Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beeks line: Solomon Rees 1744-1829

I'm choosing to write about Solomon today because
  1) his ancestry leads us back to Wales
  2) study indicates that his family was Quaker, perhaps for several generations
  3) there are some mysteries still surrounding him
  4)  I happen to like the name Solomon!
  5) while preparing this blog, I discovered a major error on my part, and will have to change the ancestry family tree as soon as I have a chance.  Suffice it to say that his father was Thomas Rees born 1706, not Thomas Rees born 1734. 

Solomon was born to Thomas Rees and Margaret Bowen, about 1743 or 1744, possibly in Frederick County, Virginia, or perhaps en route from Chester County to Frederick County.   His parents had married in Chester County, Pa. and were  Quakers, or members of the Society of Friends. Many of the settlers of Chester County were Quakers, who had been forced from Wales due to religious persecution, and many eventually went to Virginia, and then eventually on to Pennsylvania and points west.  Thomas and Margaret had 10 children who lived to adulthood, and given the facts of the time, they may have had more children who died young. 

Solomon was married in or near Frederick County, Virginia, contrary to the rules of the Friends, and thus was disowned prior to June 6, 1774.  Quakers were permitted to marry only Quakers, and being disowned was a serious matter, since technically Quakers were no longer permitted to speak to him or help him in any way.  So we must assume that he really loved his wife, believed to be named Ann or Anna.  The couple stayed in Frederick County until 1787.  Some of his brothers had moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania about 1780 and it is possible that this is where Solomon and Ann
went.  This would have been a difficult time to be living in that part of the country, as it was very much frontier country.  The British had made allies of the Indians, and there were numerous battles and skirmishes as part of the Revolutionary War, and after, so it was not really a safe place to raise a family.

There are records of several Rees families, including Solomon, in Hocking Township, Fairfield County, Ohio in 1806, but it isn't yet known when the family had moved there, and it appears that he moved on to Fayette County, Ohio about that time.  He built and operated a brewery on the outskirts of New Martinsburg.  Solomon died in 1829 in Fayette County.  I have not yet located a copy of his will, if there was one. 

His known children are Sarah, Lydia, Hiram, Owen Traveler, John, Sampson, and possibly two other daughters, Margaret and Katherine. 

I'd like to know who Solomon's wife was, and whether there is a will, and details of his travels. From Chester County, Pa to Frederick County, Va. to possibly Washington County, Pa to Fairfield and Fayette Counties, Ohio, from Quaker to whatever religion he may have accepted, from whatever his earlier occupation might have been to brewer, from settled land to dangerous frontier, this man led a fascinating life. 

The line of descent is:
Solomon Rees-Ann
Owen T Rees-Margaret Ellen Moon
Eliza Matilda Moon-Samuel Goodnight Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Homer Aldridge
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Beeks children-grandchildren, etc.