Friday, December 30, 2016

Harshbarger line: Rice Jones died 1666 or later

I don't know much about Rice Jones.  He is reported to have come from Wales, or at least his father was from Wales.  If true, than most likely the name would have been written Rhys ap Jones, or something similar.  However, by the time he arrived in Virginia he was Rice Jones. 

We don't know when he arrived in Virginia.  Some say he arrived in 1650, and it certainly seems that he did, yet there are references to a Rice Jones in Virginia as early as 1628. Probably the 1637 birthdate I had listed for him is too late, but was he born as early as 1607?  That would make him old enough to be a landowner in 1628. 

He is shown as a planter with land around Elizabeth City, and later is listed in Lancaster County records.  His will is apparently recorded in Lower Norfolk and Norfolk County records, if this is the same Rice Jones.  He mentions his wife Ann.  Our Rice Jones was married to Jane Cocke, so it's a little bit confusing.  The only child I know of, from Rice's marriage to Jane, was Anna Keen Jones, who married  John Wyatt. 

It seems almost too little information to even write a post about Rice Jones, but as usual I am cousin baiting and hoping someone will know more about Rice and contact me.  And even if this is all we know, it's a reminder that the Harshbarger line has many divergent branches and not all led back to Germany or Switzerland.  Rice was most likely Welsh, or at least lived very near Wales, and that makes him interesting to me.

The line of descent is:

Rice Jones-Jane Cocke
Anna Keen Jones-John Wyatt
Thomas Wyatt-Susanna "Sukey" Edmondson
John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jean Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Harter-Emanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Beeks line: Samuel Scullard abt 1616-1647 Immigrant

Samuel Scullard is likely from Abbots Ann, Hamphire, England although as yet it seems that no one has pinpointed his birth or christening record.  He is believed to be the son of Richard Scullard, joiner, and his wife, Alice.  Richard died in 1617 when Samuel, his second child, was just a baby, which could possibly explain the lack of baptismal records for Samuel.  Perhaps his wife was just too overwhelmed or ill to arrange for it. 

It appears that Samuel was in New England by 1638, and likely came with Rev. Stephen Bachwiler.  He was in Newbury, Massachusetts by February 24,1637/38, because he was fined for not attending a town meeting at eight o'clock in the morning, after having been warned, so he must have been there at least a few weeks by that time.  He was referred to as yeoman, meaning a farmer who owned his own land, as opposed to a tenant farmer, or a planter, who may not have actually worked the land he owned. He also was a partner in a water (grist) mill in Newbury, and upon his death his widow's second husband purchased that interest.  Newbury is situated at the northeast end of Massachusetts, on the coast, and was also an early site for shipbuilding and tanning, so there was an opportunity to sell to more than just the local farmers.

Samuel married Rebecca Kent, daughter of Richard and Emme Dorothy Shorte in 1641.  Some sites say they married in England but this does not appear to be correct.  The Kents were already in Newbury and doubtless the couple met and married there. They probably had four children, Mary, Rebecca, Sarah and Samuel although only Mary and Sarah are named in his will.  Unfortunately, his will was dated March 27, 1647 and proved July 28, 1647, so Samuel died when he was only about 30 years old.  It was a nuncupative will, indicating that likely his death was sudden.  He may have been injured, or he may have died of one of the fevers that went the rounds so quickly and so often in colonial times. 

His estate was valued at 196 pounds, 4 shillings.  Half went to his wife, who remarried soon after Samuel's death, and the other half went to his two daughters but not until 1670, when the daughters were married and of age.  Rebecca married John Bishop and died sometime before John's death in 1684. 

There is still more research to be done about Samuel.  I don't have a good grasp of the land he owned, or of his church life, or whether he held any church or civic positions.  However, we do know this much and that's more than we knew when we began this post! 

The line of descent is:

Samuel Scullard-Rebecca Kent
Mary Scullard-John Rolfe
Mary Rolfe-Benjamin Dunham
Jonathan Dunham-Mary Smith
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, December 23, 2016

Holbrook line: James Mackall, Scottish Immigrant, 1630-1693

This is the stuff of which legends are made.  The question is, is it true?  Was James Mackall a prisoner of war sent to Maryland by the British, or did he come of his own will and volition?  It depends on what you want to believe, I guess, because I'm not finding documentation that says that the James Mackall born in 1630 in Scotland was the same James Mackall who arrived in Calvert County in about 1666.  I'm not finding that his wife was Mary Grahame, although many, many sites list it as such.  But what I am finding is intriguing.

Our James was in Maryland by 1666, and I do believe he was of Scottish origin.  His wife's name was Mary and she may have been Mary Grahame, the daughter of John Grahame and Barbara Stewart.  If this is the same James Mackall, he has quite an interesting line in Scotland which includes some of the great names of Caithness.  The problem is, there was another James MacKall who was born about the same time, who went to New England about the same time and who others have given the parents as James Mackall and Mary Grahame.  This James's life in New England is fairly well documented.  Of course, the two James Mackalls could well have come from the same family, but it is difficult to find proof.

The New England James Mackall was definitely a prisoner of war of the English, sent to New England to work as an ironworker.  Our James Mackall of Maryland may also have been a prisoner of war, but he also may have been a free Scotsman, coming to Maryland because of economic opportunity as well as religious freedom.  He is reported to have received a land grant of 30,000 acres in Calvert County, which is exceptionally large and indicates that he was a person of some prestige when he arrived here. 

Our James was a planter, with a large plantation called "The Clifts" in Calvert County, Maryland. He also purchased another plantation called "The Cage."  It seems to have been a matter of debate as to the number of his children. The most inclusive list I've seen lists eight children, with two named Anne and two named Elizabeth, plus John, James, Benjamin, and Martha.  He  left a will at his death in 1693 which mentioned specifically one slave, Tobe, who was to go to his wife and then his youngest son, Benjamin.  It is likely that with land as vast as his was, there would have been more slaves. Mary died in 1718. 

The confusing part of all this, as far as our family goes, is that what I have found doesn't give Elizabeth Mackall Mauldin as a child in the will.  Of course it is possible that she was given land at the time of her marriage to Frances Mauldin in 1687.  Oftentimes such gifts are noted in the will but there seems to be no mention of it in this instance. 

There are so many mysteries about this man.  What was his background?  Was he really granted 30,000 acres in Calvert County?  Was he a Covenanter, or a Roman Catholic, or was he Anglican?  Did he and Ninian Beall know each other in Scotland?  And was his wife really from the famous Grahame family?  I've presented various theories here, but other than his arrival date, his land, and his will, much of his life is still open for further research.  It would be fascinating to learn the answers!

Our proposed line of descent is:

James Mackall-Mary Grahame
Elizabeth Mackall-Frances Mauldin
Ann Mauldin-William Amos
James Amos-Hannah Clarke
Robert Amos-Martha McComas
Robert Amos-Elizabeth Amos
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Allen line: Philip Randall, Immigrant possibly 1574-1662

Or the correct dates might be 1590 to 1648, or some combination thereof.  At this point, I'm thinking the dates in the title of this post are likely correct, but I'm open to considering any further evidence that comes up. 

There was a Philip Randall born in 1574 in Allington, Bridport Parish, Dorset, England and it seems plausible if not completely proven that this is our Philip Randall.  If this is our man, he came to the New World about 1633 (some sources say as early as 1630, so he may have come first and then gone back for his family).  If he arrived in 1630, he was already possibly 56 years old, but he must have been a vigorous man, to be willing to live in the Colonies.  He was a smith, so was in high demand for his goods and his life would not have been quite as difficult as that of some of our immigrant ancestors.

He had married Joanne or Joanna Fush in England in 1608,  If the 1574 birth date was correct than he would have been about 34 years old, so possibly this was not his first marriage.  Joanne was born in1578 in Allington, Bridport Parish, Dorset, England so she would have been 30 at the time of the April 10, 1608 marriage.  The relatively late marriage of this couple may help to explain why we have record of only three or four children for the couple.  The children were Abraham, Elizabeth, Philury and Frances, all born in England.

When the couple came to the New World, it appears that the children, who were in their late teen and early adult years, came with them.  Philip settled first at Dorchester, where he was made a freeman about 1635.  A year later, he went to Windsor, Connecticut where he helped settle the town and where his smithing skills were undoubtedly needed. We don't know whether he was involved in the Pequot War of 1637 but it seems at least possible. He stayed atWindsor until the end of his days, receiving land grants and possibly buying more land as time went on.  He died May 6, 1662, and the inventory was taken May 28, 1662.  He had real estate valued at  72 pounds and the rest of his estate, including smith's tools and books, was valued at 41 pounds.  He signed his will with an X but that doesn't mean he was illiterate.  He may have merely been weak or/and ill. 

I haven't found any information that follows his church life, other than he was a freeman in Dorchester so must have belonged to the church at that time.  It would be interesting to know what he thought of the various controversies that the church was involved in, and whether he stayed faithful to his religion.

The line of descent is:

Philip Randall-Joanne Fush
Frances Randall-Thomas Dewey
Thomas Dewey-Constant Hawes
Elizabeth Dewey-Thomas Noble
Thomas Noble-Sarah Root
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John W. Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, December 16, 2016

Harshbarger line: Johan Mentzer 1701-?? Immigrant

Johan or Johannes Mentzer or Maintzer is the first immigrant ancestor in this family.  He came to Philadelphia in September of 1751 on board the "Brothers", along with his second wife, Catherine Spirgi and four children.  Two of the children were "theirs" and two were from his first marriage, to Anna Maria Meyer.  She died some time between the death of her third child on April 1, 1729 and August 11, 1733, the date of Johan's second marriage.  Johan's birth to Johan George Mentzer and Anna Maria Heim, as well as Johan's two marriages and the birth of all of his children, took place in Hagsfeld, in what is now Baden, Germany.  He is described as a burgher in the town records there, which seems to imply more than just citizenship.  He was likely well-respected and probably a member of the middle class or better, perhaps a merchant of some kind.  (This is implied by the term 'burgher' but may not necessarily be true in this instance.  Generalizations are always dangerous.)

