“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
This is entry #32 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
52 Ancestors: #32 Did Frederick HONAKER Use An Alias?
My fourth great-grandfather Frederick HONAKER’s father Hans Jacob HONEGGER emigrated from Switzerland to America in 1749. Hans Jacob left Switzerland with his young wife and one year old son. Both perished at sea and Hans Jacob arrived alone in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
Frederick HONAKER was born about 1757 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, to Hans Jacob HONEGGER (1718-1796) and his second wife Maria GOETZ (1737-1805). At the time of Frederick’s birth his parents had been married 4 years and had two sons, Jacob (1755) and Henry (1756).
Frederick County, Maryland
Around 1758 Frederick’s father moved the family to Frederick County, Maryland. Hans Jacob leased 56 acres of land owned by Lord Baltimore at Mount Pleasant on 16 March 1758 for £25. He brought his land holdings up to 121 acres on 3 December 1761 by adding two adjacent tracts of 51 and 14 acres for £18. Not only did he increase his land holdings, he also increased the size of his family giving Frederick two more brothers, Peter (1762) and Benjamin (1764).
Land was getting scarce in Frederick County, Maryland, and the 121 acres of land that Frederick’s father had leased would not be enough to support the growing family. The 7-year stopover in Maryland ended when Hans Jacob and Maria executed a deed for the three tracts of land for £108.15 on 20 March 1765 to Frederick Eyson and headed for the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
Frederick was eight years old when the family made the move to Frederick County, Virginia. They settled on Passage Creek, at what is now Waterlick, where Hans Jacob bought 97 acres on 2 August 1765. Five more siblings were born: Joseph (1765), Nicholas (1767), Mary (1768), Elizabeth (1769), and Martin (1770). In the early 1770s Hans Jacob began the lengthy process of acquiring a land grant from Lord Fairfax. Most of this land had been originally surveyed for Lord Fairfax by George Washington. On 5 March 1773 the grant for 121 acres was deeded to him. It adjoined his 97 acres tract and brought his holdings to 218 acres.
Frederick now had seven brothers and two sisters and the family was still growing. In 1772 the area of Frederick County where the HONAKER family was living became Dunmore County. Frederick’s brothers Abraham (1774) and Isaac (1775) and his sister Anna (1777) were born in this new county. In 1778 the name of the county was changed to Shenandoah County.
American Revolutionary War 19 Apr 1775 – 14 Jan 1784
“His [Frederick’s] early adult life involved him in an historic event of great importance to America. At about the same time that General George Washington and the Continental Army were emerging from a terrible winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Gen. George Rogers Clark was dispatched from Virginia with a small military force to break British control in the so-called Northwest Territory in the Illinois countery. Among the 178 recruits were three of Hans Jacob Honaker’s sons, Frederick, Henry, and Peter. Frederick was the first of the brothers to enlist with General Clark on 29 August 1777, in Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia in Woodstock, Dunmore (later Shenandoah) County, Virginia while his brothers enlisted on 1 March 1778. The determined force set out from Redstone on the Monongahela River in the spring of 1778, reaching the present site of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky. It continued marching for six exhausting days to Fort Kaskaskia, Illinois, through tackless wilderness inhabited by hostile Indians, in icy, high waters sometimes up to the men’s shoulders, with rations so short that the men were two days without food.”
I am grateful to the researchers who have worked on the HONAKER family and have left a wealth of information. When no citations are given I cannot take the information at face value without searching for documents that confirm the given history. And this is good because it helps me make new discoveries!
Contrary to the above, I found that Frederick and Henry both enlisted on 29 August 1777. By searching through the United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 at FamilySearch I found the original list of persons who enlisted with Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia.
Gen. George Rogers Clark’s Illinois Campaign ended with this dramatic climax:
“The sudden emergence from this waterlogged wilderness of Clark’s muddy, buckskin-clad warriers, with their flintlock rifles and tomahawks, took the Vincennes garrison so completely by surprise that the fort fell, after a brief struggle. It was one of the most heroic feats of arms ever performed, and it saved Illinois and Kentucky from falling to the British. When the treaty of peace was signed in 1783, Clark’s conquests were the major factor in the award of the entire northwest to the Americans.”
After the Illinois Campaign, Capt. William Harrod spent the winter 1778-1779 building a town at the Falls of the Ohio, present day Louisville. Frederick and Henry HONAKER were listed on this muster roll.
As payment for their services in the Illinois expedition, Frederick, Peter, and Henry each were awarded 108 acres of land in Clark’s grant along the Ohio River in Indiana. They later sold their claims.
Did Frederick HONAKER Use an Alias?
I have a slight problem with the above statement about the three brothers. In William Hayden English’s Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 1778-1783 and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark I found Henry and Peter received 108 acres each (page 846), Henry and P. sold their allotments (page 1072), and Henry and Frederick were on a payroll (page 1034). However what has me puzzled is that, while I haven’t seen a list that includes Frederick receiving or selling his 108 acres, I did find the following on page 1100:
What does “Peter, alias Frederick Honaker” mean? Did Frederick go by the name Peter? Were there only two HONAKER brothers in Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia? If Peter enlisted on 1 March 1778 he would have been only 16 years old.
Frederick Returns Home, Marries, and Begins Raising A Family
Frederick returned to Shenandoah County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Golliday (1759-1794) of that county about 1782. In 1785, Frederick bought 243 acres of land in Rockingham County, Virginia. In 1788, he was reported to be in Capt. John Ruddell’s Company. In 1790 he was seen on the Rockingham County Tax List as Frederick Honnaken with 4 white souls, 1 dwelling and 1 other building.
Frederick and Elizabeth had Magdalene, Polly, Jacob (1783), and John (1793) before Elizabeth died. These children were listed, in this order, in a deed executed by themselves with their father Frederick, 21 July 1812, when they were all residents of Monroe County, (West) Virginia. The deed conveyed their undivided interest in the estate of Jacob Golliday, Elizabeth’s father, to a William Baserman. This was recorded in Shenandoah County Deed Book T, pp. 383-386.
On 12 August 1795 at the age of 77 years Frederick’s father Hans Jacob executed his last will and testament. The original will is in a file drawer marked “Wills Etc. 1796-1814-1820” in Bundle 2 in Wythe Courthouse, per Rev. Al Elswick, Honaker Family Association Historian. Hans Jacob had moved to what is now Draper in Pulaski County in 1784. At the time that he lived there the area was part of the county of Wythe, formed in 1790 from part of old Montgomery County. The will was probated on 10 May 1796 narrowing the time of Hans Jacob’s death to between August 1795 and May 1796.
As Hans Jacob’s will was probated in May 1796 it is very likely that he was still living when Frederick remarried in September of 1795, a little over a month after Hans Jacob wrote is will.
Frederick Conickor and Isaac Wiseman went bond on 24 September 1795 in Shenandoah County on the marriage of Frederick Coniker and Rachel Wiseman, daughter of Isaac Wiseman of Rockingham County.
Frederick’s second wife Rachel WISEMAN (1769-1821) was born 1 March 1769 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, to Isaac WISEMAN and Elizabeth DAVIS.
From Rockingham County to Monroe County
Following the marriage Frederick made plans to move his family from Rockingham County to what would become Monroe County in 1799. In 1798 he bought a farm from Edward Keenan near the Rehoboth Meeting House in the Sinks in Greenbrier County:
Greenbrier County WV Deeds Book 2 1798-1803 p 66-67
26 Jun 1798; Edward Keenan and wife Nancy Keenan 243 acres for 5 sh to Frederic Honiker land conveyed from Patrick Keenan adj Wiseman, Scarbrough. Wit; William Tennis, John Johnson, John Blanton
As this transaction took place the year before the formation on Monroe County it was recorded in the Greenbrier County.
In 1799 “Frederick Honecor” was listed on the first list of personal property owners in Monroe County, the earliest known list of citizens of the newly formed county.
In July 1800, Frederick received a land grant of 57 acres on Lick Run adjoining the land of Edward Keenan and Keenan’s father’s land. The location of the grant is seen (right) as being in Greenbrier. When the land was surveyed it was “lying and being in” that county. Frederick HONAKER now owned 300 acres in Monroe County.
Frederick HONAKER was on the Monroe Voters list in 1800. This was a list of qualified voters for the presidential election of 3 November 1800. It is of interest as the suffrage at that time was very much restricted and a voter was a person of some property and consequence.
Frederick’s mother Maria GOETZ died about 1805 in Wythe County, Virginia.
By the time that the 1810 census was taken Frederick and his wife Rachel had seven children: Isaac M., Elizabeth B., Margaret P., Sarah, Anna, Letty and Rachel, my third great-grandmother. Exact order of birth is unknown as birthdates are not known for all of the children. A son Frederick Styrus was born following the census as no male under 10 is seen in the household in 1810.
1810 U.S. Federal Census
Monroe County, (West) Virginia
Name: Fredk Honaker
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (Isaac M.)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (John H.)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Frederick)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 4 (Rachel, Sarah, Anna, Letty)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Betsey, Margaret)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Rachel, age range is off)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 7
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 10
1820 U.S. Federal Census
Monroe County, Virginia
Sheet No. 171
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 3 (Frederick Styrus, 2 grandsons?)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Isaac)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Frederick)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Letty, 2 granddaughters?)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Sarah, Anna)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 3 (Betsy, Margaret, Rachel)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Rachel)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 8
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 14
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 14
Frederick’s four children from his first marriage married in 1803, 1808 and 1814. The first of his children from his second marriage Isaac Morgan HONAKER married Rebecca Ann Sams (1799-1860) 28 Oct 1820 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.
Monroe County Deed Book G shows Frederick and Rachel selling 13 acres to Hugh Caperton and Henry Alexander “near Rehoboth Meeting House where Honaker lives” on 31 March 1821. Frederick died in 1824 without mentioning Rachel in the will he left. Rachel WISEMAN must have died following the land transaction and before Frederick’s will was written on 30 November 1824.
Two of Frederick and Rachel’s girls married before he died: Elizabeth “Betsy” married William SAUNDERS on 15 January 1822 and Margaret “Peggy” married Alexander Campbell on 20 October 1823.
Frederick HONAKER died about December 1824 and left a will naming all of his children.
In the name of God, Amen. I, Frederick Honicker of the Co. of Monroe and state of Virginia being sick in body but of sound and disposing mind, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say. First I will and bequeath unto my beloved son John Honicker sixty acres of land part of the tract of land whereon I now live to be taken off that part of it where the S. John now lives so as to include the house and improvements which he has made, to him and his heirs forever. Second, I will and bequeath unto my son Isaac Honiker all my blacksmith tools of every description to him and his heirs forever. Third, I will and bequeath unto my daughter, Magdaline Cantley the sum of one dollar to be paid her by my executors. Fourth, after my death and after my children all come of the age of twenty one years I desire that the balance of the tract of land whereon I now live be sold by my Executor to the best advantage, and the proceeds thereof I desire to be equally divided between my children to-wit: Mary Davis, Jacob Honicker, Peggy Campbell, Rachel Honicker, Sarah Honicker, Anna Honicker, Letty Honicker, Betsy Saunders, and Frederick Styrus Honicker and until that event takes place I desire that my son John Honicker see to the management of my affairs and take care of the property which may remain on the place for use of such of my children as any choose to live here until the same shall be sold and such of the perishable part of my estate as may (on the sound discretion of my executor) be of use to support my children who may live on the plantation until the same be sold as aforesaid to be kept and supported on the plantation until the period aforesaid, and the balance of the personal property which may not be deemed necessary for the purpose aforesaid by my executor I desire may be sold immediately after my death, and the money arising therefrom after paying my just debts and funeral charges be equally divided between my last mentioned nine children and whenever my land shall be sold as herein before directed, I desire that all the property which may have been kept for the use of my children as aforesaid be sold and the money be equally divided between the aforesaid nine children to-wit: Mary, Jacob, Peggy, Rachel, Sarah, Anna, Letty, Betsy , and Frederick Styrus. Fifth, it is my will and desire that my son Isaac together with my children who now live with me, still continue to live on the plantation as usual and farm the same as they now do until my plantation be sold as I have before directed and the proceeds thereof be enjoyed in common as usual – I also desire my debts and funeral expenses to be paid out of the money arising from the sale of my personal property which may be directed to be sold by my executor Lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint Richard Shanklin executor of my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me made and declaring this only to be my true last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 30th day of November 1824. Signed, sealed and ackd. in presence of Charles Keenan, George Whitcomb, and Jno. Hutchinson, Jr. (Frederick signed by mark).
At Monroe Court, December 1824: This last will and testament of Frederick Honiker dec. was presented in Court and proved by the oath of John Hutchinson, Jr. a subscribing witness thereto and the same is continued for further proof.
At Monroe Co., Court, 1825: The last will and testament of Frederick Honiker decd. was further proved by the oaths of Charles Keenan and Geo. Whitcomb two of the subscribing witnesses thereto whereupon the same is ordered to be recorded. (It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that Richard Shanklin, executor named therein refused to take upon himself the execution thereof and thereupon Hugh Caperton is appointed Admr. with the will annexed, who came into Court and made oath and together with Richard Shanklin his security entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of One Thousand dollars, conditioned as the law directed, certificate for attaining probate thereof in due form is granted him.
Before the appraisement of the personal estate of Frederick HONAKER on 18 January 1825, his daughter Rachel HONAKER married Elijah WOOD on 4 January 1825 in Nicholas County. His daughter Letty died soon after him and later in the year his daughters Sarah and Anna married. His son Frederick Styrus had a guardian, Henry Alexander, and boarded with his sister Anna and her husband Owen DUFFY in 1825.
Frederick’s parents-in-law Isaac and Elizabeth WISEMAN are buried in the church cemetery. Frederick and Rachel’s burial place are not known but must have been nearby, maybe among the many unmarked graves surrounding Old Rehoboth Church. In 1988 the Honaker Family Association placed veterans’ memorial markers in the church cemetery for Frederick and his son Jacob beside the marked grave of Jacob’s son John B. I don’t have a photo of the marker and have not yet received permission to use the photo seen on Find A Grave Memorial# 12277437.
 Nadine W. Larson, Hans Jacob Honaker-From Switzerland to America, (1987, 249 pgs)
 Frieda Patrick Davison, Editor, Honaker Family in America, (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD, Copyright 1998 by The National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families)
 Virginius Dabney, Virginia – the New Dominion, (Doubleday & Co., New York, 1971)
 Howard L., Leckey, The Tenmile County and Its Pioneer Families, A Genealogical History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, (Apollo, PA: Closson, Press, 1993)
 Honaker Family Newsletter, National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families, Inc., misc. issues (2000-2014).
© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey