A Trek Back Through American History

My grandpa Gilmer was the son of Martin Gilmer and Harriet Carter, daughter of Peter T. Carter and Sarah Snyder of Spring Arbor. Peter and Sarah came from Ithaca, NY, and I know he was the son of Anthony Carter and Rachel Teeter. I have the Teeter genealogy and though I can’t place Sarah yet, I know both the Teeter and Snyder families were Pennsylvania Germans. But as for the Carter line, that has had me stumped for quite a while. Anthony’s father was also Anthony Carter, a Revolutionary War soldier.

All I could find was someone claiming he was “Antoine Chartier.” That never make sense to me, so I tried to debunk what I thought was junk genealogy. After finding on Family Search several hits on his Revolutionary War record, I was able to access the file, downloading several images. What I found astounded me, a set of papers, letters, affidavits, and family bible pages that Anthony’s widow Mary Wilcox Carter filed for a pension. The widow Carter was living with her daughter’s family in Ohio, just west of Toledo. That probably explains how Peter ended up in Tecumseh in the 1830s, near the Gilmer family, when Peter’s parents had moved to and remained in rural SW New York.

The family records and court records all show that he was indeed Antoine Chartier, called a French Canadian refugee, who fought in Col. Hazen’s 2nd Canadian Regiment. But that only added to the mystery. Knowing now that Antoine’s father was Joseph, and where they were from, I went to a Quebec genealogy web site, where I found the Chartier family for Antoine’s parents and grandparents.

Antoine’s grandfather was John Carter, and he was one of the captives that survived the Deerfield Massacre of 1704 and the forced 300-mile march to Quebec. John was the brother of Mercy, the subject of “The Ransom of Mercy Carter.” John married a French woman and chose to stay in Canada. Mercy married a Mohawk, and brother Ebenezer went to Connecticut to live with their father Samuel Carter. Samuel had been outside the village during the raid and returned to find his 5-year-old son Thomas killed and his wife (John’s stepmother), and other children missing.

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