Thursday, February 26, 2015

Harshbarger line: Johann Peter Behney 1715-1784

Johann Peter Behney or Bene would be another German immigrant in the Harshbarger line, except for one thing.  He lived just on the other side of the border, in what was then Alsace but is now France.  It appears that the Bene family may not have been there for more than a generation, but with all the upheaval surrounding the Thirty Years War it is hard to pinpoint the family's origin.   

Peter was born April 11, 1715 in Gundershoffen, Alsace, the son of Melchior Bene and Anna Barbara Mallo.  He had at least two brothers and there may well have been other siblings. However, as far as is known the brothers did not come to America.  Internet sources say that 99% of the people in this country who carry the name of Behney have Peter as their ancestor.  Gundershoffen was a small town (current population is about 3900) at the time that Peter lived there, and it is likely that the family farmed and possibly had a small business within the confines of the town also.  We don't know when Peter married Anna Barbara, but when they came to Philadelphia on the Phoenix in 1750 there were six children, so the marriage possibly would have taken place between 1735-1742.  It is likely that the Bene/Behney family came to America for better economic prospects, so the name of the ship is somewhat prophetic.

When they arrived in America, Peter would have taken the oath of allegiance to the King before he was allowed to permanently leave the ship.  He and his family (wife Anna Barbara and children Maria Elisabetha, Eva, Anna Barbara, Johann Jacob, Anna Margaretha, Hans Melchior) went to Heidelberg Township, in what was then Lancaster County but is now Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  Three more children were born to the couple here, being Christina Elizabeth, Maria Magdalena and George Peter.  There is a span of years between 1752 and 1759 when no known children were born to the couple, so it is possible that there were one or more additional births during that time span and the infants did not survive.

In 1773, Peter Behny is listed in Heidelberg Township, Lancaster County for what was called the sixteenth eighteen penny tax.  He is noted as having 30 acres of land, 1 horse, 1 cattle, no servants, and was taxed 3.6; presumably shillings and pence.  We don't find his name on the 1753 tax lists, so perhaps they had not yet arrived in the township.  At any rate, it is not a surprise to see that he owned only 30 acres, 23 years after the family arrived here.  The area that they settled was the frontier, and there were frequent Indian raids that forced families to leave their homes, leaving much, including crops that would have sustained them through the winter, behind them.  It was not an easy life, but the family worked hard.  At Peter's death in 1784, he left 100 acres of land and a "plantation" (the land he lived on and farmed).  It is said that he once owned 1000 acres of land, but I haven't seen the documents to prove that.  It is also said that he never stopped wearing Continental apparel, which might have made him a strange sight when Heidelberg was a frontier township and many men dressed in the country American style.

Peter lived through the American revolution and saw at least one of his sons serve in the Revolutionary War.  It is amazing to think what he lived through, from living in a small town in France, to arriving in Philadelphia in a strange world, to protecting his family from Indians, to seeing a new country born before his eyes.   I hope he was a good story-teller, for he would have had much to tell his family.

The line of descent is:

Johann Peter Behney-Anna Barbara
Anna Eva Behney-Johann Jacob Fehler
Christina Elizabeth Fehler-Johannes (John) Harshbarger
George Harshbarger-Mary Kepler
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Warning:  I am still trying to prove that George Harshbarger was the son of John Harshbarger and Christina Fehler.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beeks line: Morgan Abraham-not quite an immigrant

Oh, how cool!  I've just seen the will for this man, actual digital images on line at the National Library of Wales. I am supposed to cite the record thus:  Fortunately, the will is in English so I can read some of it. Other parts are beyond my skill level, but here is a brief summary of what I can understand and of what was new to me.

He describes himself in his will as a yeoman, meaning (I believe) farmer with property.  His inventory which was taken on July 7, 1712  gave a value of 120 pounds, 10 shillings.  This included wearables, and various animals and crops, including six oxen, four cows, and something else that may be sheep or could be something else entirely.  It also lists hard corn (that already harvested), and corn growing in the ground, and the implements of husbandry.  Yes, Morgan Abraham was definitely a farmer.

What else do we know about him?  There is at least one record that refers to him as a carpenter. We know he was planning to come to America when he died, and that his wife and at least some of his children made the trip as planned a year later.  His wife's name was Sarah but that's all we know at this point.  Although his will is found in the National Library of Wales, it seems that the area he lived in, Longtown, Parish Clodock, Herefordshire, is English, although at one time it had been Welsh and many place names, etc., were Welsh.  Since Morgan Abraham is the first known person in this line, it's hard to know for sure whether he was of English or of Welsh roots.

He was born about 1660 and died June 28, 1712, having written his will on June 24 of that year.  William, his oldest son, and Sarah were able to sell the land that had been left to Sarah and this allowed the family enough funds to migrate to what is probably Chester County, Pennsylvania.  A lot of Welsh Quaker families lived there and they may have been among neighbors.  I need to do more research to determine whether a Sarah Abraham indexed in the Ancestry Quaker records, noted as of "Delaware, Pennsylvania" could be our Sarah Abraham.

Morgan and Sarah are listed as having children James, Joseph, Noah, William, Mary, Enoch, Sarah, and Elizabeth.  Sarah, widow of Morgan died in 1746 in "Wayne, Delaware, Pennsylvania" so she is the immigrant ancestor in this line.

I still can't believe how neat it was to actually see his will on line.  Isn't the Internet great?

The line of descent is:

Morgan Abraham-Sarah
Elizabeth Abraham-Lewellen Bowen Martin
Joel Martin-Anna Thompson
Llewellen Martin-Elizabeth Painter
Joel Martin-Nancy Bane
Matilda Martin-David Wise
Elizabeth Wise-John Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Update: 9/14/2015  I apologize for the error.  Morgan Abraham, as fascinating as he is, doesn't belong to the Beeks line.  The Matilda Martin who married David Wise is a different Matilda Martin.   However, I'm choosing to leave this blog post up in case it can help someone else. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Holbrook line: Hiram A Stanard: Sometimes a little find says a lot

I've delayed writing about my second great grandfather for these many months, because while I knew a little bit about him, I didn't feel like I had a good "handle" on him.  I wanted something to point to what kind of man he was, before I could tell his story.

Thanks to a new website called, I found just one little detail that helps me visualize the man.  I still have questions about him, of course, but this helps.

Hiram A Stanard (sometimes spelled Stannard) was born August 28, 1828 in or near Eaton, Madison County, New York to Libbeus and Luceba (I've also seen it written Euzebia) Fay Stanard.  He was part of a very large family.  In the 1840 census, he is shown with potentially three brothers (one not known to us) and four sisters, again one not known to this.  In addition he had five brothers who were older than he was and apparently out of the house.

It makes one wonder what his mother thought when the decision was made to take up stakes, and make the long journey to northwestern Illinois shortly after this census.  The family settled near Malden, Bureau County, Illinois, but they weren't settled for long. Luceba died on January 3, 1842, along with a young child.  It's not clear whether this was a childbirth case, or from an epidemic type disease, or just plain exhaustion and malnutrition during a long, hard winter.  At any rate, Libbeus, with a whole houseful of children, married again on July 4, 1842, and Hiram, at the age of 14, had a step mother. 

We don't know much about the next years of Hiram's life.  He married Susan Eddy, daughter of Joseph P Eddy and Susan Lamphire, on December 31, 1854.  They had four children together, Seba, Susan, Esther and Louis E.  I haven't located them on the 1860 census, but in 1870 they had four children listed, plus Cornelia, (Hiram's oldest sister, who apparently never married), Elizabeth Essinger, a young German girl who was a domestic servant, and George McMinch (?), a farm laborer.  So they apparently were doing all right at this time in their lives.

In fact, they may have been respected members of the community.  Here's what I found on the gengophers site that gave me a peek into the life of Hiram.  In 1871, at least, he was a justice of the peace.  This came from a book called Rummel's Illinois and book and Legislative manual for 1871, which is a source I would never in a hundred years have thought to look at.  (Isn't the internet grand?)  A justice of the peace had to be respected and in most states had to be able to post a bond, so this is a clue that the family was not dirt poor.  In fact, the 1870 census confirms this, giving Hiram a value of $9000 for property and $2000 for personal property.  This was doing OK, financially speaking, for the time and place.

The 1880 census is confusing.  Here, Hiram is along on the farm with Cornelia.  The rest of the family is gone, and Cornelia, at age 68, is assisting Hiram in farming.  Susan and the children, however, are in Darlington Township, Harvey County, Kansas, living with Hiram and Susan's son Louis and his bride, Mary Alice Hetrick, plus two other Stanard's who are doubtless cousins to Louis.  What was going on in the family?  Had the move just happened, and Hiram had stayed behind to sell the farm, or because perhaps Cornelia was or had been too ill to move?  Was this a temporary separation of some sort?  Were Susan and children just there for a visit?  I don't know if we'll ever figure this out.

We do know that in 1885 Hiram was in Darlington, Harvey County, Kansas with Susan, their youngest daughter Susan, and Cornelia.  (I certainly hope Susan and Cornelia got along well, as they seem to have spent several years together.)  Whatever had kept the Stanards apart in 1880 was no longer in evidence.  A puzzling aspect of this census is that both Susan and Hiram are listed as mulatto.  I am confident that this is an error, but will keep my mind open if I find anything that points in that direction.  Since the family is well-established for generations back, it would be surprising to learn of such a "fact".  Maybe the census taker, looking forward 130 years, just wanted to sell DNA tests! 

Hiram died before September 25, 1895.  His land had to be sold to pay off debts and the money he had intended to leave his family simply wasn't there.  Farming in Kansas was difficult, and it must have been galling for him to realize that he was ending his life a debtor.  He is buried with his wife Susan, who died in 1910, at the Highland Cemetery in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas.

There is one other "maybe" about Hiram.  He may have been an author of sorts.  There is, in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Il., a "History of the of La Moille Baptist Church."  Margaret B Hopps is the author with H.A. Stanard listed as a contributor.  We know from the 1870 census that the nearest post office was La Moille.  It also makes sense that the Stanards were Baptists, since their son Louis became a pastor in the Baptist denomination in Kansas.  I sure would love to go to Springfield to look at that book!  

The line of descent is:

Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis E Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Allen line: Mary Adams Knott 1769 or 1773-1846

I would certainly like to engage some distant cousins who I know are interested in this line, to give some input into this post.  I think there are a few clues that are out there, that we haven't yet pulled together, that may enable us to figure out who this ancestor was, and to someday give her parents, and a home. 

Let's start with what is known about her.  She was married to Joseph Scull Knott, and she had perhaps eleven children with him.  A typewritten manuscript about the Knott familly said that she could remember her older brothers taking her into the woods and hiding with her when there was a threat of Indian activity, so this was definitely frontier land.  It also indicates that she was born about 1773 and was of "Derry township" in Pennsylvania. This is believed to be Westmoreland County, and this particular township was first settled in 1763.  It also gives a physical connection to the area Joseph Scull Knott lived in.  (There is another Derry township in Dauphin county, but it appears to be much less likely a location for either person.)

Thomas Jefferson Knott, a son, reports that he had 10 brothers and sisters, and two half sisters. This is a puzzle.  We know he had at least one half brother, a son of Joseph Knott's first wife, who was raised in Pennsylvania. Who were the half sisters?  Was Mary married before she married Joseph?  The censuses we can find don't indicate any mystery children, so what happened to them?  The first census we can locate of this family doesn't show any "extra" daughters.  Since Mary and Joseph were presumably married at the time of their son Joseph's birth in 1793, Mary would have had to have married very early to have two children prior to this time.  I'd sure love to solve this mystery!

Mary traveled with her husband and family from Pennsylvania to Richland County and then to Crawford County, Ohio, where he died in 1836.  By this time, her sons were grown and several of them were located in Steuben or LaGrange county, Indiana.  Thomas had lived there, but in 1840 moved north to Hillsdale, Michigan.  Robert was still in Crawford County, Ohio, and in that household there is a woman aged 60-69, who could very well be Mary Adams Knott.  However, Mary apparently moved on.  I think she probably went to live with Levi and Sallie Knott, who were in Lagrange County, Indiana, in the 1840 census.  There is a burial for Mary Knott at the Riverside Cemetery in Howe, Lagrange County, Indiana which shows her date of death as 1846 and her age as 73 (birth date of 1773, as indicated in family manuscript).  The next year, there is a burial there for Sallie Knott, wife of Levi.  The tombstones shown on FindaGrave are similar, but it's not known how close in proximity they are.  Still, I feel sure this is our Mary (Adams) Knott.

So now that we know where she died, we can work backwards, a little.  In 1830, the Knotts were at Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio.  So was Thomas Adams, who was born sometime in the 1770s and had a large family. Unfortunately, this census list is alphabetized, so it's hard to know if the two families lived in the same area.  However, I think it may be this Thomas Adams who died in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana in 1843.  Mary Ann Knott, daughter of Joseph and Mary Knott, was married to Page Porter and living there at that time, so it seems that there is a family connection.
I'm wondering if Thomas could have been Mary Adams' older brother?  A son was named Thomas (middle name Jefferson, so perhaps that is the only reason) so maybe he was named after Mary's brother.

When we look at the children's names for Joseph and Mary Knott, there may be other clues there.  The first son, Joseph, was obviously named for his father.  The second son was Solomon, the third Richard, the fourth John, the fifth Robert, then Samuel, Thomas, Levi, William, and Adam.  There were a lot of Adams in Derry Township, Westmoreland County with some of these names-Solomon, Robert, John, Levi and Samuel, at least, being common either in Westmoreland, Bedford, or Washington County, Pa.  Boundary lines changed as counties were created, so it's hard to figure out whether we are talking about one location for the Adams family, or several. It's also hard to know how many Adams families we are talking about.  One item I've found that interests me is the marriage of John Adams and Elizabeth Blackburn in 1764, marriage records of Rev. John Casper Stoever).  Elizabeth was from "Derry", with no indication of which Derry.  It could have been Ireland.  I am still working on tracing this couple, but haven't had much luck so far.   Still, Mary and Joseph named one of their sons John, so this is a possibility. 

We are still left with a lot of questions about Mary Adams Knott.  Did she have an earlier marriage?  Who were her parents?  What siblings did she have (the family manuscript says she had older brothers, at least.)  And was she the mother of Thomas Knott's two half-sisters?  Who were they?
Women of the colonial period, on the frontier, are hard to research. But we have clues...Can anyone add to this?  Please contact me at, or leave a comment to this post. 

Our line of descent is:

Mary Adams-Joseph Scull Knott
Thomas J Knott-Hannah Bell
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Friday, February 13, 2015

Harshbarger line: Johann Gebhart (John Gerhardt) Hibshman 1708-1771 Immigrant

This is a hard line to research and document, partly because the surname is spelled so many different ways in so many different records.  The simplest spelling (and the one I will use) is shown above.  From there it can go into Huppman or Huebschmann or any number of other spellings.

Johann was born in Switzerland in 1713, or in Bavaria in 1708.  If he was born in Bavaria in 1708 then his parents have been identified as Christoffel Hupshmann and Anna Barbara Van Hoffen, who were married on November 22, 1701 in Pfalz, Bavaria.  If he was born in 1713 in Switzerland, no one has yet identified parents for him.  I tend to go with the 1708 date, pending further research, because it makes possible the married of Johann to Anna Elisabetha Brunner on July 4, 1730 in the Evangelish Lutherische, Bad Duerkheim, Pfalz, Bayern.  A 1713 birthdate would make this marriage very early.  Even a marriage at the age of 22 would have been early, in Bavaria, but it would be possible.

All we really know for sure is that he was born and that he was married. It is stated that he came to America in 1732, but I haven't found documentation for that.  The story is that he went back to the Old World in 1732, and returned with a wife.  Had Anna Elisabetha Brunner been waiting for him in Bavaria all that time?  It's possible that he was indentured and had to work off the debt before returning for his wife.  Did he also save enough money to make the trip and to bring his wife to America, or did he have another indentureship to serve after arriving for the second time?  Or was he really from Switzerland, and did he go home to marry a woman his family had picked out for him?

We don't know much more than that he arrived on the Saint Andrew Gallery, in Philadelphia, in 1737 with Anna Elisabetha (nee Brunner?).  They settled in Lancaster County and raised a family of at least five children, Anna Margaretha, Catherine Elizabeth, Maria Catherina, Wendel, and Henry (Heinrich).  Johann Gebhart died in July of 1771 in Lancaster County, possibly Cocalico Township.  The land he had purchased was about 4 miles north of Ephrata. 

We only have hints and guesses about his life.  Because he was married in a Lutheran church, we can guess that he was Lutheran by belief and attended a Lutheran church in Lancaster County.  We can guess that he farmed, but we don't know what else he might have done to support his family during the winter months. We can guess that he was a hard working man, because what we can find by looking at the lives of his sons shows that they had a good work ethic and were "successful".  We can hope he and his wife were happy and that they raised a happy, close family, as most Germans (and Swiss) did.  We can hope that he was not involved in Indian frontier wars, and we can assume that he was in the militia at some point. Finally, we can hope to learn more about him as more documents and more research notes are put on line!   

The line of descent is:

Johann Gebhart Hibshman-Anna Elisabetha poss Brunner
Catherine Elizabeth Hibshman-Conrad Mentzer
John Mentzer-Margareth
Conrad Mentzer-Elizabeth Tullapen or Duliban
Catherine Mentzer-Lewis Harshbarger
Emanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Beeks line: Simon de Ruine 1615-1678

Simon de Ruine is one of those ancestors I'd just love to see, in person, and share a day in his life.  I'm not sure on which side of the ocean I'd like to be with him, but probably in the New World, since he was one of the first settlers of Harlem (yes, that Harlem) and had a fascinating set of neighbors. He was probably fascinating, too, although not a lot is known about him.

He referred to himself as a "Walloon", which means he was likely from the southern part of what is now Belgium or the northern part of France, not far from the German border.  He is reported to have come from Valenciennes, which is right on the border between Belgium and France, and this area did speak the language known as Walloons when Simon would have lived there.  Actually, Valenciennes would have been a good place for him to have lived, because he was a Protestant, a Huguenot, and they were persecuted in France.  Belgium wasn't much safer, so in his youth or early manhood he went to Holland, where he remained for 15 years and where he was permitted to practice his faith. 

He was born in 1631, with his father's name given as Jean de Ruine but no further information is known about him. It is possible that he lost his family in the persecutions, or in war, or due to disease.  He married twice in Holland.  His first wife, whose name has not been found, gave birth to two daughters who stayed in Simon's family.  His second wife was Magdalena Van der Straaten, who was from Hainault. 

The family was young when they emigrated from Amsterdam to New Amsterdam, in the New World, and three additional children were born to them here.  They settled first in New Amsterdam, then moved to help form the settlement of Harlem, and finally went to what is now Flushing, Queens County, New York.  To us, it would just be a crowded hour or so of travel to go from one location to another but these were wilderness areas and they would have needed to have started from scratch at every location.  From what I've read, though, they would not have built log cabins, but would have built homes in the Dutch tradition from the start. 

Simon died at Flushing on June 12, 1678 and his wife died at about the same time although I am not sure of the documentation for that statement.  He had certainly lived an interesting life!  He probably spoke at least two languages, Walloon and Dutch and perhaps more.  He had lived in France, Holland, and New Amsterdam, and helped found two settlements in the New World.  He probably was a member of the military, as there were Indian attacks during this time and he would have been needed to help protect the settlements.  By the time he died, the Dutch settlements were under English control, so here was another culture he had to learn, or at least learn to co-exist with them.  I think Simon was probably quite a flexible man.

The line of descent is:

Simon de Ruine-Magdalena van der Straten
Jacomina de Ruine-Jean Demarest
Maria Demariest-Jacobus Slot
Benjamin Slot-Sarah Demaree 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 descendents

The second line goes:

Simon de Ruine-Magdalena van der Straten
Maria de Ruine-Samuel Demarest
David Demarest-Mattie De Baun
Samuel David Demarest-Lea Demarest
Sarah Demaree Demarest-Benjamin Slot 
See above

There is also a third line, but it's too confusing to add here! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Holbrook line: Richard Brackett Immigrant 1610-1680

Richard Brackett is yet another of our immigrant ancestors. Fortunately, more is known about him than about many of our immigrants, and it is well documented.  Still, motivations are missing and we will probably have to leave it at that.

Richard was born to Peter Brackett and Rachel Wheatley on or before September 16, 1610 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England.  It appears that at the time, Sudbury was a small town-not a village but not a city, either, and the town's main industry was textiles. He was one of at least five children who were left fatherless in 1616.  His mother soon remarried to Martin Saunders, so there was a father figure in the family.  

Richard migrated to the New World in 1630, with the Winthrop Fleet and settled in Boston, where he was an early member of the church.    He returned to England in 1633 and while there he married Alice Blower on January 6, 1634 in St Katherine by the Tower Church, London, England.  The newly weds soon left to make their permanent home in the New World.  Their first child, Hannah, was born in Boston and baptized January 4, 1635.  Alice signed the covenant on November 8, 1635 and thus became a member of the Boston church, also. 

In Boston, Richard became a freeman on May 25, 1636, meaning he had accumulated some property and was a member of the church, and he joined the "Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company" on November 23, 1639.  This was a volunteer militia group with the stated goal of providing officers for the various enrolled militia companies. 

He was given land on which to build on March 21, 1636, on Washington Street, but the family didn't stay there long.  On November 20, 1637, he was appointed by the General Court to keep the prison, and was granted a salary of 13 pounds, 6s.8.d, which was later increased to 20 pounds. We don't know why he was given this task but it was the sort of job of which "someone has to do it"

In 1641, Richard and Alice "removed" to Braintree, and Richard became a Deacon of the church there.  (Braintree is the home of the famous Adams family of later years.)  He was noted as "Captain Richard Brackett" when we was a deputy to General court, many times over the years. He we town clerk for about 8 years, and was appointed to many town committees. He was a husbandman and a farmer, and a father to 8 children born between 1635 and 1652.  It is also believed that he taught the school in Braintree.  As a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, he was chief military officer during King Philip's War, although he did not have command of the garrison built between Braintree and Bridgewater..  In 1679, he was appointed to take oaths in civil cases and perform marriages. 

On October 15, 1684, Richard was, at his persistent request, released from his military duties. He was 73 years old at the time, and had been connected with the company for 43 years and had been its captain for 30 of those years.  Richard died March 3, 1690 at Braintree.  He left a will but I did not find an actual inventory. However, there was a home, land in Braintree and in Billerica, and several bequests of 20 pounds apiece, so he was not a poor man by any means.  Alice died 8 months after her husband, on November 3, 1690. 

Richard and Alice donated a silver cup used at communion service to the church at Braintree, inscribed R&A.  It may be owned by a Unitarian church now. 

Oh, I love it when an ancestor line has been researched by New England Historical and Genealogical Society and published in either "The Great Migration Begins" or "The Great Migration".  This blogpost is a summary of that information, with possibly another fact or two thrown in from the website, "The Genealogical Tree of Captain Richard Brackett."  There is also a whole book online called "Brackett genealogy", which I have not consulted, but if you have interest in this man, as I do, go ahead and put it on your "to read" list, as I will.

The line of descent is:

Richard Brackett-Alice Blower
John Brackett-Hannah French
Hannah Brackett-Joseph Stannard
John Stannard-Hannah Jordan
John Stannard-Hannah Hanchett
Libbeus Stannard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stannard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  Richard must have acted as an informal recruiter for the New World.   "The Great Migration Begins" concludes that there were more than forty future immigrants to New England who were related to Richard Brackett by blood or marriage before their departure from England. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Allen line: Robert Day Immigrant 1604-1648

Robert Day, another immigrant ancestor in the Allen line, was born in Kilburn, Yorkshire, England on or shortly before July 31, 1604 according to some sources, and origin unknown according to The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, volume II, pages325-329.  I'm going to use The Great Migration as a source for most of this post, but it will be expanded when the other information I've gathered seems likely.

If the Robert Day born in Kilburn, Yorkshire, England in 1604 is our Robert Day, then his parents were Richard Daye and probably Mary Kirby.  The Days had been in Yorkshire for several generations, if you believe undocumented web sites, but were originally from Wales (15th century and before, where the name was spelled Dee).

Robert married Mary before April, 1634 in England, but nothing more is known of her or her origins.  Robert and Mary came to the New World in 1634 on the ship "Elizabeth", and settled first in Newtown, which is now Cambridge, Massachusetts. Robert was made a freeman in 1635, which implies that he was a member of the church there, and also that he had some property.  We don't know what degree of wealth he might have had, but apparently he was not dirt poor.  One site states that he was a brickmaker and mason, and those trades would have been in demand.

He was given land in the part of Cambridge then known as Westfield in 1634, 1635, and possibly 1636.  Sometime during this time period his wife, Mary, died.  We don't know whether it was in childbirth, or of disease, but she was gone.  Robert married Edith Stebbins probably by 1636, the daughter of WIlliam Stebbins and sister to Deacon Edward Stebbins.  His children were born to Editha.

It is possible that the Days went to Hartford, Connecticut with the Thomas Hooker group.  If they didn't go with them, they followed soon after, because Robert Day is listed on the Founder's Monument erected in Hartford.  He had 10 different parcels of land listed in the Hartford land inventroy of February 1639/1640, which indictes he had been a settler long enough to have received these parcels at different times.  Robert and Editha's children, probably all born in Hartford, were Thomas, John, Sarah and Mary. 

I'm not locating information about the rest of Robert's life, which was, like many immigrants, a short life.  He made his will May 20, 1648 and the inventory of his estate was taken October 14, 1648, so it was probably early fall when he died.  His estate was valued at 142 pounds, 13 shillings, 6d., of which half was real estate.  The estate included tools, not identified, and books valued at 1 pound. We know then that he was literate. I'd sure like to know what those books were, and why he chose the books that he chose for his library.

Once again, we have the bare bones outline of an ancestor.  I'm thrilled to have this much information and disappointed not to have more.  I'd like to clarify his occupation, I'd like to know more about his religious beliefs, and I'd like to know why he chose to go to Hartford.  For that matter, once again I'd like to know why he chose to come to America.

The line of descent is:

Robert Day-Editha Stebbins
Mary Day-Samuel Ely
Joseph Ely-Mary Riley
Mary Ely-Thomas Stebbins
Ruth Stebbins-Samuel Hitchcock
Margaret Hitchcock-Richard Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Allen line: Bonus post George R Allen 1837-1915

Just to let relatives know:  As my birthday gift, I've ordered the Civil War military service records for George, and the pension records for his wife, which will include the pension records for George. I ordered them a week ago and it is supposed to take 4-6 weeks to get them.  I can hardly wait to get these papers, and if there's anything good in them, you can bet I'll be sure to share.

The main thing I'm hoping to find out is why George was discharged from the hospital and the army in January of 1863.  Was it an illness, or was it an injury?  I suspect it was illness, most likely dysentery, but we'll wait to see for sure.  I'm also hoping there is some biographical information to be found there, something unknown that may fill in some gaps or totally surprise me.

I'll keep you posted! 

Oops!  Updated to reflect George's correct birth date.  Sorry!