The Last of the Mohicans, Almost

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 10, May 30, 2010

There is nothing new under the sun, but the history you don’t know; or in my case, the genealogy.

One of the oldest Indian reservations in North America is reserve land granted to the Schaghticoke Indians (descendants of the Mohicans) in the year 1736 by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut, forty years prior to the formation of the United States. As far as I know, the Schaghticoke do not run a casino. Still, they have my attention.

My great-grandfather, George Washington Harvey (1855 – 1939) was married to Mary Ann Winterbottom (1857- 1897); Mary Ann’s mother was Mary Jane Bearce (1836 – 1901). Her father was James Winterbottom, who was born in England in 1828.

Mary Jane Bearce was the daughter of Sarah Austin (1795 – 1880) and Eli Hervey Bearse (1793 – 1857). Here is the entry point of my interest in the Schaghticoke Indians:

Oliver Canfield* (1729 – 1818), part Schaghticoke himself, had a housekeeper named Sarah Mauwee (1732 – ?), daughter of Joseph Mauwee, a Sachem (chief) of the Schaghticoke Nation. Oliver and Sarah conceived a daughter, who they named Freelove. Yes, that was her real name. Freelove Canfield was born on Long Mountain, Connecticut in 1758. Oliver and his wife, Tabitha Roberts (1732 – 1818), raised Freelove, along with their other three children. Tabitha later moved to Somme, Picardie, France, which is where she died.

On March 27, 1789, Freelove Canfield was married to Josiah Bearse, III* (1755 – 1845). Josiah was also part Schaghticoke. Together, Josiah and Freelove had eleven children. One of those children was Eli Hervey Bearse.

Yes, Eli Hervey Bearse is my great, great, great, great grandfather. Freelove Canfield Bearse is my great, great, great, great, great grandmother. Sarah Mauwee is my… Well, you get the idea.

Now you know what I did this past weekend. Gosh, that was fun – and I’m just getting started. http://www.ancestry.com

*Josiah Bearse, III, and Oliver Canfield both fought in the American Army during the Revolutionary War.

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