Friday, July 21, 2017

Holbrook line: Moses Cleveland 1620-1703, Immigrant

There is more information about Moses Cleveland than is sometimes available,because he left more records than some immigrants, and because he is the ancestor of Grover Cleveland and thus has been pretty thoroughly researched.  Still, I haven't seen documentation for his birth and there are varying guesses as to his parents. 

My favorite candidate for his parents would be Isaac Cleveland and Alice, last name unknown.  They were in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, which is generally given as Moses' birthplace, and they were of the right age to be his parents. In addition, there is the Biblical name tradition, as it appears.  Other suggestions I have seen were for a Samuel Cleveland, but I don't think he was from Ipswich.

There is an absolutely fascinating story about Moses's voyage to America, but it may well be just that-a story.  Still, on the off chance that it's correct, the story goes that when Moses came to America, he had thought it would be Virginia rather than New England.  The story goes that when they landed at Jamestown, the group after a short time decided there was too much trouble with the native Americans, and boarded the ship to go to Massachusetts instead.  There is much that is suspicious about this story but it could have happened.

At any rate, young Moses, no more than fifteen, arrived at Plym.  outh or Boston in 1635.  He was a ship's carpenter apprentice when he arrived,  He seems to have stayed in Boston for about three years, then in 1638 he settled in Charlsetown. 

He was still serving a master, probably Edward Winn, when he went to Woburn in 1640 or 1641, but was admitted a freeman in 1643,  He was granted land in 1649, and on February 3,1648/1649 was appointed by a committee to lay out his own land.  He married Ann Winn, daughter of Edward Winn, in 1648 and the couple had at least eleven children.  The first is listed with a birthdate of 1651 so it's possible there were miscarriages or still born children in the early years of their marriage. 

Moses was a joiner, or basically a finish carpenter, and worked both on ships and on homes.  This gave him an income sufficient to support his large family.  He is listed on the militia roll in 1663.  A later listing for Moses Cleveland during King Philip's War is more likely his son Moses.  He became a tithing man for the church in 1680, so he was a Puritan.  He died in Woburn on January 8, 1702, having lived there for 60 or more years, and having survived his wife by about 20 years.  It isn't often that our ancestors stayed in one place for a long time so I would like to thank Moses for doing just that! 

The line of descent is:

Moses Cleveland-Ann Winn
Enoch Cleveland-Elizabeth Counts
Sarah Cleveland-Israel Joslin
Sarah Joslin-Edward Fay
David Fay-Mary or Mercy Perrin
Luceba or Euzebia Fay-Libbeus Stanard
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Allen line: Richard Lamb 1696-1736

Richard Lamb's story is short and not so sweet.  He's interesting, though, because he is one of a very few Irish ancestors known to be in the Allen line.

He was born in 1696 in the Coombe, Dublin, Ireland to John Lamb and Margaret Hoult, who were both from Monkstown, Dublin, Ireland.  While we don't know for sure how Richard supported himself, the Coombe area was an area set off for the cloth trade.  Woolen manufacturers set up many firms here, and Richard may well have been a weaver or had some other part in the manufacturing business. 

In 1713, he married Anna White, who was from Clackmannshire, Ireland.  At least, that's what my source said.  I am unable to locate this in Ireland, and wonder if the reference should be to Scotland, instead.  Richard and Anna had eight children, but Anna had died by 1736.

In1736, Richard decided it was time to come to America. He and his eight children set sail but unfortunately, Richard became a statistic, one of those who did not live to see the shores of his new country.  I have variously seen that he died of disease and that he was swept overseas in a storm, so am recording both versions here.  At any rate, his children were orphans when they arrived here.

I haven't yet traced their history but it looks like at least some of them ended up in Maine, likely as indentured servants.  Each would have served until the age of at least 16 for the girls and 18 or 21 for the boys.  William was 24 so he at least may have had his freedom, and would have been able to watch over his siblings to some extent.

That is what I know about Richard Lamb.  He did not realize his dream of starting over in America, but his children did.   .I'd love to ask him a lot of questions, but I'm especially curious about his religion.  Was he Catholic?  There were some Protestants in the Coombe but I haven't yet learned out to research them.   And what did he expect to do in America?  Did he have a plan?  We will likely never know the answers to these questions, but they are worth considering.  I sure wish he had lived to leave some records here!

The line if descent is:

Richard Lamb-Anna White
Anna Lamb-Richard Falley
Richard Falley-Margaret Hitchcock
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, July 14, 2017

Harshbarger line: Paul Hawn, another veteran to thank!

This is a short post because I am still trying to pull together the military records of Paul Hawn.  However, I've found enough to write a couple of paragraphs, maybe, and that is more than we knew before.  Paul Hawn is the son of Adrian Hawn and Goldie Withers.  Goldie later married Grover Harshbarger, so Paul and Cleve Harshbarger are half-brothers. 

I first learned that Paul had been in the Army when I found this brief mention in the Huntington Herald Press of October 11, 1944:

"Reports Saturday"

Pfc Paul W. Hawn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Grover Harshbarger of near Majenica, will leave Saturday for Minneapolis, Minn. to report for active duty after spending an extended furlough here.  He recently returned after 21 months' duty in Alaska."

This paragraph leads to several questions, but I have no answers at this point.  All I can really say is that he probably enlisted or was drafted in 1942, although it might have been earlier.  So far I'm not finding his military record.

I do know this much, I think.  He got out of the service, probably at the end of World War II, and then in 1948 he re-enlisted and stayed in the Army for 20 more years.  He is listed as having attained the rank of First Sargeant, and it's noted that he served in World War II,  Korea and Vietnam.  I wish I knew more about his service, when he was where and what he did in the Army.  However, this is what I have been able to locate and it's more information than I had when I woke up this morning. 

I did find a couple of pictures of Paul, as a freshman and sophomore attending Columbia City High School.  In 1930, he was living with his Withers grandparents (William and Della Kemery Withers), so it appears that he attended school there and if he graduated, graduated from that school.  I sure need to do more research on that, too! 

Paul died April 6. 1998, just 2 and 1/2 weeks after his half brother, Cleveland Harshbarger, died.    Paul's remains were cremated, and his ashes were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Thank you for your service, Paul Hawn!

If anyone in the Hawn family sees this, please contact me at happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom.  I'd love to know more about Paul!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beeks line: John Gurney 1603-1663 Immigrant

It's fun to take a name that's on the family tree and try to place him in time and space, to think for a few minutes about his life and to realize that once again there are more questions than answers.  John Gurney is such a person.  Not much is known about him but I do want to give credit to the RootsWeb World Connect Project called "Genealogies of Families of Brantree, Quincy, Weymouth, Randolph, Holbrook, Mass. & Others".  I'd located maybe 20% of this information on my own, so it would have been slim pickings indeed for a post if I hadn't found this source.

As nearly as is known, John Gurney was born about 1603, since he gave a court deposition in 1652/53 saying he was 50 years old or thereabouts.  There is a John Gurney who was baptized at Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, England on February 21, 1603 and it is likely that this is our John.  If so, his father's name was also John, but that is as much family background as I have at present.  If this John Gurney is ours, then he came from an area identified as "Non-conformist" and he may have been a Puritan.  The church there is very old, dating to the twelfth century, so it is possible that generations on Gurneys worshipped there.  At present, we can't state that with any certainty.

I can't find documentation, but John was supposedly married to a woman named Mary, most likely in England.  He may have been an indentured servant but the dates don't match for the most commonly quoted master.  At any rate, either at home or in Massachusetts he learned the tailor trade.  He is reported as being in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636, but it's possible he arrived earlier.  His children have birth dates of from about 1628 to about 1640, which is puzzling to have so many "abouts" unless the family was moving frequently. 

We know that he was a tenant of rented land owned by Captain William Tyng in Brantree in 1653, which was 45 acres of upland and marsh.  As mentioned ealier, he was a tailer and lived within Braintree, with a house and five acres of land, until he sold it in 1661 to Richard Thayer.

John's wife Mary died September 20, 1661 and just a few weeks later he married Grizell Fletcher Jewell Griggs Kibbee.  It was his second marriage and her fourth.  It's only speculation but perhaps he was already in poor health.  To put a good face on it, Grizell seems to have bettered herself with each marriage, and she would have one final marriage soon after John died.  (I wonder if people then talked, or whispered, about a woman with five marriages.  Two marriages were common, three were somewhat frequent, four were occasional, but five?  Really?)

I've found no record of John being admitted as a freeman, and no record of church or civic involvement.  John may have been a man determined to keep his head down and just to concentrate on raising his family.  When he died, he left an inventory valued at 55 pounds, 14 shillings, and 6 pence.  He also had a long list of debts, so it is likely that there wasn't much left for the widow or his children to inherit.  Son John did get lands in Mendon, which is where our John had intended to move before his last illness.

This is a summary of the information I've been able to locate about John Gurney.  It's the unrecognized people who helped build America, and for that reason, I'm happy to introduce you briefly to John Gurney, immigrant and nation builder.

The line of descent is:

John Gurney-Mary
Mary Gurney-Daniel Shedd
Elizabeth Shedd-Daniel Pierce
Elizabeth Pierce-Samuel Smith
Shubael Smith-Prudence Fitzrandolph
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunnah-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, July 7, 2017

Holbrook line: Alexander Balcom 1615-1711

Answers!  We need answers! Who was Alexander Balcom?  Where did he come from?  Did he go first to Massachusetts, or did he go straight to Portsmouth?  Who were his parents?  Did he have a first wife named Sarah (or any other name)?  What religions was he?  was he in Rhode Island due to his religious beliefs? 

It's hard to write about a man who leaves us with so many questions, yet we do know a little about him.  He is believed to have been bornsin Batcombe, Sussex, (or possibly Somerset) England, although as far as I can tell there are no records available to support this.  I've seen dates as early as 1615 and as late as 1650 suggested for a birth date.  I've also seen it suggested that his father was William.  I will leave that out there as a suggestion only, because I can't verify it.  Surely there are answers some where, though! 

We really don't know anything at all about Alexander for the first 50 or so years of his life.  By 1664, he was living at Portsmouth, then considered part of Providence Plantation but yet a separate town.  It was located on Aquidneck Island, famous for being the first home in exile of Anne Hutchinson.  It was founded by religious dissidents from Massachusetts, but I don't know if that was still a characteristic of the town 25 years later,, when it seems that our Alexander arrived.  He married Jane Holbrook, daughter of William and Elizabeth Pitts Holbrook.  The Holbrook family emigrated from Glastonbury, Somerset, England so that might support a Somerset rather than a Sussex Balcombe setting.  However, the Holbrooks stayed in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, so Jane was leaving her family to come to Rhode Island. 

She may have been quite young when she came to Rhode Island with Alexander, and it's possible that she was a stepmother to at least a couple of the children attributed to the couple. I've found nothing further on her, except that she died about 1696, which even that is possibly incorrect because she was named as an executor in Alexander's will of 1711. 

We do know a little more about Alexander.  His occupation is given as mason, a skilled trade that was probably in demand as newer, more substantial homes were built on the island.  He also had cooper tools in his 1711 estate inventory, so he may have had more than one trade.  Interestingly, although his inventory was pretty meager, with a value of only a little over 35 pounds it did include books, pewterware and brassware.  It appears that the lands that he owned were already disposed of, at least some of them to his sons. 

I've been reading some of the early town records and it's fascinating to see how the town set itself up, how they settled disputes, how often they had to tax people for various needs, how they took care of their poor, how they made sure every house had access to fresh water, and how they prepared for possible military action as the native Americans threatened them.  Alexander Balcom may or may not have been part of the decision making (I haven't yet found that he was made a free man), but he was certainly affected by these decisions.  The island itself was beautiful and our ancestor may have had a good life indeed. It's one more of the many things we may never know for sure about him. 

The line of descent is:

Alexander Balcom-Jane Holbrook
Sarah Balcom-Timothy Sheldon
Martha Sheldon-Thomas Mathewson
Deborah Mathewson-Joseph Winsor
Lillis Winsor-Nathan Paine
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph B Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen

Note the Holbrook at the top and borrom of this list.  We are probably our own cousins through this line, somehow.  

Fun fact:  Mamie Doud Eisenhower was Alexander and Jane's seventh great granddaughter.  In my generation, we are their ninth great grandchildren.  That makes us very distant cousins-eighth cousins, twice removed, I think! 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Allen line: Humphrey Belt, Virginia immigrant 1615-1698

I don't know very much about Humphrey Belt, not even where he was born.  He came to Virginia in 1635, as the indentured servant of William Clarke.  He was reported to be 20 years old when he arrived on the ship "America", when Jamestown Island was still a small colony on the edge of a great big continent.  Somehow, he survived native American wars, the diseases that were so common to the area, and the accidental deaths such as drowning that were all too frequent.  So we can guess that he was of hardy stock. 

It's reported that he married Mary or Margery Cragges in Linhaven Parish, Lower Norfolk, Virginia in 1649. We don't know who she was either. Humphrey Belt, or a different Humphrey Belt, appears as a headright for James Warner, who was his employer when Humphrey finished his indentureship, in 1642.  This may have been a bit of hanky panky, or it may have been two Humphreys, or it may have been that our Humphrey travelled to England and back and circumstances were such that he could be claimed again.   Perhaps he had gone on business for Mr. Warner, and found a bride when he was there. 

Humphrey owned land in Virginia, registered in 1654.  It appears that sometime between 1659 and 1663, the Belt family moved to new land in Maryland.  Perhaps his Virginia land was already depleted from growing tobacco, or perhaps the family left because of their religious beliefs.  We don't know for sure that Humphrey became a Quaker, but his son was quite active in Quaker life and it's not unreasonable to think that Humphrey at least was leaning that way.  This time period is significant because Quakers were being forced out of Virginia in the 1660s.

I've not found a land record for Humphrey in Maryland, but James Warner's land was in Anne Arundel county so it is possible that Humphrey's land was near there. We know that he owned 200 acres in the vicinity of St Mary's City, but that is the extent of our knowledge.

Humphrey died in Maryland in Anne Arundel County in 1698. As far as I can determine, no one has yet found a will for him, nor have they determined what happened to his land.  Humphrey lived through some fascinating times, and it's frustrating that we don't know more of his life.  What military actions did he join in?  Did he fight Indians?  Did he have an occupation other than planter?
What was his religion?  Who were his parents?  Where did he come from?  It will be a happy day when those questions are answered.

The line of descent is:

Humphrey Belt-Margery Cragges
Elizabeth Belt-John Parrish
Humphrey Parrish-Mary Walker
Humphrey Parrish-Mary
Moses Parrish-Mary Hill
Tabath Parrish-James Allen Jr. 
Archibald Allen-Margaret J Dunn
George R Allen-Nancy McCoy
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, June 30, 2017

Harshbarger line: Wendell Essig: How did I miss him?

Actually, I don't think I missed him.  In my more rational moments, I wonder if I should write about Wendell at all, because most of what we "know" about him doesn't seem to be proven.  Some of it is in outright dispute.  But these stories are so good I am going to write about them anyway, hoping that someone, someday, will be able to prove or disprove these family stories.  If they are true, then this ancestor is worthy of honor and respect, and we need to at least pass the stories along.  If they aren't true, let's determine that, too!

So...Wendell Essig was born in Bern Canton, Switzerland, the son of Wendell and Juliana Margaretha Trachsell or Troxell.  At an early age he spent time in mining in "Rhine Phals".  The story doesn't indicate whether he did this voluntarily or whether he was forced into it.  Either scenario is possible, as he may have been trying to help support his family.  The position seemed to work in his favor, because he later served 7 years in the Prussian army.  Again, I don't know if this was voluntary or whether he has drafted. During at least part of that time, he was one of the imperial body guards, and was present at the coronation of Frederick the Great in 1740.  (There should be records of his service, shouldn't there?  As of now, I don't know how to research to find them.)

Here is where the stories diverge.  The story, apparently from son Simon, is that his father arrived in Baltimore in 1750, and shortly thereafter married Anna Marie Matte.  Not too long after that, they settled in the general area of Hagerstown, Maryland.  I'll get to the rest of the story later.

The second version is that Wendell arrived in 1749 in Philadelphia and went to Northampton County, where he is on tax records in 1772 and church records (Dryland Union Church, Nazareth twp, Northampton County) through Easter of 1782.  Jacob Essig and George Essig are also in the church records there, although there is nothing to prove relationships.  So that is one story.

The "rest of the first story" is that Wendell and his family were massacred by native Americans in or before 1772, and Simon was the sole survivor.  He would have been no more than 18 at the time. Simon survived because he was away from home at the time.  Some family historians discount this tale because they haven't found evidence of native American massacres near Hagerstown  I've read enough history to know that families in the Cumberland Valley were driven back many many miles before they found a safe haven like Hagerstown, so I tend to think the attack very well could have happened, even without any specific report mentioning the Essig name.  Germans clearly were in the area, and the native Americans were active in trying to push the settlers back, during this time period.  Still, some sort of proof would be nice to have. 

If the story isn't true, why would someone make it up?  Was it possibly a misunderstanding many years later of the experience of the family of Simon's wife's family?  Her mother's first husband had been killed by the Indians, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania and if one of Simon's children was reporting this story, perhaps he or she had heard it as a young child and forgotten the details as the story was told.  I'm not sure we will ever know.

Wendell and Eva Maria are said to have had four children, Simon, Adam, Jacob and George, not necessarily in that order.  The 1772 or earlier death doesn't allow for a 1782 church record in Pennsylvania.  Either there were two families with similar names and naming patterns, or one of these tales is incorrect.  I don't believe anyone has located wills or estate papers in either location, so I will let you be the judge-two men, or one? 

The line of descent is:

Wendell Essig-Anna Maria Matte
Simon Essig-Juliana Schnerr
George Essig-Catherine Shollenberger
Susannah Essig-Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Beeks line: Gilles de Mandeville 1626-1701 Immigrant

You may not be able to guess from the name that this is another ancestor from what is now The  Netherlands.  That's because it seems that there is no one "correct" way to write his name.  Some list him as Aegidius, some as Giles Jensen, some as Yellis, and I'm not sure that the Mandeville surname really "sticks", although he has parents and grandparents all the way back to 1525 who also have been given that surname. I'm going to call him Gilles because that's easier for me, but yet reminds me this is not an Englishman.

Gilles was born in 166 in Veluwe, Gelderland, the Netherlands in 1626, the son of Rev.Jan Michealse and Trintgen Wilma Van Harderwijk Mandeville.  Oh, he may have been born in France and baptized in Doesburk, Geldeland, the Netherlands.  I think he was likely born in the Netherlands, unless the information about his parent's birthplace is incorrect.  The first think we really know about Gilles is that he, his wife Elsje Pieterse Hendricks, and four children sailed on the "de Trouw", to New Amsterdam, supposedly traveling with Peter Stuyvesant. That makes a nice story, the Stuyvesant connection, but I'm not sure that Stuyvesant had gone anywhere so that he would have been returning in 1659.  (I could be wrong about that, of course, and it is likely that the families knew each other.  I just don't find anything that says Stuyvesant had gone to the Netherlands in 1658-59.  He seems to have been in New Amsterdam the whole time.)

He paid the way of himself and his family so he was not a poor man.  He is associated with several pieces of land at Long Island, atNew Amersfoort and New Amsterdam, and when the English took over the Dutch colony, he was on a tax list for New York in 1676.He also had a farm at Flatbush and 30 acres at Greenwich.  The main estate, the farm o Manhattan Island, was in what is now Greenwich Village.  Gilles and Elsje were members of the Dutch Reformed Church in New York.

In his will, written in September of 1696 and proven May 22, 1701, he left all of his estate during Elsje's widowhood.  His farm in Queens county, near Hempstead, with houses, barns,etc he left to his oldest son Hendrick,.  The farm at Greenwich was to be sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds divided among his six adult children.  The final execution probably didn't take long, as Elsje herself made her will the same date that Gilles' will was proven. 

Gilles appears to have been a hard-working man with a good business sense, and enough money to get started in his new life in the New Netherlands.  If he actually lived in all the places that he had land, he could almost be considered a real estate developer.  I wonder what he would think of his most lasting "development", Greenwich Village, and its property values now! 

The line of descent is:

Gilles de Mandeville-Elsje Hendricks
Gerritje Mandeville-Jan Pieterse Meet
Maretje Meete-Peter Demarest
Lea Demarest-Samuel David Demarest
Sarah Demarest-Benjamin Slot
William (Slot) Lock-Elizabeth Teague
Sally Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, June 23, 2017

Holbrook line: John Merrick or Mirick, Immigrant 1614-1679

When I write a blog post, I try to do a little bit of research on my own so I feel sure in my own mind that the summaries I've found on line are correct.  So far, I have to say that I've not been successful in that search.  So this will be pretty much a rehash to a couple of internet sites, Geni and a family site of vibber. com. 

John Merrick or Mirick was born in St. David's, Pembrokeshire, Wales/England in 1614, the son of John Meyrick and Dorothy Bishop.  He came to America in 1636, settled in Charlestown, and apparently did not leave that town.  He was a cooper and a block-maker, and his place of business was near the river (this may or may not have been his dwelling).   Depending on the website, he is credited with up to three wives but most of the sites agree that the children were from his marriage with Hopestill, last name unknown, which took place in Charlestown in 164l (one source says they arrived together, but this may have been a first wife). He was admitted as a freeman in Charlestown in 1641, and then appears to have stayed out of trouble and out of the public eye.  At least, records aren't readily available that mention him.  More research might yield more information. 

There is one mention in the "History of Charlestown, Massachusetts" involving a drawing by lot for additional land.  John Mirich in this lottery (more or less) for land "on the Mystick side" was awarded 17 acres of woods and three acres of commons.  We know that John was in Charlestown during this time period and his son John wasn't born until 1655 so it seems reasonable to assume this was land that our John was given.  He would have been eligible for any earlier divisions, too, since he had been in Charlestown since at least 1641 and probably 1635. 

John's children were Hopestill, Benjamin, Hannah, James, John, Sarah, Mercy, Abigail, Joseph, Amathia, and Mary.  His wife, Hopestill, was alive in 1669 but we don't know how much longer she lived.  Unfortunately, the will has been lost, and that would have answered several questions, perhaps.  His brother James was the executor, so apparently there was some property to dispose of, anyway.  Some of the children would have been considered "infants" at the time of John's death, so guardians may have been appointed.  It might be worthwhile to look for those records. 

This is what I know of John Merrick or Mirick (or other spellings).  I would love to talk to him to learn why he came to America (my guess is economic reasons, but I'd love to know from his own words) and how he adjusted to life in his new home, in a Puritan town.  I'd like to thank him for the hard work he did to help build America, and I'd like to thank him, on this Father's Day, for being one of so very many who raised good families while building a life here.

The line of descent is:

John Merrick-Hopestill
Hopestill Merrick-Richard Rosemorgie
Abigail Morgan-John Eames
John Eames-Rachel Comstock
John Eames-Elizabeth Longbottom
Hannah Eames-James Lamphire
Susan Lamphire-Joseph Eddy
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Stebbins about 1619-1683, Immigrant

I've written earlier about Rowland Stebbins, father of Thomas, but Thomas was an immigrant, too, and his story should be told.  He is actually an Allen ancestor twice, which makes him doubly important. 

Thomas was born about 1619 or 1620, presumably in Bocking, Essex, England, which is the town of record of his parents.  He came to New England in 1634 with his parents, Rowland and Sarah Whiting Stebbins, and three siblings, on the ship Francis.  Thomas was listed as 14 at the time. The family possibly stayed in Roxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony for a short time, with Rowland's younger brother Martin.

The Stebbins family soon moved on to Springfield, however, and that is where Thomas married Hannah Wright, daughter of Deacon Samuel and Margaret Stratton Wright, in November of 1645.  My notes say their first son, Samuel, was born in September of 1646 and then Thomas, two Josephs (one died at about 18 months of age), Sarah, Edward, Benjamin and finally twins Hannah and Rowland, born October 1 and 2nd 1660. Hannah, the mother, died, probably from childbirth complications, two weeks later.  9 children in 15 years, plus the privations of frontier life, was just too much for Hannah to overcome.  Surprisingly, it seems that Thomas stayed single until 1676, when he married Abigail Burt Ball Munn.  Thomas died September 28, 1683 and Abigail lived until 1707. 

We know a few other facts about Thomas.  He was a tailor by trade, and of course had small tracts of farm land.  When his father died, his brother John was given much more of the estate than Thomas was given, for whatever reason.  Thomas was older than John and perhaps John had greater need, or maybe John had done more to care for his father in his father's old age.  He was apparently a man of some standing in the town, as he was a selectman several time.  He was referred to as "sergeant" in 1656 and an overseer of highways in 1667.

 He would have been 56 years old at the time of King Philip's War, but was referred to as a lieutenant then, and was listed in Capt William Turner's company in the Turner Falls massacre.  We don't know for sure that he was on that mission but it seems possible.  (His sons Thomas and Samuel were there, so there is some confusion about whether Thomas Senior was there also).  If he wasn't in the fight, then he was at home or nearby, pulling guard duty and defending his and other families  The massacre or battle, whatever you want to call it, was a two parter.  The colonists massacred natives as they were sleeping, including women and children, and other natives then came to harass and kill the colonists as they made their way back home.  (We have many ancestors, and their siblings) on the lists of the men who were there).

There is apparently a will but I have not yet located it.  It is said to mention his daughters and his widow only.  I would like to find the will and would particularly like to find the inventory.  That would tell us more about the life of Lieutenant Thomas Stebbins. 

One line of descent is:

Thomas Stebbins-Hannah Wright
Edward Stebbins-Sarah Graves
Sarah Stebbins-John Root
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Claraissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

The second line is

Thomas Stebbins-Hannah Wright
Joseph Stebbins-Sarah Dorchester
Martha Stebbins-Samuel Lamb
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root-Ruth Noble

This is just one way we are our own cousins!  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Harshbarger line: One more ancestor, Joseph Seiler 1687-1739/40

Joseph Seiler was not an immigrant and I really don't have enough information about him to write a post.  But I've found some hints and they tie in with what I've learned while researching other Harshbarger line families, so I'm willing to put these ideas (not my own) out as a hypothesis. 

Joseph Jacob (or possibly Jacob Joseph) Seiler was born in 1687 in Wilstein, Germany, a small town
 that currently does not seem to be on a map.  His father's name was Joseph, and it's unsure which name our subject used.  Typically, if his name was Joseph Jacob he would have gone by the name of Jacob and documentation seems to support this, but many online sites call him Joseph.

The interesting thing to me is that this was a Mennonite family, but we don't know how long the family had been followers of Menno Simons.  For one thing, Joseph Jacob had at least six children, born in four different cities.  This would not be typical of a German line, but indicates that he owned no land and that he either may have been ejected from each village, or forced to leave for economic reasons.  Either scenario is typical of the Mennonites of the time, who were heavily fined and harassed by local authorities, due to pressure from above.

The other item that points to a Mennonite belief system is that Joseph had a book printed in 1571, written by Menno Simons, and Joseph had hand-written in it the names of his 7 children, where they were born, (Wilstig, Sembauch, Obermelingen, Ischbach), their birth date, and the astrological sign they were born under.  Apparently at least at this time the astrological sign was an important factor in the Mennonite life.

I've seen speculation that this family may trace back to Emmental, Switzerland but no real evidence this is the case.  If true, again it would tie in with what we've learned of the Swiss Mennonites who were forced out of Switzerland and into a life of poverty in Germany.  It makes sense.

The only other thing I can tell you about Joseph Jacob is that he died January 19,1739/40 in Milsbach, Germany.  It is uncertain whether more will ever to found about this family, because the Mennonites lived mostly "under the radar", except for the tax collector.  But perhaps with persistence, and cash, more could be learned and we would know whether this family also traces back to Switzerland. We do know two of his sons came to America, and that is what matters most in our family history!

The line of descent is:

Joseph Jacob Seiler-Anna
Daniel Seiler-Hanna Gerber
Catherine Sayler-Johannes Buchtel
Solomon Buchtel-Maria Margaretha Reber
Benjamin Buchtel-Barbara Burkholder
Nancy Fannie Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William H. Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Beeks line: A cousin discovered and mourned

Well, maybe he's not discovered, because I sure hope someone still remembers him, but this story was new to me and I found it only accidentally, while reading local newspapers for my "next book" project.  But Donald C Murdock deserves to be remembered and honored, not just by the few who may still remember him, but by all his extended family.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country and his family.

Donald Murdock was born June 5, 1918, the son of William and Hazel Aldridge Murdock.  (It's possible that Hazel had an earlier marriage, but I'm unable to verify that now)  Donald was the only child of this couple.  They lived in Frankfort, Clinton County, Indiana from the early years of the marriage, because Donald was listed with his parents there in the 1920 U.S. census.  William is listed as 44 years old, so it's possible that he had been married before also, and Hazel was 26.  Donald's paternal grandparents, the Murdocks, were born in Ireland.  His maternal grandfather, Jeremiah Aldridge, was born in Tipton County, Indiana.  (Jeremiah had three wives and I've not yet found Hazel's birth record, so I'm not sure who her mother was).

As far as we know, life was going OK for Donald in 1930. He spent summers in Huntington County, living on a farm, probably with family members. His father was now a landscaper for an electric light plant, and owned his own home.  Sometime between 1930 and 1940 William died, and Hazel remarried to Chelsea (?) Holtz.  In 1940, Chelsea was a fireman's helper at the electric plant, Hazel was a seamstress, and Donald was a truck driver.  They were living in a rented home, so it appears that perhaps the stress of the Depression and of William's death had reached this home.

The only story I know about Donald during his teenage years is one worthy of a hero.  While staying with his uncle, W.A. Bickel for the summer, Donald went to Silver Lake for an outing.  While there, he saved the life of  a young girl who had swum too far out and was exhausted.  (This was a big enough deal that it reached the Huntington Herald Press, even though it didn't occur in Huntington County).  Donald graduated from high school, probably in 1936, and was inducted into the U.S. Army on November 22, 1941, just about two weeks before Pearl Harbor.  His last job before joining the Army was as a guard at the Kingsbury ordnance plant.

I don't know anything about Donald's training or what his job in the Army was.  Sometime, after he was deemed trained, he was shipped to the South Pacific theater.  I don't know if he was in New Guinea the whole time, or if he had arrived there from another location (he very well could have been in Australia for additional training, as many soldiers in that campaign were stationed and trained there for a time.)  We know that he sent a Christmas greeting to his cousin, Allen Bickel, on December 26, 1942 and said that all was well.  However, in what was probably the battle to retake Buna from the Japanese, on the island of New Guinea, Donald was killed in action on December 29, 1942.  Word didn't read Huntington county until January 21, 1943 of this death in the family.

I have thought about what the Aldridge and Beeks families must have felt when they heard the news.  Donald was a second cousin to the Beeks "children", who were younger than Donald.  Cleo Aldridge Beeks and Hazel Aldridge Murdock Holtz were first cousins and likely grew up spending time together.  It would have been a sad day for the family, and for the other Aldridge family members.  For Hazel, it must have been devastating. 

At some point, Donald's body was returned to the States and he was buried at the IOOF cemetery in Frankfort.  There is a military marker on his headstone indicating that he was a private.  Perhaps his mother received a letter from his commander, giving more details of the death, but this is as much as I know now.  If anyone reading this has any more knowledge about Donald Murdock, I'd love it if you'd share that with me.  We should know the story of family heroes!

Donald's line of descent would be:                                To show the connection:

Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom                               Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Jeremiah Aldridge-                                                       Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Hazel Aldridge-William Murdock                               Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Donald Murdock                                                          Mary Margaret Beeks and siblings

Friday, June 9, 2017

Holbrook line: William Stone, 1603-1660, Immigrant

First, a disclaimer:  I am not 100% confident with this ancestor because our connecting link is not listed as his son in some of the trees I've looked at.  Also, there are few cources to refer to, which makes sense if you consider the turbulent times of frontier Maryland.  But wouldn't someone know for sure who the goernor's children were?  Yes, this man was the third governor of Maryland, and his life is intriguing.  Most of our Maryland ancestors were not men of "consequence", except to their descendants, so it's fun to find this one. 

Well, perhaps "find" is a bit too strong beabeth cause there doesn't seem to be a consensus, or documentation, for exactly when he was born, or for the identification of his parents.  He is likely to have been born in or around the London, England area, however, based on the odds.  Many of the early settlers of Virginia and Maryland were from the London area.  The most common christening date I've seen is October 7,1603 at Twiston, Clitheroe, Lancashire, England.  Doubtless a William Stone was baptized there on that day.  But was it this William Stone?  I need more than this to be reasonably sure of his early years. 

I'm also not sure on whether he had one wife, or two.  A William Stone married Elizabeth Sprigg, probably in England and probably about the year 1625.  The William Stone we are discussing had a wife, Verlinda Cotton, but the approximate wedding date for this couple is 1628-1630.  It's believed our ancestor, Thomas, was born about 1628 so I tend to think, at the moment, that he would be the child of William and Elizabeth.  I honestly don't think anyone knows for sure, at this moment in time.

What we do know is that he was a man of some substance, or consequence.  A daughter married William Calvert, son of Leonard Calvert, first proprietary governor of Maryland, and he would not have married just anyone.  The Stone family were "people of quality". 

William Stone was in Virginia by 1628, and latter went to Maryland.  He had two residences by 1648, one in Charles County and one in St Mary's County.  He served Accomack County, Virginia as justice of the piece for several years, was a vestryman, a shefiff, a burgess, and then governor of Maryland. He was later on the governor's Council, a Provincial court justice, and was also a military captain.  At his death, he owned 3000 acres of land, indicating that he most likely raised tobacco.  Perhaps the thing I like best about him is that he is described as an advocate for religious freedom. 

He probably had 6 children and perhaps more.  He wrote his will on December 3,1659.  It was proved on January 15, 1660, and probated December 21,1660.  His will is said to have mentioned his eldest son, Thomas, his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, and other children.  I have not yet seen a copy of the will myself, and I would love to find a copy on line. 

So this is our ancestor-mysterious, important, protector of religious freedom, and governor of  Maryland.  I need to learn more about him! 

The line of descent is:

William Stone-Elizabeth Sprigg (possibly)
Thomas Stone-Christiana Parrish
Barbara Stone-Dennis Garrett
Johanna Garrett-John Cole
Sarah Cole-Charles Gorsuch
Hannah Gorsuch-Thomas Stansbury
Rachel Stansbury-Alexis Lemmon
Sarah Lemmon-Abraham Hetrick
Isaac Hetrick-Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Allen line: Richard Tydings, Immigrant abt 1630-1687

I wish I could find more information about Richard Tydings.  I'd love to tell you who his parents were and where he was born, whom he married and when he arrived in the New World.  However, there is conflicting information about each of these "facts", and obviously not all of them can be correct.  There are no alternate facts in genealogy, but alternate theories abound .

As of now, possible parents for Richard,are John and Ann Willson Tydings, married September 20,1630 at St Saviour church, Southwark, Surrey, (across the Thames River from London).  John "Tithings" had a son RIchard baptied March, 1633/4, so this is in the correct time frame to be our Richard.  Also Richard named a son John, but both first names are very common so this is not proof, just a suggestion.

We do know that he was in Maryland by 1659, when he demanded 50 acres as a headright.  Whether this was for himself or for a family member is not clear. He lived at a "plantation" or farm called Haslenut Ridge", which was on the Rhode River in what is now Anne Arundel County, around Annapolis.

He most likely married in Maryland, and his wife is often claimed to be Charity Sparrow, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Marsh Sparrow.  There is some dispute about this in genealogy circles but I think it is likely correct, though I'm sure willing to listen to opposing beliefs, especially if documents are found to prove or disprove this theory

Based on his will, we know that he owned not only Haslenut Ridge, by now 166 acres, but also a tract called Nanjomie in Baltimore County, which was 375 acres, and another tract called "New Year's Purchase" which was on Gunpowder River in Baltimore County and contained 500 acres.  Because he owned at least three separate pieces of land at the time of his death in 1687, he was likely raising tobacco, which depleted the land quickly.   This could mean he had indentured servants or possibly slaves, although there was no mention of slaves in this will.  (This isn't necessarily conclusive, because slaves at the time were considered personal property and it wasn't necessary to list or bequeath them separately).

Other than this, we know only the names of some of his children: John, Charity, Pretitia, Elizabeth, and Mary.  There are lists that include other children and it's possible, but these five seem to be the ones everyone agrees on.  Richard is indeed a mystery.  Why did he come to Maryland, and what ship did he come on when he came to America.  Did he disembark at Baltimore, or Virginia?  Where is the proof of his wife's name?

The Maryland ancestors we have are fascinating, maybe because they seem mysterious to me.  I want to learn more about them both individually, and as a group of people.

The line of descent is:

Richard Tydings-Charity Sparrow
Pretitia or Pretosia Tydings-Dutton Lane
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, June 2, 2017

Thoughts on reaching 400 blog posts

"Margaret Catherine Dunham Aldridge', my last blog post, was post number 400.  That was kind of a big deal for me, because when I started I had no idea how many posts I'd be able to write.  I still have no idea.  For one thing, God could call a halt to them at any moment.  For another, I've already run out of people I can write about in the Harshbarger line.  The Beeks line is getting pretty thin, too, as far as new ancestors.  I still have quite a few Allen ancestors and a lot of Holbrook ancestors to write about, at least in theory.

I like to say that I'm writing these posts so family members will know their history and of course that is one reason.  But let's face it.  The truth is that I'm writing these posts because I enjoy it and because it is something I feel compelled to do.  I love learning who my ancestors are, and figuring out their stories.  I love the thrill of the hunt and the excitement when I uncover something, or someone, new to me and perhaps new to the world.  I love reading books, both non-fiction and fiction, that help me understand the world of my ancestors and how that world would have affected them.  I love that my family never stayed in one place more than one or two generations (OK, three generations in a couple of cases). 

Some of these things are the same things I don't care for, about family history.  I don't care for having to research in 34 states and two provinces and I don't know how many counties, just to track these people down.  I know the best thing to do is to go to county courthouses, but time and budget just won't allow me very many trips, so I have to choose carefully.  I don't like knowing that the ancestors I still need to find are the ones who seem to have been dropped by alien spaceships, because I can't find them prior to their marriage or even their death,   I don't like budget restraints.  I don't like it when experienced genealogists tell me there will always be people I can't find.  I also don't like it when I post about someone and then learn that was not the correct ancestor.  I have at least three blog posts about "former" ancestors that I've chosen to leave up (they are identified by "Updates" at the bottom of the page but I wish I had been accurate in the first place. 

Writing 400 blog posts has been an unexpected pleasure and I hope to continue as long as the Lord allows and I have people to write about.  I have loved "meeting" cousins via this blog post and I always encourage, in fact, I beg readers to share with me when they know things I haven't learned yet.  It's fun to work together on some of the "unfound" and I hope these collaborations continue. If you've been reading my blog from the beginning almost four years ago, I thank you and if you've just found it, I welcome you.  Let's see what we find out together as we head toward (maybe) blog post 500!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beeks line: Margaret Catherine Dunham Aldridge 1858-1942

I'm going to type two newspaper articles from the Huntington Herald Press.  They are full of errors and misspellings, but perhaps someone in the family hasn't seen these before.  They relate to the death of Margaret Catherine Dunham Aldridge, wife of Harvey Homer Aldridge and daughter of Samuel and Eliza Matilda Reese Dunham. 

Here's the first article, printed on May 8,1942:


Margaret K. Aldrich dies at Home of Daughter

Mrs. Margaret Katherine Aldrich, 88, died at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Cleo Beeks, in Andrews after a serious illness. 

She was born in Tipton county May 18,1858 to Samuel and Matilda Dunham and was married April 1, 1880 to Harvey Aldrich at Kempton, where the family lived until 1910 when they came to Andrews.  Mr. Aldrich died in August, 1930.

Surviving are two sons, Frank Aldrich, Wabash county, and Samuel Aldrich, Midland, Mich.; two daughters, Mrs. Della Harrell, Lagro, and Mrs. Beeks; 35 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.  One son and three daughters are deceased. 

The body was taken to the Zimmerman funeral home in Andrews where brief services will e held at 10 a.m. Saturday.  The body will then be taken to Kempton where services will be held in the Methodist church at 2p.m.  The Rev. John W. Borders, pastor of the Methodist church at Wabash will officiate.  Burial will be in the Morris cemetery near Kempton."

The second is from the Andrews news column, which explains the delay, and is dated May 21, 1942. 


Short funeral services for Mrs. Margaret Aldridge were held at the Zimmerman funeral home and the body was taken to Kempton for final services and burials.  Rev. John Borders of the Wabash Methodist Church officiated.  Singers were Mrs. Lloyd Slagal and Lester Stephan accompanied at the pino by Elizabeth Warschko.  Flowerbearers were granddaughters Anna Mae Beeks, Mary Margaret Beeks, Bernetta Huston, Lois Huston, Mary Enyard, Bernice Krider, Lurene Urschel, Doris Reynolds, Norma Jean Beeks, Carol Ann Enyeart and Lurene Kennedy.  Pallbearers were grandsons James Beks, Paul Aldridge, Herbert Harrell, Herman Harrell, George Enyard and Roy Huston."

There is a lot of information in these paragraphs that may be new to some of the family.  Remember that a couple of weeks ago I commented on the potential size of an Aldridge family reunion?  These articles prompted that comment.  There were many more great grandchildren born after Margaret's death, and those great grandchildren now have children, grand children, great grandchildren and perhaps even great great grandchildren of their own!

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Holbrook line: RIchard Seymour 1604-1655 Immigrant

First,the fanciful but probably not true, or at least not proven:  Some believe that Richard Seymour was a descendant of the Seymours of Wolf Hall, recently a series on PBS television.  Those Seymours were powerful people involved with even more powerful people, and they are fascinating.  Our Richard may or may not be descended from them, but his own life is fascinating in its own way.  Of course, I say that about all my ancestors!

Richard Seymour was baptized on January 27, 1604/05, the first child of Robert and Elizabeth Waller Seymour, at Sawbridgeworth, county Herts, England.  This is right on the border with Essex county, and likely there were friends and relatives of the Seymours who lived just a few miles down the road but were from Essex and not Hertfordshire. 

The next thing we know about Richard is that he married Mercy Ruscoe, daughter of Roger and Sarah Ruscoe of Sawbridgeworth, and the marriage occurred there on April 15,1631.  Richard and Mercy had three children born at Sawbridgworth, from 1632 to 1636.  Although I've not located immigration or transportation records, it seems likely that the Seymours (also spelled Seamer and Semer, among other variations) left England in 1638 and went to Hartford Connecticut, where many of the young town would have been old acquaintances from England.  Many Hartford settlers had their origins in Essex County, and if these people had been worshipping together as Puritans, they would surely have known and loved their new/old neighbors.

Richard was not a first settler at Hartford, as his lot number was number 70, but he did receive a land allotment in 1639 so he and his family, which consisted of four sons (two daughters had apparently died in England), settled down in their new home, early in the town's history.  His house was near the Ely home, and he also owned land toward West Hartford.  He was elected chimney viewer in 1647, which was somewhat analogous to that of fire inspector today.  The homes during this time period were built (except our pioneers used wood rather than the stone used in England) like those homes they'd left behind in England, meaning the roofs were thatched and prone to catching fire.  It was Richard's job to make sure the families were taking safety precautions and to watch for fires that might start on the roof, especially around the chimney. 

The land Richard had was "by the courtesy of the town", which meant in effect that he only had a life lease to the property, and could not pass it on to his sons.  Possibly due to this fact, Richard joined a group of settlers who planned to settle a new area, Norwalk, also in what is now Connecticut.  He signed an agreement for the settling and planting of Norwalk in 1650 and was settled there by 1652.  Here his home was directly opposite the meeting house and Parade Ground, on the highway leading from Stamford to Fairfield. He is considered an original founder of Norwalk.  He was elected townsman, or selectman, in 1655 but four months later wrote his will, when he was "very week and sike". 

Richard Seymour's estate was inventoried October 10, 1655 and was valued at 255 pounds, 9 shillings, which is not bad for a man 50 years old.  Most of the inventory is illegible but one can make out "books" valued at one pound.  this would indicate probably several volumes, but maybe not more than 20.  It would be intriguing to know what they were.  Were they all religious books, or did he have some practical books also?  His widow, Mercy, married Thomas Steele, one of the leaders of the Connecticut Colony.  He died in 1665 and she outlived him, but records of her death have not been located. 

So whether or not there is a connection to the Seymours of Wolf Hall, we certainly have a line to one of the early settlers of our country, and that is a good thing, too.  

The line of descent is:

Richard Seymour-Mercy Ruscoe
Richard Seymour-Hannah Woodruff
Hannah Seymour-Joseph Pomeroy
Medad Pomeroy-Hannah Trumbull
Medad Pomeroy-Eunice Southwell
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard-Euzebia or Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Allen line: Richard Smith 1595-166, Immigrant

I'd like to be more confident in what I'm writing about Richard Smith.  As you can see, it's a common name and even in a small town the size of Wethersfield, Connecticut there may have been as many as three Richard Smiths there during the lifetime of our ancestor.  Mostly I'll be writing about the more likely and unlikely possibilities, instead of being more definite about the facts that I usually find. 

Richard Smith was probably born about 1595.  He may have been the son of John Smith and Alice Walker, but others have disputed this and I certainly don't have anything more to add to the story.  He did marry Rebecca Buswell, daughter of Roger and Margaret Buswell on February 13, 1615 in Husbands Bosworth, Leicester, England.  It is a small village now and may have been even smaller when the couple were married.  The church dates from the 1500's so one could presumably visit there if desired, and see the actual location.  

It's been suggested that Richard came to Connecticut as early as 1635, but that is based on the idea that he was the son of John and Alice mentioned above.  It seems to me to be just speculation until his parentage is firmly established.  At aany rate, it appears that all of their six known children were born in Husbands Bosworth, with Abigail being born in 1638,  So sometime after that time, the family arrived at Wethersfield, which is on the Connecticut River, and is now just south of Hartford. (At the time, probably several miles separated the two towns, with travel back and forth being done by ship). 

Wethersfield was the scene of three witch trials while the Smiths lived there, which indicates that the town had problems and also that the town in general was a Puritan town.  We know that Richard was on jury duty in 1650, when he was at least 55 years old and some have guessed he was actually 72 or 73 at this time.  He was involved in some sort of law suit in 1652, and there are records for land he sold or gave to family members.   He died about 1669,still in Wethersfield.

That is as much as is known about Richard Smith, husband of Rebecca Buswell.  We can hope that he had a trade, or skill as a farmer, or something that supported the family, but we don't know what that was.  There apparently was no will, as he gave his assets to family members, particularly all his remaining real estate to his youngest son Jonathan  Rebecca is thought to have preceded him in death by about two years.

As is so often true, there's much more work to be done to identify Richard Smith and to tell his story.  We don't know when he came to America, or why, or what he did after he arrived here.  We don't know the extent of his religious commitment, or even whether or not he could read.

 Oh, one cool note...We do know that both Richard and his wife were treated by John Winthrop, Jr, the governor of Connecticut.  His brief Wikipedia article doesn't describe any medical degree or training, so that leaves me a little confused.  I'll keep looking for an explanation for that!

The line of descent is:

Richard Smith-Rebecca Buswell
Susanna Smith-Simon Hoyt
Benjamin Hoyt-Hannah Weed
Hannah Hoyt-Daniel Scofield
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Knott
John W Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, May 19, 2017

Harshbarger line: No more ancestor stories, for now

At the moment, I am out of names in the Harshbarger line to write about.  Either I've written about them back to their home in Germany or Switzerland (mostly) or I'm not able to find them any further back than whatever their birth or marriage date is, here in the states.  Unfortunately there are quite a few of those names, such as Mary Gearhart, Joseph Withers, Joseph Kirk, Tobias Miller, Peter Ulrich Schnerr, Jacob Kestenholtz, and others.  There is more to be found about these people, I'm sure, but I'm also sure that at this point I don't have the knowledge to do it.  So for now, this might be the end of the Harshbarger posts-until my next discovery.

I have had some thoughts about the more recent Harshbarger lines.  In contrast to the Beeks family, who is somewhat well documented in local newspaper accounts, I have found nothing at all about the Grover Harshbarger family in the 15 years (1927-almost all of of 1942) of newspapers I've read for the Huntington Herald Press.  Obviously one explanation is that the Harshbarger family was small and the Beeks family was large.  But other factors may play in to the difference also.  Grover was a hard working man and Goldie, as far as is known, stayed at home to raise her son.  They didn't get into legal trouble.  They weren't leaders in any church or other organization. They had no musical talents that meant they would be called on to sing at funerals. They didn't have auto accidents (I'm not sure when they actually got their first car, but it would have been before they moved to the Majenica area, surely).  I haven't found their name in any of the "removal" columns either, so I'm not sure exactly when the move was.

The point I'm making is that many ancestors were like the Grover Harshbarger family.  They weren't highly educated, or maybe not educated at all, and the friends they had were also low profile people.  They likely engaged in some of the same activities that more publicized families did, such as get togethers with neighbors, basket dinners, helping each other out. Perhaps they voted, perhaps they didn't, but they likely had political opinions that were not noted in letters to the editor. Lots of good people are hard to trace even 75 to 80 years ago.  No wonder they are hard to trace back in the 1700s! 

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the loss of the Harshbarger family lines, as far as blog posts go.  Maybe I'll make a discovery in the next two weeks that will allow me to postpone having to make that decision.  I've truly enjoyed learning more about this family, starting from the information I had in my wedding book (great grandparents) and working both backwards and sideways, to learn the stories of the ancestors I've found.  When I started, all I "knew" of the origins was that the Harshbargers were "Pennsylvania Dutch."  They are so much more! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Beeks lines: "Bits and Pieces from my Andrews research"

Most of my very few readers know that I am currently reading newspapers for a possible second book about Andrews history.  I am fortunate in that while I am reading Huntington, Indiana newspapers I occasionally come across some articles that "fill in the blanks", or at least a few of them, about the Beeks family.  Maybe everyone(!) who reads this post will already know this information, but it was all news to me. 

First, a little on the light hearted side, Wilbur Beeks seemed to get called for jury duty with great regularity.  I don't know what happened, but in May of 1941, when he was again called for grand jury duty, he apparently asked to be excused.  I don't know whether this was the first time, or what the reason was, but here's what the Huntington Herald Press said on May 18,1941:


Remaining Xis Expected to meet Thursday, 9 A.M.

William E Norris, Jackson township farmer and Wilbur Beeks, of Andrews, members of the Huntington county grand jury, have been excused from serving in the session set to begin Thursday, 9 a.m. (cdwt) according to entries made on the court record by Judge Otto H. Krieg. 

The entries set out that the men presented "good and sufficient reason" and accordingly were excused. 

The riding bailiff has summoned Ora Baker, Jefferson township, to take Beeks place.

Beeks, seventh man drawn for the April term grand jury, was summoned when Norris was excused.  When Beeks was excused the eighth and last man was summoned..."  So, what was the good and sufficient reason, I wonder?

Now, to information that was to me both interesting and sad, besides being new to me.  The first was an article from the same Newspaper of November 7,1941 headed "John Wise Dies at Home of Nephew in Andrews."  Briefly, it told the story of John Wise who had died at the home of Wilbur Beeks, with whom he had lived for some time. I've never heard of this man, other than that he was the son of David and Matilda Martin Wise, so I had to go out looking for information.  He was not to be found in the 1900 census, at least not that I recognized, but in 1910, 1920, and 1930 he was listed as a farm worker.  In 1910 and 1920 he apparently worked on the farm of two sisters (not his) in Lagro Township, wabash County, and in 1930 he was a laborer already living with Wilbur (and Cleo) Beeks.  Perhaps the two women he worked for had died, as they were considerably older than he was.  He lived with the Beeks family for at least 10 years and possibly longer, until his death at age 69.  The only other named relatives were his nephew Chester Beeks of Chicago, and his niece Mrs. Charity Carpenter, also of Chicago.  I learned from the census that he had a seventh grade education and could read and write. 

There are those living who could tell more of John's story.  I'd like to know more about him.  For instance, I didn't find him in a WW I draft registration index.  Was he simply too old to be drafted?  What about the Spanish American War?  I have no reason to think he served in the military, but it's possible.  Did he have some physical handicap that kept him from living a more expansive life, or was he simply a happy go lucky man who didn't have a lot of ambition?  And what was he like?  There will soon be no one left to remember him, and I'd like to know his story.

Finally, there was another obituary, which had some surprising information.  Printed in the November 29, 1940 Huntington Herald Press there was an obituary for Mrs. Dorothy O. Huston.  She was the daughter of Harvey and Margaret Aldridge, and the sister of Cleo Beeks, among others.  She died at the age of 46 after having been in failing health for several sears, and being bedfast for two years. 

Survivors included her husband, Frank, four daughters, four sons, four grandchildren, two brothers and two sisters.  Three sons preceded her in death.  What surprised me was the number of children, and also the fact that I think I knew some of them.  Mrs. Doris Reynold of Lagro and Roy Huston were the two who appear to have established their own households.  Vivian, Bernetta, Lois, Alven, Marvin and Walter all lived at home.  Brother Frank Aldridge lived in Wabash and Samuel Aldridge in Midland, Michigan.  Sisters were Mrs. Cleo Beeks of Andrews and Mrs. Stella (should be Della) Harrell of Lancaster township. 

I'm coming to the conclusion that there are a lot more cousins out there than I knew about.  I know a Beeks reunion would be very large, but an Aldridge reunion would be awesome!!  And all this news was because I read some newspapers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Holbrook line: Walter Haynes 1583-1665, Immigrant

How do I condense the life of this immigrant ancestor into a few paragraphs and still tell a little of his story?  We are fortunate to know so much about Walter Haynes, as he was a linen-weaver by occupation.  We would probably have been considered a tradesman, rather than a farmer but most likely raised at least some crops for his family.  Not everyone is so fortunate as to have this much information about a tradesman ancestor, so I'm not complaining.

Walter Haynes was born in 1583 in Sutton, Mandeville, Wiltshire, England.  It's a small village not far from the south central coast of England,  There is a 13th century church there, with the tower built in the 15th century.  Walter's parents, probably John and Alice Lambert Haynes, would have been very familiar with this church and likely Walter was, too.  We don't know when or if Walter became a Puritan because despite considerable information about him, I don't find mention of a church allegiance.

He and his wife Elizabeth left England on April 24, 1638 on board the "Confidence" and arrived in New England in June of that year. Boston and the surrounding small towns would have been new then, and anxious for skilled men such as linen-weavers to arrive and help build the colony.  When Walter arrived, it was with five of their six children, and three servants.  Walter was already 55 years old so it was likely that servants were necessary to do some of the hard work of building a home and a town.

Walter first lived in Watertown, probably while the plans were being completed for the founding of the town known as Sudbury.  He was granted land there in December of 1639, and the first houses or lean tos were constructed then.  Let's hope that he had a house constructed!  The first church was organized in 1640, and it seems likely that Walter was a member if only because he was made a  freeman in 1641 and was frequently a selectman, and also a representative to the General Court.  .  We are also told that Walter Haynes's first house was made into a garrison during King Philip's War (1675-1677), after Walter and his wife had both died.  This indicates that the house he constructed, or had constructed, was substantial.

Elizabeth tied in 1659 and Walter wrote his will at about that same time.  He lived for six more years, dying February 14, 1665.  At his death, he left property in England to the daughter who had stayed in England, and his inventory amounted to 495.18.10, which would not seem insubstantial for a linen weaver.  I'm proud to call him an ancestor.

The line of descent is:

Walter Haynes-Elizabeth
Suffrance Haynes-Nathaniel Treadway
Elizabeth Treadway-Joseph Hayward
Lydia Hayward-John Hanchett
Hannah Hanchett-John Stannard
Libbeus Stannard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stannard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis E Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Allen line; Robert Johnson died 1661, Immigrant

There are a lot of stories about Robert Johnson on line, but not a lot of good, documented information.  I'm not sure but I think it's possible that two Robert Johnson's have been combined and confused, and that makes it hard to determine which Robert Johnson is ours.

The esteemed genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus in his "Families of Ancient New Haven" gives the idea that three brothers came from Hull, Yorkshire, England, and from that others have apparently jumped at the conclusion that Robert is the son of Abraham who was the son of Robert Johnson son of Maurice Johnson, who was an alderman of Stanford in Lincolnshire.  I'm not sure this holds up under scrutiny, but it's possible.

I'll start with what I believe to be correct.  Robert Johnson was in New Haven, Connecticut as early as 1641.  At least two more generations of Johnsons lived in New Haven, and their records seem to be a little more easily traced.  So that's helpful, to show that Robert was an early resident there 

William Richard Cutter says that Robert came to Boston in 1637 from Kingston on Hull, Yorkshire, England, where he was in business.  He brought his wife "Adlin" and four sons, Robert, Thomas, John, and William.  There is some belief that Aldin may have been a second wife, but so far no records have been produced to indicate whether this is so or not.

The first I can really find about Robert is that he was in New Haven, Connecticut in 1641, and that this is where he spent the remainder of his days.  He is believed to have been born sometime between 1603 and 1612, but again, there is no known documentation.  It makes sense based on the ages of his known children to think that it would be closer to 1603, since some of his children are believed to have been born in the early to mid 1620's.

We see him in 1641 in New Haven in a dispute with his brother, John.  He had loaned money to John back in England, and John apparently did not pay him back. the house had been pledged as security, or so Robert thought. In the 1640's he was several times appointed to committees to resolve disputes about crops damaged by cattle and hogs, and to determine how much corn each farmer was growing, that the town would be responsible to buy.  He bought 91/2 acres of land "in the Necke" and also had recorded 62 acres of "upland" he had purchased from Thomas Yale, both in 1646.  He apparently also owned a dwelling or land in "Yorkshire quarter", which was disposed of in his will.

That is pretty much what is known of Robert Johnson.  If he was descended from Maurice Johnson then there is likely more material to be found regarding his ancestry, and hopefully more clues to his occupation, religion, and other mundane matters that bring our ancestors to life.

For now, we will leave him at the end of his life, in 1661, in New Haven.  He chose to live there and had been there at least 20 years, watching his family grow and settle in to the new land they had come to.  I am thankful that men like Robert Johnson were willing to come to America and build this new land!

The line of descent is:

Robert Johnson-Adeline
John Johnson-Hannah Parmalee
Samuel Johnson-unknown
Mary Johnson-Matthew Bellamy
Hannah Bellamy-John Royse
Elizabeth Royse-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Ann Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, May 5, 2017

Harshbarger line: Jacob Maag 1703-1767 Immigrant

Every time I write a Harshbarger blog post now, I fear that I've found the last ancestor who is "findable", and it makes me feel like a failure even though I've set the rules for this post, and I could always change them.  The rues are pretty loose.  It needs to be a direct ancestor (for the most part) and it needs to be an immigrant or have another compelling story to tell.  Of course, I could always break those rules, and I may have to, if I want to keep writing about people in the Harshbarger line.

However, I did find "just one more" ancestor who is an immigrant and from everything I can tell, is a Harshbarger.  He follows much of the typical Harshbarger story, which is a good thing because I don't have very many details about him.  Jacob Maag was born in Endhori, Zurich, Switaerland.  He was born or baptized on May 22, 1703.  His parents are given as Heinrich Maag and Klienvre Volkhart, or Jacob Maag and Barbara Surber.  There are good reasons to accept either pair of parents but I have no opinion.  It's enough to know he came from Endhori, which may have been a small town on the southern border with Germany, near Zurich.

Jacob was 42 when he came to America on the  "Loyal Judith" in 1743, according to the ship manifest.  There was also a Henry or Heinrich who was 15, and who is as yet not identified to my satisfaction.  He could be a younger brother, or a son, or nephew.  It is possible that Jacob went back to Switzerland a few years later and brought his family back, as it seems he didn't take the oath until 1746.  Usually the oath was taken as soon as one stepped off the ship.  Or the 1746 date could possibly be a typo. 

Jacob married Anna Surber, as yet not further identified, in Bolach, Zurich Canton in March of 1721.  I've found several conflicting records of their children but they had several, and they seem to have all come to America also.  I found a will that Jacob witnessed on April 17,1748, for Maria Gertraut Seibel, in Philadelphia.  I've not yet determined whether she was a family member or a friend.  I've found a listing for him at the Red Lion Inn in 1758 in Philadelphia and one mile from Germantown in 1761, so it doesn't appear that he left the immediate area, although I've not yet found land records.

He and his wife "Barbara" were sponsors for two of the children of Isaac Wetstein (Whetstone) and Anna Maria's children, and also for other Maags.  These records are in the First Reformed Church of Philadelphia.  This church began as a German Reformed (Calvinist) church but the Maags would have been quite at home there and may well have been German speaking even though their home was in Switzerland. 

I haven't found Jacob's will yet but I've found a reference to it, so I'm anxious to see it  He died May 18, 1767, in Philadelphia.  The fact that he stayed so near to, or in, the city makes it likely that he was a tradesman or merchant of some kind.  I'd sure like to learn his occupation.  The "city" dwelling aspect here is a little different than those of the family who have farmed, and that makes him interesting.  I'd love to learn more of Jacob's story!

The line of descent is:

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Beeks line: Jason Wheeler 1765-1843, some thoughts

Jason Wheeler is one of the brick walls that is driving me crazy.  Most trees out there give a definite date of birth for him, of October 4, 1765, and an approximate death date of 1843, supposedly in Marion County, Indiana.  I have no reason to dispute those dates except that I can't find documentation for them.  My hope is that the birth date came from a family Bible somewhere, and that someone seeing this will contact me with more information. 

So the only real thing I have to go on is his birthdate, and the fact that the 1850 census shows his widow, Patience, or Palina possibly, as having been born in Vermont.  So the 1791 census (called the 1790 census on Ancestry, but it was taken a year later than the rest of the country) shows a Jason Wheeler in Lunenburgh, Orange County, Vermont.  This is the only Jason Wheeler in the entire 1790 census, so I'm going to assume this is our guy.  I have bits and pieces through land records and census records of the rest of his life.  He and Timothy Wheeler (a possible brother, possibly named for Timothy Nash) went to Chenango County, New York and then Jason moved on to Clermont County, Ohio, before the final move to Marion County, Indiana.  The dates and time frame aren't really part of this discussion, because I want to focus on the early years of Jason Wheeler's life-in fact, his earliest years. 

Specifically, I would like to know who his parents were.  Every tree that ventures a guess seems to think his father is Joseph Wheeler, from Smyrna, Cobb County, Georgia.  If someone has proof of this I sure would be pleased to see it, but on the face of it this doesn't seem likely.  Going from Georgia to New York (where Joseph supposedly died) is not a usual migration path, and none of Jason's known children are named Joseph.

Let's leave that name alone for a while and apply some of the thought processes that family historians rely on.  We know that family tended to stay together, so let's look at the other Wheelers in Orange County, Vermont in 1791.   There are quite a few, but the one closest geographically is George, who is in Guildhall, which is basically right over the line from Lunenburgh.  In fact, the two men probably thought they were living in the same town, until a 1786 survey showed that the border was not where the towns thought they were.  George Wheeler's name is on some petitions in 1786 and 1788, and Jason's name joins his in 1788.  George's 1791 census shows that he still has quite a large family, with a total of 10 people in the household.  As a further note, Lunenburgh and Guildhall were each very small communities, with only 16 heads of households listed in each town in that year.  George and Jason are the only two Wheelers here. 

The only record I've found for a child for George is George Junior, who was born in 1773.  That doesn't mean that this was the only child the family had, though.  I've found that George first went to the area that became Guildhall in 1764, as one of a small group of people that also included Timothy Nash and David Page.  These men settled in the area, with George pitching a tent on the south side of Fiske's pond (which I've not yet located on a map; it could be drained by now).  There is a reference to the Wheeler family being there in the early years but it's possible that at least for the first year or two that the family joined George only for the warmer months. 

So who was George Wheeler?  Well, the record for George Junior's birth shows his parents as George and Experience Wheeler.  George Wheeler and Experience Nash (she seems to be the daughter of the Timothy Nash mentioned above, and Experience Kellogg) were married in Shutesbury, Massachusetts on March 17, 1764.  Jason was born about 19 months later.  If we count back nine months from October 4, 1765 we arrive at early January, 1765, a time when it would make sense for the couple to have been together, if George went back to Shutesbury that first winter.  It's an "if", but it may be a reasonable "if".  And if Jason was born in Vermont in early fall, it makes sense that his birth records would either be non-existent due to the pioneer experience, have been lost, or are somewhere in the archives of either New York or New Hampshire, each of which was claiming this land at the time. There are no further records for George Wheeler in Shutesbury, so he must have gone someplace.

George served in the Revolutionary War under a New Hampshire group, in Captain Bedell's company, and again in 1782 in a group credited to Vermont.  I haven't done a lot of digging on the war story because I'm still trying to piece together a timeline and figure out how much sense this idea makes. 

George is in Lunenburgh, now Essex County, in the 1800 census.  He is about the age of 45, so born earlier than 1755, and still has 5 people living with him, plus a woman over 45 who is presumably his wife, Experience.  After that, I can no longer locate a likely suspect to be George.  He may have died between 1800 and 1810, or he may be living in a child's home, but since we don't know the children to check that is hard to determine at this point.  Jason, meanwhile has moved on to Frankfort, Herkimer, New York in 1800 (again, he's the only Jason I can find in the 1800 census).  He is apparently married (best guess for marriage date is 1788 or so) and has six children living in the household.  One of these children is a son named George, born in 1799. 

I have no smoking gun here.  I haven't found a will for George, or estate papers, land records or pension records.  I don't know what happened to him.  I have geographic location, opportunity, and names (some of Jason's children used the name George, also, which may be for George Wheeler, or could be for George Washington)  This is more than I can find for the supposed Joseph.  

What do my genealogy friends think?  Are George and Experience strong possibilities for Jason's parents?  Where else can I look?  I'd sure love to add these names to the Beeks family tree, and start researching George and Experience!  Please email me: happygenealogydancingATgmailDOTcom, or leave a comment!

Here's Jason's line of descent:

Jason Wheeler-Patience
Lucinda Wheeler-John Simpson Aldridge Jr.
Darlington Aldridge-Leah Folsom
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, April 28, 2017

Holbrook line: Francis Garrett 1610-1691, Immigrant

Francis Garrett is a fun ancestor because he came to Virginia early, in 1635 in the "Thomas and John".  He apparently was the son of John Garrett, and possibly Bridget unknown, but documentation is lacking.  Some have tied him to the Gerard line that goes back decades is not centuries further, but I wonder if that is just wishful thinking.  I consider that unproven at this point-but wouldn't it be fun if it were true?  Francis's birthplace is listed as Graesend, Kent, England, and there is a John Garrett who died at Deptford, Kent in 1655, who may be Francis's father, but that is as far as I'm willing to go at this point.

So Francis arrived in 1635 in Virginia and may have married Mary in Northumberland County, Virginia in 1649.  His two sons, William and Dennis, were born 1650-1652.  Mary's maiden name is often given as Dennis but there is some question, since a single Mary Dennis gave livestock to her daughter in 1664.  If this was the same Mary, then she couldn't have been married to Francis since approximately 1668.  If there was a divorce and that is why she was single in 1664, no one seems to have found records for that yet.  Since some give the birthplace of their children as Baltimore County, Md, maybe they married and went "north" soon after, and the Mary Dennis who gave livestock to her daughter is someone else entirely. 

I'm still looking for documentation about his life in either Virginia or Maryland.  He seems to have died in 1691, about the time his son Dennis was killed by a neighbor.  (Lots of websites call this a murder but it may have been an accident, manslaughter, in our legal terms, but not murder). I hope Francis wasn't alive to see his son wounded and then die a month later from his injuries. 

I hope to locate land and probate records for Francis.  Perhaps he owned no land and was a merchant, tradesman or sailor, since he's not listed in Peter Wilson Coldham's "Settlers of Maryland 1679-1783.  Or perhaps he acquired land earlier than that.  I will keep looking for these records, because we have two or three lines of descent from this ancestor.  I guess what we know now is that his life was probably different than our New England ancestors, in economics, military history, religion, and government.  That's enough to make me want to learn more! 

The line of descent is

Francis Garrett-Mary possibly Dennis
Dennis Garrett-Barbara Stone
Joanna Garrett-John Cole
Sarah Cole-Charles Gorsuch
Hannah Gorsuch-Thomas Stansbury
Rachel Stansbury-Alexis Lemmon
Sarah Lemmon-Abraham Hetrick
Isaac Hetrick-Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Allen line: Daniel Finch 1560-1641

Actually, Daniel's birth date and location are still unrecorded, but 1560 is a guess based on his son Abraham's birth, again not found, of about 1585.  If we go with these dates, then Daniel was really quite an old man when he came to New England in an unknown ship in the Winthrop fleet in 1630.  He and several other Finches (brother John and son Abraham, and possibly others), settled in Watertown, Massachusetts.  To remind ourselves of how difficult life was in the beginning, in a new colony, there are notes that "Old Man Finch, of Watertown, had his wigwam burnt and all his goods", noted on October of 1630 by Winthrop himself  This would presumably been a first home, put up until a more suitable but still modest home could be found or built.  At least it was shelter from the rain, if not the cold winter, and the loss of his home and all his personal property would have been devastating.

Nevertheless, he persevered.  He is serving on a jury in May of 1631 and was made a Freeman on May 18.  He left Watertown before land grants were first recorded in 1636, and was the constable of Wethersfield, Connecticut in April of 1636.  This indicates he probably arrived there in 1635.  Again, by now he was 75 years old if we are working from the birthdate of 1560 or so.  I have seen speculation that Abraham was born as late as 1610, so genealogists could be off in thinking that Daniel was as old as I've represented him here.  Perhaps he was born as late as 1585-he was still 50 when he went to Wethersfield and probably feeling his age, whatever it was.

He stayed in Wethersfield only a few years and then moved on with friends to found Stamford in 1641, and finally to Fairfield, Connecticut.  There he married widow Elizabeth Thompson, who died by 1658, and later married Widow Mary Dickerson.  They had a son named Nathaniel.  Daniel died in Fairfield in March 1666/67, "aged about 81"

It looks like there needs to be more done on this Finch family.  My dates don't correspond with the dates I've used in this blog post.  Apparently I have one too many Finch generations, but I haven't figured out which one is incorrect.  I am going to put the line of descent as I have it in my tree, knowing it may be wrong and hoping a reader will be able to correct me, with documentation that seems to be lacking in what I've found so far.  I'm starting to wonder whether I see the hand of Gustave Anjou or one of his sort in this! 

The line of descent is (or might be)

Daniel Finch-first wife
Abraham Finch-Deborah Moulton
John Finch-Hannah Marsh
John Finch-Hester Davis
John Finch-Sarah
Nathaniel Finch-Hannah Scofield
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Knott
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, April 21, 2017

Harshbarger line: Yost Gingrich, probably ours

I say probably because I'm not100% convinced that the Burkholder tree I've been working on is correct.  And Yost (Josef, Joseph) comes from that tree.  His daughter Maria or Mary married Adam Burkholder, and they had several children together.  Here's the problem:  Joseph Burkholder was born in 1783.  His father, Adam, who married Maria or Mary was born in about 1728.  I've seen all sorts of dates for Maria's but averaging them out, I'm guessing about 1745.  Now, it wouldn't be impossible for a woman of that age to have a son of Joseph's age (giving birth at somewhere around age 40), but there's another problem.  Joseph Burkholder doesn't seem to be mentioned in his supposed father's (1728-1800) will, unless I'm missing something.

There could be an explanation for the will omission, but since Joseph was only 17 at the time of Adam's death, I'm  wondering if we are actually missing a generation here, and it was one or another of Adam's sons who was actually Joseph's father.  Regardless, I'm going to post what little I've learned about Yost because I think that based on names and location, Yost is probably the great grandfather, if not the grandfather, of Joseph Burkholder.  Obviously, more work needs to be done on this line.

Yost Gingrich is variously reported as having been born in "Europe", "Germany" or "Bern Canton, Switzerland."  My guess is that if he wasn't from Switzerland, then his parents were, because there is every indication that this was a Mennonite family, and many if not most Mennonites can be traced back to Switzerland.  The specific locality in one tree is given as "Konsfinger, Bern, Switzerland" and he would have been born sometime about 1720 or so.  Apparently the actual record hasn't been located yet, or else his parents, Johannes and Anna Sherk Gingrich, were living under the radar of the state church, which is also possible. 

Yost is the only child I'm aware of.  He married Anna Huber, daughter of Jacob and Anna Leininger Huber, in about 1740 in Seftigen, Bern, Switzerland.  Again, documents seem to be lacking or at least not yet known to me.  We don't know for sure when Yost came to America because some trees show that his children were born in Germany (or Switzerland) and some show them as being born here.  He and Anna did have at least 8 children, though, with birth dates generally given in the 1740s and 1750s.

When Yost came to America, he apparently settled in that part of Lancaster County that would later become Amwell Township, Lebanon County, Pa.  He purchased land from and beside Michael Baughman, and by 1771 was taxed for 240 acres, a mill (probably a grist mill), four horses and four cows.  In roughly 25 years, he had done rather well for himself and his family.  He died on or shortly before March 5, 1776 and is probably buried on the family farm.  Maria outlived him by many years and died in 1813 in probably Franklin County, Pennsylvania. 

This isn't much to go on, especially since I'm not sure of the exact relationship between Joseph Burkholder and Yost Gingrich.  However, it is another tie in to Bern Canton, Switzerland, another story of Mennonite trials and blessings, and another reason to honor the efforts of these ancestors to come to America to build a new life.  I hope to update this post when I've figured out the correct relationship, so for now consider this a work in progress. 

The line of descent would be

Yost Gingrich-Anna Huber
Maria Gingrich-Adam Burkholder
possibly another Burkholder generation
Joseph Burkholder-Elizabeth Miller
Barbara Burkholder-Benjamin Buchtel
Fannie Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William A Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants