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Ots-Tosh Hertel

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Birth  1622  Mohawk Castle, Canajoharie, Montgomery County, New York 
Sex  Female 
Buried  Van Slyke's Island, Schenectady, Albany County, New York 
Person ID  I06022  Default Tree 
Last Modified  21 Aug 2005 
 
Father  Jacques "Otsie'Ka " Sieur De La Fresnier Hertel, b. Abt 1603, FeCamps, Caux, Normandy, France 
Mother  Queen Of The Mohawk Turtle Clan, b. Abt 1603, Quebec, Canada 
Group Sheet  F0553  Default Tree 
 
Family 1  Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyck, b. Abt 1604, Breuckelen, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Children 
 1. Jacques Cornelise "Itsychosaquachk" Van Slyck, b. Abt 1640, Canajoharie, Montgomery County, New York
Group Sheet  F0518  Default Tree 
 
Notes 
  • [#1-GUTHRIE.FTW]

    [Foster.FTW]

    BIRTH: Cynthia BROTT BIASCA; "BRADT BOOK"
    MARRIAGE: M VP Polacek; THE VAN PATTEN FAMILY; pg 665

    Ots-Toch was a French-Mohawk* Indian woman who always lived at her Mohawk village. Their children, all raised at Canajoharie, one of the Mohawk castles or villages, she became well known and respected in the Dutch community. All except one child left the village and married Dutch settlers.

    *Alstock or Ots-toch may or may not have been her name. Cornelis Van Slyck did indeed marry a Mohawk woman but her name is a matter of oral tradition and may be tied to the questionable Jacques Hertel story. It seems likely that Mrs. Van Slyck was a full blooded Indian, as is consistent with accounts by her daughter Hilltie. It is likely that she maintained her residence in the Mohawk castle at Canajoharie as she rejected Christianity. Wether or not she became respected among the Dutch settlers is conjecture and may also be part of the Hertel legend. It is also likely that she had at least one child, Hilltie's nephew, of an Indian father.

    Still, the French names of their sons is a curiosity. The answer to this question is likely to be some part of the mystery surrounding this couple.

    ===================================================================================

    Mother was a full blooded Mohawk Indian princess, daughter of the Sachem of the Turtle Clan.

    She was the d/o Jacques Hertel, an interpreter for Samuel De Champlain in New France (now Quebec) from ca 1613 to his death in 1651. Her mother was, as far as can be determined, full-blooded Mohawk. Family tradition has Ots-Toch with two conflicting ancestries - Jacques Hartell (sic) "a French fur-trader", and the Sachem of the Turtle Clan. After a great deal of research on her, and on Jacques Hertel from New France, I am 99% convinced that Ots-Toch's father was indeed Jacques Hertel, and her grandfather thro her mother was the Sachem of the Turtle Clan. There is NO primary documentation of this though. I have collected a lot of source info on this family, because I find their story fascinating! Anyway, if you want the info on Ots-Toch, again, I'm happy to send it your way.

    There is controversy over Ost-Toch's parentage with two prevalant theories, one that she was a full-blooded Mohawk and d/o a Mohawk chief of the Turtle Clan, the second that she was the d/o a French Trapper, Jacques HERTEL and a full-blooded Mohawk Princess. Set out below are references to both theories.

    Re parentage of Ots-Toch:

    History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch & English Times... by Prof. Jonathan Pearson, 1883.

    The Mohawk Valley, Its Legends and Its History, by W. Max Reid, 1901.

    Reid states that Cornelius Antonisse Van Slyke, alias Broer Cornelius, married a Mohawk woman and later refers to two of their children (Jacques and Hilletie) as half-breeds. He does not mention Ots-Toch by name but it would seem that the term "half-breed" would indicate that the mother was full-blooded.

    Pearson has references to Jacques Cornelise Van Slyke as half-breed, an "indyan" or as having received land from the Mohawks because "he was of their people." On p. 189 Pearson notes that Van Slyke was also sometimes called Jacques Cornelise Gautsh and then includes this intriguing footnote:

    Gautsh, pronounced Hotch (nearly); can it be an abbreviation of Ots-toch, his mother's name? "A squaw was queen of the island which lies back of Washington street. She is buried on the island, under an old willow tree at the point towards the bridge. She had two children by a Frenchman - Mr. Harttell.

    Otstoch was like her mother, savage and wild. She married Cornelius Van Slyck. Kenutje, the second child, was small and handsome, like her father Mr. Harttell; she was very white. She married a Bratt." - Statement of tradition in his family, by Laurence R. Vrooman, of Cortland county. - M'M.]

    The Ots-Toch story was seen in an unpublished history on the Strope family. This history included a pedigree chart showing Otstoch as "1/2 Mohawk" and the daughter of Hartell and ______. A note on the chart stated that the Van Slyck information came from a book called "Forts and Firesides of the Mohawk County" by J.J. Vrooman. (note: I later saw this book Forts and Firesides, etc and while it is very interesting it gives no documentation}

    The latest issue of National Association of the Van Valkenburg Family states that OTS-TOCH was from the Turtle Clan...where this info came from is not known.

    ===================================================================================

    Ots-Toch was a French-Mohawk Indian woman who never left her village. Their children, all raised at Canajoharie, one of the Mohawk castles or villages, became well-known and respected in the Dutch community. All except one child left the village and married Dutch settlers.

    ====================================================================================
    Ots-Toch was one of two daughers of a Indian woman who was called "Queen" on the island which lies back of Washington St., on the Mohawk River. Her childern, all raised at Canajoharie, one of the Mohawk castles or villages, became well- known and respected in the Dutch Community.
 
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