The Loyalist Waggoners of Vermont

Updated July 26, 2008

Linda Waggoner

lindawgr@gmail.com


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Francis Waggoner (ca. 1748-1806) and Jennet Hooper (ca. 1748-1826) from Halfmoon (or New Town), Saratoga Co., New York, relocated with their eight children to Alburgh, Franklin Co., Vermont, after the Revolutionary War. He was loyal to the Crown, but I have not been able to trace his ancestry. Some records say he spoke German, and was a Palatine. Yet several of the Waggoner children were baptized at the Schaghticoke Dutch Reformed Church in New York, where his name appears as "Wagenaer" and "Wagenen" and his wife's name "Jannetje." (I've unsuccessfully tried to connect him to the New York Van Wagenen family.) Jennet seems to have been a close relative of Stephen Hooper, a Stillwater, Albany Co., New York loyalist, who served as a spy for the British during the Revolution. The Hoopers may have come from New Jersey.

In this family tree, I have included descendants of loyalist John Waggoner, who settled near Francis in Highgate, Vermont, after the war. They may have been brothers, and so, in order to include Johnís descendants, they are shown as such. Iíve also included John because heís easily confused with John Waggoner, eldest son of Francis and Jennet. ďUncleĒ John died in 1798, while ďnephewĒ John, my ancestor, lived from 1769 to 1818.

Some Waggoners, like my John, crossed the border to Missisquoi Co., Quebec, for loyalist land. Eventually, though, most headed west. Some gradually drifted across Vermontís western border to Franklin Co. in northern New York. Others made their way to Godmanchester, Huntingdon Co., Quebec, just north of their New York kin. But these folks grew restless too, and several left for California to seek their fortunes in gold. One Waggoner woman from Godmanchester, whose husband had preceded her, braved the grueling six-week ship passage with her children ďby the way of the Nicaragua route . . . narrowly escaping shipwreck off Cape Hatteras.Ē Less adventurous (and more prudent) Waggoners sought their livelihoods in Michigan. My John Waggoner headed, perhaps, for Godmanchester too, dying en route in 1818. For reasons unknown, his wife, Anna, and most of their children settled in Niagara Co., New York, by 1820.

Anna later remarried her daughter's father-in-law in Lewiston, Niagara County. She died in 1842 bearing the name "Anna Hewitt," the reason I confirmed her whereabouts only very recently. Unfortunately, I still donít know her maiden name. Shortly after her death, her youngest child, my ancestor, Oscar Fitzallen Waggoner, ventured west to Portage, Wisconsin (and his two brothers to nearby Burr Oaks, Iowa). Oscar ran a ferry across the Wisconsin River. In 1844 he married Genevieve "Jane" Frome dit Manegre (now Manaige) and farmed to feed his growing family. Jane was a Winnebago Metis woman (and thatís another great story), but I've not shown her lines in this family tree due to limits of space.

Iíve included lots of notes, rather than merely giving the source. Some of my people are well documented; some I've claimed, erroneously or not, out of concern for leaving a lost soul unaccounted for. Iím happy to pass anyone on who does not belong here. So if you have claim, please make claim! Iíve also tried to delete all the still-possibly-living from this tree. If I havenít, please let me know. I welcome all inquiries.

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