Family History

After Catherine Wolff's family was massacred near Cosby's manor NY ,around 1780, Catherine was raised by the Peter Wolever family. The spelling of many of the family names vary because of the standard of that time of spelling the names the way they sounded rather than by any organized letter structure.  Wolever can also be found spelled Wollever, Wolver, Wohleben, Wohleber,  Wever, Woolever and Woliver.  The name Wetherstone has also been spelled as Wetherstoe, Witherstine and Watermaan. By cross-referencing the dates and occurrences in the different articles, it is fairly certain that the different spellings refer to the same people.

The Wolever's of Saarbrucken Germany emigrated from England on one of the many trips covering years 1708, 1709 and 1710. They  located at or near West Camp on the West Side of the Hudson in 1710.  From there they removed to Schoharie, and thence to German Flatts. Nicholas Wolever (son of Wallrath Wolever) was born in Germany, Feb. 11, 1698 and was a patentee in 1725 Burnettsfield and also in Staley's first and second tracts in 1755.  He was prominently identified with the Fort Herkimer Church to which he donated deeded lot 30 for church & school purposes.
Nicholas married first, Margaret Lant and second to Maria Elisa Feller.      He died in 17731 leaving six sons -

  1. Henry, born Oct. 3 1740, died 1790 , married Margaretha Burnhams.
  2. Peter, born Mar. 9, 1732, died Nov. 17 1829, married Catharina Flack2.
  3. Richard, (Dietrich), born about 1750, died Aug. 6 1777,                            married Anna Elisabeth Tygart.
  4. John, born about 1740, died Aug. 6 1777, married Maria Flack.
  5. Abraham, born Dec. 26 1756, died Feb. 6 1819,                   married Dorothea Bellinge
  6. Jacob, born Jan. 10 1760, died Dec. 4 1827, married Susanna Flagg
And six daughters:
  1. Catherine wife of Frederick Shoemaker
  2. Mary Spohn wife of Peter Flass
  3. Elizabeth who married Frederick Schute
  4. Lana wife of Frederick Bellinger
  5. Hannah wife of John Empie.  This last named was a Tory and took his family to Canada.
Catherine's stepfather,
Peter Wolever who was born March 9, 1732, was wounded in the arm and taken prisoner during the French and Indian war in Nov. 1757, and was sent to England for exchange. Peter Wolever was also at the June 1782 burning of the mill at Little Falls, an account of which is given in the biographical sketch of Gershon Skinner, the miller.  Peter Wolever was the first shoemaker in German Flatts and was working at his trade previous to 1790. The four brothers Peter, Richard, John and Abraham were in the battle of Oriskany Aug. 6, 1777 where Richard and John were killed and Peter again wounded.  Peter lived on a farm in Manheim, later known as the Cristy place, and later known as the Dr. Tibbet farm, located west of "The Manor" near the junction of the East Canada Creek and the Mohawk River. Peter rented this farm from Joseph Brant, the Mohawk chief, who became incensed at his patriotic principles, after the battle sent him word in 1777, that if he did not leave the farm at once, he would come and tomahawk him. Peter moved his family to Fort Herkimer in the fall of 1777 and remained there till the close of the war.
In the War of the Revolution those loyal German settlers, who did not hesitate to espouse the cause of freedom, suffered grievously for their patriotism, and in September, 1778, Brant, with his tories and Indians, fell upon the prosperous settlement and destroyed it completely.
Again in July 5 1782 the fair valley in this vicinity was swept over by the enemy, numbering about six hundred Tories and Indians. They were first discovered by Peter Wolever, who, with Augustinus Hess, lived about fifty rods from the fort. Both families were aroused, and all reached the fort except Mr. Hess, who was killed just as he was entering the gate. The fort was at that time only feebly garrisoned, and the few troops could not assume the offensive. Valentine Staring was captured in a field not far from the stockade and put to the torture with the object of drawing out the garrison by his cries for help; but this did not produce the desired result and he was tomahawked and scalped. Two of the soldiers and these two inhabitants were killed. All the buildings in the settlement, excepting George Herkimer's house, were burned and the cattle driven away. This incident was described to the late Judge Benton by Nicholas Wolever, in the lifetime of the latter, then living at Herkimer, and is undoubtedly authentic, although it has received little or no attention from other writers.
The wife of Henry Wetherstone 3,(Catherine's grandmother3) who had incautiously gone into a field on this occasion, was captured by Indians, tomahawked and scalped, and, as they supposed, her body left for dead. She recovered and lived many years after her long tress of hair had been carried away as a trophy.
Fort Herkimer, it has been seen, was a noted station in the early history of the valley, and guarded a section that was more frequently than any other made to feel the ruthless blows of the natives and their no less relentless white allies. In June, 1785, the Tuscaroras and the Oneidas met at the fort and ceded to New York all their territory lying between the Chenango and Unadilla Rivers. Here, also, in 1775, was raised the first liberty pole in the State and the second one in the country; and Alexander White, sheriff of Tryon county, a great stickler for the honor of his sovereign master, heard of the "daring outrage,"
This Peter was with Augustinus Hess when he was shot while they and their families were fleeing to the Fort in July 5th 1782.  Jacob, the youngest brother of Peter, shot and killed the Indian who killed Augustinus Hess.
Peter and Catharina sponsored a girl named Catherine
5, daughter of Henry Hiser and Anna Maria (Rasbach).

This opens a question of, is this Catherine Wolfe that was sponsored? If it was, is that why Andrew Hunter mentions that Catherine's parents were killed in the Indian massacre and documentation shows that Peter and Catherine Wolever lived long after the massacre? Maybe the Hiser family was murdered and Catherine was raised by the Wolevers?

Children of Peter and Catharina:
  1. Nicholas born Aug. 1, 1769 died Aug. 2, 1861,                  married Elizabeth Small in 1793.
  2. John,
  3. Henry,
  4. Elizabeth who married Frederick Shoemaker,
  5. Catherine married Garrett VanSlyke (whose father John VanSlyke was killed on Finks Flatts during the Revolutionary war),
  6. Susan who married Jacob Edick,
  7. Hannah who married James Furman,
  8. Mary who married Mr. White and Eve who was the wife of Stanton Fox. 

The inhabitants of German Flatts and Fort Herkimer
4 were living in constant fear of uncertainty when Abram Wolever opened his eyes to the stern realities of pioneer life in 1756, during the earlier stages of the French and Indian war.  He was a private in Captain Henrich Staurings (Starring) Company of Tyron County Militia, and was one of a scouting party sent out July 19, 1778 to overtake Brant and rescue prisoners taken at the Andrustown Massacre, the day before.  At Little Lakes the main body abandoned the seemingly hopeless pursuit and turned back but Abram Wolever, John, Frank, Peter Flagg and Thomas VanHorn pursued the savages and on the farm now owned by Marvin Bennett, overtook three Indians who had as their prey a woman and her infant child.  The little one had been bound to a tree and they were leisurely throwing tomahawks at it.  The pursuers crept cautiously near and at a given signal fired simultaneously killing the savages and returned with their prisoners to Fort Herkimer.

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