27. Dissiplind the men, increasing our Sentinels as far as our week circumstance would allow.
28. Disiplind the men, giving them such Causion as I thought needfull.
29 and 30. Guarded the neigbours in their necessary Busines, with all that could possibly Leave the fort.
Sunday, all Kept the fort.
2. Dissiplind the men at 8 0’c in the morning, then imployd tho men in halling firewood for the Garrison.
3. Dissiplind the men at 8 0’c in the morning, then I went on Scout with 5 men, and traviled about 5 milds and Discovered nothing, and all Returnd safe to the fort.
4. Dissiplind tho men at 8 0’c in the morning, then I went on Scout with 5 men, & traviled about 6 milds, Discovering nothing; all Returnd safe to the fort.
5. About Eight in the morning, word came to me that an Indian was seen about 3 quarters of a mild from the fort; I went out immediately in persuit of them with Eight men & one neighbour, and found it true by seeing his track, but could not come up with him, but my men from the fourt saw him Runing from us at a Considerable distance from us, as they Likewise at the same time Could see some of my Company, as the few I left to Keep the fort affirmd to me at my Return, but I seeing nothing of him Returnd with my men safe to the fort. The same day one of my men, coming from a field where I sent a guard to Guard the neighbours at there work, saw three Indians coming down a mountain near sd field, he gave me notice, I immediately wont out with sd man and 2 others in persuit of them, not thinking it proper to go very far, the Garison being left very weak. I stood on guard with 2 men, while one went to allarm the Guard that was in the field, then Returnd to the fort, Discovering nothing.
7. At Eight of the Clock Dissiplind the men, after which some of my men, who had observd the night before as they were on Sentury, that the Dogs Keept an unusual barkiug and running to a particular place, went to see what the ocasion should be, and found that an Indian had stood behind a tree about 25 yards from the fort; being
told I went to see and found it true, his tracks being vissible enough to be seen; in the afternoon I went on Scout with 4 men and a neighbour, but made no Discovery, and all Returnd safe to the fort.
7. The men call to their Exercise at the usual time, after which I went wth 4 men to a Smiths shop whare we made an Instrument to take a Bullit out of my Horse, who was shot when Sert. Den was Killd, and all Returnd safe to the fort. .
8. Sunday, assisted some of the neighbours with their Goods and families to the fort.
9. Dissoplind the men, after which Guarded two of the neighbours iu their necessary Bussines, which what men could be Spaird, and continued the same to the
15. Sunday, we all Kept the fourt.
16. Tho weak handed, I went on Scout with 4 men, traviled about 4 milds, made no Discovery, and Returnd safe to the fort.
17 Dissiplind the men at 8 0’c in the morning, then guarded the neighbors with all I could Spair from the fort.
18. Exercisd the men twice; and all kept the fort.
19. After Exercissing the men, Guarded the neighbours, with all that oould be Spaird from the fort.
20. The Corporal, with 3 men, went on Scout by my order trailed about 3 milds, mad no Discovery, and Returnd to the fort;
21 Att 4 O’c, afternoon, Receivd a letter from Capt Busse to send a Corpll with 5 men, to meat him at Lest on the 22 day, to Guard him to fort Allin, which men I Dispachd in half an hour,
22. Sunday, we few which Remaind all kept the fort.
23. About 10 O’Clock in the morning I Receivd a Letter from Majr Parson, wherein be Desird me to come to Easton to Recc my pay, with the pay for my men; I having then but 19 men Left me to keep the fort, I toot the Case togather with my men into consiration, who all Begd of me not to leave the fort, where upon I wrote to the Majr and Begd of him to Consider our Circumstance, and Excuse me untill the men Returnd.
24. Dissoplind the Men at Eight in the morning, and all kept the fort being week handed.
25. I went on Scout with 3 men, and traviled about 3 milds in the mountains and Discoverd nothing; Returnd to the fort.
26. Disiplind the men, and all staid about the fort.
27. Dissiplind the men twice. .
28. At 2’0’c, afternoon, the men, who with Comisary Young, from Easton to fort Allen, Returnd all in Helth.
29. Esercisd the men, and all kept the fort.
30. I went on Scout with 3 men, and traviled about 4 milds, discoverd nothing and Returnd to the fort.
31. Dissiplind the men at 8 0’c in the morning, afternoon went on Scout with 4 men, went about 3 milds from the fort, Discoverd nothing, and Returnd to the fort.
