Saturday, March 17, 2012

Returning Home to New Jersey – Alletta Van Arsdalen

B. 7 May 1803 in Somerset County, New Jersey
M. 29 Mar 1826 in Boundbrook, New Jersey
Husband: James Ross
D. 13 May 1886 in South Branch, New Jersey

Alletta Van Arsdalen was born and died in Somerset County, New Jersey, but spent much of her life in Illinois. She was born May 7, 1803 to Christopher Van Arsdalen and Sarah Dumont, the youngest of six children. She was baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church with her name being listed as "Alche," a Dutch variation of her name. Her parents called her "Letty." When she was 11 years-old, she was left $50 and two “suits of wearing apparrel” in the will of a female family friend.

On March 29, 1826, Alletta married James Ross in Boundbrook, New Jersey. She had three sons born between 1829 and 1836: John, David and James. When the family moved to Jersey County, Illinois in 1839, Alletta's father loaned James $500. About a year after they got settled in their new home, her father died.

By 1860, all three of Alletta's sons had gotten married. While David and James were well-respected, John was not. In 1866, he was arrested for burglarizing a grocery store in Jerseyville and sent to prison. In a petition by the members of the community, it was suggested they were requesting John's release mainly for the sake of his parents; one signer even wrote next to his signature, "for his mother." John was pardoned by the governor after serving only one year of his 3-year sentence.

Alletta's husband had a stroke in 1874 and died four years later. Sometime after this, she left Illinois and returned to New Jersey, where she owned some property. While she was living in New Jersey, in March of 1885, son David committed suicide. In 1885, she sold the New Jersey property for $1,400, and had a will made out, leaving her assets to son James and her granddaughters. Son John is believed to have died before 1880.

Alletta died on May 13, 1886 at the home of Arthur Schenck in South Branch, New Jersey. When she died, an inventory was taken of her possessions that seemed to indicate she was living alone in one room, since there was only a bed, a chair and a dresser listed. She was buried in Raritan Cemetery in Somerville, New Jersey, but in her will also asked that she be given a gravestone next to her husband in Jerseyville, Illinois.

1. John Ross – B. 1829, New Jersey; M. Ellen Ann Luckey (1829-1882), 3 Apr 1850, Jerseyville, Illinois

2. David R. Ross – B. 1831, Boundbrook, New Jersey; D. 16 Mar 1885, Jersey County, Illinois; M. Eliza McBride (1834-1904), 7 May 1885, Carrollton, Illinois

3. James Christopher Ross – B. 20 Mar 1836, Somerset County, New Jersey; D. 27 Jan 1904, Jersey County, Illinois; M. Elizabeth J. Robinett (1842-1905), 22 Mar 1857, Jersey County, Illinois

Family Bible of Christopher and Sarah Van Arsdalen
Death certificate of Alletta Ross, Somerville, New Jersey, 13 May 1886
Will of Alche Van Deventer, Piscataway, New Jersey, 23 Jun 1814
Will of Aletta Ross, South Branch, New Jersey, 1885-1886
Prison pardon file of John Ross, Jersey County, Illinois, 1867
1850, 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census, Illinois
Tombstone inscriptions, Oak Grove Cemetery, Jersey County, Illinois
Tombstone inscriptions, Oakwood Cemetery, Parsons, Kansas
Marriage certificate of John Ross and Ellen Ann Luckey, 6 Apr 1850, Jersey County, Illinois
Jersey County, Illinois obituary index
History of Jerseyville, Illinois, Reverend Marshall M.Cooper, 1901
Illinois statewide marriage index, 1763-1900

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