Last night, I gave a presentation to my DAR chapter on the Woodhulls of Orange County, NY. Unfortunately, my camera quit recording 13 seconds into my presentation so there is no footage of me giving the actual talk. I’ve rerecorded it here in an expanded version including more images and additional information that I skipped last night. So even if you were present last night and saw it in person, I invite you to watch it again because I cover so much more here in the slideshow. Hope you all enjoy.
Day 3’s prompt for the #30DayFHWChallenge is: Imagine your ancestor getting the keys to his first house or car. Write a journal entry from his point of view that describes the car/place and his feelings about it.
Because I love my Woodhull connections and have learned so much about the Orange County Woodhulls that lived here near me, I wanted to write about Captain Ebenezer Woodhull (again) and what his home must have been like compared to that of his brother Colonel Jesse Woodhull. Jesse’s home was vividly described in a 1920 article as being a “mansion”, which would match his prominence in the county post-Revolutionary War. From my research, Ebenezer seemed to be the opposite of his outspoken and more politically active brother. He was likely religious – his will is a testament to God giving him everything and blessing him throughout his life. A traveling preacher even recorded a brief stay there on the captain’s farm during his travels through the county. While he did have some fortune when he died, it paled in comparison to his brother’s wealth. He seems most content with being just a simple farmer and raising his nine children with his wife in the countryside of Blooming Grove/Oxford. Ebenezer, his wife and many of their children are buried on the same land they lived on in a small family cemetery plot on a back country road.
Journal Entry for May 1766
I have built a small comfortable house in the countryside of Oxford where I will bring my bride soon and I hope Abigail will be happy here. It’s quite meager, unlike Jesse’s large estate nearby or even that of my ancestral home on Long Island… what need does a farmer have of such an extravagant home? I think it will be a fine place to raise our children in the future. The house is surrounded by ample pastures for the horses and cattle to roam and there are trees as far as the eye can see, extending all the way to the mountains in the distance. Farming will be good here in the rich, fertile flat lands and I’m quite sure Abigail will tend a vegetable garden near the house. Murderer’s Creek is nearby where I can fish or even hunt the deer who come from the forest to drink there. It’s practically perfect here in this part of the country and I pray to the Almighty that we might reside here in peace forever.
In my previous Woodhull post, I had reported that I had found the Woodhull family plot here and it was in utter disrepair. I was so remiss that I couldn’t positively identify Captain Ebenezer Woodhull’s grave. Through the miracle of Photoshop, I was able to enhance some of the photographs from the family plot and to my surprise, I was able to make out his grave – if even barely! My heart skipped a beat!
I was visiting the Cemetery of the Highlands in Highland Mills, NY this past weekend to repair a DAR marker for one of my Woodhull ancestors and we were on our way out of the cemetery when I spotted this very large black headstone with what looked to be a index card taped to it. The font on this black head stone was really reminiscent of one that those big hair bands of the late 80’s used to use…. I was half expecting it to be a young man’s stone so I was definitely not prepared for what we found!
The other day my husband and I were at the Cemetery of the Highlands in Highland Mills, NY near Woodbury. (Orange County) My genealogical serendipity continues to amaze me as I stumbled upon yet another set of Woodhulls from my line and from the Revolutionary War era. I wasn’t even looking for them and yet, there they were… all in a large family section with about 20 of them, including that of Colonel Jesse Smith Woodhull. Even in my delight at stumbling across a distant relative and seeing his DAR marker in place, I was more intrigued by a nearby grave, that as you can see, is sadly being slowly overtaken by the ground cover.