Mary Flack1,2,3

(circa 1745 - after 1795)

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Relationship5th great-grandmother of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Tracy
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Tracy Family Pedigree
Our Descent From Lt. Thomas Tracy of Norwich Connecticut

Some Background

Mary is the name given for the wife of Jonathan Tracy in a 1787 deed for the sale of property in Orange Co., New Jersey.
     As to Mary's surname... The second source cited for this Background entry is the first and, to date, the only place in any of the genealogies found for any Tracy or associated family, published or online, where Jonathan's wife is shown to be the daughter of a Flack family. (And it, itself, has become the source for many of the family trees found online, though seldom given credit.) The great-aunt of that source's author made reference to the Flack name and lacking contradictory evidence he included it in his Tracy Family line. Numerous other family genealogies have been published with evidence far slimmer than this.
     After several years of detailed research, nothing has appeared in any vital records, family histories, local histories, family letters or documents, or any other of the usual sources, confirming or supporting such a Tracy/Flack marriage. Of course, this also means that there is nothing to refute this marriage. Nonetheless, research has not turned up a Flack Family (or variations on that family name - see below) living in close (or even in near) proximity to Jonathan Tracy, in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania.
     The majority of families in the American Colonies bearing the name "Flack," and its variations, appear to have come from Germany, Switzerland, or Holland.
     "The family name Flick seems to have come from the Old German Flacco or Flecco. The German variations are Flack, Flak, Fleck, Flick, Fleek, Flock, Flook, Fluck, Flück, Fluch, Flüch, Flicker, Flickiger, Flickinger and Flickwir. Van Vleck may have been a Dutch spelling. The Anglo-Saxon form was Flagg and the modern English Flagg, Flegg, and Flack. The French variations are Flec, Fleck, Flick, Flicky and Flieg."
     Alexander C. Flick, LITT.D. "Captain Gerlack Paul Flick, Pennsylvania Pioneer." Excerpted and reprinted from The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. LII (1929), 230-268 : Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families. Baltimore: 1981

     Emphasis has been added above - as it should be noted that Jonathan Tracy had dealings with members of the Dutch community living in the Minisink Valley, New York (and Sussex County, Province of New Jersey)... in 1786, one year before he sold his property in Goshen, Jonathan co-wittnessed the will of Johannis Dacker (Decker) signing along with one Jacobus Van Fliet - not too far a stretch from "Fliet" to "Flack?"
     Apparently a few Flack families may have also emigrated from Ireland, Scotland or England. This Flack daughter could be the source for the idea put forward in some 19th century biographies that the decendants of Jonathan were of "Scotch" parentage.
     To date, the surname of Jonathan Tracy's wife, Mary, is apparently unknown with any certainty. But, lacking better evidence, we will assume Jonathan's wife was Mary Flack and the family name of "Flack" is used in this genealogy temporarily as a filler... hopefully it will turn out to be actual fact and so become permanent.
     Research is continuing...4,3,5

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildMary Flack was born circa 1745. Based on presumed husband's birth date of 1742.
BrideMary Flack married Jonathan Tracy, son of Christopher Tracy and Elizabeth Tyler, circa 1766.
     A 1787 deed of sale mentions Jonathan Tracy and "his wife Mary." There is uncertainty about Mary's surname, "Flack". No Flack family has been found in any of the areas where Jonathan is known to have been living around 1766.
     Jonathan and Mary probably married in New Jersey or New York... or possibly, but not likely, in Connecticut or Pennsylvania.6,7
DeceasedShe died after 1795 in Steuben Co., New York. Jonathan transferred title to 140 acres of land to his son Solomon Tracy for the token price of 5 pounds New York Currency... "Reserving the use and Benefit of the above granted Premises untill the Discease of his Mother." This parcel, located between that of Solomon's brother, Isaac Tracy, and that of Asa Comstock, no doubt was the location of the family home of Jonathan and Mary Tracy.8

Children with Jonathan Tracy:

  • Christopher Tracy+ (c. 1767 - )
  • Henry Tracy+ (5 Jul 1769 - 10 Jul 1846); Mary is the name given for the wife of Jonathan Tracy in a 1787 deed for the sale of property in Orange Co., New Jersey. Another source for the wife of Jonathan, and presumably the mother of Henry, is an online genealogy for this Tracy family in which Jonathan's wife is shown to be the daughter of a Flack family. So quite possibly Jonathan's wife and Henry's mother was Mary Flack.11
  • Jonathan Tracy Jr.+ (7 Nov 1772 - 18 Dec 1855)
  • Isaac Tracy+ (25 May 1775 - 1850)
  • Solomon Tracy (1778 - )
  • Louisa (Lois) Tracy+ (c. 1780 - 17 Dec 1857)

Land and Property

Property TransferMary Tracy and Jonathan Tracy sold their property in Wantage, Orange Co., New York, on 17 March 1787. This was the 57 +/- acres which was, "lying near the West Branch of the Wallkill called then Mudkill...," that Jonathan had purchased from Bryan Hammel, of Wantage, and Blandinah his wife in 1772, for the sum of Ninety six pound, Twelve Shillings proclamation Money of New Jersey. He was now selling it to James and Helene Clark, witnesses to the original purchase deed, for "One Hundred and Sixty pounds York money...." , (Presumably at a profit? He did withold one half of the mineral rights in the deed of sale.) The land when purchased was located in Sussex Co., in the Eastern district of the Province of New Jersey... but when sold was in Orange Co., the State of New York. The dispute over the boundary line between the provinces had been settled in 1773... moving New York's border south of Wantage. (And the outcome of the Revolutionary War changed the country - and the type of money used.) The deed was "Signed, Sealed and Delivered" by both Jonathan and his wife Mary (the first and so far the only place where the name of his wife is given). It was witnessed by Samuel Vanfleet and Ebenezer W. Mead and recorded on 21 December 1787.4

Residences and Censuses

Mary Tracywas probably one of the three females listed in the household of her husband, Jonathan Tracy, in the 1790 Federal Census of Chemung Town, Montgomery Co., New York.9
She appeared on the 1800 Federal Census of Middletown, Steuben Co., New York, The return shows: Free White Males = 1 >10yrs, 1 btwn 16 & 26yrs, 1 btwn 26 & 45yrs; Free White Females = 1 btwn 10 and 16yrs, 1 over 45yrs;
     This enumeration for the family of A Jonathan Tracy has no entry in the Free White Males over 45yrs category (Jonathan was 58 yrs old in 1800 and is known to have been alive in 1803) so unless the enumerator made an error this census entry is unlikely to be for "our" Jonathan Sr.... Nor, aside from the Free White Female (FWF) over 45, who could represent Jonathan Sr.'s spouse Mary, are any of the ages consistent with the rest of his family.
     The ages in Jonathan Jr.'s family are not at all consistent with the entries on this census either... since the oldest FWM entry is in the 26yrs to 45yrs category and since, being 29 yrs old, Jonathan Jr. was in that age grouping it could be suggested that this might be the enumeration for Jonathan Jr.'s household.
     But... the younger FWF is at most 16 years old and, and while not impossible, it is unlikely that this would be the wife - fourteen years younger - of the head of the household, if that head is Jonathan, Jr.. On the other hand, if it represents a daughter, the head of the household would have been only between 13 years and 19 years old when she was born, again unlikely though not impossible.
     And the FWF over 45yrs is much more likely to be the mother of someone rather than the wife head of the household... unless she was the head of the household... but the head of the household is named Jonathan... ???10

Sources - Citations

  1. Mary is the name given for the wife of Jonathan Tracy in a 1787 deed for the sale of property in Orange Co., New Jersey. Mary signed her name to that document, so she was able to write - at least her name.
    To date, the surname of the wife, Mary (b. circa 1745), of Jonathan Tracy (b. 1742) is apparently unknown with any certainty. The family name of "Flack" is used here, temporarily as a filler... based on an online family tree. Work is going on to find support for this name. Numerous other family genealogies have been published with evidence far slimmer than this.
  2. [S439] Orange County - Deeds Book C-D: Provides the name "Mary" for Jonathan Tracy's wife. vol. D, years 1764-1790, pg. 338; Deed Recorded 21 December 1787, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  3. [S149] Mike Cattin - Compiler, online at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=AHN&db=mdcattin&id=I2231 (RootsWeb's World Connect Project GEDCOMs), downloaded 23 Jan 2006.
  4. [S439] Orange County Deeds Book C-D: vol. D, years 1764-1790, pg. 338; Deed Recorded 21 December 1787, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy.
  5. [S418] Josiah Morrow, History of Brown County Ohio (Chicago: W.H.Beers & Co., 1883), pg. 44, biographical sketch for Francis M. Tracy, son of Ira, son of Henry.
  6. [S439] Orange County Deeds Book C-D: mentions Jonathan Tracy and "his wife Mary.", Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy.
  7. [S426] Mike Cattin - Compiler, "The Cattin Family - Jonathan - 1742", 2 February 2001 (Prepared 28 Oct 2000) (RootsWeb's World Connect Project). GEDCOM; e-mail address
    Local File Reference: TRA-GEN-169
    Apparently Mike's sources for ancestry of Johanthan back through Jonathan's father, Christopher, to Lt. Thomas Tracy are: Abbey's Tracy Genealogy, IGI, and the Ancestral File... both of these last are from the LDS. Care should be taken regarding information about the family of Jonathan Tracy (1742) is full of inaccuaracies... The data before and after that particular family seems to be okay., first appearance of the name FLACK.
  8. [S440] Steuben County - Deeds vols. 1-3: Liber 3, pg. 10; makes reference to the mother of Solomon still being living, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  9. [S334] Jonathan Tracy household, 1790 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., New York, Chemung, page 80, line no. 20; Washington: National Archives. Originally viewed and transcribed by SCT, 16 Oct 1998, at National Archives, Washington D.C., Series M637, Roll#6.
  10. [S433] Jonathan Tracy household, 1800 U.S. Census, Steuben Co., New York, Middletown, page 200-201 (bottom of page), line 2; Washington: National Archives. Originally viewed 16 Oct 1998, at National Archives, Washington D.C., Series M32, Roll#24; Entries at top of filmed page are for Lindley, Steuben Co., NY, this census must be for Jonathan, Jr., b 1771, as if it was for his father there would have been an entry in the category for Free White Males 45 and over.
  11. [S426] Mike Cattin - Compiler, "The Cattin Family - Jonathan - 1742", GEDCOM; e-mail address
    Local File Reference: TRA-GEN-169
    Apparently Mike's sources for ancestry of Johanthan back through Jonathan's father, Christopher, to Lt. Thomas Tracy are: Abbey's Tracy Genealogy, IGI, and the Ancestral File... both of these last are from the LDS. Care should be taken regarding information about the family of Jonathan Tracy (1742) is full of inaccuaracies... The data before and after that particular family seems to be okay.
Last Edited8 Dec 2017

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