Which William Eastlick was the son of Alexander Eastlick of Steuben County, New York?

November 8, 2008

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
c/o Shelly Johnson
1776 D Street,   NW
Washington, DC20006-5303

RE: Alexander Eastlick of Steuben Co NY and his son William Eastlick of LaGrange Co IN

Dear Ms. Johnson,

This letter is a follow-up to our phone conversation of October 14, 2008. I want to supply you with documentation on the lineage of William Eastlick from the Revolutionary War veteran Alexander Eastlick, to clear up the questions that have come up in recent years. I am intimately acquainted with these Eastlick lines, as I have been an Eastlick researcher for many years. From 1997 until 2007 I published a quarterly newsletter titled “Eastlick Roots and Branches,” which put me in contact with many Eastlick (Easlick, Eastlake, Eslick, etc.) families and researchers around the U.S. and beyond, including descendants of both the William Eastlicks in question.

The confusion stems from the fact that there were two men named William Eastlick who lived in close proximity to each other around the same time period:

The older William Eastlick was born about 1766 in New   Jersey. He married Phebe ____ and started a family in New Jersey. They moved to Steuben County, NY around 1804-05 and lived there until they moved to Crawford County, PA in 1837 (from census records, deeds and county tax records). William died in 1839 and his widow Phebe in 1856. This William is a nephew, cousin or possibly even a younger brother of Revolutionary War veteran Alexander Eastlick. I will call him “Crawford Co PA William.”

The younger William Eastlick was born in 1787 and moved with his parents, Alexander and Elizabeth Eastlick to SteubenCountyNY as a young man. He married his first wife, name unknown, about 1808 and they had the following children: Phebe, Hannah, Anna, Alexander, Mary, Elizabeth, Lorinda, and Amanda. He moved his family to Mercer County, PA around 1825. William’s first wife died or they divorced. His second wife was Jane McDonald, with whom he had the following children: Sanderson, Alfred, Sarah Jane, Rosannah, Mary Ann, William, Benjamin J., Caroline M., and Joseph. They moved from Mercer Co PA to LaGrange Co IN around 1833, where William and Jane lived out their lives (from census records, probate records and family documents). I will call him “LaGrange Co IN William.”

My line of descent from Alexander Eastlick is through his son Jacob, brother of “LaGrange Co IN William.” I will be happy to supply you with documentation proving my descent from Jacob if needed. Here I will offer documents that prove my Jacob’s relationship to “LaGrange Co IN William,” and the brothers’ descent from Alexander Eastlick of Steuben Co NY. Also given are several references to William Eastlick and Jane McDonald as husband and wife.

Enclosed find the following documents showing that the son of Alexander Eastlick, Revolutionary War patriot, was William Eastlick of LaGrangeCountyIN and not William Eastlick of Crawford Co PA:

  • Will (and transcript of same) of Alexander Eastlick, written 26 February 1819, Steuben Co NY. In it, he named his wife Elizabeth and children John, William, Fanny, Betsey and Jacob. Some people speculate that Alexander may have sired the older William by a previous marriage, but if so, 1) why would he name two sons William and 2) if there WERE two sons named William, why weren’t they both named in his will?
  • Deed of 21 March 1822, Steuben Co NY. Alexander’s widow Elizabeth      sold their land in Steuben Co NY before she moved to Trumbull Co, OH. The deed names son John Eastlick and his wife Elizabeth as well as son Jacob Eastlick and wife Hannah. Unfortunately it does not name son William and wife—if it had, that would have given us the name of William’s first wife, and would have proven this was not the older William Eastlick, married to Phebe. The deed also does not name daughters Fanny (Frances) nor Betsey (Elizabeth) and their husbands.
  • Alexander Eastlick’s pension application file. These documents are on file at the National Archives, also available on Footnote.com [now Fold3.com]. They contain a record of his service out of NJ, but no genealogical information other than his birthdate and his wife Elizabeth’s name and age.
  • Family Bible record of William Eastlick of LaGrange Co IN. Shows all seventeen children by two wives.
  • Margaret McDonald letters of Administration, Mercer Co, PA, 13 January 1884. This document outlines the relationship of William Eastlick and second wife Jane McDonald (sister of the deceased Margaret McDonald), as well as William’s eldest son Alexander Eastlick, who married Nancy McDonald, sister of Margaret and Jane. In other words, Alexander married a younger sister of his step-mother. The list of heirs includes only Jane’s children and not those of William’s first marriage.
  • LaGrange Co IN document from “Sole Heirs and Decedents” book 2, listing surviving heirs of William Eastlick after his death in 1862 and of Jane Eastlick after her death in 1878. Her list only includes her children and not those of William’s first marriage.
  • Rogers Cemetery record, LaGrange Co IN, with William and Jane Eastlick family burials. Their old original headstone was replaced in recent years by the late Earl James, direct descendant of William Eastlick, who holds SAR membership through Alexander Eastlick’s service. I should say that the old stone is still standing, but a newer stone was added as the old one had weathered almost beyond readability.
  • April 1882, Partition of Land of William and Jane Eastlick, LaGrange Co IN, listing heirs of William Eastlick.
  • LaGrange Co IN map showing Eastlick land.
  • Two letters (and transcripts of same) from A. B. Eastlick to my mother, Frances (Eastlick) Lewis, in the 1950s. A. B. was Albert Benjamin Eastlick, son of Benjamin J. Eastlick and grandson of William Eastlick of LaGrange Co IN. The cousins who visited his family in Indiana were my ancestors, Lafayette Eastlick (son of Jacob) and family, who were involved in hydraulic gold-mining in Siskiyou County, CA. These letters establish      the relationship between descendants of the two brothers, Jacob and      William, sons of Alexander Eastlick. No such relationship continued with the “Crawford Co PA William” family that we know of, as they were more distant relatives. I also am in possession of Cassie Eastlick’s autograph book (daughter of Lafayette Eastlick), which contains signatures of friends and relatives acquired on their trip back east in 1886 when A. B. was about 8 years old and Cassie was about 14 years old.
  • “A Bit About Our New Jersey Roots” from my newsletter, Eastlick Roots and Branches, January 2003, details some of the Eastlick lines out of New Jersey that we have researched.
  • “Two Different Revolutionary War Era Alexanders” from April 1999 newsletter.
  • Deed transcript of 20 May 1845, Crawford Co PA. Heirs of “Crawford Co PA William” sold his land after William’s death in 1839. This William is not the son of Alexander Eastlick. We are still searching for the connection between this family and our line. There is certainly some connection because of the name and close proximity in New Jersey and New York. As stated above, we believe this William is a nephew, cousin, or younger brother of Alexander Eastlick.
  • Church records from the minutes of the First and Second Baptist Church of Reading, Steuben CoNY. The first set is from 1811 to 1822, mentioning Alexander and Elizabeth Eastlick, the second set is from 1833 to 1837, mentioning John and Margaret Eastlick (John is a son of “Crawford Co PA William”).
  • Chart: Descendants of Alexander Eastlick. All three of his sons (John, William and Jacob) named their first-born sons Alexander.
  • Chart: Descendants of William Easlick (Eastlick). None of his three sons were named Alexander. I realize this is not absolute proof that he is not the son of Alexander Eastlick, but because of traditional naming patterns, it points toward a father likely named Cornelius or John.

One of the most compelling arguments about which line is directly descended from Alexander Eastlick is that of family migration patterns. Alexander’s widow Elizabeth and family left the Steuben Co NY area within a year or so after his death, moving to Trumbull Co OH in 1822. Alexander’s son William and family moved to LaGrange Co IN. My ancestors, Jacob and family moved first to Trumbull Co OH with brother John, then to LaGrange Co IN with brother William before settling in Bureau Co IL. The older William and family, however, remained in Steuben Co NY for some 15 years before settling in Crawford Co PA. Families tended to migrate together, so this is another point that “Crawford Co PA William” is not the son of Alexander.

I earnestly hope you will examine these letters and documents and let me know if there is any other sort of proof I can offer to show that “LaGrange Co IN William” is the son of Alexander Eastlick, Revolutionary War patriot. As you know, genealogical research is made up of gathering documents that illustrate a paper trail, hoping to shine a light on the lives of our ancestors. I know that “LaGrange Co IN William” is the brother of my great-great-great grandfather Jacob Eastlick. I just hope that the evidence I have supplied will lead to you the same conclusion. I would dearly love to see the record set straight.

Thank you for your time,

Leslie Lewis
1009 Tyler Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368

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