Fifth Generation - My line of VT descent.

Van Tassel Family History Homepage

"A Pedigree Partly Indian, Partly Batavian"

My Van Tassel Line of Descent

Some descendents of Abram & Zenitia Tinkcom Van Tassel
Circa. 1892 - Pictured:  L-R Front Row- : "Charlie," Paul, Grover, William, (#14 G.W. VT's children), Roland West who went on to become a script writer and movie producer (son of Marguerite VT), Middle Row (seated)- Dan Wendell and #12 Emily Van Tassel Wendell (daughter of Abram & Zeneita VT) and their daughter Cora, #14 George W. VT (son of Abram) and his wife Manerva Miller VT with little Avery VT (leaning against his father George.W), #8 Isaac (son of Abram & Zenitia VT) with his wife Mary Jane Tarbell VT, Back Row- John (son of G.W. VT) and his wife Virginia Douglas VT, his brother Jefferson VT, sister Minerva Jane VT, sister Agnes Tracy VT, Francis O'Neil (daughter of #8 Isaac VT), Marguerite VT Ziemer (daughter of Lewis VT #11 and wife of Albert Ziemer), and her brother-in-law, and Cora VT, actress (daughter of Lewis VT #11, but was raised and educated by Hiram VT #2).

The Fifth Generation:

Abram5 Van Tassel (Theodore4, Theodorus3, Jacob2, Jan Cornelissen1 Van Texel, Cornelius JansenI)

Born:  February 16, 1794 in East Durham, Greene Co. NY.

Died:  February 22, 1869 in Edinboro, Erie Co., Pennsylvania.

Married:  (1st) Samantha Canfield, daughter of _____ Canfield and Temperance Wright of Greene County, N.Y. Died in 1822*1.

Married:  (2nd) Zenetia Tinkcom (1823 according to Daniel VT's VT History) June 03, 1828*2 in Chautauqua Co. NY., daughter of Samuel Tinkcom (Tinkham) and Mary Williams*3.

Notes for Zenitia Tinkcom: Zenitia is a sixth generation Mayflowerdescendant. Her immigrant ancestor, Ephraim Tinkcom married Mary Browne, daughter of Pilgrim Peter Browne who luckily (for us descendants) found his way out of the woods at Plimoth Massachusetts on Friday the 12th of January, 1621 (For this story see " Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth" after clicking on Peter Browne's link above. Then search on Peter Browne after accessing Mourt's Relation.)  Zenetia's name appears on page 147 of "Mayflower Families Through Five Generations," published by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. In the 1870 U.S. census, Zenetia, following the death of her husband Abram the previous year, is enumerated in the household of her son George Washington Van Tassel in Girard, Erie County, Pa.

Notes for Abram Van Tassel: Abram was born in Greene County N.Y. In 1814, at the age of 20, Abram enlisted for service in Captain Cherritree's Company, Van Dalfsen's Regiment, New York State Volunteers, and saw service in the War of 1812. (See his wife Zenitia's application for widow's pension on the VT's in The War of 1812 page) 

In about 1818, Abram removed from Greene County to Mayville, N.Y.  Shortly afterwards, Abram's first wife died and he married Zenitia. In 1823, he was listed as residing on lots # 7 and #8 owned by Hezikiah Tinkcom, his brother-in-law (or soon-to- be).

Abram moved from Chautauqua Co. New York to Erie County, Pa around 1840.

Abram was recorded in the 1850 Census (East Ward Erie, Erie Co. PA) aged 57, working as a stone mason. The following were recorded living in the household: wife Zenicia, aged 49;
-Children born in NY: Amelia [Emaline] 27, Levi 25 a laborer; [Alexander] West 24 a moulder; Isaac 21 a tinner; [Abram] Abel Van Tassel 19 a tinner; James aged 16 Laborer; Lewis Van Tassel 13.
following persons noted born in PA: Emily 9, Martin 7, George 4, Helen 2, Margaret Yeager 17 (Alexander West VT's wife-to-be).

About 1853, while residing in Erie, Pa, a fire consumed the family's home and unfortunately resulted in the loss of the family bible. Abram is recorded in the 1854-54 Erie City Directory as a stone mason residing at e Peach, 2nd below Twelfth.

At some point prior to 1860, Abram, age 68, removed to Chillicothe, Peoria Co., Illinois as he is listed in the 1860 census. Residing in the household is Zenetia age 57; Emily age 19, and George age 13. Abram's brother, Alanson (listed in the 1860 census as Alonzo) had been a long-time resident of the same place.

Abram moved back to Edinboro, Erie Co. Pa, prior to 1865 as he is shown in the Atlas of Erie County (F.W. Beers, 1865) residing on Erie St. next door to his brother Isaac VT. Abram died in Edinboro Feb. 22, 1869.

Children of Abram Van Tassel and Zenitia Tinkcom are:

1. Mary A6 Van Tassel.

Born:  September 17, 1817.

Married:  Samuel W. Headley.

Notes for Mary A. Van Tassel - Married Samuel W. Headley, son of Stephen W. and Isabella Headley.

1850 Census Rochester, New York- Mary (age 34) was noted residing with husband Samuel Headley 39 Machinist, and daughter Olivia, aged 7.

He died at Cleveland, Ohio. She resided in 1896 at Pittsburgh, Pa.

2. Hiram Wright Van Tassel.

Born:  October 14, 1818.

Died. 1893, Cleveland Ohio.

Married:  Frances P. Herne 24 Mar 1846 , Cuyahoga, Ohio. Died: Aug 7, 1872.

In the 1860 U.S. Census, the following are noted residing in the Hiram VT household: Hiram, age 45; wife Francis, age 45; George, age 14; Samantha, age 7; ?Lane? Hernes, age 57.

Hiram was a boat captain on the Great Lakes and resided in Cleveland, Ohio.

On September 25, 1848, he became captain of the 76 ft. two-masted schooner "John Grant", built at Cattaraugus Crk , New York in the Year 1842. On April 19, 1848, he began piloting the schooner "Seaman."

NEW SCHOONER. - The schooner SEAMAN, Capt. Van Tassel, came into port today for the first time. She was built at Cleveland, for Mr. H.N. Gates, of that city, at the shipyard of Johnson & Tisdale. She is a very fine looking craft.
Buffalo Republic-Saturday, April 29, 1848

On 8 May, 1851, he assumed command of the 100 ft. two-masted schooner, "H. N. Gates." On March 21, 1854, assumed command of the 103 ft. two-masted "Watts Sherman." of which he became 25% owner on April 12, 1856.

Hiram was credited with assisting in the rescue of the crew of the J. P. Hale which ran aground in a wintery storm on Nov. 1, 1856 near Oswego. An article published in the Oswego Palladium (Nov. 3, 1856) paid tribute: The generous and heroic conduct of the men who voluntarily gave their services in this trying emergency, deserves more than a passing notice, as well as the thanks of the public. The night was very inclement, and forbidding, but these noble sailors did not stop to consider their own comfort, while the lives of ten of their fellow sailors were in peril.

All sailors respond to such emergencies knowing it could be one of them the next time. Ironically, about 10 years later, near Oswego, Hiram's own vessel ran into some problems: The sloop CORA, Capt. Van Tassel, went ashore last night high and dry on the rocks a few rods below the east pier. The tug OSWEGO, Capt. Dobbie, got hold of her at noon today and made short work in getting her off. The CORA had no cargo and is not materially damaged. She is owned by E.L. & S. Thornton, of this city. - Oswego Com.
- Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, November 22, 1867 , page 3 , column 4.

And another close call on Oct 18, 1870: The terrific gale of wind yesterday morning proved very disastrous to the shipping on Lake Ontario. Sveral vessels have arrived at Oswego with the loss of canvas and deck loads. The schr. ADVANCE from Chicago to that port with barley, is ashore 12 miles up the lake. The schr. FLYING SCUD bound to Canada light is ashore up the lake. The sloop CORA, with barley for Oswego is ashore down the lake.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser-October 19, 1870 2-6

1870 Census 10th Ward, Cleveleland, Cuyahoga County, Hiram 51 M S PA, Francis 50 Keeping House, George 24 Painter, Samantha 16.

Date: Aug. 8, 1872
Mrs. Francis Van Tassel - Wednesday, died August 7th, at 2 o'clock wife of Capt. H. Van Tassel, aged 57 years. Funeral from St. Mark's church, Franklin street, corner of Liberty Friday, August 9th, at 2 p. m. Friends of are invited to attend.

Paying an Election Bet - A Speech With a Moral.
Cleveland, Ohio Nov 5 (1880)
Fully twenty thousand people assembled on the viaduct to see H. (F.?) Van Tassell pay his election bet by wheeling I. N. Kimball from the West Side across the viaduct to Weddell House, which was performed yesterday at 4 PM. Afterwards the one-wheeled wagon was sold for 10 dollars. Van Tassel made a short speech, the moral which was, "Democrats don't bet."

*The historical maritime material referenced above is from the outstanding website: Maritime History of the Great Lakes.

3. Elizur Brown Van Tassel.

Born:  May 09, 1820.

Died:  1890, Akron, Ohio.

Married:  Rachel Ann Litchfield.

Notes for Elizur Brown Van Tassel - Married Rachel Ann Litchfield, daughter of Luther and Ann Lincoln Litchfield. Elizur B. , at age 30, was enumerated in the 1850 Census in Conneautville, Crawford Co. Pa. with wife Rachel Ann, and children George D. and Clarissa.  At that time his occupation was that of a shoemaker.  A short time later he took up law as a profession. According to "The History of Erie Co" - 1884, he was admitted to the bar on December 16, 1858 and was noted practicing law in Conneautville, Crawford Co., Pa. In the 1860 Census living in the household were: Elizur, age; 40, Rachel A., age 37; George D., age 15; Clarence H., age 10; Frank L., age 8; Adella, age 6; Mina, age 5; Linda, age 3; and Willis, age 1/2.

1868 - As a member of the Board of Directors, Crawford Co. Schools, E. B. Van Tassel, supervises erection of "one of the finest school buildings in the State."
Educational Items for June, 1868 - Crawford.—One of the finest school buildings in the State has just been erect in Meadville.  The grounds embrace four acres.  The building stands about the centre of the grounds. Dimensions, 75 x 50 feet, and 38 feet high in the front.  The plan of the building is excellent, and the furniture and apparatus are of the most approved style.  The work of erection has been under the general supervision of the Board of Directors, consisting of Messrs. E. L. Litchfield, A. L. Power, W. B. Gleason, Dr. J. B. Frasier, H. A. McDowell, E. B. Van Tassel, A. P. Foster and F. Moulthrop.
[Source:  The Pennsylvania School Journal. Vol XVII, Toh. H. Burrowes, Ed., Wyle & Griest, Lancaster Pa., 1868.]

1870 Census Conneautville, Crawford Co. Pa - E.B. Van Tassel 52 Lawyer NY, Rachel A 47 keeping house PA, Clarence H. 21, Adela 17, Mina 15, Linda 13, Willis 11, Harry 9, Nettie 6, Pearl 2. And residing next door was son George D. Van Tassel 25 Postmaster Pa, and wife Addie 18 - Keeping house Pa.

These advertisements appeared in the 1871-72 Crawford County business directory. (For further information on Elizur and his son Frank L.Van Tassel - See History of South Dakota.)

4. Clara L. Van Tassel.

Born:  November 22, 1822.

Married:  George Hurst, 1851.

Notes for Clara Van Tassel - Married George Hurst, son of Henry Hurst of Erie, Pa. He was an officer in the Navy. In 1896 the address of the widow was Meadville, Pa. [Source Daniel VT]

1870 Census Conneautville, Crawford Co. Pa. George Hurst 56 Ret USN Lieut. born Pa. with wife Clara L. aged37 born NY, George aged 9 born PA. Also living in household was Mary [VT see #1] Headly aged 42, born NY, and Clara aged17 born PA, and Ada aged 8 born PA.

5. Emeline Van Tassel.

Born:  1824.

Married: Otis Nichols Fay b. Feb 5, 1820 (son of Elisha Nichols b. June 2, 1783, d. Jan. 31, 1881 m. sept. 7, 1807, Sophia Nichols b. 1785, d. Oct 5, 1850) Fredonia, N. Y., Dec 9, 1850 [source: Fay genealogy : John Fay of Marlborough and his descendants Fay, Orlin P. 1898]

In the 1860 Census, Chautauqua Co. New York, Emeline, aged 40, was noted living with her husband Otis N. Fay 40, a master wagon maker. Children noted were: Sophia Nichols age 7, Effie Maria 3 - (later married m. Nov. 17, 1881, Irving Adelbert Wilcox of Arkwright, N.R., res. Portland N.Y. - source Fay genealogy).

1870 Census - Portland, Chautauqua Co. NY Otis N. Fay 50 Farmer, Emaline 47 Keeping house, Sophia 18, Effie 13.

Died:  1886.

6. Levi Van Tassel.

Born:  1826.

Notes for Levi Van Tassel - He went to California. Was heard from in 1860, and was not then married. It was thought that he had enlisted in the Army (Civil War) and was killed in action, as if alive would have been heard from. (Source: Daniel VT History)

Levi Van Tassel enlisted as a Private in Company F, 3rd Regt California Infantry, Sept. 20, 1861 in San Francisco, California. He was later transferred to Company K and discharged at Benicia, Cal., April 10, 1862, for disability. [Source: “Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 To 1867.” 1890. pp 589-594]

7. Alexander West Van Tassel.

Born:  1828.

Died:  Nov. 15, 1892*7,  Erie, Pa.

Married:  Margaret Yeager.

Notes for Alexander West Van Tassel:

In 1854, A.W. Van Tassel entered into a joint partnership as proprietors of the Crystal House (located on Peach St.). They applied for a license to keep a public inn:
To the Honorable Court of Quarter Sessions of Erie County
The petition of A. M. Osborn and A. W. Van Tassell of the city of Erie in said county, respectfully represents, that they are well provided with house room and conveniences for the lodging and accommodation of strangers and travelers, at the house they now occupy in the West Ward in said city.  They therefore pray the Honorable Court to grant them a license for keeping a public inn or tavern, and they as in duty bound will pray, etc.  A.  M. Osborn, A. W. Van Tassel, Erie, Jan. 5, 1854."
[source: “The Erie Observer”, Saturday, January 14, 1854. P. 3]

8 March, 1854, a fire broke out at the boarding establishment:
Fire.—The Crystal House, kept by Messrs. Osborn and Vantassell on Peach Street, near the Depot, caught fire on Wednesday afternoon, and as the wind was blowing a perfect gale, the part in which the fire originated, which was wood, was soon in ashes.  The main building, which is of brick, was not very materially damaged.  The loss will fall principally upon the proprietors of the house—two enterprising and deserving young men who had just commenced business.  Their loss will be at least $500, mostly in damage to the furniture.  In connection with this, we may observe that some of their friends propose to get up a Ball for their benefit on Monday evening next, at the Empire Hall.  As the loss referred to above must be a very severe one to them, we trust the call for aid in the manner proposed will be cheerfully responded to. [Source: The Erie Observer, March 11, 1854].

