I thought I would write a mini article on one of my Van Fleets.I know there are others descended from the same so this may be interested as well.For a long time I could only go as far back on my VF (Van Fleet) line as far back as Jeremiah VF.According to what I had he was born in 1793 in Hardy Co, West Virginia and died 1854 in Morgan or Washington Co, Ohio.He was married to Margaret Armstrong and had several children.The second Garret was my GGG grandfather. The big break came for me when another VF researcher gave me some information sent to her by another researcher named C R ( Chester) VF of California.It stated that Jeremiah's father was a man named Garret Van Fleet and he was married to a woman named Phebe Welton.They had 6 children named Peter, Phebe, William, Jeremiah, Rebecca & Hannah.It even have some of the husbands of the girls.Hannah married George Gadd and Rebecca married John Coler.The information stated that my Jeremiah had two additional children by a first wife Mary Lilly aPhoebe who married a Nimrod Simon and a David VF.I was never able to contact Mr. Chester VF of California and I believe he is now deceased. My next step was to try to confirm some or all of this data.The evidence I have found so far seems to confirm this.I will spell out what I have found so far.
1) First I found a marriage record on line at the Hardy Co Us GenWeb site that has a John Coler and Rebecca VF getting married on May 8, 1812 in Hardy Co, WV.
2) The 1850 Us Census for Washington Co ohio has a John Coler and his wife Rebecca and family living with a 90 year old man named Garret Van Fleet who was born in New Jersey.
3) Near by to the John Coler family is the family of George Gadd and his wife Hannah Gadd.According to Chesters info Hannah VF Married Geoge Gadd.
4) Next door to the Gadd family was the family of Nimrod Simon and Phoebe.According to Chester VF's info, Phoebe VF dau of Jeremiah VF married a Nimrod Simon.
5) In the same county lived Garret and Wesley Van Fleet sons of Jeremiah living near by each other.
6) According to a descendant of John and Rebecca Coler they named their first son Garret and their first Daughter Phoebe.They also named one son Felix Welton Coler.
7) The elder Garret VF was supposed to have married a Phebe Welton.There is a Welton family located in Hardy Co, WV and there is in fact a Felix Welton.
8) In a letter written by John VF son of Jeremiah to his mother Margaret Armstrong VF during the Civil war he mentions.Felix and Issac Coler both children of John and Rebecca Coler.This indicates that Jeremiah VF family knew the Coler family.
9) In the pension papers for John VF son of Jeremiah it is stated that Nimrod Simon was the executor of Jeremiah VF's Estate.
10) I recently found a listing for the Coler family cemetery in Washington Co, Ohio.In it was listed Jeremiah VF, George and Hannah Gadd as well as the John Coler and several of his children.I could find no listing for Rebecca VF Coler.
11) The David VF mentioned as the other son of Jeremiah I found in the 1870 Ohio Census.
There is not much direct evidence to prove this and some children I have found no information at all.The circumstantial evidence however does indicate that Garret Van Fleet was the father of Jeremiah VF, Hannah VF Gadd, and Rebecca Coler.I believe that elder Garret Van Fleet moved from NJ probably in the 1780s to Hardy Co, WV and later with his family to Ohio. There is one other point.The researcher who sent me the information was Cheryl Singhal who is descended from a different VF family in the Hardy Co, WV Area.My family and her's appear about the same time. Her oldest VF is a William VF born about 1795 who is supposed to be the son of a William VF.That would make the Elder Garret VF and this Elder William VF from the same generation.It is possible that they are either brothers or cousins who came from NJ to WV at the same time. The next step is to dig up as much information out of Hardy Co WV and the surrounding Co's regarding the VF.Sadly pre civil war information from WV tends to be scarce but anythings possible.There may be some birth record or a baptism for the Elder Garret VF in NJ.He was born in 1760.There appears to be a couple of Garret VF's born in NJ about this same time.One moved to Cayuga Co, NY but he is a different one entirely. I wrote this article to get the facts straight in my head after recently seeing a genealogy that had my Jeremiah the son of a John Thomas VF.I believe this particular genealogy to be in error as I have found nothing to back it up.Hopefully this will also get some discussion going.Any questions or comments would be welcome.