Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Christian Sr VAN GUNDY

The birth dates for Christian and his children as posted in prior family histories, could not possibly be correct due to transactions between father and sons who would have been 2, 7, and 13 years old. Also, the list of children and their mates does not agree with a land transfer which lists Christian's heirs. The Official Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers lists only the first 5 children as comprising his family.

Residences and events in Christian's life:

Lancaster Co, PA

4/30/1760 A Philip Erps of Heidelberg, Lancaster Co, PA, yeoman, applied for 300 acres of land on the east side of Buffalo Creek on the West Branch of the Susquehanna, including an improvement.....for 16 pounds paid by Christian "VanGonty."

1763 Earl Twp, Lancaster Co, PA was the first year his name appeared on the tax assessor's list as Christ Condy, inmate (inmate = tenant).

1769 That year his was listed as Christian Gundey and taxed for 30 acres.

1769 From the Annals of Buffalo Valley, PA: "The John Ewing survey was made on the 3d of March, extending from the east line of the officers' survey, down Turtle creek, to the Gundy farm."

1770 Christian Gunty was again taxed for 30 acres, 12 improved.

1771 The last year his name appeared on the taxt assessor's list in that county. He was recorded as Christian Ganndey along with brother John Gundey.

1773 Northumberland Co, PA. Christian probably had not moved but when a new county was carved from Lancaster Co, he found himself residing in the new one.

1773 Again from the Annals: "Christian Van Gundy recommended for license. He kept a tavern at the Strohecker landing, his house standing on (Ludwig) Derr's land. Its remains were removed by excavation for the railroad in 1854."

Strohecker's Landing was just south of the present Lewisburg on the Susquehanna River. Later, Chrisitan was involved in a 7 year court battle with Derr over this land, the result being Christian, his sons, and son-in-law, George May, had to pay a fine of 40 pounds. Christian also operated a grist mill and saw mill on the River.

8/1774 Again from the Annals: "To August term one hundred and forty suits were brought. There was also an ejectment brought by Christian Van Gundy vs. Ludwig Derr for the site of Lewisburg."

The following inquiry was received from Strohecker researchers: "I am researching my family line of Strohecker in PA I am trying to locate some information on the ferry the Van Gundy Family operated south of Lewisburg. I was told by Bucknell College that the ferry was sold to the Strohecker Family, yet no year was offered." That was probably Christian, since he ran the mill, providing folks on the other side of the river a way to bring their grain and lumber to the mill for processing.

Christian and several of his brothers and sons were involved in Court of Pleas suits in this county at one time or another.

1/8/1774 Buffalo Twp, Northumberland Co, PA. Christian bought 60 acres from Christian Evay for 50 pounds, 30 of which was paid as a down payment, the rest at 10 pound/year.

