Friday, September 4, 2015

Beeks line: Henry Bowen 1678-1755

It's hard to find information about Henry Bowen.  It's even harder to find accurate information about him.  The dates I have used here are in dispute, but I believe they are close.  It is believed that he was born in Wales, possibly Carmarthen, but I'm not aware of any documentation to that.  His parents were Evan ap Owen and Mary McMillan, and he had a much more famous brother, Moses, or Moses John.

It's believed the ap Owen family, hereafter referred to as the Bowen family, came to Pennsylvania before 1700, and possibly as early as 1681 as there is record of a Moses Bowen's arrival in 1681.  the family is thought to have been Quaker, and came to Pennsylvania at William Penn's inducement if not in his actual fleet.  Nothing more is known of Henry until about 1703, when he married Jane Carter, daughter of Robert Carter and Margaret, at the Brick Meeting House in Bucks County, Pa.  (I have found both the 1703 and 1704 dates, which could be calendar confusion, or perhaps one date was the date of their intentions and the other was the date of their marriage.)

Henry and Jane's children appear to have been born in Pennsylvania.  Their known children include Henry, William, Jane, Priscilla, Margaret, and Catherine.  Henry doesn't seem to have been as successful financially as his brother Moses, who at one time owned 10,000 acres.  In fact, I've yet to find evidence of land ownership, although I hope to locate records someday.

We don't know when Henry and Jane moved to Frederick County, Virginia but we know they were there for some years before Henry's death in 1755, and we know he was in New Garden for the wedding of a daughter in 1726.  Frederick County would have been somewhere in the northern tip of Virginia, or on west into what is now West Virginia.  This was a common location for Quaker families, and was very much frontier country.

We know that he died in 1755, shortly after the outbreak of the French and Indian War.  As a Quaker, Henry would not have fought in these or any other battles, but it is interesting to wonder where the family went when battles broke out.  Did they ever see George Washington or General Braddock as they were on their way to what turned out to be disasters, fighting the Indians?  Or did they see the President as an even younger man, as he was doing land surveys in that part of the country?

Much more research needs to be one about Henry, to locate land records and to locate his will, if any.  My tentative picture of him is as a hard working, brave, and peaceful man.  I'd like to know more than that!

The line of descent is:

Henry Bowen-Jane Carter
Margaret Bowen-Thomas Rees
Thomas Rees-Hannah Rees
Solomon Rees-Anna
Owen T. Reese-Margaret Ellen Moon
Eliza  Reese-Samuel G Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Fun fact:  Henry's parents were the ancestors of former Vice President of the US, Richard Cheney.  It's fun to find that the Beeks family has both Republican and Democratic VIPs in their lines. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Harshbarger line: John Edmondson 1688-1733

I am so confused.  I want to write about the Ednmondsons, who have a very long history in Virginia.  The Harshbarger connection is Sukey or Susanna Edmondson who married Thomas Wyatt on November 25, 1747 in Essex County, Virginia.  Her parents were John Edmondson and Mary Boughan.  After that it gets murkier.  I seem to have too many sets of Edmondsons in the higher branches of the tree to fit the facts.  For instance, I have a Judith Allaman as a grandmother to John, and that cannot be if the birthdates are correct, because I show Judith as born in 1695 and John (the husband of Mary Boughan) as born in 1688.  Something is surely wrong here.

However, I want to at least mention the Edmundson family as being part of the Harshbarger heritage, because I do think the John Edmondson-Mary Boughan parentage is correct for Sukey.  From what little I can find on line, John was of Essex County, Virginia, and he owned slaves that were later deeded from Gabriel Jones and his wife to their children.  (Mary Boughan Edmondson mararied Gabriel Jones of Orange County, Viginia in 1738, after John had died in 1733.)  He left a will, which I have not seen, mentioning an unborn child who apparently did not survive.  The will also mentioned his wife Mary and daughter Sukey, as well as Augustine Boughan and the children of his brother Samuel Edmundson, William Smith, Thomas Moore, Sarah Boughan and brother Thomas Edmundson.  Mary must have been a capable woman as she served as executrix with James Webb, John Webb, and Thomas Sparke as securities.

John apparently left very little other tracks in the deeds or court books of the time.  He is believed to have been born about 1688, although I have seen other sources guessing his birth date as about 1700.  I don't know where either of those dates came from.  At any rate, we was still a young man when he died, with one child born and another on the way.  Presumably he attended church somewhere although that is not a given, since church attendance in the early 1700's was not necessarily important to many Virginians.

More research needs to be done to determine his birthdate, tax records, any deeds that show land ownership, and other details of his life.  Nevertheless, we know that he lived, fathered a Harshbarger ancestor, and thereby left a legacy. The Virginia heritage is a small one in this line, but every ancestor is important and  I would love to find out more about him!

The line of descent is: 

John Edmondson-Mary Boughan
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 descendants


Friday, August 28, 2015

Holbrook line: John Kinglsey 1614-1678 Immigrant

This immigrant ancestor is interesting to me because he is another one who went from England to Massachusetts to Rhode Island.  In my mind, someone who moves to Rhode Island has at least a 50/50 chance of having moved for religious principles, although of course there are family and economic issues to consider, also.  I don't think there is enough information about John to allow us to draw a conclusion about this issue, but there is quite a bit of information available about him, more than I can use in one of these short sketches.

John Kingsley was born September 7, 1614 to John Kingsley (various spellings) and Katherine Butler. We know little about his life in England except that he had at least one brother, Stephen.  We also know that John and Stephen sailed on the "James" from Bristol, England on June 3, 1635.  Richard Mather, a Puritan "teacher", was aboard this ship so it is likely that John was already a Puritan and came to New England at least partly for religious reasons. 

This particular voyage was even less enjoyable than most.  The ship was caught in the "Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635" as it neared the coast and the ship was forced to ride out the storm near what is now Hampton, New Hamphire.  At one point their ship was stranded but refloated with the high waves of the storm.  Their sails were gone as were their anchors, but the sailors made new sails and other repairs, and the ship eventually landed at Boston on August 17, 1635.  I wonder if any passenger on that ship ever sailed again? 

John married Elizabeth Stoughton about 1636 in Dorchester, Suffolk, where he had gone to live shortly after landing in New England.  There is some question about her last name because the documentation seems to not exist, but this is the traditional name of his first wife, and she seems to be the mother of his children, who were Freedom, Enos, Edward, Eldad and Renewed, all born before 1645.  The family lived at Dorchester until about 1655, and Elizabeth died sometime during this time period.  During his life in Dorchester, John had been a bailiff, a tax collector, and an elder in the church, after having helped found the church in 1636. 

About 1656, John married Alice Thatcher, who was a widow, and they moved to Rehoboth, Bristol County, sometime shortly after.  (The time lines I have seen vary as to when the moves and the marriages took place so consider this just a general outline, not firm as to dates.)  At any rate, when the family lived in Rehoboth, they were prosperous, with a fertile farm east of the Seekonk River.  They, like other families, raised grain and had horses, cattle, sheep, swine and fowls. 

John's wife Alice died in 1673 and John married for a third time, to Mary Johnson, who was the daughter of John Johnson and Mary Heath.  (John and Mary are our ancestors through another line.) 

It wasn't enough for John to survive Puritanism in England, a hurricane on the voyage to New England, and to have buried two wives and married a third.  He was 62 years old on March 28, 1676, when, as part of King Philip's War, Indians came to Rehoboth and burned all but two houses, the barns, and outbuildings.  John survived because he was in the garrison house, which was too heavily fortified for the Indians to burn, and Mary had probably gone with the other women and children to Newport, R.I., where they were sheltered and cared for by Rev. John Clarke. 

Probably due to the turmoil of the war (aha! we may have an answer to my question in the first paragraph!), John and Mary went to Bristol, Rhode Island to live out their remaining years, which were few.  John and Mary died within a few days of each other in January of 1678 or 1679.  John had asked to be buried with his second wife, in Rehoboth, and so he was.  However, his tombstone has been removed to what is now the Newman Cemetery, in E. Providence, R.I. 

John Kingsley had a fascinating life, although I'm sure he would not have chosen to walk through it, had he seen as a young man in England what the next 42 years would bring.  He must have been a strong man, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, to have raised his family through the turmoil. If you're interested in learning more, the blog "Miner Descent" has a blog post about our ancestor that gives much additional information. 

Our line of descent is:

John Kinglsey-Elizabeth possibly Stoughton
Freedom Kingsley-John French
Elizabeth French-Jonathan Thayer
Huldah Thayer-Benjamin Wheelock
Mary Wheelock-Ebenezer Thayer
Abigail Thayer-Jesse Holbrook
Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Allen line: Rev. John Youngs 1598-1672 Is he ours?

As I was preparing to write this post, I realized that the connection for this ancestor is not absolutely proven.  Our descent is through his daughter Sarah, who is not a documented daughter of John.  Some sites are referring to her as Sarah (Mary) or Mary/Sarah Youngs, and there is some documentation for Mary.  If this is wrong, then I will have a lot of interesting English folk to prune from the Allen tree!  I am hoping that the Sarah Youngs connection is not another one of the frauds that Gustave Anjou and others of his sort perpetrated on those of us who want to know the truth! 

Rev. John is the son of Reverend Christopher Youngs and Margaret Ellwin.  He was born in 1598 in Reydon, Southold, Suffolk, England, and was one of at least seven children.  Reydon is a small town of about 2500 people, situated on the east coast of England.  The church there dates from the early 14th century, so this is the church Reverend Christopher would have pastored, and where John would have first formal religious teachings.  I haven't yet found information as to whether Rev. Christopher had any Puritan leanings, but Reverend John apparently did.

John Youngs married three times, first to Joan Herrington, second to John Harris, widow of Richard Palgrave, and third to Mary Warren, first married to a Gardner.  It is believed that Sarah was the daughter of Joan Herrington, who in turn was the daughter of Stephen Harrington and Joan Jentilman.

John Young was the minister at Hingham, Norfolk, England, until he and his (second) wife and five children and a step daughter, sailed for Salem, Massachusetts on the "Mary Anne" in 1637.  At the time, Salem's port was larger than Boston's, which is why he arrived there.  The family stayed in Salem about three years, and then went to Long Island, now New York but then under the jurisdiction of Connecticut.  He founded the settlement of Southold, Long Island, named for his home in England.  He was of course a Puritan, but was much loved by his family and his congregation.

Rev. John Youngs served his church apparently until his death, and was also a magistrate for the area.  In 1664-65, Long Island became part of New York rather than Connecticut.  Rev. Youngs died February 24,1672.

I'm sure there is more to be learned about Rev. John Youngs, but first I'd like to figure out whether Sarah is indeed his daughter.  If someone reading this can help with this confirmation or denial, I'd love to hear from you.

The proposed line of descent is:

John Youngs-Joan Harrington
Sarah Youngs-Daniel Scofield
Daniel Scofield-Abigail Merwin
Daniel Scofield-Hannah Hoyt
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Knott
John W Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Update,before this went live:  I have very serious doubts that Sarah Youngs is the daughter of John and Joan.  My internet connection wasn't working well when I wrote this post, or I would have discovered an NEHGS article that would have convinced me that Sarah's parentage, and even her surname, is unknown.   Here I go, to lop a big branch off the Allen tree!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Harshbarger line: Emanuel Harshbarger 1854-1928

Here is a transcription of the obituary for Emmanuel Harshbarger.  The newspaper is from Columbia City, Indiana, Wednesday Evening, May 9, 1928 but the header is missing.  This may be from the Columbia City Post.

Headlines: " Emanuel Harshbarger Dies at His Home Sunday   Death Took Place at 3:30 A.M. As Result of Illness Due to Diabetes And Goitre-Funeral Services Tuesday Afternoon at Thorn Creek Bethel." (All of this was in capital letters but that seemed to be too "loud" so I toned it down.)

"Emanuel Harshbarger, 74 years old last July, died Sunday morning at 3:30 o'clock at his home in Thorncreek township on the old Tri-Lake Road two miles north of Columbia City after an illness due to goitre, diabetes, and complications.  Mr. Harshbarger had been in failing health and became seriously ill seven weeks ago.  His daughter, Mrs. Simon Gardner, cared for him since that time.  Mr. Harshbarger went to the Cryle clinic at Cleveland, Ohio for a week but was unable to obtain pronounced relief and it was found there that he was suffering from diabetes. 

He was born in Summit County, Ohio on July 28, 1854 (date is fuzzy but I think this is what it says) and was a son of Lewis and Catherine Mencer Harshbarger.  The parents of Mr. Harshbarger brought him to Union township, Whitley county, when he was but three years old.  He resided on that farm until thirty-nine years ago when he purchased the farm on which he resided at the time of his death.

Mr. Harshbarger owned the saw mill on his farm for seventeen years and owned it previous to the time he began operating his cider mill.  The cider mill was in operation until last year when Mr. Harshbarger discontinued it.  In addition to running the mills Mr. Harshbarger also moved buildings and farmed.

On May 5, 1876 Mr. Harshbarger was united in marriage to Clara Ellen Harter, who died three years ago.  Eight children were born to this union, of whom four are living, namely: Grover Harshbarger, of Huntington, Mrs. Simon Gardner, Mrs. Charles Shepherd and Logan Harshbarger, of Columbia City.  The deceased is survived by one brother, Henry, of Jefferson township and two sisters, Mrs. Mary Smith of Columbia township, and Mrs. Cassie Banta, of Fort Wayne, and seven grand children and four great grandchildren.

Mr. Harshbarger united with a church in Union township when a young man.  He was highly respected and well liked by all who knew him.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2:30o'clock at the Thorncreek Bethel Church of God.  Rev. Emma Isenbarger will conduct the services and burial will be in the church cemetery.

Note:  The birthdate we have is July 16, 1855 and the location we have is Stark County, Ohio.  It is more likely to be Summit County.  I can't reconcile the birthdates, but since his tombstone also says July, 1854 I am changing my records for both date and location.  I also note that I am missing two children, who would have died young, in my records.  Reading an obituary is a very good thing to do!

The line of descent is:

Emanuel Harshbarger-Clara Ellen Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Beeks line: Percival Towle abt 1620-1691, Immigrant and Quaker

What an amazing morning this has been. When I decided to write about Percival Towle for today's blog, all I "knew" about him was that he was one of the proprietors of the original 100 shares of West New Jersey, and that he lived in London and was a baker, before he came to New Jersey.  I have learned so much in just the last hour that my head is literally spinning.  Google is my friend!

I still have a lot of questions about him, of course (including who named him, but that's beside the point), but now I know there is a person behind those few facts in the first paragraph, and I'm excited to go learn more.  In the meantime, here's what I've learned.

His parents may have been Francis Towle and Elizabeth Cooke.  I haven't found the documentation for that yet, so take it with a grain of salt.  He was born about 1620, presumably christened in a church somewhere, and at some point, married Thomasin Scattergood (again, I haven't seen documentation.)  Also there is no document to point to his conversion to a member of the Society of Friends (Quaker) but there is evidence that he was one by 1663, when "A few days after (March 22, 1663), Percival Towle a baker of Ratcliff was also committed to Newgate for not pulling off his hat as he passed by the Lord Mayor and Richard Brown in the Street."  This came from "A Collection of the Sufferings of the People Called Quakers, Volume 1", first published in the late 1600's.  We don't know how long he stayed at Newgate Prison, or what his circumstances were there.  Money bought better treatment, but we don't know if he had money at that point or whether he would have used it for that purpose, if he'd had it. 

I've found various dates for his arrival in the New World, but it seems to have been sometime in or .  shortly after January 1, 1677.  He and five other men (Richard Mew, Peter Hayles, Thomas Martin, Nicholas Bell and Richard Clayton, all from the London area) purchased a "full propriety" in West New Jersey.  Percival was the only one to actually come to West Jersey to live; the others were likely Quakers who were trying to help other Quaker settlers by making a land purchase.  According to a 1951 volume of "The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography," Percival was active on grand and petty juries, was an overseer of the highways, a member of the Council of Proprietors, and died a wealthy man.  His plantation, Sutton's Lodge, was one of the largest in the Province, containing about 1300 acres. The "Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey" lists him as a member of the assembly from 1683-1685.  For a baker, he was doing pretty well for himself.

We know that he had and Thomasin had at least two children, Alice and Susannah.  There is also an "Annie" which some people have taken as a nickname for "Susannah" and others have listed as a separate daughter.  If there were more children who perhaps died early, we don't know of them. The children were born in England in about 1643-1645, and joined their parents in West Jersey.

The area that they lived in was in Burlington, N.J.  The bakehouse that Towle owned was on the Delaware River and went "back to the next street."  I haven't found a precise location for "Sutton's Lodge" yet, but it was most likely on the Delaware River or one of its tribuaries also. 

We are fortunate to have an abstract of the wills of both Percival and Thomasin.  Percivals was was dated October 26,1691 and proved December 12,1691.  He left much of his estate to his wife, with the stipulation that after her death his house, bakehouse and lands on Burlington Island and in town bounds were to be sold for the benefit of the Quarterly Meeting of Friends in Burlington Co., and left the plantation called Sutton's Lodge to his brothers and their children,800 acres "not yet taken up" were to go to several people who appear to be in-laws and possibly other relations, and there were separate legacies to four others and the Ratcliffe Meeting in England. 

The appraisal of his estate totaled 740 pounds, 14 shillings, and 10 pence.  His cash and silverware was valued at almost twice that of his 800 acres.  His house in Burlington, where his wife would live, was valued at 120 pounds so it must have been quite a home. 

When Tomasin died, (will dated September 28,1695 and proved December 7, 1695, she left a number of bequests to friends and relations in London and in West Jersey, as well as to the Devonshire Meeting of Friends in London.  Her estate was valued at 465 pounds, 5 shillings, 6 pence, all personal (no real estate).  She was quite wealthy for her time, too. 

Here is a picture of a hard working man who loved his God and would not take off his hat to anyone.  He came to West Jersey in middle age and not only made a home for himself here, but he prospered among his Quaker friends.  It's a story I'm glad to learn, and I'm sure there is still more to be found of this man and his family. 

The line of descent is:

Percival Towle-Thomasin Scattergood
Alice Towle-John Thomas Wilsford 
Mary Wilsford-James Moon
Simon Moon-Louretha Humphrey
Jacob Moon-Jane Rees
Thomas Moon-Jean Gray
Margaret Ellen Moon-Owen T Rees
Eliza Reese-Samuel Goodnight Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents


Friday, August 14, 2015

Holbrook line: Thomas Joslin, Immigrant 1591-1660/61

I love it when I find so much information about an ancestor that it's hard to fit it all into one blog post!  This is definitely a case of "pick and choose" what I can reasonably expect my family to read.

Thomas Joslin was born at Roxwell, County Essex, in England late in 1591, the son of Ralph Josselyn and Mary Bright (or possibly Dorothy unknown).  Roxwell is a small village and was likely never much larger than it was in 1872, when it had a population of 986.  There is a church there that has been in existence since the 14th century, where Thomas would have been baptized.  Ralph, the father, is called a yeoman, so he was a respectable farmer who owned at least some land.  Thomas had at least 10 brothers and sisters, some of which were likely half siblings, so it was a large family in what was probably a small home.

Sometime about 1615, Thomas married Rebecca Jude, and they raised their family for about 20 years in Dedham and later in Barham, county Suffolk, England.  In between, they may have lived in Ardleigh, Essex county, because two of their children were baptized there.  The last child was baptized in Barham, but we are missing baptismal locations for some of their other children.  The question is, did they move, or did they simply take some of their children to other (family) locations to be baptized in the "home church"?

We do know that in April of 1635, the family set sail on the ship Increase to come to Massachusetts.  They brought with them Rebecca, age 18, Dorothy, age 11, Nathaniel, age 8, Elizabeth, age 6, and Mary, age 1.  They also had a maidservant, Eliabeth Ward, who may or may not have been a relative.
The family first settled at Hingham, and by 1647 were well enough established that they were being given small parcels of land (one and one half acre of fresh meadow, and three acres of land in Hockly Field.  Thomas also purchased land from Stephen Lincoln, and by the time he was ready to sell it, it was described as "our houses, barns, homestalls, outhouses and dwelling house and barns, orchards and gardens, with the homelot", about three acres in all.  At the same time, he and son Nathaniel sold additional land to George Lane and Thomas Collier.

Thomas and Rebecca's children were Abraham, Rebecca, Mary, Dorothy, Nathaniel, Elizabeth, and Mary again (the first Mary died soon after her 1619 baptism, and Dorothy died as a young woman.)

According to "Account of the Joslin Family", he was admitted freeman at Hingham in 1636, and was largely interested in commerce, owning several vessels that sailed between England and the Colonies, and was also proprietor of land in the towns of Lancaster, Hingham, and Sudbury.  He was described as a man of commendable habits, generous disposition, and great business ability, and was respected by the citizens for his excellent personal character. He was a selectman for the town for several years, apparently.

In 1654 the Joslins sold their land and moved to Lancaster.  We aren't told why they moved, but it must have seemed a better opportunity.  By this time, Thomas would have been 63 years old, and perhaps he went because Nathaniel was moving, and he wanted to be with his son and grandchildren.  Lancaster of course was very much a frontier town, but during the time Thomas lived there relations with the native Americans seem to have been peaceful.  Still, a 63 year old man may have had a hard time building a new home, unless he was able to have it built.

Thomas's will was written May 9,1660 and proved March 29,1661. He left his estate to his wife Rebecca, and land or money to each of his children.  He left little to his son Abraham, so he may have already given him his share of the estate.  His housing and lands were valued at 30 pounds.
Rebecca later remarried and disposed of the land according to (Thomas's) will.

I've used material from "Great Migration, Volume 4, page 117, "English Origins of New England Families Volume I," and New England Historical and Genealogical Register Volume 158" in writing this post, as well as bits and pieces from Wikipedia.

The line of descent is:

Thomas Joslin-Rebecca Jude
Nathaniel Joslin-Sarah King
Nathaniel Joslin-Esther Morse
Israel Joslin-Sarah Cleveland
Sarah Joslin-Edward Fay
David Fay-Mercy or Mary Perrin
Euzebia (Luceba) Fay-Libbeus Stanard
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  There are genealogies that say that our Thomas can be traced back to Gilbert Josceline, who was a contemporary of William the Conqueror.  Others say it isn't so, so take it with a grain of salt.  The dates seem to work, and it's fun to think it might be so!