Which David?

A question whose answer directly impacts our line of ancestry is, "Which David Tieter married Catherine Hess?" Of course, that matters to me because it is this couple from whom we descend. Is it the David born in 1790/91 at West Copake, or the David born in 1792 in Rensselaer County, or one of the other David Teators born in the 1790s?

"Which David is the son of Henrich Teter and Anna Fingar?" Was it the David who married Catherine Hess, or the one who married Ursula Hover, or a David that married an Anna?

At first glance, it seems as if the question should have an easy answer. However, even though David is not a common given name for our Palatine ancestors, there are three David Teters born in the early 1790s, with each of them marrying and having children! The other way of asking the question is, "Which David is the father of John Teter?"

There is no document that I have seen that has all that information. So, a look at family groups, sponsors, census clues, etc., is needed to shed some light.

The first David, a David Henry Teator of Red Hook, the one who marries Anna or Margaret, was the easiest to dismiss as our ancestor. His children are listed in Dutchess County area churchbooks and seems limited to that county.

I had thought our David Teter was the one who married Catherine Hess, the reasons for which I will describe below.

The remaining David, the one who I think marries Ursula Hover, with connections to Rensselaer and Albany Counties, was claimed by another genealogist who had already printed her information. This David, she claimed, was the son of Henrich Teator and Anna Fingar, which, if true, was in conflict with my findings.

So, what is the truth? I had Art Kelly, the church book transcriber and researcher, delve into the question. The short answer is, he concluded, that the David I was seeking indeed did marry Catherine Hess, and was the son of Henry and Anna. The David Teator who married Ursula Hover had parents other than Henry Teter and Anna Fingar; Kelly did conjecture where the clues seem to lead. For now, my case is laid out below, with a caution that no single document states my conclusion. Overwhelming circumstantial evidence will have to suffice for now.

Zacharias Tieter and Elisabeth Whalen have 11 children, one of whom is Henrich. Church records from the West Copake Church in Columbia County show that a Henrich Teter (or some variation of that spelling) and an Anna Finger (Fingar, Vinger) marry in April 1791; both are from the Tachanik area (southern Columbia County, spelled Taghkanic today). They have children:
--David 1791
--James 1793
--Johannes 1795
--Zacharias 1797
--Marcus 1799
--Philip 1801
--Mary 1803
     Sponsors are Anna's parents for David, Hendrick's parents for James, a brother for Marcus, and three sisters and a brother of Anna for the other four children. There isn't much disagreement about this family. (Remember David.)
     Let me change ends for a while, and work our way back from our John of (1816-1866). Who was our John Teter's father? The earliest census that shows the names of households is 1850, by which time John is already a head of household. In one of our newsletters, I recounted finding a genealogy prepared by a Mrs. Luckhurst for the Cantine line which was still in Walter Pearson's possession and it named John's father as David. Remember David? How could I prove that?
     An important corroborating link was the will of a Luther Teter (probated in Schoharie County) which names his nieces and nephews as well as his siblings still alive; brother Calvin is executor. All the names of John's children are named as nephews and nieces in this will (Luther's death in 1878 comes a dozen years after John's). The census information for David appears as follows:
     David Teter appears in the 1840 Rensselaerville census with one of the males between 60-70 (possibly Henry).
     David Teater, 60, appears in the 1850 census with family, wife Catherine - age 56, and children Clarinda, Betsey, Luther, David, and Julia. (Oldest son John already has a family; Calvin is living with another area family.)
     David Teter, in the 1855 NY Rensselaerville census, claims to have been born in Columbia County and has been a resident of Rensselaerville for 49 years. His wife Catherine also claims to have been born in Columbia County.
David Teter appears in the 1860 Rensselaerville census, dies in 1862 (tombstone), and is buried near his home (Cheese Hill) in the Town of Rensselaerville.
     In addition, in an important piece of the puzzle, a Henry and Ann Teter have three of their children - Clarinda, Betsey, and John - baptized at the Oak Hill Reformed Church, a church that stood just inside the Albany County line and seems to have been torn down in the 1830's.
     Thus, a family of David & Catherine (Hess) Teter lived on Cheese Hill with children Clarinda (1813), Betsy (1814), John (1816), Luther (c1824), Calvin (c1830), David (1834), and Julia (1839). Twenty-six years gap between Clarinda and Julia! (Two more males are possible brothers; more research needed.)
     So, even though I knew I my evidence was circumstantial, I hoped and tentatively identified this David to be the David that was the son of Hendrick, and hoped to find more information to support this conclusion.
     Other census information showed a James Teter appearing in the 1850 census. In the 1855 NY census, James Teter (widowed) is now in the Town of Rensselaerville also, claiming to have been born in Columbia County (age is 62).
     Mackey Teter is a puzzle. He might be Marcus, or could be Zachariah. Anyway, the 1855 NY Town of Broome census claims Mackey was born in Columbia County, is age 54, and has been a resident 49 years.
     Philip Teter appears in the 1850 Rensselaerville census, age 49. In 1855, Philip Teter claims to have been born in Columbia County. Again in the 1860, Philip Teter appears in Rensselaerville. He is buried in Village of Rensselaerville, dates of 1801-1878.
     John Teter is listed in the 1825 NY Middleburgh census.
     Mary Teter, of Rensselaerville, marries in 1822, John Carpenter Becker.
     Zacharias does not appear anywhere in these towns, unless he is Mackey, in which case Marcus is missing, if still alive.
     Thus it appears that a family resembling that of Hendrick Teter and Anna Fingar moved to the Town of Rensselaerville about 1806, while their children spread out in the nearby towns. A look at a map shows the Towns of Broome, Middleburg, and Rensselaerville bordering each other, even though each is in a different county.
     Looking up more information on Henry Teter produced the following:
     Hendrick Teter and Ann Teter are sponsors for births as early as 1807 in the Oak Hill Reformed Church in Oak Hill, Greene County.
     A Henry Teter appears in the 1810 census in the Town of Rensselaerville, Albany County with males: 2 under 10, 2 between 10-16, 2 between 16-26, 1 26-45, and females: 1 under 10, 1 between 26-45.
     Henry Teater, in the 1820 Rensselaerville census, appears with males: 2 between 10-16, 2 between 16-26, 1 between 26-45, 1 over 45, and females: 1 between 16-26, and 1 over 45.
     In 1830 (Rensselaerville), Henry Teeter appears with 1 male 50-60 and 1 female 40-50.
     In the 1850 census, Henry Teter, 87?, is living with his son James, 57, in the Town of Broome, Schoharie County.
Henry won't be seen again in census information. No tombstone has been found but I would hazard a guess that some field stone marks his final resting place, probably near Broome Center or on Cheese Hill. So here are age spreads for members of the family that could correspond to the line I believe is ours.
     Another piece in the puzzle might be that David Hess, Catherine Hess Teter's father, is married to Mary Fingar, sister of Hendrick Teter's wife.
     Meanwhile, I found another David Tator/Teter, born in 1792, who appears to have been born in the Rensselaer County or northern Columbia County area. Evidence points that this David is the other woman's David.
     Now you have it! Thus the line appears to be: Johann (c1670?), immigrant Lorentz (c1690?), Henrich (c1720), Zacharias (1743), Hendrick (1770), David (1791), John (1816) and whatever your particular line is to the current day.