Friday, April 30, 2010

The Bellinger family history as related by John William Bellinger

As it was told to me, my great grandfather, John W. Bellinger, had been looking into the Bellinger family history. In the papers that were passed down to me were some newspapers that carried the family history research that had been done by Lyle Frederick Bellinger. My mother told me that her "Grandpa Bell" (as he was called affectionately) was always looking for some kind of get rich quick scheme. I have a few of his old oil stock certificates. As this letter indicates, he assumed the family would come into some money from the Herkimer/Mohawk Valley Bellingers in his old age. This was in a letter written by him March 12, 1934 and recopied by his daughter, Sina Harriet Bellinger Kelly (my grandmother). This also appeared in Joy Deal Lehman's book, The Bellingers of Greenwood, Nebraska in 2001.

"As told by my grandmother, she came to Nebraska with us. she was 97 years old when she died in 1874. So you see she was born at the close of the Revolutionary War. I was 20 years old. She told how the John Bellingers fought. We had two war vessels laying in Sockets Harbor [sic]. Wasn't finished yet when three English war vessels came across from Canada. Ours wasn't moured [sic] yet when they seen them coming. They rushed on our boats with a John Bellinger leading with hat in hand yelling like an Indian. Giving orders and sunk two of them and the other one got away and went back to Canada.

"My grandmother's name was Eva Clapsaddle. She told of lots of depridation done by the Indians. There was a woman with a little baby running to get away from the Indians and they killed her and cut her breasts off so the baby couldn't nurse. She said the baby was bloody all over trying to nurse. The Indians stuck a bayonet through it and was dancing around holding it up in the air.

"One of my ancestors John Bellinger owned a large track [sic] of land south of the Mohawk river some 22,000 acres, laid between Little Falls and Utica. . . then he leased it to the German Reformed Church for 99 years. In his will stated it was to go to the nearest heris and if they couldn't be found they should have it as long as timber grew and water run. Grandmother said it would come to us in our old days. The papers were all left with the Old Church . . . "

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