Notes for: John Bodine

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In History of the West Branch Valley, page 522, it gives his baptism date as April 15, 1743. Sinnot gave it as August 15. The baptismal record at Readington DRC needs to be checked.

I did have the following information for John Bodine (BK #8052): "The Historical Society of the DAR," v. 51, p. 200 says he served as a "minute man in the Burlington County, New Jersey militia. He was born in 1743 in Somerset County. New Jersey." I wonder if this DAR information is correct. If he lived in Somerset County, why did he serve in the Burlington County militia? This is also what NSDAR, vol. 100, p. 278 says.

Whatever the case, I think the John (BK #8052) I had as husband of Lemetje Cozyn and father of Abraham, Cornelius, John, John, Aeltye, Elizabeth, Sarah, Peter, and Mary is almost surely this John (#8080), son of Abraham Bodine and Mary Lowe. Formerly, I did not have a wife for this John (#8080) or any children. LDS also seems to associate this John with Abraham and Mary Lowe. When I looked up John and Lemetje, either Abraham or Mary Lowe came up on the same family sheet. There is some substantial doubt about this connection; so don't let my assumptions throw you off from investigating this family more.

Another thing to check is that John and Daniel (#8062) might be brothers. Daniel married a Margaret Wiels. He must have been born about 1750 since his daughter, Mary, was baptized in Conewago December 17, 1775. The Elizabeth Bodyn mentioned in the Conewago, PA baptisms could also be a sister of John. She married a John Asten. They had a son baptized in 1773 at Conewago.

I will make the tentative decision that these people are all immediate family, but it must remain uncertain until further proof comes to light.

It appears that his John had land in Straben Township in York County, Pennsylvania near Mount Joy. This would be near the Conewago Dutch settlement. On page 3 of "Names of Taxables, 1762-1799" (Weaver, Arthur, ed. by Joan R. Hankey. Adams County Historical Society: Gettysburg, PA. 1997), a John Bodine (or Bedine) owned 174 acres in 1772, 1775, 1779; 150 acres in 1780; and 169 acres in 1781 - 1786. Then, if I read the records correctly, a widow Bodine had this land from 1787-1789 and in 1797 and 1799. She is mentioned as a widow Lem(m)e Bodine in 1792 (160 acres) and 1793 (170 acres). She also appears on the 1800 Census of York (or Adams) County as widow Bodine. There was one male 10-16 (Peter), one female 10-16 (Mary) and one female over 45 (Lemme).

William Gilbreath has a land survey dated March 14, 1783 in Mt. Pleasant, York Co., PA for a William Galbraith. Galbraith had already departed and the land was then in the possession of a John Rowanzon (sp?). The survey shows that adjoining property was owned by John Bodine and a John Cownover. There are no natural features mentioned in the survey except an unknown stream.

William Gilbreath then wrote to Laurel Auchampaugh, the historian for Owasco Co., NY and here is some information from that correspondence. Laurel has a booklet called "Assessment and Tax Rolls of the Conewago Settlement." It has maps of where many of these properties were located. I believe this is from the Adams County, PA Historical Society and was written by a Mr. Arthur Weaner. She said that original land surveys from that area are very rare since Weaner only knew of one in existence, one that he himself owned. So the survey William Gilbreath would be a rare find. Laurel also said that John and Lemme's land was listed in Straban Township. It was listed there basically for the years 1772 to 1799 which is around when Lemme left for Owasco Co., NY. Acres owned varied from 150 to 174. The location of John and Lemme's land is not on the map. However, the location of John Conover's land is given on the map. It looks like he had about 100 acres in Mt. Pleasant. This may have also been associated with Straban Township or that was a second piece of property owned by Conover. John Conover is listed in the taxabless from 1780 to the mid 1790's. On the map in the booklet, Conover's land is designated with a P and is located between the Low Dutch Road, and what is called "White run." The nearest town is Gettysburg.

It looks like their son, Abraham, also had land in Straban Township in 1789, in Mt. Joy 1792, and he was not listed in 1793. It is probably this Abraham who appears on the 1790 Census of York County. He would have been 23 years old at that time.

There is also a Cornelius Bodine who had land in Straban Township in 1792 (92 acres), but none in 1793. This could be John's brother, Cornelius, but in 1790 that Cornelius was living in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania some ways to the north of Conewago. That Cornelius appeared in the 1790 Census of Northumberland County. He must be a different Cornelius Bodine since a Cornelius Bodine also appeared on the York County Census of 1790. This would be John and Lemme's son. He was 20 years old by 1790 (and married) and would have been old enough to be head of a family.

And I think there is also a John Bodine who owned land in Straben Township in 1797 and 1799. I'm just guessing again, but this is probably Lemme's son. He would have been about 22 by then and married. It may be this same John who appears in the 1800 Census of "Adams County, formerly York." This household had one male under 10 (Who is this?) and one between 16 and 26 (John). There were also two females under 10 (Ann and Elizabeth) and one between 16 and 26 (John's wife, Tiney Brinkerhoff).

Laurel Auchampaugh thinks that Lemme remained in the Conewago area for several years with the younger children and then joined her older sons, Abraham and Cornelius, after 1799. Since at least Lemme, her sons, Peter and probably John, and her daughter, Mary, were still in the York County area at the time of the 1800 Census, we can safely say that they hadn't moved by the year 1800 either.

John Bodine was a Supervisor in Straben Township, York (now Adams) County Pennsylvania in 1782.

John Bodine was an officer in the 4th Battalion, York County Military. He was a lieutenant in 1779 and a captain in 1784 (see PA Archives, series 11, v. 14, page 517).

The will of John Bodine was made May 10, 1776 and proved November 11, 1786. It is recorded in York County, Pennsylvania. The executors were Simon VanArsdalen and Rev. Cornelius Cosine. The witnesses were Samuel Durie (Laurels notes: also spelled as Duree, Duryea), Joste Schamp, and Charles Vantine who signed with a mark. One son, Abraham, is mentioned, but there were other children. The names and number weren't listed. The name of his wife on the will might be Lume.

John Bodine signed a petition to Congress in about 1783 regarding Kentucky land. This is a petition to the Continental Congress from forty-six Low Dutch heads of families who had already settled in Kentucky and 151 "intend Frinds" who at that time were living in Conewago, Pennsylvania or perhaps the Dutch settlements of New Jersey. If this is still around in original form, John's signature should be on it. This didn't really seem to have much to do with John, but he was showing his support for the Dutch families stuck in forts in Kentucky and who wanted their own land. For more information on this, see "The Low Dutch Company III" an article by Vincent Akers, published in the "Halve Maen" in the winter of 1981. It is Vol. 55, No 4.

This was abstracted by Laurel Auchampaugh from page 23 of "Taxables: The Low Dutch Settlement of the Conewago, York County, Pennsylvania 1762-1799." Arthur Weaner. Edited by Joan R. Hankey. Adams County Historical Society: Gettysburg, PA. 1997.

There is a Conewago book. It is called "Conewago Colony - Notes by B.F.M. MacPherson." The summary page says, "The Low Dutch Colony of the Conewago." Rev. J.J. Demarest - 1884. Much of the information about Conewago was taken from this book. It includes newspaper articles by Rev. Demarest. It was copied with a spirit printer and has a index and references to 1,186 paragraphs including ALL THE names of the Conewago Settlement. It is spiral bound, has complete text and includes these chapters: Location, Date of Church formation, Sources, Congregation, Decline of the Colony including the MASS MIGRATIONS, Land and deed information, Account of trustees November 16, 1820. Laurel Auchampaugh has a copy of this book.

Laurel Auchampaugh was able to tell "the rest of the story" of the Owasco migrations in a paper presented to the Cayuga County Historical Society on July 16, 2002. It was a proud moment for Laurel to present this work to the same historical society that John Brinkerhoff did when in December of 1872 he told of "The Early Settlement Of Cayuga County" and the Owasco pioneers' journey here. He told of the ten families, and Laurel told "The Rest of the Story." Her paper was on the research she had accumulated on the three successive migrations and who was in them. It is in publication now, part of a bicentennial effort for the Town of Owasco and is copywritten.

Here is some info I found on the Internet about the Conewago Colony:

Date sent: Thu, 10 Jul 1997
From: Melanie Scribner (

Pages 161-167
Vol. 4 Somerville, New Jersey, July, 1915- No, 3


Few of our readers, probably, are aware of the migration before the Revolution of a large number of families from the neighborhood of Millstone and Neshanic, this county, and from Bergen county, to the vicinity of Gettysburg, Pa., from which they subsequently removed to near Pleasureville, Ky., the Lake Country N. Y., and to other scattering places in what was then known as the West. The late Rev. David Demarest, D. D., of New Brunswick gathered together such newspaper articles relating to this subject as he could obtain a few years ago, perhaps with the intention of publishing them in a more permanent shape, hut no such publication was made in his lifetime. The writer has seen and made notes of these articles, and has also examined a number of scattered authorities giving isolated facts concerning the Pennsylvania colony. It may now prove of interest to some of the readers of the Quarterly to place the few known facts before them.

It is to the researches of the late Rev. J. K. Demarest, formerly pastor of the Presbyterian church of Gettysburg, Pa., and to Dr. David Demarest, that the truth about this migration, and the history of the church formed by the colony in Pennsylvania, have become known.

The former, while in Gettysburg, came into possession of a stray leaf or two of the baptismal records of the Reformed Dutch church of Conewago (which was the name of the Pennsylvania settlement; a name taken from Conewago creek near by and an Indian name, of course), and this gave him an unexpected clue to the size and importance of a church long before extinct. He soon discovered that the church was made up wholly of New Jersey settlers, and perhaps his special interest in the matter arose from his finding families of "Demaree" on the record. In some way Dr. Demarest (not closely related to Rev. J. K.), hearing of the discovery, wrote to the Gettysburg pastor urging him make full searches in the county records concerning this church and its membership. This was done. Old people were also interviewed, and a correspondence begun with descendants of the Conewago Dutch families scattered throughout New York State and the West. The result was that Mr. Demarest published a most valuable series of articles in the Gettysburg "Star" in 1884, bringing out all the leading ascertainable facts. Other writers in other newspapers (e. g., the "Christian Intelligencer") followed with real or traditional facts. Just when or where the entire church records of Conewaga, including a plan of the church sittings, were found I am unable W say, but Dr. Demarest secured a copy of the baptismal record, and a copy of this copy is in the writer's s possession.

It is apparent from the York county and the church records that the colonization of Conewago began about the year 1765 and stopped in the main in 1771. just how it came about has nowhere been clearly stated. As early as 1730 the Governor of Virginia, and afterward Lord Fairfax, made strenuous efforts to secure settlers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the Shenandoah valley. In 1732 John Hite, a German, and John Van Meter, a Hollander, were engaged to settle 200 families on land ceded to them in that valley, and they went to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and even to Holland and Germany for that purpose. (Dr. Schmucker in "Lutheran Quarterly," Oct, 1883). They succeeded in part, and the route through which these settlers traveled led them by Lancaster and York. In time the "York Road" became a thoroughfare from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia to Virginia, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that reports reached their friends at home of good and cheap lands midway, or in the general vicinity of York. But the special reason for the migration to the Gettysburg district must lie, I think, in these two facts: First, the general tendency of our population in that day to go westward, as the Indians withdrew from the coast States, and, second, the bad conditions in money matters prevailing in New Jersey, and near the larger centres of population during the decade preceding the Revolution, because of a depreciated paper currency. No finer farms could be found in America than were in the Raritan valley, or The ra5ley of the Hackensack, but the "times" were not good, and farmers became restlessness.

Whatever the immediate cause, a first settlement was made at Conewago, as stated, about 1765, and we are sure families by the name of Cassat and Monfort of near Millstone, and of Van Arsdale and Sebring {both Somerset names), and some Bantas, Westervelts and Amermans of Bergen county, were among these earliest settlers. The earliest deed on record at York, the county seat, given in 1768, by a Van Arsdale, who must have been a previous settler, recites that the property conveyed them adjoined lands "of Henry Banta, George Sebring, William Love, David Hunter and Francis Coserte."

