Friday, October 21, 2016

Holbrook line: Edward Armstrong Immigrant 1630-1698

This is not the blog post I intended to write.  I intended to write about Gregory Armstrong, who lived in Plymouth Colony and married the widow of a man who was hanged by the authorities.  However, the more I looked at Gregory Armstrong's life, what little I could find did not mesh with him being the father of Edward Armstrong.  So I'm writing about Edward, who apparently came from a different place and went to a different place than Gregory did. 

We don't know much about Edward.  We believe he was born about 1630, possibly in northern Ireland or in the borderlands of Scotland and England.  We know he arrived in Maryland in 1666, and we assume this was his first trip across the ocean.  At this point, we don't know whether he arrived as a free person or as an indentured servant, or as a convict.  We also don't know whether he came because of political or economic reasons, and we don't know where his marriage took place.

We do know that he eventually acquired land, because he left it to his son Edward and his heirs, when our subject died in late 1697 or very early 1698 (will was probated January 12, 1698).  At the time of his death, he lived at Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland and his land was known as "Rich Neck."  He left sons Charles and John the residue of his estate, at the age of 21.  The executors were Edward and John, along with son in law Derby Hernley(seen elsewhere as Henly).  Richard Holmes was to have charge of son Charles during his minority.  Witnesses were Jos. Dawkins and Thos Howe.  .

From the will, we can guess that his wife Susan had died (some trees give her date of death as 1697).  We don't know why Anne Armstrong, their daughter, was omitted from the will but perhaps she had been given her inheritance at the time of her marriage. (Anne survived her husband and married Obadiah Evans.) 

There's so much to learn about Edward.  I'd love to know where his origins were, who his parents were, his religion, why he came to America and his status when he arrived, and I'd love to know how he met and married his wife.  If someone has been working on Edward and knows or has educated guesses to any of these questions, or simply knows more about Edward, I'd love to hear from them!

The line of descent is:

Edward Armstrong-Susan
Anne Armstrong-Obediah Evans
Martha Evans-Edward Bussey
Edward Bussey-Mary, widow of Edward Pendergrass
Sarah Bussey-Benjamin Amos
Elizabeth Amos-Robert Amos
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook, Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Allen line: Robert Walker, Immigrant 1601-1687

Oh, happy day!  Here's a well-documented (mostly) ancestor that had been under my radar to the extent that I didn't even have a folder started for him.  Yet, here he is, with well written articles in both The Great Migration Begins and The American Genealogist, as well as a good web page on the John Walker Family Organization website.  The only problem is, his parentage may or may not be correct, and the identification of his wife is not certain.  Other than those "minor" issues, we know quite a lot about Robert Walker.

The first question, of course, is when was he born and who were his parents?  It's believed that he was born in either 1601 or 1607.  If the 1607 date is correct, then his parents were Thomas Walker and Margaret Bardsley.  Margaret died when Robert was about two, and Thomas died just two years later, so Robert was likely raised by the husband of his step-mother.  Somehow, Robert followed the trade of linen weaver or webster that his father had followed.  Perhaps his  sort of step-father was also a linen weaver.  (Webster" appears to mean someone who also made linen thread from flax, perhaps for separate sale, in addition to weaving the material). 

Robert came to Massachusetts Bay Colony (Boston) in about 1631 along with his wife, Sarah probably Leager, whom he had married in England.  Their origin was "Manchester, Lancashire, England." The John Walker Family Organization website says he came in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet, along with Sarah and "other Puritans."  If they were already married, they were newly-weds.  Other sources say they married in Boston. 

Robert and Sarah had at least 12 children, some of whom died young.  In Boston, Robert joined the First Church in 1632 and Sarah in 1634.  Robert was made a freeman in 1634.  He later became one of the founders of the Old South (Third)  Church in 1669.  I may have unknowingly walked, or at least driven, by his homesite when I made a quick trip to Boston (not for genealogy purposes) in 1998, because his home was bounded on the north by Boston Common.  I was right there! 

Robert didn't hold many offices in Boston.  He was appointed a cowherd, and served on two grand juries.  Also he was a clerk of the market, and a tithing man at Old South church. He wrote his name on only one deed but signed only initials on other documents.  Was his hand sore, or hurt, or was he truly just barely literate, one wonders.  Sarah consistently signed her name. 

Robert had what appears to be a stroke on May 27, 1687 and died two days later.  Samuel Sewall is quoted in his Diary as stating "He was a very good Man and conversant among God's New England People from beginning."  That's a pretty good legacy, in my opinion. 

It's fun to think about Robert and Sarah in very early Boston (which when they arrived was a very small town indeed).  And when I read about "Old South Church" in pre-Revolutionary War days, it's exciting to realize that an ancestor helped found that church, 100 years earlier.  Oh, I love it when facts come together! 

The line of descent is

Robert Walker-Sarah Leager
Jacob Walker-Elizabeth Wheeler
Elizabeth Walker-Luke Hitchcock
Ruth Hitchcock-Jonathan Church
Ruth Church-Stephen Noble
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samual Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, October 14, 2016

Harshbarger line: Heinrich Braun and his father Johann, Immigrants

This is the reason genealogy bloggers go gray.  Heinrich or Henry Braun and his father are pretty much complete mysteries.  I have found trees that say that Johann died in Bedford County, Pennsylvania and Heinrich died there after 1750, but that is all I know of their life in Pennsylvania.  It's frustrating!

Heinrich was born to Johann and Barbara Braun in Deidesheim, Germany.  If I have identified the town correctly, it is in the Rhineland-Palatinate, where many of the early German ancestors lived.  It appears that this is a Catholic town, or was in the 1700's, which is a bit different from other families, and the main farm crop has always been grapes.  Vineyards have been the main source of income for generations.  When Heinrich was born, the population of the town would have been about 500 people, so it was really just a village. 

There are a lot of Johann Brauns and a lot of Heinrich Brauns, and so far I've not found a record of immigration that I believe likely belonged to either man.  A Heinrich Braun did arrive in Philadelphia in 1749 but I tend to think our Heinrich was here earlier.  Records vary as to where he married his wife, Maria Anna Catarina Rau, but it was either in Deidesheim or in Pennsylvania.  The date is given as January 15, 1732.  The couple had at least two children, Henry and John. 

Heinrich died in 1750 or later, and his wife died in 1749.  Again, some sources show Germany and some show Bedford County, Pa as the location of her death. 

So, this man is a mystery, with nothing to really show to help us understand his life.  We know that he married, immigrated, and had children, although not necessarily in that order, and we know that he was widowed.   We need to do a lot more research to learn about this man and his life!  If someone recognizes him, please contact me!

The line of descent is

Heinrich Braun-Maria Anna Catarina Rau
Henry Matthias Braun-Maria Salome Hoerner
David Brown-Barbara Brothers
Elizabeth Brown-William Cook
Barbara Cook-William A Withers
William H Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beeks line: Valentine Allen 1630-1712 Immigrant

I've spent considerable time in my genealogy life looking at this family and trying to work out a connection to the James Allen in my line, not realizing that I needed to be interested in Valentine because he was in the Beeks line, whether or not he is also in the Allen line.  I'm finding there is a lot of conflicting information about this Valentine, and perhaps there is more than one person with the name Valentine Allen.  This will just be a brief description of what seems to be proven and what is questionable, and hopefully as time goes on someone will find the smoking gun that proves or disproves the questionable "facts".

Everyone seems to agree that Valentine was born in either 1630   No one seems to agree on where that birth took place, nor on whom the two participants in that birth were.  Many sites say he was born at "Isle of Wight, Virginia" to John and Catherine Mayor Allen.  I don't think the birth location is correct because I found records for his arrival in Virginia in 1650, as a headright for John Catlett and Ralph Rousey.  Of course, it's possible that he was born in Virginia and sent back to England to be raised if, in fact, his mother's death date is also 1630, as I have frequently seen listed, but with no documentation.  At any rate, we know he was in Virginia, in what was then Northumberland County, in 1650.

Arriving as a headright meant Valentine would have had to work for several years, usually three or four, either for the men who brought him over or for someone else who bought his services for that time period.  He was a young and apparently strong man, for he survived all the dangers and diseases of early Virginia and lived to marry Mary Page, daughter of Thomas Page in 1655, and to raise a family.  The most consistent notes I find indicate that their children were Samuel, Reynolds, William, Richard, Christine or Christian, Judith, and Valentine.  There may also have been a Susannah, although her birth date as given would be outside the 1654-1671 birthdates of the other children by several years. 

Valentine and Mary deeded land that Mary had inherited from her father Thomas to two of their children in 1689.  Or perhaps the first gift, to Elizabeth, was a daughter from an earlier marriage of Mary's, for she is not mentioned in the above listing of children. The second gift was to their daughter Christian married to Richard Dyson.  Each of these gifts was for 451 acres. 

I haven't located a will for Valentine yet.  I'm guessing he owned more land than the 902 acres accounted for by his marriage to Mary Page.  I'm also guessing this meant he owned slaves to work his land.  I would love to find the will and I'd love to find more about him, especially to see whether any of his grandchildren or great grandchildren would turn out to be James, of the Allen line. 

The Beeks line of descent appears to be:

Valentine Allen-Mary Page
William Allen-Mary Hunt
Francis Allen-Peter Lehew
William Lehew-Hannah
Mary Lehew-William Featheringill
Elizabeth Featheringill-George Botkin
Charity Botkin-Jackson Wise
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge

I would love to hear from anyone who is working on this family.  Also, please remember that Mary Wise may not be a Wise at all but this is what her legal family would look like. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Holbrook line:: Thomas Crocker 1633-1715/16 Immigrant

I can say Thomas Crocker was an immigrant only because I know he died here and was born in England.  He is often said to have been born in 1633 and to have been the son of Hugh Crocker and Elizabeth Colleton, and to have been christened at St Olave, Exeter, Devonshire, England.  Some of those facts may be true, none of them may be true, or all of them may be true, but many family historians are leaving his parentage blank.  So we will simply say he was born in England. 

It seems that he was in New London, Connecticut by 1667, when he married Rachel Chappell, daughter of George Chappell and Christian possibly Bell Chappell.  I've not found speculation as to when he emigrated to America, or why.  If indeed he was the son of Hugh and Elizabeth, he may have come at a young age with his brothers, or followed soon after.  Perhaps his parents had the foresight to send him out of the country before the Civil War broke out.  Hugh, mayor of Exeter, if this is the correct Hugh) was a Royalist but his sons seem to have tried not to take sides in America.  Or it may be that he didn't come until later.  He seems to have bought a house in New Street in New London, Connecticut in 1660, although other sources say he didn't arrive until a few years later, and was named in a land grant of 1663 and again in 1704. 

He and Rachel had at least eight children, born between 1669 and 1685 (none named Hugh!).  We don't know what he did for a living but perhaps he worked in the maritime trades.  His father in law was a carpenter, so perhaps he learned that, or a similar, trade.  I've not yet located a will for him, which could probably tell us a good deal more than we know now.  Thomas Crocker died January 18, 1715/16 and it appears that Rachel lived until 1728.  Once Thomas arrived in New London, that is where he stayed (unless he made trips for trade purposes, for which there is no indication). 

Thomas may or may not have left other records, showing land or court records, church affiliation, and town offices or responsibilities.  So far, I haven't found them.  He is pretty much a mystery, but he is one of the men who, however low their social status may (or may not) have been, made America. 

The line of descent is

Thomas Crocker-Rachel Chappell
John Crocker-Mercy Tubbs
Rachel Crocker-Kingsland Comstock
Rachel Comstock-John Eames
John Eames-Elizabeth Longbottom
Harriet Eames-James Lamphire the missing
Susan Lamphire-Joseph B Eddy
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Allen line: Richard Hawes, Immigrant 1606-1656

Richard Hawes has been sitting on my family tree for a long time, basically unnoticed and neglected.  I didn't even have a folder prepared for his information.  Yet, here he is, not only an immigrant but an early one, covered in the Great Migration 1634-1635.  How did I miss this?

Richard was born in 1606 in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England, to Richard Hawes and (probably) Susan Dean.  He may have been an only child, at least I've not yet found record of siblings.  His mother died in 1609 at the age of 25 so she may have died in or following childbirth, and perhaps that child did not survive.

That is as much as is known about Richard until the birth of his first daughter, Anne, who was baptized at Great Missenden on December 17, 1632.  We learn that his wife's name was Anne, from the register of the ship "Truelove", which sailed September 19, 1635 from London.  By that time, a son, Obediah, had been born.  He was about six months old when the family of four set sail for Massachusetts.

Once landed, the family went to Dorchester, where the couple were admitted to the church in 1637 and Richard was made a freeman in 1638.  He doesn't seem to have held offices of any consequence, though he was a fence viewer several times.  We can believe he was educated to some degree because there were books listed in his inventory.  He may also have been involved in military training or/and service, as were most of the men of early Massachusetts, because his inventory included two muskets, two swords, and a pair of bandoliers.  The family stayed in Dorchester as long as Richard lived. 

We know that he and Anne had at least seven children: Anne, Obediah, Bethia, Deliverance, Constant, Eleazer, and Jeremiah.  Also we know that he was granted various lands for his role as settler, and had apparently acquired additional land.  His real estate was valued at 87 pounds at the time of his death.  Also, there is a clue that perhaps his father, although a husbandman at his death,  was not poor, in that he left the two oldest children 20 pounds apiece, with an additional 10 pounds to be divided equally between the other grandchildren (whom he had probably not seen). 
Richard appears to have been a peaceable man, only once being called into court, which was almost nothing compared to many of his neighbors.  He saw an opportunity in America and by hard work acquired land to leave his family.  Like many in early Massachusetts, he did not have a long life, being about 50 when he died.  Obediah was eventually granted administration of the estate including "binding and placing out the children".  Our ancestor, Constant, would have been 14 years old when her father died.  It was seven years later that she married Thomas Dewey, so I'd love to know what happened to her during this time!  We don't know when Ann died.  The last child, Jeremiah, was born about 1647, and there seems to be no further mention of her after that time. 

I'm thankful for Richard Hawes and his wife.  I wouldn't be here without them!

The line of descent is

Richard Hawes-Anne
Constant Hawes-Thomas Dewey
Elizabeth Dewey-Thomas Noble
Thomas Noble-Sarah Root
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward F. Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, September 30, 2016

Harshbarger line: A newspaper article about Simon Essig, 1754-1851

I've written about Simon Essig before, but this find is just to good to not pass along.   It was printed in the Canton Daily News of October 1, 1922 and was written by John McGregor.  I found it reprinted in the History of Stark County by Herbert t. O. Blue, which was published in 1928.  It's not usual to find evidence of a newspaper article for a man who died in 1851.  I would love to see the original newspaper article, because it apparently included a picture of the original home of the Essigs, but it's wonderful to find this and to be able to share it with you.

"Simon Essig, Revolutionary Soldier"

" In the pioneer days of this county it was, of course, very sparsely settled, the families being few and far between.

This condition necessarily brought the pioneer families into close social relations and intermarriage was a natural consequence.

In writing of one of these families, it is necessary to write of three old pioneers whose intermarriage is such that we cannot speak of one without bringing them all into our story. 

The first of these was the old Simon Essig family, among the earliest of our pioneer families.  The original Essig family, so far as our record goes, was that of Wendell Essig, a descendant of whom, named Frederick Essig, was major of the Canton Bern, Switzerland, in 1890.  This Wendell Essig was born February 7, 1700, and arrived in this country at Philadelphia September 17, 1749.  He was recorded on the ship's books as a Palatine, and it has always been suggested he was a Royal Grenadier of Frederick William, King of Prussia. 

Simon Essig, a descendant of of Wendell, came to Stark County from Cumberland County, Pa. in the year 1808 and settled on the farm later known as the Herbruck farm on the Harrisburg Road and now in the city limits. 

The illustration above shows the old log cabin erected by Simon Essig on the bank of Middlebranch Creek.  There were born to Simon Essig and wife six sons and six daughters and here in the wilderness did Simon Essig and wife rear a family of twelve children whose descendants now number many thousands.  Simon Essig died on the farm at the age of 97 years. 

His descendants are scattered across the entire United States and hold prominent positions of trust and honor.  One of his great grandsons, Hon. Scott Wike of Illinois, was assistant secretary of the treasury under Grover Cleveland and also represented his district in the United States Congress two terms.

Simon Essig was born in 1754 and died in 1852.  The last and youngest of Simon Essig's children was Rebecca, who died October 14,1896 at the advanced age of 96 years."

I also have notes under this source that say "Adam Essig and Jacob Essig, War of 1812 soldiers and Simon's sons, are also buried at Warstler's Cemetery."

I need to double check the date of Simon's death, as I show it as March 18, 1851.  If my date is wrong, I need to correct it.  The name of Simon's wife, mother of twelve children, is Julia Margaret Schnerr or Schneer. She also lived to a good old age, dying in 1844 at the age of 79.  Simon's son George, the Harshbarger connection, also served in the War of 1812.  He was wounded at Pu-in-Bay in one of the Indian skirmishes. 

I've blogged about Simon before but I thought this article was interesting since it reflects some of the stories in the family history, and gives more details about the life of the family.  I certainly wasn't expecting to find this when I picked up that particular book!

The line of descent is

Simon Essig-Julia Margaret Schnerr
George Essig-Catherine Shollenberger
Susannah Essig-Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William H Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants