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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Holbrook line: Edward Converse, Immigrant

I suspect this is on of the best documented of my previously unblogged Holbrook ancestors.  In less than an hour, I've found a lot of information about him, including articles from "The Great Migration Begins" and an article by Douglas Richardson, and one by Robert J. Kurtz.  The problem is, even with these fine sources, they don't always agree, and some of them omit information that others included.  So it's possible that this summary won't quite be correct, as I pick and choose and try to at least get the basics written for my family. 

Edward was most likely born January 30,1589/90 at Stanford Rivers, Essex, England, to Anthony Convers or Combers and Clemence Spady.  They had been married three years when Edward was born.  He had an older brother as well as a younger sister and three younger brothers.  This area was mostly small cottages and farms, rural and probably poor.  We don't know whether Edward could read and write, although we know he signed his name.  Based on all the offices he held in later life, it would surprise me to learn that he was illiterate. 

Anthony married Sarah Parker June 29, 1614, at Great Burstead, Essex, England.  She was the daughter of John and Mary Ashels Parker.  The new family stayed in England for just 16 years, long enough to have three of their four children.  In 1630 the family sailed for New England with the Winthrop Fleet and either landed at or went directly to Boston.  (This was very early, as the Massachusetts Bay Colony had just been established one year earlier.)  Edward was listed as member number 66 when he joined the Boston church in the fall of 1630 and became a freeman in 1631.  In the fall of 1632, Edward and Sarah were dismissed from the Boston church to found a church in Charlestown, where they are listed as founding members.  Edward was a selectman in Charlestown from 1634 until almost the time he moved to Woburn. 

Edward was granted a ferry license, with stated fees, and apparently operated or managed the ferry for most of the time he lived in Charlestown.  He was also busy accumulating land.  By 1638, he had been granted 13 different parcels of land there, most if not all as an original settler, grants from the town and not cash purchases.  Edward and his family, which now included an additional son, moved to Woburn in 1640 and he is considered a founding father of that town.  This was only about 10 miles from Charlestown, but it was "frontier" at the time, and once again all the land needed to be cleared, homes built, and a village set up.  Edward was involved in all of that.   He was a selectman there from the founding of the town to at least 1663, indicating that he was both a strong churchman, a strong leader, and able to get along with his neighbors.  We are also told that he was a tithing-man, responsible for church attendance and discipline.  He is listed as "yeoman" so he was not necessarily of a high social standing.

Edward wrote his will in 1659, when Sarah was still alive, but it wasn't proved until 1665, by which time Sarah had died and he had married Joanna Warren widow Sprague.  He died on August 10, 1663, not long after his remarriage.  I've not found a record of a conflict so perhaps Joanna was treated fairly by the executors, or they came to some sort of an agreement between Edward's death and the date the will was proved. 

I'm sure there is more of Edward's story to be found, and I'm sure that a good story-teller could make much of what we know of him.  The facts don't indicate the emotions and motives behind the moves.  Why did they come to New England?  Why did they leave Charlestown for Woburn?  How did he feel about some of the events in England, including the events that led to England's Civil War?  Were any of his extended family affected by the war?  Was Edward himself in the militia or training band? 

I admire this man.  He lived his life walking in his faith, and he seems to have prospered. He is seldom mentioned in court records (only two incidents, each resolved peaceably) so he was somewhat unusual in that regard.  If we had lived during that time period, he would have been a man to emulate. 

The line of descent is

Edward Converse-Sarah Parker
Mary Converse-Simon Thompson
Jonathan Thompson-Thankful Woodland
Martha Thompson-Ebenezer Thayer
Ebenezer Thayer-Mary Wheelock
Abigail Thayer-Jesse Holbrook
Amariah Holbrook-my missing Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook=Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Allen line: Miles Merwin 1623-1697 Immigrant

This post is fun to write, because it's about an ancestor with good documentation, mostly, and because he was apparently not a VIP, but more of an ordinary guy.  To find good information about an ordinary guy means someone has done a lot of work, and to those family historians and genealogists, my sincere thank you! 

Miles was born in Clewer, Berkshire, England in1623 and christened February 1, 1623/24 in the next parish, New Windsor Berkshire, England.  He was the son of Walter (Gautier) and Margaret Tinker Merwin.  Clewer was very near Windsor Castle, and was an ancient Saxon village site.  Miles would have had every reason to have seen the royal processions of King Charles I of England as a young boy, but apparently the family had no connection at all to the castle.  Still, a procession must have been an exciting sight for a young boy!

It's easy to give the political upheaval of the times as a reason that Miles came to New England, but since sources seem to vary as to when he came, that motive may or may not be the reason for his departure.  One source says he came in 1630, as a boy of seven, with his uncle, and one source says he didn't come until 1640.  At that time, he would have been 17 years old.  His parents died in 1643 (mother) and 1649 (father) so with either immigration date, he came before the death of his parents, and in addition to every other part of "culture shock", he would have been homesick. 

Apparently his first sighting in New England was in 1648, when h was in Windsor, Connecticut, where his Tinker family was living.  He purchased five-acre homelot, dwelling, and 2 1/4 acres of meadow from Roger Williams (is this "our Roger Williams, I wonder?) in Windsor.  He had married Elizabeth Powel, daughter of William Powell and Dorothy Searle, in Windsor in about 1646, and perhaps had lived with that family until he was able to purchase a home for his new family, which by 1650 included two of their eventual seven children. 

For some reason, Miles decided to move on and the town of Milford, of which he is considered a founding member, gave him ten acres, five of them in the "Brick Kiln", which sounds like an industrial area.  Somewhere, Miles had learned the trade of tanning, whether it was as an apprentice or by some other means.  In 1654/1655, the town of Milford allowed him to trade his original grant for a lot by the harbor, which was a more convenient place to practice this business.  We don't know whether the family's living quarters were also there, or not.

Perhaps he wasn't an ordinary tanner, but more of a merchant of leathers, because by 1675 he was a partner, along with William East and Alexander Bryan, in a sloop and two brigs.  The sloop traveled back and forth to Boston, and the brigs traveled the West Indies route, exporting staves, horses, cattle, and cornmeal, and returning with rum, molasses, and European goods. 

Elizabeth died on July 10,1664, when she was 34 years old, and Miles married Sarah Platt, the widow of Thomas Beach, the following year.  They had five children together, including two sets of twins.  Sarah died soon after the death of the second set of twins, and later that year, Miles married Sarah Youngs, who is also our ancestor through her marriage to Daniel Scofield  She would have been his daughter's mother in law.  Sarah outlived Miles. 

Miles disposed of much of his real estate to his three sons prior to his death, and apparently gave, or intended to give, his daughters money, for his will specified that any of his children who had not received their full portion should be given it by his executors.  He also left a bequest for his widow, and gave 100 pounds to be divided between each of his ten grandchildren.  Sarah's grandchildren were also left gifts.  His estate was valued at 453 pounds, 11 shillings, 11 pence, which was not bad considering that he'd already sold/given most of his real estate away.  What was apparently his last remaining parcel he gave to his son John's oldest child. 

I'd like to know more about Miles.  So far I've not found a record of church membership or freeman standing.  I'd like to know more about his commercial ventures, and how he fit into the life of the town. How involved was he in the militia or train band of his towns?   However, we have this much information about him, and it's a start. 

The line of descent is:

Miles Merwin-Elizabeth Powell
Abigail Merwin-Daniel Scofield
Daniel Scofield-Hannah Hoyt
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Harriet Bell-Thomas Knott
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Clarissa Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, September 16, 2016

Harshbarger post: Who was Mary M. or Maria Magdalena?

Since my excitement of finding John Whetstone, Catherine Whetstone's father, of course the next question is-who are his parents, and who is his wife?  The only real clue I have is that she is listed as Mary M. on Find a Grave.  Her headstone gives her as the wife of "J. Whetstone", and gives her date of death as January 10, 1852.  This is from St. Peters Cemetery in Stark County, Ohio. 

