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Hendershots Migrate into Pennsylvania
Annette Ely Schaumann, September 2002


Michael Hendershute, First to Pennsylvania The earliest mention of a Hendershot in Pennsylvania that I have found is in 1770. This was at a time of great controversy between Connecticut and Pennsylvania over the land in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. Connecticut claimed a large area that today covers a portion of the southern part of New York, and the northern parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio. In prosecution of this claim, settlers obtained a Connecticut state grant for a large tract of land, lying along the Susquehanna River, in the state of Pennsylvania, and settled there. Pennsylvania claimed the same land. The dispute, which was bloody at times, kept the area in turmoil for years.

Among the printed papers of the Susquehanna Company are depositions of Amos and Nathan Ogden sworn at Philadelphia 25 May of 1770 before John Penn: Minutes of Pennsylvania Council…At a Council held at Philadelphia on Friday 25th May 1770… Amos Ogden, Esquire, and Nathan Ogden, who lately came from Wyoming, appeared at the Board by the desire of the Governor, and related all that they know concerning the late proceedings of the Connecticut People, and others in Confederacy with them, who have taken Possession of the Lands at Wyoming. A full and true Account of these Matters are set forth and contained in their respective Depositions which were prepared and taken before the Governor… Amos Ogden reported that Connecticut people had broken into the homes of settlers with Pennsylvania Proprietor’s leases and destroyed their houses. They demanded that the settlers under Pennsylvania (about ten) leave the land. Parts of the Deposition of Nathan Ogden follow: The Deposition of Nathan Ogden aged thirty years or thereabouts (he being first sworn on the holy Evangels of Almighty God) saith That he remained at Wioming about four Days after his Brother Amos Ogden had left the place, as in his Deposition made this Day is mentioned. That on the first of May last a party of the New Englandmen and Pennsylvanians set Fire to Joseph Ogden’s House, situate on the proprietary Tract of Land there and burnt it to the Ground… “The Deponent further saith that the said New England party at several Times made prisoners of several of the people settled on the said proprietary Manner under the proprietors, turned their families out and destroyed the Houses and Effects. And when he left Wioming he saw several of them, to wit, Martin Tidd, Robert Duchee, Michael Hendershute, John Murphy and Thomas Neal confined in a Gaol in a miserable Condition... The Deponent further saith that when he left the Fort of Wioming on the fifth day of May last past, he believes there were upwards of two Hundred people belonging to it.”

Michael Hendershute and Wife Naomi It seems possible (although not proven) that the above Michael Hendershute didn’t give up on settling in Pennsylvania and was the Michael that received a warrant for land in Old Northumberland County in 1773 and a patent in 1774 from Thomas and John Penn. There also is the possibility that this is a different Michael. Survey for Michael Hendershute 116-1/2 acres Returned 16th Aug 1774; Book C; Page 78 A Draught of a tract of Land Called [-Blank-] Situate in Turbutt Township in the County of Northumberland. Surveyed the 31st day of May 1774 for Michael Hendershute, in pursuance of a Warrant dated the 4th day of August 1773 Containing One hundred and Sixteen acres and 80 perches of allowance of six percent for Roads.

Hendershots Migrate to Pennsylvania Patent to Michael Hendershute: Province of PA Patent Book AA14, Pg 625 Thomas Penn and John Penn, Esq. true and absolute Proprietories and Governor in Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania and Counties of New-Castle, Kent and Sussex, upon Delaware; To all unto whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Whereas In pursuance of a Warrant dated the fourth day of August 1773 There was surveyed for Michael Hendershute a Certain Tract of Land called “Pleasant Valley” Situate on Limestone Run in Turbutt Township Northumberland County. Beginning at a marked White Oak a Corner of Robert Moody Esq’s Land thence by the Same South one degree East one hundred and thirty perches to a post thence by Michael Hendershutes Claim West one hundred and seventy two perches to a post by a marked White Oak thence by Widow McKoskry’s Land North One hundred and forty nine perches to a Marked White Oak thence by Vacant Land South Seventy eight degrees East One hundred and thirty Seven perches to the place of Beginning Containing One hundred and Sixteen acres and a half and allowance of Six p.cent for Roads.

19 August 1774 Sum of ? pounds, 16 shillings and sixpence Sterling. [The description adjacent to Michael Hendershute’s Claim, makes it appear he already had claimed land.] Michael sold this same land in 1775. The deed is recorded in Pennsylvania Patent Book AA14, Pg 625 1775: Michael Hendershute Deed to David Ireland Michael Hendershute and Naomi his wife of Turbutt Twsp in county of Northumberland, [PA], skinner, deed to David Ireland, smith, property received by above patent. Herbert Bell, in his history of the county, describes Turbutt Township as originally embracing all that part of the present Northumberland County north of the north branch [of the Susquehanna River] with considerable territory to the east. Taxables at the first assessment that there is a record -not dated, but probably before 1775- include Michael Hendershott. The settlers in Turbutt and Augusta Townships were the pioneers. The 1775 deed shows us that Michael had a wife named Naomi and that he was a skinner by trade. It is highly likely that this is the family referred to in the narrative recorded by Joseph Folsom in Bloomfield [NJ] Old and New: At Wyoming in Pennsylvania near the present city of Wilkes Barre, one of the horrors of the Revolution was enacted. During the massacre two young girls hid behind a log while the Indians killed all the other members of their family. These girls were Mary and Naomi Hendershott, twin sisters eleven years old, and they succeeded in escaping with a few others to the settlements on the Delaware River. This was in July, 1778. Just when they came to Bloomfield [NJ] is not known, but Thomas Cockefair, grandfather of Lewis, married Mary Hendershott, and a John Cockefair married Naomi. Mary lived until 1808, and Naomi until 1835. This account of the massacre does not mention Michael, but since a Michael was known to be in that area that the massacre took place, with a wife named Naomi, it seems likely that the father of Mary and Naomi was Michael. If the girls were eleven in 1778, they would have been born about 1767. As family researchers, you are likely already speculating about who this Michael was. I don’t have the answer, but, he was probably born before 1750 since he had daughters born about 1767 and may have been a settler in Pennsylvania by 1770. In his book, History of Wyoming, Charles Miner writes: “The prohibition [in 1773] on the part of Connecticut of any further emigration to Wyoming, there had come in strange families of interlopers from Minnisink, from West Chester, New York, Kinderhook and the Mohawk, neither connected with Pennsylvania or Connecticut, between whom and the old settlers there was neither sympathy of feeling, nor community of interests.” There were Hendershots at Minnisink (Orange County, NY) and in near by Morris County, New Jersey. Perhaps Michael was an “interloper from Minnisink.”

Hendershots Migrate to Pennsylvania Other references to early Hendershots include: Jacob Hendershot found paying taxes in Bethel Township in 1773-1776 and 1783-1784. Bethel Township is in Fulton County, which was part of Bedford County until 1850. Casper Hendershot on the tax roll in Penn Township in 1776. Penn Township formed in 1758 would become part of Northumberland County, when it was incorporated in 1772. Today it is part of Snyder County. Michael Hendershot(t) was on the tax roll in Mohoning Township, Northumberland County in 1785 and 1786. This, or another Michael, is also taxed in Derry Township in the same county in 1785. If the Michael married to Naomi was killed in the massacre in 1778, this cannot be him. Michael, Jacob and John Hendershot were Rangers on the Frontier from Bedford County during the Revolutionary War (1778-1783)

Nine Hendershots Found in the 1790 Census of Pennsylvania The 1790 US census shows nine Hendershots in Pennsylvania. Can you help identify who they were?. Hendrey Hendishots: County Bedford, Bethel 2 males over 16; 2 males under 16; 4 females John Hendeshits: County Bedford, Unknown Township 1 male over 16, 2 males under 16, 1 female Jacob Hendishot: County Bedford, Unknown Township 1 male over 16, 2 males under 16, 4 females George Hinershit: County Berks, Alsace Township [May be descended from Hintershitz immigrant to PA] 1 male over 16, 1 male under 16, 2 females Jacob Hinershit : County Berks, Alsace Township [May be descended from Hintershitz immigrant to PA] 1 male over 16, 2 males under 16, 4 females John Hendrichshot : County Luzerne, Unknown Township 1 male over 16, 1 female Michael Hendershot: County Northumberland, Unknown Township 2 males under 16; 1 male over 16; 6 females Isaac Hendershot: County:Northumberland, Unknown Township 1 male under 16; 1 male over 16; 2 females Jacob Hendershot: County Northumberland, Unknown Township 1 male under 16; 1 male over 16; 1 female

Sources consulted for article about Hendershots in Pennsylvania: Baer, Evelyn S., Focus: Pennsylvania Families, Hendershot Researchers Newsletter, Vol. 9, #2, May 1996. Bell, Herbert, History of Northumberland County, Brown, Rank and Company 1891 Boyd, Julian P., The Susquehannah Papers, Volume IV, 1770-1772, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. Folsom, Joseph, Bloomfield, Old and New, 1912, pg 178 Hendershot, Frank, Research Papers Hendershot, Larry, Hendershot Family Migrations and Timelines, January 2000. Miner, Charles, History of Wyoming, J. Crissy, 1845 Northumberland County in the American Revolution, published by the Northumberland County Historical Society, 1976. Pennsylvania Line, A Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy and Local History, Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogy Services, Third Edition, 1983. Published Archives of Pennsylvania, 3rd Series, Volume XXIII United States Census Records

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