Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Harshbarger line: John Wyatt, Methodist pastor

John Wyatt is another fascinating Harshbarger ancestor.  His story is fascinating, but even more, his pedigree is fascinating.  Apparently the Wyatt line ties back to George Wyatt and Jane Finch, who had royal ancestry, based on DNA testing. The problem is that so far, the exact line of descent has not been determined.  John's father was Thomas, whose father was John, whose father was Major William.  It surprises me that we know William was a major, and that he was born about 1627, but we don't know how or when he arrived in Virginia, or how he attained the rank of "Major".  Was it based on the prominence of his family? We just don't know at this point. 

However, we do know a little more about John Wyatt, since he lived 100 or more years later than Major William.  John was born June 4, 1748 in Virginia. Some internet sources say that he was born in Franklin County but Franklin County wasn't formed until 1785, so his exact place of birth is unknown.  His parents are thought to be Thomas Wyatt and Susannah "Sukey" Edmondson, and he was one of at least 6 children. 

His marriage took place in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1767 to Alice Gordon, daughter of John Gordon. In 1772, his father's will was probated in Loudoun County, so the family had been there for at least a few years.  Loudoun was in northeastern Virginia, so the new family traveled quite some distance within two years, because by then John and Alice were in Shenandoah County, where John leased 246 acres on the north side of the Shenandoah River.

Undoubtedly the Wyatts had hoped to settle down to a peaceful life on their land, but such was not to be.  As in so many families, the Revolutionary War intervened, and John was sworn in as a lieutenant  of the Shenandoah County Militia under Captain John Tipton in April, 1778.  We don't know how often he was called to active duty, but he was apparently home at least some of the time because he is a witness to a deed and also leased 100 acres of his land in 1780.  Most likely, he served in a frontier unit that protected against Indians who were loyal to the British, but I've not found documentation for that yet. 

The Wyatts may have belonged to the Church of England, as did most Virginians, but by 1780 the family had become supporters of the Methodist cause. The Wyatts deed part of this 246 acres to the Trustees of the Methodist church on the western side of the north river of the Shenandoah, with Special Trust and Confidence that they use the land to "preach and expound God's Holy word...provided that they preach no other doctrine than is contained in the Rev. John Wesley's notes upon the new Testament and four volumes of sermons."  

The Wyatts had at least 8 children: Elijah, Edward, Solomon, Thomas, John, Jane, Sarah and Andrew. In 1792, the Wyatts leased their remaining land and moved to Sandifers Creek, Franklin County, Virginia, where they founded the Methodist Episcopal Church of Franklin County, Va.  John had been ordained on May 31, 1792 in Shenandoah County, Va, and he must have felt some sense of urgency to leave in December of that year to go to their new pastorate. 

John Wyatt died May 1, 1802 in or near Rocky Mount, Franklin County, and it appears that Alice may have died shortly after her husband.  His will mentions all of his children except Edward. Perhaps he had already received his portion.

There is much I'd like to know about John.  I have seen him referred to as a circuit rider, but I can't pin down documentation for that.  I'd like to know where he was born (possibly Gloucester County, Va?) and I'd like to know more about his Revolutionary War Service.

There is an absolutely wonderful manuscript of the Wyatt family on FamilySearch.  It was prepared by Genevieve Peters and has transcripts of the Wyatt family as far back as can be found in Virginia, and a lot of Wyatt descendents.  It's in five volumes, and I've only reviewed the Virginia documents.  If you have interest in this family, I'd suggest going to that website, to the books section, choosing author, and then Genevieve Peters.  She must have been a wonderful, lifelong genealogist to have accumulated so much information about so many families! Most of the information in this post can be traced back to her manuscript.

The line of descent is:

John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jane (Jean) Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Ellen Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Allen line: John Moore 1740's to 1816

John Moore was another admirable man in our family line.  I like to think of him talking, for he was born in Ireland and probably had that Irish lilt in his voice to the end of his days.  Records differ as to whether he was born in 1741 or 1745, and he don't know the location other than somewhere in Ireland. His father may have been Thomas Moore, and it is possible that his wife was Christina Bishop, but there are so many Moores in the records that I haven't been able to determine whether either statement is fact or not.

Family lore states that he had enrolled to study for the priesthood in Ireland, but changed his mind and became a physician. We don't know whether that was before or after he came to the New World.  He arrived in Philadelphia in 1770 on board the ship "Caroline".  Again, a family story states that when the Revolutionary War broke out, he offered his services as a physician to the Patriots but was turned down, for whatever reason.  He is listed as having been a private in the war, but it is not known which John Moore he is, in the records. It is possible that his role was in the latter part of the war, protecting the frontier from Indian incursions.

He married Hannah Armstrong, daughter of Adam Abraham Armstrong and Margaret Nixon. (This couple were ancestral to astronaut Neil Armstrong, so we are his very distant cousins.) The Moores had 3 sons and five daughters, and of course there may have been infant or childhood deaths.  John owned at least two tracts of land in what became Washington and then Greene County, Pa, and farmed there. It appears that he also taught school. It is unknown whether he practiced his physician skills in his new home. 

Hannah died December 2, 1814, and John died nearly two years later, on December 1, 1816. They are buried in the Armstrong Cemetery, 3 miles east of Carmichaels, Pa.

I wish we knew more about the stories, and could find some documentation for them. I wish we knew more about John's Revolutionary War service, and why his physician's skills were not accepted. I'd love to know what church they may have attended.  And of course, I wish we knew his parents, and where in Ireland they were from. 

The line of descent is:

John Moore-Hannah Armstrong
Catherine Moore-Alexis Jackson
Eleanor Jackson-Vincent McCoy
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Allen descendents

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Holbrook line: Robert Clarke Surveyor-General to Lord Baltimore

This ancestor doesn't fit the mold of most of the family. He wasn't Puritan, he didn't go to New England, and he apparently died with much less than he had owned earlier in his lifetime.  It's more of a riches to rags story, and much of it has to do with the fact that he wasn't Puritan. In fact, he was a Roman Catholic and narrowly escaped being hanged. 

Let's start at the beginning, which seems to be not as pinpointed as we would like.  He was born either in London or Rotherhithe, County Surrey, England, the son of Robert Clarke and Mary Futter, in either 1610 or 1611.  There is a Robert Clarke, son of Robert Clarke, baptized March 28, 1610 at St Mary, Islington, Middlesex.  Islington is now a part of London, and at the time Robert was born, still had a genteel, affluent feel to it.  I think this is a possible candidate for being our Robert.

We know nothing of his life for the next 27 or so years.  In 1637, he arrived at St Mary's City in Maryland on board the ship Unity.  St Mary's was founded in 1627 as a religious haven for both Catholics and Protestants, and toleration did mark the first years of the colony.  By 1638 he was a freeman and a member of the Privy Council of Maryland, and he was made Surveyor General of Lord Baltimore.  This indicates to me that he was a man with "good connections" if not money.  He seems to have had represented Father Thomas Copley, a Roman Catholic missionary, in dealings with the native Americans, and was on good terms with them. 

He sat in the House of the Assembly in 1649 and frequently thereafter, and several documents from his time as Surveyor-General still exist and bear his signature.  He must have been an educated man, to hold these positions and to be able to sign his name.  At various times, he was a privy councillor, a burgess, and a judge, so he was highly respected.  In 1651, was was a steward of Calverton, which was a 10,000 acre property reserved for a secure "habitation" for the tribes of six Indian nations. 

Maryland was not exempt from the disputes in England that caused the Civil War there, which (to over-simplify) was a religious war between the Catholics and the Protestants.  After England's troubles were settled, Maryland was still at war and the battle of Severn in 1655 is considered the last of the battles of the English civil war. Once again, it was Puritans (who had taken control of Maryland earlier) versus the Catholics, whose leadership had gone to Virginia.  We don't know where Robert was during this time, but we know that when the Catholics attacked to retake "their" land, Robert was one of those captured and sentenced to death.  Some of the prisoners were hanged, but women of the area petitioned to stop the killings and the remaining prisoners basically had to pay a ransom for their freedom. Robert's ransom was 10,000 pounds of tobacco.  He did not have that amount, so he ended up losing his land on Britton's Bay.

Robert had married three times.  His first wife was believed to have been Eleanor, but no further information is available regarding her surname or family.  He is believed to have married about 1640, and to have had two children with Eleanor, John and Mary.  By his second wife, Winifred Seybourne, whom he married in 1651, he had two additional children, Robert and Thomas.  He married again to Jane Hicks in 1661, but had no children from that marriage.  His will lists his children as John, Robert, Thomas and Mary. John had reached his majority but Robert was 12 and Thomas was 10 when the will was written.

Robert died July 21, 1664 in Charles County, Maryland. He mentions giving John all his "lands, tenements and herediments whatsoever" but it doesn't appear that he had title to any remaining property in Maryland.

So, here we have a faithful Catholic, a prominent gentleman, and a public servant for much of his life. There is much to honor here, even if he doesn't quite fit into our family mold.  Here's the line of descent:

Robert Clarke-Eleanor
John Clarke-Ann possibly Dent
Robert Clarke-Selina Smith
Hannah Clarke-James Amos
Robert Amos-Martha McComas
Robert Amos-Elizabeth Amos (yes, they were cousins)
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents


Friday, October 17, 2014

Beeks line: James Moon, immigrant, Quaker, and challenge

No one seems to agree on when or where James was born, so he has several listed birthplaces and at least three sets of listed parents. The most likely set of parents would be William Moone and Catherine Kynge. A son named James was baptised on August 23, 1639 at Ashwick, Somerset, England per records found on Ancestry (Names listed as William and Katherine). 

Even his wife is a mystery.  Printed sources from as long ago as 1895 give his wife as Joan Burgess, but no records have been found as of now to prove that.  However, it appears that at least one child was born in Bristol, and Bristol is just 18 miles from Ashwick, so it is plausible that children were born in Bristol and that James and his wife Joan lived there prior to their immigration.

If the baptism noted above is our James, he was baptized into the Church of England.  At some point, James and Joan became Quakers. It is possible that one or both sets of parents were Quakers, also, but since we aren't sure who the parents are I have not researched further back for the families.  The Quakers were a persecuted group in England, and many left for the New World in search of religious freedom. Fortunately, William Penn had been granted a large amount of land, which he in turn sold in order to build his colony   

In 1682, the Moons with their six children (Sarah, James, Jonas, Jasper, Mary, and Roger) came to the New World with William Penn. They reached Newcastle on the Delaware River on October 27, 1682.  They settled near Falsington in Bucks County, Pa on 125 acres of land purchased from William Penn, and there lived the rest of their lives.  They cleared the land for a large orchard and for pasture land, where they raised cattle. We can assume that they raised other crops, too, for their own use if not to sell. This was wilderness and if there were no Indian troubles due to William Penn's good relationship with the native Americans, there were beasts of prey (wolves, bear, panther) and winter weather and other challenges, besides just making a living. They were members of the Falls Monthly Meeting of Friends, Joan attending all services and preferring to walk when she was past 80 years of age.  James died in 1713 and Joan in 1739, and they are buried at the old Quaker Cemetery in Fallsington, Bucks County, Pa. 

For more information, I recommend the website at family-forest.net/JamesMoonNotes.  It is speculative since his parents aren't really proven, but if William Moon was James's father, then the line may go back to the de Mohuns, and can be traced back to at least 1042. It's fun to think about those far distant families, as some are noted to have had fascinating lives.

The line of descent is

James Moon-Joan possibly Burgess
James Moon-Mary Wilsford
Simon Moon-Lauretha Humphrey
Jacob Moon-Jane Rees
Thomas Moon-Jean Gray
Margaret Ellen Moon-Owen T Reese
Eliza Matilda Reese-Samuel Goodnight Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Harshbarger line: Matthew Farmer, mystery

Oh, what a confusing line this is!  There are at least two Matthew Farmers who are mixed up in several trees on the internet.  John Farmer, who is descended from the Matthew who died in St Charles, Missouri has spent probably years trying to separate his Matthew Farmer from the Matthew Farmer in our line, who died in Miami County, Ohio.  Unfortunately for us, it appears that both of the Matthew Farmers spent time in Franklin County, Virginia, which makes it even more confusing.

I am going to present our Matthew from what we know and will try to go backward from there.  We know that he died about September 9, 1835 and is buried at McKendree Church Cemetery, Bethel Twp, Miami County, Ohio.  We know that there is (or was) a DAR marker there, indicating Revolutionary War service, but there is a possibility that this is not correct, as Revolutionary War Service has been proven for the St Charles County Matthew.  I am not finding proof of service for our Matthew Farmer.

From his Miami County will, we know that his wife, at the time of his death, was Margaret.  His children, as listed in his will, were John Farmer, Nancy Mason, Mary Shurrum, Elizabeth Black, and Jane Farmer, the widow of his son William.  (William had died in 1834).   Witnesses were George Williams, Daniel Prilleman and Isaac Shell, none of whom are known to have been relatives.  It is of course possible that there were other children who had died some time prior to the will, before they became adults.

Prior to that, we can find Matthew in the 1830, 1827 and 1820 censuses in Elizabeth Twp, Miami County, Ohio.  He isn't listed in the 1816 tax records for the county, so he may have arrived sometime during the 1815-1820 time period.  This is only a working hypothesis, for if he had no land earlier, and no personal property, he would not have shown up on the records.  His will of 1835 gives widow Margaret the 60 ares of land "whereon I now live", being described as "being in the State of Ohio, Miami County, Elizabeth township in the north part of section one and in the north west quarter of the said quarter".  He would have been an old man if he had arrived by 1820, because we are told elsewhere that he died in the "92nd year of his age", indicating a birth date of about 1744.  So he wouldn't have needed a good deal of land, and indeed, likely couldn't have farmed a large area.

We believe that he was married about 1768, because his son William was born about 1770.  So far, no records have surfaced to show a location for the marriage.  There seem to be two Matthew Farmers in the Franklin County, Virginia area prior to 1810.  One is believed to be the St Charles Matthew, and one may be our Matthew.  The 1810 census shows a Matthew Farmer over the age of 45, but the children mentioned appear to align more closely with the St Charles Matthew. That our Matthew Farmer was in Franklin County is shown by son William's marriage to Jean or Jane Wyatt there, in 1799, with Matthew Farmer listed as surety.

I'm pretty sure that the Matthew Farmer in the 1783 Shenandoah, Virginia tax list is ours. Again, William is listed as being born in Shenandoah County about 1770.  Matthew would have been almost 40 years of age at this time. His assessment was 18 shillings and six pence, based on one while male over 21, 3 horses, and 10 cattle.

That's really the last "sighting" we have of Matthew.  He is listed on a lot of family trees, including ours, as having been born about 1743 in Chesterfield County, Va. I've not found a source for this. The problem I have with that is that Shenandoah County is a long way from Chesterfield County, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to get from Chesterfield to Shenandoah.  I wonder if we should be looking in Pennsylvania in addition to Virginia for Matthew's roots. 

There have been a lot of suggestions that Matthew's parents were Frederick Farmer and Martha Hatcher, or Frederick Farmer and Obedience Adkins.  One of those couples (or possibly one Frederick with two successive wives) was the father of the St Charles Matthew.  Did the same Frederick have two sons named Matthew?  It wouldn't be the first time that has happened.  However, the name Frederick is not in our Matthew's family, nor in his son William's family.  Unfortunately, for now the location of his birth and the parents of Matthew are still mysteries.

I would love it if someone reading this could share even a tidbit that could help solve this puzzle.
Who was Matthew Farmer 1744-1835, and what is the rest of his story?

Here's the line of descent:

Matthew Farmer-Margaret
William Farmer-Jean or Jane Wyatt
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Eliot Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks



Friday, October 10, 2014

Allen line: Peter Bulkeley, Puritan, pastor, and gateway immigrant

It's not often that I can "google" a known ancestor and find more information than I can use in a post.  The added bonus is that there is even a portrait of Peter on the wikipedia site.  I encourage anyone who wants to see what this ancestor looked like to go to that site. The article itself is quite interesting with a lot of good sources.  There are books written about Peter Bulkeley and his descendents to the seventh generation, and about his ancestors.  He is discussed in "The Great Migration" by the NEHGS.  In other words, if you want to know more about Peter, you don't need to ask me. You can read what the experts have to say.  Maybe you want just a brief snippet about him, though, and that I can provide.

Peter Bulkeley was born at Odell, Bedfordshire, England on January 31, 1582/1583 to Reverend Edward and Olive Irby Bulkeley.  His father was a "faithful minister of the gospel".  Peter was raised in a home that would have had regular religious education and encouragement.  Peter must have been a very bright young man, for he graduated from St John's College, Cambridge with a BA in 1605 and an M.A. in 1608.  He succeeded his father in becoming the rector of Odell, and served the church there from 1610-1635.  His father had been a non-conformist, and Peter either "became" one or had always been a non-conformist at heart.  By 1633 there were complaints about his preaching, and he was silenced by the archbishop for his unwillingness to conform with the requirements of the Anglican church.  In 1634 he refulsed to wear a surplice or use the Sign of the Cross at a visitation, and was ejected from the parish.

By this time, he had married his first wife, Jane Allen, daughter of Thomas and Mary Fairclough Allen, had nine children with her (some lists give 12 children), and had buried her on December 8, 1626.  He stayed a widower 9 years and in 1635 married Grace Chetwood, by whom he had 4 more children.  The family came to New England in 1635, aboard the Susan and Ellen.  He was ordained at Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1637 and went to Concord, Massachusetts as one of the first founders there.

He was known among Puritans for the "superlative stiffness of his Puritanism" and sat on the church trial of Anne Hutchinson. (Editorial sigh: He was what he was.  I'm not sure growing up in his household would have been much fun.)  He is also known as the author of one of the first books from New England, published in London, "The Gospel Covenant, or the Covenant of Grace Opened".

 Peter died March 9, 1659, in Concord. He seems to have done rather well for himself, financially, having five houses already by 1635/1636.  His estate left books to his oldest son, (having given him a significant gift at the time of the son's marriage), a farm, a mill, 120 acres in land, other small bequests, and 150 pounds to other of his children.   When Grace Bulkeley sold the property in 1663, it included a dwelling house, outhouses, garden, orgard, pasture, a one hundred acre great lot, one hundred forty three acres of meadow (divided), two hundred acres in the hog pens, one hundred fifty acres by the cedar swamp, one hundred twelve acres of woodland, and twenty acres of commons.

Oh, the lineage. Frederick Lewis Weis in "Ancestral Roots" traces it back to William Longespee, illegitimate son of Henry II and Ida de Toeni or Tosny.  The same book, if followed back 40 generations, takes him back to Cerdic, King of the West Saxons.

Tracing the line forward, here is our line of descent:

Peter Bulkeley-Jane Allen
Mary Bulkeley-John Williams
Mary Williams-John Gunne
Mary Gunne-Samuel Roote
Martin Root-Eunice Lamb
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward F Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Allen descendents


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Holbrook line: A newspaper clipping that made me dance

This article came from the Ottawa Daily Republic, Ottawa, Kansas of Monday, August 24, 1914 and was found on Newspapers.com.  Who would think that a little town in Kansas would carry an article about the wedding of my grandparents, which took place in the even smaller town of Threeforks, Washington?  Nevertheless, here it is:

"Stanard-Holbrook

A wedding that will interest the many Ottawa friends of the bride was celebrated Sunday, Aug. 16 at Threeforks, Wash., when Miss Etta Alice Stanard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis E. Stanard, and Mr. Loren Holbrook were united in marriage.  They are at home at Kettle Falls, Wash., where Mr. Holbrook is proprietor of a flour mill and box factory. The bride is well known in Ottawa where she lived until six years ago when they moved to Washington.  She made her home with Dr. and Mrs. F. O. Hetrick and attended the Ottawa university.  She graduated from the university with the class of 1912.  The bride has been teaching since her graduation.  The first year she taught at Esbon and visited here in June on her way to visit her parents in Washington. Last year she taught in Rice, Wash.  A wide circle of Ottawa friends extend best wishes."

I learned so many new things about my grandparents from this clipping.  I have the exact date and place of marriage, what businesses my grandfather was involved with in 1914, and where they spent the first years of their marriage.  The chronology they gave for my grandmother (staying in Ottawa to live with her uncle and finish college) finally makes sense, and I'm glad to know more about her early teaching career.  The towns mentioned in the article are all very small, but maybe I can turn up some more information there.

Newspaper searching is fun because you never know what you will find where.  I just wish there were more papers available from the 1760's to the 1820's, which could reveal information about my many brick wall ancestors.  Websites keep adding new pages all the time, so I've learned to keep searching.  I've found several articles about ancestors weeks or even months after making the first search.  This article is one of those "Never give up" kind of search results!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some dancing to do...

The line of descent is:

Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents