Friday, May 27, 2016

Holbrook line: Benjamin Child, 1631-1678, Immigrant

First, if you really want to know about this ancestor, don't read this post.  Read the one at stagge-parkerblogspot.com.  It is well researched and wonderful, and more than I think my relatives want to read. 

One neat thing I found in researching Benjamin is that he was the son of a minister, so add another pastor to our list.  Benjamin was born to Reverend Benjamin and Sarah Shenton Childe in 1631, about three years after his parents married.  His parents were married, and their children were born, in Cotesbach Parish, Leicestershire, England.  Cotesbach was a very small village and during the time leading up to our immigrant's birth had been the scene of troubles between the tenants and the land-owner, who disrupted the way the farm land was used and enclosed many fields.  So it was still a rather tense time when Benjamin was born. 

When he was four, his father died rather suddenly and mother Sarah was left with three small children.  She managed by herself, or perhaps went to live with a relative, until Benjamin was 16 and then remarried.  At 16, perhaps Benjamin was not ready to adjust to a step-father, or maybe he just thought a change of scene to America would be good for him.  He came to America in 1647, with help from an uncle, and made a new life for himself here. 

Benjamin apparently started out with next to nothing, and found work with Griffith Bowen, the man who would later become his father in law.  He married Mary Bowen in 1653, and then leased land from Griffith so they could start their own farm.  Eventually they were able to buy the land, and also purchased more land as time went on, all in Roxbury, Massachusetts.  Benjamin and Mary had 12 children, so it is a good thing that the family prospered. 

We know that they prospered because they were able to make a significant donation toward the building of the First Church of Roxbury.  He was admitted to the church in 1648, but his wife didn't join until 1658.  She was from Wales and perhaps not of the same Puritan beliefs as Benjamin, at least not at first.  The Childs lost three of their children in infancy or early childhood, and an adult son was killed during King Philip's War, so life was not easy even though they did well financially.

Benjamin died in October 14, 1678.  Some say he died in Roxbury, and some in Brookline but it is the same location, actually, as their land was on either side of the boundary between these two towns.  It's believed that he is buried at the Eliot Burying Ground in Roxbury.  His inventory shows a total of over 506 pounds, including three houses and land.  The inventory mentions a carbine, a fowling piece, and a rapier, so it is likely that he belonged to some sort of training band or militia.  It doesn't mention books, which surprises me because as the son of a pastor, even though his father died young, I would have expected some books to be in the household. 

His wife Mary lived another 30 years, and had the task of raising the younger children.  She never remarried and died on October 31, 1707. 

Although I would certainly like to know more about his life, I find Benjamin a truly remarkable man.  Leaving England and home at the age of 16 must have been difficult, but he made good choices and was able to establish a considerable fortune, and a good heritage for his children. 

The line of descent is:

Benjamin Child-Mary Bowen
Mehitable Child-Samuel Perrin
John Perrin-Abigail Morris
Benjamin Perrin-Mary
Mary or Mercy Perrin-David Fay
Luceba (Euzebia) Fay-Libbeus Stanard Jr.
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Fun Fact:  Samuel F.B. Morse, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Dick Van Dyke are also descended from this couple. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Allen line: Adam Armstrong 1685-1749 Immigrant

Adam Armstrong would be a fascinating man to talk with.  He was born in Cumbria, England in 1685, the descendant of Armstrong families who had fought in the border wars with Scotland for hundreds of years.  The fact that he was born in England indicates that his side of the family had reconciled to English rule, since for three generations back his family had been born in England, but possibly heir heart was still in Scotland.  From what I've read about the Border Wars, it would take make than a generation to win a family's loyalty.  So at the very least, he would have had a lot of family stories to tell, and they alone would have made him a very interesting character.

He was a son of Adam Armstrong and Jane Graham, and had a brother, Francis.  Little is known of their upbringing.  Some sources say the family went to Ireland but since the family was English that seems at first glance to be unlikely.  However, if the family adhered to the Scottish church (akin to Presbyterian) then perhaps they did emigrate.  I've not found proof of that yet.  At any rate Adam married Mary Forster in 1705 and they had at least four children: Margaret, William, Adam Abraham and John.

The next fact I can find about Adam is that he died in Cumberland Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania in 1749, according to Find A Grave. .  It is believed that the family came to America in the 1730s (one source thinks it was as early as 1729).  What interests me immensely is this "fill in the blanks" time between arrival here and how/why he arrived in Greene County, Pa. Or is Howard Leckley correct, in saying that the family settled near Chambersburg, which is far to the east and still was described as frontier during the French and Indian War?  I found mention of Adam (Adam Abraham), father of Hannah, in Peters Township, Bedford County in 1751, which would be between the two locations.so I'm leaning towards the Chambersburg location at present.  Whichever location is correct, the family would have been one of the many thousands who came to Pennsylvania and made something out of nothing, basically. (We do know that Adam's granddaughter, Hannah, who married Dr. John Moore, was in the Greene County area but that was some years later, so again makes me think that the first Adam didn't make it as far as some think.)

I'd be thrilled to hear from someone who knows more about this Adam and his wife Mary.  What did he do for a living?  Were they troubled by native Americans, wherever it was they lived? And was it near Chambersburg, or was it in Bedford County, or was it in what became Greene County?  We need to know more about this family! 

The line of descent is:

Adam Armstrong-Mary Forster
Adam Abraham Armstrong-Elizabeth Olifer
Hannah Armstrong-Dr. John Moore
Catherine Moore-Alexis Jackson
Eleanor Jackson-Vincent McCoy
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants







 
 


Friday, May 20, 2016

Harshbarger line: Hubert Brower 1694-1786, Immigrant

This will be another short post, since I've already written about his son Christian and there is less information about Hubert.  But as an immigrant, the one who brought five children with him to America, he deserves at least a mention.  As part of the Mennonites who were basically forced or at least encouraged to leave their homes in Fuss Gonheim, the Palatinate, (Germany), they arrived at Philadelphia in 1726.  The family is fortunate to have the original pass which allowed them to leave their home in Foss Gonheim and sail to the New World.  In order to get this pass, they would have needed to show a certain amount of funds, as the authorities wanted to make sure the unwanted Mennonites would not return to them. 

Almost by definition, Mennonites were poor so it is impressive that the family had enough money to come to America.  Unfortunately, there don't seem to be good land records, or perhaps Hubert never had land.  He may have supported himself as a stone mason or a carpenter, which were occupations of many of the family.  At any rate, by 1743 his three sons had all purchased land in East Coventry Township, Chester County, Pa so it is likely that the immigrant family lived somewhere in the vicinity. 

I've not located tax or land records for Hubert, and neither have I located his will.  At this point, this is all I know about him but it is enough to give a sense that he was determined to raise his family, and that they would own land and have a good start in life.  As Mennonites, they would have likely been hard working people who didn't participate in the wars of the time, French and Indian or Revolutionary, but they would have been good neighbors.  Hubert is believed to have died about 1786, so he lived into his 90s. He must have been a remarkable man!

The line of descent is:

Hubert Brower-Anna possibly Este
Christian Brower-first wife
Barbara Brower-Tobias Miller
Mary Miller-Johan George Harter
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Ellen Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Beeks line: Nathaniel Fitzrandolph 1642-1713 From Puritan to Quaker

Nathaniel Fitzrandolph is not an immigrant, as he was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1642 to his parents, Edward Fitzrandolph and Elizabeth Blossom. However, from the records I've found, he is such an interesting man that he deserves his own blog post.  He was one of the early Quakers at Barnstable, and that marks him as a man of courage.  He married for the second time at age 64, and had a child by his second wife, which marks him as a man of interest.  And he was well respected in his time and place, which marks him as a man of honor.

It is hard to pinpoint just when Nathaniel became a Quaker.  He appears to have lived somewhat happily in Barnstable (on Cape Cod) for his early years.  His mother was born in Leyden, Holland and was of a thoroughly Pilgrim family.  The Blossoms had been on the "Speedwell", which was forced to turn back early in the planned voyage with the Mayflower.  Edward Fitzrandolph and his wife came to America in the Winthrop Fleet of 1630, so they were Puritans if not Separatists.  The household Nathaniel grew up in would have been quite religious and he would have listened to or read the Word of God every day.

So was it love that changed Nathaniel's heart?  He married Mary Holley or Holloway in 1662, and her family was Quaker.  Her parents were Joseph Holley and Rose Allen.  One would like to think this was the case, but we also know that several of Nathaniel's siblings became Baptists.  Both groups were persecuted by the government, who required infant baptism, payment of tithes to the church, and other actions objectionable to the Fitzrandolphs.

At any rate, Nathaniel and Mary had seven children, apparently all in Barnstable, before the poor treatment of Quakers caused them to join sibling Fitzrandolph's in Woodbridge, N.J. in 1677-78.  Here they were permitted to practice their religion with more freedom than in Barnstable, although it was still not an easy life.  Nathaniel, however, had respect in the community.  He was an associate justice of Middlesex County for several years, and represented Woodbridge in the Provisional Assembly for three years.  He also served as sheriff and as highway viewer at Woodbridge.

I've seen Nathaniel referred to as a "planter" and as a "gentleman planter".  Usually the term "gentleman planter" infers that slaves were used, but since Quakers abhorred slavery perhaps he employed indentured servants, who would receive their freedom in a stated number of years. 

Starting in about 1704, Nathaniel's home became the meeting place for area Quakers.  This was a year after Mary had died.  One wonders if she objected to opening their home earlier, or was she ill and the home therefore not available, or was it just coincidence that Nathaniel's home was needed at this time.  After Mary died, Nathaniel married Jane Curtis, and had one son by her. 

It is believed that Nathaniel, who died in 1713, and Mary are buried in the Friends Meeting House at Shrewsbury, with no gravestone as that was the Quaker way at the time.

This is the snapshot we have of Nathaniel as husband, father, planter and Quaker. There are of course numerous questions still to be answered, but we see enough to see a strong and gentle figure, and that is reason to honor and respect him.

The line of descent is:

Nathaniel Fitrandolph-Mary Holley
Samuel Fitzrandolph-Mary Jones
Prudence Fitzrandolph-Shubael Smith
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah possibly 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, May 13, 2016

Holbrook line: Nathaniel Merrill 1601-1655, Immigrant

Like most of our immigrant ancestors, there are many mysteries about Nathaniel Merrill.  He was born in 1600 or 1601 (baptized May 4, 1601) in the very small village of Whersted, Suffolk, England, the son of Nathaniel Merrill and Mary Blaxall or possibly Blackwell.  He had eight siblings, so this was a large family to support in such a small community.  We don't know what Nathaniel Senior did for a living.  We do know that the immigrant was baptized at St Mary's Church, which dates from at least the 14th century.  We also know that Ipswich, the nearest large town, was the location of many Puritan believers.  We don't know how the beliefs in the next town did or did not influence the Merrill family.

There is controversy as to when Nathaniel Merrill came to America, when he married, and even who he married.  Some believe he came to America as early as 1633, lived in Ipswich, went back to England for his wife or to marry, and then had at least one child there, in 1638.  Others think he didn't come to America for the first time until at least 1639.  I haven't been able to find "proof" of any of this. As far as a marriage, his wife was known as Susannah but there seems to be no proof of her parentage 

We do know that his brother, John, held land for him in Newbury in 1638.  Whether this land is the first that Nathaniel owned is open to question, as I have also seen comments, but no documentation, that he owned land in Ipswich Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 and that he had earlier been at Salisbury.  Again, there is no documentation. 

We know that a child, Susannah, was born at Lawford, Essex, England in 1638, or at least baptized there, and the earlier children (Nathaniel, John, Abraham) are presumed to have been born there, also.  So how and why Nathaniel would have moved from Suffolk County to Essex County is a matter we are still pondering, as well as if he was in America during those years, how the children came with such regularity.  Based on his will, he is believed to have been a farmer but he only bequeathed five acres of land and some marsh, so perhaps he was a tenant farmer or perhaps he had already disposed of the land he had.  If he didn't arrive in America until 1639 or later, and died in 1654, then he had only had 15 years to build up his estate, and with six or possibly seven children, that would have been difficult. 

His children are Nathaniel, John, Abraham, Susannah, Daniel and Abel.  Some sites also give him a son, Thomas, but there seems to be no documentation for this, either.  

Nathaniel died about March 16, 1654/55, in Newbury and is buried at the First Burying Ground there. I've found nothing so far that would tell us more about his life  I've not found a reference as to whether or when he was made a freeman, nor anything about his religious views, nor what kind of public office he might have held.  I'd sure like to fill in the many blanks in his "dash", and especially to identify his wife.  Can you help?

The line of descent is:

Nathaniel Merrill-Susannah
Nathaniel Merrill-Joanna Kinney or Kenney
Hannah Merrill-Benoni Clough
Benjamin Clough-Faith Hart
Lydia Clough-John Whittemore
Josiah Whittemore-Lucy Snow
Josiah Whittermoe-Betsy Foster
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph R Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Allen line: John Eddy, Immigrant and Octogenarian 1597-1684

First, a disclaimer:  There may or may not be a weak link in this lineage.  John Eddy had a daughter Mary, and she is claimed in many sources to have married Robert Ashley.  She is also claimed in many sources to have married Thomas Orton or Horton.  I have not completely reconciled this.  There is a court record where Widow Horton, on October 9, 1640, was called to explain why she had loaned or sold her late husband's gun to an Indian.  So apparently she was widowed by that time and thus was free to marry Robert Ashley on December 24, 1641 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

But wait!  There's more!  In John Eddy's will, he refers to her as "Marie Orton", which could be the confusion of an old man.  Or, since Robert Ashley had died the previous year, perhaps she had been using her first husband's name.  Except that, Plymouth Plantations website says that Thomas Orton died in 1687. So someone is certainly confused, and that's me!  If someone can help straighten this out, I'd be most grateful.

So, John Eddy's sketch is written with the advisory comment that not everyone agrees with the lineage.  I tend to go with the Robert Ashley marriage, and that is why I'm writing this sketch about John Eddy.

John Eddy was born in March of 1596/1597, the son of Rev. William Eddy and Mary Fosten.  (We have descents through the William Eddy line that go down into the Holbrook line, so somewhere along the line, distant cousins married distant cousins.)  He grew up in the home of his parents until Mary died in 1611, and then his father married a widow, Sarah Taylor in 1613/14, so he may have had step siblings as well as his own brothers and sisters.  The home seems to have been relatively prosperous, judging Rev. Eddy's inventory.

Whether it was for economic reasons or for religious reasons, John Eddy left home and came to Plymouth Colony in 1630, on the Handmaid, with his brother Samuel.  The ship left London August 10 and arrived at Plymouth on October 29, 1630.  It was not an easy voyage, but the brothers survived it.  They are termed "gentlemen" by Governor Winthrop, whom they went to visit in company with Miles Standish and Captain Grant.  Many "gentlemen" did not survive the early years in the colony but these two me did.

Within one or two years, John was a settler of Watertown, where he lived his life. John had married Amy Doggett, daughter of John Doggett and Dorothy Fay, in 1619, but we don't know when Amy and the children arrived in Plymouth.  It's unclear whether the family traveled together, or whether some children may have come with John and the rest later, with their mother.  It appears that the first four children were born in England and the last six were born in Watertown. In going from Plymouth to Watertown, John and Amy had left Plymouth Colony to become part of Massachusetts Bay Colony, where the people were Puritans but not Separatists.)

John Eddy is reported as being a juryman and a selectman, but little else is known of him.  He apparently had some sort of episode in 1633, possibly a mental health issue, and Governor Winthrop later reported that "He recovered his understanding again in good measure, and lived very orderly, but would, now and then, be a little distempered." He was made a freeman shortly before this incident.

I've not found much about John during the next 40 years or so of his life. His wife Amy died sometime after 1647 and he married Johanna, widow of gabriel Meade, after May 12,1666.  She died in August of 1683, although Eddy's will refers to his "well beloved wife," who was apparently left a separate bequest or gift.  In 1673 and 1674, when he was 76 and 77 years of age, he requested to be excused from military training, so apparently he had been part of the train band up until that time.  It's possible that in 1673 he was excused for a year, hoping that he would be able to recover from his ailments by the next year, and then in 1674 it was made a permanent exemption.

John wrote his will January 11, 1677 and it was proved December 16, 1684.  He left bequests to his two sons and four daughters, one of whom is the Mary or Marie Horton which confuses me.  His inventory included four parcels of land, valued at 216 pounds, and another 30 pounds, 7 shillings in personal property, including a "parcel of books."  We an assume that he learned to read and write in his childhood, since he was the son of a vicar.

So ends the story of John Eddy, who may or may not be our ancestor.  I'm posting this in hopes that someone can shed some light on the question of Mary Eddy Horton or Orton Ashley, or tell me whether these are two separate women and what the proof is, either way.  If I get a response, or figure this out myself, I will do an update to this post.

The supposed line of descent is:

John Eddy-Amy Doggett
Mary Eddy-Robert Ashley
Mary Ashley-John Root
John Root-Sarah Stebbins
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Update:  I now believe that Robert Ashley's wife was likely not Mary Eddy, and I'm embarrassed that I didn't place closer attention to dates and places when I wrote this.  Mary who married Robert Ashley, the widow of William Horton, was a widow who had two small children in 1640, so the chances that she was the Mary Eddy born in 625 to John Eddy are slim indeed.  Also, John Eddy's will refers to Marie Orton, not Horton.  Similarities in name must have led to the confusion.  However, now we get the fun of trying to figure out who William Horton was, where he was from, and who he married.  Does anyone have any ideas?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Harshbarger line and more: The Ohio Frontier

I'm "stuck" on too many Harshbarger ancestors, so I purchased the book The Ohio Frontier Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 by R. Douglas Hurt, after finding a reference to it somewhere.  Even though the book is copyright 1996, it is still available for purchase on line, and I would recommend it to anyone who is "stuck" on an Ohio ancestor.  I'm hoping to find clues in the book as to migration patterns, ways of life, cultural hints that could send me to another set of records somewhere that would help break down some brick walls. 

In the meantime, I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know (except now I do want to know) about Ohio's early history.  I've already learned, in my genealogy journey, that nothing was as simple as it was portrayed to us in high school, and it means going back and unlearning some things and looking at others from  many more "angles" than the textbooks allowed.  For instance, we were taught little about the native Americans, except for maybe the Battle of Fallen Timbers, where General Wayne and the Americans finally prevailed.  The story of what happened before that is utterly fascinating, and deeply disturbing.  Who knew there were so many different tribes in the area, and how often their loyalties shifted, toward the French, the British, the Americans, and toward each other? 

I'm a little over halfway through the book now and it keeps getting more and more interesting.  I'm learning about which ethnic or cultural groups of people settled in which areas, and how they earned their livings.  I thought I had a rough understanding of what "farming" meant, but I find I was woefully uneducated regarding the raising and selling of farm animals, for example.  I expect to learn more about the people of early Ohio as I go along, and I can't wait to see what directions I can take to explore more about our ancestors. 

Here's a list of ancestors from our different lines, believed to be in Ohio before 1830.

Harshbarger:
     George Harshbarger, his wife Mary Kepler, and son Lewis
     Conrad Mentzer, his wife Elizabeth Tullepen, and daughter Catherine
     George Harter, his wife Elizabeth Geiger, and their son John (born 1830)
     Johan George Harter (parents of above) and his wife Mary Miller
     George Harter and his wife Mary Kitterman (parents of above)
    Anthony Geiger and his wife Mary Kirk (parents of Elizabeth Geiger, above)
     Solomon Bennett, his wife Margaret Farmer, and daughter Mary Bennett
     Caleb Bennett, father of Solomon Bennett
     William Farmer and his wife Jean Wyatt, parents of Margaret Farmer, above
     Matthew Farmer, father of William Farmer
     William Cook and Elizabeth Brown
     Henry Cook and Catherine Whetstone, parents of William Cook
     David Brown and his wife Barbara Brothers, parents of Elizabeth Brown
     Matthias Brothers and possibly his wife Christina Chestnutwood, parents of Barbara Brothers

     Daniel Kemery and Susannah Essig
     Hans Jacob Kemmerli, father of Daniel Kemery
     George Essig and Catherine Shollenberger, parents of Susannah Essig
     Simon Essig and Julia Margaret Schnerr, parents of George Essig
     Barbara N. Long (possibly born 1826 Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio?)
Beeks:
      John Beeks and Polly Carter
      William Beeks and Mary Elizabeth Nimerick
     *Jackson Wise and Charity Botkin (parents of Mary Wise, who may not be a Wise so I'm not carrying this line back any further, but there are more generations of Ohio folks in these two lines)
      Andrew Wise and Mary Serfass (parents of David Wise)
      Johann Jacob Weiss and Charlotte Raub (her death location not certain) parents of Andrew Wise
      Timothy Martin and Hannah Tilberry (parents of Matilda Martin who married David Wise)
      John Simpson Aldridge Jr and Lucinda Wheeler
      John Simpson Aldridge and Mary Lakin, parents of John S Aldridge Jr.
      Jason Wheeler and Patience, parents of Lucinda Wheeler
      Jacob Dunham and Catherine Goodnight, parents of Samuel G Dunham
      Owen T Rees and Margaret Ellen Moon, parents of Eliza Matilda Reese
      Solomon Rees and Anna, parents of Owen T.
     Thomas Moon, father of Margaret Ellen Moon
Allen line: 
     Henry Jackson and Elizabeth Stump and possibly son Alexis Jackson
     Thomas J Knott and Hannah Bell
     Joseph Scull Knott and Mary Adams, parents of Thomas Knott
     John Bell and Hannah Finch, parents of Hannah Bell
     Robert Bell and Mary Yost, parents of John Bell
     Jesse Finch and Hannah, parents of Hannah Finch
     John Havens Starr and Clarissa Falley, parents of Harriet Starr
     John Starr and Betsy Havens, parents of John Havens Starr
     John Starr and Mary Sharp, parents of John Starr
     Samuel Falley and Ruth Root, parents of Clarissa Falley
Holbrook line:
     Isaac Hetrick and Elizabeth Black, parents of Mary Alice Hetrick
     Abraham Hetrick and Sarah Lemmon, parents of Isaac Hetrick
     Alexis Lemmon, father of Sarah Lemmon
     Adam Brown and Phoebe Myers
     John Adam Brown and Catherine Clapp, parents of Adam Brown
     possibly Barbara Clapp Clapp, mother of Catherine Clapp
     Christopher Myers and Elizabeth Nation, parents of Phoebe Myers
     possibly Jeretta Vickery, mother of Elizabeth Nation

These are confirmed mostly by census records, occasionally by death records, and in the case of "possibly" by trees found on line. 

Gee, do you think maybe a research trip to Ohio to learn more about these (and potentially some I didn't list) would be in order?