Monday, March 31, 2014

Beeks, Harshbarger, Allen, Holbrook lines: Another field trip

This post won't include specific information on any family members, so if that's what you are looking for, you don't need to read any further.  This is more about the times, and not the specific life, of our ancestors.

This weekend I was privileged to visit Charleston, Illinois.  What, you say you've never heard of it?  Well, if you lived in the United States in 1864 and were literate, you probably would have heard of it.  It was the site of a "Copperhead" riot on March 28, 1864 that left 9 people dead, both Union and Copperhead, in a state that was generally on the Union side of the conflict.  The town also has associations with Abraham Lincoln, as his father and step-mother, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, lived in a log cabin not far from there.  Abe Lincoln's circuit, during his lawyering days, included this area, and one of the seven 1858 debates between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln is commemorated by a small museum in Charleston.  There's a lot of history there, and Charleston decided to celebrate with a whole weekend built around the re-enactment of the riot. 

I am fortunate to have a sister who lives very near Charleston, who has a modest interest in history but was gracious enough to be my hostess and chauffeur for the weekend.  Friday night we attended a presentation to "Meet the Lincolns" at a local church.  I wasn't expecting much since it was a free will offering fundraiser for the church's school, but two minutes into the program I knew my expectations were going to be greatly exceeded.  B.J. and Dorothy McClerren presented extensive monologues in the characters of President Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, and they were just plain remarkable.  They were dressed in period costume, and except for the short stature of Mr. Lincoln/McClerren, it was easy to believe we were hearing and seeing the actual persons.  Their website is, and they are available for scheduling.  Check them out!

Saturday we saw the small museum about the Lincoln-Douglas debate (including a video), and visited a Civil War encampment at the fairgrounds.  There were not a lot of soldiers there on Saturday (it was quite cold, and after all, they had not been drafted!) but we got to visit with them and see their equipment and a suttlery shop that was set up to supply them and to encourage buying from camp visitors. 

We also went to two sit down, inside presentations in the historic Charleston courthouse.  One was by R. Eden Martin, who is a descendent of John R Eden (congressman who was expected to speak in Charleston the day of the riot) and the past Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Historical Society. He is a very learned man but also talked about some of the family stories that can and cannot be documented regarding his ancestor's participation (or rather, lack there of) in the riot.  He had a different description of "Copperheads" than history books typically present.

The final presentation was called "Trial and Tribulations; The Matson Slave Trial."  We were treated to four actors who presented part of a play that is put on as a dinner theater in Oakland, Il. on three occasions each year.  The trial is the only time that Abraham Lincoln ever defended for the cause of slavery, and it was really interesting to hear about how that came to be.  If you want to laugh, and be moved nearly to tears, plan to go to the play this year.  You can find information about this on several websites, youtube, google+, and a blog, so I won't attempt to point you to any one site. 

I would have enjoyed very much being there for the actual re-enactment of the riot, but that would not fit into my schedule. 

I encourage you to look around to see what is happening of a historical nature where you live.  Whether it's a museum, or a one time re-enactment, plan to spend some time in a historical setting. I find that it helps me understand some of what our ancestors felt and learned, and that in turn affects what is happening around us even today.  In addition, it's fun!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Beeks line: Edward Fitzrandolph, gateway immigrant

There is a lot of information on line about this gentleman, but I'm going to give a brief recap here because it's a possible a family member will read about him here for the first time.  This is a condensed version of his life.  He is important in the genealogy world because he was an immigrant in the Winthrop fleet of 1630, and because he has lines that tie him back to Scottish royalty (a direct descendent of William I of Scotland).

Edward Fitzrandolph, often referred to as Junior, was born to Edward Fitzrandolph and Francis Howis or Howes on July 8, 1607 (this may be his christening date) at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottingham, England.  Frances was Edward's third wife, so some of his brothers and sisters are more correctly called half brothers and sisters.  It appears that Edward had five full brothers and sisters:  Anthony, Ales (Alice), Christopher, Joseph, and John.  Edward was the oldest of them.

In 1630, when Edward was about 23 years old, he came to Massachusetts with the Winthrop fleet.  The Winthrop Fleet was a group of 8 ships, containing about 800 Puritans, that came to settle the Massachusetts Bay colony (not to be confused with Plymouth Colony).  He was settled at Scituate, Massachusetts, with his home being the 38th home built there.  He married Elizabeth Blossom there on May 10, 1637.  Her parents were Elder Thomas Blossom and Ann Heilson, who were passengers on the Speedwell, the ship that was forced to turn back after setting sail with the Mayflower.  Her parents returned to Holland, where Elizabeth was born. 

Edward and Elizabeth had at least 12 children, all born in Barnstable, where they had moved in 1639.  He lived in Barnstable and then West Barnstable until 1669, when he and six of the children moved to Piscataway, New Jersey.  It isn't known why he moved to Piscataway. Perhaps it was economics or perhaps it was religion. His son Nathaniel had married Mary Holley, and this family was Quaker. Perhaps Edward, or Elizabeth, or both, had Quaker leanings and were ready to be a little more free in their religious practices.  Perhaps it was for economics, or perhaps they had simply been approached and asked to help plant a new colony, much as we would ask someone reliable to help plant a new church. 

It is believed that Edward died in 1674 or 1675.  After a second marriage, Elizabeth was buried beside him in 1713, in what is now St James Churchyard in Piscataway. Their stones were lost when a skirmish was fought there during the Revolutionary War, and breastworks were thrown up against the British.  When the area was cleared after the war, the stones weren't found, so even in death, this couple was giving to the cause of their chosen homeland. 

He is referred to as a "yeoman", which would be a farmer of some importance.  I have not found that he was ever made a freeman of the colony, although that is possible.  He did bear arms and was available for military duty. 

I've used James Savage's Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, quotes from The Descendants of Edward Fitzrandolph and Elizabeth Blossom 1630-1950 by Louise Aymar Christian, and Genealogies of Barnstable Families by Amos Otis for this brief discussion. 

Here's the rather lengthy line of descent:

Edward Fitzrandolph-Elizabeth Blossom
Nathaniel Fitzrandolph-Mary Holley
Samuel Fitzrandolph-Mary Jones
Prudence Fitzrandolph-Shubael Smith
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Goodnight Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Beeks children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Harshbarger line: Solomon Buchtel 1773-1840

Solomon Buchtel was born in 1773 to Johannes John Buchtel and Catherine Seiler.  Both of his parents were born in Wurtemburg, Germany and had immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1753.  His parents married in 1760, probably after their terms of indenture were over, and initially lived in Snyder County, Pa.  They soon moved to Brush Valley, Centre County, Pa, where most of their children, including Solomon, were born.  This was frontier land at the time, and there were likely encounters with Indians during those early years on the farm. Solomon had 7 brothers and sisters.

His father was a truly intelligent man (I'll write about him another time) so it is likely that Solomon had inherited at least some of that curiosity and energy.  Solomon married Maria Margaretha Reber, daughter of Johann Conrad Reber and Mary M Pontius, about 1805, and the couple settled near Rebersburg, Pa. to raise their family.  I've seen a copy of a picture of their home, which he built himself.  It was a frame two story dwelling, with an addition.  I'm not sure if the smaller section might have been the original section, or whether it was the addition.  At any rate, the home had enough room to raise the 8 children that were born to the couple: Benjamin, Solomon, Johnathon, Thomas, Henry, Hannah, Joseph, and William. 

I haven't been able to trace Solomon through the US Census, nor Find A Grave, nor any of my usual sources, so I have much to do yet to learn his story.  He purchased land in what became Greene Township, Summit County in 1815, so that gives us an approximate date for his move.  I have notes that the 1820's census lists the occupation as manufacturing, but I can't duplicate that finding in a current search, so perhaps that is not correct. He is listed on an 1830 tax list for Stark County (parent of Summit County) in Lake Township, Uniontown, as having a town lot, so perhaps he was engaged in some form of manufacturing rather than farming.  His oldest son Benjamin was married in Summit County, Ohio in 1844.  I have an "internet" death date of about 1840 in Portage County, but I don't know if that is correct and I'm only guessing that is an Ohio location. 

This is as much as I know about Solomon.  Since he had 8 children, I am hoping that another descendent or two have information about him and about Maria Margaret Reber, that would help fill in the many blanks in this story.  I'd love to hear from you! 

Here is the line of descent:

Solomon Buchtel-Maria Margaret Reber
Benjamin Buchtel-Barbara Long
Nancy Fanny Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger kids, grandkids, and great grandkids

Friday, March 21, 2014

More books that relate:

It's been about 6 months since I wrote about the books I've been reading, and how they fit into my understanding of the lives our ancestors lived.  Here are some of the books I've read over the last 6 months. You might enjoy reading one or more of them. 

Probably my favorite, for personal reasons was Serving the Pieces, by Edward V Walsh.  It was written by a man who served with my father in World War II, and told almost a day by day story of their time in the Army, from boot camp to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to fighting in France and Germany.  Dad never talked much about his war experiences, but he said enough that I could recognize some of the places and experiences.  Needless to say, I learned a lot and came away with a new appreciation of the word "sacrifice".  Another book that helped put my Dad's experience in perspective was Christmas 1945 by Matthew Litt.  Again, it resonated because I'd heard Dad's story about how he almost got home for Christmas, but I didn't understand the story behind his story.

Some of the books I've read go back to the beginning of our country, like Island at the Center of the World, by Russell Shorto.  Basically all I knew about the earliest days of New York City was the $24 sale of Manhattan, and it turns out that wasn't accurate, but there's much more to know.  Although I didn't find any ancestors mentioned by name in the book, we know that our ancestors were there by 1650, so I was reading about friends and neighbors of our ancestors. 

I've read about the Revolutionary War in Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick and Almost a Miracle by John Ferling.  I've also started learning a bit about the War of 1812 by reading 1812 by Walter Bomerman and The Battles at Plattsburgh by Keith A Herkalo. 

Since there are so many German ancestors, I've learned a little of what their life was like in one of the German states, by reading Hopeful Journeys by Aaron Fogleman (I think we're related, but can't yet prove it) and Our Daily Bread: German VIllage Life 1500-1850 by Teva J Scheer.  Each of these books told a lot of information, but the second is possibly more readable. 

I do love to read historical fiction, too, with a heavy emphasis on the historical.  Probably my favorite author at the moment is Elizabeth Chadwick, and I've read her books The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion, which are about two of my all time favorite ancestors, William Marshall and Isabel Fitzgilbert de Clare.  I've also read Sharon Kay Penman's Lionheart.  I have more books by each author, and am looking forward to reading them, as well as many others.  So many books, so little time!

A genealogy society speaker once suggested that we read books that were intended for children or young adults, to get a good flavor of a time period in a short amount of precious reading time. That was an excellent suggestion.  One that I read was The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare,  which I didn't quite remember from my childhood.  I loved the details about colonial Connecticut in  that book.  I have a couple of other books on my Kindle that I hope I'll enjoy just as much, and just as quickly, and I'm keeping my eye out for more. 

If you're interested in learning more about the live and times of our ancestors, try some of these ideas. They help put life in the facts I usually write about.    

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Holbrook line: Robert Paddock 1584-1650

Why am I writing about a man who lived 400 years ago when there are many more recent ancestors I haven't touched upon yet?  My answer would be that he's got a very interesting story, even though his history may or may not be proven.  The problem is that some of the initial research done on the Paddock family may or may not be bogus, and may or may not have been produced by Gustave Anjou, who was famous for manufacturing false genealogies.  So we will have to take the information about the French ancestry of Robert Paddock with a grain or two of salt, until more definitive research is undertaken.  Still, it's fun to think that this line back to medieval France and minor nobility might be correct.

Robert Paddock was born in 1584 in Stephenstown, Balrothery Parish, County Dublin, Ireland.  His parents are believed to have been John Paddock, who was born July 19, 1550 in La Cateau, Cambrai, Nord France, and Jane Jennings or Jenin, also born in France.  Now, one could ask why a French couple were in Ireland, and why an Irishman was in Plymouth Colony, and we can only offer conjectures.  John Paddock probably left France due to religious or/and political reasons, as the 1580's were a time of great religious upheaval and persecution in France.  There were likely economic reasons that he left France, also.  However, if he was a Protestant, why did he end up in County Dublin, Ireland?  John Paddock was probably known as Jean Paddoc in France, and if you believe the undocumented records, he came from "lesser nobility" and his ancestors can be traced back to the early 1300's.  So, we may or may not be a little bit French.

Robert Paddock is documented a bit better, but there is still much we don't know, including when he arrived in America, and why he came to America.  He was a blacksmith, having inherited his father's blacksmith shop in Ireland.  The Pilgrims are known to have recruited blacksmiths as that was a trade that apparently did not come over on the Mayflower, or perhaps the practitioner(s) died in those very early years of the Colony.  It is believed that he and his second wife, Mary Holmes (probably) were here by 1632.  Robert's first wife had been Mary Ball, but she died in 1627.  He is supposed to have married Mary Holmes in October of 1630, and they had 6 children together, Robert, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Mary, Alice, and John.  Robert had another daughter, Susanna, but she was by his third wife, Mary Trine. 

I haven't found reference to Robert's religion, but he was given land with other settlers and was given civic responsibilities, so he may have been a "saint".  He met up with the law on at least one occasion, when he and William Clarke had too much to drink and had to pay a fine.  He was constable of Plymouth Colony, and he was a member of the Plymouth Company militia, which included all men able to bear arms, as Indians were a constant threat.  His commander was Captain Miles Standish. 

Apparently his death came rather suddenly, because there was no written will.  His death bed statement asked Mary to give John Paddock, his son of about 5 years of age, to Thomas Willet for upbringing.  Thomas Willet was later Mayor of New York.  It is not clear why special arrangements were made for this child and not for the others. 

Most of this information was obtained from The Paddock Genealogy by Robert Curfman, with some corrections made due to information found later.  Mr. Curfman himself was somewhat suspicious about the French pedigree, but to date I know of no one has been able to provide documentation of any other ancestry for Robert and John/Jean.  Regardless, it's fascinating to know that this ancestor of ours would have known William Brewster, Miles Standish, and Edward Doty, our Mayflower ancestors, and would likely have performed services for them. 

Our line of descent is:
Robert Paddock-Mary Holmes
Alice Paddock-Zechariah Eddy
Zechariah Eddy-Amphillis Smith
Elisha Eddy-Sarah Phettiplace
Enos Eddy-Sarah Brown
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Holbrook children, grand children, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren

Friday, March 14, 2014

Allen line: Moses Parrish 1742-1800

Moses Parrish was born in 1742 (approximate date) to Humphrey Parrish Jr and Mary Morton Hamilton, in Goochland County, Va. (My tree shows Mary Morton Hamilton as having a really rich Scottish ancestry, but now I am not sure it is proven.  So take that part with a grain of salt.)  There was probably more than one Mary Morton Hamilton in that time frame, and I'm not sure I have the correct one, but let's at least go with the idea that his mother's name was Mary.  Moses was one of seven children.  Their land was around Licking Hole Creek and Little Byrd Creek in Goochland County, Va.

Moses had an eventful life  He served in the French and Indian War, Dunmore's War, and the Revolutionary War.  He must have been loyal but not particularly talented militarily, because he apparently was never promoted above the rank of private.  For his service in Dunmore's War, he was awarded 50 acres of land which he chose to take in "Fincastle County", which was basically the state of Kentucky in later years. It appears that he may have sold that land. As far as we know, he never went west.

His Revolutionary War service is particularly exemplary.  He enlisted in February of 1977 and appears to have served his entire term, except that he was furloughed in the winter of 1777-1778,  Prior to that and after that, he saw hard service, but the months that he was furloughed were the months that the soldiers were undergoing such hardships at Valley Forge.  He is listed as having been at Paramus (N.J.), White Plains (N.Y.), Newark (N.J.), Pumpton Plains and Middlebrook in 1778, after being on the rolls at Valley Forge in May.  He was at Morristown in November of 1779.  It appears that he would have participated in most of the New Jersey battles and perhaps some of those in Pennsylvania, but the White Plains camp was a couple of years after that battle.  None of the records on Fold 3 indicate that he was ever sick or wounded, but there is a good chance that he was sick at one time or another.  Most soldiers were.  It's also reasonable to think that he did not have a good diet, as our soldiers were often hungry and poorly fed.  Can we say "hero"?

I've not found evidence that he re-enlisted in 1780 when his term in the 5th Virginia Regiment of Foot was up, although it's possible that he was still a member of the Virginia militia and continued to fight in skirmishes after he had officially returned home.  In 1785 he was awarded 56-13-3 in Virginia dollars in back pay.  This surely would have been helpful, for it was the equivalent of several months pay as a soldier. 

We don't know very much more about Moses Parrish.  He may have first married Sarah Martin, and then married Mary Hill (date not found).  They had 6 children: Nicholas, William, Tabath (Tabitha), Mathew, Frankie (Francis) and Sukey (probably Susan or Susanna).  Moses died in 1800 and there is apparently a will or estate records for him, as noted on the Library of Virginia website.  I'm unclear as to whether Goochland County has a copy of the records or not.  

We know one other fact about Moses.  His father left him two slaves in his will in 1773, and by 1782 he had three slaves.  Perhaps Moses's will has more to say about that.  It's hard to think that our ancestors "owned" slaves, but with such a small number, they may have been treated more like family than the traditional slave treatment that we "know" about. 

Facts for this post were gathered from Fold 3, Ancestry, the Library of Virginia, and a 1782 tax list. 

Our line of descent is:
Moses Parrish-Mary Hill
Tabath Parrish-James Allen Jr.
Archibald Allen-Margaret J Dunn
George R Allen-Nancy McCoy
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard/Edith/Vernon/Tessora/Corinne Allen
descendants of the Allens named above

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Beeks line: Llewellen Martin

I started wondering about Llewellen Martin as soon as I found his name.  I had a lot of questions about him, including where the "Llewellen" came from.  That is typically a Welsh first name.  I was  surprised to find that the family traces back to Wales, but I found that very interesting.  Apparently someone else found it interesting, too...I would love to give credit to the wonderful person who uncovered most of the facts about the Martin family that lead back to Wales, but I have misplaced her name.  In correspondence with her, she advised she had been working on this family for 20 years, so she certainly deserves credit!  Thank you, unknown researcher! 

Llewellen (It's spelled a lot of different ways-I'm leaving it with two L's because that will help me remember his family came from Wales) Martin was born in Charleston, Chester Twp, Pennsylvania to Joel Martin and Anna Thompson.  By this time, his family had been in Pennsylvania for about 90 years.  He was one of at least 7 children.  After his father died in 1775, his mother took the family to the Salt River area of Mercer County, Kentucky, about 1787.  I have not yet learned what family group she was traveling with, but surely there was some family involved in this.  Mercer County in 1792, when Llewellen married, was still very much frontier country, so it would have taken nerves of steel to move a family at that time unless she was with a family group.  Even then, it would have been an exceedingly difficult move, and Anna goes on my "most admired females" list.

By 1792, Llewellen was ready to marry.  His wife was Elizabeth Painter or Pantier, daughter of  Philip John Pantier and Susanna Devine (she was actually of French Huguenot ancestry, if you go back far enough), and they were married March 10, 1792 in Mercer County, Kentucky.  The Martins didn't stay in Mercer County for long.  By 1799, they were in Ohio, and several of the Martin brothers signed a petition to Congress asking for a change of law providing for the sale of lands in an area northwest of the Miami River, in Ohio.  Several of the Martins, including Llewellen, are listed as having been in Madison Twp, Butler County, Ohio in 1799, where they each made homes for themselves and their families.  In 1820, they are listed as being in Lanier Township, Preble County.  Preble County was formed from part of Butler County in 1808, so it is possible that the family had not moved. If they did move, it was not very far.

In 1834 the family pulled up stakes and moved yet again, to Wabash County, Indiana.  Llewellen had owned farmland in Butler, Preble, and Wabash Counties, but I also found a brief reference to him (unsourced) as a tinsmith and a teacher.  I would love to know the source of that snippet, for there may be more information there.  Llewellen would be considered a pioneer settler of Wabash County, also, since he was there before 1840.  He died in Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana on September 15, 1844, and was buried in Eliot Cemetery, Wabash County.  His wife, Elizabeth lived about 14 months longer, and died November 25, 1845.  (I was puzzled about why she died in Grant County until I learned that she was living with a son, just across the road from the farm she had lived on for 10 or so years, but the road was the dividing line between Wabash and Grant Counties.)

This man didn't just live through the formation of our country; he helped define it.  I have such great admiration for these pioneers who were willing to leave their surroundings and perhaps their families, and step out into the unknown, time and time again, as Lewellen did.  From the civilized world of Chester County to frontier life in Mercer County must have been a real cultural shock.  Then he made two more moves, neither of which would have been easy. Crossing the Ohio River with all of his household goods to get to Ohio, where there were still some tensions with the native Americans, and then on to Wabash County which was still frontier in 1834 rate right up there as a "profile in courage", as far as I'm concerned.   

I don't know what role, if any, Lewellen had in the war of 1812, but I would guess that he was at least a member of the militia.  I have found hints that his parents may have been Presbyterians, but I haven't found any records yet indicating his religion.  Again, I've like to substantiate the "tinsmith and a teacher" hint.  As always, there is still much to learn about him.

The line of descent is: 

Llewellen Martin-Elizabeth Painter
Joel Martin-Nancy Bane
Matilda Martin-David Wise
Elizabeth Wise-John W Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Beeks children, grandchildren, and further descendants

Update 9/14/2015:  I just learned that this line of descent is in error.  Llewellen Martin and Elizabeth Painter don't belong in the Beeks line.  I've chosen to leave this post up, hoping it will help someone who is related to this couple, but I've learned that the Matilda Martin who married David Wise is a different Matilda Martin.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Harshbarger line: In "deed", a happy genealogy dance day!

Last week, I went back to Whitley County, Indiana to the recorder's office, with a long list of potential landowners. I wanted to find as many deeds as I could during the two hours or so I spent there.  I spent too much time in the first book of deeds, but once I figured out what the most efficient way to locate the deeds was, I made great progress.  I am quite sure I didn't find everything, but here's what I found:

     An 1837 deed filed in 1838 from George Harter and wife Elizabeth and John Geiger and wife Ruth, Joseph Geiger and wife Polly, William Rhodes and wife, and Reuben Gilliland and wife sell land to Anthony Geiger Jr and Thomas Geiger. Of the 10 people who signed the deal, only George Harter and Joseph Geiger signed their names; the others signed with an X.  This involves land in Allen County, Indiana, and was filed in Licking County, Ohio. 

   An 1851 deed from Solomon Bennett and his wife Margaret to John Farmer

   An 1843 deed from Solomon Bennett and his wife Margaret to James G Simcoke

   An 1851 (I think) deed from Henry Cook and Catherine Cook his wife to Ephraim Strong (or Stroup?)

   An 1843 deed from Henry Swihart, County Agent of Whitley County, to Henry Cook and Catherine his wife

   An 1849 deed from George Essig and Catherine Essig to Lydia Feller.  This may not be the George Essig that is directly an ancestor; I need to do more research on this one.

   The 1837 certificate from the United States of America to Anthony Geiger

   An 1848 certificate from the United States of America to Anthony Gigar (not sure if this is our Anthony, or son Anthony)

   An 1856 deed from John A Essig and Mary his wife to John Crawford (not a direct ancestor, but of the family)
   An 1856 deed from John Harshbarger and Julia Ann his wife to Lewis Harshbarger and Catherine his wife

   An 1841 deed from Moses Thompson to Solomon Bennett

   An 1860 deed from Solomon E Harris (or Kerns) and wife Emily to Benjamin Buchtel

   An 1854 deed from Peter Snider and wife to William Cook

   An 1870 deed from William Cook and Elizabeth his wife to Williams and Withers

   An 1869 deed from Philip Knisely and Lydia his wife to Lewis Harshbarger

   An 1854 deed from John L Cotton and wife to William Koch (not sure this is our William Cook)

   A suit for partition involving Emanuel Harshbarger and Lavinia Harshbarger Gradeless vs. Catherine Harshbarger Sr., Milo Harshbarger, Matilda Harshbarger, Henry Harshbarger, Catherine Harshbarger Jr, and Mary Harshbarger (actually, all the names are spelled Harshburger) in 1879. 

   An 1878 deed from William Cook and Elizabeth his wife to Barbara Withers et al.  This one is especially interesting because the Notary Public who signed it on October 28th, October 1878 was Thomas R Marshall, who later became governor of Indiana and then two term vice president of the United States. 

So-I have 18 new deeds, only two or three of which I am not certain are ancestors of my children!  I paid $23 for these, but they are priceless!  The names above which are in the Harshbarger line, one way or another, are Harter, Geiger, Bennett, Cook, Essig, Buchtel, Harshbarger, and Withers.  I am sure I missed some transactions, and I stopped mostly by 1880, so there is more to be done in Whitley County.  It's a good thing that the room is so pleasant and the people there are so polite and helpful! 
I just realized I have no Kemery deeds!  I'll have to go back and look for that name, too! 

If you have questions about any of these, let me know.  I may not be able to read every word of a deed, but I will try to give you the gist of it, if you're interested. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Holbrook line: Robert Amos 1771-1826

Robert Amos was born in 1771 and died in 1826.  He was born in Baltimore County, Maryland and died in Harford County, Md., but these were probably the same, or very close to the same, locations.  Harford County was formed from part of Baltimore County in 1774.  There are indications that at one time the family estate was very large, and based on the early land records I've found, that is probably the case.  My deduction is that the family probably raised tobacco, as that is the main crop cash of Maryland during this time period.  My question about this would involve slaves: Did this family own them?  If not, how was the land planted, tended, and harvested?  I know that at least some of the Amos family were Quakers, which would make it difficult to reconcile slavery with the family holdings.

As usual, I don't know much about this man.  He was born May 6, 1771 in Baltimore County to Robert Amos and Martha McComas, the second of 10 children.  He married Elizabeth Amos on January 2, 1792, in Harford County.  As the daughter of Benjamin Amos and Sarah Bussey, she was his first cousin.  Their common grandparents were James Amos and Hannah Clarke. 

He must have been a highly respected man, because beginning in 1796 he was sheriff of the county,  and held that position for 20 years.  I've not yet found any record of him in military records, so I don't know whether he served in the military during the war of 1812, or not. 

He and Elizabeth had at least 8 children:  Martha, Sarah, Benjamin, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Ellen, Corbin, and Robert.  Martha was born in 1792. I believe Robert was the last child.  The birth date I have for him is a bit hazy, "about 1818" but if that is so, his birth may have contributed to Elizabeth's death in 1818.

Robert and Elizabeth are both buried in the Amos Family Cemetery on the old Corbin Amos farm, on Baldwin Mill road in Harford County.  This is a small family cemetery, that also includes the burial site of Robert's parents and  Robert Jr.'s brother, Daniel, and his wife, Sarah.  Also buried there is Robert Jr.'s sister, Martha Amos McComas, and her husband, Aquila McComas.  It is possible that other family members are buried there, also, but this is the only record we have. 

Of course, there is more that I would love to know, much of which I've already mentioned. Was he in the War of 1812? Were there slaves? Is my assumption that the main crop was tobacco correct? What religion was he?  Is there a will? What was the cause of death? He died at age 55, which is somewhat young.  I'd love to go to Harford County and do more research on this family!

Our line of descent is:

Robert Amos-Elizabeth Amos
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of Lois and of Gladys.