BRANT, Joseph (Chief )


Family Links

1. UNKNOWN, Christine

2. UNKNOWN, Susannah
3. CROGHAN, Catherine

BRANT, Joseph (Chief ) 6 7 8 9 10

  • Born: Mar 1742, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
  • Marriage (1): UNKNOWN, Christine on 25 Jul 1765 in Canajohaire, Montgomery County, New York 1 2
  • Marriage (2): UNKNOWN, Susannah in 1773 in Upper Canada 3
  • Marriage (3): CROGHAN, Catherine about 1780-1782 in Upper Canada 4 5
  • Died: 1807, Burlington, Ontario, Canada at age 65

bullet   Another name for Joseph was Thayendinagea.


Joseph married Christine UNKNOWN, daughter of Oneida Chief GENAUGH and Unknown ONEIDA WOMAN, on 25 Jul 1765 in Canajohaire, Montgomery County, New York.1 2 (Christine UNKNOWN was born about 1745 and died in Mar 1771 in Canajohaire, Montgomery County, New York 11.)


Joseph next married Susannah UNKNOWN, daughter of Oneida Chief GENAUGH and Unknown ONEIDA WOMAN, in 1773 in Upper Canada.3 (Susannah UNKNOWN was born about 1746 in Upper Canada and died in 1773 in Upper Canada 12.)


Joseph next married Catherine CROGHAN about 1780-1782 in Upper Canada.4 5 (Catherine CROGHAN was born in 1759 in Upper Canada and died on 24 Nov 1837 in Ontario, Canada.)



1 Descendants of Joseph Brant (Fully annotated descendant genealogy of Joseph Brant, provided by Museums of Burlington, 2168 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario. Website: Surety: 4. He was married to Margaret/Peggy (daughter of Gecaugh or Isaac (Onieda Chief) unknown and Unknown) on JUL 25 1765 in Canajoharie, Canajoharie District, New York, U.S.A.. (43)In the book" Joseph Brant 1743-1807 A man of Two Worlds", the date is
given as Monday July 22 1765 on page 109. Margaret/Peggy died in MAR 1771 in Canajoharie, Canajoharie District, New York, U.S.A.. (13)(44)Died of Consumption. She was also known as Neggen Aoghyatonghsera. (45)(46)She was also known as Peggie.(47)Refered to as Peggie to differentiate from Joseph's mother who was
also Margaret. She died from Tuberculosis.(48)She was Daughter of a Onieda Chief.(49)She was also known as Sasaya (Chosen of a Grandmother). (50)She died from Consumption.(51)She was also known as Christine. Margaret was the daughter of an Oneida Cheif.

2 Marshall, George L. Jr., Chief Joseph Brant: Mohawk, Loyalist and Freemason (Fully annotated biography: Archiving Early America website. Surety: 4. About 1768 he married Christine, the daughter of an Oneida chief, whom he had met in school. Together, they settled on a farm near Canajoharie which Joseph had inherited. While here, Brant assisted in revising the Mohawk prayer book and translating the Acts of the Apostles into the Mohawk language. He also joined the Anglican Church, was a regular communicant, and evinced a great desire to bring Christianity to his people. His wife died of tuberculosis about 1771, leaving him with a son and a daughter. In 1773, he married his wife'ss sister, Susannah, who died a few months afterward, also of tuberculosis.

3 Descendants of Joseph Brant (Fully annotated descendant genealogy of Joseph Brant, provided by Museums of Burlington, 2168 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario. Website: Surety: 4. He was married to Susanna Unknown (daughter of Gecaugh or Isaac (Onieda Chief) unknown and Unknown) in 1772 or 1773. (20)Susanna Unknown (21)died Fall of1773. Died of Consumption She was Half Sister of Margaret/Christine (First wife of Joseph Brant). (21)She died from Tuberculosis. (22)She was Daughter of an Onieda Chief. (23)She was also known as Wonah.(24)She was Half sister of Margaret.(25)Half sister of Joseph Brant's first wife Margaret.

4 Penick, Tom, The Story of Joseph Brant (Annotated biography: Surety: 3. Around 1782, Brant married his third wife, Catherine Croghan, daughter of an Irishman and a Mohawk.

5 Descendants of Joseph Brant (Fully annotated descendant genealogy of Joseph Brant, provided by Museums of Burlington, 2168 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario. Website: Surety: 4. Legal ceremony preformed by Col. Butler (1780). Catharine (Katerine) Croghan was born in 1759. She died on NOV 24 1837. (2)(2)She was also known as Adonwentishon.(27)Although her father was a , Katharine was of the family
Tehkarihoken, or Hereditary Cheif if the Turtle (Anowara) totem.

6 Caniff, William, History of the Settlement of Upper Canada, With Special Reference to the Bay of Quinte (Toronto, Canada: Dudley & Burns, Printers, Victoria Hall, 1869). Surety: 4. Thayendinagea, or Joseph Brant, was born upon the banks of the Ohio, in the year 1742, while his tribe was on a visit to that region. According to Stone, his biographer, he was the son of ?Tehowaghwengaraghkwin a full-blooded Mohawk, of the Wolf tribe.? After the battle at Lake George, Brant continued with his people under Johnson till the close of that bloody war. At its close, about 1760, Brant, with several other young Indians, was placed by Johnson at Moor School, Lebanon, Connecticut. After acquiring some knowledge of the rudiments of literature, he left the school to engage in active warfare with the Pontiacs and Ottawas. ?In 1765, we find him married and settled in his own house at the Mohawk Valley. It is said he was not married, except in the Indian mode, until the winter of 1779, when at Niagara, seeing a Miss Moore, a captive, married, he was also thus married by Colonel John Butler, to a half-breed, the daughter of Colonel Croghan, by an Indian woman. Here he spent a quiet and peaceful life for some years, acting as interpreter in negotiations between his people and the whites, and lending his aid to the efforts of the missionaries who were engaged in the work of teaching and converting the Indians. [p.74] ?Those who visited his house, spoke in high terms of his kindness and hospitality.? Sir William Johnson died in 1774, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Colonel George Johnson, as Indian agent, who appointed Brant his Secretary. The same year Johnson had to flee from the Mohawk, westward, to escape being captured by a band of rebels. He was accompanied by Brant and the principal warriors of the tribe. The rebels vainly tried to win the Indians to their side; but excepting a few Senecas, they preferred their long tried friends. The regular successor of Old King Hendrick, was ?little Abraham.? It is said he was well disposed to the Americans, probably through jealousy of Brant. At all events, Brant, by universal consent became the principal chief. He proceeded with the other chiefs, and a large body of Indian warriors to Montreal, where he was commissioned as a captain in the British army. ?In the fall of 1775, he sailed for England to hold personal conference with the officers of government. He was an object of much curiosity at London, and attracted the attention of persons of high rank and great celebrity.? Brant returned to America in the spring following, landed near New York, and made his way through his enemy's country to Canada. He placed himself at the head of his warriors, and led them on to many a victory. The first of which was at the battle of ?the Cedars.?
But the rebels did not cease endeavoring to seduce Brant to their cause. In June, 1777, General Herkimer of the rebel militia approached Brant's headquarters with a large force, ostensibly to treat on terms of equality. Brant had reason to suspect treachery, and consequently would not, for some time, meet Herkimer. After a week, however, he arranged to see General Herkimer, but every precaution was taken against treachery, and it appears that not without cause. Brant and Herkimer were old, and had been intimate friends. Brant took with him a guard of about forty warriors. It would seem that Herkimer's intention was to try and persuade Brant to come over to the rebels, and failing in this to have Brant assassinated as he was retiring. Says an American writer, Brownell, ?We are sorry to record an instance of such unpardonable treachery as Herkimer is said to have planned at this juncture. One of his men, Joseph Waggoner, affirmed that the General privately exhorted him to arrange matters so that Brant and his three principal associates might be assassinated.? Well does it become the Americans to talk about savage barbarity. Brant thwarted the intentions of his old friend by keeping his forty [p.75] warriors within call. During all of the repeated attempts to get the Mohawks they never swerved, but reminded the rebels of their old treaties with England, and the ill-treatment their people had sustained at the hands of the colonists. The head-quarters of Brant was at Oghkwaga, Owego, upon the Susquehanna. During the summer of 1777 while Burgoyne was advancing, the Mohawks under Brant rendered important service. In the attempt to capture Fort Stanwix, they took a prominent part. In the summer of 1778 the Indians, with Butler's Rangers were engaged principally in border warfare. It was during this season that the affair at Wyoming took place, which event has been so extravagantly made use of to blacken the character of the Indians and vilify the ?tories.? That Brant was not inhuman, but that he was noble, let recent American writers testify. Brownell says: ?many an instance is recorded of his interference, even in the heat of conflict, to stay the hand uplifted against the feeble and helpless.?
According to Rochefoucault, Brant's manners were half European; he was accompanied by two negro servants, and was, ?in appearance, like an Englishman.? Brant visited England in December 1785, and was treated with great consideration. After the close of the war, Brant settled at Wellington Square, upon land conferred by the Crown, where he lived after the English mode. He died here 24th November, 1807. His wife, who never took to civilized life, after her husband's death, removed to the Grand River, and lived in her wigwam. Some of her children remained in the ?commodious dwelling,? and others accompanied her to the life of the wigwam. According to Weld, Brant had at one time thirty or forty negro slaves, which he kept in the greatest subjection. He also says that Brant's half pay as a captain, and his presents yearly received, amounted to 500.
His last days were made unhappy by a debased son, who, after threatening his father's life, was at last killed by him, in self defence, by a short sword which Brant wore at his side. Respecting another of his sons, the Kingston Herald, September 5th, 1832, says: ?It is with unfeigned sorrow that we announce the death of CAPTAIN JOHN BRANT, Chief of the Six Nations Indians. He died of Cholera, at Brantford, on the 27th ult., after an illness of only six hours. Mr. Brant was the son of the celebrated Indian Chief, whose memory was unjustly assailed by Campbell the Poct, and for the vindication of which the subject of this notice some years ago purposely visited England. Possessing the education, feelings, and manners of a gentleman, he was beloved by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance, and his death cannot fail to be deeply and very generally regretted.?

7 Johnson, Rossiter, Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. I-X (Boston, Massachusetts: The Biographical Society, 1904), p. 392. Surety: 4. BRANT, Joseph, (Thayendanega), Indian wass born on the banks of the Ohio in 1742; son of Mohawk, chief of the Wolf tribe, and grandson of one of the five sachems or Indian kings who visited London in the reign of Queen Anne (1710). Sir Richard Steele mentions them in the Tatler of May 13, 1710, and Addison give them place in a number of the Spectator. His [p.392] Indian name is interpreted Two-sticks-of-wood bound-together, denoting "the strong." He fought in the battle of Lake George, 1755; served under Sir William Johnson in the Niagara campaign 1759, and attended the Moor charity school at Lebanon, Conn. He participated in the Pontiac war in 1763; married the daughter of an Oneida chief and settled at Canajoharie, where he engaged in translating portions of the Bible into Mohawk and acted as secretary to Guy Johnson, superintendent of Indian affairs. He served at the head of two hundred and twenty braves against the French in Canada, and accompanied Colonel Johnson to England in November 1775, where he set the grievances of the Six Nations before Lord George Germain in March, 1776. He joined the expedition of General St. Leger against Fort Stanwix in 1777; almost destroyed the party under General Herkimer at the battle of Oriskany, Aug. 6, 1777; accompanied the expedition from Fort Niagara against General Sullivan in 1779, and in 1780, captured General Harper and his command. After peace was declared in 1783 the Mohawks went to Canada to arrange for a settlement, and in 1785 he went to England, where he obtained reimbursements for his tribe for losses sustained in helping the British cause, and also contributions towards an Episcopal church. He returned in 1786; defeated General St. Clair in Western Ohio, thus putting an end to the war between the Indians and the United States. He was presented to Washington in 1792. He translated the gospel of St. Mark into the Mohawk language and assisted Col. Daniel Claus in translating the "Book of Common Prayer." His statue was unveiled at Brantford, Ontario, Oct. 13, 1886. He died Nov. 24, 1807.

8 Penick, Tom, The Story of Joseph Brant (Annotated biography: Surety: 3. The Mohawk Indian chief Joseph Brant served as a spokesman for his people, a Christian missionary of the Anglican church, and a British military officer during the U.S. War of Independence. He is remembered for his efforts in unifying upper New York Indian tribes and leading them in terrorizing raids against patriot communities in support of Great Britian's efforts to repress the rebellion. He is also credited for the establishment of the Indian reservation on the Grand River in Canada where the neighboring town of Brantford, Ontario, bears his name.
Brant was born in 1742 on the banks of the Ohio River and given the Indian name of Thayendanegea, meaning "he places two bets." He inherited the status of Mohawk chief from his father. He attended Moor's Charity School for Indians in Lebanon, Connecticut, where he learned to speak English and studied Western history and literature. He became an interpreter for an Anglican Missionary, the Reverend John Stuart, and together they translated the prayer book and the Gospel of Mark into Mohawk. Molly Brant, Joseph's sister, married General Sir William Johnson who was the British superintendent for northern Indian affairs. Sir William was called to duty during the last French and Indian War of 1754-1763. Joseph followed Sir William into battle at the age of 13, along with the other Indian braves at the school.
Following this frightening experience, Joseph returned to school for a short period. Sir William had need of an interpreter and aid in his business with the Indians and employed Joseph in this prestigious position. In his work with Sir William, Joseph discovered a trading company that was buying discarded guns from the Army, filling cracks in the barrels with lead, and then selling them to Indians. The guns would explode when fired, often injuring the owner. Joseph was able to prove this in court and the trading company's license was revoked.
It was the custom for young men not to marry until they had made their mark, and Joseph was now prepared to choose a wife. Around 1768 he married Christine, the daughter of an Oneida chief, whom he had met in school. They had both Indian and Anglican wedding ceremonies and lived on a farm which Joseph had inherited. Christine died of tuberculosis around 1771, leaving Joseph with a son and a daughter. During this time, Joseph resumed his religous work, translating the Acts of the Apostles into the Mohawk language. In 1773, he married Susannah, sister of his first wife. Susannah died a few months later, also of tuberculosis. In 1774 he was appointed secretary to Sir William's successor, Guy Johnson. In 1775 he received a captain's commission and was sent to England to assess whether the British would or would not help the Mohawk recover their lands. He met with the King on two occasions and a dinner was held in his honor.
While in England, Brant attended a performance of Romeo and Juliet. Lady Ossory, a member of a famous Irish family, asked him, "What do you think of that kind of love-making, Captain Brant?" He replied, "There is too much of it, your ladyship." "Why do you say that?', and Joseph answered quickly, "Because, your ladyship, no lover worth a lady's while would waste his time and breath in all that speech-making. If my people were to make love in that way our race would be extinct in two generations." [Monture, p. 36]
On his return to the colonies, he saw action in the Battle of Long Island in August 1776. He led four of the six nations of the Iroquois League in attacks against colonial outposts on the New York frontier. The Iroquois League was a confederation of upper New York State Indian tribes formed between 1570 and 1600 who called themselves "the people of the long house." Initially it was composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. After the Tuscarora joined in 1722, the league became known to the English as the Six Nations and was recognized as such in Albany, New York, in 1722. They were better organized and more effective, especially in warfare, than other Indian confederacies in the region. As the longevity of this union would suggest, these Indians were more advanced socially than is often thought. Benjamin Franklin even cited their success in his argument for the unification of the colonies. They lived in comfortable homes, often better than those of the colonists, raised crops, and sent hunters to Ohio to supply meat for those living back in New York. These hunters were usually young braves or young married couples, as was the case with Joseph Brant's parents.
During the U.S. War of Independence a split developed in the Iroquois league, with the Oneida and Tuscarora favoring the American cause while the others fought for the British under the leadership of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. A few of the leaders favored a neutral stance, preferring to let the white men kill each other rather than become involved. Brant feared that the Indians would lose their lands if the colonists achieved independence. Basic to animosities between Indians and whites was the difference in views over land ownership. The Indians felt that the land was for the use of everyone and so initially saw no reason to not welcome the Europeans. The colonists, on the other hand, were well acquainted with the priviledges of ownership (or lack thereof) and were eager to acquire land of their own.
Brant commanded the Indians in the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777. In early 1778 he gathered a force of Indians from the villages of Unadilla and Oquaga on the Susquehanna River. On September 17, 1778 they destroyed German Flats near Herkimer, New York. The patriots retalliated under the leadership of Col. William Butler and destroyed Unadilla and Oquaga on October 8th and 10th. Brant's forces, along with loyalists under Capt. Walter N. Butler, then set out to destroy the town and fort at Cherry Valley. There were 200-300 men stationed at the fort but they were unprepared for the attack on August 11, 1778. The attackers killed some 30 men, women, and children, burned houses, and took 71 prisoners. They killed 16 soldiers at the fort but withdrew the following day when 200 patriot reinforcements arrived. The settlement was abandoned and the event came to be known as the "Cherry Valley Massacre." Brant won a formidable reputation after this raid and in cooperation with loyalists and British regulars, he brought fear and destruction to the entire Mohawk Valley, southern New York, and northern Pennsylvania. He thwarted the attempts of a rival chief, Red Jacket, to persuade the Iroquois to make peace with the revolutionaries. In 1779, U.S. Major General John Sullivan led a retaliatory expedition of 3700 men against the Iroquois, destroying fields, orchards, granaries, and their morale. The Iroquois were defeated near present-day Elmira, N.Y. In spite of this, Indian raids persisted until the end of the war and many homesteads had to abandoned. The Iroquois League came to an end after admitting defeat in the Second Treaty of Ft. Stanwix in 1784.
Around 1782, Brant married his third wife, Catherine Croghan, daughter of an Irishman and a Mohawk. With the war over, and the British having surrendered lands to the colonists and not to the Indians, Brant was faced with finding a new home for himself and his people. He discouraged further Indian warfare and helped the U.S. commissioners to secure peace treaties with the Miamis and other tribes. He retained his commission in the British Army and was awarded a grant of land on the Grand River in Ontario by Govenor Sir Frederick Haldimand of Canada in 1784. The tract of 675,000 acres encompassed the Grand River from its mouth to its source, six miles deep on either side. Brant led 1843 Iroquois Loyalists from New York State to this site where they settled and established the Grand River Reservation for the Mohawk. The party included members of all six tribes, but primarily Mohawk and Cayugas, as well as a few Delaware, Nanticoke, Tutelo, Creek, and Cherokee, who had lived with the Iroquois before the war. They settled in small tribal villages along the river. Sir Haldimand had hurriedly pushed through the land agreement before his term of office expired and was unable to provide the Indians with legal title to the property. For this reason, Brant again traveled to England in 1785. He succeeded in obtaining compensation for Mohawk losses in the U.S. War for Independence and received funds for the first Episcopal Church in Upper Canada, but failed to obtain firm title to the Grand River reservation. The legality of the transfer remains under question today.
Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks was built in 1785 at the order of King George III. The simple wooden structure survives today as the oldest Protestant church in Ontario and is the only church outside the United Kingdom with the status of Chapel Royal. The church contains some lavish appointments including a silver service and bible dating from 1712 when Queen Anne had a church erected for the Mohawk on the Mohawk River in New York. Also erected for the Indians in 1785 was a saw and grist mill and a school.
Brant continued with his missionary work. He felt that his followers could learn much from observing the ways of the white man and made a number of land sales of reservation property to white settlers to this end, despite the unsettled ownership. He tried unsuccessfully to arrange a settlement between the Iroquois and the United States. He traveled in the American West promoting an all-Indian confederacy to resist land cessions. Late in his life, he continued the work he had begun as a young man of translating the Creed and important passages of the Old and New Testament into the Mohawk language. He was a man who studied and was able to internalize the better qualities of the white man while always remaining loyal and devoted to his people. Joseph Brant died on the reservation on August 24, 1807.

9 Descendants of Joseph Brant (Fully annotated descendant genealogy of Joseph Brant, provided by Museums of Burlington, 2168 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario. Website: Surety: 4. All but one of Joseph Brant's nine children outlived him. His eldest son Isaac (his mother was Brant's first wife, Christine) was a man of fierce temper, especially when under the influence of alcohol. During one of these bouts of temper, an argument ensued with his father and resulted in serious personal injury. Isaac suffered a head wound which became infected and eventually caused his death. Brant immediately gave himself up to the authorities and asked to be tried in a court of law. He was found not guilty of a crime but the tragedy haunted him for the rest of his life.
The next two boys, Joseph and Jacob (Brant's sons with his third wife, Catherine), were sent to be educated at Dartmouth College, formerly Moore's Charity School and its president was the son of President Wheelock under whom Joseph had studied at the Charity School.
Brant's fourth and youngest son John went to school in Ancaster and Niagara. He distinguished himself during the War of 1812, rose to the rank of Captain and was appointed Superintendent of the Six Nations. He and his younger sister Elizabeth lived in the home at the Head of the Lake, which by this time was called Wellington Square. John was elected Member of Parliament for Haldimand County but died soon afterward in 1832 of cholera.
W. L. Stone in his "Life of Joseph Brant" tells a story of the gold ring bought by Brant in 1776 in England. Joseph Brant wore this ring until his death in 1807. It was kept as a precious object by his widow, Catherine, until it was lost 4 years later. The ring was found by a little girl near Wellington Square while Catherine was on a visit to her daughter, Elizabeth, the wife of Colonel Kerr. The aged widow of Joseph Brant was overjoyed at once more possessing the memento, after it had been lost for twenty-six years.
Christina was the daughter of Brant and his first wife, Christine. Margaret, Catherine, Mary and Elizabeth were daughters of his third wife, Catherine. Elizabeth married William Johnson Kerr, grandson of Molly Brant (Brant's sister) and Sir William Johnson. There were four children of this marriage: Walter, Joseph, Kate and Simcoe. Brant's land remained in the family until the death of Simcoe Kerr in 1875, when they sold it to become a summer hotel and park.
A replica of the original house was built in 1937-1938 on the same site. In 1942, it was opened as the Joseph Brant Museum to honour the memory of Burlington's first citizen.

10 Unknown, Handbook of American Indians (Excerpt of book "Mohawk Indian Chiefs and Leaders," taken from Access Genealogy website, Indian Tribal Records section: Surety: 3. His father, Tehowaghwengaraghkwin, according to Stone, was a full-blood Mohawk of the Wolf gens, and his mother was also Indian or at least a half-blood. While Joseph was still young his father died, and the mother then married an Indian known among the whites as Brant: hence the name by which Brant is commonly known.

11 Penick, Tom, The Story of Joseph Brant (Annotated biography: Surety: 3. It was the custom for young men not to marry until they had made their mark, and Joseph was now prepared to choose a wife. Around 1768 he married Christine, the daughter of an Oneida chief, whom he had met in school. They had both Indian and Anglican wedding ceremonies and lived on a farm which Joseph had inherited. Christine died of tuberculosis around 1771, leaving Joseph with a son and a daughter.

12 Ibid. Surety: 3. During this time, Joseph resumed his religous work, translating the Acts of the Apostles into the Mohawk language. In 1773, he married Susannah, sister of his first wife. Susannah died a few months later, also of tuberculosis.

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