Since I know that John was from Berks, later Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and I know Catherine was born in Berks County, it makes sense to comb Berks County for a Mary M or Maria Magdalena or some variation of those names, born in 1775 (per Find a Grave's headstone information saying she was 76 years 1 month and 28 days old when she died).  This would put her birth date as about November 12, 1775.  So I need to look for a christening date later than that.  It would not be at all unusual for Maria Magdalena to become Mary M.  John Whetstone was probably Johannes, and his father's last name is often given as Wetztein.  Names were evolving and not yet "Americanized."

I also have seen on line trees listing her name as Maria Magdalina Kettner or Kepner.  Aha!  I thought.  I have a Maria Magdalena Kepner in my database already.  Well, it's not that easy.  I haven't been able to prove that the one I have, a daughter of Bernard Kepler and Maria Elizabeth Lindemuth, is the correct person.  I haven't been able to disprove it, either.  The one in my database shows a birth date of 1776, which could be a christening date or could be an "about" date.  But so far, I haven't found a marriage record for John, or Maria Magdalena.  I'm not convinced yet.  The Keplers were in Brunswick Twp, later Schuylkill County, so the location fits. 

There also is a Maria Magdalene Ketner, born in 1776 (Northkill, Berks County, Pa) with no specific date and no additional information or documentation yet located.  She was the daughter of Johannes Henry Ketner and Justina Catarina Brossman.  From what I can tell from the maps, Northkill is pretty close to the location of the Whetstones, so it might be a possibility.  So far, I haven't found another prospective husband for her. 

I am just beginning this search, but I am posting speculations and thought processes here for several reasons.  One is that I am hoping a distant family member will recognize this person and say, "Oh, she (one of the two above possibilities, or one I haven't found yet) married John!  I have this record...".  The second reason is to show readers that most of the time, you can't just open up a book and read a family's history.  It has to be pulled and twisted out of very brief, disconnected pieces of information here and there.  And the third reason is that I am running out of Harshbarger posts! 

The line of descent is:

John Whetstone-Mary M.
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook
William Cook-Elizabeth Brown
Barbara Cook-William A Withers
William H Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Beeks line: Thomas Hicklin 1689-1772 Probable Immigrant

The origins of the Hicklin family are not clear.  It is possible they were Scotch-Irish, meaning the family moved from Scotland to Ireland and stayed there for some time, most likely generations, before they moved on to America.  There was a John Hicklin in Chester County, Pennsylvania as early as 1702, but as far as I know no one has definitely been able to tie John to Thomas. 

The first that is actually heard of Thomas, however, is in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1734.  He had married Dianna Donaghe, daughter of Hugh Donaghe and Elizabeth, about 1723 but the location is unknown.  In 1734, he received a grant for 120 acres in Chester County and was still there ten years later, as evidenced by an advertisement in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette. 

Thomas purchased land on the Bullpasture River in Augusta County, Virginia on January 6, 1756.  The family was  there earlier as Thomas had been directed to work on a road crew in 1753.  Historically, this was just before the outbreak of the French and Indian war, and Hugh was found on the rolls of the Highland Fort in 1757.  (The only reference to a fort that I could find for this location and time period was Fort George, and the marker for that says that this fort never came under direct attack.  I don't know about the settlers who lived nearby.  They would have been fortunate indeed to have survived unscathed.)

By 1766, Thomas was aging.  He would have been about 77 by now, and was excused from head tax due to his age.  He sold some of his land to son Thomas Hicklin Jr in 1770 and died probably at the end of 1771, as his will was proved January 11, 1772.  There is no mention of his wife in the transcription I saw of the will, although it appears she didn't die until later in the year.  Perhaps a child was already caring for her.  Also, a comment is made that he signed his will with an "X", but not a rough X as the illiterate did.  This one had extra garnishes, making it appear that he was possibly using the "X" because he was too weak to sign his whole name, yet making it evident that he had at least some education. 

Thomas and Dianna's children known by his will are Hugh, John, Thomas, Rosannah (Johnson), Jane (Laferty), Dinah (Botkin) and Sarah (Black), born from about 1725 to 1740 in Chester County. 

