Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beeks Line: Philip Raub, Immigrant

I admit it. I am fascinated with the immigrants in our families.  Why did they come when they did? How did they finance their move across the ocean?  Once they were here, did they feel they had made a good choice, or were they incredibly homesick?  And how did those poor women survive the whole ordeal?

The origin of Philip Raub is something of a mystery, although the best guesses I have seen put his birth date at 1681 and the location as Hagsfeld, Stadt Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, in what would become Germany.  There is a church there called Laurenskirche, and it may have been in operation at the time of Philip's birth.  If so, they may have records of Philip's birth.  If not, then perhaps the other stories are true, that this was a Mennonite family that possibly came from Switzerland. Further research needs to be done to pin down this information.

We know nothing of Philip's life, but we do know that Hagsfeld was a very small village, of less than 100 homes, when Philip was born and raised.  It is likely, then, that Philip's family had a garden they could tend for themselves, and farm land they would have tilled for the lord of the area.  It would have been a hard life, with weather uncertainties, and with the uncertainty of what the lord would be doing next in terms of requiring taxes.  Fortunately, there would have been a council to intercede between the peasants and the lord, and they may have been able to have some mitigating influence if the taxes were to be raised too much.

Philip married Maria Sarah Schoffel, daughter of Heinrich Schoffel and Maria Zwillinge, in 1719.  There was probably an earlier marriage, as Philip is credited with having three sons born from 1705-1710, and then there is a gap of 10 years.  The known children that he had with Maria Sarah were Maria Barbara, Ann Margaretha, and Andreas.  There is a gap between 1720 and 1727 so it is possible that other children were born and died young, or there were miscarriages.

In 1732, probably for economic reasons but perhaps for religious reasons, Philip and his family came to Philadelphia on the ship "Loyal Judith".  This was in about the middle of the German immigration influx.  The immigrants on this ship were mostly Mennonite, but there were a few others that were from different areas than the Baden-Durlach Mennonites.

Philip was fortunate enough to buy land in what became Springfield Twp, Bucks County, Pa in 1738.  This may indicate that he served an indentureship before being able to buy land, or perhaps he was simply a tenant farmer who made good. The land that he purchased was 130 acres near Durham Creek.  If he had been Mennonite, he soon began worshiping at Trinity Lutheran Church, as there are records there (apparently a list of communicants) in 1751. 

Philip died in December of 1753, after conveying his 130 acres of land to his youngest son, Andreas, in February of that year.  I have not located a will for him.  His wife, Maria Sarah, died in 1764 in Upper Sucon Township, Bucks County, Pa.  She is buried at St Paul's Blue Church near Coopersburg, Lehigh County, Pa, and that is his place of burial as indicated on Find-a-Grave.

There is more of Philip's story to be found.  I'd like to know whether there were Indian incursions in Bucks County after Philip's arrival, and after he bought his land. I'd like to know whether he was in fact Mennonite, or whether he had always been Lutheran. I'd like to know why he came to America, and whether he felt his decision was a good one.  And of course, I'd love to know who his parents are!

The line of descent is:

Philip Raub-Maria Sarah Schoffel
Andreas Raub-Maria Charlotta Weber
Charlotte Raub-Johan Jacob Weiss
Andrew Wise-Mary Serfass
David Wise-Matilda Martin
Elizabeth Wise-John Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Greta Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Harshbarger children, grand children, and great grandchildren


Friday, September 12, 2014

Allen line: Simon Hoyt, Immigrant 1590-1657

Simon Hoyt is an interesting ancestor.  We don't know for sure why he left England, and we don't know why he moved so frequently after he got here.  He would have needed money or/and invested a lot of manpower for each move.  There seems to be no scandal attached to him, so he didn't leave because he was forced out, and each town in turn accepted him. In fact, he was a founder of some of the places he lived in.  Maybe he was just curious, or accepted each new location as a challenge, to see what he could make of it.  If he felt that he needed a second chance, he certainly got it.  And let us not forget to feel sympathy for his wives, who had to deal with a succession of new homes as well as a succession of children. 

It doesn't appear that genealogists are certain who his wives were, so let's start with what we think is known.  Simon Hoyt was born January 20, 1590 in West Hatch, Somerset, England. His parents were Michael Hoyt and Ruth Smith.  His possibly first marriage was to Jane Stoodley on November 4, 1617 in Marshwood, Dorset, England. I say possibly first because it appears that two children were born before the marriage.  Either these children are wrongly assigned to Simon, or there was an earlier wife, or two children were born before the marriage took place.  Jane  apparently died in England, after the birth of six (or eight) children.  The last child, Agnes, was baptized October 18, 1626, but there is no known death date for Jane.  There is then a gap of nine years, an ocean, and several residences before more children arrive. 

Simon arrived in America in 1629 on the ship Lyon's Whelp. This ship was one of 6 in what was called the Higginson Fleet, and brought colonists, supplies, and ordnance (cannons and other guns and ammunition).  This ship's passengers disembarked at Salem, but Simon didn't stay there.  Shortly after arriving he went to Charlestown, Massachusetts, then some miles from Boston, as one of the first settlers.  We don't know how many children he had with him, or whether he yet had a wife.  In 1632, he was in Dorchester, and was appointed to see to the fences in the east field. 

He definitely was married by 1635, when he and his wife Susanna joined the church at Scituate, where they now lived.  Eight children were born to this marriage, so Simon had a very large family to support.  Soon Simon and Susanna (maiden name not proven) went to Windsor, Connecticut about 1639, and he received a grant of land there on 1640.  He settled here for 8 years, but in 1648 he sold this land and moved to Fairfield, Connecticut, where he is listed as an early founder on the Founders Memorial there. Sometime between 1649 and 1657 he went to Stamford, Connecticut, and died there September 1, 1657. 

His inventory contains the animals and implements usual to a farming operation, including Indian corn, wheat, and tobacco.  He had one gun, three swords, and two barrels, as a freeman was required to maintain arms.  Part of the inventory is missing, so it is possible that there were books in the home, but we don't have evidence of that. There is nothing in the inventory in and of itself to prove that this was a man of wealth, but it doesn't appear that he was dirt poor. Joshua Hoyt apparently bought the land that was given to his five brothers, and the family went their mostly separate ways. 

I've taken most of the information in this post from a blogpost about Simon on "Miner Descent" and from "The Great Migration". 

Our line of descent is: 

Simon Hoyt-Susanna
Benjamin Hoyt-Hannah Weed
Hannah Hoyt-Daniel Scofield
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Knott
John W Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith C Knott-Edward F Allen
Vernon, Corinne, Tessora, Edith, Richard Allen
Their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Holbrook line: Marmaduke Vickery 1715-1787

Marmaduke Vickery was born about 1715 in Dorchester County, Maryland, and and died at the end of 1787 or early 1788 in Randolph County, North Carolina.  He lived through some very challenging  times (French and Indian War, Revolutionary War) and in several different places, so his life is worthy of a review.  However, once again it appears that there were at least two and probably three Marmaduke Vickery's, and their records are all jumbled up.  Marmaduke Senior had a son named Marmaduke and possibly a nephew also.

Marmaduke was born to Hezekiah Vickery and Merci Holland, or at least, that's what most of the online trees say.  In my limited research, I have found no documentation of that fact, but it does appear likely.  He was one of at least six children born to this couple, but he didn't stay long in Maryland.  He left, apparently with his parents, to move to Virginia, variously listed as Orange County, Augusta County, and Clarke County.  His father is listed as having died in Orange County. 

Marmaduke married Elizabeth Nation, daughter of John Nation and Bethia Robins, about 1734. Sometime about 1755, Marmaduke and his family moved on to Rowan County, North Carolina, where he can be found on a tax list for 1759.  Marmaduke and Elizabeth are believed to have had at least 11 children, born between 1735 and 1757, so they would have arrived in Rowan County with quite a large family.  They likely moved for economic reasons, and they may have been seeking cheap land, which was still available at the time.  He owned a large tract of land in St Luke's Parish, Randolph County, and was a farmer.

 If this is the same Marmaduke, he loved horse racing.  Traces of his plantation were still visible 100 years later, showing a house, barn, loom house, blacksmith shop, spring house, and grist mill.  This would have been quite an accomplishment for a man who started out life being called "Duke" or even "Dewkey". 

He is recognized as a Patriot by the DAR because of goods he contributed to the American cause.   There was a nephew Marmaduke was was involved in the Regulator's Rebellion of 1771, and three of his sons were in the 10th NC Regiment, so it is likely that most of the family were at least patriot sympathizers, even if they didn't fight.  Our Marmaduke would have been over 60 by the time of the Revolutionary War, so contributing horses and provisions was the best he had to offer the country.

Marmaduke wrote his will on December 26, 1787, and it was probated in 1788, but his exact date of death isn't known.  His inventory consisted of one hundred acres of land, one home, one mare, 5 head of catter, 2 beds and furniture, one cupboard, 1 table, 2 pots, 1 oven, 1 ax, 1 hoe, 1 par horse chains, 1 log chain, 1 skillet, 2 iron pots, a rocker, one pair ice tongs, 2 pails, 1 churn, 1 spinning wheel, 1 drawing knife, other knifes and forks, 1 trunk, 1 pickling tub, and one or more illegible items.  Either he had downsized from the type of life suggested by the horse racing owner of several buildings and enterprises, or our Marmaduke led a quieter life.  He left everything to his wife and youngest son, which could indicate that his older sons and daughters had already been given their "share" during their lifetimes.  I'd love to see more research done on his land holdings and what happened to them. 

Marmaduke is buried at Timber Ridge Church Cemetery near Deep River, Randolph County, NC.  Find a grave indicates that this cemetery is deep in the woods and is overgrown. It is apparently right next to the Richard Petty museum, which is fitting because Richard Petty is noted to be one of his descendents.  I guess the trend from horse racing to car racing shows that there must have been something in Marmaduke's genes!

Our line of descent is:

Marmaduke Vickery-Elizabeth Nation
Jeretta Vickery-Joseph Nation
Elizabeth Nation-Chrisopher Myers
Phoebe Myers-John Adam Brown
Phoebe Brown-Fremont Holbrook
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Lois/Gladys/Ray/Howard Holbrook, their children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Harshbarger line: David Brown 1783-1834

David Brown is another mystery.  He may have started life off as David Braun. His father was Henry Matthias Braun and his mother, Maria Salome Hoerner.  He was born about 1783, or possibly January 1, 1785, perhaps in Lancaster County, Pa.  We know that his family moved soon after that to Bedford County, so if he was born on January 1, 1785, then he was a twin to his brother Daniel, and may have been born in Bedford County.  On-line information seems to mix the two people up so I'm not sure which birth date is correct. 

We know that he married Barbara Brothers or Bruder, but we're not sure where or when. On line trees show the marriage as taking place in Poland, Trumbull County, Ohio in 1806 but I haven't found a source for this information.  Other trees show that the marriage took place in Lancaster County, Pa. Neither location makes a lot of sense but I am hoping to find a source someday so I can evaluate this information for myself. 

It appears that he and Barbara had at least 11 children, most if not all of them in Stark County, Ohio.  David had entered land there with a sale date of September 13, 1812.  It's possible that the family was already settled on the land when it was entered, or perhaps the family came after that date.  He owned 158 acres of land, which would have needed to be cleared before it could be planted.  This was not an auspicious time for starting out in Ohio, because the war of 1812 was in full swing and there was always the possibility of raids from Native Americans.  David's land was in Marlboro Township and soon after his brother Daniel had purchased land nearby, in Nimishillen Twp.   A Henry Brown purchased other land in 1824 and it's possible this was the brother of David and Daniel. 

The 1820 census for David shows that there were 4 males under the age of 10, 2 between the age of 10 and 15, and David between the age of 26 and 44.  David was engaged in agriculture.  There were also 2 females under the age of 10, and one aged 10-15, plus Barbara aged 26-44, for a total of 11 persons..  A family in the 1830 census in Harrisburg, Stark County, may be this same family. David was 50-59, which is a little off in age, we think. Barbara was 40-49, and there were more children.  By now, the male side had grown. There was one male under the age of 5, one between 5-9, two between 10 and 14, two 15-19, and two 20-29.  With the addition of the two youngest boys, this is compatible with the 1820 census.  There are still three females in the household besides Barbara-one is 10-14, one is 15-19, and one is 20-29.  This would easily fit the framework of the 1820 census, also, and with the information that the couple had 11 children. 

David is believed to have died in late 1834 or early 1835. Again, the same dates have been assigned for both David and Daniel and it's hard to determine which is which, from the sources I've found on line. Regardless, he was a reasonably young man in his early 50's, and he left a large family behind. Barbara lived another 19 years and died in Williams County, Ohio, on January 30, 1855.

I hope there are other researchers of this family who will see this and contact me. I'd love to know so much more about him.

The line of descent is:

David Brown-Barbara Brothers
Elizabeth Brown-William Cook
Barbara Cook-William Withers
William Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Harshbarger and Beeks lines: Family themes

I read some one else's blog post that challenged its readers to reflect on the themes of our particular family history. I found it fairly easy to find themes for my family, but when it comes to my husband's side, it's a little less obvious.  The Harshbarger and lines that extend back from it are pretty much all about hard work, whether it was farming, manufacturing, or something else. I've found very few professional people in this line, which doesn't mean they weren't educated.  Many of them were in the military service, but no one that I have found so far tried to make it a career.  They practiced their religions faithfully, whether Lutheran or Reformed, or Anabaptist of one sort of another.  I would call the Harshbarger and related lines "salt of the earth" people.  They weren't famous, but they were hard-working, honest folks, and America is built of people like these.

The Beeks line is harder to define.  They were of various nationalities:  English of course, but also Welsh, German, French Huguenot, and Dutch.  Some of their lines go back to royalty, but that was a long long time ago.  Their religions followed their nationalities somewhat.  There were Welsh and later American Friends (Quakers), French Protestant, Dutch Reformed, Church of England, and probably Baptists as well as Methodists.  As America became the "melting pot," the Beeks family joined in with marriages across cultural/religious lines, so I would say that one word for them would be "accepting."  The other thing that sticks out to me is that these people tended to have longer military service than those of other families.  Christopher Beeks and John Simpson Aldridge were both enlisted for longer than three years during the Revolutionary War, which is commendable and is less common than finding people in the militias for a few weeks or months at a time. 

These paragraphs are just generalities and of course there are examples to contradict just about every statement I've made here.  However, they stick out in my mind because so many of their other family members were as I've described here.  Remember that anyone who is alive today and had ancestors in America in the 1700's (or earlier), came from "hardy pioneer stock", and that may be the best description of all! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Allen and Holbrook lines: Family themes

Now that I've been "doing" family history for awhile, I'm seeing some themes that run from generation to generation.  Recently I read someone's blogpost that suggested it would be good to note these down, more or less as guideposts, so that this current generation, and the generations following, would have at least a general idea of who we are besides names and dates.

The two strong themes that I see running through our families, for generations back, are God and education.  We have sub themes, like serving our country, and of course love seems to wrap around everything, but I keep coming back to God and education.  Of course, to a certain extent God and education go hand in hand, although it is quite possible to have either without the other.  Still, most pastors were educated, and they made sure their families were educated, too, if only to read the Bible and religious books. 

I've written about some of the pastors in our family but there are more who may or may not be the topic of a blog post at some point.  From Richard Allen to Roger Williams to William Eddy, we are descended from a long line of pastors who have taught us about the love of Jesus, each in their own way.  The last time I counted, there were at least 24 pastors in the Holbrook and Allen lines. If one continues back into distant England, some of our ancestors were bishops and archbishops, but I'm not sure we want to claim some of those people!

Besides pastors, we have ancestors who were church leaders, from Elder William Brewster to elder Edward Allen.  We have Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Puritans, Church of England, and a few Lutherans (there is a German line, after all), and many of our ancestors helped establish their local church, of whatever denomination.  We may even had had a Roman Catholic or two in early Maryland, but I'm still working on that.  My hope and prayer is that all of these people served the Lord with all their hearts.

Education is also a common theme in our family.  Ralph Wheelock was one of the first schoolteachers in New England, and in the recent past we have seen great grandparents and grandparents who taught school.  Those who didn't teach went to school and learned. We have very few known ancestors who couldn't read or write.  Many of those in more recent generations have gone to college, and some have multiple degrees.  Those who chose not to go to college have acquired an education in their own way, such as through their jobs, reading, or watching on line courses intensively. 

I personally find it fascinating that the very book that means the most to me, the Bible, is the same one that our ancestors have been reading for over 400 years (more, in some cases) and if I read a King James version, it's the very same words.  On top of all the other reasons for reading the Bible, this is an intriguing one. What did Roger Williams think, when he read the same words I'm reading?  Did Nicholas Street preach on this passage? 

God, and education, are the reasons we can find a connection to our ancestors, even though we may understand nothing of the rest of their lives.  Will our descendents also find that God and education have continued as themes, generations from now? 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Beeks line: Joost De Baun

Joost De Baun was probably born as Joseph De Beaune in Beaune, Cote d'Or France, about 1643.  Beaune is located in the east central section of France, west of Switzerland.  He and it is believed his family were staunch Protestants and at the time of his birth, Protestants had some protection in the Catholic country of France.  However, the tradition is that he was the only member of his family to escape torture and massacre by the dreaded Inquisition.  He is believed to have fled to Flanders about 1670, where he married, with his wife living only a few years.   

This much is tradition and supposition, as far as I can tell, because I have found no documentation for any of these "facts".  I would love to be able to sit down and talk with Joseph/Joost, to ask him if this is a fair representation of his early life.  It sounds like it could have the makings of a good book or even a movie, with danger, persecution, flight, a first tragic marriage, and religious faith all playing a role in the story.  I'd love to know how he made his escape, and why he went to Flanders rather than to Switzerland, which geographically was much closer, or even to Germany, as others before him had done. I'd also love to know what he did for a living.  Beaune is in the middle of Burgundy wine country, and if he had been trained in some aspect relating to wine, what did he do when he went to Flanders?  He obviously had learned to read and write, (see later in post) so perhaps he was a clerk, or perhaps he had enough family or church connections to be a merchant of some sort.

Sometime in the next few years he went from Flanders to Middleburg, on the Zeeland islands of Holland.  Joseph changed his name in Holland to Joost De Baene, and he married Elizabeth Drabbe or Drabba, who was from Holland.  Her ancestry has not been traced as far as I can find, except that her father's name is believed to be Thomas.  They married about 1681, and by 1683 were the parents of their first child, Jacobus.  (There are reports that the marriage didn't take place until 1684 and occurred in the New World. So again, we are not really sure of this much and would dearly love to find some documents from the time period to settle some of these questions once and for all.)

Joost and presumably Elizabeth and Jacobus left Holland in 1683 and immigrated to Bushwick, Long Island, New York.  We don't know whether it was for religious, economic, or other reasons that they chose to immigrate, but they were part of a large number of "Dutch" families that came during the 1600's.  He quickly became clerk of the small settlement of Bushwick, but a year later moved to New Utrecht, Kings County, New York, where he was clerk as well as schoolmaster and reader of the Reformed Dutch Church.  (New Utrecht is now part of Brooklyn, which is part of New York City, but at the time it was just a village, founded in 1657 as a largely Dutch community). 

Joost and Elizabeth lived here for about 15 years, raising their family of five children. Jacobus, Karel (Charles), Matie, Christian, and Catherine would have kept their parents busy, and since Joost was the school master we can assume that the boys and hope that the girls learned to read, write, and "cipher".  The family was also active in the Dutch Reformed Church there.  For three years in this time period, family life may have looked a little different. Joost was removed from his posts in 1689 due to being on the "wrong" side of a political dispute, but was returned to all his offices again in 1692.  We don't know he provided for his family during this time period.  In 1698, the family moved to New Rochelle, where he had apparently gone to be the schoolmaster, and was also one of the surveyors of fences.  He acquired land in 1698 and then sold in at the end of 1701, and moved on to the area around Rockland Lake, in Rockland County, NY.  Perhaps he taught school here, too. 

The family made one final move, to the Huguenot colony near Hacksensack, New Jersey, where farming was their source of income.  Joost may have felt more at home here, with the Huguenots, but we wonder about his Dutch wife. Fortunately, by now the Dutch Reformed church at Hackensack felt like home to both of them.  He served as elder and as church master, and was instrumental in getting the steeple raised on the church building.  Joost died sometime between 1718 and November of 1721, and Elizabeth is believed to have died about 1724. 

He left a heritage of a strong religious faith, a desire for freedom, and the love of learning to the four children who survived him.  He also left the mystery of his early years, and the sadness that we may never know who made up his first family-his father, mother, and siblings. 

The line of descent is:

Joost De Baun-Elizabeth Drabbe
Matie De Baun-Samuel Demarest
Samuel David De Maree-Lea Demarest
Sarah De Maree-Benjamin Slot
William Lock-Elizabeth Teague or Tague
Sarah Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Harshbarger children. grandchildren, and great grandchildren