Friday, November 28, 2014

Holbrook line: Thomas Judd, immigrant

For this post, I'm relying heavily on the information found in "The Great Migration 1634-1635".  For those of us who have ancestors who arrived in New England very early, we are blessed in the genealogy world to have this wonderful compilation of our ancestors and their neighbors.  My hat is off to Robert Charles Anderson and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society for their great and wonderful efforts.

Having said that, it doesn't mean their great work tells us everything we want to know.  For instance, the article about Thomas Judd says that his origins are unknown.  Unknown?  How can that be?  Surely someone somewhere must know something.  If not, it's time to get some DNA tests going!  Find some cousins, sound the alarm!  My first goal in genealogy is to get all my ancestors "across the pond" and if NEHGS can't do it, that is going to be a problem. 

Now that my rant is over, here's what is known.  Thomas came to Cambridge, Massachusetts about 1634, because he had a grant of land in Cambridge then.  He was a freeman by May 25, 1636, so he would have joined the church prior to that time.  The name of his wife is known only as Elizabeth, and that is known only because John Winthrop treated her in 1669.  There is speculation that she was Elizabeth Freeman, but so far as I can find, there is no documentation for that. The marriage likely took place in England, as the first children were born about 1633-1635. 

A compiled list of children from secondary sources lists 9 children, born from about 1633 to 1651, and all to Thomas and Elizabeth.  They were Elizabeth, William, Thomas, John, Benjamin, Mary, Ruth, Philip, and Samuel.  The first child may have been born in England, William was likely born in Cambridge, and then the migration continues. 

The Judds were in Hartford, Connecticut from about 1636 to 1646.  They may have come with the Rev. Thomas Hooker party of 1636, who arrived in the dead of winter to establish their colony.  Thomas Judd's name is on the obelisk honoring the founders of Hartford.  The Judds worked and lived in Hartford for about 10 years, and in 1646 moved on to Farmington.  Farmington had been founded in about 1640, and many residents from Hartford went to Farmington, presumably for better land.  They were still under the rule of the Hartford church and the two settlements stayed in close touch with each other.  The last three children were born in Farmington.

The Judds lived in Farmington until the death of Elizabeth, which took place sometime after July 8, 1669 and before November 12, 1679.  On that date, Thomas married Clemence, the widow of Thomas Mason in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Thomas moved to Northampton.  He would have been about 71 at this time.  He disposed of much of his land at that time.  His widow, who died in 1696, left everything she had to Thomas's son Samuel. Samuel and "Marriah" had cared for her in her old age. She did have a house and homestead and meadow land, and Samuel ad "Marriah" apparently had very little.  Thomas died November 12, 1688 in Northampton, Massachusetts.

The line of descent is: 

Thomas Judd-Elizabeth
Samuel Judd-Maria Strong
Elizabeth Judd-Ebenezer Southwell
Eunice Southwell-Medad Pomeroy Jr.
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard Jr-Euzebia or Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis E Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  Thomas was a deputy for Farmington to the Connecticut General court many times during the time he lived there, from 1647 to 1677. If would be fun to know what sort of decisions were made by this very Puritan colony during the time Thomas was a deputy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Allen line: William Warriner, immigrant

Once again, records from the 1500's and the 1600's are hard to come by, difficult to read, and are interpreted differently by different genalogists and family historians.  But because this one is fun, I'm going to include what may be a myth, but may just possibly have a grain of truth to it, in this narrative.

William Warriner is believed to have been born in Lincolnshire, England in 1582.  It is possible that there is a generation missing between this man and his supposed children, but it is not impossible that the family I am going to present belongs to this man.  Just keep in mind that there may be another Warriner who is actually the father of the children I'll mention.

Before we discuss William and his family, there is a family tradition that is too interesting to leave out.  It is believed that another William, possibly the immigrant's father (or if there is a missing generation, grandfather) eloped with a Lady Alice Clifford and in their escape, members of the Warriner family (presumably on the side of the love-struck couple) escaped.  If this is true, there may be a very interesting family history based on Alice Clifford, a member of the Howard or Howe family. However, all that is really known is that an Alice Warriner, wife of Mr. Warriner, died on January 19, 1619, with records at Canterbury Cathedral.  Even if there is no interesting family history to Alice, and even if she was not Lady Alice at all, but there was still an elopement, it's fun.

It is even slightly possible that our William was the husband of this Alice, and that he waited another 20 years before he married again, and started another family.

So, let's go with what we think we know.  William was born in Lincolnshire, England (or possibly elsewhere), and lived for 56 years before immigrating to the New World.  He seems to have come from England in or before 1638, and a year later, married Joanna Searle or Scant.  There are family historians who have looked at the same records and arrived at different conclusions as to her name, but there is a record of a man named Searle who referred to his brother in law, William Warriner, in his will, so I am leaning towards the name of Searle. I could be persuaded to change my mind if I see other documentation, however.

The marriage took place in Agawam, and was then considered part of the Connecticut Colony but soon became Springfield, Massachusetts, and this is where the Warriners made their home.  William was already a freeman, meaning he had the power to vote, owned property, and met church approval. He was constable and selectman at different times in Springfield, so even though this would have started as a very small town, and was governed primarily by the Pynchons, he was respected.  William and Joanna are known to have had three children and some lists show as many as eleven. Joanna died in 1660 and William married one year later to Elizabeth Gibbons, the widow of Luke Hitchcock.  (I've blogged about Luke Hitchcock earlier.)  William died on June 2, 1676.

No will was found for William Warriner, but there are records of his inventory, compiled September 26, 1676 as agreed to by Elizabeth his widow, and heirs James Warriner, Joseph Warriner, and Thomas Noble.  The estate totaled a little over 160 pounds, including 6 different plots of land, an ox, two steers, three horses, and various household goods.  "Cloathing and Bookes" were appraised at 56 pounds and 12 shillings, which was almost a third of the estate.  Either our ancestor was a clothes horse (in Puritan Springfield?) or he had a substantial library. I prefer to think he had a lot of books, but that is speculation on my part.

William is recognized as an early settle of Springfield, and I'd love to hear his story in his own words. I'd like to know what he knows about the story regarding Lady Alice, and of his life in England, whatever it may have been.  I'd like to know more about his religious beliefs, and when he became a Puritan.  Since he died shortly before the outbreak of King Philip's War, I'd love to know what tensions he would have lived with, in his community, with the native Americans.  There are always more questions than answers, I guess.

Our line of descent is:

William Warriner-Joanna Scant or Searle
Hannah Warriner-Thomas Noble
Elizabeth Noble-Richard Church
Jonathan Church-Ruth Hitchcock
Ruth Church-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble--Martin Root Jr.
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Fun fact:  The Noble and Hitchcock lines would repeat for several generations, as this was a small town and the early families stayed in close proximity for several generations.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Holbrook, Allen, Harshbarger and Beeks lines: An Apology

I just wanted to let you know I hope to be back to blogging on Tuesdays and Fridays, after unexpectedly missing a week.  Sometimes life just happens, and so it is with us. 

It does make one wonder, though...What kind of illnesses and injuries did our ancestors have, that we know nothing of?  Obviously, if it ended in death there may be a record.  But what of our ancestors who had smallpox, or cholera, or other illnesses either sudden or prolonged? Did they have arthritis?  When did their strength start to fail?  And how did these kinds of illnesses and injuries affect their family?  Did someone lose a business, or their farm, because of a debilitating condition?

Once again, there is more to be told than we can see in the "easy to find" records, which of course aren't so easy to find.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Harshbarger line: Christian Brower abt 1714 to 1771

Christian Brower and his parents, Hubert Brower and Catherine Eve Brenneman, came to the New World in 1726.  The family is very fortunate that the original "pass" for the Brower family, which was similar to a passport and was issued by local (German) authorities, is still in existence and is one of the treasures of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives.  It was issued on May 1, 1726. We know that the pass states that the family was from the town of Fuss Gonheim, on the Rhine River just across from Mannheim  but we don't know how long the family had lived there.  It may have been only a matter of months, or it could have been years.

The Browers were a Mennonite family, which indicates that their origin was probably Switzerland. However, several websites name Hubert's father as Adam, and give him a Dutch wife and nationality.  More research needs to be done on this family, to prove that Adam is Hubert's father,  and to find out if the Dutch connection is correct. It is possible that Adam or his parents had settled briefly in the Netherlands, during the Thirty Years War which caused so much disruption to the various states that eventually became Germany.

At any rate, Christian was about 8 years old when he and his family crossed the ocean on what was apparently a lengthy voyage. We don't know exactly when they arrived because the oath of allegiance was not required until 1727, so apparently it would have been late in 1726.  The first record I find of Christian is that he took the naturalization oath in 1743, when he would have been about 29.  He was a young married man at this time, and the oath was required before he could own land, so this may have been the motivation for the timing of the oath. Since his brothers bought land in 1743, it may be that Hubert had died shortly before that time.

We don't know the name of Christian's wife.  He had apparently married Eve Brenneman Bowman at some point after their separate families were complete.  However, he had at least 8 children with hi unknown wife. They had 8 children together, and settled on the banks of the Schuylkill River in what is now East Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Christian had obtained his 200 acres of land through a grant from the Proprietors, meaning this was wilderness that had not been owned before.  At least two of his brothers, Henry and John, settled near him.

We are fortunate to find tax records for him in Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania in 1753, and later we can even find note of what he was taxed on.  In 1766, he was taxed for 200 acres, 3 horses and cattle, 8 sheep, and one servant.  This may have been an indentured servant about to serve his term, because the servant is not shown on later tax lists.  The last record, in 1771, shows him with 200 acres, 3 horses, and 5 cattle.  He died in 1771 and apparently there is a will in existence, but I haven't yet located it.  I've not found any indication of an occupation other than farming, but it is always possible that he had a trade also.

I'd like to find the will, and also I'd like to know whether or how Christian participated in the French and Indian war, or other skirmishes. As a Mennonite, my inclination is to think that he would not have been active in the military, but I could be wrong and I'd like to know for sure.  Of course, I'd also like to find documentation of his father's parents and their story.  And the brick wall is: who was the mother of his children?  I'd love to know!

The line of descent is:

Christian Brower-Catherine Eve Brenneman
Barbara Brower -Tobias Miller
Mary Miller-Johan George Harter
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Ellen Harter-Emanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Fun fact:  The trip from Germany to the New World was apparently a lengthy one, even for the times.  Can you imagine spending as long as six months on ship, watching your food stores dwindle, probably being sea sick (or at least, having children who were sea sick) much of the time?  I shudder just to think about it, but these people lived it. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Beeks line: Newspaper find about Wilbur Beeks

"Four Hurt in Head-On Crash Near Mt. Etna"...

I was certainly pleased to find this article in the Huntington Herald Press.  It was dated Monday evening, April 5, 1965, and I had looked through several weeks of newspapers on microfilm at the Huntington, Indiana Public Library in order to locate this.  (Looking through the old newspapers was a lot of fun, as I remembered so much as I was researching, but that's a story for another post, maybe.)

What I found was an account of the accident that involved two father and son duos, Wilbur and Jim Beeks, and Alva and Carl Searles.  Their two cars were involved in a head on collision near Mt Etna, Indiana on April 4, 1965.  All four were taken to hospitals. The Beeks men went to the VA hospital in Fort Wayne, Carl Searles to Lutheran Hospital in Ft Wayne, and Alva to the Huntington hospital.

The article states that the two cars collided at the crest of a hill on County Road 500 S in Polk Township, but does not assign blame.  It happened at 10:55 in the morning so perhaps the sun was shining and caused a glare or reflection.  Maybe both cars were using the center of the road, since that road was probably narrow "back in the day".

It appears that many of the injuries would have been prevented in this day of seat belts and air bags, since at least two of the victims were thrown into their respective windshields. The injuries described are not pleasant to read and would not be described in such vivid terms today.

Pictures of both automobiles are included in the article.  The front ends are heavily damaged, but it appears that the vehicles were probably of late 1950s vintage.  Damages were listed as $500 or more to each vehicle.   

Other thoughts:

The article doesn't state whether ambulances were used to transport the victims, but if they were, they would likely have been of the old, funeral home type variety.  Huntington County didn't get the van type ambulances until some years later. There would have been only basic first aid at the scene, and then little care could have been provided en route to the hospitals. 

$500 damage to vehicles that were a few years old in those days probably meant that the vehicles were totaled. 

We had no previous knowledge of the accident in this household.  The only reason I learned about it is that my husband's aunt kindly loaned me the minutes of a Sunday school class of the First Christian Church in Andrews. Her mother was an officer of the group for many years, so her name was frequently mentioned.  This book covered the class meetings during the 1960's. In April of 1965, I noted that a thank you note had been read to the class for the plant that had been sent to Wilbur following his serious car accident.  That's the clue I needed to go to the library and look for the newspaper article that told me more. 

Hint to family historians and genealogists that might be reading this post:  There may be another record somewhere that you'd never dream of, that has information you didn't know you didn't know!  Where might your next clue be hidden?

The line of descent for our family is:

Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Friday, November 7, 2014

Allen line: Luke Hitchcock, immigrant ancestor

I just read a statement that the persons I have identified as immigrants were not immigrants, but were colonists. They came to settle a new land, so yes, they were colonists.  However, since genealogy lingo refers to them as immigrants, I will go with the prevailing language.

Luke Hitchcock was born about 1614 at St Peter's, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, maybe.  Some sources say he was born in Fenny Compton, which is where his wife, Eizabeth Gibbons was born.  His parents are believed to be John Hitchcock and Mary Franklin, although I have not see solid documentation for this.  From the limited information I have found so far on line, I am not convinced of these facts. Certainly there were a lot of Hitchcocks in Wiltshire, but I'm not sure we've found the correct parish or village yet. 

We don't know what Luke did for the first 20 or so years of his life, nor do we know for sure when or why he came to the New World.  It seems that he came in the years just after the "great migration" ended in 1635.  However, we do know that he was settled at New Haven, in what is now Connecticut by 1638.  New Haven was a very Puritan colony and followed the Scriptures as their only law, at least at the founding of the colony. The colony did not prosper, partly because of its poor land, partly because they were politically "far out there", and partly because they didn't have a charter for their colony. They ended up merging with Connecticut rather than trying to remain independent.

Much of the colony would have been engaged in some kind of maritime trade or occupation, but Luke was a shoemaker. Perhaps he had learned the trade in England. He married Elizabeth Gibbons, daughter of Thomas Gibbons and Elizabeth Pierpont, in January, 1642 and their first son, John was born September 27, 1642.  Hannah was born in 1645 and their third child, Luke, was born in 1655. These dates may be baptismal dates rather than birth dates.  They also had a daughter, apparently unnamed, who was born and died on the same day.  This was not a large family for the time.

Sometime before 1653 the family moved to Wethersfield, Connecticut, and Luke had signed an intent to settle Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts a few months before he died. That move was never undertaken, and the implication is that Luke may have become ill or injured after he signed the intent.

Luke's will was written October 17, 1659. It is a little unusual in that he says "knowing it to be my duty to provide for my family and to settle my estate that I may leave no occassion of trouble to the when I am gone and that I may free myself before I die..." . Because his children are underage, he first gives everything to Elizabeth and then states his bequests if she remarries.  It appears that he owned several pieces of land that were to be divided between John and Luke, and he left his daughter Hannah 40 pounds. These bequests were to be given to the children when they each turned 18, or at the death of his wife, whichever is sooner. If Elizabeth remarried, she was to receive one third of the estate. Luke died November 1, 1659.

Elizabeth did go on to marryWilliam Warriner on October 2, 1661, and then, two years after his death in 1676, she married Joseph Baldwin.  She survived her third husband and died April 25, 1696.

The line of descent is:

Luke Hitchcock-Elizabeth Gibbons
John Hitchcock-Hannah Chapin
John Hitchcock-Mary Ball
Samuel Hitchcock-Ruth Stebbins
Margaret Hitchcock-Richard Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Fun Fact from a book called "Fullers, Sissons, and Scotts, Our Yeoman Ancestors":

"Luke was a shoemaker and owned by record fourteen pieces of land in Wethersfield. He was on friendly terms with the Indians and they gave him a deed to the town of Farmington. His wife placed it over a pie in the oven and destroyed it."

Yes, I know it's just a story and may not qualify as a fact. But it definitely is fun!  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Holbrook line: Ferdinando Thayer

I just have to write about Ferdinando.  First, he has a wonderful name. Secondly, we seem to have at least three lines that trace back to him, in the Holbrook side of things. And lastly, he was an immigrant, although really the immigrant status belongs to his parents, Thomas Tayer (lots of spellings) and Margery Wheeler.

Since he is an immigrant, it will be no surprise that he was born in England, in Thornbury, Gloucester, to be exact. He was christened on April 18, 1625 so was born sometime before that (children were usually christened before their first birthday and some were christened as soon as the day after their birth).  His father would have attended a lot of christenings, as it appears there may have been as many as 21 children born to this couple.  I wonder how Thomas supported his family. When he died, he called himself a shoemaker, which seems to be a humble trade, but the amount of land he had indicates he was a person of substantial wealth.

So it seems to have been a good move for Thomas, Margery, and their children, including our current hero, Ferdinando, to have come to the New World.  There seems to be some confusion about when the Thayer family arrived in America but they are not listed in the Great Migrations series, of families that arrived before 1636, so perhaps Thomas did come on the "Blessing" in 1637.  If so, his wife and what remained of his family may have come in 1640, as it is reported that one of the children died in Thornbury in 1640.  Ferdinando would have been 12 years old if he came with his father and 15 or 16 if he came with his mother in 1640-1641.  At any rate, at least 7 of his siblings had died in England.

Ferdinando lived with his parents for much of his life.  On January 14, 1652/53 he married Huldah Hayward, daughter of Thomas Hayward and Margery Knight, in Braintree, Mass.  The young married couple continued to live with Thomas and Margery until Thomas's death in 1665.  His father's will had been generous to him, and he ended up with so much property that he and his two brothers, Sydrach and Thomas, agreed to redistribute the land so that each had a more equal share.

Ferdinando then moved, as a founder, to Nipmug, later Mendon, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  He prospered for when he died he had one of the largest farms in the area, and provided farms for each of his sons in his will.  He did not have an easy time of it, though.  The Thayers were forced to abandon their home during King Philip's War in 1675. The town and surrounding fields were all destroyed, and the area was not resettled until 1680.  It was truly a case of starting over again. Ferdinando would have been 55 at this time, so the task may have seemed daunting to him.

Fortunately, he had a large family to assist him.  Ferdinando and Huldah had twelve children, of whom two (each named David) died young. Deborah, Huldah, Jonathan, Naomi, Thomas, Samuel, Isaac, Josiah, Ebenezer, and Benjamin all lived to have children of their own, and the Thayer name is still evident in New England.  For Ferdinando to have been able to leave farms to each of his 5 surviving sons, he must have acquired large areas of land, but I have not documented yet where the land was.

His wife Huldah had died in 1690. Ferdinando married for a second time, to Ann Freebury.  With all due respect to any of her descendents, Ann was not a loving wife to her husband, and she made accusations against her husband and his sons, charging that they sold liquor to Indians (which was prohibited), that he had deserved to have his house burnt during King Philip's War and it would occur again if they did not stop trafficking with the Indians. She also charged that he had failed to provide for her, along with various other charges.  Apparently Ann became disenchanted with her husband when she learned that he was giving his land to his sons, and she would get only the 1/3 of his remaining estate that was hers by law.  I get the feeling that it's a good thing for family dignity that there was no television then, or we could have been watching a reality show or worse.

Ferdinando died on March 28, 1713 at the age of 86.  He had seen good times and he had seen bad times, but his descendents would continue to build the New World.  I would like to know more about his relationship with his second wife, the veracity of her charges, and most especially, where his first name originated.  I'm not aware of any other Ferdinando in our tree.

One of our lines of descent is:

Ferdinando Thayer-Huldah Hayward
Ebenezer Thayer-Martha Thompson
Deborah Thayer-John Rockwood
Joseph Rockwood-Alice Thompson
Levi Rockwood-Deborah Lazell
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Ann Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  Ferdinando and Huldah were ancestors of Barbara Bush and thus of the second President Bush.  We're approximately 10th cousins to him.