Friday, October 9, 2015

Holbrook and Beeks lines and Ethan Allen

What in the world do Ethan Allen, Libbeus Stannard (Holbrook line), Timothy Martin (Beeks line) and Jason Wheeler (Beeks line) all have in common?  Well, there is a known connection between Ethan Allen and Libbeus Stannard, because Libbeus served under Ethan Allen in 1776 as one of the Green Mountain Boys.

I am currently reading Ethan Allen; His Life and Times by Willard Sterne Randall and I am learning much that may be of interest in tracking down Timothy Martin and Jason Wheeler.  Both these men were born in New York, but as it turns out, New York claimed what is now Vermont (as did New Hampshire) until 1791, when it became the 14th state in the United States of America.  So if we are looking for Jason Wheeler, born in 1765 in New York, it is quite possible that he is the Jason Wheeler in Lunenburgh, Orange County, Vermont in 1790.  (I'm not sure the designation is Vermont in 1790, but that's not my problem.)  Timothy Martin is listed as having a birthplace of Vermont in one census and New York in another census so I'm thinking it would be wise to look for him in Vermont, too.

Reading and thinking about this book is really getting my genealogy juices going.  For instance, it sent me to Fold3 to look once more for Libbeus Stannard's Revolutionary War records, and there they were.  He was living at Rupert, Vermont in 1776 when he enlisted in January 1776 and served four months and six days in Captain Gideon Brownson's Company Colonel Seth Warner's Regiment of Green Mountain Boy's and was in Arnold's Expedition to Canada.  Gideon Brownson was Ethan Allen's brother-in-law, the brother of his wife Mary Brownson.

 I'm not quite that far in reading the book yet, but I know from other reading that Arnold's (Benedict Arnold, when he was an American hero and not yet a traitor) Expedition to Quebec took place in 1775, so I'm not sure yet how Libbeus took part in that expedition.  The locations listed on his case file 14619 (pension number) do seem to support the Arnold expedition, as Quebec, Canada, Lake Champlain, Onion River, ,Vermont, Montreal, St. Lawrence, Abraham Plains, Whitehall, Fort Independence and Castleton are all listed.  I do hope to find out more, either in this book or in other research, because it appears that our Libbeus may have been a true hero though!  Libbeus re-enlisted in July of 1776 and served a three month term with Connecticut troops, which is not surprising.  Libbeus was born in Connecticut and there was a natural path of travel, up and down the Connecticut river into Vermont.  He later re-enlisted in Vermont in 1781 and served another three or four months, so altogether he had about a year of service. 

Besides tracing down the Arnold expedition story for Libbeus, I need to look for possible military records for Jason Wheeler, either in New York or Vermont, and possibly in the War of 1812 rather than the Revolutionary War.  I also need to look for men who may be Timothy Martin's father, in each of the states and each of the wars (more likely that Mr. unknown Martin would have served in the war of 1812.) For that matter, there may be a Ilberry or Tilbury who would be a clue to Hannah Tilberry Martin. 

Finally, I need to finish reading this book, to see what else I can learn that could be of interest in tracing down Jason and Timothy.  I expect more surprises and insights that could give me some clues, but just as importantly, I expect to learn more about this part of American history.  The author quite passionately believes that Ethan Allen was a hero, and he is not at all shy about explaining how the New England people were mistreated by the New York governors and elite and by New Hampshire's governors, who were equally greedy.  Who knew?

As always, if someone knows more about Timothy Martin or Jason Wheeler, or has more tidbits about Libbeus Stannard, I'd love to hear from you.  Meanwhile, Ethan Allen is calling me!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Allen line: Sgt RIchard Beckley about 1618-1690 Immigrant

When I win the lottery (which will be sometime after I buy my first ticket), I would love to spend much of that fortune tracing down these immigrant ancestors.  Richard Beckley is another mystery.  He must have had leadership qualities because he was elected or appointed sergeant of the New Haven Artillery Company in 1648.  He must have been a successful person, because he was able to leave homes to each of his sons at his death.  He was respected in his communities, for he was many times a juror, and sometimes appointed to commissions.  But we don't know much more than this, which seems so very little to know.

He is traditionally given a birth date of 1618, in "probably" Hampshire, England, but as far as I know there is as yet no documentation for that.  His parents were John Beckley and Mary Elliott, and he is known to have had at least one brother, Simon.  That is as much as we know of his youth, or for that matter, of his marriage.  He is believed to have been married at least twice.  It has been suggested that his first wife was Mrs. Alice Daniels (maiden name not known, unless it was Daniels), but the circumstances surrounding that marriage, if correct as reported, are bizarre and worthy only of the gossip columns.  I'm not sure that the Richard Beggarly in England, alleged adulterer, and Richard Beckley, fine upstanding citizen, more or less, in Connecticut are the same person, but I'm simply noting it as a possibility, however remote.  His second wife is believed to be Frances Deming, and that marriage took place probably in either 1662 or 1665.

So, sometime Richard married someone, and had children Sarah, John, Mary, Benjamin, Nathaniel, and Hannah, all in New Haven, Connecticut, except Sarah may have been born elsewhere.  Richard and presumably his wife had arrived there by 1639, so New Haven was still a very small community at that time.  They stayed in or near New Haven until about 1660, when they moved to Wethersfield, Ct.  Richard purchased land in 1668 from Turramuggus, which was 300 acres and was located on both sides of the Mattebesset River, in what is now the "Beckley section" of Berlin, Ct  He was clever in purchasing his land, for it allowed him to build a mill on the river.  I've not found references to attacks on the settlement during King Philip's War, but militia from Connecticut were certainly involved in some of the battles and since Richard was a sergeant earlier, it is likely that he participated in at least some of them.  (He apparently wasn't 60 years of age yet, so would have been in the militia unless he had a health condition that prevented it.) 

In Wethersfield/Berlin, Richard and family apparently prospered.  Towards the end of his life, Richard was granted license for an ordinary (he may have been licensed earlier but records haven't been found), which may have been an easier way to make a living than the farming he had been doing.  His children or and grandchildren may have helped with the chores of this tavern/inn. 

Richard died August 5, 1690.  His estate wasn't settled until 1701 so his wife may have outlived him.  His inventory taken September 2,1690 was valued at 383 pounds, 5 shillings.  Among the items I can read on the inventory are 15 books, carpenters tools, and six hives of bees. I think this is the first inventory I've found that mentioned bee hives, but it makes sense since it's known that he had an orchard. His inventory and will are on the new database at, and I just found them today.  It's pretty cool to be able to sit here and read (or not) some of the last wishes of such a distant ancestor!

The line of descent is:

Richard Beckley-unknown first wife
Sarah Beckley-John Church
Richard Church-Elizabeth Noble
Jonathan Church-Ruth Hitchcock
Ruth Church-Stephen Noble
Ruth Noble-Martin Root Jr.
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, October 2, 2015

Harshbarger line: Summing up the brick walls

I've written now (I think) about every Harshbarger ancestor I've found, or at least of the one highest up on the family tree, or the immigrant.  I'm at a loss as to how to continue writing Harshbarger posts.  For now, I'll once again highlight the "opportunities" aka brick walls I have in this family.  I hope someone will contact me with information or clues about each of these folks.  Even though this is husband's family, not mine, I have come to respect these folks and I want to honor them by learning their place in the world and in their families.  I'll start here, in alphabetical order. 

The first is Caleb Bennett, born about 1765 and died in 1841 in Clark or Miami County, Ohio.  His parents are usually given as Charles Bennett and Martha Collins, but I can't find documentation for that, so I've removed them from the tree.  If someone has proof that Charles was his father, I'd love to know about it.  Caleb married Ann Catherine Wilson on November 8, 1785, possibly in what is now West Virginia. 

Second one is Nicholas Cocke, who was in Virginia by 1660 and whose wife was Jane widow Curtis.  Were his parents Nicholas Cocke and Elizabeth Lower?  Did the elder Nicholas really come to Virginia about 1660, or was he here earlier?  Who was Jane widow Curtis? I'm confused about this, but I'd love to know more.  These early Virginia settlers intrigue me.

And finally, for this round, Henry Cook or Koch.  He was born about 1794 in Berks County, Pa and married Catherine Whetstone or Wetstein who was also from Berks County (locations are per their wills.)  Henry died in 1861 in Whitley County, Indiana and Catherine died August 19, 1887, probably in Whitley County as that is where her will was filed. My file of possibilities for his parents is quite thick, but I have not been able to track Henry (or Catherine) back any further and would love to have some help or at least some sympathy on this one.

So ends this segment of brick walls, but the wall goes on much longer.  I'd love to hear from anyone who is working on these families.  My email is happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Beeks line: First tidbits about Timothy Martin 1798-

Timothy Martin is one of the 'new" members to the Beeks tree.  He is the father of the Matilda Martin who married David Wise, the Civil War veteran I've written of earlier.  I'm just starting to get to "know" Timothy, so I went to the Wabash County Courthouse last week to see if I could find more information about him. 

The 1850 census shows that he was born in Vermont and was about 40 years of age, so born about 1810.  The 1860 census shows that he was born in New York and was about 62, so born in about 1798. I don't know which is correct, but I know these are the same two men because their location, the names of their wives, and the names of the children all match.  (Ages and places of birth are a different matter, but that is incidental to this post.)  The 1850 census lists him as a farmer, but no value is given for land so apparently he didn't own any at that point.  The 1860 census gives him $500 in real estate and $600 in personal property.  The $500 in real estate seemed like it would be relatively easy to pin down by going to the courthouse. 

I didn't find any record of land either bought or sold by Timothy, from 1833 onward.  I did, however, find a transaction from Timothy Martin to Samuel Tilberry listed in the General Index to Deeds, which was a "P.O.S." (proof of sale) dated April 29, 1850 for the odd sum of $48.13.  I strongly suspect that Samuel Tilberry was the brother of Hanna Martin, Timothy's wife, so I hurried to Book L page 171 of the deeds to see what land Timothy had disposed of in 1850.  What I found was at least as interesting as any land deed.  I will copy it here to the best of my ability, although there were a couple of words I wasn't able to read:

"A bill of sale from Timothy Martin to Samuel Tilberry.  Know all men that I, Timothy Martin, have this day sold to Samuel Tilberry the following property to wit: One two horse wagon, 3 milch cows, 1st brindle, 2nd red with a white forehead, 3rd brindle, 3 young cattle one year old each, one mare  colt, mare grey, colt black, for the sum of forty eight dollars & 13 cents to secure the payment of judgement for the sum of forty eight dollars & 13 cents on the docket of William Sallee Esq. and in favor of J.R. Fry, for which I stand security, and that the above described property is now placed in the possession of the said Samuel Tilberry for the purpose of securing the payment of the above judgement & costs, and on condition, said Martin (not sure of word or words) the above judgement and costs at the time the issue becomes due on the docket of the said William Sallee, Justice, as aforesaid , then this obligation to be void; otherwise to remain in full force and witness in law. 

"In witness whereof the said Timothy Martin hereunto set my hand and seal the 24th day of April A.D. 1850.                                                                                 Timothy Martin (seal)

Witness: David (Umirres? Amsirres?  Could not read last name)

Recorded May 3, 1850   M. Steele RWC"

Of course I wanted to know who J.R. Fry was, and the only one I located that makes any sense is a J.R. Fry back in Sidney, Shelby County, Ohio, which is where Timothy and Hanna were married in 1833.  (A whole lot of other Tilberrys were married there, too, but I haven't begun to sort them out yet.)  J.R. is about the same age as Timothy and Hanna.  I don't know if this is the right man, I don't know of any relationship between Timothy and J.R., and I don't know why Timothy would have signed as security for him.  Perhaps those records are in Shelby County.  If the records were in Wabash County, then according to the folks at the Courthouse we are out of luck, because "everything burned in a courthouse fire". (Obviously not completely true, because the land records are complete.)

I worry about the Martins as I read the list of items sold to Samuel.  They lost a wagon, three milch cows, three cattle, and a mare and colt.  What, if anything, did they have left?  Did Samuel allow them the continued use of these items, after the sale?  Was Timothy ever able to reclaim them? Samuel appears to have been at least slightly better off than Timothy.  He had been in Wabash County since at least 1840, when he purchased 97.60 acres from Daniel Sayre on November 17, 1840, for $488.  So ten years later, he was established enough to have $48.13 that he could use to help Timothy honor the security he had given. 

If anyone knows the rest of this story, who J.R. Fry was and why Timothy would have signed as security for him, I'd love to know how this all started. 

Since I couldn't find a record of Timothy owning real estate, I wonder if possibly he was buying land on contract in 1860.  That could explain why he was shown as owning real estate.  Or perhaps it was a happy mistake on the census taker's part, that encouraged me to go find this interesting record. 

Again, the line of descent is:

Timothy Martin-Hannah Tilberry
Matilda Martin-David Wise
Elizabeth Wise-John Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, September 25, 2015

Holbrook line: Henry Woodward 1607-1683 Immigrant

I want to write about Henry Woodward today, if for no other reason than to mention the name of his children.  His daughters were Experience, Freedom, and Thankful.  Doesn't that say a lot?  The names of his daughters are actually a sermon to us, his descendants, a reminder to be grateful that we can have freedom, both politically and spiritually.  Thank you, grandfather Henry! 

Henry is also said to be the ancestor of at least two famous people to whom we can now claim kinship, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (again) and Princess Diana.  Funny, we don't look anything like either of them!

Henry was baptized March 22, 1607, the son of Thomas Woodward and Elizabeth Tynen of Much Woolton, Lancashire, England.  For some reason, he was baptized at Childwell, Lancashire, so that may have been the main church of worship for the parish.  Childwell is very near or part of Liverpool, on the west coast of England and in the north.

Henry came to the New World on the ship "James" in 1635, although I am not finding him in any of the "Great Migration" publications to date.  He was in Boston first, then went to Dorchester by 1639 and on to Northampton in 1659.  He married Elizabeth about 1640, probably in Dorchester.  It has long been thought that his wife was Elizabeth Mather, of the Puritan famous Mather family, but apparently proof is lacking because I've also seen speculation that her last name was Cundliffe.  Henry became a member of the Dorchester church and a freeman of the colony shortly after his arrival in Dorchester. 

He was a respected member of the community of Dorchester, serving on various committees and juries there, and in 1657, at least, he was serving as constable. 

His children, named above and also a son John, were all born at Dorchester, where Henry was a physician.  In 1658, Henry and two Dorchester men were sent to start the new village of Northampton, and were rewarded with large grants of land there.(One unidentified source says that part of his land is now occupied by Smith College.)

When the family moved to Northampton, he was the keeper of an ordinary (tavern) and also a miller.  He would also have been a small time farmer, raising crops and animals for this family.  He was 51 when he went to Northampton at Richard Mather's request.  Northampton had been founded a few years earlier so we don't know why it was thought necessary to send more men.  Perhaps it had to do with the occupation of the men who were sent, or perhaps it was felt that the church there needed building up. 

Northampton was attacked by Indians several times during King Philip's War.  This was one town n Massachusetts that was more or less prepared for attack, having built a long wooden palisade that enclosed several of the structures around the central meeting house.  There were three  "minor" attacks in 1675 that killed at least two people and resulted in the burning of several homes and barns, so over the winter of 1675-1676 the palisade was built and at the time of the "big" Northampton attack, there were about 300 soldiers stationed there.  on March 14, 1676, a "sizable force of local warriors" attacked Northampton.  They managed to set ten houses on fire, and to breach the walls of the palisade in three places, but the soldiers rallied and drove the Indians away.  We don't know whether Henry was there or not.  Many men had sent their families away, so it may be that Elizabeth was gone but Henry was there to fight, or to assist with illnesses and injuries over the winter. 

The town regrouped after the war (there were no more attacks on this town) and Henry's life went on.  He was killed in some sort of accident at the "upper corn mill" on April 9, 1683, when he was 76 years old.  Elizabeth lived until August 13, 1690, when she died at Northampton.  I haven't yet located a will for either Henry or Elizabeth.  Perhaps one would give us an insight into Elizabeth's parentage.  It would certainly help us understand what Henry accumulated, in terms of land and goods, during his lifetime. 

I'd like to know whether Henry was literate, and I'd like to know more about his life in both Dorchester and Northampton, particularly why he decided or agreed to go to Northampton.  Of course, I'd like to know about his life in England, too, and what prompted him to come to America.
There are always more questions, it seems.

Our line of descent is:

Henry Woodward-Elizabeth possibly Mather
Experience Woodward-Medad Pomeroy
Joseph Pomeroy-Hannah Seymour
Medad Pomeroy-Hannah Trumbull
Medad Pomeroy Jr.-Eunice Southwell
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard Jr.-Euzebia or Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Alllen line: Deacon Samuel Wright, Immigrant

You would think that a man known as "Deacon" would be easy to trace.  Much is written about him but as far as I can tell not much is really known about him.  His parents are not known for certain, although the best guess at this point is that his parents were John Wright and Martha Castell.  They had a son named Samuel who was born June 29, 1606 at Wrightsbridge, Essex, England, as well as John, Nathaniel, and Robert. If Samuel was the son of these parents, then he was born into a life that is more privileged than some.  His grandfather would have been Lord John Wright, a member of the House of Lords and his father, John Wright, was at one time a clerk to the House of Commons.  Samuel's parents were Puritans, and so was Samuel.

Samuel married possibly Margaret Stratton or some other Margaret, while in England, perhaps around 1631.  To my knowledge, the marriage record has not yet been found. 

Some of his seven children were born in England and some in America.  He and Margaret arrived here about 1636, and by 1639 they were in Springfield.  He didn't become a freeman until 1648 and one wonders what the reason was for the hold up.  Did Samuel not join the church right away?  Did he not meet the property requirements?  He had already been serving on juries as early as 1640, so was the freeman designation an oversight? 

He was among the early settlers of Springfield and at some point in those earl years acted as church leader or at least speaker, before the church acquired their own pastor.  By 1656, the Wrights had moved to Northampton, 35 miles north of Springfield.  Their oldest son Samuel, Jr. had already moved there and with Samuel Senior already 60, he may have wanted to move to be near family.  Samuel "died in his chair" on October 17, 1665.  His wife, Margaret, lived until 1681. 

Their known children were Samuel, Margaret, Hester, Lydia, and Mary.  The family is traditionally assigned Hannah, also, who is our connection to this line.  At least one researcher does not believe Hannah is their child, but I'm leaving her in this family until proven otherwise.  It is possible that Hannah is a niece that the couple raised.  I'd sure like to learn the truth of this matter.  And of course I'd like to know if any of this line can be traced to my Molly Wright, who is still lost to me.

The supposed line of descent is:

Samuel Wright-Margaret
Hannah Wright-Thomas Stebbins
Edward Stebbins-Sarah Graves
Sarah Stebbins-John Root
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root Jr.
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, September 18, 2015

Harshbarger line: James Boughan died 1677 Immigrant

It's surprising to me that I keep finding people in the Harshbarger line who were not German, not immigrants to Pennsylvania, and not Anabaptist or Lutheran.  There is one line that leads back to Virginia, and one of the Virginia families is that of James and Thomasin Boughan.  Thomasin was the "widow Harper" but we don't know more than that. 

We don't know when or where James was born.  Most on line genealogies assign him a birth date of 1625, but that seems not to have any documentation.  It is likely based on calculations that his son James (who was referred to as Major James) had cows given to him in 1664 and 1671, and purchased land in 1671.  That gives Major James a birthdate of perhaps 1650 or earlier, so therefore immigrant James could have been born around 1625.  

He settled in what was at first considered Rappahannock County, and is now Essex County, Virginia.  His first land purchase was in July of 1655, 250 acres purchased from Oliver Seager.  In 1658, he received a land patent for what was apparently another 250 acres and then in 1665 he received another 150 acres as headright (given 50 acres of land for each person he brought into Virginia colony.  This meant he paid their passage and likely they then became his indentured servants to pay off their debt.) The persons he transported were Elizabeth Pettus., Elizabeth Edom, and Jno Roakes.  Later he transported another 20 people, names not given, and received another 1000 acres in return.  It is possible that not all of these 20 people went to work on his plantation, although they may have.  If someone transported more people than they could use on their land, they would "sell" the indenture to someone else.  Regardless, those who were transported owed their passage money to someone, and it was usually worked off in 3 or 4 years time, although minors sometimes had to serve for seven years.

It appears that most of this land was still owned by James when he died.  His date of death was sometime between December 26, 1677, when he served as a member of a jury, and March 29, 1678, when Major James, his son, referred to his father as "lately deceased."

James and Thomasin had four known children, James, John, Henry, and Alexander.  They lived in Farnham Parish, Essex County, which means they went to church or at least paid their tithables to the church, which would have been Church of England in denomination.  Since we don't know when James and Thomasin immigrated, (or whether together or separately), it is hard to guess the reasons for the move.  It may have been related to all the upheavals of the English Civil War and its aftermath, or it may have been strictly for economic reasons.  Regardless, the colonists in Virginia were affected by the English Civil War and that was a part of their lives.  If they were here prior to 1646, they would have also been affected by the Powhatan Indian wars that resulted in several uprisings during the early years of colonization. 

We know enough about the Boughan's to know they had children, and land, and a chance at a new life in America.  We can suspect they had indentured servants, and we know they would have belonged to the local church.  We know they lived through eventful times, and we know they contributed to the building of America.  That is enough for a very broad outline, but I'd sure like to have more details!

The line of descent is:

James Boughan-Tomasin widow Harper
Major James Boughan-Mary possibly Edmondson
John Boughan-Susannah Bryant
Mary Boughan-John Edmondson
Susannah "Sukey" Edmondson-Thomas Wyatt
John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jean Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Harter-Emanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendant

Much more information than the highlights I've given here is available at  The pages I have looked at there are thorough and well documented. However, any mistakes in this post are mine and mine alone.