History of the Low Dutch Colony
The Banta Genealogy
by T. M. Banta
Pages 49-58

161. HENDRICK4 BANTA married at Schraalenburgh, Aug. 12, 1738, Rachel Brower, daughter of Abram Brower and Leah Demarest, who was baptized at Hackensack, Dec. 9, 1716. He was a member of the church at Hackensack in 1741. His wife died about 1750 and he married again, Antie Demarest, daughter of Samuel David and Lea Demarest, who was baptized Dec. 23, 1733, and who survived him. He removed from Bergen County to Somerset County, N. J., and was an Elder of the church at Bedminster, Oct. 25, 1758. The baptismal records of that church have not been preserved, but at least four of his children were born while he was living in that county, whose date of birth we cannot determine. About ten years later, with a colony from New Jersey he removed to Conewago, York County, Pa., near the present site of Gettysburg, and was a member of the church there at its formation, and proba- bly and Elder. The oldest document on record in York County is a deed given by one Van Arsdale in 1768 for land described therein as adjoining land of Henry Banta, which fixes the date of emigration to Pennsylvania as early as 1768. The only records of the Conewago church that have been preserved are a few scattering items of the Consistory, and the baptismal register which is partially illegible. The latter begins Oct. 23, 1769, and on this date, among others, a child of Henry Banta was baptized. About 1780 with a colony from Conewago he migrated to Kentucky, and located at first near Boonsborough, on the Kentucky river, to which place Captain Daniel Boon had moved with his family four or five years previously and made a settlement.
Collins' History of Kentucky, p. 521 says" "White Oak Spring, sometimes called Hart's Station, one mile above Boonsborough, was settled in 1779 by Capt. Nathaniel Hart and some Dutch families from Pennsylvania." * * * "Not far is a spring twelve feet square at the top and one hundred feet deep, boiling up pure, cold and fresh and flowing off in a large and constant stream."
P. 523: "The first Dutch emigration to Kentucky in a company was in 1781, to White Oak Spring Station, on Kentucky river, Madison county, one mile above Boons- borough. Among the immigrants were Henry Banta, sr., Henry Banta, jr., Abraham Banta and John Banta. A little later the colonists went where Harrodsburg now stands, but in the course of a few years they established themselves permanently about a village now called Pleasureville, then Six Mile, in Henry County. There some of them pur- chased twelve thousand acres of land which the called the 'Low Dutch Tract,' and divided it among themselves."
Those whose attention has not been directed to the subject, can have no adequate idea of the hardships and the perils of this long journey from eastern Pennsylvania to Kentucky. At that period Conewago was almost at the western limit of settlement, and between it and Kentucky was an unbroken wilderness of over six hundred miles. The road by which these pioneers travelled was doubtless that known as "The Wilder- ness road," which passed through the valley of Virginia, between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, and across the mountains by Cumberland Gap to Fort Harrod. The road was really only a "trace." No wagon passed over it until at least fifteen years later, and these colonists were compelled to journey on foot and with pack-horses. The "pack-saddle" was a forked branch of a tree fastened on the horse, upon which were hung all the household goods and provisions. One of the early accounts of such a journey in 1779, describes the "men on foot with their trusty rifles on their shoulders, driving stock and leading pack-horses, and the women, some walking with pails on their heads, others riding with children in their laps, and other children swung in baskets on horses, encamping at night, expecting to be massacred by Indians, subsist- ing on stinted allowances of stale bread and meat, encountering bears, wolves and wild- cats in the narrow bride-path overgrown with brush and underwood." Another account mentions that a colony, migrating to Kentucky in 1783, had reached within half a dozen miles of the first settlement in the territory, when seven families of the train stopped to encamp for the night, the others passing on. That night the Indians attacked the families who had encamped an all were killed except one man. One of Henry4 Banta's sons was killed by the Indians in Kentucky.
At the time of removal to Kentucky, Henry4 Banta was the father of twenty-one children, of whom three had died in infancy, and his oldest son had recently died leaving nine children, who were brought up by their grandfather. Five or six of his sons were married, two of whom, Samuel and Peterius, remained for awhile in Pennsylvania, as did his three married daughters. His family, who accompanied him in this toilsome, dan- gerous journey of several months' duration, consisted of his wife and twelve children, five of whom were under twelve years of age, and nineteen grandchildren, almost all of whom were under twelve years of age.
An account of the settlement of the "Low Dutch Tract," written by Mr. George W. Demaree, was published in the Shelby Courant, Shelbyville, Ky., May 15, 1873, and so much of it refers to the Banta family is quoted therefrom, to illustrate some of the difficulties these hardy pioneers encountered in building their new homes on "the dark and bloody ground":

