BY: WILLAIM A. GREENE
I WANT TO THANK THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE
RON TAYLOR, MARY RHODES & JOAN SINCLAIR
There have been many stories that have been written about Nathaniel Dike. Some are true and some aren’t. Some can be proven and some can’t. So I’m going to try and figure out what is and isn’t true. I’m not doing this to insult or hurt anyone, I’m trying to get to the true stories and get rid of the ones that aren’t.
The first Dikes that came to the United States were Anthony and Tabitha Pittman Dike. They were both born in England and arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA in 1623. Anthony was a Captain in the Navy. They were Nathaniel Dike’s Great, Great, Grandparents.
The next of Nathaniel’s ancestor’s ancestors was his Great Grandparents, Anthony and Margery Pickman Dike. They were both born in Salem, Mass. and they both died there.
The next of Nathaniel’s ancestors was his Grandfather Nathaniel Dike and his wife Mary Thomson Dike. Mary died the same year they were married and had no children. Nathaniel then married Hannah Thompson in 1689 and had all the children with her. They lived in Mass.
The next of Nathaniel’s ancestors was his Father James Dike and his wife Mary Narramore Dike. James was born in Mass. and died in Conn. I have nothing on his wife, just what was on the Tombstone. They are buried in the Dike Cemetery, Thompson, Windham County, Conn.
Now I have Nathaniel Dike’s wife’s (Esther Burrill) father and mother. Her father’s name was Isaac Burrill and was born in Mass. and died in Conn. His wife Phebe Pierce’s birthplace is unknown, but she died in Mass. Nothing said that they were Indians as is stated in some stories.
Nathaniel Dike was born on March 28, 1747 In Killingly, Conn., the son of James & Mary Dike. He was Baptized on March 29, 1747. (Conn. Births & Christenings 1649 – 1906 Volume 113 Thompson.
It was said that Nathaniel Dike went to Yale University as a young man. I took the liberty to write Yale University on Feb. 8, 2016 asking for info on Nathaniel Dike, who might have graduated in the 1760’s or 70’s. This is the answer I got :
Dear Mr. Greene.
This is in reply to your email request of Feb. 8 concerning Nathaniel Dyke (Dike).
A Nathaniel Dike graduated from Yale in 1812. ( I knew right then this was the wrong person as our Nathaniel was in Elm Valley by then.) This Nathaniel was the son of Deacon John Dike and was from Beverly, Mass. Later he became a lawyer and then a member of the House of Representatives. He was definitely the wrong person.
Then they added that there are no compiled directories of early Yale non-graduate alumni. So if I read this correctly, our Nathaniel Dike went to Yale, he didn’t graduate so his name wasn’t written down or he didn’t go there at all. Even in his ancestor’s statements say, “it is said he went to Yale.” Still no proof.
I have no clue as to when Nathaniel Dike met Esther R. Burrill nor do I know when they got married. But I do know when their first child was born.
1) Esther Dike was born Oct 25.1768. She married a man with a last name of Travis, unknown first name and unknown where he went. I was looking for something else and found her buried in the “Old Riverside Cemetery in the town of Athens, Bradford Co. Pa. Etched in her head stone is “In memory of Ester Travis who died October 14, 1797 in the 29th year of her age. She was the daughter of Nathaniel & Esther Dike.
2) Isaac W. Dike born Nov. 10, 1770 Married Pamela Gibson
3) Hanna Dike born April 10, 1773
4) James Dike born 1776 and died on Feb. 8, 1844 Married Phebe Pritchard. He was in the War of 1812 and was a Captain.
5) Phebe Dike born 1776 and died Feb. 12, 1855 she married John T. Hyde
6) Nathaniel Dike Jr,
Now we come to the Revolutionary War. It was said that our Nathaniel Dike was a Captain in this war. This is what I have from the “Record of Connecticut Men In The Military and Naval Service During The WAR OF THE REVOLUTION” 1775 – 1783. Written 1889. Lexington Alarm List April 1775. From The Town of Killingly. Thomas Dike (Nathaniel’s brother) number of days served 7, and was a Sergeant.
Nathaniel Dike number of days served 7, and was a Private. I also have a letter that was written on March 21, 1924 that is in the New York State Library in Albany which says. State of Connecticut. ADJUTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE, HARTFORD. It is written to a Mr. E. Titus Black from Scio, N.Y. The letter states: Dear Sir: Replying to your communication of 17th inst. You are advised that Nathaniel Dike served as a private in Capt. John Green’s company from Killingly during the Lexington Alarm, in service seven days. Not further record found. Very respectfully, G. M. Cole, Adjutant General. So that kind of makes the statement that he was a Captain not true.
I don’t think a private would serve on a General’s staff. Neither General Warren’s nor General Washington’s. Doesn’t make sense.
I went to Wikipedia and looked up General George Washington’s aids during the Revolutionary War. He had 33 men as his aids. It named them all and there wasn’t a Nathaniel Dike mentioned on the list anywhere. So that kind of shoots that story down.
JOURNEY TO WHAT IS NOW ALLEGANY COUNTY
What I’m writing is taken from an account book that was kept by Nathaniel Dike some years before he settled in what is now Allegany County. (1780 – 1840) This book is now kept in the New York State Library. I’m taking this from page 30.
The first place that Nathaniel mentions to have stayed at was in the Mohawk Valley, then to Cherry Valley, Tioga Point and other places, in the Susquehanna and Chemung valleys. There is no mention if there are other families with his family or not.
So after the Revolution Nathaniel headed west, according to Hazel M. Shear. She mentions that he stayed at Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley. I think she is right and it will show in a minute.
We don’t know how long he stayed here, but at some point he moved on to Cherry Valley in Otsego County. Again they moved on at some point.
Next they stopped at Tioga Point, which is now Athens PA. This is where Nathaniel & Esther Dike’s oldest daughter Esther Travis died and is buried there. So I think we are on the right trail. They stayed here for a time. Then onto what is now Elmira and on into Canisteo in Steuben County. After a short stay they headed up Purdy Creek and over the hills into what is now Allegany County, in 1795. In 1796 a Stephen Cole arrived .
In his ledger he never mentions who came along with him. You can pretty much believe that his wife and some children came and perhaps a few others.