Thursday, May 28, 2015

Isaac Vincent: Killed at the Battle of Fort Freeland (#21 of 52 Ancestors)

Hower-Slote House.jpg
Fort Freeland (image from Wikipedia)

In 1772, the Vincent families and others moved from Essex County, New Jersey, to current day Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. For several years, they lived peacefully near the local "Indians." But, trouble started brewing in 1777. By 1779, about 13 families were living in a large, two-story house around which they had built a 12-foot high wall around. It enclosed a half acre and they called it Fort Freeland.

Life was fairly normal at the fort. Isaac Vincent's wife gave birth to a son, George, in February of 1779. Two other babies were also born inside the fort. The men planted corn in a field at the back of the fort that spring.

But, on July 21st some men were working in the corn field when they were attacked by a party of "Indians." Isaac Vincent, only 22 years old, was killed along with two other men. Isaac's 10-year-old brother, Benjamin, was taken captive along with another male. Their brother, Daniel Vincent, about 19-years-old, outran the captors.

About 6 hours after the attack, the captured young Benjamin was shown the scalp of his brother, Isaac, and he knew Isaac had been killed.

Eight days later, the fort was attacked by about 300 Seneca Indians and British. With only 21 men left at the fort, they quickly surrendered. Most of the remaining men were taken as prisoners and "marched" to Canada while the women, children, and "old men" were set free and walked eighteen miles to Northumberland.

Nineteen year old Daniel Vincent was my 5th great grandfather. His older brother, Isaac, lost his life at the fort. Daniel was a prisoner in Canada for three years, after which he returned home to his wife. I wrote about his story in "Prisoner of War Love Story."

My 6th great grandparents, Cornelius & Phoebe Vincent, were in their mid-forties and also at the fort. Phoebe and another woman helped to turn their plates and spoons into bullets and, as such, is a DAR eligible ancestor. Cornelius also was a prisoner in Canada for three years. After his return, "he carried ankle and wrist scars from English shackles" the rest of his life.

My 7th great grandparents, John & Elizabeth Vincent, were each about 70 years old when they were attacked at Fort Freeland. As Elizabeth was crippled, John spoke with the British and was given a horse for his wife to ride and he wasn't taken captive with the younger men.

My Vincent family suffered a great deal as they lost their son, Isaac, and the younger men were taken prisoner and not seen for three years.

My Line of Descent
  • Isaac Vincent (1757-1779) m Unknown - he's a brother to my direct ancestor, Daniel Vincent (1760-1827) m Angelchy Huff/Hough/Heuff (1760-1821) 
  • Elizabeth "Betsy" Vincent (1789-1846) m George Watson (1783-1856) 
  • Sarah Jane Watson (1826-1853) m John Quiggle Stewart (1825-1922) 
  • Alexander Stewart (1852-1922) m Catharine Jane McClintock (1852-1929) 
  • Andrew "Andy" McClinock Stewart (1882-1954) m. Bessie Waldron Merrill (1879-1959) 
  • James Edward Stewart (1910-1972) m. Hazel Lucille Peters (1910-1975) (my paternal grandparents) 
  • "Warrior Run - Fort Freeland Heritage Society" webpage 
  • "Access Genealogy: Fort Freeland, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania" webpage 
  • "Rootsweb: III An Account of the First White Settlement on Warrior Run" webpage 
Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at


  1. That's a sad story Dana. I have a couple of Indian tales in the family too, but nothing like that. I am reading a book right now called The Thieving Forest. It's about a family of sisters who were captured by Indians in 1806 Ohio. Not a true story, but interesting nonetheless because of the time period. Thanks for sharing your ancestor's story with us.

  2. I'm an avid reader & will have to look into that book! I read a true story about two sisters who survived years of Indian captivity. It's more of a young adult book and is written from a Christian perspective. And, it's a "genealogy" book, because it was written by a young lady who descended from one of these sisters! It's called, "Alone Not Yet Alone" by Tracy Michele Leininger. It also came out as a movie which is available on DVD in July... see

  3. Dana - your blog is such a gem! I'm so happy I stumbled upon it. Our connection is Elizabeth Vincent and George Watson. One of their daughters was Angeline Watson, who married Andrew Armstrong. They are my 3x Great Grandparents on my Dad's side. I've really enjoyed reading your posts about the Vincent family in particular.

    I see you have some posts about the Watsons, but in case you haven't read this before, I recommend the site below. Skip ahead to when John Watson purchased the land now known as Watsontown, PA in 1792:

    Sarah Armstrong

    1. Hi, Sarah. First of all, it's wonderful to 'meet' another cousin! I would LOVE to have some way to contact you. Can you send me your email address? My email address is

      I do have Angeline Watson and her husband, Andrew Armstrong, on my tree. But, I don't have any of their children. I would love help filling that in!

      And, yes, I've been to the "My Watsontown" site quite a few times. It's a wonderful resource for us!

      Again, I hope you get in touch with me via email. I have more records that I haven't shared yet. And, I hope you have some records I don't have, too!


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