Friday, May 30, 2014

Allens and Holbrooks and Tudors, oh my!

Usually I write about people on "this side of the pond", so to speak.  I know a lot of the family has trouble imagining people who lived 5 or 6 generations ago, so I try not to confuse the issue by talking about 15 or so generations ago.  Except, once in a while, I have to break my self-imposed rules, because it's just too much fun.

I confess it:  I am interested in ALL my ancestors, no matter where or when they lived. Some are more easily researched than others, and some are more worth writing about than others.  I came across a fun little book on, called "Who's Who at the Tudor Court" by Victoria Evans, and I couldn't resist making up a short list of the people mentioned in the book, who are also our ancestors. These people are fascinating!  Here's what I found, subject always to additional information: 

Direct ancestors in the Holbrook line:

John Gage, my 15th great grandfather, held numerous posts in the court of Henry VIII, but as a Catholic, fell from favor when the King divorced or had his marriage annulled to Catherine of Aragon. He returned to court upon the accession of Mary I, and held her train at her coronation and at her wedding.  He -was married to Philippa Guildford, who was probably at court as a lady in waiting from time to time, but I didn't find reference to that in this book.

Richard Rich, my 13th great grandfather, is known as a torturer and persecutor of Protestants, which is not exactly a high recommendation, but it does show that he had power. He was Lord Chancellor under King Edward VI, and held other various offices during his lifetime. His wife was Elizabeth Jenks, and again, she was probably part of the court, too. 

William Sandys, my 12th great grandfather was the father of the Archbishop of York.  He may actually be a collateral, and not a direct ancestor, so I'll work on that connection.

Edward Seymour, my 12th great grandfather, was Lord Protector of England during the minority of Edward VI.  He was in and out of favor with the court, but generally landed on his feet.

Direct ancestors in the Allen line:

Stephen Gardiner, my 15th great grandfather, perhaps. The evidence on this is somewhat controversial.  He was the Lord Chancellor during the reign of Queen Mary I, and was a Roman Catholic bishop who helped Henry VIII try to obtain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon from the Pope.  

William Parr, Mary Salisbury Parr (his wife) and their daughter, Maud Parr, were appointed to various offices during the reign of Catherine Parr, William's cousin and Henry VIII's last queen.  Mary Parr Lane was a lady in waiting to Queen Catherine, so it is likely that her husband, Ralph Lane, was at court, too.

John Russell-my 13th great grandfather, served as Lord Admiral and Lord Privy Seal.  He accompanied Henry VII and other Kings on various trips and really led quite a life.

We also have famous collateral relatives, including of course Queen Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third wife and sister to Edward Seymour, and their father Thomas Seymour.

I think my most interesting discovery was finding that the Thomas Cromwell who is our relative was the same gentleman who was so prominent in helping Henry VIII marry Anne Boleyn, and who then lost his head to the executioner a few years later. 

More of each person mentioned here (except for William Sandys, which is why I am suspicious) can be found in Wikipedia articles, and I encourage you to read them.  Some even are shown in drawings by famous artists like Hans Holbein.  Rather than summarize the articles further, this will at least let you know that our family had a part in history.  Of course, the most famous Tudor, Henry VIII, is also likely our ancestor, through an illegitimate daughter.

If you enjoyed this recap, I'm glad.  If you didn't, I'll get back to American folks on my next post, I promise!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day: Our family is less, and more, because of these

Many people use the term "celebrate" in connection with Memorial Day.  I prefer the term "commemorate".  I'm not saying that we shouldn't enjoy the family barbecues, the Indy 500, and whatever your personal traditions include. But over the course of the three day weekend, I hope you will have the kind of moment I had yesterday.

I was watching the lead up to the Indy 500, which includes quite a bit of emphasis on the men and women who served and died for America. As part of the presentation, "Taps" was played.  I had to leave the room, I was so stricken with sudden grief.  I was grieving my uncle, Ray Holbrook, who was killed in World War II.  I was grieving my great uncle, John Calvin Starr, who died of an illness in the Civil War.  I was grieving my great uncle, Michael Hetrick, who died as a prisoner of war in the Civil War.  I was grieving the changed lives of so many relatives, who came back from their wars forever changed, some in body and some in mind.  And I was grieving for the men and the families I will never know, who are always and forever more directly impacted than I am. 

I'm sure the families of the men who didn't come back from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts still think, now and then or every day, of what might have been.  For instance, I know that Uncle Ray had hopes of marrying Dorothy (last name unknown) when he returned from the war.  What would that family, or another, have been like?  What kind of cousins would I have had? What would it have been like to have had a strong family leader to help with some of the problems that every family had? 

I mourn the loss of Ray and of every soldier, but one way to honor them is to keep their memories alive.  Researching their lives, telling their stories, and resolving that "they did not live in vain" is important to that purpose. 

 In a little while, I'll be going to our local cemetery and placing flags at the plots of my father, my husband's father, his two grandfathers, and his grand uncle, all veterans.  By the end of the day, there will be many flags at this small cemetery.  Each represents an early death, or a changed life, to help keep America free.  I encourage you to visit a cemetery, and view the flags, and think of the story that flag at that grave site represents. It is because of those servicemen and women that we live in such a wonderful country.   

Friday, May 23, 2014

Holbrook line: Christopher Myers 1776-1856

Our ancestor was born in North Carolina and died in Indiana, with stops in Tennessee and Ohio.  In Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana he would have been considered a pioneer. That's a lot of times to start one's life over, particularly when he probably started each time by building a log cabin. 

I know more about Christopher than I know about some of our other ancestors, but there are still big, gaping holes in his life story.  Much of what is known is from a biographical sketch of one of Christopher's sons,  Lewis A Myers, published in "Portrait and Biographical Album, Wapello County, Iowa" in 1887.  I'll copy it here in its entirety, and then make some additional observations. 

"My great grandfather Myers came from Germany before the Revolutionary War, and settled in Pennsylvania, where my grandfather Myers was born.  When he became a man, he went to North Carolina and married Miss Fogleman, by whom he had two children,-George, the elder, and Christopher, the younger.  My father was born near Guildford Court House, NC. March 8, 1776, just 111 years ago.  When he arrived at the age of twenty-one, he and his brother, George, left North Carolina and went across the mountains to Powell's Valley, Tennessee, where he married my mother, Elizabeth Nation, who had been raised in South Carolina.  They were married in 1802.  They lived in Tennessee until 1811, when the moved to Preble County, Ohio, and soppe five miles east of Eaton, where I was born.

My father bought 160 acres of land in the northeast corner of the county, and there moved in the fall of 1812, the year hostilities commenced between this country and Great Britain.  His cabin stood on the very outskirts of the settlement.  He now had seven small children to care for, the oldest being about ten years of age, and that too in a heavily timbered country, a perfect wilderness.  Here they had no church or school privileges, and were liable to be scalped by the Indians, who were then in large numbers in Ohio.  Great Britain had hired these Indians to scalp the defenseless settlers, paying them a bounty for each white scalp, just as we now pay for a wolf scalp.

As my parents were there the only chance was to go to work and clear up land and raise grain and flax, the one for food and the other for clothing.  My mother at that time spun and wove linen and ...
cloth for clothing for the entire family, and through all these trials and hardships was kept by a kind Providence.

I will relate one or two incidents that took place during the War of 1812, as they were told my by my father and mother in after years.  In 1813, during harvest time, when the men of the neighborhood were helping one of their number to reap his grain, the Indians drove the horses of one of my father's neighbors intil his own stable, caught them, took them off about one mile, and shot them. The colts could not follow their mothers, and their mothers kept up such a neighing for them that the Indians became frightened, and for that cause shot them.  That same night the Indians came back and stole all the horses my father had, and as they took them away the next day they met a man by the name of Stoner and shot him.  After going a few miles further they met a soldier by the name of Elliot, who was returning home on a furlough from Ft. Greenville.  The Indians shot this soldier through the wrist, and then had a regular hand-to-hand fight with him with their tomahawks, around a beech tree, and they finally succeeded in killing him.  It was thought there were three or four of the Indians and one white man in the company, and the soldier killed them all but one.  I have seen this beech-tree with the marks of the tomahawks made in the fight.

In the spring of 1830 my father sold out, and in the fall of the same year moved to Elkhart County, Indiana, which was then a new country.  The Indians were quite numerous there, but peaceably inclined."

Other facts I've found in my search:  Christopher's father, also named Christopher, wrote his will in August of 1775 and it was recorded in November of 1775, so Christopher never knew his father.  I have not found a remarriage for Elizabeth Fogleman Myers, so I don't know what happened to her.  There should be guardian records to look at, too, for her two sons.

Elizabeth Nation, Christopher's mother, was the daughter of Joseph Nation and Jerretta Vickrey.

The land Christopher entered in Preble County was entered November 6, 1811 and was in Section 2, Township 7, range 03.  He purchased more land on February 26, 1823, in section 1, township 7, Range 03.  George Myers also purchased land in 1816 in Preble County, Ohio.  This was probably Christopher's brother.  All of these purchases were from the US Land Act, Cincinnati Land Office.  Christopher's land was in Harrison Township.

When the Myers family moved to Elkhart County, they settled near Benton, Indiana. All that I have found of them there is a one word sentence from a history of Elkhart County, indicating that a Methodist pastor conducted services at the cabin of Christopher Myers, apparently beginning in 1832.  So apparently this family was Methodist.  I have not yet searched for the actual land records there, but the 1850 census indicated that their real estate was worth $8000, quite a considerable sum. I don't know whether they still lived in a log cabin, or whether eventually they built a house for themselves.

The family consisted of Christopher and Elizabeth and their children Margaret, Phoebe, Eli, Lewis Anderson, Charity, George, Joseph, Gideon and Elizabeth . They were born between the years of 1803 and 1821, so some were born in Tennessee and some were born in Ohio.

Christopher entered a deposition so that his mother in law could draw a pension based on her husband Joseph Nation's service in the Revolutionary War.  Jerretta was still in Preble County and Christopher's deposition was apparently taken in Elkhart County.

I'd sure like to know where Christopher spent his childhood, and whether he was taught a trade.  I'd like to know why he decided to go to Powell's Valley, and why he decided to go to Preble County, and why he decided to go to Elkhart County.  I'd like to know whether he served in the War of 1812, and if not, why not.  Most men in Ohio were at least in the militia, responsible for guarding the home front.   And of course I'd like to know more about his parents and grandparents!  Based on Lewis's comments, it sure seems that he led an exciting, if ordinary, life.

Elizabeth died November 13, 1852 and Christopher died June26, 1856, per their tombstones which are located in Jackson Cemetery, Benton, Elkhart County, Indiana.  We have visited this cemetery and it is quite and peaceful, set up on a hill.  Some of the tombstones needed to be repaired when we were there, including Elizabeth's, but it was well-kept at that time.  

The line of descent is:
Christopher Myers-Elizabeth Nation
Phoebe Myers-Adam Brown
Phoebe Brown-Fremont Holbrook
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Lois/Gladys/Howard/Ray Holbrook
Their children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Harshbarger line: Johannes (John) Harshbarger 1773-1853

I'm writing about this man because there is a bit of a mystery surrounding him, which I hope one or more of his many descendents can solve.  I've been working on it for a while and haven't yet found the records that would answer the big question.

First, what I know of him:

Johannes Harshbarger was born to Christian Harshbarger and Magdalena Gundy on October 3, 1770, probably in what is now Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  This would have been very near the border of Berks County, Pa.  Johannes' grandparents had emigrated to America in 1737, and Christian was born in Pennsylvania, so Johannes was a third generation American. He was too young to serve in the Revolutionary War, but may have served in the War of 1812.  The 1820 census shows him in Miles Township, Centre County, Pa, where the family had moved before May of 1804.  He has a family of 11 in the census, if all of the younger persons shown are his children. It is possible that one or more were grandchildren, or other relatives, since we only know of the names of 9 of his children.

The big question is, who was the mother of the older children?  He married Christiana Fehler in 1804 at the Brush Valley Union Church in Rebersburg, Pa, per "History of Centre County" by John Blair Linn.  The children of John Harshbarger are reported to have birth dates as early as 1796.  So, either John had a first wife, or the birth dates of George, Leonard, and Susannah, and possibly Catherine are incorrect.  Or, possibly John and Christiana had been living together without the benefit of marriage, and 1804 seemed like a good date to make it right.  I am not comfortable with saying which is correct, except that the wedding date of John and Christiana was stated in the church records as being in 1804.

At any rate, John and Christiana raised their family there.  John was a farmer and a weaver, and Christiana would have helped in both areas as much as she was able, given their large family.  In 1822, John sold his 50 acres of land to Henry Mayer, and moved to Green Township, Stark County, Ohio (later Summit County) where they owned 69.90 acres.  Most of the children moved with them.  George is traditionally given as the oldest, with a birth date of 1796 but I have seen him with a supposed birth date as late as 1805.  The other early children were Leonard, Eva, Susanna, and Catherine (born February 7, 1804).  Leonard has a birthdate given of October 13, 1800, but the other children are shown as "about".  After the marriage, the children are Thomas, John Heinrich, Christena, and Maria Magdalena.

In the 1830 census, John and Christena still have 6 persons, appearing to be their children, in their home.  John was almost 60 and Christena 56 or 57 by then.  It sounds like they worked raising children for a long, long time!  Interestingly, there is a Conrad Harshbarger living right next to them, of the right age to be a son, but I have never seen Conrad listed as such.  Could he be one of the missing children?

By the 1840 census, I'm confused.  John is shown as living alone in Coventry Twp, Summit County, Ohio, with one female aged 20-29.  Where is Christena?  Was she visiting a family member somewhere?  Or perhaps she was being cared for by a family member.  Christena died November 6, 1849, and John died November 2, 1853.  I do not find John listed in the 1850 census, so I'm not sure where he was, but it must have been at or near his Coventry Twp home.

 Both Christena and John are reported to have been buried in the "Old Kepler Burying Ground", now known as East Liberty Cemetery, in Summit County, Ohio. His estate was valued at a little over $1014, and by the time it was distributed, four of his sons, including George, were deceased. Their shares went to their children, which may explain why Lewis, Andrew, and John Harshbarger sons of George, were able to move to Whitley County, Indiana from 1854-1856.

There is more to this man's story, I'm sure, and I will continue to follow up on it.  Meanwhile, we know that he was a farmer and a weaver, the father and provider for a large family,  He was of the Lutheran or Reformed faith (Brush Valley Union Church served both).  I know that there is a will for him in Summit County, and I would love to see it, to learn what else it might tell us of his life.

The line of descent is:

John Harshbarger-Christena Fehler (maybe)
George Harshbarger-Mary Kepler
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Beeks line: Jackson Wise, an unexpected twist

This is NOT the post I thought I would be writing today. We had planned a trip for this week to Sidney and possibly Troy, Ohio, to pin down the documents needed to figure out just who Jackson Wise was. From comments from another researcher, I thought I knew who Jackson's parents were, but I wanted documentation before stating it, since no one seems to have that information on the web. I had a list prepared of when the various repositories were open, maps printed of where they were, just in case our GPS failed us, and a list of questions I hoped to answer, one place or another. I was primed and ready to go.  I thought this would be a "Happy Genealogy Dance" post today.

That is, until...Until I heard this past weekend from a Beeks researcher, who told me that Mary Margaret Wise, Jackson and Charity's daughter, who is the connection to Jackson in this tree, may have been adopted. She even gave me the birth name of "Mary Rough".  Now, what am I supposed to do with this information?  The source is an alleged statement from Rhoda Owen Beeks, who married John A Beeks in Wabash County in 1866.  She would have been about the same age as Mary, lived in the same area as Mary, and would probably have known her well.  Rhoda and Mary were married to Beeks first cousins, so this information can't be discounted.  At the same time, I'm not sure if it can be proved.

So far, all I have been able to glean from censuses is that Mary "Wise" Beeks was born in August, 1848 in Indiana, and had 10 children.  My research so far shows only seven children, so I'm not sure whether the other children died in infancy, or what happened to them.  I have her birth place as Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana, but I show no source for that information, so it may not be correct.  I haven't found any Rough family members there yet.

If there was a formal adoption, I don't know where to start looking for the court papers.  The Wises were in Shelby County, Ohio in 1840 and (except for Jackson) were in Wabash County in 1848,  Jackson, of course, was out of the picture, in prison, in February 1847, where he stayed until 1854.   If Mary was born in 1848, then she was either the result of a conjugal visit (not unknown at the time) or she was not Jackson's child.  Datewise, the same questions present themselves with Abel, born 1851. Whose child was he?  Perhaps another trip to Wabash County is in order, to see if I can find Superior Court records. 

So this is where the Jackson Wise story is at present.  I am not going to do further research on him until I can verify whether or not the adoption report might be true.  I am also not going to delete him from the family tree, because all the work I've done on him and on Charity shouldn't be deleted until absolutely sure.  I will add a "possibly" to the front of his and Charity's names, to indicate that this information may or may not be correct.  And I'll continue looking for "Rough" families that may have had a tragedy requiring Mary to be adopted out.

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows anything further about this possible adoption, or about a missing "Rough" family member from this time period.  It seems I may have answers to all the wrong questions, for now.

Here's the line, now:

Mary (Rough?) Wise-William G Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Beeks children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and more

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Allen line: Samuel Falley

Samuel Falley was the son of Richard Falley Junior and Margaret Hitchcock.  One o 10 children, he was born on October 9, 1780 in Westfield, Massachusetts, and was probably named for his father's brother, also a Samuel.  His father owned an iron works or armory so there may have been enough money to support the family in a reasonable fashion.  Apparently Samuel had no interest in continuing in the family business, or perhaps there wasn't enough business to support all of the sons in the family (7 sons, 3 daughters).  Regardless, Samuel decided to find a career at sea. 

"A History of Licking County" by Albert Adams Graham published in 1881 notes that Samuel traveled the seas from ages 17-22 and rose from cabin boy to second mate.  He traveled to Europe, Africa, and the West Indies, but quit the seas in 1801.  The History doesn't elaborate, but based on the time period, 1797-1801, and the later statement that he was a pioneer of the anti-slavery cause, I believe  he had an "Amazing Grace" conversion, just as John Newton had in England some years earlier.  Having traveled that triangle of ports more than once, he came to see for his own eyes what the slave trade was about, and also what rum could do to a person and a family, and wanted no further part in that business.  

After Samuel quit his promising career at sea and returned home, he went to Ohio in 1803.  He returned to Massachusetts in a few years and married Ruth Root, daughter of Martin Root Jr. and Ruth Noble, on July 19, 1810.  After the War of 1812 ended, Samuel and Ruth and the first three of their 11 children went back to Ohio, settling near Granville, Licking County, Ohio.  Here he became farmer and raised his family as good Christians, in the Congregationalist church.  The family would have taken up two or three pews, as there were eventually ten children, the last being born in 1828.  (II don't know whether there was a church building in these early years or not, but it's a fun picture.)

Besides his strong anti-slavery views, he was among the early advocates for temperance reform, so he must have been quite a spiritual force in the community.  The History notes that he was very much interested in all social, political, and religious issues of the day, and that he retained his mental faculties unimpaired until his death.  Ruth Root Falley died on July 1, 1862 and Samuel died February 2, 1871, past the age of 90.  Their tombstone is shown on Findagrave, and is located in Maple Grove Cemetery, Granville, Licking County, Ohio. 

Among the things I don't know about Samuel are how he supported himself during his long stay in Massachusetts after first visiting Ohio.  I don't know whether he had any involvement in the War of 1812. I don't know whether there is a will, and what it might say. I do know that I am proud to be his descendent! 

Our line of descent is:

Samuel Falley-Ruth Noble
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
their children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Friday, May 9, 2014

Harshbarger, Beeks, Allen, Holbrook lines: Our Mothers, for generations back

Our mothers, and their mothers, and grandmothers, and on back, certainly lived in a very different world than our world.  I think we vaguely understand that, but it's really hard to appreciate it unless we stop to think about the way people lived for hundreds of years, prior to the Industrial Revolution, and in many cases, for a century or at least decades after the Industrial Revolution. 

Our ancestors were hard working women.  We know that because they survived long enough to give birth to at least one child, and in many cases, they had very large families.  Sometimes they may have had several children by each of two or three different husbands.  For some of these families, it was probably beyond their means to provide proper care for such a large family, but somehow, they managed.  "Another mouth to feed" truly meant a lot more work for the women, from raising food to feed the next baby to raising flax or shearing sheep to spin and weave into cloth, to actually making the clothing and bed linens, to adding more clothes to the family wash day, to finding eating utensils for another child, it may have been a challenge. 

I've been reading the Whitley County Historical Society Bulletins, which provide a good insight into life in the middle to late 19th century.  For instance, "Monday wash days" were truly an all day experience, and somehow there had to be time to make three meals during the day, too.  For many women, it actually started earlier, when soap was made to use for laundry and other purposes.  On the actual wash day, huge amounts of water had to be heated and carried, the clothes had to be boiled, washed and rinsed and rolled up for ironing, or hung out to dry. When all of that was done, the left over scrub water was used for such things as washing down porches, scrubbing the outhouse, and taking care of other outdoor needs.  I think our ancestors always slept well on Monday nights! 

Tuesday, according to the nursery rhyme, was ironing day.  Depending on the number of children in the family, this may or may not have taken all day.  If it didn't take all day, there were crops to tend to (women would typically tend the vegetable gardens), animals to feed, mending to do, possibly harvesting to do, depending on the season and housecleaning chores inside the house or cabin or hut.

Wednesday is described in the old nursery rhyme as mending day.  Of course having just done the laundry, it would be apparent what needed mending.  It may have also given our ancestors an excuse to sit down (probably on a stool or bench) for some much needed rest.

Thursday, for many of our ancestors, was churn day.  Butter needed to be made, and if there was an abundance, perhaps it could be sold or traded for something that was needed.  The challenge would be in keeping it cold and safe for the week.  Before iceboxes, there were different arrangements for underground cooling, sometimes augmented by running water from an underground stream or spring.
Friday was cleaning day.  I would imagine that not everything got cleaned every week.  Sometimes this would involve putting new straw ticking in the mattresses, or beating carpets, or washing windows. In earlier times, in a log cabin or hut, it may have meant just sweeping a dirt floor with rushes, and possibly adding a pleasant scent to the air with flowers or dried herbs.  And who do you suppose raised the flowers and herbs?

Saturday was generally baking day.  Our mothers would bake the bread for the week, which would have been several or many loaves, and it was important that the baking be done before Sunday.  Most of our ancestors had little money for sugars or spices, but they may have fixed a treat of some kind with what they had.  Then it was up to "Mom" to make sure the food baked lasted for the whole week, without getting spoiled.  In some really frontier locations, they may have had to grind their own grain, too, although mills were usually one of the first things to go up in a settlement. 

Sunday was church day, if there was a church near enough to travel to.  This may have meant making food on Saturday so that Sunday could be a day of rest for our mothers. Of course, there was still dishwashing to do, the animals to tend to, eggs to gather, and so on. 

Wait!  I haven't really mentioned child rearing!  Where did our ancestors get the time to raise their children?  How did they teach them values, and the Bible, and supervise their education?  When did they find time to teach their children colors, and later on, which plants were safe to eat, and where the honey trees were?  When did they give their children love and nurturing?

As time went on and the Industrial Revolution started making things like sewing machines and vacuum cleaners available, life slowly got a little easier for our ancestor mothers.  So what did they do?  Well, they started working outside the home!  Some may have worked from inside the home, taking in laundry for bachelor or widowed neighbors, or doing seamstress work, or teaching music.  Others went outside the home. Married women were not allowed to teach school in most areas until very late in the nineteenth and even into the twentieth century.  But as time went on, our mothers did pretty much everything men did, from teaching to becoming astronauts, in addition to keeping the household running and the children learning. 

To all our ancestor mothers, I appreciate you.  I can't begin to understand the strength you had, but I think I understand a little of the vision you had, that life for your children would be better, no matter what you had to sacrifice and do to make it possible.  To all our mothers and grandmothers and twelfth great grandmothers, I value you and I thank you.  Without you, I would't be here, enjoying my children and grand children. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Beeks line: Jacob Dunham 1795-1865

One of my early blog posts referred to Jacob Dunham as being our connection to President Barack Obama.  In that post, I promised that I would write later of Jacob Dunham and Catherine Goodnight, the common ancestors of the Beeks, Aldridge, and Obama families.  This post fulfills half of that promise, to write about Jacob Dunham.  Of course, much of Catherine's story is told by telling Jacob's story.

Jacob Dunham was born on July 1, 1795 in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia) to Samuel Dunham and Hannah Ruble.  Actually, there are some differences in opinion in the genealogy world as to whether Hannah was Hannah Ruble or whether she was Hannah Chenoweth.  From the records and discussions I've seen, I lean toward Hannah Ruble but I am still looking for definitive documentation on this.  Jacob was one of 11 children, so he was probably never lonely, but he may have had a rather hard-scrabble life. His father was a farmer, and as far as we know had no other means of support.  Jacob would have learned to work hard at an early age. 

Jacob married Catherine Goodnight on October 21, 1819 in Berkeley County, Virginia (W. V., now). She was the daughter of Samuel Goodnight and Magdalena Berkheimer, both families of German descent.  The Dunhams were of English descent and came through New England and New Jersey, so this would have been considered a bit of an anomaly. Most persons of German descent during this time period were marrying others of German descent.  I wonder what their parents thought? Was this hard for them?

Jacob and Catherine had six children.  The first was an unknown daughter.  Their surviving children were Jacob Mackey (the President's ancestor), Amos, Samuel (the Beeks/Aldridge ancestor), Mary Ellen, and David.  There were two four year gaps between children, so it is possible there were other infants who died early.

In 1820, Jacob and Catherine are in the census in Middletown, Berkeley County, Virginia (W. V.), and they are still in Berkeley County in 1830.  At that time, the census shows 2 males under the age of 5 (Amos and Samuel), one female aged 5-9, and a female aged 15-19.   The older girl may have been the unknown daughter born in 1822, but I don't know who the younger female was. Perhaps there is another "missing" daughter.

Jacob and Catherine sold their land in Berkeley County in 1835 and moved to Concord Township, Fayette County, Ohio by 1836.  They lived there for about 12 years.  The 1840 census shows 1 make under the age of 5 (David), two males between 10 and 14 (Amos and Samuel), and one female aged 5-9 (Mary Ellen).  Jacob apparently had already left home, and the two daughters from the 1830 census are gone, if indeed they were daughters. It is possible that they were other relatives living with the family temporarily.  The 1840 census indicates that there was one adult in the family who could not read and write, and also indicates that Jacob was employed in agriculture. (In the 1870 census, Catherine could read and write so either Jacob was the one who couldn't read and write, or Catherine educated herself later).

About 1848, the family moved again to Tipton County, Indiana. Jacob by this time would have been 53 years old, and Catherine one year older.  He apparently made two purchases of land from the General Land Office in Indianapolis, one of 80 acres and one of 120 acres, both in 1849.  This land was rather swampy and poorly drained, but by hard work became good farmland.  In the 1850 census, Jacob and Catherine are shown in Prairie Township, Tipton County, Indiana.  This is in the area of Kempton, Indiana.  The five children, from Jacob to David, are all living with them at this point.  10 years later, in 1860, the two elder Dunhams are by themselves for the first time since their marriage. 

Jacob died on July 20, 1865 in Tipton County.  He had written his will 9 years earlier, in 1856, so he may have been in failing health for some time.  I haven't been able to determine a religious denomination for him. His father was apparently Baptist, and most of his children were Methodists, but I've not located church records for Jacob.  I also have not located military records for him, though it is possible that he was involved in the War of 1812 as a young man.

I'd like to clarify the religion and the military issues, and of course I'd love to hear stories of the life of this man. He has my admiration, for making two major moves in his life, the second as he was approaching an age when many would have been content to slow down a little and let the children take over.

The line of descent is:

Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Reese
Mary Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Beeks children, grandchildren, great grand children, etc.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Holbrook line: Louis E Stanard 1856-1923

Louis E Stanard (Stannard) was my great grandfather, yet I don't know very much about him.  He seems to have gone from one occupation to another during his lifetime, and it may be that his main goal was to make sure his children got an education.

Louis was born in (probably) Lee County, Illinois on April 16, 1856.  His parents, Hiram Stannard and Susan Eddy, were married in Lee County on December 31, 1854, so it is likely that Louis was the oldest child.  His known siblings were Esther, Susie, and Seba (may be Luceba), so not only was he the first born, but he was also the only boy in the family.  I wonder if he was spoiled in any way, or, on the other hand, if he always had to "do" for his younger sisters. 

Hiram was a farmer in Bureau County, Illinois, and moved to Harvey County, Illinois sometime around the time of the 1880 census.  He is still in Bureau County, Illinois in 1880 but his wife is in Kansas, living in the home of Louis and his wife Mary Alice Hetrick, along with her other children.  I don't know why the family was apart at this time, but perhaps Hiram had stayed behind to sell the farm or take care of other details at home before he joined the family in Kansas.  He is there as head of the household in the 1885 Kansas state census.  I would imagine that newlyweds Louis and Mary Alice were glad to have a household of their own by then. 

The first we hear of Louis other than on his parents census is in 1879, when he is shown as holding a license to teach school in Newton, Kansas.  Since schoolteachers in this time frame were something of a rare commodity, I think it is safe to say he taught school for at least a few years.  He had married Mary Alice Hetrick, daughter of Reverend Isaac Hetrick and Elizabeth Black, on July 8, 1879 so he had a need to have a family income.  One year later he is listed as a farmer, but it is possible he had a  dual vocation.  Farmers sometimes farmed during the warmer months and taught school in the winter. 

He may have had yet another occupation, that of minister or pastor.    I found one reference to him as a "Reverend", having officiated at a wedding ceremony in 1892.  He had been ordained as a pastor in the American Baptist denomination as early as 1888, and was then assigned to a pastorate in Newton, Kansas, where he had earlier taught. 

He and Mary Alice had three children, Elizabeth, Elwin, and Etta.  By 1905, the Stanards are living in Ottawa, Kansas, and he is listed as a "Menshank" in the 1900 census, and as a grocer in the 1905 city directory. By 1907 he is listed as "L.E. Stanard and Son", and the business is described as a railroad contractor.  The home the family lived in was at 820 S. Cedar Street, which is only a few blocks from Ottawa University, which all three children attended.  I've found graduation records for Elizabeth and Etta, but I'm not sure whether Elwin graduated or not.  This may have been a three year school at the time the Stanards attended there.

Almost as soon as Etta had finished her classes, the family was on the move again, to Stevens County, Washington.  There is a family story about a piece of furniture still in our family, a secretary, that "came over by wagon train." It's more likely that the family traveled to Spokane by train and then traveled north to Stevens County by wagon, and that's where the wagon story originated. 

Louis and family stayed in Stevens County for several years. They homesteaded land near Mill Creek, entering it on  August 9, 1909, with a legal notice of an intent to make final five year proof in June, 1914. and Louis is shown as a fruit farmer in the 1910 census.  By 1920, he is shown as a teacher  and a renter in Hunter, Stevens County, Washington.  I don't know what happened to the land he homesteaded.  Perhaps he sold it, as he would have been 58 in 1914, and farming was hard work. 

By 1922, he and Alice had moved to Spokane, Washington, where he and daughter  Elizabeth are both shown as teachers.  He is again listed as a teacher in 1923, at the age of 67.  He died on June 27, 1923 in Portland, Oregon.  I have no idea what he was doing in Portland.  He is buried as "Rev. L. E. Stanard" in the Fraternal section of the Riverside Memorial Park in Spokane, Washington.  (I don't know whether he belonged to a fraternal order, or whether his "Reverend" status gave him the right to be buried in that section).  

As usual, there's more I'd like to know:  Did he pastor other churches besides the one at Newton?  Did he maintain a church affiliation in Ottawa, and in Washington State?  What happened to the homesteaded land?  And what is a "menshank"?  I googled that but came up empty.  

I've used US and Kansas State census information found on Ancestry, city directories found on Ancestry, and newspaper clippings found on as the basis for most of this post. 

The line of descent is short:

Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the Holbrook "children"