Through my Beach Family line which is (click on picture to make it larger):
Johann Friederich Luecke aka John Frederick Luke was my 5th Great Grandfather, born in Germany.
For those that do not know a Hessian Soldier is the term given to the 18th-century German auxiliaries contracted for military service by the British government, who found it easier to borrow money to pay for their service than to recruit its own soldiers.
The soldiers got their name from the German state of Hesse. They were used in several combat roles, including in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, but they are most widely associated with combat operations in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
Photo of a Hessian Soldier:
This I find interesting because being part Irish (through the Rutledge / Elliot line) probably fought in the Irish Wars and I know that there were Beach family members that fought in the American Revolutionary War for the Americans.
In trying to find out more about him, I used one of the most important tools — google. From this I came across a woman in New Brunswick, who is also related to him as he is her 3rd Great Grandfather. She is related to me as my 3 x cousin 2 times removed. Alice sent me a letter, along with an article she wrote and was published in the “The Hessians: Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, Volume 9, 2006”
Johann Freidrich Luecke (John Frederick Luke) was born in 1757 in the village of Gross Else in the Duchy of Brunswick
He was part of the von Rhetz Regiment that was part of the 2nd Division of the Brunswick Army sent to North America in 1776
He and his fellow soldiers camped in Fort St. Anne, Canada where they trained in the winter and spring
He was believed to be part of the invasion of New York on June 1, 1777
there are Luke family papers that state he was involved in the both the Bennington and Saratoga but was more likely engaged in the fighting in the Battles of Freeman’s Farm and Bemis Heights
Brunswick Army Records report that he was a prisoner of war but unknown whereabouts. This usually means that he probably walked off the march and was take in as a servant with an American
Soon after he deserted, he is said to have been looking for a wife and found one in Betsey Stone, the daughter of Abel and Lydia Stone. It seems that both he and his future father-in-law may have been present during that fateful day in Saratoga where John was taken prisoner.
It is believed that he and Betsey married in 1778 but many researchers and family descendants have seached but a marriage record has never been found..
He lived in Windsor County, Vermont, USA from about 1779 to 1799 this being where most of his children were born.
Around 1800, John and his family moved to South Gower, Ontario, Canada. It may have been becauseof the Proclamation of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, John Graves Simcoe, concerning the free land in Canada.
It is noted that John Luke settled in 1801, on Lot No 4, in the 4th Concession. He was a British solidier.
It is in this same area that the Beach Family also settled
They travelled between the US and Canada for the remaining days. Both John and Betsey are said to have died in Canada but it is not know where they are buried.
It is rumoured that they are buried in the South Gower Cemetery, but there is no listings for them on the burial records. A number of the Beach family line is buried there.
They are listed on a family headstone in the Amboy Cemetery, Amboy, Oswego County, New York.
John Frederick Luke
The monument was erected in about 1883, by Lewis D Luke about 40 years after the death of John Luke. The inscription for John and Betsey is:
Luke, John died 15 Dec 1839 AE 96 yrs
Luke, Betsey his wife died 27 Jan 2854 AE90 yrs
So, now I am not only English, Irish, Scottish on my Dad’s side, I have a little German as well.
Oh and if you have read this far, it is interesting to know that the Headless Horseman might have been a Hessian Solider!