The history of the famous Mohawk valley of New York state records many instances of settlements raided and families killed or carried into captivity during the period before, during and for a time after the revolutionary war. While the Indians were usually blamed for these atrocities they were in most cases led by white men, or paid by white men. Left to themselves the Indians of the valley and the early settlers would have lived in peace. Among the families that suffered most from these Indian and Tory raids was the Lonas family. John Lonas, an early settler in the valley, was a soldier in the American army, enlisted in the Tryon county militia under Captain Marinus Willett. It is likely that he served under General Herkimer at Oriskany as Colonel Willett did not take command there until after General Herkimer's death. John Lonas served uner enlistments at periods covering the entire struggle. His home was destroyed by the Indians and Tories, his stock shot and carried off and his own life threatened. He had personal encounters with them when the odds were strongly against him, but escaped capture.
The same year his house was burned the Indians captured his mother. (Margaret Sparbuck) and four children. Two girls and a boy they carried off with the mother, but her infant of three weeks was murdered in the presence of the mother. After the war the mother, one of the girls and the son, returned to their former home; the other girl was never heard of again. John Lonas is said to have had fourteen children. He died in Albany, 1833, aged one hundred and five years.
(II) Adam, son of John Lonas, was born in Schoharie county about the year 1787. When a young man he enlisted in the American army during the war of 1812. His regiment was enlisted in the Mohawk valley, and with it he was stationed at Sackett's Harbor, serving until the close of the war. After retiring from the army he engaged in rafting on the St. Lawrence river, afterward settled at Knox, Albany county, N.Y., where he worked at his trade of blacksmith, and had a shop. In 1839 he removed with his family to Greig, Lewis county, N.Y., where he settled on a small farm, cultivating that in connection with a blacksmith shop.
He married in 1815, at Knox, Albany county, N.Y., Katherine Quackenbush.
1. John, born August 23, 1817; married Catherine Saunts.
2. Mary Ann, May 15, 1820; married Alexander Hess, of Greig.
3. Jacob, Aug. 8, 1822, died in early manhood.
4. Ezra, see forward.
5. Margaret, Aug. 18, 1827, died March 29, 1890; married Stephen Burdick.
6. Betsey, July 13, 1829, died 1909; married Levi Arthur of Martinsburg.
7. Almira, Feb. 19, 1832; married Calvin Burdick of Greig.
8. Nancy Jane, July 3, 1835; married George F. Thompson of Constableville.
9. Adeline, Dec. 7, 1838; married Milton Gordon of Martinsburg.
Adam and Katherine Lonas lived to a good old age, saw their children settled in life with homes and families of their own, and passed away universally loved and respected.
(III) Ezra, son of Adam and Katherine (Quackenbush) Lonas, was born in Knox, Albany county, N.Y., May 3, 1825, died in Greig, Lewis county, N.Y., Oct. 12, 1905. He attended the schools of Knox until he was fourteen years of age, when he removed with his parents to Greig, Lewis county, where his subsequent life was passed. He became a farmer and followed that puruit, combined with lumbering. He was an independent Republican politically.
He married, 1852, Caroline A., daughter of Abraham T. and Mary (Adams) Cleveland. (see Cleveland VII) a descendant of Moses Cleveland, of England and Woburn, Mass., ancestor of President Grover Cleveland and all the Clevelands descending from New England progenitors.
1. Chester, see forward.
2. Jason T., born in Greig, N.Y., April 12, 1857; married Nellie Carter of Greig, and now resides  in Binghamton, New York.
(IV) Chester A., eldest son of Ezra and Caroline A. (Cleveland) Lonas, was born in Greig, Lewis county, N.Y., June 12, 1853. He was educated in the public schools and at Martin's Academy, Martinsburg, N.Y. After leaving school he entered the employ of J. V. Van Woert & Company, tanners, of Greig and New York City, with whom he remained fourteen years. He began as clerk and became manger of the general store operated by the company. In the spring of 1880 he established a general merchandising business on his own account. He located at Greig, where he has since conducted a prosperous and growing business.
He is a successful man of affairs, and is one of the established citizens of Lewis county. Politically Mr. Lonas is a Republican and has always been an active worker for the party. He has been postmaster at Greig since 1893, and is now (1910) serving his fourth consecutive tern of office as supervisor of the town. He is an efficient and progressive county official and his judgemtn is deferred to by his colleagues. He is especially devoted to the cause of good roads and has left an impress on the department of county government.
He married, Oct. 26, 1880, at Greig, Jessie P., born in Pulaski, Oswego county, N.Y., Oct. 5, 1859, daughter of Asahel and Amorette (Brown) Champney, married at Pulaski, N.Y. Dec. 28, 1854. Asahel was a contractor and bulder of Pulaski, a Democrat in politics and held many of the minor town offices. He was a son of Hira Champney, born in Weston, Mass., in 1782; married (first) Eunice Hinman, of New York, died in 1817; married (second) Eunice Wainer, of near Clinton, N.Y. The children of Hira Champney were: Austin A., Asahel, Walter S., Hira (2), Biddy Ann, Chloe M., and Jane. Hira Champney (1) was a son of Nathan Champney, an officer under General Gates at the battle of Saratoga, and at Burgoyne's surrender. Amorette (Brown) Champney was born at Pulaski, Oct. 7, 1823, daughter of Daniel and Sally (Winch) Brown, and a granddaughter of Ichabod Brown, who with his two brothers served through the revolutioary war.
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