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Letters 01/21/2017 More about Westerfield Massacre

posted Feb 7, 2017, 3:52 PM by Pam Ellingson

By Ron Belcher, a descendant who has spent many years in research. (This is the first installment of this VERY interesting story by Mr. Belcher)

Jacobus Westerfelt, who died at the massacre, had a brother named Jan (born 1734, #224, pg. 37 of the Walter Tallman Westervelt's book of the Westervelt Genealogy that I have attached to this e-mail for reference). That Jan was not at Kentucky.

Jan who was at the massacre was born in 1744 (#228, page 55, married Anaetje Dye). Jan was the son of Gerritt Westervelt (#74, page 37, born 1724). Gerritt was the son of Jan Westervelt (#19, page 28, born 1686). Walter Tallman Westervelt listed three known children of Jan and Anaetje as Gerret, Marya and Lea who match by given name three of those who died at the massacre.

Jacobus (Jacobus Jr.) at the massacre was born in 1737 (#225, page 37, married Maria DeMarest). Jacobus was the son of another Jacobus (#70, page 36, born 1712). This second Jacobus (Jacobus Sr.) was the son of Jan Westervelt (#19, page 28, born 1686).

Thus Jacobus and Jan were first cousins who were the grandchildren of Jan Westervelt who himself was born in 1686.

There apparently were three girls at the massacre who were known as Lea and/or Leah based upon different source documents. Most frequently, Jan's daughter is referred to as Leah, however, Walter Tallman Westervelt lists her name as Lea. Gets confusing. Lea and Leah were frequently Anglicized to be the same spelling, sometimes interchangeable.

The Ms. Strong interview by Draper was on microfiche, Louisville Public Library. Here are my transcribed notes for that Draper Source:

v  Draper manuscripts, interview called Shame – Campbell. Original source: Draper, Lyman Copeland. 1735. Collection of Lyman Copeland Draper Manuscripts [Microfilm]. Louisville Public Library. Louisville, KY.  Series CC, Vol. 13, p 84, Also, Vince Aker’s article in de halve maen, summer 1780. Ms. Strong was living at Cincinnati when the interview was conducted. At her earlier age she was a settler at Beargrass Creek (New Holland Station/Low Dutch Station), Jefferson CO, KY.

…Westerfelt’s family killed going to Harrodsburgh, near Bullit’s lick. (Bullit’s Lick is in Bullitt County, Kentucky.) Samuel Westerfelt, and his sister got back. This the same summer of 1780…

Interview with Miss Campbell, a settlerat the New Holland, Low Dutch Station, founded at May of 1780 by the newly arrived Dutch settlers.

Regarding the Swans (James, father and daughter, Betsy).  I was forwarded this information a few years back and will simply pass it along as it is pertinent to the Westervelt roster, timing and route of travel.

… On Sunday, Jas Swan was moving from 'tother side of Linn's Station somewhere, up to Floyd's to go with these Westerfelts next morning. The Indians attacked him between Linn's Station and Floyd's, and came so near that they got the loading from under the girl on horseback and she clung to the mane while the horse ran off with her to the station. He had moved up what else he had and left this for the last. He was on foot with his gun beside her. They jerked the load from under her. About 12 years she was. And she pitched on the horse's mane & clung on. Her father got in through the woods.

An early portion of the journey by the Westervelt Caravan obviously was departure from Linn Station southward toward Harrod's Town. For its starting point, guides originated at Floyd's Station, Westervelt from Low Dutch Station, Swan from Linn Station. Starting point for other travels might be determined with further research - which I

have not undertaken as it wouldnot materially affect the massacre events, roster or timing in history.


Regardless, I will sign off for now. My apologies if any of this is confusing or unclear. I had to hurry just a bit as my schedule is quite busy today. I did request approval from Bluegrass Roots and will let you know soon. regards for now - Ron
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