Friday, October 13, 2017

Holbrook line: John Warren 1585-1667 Immigrant

Oh, there is nothing like a documented immigrant ancestor!  It's exciting to find one, it's exciting to find a little bit of his story, but it's frustrating too because for almost every fact fount I have more questions.  Our John has at least three more generations in back of him in England, so it's fun to note his background, instead of having guesses and suppositions. 

John Warren was born shortly before August 1, 1585 (baptismal date) in Nayland, Suffolk, England.  His parents were John and Elizabeth Scarlett Warren.  John the father was a cardmaker.  Given his location and the amount of wool that was produced there, I believe he made equipment for carding wool, not playing cards.  The town is a small one, on the border with Sussex, and in the 1600's was a center for Puritan dissenters, at least for a time. 

John's mother died about March 27, 1602.3 and his father then married Rose, who was buried August 11, 1610, and then married Rose Riddlesdale, who outlived him.  John the father died in 1613, when our John was 28 years old.  Our John was also a cardmaker, and earned enough of a living to marry  Margaret who has been identified as Margaret Bayly  They had at least seven children.  The first three died as infants or young children, but when John and Margaret came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, they had their four youngest children with them.

John was already in trouble with the Church of England in 1629, when he failed to kneel for communion.  Since there were several other men who also failed to do this, it is not likely that he had bad knees  As Puritans, the men had decided that kneeling to receive communion was not appropriate.  This seemed like a good time to leave England . The family came with Winthrop's fleet in 1630, but I'm not able to confirm whether or not they came on the Arbella, the flag ship of the fleet.  At any rate, they sailed with a number of good Puritans.

John was made a freeman at Watertown, Massachusetts, on May 18, 1631, although he may not have been a member of the church.  Church attendance was mandatory and he was fined several times for frequent absences from service.  There is some speculation that although he immigrated with and lived with Puritans, he was actually a Baptist at heart, or possibly a Quaker.  If he had admitted either of these leanings publicly, he would have been exiled, and perhaps he was already feeling his age. 

John prospered in his new country, acquiring significant tracts of land by grant and it's possible he also purchased some property.  He was a selectman for at least two terms and also served on committees to lay out highways and to divide land, jobs meant for wise people.  He still owned 188 acres of land in various parcels when he died.  His real estate was then valued at 123 pounds and the rest of the estate was valued at a little over 47 pounds.  His inventory still included a musket, sword, and halberd.  These items were required of all men in case of attack, although by his death on December 13, 1667, he was 82 years old and would likely have been excused from military duty for some years.  Margaret had died 5 years before, on November 6, 1662. 

These are the basic facts about John Warren.  I'd love to know more about him, especially his religious beliefs, and how he supported his family once he arrived in America.  Surely there wasn't that much of a demand for cardmakers in the early years of the colony.  There were books in his inventory so we can assume he was literate.  What was the source of his education?  As I said, the information we do have is wonderful but I'd like to know more!

The line of descent is:

John Warren-Margaret possibly Bayly
John Warren-Deborah Wilson
Mary Warren-John Burr
Mary Burr-Thomas Marsh
Deborah Marsh-Isaac Lazell
Deborah Lazell-Levi Rockwood
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Allen line: Frances Mauldin Holbrook line: Francis Mauldin 1600-1644

I'm counting this ancestor, my 8th and 9th great grandfather, under the Allen line, simply because I have very few Allen ancestors left to write about  However, he is also an ancestor in our Holbrook line, which technically means, I think, that we who have both Allen and Holbrook lines are our own cousins.  Hmmm...It's a good thing that's a long way back!

Of course frustratingly little is known of our double ancestor, Francis Mauldin.  He is said to have been born in 1600 in London, England, the son of another Francis Mauldin.  He emigrated from England to New Norfolk County, Virginia, with his wife, believed to be Katherine Sutton, and their daughter Margaret.  Katherine was probably dead by 637 or 1638, and Francis then married Grace Bennett, and had at least one child, grace, with her.  There may have been more children with Grace, and the mother of son Francis Mauldin is, as of this writing, not identified, at least not to my satisfaction. 

Francis, his wife Katherine and daughter Margaret came to Virginia in 1634.  He paid passage for his wife plus six other persons, some or all of whom would have worked for him as indentured servants until their labor paid francis for the cost of the passage, plus completing whatever the other terms of the indentureship were.  The length of any indentureship would have depended partly on the age of the men and partly on what skills they brought with them.  Francis initially would have had help in settling and farming the 450 acres he received as headrights for his family and the other six men.  This land was on the north side of the Nansemod River.  .

After the loss of his first wife, he married Grace Bennett and in just a few years, imported two servants, and received headrights for them.  It is thought that he also acquired additional land before his death.  Given the locations of the land, it is likely that at least one of the crops Mauldin raised was tobacco.  

This is what is known of Francis Mauldin, the first of the name in America.  His son Francis Mauldin became a carpenter, and his widow went to Maryland about 1649, possibly in search of religious freedom. 

Our lines of descent are:

Allen line:

Francis Mauldin-Katherine probably Sutton
Margaret Mauldin-Samuel Lane
Dutton Lane-Pretitia Tydings
Samuel Lane-Mary Jane Corbin
Lambert Lane Nancy Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

The Holbrook line is

Francis Mauldin-Grace Bennett
Francis Mauldin-Elizabeth Mackall
Ann Maulden-William Amos
James Amos-Hannah Clarke
Benjamin Amos-Sarah Bussey
Elizabeth Amos-Robert Amos
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Friday, October 6, 2017

Harshbarger line: Edward Harshbarger, 1917-1976, Cousin

For my last Harshbarger post, I wrote about Robert D. Harshbarger, son of Logan and Chestia Kemery Harshbarger, and World War II veteran.  Today I'm writing about Edward Leroy Harshbarger, also the son of Logan and Chestia Kemery Harshbarger, and also a World War II veteran.  . 

Ed, as he is referred to in various newspaper articles, was born October 12, 1917.  He was the second and last of the Harshbarger children, as far as I know.  (It's possible one or more were born and died between the censuses and I haven't researched that possibility, so I want to leave that open for now).

No two children are alike, and Ed was born late enough that the Great Depression may have affected him more.  In 1930, he was living with his parents but in the 1940 census, when he was about 22, he was a boarder in the home of Stella M. Grunfeld, who was just three years older than she was. This was in Richland Township, Whitley County, Indiana. She was a factory worker and her was a truck driver, although in 1939 neither had received much income, she $70 and he nothing.  Ed had completed just the seventh grade in school, so he dropped out sometime after the 1930 census.  We don't know whether school was difficult for him or whether he was needed on the family farm. 

The next notice we have of Ed is that he has enlisted in the Army, on March  3, 1943.  Interestingly, his enlistment city is listed as Camp Perry Lacarne, Ohio.  I'm not sure of the chronology here but Camp Perry was a prisoner of war camp for German POWs.  He is listed as having a grammar school education, and in civilian life had an unskilled occupation in manufacture of furniture, so I'm not sure whether there's any connection between the job and the location or not.  By this time, he was married.  His height is listed as 86, which if this is correct and the measurement was in inches, would have made himm over 7 foot tall.  I rather think I' m not interpreting this correctly, because his weight is given as 103, presumably pounds.  I'm thinking he would have been as small man. 

There is much about his military life that I don't know.  He served in the European theater as an auto mechanic, initially in England and then seems, based on his battles, to have been in Northern France, the Ardennes, and Rhineland.  He has the Good Conduct Medal and others as well.  He was discharged, as a corporal, on October 22, 1945. 

I don't know much about Ed's life after he returned to the civilian world.  There is an April 1963 notice in the Columbia City, Indiana Commercial Mail that "Mr. and Mrs. Orris Stump and Mrs. Donald Heck were Sunday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Harshbarger and son.  In the afternoon, they went to Columbia City to the Hillcrest Nursing home and visited with Mrs. Chauncey Kemery, mother of Mrs. Harshbarger.  I know the name of the son, but I don't know if he is still living so I am not giving it here. I haven't yet figured out how or if Stella Grunfeld was the Stella who married Ed, and if she was, how she connected to Mrs. Chauncey Kemery. Mrs. Chauncey Kemery in 1963 was the former Susan Reed James.  So where did the Grunfeld or Greenfield name come from?  Mysteries still remain, of course.  . 

The last information I have is about Ed's death.  Sadly, he died less than six months after his brother Robert was hit and killed by a vehicle.  Ed died of lung cancer on July 5, 1976.  His wife's maiden name here is given as Stella Greenfield, which may be the same as the Stella Grunfeld he was lodging with in 1940.  He had been employed as a factory employee in auto parts production, and his illness had lasted about 10 months. Logan and Chestia were left without children in their old age. 

I sometimes wonder about these cousins  I've found reference in the Huntington, Indiana Herald-Press that Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland Harshbarger had visited with Mr and Mrs Robert Harshbarger, either in Whitley County or at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Grover Harshbarger. I've not yet found anything indicating a social relationship with Ed and Stella, which could be for any number of reasons.  But I sure would have liked to have heard these three men, Cleve, Bob, and Ed, discussing their World War II experiences.  Hearing about the different ways they served their country, and the things and places they had seen, would have been a great addition to our family history. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Beeks line: Thomas Page 1595-1676

I'm going to do a dangerous thing here, and write a little bit about an ancestor who hasn't been researched much.  At least, he hasn't been researched enough for the genealogy world to come to a consensus about who he is. 

Still, he's a good reminder that the Beeks family is made up of so many different kinds of people, who came from so many different places and so many different walks of life . Since there are still brick walls there may yet be more surprises for this family.  Today I'm writing about Thomas Page, who was born about 1595 in England and died March 10, 1676 in Rappahannock County.  I do have notes in my files as to the possible identity of his parents, but I am not sure enough about them to list them here.  Likewise, I have a name for a wife but she was about 30 years younger than he was so while it's possible that his wife was Elizabeth Allen, she surely would not have been his first wife since daughter Mary was born just 6 years after Elizabeth.  I've found a reference that says his wife was Elizabeth Finch Allen, and was born in 1607, but again, I'm not finding the documents or supporting evidence. 

What we do think we know about Thomas is that he came to America in 1650.  THe record I'm looking at sas he was "granted" land several times.  Only one of those times was the number of acres a nice, even number that would indicate possibly he had head rights for bringing 12 persons from home, or elsewhere, to work in the colony.  Also one listing includes 600 acres but is dated 12 plus years after Thomas died.  Either this land went to a different Thomas Page, or it could be that it was a delayed entry kind of thing.  The land he acquired included a parcel of 281 1/2 acres on the south side of Rappa River, another 600 acres on the south side of Rappahannock River, another 3075 acres in the same general location, and then 783 acres, and finally a second entry for 600 acres.  His will is said to be missing so we don't know how he disposed of it, or what other assets he may have had.

I have found reference to him as a colonel but I'm not sure what the basis for that is.  His death date is given as March 10, 1676 in Rappahannock County, and that's as much as most of the genealogy world seems to know about Thomas.  We know from earlier reading that if this is one Thomas Page who owned all this land, he must have been a tobacco farmer and probably a fairly well to do man at that.  The strong suspicion is that he would have had slaves or indentured servants, or both, to work the fields.  His home may have been fairly substantial, for the time and place, and he would most likely have belonged to the Church of England, like most of his neighbors. 

Thomas's heritage interests me, and the heritage he left his family is interesting, too.  Virginia planters were not at all common in the Beeks family, especially those who had a military rank like "Colonel".  I hope we can find more information about him!

The line of descent is believed to be

Thomas Page-Elizabeth
Mary Page-Valentine Allen
William Allen-Mary Hunt
Francis Allen-Peter Lehew
William Lehew-Hannah
Mary Lehew-William Featheringill
Elizabeth Featheringill-George Botkin
Charity Botkin-Jackson Wise
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Eliabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, September 29, 2017

Holbrook line: Ray Holbrook 1915-1944

I'm not sure why I've waited so long to write about my uncle . Perhaps it was because I knew that I only knew part of his story.  I have just learned enough now that I feel compelled to share this, because it's important for our family (and anyone else who is reading this) to know about our hero. My mother always called him a hero, and told us he died at Anzio in Italy, but that is all that I really knew about him before I started this genealogy quest .

I had some information in my file about Ray but didn't understand some of it, and it didn't give the full story.  This isn't really the full story, but it's a condensed version.  Ray was born to Loren and Etta Stanard Holbrook November 4, 1915 in Colville, Washington.  He was the oldest of four children.  About a year after the birth of his youngest sister, his parents separated and then divorced in 1933.  He and his brother Howard were raised largely by their father, until high school.  Their parents wanted them to have a better education than was available in the Colville area, and besides, the family story is that they were getting to be a little bit rowdy.  They were sent to live with their school teacher aunt, Elizabeth Stanard, and attended Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington.  Ray graduated in 1934.

In the 1940 census, he was listed as living with his father, who operated a saw mill.  Ray's occupation was listed as laborer and, although the census doesn't state this, he was working for his father.  Maybe he thought it was time to move on, because Ray talked to an Army recruiter and he enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 11, 1940 at Ft. George Wright, Washington.  He was soon sent to Ft Lewis, Washington for training.  He had enlisted for a one year term and was assigned to the infantry.  I've not found records of when he re-enlisted, but he must have done so.  Here's where it starts to get interesting. 

Somewhere, somehow, after the outbreak of World War II, he was made aware of an opportunity to join a new unit of men.  The unit was to be made up entirely of men, both American and Canadian,  who had volunteered for the job.  They were especially looking for men who were lumberjacks, raftsmen, and skiers, among others.  The particular component that was to bind the men together was that these people all loved adventure.  They were willing to accept jobs that they knew were dangerous, and of course, they were all committed to their country.  These were men who would soon learn to fight and sustain themselves behind enemy lines in mountains and in winter conditions.  Their initial training took place at Fort William Henry Harrison near Helena, Montana.  By the time the men left this base, they had learned the basics of paratrooping, of winter survival, of long marches, of night time operations, and of other things we don't really want to know about. 

By now, the unit officially had a name, the First Special Service Force.  One of their nicknames became "The Devil's Brigade."  Their first assignment was to the Aleutian Islands, specifically Kiska.  They landed on August 15, 1943, only to discover that the Japanese had withdrawn their forces two weeks earlier.  They stayed only a few weeks and  when they returned the men were given leave.  I don't know if Ray went home or not.  If he did, this would have been his last time to see his family.  There was more training, near San Francisco, Sacramento, Vermont, and Virginia.  By the time the FSSF left for Europe, the war had been in progress for almost two years, and these soldiers were some of the best of the best in terms of the kinds and depth of training they had had.  There were 1800 combat men, plus support crew such as cooks, medics and Headquarters.  What these 1800 men would accomplish, before D-Day, was so extraordinary that Congress in 2013 voted the unit a Congressional Gold Medal, which was actually awarded in 2015. 

The men landed at Morocco and went to Oran, Algiers, but that was just a staging point for their ultimate destination of Italy.  Before the battle of Anzio, these men were the spearpoint of an attack on the German fortress at Monte La Difensa.  Within days of their arrival, they planned the attack on this mountain, choosing the hardest route to the top because they thought the Germans would not be expecting the there.  This mountain overlooked the entire Rome valley, and control of this mountain and one other meant the invasion army to come would have a clear route to Rome.  Ray's company, the first company of the second regiment (1-2) was at the forefront of this attack.  It was begun in the night time hours of December 2, and Ray, in his first real battle, was wounded during this attack.  I don't know anything about his wound at this point but I do know his mother was notified, and he was awarded the Purple Heart.  Ray was apparently out of commission for some time but he didn't lose touch with his unit and eventually rejoined them. 

The next we know of Ray is the sad news, in newspaper articles and in a letter to his mother, of Ray's death on March 30, 1944.  He was on a patrol in front of the lines (this was after the large landing at the Anzio beach head) and the men encountered a mine field . A buddy set a mine off and was badly injured.  While attempting to help the wonded man, Ray set off another mine which exploded and caused his death.  Other members of the patrol said that he could probably have saved himself by throwing himself to one side, but made no effort to do so, thereby saving his comrades who were just a short distance away. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for his bravery. 

The First Special Service Force went on, without Ray and without many others who were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner during the life of the force.  They were in action for about a year, in Italy and during the invasion of southern France, and during this time the unit suffered an attrition rate of about 600%.  That means the original 1800 men were replaced 6 times, to keep the unit at strength.  Of course there were some survivors from the original group, but I've not yet found a number to give.  I do know there is one gentleman still alive, who is 108 years old.  The movie "The Devil's Brigade", (1968) tells a fictionalized version of the battle of Monte la Defensa, and I have ordered a copy.   

We need to know these stories, of how young men from all over this country and other countries, came together to fight for freedom.  We need to tell these stories to the next generation, and the next, and the next.  These men, including Ray, were heroes and worthy of remembrance and honor 

Note:  Some of the information in this post was provided by Lynda Beacon, who administers the Facebook page for the First Special Service Force.  If I have mis-stated anything that she told me, I apologize.  Much of what I've said here comes from personal research, information available on the internet, and letters that I have in my possession.  Together, it is all starting to make sense, but I would love to have still more information, especially regarding Ray's injuries and recovery from his wound(s) and when he returned to duty.  That information may be available, but I will have to save up quite a few pennies to obtain it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Allen line: William Buck, Immigrant 1585-1657

I've rarely written about a person with so much conflicting information.  On the one hand, we have Robert Charles Anderson, world famous Great Migration researcher, saying no one knows his parents, or his wife, and that William had only one known son.  On the other hand, we have other researchers who give William's parents, two wifes, and up to 17 children.  I've also found discrepancies, large ones, in his birthdate. 

In a nutshell, this is what is absolutely certain about William:  He came to New England from England with his son Roger, on the ship Increase, with his son Roger.  He was a plowright (a maker and probably repairman of plows) and he died January 24, 1657/58. 

That would be the end of this blogpost, except I also want to share what else may be true about William.  From a book published in 1799 called History of Worcestershire, England by Nash, he is referred to as esquire, and is said to have been the son and heir of Nathaniel, son of John, and is also said to have marred about 1606 Margaret Good, daughter and heir of Michael Good of Sussex, Lord of the castle of Frome, Somersetshire. My analysis of this is that it is doubtful, because of the way William made his living in Massachusetts Bay Colony and because he never joined a church or became a freeman.  Even the land he was given was on the outskirts of town, indicating that perhaps he lived on the edge of society.

I've also seen his parents listed as James Buck and Elizabeth Sherman, This connection goes with a birth location of Padbury, Cambridgeshire, England, and makes a little more sense historically, except that I can find no documentation for this information.  So as far as I can determine, the jury is still out.

William Buck is also said to have married Margaret Neave, September 7, 1618 in Andersby, Lincolnshire, England.  This would be late for a first marriage, but it is entirely possible that he had a first wife.  Under this theory, Roger, the known descendant, was born in 1617 and his mother, William's wife, died shortly after.  William is credited with as many as eight children with Margaret, including our ancestor, Grace.  But again, I can find no record of her birth, nor of any of her siblings. 

It is fun to think of William living as a plowright, next to a Winthrop farm . Perhaps he knew some of the Winthrop family, in a business sense, anyway.  Living in Cambridge, he would have known some of our other Allen and Holbrook ancestors, and helped them make a living on their farms. 

I am very open, even anxious, to learn more about William Buck.  Was he in fact the father of our Grace, and was he married to Margaret Neave?  I'd love to find his family!

The line of descent would be:

William Buck-possibly Margaret Neave
Grace Buck-John Riley
John Riley-Margaret McCraney
Mary Riley-Joseph Ely
Mary Ely Thomas Stebbins
Ruth Stebbins-Samuel Hitchcock
Margaret Hitchcock-Richard Falley
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, September 22, 2017

Harshbarger line: Robert D. Harshbarger, cousin

OK, raise your hand if you've ever heard of cousin Bob (at least, I suppose he went by the name of Bob).  He and his brother Edward, sons of Logan and Chestia Kemery Harshbarger, were total surprises to me,  and to my husband, who remembers vividly visiting Logan and "Chesty" in their golden years.

Robert, as it turns out, was born December 9, 1915 in Whitley County, Indiana. He was the first of only two children.  He apparently did well in school because in 1936 he was selected to be Indiana's representative in the midwest sectional contest in farm accounting.  He qualified for the $100 merchandise certificate from the International Harvester Co by winning the state contest.  So he was doing well at what he did.  In 1940 the census lists him as a farm laborer by occupation, an unpaid family worker by class of worker, with 0 income.  He had completed his fourth year of high school, most likely in 1933 or 34.  But perhaps it was the Great Depression that had kept him from finding the career he probably wanted to have.

Robert had one answer for that.  He joined the US Army on March 18, 1941 and reported to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana.  He was still single.  In the service, he was a medical technician and apparently a very good one.  He was in the States for three years, eight months, and  days, and was given credit for 1 year, 1 month, and 11 days of overseas service, which included transportation time.  He actually served on the island of Luzon in the Philippines from December 1, 1944 to December 1, 1945.  Actually, the battle for Luzon didn't begin until January 9, 1945 so he was probably in a staging area somewhere, until the battle began.  He must have seen many truly terrible, horrific scenes, whether he was in the field or in a hospital setting.  He earned a total of 4 Bronze stars while he was in the service, was promoted to corporal, and earned a number of medals and ribbons for his service.  He was separated from the service on January 19, 1946 after having served his country for almost five years.

I'm not sure what his life looked like for the next few years.  He married but I haven't determined the maiden name of his wife.  Her first name was Aileen, and this wasn't her first marriage because a woman identified as the daughter of Mrs. Robert Harshbarger was married in 1953.  This indicates that Aileen may have been older than Robert,

The next information I located was confusing, because Citizens State Bank was advertising household items, including what sounds like most of the furnishings for a home, and a 1951  Studebaker, at a public auction, as the guardian of Robert D. Harshbarger.  This was on December 5, 1956.  I found in the court order books that Robert had been judged insane early in the year and sent to the Norman Beatty Memorial Hospital for the criminally insane.  I didn't look at the insanity filings, but I know it involved the sheriff of Allen County and the VA hospital there, so the problem may have been an ongoing one.  Given what Robert had likely seen at Luzon, perhaps now his illness would be recognized as PTSD, but that was not a diagnosis at the time.  He spent about 2 1/2 years in the hospital, being declared sane in 1958 and having his full civil rights restored.  Life still didn't go well for Robert, as his wife filed for divorce in late 1959 and the divorce was finalized in 1960.

The next thing we hear about Robert is that he has died.  On January 20,1976, he was walking on Highway 205 in Thorncreek township near his home, when he was hit by a driver who didn't see him and didn't have tie to stop.  Death came within minutes.  The last years were a sad ending for a boy who had accounting skills, who had served his country for almost five years, who had married with all the hopes and dreams that young men had, and then had lost control of his life.  His parents must have celebrated and suffered right along with him. 

I'm proud to honor Robert Dell Harshbarger for this service to his country, and to introduce him to his extended Harshbarger family.