Friday, September 27, 2013

Wilbur Beeks, member of the Michigan Polar Bears

Wilbur Beeks was born in Lagro Township, Wabash County, Indiana on August 8, 1895. His parents were John and Elizabeth Wise Beeks.  He married Gretta Cleo Aldridge November 29, 1914, in St Joseph, Michigan. (Note: I have not yet found documentation for the marriage.  They would have been young: he was 19 and she was not quite 18.)  They had a large family, 16 children in all, of whom eight lived to adulthood.  So far, the story of Wilbur could be the story of many other young men from the area, who married young and spent the rest of their days supporting their families as best they could.

Wilbur, however, had an experience that only a few thousand other people shared, and only a few of those people were from Indiana.  When he was drafted into the Army in World War I, he was one of a few who were "chosen" to join that unit that became known as the Michigan Polar Bears.  Their official name was the 339th Michigan Infantry, and he was in Company K.  All during his training he and the others assumed they were going to France.  However, after the ship left England, the men learned they were going instead to Russia, near Archangel, where a small second front would be opened to distract the Germans from the trench warfare in France and to secure the port for the Allies.  Compamy K, along with the rest of the 339th Infantry, arrived in England in late July, 1918, where they stayed in "English rest camps" for a short time, and they arrived in Russia September 4, 1918.

Wilbur was wounded in action shortly after he arrived, on September 27, 1918, on the north bank of the Emsta River, 3 versts nort of Kodish, Russia. He spent several weeks in the hospital recuperating from a wound to his throat, and eventually rejoined his unit and continued fighting.  Needless to say, the men were cold, wet, and miserable during much of their time there. 

Due to the long winter, political ineptness, and perhaps even forgetfulness, the men of the "Michigan Polar Bears were no returned home after Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. Instead, they fought on, and on, and on, eventually fighting the Bolsheviks while trying to give what little support they could to the White (anti-Communist) Russians.  It took a letter writing campaign from home and a Congressional hearing to put enough pressure on the military to get the troops home.from Russia.  The soldiers were at Camp Ponanezen, near Brent, France by early June, and arrived "home" to a magnificent July 4 welcome in Detroit.  (Most of the men who made up this unit were from Michigan, but there were at least two members of the unit from every state in the union, by design.) Wilbur was "transferred" July 12, 1919, and soon after was back home in Indiana.

The rest of Wilbur's life was more mundane. He and his wife raised their children, and often there were other family members living with them.  They lived outside of Andrews for several years, but moved to Andrews by 1940 so the children could attend the nearby school.  He retired on veteran's disability at about the age of 55, and lived quietly until his sudden death on January 9, 1970.

At the time of his death, he was survived by 7 children, 42 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Many of his grandchildren are grandparents now, so there are probably even great great great grandchildren of Wilbur and Cleo Beeks now. I hope every one of them gets to know this ancestor story, so they can tell it to their children. It is remarkable.

For those who are interested, there was a PBS documentary about this unit called "Voices of a Never Ending Dawn" which may still be available.  Googling "Michigan Polar Bears" will give you a lot of sites related to this unit, and there are even on line diaries from a few of the men who served with the Michigan 339th.  There is a Memorial Day service every year at the White Chapel Memorial Cemetery, Troy, Michigan.  The public is invited to attend this, and it would be a great way to pay tribute to an ancestor. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A field trip! Relating to Harshbarger, Beeks, Allen, and Holbrook lines...

Saturday my sister Sue and I went to the Abraham Lincoln museum in Springfield, Illinois. She had been telling me for quite some time that I needed to go, and it was the sixth time she'd been there, so she should know. She was correct; I needed to go. 

To relate this to genealogy right away, as far as I know now we have absolutely no connection to the Lincoln family.  However, our ancestors were all affected by the same things that affected the Lincolns, and certainly they were all affected by the Civil War.  Our great grandfather, George R Allen, served in the Civil War.  Two of Phoebe Brown Holbrook's brothers served in the Civil War.  John Calvin Starr, son of John Havens and Clarissa Falley Starr, died of illness in the Civil War.  One of Isaac Hetrick's sons died in a Confederate prison in the Civil War.  One direct ancestor in the Harshbarger line, William Withers, was a Civil War veteran but I haven't researched the Beeks and Harshbarger lines to know if there were "uncles" who would have served then. The odds are high that I will find some in those lines, also.   

