Search for content in message boards

Peter and Thankful Retan/ Rutan

Replies: 1

Re: Peter and Thankful Retan/ Rutan

Rich Skinner (View posts)
Posted: 1116735797000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1116854018000
Surnames: Retan, Skinner, Hatt, rutan
Below is a copy of Hatt information a letter that I got off the Rootsweb message board a while back and it makes it pretty clear who Peter's parents are. I also have a lot of information on Thankful's family but not much on her. I've been trying to locate where they are burried and thanks to you, now I know. Any other info would be appreciated. Thankful's parents were Ebenezer & Laura Skinner. Do you know if they are also burried in the Old Lowe Cemetery?

Rich Skinner

RootsWeb Message Boards - Message [ Lenawee ]

Message Boards Login
Search: All Boards Lenawee Board Advanced Search

Boards > Localities > North America > United States > States > Michigan >
Counties > Lenawee
List Messages | Post New Message | Add Board To Favorites | Add
Board To Notifications | Links & Announcements

<<Thread • Previous • Next • Thread>>

Author: Debra EddyDate: 24 Jun 2000 12:00 PM GMT
Surnames: HATT
Classification: Query
In Reply to: Ancestry by: Barbara Detwiler Leik
Post Reply | Mark Unread | Report Abuse Print Message
I have gathered information on hundreds of HATT and HATT
descendants over the last 15+ years. Would be happy to share
information on the descendants of William Hatt, the
"kidnapped' ancestor, who was allegedly picked up from England
or France and was forced to serve on a ship for 7 years, then
jumped ship and swam to New York harbor, where he changed his
name from Hatt to Cap or Bonnet [or vice-versa] for a time, to
elude his captors.

There are many versions of the story about the kidnapped Hatt
ancestor, all consisting of the same basic story. In 1988, my
husband told a man he worked with, Bill Hatt, about the story
that had been passed through my family. Surprisingly, it was
the very same story that had been passed down through Bill's
family. That started me on a quest to learn about our oldest
Hatt progenitor, and also as many of his descendants as
William Hatt appeared in two census in New York--

1790 federal census, Warwick twp., Orange Co, NY

1810 federal census, Seneca Co, NY 137/01001/01
"DeLand's History of Jackson County, Michigan," by Colonel
Charles V. DeLand, 1903, pages 971 and 972 contain a
biographical sketch of Nathan Mead Hatt. In this sketch is the
following information regarding his ancestry----"The original
ancestor of the Hatt family in America was the
great-grandfather of him whose name introduces this article
and he bore the name of James [*]. He was born in England and
was a soldier in the British army, as was also his brother.
They jumped overboard from one of the war vessels in service
during the American revolution, and both made good their
escape, the brother proceeding to Canada, where all trace of
him was lost, so that the representatives of the name in the
United States are unmistakably descended from the common
ancestor, James [*] Hatt.

*We have uncovered enough solid proof to determine that the
name of the kidnapped ancestor was not James, as this sketch
states, but was William Hatt----the father of James [my
ancestor] and his brother William, who married Hannah
Spear--they are the oldest people on the large family tree
that is brought to the Hatt reunion in Lansing, MI, the third
Saturday of August each year. They have always believed their
William (who married Hannah) was the kidnapped Hatt ancestor.
Evidence proves otherwise. Their records skipped a generation,
and their oldest William was actually a son of the kidnapped
The book, "Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications"
shows no William Hatt, Cap, or Bonnet, or any variation of
those names.

When I wrote to the National Archives with this information,
they said records of these units were destroyed. They did have
a record for William Hatt who served in Weissenfels' Regiment,
NY Levies. William Hatt was paid 6 March 1787 for serving in
the Regiment of Leveis [sic] Comanded [sic] by Col Weissenfels
in the year 1781 & 1782.

"Orderly Book of the 4th NY & 2nd NY Regiments 1778-1783," pg
739--Colonel Weisenfel's regiment was quartered at Ft.
Schuyler when the journal of Samuel Talmadge begins on Dec.
10, 1780. The regiment had reached Ft. Schuyler on Nov. 22,
1780 [Ft. Schuyler was on the site of Rome, NY]

pg 741 Sacquate, Fri. Jan, 1781 - Proceeded on arrival at the
Garirson about 12:00 Col. Weissenfels was relieved by Col.
Cockran who took the Command of the Garrison

pg 848 at Ft. Schuyler Dec. 31, 1780 dined with Col. Fred'k
Weissenfels, Jan 1, 1781 dined with Col. Weissenfels in Co. of
several officers

Pg 856, Col. Weissenfels stationed at Marble Town Wed. 31 July
A few years ago, I wrote to Mrs. Betty Auten, Seneca County
Historian, where our Hatt ancestor supposedly received bounty
land. She wrote" I went through my various collections and I
found a few items relating to your family line. I have some
Mead material but nothing as early as you would need.

"William Hatt did not receive a lot in the Military Tract. I
have a copy of the Ballotting Book which listed every man who
got a lot.

"I found a William Hatt in the Connecticut Revolutionary war
records. Some time ago I made a collection of all head of
households who appear in the early censuses and were over 45
years of age. Whenever I found some time I would go through
the various books on Rev soldiers to try to find information.
The following is a transcription of a letter that Ivan
Detwiler of Sand Creek, Lenawee County, MI, found in his
sister's estate on the day of her auction sale and rescued
from being lost. Ivan has given the original document to me.
It was written on a calendar dated 1894-1895. Ivan's wife,
Doris transcribed the letter, which is quite difficult to
decipher. It is written by L. H. Retan to his cousin Uriah, in
old English lettering, with letters missing and similar
letters looking alike. {I have put additional information in
brackets [] to help clarify some things.}

Fairfield [Lenawee County, Michigan], Feb. 3, 1896

Cousin Uriah, [Hatt, son of Nathan Mead Hatt]

I thought you might want a little information as to the linage
of Hatt and Retan and my time is like its getting poor and our
mind is never still, going forward or backward over our
mistakes. The intelligent part of man never dies. You can send
your minds eye one thousand miles in one second and see as you
have seen and know as you have known. So I, being the oldest
of our tribe, I will sketch -----little reminescences [sic] as
they come along in my mind from 71 years back. Seeing my
grandfather on my mother's side and hearing his experiences
from a boy. He was an Englishman by birth. Was picked up on
the shores of England when a boy, 9 years old on a pirate
ship. Kept aboard it 7 years as a cabin boy and when they came
near American shores, he broke for the shore and swam about
1/2 mile with bullets around his head but suceeded in reaching
shore. Then and there became an American tier. Soon after the
Revolutionary War broke out and he served 4 years in it. Then
married a woman of Irish descent in Orange Co. New Jersey.
Came with a colony to York state. Settled in the town of
Romulos, had born to them 8 children 4 boys and 4 girls. All
married, had families that are scattered as follows. James
married to Betsy Mead had 10 children. William Junior, I
haven't her name. Ruban Churan married Jenny Coiles. John
married Sally Kiney. Girls--Polly married to Peeter Retan.
Pheba to Ezra Smith. Hannah married Zadoc Randell. Julia
unmarried. First generation probably all passed away. At least
no representation. Second generation--James and Polly gone
over the river with most of their generation. James had 10
children all gone. Polly had 7 children all gone but 2. Now
their offshoots are scattered in the world somewhere. Could we
have a representation of them it would be a sight to see
Giddion with his Army would not compare.

I will give the names of the second generation beginning with
your grandfather Isaac married Hannah Palen, James Jr. married
Polly Palen, William to Annie Secoy, Levi I don't remember.
Eli to Emaline Hall. Girls--Polly to John Laycock, Hannah to
Jeremiah Smith. Huldah to Samuel Halford. Pheba never married
and Zilla never married. All gone over the river as far as I
know. Of the first generation of Retans are here yet how long
we shall stay is known only to God. I will give their names--
Rebecca married to Josiah Swick. Polly Ann to John Swick.
Peter to Thankful Skinner. James to Uraan (?) Conover. William
to Huldah Evans. Should you organize a reunion invite any of
those named herein. Is your great-grandfather and your
great-great-grandfather down to the 4 generation and in your
house is the 5 generation now you can look after the rest can
you not? Your great-great-grandfather William Hatt was a true
American (disliked Torries) as he called them. He had brother
Givian in Canada, that was wealthy that offered to help him
would he come over there and he would not. Rather stay in the
woods and woods it was at that time 100 years ago, a colony of
Hatts, Meads, Lugees, Tombriats and Retans settled in Seneca,
Tompkins and Shumong Counties. How the Meads and Hatts are
connected, my uncle James Hatt married Betsy Mead became a
brother-in-law to Gurshum. Lugees, with all these relatives by
different names, I conclude came by one going to the land of
nod and taken a wife of another tribe. There is a multitude of
names that are our relatives that we know of. My folks began
to scatter when I was 12 years old.

There is one thing more that I will mention of my grandfather
Hatt. While in the war they had to have pickets on guard
nights and there was one post that was dreaded. There had been
pickets shot out there and now came his turn. The corporal of
the guard stationed him and when he was gone he stationed
himself about ten rods away by the roots of a tree where he
kept a sharp lookout through the leaves. Along in the night,
by the glimmer of the moon he saw the leaves stirring in a
tree nearby and was sure there was a bear. He fired and
hollered and the bear came tumbling through the brush to the
ground. Soon the corporal came, that is bear I guess we can
have bear meat for breakfast. Come to look, it was a redskin.
He had been put there to do dirty work for the British. There
had been a great many lost their lives doing dirty work for
the whites. They want to have something to lay meaness to

Now Uriah, you will have to have a lawyer to read this. And so
I will sketch a little Retan in it. Peter Retan, my father was
honest, but poor worked at great disadvantage, was uneducated.
Was the father of 12 children married twice bought land twice
sold to get a title------gone both times. Then worked land on
shares. Done the drudgery. Moved often, did not get rich, and
so the children had to rough it as they could. Will not go in
to details. It would take me too long and a big book. I am of
the second family next to the oldest. Oldest was a sister. 2
sisters 4 brothers. I was born in Ovid Ovid Twp. Seneca Co.
New York in the year 1817. Lived there till I was 3l.
Commenced to work by the month when 13 years old for 5 dollars
a month. Growed older got a little more every year until I was
21 then done as other folks got a woman by the name of
Hennrietta Hatt. Then took a farm and settled down to
business. Worked land on shares for 8. Had gathered a little
around then to fulfill my pledges made when 14 years old.

Now we have had snow here for 4 weeks and no sleighing. Water
plenty fodder scarce. Friends here are well as far as heard
from me or not well, neither can be expected at our age. We
make out to keep house because we are here alone.

Now I have given you as intended to read. Forgive bad spelling
and write telling us how you liked the reunion.

L. H. Retan
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
happygoesluck... 1086569540000 
Rich Skinner 1116735797000 
per page

Find a board about a specific topic