Friday, January 29, 2016

Harshbarger line, maybe: Peter Gearhart, maybe

Peter Gearhart is not yet connected to the Harshbarger family tree.  The reason I'm writing about him is that Mary Gearhart married Joseph Withers in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1832.  The only Gearhart I have found in Cumberland County prior to that is Peter Gearhart who married Polly Wallace in 1805 in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pa.  I have wondered if these are Mary's parents, but so far I have nothing to prove that.

I had been unable to locate anything about Peter Gearhart until this week, when I located a Peter Geerhart in the 1800 census for Tyrone, Cumberland, Pa.  His information provides two possibilities:  He was at this time a man over the age of 45, with a (presumed) wife aged 26-44.  So, it could be that his wife died and he remarried in 1805.  It could also be that one of his two sons aged 10-15 was actually 15, and that he was named Peter, and that he married Polly Wallace in 1805, when he was quite young. 

Or, it could be that I am on the wrong track entirely.  Still, a possibility is better than no possibility, which is what I've had up until now.  I need to do more research in Cumberland County and see what else I might be overlooking.  If anyone reading this has worked on this family, or has other information that would help me with this family, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you.    The chances that I will get to Carlisle to do courthouse and historical society research are pretty slim.  Please email me: happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom.

The line of descent is:

Unknown Gearhart/Gerhardt/Geerhart
Mary Gearhart-Joseph Withers
William Withers-Barbara Cook
William Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beeks line: Morris Rees, Thomas Rees and oh my goodness

I worked on the Rees line early in my genealogy life, and determined that this family, or these families, were too much for me to work on, at the time.  Looking back at my early work, I should have stopped several generations sooner than I did, and I would still have had plenty of Rees's to confuse me.  I need to delete some names from the tree, for they surely can't be correct. 

The Rees lines that I am fairly sure of are Morris Rees and Thomas Rees.  They were likely related in some fashion, but whether it was a fairly recent connection, such as great grandfathers, or further back in time and place, I can't say at this time..  In general, I can say that these were Quaker families whose children intermarried, and I can say that they came through Pennsylvania to Virginia, thento washington County, Pennsylvania, and onto Ohio and Indiana.

All this matter Thomas Rees, son of Thomas Rees and Margaret Bowen, married Hannah Rees, daughter of Morris Rees and Sarah Butterfield. Also Jane Rees, another daughter of Thomas Rees and Margaret Bowen, married Jacob Moon.  To make tracing the family just a little more difficult, Thomas Rees who married Hannah named sons Thomas and Morris, and Morris Rees who married Sarah Butterfield names sons Morris and Thomas.  Each of the families also had a son named John, and they each also named daughters Mary and Margaret. 

We, however, are concerned only with the direct lines of Thomas Rees and Margaret Bowen, which would be Thomas who married Hannah daughter of Morris and Sarah, and with Jane, who married Jacob Moon.  The Thomas and Margaret family worshiped near Fredericksburg, Virginia with their neighbors, at the Hopewell Meeting House.  The Meeting House was built in 1759, when families who had fled the French and Indian Wars were coming back to their homesteads.  It's believed that Morris and Sarah were one of the families who had left Virginia and gone back to Pennsylvania during this time period,  Thomas and Margaret had arrived in 1743 and Morris and Hannah about 1753, and Morris's land was located just a little north of Thomas's. 

Thomas who married Hannah moved onto Washington County, Pa sometime between 1774 and 1781.  Thomas's brother, John, had been disowned by the Quakers for marrying outside the faith, and it's not clear whether Thomas had chosen to leave the faith is support of his brother or whether he was still a member in good standing.  As early as 1801, Thomas and Hannah moved on to Fairfield County, Ohio, where he died in 1805 and she died in 1806. This would make them very early pioneers of the state. 

I've previously written about Solomon Rees and his son Owen Traveler, and I've also written about Butterfields and Bowens.  This post is an attempt to fill in the dots and give a little bit of the flavor of life for the Rees family, which was primarily farming and living in the neighborhood and manner of the Society of Friends, the more official name for Quakers. 

I guess I need to work harder to figure out the folks who were in the next generations back from Thomas and Morris, although I realize greater minds than mine have already thrown up their hands.

Here are the lines of descent:

Thomas Rees-Hannah Rees
Solomon Rees-Ann or Anna
Owen Traveler Rees-Margaret Ellen Moon
Eliza Matilda Rees-Samuel Goodnight Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

The other line is:

Jane Rees-Jacob Moon
Thomas Moon-Jean Gray
Margaret Ellen Moon-Owen Traveler Rees
see above

Margaret Ellen Moon and Owen Traveler Rees were second cousins, having Thomas Rees and Margaret Bowen as their common great grandparents.  This was totally acceptable in the time period.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Allen line: Samuel Smith 1602-1680, Immigrant

As I write these sketches, I sometimes struggle to form an emotional connection to an ancestor, usually because I can't find a "hook" to draw me into the story.  With this man, I have tears running down my face.  Why?  He left instructions for each of his grandchildren to be given a Bible as soon as they could read the same, "and my will is that within every Bible bequeathed as aforesaid my executors cause to be written fairly & legibly the last verse of the eleventh of Ecclesiastes & the first verse of the twelfth chapter."  He had a message to impart to his descendants, which he would likely be happy to extend to us.

Samuel Smith was born (or baptized) October 6, 1602, at Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, England.  The church there is St Mary's, and is still an active Anglican church.  Much of the church, which has been restored, is very similar to what Samuel's parents, Samuel Smith and Barbary Mumforde, would have seen at the christening ceremony.  (Barbary would likely not have been there, as babies were usually christened right away.)  To put this in a little bit of context, Queen Elizabeth I was still alive at this time, so we are talking about people ruled by the Tudors. Sometimes it's hard to remember that the lives of our immigrant ancestors overlapped the last of the Tudors.

Samuel married Elizabeth, possibly Smith but not as is so often reported, Chileab, in St. Mary's, Suffolk, England on October 6, 1624.  We don't know who her parents were, but she appears to have been born at Whatfield, which was about two miles from Hadleigh, so our couple likely knew each other for some time before their marriage.  They had four children before they emigrated together to New England in 1634 on the Elizabeth of Ipswich.  They left April 30, 1634 and went to Watertown in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  There Samuel was made a freeman on September 3,1634, almost as soon as they arrived in Watertown, and shortly thereafter he moved the family to Wethersfield, in what would become Connecticut.

Life there was not dull.  Two more children were added to the Smith family, but in addition, there was the Pequot war, in 1637.  On April 23,1637, six men and three women were killed in an attack, and two girls were taken captive.  This was a small town at the time, so the loss of 9 adults and possibly two children would have hit the survivors quite hard, one would think.  A few years later,  Wethersfield went through at least three witchcraft trials.  Three of the colony were executed and one was banished.  I'm not sure which would frighten me more, Indians, or supposed witchcraft.  These were in addition to the usual trials of weather, wild animals, and possible crop failure, so life wasn't easy for our Smith family.

Samuel's occupations are listed as fellmonger (dealer in hides or skins), glover  (maker or seller of gloves and other leather goods), and innkeeper, but we don't know how the occupations overlapped or when he left one occupation for another.  We do know he had enough free time to serve as the Deputy to Connecticut general Court regularly from November 14,1637 to May 16, 1656.  He also served on various military committees and Connecticut petit juries.  He appears to have been part of the court that sat on the witchcraft trials of John and Joan Carrington, in 1651, that sentenced them to death.  (If he didn't sit on any of the witchcraft trials, he certainly would have known about them and followed them closely.)

A church fight may have been the motive for moving to what became Hadley, Massachusetts in 1660 or 1661.  Samuel was again selected as a deputy to the Massachusetts Bay General Court from 1661 to 1673. During much of this time, we was also a magsitrate for Hampshire.  He was empowered to solemnize marriages and take depositions in Hadley in June of 1677 and was the commissioner to "end small causes" for most of the time period from 1661 to March 1680.  He had been an "ancient serjeant to the trained band in Wetherslfield" and was appointed lieutenant of the train band at Northampton, which position he filled until 1678.  At that time, he requested a discharge as he was "very aged & weak, and not being so well able to discharge military trust as heretofore" and his request was granted.  He would have been 76 years old at this time.

Samuel's will was dated June 23, 1680, and proved March 29,1681.  He left land to his sons Philip and Chileab, and to the son of his son John, but left just five shillings to his namesake son Samuel.  Son Samuel had married briefly, abandoned his wife, become a womanizer, went to Virginia and ended up in Carolina, undoubtedly to the total dismay of his parents.  The five shillings bequest may have been to prevent a challenge to the will, but it may have been more than he wished to give.  Elizabeth lived five more years, dying in 1686.

Oh, the verses that Samuel wanted inscribed on the Bibles for his grandchildren?  "Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart and put away evil from thy flesh; for childhood and youth are vanity.  remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." (Quoted from the King James Version). The grandchildren would have cause to remember Uncle Samuel, and to consider the words their grandfather had left them, and to make their own choices in life. 

The line of descent is:

Samuel Smith-Elizabeth
Mary Smith-John Graves
Sarah Graves-Edward Stebbins
Sarah Stebbins-John Root
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
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 Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Holbrook line: Edward Thurston, Immigrant

Edward Thurston is interesting to me because not only was he an immigrant, he was a Quaker.  Records of his immigration to New England have not been found, at least not by me, so we are left wondering when he arrived and when and where he became a Quaker.  Family tradition says that he came to New England in 1638 with two of his brothers, but I am not aware of any documentation of this.  If this is true, he was in Cambridge, Massachusetts Colony for at least a brief period of time.

Also uncertain is exactly where he came from.  Most trees show Cambridge, England as his birthplace, and Adam Thurston and Ellen Wood as his parents.  If this information is correct, he is not known to have had brothers and sisters, although since he was born in 1617 and his mother didn't die until 1625, there likely were siblings. 

The first thing that is really known about him is that he was married in Newport, Rhode Island in 1647 to Elizabeth Mott, daughter of Adam Mott and Elizabeth Creel.  This is in the Quaker records for the town, so indicates that both the groom and the bride were of the Society of Friends.  For immigration, Edward may have gone directly to Rhode Island, but it seems more likely that he, as most of his neighbors, was in New England first and then either ordered out by authorities, or left as things were getting too warm in the area for Quakers.

Once in Newport, we don't know how Edward supported himself.  He seems to have been an educated man.  He signed a petition to the King asking that Quakers be excused from bearing arms in 1686, and another letter four years later congratulating William and Mary on their accession to the throne of England.  He was also very active in town affairs, serving as deputy or assistant deputy to the General Court frequently over the years.  He was made a freeman in 1655, which meant he had a vote in the affairs of the town,but I'm not sure whether it meant he owned property or not.

Edward and Elizabeth had 12 children, 6 sons and six daughters.  Their family must have respected the father because there are numerous "Edward Thurston's" who were born in Rhode Island over the next 100 or more years, all presumably descendants of the immigrant, and many who became prominent or at least useful in the colony.  He died March 1, 1707, either age 90 or in his ninetieth year, depending on the source.  Elizabeth had died in 1694. 

Even though I have not yet been able to learn much about this man, I know enough to believe him to have been a man of integrity and faith.  I'd love to know more about his life, especially how or if any of the Indian wars affected him, as a Quaker, and how his faith might have shown in his life.  We have brief hints, but not much more. And of course, I'd like to know for sure where he was born, and more of his life in England, as well as exactly when and why he emigrated.  And most of all, I'd like to know if Edward knew another of our ancestors in Newport with strong religious (Baptist) beliefs, Obadiah Holmes.  If so, were they friends or "not so much"?

The line of descent is:

Edward Thurston-Eliabeth Mott
Sarah Thurston-John Thornton
Benjamin Thornton-Mary possibly Gurney
Sarah Thornton-Stephen Paine
Nathan Paine-Lillis Winsor
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph Brown Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Friday, January 15, 2016

Harshbarger line: Will of Christian Harshbarger 1744-1810

By 1810, when our Christian died, there were quite a few Christian Harshbargers in the United States.  I found this will on FamilySearch and thought that it was worth trying to transcribe it, in hopes that it will help someone prove or disprove their connection to this family.  This is the Christian Harshbarger who was married to Magdalena (Van) Gundy.  He was born in Pennsylvania in 1744 to Christian Harshbarger and Barbara Rupp, and died in 1810 in Dauphin County.  The will says he was of Inwell Township,  but this must have been Annwell Township.  This is from the transcription in Will Book 1C, page 88.  I noticed that the name of the township was consistently spelled Inwell, but I've not been able to find any reference to such a place.

Here is the will, to the best of my ability to read it, and I do apologize for the lack of punctuation but that's how it looks to me:

"In the name of God, amen.  I, Christian Hershberger of Inwell township in the county of Dauphin and State of Pennsylvania being sick and weak in body but of sound mind and memory, blessed be to God for his mercy Do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following to wit:  Imprimis I order all my just debts to be paid out of my estate after my decease.  Item Item [it appears to be written twice] I will unto my son Samuel Hershberger my plantation one hundred and fourty acres more or less situate in Inwell township in County of Dauphin and adjoining land of John Miller Philip Baumgardner and others to hold to him his heirs and assigns forever he must pay or cause to be paid [from?] foresaid plantation the sum of twelf hundred pounds good lawful Pennsylvania money as followsfour hundred pounds after my decease and fifty pounds yearly and every year until the twelf hundred pounds is paid to the children of my secont wife John Jacob Abraham Samuel Henry Elizabeth Anna Mary and Anna shall have out of my Estate two hundred pounds of the first money more than my other children equal sheares and the rest of my estate shall be sheared equal between the whole of my children Christian John Jacob Abraham Samuel Henry Elizabeth Anna Mary. and I will and bequest unto my grand daughter Polly Handshaw fifty pounds which shall remain in my hereafter mentioned executor's hands Till she comes of age and shall bear interest after my decease and no more and the personal estate shall be solt by my hereafter mentioned executor after my decease  And I do constitute and appoint my son Samuel Hershberger and John Reasor my sole executors of this my last will and Testetment In Witness whereof I the said Christian Herberger have here set my hand and seal the twentieth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and three
Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Christian Hershberger to be his last will and Testament in the presence of the subscribers Martin Meiby [not sure of next name] Williams.  Proved September 10,1810."

In reading this, I've learned some things, including that Christian was married twice, and had at least one son by his first wife, Christian.  I wonder who the first wife was?  I wonder why Anna was singled out for an extra portion of the estate.  Was she his favorite, or had she helped to care for him, or did she need the money due to some sort of physical challenge?   I also wonder who Polly Handshaw was.  She was apparently the daughter of a married (probably deceased) daughter; was this daughter also a daughter of his first wife?  I'd like to know about the last years of his life.  Was he ill the whole time between the time he wrote the will and the time it was proved?  Did he die in 1803 and the will just wasn't presented until later, for some reason?  His will didn't mention his wife, which would lead one to assume she was deceased.  My records show a death date for Magdalena of 1842.  Is that date correct, and if so, what is the explanation?

Perhaps someone reading this already has the answers to some of my questions.  If so, I'd love to hear from you, so I can have a better understanding of Christian's life.  Also, if I have any of this wrong, I'd like to know about it!

The line of descent is:

Christian Harshbarger-Magdalena (Van) Gundy
John Harshbarger-Christena Fehler
George Harshbarger-Mary Kepler
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mancer Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beeks line: John William Teague

I don't know enough about this man to write about him, but I'm hoping that by posting the little bit I think I know, someone will see this and recognize him as belonging to their family.

Part of the reason things are so confused about John, or William, or John William, as the case may be, is that there are several people by those names and it appears that their trees have been mixed up just about everywhere I looked.  I am doubtful that this is the Teague family that went to North Carolina, although it's possible they share the same ancestors. 

William Teague was in Shelby County, Kentucky by 1797.  His daughter Elizabeth married William Lock on December 25,1797 in Shelby County, and William is on the tax list for Shelby County in 1800.  His wife's name is believed to be Elizabeth, but that is all I have learned about her.  Since Elizabeth was 20 years old in 1797, that would put William as being born possibly from 1730-1755 or so. 

The Lock family, as much of early Shelby County, was "Low Dutch", meaning they originally came from the Netherlands.  It is quite possible that the Teagues were originally Tagues that came from this same region, but I've not located records that show them travelling with the original Low Dutch who were in Kentucky as early as 1780.

I have located several Teagues in Frederick County, Virginia in the 1750's, and it's quite possible that this William was a son or brother to one of these men.  Their names were Edward, Moses, and Peter, and at least one reference, undocumented, is found to this William being the son of Peter.  I've also seen speculation that this family came from Ireland, which would send us in an entirely different direction.

Even though we don't know much about William or John William, he would have been of the right age to have served in the Revolutionary War, likely as a militia.  If he wasn't in the war, he would certainly have been affected by it.  We know that at least some of his family went on to Switzerland County, Indiana, where there are records of John Tague or Teague as entryman in 1819 and 1825.  This may have been the John Tague in the 1820 census in Cotton Township, Switzerland County, who is shown as being over 45 years of age.  This household had 6 persons under the age of 16, plus John and a woman 26-44.  Only one person was engaged in agriculture.  The ages don't really fit a man born about 1750, but perhaps he was raising grandchildren with the help of a daughter or daughter in law.

This is all we know or even suspect about this man.  I'd love to hear from someone who knows more, even it if is just one little clue that could prove or disprove some of this speculation.  What we do know is that he is a part of the Beeks heritage, and deserves to be remembered.

The line of descent is:

John William Teague-Elizabeth
Elizabeth Teague-William Lock
Sally Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, January 8, 2016

Holbrook line: Washington Eddy and Joseph R. Eddy, Civil War Veterans

When I wrote my last post of 2015, I mentioned that there would be joys and unexpected finds along the way in 2016.  These men are the first fulfillment of that statement.  Who are these men?  They are my great great granduncles, two of the brothers of my great great grandmother, Susan Eddy Stanard.  Their parents were Joseph Brown Eddy (I just learned, in working on this information, that the middle "B" stands for Brown) and Susan Lamphire.  They were both born near Ellington, in Chatauqua County, New York in  1841 (Joseph R) and 1845 (Washington.)  With their parents, they moved to Lee County, Illinois, sometime between 1845 and 1850.  So Illinois would have been the only home these men would have really known, when the Civil War broke out.

Illinois of course was the home of Abraham Lincoln, and Illinois, especially northern Illinois, supported the Civil War with full vim and vigor.  I have tried to imagine what the Eddy family thought, and especially Susan, as two of her boys enlisted in the 7th Illinois Cavalry on September 4, 1861.  Joseph was 20 years old, and perhaps Susan was resigned to the fact that he would enlist.  But Washington was only just 16, far too young, I would think from this viewpoint, for a mama to be resigned to his going off to war.  Perhaps the fact that Jospeh and Washington were to be in the same unit helped to mollify her.  Perhaps Washington lied about his age, and enlisted behind her back.  I guess we'll never know, unless a reader knows more of the family story than I have gathered on a quick internet search.

At any rate, the 7th Illinois Cavalry was a busy, busy  unit.  It appears that they were in training for roughly 10 weeks, and by January 10 had reported for their first service assignments.  They first served in several operations, expeditions, and actions in Missouri, including Bird's Point, Point Pleasant, and New Madrid.  The unit then joined the Army of the Mississippi, and fought in Tennessee and  Mississippi for many months.  Since this was a cavalry unit, many of their assignments were of a reconnaissance nature.  They also pulled guard duty along railroad tracks.  It appears that the largest battle they were involved in during these early months was the battle of Corinth, which took place October 3-4, 1862.

Joseph was discharged from the army on disability on October 15, 1862.  I'd love to know, but am reluctant to spend the money to find out, whether he was suffering from one of the usual sicknesses, or whether he had possibly been wounded at Corinth or in one of the earlier fights and skirmishes.  At any rate, Joseph, the older brother, was home and may have felt guilty for leaving 17 year old Washington behind. Joseph, incidentally, is listed in 1863 on a Lee County draft board list, showing that he had already served.  I haven't figured out whether he was classified as "1", or as "I", which would presumably be for an invalid.  Whichever it was, he was not drafted.

Washington certainly had a chance to see a lot of the southern United States after Joseph was discharged.  The regimental history I found shows that these men were constantly on the move, on scouting expeditions, reconnaissance assignments, and in skirmishes, battles, and sieges until finally in April of 1864, after 2 1/2 years of service, these men were sent home for a furlough that lasted until sometime in June.  I can just imagine some of the conversations the two brothers would have had, probably highlighting whatever good times they could remember while in the presence of their family, and keeping the sadder topics to themselves until they were working together in the barns or the fields.

All too soon it was time for Washington, still just 19 years old, to join his neighbors and return to duty.  The unit got right back into the saddle and was sent on various detachments and expeditions over the next several months.  There was a big battle at Nashville on December 15 and 16, 1864 and then a pursuit of General Hood to the Tennessee River which lasted most of the rest of the month.  It may have been during this time period, (or earlier, or later) that Washington was captured by the Confederates.  I haven't yet been able to find records of when or where the capture took place, but I do know he ended up in Andersonville Prison, the most infamous of the Confederate prison of war camps.  Most men did not survive more than a few months there, so that is the only basis for my speculation of when he was captured.  Perhaps his youth helped him fight off the diseases that killed so many men there, or perhaps he was lucky, or blessed.  The camp was finally liberated in May of 1865, and Washington was mustered out August 22, 1865, undoubtedly a much older man than one would think by his chronological age.

That must have been a glorious homecoming.  We don't know whether Washington went home with his unit or whether he arrived quietly by himself, but either way, the joy of the Eddy family was surely heard all the way to the heavens.  Joseph B. was 62 years old by now and Susan was 55,  and it must have been wonderful to have their son home, no matter what kind of physical shape he was in.

Joseph and Washington each married and apparently raised families.  The "boys" may have developed a wanderlust during their war years, or perhaps it was the possibility of almost free land under the Homestead Act that attracted them, but in the 1870's they each moved to South Dakota.  Washington stayed in or near Woonsocket, S.D. but Joseph went on to Los Angeles, California.  Washington had health problems as he aged and by 1918 was in the Battle Mountain Sanitarium for a couple of months.  He is diagnosed there as having chronic arthritic rheumatism, cardiac hypertrophy, and gastritis.  His physical description, when he was 73, is given as height of 5'8", fair complexion, blue eyes and gray hair.  He could read and write, was a Protestant, and a farmer.  Lennard Eddy is listed as next of kin, a son he may have been living with or near.  Washington lived for several more years, dying in September of 1925.  Joseph may have died about the same time, in Los Angeles, although I have seen an earlier death date for him and I'm not sure which is correct.

I have so much respect for these two men.  "You never know what you don't know until you find out you don't know it" was a common saying in my working life, and it certainly applies to genealogy.  I don't know why the story of these men wasn't passed down through the generations.  I'm "happy genealogy dancing" because now our family knows of more heroes, and because I have more research to do!  If a descendant of either Joseph or Washington happens to read this, I would love to hear from you and learn more about these men, who should be family legends.  My email is happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Allen line: Matthew Bellamy about 1618?-1690

Matthew Bellamy seems to be one of our hidden ancestors, and yet, there is enough in the record to know that he was here, and that he was educated enough to be a school teacher for many years.  He deserves to be more thoroughly researched. 

Matthew apparently spent his entire life in various towns and villages in Connecticut.  He may have been an early immigrant, but so far I am unable to pinpoint his arrival.  His father is given as John Bellamy, supposedly born in London, England, but again, I have no proof and more work needs to be done.  We don't know his birth date but he is known to have signed the plantation covenant of New Haven, Ct in 1639.  He would have been at least 21 to have done so.  That puts his birthdate at 1618 or earlier.  He took the oath of fidelity in 1644 and taught school at various times at New Haven, Milford, Stamford, Guilford, Saybrook and Killingworth in Connecticut.  One wonders whether he was more or less chased from town to town (too stern?  too lenient? not completely in accord with church beliefs?) or whether he regarded it as his mission to start or continue schools in each of the new locations. 

He married Bethia Ford, daughter of Timothy Ford and possibly Eliza Gordy in 1671 in Stamford, Ct.  This was a late marriage and possibly second marriage for him, although no records have been found to indicate an earlier marriage.  He would have been at least 53 years old at this time.  Bethia, however, is believed to have been born in 1653, so she was a much younger woman.  Regardless of the difference in their ages, the couple had five children.  Matthew, Bethia and Elizabeth all died as infants.  What a sorrow this must have been to the couple!  They did, however, have two children who lived to adulthood, Mary and Matthew (a second time.  It wasn't unusual to name a younger child after an older deceased sibling, especially when that was the father's name.) 

The circumstances of his death are not known.  The dates are variously given as 1689-1692, and it is believed he may have been lost at sea.  Bethia died in 1692, but I haven't yet located wills or estate papers for either of them. 

The information for this blog post came from very limited sources, mostly an article printed in 1907 in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.  It's time for another look at this man.  I'd like to know when and where he was born, how he acquired his education, and something about his early life.  Did he have a "first family"?  When did he actually arrive in New England, and where?  Did he come for economic or for religious reasons?  I think his story might be a fascinating one, if we only knew it!

The line of descent is:

Matthew Bellamy-Bethia Ford
Matthey Bellamy-Mary Johnson
Hannah Bellamy-John Royse
Elizabeth Royse-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Ann Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, January 1, 2016

Beeks line: Harvey Aldridge obituary

This obituary is from The Tipton Daily Tribune, Tipton, Indiana printed Saturday, August 2, 1930.


"Former Tipton County Resident Died Friday Night."

"Harvey H. Aldridge, a former well known resident of Tipton county, did at his home one and one-half miles west of Andrews Friday night at 9:00o'clock.  Death was due to a stroke of paralysis which he suffered several days ago.  Funeral services will be held at the Methodist church in Kempton Monday at 2:00 o'clock.  Services will be conducted by Rev. M. B. Gatham of Muncie and burial will be in the Kempton cemetery

Mr. Aldridge was born in Rush County August 13th, 1857 and was one of five children of Darlington and Leah Aldridge.  Frank Aldridge of Goldsmith, a brother, is the only one surviving of the family.  The late John Aldridge of Tipton was a brother.  Mr. Aldridge was married April 1st, 1880 to Miss Catherine Dunham of Kempton and they recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.  He is survived by the wife, two sons, Frank Aldridge of Andrews, Samuel of Freeland, Michigan, and three daughters, Mrs. Clyde Harrell of Lagro, Mrs. Frank Huston of Huntington and Mrs. Cleo Beeks of Andrews.  Three children are deceased.  He is also survived by 29 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. 

Besides their children, Mr. and Mrs. Aldridge also reared in their homes two grandchildren, Flossie and Bertha Rector, their mother being a daughter of Mrs. Aldridge and she died when the children were babies.

Mr. Aldridge had lived in Tipton county in the vicinity of Normanda and Kempton until twenty-five years ago when they moved to Huntington county.  He was one of the upright and highly esteemed citizens of his community and has been a life long member of the Methodist church."

Harvey would be astounded to know how many descendants he has today.  He was a farmer for most of his life.  Most of the census records show him as renting or as a tenant, but I need to verify that by looking at land records.  I also need to look to see if there is a will or estate records.  I am sorry to say that I don't know of any "family stories" passed down about this man, but if someone knows more about him, I'd love to hear from you.  My email is happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom. 

The line of descent is:

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