Monday, September 29, 2014

Harshbarger line: John David Mertz, immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Allen line: Daniel Scofield, immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our line of descent is: 

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Holbrook line: Recent find about Isaac Hetrick

I've written about Isaac Hetrick before.  He is one of my most-admired ancestors, because of his conversion in what was then pretty close to old age (he was in his mid 50's) and because he then went to Kansas to help establish and in some cases, build, Baptist churches, at the close of the Civil War. 

Here is a tribute that I found last week on  It was originally published in the "Ottawa Baptist" and then republished in The Ottawa Daily Republic, Ottawa, Kansas on Monday, August 24, 1891.

"Rev. Isaac Hetrick

It is our sad duty to record, this month, the passing from us of Elder Hetrick, and still not so sad, because he went home in peace, full of years of good deeds.  He fell asleep on Saturday, August 15, at ten o'clock.  For almost a year he had been a sufferer from rheumatism, but seemed for some time to have been better.  However, while he suffered less pain, the disease seems to have reduced his strength, and finally to have struck suddenly to his heart, resulting in instant death.  He was up and about during the morning hours, and though he seemed conscious for some days that he would not remain here long, his indomitable perseverance kept him about.  He had preached just two weeks previously at Antioch, and had an appointment at Appanoose for August 30th.  He was just two months past the eighty-first anniversary of his birth.

Elder Hetrick was a man of more than average ability and usefulness.  During the early part of his life, he was a successful merchant, and amassed, what in that time would be called a fortune.  When he was converted to God, and entertained what he believed to be a call to preach the gospel he devoted himself as thoroughly to that work as he had previously to furthering his worldly interests.  Much of his wealth was spent in advancing the interests he fostered.  His heart was full of the love of Christ, and he had a very great interest in all phases of missionary work.  He was instrumental in organizing 6 churches, and in building 4 church edifices.  The churches at Appanoose and Greenwood he organized, and of these he was pastor for nineteen years.  While he did not neglect his pastoral duties, he did much evangelistic work for which he seemed to have a peculiar fitness.  He was a clear thinker and a forceful speaker, and was noted for the power of his preaching.  Would that we had many such men.  The leaders are falling, who shall take their place?

His body was laid away in the lot he had himself chosen in Greenwood cemetery, after a short service in the church, attended by a large concourse of those who had known him and had profited by his ministry. 

'Servant of God, well done,
   Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
   Enter thy master's joy.'

-Ottawa Baptist."

I will treasure this article just as I cherish the memory of this man, my second great grandfather.  I am also intrigued by the mention that he was a successful merchant, as I have not yet found any mention or evidence of that.  I need to go back to resources in the Mansfield, Ohio area to see what I can find about that part of his life.  Yes, it was a happy genealogy dance day, when I found this article!

The line of descent:

Isaac Hetrick-Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis E Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Allen and Melcher descendants

Friday, September 19, 2014

Harshbarger line: Johann Friederich Schollenberger 1703-1768

For some reason, I'm gravitating to posts about immigrant ancestors right now. Here is another one in the Harshbarger line.  Maybe by the time I get done writing about these folks, I'll be better able to understand how so many people could leave behind the land of their birth, family members, and all that they knew, to go to a new land about which they knew very little, but which they could expect to be their final home on this earth.

Johann Friederich Schollenberger (known as Frederick) was one of those people. He was born on March 18, 1703 in Albig, Germany to Dietrich Schollenburger and Christine Kessenkopf.  Albig is a small German village in the Rhineland-Palatinate, not far from France.  Albig currently (as of 2008) has a population of slightly over 1600 people, so this would have been a small town where everyone knew everyone. The Schollenberger's would have known the Hoppach family, and in due time the marriage arrangements were complete.Friederich married Anna Katherina Hoppach on January 11, 1729.  At least 8 children were born to this couple, 6 boys and 2 girls; the youngest was born after the family arrived in America..  As happened so many times, 2 of the boys died as toddlers.  So as the Schollenbergers came to America, they were also leaving behind the gravesites of two of their children.

They arrived, along with his brother in law and other relatives, in Philadelphia on the ship "Loyal Judith on September 3, 1742, and soon marched to the local judge's office for the naturalization oath.  This was when immigrants from whatever country swore allegiance to the British king, George II, to allay fears from English immigrants that the "new guys in town" would someday outnumber them.

We don't know whether Frederick served an indentureship or whether he had enough money to pay for the passage of his family.  (His father, Dietrich, lived until 1746 so he didn't come to America on his inherited money).  Most likely, he stayed in Germantown until he had his feet on the ground, so to speak, and then purchased land.  We know that he obtained a land warrant for 100 acres of land in 1747, in what was then Philadelphia County, but later became Greenwich Township, Berks County, Pa.  This property then grew to include 210 acres.   We haven't found any indication of an occupation for Frederick other than farmer, and 210 acres would certainly have kept him busy.

We know little of the rest of his life, but based on the time frame and the location we can guess that there were tensions, or worse, with the native Americans.  The French-Indian war took place when Frederick was approaching what was then old age, but Frederick would have been involved on at least a local level.  He died about 1768, but we don't know where he is buried and I have not located a will.  Of course, I'd like to know where he is buried, what will he may have left, and what church he attended.  Was his home a log cabin?  If so, did he later build another home, and was it made of stone?  There's always more to learn, it seems.

The line of descent is:

Johann Friedrich Schollenberger-Anna Katherina Hoppach
Johann Lorenz Schollenberger-Elizabeth Mertz
Peter Shollenberger-Susanna
Catherine Shollenberger-George Essig
Susanna Essig-Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beeks Line: Philip Raub, Immigrant

I admit it. I am fascinated with the immigrants in our families.  Why did they come when they did? How did they finance their move across the ocean?  Once they were here, did they feel they had made a good choice, or were they incredibly homesick?  And how did those poor women survive the whole ordeal?

The origin of Philip Raub is something of a mystery, although the best guesses I have seen put his birth date at 1681 and the location as Hagsfeld, Stadt Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, in what would become Germany.  There is a church there called Laurenskirche, and it may have been in operation at the time of Philip's birth.  If so, they may have records of Philip's birth.  If not, then perhaps the other stories are true, that this was a Mennonite family that possibly came from Switzerland. Further research needs to be done to pin down this information.

We know nothing of Philip's life, but we do know that Hagsfeld was a very small village, of less than 100 homes, when Philip was born and raised.  It is likely, then, that Philip's family had a garden they could tend for themselves, and farm land they would have tilled for the lord of the area.  It would have been a hard life, with weather uncertainties, and with the uncertainty of what the lord would be doing next in terms of requiring taxes.  Fortunately, there would have been a council to intercede between the peasants and the lord, and they may have been able to have some mitigating influence if the taxes were to be raised too much.

Philip married Maria Sarah Schoffel, daughter of Heinrich Schoffel and Maria Zwillinge, in 1719.  There was probably an earlier marriage, as Philip is credited with having three sons born from 1705-1710, and then there is a gap of 10 years.  The known children that he had with Maria Sarah were Maria Barbara, Ann Margaretha, and Andreas.  There is a gap between 1720 and 1727 so it is possible that other children were born and died young, or there were miscarriages.

In 1732, probably for economic reasons but perhaps for religious reasons, Philip and his family came to Philadelphia on the ship "Loyal Judith".  This was in about the middle of the German immigration influx.  The immigrants on this ship were mostly Mennonite, but there were a few others that were from different areas than the Baden-Durlach Mennonites.

Philip was fortunate enough to buy land in what became Springfield Twp, Bucks County, Pa in 1738.  This may indicate that he served an indentureship before being able to buy land, or perhaps he was simply a tenant farmer who made good. The land that he purchased was 130 acres near Durham Creek.  If he had been Mennonite, he soon began worshiping at Trinity Lutheran Church, as there are records there (apparently a list of communicants) in 1751. 

Philip died in December of 1753, after conveying his 130 acres of land to his youngest son, Andreas, in February of that year.  I have not located a will for him.  His wife, Maria Sarah, died in 1764 in Upper Sucon Township, Bucks County, Pa.  She is buried at St Paul's Blue Church near Coopersburg, Lehigh County, Pa, and that is his place of burial as indicated on Find-a-Grave.

There is more of Philip's story to be found.  I'd like to know whether there were Indian incursions in Bucks County after Philip's arrival, and after he bought his land. I'd like to know whether he was in fact Mennonite, or whether he had always been Lutheran. I'd like to know why he came to America, and whether he felt his decision was a good one.  And of course, I'd love to know who his parents are!

The line of descent is:

Philip Raub-Maria Sarah Schoffel
Andreas Raub-Maria Charlotta Weber
Charlotte Raub-Johan Jacob Weiss
Andrew Wise-Mary Serfass
David Wise-Matilda Martin
Elizabeth Wise-John Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Greta Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Harshbarger children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Friday, September 12, 2014

Allen line: Simon Hoyt, Immigrant 1590-1657

Simon Hoyt is an interesting ancestor.  We don't know for sure why he left England, and we don't know why he moved so frequently after he got here.  He would have needed money or/and invested a lot of manpower for each move.  There seems to be no scandal attached to him, so he didn't leave because he was forced out, and each town in turn accepted him. In fact, he was a founder of some of the places he lived in.  Maybe he was just curious, or accepted each new location as a challenge, to see what he could make of it.  If he felt that he needed a second chance, he certainly got it.  And let us not forget to feel sympathy for his wives, who had to deal with a succession of new homes as well as a succession of children. 

It doesn't appear that genealogists are certain who his wives were, so let's start with what we think is known.  Simon Hoyt was born January 20, 1590 in West Hatch, Somerset, England. His parents were Michael Hoyt and Ruth Smith.  His possibly first marriage was to Jane Stoodley on November 4, 1617 in Marshwood, Dorset, England. I say possibly first because it appears that two children were born before the marriage.  Either these children are wrongly assigned to Simon, or there was an earlier wife, or two children were born before the marriage took place.  Jane  apparently died in England, after the birth of six (or eight) children.  The last child, Agnes, was baptized October 18, 1626, but there is no known death date for Jane.  There is then a gap of nine years, an ocean, and several residences before more children arrive. 

Simon arrived in America in 1629 on the ship Lyon's Whelp. This ship was one of 6 in what was called the Higginson Fleet, and brought colonists, supplies, and ordnance (cannons and other guns and ammunition).  This ship's passengers disembarked at Salem, but Simon didn't stay there.  Shortly after arriving he went to Charlestown, Massachusetts, then some miles from Boston, as one of the first settlers.  We don't know how many children he had with him, or whether he yet had a wife.  In 1632, he was in Dorchester, and was appointed to see to the fences in the east field. 

He definitely was married by 1635, when he and his wife Susanna joined the church at Scituate, where they now lived.  Eight children were born to this marriage, so Simon had a very large family to support.  Soon Simon and Susanna (maiden name not proven) went to Windsor, Connecticut about 1639, and he received a grant of land there on 1640.  He settled here for 8 years, but in 1648 he sold this land and moved to Fairfield, Connecticut, where he is listed as an early founder on the Founders Memorial there. Sometime between 1649 and 1657 he went to Stamford, Connecticut, and died there September 1, 1657. 

His inventory contains the animals and implements usual to a farming operation, including Indian corn, wheat, and tobacco.  He had one gun, three swords, and two barrels, as a freeman was required to maintain arms.  Part of the inventory is missing, so it is possible that there were books in the home, but we don't have evidence of that. There is nothing in the inventory in and of itself to prove that this was a man of wealth, but it doesn't appear that he was dirt poor. Joshua Hoyt apparently bought the land that was given to his five brothers, and the family went their mostly separate ways. 

I've taken most of the information in this post from a blogpost about Simon on "Miner Descent" and from "The Great Migration". 

Our line of descent is: 

Simon Hoyt-Susanna
Benjamin Hoyt-Hannah Weed
Hannah Hoyt-Daniel Scofield
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Knott
John W Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith C Knott-Edward F Allen
Vernon, Corinne, Tessora, Edith, Richard Allen
Their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Holbrook line: Marmaduke Vickery 1715-1787

Marmaduke Vickery was born about 1715 in Dorchester County, Maryland, and and died at the end of 1787 or early 1788 in Randolph County, North Carolina.  He lived through some very challenging  times (French and Indian War, Revolutionary War) and in several different places, so his life is worthy of a review.  However, once again it appears that there were at least two and probably three Marmaduke Vickery's, and their records are all jumbled up.  Marmaduke Senior had a son named Marmaduke and possibly a nephew also.

Marmaduke was born to Hezekiah Vickery and Merci Holland, or at least, that's what most of the online trees say.  In my limited research, I have found no documentation of that fact, but it does appear likely.  He was one of at least six children born to this couple, but he didn't stay long in Maryland.  He left, apparently with his parents, to move to Virginia, variously listed as Orange County, Augusta County, and Clarke County.  His father is listed as having died in Orange County. 

Marmaduke married Elizabeth Nation, daughter of John Nation and Bethia Robins, about 1734. Sometime about 1755, Marmaduke and his family moved on to Rowan County, North Carolina, where he can be found on a tax list for 1759.  Marmaduke and Elizabeth are believed to have had at least 11 children, born between 1735 and 1757, so they would have arrived in Rowan County with quite a large family.  They likely moved for economic reasons, and they may have been seeking cheap land, which was still available at the time.  He owned a large tract of land in St Luke's Parish, Randolph County, and was a farmer.

 If this is the same Marmaduke, he loved horse racing.  Traces of his plantation were still visible 100 years later, showing a house, barn, loom house, blacksmith shop, spring house, and grist mill.  This would have been quite an accomplishment for a man who started out life being called "Duke" or even "Dewkey". 

He is recognized as a Patriot by the DAR because of goods he contributed to the American cause.   There was a nephew Marmaduke was was involved in the Regulator's Rebellion of 1771, and three of his sons were in the 10th NC Regiment, so it is likely that most of the family were at least patriot sympathizers, even if they didn't fight.  Our Marmaduke would have been over 60 by the time of the Revolutionary War, so contributing horses and provisions was the best he had to offer the country.

Marmaduke wrote his will on December 26, 1787, and it was probated in 1788, but his exact date of death isn't known.  His inventory consisted of one hundred acres of land, one home, one mare, 5 head of catter, 2 beds and furniture, one cupboard, 1 table, 2 pots, 1 oven, 1 ax, 1 hoe, 1 par horse chains, 1 log chain, 1 skillet, 2 iron pots, a rocker, one pair ice tongs, 2 pails, 1 churn, 1 spinning wheel, 1 drawing knife, other knifes and forks, 1 trunk, 1 pickling tub, and one or more illegible items.  Either he had downsized from the type of life suggested by the horse racing owner of several buildings and enterprises, or our Marmaduke led a quieter life.  He left everything to his wife and youngest son, which could indicate that his older sons and daughters had already been given their "share" during their lifetimes.  I'd love to see more research done on his land holdings and what happened to them. 

Marmaduke is buried at Timber Ridge Church Cemetery near Deep River, Randolph County, NC.  Find a grave indicates that this cemetery is deep in the woods and is overgrown. It is apparently right next to the Richard Petty museum, which is fitting because Richard Petty is noted to be one of his descendents.  I guess the trend from horse racing to car racing shows that there must have been something in Marmaduke's genes!

Our line of descent is:

Marmaduke Vickery-Elizabeth Nation
Jeretta Vickery-Joseph Nation
Elizabeth Nation-Chrisopher Myers
Phoebe Myers-John Adam Brown
Phoebe Brown-Fremont Holbrook
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Lois/Gladys/Ray/Howard Holbrook, their children, grand children, and great grandchildren

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Harshbarger line: David Brown 1783-1834

David Brown is another mystery.  He may have started life off as David Braun. His father was Henry Matthias Braun and his mother, Maria Salome Hoerner.  He was born about 1783, or possibly January 1, 1785, perhaps in Lancaster County, Pa.  We know that his family moved soon after that to Bedford County, so if he was born on January 1, 1785, then he was a twin to his brother Daniel, and may have been born in Bedford County.  On-line information seems to mix the two people up so I'm not sure which birth date is correct. 

We know that he married Barbara Brothers or Bruder, but we're not sure where or when. On line trees show the marriage as taking place in Poland, Trumbull County, Ohio in 1806 but I haven't found a source for this information.  Other trees show that the marriage took place in Lancaster County, Pa. Neither location makes a lot of sense but I am hoping to find a source someday so I can evaluate this information for myself. 

It appears that he and Barbara had at least 11 children, most if not all of them in Stark County, Ohio.  David had entered land there with a sale date of September 13, 1812.  It's possible that the family was already settled on the land when it was entered, or perhaps the family came after that date.  He owned 158 acres of land, which would have needed to be cleared before it could be planted.  This was not an auspicious time for starting out in Ohio, because the war of 1812 was in full swing and there was always the possibility of raids from Native Americans.  David's land was in Marlboro Township and soon after his brother Daniel had purchased land nearby, in Nimishillen Twp.   A Henry Brown purchased other land in 1824 and it's possible this was the brother of David and Daniel. 

The 1820 census for David shows that there were 4 males under the age of 10, 2 between the age of 10 and 15, and David between the age of 26 and 44.  David was engaged in agriculture.  There were also 2 females under the age of 10, and one aged 10-15, plus Barbara aged 26-44, for a total of 11 persons..  A family in the 1830 census in Harrisburg, Stark County, may be this same family. David was 50-59, which is a little off in age, we think. Barbara was 40-49, and there were more children.  By now, the male side had grown. There was one male under the age of 5, one between 5-9, two between 10 and 14, two 15-19, and two 20-29.  With the addition of the two youngest boys, this is compatible with the 1820 census.  There are still three females in the household besides Barbara-one is 10-14, one is 15-19, and one is 20-29.  This would easily fit the framework of the 1820 census, also, and with the information that the couple had 11 children. 

David is believed to have died in late 1834 or early 1835. Again, the same dates have been assigned for both David and Daniel and it's hard to determine which is which, from the sources I've found on line. Regardless, he was a reasonably young man in his early 50's, and he left a large family behind. Barbara lived another 19 years and died in Williams County, Ohio, on January 30, 1855.

I hope there are other researchers of this family who will see this and contact me. I'd love to know so much more about him.

The line of descent is:

David Brown-Barbara Brothers
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, September 2, 2014

Harshbarger and Beeks lines: Family themes

I read some one else's blog post that challenged its readers to reflect on the themes of our particular family history. I found it fairly easy to find themes for my family, but when it comes to my husband's side, it's a little less obvious.  The Harshbarger and lines that extend back from it are pretty much all about hard work, whether it was farming, manufacturing, or something else. I've found very few professional people in this line, which doesn't mean they weren't educated.  Many of them were in the military service, but no one that I have found so far tried to make it a career.  They practiced their religions faithfully, whether Lutheran or Reformed, or Anabaptist of one sort of another.  I would call the Harshbarger and related lines "salt of the earth" people.  They weren't famous, but they were hard-working, honest folks, and America is built of people like these.

The Beeks line is harder to define.  They were of various nationalities:  English of course, but also Welsh, German, French Huguenot, and Dutch.  Some of their lines go back to royalty, but that was a long long time ago.  Their religions followed their nationalities somewhat.  There were Welsh and later American Friends (Quakers), French Protestant, Dutch Reformed, Church of England, and probably Baptists as well as Methodists.  As America became the "melting pot," the Beeks family joined in with marriages across cultural/religious lines, so I would say that one word for them would be "accepting."  The other thing that sticks out to me is that these people tended to have longer military service than those of other families.  Christopher Beeks and John Simpson Aldridge were both enlisted for longer than three years during the Revolutionary War, which is commendable and is less common than finding people in the militias for a few weeks or months at a time. 

These paragraphs are just generalities and of course there are examples to contradict just about every statement I've made here.  However, they stick out in my mind because so many of their other family members were as I've described here.  Remember that anyone who is alive today and had ancestors in America in the 1700's (or earlier), came from "hardy pioneer stock", and that may be the best description of all!