Van Gundy Family Tree


Notes for Joseph * Farney VAN GUNDY


This Joseph and 2 others, also denoted by * in their names, have been thoroughly researched by the PA genealogy society. A great grandson, Rev Michael V Van Gundy, stated that Joseph was the son of Peter of Lancaster Co, PA, both in a biography and in a letter some 15 years later, 4/16/1904, to Franklin P Van Gundy, Convoy, OH.

He was a cooper, later a Mennonite minister (interesting, since they do not fight in wars but he did) and finally a minister for the United Brethern church. He and son-in-law, Peter Forney were mentioned, as being ordained, in the history of the Meyers Mill congregation, a small congregation with partly Amish background, both eventually joining the United Brethren.

Residences & events in his life:

4/16/1776 Northumberland Co, PA. Filed in the PA land office Patent Books:

"Warrant bearing date of the Sixth day of August 1773 there was surveyed for Jacob Armbrister a certain Tract of land called "Veroli" Situate in Penns Township in the County of Northumberland....another Tract of Land called "Verona"...containing 49 acres and twenty one perches....and containing forty two Acres and fifty three perches....And Whereas the said Jacob Armbrister by his Deed dated the Ninth day of March 1775 Conveyed the said two Tracts of Land unto Joseph VanGundy of the said County in fee...Now at the Instance and Request of the said Joseph VanGundy that we would be pleased to grant him a Confirmation of the same....in consideration of the Sum of four pounds eleven Shillings and four pence Sterling....Josn Penn Esquire, John Penn junior and the right honourable Lady Juliana Penn....this Sixteenth Day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Seventy Six."

And again:

"John Penn Junior and John Penn Esquires - Patent to Joseph Van Gundy in pursuance of a Warrant dated the Nineteenth day of October 1774 there was surveyed for Joseph Van-Gundy a Certain Tract of Land called palatine Situate in Penns Township in the County of Northumberland....103 acres....And Whereas in pursuance of a Warrant dated the twenty second day of december 1774 there was Surveyed for said Joseph Vangundy a certain other Tract of Land called "Parma" Situate in Penns Township in the County of Northumberland aforesaid Beginning at a post a Corner of Jacob Armbrister's Land thence....to a post thence by joseph VanGundy's land....containing fifty four Acres and forty three perches...KNOW YE, that in consideration of the Sum of Seven Pounds Seventeen Shillings and ghree pence Sterling in lawful Money of Pennsylvania, to our use, paid by the said Joseph Van Gundy.....Signed by john penn, for himself, John Penn Jun. and the right honourable Lady Juliana Penn...sealed at philadelphia, this Sixteenth Day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Seventy Six."

Brothers Valley, Bedford Co, PA. Joseph may have been the leader of the Mennonites who settled in the Valley, at the very least, he was an important member of that community.

1777 He was listed as a 3rd Lt in Captain Weiser's Co of the Northumberland Co Militia.

11/11/1777 Lebanon, PA. He swore that he was not a symphazier with King George's cause, according to Rev War Oaths of Allegiance and states further that he took the oath of allegiance to the new revolutionary government before John Thome, Justice of the Peace.

Some say this was probably the Joseph listed in Capt Reagel's Co of Berks County Militia in 1780-1781. His commanding officer dropped the "Van" from name and Joseph did likewise, establishing the Gundy branch. However, for purposes of identification in this book, the name will stay Van Gundy.

1783 He was assessed for 100 acres, 2 horses and 2 cows.

1784 Elk Lick, Brothers Valley Twp, Somerset Co, PA. He probably never moved, rather the county lines shifted, making him a resident of the new county. At tax time his property consisted of 1 house with 6 whites in the household.

1/1785 Joseph VonGundy and Henry Bickel were witnesses to the will of Rudolph Souder of Bethel.

1790 In the census his name was Josiph Gunty with 1 male over 16 (himself) and 6 females (probably his wife and their first 5 daughters).

6/25/1793 & 1/13/1801 were the dates he took out warrants for 265 acres of land. The survey was dated 6/25/1819 and the Deputy Surveyor General, John Wells, entered a note that the first improvement on the land was made in April 1784, and the family had lived there since that date.

"The history of the Mennonite church dates back almost to the first settlement of Somerset county. Jacob Saylor, who settled on a farm on the west side of the Castleman's river, and in full view of Meyersdale, about 1773, was a member of the Amish church, but becoming dissatisfied about some now unknown matter, he withdrew from that church. A Mennonite bishop (as the Saylor traditions say) came out of Lancaster county and ordained him to the Mennonite ministry. In his will, probated about 1796, he calls himself a Mennonite preacher. After being set apart for the ministry he organized a small congregation who worshiped at
the houses of the members. An aged minister of the church who was a descendant of Jacob Saylor once told the writer that Joseph Gundy and Peter Fahrney also preached for these people. From a reference in Jacob Saylor's will to Christian Kneagey, it may be inferred that he also was a preacher of this church. The most of the early members lived in Elk Lick and Summit townships. In 1808 Mr. Gundy withdrew from the church, and for a period of about forty-five years there does not seem to have been any resident minister, or until about 1853."

Joseph became friends with United Brethren minister, Christian Newcomer, and was mentioned many times in his journal as it seems Newcomer stayed with Joseph's family whenever he visited Somerset Co. It may have been Newcomer's influence which eventually caused Joseph to leave the Mennonites for the United Brethren.

10/27/1798 - "I stayed this night with a Mennonite preacher named Gundy; our souls immediately flowed together in Love."

5/25/1799 E Buffalo Twp, Northumberland Co, PA. Joseph conveyed 400 3/4 acres of land called Dundalk, the tract surveyed in "pursuance of a Warrant dated 11th March 1793." Signed Thomas M'Kean, Gov, 5/30/1804.

1800 Elk Lick, Somerset Co, PA. At census time Joseph Gundy was over 45 and had living with him 2 males under 10, 2 females under 10, 4 females 16-26, and 1 female over 45. He and brother David were the only ones by the name in the county.

(Westmoreland, PA) There is no evidence Joseph ever actually lived there although some descendants claim he did briefly.

11/17/1803 Somerset Co, PA. Newcomer again visited with Joseph: "This morning we set out very early. Rode 36 miles over very mountainous country, arrived at night at Joseph Gundy's." Newcomer preached there on Sunday, 11/27/1803, to a gathering, "followed by Brother Crum and then Gundy, a Mennonite preacher."

1804 Joseph withdrew his membership from the Elk Lick Mennonite church and became a minister for the United Brethren Church. Services were held in the cabins of the settlers.

1805 Harrison Co, OH. Supposedly, Joseph and his a 10 year old daughter came to the location of Conotton, built a cabin, cleared the land and returned to PA in the fall.

4/28/1806 Harrison Co, OH. Joseph entered the NE 1/4 of Sect 14, Twp 13, Rg 6 giving his current residence as Somerset, PA. It is unlikely he would have given that address if he actually lived in Westmoreland Co. This land was patented to him on 1/10/1812. He bought two quarter sections of land, plus another small parcel on the NW end of the ridge that came to be called "Gundy Ridge" His farm was just at the eastern edge of the present village of Conotton.

An entry in Rev Newcomer's on 3/9/1807 states: "traveling west from Frankford, leaving Joseph Crisup's, I again pursued my journey; rode all day across a very mountainous part of the country; stopped at a public house to get refreshment for myself and beast. After we had recruited our strength, I set off with the intention of reaching Joseph Gundy's. When I arrived at the place where he formerly lived, I found he had removed to the western county, but found his son-in-law lived at the place. Both young people rejoiced to see me and entertained me with the greatest pleasure."

A note in the PA Vital Records of Lancaster Co recorded Newcomer's death 7 yrs later: "Died on Tuesday morning last, (8 February 1814), Mr. Christian newcomer, of Manor township near Columbia, in his 42d year of his age, he left a wife and 9 children."

1812 North Twp, Harrison Twp, OH. After receiving the patent on his land he moved the family from Somerset, joining daughter Fronica and Peter Forney who had moved there 2 years before.

The following item was found in the history of Tuscawaras Co, OH:

"The church edifice in Strasburg is the property of the United Brethren society. It is a frame building 34 x 44 feet, and was built about 1853, at an expense of $1,200. Prior to this, the society had held services in a union church, built in 1833, one-half mile north of the village. The United Brethren, Methodists and Lutherans contributed to its erection. The earliest meetings of the United Brethren society were conducted at private houses. The earliest membership included Abraham Forney, John Forney, George Sees. Christian Gnagy, Benjamin Gundy and John Shisler. Abraham Forney. Mathias Burchfield and Christian Gnagy were early local preachers. Among the earliest ministers were Revs. Joseph Gundy, George Pfrimer, George Drum and Jacob Winters. Rev. B. F. Booth is the present minister. The congregation exceeds 100 members."

Some listing have his birth date as 1742. However the date posted corresponds with the information in his father's estate settlement that he was under 14 in 1763 and by 5/8/1772 he was over 21.

Other family listing have Joseph's death date as 1795 but his will was dated 6/28/1820 and proved 3/18/1823. It named all the posted children but Fanny.
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