Vandal Newsletter Articles


From the Vandal Newsletter, October, 2011

I have learned that some of the information we have on Charity Vandal and her husband, Charles McClung, is not correct.  Joy Wiley Clark Asbury tried to apply to the DAR for membership showing that she was a descendent of Abraham Vandal through his daughter, Charity.  They would not recognize that Charity's husband, Charles was the son of William McClung and after much research it was proven that he was actually the son of Thomas McClung and his wife, Nancy "Agnes" Black McClung.

Since the DAR has accepted Joy's application now with the correct information of Charity's husband, I am changing our record to agree.  If there are any cousins out there that have tried to apply to the DAR under Charity Vandal and failed, you might want to try again with the new information that the DAR now has on file

    Chuck Hield - Vandal Family Historian 




From the Vandal Newsletter, April, 2009

It used to be that family history building was a hobby for the elderly.  The thought was that when we're young, all we're interested in is getting somewhere.  It's not until we arrive at that somewhere that we turn around and try to figure out where we came from.  But perhaps one reason the upper age bracket wants to explore their roots is because they are generally retire, have raided their families and finally have the time for such pursuits.

20 years ago if you wanted to find your great grandparents' marriage record you would have to spend days looking for that single record.  But the Internet has changed all of that.  New Genealogical records are added to the World Wide Web each day so that now one can search by an individual's name and obtain photos of original documents, courthouse records, city directories, census records, county histories, newspapers and other documents. And sinc our youth are so much into exploring the internet, thee has been a lot of new interest in trying to piece together a person's family tree by searching on line.  I hope your young folks have caught this interest too.  

The newest method that is taking family history to another level is by DNA testing.  Such a test is not free any more but is available for about $79 at  




From the Vandal Newsletter, July 2008

We had learned that William Vandel's wife, Ruth, had donated a collection to the National Archives of William's photographs that he had put together during the first years of the occupation of Japan following World War II.  The years were 1945 and 1946 and he was attempting to record some of the activities of the Counter Intelligence Corps activities in Shizuoka City, Japan where he was stationed.  These historical photographs can be viewed at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.  The album contains about 274 black and white photographs and many narrations and would be most interesting if any of you are in the area. 


From the Vandal Newsletter, April, 2008

     There have been several articles in past newsletters about the occurrence of the name "VANDAL" in the world history.  The proposed Vandalia colony came from the Vandal Tribe in Germany.  Researching the history of the Vandal Tribe in Europe makes very fascinating reading.  The name VONTELL has an interesting variant of Vandel and Wandel.  And we were surprised to learn that there is a town named Vandel in Denmark. 
     But I want to remind all our cousins that our ancestor, Abraham Vandal, was born Abraham Wendell, son of Hendrikus Wendell of Albany, New York.  When Abraham went in to the Army as a soldier of the American Revolution it is on record that they spelled his name several different ways - Wandle, Wandell, Wandal, Vandle and finally Vandal (see the July, 2000 Newsletter).  Since his pension check spelled it Vandal, this was obviously the spelling that he was required to accept. 
     And so while we find it interesting and fascinating to learn about all the many places where the name Vandal turns up, this probably applies more to our Canadian Vandals that came from France then the Wendells from Holland.  Our friends up north have kept the spelling of the name Vandal, not changing it sometimes as our ancestors from West Virginia have and they can trace their lineage very accurately back to France.  But they are not related to the Dutch Wendells as far as we can determine.
                Chuck Hield - Vandal Family Historian

Was this Abraham Vandal's uniform?
From the Vandal Newsletter, Janyary, 2007

     At a recent meeting of the Sons of the America Revolution in Fort Worth, there was a discussion about the kinds of uniforms that the soldiers wore.  Many of the men were dressed up in the uniform of their ancestor and each area seemed to have its own unique dress.  There is no way of knowing for sure what our Abraham wore when in combat but I did locate a picture that is supposed to be typical of the New York soldiers and since he served in several different units in New York, it is possible that he was dressed in the attire shown in this picture.

Submitted by Chuck Hield - Vandal Family Historian

June 3, 2006

The grave marker dedication for Thomas Stweart Vandall was completed on June 3, 2006
in Pleasanton, Iowa after a Vandel Family Reunion picnic.  Ann Mack, Ruth Curtis and
Ruby Crooks were instrumental in getting this accomplished after the 2003 Reunion in  
Iowa.  Pictures of the marker and attendees are below. 

        Thomas Vandel Stone    TSVandel Famly


On May 27, 2006 a bronze plaque was dedicated commemorating the contribution made
by our ancestor, Abraham Vandal, to the city of Fayetteville, West Virginia.  He was the
first settler of Vandalia which was later renamed Fayetteville, now the County seat.  A   
picture of the plaque is shown here but if you find it difficult to read, here is what it says.

New York native Abraham Vandal settled
Fayetteville or Vandalia around 1812.  Historians
believe his cabin was located on the present site  
of the Fayette County National Bank.                 

In 1834, Vandal gave the county the lot,
located near a dead chestnut tree in a rye field,   
for the courthouse.  Since the construction of the
first courthouse in 1838, three subsequent          
buildings have shared the same site.                   

        Fayette County and its seat of government,      
Fayetteville, both take their names from the    
French statesman and friend of the American  
Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette.            

  Vandal died on November 12, 1848 and is
buried in the Westlake Cemetery at Ansted.  

From the Vandal Newsletter, October, 2003
By Chuck Hield

SAR Insignia

There are many Vandal Women cousins that are members of the Daughters of the
American Revolution or D.A.R. and there are also some of our youngsters who are
in the Children of the American Revolution or C.A.R.  I had heard also about the
Sons of the American Revolution or S.A.R. but didn't know of any in the family  
that were members.  I had thought that if I'm going to be the family historian, it 
might be appropriate if I joined since my mother and sister are D.A.R. members.
So recently I sent in my application and I would like to encourage others in the  
family to do so too.                                                                                                   
Who are the SAR members?
They are a patriotic, historical and educational society of men of lieal discent of 
those who, by their services or sacrifices during the war of the American             
Revolution, achieved the independence of the American people.  (In our case,    
that would be our ancestor, Abraham Vandal).  The SAR was established on     
April 30, 1889, the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of our nation's first    
President, George Washington.  There have been over 150,000 members since   
its founding in 1889.  There are currently over 26,000 national members and 16
of our last 24 US Presidents are members.                                                         

Searching the SAR Patriot Index #677384, we find the following family           
members who are listed as members of the SAR. 
1.  Earl Crislip Vandale          
2.  John James Vandale         
 3.  Benjamin Woods Van Del 
4.  William Leonard Simmons

You can get more information by going to their web site: or by    
emailing them at

From the Vandal Newsletter, July, 2003
By R. Dean Vandall.....President

     The 2003 Vandal clan reunion has come and gone.  A great time was had by all, while visiting with
new found cousins as well as renewing old friendships with seldom seen cousins.                     
Our Iowa cousins (from the Thomas Stewart Vandell branch of the Vandal family) are to be   
commended on a job well done in hosting the 2003 reunion.  Ann Mack, her family and friends
organized an excellent program for the two day gathering of the clan.                                        
Also, a BIG Thank You to the town of Lucas, Iowa and the residents for being so                 
accommodating and cordial during our visit.                                                                               
A special Thank you goes to cousin Don Vandel, from the state of Washington, for his        
contribution of a Vandal heritage banner.  This banner will probably become our family       
flag.  Everyone is encouraged to design and assemble a Vandal heritage flag.  We will hold
a vote on the adoption of a flag design, in our business meeting when we go BACK HOME
AGAIN in WEST VIRGINIA 2005.                                                                                         

Also a GREAT BIGGEST THANK YOU to Chuck Hield (family historian) and               
Frances Lowe (family newsletter editor) for their dedication and service in updating        
family history and keeping our communication links alive, for all tto enjoy and stay well
informed, as well as to pass along to many future generations.                                          
In closing, I would like to thank all that attended this years reunion for their effort and
their assistance in making this 2003 reunion such a great success.  Looking forward to
seeing everyone BACK HOME AGAIN in WEST VIRGINIA 2005.     

by Ann Mack, Reunion Co-Coordinator
Two years to plan, two days to execute, and two weeks to recover!  WOW!  What a great
time at the Vandal Family 2003 Reunion.  I hope everyone had fun in renewing family     
friendships, meeting new branches on the tree and creating great memories.  I know I    
certainly did, and the best part was that it was mostly RREE.  (Right, Robert Lowe?!!)   
A HUGE thank you to those who traveled great distances, at great expense, to join us in
the Heartland.  The Iowa Vandell's were happy to serve as hosts of the event for the     
first time ever.                                                                                                                       
From the first ones to arrive, Don Vandel and daughter Donna from Seattle, WA., on   
Friday until the last song from C. Duane Wineland and Friends country/western band,  
the weekend was full of visitning, scouting the local business scene, more visiting,        
eating, more visiting, picture taking, a little gambling at the boat, and more visiting.  I 
think the Vandal clan likes to talk more than anything else!                                            
It was most interesting to observe the togetherness we all felt as progeny of Abraham
Vandal and also see the closeness of various family groups.  It was a reunion within a 
reunion.  From my vantage point, I was ecstatic to see and visit with my cousins, some
of them for the first time in 20 years, as well as meet and greet relatives from other  
branches.  The feelings of connectedness were evident all round.                                
I'm not sure the town of Lucas was ready for the onslaught of "marauding hordes of
Vandals" from all over the United States, but they put on a brave front.  The            
welcoming attitude of the residents, businesses and organizations really helped the
planning process go very smoothly, especially with my brother, Danny Crooks, (a  
Lucas city councilman) acting as liaison.  Everyone was very accommodating to our
needs and wanted to show the out-of-staters what a great treasure their community
is to them.  Sending us all home with a little "Lucas Starlight", commonly known   
as gravel dust, was a great visual remembrance of the weekend.                             
I knew we were in good hands when I arrived at 10:00 am on Saturday to the smell
of freshly baked bread and June (Seuffer) in the kitchen getting things started for
supper.  As more people showed up that had not registered, but were staying for  
the meal, I went to June, a little panicked and asked "do I turn them away"?  Her
answer was "don't worry, Ann, we can feed them all", and they did, with pie left  
over.  The money they earned with their tasty delights for our weekend is going 
to benefit the Lucas Firefighters.                                                                             
In organizing the event, Keo Dueling, my co-chair to whom I owe a gigantic debt
of gratitude, and I wee not very sure about how many planned activities we        
needed to have set up.  I knew from past attendance that visiting would take     
precedence.  Not knowing how many younger relatives would attend, we           
instigated our contingency plans of cards, dominoes and volleyball.  I wasn't     
sure on Saturday afternoon if the Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders were a    
planned event or not, but it sure added a little color to the day!  I'm not sure if 
Chuck Hield ever took a break from his computer.  His HP was spitting out      
family trees faster than auctioneer Mike Curran could sell the mystery items  
in paper bags.  We all owe a debt of thanks to them both.  Due to their efforts
we can know our heritage and celebrate our ancestor, Thomas Stewart Vandel,
by placing a marker on his grave.                                                                         
"It takes a family to make a reunion" and everyone who was there contributed
to the success of the event by being so enthusiastic about everything.  Special
thanks goes out to Lois and Marion Brown for manning the registration table.
Dean Vandall for the "on the spot" decisions when I had no clue what to do 
next, Chuck Hield for encouragement and support through the planning       
process, Frances Lowe for the newsletter puboicity and Thomas Lowe for   
his photographic expertise.  Additionally, a "Card of Appreciation" was     
published in the Chariton newspaper on 7/3/03 to the residents of Lucas,    
the Betterment Society, the Lucas Business Association, the Chariton       
Super 8, and the Chariton Chamber of Commerce for all their efforts in     
making this weekend so memorable.                                                              
My heartfelt thanks to all my Iowa aunts, uncles, and cousins for "hanging
with me" instead of "hanging me" when I spoke for us all in saying we     
would take on the 2003 reunion.  They gave money donations, contributed
to the silent auction, brought white elephant items, furnished the food for
Friday's meal, played music, rounded up decks of cards and sports          
equipment, created the flower arrangements on the tables, played in the
band, manned the quilt block table, donated raffle items and sold raffle 
tickets, penned the welcome sign, set up and took down tables, cleaned 
the floors, and gave massive amounts of support in so many ways.  A     
special thanks to Keo Dueling, Don and Eloise Harlan and Linda            
Brookins, who came to my house on a rainy Sunday in May to "firm up"
the plans and to my brother, Danny Crooks, for his tolerance, help, and 
humor, not to mention a bed on Friday night.                                             
The door is closed on another Vandal Fmily Reunion, but the wonderful
memories remain of the people we saw, the jokes we shared, the game
of cards we played, the the food we ate, the ancestors we honored, the
auction items we bought, the prizes we won, the pictures of reunions   
past we viewed, the friendships we made, and the love of family we   
felt.  HEY, it was so much fun, let's do it all over again in West          
Virginia in 2005.  Robert and Frances, the baton is passed to you.     
Good Luck!!!

LUCAS, IOWA        JUNE 20TH & 21ST


One by one we make our way
to the appointed place.
And as we come we eagerly
await to see each face.
We talk and laugh and sit and eat,
remembering the past,
And sing and cry, forgive and love -
the time slips by so fast.

Then one by one we take our leave -
return our separate ways:
A little closer than we were,
aware of numbered days.

From the Newsletter, Volume VIII, Issue 6, October 2002

One of the sons of Joel Worth Vandal, Abraham Vandal Jr., was born in 1814 and
married, as his first wife, Cynthia Skaggs of New Haven, Virginia in 1835.
They were very happily married for just 15 years when Cynthia passed away,
possibly duing child birth, leaving Abraham to raise four children, Mary Ann,
Nathan, W.H. and Thomas.  Abraham found his second love in Leah Lykins in 1850
and together they sired five children to add to the family: Lousia, Joel, Charity,
Laura, Nancy and Daniel.  The first child born to Abraham and Cynthia was Mary
Ann who married at age 19 to William Johnson Wood of the Ansted area in
Fayette county Virginia.  William was a school teacher and a descendant of well
known Bailey Wood.  William preferred using his middle name "Johnson" and is
identified in later census reports and other writings as such.
Johnson Wood and Mary Ann were a well thought of couple in the Ansted area.
They seemed to be well liked and Johnson was a leader in local issues before the
public.  He was well respected as a teacher.  She was very quiet and unassuming
and served her husband and family well.  They sired five children: Nathan, George
Everett, Clyde, Joseph and Missouri.  Joseph died at 16 years of age due to an
accident but the others all lived long and productive lives in West Virginia.
Sadly, when Mary Ann passed on at the age of 69, husband Johnson was so
depressed by her death that a month and a half later he took his onw life.
Mary Ann Vandall Wood would be proud to know her descendants.  She had 35
grandchildren and at least 25 great-grandchildren.  Unknown how many                great-great-grandchildren.
As you can tell by looking at the pictures (in the printed Vandal Newsletter) she
was one neat lady.  Wouldn't you love to be able to sit at the kitchen table over
a cup of tea and visit with her?
Submitted by Dutch Meyer

From the Newsletter, Volume VIII, Issue 5, July 2002

The surname Vontell, when found in France, is either of Flemish or German Origin.
In the first place, when the name is Flemish, Vontell is of topanymic origin, deriving
from the place-name near which the initial bearer lived or held land.  In this instance,
the surname Vontell derives from the place-name "Theil" which is known located in
western Flanders, in northwestern Belgium, and the suffix "Von-Van" which means
"from".  Therefore, the initial bearer of the surname Vontell was someone who was
identified by the members of his community as "one who came from Theil".
Alternatively, the surname may be of local origin, deriving from a geographical or
man made feature near which the first bearer hailed or owned properties.  Here the
surname derives the Germanic preposition "Von" meaning from the word "Tell"
which means "Valley".  Thus the progenitor of the Vontell family, was someone
who was identified as "one who came from the valley".
Among the variants of the surname Vontell are Vandel and Wandel.  There is a
reference to a Vandel family in Switzerland who originally came from Septmoncel
(Jura-France).  A member of them was Pierre Vandel, also named Delacrnix who
was Director of Schools of Geneva in 1470.  Another was Claude, notary in 1487
and member of the "Petit Counseil" (Lower Council) in 1513.  His son Pierre
(1507-1567) was Lord of Terres de Chapitre.  Another member, Jean Vandel,
was Captain in the army in 1591.  The next year he was taken prisoner by the
Savoyard and was killed in L'Escalade on December 12, 1602.
This is one of the items I have, maybe some of you have seen it.  I am sure some
have not.
submitted by Don Vandel from the Great Northwest.


"Not to know what happened before we were born is to remain
perpetually a child.  For what is the worth of a human life
unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records
of history?"
Marcus Tullius Cicero - 106-43 B.C.


One by one we make our way to the appointed place.
And as we come we eargerly await to see each face.

We talk and laugh and sit and eat,
remembering the past.
And sing and cry, forgive and love-
the time slips by so fast.

Then one by one we take our leave -
return our seperate ways;
A little closer than we were,
aware of numbered days.

From the Newsletter, Volume VIII, Issue 4, March 2002

In this fast paced and complex time in the life of our country, family members are
often seperated by great distances.  The problems of this modern society create
tremendous demands on our time and attention.  So, during times such as these,
it is imperative that we remind ourselves of the importance in maintaining
connections with our families.  Time spent with family members can provide
stability and a sense of perspective.  It helps us reconnect with our roots and
instills a sense of pride when we can rub elbows with those in the family that we
respect and admire.
Abraham and Mary Vandal have given their descendants a great heritage to
build on, focusing primarily on the service to our country by Aabraham during
the Revolutionary War and following with the pioneers in the family who
developed the land and fought in subsequent battles so that we may enjoy the
freedoms that are ours today.  So when we get together at our reunions, old
relationships are renewed and strengthened and new relationships are formed
with other branches of the family as well.  And we develope an ever increasing
understanding of the strength of our Vandal heritage and find a sense of
Since the first reunion held in Scottsbluff, Nebraska in 1965, the descendants
of Abraham and Mary have been getting together, forming a bond that will last
for generations yet to come.  So please plan on attending the next reunion in
2003.  Besdies all the stuff written above, it is just a lot of fun.
submitted by Chuck Hield - Family Historian

From the Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 3, January 2002

Plans for the 2003 Reunion are moving along

Plans are moving along slowly but surely for the 2003 Reunion in Lucas, Iowa on
June 20/22.  With the expectation of the future meeting with a lot of new Vandels
and Vandells with Hawk Eye roots, my concentration lately has been on bringing
up to date as much as possible our information on the descendants of Thomas
Stewart and Sarah Marie Vandel.  More facts were received from Lela Vandel
Keller and Ruth Vandell Curtis which has been a great help.  Then, on a recent
trip to Independence, Missouri, I stopped by for a visit with LaVera Vandel,
our past Newsletter Editor, and obtained access to her entire family history file.
So good progress has been made and I will be updating our web site with this
data in the near future.
My sincere thanks to the many Vandal cousins that have contacted me with
information in the past several months.
Submitted by Chuck Hield - Family Historian


For 17 years now, Don and Carole Vandel of Kent, Washington have been
playing Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for their community.  Those of you who
attended the 2001 reunion will remember Don by his beautiful, white beard.
No one could look the part any better then Don and Carole surely must
make the perfect Mrs. Claus.  Their memories of doing this over the years
undoubtly could fill a book with interesting stories.  In a recent memo to
some of their Vandel family and friends, they recounted that each year
always has a story to tell of one child who, either by a look, a smile, a hug
or a story stands out.  This year it was "Katie", not quite ready to sit on
Santa's lap but she was quite content to sit on Carole's (Mrs. Claus's) and
to share with her the sad circumstances of the death of the baby of the
family.  Struggling to hold back the tears, all Carole could do was to offer
her words of reassurance and a hug before letting her go on her way.
Don wrote, "Why do we remember the sad stories?  The blind boy that
wanted to see what Santa looked like, putting his hand on your face with
the softest, gentle touch.  The tiny girl with Spinal Bifida that crawls along
the floor to sit on your lap to get an ornage.  The young man with the
mental ability of a 4 year old, sits on your lap and just stares at you.  I
know it soulds silly to a lot of people to do that gig, but Carole and I have
been doing it for 17 years and if all goes well, we will do it again."
Don and Carole, we all hope that you will be doing it for many years
to come.

Oldest Living Descendant of Abraham and Mary?

According to correspondence with our cousin, Vonda Vandale Cassady, her
mother is still living and is currently 102 years of age.  This probably makes
her the oldest living Vandal cousin.  Or does it?  Do we have any other
Vandal descendant out there that is older than 102?  I'll bet if she came to
next Vandal reunion, she would win the coveted award for the oldest
Submitted by Chuck Hield - Family Historian

From the Newsletter, Volume VIII, Issue 2, October 2001

Celebrating our Hawkeye Heritage

     At our last reunion in Pipestem, West Virginia, it was decided that we would try to have our next reunion on June 20/22, 2003 in Iowa where there is a big nest of Vandels and Vandells.  But if it didn't come together by early October of this year, then we
would try to have it again in Indiana.
     After contacting our Iowa cousins, they seemed quite excited by the prospect of having it there if we could locate it fairly close to the middle of the Vandel/Vandell
territory so that the maximum number of cousins might attend.  Most of the
Vandels/Vandells in southern Iowa and northern Missouri are descendants of
Thomas Stewart and Sarah Adkins Vandel.  Thomas was the only one of the seven
siblings, children of Joel Worth Vandal Sr., who changed the spelling of his name to
Vandel.  He headed west from West Virginia, living for a time in Knox, Illinois
where he married Sarah Marie Marcel Adkins in 1868.  Nine of their eleven
children were born in Knox, but then the family moved to Mercer, Missouri where
the other two children were born.  Eventually the family ended up in southern
Iowa, Sarah dying in Davis City and Thomas in Pleasanton.
     Since Iowa does not have any destination resorts like West Virginia or
Indiana, the challenge was to find a good meeting hall that would accommodate our
large group and still have lots of appeal for those who might travel in.  My wife Edith
and I were in the Kansas City area visiting family in July so I decided to take a day
drive up to the Davis City, Iowa reunion that the Vandels were holding.  This get
together every year is of the descendants of Lorin Wilson Vandel, who is the son of
Joseph Davis and Nancy Vandel and the grandson of Thomas Stewart and Sarah
Vandel.  At the reunion I finally met Lela Vandel Keller with whom I had been
corresponding for several years.
Lela agreed to meet with me at the Vandell reunion in Corydon the first
Sunday in October.  The Vandells are descendants of Charles Dillard and Dora
Vandell, Charles being the son of Thomas James and Clara Vandal and the grandson
of Thomas Stewart.  There is still another Vandel reunion that is held at Unionville,
Missouri, just south of the Iowa border.  Those folks are all descended from Victor
Emmett and Rachel Vandel, another of the sons of Thomas James and the grandson
of Thomas Stewart.
At the Corydon reunion we talked with Ruth Vandell Curtis about where we
might hold the 2003 reunion.  We checked out four different sites and all agreed that
the best meeting hall would be in Lucas, Iowa, about 65 miles south of Des Moines.
Lucas is a real neat little one horse town with an amazing amount of civic
pride.  Somehow or other the towns people were able to raise enough money to build
the best community center/meeting hall in the county.  Here are a few facts about
the Lucas location:
* Lucas is best known as the birthplace of John L. Lewis, the mining union leader.
* There is a very good mining museum dedicated to John L. Lewis just down the
street from the community center.
* There are two well kept town parks a block away with playground equipment and
an old railroad caboose.
* The community center seats 300 people, is air conditioned and has a huge, well
equipped kitchen.
* There no hotels or motels in Lucas but plenty to be had at Chariton (7 miles) or
Osceola (16 miles).  Information on them will follow in future updates.
* Chariton has a very nice swimming pool with water slide for the youngsters.
* AMTRAK makes an Osceola stop for those who would rather not drive in.
* A beautiful camping ground is at Red Haw State Park just one mile east of
   Chariton.  Electric hook ups only with water and a dump station nearby.  (That is
where Edith and I camped).
* Lucas has two very nice antique shops and a new restaurant called "The Shaft
Steak House.
* The Vandels/Vandells will be hosting a pot luck dinner Friday night hopefully
followed by some entertainment.  Those from out of town need only make a
contribution to the Vandel fund for the dinner.
* Saturday noon, the ladies of Lucas will be serving us their own wonderful home
cooked meal for a very reasonable price. (To die for).
* Since Iowa is offically called the "Hawkeye State", the theme for our 2003
reunion will be "Celebrating our Hawkeye Heritage".
These ideas are still in their early stages and could change somewhat
but we wanted everyone to know our plans so that you can block out June 20/22
on your 2003 calendar.  More details about the reunion will follow in subsequent
newsletter.  We hope everyone will try to attend.

Submitted by Chuck Hield - Family Historian

From the Newsletter, Volume VIII, Issue 1, July 2001

Eventful Reunion at Pipestem

     Others will report on the success of our recent reunion at Pipestem but strictly from the family historian's viewpoint, it was a raging success.  I had my computer set
up with a big monitor provided by Willa Vandall and my printer plugged in so
that I could print out family tree charts for anyone that wanted them.  People
were lined up at times to talk with me so that I could verify their family
information before printing it for them.  I'm not sure how many I made up for
our cousins but it was a bunch.
     We were hooked up to the Internet so I could demonstrate our Vandal Home
Page and Family Tree to anyone interested.  Many were not aware that their
family history was available at the click of a mouse.  All the new information
that I obtained will be ready for viewing on our web site in a few weeks.  An
e-mail notice will go out to all those on my mailing list as soon as the family
tree is updated.
A lot of new names were given to me at the reunion and also a lot of family
records were passed on to me to enter after I got home.  I've been working
on this every chance I can get for the past month and have already added
430 additional family members to the file.  Probably the largest group of
names was contributed by Linda Johnston and her 3rd cousin, Tom Hays.
It follows the descendants of Jemima Vandal, daughter of Joel Worth Sr. and
Charity Vandal.  That would make Abraham and Mary her grandparents.
Jemima married David F. Althar so their line has been greatly expanded.
Again, I want to emphasize that we are just as interested in the female line
as we are the male line that carries the Vandal name.  This latest effort
illustrates that fact.
If you were not able to attend the reunion and would like to have a
printout of your family tree, please let me know by mail or e-mail.  I am
anxious to get these family charts into the hands of as many cousins as
possible.  It would be something that your family will cherish for years to

From the Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 9, April 2001

Women's History Month

Last March was Women's History Month all across the country.  In Dallas, there
is a Women's History Museum where Edith and I visited one Saturday.  We had
always been aware of the important role women have played in our country's
history but seeing it presented in such an impressive format really brings it home.
In the field of genealogy, many researchers for years have focused only on the
men's line: the one's carrying the family name.  But genealogists now a days are
just as interested in the ancestors and descendants of the women as they are the
men.  Information, however, is much harder to come by since records were not
kept on the women as diligently.
I have been trying for years to learn about the ancestors of Mary Dillon Vandal, Abraham's wife, but have had little success.  Recently I joined a Dillon Family
Mailing List on the internet and have found several Dillon researchers who
were interested in helping me identify the family of Mary Dillon.  I've come
across one line that looks promising but needs more research before I enter it
into my record.  It shows a Mary, daughter of James and Sarah Dillon,
granddaughter of William (born 1715) and Mary Reese Dillon, great
granddaughter of Luke, (born 1691 in Kilkenney, Ireland) and Susannah
Garrett Dillon.  William and Mary Reese Dillon had moved to Opeckon
Creek and belonged to the Hopewell Meeting in Frederick County, Virginia.
Since our Mary was born in 1763, it fits perfectly if not officially yet.  I''ll keep
you posted on my findings.

Molecular Genealogy
(What will they think of next?)

At a recent Genealogy Conference for Computer Users in Dallas, the latest
idea that everyone was talking about was a plan to be able to trace
everyone's family back by using their DNA.  I donated a little blood and the
hope is that someday history hunters might be able to find out where they're
from with a quick cheek swab and a few hours of gene searching.  It sounds
a bit far fetched but with all of the things they are doing today with genetics,
it just might be possible.
I haven't had to deal with this yet, but the idea of cloning and test tube
babies leaves me wondering how in the world I would enter that into my data
base which is designed only for old fashioned family groups.  I had a good
laugh when one of our cousins sent this story to me.  Enjoy ----

A modern woman is explaining to her little girl about pictures in the family
photo album.
"This is the geneticist with your surrogate mother and here's your sperm
donor and this is your father's clone.  This is me holding you when you
were just a frozen embryo.  And the lady with the very troubled look on
her face is your aunt, a genealogist."

Family Historian Notes
From the Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 7, January 2001

Vandal Website Update

When Edith and I returned from our summer's wandering in our RV, I was surprised to    find that the Vandal Home Page was no longer accessible.  Nor was the Abraham Vandal family tree.
Upon investigation, I learned that the internet service provider that had been giving us    this site no charge had gone out of business and had eliminated all web sites that they    had sponsored.  Since they had sold out to Earthlink, I contacted them and obtained      another free home page for our use.  It is now accessible at the following new Vandal    Newsletter address:

Actually, this has given me the opportunity to update the family tree with hundreds of   new cousins and to include two new features.  You can now click on links that will not only take you to Abraham and Mary's descendants, but there is an extra link that will show   you Abraham's ancestors.  In addition, if someone wearching our Vandal site thinks that their Vandal ancestors were French/Canadian, there is a link that they can click on to     take them to the site of a friend of ours, David Savignac, who is researching this other    group of Vandals not from West Virginia.

I have mentioned this before, but I hope everyone will try to find an opportunity to view our home page on the internet.  If you are not into computers, I'll be you know someone who is and would probably be glad to pull it up so you can look it over.  So many people have contributed to building this information and it would be gratifying to know that our Vandal Clan has had a chance to view it.

Also, on the home page, there is a link to Reunion information.  If you go to that, you will see a new picture of the attendees of the 1999 reunion in Indiana that Philip Brown took.  What a great and happy looking group of cousins.

Gene Vandall Recovering

Gene Vandall, of Rainelle, recently had a liver transplant and is doing great.  He had a live donor, his brother, Rickey Vandall.  Now that is what you call real brotherly love.  Our prayers go out to them for a speedy recovery.

Psalm of Life

"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Please be sure your footprints are left on the sands of time by contributing your family history to the Vandal Newsletter.

Family Historian Notes
From the Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 6, October 2000

Contributions Invaluable

The help given to your family historian by those readers of the Vandal Newsletter and by those who have found our website continues to be our most valuaable source of               information.  During our summer's trip in our RV, we stopped in Salt Lake City for a few days so I could do some Vandal research at the LDS Family History Center.  They have the most complete genealogy records in the world but after a prolonged search, I came   up with nothing new.  Of particular interest to me was the ancestors of Mary Dillon        Vandal, Abraham's wife, but, even with the help of the assistants there, I drew a blank.

Contrast that with the valuable letters and emails that continue to come in with updates   on current family and past generations of the Vandal clan.  With so much new information on our family tree, it is time to update the LDS Family History Center record on the         descendants of Abraham and Mary.  That is one of my goals before our next reunion in   2001.

The West Virginia Hills
by Mrs. Ellen King and H.E. Engle
From the Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 6, October 2000

Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand.
With their summits bathed in glory, Like our Prince Immanuel's land!
Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills,
As I stand once more with loved ones, On those West Virginia hills?

Oh, the West Virginia hills! Where my girlhood's hours were pass'd.
Where I often wander'd lonely, And the future tried to cast;
Many are our visions bright Which the future ne'er fulfills;
But how sunny were my daydreams On those West Virginia hills!

Oh, the West Virginia hills! How unchang'd they seem to stand.
With their summits pointed skyward To the Great Almighty's Land!
Many changes I can see, Which my heart with sadness fills,
But no changes can be noticed In those West Virginia hills!

Oh, the West Virginia hills! I must bid you now adieu.
In my home beyond the mountains I shall ever dream of you;
In the evening time of life, If my Father only wills,
I shall still behold the vision Of those West Virginia hills!

Family Historian Notes
From the Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 5, July 2000

Abraham (Wendell) Vandal

Attempts to find a birth certificate for our Abraham have been futile so far.  Just for
the record, it would be good to have documented proof that he was born under the
name of Wendell.  But in spite of this lack of written evidence, there are plenty of    military records that show his name written with several different spellings, all
pointing to the same Abraham.  Perhaps then, he may have accepted the spelling of
"Vandal" since his Army papers all eventually spelled it that way.

Here are some interesting facts taken from "Revolutionary War Soldiers -
Rockland County, NY" published by the Shatemuc Chapter of the DAR and
submitted to your historian.

*  From the roster of the Orange County Militia - Fourth Regiment under the
command of Colonel John Hathorn "Abraham Wandle,
John Sammons - (compatriot)
*  Hathorn's Regiment, New York Militia Reference Envelope
Wandell, Abraham
*  Pay Roll of Hathorn's Regiment, Sapt. William Blain's Company
Abraham Wandal
*  Hathorn's Regiment rank list of Cap' Blain's Company in the six weeks
service - Abram Wandle
*  Hathorn's Regiment - the following are entitled to the sums affix'd to
their names for milage in lieu of rations for their march from their
respective places of abode to Tamapoudh and their return home -
Abram Wandle
*  Hathorn's Regiment list of certificates for pay of his Regiment of
Militia for 25th July, 1779 - Abm' Wandell
*  Abraham Vandal's Pension Application - "Col. Haythorn had command
of the regiment to which he belonged".
*  Compatriot John Sammons' Affidavit re Military Service with Abraham
Vandal - "that in the year 1776, Abraham Vandle served in the same
Regiment with this affiant for the space of five months".

So his first and last names were spelled several different ways in the military
record but the final document, his Pension Application, agreed that it was one
and the same man.  Short of a birth certificate, this is the most conclusive evidence
we have for Abraham (Wendell) Vandal.

Jackson County History
From the Jackson, WV Hearld as reported in Volume VII,
Issue 4, April, 2000
This is a lengthy article printed in the newsletter about Charles Boggs of Ireland
and his family who were prominent settlers of the Spring Creek area below
Spencer in Jackson County.  The family of Charles Boggs consisted of eight
sons, five of whom were in the Battle of Point Pleasant and six in the Revolution.
Please contact our newsletter editor, Frances Lowe, if you wish a copy of this
Family Historian Notes
From Volume VII, Issue 4, April 2000

Excerpt from the Anneke Jans story
It has always been fascinating to read the information that is sent in to me each quarter and I want to extend a sincere thanks to all those who have participated.  One story in particular, contributed by Susan Clark, I found very interesting.  It is the story of
Anneke Jans, the wife of Roeloff Jansz.  Our Abraham is the great, great, great
grandson of Anneke.  The relationship goes like this:
Abraham, father Hendrikus Wendell, grandmother Katarina DeKay, g grandmother Helena Van Brugh, g g grandmother Catrina Roelofs, g g g grandmother Anneke     Jans.
Roelof Jansz, Anneke's husband, was among the first immigrants to New Amsterdam
and was commissioned in 1630 to farm land for $72 a year.  In 1636, Roelof was
granted 62 acres of land.  He died shortly afterward and in 1638, Anneke Jans, his
wife, married Rev. Domie Bogardus.  After Anneke's death, the questionable
conveyance of this property was the basis of repeated and hotly contested
lawsuits initiated by her descendants to claim their apparent ligitimate ownership.
As recent as the 1920s, when the property was then considered to be worth
billions, some descendants of Anneke Jans were still attempting to obtain a
favorable settlement from the courts.
Does this sound familiar?  Of course, the land that the court house sits on in
Fayetteville, WV is probably not worth billions, but the questionable conveyance
of that property from Abraham to the County is still a lively topic of converstion
among Vandals at our reunions.
Chuck Hield - Family Historian

One Fayette Family in the Civil War's Aftermath
From Volume VII, Issue 3, January 2000

     Thomas Vandal Masterson was born in 1827 to Dr. Samuel Arminius Masterson and his wife, Elizabeth Vandal, on their 438 acre farm on Horse Shoe Creek, on the south    side of Gauley River, in Nicholas County, Virginia.  Three years later, in 1831, that
area was included in the newly organized Fayette County.
Thomas was the fourth child and second son among the couple's eight children.
His grandparents were Thomas and Jane (McClung) Masterson, pioneer settlers of
Nicholas County, and Abraham and Mary (Dillion) Vandal, who settled where
Fayette now stands about 1822 when that area was still part of Giles County, VA.
After the passing of Thomas and Jane in 1834 (their thombstones can still be
seen in the Vandal-Westlake Cemetery "on the hill" at Anstead), Samuel and
Elizabeth Masterson succeeded to the farm on Horse Shoe Creek, and continued
to maintain their home there until the mid-1850's, when they joined their daughter
Mary Jane (Masterson) Walkup, and a son, Arminius Bonaparte Masterson, in
Marshall County, Iowa
Their oldest son, Samuel, had gotten into trouble with the law early on, and
was no longer in the area.  The next child, Amanda, born in 1823, had married
Joseph H. Cavendish, and the third, Madieu, born in 1825, married Smith
VanWatters, a New York State native, in 1848.
The third son, James William Masterson, moved to Kanawha County in
1860, and married Sarah F. Hammers.  The youngest son, John Ligon Masterson
(the writer's grandfather), born in 1843, went to Iowa with his parents.
Thomas Vandal Masterson was born in the latter part of 1827, and little is known of
his childhood and youth.  About 1853 he married Margaret Harrah, a daughter of
Charles and Katharine Harrah.  When "Doc" Samuel Masterson and his wife went
to Iowa, Thomas and Katharine and their children stayed on the old Masterson
Their children were Elizabeth V., born in 1854; Henry Clay, born in 1856;
Samuel Charles, born in 1857; Sarah, born in 1859; Thomas, born in 1860; Jennie,
born in 1862; and James, born in 1863.
In a prelude to the Civil War, on May 20, 1861, according to the "History
of Fayette County, West Virginia" (1926), "at a special term of Fayette County
Court, a majority of the Justices, J.C. Huddleston, John J. Stiles, John Gwinn,
B.B. Boggess, Thomas V. Masterson, J.B. Westlake, Isaac Callison, John
Cooper, John Rhodes and Henry Riggs, voted to appropriate $5,000 to uniform
and equip the volunteer forces of the county, etc."
A couple of weeks later, on June 6, 1961, Thomas Vandal Masterson
was mustered into State service in Company C of the first Kanawha Regiment,
which had been organized starting about April 25, 1861.  He was elected 2nd
Lieutenent of his company, and a year later, after the 22nd Regiment of Virginia
Infantry was mustered into Confederate service, he was not re-elected, and he
was replaced as 2nd Lieutenant by William A. Tyree.
Details of his service with General Gabriel Wharton's Division during
the war are not known to the writer, but he reportedly died of "Phthisis" in 1965,
shortly after the cessation of hostilities.  It is not known whether food poisoning,
bad water or disease caused his death.
The date and cause of Katherine's death are not known to the writer,
but Census Records of 1870 and 1880 indicate that some of the children of
Thomas and Katherine were taken into the homes of relatives, friends and
neighbors, who fostered them as their own.
Elizabeth V. Masterson, the oldest daughter, was recorded as living in
the home of John M. and Rosanna (Dietz) Cavendish in 1870.  She married
their son, Thomas H. Cavendish on December 11, 1879 and died in 1895.
Henry Clay Masterson, the oldest son, lived in the home of Robert
and Rebecca McCutcheon for several years, and in 1877, at the age of 21,
married Mary Anna Hess, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Hess.
In 1870, Thomas Masterson was recorded as living in the home of
Charles and Rebecca Kincaid, and Sarah Masterson, his sister, was living
at the time in the home of Margaret Halstead.
James William Masterson, born in 1863 and named for his uncle who
was serving in the Confederate Cavalry, was living in 1870 in the home of Eliza Townsend, and in 1880 in the home of W.A. and Susan V. Burdette.  He
became an attorney, married Fannie P. McVey, and died November 15, 1899.
The writer has no further data on the other two Masterson children,
Jenni and Samuel, and would welcome information about them and their lives.
About the farm and the personal property of Confederate soldier,
Thomas Vandal Masterson, it is not known whether any of the estate was
conserved for the benefit of his heirs, but the writer is very skeptical if such
was the case.  On page 33 of Deed Book H. of Fayette County, it is recorded
that the land of Thomas V. Masterson's heirs, 435 acres on Horse Shoe
Creek was sold on May 20, 1874 by Sheriff Samuel H. Carrick to the County
Prosecuting Attorney.  Theophilus Gaines.  Another source indicates that
Gaines, then a newcomer, had moved with his family into Fayette County
from Washington D.C. in 1867.
Nuff said!
Submitted by Don Vandel (Washington State)
Family Historian Notes
From Volume VII, Issue 3, January 2000

Unique Ancestors

In the July, 1988 edition of the Newsletter, there was an article about a Shawnee Indian connection to the Vandal family, reported by Jean Vandale Wolford.  After the reunion in Indiana last summer, my wife and I stopped by the Tippicanoe Memorial where                Tenskwatawa, brother of the famous Chief Tecumseh, lost a major battle with Colonel
William Henry Harrison.  Tecumseh also had a sister named Tecumpease who is the
ancestor of one branch of the Vandals.  Tecumpease's great granddaughter, Rebecca  Sheppard, married Andrew L. Vandal in 1858

While I was at the Memorial Park, I picked up a book entitled "Counterpoint -
Tecumseh vs. William Henry Harrison" by James Huston.  I would recommend it to
any of the descendants of Andrew Vandal for it tells how Tecumseh, although half
Shawnee and half Dutch, became the major leader in a confederation of Indian
nations that tried valiantly but unsuccessfully to prevent the encroachment by
frontier settlers on their sacred homeland.  After teaming up with a poorly lead
British Military force, he fought to the death to defend his beliefs in Indian rights.
Today we recognize those rights more each day but the wrongs done to those brave   people years ago will never be rectified.

I don't usually trace ancestors back very far on unrelated spouses but while going through this book I made a record of how those wonderful people were related to
the Vandals and have printed a chart in this newsletter showing 6 generations only because of space limitations.  If anyone would like a complete chart, please
contact me.

Albany, New York Connection

While on our trip last summer, we passed through Albany, New York as we rushed
to get back home before the first frost.  I managed to spend one day trying to find
out more about our Albany ancestor, Every Janse Wendell, G.G. Grandfather of
our Abraham Vandal.  I found the corner of State and Broadway where he
supposedly was buried under the Reformed Dutch Church.  The church is no
longer there but is replaced by government buildings.  At the New York State
Archives, I found a book entitled "Famous Families of New York" by Margherita
Arlina Hamm that had a lengthy bioggraphy of Evert Janse.  It is too long to
reproduce here but I thought you might enjoy just a few passages from the article.

"The founder of the (Dutch) race in the New World was Evert Janse, who was born (1615) in the little city of Embden in East Friesland, then belonging to the
Netherlands, but now part of the province of Aurich, in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany.  His family had lived in the district of Thynland or Delftland, from
which they fled to escape the sword and rack of the Duke of Alva.  In Rhineland
the family owned several farms and possessed considerable property, much if
not most of this being lost when they departed for the North.  Nevertheless,
enough remained to give Evert a good education and to enable him to cross the
ocean to the New Netherlands.  Among the offices that Evert held in Albany
were ruling elder of the Dutch Church (1656), Orphan Master (1657) and
Magistrate (1660-61).

The career of the Wendells in both Massachusetts and New York has been
marked by business ability, intellectuality, social grace and patriotism.  They
have served in every conflict, from the old French wars to the late struggle with
Spain.  Their sons are upon the rolls of the great universities, and their names
are found in the lists of eminent lawyers, writers, scientists and pedagogues."

submitted by Chuck Hield - Family Historian

Photograph Search
From Volume VII, Issue 2, October 1999
Does a picture of Abraham Vandal exist?   We are searching for pictures of Joel Worth Vandal, Samuel Davis Vandal, and Crawford Vandall.  If anyone can help, please let the editor know so that they can be included in a future issue of our newsletter.  Contact   Frances Mabelle Vandall Lowe at: <>

Earl Vandale Research Notes
From Volume VII, Issue 2, October 1999
The October, 99 edition highlighted the research of the Vandal name conducted by Earl Vandale of Amarillo, Texas over a 30 year period.  Three letters were reprinted, illustrating his search for information on the descendents of Abraham and Mary.  He finally succeeded in locating the facts he was seeking and the last letter is printed below.

Indiana State Soldiers' Home
LaFayette, Indiana
June 20, 1952
Mr. Earl Vandale
Amarillo, Texas

Dear Sir:

I am in receipt of your leter of June 17, 1952 regarding John Jones, who married Eva       Vandal, and in checking the records, I find that John L. Jones was born in Butler County, Ohio, on July 10, 1843.  He died here at the Home on July 11, 1915 and is buried here in the Soldiers' Home Cemetery.

The records of Eva J. Jones show that she was born on May 3, 1853 at Arlington,          Indiana, and she died on July 1. 1924.  She, too, is buried here in the Soldiers' Home    Cemetery.

On both applications of John L. and Eva J. Jones, it is shown that they were married at     Arlington, Rush County, Indiana, on May 1, 1873, and the following names of children are given:  Mrs. H. L. Sanders and Mrs. H.Lanham.  The records do not show the names of   parents.
           Very truly yours,
Colonel G.I Seybert - Commandant
 Family Historian Notes
From the Vandal Newsletter, Volumn VII, Issue 2, October, 1999

I was recently contacted by Franklin Dillon, inquiring if I knew anything about the             ancestors of our Mary Dillon Vandal.  All that I have in our record is that her father was   James Dillon and that she had a sister named Hanna but beyond that I know nothing.  I      don't even know who her mother was.  It was embarrassing to admit to him that, even      though we are as much descended from Mary Dillon as we are from Abraham Vandal, our concentration has been exclusively on the Vandal name alone.

This lead me to wonder if we should not be trying to learn more about Mary Dillon Vandal so that we can better understand where we have come from.  Knowing about the Vandal  ancestry is really only half of the equation.  But before I start digging through volumes of genealogy records, may I ask if anyone in our Vandal family has any information on the     ancestors of James Dillon that should be incorporated into our record?  If you can help me with any Dillon family history, I would greatly appreciate it if you would contact me at the address below or by email at the following: <>.  This is my "at         home" email address.

My wife, Edith, and I have been traveling through a great deal of eastern Canada lately and, out of curiosity, I started looking in the phone books for the name Vandal because I know there are some up here.  In the tiny town of St. Anicet, Quebec, I found 5.  In the town of Compton, Quebec, I found 10.  But when we got to Quebec City, Quebec, I found 65, all spelled VANDAL.  All of these, I am sure, are from the French/Canadian clan that came from France and are not related (as far as we can determine) to the West Virginia   Vandals that came from the Netherlands.  But we should be aware that there are a lot of Vandals out there that we are not related to (we think).
Thanks to the help of the followind this past quarter, we have significantly updated a lot    of current family data.
1. Edwin M. (Tel) VanDall Sr., son of Napolean Bonaparte VanDall, grandson of Marshall Vandall.
2. Rita Ball, daughter of Lelia Ann Masterson Given, of Elicabeth (Betsy) Vandal.
3.  Richard Shaver, son of May H. Gwinn, grandson of Lena F. Vandall.
4. Joe Arnold Vandel, of Abram Walker Vandel.
5.  Beth Murray, of James Simmons and   of Mary Vandal.
Chuck Hield - Family Historian
7203 Forestwind Ct.  Arlington, TX  76001

Interest in the Vandal Family History
From the Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 2, October 1999

Perry and Nellie Vandel Latta have a son Perry Donald Latta who is interested in the  Vandal Family History.  Hattie Wilson Vandel and Perry Latta's mothers were sisters.  Nellie Vandel Latta and Loren Wilson Vandel were sister and brother, making double cousins of Perry Donald Latta and Leta Marie Vandel Keller.
Joseph Davis Vandel is our grandfather, Thomas Stewart Vandel is our great grandfather, Joel Worth Vandel is our great great grandfather, Abraham Vandel is our great great great grandfather.
The annual Loren Vandel Family Reunion was held at Legion Park in West Des Moines, Iowa on August 8, 1999.  Next year same place and date.
Submitted by Lela Vandel Keller

Family Historian Notes
From the Volume VII, Issue 1, July, 1999 Newsletter
Our Family Reunion has been deemed a great success in more ways then one.  From
the Historian's point of view, it was very successful because of the progress we all made in updating more of the family history.  From the time I set up my computer Friday         morning until I shut it down on saturday at 6:30, cousins were coming to me to review my records on their family and adding missing names and mising dates and places.  In two   days, I added nearly one hundred new names to our record and printed out many            ancestry charts for individuals.  A special thanks to all those that contributed at the      reunion.  And please, if there are any out there that have additional information to pass on to me, please send it in so that our record can be updated.
New cousins continue to turn up as a resulf of our Vandal web page on the internet
and through other contacts.  Thanks to the following for making their contribution:
1. Barbara Fresenborg - daughter of Milton Norris Vandall.
    2. Kim LaPierre - grandaughter of Alice Vandall Crist.
3. Lisa Lytle of Garland, TX - grandaughter of Gladys Almeda Vandall Davis.
4. Dutch Meyer of Missoula, MT - g.g.grandson of Mary Ann Vandal Wood.
5. Shirley Vandel Puffer of Mercer, MO - daughter of Thomas Frederick Vandel.
6. Gary Vandal of England - trying to see if we are connected.
Did You Know
In 1965, Roy Vandel and Earl Vandel started a call together of the Vandel clan.
That at the 1967 Vandel Reunion, Nita Hield was nominated as Reunion Historian and    was elected by 28 votes.  In 1969 Nita Hield was nominated and reinstated as Historian.  In 1975 Nita Hield was unamiously appointed as Family Historian.  She also gave the       background of Abraham Vandel's tour of service in the Civil War (1860) and the Vandels she has traced back to 1870s.
     In 1979 Elmer Vandel and Nita Hield were selected as King and Queen, being the    oldest family members present.  In 1979 Ruth Curtis and her twin sister Ruby Crooks     attended as well as Jean and James Wolford who contributed a great deal of ancesterial research, all of which can be traced back to Abraham Vandal who fought in the                Revolutionary Wr.  In 1983, Wayne Vandel Masterson told about Vandel mountain in    West Virginia and other intresting facts in his search about the Family.
     In 1985, a motion was made and carred to set their sights on West Virginia for the 1987 reunion.  In 1987, the motion was made and carried to continue the
Memorial Book.  Members of various families should send the secretary birth,             wedding, death announcements and other items of interest.

Abe Vandal's Farm Now Draws Lots of Interest
From the April, 1999 Newsletter reprint of an article from The West Virginia Hilbilly - September 4, 1986
As written by Wayne Vandal Masterson

The Fayette County National Bank first opened it's door August 6, 1900 at which time it was known as the Fayetteville National Bank.  The name was changed to it's present
title in 1906, and the bank building has been standing at the corner of Court and Maple Avenue Fayetteville, right on the town suare, since that time.

But nearly a century earlier, on this spot stolld Abraham Vandal's farm house, a stage
stop on the State Road between Richmond, Virginia, and Lexington, Kentucky.  An     "ordinary" inn was maintained there by the Vandals to provide food, drink and lodging
for weary wayfarers, as well as shelter and provisions for their horses.

This stage stop, and the settlers who came and stayed, formed a tiny community that
was known as Vandalia until 1837.

Who was this Abraham Vandal, the early day's innkeeper?  He was born in Dutchess
New York in 1758 and served in the New York State Militia during the Revolutionary
War.  While still a militiaman, guarding the supply trains of the Continental Army,
he married Mary Dillon in 1780, in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and came home to
her there when hostilities ceased.

The couple lived there on a farm near the village of Natural Bridge, until 1796, taking
care of their five oldest children.  Then they moved to Greenbriar County and settled
on the road which is now known as Fork Mountain.

In 1812, Abraham Vandal purchased 200 acres, including the present site of
Fayetteville, from a man named Reed.  This was part of the Lewis Stuart lands, and
 a portion of the Andrew Moore/John Beckley 170,038 acre Survey.  When Abraham bought the land, it was located in Giles County, Virginia, and was described as "The
Loop Creek and Clear Fork of Cole River District".  Later, in 1824, when Logan
County was created, this area was included in that County.

Fayette County, Virginia, was organized in 1831, with its county court meeting at
New Haven (now Ansted), and it wasn't until 1837 that the seat of gorernment was
moved to its present location.  The name of the settlement was changed to
Fayetteville at that time.

1837 was also the year that Abraham Vandal, at age 79, retired, and gave all of his
posessions to his youngest son, Edward Dillon Vandal, in accordance with the
terms of a Maintenance Agreement to take care of his parents for their remaining
years.  Mary died in 1840, and Abraham in 1848.

Edward Dillon Vandal, who was the fifth Sheriff of Fayette County, serving from
1840 until 1842, sold the "home place" of 180 acres to Philo N. Platt for $2000, on
February 8, 1841, and a year later he moved with his family to Rush County, IN.

Philo Platt continued to operate the stage stop and "ordinary" for several years,
but the farm house, reportedly, was destroyed during the Civil War.

So, some 60 years after the Vandal family gve up their property in the Fayetteville
area, it became the site of the Fayette County National Bank building.  No vestage
remains of the old farm house stage stop, but this spot is of historic interest to all
who are aware of the county's early development.

There are several thousand descendants of Abraham and Mary Vandal, living
today in almost every State of the Union, and many of these, who meet in family
reunions, will be especially interested in Fayetteville because their ancestors
really "started" the town.

From the Vandal Newsletter, Volume VI, Issue 7, January, 1999
Several interesting developements have occured since the last newsletter and I would like to share them with you.
I was contacted by Freddy Vandaele from Belgium and we have been corresponding, trying to determine if there is any link between our two families.  He traces his family back to 1598 and "Vandal" is one of the spellings found among his ancestors.  We      haven't proven anything so far but he mentioned several interesting facts.
1.  The port of Emden, mentioned in Jan Wendell's biography, is in Friesland but in the German part.
2.  You write about the "Du Trieux" family, Susanna Du Trieux being the wife of Evert Jansen Wendell.  It's said that Philippe Du Trieux was born in Robaix, Belgium.
Correct is that Roubaix is a french town, not far from the Belgian border, but in
France.  The name Du Trieux is also a typical french name, it's also interesting to
know that he emigrated to Holland: the reason is probably that he was a
"Huguenot" (they accepted not the French king because of their religion) and were driven out in that period to Germany and Holland where they settled.  Except for
religion reasons, I see no reason why they should have left their country for a
completely other one, with even an other language: Dutch instead of French.
3.  The Dutch West India Company that Evert Wendell worked for was very famous and had the monopoly for trade in "eastern" goods and spices from India.  The
company brought richness to Holland in the period called "the golden age".
4.  The Vandals were a German tribe, settling in Jutland (Denmark), then moved through Europe, crossing the Mediteranian Sea where they settled in the city of Carthago
(I visited the ruins, now situated in Tunesia, North Africa).
Lynn Conley wrote about our internet home page.  She wrote"the information supplied here was just awesome.  There are things I have searched for very long to obtain, and a lot of my questions were answered here.  Please let me know how I might contribute".  Lynn is the great grandaughter of Ida Pearle Vandall.
We received a wonderful contribution from Brenda Handley whose great uncle was a Vandale.  The descendants of Calvin Smith Vandale are now further updated.
My sister, Lois Hield Brown, was looking through some old papers of our mother, Nita Vandel Hield, and came across some correspondence she had had with Alice Vandel    Bolon.  Going through the letters, I ended up adding 28 names to our ancestory record and filling in lots of missing information on other people.  I am convinced more then     ever that there is valuable history still out there to be found among everyone's family papers.  Please help us locate this information so that our records can be more            complete.
           Chuck Hield - Family Historian

From the Vandal Newsletter, Volume VI, Issue 6, October, 1998
1999 Vandal Reunion
Hi Family Members,
The 1999 Vandal Family Reunion will be at Abe Martin's Lodge which is a State Park in   Nashville, Indiana.  I have reserved rooms and cabins so when making your reservations please specify if you need smoking or non smoking or if you need adjoining rooms for      family.  There are no pets allowed at this facility.  Also request Handicap.  Call (812)       988-4418.
I have reserved the Medodeon Hall for a banquet dinner which I'll have a menu in a later issue.  We'll also be able to use this room for our meeting.  Right now we would like          everyone to think about bringing an item in a brown bag to have an auction later.  The       money we make from this auction goes into the reunion fund.  This could be a lot of fun, be imaginative.  I'm also going to schedule a hayride on Saturday night.  It's $2.00 a person,   children 3 and under are free.  It's pay as you load and we will have a sign up sheet later.
Will have reception area as you arrive in the Annie Nugent Lobby right above the foyer of main lobby.  INFORMATION AND MONEY WILL BE COLLECTED AT THIS TIME FOR OUR BUFFET DINNER.  Any further information needed will be detailed closer to reunion date.
Your reunion Coordinator,
Margaret Vandall
(219) 293-2668

Family Historian Notes
There has been some wonderful information sent in this past quarter that will be a                tremendous help in updating history.  Our heartfelt thanks to the following folks for taking the time to submit their family records:
Rosetta Parker Giuliani, daughter of Sadie Vandall Parker.  Rosetta sent in her first installment of records and soon will be sending in more updates, names of cousins, nieces and nephews and now grand-nephews.  Her mother, Sadie, is 84 now but still has a fantastic memory with stories to tell and pictures for everyone to enjoy.  Thanks Rosetta.
Joye Hinton Saboff, grand daughter of Victor Emmet Vandel.  Her mother, Clara Margaret Vandel, married her father, James Hinton, which was already in our record.  But we had      very little recent information on her family so it is great to be all updated now.  We may get a chance to meet her at the 99 reunion in Indiana.  Thanks Joye.
Patti L. Hutterli sent in some pictures of Jemima Vandal, who married Hezekiah W. Miller, and Mary Elizabeth Vandal, who first married William J. Kirby then married William Asa Greathouse.  She also sent in family group sheets showing how these sisters were related to Jonathan Boggs Vandal.  Thanks Patti.
On a recent vacation trip, I stopped in Amarillo, Texas and visited with John James Vandale and his lovely wife, Sally.  John is the son of Earl Crislip Vandale and is retired      from the Navy after a distinguished career.  At the age of 83, he is still in the oil business in Texas and very active.
So, with the 1999 reunion just around the corner, we are more and more prepared to have a fairly complete family record available for everyone.  The internet home page will include the latest information just as soon as I can put it all together.  But please, if your family    history is not completely updated, help the family out by sending it in just as soon as         possible.
Chuck Hield - Family Historian

From the Vandal Newsletter, Volume VI, Issue 5, July, 1998
A Pretty Box for Christmas
(Excerps from Goldenseal Newspaper, Winter, 1997)
     Cecile Vandal Morgan was born on November 11, 1899, one of a set of twins born to the Leander Vandals of rural Wirth County, West Virginia.  Cecile lived comfortably with her three sisters, father, and mother, surrounded by many acres of valuable farmland.  Cecile's grandfather was the country doctor in the area, and her father always saw that the family    was well provided for.
     Nevertheless, Christmas presents were modest in the days when Cecile and her twin Celia were young and they were tickled to just get a pretty little box for Christmas.  All of   her life she has continued to collect pretty and unique boxes of all kinds.                              .
She was taught to sew by her mother, an excellent seamstress. Cecile made all 9of her own dresses throughout her life.  Her parents encouraged the Vandal firls to learn to play the     piano and Cecile quickly found that she could play the piano by ear and has continued to      play all of her life, many of those years as the pianist at the Big Tygart Methodist Church.
She lost her husband, Walker, in an accident in 1977.  To recover from her loss, she traveled to many places, and holds especially fond memories of her two trips to the Holy     Land.  They had been married on Christmas Day, 1921.
Among her favorite boxes are those brought on special occasions by the 110-plus members of the nearby Saulsbury 4-H Club who have called her their "honorary grandmother" for    many years.

From the Vandal Newsletter, Volume VI, Issue 4, April 1998
Our appeal for completion of family group sheets has not gone unheeded.  We have            received quite a few from family members all over the country.  Also information has been coming in by e-mail and I want to thank you all so very much for the cooperation.  If you     have been thinking about helping out too but haven't quite got it ready, please go ahead
and finish it up and send it in.  Our goal, once again, is to have as much prepared by the     1999 reunion so we can print out family trees for any one at the reunion that requests        them.  Our appreciation goes out this quarter to the following cousins who have sent their forms in or have e-mailed information:
Janice Vandell Laney of Bastian, VA
Wilbur R. Vandall by e-mail from Madison Heights, VA
Kara & Rob McWilliams by e-mail
Beckie Nodwar by e-mail
Shirkey Ray Vandall by e-mail from Madison Heights, VA
Amanda Colombo by e-mail from Shrewsbury, MA
Mary White of Creston, IA
Jean Vandale Wolford of Tucson, AZ
Mary Vandall Knapp of Vidalia, LA
Nan Small of Princeton, WV
My apologies if I missed mentioning anyone.
Chuck Hield - Historian

From the Vandal Newsletter, Volume VI, Issue 3, January 1998


The January, 1998 Newsletter contained a complete copy of a October 18, 1956 article printed in the Montgomery Herald, Montgomery, West Virginia. Due to space limitations, the complete article will not be produced here. Only a few highlights as follows:
"Evidence Shows That Jail Was Erected on Land Belonging to Vandal Family, Which Tried To Get Property Back 20 Years Ago.
Does Fayette county really own the land on which the courthouse is located?
This question is not asked to cause trouble or to raise taxes. Because even if the county did build on leased land, with free rent for 99 of 100 years, it is too late for the heirs of the original owners to do anything about it. They might have done something back in 1936. And they even consulted a few lawyers about the case. But they didn't get much encouragement, because they found no evidence.
Some evidence which might have won them the courthouse - had they known it in 1936 - has recently come to light. It came while the early history of the county was being studied in connection with the recent 125th birthday observance. But the statute of limitations or a legal doctrine call "laches" would now prevent them from recovering, even if they sued."
The article continues, going into great detail about how this controversy all came about.


Becky Nordar wrote to bring us up to date on the Gwinn family, after seeing her same family on the Internet Vandal home page. I haven't quite figured where she fits in withe the Gwinns but she has filled in a lot of blanks even though there is still a lot of missing information - dates, places, etc. The Vandalls and the Gwinns really had a thing going back in the early 1900s. There was something about the Gwinns that the Vandalls liked and vice versa. Here is a list of Vandalls and Gwinns that married back in those days:

    Creglow Gwinn & Donia Vandall - m. about 1895
    Edward Gwinn & Sarah Emily Vandall - m. abt 1903
    Summers Gwinn & Donia Grace Vandall - m. abt 1905
    Frank Gwinn & Lena F. Vandall - m. abt 1910
    Eva Sarah Gwinn & Olin J. O. Vandall - m. abt 1912
    Clarence Hill Gwinn & Josie Vandall - married 1916
    Cynthia Gwinn & William H. Vandall - m. abt 1918
    Gilbert David Gwinn & Georgia Gladys Vandall - m. abt 1918

And most recently, Loma Gwinn married Jessie Pearl Vandall in about 1994. So maybe the Gwinn/Vandall attraction is starting all over again. Best wishes to Loma and Jessie.

        Submitted by Chuck Hield - historian


Very soon, I plan to assemble all the information I have been able to prepare and submit it to the many organizations that store this information, making it available to other researchers. I hate to think of how incomplete it is and how it could so easily be brought up to date if only the readers of this News Letter would take the time to complete the Family Group Sheets we have made available. I have a few more updates that have been promised to me, and then I will submit what I have with the option of being able to add to the information at a later date. But it need to be as complete as we can possibly make it.

Please see if you can find the time to complete the form for your family if you have not already done so and send it in as soon as possible.

Many thanks.

        Chuck Hield - historian

From the Newsletter Volume VI, Issue 2, Dated October, 1997.


There was a headline once in the newspaper like this and it drew a lot of comments.  "What a shame it is to loose such important documents" - "We will never again be able to recreate this information" and "If only we had been more careful, we might still have had those records to refer to".

There are the same things we might eventually be saying about our senior relatives once they depart from this life if the wealth of information they possess is not preserved. The stories of their life will disappear along with them, never to be reconstructed accurately again. What a shame it would be to loose this opportunity to pass along the stories of their heritage to succeeding generations.

Please try to find time to record these life stories and send them in so we can all share in those wonderful lives.


John Willis contacted me via the internet to correct and update the information we have on the Vandal Home Page. In the Newsletter publication is a chart prepared from the information he provided. It shows the children of Abraham on the far right and then, all the descendants of Charity Vandal that lead to John Willis.

Several other cousins have contacted me with updated information about their families and it is much appreciated. But still, out of the 42 families that signed the register at the reunion, 39 have serious gaps in the information we have on their families. Please, please, won't you take the time to fill out the family group record printed in the April, 1997 Newsletter and send it along to us.

Several names on the register, I am unable to fit into the family chart at all. So I am especially anxious for help in identifying the following cousins.

                    Eva Altman of Clinton, MD
                    Missy Harford & Lynn Couch of LaPay, IN
                    Susan & Marisa McKnew of Salem, VA

This was my first reunion, you understand, so I apologize for my lack of knowledge about some of the families that are so obvious to most of you, I am sure. Please help me out on these if you would

                    Chuck Hield - Historian
                    7203 Forestwind Ct.
                    Arlington, TX  76001-4843
                    e-mail -

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