When I started this post, I really didn’t know if I had any connections to New Jersey. A quick search of my database pulled up a few events that occurred in New Jersey, one being the birth of my third great-grandaunt’s husband, Vanrancelar Cash VLIET. (Note: There are many variations on the spelling of his first name, but this is the one I chose.)
According to the book History and Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster Family of Connecticut , Vanrancelar was born on 20 March 1829 at Oxford Township in Warren County, New Jersey.1 The book also lists his parents as “William V. and Martha A. Vliet;” his death certificate, as reported by his son, further states Martha Axford as his mother.2 Beyond this, I had no other information on Vanrancelar or his parents. So I did a little digging.
There is an index on FamilySearch that has births for New Jersey covering the period I needed, but I didn’t find anything for Vanrancelar, although there were lots of Vliets. I then proceeded to check out the marriage records on FamilySearch and did find an entry for William VLIET and Martha AXFORD, married on 1 July 1821 in Sussex County, New Jersey.
Okay, so I’ve confirmed that his parents were married in New Jersey and the county of Sussex neighbors the county of Warren. So the probability that Vanrancelar was born in New Jersey is looking good.
As it turns out, William and Martha probably lived in or around the same place when they married (1821) and when Vanrancelar was born (1829) because Warren County was formed from Sussex in 1824. Some more digging, particularly the 1830 census, heightens this suspicion, as they were probably one of the three William Vliet households living in Independence Township, Warren, New Jersey, a neighboring township to Oxford Township where Vanrancelar was allegedly born.3 (Two of the households that are the most likely are the “William Vliet Jun” household and the “William V Vliet” household. Without doing extensive research on this family, I don’t know which for sure, but my guess would be the “William V Vliet simply based on the ages and number of children.)
This is further supported with the fact that by 1850, the family was living in Independence Township, Oakland, Michigan, which just happens to be named after Independence Township in New Jersey.4
Vanrancelar married my third great-grandaunt, Polly Ann WEBSTER on 24 December 1852 in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan.5 Polly, daughter of Calvin Price WEBSTER and Betsey PARKS, was born 15 September 1831 and died on 12 March 1910 in Clarkston, Oakland, Michigan.6 Vanrancelar died on 9 March 1915 in Clarkston, Oakland, Michigan.7 They had seven known children:8
- Eugene (1853-1931)
- Elmer (1856-1926)
- Franklin Webster (1858-??)
- Nettie Elizabeth (1864-1943)
- Roland Trowbridge (1867-1939)
- William (1872-1873)
- Clarence (1876-1971)
Vanrancelar served in the Civil War (Company E, 1st Michigan Infantry) and “was present at the surrender of General Lee.”9
1. William Holcomb Webster and Rev. Melville Reuben Webster D. D., History and Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster Family of Connecticut With Numerous Portraits and Illustrations (Rochester, New York: E. R. Andrews Printing Co., 1915), 1362.
2. Ibid. Also, Michigan Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 4 (written), 351 (stamped) (1915), Vanransealor Vliet; digital image, Archives of Michigan, “Death Records, 1897-1920,” Seeking Michigan (seekingmichigan.org : accessed September 24, 2010).
3. 1830 U.S. census population schedule, Independence Township, Warren County, New Jersey, p. 7; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M19, roll 82. All three households appear on the same page.
4. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Independence, Oakland County, Michigan, p. 33, dwelling 419, family 419, William Vliet; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 360.
5. Oakland County, Michigan, Marriage Records, 1827-1919, D: 304, Vliet-Webster, 1852; FHL microfilm 973,980.
6. Sarah Norton (Webster) (Coffinger) Mulligan, Family Bible Records, 1801-1936, Holy Bible (unknown: unknown, ca. 1850), privately held by Julie Marie Cahill Tarr, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Pekin, Illinois; This Bible belonged to Sarah Norton Webster; it was given to her by her father Calvin Price Webster in 1853. It is believed that the chain of custody is as follows: Sarah Norton (Webster) (Coffinger) Mulligan, to Sarah Jane (Mulligan) Garrison, to Emma (Garrison) McMahon, to Joan Garrison (McMahon) Cahill, to Joseph Cahill, to Jean (Miller) Cahill, to Julie (Cahill) Tarr (current owner). The bible is in critical condition; very frail and falling apart. Also, Michigan Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 4 (1914), Pollie Ann Vliet; digital image, Archives of Michigan, “Death Records, 1897-1920,” Seeking Michigan (www.seekingmichigan.org : accessed September 24, 2010).
7. Michigan death certificate 4 (written), 351 (stamped) (1915), Vanransealor Vliet.
8. Webster and Webster, History and Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster Family of Connecticut, 1362. Also, various other records including marriage and death records of the children.