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Diminutive 18th C. Band Sampler
Cattarn Gilder, Great Barrington/Egremont, 
Berkshire County, Massachusetts 1772

     This exceedingly rare AMERICAN INDIAN BLOODLINE FAMILY'S PRE-REVOLUTIONARY WAR SAMPLER descended in the family of historic, early Native American Indian, TOANUNCK; a full blooded Native American Indian of the Wappinger and Mohawk Tribes and his wife Anna Maria Koerner who was from a German  immigrant family. They were married in 1719 as records at the REFORMED CHURCH in Kingston, New York. They had at least 9 children whose branches settled in Great Barrington/ Egremont areas of Berkshire County, Mass. and Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia as well as areas of New York and Vermont.

     In historic records Toanunck took on the names Jan Van Gelder and his more extensively recognized name, John Van Gilder, which researchers and historians of the family believe was taken from a Dutch family in upstate New York that he may have known, worked with, and been fond of. His father was a Wappinger Tribe Chief named Awansous and his mother a member of the Catskill Band of Mohican Indians. Early American history really comes into play, as Gov. Livingston of New York coveted all the land comprising Putnam County New York that was passed down to Toanunck (John Van Gilder), and he was jailed on false charges. His son, Nicholas, almost had an Indian war commence to get him freed.

       Family researchers and historians whom I will reference, note many variations of this family's surname, as the family spread out across America. The consummate researcher and expert historian of this family, Deborah Winchell, descended from the MOHAWK WINCHELLS and husband of the sampler maker, states that her research of records turned up surname variations from this American Indian bloodline family of "Gilder, Van Gilder, Vangilder, VanGilder, Van Gelder, and Van Guilder". Ancestry records show that the sampler maker Catharine ("Cattern") was born 1764 and was probably named after her aunt Catharine (one of the 9 children born 1726 to Toanunck; as shown in family land records and wills). 

      Again, family researcher Debra Winchell's research on this Gilder/Van Gilder-Winchell line is extensive and well documented. She refers those who are interested, to her "peer reviewed Papers published by The New York State Museum and the New York Department of Education titled; MOHAWK SEMINAR 3; THE JOURNEY OF ANALGONQUIN'S PEOPLES...THE IMPACT OF JOHN VAN GELDER; MOHICAN, HUSBANDMAN, and HISTORICAL FIGURE".

      Another family researcher, who could not believe he was of American Indian blood is Drew Bittner who "provided information on the family and all the variations that descended (from the original surname) , as the branches settled throughout early America....classifying all the surnames...Van Gilder, Vangilder, VanGilder, GILDER, Van Gelder, and Van Guilder". He went To West Virginia with his wife to research that Jacob Van Gilder branch, and did DNA testing with others from the family, that proved unequivocally their American Indian bloodline to Toanunck/John Van Gilder. While researching in WV he said that many of the records were destroyed in the areas of Marion County and Monongolia County West Virginia where this branch migrated in the Civil War, but that he found many,  many references to both Gilder and Van Gilder related families who were still living there. He found that "Jacob (Wilder) Van Gilder's long lost son was still in West Virginia  in 1806 before going west.....He showed up 1808 in Missouri with (uncle) Frederick Gibler of Morgantown....Frederick being  the brother of Jacob Van Gilder's (b.1752) wife, Anna Margaret Gibler (b.1753)"..... Sampler maker Catharine (Cattarn) Gilder's exceedingly rare 1772 American pre Revolutionary War sampler came untouched in the original antique family frame with dustcover intact. A later 1800s Victorian frame that descendants who migrated west to Southern California was added.

     The charming sampler is a traditional 18th C band sampler worked in exquisite queen stitch and vibrant yellows, teal, and gold highlights and stitched expertly by our 8 year old sampler maker. It has been reframed to display the perfectly hemmed 4 sides and delicate Queen Stitch border This American Indian heritage sampler is a traditional diminutive band sampler appx 6.5 x 11.5 inches and conserved in pristine condition (family initials ending in "G" and "W" purportedly for Gilder and Winchell).

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