Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Allen, Beeks, Harshbarger, Holbrook lines: My 200th post

It's been close to two years since I started this blog, and when I began, I had no idea of when I would be "done".  I still have no idea.  I know I'm running out of people in the Harshbarger line (direct ancestors) to write about.  Almost the entire line arrived here in the period 1735-1755, and most have not been traced back much longer than that.  My focus is American ancestors, so either I will have to expand my definition or I will need to do some more digging for Harshbarger information, or I will only write about that line in tidbits, when I find something new. 

For the other lines, I still have people I can write about, even though I may not know a lot about them.  I would like to continue this blog until I have written sketches about as many ancestors as I can identify, but I don't know whether that will be 50 more posts or 200 more posts.  I do enjoy writing the posts, but I enjoy it even more when I get a response, or a comment from a distant cousin.  My least favorite part of writing is being told by someone that I've made a mistake (or figuring that out myself), but I would much rather make the corrections than leave the errors out there for all to see. 

I am very open to suggestions if you have someone you would like me to write about, as long as I know something about that ancestor and they are on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. My email is happygenealogydanceATgmailDOTcom. 

I would like to thank you, my reader, from the beginning or brand new to this blog, for your encouragement.  It's a small blog, one of the least read in the world of blogging, but I like to think it matters to someone other than myself.  And I especially like to think you dance with me, when I find something new and exciting to write about.  May we have many more dances! 

Here's a tidbit for today, for the Allen line.  I found on line, in "First Records of Carson Valley, Utah Territory" references to land purchases and sales made by Thomas Knott.  On March 28th, 1853, there was a "Survey of land taken up by Thomas Knott and Elzy H. Knott beginning at a cedar stake standing on the town line seven miles from the north west corner of said township thence running north 55 degrees east one mile to a cedar stake thence south 35 degrees East one mile to a cedar stake then south 55 degrees west one mile to a cedar stake standing on the town line thence north 35 degrees West one mile along said line to the place of beginning according to a plan & survey of said town made and returned to the Clerks Office in Carson Valley.  March 28, 1853 by J. H. Haynes surveyor  Recorded April 11th 1853 by J.C. Fain Recorder."

This tract of land was sold on October fifth, 1853 to William B. Thorington.  It appears that the Knotts were to receive $600 for this land, $150 in cash and the rest in "a note for the cutting of one hundred and twelve thousand and five hundred feet of lumber in the logs".  

There is more about Thomas Knott in Carson Valley, Utah Territory in this book but I'll save it for another time.  After all, that 201st post will be coming up very soon.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Holbrook line: About Amariah Holbrook's estate (died 1797)

I intended to do a transcription of the court records for Amariah's estate for this blog post, but I find there are too many words I can't decipher (my copies are dark in places and light in places).  So, this will be a summary of as much as I can make out of Amariah's estate papers.  This was found in Volume 3 pages 406-410  of the probate records, 1796-1798, Norfolk County Registry of Probate, Dedham, Massahusetts, also volume 4, pages 428-430 and volume 5, page 165-166, and is due to research done by the NEHGS, in trying to locate Molly Wright's family.

First, on August 24, 1797, Henry Holbrook, Samuel Darling Jr. and Seth Holbrook 2nd signed a document than "Amariah Holbrook of Bellingham this day said before us that (tis?) his will that his eldest daughter Tryphena Holbrook should have an equal share with the rest of his children out of his estate.  This day he declared before us (---) his will. (signed and dated by witnesses above)

Then, on November 7, 1797, in the county of Norfolk, Court of Probate held at Dedham, "The foregoing statement purporting to be the nuncupative will of Amariah Holbrook, late of Bellingham in said county, husbandman deceased, being presented to me for Probate, Henry Holbrook, Samuel Darling Jr and Seth Holbrook 2nd appear and make oath that they were present at the time of the making thereof and that the said Testator at the time of pronouncing the same, did bit the persons present, or some of them to bear witness that such was his Will, or to that effect, and that the said will was made in the last (subject?) of the said deceased and in the house of his habitation or dwelling.  And whereas due process has been issued to call in the Widow, and other persons principally interested, that they might conest the same if they saw fit:-I do, therefore, by virtue of the power and authority to me given, this day, being more than fourteen days since the decease of the said Amariah Holbrook, and within six months from the time of his speaking the testamentary words herein contained, hereby approve and allow of the said testament as the nuncupative will of the said deceased.  Given under my hand and seal of office the year and day before written.  (?) Heath, Judge of Probate."

Samuel Darling Jr., Henry Holbrook and Aaron Holbrook were then appointed as appraisers of the estate and took an oth for the "faithful performance of the service."

The appraisal came back:
To the homestead of said deceased situated in said Bellingham containing thirty five acres with the buildings thereon                                                                                                          1000.0
30 acres of land by itself                                                                                                550.0
40 acres of land lying by Obadiah Adams                                                                     450.0
It being two thirds lying in common and undivided with Capt. Jesse Holbrook
the other third
Another piece of land containing about three hares and a half                                        30.0
                Total of the real                                                                                             2030.0

To the wearing apparel with the buckle knees and shoe buckles and (---)                      28.46
To 5 beds and clothes and (cords and bedsteads?)                                                          65.50
To the spare sheets and pillow cases and table linens and meal (---)                              11.72
To a pewter platter and 6 plates and other pewter and knives and forks and tin ware      3.18
To the earthen plates and other earthen and glasses                                                          2.68
To 2 brass kettles and the great iron kettle and other iron ware                                      14.67
To a case of drawers and other 3 chests and 2 tables                                                       10.37
To 4 spinning wheels six cider barrels and chairs and other wooden ware                     20.58
To the saddle and bridle and the (gun?) and equipments                                                 14.79
To a (---) in an ox cart and 2 plows and other faring tools                                              30.13
To the horse 2 colts                                                                                                          92.
To one pair of oxen and six cows one 2 year old heifer one yearling heifer and
2 calves and 6 sheep                                                                                                         216.0
To 3 (---) swine and seven (---) swine                                                                                50.83
To 70 bushels of Indian corn and 10 bushels of oats and 2 bushels of flaxseed
and fifty weight of butter                                                                                                    58.98
To a note of hand                                                                                                                 20.00
                (Total)                                                                                                                  640.75

This also appears to be dated November 7, 1797.

On the same date, Molly Holbrook, Administratix in the estate of Amariah Holbrook, late of Bellingham in said County, Husbandman, deceased, appeared and made under oath, that the foregoing is a true and perfect inventory of all the estate of the said deceased which has come to her hand and knowledge, and that if any thing more shall appear, she will render an account (----) that it may be of record herewith. 

There is an affidavit of Molly Holbrook and then a notification for anyone owing or owed money to the estate to exhibit the same. 

There is also a list of Amariah's children and the guardians they chose, but I'll save that for another post as this is already long.

I am so glad I went to the effort of trying to read the inventory.  Although I missed a few words and probably misread a few words, it still gives me a much better idea of the life lived by Amariah and Molly Wright Holbrook.  There were five beds for the couple and their 9 children, although the youngest was still a baby and may have had a cradle (not listed in the inventory, though).  Children likely slept two to a bed.  The estate indicates that the family was not dirt poor, but I don't know how this would rank among other estates of the time and place.  The four spinning wheels makes me wonder if the family tried to produce more than they needed, or whether this was a family occupation in the winter, just to keep the family clothed.

I hope that other people who've seen this report will let me know about the errors I've probably made, and share other facts they've learned about this family.  If this is truly the first time this information has been "published," then I hope someone will benefit from it, and be interested enough to try to make the corrections I'm sure are necessary.

Again, the line of descent is:

Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Allen line: William Wilkinson of Maryland, died 1718

What is it with these people?  Couldn't they just tell us when/where they were born and who their parents were?  It would be so much easier!

William Wilkinson is interesting to me because he was in Maryland early, so would have seen many of the changes that transformed the colony, both religious and cultural, and likely had some encounters with the Native Americans of the area.   There are several William Wilkinson's who emigrated to the area between 1650 and 1682, but we don't know which one was William, or whether he came over several times, or whether one of the earlier William's might have been William's father.

Some sources state that his parents were Thomas Wilkinson and Isabella Cutter, but I am not confident that is correct.  I'd be glad to see some real evidence to convince me, but at this point I am saying his parents are unknown, as is the date of his arrival in Maryland.

We know that he was in Baltimore County by March 5, 1681, when he surveyed 50 acres called Wilkinson's Spring.  The going price of land at that time was 100 pounds of tobacco per 50 acres, so somehow he had acquired enough wealth in the New World to make the purchase, or perhaps he brought enough funds with him to make the purchase.  As land goes, it was a modest purchase but it was probably much more than he would have had in England, had he stayed there (assuming he was from England).   

William married Elizabeth Clark, daughter or at least heir of Abraham and Sarah Kinsey Clark, by 1694 (some sources say 1684) and they had at least one child together, Jane. In 1693, Martha Cage named William as the father of her child.  It seems possible that William was a widow by this time, but that for whatever reason he chose not to marry Martha.  Later he married Tamar Love and had at least four children with her. 

William doesn't seem to appear in court and official records much, but we know he was made an allowance for accommodating the jury for the laying out of an early Baltimore Town in 1693.  He seems to have acquired another tract of land as early as 1694, which may have been called Wilkinson's Folly.

In 1708 William and Tamar conveyed the land known as Wilkinson's Folly to Moses Edwards, so perhaps William was already beginning to wind down his affairs.  He wrote his will on April 21, 1718 and died before June 16, 1718.  He left his dwelling plantation to son Robert, "Cumberland" to his four daughters, and named his wife as executrix.  The estate was inventoried and valued at 162 pounds, 3 shillings, 9 pence.  By the time the estate was finally administered in 1725, his widow and remarried.

So between the lines, we read a story of hard work, sorrow, and at least one poor choice.  We don't know whether he had slaves but if he did it wouldn't have been a large number, given the size of his properties.  He may have had other income than just farming, in order to have an estate of 162 pounds.  We don't know why he decided to go to Maryland, or what religion he practiced.  Maryland was founded by Roman Catholics and religious toleration was practiced early, but later became Puritan and then finally the Anglican church became more or less official by 1690.  So depending on when he came, he could have been of any of those three persuasions, or he could have changed religions based on what seemed best to him.  I'd like to know the answer to that question!  I'd like to know what trouble there was, or wasn't, with the native Americans.  And of course, I'd like to know who his parents are!

The line of descent is:

William Wilkinson-Elizabeth Clark
Jane Wilkinson-Edward Corbin
Mary Jane Corbin-Samuel Lane
Lambert Lane-Nancy Anna Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Friday, June 19, 2015

Beeks line: Jeffrey Jones about 1630-December 21,1717

Every genealogist and family historian groans when they find a name like "Smith" or "Jones" in the family tree.  It almost automatically means long years of research trying to trace the family, and when a "Jones" is found early in the New World with no real indication of his roots, it is going to have to wait for someone with a lot of time, money, and luck to actually trace back another generation. Since this is an ancestor in the line of President Barack Obama, and really excellent genealogists were not able to go back any further, for the time being Jeffrey Jones is an "end of the line" ancestor .

So, we don't know who Jeffrey Jones's parents were.  We don't know where he was born, or the circumstances of his family, or their religion. We know of nothing, really, until he shows up  We know of two wives but he is thought to possibly have had as many as four.  It is believed but not proven that he lived in Massachusetts before going to Long Island.  Beginning in 1658, there are land records for "Geoffrey Jones" so it seems he would have been at least 21 at this time.  That is the only real guess we have as to his age. 

He was one of the original land patentees in Southold, Long Island, but there are no clear records as to his residence prior to that time.  However, we do know that his father in law (one of them), Captain Charles Glover, owned a ship building business and that he was noted in a land record in 1664 as being a ship's carpenter.  He sold land likely inherited from his father in law in 1664 and in 1665 was in Elizabethtown, New Jersey.  Southold is toward the northern end of Long Island and Elizabethtown is directly west of the southern edge of Long Island, but from what I have read this journey may not have been as simple as it sounds.  There were all sorts of currents and sea hazards to deal with on this trip. 

Jeffrey (also written as Geoffrey) would live out the rest of his days in Elizabethtown.  He took the oath of allegiance there in 1665 and in 1668 was listed as one on the eighty patentees of the town.  He was at that time, 1668, approved for a license in a whale fishing business, along with John Ogden Sr., Caleb Carwithy, Jacob Moleyn and William Johnson.  The boats were to operate out of Sandy Hook.  He also seems to have had an association with Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ but it's not clear whether he lived there or possibly just owned property there.  He was a landowner with considerable property at one time

We know that he had a son named Edward and daughters Abigail and Mary, who were each mentioned in his will and there were likely other children who died before their father. The will was dated December 21, 1717 and was proved December 31, 1717.  Jeffrey was at least 80 years old when he died, and if the 1630 birth date is correct he may have been as much as 87 years old.

There is so much I would like to know about Jeffrey Jones.  Beyond the obvious questions I've noted above, I'd love to know more about his involvement in the ship building and whaling industries.  Did he ever actually go to sea on a whaling expedition?  Where did the whalers go during the late 17th century?  What kind of whales were they "fishing"?  And if he was strictly a land-lubber, what kind of tools did he use in his job?  What size of ship did he build?

I need to give a huge amount of credit for this blog post to a site I found on-line, In Old New York, at familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/l/a/c/Dr-ellsworth-J-La-coste/Book.  This researcher has done a phenomenal amount of family research and there is much more information about Jeffrey Jones than I have included here.  Most of the other information I found on line simply included some of the information found at the website I mentioned. 

The line of descent is:

Jeffrey Jones-possibly Safronia Walter
Mary Jones-Samuel Fitzrandolph
Prudence Fitzrandolph-Shubael Smith
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 descendents

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Harshbarger line: Charles Bennett about 1730-1818

Charles Bennett is another mystery.  He is, so far, the head of the family only because it seems that no one has traced him back any further.  He is believed to have been born about 1730, because we know he married in 1753.  It is possible that this is the Charles Bennett who was apprenticed to Samuel Howard in 1742, in what became Harford County Maryland but was at the time Baltimore County  That Charles Bennett's mother's name was Mary.  This indicates that the father of Charles was dead, since generally it was the father's name who would show in the records.  So far, the only Bennett that I've found who had a wife Mary was Peter Bennett of Talbot County, Md., who died in 1729.  I've not read the will nor done any further research on him, but it's a possible lead.

So, the first we really know of Charles Bennett is that he married Martha Collins on September 11, 1753 at St. John's Parish, Baltimore County, Md.  There was a St John's Parish in what became Harford County, so it's possible that this is where Charles Bennett lived and where his bride lived also.  Martha Collins is another person who either hasn't been researched or is playing hide and seek with those who are trying to find her.

Charles and Martha had 11 children together, so we know that Martha was a strong woman.  They moved several times to improve their lives and that of their children.  The first three children were born in St. John's Parish between 1755 and 1758.  The rest of the children were born "elsewhere".  We lose sight of the family for  awhile.  It has been stated that Charles was a soldier in Dunmore's War, which took place in 1774 and meant he was likely somewhere in Virginia at the time.  This was a war with the native Americans and took place mainly in what is now Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.  From wherever he was living when the war took place, he may have had the opportunity to see "points west".  He had land surveyed in 1775 about five miles from the Mononagahela River, on the slopes of Chestnut Ridge, and he and his family lived there until 1806.

In 1806, Charles and Martha sold 100 acres on both sides of Coburns Creek in Monongalia County for $350 Virginia money, and moved to Scioto County, Ohio, with most of his children.  Charles would have been about 76 years of age at this time, and Martha not much younger.  They lived a few more years, with Martha dying in 1815 and Charles in 1818.  They are presumed to be buried at Squire Cemetery, Scioto County, Ohio.

The line of descent is:

Charles Bennett-Martha Collins
Caleb Bennett- Ann Catherine Wilson
Solomon Eliot Bennett-Margaret Farmer
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents

Note:  I would be very glad if someone could explain to me why there are notes that Caleb died in 1851 leaving only nephews and nieces.  Were there two Caleb Bennetts, and if so, does our Caleb Bennett belong to Charles?  It is possible that the history as presented here is not correct, even though I have seen it stated as so many times, the evidence seems to indicate it is correct, and it seems to make sense.  I'd be happy to hear from someone who is more in the know than I am!

Update 6/19/2015.  I am pretty well convinced that our Caleb, who is the father of Solomon, is NOT the son of Charles.  I am leaving this post up, despite being red-faced about my error, because it may help someone else.   I am now on the trail of Caleb Bennett of Miami County, Ohio. His known children are Abraham, William, Solomon, Joshua, George, Caleb, James, and possibly John, Isaac, Thomas, Martha, Anna, Phoebe and Catherine.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Allen line: Jonas Weed abt 1597-1676 Immigrant

The good news is that there is a lot of information published about Jonas Weed.  The bad news is that some of it is not proven.  What we do know of his life indicates that he was the "typical" New Englander.  He came to the New World in the Winthrop Fleet, and was in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Wethersfield, Connecticut before settling and living out his life in Stamfield, Connecticut.  He was a Puritan and farmed for his living.

It is believed but apparently not proven that Jonas was the son of Jonas Weed and Mary Jane Davidson of Stanwick, Northamptonshire, England.  This was a very small village at the time and life must have been difficult.  (The other possible father would be John Weed, and this Jonas was born in Chelveston in Northamptonshire. However, Jonas didn't name any of his children the same names used in this family, except for John, so I'm thinking that this family is slightly less likely to be correct.  Regardless, Chelveston appears to be a small village, also, so the family background would be similar.

We know nothing of Jonas until he arrived in the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, on the ship Arbella.  He must have been a man with some property and proper Puritan credentials because he was made a freeman at Waterown on May 18,1631.  He along with five other men were dismissed from the Watertown church in May of 1635 in order to form a new church at Wethersfield.  The Newton court gave notice on April 26, 1636 that this had been done.

Jonas married Mary in Wethersfield in 1637.  Again, there don't seem to be records showing the maiden name of his wife.  Hoyt and Scofield are the two surnames most commonly mentioned.  Again, I tend to think it is Hoyt but am open to any documentation that can be found.  Three children were born to Jonas and Mary in Wethersfield, Elizabeth, Mary and Dorcas.

Jonas and Mary left Wethersfield in about 1641, and again helped found the town of Stamford.  This is on the far southwest side of the state and was originally a part of the colony of New Haven.  There were 29 Puritan families who joined to found Stamford.  Jonas's life may have been a little different in Stamford, because this was right on the coast of  Connecticut and maritime trading was possible.  We don't know whether, or to what extent, Jonas might have been involved in this.

In Stamford, the family would stay, Jonas and Mary had 6 more children, John,Samuel, Jonas, Hannah, Daniel and Sarah.  Sarah apparently was a "problem child", for in his will Jonas left her five shillings, but if she "returne agayne to the Truth" then she would get 10 pounds.  There is apparently little reference to Jonas in the town records of Stamford, so we don't know whether he ever served in any public office.  The only guess we have as to education is that he signed his will.

Jonas wrote his will on November 26,1672 and died shortly before June7, 1676, when his estate was inventoried.  He had, in 1671, given his son Jonas two parcels of land and his home lot, which he was to possess upon the death of both Jonas and Mary.  The inventory at his death still included various parcels of land valued at 58 pounds, and other household items to make a total of a little over 116 pounds.

When Mary died three years later, her estate was valued at a little over 23 pounds.  The most interesting item in her inventory, to me, was "paire specticles & case".  Mary needed eyeglasses in order to see, it appears.

The picture I have of Jonas, after looking at his life, is that he was a good Puritan, faithful to his God,  He did not figure prominently in town records and yet he was respected enough to be sent to plant two towns in Connecticut.  If the records are silent regarding his public service, they are also silent regarding any charges made against him in church or in court.  There is one case where he accused a native American of entering his home during meeting hours, and stealing from him.  The native American was sentenced to be whipped and then sold into slavery.   Would Jonas have charged the Indian if he had realized the punishment would be so harsh, or did he make the charges knowing what the outcome was likely to be?

The line of descent is:

Jonas Weed-Mary possibly Hoyt
Hannah Weed-Benjamin Hoyt
Hannah Hoyt-Daniel Scofield
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas J Knott
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Fun fact:  In a Rootsweb listing of the families of Stamford, Ct., there are 17 Jonas Weeds listed up to about 1779..  I'm sure glad ours was the first!  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Holbrook line: Molly Wright Holbrook, still missing after a NEHGS search

The long and the short of it is that I got a few useful things for the $376.90 I sent NEHGS, but I don't know anything more than I did before about who Molly's parents might be.  Five months was a long time to be waiting for a result, and then to have a bit of a let down was pretty disappointing.  NEHGS did say they would be happy to do more research and they estimated they would need another 10 hours ($600) to search the records that should be searched.

I think what bothers me is that they suggested searching for clues in bastardy records, and I had suggested that to them in my original request.  Also, they started by looking for clues in the will of Amariah Holbrook and of Molly Wright Holbrook.  While I am certainly happy to have copies of those records, it doesn't make sense to me that one would start with wills when looking for the subject's parents.  But OK.

The good news is that I have some clues.  They sent a list of seven microfilms they would want to search, but would need to order them from Salt Lake City.  I can probably order them and read them myself, quicker and more reasonably priced than they can, and a couple of local genealogists have advised me to do that.     

They suggested looking for probate records for Seth Wight of Medfield because two of his sons are named Joel and Nahum, which are names Molly and Amariah used for their children.  I have found a total of six children for Seth, three with Sarah Prat and three with Hannah Morse.  One of their daughters, Sarah, was born exactly thirteen months before the date we have for Molly's birth, which makes me wonder if Molly is a name for Sarah, and whether somehow the birthday for Molly might be wrong.  We don't know where that date came from, as far as I know.  So that's a possibility.

They also suggested looking for the probate records for Elnathan Wight of Bellingham.  He was a well known Baptist church leader and one of his sons was named Nathan, another name that the Holbrooks used for a son. 

Molly owed money to Susanna Wright at the time of her death and it might be useful to figure out who she was.

They also suggested looking at probate files for John Pratt, who was the grandfather of Seth Wight's first three children.  They thought perhaps Molly would be mentioned in the will, but the papers indicating John Pratt's bequest was dated in 1754, several years before Molly is believed to have been born.

So what I got was Amariah Holbrook's nuncupative will from 1797, probate records from 1798 and from 1799, Molly Holbrook's probate records from 1845, William Wright's probate record from 1778 (on the chance that he was Molly's first husband), guardianship records for Nahum, Joel and Aliph Wight from 1754 and for Nathan and Eliab Wight from 1764, and copies of the town clerk's entries for the births of the children of Amariah and Molly.  And so ends the report. 

I'd like to know if any of my readers have ordered a professional genealogy report before, from anyone, and what their results were.  Did I get as much value for my money as I should have expected?  Were the researchers following standard operating procedure in first looking for wills for the Holbrooks?  What would you have done done?

Another $600 is totally outside my budget so I'll be doing this the DIY way, but at least I know what films to request and what to look for.  In the future, I'll post Amariah's will and also Molly's administration papers, because there may be other researchers who, if they are still researching, will appreciate them. 

The line of descent, again, is

Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Friday, June 5, 2015

Beeks line: Thomas Soole or Soule abt 1567 to 1614

I'm writing about Thomas because he didn't live to come to New England, although I'm thinking he would have wanted to do so.  There isn't much available about him but we do know the basics of his life.  He was born 1567 in Hawkhurst, Kent, England.  This is near the southeast coastline of England, and was known for smuggling activities in the 1700's.  Hawkhurst even now is a small town with a population of 4400, so back then it was probably no more than a village.

Thomas was born to John Soole and Marie Whitfield, most probably.  Records for this have apparently not been found, but it seems that every family history and genealogy state this as fact, and it certainly fits that these were his parents.  If so, he may have had siblings Jane, Miles, Robert, James and Henry.

We don't know what Thomas did for a living, but we know a little about his family.  He married Mary Iddenden  (also seen as Indenden and even Ildenden,) daughter of John Iddenden and Christian Mercer, on October 15, 1598  The church would have been St. Laurence, which has been on the same site since about 1100.  The church today looks much as it would have looked in the time of Thomas.  Just think of how many baptisms, marriages, and deaths this church would have seen! 

Thomas of course was living through the "Golden Age" of Queen Elizabeth I.  She was the queen when he was born, and for the first 36 or so years of his life.  But he was near the coast, so as a young man Thomas may very well have been involved in preparing to fight the army, or the navy, of the Spanish armada.  This may partially explain why he was above the age of 30 when he married.  People in his village may have been Catholic, in a time of great religious turmoil.  I can see why people from Kent would have wanted to have come to the New World.

Thomas died sometime in or after 1614, and didn't get the chance to come to the New World.  His daughter Sarah did, however.  She had married Samuel Hinckley in 1617 in Hawkhurst, Kent, England and they arrived in 1635 on the ship "Hercules". They were accepted into local churches as members so they must have been Puritans. Was Thomas a Puritan also, one wonders?

 Sarah's known siblings were Mary, Thomas, and Anne.  Thomas and Mary may have had other children, because even if Thomas died in 1614, that is sixteen years of marriage, and four children would be a low number for that amount of time. 

If Thomas left a will, it apparently hasn't been identified yet.  I thought it was important to write this post, to remind us of the people "left behind" in England, due to age, infirmities, or lack of desire to come to the New World.  The families just before the Pilgrims and the Great Migration went through a very trying time, too.  That may have given their children the strength and desire to leave and make a home for themselves in the New World.

The line of descent is:

Thomas Soole-Mary Iddenden
Sarah Soole-Samuel Hinckley
Susannah Hinkley-John Smith
Samuel Smith-Elizabeth Pierce
Shubael Smith-Prudence Fitzrandolph
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Harshbarger line: Kemery obituaries

When I did some research at the Whitley County Historical Society a couple of years ago, the fine curator located the obituaries of Adam Kemery and Nancy Fannie Kemery for me.  These are from Columbia City, Indiana newspapers but I don't know which one, or ones.

The first is for Adam Kemery, and was printed November 10, 1926.

"Adam Kemery Dies at His Home Tuesday.

Death of Well Known Columbia Township Farmer Occurred at 9:15 Tuesday Evening -Funeral Services From Home Thursday Afternoon.

Adam Kemery, 79 years old last April 15, died at his farm home in Columbia Township at 9:15 o'clock Tuesday night of a complication of illnesses.  He had been in failing health since 1917, but was able to be up and around most of the time.  Mr. Kemery was up part of the day Tuesday.  Before his death he suffered a hemorrhage of the lungs.

He was born in Columbia Township and was a son of Daniel and Barbara Burkholder Kemery.  He resided in Columbia township all his life and on his farm for more than forty yers.

Fifty six years ago he was united in marriage to Nancy Fanny Buchtel who preceded him in death on April 22,1925.  They have the unusual experience of living to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. 

Mr. and Mrs. Kemery were the parents of seven children, two of whom are dead.  Those surviving are Phoebe and Harvey, at home Mrs. Sarah Walters, of Columbia City, Mrs. Della Withers, of Columbia township, and Benjamin Kemery, of Ft. Wayne. Two brothers, John Kemery of South Whitley and Solomon Kemery, of Columbia township, are living.

Funeral services will be held from the home Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.  Rev. Wallace will conduct services and burial will be in the Eberhard cemetery."

This one knocks me for a loop.  Adam's mother was Barbara Burkholder?  Who was she?  Why do so many trees state that his mother was Susannah Essig?  Am I going to have to knock a whole huge branch of interesting people off this tree?  Obviously, I need to go back to my sources and figure out where I went wrong, or why the obituary information is incorrect, whichever it turns out to be.  Sheesh!

The obituary for Mrs. Adam Kemery was printed April 23, 1925.

"Mrs. Adam Kemery died at 3:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon at her home in southwest Columbia township after an illness of two years due to complications during the greater part of which she was confined to her bed.

She was born in Ohio on April 15,1846 and was 79 years and 7 days old.  She was formerly Nancy Fannie Buchtel and was a daughter of Benjamin and Barbara Buchtel.  She came to Whitley county when a young girl and 56 years ago was united in marriage to Adam Kemery.  They were the parents of six children, of hom five are living; namely Phoeve and Haarvey, at home, Benjamin and Mrs. Frank Walter, of Fort Wayne, and Mrs. William Withers of Columbia township  One daughter, Cora, is dead.  Two sisters, Mrs. William Vapner, of Coldwater, Mich.  and Mrs. Margaret Kemery, of Columbia township, and one brother, Solomon Buchtel, of this city, survive."

I found another interesting obituary, for Alfred Kemery, printed at the same time.  Alfred was a brother to Adam.  However, he is clearly a son of Daniel Kemery and Susan Essig.  When he died April 25, 1919 he was 75 years, 11 months, and 5 days old.  My theory now has to be that Alfred was the son of Daniel and Susan or Susanna, but perhaps Adam was not.  I need to go work on this, obviously. Boy, is my face red!

I would sure like to hear from some Kemery descendents who have this figured out already! 

Update:  Who was the informant for the newspaper, who identified his or her grandmother or possibly even great grandmother?  Daniel had been married to Barbara Long Buchtel in 1872, and that was likely the "grandmother" the informant knew.  I think that's likely, and I think the Buchtel name somehow got mangled to Burkholder.  I followed Daniel and Susanna in the census from 1850 forward, and I've not found any other Daniel Kemery of the age to be Adam's father.  

The line of descent is:

Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents