Friday, November 17, 2017

Harshbarger line: Bits and pieces from the Emanuel Harshbarger family

Here are some bits and pieces from the life of the Emanuel Harshbarger family, as found on

From the Commercial Mail, Columbia City, Indiana Jan. 11, 1958, in a column that was looking back 50 years:

"The Emanuel Harshbarger family reported they thought they were the county's bread-eating champions.  They baked 738 loaves of bread during 1907, also ate 483 cookies and 106 pies." 

I don't have death dates noted for all of the eight children in this family, but I think some were already gone by then.  Grover Harshbarger was just ready to turn 17, and I suspect he ate like a growing boy. In the 1910 census, just Grover and his brother Logan were listed as living at home.  Daughter Bertha, then 13, was listed in the 1900 census.  So the family that ate all this food wasn't large, unless perhaps Clara sold some of the excess to neighbors or a grocery store. 

Then from the Commercial Mail, May 27,1961, also looking back 50 years:

"Ambrose Keister, Troy township, had a barn raising when a 30x50 foot barn with an L was raised by Emanuel Harshbarger and his special equipment."  I'd love to know how that was done, and what the special equipment was!

And finally, from The Fort wayne Sentinel, of January 13, 1920

"Fire Does Slight Damage.  (Special to the News.) Columbia City, Ind. Jan. 12.--

Fire was discovered in the Emanuel Harshbarger home, two miles north of town, at 9 o.clock yesterday morning, but little damage was done.  it was communicated from a defective chimney in the space between the door and ceiling and it was necessary to chop several holes in the upstairs floor to get at the smouldering blaze.  The family washing was being done and plenty of water was standing in vessels with which to fight the fire, which was finally extinguished by members of the family.  The loss was small and was covered by insurance." 

The common thread I'm seeing here was that this was a hard-working family.  These are the kind of people who made America. 

The line of descent:

Emanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Beeks line: September 17, 1950 A farewell dinner given

I found this gem in the Huntington Herald Press of september 22,1950,  page 4, in a column written by "Miss Barbara Beeks".

"Farewell Dinner Given"

"A farewell dinner was given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Beeks and family Sunday in honor of their son, James Beeks, who left to join the armed forces at Camp Hood, Texas.  Those present were Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Keefer and son, Dewayne, Michigan; Loretta Scott, Lagro:, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Osborn and sons, David and Ronnie, and daughter Dianna, Lee Vought and son, Ronnie; Charles Senkpiel, Mt. Etna; Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Brown and son Bobbie; Vicky Beeks and the honored son.  Supper guests were Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland Harshbarger and sons, Roger and Johnny.  Mr. Beeks served one year in the army at Fort Braggs, N.C. and was discharged last spring. "

Jim's younger siblings, Norman, Donald, Bonnie, and Barbara seem to have all been living at home at this time, so unless they were working they were probably at the gathering too.  Jim was the oldest surviving child of Wilbur and Cleo, and when he came home after his first discharge they must have counted their blessings, never imagining he would be called back and later sent to Korea.

I'm writing this on Veteran's Day although it won't post for a few days.  Sometimes simple stories like this help us realize what our ancestors and relatives went through, and why we honor our service men and women.  There may have been tears; there surely were proud and aching hearts, as Jim left for Texas.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Holbrook line: Quentin Pray 1595-1667 Immigrant

And we have a winner!  Quentin or Quintin Pray is pretty well documented because he got into so much minor trouble.  His court records are fascinating, and because of them, we know quite a bit about him, although of course there are questions.  It's kind of fun to find someone outside the normal "Puritan" culture, who left an interesting story to be told.  I should mention that this information comes from Michael S. Caldwell's tree on rootsweb, as well as additional information found on geni and on Find a Grave.  I have little personal research to add, but I'm glad to be able to write this story, anyway.

Quentin was born August 27,1595 in Chiddingstone, Kent, England.  His father was probably Robert Pray, although I have also seen a Richard Pray listed as his father, with no mention of his mother to be found other than possibly "Marion".  Wikipedia describes Chiddingstone as "a perfect example of a Tudor one street village".  Quentin would have grown up here, under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, in his early childhood. 

We don't know what trade he worked or how he met his wife, Joan Valliance, but they married June 17, 1621 in Mayfield, Sussex, England.  The two villages appear to be about 13 miles apart.   Several of their children were baptized in Frant, which ispartly in Knet and partly in Sussex County. 

Possibly for economic reasons, since we have no evidence of a Puritan leaning, or maybe because the couple was ready for an adventure, they came to America in 1643, on the ship "Ann Cleeve of London".  John Winthrop, Jr had gone to England and arranged for a group of workmen, servants, and materials to come of Massachusetts for the purpose of setting up an ironworks.  Presumably Quentin and family would then have been in debt to Winthrop for their passage, although it is possible that they came as indentured servants.  It would be interesting to find the early papers of the Iron Works Company, to see what any contracts might say. 

Quentin first went to Kittery, Maine, but was soon in Lynn, Massachusetts.  There are references to him as a "fineryman" but I'm unable to determine whether this was a general term for ironworker, or whether this was a specific job within the process. 

Starting in 1647, Quentin and sometimes his wife appeared before the quarterly court of Essex County several times on charges of swearing.  The usual fine was five shillings, and on December 12, 1648, the two were fined 50 shillings, for five oaths.  The reference doesn't say whether this took place during one marital discussion, or whether it was the result of some other dispute.

Quinton also was a witness when Nicholas Pynyon, who may have been a relative, was 'presented"  for killing five children, on the testimony of his (Nicholas's)  wife.  I haven't found the results of this yet, but Nicholas was in the court records later, or possibly it was a son or other family member.

Finally, Quinton on July 11, 1649 was charged with hitting Nicholas Penion with a staff that had a two feet piece of iron on the end of it, breaking Nicholas's head, and for striking Thomas Billington, and for swearing.  For all this, he was fined.  Ironworkers must have had privileges that somehow kept them from the gallows!  Quinton also may have been charged with striking Jno. Dimond, although the date for that isn't clear. 

Sometime in the 1650's, probably about 1651, the Prays moved to Braintree and there he lived out his life.  He was still working as an ironworker and possibly filed bankruptcy in 1653 (not sure whether this was a personal bankruptcy or the failure of the ironworks he was employed by).  In 1664, he sold all his personal property to pay off personal debts, so things had not gone well for Quentin.

He died June 17, 1667 in Braintree.  His wife Joan was given administration of the estate.  The estate was valued at 74 pounds, three shillings.  One interesting item in the inventory was three spinning wheels.  This shows that there were several people living in the home.  One record says that the youngest of possibly as many as 12 children was born at Braintree, which would have made Joan, if this was still the Joan he had married in 1621, a mother at a rather advanced age.  Quentin must have trusted her judgement, to make her the administrator when she still had children at home.

I found no mention of church involvement for Quentin, which may possibly be inferred by his court record  His inventory shows no books, although of course they may have been sold to settle that earlier debt.  There's much we don't know about Quentin, but we know he led a colorful life, he was a hard worker, and he probably provided at least enough, if not generously, for his family.  It will be fun to keep an eye out for more records as I study more in early Massachusetts history.

The line of descent is:

Quinton Pray-Joan Valliance
Richard Pray-Mary
John Pray-Sarah Brown
Mary Pray Richard Brown
Othniel Brown-Deborah Brown
Sarah Brown-Enos Eddy
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Brown Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Lousi Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Yes, there are three separate Brown families in this line.  Two go back to Chad Brown and Elizabeth Sharparowe but the other line doesn't seem to, or at least the connection is far up the tree. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Allen line: Joseph Riley, possible Irishman, Immigrant

This post will be more a collection of ideas than a post of fact.  Please take anything you read here with a grain of salt.  I am trying to do more research to support this post but so far I'm coming up empty, and here is my deadline for writing this post.

I've written an earlier blog post about John Riley, and I think I had that one pretty much straight, but I could be wrong.  Joseph seems, at the present time, to be more in the way of a myth, since I can't find records right now to support what I have finding on line.  I'll post what I have found online here in the hopes that this will give us some clues as to where to look, or perhaps someone will recognize this man and be able to say, "No, he's not your guy, and here's why". 

The first surprising thing is that Joseph seems to have been born on December 12, 1598 in Dublin, Leinster, Ireland.  That is a bit unusual for our family, but stranger things have happened.  His parents may have been Jonathan Riley and Sarah, whose name is given in some places as Deming.  Deming is a good New England name but I'm not sure it's a good Irish name, so there is one of my hesitations with this tree. 

The next "fact" I find about Joseph is that he married Mary Wright on January 23,1624 in Eland, Yorkshire, England.  I am unable to figure out a really good reason that Joseph would have gone from Dublin to Yorkshire to marry, except, possibly, that his Riley grandparents, Daniel and Elizabeth Bist Riley, went from Yorkshire to Dublin.  So there is a slight possibility that he had family in the area.  it's also possible that Daniel and Elizabeth are also not factual. 

It seems that Joseph and Mary arrived in New England in the late 1620s, because supposedly their son Thomas was born in Wethersfield, Hartford Connecticut in 1630.  There's a problem here, however, as Wethersfield wasn't founded until 1822, quite a bit after our ancestor lived.  Also, the trees are showing that Joseph died in Massachusetts, possibly Westfield, Hampden County.  The problem with that is I have looked at those records (Westfield) and there are no Rileys at all listed there prior to, at least, 1700.

Joseph and Mary have been credited with at least five children:  John, Sarah, William, Daniel, and Elizabeth, with John presumably being the oldest and being born in Dublin.  However, I'm not finding records of the births of the children.

I would certainly like to find some documentation for this family. If they are from Dublin, then that makes them quite interesting people in our family.  If they are not from Dublin, where are they from?  And if John's parents aren't even Joseph and Mary, where do we go from here?

Do you see why sometimes it feels like banging one's head against a wall, in trying to verify "information"?  I don't want to mislead anyone into believing that much of anything here has been proven, at least not be me.  Yet, on the chance that this is correct, here we go:

The line of descent may be:

Joseph Riley-Mary Wright
John Riley-Grace Buck
John Riley-Margaret McCraney
Mary Riley-Joseph Ely
Mary Ely-Thomas Stebbins
Ruth Stebbins-Samuel Hitchcock
Margaret Hitchcock-Richard Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, November 3, 2017

Harshbarger line: End of the Harshbarger line?

I sure have a long list of people in the Harshbarger line, in one convoluted fashion or another, whom I can't trace further back.  Some are from Virginia, some from the Maryland and what became West Virginia area, and many were in Pennsylvania in early times. Some came from England, some from  Germany and Switzerland.  This is too wide of a geographic area, too many generations in time, and too expensive for me to possibly be able to find all of these people.  I don't know if I'll ever find any of these ancestors.  But by posting their names and what little I know about them, I am at least honoring them, and leaving bread crumbs for other researchers, perhaps. 

John Gordon, father of Alice who married John Wyatt. Alice was born about 1752.
Anna Jackson born about 1630, wife of William Wyatt of Virginia
Jane widow Curtis, wife of Nicholas Cocke.  She was born about 1627.
wife of Thomas Edmondson  Thomas died 1715 in Essex County, Va.
Susannah Bryant, wife of John Boughan.  She died 1726.
Mary, wife of James Boughan, 1640-1683
Thomasin widow Harper married James Boughan
wife of Thomas Allaman. He lived 1630-1706
Elizabeth wife of John Gregory. She lived 1625-1676.
Ann, wife of Thomas Edmondson, born about 1615 possibly in Ireland
Matthew Farmer 1743-1835, died in Miami County, Ohio and his wife Margaret
Caleb Bennett 1765-1841 died Miami County, Ohio and his wife Ann Catherine Wilson
Joseph Kirk 1754-1830 and his wife Sarah
Daniel Shultz 1730-1820
Magnus Walter and wife Maria Kocher, parents of Catherine Walter
Sarah widow Vetatoe wife of Johann Valentine Geiger.   He lived 1718-1777
Christiana Hedwig Menner 1633-1710, wife of Jacob Friederich Bauer
first wife of Christian Brower. He lived 171-1771.
Anna Este, wife of Hubert Brower.  She lived 1694-1786
Barbara, wife of Daniel Lawall.  He lived 1716-1796.
Christian Bracker, father of Eva Bracker.  She lived 1730-1800.
father of Johann Georg Harter.  Georg lived 1727-1800
Margareth, wife of John Menter.  He lived 1767-1821.
Margaret wife of Leonard Dulibon or Tulipan. He lived  1730-1786
wife of Franz Dulibon or Tulipan. He died Lancaster County, Pa.
Anna Elizabeth, wife of Johann Gebhard Huebschmann.  He lied 1713-1771
Anna Marie Geise, wife of Daniel Kraemer.  She died 1813 in Centre County, Pa.
Elisabeth, wife of Matthias Kraemer  He died  1747
Johann Georg Drach, father of Maria Anna Drach.  She lived 1706-1755.
Anna Barbara, wife of Johann Peter Behney.  he lived 1715-1784.
Maria Otilia Weiler, wofe of Peter Jacob Fehler, born about 1711.

It's possible that some of these people didn't actually come to America.  It's also possible that I've not included people on this list who actually did come, but I don't know enough to make that guess.  I'm thinking of possibly a father for Joseph Kirk and parents for Sarah, for instance.  Also many of these dates are "about" dates, for could be off by a few years.  I have little to go on, and much to learn!

If you can help with any of these people, please contact me.  happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beeks line: Done with the Beeks line?

Of course, I'll never be done writing about this family, or at least learning about them.  However, I've come to a stopping point and any posts I write now will either be of things I've learned from the Huntington newspaper, or I'll post when I find the story of a new Beeks ancestor.  Since some of these people right now are first names only, I don't hold out a lot of hope for locating them, but certainly stranger things have happened.  My criteria for including people on this list is that they at least died in this country.  Some were probably immigrants and some may have been here for several generations, but I just can't trace them. 

Here are the names I'm looking for:

Timothy Martin, born about 1798 died before 1870; married in 1833  in Shelby County, Ohio to
Hannah Tilberry or Tilbury, born about 1810.  They may have died in Wabash County, Indiana.
possibly Eva, the wife of George Philip Serfass.  She would have been born about 1783, maybe.
Sabina, wife of Frederick Serfass, born about 1760.
Felix Weiss about 1720-1779 died in Hamilton Township, Monroe County, Pa.
Anna Maria van Buskirk, his wife, born about 1726
George Featheringill 1710-1767-died in Frederick County, Va.
possibly Elizabeth Marie Settlemire, his wife
Hannah, wife of William Lehew  about 1745-1810, died in wythe County, Va.
Tabitha, widow Underwood, wife of William Hunt, early Virginia
Elizabeth, wife of Hugh Donaghe
Isabel Hamilton, wife of John Donaghe
Thomas Hicklin, 1689-1772
Richard Bodkin 1710-1773
Elizabeth, wife of Richard Bodkin
Barbara, wife of Johan  Jacob Bentz
Rebecca Caroline, wife of Christian Funk
Polly Carter 1805-1880, Lagro, Wabash County, Indiana, wife of John Beeks
Elizabeth, wife of Johann Gottfried Neimrich 
Johann Gottfired Neimrich
possibly John Barnes and his possible wife Elizabeth, parents of Catherine Barnes

As you can see, for most of these people I have little to go on.  However, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  They also ask for help, which is what I'm doing now.  Can you help me learn the stories of any of these people, and possibly their parents? 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Holbrook line: John Sheldon, Immigrant

This is another of those bad news/good news posts.  The good news is that quite a lot is known about John Sheldon after he arrived in Rhode Island.  The bad news is that nothing is known of his life prior to that time.  Is the glass half full, or half empty?

William Sheldon has been suggested as the father of John, but that isn't proven to my satisfaction so it's just as well to say his parents are unknown.  He is believed to have been born somewhere in Warwickshire, England, about 1630 but again, I've not seen records to support that, and the Sheldon Family Association only lists England and 1628.

So, John Sheldon's first 25 years are a mystery.  He was a tanner by trade, so possibly that was his father's occupation, too.  Or he could have been apprenticed to learn the trade from some other family member or even town resident, if we only knew what town and on which side of the ocean we should be looking.

The first official record of him has him on September 9, 1654, in the town of Providence, Rhode Island,  "falling on Hugh Benett in the night".  There is no explanation for this.  John appeared before the Town Deputies and acknowledged whatever it was that he had done, Hugh Benett declared himself satisfied, as did the town, and that was the end of that episode.

There are several records of land acquisitions and sales beginning on February 12 ,1660, when John bought land from Zachary Rhodes, near the dwelling house of William Carpenter.  William Carpenter was his bride's uncle.  John married Joan Vincent March 26, 1660, who was the daughter of Thomas Vincent and Fridiswide Carpenter.  I found it interesting that the intentions were made at a town meeting, not a church meeting, of Providence Settlement and Providence Plantation.  So did the Sheldons not attend a church?  Quakers and Baptists were common in Rhode Island, but so were "free thinkers".  John and Joan had at least five children. 

He was on a petit juror in 1672, but other than that his "sightings" are mostly to do with land transfers that I am not quite following.  If you  want to read the details, they are on the Randall and Allied Families tree at Rootsweb, which I got to just by googling "John Sheldon 1630".

By 1708, Joan had died and John was in his old age and apparently needed care.  He signed an agreement with his son Nehemiah, in which all of his personal estate was given to Nehemiah and Nehemiah in return promised to care for him as a dutiful child should.  He died September 2, 1708 at Kingston, Washington County, Rhode Island. 

There is much I'd like to know about John, particularly his early years and his origin, but also his religion, if any, and  how he practiced his occupation.  I'd also like to know what he thought about some of our more famous Rhode Island ancestors, who lived when he lived, such as Roger Williams.   I would also like to know what John and family did during King Philip's War.  Did they leave?  Where did they go?  Did John serve in the military?  There is still more to the story, if we could just find it!

The line of descent is:

John Sheldon-Joan Vincent
Timothy Sheldon-Sarah Balcom
Martha Sheldon-Thomas Mathewson
Deborah Mathewson-Joseph Winsor
Lillis Winsor-Nathan Paine
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Allen line, or not? Thomas Harris 1580-1634

I'm sticking my neck out here, because nothing I'm finding supports my tree that says that Rachel Harris, who married Thomas Starr, is the daughter of this Thomas Harris.  So we may or may not be related to this man.  Thomas Starr was from Canterbury, Kent, England and Thomas Harris is from Hatherup, Gloucester, England, so we need to find a reason and a way for the two to meet before we set this branch of the tree firmly in place.  It may well be that there will be a better candidate found for Rachel's parents, and that would be fine with me. 

However, in case this Thomas Harris is the right person, and because he came with the Winthrop Fleet and is therefore automatically interesting (to me, at least), I'll give the bare facts about him, mostly as researched by Robert Charles Anderson in The Great Migration Begins.  Thomas was the son of William amd Agnes Mason Harris, and was born at Hatherup, Gloucester, England, about 1580.  He married Elizabeth, (most sites, but not Anderson, say her name was Hills) sinetime before 1613, as children started arriving at that time.  Six children were noted in a will by Harris's nephew in 1639, but Rachel wasn't left a bequest.  There could be reasons for that, but nevertheless it is worth considering.  Known children of our couple are Anna, John, Thomas, William, Anthony and Daniel.  According to the approximate birth dates, there would have been time for a child named Rachel to have been born between Anna and John.  However, it seems that we have no definite birth dates for any of the children. or for Eliabeth, so this is almost just speculation. 

As mentioned, the Harris's came to New England in 1630, with the Winthrop fleet.  For whatever reason, whether political, familial, or religious, Thomas's name is listed as Thomas Harris alias Williams, and he continued to use that name, Harris alias Williams, for some time in the New World.  The family settled at Winnissimmet, later known as Chelsea and now part of Boston.  In 1630, shortly after arrival at Massachusetts Bay Colony, he requested freemanship which was granted as Thomas Williams alias Harris in 1631.  That same year he was granted the authority to set up a ferry to run between Winnissimmit and Charlton, and also from Winnissimmet to Boston, with fees sets by the authorities. 

We don't know how long this was actually in operation under Harris's watch, because by 1634 his widow had remarried and her new husband had control of the ferry.  (The ferry stayed in operation until 1917).  Elizabeth lived until February 16,1669/70, and was either 83 or 93 when she died.  We can guess that Thomas may have had an accident, or drowned, or succumbed to one or another of the illnesses that killed so many early pioneers.  We will likely never know that story, and we may not ever know whether Rachel was truly his daughter. 

If he is our ancestor, here is the line of descent:

Thomas Harris-Elizabeth Hills
Rachel Harris-Thomas Starr
Samuel Starr-Hannah Brewster
Thomas Starr-Mary Morgan
Thomas Starr-Jerusha Street
John Starr-Mary Sharp
John Starr-Betsy Havens
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Their descendants

If someone knows whether or not Rachel Harris's father is Thomas, and whether or not this is the correct Thomas, I sure would like to know about it!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Harshbarger line: Done with the Withers family?

Tuesday I wrote a blog post about the end of the line, opportunities for discovery brick wall people in my husband's maternal grandmother's line.  Today I'm writing about the same sort of people in his paternal grandmother's line.  There aren't as many people that I'm missing, because my criteria is that I just want to get the family back across the ocean.  Many people in this line came to America in the 1730-1755 time period (a few earlier), so that doesn't include as many generations as did the Aldridge line. 

From what I can tell of the people I do know about, these folks were mostly from Germany and Switzerland.  I don't believe any of them were wealthy, or they would have left their footprints in the form of paperwork in more places than we can find them.  I envision them as being hard working, good folks, devout Christians whatever religion they were, and I'm proud that they are the ancestors of my children and grandchildren.

I just wish I could find some information about these missing people:

Elizabeth Miller, 1789-1869, married to Joseph Burkholder
possibly Adam Burkhalter and Anna Mellinger, born about 1700-1705  I'm not sure whether or not
     they came to America
possibly Johannes Gingerich and Anna G Sherk, about 1705-1771, again not sure if they came to
Anna Margaret Conradt, wife of Johannes Conrad Reber, born about 1750
possibly Johann Gerber and Maria Gertraut Bener, born 1695-unsure if they came to America
Anna Maria Lauber born December 20, 1793 married Hans Jacob Kemmerli
Susanna, wife of Peter Shollenberger, born May 4, 1777 died November 11, 1849
Magdalena Kunkle born about 1725 married to Johann Caspar Schneer
Anna Eva Matte about 1700-abt 1772, wife of Wendel Essig
Joseph Withers born 1804 married to Mary Ann Gearhart born about 1812 (need parents for both of
Christina wife of Sebastian Kestenholtz, born about 1736
Christina Emmert born 1728, wife of Mathias Bruder
Mary Magdalea, wife of John Whetstone, November 1776 January 10, 1852
Anna Gerber wife of Jacob Maag  1703-1767
Adam Koch  and Catherine Drucker born 1735-died 1807 and 18817-need parents for both
Elizabeth Leitzee born about 1755, wife of Adam Koch Jr. 

That's only 21 people missing in this line, plus of course several generations of parents for some of them.  These, along with the list from Tuesday and several similar posts I'll be doing, will be my guideposts for researching in the future.  If I learn who these people, and their parents, are, I will be sharing, and I will be happy.  I would be delirious with joy if someone contacts me and helps me with any one of these folks! 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Beeks line: Done with the Aldridge family?

I thought I'd make a list of all my dead ends/brick walls/opportunities to find for the Beeks family, and I started with Cleo Aldridge.  That list along gives me over 50 names to work, just for people here in the US or who may have come to America, since for some of these people I have no date or location for a death and their children were definitely here . Some are first names only, or unknown wives of so and so.  Their roots are in England, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and perhaps other places.  Some were born as recently as 1797, many of the Germans were born in the first half of the 1700's, and some go back to the earliest colonial times. 

Better genealogists, with more money or/and time than I have, have worked diligently to find these people.  That doesn't mean that I won't be successful on any of these remaining folks, but it does mean that new records will have to be made available, or I will have to learn more about existing old records, before I can make much progress, and before I can write any more posts in this line.  

This post, then, is a salute to the following people in the line of Gretta Cleo Aldridge Beeks, the anonymous people who made America, who lived good lives and raised the generations that raised the generation that eventually settled in Andrews, Indiana.  In no particular order, they are:

Anna, wife of Solomon Rees
Hugh Humphriey 1670-1748
Elizabeth Lowry, wife of Hugh Humphrey
Mary McMillan 1650-1699, wife of Evan ap Owen
Philip Price died  about 1720
Elinor Lloyd, wife of David Rees
Thomas Scattergood 1600-1697
Elinor Peers, wife of Samuel Burgess
Catherine Anne Kynge, wife of William Edward Moone
Mary Taylor, 1675-1772 wife of Thomas Butterfield
John Butterfield and wife
Elinor Lewis, wife of Price Rhys
Maria Salame, wife of Anthony Hallman born about 1675
William Booth, father of Charles Booth born about 1655???
Agnes Jevan, wife of Samuel Jones
Randall Malin 1649-1730 and Elizabeth his wife
Gerdrew, wife of George Jacob possibly born about 1680
Hans Peter (Von) Rubel 1684-1750 and Anna Katrina Mueller
Patience Wooten 1622-1710  wife of John Walter
William Holloway 1586-1655 and unknown wife
wife of George Allen, possibly Katherine Watts but maybe not
Thomas Smith, father of the John Smith who married Susanna Hinckley   Did he come to America?
Elizabeth Trull, 1585-1666, wife of John Pers
Elspeth, wife of John Thomas Bloomfield
Jeremiah Folsom, probably my most wanted of all on this list about 1797 to about 1831
Elizabeth, 1752-1836 wife of John William Teague
Peter Tague 1725-1797 and wife Elizabeth
Stryntje Jacobs 1620-1699
Francois Sohier 1595-1663
Elizabeth Drabbe, 1660-1724 wife of Joost De Baun
Jason Wheeler 1765-1843 and Patience, his wife, also very high on my most wanted list. 
Parnell Lakin, 1705-1761, wife of George III Fee
Rebecca Parnell 1636-1715, wife of George I Fee
Rebecca wife of William Jump born about 1635???
George Fee born 1650
wife of William Lee was she Ann Granger?  possibly born about 1675
William Lee also possibly born about 1675
Elizabeth Soper, 1747-1815, wife of Jacob Aldridge
Eleanor Watkins 1715-1761, wife of John Aldridge
Mary wife of John Purdy. possibly born about 1657
Nicholas Aldridge and wife Margaret, born about 1629-1632

Whew!  To look at this list, you would think that I've not found much at all on the Aldridge family.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I've written many posts about this family and have been delighted to learn about all of them.  But a true blue family historian always wants more!  I will keep this list and work on it from time to time.  Maybe there are answers out there that I haven't yet found.  If so, I will be posting more brief sketches, as I find them. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Holbrook line: John Warren 1585-1667 Immigrant

Oh, there is nothing like a documented immigrant ancestor!  It's exciting to find one, it's exciting to find a little bit of his story, but it's frustrating too because for almost every fact fount I have more questions.  Our John has at least three more generations in back of him in England, so it's fun to note his background, instead of having guesses and suppositions. 

John Warren was born shortly before August 1, 1585 (baptismal date) in Nayland, Suffolk, England.  His parents were John and Elizabeth Scarlett Warren.  John the father was a cardmaker.  Given his location and the amount of wool that was produced there, I believe he made equipment for carding wool, not playing cards.  The town is a small one, on the border with Sussex, and in the 1600's was a center for Puritan dissenters, at least for a time. 

John's mother died about March 27, 1602.3 and his father then married Rose, who was buried August 11, 1610, and then married Rose Riddlesdale, who outlived him.  John the father died in 1613, when our John was 28 years old.  Our John was also a cardmaker, and earned enough of a living to marry  Margaret who has been identified as Margaret Bayly  They had at least seven children.  The first three died as infants or young children, but when John and Margaret came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, they had their four youngest children with them.

John was already in trouble with the Church of England in 1629, when he failed to kneel for communion.  Since there were several other men who also failed to do this, it is not likely that he had bad knees  As Puritans, the men had decided that kneeling to receive communion was not appropriate.  This seemed like a good time to leave England . The family came with Winthrop's fleet in 1630, but I'm not able to confirm whether or not they came on the Arbella, the flag ship of the fleet.  At any rate, they sailed with a number of good Puritans.

John was made a freeman at Watertown, Massachusetts, on May 18, 1631, although he may not have been a member of the church.  Church attendance was mandatory and he was fined several times for frequent absences from service.  There is some speculation that although he immigrated with and lived with Puritans, he was actually a Baptist at heart, or possibly a Quaker.  If he had admitted either of these leanings publicly, he would have been exiled, and perhaps he was already feeling his age. 

John prospered in his new country, acquiring significant tracts of land by grant and it's possible he also purchased some property.  He was a selectman for at least two terms and also served on committees to lay out highways and to divide land, jobs meant for wise people.  He still owned 188 acres of land in various parcels when he died.  His real estate was then valued at 123 pounds and the rest of the estate was valued at a little over 47 pounds.  His inventory still included a musket, sword, and halberd.  These items were required of all men in case of attack, although by his death on December 13, 1667, he was 82 years old and would likely have been excused from military duty for some years.  Margaret had died 5 years before, on November 6, 1662. 

These are the basic facts about John Warren.  I'd love to know more about him, especially his religious beliefs, and how he supported his family once he arrived in America.  Surely there wasn't that much of a demand for cardmakers in the early years of the colony.  There were books in his inventory so we can assume he was literate.  What was the source of his education?  As I said, the information we do have is wonderful but I'd like to know more!

The line of descent is:

John Warren-Margaret possibly Bayly
John Warren-Deborah Wilson
Mary Warren-John Burr
Mary Burr-Thomas Marsh
Deborah Marsh-Isaac Lazell
Deborah Lazell-Levi Rockwood
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Allen line: Frances Mauldin Holbrook line: Francis Mauldin 1600-1644

I'm counting this ancestor, my 8th and 9th great grandfather, under the Allen line, simply because I have very few Allen ancestors left to write about  However, he is also an ancestor in our Holbrook line, which technically means, I think, that we who have both Allen and Holbrook lines are our own cousins.  Hmmm...It's a good thing that's a long way back!

Of course frustratingly little is known of our double ancestor, Francis Mauldin.  He is said to have been born in 1600 in London, England, the son of another Francis Mauldin.  He emigrated from England to New Norfolk County, Virginia, with his wife, believed to be Katherine Sutton, and their daughter Margaret.  Katherine was probably dead by 637 or 1638, and Francis then married Grace Bennett, and had at least one child, grace, with her.  There may have been more children with Grace, and the mother of son Francis Mauldin is, as of this writing, not identified, at least not to my satisfaction. 

Francis, his wife Katherine and daughter Margaret came to Virginia in 1634.  He paid passage for his wife plus six other persons, some or all of whom would have worked for him as indentured servants until their labor paid francis for the cost of the passage, plus completing whatever the other terms of the indentureship were.  The length of any indentureship would have depended partly on the age of the men and partly on what skills they brought with them.  Francis initially would have had help in settling and farming the 450 acres he received as headrights for his family and the other six men.  This land was on the north side of the Nansemod River.  .

After the loss of his first wife, he married Grace Bennett and in just a few years, imported two servants, and received headrights for them.  It is thought that he also acquired additional land before his death.  Given the locations of the land, it is likely that at least one of the crops Mauldin raised was tobacco.  

This is what is known of Francis Mauldin, the first of the name in America.  His son Francis Mauldin became a carpenter, and his widow went to Maryland about 1649, possibly in search of religious freedom. 

Our lines of descent are:

Allen line:

Francis Mauldin-Katherine probably Sutton
Margaret Mauldin-Samuel Lane
Dutton Lane-Pretitia Tydings
Samuel Lane-Mary Jane Corbin
Lambert Lane Nancy 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

The Holbrook line is

Francis Mauldin-Grace Bennett
Francis Mauldin-Elizabeth Mackall
Ann Maulden-William Amos
James Amos-Hannah Clarke
Benjamin Amos-Sarah Bussey
Elizabeth Amos-Robert Amos
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Friday, October 6, 2017

Harshbarger line: Edward Harshbarger, 1917-1976, Cousin

For my last Harshbarger post, I wrote about Robert D. Harshbarger, son of Logan and Chestia Kemery Harshbarger, and World War II veteran.  Today I'm writing about Edward Leroy Harshbarger, also the son of Logan and Chestia Kemery Harshbarger, and also a World War II veteran.  . 

Ed, as he is referred to in various newspaper articles, was born October 12, 1917.  He was the second and last of the Harshbarger children, as far as I know.  (It's possible one or more were born and died between the censuses and I haven't researched that possibility, so I want to leave that open for now).

No two children are alike, and Ed was born late enough that the Great Depression may have affected him more.  In 1930, he was living with his parents but in the 1940 census, when he was about 22, he was a boarder in the home of Stella M. Grunfeld, who was just three years older than she was. This was in Richland Township, Whitley County, Indiana. She was a factory worker and her was a truck driver, although in 1939 neither had received much income, she $70 and he nothing.  Ed had completed just the seventh grade in school, so he dropped out sometime after the 1930 census.  We don't know whether school was difficult for him or whether he was needed on the family farm. 

The next notice we have of Ed is that he has enlisted in the Army, on March  3, 1943.  Interestingly, his enlistment city is listed as Camp Perry Lacarne, Ohio.  I'm not sure of the chronology here but Camp Perry was a prisoner of war camp for German POWs.  He is listed as having a grammar school education, and in civilian life had an unskilled occupation in manufacture of furniture, so I'm not sure whether there's any connection between the job and the location or not.  By this time, he was married.  His height is listed as 86, which if this is correct and the measurement was in inches, would have made himm over 7 foot tall.  I rather think I' m not interpreting this correctly, because his weight is given as 103, presumably pounds.  I'm thinking he would have been as small man. 

There is much about his military life that I don't know.  He served in the European theater as an auto mechanic, initially in England and then seems, based on his battles, to have been in Northern France, the Ardennes, and Rhineland.  He has the Good Conduct Medal and others as well.  He was discharged, as a corporal, on October 22, 1945. 

I don't know much about Ed's life after he returned to the civilian world.  There is an April 1963 notice in the Columbia City, Indiana Commercial Mail that "Mr. and Mrs. Orris Stump and Mrs. Donald Heck were Sunday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Harshbarger and son.  In the afternoon, they went to Columbia City to the Hillcrest Nursing home and visited with Mrs. Chauncey Kemery, mother of Mrs. Harshbarger.  I know the name of the son, but I don't know if he is still living so I am not giving it here. I haven't yet figured out how or if Stella Grunfeld was the Stella who married Ed, and if she was, how she connected to Mrs. Chauncey Kemery. Mrs. Chauncey Kemery in 1963 was the former Susan Reed James.  So where did the Grunfeld or Greenfield name come from?  Mysteries still remain, of course.  . 

The last information I have is about Ed's death.  Sadly, he died less than six months after his brother Robert was hit and killed by a vehicle.  Ed died of lung cancer on July 5, 1976.  His wife's maiden name here is given as Stella Greenfield, which may be the same as the Stella Grunfeld he was lodging with in 1940.  He had been employed as a factory employee in auto parts production, and his illness had lasted about 10 months. Logan and Chestia were left without children in their old age. 

I sometimes wonder about these cousins  I've found reference in the Huntington, Indiana Herald-Press that Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland Harshbarger had visited with Mr and Mrs Robert Harshbarger, either in Whitley County or at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Grover Harshbarger. I've not yet found anything indicating a social relationship with Ed and Stella, which could be for any number of reasons.  But I sure would have liked to have heard these three men, Cleve, Bob, and Ed, discussing their World War II experiences.  Hearing about the different ways they served their country, and the things and places they had seen, would have been a great addition to our family history. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Beeks line: Thomas Page 1595-1676

I'm going to do a dangerous thing here, and write a little bit about an ancestor who hasn't been researched much.  At least, he hasn't been researched enough for the genealogy world to come to a consensus about who he is. 

Still, he's a good reminder that the Beeks family is made up of so many different kinds of people, who came from so many different places and so many different walks of life . Since there are still brick walls there may yet be more surprises for this family.  Today I'm writing about Thomas Page, who was born about 1595 in England and died March 10, 1676 in Rappahannock County.  I do have notes in my files as to the possible identity of his parents, but I am not sure enough about them to list them here.  Likewise, I have a name for a wife but she was about 30 years younger than he was so while it's possible that his wife was Elizabeth Allen, she surely would not have been his first wife since daughter Mary was born just 6 years after Elizabeth.  I've found a reference that says his wife was Elizabeth Finch Allen, and was born in 1607, but again, I'm not finding the documents or supporting evidence. 

What we do think we know about Thomas is that he came to America in 1650.  THe record I'm looking at sas he was "granted" land several times.  Only one of those times was the number of acres a nice, even number that would indicate possibly he had head rights for bringing 12 persons from home, or elsewhere, to work in the colony.  Also one listing includes 600 acres but is dated 12 plus years after Thomas died.  Either this land went to a different Thomas Page, or it could be that it was a delayed entry kind of thing.  The land he acquired included a parcel of 281 1/2 acres on the south side of Rappa River, another 600 acres on the south side of Rappahannock River, another 3075 acres in the same general location, and then 783 acres, and finally a second entry for 600 acres.  His will is said to be missing so we don't know how he disposed of it, or what other assets he may have had.

I have found reference to him as a colonel but I'm not sure what the basis for that is.  His death date is given as March 10, 1676 in Rappahannock County, and that's as much as most of the genealogy world seems to know about Thomas.  We know from earlier reading that if this is one Thomas Page who owned all this land, he must have been a tobacco farmer and probably a fairly well to do man at that.  The strong suspicion is that he would have had slaves or indentured servants, or both, to work the fields.  His home may have been fairly substantial, for the time and place, and he would most likely have belonged to the Church of England, like most of his neighbors. 

Thomas's heritage interests me, and the heritage he left his family is interesting, too.  Virginia planters were not at all common in the Beeks family, especially those who had a military rank like "Colonel".  I hope we can find more information about him!

The line of descent is believed to be

Thomas Page-Elizabeth
Mary Page-Valentine Allen
William Allen-Mary Hunt
Francis Allen-Peter Lehew
William Lehew-Hannah
Mary Lehew-William Featheringill
Elizabeth Featheringill-George Botkin
Charity Botkin-Jackson Wise
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Eliabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, September 29, 2017

Holbrook line: Ray Holbrook 1915-1944

I'm not sure why I've waited so long to write about my uncle . Perhaps it was because I knew that I only knew part of his story.  I have just learned enough now that I feel compelled to share this, because it's important for our family (and anyone else who is reading this) to know about our hero. My mother always called him a hero, and told us he died at Anzio in Italy, but that is all that I really knew about him before I started this genealogy quest .

I had some information in my file about Ray but didn't understand some of it, and it didn't give the full story.  This isn't really the full story, but it's a condensed version.  Ray was born to Loren and Etta Stanard Holbrook November 4, 1915 in Colville, Washington.  He was the oldest of four children.  About a year after the birth of his youngest sister, his parents separated and then divorced in 1933.  He and his brother Howard were raised largely by their father, until high school.  Their parents wanted them to have a better education than was available in the Colville area, and besides, the family story is that they were getting to be a little bit rowdy.  They were sent to live with their school teacher aunt, Elizabeth Stanard, and attended Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington.  Ray graduated in 1934.

In the 1940 census, he was listed as living with his father, who operated a saw mill.  Ray's occupation was listed as laborer and, although the census doesn't state this, he was working for his father.  Maybe he thought it was time to move on, because Ray talked to an Army recruiter and he enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 11, 1940 at Ft. George Wright, Washington.  He was soon sent to Ft Lewis, Washington for training.  He had enlisted for a one year term and was assigned to the infantry.  I've not found records of when he re-enlisted, but he must have done so.  Here's where it starts to get interesting. 

Somewhere, somehow, after the outbreak of World War II, he was made aware of an opportunity to join a new unit of men.  The unit was to be made up entirely of men, both American and Canadian,  who had volunteered for the job.  They were especially looking for men who were lumberjacks, raftsmen, and skiers, among others.  The particular component that was to bind the men together was that these people all loved adventure.  They were willing to accept jobs that they knew were dangerous, and of course, they were all committed to their country.  These were men who would soon learn to fight and sustain themselves behind enemy lines in mountains and in winter conditions.  Their initial training took place at Fort William Henry Harrison near Helena, Montana.  By the time the men left this base, they had learned the basics of paratrooping, of winter survival, of long marches, of night time operations, and of other things we don't really want to know about. 

By now, the unit officially had a name, the First Special Service Force.  One of their nicknames became "The Devil's Brigade."  Their first assignment was to the Aleutian Islands, specifically Kiska.  They landed on August 15, 1943, only to discover that the Japanese had withdrawn their forces two weeks earlier.  They stayed only a few weeks and  when they returned the men were given leave.  I don't know if Ray went home or not.  If he did, this would have been his last time to see his family.  There was more training, near San Francisco, Sacramento, Vermont, and Virginia.  By the time the FSSF left for Europe, the war had been in progress for almost two years, and these soldiers were some of the best of the best in terms of the kinds and depth of training they had had.  There were 1800 combat men, plus support crew such as cooks, medics and Headquarters.  What these 1800 men would accomplish, before D-Day, was so extraordinary that Congress in 2013 voted the unit a Congressional Gold Medal, which was actually awarded in 2015. 

The men landed at Morocco and went to Oran, Algiers, but that was just a staging point for their ultimate destination of Italy.  Before the battle of Anzio, these men were the spearpoint of an attack on the German fortress at Monte La Difensa.  Within days of their arrival, they planned the attack on this mountain, choosing the hardest route to the top because they thought the Germans would not be expecting the there.  This mountain overlooked the entire Rome valley, and control of this mountain and one other meant the invasion army to come would have a clear route to Rome.  Ray's company, the first company of the second regiment (1-2) was at the forefront of this attack.  It was begun in the night time hours of December 2, and Ray, in his first real battle, was wounded during this attack.  I don't know anything about his wound at this point but I do know his mother was notified, and he was awarded the Purple Heart.  Ray was apparently out of commission for some time but he didn't lose touch with his unit and eventually rejoined them. 

The next we know of Ray is the sad news, in newspaper articles and in a letter to his mother, of Ray's death on March 30, 1944.  He was on a patrol in front of the lines (this was after the large landing at the Anzio beach head) and the men encountered a mine field . A buddy set a mine off and was badly injured.  While attempting to help the wonded man, Ray set off another mine which exploded and caused his death.  Other members of the patrol said that he could probably have saved himself by throwing himself to one side, but made no effort to do so, thereby saving his comrades who were just a short distance away. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for his bravery. 

The First Special Service Force went on, without Ray and without many others who were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner during the life of the force.  They were in action for about a year, in Italy and during the invasion of southern France, and during this time the unit suffered an attrition rate of about 600%.  That means the original 1800 men were replaced 6 times, to keep the unit at strength.  Of course there were some survivors from the original group, but I've not yet found a number to give.  I do know there is one gentleman still alive, who is 108 years old.  The movie "The Devil's Brigade", (1968) tells a fictionalized version of the battle of Monte la Defensa, and I have ordered a copy.   

We need to know these stories, of how young men from all over this country and other countries, came together to fight for freedom.  We need to tell these stories to the next generation, and the next, and the next.  These men, including Ray, were heroes and worthy of remembrance and honor 

Note:  Some of the information in this post was provided by Lynda Beacon, who administers the Facebook page for the First Special Service Force.  If I have mis-stated anything that she told me, I apologize.  Much of what I've said here comes from personal research, information available on the internet, and letters that I have in my possession.  Together, it is all starting to make sense, but I would love to have still more information, especially regarding Ray's injuries and recovery from his wound(s) and when he returned to duty.  That information may be available, but I will have to save up quite a few pennies to obtain it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Allen line: William Buck, Immigrant 1585-1657

I've rarely written about a person with so much conflicting information.  On the one hand, we have Robert Charles Anderson, world famous Great Migration researcher, saying no one knows his parents, or his wife, and that William had only one known son.  On the other hand, we have other researchers who give William's parents, two wifes, and up to 17 children.  I've also found discrepancies, large ones, in his birthdate. 

In a nutshell, this is what is absolutely certain about William:  He came to New England from England with his son Roger, on the ship Increase, with his son Roger.  He was a plowright (a maker and probably repairman of plows) and he died January 24, 1657/58. 

That would be the end of this blogpost, except I also want to share what else may be true about William.  From a book published in 1799 called History of Worcestershire, England by Nash, he is referred to as esquire, and is said to have been the son and heir of Nathaniel, son of John, and is also said to have marred about 1606 Margaret Good, daughter and heir of Michael Good of Sussex, Lord of the castle of Frome, Somersetshire. My analysis of this is that it is doubtful, because of the way William made his living in Massachusetts Bay Colony and because he never joined a church or became a freeman.  Even the land he was given was on the outskirts of town, indicating that perhaps he lived on the edge of society.

I've also seen his parents listed as James Buck and Elizabeth Sherman, This connection goes with a birth location of Padbury, Cambridgeshire, England, and makes a little more sense historically, except that I can find no documentation for this information.  So as far as I can determine, the jury is still out.

William Buck is also said to have married Margaret Neave, September 7, 1618 in Andersby, Lincolnshire, England.  This would be late for a first marriage, but it is entirely possible that he had a first wife.  Under this theory, Roger, the known descendant, was born in 1617 and his mother, William's wife, died shortly after.  William is credited with as many as eight children with Margaret, including our ancestor, Grace.  But again, I can find no record of her birth, nor of any of her siblings. 

It is fun to think of William living as a plowright, next to a Winthrop farm . Perhaps he knew some of the Winthrop family, in a business sense, anyway.  Living in Cambridge, he would have known some of our other Allen and Holbrook ancestors, and helped them make a living on their farms. 

I am very open, even anxious, to learn more about William Buck.  Was he in fact the father of our Grace, and was he married to Margaret Neave?  I'd love to find his family!

The line of descent would be:

William Buck-possibly Margaret Neave
Grace Buck-John Riley
John Riley-Margaret McCraney
Mary Riley-Joseph Ely
Mary Ely Thomas Stebbins
Ruth Stebbins-Samuel Hitchcock
Margaret Hitchcock-Richard Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, September 22, 2017

Harshbarger line: Robert D. Harshbarger, cousin

OK, raise your hand if you've ever heard of cousin Bob (at least, I suppose he went by the name of Bob).  He and his brother Edward, sons of Logan and Chestia Kemery Harshbarger, were total surprises to me,  and to my husband, who remembers vividly visiting Logan and "Chesty" in their golden years.

Robert, as it turns out, was born December 9, 1915 in Whitley County, Indiana. He was the first of only two children.  He apparently did well in school because in 1936 he was selected to be Indiana's representative in the midwest sectional contest in farm accounting.  He qualified for the $100 merchandise certificate from the International Harvester Co by winning the state contest.  So he was doing well at what he did.  In 1940 the census lists him as a farm laborer by occupation, an unpaid family worker by class of worker, with 0 income.  He had completed his fourth year of high school, most likely in 1933 or 34.  But perhaps it was the Great Depression that had kept him from finding the career he probably wanted to have.

Robert had one answer for that.  He joined the US Army on March 18, 1941 and reported to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana.  He was still single.  In the service, he was a medical technician and apparently a very good one.  He was in the States for three years, eight months, and  days, and was given credit for 1 year, 1 month, and 11 days of overseas service, which included transportation time.  He actually served on the island of Luzon in the Philippines from December 1, 1944 to December 1, 1945.  Actually, the battle for Luzon didn't begin until January 9, 1945 so he was probably in a staging area somewhere, until the battle began.  He must have seen many truly terrible, horrific scenes, whether he was in the field or in a hospital setting.  He earned a total of 4 Bronze stars while he was in the service, was promoted to corporal, and earned a number of medals and ribbons for his service.  He was separated from the service on January 19, 1946 after having served his country for almost five years.

I'm not sure what his life looked like for the next few years.  He married but I haven't determined the maiden name of his wife.  Her first name was Aileen, and this wasn't her first marriage because a woman identified as the daughter of Mrs. Robert Harshbarger was married in 1953.  This indicates that Aileen may have been older than Robert,

The next information I located was confusing, because Citizens State Bank was advertising household items, including what sounds like most of the furnishings for a home, and a 1951  Studebaker, at a public auction, as the guardian of Robert D. Harshbarger.  This was on December 5, 1956.  I found in the court order books that Robert had been judged insane early in the year and sent to the Norman Beatty Memorial Hospital for the criminally insane.  I didn't look at the insanity filings, but I know it involved the sheriff of Allen County and the VA hospital there, so the problem may have been an ongoing one.  Given what Robert had likely seen at Luzon, perhaps now his illness would be recognized as PTSD, but that was not a diagnosis at the time.  He spent about 2 1/2 years in the hospital, being declared sane in 1958 and having his full civil rights restored.  Life still didn't go well for Robert, as his wife filed for divorce in late 1959 and the divorce was finalized in 1960.

The next thing we hear about Robert is that he has died.  On January 20,1976, he was walking on Highway 205 in Thorncreek township near his home, when he was hit by a driver who didn't see him and didn't have tie to stop.  Death came within minutes.  The last years were a sad ending for a boy who had accounting skills, who had served his country for almost five years, who had married with all the hopes and dreams that young men had, and then had lost control of his life.  His parents must have celebrated and suffered right along with him. 

I'm proud to honor Robert Dell Harshbarger for this service to his country, and to introduce him to his extended Harshbarger family. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beeks line: Hugh Donaghe, dates unclear, Immigrant

Hugh Dunaghe or Donaho is the last Beeks ancestor I have on the family tree.  I hope I can find more ancestors  to write about, and I hope I can find more about this man than I have right now.  The information I have is sketchy, but interesting. 

As you might guess, Hugh's last name, Donaghe, or Donaho, seems to indicate an Irish origin.  The sketchy and undocumented information that I have says that Hugh was born about 1680, In Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland . Kilkeel is a small town on the east coast of Northern Ireland, and their principal industry is fishing.  I'm not sure whether that fits with what is known about our Hugh, but of course there would have been other occupations, too, for someone had to feed and clothe the fishermen of the time. 

He is believed to have married someone named Elizabeth about 1700, possibly in Chester County, Pennsylvania, about 1700, shortly before his father John died in 1705.  The location for John's death is given as Virginia, but again, that seems very sketchy.  The only child of Hugh and Elizabeth that I can locate is Dianna, who married Thomas Hicklin in about 1723.  So Dianna would have been born about the turn of the 18th century. 

I suspect that Hugh and Elizabeth had at least one other child, a son named Hugh.  There are records in Augusta County, Virginia referring to a Hugh Donague, and that Hugh died in 1773.  I suspect that this record is not for our Hugh, and I suspect that military records for Thomas and Charles Donaho, as early as the 1740s in Virginia, may also belong to sons or other relatives of this man. 

Land records as late as 1774 mention Hugh.  If this is our Hugh, he had land, 277 acres on "the south side of the North RIver of Shando".  It's possible that the deed wasn't filed until after Hugh's death, because up to that point there had been no need to file a deed.  There is also a record of Hugh witnessing a land deed several years after our Hugh's death, so it seems that whether or not they were father and son, they were surely two different people.  Perhaps our Hugh never made it to the Shenandoah Valley.

That is as much information or speculation as I have for Hugh.  It  certainly isn't much to go on but because the Beeks family doesn't have much known Irish ancestry, I thought it was worthwhile to at least mention the man.  Perhaps there are more records waiting to be found, and if we are lucky enough to find them, I'll post them at a later date. 

The line of descent is

Hugh Donaghe-Elizabeth
Dianna Donaghe-Thomas Hicklin
Dinah or Delilah Hicklin- James Bodkin
George Bodkin-Elizabeth "Fannie" 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 15, 2017

Holbrook line: Jacques Larzalere, Immigrant

Now, how much fun is this?  A Holbrook ancestor, apparently from the area of northern France-Belguim-the Netherlands, who lived in Flatbush, New York as early as 1677!  This is not our typical New England, or even Maryland, ancestor!  What's up with this man?

Well, I wish I knew more than I know, but I am so, so grateful to Joseph F. Mulbane who has done extensive research on this family.  The purpose of his research was not so much to talk about our Jacques, as to try to document his children.  He has done an admirable job, and much of what I am writing here comes from his research.

We don't really know when Jacques was born, or where.  I've seen suggestions that wherever he was born, he probably went to Antwerp with other members of his family, who may or may not have been escaping religious persecution, and who may or may not have originally had a name of Largillier, or something similar.  Based on the birth dates of his children, he was probably born sometime around 1650, and was in the New World, at Flatbush, in 1677.  This was a few years after the English took over New Amsterdam and the surrounding area, but still early in the history of New York.

He was married, probably in 1667, to Marie Granger or Grancon (Mulbane uses "Granger" but says he has not found documentation for either name), but we don't know whether that was on the other side of the ocean or here.  The couple soon began having children, and at the same time, Jacques was working very hard to support them. In 1683 he was taxed in Flatbush (now part of Brooklyn, New York City) for horses, cows, hogs, and 60 acres of land.  

The Dutch, which we can consider this family to be, in terms of culture if not birth, have a reputation for keeping extremely clean, neat-looking homes so it is fun to consider what the home of Jacques and Marie looked like.  Was it frame, or brick?  Did it have the typical overhand of the second story, and the "Dutch" split door?  What about the typical porch area?

As far as we can determine, the couple had children named Jacob, Nicholas, Anthony, Michael, Magdalena, Maria, and possibly Margaret. 

We don't know what happened to Jacques, but he was dead by 1687. Although even the oldest child would have been not yet 21 at the time of his father's death, Maria didn't remarry, as she is described as his "relict" at her death in 1693 or 1694 (dates are confusing.)  Her estate was valued at 277 pounds, 15 shillings, 6 pence which included various farm animals and the 60 acres of land, now described as  of "two lots of land and meadow".  It also included a sword, which may have been left from Jacques's supposed military duty . The relative prosperity of the family was continuing, which is a good thing as some of the children may have still been as young as 10 years of age. 

This is pretty much what we know of Jacques, other than a comment that he and his wife transferred to the "French church".  I haven't figured all this out yet, but there may have been a French reformed church as well as the Dutch Reformed church, and presumably an established English church by this time.  There are still lots of questions about Jacques, and many of his ancestors would love to find his family in Antwerp, or France, or wherever it was that he was born.  I'd love to know that, and I'd also love to know more about his life here. For instance, was he educated, and did he educate his children? What is the reference to the "French church"?  And was he happy that he'd decided to come to American?

The line of descent is:

Jacques Larzalere-Maria Grancon or Granger
Maria Larzalere-Willem Swaim
Elizabeth Swaim-Christopher Nation
Joseph Nation-Jerretta Vickery
Elizabeth Nation-Christopher Myers
Phoebe Myers-Adam Brown
Phoebe Brown-Fremont Holbrook
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Allen line: Richard Lane, immigrant to paradise?

I've written a little about Richard Lane before, when I wrote about his son, Samuel. But Richard is touching my heart today, because of the manner and location of his death.  It makes me wonder more about the circumstances.  What really happened, and what were the circumstances?  Will we ever know?

To start at the beginning, Richard was born or christened August 7, 1596 in St Peter, Hereford, Hereford, England.  His parents were Roger Lane and an as yet unidentified "Beatrix".  He was one of at least eight children.  Roger is identified as being an "iremonger".  I can't identify that unless it is the same as "ironmonger', which would mean he was involved in the manufacture or sale of metal objects commonly found in today's hardware stores, such as pulls, knobs and hinges.  At any rate, he made a living for his family until his early death, when Richard was just 10 years old.

Either Roger's family or his mother's family must have stepped in to help raise the eight children, and Richard went to London at the age of 16 where he was apprenticed for seven years to Nathaniel Thornhill, a merchant tailor.  At the age of 24, he was admitted a freeman to the Merchant tail company, on February 26, 1620.  It took a certain amount of "pull" to be admitted to an apprenticeship and certainly to become a freeman, and Richard took advantage of his opportunities.  He married Alice Carter, daughter of Humfrey Carter, on October 27, 1623 in London, and life must have seemed good.  Richard had a wife and a successful business.  What could go wrong?

Richard Lane also appears to have been a man caught up in the politics and religious dissensions of the early to mid century in England.  His religious views may have been not quite orthodox, but perhaps not quite Puritan, either.  He was called before the authorities in 1631 and Richard, although not persecuted, must have decided that this was a good time to "get out of Dodge".  He got himself appointed as a representative of the Company of Providence Island, a quasi-governmental organization, to go to the West Indies.

He, along with his wife and children, finally arrived at Providence Island in 1635.  He spent most of the rest of his life there, introducing a plant called madder, which is used to make red dye.  He may have been fairly wealthy, as he was allotted eight servants, later changed to six, to help in his activities.  It's not clear whether these were personal servants for his household, or whether they were more like field hands or overseers for the planting operations.

At one point, he and two clergymen were held prisoner and returned to London to be examined for their religious views.  By this time, Richard was more like a Puritan, and these beliefs were not acceptable in England.  Fortunately, by the time they arrived in England Bishop Laud, who was the source of the "examinations",  had died and after a brief interview, the men were freed.  There was a bit of political excitement when he was nominated to be Governor of Providence Island, but that was unsuccessful.

Sometime before August 7, 1657, Richard and his son Oziell were drowned.  Most sources say this happened at Eleuthera Island, in the Bahamas, but there is one source that indicates the death actually took place on the African coast.  That would lead one to wonder whether he was somehow involved in the slave trade, although I've seen no other mention of this.

Providence and Eleuthra are both islands in the Bahamas, which with hurricanes Irma and Jose both threatening the area, is what brought my attention to Richard Lane.  Was there bad weather when Richard and his son were drowned?  Or were they somehow involved in an encounter with a Spanish ship that was in the area?  The Spanish would not have taken lightly to these British posts in "their
 territories.  It does appear that the days of the "pirates" were later than this time period, so we can probably eliminate that as a potential cause of the drownings.

Alice was left to raise four children.  She did receive her husband's back pay and a pension, after petitioning the company, and she is buried in England.  I don't yet know when she returned there.

This story interests me because as far as I know now, he is one of only two ancestors we have who lived in the islands of the Caribbean and Atlantic oceans.  If I were ever to tour the areas where our ancestors lived, this would be a good place to put on the bucket list!

The line of descent is:

Richard Lane-Alice Carter
Samuel Lane-Margaret Mauldin
Dutton Lane-Pretitia Tydings
Samuel Lane-Mary Jane Corbin
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, September 8, 2017

Harshbarger line: Margareth

I thought I'd write a little about Margareth, or rather, about our search for Margareth.  I was contacted by a researcher who also has Margareth, wife of John Mentzer, in her tree and it's great fun working with her . We know nothing about Margareth except her husband's name and the names of her eleven children.  All were born between the years of 1788 and 1813, so her supposed birthdate would be about 1770, give or take a few years.  Her husband John was born in 1767 in Lancaster County, Pa.  I believe it's his christening date that was listed as November 23 of that year, so he could potentially be a few weeks or months older.

I suggested to Anne Caston, researcher extraordinaire, that we needed to be looking at her FAN club, those people who are associated in some kind of records with Margareth, or at least with John.  Anne has been keeping a database of families with daughters named Margareth, found in or near the Mentzers, mostly in their church.  She's eliminated a lot of possibilities or at least put them on the back burner, because she's found later records that showed that Margareth married to someone else.

At the moment, we are pursuing a phantom Margareth, belonging to a Scherb, Schaub, or Sharp family.  The best evidence we have for that right now is that John "Sharp" was a bondsman of some kind when John Mentzer died in 1821.  John Mentzer was 54 when he died, so it is possible that John Sharp could have been his father in law.  It is more likely that he was a brother in law or some other relation, if indeed he was a relation to Margareth at all.

The problem we have is that the marriage records for this church are missing for about 40 years, with very little likelihood that they will ever be found again.  So we are trying to use the FAN (Friends, associates, neighbors) approach, by finding land, tax, or other records that might give us a clue.  Maybe there are still records on line that we haven't found yet. 

There is always the possibility that Margareth came to America by herself or with a married sister, which would make her that much harder to trace.  We are hoping to find a connection in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, that makes sense and that has some actual proof.  Maybe Grandpa in who knows where in Germany left her some money in his will, that shows her last name?  Maybe someone has some document stored away in an attic that will show her name?  Maybe the good folks at the Lancaster County Historical Society will find records they don't know they have?

If there are any genealogists reading this who have experience in Lancaster County, Pa, we sure could use some ideas.  We aren't professionally trained genealogists, and it's more than possible that we are overlooking something obvious.

For the record, John and Margareth's children are: (dates are christening dates)
    Conrad  December 30, 1788
    Elizabeth  September 30, 1790
    Susanna  September 10, 1792
    Johannes  August 29, 1794
    Catherine  June 13, 1797
    Conrad  March 25, 1799
    Samuel December 9, 1800
    Christina  December 2,1804
    Jacob  September 2, 1808
    George March 8, 1810
    Joseph  May 8, 1813

One final thought:  If this family is following the standard naming pattern, perhaps Samuel or Jacob are first names we should be looking for.  But where is Margareth's name?  Did she not name a daughter after herself?  Maybe they weren't using the standard German naming pattern. Anne just told me there is a Jacob Scherb who would be of the right generation, to be Margareth's father.  She has access to more records than I do, or else she's better at finding stuff, because she is all over this family right now. She's already ordered some records and has plans to visit a library that has more land records than I've found at the Allen County Public Library.)  Stay tuned for any updates we (mostly Anne) come up with!

Again, the line of descent for the Harshbarger family is through the second Conrad, born March 25, 1799.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Beeks line: Samuel Dunham 1742-1824

I thought I'd break my self imposed rule of writing only about immigrants and proven war veterans in this blog.  Since I'm running out of Beeks names, I'm looking now for people who left enough of a record that we can at least catch a glimpse of them, through the family forest and the mists of time.  Samuel Dunham is such a man.

We don't know as much about Samuel as we'd like to know, of course.  He seems to have been a moderately successful, salt of the earth kind of man, the kind who pays his taxes and raises his family.  There are hints of parts of his life in records, so we'll have to be happy with that until more information is known.

Samuel was born in Woodbridge, N.J. on May 11, 1742.  His parents were Jonathan and Mary Smith Dunham.  He had five siblings, all born between 1738 and 1742, so he wouldn't have lacked for chores to do nor for playmates, if there was time for such a thing.  He don't know whether he could read or write, but it's reasonable to believe he had at least a rudimentary education, and perhaps more than that.  His family was well known in the Woodbridge community.

We have difficulty following Samuel's move to the west, but we know it happened.  He is believed to have married Hannah Ruble, daughter of David and Sarah Malin Ruble, about 1772.  This family lived in Washington County, Pennsylvania and it is likely that Samuel was living or at least working in the vicinity then.  He would have been about 30 years old, give or take, since we don't have an exact marriage date yet.

The Revolutionary War was about to break out, and we don't know how this impacted Samuel.  He is not found on the Tax List for Berkeley County, now West Virginia, in 1777.  He may have been there at least to scout out a future home, but this was a hot area for battles with the native Americans, who were armed and encouraged by the British.  Perhaps they patiently waited in Pennsylvania, or even Maryland, for a chance to move on.  If Samuel did live in the area during this time period, we can wonder what his role was in the War.  I've not been able to find him listed as a soldier either on Fold 3 or the DAR, but that doesn't mean he didn't serve.  He may well have been in a state militia unit, protecting his family and others in a guardhouse or "fort", for there were many such structures and someone his age on the frontier would have been expected to serve.

Between 1778 and 1783 Samuel and his family moved to Back Creek Valley, in what was then Virginia.  Looking at images found on Google, it was and still is a beautiful area, although home and land prices there are higher than in Indiana.  Most of what I've read of this area says that the Scots-Irish and the Germans settled this area, so it would be interesting to find out how and why this part of the country beckoned to Samuel.

I'm showing a total of 11 children for Samuel and Hannah, although other sources list "only" nine.  At any rate, even the oldest children were young when they moved, and several were born in what was then Virginia.  David Dunham has done research, showing that the couple had at least 80 grandchildren, and some of their descendants are still living in the immediate area, to the ninth generation.

Samuel Dunham was a Baptist, and presumably Sarah was, too, or at least that's what she became after her marriage.  I've not found the particular congregation he attended, but there are some churches in the Back Creek area that might have been active during Samuel's life.  Samuel died February 18, 1824 on his 611 acre farm, and Hannah died about two years later, possibly in Butler County, Ohio.

If Samuel left a will, I haven't found it yet.  It isn't known where he was buried.  Many records from this time period were burned during the Civil War, or otherwise destroyed, so we may never be able to answer some of these questions.  Or, the answers may pop up tomorrow, because we never know...

The line of descent is:

Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Goodnight Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, September 1, 2017

Holbrook line: Robert Winchell, Immigrant

Robert Winchell is a bit of a mystery since as far as I can tell, his home in England, or possibly Wales, has not been located.  He is believed to be the son of Thomas Winchell or Wyncoll and Beatrice.  One birth location for Robert has been suggested as Dorchester, Dorset, England, but I am not able to find any documentation for that. 

Robert and his wife Mary (generally said to be Mary Phelps) arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony most likely in 1634.  He was accepted as a freeman on May 6, 1635 in Dorchester.  He acquired several pieces of property there but shortly after, probably in 1637, moved on to Windsor, Connecticut, where he also acquired land, including that given to the original proprietors in 1640.  Two children were born to Robert and Mary before they arrived in Windsor, and six more after they made their home there.  Mary must have been a busy lady! 

Robert served several times on juries for Connecticut and at least once as an arbitrator, but as far as we know was never really involved in the government of the town or the colony.  We do believe that he had some education, as he had an old Bible and about 10 books in his possession when he died. 

We learn a little more from the inventory.  It included two swords and some ammunition, but apparently not a firearm.  This indicates that he had been excused from military duty, as all of the militia or training band was required to have firearms at all times. 

Robert died March 5, 1667/1668, apparently owing a little more than the value of his estate.  However, the oldest son, Nathaniel, did end up with the homestead, and the other sons were left something, even if it was just the forgiveness of a debt.  His will was oral, which sometimes means the last illness was sudden and there was no time to call someone who could write it out .

The other thing we can tell  about Robert is that he seems to have stayed out of trouble, at least anything major, for there is no reference to him in the court records that I have consulted.  He was one of those who came to America and quietly helped build it, supporting his family and giving them a chance to make a better life for themselves. 

The line of descent is

Robert Winchell-Mary
David Winchell-Elizabeth Filley
Elizabeth Winchell-John Trumbull
Hannah Trumbull-Medad Pomeroy
Medad Pomeroy-Eunice Southwell
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Graves, Immigrant 1585-1662

I've written earlier about John Graves, who was the son of Thomas.  I didn't write about Thomas at the time because the information about his father appeared to me to be mixed up with that of at least one and possibly two other Thomas Graves, and I didn't want to get them confused.  Some of what I write here may possibly still be wrong, but it seems that our Thomas has been more clearly identified and he is certainly an interesting person. 

Thomas Graves was born (or christened) October 19, 1585 at Gravesend, Kent, England.  I have seen his parents listed as Thomas Graves and Sarah Malter, but have not located documentation for that so an this point I'm considering that his parents are unknown.  Gravesend was an interesting town as Thomas was growing up.  It was on an estuary of the Thames River, so was closely connected with the sea.  Gravesend had a long history, including a chantry built in 1384 that is still standing, and a Tudor fort built in 1543.  It was a bustling town. 

Thomas was an educated man, although his name is not found at either Cambridge or Oxford.  It's possible that he was an apprentice to someone who shared his own knowledge with Thomas, or perhaps he attended some other school, perhaps even on the Continent.  At any rate, he acquired the knowledge to become an engineer, and in 1629 he signed a contract with the Massachusetts Bay Company in which he represented himself as skilled in the discovery of mines, in fortifications of all sorts, in surveying, and in various other similar occupations.  He and his wife, five children, and two unnamed servants sailed to Salem, Massachusetts in 1629, on the ship "George Bonaventure."  He had married Sarah Whiting in England, and their five children were all 16 or older when they came to America as a family. 

He apparently held some offices of note in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and became a freeman in 1631.  It's not known when he and the family went to Hartford, Connecticut but they were there in 1645, and stayed for about 16 years.  He was granted at least three pieces of property there, and of course had a dwelling.  Perhaps for religious reasons, and perhaps because his skills were needed there, the family except for son Nathaniel emigrated to Hatfield, Massachusetts in 1661,  By this time, Thomas and Sarah may have been living with son Isaac, or perhaps they were just there until a home could be built for them. 

Thomas died in Hadley on or just before November 1, 1662 (burial date) and Sarah died about four years later.  Apparently there are estate papers but I've not been able to locate them-yet.  He was approximately 76 years old, and had been in America since his middle age.  I honor especially those ancestors who were willing to start over in a strange land, and then again in a new settlement, when they could have stayed in England and lived their lives.  It took courage and vision, and those are reasons enough to give Thomas honor.

The line of descent is:

Thomas Graves-Sarah Whiting
John Graves-Mary Smith
Mary Graves-Edward Stebbins
Sarah Stebbins-John Root
Sarah Roote-Thomas Noble
Stephen Notble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, August 25, 2017

Harshbarger line: Johann Jacob Enck, Immigrant

Johan Jacob Enck is new to the family tree, and I am grateful to Anne for setting me straight and putting me on the trail of this man.  His story appears to be a lot like those of the other German immigrants in the family.  He was possibly born July 30, 1698 in Hueffelsheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, to Bernard Heinrich and Elisabetha Arnd Enck.  (It is possible that he was born in Heddesheim rather than Hueffelsheim, but he married in Hueffelsheim and lived there for at least twenty years.  Since men typically took their bride to their own home village I'm going with Hueffelsheim until or unless we find actual records of the birth location.)

When he married, it was to Anna Cathareina Becker, daughter of Anthonii Becker, on Noember 23, 1723.  His father is there listed as Bernhard Enck.  The marriage took place at the Evangelisch, Heddesheim, which means it was a Lutheran church.  It appears that there are currently three churches in Heddesheim that would fit the description, but probably there was only one church at the time.  Heddesheim is described as being a tiny town, which at one time grew a lot of tobacco, but that time period isn't designated so I don't know if it was before or after the time of Jacob and Catherine. 

They came to America in 1743, on the ship Snow Charlotta, which arrived on September 5,1743.  It is possible that they stayed in Germantown for a while, but they eventually settled in Lancaster County.  We know they had three children born in Germany, Johan Jacob, Johannes, and Anna Catherina, but there may have been others born in Pennsylvania.  A lot of trees show Jacob marrying again in 1755, but I'm not sure this is the same Jacob.  If it is, then he must have first been widowed, which is entirely possible. 

It seems that his land may have been along the Cocalico Creek but I am still trying to confirm that.  He was buried on March 30,1774 at either the Zion German Reformed Church Cemetery at Brickerville (per Find A Grave) or the Bethany United Church of Christ at Ephrata, per a database from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania found on Ancestry. Bethany UCC was formerly a German Reformed Church, and they have records indicating Jacob was buried there, yet I can't find his name in their old cemetery listing.  So perhaps the pastor buried Jacob at the Brickerville location?  It's hard to know for sure what happened, but that is the general location of his grave, anyway.

There is a will for Jacob which I need to research further.  If I can locate it, I will make a transcription in a separate blog post.  I'd love to travel to Lancaster County so I could do more thorough research on this family, as on many others, but for now we at least know where he came from, the name of his wife, when he arrived in America, his religion, and when he died.  That's a start.

The line of descent is:

Johan Jacob Enck-Anna Catharina Becker
Anna Catharina Enck-Martin Lauber
Catherine Lauber-Henry Dulibon (Tullapen)
Eliizabeth Tullapen-Conrad Mentzer
Catherine Mentzer-Lewis Harshbarger
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beeks line: Henry (Heinrich) Harshbarger, Immigrant

I put the Heinrich in the title of this blog post so it would attract your attention.  That was his name when he was born in about 1740 in Eppstein, Germany, but by the time of his death in 1788 he had traveled to the New World, seen the Revolutionary War, and gone from Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley.

I'm not sure who Henry's parents were.  Many sites list them as Christian and Caroline Funk Harshbarger but I think they were a little too young to be Jacob's parents.  A more likely candidate would be Jacob and Maria Catherine (maiden name unknown), who were born about 1698 and 1699 respectively.  This is not documented, or at least I don't have the documentation, so please be cautious about totally discarding Christian and Caroline or adding Jacob and Maria Catherine from or to your tree.  His parents really are unknown.

However, Eppstein, Germany is not unknown.  It is only a few miles from Wiesbaden, and the pictures on Google of the old part of the city show a typical medieval town, absolutely breathtaking in its beauty.  We don't know what kind of life Heinrich would have had there.  He is said to have been a Mennonite.  Eppstein became Protestant during the Reformation, but that doesn't mean the Mennonites were treated well.  Most areas of Germany relegated them to day labor type jobs, and taxed them heavily.  They were, for the most part, marginalized and they found leaving the area the only way they could practice their faith and build a better life for their families. Heinrich married Elizabeth Stauffer, daughter of Johannes Stauffer, who was born about 1740.  Judging from the birth dates of their children, the marriage probably took place in about 1764.  The Stauffer family was also Mennonite.

Heinrich didn't come to America until 1768, although Christian and two of his brothers, Jacob and Caspar, had arrived in 1749.  Perhaps Heinrich stayed behind to care for an ailing parent, or perhaps the family fortune had been used to send the three older brothers to Pennsylvania and it took a while for Heinrich to earn his own way.  He is believed to have settled first in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and then in Frederick County, Maryland, where he bought land in 1774 and sold it in 1785, before finally going to Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.  This was a common migration route for the Germans at the time. We don't know if he sold his land and moved, or if he moved and then sold his land.  It appears that Elizabeth may have died about 1782.  Henry married Barbara, the widow of Jacob Pence on December 30, 1785 in Shenandoah County.    .

He left a will that was written in German, and appears to omit his three oldest children (who may have received land or money earlier).  Barbara's will mentions Mary Harshbarger, who had married Henry's son Jacob in 1786.  They were step-siblings when they married.

So to the very rich Beeks heritage of early Massachusetts settlers, Welsh Quakers, early Dutch settlers, Scots-Irish, and French Huguenots, we now add German and (probably) Swiss Mennonites.  It's quite a family!

The line of descent is:

Henry Harshbarger-Elizabeth Stauffer
Jacob Harshbarger-Mary Pence
Elizabeth Harshbarger-Jacob Wise
Jackson Wise-Charity Botkin
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger

Note:  As far as I can determine, the line of Cleveland Harshbarger and the line of Henry Harshbarger don't connect, at least as far back as 1650.  But since both families apparently come from the same small village in Switzerland, there is probably a connection back further than that.