Monday, July 6, 2015

Beeks line: Robert Carter abt 1648-1686, immigrant and mystery

Robert Carter was born most likely in England, about 1648.  This is a common name so it's hard to know for sure that family historians have found the right person.  However, a boy by that name was christened at St Peter's, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England on February 13, 1650, at the age of two, and the (very extended) family seems to think this is our Robert Carter.  If so, then his parents were Thomas and Elizabeth.  I've also found reference to his father possibly being William, so let's just say I'm not sold on the either "fact" yet.  Bedforshire would surely be worthy of further study, though.  A simple search on FamilySearch turns up several candidates of the right age, and there would surely be more scattered all over England.

It is believed that he married a girl named Hannah, likely in England.  He was a passenger on the ship "Samuel" which arrived in Philadelphia on September 18, 1682.  The "Samuel" was one of the 22 ships that sailed for Pennsylvania with William Penn.  Many of the settlers were from Lancashire, but not all of them, and many were Quakers, but again, not all of them.  However, Quakers from Lancashire would likely be his neighbors, and at least some of his children were Quakers, so he would have been surrounded by them if not actually a Quaker himself.

Robert apparently had money for he is listed as a landowner in 1684, in "History of Bucks County."
He received a land patent in 1683 in Bucks County, Pa in land which eventually became Middletown Township. Edward Carter, who arrived about the same time but seems to have stayed in Philadelphia, may have been a brother.

Robert and possibly Hannah had at least five children, namely John, Margaret, Joan, Edward, and Jane.  Jane at least was an "infant" (under the age of 14) when Robert died in 1686.  If the other children were above the age of 14 then Robert would have been fairly young when he married, and the first four children would have been born in England. There are different birthdates proposed for  Jane, anywhere from 1678 to 1683, so we don't know where she was born.  Jane was placed with Thomas Janney in 1691, which probably means she was at least 6 years old at the time.

Robert Carter is mentioned in "History of Bucks County" as being on the first petit jury of Bucks County in 1685, and as a high-constable later that same year.  However, there are also references to Robert Carter in Bucks County in the years following 1686, which can't be our Robert Carter, so it is not a provenfact that our Robert Carter was the one mentioned here. 

I don't know anything more about Robert Carter, but I honor him for his bravery in coming to America and for his hard work, which may have contributed to his early death, in making a home for his family.  I'd love to know more about him, of course, so if anyone recognizes this name, please contact me. 

The line of descent is:

Robert Carter-possibly Hannah
Jane Carter-Henry Bowen
Margaret Bowen-Thomas Rees
Thomas Rees-Hannah Rees
Solomon Rees-Anna possibly McNeal
Owen T Rees-Margaret Moon
Eliza Rees-Samuel Dunham
Margaret C Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harashbarger
Their descendents