That's as much as we know about Johan's life in Germany.  Probably for economic reasons, perhaps as a result of the Thirty Years War, Johan and his family decided to start a new life in the New World.  We know he came to Philadelphia and we know he settled in what was then Lancaster County.  It's believed that he as well as his son Conrad died in 1781, in Lancaster County, but I haven't found documentation of that yet.  I also have nothing that shows me where he lived, what land he owned, what taxes he might have paid, or what church he attended. 

I always wonder about these people.  At age 50, what gave him the impetus to start over?  Was he healthy enough to try pioneer life, or did he have any idea what he was getting into?  Was he as respected here as he was in Hagsfeld?  The search goes on, but meanwhile, here is another German immigrant who deserves our respect. 

The line of descent is:

Johan Mentzer-Catherine Spirgi
Conrad Mentzer-Catherine Elizabeth Hibschmann
John Mentzer-Margaret
Conrad Mentzer-Elizabeth Tullepan
Catherine Mentzer (Mancer)-Lewis Harshbarger
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Beeks line: Johann Wilhelm Berkheimer, 1706-1745, Immigrant

I love it when I find someone in the ancestry of President Obama, who I've not yet written about.  It means that much research has already been done and I'm not likely to uncover any hidden gems.  The pros have done it for me.  Much of this information came from family websites and from people who like to research presidents.  More power to them, and thank you very much!

He seems to have gone by the name Wilhelm, so that is how I'll refer to him.  Wilhem was born in 1706 in Frankenthal, Bayern, Germany to Balthasar and Anna Margaretha (maiden name unknown ) Berkheimer.  Frankenthal was a town that was all but destroyed in the wars of the seventeenth century so it is a wonder that any records at all have survived.  (Or maybe they didn't survive, and that is why we have no specific birth date for him.)

We know that he arrived in Philadelphia with his wife, Maria Salome Hallman (Heilman or Heyllman are also spellings of the same name) four children, and a Susanna Berkheimer, who may have been a sister or cousin.  Wilhelm is listed as being 20 in 1732 but he was more likely 26 years old then, as his wife, listed as Salome, was 25.  The children were named Leonhard, Valentin, Magdalenea Louisa, and Johann Georg.  They arrived together on the "Samuel" on August 11, 1732.  It's possible that a son Henry was born in the New World, also. 

The family made their way to what is now Perkiomen Township, Montgomery County, Pa  I have a copy of a land grant for 25 acres to Wilhelm Berkheimer, which gives him 25 acres of land adjacent to the land he already owns, if I am reading this correctly.  This was dated 1742, so he owned land prior to that time.  Probably he farmed and possibly he had another occupation also.  His family would have felt right at home here because the whole valley was settled primarily by German immigrants.  There are tax records for him through 1744, but I don't yet know when they started.

1745 must have been a very rough year for both Wilhelm and Salome died that year.  Most likely they died of one of a number of diseases but it's possible there was an accident that killed them both.  It would be interesting to know the cause of death, because that would give us a glimpse into the kind of life they had.  Both were just about 40 years old when they died, which was young, and they would have left a young family, although several of the children were teen agers.  Wilhelm and presumably Salome are buried at the Old Goshenhoppen Church Cemetery in Woxall, Perkiomen Township, Montgomery County, Pa.

There is more research to be done on this family, to determine the causes of death, when they acquired land and how much, and whether they were of the Lutheran or the reformed faith.  However, we do have this much information and it's a start, and a reminder of how little we really know about our ancestors. 

The line of descent is:

Wilhelm Berkheimer-Maria Salome Hallman
Leonard Berkheimer-Maria Catherine Kerger
Magdalena Berkheimer-Samuel Goodnight
Catherine Goodnight-Jacob Dunham
Samuel Goodnight Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Homer Aldridge
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holbrook line: Thomas Angell 1618-1689 Immigrant

Thomas Angell walked and talked with one of my hero ancestors, Roger Williams.  That is reason enough to write about him, in my view.  We don't know as much about him as we know about Roger Williams, but it is enough to convince us he was an honorable man, educated and yet probably humble, as he called himself a "farmer" even though he was town clerk of Providence, Rhode Island for 17 years. 

Sources vary and don't always make a lot of sense.  Once source seems to indicate he was illiterate, but somewhere he learned to read and write well enough that he was trusted with recording the business of the town.  Another question arises about his immigration.  It has been variously suggested that he came with Richard Waterman in 1629, as a personal assistant, but he would have been only about 11 years old then.  Others say he came in 1631 on the ship "Lyon" with Roger Williams, or that he came with his sister and her family in 1638.  None of these theories make perfect sense, and none is documented.

So, we believe Thomas Angell was born to James and Mary Angell and was christened on May 1, 1618 at St. Alban's, Hertfordshire, England.  We lived at least his boyhood in England before coming to New England, where at some point he met Roger Williams.  This may have been in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony or it may have been in Seekonk in Plymouth Colony, on Williams' way to exile.  It's also possible that he arrived in Providence on his own or with his sister's family. 

He was in Providence in time to sign a document covenanting to join in a town fellowship.  This was not dated but is believed to have been signed with an X, sometime between July 13, 1638 and 1640. He name was on the list of thirty nine signers on an agreement for a government there, dated July 27,1640.  At least the first document was signed with an "X", which is puzzling.  Did he not acquire his literacy skills until he was an adult?

Thomas was a farmer, and married Alice Ashton, the daughter of James Ashton and Alice Honeychurch about 1643.  Although some sources say, without documentation, that the marriage took place in England it seems much more likely that it occurred in Providence.  They had at least eight children, including John, James, Anphyillis, Mary, Deborah, Alice, Margery and possibly Thomas (not mentioned in will, perhaps died young).

While Thomas was raising and providing for his family, he was also quite busy with town affairs. He seems to have taken his obligations as a citizen seriously, and was a member of the Town Council in 1650, as well as surveyor and commissioner.  He served as a juryman in 1650,1652, and 1659.  He served on some high profile trials and commissions, and as mentioned earlier was town clerk for 17 years.  Somehow, he and Roger Williams parted ways, intellectually or politically, and Williams filed charges against him as being one of three ringleaders pushing for a new division in the colony.  He was apparently not prosecuted, however.  He also was one of those who decided the fate of Indian captives after King Philip's War.  (Providence had been almost totally destroyed during that conflict). 

Thomas's will was probated September 18, 1694, on the same day as his wife's.  It had been written May 23, 1685 and it is believed he died about 1689.  By this time, he had acquired several parcels of land, up to 60 acres in size, which he divided between his two surviving sons, and two shillings to each of his daughters. He rather generously left his dwelling house and a small portion of land to his widow, plus each son was to give his mother 8 shillings a year.  Alice's will left five pounds to James, certain personal belongings to each of her four surviving daughters, and the balance to be divided between the two sons.  This makes it seem possible that Thomas had died earlier but that for whatever reason, the will was not probated until Alice also had died. 

I envy Thomas in one respect, that he was able to know and talk with Roger Williams.  I don't know what caused their falling out nor how long it lasted, but I hope they were able to patch things up.  Thomas is another ancestor worthy of our admiration. 

The line of descent is:

Thomas Angell-Alice Ashton
Anphyllis Angell-Edward Smith
Anphyllis Smith-Zachariah Eddy
Elisha Eddy-Sarah Phetteplace
Enos Eddy-Sarah Brown
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Brown Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Allen line: Samuel Ireland 1603-1639 Immigrant

Samuel Ireland came from England.  It would not surprise me to learn that one or more of his ancestors were Irish, but perhaps there is another reason for his name.  His background, at this point, is still a mystery.

We know that he was born about 1603.  Some websites are listing his place of birth as London but I haven't seen documentation to support that.  We know he was born about 1603 because when he immigrated to New England, he was reported as being a carpenter, aged 32.  He had a wife Marie, aged 30, and a daughter, aged one and one-half when he was permitted to set sail on the "Increase" after going through all the formalities to prove he was not a threat to the government nor to the Church of England. 

We don't know where the family first landed, but they ended up in Wethersfield, Ct.  Wethersfield was founded in 1634 so the family was almost in at the beginning of the settlement.  He soon owned several small parcels (none larger than 10 acres) of land which indicates that most of them were probably as the result of being a founder of the settlement, and were given by the town as more or less a 'reward" for being there and doing the early hard work.  As a carpenter, Samuel would have been kept quite busy building homes and businesses for those who wanted to settle there. 

He is believed to have had at least one child in Connecticut.  It's a little confusing but it seems the name of his first child was Martha and his second Mary.  We don't know whether there were other children, but if there were, they apparently died young. 

A major event during his time in Wethersfield was the Pequot War.  There was an attack on the town in 1637, which resulted in the death of 6 men and 3 women, and several head of livestock, and the capture of two young girls.  Undoubtedly this was a stressful time for the village, and it is likely that Samuel would have been involved in the militia that responded to the attack. 

Unfortunately, Samuel also died young, sometime after September 5, 1639 and before April 2 of 1641, when his inventory was produced. We don't know whether it was an accident or an illness that took his life.   His widow was to have one third and "the children" two thirds of the estate, which was valued at 70 pounds.  Marie Ireland married Robert Burrows and he apparently took over the estate.  She is believed to have died in 1672. 

This isn't a lot to go on, but it does give us a brief glimpse of the kind of life Samuel must have led.  He was a family man, a tradesman, a landowner, and likely a church member, one of the young men who helped our country get started.  I'd love to know more about him, where he came from and who his parents were.  But at least we know a little about his life on this side of the Atlantic. 

The line of descent is:

Samuel Ireland-Marie or Mary
Mary Ireland-John Fish
Samuel Fish-Sarah Stark
Abigail Fish-Daniel Eldridge
Sarah Eldridge-Thomas Chester
Bathsheba Chester-Jonathan Havens
Elizabeth Chester Havens-John Starr
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, December 2, 2016

Harshbarger post: Daniel Schultz 1730-1820

This is a frustrating post to write.  I know nothing more of this man than the approximate birth and death dates for him.  I don't even have a death location. 

The only clues I have to Daniel Schultz's life are that he was married to a Catherine Walter and their daughter Elizabeth was born in Frederick County, Maryland in 1757.  I do know that Frederick County had a settlement of Germans and because Catherine is sometimes listed as Catherine Walterin, the feminine form of Walter, I suspect that this was a German family.  I would love to know when the families immigrated and where they were from. I also know there would be several variant spellings to the Schultz name, including Shultz.  That makes searching more challenging!

Other suspicions are that the family farmed, that it was larger than the one child I know of, and that they may have moved on by the time Daniel died, in 1820.  His daughter Elizabeth had died earlier in 1791, in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia) and it is possible that this is where we should be looking for Daniel.  After all, there were grandchildren to enjoy and to help raise!

Again, this is more of a place marker post, knowing that his story isn't told yet.  I hope others in his family will find this, and someone will contact me with other information, be it a scrap or a document or a place to look for records.  One Ancestry tree shows a Revolutionary War symbol, but there is no indication of whether he was a veteran, and if so, what group he was with.  I will start looking in the militia for Frederick County, for starters, but that may or may not prove fruitful.

When I know more, I will write more.

The line of descent is:

Daniel Schultz-Catherine Walter
Elizabeth Schultz-Jacob Geiger
Anthony Geiger-Mary Kirk
Elizabeth Geiger-George Harter Jr.
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beeks line: John Purdy 1654-1712

I'm afraid this is another "no nothing" post, but I'm determined to note these ancestor's lives even if all I can do is offer a name, a location, and maybe a date.  This will remind me that I have work to do, to document these people, and it will serve as possible clues to someone who may be able to dig deeper into records than I can currently do. 

John Purdy is a Maryland resident, the first we learn of him.  He is believed to have been born about 1654, although his parentage and their origin are still something unknown.  I have seen his father listed variously as Henry, William, and Francis, so I'm unwilling to make even a wild guess.  I suppose someone who thought father's name was William thought that because his only (surviving) son was named William.  Francis seems to have spent his life in Connecticut and I can't find a logical explanation for a son showing up in Maryland, although I regard this as still a possibility.  And I don't know where "Henry" came from, as a proposed father.

John was apparently married at least twice.  His first wife was either Mary or Elizabeth, and his second marriage took place in 1701 to Mary Jarvis.  He apparently had children only by his first wife. 

We can guess that he was a farmer because there was real estate listed in his will, which was written October 21, 1709 and proved November 16, 1712.  He left his land to his son William, but if William died without issue it was to be sold with 5 pounds to go to John Purdy, the son of Henry and Ann Purdy.  As far as I know, the relationship of our John to Henry has not been proven, but it is quite possible he was a brother.  The residue from the sale of his land was to go to his daughters Margaret Watts, Elizabeth Aldridge and Susan or Susanna Purdy, at 16 years.  testators were Robert Steward, Joseph Tilly, and Thomas Orem.   

Obvious research possibilities would be land and tax records for the time period.  They should show what land he owed, where it was, and what the value was.  This should indicate whether he farmed, raised tobacco, or perhaps was some type of merchant, or trader.  At this early period in Maryland history, he could have been any of the above.  There may be further information in church records, also, which would at least indicate when he became a member at All Hallow Parish (this would have been Church of England or Anglican).

So it may be that someday we will know more about John.  For now, he's an ancestor in the Beeks line and he died in Maryland.  He or/and his father would have been an immigrant, and that is reason enough to want to know more.

The line of descent is:

John Purdy-Elizabeth or Mary
Elizabeth Purdy-Thomas Aldridge
John Aldridge-Eleanor Watkins
Jacob Aldridge Elizabeth Soper
John Simpson Aldridge-Mary Lakin
John Simpson Aldridge Jr-Lucinda Wheeler
Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, November 25, 2016

Holbrook line: Stephen Harding Immigrant 1623-1698

I'd love to tell you where Stephen Harding was born.  It was likely in Northamptonshire, England but the exact location is not known.  There are a lot of trees on the internet that say he was born in 1623 in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.  I haven't been able to verify that.  His father is believed to have been a Richard Harding, but again I'm not finding documentation.  If we're not sure who his father is, then we're definitely not sure who his mother is. 

Also there are differing opinions on when he arrived in Providence, Rhode Island.  Some seem to think it was directly from England, but many think he lived in Braintree, then Rehoboth, Massachusetts and then Swanzey, Rhode Island, before settling in Providence.  He may well have lived in each of these locations, for he was a blacksmith by trade and could count on earning a living wherever he went.  It seems that he married Bridget Estance, probably the daughter of Thomas Estance, but again the location for that varies, from Rehoboth to Swanzey. 

Stephen and Bridget had nine children; Abraham, John, Stephen, Priscilla, Sarah, and Mary, as well as three daughters, unnamed.  The last seems to have been born about 1662.

We do know, as mentioned, that Stephen was a blacksmith, and is reputed to have been a Baptist, which would be a good reason for his many moves.  Baptists weren't welcomed in Massachusetts, but were able to practice their religion in Providence.  He was made a freeman in Providence in 1669 and stayed there the rest of his life, until his death on February 20, 1697/98.. 

I haven't found yet what happened to Stephen and his wife during King Philip's War.  All but a few homes in Providence were burned, so the likelihood is that his was one of those.  It must have been hard at the age of 53 or 54 to start over, building not only a home for himself and his family but also a new community. 

Stephen would have known Roger Williams and his family.  In fact, his grandson married a granddaughter of Roger Williams, which is how we descend from Roger Williams, also.  Another descendant of Stephen Harding was Warren Gamaliel Harding, former President of the United States. 

I'd love to know more about Stephen, and to definitely know his place of birth.  I need to find his will, also, if there is one.  I find the people of Providence fascinating, and I'll be glad to learn more about him.

The line of descent is:

Stephen Harding-Bridget Estance
Abraham Harding-Deborah Gardner
Mercy Harding-Samuel Winsor
Joseph Winsor-Deborah Mathewson
Lillis Winsor-Nathan Paine
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph B Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Allen line: Alexis Jackson 1762-1826

This post is a little about the "dash" in Alexis Jackson's life.  Before our recent trip to Ohio, I knew the names of his parents, that he had married Catherine Moore in Greene County, Pennsylvania, about 1784 and that he had died in Pike Township, Marion County, Indiana.  I also had names for some of his children.  That is all that I knew about this man. 

One of the first books I looked at in the Ohio Genealogy Society library was one called "Index to Servicemen of War of 1812, State of Ohio" published in 1988 and edited by Phyllis Brown Miller.  Here's what it said:  "Jackson, Alexis; vol patriot in Seth Harrington's Company, Erie Co., Ohio, b 1768 (nt=y records say 1762) d. 1826; bur. Marion Co., In., m. Catherine Moore; Erie Co. Rcds Vol 1 p. 105, vol. 11 p. 913, Williams Hist Huron & Erie Co.s Oh. p 454 (1954, 1967)". 

Wow!  Our ancestor was in the War of 1812 in one way or another.  Ordinarily a "patriot" is one who donates supplies, livestock, or money to the war effort but this specifically says he was with "Seth Harrington's Company".  I wonder if he was somehow more directly involved in the effort.  Did he perhaps serve as a cook or a guide or in some other function, not directly in battle?  I am still working on that.  However, he was somewhere around 45-50 years old at the start of the War, so he may well have not been up to military service.  Still, he served, somehow and someway.  I can't wait to find out more about what he did, but he belongs in the company of those who served their country, in my estimation. 

So now that I knew where to start looking, I found quite a bit of information about Alexis.  He was in what became Huron County by 1811, before the War broke out.  If the 1784 marriage date is correct he have been married more than 25 years, and had several children.  I still don't know what prompted him to go there, to what was basically a pioneer wilderness, nor whether he had spent the first 25 years of his marriage in Greene County.  But what I did find is just, to my mind, extraordinary. 

It's a letter published in the Firelands Pioneer, Volume XXIII, pages 346-348, from a great grand daughter of Alexis Jackson, Mrs. M.C. Frederick.  This was published in 1925 but the letter itself may have been written as much as a year earlier, for it's not dated.  Here are some excerpts from the letter:

"My grandmother, Catherine Jackson Carter, was born in Pennsylvania in 1809 and when she was very young her family drove to Sandusky, Ohio. They took their cows with them, the milk was strained into the churn, and traveling churned the butter.  I was told that a recent history of Erie County mentioned Alexus Jackson (my great grandfather) as having settled in Groton Township, the exact date not given.  A letter to the County recorder of Huron county bought the information that Alexus Jackson sold (or bought?)land in 1811 (Vol. 1 page 305 of Erie, Town of Perkins) and again in 1819 he sold 40 acres, his wife Catharine being mentioned in this deed (Vol. 2 p. 913 Erie., also that a tract containing 116 acres in Huron county, (Erie not yet formed) the property of Alexus Jackson, deceased, was sold in 1830 by Alexus, executor, late of Marion County, Indiana by his last will and testament made Feb. 2, 1826 (vol6, p. 440, Erie).  This would indicate that the family went to Ohio some time between June 1, 1809, the date of my grandmother's birth, and 1811; that the father died, probably in 1826, and that the widow and family-there were six girls and five or six boys-went to Marion County (Indianapolis) between 1826 and 1829, when my grandmother was married at Indianapolis.

