Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Drowned Lands!

I've recently been going through the piles of research notes I'v written in the past several years. It's interesting to try to follow my own breadcrumbs! But it also has lead me to re-discovering some things. Like for example, an advertisement in an 1808 and 1810 NY newspaper called the Commercial Advertiser, which read like this:
"Pubic notice is hereby given to the owners or proprietors of the Drowned Lands in the County of Orange, that the Subscribers, Commissioners appointed by the Act entitled "an act to raise monies, to drain the Drowned Lands in the County of Orange," have, by virtue of the power in them vested, deemed proper fo Assess the owners or proprietors of said Drowned Lands, for the purpose of draining the same, the sum of thirteen thousand two hundred and fifty three dollars, to be paid within three months to the said Commissioners, which assessment they have apportioned among the said owners or proprietors, according to the proportions in the roll specified, which has been duly made and filed agreeable to law, by the Inspectors in the said act appointed, and is as follows:"

In the first column, the following names appear together, making me wonder if they weren't neighbors:

Jacob Smith: $20
Daniel Millspaugh: $12.50
James Gillespie: $13
David Millspaugh: $4.50

So first off, what in world are the Drowned Lands? Here is just some of the interesting reading on the topic.

Now here are the Gillespie-Millspaugh associations I can come up with:
  • Susannah Gillespie, daughter of Samuel Gillespie and Esther Rainey of the Pine Bush Gillespie's married Martinus Millspaugh at Dutch Reformed Church in Montgomery, Orange, NY. Supposedly, this Martinus was born 20 Feb 1769 in Walden, Orange, NY, son of Jacob Millspaugh and Elizabeth Bookstaver.
  • Then there was a Martinus I. Millspaugh born 1785, apparently the son of Jacob Millspaugh and Eva Crist, who married a Sarah Gillespie, with no suggestion as to where that Gillespie name comes from as the only source seems to be an SAR application. However, Martinus and Sarah are attributed as being the parents of a Wheeler Case Millspaugh, which caught my attention. When James Gillespie died in 1817, the executor of his estate was David Millspaugh, who together with somebody named Wheeler Case were appointed as guardians to James' children. One of those children had the name Sally, which is a nickname for Sarah. It is entirely worth noting that somebody named Rev. Wheeler Case was the first pastor of the Presbyterian church at Pleasant Valley in Dutchess County, from 1765-1791, which is a time before our family was known to be in that area and seemingly a huge coincidence. It's more likely that the Wheeler Case mentioned in the Gillespie will is the one born in 1791 in Goshen who was a lawyer and an Orange County surrogate, who married Betsy Wilkin and attended the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen. All of which to say is that it appears that James and Mary Gillespie did have a daughter named Sarah who could have married a Millspaugh.
At the end of the day, however, this is just another passing point of interest. As far as I can tell, the only Millspaugh to purchase land in Oakland County in Michigan Territory was from Seneca County, NY. If the Millspaugh family in Orange County, NY had any connection to our Gillespie-Greer line, it's not evident, at least to me. The only thing we do know is that a seemingly unrelated-to-us James Gillespie had the misfortune of owning property in the Drowned Lands.

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