Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Van Orden New York Moment

It suddenly occurred to me that my family the Van Orden's were from New York near the Hudson River and ta-dah, I was in Albany. How close could they be? Could I find them?

Thank you Internet!!!

With very little effort, I found my way to the Catskills and to East Windham. A teeny tiny town where the "Peter Van Orden Rural Cemetery" lies. 

Unable to find it, I stopped to ask someone washing his car and many thanks....he knew all about Peter.

Peter was the first Dutchman in the area. He opened an inn for the people driving their cattle across the Catskills mountains to the Hudson River.  It turns out that despite the Indians being in the area and rather dangerous, they would not go up into the mountains because they believed the spirits lived there. That was to Peter's advantage. No Indian trouble.

Up a short steep hill and there I was generations later and I stood looking down at Peter's headstone.

So who is he to me?  His son, William and daughter Julia Ann, both joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. William by the way, married Julia Ann Haight and Julia Ann married Julia Ann's brother. Yep, Julia Ann Haight Van Orden and Julia Ann 

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