Thursday, September 17, 2015

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.

Please see this list of all My Revolutionary War Ancestors.   I welcome your comments. Please consider joining this BLOG as a follower or  a member.                                                                Copyright
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  1. When those Van Bencscotens got to Seneca, Ohio, they were Benscoters. I am endlessly fascinated by these folks.

  2. Thanks Marjory! Glad you mentioned that connection to Seneca Co., Ohio. I think the migration patterns of families in Pennsylvania to parts west are very interesting too.

  3. Hello Cynthia & Happy New Year! I stumbled on to your blog tonight. Elias Middaugh ran an Inn, in Chemung, NY
    I keep a website on history of the town. is a link on Elias Middaugh. I live in his son's house Abraham Middaugh, which was located across the road from Elia's Inn. On Ancestry, I found mention of Elias having a wife with the name of Maria Decker. (?) By the way, I am the person that replaced his broken marker and was responsible for the Dutchtown Cemetery Cleanup. My husband and I place a flag on Elia's Grave and 5 other patriots every spring. I think the Dutch connection is interesting, as my husband is from Michigan, and is Dutch! Mary Ellen Kunst

  4. Hi Mary Ellen, Thank you for your comments. It is really interesting to hear that you life in the same area where Elias lived. I like the link about Elias Middaugh, lots of good stuff there. Keep up the work on website. And a very special thank you for placing the flag and marker on his grave.