SAVANAH JOSEPHINE VAN DUSEN, daughter of HENRY VAN DUSEN and HARRIET VANOSDOLL. She was born December 15, 1853, and died June 06, 1944.
-photo provided by Kathie Maffitt
My family always spoke that we were descended from the Pennsylvania Dutch. I think that talk may have started with the marriage of my Great, Great Grandparents. Our paternal blood line, found through DNA testing, points to Ulster Scots decent. I think it possible an ancestor may have felt the need to disassociate themselves with this ancestry due to their turbulent history.
According to Clan Moffat the family was originally centered around the the town of Moffat Scotland, located just north of Scotland's border with England. For a period prior to the end of the 16th century the family were Border Reivers. Reivers were both English and Scottish and raided both sides of the border impartially, so long as the people they hit had no powerful protectors and no connection to their own kin. In 1603, James VI ruler of Scotland, became king James I of England and took out stern justice on the Reivers. I have heard said that around these times it was a death sentence to bear the name of Moffat. Feuds also were ongoing with other clans. In the year 1557 the clan was struck hard when a number of leading Moffats were in a building that was burnt by a rival clan, killing all those who tried to escape, and Robert Moffat, the alleged clan chief was murdered. In the early 1600's many living in the Scottish Borders migrated to Ulster Ireland.
My ancestors possibly made a living on an Ulster Plantation for a few generations before heading to America, first coming through North Carolina then Tennessee the family has said.