The Mohawk Valley

Heather's ancestor Catherine Weissenberg lived in the picturesque Mohawk Valley

Sandwiched between the Adirondack and Catskill mountains of upstate New York lays a picturesque region known as the Mohawk Valley. During the early to mid-18th century, this region along the Mohawk River was the "frontier," sparsely settled by small communities of Dutch, Palatine Germans, Irish, and Scottish living alongside the Mohawk Indians of the Iroquois confederacy.

Fur traders, such as William Johnson, prospered in the valley - establishing strong ties with the Mohawk, and offering goods such as axes, awls, fish hooks, cloth, glass beads, guns, and even rum and brandy, in exchange for pelts of beaver, otter, mink, fox, bear, and deer. Flatboats and bateaux became a common site on the Mohawk River, transporting merchandise, as well as grain, peas, and other crops to agents in New York City and London. King

George's War brought unrest to the region, with Canadian Indian raids and scalping parties engendering a constant fear of murder and torture along the exposed frontier.

Local Indians indulged in imported goods, adopting the practice of drinking tea, along with the wearing of some English clothing and jewellery.

A small aristocratic class, of which the Johnson family was arguably the centre, established large homes stocked with servants and imported luxuries not normally associated with colonial frontier life. Yet, whether Irish aristocrat, German pioneer, or native Iroquois, life in the war zone of the 18th century Mohawk Valley meant always being prepared to defend hearth and home.

~by Kimberly Powell | a professional genealogist and genealogy blogger | Who do you think you are? magazine December 2013
Kimberly is a genealogical researcher, author, editor and volunteer. She is past President of the Association of Professional Genealogists, has served on its Professional Development Committee since 2011, and established APG's educational webinar series in 2012. She also served as assistant director for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (2013 2014) and webmaster for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society from 2006 2016.
Kimberly was the Genealogy Expert with from 2000 2016 and is the author of several books, including most recently The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition (Adams Media, 2014). She has also contributed to several popular genealogy magazines, including BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, Family Tree Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Kimberly is co-coordinator for the Confusion to Conclusion: Writing Proof Arguments course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) and a former co-coordinator of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She is also an instructor at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), as well as GRIP and SLIG.
Kimberly specializes in family history research in southwestern Pennsylvania, plus North and South Carolina, France, and England. She has extensive experience at full-family genealogies, including immigrant families, branching out through multiple states, countries, and time periods.
Email: lovegenealogy@gmail.comWeb Site:
Research Specialty: African American ; Civil War ; Colonial ; Land Platting ; Land Records ; Neighborhood Reconstruction ; Court Records
Geographic Specialty: NC ; OH ; PA ; SC ; Mid-Atlantic ; South ; Pittsburgh ; England ; France
Research Counties: Allegheny County, PA ; Beaver County, PA ; Washington County, PA ; Westmoreland County, PA
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-reproduced from text on Association of professional genealogists members page for Kimberly Powell | | accessed 21 December 2018