Peter and Hester (Dalrymple?) VanDolah

Hester (Dalrymple?)

Peter VanDolah


Parents: Sarah (Garrison?) and Hendrick VanDolah

Born: ~1738 Edinburgh, Scotland? Wales?

Born: ~1735 Hunterdon County, NJ

Married: ~1758 Peter VanDolah

Married: ~1758 Hester Dalrymple

Died: after 1804 (1810s?) Greene County, Ohio

Died: Nov 1815 in Xenia, Greene County, OH (county bio, will)

Interred: unknown - Greene County, Ohio?

Interred: unknown - Greene County, Ohio


Nothing is known of Hester's heritage. While her first name is confirmed in Peter's will, there is no documentary evidence found that her surname was Dalrymple. It is assumed that the Dalrymple assertion is not based solely on James Dalrymple being a witness to the 1756 will of Johannis Johnson, along with Peter Vandolah (Johnson is Peter's stepfather -- see below), but also on some family stories handed down by Peter and Hester's descendants. However, it does not appear that at least in the 1930s and 1940s the descendants of son John were aware of Peter or Hester's names, since they were not mentioned by genealogists William Perry Hay or Minnie Moon Mace, so this must have been remembered by descendants of sons Joseph, Peter or Jesse. There is some other evidence of a genealogical link as James Dalrymple's wife's given name was Ereminah, which name only shows up in the descendants of James Dalyrmple and Peter's brother Garrett VanDolah. Finally, the assertion that Hester was born in Scotland is based upon the assumption that James Dalrymple was her brother.

About the time of his marriage, Peter's brother John died in 1758 in New Jersey, leaving one-third of his estate to the older brother Garrett, one-third to Peter, and one-third to be split between the two VanDolah sisters -- Anna Wilgus and Charity Hausman. Peter and Hester have all six of their children in New Jersey in 1760-1771, and then they are the only VanDolahs to leave New Jersey for western Pennsylvania, soon after the birth of their last child Jesse in 1771-1772. There have been no documents found to indicate that Peter served as a Patriot in western PA; perhaps he was considered too old in his late 30s. In 1772 the family lives in Rostraver County, then Fayette County by 1787, where Peter signed a quit-claim deed to his brother's property in 1793. Peter and Hester made their final move to Ohio (Greene County) by the early 1800s (Peter bought land there in 1803, but his will was written in 1804 in PA). Their last few years must have been very hard - three or four of their sons suddenly died, and it seems Peter couldn't even bring himself to rewrite his now-outdated 11-year-old will at age 80.

Census data: 1790, 1800, 1810

Census data: 1790, 1800, 1810



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. Henry

~1760 Hunterdon, NJ

1810s? Greene, OH

(never married?)


2. Joseph

~1763 Hunterdon, NJ

1814 Greene, OH

~1803 Mary “Polly” Hand


3. John

~1765 Hunterdon, NJ

1814 Fayette, OH

~1786 Sarah Craig


4. Peter

~1767 Hunterdon, NJ

1820s Greene, OH

~1792 Sarah Ann *unknown*


5. James

~1769 Hunterdon, NJ

3/1811 Hamilton, OH

(never married)


6. Jesse

~1771 Hunterdon, NJ

3/22/1837 Dearborn, IN

~1792? Mary Carson



Hay/Howsmon genealogist William Perry Hay (1871-1947) knew nothing of John VanDolah's heritage. I am indebted to the variety of genealogists who have done work on the VanDolah line, as I co-opted most of this material from them, adding in such other information as I could locate.

Birthdates are approximations. I have found sources that list them as 1775, 1771, 1765, 1767, 1773 and 1769. I believe birth order is correct as above, based on Peter’s will. Even though four of his sons predeceased him, Peter apparently never rewrote his will after this 1804 version. One of brother Garret VanDolah's daughters (Ereminah VanDolah Swallow) does move to Hamilton Ohio with her family, but Garret's two other children remain in Hunterdon.

On 10 November 1756 Peter VanDolah witnessed the will for Johannes Johnson (believed to be his stepfather; Sarah's second husband), with James Ashton and James Dalrymple in Hunterdon, NJ. It is thought that James Dalrymple may be Peter's wife Hester's brother. This assumption seems to largely rest on the fact that James Dalrymple's wife's name was Ereminah, and this unusual name is only found in Hunterdon in descendants of the Dalrymple and VanDolah families. The assumption she was born in Scotland is based upon the assumption that James Dalrymple was her brother. This is simple conjecture at this point; much more research is needed.
-- 1756, Nov. 10. Johnson, Johannis, of Amwell, Hunterdon Co., coop- er; will of. Wife, Maria, £7 yearly, while my widow. Grandson, Johannis Johnson, son of my son, Johannis, deceased, £7. Real to be sold, and the money divided among my three daughters, and the four children of my son, Johannis, dec'd, to wit., Alida, widow of Samuel Barber; Magdelena, wife of John Barber; Geertrue, wife of Caleb Faarly; and the four children of my son, Johannis, dec'd, Jo- hannis, Sari, Susana, Cathrina. Executors — John Barber and Caleb Faarly. Witnesses — James Darompel, Peter Vandolah and James Ashton. Proved March 2, 1762.
--Note: his wife is listed as Maria, which means that assuming this is Sarah's second husband, she had died prior to 1756 and Johannis married for a third time to Maria.

Curiously, while there are no records found for emigration circa 1720, I did find a book of "Dutch Immigrants in U.S. Ship Passenger Manifests, 1820-1880, and it includes a Garrett VanDolah family in 1867 -- maybe some relative, but not our direct ancestry, and cannot be found in America in 1870 or 1880 (maybe Americanized their names).

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