Hendrick Banta, "The Exhorter"

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Hendrick Hendrickse Banta

Also Known As: "Henry Banta", "Henry", "Father henry", "Father Henry Banta"
Birthplace: Hackensack, Bergen County, Province of East Jersey
Death: October 15, 1805 (86)
Shelby County, Kentucky, United States
Place of Burial: Shelby County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Hendrick Hendricks Banta and Geertruyd Albertse Banta
Husband of Rachel Banta and Antje Banta
Father of Hendrick Hendricksen Banta, IV; Leah Hendrickse Monfoort; Pvt. Abraham D. Banta; Albert Banta; Gertrude Hendricksen Montfort and 15 others
Brother of Wyntie Lavina Durie; Angenitie Banta and Albert Hendrickse Banta

2nd wife: Antjin de Marest; married January 24, 1751 in New York
Marriage: August 12, 1738
Other marriages: 2nd wife was Antjin de Marest; m. January 24, 1751, New York
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Hendrick Banta, "The Exhorter"

A Patriot of the American Revolution for PENNSYLVANIA. DAR Ancestor #: A005785

PA ARCH, 6TH SER, VOL 2, P 414

From Roberts of Washington by Carol Carter:


Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta (b. December 09, 1718, d. October 15, 1805)

Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta (son of Hendrick Hendrickse Banta and Geertruy Terhune) [7]

  • was born December 09, 1718 in Hackensack, Bergen Co., New Jersey, and
  • died October 15, 1805 in Shelby Co., Kentucky.
  • He married (1) Rachel Demerast Brower on August 12, 1738 in Schraalenburgh, NJ, Dutch Reformed Church, daughter of Abraham Pieter Brower and Leah Jansen Demarest.
  • He married (2) Antjin Demarest on January 21, 1750 in New York Reformed Dutch Church, NYC, daughter of Samuel David Demarest and Lea.

Notes for Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta:

Per Dan Roberts data 5/8/1995: Sometime around 1750 Hendrick Banta moved from Bergen Co., to Somerset CO. NJ. At least 4 of the children of the second wife were born (Probably 8: Rachel through Mary).

In about 1767-68, he moved to Conewago, York Co., Pennsylvania near Gettysburg. The references to him in the Banta book from about this time are calling him Henry Banta.

According to the book, a group of Dutch families, not including the Banta family, moved from Conewago, PA, about 40 miles southwest into Berkeley Co., West Virginia, and settled near Shepherdstown. They had heard stories about Kentucky during the War, and a feeling grew among this group and also those still at Conewago in favor of an all-out move to Kentucky.

Samuel Duryea, husband of Wyntie Banta, along with eight other white men and two Negroes, was sent on an exploring mission to Kentucky. They left Shepherdstown 1 May 1779 and went southwest down through West Virginia between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Alleghenies, and crossed through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky to Boonesborough. Samuel made a land claim there on Muddy Creek, at a spot that looked favorable for a mill, and they returned to Shepherdstown that same fall.

Late that fall, Henry Banta with his family and several other Dutch families, a total of seventy five people, left Conewago for Kentucky, but on a different route that that taken by Duryea. Of the 75 people in this group, the Henry Banta family must have made up a substantial part, because there were 12 of his 21 children, some married, and 19 grandchildren in the party. Three of his children had died in infancy, (#2, #20 & # 21) and his oldest son Hendrick had recently died leaving nine children, who were brought up by their grandfather. Five of six of his sons were married, two of whom, Samuel and Peterius, remained for a while in Pennsylvania, as did his three married daughters (possibly Leah, Rachel and Angenitie).

They went from Conewago over the Appalachian Mountains, possibly on the Braddocks Road, to Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh, where the Monongehela and the Allegheny Rivers join to form the Ohio River. They stayed in Pittsburgh through the winter and in the Spring of 1780 bought flatboats, loaded all their possessions including livestock, and started down the Ohio, of which both shores were inhabited by hostile Indians. They floated down the Ohio to the Falls, in Kentucky, now Louisville, arriving in April 1780.

Conditions were not good in Louisville, having just come through a very hard winter. Louisville consisted only of a fort and a few cabins, and during that Spring about 300 boats arrived there bringing settlers from the East. Prices for corn and supplies got high very quickly. Five new Stations were set up in the area to accommodate the influx of people, one of which was called the 'Low Dutch Station', later known as Beargrass, for Beargrass Creek, about seven miles from Louisville. They rented land from a Colonel John Floyd and planted crops, the rent consisting mostly of clearing land for him.

The Dutch group from Shepherdstown, Berkeley Co., West Virginia left early in the year 1780, led by Samuel Duryea, and traveled the same route he had the year before, through the Cumberland Gap to White Oak Spring, near Boonsborough, to which Captain Daniel Boone had moved with his family four or five years earlier and made a settlement. David Banta (must have been a cousin or something such) was killed by Indians in the Powell Valley, and his widow returned to Conewago. Thirty people arrived at White Oak Spring.

The following quotes from the T. M. Banta book were taken from Collins' History of Kentucky: "White Oak Spring, sometimes called Hart's Station, one mile above Boonsborough was settled in 1779 by Capt. Nathanial Hart and some Dutch families from Pennsylvania." ..."The spring was described as "twelve feet square at the top and one hundred feet deep, boiling up pure, cold and fresh, and flowing off in a large and constant stream." ... "The settlers were unaccustomed to Indian warfare, and some ten or twelve men, all were killed except tow or three" ..."Among the immigrants were Henry Banta, Sr., Henry Banta, Jr., Abraham Banta and John Banta."

Note that this differs from the Joan Murray account. The T. M. Banta book describes the trip from Pennsylvania to Kentucky as a severe hardship. Apparently it was a trip of over 600 miles of unbroken wilderness from the then western limit of civilization in Pennsylvania, over what was then known as "the Wilderness Road", which passed through the valley of Virginia, between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies, and across the mountains by Cumberland Gap to Fort Harrod. The road was really only a "trace", not even a wagon road until at least fifteen years later, and the colonists traveled on foot and with pack horses. The "pack saddle" was a forked branch of a tree fastened on the horse, on which they hung all then household goods and provisions.

An account of the journey by another group in 1779 describes the "men on foot with their trusty rifles on their shoulders, driving stock and leading pack horses, and the women, some walking with pails on their heads, others riding with children in their laps, and other children swung in baskets on horses, encamping at night, expecting to be massacred by Indians, subsisting on stinted allowances of stale bread and meat, encountering bears, wolves and wildcats in the narrow bridlepath overgrown with brush and underwood."

Another account tells about a colony, migrating to Kentucky in 1783, three years later than the Banta group, ... "had reached within half a dozen miles of the first settlement in the territory, when seven families of the train stopped to encamp for the night, the others passing on. That night the Indians attacked the families who had encamped and all were killed except one man."

According to the Joan Murray book, Henry Banta and a group of men left their families at Beargrass in February of 1781 and went to meet the Duryea group at White Oak Station. There were 20 men altogether who "met up" in the wilderness and built cabins for their families some 16 or 17 miles from the Duryea mill seat on Muddy Creek. They spent several weeks in the area, and started 13 or 14 cabins, but competed none of them at that time. The cabins were built in the shape of a fort, and became known as 'Banta's Fort'.

Trouble with the Indians continued. Back at the White Oak Station, two more men (Duryeas) were killed. As a result, the discouraged Banta group returned to the Dutch Station at Beargrass. They tried again in the summer, with men from both Stations, but after more trouble both parties returned to their Stations and no further attempts were made to settle Muddy Creek. The Bantas moved to Mercer Co. where they built the second Dutch Station, and were joined there by the White Oak group in 1782.

The T. M. Banta book goes on at some length to describe the hardships endured by the Bantas. It quotes a story from the Shelby Co. Courant, a newspaper, dated 15 May 1873, written by George W. Demaree: "--in about the year 1785, Capt. Daniel Banta, Cornelius Banta and John Banta St. followed the 'trace' leading from Harrod's Station in Mercer Co. to Hoagland's station, in what was afterwards Shelby CO., till within a few miles of the latter place where they boldly plunged into the wilderness and built a cabin about two miles northeast of Hoagland's station--" --"This was, beyond doubt, the first cabin built in the limits of the Dutch tract. It was constructed of blue ash logs, and was torn down but a few years ago, after having braved he storms for more than 80 winters. The Banta, while on their hunting expeditions, doubtless saw a considerable part of the tract of land afterwards purchased by the Dutch Company -- though hardly all of it, as it was no child's play to explore so vast a wilderness." ---

" The Bantas had enjoyed their novel position but a short time when one of those periodical storms of wrath burst in upon the frontier settlements, and they wisely retired to Hoagland's Station. This station was poorly manned and provisioned at the time, and was threatened daily with an attack from the redskins. So squally did the times become that the little garrison determined to send to Harrod's Station for re-inforcements, etc. Jake Banta, an officer of the fort (brother to the other Bantas) volunteered to perform the dangerous mission. The wilderness being full of prowling savages, he chose the darkness of the night to pass through the 'narrows' on the waters of Benson Creek, near where Hardinsville now is. But poor Jake never reached Harrod's Station. As he crept silently and all alone in the darkness of night through the dreaded 'narrows', the redskins pounced upon him from ambush and cleaved his skull with a tomahawk. They left Capt. Banta on the tragic spot with this own tomahawk buried in his skull as a token of their fierce vengeance. The loss of this brave man was deeply felt by the frontier settlement. As soon as the storm had subsided our three heroes, who had taken as active part in the exciting scenes with which they were surrounded, went back to Harrod's station fully satisfied that their attempt to take possession of an isolated wilderness was at the time premature. It can hardly be doubted that their good report of the excellent quality of these lands, carried back to the Dutch Company of which they constituted a part, led to the purchase and ultimate settlement of the same." ---

(from the same article) The writer remembers hearing the old folks talk of 'Shaker John Banta'." --- " -- and his researches have satisfied him that the Shaker Society of Kentucky had its origin in the limits of the Dutch Settlement, -- i.e. in Shelby Co., about the year A. D. 1804. The first Shaker meeting held in Kentucky, beyond doubt, was held at the house of John Banta., who was one of the original members of that sect in this State, hence the name Shaker John Banta. Some of the Voorhees and Montforts adopted the Shaker system at the same time." --- "The (Shaker doctrine) met with poor success however, with the mass of the community, hence John Banta and his few associates separated from them and returned to Mercer Co., and purchased the present site of Pleasant Hill. The result is familiar to everybody." (I don't know what this last sentence refers to.)

The Shaker Society was celibate, believed in visions, and was very strict. Their houses had solid partitions through the middle with no doors, with entrance by the women on one side and by men on the other. They had strict rules, called Millennial Laws, such as : it is Contrary to Order for brethren and sisters to milk together; to be in a room together without company; for a brother and sister to pass on the stairs; for a sister to go to the barn, wood house or road alone; to have right and left shoes; to read newspapers in a dwelling house at any time without the Elder's permission; to receive or write a letter without the Elder's perusal of it; to fold the left thumb over the right in prayer or when standing up to worship; and many more. Several of the Henry Banta descendants joined the Society, with some leaving later.

The Dutch community in Kentucky tried for several years to get the Low Dutch Reformed Church of New Brunswick to send them a Minister who could preach in both Dutch and English, with no success. Henry Banta was doing the preaching in the absence of such a man, and was known as "The Exhorter". He was one of the signers of several letters to the Church asking for a Minister. His son Albert Banta went so far as to join a Babtist Church, much to the dissatisfaction of the Dutch, who made him move some distance away from the Dutch community. He later moved to Preble CO., Ohio.

Henry Banta was the father of 21 children, and is said to have left a larger number of descendants than any other man in Kentucky. He made a will in 1799, leaving all of his possessions to his wife Anne, He died in 1805.

More About Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta:

  • Burial: Unknown, George Bergen farm, Shelby Co., Kentucky (first burial in the graveyard).
  • Occupation: Blacksmith.

More About Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta and Rachel Demerast Brower:

  • Marriage: August 12, 1738, Schraalenburgh, NJ, Dutch Reformed Church.

More About Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta and Antjin Demarest:

  • Marriage: January 21, 1750, New York Reformed Dutch Church, NYC.

Children of Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta and Rachel Demerast Brower are:

  • 1. Hendrick Banta, b. July 27, 1740, Hackensack, Bergen Co., New Jersey, d. 1778, York Co., Pennsylvania.
  • 2. Abraham Banta, b. April 18, 1742, Hackensack, Bergen Co., New Jersey, d. date unknown, Infancy.
  • 3. Leah Banta, b. January 15, 1744, Hackensack, Bergen Co., New Jersey, d. date unknown.
  • 4. Abraham Banta, b. July 07, 1745, Hackensack, Bergen Co., New Jersey, d. date unknown.
  • 5. +Albert Banta, b. April 20, 1747, Hackensack, Bergen Co., New Jersey, d. date unknown, Probably Preble Co., Ohio.
  • 6. Geertruid "Charity" Banta, b. December 03, 1749, Hackensack, Bergen Co., New Jersey, d. December 06, 1828, Kentucky.

Children of Hendrick Henrickse "Henry" Banta and Antjin Demarest are:

  • 1. +Rachel B Banta, b. December 19, 1751, NJ, d. date unknown.
  • 2. +Samuel Banta, b. June 13, 1753, Somerset Co., New Jersey, d. date unknown.
  • 3. +Pieter Banta, b. February 09, 1755, Somerset, New Jersey, d. May 11, 1832.
  • 4. +John Banta, b. September 1756, d. 1815.
  • 5. Cornelius Banta, b. 1758, Somerset Co., New Jersey, d. 1835.
  • 6. Daniel Banta, b. 1765, Somerset, New Jersey, d. December 15, 1827.
  • 7. Jacob Banta, b. Abt. 1760, Somerset, New Jersey, d. date unknown.
  • 8. Mary Banta, b. March 29, 1767, Somerset, New Jersey, d. December 16, 1844.
  • 9. Antje Banta, b. 1769, d. April 25, 1852.
  • 10. David Banta, b. 1772, d. 1845.
  • 11. Isaac Banta, b. 1773, Conewago, York CO., Pennsylvania, d. date unknown.
  • 12. Argenitie Banta, b. Abt. July 23, 1775, d. date unknown.
  • 13. +Hendrick Banta, b. March 01, 1778, Indian Springs, Indiana Co. Pennsylvania, d. February 28, 1854.
  • 14. Theodore Banta, b., NJ, d. date unknown.
  • 15. Unknown Banta, d. date unknown.

Hendrick Banta and Antie Demaree (sometimes listed as ANTJIN DEMAREST) are the great-great-great-grandparents of both Henry Roberts and Theresa Oakley who married on September 8, 1875. Henry and Theresa are the great-grand parents of Calvin E. Roberts, Jr.

They moved with the migration of the Conewago Colony to Conewago, PA. These settlers later moved to Kentucky. After his son and daughter-in-law died, Hendrick Sr. took their children to Kentucky with the colony. ('The Stryker Family in America')


Later named Henry. Moved from NJ to PA then to KY during D. Boone's time

Served Committee of Observation, York Co., PA
Married 1st Rachel Brewer on 12 Aug 1738 and 2nd Antjin Anna Demaree in 1751.
Hendrick "Father Henry" Banta, son of Hendrickse Banta and Goertje (Gertrude) Albertse Terhune, was born 9 Dec 1718 at Hacensack, Bergen County, NJ and died 14 Oct 1805 at George Bergen's farm [now the Dutch Tract Cemetery} in Shelby County, Kentucky (Henry County KY Historical Society).

He married Rachel Brewer (also spelled Brouwer) 12 Aug 1738 at the Dutch Reformed Church in Schraalenburgh, Bergen County, New Jersey. They had six children and Rachel died age 32 on 3 Dec 1749. Henry married second to Antjin "Annie" Demaree on 24 Jan 1751 in the Dutch Church in New York. They became parents of fifteen more children. Henry's oldest son, also named Hendrick, died of smallpox in 1740, and the daughter-in-law was killed less than a year later by a falling tree, leaving nine orphan children - the youngest only six months old. Their grandfather, Henry Banta and his second wife, Annie Demareee, raised those children too.

Henry and family moved from Bergen Co NJ to Somerset Co NJ, where he was an Elder of the church at Bedminster 25 Oct 1758.

Ten years later, Henry and Annie and their children moved with the Dutch group to Conewego Colony near present-day Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Henry was a leader in the Conewego group, and was elected a member of the York County Committee at a meeting 16 December 1774. The York and Berkeley co militias were among the first to respond to the call of the Continental Congress to march to Washington's aid at the siege of Boston in July 1774. The cabin where this large family lived, across the road from the Low Dutch Cemetery in the Conewago valley. is still inhabited in 2013.

There are several men named Henry Banta, but at the time of removal to Kentucky around 1780, this Hendrick "Father Henry" Banta was fathering twenty-one children, three of whom died in infancy. Five of Hendrick's twelve children were under 12 years of age. Five or six of his sons were married, two of whom, Samuel and Peterius, remained for awhile in Pennsylvania, as did his three married daughters. Henry's family, who accompanied him in this toilsome, dangerous journey of several months' duration, consisted of his wife and twelve children, five of whom were under twelve years of age, and nineteen grandchildren, almost all of whom were under twelve years of age. 

(much of this info is from "The Banta Genealogy" by T. M. Banta )
carolyn (#47319116)
∼Henry Banta was the father of twenty-one children, and is said to have left a larger number of descendants than any other man in Kentucky. Records indicate he was buried on George Bergen's farm in Shelby Co., being the frist burial in that graveyard. He was a member of the church at Hackensack in 1741. He removed from Bergen County to Somerset County, N.J., and was an Elder of the church at Bedminster, Oct. 25, 1758. The baptismal records of that church have not been perserved, but at least four of his children were borh while he was living in that county, whose date of birth can be determined. About ten years later, with a colony from New Jersey he removed to Conewago, York County, PA., near the present site of Gettysbury, and was a member of the church there at its formation. m. (1) Rachel Brower (d. about 1750) at Schraalenburgh, Aug. 12, 1738; children: HENDRICK bp. July 27, 1740, m. Maria Stryker; ABRAHAM b. April 18, 1742, died in infancy; LEAH b. Jan. 15, 1744, m. Jacobus Monfort. ABRAHAM b July 7, 1745, m. Margrieta Monfort. ALBERT b. April 20, 1747, m. Styntie Monfort. GEERTRUID b. Dec. 3, 1749, m. Frans Monfort. (2) ANTIE DEMAREST bp. Dec. 23, 1733. Children: RACHEL b. Dec. 19, 1751, m (1) Theodore Williamson; (2) Simon Van Arsdale. SAMUEL b. June 13, 1753. m. Dynn Dorland. PIETER b. Feb. 9, 1755. m. Elizabeth Cosijn. JOHN b. Sept., 1756, m. (1) Mary Magdalena Shuck Durle; (2) Agnes Shuck; (3) Nancy Van Nise. DANIEL fingagrave #6402744 b. 1765, m. Annie Shuck Durie. JACOB m. Catharine Voorees. MARY m. Henry Shively. ANT Name /a bp. Oct. 23, 1769, m. Barnett Rynierson. DAVID, bp May 31, 1771, m. Mary DeMott. ISAAC bp Aug. 24, 1773. ANGENITIE b. July 23, 1775, m. William Gordon. HENDRICK b. March 1, 1778. m. Molly Van Arsdall.* Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy: Aug 24 2022, 7:05:53 UTC

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Hendrick Banta, "The Exhorter"'s Timeline

December 9, 1718
Hackensack, Bergen County, Province of East Jersey
December 9, 1718
Hackensack, Bergen, New Jersey, United States
Age 19
July 27, 1740
Schraalenburgh, NJ, United States
Age 24
New Jersey
January 15, 1744
Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey
April 18, 1745
Hackensack, Bergen Co., NJ
April 20, 1747
Hackensack, Bergen County, Province of New Jersey
December 3, 1749
Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States