June ye Ist,
The Corporal, with 3 men, went on Scout, and gave account of no discovery on their Return.
2. Five men sent to Samll Depues for subsistance, in the afternoon the fort allarmd by hearing several Guns fird, I immediately with 3 men, went to find out the Reason, & found it to be some who unwittingly shot at fowle in the River. Our men all Returnd safe about Sunsett.
3. I sett of on my Journey for Philadelphia, about 4 O’Clock in the after uoon, with 6 men as a Guarde, and came all safe to Fort Hambleton, and found every thing in good order there.
4. At.8 O’c in the morning Dissiplind the men, and gave strict orders to the Sergant to keep the men Exact to there duty, and about 4 O’c afternoon I persued my Journey.
5 I lay sick by the way within five milds of Easton.
6. Came to Easton and paid my Respects to Majr Persons.
7. Not withstanding the Ill Surcomstance of Body I was in I persued my Jorney.
8. About 4 in the afternoon I came to Philadelphia, and Deliverd the Express sent to Majr Persons, just as it was sent to him to his Honr the Governor, who Desird me to wait on him at 12 0’c the next Day.
9. I waited on his Honour as was requested, the answer from Mr. Potters was that my Busines should be done the next day at 9 0’c in the morning.
10,11 and 12. I waited, but it was not done according to Expectation.
13. About 3 0’c in the afternoon I left the Town.
14. About two in the afternoon I came to Easton, I directly paid my Respects to Majr Persons, who told ino that I should take a Supply of Ammonicion, where upon I provided Sacks and took l00lb of powder, lOOlb of Lead, and a 100 of Flints, and also Recd a Coppy from his Honour, the Governors orders to Remove to fort Hambleton, and left Easton about 6. 0’c and went about five milds.
15. Came safe to fort Hambleton with the Ammonicion, about 6 0’c afternoon, and found all things in good order.
16. At Eight 0’c in the morning Displd the men and orderd them all to shoot at a mark at Armes End, and some of them did Exceeding well then; taking a Scort of men with me I went to Fort where we all arrived safe. I immediatly calld the men to Arms, and Ordred every one to get their Cloaths, and what ever they had, together as quick as possible, and be Redy to march to fort Hambleton.
17 and 18. After Dissoplining the men as usual, we made every thing Redy for our march.
19. About 9 0’c in the morning we all marchd from fort Hyndshaw, with all the Baggage, and all arrived sale at fort Hambleton, and met with no opposition, and found all things in good order there.
20. At Eight in the morning calld the men under Armes, and after Exercissing the men, orderd out Six men on Samuel Dupues Request, to Guard him in taking his wife to the Doctr at Bethlehem, who tarrid all night at sd Depues; the same day I went on Scout with 4 men and one neighbour to git acquainted with the woods, as also to See if any Discovery could be made of the Enemy, but made no Discovery and Returnd to the fort.
21. At 8 0’c Exercisd the men, about 12 0’c the Guard, with sd Depue & wife, came to the fort, then orderd a Guard of ten men, who went of under the Care of a Corporal with sd Depue with orders, that after they had Guarded sd Depue as far as was needful, to Carry a Message from me to the Majr, at Easton, and to Return as soon as Dispatch could be made.
22. Exereisd the men that Remand at the fort as Usual; nothing Extreordinary hapned, so all kept the fort,
23. In the morning, near Eleven 0’c, the fort was allarmd by some of the neighbours who had made their escape from the Enemy, five of them in Company near Brawdheads house, seeking their horses in order to go to mill, was fird upon by the Enemy, and said that one of them, John Tidd by name, was Killd; where upon I immediately Draughted out 9 men, myself making the tents, in as private a manner as possible, and as privately went back into the mountains in. order to make a Discovery, giving Strict orders to those left to fire the wall peace to allarm us, if any attact should be attempted on the fort in my absence there, but Six men left at the fort, and coming in sight of sd house, on the back side Perceivd a small smoke arise at sd House, then traviling about a Quarter of a mild in order to surround, them, we heard four Guns, the first of which being much Louder than the rest, Expected the fort was attacted, where upon we Retreeted back about a Quarter of a mild, and hering no more Guns, my Councel was to go to the House, but my pilot, who was
well acquainted with the woods, thought it best to place ourselves in ambush, for they would come that way, he said; and as we ascended the mountain in order to place our selves we saw the house in a blaze, and the pilot thought best to Retire a little nearer between the house and the fort, where we might have a better view, and in the Retreet we heard 14 Guns fird as Quick after each other as one could count, then we placd our selves in two Companies, the better to waylay them; the party that was nearest between the house and the fort soon saw 27 Endeavouring to git betwen them and the fort, I, with the other party saw 5 more comeing on the other side, we found that we were discovrd and like to be surrounded by a vast number, wherefore we all Retreted and got between them and the fort, then haulting they came in view. I then Calinged them to come, and fird at them, and altho at a Considerable distance, it was Generally thought one of them was killed, by ther Sqootting and making off, then we all Retird to the fort; Immediatly upon our Return, a Scout of 13 men from the Jarsey, who were in search of Edwd Marshals wife, who was kill’d some time ago, came to the fort, being brought there by seeing the smoke and hearing the Guns fird, who all seemd forward to go after them, where I, with my nine men, went out with them, but having got some distance out they would go to the house to see whether the sd man was killd. Being come, we found him Killd and Scalpd, his Body and face Cut in an inhuman manner, Cattle also lying dead on the Ground, where upon they all went of and left me with my small number to take care of the Dead man; whereupon, we took him up and Returned to the fort, in which time my men that went to Easton Returnd to the fort.
24. Att about nine in the morning, having made redy; I went with 18 men and buried the man, then went from the grave in search and found 15 Cattle, Horses and hogs dead, besides two that was shot, one with 5 bulits, the other with one, and yet there are many missing, out of which the Enemy took, as we Judg, the value of two Beaves and almost one Swine–in the Evening sent an Express by two men to the Majrs.
25. Disciplined the men, nothing Extraordinary hapned, all Kept the fort that night; the two men that went with the Express to Easton Returnd in safety to the Fort.
26. Early in the morning Recd the Majrs Letter, wherein he showd himself very unesey that the men from Fort Norris had not Joynd me, and Desird me to send to fort Norris to know the Reason; and thinking it might be ocasiond for want of Cariages to bring their Stores, Desird me to indeavour to send a Wagon theather, accordingly, as I was indeavouring all I could in compliance of the Majrs Desire, about 3 0’c in the afternoon, Lieut. Hyndshaw came to the fort with ten men from Capt. Weatherhold, and Six from Fort Norris, showing his order from Corll Weiser, for him to Command Fort Hamilton, and for me to abide with a small number of men at Fort Hyndshaw.
27. At Eight in the morning calld my men under Armes as usual, and Draughted out Eleven men and sent them under the care of a Corpll, with 3 neighbours, in search of some Cattle, which they feard ware taken or Killd by the Euemy, at which time the Lieut. undertook to talk with me, and proposd to me that if I would Let him have Six out of the men I had with me, to Joyn the men he had from Captn Weatherhold, be would go to Fort Hyndshaw and stay there untill further orders, and Leave the Six men he brought from fort Norris with me, which I could not Comply with, as not being in my power, having movd to Fort Hamilton by bis Honours, the Governors order, there to be reinforcd by a Detachment from Fort Norris, their to stay untill further orders, at which the Lieut. went off with a Serjt, and a waiting man he brought wt him from fort Auguston, and left the 16 men he brought under no bodies care; the Scout which went out all Returnd safe to the fort, finding what they went in search of, all well.
28. After Exercissing my men as Usual, I sent out a Scout of 12 men under the care of Serjt., who traviled about Six milds out, and all Returnd safe to the fort, making no Discovery. I being not fully satisfied on the acct of the men Left with me, whome I could do no less to then feed and Give them their proper allowance of Rum, wherefore I wrote to the Majr, laying the Circumstance of the matter as plain as possible before him, Desiring his advice what to do in the Case, the which I sent of in the Evening by the Serjt, and one man with him.
