Friday, July 21, 2017

Holbrook line: Moses Cleveland 1620-1703, Immigrant

There is more information about Moses Cleveland than is sometimes available,because he left more records than some immigrants, and because he is the ancestor of Grover Cleveland and thus has been pretty thoroughly researched.  Still, I haven't seen documentation for his birth and there are varying guesses as to his parents. 

My favorite candidate for his parents would be Isaac Cleveland and Alice, last name unknown.  They were in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, which is generally given as Moses' birthplace, and they were of the right age to be his parents. In addition, there is the Biblical name tradition, as it appears.  Other suggestions I have seen were for a Samuel Cleveland, but I don't think he was from Ipswich.

There is an absolutely fascinating story about Moses's voyage to America, but it may well be just that-a story.  Still, on the off chance that it's correct, the story goes that when Moses came to America, he had thought it would be Virginia rather than New England.  The story goes that when they landed at Jamestown, the group after a short time decided there was too much trouble with the native Americans, and boarded the ship to go to Massachusetts instead.  There is much that is suspicious about this story but it could have happened.

At any rate, young Moses, no more than fifteen, arrived at Plym.  outh or Boston in 1635.  He was a ship's carpenter apprentice when he arrived,  He seems to have stayed in Boston for about three years, then in 1638 he settled in Charlsetown. 

He was still serving a master, probably Edward Winn, when he went to Woburn in 1640 or 1641, but was admitted a freeman in 1643,  He was granted land in 1649, and on February 3,1648/1649 was appointed by a committee to lay out his own land.  He married Ann Winn, daughter of Edward Winn, in 1648 and the couple had at least eleven children.  The first is listed with a birthdate of 1651 so it's possible there were miscarriages or still born children in the early years of their marriage. 

Moses was a joiner, or basically a finish carpenter, and worked both on ships and on homes.  This gave him an income sufficient to support his large family.  He is listed on the militia roll in 1663.  A later listing for Moses Cleveland during King Philip's War is more likely his son Moses.  He became a tithing man for the church in 1680, so he was a Puritan.  He died in Woburn on January 8, 1702, having lived there for 60 or more years, and having survived his wife by about 20 years.  It isn't often that our ancestors stayed in one place for a long time so I would like to thank Moses for doing just that! 

The line of descent is:

Moses Cleveland-Ann Winn
Enoch Cleveland-Elizabeth Counts
Sarah Cleveland-Israel Joslin
Sarah Joslin-Edward Fay
David Fay-Mary or Mercy Perrin
Luceba or Euzebia Fay-Libbeus Stanard
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Allen line: Richard Lamb 1696-1736

Richard Lamb's story is short and not so sweet.  He's interesting, though, because he is one of a very few Irish ancestors known to be in the Allen line.

He was born in 1696 in the Coombe, Dublin, Ireland to John Lamb and Margaret Hoult, who were both from Monkstown, Dublin, Ireland.  While we don't know for sure how Richard supported himself, the Coombe area was an area set off for the cloth trade.  Woolen manufacturers set up many firms here, and Richard may well have been a weaver or had some other part in the manufacturing business. 

In 1713, he married Anna White, who was from Clackmannshire, Ireland.  At least, that's what my source said.  I am unable to locate this in Ireland, and wonder if the reference should be to Scotland, instead.  Richard and Anna had eight children, but Anna had died by 1736.

In1736, Richard decided it was time to come to America. He and his eight children set sail but unfortunately, Richard became a statistic, one of those who did not live to see the shores of his new country.  I have variously seen that he died of disease and that he was swept overseas in a storm, so am recording both versions here.  At any rate, his children were orphans when they arrived here.

I haven't yet traced their history but it looks like at least some of them ended up in Maine, likely as indentured servants.  Each would have served until the age of at least 16 for the girls and 18 or 21 for the boys.  William was 24 so he at least may have had his freedom, and would have been able to watch over his siblings to some extent.

That is what I know about Richard Lamb.  He did not realize his dream of starting over in America, but his children did.   .I'd love to ask him a lot of questions, but I'm especially curious about his religion.  Was he Catholic?  There were some Protestants in the Coombe but I haven't yet learned out to research them.   And what did he expect to do in America?  Did he have a plan?  We will likely never know the answers to these questions, but they are worth considering.  I sure wish he had lived to leave some records here!

The line if descent is:

Richard Lamb-Anna White
Anna Lamb-Richard Falley
Richard Falley-Margaret Hitchcock
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, July 14, 2017

Harshbarger line: Paul Hawn, another veteran to thank!

This is a short post because I am still trying to pull together the military records of Paul Hawn.  However, I've found enough to write a couple of paragraphs, maybe, and that is more than we knew before.  Paul Hawn is the son of Adrian Hawn and Goldie Withers.  Goldie later married Grover Harshbarger, so Paul and Cleve Harshbarger are half-brothers. 

I first learned that Paul had been in the Army when I found this brief mention in the Huntington Herald Press of October 11, 1944:

"Reports Saturday"

Pfc Paul W. Hawn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Grover Harshbarger of near Majenica, will leave Saturday for Minneapolis, Minn. to report for active duty after spending an extended furlough here.  He recently returned after 21 months' duty in Alaska."

This paragraph leads to several questions, but I have no answers at this point.  All I can really say is that he probably enlisted or was drafted in 1942, although it might have been earlier.  So far I'm not finding his military record.

I do know this much, I think.  He got out of the service, probably at the end of World War II, and then in 1948 he re-enlisted and stayed in the Army for 20 more years.  He is listed as having attained the rank of First Sargeant, and it's noted that he served in World War II,  Korea and Vietnam.  I wish I knew more about his service, when he was where and what he did in the Army.  However, this is what I have been able to locate and it's more information than I had when I woke up this morning. 

I did find a couple of pictures of Paul, as a freshman and sophomore attending Columbia City High School.  In 1930, he was living with his Withers grandparents (William and Della Kemery Withers), so it appears that he attended school there and if he graduated, graduated from that school.  I sure need to do more research on that, too! 

Paul died April 6. 1998, just 2 and 1/2 weeks after his half brother, Cleveland Harshbarger, died.    Paul's remains were cremated, and his ashes were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Thank you for your service, Paul Hawn!

If anyone in the Hawn family sees this, please contact me at happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom.  I'd love to know more about Paul!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beeks line: John Gurney 1603-1663 Immigrant

It's fun to take a name that's on the family tree and try to place him in time and space, to think for a few minutes about his life and to realize that once again there are more questions than answers.  John Gurney is such a person.  Not much is known about him but I do want to give credit to the RootsWeb World Connect Project called "Genealogies of Families of Brantree, Quincy, Weymouth, Randolph, Holbrook, Mass. & Others".  I'd located maybe 20% of this information on my own, so it would have been slim pickings indeed for a post if I hadn't found this source.

As nearly as is known, John Gurney was born about 1603, since he gave a court deposition in 1652/53 saying he was 50 years old or thereabouts.  There is a John Gurney who was baptized at Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, England on February 21, 1603 and it is likely that this is our John.  If so, his father's name was also John, but that is as much family background as I have at present.  If this John Gurney is ours, then he came from an area identified as "Non-conformist" and he may have been a Puritan.  The church there is very old, dating to the twelfth century, so it is possible that generations on Gurneys worshipped there.  At present, we can't state that with any certainty.

I can't find documentation, but John was supposedly married to a woman named Mary, most likely in England.  He may have been an indentured servant but the dates don't match for the most commonly quoted master.  At any rate, either at home or in Massachusetts he learned the tailor trade.  He is reported as being in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636, but it's possible he arrived earlier.  His children have birth dates of from about 1628 to about 1640, which is puzzling to have so many "abouts" unless the family was moving frequently. 

We know that he was a tenant of rented land owned by Captain William Tyng in Brantree in 1653, which was 45 acres of upland and marsh.  As mentioned ealier, he was a tailer and lived within Braintree, with a house and five acres of land, until he sold it in 1661 to Richard Thayer.

John's wife Mary died September 20, 1661 and just a few weeks later he married Grizell Fletcher Jewell Griggs Kibbee.  It was his second marriage and her fourth.  It's only speculation but perhaps he was already in poor health.  To put a good face on it, Grizell seems to have bettered herself with each marriage, and she would have one final marriage soon after John died.  (I wonder if people then talked, or whispered, about a woman with five marriages.  Two marriages were common, three were somewhat frequent, four were occasional, but five?  Really?)

I've found no record of John being admitted as a freeman, and no record of church or civic involvement.  John may have been a man determined to keep his head down and just to concentrate on raising his family.  When he died, he left an inventory valued at 55 pounds, 14 shillings, and 6 pence.  He also had a long list of debts, so it is likely that there wasn't much left for the widow or his children to inherit.  Son John did get lands in Mendon, which is where our John had intended to move before his last illness.

This is a summary of the information I've been able to locate about John Gurney.  It's the unrecognized people who helped build America, and for that reason, I'm happy to introduce you briefly to John Gurney, immigrant and nation builder.

The line of descent is:

John Gurney-Mary
Mary Gurney-Daniel Shedd
Elizabeth Shedd-Daniel Pierce
Elizabeth Pierce-Samuel Smith
Shubael Smith-Prudence Fitzrandolph
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunnah-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants




Friday, July 7, 2017

Holbrook line: Alexander Balcom 1615-1711

Answers!  We need answers! Who was Alexander Balcom?  Where did he come from?  Did he go first to Massachusetts, or did he go straight to Portsmouth?  Who were his parents?  Did he have a first wife named Sarah (or any other name)?  What religions was he?  was he in Rhode Island due to his religious beliefs? 

It's hard to write about a man who leaves us with so many questions, yet we do know a little about him.  He is believed to have been bornsin Batcombe, Sussex, (or possibly Somerset) England, although as far as I can tell there are no records available to support this.  I've seen dates as early as 1615 and as late as 1650 suggested for a birth date.  I've also seen it suggested that his father was William.  I will leave that out there as a suggestion only, because I can't verify it.  Surely there are answers some where, though! 

We really don't know anything at all about Alexander for the first 50 or so years of his life.  By 1664, he was living at Portsmouth, then considered part of Providence Plantation but yet a separate town.  It was located on Aquidneck Island, famous for being the first home in exile of Anne Hutchinson.  It was founded by religious dissidents from Massachusetts, but I don't know if that was still a characteristic of the town 25 years later,, when it seems that our Alexander arrived.  He married Jane Holbrook, daughter of William and Elizabeth Pitts Holbrook.  The Holbrook family emigrated from Glastonbury, Somerset, England so that might support a Somerset rather than a Sussex Balcombe setting.  However, the Holbrooks stayed in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, so Jane was leaving her family to come to Rhode Island. 

She may have been quite young when she came to Rhode Island with Alexander, and it's possible that she was a stepmother to at least a couple of the children attributed to the couple. I've found nothing further on her, except that she died about 1696, which even that is possibly incorrect because she was named as an executor in Alexander's will of 1711. 

We do know a little more about Alexander.  His occupation is given as mason, a skilled trade that was probably in demand as newer, more substantial homes were built on the island.  He also had cooper tools in his 1711 estate inventory, so he may have had more than one trade.  Interestingly, although his inventory was pretty meager, with a value of only a little over 35 pounds it did include books, pewterware and brassware.  It appears that the lands that he owned were already disposed of, at least some of them to his sons. 

I've been reading some of the early town records and it's fascinating to see how the town set itself up, how they settled disputes, how often they had to tax people for various needs, how they took care of their poor, how they made sure every house had access to fresh water, and how they prepared for possible military action as the native Americans threatened them.  Alexander Balcom may or may not have been part of the decision making (I haven't yet found that he was made a free man), but he was certainly affected by these decisions.  The island itself was beautiful and our ancestor may have had a good life indeed. It's one more of the many things we may never know for sure about him. 

The line of descent is:

Alexander Balcom-Jane Holbrook
Sarah Balcom-Timothy Sheldon
Martha Sheldon-Thomas Mathewson
Deborah Mathewson-Joseph Winsor
Lillis Winsor-Nathan Paine
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph B Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen

Note the Holbrook at the top and borrom of this list.  We are probably our own cousins through this line, somehow.  

Fun fact:  Mamie Doud Eisenhower was Alexander and Jane's seventh great granddaughter.  In my generation, we are their ninth great grandchildren.  That makes us very distant cousins-eighth cousins, twice removed, I think! 




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Allen line: Humphrey Belt, Virginia immigrant 1615-1698

I don't know very much about Humphrey Belt, not even where he was born.  He came to Virginia in 1635, as the indentured servant of William Clarke.  He was reported to be 20 years old when he arrived on the ship "America", when Jamestown Island was still a small colony on the edge of a great big continent.  Somehow, he survived native American wars, the diseases that were so common to the area, and the accidental deaths such as drowning that were all too frequent.  So we can guess that he was of hardy stock. 

It's reported that he married Mary or Margery Cragges in Linhaven Parish, Lower Norfolk, Virginia in 1649. We don't know who she was either. Humphrey Belt, or a different Humphrey Belt, appears as a headright for James Warner, who was his employer when Humphrey finished his indentureship, in 1642.  This may have been a bit of hanky panky, or it may have been two Humphreys, or it may have been that our Humphrey travelled to England and back and circumstances were such that he could be claimed again.   Perhaps he had gone on business for Mr. Warner, and found a bride when he was there. 

Humphrey owned land in Virginia, registered in 1654.  It appears that sometime between 1659 and 1663, the Belt family moved to new land in Maryland.  Perhaps his Virginia land was already depleted from growing tobacco, or perhaps the family left because of their religious beliefs.  We don't know for sure that Humphrey became a Quaker, but his son was quite active in Quaker life and it's not unreasonable to think that Humphrey at least was leaning that way.  This time period is significant because Quakers were being forced out of Virginia in the 1660s.

I've not found a land record for Humphrey in Maryland, but James Warner's land was in Anne Arundel county so it is possible that Humphrey's land was near there. We know that he owned 200 acres in the vicinity of St Mary's City, but that is the extent of our knowledge.

Humphrey died in Maryland in Anne Arundel County in 1698. As far as I can determine, no one has yet found a will for him, nor have they determined what happened to his land.  Humphrey lived through some fascinating times, and it's frustrating that we don't know more of his life.  What military actions did he join in?  Did he fight Indians?  Did he have an occupation other than planter?
What was his religion?  Who were his parents?  Where did he come from?  It will be a happy day when those questions are answered.

The line of descent is:

Humphrey Belt-Margery Cragges
Elizabeth Belt-John Parrish
Humphrey Parrish-Mary Walker
Humphrey Parrish-Mary
Moses Parrish-Mary Hill
Tabath Parrish-James Allen Jr. 
Archibald Allen-Margaret J Dunn
George R Allen-Nancy McCoy
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants




Friday, June 30, 2017

Harshbarger line: Wendell Essig: How did I miss him?

Actually, I don't think I missed him.  In my more rational moments, I wonder if I should write about Wendell at all, because most of what we "know" about him doesn't seem to be proven.  Some of it is in outright dispute.  But these stories are so good I am going to write about them anyway, hoping that someone, someday, will be able to prove or disprove these family stories.  If they are true, then this ancestor is worthy of honor and respect, and we need to at least pass the stories along.  If they aren't true, let's determine that, too!

So...Wendell Essig was born in Bern Canton, Switzerland, the son of Wendell and Juliana Margaretha Trachsell or Troxell.  At an early age he spent time in mining in "Rhine Phals".  The story doesn't indicate whether he did this voluntarily or whether he was forced into it.  Either scenario is possible, as he may have been trying to help support his family.  The position seemed to work in his favor, because he later served 7 years in the Prussian army.  Again, I don't know if this was voluntary or whether he has drafted. During at least part of that time, he was one of the imperial body guards, and was present at the coronation of Frederick the Great in 1740.  (There should be records of his service, shouldn't there?  As of now, I don't know how to research to find them.)

Here is where the stories diverge.  The story, apparently from son Simon, is that his father arrived in Baltimore in 1750, and shortly thereafter married Anna Marie Matte.  Not too long after that, they settled in the general area of Hagerstown, Maryland.  I'll get to the rest of the story later.

The second version is that Wendell arrived in 1749 in Philadelphia and went to Northampton County, where he is on tax records in 1772 and church records (Dryland Union Church, Nazareth twp, Northampton County) through Easter of 1782.  Jacob Essig and George Essig are also in the church records there, although there is nothing to prove relationships.  So that is one story.

The "rest of the first story" is that Wendell and his family were massacred by native Americans in or before 1772, and Simon was the sole survivor.  He would have been no more than 18 at the time. Simon survived because he was away from home at the time.  Some family historians discount this tale because they haven't found evidence of native American massacres near Hagerstown  I've read enough history to know that families in the Cumberland Valley were driven back many many miles before they found a safe haven like Hagerstown, so I tend to think the attack very well could have happened, even without any specific report mentioning the Essig name.  Germans clearly were in the area, and the native Americans were active in trying to push the settlers back, during this time period.  Still, some sort of proof would be nice to have. 

If the story isn't true, why would someone make it up?  Was it possibly a misunderstanding many years later of the experience of the family of Simon's wife's family?  Her mother's first husband had been killed by the Indians, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania and if one of Simon's children was reporting this story, perhaps he or she had heard it as a young child and forgotten the details as the story was told.  I'm not sure we will ever know.

Wendell and Eva Maria are said to have had four children, Simon, Adam, Jacob and George, not necessarily in that order.  The 1772 or earlier death doesn't allow for a 1782 church record in Pennsylvania.  Either there were two families with similar names and naming patterns, or one of these tales is incorrect.  I don't believe anyone has located wills or estate papers in either location, so I will let you be the judge-two men, or one? 

The line of descent is:

Wendell Essig-Anna Maria Matte
Simon Essig-Juliana Schnerr
George Essig-Catherine Shollenberger
Susannah Essig-Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants