Low Dutch Settlements in Kentucky

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Date: 1780 to 1810
Location: Kentuckymap
Surnames/tags: Kentucky Dutch_Roots Low_Dutch
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"Low Dutch" was a term used by descendants of the Dutch settlers of New Netherlands to designate their origin in the low countries of Europe, Holland and Belgium in order to emphasize their difference from immigrants of Germany and Switzerland who were referred to as "High Dutch" or sometimes "Pennsylvania Dutch". [1]Using the term "Low Dutch" enabled them to hold on to their culture, maintaining a strong sense of their Dutch origins, religion and language. Space:Portal_World-The_Netherlands-USA

"Station" was a term used principally on the Kentucky frontier to describe a fortified structure used by the pioneers as a gathering place whose purpose was for defense against their enemies. (At that time the British and Indians) [6][7]

Early Low Dutch Explorers of Kentucky

Almost twenty years before Kentucky became a state, while the area was part of the western frontier of the colony of Virginia, persons of Dutch ancestry were involved with exploration of the region. Many of them shared common ancestors who settled New Netherland in the 1600s.

Surnames of the first Dutch who came into the region between 1773 to 1780 included: Hite, Eltinge, Van Meter, Hoagland, Kuykendal, Swearingen, Van Cleave, and Van Meter.

The Dutch who had settled in Virginia and Pennsylvania liked to keep to themselves in an effort to maintain their culture, language and religion so they organized into groups known as "Companies" to explore the Kentucky region and seek sites to build homes for their families. In order to accomplish their goal the Low Dutch Company sent scouting parties to Kentucky led in March 1779 by Samuel Duree from Shepherdstown, Berkeley County, Virginia. Members of the Duree scouting party included: William Morgan, Ralph Morgan, Thomas Swearingen, Benoni Swearingen, John Taylor, John Strode, Jr, George M. Bedinger, and John Constant. As a result of their explorations Samuel Duree announced plans to claim land on Muddy Creek for the Low Dutch Company. One to be used for a mill seat and another site further up the creek on a stream he named DeBan's Run for his son-in-laws Joseph DeBaun and Abraham DeBaun. Despite problems with the Indians the group spent the spring and summer raising a corn crop and returned to Shepherstown in the fall.

Image:DNA Confirmations for Connie Daniels Graves-8.jpg
Cumberland Gap

In the spring Samuel Duree (about 56 years old at the time) led about 30 persons from Berkeley County, Virginia over the Wilderness Road - Cumberland Gap route and arrived at White Oak Springs Station in Kentucky in March 1780. Samuel Duree's wife was Weintje Banta, the sister of Hendrick "Father Henry" Banta. Families in their group included: Peter Duree, Henry Duree, Peter Cosart, Frederick Ripperdan, John Bullock, Cornelius Bogart, and David Banta (who was killed by Indians at Powell Valley, Virginia). Single men in the group were: Daniel Duree, Albert Duree, Albert Voris, John Voris, Daniel Banta, Peter Banta.

Flatboat on the Ohio River

At the same time another Low Dutch Company from Conewago, York County, Pennsylvania were led to Kentucky by Hendrick "Father Henry" Banta, Sr.. He brought them over the Appalachian Mountains to Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) in 1779 and in the spring of 1780 they traveled in flatboats down the Ohio River arriving at the Falls of the Ohio in March or April. There were about 75 persons in the group and half of them were children under the age of 12. The families included: Abraham Banta, Albert Banta, Simon Van Arsdale, Samuel Demaree Sr., Peter Demaree, John Demaree, Gerardus Riker, John Westerfeld, Christopher Westerfield, Sophia Voris, Catharine Dorland. Among the single men were: Henry Banta, John Banta, Cornelius Banta, Jacob Banta, John Demaree, Samuel Demaree, John Riker, Samuel Westerfield, John Voris, James Voris, Francis Voris, Luke Voris, John Dorland, Lambert Dorland, Abraham Brewer. [2]

NOTE: Influencing the settlement of Kentucky was an act the Virginia Legislature passed in 1779 known as the Virginia Land Law which established rules to determine who had rights to vacant land (such as Kentucky) and fixed the legal rights that could lead to grants of land for individuals.

... ... ... was part of the Low Dutch Settlements in Kentucky, 1780-1810

Low Dutch Stations of Kentucky

Beargrass Stations 1780 (Hoglins and Low Dutch)

Located near the Falls of the Ohio near present day Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky six stations had been built along Beargrass Creek by 1780. Two of them were exclusively composed of Low Dutch settlers who had been led by the patriarch, Hendrick Banta, arriving in flatboats down the Ohio River from Fort Pitt in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Hoglins (Hoagland) Station Located on the lower or south side of Beargrass Creek six miles from Louisville on land leased from John Floyd whose stockade fort was just 2000 feet west. Today this spot is believed to be occupied by the clubhouse for the Big Spring Country Club. [3] Families associated with this fort were: James Hoagland (died 1783 while serving in Clark's Illinois Regiment); Henry Hoagland and his wife Jemima Newkirk (Henry Hoagland was killed in the Battle of Sandusky, 1782); their son, James Hoagland; and daughter Phoebe (Hoagland) Collings; Peter Newkirk and wife Cornelia Sousley; their son Tobias Newkirk (killed by Indians about 1790); and Elias Newkirk and wife Sara Lounsbury[4].

