Our Van Gorder Family History

Jan (John) Van Gorder and Elizabeth Vandermark Merkel were the parents of Jacob Van Gorder. We have traced the line back to about 1630 in Holland with the help of a cousin.  It is through this line that Bert connects to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  He is a ninth cousin twice removed!

Jacob was apprenticed to a tailor, and went to war in his place, taking part in the battle of Wyoming Valley, Pa, July 4, 1777, between the Tories and Indians against the settlers. It was a massacre and Jacob was taken captive to be tortured and killed by the Indians, but his life was saved by a squaw who adopted him as her son, having lost her own son in the battle.

After living with the Indians about five years, he escaped while the Indians were on a hunting trip, he being left at the village with the squaws.

He was located in Washington County for a time, where he married Margaret Beamer, then about 1800 he came to Perry Township in Lawrence County, PA, where he remained until his death in 1836. His wife died June 9, 1827, a the age of 64...The article goes on to say that "there are more descendents of Jacob and Margaret Beamer Van Gorder than one could imagine."

Family Group Record
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Husband: Jacob VAN GORDER
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       Birth: 22 Dec 1761    Sussex Co., New Jersey                  
    Moved to: abt 1800       Perry Twp., Lawrence Co., PA            
       Death: 17 May 1836    Lawrence Co., PA,                       
    Military: in the American Revolution                                          
      Burial:                Slippery Rock Presbyterian Church Cemetery
    Marriage: bef 1786       Washington Co., PA                      
      Father: Jan (John) VAN GARDEN (b abt 23 Sep 1722)
      Mother: Elizabeth V. MERKEL (b abt 17 Sep 1732)
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Wife: Margaret BEAMER
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       Birth: 25 May 1763    Sussex Co., New Jersey                  
       Death: 9 Jun 1827     Ellwood City, Lawrence Co., PA          
      Burial:                Slippery Rock Presbyterian Church Cemetery
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Children
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 1 F Mary (Polly) VAN GORDER
       Birth: 1786           Sussex Co, New Jersey                   
       Death:                                                        
      Burial:                                                        
      Spouse: James POLLACK                                          
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 2 F Christiana (Tena) VAN GORDER
       Birth: 9 Apr 1788     Sussex Co, New Jersey                   
       Death: 17 Mar 1863    Wayne Twp., Lawrence Co., PA            
      Burial:                Slippery Rock Presbyterian Church Cemetery
      Spouse: Captain William WILSON (m abt 1804)                    
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 3 F Elizabeth (Betsy) VAN GORDER
       Birth: 27 Apr 1791    Sussex Co, New Jersey                   
       Death: 3 May 1880                                             
      Burial:                                                        
      Spouse: James ALLEN (m 27 Apr 1810)                            
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 4 F Sarah VAN GORDER
       Birth: Jun 1795                                               
       Death: 1851                                                   
      Burial:                                                        
      Spouse: Jonathan HOUK                                          
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 5 F Deborah VAN GORDER
       Birth: 1797                                                   
       Death:                                                        
      Burial:                                                        
      Spouse: MORRISON                                               
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 6 F Margaret (Peggy) VAN GORDER
       Birth: 8 Jan 1801     North Sewickley Twp., Beaver Co., PA    
       Death: 10 Nov 1883                                            
      Burial:                Pleasant Hill Cemetery                  
      Spouse: Christopher (Christy) LESNETT                          
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 7 M Jacob VAN GORDER Jr.
       Birth: 8 Aug 1805     Pennsylvania                            
       Death: 15 Oct 1886    Pennsylvania                            
      Burial:                Slippery Rock Presbyterian Church Cemetery
      Spouse: Nancy ELLIOTT                                          
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Our line continues through the second daughter, Christiana Van Gorder who married William Wilson about 1805 in Wayne Township, Beaver Co., PA.

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