I propose to devote this chapter to the origin of the purchase and final settlement of the Dutch tract, together with incidents connected with the men who figured in this part of our history.
About ten years before the final settlement was effected--i.e., about the year 1785, Capt. Daniel Banta, Cornelius Banta and John Banta, Sr., followed the "trace" leading from Harrod's station in Mercer County, to Hoagland's station, in what was afterwards Shelby County, till within a few miles of the latter place where they boldly plunged into the wilderness, and built a cabin about two miles north-east of Hoagland's station and what was afterwards known as the old Magruder farm, now the property of Thomas Eaton, Esq. This was, beyond doubt, the first cabin built in the limits ot the Dutch tract. It was constructed of blue ash logs, and was torn down but a few years ago, after having braved the storms for more than eighty winters. The Bantas, while on their hunting expeditions, doubtless saw a considerable part of the tract of land after- wards purchased by the Dutch Company--though hardly all of it, as it was no child's play to expore so vast a wilderness. I have no means at hand of knowing the precise number of acres contained in the original survey, but from my knowledge of the boundary thereof I presume it could not be less than fifteen or twenty thousand acres. The Bantas had enjoyed their novel position but a short time when one of those period- ical storms of wrath burst in upon the frontier settlements, and they wisely retired to Hoagland's station. This station was poorly manned and provisioned at the time, and was threatened daily with an attack from the redskins. So squally did the times become that the little garrison determined to send to Harrod's station for re-inforcements, etc. Jake Banta, an officer of the fort (brother to the other Bantas), volunteered to perform the dangerous mission. The wilderness being full of prowling savages, he chose the darkness of night to pass through the "narrows" on the waters of Benson Creek, near where Hardinsville now is. But poor Jake never reached Harrod's station. As he crept silently and all alone in the darkness of night through the dreaded "narrows", the redskins pounced upon him from ambush and cleaved his skull with the tomahawk. They left Capt. Banta on the tragic spot with his own tomahawk buried in his skull as a to- ken of their firece vengeance. The loss of this brave man was deeply felt by the frontier settlement. As soon as the storm had subsided out three heroes, who had taken an active part in the exciting scenes with which they were surrounded, went back to Harrod's station fully satisfied that their attempt to take possession of an isolated wil- derness at that time was immature. It can hardly be doubted that their good report of the excellent quality of these lands, carried back to the Dutch Company of which they constituted a part, led to the purchase and ultimate settlement of the same. The Banta family, was both dreaded and hated by the Indians. Being men of wonderful strength and constitution, and brave to a fault, they had taught the savages many lessons in their own mode of warfare. If all their conflicts with the Indiana, the heroism of their women, etc., were traced by the pen of an able writer, a book of truly thrilling adventures would be the result. The writer remembers hearing the old folks talk of "Shaker John Banta." This circumstance led him to inquire into the origin of the appellation, and his researches have satisfied him that the Shaker Society of Kentucky had its origin in the limits of the Dutch Settlement--i.e., in Shelby County, about the year A.D. 1804. The first Shaker meeting held in Kentucky, beyond doubt, was held at the house of John Banta, who was one of the original members of that sect in this State, hence the name Shaker John Banta. Some of the Voorhees and Montforts adopted the Shaker system at the same time.
I doubt not that the long custom of the Dutch Company to have certain things "common," such as tools, farming implements, mills, etc. (the writer has seen the "Dutch Company sledge hammer" many times, and he doubts not that it is now in use in Henry County, where he last saw it), had no little to do in preparing the minds of those good men to receive the friendly, though absurd, doctrine of Ann Lee. The doctrine of Ann Lee met with but poor success, however, with the mass of the company, hence John Banta and his few associates separated from them and returned to Mercer County, and purchased the present site of Pleasant Hill. The result if familiar to everybody.
The following extract from a Kentucky paper on the same subject is also given. Among the purchasers mentioned will be found several of the sons and sons-in-law of Henry4 Banta:



[Eminence Constitutionalist.]

While this section of Kentucky was all forest and inhabited by Indiana, the "Low Dutch colony" came and located on land now is and around where Pleasureville is now situated. The land was then owned by Squire Boone, brother of Daniel Boone, the famous pioneer. The colony purchased about 10,000 acres in 1774, and it is as remark- able as true that some descendents of this colony now reside on a portion of the original purchase. The company had a trustee whose duty it was to look after all the estate, as the thirty or more settlers with their families resided in a fort built of logs and stones. The hostility of the Indians forced the "Low Dutch Colony" to remove to Mercer and Clark Counties in a short while, but they returned in 1786. The Bantas, Bergins and Shucks still own the land of their ancestors, together with many old relics and papers which they value very highly.
Papers show that thirty-four lots of land were purchased by the company, varying in size from two hundred acres and upward, which was paid for in pounds, shillings and pence. The following is the number of each lot, purchaser, and price paid:

No.                             L s. d.
 1 John Commongore transferred
     to James Morton,  . . . . 24 11  1       +49/3/2
 2 Daniel Vorees,  . . . . . . 52 17
22   "       "     . . . . . . 43 19 11
 3 Andrew Shock,   . . . . . . 70 11 11
 4 Albert Banta,   . . . . . . 59 10  3
 5 Albert Voras,   . . . . . . 26  8  7 1/2   +52/17/3
 6 John Banta, . . . . . . . . 62 17  3       +52/17/3
 7 Abraham Banta,    . . . . . 52 17  3
 8 Simon Vanarsdal,  . . . . . 24 11  8
 9 Henry Banta,  . . . . . . . 66  3  3
10 Samuel Demaree,   . . . . . 52 17  3
19   "       "       . . . . . 43 10 11
11 Daniel W. Banta,  . . . . . 49  3  3
12 Remus Monfort, transferred to
    Louis Maston,    . . . . . 52 17  3
13 Benj. Spader,   . . . . . . 62 16  9
[column break here]
14 Daniel Banta,    . . . . . . . . 52 17  3
15 [none]
16 Heirs of Cornelius Cozine, . . . 49 19 11  +49/3/3
17 Samuel Banta,  . . . . . . . . . 43 19 11
18 Frances Casart,  . . . . . . . . 43 19 11
20 Aaron & Jno. Munfort,  . . . . . 52 17 11  +52/17/3
21 Albert Banta, Jr.                55  1  7
23 Blu John Voras,  . . . . . . . . 21 16  7
24 Lucas Vanosdal & Jacob Smock,  . 21 16  7
25 Luke Voras                       21 16  7
26 Peter Banta,   . . . . . . . . . 12 19  4  +12/19/3
27 Jacob Banta,   . . . . . . . . . 32 18  3
28 Illegible, . . . . . . . . . . .
29 Wm. Shock & Big John Vores,  . . 52 17  3
30 Uncle Peter Banta,   . . . . . . 59 19  3  +59/10/3
31 Abraham Brewer,    . . . . . . . 17  4 11  +77/4/11
32 Cornelius Bogard & Uncle Peter
32   Banta,   . . . . . . . . . . . 62 16  9
33 Peterius Banta,    . . . . . . . 56  3  9
34 Sophia Voras,  . . . . . . . . . 29 11  9

+Difference in souurces

Mr. Richard Shuck showed us a deed for a section of this land which was signed by Jas. L. Whittaker, Shelby County Clerk, on July 22, 1833, which was a conveyance to Geo. Bergin and Tunice Vannyse as Trustees, the land being originally settled by Abram Banta. The old spring of water which used to supply the colony with water is still in use.

We give, also, a letter preserved in the Theological Seminary, Reformed Church, at New Brunswick, N. J., which shows the religions condition of the State at that early period, and evidences that the venerable Elder, then seventy-six years of age, was still earnest in his Master's cause:


As I viewed almost every settlement in the Kentucky country, and tarried some time at different places, I had a very good opportunity to learn the state of religion and what progress the gospel had made there, an account of which I doubt not but will be acceptable to you.
The concern and works of ministers of various denominations which I saw there, to form congregations, was such that I was astonished. The people in general seem to be more concerned about their eternal welfare than any place I have been in. I have seen much devotion among them and heard many of their preachers, some of whom made use of expressions that would by no means be acceptable to our congrega- tions. I have never seen more preachers and travelling preachers in my life that I did there for the term of time--consisting of Presbyterians, Regular Baptists, Separate Baptists, Methodists and two Universalists, with several of whom I had the pleasure of conversing and this got much intelligence, the particulars of which would be too much for a letter. I shall therefore be particular only in regard to our Low Dutch in that country, with the most of whom I am acquainted and with whom I principally resided while there. They are very numerous, scarcely credible considering the time the country has been settled. There are nearly 500 families, the major part live well, and if formed into a society they might make up £150 annually to support a minister, be- sides a good parsonage. These people are at present in a good deal of confusion, and no wonder they consider themselves as a people forsaken by the church to which they formerly belonged and from which they have long waited for help. They would before now have fallen in with other demoninations, but many of them are firm friends to our church constitution and very loth to part with our church forms, besides still entertain- ing some hope that our Synod will yet provide for them. They have at present no public worship of their own excepting the lecturing of old Mr. Henry Banta, and praying societies, which is not attended to by many, especially when within reach of preaching of any kind whatever. They are much exposed to be led astray by heterodox preachers, viz.: Separate Baptists and Methodists who are doing all in their power to gain them over to their churches, but have not as yet been able to effect it. They gained one person, viz.: Mr. 485Albert Banta, who joined the Separate Baptists, and without license commenced preaching, and for some time nade much disturbance among them, some favoring but the greater part opposed him, and by what I could learn he would no more be permitted to officiate for them. The oppo- sition he met with made him move to a considerable distance from the Dutch settlement. But notwithstanding this, some of their leading men entertained senti- ments which, to me, were altogether new and strange, and which I firmly believe the presence of an orthodox minister would easily remove. A particular affair to which I was an eye-witness I cannot help mentioning:
A number of them had children to baptize; they procured a minister of their own choosing on condition he should use our Form of Baptism, though only as far as he should think proper. He only read the explanatory part and then, without answer or promise of any kind, baptized seventeen children.
Some of the people present expressed their dissatisfaction at this; but one of their leading men, and the principal one among them, stepped up and said that the minister had done right, and that it was wrong to cause an unconverted person to make answer of that nature. After hearing and seeing what I have mentioned, and especially the trouble and cost of other denominations to extend their churches, I was astonished and much dissatisfied at the conduct of our Synod--that they have never sent one mission- ary into that country. This led me to question myself in the following manner: Whether other denominations had not more concern for their churches than we have for ours? whether our young ministers have not the same courage and resolution, and zeal for the cause of Christ that others have? whether our Synod could not do a part of the same trouble and cost that others do? and whether that rising generation in the Kentucky country, originally of our church, were to be a forsaken people?
I heard several ministers of different denominations, who were acquainted with the situation of these people, express their surprise at the conduct of our Synod--saying their people are in general very moral, they are strict in their observances, they have their church forms of which they are very tenacious, and yet we see no provision made for them. Other preachers there, especially Separate Baptists and Methodists, often endeavor to break their attachment to our church by saying that our Synod have suf- ficiently shown by their conduct that they pay no attention to them, and that waiting longer will only be in vain--and in reality they are almost out of patience. However, they have now sent a call to the Classis of New Brunswick for any minister of our church they can get, but in my opinion one is required who is very well qualified for the business. Many of these people have not subscribed for this call, giving for reason they might hear him first. I sincerely pray they may be successful, for if they do not get one soon, or if nothing else is done for them, they are without lost to our Church; but I am persuaded that if our Synod were acquainted with their real situation they would do more for them than they have hitherto done.

The following communication, published by Rev. Dr. David D. Demarest, of New Brunswick, N. J., in the Christian Intelligencer, of New York, March 26, 1890, will also be of interest:


Mr. Editor: Many of the readers of the Intelligencer have expressed great interest in the accounts you have been pleased to publish of the Dutch emigration to Kentucky in the last century. I know that the publication of the following memorial addressed to Congress, and of the letter of introduction by Dom. J. M. Van Harlingen, will be a great gratification to them. Copies of the originals were obtained by me throuth the kindly aid of Prof. Scott, of Rutgers College, from the State Department at Washington.
Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, in his fascinating work, "The Winning of the West," says that 150 heads of families of Low Dutch people came in a body to Kentucky in 1780, and he refers to this memorial as authority. But he made a mistake by failing to notice that only one-third of the 150 names attached to the memorial were names of actual residents at the time; the other two-thirds were names of their friends who in- tended to come and settle with them on the lands that should be acquired, but who were at the time in their homes at Conewago, Pa., as the baptismal records if that church show, and perhaps some were still in New Jersey.
The emigration to Kentucky was by detachments. A few families went as early as 1771. We have no reason to think that a church was organized until the arrival among them of the Rev. Peter Labagh in 1796. But they had a meeting-house long before that time, located where is now the village of Pleasureville, and they doubtless held regular services under the direction of the Voorleser, and of Hendrick Banta, the Exhorter.
The reader will notice that in some instances a name is spelled in various ways. I have in several cases presumed to try to aid those who are not skilled in interpreting signatures of that period by inserting modern forms in brackets.
I also call attention to the fact that no date is attached to these documents. The copyist, in an accompanying note, assigns them to 1783. He must have had some authority for saying so, and we feel sure of his correctness when we call to mind that we learn from other sources that a grant of 12,000 acres of land was obtained which was divided among the settlers in 1784.

New Brunswick, Feb. 17th, 1890 D. D. DEMAREST.

To the Honorable President and Delegates of the Free United States of america in Con-
gress Assembled.

Gentlemen: A Memorial and Petition of a number of inhabitants of Kentucky Settlement of the Low Dutch reformed Church Persuasion in behalf of themselves and other intended Settlers was brought to me by one of those Petitioners desiring me in the Name of the rest to give a Testimonial of their Character to the Honourable Con- gress, because I was Personally acquainted with them. Some have lived amongst us and belonged to my Congregations. They were a Plain, nonest, peaceble, Sober and Industrious People remarkale for Agriculture, and by Current reports we have of them they are all hearty friends to out Glorious Revolution and the Honourable Congress.
Gentlemen, I remain with due Respect; Your Most Humble Serv't. J. M. VAN HARLINGEN Minister of the Gospel at Sourland and New Shennick. To the Honourable President and Delegates of the Free United States of America in Con-
gress Assembled:

