Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#476 - Johannes Spanknable (1747-1825)

Johannes is my Revolutionary Patriot ancestor (my 6th great-grandfather) and even though I have traced my lineage back to Johannes; I have not research all his descendants. Therefore, this will be my new project, as I research and search for his descendants (both living and deceased), I will be recording my research here so that I can then share a link back to the Facebook page I created for Johannes located at https://www.facebook.com/JohannesSpanknable?ref=bookmarks.

From The Story of Old Fort Plain and the Middle Mohawk Valley by Nelson Greene, O’Connor Brothers Publishers, Fort Plain, New York, 1915, page 65; it states that John Spankable (now Sponable) house was located within a radius of five or six miles from Nicholas Rechtor’s house. Rechtor was located about three miles west of the stone grist mill Sir William Johnson had built for the use of that region which was then known as Tilleborough.  This was known as the settlement of Ephratha (New York).

The first document I reviewed was his Revolutionary War Pension file, there is a photocopy of his bible pages. It is written in German and the edges of the pages are torn but you can see the first date is 1747. It looks like it might be his birth date. The next date is 1770 which I believe is his marriage date to Elizabeth Kring. Followed by 1754, which I believe is his wife’s birth date. Then there are a series of more dates and even though I can’t make out all the months, it appears they are followed by the day of month. These appear to be the births of seven of his nine children. These dates match closely to an article that was printed in the newspaper (shown with an asterisk after their birth date below)  when Johannes’s papers were donated by Delos Hoffman (his 2nd great-grandson). This newspaper article list nine children as follows:


Ursula born Feb 17, 1772* married to William Smith
Philip born August 11, 1773* married Nancy Youlker
John born Sept 19, 1775* (married Elizabeth Lighthall)
Harmanius (aka Harmon/Herman) born June 7, 1782* married Elizabeth Cool
Henry born May 2, 1784* married Catherine Cool (served War of 1812)
Katherine born Nov 15, 1786*, married Alexander Remour
Anna Elizabeth born March 22, 1789* married Jacob Youker, Jr
Christopher born April 9, 1791, died Jun 12, 1792
Anna Elizabeth born March 22, 1793 married Philip Cool

I added John’s spouse, which didn’t appear in the article. This branch of the family (my branch) had moved out of the area and settled in Marengo County, Illinois area. I also added the aka Harmon/Herman because I have found Harmanius listed as Harmon and as Herman. I have also found that Henry and Harmanius seem to get confused and currently I have the same descendants listed under both sons. I hope to clear this up with my research project.

So far, Johannes has sparked 13 DAR applications. 1 through his daughter Ursula, 2 through his son Philip, 2 through his son John Jr, 1 through his son Henry and finally 7 through his son Harmon.

I have found that some on-lines trees have added another daughter Anna Sponable 1780-1846. However, I haven’t been able support this with other documents at this time. Since the bible pages did include births in this date range, I wonder why this is not included. Plus perhaps this woman is actually a spouse of a Sponable. Also, the trees list she is buried in Fort Plain, Montgomery County, New York, and this might be the Anna Sponable with no readable dates on her stone buried between George and Philip Sponable.  George Sponable who died 16 Nov 1851 age 46 years, 10 mos and 8 days. Philip Sponable’s stone is unreadable. So until I can figure out who George is and any possible relationship to a Philip and Anna, I will not include her as Johannes Spanknable’s child at this time.

I also found interesting information about Johannes in the Compendium of Early Mohave Valley Families by Maryly B Penrose, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, © 1990, page 761.

Under Birth/Baptism: Spanknebel, Johannes & Elisabeth [?]: Herman, b. 6/7/1782; bapt. 6/9/1782 (DRGF:58). Sponsors” Joh:  Ludw:  Kring & Maria. This matches Harmanius birth date listed in the newspaper article (mentioned above) plus the bible pages, previously mentioned.

Under Death Record: Spanneknebel, Christopher, d. 6/12/1792, age 1 year, 2 months, 3 days; buried 6/14/1792 (RDSA:233). This too matches Christopher’s information included in the newspaper article. However, the bible didn't include any dates after 1789.

Under Probate Abstract: Spanknable, Johannes, (of Palatine), will dated 9/8/1825; probated 12/26/1827. legatees: wife, Elisabeth; sons, Philip, John (decd. & his heirs), Henry, Harmanus (decd, & his Henry H., Philip, John, Catharine and Harriet); daus., Ursula (wife of William Smith & her daus.), Elizabeth (wife of Jacob Youker) and Maria (wife of Philp Cool, Jr.). Executors: son, Philip; son-in-law, Jacob Youker; Christopher Getman. (WMC 57:270). This listed all his children except Katherine.  

To date, I have been unable to find any further information on Katherine or her husband Alexander Remour. Perhaps they moved out of the area and had a falling out and thus he didn't include her. According to another descendant, he has seen Elisebeth’s (Johannes Wife) will and she included Katherine. I hope to get a copy of that will, for clues on Katherine’s whereabouts.

Under Pension Abtract: Spanknable, John, m. Elizabeth [?], 2/9/1770; d. 12/20/1825. (Elizabeth Spanknable, b. 1751/2; resident of Ephratah, Montgomery Co., N.Y. on 10/11/1836) John enlisted and served as a private in Cap. Nicolas Richter’s Co., Col. Jacob Klock’s 2nd Regt., Tyron CO., Militia; he fought in the battle of Oriskany and was captured by the enemy; John was taken to Canada where he remained a prisoner for upwards of four years.

In the Syracuse and its Environs: a history by Franklin H chase, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. New York and Chicago, 1924, pg 123.

Johannes Spanknable (Anglicized Sponable), upon coming to the Mohawk Valley of New York, settled at Ephratah, Fulton County, and when the colonies were fighting the Indians he enlisted in the Tryon County militia, serving under Colonel Joseph Klock. He was later captured by Indians, and while in their hands was claimed by a young Indian maiden as her own, but upon his refusing to take her for his wife, he was attacked, clubbed into unconsciousness, and left as dead. He recovered and made his way to a British camp, where he expected succor, but instead, was sold into slavery and held by a Frenchman for four years before he could escape and return to his home. When the colonies took up arms against the mother country, he proved his loyalty by enlisting in a New York command and was engaged in a battle fought near Johnstown, New York. He married Elizabeth Kring, founded a family and died in 1823, at Palatine, Montgomery County, New York.

As you can see, in the above paragraph his death date appears incorrect. How could his will be dated 1825 if he died in 1823. His military pension states he died on 20 December 1825 so this is the date I will go with.

Finally, on his FindAGrave memorial, it lists his birth date as 1741 and his death date as Sep 12, 1827. However, the picture of the stone does not show any of this information. My question, did the person who created this memorial add this information herself? Where did she get this information? The creator also had that Johannes arrived in Philadelphia aboard the ship “Boston” in Nov 1754. In 1770 he married Elizabeth Kring in Clarkstown, Rockland Co, N.Y. They moved to Fulton co. where they had 8 children. Johannes served in the Revolutionary War. After the war he returned to his family where he farmed and did tailoring work.

Was Johannes only 7 when he arrived here? Was he an indentured servant or did he come with parents? Who were the eight children, who is the creator missing that I have? Where did the creator find this information?

In conclusion I have decided on the following facts, until I find anything that changes this…
Johannes was born in 1747 (according to his bible).  He married Elizabeth Kring on 9 Feb 1770 and moved to Ephratha, Fulton Co, New York. He had nine children of whom he mentioned eight in his will (please note this is a transcribed will and it might be missing the ninth child). He died on 20 Dec 1825 and two of his sons, John Jr and Harmanus (Harmon/Herman) died before him. His wife Elizabeth was born in 1754 and died on 17 Jan, 1843 (according to her Final Payment Voucher).

Perhaps not the most concrete of facts, but I am happy with what I found and that I have supporting documents for my conclusions. Next I am moving onto his first child, Ursula and will be using the DAR application as my first clue of her descendants. 

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