Low Dutch Station, also known as New Holland Station Located on the south side of Beargrass Creek seven miles from the Falls of the Ohio on land leased from John Floyd. Many of the pioneers at this station would later settle in the Low Dutch Colony in Henry and Shelby Counties, Kentucky. Connected with this station is the Westerfield Massacre of June 1780.[5] Led by Jacobus Westerfield ten families of settlers (among them Westervelts, Swans, 1McGlaughlins, Plyburns, and Thixtons) were on their way from "Low Dutch Station" to Harrod's Town when they were ambushed by Indians and killed. [6] James Westerfield's daughter Debby and a cousin, Polly Westerfield were captured by Indians and later ransomed in Ft. Detroit. [7] [8]

Also of historical importance is the fact Daniel Boone spent the winter 1781-1782 at "Low Dutch Station". [9] Today there is a KY State Historical Marker at Brown’s Lane, Bowling Parkway, and Kresge’s Way, Louisville, Kentucky designating the location of this station.

White Oak Station 1781

Located near Boonesborough on Muddy Creek, present day Madison County, Kentucky. These families came to Kentucky over the Wilderness Road led by Samuel Duree and were living in the fort at Boonesborough by March 1780. [8] [10] Abraham Banta; Albert Banta; Cornelius Banta; Daniel Banta; Hendrick Banta, Sr.; Henry Banta, Jr; Jacob Banta; John Banta; Peter Banta; Cornelius Bogart; John Bullock; Peter Cozart; Jacob Demaree; John Demaree; Albert Duryee; Daniel Duryee; Henry Duryee; Peter Duryee ; Samuel Duryee; Isaac Dorland; Lambert Dorland; John Dorland; Catharine Dorland; John Fleuty; Gerardus Riker;John Riker; Simon VanArsdale; Samuel Westerfield. [11] [12] [13]

James Hoagland's Station 1784-1785

Located near Cropper on Clear Creek, about one-half mile northwest of the intersection of KY 241 and KY 43 in present day Shelby County, Kentucky. About eight miles north of Painted Stone Station (Squire Boone's Station). Also spelled Hogland.

Old Mud Meeting House, Dutch Reformed Church, 1796

Located on the banks of Dry Branch of the Salt River near Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky. Low Dutch settlers from the Beargrass Stations in Jefferson County as well as others who came directly from the Conewago Colony in Pennsylvania had settled near Harrodsburg, then Lincoln County, Virginia, now Mercer County, Kentucky, by 1781. Names associated with this settlement are: Banta, Bergen, Bodine, Brewer, Demaree, Dorland, Duree, Cosart, Comingore, Cozine, Monfort, Rider, Shuck, Smock, Stagg, Terhune, VanArsdale, Van Nuys, Voris, Vorhees, or Westervelt/Westerfield. As the community grew The Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church sent the Reverend Peter Labagh to Harrodsburg in 1796 to establish a church. He returned to Hackensack, New Jersey, long enough to raise funds to purchase land in Mercer County, ultimately buying a site on the dry fork of the Salt River from David and Elizabeth Adams. [9] The congregation erected the Old Mud Meeting House in 1800. It served as the first Low Dutch Reformed Church building west of the Allegheny Mountains. Old Mud is one of only two pioneer log meeting houses in central Kentucky its name reflects its construction: framing of sturdy oaken timbers & walls filled with mud mixed with straw & sticks. [14]

Petitions to Congress from the Frontier Settlers of Kentucky 1780-1783

At the end of the Revolutionary War and with the formation of the United States government the settlers of Kentucky, many of them descendants of the original Dutch settlers of New Netherlands, banded together to request recompense in land for their services in defending the frontier from the British and Indians.

[15][16] [17]

Petition of the Inhabitants of Kentucke to the Continental Congress--read August 23, 1780.

To the Honorable Continental Congress: The Petition of a number of the true and loyal subjects of the United States of America at large, most humbly Sheweth That your Petitioners having heretofore been Inhabiters of the different States of America since the commencement of the contest with Great Britain for the common cause of Liberty; have ventured their lives in a wild uncultivated part of the Continent on the Western Waters of Ohio called by general name of Kentuckey, where they have made improvements on what they allowed was King's unappropriated Lands, before the commencement of the said contest and that in the face of a savage enemy with the utmost hardships and in daily jeopardy of being inhumanly murdered — Your Petitioners further allowed that the Honorable Congress would allow them a Reasonable Retaliation in Lands for the services your Petitioners did in defending and settling, on their own expense, the Country aforesaid to the weakening of the enemy and the strengthening the United States, whenever the common contest with Britain should be decided in favour of America, — In the full assurance of which your Petitioners sold all their livings in the settled parts of the Cbntinent and have removed with their wives and families and all their effects to the Country aforesaid in order to take possession of their improvements aforesaid. — But when they came found almost all their Improvements granted away by a set of men which acted or pretended to act under the late Act of Virginia, which act also allowed large grants without any reserve of settling and improving the same. — By which means almost the whole of the lands in the Country aforesaid are engrossed into the hands of a few Interested men, the greater part of which live at ease in the internal parts of Virginia, while your Petitioners are here with their wives and children daily exposed to the murders of the Savages to whom sundry of their Acquaintances has fell a sacrifice since their arrival though as yet but a short time. Again the late Acts of Virginia require your Petitioners to take a new oath of allegiance to that State, renouncing all their Kings, Princes and States, and be true to the State of Virginia only, and the prospect of Military Government taking place shortly in this place give your Petitioners the greatest apprehension of the most severe usage unless they comply with their mandates. — Your Petitioners considering all those grievances would gladly return into the settled parts of the Continent again, but having come seven hundred miles down the River Ohio with the expence of the greater part of their fortunes find it impracticable to return back against the stream with their wives and children were they to suffer the most cruel death. Your Petitioners being drove to the extremity aforesaid have but three things to choose. One is to tarry in this place, take the Oath of Allegiance to Virginia, and be true to that State only, and also become Slaves to those Engrossers of Lands, and to the court of Virginia. The other is to Remove down the River Ohio, and land on some part of Mexico and become subjects to the King of Spain. And the third to Remove themselves over the River Ohio, with their wives, children and their small effects remaining, which is now in possession of the Savage Enemy, to whom they are daily exposed to murders. The two former appearing to your Petitioners to have a Tendency to weaken the United States and as it were Banish the Common Cause of Liberty. Humbly pray the Honorable Continental Congress to grant them liberty of taking the latter choice and removing with their wives, families and effects to the Indian side of the Ohio and take possession of the same in the name of the United States of America at Large, where your Petitioners propose to support themselves in an Enemy's Country on their own risque and expence, which they humbly conceive will have a tendency to weaken the power of the Enemy, strengthen the United States at large, and advance the Common Cause of Liberty. Your Petitioners further pray the Honorable Congress to allow them Liberty of making such Regulations amongst themselves as they shall find necessary to govern themselves by, being subject to the United States at large and no other States or power whatsoever — Your Petitioners humbly pray the Honorable Continental Congress to consider their case and grievances in their true light and grant them such Relief as they in their great wisdom shall see meet, and as your Petitioners in duty bound shall ever pray. Robt. Holmes~ Thos. Roach~ Allen Griffin~ George Power~ John Johnston~ Willm. Cumins~ Andrew Coin~ Richard Moore~ Jeremiah Johnston~ Albert Banta~ John Thickston~ Hugh Jackson~ George Coin~ Peter Demaree~ Jonathon Thickston~ John Banta~ Burgis White~ Jeremy Hardise~ William Sutherland~ William Drennen~ Robt. Brown~ John Shaw~ Edward Welsh~ Ephraim Gilding~ William Armstrong~ Jacob Banta~ Thos. Hart~ George Gilmore~ David Langhead~ James McElharton~ Thos. Cunningham~ Cornelius Banta~ Arthur Park~ James Burk~ George Cuavenston~ Anthony Jenkins~ Charles Mason~ Samuel Mason~ William Mitchell~ Basil Stocker~ Willm. Galoway~ Jolm Glasher~ John Write~ Eduard Rewalno~ John Mitchell~ George Heal~ Jam«s Brown~ Charles Young~ Jas. Miller~ John Huewes~ William Brown~ Alex. Tutch~ William Mitchell~ Isaac Tun~ James Huard~]] Lewis Hickman~ James Judy~ Samuel Kelly~ William Crenwell~ Philip Mason~ Jas. Mathews~ John Galoway~ Moses Williamson~ Mike Tendenhasen~ John Ruth~ James Galoway~ Peter Young~ Abraham Bonta~ James Johnson~ Thos Johnson Cornelius~ Henry Hoos~ Cornelius Vorhees~ Henry Woson~ John Brookil~ Samuel Griss~ Matthew Rogers~ John Cadlett~ William Mitchell~ Adam Row~ Hardy Hill~ Charles Black~ Patrick Gordon~ John William Province~ Frederick Bawfd~ Adin Harten~ William Sweden~ Edward Tyll~ David Johnson~ Evan Wilson~ John Dorland~ Benjamin Lin~ Jacob Conaway~ Jeremiah Trefar~ Joseph Kenig~ Joseph Wm. Province~ John Williamson~ Benjamin Hook~ Joseph Vanmatar~ John Turner~ John Keath~ John Jail~ Samuel Harris~ John Redley~ John Miller~ Henry Wade~ Stephen Harris~ Joseph Green~ Michel Woods~ Jesse Crark~ John Mayhue Haris~ John Green~ Andrew Dodds~ Joseph Grifinwalt~ ---Harris~ Austen Miller~ Roeheb Kenedy~ Adam Grounds~ James Haris~ Samuel Mason~ Thomas Collings~ John Felty~ Thos. Welch~ Thos. Putnam~ Thos. Putnam~ John Williams~ Frederick Fox~ John Campbell~ Samuel Wadmes~ George Rays~ Jonathan Cunningham~ Charles Masterson~ Benjamin Caselman~ Francis Roach~ William Burnes~ Joseph Borth~ John Baley~ David Kirkwood~ Daniel James~ John Light~ Andrew Gradey~ William Weelweed~ William Lookn~ William Little~ Seneca McRakin~ James Gilmore~ James Delany~ Jonathan Harned~ James Adams~ Samuel Gilmore~ John Greenben~ Samuel Wells~ William Logsden~ James Logan~ Martin Stull~ Peter Newkirk~ David McQuale~ John Logan~ John Martin~ Tobias Newkirk~ William Lin~ John Massey~ Robert Gilmore~ Moses Cane~ Adam Money~ Eduard Poomes~ Jacob Westeroeb~ John Nelson~ Gerardis Rekid~ Peter Buszard~ John Jones~ Ezekiel Hickman~ John Cline~ Jasyrk Greenwalt~ Thos. Applegate~ Thomas Banfield~ David Beach~ John Unsel~ Michol Paull~ Thomas Patten~ Thomas Stansbury~ Mikel Toetus~ William Irwin~ William Welch~ Joint' Vantreas~ William Onie~ Joseph Qurteronus~ Niclos Thirly~ John McGee~ John James~ Peter Pohone~ Mathew Logan~ Thomas Hargis~ John Capps~ Joseph Borth~ Samuel Felin~ John Moore~ Elisha Qurtermus~ John Light~ John McLam~ Henry Brenton~ Samuel Gordon~ James Dunbar~ tini Swell~ Reuben Blackford~ John Wilkeson~ Matthias Hook~ ?Elias?Newkirk~ John Finn~ Dinis Davis~ George Hinch~ Nathan Sellad~ Jacob Funk~ Joseph McClintock~ James Steward~ Thomas Pownser~ Geo. Steward~ John Pringle~ Joseph Inlow~ Jacob Spears~ Abraham Rammod~ James Anderson~ William Bennett~ Abraham Powell~ James Johnson~ Joseph Kirkpatrick~ James Hamilton~ Mathew Jaferes~ Samuel Watkins~ John Moires~ Jacob Barkman~ John Kenedy~ John Hamilton~ Daniel Spears~ Edward Irwin~ John Miller~ William Ewing~ Benjamin Doslie~ John Irwin~ Adam Wall~ James Boys~ George Black~ Elijah Hart~ Michal Thomas~ Joseph Sulavan~ John Sumet~ Thos. Spencer~ Michael Little~ Jacob Brennon~ Thomas Boyd~ Paul Humble~ John Seller~ Thos. Dillen~ Eudulph Hufenan~ Daniel Jones~ Nathan Sellers~ Jacob Huffman~ David Brinton~ Kobe Hamilton~ Christian Hufman~ Joseph Olden~ John Stuart~ Jacob Coseman~ Conrad Carito~ Jacob Salmon~ Jas. McLoughlin~ William Winter~ John Gross~ John Yery~ Samuel Lee~ John Beson~ Charles West~ Martin Colmore~ Jas. Dougherty~ Benjamin Coselman~ John West~ Charles Crump~ Ulunik Heonbunk~ Elward Liston~ Martin Kurtz~ Jacob Dosson~ John Cleer~ John Liston~ Peter Bordmess~ Jacob Doom~ Josey Stuart~ Josiah Walis~ James Foye~ Samuel Glass~ John Averill~ John White~ Mickel Kintner~ John Little~ Peter Loves~ John Ainwin~ Peter Paul~ David Davis~ Denis Downing~ John Dongen~ John Williams~ James Hamilton~ Isaac Boulden~ Charles Davis~ Herman Greathouse~ Thos. Whithedge~ Moses Speed~ Joseph Grundee~ Smith Harsborough~ David Hockins~ Joseph Tumblestone~ Wiliam Averall~ Jas. Brown~ Harrison Averall~ Joseph Little~ William Hopkins~ John Tumlinson~ William Collings~ Daniel Williams (2) William Collings~ Jesse Tumlinson~ George Grundy~ John Ligwald~ Thos. Phillips~ William Rice~ Thomas Stone~ Benjamin Tamlinson~ Thos. Senderson~ Thos. Cavet~ William Clave~ Cornelius Bogard~ Henry Campbell~ Joshua Cleaver~ Samuel Dunn~ John Puck~ Robert Brusler~ Francis Daves~ G---d Campbell~ James McKee~ Robert Thirkman~ John Hase~ Samuel Thirkman~ Hector Simpson~ William Lawrence~ John Wage~r George Clark~ Isaac Froman~ Michal Kirkham~ Paul Froman~ George Taylor~ Joseph Mounts~ John Hunt~ Jas. McCollach~ James Campbell~ Spencer Collings~ Henry Richards~ -Cumfort Busler~ Robert Insworth~ Christian Schultz~ Thos. Dowdoll~ Henry Hanglan~ John Frigas~ George Reading~ James Purse~ Honkerson Ashby~ Joseph Brown~ Thos. Talbot~ Joseph Thompson~ Samuel Miller~ John Johnson~ Joseph Liston~ Thos. Pursel~ Frederick Dunpeld~ Reuben Cass~ Isaac White~ Aaron Rawlings~ Solomon Resiner~ Judiah Huntington~ Charles Bilderbok~ James Neavil~ Charles Dunkin Thos. Kennedy~ Jacob Bilder~ Ainasa Frisel~ George Crist~ Dinues Pursel~ Gabriel Melted~ William Houghland~ William Collings~ Benjamin Byard~ John Lee~ John Houghland~ Henry Prayted~ John Townspend~ George Cueard~ Squier Boon~ John Rice~ Benjamin Patten~ Benjamin Cleaver~ John Heast~ Theophilus Coxe~ William Harker/Hocker~ Thos. Hamilton~ Zachariah Holder~ Jas. Purseley~ Jacob Bilderbak~ Mashesh Carter~ David Hawkins~ Hugh Begarstof~ William Chraven~ William Greathouse~ Zacheric Dye~ Joseph Johnston~ John Thompson~ Charles Secomp~ John Hunter~ John Greathouse~ John Grundy~ Robert Sweny~ James Thompson~

The Continental Congress read the Kentucky Petition. It was debated, discussed and commented upon by the members. If you want to read more of their comments see: Letters of the Members of Congress, August 27, 1782, Vol 6, p 457-459. Continental Congress decided the petition would be filed in the office of the Secretary of Congress, meaning nothing would be done about it for the time being.

Journals of the Continental Congress, Volume 23

Still seeking redress for their losses in the battle against the British and Indians, members of the Dutch Reformed Church in Kentucky voted to petition the newly formed Congress of the United States

Memorial and Petition of the Pioneers of 1782-1783

To the Honorable President and Delegates of the Free United States of America in Congress assembled :

The memorial and Petition of a number of Inhabitants of Kentuckey Settlement of the Low Dutch Reformed Church persuasion in behalf of themselves and other intended settlers. Humbly Sheweth That in the Spring of the year 1780 they moved to Kentuckey with their families and effects, with a view and expectation to procure a tract of land to enable them to settle togeather in a body for the conviency of civil society and propogating the Gospel in their known language; when they arrived there to their sorrow and disappointment they were, thro' the dangerousness of the times by a cruel savage enemy oblidged to settle in Stations or Forts in such places where there was the most appearance of safety, notwithstanding all their caution numbers of them suffered greatly in their property, several killed and others captivated by the enemy, living in such distressed confined way always in danger, frequently on Military duty, it was impossible for them to do more than barely support their families with the necessaries of life. by which means they are much reduced, and what adds more to their disappointment and affliction is that, contrary to their expectations before their arrival and since, the most or all the Tillable Land has been Located and monopolized by persons that had the advantage of your Memorialists by being acquainted with the country, and your Memorialists being strangers and confined as aforesaid, and being so reduced are rendered unable to purchase Land at the advanced price, and especially in a body conveniently together agreeable to their wishes.

Whereas, Providence has been pleased to prosper and support the virtuous resistance of the United States in the glorious cause of Liberty, which has enabled them to obtain an Honorable Peace whereby they have obtained a large extent of unappropriated Territory. And whereas, it is currently and repeatedly reported amongst its that Congress has broke or made void Virginia's right or claim to Land in Kentuckey Settlement.

Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray (in behalf of themselves and other intended settlers of that persuasion) the Honourable Congress would indulge them with a grant of a Tract or Territory of Land in Kentuckey Settlemt. : if the Virginia Claim thereto should be made void, or otherwise in the late ceeded land on the North west side of the Ohio river ; whereto there is not any prior legal claim to enable them to settle in a body together, on such reasonable terms as Congress in their wisdom and prudence shall see just and reasonable, they complying with and performing all reasonable conditions required, to enable them to put their intended plan in purpose and execution, they having principally in view the Glory of God," the promotion of Civil and religious society, educating and instructing their rising generation in the principals of religion and morality; hoping the Honorable Congress will give all due encouragement to such a laudable undertaking. The premises duly considered. Your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray, &c.


Hendreck Banta John Vorhis, Jun. Benedick Yury Luke Vorhis Henery Yury Samuel Demaree Peter Demaree Peter Demaree, Jun. Cornelius Bogart Henry Shively John Demaree Saml. Demaree, Jr. Cornelius Banta John Vancleave Samuel Durie John Harris Albert Durie Peter Banta Marga widow Samuel Westervelt ---Durie, widow Mary Westervelt (widow) Daniel Banta Saml. Lock Albert Vorhis David Allen

Intended Friends

---Armstrong John Voreis Samuel Banta William Seaboum John Vanasdale Simon Vunosdol James Cook Derrick Conine Sophia Voreis (widow) John O'Bieanes Bergen Conert Abraham Banta Francis ----- Derrick Kooesen James Stagg Aaron Rawlings Peter Wickoff John Ryker Henry Bogart Cornelius Voreis James Westervelt Henry Banta, Jr. Tunes Vanpelt Abraham Banta, Jr. Andrew Shoe Peter Banta, Jr. Mattis Shoe John Banta Garrit Vanarsdale William Vancleave Joseph debaen Catherine Darling (widow) Abraham debaen William Jervel Lambert Darling Peter Seabourn Peter Banta John Monfort John Darling George Seabourn Cornelius Conzine, Jun. John Monfort, Jr. James Voreis David Seabourn John Conzine Francis Cossaart Johanna Seburn (widow) Lucas Vanarsdale Jacob Seabourn Albert Banta Jacob Cossart Barney Smock Simon VanArsdol Jacob Banta George Brinkerhof Abraham Banta Peter Monfoort James Stagg Garret Dorland George Burnett Jaquish Vantine Daniel Brower Francis Monfort Rulef Vorhis Samuel Demarest John Brewer John Knight Daniel Brewer, Jr. John Conrad Knight Henry Comminger John Comminger Martin Neavons Samuel Bogart Peter Carmicle Jacobus Monfort John VanArsdol Cornelius Cosyne John Bodine Cornelius Vorhis John Smock Cornelius Tueb Maties Smock Laurens Tueb John Kip Lawrence Montfort Barney Kipp Abraham Houghtelin Abraham DeGraff Gilbert Brinkerhoff Thos. Johnson Luke Brinkerhoff Abraham Johnson Andrew Conine Andrew Johnson John Persyl Thomas Vantine Cornelius Demaree Brinkerhoff Cornelius D. Lowe Jacob Brinkerhoff George Hall John Oten Begun Spader Adrian Oten Jacob Orbacow John Oten Samuel Briten Peter Monfort, Senior Cornelius Oten Wilhelmas Houghtelin George Williamson Abraham --- Richer Berssly Hezekiah Hioughtelin John huls James --- Daniel Haris Charles Vantine Benjamin Sloot Mikel DeGraft Jacob Smock William De Graff Gilbert Lowe John Cownoven David Cossart Peter Vandyke Henry Stryker

Low Dutch settlers granted land Jefferson County, then Virginia, now Kentucky on 3 December 1781

The former colony and new state of Virginia although bankrupt from the expenses of fighting the Revolutionary War voted to recognize the service performed by the Low Dutch in defense of the land on the western frontier. Under an act passed by the Virginia Assembly early frontier settlers in Kentucky who had suffered great hardships were to receive 400 acres of land to compensate their losses.

Poor Persons Act 1781

An Act for the relief of certain persons now resident on the western frontier. Approved May 1781 by the Virginia General Assembly WHEREAS a number of poor persons with their families have removed to the Kentucky country, and by reason of great hardships they have encountered and expenses incurred by them in their removal to that distant place and the parts adjacent, they have become unable to advance ready money to pay the state price of vacant lands. For relief of such poor persons, be it enacted by the General Assembly, that the courts of the counties of Lincoln, Fayette and Jefferson, be, and they are hereby empowered and required to issue their orders to the surveyors of the said counties respectively, commanding them to lay out and survey for such poor settlers any tract of land in the said counties or either of them which shall be vacant. And the surveyor shall proceed with all possible expedition to survey such vacant land and make out plats and certificates for the same in the usual manner; and the register of the Land Office and all other officers of government, shall proceed in the usual manner for completing the titles of such lands as in similar cases. Provided, that no persons shall be entitled to lands under this act, except such as are now actually resident in that country or the parts adjacent, and the masters and mistresses of families there at this time, and have not acquired a right to land there either in law or equity, and are too poor to procure lands in the ordinary method. And the courts of the said counties are hereby required diligently to enquire into the circumstances aforesaid, and to grant no order of survey to any person except as before excepted. No order of survey under this act shall exceed the quantity of four hundred acres for each family, and the surveyor shall lay out the same in one tract, the greatest length of which shall not exceed the breadth by more than one third. All persons claiming under this act, besides the usual office fees, shall pay into the public treasury after the rate of twenty shillings in specie, or the value thereof in paper money, for every hundred acres, within two years and an half from the date of the survey, as the state price, and in default of making such payment, all right and interest to such surveys shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth, and the lands subject to the claim of any person who shall pay the said state price for the same, and prosecute by the way of caveat in the manner prescribed by law. All orders of survey and proceedings contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act shall be void and of no effect or avail to the persons claiming under them. This act shall continue to be in force two years, and no longer. [18] [10] This act gave the county courts in the Kentucky country, authorization to direct surveys to poor persons, actual settlers, not exceeding 400 acres to a family.

The following list of names identifies Low Dutch who were among the earliest settlers in what was then Kentucky County, Virginia "At a Court held for Jefferson County, the 3rd of December, 1781. It appearing to the Court that the following Persons, are entitled by virtue of an Act of Assembly passed May last, to four hundred acres of land, each. Orders that the County Surveyor lay off to them accordingly, viz: Jane Arneson; Cornelius Bogart; Ann Cline; John Cline; John Demara; Samuel Demara; Sam'l Demarie, Junr; Lambert Darling; Catharine Darling; Jacob Hoffman; Frederick Honsault; John Honsault; James Hougland; Jemima Newkirk Hougland; Anthony Junkus; Solomon Kersinger; Daniel Lout; Elias Newkirk; Peter Newkirk; Tobias Newkirk; Rachel Ricker; John Riker; Christopher Schulz; Samuel Stuthard; Margaret Vanleeve; Jane Veach; James Voress; John Voress; John Voress, Junr; Luke Voress; Sophia Voress; Mary Westoville; Christian Wyman; Christian Wyman, Junr; George Yent." It should be noted there are more names on the list but these have been deemed to be Low Dutch. The actual document should be consulted because the anglicization of Dutch surnames makes identification difficult. [19] [20]

Founding of a Low Dutch Colony in what was then Jefferson County, Virginia, now Henry and Shelby County, Kentucky

The formation of The Low Dutch Company enabled the purchase in 1784 of about 3,000 acres in what is now Henry and Shelby Counties for the proposed colony. Indian attacks forced the members to abandon the first settlement in 1785 and flee to the relative safety of Mercer and Clark Counties. In the spring of 1786 the company purchased 6,000 acres adjacent to their original holdings from Squire Boone, brother of Daniel Boone, selling off approximately 1,350 acres to help finance the investment. In March 1786 the members formally signed the articles of agreement. All land was held in common, with all profits or losses to be shared equally. The tract, straddled the boundary of Shelby and Henry Counties totaling more than 7,600 acres. It was divided into 34 lots of varying sizes, from 200 acres and upward and allocated to members. Farm plots were assigned to individuals and their families, but actual legal title was held by the Company, which combined the elements of a modern business corporation, cooperative, religious congregation and commune. Remarkably some descendants of this colony still reside on a portion of the original purchase today. The Company appointed a trustee whose duty it was to look after all the estate and keep records.

Actual first settlement of the tract did not begin until about 1790 at Bantatown, later Pleasureville. Dutch and non-Dutch families moved in, purchasing land adjacent to the colony, but did not join the Company. From the beginning there were problems with conflicting land claims over the tract purchased from Squire Boone. This resulted in numerous law suits with financial loss to the Company. In 1813 a claim for more than a thousand acres was decided against the Company requiring them to repurchase the land. In 1820 the Company lost more land, including that upon which Bantatown was located. Other suits were filed by the Company to reclaim land from the heirs of original members who were holding tracts in private ownership.

In addition, one of the primary objectives of the Company had been to establish a Dutch Reformed Church and obtain a Dutch Reformed minister. This failed and members defected to other churches, primarily the Presbyterians who were in harmony with their Calvinistic beliefs but also the Baptists and Methodists. Eventually some of the Low Dutch descendants would found the religious movement known as the Shakers.

Beginning in 1817, families started moving away from the colony, first to Switzerland County, IN and then Johnson County, IN, where farmland was $1.25 an acre. This period was referred to as "the exodus." The Company was dissolved in 1831. Title to the land was transferred by deed to individual owners from about 1831 to 1839. [11] [12]

The Low Dutch Company Article of Agreement 1786

This document shows how the Low Dutch conducted land transactions by holding it in common ownership. The agreement authorized the purchase of 5610 acres from Squire Boone, brother of Daniel Boone, located in Jefferson County, Kentucky on Six Mile Creek and Clear Creek.

14 March 1786

ARTICLE OF AGREEMENT made and Concluded on and Between Abraham Banta of Lincollen County and State of Virginia of the first part and We who Names and within writing Father Hennery Banta Samuel Banta Uncle Peter Banta Daniel Banta Peters Banta Peter Banta Cornelius Bogert Andrew Shock {Cornelius Banta} Abraham Brewer Albert Vorhes John Comangore big John Vorhes Hennery Banta ble John Vorhes Simon VanArsdelen Jacob Smock Barney Smock {Hennery Shivelle} Francis Coorssart Luke VanArsdelen Luke Vorhes Uncle Albert Banta Daniel Vorhes Samuel Dumere Aran Monfort John Manfort Albert Banta Jacob Banta William Shock Soviah Vorhes John Banta Cornelius Cozine Frances Manfort Daniel al Banta of the other part Witnesseth that whereas the said Abraham Banta has purched a Certain trat or quantity of land of Squier Boon of the County of Jeffersin in the State of Virginia aforesaid Containing five Thousand Six hundred and Ten acres of Land Situated in the County Jeffersen aforesaid lying on the waters of Six miles Beginning on the Deviding ridge between the waters of Six mile Creek and Clear Creek ... Excepting and reserving 335 acres out of the above mentioned Tract at the price of £16,,13,,4 per hundred acres amounting in the whole sum of £935 payable in Eight yearly payments the first payment is 250 pounds and the rest in seven payments Each payment £97,,17 with an intent and Desine to inCourage and premote a Settlement of the Low Dutch Reformed Church Socisity now it is Covinanted and agreed by and Between the said Abraham Banta and those person Names above mentioned and there seals afixted by these presents that Each of them shall be intitled to any quantity or Numbers of acres of Land of the above mentioned 5610 acres as they and sd. Banta may agree for allowance Being made for Quality of said Lands Subject to and under the following Restrictions Viz 1 That we our heirs Executors administrators or Assigns will pay or Cause to be paid to the said Abraham Banta his heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns yearly and Every year such a sum or sums as shall bear in purporsion to the Quantity and Quallity of Land Each of us Shall hold to the whole Quntity of Land or sum giving till the whole sum be paid 2d That we will subscribe to and support the Low Dutch Reformed Church Sosicity by giving a Call and Invitation to a Regular Instituted Low Dutch minister to assosiate in said Church as much as in us lie and that we will indeavouer to have our children Taught and instructed in the Low Dutch Tongue so that they may Read the word of God and understand the Gospel when Preached unto them 3d That we will Each of us in purportion to the Quantity of Land we hold with said Abraham banta pay towards purching of said Banta at the price above said 200 acres of Land for a personage or plantation for the minister to be called or invited as above said 4ly That the said Abraham Banta his heirs or Assigns shall not sell or Dispose of any Part of Percil of the above mentioned Tract of Land neither will we whose names are above mentioned our heirs or Assigns sell or Dispose of all or any Part of sd Land we shall hold with said Abraham Banta to any Person or Persons whatsoever unless they will fully Comply with the second above mentioned Article 5ly That is any Time hereafter their shall or may be any Claims or Disputes Related to the Title of said Land or any Part thereof, we Each of us our heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns will be at a purporsionable Cost and Expence in Defending the Title thereto in purporsion to the Quantity of Land we may hold thereof and That if the title of the whole or any part thereof shall be made Void we will Bear an Eaqual Loss as above there to, as well to the improvement as to the Land, be it in the power of the said Abraham Banta to purchace from the Legal oner Each of us above mentioned shall pay or Cause to be paid to the price for which it may be bought in purportion to that part of Quantity Each of us holds of the mentioned Tract; 6ly NOW Be it known that the above mentioned Abraham Banta has purched a Certain Tract or Quantity of Land ajoining of the above mentioned Tract with the same Desine and for the purpose as above mentioned, from Richard Beard who Lived in pennsylvania State the Quantity of 2000 acres at Thirty pounds per hundred to be paid in four anul payments ... Now be it known that We the above mentioned will and Shall aid and Assist the above mentioned Abraham Banta his heirs Executors Administrators in Defending both the first and second mentioned tract aforesaid all as one; now for the True performance of all and both Tracts mentioned the second agreeable with first mentioned Tract We the above mentioned our selves our heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns Doth bind ourselves Jointly severally by these presents the one to the other in the penal sum of Three Thousand pounds In Witness whereunto we have set our hands and seals This fourteenth Day of march in the year one Thousand seven hundred & Eighty Six Signed Sealed in the presents us Darra thar his Beniemen X Stout mark {Henry Shively} frances Cosart Lukes Van arsdel Luk Vories un Albert Banta Daniel Vorhis Samuel Demaree Aron Monfoort John Monfoort Albert Banta Jacob Banta William Shock Sophia Vorus John Banta Cornelius Cozine Francis Monfort Daniel Al Banta Abraham Banta fa Hendreck Banta un Peter Banta Daniel Banta Samuel Banta Petrus Banta Peter Banta Cornelous Banta Andrew Shock {Cornelius Bogart} {Abraham brewer} Albert Voorhies John Commingor big John Voorhes Henry Banta Bu John Vorus Jacob Smock Simon Vanasdal {Barny Smock}

Log cabin home


  1. NOTE: The "German" migration of communities of artisans and builders from Pennsylvania to Kentucky has been referred to as the "Great German Diaspora of 1787". Their skills influenced the development of the Federalist style seen in central Kentucky homes. see: Pennington, Estill Curtis. With Joy and Wonder: Ante-bellum Taste in the Bluegrass, University of Kentucky Art Museum, 1992.
  2. Akers, Vincent. The Low Dutch Company: a history of the Holland Dutch Settlement of the Kentucky Frontier. Bargersville, Indiana, 1982, page 2
  3. Yater, George H. Two hundred years at the Falls of the Ohio: a history of Louisville and Jefferson County. Liberty National Bank and Trust Company (Louisville, Ky.). 1980. Chicago, Illinois: Bank Marketing Association. p 15.
  4. The Reverend John Dabney Shane interviewed John Slaughter's son Silas J. Slaughter in Illinois, and Silas, who was born in 1787, gave a brief account of his family's settlement in Pennsylvania and migration to Kentucky:(Note 31) "My father came to Kentucky in 1786 - settled in Jacob Mooney's Station, on Floyd's Fork of Salt River. Mooney's Station was southwest by south of now Middletown - Jefferson County - The Station was not picketed in. There were only a few horses, near round a neighborhood. Mooney came from Pennsylvania two years before we did. It was forty miles from where they lived to Bedford, Pa. John Smith, my uncle (my mother was a Smith) married Jacob Mooney's only child. - My father came to Mongahala, & raised a crop there, before coming on to Kentucky. I was born in 1787. There was a Linn's Station in that section. There was a Newkirk lived on the adjoining farm (100 acres) to my father's 100 acre farm. Tob(ias) Junis, Peter, Ben, Wm, were sons of his. A. Hoagland & this Tobias Newkirk were about two miles off on Floyd's Fork, fishing. The Indians shot them there fishing. The Indians were pursued, butthey got over the Ohio river before they could be overtaken. from Bios: Family History of Adam Smith, c 1745 - c 1813: Bedford Co, PA > KY [1]
  5. Westervelt Massacre. Wikipedia. [2]
  6. Belcher, Ronald Clay Belcher, Westervelt Massacre in Kentucky in 1780. Blue Grass Roots. Quarterly Journal of the Kentucky Genealogical Society. Frankfort, Kentucky. Vol. 38, No. 2: 2011. pp. 30-37.
  7. Deborah is listed as "Deborah Velt" with Mary Westerfield in a record of Rebel prisoners at Quebec (British record in Canada) as taken prisoner in April 1781 who arrived from Detroit at Montreal in October 1782. After Deborah was returned to her family in Kentucky. She married James Baxter June 17, 1784 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. James was born around 1760 and died January 1827 in Jefferson County, Indiana. Deborah is also listed as having died in January, 1827 in Jefferson County.
  8. Bullitt County History-Westerfield Massacre. [3]
  9. Spraker, Ella Hazel Atterbury, and Jesse Procter Crump. 1974. The Boone family: a genealogical history of the descendants of George and Mary Boone, who came to America in 1717 : containing many unpublished bits of early Kentucky history : also a biographical sketch of Daniel Boone, the pioneer, by one of his descendants. Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Pub. Co. p 80
  10. Banta vs Clay, Madison County, Kentucky Record Book D, p 324-330, 434-437, 480-481; Box 68, Bundle 135, Kentucky State Archives.
  11. Madison County, Kentucky Deed Book I, p 87-92
  12. Eaton, William G. "Ill Fated White Oak Spring Station Was Built near Boonesborough in 1779." Lexington Kentucky Sunday Herald-Leader. January 10, 1965, B-2.
  13. Fort Boonesborough Settlers. "Bluegrass Roots," published by the Kentucky Genealogical Society, reprinted an article, "Early Settlers of Fort Boonesborough" by H. Thomas Tudor in Volume 5, No. 1, p. 1-14. Lists and reference sources for the names can be found here: [4]
  14. Keig, Susan Jackson; Stephen Beal; James Cheston Thomas. Old Mud Meeting House: Built in year 1800 by the Dutch Reformed Church, Mercer County, Kentucky. Harrodsburg Historical Society, Harrodsburg, KY, 1982
  15. Quisenberry, Anderson Chenault. 1912. Petition of the inhabitants of Kentucke: read August 23, 1780 : vol. 48, page 347, records of the Continental Congress, mss. State Department, Washington, D.C.
  16. Louisville, Ky.: The Register. p 43-52, 55-59.
  17. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 Tuesday, August 27, 1782. p 532
  18. Virginia. Henings Statutes at Large. Laws of Virginia, May 1781. CHAP. XVIII. An act for the relief of certain persons now resident on the western frontier.p 431,432 [5]
  19. Jefferson County, Kentucky County Court Minute Book A (1781 - 1783) Pages 14, 15, 16.
  20. Kentucky Adjutant Generals Office, Early Kentucky Settlers: The Records of Jefferson County, Kentucky, from the Filson Club History Quarterly. Genealogical Publishing Com, 1988. p19-21.
  • Akers, Vincent. 1982. The Low Dutch Company: a history of the Holland Dutch settlements on the Kentucky frontier. New York: Holland Society of New York.
  • Low Dutch Heritage, a blog by Carolyn B. Leonard [13]
  • Colonial Routes to Kentucky and Tennessee by Johni Cerny, B.S., F.U.G.A



Special thanks to Nan Fansler for her excellent research on the background reasons the Dutch in New York and New Jersey organized and moved onto the frontier during the American Revolution. Their homes had been destroyed and pillaged and they suffered terribly. See: Maurer,C.F. Dragoon Diary, The History of the Third Continental Light Dragoons. Bloomington, Indiana. 2005. P 149. Mentions the Demarest and Bogart families among others in Sep and Oct 1778, New Jersey.

Another source pertaining to the conditions loyal citizens were subjected to during the Revolutionary War was Virginia. While not specifically about the Bogarts and Demerests, this article conveys the urgency that was felt to seek safety in the 'back country' especially among the middle class artisans. [16]

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For those interested in a list of settlers at Boonesborough please see this list which includes many Dutch names:


The presence of the Dutch settlers in Madison Co near Boonesborough and their contributions to the defense as well as settlement of the fort has been well documented. Thank you for pointing out this is a reconstruction image of what the fort might have looked like so I have removed the photo.
Why is Fort Boonesborough being portrayed as an early Dutch Settlement? Most of the settlers from this fort were of English and French descent, this picture is of the reconstructed Fort. My former father in law helped with the construction of this fort. Also I am direct descendant of several of the original settlers. Their names appear on the monument in front of this reconstructed fort, which I have been to many times. The Boone's were of English descent.
posted by Cheryl (Stone) Caudill