Friday, July 31, 2015

Holbrook line: Roger Mowry 1610-1666

There's so much information about Roger Mowery (Mowery, Mawry, etc.) that some of it has to be wrong.  He was born in London, or he was born in Brimpton, Dorset, England.  His parents were Thomas and Anne, or they were Thomas and Elizabeth.  He came to Massachusetts in 1628, or1630, or 1632.  Some of these statements may not be contradictory.  Obviously he had one birth place and one set of parents.  But he could have come to Massachusetts more than once.  "The Great Migraation Begins" gives a migration date of 1630 so that is close enough, and another source says he came with Gov. Winthrop's fleet in 1630.

When Roger came to America, he was first at Plymouth colony, at the same time as Roger Williams.  He then moved at about the same time as Roger Williams to Salem, a little north of what was then a very small Boston.  In fact, Salem, at the time, was used as a seaport more than Boston, and may have been a little larger.  If a record of his marriage exists, it's not well documented and some have suggested he may have married more than once.  This may be based on the idea that in late December, 1637, he was granted three quarters of an acre of marshland near Salem, and at that time had a household of five.  So he may have had children from an earlier marriage, or there may be more children than we know about, or he could have had relatives living with him.  At any rate, his recognized wife is Mary Johnson, daughter of John Johnson, and they were married by 1637, when the first of at least 11 children were born. 

Roger and Mary stayed in Salem for several years.  At least their first four children, Jonathan, Appia/Bethiah, Mary, and Elizabeth were born there, and it is likely that is where Nathaniel, Mehitable, John, Joseph and Benjamin were born, since Benjamin was baptized at Salem on May 20, 1649.  Thomas and Hannah were born at Providence, Rhode Island. 

There are suggestions in several writings that Roger Mowry and the famous Roger Williams were somehow related, but their friendship could just as easily have been based on religious beliefs.  At any rate, the two Rogers lived near to each other for much of their lives, and it seems reasonable to suppose that Roger Williams' religious teachings influenced those of Roger Mowry. 

We know that Roger was educated well enough that he could write his name, but beyond that we know nothing of his education.  He would have had land to farm, both in Salem and in Providence, as he was given or earned it by right of being a freeman and an early settler.  In addition, in Salem he was a "neat herd", which was an early form of "cow herd."  He was responsible for getting the town cattle to their pasture each morning and bringing them back each night, and probably for their safety during the day.  This would not have left much time for other activities.  He held this post for at least 5 years, from 1636 to 1641, but there is no further mention of that occupation.  We know he was on the Esses County petit Jury on January 24, 1641.

Sometime before July of 1652, the Mowry's had moved to Providence, Rhode Island.  Salem may have become too restrictive, or they may have missed the fellowship with the Williams family, or they may have moved for economic reasons.  He was an inn-keeper (which also means tavern-keeper) at Providence by 1653.  This home/business was standing as late as 1900, and was known as the Olney House.  (You can Google Roger Mowry tavern, Providence and find a fascinating story and picture of the building itself, and about how it was used when Roger owned it.  Good stuff!) 

Roger was a constable in Providence in 1655, one of six men chosen to hear cases in Providence by 1662, and frequently a Providence juryman.   This seems to be a rise in status from that of "neatherd".

Roger died in Providence January 5, 1666/7, possibly from smallpox.  His widow, Mary, married John Kingsley of Rehoboth, and when she died in January of 1678/9, she was buried at Rehoboth. His will and inventory did not survive King Philip's War, when all but five buildings in Providence were burned, the Tavern being one that was spared.

The line of descent is:

Roger Mowry-Mary Johnson
Nathaniel Mowry-Joanna Inman
Joanna Mowry-Walter Phettiplace
Sarah Phettiplace-Elisha Eddy
Enos Eddy-Sarah Brown
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Their descendents




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Allen line: John Steele 1591-1665 Immigrant

This immigrant ancestor is a little easier to trace than some.  John Steele was born to Richard Steele and an unknown wife on or about December 12, 1591 in Fairstead, Essex, England.  There is a later marriage of Richard Steele to Elizabeth Bredy in 1595 in the same location, so it may be that John's mother had died.  If this is the same Richard Steele, then John would have been raised by a step mother.  He had an older brother, George, but we don't know of any other siblings.

Fairstead is a very small village, and always has been, so this would have been a town where everyone knew everyone.  I've not located a church for the village but it is possible that there was one.  If not, the family would have had to travel four or five miles to a neighboring town such as Braintree, for church and probably for marketing needs.  Richard would have been a farmer, and possibly John also. 

The records, however, seem to indicate that one way or another John acquired an education, since some of the positions he held in Connecticut would have required more than just the basics.  He also seems to have been a man of good sense.

On October 10, 1622 in Fairsted, Essex, England, he married Rachel Talcott, the daughter of John Talcott and Anne Skinner.  The couple would go on to have 9 children together.  Four of them, John, Samuel, Daniel and Rachel, were born in England before the couple came to the new world.  "The Great Migration" states that John migrated in 1633, but it is only a guess that his family accompanied him at that time.  We do know that he became a freeman on May 14, 1634 at Cambridge, Massacushouetts, so he would have been a member of the church there before that.

(Note:  An 1862 Genealogical History of John and George Steele states that John with his wife Rachel and Samuel, John, and Hannah, came in 1630 and that he was first at Dorchester, before being one of the proprietors of Cambridge (Newtown) in 1632.  This may be based upon the above names being listed as on board the ship Lyon, and arriving in Salem in 1630. So we may be missing a few years of John Steele's history.)

At any rate, he was here early and was appointed the Massachusetts Bay commissioner for new settlements on the Connecticut River on Maarch 3,1635/6.  He is listed as one of the founders of Hartford, Ct. and the Steele genealogy referred to earlier states that he led the pioneer band of settlers there in 1635, arriving at the onset of winter, and that Rev. Hooker and the rest of the company came in 1636. John had acquired several plots of land in Cambridge and he sold them to Richard Bradish just before making the move to Hartford.

He was quite active in Hartford politics, being appointed the recorder in 1640 and for 20 years thereafter.  He was also the recorder for Farmington,  He was a representative to the colony court for 23 years and was present for at least 88 of its sessions.  He was also active in his church and as the head of his large family.

The Steele family moved to and helped found the town of Farmington, Ct in 1645.  There Rachel died on October 24, 1653.  A little over 2 years later, John Steele married again, to Mercy Ruscoe Seymour.  They had no children, but they did have a marriage that lasted 9 years and he called her his "dear and loving wife" in his will. 

John Steele died at Farmington February 27, 1664/65.  His will left his home and appurtenances to his wife for the rest of her life, and then land mostly to his sons and sons-in-law.  He made token bequests to his grandchildren, and a piece of gold to his two daughters.  He had a few books in his home when he died, and 2 Bibles, and two quires of writing paper. 

The line of descent is:

John Steele-Rachel Talcott
Lydia Steele-John Bird
Rebecca Bird-Samuel Lamb
Samuel Lamb-Martha Stebbins
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

I've loved writing this post.  I had very little about John Steele in my files, but there is a lot of information on-line, as it turns out.  I particularly recommend "The Great Migration Begins" by Robert Charles Anderson as a starting place.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Harshbarger line: Anna Maria Geis or Geise died 1813

This will be a short post.  We know nothing about her, except that she married Daniel Kramer in Pennsylvania about 1765 and that she had 12 children.  We have a death year, but no date, of 1813 in Haines, Centre County, Pa.  That's what we know about Anna Maria.

In looking at the trees that are on line, I think there is probably an error.  "Everyone" is listing her as born in 1755, yet her children were born starting in 1766.  It seems more likely that she was born sometime between 1745 (or perhaps earlier) and 1750.  So she was likely born in Pennsylvania before records were kept or survived, or in Germany and came as a young child.  For instance, the ship "Samuel" from Rotterdam in 1737 carried a Johann George Geis who was 28 years old.  This particular manifest seems to list only men, but it is likely there were women on board, too.  I'm only suggesting that this or another Mr. Geis may have brought children with him who were undocumented upon their arrival.  Or, again, she may have been born in Pennsylvania.  We don't even know for sure that this was a German family, but I've not found evidence of a family of that name from any other country, in that time period.

The names of two of her sons who don't seem to be named for the father's line were Johann Jacob and Johann Philip.  One of those names may someday provide a clue.  Perhaps one is a father or a grandfather's name. 

For the moment, my research for her parents and siblings is at a stand still but I hope that by writing this post someone may see it and have some information they'd be willing to share.  At the very least, I hope this alerts someone searching for Anna Maria that her birthday is likely not 1755! 

The line of descent is:

Daniel Kramer-Anna Maria Geis
Anna Maria Kramer-Andrew Kepler
Mary Kepler-George Harshbarger
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Monday, July 20, 2015

Beeks line: Thomas Butterfield 1665-1731

I sure am puzzled about Thomas.  So far I have been able to find very little about him.  He was born in 1665 in Balidon, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, or possibly in 1670.  The 1670 date may be a christening date.  His parents were John Butterfield, noted as "the younger" and possibly Elizabeth.

That is as much as we know about his early life.  We don't know for sure when he immigrated to the New World.  The one reference I have found so far is a Thomas Butterfield who came to Maryland in 1681.  If this is our Thomas, he would have been quite young, and possibly came either to join relatives or as an indentured servant. (This is pure speculation  As I said, I've found nothing.) The puzzling thing about the Maryland arrival is that he is soon found in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he lived out the rest of his life, so the Maryland Thomas may or may not be ours.

Thomas was a bricklayer/mason by profession, so he probably served an apprenticeship somewhere, whether as an indentured servant or in the traditional apprenticeship fashion.  There would have been plenty of work for him in Chester County as the area was new and many stone homes were being built.  He seems to have felt stable enough financially to get married in the  1690's, to a woman named Mary (sometimes identified as Mary Taylor, although I've never seen documentation for that.)

Mary was baptized as an adult at St Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church in Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1704.  By now, Thomas and Mary had several children, including Sarah, John, Rachel and Barshebe.  Dinah was born in 1705, and there may have been two additional sons. 

Thomas purchased 150 acres of land in Upper Providence Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1697/8  The land was a wooded area on Ridley Creek, and would have provided much of what a family would need to survive and perhaps thrive.  Income from the masonry work probably filled in whatever was missing. 

We can imagine that Thomas and Mary worked hard and led a devout life, although Thomas had a few brushes with the law.  It was nothing serious, and he seems to have always been at least partly in the right.  Thomas must have been respected because not only was he a constable, he was also one of the founders of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church, and was listed as one of those who appointed vestrymen and wardens for the church.

Thomas died in 1731 in Upper Providence, Chester County, Pa., apparently without leaving a will.  He was 66 years old.  We don't know when Mary died. 

I'd sure like to know more about the Butterfield family in Balidon, England.  I found a reference that showed there were still Butterfields there, so it's possible they are distant cousins.  I'd like to know about John and his wife, and whether John "the younger" is the son of another John, "the older". (It doesn't necessarily follow that the younger is the son of the older; John the older could be an uncle or a cousin or a grandfather.)

The line of descent is:

Thomas Butterfield-Mary
Sarah Butterfield-Morris Rees
Hannah Rees-Thomas Rees
Solomon Rees-Anna
Owen T Rees-Margaret Moon
Eliza Rees-Samuel G Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Holbrook line: Happy dance for another find!

You never know what you don't know, until you find out you don't know it...That's one of the joys of studying family history.  I love to get pieces of information that I didn't even know I was missing.  Yesterday I found the following article on Newspapers.com, from the Chicago Heights Star of July 13, 1951, on page 105.  (This was a commemorative, anniversary issue of the newspaper.) 

"Holbrook Grew From Purchase of 1,000 Acres.

"One of the most progressive small communities in the South Cook area is the subdivision known as Holbrook, lying north of 195th street between Morgan and Halsted streets.

"The property comprising the unincorporated community originally was owned by Joseph Rockwood Holbrook, who purchased 1,000 acres of land from the government at $1.25 an acre in 1841, only a few years after the first settlers moved into this area.

"Subdivision came at a much later date, in 1907, when Fremont Holbrook, a son of the pioneer farmer, divided up 40 acres of the tract into lots. 

"The elder Holbrook's original home was a sod house located on the road now known as 193rd street just east of Halstead.  This early structure was replaced by a log cabin and still later by a frame farm home which became the "old homestead."

"Razed by Fire.

"The frame building, located at the corner of Holbrook road and Halsted street, was destroyed by fire approximately ten years ago.

"A frame house on Holbrook road built by Fremont Holbrook now is occupied by the Lester Brown family and a second brick residence built by the same member of the Holbrook family aat 193rd place and Peoria street houses Mrs. T.R. McElwee and her son..."

This greatly expands my understanding of the Holbrook family in southern Cook county, Illinois.  I had some of the land warrants for Joseph but I can see I need to go back and find more.  I knew he had built a log cabin where Fremont was born, but I didn't know that a sod house had come first.  I didn't know what kind of home they moved to when the family left the log cabin, either.  Now that I know the building was standing until 1941, I wonder if there might be pictures somewhere.

I knew Fremont was a real estate developer, but I didn't know exactly what he had "developed".  Now I can go to Google Earth and see what the land and buildings look like now, and perhaps even see one of the other buildings mentioned in the article, if they are still standing.

And most of all, I can do a happy dance, because of this new-to-me information about my great great grandfather and his son, my great grandfather.

Hint:  I had checked Newspapers.com before for these men, and had made some memorable finds.  I didn't locate this article earlier because my time span was too short.  This information was in an issue 25 years after the death of my great grandfather!  Moral:  Always check more than once, and always check later than you expect to find something.

The line of descent is:

Joseph Rockwood Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Allen line: Hugh Calkins, Immigrant, about 1599-1690

We know a little more about Hugh Calkins than about some of our other immigrant ancestors.  Research done by Mr. Roy Edwards in 1998 finally pinpointed his parents' marriage and his christening date.  Since they were both in the same location, we are taking Waverton, Cheshire, England, as his hometown, although it is possible that they lived on a farm or in a village even smaller than Waverton.  At any rate, the records show that Waverton was an important place in their lives.  This area is to the east of the northern part of Wales, so it is not surprising that for a long time it was believed that Hugh was from Wales.

Hugh was the son of Rowland and Ellen Payne Calkin, who were married June 23, 1597 at St. Oswald church in Chester. .  He was christened on April 8,1603 at St Peter in Waverton.  Brothers William, Hugh, and Peter were baptized there, too. 

We don't know his parent's occupation, nor his, but this area has been known for dairy and for sheep raising, so it's possible that Rowland, and later Hugh, were involved in farming, at least to some extent.  We don't know when Hugh married, or to whom, although her name is frequently given as Ann, or Sarah Ann, Eaton.  Since marriages frequently took place in the bride's church, it is possible that the records still exist somewhere, but they don't seem to be at Waverton.  It's estimated that the marriage took place sometime around 1626, since their first known child was born in 1627.

We also don't know when Hugh and Ann became "non-conformists."  Were they born into non-conforming families, or did they all become non-conforming over time, or were Hugh and Ann "breakaways" from the family religion?  We don't know the answer to that yet, either, but we do know they were non-conformists; one source even terms Hugh "radical".  It is believed that Hugh and Ann and their children came to America about 1640, since daughter Deborah was buried at Waverton  October 4, 1639.  It's possible that Hugh had come earlier and that Ann stayed behind to deliver and then bury their child.  They traveled with Rev. Richard Blinman once they were here, so perhaps they came as part of his congregation in 1640.  

Hugh and Ann's children were  Sarah, Mary, Rebecca, Deborah  John, David, and Deborah again.  There may also have been a daughter Susan.  David and the second Deborah were born in Massachusetts, after the family arrived here.  Hugh and family settled first at Green's Harbor in  Plymouth Colony, but soon moved to Gloucester with Mr. Blinman. We don't know the whole story, but there was some sort of religious dissension involving his minister and others.  He was made a freeman Dec. 27, 1642 at Gloucester, so he owned at least a modest amount of property by then.  He was a selectman 1643-1648, and then moved to New London, Connecticut, about 1650, again with Rev. Blinman.  He was a selectman and representative there, and was also a town clerk.  In 1662 he moved to what would become Norwich, leaving some of his daughters in New London.  In Norwich he was the first deacon of the church, and a representative in 1663-1664.  He died in 1690,  at the age of ninety years. He and son John are listed as founders of Norwich, so the land was wilderness when they arrived. 

There is a Calkins Family Association with their own website that has most of this information, and I recommend that you "google" for it and enjoy all the work that has gone into that site.  I am so grateful that this work has been done so that we can enjoy knowing a little about our immigrant ancestor.

The line of descent is:
Hugh Calkins-Ann possibly Eaton
Deborah Calkins-Jonathan Royce
John Royce-Sarah Perrigo
Moses Royce-Hannah
John Royce-Hannah Bellamy
Elizabeth Royce-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Friday, July 10, 2015

Harshbarger line: Peter Jacob Fehler died 1753

Peter Jacob Fehler is the last immigrant in the Harshbarger line to write about, unless of course, someone breaks down any of several brick walls in this line.  There is discouragingly little to write about the man, but we know enough about the life of the people he lived near to at least have an idea of how he lived.

We don't know where he came from, or when he immigrated, or even the year of his birth.  Many internet sources give his birthdate as 1708, with anywhere from Berks County to Adams County, Pa to Germany as the location.  Most Fehler families seem to have come from southern Germany or possibly Switzerland, but that is as much of a hint as we have at this point.  It is possible that he was part of the  emigration from Queen Anne's offer to assist the many Germans who were in danger of starvation at Rotterdam, since many familiar names are on the list of settlers who came through the Schoharie, N.Y. route.  It's possible that he took the more traditional route to Pennsylvania, from Rotterdam to Philadelphia, and we just haven't located his nameon a ship list  yet. 

We do know that he was in Oley Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania when he married Maria Otilia Weiler on May 2, 1732.  The record-keeping Rev. John Casper Stoever performed the ceremony, and he also baptized their children.  At least three children were born to the couple and there were some additional children identified as the children of Jacob, but it's not clear whether this was Peter Jacob or Jacob. 

The next we hear of Peter Jacob is his death, in 1753, in Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pa.  He had apparently moved there some time prior to 1742, when it would have been very much frontier area.  If he was born in 1708, then he lived only 45 years, but they would have been exciting years. Despite the hardships of immigration, learning to live in America, the threat of Indian hostilities, the wild animals such as wolves, bear, and panthers, and the constant fear of crop losses due to weather, Indians, or other causes, he persevered, married and raised a family, was faithful to his church, and left a legacy to his family, whether he owned property or not. 

There is much more I'd like to know about this German (?) immigrant, but I'm glad we have even these glimpses of him.  It should be considered an honor to descend from pioneer German immigrants.  It would be a privilege to learn more about him.

The line of descent is

Peter Jacob Fehler-Marie Otilia Weiler
Jacob Fehler-Anna Margaretha Lowenguth
John Jacob Fehler-Anna Eva Behney
Christina Elizabeth Fehler-John (Johannes) Harshbarger
George Harshbarger-Mary Kepler
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents