Friday, August 29, 2014

Allen and Holbrook lines: Family themes

Now that I've been "doing" family history for awhile, I'm seeing some themes that run from generation to generation.  Recently I read someone's blogpost that suggested it would be good to note these down, more or less as guideposts, so that this current generation, and the generations following, would have at least a general idea of who we are besides names and dates.

The two strong themes that I see running through our families, for generations back, are God and education.  We have sub themes, like serving our country, and of course love seems to wrap around everything, but I keep coming back to God and education.  Of course, to a certain extent God and education go hand in hand, although it is quite possible to have either without the other.  Still, most pastors were educated, and they made sure their families were educated, too, if only to read the Bible and religious books. 

I've written about some of the pastors in our family but there are more who may or may not be the topic of a blog post at some point.  From Richard Allen to Roger Williams to William Eddy, we are descended from a long line of pastors who have taught us about the love of Jesus, each in their own way.  The last time I counted, there were at least 24 pastors in the Holbrook and Allen lines. If one continues back into distant England, some of our ancestors were bishops and archbishops, but I'm not sure we want to claim some of those people!

Besides pastors, we have ancestors who were church leaders, from Elder William Brewster to elder Edward Allen.  We have Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Puritans, Church of England, and a few Lutherans (there is a German line, after all), and many of our ancestors helped establish their local church, of whatever denomination.  We may even had had a Roman Catholic or two in early Maryland, but I'm still working on that.  My hope and prayer is that all of these people served the Lord with all their hearts.

Education is also a common theme in our family.  Ralph Wheelock was one of the first schoolteachers in New England, and in the recent past we have seen great grandparents and grandparents who taught school.  Those who didn't teach went to school and learned. We have very few known ancestors who couldn't read or write.  Many of those in more recent generations have gone to college, and some have multiple degrees.  Those who chose not to go to college have acquired an education in their own way, such as through their jobs, reading, or watching on line courses intensively. 

I personally find it fascinating that the very book that means the most to me, the Bible, is the same one that our ancestors have been reading for over 400 years (more, in some cases) and if I read a King James version, it's the very same words.  On top of all the other reasons for reading the Bible, this is an intriguing one. What did Roger Williams think, when he read the same words I'm reading?  Did Nicholas Street preach on this passage? 

God, and education, are the reasons we can find a connection to our ancestors, even though we may understand nothing of the rest of their lives.  Will our descendents also find that God and education have continued as themes, generations from now? 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Beeks line: Joost De Baun

Joost De Baun was probably born as Joseph De Beaune in Beaune, Cote d'Or France, about 1643.  Beaune is located in the east central section of France, west of Switzerland.  He and it is believed his family were staunch Protestants and at the time of his birth, Protestants had some protection in the Catholic country of France.  However, the tradition is that he was the only member of his family to escape torture and massacre by the dreaded Inquisition.  He is believed to have fled to Flanders about 1670, where he married, with his wife living only a few years.   

This much is tradition and supposition, as far as I can tell, because I have found no documentation for any of these "facts".  I would love to be able to sit down and talk with Joseph/Joost, to ask him if this is a fair representation of his early life.  It sounds like it could have the makings of a good book or even a movie, with danger, persecution, flight, a first tragic marriage, and religious faith all playing a role in the story.  I'd love to know how he made his escape, and why he went to Flanders rather than to Switzerland, which geographically was much closer, or even to Germany, as others before him had done. I'd also love to know what he did for a living.  Beaune is in the middle of Burgundy wine country, and if he had been trained in some aspect relating to wine, what did he do when he went to Flanders?  He obviously had learned to read and write, (see later in post) so perhaps he was a clerk, or perhaps he had enough family or church connections to be a merchant of some sort.

Sometime in the next few years he went from Flanders to Middleburg, on the Zeeland islands of Holland.  Joseph changed his name in Holland to Joost De Baene, and he married Elizabeth Drabbe or Drabba, who was from Holland.  Her ancestry has not been traced as far as I can find, except that her father's name is believed to be Thomas.  They married about 1681, and by 1683 were the parents of their first child, Jacobus.  (There are reports that the marriage didn't take place until 1684 and occurred in the New World. So again, we are not really sure of this much and would dearly love to find some documents from the time period to settle some of these questions once and for all.)

Joost and presumably Elizabeth and Jacobus left Holland in 1683 and immigrated to Bushwick, Long Island, New York.  We don't know whether it was for religious, economic, or other reasons that they chose to immigrate, but they were part of a large number of "Dutch" families that came during the 1600's.  He quickly became clerk of the small settlement of Bushwick, but a year later moved to New Utrecht, Kings County, New York, where he was clerk as well as schoolmaster and reader of the Reformed Dutch Church.  (New Utrecht is now part of Brooklyn, which is part of New York City, but at the time it was just a village, founded in 1657 as a largely Dutch community). 

Joost and Elizabeth lived here for about 15 years, raising their family of five children. Jacobus, Karel (Charles), Matie, Christian, and Catherine would have kept their parents busy, and since Joost was the school master we can assume that the boys and hope that the girls learned to read, write, and "cipher".  The family was also active in the Dutch Reformed Church there.  For three years in this time period, family life may have looked a little different. Joost was removed from his posts in 1689 due to being on the "wrong" side of a political dispute, but was returned to all his offices again in 1692.  We don't know he provided for his family during this time period.  In 1698, the family moved to New Rochelle, where he had apparently gone to be the schoolmaster, and was also one of the surveyors of fences.  He acquired land in 1698 and then sold in at the end of 1701, and moved on to the area around Rockland Lake, in Rockland County, NY.  Perhaps he taught school here, too. 

The family made one final move, to the Huguenot colony near Hacksensack, New Jersey, where farming was their source of income.  Joost may have felt more at home here, with the Huguenots, but we wonder about his Dutch wife. Fortunately, by now the Dutch Reformed church at Hackensack felt like home to both of them.  He served as elder and as church master, and was instrumental in getting the steeple raised on the church building.  Joost died sometime between 1718 and November of 1721, and Elizabeth is believed to have died about 1724. 

He left a heritage of a strong religious faith, a desire for freedom, and the love of learning to the four children who survived him.  He also left the mystery of his early years, and the sadness that we may never know who made up his first family-his father, mother, and siblings. 

The line of descent is:

Joost De Baun-Elizabeth Drabbe
Matie De Baun-Samuel Demarest
Samuel David De Maree-Lea Demarest
Sarah De Maree-Benjamin Slot
William Lock-Elizabeth Teague or Tague
Sarah Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Harshbarger children. grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Friday, August 22, 2014

Harshbarger line: Anthony Jacob Henckel, immigrant and Lutheran pastor

Basically, Germans who came to America in the early 1700's were from one of two sets of religious beliefs.  One was the Mennonite/Amish/Brethren group, which was more or less anti-establishment, although that would not have been the way they described themselves. The Harshbargers were part of this group. The other was the established church in much of what would become Germany, which was the Lutheran church. (There were also German Roman Catholics but so far I haven't found any ancestors that belonged to that group.).  This is an extreme over-simplification, but it helps to at least have a broad outline to begin connecting dots. 

Anthony Jacob Henckel was a Lutheran, but more than that, he came to America relatively late in life to be a missionary and a pastor to the Germans who had preceded him to America, and to those who would come after he did.  He had grown up in an educated family, but I don't know whether it was an educated wealthy family or an educated poor family. 

He was born to Georg and Anna Eulalia Dentzer Henckel in 1668, and was Christined on December 27, 1668 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Merenberg, Hesse-Darmstadt.  His father had graduated from the University of Geissen and was a schoolmaster, and a Lutheran.  He was one of at least six children, so with a schoolmaster father and a large family, perhaps the family was not wealthy.  Nevertheless, somehow the family or someone else paid for Anthony Jacob to also attend the University of Geissen, where he studied theology. He graduated on January 16, 1692, and was ordained into the Lutheran Church on February 28, 1692. About two months later, on April 25, 1692, he married Maria Elizabeth Dentzer, daughter of another Lutheran pastor, Reverend Johann Nicolaus Dentzer and Barbara Catherina Giebel. 

Anthony Jacob and Maria Elizabeth had 12 children, born in various locations in Germany.  Rev. Henckel served in several different churches and towns in Germany, and having come under increasing pressure from Roman Catholic church authorities, decided it would be best for his family and for the Lutherans who were already here, if he were to move to America.  7 of his children came with him. 4 had died in infancy/childhood, and one may have come to America later.  The Henckels would have had their hands full, with children ranging from 4 to 23 when they made the trip to America in 1717.  They arrived in 1717, probably in September in Philadelphia, and were no doubt pleased to get their feet on solid ground again. 

He purchased land soon after he arrived, in New Hanover township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, about 250 acres.  He and his family would have cleared enough of the land to build a cabin and then perhaps (or perhaps not) a home, and then to set out crops to live on, and a barn for the animals. At the same time, Reverend Henckel was tending to a spiritual flock.  He founded St Michael's Lutheran Church in Germantown, and the New Hanover Lutheran Church in Montgomery County, and taught or preached in other locations as he was called to do.  He encouraged the Lutherans in the Tulpehocken settlement in Berks County to build their first church, which they did in 1727.  His signature is on petitions asking for a road through Faulkner Swamp, and on a petition in 1728 asking for protection from the Indians, as his home was on the frontier and the native Americans were threatening. 

Reverend Henckel died following a fall from a horse, at Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. There seems to be some question whether he may have had a medical crisis that caused the fall, but regardless, he lived for less than a day.  He was able to give an oral will before he died on August 12, 1728.  His widow lived for another 15 years and died on January 23, 1743.  They are buried at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Germantown.  

I admire this couple greatly for their devotion to their Lord and their family, for their courage and vision in coming to America when they were in their late 40's, and for their ability to adapt to a different way of life here. 

The line of descent is:
Anthony Jacob Henckel-Maria Elizabeth Dentzler
Johanna Frederika Henckel-Johann Valentine Geiger
Valentine Geiger-Sarah Vetatoe
Jacob Geiger-Elizabeth Shultz
Anthony Geiger-Mary Kirk
Elizabeth Geiger-George Harter
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Allen line: Jesse Finch 1746-1829

There's quite a bit of stuff about Jesse Finch out on the internet.  Unfortunately, there seems to have been several men named Jesse Finch living in approximately the same time period, and it's hard to figure out which Jesse Finch might be ours.  We're fairly certain of the birth information and the will, and of a couple of tax records, but some of the information out there is just plain confusing, and much is undocumented.

We know that he was christened November 16, 1746 in Christ Church at New Canaan, Connecticut. This may be the church currently known as the Congregational Church there, because their history stretches back 275 years.  His parents were Nathaniel Finch and Hannah Scofield, and he was one of at least 8 children.  The family moved to Westchester County, NY in 1763.

There is mention in the Cententennial Biographical history of Richland County, Ohio in a biography of Jesse Maring (Jesse's grandson, but I'm jumping ahead of the story) that he was one of the heroes of the Revolutionary War, but I haven't located any kind of service records for him so this may be an exaggeration.  The DAR doesn't list Jesse, Fold 3 doesn't have him, the state records I've consulted for Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey don't have him, and New York records aren't on line.   Also, the phrase "hero of the Revolutionary War" can be used for anyone from George Washington down to a civilian who misdirected British troops, so it's hard to know what that means.  I've also found mention that he was a soldier in the French and Indian War of 1756-1763  Based on Jesse's age, he could just possibly have served in the last couple of years, but again, I haven't yet found documentation of that. 

Apparently he was in New Jersey by 1781.  There is a Jesse Finch found on a tax list there in Hardyston Township, Sussex County, on the August tax list.  Anna Finch, one of Jesse's children, was born in New Jersey in 1787 so this may be our Jesse.  Jesse is believed to be a farmer and a weaver, but we don't know why he went from New York to New Jersey, or how long he was in either location. 

We don't know who Jesse's wife was but it is believed she was named Hannah.  Perhaps she was from New Jersey or perhaps Jesse had married her in New York. Records have not yet been found. The couple presumably would have married in the late 1770's since their son, Jesse, has a birthdate of about 1779. Their other children were Hannah, Ann, and Nathaniel. 

That's all we know until 1806, when Jesse's name shows up on a tax list in Belmont County, Ohio.  He can be considered as an "early settler" because he was in Ohio before the war of 1812. The 1810 tax list shows him as being in Colerain Township, and by 1811 we find that the location of his land was 172 acres in Range 2, Township 6, Section 18.  He is on several more tax records, is listed as having been paid $4.05 as supervisor of the public highway in Colerain Township, and is on the 1820 census record there, where he and his (assumed) wife are living alone, with one person being engaged in agriculture. 

His will was signed on February 9, 1824 and proved August 26, 1829.  It is believed he died in 1829 but it's possible that the date of death was earlier.  He left 172 acres to his three surviving children (1/4 each) and his six grandchildren (the other 1/4). No mention is made of his wife so she apparently died earlier.  The burial site is not known.

There are so many unknowns here..Who was Jesse's wife, and where did they marry? Why did he go from New York to New Jersey?  Is there a record somewhere of his purported Revolutionary War Service?  Were the Finches members of a church?  Why did they move to Ohio, when Jesse would have been perhaps 60 years old?  What was that trip like?  Was Jesse literate?  If anyone has the answer to any of these questions, I'd love to hear from you.

The line of descent:

Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas J Knott
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward F. Allen
Vernon/Tessora/Corinne/Edith/Richard Allen
Their children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Friday, August 15, 2014

Holbrook line: Enoch Cleveland 1671-1729

Enoch Cleveland was of the first generation of New Englanders.  His father Moses Cleveland, had arrived probably at Boston in 1635, as a servant to his future father-in-law, Edward Winn.  Ann was just a young woman at the time, and perhaps Moses had to serve a period of indentureship, for Moses and Mary weren't married until 1648.  Enoch was the youngest son of this couple, one of 12 children, and the family lived in Woburn, Massachusetts. 

Enoch married Elizabeth Counts or Counce on  October 9, 1695 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, which was just outside of Charlestown and in fact may have been included in the Charlestown borders at one time.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Edward Counts/Counce and Sarah Adams, and was one of at least five children.

Enoch learned and practiced the trade of a tailor, so if he farmed it was only to support his family. Likely he had a few farm animals, if nothing else.  He and Elizabeth moved several times, from Charlestown to Sudbury to Framingham, then Acton, Marlborough, and finally Concord, in 1719.  His first wife died in 1719 and he may have married again, to Elizabeth Wright.  There are no known children from the second marriage, and just four children from the first marriage.  Sarah was the oldest, and then came Enoch, James, and Jonathan. It is hard to tell whether Enoch moved so much because of hard times, or because his trade was so much in demand.

Enoch has what looks to be an interesting probate record, case number 4616 in the probate court of Middlesex County, and perhaps more can be learned from that.  The images are available on but I can't read them, and I haven't been able to find anyone who has posted the will or papers on line.  Apparently FamilySearch will be bringing the images online "soon", as there is a research page about the collection.  Maybe I'll have better luck reading them there.

Update:  I tried again to read the probate, and have been able to glean a little bit. Enoch died without a will, and his son Jonathan Cleveland was the administrator.  There is a document with Israel Joslin's signature on it.  There were several pages with numbers and lists.  At the end is what I think is an inventory.  I will have to wait for better glasses or/and a stronger magnifying glass to read more!

As far as I can tell, Enoch didn't have an involvement with the military, or at least it was only for local drills.  There is an Enoch Cleveland who served for about 7 1/2 months in 1725, as a corporal, but this is likely son Enoch, not our ancestor.

More research needs to be done, of course, not only to study his probate records but to determine whether he was a freeman or not, and to find what churches he would have supported.  I'd also like to know whether he was a hard-luck kind of guy or a respected citizen with a needed trade.  Someday perhaps I will find answers to these questions.

The line of descent is:

Enoch Cleveland-Elizabeth Counts
Sarah Cleveland-Israel Joslin
Sarah Joslin-Edward Fay
David Fay-Mercy Perrin
Euzebia Fay-Libbeus Stanard Jr.
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Holbrook children, grand children, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Beeks line: The well traveled and fascinating David Demarest 1620-1693

I've used the name Demarest in this post, although he was known by the name David Des Marets and David Des Marest during his lifetime. Demarest is the name by which his descendents were known. 

David was born about the year 1620 in the town of Beauchamp, Picardy, France.  This is a small town (current population slightly over 1000) very near the coast, in northern France and is located on the Bresle Rever.  It might seem as though this was a backwater town which time could pass by, and perhaps it was that kind of town for the French Catholics.  For the French Protestants, or Huguenots, though, it was not that kind of town.  Religious persecutions including economic forces, caused the Demarests, probably including David's parents, Jean Demarest and possibly Marguerite de Herville to move or flee to Middleburg, on the island of Walcheren Zeeland, Holland.  There the Demarests were members or congregants of the Walloon Church, and there David maried Marie Sohier on July 24, 1643.  Marie was the daughter of Francois Sohier and Marguerite. 

The new Demarest family stayed in Middleburg long enough for two sons, Jean and David, to be born into the family.  In 1651, the family moved to Mannheim, on the Rhine, in what was then the largest city of the Lower Palatinate.  The Elector, or ruler, of this state badly needed settlers to work and help the area recover from the Thirty Years War, and he offered inducements to French Protestants to come to settle in his lands.  He even built them a church, which was used also by the Lutherans. 

However, peace did not long visit Mannheim, and soon there were fears that the German Catholics were going to bring war to the area.  Having seen what had happened to the Huguenots in France, the Demarests decided that they would go to the New World, to settle near the Dutch (possibly even some of their friends from their days in Middleburg).  David and Marie and four children, (Jean, a second David who had been born in Mannheim after the first son David died, and Samuel, plus one unnamed who likely died young) came to New Amsterdam on the ship "Bentekoe" where they landed on April 16, 1663.  They settled in the French Huguenot colony on Staten Island, a little south of the Narrows, where they lived for about two years.  This was about the time the English took control of New Amsterdam. 

Apparently David was a very adaptable man, for he next bought property in New Harlem, and stayed there about 12 1/2 years.  Another son, Daniel, was born to the couple in either Staten Island or New Harlem.  The Demarests might have stayed there forever, but David was dunned for taxes (tithes) he did not feel he owed, so he and his family left the area.   

This time they settled in what became Bergen County, New Jersey, on the Hackensack River.  Compared to some of the moves the family had made in the past, this was not a particularly long move, but it had significance because at last the family found a place to put down roots.  Unfortunately Marie died here, shortly after they had arrived, and she was the first burial in what is known as the "French Cemetery."  The family carried on, regardless of their loss. They purchased large tracts of land, set up a mill and mill house, lived peaceably with their neighbors and continued worshiping God. During this time period there were no significant problems with the native Americans, and David lived out his days there until he died in 1693.

Most of the information for this post came from a book or pamphlet called "The Huguenots on the Hackensack", which was presented as a "paper" in 1885. It was written by Rev. David D. Demarest, and is available for free on the internet.  There is a more recent book out, that is now at the top of my wish list, called A Huguenot on the Hackensack:  David Demarest and His Legacy.  I can't wait to order it, because I'm sure it contains a lot of valuable information.  David Demarest lived a fascinating life, and I'm sure the book will be extremely interesting.

The line of descent is:

David Demarest-Marie Sohier
Jean Demarest-Jacomina DeRuine
Peter Demarest Maretje Meet
Lea Demarest-Samuel David Demarest (yes, a descendent of the same couple)
Sarah Demarest or Demaree-Benjamin Slot
William Lock/Slot-Elizabeth Teague
Sarah Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Mary Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Harshbarger children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Friday, August 8, 2014

Harshbarger line: Matthias Bruder 1758-1828

Matthias Bruder, sometimes known as Brother or Brothers, was born shortly before September 2, 1759, when he was christened in the Lehigh Church, Lower Macungie Twp., Lehigh County, Pa.  His sponsors were Andreas Dressler and wife Maria Barbara, relationship as yet unknown.  The parents of Matthias, Matthias Bruder and Christina Emmert, had come to America in 1752 on the ship Duke of Wirtenburg.  He had two brothers, Heinrich (Henry) and Jacob, but if there were other siblings they have not yet been identified.

His family may actually have lived in Berks County, or at least near the border, because Matthias was enrolled in the Berks County Militia, 6th Battalion, Captain Baldy's Company by 1780, when he served about 30 days on active duty. I have not yet been able to determine what the service was. It is possible they were skirmishing with the British in New Jersey, or it is possible they were defending the border against Indians.  They also may have been doing duty at prisoner of war facilities.  Regardless, he would have joined the militia at age 18, and because there is no record of fines or absences, we can be confident that his record was a good one.  There is some evidence that he may have served in 1781, also. 

He was apparently married by 1779, to Christina Chestnutwood, whose parents are not known, when according to the records he must had had quintuplets (I'm joking; obviously either too many children are attributed to him or the birth dates on line are not correct).  More research needs to be done to straighten this out. By 1784, he is listed as having a three person family, with 100 acres, one horse, one cow, and two sheep.  This is not enough to be a full time farmer, and he was listed as being a weaver, which was a common occupation for the time.  Many men supported their families by this trade. 

By 1788, he had apparently sold his land and moved to Franklin County, Pa, where his son Jacob was christened at the Salem Reformed Church, Washington Township, on January 20, 1788.  He is listed there as Matthias Brothers in the 1790 census with two sons under the age of 16 and three daughters.
It looks like Matthias must have liked frontier life, for he moved at least every 10 years. In 1800, he was in Bedford County, Pa and his family had grown to 6 people under the age of 16, plus three between 16 and 25, plus himself and his wife.  In 1810, he was in Mahoning Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, still with 8 persons (4 male, 4 female) in his household, besides himself and his wife. For the record, the children that are attributed to this family are Catherine, Elizabeth, Esther, John, Magdalina, Barbara, Jonas, Sally, and Henry. 

Sometime between 1810 and 1820, the Brothers household moved for the last time, to Pike Township, Stark County, Ohio, which was a popular area for people of German background.  (There are statements on line that he was awarded 100 acres for his service in the War, but I am not able to verify this. If he was awarded the land in 1789, why did he wait so long to go to Ohio?) There were still 8 additional people in his household, the youngest between a male under the age of 10, and three people listed as being between 26 and 44.  It his possible that by now he had adult children living with him, who had children of their own, or other configurations are also possible.   Three persons are listed as being engaged in agriculture, so perhaps Matthias's eyes were no longer allowing him to weave.

He died on September 5, 1828 and is buried at the Chestnutwood Cemetery, East Sparta, Stark County, Ohio.  It appears to be a very small cemetery, with only a few stones showing in the pictures, but there is a plaque mounted there with the inscription: "Within this enclosure is the grave of Mathias Brothers, known as Mathias Bruder, Sixth Battalion, Berks County, Pa Militia. Born 1758 died September 5, 1828. Revolutionary War Soldier." 

I'd love to find out more about this first generation American, soldier for his country and provider for his family, with a vision that life was better to the West.  Besides the churches we've identified, where else did he worship? More research is needed to identify lands he may have owned, and taxes he may have paid.  There is likely more to the story than we know now, but this is a beginning.

The line of descent is:

Matthias Bruder-Christina Chestnutwood
Barbara Brothers-David Brown
Elizabeth Brown-William Cook
Barbara Cook-William Withers
William Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Allen line: Edward F. Allen: Let's dance!

"We'll do the twist, the stomp, the mashed potato too, any old dance that we want to do, but let's  dance!"  The words to the Chris Montez/Ramones song instantly came to mind when I found a newspaper article this week about my grandfather, Edward F. Allen.  He died 10 years before I was born and my father made sure I knew something about him, but as it turns out, that wasn't much.  Since my grandfather was 51 when my father was born, perhaps Dad didn't know much about his father's early years, either.

However, enter the Allen County Public Library and their subscription to
I found several bits and pieces of social news about my grandfather, but the main article, the one that made me want to dance, was from the Salt Lake Tribune, dated Wednesday morning, September 19, 1928.

Headline: "Edward F Allen enters race for City Judgeship"  (front page news!)

"Edward F Allen, assistant county atatorney, announced his candidacy Thursday for city judge, at the convention to be held Thursday.

Mr. Allen has been a deputy in the office of County Attorney Wallace B Kelly since the beginning of his administration nearly two years ago. Duting that time, he has prosecuted a number of criminal cases.

Coming to this city nearly 30 years ago, Mr. Allen at first was in the government mail service. He was graduated from Valparaiso University, Ind., and began his practice before the bar of justice in 1911.

He is a member of the Sons of the Veterans of the Civil War, Knights of Pythias and the Eagles Fraternity. During the world war, Mr. Allen served as a member of the legal advisory board of Salt Lake County."

That was enough for a happy dance right there, but there was also a picture!  I have a picture of him as a young man, and one in his later years, but this is the closest I've seen to a picture of him as a middle aged man.

This article told me several things I didn't know, and I know several things that can fill in some of the gaps in this article.  First, Mr. Allen did not win the election.  He (or the reporter) omitted this detail from the story: He was an elder at Central Christian Church, hence, not a Mormon.  That may or may not have something to do with not winning the election

Prior to "being in the government mail service", he was a school teacher. I am not sure whether he had two jobs in the government mail service, or one, but I know that at one time he worked in the mail car on the railroad. He may have worked at the post office itself after moving to Salt Lake City about 1900.

I know that he "studied at night to become an attorney", so I'm wondering if he actually did  correspondence work with Valparaiso University. I have never heard that he actually left his family to go to Indiana.

Edward Allen served one term as county attorney from 1932-1934.  When he was defeated for re-election, he entered private practice. He didn't make a good living as an attorney, though, because he either didn't charge enough or charged absolutely nothing for most of his clients. He was a good man with a big heart.

Edward F Allen was born January 17, 1868 in Gallatin, Missouri to George Allen and Nancy McCoy Allen. He married Edith Clarissa Knott on December 27, 1896 in Soda Springs, Idaho, and had 6 children. They are Forest Wilson (died before he was two years old), Vernon Edward, Tessora Clarissa, Nancy Corinne, Edith Marie, and Richard Franklin Allen.  He died July 10, 1940 in Salt Lake City.

I wish I had known my grandfather, but I am so grateful for this newspaper article, that gave me more facts about him than I had before.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Beeks line: Abraham Lakin 1695-1745

Abraham Lakin was born in 1675-77 in Shenstone Parish, Staffordshire, England, or in 1695 in Lakins Heath, England, depending on which records you believe.  Most trees show the 1695 birthdate and location, but Robert Barnes, a highly respected genealogist and historian, uses the 1675 birthdate.  Given the dates that Abraham began acquiring land, the earlier date seems more likely to be correct.

His parents were William Lakin and Elizabeth Symons, who were married in Shenstone Parish Church on May 2, 1671.  Abraham was listed in the inventory of Joseph Hanslap, Gentleman, of Anne Arundel County, Maryland in 1702/1703, so this may be where he served his indentureship, as mentioned by Robert Barnes in "Bound and Determined". In 1712, Abraham is listed as a debtor in the administrative accounting of William Greenshap of Prince George's County.

Abraham "Laking" and Martha Lee were married in Queen Anne's Parish, Prince Georges County, Maryland on October 10, 1717.  This marriage date could be used to support either birth date, but there is always the possibility that this wasn't Abraham's first marriage.  At any rate, he began acquiring land about 1717.  He was granted a land warrant of 200 acres on June 11, 1717. Then he patented 100 acres in Prince Georges County, called "Abraham's Fancie" . He purchased a tract of 100 acres called "Joseph and Margaret's Rest" from Joseph Gould in 1739.  He also patented a tract of land on Catoctic Creek north of the Potomac called "Two Brothers" in what would become Frederick County, Md.  A quote from a younger Abraham Lakin says "Our great grand sires, as the Indians were driven back, took up the land spoken of in the grant from King George III of England and known as "The Old Homestead" by blazing through the forest with a tomahawk. It was called in that day a "Tomahawk or Hatchet Claim." 

Abraham and Martha had at least 10 children together. Since the first child listed was born in 1722 and they were married in 1717, it is possible that there were more children who did not survive. The children we know of are Abraham, Martha, Sarah, Joseph, Deborah, Elizabeth, Rachel, Ruth, Mary, and Benjamin.

Abraham died before December 16, 1744.   Abraham and Joseph and their heirs were willed the land known as "Two Brothers." Benjamin and his heirs were willed "Joseph and Margaret's Rest", after the death of Martha, who had a life estate.  Martha was named as executrix of the will , and she filed an administration account on May 14, 1745.   John Dickeson and Larkin Pierpoint appraised the estate on May 13, 1745, and assigned a value of almost 193 pounds to Abraham's personal property.

In researching this post, I realized I have what is probably an error in the on line tree.  Besides the line shown below, which I believe to be correct, I also show Abraham and Martha as parents of Parnell, who was born in 1705.  Now I need to research her, to see if she was Abraham's daughter at all, or whether she came through another Lakin line.  Meanwhile, I need to remove some names from the tree, until I have better information.

Most of the material for this post came from "British Roots of Maryland Familes II,", by Robert Barnes, "Bound and Determined," by Robert Barnes, and a "Forsythe-Deaver-Person Sheet, found on line at  

The line of descent is:

Abraham Lakin-Martha Lee
Joseph Lakin-Elizabeth Parnell Fee
Mary Lakin-John Simpson Aldridge Sr
John Simpson Aldridge Jr-Lucinda Wheeler
Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Beeks children, grandchildren, great grandhildren, and great great grandchildren