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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 680-682 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This name, also written Gonzalez, Consaulus, Gonsaulus, Cunsaulus, Gonsaul and Consaul, is a familiar one in the annals of early Schenectady county and the Mohawk Valley.

Emmanuel Consaul was in Schenectady as early as 1684. In 1767 two by that name were living neighbors near the North Manor line, probably on what is now known as the "Consaul Road." The earliest definite record is of Johannes Consaulus, of "Nistigioene," who married Machtelt, daughter of Johannes Hemstrat, in Albany, April 20, 1765. Their children, born in Schenectady, New York, were: Johannes, Emmanuel, see forward, Machtelt, Annatje. Those born in Albany were: Sarah, Bastiaan, Francyntje, Engeltie, Bata and Mattheus. Just what the connection is between the Gonzalez family first of Sullivan county, New York, and the Consaul family of Schenectady, does not appear, as the names of even the same family were written in different ways. The Consalus family of Troy descend from a Spanish Huguenot ancestor, Don Manuel Gonzalez, who is believed to have been the first permanent white settler of Sullivan county. He had sons who perpetuated his name. Don Manuel is said to have come from Holland in his own ship.

(II) Emmanuel Gonzalez, who was a direct descendant of Don Manuel Gonzalez, probably a son, was of Ulster county, New York, where in 1728 his name and that of his sons appear in a list of the freeholders of the town of Kingston (see Documentary History of New York, vol. iii, p. 970). About 1763 a proclamation was issued offering a reward for the apprehension of Jacobus Gonzalez and six others, all of Dutchess county, New York, charged with high treason (Dunlap's History of New York [i.e., William Dunlap's A History of New York, for Schools] appendix cxc III). This Jacobus was no doubt a grandson of the first Don Manuel and brother of Joseph, and this proclamation may have induced Joseph to remove from Dutchess county into the wilderness north of the Mohawk.

(III) Joseph, son of Emmanuel Gonzalez, married Margaret Dutcher, of Dutchess county, New York, who was a direct descendant in the fourth generation of Anneke Jansen, of Trinity Church litigation fame. Joseph had taken up his abode in the extreme southwestern corner of Saratoga county, in what is now known as the town of Charlton. Previous to the revolution he had lived on the friendliest terms with the Indians. On the breaking out of the war, however, the Gonzalez family, almost the only one in that sparsely settled section that had openly espoused the cause of the colonists, became objects of especial hate to the Tories, particularly to the Scotch residents of Charlton who were generally on the side of the King. The family of the daring pioneer Joseph consisted of his wife and four sons; Emmanuel, the oldest, was a man of great strength and had frequently bested the Indians, which further incited the hostility of the Indians and Tories. In April, 1782, a party of St. Regis Indians who were returning from their winter hunting and fishing in the Adirondacks, came nearly a hundred miles south to destroy the Gonzalez family before returning to Canada. Whether they were prompted by the Tory element or to avenge their rough handling by young Gonzalez, has never been ascertained. Joseph, the father, with the farm hand, the eldest and two youngest sons, were turning a summer fallow in a field, while the mother, daughter and second son, David, were at the house. As the Indians came up Joseph extended his hand in friendly salutation. The Indian responded with a blow from his tomahawk which killed him instantly. At the same time the Indian seized the two sons, and the hired man, Emmanuel, by main strength broke away, fleeing towards the nearby woods. As he was scaling the first fence he was again seized, but again broke away, although he was shot through the hand. As he leaped the last fence that separated him from the woods he received a shot that killed him instantly. Joseph, the youngest son, aged twelve, succeeded in reaching the house in the meantime, and David at once put his mother, sister and brother in a wagon and escaped to Crane's Village, three miles away. This David went west and is the progenitor of those of that name, among whom is Rev. Frank Gunsaulus, of Chicago, Illinois. The Indians scalped Joseph and Emmanuel, placed their scalps on a pole, and taking John and the hired man, started on the long march to Canada. The sufferings of the trip cannot be told, but they finally reached the capitol of the St. Regis nation, where John had his face painted and head shaved and was compelled to carry the scalps of his father and brother through the camp. This massacre broke up the Gonzalez family. Rebecca, the eldest daughter, had previously married Emmanuel De Graff, of New Amsterdam. The mother and younger children removed to Schenectady, where the mother died soon after, broken-hearted over the fate of her son John. A granddaughter of David married Commander Constable, of the United States navy. The history of John continues in next generation.

(IV) John, son of Joseph and Margaret (Dutcher) Gonzalez, was a lad of fifteen when forced to take the terrible march to Canada. He was compelled to "run the gauntlet" and forced into the British service, but he bore all his trials with true "Yankee" fortitude. He was employed in making cartridges, but he mixed the powder with charcoal, saying: "None of these shall ever harm my countrymen." Although peace was declared about a year after his capture, he was kept in captivity for two years longer, obtaining his release in 1785. He had become a favorite with some of the British officers who offered him land in Canada if he would remain. He was now eighteen, but he pluckily replied: "All the land I want from you is enough to walk on till I get off it." He returned to the Mohawk Valley and the first relative he found was Mrs. De Graff, whose descendants yet reside on the farm near Amsterdam. His father, whose tragic fate we have related, had previous to his death contracted for fifteen hundred acres of land in Saratoga, but through his death the estate was lost. John, however, on attaining his majority bought a portion of the land a mile northwest of West Charlton, on which he and his descendants have since resided. He built the first frame dwelling in the southwestern part of the county and improved his land, bringing it to a fair condition of productiveness. In 1791 he married Dorcas Hogan, of Albany, who bore him twelve children, dying October 7, 1823. The change of name occurred in this generation. On the rolls of the British kept while he was their prisoner, his name was written Consalus, and that orthography has been retained by his descendants.

(V) Emmanuel, son of John and Dorcas (Hogan) Consalus, died January 31, 1872. He succeeded to the ownership of the homestead farm, where he married and reared a family.

(VI) John, son of Emmanuel Consalus, was born on the farm in West Charlton, Saratoga county, New York, 1827, died in Troy, New York, March 3, 1903. His early education was obtained in the town schools. He first started in business in Amsterdam as a cattle buyer, later removed to Troy, where he embarked heavily in the wool business. He was very successful and did a large business. He carried large stocks of wool purchased from the farmers and other dealers, which he shipped to the manufacturing centres where the market conditions were favorable. During the panic which prostrated business during the second administration of President Cleveland, he lost heavily by the fall in the price of wool and was obliged to close up his business. Nothing daunted, he struggled along and finally retrieved his fortunes. He had a strong, hopeful nature, and never was discouraged by misfortune or loss. He believed in himself and in the future of his country. It is gratifying to know that this descendant of the boy of "76" had the same courage in the face of disaster and won his battle in the face of odds as great although of different nature. Mr. Consalus married Julia M., born in Quebec, Canada, daughter of Hon. John McDowell, a member of the lower house of the Canadian parliament. Children:

  1. David Arthur, born August 25, 1870; succeeded his father in the wool business in Troy; married Jane McCashin.
  2. John Emmanuel, born in 1872, a civil engineer of New York City; married Frances Hamilton and has a daughter Helen.
  3. Charlotte.
  4. Edna.
  5. Florence, deceased. Mrs. Consalus survives her husband and resides in Troy.

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