Most certainly, each of our ancestors who was alive during the Civil War was touched by the Civil War in some way.  Taxes were instituted and some of our ancestors were "wealthy" enough to have to pay them, because they owned a carriage or a piano or a watch, all of which were considered "luxuries".  The newspapers were full of news of the war. Their neighbors went to war, and men who didn't go frequently helped keep another farm or business running while their neighbors were gone.  So, there was a genealogy connection to each of our families who lived in that time period, that I thought about while touring the museum.

The museum itself was fabulous. It's a new building, with all the fancy technological stuff one could want, but also with recreations of everyday life at different stages in Lincoln's life. I loved looking at the artifacts, whether it was an inkwell or a china dish, that showed what our ancestors may have had, or aspired to have. Of course we went to all the theaters, and read as many of the plaques and explanations as our minds could absorb.

If I haven't convinced you to go to Springfield yet, the museum is only one part of the Lincoln scene.  Right next door is the Lincoln Presidential Library.  There are exhibits there, too, but the main focus is preservation of materials related not just to the President, but to his times.  The old state capital building is across the street, and just around the corner is the actual Lincoln-Herndon law office, where the two men practiced law for many years.  We ate lunch at Robbie's, a building a few doors down from the law office.  That building was constructed as a "mercantile" in 1840. So we ate in a building that the Lincolns would have frequented in their day. That was awesome. 

Another huge enticement for me was a bookstore next to the restaurant.  It was the largest used bookstore I have ever seen, and I could have stayed there for hours.  We didn't get a chance to see other Lincoln sites, such as their home, or the railroad depot the President elect left from to go to Washington, but they are there and open to the public. We need to go back to continue exploring Springfield.

Here is a list of ancestors who were adults during the Civil War, so if they didn't go to war, their brothers, uncles, nephews or neighbors likely did:

Beeks line: William G Beeks and Mary Wise
                   David Wise and Matilda Martin
                   Darlington Aldridge (died 1859) and Leah Folsom
                   Samuel G Dunham and Eliza Reese
Harshbarger line:  Lewis Harshbarger and Catherine Mancer
                              John Harter and Mary Bennett
                              William A Withers (soldier) and Barbara Cook
                              Adam Kemery and Nancy Buchtel
Holbrook line: Fremont Holbrook and Phoebe Brown                             
                        Joseph Holbrook and Mary Whittemore
                        Adam Brown and Phoebe Myers (at least two sons served)
                        Hiram Stanard and Susan Eddy
                         Isaac Hetrick and Elizabeth Black (died 18620; son of Isaac died)
Allen line:  George R Allen (soldier) and Nancy McCoy
                   Archibald Allen and Margaret Dunn
                   Vincent McCoy (died 1857) and Eleanor Jackson
                   Thomas Knott and Hannah Bell
                   John H Starr and Clarissa Falley (son died of illness)

While I was learning about Abraham Lincoln and seeing him come to life, I was thinking of these people and how what he said and did impacted them. 

It was a good genealogy day, even if I didn't learn one single fact to add to one single person on my tree!                

The Lincoln "family", my sister Sue, and yours truly (white shirt)  in the Lincoln museum in Springfield

Friday, September 20, 2013

Harshbarger line: Cleveland L Harshbarger, World War II

I'm posting here in full a newspaper article about my father-in-law, Cleve Harshbarger.  From internal clues in the article, it was first printed in late winter or early spring, 1945, and probably in the Huntington Herald Press.  The copy I have is laminated, with no documentation as to where it came from, or when.


Mr and Mrs Grover C. Harshbarger, Huntington route five, have received some interesting information from their son, Pfc. Cleveland L Harshbarger, member of the 12th infantry regiment of the fourth infantry division now with General Patton's third army, in the form of the "Big Picture", the voice of the Fighting 12th and the first allied newspaper published in Germany, and two pages from a magazine with the article "In the Hurtgen Forest" by Sgt. Mark Morriss, Yank staff correspondent.  The story concerns the fourth infantry in the forest with the caption "The 4th division won't forget its 50 square miles of thick, dripping fire, where a gain of 600 yards was a hard day's work.["]  The forest was at the approaches to the Cologne plain.

Mr and Mrs Harshbarger have known little of their son's activities and the stories were a revelation of what the Yank soldiers are doing on the field of battle. "For 21 days this division beats its slow way forward-The monument of Hurtgen is a bitter thing," are brief excerpts concerning what a Huntington youth endured.

The Rock Creek township youth entered the army in November, 1943, and went to England in May, 1944.  He landed on the Normandy beach three or four weeks after D-Day and has been in combat since August or September in France and Germany.  He is with a gun crew of an anti-tank company.  His infantry commander received commendation from the commanding general of the Fourth Infantry Division for the action at Luxembourg which was in part as follows: "The Commanding General, Third United States army, characterized the Battle of Luxembourg as, in his opinion, the most outstanding accomplishment of this division in its long series of engagements. The 12th infantry regiment is the unit meriting the greatest share of this high tribute."

The soldiers'address is Pfc. Cleveland L Harshbarger, APO 4, Care Postmaster, New York, N.Y. "

The only information I deleted from the article was Cleve's ASN. If you are a family member, and you would like to have this additional information, please email me and I'll be happy to share it. 

I can provide a little additional information. I had a conversation of almost an hour's length with Cleve in 1973. I certainly wish I had taken notes, but what I do remember is that he "went in" on Utah beach on D-Day plus 17. He told me he was primarily a bazooka gunner, and that he knew he had killed Germans, which of course was his job. He also mentioned that things got really "hot" in late December, (the Battle of the Bulge), and that he hadn't expected to come home.  I also remember that when he was done talking, he told me that he had never talked that much about the war to anyone, and he didn't know why it was all coming back then.

I mentioned in an earlier post the book "The Guns at Last Light" by Rick Atkinson.  By reading this book, I am able to more or less figure out where Cleve's units were during the war, and it is apparent that the article I copied above probably understates the perilous position Cleve was in for several months.  My heart salutes Cleve, and the millions of men like him, who left their families and their homes to fight for the generations to come.  "Thank you" is not nearly enough to say, to the veterans who are still living, or at the stones that mark the final resting places of those who have answered the last call. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holbrook line: Molly Wright brick wall

OK, I admit it. Some ancestors seem to haunt me. I actually dream about this woman, my fourth great grandmother, even though I know very little about her.  My picture of her is of a feisty woman, whatever she looked like, and I like feisty women.  Even if she turns out to be a meek and mild woman simply buffeted by life, I still want to know more about her. I especially want to know her parents, and whether or not she had been married before she married Amariah Holbrook.

Here's what I know about her:
    Molly or Mollie was born March 28, 1759. Various internet trees give her birth location as Wrentham, Franklin (not formed until 1778 so that can't be correct) or Bellingham, Massachusetts. When she was born, any of these locations would have been termed Suffolk County, because Norfolk County wasn't formed until 1793.  I also don't know her last name.  It is variously listed as Wright or as Wight in marriage records and at least one source calls her Mrs. Mollie Wright.  The Mrs. could be an honorific because she came from a noted family, or it could be because her first child was born before she married her husband, or it could be that her first husband, named Wright or Wight, had died by the time of this marriage.  Several of her grandchildren have "Wright" as a middle name, but at least one  has "Wight" as a middle name, so that's not a lot of help. So far, I have not found records that would support any of these ideas.  

She married Amariah Holbrook on May 13, 1779. Her children and their birth dates were:

Tryphena Holbrook January 17, 1779
Abigail Holbrook May 12, 1780
Nahum Holbrook October 2, 1781 (our ancestor)
Amos Holbrook April 27, 1783
Amariah Holbrook  January 23, 1785
Joel Holbrook February 2, 1787
Asa Holbrook May 18, 1792
Nathan Holbrook April 8, 1794
Lyman Holbrook February 16, 1797

In looking at this list, there is a 5 year gap between the birth of Joel and Asa. Perhaps there was a miscarriage or stillborn child during this time period, or perhaps either Amariah or Molly was seriously ill during this time period.  The other children were born close together. In fact, by the time Amariah and Molly had been married for four years, there were four children in the family, which boggles my mind.

There were no children born after Lyman because Amariah died on September 7, 1797.  Molly was just 38 years old, and had 9 children. Tryphena would have been the only one considered an adult, since she was over the age of 18.  At this time period, few women were permitted to be the guardians of their children, so there are probably court records that would show what happened to the children.  It is likely that at least some of them were bound out or apprenticed, so that they would learn a trade. However, the 1800 census shows 9 people living in her household, and the ages match up.  Lyman, Nathan, and Asa were the three males under 10, Joel would have been the male between 10 and 15, Amariah and Amos would have been the two 16-25 year old males, and Abigail and Tryphena would be the two while females ages 16-25. Nahum is not accounted for in this census, but he was 18 years old and probably living in someone else's household, as a boarder or as an apprentice at this time. 

Molly never remarried, which is one reason I consider her feisty. Most widows of her age would have remarried, if for no other reason than to have help with raising the children.  The other reason is that she fought, and fought, and fought again for a pension based on Amariah's service in the Revolutionary War.  When her pension wasn't what she thought it should be, she found further proof of additional days served in the war, which entitled her to a larger pension.  She did get what she asked for, and there are pages and pages of documents on Fold 3 detailing her struggle.

Molly died on August 24, 1845, in the household of John Wales. She was 86 years old, and the cause of death is listed simply as "old age".  I believe there was some sort of family connection, because John's wife was Abigail Adams, and she was the daughter of Amos Adams and Abigail Thayer.  Amos and Abigail were names that Amariah and  Molly used for their children, and we have numerous Thayer and Holbrook marriages in our line.

So, here's the story of a mysterious but feisty woman that I sometimes dream about. What did she look like? Who was her family? How did she support herself before she became old enough and presumably feeble enough to need a pension? Was she a Baptist, as I suspect, because most of the Holbrooks were Baptist?  And why was her first daughter named Tryphena?  I have to believe there are answers in Massachusetts to some of these questions. If you can help, please contact me!   

Our line of descent is:
Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susannah Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys-Lois-Howard-Ray Holbrook

Friday, September 13, 2013

Holbrook Line: Anne Lovelace, "gateway" immigrant and heroine

Gateway immigrants are precious jewels in the world of genealogy.  These are people who immigrated to America before the year 1700 and have proven ancestors back to one or another line of royalty.  Anne Lovelace Gorsuch fits this definition.  We have to go back 11 generations to get to Anne, born about 1610, and then another 15 generations to get to royalty through at least one of her lines, but there he is, King Edward I, married to Eleanor of Castile, who was the daughter of King Ferdinand III of Castile, and through those two gentlemen there is royalty all the way back to Alfred the Great, Charlemagne, and most of the other royal lines of Europe.  So, we now have reason to be termed "royal pains", I guess.

Anne Lovelace has always fascinated me.  Her brother was a famous poet, some were governors here in the colonies,  her parents were important people ("Sir William"), and she married an educated minister, John Gorsuch.  Her parents were William Lovelace, who was a member of the Virginia Company that founded the Jamestown colony, and Anne Barne, who was also of a famous family. She was the granddaughter of the Archbishop of York. Reverend  John Gorsuch was a Royalist, and during the English Civil War, in 1647, he was killed by opponents.  His name is still listed in the English Book of Common Prayers, as being a martyr. 

At that time, Anne was the mother of as many as 11 children.With her husband gone and extremely difficult and uncertain times in England, she came to America with three of her children about 1650, and four more followed shortly.  Anne died in 1652 in Lancaster County, Virginia, so she did not enjoy life in America for long.  It was difficult to leave England during this time period (Civil War still in progress), so she must have had some help in making her escape, if that is what it was. I sometimes think about what she must have gone through, in making the decision to leave, in taking only part of her family with her, and in starting life anew in America.  It surprises me that she didn't remarry, because widows typically remarried quickly, so she must have had steel in her backbone. 

There is an excellent article posted on line from the Carolina Journal, called "They Were Cavalier About It", by John Hood, and this is worth Googling if you're at all interested in this family. There is much more information available on the web, too, but this is a blog, not a book, so I've tried to keep it short.  

This is our line of descent:

John Gorsuch/Anne Lovelace
Charles Gorsuch/Sarah Cole
Charles Gorsuch/Sarah Cole  (it looks like they were first cousins)
Hannah Gorsuch/Thomas Stansbury
Rachel Stansbury/Alexis Lemmon
Sarah Lemmon/Abraham Hetrick
Isaac Hetrick Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick/Louis E Stanard
Etta Stanard/Loren Holbrook (my grandparents)

Anne is one of my most interesting ancestors. I'd love to sit down to English tea with her, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Family history and books that relate

One of the reasons I enjoy family history so much is that it lets me combine two of my longtime loves, reading and history. I haven't read very much in the last 30 years or so while I was studying insurance, and while I was in my cross stitch phase, and then while I was so entranced with learning about my very, very extended family (and my husband's) that I could hardly tear myself away from my genealogy programs and Google.  Now that I'm retired, I am returning to reading, particularly history, and finding that it all connects! 

Family history is simply history on a micro-level. For instance, obviously we are not descendents of George Washington, but his life is worth reading from a family standpoint because some of our ancestors served with, or at least had the chance to see, George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Reading his life helps give insights into the lives of our ancestors who lived in Virginia at the same time as the Washingtons,  as well as the lives of our ancestors who were in the Revolutionary War. 

Here is some of what I've been reading in the last month or so, since I retired: 

The French and Indian War by Walter J Bornerman. Since I knew absolutely nothing about this except that Richard Falley, an Allen ancestor, was captured in it, I learned much more than I can tell you about this time period. I don't know if this is a classic, or if it's one of many books about this time period, but one has to start somewhere. Naturally, I am now more attuned to thinking of which of our ancestors would likely have fought in this war, and how I can find records for them.

Mary, Queen of France, the story of the Youngest Sister of Henry VIII by Jean Plaidy:  I was fascinated by this book, while realizing at the same time that it wasn't as deeply researched as, say, Alison Weir or Elizabeth Chadwick's books are.  (Jean Plaidy/Philippa Carr/Victoria Holt wrote 90 books, after all.)  On the positive side, it was an absolute delight to read about the women (and men) hanging out there on our family tree, and to see how this author portrayed them. 

Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow:  There is a line between George Washington the man and George Washington the General and President, but the book does a good job of showing us both sides of the man, and how and why he behaved in ways that sometimes puzzle us, 200 plus years later.  His world was likely not the world of many of our ancestors, but our ancestors owned land that he surveyed, and our ancestors fought where he fought.  It was an interesting read.

These books were my early morning/bedtime reads, on my Kindle. Currently on my Kindle I'm reading The Fifties by David Halberstam. It is the story of my parent's lives, and my in-laws.  I thought it would make me a little more nostalgic than it has, but instead it's pulling pieces together for me to show how my innocent childhood (we didn't even have a television set until late in 1957, which may not have been all bad) was so different from what was actually happening in the world. 

I spend an hour or sometimes two in the afternoon, reading "real" books. I've read A Stupendous Effort, by Jack K Overmyer, which tells the story of the 87th Indiana in the Civil War. My great grandfather George R Allen was in that unit until his early discharge, so I felt like I was meeting some of his friends and neighbors while I was reading that book.

I just recently finished Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul, by John M Barry.  Roger Williams is an ancestor on the Holbrook line, and I am honored to be one of his descendents.  This book told more than I knew about his life in England before coming to America, but there isn't much biographical material from then on, there being little mention of his wife and almost none of his children.  However, the book tells about his intellectual and spiritual development as the Puritan became the Baptist became the Seeker, and the stories that intertwine with what was happening in England are fascinating. 

I also read 11/22/63, which is a novel by Stephen King. I have never read any of his work before, but this one was intriguing.  It involves time travel and an attempt to change history by preventing the assassination of President John Kennedy.  I enjoyed the sense of being back in the late 1950s and early 1960s and the very careful descriptions of music, smells, food, cars, and education, which all seemed correct. 

Currently I'm reading The Guns at Last Light, by Rick Atkinson.  I had earlier read The Day of Battle, by the same author, in order to learn about my uncle Ray Holbrook's experience leading up to his death in Italy in 1944. I'm hoping this book will tell about my father and my father in law's experiences as they landed in the weeks following D Day, and onward. Neither man talked a lot about the war so it's going to take some digging to learn their stories. 

I still have a bureau drawer full of books to read (and two more coming in the mail) and maybe a dozen books on my Kindle. I know I'll learn something from each of them, and I'm looking forward to each and every read. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Harshbarger line: Christian Harshbarger, immigrant

Christian Harshbarger (Hershberger, Hessperg, and any number of other spellings) was the immigrant ancestor of our line of the Harshbargers. He came from Basel, Switzerland originally but may have settled for a time with Mennonites in the Palatine, possibly to save enough money to purchase passage for his family to America. He, with his wife and two children sailed from Rotterdam, Holland to Plymouth, England and then on to Philadelphia, where they arrived on the "Charming Nancy" on October 8, 1737.. This was a very common route for the time, for emigrants from Germany and Switzerland.

It is likely that the family came to America for both religious and economic reasons. This was an Amish family, and the Amish refused to conform to the requirements of the state run churches in either Switzerland or Germany. They were tolerated in Germany for a time because their labor was badly needed to help build up the various states after the wars of the 1600s had ruined the land.  However, life there was not easy, they were heavily taxed, and America must have sounded like a wonderful plan B.

Christian had married Barbara Rupp, daughter of Ulrich Rupp and Anna Schuepbach, about 1732.  The couple had 10 children, (8 born after arrival in America), one of whom was also named Christian.  The family settled in Berks County at the foot of the Blue mountains, where Christian petitioned for the right of naturalization in 1742. Eventually our line of the family (Christian Jr) moved to Centre County, Pa but Christian, the immigrant, is reported to have died in Berks County in 1783.  Barbara is reported to have died in 1810 in Somerset County, Pa. Christian would have been about 70 when he died and if the reports are to be believed, Barbara would have been 110.  Perhaps the Barbara buried in Somerset County is not this Barbara, or perhaps the date of death is incorrect.

I have great admiration for this family. They were not rich nor famous, but they were willing to leave everything behind in an attempt to improve life for themselves and their children. They probably lived in a cabin of some type when they first arrived in America, and life would not have been easy. At this early stage in colonial life, they would likely have cleared their own land, raised crops, and would not have had much in the way of materials goods, nor money, to start. Yet they persevered, and gave their children the gumption to move on (many of the family left Pennsylvania within a generation or two, and many left the Mennonite/Amish religion of their grandparents).  These were the people who built America, and I'd love to learn more about them!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Allen: Transcription of will of James Allen

In the name of God I James Allen of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky being weak in Body but of perfect mind & memory do make this my last will and Testament.  First it is my will and desire that all my Just debts be paid & as regards the residue of Estate with which I am possessed. It is my will and desire that my Executor hereafter named collect such Estate both real and person which belongs to me in Virginia & appropriate so much of the same to the purchase of a piece of land in Kentucky at the selection (X) discretion of my Executor for my wife to live on during her life. It is further my will and desire that the personal properrty I may die possessed of after my debts are satisfied remain in the use of my wife in such manner as my executor may approve of for the support of my wife and Education of my children and after her death the the property be equally divided amongst any children hereafter named, to wit, James Allen Jr, Isaac Allin, Moses Allin, John Allin, William Allin, Archibald Allin & my daughter Eliza Vandaviers Children making her childrens portion should she have any equal to one seventh of my Estate.  I do hereby nominate and appoint my friend Jolly S Parish Executor to this my last will & Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me in any wise made given under my hand this 21st day of March 1820. It is my disire that my Executor give no Security for his Executorship herein.

James Allin (seal)


J Robards
Henry Robinson
John Robinson

Mercer County Set (?) April County Court 1820
The foregoing last will and Testament of James Allin Dec was this day produced into Court and proved by the oaths of Henry Robinson & John Robinson two Subscribing (can't read) thereto & ordered to be recorded. Attes: Thomas Allin, C.C.

The appraisal of his personal property was completed and reported to the November Court in Mercer County. His farm related personal property was valued at $343 and household goods at $159. He had several cattle, horses and pigs, various farm tools and implements, and not a lot of household goods. There were 6 chairs, which means the family must have eaten in shifts. There was a looking glass for the use of his wife, presumably, valued at $4.50. The most highly valued items were his horses, saddles and saddle bags, and a rifle with shot bag and powder horn, indicating he probably hunted to supplement the farm income.  There were no books listed, which makes it the more remarkable that he wanted his children to be educated.

James Allen was the father of Archibald Allen who was the father of George R Allen who was the father of Edward F Allen who was the father of Richard, Edith, Corinne, Tessora, and Vernon Allen.  The reference to property in Virginia was land from his father, James Allen, that was in the possession of James Senior's wife (Sarah Crowdas) until she died. That estate wasn't settled until 1829, per records in the possession of the Library of Virginia.  The James Allen who wrote this will was married to Tabath or Tabitha Parrish, and Jolly Parish who was the Executor was some sort of cousin to her. 

Typing this will out pointed out one thing to me that I hadn't noticed before. Most of the spellings of Allen in the will are Allin. I don't know whether that is because the Clerk of the Court spelled his name Allin, or whether they truly were more Allin than Allen at this time period.  There is a whole list found on Ancestry of James Allen(s) from Kentucky who were involved in the war of 1812. I have so far not been able to verify whether any of them are ours. James was  born March 28, 1769 so he would have been under 45, the general cut off for service.  He died shortly before April 4, 1820, so would have been just 51 at the time of death.  I haven't found death records for Tabath yet, but she was alive in the 1830 census and living in the Shaker Heights census district, Mercer County, Ky.

I must thank my cousin, Mary Ellen, who obtained this will and inventory for me. I had visited "The Vault" in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, but I didn't copy what I thought I'd copied, and I was very pleased that she was able to get the "right stuff" for me, to share with you.