Monday, June 17, 2013

CRUTTS - New York Pioneer?

With the majority of early census records in New Jersey destroyed, research of the early days there is a challenge.  Somehow in my searching for other sources, I stumbled across an article from a book called Genealogical and Family History of Central New York compiled by William Richard Cutter.  On page 102 of Volume 1 is a description of Jacob Crutts who was one of the first settlers in Dryden, NY, and how he came there around 1802 with 32 others from Oxford, New Jersey, mostly those of the Snyder family.  The book does not name the wife of this Jacob Crutts but other sources have been found that name Catharina Snyder as his wife, which easily explains why Jacob traveled with the Snyder family to relocate in NY.

So here's where I started to wonder. My theory is that anybody with the name Cruts in the Oxford area of New Jersey before 1820 came from the Grotz family in Pennsylvania, and more specifically, they would be related to the ANDREW GROTZ line. Why?  Two reasons. 
  1. In mapping all the descendants of Andrew's brother Jacob Grotz, Jr., it so far appears that Jacob Jr.'s immediate descendants remained on PA side of the river prior to 1820.
  2. I have deeds that show Andrew Grotz sold his land in Forks Twp, PA and Andrew Crutz Sr. (presumed to be same person) acquired land in Oxford Twp, NJ in 1793.
Theoretically we should be able to test my theory with this case of Jacob Crutts who relocated to Dryden, NY.  Let's see how we do.  First, according to the NY-Jacob's age at death (apparently given on his gravestone in NY), he was 88 in 1855, making his birth about 1766.  I have located a baptism record for a son of Andrew Grotz, Johann Jacob, born in 1766. 

Second, most of the family trees out there say this Jacob Crutts was born in Oxford, New Jersey, but I think they only know that he came from Oxford before he arrived in New York.  Unfortunately all the early census' do not tell us the birth place of those enumerated until we get to the 1850 census.  In 1850, Jacob was 84 and living with his son Jacob at the time, but that census nevertheless records the older Jacob's place of birth as PA.

Third, I located a will abstract for Christian Snyder who died in Oxford in 1797.  It lists a daughter named Maria Catharina.  One of the witnesses to the will was Andrew Grotz.

Finally the 1810 census of Dryden shows Jacob GROATZ living next to Christopher Snyder.  I realize that spelling of names on a census doesn't count for much, but the appearance of this particular spelling does support my ideas of this Jacob's origins.

So there is my case as it stands now.  I think the Jacob Crutts who was a pioneer in Dryden, New York was a son of Andrew Grotz Sr. of PA and a brother of my 4th g-grandmother Catharina.  He moved to Oxford, NJ from Forks Twp., PA around 1793 with his father, and shortly after 1800 he was moving with the Snyder family to New York. More research is called for, but I think the possibility is there!  Please contact me with any feedback or further discussion.

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