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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore
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My ninth great-grandmother, Ots-Toch or Alstock, who was born circa 1620 in the Mohawk village of Canajoharie, New York, was the reason for my delving into the culture and traditions of the Mohawk nation. Ots-Toch married a Dutch settler, Cornelis Van Slyke, but never left the Mohawk village. I became intrigued with her story and wanted to know more about her heritage and mine. Brian Brown generously shared his own research, much of which you can read on these pages.

Mohawk Family Names

Following are some Mohawk family names

Brant, Joseph (Thayendanega)
Joseph Brant was born March 1742/43 in USA and died 1807 in Grand River, Ontario. He was a well-respected Loyalist in Ontario. A bronze statue of him was erected in Brantford Ontario in 1886. Read about Joseph Brant in the following books:

Turtles, Wolves, & Bears : A Mohawk Family History by Barbara J. Sivertsen

Life of Joseph Brant-Thayendanegea, Including the Border Wars of the American Revolution and Sketches of the Indian Campaigns of Generals Harmar, St. by William Leete Stone

Joseph Brant : Mohawk Chief (North American Indians of Achievement) by Jonathan Bolton, Claire Wilson

Joseph Brant, 1743-1807, Man of Two Worlds (An Iroquois Book) by Iasel Thompson Kelsay, Isabel T. Kelsay, Iasbel Thompson Kelsay

Memoir of the distinguished Mohawk Indian chief, sachem and warrior, Capt. Joseph Brant: compiled from the most reliable and authentic records, including a brief history of the principal events of his life, with an appendix and portrait.Ketchum, William, 1798-1876.; Brant, Joseph, 1742-1807. (Complete book is online)

The life of Capt. Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea): an account of his re-interment at Mohawk, 1850 and of the corner stone ceremony in the erection of the Brant Memorial, 1886 Ke-che-ah-gah-me-qua. (Complete book is online)

Visit other Websites on Joseph at

Fort Klock Historic Site An actual Letter From Joseph Brant dated 1777
Chief Joseph Brant - Mohawk, Loyalist and Freemason
Joseph Brant
Joseph Brant, Kanienkehaka ...a biography in progress
Joseph Brant [Thayendanegea] (1742-1807)
Colonel Joseph Brant

Molly Brant
Molly Brant, sister of Joseph Brant, was one of the most influential women in Loyalist times. Married to, or living with Sir William Johnson, she bore him several children and was instrumental in maintaining British Loyalty in the Iroquois Confederation. Read the books

The Three Faces of Molly Brant : A Biography (No Canadian Rights in the U.S.) by Thomas Earle, Earle Thomas

Turtles, Wolves, & Bears : A Mohawk Family History by Barbara J. Sivertsen

Her Story : Women from Canada's Past by Susan E. Merritt.

Visit other websites at

Molly Brant - Mohawk
Molly Brant from Encyclopedia Britannica
Who Was Molly Brant?

The Will of Sir William Johnson (naming several Mohawks, including Joseph Brant and Molly Brant)

In the name of God, Amen. I, SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON, of Johnson Hall, in the County of Tryon, Province of New York, Baronet, being of sound and disposing mind. "First and principally I resign my Soul to the great and Worshipfull God, who made it and my Body I direct to be decently interred in the place which I intended for it. And I would willingly have the remains of my beloved wife, Catharine Johnson, deposited there, if not done before my decease." "And I direct my executors to provide mourning for my housekeeper, Mary Brant, and for all her children; also for young Brant and William, both half breed Mohawks, likewise for my servants and slaves." "It is also my desire that the Sachems of both Mohawk villages be invited to my Funeral, and thereat receive each a black stroud blanket crape and gloves, which they are to wear and follow as mourners, next after my own family and Friends." "I leave it to the direction of my executors to get such of my friends and acquaintances for bearers, as they shall judge most proper, who are to have white scarfs, crapes and gloves; the whole expense not to exceed 300." All my debts and funeral expenses are to be paid by my son, Sir John Johnson, Kt. I leave to the following persons the sums named, to be paid out of the money I may leave in the 3 per cent. Consolidated Annuities, of which the heir of the late Sir William Baker has the management. To the children of my present housekeeper, Mary Brant, 1000 Sterling, viz., to Peter, my natural son by said Mary Brant, 300, and to each of the rest, being seven in number, 100 each. The interest on the same to be laid out for their best advantage until they are of age or married. To young Brant, alias Kaghneghtago, and William alias Tagawininto, two Mohawk lads, the sum of 100 each. After paying the above legacies, I leave to my dearly beloved son, Sir John Johnson, 1/2 of the remaining money, and the other half to my sons-in-law, Daniel Claus and Guy Johnson, for the use of their heirs. I bequeath to my son, Sir John Johnson, my Library and household furniture at the Hall, except what is in my bedroom, and in the children's room, which is to be divided among them. I also leave him all my plate, except a few articles which I gave to the children of my housekeeper, Mary Brant, and he is to have 1/4 of my slaves, and cattle of all kinds. I leave to my two daughters, Ann Claus and Mary Johnson, 1/2 of my slaves and cattle. The other quarter of my slaves and cattle I leave to the children of my housekeeper, Mary Brant, except 2 cows, 2 breeding sows, and 4 sheep, which I would have given to Young Brant and William of Canajohore. All my apparell, woolen and linnen, I leave to the children of my housekeeper, Mary Brant. "In the next place I dispose of my real estate (all of my own acquiring) in the following manner: And as I maturely weighed the affair, and made the most equitable Division which my Conscience dictated, I expect that all who share of it will be satisfied, and I wish they may make a proper use of it." "To my son, Sir John Johnson, Kt., I devise all my estate at and about Fort Johnson, with all the buildings and improvements; Also a small tract of land on the south side of the river, opposite Fort Johnson; Also 50,000 acres of Kings land or Royal Grant, all in one body at the northwesterly part of said Patent"; Also all the Kingsborough Patent, containing 50,000 acres, except a few lots I have disposed of; Also my share in a Patent called Klock and Williams, etc. on the north side of the Mohawk river. "I also devise to him all my right and title to the Salt Lake at Onondaga, and the lands around it 2 miles in depth, for which I have a firm deed, and it is also recorded in the Minutes of Council at New York." I also devise to him Lot No. 10, in Sacondaga meadow, Containing 500 acres; Also the house and improvements with a part of Lot 11 in said meadow or Patent of Sacondaga, containing 263 acres. "Lastly I do most earnestly recommend to my son to show lenity to such of the tennants as are poor; and an upright conduct in all his dealings with mankind, which will (upon reflection) offer more satisfaction and pleasure to a noble and generous mind than the greatest opulency." "In the next place, I devise to my son-in-law, Col. Daniel Claus, the tract of land on which he now lives, viz., from Dove Kill to the Creek, which lyes about 400 yards to the northward of the now dwelling house of Col. Guy Johnson, with all the Islands thereto belonging"; Also the house and lot in Albany, which I purchased of Henry Holland, with the water Lot adjoining thereto, which I purchased of the Corporation of Albany, with all the buildings; Also all my right in the Patent adjoining the German Flats, on the south side of the Mohawk river, containing about 1600 acres; Also 3 Lots in the Patent of Kingsborough, Nos. 13, 14, 57, in the western allottments. And 3 Lots in Sacondaga Patent, Nos. 29, 66, 77, each, containing 250 acres; Also a 1/3 part of a lot in Schenectady, which I exchanged with Daniel Campbell, Esq.; Also 10,000 acres of land in the Royal Grant, next to the part of Sir John Johnson, "which is never to be sold or alienated"; "Also 900 acres or 1/2 of that land which was Gilbert Tice's, in the Nine Partners Patent, between Schoharie and the Mohawks." "I devise to my son-in-law, Col. Guy Johnson, the farm and tract whereon he now lives, with all the Islands and buildings and improvements"; Also the house and lot in Schenectady which I purchased of Paul Comes, and now in his possession. And all my right in Northampton Patent, which I purchased of Arent Stevens. And 2 Lots in Sacondaga Patent, Nos. 1, 2, containing 1000 acres, near to the river, and on both sides of Sacondaga creek. And 3 Lots in Kingsborough, Nos. 87, 88, 89, each 100 acres, and one in the eastern allotment; "Also 10,000 acres in the Royal Grant, now called Kingsland, adjoining to the tract given to Col. Daniel Claus, which is never to be sold on any account"; "Also 900 acres or 1/2 of that land which was Gilbert Tice's, in the Nine Partners Patent, between Schoharie and the Mohawk villages." I bequeath to Peter Johnson, my natural son by Mary Brant, my present housekeeper, the farm and lot which I purchased from the Snells, in Stone Araby Patent, with all the buildings and mill; Also 200 acres adjoining thereto, being part of Kingsborough Patent, to be laid out in a compact body between the Geroge and Caniadotto creeks; Also 4000 acres in the Royal Grant, now called Kingsland, next to the Mohawk river. And another strip or piece of land in the Royal Grant, from the Little Falls or carrying Place, to Lot No. 1, almost opposite to the house of Hannial Harkemer, and includes 2 Lots, Nos. 3, 2, along the river side, and which are now occupied by Ury, House, and Company. "I devise to Elizabeth, sister of the said Peter, and daughter of Mary Brant, all that farm and lot of land in Harrison's Patent, on the north side of the Mohawk river, No. 19, containing near 700 acres, bought by me several years ago of Mr. Brown, of Salem, with all the buildings"; Also 2000 acres in the Royal Grant, now called Kingsland, and to be laid out next to her brother Peter. I devise to Magdalene, sister of the two former, and daughter of said Mary Brant, all that farm near to Anthony's Nose, No. 8, containing about 900 acres, and on which Mrs. Brant now lives, with all the buildings; Also 2000 acres in the Royal Grant, now called Kingsland, adjoining to her sister Elizabeth. I devise to Margaret, sister of the above, 2 Lots, a part of Stone Araby Patent, No. 25, which I bought of William Marshall, being 100 acres, and the other No. 12, containing 132 1/2 acres, which I purchased from Peter Weaver; Also 2000 acres in the Royal Grant, next to her sister. "I devise to George, my youngest son by Mary Brant, 2 Lots, part of Sacondaga Patent, Nos. 43, 44, called New Philadelphia, 250 acres each"; "Also a small Patent called John Brockan's, lying on the north side of the Mohawk river, almost opposite to the Canajohore Castle, and contains 280 acres"; Also 3000 acres in the Royal Grant, next to his sister Margaret. I devise to Mary, daughter of said Mary Brant, and sister of the above, 20,000 acres in the Royal Grant adjoining her brother George; Also 2 Lots in Stone Araby Patent, Nos. 36, 38, containing 150 acres, which I bought of Peter Dais and Hans Kitts. I devise to Susanah, daughter of Mary Brant, 3000 of the Royal Grant, adjoining her sister Mary. I devise to Ann, daughter of Mary Brant, and sister of the above, 3000 acres in the Royal Grant, next to her sister Susanah. I devise to Young Brant alias Kaghneghtago, of Canajohorie, 1000 acres in the Royal Grant, to be laid out next to the part of Ann, the daughter of Mary Brant. I devise to William, alias Tagawininto, of Canajohorie, 1000 acres in the Royal Grant, to be laid out next to the land of Brant. "I leave to my present and faithful housekeeper, Mary Brant, mother of the above children, Lot No. 1, of the Royal Grant, and is opposite to the land whereon Hannial Herkomer now lives, during her life and then to her son Peter." I also leave her a negro woman and 200. I leave to Mary McGrah, daughter of Christopher McGrah, of the Mohawk Country, 200 acres in the Patent of Adageghtange, now called Charlotte's River. I leave to my brothers, John and Warren Johnson, and to my sisters, Deese, Stirling, Plunket, and Fitzsimmons, the following tracts of land, which are to be sold by my executors, and the money paid to them. To wit: That part of Byrnes Patent at Schoharie, which is unsold. And 1/4 of a Patent at Schoharie called Lawyer and Zimmer's Patent; Also the Patent of Adageghtange, or Charlotte River; Also the 5000 acres which I have in Glen and Vroman's Patent; Also 13,000 acres which I yet have in the Patent called Peter Servis near General Gage's; or whatever part of the said tracts may remain unsold. "This from the many losses I have sustained, and the several sums extended by me during the war, which were now paid, is all I can possibly do for them, without injuring others, which my Honor and Conscience will not admit of." "As his present Majesty, George the Third, was graciously pleased, as a mark of his favor and regard, to give me a Patent under the Great Seal, for the tract of land now called Kingsland, and that without Quit Rent, except a trifling acknowledgement. It is my will and desire that no part of it be ever sold by them to whom I have devised it, as this would be acting contrary to my Intentions and deliberate Resolution." I leave to my much esteemed nephew, Dr. John Deane, 500, to be paid by my son, Sir John Johnson; for which he shall have that Lot of land in Sacondaga Patent, whereon Martin Loffler and two other tenants live, viz., Lot 84, containing 250 acres. I also leave to my said nephew 2000 acres of land, near South Bay or Lake Champlain, which was purchased by me from Lieut. Augustine Prevost, and which was formerly the location of Ensign or Lieut. Garrel, and my executors are to sell the same and pay him the money. "I leave to my faithful friend, Robert Adams, Esq., of Johnstown, the dwelling house, buildings, and lot of one acre where he now lives, and the Pot Ash Laboratory, and one acre of land with it; Also the farm which he holds by deed from me, all free from rent during his natural life." I leave to Mr. William Byrne, of Kingsborough, the Lot of land where he now lives, and also the stock of cattle, free of rent, as long as he lives. I leave to Mr. Patrick Daly, now living with me (for whom I have a particular regard) 100. All the white servants which I may have, are to be made free and receive 10 each. I leave to my much esteemed friend and old acquaintance, Joseph Chew, Esq., now of Kingsborough, in Tryon County, during his natural life, 50 acres of land which I purchased of Matthias Link, with the buildings, and after his death to his son William, my godchild, and if he die, then to his elder brother, Joseph Chew, Jr. "I also leave to said Joseph Chew, Esq., 200 acres in the Patent called Triston's, now Mayfield, to be laid out next to the Lots already laid out by John Collins, Esq., for the Township. [The will then goes on to dispose of the lands left to Sir John Johnson, in case he died without issue.] I hereby appoint my son, Sir John Johnson, and my two sons-in-law, Daniel Claus and Guy Johnson, Esq., and my brothers, John and Warren Johnson, and Daniel Campbell of Schenectady, and John Butler, Jules Fonda, Capt. James Stevenson, of Albany, Robert Adams, Samuel Springer, of Albany, Dr. John Deese, Henry Fry, and Joseph Chew, Esq., or any six of them, executors. And I make them guardians of my 8 children by Mary Brant, "in the belief that they will strictly observe and execute my will." "The strong dependence on and expectation of which, unburdens my mind and allays my cares. And as a token of regard I must request their acceptance of 300, to purchase rings, as a memento of their once sincere friend." "In witness I have set my hand and Seal this 27 of January, 1774, and signed by me at the bottom of each page, being thirteen." Witnesses, William Adams, Gillert Tice, Moses Ibbitts, Samuel Sutton. Proved, in Tryon County, before Bryan Lafferty, Surrogate, July 25, 1774. Confirmed by Governor Colden, August 25, 1774.

Kateri Tekakwitha
Kateri Tekakwitha was born into the Turtle clan of the Iroquois tribe. Kateri is also known as Catherine Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks, Tegakouita and Tegakwitha. She converted to Christianity and is known for spirituality and austere lifestyle and was the first Native American to be presented to the Pope for Sainthood. She died April 17, 1680 in Canada, at the age of 24. Read about her in:

The life and times of Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, 1656-1680

Visit other sites about Kateri

Patron Saints Index
Kateri Gallery

In 1884, fifty-six Mohawks from Kahnawake helped the British map and navigate the cataracts of the Nile river in Egypt; their reputation as expert boatsmen of the St.Lawrence river earned the contract. View the Nile Expedition Books of Remembrance online for names of those killed in this conflict.

Captain John Deserontyon/Deseronto Captain John (1740-1811) was the recognized military leader of the Fort Hunter Mohawks of the Mohawk Valley. They were the forefathers of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. Approximately 20 Mohawk families landed there in 1784. On the 1st of April 1793, a tract of land the size of a township was granted to the Six Nations people by the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, in a document known as the "Simcoe Deed" Originally referred to as the Mohawk Tract, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory is located approximately eight miles east of Belleville and approximately 50 miles west of Kingston Ontario. Read the plaque at Deseronto(Scroll down to Plaque #13)

Oronhyatekha (Peter Martain) Dr. Peter Martain, orator, physician, was one of the first Mohawk scholars. Born on the Grand River Reservation in 1841, he attended the Universities of Toronto and Oxford. See Plaque #14 commerating his life.

Hill Family Aaron Oseragighte and his wife Margaret and Isaac Anoghsookte and his wife Elizabeth became the ancestors of the Mohawk families HILL. These two couples lived on a hill overlooking the Mohawk River and eventually their descendants took the surname Hill. For more information including baptisms of their children, and family charts, see Turtles, Wolves, & Bears : A Mohawk Family History by Barbara J. Sivertsen

Peter Waters The Murder of Peter Waters aka Drid, 1835
More on Peter Waters' death
and another version!


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