Was born in New Jersey, and after the close of the Revolutionary war, emigrated to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. His ancestors were from Holland. In 1816 he came to Clearcreek Township, Richland (now Ashland ) County, and located on section thirty-five, where he deceased, in 1817, aged about fifty years. He had been a neighbor to the Baileys and Brytes in Westmoreland county, and was induced to settle in the wilds of Clearcreek because of their emigration to that region.A brother in-law, Archibald Gardner, located in Mifflin, on the present site of Windsor, in the spring of 1811, and forted at Ream's in 1812. Mr. Van Nordstrand's sons were: John, who subsequently removed to, and deceased, in Iowa ; Isaac, who also located in Iowa, Peter, who continues to reside in Clearcreek Township. The daughters were : Elizabeth, wife of Abraham Bebout ; Anna, wife of Wiliam Andrews ; Rachel, wife of David Urie ; Effie, wife of Alexander McCready ; Eleanor, wife of James McCool ; Margaretwife of Michael Shoup ; Mary wife of David Bryte, and Sarah, wife of John Mykrants.Peter married Nancy Shaw, and is now about seventy two years of age.He states that when his father landed in Clearcreek, there were but eight or ten families in the Township. The first school-house in his part of the township was a little log cabin of round logs, erected on the farm of the late Abraham Huffman, in 1817. The children of the following househorders attended, Mr. Robert Nelson being the first teacher: Abraham Huffman, John Brown, Andrew Stevison, Robert Ralston, Window Trickle, David McKinny, Rev. William Matthews, Levi and Thomas Brink, Widow Mary Van Nordstrand, and the children of Robert Nelson. The country was in its primitive condition, game was plenty, and the Indians from Sandusky hunted annually in the forest of Clearcreek for a number of years after the arrival of the first settlers. They were harmless, and rarely visited the cabins of the pioneers, except when they were driven to do so from pinching hunger.Peter Van Nordstrand, jr. occupied the old homestead until about 1872, when his wife deceased. He is now residing with a son in-law. He has been an exemplary member of the Christian church for over thirty years. It is rarely that men, in a single community, witness the changes that have taken place within this county in the last sixty years. From an almoust unbroken forest, the hills and valleys of this county have been reduced to cultivation, and every township teams with abundance. Schools, villages, and towns have sprung into being as if by magic. From a few hundred the inhabitants of the county have multiplied until our population reaches over twenty three thousand. The Indians that roamed over the hills and along the fertile valleys of this county, has long gone since removed to the far west, and his race will, ere long, become extint.
contributed and transcibed by Russ Shopbell firstname.lastname@example.org