Johannes William Youngblood by Robert Eager NSSAR #179422J

On 30 September 1729, Johannes William Youngblood became the firstborn child of German immigrants Johannes Jungblut and Anna Maria Kaffenut. His birthplace is unknown. It may have been Germany or America. In either case, shortly after, the Jungbluts, along with two other immigrant families, purchased 800 acres of wilderness from a New York City land speculator. Their property was just west of the village of Montgomery in present day Orange County. The Youngbloods, Buchstabers, and Sinsibaughs were among the first settlers in that area. When they arrived, there wasn’t time to build a proper cabin, so the families excavated a resting place in the side of a gravely hill and holed up there until spring.

Other German families soon settled in the area. In 1732 they founded the German Reformed Church of Wallkill. Johannes Jungblut was the first elder and fellow pioneer Jacob Buchstaber was the first deacon. The church they founded still exists. Located on Route 17k, just west of Montgomery, the original structure was replaced several times. After a fire in 1858 it was rebuilt with the imposing brick structure that stands today. It was then renamed the Brick Reformed Church.

It must have been a life filled with hard work growing up as the oldest son in a pioneer farming family. Added to that, Johannes William’s mother died when he was about 10 years old. His father soon remarried, and the family eventually grew to include two sons and four daughters.

In 1761, at the age of 32, Johannes William married 18-year-old Catharina Buchstaber. She was a daughter of Jacob Buchstaber, one of the original three settlers. Together they would raise eleven children, seven daughters and four sons. Two others died in childhood.

When America declared its independence from Great Britain. Johannes William , along with most of his neighbors, signed up to serve with the local militia, the 2nd Ulster County Regiment. He would never apply for a pension, but from the narrative records of others a picture emerges of the type of service that the men of the 2nd Ulster experienced.

Early on, the regiment provided support for Forts Montgomery and Clinton where they overlooked the Hudson River. Then, after the forts fell to the British in 1777 they would be called upon periodically to march to the southern and western regions of the county in response to alarms on the frontier. Tories and their Indian allies found those outlying communities an easy target and a way to create a distraction for the militia units, keeping them from providing support for the Continental Army. Various companies would be called up to serve a few days at a time, marching to a remote area, staying a few days until the threats subsided, and then marching back. This resulted in numerous skirmishes with small groups, but in 1779 a company of Ulster militia was massacred at Minisink when they lost the element of surprise while attacking a much larger British force. It was a deadly business.

Following the war, Johannes William continued his life as a successful farmer. By 1799 he felt it was time to prepare a will. In it, he divided several parcels of land among his three oldest sons. He arranged for his youngest son to receive 300 pounds when he came of age. He divided his personal property equally among his seven daughters. In addition, he provided 30 pounds for each of his three youngest daughters. This was to be equivalent to an amount the older four had previously received, presumedly when they were married. He instructed his oldest sons to provide for their mother and to continue to raise his other children.

On May 5th, 1802, Johann William passed and was laid to rest in the cemetery adjacent to the Brick Reformed Church. Five years later, on September 3rd, 1807, his wife Catharina joined him. His many descendants continued to live in the area for generations. Today, travelling three and half miles west from the Brick Church, one can take Youngblood Rd. north about a mile. It is a pleasant drive through the rolling countryside. While the buildings no longer exist, the location of the old homestead lies to the east just before the road bends to the west.

References and Notes

Eager, Samuel W., Outline History of Orange County New York (Newburgh, S. T. Callahan, 1846-7), p. 259.

Hughes, James, Surveyor, Farm Map of the Town of Crawford, Orange Co. New York, 1863.

Jonathan W Youngblood in the New York, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, Probate Records, 1787-1916; Index to Surrogate’s Records,.1787-1941; Author: New York. Surrogate’s Court (Orange County}; Probate Place: Orange, New York.

Palatine Families of New York and New Jersey, p. 134-135.

Roberts, James A., New York in the Revolution (Albany, NY, Weed-Parsons Printing Co.,1897), p. 261.

Ruttenber, E.M. & Clark, L.H., History of Orange County New York (Philadelphia, Everts & Peck, 1881) pp. 171,372.

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