Friday, December 19, 2014

Harshbarger line: Grover Harshbarger and the Spanish Influenza

Grover Harshbarger enlisted in the US Army on February 29, 1918 and was sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for his initital training. This was during the time period that troops were being rushed through training and sent overseas as quickly as possible, to fight in France and Germany primarily, in what became known as World War I.  Of course, these men didn't know that. They thought they were fighting "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars."  Because he enlisted rather than waiting to be drafted, Grover, along with three other Whitley County men, was allowed to choose to serve in the Land Signal Corps.  We know that this included weather observers, radiotelephone operators, and other communication services, but we don't know what he was being trained to do.

After basic training at Fort Leavenworth, he was transferred to Camp Lejeune, NC. He was nearing completion of his specialized training when he was attacked by an enemy on this side of the ocean,  the Spanish influenza.  The camp suffered an epidemic and Grover was one of the soldiers who fell ill.  It was a very serious illness. Millions of people world wide died from it, and many soldiers died, too.  Many of those Army members who survived were ill too long, and weakened too much, to be returned to their units, and so they were discharged.  Grover was discharged on July 29, 1918, and we know it took several months for him to regain his strength.  Fortunately his parents were both still living, so he returned home to Whitley County, Indiana and his parents, Emmanuel  and Clara Harter Harshbarger, took care of him until he could take care of himself.

This is a hard post for me to write, because I could have written a better one if I had taken advantage of the opportunities I had. I remember talking with Grover about his military service, and I remember that he was proud of what he had done and sorry he couldn't go to the European theater with his unit.  I wish I had asked him more questions, taken notes, and had a real story to tell here.  Grover was good at telling stories so I must have been a poor listener.  

Regardless, I wanted to write what I do remember so his descendents will know at least this much.  The only documentation I have for this post is from the US Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, which gives his enlistment date and his release date, and an article in The Fort Wayne Sentinel, dated Monday, February 25, 1918.

If you have an older person in your family who served in the military, and you will see them over this holiday season, I encourage you to learn their story (record it if possible) and then write it down and let others in your family have copies.  Then you won't have to write a blog post from 35 year old memories.

The line of descent is:

Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beeks line: Charles Booth c 1682-1714

This will be another short post, because I can find very little information about Charles. He may or may not be the original immigrant. Possibly he came to the New World with his parents, or was born shortly after arrival here.  We don't know who his parents were.  I have a possible, undocumented name of William for his father but am unable to locate any further information.  It is quite possible that this was a Quaker family, but records haven't been located to prove that, either.

The first thing we really know about Charles is that he was indentured to Richard Woodworth as a mason, for 5 years, on April 1, 1695.  Boys were generally indentured at the age of 12 or 13, so this gives an approximate age for Charles. He could have been older, and may have been indentured to pay for his passage to the New World, but the length of the indentureship tends to lean toward the younger age.  The Woodworth family was Quaker, and was from Acton Parish, Cheshire England. This area should be searched for any possible relationship between the Woodworth and Booth families in England. Ten years later, when Charles had served his indentureship and presumably begun to save some money, he married Mary Elizabeth Conaway or Conway, per the Chester Monthly Meeting Minutes.  This was a Quaker marriage, so it would have been a very simple event, probably occurring after a regular meeting.

We don't know very much about the rest of Charles' life, either.  His four children were born in Chester County, and there is a possibility that a fifth child may have been born in Maryland, but this is unconfirmed. His four known children were Elizabeth, Mary, Lydia, and Jonathan. The possible fifth child is Thomas.  He doesn't really "fit" the information we have since Charles married and died in Chester County, Pa, but I wanted to list Thomas as a possibility.  Perhaps the information that he was born in Maryland is not correct, or perhaps this is a case of wandering state boundaries.  We can believe that he was a respected man in his community for we find his name on a list of constables in 1708 and 1709. On both lists, he is reported as being in Upper Providence, Chester County, Pa.

Charles died about January 12, 1714 (possibly 1713) in Upper Providence, Chester County, Pa.  Mary remarried in 1720 and may have died about 1746.  

I know there are other families who are looking for more information about Charles so perhaps someday more information will be available. For now, this is what I have so I'm adding it to the Beeks line information, meager as it is.  I will add more information as I find it.  I'm hoping there is more information in Quaker records and perhaps in Cheshire County, England. 

The line of descent is:

Charles Booth-Mary Elizabeth Conway
Lydia Booth-Isaac Malin
Sarah Malin-David Ruble
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Friday, December 12, 2014

Allen line: Thomas Lamb, another immigrant ancestor

Thomas Lamb (Lambe) is another of our immigrant ancestors.  Although much is known about him, there are still some questions, because what would family history be without unanswered questions?  (One answer might be "finished!", but we are not anything close to being there yet.)

Thomas Lamb was born in Barnardiston, Suffolk, England in 1596 to Thomas and Elizabeth Aylett Lamb. He had two brothers, Edward and Samuel.  The next time we hear of our Thomas, he and his wife Elizabeth (possibly the widow Smith who married a Thomas Lambe in Shropshire, England in 1621, but that is still unproven) and at least two sons are in the Winthrop Fleet coming to the New World.  Thomas was a merchant, and also a Puritan, since he came in that fleet.

Thomas Lamb was one of the founders of Roxbury, receiving 18 acres of land there, between the Meeting House and the Stony River. His neighbors included John Johnson and Isaac Heath.  He took the oath of the general court on May 18, 1631 and became a freeman on October 19, 1631.  He was also one of the founders of the first church at Roxbury.

Thomas and Elizabeth had several children after arriving in Roxbury.  John and Thomas had come with them, and Samuel was born about a month after their arrival in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their other children were Decline, Abiel, and Benjamin.  Elizabeth died during or just following the birth of Benjamin in 1639, and Thomas married Dorothy Harbittle soon after.  He needed a stepmother for all those children, and Dorothy appears to have been a good one. She also gave Thomas more children. 

It's unclear whether he acted as a merchant at Roxbury, but by 1633 he was opening the first quarry in New England, on the island of Squantom in Boston Harbor. There are additional reports about land acquisitions up until his death on March 28, 1646 of a "grate colde".  I would guess this was pneumonia.  His inventory at the time of his death was 112 pounds, 8 shillings, 8 pence, which didn't include the land he owned.  There was trouble with the estate, and it appears that there were still court proceedings in 1698, trying to prove who owned land that was contested between the Lamb descendents and those of Dorothy Harbittle's second husband, Thomas Hawley. 

I of course would like to know more about Thomas's life in England. How did he become a merchant, or was that designation given to him only in Massachusetts?  With his father dead when Thomas was just three years old, who cared for him and got him started in life?  Was it his mother's family, or a paternal uncle?  And when and how did he become a Puritan? 

Our line of descent is:

Thomas Lamb-Elizabeth
John Lamb-Joanna Chapin
Samuel Lamb-Rebecca Bird
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 W Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holbrook line: A warning about my previous post about Thomas Judd

I was contacted by a reader (yes, I actually had a reader!) who questioned my previous post about Thomas Judd. She wasn't upset with what I said about Thomas Judd, but she wondered about having Eunice Southwell in his family line.  I stated that Eunice Southwell was the daughter of Ebenezer Southwell and Elizabeth Judd. She believes that Eunice Southwell is the daughter of Enoch Southwell, so I started searching my records. Unfortunately, I have very little to support my statement, as it turns out.

I have listed Eunice Southwell as having been born in 1738 in Suffield, Connecticut.  If this is correct, then she is possibly Ebenezer's daughter, as I find him in 1747 and 1748 serving on military expeditions from Suffield.  But, the Pomeroys, the family Eunice married into, were from Northampton, Massachusetts.  Enoch and Ebenezer Southwell were both born there to William Southwell, Enoch in 1700 and Ebenezer in 1693/1694.  Enoch is listed as the father of Eunice who was born in 1735.  This is a different date and location for my Eunice, or is my Eunice a figment of someone's imagination?  I cannot find a birth record for her in Connecticut, or elsewhere, as Ebenezer's daughter. 

So, have I been hoodwinked?  For the time being, I think I don't know what I know, or think.  Were there two Eunice Southwell's, or only one?  Should I delete the portion of my tree that shows Ebenezer and Elizabeth Judd as Eunice's parents?  I think for the time being, I'm going to change the tree to show the parents as "poss", which is my shorthand for possibly.  I urge anyone to take my Thomas Judd post with a grain or ten of salt, while I try to find more information.  I would love to find wills for Enoch and for Ebenezer, which would hopefully settle this question. Barring that, we need land records.

Stay tuned. There may be another post about the Southwells in the future, especially if I figure out the answer to this puzzle.  I certainly thank my reader for questioning me, because facts are better than fiction, all the time!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Harshbarger line: Johann Matthias Kraemer 1692-date unknown

This will be a short post, because I know little about this man. However, I am trying to write about the immigrants in my children's family tree, and Matthias was one of them.  The first thing we know for sure is that he arrived in Philadelphia in 1732.  He is listed as 40 years old at the time, which would put him born about 1692.  There is a Johann Matthias Craemer who was born on April 7, 1692 and baptized April 8, 1692 in Wolf (Kr. Bernkastel, Rhineland, Preussen, Germany, but his parents are Conradt Craemer and Anna Margaretha.  All of the trees I can find list his parents as Johann Peter and Anna Barbara Lorenz Craemer, so one of these sets of parents are not correct. 

At any rate, we know he married a woman named Elisabeth and they had at least two children, Andreas and Christina. Both were born in Germany.  That is really all I know about Matthias at this point.  His death date is given as 1793 which doesn't seem likely, so I suspect that the Matthias who died in 1793 would have been a son or nephew to our Matthias. Still, if he did live 101 years, we could make a really neat timeline for him!

Although much research remains to be done for Matthias (or I need to find what has already been done), we know that he came to the New World fairly early in the German immigration, when Philadelphia was not yet a city and when the frontier wasn't more than 50 miles from Philadelphia.  I need to find land records or indenture records or something that will give me a clue as to where he went and what he did, and information about the rest of his family.

Nevertheless, we know that the immigrant ancestor was from what is now Germany, and we know that he would have either been Lutheran/Reformed (probably), or of one of the Anabaptist groups (less likely, but possible).  Land, church, and death/burial records may be available, and if so, I will do a follow up post on him.  I'd sure like to find a maiden name for Elisabeth, also!  Maybe someone reading this will have answers to some of these questions.

The line of descent is:

Matthias Kraemer-Elisabeth
Andreas Kramer-Maria Magdalena Birckel
Daniel Kramer-Anna Maria Geise
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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beeks line: Nicholas Aldridge, immigrant, 1653-1708

Much of what we "know" about Nicholas Aldridge is conjecture.  We know that he was baptized December 28, 1653 in East Wellow, Hampshire, England, to Nicholas Adridge and Martha. At present, Martha's maiden name is unknown.  He was the oldest of six children, but was still a teen- ager when he sailed with his father to the New World in 1667.  (I don't know whether the younger children came also, or came later, or perhaps stayed behind with other relatives.)  The two Aldridges arrived at Annapolis, Maryland from South Hampton, England.  They settled near the Severn River, close to All Hallows Parish, Maryland.  The senior Nicholas lived only two years, and died March 2, 1669.  Nicholas, our subject, would have been only a little over 15.  He was in a strange land and it's hard to know how much or what he had learned to support himself as an almost grown orphan.  The next ten years are a mystery at present.

By 1679, things were looking up for Nicholas.  He married Martha Beeson or Besson in 1679 at All Hallows Parish, Maryland.  The next year, on August 20, 1680, he purchased 300 acres of land named "Aldridge's Beginning" in Anne Arundel County.  I can almost feel the hope in his heart as he came to manhood with a new bride and land of his own in the New World.  By this time, the worst part of troubles with the native Americans and the worst part of the religious disputes between Catholics and Protestants was over.  Slavery had already begun, but much labor was done by indentured servants and by the colonist's own family.  The family of Nicholas and Martha began with son Thomas in 1680, and he would have been doing chores for most of the day by the time he was four or five.  Thomas and his 9 brothers and sisters were all baptized or christened at All Hallow's Parish. 

We don't know if Nicholas owned slaves or not, but it is certainly possible.  He grew tobacco, and tobacco is a labor intensive crop. If he had cleared all 300 acres of land, then slaves would have been considered a necessity. 

We know that Nicholas raised crops, had children, and apparently attended church services at All Hallow's Parish, but that is basically all that I have learned of him.  He died November 20, 1708, at an age of approximately 55, and Martha died October 19, 1719. 

I'd love to know more about him. Was he literate? If he owned slaves, how did he feel about that?  Did he treat them well?  What caused his death?  If someone knows more about the life of this man, I'd love to hear from you!

The line of descent is

Nicholas Aldridge-Martha Besson
Thomas Aldridge-Elizabeth Purdy
John Aldridge-Eleanor Watkins
Jacob Aldridge-Eleanor Soper
John Simpson Aldridge-Mary Lakin
John Simpson Aldridge Jr.-Lucinda Wheeler
Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Harver H. Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents




Friday, November 28, 2014

Holbrook line: Thomas Judd, immigrant

For this post, I'm relying heavily on the information found in "The Great Migration 1634-1635".  For those of us who have ancestors who arrived in New England very early, we are blessed in the genealogy world to have this wonderful compilation of our ancestors and their neighbors.  My hat is off to Robert Charles Anderson and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society for their great and wonderful efforts.

Having said that, it doesn't mean their great work tells us everything we want to know.  For instance, the article about Thomas Judd says that his origins are unknown.  Unknown?  How can that be?  Surely someone somewhere must know something.  If not, it's time to get some DNA tests going!  Find some cousins, sound the alarm!  My first goal in genealogy is to get all my ancestors "across the pond" and if NEHGS can't do it, that is going to be a problem. 

Now that my rant is over, here's what is known.  Thomas came to Cambridge, Massachusetts about 1634, because he had a grant of land in Cambridge then.  He was a freeman by May 25, 1636, so he would have joined the church prior to that time.  The name of his wife is known only as Elizabeth, and that is known only because John Winthrop treated her in 1669.  There is speculation that she was Elizabeth Freeman, but so far as I can find, there is no documentation for that. The marriage likely took place in England, as the first children were born about 1633-1635. 

A compiled list of children from secondary sources lists 9 children, born from about 1633 to 1651, and all to Thomas and Elizabeth.  They were Elizabeth, William, Thomas, John, Benjamin, Mary, Ruth, Philip, and Samuel.  The first child may have been born in England, William was likely born in Cambridge, and then the migration continues. 

The Judds were in Hartford, Connecticut from about 1636 to 1646.  They may have come with the Rev. Thomas Hooker party of 1636, who arrived in the dead of winter to establish their colony.  Thomas Judd's name is on the obelisk honoring the founders of Hartford.  The Judds worked and lived in Hartford for about 10 years, and in 1646 moved on to Farmington.  Farmington had been founded in about 1640, and many residents from Hartford went to Farmington, presumably for better land.  They were still under the rule of the Hartford church and the two settlements stayed in close touch with each other.  The last three children were born in Farmington.

The Judds lived in Farmington until the death of Elizabeth, which took place sometime after July 8, 1669 and before November 12, 1679.  On that date, Thomas married Clemence, the widow of Thomas Mason in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Thomas moved to Northampton.  He would have been about 71 at this time.  He disposed of much of his land at that time.  His widow, who died in 1696, left everything she had to Thomas's son Samuel. Samuel and "Marriah" had cared for her in her old age. She did have a house and homestead and meadow land, and Samuel ad "Marriah" apparently had very little.  Thomas died November 12, 1688 in Northampton, Massachusetts.

The line of descent is: 

Thomas Judd-Elizabeth
Samuel Judd-Maria Strong
Elizabeth Judd-Ebenezer Southwell
Eunice Southwell-Medad Pomeroy Jr.
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard Jr-Euzebia or Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis E Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  Thomas was a deputy for Farmington to the Connecticut General court many times during the time he lived there, from 1647 to 1677. If would be fun to know what sort of decisions were made by this very Puritan colony during the time Thomas was a deputy.