from A Genealogical and Psychological Memoir of Philippe Maton Wiltsee and his Descendants
.....Having exeperienced mistreatment and the resulting hardship of contact
with the Bennington Mob. Jeremiah's sons by his second wife, could not
espouse the cause that the Mob supported subject to conciliatory proposals from
the British officers, and as a consequence, gave their support and sympathy to
Determined to take the part of those oppressed to the despoilers of their
father's home, and not feeling safe at Nobletown, Benoni in his ninteenth
year and James in his thirteenth, sought personal safety by joining the Loyalist forces.
It was only necessary to cross the Hudson River, to receive safe conduct
to the Loyalist organization, and receive friendly treatment. ....
In October, 1777, orders were issued by the Committee of Safety at Albany,
to remove every Tory or disaffected person to Connecticut. The Tories flocked
to the British for protection. Benoni Wiltsee and James, crossed the Hudson
River at Esopus, and followed the war path constructed by the Indians and
Tories to near the head waters of the Schoharie River, and followed the stream
They took the oath of fidelity to the crown, and joined the forces of Capt.
George Mann. Each one was given a scarlet cap to wear, as visible manifestation of his loyality to his soverign. They were mustered, and paraded and
drilled daily uptil Mann's forces were dispersed by Capt Woodbrake and his
The descendants of Benoni and James are not communicative in relation
to the part they took in these aff'airs. They talked to their descendants of
Cherry Valley, and told of having lived at Bethlehem 12 miles from Albany,
N. Y. and of having gone from there, in 1783, to St. Johns, Canada, and thence
to Leeds Co., Canada by boat.
Benoni acted as a spy for the British. If he and James were at the
massacre of Cherry Valley, November 18, 1778, they belonged to a detail from
Edward Jessup's forces, and engaged in all of his military enterprises. They,
probably, received commissions as officers of his Rangers, November 12, 1781. ...
""My father, Joseph Wiltse, says John Wiltse of Leeds County, Canada,
was born April 17, 1892. I have heard him say that he was from 12 miles
west of Albany, New York. When he was 10 months old, they moved to Canada,
about half way between Brockville and Prescott, on the bank of the river St.
Lawrence. When he was ten years old, they moved about 15 miles west onto
Lot No. 13, in Eighth Concession of Yonge, which lot I still own.
Benoni Wiltse emigrated from the United States to Canada in 1784,
says Mrs. Charles Wiltse. He crossed the St. Lawrence river below where
Brockville now stands, built himself a shanty for his family; and, when the
British Government granted him his lands, he built himself a log house and
commenced a settlement as did his brother James, and his half brother, John's,
sons who soon arrived and followed them there. Their father, John Wiltse, Sr.,
emigrated in 1793, and lived a few years, and died of cancer of the face. The
settlement they made was about 12 or 15 miles west of the St. Lawrence river,
on land granted to Wiltses by the British Government. The settlement was called
Wiltsetown at first, then Farmersville; but it is now called Athens. Only
two Wiltse families now  remain. The rest have sold out and moved to