"As I remember the story she told me when I was a child, they with other settlers were in the fort at Sandusky for protection from the Indians in the War of 1812, and nearly perished for lack of food.  At intervals men would steal out at night and endeavor to procure provisions, but they never returned, undoubtedly discovered and killed by the Indians.  What food they did have was not suitable for small children, and a number of them died, including, I think, my grandmother's baby sister.  Grandmother remembered seeing the smoke and hearing the firing of "Perry's Victory," which ended the trouble and permitted them to return to their homes.  She was then four years and three months old."

There is other interesting material in the letter, not directly applicable to Alexis Jackson and family, but I find this fascinating.  The author does mention several of the children, including Eleanor, who married Vincent McCoy, so we know this is our Alexis.  Eleanor would have been about two years younger than the Catherine who was mentioned above, so she surely was with her mother and siblings in the Fort, too, although she may not have had any memory of it. 

These were exciting finds for me.  Now I have more questions, such as why Alexis and Catherine decided to leave Pennsylvania for Ohio, and why they later (date undetermined) decided to move on to Marion County, Indiana.  I believe the writer made an error when she said that the widow and children went to Marion County.  Alexis's will was written there and I believe he died there, although I don't know how long he'd been there.  I still don't know if Alexis had an occupation besides farming.  But what I do know is this glimpse into one segment of his and his family's life, and it's so much more than I knew before. 

It's another happy genealogy dance day!

The line of descent is:

Alexis Jackson-Catherine Moore
Eleanor Jackson-Vincent McCoy
Nancy McCoy-George R. Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, November 18, 2016

Our trip to Ohio, still dancing, part 2

Earlier this week, I wrote about the paper treasures I brought back from our four plus day trip to north central Ohio.  Today I want to write about the other treasures of the trip. 

We visited four different cemeteries, and found all the graves we were looking for.  At two of them, we found wonderful people who went out of their way to help us.  The ladies at the Mansfield cemetery, in particular, were real gems who wanted us to be successful in our hunt.  I didn't get their names but if you ever need help at the big Mansfield cemetery, you are in for a treat.  I was able to stand at the grave of my great great grandmother, Elizabeth Black Hetrick,  and pay my respects to the lady who was described in her death record as "truly a pious woman". Neat!  We also visited the graves of John and Hannah Finch Bell (helped by a lady at a neat hardware store just a bit north of the cemetery), Robert and Mary Yost Bell, in Bellville (with the help of a cemetery walker and a caretaker), and Alexis Lemmon, and Abraham and Sarah Lemmon Hetrick at yet another cemetery.  (That one, we walked for a while before we found our targets).  What was especially neat was that we were able to put flags on the graves of two War of 1812 veterans and two Revolutionary War veterans, three of those on Veteran's Day. 

We met such wonderful people on our trip.  Besides the cemetery helpers, a gentleman at the Morrow County courthouse turned out to be the county recorder, and he was kind enough to open up the genealogy library for us on a day that it wasn't officially open.  At a restaurant in Bellville, I asked the waitress about the history of the building.  She pointed to the booth next to us and I was soon introducing myself to the mayor of the town.  When I said that I was a descendant of Robert Bell, who founded the town, I was almost a celebrity.  I got a brief tour of some of the downtown area, and my name was passed on to the newspaper everything woman (reporter, editor, publisher, etc), who called and wanted to do an interview.  So that was another neat experience, and I guess today or tomorrow the weekly will come out, with a little column about our visit to Bellville.  All of these were serendipitous, or at least unexpected.  And in the courthouses and libraries, everyone without exception was both helpful and gracious.

It was a strange experience to walk the streets of Bellville.  Although nothing is left of Robert's town except the streets and general layout, still I could get a sense of what it must have been.  I could see in my mind the area, devastated by a recent tornado, that Robert chose for his town, knowing much of the work of clearing the trees had already been done.  I could see Huron Street as a trail by the river, used long before by the Huron Indian tribe.  I could imagine log cabins giving way to stick built homes, and stick built homes giving way to larger ones, as the town developed.  Bellville is a neat little town and if you're a Bell descendant, or even if you're not, it's worth a visit.

I also have several pages of notes to go through, that might be bread crumbs on my way to finding ancestors, or that might provide data that is missing in my records.  More treasures, for the taking.

It was a "most excellent" trip.  I plan to return to the Ohio Genealogy Library just outside of Bellville, because I was basically able to only go through one of their many sets of files and records there.  I know there is still genealogy gold, and I hope to mine for more!  For anyone reading this, plan your own trip, find your own treasures, and celebrate, with a happy genealogy dance, or otherwise! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Oh, what a happy dance! Field trip to Ohio

Husband and I took a field trip to the area of Richland County, Morrow County, and Knox County Ohio last week.  I researched for four wonderful days (while husband watched a lot of movies) and here is a list of the wonderful treasures I brought back with me:

*Death record for Mary Elizabeth Hetrick Black, died Dec.1, 1862 of typhoid fever.  The gem?  In the remarks section "Truly a pious woman."

*Article "The Mansfield that Was" from the September 28, 1971 News Journal about the town of Bellville, mentioning founder Robert Bell.  I think "The Mansfield that Was" was the name of a column.

*Plat of Bellville, Ohio from 1900

*Original Blat of Bellville, plus a brief history of the town, from a 1975 book published by the OSU Department of Architecture.

*A lead on where to fid the actual marriage records of Thomas Knott and Hannah Bell, but time ran out.

*Richland, Ohio, marriage record (not the documents, just the record) for marriage of Mr. Joseph Withers and Miss Ann Montgomery, by Elijah Clark, J.P. on September 23, 1852.

*Map of West Perry Township, Morrow County, Ohio, showing location of land of Abraham Hetrick.  Not sure of date. 

*Copy of Abraham Hetrick deed to John Wirick,

*Copy of Abrham Hetrick and Mary E Hetrick deed to Hiram Cravin dated December 14, 1859.  Need to research this but is likely the son of our Abraham who was married to Sarah Lemmon. 

*Abraham Hetrick deed to Levi Lucas  Feb. 22,1850

*Record of marriage of March 12, 1839, Isaac Hetrick to Elizabeth Black by L. or S. B. Leiter

*Guardian bonds for Isaac Hetrick (also L.S. and Ezra Hetrick, December 9, 1863 for minors Alice Hetrick and F. Owen Hetrick, per the estate of Peter Black, deceased, of Noble County, Indiana.  These were the minor children of Peter and Elizabeth Black Hetrick.

*Copy of Deed of Abraham Hetrick to Isaac Hetrick, March 13, 1856, land in Richland County, sum of $3000 dollars.

*5 pages from the Index of Deeds of Richland County, showing transactions with Robert Bell as grantor of land in Bellville (mostly).

*Copies of original plat of Bellville 1815 and Bell's addition 1826. 

*Copy of Deed of John Bell and Hanna Bell to Benjamin Crummell, for $150

*Copy of deed of various Shirk family members to Peter Black, Richland County Ohio, $1000  November 25, 1834.

*Copy of deed for John Carey, Admr to Isaac Hetrick, March 21, 1854 showing order to sell at auction, sold for $1108.50; Then on January 18, 1855 Isaac Hetrick sold the same land to John Carey Junior for $1200.

*Copy of deed from Robert Bell and Hannah his wife to trustees of the M.E. church, for $20, dated January 15,1833 and recorded August 19,1836.

*Copy of deed from Peter Black and wife Martha to Jacob Biddle for $5500; 160 acres, April 4,1853, recorded November 7, 1854.  Isaac Hetrick was a witness.

*Copy of Deed from Abraham Hetrick to Justice Frary, August 18, 1849; no mention of wife so hard to know which Abraham this was.

The above were found in Richland County, Ohio court records and a few in Morrow County.

In Knox County, Ohio, where I'd hoped to find more about Joseph and Mary Gearhart Withers, I found only what may or may not be clues:

*Bond of Christopher Mosley with John Ely and John Gearhart as witness, guardian to John and Mary Ann Gearhart, who were the children of Aron Gearhart, deceased.  dated October 21, 1845.

*Then just 8 days later, guardian bond of John Higgins, Asher F. Ely and Joseph Shinaberry, as guardians of Aaron Gearhart, Mary Ann Gearhart, and William Gearhart. 

*Several pages of estate records for Aron Gerhart, including inventory and sale records.  Aron apparently died close to July 10, 1845.  He may be a brother or other relation to Mary Gearhart Withers???

And then, from the Ohio Genealogy Society Library at Bellville, Ohio, a wealth of material:

*A chart of the Ulrich Ruble family

*The obituary of Andrew Farmer, who died in Columbia City, Indiana in 1897, mentioning his early years.

*A short history of Johnsonville Community, (Morrow County, Ohio) mentioning Abraham Hetrick as an early resident and as a veteran of the War of 1812.

*A transcription of the will of John Wyatt, who died in 1799 in Franklin County, Va.

*A transcription of a quitclaim deed from Jane Farmer widow of William to Adam Black, September 18, 1839.

* A transcript of the marriage bond for William Farmer and Jane Wyatt, October 21,1799, Franklin County, Va.

*A transcript of a deed from Franklin County, Va. from William Farmer and Jane to Joseph Bolin, June 25, 1813.

*Transcript of the will of Mathew Farmer, written 18 December 1834 and probated October 23,1845 in Miami County, Ohio.

*Copy of Deed for sale of Andrew Farmer's share of Mathew Farmer Estate, September 18, 1839.  Various other persons are mentioned and the deed was recorded in Allen County, Indiana and Clark County, Ohio.

*A possible clue to Lemuel Dunn, who may have had a brother James.  James was born in Monongahela County, Virginia and came to Brown County, Ohio about 1800.

*From "A History of Summit County, by Perrin, 1881, more than a full page of stories about the Keplers, brothers Andrew and John. 

*A copy of the will of Alexis Lemmon, written January 12, 1825 and proved July 15, 1826.

*Copies of the family record section of a Bible purchased by Alexis Lemmon  in 1803 in Annapolis, Md, listing his children's births, marriages, and some deaths. 

*Copy of the will of Jesse Finch of Belmont County, Ohio, dated February 9,1824 and probated September 8, 1829.

*Pages from "History of Morrow County", by Baskins, 1880, mentioning Abraham Hetrick as a trustee in 1817 in Perry Township, and also mentions Hetrick residing there at the time of Perry's victory on Lake Erie.

*Part of Chancery Court proceedings of April 11,1840, regarding a deed not given to a purchaser, and naming (apparently) all of Robert Bell's living descendants.

*Copy of Washington County, Pennsylvania Deed of Thomas and Hanna Rees to John Brown, land in Frederick County, Md dated January 1, 1793.

*Transcript of deed from Thomas Rees to Jonathan Garber, showing land was warranted to Jonathan Garber February 28,  1805; dated April 7, 1806 and showing Thomas as living in Fairfield County, Ohio as of that date.

*Transcript of deed from Thomas Rees Sr. of Fairfield Co. Ohio to Thomas Rees Jr. of Washington County, Pa. February 23,1810.

*Copy of bond and appraisal papers for Thomas Rees, dated January 30, 1812 in Fairfield County, Ohio.

*Copy of deed of heirs of Thomas Rees (many) to Mathew Ewing, August 29, 1812.

* Copy of Rees names from Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume VI, page 425; showing marriage of Thomas Rees son of Morris and Rah, and Margaret Rees, daughter of Thomas and Margaret in 1763, plus many other entries.

*Copies of two letters with information about the (van) Gundy family.

* An article from The Pennsylvania German, no date found, about the Buchtel family, and pages of a passenger list showing Johannes Buchtel's arrival in Philadelphia in 1753.

Obviously, each and every page that I've found needs to be read and analyzed and recorded properly, but do you see why I am doing my happy dance?  This was all found in four days, with time out for cemetery visits, a newspaper interview, and serendipitous meetings.  I'll write more about all that in my next post! 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Harshbarger line:Thomas Allaman, Immirgrant to Virginia

This blog post is really just more of a place holder, because so far I've found very little about this man.  He was born sometime in the early life of Virginia, perhaps 1622-1630.  All the sources I've found indicate that he was born in Essex or Gloucester Counties of Virginia.  If this is true, his unknown parents were actually the immigrants.  I've seen Thomas's father as Thomas Allaman and his mother as Margaret, but I don't know if there is proof for that.

Thomas had at least two wives, with Judith being the daughter of his first marriage and John, William, and Thomas being sons of his second wife, believed to be Mary Webster Webb.  He died on March 9, 1706, having survived drought and (probably) hurricane, peace and war, insects and illness.  He was probably 76 years old or more when he died, which was an old age for Virginia colonists of the time. 

That's as much as we know about Thomas, but we can speculate.  Because he was in Virginia during this time period, he was probably a part of the Anglican (Church of England) religion.  He would have paid a tithing tax to the authorities, in addition to whatever the government required of him.  He was likely part of the militia, for these people had to be on their guard against native American attacks and intrusions for many years.  We don't know whether he took part in Bacon's Rebellion or not, but we do know he likely wasn't a ringleader in that event.  He may have farmed or fished, but if he did neither of these for a living than he would have been some time of merchant or craftsperson.  Those were the opportunities available at the time. 

I would love to know more about this man and his wife.  Nothing further is readily available on the net, and my search of books at the library has so far come up empty.  If someone has had better luck than I have, and you're willing to share what you've found, I'd love to hear from you. 

The line of descent is:
Judith Allaman-James Edmondson
John Edmondson-Mary Boughan
Sukey (Susannah) Edmondson-Thomas Wyatt
John Wyatt-Alice Gordon
Jean Wyatt-William Farmer
Margaret Farmer-Solomon Eliot Bennett
Mary Bennett-John Harter
Clara Ellen Harter-Emanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Beeks line: Anthony Hallman 1671-1759, Immigrant

One of the things I like most about researching ancestors is unexpected finds.  Who would have thought that the Beeks line would turn up what appears to be a Mennonite family?  Closer investigation indicates there may be a mystery to be solved here  This immigrant, and his wife, are said to be buried in the graveyard of the Mennonite Church at Skippack, Montgomery County, Pa., which was right next to his property.  However, the family attended the Lutheran church at Trappe, Pa.  So was this merely a burial of convenience, or is it possible that his wife was Mennonite?  Right now, we don't know because we don't know who his wife was. 

Let's start at the beginning. Anthony was born in 1671, in Klein Neidersheim, Palatinate, Germany.  This is just a little east and a little north of the Alsace-Lorraine region, and is in the general area where Mennonites settled.  But the village was small, and since these small villages were homogenous, we will, until proven otherwise, assume that Anthony, at least, was Lutheran.  He married Maria Salome last name unknown about 1702.  I've seen various guesses as to when he arrived in the New World, but I've seen nothing that seems to have documentation.  He may have been here as early as 1708 but most likely it was more like 1721, since children were born in Germany at least through 1718.   We also don't know whether the family travelled together to the New World or whether Anthony came over first.  He was naturalized in 1731, when laws were changed so that all persons had to swear fealty to the British king.  He was a blacksmith by trade, owned land and probably farmed it, at least initially, and later in life purchased a mill in Gwynedd. 

Anthony was one of the founders and part of the building committee of the Augustus Lutheran Church at Trappe (1743, when he was already 72 years old) and was still serving as church warden at the time of his death.  One of the doors to the building had his name inscribed above it, as "A. Heilmano."  He had purchased land in 1720, perhaps before he even laid eyes on it, and then purchased another tract in 1736.  He eventually sold the first tract to his son Henry. 

Anthony and Maria Salome had at least eight children together, before her death in 1746.  Anthony lived another 13 years, dying in 1759.  There may have been trouble in the Hallman family, for in his will he disinherited his son John, "for reasons best known to himself" and left bequests to his daughters and children, and son Henry.  Whether there was a split in the family or whether John had already received his bequest, we'll probably never know.

I think I'd have liked Anthony.  He was a hard worker, apparently thrifty but yet generous to his church, and raised a family in difficult times. 

The line of descent is:

Anthony Hallman-Maria Salome
Mary Salome Hallman-Johann Wilhelm Berkheimer
Johann Leonard Berkheimer-Maria Catharine Kerger
Magdalena Berkheimer-Samuel Goodnight
Catherine Goodnight-Jacob Dunham
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza M Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, November 4, 2016

Holbrook line: Luke Raven, Immigrant-but when?

It's fun sometimes to pull my head out of New England and go south to our ancestors who came early to Virginia and Maryland.  Their stories were different than our New England ancestors, if only because their worship was different.  In Virginia, you were a member of the state church, or else.  In Maryland, you could be almost anything as long as you were Protestant (except for brief periods when Catholics were in control).  So far, I've not learned which religion Luke followed, and there are a lot of other details I don't know, also. 

Luke was born about 1630 somewhere in England.  John Washington,  an ancestor of President George Washington, paid for his passage here in 1662, for which John received 50 acres headright, as well as the services of Luke, either personally or sold to another, as an indentured servant for some period of time.  Records showing what happened with Luke are lacking, or at least I haven't found them yet.  I found a reference in "Genealogy of some of the descendants of Thomas Dew, to the fact that "Both Robert Gorsuch and Luke Raven of the last two records above were early colonists around Jamestown, who migrated to Northern Neck and after a stay there for a few years migrated again (they and their offspring) to Baltimore County, Maryland".  From this, it's not clear whether the author thinks that Raven was here prior to 1662 or not.  But we know he was here in 1664, when he was a witness for Thomas Browne of Piankatank River on January 4.

Luke may have married  Elizabeth, possibly the daughter of Thomas and Mary Hughes, probably in Virginia.  They are believed to have had three children together, Luke, Sarah, and Avarilla.  By 1671 and for whatever reason, Luke had moved to what is now Baltimore County, Maryland.  There he purchased land and continued practicing his trade of blacksmith.  (Smiths were quite needed in the New World and probably had a higher status, and a higher income, than we would think, looking back through our wrong-colored glasses.  That may explain how Luke was able to acquire several pieces of land.)

He is believed to have died in 1687, which means he was in Maryland for at least 16 years, long enough to call it home.  It seems that his wife, possibly Elizabeth, must have been sick or died early with only three children in the family, but there seems to be no information about her. 

I need to keep researching this man, to try to figure out who his parents were (John and Joan Raven, of Northumberland County, have been suggested but there's no proof as far as I know) and to learn more about his story.  I'd love to know where he came from, why he decided to come to Virginia, and whether he was glad he'd made that decision.  I'd like to know his religion, and whether he had slaves, and so much more about him.  That's why genealogy is never done-we always ask more questions!

The line of descent is

Luke Raven-Elizabeth
Sarah Raven-Tobias Stansbury
Thomas Stansbury-Jane Dixon Hayes
Thomas Stansbury-Hannah Gorsuch
Rachel Stansbury-Alexis Lemmon
Sarah Lemmon-Abraham Hetrick
Isaac Hetrick-Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Allen line: Anthony Dorchester 1619-1683 Immigrant

Although quite a bit is known of Anthony's life in America, little is known of his life in England.  He is believed to have been born about 1619, and some sources list, without documentation that I have found, his parents as being Anthony and Sarah Dorchester.  Since Anthony himself had a wife named Sarah, I hope the two men are not being confused.  I tend to believe his parents are not yet identified.

We don't know when Anthony came to America, either.  Some believe it was as early as 1633, but Robert Charles Anderson hasn't covered him in any of the Great Migration publications that I've reviewed, so until there is some verification we will have to leave that as unknown.  His second wife, Martha Chapman, may have been from Digswell, Hertfordshire, England but that may not be a clue since the marriage took place in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Savage, in his genealogical Dictionary of First Settlers of New England, says that Anthony went to Springfield about 1649 (probably soon after the death of his first wife, Sarah) but had been at Windsor, Ct. for some years prior (he is listed as a founding father of Windsor) and may have been at Hingham before that.  Children by his first wife were John, Mary, and James, and were likely born in Windsor between 1644 and 1647. (Therefore, it is possible that a father or grandfather of Anthonhy's would have been John.)  It is possible that Sarah died in or from complications of childbirth, since 1649 would have been about the time she would likely have had another pregnancy.  With three small children to raise, Anthony needed a wife quickly, and less than three months after Sarah died, he was married to Martha Chapman Kitcherel, who was either from Digswell as indicated above or from Rolvenden, Kent, England.  Apparently the jury is still out on her origins.  Martha had children from her marriage, so it must have been a lively household as three more Dorchesters, Benjamin, Sarah and Hester, were added to the family.   Martha died December 17, 1662 and Anthony next married Elizabeth possibly Cummins, his wife for the last 21 years of his life.  She must have been an amazing woman to raise so many children who weren't "hers" by birth!

Anthony lived in very interesting times and the book "Colonial Justice in Western Massachusetts" tells at least one interesting story to indicate this.  We don't generally think of slaves at that time period in Massachusetts, but it definitely was a fact of life.  Jack ran away from his owner after one too many beatings, and 10 days later was at the Dorchester home.  He asked for some tobacco, which the Dorchesters gave him, and then there was some sort of a struggle.  It took Dorchester, his wife, and a daughter to subdue the man, possibly with the aid of a cutlass or possibly the cutlass "came out stiff" and therefore wasn't effective. When Jack was searched, he had in his pocket a knife belonging to Anthony.  Jack was sent to jail until he was released into the custody of Lieut. William Clark.  That night, the Clark house burned down, and Jack was soon found guilty of arson.  He was sentenced to be hanged and his body to be burnt to ashes.  It's not clear whether he ever stood trial for the events at the Dorchester home. 

In addition to this story, Anthony and his wife were witnesses in a witchcraft case.  It seems that an one time Anthony was working for Hugh Parsons, perhaps as a laborer, and he and Parsons each owned 1/4 interest in a certain cow.  When the cow was killed, both men wanted the tongue.  Dorchester got it, and it was put in the pot to be cooked but "mysteriously" disappeared.  This was one of several incidents that got Hugh and his wife accused of witchcraft.  Mrs. Parsons was tried in Boston for the death of her child, apparently believed to be witchcraft.  She was found guilty but before she could be hanged she died in jail, apparently deranged.  Mr. Parsons was also convicted of witchcraft but the General Court didn't confirm the conviction and he was allowed to leave Massachusetts.  There's more to the Parsons story but our interest is in the Dorchesters, and it is interesting to see that both slavery and witchcraft touched their lives. 

Anthony was a miller and a ferrier (ferryman? or farrier?) but he would have done at least some farming.  We know he signed a petition in 1668 (along with a lot of other Allen ancestors and relatives) asking that the imposts, or tariffs, be lifted.  We know that in 1663 he took an oath of fidelity, apparently routine, as part of the training band.  He was on some local juries and was a selectman for Springfield.  He was made a freeman of Springfield in 1661.  He helped build the meeting house in Springfield, or at least was on a committee to supervise the building. 

Anthony appears to have been relatively poor.  He died without a will but his son John helped formulate an agreement with the heirs, including Martha, the daughter of Martha Chapman, who claimed that her mother had brought some property to the marriage.  I'd love to find that inventory to see what was there when Anthony died August 28, 1683.  Did he have a Bible and other books?  Did he still have that cutlass?  I'll keep looking!

The line of descent is: 

Anthony Dorchester-Martha Chapman
Sarah Dorchester-Joseph Stebbins
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

Friday, October 28, 2016

Harshbarger line: Daniel Lawall 1716-1796 Immigrant

What's a good German doing being listed as of Huguenot ancestry, anyway?  Well, Daniel's great grandparents left France when the Edict of Nantes of 1598, granting Huguenots a certain amount of liberty protection in France, was rescinded in 1685.  Protestants were no longer free to worship or live as they pleased, and many, many families went to friendlier locations in Germany.  If they chose the right city or village, they could continue to worship as Protestants. The family name was probably De Val or de la Val, in France.

Daniel himself may have come to the New World in search of religious freedom, or because of economic reasons, or a combination of both.  He was born in 1716 in Budesheim, Rhein-Platz, in what would become Germany. His parents were Johan Daniel and Agnes  Germanding Lawall, and he likely had siblings although I don't have any evidence of that.  Most German families were large.   Pictures on line show the village of Budesheim that at least from a distance probably hasn't changed much in 300 years, except this was in an area that was likely fought over during World War II, so perhaps the buildings are newer than they look.  If I were a traveling person, this would be someplace I would want to put on my bucket list! 

In Germany, Daniel married Barbara, who has not yet been identified further, to my knowledge.  He arrived in Philadelphia in 1752, probably with Barbara and their five children.  We don't yet know the story of his life in Pennsylvania, except that he was a farmer.  By 1781 he was on the tax rolls in Lower Saucon township, Northampton County, Pa.  At his death in 1796 he is listed as a yeoman, so he must have been a landowner. 

I haven't yet found a will, but I have located the abstract.  It names his wife, Barbara, and his children Ludwig, Anna Margaret (deceased wife of Christopher Ketterman), Gertraut, wife of George Seitz, Philip, and Bernina, wife of Valentine Horn.  A nephew, Daniel Beidelman is also mention, and is one of the executors of the will.  I wonder how Daniel Beidelman fits into the family?  Is there a potential clue to Barbara here? 

So far, this is what I know about Daniel.  I'd like to know whether he knew that he was of French ancestry, or whether he thoroughly identified with his German village.  I'd like to know where his land was, and how much he had.  I'd like to know what this man thought of the events of the French and Indian War, and the Revolutionary War.  How was he affected by these events?  Was he glad he had come to America?  I would like to sit down and talk with this man!

The line of descent is:

Daniel Lawall-Barbara
Anna Margaret Lawall-Christopher Kitterman
Mary Kitterman-George Harter
Johan George Harter-Mary M Miller
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Ellen Harter-Emanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beeks line: The missing John Walter born 1619, immigrant

Maybe the reason I know nothing about this man is that no one has ever looked for him, or at least, not successfully.  I just spent some time looking on my usual databases and very little is showing for him, and that is undocumented.  However, we know the man existed and is in the Beeks family line, so let's get written down what is known about him.  He is an ancestor and deserves to be honored as such, even though his life is well hidden at present. 

John is believed to have been born about 1619, somewhere in Kent, England, and his father is noted as "Thos."  We don't know when he came to America, but it was apparently without his father.  We do know that he married Patience Wooten, possibly the daughter of Thomas Wooten or Wotton).  This couple is often said to be the parents of Joseph Walter, but he was born in 1629 so if the birthdates for John and Patience are correct, he was not their biological child.  Their only known child is Safronia or Safronie, born in 1643 somewhere in Connecticut, presumably.  I show that the couple married in 1640, so Safronia may not have been their first, nor their only, child. 

I haven't been able to find a single reference to either person in any on line document, although admittedly I've only looked for an hour or so.  The only additional information I have is that both persons are believed to have died about 1710, and John, at least, is believed to be buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Marlborough, Connecticut. However, I find this questionable because Marlborough wasn't formed until 1803, and the only Walnut Grove cemetery I can locate is in Meriden, Ct and wasn't founded until about 1840.  So perhaps this couple was never in Connecticut at all.  Their daughter, Safronia, married to Jeffrey Jones, died in Woodbridge, New Jersey.  Perhaps the Walters were also there. 

This is as much as I know about John, and it's certainly frustrating.  I would like to give him parents, a home, a career, and a little bit of a life.  Please, if someone knows more about John, please email me:  happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom.  Thanks!

The line of descent is

John Walter-Patience Wooten
Safronia Walter-Jeffrey Jones
Mary Jones-Samuel Fitzrandolph
Prudence Fitzrandolph-Shubael Smith
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight (President Obama's ancestors)
Samuel Goodnight Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, October 21, 2016

Holbrook line: Edward Armstrong Immigrant 1630-1698

This is not the blog post I intended to write.  I intended to write about Gregory Armstrong, who lived in Plymouth Colony and married the widow of a man who was hanged by the authorities.  However, the more I looked at Gregory Armstrong's life, what little I could find did not mesh with him being the father of Edward Armstrong.  So I'm writing about Edward, who apparently came from a different place and went to a different place than Gregory did. 

We don't know much about Edward.  We believe he was born about 1630, possibly in northern Ireland or in the borderlands of Scotland and England.  We know he arrived in Maryland in 1666, and we assume this was his first trip across the ocean.  At this point, we don't know whether he arrived as a free person or as an indentured servant, or as a convict.  We also don't know whether he came because of political or economic reasons, and we don't know where his marriage took place.

We do know that he eventually acquired land, because he left it to his son Edward and his heirs, when our subject died in late 1697 or very early 1698 (will was probated January 12, 1698).  At the time of his death, he lived at Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland and his land was known as "Rich Neck."  He left sons Charles and John the residue of his estate, at the age of 21.  The executors were Edward and John, along with son in law Derby Hernley(seen elsewhere as Henly).  Richard Holmes was to have charge of son Charles during his minority.  Witnesses were Jos. Dawkins and Thos Howe.  .

From the will, we can guess that his wife Susan had died (some trees give her date of death as 1697).  We don't know why Anne Armstrong, their daughter, was omitted from the will but perhaps she had been given her inheritance at the time of her marriage. (Anne survived her husband and married Obadiah Evans.) 

There's so much to learn about Edward.  I'd love to know where his origins were, who his parents were, his religion, why he came to America and his status when he arrived, and I'd love to know how he met and married his wife.  If someone has been working on Edward and knows or has educated guesses to any of these questions, or simply knows more about Edward, I'd love to hear from them!

The line of descent is:

Edward Armstrong-Susan
Anne Armstrong-Obediah Evans
Martha Evans-Edward Bussey
Edward Bussey-Mary, widow of Edward Pendergrass
Sarah Bussey-Benjamin Amos
Elizabeth Amos-Robert Amos
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook, Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Allen line: Robert Walker, Immigrant 1601-1687

Oh, happy day!  Here's a well-documented (mostly) ancestor that had been under my radar to the extent that I didn't even have a folder started for him.  Yet, here he is, with well written articles in both The Great Migration Begins and The American Genealogist, as well as a good web page on the John Walker Family Organization website.  The only problem is, his parentage may or may not be correct, and the identification of his wife is not certain.  Other than those "minor" issues, we know quite a lot about Robert Walker.

The first question, of course, is when was he born and who were his parents?  It's believed that he was born in either 1601 or 1607.  If the 1607 date is correct, then his parents were Thomas Walker and Margaret Bardsley.  Margaret died when Robert was about two, and Thomas died just two years later, so Robert was likely raised by the husband of his step-mother.  Somehow, Robert followed the trade of linen weaver or webster that his father had followed.  Perhaps his  sort of step-father was also a linen weaver.  (Webster" appears to mean someone who also made linen thread from flax, perhaps for separate sale, in addition to weaving the material). 

Robert came to Massachusetts Bay Colony (Boston) in about 1631 along with his wife, Sarah probably Leager, whom he had married in England.  Their origin was "Manchester, Lancashire, England." The John Walker Family Organization website says he came in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet, along with Sarah and "other Puritans."  If they were already married, they were newly-weds.  Other sources say they married in Boston. 

Robert and Sarah had at least 12 children, some of whom died young.  In Boston, Robert joined the First Church in 1632 and Sarah in 1634.  Robert was made a freeman in 1634.  He later became one of the founders of the Old South (Third)  Church in 1669.  I may have unknowingly walked, or at least driven, by his homesite when I made a quick trip to Boston (not for genealogy purposes) in 1998, because his home was bounded on the north by Boston Common.  I was right there! 

Robert didn't hold many offices in Boston.  He was appointed a cowherd, and served on two grand juries.  Also he was a clerk of the market, and a tithing man at Old South church. He wrote his name on only one deed but signed only initials on other documents.  Was his hand sore, or hurt, or was he truly just barely literate, one wonders.  Sarah consistently signed her name. 

Robert had what appears to be a stroke on May 27, 1687 and died two days later.  Samuel Sewall is quoted in his Diary as stating "He was a very good Man and conversant among God's New England People from beginning."  That's a pretty good legacy, in my opinion. 

It's fun to think about Robert and Sarah in very early Boston (which when they arrived was a very small town indeed).  And when I read about "Old South Church" in pre-Revolutionary War days, it's exciting to realize that an ancestor helped found that church, 100 years earlier.  Oh, I love it when facts come together! 

The line of descent is

Robert Walker-Sarah Leager
Jacob Walker-Elizabeth Wheeler
Elizabeth Walker-Luke Hitchcock
Ruth Hitchcock-Jonathan Church
Ruth Church-Stephen Noble
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samual Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, October 14, 2016

Harshbarger line: Heinrich Braun and his father Johann, Immigrants

This is the reason genealogy bloggers go gray.  Heinrich or Henry Braun and his father are pretty much complete mysteries.  I have found trees that say that Johann died in Bedford County, Pennsylvania and Heinrich died there after 1750, but that is all I know of their life in Pennsylvania.  It's frustrating!

Heinrich was born to Johann and Barbara Braun in Deidesheim, Germany.  If I have identified the town correctly, it is in the Rhineland-Palatinate, where many of the early German ancestors lived.  It appears that this is a Catholic town, or was in the 1700's, which is a bit different from other families, and the main farm crop has always been grapes.  Vineyards have been the main source of income for generations.  When Heinrich was born, the population of the town would have been about 500 people, so it was really just a village. 

There are a lot of Johann Brauns and a lot of Heinrich Brauns, and so far I've not found a record of immigration that I believe likely belonged to either man.  A Heinrich Braun did arrive in Philadelphia in 1749 but I tend to think our Heinrich was here earlier.  Records vary as to where he married his wife, Maria Anna Catarina Rau, but it was either in Deidesheim or in Pennsylvania.  The date is given as January 15, 1732.  The couple had at least two children, Henry and John. 

Heinrich died in 1750 or later, and his wife died in 1749.  Again, some sources show Germany and some show Bedford County, Pa as the location of her death. 

So, this man is a mystery, with nothing to really show to help us understand his life.  We know that he married, immigrated, and had children, although not necessarily in that order, and we know that he was widowed.   We need to do a lot more research to learn about this man and his life!  If someone recognizes him, please contact me!

The line of descent is

Heinrich Braun-Maria Anna Catarina Rau
Henry Matthias Braun-Maria Salome Hoerner
David Brown-Barbara Brothers
Elizabeth Brown-William Cook
Barbara Cook-William A Withers
William H Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beeks line: Valentine Allen 1630-1712 Immigrant

I've spent considerable time in my genealogy life looking at this family and trying to work out a connection to the James Allen in my line, not realizing that I needed to be interested in Valentine because he was in the Beeks line, whether or not he is also in the Allen line.  I'm finding there is a lot of conflicting information about this Valentine, and perhaps there is more than one person with the name Valentine Allen.  This will just be a brief description of what seems to be proven and what is questionable, and hopefully as time goes on someone will find the smoking gun that proves or disproves the questionable "facts".

Everyone seems to agree that Valentine was born in either 1630   No one seems to agree on where that birth took place, nor on whom the two participants in that birth were.  Many sites say he was born at "Isle of Wight, Virginia" to John and Catherine Mayor Allen.  I don't think the birth location is correct because I found records for his arrival in Virginia in 1650, as a headright for John Catlett and Ralph Rousey.  Of course, it's possible that he was born in Virginia and sent back to England to be raised if, in fact, his mother's death date is also 1630, as I have frequently seen listed, but with no documentation.  At any rate, we know he was in Virginia, in what was then Northumberland County, in 1650.

Arriving as a headright meant Valentine would have had to work for several years, usually three or four, either for the men who brought him over or for someone else who bought his services for that time period.  He was a young and apparently strong man, for he survived all the dangers and diseases of early Virginia and lived to marry Mary Page, daughter of Thomas Page in 1655, and to raise a family.  The most consistent notes I find indicate that their children were Samuel, Reynolds, William, Richard, Christine or Christian, Judith, and Valentine.  There may also have been a Susannah, although her birth date as given would be outside the 1654-1671 birthdates of the other children by several years. 

Valentine and Mary deeded land that Mary had inherited from her father Thomas to two of their children in 1689.  Or perhaps the first gift, to Elizabeth, was a daughter from an earlier marriage of Mary's, for she is not mentioned in the above listing of children. The second gift was to their daughter Christian married to Richard Dyson.  Each of these gifts was for 451 acres. 

I haven't located a will for Valentine yet.  I'm guessing he owned more land than the 902 acres accounted for by his marriage to Mary Page.  I'm also guessing this meant he owned slaves to work his land.  I would love to find the will and I'd love to find more about him, especially to see whether any of his grandchildren or great grandchildren would turn out to be James, of the Allen line. 

The Beeks line of descent appears to be:

Valentine Allen-Mary Page
William Allen-Mary Hunt
Francis Allen-Peter Lehew
William Lehew-Hannah
Mary Lehew-William Featheringill
Elizabeth Featheringill-George Botkin
Charity Botkin-Jackson Wise
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge

I would love to hear from anyone who is working on this family.  Also, please remember that Mary Wise may not be a Wise at all but this is what her legal family would look like. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Holbrook line:: Thomas Crocker 1633-1715/16 Immigrant

I can say Thomas Crocker was an immigrant only because I know he died here and was born in England.  He is often said to have been born in 1633 and to have been the son of Hugh Crocker and Elizabeth Colleton, and to have been christened at St Olave, Exeter, Devonshire, England.  Some of those facts may be true, none of them may be true, or all of them may be true, but many family historians are leaving his parentage blank.  So we will simply say he was born in England. 

It seems that he was in New London, Connecticut by 1667, when he married Rachel Chappell, daughter of George Chappell and Christian possibly Bell Chappell.  I've not found speculation as to when he emigrated to America, or why.  If indeed he was the son of Hugh and Elizabeth, he may have come at a young age with his brothers, or followed soon after.  Perhaps his parents had the foresight to send him out of the country before the Civil War broke out.  Hugh, mayor of Exeter, if this is the correct Hugh) was a Royalist but his sons seem to have tried not to take sides in America.  Or it may be that he didn't come until later.  He seems to have bought a house in New Street in New London, Connecticut in 1660, although other sources say he didn't arrive until a few years later, and was named in a land grant of 1663 and again in 1704. 

He and Rachel had at least eight children, born between 1669 and 1685 (none named Hugh!).  We don't know what he did for a living but perhaps he worked in the maritime trades.  His father in law was a carpenter, so perhaps he learned that, or a similar, trade.  I've not yet located a will for him, which could probably tell us a good deal more than we know now.  Thomas Crocker died January 18, 1715/16 and it appears that Rachel lived until 1728.  Once Thomas arrived in New London, that is where he stayed (unless he made trips for trade purposes, for which there is no indication). 

Thomas may or may not have left other records, showing land or court records, church affiliation, and town offices or responsibilities.  So far, I haven't found them.  He is pretty much a mystery, but he is one of the men who, however low their social status may (or may not) have been, made America. 

The line of descent is

Thomas Crocker-Rachel Chappell
John Crocker-Mercy Tubbs
Rachel Crocker-Kingsland Comstock
Rachel Comstock-John Eames
John Eames-Elizabeth Longbottom
Harriet Eames-James Lamphire the missing
Susan Lamphire-Joseph B Eddy
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Allen line: Richard Hawes, Immigrant 1606-1656

Richard Hawes has been sitting on my family tree for a long time, basically unnoticed and neglected.  I didn't even have a folder prepared for his information.  Yet, here he is, not only an immigrant but an early one, covered in the Great Migration 1634-1635.  How did I miss this?

Richard was born in 1606 in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England, to Richard Hawes and (probably) Susan Dean.  He may have been an only child, at least I've not yet found record of siblings.  His mother died in 1609 at the age of 25 so she may have died in or following childbirth, and perhaps that child did not survive.

That is as much as is known about Richard until the birth of his first daughter, Anne, who was baptized at Great Missenden on December 17, 1632.  We learn that his wife's name was Anne, from the register of the ship "Truelove", which sailed September 19, 1635 from London.  By that time, a son, Obediah, had been born.  He was about six months old when the family of four set sail for Massachusetts.

Once landed, the family went to Dorchester, where the couple were admitted to the church in 1637 and Richard was made a freeman in 1638.  He doesn't seem to have held offices of any consequence, though he was a fence viewer several times.  We can believe he was educated to some degree because there were books listed in his inventory.  He may also have been involved in military training or/and service, as were most of the men of early Massachusetts, because his inventory included two muskets, two swords, and a pair of bandoliers.  The family stayed in Dorchester as long as Richard lived. 

We know that he and Anne had at least seven children: Anne, Obediah, Bethia, Deliverance, Constant, Eleazer, and Jeremiah.  Also we know that he was granted various lands for his role as settler, and had apparently acquired additional land.  His real estate was valued at 87 pounds at the time of his death.  Also, there is a clue that perhaps his father, although a husbandman at his death,  was not poor, in that he left the two oldest children 20 pounds apiece, with an additional 10 pounds to be divided equally between the other grandchildren (whom he had probably not seen). 
Richard appears to have been a peaceable man, only once being called into court, which was almost nothing compared to many of his neighbors.  He saw an opportunity in America and by hard work acquired land to leave his family.  Like many in early Massachusetts, he did not have a long life, being about 50 when he died.  Obediah was eventually granted administration of the estate including "binding and placing out the children".  Our ancestor, Constant, would have been 14 years old when her father died.  It was seven years later that she married Thomas Dewey, so I'd love to know what happened to her during this time!  We don't know when Ann died.  The last child, Jeremiah, was born about 1647, and there seems to be no further mention of her after that time. 

I'm thankful for Richard Hawes and his wife.  I wouldn't be here without them!

The line of descent is

Richard Hawes-Anne
Constant Hawes-Thomas Dewey
Elizabeth Dewey-Thomas Noble
Thomas Noble-Sarah Root
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward F. Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, September 30, 2016

Harshbarger line: A newspaper article about Simon Essig, 1754-1851

I've written about Simon Essig before, but this find is just to good to not pass along.   It was printed in the Canton Daily News of October 1, 1922 and was written by John McGregor.  I found it reprinted in the History of Stark County by Herbert t. O. Blue, which was published in 1928.  It's not usual to find evidence of a newspaper article for a man who died in 1851.  I would love to see the original newspaper article, because it apparently included a picture of the original home of the Essigs, but it's wonderful to find this and to be able to share it with you.

"Simon Essig, Revolutionary Soldier"

" In the pioneer days of this county it was, of course, very sparsely settled, the families being few and far between.

This condition necessarily brought the pioneer families into close social relations and intermarriage was a natural consequence.

In writing of one of these families, it is necessary to write of three old pioneers whose intermarriage is such that we cannot speak of one without bringing them all into our story. 

The first of these was the old Simon Essig family, among the earliest of our pioneer families.  The original Essig family, so far as our record goes, was that of Wendell Essig, a descendant of whom, named Frederick Essig, was major of the Canton Bern, Switzerland, in 1890.  This Wendell Essig was born February 7, 1700, and arrived in this country at Philadelphia September 17, 1749.  He was recorded on the ship's books as a Palatine, and it has always been suggested he was a Royal Grenadier of Frederick William, King of Prussia. 

Simon Essig, a descendant of of Wendell, came to Stark County from Cumberland County, Pa. in the year 1808 and settled on the farm later known as the Herbruck farm on the Harrisburg Road and now in the city limits. 

The illustration above shows the old log cabin erected by Simon Essig on the bank of Middlebranch Creek.  There were born to Simon Essig and wife six sons and six daughters and here in the wilderness did Simon Essig and wife rear a family of twelve children whose descendants now number many thousands.  Simon Essig died on the farm at the age of 97 years. 

His descendants are scattered across the entire United States and hold prominent positions of trust and honor.  One of his great grandsons, Hon. Scott Wike of Illinois, was assistant secretary of the treasury under Grover Cleveland and also represented his district in the United States Congress two terms.

Simon Essig was born in 1754 and died in 1852.  The last and youngest of Simon Essig's children was Rebecca, who died October 14,1896 at the advanced age of 96 years."

I also have notes under this source that say "Adam Essig and Jacob Essig, War of 1812 soldiers and Simon's sons, are also buried at Warstler's Cemetery."

I need to double check the date of Simon's death, as I show it as March 18, 1851.  If my date is wrong, I need to correct it.  The name of Simon's wife, mother of twelve children, is Julia Margaret Schnerr or Schneer. She also lived to a good old age, dying in 1844 at the age of 79.  Simon's son George, the Harshbarger connection, also served in the War of 1812.  He was wounded at Pu-in-Bay in one of the Indian skirmishes. 

I've blogged about Simon before but I thought this article was interesting since it reflects some of the stories in the family history, and gives more details about the life of the family.  I certainly wasn't expecting to find this when I picked up that particular book!

The line of descent is

Simon Essig-Julia Margaret Schnerr
George Essig-Catherine Shollenberger
Susannah Essig-Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William H Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beeks line: The Harvey Aldridges celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary

While I was doing research for a possible next book about Andrews, I found this article in The Huntington Herald-Press, of April 7, 1930, under "Andrews News":

"A large number of relatives and friends gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Aldridge recently to help them celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, also the fifteenth birthday of their granddaughter, Lurene Aldridge.  A bountiful dinner was served at the noon hour.  The honored couple received many gifts.  Those who were there were Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Harrell and sons, Herman, Herbert, Ernest and Lester of near Dora, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Keefer of Three Rivers, Mich, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Spurgeon and son Curtis, and daughters, Ruth, Marie and Bernice, and Hubert Spurgeon of near Hoagland, Mr. and Mrs. George Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Wilford Bunce and sons, Paul, George and Dean, and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bickel and daughter, Eloise, of Bippus, Marcelle Craybell of Fort Wayne, Roy, Harold, Doris, Vivian and Bernetta Huston of Huntington, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Aldridge and daughters, Mary, Bernice, Lurene and Lucile and son Paul Max, Mr. and Mrs. Vonda Rector and daughter, Alberta, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Fowerbaugh and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Harrell of Andrews.  A daughter, Mrs. Frank Houston  of Huntington, was unable to be present on account of illness."  Spelling and punctuation as published, with my apologies. 

Noticeably absent from this list are Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Beeks and family.  Gretta Cleo Aldridge Beeks would give birth on May 5, 1930 to their son Norman, so possibly complications of pregnancy kept them away.  Harvey Homer Aldridge and Margaret Catherine Dunham were married April 1, 1880 at Kempton, in Tipton County, Indiana and spent about half their married life in Tipton County before moving to the Andrews area.  They had 7 children and also raised two of their granddaughters.  Harvey was already not well when the celebration was held, and he died on August 1, 1930.  Margaret Catherine lived another 12 years, dying on May 7, 1942. 

I know there are people alive who remember Margaret Catherine Dunham Aldridge, and I'd love to hear stories about her! 

The line of descent is:

Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Gretta Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants