The story of our family...for my sons

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

...the turkey killed me...

Stock photo of turkey hunter dude

Stephen Ulrey (my 5th Great grandfather on my dad's mom's side) was born in Germany and died about 1787 in Washington Co., PA. He married Susanna. Stephen Ulrey is reported to have migrated to America early in the 1700s along with two brothers from the Palatinate or Rhenish provinces of Germany, most likely by way of Holland or England. The name is given as Vullery, Ullery, Ulery, Ulrey and sometimes Ulry. It is believed that the original German spelling may have been Ulrich.

A Mr. Gayman who was a long time neighbor of the Ulrey's reported that " the Ulrey's were leaders, disliked Germany, married English women, and spoke English in their homes." Mr. Gayman further stated that "Stephen was a very strong man carrying timber for eight men at a barn raising." There are unconfirmed indications that he may have spent time in Frederick Co. Maryland and in Eastern Pa. possibly Adams, Bucks, or Berks Co. before settling in a region of Va. which later became Washington Co. Pa.

It is reported that he settled in this area before 1771. He initially filed a tomahawk claim (by marking trees) on approximately 480 acres of land in the Ten Mile Creek (early ancestors settled this area during the Jamestown era) area of Monongalia Co. Va. He named this farm "Cranberry" Some time later the claim was in danger by land speculators and Stephen rode to Philadelphia to legally register his claim. There was some litigation over his original tomahawk claim which lasted for several years. Eventually the state of Pennsylvania granted a deed to his heirs (Stephen had passed on). The deed was dated March 27, 1787, and is in the Patent Book, # 8, page 383. The deed was recorded on sheepskin and was in the possession of Abner Ulrey who still lived on the family farm in 1928.

It is reported that Stephen was accidentally killed while hunting. He was chasing a wild turkey when he tripped over a tree root and plunged over a cliff where he was impaled on a tree. He managed to free himself and make his way back to his farm where he told his family where they could find his hat and his rifle and then died. It is believed that he is buried in the family burying ground on the farm, but his grave is not marked. His will is dated February 4, 1778 and in it he left one third of his movable estate and one third of his land (unless she remarries) to his wife Susanna. He left thirty pounds to his daughter Susanna. To his sons John, Daniel, Jacob, Stephen, and David, he left the remaining property to be divided equally with an extra ten pounds going to John.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Stephen Ulrey is my 6th Great Grandfather through my dad. I'm just learning about him and I found your blog. Thanks for sharing the information.