HEACOCK SURNAME RESOURCE CENTER

This is a new copy of an old "journal" found in my aunt "Ted's" home at Bear Lake Michigan after her death. It was copied (finished) June 4 1904 by Elizabeth Heacock nee McGarvey. She was Leander Heacock's wife and they were my (Kenneth Stephens Heacock) great grandparents..

Rachel Heacock (nee Webb) lived in "Newmarket", Ontario And was the daughter of Clayton Webb as mentioned in the article. I seem to need a Webb Gedcom so I keep all this straight.
This is also a good example of the evolution of the English language. Apparently the paragraph had not been invented yet. The sentence had been invented but was still larger than a breadbox!
This little journal gave me a better feeling for what the Quakers went through in Pennsylvania and Canada West than anything I had read before it. I have no proof of accuracy but I felt as though I understood so much more after reading it and I feel it should have a place here. It was transcribed at Croswell, Mich. May 18, 1904.

Reminiscences of former days of Clayton Webb.

"It Has been on my mind to pen down some account of our forefathers and thine first settlement and progress. Some accounts given by my father as I often heard him relate them. Some of which were handed down by his parents and many from his sight or experience. My great grandfather John Webb and grandmother came from Yorkshire, England while in their teens about the year 1690 in the early settling of Pennsylvania in which they settled near where the town of Reading is now where they raised a strong healthy robust family fitted to face a wilderness country. But I may have to say they were termed sold to pay their passage across the ocean, on landing in America being to poor to bear the expense there, of the price of which must be paid before they could go for themselves. Grandfather in them times had to do work by the hardest of hand-there being no labor saving machines then, through industry and perseverance, he got a good farm, have heard to say he was a great man to thrash with a flail. One day when he was thrashing being a great smoker "as too many in this day are" He dropped fire in the straw and while he carried some away, the blaze got so much head way, he could not put the fire out, when he saw all go, he threw his pipe as far as he could into the flames and never smoked after from accounts, they prospered and lived to a good old age as their children grew to men and women, they scattered away several of them as my father used to relate went to Kentucky others to Maryland one uncle David, he used to tell us, he went south. I think he used to say he had seventeen children. Father had no account of them after their going there. My grandfather John Webb and one brother uncle Samuel Webb moved back into the woods on the Susquehanna near the mouth of Fishing Creek about the year 1770. Near that time grandfather Clayton moved from the state of New Jersey and settled near Cottawissa where he lived and died about the age of 96. I may say a man much beloved and highly respected by all that knew him, his name was Thomas and grandmother's name was Maney Clayton. They raised six children to be men and women, five daughters and one son the youngest named William who kept the homestead and married Rebecca Collins daughter of Joseph and Mary Collins by whom he had three children, two sons and one daughter, after that Uncle married a Dutch woman and raised a large family. Grandfather Clayton emigrated from Wales when he was young. When he left New Jersey, he left one daughter (Content) behind, she stayed and married there to John Randon where she lived to old age. She had two sons, John and Parnell both died before arriving to manhood. The four daughters lived at home until married. My mother was the eldest of them. My father was born 21-8th-month-1755 near Reading, Pa. and my mother 17 of 11th month-1759. Uncle George my father's eldest brother married the next daughter Hannah. Thomas Vanhorn married Elizabeth, David Jennings married Lydia, all the uncles and aunts came to Canada and died there excepting David Jennings who died in Pa. To return to Grandfather Webb settling on the Susquehanna. He took up a lot of excellent bottom land on which the town of Bloonsberry now stands. But the Revolutionary War coming soon after Grandfather being a strong loyalist when the Republican Government was set up his land was all confiscated leaving him without one foot of land with a large family though scattered, there being five sons and four daughters. Geo. went to Philadelphia in the first of the war to the British to escape there sailed to New York through some intrigue the British officers told him he was enlisted and kept him in the service seven years until the close of the war. He then went to Nova Scotia a few years, came back to his people again, married Hannah Clayton, settled at Pine Grove, remained there until 1805, when he removed his family to Canada settled in Unbridge where he and his wife died in old age. Their children all lived to marry and have families one son, Issiach still lives in Indiana at the advance age of 86 and is smart. To return to my father's history he used to say he thought he remembered one circumstance when four years old his parents left him alone for a short time when he missed them he could not find them, he began to cry and went in the house got in the cradle and went to sleep. In those times schools were few, I have heard him say three months was the main schooling he got yet he learned to read sufficiently well to read his bible through a number of times and other books, such as he possessed though few, in number. I have heard him say when four (or fourteen???) it was his business to hunt the cows in the woods, and being active with a rifle he was indulged to carry one and about that time shot a fine bear they being plentiful in an almost wilderness country. In their first settling on the Susquehanna they had to cross the broad and little mountains to their old settlement near Reading. He used to relate an account of one trip he and, I think three of the neighbors, each a team in a cold winter to mill having none nearer, an entire woods, road just logs and brush removed. He mostly spoke of their coming home with sleighs in a uncommonly cold times and an unusually depth of fresh snow just fallen and they would take turns forward to brake the road. One day while crossing the broad mountains father's team was ahead there was a rather elderly man, who had a small span of horses and they had allowed him to go behind as the road would be broken. Father being ahead they called to him that the old man was freezing, he not being able to walk and run as the others did. Father ran back found the old man, sitting on his sleigh speechless and that in deep snow in the wilderness, and as woodsmen usually carried flint steel and punk, it seemed providence so ordered a tree had fallen in summer being yet full of dry leaves some went to rubbing the man and father to strike and make a fire which they soon had and after some time of labor they got him so far recovered as to place him on his sleigh and being well wrapped up with their horse blankets they drove on till night, put up at a shanty and no shelter for their horses and very poor for themselves, Oh children how shall we sufficiently thankful for the many comforts a kind providence has favored us with, seriously consider it, in the early part of the revolution of 1776 fathers troubles began the new government called all militia men they could raise, he refusing to go and to escape their lands, he went to the woods and I have heard him say he was there months that summer, he never slept on a bed and mostly in the woods. Father and James McNeil were comrades in the fall they ventured to go to a back settler's house of their acquaintance thinking they might be pretty safe but their enemies had got some knowledge of them and came with a company of armed men. Sometime in the evening the men of the house going outside heard men coming he turned to the door and said boys they are coming. James McNeil jumped and ran for the woods in the dark they shot at him but did not hurt him. Father stayed in the house and was taken prisoner they set a guard over him for the night then put him in old spring house, as a prisoner where they left him for several days, then had sort of a trial but failed to prove anything against him sufficient to detain or punish him so they let him go. There were no comforts in the spring house for resting or sleeping and when he laid down it-it was on the nude floor,. One day he lain down on some boards or timber and went to sleep, when he dreamed he saw two young women strangers come in arm in arm when inside the door they separated one remaining, the other coming to him as he lay on his back with hands crossed over his breast, she laid her hand on his hands pressing lovingly and said Isaac what is thee here for, He seemed to reply "I don't know unless to gratify a set of wicked men" she said "keep thy place and they can't hurt thee", she then left him joined her companion at the door and they departed as they came and he awoke in tears. Many times I have heard him relate this circumstance when he was a very old man and would in tears finish, by adding "if I know myself I have always tried to keep my place" although this was a dream he felt there was a teaching for him in it and that he learned a useful lesson by it, I think soon after this father McNeil and uncle Job, on account of being annoyed as militia men went to New York, then to Long Island where they stayed until the next summer, Uncle Jobe never came back until 1805, on a visit father and McNeil returned the next summer they report-soon was out that they had come back and some of their enemies were very anxious to get them but they kept out of their hands for a while but getting tired of living in that way, they sent word to the court, that if they would give them a fair trial at court they would come in and give themselves up, the promise was sent that they should have request-they came in and had their trial in court, I think in Lunberg, the court did not prove anything against so they were dismissed and given liberty to go home, but when their enemies who sought their lives heard of their freedom they were so enraged they raised a mob of men and came to the courthouse and the leader demanded them Tories as he called them. But the lawyers forbid them to enter the door and stood in it while their leader struck down on each side of him with sword with violent threats that he would have them and hang or shoot them, the court had privately sent for a troop of soldiers that was near by when they came in sight the mob very soon dispersed and the prisoners were set at liberty to go home, then came their fear of being waylaid and shot. They stayed until dark night, then having many miles to go and much of that through woods caused them a hard night travel, but they reached their homes in safety where many hearts rejoiced to see them. I think father was not much troubled in that way, after, but then the Indian troubles came about in 1779. Father was making preparations for settling himself. He and his father's family machin the woods in the fall of the year., they had prepared their winter provisions. All at once, there came an alarm that the Indians were coming, nearly causing the entire new settlers to leave their homes in such haste, they could take but little. The settlers went down the Susquehanna River to the old settlement, Then they had to provide for the winter as best they could which was hard. Father and mother were married about New Years' when they were driven from their homes, in the fall father was not satisfied to leave things so he, after a few days when the Indians appeared to be gone again wanted to get some men and go back and look for their horses they left as they pastured in the woods and too look after anything else that might be left, but he could not get a man to go with him, he then resolved to go alone and see what he could, so he took his rifle and went alone. I have heard my father say, it was the most melancholy day he ever saw. Nearly all the homes in the new settlement were burned down some yet smoking, not hardly a living animal excepting dogs that had been left behind, there were a number of them and they were howling most lamentably which made the sight more gloomy he never saw an Indian but many tracks. Father saw the tracks of horses that he knew to be their horses, had been tied to a fence by a house where he was satisfied they were loaded with such things as they found in the house. So he returned home only to feel that all their former prospects were gone and now to face what in some respects might be called an unfriendly world. I have heard him relate a circumstance of an Indian alarm, A report of the Indians coming there was a family living a little out of the settlement. Grand father was working with the old man a little distance from the house a job they thought they must finish before leaving. Father fearing the danger he and one Samuel Davis went on horse back one evening and pleaded with them to leave immediately but they would not believe the danger was so near, so the next morning the old man went to their work and the others to their homes, it's reported that the Indians were near they had encamped near the road, they had to have, according to the circumstance related by a white man who was with the Indians at the time, he related this after the war was over, as father and David were riding along the Indians saw them and I think the white man said the Indians wanted to shoot them but he told them not to shoot them but to take them prisoners, there being a bend in the road the Indians thought to get ahead of them (father and David) but fortunately for them there was a bog in their way which gave the horsemen time to escape from them immediately after five of the Indians went to the house where the mother and three daughters, young women, I think, the first women knew of them, three great Indians sprang in at the door and gave a fearful Indian whoop and wanted to know where but getting no satisfaction they tried to alarm the women all they could. I remember it was said there was a fat hog in a pen they went and killed it, then came in the house with the spear all bloody and told the woman they had found her husband and had killed him and that was his blood, they kept telling them, they should take them with them and they should be their wives, causing all the alarm possible to the women and insisting on knowing where the men were, they must go with them and be their wives, they clung to one another and pulled back until the Indians were tired of alarming them., then they left without hurting anyone when it was near night. It was said the Indians had not much more than got out sight on the one side when the old man came into sight from the other way, had they come a little sooner they doubtless would have been killed or taken prisoners.

Another circumstance I have heard father relate which probably occurred the next spring, two men and a boy were making sugar ( Peter Pence an elderly man Moses VanCamp a young man and a boy thirteen). A company of seven Indians came upon them when far back in the woods, the Indians took them immediately away and tied at night they tied them all to down to the ground, they went up the Susquehanna intending to take them to Canada, after traveling several days they left the boy without tying, VanCamp seeing this and getting an opportunity told the boy when he could find the Indians all asleep to get a knife and cut him loose which he did, then Moses cut the old man loose, next he secured all the guns and tomahawks. Then he took a tomahawk and gave one to Peters and told him when I strike you strike and do all you can. But the old man heart failed, he could not strike a blow, VanCamp want his might and from his own account he killed six of them on the spot and the seventh jumped and ran, as he ran Moses threw his tomahawk and stuck it in his back and he carried it always with him, then they were left to get back home as they could. Being near the river they went to work and with logs and poles and the use of switches made a sort of raft on which they floated down the river to the older settlement where they arrived safely and gave the above account. Father was well acquainted with both men, afterwards Moses VanCamp settled in New York State. Some years having elapsed he was a log raising and being on one of the corners, saw the escaped Indian coming, the Indian also knew him and his friendly manner made VanCamp feel very uncomfortable ( when he was ready to go home which was near night _ he watched)- an opportunity to steal away unobserved by the Indian fearing he might wish to accompany him and much preferring to go alone, I think his way was by footpath through the woods for some distance, after a time he heard a noise as one trotting along behind which he at once supposed to be the pat pat of Indian feet, to run he thought was useless so kept his pace until the Indian came up to him and tapped on his shoulder and told him not to be afraid, he would not harm him saying it is peace now.

Father and mother's first settlement was near the Susquehanna, near the mouth of Fishing Creek, when they had two children about the year of 1783 came the pumpkin flood perhaps the most alarming flood ever seen on that river. I have heard my parents relate the circumstances often, the rain fell for one day and one night alarming fast they said, the water raised twenty one feet in the river in one night. Their house was on high ground but the water rose until it was as high in the house as the table and for their safety they moved to higher ground. About this time a man came with a canoe for father to go with him to relieve a family on the other side of the river who had been blowing their horn most of the night when the men got to the house the family was up in the loft, they said the house had several times appeared as if it started the flood. It was so strong against it the men got the family out at an upper window and landed them safe on high land then father returned to his family where almost all of their little property was swept away. I have heard them say the river was so covered with Pumpkins to look as far as one could see up and down seemed to be yellow, which gave it the name of pumpkin flood. It caused much suffering to many and much hard work to replace their fences and other property that was carried away. Father had to continue to rent farms, the fore part of 1790, he leased a piece of land on Caltawissa Creek, about a mile and a half

above Caltawissa town where he lived until 1806. In the spring of 1805 brother Job came to Canada with Uncle George Webb"s family they settled in Unbridge. Brother Job drew 200 acres government land for forty dollars on which he settled. He Married Sarah Eves about the first of 1809 went on his land lived there until about 1821, then removed to 7 concession of King where he died in January 1834. But to go back while father lived at caltawassa he had a house burned and pretty much of what was in it., While he did all he could to save some of his household goods, he got his hands badly burned which gave him great pain. He had heard of a Dutch woman ( Jane Rafe ) a neighbor woman that could take out fire in such cases without much faith he went to the woman took his hand in hers and something quitely and blew her breath on them, the pain left them in a few minutes and were very little sore after, the loss of his house with the many hardships he had undergone well might discourage him I have heard him say one day after this fire as he was going to his work he got on a fence, set a while lamenting, his discourage condition, it seemed to him as if he never should be able to support his family comfortably, while he sat in deep meditation it seemed to him to run through his mind Lord give me food and rament and let me be therewith content.

He used to say that the burdem of his mind seemed to be taken away and he went to his work with a much lighter heart than usual and from that day to this he would say things looked more pleasant and prosperous. He used to say he could see no prospect of having a home of his own, after laboring for 12 or 15 years he made up his mind to remove to Canada and try his fortune in what was then all most a wilderness. Maney my eldest sister had been married to John Hartman in the fore part of 1803. I was about four years old, I yet remember perfectly well of seeing them load a wagon and John and Maney get on and start away. In the fall of 1805, In the fall of 1805, Job returned home, father making preperations to move the next spring.

We started in the forepart of the fifth month with quite a caravan about 33 people and 4 wagons. Father had of his own two wagons 4 horses to one, two horses and a yoke of oxen to the other and 7 cows. In the new country cows were scarce. Our family, Rose, Johnathan Goulds, John Hilborns, Jesse Teats and wife, judge it to be slow traveling with cows and oxen and was worse sometimes very strong sometimes deep mud and nothing to remark until coming to the Black house where they found some shelter for a part of the people nearly always some slept in the wagons, as was common for woods men to talk about hunting the men of the house soon told them of a deer lick not far away. Father at once concluded to go the next morning and try his luck there had been elk, there sometimes. Next morning he and two others with their rifles started soon as they could see. They had only marks on bushes and trees to guide them to the place but suceeded in finding it when they came within moderate rifle shot, they saw a large elk take a few jumps upon a rise of ground and stand broadside to them. Father shot the elk it ran a little way and fell dead, that circumstance detained them a day in order to get their prize to camp, dress, prepared and cooked what they could carry with them, Their host said "there had been many inside the same but no one had ever done like that before". Father was a great hunter. I have heard him say he kept a record until he had killed three hundred and he killed some after that. He was about eighty years of age when he killed the last one somewhere I n the southwest of where Annona now stands then he said he killed the last deer he pointed a gun at. He also killed many bears and wolves in his time yet he used to say no one could charge him with neglecting his work but that his family was often supplied with meat when he had no other means of furnishing it, for them. He tanned the skins himself in a way to be used in many ways to advantage being very soft and durable. The next night they got to Michael Ropes in Genessee, then to the Genessee River at big tree where there was an Indian town then mostly through woods to Queenstown soon after leaving the river, while traveling through the woods was the great eclipse of 1806 in the far part of the sixth month. It was so dark it was said the star shone. I remember well how much the darkness looked, like night. We found bad roads through Tantawnty swamp through mud and over corduroy roads, at Queenstown we met with an opportunity to cross the lake (Ontario) in a schooner, Steamboats were not thought of then, they put the goods and a number of men women and children aboard and crossed the lake to Little York. Some of the men took the wagons, horses and cattle around the head of the lake and after several days hard travel met again at Little York. The family joined an acceptable home at Samuel Johnsons, an old acquaintance lately from Pennsylvania, all on the road again for Whitchurch a hard road it was. I think we were nearly three days in going eighty miles to Eyekiel James on Yonge St. Where we arrived in the forefront of the sixth month 1806. The first thing to do what they could for a living. Father was offered a piece of ground partly cleared to plant potatoes on, they soon cleared and planted it and a good crop of potatoes sufficient for winter was the yield. Father expected to settle in Unbridge and some of his family went to look at the place when he saw it, he was disappointed he did not find the land such as he could settle on, so he returned to Whitchurch, John Cleaven had 50 acres of land a part of lot 22 in 11 1n concession of Whitchurch while he was anxious father should purchase, they soon made a bargain. Then he and his boys went to work and in a short time cleared a piece of ground and sowed white turnip seeds on it, by this time cleaven and family went out of a small shanty with a shed roof of clapboards so called then which gave us shelter for a time. Then all hands went to chopping a piece of ground to clear for fall wheat. I think about five acres, there was not a half acre cleared when we went there. I was a little past seven but father got an axe to suit my age and I had to use it, oh how different boys do in these days, the first winter the cattle had to live almost altogether on where the men were chopping. Father gave one wagon and one span of horses for his fifty acres of land, He soon got twenty more of Samuel Davis next he got thirty acres of James Playter making one hundred acres, After the war he added fifty acres more the east half of lot no. 22. In 1807 brother John and I went to Unbridge about 20 miles we had one horse between us to ride in town., we visited a few brother Job had commenced on his land and was to go home with us boys., We three started on foot, almost a trackless woods of 20 miles. Brother Job, young man, pretty long in the legs and anxious to get home. I was a little past eight years old it, was a hard days walk for me one of my knees nearly gave out before we got home. I could walk very little for some days. About this time father was preparing a pretty large log barn for those times, rather a remarkable circumstance it may be providential, took place. Their living being plain, and perhaps sometimes scanty too father was at a loss to know how he could get a little meal of some kind. The morning before the raising was to be, he got up early and went out looking . There was a few acres of beaver marsh nearby in looking about he saw a deer feeding. Father ran in the house to get his old hunting rifle got slyly near enough, and shot it and by that supplied the hands that raised his barn for him. All apparently well satisfied without intoxicating drink. The first I went to school was 1809 in a long house which stood about where Charley Doans store stands now in Aurona, the house was warmed with a large log fire built at one side of the house. I went a few weeks in winter I never went to school more than about 6 or 8 weeks and that week about with brother John. Schools were poorly conducted in those times and I did not know the value of school learning, I was too fond of play. Father soon cleared what he thought was best of his 100 acres. In 1811 he cleared thirty acres of widow Player to clear and use for seven years. By the year 1814 he built a large frame house large for those times and moved in about Christmas. Harvey James and Eleayon Lewis were the carpenters. This was in the time of the war that commenced in 1812 and in 1815. Father being exempt by age - brother William and Thomas were both drafted in the militia. William neither to fight nor go to jail took refuge with some others in the wild woods, there were often parties in search of him but never caught him, the officers took Thomas prisoner took him before Colonel Graham who sent him to jail where he lay about six weeks. By father interceding with Graham he at length gave an order for his release. I think he was not troubled any after that. During the war some things were very high in price. There was no salt to be had but from England and communications by Quebec and Montreal being very difficult., almost cut off by the Americans. Sometimes it was hard to get a peck of salt, I think it was sold as high as $25 a bushel, wheat $4, a bushel flour $15 a barrel, port in hog $.25 a pound butter $.75 a lb. when the war closed everything of a produce kind, went down to as much as an extreme. In about the year 1814, my brother in law Peter Wisner having his team pressed to go to Fort George with government stores, he chose to go himself rather than trust his horses with strangers and being away I think about two weeks in winter, the roads being bad and poor accommodations. He came home sick and died I believe in about one week. He left my sister Pheba a widow with one child to mourn her loss. While Thomas laying in jail a young man a friend died in prison rather than violate his conscience.

May 27th. E.H."

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