Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beeks line: Follow up to John Simpson Aldridge post

As promised, I'm providing some commentary to the rather long post I did about John Simpson Aldridge on Friday, November 1. I was pleasantly surprised at how much detail the author of the post gave, especially considering that he and Larry Stout did this research over 30 years ago, long before the days of computers and the internet. 

Now that the internet is here, I am able to substantiate most of the information about John's Revolutionary War service through Fold 3.  He enlisted at a very young age and I certainly wonder what his parents thought about that!  In the next four years, however, he would grow up quite quickly, as he was present at some of the best and worst moments of the War, including battles and including Valley Forge.  One puzzle to me is how he ended up in Washington (now Greene) County, Pennsylvania at the age of 15 or 16.  One reason he would have enlisted for a second time is that by this time, land was being promised to the men of Virginia who would reenlist. 

The information about John Aldridge moving on to Kentucky and to Clermont County after his marriage was new to me, but it explains how John Simpson Aldridge Jr would have married Lucinda Wheeler, who was living there with her parents, Jason and Patience Wheeler, in the 1820 census.  It appears that the Aldridges lived and farmed in Clermont County for over 25 years before moving to Rush County, Indiana, so some of his children may have considered Clermont County to be "home".  It is tempting to speculate whether it was John's idea to move on to Rush County, or whether it was his children's idea.  He was at least 60 by that time.

It appears that John and Mary used their children as their retirement plan, when they gave their land to Nathan and to John Jr, in return for being looked after and provided with life's necessities. John would have been about 66 when this arrangement was made, and he and Mary lived another 15 and 16 years, respectively.  We have visited the cemetery on the land in Rush County that they originally owned. It's a gently rolling area. We didn't see a creek nearby but there may well have been one at the bottom of the hill. 

Sources on the internet indicate that Jacob Aldridge's wife (presumably John's mother) was Elizabeth Soper, but I haven't been able to find any documentation for that. There were certainly Soper's around the Prince George's County area in that time period, but I am not locating anything that supports this "fact".  If someone reading this has documentation, I'd love to know what the source is for this!

The many descendents of John Aldridge Senior should be proud of this ancestor. He was one of the many many ordinary people who got caught up in major historical events, and then went back to a life of normalcy. His record as a resident of Clermont County shows that he continued doing what a good citizen  would do, and he raised children who continued the tradition of hard work and sacrifice.  

The Aldridge line of descent goes like this:

John Simpson Aldridge Sr-Mary Lakin
John Simpson Aldridge Jr-Lucinda Wheeler
Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Beeks children, some still living
Many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren of Wilbur and Cleo