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A Cossart Family History, 1939

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(David 8; Jacques 3; Jacques 1).
Frans (or Francis) Cossart was born in 1713, baptized in the Dutch Church at New York City, July 21, 1717; died circa 1795 in York County, Pennsylvania.

Francis Cossart is said to have been born in Bergen County, New Jersey, in 1713. The same authority states later that he was born at Millstone, Somerset County, N.J.

Records of Baptisms in the Dutch Reformed Church of New York 1639-1730; shows:
“July 21, 1717, David Cossar 0 Styntje Joris; Son — FRANS.
Witnesses: Jacob Goelet and Catherine Boele, s.l.v.”
(Reference: Collection of New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Volume 1, page 398).

Francis Cossart married Margaret Van Nest, born September 30, 1717, and was baptized October 14, 1719, the daughter of Peter Van Nest Jr., and Tryntje Janes. Peter was the son of Pieter Pieterson Van Nest of NES in Holland, and Judith Rapalie, born July 5, 1635 the daughter of Joris Jansen Rapalie and Catalyntje Trico Valencinnes, France, who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1620. Joris Jansen born circa 1600, died circa 1663; was a descendant of a noble family of Brittany; he was a Huguenot, and fled from France to Holland, thence in the “Unity” to New Amsterdam in 1623; at Albany, N.Y. (1623—37); resident at Wallabout; magistrate; was one of the “Twelve Men” of Brooklyn; he married Catalynite (1605-89) ; the daughter of Joris Trico of Paris, France. The Rapalie farm extended along the shore line on Long Island between the Brooklyn Bridge, under the Manhattan Bridge to near the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“In 1750 Francis Cossart was “Commissioner of Highways” in Somerset County, New Jersey.”
(Reference: History of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, N.J. -1881 - page 647; by Snell).

“Minutes of the first meeting of the Inhabitants of the Township of Bridgewater, after it had been formed.

“The Township of Bridgewater 1750. At a meeting held this 12th day of March, att the House of George Middagh, by the inhabitants aforesaid, for choosing Officers according to the Patent Granted as aforesaid, and according to the Act of Assembly provided for that purpose, & c., Viz.

John Brighton: Clark.
Daniel Blackford: Constable
Richard Compton, Henry Stevens and) John Vroom: Freeholders
Thomas Authen Jr., Lucas Tipple, John Harris and Lucas Belyou: Commissioners, of which two is to be choosing by ye
FRANCIS COSSART: Assessor for the Township
Tobias Van Norden: Collector for aforesaid.
Hendrick Van Stay, and Abraham Bodine, Issacsson: Assessors for the poor.”

“The aforesaid meeting of the Inhabitants is adjourned till on the second Tuesday of March next at the hour of ten a Clock in the morning, according to an act of assembly provided for that purpose, att the time and place aforesaid & c.
(Reference: “Centinnial History of Somerset County, N.J., page 5 of Appendix - 1878; By Abrabam Messler, D.D.).

Townships: .........Cities in same
Bridgewater: ......Sommerville, Bound Brook and Raritan, N.J.
Hillsborough: .....Millstone, N.J. (Present Dutch Church is located here).
Franklin: .............East Millstone and Weston, N.J.

“Peter Van Nest. and FRANS CUSAERT were chosen deacons in the Dutch Church at Raritan, September 15, 1751.”
(Reference: Historical Notes of the Reformed Dutch Church of the County of Somerset, N.J., page 245).

“1752 April 2 - Van Neste, Jacob, of Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, N.J. yeoman; will of.
Wife: Catherine.
Children: Peter, Jacob Jemima Thomas Van Horne.
Witnesses: Jacob tenYeke, FRACIS COSSAART, Jacommite ten Eyck.
Proved April 3, 1753.
Library P., page 107”. N.J. Archives.

“1753 January 9 - Inventory £ 569.2.10 by Gisbert Crom and FRANCIS COSSART. (Jacob was killed by a negro servant for taking some tobacco belonging to the servant).
(Reference: N.J. Archives, page 320).

“1753, April 3 - ten Brook, John, son of John, an infant above 14 and under 21. Ward Bond of Conrad ten Eyck and Mathew ten Eyck as guardians: Frisbert Cram and FRANCIS COSSART fellow bondsmen, all of Somerset County, N.J.
(Libr. F., page 108, N.J. Archives).

“Francis Cossaart executor of will of John Grant July 8, 1762. He also inventoried Grant’s estate August 19, 1762.”
(Reference: N.J. Archives, Series 1, Volume 33, page 165).

The above establishes the fact that Francis Cossart was living in Somerset County, N.J. as late as 1762. Between this date and 1764, he, together with other settlers removed to near Huntertown, York County (that part now embraced by Adams), Pennsylvania, where he died circa. 1795.

Francis Crazart of York County, was a native of New Jersey. His parents emigrated from Holland, and settled in that state, but subsequently removed to York County, now Adams County, locating near Huntertown. Mr. Crazart was a member of the Committee of Correspondence for York County in 1775, and a member of the Convention of July 15, 1776. He was not present at the close of the labors of that body, from the fact that his services were required at home in assisting forward of the Militia to the Jerseys. On the second of May, 1777, he was appointed by the Pennsylvania.Board of War, one of the Commissioners for York County to collect blankets for the use of the Continental troops. Mr. Crazart died at Hunterstown and is buried there, but the date is not known, He left several children, one of whom, David, was a member of the Legislature a number of years. A daughter Mrs. Thomas Burd Coleman. A grandaughter is the wife of Samuel Small, of York. The name Crazart has been superseded by that of CASSAT.”
(Reference: The Pennsylvania. Magazine - 1879, page 321-322).

“Meantime a new Committee of Safety and Observation was elected by a popular vote throughout the County. Only men interested in protecting the rights of the Colonies were chosen. There were several members from each of the 26 townships, The following are the names:” (Of this list of 82 names listed, the names of FRANCIS CAZART and Abraham Banta are mentioned).
(Reference: History of York County, Penna., page 246: by George Prowell),

“Returns of taxables, Strabann Township, York County, Pa, for the year 1780:
FRANCIS COZAT, 150 acres, 1 negro, 4 horses, 7 head cattle Taxed £ 55. 16. 0.”
“A transcript of Taxab1es, Strabane Township County of York, Penna.for 1781, shows that Francis Cossart Paid a tax of £ 55. 12s. 17p. on 1.50 acres of land, two negroes, four horses and eight head. of cattle.”
(Reference: Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Vols. xvi and xxi).

Records show that Francis Cossart was a man of great prominence; and took a notable part in the stirring events of the Revolutionary period. In 1775 he was a member of the Committee of Correspondence of York County, Penna.; a member of the provisional Assembly in 1776; a member of the Convention that Framed the First State Constitution in 1776.

“Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
Department of Public Instruction,
State Library, Harrisburg, Pa.,
January 31, 1933.
“The name of Francis Cossart is spelled CRAZART and appears upon page 680, Volume 3, 2nd Series of the Pennsylvania Archives, Edition 1875. Francis Cossart was a delegate to the Convention from York County, 1776. He was commissioned to collect clothing for the Revolutionary soldiers November 8, 1777, and is said to have been a member of the committee of Correspondence, York County , 1775. He was a resident of Strabin Township, York County, now Adams County. In 1783 his family consisted of three persons, also three Negroes,”
(Reference: Gertrude Mackinney, Director of State Library and Jesse C. Ferguson, Genealogist).

The following is an extract from the Pennsylvania Archives, Volume 3, Series 2, page 680, mentioned above.:

Officers of the State of Pennsylvania in the Revolution
Under the Constitution of 1776.

Delegates to the Convention of 1776:
“Dr. Benjamin Franklin, President,
Colonel George Ross, Vice President,
John Morris, Esquire, Secretary,
Jacob Garrigues, Assistant Secretary,
William Skeed, Doorkeeper, ........”

Eight delegates were represented from each of the following:
“City of Philadelphia; Counties of:- Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, YORK, Cumberland, Berks, Northampton, Bedford, Northumberland and Westmoreland.”
The eight members representing YORK COUNTY were:
“John Hay, James Edgar, William Rankin, Henry Slagle,
Robert McPherson, James Smith, FRANCIS CRAZART (Cossart), Joseph Donaldson.”

“Francis Cassart was born about 1713 in Bergen County, New Jersey. His grandfather Jacques Cassart arrived in America as a refugee about 1657 with his family.
(Baird’s Huguenot Emigration to America, Volume 1, pages 182-3).

“Among others he had a son David baptised June 18, 1671, died 1740, married 1696, Styntje Van Horn. Of this union Francis was the seventh child. In 1760 he located at Indian Springs, six miles east of (now) Gettysburg, in Adams County, Pennsylvania, where he died near 1795, and was buried in the graveyard of the “Jersey Colony”. He was a man of great prominence, and took a notable part in the stirring events of the Revolutionary Period. In 1775 he was a member of the Committee of Correspondence for York County. A member of the Provisional Assembly 1776, a member of the Convention that framed the first State Constitution 1776.

“He had three sons, Peter, who before the Revolution removed to Kentucky where he was killed by the Indians. Peter’s descendants are numerous in the west.
“David born 1743, died 1824,
Jacob born 1751, died 1813.
The two latter were buried in the “Jersey Colonists” graveyard where their tombstones may be seen. (This graveyard is now known as the “Old Dutch Graveyard”, located about 1½ miles east of Hunterstown, Penna. J.A.C.)

“Many of the descendants became, prominent in various walks of life.
David (1768-1824) son of David, was an eminent lawyer of York, while
Jacob (1778-1838), also son of the latter died while a member of the Legislature.

“Another son of David Cossart was Dennis, the grandfather of the Honorable Alexander Johnston Cassatt of Philadelpbia, the noted financier and President of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.”
(Reference: Memorials to the Huguenots in America; by the Revern A. Stapleton, A.M.,M.S., 1901).

Francis Cossart (or Cossatt as his name will hereafter be written), son of David and Styntje, baptised July 21, 1717, at Millstone, Somerset County, N.J. died. ....(?). Married circa 1738, Margaret Van Nest (10) Vol. 1, p. 130, dan. of.

“November 19, 1740 Francis Cosart of Piscataway Twp., Middlesex County, N.J., yeoman, and Margaret his wife conveyed to Jonathan Dunn of Elizabethtown, Essex County, the plantation which Francis Cosort bought of Peter Williamson, May 13 .... being the same property which Peter Williamson bought May 17, 1736 Evan Drummond and James Alexander, 162 acres in Piscataway.
/Signed/ FRANCIS COSSAAR. (Cossaar)
Witnesses: Abram Drake and Ebenezar Drake.
Deed Book E 2 p. 479.”

Francis Cossart is listed among the Freeholders of Piscataway Township, Middlesex County, N.J., for the year 1748.
(Ref. First Settlers of East N.J. — Ora E. Monnette, Los Angeles, p. 358).

“As all of Francis Cassatt’s children were baptised at the First Reformed Church of Raritan, N.J., we can infer that he made his home at this place or near by, until his removal with his family to York County, Pa., about the year 1764, along with other members of the Dutch Church.
“The earliest deed on record at York (1768) Van Arsdale grantor, recites that the property conveyed, then adjoined lands of Henry Banta, George Sebring, William Love, David Hunter and FRANCIS COSERTE (2) 1915.
“The place of settlement of the Dutch Colony was in Stratan Township, 3 miles South of Gettysburg, then in York County, but in 1801 became a part of Adams Co., of which Gettysburg is now the County seat.

“The farms taken up by the settlers began at a point two miles east of Hunterstown. The public road used by them in going to church, became known as the “Low Dutch Road, and will be noticed on most all of the maps of the Battle field of Gettysburg.

“The Church at Conewago was built in 1768, and the land on which it was erected, one acre, was conveyed by Cornelius Cosine, to Francis Cossart, David Van Duyn, and David Demaree, trustees. The first church officers were David Cossaart, John Smock, Garret Van Arsdalen, John Van Dyck, Luke Brinkerhoff, John Conover, Thomas Johnston, and Ralph Brinkerhoff.

“From its erection until about 1780, it was in a flourishing condition when the emigration to the west commenced, and by 1817, only five families were left (Ibid p. 267).

“This year Captain William Houghtalen, Jacob Cossart and Garret Brinkerhoff, petitioned the Pennsy1vania Legislature to permit the trustees to sell the church building and use the proceeds to build a permanent wall around the grave yard, and the balance of the funds to be used for such religious purposes as the majority of the former members now in Adams County, should been best.

“The application state that the original trustees were all deceased. The Legislature granted the request.

“The grave stones until recently (1920) were in a deplorable condition, but are now in as good condition as could be expected.

“The news of the fertile land of Kentucky, and wonderful opportunities in the west, reached the Conewago settlement a few years after they built their church, and the colonists sent agents to Kentucky, who located a tract where Pleasureville is now situated. This land was owned by Squire Boone, brother of Daniel Boone, the famous Kentucky pioneer, who sold the Low Dutch Colony 10,000 acres in 1774.

“The deed shows 34 lots were purchased consisting from 200 acres upwards. Francis Cosart purchased Lot No. 18 for £43.l9.ll.

“It was not until the spring of 1780, that the main body of the Colonists removed to Kentucky, as is set forth in the “Petition of the Low Dutch Settlement in Kentucky”, to the President and Delegates of the Free United States of America, signed by J.M. Van Harlingen, Minister of the Gospel at Sourland and New Skennick, requesting grant of land. The names attached to this memorial are divided into two lists which are given in full. (3) pp. 56, 57.

Collins’ History of Kentucky, Volume 2, p. 523 and 529, states:
“White Oak Station was settled in 1779. The settlers were composed principally of families from Pennsylvania, orderly respectable people, and the men good soldiers. But they were unaccustomed to Indian warfare, and of some 10 or 12 men all were killed except 2 or 3.”

Page 523 states:
“The first Dutch emigration to Kentucky was in 1781 to White Oak Springs Station on Kentucky River, Madison County, one mile above Boonesborough. A little later the colonists went where Herrodsburg now stands, but in a few years they established themselves permanently about a village, now called Pleasureville, in Henry County, where they purchased the Low Dutch Tract.”
“Many of those whose names are given in the list of those who intended to go to Kentucky, undoubtedly went, and others among the original pioneers, returned to Pennsylvania. Some of them established a colony on the Salt River, Mercer County, and others in Shelby County, Ky. Several decades later, settlements were made in Darke County, Ohio, Johnson County, Ind., and Cayuga Lake, N.Y.
Francis Cassat, George Williams and David Beaty were witnesses to the will of Cornelius Cosine, of Straban Township, York County, Pa., dated August 5, 1786, pr. August 30, 1786. (Abstract of York County wills, p. 82).
He names wife Mary Cosine; children: John, Gerard, Anaty, and Simon Vanasdale; Leine, wife of John Bodine; Ann, wife of Bernet Smock; Jane wife of Abraham Broca; Elizabeth, wife of Peter Banta, and Cornelius.

“Deed, February 12, 1789 — Francis Cossart, of Straton Township, York County, to Jacob Cossart, of same. Receites whereas the Execution Council of State of Penna., by three Patents, one March 12, 1785, and the other two May 25, 1785, granted and confirmed to Francis Cossart following adjoining tracts situated in Stratoon called Frankfort, Barrenhill, and Indian Spring. Beginning at a white oak boundry line of Cornelius Van Ausdal’s land and extending to lands of Henry Banta and along James Dickson’s land, 615 acres 43 perches, as recorded Pat. Book two in No. 4, p. 23, the other in Book 4, p. 226. In consideration of £ 205. Confirms to said Jacob a part of said tract. Cornelius Van Arsdal’s to Henry Banta, 333 acres 129 perches.
Witnesses present: Lawrence Monfort, Francis Cossart Jr.
Recorded in Deed Book 2 F, pages 16-17 and 18.

Francis Cossart to David Cossart February 12, 1789, referring to same patents, consideration £ 252. The balance of 615 acres, containing 281 acres 75 perches. Same witnesses.

Deed Book 2 F, page 19.
Francis Cossart, 7th child and 4th son of David and Styntie, born July 21, 1717(?) Married Margaretta Van Nest, born September 20, 1717.
“His name is spelled COZAR in the family bible.
“His wife’s name is spelled Van Ess by the Neelys in the record of the family.

“He moved to Indian Springs, 6 miles east of Gettysburg about 1760 to 1764.
“Mrs. Kuzel says that Francis Cozar was a prominent member of the Revolutionary Committee, 1775, York County, Penna.

“Francis Cossart is said to have had sons: David, Peter killed by Indians, and Jacob, b. 1751, d. 1813.
This information given by Edward B. Cassatt, of Berwyn, Pa., who wants a history of all the descendants of Francis and Margaretta (1920).

Write to George M and Alfred C. Cassatt, of Cincinnati, sons-in-law of Governor Harmon of Ohio for their ancestry.

“A Mr. Francis Clopper, of Maryland (1858) was a grandson of Francis Cassatt, his mother being one of the two daughters of Francis.

“Francis Cassat’s daughter Elizabeth married Lawrence Montfort, of Connewago and was grandmother to the late venerable Rev. John Monfort, D.D., of Cincinnati, Ohio, editor of the Herald and Presbyter, the Western organ of the Presbyterian organization, and it is now edited by his son Francis C. Monfort. (1920).

“Among the names of the heads of families of the Conewago settlement were: David, Francis, Jacob and Peter Cosart, p. 268.

“Francis Cassatt had issue by his wife Margaret Van Nest, six children:
(1) - Madeline Cassatt, baptised January 1, 1740/1.
(2) - David Cassatt, b. 4-11-1743 d. 12-29-l823 (tombstone)
(3) - Peter Cassatt
(4) - Jacob Cassatt, b. 5-12-1751 d. 5-14-1815.
(5) - Christiana Cassatt (Stynte).
(6) - Elizabeth Cassatt.”
(Reference: Justice Collection in possession of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pa. Copied by the Compiler August 1934).

The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania,
1300 Locust Street,
Philadelphia, Pa.

Joseph A. Cossairt, Esq.
March 4, 1932.
The Lexington,
San Pedro, Calif.

Dear Mr. Cossart:
In reply to your letter of December last, and I crave your indulgence for this delay, I must tell you first that this society is primarily a record society, not a collection of genealogical books as is the Historical Society, in whose building this society has its habitat.
There is considerable material on the Cossairt, Cossart, Cosad, Cassatt families, in the two societies, but it is of an unconnected nature. It would doubtless take a genealogist of considerable experience to unwind the threads from the present to Jacques Cossart who, with his wife Lydia, was in New Amsterdam before 1668 and was the ancestor of most of the name, with variations in this country, through his three sons, Jacques, David and Anthony.

The former was baptised in New Amsterdam 18 April, 1668; and David 18 June 1671. This latter, David Cossart, married 1696, Styntie Van Horn and had sons: Joris, Jacob, David, John, Francis, and several daughters.

Francis, the seventh child of the foregoing, married Margaretta and certainly had: Magdelena, baptised June 1, 1741; David baptised June 5, 1743; Peter Born April 30, 1746; Jacob born April 21, 1751, baptised May 12, 1751; Stynte, baptised September 7, 1755 (Christinia); Elisabethi and doubtless others.
(Ibid. Eagle’s Notes and Queries, fourth series, Vol. 1, p. 265).

A Francis Cazart of York County, member of the Constitutional Convention of 1776, was a native of New Jersey. He removed to York, now Adams County, locating near Hunterstown. He left several children, one of whom, David, was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature for a number of years. A daughter married Thomas Burd Coleman; a granddaughter became the wife of Samuel Small of York, Pennsylvania. The name has now been merged into Cassatt.”
/s/ M. Atherton Leach, Corresponding Secretary.

The Dutch and Huguenot Colony of CONEWAGO.

“The following article relating to the Dutch and Huguenot Colony, on the Conewago was read before the Historical Society of York County, in the year 1905’, by the Revern A. Stapleton.
“The history of this colony is perhaps the most remarkable of the annals of Pennsylvania. In fact, we know of no other settlement in the United States having such unique characteristics.
“The people composing this colony were descendants of the Dutch (Hollanders) and French Huguenot settlers of New Jersey. The locality from whence they came was Hackensack and Schwallenberg, in Bergen County. In the early records of the Dutch Reformed Churches of these places, the reader who wishes to carry his investigations further will find, the family records of most of the colonists. The colonists, who numbered probably over a hundred families, did not come to York County in a body, but gradually, during the period of twenty years prior to the war of the Revolution. They located mostly in Mt. Pleasant and Straban Townships, now in Adams County.

“A remarkable feature of the colony was its mobility. Its people were restless, and for over a half a century continued to break up into smaller bodies, founding new settlements on the distant frontier. This disintegration continued until about 1800, by which time but a comparatively small number of the “Jersey” families remained on the Conewago.

“A large number of these colonists, as well as their descendants, attained distinction as soldiers, statesmen and promoters in almost every line of human activity. Prominent examples of these are Alexander J. Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Thomas H. Hendrix, Vice President of the United States during Cleveland’s first term; Daniel H. Voorhees, late United States Senator from Indiana, and Senator Benta.

“As already noted, the planting of the Dutch and Huguenot Colony in York County embraced a period of many years. It would be interesting to know who its promoters were and what special inducements were held out to the Jersey people, to transplant themselves to the region. That it was the outcome of a well defined scheme., and under the direction of promoters is quite probable. in the absence of complete records on this interesting subject we are obliged to prepare a history from various sources.

Where They Came From.

“An examination of the official records of York County, shows. that from 1760 to 1770 there was a considerable influx of colonists from New Jersey. Many of them were well advanced in years at the time of their settlement here, as may be noted in their wills and other mortuary papers on file in the York County Court House. From the recently published records of the Schwallenberg Reformed Church (NJ) we gain a knowledge of their family history, and also that they intermarried.

“Among the first of the Jersey Colonists to locate in York County was James Petit, whose ancestor was one of the early Huguenot refugees to New Jersey; as early as 1740 James Petit possessed a. considerable estate on the Conewago. He died in 1771 at an advanced age. Abram La Rue, who died in 1757, and Adam de Gomois, Huguenot pioneer from New Jersey were among the earliest settlers and no doubt had much to do with the subsequent influx.

“Some of the leading families of the colony were:

“David Demarest was born in 1731, and died in 1808. He was a descendant of a Huguenot refugee of the same name born in Beauchamp, France, in 1620, and who came to New York in 1663 because of religious persecution.

“Frederick Banta was the grandson of Prof. Epke Banta, a Dutch colonist who died at Schrallenberg in 1719.

“John Bodie, who died at Conewago in 1776, at a very advanced age, was the grandson of the Huguenot refugee, Jean Bodie, who died on Long Island, N.Y., in 1695. In 1794 George Brocow died, whose ancestor, Pierre Brocaw a French Refugee, located in New York prior to 1680. Andri Ridett died in 1776; Michael Le Boobm in 1781; Adam de Goma in 1772; Cornelius Cosine, in 1786; Peter Cosine, in 1779; Peter Montford, the progenitor of a noble family, died quite aged in 1769. George Brinkerhoff, who was born in 1719, died in 1810, A marble shaft marks the resting place of this patriarch in the cemetery of the colonists on the Conewago, near Hunterstown.

Francis Cozart (Cassatt), ancestor of Alexander J. Cassatt President of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, was born at Milstone. N..J. (Somerset County) in 1713. He was a grandson of Jacques Cozart and his wife, Lydia., French refugees, who came to America in 1662. He was married prior to 1740 and had children as follows:
Peter, one of the early Colonists of Kentucky where lie was killed by the Indians during the Revolution;
Magdalena, born 1741;
David, born 1743;
Jacob, born 1757; and
Francis Jr. who went to Kentucky.

Francis Cozart was very prominent in the affairs of Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary Period. His sons likewise shared in the struggle for independence. In 1776 he was elected a member of the Provisional Assembly, and was a member of the Committee that framed the first Constitution of the State in 1776. He died sometime after 1787, at which time he divided his estate among his children

It is worthy of note that a considerable number of the descendants of Francis Cozart attained distinction in various walks of life. Among others were, David, born 1768, died in 1824; and Jacob, born 1778, died in 1839; both were sons of David, the eldest son of Francis. David Cossatt Jr. was a lawyer of ability. At an early day he located at York, where his daughter Isabella, married Samuel Small Sr., member of the firm of P.A. & S. Small. For many years he was one of the leaders of the York County Bar and held various offices of responsibility. His remains repose in the graveyard of the 1st Presbyterian Church of York. Jacob Cassatt, the brother of David Jr., was also a lawyer and citizen of Gettysburg. For many years be was quite prominent in the politics of the Commonwealth and was a recognized leader in the legislature at the time of his death. “Dennis Cassatt, who was a brother of Jacob and David, died sometime prior to 1824, leaving an only son, Robert, of Pittsburg, who was the father of A1exander J. Cassatt.

“Many of the descendants of Peter Cassatt, (son of Francis the Pennsylvania pioneer, was killed by the Indians in Kentucky in 1780), are widely distributed in the west. Some of these descendants may be found using the surname Cosat, Cosart, Cossairt, Cassairt, Cassat, Cassatt and Cozatt or Cozart.

Names of the Early Church Members.
“From a valuable article on the History of the Dutch and Huguenot colony of York County by Rev. J.K. Demorest, of Gettysburg, we are able to reproduce the membership list of the Dutch Reformed Church of Conewago, prior to 1775. The names given are males, and supposedly heads of families:

(very long list which includes CAZART, FRANCIS (Cossart) - please see Reference document.

A Pioneer Church.

“The members of the Conewago Colony early established, a congregation of their own faith, the Dutch Reformed, which has the distinction of being the only church of that denomination west of the Susquehanna River before 1800. A. house for religious worship was erected near the present site of Hunterstown, soon after the establishment of the colony. The church records began in 1769. The congregation was under the care of the New Brunswick Classes of the Dutch Reformed Church. The first regular pastor was Rev. John M Van Haling from Millstone, N.J., who was a relative of the Cassatts. The second pastor was Rev. John Leydt, of New Brunswick, N.J., who was succeeded by Rev. Cornelius Corsine, who died in 1788. Rev. Corsine was followed by Rev. George S. Brinkerhoof, who began his labors in 1789, and was the last regular pastor.

“When Brinkerhoof assumed charge of the congregation, the colony was already greatly weakened by removals and no longer able to support a minister. He accordingly accepted a call in 1793, to Sempronius, in New York, where a great many of his parishioners had located, and where he died in 1813.

“In 1817 a few of his surviving colonists petitioned the Pennsylvania Legislature for permission to sell the Church and land connected with it. The proceeds of the sale were expended in the erection of a massive stone wall surrounding the cemetery of the colony. In this historical burying ground, now much neglected, sleep the patriarchs of this colony; their children became commonwealth builders, and bore a conspicuous part in the history of this great nation.

“The reader will be interested in the dispersion of the Conewago colonists and their re-location elsewhere. Before taking up this subject, however, the question naturally arises, why did they not remain here? To this query no satisfactory answer can be given. They were restless, adventurous and intensely patriotic. During the Revolution they furnished a number of men who fought for independence. A considerable number became prominent, among them Francis Cozart, Abraham Banta and John Chamberlain. Three of the colonists were captains in active service, namely Simon, Van Arsdale, William Roughtaling and George Brinkerhoff.

“From various sources it was learned that these people planned to form a new county with the town of Berwick (now Abbotstown) as the county seat. It is possible that the adverse treatment they met with in this adventure created dissatisfaction which eventually led many of them to sell their lands, most of which were fertile and well situated, and remove to virin soil. As early as 1774 they had sent agents to Kentucky, who located a tract of 10000 acres near the present town of Pleasantville, in Henry County. During the Revolution a considerable number of these people removed to their new possessions in Kentucky. Among the first families to migrate thither were Henry Banta and his numerous sons, some of whom were heads of families; several sons of the pioneer Peter Cossart, Vorhees, ])uryee, Dorlan, Hendricks and Montford. The colonists became associated with the Kentucky pioneer, Daniel Boone, and did valiant service for the new common-wealth.

“In 1780 the Kentucky colonists petitioned the congress for permission to organize their settlement for the proper administration of law and the better security of their lives and property. In 1795, the colonists having organized themselves into a congregation, petitioned the classes of New Brunswick N J., for a minister of their own faith with the result that Rev. Peter Lebaoh was sent to minister to their spiritual wants. Rev. Lebach was a native of Hackensack N J. He remained their pastor for upward of half a century, dying in 1858 at the age of 85 years. Several decades after the establishment of the original colony in Kentucky they located another colony on the Salt River, in Mercer County, and still another in Shelby County, Kentucky.

“At a later period the Kentucky colonies formed a. settlement in Darkes County, Ohio, and Johnston County, Ind. The colonists early foresaw the opening of Western New York for settlement in consequence of the ceding by the six nations of their lands to the government. In 1793 they sent a prospecting party to that region, who located. a fine tract of land at the outlet of Oswego Lake. Upon securing the land, the shareholders lost no time in occupying it, so that by the following year a. considerable number had already disposed of their properties on the Conewago aid removed thither. Among the emigrants to this new point of location were Jacob, Ralph aid George Brinkerhoff, sons of the Conewago pioneer, already mentioned; Thomas and Andrew Johnson, Abraham Bodine, Charles Van Dine, James Dates, Isaac Parcell, Jacob Leyter and George Brocsw. In 1797 they erected their first church, which was replaced by a more substantial structure in 1827.


‘In conclusion I may be permitted to add a few notes regarding a few eminent descendants of the Conewago colony. Hendrick Banta had 21 children, nearly all of them sons, some of who were soldiers in the Revolution, while Hendrick was a member of the Committee of Observation of York County. The whole Banta family went to Kentucky at the close of the Revolution. Among the celebrities of this family was Albert Banta, who removed from Kentucky to Indiana. He was identified with many of the early interests and movements of that commonwealth. A. descendant is David Banta of Franklin, Ind., for many years a Judge but later dean of the law department of the state University. He is the author of a number of books of permanent value. A.B. Banta of Harrodsburg, Ky., is one of the best known men of that state.


“Several of the Voorhees family have attained distinction. Daniel W. Vorhees, nicknamed “The tall Sycamore of the Sangammon”, was born in Indiana, in 1828; member of Congress from 1861 to 1865, and from 1869 to 1871; United States Senator in 1877 and thereafter many years. He figured prominently in national affairs. “Probably the most noted descendant was Thomas A. Hendricks. He was born in Ohio in 1819, but early in life moved to Indiana, among his kindred. Notwithstanding his conservation, his integrity and probity were recognized by all, regardless of party lines. In 1863 he entered. the senate of the United States and thereafter was the political leader of his state until his death. He made a unsuccessful run for Vice President in 1876 with Samuel J. Tilden at the head of the ticket. His second run for the office in 1884, with Grover Cleveland, brought him the second highest honor within the gift of the American people.”
(Reference: History of York County, Pennsylvania, The Germans. George R. Prowel, pp. 139 — 1.42).

Corwin’s Manual says:
“About 1765, Dutch Colonists from New Jersey began to pour into York and Adams County, Pa. They organized the church at Conewago, about three miles South of Gettysburg. Among these were the Monfoorts, Cossats from Millstone and the Bantas and Westervelts from Bergen County, N.J. The church at Conewago consisted of about 150 families. About 1781 these colonists began a second hegira, and. in 1793 almost the whole congregation had moved away.”
Page 340.

Pre-revolutionary Somerset and Bergen County Migration to
the Conewago Valley in Pennsylvania
By A.Van Doren Honeyman in
The Somerset County Historical Quarterly
July 1915.

“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 condition in money matters prevailing in New Jersey, and near the large centers of population during the decade preceding the Revolution, because of the greatly depreciated paper currency. No finer farms could be found in America than were in the Raritan valley, but the “times were not good.”, and the farmers became restless.
“Whatever the immediate cause, the first settlement was made at Conewago, about 1765, and we are sure families of the name of Cassat (Cossart) and Montfort of near Millstone, and Van Arsdale and Sebring (both Somerset names), and. some Bantas, Westervelts and Amermans of Bergen County, were among the early settlers.
“The earliest deed. on record at York, the County seat of York County, given in 1768, by Van Arsdale, who must have been a previous settler, recites that the property conveyed then adjoined lands of ‘Henry Banta, George Sebring, William Love, David Hunter and ..FRANCIS COSERTE......”


“The church of the Conewago was built in 1768-9; in the latter year the records begin. Cornelius Cosine conveyed the ground (one acre) for it to FRANCIS COSSART, David Van Dine and David. Demaree, trustees of the organization. The first church officers seem to have been DAVID COSSAART, John Smock, Garret Van Arsdale, John Van Dyck, Henry Commingore, Isaac Van Arsdale, and Luke Brinkerhoff.

“This 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 30 years ago (1885) remembered. it as standing. From its erection until towards the year 1793 it was a flourishing Dutch Church of some 750 souls. But 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, JACOB COSSART and Garret Brinkerhoff for permission for the trustees to sell the church building and grounds and apply the proceeds to erect “a permanent wall around the burying ground connected with the church, (burying grounds about ¾ mile from site of church. J.A.C.) and the remainder to such religious purposes as a majority of those who were formerly members of said congregation and now reside in said county of Adams (formerly a part of York County) shall recommend in writing.” The application recited that the original trustees were deceased and that “the members of said congregation have become attached to other corporations. “The Legislature gave the permission by an Act, and the church building and grounds 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 of the church he used for building a smokehouse. The tavern was in the near vicinity of the church. As to the sale Mr. Demarest quaintly observed: “In the disolution of the Low Dutch Church at Conewago, the Devil obtained as his share a little more than those stones and that flimsy, old weatherboarding.”

‘The public road used by the settlers in going to church they built in the community came to be known as the Low Dutch Road, and is so known on certain maps. It runs from York Pike to what is known as “Two Taverns”, and along this road “Zeb” Stewart’s Cavalry was moving on the third day of July 1863, when the Union Cavalry under our brave Generals Kirkpatrick and Gregg encountered them.

“NOTE: The Cavalry Battlefield. The field upon which Stewart’s Cavalry met that of Gregg is about three miles east of Rock Creek, and lies in the North-east angle of the Hanover (Route No. 116) and Low Dutch Roads. Its western bounary is Cress Ridge, which extends from Graile Hill on the York Road (Route No. 30) to the Hanover Road at Cresse’s house; its elevation where it crosses the road by which Stewart advanced, is about 100 feet higher than the elevation at the Hanover and Low Dutch Roads.

The field is traversed by the road which Stewart advanced and by a private road running east and west near the Runnel farm buildings. The east branch of Little Rim rises near this road and follows parallel to, and a mile west of the Low Dutch road. A woods about 2OO by 400 yards extends from this road on which the Confederates were concealed, another woods about 350 yards square was in the south-east angle of the Low Dutch Road and intersecting the roads. In this woods rested the right of the Union Cavalry. Otherwise the ground was open, but divided into fields by stone and rail (worm style) fences, which had to be thrown down for the mounted maneuvers. The Lott house is about a half mile north of the Hanover road, and is about 300 yards west of the Low Dutch Road. The Runnel house with its large barn is about a mile north of the Hanover Road, and about 350 yards south of the woods in which the confederates were concealed. Field is now covered by several monuments. The Compiler,1934”.

“The Cassat (Cossart) and Montfort families of Somerset County were among the leading families in the colony and church. FRANCIS CASSAT’S daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Laurence Monfort of Conewago, was grandmother to the late venerable Rev. John Monfort, D.D., of Cincinnati, Ohio, long the well known editor of the “Herald and Presbytr”, the western organ of the Presbyterian denomination.

“The reason for the utter abandonment of Conewago by so large a Dutch population has never been satisfactorily made out. There were inducements for migration to Kentucky and the Lake country of New York, but only such as were always held out to eastern farmers.

“But years before this when it was not safe, the Conewago Colony began to break up, and it may be the delay in closing the Revolutionary war that had something to do with it. In the spring of 1780 there removed to Kentucky a considerable number of the colony. The names as given in a memorial signed by the Rev. J.M. Van Harlingen, pastor of Sourland and Neschanic, Somerset County, N.J., who occasionally went to Conewago to minister may be found under Peter Cossart, the Kentucky pioneer. Van Harlingen sent a memorial to Congress to grant them a tract of land in Kentucky in the course of which he said some of them “have lived amongst us and belonged to many congregations.”

“The churchyard is still enclosed, but full of grass and weeds, as was to have been expected. Scarcely any graves 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 the community. A few stones left of the wall of the edifice, grass, trees, and twittering 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.”
(Reference: A. Van Doren Honeyman, in Somerset County quarterly July 1915).

The last paragraph of the above article is rather misleading to the writer, unless there were also burials within; the one acre plat of the original church site.

The Low Dutch burying ground connected with this church was a distance of some ¾ mile from the site of the church building. The compiler visited this section of the county Augu.st 16, 1934, and upon inquiry of neighboring farmers, none of them knew of any near by graves other than those enclosed by the stone wall which is mentioned on pages 238 and 240. At this time the burying ground was being fairly well taken care of by Mr. Osborn, a local farmer, who has descendants buried here.

Rev. Demarest.

“Some years ago, while preparing a. history of the church of which I am pastor, I discovered that there was once in our county of Adams, a church in many respects similar to it, now passed away.
“From 1794 to 1800 Rev. John Black one of our pastors of the Gettysburg church continued in this neighborhood., preaching steadily to a Dutch Reformed Church the origin and fortunes of which are now in obscurity.
“Their edifice once stood a mile or more to the east of Hunterstown but more recently the same distance to the south of the village. The burial ground formerly connected with it, is well known.
“It seemed unaccountable that a community comparatively so young as ours, and with some still among us, whose ancestors two generations ago must have been active members, that I was unable to find from what cause the church came to an end.
“The church was called the Reformed Dutch Church of Conewago, and the settlement to which I refer was around the present site of Hanover, Penna., and. near to New Oxford, Penna,
‘The denomination to which it belonged though glorying in its origin, has been unwilling to seem to narrow the field. of its work, and therefore as late as 1867 omitted from its title the word “Dutch”.
“The boundaries of the population, were marked by cemeteries, said one of them was in the near vicinity of the church. The cemeteries are still in existance, and give evidence of commendable care. While the list is not complete, of the 150 families in or about the region, such names as these can be found.. (see Reference document for names, including Francis Cassatt)

“In the Presbyterian burying ground at Hunterstown may be found the following headstone inscriptions:

“Jacob Cassat, died June 19, 1873; aged 74 years 6 months.

“In memory of Jacob Cassat, Esqr., who died. December .26, 1838; aged 60 years who served. faithfully domestic relations, etc. (His father is buried in the Low Dutch burying grounds about two miles distant), Mary Cassat, his wife, born July 3, 1777, died September 17, 1863, aged. 86 years.’1

“Sarah C. Cassat, died November 4, 1857, aged 57 years.”
“Maria Louisa Cassat, daughter of Jacob Cassat, died June 6, 1852, aged 18 years 8 months 26 days.”
“Sarah Cassat Neely, born January 14, 1807, died. January 2, 1901, aged. 94 years.” (Daughter of Jacob Cassat).

“Whence came all these people? Their traditions, trustworthiness of which we may not call in question, point with few exceptions to New Jersey, and possibly from New York State. Manifestly, the idea of forming a colony of some magnitude would. originate, and find a following in the city - rather than the rural districts. In the metropolis, there are at present many families, bearing the name heretofore recorded.

“A moss green tablet in the Conewago burial ground bears this inscription: “In memory of David Demaree, born in the east of New Jersey in Bergen County, November 1731 - and departed tbis life November 1808 - Aged. 77 years.”

“The old family names found are the Demarees, Ackcermans, Brinkerhoffs, Bogarts, Terhunes, De Baums, De Motts, Vorhees, Bowers, Slegels, and many others, without doubt, came from Bergen County, N.J.

“The names are still there with a sufficient frequency. The Houghtalens and Cosines came from the West Bank of the Hudson near Haverstraw.

“The Abraham Lott, perhaps a connection of the Lotte was prominent in hew York City about the time of the Revolution, holding office in both church and state.

“The Cassat’s (or, Cossarts) and Montforts, two of the first comers, whose influence never became second to that of any other later comers, had an earlier home in Somerset County, New Jersey, near Millstone, and earlier still in New York, the latter family having settled there before 1640.

“Now when did the colonists arrive? Some were well on the ground as early as 1765. At York, Pa, I found a deed of which a member of the Van Arsdale family was the grantor; conveying property Straban Township (then York County , “adjoining lands of Henry Banta, George Sebring, William Love, David Hunter and FRANCIS COSERTE.” This was of date of 1765, for debts; the deed was given in 1768. This is likely the oldest deed. “So while others proceeded them, some came in 1771. A Company set out in the spring of the year for the west. After an arduous journey, carrying along their canvas covered wagons, oxen drawn, their bedding, food and seeds and such implements as was necessary. They must meet for the start at some point, so I account for a convergence of traditions, to Hackensack, N.J., and from there begin the succession of hills belonging to our own south mountain. Crossing the Passaic they turn southward to New Brunswick. From the Raritan they pass through Princeton to the Deleware.
“Perhaps they crossed just where Washington made his splendid venture a few years after, and we wonder did they have in their dreams, as they rested among these historic places, any token of the great conflict soon to come, and did they talk as they smoked their pipes beside the camp fires, or as they rafted themselves and their effects across the river, of the grave political situation of Patrick Henry, of the assured liberty and National independence?

“In less than six hours one can cover the same ground, by a screaming locomotive; but the colonists did well if they did the same in six weeks. From the Susquehanna, all except a few, moved into the neighborhood of Hanover.

“There they were hard pressed to make an end of their journey now grown tedious and fatiguing. They found the ground already occupied.. The Germans were there and perhaps even in those early days were quite too numerous about Hanover. They moved. again, therefore, and now north-westward., but not far, for in front of them already in full sight rose South Mountain. It was a barrier they could not pass, and yet in spite of themselves, they pass toward it; for a more picturesque horizon, a line of bills of a more quiet beauty, reflecting from their blue-grey sides the light of the morning or evening, suggestive of the calm and rest of the better and heavenly country they had never seen, nor have I.

“Even quite up those bills they could not come, for they soon discovered., there, the Scotch-Irish, vigorously pushing, and still more numerous than were the Germans already in possession. Moving on therefore, once more, and this time in a wedge shape between the Germans and the Scotch-Irish, they make a. last search for ground they can call their own, and they find it. There it was once more, the soft, sticky, staining, not rich, but yet precious red sandstone. They rejoiced, though it promised but poorly for crops. It was the old soil of home so they settled on what is now called the “Old Dutch Road.”.

The connection of the Conewago Colony, and the Hackensack were suspected by me - and searching through a bundle of tattered and aged. stained. leaves from the Baptismal Record of the Reformed Dutch Church of Conewago, beginning with the organization and covering the best period. of the continuance of the colony in Pennsylvania. The record had been handed down by Peter Monfort, one of the colonists, to his great grandson, Francis. Francis had given it to his great grand-nephew, Dr. J.G. Monfort.

“In addition to the baptismal records were other papers, fringed yellow leaves’, from the Deacons Book, showing collections and expenditures.
‘The baptismal records, of course, enabled me to complete a list as I have given of heads of families of the colony. In 1772 the Conewago congregation had as their pastor, Rev. Cornelius Cosine, and the records show that be continued until his death in 1788. His wife was Maria Brower, daughter of one of the colonists. She afterwards went to Haverstraw, N.Y., and there married David S. Demorest of Hackensack, N.J.
“He was succeeded by Rev. George G. Brinkerhoff who entered upon his work November 1789. Born 1761 in Closter, N.J. No child was baptised before 1769.
“Two pastors, Cornelius Cosine and George Brinkerhoff were the only pastors in the Conewago Church. Rev. Brinkerhoff resigning in 1793. Hardly more than a generation intervened between their arriving and departure.
“Before Mr-. Brinkerhoff had released himself, they must have listened to Rev. Andrew Gray. In 1789 the General Synod of the Reformed Church began sending missionaries to organize churches and strengthen feeble ones.
“Ernest requests came to the General Synod. from Hardy County, Virginia; from Kentucky and from the region of the Susquehanna. In 1791 the Classis of New Brunswick informed the General Synod that “they were unable to satisfy the desire of the people on the Susquehanna.”
“In May 1792 a similar request came. The General Synod finally “sent some missionaries thither”, sending in the autumn some licentiates in a measure to supp1y their need. Rev. Andrew Gary was sent in October 1792, the pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church at Paughkeepsie, N.Y. In October of the following year Mr. Gray reported he had “resuscitated the congregation of Hanover and organized a new congregation on the Susquehanna, having received 45 members and administered holy Baptism and the Lord’s supper.“ The General Synod thanked. him and paid him £15 of amount of expenses and £5 as a further reward.
“Hanover mentioned in these extracts mean none other than Hanover, Penna., and near the Conewago and Dutch Reformed Church, ten miles distant.
“Also it is significant that about this year 1793 the name of Conewago disappears from the roll of the Reformed Dutch Church and Hanover appears in its stead and is recorded vacant.
“Later Hanover gives place again to Conewago but the Conewago church was not dead.. It is mentioned by that name in the minutes of the General Synod held 1794 when Nicholas H. Gardnier was reported. as the “Elder from Conewago”.
“Rev. Andrew Gray was an earnest man. Kerr Valley and. Tuscarora were his last field of labor. He was remembered for his patriotism and in the Revolution suffered the loss of home and property. He died in 1819.
“In 1794 Rev. John Cornelison and Rev. Stephen 0strander were sent by the General Synod “up the Delaware, and across the great bend of the Susquehanna and to follow the same to Wyoming.” I learn from Corwins’ Manual. that Mr. Cornelison followed down the Susquehanna as far as Hanover. He was at that time pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of English Neighborhood, Bergen County, N.J. He died in 1826.
“The next supply was Rev. Black, previously the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Gettysburg of whom I have given some account in my sketch of that organization. He could not preach steadily to any people without making a deep and lasting impression. He was one of the strongest characters connected with the pulpit of Adams County, Penna., in the last century (18th). He was boldly on the side of all that was best in the state and church. He ministered to the Conewago people from the spring of 1794, when he resigned the Gettysburg church in the year 1801, when he removed to Westmoreland County and Greensburg. He died while still at work August 16 , 1802.
“Their next minister at Conewago, was Rev. Alexander Dobbin who was born at Londonderry, Ireland, 1742. He was a missionary from the Reformed Presbytery of Scotland in 1773. The following year he was ordained pastor of Rock Creek Associated Reformed Church, then worshiping in a log house about a mile northeast of what is now Gettysburg on the banks of a stream by that name. He died in 1809 and is buried in March Creek graveyard.
“The Dutch have ever shown a fondness for the preaching of the Scotch-Irish. “It is likely that some of the Colonists had listened before leaving New York City to Rev. Archibald Laidlie, a Scotchman, who from 1763 to 1779 occupied the most important pulpit in that city.
Both Rev. Livingston and Rev. John Black were Scotch. As we have seen their preachings were Calvinistic and their form of Government Presbyterian. As their services of the Dutch Reformed Church became less frequent it is expected that they attached themselves to the surrounding Presbyterian Congregations. This they did, some with the Presbyterian Church at Hunterstown, then under the Pastorial charge of Rev. McConaughy, now under that of Rev. W. S. Van Cleve, others joining the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. I have examined two lists of records - one in 1804 and the other in 1814 - in the former there is not a name which can have belonged to a Dutchman - in the latter there are the following: Joseph Coshun, Katrina Calhoun, Ralph Laswell, Henry Brinkerhoff, John Coshun. But the majority of the Dutch followed Rev. Dobbin into his own communion, and it so happens that the most of their descendants in the United Presbyterian Church still in Adams Co. are at present ministered to by Rev. John Jamison. So ends the history of the Reformed Dutch Church of Conewago. It remains only to learn further what became of their property - the organization to have an existence under the State (though no Elders, there were Trustees) until the year 1820.

“The following Act was read in the Presbyterian Senate, February 10, 1817, Saying:

“An Act authorizing the Trustees of the Low Dutch Congregation in Adams County to sell and convey a certain piece of land - Whereas, it is represented to the Legislature that Cornelius Cosine did by deed convey to FRANCIS COSSART, David Van Dine and David Demaree in trust for use of the Low Dutch Congregation of Calvinists, a certain piece of land containing about one acre; and Whereas, the said trustees are all deceased and the members of said congregation have become attached to other congregations, the house and lands are now lying waste and the members have prayed the legislature to appoint and sell and convey same; Therefore, Section 1 — “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, and is hereby enacted by the authority of same, that it shall be lawful for Wilhelmus Houghtalin, JACOB COSSART and Garret Brinkerhoff, or the survivors of them, towards erecting a permanent wall around the burying ground connected with the said church and the remainder for such other religious purposes as a majority of those who were formerly members of said Congregation, and now reside in the said County of Adams, shall recommend in writing.”
“As may be seen by the laws of Pennsylvania, page 180 this Act was approved March 24, 1817. Mr. J. G. Brinkerhoff of Hunterstown has a paper in his possession showing that the building and lot were sold for $288.20, (Were they worth more?), and that this amount was expended in accordance with the provisions of the Act just quoted. This paper is headed “JACOB CASSAT and Garrat Brinkerhoff, trustees in account with the Low Dutch Congregation.”

A note is appended: “Audited November 16, 1820. ‘

The bodies of the good are sometimes quarreled over. The spirit having fled - but as yet to terrestrial places, so that we shall be able to continue our history, and I think with increased interest’, through a few more chapters - the mortal remains of the Dutch Reformed Church of Conewago, were in the midst of some such harrowing scene.
“The Act quoted shows that a deed for the property had been given to the first trustees by Cornelius Cosine. None could reasonably dispute the title therefore nor could they call in wisdom, and excellence of the purpose for which what money might be realized from the sale was to be expended. But not a few persons could think only with aversion of the sale of any portion of the church property to George Lashell. This man kept a tavern on the old Hunterstown and Hanover road in the near vicinity of the church, and not alone for his occupation, but for other reasons, was considered an objectionable member of the community. He was something of an owner and was cruel. It is said; I have seen the story in print, that a slave of his once ran away, and Lashell catching the poor fellow at York, fastened him with a halter to his gig and compelled him to trot behind all the way home, almost killing him.
“Between the church and tavern, almost within sight of each other, there had been from the first, as might be supposed, a constant and bitter warfare. The tavern, Lashall has said, would bring the church to dust, and the Church had as often threatened him with a well deserved perdition. And now - how strange are the ways of Providence. The tavern was still flourishing and the Church was dead. Should Lashall have his victory? The reader may imagine the disgust with which the few remaining members of the church saw, as at last they did see (and one is still living who told me how he felt in this case) the weather boarding of their dear old home of worship, somewhat conspicuous, for it has been painted with gay colors, stretched defiantly along Lashall’ s tavern property for a road fence, and the stones for the church foundation made into a smoke-house for the delectation of the same enemy. But easily they might have consoled themselves. Happy they should. have been, since in the dissolution of the Low Dutch Church of the Conewago the Devil obtained, as his share, and so, I think this is a fact, a little more than those stones, and that flimsy, old red weatherboarding. Had the facts respecting the sire and importance of the Conewago Colony been received by the reader with some incredulity, I could not have wondered., for the Colony appears at first to have left but small traces of its existence. (Members of the Lashell. family are buried in the lower end of the Dutch graveyard. The compiler).

“But we examine closely, and we shall find more and more stronger evidence of what was, than we might .expect. I am not referring to anything so occult as a mere moral influence coming down from the past must necessarily be. I doubt not such an influence from the Colony is still with us.
“But it is a fact that persons of Dutch parentage are numerous in the population of our county than we have supposed. There is still on this ground fully as large a representation as would be probable in the case of a people who have sustained constant losses by removal, and received no additions by immigration for eighty years. Doubtless some of the old stock have forgotten whence they came. If by reminding them I shall revive a family pride, I have done no harm. The best and perhaps the only certainly good result of a known and valued lineage is the ambition to be worthy of it.
“The Dutch families emigrated from Adams County or York County, as Adams County was then called., until 1800 in two directions, westward and northward..
“The earliest removal went to Kentucky. Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania, in Bucks County, in 1735. When eighteen years of age he removed with his father to North Carolina and about 1769 with three or four companions pushed his way westward into the wilderness south of the Ohio, where, up to that time, there were Indians and wild beasts. To guard against this he built a fort on the Kentucky river which he named Boonesborough. And there he continued, to live until 1792 when Kentucky was already so thickly settled that it became a state of the Union. The renown of this adventure soon came back to the eastern settlements and had much influence in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, from whence his followers chiefly came. Amongst the first to go in his steps were some bold and hardy spirits from the Conewago Colony. Says Collins, in his History of Kentucky, Volume 2, page 253: “The first Dutch emigration to Kentucky in a group or Company was in 1781 to White Oak Station on the Kentucky River, one mile above Boonesborough. Amongst these emigrants were Henry Banta. Sr., Henry Banta Jr., Abraham and John Banta; Samuel, Peter, Daniel Henry and Albert Duryee; Fred Riperdan and John Fluety (Yeury) also PETER COSSART. Some following as late as 1790. There are several circumstances to show this, the fact of Rev. Cornelius Cosine death in 1788, I learned, as I said, from papers at York. One of the executors named in his will was Samuel Demaree, who was or had been a prominent man in the Conewago Church community. It does not certainly follow that he was in Pennsylvania at the time of his death, though the presumption is that he was. But in 1790 Mary Cosine, who became Mary Demarest by a second marriage appeared before Peter Herring, County Clerk at Hackensack, N. J., and obtained the appointment of her first husbands estate in York County, Pa. And in 1794 Samuel Demaree, the Executor, appeared before Samuel Dorland, Justice of the Peace in Shelby County, Kentucky, and before others, and executed a power of attorney constituting JACOB COSSARTE, DAVID COSSARTE and Lucas Van Arsdale, his Attorneys to settle business for him in relation to the estate of the late Cornelius Cosine.

“But still further Samuel Dorland just named as Justice of the Peace in Kentucky was still at Conewago in 1790, in which year he disposed of his effects, perhaps in preparation for departure. A document which is of interest as a curiosity and connected with the sale, will hereafter be quoted. It only remains to add to the traditions of the Dutch in the West, so far back as I have been able to learn, all go back to the decade 1780-90. Probably we shall not be able to fix dates more definitely than we have now done. The Colonists had no facilities at hand for their long journey, even the “National Road”, never a great success, was not yet built. Not until 1820 was it completed as far west as Cumberland, Maryland. They therefore, just slowly traveled over the Alleghenies, in covered wagons or carts, drawn by oxen, such as they had used in coming from New Jersey to Conewago, in some districts finding a way for themselves, or making one. They would keep to the south, and on reaching the Ohio, or one of the upper tributaries, would doubtless avail themselves of the valleys and openings so afforded. Having cattle with them they would use the raft or family barge, as frequently seen now on western rivers.
“Their first settlement was, as we are told, Boonesborough and later Harrodsburg in Mercer County, Kentucky. But in a few years they permanently find themselves in a village called Pleasureville, then “Six-mile” in Henry County, Kentucky. Here some of them purchased. 12,000 acres of land, (1784) which they called the Low Dutch Tract and divided it among themselves.
“A church is a necessity to the Dutch and accordingly we read in Corwin’s Manual that the Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church in 1795, doubtless at its own request, sent a Missionary, Peter Labough to organize a church among them, just as they had. formerly sent Missionaries to Conewago. He went the whole distance of 700 miles from New York to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, on horse back and returned in the same manner. He spent perhaps a year amongst the people, and did the work for which he was sent. He was a citizen from Hackensack, N.J., at the time of doing the missionary work. He died in 1858, aged 85 years.
“But Kentucky was too far away for oversight on the part of the Dutch Reformed Church. It so happened. there, as it did. in Pennsylvania, the good people of the denomination listened mostly to the preaching of the Scotch—Irish, and presently sought the alliance with the Presbyterian Church. For many years the congregation at “Six-Mile” listened to Archibald Cameron, a man whose fame is still green in all that country - a man of eccentricities, but for soundness and vigor - a second John Knowx. How early and honorable a place a colony from Conewago occupies in the ecclesiastical history of Kentucky appears from the fact that the first sermon preached in that state was by a presbyterian minister at Harrodsburg in the year 1783.

“A letter from Dr. J.G. Monfort, dated December 9th 1883, of Cincinnati, Ohio, follows:

“To Rev. J.K. Demerst;
Dear Brother:
I am to-day 73 years old and feel more than ever before interested. in the Genealogy of my family and church. I have spent much time and have traveled much in search of Dutch history in this country - on Long Island, in New Jersey, at Conewago, “Six-Mile”, in Kentucky, and points in the west. These people, above any other, even the Scotch were a solid., staple class, largely farmers of simple tastes and habits - the light of the world. It is remarkable that in the great defectism of New Lightism and Shakerism, in the great religious excitement, about the beginning of the century, very few of them left the Presbyterian Church. The emigrants from Conewago settled chiefly in Mercer and Henry Counties, Kentucky, and in the Miami Country from 1790 to 1810.

The names of some of these families were Monfort, Vorhees, Vorhees, Bergen, Covert, Demaree, Van Arsdale (Van Orsdale), Conover, Brockaw, De Mott, Ditmars, Leister, Paterson, Terhune, Van Dyke and. Van Este. I doubt whether a better class of Presbyterians can be found.

The ancestors of the Monforts, Peter and John, were amongst the early settlers of New Amsterdam. Peter’s descendants went up the Hudson, John’s to New Jersey, settling at Millstone, Harlingen and Somerville,.N.J. My grandfather’s grandfather Peter Monfort of Millstone, had four sons: Peter, John, Francis and Lawrence. Lawrence came west before 1800. He had three sons - all Presbyterian ministers - namely Francis, Peter and David. Francis, my father had four sons, all Presbyterian ministers, Joseph G., Francis P., Isaac W., and David. Monfort.

“The letter before sent me by Rev. Montfort, by whose kindness I was put in possession of the Baptismal Records. Dr. Monfort’s relation to the Colony has already been stated.. His grandmother was Elizabeth Cossart the daughter of FRANCIS COSSART. He had been for 13 years Editor of the Herald and Presbytr published. at Cincinnati, Ohio, in which work his two sons, Rev. Francis C. Montfort, who was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Elias Riggs Montfort are associated with him. The latter participated. in the battle of Gettysburg. He was Captain of Company “F”, 75th Ohio Volunteers, 2nd. Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Corps; General 0.0. Howard, Commanding, which suffered heavily the first day of the fight north of town. Captain Montfort was severely wounded under a locust tree along the north base of Cemetery Hill, in the second days fight. He was at first taken to the house of Mr. Lightner on the Baltimore Pike, but three weeks after having been accidentally discovered there by an uncle from the west, who was in the Christian Commission, he was brought into town, and kindly nursed by Mrs. Mary Thompson at her house - she was a cousin of his Grandfather.”

“The name CONEWAGO was taken from a creek of that name near by and is an Indian name, of course.”
(Reference: History of the Low Dutch Colony of Conewago, by Rev. Demerest, Pa&tor of the Presbyterian Church of Gettysburg’, Pa., and printed. in the Gettysburg Times, 1925).


“Adams County has much to boast in the matter of beautiful scenery. No natural. panorama in the world. surpasses that which the spectator beholds when, standing on the crest of Cemetery Hill, near Gettysburg, as he looks down upon the broad. expanse of fields, meadow and woodland of the Conewago, dotted with farm houses and barns, the deep red of the newly turned soil in a strong contrast with the verdure of growing crops and magnificent groves, and the whole landscape bounded by the outside mountain weal as far as the eye can reach.
“The prospect which here spreads out before the eye in every direction is truly sublime. From several elevated points along the Low Dutch Road extensive and beautiful views may be had.
“Lincoln Highway, Route No. 30, which passes near the vicinity of where the Low Dutch Church once stood, is now called The Gettysburg and. York Pike road and was organized in 1804. At first it was the York and Susquehannah road, and in 1811 the provisions of the Act were extended to York and Gettysburg road JACOB COSSAT, Jacob Ham, Jacob Metsger were the Commissioners to report concerning the building of it.” (Reference: History of Cumberland and. Adams County, Pa., 1886; by Samuel P. Bates).


“This place was platted in 1749 or 1750 by David Hunter, who came from Ireland about 1741, and cast his fortunes with the Pine Ridge settlers. During the Revolution this little settlement was “the hot-bed of rebellion”, but fortunately for its history, the rebels opposed foreign oppression, and fought with such prowess throughout the Revolution, that Lafayette himself said: “It is no surprise the French were defeated 20 years ago, when the late oppressor of the colonies brought forward such yeomanry against them.” The people were part and parcel of the Marsh Creek settlement. The village is the center of a rich country, possessing a few general stores, a hotel, 2 churches, and a number of private houses (l88l).”
(Reference: History of Cumberland and Adams County, Pa., 1886; by Samuel B. Bates).


To traverse the Low Dutch Road and take in what was once the heart of the Dutch settlement one should start from Gettysburg on Route No. 140 (Baltimore Turnpike) and travel for about four miles to where the Low Dutch Road begins near Two-Taverns. Turn left and proceed in a north-easternly direction. Along this route and on the right of the road and in a corner of a field may be seen one of the early Dutch burying grounds of the settlement. This plot of ground covers almost 1/2 acre of land. Is fenced in by wire, is full of weeds and grown timber and presents a generally run down condition. Many of the headstones have fallen to the ground. The name of “Haughtalin” may be read on some of the stones. Also that of “Young”. Proceed along road until you cross Route No. 116 (Hanover Road), after continuing along the road for l/4 mile you will see several monuments off the road about 1/8 mile which extend. along the ridge. This was the cavalry battle field of Generals “Zeb” Stewart, Kirkpatrick and Gregg. There is a private road which.will take one to the scene of this field. The Dutch road. continues on for about 3 miles to Guldens Station on Lincoln Highway, Route No. 30 (Gettysburg and York Highway). Turn right here and proceed for 7/8 mile on paved highway until you come to a dirt road turning off to left. This intersection is near the site of the Low Dutch Church mentioned above. Proceed along this road for 1/2 mile and turn to left at intersection of dirt roads and proceed in the direction of Hunterstown. About 1/4 mile from these cross roads you come upon the Dutch graveyard that is surrounded by the stone wall which has been mentioned on pages 238, and 240. The graveyard sets on a rise above a creek and back from the roadway about 50 or 75 feet. It covers a area of one and one-half or two acres of ground. In this graveyard will be found the headstones of David. and Jacob Casset (Sons of Francis), their wives and a few members of their families. Headstones of Brinkerhoffs, Osborns, Brokaws, Laschells, Andersons, Montforts and many others may be seen here. The enclosure appears to be quite filled with graves, however, there are great many graves without headstones, but merely a plain stone or rock placed at head of grave to indicate its location.

The Cassatt headstones are in the south-eastern or front of the grave yard. There are two rows of graves and appears to be eight or ten people buried there with room for as many more. No headstone of Francis Cossart or that of his wife could be located. It is believed that both are buried somewhere in this section.
The oldest stone appears to be that of David and Sarah Cassat, inscribed: “In memory of David Cassat, 81 years old, and his wife Sarah, 59 years old.” In the second row and nearest to the entrance is a stone marked: “Jacob Cassat Sr., aged 58 years.” “Maria Cassat died March 18, 1814, aged 56 years.” Another stone is market “James Cassat, son of Jacob and Sarah died March 28, 1840, aged 4 years and 4 months.” Still another is marked: “John son of Jacob Cassat ......(?) died April 14 AD 1840, aged about 8 months.” There are many graves in this burying ground without markers of any description, in some cases just a plain rock or stone to indicate location of grave.

The grave of the immigrant Peter Montfort is located here.
The front of the stone wall has begun to fall for a space of about twenty feet in length which should be repaired. Traveling in the direction of Huntertown from the graveyard a distance of about 1/2 mile one may see a house to the right which sets about 1500 feet from the roadway that resembles the old. Cossart homestead which once stood. only a short distance from this house. Mr. Charles Millhimes resides here.

The graveyard has been fairly well taken care in the last few years by Mr. Osborn who has descendants resting therein.

There are now about 12 houses located in Hunterstown and all seem to be rather old.. A few log houses may be found still standing which were once occupied by the early settlers. The Presbyterian church is located. in the outskirts of the town which has a well kept burying ground.. Members of the Cassatt family are buried, here also. In the front gable of the building is a circular stone with this inscription: “Re Ioseph Henderson Meetind. House l787".

The writer visited this section of the county on August 16, 1934 and attempted to take pictures in a rain without very much success.
On the 14th of August the writer had the pleasure of visiting “Independence Hall”, Philadelphia., Pa., where his great-great-great-great grandfather FRANCIS COSSART sat with Benjamin Franklin while a member of the Committee of Correspondence from York County. The following data appears on a bronze plaque on side of building:

“lndependenoe Hall - The State House of Pennsylvania. The Birthplace of the United States of America.
“Declaration Chamber. Here the Continental Congress sat from the date it convened May 10, 1775, until the close of the Revolution, except when 1776-7 it sat in Baltimore, and in 1777-8 in Lancaster and York due to the temporary occupation of Philadelphia by the British Army.
“Here on June 16, 1775 George Washington accepted. his appointment by congress as General of the Continental Army.
“Here on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted and on July 9, 1778, the Articles of the Confederation and perpetual union between the states were adopted and signed.
“Here on November 3, 1781 24 standards, taken at the surrender of Yorktown were laid at the feet of Congress and his Excellency the Ambassador of France. “Here on Sept. 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America was adopted and signed.”
(Erected by the Society of the Descendants of the Signers, July 4, 1910).


The history of the large colony Which went out from New Jersey between the years 1765 and 1775 to Conewago, York County, Pennsy1vania., is quite as interesting as a romance, How many of the past or present generations of our family have ever heard of the name “Conewago” before? Or how many of those of the family now using the names Cossairt, Cossatt, Cassat, Cassatt Cozatt and Cosat (now scattered throughout the south and west know that it was in this Conewago Dutch church that their forefathers worshiped and that here their sons and daughters were baptised and later married. A church and colony which during the Revolutionary period from 1775 to 1780 numbered. a population of about one thousand souls and yet the year 1794 the population had been so depelted that the church ceased to exist and by the year 1817 only about five of the total of about 170 New Jersey families who had founded the colony, remained. The colony, the church the name, all passed into oblivion for a century and it is only of recent years that its records and past history have been exhumed. and revealed. Such is a brief outline of a colony which today numbers among its descendants some of the most noted men of the day and generation. Why so large a number of New Jersey families should suddenly go to this settlement 150 miles to the west, no one now living seems to know. The church which was about the center of the new settlement, was attached to the Classis of New Brunswick, N.J. A copy of the plan of the church is still in existence and indicates where each member of those good Dutch forefathers there sat on Sunday to hear the preaching. There was a. high pulpit shaped like a wine glass. The Dutch, unlike the Germans and English neighbors, demanded warmth during their devotions and so they had in their church two large wood burning stoves. The name Conewago (an Indian name of course) was taken from Conewago Creek to the north of the settlement. It was located in the east part of Straban Township, York (now Adams) County, about 6 miles north east of Gettysburg, about 2 or 3 miles south-east from Hunterstown and only a. short distance north of the York and Gettysburg road, now the Lincoln Highway. The church was built in 1768 or 1769, in the latter year its records begin.
The church was located on the Lincoln Highway, 5 miles east of Gettysburg. There branches southward a road still called the “Low Dutch Road”. That old “Low Dutch Road” also extends northward to Hunterstown. At the junction of what was once called the York Road and the “Low Dutch Road” stood the Dutch Reformed Church. Cornelius Cosine conveyed the land for it (one acre) to Francis Cossart (103) David Van Duyn and David Demarest, Trustees. Other officers of the church during its existance, seem to have been David Cossart (124) John Smock, Garret Van Arsdale, John Van Dyck, Henry Commingore, Isaac Van Arsdale, Luke Brinkerhoff, John Conover, Thomas Johnson and Ralph Brinkerhoff. The pastors of the church whose names appear on the records and some of whom came out from New Jersey from time to time, were Rev. J.M. Van Har1ingen, Rev. John Leydt, Rev. J.R. Hardenbergh of New Jersey and Rev. Cornelius Cosine and Rev. George Brinkerhoff residents of the settlement.

The earliest deed on record at York, then the county seat, given in 1768 by a member of the Van Arsdale family recites that the property conveyed then ad.joined land a of Henry Banta, Francis Cosat (103), David Hunter, William Love and. George Sebring. Francis Cossart’s (103) land lay about 2 miles east of Hunterstown along the road leading to New Chester and some two miles northwest from the church.

The farms taken up by these settlers seem to have begun at a point 3 miles east of what is now Hunterstown and extended to within a few miles of Gettysburg. The public road used by these settlers in going to the church they built in their community came to be known as the low Dutch road., and is so known today on certain maps. It leaves the York Pike at a point a little to the south-west of the church and runs to what is known as the Two Taverns south from Gettysburg and it was along this road. that many of the families settled and it was on this road that General “Zeb” Stewart’s cavalry was moving on the 3rd. of July 1863 when the Union Cavalry under Generals Kirkpatrick and Gregg encountered them, however the severe fighting of that memorable battle took place to the south-west of Gettysburg and not on the site of the Conewago Colony which was located to the east from there.

The records of the church show that about 170 New Jersey families were represented on these records and it has already been stated that by 1780 the colony had a population of about 1000 souls.
The estimate stated is thus based.:
Number of parents, twice 170................................................................... 340.
Number of unmarried. men and women migrating (say)...................... 50.
Number of children migrating (say).......................................................... 150.
Number of children baptised at Conewago ............................................ 541.
Total.......................................................................................................... 1081.
Less supposed deaths at Conewago ........................................................ 75.

.................................................................................................................... 1006.

A mere estimate of course, but not an improbable one. See the Somerset County Historical Quarterly, Volume 4, page 267. Corwins Manual, fourth Edition, page 956; also the Nevius Family History, page 167-171; also the Brinkerhoff Family, page 32 et seq.; also the New York Christian Intelligencer of March 26, 1890..

Baptismal records of members of the Cossart family as they appear on the records of the Conewago Pennsylvania Dutch Church:.
(Below list has been corrected. by O.L.C.)..

Date: Parents: ..... Child:
October 23, 1769 David Cosart and Sarah Van Duyn..... David
October 23, 1769 Peter Cosart and Maria Duryea..... Francis
May 31, 1772 David, Cosart and Sarah Van Duyn ..... Peter
May 31, 1772 Peter Cosat and Maria Duryea.......... Samuel
October 3, 1773 Peter Cosart and Maria Duryea...... Jacob
March 13, 1774 David Cosart and Sarah Van Duyn ..... Margaret
August 6, 1775 Lawrence Montfort and Elizabeth Cosart ..... John
January 14, 1776 Peter Cosart and Maria Duryea ..... Peter
March 10, 1776 David Cosart and Sarah Van Duyn ..... Dennis
March 8, 1778 David Cosart and Sarah Van Duyn ..... Jacob
April 12, 1778 Peter Cosart and Maria Duryea ........ .. David & Henry
January 10, 1779 Lawrence Montfort and Elizabeth Cosart ....Kittie (Catherine)
August 22, 1779 Jacob Cosart and Maria Montfort ..... Kittie (Kniertje)
January 16, 1780 David Cosart and Sarah Van Duyn ..... Ida
December 31, 1780 Lawrence Montfort and Elizabeth Cosart .....Madalena
December 9, 1781 Jacob Cosart and Maria Montfort ..... Peter
January 20, 1782 David Cosart and Sarah Van Duyn ..... Maria
January 19, 1783 Lawrence Montfort and Elizabeth Cosart ... Francis
August 24, 1784 Jacob Cosart and Maria Montfort ........ .. Margaret
February 6, 1785 Cornelius Clopper and Christina Cosart ..... Cornelius
April 9, 1786 Lawrence Montfort and Elizabeth Cosart ..... Peter
October 2, 1786 Cornelius Clopper and Christina Cosart . Francis Cassat Clopper
October 14, 1787 Jacob Cosart and Maria Montfort .... ... Christina
December 20, 1789 Francis Cosart and Maria Van Zandt .. Nellie
April 4, 1790 Lawrence Montfort and Elizabeth Cosart ..... David
June 1790 Jacob Cosart and Maria Montfort ............... Maria
October 16, 1791 Francis Cosart and Martha Van Zandt.... Sarah
September 5, 1792 Jacob Cosart and Maria Montfort ..... Lena

No Cossart children were baptised after this date. Although 24 children of other families were baptised between this date and May 19, 1793 when the last baptism took place and the church passed into disuse until 1817 when the trustees William Hooghtaling, Jacob Cosart and. Garret Brinkerhoff sold the building to George Lashall a tavern keeper near by for $288.20. He then tore the building down, using the lumber to build a fence and the stone foundation to build a smoke house on his property which was located, on the Hunterstown and Hanover road. Thus this famous colony and its church disappeared from the Conewago Valley less quickly, but nearly as mysteriously as it arrived there.

The following was written by the late Oliver L. Cozad of Marion, Ohio:

Francis Cosart (103), son of David (8) baptised at New York City,. July 21, l7l7.
It will be seen that he became of age in 1738 and evidently married about this time as his eldest child Madalena we find was baptised at the Raritan Dutch Church October 17, 1740. His wife Margaret Van Nest was baptised at this same church October 14, 1719, she being a daughter of Peter Van Nest and his wife (second) Catherine Jane. David (8) father of Francis had now been dead less than a year when Madalena was born. About a month later we find Francis and Margaret sold the following described tract of land in Middlesex County. “Francis Cosart and wife Margaret of Piscataway Township, Middlesex County, Yeoman. To Johnathan Dunn of Elizabethtown, Essex County - Plantation of 162 acres which Cosart bought of Peter Williamson and Williamson bought of Even Drummond and James Alexander Esqrs., May 17, 1736 it being in Piscataway Township. See volume E2, page 479, New Jersey Deeds, Trenton, N.J.

The foregoing deed indicates that Francis and Margaret must have been housekeeping in Piscataway Township, Middlesex County where their first child was also born. In the proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society (1894) 2nd Series, Volume 13, pp. 89-94

— Freeholders of Middlesex County, Piscataway Township (1750) the list contains the name of Francis Cosart. Ibid.. 3rd series (1896) Volume 1, pp. 105—109. Freeholders of Middlesex County, Piscataway Township, December 14, 1752, the list again contains the name of Francis Cosart. The history of Somerset County on page 660 shows that on March 17, 1750 Francis Cosart was elected assessor for Bridgewater Township (wherein Bound Brook and Raritan (now Summerville) are located). Mr. Van Doren Honeyman of Plainfield, who is the present Secretary of the New Jersey Historical Society (1915) and also the Editor of the Somerset Historical Quarterly, inform me that he has in his possession a Somerset County Record. which shows that on May 23, 1729 David Cosart (8) purchased. a 100 acre tract of land lying north-west of Bound Brook. Reference to the New Jersey Map will show that the Somerset-Middlesex County line runs almost due north-west from Bound Brook to Fairfield. Our Supposition is that this 100 acre tract purchased by David in 1729 must have lain on both sides of the Somerset-Middlesex County line, and. that it was this same 100 acres that was devised to his son Francis (see David’s will). If this hypothesis be correct and Francis built his residence on the Bridgewater Township line while part of his land extended across the line into Piscataway Township, he could in that case be eligible to election as an Assessor in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County and at the same time be listed as a Freeholder or land owner in Piscataway Township, Middlesex County. As the baptismal records of all the children of Francis and Margaret are found at the Raritan church it indicates that they remained in the vicinity of Bound. Brook up until about 1765 when they in company with other Somerset and Bergen County families set out for the Conewago Valley in what was then York (now Adams) County, Penna. (See account of the Conewago Pennsylvania settlement elsewhere in this work).

The New York Military records show that a Francis Cossart served in Captain McMasters Company, Colonel Fishers Regiment, New York State Troops. Many have thought that this refers to Francis then living in the Conewago Pennsylvania settlement, but he is said to have been a man of such abnormal size (being so large, it is said., that his three sons after they were grown to manhood, could by standing closely together, button their father’s vest around them). I can hardly conceive of a man of this size campaigning over the New York hills with an army. The further fact that he was a member of the York County, Pennsylvania Committee of Correspondence during the Revolutionary War is further evidence that he is not the Francis referred to on the New York records. I think the New York soldier was his nephew, Francis (119), son of David. (98).

Archives of Pennsylvania, 3rd. Series - Return of Taxables, Straban Township, York County,
Francis Cosat, 150 acres, 5 horses, 5 cattle, 1 negro Tax £ 46-6-10. Volume 21, p. 114, 1779.
Francis Cozart, 150 acres, 4 horses, 7 cattle, 1 negroes Tax £ 35-16-0 Volume 21, p. 246, 1780.
Francis Cossart, 150 acres, 4 horses, 8 cattle, 2 negroes Tax £ 5-12-7 Volume 21, p. 420, 1781.
Francis Cozart, 150 acres, 4 horses, 8 cattle Tax £ ll-10-5 Volume 21, p. 652, 1782.
Francis Cozat, 150 acres, 3 inhabitants, 3 negroes Tax ( ? ) Volume 21, p. 810, 1783:


Peter Van Nest Jr., father of Margaret, married 1st Margaret Crocheron or Croisson of Staten Island; he married 2nd. time Catherine Jans and they settled near Raritan, N.J., where in 1699 we find him to be a member of the Assembly of East New Jersey. He was the eldest son of Peter Van Nest Sr., the common ancestor of all the American family who came over from the Netherlands in 1747 and settled at what is now Brooklyn, where he and his family were members of the Brooklyn church at the time that Jacques (3) and Lea or Lydia Cossart our common ancestors were also members. His wife Judith being a daughter of George de Rapalie and Catherine Trico, Huguenots of la Rochelle, France, (ancestry traceable to the 11th century) who came over on the ship “Unity” in 1623. (See Somerset Historical Quarterly, Volume 5, page 283; Volume 6, pp. 211—213).

Francis Cosart and wife Margaret Van Nest are buried in the church yard of the Conewago Dutch Church in Straban Township, near Hunterstown, Pennsylvania, some six miles east of Gettysburg.

After their death their descendants adopted more different forms of spelling the family name than did the descendants of any other couple in America. Those remaining about York and Adams county, Penna. settlement took the name of CASSATT, while those who went down into Virginia took the name of COZAD, those going to Kentucky took the name of COZATT, COSATT, COZART, COSSAIRT, CASSATT, COSAT, COZAT and etc., yet as will later be seen they all belong to the family of Francis Cosart and wife Margaret Van Nest.

The children of Francis Cossart and his wife Margaret Van Nest were as follows:
CHILDREN: 123 i. Madelina (or Mardelena) Cossart, born in Somerset Co., N.J., October 17, 1740, baptised January 1, 1741. No further record. 124 ii. David (Davit) Cossart, b. 4/11/1773 Somerset Co., N.J. baptised 6/5/1743, d.12/29/1823/4 buried in the Low Dutch graveyard 1½ miles east of Hunterstown, Pa., Changed spelling of name to "CASSAT". 125 iii. Peter Cossart, b. 8/30/1746 Somerset Co., N.J.; killed by Indians in Kentucky Circa 1781. Married Maria Duryee and they are the progenitors of the Cossart, Cosart, Cosat, Cassat, Cossat, Cossairt, Cozad, Cozart and Cozatt families found in the western states. 126 iv. Jacob Cossart, born in Somerset Co., N.J., April 2l, 1751; baptised May 12, 1751; died May 14’, 1815 and is buried in the Low Dutch graveyard 1½ miles east of Hunterstown, Pa. Changed spelling of name to "CASSAT". 127 v. Critinna (or Styntie) Cossart, born in Somerset Co., N.J., August 21, 1755, baptised September 7, 1755; married Cornelius Clopper. 128 vi. Elisabeth (or, Elisebet) Cossart, born in Somerset Co., N.J., August 29, 1758, baptised November 26, 1758; married Lawrence Monfort. Died in Warren Co., Ohio.

“A deed may be found recorded at Trenton, N.J. in Liber 3, folio 479-481 bearing the name of Francis Cosart and wife Margaret of Piscataway, Middlesex County, N.J. Yeoman, and recites that they had conveyed property to Johanathan Dunn of Elizabethtown, Essex County.

The battle of Gettysburg in 1863 raged to the south-west of that town and hence the site of the Low Dutch Colony and its church was not on the battle ground.

The records of the old Conewago Church show that during the existence of that church the family of Francis was all spelling their names Cossart or Cosart, but along about 1800 we find the families of his two sons David and Jacob adopting the name of Cassatt, while the family of his other son Peter, those remaining in Adams County spell it Cassat while some of these same Peter’s family that settled in Preston County, West Virginia spell it Cozad and those of Peter’s family accompanying him to Kentucky have descendants in that state who are now spelling the name Cozatt and some in Tennessee who spell their name Cozart. The name of Casat may be found in Pennsylvania who are the descendants of Peter.

Madelina the eldest child of Francis and Margaret was baptised at the Raritan Church October 17, 1740. David (8) father of Francis had not been dead less than a year. One month later, November 19, 1740 we find Francis and Margaret sold the following described land “Francis Cosart and wife Margaret of Piscataway Twp., Middlesex County, N.J., Yeoman, to Johnanthan Dunn of Elizabethtown, Essex County. Plantation of 162 acres which Cosart bought of Peter Williamson and Williamson bought of Evan Drummond and Janus Alexander Esqr., May 17, 1736, being in Piscataway Twp. (Volume E2 at page 479, New Jersey Deeds, Trenton, New Jersey).

This indicates that Francis and Margaret began housekeeping in the foregoing locality, where their first child was born. Mr. A.V.D. Honeyman, Secretary of the New Jersey Historical Society and Editor of the Somerset County Historical Quarterly informed me that he has a New Jersey record which shows that David (8) on May 23, 1729 purchased 100 acres of land lying north-west from Bound Brook, he also informs me that he has a Somerset County History which shows that Francis Cosart 1750 was elected Assessor for Bridgewater Township that county (March 17, 1750) wherein Bound Brook and Raritan (now Somerville) are located. See p. 660. The Raritan river divides Middlesex and Somerset Counties until it reaches Bound Brook where it makes a sharp turn to the west toward Raritan or Somerville. The line dividing these counties leaves the river at Bound Brook and runs northwest to Plainfield. The 100 acres bought by David Cosart in 1729 seems to have been on the Somerset side of this line while the 162 acres owned by his son-in-law Williamson and son Francis was on the Middlesex side of the line. The fact that David Cosart gave each of his living sons, George, David and Francis 100 acres of land lying in the vicinity of Bound Brook and the further fact that Francis is found to be the Assessor of Bridgewater Township in 1750 leads me to think that he remained in that vicinity until about 1765 when he in company with many other Somerset and Bergen County Colonists set out for the Conewago, Valley in York (now Adams) County, Penna..

New Jersey, Secretary of State,
Vol. 32, page 479

19 November 1740 -Francis Cosort and wife Margaret of Piscataway, Middlesex County, Yeomen, to Jonathan Dunn of Elizabethtown, Essex County. Plantation which Cosort bought Peter Williamson 13 May, in 13 of Lord George, and Williamson bought of Even Drummond and James Alexander Esqrs. 17 May 1736 and being in Piscataway, of 162 acres."

“December 27, 1934
Mr. Joseph A. Cossairt,
U.S.S. Arizona,
San Francisco, Calif.

My Dear Mr. Cossairt:
Your letter of the 14th addressed to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania regarding my article on the “Pennsylvania Provisional Conference of 1776” was referred to me for answer.
The names of the delegates to this convention were taken from the published list in the “Journal” of that period and it does not contain the name of Francis Crozart. I did, however, find the name among the delegates from New York County elected to attend the convention called for July 18th, 1776, to adopt a Constitution for the Commonwealth.

Have you not confused the two conventions of June 18 and the later one which was called into being by the first?
Very sincerely,

/s/ James E. Gibson
Market Street National Bank Building,
Philadelphia, Pa.”

Letters of Maria Elizabeth Montfort Melchoir. See pages 258, 259 and 260
“Springtown, Pa.,
August 2, 1895.
Mrs. Clara C. Keezel,
Garnett, Kansas.

My dear Mrs. Keezel:
When I wrote you from Gettysburg, Pa. in June I said I’d send you what I could relative to intermarriages between the Cassats and Monforts. I enclose a list taken from the History of the Dutch congregation of Oyster Bay and suppliment by personal knowledge. Also inscriptions on stones in the two graveyards. Some day I may be able to send you a picture of the Francis Cassat (103) house and some of the graves. If you have not sent the addresses of the Cassats to my sister, please do so - for we need all the dollars we can get to complete our endowment fund for the Old Dutch grave yard Oh, I wish you could see the neglected old place.
Yours truly,
(Mrs.) Mary Montfort Melchor.

“Springtown Pa.
December 20th 1905

My dear Mrs. Keezel:
I am glad to send you with this the picture of the Francis Cassat (103) house. I expect it will reach you in good condition.
Did my aunt (Miss Thornson) ever tell you anything personal. about Francis Cassat (103)? If she did not you may be interested in knowing that he was an exceptionally stout old gentleman. For some years before his death he lived in the basement or cellar. It was divided into several rooms and is so to this day, One was the loom room where all the spinning and weaving was done. In one of these rooms he lived and died So stout that he was not able to go up and down the steps. His three sons, viz. Peter (125), David (124) and Jacob (126) were each 6 feet in height and not slender and as they stood together he could button his vest around the three. This comes from his Grand daughter, who was my grandmother (Mary Cassat 149) and who was born and lived in this house until her marriage. My mother (Sarah Eleanor Thompson) spent much of her childhood there with her uncle. The entrance to these cellar rooms is in the rear of the house. The doors do not show in the picture.
I am sorry that I do not have a picture of the Cassat graves in the Low Dutch graveyard to send you. My son made a blunder and took two exposures on one plate and thus spoiled the picture. I enclose a copy of the result. The grave stones in the picture are those of my great grand parents (Jacob 126).
There is no stone to mark the grave of Francis and Margaret Cassat (103). The figure in the foreground of both pictures is myself in a rain coat. Sometime I hope to have a picture of these graves to add to the collection I am making for my children. But it may not be for two or three years.
I return the names you so kindly sent to my sister. But I do not know that anyone responded financially. We are not succeeding as we would like to, but hope to get the work done in time.
I do not know how or where the other Adams Co. Cassats connect with us. Francis (103) had three sons - Peter (125) went to Kentucky, when I know not.He may have left issue behind him. We know absolutely nothing of him. David (124) had three sons and three daughters.
Of the family of Dennis we know little. A. J. Cassat the Penna. R. R. man is of that family as you know.
Of the others (Jacob 126) we know all about them. Jacob (126) the other son, was my great grandfather. They have never been recognized by the “Low Dutch Clan" as kinfolks.
, Yes, I did, as a girl know all the "Coshuns” of the County. They sort of belonged to the Low Dutch tribe too. But the older ones are dead and the younger generation I do not know. But we never had an idea that they were Cassats originally (?). While "all the Low Dutch were related” - I don’t think we ever claimed any special kinship through either the Cassats, Montforts or Brinkerhoffs.
I will try when next I get to Hunterstown to get the old church records. Tell me just what you want.
Yes, the records went to the Presbyterian church after the Low Dutch congregation was disbanded. The records, such as would be found of the old Dutch Reformed church were in possession of Dr. Demarest at one time, but seem now to have disappeared. Miss Neely takes little interest in anything of this sort. Is not concerned at all in our graveyard .work.
I wanted to say in regard to the Cassat house that we do not know just when it was built. From the church records we judge Francis (103) came with the first colony to Conewago in 1765. A deed extant shows that he owned the land in 1768. All family traditions point to this as the only house on his place. It is probable that the kitchen part was first built, and later the main part added. The kitchen is large and the back corner, next to the main building has a bed room partitioned off. This was occupied by “Uncle Jacobs” housekeeper in my childhood days and seemed to me such a funny place to sleep.
Later owners here have run the partition all the way across, making a sort of entry in the rear.
The interior of the house is practically unchanged. The quaint old porch has been replaced by a. plain but more modern structure.
May I ask you - when you have time, to send me the links from Jacques (3) Cassat to Francis Cassat (103). I do not care now for any but the line that connects Jacques and Francis. Do you intend or are you preparing a history for publication? I hope so but meanwhile I would like to have my own descent. I have the other three lines from the first emigrant Montfort, Brinkerhoff and Thompson.
Wishing you a very happy Xmas I am,

Very truly yours,
Mary M. Melchor."


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