Erie County, Ohio
Researched by Patty Pascoe
1. Recorded in Cherry's book - 1874 Erie Co. Atlas
2. O.G.S. - "...abandoned...former neighborhood tract near jct. of Darrow and Barrows Roads.
The earliest record of the family in Huron County is a very old paper signed Jerle V. Benschooter and J.B. Flammand attesting to the value of a stray horse they had found. Later, we found his name spelled Orlie Benschooter when he lived in Berlin Township, which was originally a part of Vermilion. He did not write it himself, someone else in speaking of the Revolutionary soldiers said Orlie Benschooter was one of them. It seemed natural for Jerle, to be converted to Orlie by our Yankees. Later we find what we think is the name spelled Jeremiah Benschooter, and still later Jeremiah Van Benschooter. Is this not perhaps the same man? All three of them are spoken of as coming first to Huron in 1810, and then moving into Vermilion or Berlin Township as it was later called. The old abstracts show the same property listed as belonging to the two names on different records. They run first this record of the horse Jerle V. Benschooter 1810 or 1811. In the 30's or 40's it is written in the Firelands Pioneers that land in Huron and Vermilion Townships was first taken up by Jeremiah Benschooter the Revolutionary soldier who built the blockhouse. The maps of 1874 show the same land as belonging to W.G. Benschooter and D.N. Benschooter. We have an old letter written by Wm. Benschooter telling about his father building the blockhouse, but nowhere does he give his father's name. The histories say that Jeremiah Benschooter married Sally Weatherlow and as this land in Section 3 of Berlin Township is called the Weatherlow tract and it is here and near this cemetery that the Benschooter tracts lie, it seems reasonable to suppose that this Jerle Benschooter, who originally signed his name preceeded by a V, is the man whose name was changed to Jeremiah to make it more English and like his Yankee neighbors. We have several other instance s of this kind in the county. The Van Der Water Meuller family of Sandusky whose name was changed to Mills, and our own de Cheri that was changed to Cherry.
Mr. Hoffman had no recollections of seeing the stones in this cemetery fallen over or broken, but when he tried to recall their disappearance he could not remember when it happened. As I have recollections of the James Cemetery with the stones tipped and broken, I believe if this had happened, he would remember it. There are no broken fragments there now, and so it seems reasonable to suppose that they were possible moved to other places before the orchard was planted there. Very likely the bodies and stones were moved to the Peak Burial plot, as there are Griffins, Benschooten and Weatherels buried there. Knights, Griffins and Benschooters are in the Berlin Heights cemeteries.
He said also that the road down to the beach, the only road that belonged to Berlin Township had been there as long as he could remember. When they tried to close the road, the lawyers asked him if it would be a benefit to do so, and he said it would depend on who owned the beach. It appeared that no one knew to whom the beach belonged, so they looked up all their deeds. If the deed called for high water mark, then the property owner had no right to the beach and the public could go there, provided they could get to it. The property owners could close their driveways and thus keep people from getting to the beach. Most of the deeds did not call for the low water mark, which was a pity as the lake had washed back so that the road had to be continually changed. He could remember that the bridge at Sages Grove had been moved three times in his lifetime and two streets in Huron had completely disappeared. He had been interested in a Saw Mill that furnished timber for building bridges in Lorain, Sandusky, Huron and Erie counties, before the steel and concrete bridges came into use, and so the moving of these bridges always greatly interested him. He had often heard the name Jeremiah Benschooter, but did not remember what relation he was to Hoffman Benschooter.
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This was a small neighborhood cemetery. Near it stood a log cabin, with two more not far off, according to Mr. John Hoffman who lived in this neighborhood all his life. I talked with him July 16, 1936, and he told me what he remembers of it. There were perhaps 25 or 30 stones in this lot bearing the names of Weatherlow, Benschooter, Knight, Dow, Wells and Griffin. He and Hoffman Benschooter were boys together and the family always spelled it with an r on the end and did not add the Van before it, but later generations spelled it with an n on the end. He said this Hoffman Benschooter was related to Dr. Moses Benschooter of Vermilion and whose stone's in the Baptist Cemetery at Berlin Heights. On the stones in this cemetery, the family spell it Benschooter, but the other branch of the family spell it Van Benschooten, which is nearer the original name as it came from Holland which is Van Bunschota, according to the Van Benschooten Genealogy. Mr. Hoffman said that the Van Benschooten and the Benschooter families always said they were related. This would certainly seem to be born out by the records. Following the name through the New York records, I saw any number of variations of the spelling of one man's name as he moved from community to community. Beginning in New York, they drifted down through Pennsylvania and then on into Ohio.
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This cemetery was a neighborhood plot. Near it stood a log cabin and two more not far away. According to Mr. John Hoffman with whom I talked July 16, 1936, there was 25 or 30 stones in this cemetery. He did not know what had become of any of them, but thought some might have been moved to Peakes Cemetery. He did not remember to have seen them falling over, nor to have seen any used as walks or foundations. We stopped at several houses along the way and did not find anyone who remembered when the stones were taken away nor what became of them. Mr. Hoffman said the names on these stones as he remembered them when a boy, were Weatherlow, Benschooter, Dow Wells and Griffin. We find these names on the land abstracts for that part of the township in 1874 and before so his memory seems to be very correct.
Researched by Patty Pascoe
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