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Richard French's family


Welcome graphic

  There have been French's in North America since at least 1630. I am trying to find out when our line get here, and from where did they come?
 While there is a line of Quaker French's at Burlington, NJ that seems to use the same naming patterns, I do not believe we are closely related to them as  DNA testing shows their descendant to be from a differing line.
 Our line appears to have been baptising in the Dutch reformed faith, and probably  Anglican/Episcopal.

 Because of Richard's (b.1775) daughters names-Selitie, Sarah, Caty, Mary & Susana- and the DUTCH naming pattern of children named for their Grandfathers family-  I believe we are potentially related to Philip French, (Mayor of NYC 1702) at the turn of the 1700's. Philip married one of the Daughters of the Phillipse family. Philip also had a patent of land in Ulster Co. granted in 1704. The land patent was adjacent to or overlapping Minisink.

Our most probable American line is John (the early NJ. brickmason), Richard B., Richard, then Richard first found at Walpack on the 1793 militia eligible list, thence to Moses, William, Dr. Richard Vale, Richard Dale Jr., then  to me and my children, grandchildren and Great-grand children..
This site is an attempt to record what I've learned about our family history.
 It also is a request of French family researchers who know anything about our branch of the family to contact me with that information.
 New e-mail is 9dickfrench37@gmail.com9  (Drop the 9's when you copy it; those automated harvesters cant use it this way) 
 Our family is scattered  all around the World. My brothers and I accumulated 75 years of USN service, we are all retired NAVY. Brother Bill , ( LCDR. USN ret.) now lives in the far east , his wife  is a Japanese national.  Brother Jim ( AE1 USN ret.), is  in Florida.
Sister Mary is traveling. 
 I have Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren from Florida to Kentucky to California. Grandsons in Iraq and Afganistan.
And now- DNA cousins! Through modern technology, we found  "new" cousins (real but 6th or more distant)-
 -in New Orleans, MS. Julia Jan French Wood
 - In Ca. J. French; 
- in Oregon Kerri Conner Pajutee..
-moving to St. Louis,  Gary Hiller  

We found that cousin Ms. J. French  coincidentally lives near and works for the same company as my oldest daughter.
 DNA testing continues, we now have 19 relatively close people, (Group 1)  2 of these French's have IDENTICAL- 37/37 marker matches! The 3rd really close DNA match on our list  is from the South!. See the DNA area!
I have a son and a 2 grandsons on military active duty-   Our familys Iraq war Hero -  Sgt. John  Shoemaker , US Army,  He was  back from Iraq- 2nd tour; HAD GOOD LUCK!!.. and came home safe. Tried civilian life, for awhile, anyway, then re-enlisted.
One of the goals of this web site is to help keep family posted on the research even though we are far apart.
HELLO!  I'm Dick French.
 I'm trying to find and record my ancestors.
  Currently my "brickwall" is Richard French, b. about 1774/5, probably in or about the tri-state area constituting the Dutch colony of Minisink.  By DNA testing he is known to be a relative of Moses French. He was a close relative of Aaron living in the same area.
  Like wise, My DNA matches a descendant of John French the brickmason, known to be in NJ in the early 1700's.
While Phillip French was one of the 1704 owners of the Minisink 1000 ac. patent, I do not think he ever lived there.
The first French I tend to place in Sussex is John C. French b. 1711 to Richard and Elizabeth. He is believed to have lived in Sussex NJ., according to an on line, not substantiated by me source. Samuel French married Helena Rosenkrans in Sussex in the early 1750's; they had a son Jacobus in 1753. What happens to him we do not know, history does record a Samuel Finch killed in an Indian uprising in the same area. Helena  remarries by 1755 - to a Mr. Moore.
Jeremiah French is of close age to Richard, and is also a  DNA relative.
  Nehemiah & Moses are listed on the 1773 tax records (Frensh) of Sussex County, NJ.. There is also a Henery "Frensh" on 1774 tax records.  (Frensh may be a Dutch influenced spelling.) On the 1780 Tax record the name was FRENCH.
 Are they sons of John C.?
  ( In 1782, a Richard and Selletje French christen William at Oldwick/Germantown, Hunterdon County.; in '83 they added Ann.
 I note this especially because my Richard named his first daughter Sellitie.)  
All that leadup to get to my BRICKWALL!.
 At 18, GGGGrandfather Richard lived at Walpack , Sussex, NJ. he is on the militia eligible list.
  The 1774 "taxable" French's are North and South of Walpack.
   Moses French named a son John C.; ergo there is a likelihood Moses's father was John C. His other sons are Johnathan and Aaron.
  Was my Richard a Revolutionary War orphan? Did his mom re-marry to someone in Walpack?   (All posibilities are open including possibly being a son of an unwed mother.)
 Also in Sussex at one time were:
  Noah French, b. 1752 @ Turkey, Union County NJ. He is a Revolutionary War "Hero" , Private to Captain. Dispatch rider. Noah seems to be from Union County, and moved to NY after the Revolution. 
  Walpack is on the Delaware river, less than 100 miles upstream from where General George Washington crossed the Delaware to take the fight to the Brit's at Trenton. It's  S. of Port Jervis, NY.
There you will find a link to the current French DNA site.
That's  the web site for the French family DNA  project started in Jan. 2003. We need male French's to participate in the test. We're testing "Y" DNA to see if we can connect branches of the French's through technology where the paper trail is lost.
 ( PS this is NOT valid as a paternity test.)
  My "Y" chromosone history is: (underline's are links)
Father? Unknown French ?? related to Moses and Aaron French at Sandyston, NJ.
Richard French b. +- 1775; d.1838 Tuscarawas OH.
MOSES FRENCH  b. 1809 Walpack , Sussex, NJ. ; d. ? >1853
William French b. 1832, Tuscarawas, OH.; d. +_ 1865
Dr.  Richard Vale French b. 1864, Perry Co. , IL.; d. 1955  KY.
Richard Dale French Jr. b. 1909 Dallas Tx.; d.1970 Casa Ar.
Richard French .  (Me!)
 Several DNA cousins have been found. We match closely with a family in the Deep South!
Their family tree knowledge goes to Samuel French, B. abt 1733; an early resident- 1750's in  Anson, N. Carolina. 
While we have a 50/50 chance the common ancestor lived within the past 290 years, there's a 90% chance the common ancestor lived within the last 960 years... I tend to think that our common predecessor was born about 1620-90. BUT Where? . 
Hopefully as more FRENCH's test, more lines of investigation will open.
 Then there are Philemon and Aaron...with  Identical DNA!,


The purpose of this project is to identify the different lines of the French surname worldwide.
For geneaology research purposes, we have found that the 37 Marker Test is the best one to start.




 Any Information concerning
 Richard (d. about 1796) and Selletje French  (remarried 1797 to wm. Lewis)  at Oldwick NJ.  is important to
This  "My Richard named his first daughter
Richard b. 1775 named hia first daughter
Selitie. I think so named to honor Selletje, who is a second (or third wife) of Richard French found @ Zion Church, Hunterdon, NJ. 1783. I think this Richard probably is the father of "my" Richard and possibly of  Moses  and Henery French in Sussex; Richard and Seletje are parents of William and Anna b. 1782/3.
  Christening children in the same church at Oldwick, a Joseph French and Elenora christened a daughter Eleanora in the 1770's. 
  Please contact me if you have any data on these American pioneers.
 in 1754, between 600 and  3,000 European settlers lived in the Upper Delaware River Valley.
The local Lanape Indians proclaimed their independence from the Iroquois, who were allied with the British, and in 1755 attacked the Moravian settlement at Gnaden-hütten (Lehighton) and the Brodhead residence at Dansbury (Stroudsburg). Pennsylvania as well as rampaging the Delaware valley.   New Jersey colonial governments then developed fortifications to protect European settlers in the valley.
 The American Revolution provided the British and Indians further chance to attack the area; see this link for an account of a 1779 militia attack upon the raiders:

Antique picture of a large family; Size=240 pixels wide


 Thank you, son Richard , for getting me started on this.
 Thank you "cousin" Kerri Conner Pajutee for all your aid and assistance and counsel as I blundered while finding the NJ. connection.
 And sincere thanks to all my DNA "cousins" and relatives whose research I unintentionally tend to pirate!
 We find our earliest proven FRENCH relatives in  Walpack township, Sussex, NJ.
 Here's a short early history-
 The Dutch settled in the NY area and settled the Delaware river area of Sussex NJ  first - after the native Iriquois / Lanape indians-, calling the area Minisink.
In 1676, shortly after the English seized the territory from the Dutch, New Jersey was divided into the colonies of East and West Jersey. Under the Duke of York--the original proprietor--East Jersey was settled predominantly by small landowners and entrepreneurs, while West Jersey was settled primarily by Quakers, and was in fact the first Quaker colony in America, preceding  Wm. Penn's Pennsylvania by six years. Organized by a group of Quaker proprietors in London in 1676/7, West Jersey was governed initially by nine commissioners who held court at Burlington. Besides its legislative authority over the colony, the court at Burlington had jurisdiction over local matters and served as the court of appeals for Salem and other towns in West Jersey after 1683. Quaker justices continued to hold court in Burlington until May 1703, losing their right to self government following the end of proprietary rule and the creation of the united Province of New Jersey under royal charter the previous year.
 In about 1756 an Indian uprising / attack came through the area. Settler Samuel French ,born in Goshen,NY.  wife Helena Rosenkrans Kortrecht .
(Minissink Church records)
"July 5, 1752 Samuel Fench, y.m. -b Goshen, to Lena Rosenkranz widow of 
Cornelis Kortrecht, both dwelling Machackemech. md July 26th

1756 Femmetje, dau. of Johannes van AKEN and Marya Van GARDEN, was bapt. 13 Feb. 1756. Cornelius van AKEN and wife, Sara WESTBROECK were sponsors.
1756 A Pert Amboy story of 19 August 1756, reported "from the northern frontier that Abraham VanAUKEN, Esq., who lived on the present Port Jervis Country Club property, was shot and wounded by an Indian while driving his team with a load of grain. Riding on the load was Van AUKEN's daughter. The father yelled for her to run for her life and as she fell off the wagon the Indian caught up and was attacking her when the old man rushed at him with a pitchfork and drove him away. Three men --- Geradrus SWARTWOUT, Samuel FINCH and Peter WESTPHALN, were found murdered, stripped and scalped.

 March 12, 1758 Gorgh More ym -b Irlant to Helena Rosekrans widow -b  Schebekom & both dwelling maghagkemeck md
April 3 1791  Feb. 17 Martynus Cole-Lena Rosenkrans"

Sam'l & son Jacobus "disappeared" from the records I can find.  If they survived, they/he could be the parents of Moses and Henery "Frensh", listed on the 1774 tax list.
 I think that more probably, Moses and Henery Frensh are sons of either John or Richard French.
Shortly after that raid we find the Sussex County/ Walpack/Delaware river fortified; Indian raids continued through about 1783 when our preoccupation with the war of Independance concluded.
 For a primer on the life and times of these pioneer settlers on the frontier I recommend the Van Auken Family story:
 Elizabeth Van Auken may be my 3x Great grandmother. New Jersey and Van Auken family records say Richard m. Elizabeth Van Auken. DRC Walpack records say Van Vlerden. Cousin Kerri found Van Vlerden's living close to the French's in later years.

Fort Walpack
(1756 - unknown), Walpack Township
A NJ colonial militia fort, six miles upriver from Van Campen's Fort. It was a wooden church (1737) and small blockhouse within a 50-foot square palisade.

Head Quarters Fort (1750's), Walpack Township
A NJ colonial militia fort, six miles upriver from Fort Walpack.

Fort Shapnack (1756 - 1782), Walpack Township
A NJ colonial militia fort built near Van Campen's Inn (still exists) on Old Mine Road. Also known as Fort John's. It had a 50 by 25 feet wooden blockhouse on stone foundation, with a 15 by 20 feet log cabin and a 52 by 26 feet stone house, within a 120 feet square palisade. Site was destroyed in 1974 for the Tocks Island Resevoir project.

Adam Dingman's Fort (1756), Walpack Township
A settlers' palisaded fortified house, originally built in 1735. Used by the colonial militia. Site located on Old Mine Road, just south of Carmer's Fort.

Carmer's Fort (1758), near Bevens Rd.
A settlers' fort. Site located near Dingman's Ferry - Bevans Road and Old Mine Road, about one-half mile southeast of the bridge.

Normanock Fort (1756 - 1760's), near Namanock Island
A NJ colonial militia fort, eight miles upriver from Head Quarters Fort. (Also spelled Namanock or Nominack). Trace remains.

Shipeconk Fort
(1756 - unknown), near Mashipacong Island
A NJ colonial militia fort four miles upriver from Normanock Fort.

Anthony Westbrook's Fort (1750's), Montague
A fortified stone house with wood roof, built in 1735. It was probably not palisaded. Site marked by a few stones. Also known as Fort Westbrook.

Samuel Brink's Fort (1750's - 1780's), Montague Township
A settlers' palisaded fortified wooden house. It was 50 by 24 feet, with a 59-square foot palisade.


HELP Wanted!

Moses French  b. ? d. <1797, Sussex Co.

Henry French 

Nehemiah French

All lived in Sussex County NJ in the 1790's

Samuel French in Anson NC. b. ~1733?

Any one know where they came from?

Please drop a note and let me know what you think.
(please drop the 9's.)