Friday, July 29, 2016

Holrook line: William Comstock 1595-1683 Immigrant

We know a lot more about William Comstock than we know about some of our other immigrant ancestors.  In this case, that might not be such a good thing, because there is at least one troubling event that we'll need to discuss further.

But in the beginning, he was born to William Comstock and an unknown mother on July 4, 1595 at Culmstock, Devon, England.  This was a very small village but it had a church, All Saints, which was where he was baptized and which is still in use today.  If I were ever to take a trip to England, one goal would be to worship in an ancestral church like this one. For us, it is hard to think of a church that has been standing for 700 years, but that's the approximate age of the oldest parts of this building.  You can find pictures of the church on Google, which may be the next best thing to an in person visit.

William's family likely were sheep farmers, or/and weavers, for this part of Devon is known for its wool.  About 1623 or 1624, William married Elizabeth.  Most on line sources say her name was Daniels but there is a decent cast to be made for her name have been Cock or Cocke.  As far as I can see, the jury is still out on that one.  There were five or possibly six children born to the Comstock family in England.  It's possible that Christopher, the youngest, was born after n earlier Christopher was born and had died as an infant. 

We also don't know when or why William, Elizabeth, and family left for New England, or where their first stop was.  Some say that they were in Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony for a short time.  Others think they went directly to Wethersfield, Connecticut.  He purchased land then that had previously been awarded to Richard Mylles, so William had at least some money by that time. 

The evidence that "proves" he was in Wethersfield prior to that is scanty, but troubling.  His name is apparently listed (where???) as being a private at Wethersfield, and 26 privates from Wethersfield were involved in a shameful incident in the Pequod War, when between 400 and 700 members of the tribe, mostly women and children, were massacred.  The English set their village on fire, and shot anyone who tried to escape.  This was in supposed retaliation for previous raids on the English settlers.  So if William Comstock was at Wetherseifeld by May 26, he likely took part in this horrible event.  If not, most of his neighbors would have been there.  Wethersfield was small enough that everyone below the age of 55 or so would have gone, with only the older men left behind to guard the town. 

William and his wife raised their children in Wethersfield until about 1650, when they moved to Pequot, which was quite near New London, Ct.  He contracted with John Winthrop to establish a corn mill there, and in 1651 he was working on the dam for the mill.  In 1659, he and Elizabeth sold land in New London. 

He was chosen to be sexton on February 25, 1661.62,to order youth in the meeting house, sweep the meeting house, and beat out dogs.  He was to be paid 40 shillings a year for this job, plus 4 shillings for each adult burial and 2 shillings for each child burial.  He, at the age of 66 or more, had to dig the graves for the burials.  It's not reported how long he held this job. 

Traditional sources say that William lived until 1683, with only two of his sons surviving him.  I've not found a record of a will. 

So, really, there are still a lot of unknowns for our William.  Besides the missing facts, I would most like to know if William really was part of the massacre, and if so, what he was thinking before, during, and after the event.  Did he suffer from anything like PTSD?  Was he "just following orders"?  Or was he an eager participant, doing what he felt needed to be done to keep his family safe?  Had he been in the Colonies long enough to be able to make an informed decision?  It's hard to come upon a "probable" like this, which to our thinking leaves a big black mark on his name. 

The line of descent is: 

William Comstock-Elizabeth
Daniel Comstock-Palthiah Elderkin
Kingsland Comstock-Mary Atwell
Kingsland Comstock-Rachel Crocker
Rachel Comstock-John Eames
John Eames-Elizabeth Longbottom
Hannah Eames-James Lamphire
Susan Lamphire-Joseph B Eddy
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Glady Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Fun Fact:  William Comstock was an ancestor to Gerald Ford, making us distant cousins to another president. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Allen line: Thomas Noble, 1606-1666, Immigrant or not?

I thought I'd found an immigrant to write about, but now I'm confused as to whether I should be writing about Thomas, or about another Thomas who was born about 1632.

According to very sketchy information I've found, the Thomas I intended to write about was born in 1606 in Aldingha, Kent, England.  Except that he may be the Thomas who was born in 1606 in St Giles, Cripplegate, England.  If the second theory is correct, his occupation may have been that of pinmaker, which was a working class job except that he seems to have been admitted to a guild.

Thomas may or may not have married Rachel Gardiner, and he may or may not have died in 1666 in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts.  Right now I am not finding sources or documentation for any of these statements.  I am finding that Thomas Noble born 1632 is noted as "The Settler".  He was admitted an inhabitant of Boston in 1651.  The internet assumption is that this refers to Thomas born 1632, but I don't know that there's proof about that.

I'm also wondering about the death date and location for Thomas.  There is at least some thought in the genealogy world that Thomas senior died in England about 1650, and that Thomas the settler went to England soon after at least partly to claim his inheritance.  This would explain a lot of things, but absolute proof is lacking, since the will of Thomas in England leaves an inheritance to Thomas Jr but doesn't state the younger Thomas's whereabouts.

I'll write another blog post about Thomas the Settler, but I wanted to at least throw out the ideas that are floating around, about Thomas's father.  He may have been from Aldingham, Kent, England or he may have been from London.  He may have married Rachel Gardiner, or he may have married someone else.  He may have died in London, or he may have died in Westfield, Massachusetts.  And someday, we may have the answers to these questions, and more!

The line of descent may be:
Thomas Noble-Rachel Gardiner
Thomas Noble-Hannah Warriner
Elizabeth Noble-Richard Church
Jonathan Church-Ruth Hitchcock
Ruth Church-Stephen Noble
Ruth Noble-Martin Root Jr.
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Allen
Their descendants

Their is another line that would go

Thomas Noble-Rachel Gardiner
Thomas Noble-Hannah Warriner
Thomas Noble Elizabeth Dewey
Thomas Noble-Sarah Root
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church  and then duplicates

So Stephen Noble, Revolutionary War soldier, and Ruth Church were second cousins. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Harshbarger line: Tobias Miller 1731-1805

Tobias Miller.  I could pretty much end this post right there, because that is almost as much as I know about him.  There seem to have been several Tobias Miller's in this time period, one who stayed in Pennsylvania, one who went to North Carolina, and ours, who went to what became Franklin County, Va. There are probably others, too, but these are the three who are most frequently mixed up in the records or trees found on line.

It seems to be pretty well agreed that Tobias was born in 1731, either in Pennsylvania or in wherever his parents came from, which was probably somewhere in Germany.  I base that "probably" only on the suspected (several) names of his parents, which all seem to have a German background.  One set of possible parents would be Jacob and Magdalena (maiden name unknown).  Another would be Johann Michael and Susannah Agnes Berchtol.  If we go strictly from a majority standpoint, Johann Michael and Susannah Agnes would win.  However, I've seen no proof and I'm not willing to stick my neck out on this one.

So, Tobias was either born here or born there.  The first time I can really say "Yes, this is likely our guy" is on a 1770 tax list of Coventry Township, Chester County, Pa.  At the time, he had 2 cattle and 2 horses, no sheep and no slaves.  He owned 100 acres of land.  This was not a lot to have in raising a family but it was something.  It's unclear whether he was married at this time.  Usually if men were single they were called "inmates" but perhaps he was not included there because he owned land.  At any rate, in 1773 he married Barbara Brower in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and our family is descended from this marriage. (Tobias would have been 42 years old when he married Barbara, which is old for a first marriage, and another reason I bring up the possibility of an earlier marriage.)

Tobias and Barbara had moved to either Bedford or Henry County, Virginia, by 1786 because when the county of Franklin formed from those two counties in 1785, one of the first acts of the courts was to appoint Tobias to be the surveyor of a road from Little Creek to Maggotty Creek there.  This indicates that he had been there long enough to know the "lay of the land", so to speak, and also shows that he was in good health at the time.  I tried from maps to figure out where he would have lived and so far haven't narrowed it down any more than somewhere around Boone's Mill, north of Rocky Mount and south east of Roanoke.

I'm not sure how many children they may have had.  Mary and Hannah are pretty much agreed on; I've also seen John, Jacob, Tobias and Catherine listed, with no birth or death dates.  Presumably these children were born between 1773 and maybe 20 years later, so some were likely born in Chester County, Pa. and some in Virginia.

Tobias died in 1805, most likely in Franklin County, Va.  Some of his children moved on to Montgomery County, Ohio, very early in Ohio's history, and some say that Tobias died there.  It appears that Barbara died the same year, although none of this is documented.

I've found several items on internet trees that I don't think are correct.  This Tobias was not in Lancaster County, Pa in the 1790 and 1800 census reports.  This Tobias was not the one buried in Philadelphia.  This Tobias was probably not the one with an estate sale in 1822 in Hagerstown, Md., mentioning personal property items.  First, the distance in time and miles is great, and second, why would his personal property have been saved that long?

I would love to hear from other members in this family who have researched Tobias, to see what is actually documented, who actually belongs in this family, and what Tobias's story is.  Was he a participant in the Revolutionary War?  When did the family go to Virginia?  What church did the family attend?  Where is he buried?  Who were his parents?

Names without stories bother me!  So do people without parents. 

The line of descent is:

Tobias Miller-Barbara Brower
Mary Miller-Johan George Harter
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Update:  I located information showing that Mary Miller and George Harter were married by Jacob Miller.  In researching him, I find that Rev. Jacob was a Brethren or Dunkard Minister, and was a brother to our Tobias.  There is a legend that five Miller brothers went to Franklin County, Va., all pastors.  Tobias may not have been a pastor, though, because he didn't perform his daughter's wedding ceremony.  No one seems sure who the parents were of Jacob Miller, but he seems to have left a very large posterity.  No doubt they would also like to know the parentage of Jacob and Tobias!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Beeks line: Johann Jacob Weber 1694-1744 Immigrant

Here's another Beeks ancestor who came from Germany. I don't know much about him yet but his is the start of another American success story, if raising a family in colonial Pennsylvania, with descendants down to this day is a success story. 

Jacob was born December 27, 1694 in Hinzweiler, Rhine-Pfalz, of what became Germany.  His parents were Hans Jacob Weber and Maria Margaretha Ring, and he had at least four sisters and one brother.  The only other clue I have about his early life is that when he married in 1720, it was in the Reformed Church in Hinzweiler, meaning it was neither Catholic nor Lutheran, but more Calvinistic in its beliefs.  The area had suffered during the Thirty Years War but had always been a very small village, with population never going above 400.  It must have been a hard life, but perhaps it was also a good life, in the little settlement. 

Jacob's wife was Anna Cecelia Reichard, also from Hinzweiler.  Her parents were Dieterich Reichard and Maria Saloma last name unknown.  It isn't known when the family emigrated to America.  Jacob died here in 1744, so the date would have been earlier than that.  Apparently the children were all born in Germany, with the last of at least three (I suspect there are more) born in 1735.  So immigration would have come between those two dates, except that I haven't found a Johann Jacob or a Jacob Weber listed in the immigration or naturalization records for that time period. 

And that is as much as I know about Jacob at this point.  He reportedly died in Springfield Township, Bucks or Delaware County, in 1744.  We need to determine which area he lived in, for the two townships are a considerable distance apart. One was relatively close to Philadelphia and one was on the frontier, which would mean families in the two areas would have had different concerns.  I tend to think it was in Bucks county, due to family marriages, but that is just a guess at this point.

So here is the bare beginnings of the story of Jacob Weber.  I'd like to find out more in order to give the man the recognition he deserves, but this is a start.  If someone reading this knows just one little bit of information that I haven't yet located, I'd love it if you would share it with me!

The line of descent is:

Jacob Weber-Anna Cecelia Reichard
Maria Charlotta Weber-Andreas Raub
Charlotte Raub-Johan Jacob Weiss
Andrew Wise-Mary Serfass
David Wise-Matilda Martin
Elizabeth Wise-John W Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, July 15, 2016

Holbrook line: Simon Burr 1618-1691 Immigrant

I'd like to know more about Simon than I know now.  My folder for the Burr line deals with folks going back to Nicholas de Bures, born about 1224.  However, there was nothing in the folder for Simon.  Oops!

So, Simon is our immigrant ancestor.  He was born June 16, 1618 (at least that is his christening date, so possibly a few days or weeks earlier) in Stistead, Essex, England to Henry and Ann Fisher Bures. He had several brothers and sisters, but apparently just one younger than he was.  If my records are right (haven't found documentation yet), Henry and Ann both died in May of 1622, before Simon's fourth birthday.  I haven't found any information yet on who Simon's caregiver was, but since he lived, we can guess that it was one or another of his relatives.  I'd love to get that piece of the puzzle! 

Simon came to America as a young man.  His first wife's name is given as Rose, but we don't know whether the marriage took place in England or in New England.  At any rate, Rose died in 1647, an apparent suicide by throwing herself down a well, or so the courts said.  In 1648 Simon married Hester, also last name unknown, in Hingham, Massachusetts.  There seems to be no record of Simon anywhere other than Hingham, so perhaps he went directly to that town when he arrived in the Colony.  If so, he was unusual in that not many folks from Essex, England ended up in Hingham.  There's another piece of the puzzle I'd like to know.

We don't know when he arrived there.  I've seen dates from 1635 to 1645.  The town was founded in 1633 and his inventory included land from 1645, so he was probably there earlier than 1645.  One source says he had first been in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where his brother Jonathan lived, and that makes sense. 

Simon was a farmer and a cooper, and in 1664 was made a freeman in Hingham.  He was a town overseer and a town surveyor, but I've not found mention of specific military service.  It is likely that he was a member of a train band (militia) but I've not found those records yet.  Simon and Hester had several children, including John and Simon, apparently the only two children to survive their parents. 

Simon died in 1691 (some records say February 7, 1692, but that may be the date his will was proved) and left an inventory valued at 88 pounds, 17 shillings, 6 pence in movable estate, including more than a few farm animals.  He also had several parcels of land, and a dwelling house, which increased the inventory to a value of 326 pound, 1 shilling and 6 pence.  I haven't seen the actual will, but it seems to have not made mention of Hester, who lived for another year after Simon's death.  Maybe one of the sons was already caring for her, or there was an agreement to do so. 

I'm grateful to Dorothy Burr Tucker Harper for most of the information in this sketch.  She wrote a book, The Burr Family History ,in 1996 and I am so glad she did.  I'm sure she'd like to know the answers to the questions that we still have about the family, too.

Our line of descent is:

Simon Burr-Hester
John Burr-Mary Warren
Mary Burr-Thomas Marsh
Deborah Marsh-Isaac Lazell
Deborah Lazell-Levi Rockwood
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph R Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Allen Line: Nicholas Corbin about 1650-1696, Immigrant

First, I am not joining in the controversy as to the parentage of Immigrant Nicholas.  I know there are those who think it "proven" that his parents are Thomas Corbin and Margaret Goodver, of Halls End, but I don't have any reason to think that is correct.  Nor do I have reason to think it is incorrect.  I am just suspicious that it may have come from Gustave Anjou or one of his comrades, who tried to fit nearly every family they worked on back to a line in England.  If there is better documentation than that, I'd love to see it and see where those lines run,but I'm not ready to go off in that direction at the moment.

So, we believe that Nicholas was born about 1650 in England, possibly in or around Halls End, but possibly in some other location entirely.  He could have been born earlier, but he is listed in 1671 as claiming headrights for himself, his wife Elizabeth, and two daughters.  This means he paid for the passage of his family, himself.  21 would have been young to have married in England, had two daughters, and raised or saved enough money to pay for the passage of four persons.  Perhaps 1640 is a better guesstimate for his age.  (This is just speculation on my part.) 

Sometime before 1677, Nicholas's wife Elizabeth died, and in 1676, Nicholas received a bequest from Lewis Bryan.  He is believed to be the father of Alice, Nicholas's second wife, so Elizabeth was likely to have died prior to 1676.  Nicholas and Edward Corbin were born to Nicholas and Alice, and Nicholas acquired land at this time.  He patented 200 acres in 1680, called "Corbin's Rest" and another 100 acres in 1687, called "Costrell Hill", and the family would have lived at the first site, most likely.  The land he acquired was apprently somewhere along the Patapsco River, in what was then Baltimore County, Maryland, but so fara I've not been able to pinpoint the exact location.

Nicholas was a constable in 1692 and a vestryman in 1693 and 1696, so he had the respect of his neighbors and fellow church-goers.  "Vestryman" indicates that he was a member of the Anglican church, and "vestryman" seems to be similar to a member of the church board in today's language.

Nicholas wrote his will in 1695 and died December 31,1696.  His son Edward received 100 acres of land known as "Corbin's Hill" but it's not clear whether this was the land earlier noted as "Costrell Hill."  He also left land to Thomas Gostwick, his grandson, and left cows to his two daughters.  His wife Alice was left the balance of the estate and was named executor.  His estate was valued at 32 pounds, which was not a large estate at all.  That may explain why Alice remarried to John Barrett within a few years.

Of course I'd like to know more about Nicholas, particularly where he came from and who his parents were.  I'd also like to know more about his life in Maryland.  Were he or his family ever threatened by native Americans, or was he involved in a militia?  Did he have another occupation besides farmer?  Did he have indentured servants to slaves to help him on his land?  Did he raise tobacco?

It seems that no matter how many answers we have, there are always more questions.  Maybe another Corbin descendant will have some of the answers we are lacking.

Our line of descent is:

Nicholas Corbin-Alice Bryan
Edward Corbin-Jane Wilkinson
Mary Jane Corbin- Samuel Lane
Lambert Lane-Nancy Ann Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, July 8, 2016

Harshbarger line: Christopher Kitterman about 1730-1806 Immigrant

Looking rather desperately to find another name to write about in the Harshbarger lineage, I noticed Christopher Kitterman.  He was just sitting quietly in the family tree, with no folder, no information, and nothing to indicate he was really a person.  Now he has his own folder in my file cabinet, with the beginnings of some information about him, thanks largely to Virginia Shoemaker Perry, who, as it turns out, has written a whole book about Christopher and his descendants.  Unfortunately, the book does not seem to be available (not even Allen County Public Library has a copy) but fortunately, she has shared some of what she knows on line.  Thank you, Virginia!

Christopher was born sometime about 1728 in Germany.  Virginia is not willing to say where he was born, but other sources state it was Grossgartach, Wuerttemberg, Germany.  She is also not willing to give him a birth date, and I have seen dates from 1719 to 1730.  If information that a daughter was born in 1732 is correct, than I would give him an even earlier birthdate, but as far as I know, no one has found documentation for any kind of birthdate, or for his parents.  It sure would be nice to solve these questions.

Similarly, there are two dates given for his emigration to America.  One source says he came on the ship "Patience" in August of 1750 and Perry says he came on the "Janet" in 1751.  Either could be correct, or both could be correct, for he could have come and then gone back to Germany to settle an estate, talk family members in to coming, sell real estate, or for any number of other good reasons.  At any rate, he was in the Colonies, Pennsylvania of course, by 1751.  He was a farmer and a Lutheran, and soon found a good local girl to marry.  He married Anna Margaret Lawall, daughter of Daniel and Barbara Lawall, at Tohickon Union (Reformed) Church in Bucks County, Pa. on February 3, 1761.  This is late enough that it may have been a second marriage, and another wife has been suggested (not by Perry, as far as I know) as Anna Christina.  At any rate, this marriage took place on February 3, 1761, and their first daughter, Mary, was born July 31, 1761, so it may have been time for this couple to marry.

Additional children were Elizabeth, Henry, Jacob, and Michael.  Some Ancestry trees also list Michael, Maria Magdalena, Catherine, and Susanna.  If these were Christopher's children, they must have been by a first wife because the birth dates are all before the marriage date of 1761, and good Lutherans would not have waited until child number 5 to marry.

It appears that sometime about 1771 or 1772, Christopher and his family moved to Frederick County, Maryland.  Confusingly, he is listed as being in Frederick County, Md in 1771/72, with a notation that he had moved to Pennsylvania, and in 1772 there is a Stophel Kataman in Lower Saucon Twp, Northampton County, listed as a laborer.  If  this is the same person, he may have gone back to Pennsylvania temporarily to help a family member, or to earn some cash as his farm in Maryland got established.  (Daniel Lawell was in Northampton County when he wrote his will in 1796, so maybe it was the in-laws who needed help.) It would be interesting to find out what the story is behind this, if in fact these are the same men.  He is in the 1790 census in Frederick County, Maryland with 1 male over the age of 16, and 2 females, so by now, the child rearing was done.  We don't know who the second female was, but perhaps she was a relative, or maybe even a helper of some sort as this would have been an aging couple.  They haven't been found in the 1800 census, which indicates they may have been living with someone else (or it could just be that the name has been so mangled in the transcriptions that no one has yet recognized it). 

By 1806, Christopher was in Frederick County, Virginia and his wife was named Christine, because both facts are stated in his will.  We don't know when he moved to Virginia, when wife Anna Margaret died, or who Christine was.  However, she is mentioned by name several times in the will, so we can assume this was his wife at the time of his death.  The will itself is complicated and a transcription can be read on wikitree.  Besides his wife, he also mentions his brother John George Kitterman, deceased, his son John Kitterman, deceased son Michael, son Henry, daughter Mary Harter, daughter Susanna Fishburn, daughter Catherina Miksel.  Elizabeth Ader is mentioned and may be a daughter, also, but that is not specified.  (If Nancy Glass is not provided for in the will of Adam Ader, then she is to get money from what Christopher has left Elizabeth, so Adam may be a stepfather to Nancy).  Further research would be needed to clarify that.  The will was written March 6, 1805 and admitted to probate March 16,1806.  I note that Maria Magdalena and Johann Jacob, who are each supposed to be his children and each alive at the time of the will, are not mentioned in the will.

This is a lot of information to find and process for one morning.  There are mysteries and uncertainties here, but at least we know he is part of the family, we know he was a Lutheran and a farmer, and we know he had several children and two or possibly three wives.  That's a start.  I'd love to hear from someone with more information about Christopher or/and his wives.!

The line of descent is:

Christopher Ketterman-Anna Margaret Lawall
Mary Kitterman-George Harter
Johann George Harter-Mary M Miller
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Beeks line: Nicholas Lehew 1656-1719 Immigrant to Virginia

Nicholas Lehew's origins are a mystery.  Some say he was from France and a Huguenot, some say he was English in origin.  So far as I'm aware, no one has found a document that proves his origins, or his family.  The first we know of him is in 1670, when he is in Northumberland County, Virginia, and is an indentured servant to Mr. Leonard Howson, and adjudged by the courts to be fourteen years of age.  Leonard Howson was only 7 years older than Nicholas, so it's a matter for speculation as to how Mr. Howson acquired the means to support a servant, and what the relationship between the two men was.  Were they friends, or were they merely master and servant?  It is to be hoped that the two men got along, because Nicholas's indenture was likely for seven years, until he turned 21.

It seems that Nicholas must have spent his post -indenture time wisely, because in 1699 and 1701 he was a bondsman and a witness, respectively, to wills written by neighbors.  He must have earned the respect of his neighbors, somehow.  In 1707, Lehew was sued by George Durkin, because Nicholas was short on cash, apparently and George's time of indentureship was up.  So Lehew had gone from being an indentured servant, to hiring or buying and indentured servant.  When he died in 1718 or 1719, his estate included three slaves, plus the infant of one of the slaves.  There is no mention of whom the father might be.  So in a way, we can say that Nicholas worked himself up in the world.

He is believed to have married Mary, possibly Mary Owens, in Virginia, but again, I don't find documents supporting this.  When he died in 1718/1719, the widow Mary and son Peter were declared the administrators.  There is no mention of other children.  The main part of the estate consisted of 80 acres of land, and some personal property, plus the slaves already mentioned.  From this limited information, it seems likely that Mary was either quite old when she married, or else was young and married a much older man.  It is also possible that the Peter who is fairly well known has had some records mixed with another Peter Lehew, and that we are in fact missing a generation somewhere.

We are fortunate that Nicholas lived as long as he did (approximately 62 or 63 years of age when he died) because many indentured servants died during their first year in Virginia.  Between overwork, diseases, insects, wild animals, native American's and the climate, many people succumbed to illness or other causes of death soon after arrival here.  Nicholas didn't accumulate a fortune, but 80 acres of land plus the other items was nothing to complain about, compared to the life he probably lead in England or just possibly France.  He must have been a hard worker, and we can be proud of him for that reason.

The line of descent is

Nicholas Lehew-Mary possibly Owens
Peter Lehew-Frances Allen
William Lehew-Hannah
Mary Lehew-William Featheringill 
Elizabeth Featheringill-George Botkin
Charity Bodkin-Jackson Wise
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John W Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Note:  There is a possibility that Mary Wise may have been adopted.  The source is reported to be a relative of Mary's.  I have found no information that would support this, nor have I found information to disprove this.  If anyone in the family knows anything about this supposed adoption, I'd love to hear about it!  Meanwhile, I will probably do more posts in this line of the Beeks's, because these are the stories that Mary would have heard. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Holbrook line: Edward Inman abt 1620-1706 Immigrant and also interesting!

I keep finding these ancestors, or rather, re-finding them.  I've known of Edward Inman for quite a while and even have his supposed family back for a few generations, but hadn't researched him at all.  As is turns out, he is another person that I would like to meet at a party or reception, because there is so much I'd like to ask him.

One of the things that is interesting about Edward is the lack of information about his parents.  Many people say he was christened on March 5,1619/1620 in St. Margaret's, London, England, and that his father's name was John.  Most of these same sources say that his wife was Elizabeth Hopkins, or perhaps Elizabeth Marsden.  There seems to be no good documentation for either marriage as far as I have been able to learn.  So Edward's background, his immigration to the Colonies, and his marriage, whether in England or here, are still mysteries. Even his early years in the Colonies are not well documented.

It's puzzling that so little has been found about him prior to his arrival in Rhode Island, because he was apparently a man of some wealth from the get-go.  He was a successful glover (some say fox glover) and hatter, so a merchant, probably a fur trader, and also a planter.  With his money, he was also able to become a part owner in a silver mine, the second silver mine in the Colony.  Apparently it was not expected to be a huge strike because the Crown had no interest in the mine.  As far as I've been able to find so far, the silver mine was not a commercial success. 

Edward is believed to have arrived, possibly in Virginia, sometime before 1645.  It's thought that he and his family were Quakers, and if this is so, his arrival in Warwick, Rhode Island in or before 1648 may have been because the Virginians were already hostile to the Quaker faith.  It's also possible that he was never in Virginia, and that he came through Massachusetts because the birth of his first son is recorded in Braintree, Massachusetts.  If he had been in Massachusetts, and if he was a Quaker, then it certainly makes sense that the family would end up in Rhode Island.  "The family" included three children, Joanna, John, and Edward, and possibly a fourth, Francis. 

He seems to have been in Warwick, Providence, and what is now Smithfield, Rhode Island at different times, acquiring land (in one purchase, at least 2500 acres) and also serving in the government.  He was made a freeman in 1655, and was a Commissioner or Deputy at the General Court several times, as well as a frequent juryman.  His first wife died and he married Barbara, widow Phillips, in 1676, in Newport, where Edward may have gone during King Philip's War.  She had children from her earlier marriage, but it seems that all the children, his and hers, were adults by the time of this marriage.  Edward seems to disappear from politics about 1686, and lived quietly with his family and running his businesses, until he died in 1706.

It's hard to stop with just this much information about this ancestor.  Was he part of the Virginia Inman family, or was he of a different family? When did he come here? Why was his first son's birth reported in Braintree?  Was the family Quaker, or was that true for later generations in the family?  What was his net worth at the time of his death?  And what really became of the silver mine?  Did that add to or detract from his wealth?  Oh, the questions!

The line of descent is:

Edward Inman-Elizabeth
Joanna Inman-Nathaniel Mowry
Joanna Mowry-Walter Phetteplace
Sarah Phetteplace-Elisha Eddy
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants