Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Allen, Holbrook, Harshbarger, Beeks lines: Happy genealogy dance for this week's discoveries

This is my 100th post, a level I would never have believed I could reach.  For my own personal celebration, I decided to write this post a little differently. I'm going to post what I've found this week, since I devoted more time than usual to research and actually found some gems.  Some of these are about people I've already written about in posts, and some are potentially yet to come. They are all ancestors of my children, though, and I was toe-tappingly delighted to find each and every tidbit.

In the Beeks line, I found this about John Beeks, great grandfather of my husband. From the Andrews Espress, January 6, 1884, Page 2, column 2, under "Lagro News":  John Beeks slipped and fell against one of the large windows at Blount and Moss's drug store here, Monday, breaking it in a hundred pieces."  It doesn't say what caused him to fall, but it was January so let's assume it was ice.  It also doesn't say whether John was injured.  Based on journalistic practices of the time, I would guess he was not injured, and would also guess he was not tipsy.  Newspapers were not shy about printing any gory details, nor about stating or implying that someone was under the influence, so the lack of either of these statements helped me form my conclusions.

Regarding Jason Wheeler, fourth great grandfather of my husband, I found New York tax records for him from 1799-1804. Timothy Wheeler, whose relationship to Jason is unknown but I'm thinking maybe a brother, was listed in 1799 and 1800 but not 1801.  In 1801, Jason's taxes jumped considerably.  I wonder if Jason had perhaps purchased Timothy's land, but I haven't found land records yet.  This information was from a new database on Ancestry.com, "New York, Tax Assessment Rolls of Real and Personal Estates, 1799-1804."

Allen line:  Regarding Isaac Bell: "In November 1756 Obadiah Ayers and William Landon were sureties for Isaac Bell who was granted a Public House license."  This statement came from page 82 of Volume X of "The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey" and took place in Sussex County, where in the same year, the "29th year of His Majesty" same volume but page 76, "Daniel Landon and Isaac Bell had been selected as Commissioners of Roads for the Township of Hardwick."  Having a license of a "Public House", a tavern was a big deal. They were regulated by the government and owners 
were generally watched carefully for any abuse of alcohol laws, particularly in sales of native Americans.  I find it a little interesting that Isaac Bell was a Presbyterian, and yet ran the tavern.  We have to remember that "tavern" is a little bit strong of a term. It was likely an inn for visitors that also served some form of alcohol.  I also found that his name is on a petition to the governor, William Franklin, in 1760 but I haven't seen the document yet so I don't know what it's about. I don't believe I've written about Isaac yet. He was my fifth great grandfather.

Regarding William McCoy, my fourth great grandfather, I found records in his DAR listing that pointed me to the Pennsylvania Archives.  In the Sixth Series, Volume II part I I found William McCoy's name as a private in the 6th class of Captain Andrew Swearingen's unit under Colonel David Williamson's Batalion (sic).  I also found that the fourth and fifth classes were formally called up to go on the Expedition to "St. Dusky" (what if otherwise referred to as Sandusky), so it doesn't appear that William went on that trip unless he volunteered separately to go.  I didn't find further records regarding that.  In the Third Series, I found tax records for him in 1781 in Cecil Township, Greene Twp, and Robinson Township. The DAR indicates these are for the same William McCoy. If so, he was taxed on 700 acres at that time, four horses, 5 cattle, and 2 sheep. 

Holbrook line:  I may have had this information before, but I found the source:  Joseph Holbrook of Bloom Township, Cook County, Illinois was taxed in 1863 for having a carriage with two horses. They were valued at $100 and the amount of tax was $2.  This was to help raise money for the Civil War.  The source is found on Ancestry.com in the "U.S. Assessment Lists, 1862-1918." Joseph was my great great grandfather.

I also found a new possibility for a tie to James Lamphire. So far all I know about him is that his name was Eattan Lamphire, and that he lived in Brookfield, Chenango County, New York in 1802.  This may be the area where James died in 1847, but I need to check it out further.  Please realize, I'm grasping at straws here, but any new Lamphire name deserves study until it is ruled out.  James is my fourth great grandfather.

Along the same lines, by casting my net a little wider, I've found some "new" Wright names to track down, to possibly relate to Molly Wright. Molly is my fourth great grandmother.

Harshbarger lines:  I found a tax record for Lewis Harshbarger, in the same tax records as that of Joseph Holbrook.  In Union Township, Whitley County, Indiana, he is one of four men on the page.  I've tried to decipher the "article or occupation" that generated the tax. I believe it says "Patent Right Dealer" but I would be glad to hear of anyone else's interpretation.  Apparently, a dealer in such was someone who sold, or offered for sale, patent rights.  I'm unclear as to exactly what this would have involved in a rural setting like Union Township, Whitley County back in 1863. At any rate, he was taxed $1.67 for the privilege.  Lewis is the great great grandfather of my husband.

I also learned why I found a land sale for Solomon Bennett in 1841 in Whitley County but couldn't find record of his purchase(s) there.  The land was originally in Allen County (duh!).  I found this in a Deed Index for the early years of Allen County, but have misplaced the exact reference. Solomon is my husband's third great grandfather.

This has been a fun week, and this has been rather a fun post to write.  I hope you've enjoyed it, and I hope that if you are still searching your your ancestors, you will try some new databases or sources. As new sources and data bases come on line every day, and as we learn about ones we've somehow missed, our ancestors can start to come alive.  And as always, if you have questions about what I've written, or have additional information to share, I'd love to hear from you!  Leave a comment, or contact me: happygenealogydance AT gmail DOT com. (You'll know what to do with the AT and the DOT, and hopefully the spam robot won't!)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Allen line: William McCoy 1753-1813, pastor and spinning wheel maker

If I were to keep a list of my most interesting ancestors, William McCoy would go on that list.  Maybe it's because he made spinning wheels to supplement his income. Maybe it's because he fought in the Revolutionary War.  Maybe it's because he was a pastor, and a pioneer.  Maybe it's because this is one ancestor that we know for sure used a flatboat and the Ohio River as a means of transportation.  There is much more to learn about him, but this post will tell a little of his story. .

William McCoy was born March 31, 1753 (some sources say 1754), most likely in Virginia.  His parents were James Thomas McCoy from Ireland and Ann Bruce from Scotland. It is most likely that the McCoys were from Scotland, also, but they had been in Ireland for at least two generations before James Thomas came to America.  We don't know if James had siblings but it is likely that he did.

As for William, most on line sites will tell you he was born in Fayette County, Pa.  However, this area was not settled at that time, and in History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania by Franklin Ellis, it states that his father's land warrant there bears a date of June 14, 1769 and was surveyed September 23, 1769.  This tract was called "Flint Hill" and covered 305 acres.  There was a second tract of 223 acres surveyed to him the same date in September.  William would have been about 16, then, when the family moved to Fayette County.  James and Ann had moved their family to frontier Pennsylvania after the French and Indian War, but before the Revolutionary War. It was still a dangerous enough place because of the Indians that the first log cabin they built as a home was reconstructed as a stronger "Fort McCoy", where families from the area could gather for protection against Indians, and the McCoys then built another log cabin for their home.  This area was under attack at intervals during the time period leading up to, and during the Revolutionary War.

We know that William was a private in the Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolutionary War, so he would have been called out on various alarms and patrols.  He was a private in Captain Andrew Swearingen's Company, under Colonel David Williamson, in Washington County, Pa.  He had married Elizabeth Royse (sometimes spelled Rice) about 1776, so it appears that the young family may have already been heading west.  Many of William's fellow militia members participated in some horrible Indian massacres in 1781-1782 in "Ohio Country."  William's name is not noted on compiled lists of participants, but the list may be incomplete.  We will never know, probably, but we have to accept the possibility that he went, and the certainty that he would have heard about it when the troops returned.

The McCoy family was on the move again about 1788, in the flatboat trip down the Ohio.  Their son Rice was supposedly born near Cincinnati, Ohio, and was one of the first white children born there, if tradition is to be believed. However, the McCoy's kept traveling (I wonder how many days Elizabeth was permitted to recover before the trip began again?) and eventually settled in Jefferson County, Kentucky, and later moved to Shelby County, Kentucky.  By this time the McCoy family included William, James, Sarah, John, Isaac, Lydia, and Rice. William would marry in Shelby County. 

One of the driving passions of William's life was his devotion to his Lord Jesus Christ.  His father's family was Baptist, so it is natural that he also became a Baptist. I have been unable to locate anything regarding his religious training, which was likely minimal, or when he became a pastor. However, we know that beginning in the early 1800's William was frequently crossing the Ohio River into Clark County, Indiana, and preaching in cabins there.  By 1809, he moved to Clark County and became the pastor of Silver Creek Baptist Church there. He still helped support the family by making spinning wheels. Because of Indian troubles, he again moved to a farm near Charlestown, where he died on September 1, 1813 and is buried in Silver Creek Cemetery near his original Indiana home. Elizabeth lived, likely with family, until 1834, and was unfortunately alive to know that several of her family, children and grandchildren, died in the 1833 cholera epidemic. 

Our line of descent is:
William McCoy-Elizabeth Royce
James McCoy-Nancy Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard/Edith/Vernon/Tessora/Nancy Corinne Allen
Their children, grand children, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Beeks line: Valentine Hollingsworth, Immigrant 1632-1710

The Beeks family has a lot of interesting branches to the tree.  I've found Dutch and Welsh and French lines, some of them going much further back than the Beeks line which is currently stopped at Christopher Beeks, born in 1756 in England.  Valentine Hollingsworth is an example of a branch that was in Ireland for a couple of generations, (prior to that, England, it appears) before coming to the New World and settling in what became Delaware.  Besides being the immigrant of the family, and having an Irish connection, he was also a Quaker.  He is an interesting person to have as an ancestor!

Valentine was born to Henry Hollingsworth and Katheran (possibly Cornish, still unproven) on June 15, 1632 in Belleniskcrannel, Parish of Legoe, County Armagh, Ireland.  Henry was born in 1598 in Hollingsworth Hall Manor, Cheshire, England and died in Ireland. It is believed that he was likely forced to move to Ireland in the attempt to take Catholic lands in Ireland and make them Protestant.   (Most of the settlers had little experience in the kinds of agriculture used in northern Ireland, and were not happy to be in Ireland, anyway.  It was a rough time in history for these folks.)

At some point the Hollingsworth family became Quakers, which meant an even more difficult life, as Quakers were persecuted, jailed, beaten, had their property confiscated, and suffered other indignities due to their religious beliefs and refusal to attend church services held by the Church of England. Valentine married twice, first to Ann Rea (our ancestor) and then to Ann Calvert.  Both marriages took place in Ireland.  Four children were born to the first marriage, and perhaps as many as seven to the second marriage.  It appears that Valentine was more prosperous than some of his other neighbors, as he was able to buy land outright in Ireland.  He may have purchased the land before he became a Quaker, as purchases after becoming known as a Quaker would have been difficult.

By 1682, Valentine and his second wife, with 8 children, had decided to come to America. They were probably encouraged to do so by William Penn or his associates, as he signed the document known as the "Great Charter."  Valentine and his family settled on Shellpot Creek in the Brandywine Hundred, in what is now New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the First Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, and also a justice of the peace. 

It is difficult for us to realize the challenges that the early settlers had in beginning their new life in the New World.  Since most if not all of the children came with him, many with their own families, each of the children also faced the same challenges, and so many of them lived within relatively short distances of the others. Still, each family had to clear their own land, look to their own protection from Indians and from wild animals, plant and harvest their crops, spin and weave their own cloth, have food available all year round, and provide for other needs of the family.  It would have been a sacrifice for Valentine to also serve on the Assembly and as a justice of the peace, but it shows his character that he was willing to do this.

Valentine's wife Ann had died in Ireland in 1671 and his second wife died in Delaware in 1697.  Valentine is believed to have died in 1710 and was buried in the Friends Cemetery, Newark, New Castle County, Delaware.  This was land that Valentine had donated years earlier, to be a burial ground for the Quaker people. As such, it was a very simple cemetery, and he would likely not be pleased that there is now a substantial monument to him there, but his descendents can be grateful for it.  It can be viewed on Find A Grave.

The line of descent is:

Valentine Hollingsworth-Ann Rea
Mary Hollingsworth-Thomas Conway
Mary Conway-Charles Booth
Lydia Booth-Isaac Malin
Sarah Malin-David Ruble
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Goodnight Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Harshbarger children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Friday, July 11, 2014

Holbrook line: Robert Bartlett 1612-1676

Sometimes it's hard to find anything at all about an ancestor. Other times, the ancestor has been thoroughly researched and it's hard to cut an interesting life down to something that will fit in a blog post.  This post is one of those with much information available (yay!) and on top of that, he is an interesting person.  Most of this post is taken from "The Great Migration and the Great Migration Begins", found on Ancestry.com. 

Having said that much is known, I should hasten to add much is unknown, also.  Such minor details as his place of origin, his parents, and his marriage date are still not known, or at least, not agreed upon by family origins.  We know that he arrived in Massachusetts on board the Lyon, in September of 1632. We don't know whether he was already married, whether his wife and possibly first child came with him, or whether he came as a servant or as a free man.  We're not even sure where he first lived in Massachusetts.

It is thought that he probably was or became a follower of Reverend Thomas Hooker, who first settled in Cambridge and then went to Hartford, Ct. We know Robert was in Hartford and is listed as a founder on the Founder's monument, but we don't know when he arrived in Connecticut. It is believed that he was married by this time to Ann Warriner or Warringer, and had at least two of his children, but that is so far not verified.

Before he left Massachusetts, he already had a brush with the law, as did many colonists. Puritan law was quite strict.  He was "presented" (charged with cursing and swearing, and was censured to have his tongue put in a cleft stick.  In Connecticut, he was charged on June 30, 1646,with slandering a woman, and was sentenced to stand on the pillory during the lecture, be whipped, fined five pounds, and serve a half year's imprisonment.  Apparently he was still a prisoner in August, when he was again whipped for giving ill counsel to the prisoners.  (If anyone in this family has trouble holding their tongue, perhaps we can point a finger back to this ancestor!)

In 1656, Robert had perhaps had enough of Hartford, and left with his wife and family (Abigail, Samuel, Nathaniel and Deborah) for Northampton.  As in Hartford, Robert and his family were settling a frontier town, and life was difficult.  Besides building homes and clearing land, there were Indians to deal with.  As time went on, the native Americans became more and more upset with the number of English people and their spread into Indian land.  As a result, the Indians decided it was time to act, and in 1676 Northampton became one of their many targets in what became known as King Philip's War.  Robert Bartlett was the first man killed in that battle, in front of his own home.  He was buried in the highway there, because the town was devastated and there was no time for a proper burial. 

15 days after his death, on March 29, 1676, his widow Ann was in court presenting the inventory of Robert's estate. It was valued at 658 pounds, 18 shillings and 6 pence, which was quite a nice sum for those days. Most of the value was in his land he owned.  His wife outlived him by only a few weeks, and her will was dated May 21, 1676.  It is not known whether she suffered physical injuries from the Indian attack, or whether she died of natural causes, or whether it was a broken heart that killed her. The settlement included an additional amount for the care of Nathaniel Bartlett, a son who was apparently not capable of caring for himself, or at least not capable of managing money. 

Despite his problems in holding his tongue, Robert appears to have been a successful Puritan. He was a selectman, a constable, and a chimney viewer, and was trusted to help establish two different towns. We can recognize his shortcomings and still honor the man and his life. We can remember that it was our ancestors who fought and sometimes gave their lives to protect their family and property, and we can be especially proud of Robert Bartlett.

The line of descent is:

Robert Bartlett-Ann Warriner
Abigail Bartlett-John Stebbins
Sarah Stebbins -William Southwell
Ebenezer Southwell-Elizabeth Judd
Eunice Southwell-Medad Pomeroy Jr.
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Holbrook children, grand children, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren







Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Harshbarger line: John Gregory 1623-1678, Immigrant to Virginia

Whoa, Nellie!  Why am I writing about a Virginia line when I'm writing about the very German/Swiss Harshbargers in this post?  How did the tree get this tangled up? And is it correct?

Well, I can answer two of the three questions.  The Harshbarger line is mostly German, but there is one line that comes out of Virginia-Maryland, and that is the one we're discussing here.  The tree got this tangled because we are writing of families who came to America, the great melting pot, and eventually people of German heritage married people of English or Dutch or whatever heritage.  The process is still continuing in this generation.  It's probably a good thing, but genealogically speaking, it's a bit of a surprise. 

As to whether it is correct or not, I offer a disclaimer: I have not yet researched this line to any great degree.  It could be totally wrong. But other people, especially "Janet" of Janet's genealogy, have at least researched John Gregory, to the point that I am confident that he has been identified correctly.  Is there an error in a generation closer to us? Possibly.  But for now, this is the best evidence that I have available, and he's on the Harshbarger tree until I learn otherwise. 

John Gregory was born in 1623 in Langton, England, and died in 1676 in Virginia.  There is some dispute about the parents of John, generally given as Roger Gregory and Margaret Thornton.  More research needs to be done to verify his parents.He appears to have come to America as a young-ish man by 1653.  It is possible that he was married previously, but the wife we know of in America was Elizabeth Bishop, the daughter of John Bishop.  John and Elizabeth had at least five children together; John, Richard, Robert, Ann and Mary, all born in Virginia.  I have not yet established the parentage of Elizabeth, but she was either born in the Colony or came at a very young age. 

It's not clear what John did for a living, although land and heifers are mentioned in his will.  He likely farmed.  The puzzle about the will is that he didn't mention his children at all, but apparently left everything to his siblings.  His wife died a year before he did, but why would none of the children have been mentioned?  Is this the correct will?  There were apparently two sets of John Gregory (Senior and Junior) in Rappahannock County at the same time, so I'm not sure whether this is correct or not. 

Still, with all the questions, it's exciting to think that a Harshbarger ancestor was one of those who lived through those early days of Indian troubles, wolf bounties, food shortages, and other wilderness woes to help build what became the state of Virginia.  We continue to salute and honor the many Pennsylvania ancestors, but let's not forget that there were others, elsewhere, and let's continue to work to identify them and tell their stories, too.

The unproven line of descent is:

John Gregory Elizabeth Bishop
Ann Gregory-Thomas Edmundson
James Edmundson-Judith Allaman
John Edmundson-Mary Boughan
Susanna Edmundson-Thomas Wyatt
John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jean Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter (aha!  back to the Germans!)
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their children, grand children, and great grandchildren

As always, there are people out there who know more than I do about this line.  Please write and set me straight, and I'll be happy to post a correction to this blog.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Allen, Beeks, Harshbarger, Holbrook lines: Happy Fourth of July

Happy birthday, America!  And thank you to our ancestors, who fought for their freedom, and ours, during the American Revolutionary War, from 1775-1783.  This list will not be complete by any means, but will at least be a reminder to us of the men to whom we owe a debt of gratitude that can't be repaid.

Allen line: Moses Parrish, Michael Dunn, John Campbell, Lambert Lane, John Moore, William McCoy, Robert Bell, John Starr, Richard Falley, Martin Root, Thomas Chester, possibly Jonathan Havens, Stephen Noble.

Holbrook line: Jesse Holbrook, Amariah Holbrook, Levi Rockwood, Jude Foster, Josiah Whittemore, Joseph Nation, Libbeus Stanard, (possibly) David Fay, Edward Fay, Stephen Paine, Jacob Hetrick, Alexis Lemmon.

Harshbarger line:  Simon Essig, Casper Schnerr,

Beeks line:  Christopher Beeks, John Simpson Aldridge, Samuel Dunham.

I am sure there are many names I am missing, especially on the Harshbarger line.  I've found names that match ours in the State Archives, but they are a card file index only and I am not sure enough to list them here.  The Beeks line also is thin, because of brick walls and because I haven't yet had time to research the Dutch ancestors.  There were likely some who were involved, though, simply because of their locations. Maybe I can do an update next year! 

So here's to our ancestors, and here's to the red, white and blue!  Enjoy the picnic and fireworks from sea to shining sea! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Allen line: Abraham Clarke, abt 1630 to 1676

I'm writing about this Allen line ancestor for a couple of reasons.  One is that I think this post will be very short.  The other is that he is one of our few Maryland lines.  Many of our Allen ancestors came through New England, a few came through Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and New York, and a few came through Maryland.

We know very little about Abraham. His parents were John and Joan Clarke, of Weathersfield, Essex, England.  Abraham may have been a single child as the families I have seen on Ancestry and other internet sources do not appear to be correct.  I believe Abraham was older than the trees I've found indicate. He immigrated to Maryland and bought land in 1654.  This tells us that he would have been at least 18 in order to purchase land, and it tells us he apparently came to the New World with a bit of money in his possession. 

Apparently in the New World, he married Sarah Kinsey, daughter of Hugh Kinsey and Margaret Johns in 1667. We have record of only two children, Elizabeth and Mary, who were born to Abraham and Sarah, but there may have been more.  

Abraham made several purchases of land and it appears that at one time he may have owned about 650 acres of land.  When he died in 1676 his estate was valued at 26, 714 pounds of tobacco.  So, he apparently raised tobacco, although it may be that the appraisers valued the inventory in tobacco instead of English monetary values.  There is also reference to a court held by Abraham Clark, the attorney of Lancelott Sockwell, but it isn't clear whether this is our Abraham or not.

Abraham is interesting because he came to Maryland with money, since he apparently was never indentured to anyone.  He would have worked hard to acquire as much land as he did without asserting headrights, and he was in Maryland for about 13 years before he was married.  It looks very much like a picture of a prudent man, based on what we know so far.

I'll keep looking for more information about Abraham.  For now, I am picturing a "farmer" or "plantation owner", possibly an attorney, and probably a member of the established Church of England.  He was a landowner and would therefore have had voting rights, and was probably taxed as well.  There must be more records for him, and I will start searching to fill in the blanks of his life.

The line of descent is

Abraham Clark-Sarah Kinsey
Elizabeth Clark-William Wilkinson
Jane Wilkinson-Edward Corbin
Mary Jane Corbin-Samuel Lane
Lambert Lane-Nancy Anderson
Eleanor Lane-Vincent McCoy
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard/Edith/Vernon/Corinne/Tessora Allen
Their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren