Notes for Joseph Hutton DeFrees: Joseph Hutton Defrees was born and raised in New York City, NY. He moved to Trenton, NJ with his family when he was twelve years old. He moved to Philadelphia, PA, prior to the Revolutionary War.
Date - 28 July 1773 Name - Joseph Defrees Whom Indentured: David Evans and his assigns Residence: Southwark (An early area in South Philadelphia) Occupation: Apprentice, taught the art and mystery of a house carpenter, three quarters' night schooling Term: 3 years Bibliography: Mayor's Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "Record of Indentures of Individuals Bound Out as Apprentices, Servants, Etc." Philadelphia: Pennsylvania German Society, 1905.
When the war began, he went in as a carpenter, private in rank. His son Anthony later wrote of his service.
The Pennsylvania Archives 2nd series Volume 13, p. 712-713 lists Captain James Lang's Company: "Muster Roll of the Pennsylvania Battalion of Artillery Militia, commanded by Colonel Jehu Eyre, for a tour of duty done at Mud Island, commencing the 23rd June, ending the 23rd August 1779, both days included, being two months and one day." Under the heading "Matrosses" is Joseph Defrize, absent at sea. PA Archives 6th series Vol. 1, p. 562-564 lists "A Return of Captain James Lang's Company Militia Artillery No. 1 for 1781. (c.) Listed under Matrosses is Joseph Defroese, admitted, 1781, 14 May. (c.) Philad'a 12th Jan'y 1782. "These certify that the bearer Joseph DeFrees belonged to the company which I command in 1779 and about the latter end of April that year he noticed the company that he was going to Sea, That I heard no more concerning him until the 14th May 1780 when he again joined my Company (According to another certificate of this date) upon the footing of his having a continued Right to that privilege tho so long absent," All Concerned. Jas. Lang, Capt. P.M. Art'y
In the fall of 1786, Joseph Defrees sold his property in Philadelphia and moved to Rockbridge County, VA where his brother James lived. He remained in Virginia for twenty years where eight more children were born, in addition to the four born in Philadelphia. (Defrees Family History as written by Anthony Defrees)
The Rockbridge County, VA Personal Property Tax List of 1811 includes the names of Joseph Defrees Sen with 2 white males above 16, 0 blacks above 12 and under 16, 0 blacks above 16, 7 horses, mares and colts, 1 stud horse, $8.00 rate pr season, Amt of tax $8.84. On the same page are Caruthers Defrees, Anthony Defrees and Joseph Defrees Ju. In 1812, the tax list of Rockbridge Co. included Joseph Defrees with the same 1 white male above 16, 1 black above 16 and 1 horse/mare as Joseph Defrees Ju in 1811. In 1813 Joseph Defrees is charged with the same taxables, and Anthony Defrees is listed with the same 1 white male above 16 but instead of 1 mare, he now has 1 stud horse. In 1814 no one by the name of Defrees is listed. Ref: Rockkbridge County VA Tax List 1811-1827 FHL Microfilm # 952171
Joseph Defrees moved to Ohio in 1811, settling on a tract of woodland on the right bank of the Miami River, seven miles above Piqua, where he lived the balance of his life. He died in August 1826, age nearly 73, and is buried in the graveyard of the Methodist at Upper Piqua, two and a half miles above what is now Piqua. . The "Official Roster of Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in Ohio" lists DeFrees, Joseph Hutton (Miami County) - Served all through the war. Born in New York City 1753, parent Joseph DeFrees and Mary Hutten. Married Mary Start in Old Swede's Church, Philadelphia Sept 10, 1777. Children: John, James, Anna, Joseph. Died 1826 farm north of Piqua, Ohio. Buried Johnson Cemetery (private) Piqua, Ohio G.M. Miami Chapter Bronze Marker May 29, 1925. Ref: DAR Lin. Vol. 49, p. 50. Natl# 48104. Further Information Miami Chapter.
The discrepancy in his burial site was solved when this writer visited Piqua, Ohio in 1981. He is not buried in the private Johnson Cemetery north of Piqua, where I checked every stone. His son John is buried there. He is buried in the Old Wesley Chapel Cemetery north of Piqua, his marker and his wife's marker gone in 1981. He died in Shelby County, (formed in 1819 from Miami County) where his will is filed.
Will of Joseph Defrees
In the Name of God, Amen. I Joseph Defrees of the County of Shelby and State of Ohio being afflicted in body but of sound mind and memory am Calling to mind the Certenty of Death and wishing to dispose of my business I do make and Establish this my Last Will and testament that is to say first of all I Recommend my soul to Almity God Who Gave it and my body to the Earth to be buried in a Decent Christian like manner and as it respects such Worlley Estate as it has pleased God to give me I Give and Bequath as follows that is to say I give to my beloved Wife Mary the Use of all the farm as long as she lives one horse one cow and six sheep and all the household furniture and at my wife's Death the farm must be sold and the money Distribeted as follows two hundred Dollars to my son Thomas Jeferson and to my sons John James Joseph and Anthony the sum of fifteen Dollars Each, and the ballance to be Equally Divided between my three Daughters Polly Stevens Elizabeth Dever and Rebecca Defrees and my Wagon Plows and gears I give to my son Thomas J. Defrees to be for the use of the farm and to my son Archibald one two year old heffer the ballance of my Personal property must be sold and after paying all my Debts if there is aney money it must be Divided Equally Between my wife and my three Daughters above named, Except the hogs which must be for the use of the fameley and Thomas Jefferson Defrees fameley, there must be Enough Reducted out of the shears of my three Daughters money of the farm to Buy my son Archibalds Daughter Mary Ann a new Saddle, and I hereby appoint my wife and Joel Frankeberger my Executors hereby Revoking and Disannulling all other will by me mad or supposed to be made Signed sealed and Acknowledged this ninth Day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and twenty Six
Signed and sealed in Joseph Defrees Seal presants of us Joel Frankeberger, Edward Jackson Robert W. Stephenson Dated 9th Aug. 1826. Probated 13 Nov. 1826. Recorded in Will Book 1, Probate Court Shelby County, Ohio, Estate File #A-38.
He served as a grand juror in January and April of 1816 in Miami Co. OH
His son Anthony Defrees compiled the following family history about 1864:
THE DE FREES FAMILY HISTORY
I am now in the 82nd year of my age. At the request of my children and others of my family connection, to leave them a statement of my recollections of family tradition of our family history for their gratification, I submit the following statement: Our family name is French in its origin, tho our ancestors immigrated from Holland to New York at an early age when New York was a Colony belonging to Holland and known there as New Amsterdam. Three brothers De Frees - I cannot give their Christian names. The tradition is that one of those brothers settled near the North River between New York and Albany in Herkimer County. One settled at Albany, the third went to Massachusetts. Our father descended from the one who settled between New York and Albany. They were of the French refugees, who fled from France during the Huguenots persecution, sometime in the 16th Century. Our father was born and raised in New York till he was twelve years old. About that time his father moved to Trenton, New Jersey, where our father remained some years, thence went to Philadelphia and there served an apprenticeship to the business of carpenter. Soon after he was through his apprenticeship the Revolutionary war began and he went into the service as carpenter on board a (Letter of Mark) merchant ship, trading between Philadelphia and Cuba, in which service he remained nearly the whole of the seven years war. During this time he was three times made prisoner of war, and twice placed on board the celebrated prison ship Jersey. This ship for filth, oppression and tyranny may well be compared to the late Andersonville Prison of the South during the Rebellion. The first time he was detained but a short time, was released by exchange of prisoners. The second time he was kept about six weeks and was reduced by sickness, starvation and filth to the last extremity between life and death, but fortunately for him, he had a sister, the wife of a Tory, who was living in New York. She discovered that he was on the Jersey and went and prevailed on the officers who had control of the matter, to let her take him off the ship to her home, where through care and good nursing he recovered his health, and soon after got his liberty by exchange of prisoners, and returned home to Philadelphia, and again, soon after, went into the same service, and sometime during the sixth year of the war, soon after leaving the port of Havana, I think was then of the ship called "Brig. Active", he was again captured by a British Man of War, but he was not so unfortunate this time as to get to the old Jersey, but by a brave and daring act of a few of his fellow prisoners and himself, he not only gained liberty, but recaptured the ship on which he was captured, and ran her back to Havana, a prise to the captors. It happened in this wise: The third day after his ship was captured, the Man of War, their captor ship lay near the shore, with several of the captured vessels, at one of the neighboring islands, for the purpose of taking water; our father, as carpenter, was left on board the prize to repair damages that the vessel had received during the fight when she was captured. Two wounded sailors were left on board to take care of them; the ship's surgeon was also left on board to take care of them. A prize crew of twelve men, put in charge of the prize, were on board and surrounding a table on the quarterdeck, eating, drinking, and carousing, feasting on the good-cheer of nick-nacks of their prize, and careless of their arms. The prisoners, five in number, including the two wounded men, were in the forecastle, taking note of what was going on, and concocting scheme to capture them. The Ship was at anchor, about one and a half miles astern of the Man of War, their captor. An arm chest of what is called cutlasses was in the forecastle. When they conceived the proper time had come, they plunged a handspike through the lid of the chest, and each man armed himself with a cutlass. It was agreed on by the party, that the surgeon and our father should advance and make the demand for surrender, leaving the one well man and the two wounded men as a reserve. They secreted their arms under their match coats, and advanced in an apparently careless manner until they got to the position they desired; then they drew their cutlasses and demanded surrender, when the twelve men, taken by surprise and knowing that several men must be killed in attempting to defend themselves, before they could recover their arms for that purpose, they submitted and allowed themselves to be taken prisoners of war, and to be handcuffed, and confined in the forecastle, which was done with all except two whom they selected and compelled to assist them to get the ship under sail. Having gotten already, with sails set, the ship was under way before anything of the movement was noticed on board the Man of War, their captor; then, with all the hurry that could be adopted, they double manned a prize schooner that lay near her and sent her in chase of the runaway. While this was going on, our father, being carpenter, went to work with his axe and cut a porthole through the stern of the ship, brought a nine-pounder gun up, to use, in sailor's phrase, as a stern chaser. Finally the enemy overhauled them and got up within gun shot. Being now both gunner and commander, our father brought his nine-pounder to bear on the enemy, through his newly made port hole and fired his gun, the ball striking the water near the bow of the advancing enemy and skipped past her. The second ball skipped past her in the same manner. The third ball made no break in the water, and he knew that went into the enemy. The fourth shot in like manner, and he knew that went where he desired it, for the enemy put down her helm and about ship, and steered away for the Man of War, and left them to go on their course. They were under the impression that the prize crew had played a game of trickery and run away with the prize. This they learned some days afterward from some of the English who had come into port, (Havana was a neutral port). This was a rich prize to be divided among five men equally, which they proceeded to do as soon as convenient. Our father invested a large portion of his dividend in West India produce, sugar, corn, spices, etc., retaining only some $16.00 in money. Shipping his goods aboard a Philadelphia Merchant Man, one of the fleet of ships leaving Havana at the same time, he took his passage in another ship of the fleet, and started for home. All went well till they came near the coast of Virginia, where a British Man of War got among them and drove the helter skelter in all directions. The ship in which his goods were was run on shore to avoid being captured, when she went to pieces and was a total loss. The ship on which he was a passenger made her escape and got safely to port. This was the last of his sea voyages. He then went to work at his trade, and continued at that for several years, through a very dull time at the closing of the war. Our father's mother was a daughter of the then well known John Hutton, who lived many year in Philadelphia, and died, I think in 1796, at the remarkable age of 108 years and four months. He was born in England or Scotland (Boston, Scotland, W.D.M.) I cannot tell which, but he served in the British Navy in the capacity of Lieut. for some years during the reign of Queen Anne, and afterwards settled in the City of New York, and carried on the trade of silversmith, and raised a family of daughters. I cannot give their number or names, but of them was was our father's mother. After the death of his wife he married a second time, and settled in Philadelphia, where he followed the same business and raised another family of sons and daughters. Two of the sons were Benjamin and Nathaniel Hutton. With these men our father served his apprenticeship to the carpenter business. They afterwards carried on the ship carpenter's trade. I visited in Philadelphia in 1816,, I was there introduced to three persons of that family, to-wit: Nathaniel Hutton. Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Valma. Nathaniel was then hale and hearty and about seventy years old, and the two ladies were both over eighty years of age. I then also saw the painted picture of our great-grandfather Hutton in Peale's Museum, which had been obtained by the proprietors of that institution and placed there on account of his great age, and being a prominent citizen of Philadelphia. Our father remained in Philadelphia until the Fall of 1786. Times still continuing very dull in the city after the close of the war, he became discontented and corresponded with his brother James, who then lived in the County of Rock Bridge in Virginia, and through his advice sold his property in Philadelphia and moved to Virginia, and bought a farm about three miles from his brother, where he remained for twenty years, then sold out and went to Ohio in October, 1811. His brother James sold his farm in Virginia about three years after our father left and went to North Carolina and settled, I think, in Guilford, where he lived for many years, and then sold out and went to Tennessee, and lived till about the age of ninety years. His descendants are scattered to and from the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama. Our father had also a brother John who left Philadelphia several years before he did, and went to Charleston, South Carolina. Lived only a few years, he and his wife both dying and leaving two children, John and a sister, orphans. Brother James afterwards became acquainted with John in Tennessee. Our father's brother John was about fifteen years older than himself. (Born about 1739 W.D.M.) When James (born about 1747 W.D.M.) was a boy of thirteen or fourteen years old, he enlisted in the English army, then preparing to make war on the French in Canada, generally known as Braddock's War, in which the English made the conquest of Canada. Uncle James being too young, and unable to carry a musket, was attached to the band of music and made a drummer. He served till the end of the war, was discharged, and afterwards getting married and settled in Virginia as before mentioned. Our mother's maiden name was Mary Start. She was born in Liverpool, England. Her father was a pilot at that port, and was lost at sea when she was a mere child. She had one sister named Margaret who married a man named Robert Black. They both married while in their teens. Their mother, after the loss of her husband in Liverpool, married a sea captain by the name of Hardy, who commanded a merchant ship trading between Liverpool and Philadelphia, and moved his family to the latter place a few years previous to the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, where he lived at the beginning of the war. Being a loyal Englishman, he joined the British service early in the war and commanded an English warship out of the city of New York. Soon after they obtained possession of that city, and were lost somewhere off the coast of Virginia. He had one son, a half brother to our mother, by name Henry. He served an apprenticeship to the trade of block maker (the block and tackle is much used in the making and rigging of ships.) When our father went to Virginia, Henry went with him, and there married a daughter of Uncle James, by name Mary. They had two children. When Uncle James left and went to North Carolina, Henry went with him; his wife dying soon after, he returned to Virginia, but desiring to work at his trade, he left and went to Washington, then in its infancy. Finding dull times for his trade, he decided to make a voyage to sea. On that voyage the vessel on which he was aboard was stopped by a British Man of War, as was their custom in those days, and though Henry was but a child when his father brought him to Philadelphia, he was selected as an Englishman and impressed and taken on board the Man of War and served in the English War some four or five years. The ship on which he was then serving, came into an American port, I believe Baltimore. He embraced an opportunity and made his escape and came back to Virginia, where he remained some years; then went back to North Carolina and married a woman who had taken and raised his daughter from infancy, and soon after went to Tennessee to a settlement known as Powell's Valley. I became acquainted with a man by the name of Mills in Cincinnati, who told me his mother's name was De Forest, and that he was born between New York and Albany. He also informed me that the name Defreest, very common in Albany and Western New York, was originally the same name, and that that pronunciation grew out of the Dutch way of pronouncing the name when Englishizing it. Having thus given you such sketches as I remember concerning our ancestors and their present position and whereabouts. I have mentioned above that father went from Philadelphia to Rock Bridge County, Va., and settled on a farm, where he remained for twenty-four years. There he raised his family, consisting of the following: John, James, Anna, Joseph, born in Philadelphia, Anthony, Rebecca, Archibald, Mary, Anna, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Thomas Jefferson, - twelve in all. The first two daughters died each at the age of nine years, and two others were named for them. These last were born in Virginia. When father (born 1753, W.D.M.) removed from Virginia to Ohio in the year 1811, he settled on a tract of woodland on the right bank of the Miami, seven miles above Piqua, where he lived the balance of his life, and died in August, 1826, aged nearly seventy-three, and is buried in the graveyard of the Methodists at Upper Piqua, two and one-half miles above what is now Piqua. Our mother then purchased a small property in Piqua, where she lived three years, died, and is buried at the side of father. Brother John began his independent life in the store of Wm. Carothers, in Lexington, Va., and after that went into the nail factory for some person, and then as a partner in charge of a large farm, and building a mill and a large distillery on an improved plan with machinery at a place called Irish Creek in Rock Bridge County. Here he remained a number of years. His wife's maiden name was Mary Holliday, from Shenandoah County. He raised a family of four children, to-wit: James Munson, John Wesley, Isabella and Wm. Carothers. He sold out his interest in Virginia and removed to Ohio and settled on a valuable tract of land two miles below Piqua, on the left back of the Miami River, made a good farm, built a flouring mill, and carried on a large distillery for those times. His son James went into the drug business, settled in Peru. Indiana, then to Marquette, Fox River, Wis. John served a time at the printing business in Piqua, and then edited the Piqua Gazette for a number of years. He is now editing a paper in Troy, Ohio, and resides in that place. Isabella married a man by the name of Esque, who went to Leesburg, Kosciusko County, Indiana, kept a tavern, became dissipated, broke down in his business, went back to Ohio, and in a few years died in poverty, leaving his family dependent upon his wife's father. She lived some two or three years and then died. Wm. C. married, and I think died the next year. He had no children and lived at home with his father; his father being old and feeble took his death so much to heart that he sickened and died a few days afterwards. Brother James served a time in the business of making hats, moved about for several years as a journeyman, and then married in Tennessee a Miss Margaret Dougherty, the daughter of an old neighbor in Virginia. Lived several years at Sparta, Tenn. Moved to Piqua, Ohio, where he carried on the business of hatter a good many years, and during John Quincy Adams' administration served as Post Master at Piqua. There he lost his wife, the mother of nine children, viz., Joseph, Harriet, James, Anthony, Mary William, Margaret and Caroline. A year or two after the death of his wife he married the worthy widow Rollins, a daughter of Mr. Wm. Frost, by whom he had four more children, three of whom are still living, Elizabeth, Rollin and Frances. John and Joseph served a time to the printing business in the Gazette office at Piqua: thence went to South Bend, Indiana, and published the New Pioneer. John then went to Indianapolis and edited the State Journal a number of years; thence to Washington, D.C. serving as Sup't. of Public Printing during President Lincoln's administration and most of Johnson's time. Joseph settled in Goshen, Indiana, as a merchant in a small way. Was very successful. Everything in business which he touched seemed to pay well, and he is now very wealthy. He has served one term in Congress in his district. James settled at Syracuse, Indiana, as partner of his brother Joseph in milling and merchandising, where he was very successful, but died in the prime of life. His widow resides at Elkhart, Indiana. Anthony also served a time at the printing business; lived some time in Indianapolis, then went to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he established a large copying business by machinery; thence to Newark, N.J., where he joined his brother Rollin, in the manufacture of metal tree tags by machinery invented by Rollin, by which business, it is said, they are in a fair way to make a fortune. Harriet married a man by the name of Stephens Cohns, and is now living in Sparta, Tenn. Mary married a man by the name of Hiram Morgan, a worthy man who had been both successful and unfortunate in business. He died in Goshen while acting as County treasurer. William went to California in 1850; was both successful and fortunate, having been burned out in Sacramento; is now engaged in mining in Idaho, and is believed has possession of several rich gold and silver lead, by which it is believed he and his friend and partners will become wealthy. Margaret married a man by the name of Smith; is now living in the state of Michigan, near St. Joseph. Caroline married a very worthy man and successful lawyer, James S. Frazer; he is now one of the judges of the supreme court of Indiana, and lives in Warsaw. Elizabeth married Richard Mann, an active, enterprising and patriotic man, who did a successful business in milling and merchandising at Syracuse, Indiana, in partnership with J.H. De Frees for a number of years. Sold out to his partner and purchased a mill at Middlebury and did a good business. Between one and two years after the war commenced he enlisted as volunteer, went into the army, was elected Lieut. Commander, and was serving in that capacity when he was taken violently sick and died in a few days. His wife, as soon as she heard of his illness, went immediately to the care of him, but he died before her arrival. She brought his body home with her for burial. Rollin got a fair education and made some preparation for the practice of law, but he went to his brother John at Washington and accepted a clerkship, but being of a mechanical turn of mind he spent much of his unofficial time in the study of machinery. Had on hand several important inventions, and finally brought a machine for manufacturing and has entered into partnership with his brother Anthony, and they are now established at Newark, N.J.. to carry on the business, with good prospects of success. I have omitted mentioning the closing of brother James's final progress and end. He left Piqua, Ohio, and settled on a farm near Goshen, where he lived for some years; thence he went to Syracuse, to assist his son Joseph in carrying on his business at that place, where he had a violent attack of lung fever and died suddenly in his sixty-seventh year, and is buried in the graveyard at Goshen. Brother Joseph served an apprenticeship in Rock Bridge County, Va., with Ezra Holbrook, in the blacksmith cutting business; commenced and carried on business under the patronage and in partnership with Wm. Carothers, our brother John's partner at Irish Creek, where he carried on the business for nine years. He sold out and went to Piqua; bought a water power; bought a good soap shop with tilt hammer, and carried on the business of blacksmithing and cutting for 25 or 26 years. His wife's maiden name was Elizabeth Caven. He raised a family of children, viz: Mary, Thomas, Joseph H. and George. These last were twins. Mary married a man by the name of Robert Shannon, a cabinet-maker by trade; a very worthy man, is well off and lives in Piqua. Thomas went into the shop and learned the trade with his father and owned a shop for several years; then connected himself with railroad building for several more years, and is now settled in St. Mary's, Mercer County, engaged in manufacturing linseed oil. Joseph H. established himself in Piqua, as hardware merchant, in company with Mr. Simpson, his father-in-law. Succeeded very well in business, but sold out. He has since established himself in Belle Fountain, Ohio, making linseed oil. George established in the oil business, succeeding very well, and about the time of the beginning of the civil war he invested all the means he could get hold of in flaxseed, and soon after seed went from two to three hundred percent, and he made a little fortune. A year or two after he lost his health, lingered a few months and died. John died at or about the age of 18 years. Brother Joseph himself, after losing his companion and feeling himself as becoming superannuated, distributed his property among his children and made his home with his eldest son Thomas, where he died in the sixty-third year of his age, and is buried in the old Presbyterian graveyard at Piqua. Written by Anthony DeFrees, South Bend Indiana. (About 1864)
I am guessing the additional comments denoted W.D.M. in parenthesis are by Will D. Mann, son of Elizabeth DeFrees and Richard Mann, who may have been the typist of the onion skin copies in the possession of this writer.
From "A Naval History of the American Revolution" by Gardner W. Allen, Vol. 1;Boston;1913 Several references are made to the schooner "Active" as a privateer, including this: Four Connecticut fishermen were captured by the British at sea in September, 1778, and taken to Jamaica, where they were impressed on board the sloop "Active", bound to New York. During the voyage the four Americans rose upon the crew of the Active, fourteen in number, and confined them below. Although the British were armed and made many desperate attempts to regain possession of the sloop, they were finally subdued after a two days' struggle. The Active was then headed for port, but was seized by a Pennsylvania state cruiser and
References: Military:PA Archives 6 Series Vol. 1 p.562, 563, 563, 564. and Vol. 13 Series 2 Assoc. Battalions and Militia of the Revolution pp712-713. Miami County Soldiers of the Revolution; Troy American Bicentennial Commission;p.9 DeFrees, Anthony;DeFrees Family History; South Bend, IN 1864 Death-Jos. H. Defrees; Shelby County Courthouse OH;Will Book 1;file A-38. Marriage-Record of PA marriages prior to 1810; Vol.1 p.349; pub.1968 1810 Census Rockbridge Co., VA p. 290-301 Wesley Chapel Cm, near Piqua, burial site
More About Joseph Hutton DeFrees: Burial: Unknown, Wesley Chapel Cm, Shelby Co, OH. DAR: 15 October 1994, Application 760046 approved. Migration: NY to PA to VA to OH. Military: Private, Militia, American Revolution. Will: Book 1 Estate file A-38 Shelby Co. OH.
More About Joseph Hutton DeFrees and Mary Start: Marriage: 15 September 1777, Old Swedes Ch, Philadelphia, PA.748, 749
Children of Joseph Hutton DeFrees and Mary Start are: