Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beeks line: John Purdy 1654-1712

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, November 25, 2016

Holbrook line: Stephen Harding Immigrant 1623-1698

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Allen line: Alexis Jackson 1762-1826

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's another happy genealogy dance day!

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, November 18, 2016

Our trip to Ohio, still dancing, part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Oh, what a happy dance! Field trip to Ohio

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

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

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

*Plat of Bellville, Ohio from 1900

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

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

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

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

*Copy of Abraham Hetrick deed to John Wirick,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*A chart of the Ulrich Ruble family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 11, 2016

Harshbarger line:Thomas Allaman, Immirgrant to Virginia

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Beeks line: Anthony Hallman 1671-1759, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Holbrook line: Luke Raven, Immigrant-but when?

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Allen line: Anthony Dorchester 1619-1683 Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is: 

Anthony Dorchester-Martha Chapman
Sarah Dorchester-Joseph Stebbins
Martha Stebbins-Samuel Lamb
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants