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The Montfort Family 1624: A Narrative

Eight Generations in America

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David W. Montfort 1806-1883

David W. Montfort
davidwmontfort.jpg
taken about 1880

David may have come as a surprise to his parents, having joined the Shakers, a celibate society, the month he was conceived.  They joined the 6th of March, 1806 and he was born the following December 12th.  It is known from Shaker records, Francis Montfort Jr, did not want to join the Shakers at first, though his wife did.  It may be that David was the result of  "a last fling" between his parents.   Perhaps the father wanted  to dissuade her from joining the Shakers. 
 
David was born in Shelby County, Kentucky and considered a Shaker from his birth in December of 1806.  He was a year old when his parents and siblings moved with his maternal grandparents, John and Polly Riker Banta, to Mercer County, KY and to the area near Pleasant HIll.  It is possible he spent time in the same house as his mother and sister, but was most likely cared for by the other women in that house.     
 
As he matured, he attended school where he learned to read and write, and do math, but little else.  His other education would be learning a trade from one of the Shaker men.  Like his father, he was skilled as a carpenter and after leaving the Shakers would make his living in that occupation.
 
As most of the young Shakers came of age in the 1820's, most made the decision to leave and go back to "the world."  Davids brother would leave in March of 1827 and in June of the same year, David would follow.  An entry in a journal of the Shakers shows that John left with the knowledge of the Shaker Elders and received 75 cents to help him get back to family in Shelby County.  No such entry has been found for David or his sister, but it is more likely, they left the same way and with some money to help them along the way. 
 
They left their parents behind, as Polly did not die till July 1838 and Francis died January of 1867.  Did they worry about their children going back to the world they had left in 1806?   Did they miss seeing them?  Did the children at some point, come back to visit their parents?  Did they still have parental feelings for their children?  There is no way of knowing, but I suspect they let their feelings pass with little thought.  They were so immersed in their own lives as Shakers by this time and gave little thought to their children. 
 
David probably returned to the Shaker village in March of 1828 to get his sister, Charity.  She had made her decision to leave the Shakers.  Charity would live with David till her marriage to Isaac B. Fallis in the fall of 1828.  Her only known child was a son named David Monfort Fallis and likely named for her brother.  I suspect her husband was a friend of her brothers and may have gone with David to get Charity from Pleasant Hill.
 
David is found in the 1830 Shelby County, Kentucky census, living alone.  He would not marry till September 24, 1832 in Shelby County.  His original license had been lost for a number of years, only an entry in a book of Shelby County marriages gave the datee.  In 2002, the original document was found in a locked drawer in the Shelby County annex, tucked between the license of two other couples who married about the same time.
 
Mary was the daughter of Seth and Frances Wilcoxson Cook, born about 1810 in Kentucky.  She was one of 13 children of this pioneer family.  Through her mother, she was a gt grandniece of Daniel Boone.  Her great grandmother, Sarah Boone WIlcoxson,  was the oldest sister of Daniel.
 
In addition she was related through her mothers line to the Craigs and Faulkners, early Kentucky pioneers.  Her grandfather, Lt Daniel WIlcoxson married Sallie Faulkner at Ft Boonesborugh in 1780, the ceremony probably performed by his Uncle Squire Boone, a Baptist preacher. 
 
Through the Faulkner line, she is related to John Craig and his brother, Elijah, who brought the Traveling Church to Kentucky in 1780.  In VIrginia, the brothers had been arrested numerous times for practicing the Baptist faith.  At that time, the colony was Church of England and no other faith was allowed.  Patrick Henry spoke in their defense at one time.   The uncles would go on to found Georgetown, Kentucky; Georgetown College, Carrolton, Kentucky; and be the first to distill bourbon in Kentucky, as well as ministering to their flock. 
 
Mary's grandmother, Rejoice/Joyce Craig Faulkner is known to have sent letters to her brothers about Kentucky, the land good for farming, no restrictions on practicing the Baptist faith, good hunting......but may have failed to mention the troubles with Indians and British.  On her recommendations, the brothers appeared at a church meeting to tell their congregation their plans to move to Kentucky and invited others to join them.  To their surprise, several hundred made the decision to follow them to Kentucky.  Thus the name for this group of settlers, The Traveling Church.
 
Polly Hawkins Craig, wife of Tolivar/Taliaferro, was the great grandmother of Mary Cook Montfort, and the mother of Joyce Craig Faukner.  Of an old English family that can trace their ancestry to Elizabethan times, Polly would be noted as the heroine of Bryant Station. 
 
David and Mary would live in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky [Anderson County] for a number of years.  They also spent some time in Shelby County and Ohio County, Kentucky before their deaths. They would have 6 children:  James Francis [1833], Lorinda/Laura [1835], Israel Christopher [1838], Martha Jane/Jennie [1844], William Berry [1846] and Nancy Elizabeth [1852]. 
 
David was a carpenter much of his life and apparently a talented one.  Several of his grandsons would also be known as good carpenters as well.  In later years, he and Mary would live in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, near two of their daughters, Laura and Jennie.  David died April 10, 1883 as recorded in a BIble belonging to daughter, Jennie, and buried in the Clayvillage Baptist Church Cemetery in Clayvillage, Shelby County, Kentucky.  Mary Cook Montfort would survive him, dying on August 6, 1890 and buried next to him in the Clayvillage Baptist Church Cemetery.  There are no markers to locate their graves, the only source of their interment is an old family Bible and a news clipping of the death of Mary Cook Montfort, which appeared in the Lawrenceburg, KY newspaper shortly after her death.

SOURCES:

original Shaker journals at the Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY

original Shaker journals at the Harrodsburg Historical Society, Harrodsburg, KY

microfilmed journals of the Shakers at the Filson and Harrodsburg Historical Societies

archives at Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, KY; Ms Larrie Curry, director

archives at Western KY University Library, Bowling Green, KY

archives at Shaker Village of South Union, Logan County, KY

archives at U of KY, Lexington, KY

archives at Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio

archives at the library at the Shaker village of Sabbathday Lake, Maine

personal collection of Shaker materials, manuscripts, books, microfilm and books [75-89 owned by Barbara Whiteside

 

BOOKS

THE MONFOORT FAMILY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY by Fred Sisser 1969

THE BANTAS OF PLEASANT HILL by Joan Murray England 2000

THE BANTA PIONEERS, THEIR WIVES AND ALLIED FAMILIES by Elsa Banta 1983

THE LOW DUTCH COMPANY by Vince Akers for the Holland Society quarterly

OUR LOW DUTCH HERITAGE by Larry Voreis 2005

THE PEOPLE CALLED SHAKERS by Edward Deming Andrews 1953

GONE TO THE WORLD, STATISTICS on the SHAKER COMMUNTIY AT PLEASANT HILL, KENTUCKY by Marc Rhorer, 1992

THE GIFT TO BE SIMPLE, Shaker Songs and Dances by Edward D. Andrews 1967

THE KENTUCKY SHAKERS by Julia Neal 1982

MOTHERS FIRST BORN DAUGHTERS by Joan M. Humez 1993

OLD SHAKERTOWN AND THE SHAKERS by Daniel Mac-Hir Hutton 1936

THE PERFECT LIFE, Shakers in America by Doris Faber 1974

PLEASANT HILL AND ITS SHAKERS by Thomas D. Clark and F. Gerald Ham 1968

PLEASANT HILL IN THE CIVIL WAR by Thomas D. Clark 1972

RESTORING SHAKERTOWN by Thomas Parrish 2005

SEEKING PARADISE by Thomas Merton [Paul M Pearson] 2003

THE SHAKER EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA by Stephen J. Stein 1992

SHAKER FURNITURE by Edward D. Andrews and Faith Andrews 1937

THE SHAKER IMAGE by Elmer Pearson and Julia Neal 1974

THE SHAKERS AND THE WORLD’S PEOPLE by Flo Morse 1980

SHAKERTOWN AT PLEASANT HILL, the first 15 years by Earl D. Wallace, chairman

THE SIMPLE SPIRIT by Samuel and James C. Thomas 1973

A WALKING TOUR OF SHAKERTOWN by Bettye Lee Mastin 1969

WORK AND WORSHIP by Edward D. Andrews and Faith Andrews 1974

SHAKERISM IN KENTUCKY by Marywebb Gibson Robb

 

WEBSITE

THE MONTFORT FAMILY, A NARRATIVE http://bar-b-k.tripod.com

 

RESEARCH

Research of Jake Hannam, William S. Scroggins, Charlie Cook, Barbara Whiteside, Mark Rhorer, Larry Voreis, Harman Clark, Vince Akers, Ms Larrie Curry, Thomas D. Clark

 

COURTHOUSES KENTUCKY

Mercer County

Henry County

Jefferson County

Shelby County

Woodford County

Ohio County

 

COURTHOUSES INDIANA

Floyd County

Harrison County

Washington County

Jefferson County

Switzerland County

Clark County

Scott County

Orange County

 

LIBRARIES

New Albany-Floyd County, New Albany, IN Indiana History Dept

Jeffersonville Twp Public Library, Jeffersonville, IN, Indiana History Dept

Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, KY Kentucky History Dept

Sons of the American Revolution National Library, Louisville, KY [NSSAR]

Filson Historical Society Library and Archives, Louisville, KY

Kentucky History Center, Clark Library, Frankfort, KY

Lawrenceburg Public Library, Lawrenceburg, Anderson Co, KY

Shelby County Public Library, Shelbyville, Shelby Co, KY

Harrodsburg Historical Society Library, Harrodsburg, KY

Harrodsburg Public Library, Harrodsburg, KY

Jefferson County Public Library, Madison, IN

 

ONLINE SOURCES [through home computer or public library accessibility]

USGENWEB.COM

ROOTSWEB.COM [world connect project]

FAMILYSEARCH.COM

ANCESTRY.COM

GENCIRCLES.COM

SOCIAL SECURITY through Rootsweb

GENFORUM

RANDOM ACTS OF GENEALOGY KINDNESS

VITAL SEARCH.COM [KY, TX, CA records]

 

Related sources [Dutch]

NEW NETHERLAND CONNECTIONS quarterly, Dorothy Koenig, editor

HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PA v. 1 [NSSAR Library, Louisville, KY]

WOMEN PATRIOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, by Charles E. Claghorn[NSSAR Library, Louisville, KY]

375th ANNIVERSARY OF THE EENDRACHT AND NIEUW NEDERLAND, article in the NYG&B Newsletter, Winter 1999, by Harry Macy Jr, FASG & FGBS

ISLAND AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD by Russell Shorto

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE VORIES AND MONTFORT FAMILIES by William L. Vories [Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY]

HISTORY OF HENRY COUNTY, KY by Maud J. Drane [1948] {Filson Historical Society, Louiville, KY]

WEAKLEY, SEARCE and ARNOLD FAMILIES OF KENTUCKY by Elizabeth W. McNamara[1980] Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY

ANDERSON COUNTY, KY VITAL STATISTICS Marriages, Deaths, Births 1852-1860 and 1874-1879 [1987, compiled by Roberta Sherwood Disponett, Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY.

CONFEDERATE RECORDS of service of Israel C. Montfort from KY Military Archives, Frankfort, KY.

CONFEDERATE PENSION RECORDS of Israel C. Montfort from Oklahoma Archives

ANDERSON COUNTY, KY CEMETERIES v 1, Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY

SHELBY COUNTY, KY MARRIAGES 1792-1833 copied and published by Eula Richardson Hasskarl [Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY]

RECORDS OF THE KENTUCKY GENERAL ASSEMBLY 1837 for the December 1836 term, Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY

APPLICATIONS FOR PERSONS MAKING APPLICATION FOR MARRIAGE LICENSES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, IN 1844-1877 compiled by Clara Marie Burns and Lulie Davis, [originals in the vault at Salem, IN], New Albany Floyd County, Public Library, New Albany, IN IN History Room

OHIO COUNTY, KY RECORDS v 2, 1986, Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Ky

COPIES OF ORIGINAL LETTERS WRITTEN TO AND FROM ISRAEL C. MONTFORT, Cole County, OK, in collection of Barbara Whiteside, originals from Melanie Mueller, of OK

OBIT OF MARY COOK MONTFORT, Anderson News, Anderson County, KY dated 8-1-1890 copy in collection of Barbara Whiteside

WILL OF PIETER MONFOORT [1725-1769]

ALBERTI info found online at various sources, as well as the marker in Battery Park, NYC with the inscription that he was the first Italian to settle in America, 1636. Other sources include the Stewart family that married into the ALBERTI family and eventually settled in Indiana.

 

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