29. After Exerclscing tho men I sent of Six men, under the Care of the Corporal, with Six of those men which the Lieut. left, who voluntarily went to assist and to Guard one Peter Snyder, in taking of some Cattle whome ho had, fled of and Left some time ago, least they should be Killd by the Enemy; in the Night the Serjt, wt the man that went wt him Returnd safe from Easton, with a letter from the Majr, wherein he advisd me to put the sd men on duty which was Ieft wt me, and where as he Expected Corll Weiser to be hare in a few days, to keep the fort untill he came, also Desird me to Endeavour to haston Lieut. Engles march to fort Hambleton.
30. I put the men left wt me on duty in the after noon, tho men that Guarded Peter Snyder all Returnd safe to the fort.
In the morning Calls my men under Armes, Draughted out ten men whom I sent under the Care of the Serjt, with nine of those men the Lieut. Left at the fort, whome I ordred where and how far they should travil on Scout, the which they performd and Returnd about one, after noon. About one 0’c, after noon, the Lieut. came past the fort, stoping at John McMackills, soon after Came to the fort and showd an Order from Corll Weiser, that I should Resign the Command of Fort Hamilton to him, upon which I Calld my men under armes, and as I was sending for the Lieut’, to Give up the Command to him, the Centunal hearing musick, acquainted me with it; I Expecting it was the Corll corning, delaid untill the Corll came, who weighing the Circumstances of things, continued me in posession of sd Fort.
A TRUE JOURNAL Of ALL TRANSACTIONS IN CAPTAIN JOHN
VAN ETTEN’S COMPANY FROM THE SECOND DAY OF JULY.
July ye 2d, 1757.
At Eight in the morning the men called to armes, at which time the Corll took a view of the men and their arms, aud finding all in good order, after Giving Orders for the Regulation of the Company about 12 o’clock, the Corll with his attendance marchd off, after which we all kept the fort.
3. All Kept the Fort it being Sunday.
4. After Disciplining the men a party of twelve men under the Command of a Serjt sent to Samll Depues with a Team for Necesary Subsistance, and all Returnd safe to the fort in the evening according to orders.
5. Very Rainy Weather unfit for Scouting or Exercise, alll keept the fort.
6. At Eight in the Morning calld the men to their Exercise, and Gave the men necesary Council how to behave according to the Orders Given to me by the Corll, at which time Complaint was made to me by some of the men that some of the Neighbours which Resided in the fort ware Lousey, by which means the whole Garrison would soon be in the same condition. I then Orderd the Corpll with 3 men to assist him to make a search, and found that one Henry Countryman and his family, and one John Hillman and his family ware Lousey, I ordred them out of the fort to their own house, it being but about 8 or 9 Rods from the fort, then Imployd tbe men to Clean the fort within Doors and without, which was accordingly done, also sent out a scout of four men with 3 neighbours who voluntarily went in hopes to find some Cattle they had missing to Return the same Day, which they did in the Evening all safe to the fort, making no Discovery of any Enemy.
7. At Eight in the morning I calld the men to their Exercise, then Devided the men into two Guards, Each Guarde to stand their Day, those that ware not on Guarde to be imploid in Scouting, Guarding the Neighbours and in things necessary to be done about the fort, and gave strict orders to those that ware on guarde that
they should not Leave their post nor go from the fort, and that Every Sentunal should behave well on his post, about one o’clock after noon having ocasion to go to John McMickles, saw John Jough. Coming out of the woods with hooppolls on his Sholder, who was one of the Guarde, Immediately the Corpll came to sd house, I then went home, and finding the Glass ran out I exemined the matter and found that the Sentunal had stood his proper time out and ought to be Reliev’d. I therefore calld the next man on the List and see to his Relieff myself, the men that ware not on Guarde I imployd in banking up the Earth against the Stockaders to prevent the waters Settling aud runing into the well which I found to be the Ocasion that the water was so bad in the well.
8. At Eight in the morning Relievd Guard, after which I imployd the old Guard in clearing out the well.
9. After Guard Relievd, a scout of ten men with the Serjt went wt some of the Neighbours to Mr. Broadhead’s place, who went on Nccesary Busines and met with no opposition, and all Return’d safe to the fort.
10. Sunday, a scout of 6 men went to Samll Depues on Necesary Busines, on their Return said they heard a person whistle, which they supposed to be an Indian, but see nothing, all Returnd safe to the fort.
11. After Guarde Believd, The Serjt with the old Guarde ten men Sent out on Scout to travil South-East, and as far as to Return by night which was performd, Meeting no Opposition nor Discovering any Signs of the Enemy all returnd safe to the fort.
12. At Eight in the morning calld the men to their Exercise and Relievd Guarde, after which upon John McMickels Impertunity ordred ten men as a Guarde, where he was Cutting his harvest some Distance from the fort, with whome I went my Self and placed them to the best advantage I could ordering none to fire his Gun Except, at an Enemy, and that 3 Guns should be an Allarm, they meeting no opposition all returned safe to the fort.
13. After the men exercisd and Guard Relievd, it was my intent to Guard John McMickle as the Day before but his Son in Law Coming from a Long Jorney or’Voiago Detained him from Labour, wherefore I then took the Old Guard consisting of ten men and three Neighbours, with whome I went on Scout Directing my course South about 5 miles from the fort, aud from thence west 2 miles,
thence by Judgment northerly so as to come to the fort in which way we came by the Sepperates Meeting house, where we found the Euemy had Lodged not long since, they Leaving a Bed of Fern even in the pulpit, But meeting no opposition all returnd safe to the fort.
14. At Seven in the Morning calld the men to their Exercise & Relievd Guard, I then went with John McMickle and ten of my men as a Guard, to Guard said MacMickle and men Imployd at his harvest, posting five men a Small Distance from the field, which I thought best to discover the Enemy if any Should attempt to fall upon the people at work, the other five I posted in the field, about 3 o’clock after noon I went wt the Corporal Round to the out Sentunals as privately as we could and found them all on their guard.
15. It being very Rainey unfit to be out with arms we all kept the Fort.
16. The Rain Continueing until near 12 o’clock I then went to John MncMickle and askd him wheather he was Ready to go to his harvest. But I saw no preparation or Inclination for it, wherefore I went to the fort intending to go on scout with a part of the men after Dinner, but before we ware redy four men came to the fort with an order from Corll Weiser, dated June 14th, 1757, the Contents ware as followeth, that he had Sent Orders to Lieut Hyndshaw to attend the Treaty with the ten men of Capt Weatherholts Company with him who ware then at Fort Hyndshaw, and Orderd me therefore without fail to seud ten men from fort Hamilton to replace those Ordered away, where upon I immediately draughted out nine men, the Corpll making the tenth whome I Sent off to the Lieut the same day, as soon as possably they could make them Selves Redy which was in about half an hour after Receiving the Corll Orders, Under the Cair of the Corpll with Orders to the Lieut, to station them as he thought fit, the which he posted at Samll Depues.
17. Sunday, seven of my small party of men left with me with four neighbours went on scout under the Command of the Serjt, who Traviled South-westerly about six miles, then taking a Compass norterly all returned safe to the fort making no Discovery of any Enemy.
I8. At eight in the morning I went with five men and guarded John McMickle at his harvest, placing 3 Seutunals a small distance from the field; and two in the field with the men at work, they meeting no Opposition all returned safe to the fort.
19. Early in the morning one Garrit Bradhead applied to me for a guard, to which I told him I would do for him what Lay in my power with the few men I had, I then ordred five men under the Cair of the Serjt & went my Self with one man to accompany me to the fort, and placed the Sentunals in the best manner I could for Safty, Leaving orders with the Serjt that fireing 3 guns should be an allarm, and then returned to the fort, and tended guard until ye Second Double Sentury.
20. Guarded sd Bradhead as the day before, and all returnd safe to the fort.
21. In Compliance with the Corlls order early in the morning I Sent to Samll Depues for the * (mare) he had in keeping in order to send my message to the Corll at Easton, who returnd with sd Mare safe in the Evening, also 4 men Guarded John Drake at his harvest with orders to give an account of what hapnd, which was all was well, but as to their behaviour after their coming to the fort, I shall acquaint the Corll of the matter.
*wor.d “mare” missing
In 1759 and 1760, John Van Etten was coroner of Northampton Co., Pa.
The following application for a license to sell liquor in Forks Township is in the Archives Room of the Courthouse at Easton, Pa.:
“To the worship full the Justices houlding Court at Easton for the County of Northampton the 17 Day of June, 1760.
