m. Abigail Woodward
Peter Bankert -
m. Eli Winchell, 1790, prob. Granby, CT
For nearly 5 years I have been searching for the parents of Abigail. The Winchell Genealogy gives the wife of Eli Winchell as Abigail Phelps but shows no
parents. As yet, I have found no record of the marriage or her possible
parentage in Granby. I have developed a number of theories which might fit,
however I have yet to find a solid connection.
My most promising theory is that Eli's wife is his 2'nd cousin, a daughter of
Alexander Phelps and Abigail Winchell. Abigail (Winchell) is the daughter of
Martin and Lucy Winchell. Her grave-stone located in East Granby cemetery shows
that she died 4 May 1773 in her 26'th year, the widow of Alexander Phelps and
daughter of Ens. Martin Winchell and Mrs. Lucy Winchell.
Knowing that Eli's wife, Abigail Phelps, was b.c. 1769 (age at death), and
that Eli and Abigail named two sons Alexander, I began searching for any
possible children of Alexander and Abigail (Winchell) Phelps. Carol Laun, of the
Salmon Brook Historical Society, searching probate records, found that there
were indeed two daughters from this marriage, named in the will of Martin's
widow, Lucy Winchell, as ABIGAIL and Sarah.
Now that we had an Abigail Phelps born in the correct time frame and located
in the right vicinity (East Granby, Turkey Hills), we set about trying to find a
connection through Alexander Phelps. This has proven to be very difficult.
Alexander's parents are unknown and we have found few records of him in Granby
or Windsor. A possible lead is that in 1771 Alexander and Ebenezer Phelps
jointly bought 81 acres of land in Windsor (WLR 1467). As it turns out, 22 years
later, Ebenezer's son, Horace, is a witness to a land purchase by Eli and
Abigail (Phelps) Winchell shortly after their marriage. This land deal raises
the probability that Alexander and Ebenezer were related and possibly brothers.
This Ebenezer is probably the same born 30 Apr 1741 to Nathaniel Phelps in
Eight months after the death of his wife, In January of 1774, Alexander sells
his share of the above land to Joseph Forward of Simsbury. After this conveyance
we have yet to find any record of Alexander in Windsor or Granby. We do,
however, find an Alexander Phelps listed at least six times in "Connecticut Men
in the American Revolution". We could theorize that a young widower with two
small daughters may have left to find his fortunes in war, possibly leaving his
two daughters with his in-laws, Martin and Lucy Winchell. Where he resided after
the revolution, if he survived, is not known. We are seeking any further
information on him.
So, while we have some promising theories, the true identity of Abigail
Phelps, b.c. 1769 and married to Eli Winchell in 1790, remains a mystery.
If you have ANY information which can help,
please contact me. e-mail
and His Descendants
m. Abigail Woodward 14 Nov 1771, New Haven, CT
The origin of William Day of New Haven CT remains unknown
and he left few records to guide us. The descendants of his children, William
and Samuel Day of Day St. in Granby CT, and those of Mary (Day) Landcraft of New
Haven descend from William Day and his wife Abigail (Woodward) Day of New
William Day was b.c. 1743 (age at death). Our first record
of him is his marriage at about the age of 28 to Abigail Woodward in New Haven
on 14 Nov 1771. On 13 Nov 1773 William and Abigail Day sell 6 acres of land in
East Haven at Long Point to Azariah and Dan Bradley for £16. This is ½ of a
parcel, the other half having been previously conveyed to the Bradley’s by
Abigail’s mother in 1772 for £26. This land almost certainly came into the
hands of William and Abigail through her mother, and not through a Day
William probably did not serve in the American Revolution
and, in fact, may have had some loyalist tendencies. In August of 1779
William’s name appears on a list of those to “examine into reasons of conduct of
those persons who continued in town at the time said town was in possession of
the enemy”. Apparently his explanation was sufficient to justify his “conduct
in tarrying in town at said time”.
In 1782, William Day of East Haven is taxed at the rate of
36-10-0. Our next record of him is his death in East Haven on 20 Oct 1783 of
bilious fever at age 40. I have been unable to locate any probate record for
William. He may have had nothing to probate if my assumption is correct that
his land holdings were actually through his wife and mother-in-law.
William’s wife was Abigail Woodward, daughter of Samuel
Woodward (Peter, Peter, Peter) of New Haven and Abigail Lamson (Joseph, Joseph,
Joseph, Barnabas) of Simsbury. Abigail probably remained in New Haven after her
husbands death until her children approached adulthood and then she, along with
her mother, removed to her mothers native Simsbury (Granby) probably about 1795,
although she was called of East Haven in 1798 when she deeded 9 acres in East
Haven to George and Mary (Day) Landcraft (her daughter).
Where’s the Day Connection:
With virtually no evidence to back it up, my best guess is
that our William Day descends from either Robert Day of Hartford or Ralph Day of
Dedham, MA. However, as New Haven is a coastal town and subject to more
transient residents than an interior town might be, I can’t discount any
Robert Day of Hartford?
Family location in New Haven and Simsbury would seem to point to the possibility
of inter-action with descendants of Robert Day of Hartford but I have been
unable to trace a William Day which might fit. One possibility might be William
Day (William, John, Robert) of Hartford, the son of William and Elizabeth
(Andrews) Day. This William had a brother named Samuel (our William named a son
Samuel), and was b. 1718 in Hartford and d. 1758 “in Army”. He is buried in
Center Ch, Hartford. He would be the right age to father our William c. 1743,
but I am unaware if he was married or had children.
Ralph Day of Dedham?
Although I have not found any Day connections to the Lamson or Woodward lines in
this family. The Woodward line originates in Dedham, MA. Abigail (Woodward)
Day’s grandfather, Peter Woodward (Peter, Peter) was in New Haven by 1725 but
was born in Dedham and his grandfather was an original settler of Dedham.
Another original settler of Dedham was one Ralph Day. This raises the
possibility that our William might have descended from a line other than that of
Robert Day of Hartford. Ralph Day did leave descendants, some of whom located
in Walpole, MA, but I am unaware of any thorough account of his descendants.
If you have ANY information
which can help, please contact me. e-mail
m. Marie Czarkowski AKA Gertrude Cheska (Cheskey) circa 1858
Peter Bankert is the origin of our Bankert surname in America. Born in 1829,
Peter, a tailor, was approaching 51 years of age when he left *Friedrichsberg,
Prussia to come to the United States with his wife and three of his four sons.
The ship departure list from Hamburg Germany lists Peter, his wife Marie
[Gertrude], and their three youngest sons, John, Anton and Frank. The eldest
son, Albert, was already in America and living with the family of Valentine
Dux. Valentine Dux, of West Prussia, had married Wilhelmina Bankert in Germany
prior to their immigration to the U.S. five years earlier in 1875. Wilhelmina
was born in 1855 but was not a daughter of Peter of Gertrude Bankert. The fact
that Peter's son was living with the family prior to the Bankert's immigration
shows a close relationship and I'm guessing that Wilhelmina was a niece of Peter
On September 12, 1880, Peter and his family boarded the ship "Vandalia" in
Hamburg Germany and sailed for America. The Vandalia was a 2,810 gross ton ship
with a length of 330' and a beam of 39'. The nine year old vessel was of iron
construction with a single screw capable of making 11 knots. It also had two
masts rigged for sail. Sailing under Capt. Fischbein, Peter and his family
traveled in steerage along with the vast majority of passengers and arrived in
New York 15 days later on the 27'th of September.
By the following July the Bankerts are in Utica NY and they probably moved to
Utica immediately upon their arrival in America. Their first residence in 1881
was at 182 Court St., next door to Valentine and Wilhelmina (Bankert) Dux. By
1882 they are located on Parker St. in West Utica where Peter and his wife would
reside until their death. It's possible that Gertrude's brother may also have
influenced the families decision to come to America and Utica. Charles Cheskey,
named as a brother at the death of Peter's wife in 1906, had emigrated to
America about 1872 (1900 census), eight years prior to the Bankerts. In 1900
Charles is living at 51 Parker St. a few doors from Peter and his wife who are
then residing in the home of their son, Albert, at 33 Parker St.
Over the next decade Peter and his family settled into their new neighborhood in
West Utica living among neighbors who were almost exclusively of German origin
and language. They were deeply involved with St. Joseph's Church which was also
almost exclusively German. All four sons became naturalized citizens and by
1891 only Frank, the youngest, had yet to marry a local German girl.
Albert, John, and Anton had followed their fathers trade as a tailor. Albert
owned a tailor shop on Parker St. employing up to 14 workers making overcoats
and suits for H. H. Cooper & Co. and other clothing firms, Peter, his father,
also worked with him for many years. John was a cooper in 1882, but thereafter
is listed as a tailor. Anton worked as a tailor for H. H. Cooper & Co. from
where he retired in 1924. Frank had taken a different path and, after working
as a cigar maker, in 1892 was in partners with Andrew Alsheimer, brother of Anna
Alsheimer who had married Frank's brother, John, in "Alsheimer and Bankert",
supplying coal and wood from their office at 70 Varick St. In 1899, Frank was
running a successful coal and wood business for himself with an office below his
home at 164 Colombia St. and another office on Canal ST. In August or September
of 1899, Frank married Anna Heidel of Waterville. Two months later, on November
28, 1899, Frank died after being ill for about 3 weeks, leaving his new bride a
widow. Frank willed his estate to his wife with the exception of $500 which he
left to his parents, Peter and Gertrude, and a stipend to St. Joseph's Church.
Albert married Sophia Haak in 1884 and they had five children. Their sons Frank
and Albert would marry and have children. Willie would die at age 4 in 1892 and
another son Philip died in 1925, unmarried, at age 35. Their daughter Amelia
died unmarried in 1945. Albert resided at 1129 Parker St. when he died in 1939
at 79 years of age, His wife Sophia had died in 1927.
John married Anna Alsheimer about 1899 and had two daughters. Emma M. who
married William E. Evans and had at least two children, and Hilda who died
unmarried in 1967. John resided at 1001 Brayton Park Pl. when he died in 1936
at the age of 75. John's wife, Anna had died previously in 1918.
Anton married Helen Hamberger in 1891 and had four sons. Norbert, Raymond,
Anthony and Albert. All four would marry and, with the exception of Anthony who
remained childless, have children. Anton had resided with his family at 1108
Orchard St. but had moved to 23 Parkside Court before he died in 1944 at the age
of 80, his wife, Helen, had died in a car accident in 1939 at the age of 72.
Peter's wife is called "Marie" in official records, and her last name is
Czarkowski in church records, but seems Americanized to Cheskey or Cheska in
civil records. During their lifetime, Peter and Gertrude would bury 7 of their
10 children. It appears that they had lost 6 children by the time they left for
America. Throughout their life in their new home-land they stayed close to their
German friends and relatives. 20 Years after their arrival they still spoke
exclusively in their native tongue and could not read, write, or speak English
(1900 census). Peter died in 1909 at the age of 80. Gertrude died in 1916 just
short of her 85'th birthday.
In the 1800's Prussia encompassed an area extending from the North Sea along the
entire southern coast of the Baltic Sea. This would include areas now
recognized as parts of today's' Poland and Russia. There are at least three
Friedrichsbergs in today's' Germany which would have fit in the Prussia of the
1800's. One is located very near Berlin, another is more central and south of
the town of Hanover, and another is north of Hamburg near the town of Kiel a
little south of Denmark. Valentine Dux, who married Peter's niece, was of "West
Prussia" which might narrow down the possibilities.
A possibility for further research is to find obituaries of the immigrants and
hope that they specify a town other than Friedrichsberg to help narrow the
search. Charles Cheskey (1844-abt.1928) is the brother of Marie/Gertrude
Czarkowski/Cheska, the wife of Peter Bankert, and his obit might be able to give
us an indication of their family origin. Johanna (1848-aft.1900), the wife of
Charles Cheskey married Charles in Germany which could make her obituary
records of St. Joseph's Church in Utica could help answer many of these
question. Unfortunately, their records are not available for public
And what of the 6 children buried in Prussia (Germany)? How did Peter lose so
many of his children??