52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #30 – John Angle

Relationship: 6th Great-grandfather
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John Angle, my 6th great-grandfather, was soldier and my D.A.R. Revolutionary War patriot. Apparently, though, he did not go into the war willingly! I know this from a manuscript written by his great-granddaughter, Martha Frances Strait who is my 1st cousin 5x removed.

What prompted Martha F. Strait to write this story was a prior letter penned to the New Jersey Historical Society for Soldiers of the Revolution in the early 1900s requesting information about John Angle’s military service. After her initial contact with them, they requested further information. She sent the manuscript to them in November of 1909 when she was 73 years old.

The manuscript related to the personal recollections of her mother, Sarah (Card) Strait.[1]
(I intend to publish the whole of the manuscript in a later post. Stay tuned!)

The story begin’s with John’s wife, Martha, and reads as follows:

“Martha Burrel [Burwell], my Great-grandmother, was born in England in 1728. She came to America in 1740, when she was twelve years old, with her two aunts, Mrs. Hays and Mrs. Meeker, and their husbands. Her parents were dead. …

“About 1748, when Martha was twenty years old, she came across John Angle, who came from Germany, and married him. They must have come up around Snufftown (now called Stockholm) and settled near where Jephtha W. Dunn now lives. They had eight children:

angle children

1. Elizabeth born 1749 married Benjamin Price
2. Samuel born 1753 married Mary Wright
3. Abraham born 1757 went to Elmira, N.Y.
4. John, Jr. born 1761 went to Elmira, N.Y.
5. Edward born 1765 he took the horse that John sent to his mother
6. Hannah born 1769 married a Hand and then Anthony Zeke
7. Sally born 1773 married John Daniels
8. Phebe (my grandmother) born 1776 (May 10) married Peter Card, 12-Nov-1792

“In September, 1776, when his daughter Phebe was only four months old, John Angle, with his two brothers, Jacob and William Angle (also from Germany), enlisted in the Sussex County, New Jersey, Militia at Newton, N.J., and so became soldiers in the Revolutionary Army.”

I find it amusing that Martha Burwell “came across John Angle, who came from Germany, and married him.” Was he just hanging about? Lounging on a street corner? Did she meet him in the local market? Was he working somewhere she frequented? It makes me wonder how the principle of propinquity (you have to meet someone to marry them) worked on this set of 6x great-grandparents. She was English. He was German. How did the conversations between them go?

But the next paragraph in Martha’s story shows that John felt more like a farmer than a fighter.

“I suppose the three brothers must have enlisted at the same time, but John Angle did not go to the war as he ought, and so they came and took him while he was plowing in the field below Jephtha W. Dunn’s (which went by the name of Angle’s hill) and did not even let him go in and say good-bye to his family. It was such a shock to his wife that she went deranged and kept so all winter. In the spring she was all right in her mind, and this kept up all the rest of her life, she being deranged in winter and sane in summer. When she was herself she was a very pious woman.”

However, the above paragraph makes no mention of whether John Angle ever returned home to Sussex County. Was he killed in the war?

The D.A.R. website[2] lists John Angle’s service with the following details:

  • Service: New Jersey
  • Rank: Private
  • Death: Post 05-01-1784 in Sussex County, New Jersey
  • Service Source: Stryker, Reg of Officers and Men of NJ in the Rev, p. 489
  • Service Description: Sussex County Milita
  • Ancestor #002804

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It wasn’t long after the war that John Angle died. If the D.A.R. website is correct, he died post 01 May 1874 and was around 59 years of age.

The information is sparse on John Angel but I have to say the little bit I do know about him far outweighs the information on any of my other 6x great-grandparents!

Summary of John Angle:

  • Born around 1725 in Germany
  • He had two brothers named Jacob and William
  • All three brothers immigrated to America
  • Married Martha Burwell of Newark, New Jersey
  • Settled in Sussex County, New Jersey
  • Had eight children
  • Was a farmer
  • Served in the Revolutionary War
  • Died after 01 May 1784

[1] Martha F. Strait, “Angle-Card-Strait Family History: Recollections of my Mother, Sarah Card Strait” (14 January 1909); folder: “Strait Family File”, vertical files; Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey.
[2] http://services.dar.org/members/DAR_Research/search_adb/?action=full&p_id=A002804

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