This is what is known of Thomas and his family.  He is one of the mostly anonymous people who settled this country, raised his family and protected them by arms when needed, and, in death, is known mostly by his will and his children.  His heritage is one of hard work and family values, and we could use more of that today. 

The line of descent is:

Thomas Hicklin-Dianna Donaghe
Dinah Hicklin-James Botkin
George Botkin-Elizabeth Featheringill
Charity Botkin-Jackson Wise
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, September 9, 2016

Holbrook line: Alice Frost Blower Tilley 1594-Immigrant and a bit of a rebel

In my last Holbrook post, I noted that there was a story about the daughter of Edward and Thomasine Belgrave Frost, and that I would follow up with that information in a later post.  It's not often that we find records of the woman in the marriage.  Usually they have to have been very good, controversial, or outright law breakers in order to draw the attention of anyone studying the early immigrants to New England.  Alice may have been all three of the above-a good woman, controversial, and possibly a law breaker.  What fun to find her!

Alice was baptized at Stanstead, Suffolk, England on December 1, 1594.  She was one of 10 children, but six of her siblings died as infants or children.  We wonder what impact that had on the family, and whether it influenced Alice's decision to become a midwife later in her life.  She married Thomas Blower at Stanstead, Suffolk, England on November 19, 1612, and they in turn had seven children. 

Alice was apparently a free-spirited woman, and drew the attention of the authorities on February 18,1633/34.  She was fined the huge sum of 100 pounds for "her notorious contempt of ecclesiastical laws and jurisdiction" in her (word or words illegible).  Apparently the case had been postponed in case someone wanted to appeal it, but "This day inasmuch as neither the said Alice Blower nor anybody else for her gave in any petition to desire any mitigation of her fine imposed upon her, the said fine to an hundred pounds was to be certified into his highness exchequer and estreated to his highness use."

We aren't told any more than this about the fine, but this was the time period when Archbishop Laud was becoming more and more powerful, insisting upon "High Church" worship, when many held dissident views and wished to practice their own religion.  We can't tell from this limited information whether Alice and possibly refused to attend the required state church services, or whether she had been more active in her defiance.  At any rate, 100 pounds was a huge fine and a year later, the commissioners reconsidered.  She was no longer at Sudbury, the location of the alleged offense, and "thereby the scandal grown by her (was) taken away, and for that she had in all obedience submitted herself & would continue herself conformable to the order's doctrine, and discipline of the Church of England", basically the case was dismissed. 

Thomas went to New England in or before 1635.  It is possible that Alice had already gone to Boston with him, since there was a reference in the court record to her being "long removed from Sudbury".  There is no record of her immigration, which is not all that unusual.  Women and children were not always noted on the ship manifests.  Thomas died in 1639 and soon after, she married William Tilley, probably in Barnstable, Massachusetts, and soon after July 6, 1640.

We don't know when she began practicing as a midwife, but by 1648 she was in trouble again and was actually jailed.  Dozens of women in Boston and Dorchester signed petitions on her behalf, and she was eventually released.  William Tilley came to his wife's defense and made Hugh Gullison of Boston his attorney, and gave him authority "in my name to implead & arrest & prosecute & recover of Wm Phillips of Boston & his wife or either or both of them"... So we have a good clue here as to whom the Tilley family blamed for Alice's imprisonment. 

William Tilley was in court in 1649, being fined four pounds for an infraction, and Alice petitioned them to reduce the fine, which eventually resulted in a reduction to 40 shillings.  Despite William's actions to support his wife and despite Alice's action in attempting to get his fine reduced, apparently all was not bliss in the Tilley household. 

Some sort of petition was made by Mr. Tilley to the court and the response on October 11, 1665, was that "the court, having heard what he & his wife could say for themselves, judge meet to order & enjoin Mr. Tilley & his wife forthwith to live together as man & wife, that Mr. Tilly provide for her as his wife, & that she submit herself to him as she ought, on the penalty of forty pounds on his part, & imprisonment on hers.  So a separation, or a divorce, or whatever the petition requested, was apparently not granted. 

We know that both William and Alice were still alive in 1668, when she made a deposition involving her maidservant.  This one word, plus the size of the fines that were previously mentioned, makes us think that this family was not poverty stricken.  I haven't located a will or inventory, which would perhaps help clarifIy their financial stataus.

I like Alice.  She was a feisty woman, who may or may not have broken laws, but who certainly pushed them to their limit.  It must have been hard for her to live in Puritan Boston.  I'd love to know more about her!

The line of descent is:

Alice Frost-Thomas Blower
Alice Blower-Richard Brackett
John Brackett-Hannah French
Hannah Brackett-Joseph Stannard
John Stannard-Hannah Jordan
John Stannard-Hannah Hatchett
Libbeus Stannard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stannard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

I suspect that most of this information originally came from Robert Charles Anderson's "Great Migration" series, or the "Great Migration" newsletters.  It was available, unidentified, on Find A Grave and on Geni.  My access to AmericanAncestors.ogr, where I normally would look, is temporaraily unavailable, since I waited till the very last day to renew my membership!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Allen line: John Parmelee 1584-1659, Immigrant

If for not other reason, John Parmelee is noted for having five wives, apparently having out-lived four of them, and for having children by each of his first four wives.  He was born in Lewes, Sussex, England before September 27, 1584.  His father, also John Parmelee, had died late in April (buried May 1) 1583, so his mother, Alice Russell, waited a few months to have him baptized.  Perhaps she herself was ill, or she was waiting for relatives to arrive.  Babies were usually but not always baptized shortly after birth.  John is known to have had one sister, Margaret, who was born a little more than ten years earlier than John.  There was another sister, Catherine, who would have been about five years older than John but who died as an infant. 

It's not clear who raised Margaret and John.  Alice apparently did not remarry, which would have been unusual for this time frame, unless her health was not good.  Probably the family moved in with relatives and eventually John learned the trade of bricklaying.  He supported his own family with his trade.  This would have been back breaking work, just as it is today, but John was apparently a strong young man.  He married at age 24 for the first time, to Anne Howell, and their marriage lasted until her death 21 years later.  They had seven children together, but only one survived childhood. 

John next married Hannah Wilbur in 1630.  She had two children, and died on February 20, 1634, perhaps as a result of childbirth.  Fifteen months later, John married Elizabeth Holter, and had three children with her.  Again, all three children died young.  He next married Joane Cobden, about 15 months after wife Elizabeth had died, and they had one daughter, Rachel, who was buried just five days after her 1638 baptism.  It isn't known what happened to Joane, but she was probably dead when John decided to start a new life in America, or at least when he set sail. 

His surviving son John was already in New England when John sailed from London on the St John on May 20, 1639.  The ship went directly to New Haven, Connecticut and John Senior joined his son John Junior in Guilford.  His signature was on a Plantation Covenant which was officially dated June 1, 1639, but apparently a few late-comers signed the document as they arrived in port.  He was assigned a home lot at the north end of the village green, where the First Congregational Church now stands. We are told on the Town of Guilford, Connecticut's website that the homes built were no more than huts, with thatched roofs, wooden walls, and dirt floors,  and the village resembled a medieval village for several generations. 

John was voted a freeman about 10 years after he arrived in Guilford, but some time before 1659 he and his family moved to New Haven, where he was admitted as a freeman on August 8, 1659.  His family at this time included his fifth wife, Elizabeth, whom he had married in 1653.  There were fourteen years between the death of his fourth wife and the final marriage, so perhaps John had finally given himself time to grieve the loss of so many wives and so many children.   John died November 8, 1659, probably at New Haven.  He did leave a will and inventory but so far I haven't been able to locate it. 

This brief outline leaves a lot of questions.  Was John a strong Puritan church supporter?  How did he support his family in Connecticut?  What were the early relations with the native Americans?  Was he a member of a train band or other military group?  I need to find out more about John Parmelee, who sparks my compassion across these many generations. 

The line of descent is:

John Parmelee-Hannah Wilbur
Hannah Parmelee-John Johnson
Samuel Johnson-unknown
Mary Johnson-Matthew Bellamy
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, September 2, 2016

Harshbarger line: Happy genealogy dance for John Whetstone

Well, actually the happy dance is for Catherine Whetstone, a brick wall for the past three plus years.  I knew she was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania on December 27, 1798, died in August 19, 1887 in Whitley County, Indiana, married Henry Cook, and had at least 10 children starting in 1817.  I also knew this couple had spent a considerable time in Stark County, Ohio.

Apparently that's when my brain stopped working. I've been digging around in Berks County records when I should have been doing more work in Stark County.  A simple search of the 1830 census showed one Whetstone family living in Stark County, a man named John Whetstone.  He was the right age to be Catherine's father.  I haven't found him yet in the 1820 census (the name can be spelled soooo many different ways) but in the 1810 and 1800 census years he is in Brunswick, Berks County, Pa (later Schuylkill County) with females of the right age to be Catherine.  Catherine and Henry named one of their sons John, which is another clue. 

The best developed tree I found online listed 7 children for the family of John and Maria Magdalena.  Three of those children married in Stark County, Ohio, as did a fourth Whetstone, Susannah, several years earlier than the others.  I believe Henry and Catherine had married in Pennsylvania, but I'm not sure of that yet as I've not found records.  The birth dates for the Whetstone children compared with the census years indicate that we may yet be missing one male and one female, but the children I'm going to list are: Catherine, Susannah, John, Esther, Benjamin, Solomon, Leah, Rachel, and Absalom.  (Catherine and Susannah are my additions.)  The birthdates are not clear for any except Catherine, which indicates to me perhaps the church records are gone for this family. 

Having made my case, I hope, for John Whetstone as the father of Catherine, here is what I know of him so far.  He was the son of Captain Jacob Whetstone or Wetstein, who has his own story to tell, and Anna Maria Schaeffer and was born probably about 1775.  He purchased land in Brunswick Township, Berks county, in 1786 (I may be misinterpreting this date as I only found a partial record.).  This land was 170 acres and adjoined the land of Michael Folmer, Nicholas Redenbach and Thomas Wenerich.  The purchase was noted  on February 19, 1787 by two justices of the peace as land that had been improved by Christian Koch.  (Because I haven't seen the land records yet, I must note that there is an online statement that John Whetstone and Christian Koch were involved in this sale in 1810.  It's possible.  I suspect that Christian Koch is Henry Cook's father, but can't yet make a strong argument for that case.

John and his family were probably in Stark County (Marlboro Township) by 1821, when Susannah married there.  He is noted as being a blacksmith (as was Henry Cook).  John died in November of 1836.  I didn't find his will, but there is a lengthy estate record which includes a total inventory of his goods, and even better, a sales list with names of who bought what.  On the list of buyers we find John Whetstone, Solomon Whetstone, and Absalom Whetstone, sons of our John, and also Henry Cook. (There is also a Michael Cook, but I don't know how if at all he relates to Henry, and that is a story for another time, perhaps). Sales totaled $141.62.  Since I haven't found a will, I'm not sure whether there was land that was willed to a son, or not.  John and Solomon were the administrators.  The widow was allowed her own clothing as well as John's, plus a bed and bedding, one brown cow, twelve sheep, another bed and bedding, a spinning wheel, all the wool in (? possession?), two pots or kettles, and all the flax and yarn in (?possession?).  She also selected some additional items, including a wool wheel, a copper kettle, a desk, and a spade. 

Maria Magdalena, apparently known as Mary, died in 1852.  She must have kept busy raising her sheep and spinning her wool and flax, but her children must have been nearly of an age to be out of the home because in the administration it was noted that she was to have enough "as she shall think reasonable for the support of herself and children for one year". The family had that long to plan and implement their future.

This is what I think I know of John Whetstone as of now.  I look forward to researching him more, to trying to figure out who his wife is, and to learning more about his life and times. I would love to hear from anyone researching this family, especially if you think I have it wrong, or if you know of some sort of documentation somewhere that John actually had a daughter Catherine.  But for now, I'm doing a happy dance because, with the help of another researcher, we seem to have found a family for Catherine! 

The line of descent is:

John Whetstone-Maria Magdalena
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook
William Cook-Elizabeth Brown
Barbara Cook-William A Withers
William H Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants