Thursday, September 17, 2015

Frederick Hughes (1820 - 1906)

The obituary notice of Frederick Hughes was published on the front page of the newspaper accompanied by a two column photograph of him.  It states...

"The venerable and widely known subject of this sketch was one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of Tioga County. He was born in Hughesville, Lycoming Co., Nov. 13, 1820 and died at his home at Mitchels Creek, April 25th, 1906. He was the oldest son of Jeptha and Betsy Hughes who came from a thrifty Pennsylvania German stock .

When four years of age Mr. Hughes came to this county with his parents and settled in the Covenesque valley near the present village of Nelson. About 1840 he walked from Laweranceville to Covington and there at the Bingham office, took up 60 acres of land at Mitchels Creek. From this he kept branching out until at the time of his death he and his children owned, in that vicinity about four square miles of the best farming lands of this county.

On June 16, 1846 he was married to Harriet VanWey who died about a year ago. Twelve children were born to them, nine of whom are still living. George, Frank, Charles, Simeon, John, Will, and Betty Meeker - all live near Mitchels Creek; Fred of Denver, Col., and Mrs. Phoebe Gaige, of Mansfield, Pa. Benjamin, Henrietta, Harriet are not living. There are also forty -six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Mr. Hughes left his parental roof when a mere boy with a determination to make his own way in life. He was always a hard working man and success crowned his every effort. He was keen and shrewd in business, but honorable and upright in every transaction. He was a devoted husband and a loving father whose wise counsel will be greatly missed by his children, who although well advanced in middle life, always looked to him for advice.

There is a vacancy in the old homestead that will be felt more keenly as the months roll on. But there are fond remembrances of such men and hope of a future reunion. The funeral was very largely attended at his home Friday afternoon."

He married Harriet Van Wey in Tioga, Pennsylvania. Harriet was born October 18, 1822 and died September 17, 1904 in Tioga.  At the time of her death, in addition to her twelve children, she was also a grandmother of   forty-six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  
A note from her obituary states, "She was born on the spot where the Tioga Junction depot now stands, a mile and a half from where she died."

She was the daughter of Henry Van Wey and his wife Elizabeth Middaugh. The Van Weys and the family of Elias Middaugh, her grandfather were of Holland Dutch descent. Information found in the article "Chief Settlers between 1820 and 1830", located in  the book, Tioga Township and Borough, by Henry H. Goodrich mentions Henry Van Wey as one of the earliest settlers in the area.  "Dr. Pliny Power came and settled for a time with his brother Dr. Simeon Power, both of whom were early settlers in Lawrence Township; ... Following him in the order of settlement at Tioga, as near as can now be stated, were Henry Van Wey, lumberman and farmer..."

Harriet's brother, John Van Wey, married Polly Hughes, sister of Frederick Hughes. These two families and Jeptha Hughes are neighbors on the 1850 census in Lawrence twp., Tioga Co.   For many years, her granddaughter Phoebe Hughes Button was the family historian.  Phoebe's  notes in the record book of the Hughes Reunion states that Harriet's  father's name was Henry Van Wey  and that  her mother's was Betsy. 
Frederick and Harriet  are both buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Tioga Pennsylvania.  Three generations of the Hughes family are buried here.   Their gravestone is in the same location as that of Frederick's father and mother, Jeptha and Betsy Hughes, and Frederick's son, Simeon. 
The descendants of Frederick and Harriet Hughes continued to hold summer time family reunions at the Hammond Dam Park in Tioga, Pennsylvania for over 75 years.  Descendants of the  Hughes family live  in many places throughout the United States, however  there are many Hughes descendants still living in the Tioga area.  Frederick and Harriet Hughes were my great, great grandparents.

Newspaper obituary,  "The Late Frederick Hughes",  The Argus, Tioga, Friday, May 4, 1906. With photo.
Find A Grave Memorial # 71301870  and  #71301998
Federal Census records
Family records of Cynthia Hughes Smith.


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Elias Middaugh (1756- 1819)

The grave of Elias Middaugh in the Dutchtown Cemetery, Wellsburg, Chemung County, New York is marked with a new monument and flag to honor our Revolutionary Patriot.

His will was probated on the 20th of  November, 1819.  His wife was not named, but the names of his children were given as Phebe, James, Elizabeth, Catherine, Abraham, Urania, Cornelius, Anthony, Mary, Charity, John, and Henry.  The executors for the will were Henry Wells, Esq., and son in law, Isaac Beidleman.

His father was Cornelius Middaugh and his mother, Elizabeth Van Benschoten,  both of Holland Dutch ancestry whose roots were in the Dutch Colony in Ulster Co., New York.   William Henry Van Benschoten  in his book about the Van Benschoten family in 1907  sites that our Elias Middagh married Sarah Van Aken.  The baptisms of three of their children appear in the church record at Mahackemack, now Port Jervis, New York.  One being Elizabeth who was christened on  October 29, 1780.  Elias Middaugh's name appears in the 1772 and 1778 Tax & Exoneration lists in Smithfield Township, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania.  It was during this time that Elias Middaugh provided service in the American Revolution.  The DAR list him as Ancestor #: A202512 and show his record in 1778 as a private 4th class of the 1st Company under Captain Anthony Shymer in the 6th Battalion of the Northampton Co. Militia commanded by Col. Jacob Stroud.  Military records also are found for 1777 and 1781 with the Northampton Co. Militia.

He is still in  Upper Smithfield Twp when he is enumerated in  the 1790 Census, sometime after which he moved on to Newtown, now Elmira, N.Y.  With the end of the Revolutionary War, soldiers began to move westward into territory that was still pretty rugged and on the edge of the frontier.

Van Benschoten provides this very interesting account of Elias' half brother, John Van Auken.  "In 1796 John, following the lead two years earlier of his brother in-law, Ludowick Van Demark, emigrated to Phelps, N.Y., brave Margaret carrying in her arms a son three months old. The hardships of the journey were great, what with three small children, household goods and cattle and the wild state of the country traversed. They made the journey with a covered lumber wagon and two yoke of oxen.  Four cows and ten head of sheep journeyed with them driven by one Richard Quick.  As they neared the Susquehanna  and were passing over a ledge of rocks they broke an axle-tree and this had to be replaced. The fording of the streams added greatly to their difficulties, in particular the passing of the Chenango river.  After grievous trouble they made the crossing of that water and came to  Newtown (Elmira) where Gen. Sullivan had fought one of his battles with the Six Nations.   Here Elias Middagh, a half-brother of John, had settled.   With him they rested a few days and then took up the struggle through the wilds again; indeed, wilderness trials beset them until  the head of Seneca Lake was reached."

From this account we know that Elias was in the Elmira, New York area before 1796.  I can only imagine that Elias and his family had just as arduous a trip traveling from Upper Smithfield Township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania to Chemung Township in Tioga County, New York as did his brother John.   Elias Middaugh  appears on the 1799 Tax Assessment, Town of Chemung, Tioga County,  New York; House & Farm, 626.85, 154.00, 0.78.   The 1800 Census for Chemung Twp, Tioga County, New York shows us the growth of his family whereby there are listed 2 males 0-9, 3 males 10-15, 1 male 16-25, 1 male 45 or older  and  3 females 0-9, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 16-25 and 1 female 26-44 in his household.  The 1810 Census  Chemung Twp, Tioga County, New York shows 1 male 10-15, 3 males 16025, 1 male over 45, 1 female 10/15, 1 female 16-25, 1 female over 45.  

And now the family connection.   Remember Orrseltie Ursula Dircks Hendricksen Jacobs Westbrook?   She  was the  mother of Johannes Westbrook (1662-1725)  who married Maddelen Decker (1666-1727).  They were the parents of Sarah Westbrook (1694-1766) who married Cornelis Van Aken (1690-1743), who had a son Abraham (born 1720), who married Catrina Rosenkrans (born 1728).    Their daughter is the Sarah Van Aken (1757-1819)  who married Elias Middaugh (1756-1819).    And their daughter, Elizabeth Middaugh (1780-1848),  married Henry Van Wey (1776-1836) in Tioga Co. Pennsylvania.  Henry's daughter, Harriet Van Wey, my  great, great grandmother, married Frederick Hughes.

Abstracts of Wills for residents who resided in that portion of Tioga County, New York that became Chemung County located at
"Van Bunschoten or Van Benschoten Family in America"  by William Henry Van Benschoten published 1907,  located online, July 23, 2003 at
Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Volume 8, pages  410, 426, 427, 428.  Available on line.
Daughters of the American Revolution,
Find A Grave Memorial # 77803677, Elias Middaugh, online.

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4; Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762-1794; Microfilm Roll: 331.
Family records of Cynthia Hughes Smith.

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