Except for the discovered chruch records we should now know almost nothing of the individuals and families composing the Conewago colony, but with these records most of the names, doubtless, are brought to light. It would he most interesting to know just which families of the colony were from Somerset and which from Bergen, and if some were from adjoining counties in New Jersey, but this can never be ascertained. A large number of the family names in Somerset were duplicated in Bergen, and hence the uncertainty. But the full names known, which will be published in the next number of the Quarterly, will be surprising to Somerset readers, as indicating a far larger migration from this county to Conewago than any hint in any previous publication has even suggested. Certainly as many as 150 Dutch (including a few German} families from New Jersey and doubtless a third of them from Somerset, are indicated on the church rolls. representing perhaps 750 souls, and among the Somerset names (if not families} were those of Aten, Amerman, Bise (Boyce), Brokaw, Bogart, Brower. Bodine, Cossart, Conover, Coshow (Kershaw). Duryea, Ditmars Dunn, Dubois, De Mott, De Graff, Dorland, Griggs, Hulick, Hoff, Hoagland Kline, Kipp, Lagrange, Lott, Middagh, Myers, Montfort, Nevis, Purcel, Patterson Schamp Stryker Sebring, Smock, Terhune, Van Dyke, Van Cleef, Van Nuys, Vanderbilt, Orden, Van Nest, Van Arsdale, Van Dine, Van Sant, Van Pelt, Van Harlingen, Van Horn, Vanderveer, Van Tine, Voorhees, Wyckoff and Williamson. They were spelled in various ways, but all these names are discernible.

The place of the settlemeent was about three miles south of Gettysburg, in Straban township, in what was then the county of York, but became m 1801 part of the newly-erected county of Adams. York was the county seat; the county seat of Adams County is now Gettysburg.

That many of these settlers went thither from the neighborhood of Neshanic and Millstone is expressly stated by the pastor of the church of "Sourland and Neshanic," Rev. J. M. Van Harlingen, in a "Memorial" of 1783, to be referred to later. This Somerset clergyman went to Conewago to administer baptism as the covered church records show, and he may have had much to do with organizing the congregation. On Oct. 23, 1769, he baptized 13 children; on May 31, 1772, the same number; on June 2, 1770, 2 children; and on May 3t, 1772, 27 children. On Sept. 8. 1771, Rev. John Leydt, of Six-Mile Run was there and baptized. Not till 1772 was a pastor called, the Rev. Cornelius Cozine, a minister born on Long Island, who is said to have lived and perhaps preached later in Somerset County, and he remained there 16 years, or until 1788. From 1789 to 17933 the Rev. George G. Brinkerhoff was pastor. There was no subsequent pastor, owing to the decline of the community and church, but occasional supplies.

The farms taken up by the settlers seem to have begun at a point about two miles east of what is now Hunterstown, and extended to within a few miles of present Gettysburg. The public road used by the settlers in going to the church they built in their community came to be known as the Low Dutch Road, and is so known to-day on certain maps. It may be found on some maps of Gettysburg Battlefield, although the severe Fighting was to the south of Gettyburg, and several miles from this Low Dutch Road.

The Low Dutch Road runs from the York Pike to what is known as the Two Taverns, and along this road Stewart's cavalry was moving on that third of July in 1863, when the Union cavalry under our brave General Kilpatrick and General Gregg encountered them.

The church of Conewago was built in 1768 or '69; in the latter year its records begin. Cornelius Cosine conveyed the ground for it (one acre} to Francis Cossart, David Van Dine and David Demaree, trustee of the organization. The first church officers seem to have been David Cossart (spelled Cossaart), John Smock, Garret Van Arsdalen, John Van Dyck, Henry Commingore(?), Isaac Van Arsdalen, Luke Brinkerhoff, John Conover, Thomas Johnson and Ralph Brinkerhoff. The building was on a stone foundation but was built of boards and was "barn-like in architecture" according to the accounts of those old people who, thirty years ago. remembered it as standing. From its errection until toward the year 1793 it was a flourishing Dutch church. But as the colony began to disintegrate and go "West" after 1791, the church gradually declined, and by 1817 there was scarcely a family left in the community. Then application was made to the Pennsylvania Legislature by William Houghtalin (who had served as a Captain in the Revolution), Jacob Cossart and Garret Brinkerhof for permission to the trustees to sell the church building and to apply the proceeds to erect "a permanent wall around the burying-ground connected with the said church, and the remainder to such religious purposes as a majority of those who were formerly members of the said congregation and now reside in the said county of Adams shall recommend in writing." The application recited that the original trustees were deceased and that "the members of the said corporation have become attached to other corporations." The Legislature gave the permission by an Act, and the church building was sold for $288.20 to one George Lashell, a tavern-keeper, who used the weatherboards for a road fence to his property, "painting it with gay colors." The foundation stones he used for a smokehouse. The tavern was in the near vicinity of the church. As to this sale Mr. Demarest quaintly observed: "In the dissolution of the Low Dutch church at Connewago, the Devil obtained as his share little more than those stones and that flimsy, old red weatherboarding." The Cassat and Monfort families from Somerset county were among the leading families in the colony and church. Francis Cassat's daughter, Elizabeth, wife of John Monfort of Conewago, was grandmother to the late venerable Rev. John Montfort, D. D., of Cincinnati, long the well-known editor of the "Herald and Presbyter," the Western organ of the Presbyterian denomination. It is still edited by his son, Francis C. Monfort. Some years ago I had correspondence with Dr. Monfort concerning his ancestry, the substance of which agrees with the following, written by him on Dec. 9, 1883, to Rev. J. K. Demarest: "The ancestors of the Monforts, Peter and John, were among the early settlers in New Amsterdam. Peter's descendants went up the Hudson and John's to New Jersey, settling at Millstone, Harlingen and Somerville. My grandfather's grandfather, Peter, of Millstone, had four sons, Peter, John, Jacob and Abraham. Except Abraham, they settled at Conewago. John, my great-grandfather, had four sons, Peter, John, Francis and Lawrence. Lawrence came West before 1800. He had three sons, all Presbyterian ministers--Francis, Peter and David. Francis, my father, had four sons, all Presbyterian ministers--Joseph G., Francis C., Isaac W. and David."

The reasons for the utter abandonment of Conewago by so large a Dutch population have never been satisfactorily made out. There were inducements for a migration to Kentucky and the Lake Country, New York, but only such as were always held out to Eastern farmers. Daniel Boone opened up Kentucky to colonists about 1775, but there were then too many troublesome Indian tribes in Western Pennsylvania for Pennsylvanians to seriously consider going farther West. In 1778, during the Revolution, the Six Nations [at Tory instigation as was claimed) were responsible for the Wyoming Massacre, of such bitter memory. A fearful penalty was inflicted on the Indians by General Sullivan, in the battle of Chemung, where Elmira now stands, in 1779, and in the burning of nearly 50 Indian villiages in the Genesee valley. In 1794 "Mad Anthony" Wayne, at the Maumee, finally destroyed the Red Man's power in the East, and after that it was possible for peaceful settlements to be made beyond the Susquehanna river and Alleghenies. Then settlements by whites in New York State and Kentucky were safe.

But years before this, when it was not so safe, the Conewago colony began to break up, and it may be the delay in closing the Revolutionary War had something to do with it. In the spring of 1780 there moved to Kentucky a considerable number of the Colony....

The article goes on to end with this:

It will he sufficient to add that I had the satisfaction, about ten years ago, to visit the site of the Conewago Low Dutch church near Gettysburg. The churchyard was still enclosed, but full of grass and weeds, as was to have been expected. Scarcely any gravestones were visible; it is to be doubted if many ever existed, although there must have been scores of burials there beside the church, during the life of that community. A few stones 1eft of the wall of the edifice, grass, trees, the twittering of birds, are all that now remain to tell us of the sermons and the worship on that spot for the thirty years of an active church life.