Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beeks line: George Allen circa 1583-1649

Lots of people "know" who George Allen is, where he came from, the names of his wives, and the names of his children.  The problem is that there is no documentation for any of these facts, and they may or may not be as believed.  So all I will say about George's early life is that he was born somewhere in England (most likely) about the year 1583 (most likely) and that he married more than once while in England.

Our first known record for him is in the records of his departure from England on an unnamed ship, from Weymouth, Dorsetshire, on March 20, 1634/35.  On that record, he is erroneously listed as being age 24, but was probably closer to 50.  His wife Katherine, who was 30, and sons George, 16, William,8, and Matthew, 6, and a servant, Edward Poole were with him.  It seems likely based on ages that George was the son of an earlier marriage, and there may have been other children (females, who would not necessarily be listed on the manifest) who were also in the party.  Daughter Rose, for instance, is generally thought to have been the child of George's first marriage, and she is not listed on the manifest.

George is sometimes referred to as an "Anabaptist", which would mean he did not believe in infant baptism.  This may explain the difficulty in finding birth/baptismal records for the above noted children, which might provide clues to the parents and their location.  Some of his children became part of the Quaker tradition, which was a difficult way to live in Puritan Massachusetts.

When George arrived in the New World, he was first at Weymouth, Massachusetts and within two  years was an early settler of Sandwich, Massachusetts. His land in Weymouth seems to have been given or sold to sons George, Ralph, and John.  We don't know how or when Ralph and John arrived in Weymouth, and again, we don't know their ages or the name of their mother. 

George, despite being an "Anabaptist", was made a free man of Plymouth Colony September 3, 1639, when Sandwich officially became a town.  That same day, he was appointed Constable, and held various other town offices during the early 1640s. He was also the deputy for Sandwich to Plymouth General Court from 1640-1644.  This would have meant traveling from Sandwich, which is on the north side of Cape Cod, up the coast of what is now Massachusetts to Plymouth.  This may have been a trip made by ship rather than horseback or walking, for by the time he was first elected, he would have been approaching age 60. 

Within a few years of his last known election as deputy, his health failed him.  His date of death isn't known, but he was buried May 2, 1648.  His will was not dated but was proved June 7, 1649. His inventory, excluding real estate, was 44 pounds 16 s, and most of his estate was given to his wife and "five least children".

There is so much I'd like to know about George, including more about his religious beliefs.  He would not have had to have been a member of the church in Plymouth Colony to be a free man, so what were his beliefs and practices?  How did the family become acquainted with Quaker beliefs, and how many practiced that faith?  Why was Sandwich more tolerant of Quakers than other towns, particularly in Massachusetts Bay Colony?  I'd love to know who George's parents were, and I'd love to know why he decided to come to America when he was probably about 54 years old. Did his sons come first, and then encourage him to come, or did George lead the way and the older sons came later?  I'd like to know who his wives were, and I'd like to know more about how he lived in Sandwich.  Did Edward Poole stay with him as a servant, or if he eventually earned his freedom, did the family have other servants?

As usual, there are more questions than answers when I think about George Allen, but I have to admire him, as I do all immigrants who came to the New World when it was nothing but a few towns on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

The line of descent is:

George Allen-first wife (possibly Katherine Davis)
Rose Allen-Joseph Holway or Holley
Mary Holley-Nathaniel FitzRandolph
Samuel Fitzrandolph-Mary Jones
Prudence Fitzrandolph-Shubael Smith
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Goodnight Dunham-Eliza M Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Fun fact:  There is also a line of descent for the Holbrook line:

George Allen-first wife
Samuel Allen-Ann Whitmore
Sarah Allen-Josiah Standish
Josiah Standish-Sarah Doty
Hannah Standish-Nathan Foster
Nathan Foster-Elizabeth Lansford
Jude Foster-Sarah Goodenow
Betsy Foster-Josiah Whittemore
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph R Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Most of the information for this post came from "The Great Migration" volume 1, pages 27-35.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Allen line: Thomas Dewey, Immigrant

Thomas Dewey is another mystery.  His birth date is given as 1603 but it may be as late as 1613. He is generally said to have been born in Sandwich, Kent, England but the estimable "Great Migration Begins" series gives this little credence.  The identity of his wife is also unsettled.

Regardless, we know that Thomas Dewey was in the New World by 1633, when he witnessed a nuncupative (oral) will of John Russell of Dorchester.  He became a freeman in 1634, and was also granted land in Dorchester in 1634, which he sold in 1635 to Thomas Holcombe and Richard "Joanes".  He was apparently part of the contingent that went from Dorchester to Windsor in 1635, because his name is on a list labelled as such from 1640.  He married Frances, who may or may not have been Frances Randall but was certainly the widow of Joseph Clark on March 22, 1638/39 in Windsor, Ct. (Frances had two children when she married Thomas, had five children with Thomas, and then later married George Phelps and had several children with him.) 

Windsor, Ct of course was a frontier town since Thomas had gone there as an original settler. This would have meant that homes, farms, roads, mills, church, and other necessities of life would have had to have been established by the first settlers and their servants. There is no known evidence that Thomas had servants, so he probably did much of the hard work himself. Also there were the native Americans to contend with, and on top of that, political problems between Springfield and Hartford, over how to deal with a grain famine when the natives demanded higher prices for their grain. This was in 1648, so Thomas may not have known about much of this.

Thomas died on April 27, 1648 in Windsor, 9 or 10 years after he and Frances were married.  He left behind five children: Thomas, Josiah, Anna, Israel and Jedediah, and there may have been John also.  His estate was valued at 213 pounds, of which 118 pounds was real estate.  I've seen comments that this indicated he was not financially successful, but if he was somewhere between 35 and 45 years of age, this was not the estate of a pauper.  A court appointed committee distributed the funds, of which Frances got 60 pounds.  This wasn't a full third of the estate so I'm not sure why there wasn't more for Frances, but there may be extenuating circumstances that went into the decision.  One of the Dewey descendents several generations down the line put up a monument in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, perhaps because none could be found in Windsor.

The line of descent is

Thomas Dewey-Frances possibly Randall
Thomas Dewey-Constant Hawes
Elizabeth Dewey-Thomas Noble
Thomas Noble-Sarah Root
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root Jr.
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Fun fact: Admiral George Dewey of the Spanish American War is a descendent of Thomas and Frances, so we are distant, distant cousins to him.  Admiral Dewey is the one person to have ever held the rank of "Admiral of the Navy".

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holbrook line: Ebenezer Southwell, the father of Eunice Southwell Pomeroy

If you've been following the posts for the Holbrook line, perhaps you'll remember that when I wrote about Thomas Judd, a reader questioned me about the Ebenezer Southwell-Elizabeth Judd line that I had included in my line of descent.  She didn't think I had the correct parents for Eunice Southwell Pomeroy, and after looking at what she said, I was starting to doubt it, myself.  I spent a couple of weeks scratching for information, some of which seemed to point one way and some of which pointed another way.  Finally, a kind person answered my query on an Ancestor Message Board, which makes sense of much of what I had found.  I needed her help to connect the dots, and I greatly appreciate Rose's help.

Since so many trees on line are showing Ebenezer's brother, Enoch, as the father of the Eunice who married Medad Pomeroy, I'd like to put what Rose pointed out and what I found independently in writing.  First, as to Eunice, she is listed in the "Records of the Congregational Church in Suffield, Ct" as "Unis" Southwell. She was baptized there October 5, 1735, so her birth may have been a few days before that. Enoch Southwell, Ebenezer's brother, did indeed have a daughter named Eunice who was born in Northampton, Ma on October 11, 1735/36, but she was not married when she inherited part of her father's estate in 1778.  A deed in 1779 calls her a "singlewoman".  Our Eunice Southwell married Medad Pomeroy August 18, 1758 and died April 6, 1760, about a week after our Eunice Pomeroy was born. 

Now, on to what I've learned about Ebenezer in the search to verify that he was indeed the father of our Eunice.  Ebenezer was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1694 to William Southwell and Sarah Stebbins. He had two brothers and five sisters, and Ebenezer was the oldest of the sons.  He married Elizabeth Judd, daughter of Samuel Judd and Maria Strong, on June 12, 1721. We are not sure what motivated him to move to Suffield, which was then part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but later became Connecticut, about 1723.  There may have been economic reasons, or he may have gone with a relative or neighbor, or perhaps the young married couple just wanted to be on their own.  The Southwells had at least 9 children, with Eunice possibly being the youngest of them. 

There is a little bit of information in the "Documentary History of Suffield in the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay 1660-1749" by Hezekiah Spencer Sheldon, about Ebenezer.  He was elected one of several "Tything Men" on March 14, 1736/37.  A tything man was expected to make sure church tithes were collected, to maintain order and discipline during church services, and to make sure there were no travelers on the road on Sunday, unless they had a truly serious reason to not be at their church service.  In the movies, sometimes we see someone in a church building who had a long stick he could use to nudge children or to wake up their parents, and that would have been Ebenezer's job.  I'm not sure how long he held that position, but he was elected surveyor of highways on March 10, 1739/40 , and then constable in 1741. In 1745, he was again a surveyor of highways. 
He signed his name as "yeoman" on a petition to separate Suffield into a "West Suffield" but I didn't note the date for that. The town of Suffield had spread and grown enough that it was quite a ways for the people in the west to travel to church each Sunday. 

I also found records of Ebenezer as as grantee for land in Hampden County, Massachusetts in 1751, purchased from Abraham Burbank.  I'm a little confused about this because by 1751 Suffield, or West Suffield, was considered to be part of Connecticut.  This may be Ebenezer's son Ebenezer,  or I may not have interpreted it correctly.  This is from volume 1 of an index for Hampden County that I found on Family Search. I haven't seen the original document. 

The final record of Ebenezer is of his death on June 17, 1781 in Suffield.  He was about 87 years old when he died.  I have not yet located a death date for Elizabeth, so I will keep searching for that. I also haven't seen a will yet for Ebenezer. As usual, more remains to be done!

The line of descent is:

Ebenezer-Southwell-Elizabeth Judd
Eunice Southwell-Medad Pomeroy Jr.
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stannard
Libbeus Stannard Jr-Euzebia Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Friday, December 19, 2014

Harshbarger line: Grover Harshbarger and the Spanish Influenza

Grover Harshbarger enlisted in the US Army on February 29, 1918 and was sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for his initial training. This was during the time period that troops were being rushed through training and sent overseas as quickly as possible, to fight in France and Germany primarily, in what became known as World War I.  Of course, these men didn't know that. They thought they were fighting "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars."  Because he enlisted rather than waiting to be drafted, Grover, along with three other Whitley County men, was allowed to choose to serve in the Land Signal Corps.  We know that this included weather observers, radiotelephone operators, and other communication services, but we don't know what he was being trained to do.

After basic training at Fort Leavenworth, he was transferred to Camp Lejeune, NC. He was nearing completion of his specialized training when he was attacked by an enemy on this side of the ocean,  the Spanish influenza.  The camp suffered an epidemic and Grover was one of the soldiers who fell ill.  It was a very serious illness. Millions of people world wide died from it, and many soldiers died, too.  Many of those Army members who survived were ill too long, and weakened too much, to be returned to their units, and so they were discharged.  Grover was discharged on July 29, 1918, and we know it took several months for him to regain his strength.  Fortunately his parents were both still living, so he returned home to Whitley County, Indiana and his parents, Emmanuel  and Clara Harter Harshbarger, took care of him until he could take care of himself.

This is a hard post for me to write, because I could have written a better one if I had taken advantage of the opportunities I had. I remember talking with Grover about his military service, and I remember that he was proud of what he had done and sorry he couldn't go to the European theater with his unit.  I wish I had asked him more questions, taken notes, and had a real story to tell here.  Grover was good at telling stories so I must have been a poor listener.  

Regardless, I wanted to write what I do remember so his descendents will know at least this much.  The only documentation I have for this post is from the US Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, which gives his enlistment date and his release date, and an article in The Fort Wayne Sentinel, dated Monday, February 25, 1918.

If you have an older person in your family who served in the military, and you will see them over this holiday season, I encourage you to learn their story (record it if possible) and then write it down and let others in your family have copies.  Then you won't have to write a blog post from 35 year old memories.

The line of descent is:

Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beeks line: Charles Booth c 1682-1714

This will be another short post, because I can find very little information about Charles. He may or may not be the original immigrant. Possibly he came to the New World with his parents, or was born shortly after arrival here.  We don't know who his parents were.  I have a possible, undocumented name of William for his father but am unable to locate any further information.  It is quite possible that this was a Quaker family, but records haven't been located to prove that, either.

The first thing we really know about Charles is that he was indentured to Richard Woodworth as a mason, for 5 years, on April 1, 1695.  Boys were generally indentured at the age of 12 or 13, so this gives an approximate age for Charles. He could have been older, and may have been indentured to pay for his passage to the New World, but the length of the indentureship tends to lean toward the younger age.  The Woodworth family was Quaker, and was from Acton Parish, Cheshire England. This area should be searched for any possible relationship between the Woodworth and Booth families in England. Ten years later, when Charles had served his indentureship and presumably begun to save some money, he married Mary Elizabeth Conaway or Conway, per the Chester Monthly Meeting Minutes.  This was a Quaker marriage, so it would have been a very simple event, probably occurring after a regular meeting.

We don't know very much about the rest of Charles' life, either.  His four children were born in Chester County, and there is a possibility that a fifth child may have been born in Maryland, but this is unconfirmed. His four known children were Elizabeth, Mary, Lydia, and Jonathan. The possible fifth child is Thomas.  He doesn't really "fit" the information we have since Charles married and died in Chester County, Pa, but I wanted to list Thomas as a possibility.  Perhaps the information that he was born in Maryland is not correct, or perhaps this is a case of wandering state boundaries.  We can believe that he was a respected man in his community for we find his name on a list of constables in 1708 and 1709. On both lists, he is reported as being in Upper Providence, Chester County, Pa.

Charles died about January 12, 1714 (possibly 1713) in Upper Providence, Chester County, Pa.  Mary remarried in 1720 and may have died about 1746.  

I know there are other families who are looking for more information about Charles so perhaps someday more information will be available. For now, this is what I have so I'm adding it to the Beeks line information, meager as it is.  I will add more information as I find it.  I'm hoping there is more information in Quaker records and perhaps in Cheshire County, England. 

The line of descent is:

Charles Booth-Mary Elizabeth Conway
Lydia Booth-Isaac Malin
Sarah Malin-David Ruble
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Friday, December 12, 2014

Allen line: Thomas Lamb, another immigrant ancestor

Thomas Lamb (Lambe) is another of our immigrant ancestors.  Although much is known about him, there are still some questions, because what would family history be without unanswered questions?  (One answer might be "finished!", but we are not anything close to being there yet.)

Thomas Lamb was born in Barnardiston, Suffolk, England in 1596 to Thomas and Elizabeth Aylett Lamb. He had two brothers, Edward and Samuel.  The next time we hear of our Thomas, he and his wife Elizabeth (possibly the widow Smith who married a Thomas Lambe in Shropshire, England in 1621, but that is still unproven) and at least two sons are in the Winthrop Fleet coming to the New World.  Thomas was a merchant, and also a Puritan, since he came in that fleet.

Thomas Lamb was one of the founders of Roxbury, receiving 18 acres of land there, between the Meeting House and the Stony River. His neighbors included John Johnson and Isaac Heath.  He took the oath of the general court on May 18, 1631 and became a freeman on October 19, 1631.  He was also one of the founders of the first church at Roxbury.

Thomas and Elizabeth had several children after arriving in Roxbury.  John and Thomas had come with them, and Samuel was born about a month after their arrival in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their other children were Decline, Abiel, and Benjamin.  Elizabeth died during or just following the birth of Benjamin in 1639, and Thomas married Dorothy Harbittle soon after.  He needed a stepmother for all those children, and Dorothy appears to have been a good one. She also gave Thomas more children. 

It's unclear whether he acted as a merchant at Roxbury, but by 1633 he was opening the first quarry in New England, on the island of Squantom in Boston Harbor. There are additional reports about land acquisitions up until his death on March 28, 1646 of a "grate colde".  I would guess this was pneumonia.  His inventory at the time of his death was 112 pounds, 8 shillings, 8 pence, which didn't include the land he owned.  There was trouble with the estate, and it appears that there were still court proceedings in 1698, trying to prove who owned land that was contested between the Lamb descendents and those of Dorothy Harbittle's second husband, Thomas Hawley. 

I of course would like to know more about Thomas's life in England. How did he become a merchant, or was that designation given to him only in Massachusetts?  With his father dead when Thomas was just three years old, who cared for him and got him started in life?  Was it his mother's family, or a paternal uncle?  And when and how did he become a Puritan? 

Our line of descent is:

Thomas Lamb-Elizabeth
John Lamb-Joanna Chapin
Samuel Lamb-Rebecca Bird
Samuel Lamb-Martha Stebbins
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John W Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holbrook line: A warning about my previous post about Thomas Judd

I was contacted by a reader (yes, I actually had a reader!) who questioned my previous post about Thomas Judd. She wasn't upset with what I said about Thomas Judd, but she wondered about having Eunice Southwell in his family line.  I stated that Eunice Southwell was the daughter of Ebenezer Southwell and Elizabeth Judd. She believes that Eunice Southwell is the daughter of Enoch Southwell, so I started searching my records. Unfortunately, I have very little to support my statement, as it turns out.

I have listed Eunice Southwell as having been born in 1738 in Suffield, Connecticut.  If this is correct, then she is possibly Ebenezer's daughter, as I find him in 1747 and 1748 serving on military expeditions from Suffield.  But, the Pomeroys, the family Eunice married into, were from Northampton, Massachusetts.  Enoch and Ebenezer Southwell were both born there to William Southwell, Enoch in 1700 and Ebenezer in 1693/1694.  Enoch is listed as the father of Eunice who was born in 1735.  This is a different date and location for my Eunice, or is my Eunice a figment of someone's imagination?  I cannot find a birth record for her in Connecticut, or elsewhere, as Ebenezer's daughter. 

So, have I been hoodwinked?  For the time being, I think I don't know what I know, or think.  Were there two Eunice Southwell's, or only one?  Should I delete the portion of my tree that shows Ebenezer and Elizabeth Judd as Eunice's parents?  I think for the time being, I'm going to change the tree to show the parents as "poss", which is my shorthand for possibly.  I urge anyone to take my Thomas Judd post with a grain or ten of salt, while I try to find more information.  I would love to find wills for Enoch and for Ebenezer, which would hopefully settle this question. Barring that, we need land records.

Stay tuned. There may be another post about the Southwells in the future, especially if I figure out the answer to this puzzle.  I certainly thank my reader for questioning me, because facts are better than fiction, all the time!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Harshbarger line: Johann Matthias Kraemer 1692-date unknown

This will be a short post, because I know little about this man. However, I am trying to write about the immigrants in my children's family tree, and Matthias was one of them.  The first thing we know for sure is that he arrived in Philadelphia in 1732.  He is listed as 40 years old at the time, which would put him born about 1692.  There is a Johann Matthias Craemer who was born on April 7, 1692 and baptized April 8, 1692 in Wolf (Kr. Bernkastel, Rhineland, Preussen, Germany, but his parents are Conradt Craemer and Anna Margaretha.  All of the trees I can find list his parents as Johann Peter and Anna Barbara Lorenz Craemer, so one of these sets of parents are not correct.

At any rate, we know he married a woman named Elisabeth and they had at least two children, Andreas and Christina. Both were born in Germany.  That is really all I know about Matthias at this point.  His death date is given as 1793 which doesn't seem likely, so I suspect that the Matthias who died in 1793 would have been a son or nephew to our Matthias. Still, if he did live 101 years, we could make a really neat timeline for him!

Although much research remains to be done for Matthias (or I need to find what has already been done), we know that he came to the New World fairly early in the German immigration, when Philadelphia was not yet a city and when the frontier wasn't more than 50 miles from Philadelphia.  I need to find land records or indenture records or something that will give me a clue as to where he went and what he did, and information about the rest of his family.

Nevertheless, we know that the immigrant ancestor was from what is now Germany, and we know that he would have either been Lutheran/Reformed (probably), or of one of the Anabaptist groups (less likely, but possible).  Land, church, and death/burial records may be available, and if so, I will do a follow up post on him.  I'd sure like to find a maiden name for Elisabeth, also!  Maybe someone reading this will have answers to some of these questions.

The line of descent is:

Matthias Kraemer-Elisabeth
Andreas Kramer-Maria Magdalena Birckel
Daniel Kramer-Anna Maria Geise
Anna Maria Kramer-Andrew Kepler
Mary Kepler-George Harshbarger
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beeks line: Nicholas Aldridge, immigrant, 1653-1708

Much of what we "know" about Nicholas Aldridge is conjecture.  We know that he was baptized December 28, 1653 in East Wellow, Hampshire, England, to Nicholas Adridge and Martha. At present, Martha's maiden name is unknown.  He was the oldest of six children, but was still a teen- ager when he sailed with his father to the New World in 1667.  (I don't know whether the younger children came also, or came later, or perhaps stayed behind with other relatives.)  The two Aldridges arrived at Annapolis, Maryland from South Hampton, England.  They settled near the Severn River, close to All Hallows Parish, Maryland.  The senior Nicholas lived only two years, and died March 2, 1669.  Nicholas, our subject, would have been only a little over 15.  He was in a strange land and it's hard to know how much or what he had learned to support himself as an almost grown orphan.  The next ten years are a mystery at present.

By 1679, things were looking up for Nicholas.  He married Martha Beeson or Besson in 1679 at All Hallows Parish, Maryland.  The next year, on August 20, 1680, he purchased 300 acres of land named "Aldridge's Beginning" in Anne Arundel County.  I can almost feel the hope in his heart as he came to manhood with a new bride and land of his own in the New World.  By this time, the worst part of troubles with the native Americans and the worst part of the religious disputes between Catholics and Protestants was over.  Slavery had already begun, but much labor was done by indentured servants and by the colonist's own family.  The family of Nicholas and Martha began with son Thomas in 1680, and he would have been doing chores for most of the day by the time he was four or five.  Thomas and his 9 brothers and sisters were all baptized or christened at All Hallow's Parish. 

We don't know if Nicholas owned slaves or not, but it is certainly possible.  He grew tobacco, and tobacco is a labor intensive crop. If he had cleared all 300 acres of land, then slaves would have been considered a necessity. 

We know that Nicholas raised crops, had children, and apparently attended church services at All Hallow's Parish, but that is basically all that I have learned of him.  He died November 20, 1708, at an age of approximately 55, and Martha died October 19, 1719. 

I'd love to know more about him. Was he literate? If he owned slaves, how did he feel about that?  Did he treat them well?  What caused his death?  If someone knows more about the life of this man, I'd love to hear from you!

The line of descent is

Nicholas Aldridge-Martha Besson
Thomas Aldridge-Elizabeth Purdy
John Aldridge-Eleanor Watkins
Jacob Aldridge-Eleanor Soper
John Simpson Aldridge-Mary Lakin
John Simpson Aldridge Jr.-Lucinda Wheeler
Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Harver H. Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Friday, November 28, 2014

Holbrook line: Thomas Judd, immigrant

For this post, I'm relying heavily on the information found in "The Great Migration 1634-1635".  For those of us who have ancestors who arrived in New England very early, we are blessed in the genealogy world to have this wonderful compilation of our ancestors and their neighbors.  My hat is off to Robert Charles Anderson and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society for their great and wonderful efforts.

Having said that, it doesn't mean their great work tells us everything we want to know.  For instance, the article about Thomas Judd says that his origins are unknown.  Unknown?  How can that be?  Surely someone somewhere must know something.  If not, it's time to get some DNA tests going!  Find some cousins, sound the alarm!  My first goal in genealogy is to get all my ancestors "across the pond" and if NEHGS can't do it, that is going to be a problem. 

Now that my rant is over, here's what is known.  Thomas came to Cambridge, Massachusetts about 1634, because he had a grant of land in Cambridge then.  He was a freeman by May 25, 1636, so he would have joined the church prior to that time.  The name of his wife is known only as Elizabeth, and that is known only because John Winthrop treated her in 1669.  There is speculation that she was Elizabeth Freeman, but so far as I can find, there is no documentation for that. The marriage likely took place in England, as the first children were born about 1633-1635. 

A compiled list of children from secondary sources lists 9 children, born from about 1633 to 1651, and all to Thomas and Elizabeth.  They were Elizabeth, William, Thomas, John, Benjamin, Mary, Ruth, Philip, and Samuel.  The first child may have been born in England, William was likely born in Cambridge, and then the migration continues. 

The Judds were in Hartford, Connecticut from about 1636 to 1646.  They may have come with the Rev. Thomas Hooker party of 1636, who arrived in the dead of winter to establish their colony.  Thomas Judd's name is on the obelisk honoring the founders of Hartford.  The Judds worked and lived in Hartford for about 10 years, and in 1646 moved on to Farmington.  Farmington had been founded in about 1640, and many residents from Hartford went to Farmington, presumably for better land.  They were still under the rule of the Hartford church and the two settlements stayed in close touch with each other.  The last three children were born in Farmington.

The Judds lived in Farmington until the death of Elizabeth, which took place sometime after July 8, 1669 and before November 12, 1679.  On that date, Thomas married Clemence, the widow of Thomas Mason in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Thomas moved to Northampton.  He would have been about 71 at this time.  He disposed of much of his land at that time.  His widow, who died in 1696, left everything she had to Thomas's son Samuel. Samuel and "Marriah" had cared for her in her old age. She did have a house and homestead and meadow land, and Samuel ad "Marriah" apparently had very little.  Thomas died November 12, 1688 in Northampton, Massachusetts.

The line of descent is: 

Thomas Judd-Elizabeth
Samuel Judd-Maria Strong
Elizabeth Judd-Ebenezer Southwell
Eunice Southwell-Medad Pomeroy Jr.
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard Jr-Euzebia or Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis E Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  Thomas was a deputy for Farmington to the Connecticut General court many times during the time he lived there, from 1647 to 1677. If would be fun to know what sort of decisions were made by this very Puritan colony during the time Thomas was a deputy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Allen line: William Warriner, immigrant

Once again, records from the 1500's and the 1600's are hard to come by, difficult to read, and are interpreted differently by different genalogists and family historians.  But because this one is fun, I'm going to include what may be a myth, but may just possibly have a grain of truth to it, in this narrative.

William Warriner is believed to have been born in Lincolnshire, England in 1582.  It is possible that there is a generation missing between this man and his supposed children, but it is not impossible that the family I am going to present belongs to this man.  Just keep in mind that there may be another Warriner who is actually the father of the children I'll mention.

Before we discuss William and his family, there is a family tradition that is too interesting to leave out.  It is believed that another William, possibly the immigrant's father (or if there is a missing generation, grandfather) eloped with a Lady Alice Clifford and in their escape, members of the Warriner family (presumably on the side of the love-struck couple) escaped.  If this is true, there may be a very interesting family history based on Alice Clifford, a member of the Howard or Howe family. However, all that is really known is that an Alice Warriner, wife of Mr. Warriner, died on January 19, 1619, with records at Canterbury Cathedral.  Even if there is no interesting family history to Alice, and even if she was not Lady Alice at all, but there was still an elopement, it's fun.

It is even slightly possible that our William was the husband of this Alice, and that he waited another 20 years before he married again, and started another family.

So, let's go with what we think we know.  William was born in Lincolnshire, England (or possibly elsewhere), and lived for 56 years before immigrating to the New World.  He seems to have come from England in or before 1638, and a year later, married Joanna Searle or Scant.  There are family historians who have looked at the same records and arrived at different conclusions as to her name, but there is a record of a man named Searle who referred to his brother in law, William Warriner, in his will, so I am leaning towards the name of Searle. I could be persuaded to change my mind if I see other documentation, however.

The marriage took place in Agawam, and was then considered part of the Connecticut Colony but soon became Springfield, Massachusetts, and this is where the Warriners made their home.  William was already a freeman, meaning he had the power to vote, owned property, and met church approval. He was constable and selectman at different times in Springfield, so even though this would have started as a very small town, and was governed primarily by the Pynchons, he was respected.  William and Joanna are known to have had three children and some lists show as many as eleven. Joanna died in 1660 and William married one year later to Elizabeth Gibbons, the widow of Luke Hitchcock.  (I've blogged about Luke Hitchcock earlier.)  William died on June 2, 1676.

No will was found for William Warriner, but there are records of his inventory, compiled September 26, 1676 as agreed to by Elizabeth his widow, and heirs James Warriner, Joseph Warriner, and Thomas Noble.  The estate totaled a little over 160 pounds, including 6 different plots of land, an ox, two steers, three horses, and various household goods.  "Cloathing and Bookes" were appraised at 56 pounds and 12 shillings, which was almost a third of the estate.  Either our ancestor was a clothes horse (in Puritan Springfield?) or he had a substantial library. I prefer to think he had a lot of books, but that is speculation on my part.

William is recognized as an early settle of Springfield, and I'd love to hear his story in his own words. I'd like to know what he knows about the story regarding Lady Alice, and of his life in England, whatever it may have been.  I'd like to know more about his religious beliefs, and when he became a Puritan.  Since he died shortly before the outbreak of King Philip's War, I'd love to know what tensions he would have lived with, in his community, with the native Americans.  There are always more questions than answers, I guess.

Our line of descent is:

William Warriner-Joanna Scant or Searle
Hannah Warriner-Thomas Noble
Elizabeth Noble-Richard Church
Jonathan Church-Ruth Hitchcock
Ruth Church-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble--Martin Root Jr.
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Fun fact:  The Noble and Hitchcock lines would repeat for several generations, as this was a small town and the early families stayed in close proximity for several generations.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Holbrook, Allen, Harshbarger and Beeks lines: An Apology

I just wanted to let you know I hope to be back to blogging on Tuesdays and Fridays, after unexpectedly missing a week.  Sometimes life just happens, and so it is with us. 

It does make one wonder, though...What kind of illnesses and injuries did our ancestors have, that we know nothing of?  Obviously, if it ended in death there may be a record.  But what of our ancestors who had smallpox, or cholera, or other illnesses either sudden or prolonged? Did they have arthritis?  When did their strength start to fail?  And how did these kinds of illnesses and injuries affect their family?  Did someone lose a business, or their farm, because of a debilitating condition?

Once again, there is more to be told than we can see in the "easy to find" records, which of course aren't so easy to find.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Harshbarger line: Christian Brower abt 1714 to 1771

Christian Brower and his parents, Hubert Brower and Catherine Eve Brenneman, came to the New World in 1726.  The family is very fortunate that the original "pass" for the Brower family, which was similar to a passport and was issued by local (German) authorities, is still in existence and is one of the treasures of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives.  It was issued on May 1, 1726. We know that the pass states that the family was from the town of Fuss Gonheim, on the Rhine River just across from Mannheim  but we don't know how long the family had lived there.  It may have been only a matter of months, or it could have been years.

The Browers were a Mennonite family, which indicates that their origin was probably Switzerland. However, several websites name Hubert's father as Adam, and give him a Dutch wife and nationality.  More research needs to be done on this family, to prove that Adam is Hubert's father,  and to find out if the Dutch connection is correct. It is possible that Adam or his parents had settled briefly in the Netherlands, during the Thirty Years War which caused so much disruption to the various states that eventually became Germany.

At any rate, Christian was about 8 years old when he and his family crossed the ocean on what was apparently a lengthy voyage. We don't know exactly when they arrived because the oath of allegiance was not required until 1727, so apparently it would have been late in 1726.  The first record I find of Christian is that he took the naturalization oath in 1743, when he would have been about 29.  He was a young married man at this time, and the oath was required before he could own land, so this may have been the motivation for the timing of the oath. Since his brothers bought land in 1743, it may be that Hubert had died shortly before that time.

We don't know the name of Christian's wife.  He had apparently married Eve Brenneman Bowman at some point after their separate families were complete.  However, he had at least 8 children with hi unknown wife. They had 8 children together, and settled on the banks of the Schuylkill River in what is now East Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Christian had obtained his 200 acres of land through a grant from the Proprietors, meaning this was wilderness that had not been owned before.  At least two of his brothers, Henry and John, settled near him.

We are fortunate to find tax records for him in Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania in 1753, and later we can even find note of what he was taxed on.  In 1766, he was taxed for 200 acres, 3 horses and cattle, 8 sheep, and one servant.  This may have been an indentured servant about to serve his term, because the servant is not shown on later tax lists.  The last record, in 1771, shows him with 200 acres, 3 horses, and 5 cattle.  He died in 1771 and apparently there is a will in existence, but I haven't yet located it.  I've not found any indication of an occupation other than farming, but it is always possible that he had a trade also.

I'd like to find the will, and also I'd like to know whether or how Christian participated in the French and Indian war, or other skirmishes. As a Mennonite, my inclination is to think that he would not have been active in the military, but I could be wrong and I'd like to know for sure.  Of course, I'd also like to find documentation of his father's parents and their story.  And the brick wall is: who was the mother of his children?  I'd love to know!

The line of descent is:

Christian Brower-Catherine Eve Brenneman
Barbara Brower -Tobias Miller
Mary Miller-Johan George Harter
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Ellen Harter-Emanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Fun fact:  The trip from Germany to the New World was apparently a lengthy one, even for the times.  Can you imagine spending as long as six months on ship, watching your food stores dwindle, probably being sea sick (or at least, having children who were sea sick) much of the time?  I shudder just to think about it, but these people lived it. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Beeks line: Newspaper find about Wilbur Beeks

"Four Hurt in Head-On Crash Near Mt. Etna"...

I was certainly pleased to find this article in the Huntington Herald Press.  It was dated Monday evening, April 5, 1965, and I had looked through several weeks of newspapers on microfilm at the Huntington, Indiana Public Library in order to locate this.  (Looking through the old newspapers was a lot of fun, as I remembered so much as I was researching, but that's a story for another post, maybe.)

What I found was an account of the accident that involved two father and son duos, Wilbur and Jim Beeks, and Alva and Carl Searles.  Their two cars were involved in a head on collision near Mt Etna, Indiana on April 4, 1965.  All four were taken to hospitals. The Beeks men went to the VA hospital in Fort Wayne, Carl Searles to Lutheran Hospital in Ft Wayne, and Alva to the Huntington hospital.

The article states that the two cars collided at the crest of a hill on County Road 500 S in Polk Township, but does not assign blame.  It happened at 10:55 in the morning so perhaps the sun was shining and caused a glare or reflection.  Maybe both cars were using the center of the road, since that road was probably narrow "back in the day".

It appears that many of the injuries would have been prevented in this day of seat belts and air bags, since at least two of the victims were thrown into their respective windshields. The injuries described are not pleasant to read and would not be described in such vivid terms today.

Pictures of both automobiles are included in the article.  The front ends are heavily damaged, but it appears that the vehicles were probably of late 1950s vintage.  Damages were listed as $500 or more to each vehicle.   

Other thoughts:

The article doesn't state whether ambulances were used to transport the victims, but if they were, they would likely have been of the old, funeral home type variety.  Huntington County didn't get the van type ambulances until some years later. There would have been only basic first aid at the scene, and then little care could have been provided en route to the hospitals. 

$500 damage to vehicles that were a few years old in those days probably meant that the vehicles were totaled. 

We had no previous knowledge of the accident in this household.  The only reason I learned about it is that my husband's aunt kindly loaned me the minutes of a Sunday school class of the First Christian Church in Andrews. Her mother was an officer of the group for many years, so her name was frequently mentioned.  This book covered the class meetings during the 1960's. In April of 1965, I noted that a thank you note had been read to the class for the plant that had been sent to Wilbur following his serious car accident.  That's the clue I needed to go to the library and look for the newspaper article that told me more. 

Hint to family historians and genealogists that might be reading this post:  There may be another record somewhere that you'd never dream of, that has information you didn't know you didn't know!  Where might your next clue be hidden?

The line of descent for our family is:

Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Friday, November 7, 2014

Allen line: Luke Hitchcock, immigrant ancestor

I just read a statement that the persons I have identified as immigrants were not immigrants, but were colonists. They came to settle a new land, so yes, they were colonists.  However, since genealogy lingo refers to them as immigrants, I will go with the prevailing language.

Luke Hitchcock was born about 1614 at St Peter's, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, maybe.  Some sources say he was born in Fenny Compton, which is where his wife, Eizabeth Gibbons was born.  His parents are believed to be John Hitchcock and Mary Franklin, although I have not see solid documentation for this.  From the limited information I have found so far on line, I am not convinced of these facts. Certainly there were a lot of Hitchcocks in Wiltshire, but I'm not sure we've found the correct parish or village yet. 

We don't know what Luke did for the first 20 or so years of his life, nor do we know for sure when or why he came to the New World.  It seems that he came in the years just after the "great migration" ended in 1635.  However, we do know that he was settled at New Haven, in what is now Connecticut by 1638.  New Haven was a very Puritan colony and followed the Scriptures as their only law, at least at the founding of the colony. The colony did not prosper, partly because of its poor land, partly because they were politically "far out there", and partly because they didn't have a charter for their colony. They ended up merging with Connecticut rather than trying to remain independent.

Much of the colony would have been engaged in some kind of maritime trade or occupation, but Luke was a shoemaker. Perhaps he had learned the trade in England. He married Elizabeth Gibbons, daughter of Thomas Gibbons and Elizabeth Pierpont, in January, 1642 and their first son, John was born September 27, 1642.  Hannah was born in 1645 and their third child, Luke, was born in 1655. These dates may be baptismal dates rather than birth dates.  They also had a daughter, apparently unnamed, who was born and died on the same day.  This was not a large family for the time.

Sometime before 1653 the family moved to Wethersfield, Connecticut, and Luke had signed an intent to settle Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts a few months before he died. That move was never undertaken, and the implication is that Luke may have become ill or injured after he signed the intent.

Luke's will was written October 17, 1659. It is a little unusual in that he says "knowing it to be my duty to provide for my family and to settle my estate that I may leave no occassion of trouble to the when I am gone and that I may free myself before I die..." . Because his children are underage, he first gives everything to Elizabeth and then states his bequests if she remarries.  It appears that he owned several pieces of land that were to be divided between John and Luke, and he left his daughter Hannah 40 pounds. These bequests were to be given to the children when they each turned 18, or at the death of his wife, whichever is sooner. If Elizabeth remarried, she was to receive one third of the estate. Luke died November 1, 1659.

Elizabeth did go on to marryWilliam Warriner on October 2, 1661, and then, two years after his death in 1676, she married Joseph Baldwin.  She survived her third husband and died April 25, 1696.

The line of descent is:

Luke Hitchcock-Elizabeth Gibbons
John Hitchcock-Hannah Chapin
John Hitchcock-Mary Ball
Samuel Hitchcock-Ruth Stebbins
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 descendents

Fun Fact from a book called "Fullers, Sissons, and Scotts, Our Yeoman Ancestors":

"Luke was a shoemaker and owned by record fourteen pieces of land in Wethersfield. He was on friendly terms with the Indians and they gave him a deed to the town of Farmington. His wife placed it over a pie in the oven and destroyed it."

Yes, I know it's just a story and may not qualify as a fact. But it definitely is fun!  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Holbrook line: Ferdinando Thayer

I just have to write about Ferdinando.  First, he has a wonderful name. Secondly, we seem to have at least three lines that trace back to him, in the Holbrook side of things. And lastly, he was an immigrant, although really the immigrant status belongs to his parents, Thomas Tayer (lots of spellings) and Margery Wheeler.

Since he is an immigrant, it will be no surprise that he was born in England, in Thornbury, Gloucester, to be exact. He was christened on April 18, 1625 so was born sometime before that (children were usually christened before their first birthday and some were christened as soon as the day after their birth).  His father would have attended a lot of christenings, as it appears there may have been as many as 21 children born to this couple.  I wonder how Thomas supported his family. When he died, he called himself a shoemaker, which seems to be a humble trade, but the amount of land he had indicates he was a person of substantial wealth.

So it seems to have been a good move for Thomas, Margery, and their children, including our current hero, Ferdinando, to have come to the New World.  There seems to be some confusion about when the Thayer family arrived in America but they are not listed in the Great Migrations series, of families that arrived before 1636, so perhaps Thomas did come on the "Blessing" in 1637.  If so, his wife and what remained of his family may have come in 1640, as it is reported that one of the children died in Thornbury in 1640.  Ferdinando would have been 12 years old if he came with his father and 15 or 16 if he came with his mother in 1640-1641.  At any rate, at least 7 of his siblings had died in England.

Ferdinando lived with his parents for much of his life.  On January 14, 1652/53 he married Huldah Hayward, daughter of Thomas Hayward and Margery Knight, in Braintree, Mass.  The young married couple continued to live with Thomas and Margery until Thomas's death in 1665.  His father's will had been generous to him, and he ended up with so much property that he and his two brothers, Sydrach and Thomas, agreed to redistribute the land so that each had a more equal share.

Ferdinando then moved, as a founder, to Nipmug, later Mendon, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  He prospered for when he died he had one of the largest farms in the area, and provided farms for each of his sons in his will.  He did not have an easy time of it, though.  The Thayers were forced to abandon their home during King Philip's War in 1675. The town and surrounding fields were all destroyed, and the area was not resettled until 1680.  It was truly a case of starting over again. Ferdinando would have been 55 at this time, so the task may have seemed daunting to him.

Fortunately, he had a large family to assist him.  Ferdinando and Huldah had twelve children, of whom two (each named David) died young. Deborah, Huldah, Jonathan, Naomi, Thomas, Samuel, Isaac, Josiah, Ebenezer, and Benjamin all lived to have children of their own, and the Thayer name is still evident in New England.  For Ferdinando to have been able to leave farms to each of his 5 surviving sons, he must have acquired large areas of land, but I have not documented yet where the land was.

His wife Huldah had died in 1690. Ferdinando married for a second time, to Ann Freebury.  With all due respect to any of her descendents, Ann was not a loving wife to her husband, and she made accusations against her husband and his sons, charging that they sold liquor to Indians (which was prohibited), that he had deserved to have his house burnt during King Philip's War and it would occur again if they did not stop trafficking with the Indians. She also charged that he had failed to provide for her, along with various other charges.  Apparently Ann became disenchanted with her husband when she learned that he was giving his land to his sons, and she would get only the 1/3 of his remaining estate that was hers by law.  I get the feeling that it's a good thing for family dignity that there was no television then, or we could have been watching a reality show or worse.

Ferdinando died on March 28, 1713 at the age of 86.  He had seen good times and he had seen bad times, but his descendents would continue to build the New World.  I would like to know more about his relationship with his second wife, the veracity of her charges, and most especially, where his first name originated.  I'm not aware of any other Ferdinando in our tree.

One of our lines of descent is:

Ferdinando Thayer-Huldah Hayward
Ebenezer Thayer-Martha Thompson
Deborah Thayer-John Rockwood
Joseph Rockwood-Alice Thompson
Levi Rockwood-Deborah Lazell
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Ann Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  Ferdinando and Huldah were ancestors of Barbara Bush and thus of the second President Bush.  We're approximately 10th cousins to him.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Beeks line: Samuel Hinckley, Immigrant

First, I have to acknowledge my joy and ensuing gratitude when I realized that there is a huge amount of information on americanancestors.org about this immigrant.  It certainly makes it a lot easier to write a post about this man, even though I am doing absolutely no original research. 

I found it fascinating to learn that when Samuel Hinckley, who is my husband's ancestor, came to America in 1635, he was on the same ship as my ancestor, Comfort Starr, whom I have known about since I was a young girl.  They went their separate ways after landing, but still, they knew each other for the time period of their voyage, anyway.  How cool is that? The other fun fact about Samuel is that he is the ancestor of both Presidents Bush, and also the ancestor of Barack Obama. 

Anyway, Samuel Hinckley was born or christened on May 25, 1589 in Harrietsham, Kent, England to Robert Hinckley and "widow Katherine Leese".  He was one of at least 8 children born to this couple.  I've not been able to determine Robert's occupation but he had  small property (thirty three acres of land and a dwelling) to dispose of in his will, so it may be that he was a farmer.  The family was more prosperous than some, but probably not wealthy by any means.

After his christening, we know nothing of Samuel until his marriage, on May 7, 1617, in Hawkhurst, Kent to Sarah Soole, daughter of Thomas Soole and Mary Iddenden.  The couple lived in the Hawkhurst area for 18 years, before they emigrated to America. They were a Puritan couple, yet they had their certificate departures signed by Mr. Jno Gee, vicar of Tenterden, Jn Austin, mayor, and Fregift Stace, jurat, on March 15, 1634.  Did they keep their faith quiet, or was someone paid off, one wonders?  Or was the town just winking an eye and they were glad to be rid of them? 

The record shows that only three children were listed as traveling with their parents to America on the ship Hercules. Eight children had been born to the couple in England, but at least three had died. I was unable to determine the fate of the other two children. Sarah was pregnant during the trip across the ocean, because another child, Elizabeth, was christened on September 6, 1635 in Scituate, Massachusetts, where the family first settled.  A total of 8 children were born in Massachusetts, with four of them dying as infants or children.  Even for these hard times, this was a lot of children to bear, and a lot of children to loose, for Samuel and Sarah. 

Samuel and Sarah had first settled in Scituate but then went to Barnstaple and lived the rest of their lives there.  Samuel died October 31, 1662, about six years after the death of Sarah. He had remarried in the meantime, to Bridget widow Bodfish.  The inventory of his estate totaled 162 pounds 16 shillings, plus some other items including real estate and housing. So he was not a poor man when he died. 

The clues we have as to his personality are scant. He was one of 8 Scituate men who were presented (charged with) "receiving strangers and foreigners into their houses and lands, without license of the Governor or Assistants, or acquainting the town of Scituate therewith."  "Strangers and foreigners" basically meant non Puritans, who were regarded as being a threat to the peace of the colony.  It was shortly after this that the Hinckleys moved to help settle Barnstaple, but they could not have gone there without the approval of the authorities so they must have smoothed things over somehow.  Then in 1651 Samuel Hinckley and Jonathan Hatch were charged by the grand jury with hiring land of the Indians.  Again, this was something the colony would have wanted to control.  Samuel was a non-conformist in England and a non-conformist of the non-conformists after he had moved to America.

We owe this couple honor and respect for the sacrifices they made to raise their family, to bury so many children, and to do the hard work it took to establish a home in this country in the 17th century. Their efforts made it possible for us to raise our families here in America. 

The line of descent is:

Samuel Hinkley-Sarah Soole
Susannah Hinkley-Rev. John Smith
Samuel Smith-Elizabeth Pierce
Shubael Smith-Prudence Fitzrandolph
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble (probably)
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Harshbarger line: John Wyatt, Methodist pastor

John Wyatt is another fascinating Harshbarger ancestor.  His story is fascinating, but even more, his pedigree is fascinating.  Apparently the Wyatt line ties back to George Wyatt and Jane Finch, who had royal ancestry, based on DNA testing. The problem is that so far, the exact line of descent has not been determined.  John's father was Thomas, whose father was John, whose father was Major William.  It surprises me that we know William was a major, and that he was born about 1627, but we don't know how or when he arrived in Virginia, or how he attained the rank of "Major".  Was it based on the prominence of his family? We just don't know at this point. 

However, we do know a little more about John Wyatt, since he lived 100 or more years later than Major William.  John was born June 4, 1748 in Virginia. Some internet sources say that he was born in Franklin County but Franklin County wasn't formed until 1785, so his exact place of birth is unknown.  His parents are thought to be Thomas Wyatt and Susannah "Sukey" Edmondson, and he was one of at least 6 children. 

His marriage took place in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1767 to Alice Gordon, daughter of John Gordon. In 1772, his father's will was probated in Loudoun County, so the family had been there for at least a few years.  Loudoun was in northeastern Virginia, so the new family traveled quite some distance within two years, because by then John and Alice were in Shenandoah County, where John leased 246 acres on the north side of the Shenandoah River.

Undoubtedly the Wyatts had hoped to settle down to a peaceful life on their land, but such was not to be.  As in so many families, the Revolutionary War intervened, and John was sworn in as a lieutenant  of the Shenandoah County Militia under Captain John Tipton in April, 1778.  We don't know how often he was called to active duty, but he was apparently home at least some of the time because he is a witness to a deed and also leased 100 acres of his land in 1780.  Most likely, he served in a frontier unit that protected against Indians who were loyal to the British, but I've not found documentation for that yet. 

The Wyatts may have belonged to the Church of England, as did most Virginians, but by 1780 the family had become supporters of the Methodist cause. The Wyatts deed part of this 246 acres to the Trustees of the Methodist church on the western side of the north river of the Shenandoah, with Special Trust and Confidence that they use the land to "preach and expound God's Holy word...provided that they preach no other doctrine than is contained in the Rev. John Wesley's notes upon the new Testament and four volumes of sermons."  

The Wyatts had at least 8 children: Elijah, Edward, Solomon, Thomas, John, Jane, Sarah and Andrew. In 1792, the Wyatts leased their remaining land and moved to Sandifers Creek, Franklin County, Virginia, where they founded the Methodist Episcopal Church of Franklin County, Va.  John had been ordained on May 31, 1792 in Shenandoah County, Va, and he must have felt some sense of urgency to leave in December of that year to go to their new pastorate. 

John Wyatt died May 1, 1802 in or near Rocky Mount, Franklin County, and it appears that Alice may have died shortly after her husband.  His will mentions all of his children except Edward. Perhaps he had already received his portion.

There is much I'd like to know about John.  I have seen him referred to as a circuit rider, but I can't pin down documentation for that.  I'd like to know where he was born (possibly Gloucester County, Va?) and I'd like to know more about his Revolutionary War Service.

There is an absolutely wonderful manuscript of the Wyatt family on FamilySearch.  It was prepared by Genevieve Peters and has transcripts of the Wyatt family as far back as can be found in Virginia, and a lot of Wyatt descendents.  It's in five volumes, and I've only reviewed the Virginia documents.  If you have interest in this family, I'd suggest going to that website, to the books section, choosing author, and then Genevieve Peters.  She must have been a wonderful, lifelong genealogist to have accumulated so much information about so many families! Most of the information in this post can be traced back to her manuscript.

The line of descent is:

John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jane (Jean) Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Ellen Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Allen line: John Moore 1740's to 1816

John Moore was another admirable man in our family line.  I like to think of him talking, for he was born in Ireland and probably had that Irish lilt in his voice to the end of his days.  Records differ as to whether he was born in 1741 or 1745, and he don't know the location other than somewhere in Ireland. His father may have been Thomas Moore, and it is possible that his wife was Christina Bishop, but there are so many Moores in the records that I haven't been able to determine whether either statement is fact or not.

Family lore states that he had enrolled to study for the priesthood in Ireland, but changed his mind and became a physician. We don't know whether that was before or after he came to the New World.  He arrived in Philadelphia in 1770 on board the ship "Caroline".  Again, a family story states that when the Revolutionary War broke out, he offered his services as a physician to the Patriots but was turned down, for whatever reason.  He is listed as having been a private in the war, but it is not known which John Moore he is, in the records. It is possible that his role was in the latter part of the war, protecting the frontier from Indian incursions.

He married Hannah Armstrong, daughter of Adam Abraham Armstrong and Margaret Nixon. (This couple were ancestral to astronaut Neil Armstrong, so we are his very distant cousins.) The Moores had 3 sons and five daughters, and of course there may have been infant or childhood deaths.  John owned at least two tracts of land in what became Washington and then Greene County, Pa, and farmed there. It appears that he also taught school. It is unknown whether he practiced his physician skills in his new home. 

Hannah died December 2, 1814, and John died nearly two years later, on December 1, 1816. They are buried in the Armstrong Cemetery, 3 miles east of Carmichaels, Pa.

I wish we knew more about the stories, and could find some documentation for them. I wish we knew more about John's Revolutionary War service, and why his physician's skills were not accepted. I'd love to know what church they may have attended.  And of course, I wish we knew his parents, and where in Ireland they were from. 

The line of descent is:

John Moore-Hannah Armstrong
Catherine Moore-Alexis Jackson
Eleanor Jackson-Vincent McCoy
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Allen descendents

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Holbrook line: Robert Clarke Surveyor-General to Lord Baltimore

This ancestor doesn't fit the mold of most of the family. He wasn't Puritan, he didn't go to New England, and he apparently died with much less than he had owned earlier in his lifetime.  It's more of a riches to rags story, and much of it has to do with the fact that he wasn't Puritan. In fact, he was a Roman Catholic and narrowly escaped being hanged. 

Let's start at the beginning, which seems to be not as pinpointed as we would like.  He was born either in London or Rotherhithe, County Surrey, England, the son of Robert Clarke and Mary Futter, in either 1610 or 1611.  There is a Robert Clarke, son of Robert Clarke, baptized March 28, 1610 at St Mary, Islington, Middlesex.  Islington is now a part of London, and at the time Robert was born, still had a genteel, affluent feel to it.  I think this is a possible candidate for being our Robert.

We know nothing of his life for the next 27 or so years.  In 1637, he arrived at St Mary's City in Maryland on board the ship Unity.  St Mary's was founded in 1627 as a religious haven for both Catholics and Protestants, and toleration did mark the first years of the colony.  By 1638 he was a freeman and a member of the Privy Council of Maryland, and he was made Surveyor General of Lord Baltimore.  This indicates to me that he was a man with "good connections" if not money.  He seems to have had represented Father Thomas Copley, a Roman Catholic missionary, in dealings with the native Americans, and was on good terms with them. 

He sat in the House of the Assembly in 1649 and frequently thereafter, and several documents from his time as Surveyor-General still exist and bear his signature.  He must have been an educated man, to hold these positions and to be able to sign his name.  At various times, he was a privy councillor, a burgess, and a judge, so he was highly respected.  In 1651, was was a steward of Calverton, which was a 10,000 acre property reserved for a secure "habitation" for the tribes of six Indian nations. 

Maryland was not exempt from the disputes in England that caused the Civil War there, which (to over-simplify) was a religious war between the Catholics and the Protestants.  After England's troubles were settled, Maryland was still at war and the battle of Severn in 1655 is considered the last of the battles of the English civil war. Once again, it was Puritans (who had taken control of Maryland earlier) versus the Catholics, whose leadership had gone to Virginia.  We don't know where Robert was during this time, but we know that when the Catholics attacked to retake "their" land, Robert was one of those captured and sentenced to death.  Some of the prisoners were hanged, but women of the area petitioned to stop the killings and the remaining prisoners basically had to pay a ransom for their freedom. Robert's ransom was 10,000 pounds of tobacco.  He did not have that amount, so he ended up losing his land on Britton's Bay.

Robert had married three times.  His first wife was believed to have been Eleanor, but no further information is available regarding her surname or family.  He is believed to have married about 1640, and to have had two children with Eleanor, John and Mary.  By his second wife, Winifred Seybourne, whom he married in 1651, he had two additional children, Robert and Thomas.  He married again to Jane Hicks in 1661, but had no children from that marriage.  His will lists his children as John, Robert, Thomas and Mary. John had reached his majority but Robert was 12 and Thomas was 10 when the will was written.

Robert died July 21, 1664 in Charles County, Maryland. He mentions giving John all his "lands, tenements and herediments whatsoever" but it doesn't appear that he had title to any remaining property in Maryland.

So, here we have a faithful Catholic, a prominent gentleman, and a public servant for much of his life. There is much to honor here, even if he doesn't quite fit into our family mold.  Here's the line of descent:

Robert Clarke-Eleanor
John Clarke-Ann possibly Dent
Robert Clarke-Selina Smith
Hannah Clarke-James Amos
Robert Amos-Martha McComas
Robert Amos-Elizabeth Amos (yes, they were cousins)
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Friday, October 17, 2014

Beeks line: James Moon, immigrant, Quaker, and challenge

No one seems to agree on when or where James was born, so he has several listed birthplaces and at least three sets of listed parents. The most likely set of parents would be William Moone and Catherine Kynge. A son named James was baptised on August 23, 1639 at Ashwick, Somerset, England per records found on Ancestry (Names listed as William and Katherine). 

Even his wife is a mystery.  Printed sources from as long ago as 1895 give his wife as Joan Burgess, but no records have been found as of now to prove that.  However, it appears that at least one child was born in Bristol, and Bristol is just 18 miles from Ashwick, so it is plausible that children were born in Bristol and that James and his wife Joan lived there prior to their immigration.

If the baptism noted above is our James, he was baptized into the Church of England.  At some point, James and Joan became Quakers. It is possible that one or both sets of parents were Quakers, also, but since we aren't sure who the parents are I have not researched further back for the families.  The Quakers were a persecuted group in England, and many left for the New World in search of religious freedom. Fortunately, William Penn had been granted a large amount of land, which he in turn sold in order to build his colony   

In 1682, the Moons with their six children (Sarah, James, Jonas, Jasper, Mary, and Roger) came to the New World with William Penn. They reached Newcastle on the Delaware River on October 27, 1682.  They settled near Falsington in Bucks County, Pa on 125 acres of land purchased from William Penn, and there lived the rest of their lives.  They cleared the land for a large orchard and for pasture land, where they raised cattle. We can assume that they raised other crops, too, for their own use if not to sell. This was wilderness and if there were no Indian troubles due to William Penn's good relationship with the native Americans, there were beasts of prey (wolves, bear, panther) and winter weather and other challenges, besides just making a living. They were members of the Falls Monthly Meeting of Friends, Joan attending all services and preferring to walk when she was past 80 years of age.  James died in 1713 and Joan in 1739, and they are buried at the old Quaker Cemetery in Fallsington, Bucks County, Pa. 

For more information, I recommend the website at family-forest.net/JamesMoonNotes.  It is speculative since his parents aren't really proven, but if William Moon was James's father, then the line may go back to the de Mohuns, and can be traced back to at least 1042. It's fun to think about those far distant families, as some are noted to have had fascinating lives.

The line of descent is

James Moon-Joan possibly Burgess
James Moon-Mary Wilsford
Simon Moon-Lauretha Humphrey
Jacob Moon-Jane Rees
Thomas Moon-Jean Gray
Margaret Ellen Moon-Owen T Reese
Eliza Matilda Reese-Samuel Goodnight Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Harshbarger line: Matthew Farmer, mystery

Oh, what a confusing line this is!  There are at least two Matthew Farmers who are mixed up in several trees on the internet.  John Farmer, who is descended from the Matthew who died in St Charles, Missouri has spent probably years trying to separate his Matthew Farmer from the Matthew Farmer in our line, who died in Miami County, Ohio.  Unfortunately for us, it appears that both of the Matthew Farmers spent time in Franklin County, Virginia, which makes it even more confusing.

I am going to present our Matthew from what we know and will try to go backward from there.  We know that he died about September 9, 1835 and is buried at McKendree Church Cemetery, Bethel Twp, Miami County, Ohio.  We know that there is (or was) a DAR marker there, indicating Revolutionary War service, but there is a possibility that this is not correct, as Revolutionary War Service has been proven for the St Charles County Matthew.  I am not finding proof of service for our Matthew Farmer.

From his Miami County will, we know that his wife, at the time of his death, was Margaret.  His children, as listed in his will, were John Farmer, Nancy Mason, Mary Shurrum, Elizabeth Black, and Jane Farmer, the widow of his son William.  (William had died in 1834).   Witnesses were George Williams, Daniel Prilleman and Isaac Shell, none of whom are known to have been relatives.  It is of course possible that there were other children who had died some time prior to the will, before they became adults.

Prior to that, we can find Matthew in the 1830, 1827 and 1820 censuses in Elizabeth Twp, Miami County, Ohio.  He isn't listed in the 1816 tax records for the county, so he may have arrived sometime during the 1815-1820 time period.  This is only a working hypothesis, for if he had no land earlier, and no personal property, he would not have shown up on the records.  His will of 1835 gives widow Margaret the 60 ares of land "whereon I now live", being described as "being in the State of Ohio, Miami County, Elizabeth township in the north part of section one and in the north west quarter of the said quarter".  He would have been an old man if he had arrived by 1820, because we are told elsewhere that he died in the "92nd year of his age", indicating a birth date of about 1744.  So he wouldn't have needed a good deal of land, and indeed, likely couldn't have farmed a large area.

We believe that he was married about 1768, because his son William was born about 1770.  So far, no records have surfaced to show a location for the marriage.  There seem to be two Matthew Farmers in the Franklin County, Virginia area prior to 1810.  One is believed to be the St Charles Matthew, and one may be our Matthew.  The 1810 census shows a Matthew Farmer over the age of 45, but the children mentioned appear to align more closely with the St Charles Matthew. That our Matthew Farmer was in Franklin County is shown by son William's marriage to Jean or Jane Wyatt there, in 1799, with Matthew Farmer listed as surety.

I'm pretty sure that the Matthew Farmer in the 1783 Shenandoah, Virginia tax list is ours. Again, William is listed as being born in Shenandoah County about 1770.  Matthew would have been almost 40 years of age at this time. His assessment was 18 shillings and six pence, based on one while male over 21, 3 horses, and 10 cattle.

That's really the last "sighting" we have of Matthew.  He is listed on a lot of family trees, including ours, as having been born about 1743 in Chesterfield County, Va. I've not found a source for this. The problem I have with that is that Shenandoah County is a long way from Chesterfield County, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to get from Chesterfield to Shenandoah.  I wonder if we should be looking in Pennsylvania in addition to Virginia for Matthew's roots. 

There have been a lot of suggestions that Matthew's parents were Frederick Farmer and Martha Hatcher, or Frederick Farmer and Obedience Adkins.  One of those couples (or possibly one Frederick with two successive wives) was the father of the St Charles Matthew.  Did the same Frederick have two sons named Matthew?  It wouldn't be the first time that has happened.  However, the name Frederick is not in our Matthew's family, nor in his son William's family.  Unfortunately, for now the location of his birth and the parents of Matthew are still mysteries.

I would love it if someone reading this could share even a tidbit that could help solve this puzzle.
Who was Matthew Farmer 1744-1835, and what is the rest of his story?

Here's the line of descent:

Matthew Farmer-Margaret
William Farmer-Jean or Jane Wyatt
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Eliot Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks

Friday, October 10, 2014

Allen line: Peter Bulkeley, Puritan, pastor, and gateway immigrant

It's not often that I can "google" a known ancestor and find more information than I can use in a post.  The added bonus is that there is even a portrait of Peter on the wikipedia site.  I encourage anyone who wants to see what this ancestor looked like to go to that site. The article itself is quite interesting with a lot of good sources.  There are books written about Peter Bulkeley and his descendents to the seventh generation, and about his ancestors.  He is discussed in "The Great Migration" by the NEHGS.  In other words, if you want to know more about Peter, you don't need to ask me. You can read what the experts have to say.  Maybe you want just a brief snippet about him, though, and that I can provide.

Peter Bulkeley was born at Odell, Bedfordshire, England on January 31, 1582/1583 to Reverend Edward and Olive Irby Bulkeley.  His father was a "faithful minister of the gospel".  Peter was raised in a home that would have had regular religious education and encouragement.  Peter must have been a very bright young man, for he graduated from St John's College, Cambridge with a BA in 1605 and an M.A. in 1608.  He succeeded his father in becoming the rector of Odell, and served the church there from 1610-1635.  His father had been a non-conformist, and Peter either "became" one or had always been a non-conformist at heart.  By 1633 there were complaints about his preaching, and he was silenced by the archbishop for his unwillingness to conform with the requirements of the Anglican church.  In 1634 he refulsed to wear a surplice or use the Sign of the Cross at a visitation, and was ejected from the parish.

By this time, he had married his first wife, Jane Allen, daughter of Thomas and Mary Fairclough Allen, had nine children with her (some lists give 12 children), and had buried her on December 8, 1626.  He stayed a widower 9 years and in 1635 married Grace Chetwood, by whom he had 4 more children.  The family came to New England in 1635, aboard the Susan and Ellen.  He was ordained at Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1637 and went to Concord, Massachusetts as one of the first founders there.

He was known among Puritans for the "superlative stiffness of his Puritanism" and sat on the church trial of Anne Hutchinson. (Editorial sigh: He was what he was.  I'm not sure growing up in his household would have been much fun.)  He is also known as the author of one of the first books from New England, published in London, "The Gospel Covenant, or the Covenant of Grace Opened".

 Peter died March 9, 1659, in Concord. He seems to have done rather well for himself, financially, having five houses already by 1635/1636.  His estate left books to his oldest son, (having given him a significant gift at the time of the son's marriage), a farm, a mill, 120 acres in land, other small bequests, and 150 pounds to other of his children.   When Grace Bulkeley sold the property in 1663, it included a dwelling house, outhouses, garden, orgard, pasture, a one hundred acre great lot, one hundred forty three acres of meadow (divided), two hundred acres in the hog pens, one hundred fifty acres by the cedar swamp, one hundred twelve acres of woodland, and twenty acres of commons.

Oh, the lineage. Frederick Lewis Weis in "Ancestral Roots" traces it back to William Longespee, illegitimate son of Henry II and Ida de Toeni or Tosny.  The same book, if followed back 40 generations, takes him back to Cerdic, King of the West Saxons.

Tracing the line forward, here is our line of descent:

Peter Bulkeley-Jane Allen
Mary Bulkeley-John Williams
Mary Williams-John Gunne
Mary Gunne-Samuel Roote
Martin Root-Eunice Lamb
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward F Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Allen descendents

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Holbrook line: A newspaper clipping that made me dance

This article came from the Ottawa Daily Republic, Ottawa, Kansas of Monday, August 24, 1914 and was found on Newspapers.com.  Who would think that a little town in Kansas would carry an article about the wedding of my grandparents, which took place in the even smaller town of Threeforks, Washington?  Nevertheless, here it is:


A wedding that will interest the many Ottawa friends of the bride was celebrated Sunday, Aug. 16 at Threeforks, Wash., when Miss Etta Alice Stanard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis E. Stanard, and Mr. Loren Holbrook were united in marriage.  They are at home at Kettle Falls, Wash., where Mr. Holbrook is proprietor of a flour mill and box factory. The bride is well known in Ottawa where she lived until six years ago when they moved to Washington.  She made her home with Dr. and Mrs. F. O. Hetrick and attended the Ottawa university.  She graduated from the university with the class of 1912.  The bride has been teaching since her graduation.  The first year she taught at Esbon and visited here in June on her way to visit her parents in Washington. Last year she taught in Rice, Wash.  A wide circle of Ottawa friends extend best wishes."

I learned so many new things about my grandparents from this clipping.  I have the exact date and place of marriage, what businesses my grandfather was involved with in 1914, and where they spent the first years of their marriage.  The chronology they gave for my grandmother (staying in Ottawa to live with her uncle and finish college) finally makes sense, and I'm glad to know more about her early teaching career.  The towns mentioned in the article are all very small, but maybe I can turn up some more information there.

Newspaper searching is fun because you never know what you will find where.  I just wish there were more papers available from the 1760's to the 1820's, which could reveal information about my many brick wall ancestors.  Websites keep adding new pages all the time, so I've learned to keep searching.  I've found several articles about ancestors weeks or even months after making the first search.  This article is one of those "Never give up" kind of search results!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some dancing to do...

The line of descent is:

Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Friday, October 3, 2014

Beeks line: Thomas Blossom, the almost Mayflower Pilgrim

Actually, Thomas Blossom was a Mayflower Pilgrim.  However, he arrived on a later ship, also known as the Mayflower, in 1629.  Most of the passengers on this trip were those who had intended to arrive in 1620 with the first Pilgrims. However, Blossom and his fellow passengers had been on board the Speedwell, which turned out to be so leaky and unseaworthy that it was forced to turn back before the voyage was well underway. 

Thomas Blossom was born about 1580, probably in Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, England, the son of Peter and Annabel Blossom.  Her maiden name is as yet unknown.  He was the youngest of four children; a fifth, Francis, Peter and Annabel's first born, had lived only about a month.  As the youngest child, he may have been pampered just a little bit, and he seems to have secured an education somehow. His later letters to William Bradford are not those of an uneducated man.

There isn't much known about Thomas's life as he was growing up.  His father was described as a husbandman and then a laborer, so he may have fallen upon hard times before he died in 1597. Thomas married Ann Helsden or Elsdon on November 10, 1605 in St Clement's Church, Cambridge, England.  (The church is still in existence and can be googled for interior views; however, it appears that the church bears little resemblance to the building of 1605.)

I'm not sure when Thomas would have acquired his Puritan views.  Most families that went to Leiden in 1609 had been Puritans for years, so perhaps Thomas and Ann had held their beliefs for years, or perhaps they were "late" converts.  Regardless, in 1609, the couple were in Pieterskerkhof, Leyden, Holland with the Separatists, and several children were born there.  The first two children died before the 1620 trip, and another son was born before 1620 and died in 1625.  Elizabeth, Thomas, and Peter were born in Leyden and accompanied their parents when the trip to Plymouth was finally accomplished in 1629.

Thomas was a deacon in the church at Plymouth Colony, but little else is known of him there.  He died of an infectious fever in 1632, along with at least 19 other colonists.  His widow was taxed 9 shillings in 1633, which seems to be the minimum amount that anyone was assessed.  Ann married Henry Rowley on October 17, 1633.   

Most of the information for this post came from a Robert Charles Anderson article called "Pilgrim Village Families Sketch" found on americanancestors.org, and from a book called "Plymouth Colony, Its History and People 1620-1691" by Eugene Aubrey Stratton. 

The line of descent is:

Thomas Blossom-Ann Helsdon
Elizabeth Blossom-Edward Fitzrandolph
Nathaniel Fitzrandolph-Mary Holley
Samuel Fitzrandolph-Mary Jones
Prudence Fitzrandolph-Shubael Smith
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah probably Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Goodnight Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Beeks descendents

Monday, September 29, 2014

Harshbarger line: John David Mertz, immigrant

Oh, this is a happy genealogy dance day!  While I was reviewing the meager information I had about John David, I was also googling him and I found there is a lot of new information about this man's ancestors that I had not yet found. In looking at some very exhaustive research done by Robert Mertz of Sarraguemines, Lorraine, France and shared online by another Mertz researcher, "Oakey" Mertz  I was able to add 8 new ancestors and a few collaterals to husband's family.  Wow!  These names go back to the 1600's in Switzerland, and then Alsace, France or Germany depending on the time period.  To see the full on line reports on these ancestors, go to mertzgenealogy.com, which is a wonderful website.  I am grateful to these two gentlemen for working so hard to find and publish these records, which help tell more of the family story. 

The ancestor I want to highlight today is John David Mertz, another immigrant.  He was born in 1689 or 1690 in Hangweiller, Germany, the son of Peter Mertz and Barbara Zimmerman.  He was one of 5 children of this couple. After Barbara died, his father married Susanna Braconnier, and there were four children from this family.  John David appears to be the oldest.  He married Veronica Schneider, daughter of Joseph Schneider, about 1714.  We don't know John David's occupation, but the village appears to be very small so it is likely that he farmed. Apparently he had the skills he needed to support a family in the New World, so he may have served in, or at least observed some of the trades as he grew up. As the oldest son, he would have received a double portion of whatever his father was able to leave as an inheritance.  His father died in 1728, and John David, Veronica, and three children emigrated in 1733.  I haven't seen any indication of how John David financed the trip, but perhaps he sold his land or trade tools or whatever his father had left him.

John David, aged 44, Veronica, aged 40, Johann Nicholas, age 18, Johan Peter aged 13 3/4 and Christina, aged 3 3/4 arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Richard and Elizabeth. (There was another son, Johannes, who was born in 1722. He did not make the trip and it is possible that he had died before the trip.)  David gave the oath of allegiance to King George II and his family would have then been allowed to leave the ship.  For five years, there is a gap in the records.  We know that in 1738 John David was able to buy 150 acres on Longswamp Creek in Berks County, Pa, and that the family stayed there for some generations. We can assume they all worked hard, and shared in the ups and downs of living on the frontier, with Indians who conducted raids and uncertain growing conditions for their crops.   

They were members of the Longswamp Reformed Church of Berks County, which at the time the church was founded meant the area families were not particularly kind to the Lutherans (they settled in a separate area, for the most part).  John David died in 1748, but the names of David and his sons Nicholas and Peter are listed as contributors to the first building.  Veronica lived until 1760 and died also in Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pa.  I've not located a burial location for either, but they are likely buried near or at the church they helped establish, and their gravestones are probably gone or not legible. 

This is still meager information, but it is more than I started with this morning, and I am grateful for it.  I'd like to know more about John David and Veronica and their lives, but I'm glad to have this much.  The line of descent is:

John David Mertz-Veronica Schneider
Johan Nicholas Mertz-Margaret
Elizabeth Mertz-Johann L Schollenberger
Peter Shollenberger-Susanna
Catherine Shollenberger-George Essig
Susannah Essig-Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Friday, September 26, 2014

Allen line: Daniel Scofield, immigrant

Daniel Scofield, immigrant, apparently did not fit into the typical Puritan mold.  He arrived a little later than the "Great Migration", and it was at least 15 years after he arrived in America that he joined the church.  Records about him are scanty, so some of what I am relating here seems to be based on assumptions and not proof. 

He seems to have been born sometime between 1610 and 1620, and his birth location seems to be Rochdale, Lancashire, England.  I say "seems to" because as far as I can tell there is no documentation yet located to "prove" this statement.  However, generations of genealogist report it as fact, so I am reporting it, also.  It appears that his parents were Alexander Scofield and Mary Norton.  This would make his grandfather Cuthbert Scofield, who is an absolutely fascinating character. (If I ever start writing about our ancestors "across the pond", he will surely be subject of a blogpost!)

Given his "possible" parents, his "possible" birth location, and his "possible" birth year (given in a court deposition years later), is it any wonder that we don't know what Daniel was doing for the first 20-25 years of his life?  We don't know what his motives were for coming to America, but they appear to be economic or personal, rather than religious.  Perhaps there was a personal relationship gone bad, or perhaps he simply wanted to make his way in the world and had a much better chance of making good in America than he had in England. 

Some sources say he arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1638 and others are not willing to make that statement.  They simply say that he arrived in what is now Stamford, Connecticut but was then Rippowam, New Haven Colony, in 1641.  He is considered a "founder" of this town, and was given a houselot and two acres, to start his new home.  He married Sarah Youngs, daughter of John Youngs and Joan Harrington/Herrington in 1645.  John Youngs was a Puritan pastor so perhaps Sarah encouraged Daniel toward a Puritan faith.  We know that he was a member of the church by 1656, because he was appointed marshal in 1657 and only church members were eligible for that office.

Daniel owned the required land and belonged to the church, so it is a puzzle that we have no record of his being designated "freeman".  It is possible that the records are simply missing.

Daniel and Sarah (perhaps also known as Mary) had at least six children:  John, Mary, Richard, Daniel, Joseph, and Sarah.  Sarah and all of the children except Richard were mentioned in Daniel's
will, which was written September 4, 1669 and proved March 10, 1670 at Stamford.  Sarah married again, to Miles Merwin, moved to Milford, Connecticut, and died March 5, 1698.   

Daniel is another of those immigrants who amaze me, simply because he had the desire and the gumption to come to America when it was still basically wilderness, and make a home for himself and his future family.  We can be grateful to men like Daniel, who built this country without making much of a name for himself.

Our line of descent is: 

Daniel Scofield-Sarah Youngs
Daniel Scofield-Abigail Merwin
Daniel Scofield-Hannah Hoyt
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas J. Knott
John W Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward F. Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Allen descendents