"My Second Canadian Cousin" by Pete Bennett
You have read my First Canadian Cousin story, now read about my Second Canadian Cousin
John Wyckoff, my second Canadian Cousin I've found, was born on January 14, 1790 on Twelve Mile Creek, at the foot of the mountain in that is now St Catharineís, Ontario Canada.
Immediately after the close of the Revolutionary War, Peter Wyckoff , John's father, moved to the Niagara District from Somerset County, New Jersey as a United Empire Loyalist, settling in Louth Township Lincoln County, near St. Catharines, ON. About 1797 he returned home for some business purpose, and on his way back it is supposed he was murdered, for he was not heard from again.
His widow, Catherine Plato Wyckoff who he had married at Somerset County, NJ, and two sons, John, Peter and a daughter Margaret, remained for some years at their home on Twelve Mile Creek and then, after some time, she married John Clendenning, a miller. The family then moved to Long Point, settling near Port Ryerse. Mr. Clendenning was engaged by Mr. Ryerse to manage his mill at that place.
The men of Norfolk County mobilized several days ahead of the Declaration of War and on 15 June 1812,
John & Peter enlisted as a Privates in Captain A. Rapelje's Company of the 2nd Norfolk Militia raised in Woodhouse Township. In November 1812, they marched with their company to guard his former home area on the Niagara frontier.
John was killed there in their first engagement at the Battle of Frenchmenís Creek on November 28, 1812. Peter Jr. survived the battle and returned safely home where later he was given 200 acres in Woodhouse Twp. on the 17th of December, 1816.
More about the battle of Frenchmen's Creek.
Headline: American forces under Brig.-Gen. Alexander Smyth invade Upper Canada across the Niagara River at Fort Erie from a Fort Erie Newspaper at the time:
The Americans came over with a large number of boats. "By examination of a prisoner we took", it was said that they (the Americans) could not collect more then 3000 men on the frontier; that 800 or 1000 troops attempted to land on the 28th, but could not effect their purpose, and they suffered severely by the brave few that opposed them, who were rightly but few in number in comparison to the Americans, who made the best of their way back with their shattered boats after leaving a number dead and some prisoners, perhaps 50.
List of killed wounded and missing belonging to Captain A. Rapelje's company on the 28th November 1812 at Fort Erie:
John Wyckoff, killed
John Bonnet, wounded, badly
David Conrad, wounded slightly
John Conrad, wounded slightly
Reuben Allward, wounded severely
Michael Croson, wounded badly
James McQueen, wounded slightly
John Mathews, wounded badly
John Butler, missing
Mathias Woodley, missing
Wm Sells, missing
Samuel Troup, missing
Note :Sergeant Adam Glendennan-
The Norfolk Militia
(Heritage Regiment current website list Adam along with John as Killed at
Frenchmen's Creek. I have emailed.
John Wyckoff died at just 22 years of age and Peter Jr. was but 16 years old when he enlisted in the war.
In 1815 Peter Jr. married Abigail Gilbert and settled on the allotted land given him in the township of Malahide. He purchased Lot 21 in the Gore of Woodhouse and where he lived his life. He died in 1881 in his eighty-eighth year, having twelve children to three wives. Please contact me to share any genealogical information on my Wyckoff line.
I have not found the burial site of John Wyckoff. Often the war dead were buried on the battle field where they fell. If that was the case, John would be somewhere near.
What I think is unusual about my finding John's death in the War of 1812 is the facts that I found Peter while I was living in Hamilton where the information was only available to me from my 1st Canadian Cousin who lived in Hamilton at that time. Then, several years ago we moved to Fort Erie area and I find John who was killed on the Niagara Parkway, at Frenchmen's Creek just a few kilometers from my present home. Strange and exciting to me.
In genealogy it is often said that if an ancestor wishes to be found he will present himself to you in some way. I think that might be what happened in the case of Peter Wyckoff, UEL and that is possibly what it will take to find John, my Second Canadian cousin's burial site....so....come on John, show me where you are!
See photos of the 2012 Memorial dedication at the Frenchman's Creek Monument in Fort Erie:
Some of my information about John was found in the wonderful book "Long Point Settlers " by the author, R. Robert Mutrie. Copyright 2001-2008 Robert Mutrie and John Cardiff
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