“The petition of John van Etten Humbly Sheweth, that your petitioner is Comodiously Situated in A Convenient place for the Entertainment of travelers in forks twounship in the Said County aforesaid on the Road Leading from the upper part of the County to Easton and hath been heretofore Licensed to keep a publick hous your petitioner therefore Humbly prays that your worships will be please to grant him Recommandation to his honour the governor to Continue his Licence for keepping A publick hous where he now Lefs in the Said County and your petitioner as in Duty Bound Shall Ever pray”
(signed) John van Etten
The document is marked on the back: “Allowed”.
On May 21, 1764, John Van Etten bought from his father-in-law, John Lefevre, 260 acres on Tatamy’s Creek in Bucks Co., Pa. (formerly Northampton Co.), for 500 pounds. In 1775, John Van Etten sold this land to Frederick Diehl. Probably at this time he moved to Rowan Co., N.C., where he lived until his death in 1786. In 1778 he served as a Justice in Rowan Co., N.C.; this civil service during the Revolution qualifies his descendants for membership in the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution. In 1780, for 50 shillings for every hundred acres, the governor of North Carolina, Richard Caswell, granted John Van Etten 300 acres on the east side of Hunting Creek near the Yadkin River in Rowan Co. (now Davie County). John Van Etten’s will, written March 20, 1786 & proved in Rowan County court.
May Session, 1786; recorded at Salisbury,- N.C., Book C, p. 181
Jan Van Etten
From the book written by Eva Alice Scott
Jan VanEtten: bp. 4/17/1720 Knightsfield, Ulster Co. NY d. before March 20, 1786 Rowan County, NC. married 1st Mar. 26,1738 to Maritje Westfael, b. at Minisink and bp. Jan 31, 1720 daughter of Jurian and Maria (Cuddeback) Wesfael; both living at Minisink, married by Justice Anthony Westbrook April 13. These records were taken from a pamphlet by Rev. J.P. Ten Eyck, printed 1877; ceremony performed by J.C. Fryenmuth unless otherwise stated as it was in this case. Mary Westfall VanEtten was received into the church June 19, 1745 and Jan was elected Deacon in 1745 and appointed Prelector of Reader. They settled about 1750 near Easton, PA. The first attempt to organize Smithfield was in 1746. The name of Jan VanEtten does not appear upon the list of signers – upon the back of the petition is endorsed the words “Plan next court” and at the next court his name is not upon the list, but in December, 1750 (two years later) his name does appear with the other petitioners for “A township to be bounded by Buchskill on the south, to which creek there is a grant of a township, by Delaware on the east, and by lands belonging to the honorable Propreitaries on the north and west.” The petitioners represented themselves as “the remotest livers from the honorable court.” This application was held under advisement. This Van Etten no doubt was Jan as Smithfield was the first township and on August 22, 1767 John VanEtten residing in Forks Twp. PA deeded land to his brother Johannes Van Etten, three tracts, containing 68 acres, lying below the Namanock Islands in the Delaware river – this land was in Delaware Twp., now Pike Co., PA. In this deed John’s wife was named Margaret. PA Archives, Ser.3, Vol. 2, p 388 gives a little side light on this land. “Land Office, March 24, 1767 John VanEtten enters a caveat against the acceptance of a survey made for John Cartwright by virtue of his application number 1931 date of Oct., 10, 1766 for the land in Lower Smithfield Twp, Northampton Co., alleging the he hath a prior right, warrant granted to Longshore the day of — the same until they have a hearing in the said. David Kennedy, James Tilgham, secy. to John Lukens, Esq. S.G.” and on page 642 of the same: “June 6,1783, Samuel Decker enters a caveat against granting a patent to John VanEtten for a tract of land in Delaware Twp, Northampton Co, surveyed by virtue of a warrant or location to John VanEtten Senior, alleging that the said warrant was not located in the place where the survey is made and the he, said Decker, has an improvement on the land.” David Kennedy, Sec’y John Luken, Esq’r. Then again in Ser. 2, Vol2 p 112 “Johanna Vanetta against the heirs of Daniel Vanetta – on hearing the parties it appears that Daniel Vanetta has transferred his right to the land in dispute, to Johanna Vanetta by deed dated March 10, 1770, now produced – therefore allowed patent to said Johanna Vanetta.”
The Capt. John VanEtten who was in command at Ft. Hyndshaw at Bushkill, Pike Co. and at Ft. Hamilton, Stroudsburg was also a Judge in the orphan court in 1754. “In 1755 Capt. John VanEtten’s company was from Upper Smithfield.” Capt. John kept a diary dated Ft. Hyndshaw and Ft. Hamilton Dec 1, 1756 to July 21, 1757. His diary ended abruptly in July 22, 1757 and many historians believed that he had died, as in the PA Arch. Ser. 5, Vol. 1 p. 62 in “Field Officers and Captains in Provincial Pay 1744-1765, 2nd PA., 1st Co. John VanEtten, Resigned B” and further on “The late VanEtten’s Company” not necessarily meaning that he was deceased.
So far the death (or divorce) of Mary Wesfael VanEtten has not been found but the records show that Jan married the second time about 1757 to Margaret LeFevre, daughter of John and wife Christina (Wentz), who kept “public house’ near the Bushkill in the township of Forks abt. 6 mi. from Easton at the time of the laying out of Easton. Mr. A.D. Chidsy Jr., President of the Northampton historical Society (1935-37) in his book “A Frontier Village – pre Revolutionary Easton’ weaves quite a tale around the romance between Capt. John VanEtten of the Minisinks and Margaret LeFevre, the inn-keeper’s daughter, which culminated in marriage. The records show that on June 17, 1760 John petitioned for a license for a “Place of Entertainment for travelers’ in Forks Twsp.
May 21, 1764 John LaFevre of the twp. of Worcester, Philadelphia Co, PA and Christina, his wife, sold to John VanEtten of the Forks, Northampton Co., yeoman, the land which he had acquired from the proprietaries in 1745, situated on Tatmey’s creek in the county of Bucks (since the division of the counties is within the limits of the said Co. of Northampton0, containing 368 acres together with appurtenances, etc. – for 500 lbs. lawful money. In 1775 John and wife Margaret sold this same tract to Frederick Diehl. LaFevre’s will is on file at Philadelphia, PA, probated in 1779 in which he mentions his daughter Margaret, as wife of John VanEtten.
Several children of John and Margaret are buried in the cemetery on the farm place near Easton (or Stockertown) and their graves are marked by stones bearing English inscription. A Mrs. Stecker, wife of Melchoir was also buried there on the VanEtten ground. Her tombstone bears the date 1776. The names of John VanEtten and John LaFevre were among the first settlers in Forks. James Searle was the first surveyor residing in the Forks twp. and occupied a dwelling on John VanEtten’s land.
John’s name is on the tax list of Forks in 1772 and in 1775 his daughter Rosina was baptized at the Plainfield Reformed Church.
In 1780 John VanEtten’s name first appears on record as purchasing land in Rowan Co., NC and in 1786 his will was probated, in which he states “to prevent all future debts and disputes between my six children by my first wife, and my present wife an her children, and as touching my North Carolina rights, I have left to my six children by my first wife five shillings apiece and no more. I do hereby debar my executors of paying them any more of my present estate either value personal of any kind what so ever–” etc. – “likewise I give and bequeath to my four sons, Samuel, John, Abraham and Isaac — and my four daughters, Elizabeth, Christian, Rosanna and Sarah”
John VanEtten is supposed to have been buried on his farm in Rowan Co, NC, but the present owners know nothing of any burials there and there are no markers. When Margaret died is not known but she followed him – no doubt she lived with her son on the old home place of 300 acres, which were granted to John for 50 shillings for every 100 acres on the east side of Hunting creek – by Richard Caswell, Gov. It is believed that the son Samuel remained in NC, as Abraham appears in Sugar Creek Twp, Greene Co, OH in 1803 (he sold his NC land to his brother Samuel); John is supposed to have gone to GA. In the 1790 census of NC they seemed to have dropped the Van and call themselves just Eaton; in the Salisbury Dist. of Rowan Co. are listed, Christian, Christopher, Daniel, Ebenezer, George, Isaac, Peter and Thomas. Abraham of Greene Co, OH was known as VanEaton. Hunting Creek empties into the Yadkin River. Capt. John’s land was located in what is now known as Davie County, NC