The Memorial and Petition of a number of Inhabitants of Kentucky Settlement of the Low Dutch reformed Church persuasion on behalf of themselves and intended settlers,
Humbly Sheweth,
That in the Spring of the Year 1780, they moved to Kentucky with their families and effects with a view and expectation to procure a Tract of Land to Enable them to settle together in a body for the convenience of civil Society and propagating the Gospel in their known (own?) language; when they arrived there, to their sorrow and dis- appointment they were, thro' the dangerousness of the times by a cruel Savage Enemy, oblidged to settle in Stations of Forts in such places where there was the most appearance of safety; notwithstanding all their precaution numbers of them suffered greatly in their property, several killed and others captivated by the Enemy, living in such distressed confined way, alway in danger, frequently on Military duty, it was impossible for them to do more than barely support their families with the necessaries of life, by which means they are much reduced; and what adds more to their dis- appointment and affliction is that, contrary to their expections, before their arrival and since, the most or all the Tillable Land has been located and monopolised by persons that had the advantage of your Memorialists, by being acquainted with the country. And your Memoralists, being strangers and confined as aforesaid, and being so reduced, are rendered unable to purchase Land at the advanced price, and especially in a body conveniently together agreeable to their wishes. Whereas, Providence has been pleased to prosper and support the virtuous resistence of the United States in the glorious Cause of Liberty, which has enabled them to obtain an Honorable Peace whereby they have obtained a large extent of unappropriated Territory. And whereas it is currently and repeatedly reported amongst us that Congress has broke or made void Virginia's right or claim to Land in Kentuckey Settlement.
Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray (in behalf of themselves and other intended settlers of that persuasion) the Honourable Congress would indulge them with a grant of a Tract or Territory of Land in Kentucky settlement, if the Virginia claim thereto should be made void, or otherwise in the late ceeded land on the Northwest side of the Ohio river, whereto there is not any prior legal claim, to enable them to settle in a body together, on such reasonable terms as Congress in their wisdom and prudence shall see just and reasonable, they complying with, and performing all reasonable con- ditions required, to enable them to put their intended plan and purpose in execution, they having principally in view the Glory of God, the promotion of Civil and religious society, Educating and instructing their fasing generation in the principals of religion and morality. Hoping the Honrable Congress will give all due encouragement to such a laudable undertaking; The Premisses duly considered. Your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray, &c.

Hendrick Banta,
Peter Demaree,
Cornelius Bogart,
John Demaree,
Cornelius Banta,
Samuel durie,
Albert durie,
Marga Cozart, widow,
Antje durie, widow,
Daneel banta,
Albert Vorhis,
John Vorhis, Junr.,
Luke Vorhis,
Samuel Demaree,
Peter Demaree, Junr.,
Henry Shiveley
Samuel Demaree, Jr.,
Benedick Yury,
Henery Yury,
John Voreis [Voorhis?],
Simon Vunosdol [Van Arsdale?],
Sophia Voreis, widow,
Francis Voreis,
[column break]
Aaron Von Hoor [Horn?],
John Ryker,
Cornelius Voreis,
Henry Banta, Jr.,
Abraham Banta, Jr.,
Peter Banta, Jr.,
John Banta,
William Vancleave,
Catharine Darling, widow [Dorland?],
Lambert Darling [Dorland?],
John Darling [Dorland?],
James Voreis,
John Vancleave,
John Harris,
Peter Banta,
Samuel Westervelt,
Mary Westerfield, widdo,
Samuel lock,
David Allen,
[column break]
Johanna Seburn, widow [Sebring?],
Albert Banta,
Jacob Banta,
Abraham Banta.


Samuel Banta,
James Cook,
John Vanasdale,
Samuel Bogart,
Peter Seabourn,
George Seabourn,
David Seabourn,
Jacob Seabourn,
William Seabourn,
Derrick Conine [Carnine],
Brogun Covert,
Derrick Kroesen [Cruser?],
Peter Wickoff,
Henry Bogart,
James Westervelt,
Tunes Vanpelt,
Andrew Shoc,
Mattis [Matthias?] Shuc,
garrit Vanarsdalen,
Yoseph debaen [Debaun?],
Abrahaem debaen,
Peter Banta,
Cornelius Couzine, Jun.,
John Couzine,
Lucas Vanarsdal,
Barney Smock,
John O'Bleaner,
Peter Monfoort,
Garret Dorland,
James Stagg,
George Burnett [Bonnett?],
David Brower [Brewer?],
[column break]
Rulef Vorhis,
John Brewer,
Daniel Brewer, Jun.,
Henry Comminger,
John Comminger,
Samuel Demarest,
John Conrad [Kneght or Servant],
John Knight,
Peter Persel [Parsell?],
Martin Neavous [Nevius?],
William Jewel,
John Monfoort,
John Monfoort, Jun.,
Francis Cossaart,
Jacob Cossart,
Simon Van Arsdal,
Peter Carmicle,
John Van Arsdal,
John Bodine,
John Smock,
Maties [Matthias?] Smock,
John Kip,
Barney [Bernard] Kipp,
Abraham Degroff,
Thos. Johnson,
Abraham Johnson,
Andrew Johnson,
Thomas Vantine,
Jaquish Vantine,
Francis Monfoort,
Peter Monfoort, Sen.,
Wilhelmus Hooghtelin,
[column/page break]
Abraham Hooghtelin,
Hezekiah Hooghtelin,
James Vanderbilts,
Charls Vantine,
Mickel [Michael?] Degraft,
William S. Degroff,
John Cowoven [Couwenhoven?],
Peter Van Dyck,
George Brinkerhof,
Jacobus Monfoort,
Cornelius Cosyne,
Cornelius Vorhis,
Cornelus Trueb,
Laurens Trueb,
Lawrence Monfort,
Abraham Croire,
Gilbert Brinkerhoft,
Luke Brinkerhof,
Andrew Conine [Carnine],
John Persyl [Parsell?],
Cornelius Demaree,

[column break]

Corn'l D. Lowe,
George Hall,
Brogun Spader,
Jacob Probascow,
Samuel Briten,
Gilbert Lowe,
David Cossaart,
Henry Stryker,
Rhoalef Brinkerhoff,
Jacob Brinkerhoff,
John Aten [Auten?],
Adrian Aten,
John Aten,
Cornelius Aten,
George Williamson,
Richer [Richard?] Persely [Parsell?],
John hiels [Hols?],
Daniel haris [Harris?],
Beniemin [Benjamin?] Sloot,
Jacob Smock.

The following letters referring to the early settlers of Kentucky will be of interest to the descendents of the Dutch pioneers:


Beloved in the Lord, Grace,
Peace and Mercy--Amen.

Having at this time made a call for a minister of out Low Dutch Reformed Church, by consent of our Low Dutch Society at Salt River, Mercer County, in the State of Kentucky, we hope it may have its desired effect. Therefore we do in the name of our Lord Jesus desire of you, our Rev. Classis, to aid and assist us with all possible speed,
It is further the sincere wish and prayer of us that in case you could not send us a minister agreeable to our wish--that is, one that can preach both English and Dutch, that we then have a speedy supply, either in the Dutch or English language, to estab- list a consistory, to preach, to baptize, etc., as there are at present upwards of 40 children to be baptized. And further, as we are like to be a scattered people, we hope a speedy remedy may take place, so that our desires are great, our case is distressing, our church affairs and religion in many repsects lamentable. Though we have through the blessing of God yet so far united, and as it is the desire of our Society to send us a minister who can preach both languages, we hope we shall be blessed with such a man, and if not to be expected in a short time, then we pray for a supply as above mentioned, and we, the subscribers, shall reward him well for his cost and trouble; and once more we crave a speedy remedy, as we have reason to fear that we will soon be scattered-- which we hope God will forbid.
We shall add no more, as that we hope that God will grant us His blessing, that our Rev. Classis may aid and assist us as soon as possible, that our Society may be established and religion flourish in this and all other places, is the sincere wish and prayer of us, the subscribers, who being chosen as the voice of the people.
Given from under our hands this 13th of August, in the year of our Lord, 1795.

                             HENDRICK BANTA,  GARRET DORLAND,
                             JOHN SMOCK,      ISAAC VAN NUYS,
                             ALBERT BANTA,    CORNELIUS A. VAN ARSDALEN,
                             SAMUEL DURIE,    ABRAHAM BREWER.

Reverend Sir: On request of a certain minister of our Reformed Low Dutch Church, together with our lamented circumstances in the cause why we, your humble petitioners, take the freedom to acquaint you with our present calamities, which we hope, kind sir, you will pardon when you have examined your suppliant's petition.
We are, reverend sir, at present in a precarious situation in regard to church affairs, and have been so for a number of years past. We are surrounded by a number of societies who are of different confessions. We are a numerous people who are desti- tute of divine service. We are a people who scarcely know the difference between our and other church constitutions, which makes it difficult to keep them united. We are so situated that we can have supply at almost any time on making application, which we allow is dangerous, as we shall mention hereafter. We are a people who have the same feeling and possess the same degree of ambition as these, our neighbors. We are hurt that there is no more done for us; we suspect that it is caused among ourselves by men who formerly have intimated that we were not like to become a church or nation; we are satisfied and must reasonably suppose that all future efforts will be of no effect unless a speedy remedy takes place.
Therefore we pray you, in the name of Him who has all power to will and to do, that you will assist us if in your power. With submission we crave your aid and as- sistance with all possible speed. We have sent a call to the Rev. Classis, of New Brunswick, likewise a letter of expostulation, and wrote to some others of the clergy, which we hope may have the desired effect. If not, we are a scattered people, as there are numbers among us at present that say we cannot wait longer--our children should and must be baptized, besides, great numbers that have been baptized by parents to whom it was a matter of indifference by whom it was done. Others have the boldness to say that, when there is no regard or attention paid to us, why should we wait longer? Others say: our neighboring societies, and some who are much inferior to us, are great care taken of, such as missionaries sent and churches established, etc.,--and we, who are superior, there is nothing done for us. Our neighboring clergy have made several offers, and have sometimes preached, which only serves to weaken us and break the bond of unity; but wonder how we have united as long as we have--we may view it as something almost supernatural.
Therefore, Rev. Sir, we have thought it a duty incumbent on us to inform you with our present circumstances, to enable you to form a just idea about us; and further, we are almost become a reproach by other nations on account of persevering and ad- hering to our church forms, constitution, etc. and not as much as a supply.
It is needless to tell you the reflections we endure; but our nation here in general are liberal and generous, and look upon themselves to be superior to a number of others. They are daily increasing; we expect soon to be able to make up 500 dollars yearly as a salary.
We have now made up 300 dollars and if well united might do more, but we hope that God shall forbid that we should be any longer without a minister. This much for your consideration, praying that if you have it in your power to help us, to let no means pass by, so that we might once more become a church and nation. On expectation of your aid and assistance, your petitioners shall ever pray.
                           HENDRICK BANTA,              GARRET DORLAND,
                           ALBERT BANTA,                LUCAS VAN ARSDALEN,
                           JOHN SMOCK,                  SIMON VAN ARSDALE,
                           ISAAC VAN NUYS,              ISAAC VAN ARSDALEN,
                           ABRAHAM BREWER,              LAURENCE DE MOTT.
                           CORNELIUS A. VAN ARSDALEN,
Kentucky, Mercer Co., the Head of Salt River,
November 2, 1795.

[Re-typed from original pages July 1999.]


The Banta Genealogy, T.M. Banta, pgs. 49-58; Full title: A Frisian Family: The Banta Genealogy: Descendants of Epke Jacobse, Who Came From Friesland, Netherlands, to New Amsterdam, February, 1659; aka The Banta genealogy: Descendants of Epke Jacobse, Who Came From Friesland, Netherlands, to New Amsterdam, February, 1659.

Full citation: A Frisian Family, The Banta Genealogy. Descendants of Epke Jacobse, who fame from Friesland, Netherlands, to New Amsterdam, February, 1659; Banta, Theodore M. (1834-1910); New York; 1893; 427p. Viewable and downloadable for free in various electronic formats (PDF, EPUB, Full Text, etc.) at The Internet Archive: The Banta Genealogy at the Internet Archive Main page - view or download in various formats including PDF. This may be from a photocopy, which is faint or faded in places. (As of January 2011, The Banta Genealogy copy previously free and downloadable as a PDF at Google Books has apparently been removed.)

Comments in square brackets [] are by this transcriber and not from the original.

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