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Johannes Corneliussen Kortregt was born August 5, 1714 in Marbletown, Ulster county, New York. The family is mentioned in many historical reference books (see Edgar Stickney reprint, 1988, of old Sussex County families in the Wyoming County, PA Historical Society book, originally published in 1865). On January 24, 1734 or '35, when Johannes Corneliussen was 19, he married Anna Margriet Dennemarken in Marbletown, Ulster County, New York. Anna- Margriet was baptized in Old Dutch Church of Kingston, New York on May 11, 1712. They may have had more than one child, but the child our branch of the Courtrights springs from was Abraham Van Kampen Kortright. Johannes Corneliussen died in Lower Smithfield, Northhampton County, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1783. He was 68 and the county has been renamed Monroe County.

Abraham Van Kampen Kortright was born July 8, 1748 in Northhampton County, PA. He married Affy (Evje/Effie) Drake in Bloom Township, PA . Affy was daughter of John Drake and Christiania Kermer and was born April 7, 1752. They moved to Ohio, near Lancaster, in 1803 in two wagons with their five children and a cow. We don't know the cow's name, but the children were: John Johannes, born February 26, 1779 in Northhampton County, Jesse Drake, Abram Van, Margaret and Christiania.

When John Johannes turned 20, he married Elizabeth Grubb (b. 4/29/1780, d.6/12/1852) in Ohio. (He married twice more without issue.) They lived on a farm in Lithopolis, Ohio and raised five children: Abraham C, John Jacob, Jacob G., Jesse Drake and Sarah G. The second son, John Jacob, purchased 50 acres of land in Fairfield County in 1822 when he was seventeen years old and married Margaret Crist three years later. Margaret (b.3/16/1807, d.9/28/1844) bore John Jacob eight children before she died:

    Effal Lorain (1828-1867)
    John Andrew (1828-1844)
    Abner Leonard (ca1832)
    Jerome G. (1835-1861)
    Ezra Monroe (1837-1877)
    Calvin Whitfield (November 15, 1839-December 17, 1929)
    Franklin W. (1843-1861)

Very soon after Margaret's death, John Jacob married Mary Sarber who already had two daughters, but bore Jacob five more children before she, too, died. (b.8/3/17, d.5/3/1856)

    Margaret A. (1846-1906)
    Elizabeth Jane (1848-1849)
    Aniece E. (1850-1897)
    Mary Celestia (1853-1856)
    Sara Samantha (1855-1901)

John Jacob married one more wife, Mariah Roberts, to help him take care of all those children! He and Mariah bore no children, but the 1860 Census shows them living in Bloom Township with two of Calvin Whitfield's brothers: Jerome, who is by now 24 years old and has become a Horse Doctor, and Franklin, who is 17 and now a farmer. Three children of Mary Sarber's are also still in the household, Margaret, Anise and little Sarah. Mariah had her hands full. John Jacob and all three of his wives are buried in Lithopolis Cemetery along with many of their relations.)

The original indenture for the purchase of his 50 acres of land is in the family still (with Eleanor Pelcyger.) It reads in part:

    "This indenture, made this first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty two between David Wright and Sarah his wife of the county of Fairfield and state of Ohio of the one part, and John Courtright of the county of Fairfield and state of Ohio of the other part, Witnesseth, that the said David Wright and Sarah his wife for and in consideration of sum of five hundred dollars current money of the United States to them in hand paid, the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge and forever acquit and discharge the said John Courtright .and assign forever, all that tract or parcel of land, lying and being in the county of Fairfield and state of Ohio and is known and distinguished by being a part or parsel of the west half of Section Number Thirty three of Township Number Fourteen and Piang Number Twenty....Containing Fifty Acres of Land together with all improvements and appurtenances..."

It is witnessed by J. D.Courtright , most likely John Jacob's brother, Jesse Drake. Also present as a witness was Rachel Wright. It is signed by David Wright and Sarah Wright made her mark rather than a signature. There is a record somewhere of John Jacob having donated land to the Lithopolis Presbyterian Church.

Down the road a piece from John Jacob in 1860 lived his older brother, 73 year old Abram Van and his wife, Elizabeth Betsey McFarland. Abram Van lists himself as "Gentleman" and since he and Elizabeth are getting on in years, they have a couple of young Courtright girls, 16 and 14 years old living with them to help out. We're not sure whose children they really are, but their names are Sarah J. and Elizabeth J. It was not unusual in those times for unmarried daughters to be farmed out to relatives to earn their board and keep.

In the farm next to Abram Van lived his son, Zephaniah Courtright, his wife Sarah Williamson and their five children (including another Abram). Zephaniah was a solid citizen of Fairfield County. " He was held in high esteem in Fairfield County. He lived a long life, and left a handsome estate, and more importantly, a good name." Zephaniah's older brother, John was close by, farming with his wife, Anna, and their five children. It was a veritable Courtright dynasty in Bloom Township, Ohio by 1860.

Fairfield County was peppered with Courtrights, some living next door to each other. For instance, Jesse Drake, who witnessed the above mentioned deed, had nine offspring, one of whom, Samuel W. Courtright, wrote the little pamphlet tracing our branch of the Courtright family back to Holland.

Calvin Whitfield Courtright

Calvin Whitfield Courtright was my great grandfather. Calvin went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and married Sarah Albach there in 1861 before he was finished with school. (Sarah was born 5/25/1843, died 12/12/1931). Their first child, Mary Estella, was born in Oxford, 9/15/1862. The second, Katherine Louise, was born in Brookville, Indiana, 11/22/1863. She was my grandmother. CWC was "head of a college" in Indiana til his father sent him and his family to Princeton so CWC could attend Princeton Theological Seminary. Their third child, John Calvin, was born in Princeton, NJ, 11/23/1865. The baby died of diptheria a few months later while Sarah was already pregnant with their fourth child, Sadie. We have a poignant diary of Sarah's, giving an account of the death of that child. The diary has been transcribed and will be sent to her descendants later.

When CWC finished Princeton, where he played baseball for the college and developed a lifelong interest in sports, the family moved back to the Midwest, probably to Fairfield County. He was a preacher and the superintendent of the McConnelsville schools. They had four more children, probably all born in Ohio, before Sadie died (4/14/1875) when she was burned in a fire at their home on Meigs Creek. This very loving couple bore four more children before CWC left in 1882 for Northern Ohio where they had two more, making a total of fifteen children.

According to an Oakland, CA newspaper, The Glenville News Monthly, CWC went from Ohio to Chicago, IL. "After three years services in that city, they went to Iowa for a few years, but Mrs. Courtright's health broke down due to the cold climate so they moved to Oregon, where he had two churches and was also a professor in the Presbyterian College in Albany, Oregon. After living in this state three years they returned to Chicago, where most of their sons were in business, but while here, Mr. Courtright's health broke down and he was compelled to retire from the ministry. In 1902 the doctors advised come to California where they had a married daughter (Mabel) living at the time."

They lived in East Oakland a while and then moved to 3535 Ardley Avenue where CWC built a home, planted an orchard and gardens. They had a family reunion with 1911 with the Simonds family there. Calvin W. Courtright died 12/17/1929 there and Sarah, 12/12/1931.

Eleanor K. Pelcyger, February, 1999

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