Van Boskirk with an "O"! 
Chapter 3: The Life and Times
of Richard Van Boskirk
by Roger E. Bissell
version 2.0 (posted June 2000)


1. Introduction.

2. Where Richard lived.

3. Richard's wives and children.

4. Richard's will and its aftermath.

5. Catherine's will and its aftermath.

6. Who was Catherine Van Boskirk? (incomplete)


1. Introduction

Irene Shoemaker in her Van Buskirk Legacy says that Richard Van Boskirk was the son of John Van Boskirk (ca. 1743-1816). We believe it more likely, however, that John was his older brother, and that they were both sons of Andrew Van Boskirk (1719-?) and Charity Van Horn (1723-?) of Wrightstown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Kingwood, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. We present our reasons for and against this idea in the "Missing Links" chapter, and we will simply assume this conclusion here.

The Van Boskirk family Bible says that Richard Van Boskirk was born November 6, 1764 and that he died on October 9, 1830. He was probably born at or near Wrightstown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania -- or perhaps Kingwood, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Charity Van Boskirk Coryell -- thought by some to be Richard's sister, but probably instead his niece -- was definitely born in Pennsylvania. Her oldest son's listing in the 1880 census said that his father was born in New Jersey and his mother in Pennsylvania. We will deal with her in a separate section, on the assumption that her father was John Van Boskirk, an older brother of Richard. Click on this link: Richard's niece Charity Van Boskirk Coryell

2. Where Richard lived

Richard appeared in the tax records of Kingwood, New Jersey in 1786 and again in 1789 as a single man. Since the 1790 census for New Jersey was destroyed, we do not know exactly where he was living, but since he did not appear anywhere in the Pennsylvania 1790 census, he was probably still at Kingwood. (There is no extant 1790 census for New Jersey.)

Sometime between mid-1790 and the birth of his oldest child in early 1794, Richard moved from New Jersey to Bucks ("Bux" in the Bible) County, Pennsylvania. Then, between mid-1794 and late 1976, he moved his family to Mifflinburg, Union (then Northumberland) County, Pennsylvania.

On October 25, 1796, Richard "Vanbuskirk" was granted a deed to property in Mifflinburg from John Cormany, that deed being recorded on January 26, 1797. From that point on until his death on October 9, 1830, he appears, usually as Richard Boskirk, in the census of Northumberland/Union County -- with one exception: the 1820 census, from which the page of "B" names for Mifflinburg is missing from the microfilm. (That page may have been overlooked by the microfilmers, or it may have been lost or destroyed.)

The property acquired in 1796 is no doubt the tavern or hotel, referred to as "Van Boskirks," that Richard operated until about 1806. He is mentioned in John B. Linn's Annals of Buffalo Valley as being a tavern keeper in 1799 and a hotel keeper in 1802. It's possible that George Coryell, the husband of Richard's niece (or sister?) built the tavern since, as a carpenter, he erected many buildings in the Buffalo Valley. Since George and family arrived in East Buffalo Township about 1796, furthermore, building the tavern may have been one of his very first jobs.

Shortly after Richard first appears in Mifflinburg records, we also see a transaction between one Jacob "Vanbuskirk" and John Rote, who sold Jacob property in Mifflinburg on April 25, 1798 (recorded April 29, 1798). Jacob was also listed in a book of early assessments in Union County by Mary Belle Lontz, as being among those who were property owners in West Buffalo Township.

We surmise that this Jacob is a close relative of Richard, perhaps an uncle, nephew, cousin, or brother. It's possible he is Richard's nephew (or brother), John (Jacob) Van Boskirk, born about 1768, and that he arrived in Buffalo Valley the same year as the families of his sister Charity and uncle (or brother?) Richard.

Richard obtained two more properties during the next several years. One was purchased February 5, 1803 (recorded December 23, 1805) from Elias Youngman. The other was purchased February 11, 1804 (recorded March 21, 1806) from James Black, Jr.

A historian from Mifflinburg reported to us that Richard also bought a property there in 1806 from Henry Brosleskey, who had purchased it six years previously in 1798 from Jacob Van Boskirk. We are puzzled by this report. We find no record of it, nor of anyone named Brosleskey, in the Union and Northumbrland County grantor/grantee indexes. However, there is a similarly spelled name in the index for the 1800 census of Northumberland County, so it appears that he was a real person and that the transactions may simply have not been recorded.

Richard apparently quit his occupation as tavern keeper in 1806, when Jacob Maize, tavern keeper, was said by Linn to have "succeeded Richard Van Buskirk." Our cousin, Rufus Wixon (also a historian), reported that "the site of this tavern was in what is now the 300 block of Mifflinburg, but the building was razed about 1883" (personal correspondence).

In 1814, the year Union County was created, Richard was a "household," while Israel Inman, the brother of Richard's future daughter-in-law, Passa, was a tavern keeper. (Israel apparently ran this business in partnership with his future brother-in-law, Richard's son, Andrew.)

In April of that same year, Richard was on a committee of six (including John Webb, John Dreisbach, Jacob Brobt, Christopher Eckert, and Christopher John), who reviewed "a certain proposed road from Selinsgrove to Charlestown" (William M. Schnure, Selinsgrove Pennsylvania Chronology, 1700-1850, Vol. 1).

On March 7, 1816, Richard and his wife Catherine appeared as grantors, giving a "release" to William Grant. About 1820, Richard paid $440 to Thomas Youngman for five acres "along the road to Witmer's," along the line separating Youngmanstown from Rhodestown. (These were villages, one against the other, in what is now the middle of Mifflinburg.) In 1825, Richard bought from Thomas Youngman a tannery on High Street, which included "house, barns, stables, ways, woods, and waters."

In his will, written probably in mid-October, 1829 and filed October 14, 1830, Richard states that he was "of the town of Greenfield in the County of Union." Greenfield was yet another small village, at that time on the outskirts of Mifflinburg. He died there in 1830 and was buried in Mifflinburg Cemetery in a plot with his first wife, Hannah, and his son John. His second wife, Catherine, is buried a short distance away.

3. Richard's wives and children

Richard was married twice, the first time probably about 1793 to Hannah Kelley, and the second time before 1810 to Catharine (nee?) Freisinger or Frissinger. All of his children are by his first wife.

Sometime between 1789 and 1794, Richard married his first wife, Hannah Kelley, who was probably born about 1775 in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. (She was in the 16-26 age grouping in the 1800 census listing for Richard's household.) Hannah died, according to the Van Boskirk family Bible, on April 30, 1805, and she is buried beside Richard in the Mifflinburg Cemetery.

We have no idea who Hannah's parents were, although there was a Daniel Kelley in the tax records of Kingwood, New Jersey at the same time Richard was living there. Also, living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was an Andrew Kelley, whose brother, Colonel John Kelley, was an early settler in West Buffalo Township, Union County, about a mile from Mifflinburg.

Mrs. Shoemaker claims in Van Buskirk Legacy, that Richard's first wife was named "Magdalena Coryell." Since it is a well-established fact that Richard's first wife and the mother of his five children was Hannah Kelley, Mrs. Shoemaker's claim has to be at least partly in error.

The Kelly part may appear somewhat questionable. We have only one source for it: Richard's grandson Richard Van Boskirk Lincoln (1822-1901), who was a local historian. Also, it seems that he didn't do his writing on Union County and Mifflinburg until 1900, when he was 78 years old.

We could argue that age and passage of time might dull one's memory enough to confuse Kelly with Coryell. Yet, it's clear that RVB Lincoln possessed a vast amount of data and names. He surely would know the correct given and maiden names of his own grandmother, buried close by in a marked grave. And he knew quite well who the Coryells were.

In our own research, we have only been able to identify which Kelleys could not have been Hannah's parents. We have not proved that she was even, in fact, a Kelley. But that the first name of Richard's first wife and mother of his children was Hannah is without question. Consider the following:

(1) Hannah Van Boskirk is buried beside Richard in the cemetery at Mifflinburg. Her tombstone identifies her and says she died in 1805. This is shortly after their fifth and final child, George, was born.
(2) Hannah is also mentioned in the family Bible of Richard's son, Andrew, as having died in 1805. Magdalena is not.
(3) Both of Richard's married adult sons named a daughter Hannah. Neither they nor their sister, Hannah Van Boskirk Lincoln, named a daughter Magdalena.
(4) Neither of the printed Coryell genealogies, nor the Mormon Church's internet search engine ( mentions a Magdalena or Maggie Coryell. Both of them mention that George Coryell married Richard Van Boskirk's sister, Charity. (Although we doubt Charity was Richard's sister, they were no doubt closely related.)

There are some possible explanations for the Magdalena Coryell/Hannah Kelley dilemma:

(1) Magdalena was actually Hannah's middle name -- or vice versa -- and she went by "Hannah." This is unlikely.
(2) Magdalena was her full name, Hannah a shortened form. It seems that the Thompsons (inlaws of Richard's son John) used them as equivalents. This is possible.
(3) Hannah's maiden name was Kelley, and she first married a Coryell -- or vice versa. This is unlikely.
(4) Hannah's real last name was Coryell, and "Kelly" was just an error by her grandson. This last idea is based on an interesting sound similarity. Compare the names of RVB Lincoln's wife, Anna Pellman -- his true grandmother, Hannah Kelly -- and his alleged grandmother, Magdalena Coryell.

However, our distant cousin, the historian, knew the Coryells. It's hard to imagine he would throw in "Kelly" from out of the blue, if Coryell were correct. It's more likely that Mrs. Shoemaker (or her source) is in error, not RVB Lincoln. The most likely source of the error is Mrs. Shoemaker's use of data from descendants of John Van Boskirk (1820-1899) to attach him as a son of Richard's son John (1797-1836). It is our understanding that this John's mother was named Catharine, and that his mother's mother was named Magdalena. More can be found on this speculation at this webpage:

Our Van Boskirk and Van Horn Roots

Richard and Hannah had five children, according to the Van Boskirk family Bible:

(1) Andrew Van Boskirk, born March 9, 1794 in Bucks ("Bux") County, Pennsylvania, died September 8, 1869 in Johnson County, Iowa. He is apparently named for his great-grandfather (or grandfather?), Andrew Van Booskirk (1719-?) of Wrightstown, Pennsylvania and Kingwood, New Jersey, although it is possible that he is named for his mother's father, if her father was Andrew Kelly. Andrew married in 1817 to Passa Inman of Hanover Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and they had seven children. Their many descendants are discussed in chapter 2 and 3 of The Bissells of Barstow, Part I (1991) and in chapters 7-10 of The Bissells of Barstow, Part III (forthcoming). Their ancestry, of course, is covered in chapters 5 and 6 of The Bissells of Barstow, Part II (forthcoming).
(2) Euphemia Van Boskirk, born November 20, 1795 and died December 20, 1795, probably at Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

(3) John Van Boskirk, born October 11, 1797 and died August 1, 1836 at Mifflinburg, Union County, Pennsylvania. He is apparently named for his grandfather, John Van Boskirk (ca. 1742?-ca. 1805?), although it is possible that he is named for his mother's father, if her father was John Kelly. John married about 1820 to Rachel Thompson of Buffalo Township, Union County, Pennsylvania, and they had four children and many descendants, discussed later in this chapter. (It is thought by some that they had two daughters and four sons, John, Richard, Benjamin, and Franklin, as listed in their mother's petition to the Orphan's Court when their father died; but it is now known that the actual listing was of two sons, John Richard and Benjamin Franklin. The supposed son John born about 1820 was actually more likely a great-grandson of Richard's older brother John, and we will deal with him in a separate section.) Click on this link:

Richard's son John Van Boskirk 

(4) Hannah Van Boskirk, born March 20, 1801 at Mifflinburg, Union County, Pennsylvania and died March 20, 1880 at Laurelton, Union County, Pennsylvania. She is apparently named for her mother, Hannah Kelly Van Boskirk. Hannah married on June 3, 1819 to John Lincoln of Buffalo Township, Union County, Pennsylvania, and they had three children and many descendants, discussed later in this chapter. Click on this link:

Richard's daughter Hannah Van Boskirk Lincoln

(5) George Van Boskirk, born November 3, 1803 and died October 23, 1829 at Mifflinburg, Union County, Pennsylvania. It is supposed by some that he is named for his uncle, George Coryell, but this in doubt, since there is no proof that Charity Van Boskirk Coryell was his father's sister. Instead, it may be that he was named for his great-uncle (grandfather's brother), George Van Buskirk, or perhaps George Kelly, if he was the father or uncle of his mother.

There seems to be no question that Richard's second wife was named Catherine. Even two step-granddaughters were named in her honor. According to a family Bible from one branch of Richard's son John's family, Catherine was born February 12, 1770, and her maiden name (or widowed surname?) was Frissinger or Freisinger.

Unfortunately we have been unable to identify Catherine's parents, but her and Richard's wills both mention a number of her relatives, mostly nieces and sisters. In the last section of this chapter, we will try to sort them out and make a stab at identifying Catherine's family of origin.

Catherine died in 1836 and is buried a short distance away from Richard. Her tombstone reads: "Catherine Van Boskirk, Consort of Richard Van Boskirk."

4. Richard's Will and its Aftermath

Both Richard and Catherine left extensive wills. These documents provide many answers and raise a number of new questions about their heirs and relatives. Also, these wills, especially Richard's, are very entertaining to read. I will quote extensively from them, adding bracketed comments and questions along the way.

I Richard V. Boskirk of the Town of Greenfield in the County of Union & State of Pennsylvania being in tolerable health and of sound mind & memory Do make & declare this instrument of writing to be my last Will & Testament & Revoking all others.
Item. Whereas my son Andrew is indebted to me a large Sum of money for which I hold his Obligations, which monies it is my wish shall not be recovered of him. Therefore I do hereby Exonerate & Release him his heirs Executors & Administrators from the payment of every Debt due me. And I give and devise unto him the said Andrew all the Obligations I hold against him as also all the Obligations I hold against Israel Inman late of the town of Mifflinsburg in the County of Union aforesaid to hold the same of his own Risk and without Recourse. And the Sum of twenty Dollars -- the foregoing Devise to be in full to my son the said Andrew. [Comments: (1) Andrew's brother-in-law, Israel Inman, had been a storekeeper in nearby New Berlin around 1815, but was back in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania by 1830; like the Van Boskirks, he was a tavernkeeper by trade; (2) Andrew apparently contested the will and it went into probate on November 23, 1830.]
Item. Whereas my son George is indebted to me a large Sum of money which Sum of money I do hereby Exonerate & Release him from the payment thereof. And I do give & Devise unto the said George the Sum of One thousand dollars in full. [Since George died on October 23, 1829, Richard's will apparently was written at least a year before Richard died.]
Item. Whereas I hold a Bond or Obligation on my son in law John Lincoln & my Daughter Hanna (the said John being inter married with the said Hanna) Conditioned for the payment of one hundred Dollars & twenty five Bushels of wheat yearly & every year during my life, and the life of my wife Catherine. For good cause I do hereby Exonerate & Release them their Heirs Executors or Administrators from the payment of the said Sum of one hundred Dollars yearly & every year as aforesaid. And I do give and Devise unto the said John Lincoln and Hanna his wife the sum of Five hundred Dollars.
And I order and Direct my Executor herein after named to pay over the before mentioned Legacies to the several Legatees in one year after the Decease of my Wife.
Item. I give and Devise unto my Dear wife Catherine my Mansion house and lot of ground with the Appurtenances with so much of the furniture, goods and necessaries therein & thereon as she chooses to keep. To Hold the same to her during her Natural life. And after her decease, the same to become a part of the Residue of my Estate. And further I give & Devise unto my said Wife one first rate Cow And order and Direct my Executor herein after named to furnish & supply my said wife with sufficient pasture for the said Cow during the pasturing season & two tons of good hay to be put into the Mow all to be done yearly & every year during the natural life of my said Wife Catherine. And further I give and Devise unto my Dear wife aforesaid the Sum of Two Hundred Dollars -- yearly every year -- during her natural life one twelfth part thereof to be paid her every Month by my Executor herein after named. And further I order & Direct my Executor to supply & furnish my wife with sufficient fyerwood for her use at all times during her natural life.
Item. I give & Devise as follows to wit:
To my Grandson Richard VBoskirk Lincoln the Sum of one thousand Dollars.
To Rachel Lincoln the Sum of five hundred dollars.
To my Grandson Richard VBoskirk Son of Andrew VBoskirk the Sum of five hundred Dollars.
To Hanna VBoskirk Daughter of my Son Andrew the Sum of two hundred Dollars.
To the other children of my Son Andrew the Sum of one hundred & Eight Dollars, if more than one to be divided among them in equal portions. [Comment: by this time, Sarah, Walter, and perhaps Miles had been born. Perhaps they were not mentioned by name because Andrew had relocated his family to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. "Out of sight, out of mind."]
To Susanna Beitzel (a Niece of my wife) the Sum of one hundred Dollars.
To Maria Orwig Widow of Doc Orwig Dec. (a Niece of my wife) the Sum of twenty five Dollars.
The foregoing mentioned Legacies to be paid as follows Viz.:
To Richard VBoskirk Lincoln the Sum of five hundred Dollars within one year after my Decease. And the Residue or Sum of five hundred Dollars within one year after the Decease of my wife. [He was born in 1822.]
To my Grand daughter Rachel Lincoln in five years after my Decease. [She was born in 1825.]
To the Children of my son Andrew their Several Legacies whenever they Respectively Arrive to the age of twenty one years. Provided And if any or all of the Children of the said Andrew should so long live. And in case of the death of any of them before the [sic] arrive to the age of twenty one years then & in such case the Legacy before mentioned shall become a part of the Residue of my Estate.
To Susanna Beitzel to be paid into the hands of my wife her aunt in one year after my Decease to be at interest till she arrives at full age.
To Maria Orwig widow aforesaid in one year after my Decease.
Item. I give and Devise to my Grand Son Richard VBoskirk a Child of my Son John VBoskirk the sum of one thousand Dollars. [Comments: he was born on December 8, 1827, so Richard's will must have been written some time between then and his son George's deathon October 23, 1829. Also, his full name was John Richard Van Boskirk]
Item. I give and Devise to my Grand Daughters Catharine and Hanna, Children of my Son John to each of them the Sum of five hundred dollars. [Catharine was born in 1822 and Hannah in 1825.]
Item. Upon further consideration I give & Devise unto my Daughter Hanna Lincoln the further Sum of one thousand five hundred Dollars to be paid at the same time as the foregoing Devise to her husband & her.
Item. The Rest and Residue of my Estate both Real & personal I give & Devise unto my Son John VBoskirk during his natural life, and after his Decease to his Children in equal portions.
And further I do hereby Ordain & Appoint my Son John VBoskirk to be the Executor of this my last Will & Testament.
Witnessed by John G. Piper and John Hayes. Sworn and Subscribed on October 14, 1830 to Samuel Roush, Register.

Only three of Richard's son John's four children were mentioned in the will, his son Benjamin Franklin Van Boskirk not yet having been born. This oversight was rectified in John's will several years later.

Apparently, also, Catharine was not satisfied with the terms of Richard's will, particularly the annuity provision. She persuaded her stepson John to enter into an agreement dated October 14, 1830 to provide her with a larger amount on a yearly basis. He gave her a judgment bond for $8500, and she lived off the interest from this bond. As this was the price of her not contesting the will, she made off rather handsomely.

5. Catherine's Will and its Aftermath

In the intervening six years between Richard's and Catharine's deaths, Catharine apparently became so alienated from her stepchildren that they were totally excluded from her will. It is likely that the will -- dated November 4, 1835 -- was drawn up by her sister Barbara Grove, widow of Andrew Grove, as she was the chief beneficiary.

Here is the text of Catharine's will, filed 16 Feb 1836:

In the name of God Amen, I Catherine Van Boskirk Widow, of Richard van Boskirk, of Mifflinburg West Buffaloe township Union County, state of Pennsylvania, youman, being Weak of Body but sound of mind Memory and understanding, Blessed be god for the same, but considering the unsertainty [sic] of this transitory life do make and Publish this my last Will and testament in manner and form following to wit. Principally and first of all I command my immortal soul into the hands of God who gave it, and my Body to the Earth to be buryed in a decent and Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter named; and as to such worldly Estates wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give and dispose of the same in the following manner to wit, I give and bequeath unto my sister son Namely George Becker, the sum of one Hundred dollars. Item I give and bequeath unto Richard Orwig, Son of Mo Orwig Ded [i.e., Maria Orwig, deceased] the sum of Fifty Dollars. All the rest of my Property or my Personal Estate Bonds, Judgments, Notes, etc. and all my Cloath to my Sister Barbara Grove and her Heirs Widow of Andrew Grove, Ded, and last I make and proclaim my trusty friend John Montelius Executor of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand mark and seal this Fourth day of November 1835. [signed by Catherine Van Boskirk with her mark]
Signed sealed and published pronouncet [sic] and declared by the Said Testator as her last will and testament in the presence of us, who in her request have subscribed as witness. [signed by Marcus Montelius and Daniel Beakley]

When Catharine died in February of 1836, her stepson John and John Haus, stating that they had "intermarried daughters of sisters of the deceased," entered a caveat (13 Feb 1836) against Catharine's will. They asked that the will be disallowed, because it was not Catherine's will, being procured by "duress and constraint" -- and because she "was not of sufficient mind, memory, and understanding to make a will."

Although John Van Boskirk's name was withdrawn from the suit after he died later that year, other interested parties -- namely, Samuel and Barbara Hahn, Susan O'Donnel, and James W. Brown -- pressed the matter. Finally (14 Feb 1837), a jury found for Barbara Grove, awarding her damages of $5 -- rather an anticlimax, after all the fuss. (The jury, while giving her the legal victory, apparently had little sympathy for her.)

6. Who was Catherine Van Boskirk?

[Note: this section is still "under construction." Much work remains to be done, before all of the possibilities are sorted through and Catherine's most likely family of origin is identified -- unless we get lucky and one of her sister's descendants sees this and helps us solve the mystery! Please feel free to offer suggestions and information. REB.]

From the various names and relationships mentioned in Catherine's and Richard's wills, we can make a reasonable guess about who Catherine's parents might have been. In fact, we can make several reasonable guesses. But none of them has yet been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, since there seem to be more relationships than can easily be accounted for by any single theory. Here are some of those relationships that make Catherine's identity such a riddle:

A. We know that Miss Susanna Beitzel, unmarried as of 1828, was Catherine's niece.
B. We know that Barbara Grove was, in 1836, the widow of Andrew Grove and Catherine's "sister." She may also have been Barbara Freysinger who married David Fettrow; or she may also have been Barbara Waltman, whose sister married Jonathan Beitzel.
C. We know that George Becker was, in 1836, the son of Catherine's "sister." He may also have been Barbara Grove's son by another (previous?) marriage.
D. We know that Maria Orwig, widow of "Doc" Orwig as of 1828 and deceased as of 1836, was Catherine's niece and had a son named Richard.
E. We know that John Haus/Haas married by 1836 the daughter of Catherine's "sister."
F. We know that John Van Boskirk married the daughter of Catherine's "sister."
G. We know that Catherine's surname, prior to marrying Richard Van Boskirk, was Frissinger or Friessinger or Freysinger or some such variant.

Nevertheless, here are the principal possibilities about who Catherine Van Boskirk's parents were.

A. Was Catherine a Beitzel?

Johannes/John Beitzel/Beizel, born 12 Apr 1712 Germany, came to Dover Township, York County, Pennsylvania in 1737. He married first Maria Magdalena Miller/Weller (1719-ca. 1748) and married second Anna Elizabeth Eberhard. His oldest son, Jonathan Beitzel (b. 1737), married Mary Magdalena ___, and they had a son, Jonathan Beitzel Jr. (b. ca. 1770), who married first about 1799 to Anna Maria ___ (b. ca. 1780, d. by 1807) and married second in January 1808 to Susanna Waltman (b. 1771? 1786? in Northampton County, Pennsylvania). Susannah's parents were Conrad Valentine Waltman Jr. and Catherine Biebber/Beaver, who married about 1758. Susanna had a sister Barbara (b. 1781 in Northampton County, Pennsylvania), who may have been the Barbara who married Andrew Grove, and who was sister and chief beneficiary of Catherine ___ Van Boskirk in her 1836 will.

Jonathan Beitzel Jr. and Susanna Waltman Beitzel had four children: Elisabeth b. 28 Aug 1808, Anna Mary b. 17 Sep 1809, John b. ca. 1812, and Susanna b. 11 Sep 1814. This youngest child may be the Susanna Beitzel who was a minor in 1828, when Richard Van Boskirk wrote his will and listed her as a niece of his wife, Catherine. She would be a niece of Barbara Waltman (?) Grove and therefore also a niece of Catherine ___ Van Boskirk, if Catherine were Barbara's sister.

If "sister" is to be taken literally as either sister or sister-in-law (rather than some inter-generational relation, such as niece or cousin), then there are only five apparent ways that Catherine ___ Van Boskirk could, in some sense, be the sister of Barbara Waltman Grove:

(1) Catherine is Barbara's actual sister. This is not likely, since there is no Catherine among the list of 6 or so children of the Waltman family.
(2) Catherine is Barbara's sister-in-law by virtue of having married one of Barbara's brothers. This is not likely, since there is no Catherine among her brothers' spouses.
** Unfortunately, these are the only two ways that Catherine could be both the aunt of Susanna Waltman Beitzel's daughter Susanna and the sister of Barbara Waltman Grove.
(3) Catherine is Barbara's sister-in-law by virtue of being the sister of Barbara's husband. This is possible, since it is not yet known whether Andrew Grove had any siblings and more specifically a sister named Catherine.
(4) Catherine is Barbara's sister-by-marriage by virtue of being the wife of Barbara's husband's brother. This is possible, since it is not yet known whether Andrew Grove had any siblings and more specifically a brother with wife named Catherine.
** Unfortunately, neither of these ways allows Catherine to be the aunt of Susanna Waltman Beitzel's daughter, Susanna. At most, Susanna is the niece Andrew Grove, who is either Catherine's brother or Catherine's husband's brother.
(5) If Catherine were Jonathan Beizel's sister, then she would have been an aunt to Susanna Waltman Beitzel's daughter, Susanna. Perhaps she therefore also thought of herself as Barbara's sister, by virtue of being a sister-in-law to Barbara's sister Susanna.
(6) If Catherine were married to Jonathan Beitzel's brother, then she would have been an aunt to Susanna Waltman Beitzel's daughter, Susanna. Perhaps she therefore also thought of herself of Barbara's sister, by virtue of being a sister-by-marriage to Barbara's sister Susanna.
** Unfortunately, neither of these ways allows Catherine to be the sister or sister-in-law or sister-by-marriage of Barbara.

Either Catherine is a sister to Barbara Waltman Grove and/or an aunt to Susanna Beitzel in some extended sense, or she is both literally and the information currently known about Barbara and Susanna Waltman's sisters and brothers' spouses is incomplete, or Barbara Waltman is not the woman who married Andrew Grove and was Catherine's sister.

* Wilhelm Beitzel came to US in 1792 -- Note: Catherine (Friesinger?) Van Boskirk said in 1836 will that she had niece (great-niece?) Susanna Beitzel, nephew (great-nephew?), as well as sister Barbara Grove. Strongly suspect she is related to this family, but how?? Based on marriage dates of children below, Wilhelm was probably born about 1765 in Germany. Catherine was born in 1770. Thus, if she was his sister, Catherine Beitzel, she too was born in Germany and probably came here when he did and/or with her husband ___ Frissinger/Freisinger whom she presumably married about 1790-1800. The Susanna Beitzel who was Catherine's niece was not yet of age when Richard VB wrote his will in 1828, so she was born sometime after 1807. Supposing that she was Daniel's daughter, she could have been born any time between his marriage in 1822 and Richard's will in 1828. Or, she may have been William's daughter. The Magdalena Frantz (sometimes listed as Magdalen Grove, but Grove or Groffe was her mother's maiden name) who married Daniel Beitzel in 1822 may have been a relative of Catherine's sister Barbara ___ (Beitzel?) Grove. The nephew (great-nephew?) George Becker may have been a son of Susanna or Leah, and the niece (great-niece?) Maria Orwig may have been a daughter of William, Elizabeth, or Susanna.
1. William
2. Elizabeth m. 19 Jan 1808 Daniel Miller--b. ca. 1785-90
3. Susanna
4. Daniel m. 14 Apr 1822 Magdalena Frantz--b. ca. 1800
a. Lea chr. 02 Apr 1832
5. Leah

[To be continued -- June 2000, Roger E. Bissell]