1775 Christian was taxed for 10 acres and 2 horses.

1776 Again from the Annals:

It is singular, after a careful search of contemporary documents, I can find no allusion to the treaty, said to have been held at Fort Augusta, at the time this incident occurred. It appears by contemporary evidence, that the Indians cut down their corn, and moved off their families and effects, on the 1st of July. Two Seneca Indians came to the Great Island, (just below Lock Haven,) the day before, and the whole party moved off suddenly, to join the Six Nations in the war. That is the last we know of them as residents of the West Branch valley, and our troubles with them then began.
In a letter, dated Paxton, August 27, 1776, John Harris says:
"The Indians, to the northward, southward, and westward, are for war against us, as I am informed by a letter from Northumberland county, by their post, two days ago. The Susquehanna Indians are only for peace with us. About twenty Indians, (enemies,) men, women, and children, have been many days past at Sunbury, and make said report." In all probability this was the party that stopped at Derr's trading-house, and the date of the
incident, therefore, August, 1776.
Christian Van Gundy (father of Captain Jacob Gundy, who is my authority,) often related the incident. He said, his father, Christian Van Gundy, senior, lived between John Strohecker's and the late Jacob Spidler's, and kept the ferry there. He thought he was about thirteen years old at the time; but it appears, by his tombstone, that he was born about the 1st of March, 1766, and if thirteen, it would throw the date beyond that of the
death of Captain John Brady, (11th April, 1779.) He could, therefore, have been only ten years of age. To resume his story: he said he saw the Indians come up the river, until they
arrived opposite where they lived. They stopped, carried some things ashore, and left the women there, then crossed over to Derr's trading-house. He asked his father for permission to go up to see the Indians. He said he saw Derr knock in the head of a whisky barrel, and give the Indians tin-cups to drink with. They drank and danced, and showed how they scalped by gestures. Most of them got beastly drunk; but one would not drink any. He
then saw Brady approach, and kick over the barrel, which put an end to the frolic. He said they would seize each other by the hair, and go through the form of scalping, tearing off the scalp with the teeth. (Derr's house stood by the cherry tree in the present garden, and the barrel was just in front. So John Brown, senior, said, who owned the mill property many years.)
R. B. McCabe, Esquire, of Blairsville, Indiana county, (whither William P. Brady removed,) published, some forty years ago, in the Blairsville Record, some sketches of the life of Captain Samuel Brady, written upon the dictation of one of the Brady family, (so the late Jasper E. Brady informed me,) in which this incident is alluded to. He says Captain John Brady lived on the West Branch, opposite the site of Lewisburg, on the place owned by
Honorable George Kremer's heirs. Derr bad a small mill on the run that empties into the river below the town, where he supplied the Indians with powder, lead, rum, &c. Brady discovered that the Indians were likely to be tampered with by the British, and proposed making a treaty with the Seneca and Muncy tribes, who were up the West Branch, and were at variance with the Delawares, who were on the North Branch. Captain Brady
and two others were selected by the people at Fort Augusta to go after the Senecas and Muncys. The Indians met them in a very friendly manner, and promised to attend at Fort Augusta on the day appointed.
They came down about one hundred strong, and dressed in war costume. The people at the Fort were too poor to give them anything of value, and they did not succeed in making a treaty. They left the fort, however, in a good humor, and taking their canoes, proceeded homeward.
Late in the day, Brady thought of Derr's trading-house, and mounting a small mare he had, crossed the North Branch, rode home with all speed. He saw the canoes of the Indians on the bank of the river, near Derr's, and, when near enough, saw the squaws working the canoes over to his side of the river, and when they landed they made for the thickets of sumac which grew on his land. They were conveying the rifles, tomahawks, and
knives into the thickets, and hiding them. Brady jumped into a canoe and crossed to Derr's trading-house, where he found the Indians drunk, and a barrel of rum standing on end before Derr's door, with the head out. He instantly overset it and spilled the rum, saying to Derr, "My God, Ludwig, what have you done?" Derr replied, "Dey dells me you gif um no dreet down on de fort,so I dinks as I give um one here, als he go home in bease." One
of the Indians told Brady he would one day rue the spilling of that barrel; and Brady, being well acquainted with the Indian character, was constantly on his guard for several years.

"George Derr had built another mill where Joseph W. Shriner's now is. In repairing it, some years ago, Mr. Shriner found an old stone, with date of 1778 carved upon it, no doubt the date of Gundy's mill, a few rods above it."

11/1/1778 Apparently in preparation for setting up housekeeping, sons, Jacob and Christian, Jr, bought the following items from their father for 60 pounds:

"One wagon with the horses & horse tackels & other appurtenances thereto belonging & also two cows four Haffers & two calfs and eight Sheep, six hogs Plow Harrow one iron Kittle two Stoves two beds & bedSteeds & other household goods one Pair of Mill Stones Bolten Cloth mill irons of both saw Mill and Griss Mill"

He also deeded land to both of them on this same date.

4/15/1779 He bought 300 acres from Philip Erbs/Erps, for an unspecified amount.

1779 Christian, the most famous member of the family in the county, served in the Rev War as a Sergeant under Col. John Kelley in the Pennsylvania Milita of Northumberland Co, PA. In May 1779 his group attempted to rescue John Sample and his wife from Indians but were driven off. The account was recorded in Linn's Annals of Buffalo Valley 1755-1855:

"By 1779 many people had left the (Buffalo) valley and the Indians were murdering at every opportunity. Col. Kelly and his Militia were out to try and check a marauding party of 15 to 17 Indians, who killed several settlers. Christian Van Gundy, Sr. went with a party of 6 men to rescue an old couple, who lived near Ramsay's schoolhouse in White Deer. After they got there Vangundy had slabs put up against the door and water carried upon the loft.

After dark an Indian came around, barking like a dog, but they paid no attention and slept until 3:00 a.m. when Vangundy got up and started a fire. The Indians then surrounded the house and tried to beat in the door with a log. Those inside fired and saw two wounded Indians carried off by their fellows. Another one came behind the house and set it on fire. Vangundy mounted the loft, knocked off some of the roof and put out the fire; but while doing this was struck on the leg by a spent ball, which marked him for some time.

At daylight, they took a vote and four of the six voted they should try to leave the place. Opening the door they found a dead Indian Chief. Vangundy took the chief's rifle and Van Dyke his powder horn. Suddenly, the other Indians came with loud yells to attack and the
whites separated. Vangundy elected to drop into a ravine with his two guns and tried to get the old people to go with him; but they refused and followed the younger men. Vangundy said he soon heard shots, which no doubt killed the old couple, who were found dead and scalped later. He never expected to get out alive, but determined that with
his two guns he could at least account for two of the savages. He made a circuit of seven miles and came out at Derr's Mill. By the time Col. Kelly had reached the area with the second detachment of his Militia they at once set out to persue this band of Indians and arrange a plan of alarm and defense for the few settlers, who remained in the valley."

And again: "1st November, 1872, I visited William Allison, of Potter's Mills, Centre county, confined to his house by a paralytic stroke, (he died on 11th February, 1877, aged eighty-five,) who told me that his father, Archibald Allison, was one of the party that had gone to bring the Samples off. He related the story substantially as I have given it, as related to me by Captain Jacob Gundy. He added some particulars: that after they got there, they heard the peculiar gobble of wild turkeys, and Gundy said he would go out and shoot one.
Vandyke said: "You'll catch turkey, if you go out there." (Surmising a common trick of the Indians to imitate turkey calls; two soldiers at Potter's Fort were enticed out in that way and killed.) That the man wounded through the thumb cried and howled so they had to threaten him to keep him quiet. That they drew the old chief inside the house and scalped him, and divided his accouterments. His father got the string of wampum, which was about the house for a long time. On leaving the house, the two wounded men, with the old people, were placed in the center. They had left the house about sixty rods in the rear, when the Indians sallied out from behind the barn, about thirty in number, according to Mr. Allison's account. Gundy and party held a hurried consultation and agreed to separate, Gundy taking the left, with the old people, the rest of the party the right. Allison concealed one of the wounded men under a log, and the Indians crossed it without discovering him. In the race, Allison lost his moccasins, and when he arrived at the fort, (as the rendezvous was called, on John
Lesher's place, formerly Billmyer's,) his feet were bleeding so that he could have been tracked by the blood. Archibald Allison was then only eighteen years of age."

1781 The Annals again cited: "To November term we have the commencement of a series of suits between Ludwig Derr and Christian Van Gundy, which, after many years, ended in the pecuniary ruin of the latter. It was brought to November term, lessee of Christian Van
Gundy vs. Thomas Troublesome, lessee of Ludwig Derr, with notice to Christian Hettrick, tenant in possession. It astonishes a lawyer of the present how our predecessors managed to keep cases so long in court. Van Gundy's application had not the shadow of chance against Derr's title; yet the contest went on for years, until Van Gundy's money gave
out. This suit was for the present site of Lewisburg."

1782 "During this year, a boy sent to Van Gundy's mill (now J. W. Shriner's, near Lewisburg,) was shot from his horse. This occurred on the Meixell place, a short distance above Francis Wilson's. He was only fourteen years of age, and his name has not been preserved, but the spot, a marsh by the present road, was haunted, people said, by his
ghost riding a white horse."

1786 "At May sessions, C. Van Gundy was bound over for forcible entry, &c., renewing the old controversy with George Derr, Ludwig's son."

1788 "In August, Christian Van Gundy, William Irvine, John Thompson, David Watson, and Andrew Billmyer reported that they had laid out the road, beginning at Derrstown, on the West Branch; thence to the meeting-house, in Buffalo; thence to Thompson's mill, on Buffalo creek; thence to the east side of George Rote's lane, where it intersects the road leading from Davidson's ferry to the narrows; distance, nine and a half miles. (Thompson's mill became Rockey's in 1789.) This is the road leading past the late Francis Wilson's, (by old Billmyer place,) to Mifflinburg."

"The road from Sunbury to Buffalo and Penn's valley is marked as intersecting the last mentioned road, some distance from the river, and crossing Limestone run, opposite Third street then entering Fourth street, and running along it out to the creek, it crossed the creek at Colonel Slifer's upper farm, the site of the new iron bridge built there, then the site of High's saw-mill, the remains of which are yet visible, where it intersected a road leading up to Gundy's mill above, and thence up the Valley."

4/1/1789 Christian and Ann sold the Erps land of 300 acres to sons, Christian, Jr, and Jacob for 50 pounds. They were probably the same two men who had bought the various items in 1778.

1790 Again from the Annals: "Among those assessed in Buffalo township-
Van Gundy, Christian; Van Gundy, Henry; Van Gundy, John"

1790 Northumberland Co, PA. Christian's family was counted in the census there with 2 males over 16, 1 under 16, and 2 females. Next door was brother Joseph and in the same area were sons Christian Jr. and John.

4/4/1793 Buffalo Twp, Warrant 52, 40 acres

10/24/1796 Surveyed 40 acres. The land was never patented which means Christian never paid for the land before moving west.

From the History of Northumberland Co, PA:

"At the time when the public school system was adopted by Turbut township (1834), there were six school houses within the present limits of Delaware, located, respectively, at Warrior Run church; at Watsontown; at the river (now known as Nicely's); at the Fry school house, known at an early day as Gundy's, and subsequently as "Solomon's Temple;"

1796 "List of Inhabitants of East Buffalo.

The occupation, where not mentioned, is that of farmer; improvements, when not added to the name, are log-house and barn; c, for cabin:
Gundy, Christian, grist and saw-mill at George Derr's"

1804 And the Annals say: "Christian Gundy lived where John W. Brown now lives."

1802 Ross Co, OH. Christian was listed in the 5th roster of Pioneers of First Families of Ohio as arriving that year. All of his children, with the exception of Christian, Jr, accompanied him.

He built a grist mill on the Kinnikinnick Creek on the northwest corner of section 21, 7 miles from Chilicothe, with the help of locals who had grown weary of traveling 70 miles to a mill. There is a story that he went to Wheeling, WV, and by killing and selling deer he made the money with which to buy nails, glass, and iron for the mill, which he transported back to OH on pack horses. He first obtained a lease of the 600 acres of land on which the mill was situated, and later received the deed for at least 400 acres of it where he lived until his death.

9/24/1803 Chillicothe, Ross Co, OH. Apparently the mill was used for more than grinding grain as an article in the local newspaper reported the court of inquiry met there to examine charges against 2 officers for their conduct during an Indian alarm.

10/29/1804 Ross Co, OH. He entered S21 T9 R21, claiming 599 acres.

1805 "Marriages, by Henry Spyker, Esquire

Peter Epler to Eve Christ. Witnesses, Henry Fulmer, Christian Van Gundy, John Smith and wife, &c., (April 4.)"

10/30/1806 The newspaper again carried an item which stated "Christian VanGundy, at Kinickinic, wants to erect a mill dam at his house," probably to provide a constant source of power.

The mill was later sold to son-in-law, John Wolf, about 1815, possibly as part of Christian's estate settlement.

1809 Fairfield Co, OH. Local history recorded:

"The first settlers of Liberty township were emigrants from Switzerland and Pennsylvania. It cannot now be ascertained who was the very first settler of the township.
Christisn Gundy and family came from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1809, settling in the southern part of Liberty, on Walnut Creek. He erected a small log cabin, having a blanket for a door. His descendants still reside here." (This entry may belong to another Christian since this was the only item in this county for this name.)

10/18/1809 Chillicothe, Ross Co, OH. Christian received a patent for land which was a portion of Worthington's Survey.

9/6/1810 Ross Co, OH. Christian and his wife sold 2 parcels of land, one containing 113 acres, the other 10 acres, for $369 to son-in-law, George May. The same date, they sold another 120 acres to the children of Isaac Gunner (Conner), also for $369. This was land
patented to Christian on 10/18/1809. The deed was witnessed by brothers, David VanGundy and Jacob VanGundy, signed in Dutch.

Apparently on this same date, he also deeded land to son, Jacob, reserving the right to use the mill race during his lifetime, that privilege being revoked when the heirs sold the property in 1823.

1813 "October 25, John Snook and wife conveyed the school-house lot in Union township to Christian Gundy, et at., trustees, bounded by Macpherson, Jenkins, Epler, &c."

"George Derr had built another mill where Joseph W. Shriner's now is. In repairing it, some years ago, Mr. Shriner found an old stone, with date of 1778 carved upon it, no doubt the date of Gundy's mill, a few rods above it."

1816/17/18 Green Twp, Ross Co, OH. Although Christian had died, his property was not sold for several years so his name continued to appear on property tax rolls. Also taxed in the same township were David, Jacob, Peter, and Samuel.

5/8/1823 Ross Co, OH. Christian's heirs and their spouses, that is, all the children except Christian, Jr, sold the land to Jeremiah and John Crouse, Jr, for $4000. The deed was recorded on 10/7/1823.

The land was described as: "being part of section number twenty one in Township number nine and range number Twenty one (Worthingtons survey) Beginning at the South west corner of the above described section Thence East seventy nine poles to a Post corner of Jacob Vangundy's land from which a white oak twenty nine inches in diameter
bares North eighteen degrees West Twenty five links distance Thence North two hundred and forty five Poles to a white oak in The lane Thence North eighteen degrees east Twenty one and a half Poles to a black oak Stump from which two white haughs Three inches diameter bares North Twenty eight degrees west Twenty Two link distance Thence
North Thirty degrees West Thirteen poles to a Stump in the Race bank from which a Sycamore six inches in diameter bares North sixty seven degrees West for Three links distance Thence north forty Poles to a Stake in a Prarie thence West seventy seven Poles to the North west corner of said Section Thence South with the setion line to the beginning containing one hundred and forty five acres more of less likewise all The privilege that was reserved for the use of a mill race by Christian Vangundy in his lifetime in a deed granted To his son Jacob Vangundy baring date The sixth day of September one Thousand eight hundred and ten and on record in the Recorders Office of Ross County."

It was signed by all the heirs, the women signed with an "x," while witnessed by John Entrekin as Justice of the Peace and Daniel Vangundy.

Some say he died 1803 but he was in records after that and his estate case file was dated 1813.

A memorial marker for Christian and Ann was erected there in 2007 by 5th gr grandsons Ronald and Richard Martin.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

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