Little Red Church in Peekskill NY

A little church sits pretty at a crossroads in NY state. It is a rare pre-revolutionary Church and the burial place of 54 revolutionary soldiers. The one-room frame church was dedicated in 1767.

During the Revolutionary War it was used as a shelter for soldiers and as a hospital for Continental and French soldiers.

My great7 grandparents, Richard Curry and Elizabeth Jones Curry, lived during the Revolution.  They resided in the politically diverse, wildly divided, Westchester County, NY. In the midst of the war, Richard and Elizabeth were senior citizens and they had already lived through much hardship.

When Richard was only twelve years old his father died. On the 5th of June 1722 the  Court proclaimed that Richard Curry, son of Richard Curry dec’d (who had just died the previous month), was to be bound unto Nathan Jones of Bedford until the age of 21. It is uncertain if Richard’s mother was still alive. It is possible that, as a widow, she could not feed and cloth her children and she was forced let her children go as indentured servants.

Richard’s new home with Nathan Jones would prove to be beneficial to his future. Nathan’s young, and I like to image extraordiarily beautiful, daughter was to eventually become Richard’s bride.  In approximately 1734 Richard and Elizabeth married in Bedford NY and they settled in the Cortlandt Manor/Peekskill area of NY.  According to Rev. Warriner’s book, Old Sands Street Methodist Episcopal Church, written in 1885:

About 1730, having married, he [Richard Curry]  took his young wife and all their effects, and, mounting themselves on a single horse, they rode northward into the almost unbroken forrests in the northern part of Westchester County, then still, occupied by the wild Algonquins. He located in the valley of Peekskill Creek, a few miles back from the Hudson, where he became an extensive land owner, reared a large family and died in 1806.

On Valentine’s Day, 1778, Elizabeth passed away.  Her daughter Martha, who I am descended from, died only 9 months later during childbirth. Elizabeth was buried in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Cortlandt Manor, Peekskill NY. It is possible that Martha might be as well.  Martha’s husband and their remaining children would leave NY as Loyalists and settle in what is now New Brunswick.

Richard Curry would live on for another 28 years. He did not leave with his son-in-law as a Loyalist.  If he did side with the Loyalists his age may have prevented him from attempting the long and arduous journey. He was 96 when he died and is buried alongside his wife.

Here is the idyllic little church and cemetery where the remains of Richard and Elizabeth Curry reside…

St.Peter’s Episcopal Church, Cortlandt Manor, Peekskill NY.

St.Peter's Episcopal Church, Cortlandt Manor, Peekskill NY.

From Benson J. Lossing's "Pictoral Field Book of the Revolution", 1850

From Benson J. Lossing's "Pictoral Field Book of the Revolution", 1850

Published in: on 26 June 2009 at 12:07 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A fascinating story. The details make it very interesting…both what is known and what is not known.

  2. Sarah, may I ask how you found out so much? I am descended from Joshua(6 generations back), son of Richard and Elizabeth and this is wonderful detail. I have been researching other branches of the family and am now coming to the Curries but have only New Brunswick and Nova Scotia records to go on so far.

    I am glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to the Maritimes; I moved back here after 30 years away.


  3. Sarah,
    I love your web page. It is a treasure trove of family information. You really are bringing my husbands family to life for me. He is a desendant of Humphrey and Rachel Bull so you share many of the same ancestors. It is fantastic to read and I really hope your book is coming along! How did you prove the UEL status. I would love to go back and do this for my father in law as it is something he was always told that he came from a loyalist family. In researching I realize he has loyalist blood on a lot of different sides! I look forward to seeing more of your blogs and pictures. thank you.

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