In 1865, A. W. was noted as the proprietor of the Morton House (possibly the Crystal house renamed as both were located on Peach St., near the depot):
"The Morton House, opposite the Union depot, has been greatly improved, and is equal to any in the city.  Mr. Van Tassel, the proprietor, is a man of rare enterprise, and certainly knows how to 'keep a hotel.'"
[Source: The Erie Observer, July 13, 1865]

In 1866, A. W. VT won his first election to the Erie City Council. The 6 Dec., 1866 edition of "The Erie Observer" recorded the results:
"Erie City Third District—Common Council—A. W. Van Tassel 233, F. P. Liebel 127, R. Dudley 113, Scattering 2."
A. W. Van Tassel would go on to serve on the Erie City Council 1866-1869 and was a founding member of the St. John's Episcopal Church in 1867.
 [Source: "The History of Erie County Pa.," published in 1884]

Throughout the year of 1868, A. W. advertised his business in Erie and Titusville newspapers (this being the peak years of the oil boom). The one pictured on the right ran in the Erie Observer, 10 Sept, 1868. In the yearly mercantile taxes published in the Erie Observer, April 9, 1968; as proprietor of the Morton house, A. W. was charged a tax of $80.00 for four billiard tables. Also in 1868, A.W. Van Tassel was among nine Erie businessman who were granted authorization (Act # 635, April 4th, 1868, of the Pa. Legislature) to establish the Erie Livestock Insurance Company with initial capital of $50 thousand dollars. [Source: Laws of the General Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania Passed at the Session of 1868, Harrisburg, Singerly & Myers, State Printers, 1868.]

Christmas, 1868 - An unwanted Christmas present:
"Erie—The most destructive fire of the season broke out on Christmas morning in the upper story of a frame building near the depot, occupied above by Mrs. Hunt as a boarding house, and below by A. W. Van Tassel as a billiard saloon.  The wind was blowing strongly and the weather was bitter cold, so that it was impossible for the firemen to work to advantage.  The entire row of wooden buildings on the East side of Peach street to the railroad was burned, with one exception, leaving an ugly gap which will doubtless be filled with substantial brick structures early in the spring.  The parties who lose by the fire are Mrs. Hunt, A. W. Van Tassel, J. P. Althof, John Eliot, J. Eliot and Co., John Abel, and John Anthony, most of whom have insurance that will cover about two-thirds of their loss."
[Source: Dec 31, 1868 – The Erie Observer – p. 3]

In the 1869 Erie Business Directory, Alexander was noted as landlord of Morton house on the corner of Peach and 15th Street. In the 1870 U.S. Census, A.W. Van Tassel is listed as being 40 years old, whose occupation was a hotel keeper.  Margaret, 32; Levi 15, Cora Bell, 8; Julia 21 are also noted as living in the household at that time.

1872 - It appears A.W.'s fortunes turned sour circa 1870. This article chronicles the downward turn:
"Sensation in Titusville--We find in the Titusville papers accounts of a horrible murder, that was committed in that enterprising town on Friday morning last.  A many by the name of Van Tassel applied to a hotel about three o’clock in the morning for lodging.  He was in a terrible condition; had been brutally assaulted and left on the field for dead.  After lying, apparently dying, for several hours, physicians were called who gave him up, and the coroner held an ante-mortem examination and took the dying man’s deposition.  Preparations were made to give Van Tassel a first-class funeral, and the police were looking for the midnight assassin, when the dying man suddenly sat up and called for more rum.  He had been awful drunk, and that was what ailed him.  The angels weren’t hovering around his bedside, much, and the police are nursing their corns instead of felons.
[Source: 1872-01-19 Jamestown Journal, Jamestown NY.]

1875 - "A. G. [sic.] Van Tassel, at one time a well-to-do and respected citizen of Erie, was committed to jail for Vagrancy, Thursday.  Too much bug juice the cause." [Source: 1875-04-30 Jamestown Journal – Jamestown New York]

In the 1880 Census Alexander was noted living at Girard Depot, Erie Co. PA, aged 49, a Hostler, Divorced Working in Hotel Stable. Meanwhile Margaret was enumerated in the 1880 Census Erie, Erie County, District 149, aged 47, Divorced, running a Boarding house, with son Levi, aged 25, a Painter and Levi's wife Ida aged 21; and adopted son Anton.

1892 - The New York Times recounts the rise and fall of A. W. Van Tassel:
"Andrew [sic.] Van Tassel Found Dead.
Erie, Penn., Nov. 15—This morning the dead body of Andrew Van Tassel, aged sixty-five, was found three stories below his chamber window.  Van Tassel was a famous hotel proprietor in Erie during the sixties, and his hotel, the Morton House, was a great resort for horsemen.  Getting on the under side of the Oil Exchange at Oil City took the keystone out of his fortune.  His last years were in distressing contrast with those of the sixties.  An outcast and deserted by friends, he either accidentally fell or purposely threw himself from his lonely flat to a certain death.  The actress Cora Van Tassel is his daughter [sic. – actually Cora was his niece]."
[Source: The New York Times, November 16, 1892]

8. Isaac Van Tassel.

Born:  February 26, 1830.

Married:  Mary Jane Tarbell, June 30, 1850 (daughter of Andrew and Ruharny Cisley Tarbell*1)

Mary Jane Tarbell - Died Feb 29, 1904.

1853 - Fire strikes the young married couple:
"The Chronicle learns that the dwelling house of Mr. Isaac Vantassel of Edinboro, was destroyed by fire, on Sunday last, a few minutes after the people had assembled for worship.  By the energy of the citizens, the greater part of the furniture was saved after the building was wrapped in flames.  The property was insured, we do not know to what amount.  By the liberality of the people present, the sum of $140 was contributed and handed over to Mr. Vantassel before the building had fallen to the ground."
[Source: The Erie Observer, May 21, 1853]

The 1860 U.S. census lists Isaac as 32 years old living in Edinboro, Pa as a merchant.  

1864, April - Isaac moves from the hardware business to the grocery business:
"New Firm at Edinboro.—Isaac Van Tassel has sold out his interest in the hardware business, at Edinboro, and entered into a partnership to carry on the grocery trade, in the building adjoining his former location.  The name of the new firm is Van Tassel & Butterfield.  They have laid in a large stock, and having purchased for cash, before the late advance in gold and prices, can sell as low as the same articles can be bought anywhere.  We have known Mr. Van Tassel for some time, and can “testify” to his merits as a shrewd and enterprising business man, and “mighty clever fellow” besides.  We have a very distinct recollection of being entertained by him and his excellent lady last fall, in a spirit of kindness that shall not soon be forgotten, and we then and there took a solemn declaration that if we ever became President of the United States, Governor of Pennsylvania, Major-General or some other dignified public servant, with lots of “fat takes” at our disposal, “Ike” should have one of the best seats “in the synagogue.”  Our readers in Edinboro and vicinity will find it to their advantage to give Van Tassel & Butterfield a call.  They keep everything in the line of their trade.
" [Source: The Erie Observer, April 23, 1864, p. 3]

1864, April -Isaac and Mary Jane host the Democrats of Edinboro.
"Visit to Edinboro.—We paid a visit to Edinboro on Saturday last, and were treated with so much kindness that we shall not soon forget the trip.  In the evening a meeting was held in the capacious hall of Mr. Van Tassell, for the consideration of National affairs.  Although notice had only been given during that day, and then merely by neighbor to neighbor, the attendance was quite large, and we were pleased to see among those present were a considerable number of ladies.  The exercises were opened by a short, but well delivered speech, by Mr. Geo. A. Allen, after which, the writer of this article being called upon, made some remarks that, it is trusted, had a good effect.  After the speeches, our friends “rallied in their strength,” and made us up a handsome “donation” of thirty new subscribers, every one paying in advance.
The Democrats of Edinboro claim, and they are fairly entitled to the credit, of being the “banner” town of the county, so far as early organization is concerned.  Their club has now been operation about a month, and holds weekly meetings, which are well attended.—All the proceedings are open to the public, and there is good reason for believing, that the fair, frank manner in which Democratic views are furnished to the public, as contrasted with the sneaking conduct of the Loyal Leaguers, and he logical way in which they are discussed, have already had their influence in leading many from the paths of political folly.  The speakers are usually men of their own community, some of whom are as capable of discussing public topics as nine tenths of the political orators who make loftier pretensions.
Where all entertained us with so much cordiality, it is difficult to particularize, but we feel we owe special thanks to Mr. Isaac Van Tassel and his excellent lady, for their unremitting efforts to make our stay pleasant.  They possess the rare talent of making one “perfectly home” as soon as he steps over their threshold, and our brief residence under their roof will long be treasured as one of the most agreeable incidents of our life."
[Source: The Erie Observer, August 18, 1864, p. 3]

1864, August - Isaac's grocery business receives an endorsement from the Erie Observer:
"Our readers in Edinboro and vicinity, who are in need of groceries, provisions, crockery ware, or any of the manifold articles connected with household necessities, will find it to their advantage to deal with Butterfield & Van Tassel.  They have a stock of goods that cannot be surpassed anywhere in that section, and are really selling them lower than the same articles can now be purchased in New York.  Aside, too, from other considerations, “Ike” and “Bill” are both clever chaps, that it would be almost a pleasure to pay them double the price for their good, for the mere sake of dealing with them.  We “endorse” the firm to any extent."
[Source: The Erie Observer, August 18, 1864, p. 3]

1864, December - Isaac re-opens grocery establishment - with new partner Sam Lockhart:
" “Ike” and “Sam.”—To the People of Edinboro and Vicinity: You are hereby notified that Messrs. Van Tassel & Lockhart have opened a store in Edinboro, which they intend shall be one of the most complete establishments in this part of the State.  Their stock has just been bought in New York, and embraces a large assortment of Dry Goods, Groceries, Boots and Shoes, Queensware, Willow Ware, Hats and Caps, and everything, in short, from a fine piece of silk to a paper of pins.  If you want anything in their line, just step into their handsome store, and see if you cannot get a better article at cheaper prices than anywhere within ten miles of the neighborhood.  We “know” them “well,” and warrant all we write.  Besides they are both men of such clever qualities and enterprising dispositions that it really does one good to deal with them.  To one and all of you we say, give “Ike” and “Sam” a call.  They deserve all that you can do for them, and will give you back “value received” every time." [Source: The Erie Observer, December 8, 1864]

1864, December - The Crawford Democrat [Crawford Co., Pa] endorses Isaac's grocery business:
"A New Store at Edinboro’.—The good people of Edinboro’, and all of the region of country round about, will be highly gratified to learn that Mr. Isaac Van Tassel is about opening at his old stand in that place an immense stock of dry goods, together with a full assortment of groceries, boots and shoes, making altogether one of the best and most extensive store establishments in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Mr. Van Tassel’s business qualifications are well known to be of the first order, whilst as a gentleman of strict integrity, pleasant manners and accommodating disposition he stands second to no other man.  He deserves almost an unlimited share of your patronage."—Crawford Democrat.
[Source: The Erie Observer, December 15, 1864]

1865 - Isaac in Edinboro - living next door to his father Abram.

Isaac's residence is depicted on Erie St., Edinboro Pa. just north of his father, Abram's, residence. On a current map of Edinboro the two properties would be on Erie St. (Rte 99), split by Cooper Lane. Located directly across the street is Jonas Wendell, an early and ardent Seventh Day Adventist and father of Daniel Wendell who married #12 Emily VT (pictured at the top of this page). Notice one house away from the Wendell residence is the residence of William Butterfield - Isaac's grocery business partner in 1864.[Source: Atlas of Erie County Pa., F. W. Beers, & GG Soule, NY. 1865]

1867, October - By this date, Isaac had relocated to Erie, Pa and was listed in the business directory as conducting a business in tinware and stoves at 1221 Peach St.. [Source: The Erie Observer, Oct 13, 1867, p. 4]

1868, May - Isaac also establishes a boarding house in the city of Erie.
"The old Zimmerly house, on the South side of the Park, has been taken by Isaac Van Tassel, who has thoroughly repaired and renovated it, and fitted it up in good style.  He has an abundance of room, and we recommend it to the patronage of persons attending Court."
[Source: Erie Observer, May 7, 1868. P. 3]
"Our country friends will find the old Zimmerly house, on the South side of the Park, a pleasant stopping place.  Mr. Van Tassel, the present proprietor, has refitted it from top to bottom, and it is now one of the most comfortable boarding houses in the city." [Source: The Erie Observer, May 28, 1868]

1868, June - Isaac also continues to operate his tin and hardware business at 1221 Peach St. [Source: The Erie Observer, June 18, 1868]

1869 - Isaac appears in the 1869 Erie Business Directory as owning a tin and hardware business at a new location - 1240 Peach St h 49 W 13th Street.  

1870 - Census Erie 4th Ward Erie County Pa - Isaac Van Tassel 41 Tinner NY, Mary 39 Keeping House PA, Martha J.17 at home PA, Hattie 13 at home PA, George H. 10 at home, James O'Neal 25 Tinner Vermont, Francis O'Neal 19 at home. [Listed as a boarding house with seven additional boarders]

1880 - In the 1880 Census, Isaac was noted living in Edinboro, Erie Co. Pa. aged 49, Tinsmith with wife Mary J aged 47, daughter Martha F aged 27, and son George H. aged 20, Tinner. In 1896, according to Daniel VT's family history, Isaac lived in Edinboro, Pa.

-Letter from George W. and Manerva Van Tassel to Isaac and Mary Jane Van Tassel on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary:*4


Girard Pa, June 28th, 1900

Our Dear Brother and Sister,

     Greeting you as you sit around your banquet board, on this, the fiftieth or Golden Anniversary of your way back wedding day, we regret that circumstances are such that we cannot be with you. We also regret that we cannot, for the same reasons, lay before you some little token commemorating this rare event, but instead we wish to convey to you in this letter Golden Words of love and affection, and the golden wishes that God will continue to give you life and happiness. And while at times it may have seemed that the cloud of life was dark and heavy, we believe that this day you will both realize the same dark clouds have a silver lining and that today you may feel that you can truly and sincerely thank the Giver of all good for His love and goodness to each of you. And while it is an old truism that "Man's inhumanity to man makes thousands mourn" in your case it can justly be transposed to read, "Were our means as large as our aspirations, our house as big as our hearts, and our abilities as great as our ambition, then indeed would all realize that your efforts for good to others will bear the closest inspection, and will rebound to the credit side of the ledger of life."

     While we cannot be with you in person, we assure you we are there in spirit and love, and our prayers are with and for you, that in the fullness of time all may be reunited and attend the Golden Wedding in the Golden City, where loved ones who have gone before are just waiting to welcome us to the Feast of the Golden Lamb.

With love and best wishes, we remain,

Your affectionate brother and sister,

Mr./Mrs. Geo. W. Van Tassel


Isaac Van Tassel Dead.

Issac Van Tassel died yesterday afternoon at 1 o'clock. He was born in Pennsylvania seventy-seven years ago, and lived in that state until two years ago, when he came to Emporia to live with his son, George Van Tassel. He has been failing in health for some time.

He leaves two children, both of whom are living in Emporia, and who left today with the body for Edinboro, Pa., where the funeral will be held and interment made. The children are Mrs. Charles A. Boyle, of the Normal, and George H. Van Tassel, of the firm of Hay & Van Tassel, Mrs Francis O'Neil, mother of Frank O'Neil, anohter daughter, died eight years ago. Mrs. Van Tassel died three years ago. --The Emporia Gazette, Emporia Kansas, March 23, 1907.

9. Abram T. Van Tassel.

Born:  March 11, 1834.*8

Died:  November 10, 1907.  8

Married:  Jane Rudge ca. 1855. (daughter of Jane A. Blanchard b. 7 October 1820, d. 8 October, 1901*8)

Jane Rudge:

Born:  January 9, 1841 (6:30 A.M.).8

Died:  23 May, 1909.8

Notes for Abram T. Van Tassel

1860 Census - A. T. Van Tassel, aged 27, Tinsmith, 9th Ward Cleveland Cuyahoga Co. Ohio with Mary J. aged 20, b. in Mass., and Hattie aged 4.

1860-1861 - "Van Tassel, AT, Manufacturer and Dealer in Tin, Copper, and Sheet Iron Ware, Cooking and Parlor Stoves, 176 Detroit, West Side." Source: Ohio State Gazeteer and Business Directory for 1860-1861

1870 Census - Abram T., Hardware Dealer, aged 36, resided in 9th Ward Cleveland Cuyahoga Co. OH. with Mary J., aged 29, Keeping house, and Hattie aged 14 and Maggie aged 6.

1880 Census - Abram T, Stove Dealer, aged 46, wife Mary J., aged 39; Maggie 16 at school, George Curtiss Son-in-law, Book-keeper; Hattie aged 24.

1890 Veteran's Census - Ohio, Cuyahoga Co., Cleveland - Private Co. G. 150 Rgt, Ohio Inf., 5 May 1864 - 15 Aug. 1864, 3 mos. 10 days

1896, May 23 – "VAN TASSEL FOR CONGRESS - Cleveland May 23—A. Van Tassel of Cleveland was nominated for congress by the Twentieth district Democrats today". (source: Duluth News-Tribune, Duluth,  Minnesota , 24 May, 1896)

1897 "From the Cleveland Press: Once upon a time Colonel A. T. Van Tassel, of the West Side, was colonel of a regiment of soldiers.  One evening, before he had committed his book of military tactics to memory, he gave an exhibition drill on Detroit Street.  The colonel and his little band of soldiers made quite a display marching down the thoroughfare.  They were greatly admired by a large number of spectators, who formed in a line on each side of the street.  It is claimed that not a single error was made by either the colonel or the soldiers until an attempt was made to turn around in the street.  It was the colonel’s fault, too.  He forgot the command necessary to turn the faces of the soldiers.  The situation was becoming unendurable, when a happy thought came into the colonel’s mind.  He glanced upon his little band of soldiers and yelled: “Break ranks and charge on Blanchard’s saloon!” - (From: VETERANS’ CORNER, GOOD SHORT STORIES FOR THE OLD SOLDIERS. - "His Presence of Mind." - Pagosa Springs News, Pagosa Springs, Archuleta Co., Colorada - Mar 26, 1897) From the Cleveland Press

In the 1900 Census, Abram, Hardware Merchant, b. Mar 1834, aged 66 resided in the 41st Ward Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co. OH. Also noted in the household was wife Mary, b. Jan 1839, aged 61. Also living in the household was Niece Cora O'Neil, Music teacher, b. July 1877, age 22, nephew Mercantile Clerk, Roland Ziemer, b. 1885, aged 15, and Mother-in-law Jane Blanchard, b. Oct 1820, aged 79.

1907 - Obituary for Abram T:


Van Tassel, Democratic "War Horse," Led in Civic Improvement.
Was Lieutenant Colonel of Home Guards During Civil War.

Col A. T. Van Tassel, the "Democratic war horse of the West Side," passed away at his home, 1919 W. 100th st., N. W., Sunday Evening.

For many years he had been a prominent figure in West Side politics. He was active in behalf of every civic improvement. The first pavement laid on the West Side was put down after Col. Van Tassel had headed an energetic movement for it, and he was chairman of the fire and water committee when Cleveland bought its first steam fire engine in 1867.

Born in Mayville, N. Y., in 1832, Mr. Van Tassel came to Cleveland in 1852 and three years after that was married to Miss Mary J. Rudge of this city. In 1857 he started in business and opened a hardware store on Detroit av., N. W. The firm was known as Van Tassel & Eldridge and later Van Tassel & Cooley. H. E. Cooley, a son of the former partner, still conducts the business at 2618 Detroit av.

When the war was in its beginning and the Home Guards were formed, Van Tassel was lieutenant colonel of the organization and Dwight Palmer, major. From that time Mr. Van Tassel was know as "colonel."

Col. Van Tassel first served in the city council forty years ago and for more than ten years occupied a place in that body under different mayors. He was at all times an enthusiastic Democrat and when Tom L. Johnson came to Cleveland he had no stauncher supporter than the colonel. Early and late he worked to help the present mayor put through his projects of civic improvement.

About ten years ago Van Tassel was injured at a Fourth of July celebration. He was on the stand where the fireworks were being set off and in an explosion was hurled to the ground and severely injured. This injury gave him continual annoyance but he was able to continue in business until four years ago when a paralytic stroke caused him to resign from the firm of Van Tassel & Cooley. A year ago he had another stroke which left him nearly helpless.

He is survived by a widow and one daughter, Mrs. G. C. Curtiss, Robinson av., Lakewood. [Source - Unid Cleveland Newspaper contributed by Avery Dale VT]

1909 - Death Notice for Mary J. Rudge Van Tassel:
Date: May 25, 1909 - Mary J.Van Tassel- wife of the late Col. A. T. Van Tassel, died 11 p. m. Sunday, May 23. Funeral from her late residence, 1919 W. 100th st., Tuesday at 2 p. m

10. James Van Tassel b. 1835*9, d. 21 Feb 1907*10

Married: Anna Eliza ?

1860 Census in Erie, Pa.
James Van Tassel 25 M Tinner 150/200 NY
Anna Eliza 18 F PA
Corintha 1 F PA

Entered the Erie Co. Alms House Feb 21, 1894. Died 21 Feb, 1907 from Paralysis. Body cared for by daughter E. H. Williams. Burton and Sons Undertaker.*10

[Comment: James VT is recorded in the 1850 census living in the Abram VT household but earlier accounts of Abram's family (i.e. Daniel VT's VT Family History) do not mention him as a son of Abram. He may have possibly been a nephew-rvt].

11. Lewis A. Van Tassel.

Born: 1837.

Died: April 01, 1895. Chicago Illinois.

Married: Julia Crippen.

Notes for Lewis:

In the 1854-1855 Erie City Directory Lewis is listed as living at a North East Pa. hotel

Lewis A. Van Tassel PA enlisted 28 Aug 1862 as Private in the 145th Regiment, Warren Pa. He was lated discharged on surgeon’s certificate, date unknown. [Source: Schenck, J.S. & W.S. Rann, History of Warren County, pp. 214-226.]

 L. A. Van Tassel was listed as tinner, 17th St. between  Peach and Sassafras, in the 1869 Erie Business Directory. In 1880 U.S. Census, Lewis Van Tassel, tinner, was noted residing in Pueblo, Colorado.

12. Emily A. Van Tassel.

Born:  March 15, 1843.

Married: Daniel G. Wendell, March 04, 1869, Mayville, Chautauqua, New York.

Notes for Emily A. Van Tassel - Emily married Daniel G. Wendell, son of Jonas and Jane M. Gilmore Wendell. Address 1896, Edinboro, Pa. (source: Daniel VT)

In the 1870 census, Daniel G. 30 M Painter NY, and wife Emily 26 F PA, were enumerated living in Emily's in-laws household in Edinboro, Erie Co. Pa. - Jonas Wendell 53 M Clergy NY and Jane M. 46 F Keeping house NY.

In the 1900 Census, D. G. Wendell, a House Painter, b. Jan 1839, aged 61, married for 31 years, was noted residing Washington Township, Waterford, Erie Co. PA. Also noted in the household was wife E A Wendell, b. Mar 1843, daughter C B (Cora Belle) b. Jan 1878, aged 22, and mother Jane, b. Dec 1822, aged 77.

13. Martin Van Buren Van Tassel.

Born:  1844*1 - Mar 1845*5.

Married: Dec 12, 1863, Cuyahoga, Ohio - Anna Maria Eaton b. Sept 30, 1846 daughter of Samuel Webster Eaton (b. June 2, 1814 m. Mar. 13, 1841 d. Dec 25, 1872) and Susan Van Allen (b. Sept 22, 1825 d. Dec. 2, 1869). Anna m. 2 - John Crawford, a physician*6.

Minnie Adelaide, b. Cleveland Nov. 9, 1865*6
Annie Maude, b. Cleveland, May 16, 1870*6.

Martin was a tinsmith by trade.

1870 Census - 10th Ward Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, Martin VT 23 M Tinner PA, Anna 22 Keeping house Ohio, Addie 4.

In the 1900 U.S. Census, Martin resided in the 15th Ward, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co. OH
Martin V Van Tassel (enumerated in the household of Julian Owen) b. Mar 1845, Age 56 Widowed, OH NY NY Tinner

14. George Washington Van Tassel. Born. December 01, 1845.

See: Sixth Generation - My line of VT descent.


*1 - Daniel VT's - "VT Family History"

*2 - Zenitia Tinkcom VT's application for War of 1812 Widow's Pension.

*3 - "Mayflower Families Through Five Generations"

*4- Letter courtesy of Avery Dale Van Tassel

*5 - 1900 U.S. Census

*6 - "A Memoir and Genealogy of John Poore" - Poor, Alfred,. Salem, Mass.. 1881

*7 - The New York Times, November 16, 1892

*8 -Abram T. & Jane Rudge Van Tassel Family Bible - Cleveland, Ohio

*9 - Estimated from age in 1860 U.S. Census

*10 - Register of Persons Buried in the Cemetery, County Alms House, Erie Co. Pa.


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