Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Memories

It's hard for me to write this kind of post, and I'm not sure how many people will want to read it, since this is my first real attempt to capture some of my own memories.  Still, it's part of the family history and some of the "young 'uns" reading this might enjoy hearing about the "good old days."

The "good old days" is a phrase I actually used when my grand aunt, Elizabeth Stannard, spent a Thanksgiving with our family in Othello, Washington in 1958 (possibly 1957; I was pretty young at the time).  If it was 1958, this would have been her last Thanksgiving.  Normally she was not part of our family celebration because she spent it with the nephews she had helped raise, but this year she consented to come.  I remember my mother telling us how we needed to be on our best behavior and not interrupt.  Aunt Elizabeth was a retired Latin teacher and she had strict expectations about how we should behave.  The day came, our guests came (including my grandmother, probably my uncle, and my aunt and uncle with their three children) from Spokane, Washington, and I could hardly stand it.  I think I behaved all through dinner, but afterwards, when we got this special lady made comfortable, I remember the cousins all sitting in a circle around her chair and being allowed to ask questions of our remarkable relative.  I don't remember what anyone else asked, but my brilliant contribution was "Tell us about the good old days."  I vaguely remember that she told us some stories, but I don't remember them at all.  She could have told us many things, as I've since learned that she was raised in Kansas, came to Washington state soon after she graduated from college, was a school teacher and a superintendent of education in a sparsely settled part of the state, and then taught Latin in Spokane for many years.  She was also a world traveler, having gone to Europe, the Middle East, and India at various times.  So, which stories did she tell us, I wonder?

Other Thanksgiving memories involve a cornucopia.  On one of Aunt Elizabeth's trips, she had purchased wax fruit as a gift for my mother, and for at least a few years Mom didn't know what to do with it.  One year, she found a rattan or wicker cornucopia and said "That's it!"  For several years, our Thanksgiving centerpiece was the cornucopia with the fruit, lovingly arranged by my mother in memory of her aunt. 

We also had little Pilgrim candles, and possibly a turkey, although I'm not sure of that.  These are the kind that were probably 10 cents apiece but now sell for many times that on eBay.  They were a part of our Thanksgiving for many years, too. 

Dad usually mentioned how one of our ancestors was William Brewster, elder of the Mayflower Pilgrims.  I sure wish Mom had known that she descended from Myles Standish and Edward Doty, two of the "strangers" on the Mayflower, as there would have been some interesting conversations, I'm sure. 

We spent every Thanksgiving with our cousins, their parents, and our grandmother, sometimes at our grandmother's house, sometimes at our cousins' home, and sometimes at our home, wherever that was.  The men watched football and the children played board games after the wonderful meal, and the day always ended much too soon.  By the end of the day, Aunt Lois usually asked us what we wanted Santa to bring us for Christmas, and often that item ended up under her tree for us the next month. 

The people mentioned in this post have been long gone now, except for two cousins and my sister.  Their descendants all have their own holiday traditions, but I hope if any of them read this, they will know that they come from a long line of Thanksgiving dinners!  I only wish I'd asked my parents how they celebrated Thanksgiving as a family, when they still lived at home. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Beeks line: Ulrich Ruble 1710-1761 Immigrant

First, a warning.  Not every genealogist or family historian is convinced that Ulrich Ruble belongs in this line.  The point of contention is Hannah, who was married to Samuel Dunham.  Was she, or was she not, a Ruble?  Alternative names, especially Chenoweth, keep popping up for her.  Based on what I have seen on line, I am leaning toward the Ruble line, but I don't consider it proven.  So take this for whatever it's worth.  Ulrich Ruble surely existed, and had descendants, and if he doesn't belong in the Beeks line, he surely belongs to someone.  Someday, someone, somewhere, will find the documents that will prove or disprove this line, and I hope that someone will contact me when they do!

Ulrich was born in either Switzerland or the Palatinate in what is now Germany.  It is likely that his parents, Hans Peter Rubel and Anna Katrina Mueller, emigrated to the Palatinate from somewhere in Switzerland, about the time that Ulrich was born.  We don't know whether the emigration was for economic or for religious reasons.  Many Mennonites and other Anabaptists from Switzerland went to the Palatinate during this time period because of religious persecution, but we don't yet know whether the Rubles could be included in that group. 

Ulrich is believed to have come with his family to Pennsylvania in about 1727, which would mean Ulrich was a teen-ager, or in their society, a young man.  He soon made his own way in the world, and settled in Bucks County,(modern day Lehigh County)  Pa., where he owned land by 1734.  Within a few years, he had decided to sell the land, and moved on to Frederick County, Virginia. He was married by this time to Jane Jacob (not Burson, as is widely reported), but as of yet a marriage date has not been found. 

A fascinating detail noted on the Geni website for Ulrich is that he was a member of the Virginia Militia, and in 1758 voted for Colonel George Washington.  I'm not sure whether this was a military election or a political elections, but since Ulrich was a member of the Virginia militia, it leads to a host of questions.  Was he in the military expeditions that George Washington was a part of, during the French and Indian War?  Did he perhaps serve under the "Colonel?"  The family lived on the Opequon Creek, somewhere between Martinsburg (now WV) and Winchester, so it was definitely frontier county, and Ulrich would have been the right age to be included in the militia. 

Ulrich and Jane had eight children: George, Peter, John, Elizabeth, Samuel, Owen, David, and Susannah.  Ulrich wrote his will on December 20,1759 and it was probated on August 4, 1761. He would have been about 51 years old when he died.  We can speculate that if he served under George Washington on some of those excursions, then he certainly would have suffered hardships that may have caused his somewhat early death.  The stories of what the militia went through in support of the British during that time are hard to read, so we owe men like Ulrich Ruble a huge debt of gratitude.

I've not found an appraisal of his estate although the appraisers were Henry Bowen, Thomas Doster, and William Barrett.  He left everything to his wife Jane until she remarried, and then to his children equally. He apparently owned at least 150 acres of land at his death, and perhaps more.

Once again, here is an immigrant ancestor from Switzerland or the Palatinate to America.  We need to recognize all our brave and hard-working pioneers, whether in Plymouth Colony in 1620 or in Virginia 140 years later, or even in Indiana in the early 1800s.  These folks had what we would consider a hard life, and built America.  We owe the Pilgrims a thank you, but also the many who came after, with different ideals and cultures.

The proposed line of descent is:

Ulrich Ruble-Jane Jacob
David Ruble-Sarah Malin
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, November 20, 2015

Allen line: Thomas Kilbourne 1578-abt 1637, Immigrant

Another Allen line immigrant, another set of questions.  Was he, or wasn't he, killed in an Indian massacre?  Why would a man 57 years old come to the New World, anyway?  Was it to give his children a chance at a better life?  Was it so he could practice his religion?  Was it for economic reasons? 

We do know something of Thomas's life.  He was born (or christened) May 8, 1578 in Wood Ditton, Cambridge, England, and is believed to be the son of John Kilbourne and Anne, of the same location.  It appears that Anne would likely have been a second wife, or at least a much younger wife, so he may have lived in a blended family.  Wood Ditton was a small village near Newmarket, but the small village had a long history going back to the Domesday records.  For a village to survive that long, there must have been some natural resources such as water or metal (or woods?) nearby. 

As far as we can tell, he was not a Puritan, at least not in 1632, when he is listed as a church warden in the Church of England.  He may, of course, have held Puritan sympathies and merely kept them quiet until he could go to New England.  He married Francis Moody, daughter of George Moody and Margaret Chenery, on September 5, 1604, at Moulton, Suffolk, England.  The couple had 8 children, and the youngest would have been about 10 when they immigrated.  Just five of the children sailed with them on the "Increase" in 1635.  One is known to have stayed in England and the other two may have also stayed, or they may have died young.  Thomas was listed as a husbandman (farmer) on the ship manifest. 

Various records say that the ship disembarked at Boston, but yet we see that the first noted residence of the Kilbourne family was in Wethersfield, Ct.  We don't know whether they transferred to another ship for this part of the voyage, or whether they made an overland trip.  Either trip must have been difficult for a couple in their fifties, although their older children must certainly have been a help.  At this time, the Kilbournes were Puritans, so either they changed religions between 1632 and 1635 (which is certainly possible), or the church warden duty had been something enforced by the Church of England, which is also possible. 

In Wethersfield, Thomas was granted or purchased several tracts of land, but there is no record of him after 1637.  This has led to the speculation that Thomas was one of the 7 unidentified victims of the Indian massacre of April 23, 1637, when 200 native Americans carried out an ambush against the settlers during what is known as the Pequot War.  This appears to have been not just a native vs. white man conflict, as the Dutch were allies with some tribes and the English with others, but the original source of conflict was between the tribes, as to which would control the trade of furs desired by both the Dutch and the English.  Of course, it was more complicated than that. 

Regardless of the cause, Thomas Kilbourne was not heard from after that date.  His widow, Frances, did not marry again and appears to have maintained her own household, probably with help from her family.  When she died in 1650 or 1651 (will written November 13, 1650 and proved June 1, 1651), she had a good sized estate amounting to about 336 pounds, which someone has calculated at being about $30,000 today.  This included several tracts of land which weren't designated in the will, so there must have been an arrangement about that.  Francis's estate also included books valued at 2 pounds, so it is likely that Thomas could read, and possibly Francis also. 

In writing about Thomas, I find myself greatly admiring his wife.  She kept the family together for roughly 13 years between the apparent death of Thomas and her own death.  Thomas must have taught her well. 

The line of descent is:

Thomas Kilbourne-Francis Moody
Mary Kilbourne-John Root
John Root-Mary Ashley
John Root-Sarah Stebbins
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harried Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Holbrook line: Susan Eddy Stanard 1835-1910

It's amazing what you learn when you think you're learning something else.  I was searching for a better death date than just "1910" for this lady, my great great grandmother, and stumbled upon another very interesting story indeed. 

First, the bare bones.  Susan was born July 17,1835 in Chautaqua County, N.Y. to Joseph R Eddy and Susan Lamphire Eddy.  Her family moved west, and she went along with them, and married Hiram A Stanard on December 31, 1854, in Lee County, Illinois.  From what little I've learned, she must have been a typical pioneer wife and mother, although just the move from New York to frontier Illinois meant she lived an extraordinary life and had something special going for her.  The family was Baptist, and Hiram was a Republican.  (Susan's political opinions didn't matter because she couldn't vote, anyway.) 

What I find remarkable about Susan is the family she raised.  There were four children-Louis, whom I've written of earlier, Esther, whom I've also written of, Luceba, who is still something of a mystery, and Susan A.  Susan A Stanard married very, very well, to Bert Underwood.  Now, I knew very little of Bert until I started looking for Susan Eddy's story.  I still don't know much about him, but I suspect one could write a book about his exploits. I thought I would put this much down in print in case someone wants to find out more about this gentleman. 

There are somewhere between several and many articles in the Ottawa, Kansas newspapers about him, because he was a local boy made good.  He determined in the 1880's that he was not going to drive a grocery wagon for $10 a month forever, and he made good on that promise.  Somehow, he and his brother, Elmer, began several businesses in and around Ottawa, including a Farm Loan Company and a stereoscope company (they were on the ground floor on this business, and they were famous as the company of Underwood and Underwood.)  They were also two of the first overseas photographers for newspapers, and traveled the world taking photographs.  Most of the photos were destined for use in the stereoscope business, but in the process of this endeavor, they became more what we would call photojournalists, and were involved in several of the major news stories of the day.  Bert even reported on some of what he learned about some of the upheavals in Greece and Macedonia in the 1900s, as a special correspondent.  He traveled to Assam, India at one point, and visited his sister Esther Stanard Dring there.  He became very ill in Panama (malaria, maybe?) and his brother was called to his bedside there.  At one time, Underwood and Underwood had offices in New York, London, and possibly other European cities.  Other notable events that Bert covered included Korean hostilities and the coronation of King Edward, successor to Queen Victoria. 

The 1910 census shows Bert as a publisher, and his mother in law, Susan Stanard is listed in his household.  I would like to know how long she had lived with the family, because she died before June 15, 1910, which was shortly after the census was taken.  I've not found her yet in 1900.  Her husband, Hiram, had died in 1895.  There was a newspaper note that Susan had gone to "New York" with her daughter, Susan Underwood, which was shortly before the younger Susan's son Roy was born.  Did she live with the family for the next decade?  There are four persons listed as servants in the household, so were these the ordinary servants that a family as well to do as the Underwoods would have, or was one of them a special nurse for Susan Eddy Stanard?  

We know that when Susan died in 1910, the funeral couldn't be planned until Bert was available to travel, as he had just returned from a European trip.  Her death was due to cancer, and she had been ill "a few weeks."

This is the thing I am pondering:  How did Hiram and Susan, ordinary people as far as we can tell, parent such interesting people?  Louis went to the Pacific Northwest after seeing his children through college, Esther married and went to India as a missionary, and Susan married a highly successful businessman/photographer/journalist who "saw it all" and was likely "seldom home."  I can't wait to try to trace down Luceba, and see what she did with her life.  (I think I know, but need to verify my suspicions before I report it as fact.)

I realize this might be "false advertising", because not much of this post is directly about Susan Eddy Stanard, but it's what I've been thinking and learning about today, so I wanted to share.  Searching old newspapers is fun! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Beeks line: Randall Malin 1649-abt 1728

Randall Malin is one of the men I would most like to meet in the Beeks line.  He was an interesting man, a Quaker, and not necessarily one of the quiet ones.  His life began in Netherton, Cheshire, England in 1649, when he was born to parents identified as Isaac Malin and Elizabeth Jones.  I'm not sure that is correct because a son Isaac also married an Elizabeth Jones, it seems. I'd like to see the documents for both Issacs.   We don't know who his wife was, either, except that her first name was Elizabeth and that they married in 1676.  Six years later, Randall and Elizabeth sailed for America, possibly in William Penn's fleet, but not before Randall got in trouble with the law.

Quakers were not appreciated in England because they typically refused to pay their tithes to the church, and their taxes to the government.  Somehow, Randal learned of a "priest" who had an informer, advising the priest of who was counted among the Quakers.  These persons then had their goods, household and business, confiscated, or distrained.  Randal had discouraged a local butcher from selling meat from cattle he knew to have been distrained, and for this, the informant turned him in.  Presumably the informant was rewarded, but certainly Randall was fined 20 pounds (a huge sum, so he must have had some wealth).  Randall refused to pay the fine, and his household goods, corn, and hay were seized to cover the fine.  This was in 1678, and we don't know how the family survived until they left for America.  Is it any wonder that the family sailed to Pennsylvania in 1682? 

In 1681, Randall had purchased 250 acres, sight unseen, from William Penn, in what became Pennsylvania, for the sum of 5 pounds.  The following year, the Malins went to Pennsylvania and settled on their farm in Upper Providence Township, Chester County.  Some of his descendants still lived on the farm over 200 years later.  Randall also owned a lot in Philadelphia itself, lot # 192.  This again makes one think that this man was not dirt poor. 

Randall and Elizabeth had three children together, before she died in 1687.  He waited 5 years, and then married Mary Hollingsworth Conaway.  Mary also had three children, so this blended family was already large, but became larger as each of four children were born to this new couple. 

Randall and Elizabeth had been active in Chester Monthly meeting, and the new couple also attended there.  Randall was made an elder and then possibly a minister, or at least he was recommended to be a minister.  He suffered the indignity of having his daughter marry outside the Quaker religion, and asked that the constable of Chester arrest the groom for marrying his daughter contrary to law (I'm not sure what the legal issue was.)  The Quakers also put the young couple out of the church.

Randal held several offices at different times during the later years of his life, including constable, and as a road viewer.  He was on several juries and at least once served as the foreman. 

Although reference has been made to how his assets were divided after his death in 1728, I've not seen a copy of the will.  More than the will, I'd like to see his inventory.  Did he still live by himself, with a sizable inventory, or was he living with an adult child, I wonder.  Did his inventory contain books?  Since he was an elder and perhaps a minister, it is likely that he could read and write, but we don't know that.  What tools were listed, which could give us insight into any side occupations he may have had, and which could explain the lot in Philadelphia?  There are always questions, it seems.

Here's the line of descent:

Randall Malin-Elizabeth
Isaac Malin-Elizabeth Jones
Sarah Malin-David Ruble
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Harshbarger line: A temporary wrap up

I thought for this post I'd write a general post about this family.  As with all generalizations, it will be not be 100% correct, but this should help us get a feel for the Harshbargers and all their many inter-connected lines.  Many of the Harshbarger families, and their wives' families, came from Switzerland via what is now Germany or from one of the German principalities themselves. Some were Anabaptist of one sort or another, while others were of the Lutheran, or the Reformed faith.  I've not found any ancestors who appeared to be Roman Catholic, but that may be because we can trace few lines back beyond 1700 or so, in the "Old Country". 

I've found nothing that makes me think these families were ever connected to nobility or royalty.  These people were the salt of the earth folks who farmed or/and had a very small business that needed to support, generally,a very large family.  Restrictions in how land could be acquired and passed down forced many of these large families to come to America, where hard work would be rewarded.  Many of these men owned 100 acres or more within a few years of their arrival here.  Usually the men, or their widows, left the largest part of their estate to the oldest son, but sometimes they were able to provide for all their children equally.  Daughters were not given land, although occasionally a son-in-law would receive land, perhaps because he had helped care for his father in law in his old age.  Daughters were more typically given household goods or money, and sometimes a cow or other animal.

Most of the German lines were in Pennsylvania by 1755, and many of them, or their sons, were in the militia during the French and Indian War, and fought or at least supported the Revolutionary War, as well.  Once the West began opening up (whatever "West" meant at the time), large parts of these families moved to western Pennsylvania and then (or directly) to Stark and Summit County, Ohio, where some fought in the War of 1812.  From there, the families moved to Whitley County, Indiana. 

There were exceptions to the German lines, of course, and some German families ended up in Licking County, Ohio, via West Virginia, before there was a West Virginia, and before coming to Whitley County..  At some point, the Germans began marrying outside their faith and outside their language.  Irish, English, and even French ancestors are known to exist.  These people would have had different cultural backgrounds but they, too, seem to have come to America to work and better themselves, and give their children a chance at a better life.

There are English lines that go back to the very early days of Virginia, more than 100 years before the Germans started arriving in Pennsylvania.  I have visions in my mind of how these people lived, and worked, and neighbored, and worshipped, and I hope by now you have some sense of this, too.  At some point, records cease to exist or are not readily available, and my research comes to a temporary stopping place.  I may find more information about particular ancestors as I continue to research, or I may find nothing at all worth noting on this blog. 

If I have nothing new to write about anyone in the Harshbarger line, my every-other-week blog post will be about something else, not a particular ancestor but perhaps about a book I've read, a research site I've visited, or perhaps some of my own memories about my own experiences, which are in no way memorable but still, they are part of the story of who we think we are.  Thanks for sharing this journey through time and space with me!  Stay tuned for more stories about the Allen, Holbrook, and Beeks ancestors, as I learn more of their stories.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Holbrook line: John Polley 1618-1689

This is going to be a short post, because I'm unable to locate much information about John Polley.  He was born in about 1618, possibly in St Leonard, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England.  His parents may have been John Polley and Hannah, at least I'm finding that information on line.  Unfortunately, it's not documented, so it's a maybe at this point.. 

We know that he was in Roxbury, Massachusetts by 1650 when he had two daughters christened there on June 2.  This would mean he was married in 1649 or earlier.  He had four wives, the first of whom was Susannah Bacon, the daughter of George Bacon and Margaret.  Susannah came to America with her parents and two brothers in 1635, when she was ten years old.  John and Susannah had 7 children, all girls between the approximate date of 1650 and 1664, when Susanna died.  With seven daughters to care for, John needed a wife and this time he married Mary Ives, probably early in 1665. A child was born, but Mary died of smallpox about a year later, and once again John needed a wife.  This time, he married Hannah Cowdrey, in September of 1667.  John and Hannah had 6 children, five girls and a son named John. Their youngest daughter was named for her second oldest sister, Sarah, who had recently died as a married mother of four children.  Hannah died in 1684 and if the article I read is correct, John immediately (the same month) married Jane Metcalf Walker. 

John and Jane were married for not quite five years when John died in April of 1689.  He is a somewhat unusual ancestor not just for the number of his wives, but also because once he got to Roxbury, he stayed there, forty years or more in the same town.  Many of our ancestors left their original town to move onward, but not John.  Perhaps he wanted to stay near his older children, or perhaps the voyage across the ocean was enough for him.  Maybe his wives didn't wish to leave the area.  It's hard to say why men leave, and it's hard to say why they stay. 

It's also hard to say why there isn't more information available about John Polley.  Perhaps he was so busy supporting and raising his family that he made little mark in the town, but I'm not ready to settle for that explanation yet.  I will put this name on my "to do" list and work on finding out more about him. 

The line of descent is:

John Polley-Susannah Bacon
Mary Polley-John Perrin
Samuel Perrin-Mehitable Child
John Perrin-Abigail Morris
Benjamin Perrin-Mary
Mary or Mercy Perrin-David Fay
Luceba (Euzebia) Fay-Libbeus Stannard Jr
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants