Tuesday, December 29, 2015

All lines: Last post of 2015

So what have I accomplished this year, in the world of genealogy?

First, I've "met" several very helpful people, distant relations and otherwise, who have been willing to give me additional information, or clues, or encouragement, to keep going in my search to find all our ancestors who are still findable.  Oh, how I bless you all!

Second, I've ordered Civil War records for three Allen and Harshbarger ancestors, one of whom I didn't even know was a veteran when the year started.  All three records are treasures to me, as I learned more about George Allen, William Withers, and David Wise.

Third, I've written about 100 blog posts, most of them brief sketches of immigrant or Revolutionary War ancestors, with a few others thrown in for good measure.

Fourth, with the help of the new probate records on Ancestry.com, I was able to disprove some information on the family tree.  While I hated to get rid of that line of people, I'm thrilled to have new families to research, even though right now they are quite challenging.

Fifth, I've been able to locate the wills of quite a few ancestors in the above mentioned probate records, far more than I would have ever been able to locate on my own.  My latest find was the 1810 will for my husband's fifth great grandfather, but I've found newer wills and older wills.  Of course, there are still many that aren't available, or perhaps records were never created, so I keep hoping for more finds, too.

Sixth, I've learned that I will never be a good organizer, but that I can take baby steps to try to improve as I go along.

Seventh, I've learned that I'll need to consider moving my family tree to another provider, since Family Tree Maker will be ditched by Ancestry.  I am still trying to figure out how urgent it is for me to make a change.  If I change, it will be a chance for a "do-over" so I can get rid of the many duplicates I currently have in the trees.

Eighth, I've read a lot of books about ancestors or/and their times this year, and have purchased or been given several intriguing reference books to help me understand more.  Some are still on order, but all are deeply appreciated.

Ninth, I've filled out a personal memories book for my son's family, and have shared stories with my daughter's family.  Their memory books were done earlier, and probably none of the books are the same.

Finally, I've been more intentional about investing time in the lives of my grandchildren.  Someday, they may share stories of their craft days with their uncrafty grandmother, or of our shopping expeditions, or of all the books I've read with my grandson, or of how excited we all are as we prepare to welcome another grandchild into the family.  Hopefully, this is the greatest "achievement", and the most enjoyable, of all.

I don't know what 2016 will bring in my genealogy world.  I hope it will bring breaking down one or more of the brick walls I've written about, but even if it doesn't, there will be joys and new finds along the way, I'm sure.  A teacher I had in the fifth grade would not let us leave at the end of the school day unless we could tell her something new we had learned that day, and I still feel that a day without learning something new is a wasted day.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Allen line: Christmas in the 1950s and 1960s

Christmas is a time for nostalgia, among other things, and since our extended family no longer gathers for Christmas I thought I'd pretend that we were all together and all the younger ones were asking me, as the oldest of the clan, about "Christmas in the long ago."  Here are some of my memories from the later 1950's and early 1960s.  I'm all about traditions, even as times change and we no longer keep them, except in our memory.

The Allen Christmas was blessed in many ways, because we kept Christ at the center of our Christmas, and because we were an intact, nuclear family.  Yet, our Christmas might have been pitied by some, because we didn't live in the same city as our relatives, and because our Christmas was not a huge gift giving extravaganza.

For those early years, before children's allergies to mold became known, we had a real tree, mostly on the small size. Mom thought a tree should be no taller than 6 1/2 feet, although what looked like 6 1/2 feet in the tree lot often was larger when we got it home.  Dad was not a fan of cutting tree trunks (he did it, but muttered the whole time) so perhaps that is why Mom always wanted a smaller tree.  We usually put the tree up maybe 10 days before Christmas, much later than most of my friends, but it was always pretty well gone by the day after Christmas, and was always down well before New Year's Day.  Our decorations were bulbs and a few shaped glass ornaments, and some glass birds that were clip ons, and a lot of tinsel.  When my younger sisters came along, "unbreakable" ornaments were added for the bottom of the tree.  I remember when my parents stopped putting some simple paper ornaments on the tree.  Those were ones they had made for their first Christmas, when Dad was still in college and funds were tight.  They didn't throw the ornaments away, but they didn't put them on the tree anymore, either.

We had a white plaster of paris Nativity set, which had been a Vacation Bible School project when I was about three years old.  It was intended to be painted, but the ladies (including Mom) in charge soon realized that was too much of a project for the time allotted and the age of the children who came.  So ours has been white ever since, and as I put the scene out for it's 62nd appearance this year, I realized that there are duplicate shepherds, sheep, and wise men.  I wonder what the story was about that?  Anyway, I was lucky enough to be given this and it now has a simple metal stable to set it off.
Unfortunately, the story I must relate about this is that my younger sister and I were allowed to put this set on top of the piano every year.  It was always a big deal to put the baby Jesus in the manger in its place, but since they were all wrapped in soft paper, we couldn't tell what piece we had as we grabbed each piece out of the box.  I recall one particular year, to my shame, when my sister and I pretty much came to blows over whose turn it was to put the baby Jesus figure out.  Well, sometimes the spirit of Christmas went missing for a few minutes, I guess.

Mom always wanted to encourage us to make gifts and decorations, even though we weren't particularly artistic (in my case, not even a little artistic),   One year, we cut apart cardboard egg cartons and covered each holder with aluminum foil, to make bells.  I think we had pipe cleaner clappers but I could be wrong about that.  Then we strung them on yarn. We tried to add cranberries in between the bells, but they were so hard that not even Mom could get them threaded, so that part of the project was a failure.  As we grew older, I remember making candles of different sorts, probably for two or three years in a row.  One year, we made trays that were made of cut up linoleum tiles, grouted, using a round pizza tray for a base.  I was absolutely thrilled to see on of those trays on display in the home of one of my aunts, when I visited there several years later as an adult.

Mom didn't do a lot of Christmas baking in those early years, but I sure miss her almond crescents decorated with confectioner's sugar.  As we grew a bit older, there were more cookies made but I think most of them were given to Sunday school teachers and other church leaders. We probably made more cookies the years we hosted the extended Holbrook family get-together.  When I was about 10, Mom found a recipe for a braided yeast bread type wreath, and that soon became a much-loved tradition.  The first year, she made one for Christmas breakfast and I can still smell and taste it, in my memory.  It was such a hit that the next year we two older girls were enlisted to help, and we made several batches, again for Sunday school teachers, and the tradition continued.  We always kept one wreath for Christmas breakfast, though.

I mentioned earlier that we didn't have a huge gift giving extravaganza. Dad was a pastor, in small churches, so there was never a lot of money in those years.  Mom told me as an adult that she tried to make sure each child had four gifts under the tree, although three of them may have been small items like coloring books and crayons, or Little Golden books.  I remember one year that my main gift was $10, with a promise of $10 more each month until I had enough money to buy a bicycle.  We had gifts from aunts and uncles, too, and from my grandmother.  One aunt always knew just what to buy me, because Mom had given her a wish list, and I always looked forward to her gifts.  One uncle always sent a food package of some kind, knowing that would help the family over the rough winter months when there might not be enough church offering to give the pastor his full salary.

We had one other family tradition that was probably a little different.  We never put gifts out under the tree until Christmas Eve.  As a familly, we first had a small devotional around the tree, and read the Christmas story from Luke before someone would yell "Scatter!" and that was our signal to go get the gifts we had prepared out of hiding, and put them with love under the tree.  Mom and Dad generally would wait until we had gone to bed to bring one more gift out, so there would be a surprise on Christmas morning.  Naturally, the thought of presents under the tree, which we had just seen for the first time, made it a little difficult to go right to sleep that night.  Santa Claus, in our family, was a happy story but certainly we didn't believe in him or expect gifts from him, so no one ever waited up for a possible appearance on Christmas Eve.

We would open our gifts in the morning, enjoy them for a little while, and then either prepare for our cousins, aunt and uncle and grandmother to arrive, or load up the car to go to one of their homes for Christmas.  I especially loved to go to the home of my aunt and uncle for Christmas.  They always had a big tree, nicely decorated.  For a few years, they had bubble lights on the tree, and I loved to watch them, over and over again.  They always had a real tree.  I think it's possible that my grandmother had one of those aluminum trees, but I'm not sure about that. (I know friends had them, and I hope they still have them, or that they have sold them for the major dollars those trees get now.)

Wherever we gathered, Grandma always made a mincemeat pie, which was a tradition from her mother and I don't know how many generations back. Unfortunately, it's a tradition I never learned to appreciate.  And yes, we always had a fruit cake, too, also made by my grandmother and also not appreciated by me.  I don't know whether that was a family tradition or not, but I suspect that it was.

Christmas celebrations have changed through the years, as the children became teenagers and young adults and married (not necessarily in that order), and as my parents became grandparents to 9, and great grandparents to four before their deaths. The nuclear family gave way to extended family, and we generally had our extended family Christmas the Sunday (usually) after Christmas. When Mom and Dad gave up their home and spent their last years in Mattoon, Illinois, everyone traveled to my sister's home for the extended family Christmas, and there was quite a group of us. 

I hope we learned some of Mom and Dad's lessons, even though we don't celebrate their traditions in the same way.  Christ comes first, family is to be treasured, and giving gifts is much more important than receiving them.  Merry Christmas, family!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Beeks line: Jan Pieter Slot 1613-1703, Immigrant

Here's an ancestor with a fascinating history.  I would love to sit down with him at the dinner table and learn his story, because he lived in such interesting times and places, that I haven't yet learned much about yet and may not have the time to research myself. 

Jan Pieter Slot was born in Holstein, Denmark in 1613, perhaps the son of Pieter Sloat and Mary Baerts.  I say "perhaps" because I haven't seen the documentation to back up his parents' names.  However, several sources state that he was a Dane, so I am fairly confident with that much of his early life. 

Sometime in his youth or early manhood he migrated to Amsterdam, Holland.  We don't know for sure what he did there, but somewhere he learned the carpenter trade. With all the growth that Amsterdam was experiencing, he would surely have had little trouble finding work in that line.  He also married his first wife there, Aeltje Jans, and they had two sons together, Pieter Jansen and Johan.  Jan Pieter and his sons emigrated to New Amsterdam in 1650, apparently with his wife, who died about 1664.   

New Amsterdam was a fascinating place, small but bustling, and as long as taxes were paid, open not just to the Dutch but to people from all backgrounds.  The contrast with the relatively closed society of the Puritans of New England is quite striking.  Jan Pieter settled first in Harlem, which was a few miles north of New Amsterdam, but still on Manhattan Island.  By 1667 he is believed to have been living at "Fort Amsterdam", under British administration.  His lot was at the foot of what is now known as "Wall Street."  He was a carpenter in Harlem and presumably also in what became New York, and was also a magistrate for at least 6 years at Harlem, so he was well-respected by his peers.  Perhaps he was removed as magistrate when the British took over the colony. 

I have two death dates for Jan Pieter, one in 1690 and one in 1703.  There may be some confusion between Jan Pieter and his son, Pieter Jan.  It's believed that the son died first.  Assuming that the 1703 death date is correct, he lived for about 90 years, in three very different cultures (Danish, old world Dutch, and then Dutch/English New York).  I'd love to know why he made each move, how hard or easy it was to adjust, what language(s) he spoke, what his religion was, and more about his life in early America.  Of course, I'd love to know about his parents, too, and their lives. 

The line of descent is:

Jan Pieter Slot-Aeltje Jans
Pieter Jans Slot-Marritsje Jacobse Van Winkle
Jacobus Slot-Maria Demarest
Benjamin Slot/Lock-Sarah Demaree or Demarest
William Lock-Elizabeth Teague
Sally Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Somewhere between Benjamin and William, the name was Americanized from Slot to Lock.  The words have the same meaning.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holbrook line: Jude Foster 1759-1789

Why would we be interested in a man who lived only 30 years, long ago?  First, he's an ancestor.  Second, his line ties in to that of Miles Standish and Edward Doty, two passengers on the Mayflower.  Third, he served in the Revolutionary War.  Fourth, he died just three weeks after receiving a pension.  Fifth, he is also the ancestor of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, who served on the Supreme Court from 1970-1994, so we would, for better or worse, be distant cousins to him. 

For a man of such importance to the family, there is not much information about him, and some of that is contradictory.  He was born April 10, 1759 perhaps in Western, now Warren, Worcester County, Massachusetts, to Nathan Foster Jr. and Elizabeth Lunsford or Lansford.  Some sources state he is born in Stafford, Tolland County, Connecticut; until I find proof one way or the other, I'm willing to leave his birth place as "unknown."  He was one of at least nine children. 

He would have been sixteen years of age when he joined Captain Josiah Putnam's Co. of Colonel Jedediah Foster's Regiment, to march on the alarm at Lexington.  That service lasted just 8 days, and when he returned to enlisted in Captain John Grainger's Company of Colonel Learned's Regiment, and served three months, 1 week, and one day.  He was also on a payroll return dated October 7, 1775.  Next we find that he had enlisted January 1, 1776 in Jonathan Danforth's Company, Colonel Asa Whitcomb's regiment, and was shown as sick in hospital at Camp Ticonderoga. His service at that time lasted 10 months and 26 days.  He recovered and was shown on Captain Daniel Gilbert's Compny, Colonel Job Cushings reiment, from July 13,1777 to September2,1777, a total of one month and four days, service at Bennington.  There was another 3 months of service in Captain Thomas Whipple's Co, Colonel Abijah Stearns regiment, from March 30 to July 2, 1778, serving three months and three days "guarding Convention troops."

Somewhere probably following this last service, he married Sarah Goodenough (Goodenow, Goodnow).  She is reported as being from Princeton, Massachusetts, which was near the towns of Paxton and Western.  They appear to have settled in Paxton, also near Princeton, but there is a possibility that they also lived in Rowe, which was more to the north and west of Paxton.  They had at least four daughters.  Sally and Polly are sometimes shown as Sally/Polly, but I think these were two different girls.  The others were Lydia, Judith, and Betsey.  Sarah died sometime before Jude's death, because at the time of his death he was married to "Lydia M." It's not clear who she was nor how long they were married, but generally the children, except perhaps for Lydia, are thought to be Sarah's.  Proof at this point is lacking.

Since Jude was awarded a pension in 1789, this indicates that he was an invalid and unable to earn a living.  Unfortunately, it seems that the records from that time period were destroyed or at least are unable to be located, so we are left guessing.  Did he have injuries, or was it a debilitating illness such as consumption (tuberculosis) that killed him at such a young age?   He had served his state and country for over a year, at least some of that time under very difficult conditions (Ticonderoga comes to mind), and any of several conditions could have caused his death.  He died March 28,1789, about 2 weeks before his thirtieth birthday.

I've not found a will or a true inventory for Jude, but I did locate partial probate records on AmericanAncestors.org.  His administrator was his brother Joel.  His assets totaled $364.90 and his debts, which were many, totaled $267.95. That would have left the widow with very little to live on.  Jude's main assets were land in Paxton and in Rowe, which had been sold by order of the court, and also $31.67 owed in back pension from the United States.  I need to trace the men who owed him money and the men to whom he owed money.  One name in the list that leaps out at me is "David Goodenough", who I'm hoping could be Sarah's brother or father.  (I don't know who Sarah is, at the moment, and I'd love to place her with her family.)   

Lydia was still alive in 1801, but that is the last I could find of her.  She apparently raised her daughters, or perhaps set them out as servants or apprentices, but they married and had families of their own.  Jude and his wives must have done something right, besides Jude's sacrifices for his country. 

I have clues to follow up from the probate records.  I need to find where his land was, and why he owned land in Rowe.  I need to locate birth records, which so far have eluded me and I need to trace the people named in the probate records, to see if any of them lead to Sarah's family.   I'd also like to know how Jude supported his young family following the war, if he was able to work at all.  I think I would have liked this man, and I certainly honor him now for his service to his country and to his family.

If some one reading this can answer any of my questions, I'd love to hear from you.  Jude's full story needs to be found, and told.  Please contact me via comments or at happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom.  You'll know what to do with the AT and the DOT.

The line of descent is:

Jude Foster-Sally Goodenow (probably)
Betsey Foster-Josiah Whittemore
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph R Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Allen line: Rowland Stebbins 1592-1671 Immigrant and Allen ancestor at least three times

Rowland Stebbins is a name the Allen family should hold dear, for we have at least three different lines that go back to this man and his wife.  I guess somehow that would probably make us our own cousins, but that gets too complicated to think about.  At any rate, Rowland Stebbins is a name we should recognize and acknowledge.  Fortunately, there is some information about him so that we know a little more about him than we know about some of our other immigrant ancestors. 

Rowland Stebbins was born or christened November 5, 1592 in Bocking, Essex, England, the son of Thomas Stebbins and Ellen, whose maiden name is unknown.  He had at least two brothers and a sister, and there may have been more children in the family.  His older brother Dennis died soon after birth, so for all intents and purposes, Rowland was the oldest child in the family.  We don't know what the family did for a living but much of the town at that time was involved in the woolen trade in some fashion, so it is likely that this family also participated in some aspect of that business, whether raising sheep, manufacturing the cloth, or trading in it.

Rowland married Sarah Whiting, who was three years older than he, on November 30, 1618 at St Mary's Parish, which is where Rowland had been christened.  Sarah was the daughter of John Whiting and Sarah Smith.  The family had at least four children, who traveled with them on the Francis in 1634, along with Mary Winche, who at 15 may have been a servant but also may have been related to either Rowland or Sarah.  We don't know what compelled the family to emigrate, but because he was well regarded in his town of choice, Springfield, Massachusetts, we probably can conclude that religious convictions had something to do with the move.

Rowland is believed to have settled or stayed first in Roxbury, because that is where his younger brother Martin lived.  By 1639, he and his family were in Springfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony, where he stayed for almost 30 years. Sarah died in 1649, and Rowland never remarried. We can probably infer that Rowland was a well respected man in Springfield by the statement that he was in the "first seat" of the Springfield meeting house in 1659 and again in 1662/3.  The "first seat" was a rather coveted position and the family sitting there would generally be either wealthy or extremely pious, or otherwise highly respected by the community. 

He acquired land in various grants from the town, small acreages here and there, including meadows and wood lots so he could grow the hay needed for animals and cut the wood needed to heat the family home.  He doesn't appear to have owned what we would consider a farm, all in one location, but owned various parcels granted by the town as it grew.  Since he wasn't farming, he must have had another occupation but I've been unable to locate it.  He is not known to have signed his name, but signed deeds by "his mark." 

He sold his land in Springfield in 1668 and moved to Northampton, likely to be with an adult child.  He wrote his will March 1, 1669/70 and died December 24, 1671.  His inventory totaled a little over 121 pounds, of which 66 pounds was real estate. His will leaves property to his sons John and Thomas, to his daughter Elizabeth, and to various grandchildren. 

There is much I would like to know about Rowland, such as his presumed service in the militia, how he might have dealt with the local natives, what his occupation was, and more about his daily life.  However, we know he was an immigrant, a pioneer in the frontier town of Springfield, and the father of four children who lived to adulthood.  Once again, he is worthy or our respect.

Here is one line of descent:

Rowland Stebbins-Sarah Whiting
Thomas Stebbins-Hannah Wright
Joseph Stebbins-Sarah Dorchester
Martha Stebbins-Samuel Lamb
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

We have another line through Rowland and then Thomas, and one through Rowland and son John.  It's complicated! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Harshbarger line: Nicholas Cocke 1592-1670

Quite a bit of research has been done on the Cocke family of Virginia, and some of it is likely not correct.  However, we know the Cocke's were there, early, so we have at least the general outlines of the family, even if we're not clear on when the first immigration took place.

Nicholas Cocke was born about 1592, likely in Cornwall or Lancashire, England.  Either the records haven't survived or they haven't been located, but this is where the Cocke family lived, and the coat of arms on Nicholas's grave was identical to the Cocke family's coat of arms.  It would be great if someone could trace this back further, and learn why the coat of arms was used, but as far as I know it hasn't happened.

He married Elizabeth Lower of Lesaunt, Cornwall, England on November 11, 1619 so this would be a good clue as to where to start looking for baptismal records.  As far as I know now, the couple had only one child, Nicholas Jr., although they had a marriage of over 50 years.  I would think it likely that there were more children.

It is hard to tell which Nicholas Cocke is being discussed in the Virginia land records, but the older Nicholas seems to have stayed in Middlesex County while his son was in Lancaster County, Va.  (Middlesex was actually formed from Lancaster County, so it is possible that the two men actually lived very close to each other.)
Nicholas died in 1670 and his wife died in 1687, at home in Middlesex County.  I haven't located probate records yet, nor do I know the cause of death for either person.  Elizabeth would have been quite old at her death, perhaps as much as 95 years old but surely at least 85.  Nicholas lived what was actually quite a good life, too, 78 years.   He had been in Virginia for at least 12 years, and that was pretty good for living among all the dangers-natural, human, and disease-that seemed to stalk the colony.

I'd love to know more about Nicholas Senior.  His son had slaves; did this Nicholas also engage in slavery?  What was his home like?  Was he wholeheartedly in favor of the Anglican/Church of England church?   And if Nicholas was truly his only child, how did he feel about that situation?  I would be thrilled to hear from anyone who knows anything more about the Cockes, or the Jones family, or anyone else in this list of descendants.  I don't have good documentation on some of them and I'd love to learn more about these families.

The line of descent is believed to be:

Nicholas Cocke-Elizabeth Lower
Nicholas Cocke-Jane widow Curtis
Jane Cocke-Rice Jones
Anna Keen Jones-John Wyatt
Thomas Wyatt-Susannah "Sukey" Edmondson
John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jean Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Eliot Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Beeks and Holbrook lines: John Pers 1588-1661 Immigrant

John Pers is another in a long line of early immigrants to New England in the Beeks family, and also the Holbrook family.  He follows something of the typical mold, if there is such a thing, of coming to New England before the English Civil War, with a family and in his middle age.  John was born April 8, 1588 in Norwich, Norfolk, England, the son of Richard Pers or Pierce and Marguerite Coney.  We don't know much about his early life, except that his occupation in New England was a weaver.  It is probable that he learned this trade at home in Norwich, where the main industry was wool.  Wool made Norwich a wealthy city, and the Wikipedia article is quite interesting as it explains how Norwich welcomed religious refugees in the decades just before John was born.  What we don't know is John's religion, except that his children were baptized in the Anglican church.

John married Elizabeth Trulle or Stoker on April 22, 1610, in Norwich.  (I have seen her name listed as Trulle Stoker and as Stoker Trulle, but as of now I haven't found documentation for either name.  The couple had seven children from 1610 to 1622.  Four of them are documented as having traveled with their parents to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637.  There was also a servant, John Gednay, in their party.  However, this may not have been John's first trip to the New World.  The older children of John were already here, and John was given land in Watertown in 1634.  It is likely that he was here as early as 1633 and then returned to New England for his wife and the rest of his family, to bring them over in 1637. 

The family settled in Watertown where John taught the weaving trade to at least some of his children, and where they were given land as settlers of the town.  John was made a freeman in March of 1638 and took the "oath of fidelity" in 1652.  His name appears as a drummer in the train band (militia) of that year but it's not clear whether this was John the immigrant or John the son.  John the immigrant would have been 64 years old and likely had been excused from the militia by this time, unless he was in exceptionally good health. 

John made his will in 1658 and died September 2, 1661.  His will was proven September 30,1661, and his inventory was valued at just over 217 pounds.  Elizabeth made her will on March 15, 1667 and died within just a few days, as it was proved April 2, 1667.  Her estate was valued at just over 124 pounds, so she must have used her assets wisely. 

Of course I'd like to know more about this couple, but I'm grateful to have located this much information about them.  Here are the lines of descent.


John Pers-Elizabeth Trulle or Stoker
Anthony Pers-Ann
Daniel Pierce-Elizabeth Shedd
Elizabeth Pierce-Samuel Smith
Shubael Smith-Prudence Fitzrandolph
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants


John Pers-Elizabeth Trulle or Stoker
Hester Pierce-Joseph Morse
Joseph Morse-Susanna Shattuck
Esther Morse-Nathaniel Joslin
Israel Joslin-Sarah Cleveland
Sarah Joslin-Edward Fay
David Fay-Mary or Mercy Perrin
Euzebia (Luceba) Fay-Libbeus Stanard
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holbrook line: Henry Kingman 1595-1667, Immigrant

What would we ever do without the "Great Migration" series that Robert Charles Anderson has devoted his life to preparing?  We certainly wouldn't know as much as we do, particularly about this ancestor, Henry Kingman.   With all due respect, however, there are still mysteries about this immigrant, including the minor details of when and where he was born, and who his parents were.  As I understand it, there is a researcher in England working on these questions now.  May he have great success, and may he share them with the many thousands of people who descent from Henry.

The first knowledge we have of the man, at present, is his migration to New England in 1635 on board the Marygould.  This ship sailed from Weymouth, England and almost all the passengers went to Weymouth, Massachusetts, a small village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  This was part of Rev. Hull's company.  (Rev. Hull was an interesting preacher for the time.  He was expelled from the Church of England early in 1635, then was pastor at Weymouth until he was dismissed for his "liberal views", and so on to Hingham and various other places until he returned to England for a decade, then back to the New World to preach in New Hampshire.  He was apparently too Puritan for the Church of England and too Church of England for the Puritans.)  When Henry came to America, he is listed as being 40 years old.  He came with his wife, Joane, and chidren, Edward, Joane, Ann, Thomas, John, and a servant, John or Jonathan Ford. 

Henry and his wife settled in Weymouth, a small village at the time, and stayed there the rest of their lives.  He was a freeman, a member of the church, and a ferryman and innkeeper by trade.  He was granted 42 acres at Weymouth in 1636, apparently in several different parcels, and also acquired land that was "first given to" various other settlers, who apparently moved on or died.  In 1648, he purchased a house and several acres of land belonging to William Richards, so the ferryman/innkeeper business must have been somewhat lucrative. 

He served as the deputy for Wemouth to the Massachusetts Bay General Court in May of 1638 and again in May of 1652, and was a memer of a Massachusetts Bay grand jury in 1637. 

Joan died at Weymouth on April 11, 1659 and Henry died there June 5, 1667.  They had six children, Edward, Joan, Anne, Thomas, Bridget, and John, all born in England. All of the children probably helped in the family business as they grew, so this would likely have been a close family.  Henry's inventory was not totaled, but the land he owned was valued at 288 pounds, and it is noted that his estate included a Bible and one other book. 

This is as much as we currently know about Henry and his wife, Joan or Joanna.  There is much speculation that Joan's maiden name was Drake.  If so, her genealogy may make her a cousin to Sir Francis Drake, but this is not proven.  It would be wonderful to find more answers to more questions!

The line of descent is

Henry Kingman-Joan possibly Drake
Joan or Joanna Kingman-Thomas Holbrook
Peter Holbrook-Alice Godfrey
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Cook
Jesse Holbrook-Abigail Thayer
Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright (there she is again!)
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Allen line: Robert Perrigo abt 1635-1683

I have only a little bit of information about Robert Perrigo, ancestor in the Allen line and immigrant.  What I have, however, is so intriguing that I want to share it, in hopes that someone else has found more pieces to his puzzle and would be willing to share it.

So far as is believed, our ancestor was born somewhere in England, although his surname is believed to have derived from France.  His birth date is unknown, and his birth place and parents are unknown, although someone has indicated his father's name might be William Perrigo.  There was no documentation attached to that statement.  At least one internet researcher believes he was born in 1624 in St Clements, Hastings, Sussex, England. 

The next thing we know about Robert is that he was married in 1657 in New Barbadoes, New Jersey to Sarah Smart, daughter of Robert Smart.  (New Barbadoes was settled by the Dutch, and is now known as Hackensack.)   Robert and Sarah had at least three children together, Ezekiel, Sarah, and Roert.  They were born in Saybrook, Ct. where the couple had settled.  Apparently Sarah died, and about 1670 Robert married for a second time, to Mary or Marah Wood.  Together they had four or five children, the last born in 1683, a few months after her father's death. 

Mary remarried, to Henry Peterson, but all may now have been well between Henry and his step children.  In April of 1711, 28 years after Robert's death, Henry wrote a letter to the court basically saying that he had learned that some of the children of Robert were hiring attorneys and claiming that the estate of Robert Perrigo, which had been settled in 1684, had not been properly handled.  In 1711, Henry was offering up another 63 acres of Perrigo's land, at Beaver Brook, to add to the estate.  This letter is now on Ancestry,com.  Part of this dispute may be because Robert's son, Robert, had apparently been left only one shilling in the will.  Unfortunately, the probate records for the time period prior to 1700 were destroyed, so these are the only hints we have about the Perrigo estate.

As to his occupation, again, it is difficult to say much.  There are hints that he may have worked in the maritime industry, since he was said to be on Mr. Goodall's ship, "now at Goodman Rusco's" in 1659 when his young son Ezekiel received medical treatment.  If course, it's also possible that he was a merchant or a trader or any number of other occupations.  Since he had 63 acres of land not included in the original estate, he likely did at least some farming.

With no estate records, no inventory, and very few other records to go on, we are left with little knowledge of this ancestor.  We know he married twice, had at least seven children, and probably died before the age of 50.  We also know he came to the New World from the Old, and possibly had friends or relatives in New Jersey, (or Sarah was in Connecticut for some reason), since the couple married in New Jersey.  More research needs to be done concerning Robert, but in the meantime, we can honor what we know of his life.

The line of descent is:

Robert Perrigo-Sarah Smart
Sarah Perrigo-John Royse
John Royce-Hannah Bellamy
Elizabeth Royce-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Ann Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Memories

It's hard for me to write this kind of post, and I'm not sure how many people will want to read it, since this is my first real attempt to capture some of my own memories.  Still, it's part of the family history and some of the "young 'uns" reading this might enjoy hearing about the "good old days."

The "good old days" is a phrase I actually used when my grand aunt, Elizabeth Stannard, spent a Thanksgiving with our family in Othello, Washington in 1958 (possibly 1957; I was pretty young at the time).  If it was 1958, this would have been her last Thanksgiving.  Normally she was not part of our family celebration because she spent it with the nephews she had helped raise, but this year she consented to come.  I remember my mother telling us how we needed to be on our best behavior and not interrupt.  Aunt Elizabeth was a retired Latin teacher and she had strict expectations about how we should behave.  The day came, our guests came (including my grandmother, probably my uncle, and my aunt and uncle with their three children) from Spokane, Washington, and I could hardly stand it.  I think I behaved all through dinner, but afterwards, when we got this special lady made comfortable, I remember the cousins all sitting in a circle around her chair and being allowed to ask questions of our remarkable relative.  I don't remember what anyone else asked, but my brilliant contribution was "Tell us about the good old days."  I vaguely remember that she told us some stories, but I don't remember them at all.  She could have told us many things, as I've since learned that she was raised in Kansas, came to Washington state soon after she graduated from college, was a school teacher and a superintendent of education in a sparsely settled part of the state, and then taught Latin in Spokane for many years.  She was also a world traveler, having gone to Europe, the Middle East, and India at various times.  So, which stories did she tell us, I wonder?

Other Thanksgiving memories involve a cornucopia.  On one of Aunt Elizabeth's trips, she had purchased wax fruit as a gift for my mother, and for at least a few years Mom didn't know what to do with it.  One year, she found a rattan or wicker cornucopia and said "That's it!"  For several years, our Thanksgiving centerpiece was the cornucopia with the fruit, lovingly arranged by my mother in memory of her aunt. 

We also had little Pilgrim candles, and possibly a turkey, although I'm not sure of that.  These are the kind that were probably 10 cents apiece but now sell for many times that on eBay.  They were a part of our Thanksgiving for many years, too. 

Dad usually mentioned how one of our ancestors was William Brewster, elder of the Mayflower Pilgrims.  I sure wish Mom had known that she descended from Myles Standish and Edward Doty, two of the "strangers" on the Mayflower, as there would have been some interesting conversations, I'm sure. 

We spent every Thanksgiving with our cousins, their parents, and our grandmother, sometimes at our grandmother's house, sometimes at our cousins' home, and sometimes at our home, wherever that was.  The men watched football and the children played board games after the wonderful meal, and the day always ended much too soon.  By the end of the day, Aunt Lois usually asked us what we wanted Santa to bring us for Christmas, and often that item ended up under her tree for us the next month. 

The people mentioned in this post have been long gone now, except for two cousins and my sister.  Their descendants all have their own holiday traditions, but I hope if any of them read this, they will know that they come from a long line of Thanksgiving dinners!  I only wish I'd asked my parents how they celebrated Thanksgiving as a family, when they still lived at home. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Beeks line: Ulrich Ruble 1710-1761 Immigrant

First, a warning.  Not every genealogist or family historian is convinced that Ulrich Ruble belongs in this line.  The point of contention is Hannah, who was married to Samuel Dunham.  Was she, or was she not, a Ruble?  Alternative names, especially Chenoweth, keep popping up for her.  Based on what I have seen on line, I am leaning toward the Ruble line, but I don't consider it proven.  So take this for whatever it's worth.  Ulrich Ruble surely existed, and had descendants, and if he doesn't belong in the Beeks line, he surely belongs to someone.  Someday, someone, somewhere, will find the documents that will prove or disprove this line, and I hope that someone will contact me when they do!

Ulrich was born in either Switzerland or the Palatinate in what is now Germany.  It is likely that his parents, Hans Peter Rubel and Anna Katrina Mueller, emigrated to the Palatinate from somewhere in Switzerland, about the time that Ulrich was born.  We don't know whether the emigration was for economic or for religious reasons.  Many Mennonites and other Anabaptists from Switzerland went to the Palatinate during this time period because of religious persecution, but we don't yet know whether the Rubles could be included in that group. 

Ulrich is believed to have come with his family to Pennsylvania in about 1727, which would mean Ulrich was a teen-ager, or in their society, a young man.  He soon made his own way in the world, and settled in Bucks County,(modern day Lehigh County)  Pa., where he owned land by 1734.  Within a few years, he had decided to sell the land, and moved on to Frederick County, Virginia. He was married by this time to Jane Jacob (not Burson, as is widely reported), but as of yet a marriage date has not been found. 

A fascinating detail noted on the Geni website for Ulrich is that he was a member of the Virginia Militia, and in 1758 voted for Colonel George Washington.  I'm not sure whether this was a military election or a political elections, but since Ulrich was a member of the Virginia militia, it leads to a host of questions.  Was he in the military expeditions that George Washington was a part of, during the French and Indian War?  Did he perhaps serve under the "Colonel?"  The family lived on the Opequon Creek, somewhere between Martinsburg (now WV) and Winchester, so it was definitely frontier county, and Ulrich would have been the right age to be included in the militia. 

Ulrich and Jane had eight children: George, Peter, John, Elizabeth, Samuel, Owen, David, and Susannah.  Ulrich wrote his will on December 20,1759 and it was probated on August 4, 1761. He would have been about 51 years old when he died.  We can speculate that if he served under George Washington on some of those excursions, then he certainly would have suffered hardships that may have caused his somewhat early death.  The stories of what the militia went through in support of the British during that time are hard to read, so we owe men like Ulrich Ruble a huge debt of gratitude.

I've not found an appraisal of his estate although the appraisers were Henry Bowen, Thomas Doster, and William Barrett.  He left everything to his wife Jane until she remarried, and then to his children equally. He apparently owned at least 150 acres of land at his death, and perhaps more.

Once again, here is an immigrant ancestor from Switzerland or the Palatinate to America.  We need to recognize all our brave and hard-working pioneers, whether in Plymouth Colony in 1620 or in Virginia 140 years later, or even in Indiana in the early 1800s.  These folks had what we would consider a hard life, and built America.  We owe the Pilgrims a thank you, but also the many who came after, with different ideals and cultures.

The proposed line of descent is:

Ulrich Ruble-Jane Jacob
David Ruble-Sarah Malin
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, November 20, 2015

Allen line: Thomas Kilbourne 1578-abt 1637, Immigrant

Another Allen line immigrant, another set of questions.  Was he, or wasn't he, killed in an Indian massacre?  Why would a man 57 years old come to the New World, anyway?  Was it to give his children a chance at a better life?  Was it so he could practice his religion?  Was it for economic reasons? 

We do know something of Thomas's life.  He was born (or christened) May 8, 1578 in Wood Ditton, Cambridge, England, and is believed to be the son of John Kilbourne and Anne, of the same location.  It appears that Anne would likely have been a second wife, or at least a much younger wife, so he may have lived in a blended family.  Wood Ditton was a small village near Newmarket, but the small village had a long history going back to the Domesday records.  For a village to survive that long, there must have been some natural resources such as water or metal (or woods?) nearby. 

As far as we can tell, he was not a Puritan, at least not in 1632, when he is listed as a church warden in the Church of England.  He may, of course, have held Puritan sympathies and merely kept them quiet until he could go to New England.  He married Francis Moody, daughter of George Moody and Margaret Chenery, on September 5, 1604, at Moulton, Suffolk, England.  The couple had 8 children, and the youngest would have been about 10 when they immigrated.  Just five of the children sailed with them on the "Increase" in 1635.  One is known to have stayed in England and the other two may have also stayed, or they may have died young.  Thomas was listed as a husbandman (farmer) on the ship manifest. 

Various records say that the ship disembarked at Boston, but yet we see that the first noted residence of the Kilbourne family was in Wethersfield, Ct.  We don't know whether they transferred to another ship for this part of the voyage, or whether they made an overland trip.  Either trip must have been difficult for a couple in their fifties, although their older children must certainly have been a help.  At this time, the Kilbournes were Puritans, so either they changed religions between 1632 and 1635 (which is certainly possible), or the church warden duty had been something enforced by the Church of England, which is also possible. 

In Wethersfield, Thomas was granted or purchased several tracts of land, but there is no record of him after 1637.  This has led to the speculation that Thomas was one of the 7 unidentified victims of the Indian massacre of April 23, 1637, when 200 native Americans carried out an ambush against the settlers during what is known as the Pequot War.  This appears to have been not just a native vs. white man conflict, as the Dutch were allies with some tribes and the English with others, but the original source of conflict was between the tribes, as to which would control the trade of furs desired by both the Dutch and the English.  Of course, it was more complicated than that. 

Regardless of the cause, Thomas Kilbourne was not heard from after that date.  His widow, Frances, did not marry again and appears to have maintained her own household, probably with help from her family.  When she died in 1650 or 1651 (will written November 13, 1650 and proved June 1, 1651), she had a good sized estate amounting to about 336 pounds, which someone has calculated at being about $30,000 today.  This included several tracts of land which weren't designated in the will, so there must have been an arrangement about that.  Francis's estate also included books valued at 2 pounds, so it is likely that Thomas could read, and possibly Francis also. 

In writing about Thomas, I find myself greatly admiring his wife.  She kept the family together for roughly 13 years between the apparent death of Thomas and her own death.  Thomas must have taught her well. 

The line of descent is:

Thomas Kilbourne-Francis Moody
Mary Kilbourne-John Root
John Root-Mary Ashley
John Root-Sarah Stebbins
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harried Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Holbrook line: Susan Eddy Stanard 1835-1910

It's amazing what you learn when you think you're learning something else.  I was searching for a better death date than just "1910" for this lady, my great great grandmother, and stumbled upon another very interesting story indeed. 

First, the bare bones.  Susan was born July 17,1835 in Chautaqua County, N.Y. to Joseph R Eddy and Susan Lamphire Eddy.  Her family moved west, and she went along with them, and married Hiram A Stanard on December 31, 1854, in Lee County, Illinois.  From what little I've learned, she must have been a typical pioneer wife and mother, although just the move from New York to frontier Illinois meant she lived an extraordinary life and had something special going for her.  The family was Baptist, and Hiram was a Republican.  (Susan's political opinions didn't matter because she couldn't vote, anyway.) 

What I find remarkable about Susan is the family she raised.  There were four children-Louis, whom I've written of earlier, Esther, whom I've also written of, Luceba, who is still something of a mystery, and Susan A.  Susan A Stanard married very, very well, to Bert Underwood.  Now, I knew very little of Bert until I started looking for Susan Eddy's story.  I still don't know much about him, but I suspect one could write a book about his exploits. I thought I would put this much down in print in case someone wants to find out more about this gentleman. 

There are somewhere between several and many articles in the Ottawa, Kansas newspapers about him, because he was a local boy made good.  He determined in the 1880's that he was not going to drive a grocery wagon for $10 a month forever, and he made good on that promise.  Somehow, he and his brother, Elmer, began several businesses in and around Ottawa, including a Farm Loan Company and a stereoscope company (they were on the ground floor on this business, and they were famous as the company of Underwood and Underwood.)  They were also two of the first overseas photographers for newspapers, and traveled the world taking photographs.  Most of the photos were destined for use in the stereoscope business, but in the process of this endeavor, they became more what we would call photojournalists, and were involved in several of the major news stories of the day.  Bert even reported on some of what he learned about some of the upheavals in Greece and Macedonia in the 1900s, as a special correspondent.  He traveled to Assam, India at one point, and visited his sister Esther Stanard Dring there.  He became very ill in Panama (malaria, maybe?) and his brother was called to his bedside there.  At one time, Underwood and Underwood had offices in New York, London, and possibly other European cities.  Other notable events that Bert covered included Korean hostilities and the coronation of King Edward, successor to Queen Victoria. 

The 1910 census shows Bert as a publisher, and his mother in law, Susan Stanard is listed in his household.  I would like to know how long she had lived with the family, because she died before June 15, 1910, which was shortly after the census was taken.  I've not found her yet in 1900.  Her husband, Hiram, had died in 1895.  There was a newspaper note that Susan had gone to "New York" with her daughter, Susan Underwood, which was shortly before the younger Susan's son Roy was born.  Did she live with the family for the next decade?  There are four persons listed as servants in the household, so were these the ordinary servants that a family as well to do as the Underwoods would have, or was one of them a special nurse for Susan Eddy Stanard?  

We know that when Susan died in 1910, the funeral couldn't be planned until Bert was available to travel, as he had just returned from a European trip.  Her death was due to cancer, and she had been ill "a few weeks."

This is the thing I am pondering:  How did Hiram and Susan, ordinary people as far as we can tell, parent such interesting people?  Louis went to the Pacific Northwest after seeing his children through college, Esther married and went to India as a missionary, and Susan married a highly successful businessman/photographer/journalist who "saw it all" and was likely "seldom home."  I can't wait to try to trace down Luceba, and see what she did with her life.  (I think I know, but need to verify my suspicions before I report it as fact.)

I realize this might be "false advertising", because not much of this post is directly about Susan Eddy Stanard, but it's what I've been thinking and learning about today, so I wanted to share.  Searching old newspapers is fun! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Beeks line: Randall Malin 1649-abt 1728

Randall Malin is one of the men I would most like to meet in the Beeks line.  He was an interesting man, a Quaker, and not necessarily one of the quiet ones.  His life began in Netherton, Cheshire, England in 1649, when he was born to parents identified as Isaac Malin and Elizabeth Jones.  I'm not sure that is correct because a son Isaac also married an Elizabeth Jones, it seems. I'd like to see the documents for both Issacs.   We don't know who his wife was, either, except that her first name was Elizabeth and that they married in 1676.  Six years later, Randall and Elizabeth sailed for America, possibly in William Penn's fleet, but not before Randall got in trouble with the law.

Quakers were not appreciated in England because they typically refused to pay their tithes to the church, and their taxes to the government.  Somehow, Randal learned of a "priest" who had an informer, advising the priest of who was counted among the Quakers.  These persons then had their goods, household and business, confiscated, or distrained.  Randal had discouraged a local butcher from selling meat from cattle he knew to have been distrained, and for this, the informant turned him in.  Presumably the informant was rewarded, but certainly Randall was fined 20 pounds (a huge sum, so he must have had some wealth).  Randall refused to pay the fine, and his household goods, corn, and hay were seized to cover the fine.  This was in 1678, and we don't know how the family survived until they left for America.  Is it any wonder that the family sailed to Pennsylvania in 1682? 

In 1681, Randall had purchased 250 acres, sight unseen, from William Penn, in what became Pennsylvania, for the sum of 5 pounds.  The following year, the Malins went to Pennsylvania and settled on their farm in Upper Providence Township, Chester County.  Some of his descendants still lived on the farm over 200 years later.  Randall also owned a lot in Philadelphia itself, lot # 192.  This again makes one think that this man was not dirt poor. 

Randall and Elizabeth had three children together, before she died in 1687.  He waited 5 years, and then married Mary Hollingsworth Conaway.  Mary also had three children, so this blended family was already large, but became larger as each of four children were born to this new couple. 

Randall and Elizabeth had been active in Chester Monthly meeting, and the new couple also attended there.  Randall was made an elder and then possibly a minister, or at least he was recommended to be a minister.  He suffered the indignity of having his daughter marry outside the Quaker religion, and asked that the constable of Chester arrest the groom for marrying his daughter contrary to law (I'm not sure what the legal issue was.)  The Quakers also put the young couple out of the church.

Randal held several offices at different times during the later years of his life, including constable, and as a road viewer.  He was on several juries and at least once served as the foreman. 

Although reference has been made to how his assets were divided after his death in 1728, I've not seen a copy of the will.  More than the will, I'd like to see his inventory.  Did he still live by himself, with a sizable inventory, or was he living with an adult child, I wonder.  Did his inventory contain books?  Since he was an elder and perhaps a minister, it is likely that he could read and write, but we don't know that.  What tools were listed, which could give us insight into any side occupations he may have had, and which could explain the lot in Philadelphia?  There are always questions, it seems.

Here's the line of descent:

Randall Malin-Elizabeth
Isaac Malin-Elizabeth Jones
Sarah Malin-David Ruble
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Harshbarger line: A temporary wrap up

I thought for this post I'd write a general post about this family.  As with all generalizations, it will be not be 100% correct, but this should help us get a feel for the Harshbargers and all their many inter-connected lines.  Many of the Harshbarger families, and their wives' families, came from Switzerland via what is now Germany or from one of the German principalities themselves. Some were Anabaptist of one sort or another, while others were of the Lutheran, or the Reformed faith.  I've not found any ancestors who appeared to be Roman Catholic, but that may be because we can trace few lines back beyond 1700 or so, in the "Old Country". 

I've found nothing that makes me think these families were ever connected to nobility or royalty.  These people were the salt of the earth folks who farmed or/and had a very small business that needed to support, generally,a very large family.  Restrictions in how land could be acquired and passed down forced many of these large families to come to America, where hard work would be rewarded.  Many of these men owned 100 acres or more within a few years of their arrival here.  Usually the men, or their widows, left the largest part of their estate to the oldest son, but sometimes they were able to provide for all their children equally.  Daughters were not given land, although occasionally a son-in-law would receive land, perhaps because he had helped care for his father in law in his old age.  Daughters were more typically given household goods or money, and sometimes a cow or other animal.

Most of the German lines were in Pennsylvania by 1755, and many of them, or their sons, were in the militia during the French and Indian War, and fought or at least supported the Revolutionary War, as well.  Once the West began opening up (whatever "West" meant at the time), large parts of these families moved to western Pennsylvania and then (or directly) to Stark and Summit County, Ohio, where some fought in the War of 1812.  From there, the families moved to Whitley County, Indiana. 

There were exceptions to the German lines, of course, and some German families ended up in Licking County, Ohio, via West Virginia, before there was a West Virginia, and before coming to Whitley County..  At some point, the Germans began marrying outside their faith and outside their language.  Irish, English, and even French ancestors are known to exist.  These people would have had different cultural backgrounds but they, too, seem to have come to America to work and better themselves, and give their children a chance at a better life.

There are English lines that go back to the very early days of Virginia, more than 100 years before the Germans started arriving in Pennsylvania.  I have visions in my mind of how these people lived, and worked, and neighbored, and worshipped, and I hope by now you have some sense of this, too.  At some point, records cease to exist or are not readily available, and my research comes to a temporary stopping place.  I may find more information about particular ancestors as I continue to research, or I may find nothing at all worth noting on this blog. 

If I have nothing new to write about anyone in the Harshbarger line, my every-other-week blog post will be about something else, not a particular ancestor but perhaps about a book I've read, a research site I've visited, or perhaps some of my own memories about my own experiences, which are in no way memorable but still, they are part of the story of who we think we are.  Thanks for sharing this journey through time and space with me!  Stay tuned for more stories about the Allen, Holbrook, and Beeks ancestors, as I learn more of their stories.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Holbrook line: John Polley 1618-1689

This is going to be a short post, because I'm unable to locate much information about John Polley.  He was born in about 1618, possibly in St Leonard, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England.  His parents may have been John Polley and Hannah, at least I'm finding that information on line.  Unfortunately, it's not documented, so it's a maybe at this point.. 

We know that he was in Roxbury, Massachusetts by 1650 when he had two daughters christened there on June 2.  This would mean he was married in 1649 or earlier.  He had four wives, the first of whom was Susannah Bacon, the daughter of George Bacon and Margaret.  Susannah came to America with her parents and two brothers in 1635, when she was ten years old.  John and Susannah had 7 children, all girls between the approximate date of 1650 and 1664, when Susanna died.  With seven daughters to care for, John needed a wife and this time he married Mary Ives, probably early in 1665. A child was born, but Mary died of smallpox about a year later, and once again John needed a wife.  This time, he married Hannah Cowdrey, in September of 1667.  John and Hannah had 6 children, five girls and a son named John. Their youngest daughter was named for her second oldest sister, Sarah, who had recently died as a married mother of four children.  Hannah died in 1684 and if the article I read is correct, John immediately (the same month) married Jane Metcalf Walker. 

John and Jane were married for not quite five years when John died in April of 1689.  He is a somewhat unusual ancestor not just for the number of his wives, but also because once he got to Roxbury, he stayed there, forty years or more in the same town.  Many of our ancestors left their original town to move onward, but not John.  Perhaps he wanted to stay near his older children, or perhaps the voyage across the ocean was enough for him.  Maybe his wives didn't wish to leave the area.  It's hard to say why men leave, and it's hard to say why they stay. 

It's also hard to say why there isn't more information available about John Polley.  Perhaps he was so busy supporting and raising his family that he made little mark in the town, but I'm not ready to settle for that explanation yet.  I will put this name on my "to do" list and work on finding out more about him. 

The line of descent is:

John Polley-Susannah Bacon
Mary Polley-John Perrin
Samuel Perrin-Mehitable Child
John Perrin-Abigail Morris
Benjamin Perrin-Mary
Mary or Mercy Perrin-David Fay
Luceba (Euzebia) Fay-Libbeus Stannard Jr
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Allen line: Thomas Gunn 1605-1681

First, there is a wonderful website with pages and pages of interestingly written information about our immigrant Thomas Gunn.  It is at thomasgunnfamily.com/1st-generation/ and I urge my readers  to read as much of that as they are willing to do.  Not only does it give a lot of information about Thomas's life, but it also tells some compelling stories and gives a good background for many of our ancestors, not only Thomas Gunn.  Compared to that narrative, this is a very condensed version.

It's believed that Thomas was born in 1605, possibly around the area of Dorset, England, but so far records have not turned up to document that.  The 1605 date is given because John Winthrop Jr. treated Thomas in 1666 and said he was then a man of about 61 years of age.  If Dorset was indeed the place of his birth, the most likely industries that he would have been involved in as a young man were either maritime, or sheep farming.  Neither one showed much promise at the time economically, and Thomas may also have been a Puritan when he sailed for America.

It's not known for sure when Thomas came to America but "Great Migrations" gives him an immigration date of 1634.  The Thomas Gunn site mentioned above says he came in 1629.  At any rate, he would have been a young or youngish man when he came.  He settled in Dorchester, part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and was made a freeman there in 1635, meaning he was at least 21, of proper religious beliefs, and had property worth 20 pounds.  He may not have been completely happy, because he soon joined Rev. Thomas Hooker's group and went to Connecticut in 1636, where he is recognized as one of the first founders of Windsor.  He may have married before making the trek to Windsor, and his wife's name may have been Elizabeth.  It has been suggested that her last name was Browne, but that seems to not have been proven yet. 

Thomas and his wife had four or perhaps five children in Windsor.  One or perhaps two daughters named Elizabeth died young.  John, Mehitable, and Deborah survived into adulthood.  Thomas was a respected man in Windsor as he raised his family.  He frequently served on the petit jury, and was also several times either a defendant or a plaintiff in court cases.  He moved on to Westfield, Massachusetts before 1669, and again helped establish a town in a wilderness. 

Westfield was extremely fortunate during King Philip's War in 1675-1676 to have escaped a direct attack by the natives.  Westfield had been told to send their women and children to Springfield for safety, and the town refused, deciding instead to stay, plant their crops, and keep vigilant watch. 
Thomas would have been one of the soldiers at the town, as he did not ask until 1678 to be relieved of his militia duties due to his infirmities.  He would have been 73 years old at the time, so we can infer that up to this time he had been healthy enough to satisfy his military obligations.

Thomas died at Westfield February 26, 1680/81.  His wife had died in 1678.  The estate was left to his son John with 5 shillings given to daughter Deborah.  (Her husband, Timothy Thrall, had been given several parcels of land earlier).  Daughter Mehitable received 20 pounds, with each of her four children receiving 5 pounds, and the balance went to son John.  The estate was valued at 349 pounds, of which 254 pounds was the house and several parcels of land.  Thomas had done well for himself.

I was unable to locate an occupation for Thomas, but we know that he farmed.  If he had other interests or business ventures I have been unable to find them.  He was another ancestor who worked hard, raised his family well, and helped build America, by helping to found two towns that still exist today.   

The line of descent is:

Thomas Gunn-possibly Elizabeth
John Gunn-Mary Williams
Mary Gunn-Samuel Root
Martin Root-Eunice Lamb
Martin Root Jr.-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Their descendants

Friday, October 30, 2015

Beeks line: Henry Rolfe 1585-1643, Immigrant

Henry Rolfe is another immigrant ancestor in the Beeks line.  He was born before September 5, 1585 in Downton or Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England.  (The two villages are very near each other.  It appears he was christened at Whiteparish but may have lived nearer to Downton.)  Someone on the webpage vault.hanover.edu/~smith/smit.gen.html has done a wonderful job of describing his or her trip to the area, and has wonderful pictures showing the villages and the actual land farmed by John Rolfe, Henry's father.  It is a very peaceful appearing location. The land showed no crops currently being grown, so it's hard to know how the land was used 400 and more years ago.  I've been unable to verify the mother of Henry, except that her name was "Honor." 

"Honor" may have been a popular name for women in that place and time period, for Henry married an "Honor" also, in fact, she was "Honor Rolfe", a first cousin once-removed.  They were married at Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England on May 28, 1621, when Henry was 30 and Honor was about 22 years old.  They seem to have had three children in England, with a fourth, Benjamin, born in Newburyport in 1638.  It isn't known for sure when they immigrated to America but it must have been no later than 1638 since his son was born there.  Henry's will, written in 1642, shows "howse and land" so he had been here long enough to accumulate some land and build a home, anyway.  This was in the town of Newburyport, now known as Newbury.  There is no record that he was ever made a freeman, so possibly he acquired the land shortly before his death. 

His inventory was valued at 153 pounds, 8 shillings, 6 pence, which seems to be farily decent considering that he was in America only a few years.  He owned quite a few animals-6 cows, four oxen, one bull and one steer, 5 "beasts", plus calves, hogs, and bees.  There is mention of a feather bed and a "flock" bed  (a flock bed was filled with wool refuse, left over materials, and the like), and 6 feather pillows.  From this, one suspects that some children slept on the floor.  He also had a musket and fowling pieces, 2 swords and bandoliers, so he was armed in typical fashion for the time. Also there were books, not identified, valued at one pound, so Henry could read.  It would be interesting to know what the books were, because that would give us a window into his mind.  Henry's wife, Honor, died in 1650 or 1653, according to different sources. 

I'd love to know more about Henry.  Was he a Puritan, or was he in America for other reason than to practice his religion?  What were those books in his inventory?  He may have had a final illness of several months, since he wrote his will several months before he died.  What was his cause of death?  Did he ever need to discharge those firearms to protect his family, or his fellow colonists? 

Once again, there are questions, but we do know that he was a brave and hard-working man, to have come to the Massaschusetts Bay Colony and to have been a financial success at his death. 

The line of descent is:

Henry Rolfe-Honor Rolfe
John Rolfe-Mary Scullard
Mary Rolph-Benjamin Dunham
Jonathan Dunham-Mary Smith
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble (or possibly Chenoweth)
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Harshbarger line: Brick walls 3

Here is my final list for the Harshbarger brick walls I have.  Please note, these lists are not exhaustive.  I am listing the people that I have at least some little tidbit of information, something that gives me hope that with some additional clue, they can be found.

One of my thickest folders is for Barbara N Long.  She married Benjamin Buchtel in Summit County, Ohio in 1844.  Her birth date is given as 1826, in Georgetown,  Clermont or Brown County, Ohio, but I'm not sure that is accurate. I've seen no documentation, and it doesn't make sense to me yet.  The only other nugget I have is that someone named Susan Long was living in the household in 1850 in Portage County, Ohio.  She was 76 years old and Barbara was 24 at the time, so Susan was likely too old to be Barbara's mother.  She may have been an aunt or other relation, however.  She and Benjamin had eight children, so it seems that some other descendant should be looking for her, and possibly even knows who she is! 

Catherine Whetstone is another mystery that should be solvable.  She was born in Berks County, Pa, according to her will, and I have a birth date of December 27,1798.  She married Henry Cook probably before 1817 in Pennsylvania (son William was born there in 1817) and by 1819 they were in Ohio, where son Joseph was born.  They migrated to Whitley County, Indiana sometime before 1850, where Henry died in 1861.  Catherine did not remarry, and lived a long life, dying in 1887.  They had 9 children together.  Again, someone, with these clues, should have one more clue that will help us locate this lady.  There were several Whetstones (Wetstein is another spelling for the same family) in Berks County in 1798, but I haven't located any birth records yet.  Of course, it's possible that Catherine's name was something more like Maria or Anna Catherina, but I haven't located her under those names, either.

Next is Joseph Withers.  He was born about 1804 in Pennsylvania and married Mary Gearhart in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1832.  He was in Marion County, Iowa in 1850 with Mary and a family of eight children.  I am not sure that this is the same Joseph Withers, but a Joseph Withers married Ann Montgomery in 1852 in Richland County, Ohio.  She would have been considerably younger than he was.  I have not been able to locate divorce records, or death records for Mary, so I am left wondering.  I have a gut feeling that he is a grandson or possibly great grandson of Augustin Withers or Widders, but have not been able to make a connection.  I'd love to learn whether I'm right or wrong about that!

Finally, we leave our German-American family and go to Virginia to discuss William Wyatt.  No one seems to know who he was, but he was born about 1627 in England, and may have married a woman named Ann.  He was a captain (and later a major in the militia in Virginia, so he had some degree of responsibility or respect. He was here by 1653, when he was granted head rights of 400 acres of land for transporting eight people, including himself.  Many people would like to know who he was, and whether/how he was related to Francis Wyatt, the first royal governor of Virginia, and I'm one of those people! 

These are the people who are my brick walls for the Harshbarger family.  I hope maybe these short summaries will trigger an email to me because I'd love to hear from other family historians for these people.  My email is happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom. (Substitute normal punctuation for AT and DOT.)  New information will certainly require a Happy Genealogy Dance!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Holbrook line: Reverend Ephraim Hewitt, Immigrant

I am so excited to write about this ancestor of ours.  He has been on my tree for quite a long time, but I hadn't done any real research to learn about him. All I can say is, "Wow!" 

Unfortunately, it is not known when he was born or who his parents are.  Many internet sites give his birthdate as 1604 at Wraxhall, Somersetshire (or Warwickshire), England.  By my calculations, he couldn't have been born after 1595 because he matriculated (enrolled) at St John's College, Cambridge University, in 1611. (His Find a Grave memorial says he was born in 1591 at Ansley, Warwickshire, England, which makes sense, but there's no documentation shown.)  Men were mainly between the ages of 16 and 20 when they matriculated, although it is always possible that he entered as an older student.  Also, knowing that he enrolled at St John's makes one wonder, how did he afford the fees?  Were his parents paying for his education?  If so, we should be able to trace them.  (See further speculation about parents further in this post.) 

We do know, thanks to Frederick Lewis Weis in "The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England," that he was a curate at Cheshire and at Knowle, Warwickshire, England, and that he settled at Wroxhall, Kenilworth, England, in 1626, where he became the rector.  Basically, curate seems to mean he was what we would call the assistant pastor and rector would be the pastor.  This was in the Church of England, the only recognized church at the time.  Of course, there were Puritans worshipping in their own way, too.  We don't know when Ephraim became a Puritan, perhaps he was always one at heart.  However, we do know that he was "silenced by Archbishop Laud" in 1638.  Laud was the powerful Archbishop of Canterbury who insisted on church ritual that Puritans (and probably many others) did not support. 

He married Isabel Overton at Tarvin, Cheshire, England on April 22, 1622.  Their children were born from 1632-1640, with the youngest being born in America. 

After Ephraim was "silenced," meaning he no longer had a livelihood, he came to America in 1639.  He went directly to Windsor, Connecticut, to join Rev. John Warham in leading the church there.  He was ordained there, as a "teacher", which leads to a puzzle back in England.  Did he graduate from St. John's?  Was he ordained there?  It seems that he wouldn't have been appointed a curate and then a rector unless he had been ordained, but once again, records are lacking.  He may have been ordained in Windsor as a Puritan pastor, since earlier he would have been Church of England. 

He and his wife had four daughters, Susannah, Lydia, Sarah, and Mercy, and a son, Nathaniel, who died before his father.  Reverend Ephraim was a busy man with four young daughters to raise, a church to help grow, and a  book to write.  The book was called "The Whole Prophecie of Daniel Explained" and was the first complete commentary on prophecy written in the Colonies.  He had earlier, in 1626, authored another book called"The Anatomy of Conscience."  These books also lead to my belief that he did graduate, either from St John's or from another college.  Our ancestor also seems to have been responsible for the design of the meeting house there, which was designed to protect against attacks from the native Americans.  He was a multi-talented man!

Reverend Ephraim died in 1644 at Windsor and left an estate of over 633 pounds, which would be considered a sizable estate.  This leads to my speculation that either his books were runaway best sellers, or he had inherited or been given money at one time or another.  This again leads back to the speculation as to who his parents may have been.  If they were well-off, there is a good chance they can be found.  He left his "Great Island" at the Falls, to the Court of Hartford, for the use of the country.  I don't know what value his "Great Island" had (possibly a mill of some sort?) but it seems to have been a valuable gift, and I hope the "country" appreciated it. 

I know that I appreciate this ancestor a lot more, after learning this much about him.  Even though there is much we don't know, it's a joy to find this much about our immigrant-"teacher"-author ancestor.

The line of descent is:

Ephraim Hewett (Huett Huit)-Isabel Overton
Mary Hewett-Thomas Strong
Maria Strong-Samuel Judd
Elizabeth Judd-Ebenezer Southwell
Eunice Southwell-Medad Pomeroy Jr.
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stannard
Libbeus Stannard Jr-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Fun fact:  Ephraim Hewett is also shown as an ancestor to Herbert Hoover.  It's fun to find another distant presidential cousin! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Allen line: John Bruce 1690-1748, Immigrant

We know more about John Bruce than we do some of our other immigrant ancestors, but of course it's not enough.  The timeline for his life and the history of his times would indicate that it's possible he left Scotland under duress, as a "Covenanter", but I've not found proof of that.  He may have come to America for economic reasons alone. 

John Bruce was born (or christened) September 7,1690 in Portsoy, Fordyce Paarish, Aberdeen, Scotland.  Portsoy is a small village on the northeast coast of Scotland, with lovely cliffs overlooking the ocean, but little else in the way of natural beauty.  The pictures I found on line showed no trees outside of the village and very few in town.  The main occupation of the townspeople would have been fishing, and also quarrying or mining a serpentine rock that was considered so beautiful it was used both in jewelry and in the Palace of Versailles.  Presumably there would be enough vegetation to raise a few sheep or goats, but it's hard to see how someone could farm and make a living there.

John's parents were Thomas Bruce and Mary Christian.  He is believed to have had six brothers and sisters.  There is not as much certainty about the identity of his wife.  My tree shows "Sarah Parrell" but I have also seen Margaret Griffith, Margaret Frazier and Sarah Coles listed as being his wife.  He may have been married more than once, but I don't have documentation for any of this.  One possible explanation for the lack of knowledge may be that he spent some time in Ireland, as many Covenanters did, before emigrating to America.  I have seen speculation about this but again, nothing definite.

John arrived in Chester County, Pennsylvania by about 1730.  He would have been nearing the age of 40, and surely he brought his children with him.  His two oldest daughters married and stayed in Chester and Bucks county, but John moved on.  By 1735, he was in the area of Winchester, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley, where he received a patent for land on November 12, 1735, which was a grant from the Crown. (The policy at the time was to get this land settled, as a border against both the French and the Indians.) There are records in what was then Orange County of John suing and being sued for various debts.  He is listed as a "peddler", which leads one to wonder whether he was trading with the native Americans, or whether there were enough white people in the area to support his trade at that time

Brucetown, Va. was named at least partly in his honor.  This town was located 8 miles northwest of Winchester,  near the border of what is now Berkley County, West Virginia.  His land totalled about 255 acres.  In addition to doing some peddling, John was a farmer and operated a grist mill.  His lie was cut short by an epidemic that hit the area in 1748.  It may have been cholera, or any of several other diseases that were all too common at the time.  In his will, which had been written in 1747, he left his land to his sons George and James, who were to take care of his widow Sarah for as long as she lived.  I don't have a death date for her, but she may have lived for some years. 

It's not clear why his other children weren't mentioned in his will.  Perhaps the daughters had been given money or other property at the time of their marriage.  At any rate, by the time of John's death he had established a settlement that became a town, set up a business that George was able to grow, with the partnership of his mother in law, and had a farm that would help support the Bruce family.  We can be proud to call him our ancestor.

I'd love to know more about John, and especially about his wife.  When did they marry, and who was she?  Was there a church established that John and his family attended?   

The line of descent is:

John Bruce-Sarah Parrell
Ann Bruce-James McCoy
William McCoy-Elizabeth Royse
James McCoy-Nancy Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R. Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

There is a lot of material about John Bruce on the Internet.  I would particularly recommend "In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors", found at www.bradleyrymph.com.  There is also a book which I haven't yet seen, but which is frequently referenced, called John Bruce of the Shenandoah, by Violet Laverne Bruce.  Much of the information on the Internet seems to have come from that source. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Beeks line: Philip Servas, Immigrant 1714-1787

Here's a fascinating immigrant in the Beeks line.  I say "fascinating" because I believe he was a very courageous man.  First, he was an immigrant, which says "courage" to me.  Then, he was a Moravian, at a time when Moravians were not tolerated well.  Finally, when he acquired land, it was on the most distant part of the frontier in what is now Monroe County, Pa but was then part of Bucks County.  I just shake my head in wonder at the strength of these immigrants, and wonder how they did what they did.

Philip was born in 1712 in Coblenz, Zwiebrucken, Germany. I looked up Coblenz and I looked up Zwiebrucken and they appear to be in two different places so I'm a little confused by this information.  However, Coblenz is probably accurate, and Germany is accurate now although there was no "Germany" as we know it in 1712.  The area had yet to be united under one name.

Philip's parents were another Philip Servas and Ann, which is as much as we know of his birth and childhood.  We know that he married before he came to America because he and his wife, Maria Catharina Altomus, were on the ship "Samuel" when they arrived in Philadelphia on August 27, 1739.   It was while they were in Philadelphia that Philip became interested in the Moravian church, and this is also where he became a stocking weaver.  I've not found an indication that he was an indentured servant, but it still took 11 years for him to save up enough money to buy his land.

As mentioned earlier, the land he purchased, 100 acres, was in what is now Monroe County, Pa. It was a little more than 100 acres, on the Pochopoko Creek, "over the Blue Mountains."  By this time, the family included five children, and five more would be born to them during their marriage, all apparently christened or recorded in Philadelphia.  Philip seems to have acquired several additional tracts of land in the early 1750's, all in the same general area.

By 1755, things were tense between the natives and the pioneers.  They were so tense that a massacre occurred in December 1755, of Philip's neighbors, the Hoeths.  (Those of the family who weren't killed, were taken captive and there is record of the story of one of the young women who escaped after several years in Indian captivity.)  In response to this crisis, a fort was constructed on  Philip's property, where the families all went as needed during the French and Indian wars.  The Moravians later built a mission on the land which had belonged to the Hoeths.

The Servass's, meanwhile, fled their farm on the day after the massacre, and went to Nazareth, where many refugee settlers also found shelter.  They stayed in or near Nazareth for several years, with Philip making several trips there.  The family finally moved back to their land in 1763, at the close of the French and Indian War, and Philip stayed there the rest of his life.  He was taxed there in 1772, for 1 pound, 18 shillings.

Philip was too old to serve in the Revolutionary War, but surely he and his family knew of it and it's at least one of his sons, Frederick, served in the local militia.   Philip made his will in 1785 and died June 22 or 23 of the next year.  A Moravian braother, Brother Reichel, from Nazareth conducted his funeral service.   It appears that his wife stayed on the farm and survived him by about 2 years.

I'd sure like to talk to Philip, to learn what he was thinking as he stayed in Nazareth for those seven years.  Did he not go back sooner due to an abundance of caution, or because he didn't appreciate the Fort on his land, or was it his wife that was so reluctant to return home?  Maybe, after some years on the frontier they just enjoyed being with people again, or maybe it was a matter of saving enough money to start over again, with crops and farm animals.  I'd love to know the rest of the story.

Much of the information for this post came from items posted by Dale A. Berger, who has written a book about this family which I would love to see.  

The line of descent is:

Philip Servas (Serfass, other spellings)-Maria Catherina Altemos
Frederick Serfass-Sabina
George Philip Serfass-Eva
Mary Serfass-Andrew Wise
David Wise-Matilda Martin
Elizabeth Wise-John Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Harshbarger line: Summing up brick walls part 2

Here are more of the brick walls in the Harshbarger line.  If I could find out something about these people, and especially their parents, I could write more posts about them!

Matthew Farmer is still a mystery to me.  He was born sometime in the 1735-1745 time frame possibly in Chesterfield County, Virginia.  Two of his children married in Franklin County, Virginia in 1799 and 1803, and he was their surety so it seems that he lived there at that time.  He is in Elizabeth County, Miami County, Ohio by 1820, and there he stayed until he died in 1835.  If his birth date is truly correct, then he was quite old, at least 90, when he died.  A check of Chesterfield County shows that it wasn't formed until 1749, so we should probably be looking in Henrico County for Farmers.  I have seen several Farmers who arrived in Virginia in earlier times, mostly as indentured servants, so it is possible that the Farmers had already been in Virginia for several generations when Matthew was born.  I don't know the name of Matthew's wife, (Molly Glass was married to a different Matthew Farmer) and I sure would like to find out more about both of them!

I don't know whether I consider Mary Gearhart a true brick wall, but I have a thick file folder for her and still no smoking gun to point to her parents.  Mary was born in about 1812, and married Joseph Withers in 1832 in Carlisle, Pa. They are in Iowa in the 1850 census.  She may have died sometime between 1850 and 1860, or she may have become a widow and remarried.  I haven't located her after that date, and I can't say for sure who her parents might have been.  Peter Gerhart married Polly Wallace in 1805 at the First Presbyterian church in Carlisle but I haven't yet found proof that these people are Mary's parents. I haven't ruled them out yet, either.

Anna Marie Geise or Geiss married Daniel Kramer.  She was born , married in about 1765, and died in 1813, and that's about all that is known of her.  My tree says she was born in 1755, with no proof.  Daniel's children were born starting in about 1766 so either she was born several years earlier, or she was a second wife and not the mother of all of Daniel's children.  She died in Centre County, Pa.  I would sure love to know more about her.  Who were her parents, and when did she come to America, or was she actually born here?

 Today's last mystery is Magdalena Kunkle.  She was born about 1725, and she married Johann Caspar Schneer in 1759.  They had only two children, so perhaps she died shortly after giving birth to her second child, Julia Margaret, born in 1761 when she would have been about 36 years old.  I've found only one possible reference, a Maria Magdalena Kunckel who was born in Brocken, Ascheffanburg, Bayern, Germany July 1,1726, but if this is the right person I cannot place her in Pennsylvania, let alone in the proximity of Caspar Schneer.  Like Anna Marie Geise, I feel confident that there wouldn't be more than one or possibly two generations, to get her back to parents in Germany, and I would like to do that for both of them. 

I still have a few more Harshbarger brick walls to sum up what I know, and don't know, about the people in this line.  If you have something to add about any of these people, please contact me.  My email is happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Holbrook and Beeks lines and Ethan Allen

What in the world do Ethan Allen, Libbeus Stannard (Holbrook line), Timothy Martin (Beeks line) and Jason Wheeler (Beeks line) all have in common?  Well, there is a known connection between Ethan Allen and Libbeus Stannard, because Libbeus served under Ethan Allen in 1776 as one of the Green Mountain Boys.

I am currently reading Ethan Allen; His Life and Times by Willard Sterne Randall and I am learning much that may be of interest in tracking down Timothy Martin and Jason Wheeler.  Both these men were born in New York, but as it turns out, New York claimed what is now Vermont (as did New Hampshire) until 1791, when it became the 14th state in the United States of America.  So if we are looking for Jason Wheeler, born in 1765 in New York, it is quite possible that he is the Jason Wheeler in Lunenburgh, Orange County, Vermont in 1790.  (I'm not sure the designation is Vermont in 1790, but that's not my problem.)  Timothy Martin is listed as having a birthplace of Vermont in one census and New York in another census so I'm thinking it would be wise to look for him in Vermont, too.

Reading and thinking about this book is really getting my genealogy juices going.  For instance, it sent me to Fold3 to look once more for Libbeus Stannard's Revolutionary War records, and there they were.  He was living at Rupert, Vermont in 1776 when he enlisted in January 1776 and served four months and six days in Captain Gideon Brownson's Company Colonel Seth Warner's Regiment of Green Mountain Boy's and was in Arnold's Expedition to Canada.  Gideon Brownson was Ethan Allen's brother-in-law, the brother of his wife Mary Brownson.

 I'm not quite that far in reading the book yet, but I know from other reading that Arnold's (Benedict Arnold, when he was an American hero and not yet a traitor) Expedition to Quebec took place in 1775, so I'm not sure yet how Libbeus took part in that expedition.  The locations listed on his case file 14619 (pension number) do seem to support the Arnold expedition, as Quebec, Canada, Lake Champlain, Onion River, ,Vermont, Montreal, St. Lawrence, Abraham Plains, Whitehall, Fort Independence and Castleton are all listed.  I do hope to find out more, either in this book or in other research, because it appears that our Libbeus may have been a true hero though!  Libbeus re-enlisted in July of 1776 and served a three month term with Connecticut troops, which is not surprising.  Libbeus was born in Connecticut and there was a natural path of travel, up and down the Connecticut river into Vermont.  He later re-enlisted in Vermont in 1781 and served another three or four months, so altogether he had about a year of service. 

Besides tracing down the Arnold expedition story for Libbeus, I need to look for possible military records for Jason Wheeler, either in New York or Vermont, and possibly in the War of 1812 rather than the Revolutionary War.  I also need to look for men who may be Timothy Martin's father, in each of the states and each of the wars (more likely that Mr. unknown Martin would have served in the war of 1812.) For that matter, there may be a Ilberry or Tilbury who would be a clue to Hannah Tilberry Martin. 

Finally, I need to finish reading this book, to see what else I can learn that could be of interest in tracing down Jason and Timothy.  I expect more surprises and insights that could give me some clues, but just as importantly, I expect to learn more about this part of American history.  The author quite passionately believes that Ethan Allen was a hero, and he is not at all shy about explaining how the New England people were mistreated by the New York governors and elite and by New Hampshire's governors, who were equally greedy.  Who knew?

As always, if someone knows more about Timothy Martin or Jason Wheeler, or has more tidbits about Libbeus Stannard, I'd love to hear from you.  Meanwhile, Ethan Allen is calling me!