Friday, June 27, 2014

Holbrook family: Daniel McComas Sr.

I love a good story about my ancestors.  However, when there are three conflicting stories about the same event in the same person's life, it gets a bit confusing.  Which of the three are true, if any, or closest to the truth?  How do we decide?  Where can proof be found? 

Sources seem to agree that Daniel was born February 23, 1662 in Shettleston, Glasgow, Scotland and and died in 1699 in Harford County, Maryland, or what became Harford County . However,  I haven't seen any documentation for the birth date, and it is possible that he was a bit older than that.  The birth date would be helpful in determining which of the stories about why he came to America might be true, or partially true, or completely false. 

Here are the choices: 

1)  He was from Scotland but had been in Ireland for a few years before arriving in Maryland by 1687.  This would possibly indicate that he was a "covenanter", or Presbyterian, but that doesn't conform with his later life when he was part of the established religion in Maryland. 

2)  He was the Captain of the Guard at Edinburgh Castle and escaped from Scotland with a price on his head.  This story doesn't indicate why he needed to escape, but there were all kinds of rebellions and uprisings going on in the 1680-1685 time period, so it's possible he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.  However, I don't know of any evidence showing there was a price on his head.

3) He was involved in the Battle of Worchester and was sent to the colonies as a punishment, as a prisoner captured by the English.  For this to be so, he would have had to have been much older than the given birthdate, as the Battle of Worchester took place in 1651.  That would mean that Daniel would likely have been born in or before 1635. 

Which story do you like? 

We do know that he arrived in Maryland about 1685 and was in what became Harford County but was then Baltimore County by 1687.  In 1687 he worked out a plan to purchase 98 acres of land on the south side of the Severn River in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  He married Elizabeth Hubbart or Elizabeth McGill in 1687, likely in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. I have so far not been able to trace either Daniel or Elizabeth back further than their appearance in Maryland. 

The couple had at least 7 children, William, Daniel, Alexander, Elinor, John, Ann, and James. When Daniel died (an early death, just 37 years old), five of the children were bound out (placed in the care of others).  Apparently Ann and James were either kept at home or they had died young. (Note: I do not have documentation for any of these births so it is possible that Ann and James were not of this family. There were a lot of McComas's in the area and children may have been attributed to the wrong parents.)  Late in life, the couple moved from Anne Arundel County to near Joppa in what became Harford County, and the McComas name was common there. 

Besides farming, Daniel was also a tailor.  His inventory showed a value of 22 pounds, 9 shillings, and four pence, which was not a lot of money but did not include his land, which was left to Elizabeth. 

That's what I know of Daniel McComas at this point.  How did a man from Scotland end up in the Holbrook line?  Here's our line of descent.

Daniel McComas-Elizabeth MacGill
Daniel McComas-Martha Scott
Martha McComas-Robert Amos
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren-Holbrook
Gladys/Lois/Ray/Howard Holbrook
Their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Beeks line: Anna Smith Bane 1782-before !870

I thought it would be fun to write about a woman, for once. Most of my posts have been about men but I find this woman to be remarkable, and worthy of a much better post than I can write, yet.

Anna Smith was born about 1782, possibly in Virginia.  One source indicates she was born in Ohio, but that would have been a very early time to have been born there, and her marriage record shows that she was married on August 24, 1801 in Montgomery County, Va to William Bean or Bane. The first nineteen or so years of her life have very little documentation.  Her marriage record indicates that her father was Jacob Smith, but no mother's name is given.  William Bane's parents aren't noted, either, which would indicate he was over 21. He was probably born about 1769, in Virginia.

Jacob Smith is a mystery.  There are several Jacob Smiths in that area but so far I have not been able to figure out which of the several is Anna's father.  It is probably safe to speculate that she lived a frontier kind of life, in one of the valleys of the Appalachian mountains.  Montgomery County became a county in 1777.  Prior to that it was part of Fincastle County, which included several western counties of Virginia as well as the entire state of Kentucky.   We don't know whether Anna had siblings or not, but the chances are that she had siblings or, if her unknown mother had died early, half-siblings.

From this basic framework we can see the makings of a pioneer woman.  She had at least 9 children with William Bane, ending with William Jackson Bane born in 1829 in Giles County, Va.  It is quite possible that she had never moved during her marriage, as Giles County formed out of Montgomery
County in 1806, and Mary Bane was noted as having been born in August of 1806 in Giles County.
The other children were James C, Mary, Henry, Jane, Nancy, Sarah, and Hannah.  There is a gap of about 9 years between Jane born in 1812 and Nancy born in 1820, so the possibility of other children cannot be dismissed.  In fact, there are 8 young children listed in the 1820 census for William Bane, and at least two children were born after that census, so there may be more children yet to be found.

At any rate, there was a large number of children living when the family was preparing to celebrate Christmas on December 25, 1829.  The family, however, went from excitement to heartbreak when William Bane, the husband and father, drowned or froze to death in a nearby river that very day.  I have often thought about Anna, and wondered what she was feeling at that time. They had likely been living a hard-scrabble life, and now there was no husband although son James was about 26 and Henry was about 19.  What's a woman to do in this situation?

Well, it appears that Anna moved the family, or went with the family, to Washington Township, Preble County, Ohio, where James Bane is listed as the head of household, aged 20-29. He may have a wife in the same age bracket, but there is a male aged 15-19 and two white females 10-14 who would not have been his children. There is also a female aged 40-49, who would be Anna.  Other children of Anna may have been "bound out", either in Virginia or Ohio.

Preble County, Ohio at this time was somewhat involved in the Underground Railroad from Kentucky to Ohio to Canada, but we have no indication of whether the Bane family was involved in this.  They may have been pro-slavery, or they may have been anti-slavery but not abolitionist at this time.

We don't know whether it was for political, or for financial, or for family reasons, but by 1840 the family was starting to move to Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana.  Henry Bane was there in 1840, but Anna is not shown.  I haven't located a "likely suspect" for Anna in the 1840 census.  Henry, however, was in Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana and Anna may have been with a daughter or other relative during this time period.  In 1850 she was living with her son William Jackson Bane, in District 52, Huntington County, Indiana, and in 1860 she was living with Philip Martin and his wife (her daughter Hannah) in Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana.  She would have been about 78 at this time, and there the trail ends.

Anna was born just as the Revolutionary War was ending, and died probably just as the Civil War was underway.  We don't know how these wars and the War of 1812 affected her.  We don't know what she thought about the new inventions that were developed during her lifetime. We don't know what health problems the family might have had.  We don't know their religion, or their educational level.  But we do know that Anna persevered, somehow raised her family, and probably helped some of her children raise theirs.

I have great admiration for Anna, a pioneer woman, a wife, mother, widow, and survivor.  I'd love to know more about her.

The line of descent is:

Anna Smith-William Bane
Nancy Bane-Joel Martin
Matilda Martin-David Wise
Elizabeth Wise-John W Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Beeks children, grand children, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren

Update 9/14/2015:  Anna Smith and William Bane, along with Nancy Bane and Joel Martin, are not related to the Beeks line.  The Matilda Martin who married David Wise is a different Matilda Martin.  I apologize for the error, but I'm leaving this post up because I think this woman was remarkable.  I hope someone who is from her family will find this post and appreciate their heritage.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Harshbarger line: Daniel Shuey, Immigrant 1704-1777

I just love these immigrant ancestors.  It is so difficult to understand their bravery, from a distance of almost 300 years, but somehow, for some reason or reasons, they summoned up the courage to leave their family homes, get permission from the state authorities (which was a feat in itself), gather up their children, travel to Rotterdam (usually), and then spend weeks or months in a rolling, crowded, unsanitary ship, traveling to America.  Once they got here, the men had to declare their loyalty to the British king before they were permitted to leave the ship permanently.  Then they had to find a place to live, or possibly had to serve an indentureship (both husband and wife would have had to serve, and children, too). 

Most of the Germans settled in the areas west of Philadelphia, in Lancaster or Berks or Lebanon County, although not all the counties were named in the early years.  Then, when the families were free to go, they had to make a home for themselves out of what was a wilderness.  Land was purchased or rented, and then cleared. Log cabins were built at first, and barns and other out buildings followed, as the crops were planted and harvested.  It is hard to imagine how the families ate until the harvest came in. They would have brought grains with them from Philadelphia, and whatever else they could afford, but the only fruits would have been those naturally growing in the area (berries, mostly) and they would probably have also gathered nuts and honey from the surrounding forest.  As their crops and animals began to produce, the farm would have made an attractive offer to the wild animals of the area, which included panthers, wolves, and bears.  As if all this wasn't enough, there were the Indians to deal with and eventually fear and finally, battle.

Would Daniel Shuey and his wife, Mary Margaretha Shilling, have come to America if they could fully comprehend all that would be required of them once they arrived?  The answer perhaps is in their religion, and in their history.  The Shueys were members of the Reformed church, rather than the Lutheran Church in America (they attended the Swatara Church).  Daniel's family had been French Huguenots, with the name Jouy) in prior generations, but the family had been forced to flee to Germany when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes which had allowed other religions in France other than Catholicism.   The stories Daniel would have heard of the escape of his grandparents from France to Germany due to religious persecution was probably a motivating factor in moving to America, since much of the German area was also going through religious disputes and wars.  Another factor may have been economic, as many of the French/German people had fled with little or nothing to their name, and it was hard to make a decent living as a refugee family. 

Daniel and his wife and oldest son came to America in 1732, on the ship Johnson, which sailed from Rotterdam to Philadelphia.  The 305 passengers on this ship are all referred to as "Palatinates", since they had lived in Palatine, an area of Germany near the French border.  Daniel owned land by 1746, but the original records have apparently been lost.  There is a record of a receipt for additional land purchased by Daniel in 1746, which adjoined Daniel's "dwelling plantation", so he had already been there for some time.  It appears from various additional receipts that he may have owned as much as 1000 acres of land by the time of his death, so he was apparently a successful farmer in America.

This Daniel was the son of Daniel Shuey or Jouy and Judith l'Avenant, and Mary Margaret Schilling was the daughter of Benedict Schilling and Anna Barbara Hoffman.  Daniel was born in 1704 in Oggersheim, Pfalz, Germany, and the marriage took place on October 16, 1725 in Dandstadt, Pfalz, Germany.  Several children had already been born to the couple by the time they immigrated, but it is unclear if they were all on this ship.  We know that Ludwig and Anna Margaret made the trip, and we know that several children were born after the couple arrived here, including Elizabeth, Barbara, and Peter.  The family was fortunate indeed that they lost no family members to the Indians, the reason apparently being that there was a fort very near the family home, and also the family farm served as a base for small contingents of soldiers.

Daniel died in May, 1777, and left a will written in German that fortunately has been translated.  He left his home and belongings and 200 pounds to his wife, and then gave instructions for what appears to be a separate sum of 200 pounds. He left some of his sons and sons in law only 1 shilling, explaining that they had already received their share of his estate.  At the time of his death it appears that Ludwig, John, Martin, Anna Margaret the wife of Nicholas Pontius, Catharine the wife of Jacob Giver, and Barbara the wife of George Feesers were living and were to share 200 pounds to be delivered in 1784.  Also Peter, Daniel, and Elizabeth were mentioned in the will.  Mary Margaretha is listed as having died in 1800 in Bethel Township, which would have made her 97 years old at the time.  This is a little confusing to me because in the will she is named as Mary Martha.  There is a possibility that this is not the wife of 1725, but further research needs to be done on this.

I think it's fun to find a "German" Harshbarger who actually has French roots.  Even in this most German of families, there are other lines involved, from other countries.  It's part of what makes family history so fascinating.

This post is taken largely from a book called "The History of the Shuey Family in America from 1732 to 1919" by Dennis Boeshore Shuey.  There is a 2008 paperback version of this available from Amazon, but it is also available on Internet Archive.

The line of descent is:

Daniel Shuey-Mary Margaretha Schilling
Anna Margaret Shuey-Nicholas Pontius
Mary M Pontius-Conrad Reber
Maria Margaretha Reber-Solomon Buchtel
Benjamin Buchtel- (brick wall) Barbara Long
Nancy Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Allen line: Lambert Lane 1737-1804

To the best of my knowledge at this point, we'd have to go way back to the early Middle Ages to find another ancestor named "Lambert".  It was a British name, not particularly common in America.  Nevertheless, this is the name that our ancestor was given by his parents, Samuel Lane and Mary Jane Corbin, when he was born in 1737 in Baltimore, Maryland (or possibly England).  He was one of 12 children born to this couple, who moved at some point from Maryland to Bedford County, Pa.

There Lambert met his future wife, Nancy Ann Anderson, who was the daughter of James Anderson and Ann Downing.  They had been born in England, but I know almost nothing more of their background at this point.  What we do know is quite a bit about the wedding of Lambert and Nancy Ann, thanks to the website "Boone County Genealogy: Preserving out Precious Past."  A grandson of Lambert and Nancy's, William E Lane,  wrote this from his home near Zionsville, In. on October 18, 1886:

"My grandparents, Lambert Lane and Nancy Anderson, were emigrants from England. They were both young when their parents arrived in this country. Their parents settled on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania about fifteen miles north of its mouth, in the wild woods and amongst the Indians.  While living there my parents became acquainted and were married in the quaint old style. My grandfather wore a blue cloth coat cut "claw hammer" style, with no lapels, ornamented with large brass buttons which closely buttoned up his coat; his pantaloons were white linen, buckled with a large silver bucle just below the knees to a pair of white silk stockings. His shoes were leather, fastened with another pair of silver buckles. Grandmother wore a white cambric dress, with nice hand embroidery on the skirt.  In a few years they moved to Virginia and lived there about four years; then they moved to Tennessee on the Holston River and remained there for a few years, after which they moved to Shelby County, Kentucky, about five miles from Shelbyville."

(As an aside, the rest of this letter is fascinating but is not directly related to our ancestors. I encourage you to go to the Boone County Indiana genweb site and read it, because our family's history is probably not far different than the one related by our distant cousin William.)

I believe William was not correct about Lambert being an emigrant from England. His background seems to be well documented and leads back to several generations of Lanes in Maryland, although it's possible that Lambert's parents had visited family in England and that's where the confusion was.  However, I said "seems" and this needs more investigation. Did someone place Lambert Lane in the wrong family?  More investigation needs to be done on this.

However, we can trace Lambert Lane, married in Bedford County, Pa about 1762, further. According to his grandson's statements, they lived in Bedford County for a few years, then moved to Virginia, and then to the Holston River Valley in Tennessee for a few years.  This is where Lambert earned his recognition from the DAR, participating in the campaign against the Cherokee Indians (who were encouraged by the British, as part of their strategy during the Revolutionary War).  This must have been a scary time for the family. It appears that their 13 children were born in Virginia and in the Holston River area, for the most part. The earliest may have been born in Bedford County, Pa.

From the Holston River area, the couple, now approaching 60, moved to Shelby County, Kentucky.  This was a common emigration route at the time, and land was more plentiful in Shelby County than it had been in Tennessee or Virginia.  There, Lambert died in 1804.  His will is on record there, and he trusted his wife enough to make her the executrix of the will, which she accepted. 

This is the story as reported on various web sites and in the Maryland books I've consulted.  However, I would like to find true primary records rather than relying on secondary records, because I'm not finding documentation that can support the connection to Maryland, nor am I finding documentation to support the English immigrant theory.  Does anyone reading this have any further information?  I'd like to get this right, even if it turns out that Lambert is not of the illustrious Lane ancestry. 

Our line of descent is:

Lambert Lane-Nancy Ann Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard/Edith/Corinne/Tessora/Vernon Allen
Their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren

Friday, June 13, 2014

Holbrook line: John Philip Clapp

Here's a brief recount of the life of John Philip Clapp, who was the father of Catherine Clapp who married John Adam Brown (senior), one of my brick walls. 

John Philip was born February 20, 1731, in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  This was 15-20 years before the majority of our German ancestors arrived, and there would have been even less infrastructure in place than the later Germans had.  His parents, George Valentine Clapp and Anna Barbary Steiss, had arrived on September 27, 1727 on the ship "James Goodwill" from Rotterdam along with other members of the Clapp family.  Philip was one of at least 9 children, and land was very expensive in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where the family settled for some years.  The family may have struggled financially.

As affordable land became available in North Carolina, many of the German families moves south along the Great Wagon Road, as did many of the Scoth-Irish heritage.  Several of the German families settled in what was then Orange County but is now Guilford County, North Carolina, where they purchased more land for considerably less money than they could have purchased in Pennsylvania.  John Philip probably came to North Carolina shortly after his father, uncle, and possibly grandfather had arrived there in 1748. 

This is where it gets confusing and controversial.  John Philip's wife was named Barbara.  In my tree, I am showing that his wife was Barbara Clapp, the daughter of John Ludwig Clapp and  Margaret Strader.  This would mean that first cousins had married, which was not unusual at the time.  However, there are researchers who are adamant that Barbara was a different, unknown Barbara.  Regardless, Philip and Barbara were married, probably in 1751, in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  They arrived in North Carolina soon after their marriage, and made their home in the same area as his father and uncle, and probably, brothers had done, near Stinking Quarters and Sandy Creeks.   

Philip and Barbara had at least 10 children, 6 girls and 4 boys.  Some stayed in North Carolina, one went to Kentucky, one to Ohio, and at least two went to Preble County, Ohio.  John Philip died in 1798 in Guilford County, Ohio and Barbara died in 1821, possibly in Preble County, Ohio.  Philip was probably buried at the "Old Brick Church", previously the Clapp Church, on Holts Store Road in Whitsett, NC.  (The church was restored in 1998 as part of the 250th anniversary of the congregation.  It was of course Reformed/Lutheran in worship.)

We can assume that Philip had some part in the Revolutionary War, although no records were found on Fold 3 nor on the DAR website.  Most of the North Carolina loyalists were of Scotch-Irish descent, so it's not likely that Philip joined them.  He may have tried to stay out of politics and the war entirely, but from what I've read of that time period, he probably would not have been successful in such an effort. 

Philip was successful enough that he was able to leave land or slaves and money to each of his children.  He gave away four slaves and left his wife a rather large estate, consisting of lands, Negroes, stock of all kinds, household furniture and instruments of agriculture, "all of which subject to her disposal at or before her decease". This was extremely generous for the times. We don't know how much land she had left, or how many Negroes, but it would be interesting to trace her subsequent actions to see what land she sold, and when.  I'd like to know what happened to the remaining slaves, both those willed to his daughters and those willed to his wife.  Slavery is a hard concept for us, 150 years past the Emancipation Proclamation, to even grasp but learning their stories might be helpful in the process. 

The line of descent is:

Johann Philip Clapp-Barbara (Clapp?)
Catherine Clapp-John Adam Brown
John Adam Brown, Jr-Phoebe Myers
Phoebe Brown-Fremont Holbrook
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook Allen/Lois Holbrook Melcher
Their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Harshbarger line: Conrad Reber

We're going back a ways here, since Johann Conrad Reber was born in December 10, 1751 in Langenselbold, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Hesse, now Germany.  His parents, Johann Conrad Reber and Anna Margaret Conradt, emigrated to America shortly after his birth, as another of their children was born in 1754 in Upper Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. 

Conrad grew up in a typically large German family of 8 children.  He would have worked hard on the family farm and his early years would have been spent with one eye out for warring Indians, as well as wolves, panthers, bears, and other more natural dangers.  There is a Conrad Reber who was a private in the Militia during the time of the Revolutionary War, but I am not sure whether it was this Conrad. He would have been the right age and this is the right location, but another Reber family claims this as their Conrad, and I haven't yet found proof one way or the other.  Conrad most likely would have been in either the militia or the American army.  I found a listing for a Conrad Reber in 1779 who was taxed for having two cattle, and I think this may be our Conrad Reber because he was listed just two names above Peter Pontius, who was probably his brother in law.  In this list, Conrad is listed under occupation as "joiner", which is a skilled carpenter.  Conrad would likely have served an apprenticeship to learn this skill, unless his father taught it to him.

Conard married Mary Margaret Pontius, daughter of Nicholas Pontius and Anna Margaret Shuey, probably in Berks County but date and location as yet not located.  By the 1790 census, his household shows three males under the age of 16, and a total of five females, one of which would have been Margaret.  I show a total of ten children for them, with four being born in the 1790s.  Known children are Christina, Margaret Elizabeth, Magdalena, Daniel, Maria Margaretha, Conrad, Thomas, Catherine, John, and Henry.  Of course there

The History of Centre County by John Blair Linn states that Conrad Reber came to Miles Township, Centre County, in 1801, where he remained some 8 or 10 years.  This is where daughter Maria Margaretha met and married Solomon Buchtel in 1805.  A Conrad Reber acquired land in Ohio in 1806 but it appears this was not our Conrad, as he stayed in Miles Township for about 10 years before moving west. Before he moved, he laid out the town of Rebersburg, in Centre County, Pa. It was not hard to choose a location for the town, as he situated it near two churches, a tavern, and a couple of other buildings that were already there. He also deeded some of his land to the Reformed Church, for the erection of a building. 

Sometime around 1811, it appears that he and much of his family moved on to Uniontown, Ohio in Stark County.  They lived some miles from the nearest town, Canton, and were apparently in Ohio during the War of 1812.  By now the Rebers would have been in their 60's, so military service would not have been expected.  Conrad died in Lake Township, Stark County, Ohio on September 7, 1823, and Margaret died in 1831.  I don't have their burial information or their estate information at this time, but I need to locate that.

I also need to find a marriage date and location and the baptismal/birth date information for their children.  Once again, we don't know a lot about this family.  I have the feeling that they were not dirt poor since they paid taxes in Berks County and since they could donate land for the church in Centre County, but estate and land records would also give us clues there. 

The line of descent is:

Conrad Reber-Mary Margaret Pontius
Maria Margaretha Reber-Solomon Buchtel
Benjamin Buchtel-(brick wall) Barbara Long
Nancy Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Friday, June 6, 2014

Beeks line: A few tidbits about Darlington Aldridge 1820-1859

I wish I could tell you where the name Darlington came from.  I suspect he may have been a hero in a newspaper serial, but to the best of my current knowledge, it was not a family name.  His parents gave rather "different" names to several of their children, much as many young people are trying to do today. 

I don't know a lot about Darlington but here are the basics, and then the tidbits:  He was born November 18, 1820 in Clermont County, Ohio to John Simpson Aldridge Jr and Lucinda Wheeler.  He was one of at least 10 children and was either the oldest or the second oldest child. The entire Aldridge family had moved to Rush County, Indiana by 1835.  Darlington married Leah Folsom, daughter of Jeremiah Folsom and Sally Lock, on October 28, 1841, in Shelby County, Indiana, less than a year before his father died, and about five years after his mother had died.  Darlington and Leah later moved to Tipton County, Indiana where he died July 31, 1859.  He is buried in Tucker Cemetery there, and his Findagrave site indicates there are actually two tombstones, with slightly different death dates. 

These are the tidbits I've learned:  At the estate sale of his father's property which was filed on May 9, 1842, Darlington, a newlywed, bought a few item. He purchased a dinner pot for 34 1/2 cents, a box of meal bag for 43 and one quarter cents, and a lot of meat for 12 and one half cents.  Darlington would still have been a newlywed then, and apparently didn't have a lot of ready cash at the time. It is interesting to note that Austin Clark, who had been Leah Folsom's guardian before she married, made two purchases at the sale, so he was still keeping in close contact with the family.

The other tidbit that I found that fascinates me is the settling of "Dart" Aldridge's account at the Moscow store. I am not sure whether Dart was a nickname for Darlington, or whether that was his middle name (we know the middle initial was "D"), but it apparently was the name he used.  Anyway, the ledger of this store indicates that there was a balance forward on July 7, 1851 for "balance on calico". Jusly 6, there were two entries totaling 75 cents for ballamean and 1 1/2 yards lining.  On August 21, there was a balance forward of 70 cents for calico, plus purchases of 2 yards of ribbon for thirty cents, 8 yards of calico for $1, 2 yards of black lustre for $1 and 2 3/4 yards red flannel for $1.03.  August 10 there was a purchase of 7 lbs cotton yarn for $1.75, 2 oz. indigo for $.30, 1/2 lb madder for 10 cents, 1/2 lb alum for 5 cents, an illegible item, and 15 yards brown muslin for $1.50.  This was all settled on December 20, 1851 with a $9.15 cent cash payment.  The crops may have come in or some livestock may have been sold at this time, so there was cash to pay the bill.  Leah must have been keep awfully busy, sewing and perhaps knitting!

The above information came from a small book called "Happenings: Orange Township, Rush County, Indiana and Adjoining Townships," compiled by Opal Boring and found in the Public Library in Rush County, Indiana on our "field trip" last fall. 

To put this in context, the book also noted that Millard Fillmore was the President of the United States, the thirteenth, during this time period. The Mexican War was over, but  Kansas was beginning to "heat up" in events that were part of the build up to the Civil War and there were continuing disputes with Native Americans in the West.  If Darlington could read, he may have been reading a best seller like Moby Dick or The House of the Seven Gables, both of which were published in 1851.  Darlington's brother, Joseph, had purchased a lot of books at the 1842 estate sale, and there was a family Bible also purchased, so I am hoping that he could read.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief look into Darlington Aldridge's life.  These little bits and pieces of information are what brings our ancestors to life, and help us realize just how alike, and different, we are. 

The line of descent is:

Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Beeks children, grand children, and more generations!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Allen line: Nathaniel Finch

It's about time we learned more about Nathaniel Finch.  There isn't much known about him, but he lived in interesting historic times and he has a story to tell.  He was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on April 29, 1722, the son of John Finch and Sarah maiden name unknown.  She may have been a Sarah Lockwood, but if so, extensive research has failed to identify her family. 

Nathaniel was one of 10 children, so was likely set up in some sort of apprentice or indenture program in order to learn a trade. I have seen no reference to what that trade may have been, but since Nathaniel moved inland as an adult it probably did not have to do with the sea trade.   

Nathaniel married Hannah Scofield, daughter of Daniel Scofield and Hannah Hoyt, in Ridgefield, Ct on December 15, 1743.  He was not quite 22 years of age, and she was just over 17.  It appears that there were four children born to this marriage. Nathaniel was born December 9, 1743, Jesse was born in 1744, Stephen was born in 1745 and Hannah was born in 1749.  (I don't know whether perhaps one of the December dates was perhaps old style and one new style, but it appears that Nathaniel may have arrived before the marriage ceremony could take place.)  There children were all born in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut.)

There is a gap of a few years until the next children were born, and some researchers think the rest of the family was by a second wife.  These children were Martha, John, Benoni, and Abigail.  These children were born in Salem, Westchester County, New York, which was just over the county line from Connecticut, so the family would have been familiar with the area.  The Finch-Scofield marriage took place in Ridgefield, which was very near the New York-Connecticut border.

That is basically the end of what we know about Nathaniel.  There is a military record of Nathaniel, who is probably Nathaniel the son, who was a member of the militia in 1759 and still in 1761. The 1761 list gives his height as 5' 3.5", which may indicate the family was smaller in stature than the average.    I've not found a record of Nathaniel Senior being in the militia, although he would have been the correct age to serve in the French and Indian war of 1756-1763.  Sadly, the last we know was that he shared in the distribution of the estate of Sarah Keeler, his mother, June 15, 1768.

He was a Congregationalist, admitted to full communion at New Canaan Parish Church on May 30, 1742, and apparently went to Christ Church, Salem, NY at some point.  There is a record that Nathaniel Finch and wife were recommended to communion there by Rec. Silliman, rector of Christ Church at Fairfield, Ct. 

We don't know his occupation, we don't know whether he served in the militia or other military service, and we don't know if he had more than one wife.  I have not located a copy of his will, or of his death date or location.  There are two men by the name of Nathaniel Finch listed in the 1790 census, but they are both in Connecticut. Did the family return there?  Nathaniel seems to have been a common name in the Finch family, so it's difficult to say.  In 1800, Nathaniel Finch and wife, both over 45, are living in Westmoreland, Oneida County, New York, but again, we don't know that this is our Nathaniel. 

So many questions, so few answers, at this point.  I'd love to "meet" cousins who are working on this family, and maybe we can find some answers, together.

Our line of descent:

Nathaniel Finch-Hannah Scofield
Jesse Finch-unknown (widow was Hannah)
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Jefferson Knott
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Vernon/Edith/Tessora/Corinne/Richard Allen
Their children, grand children, and great grandchildren