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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Beeks line: "Uncle" George Botkin, Civil War veteran

I don't usually write about people who aren't direct ancestors, but I make an exception if I find a truly interesting story.  This one qualifies, in my opinion. 

George Botkin was born February 9, 1831 in Ohio, probably Shelby County although I haven't found records yet.  His parents were George and Elizabeth Featheringill Botkin.  He was the youngest of at least 10 children, and George Sr died in 1832, when George was just a baby.  He came with his mother and other Botkin family members (including his sister, Charity Botkin who married Jackson Wise) to southern Wabash county. 

In fact, George actually settled in Pleasant Township, Grant County, where he married Mary Jane McClure in 1858.  By the 1860 census, there were two children, George W, who was 3, and Robert, who was 1.There was also a person named Charly Winters, who was 22, a laborer, and apparently an Indian.  The census is very faint and hard to read for this township, but I think it says "Indian" in the "race" column; I could be wrong about that. 

George's life changed dramatically when the Civil War broke out.  He was one of those brave men who enlisted for duty..  On August 16, 1862 he enlisted in the 101st Indiana Infantry Regiment at Wabash, Indiana, and was assigned to company F.  This was part of the Army of the Ohio in 1862, but in 1863, it became attached to the Army of the Cumberland.  One of their first assignments was in the Defense of Cincinnati, when it appeared that there might be an invasion by the Confederates. 

It may have been about this time that George saw another, equally interesting, opportunity.  He transferred to a group known as the "Mississippi Marine Brigade", a unit of the army command operating under the direction of the U.S. Navy.  It consisted of artillery, cavalry, and infantry, and a fleet of boats for transportation.  This is a little known story of the Civil War, probably because few records have survived.  The brigade participated in the Vicksburg Campaign, reaching the area above Vicksburg on May 29, 1863.  Some of the unit engaged in various skirmishes while others built a fort directly across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg, and then occupied it.  They were instrumental in helping bring the siege, or campaign, to a  successful conclusion. 

I've not yet learned more of their history, or what they did during the next two years of the war.  Because this was a loose group and control shifted back and forth between the Navy and the Army, their records are poorly kept.  I've not yet found a discharge date for George, or whether or not he was wounded, or any hint of a pension record.  I have found someone by his name who ended up in a soldier's home in Ohio, but I'm not convinced this is our George.  There was another George in the Civil War from Ohio, and this is more likely to be the George referred to in the soldier's home.

The only record I've found of George for sure was in the 1880 census in Montgomery County, Kansas, where he is listed with Mary Jane, and Robert, a name undeciphered, and James.  There is also a comment that George W (son) is not living at home.  After that, I can find nothing. 

However, what we do know of George and his life is fascinating.  Who knew that a Beeks ancestor was involved in the Civil War, let alone part of such a unique unit?  I would love to hear his stories, and to find out what became of him.  He's another relative to honor for his service to our country, and it's neat to find him in the Beeks family line.

I certainly want to thank T.J. Hunnicutt at the Wabash Historical Museum, for sending me the clues that led me on a search of George's service, and of his life.  I would not have stumbled on this story without him!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Holbrook line: Francis Sprague, Immigrant of 1623

Goodness!  It's hard to imagine what the Saints, and even the Sinners, thought when Francis Sprague arrived at Plymouth Colony in 1623.  He and at least two of his family arrived on the ship Anne.  Francis was still a young man, having been born sometime in the 1590's, and he was evidently a free spirit.  Nevertheless, he probably had to sign something that said he would abide by the rules of the Colony, even though he was not of their (or, probably, any) religious persuasion.  Let's just say he was likely one of those people who thought the laws didn't apply to him  That makes him a fun ancestor to write about. 

We don't know much about his family, although his parents are frequently given as Edward Sprague and Christiana or Margaret Holland.  This couple was from Dorset, England but I am not aware of any documentation that shows Francis as a son of theirs.  Still, it may be true.

There is also considerable confusion about his first wife, and whether or not she accompanied him to New England.  Her name is now believed to be Lydia, possibly Archer, and she may have been an interesting person herself.  If she encouraged Francis to come to America, perhaps she lived to regret that encouragement, or perhaps life for the Spragues in England was so difficult that living on the frontier was not harder, just different.  Certainly the family had cause to wonder whether they had done the right thing when the left the ship "Anne" in 1623 and saw the condition of the settlers who had been at Plymouth Colony for two or three years.  However, they didn't return to the ship but stayed to make their new home in the New World.

Because Francis was here in 1623, he received land in the division of 1623 and was part of the next  division of land and cattle in 1627, receiving 15 acres of land plus cattle, sheep, and goats.  About this time he also made an agreement with William Bradford to become a recognized fur trader.  This job would not have been easy, as it meant going into lands occupied by the natives and taking pelts and animals that the natives had relied on for years.  It was what we would consider a high risk occupation. 

By 1637, a few years after his second marriage, Francis was ready to settle down a little more, and he was approved by the courts to become an innkeeper.  Innkeeper is really a misnomer, for the main attraction of his establishment seems to have been liquor, although "hard" liquor was not officially permitted. This was in Duxbury, a newer settlement of the Colony, .He joined the militia under Captain Myles Standish (another Holbrook ancestor) in 1638.  He was cited by the courts several times through the years for various infractions regarding dispensing of liquor, and appears to have had his license suspended for as long as 6 years, from 1640-1646. He was also made a freeman in 1637, and later was a constable for the town.

The tavern business was good to him for he was able to make other real estate investments, and was regarded as rather wealthy and somewhat respectable when he died in 1676.  By then, he had deeded much of his land to his son John.  Considering the hardships he faced and lived through, he had quite a long life.  He's an interesting addition to the family. 

The line of descent is:

Francis Sprague-Lydia
Mercy Sprague-William Tubbs
Samuel Tubbs-Mary Willey
Mercy Tubbs-John Crocker
Rachel Crocker-Kingland Comstock
Rachel Comstock-John Eames
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, April 11, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Bird 1593-1662, Immigrant

The dates I've used in the title of this are not ones I necessarily put much credence in.  Most sources say Thomas was born about 1600 in England, and that he died in 1662 in Hartford, Connecticut.  I've been able to find a few bits and pieces of information about Thomas but not nearly as much as I'd like, and some of those bits and pieces don't necessarily belong to this man.  I've tried to weed out the obviously wrong ones. 

So, Thomas was born in England and died in Hartford, Connecticut.  There is a Thomas Bird who was baptized November 5, 1593 in St Andrew Parish, Enfield Borough, London, England. He was the child of Robert and (from a different, undocumented source) possibly Amy.  This may be our Thomas although 1593 is several years away from "about 1600".  The jury is still out, as far as I'm concerned, as other researchers feel strongly that he came from the area of Braintree, Essex. We don't have birth dates for the children (Hannah, James, Joseph, Mary) but based on their marriage dates, they were probably born in the 1620's, so Thomas's first marriage would have taken place there, too.  I've seen various names for this first wife put forth but they are all just speculation at this point.  We do know he married Mary Belden as a subsequent wife, about 1660, in Hartford, Ct.. 

Thomas and his family were in Hartford by 1639, when he was granted land there.  He also purchased land from Thomas Judd in 1644.  There is apparently no mention of him in church records, but it is likely he was a Puritan, one who possibly stayed out of trouble with both the church and the courts.  His name is notable more for the lack of records than for the records currently available. 

We don't know when his wife died, but Thomas remarried just about two years before his own death, which was probably in July of 1662.  His inventory was presented on August 10, 1662 and showed a total estate of 149 -05-10.  This was not a large estate but it wasn't poverty level.  I'm still looking to find more about the inventory.  Son Joseph was left the dwelling place and land, but I don't know if that was all of the land or just the land the dwelling was on.  I also don't know if there was more than one piece of land at the time of Thomas's death. 

As is often the case, there is much not known about this immigrant ancestor, who by most standards was not an "illustrious" man.  But he was here, he supported the culture of the area, he probably paid his taxes and tithes, and probably served in the military, and he supported his family.  Those were the things that the many "ordinary" men did, and we can be proud of each of his actions.  I'd certainly like to learn more about him!

The line of descent is:

Thomas Bird-unknown first wife
James Bird-Lydia Steele
Rebecca Bird-Samuel Lamb
Samuel Lamb-Martha Stebbins
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, April 7, 2017

Harshbarger line: Michael Birkle Immigrant, most likely

I know very little about Michael but he has a name and dates, and seems to have come to America so I'll write just a paragraph or two about him.  He is in the Harshbarger line and I'm coming to a close on Harshbarger ancestors unless I break down another brick wall at some point. 

Michael Birkle was born in 1676 in Hinterzarten, Breisgau-Hockschwarzwald, Baden, Germany.  This is in the southwest part of Germany, in what is known as the Black Forest, and is now an attraction for ski-jumpers.  In 1676, though, the thing that would be unusual in family history is that this was apparently a Catholic village, for Michael and his family were Catholics.  (Usually a village was either Catholic or Protestant, depending on the preference of the ruler of the time).  Michael's parents were Jacob and Maria Imberi Birkle. 

We know that on November 22, 1699, he married Anna Maria Willmann, daughter of Anton and Catharine Willmann.  They had about a dozen children: Franciska, Johan Jacob, Sgatha, Joseph, Catharina, Mathias, Gertrud, Christina, Maria Magdalena, Barbara, Michael, and possibly Maria (it's not clear whether Maria and Maria Magdalena could be the same person).  It looks like the last child was born in 1724, and so this would have been a busy household.  Records show that Michael Birkle came to the: New World, arriving on September 29, 1733 in Philadelphia aboard the ship "Mary". 

From there, it gets confusing.  Everyone agrees that he died on December 5, 1753 but some say he died in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania and some say he died in Hinterzarten.  So was it Michael the younger, born in 1702 who came to America, and not Michael Senior?  Or did our Michael come, and then return to his native village in his old age?  Were death records kept in both countries, with the record in Germany kept up by a priest even if the death occurred elsewhere?  I'm also showing that Maria Magdalena married in 1738 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and his wife Maria died in Lebanon County in 1760, which if true would tend to make me think Michael also died here..  Incidentally, the Lebanon County would be a modern term, for it wasn't formed until 1813.  Records of the time would all have shown Lancaster County as their residence.  Since Maria Magdalena arrived in 1733, presumably with her parents, I'm leaning more toward the "they never left" idea.

I'll keep looking for records in Pennsylvania that give evidence of Michael's life here, because there may be more to the story than I've been able to find so far.  In the meantime, we can think about the family religion and when it might have changed in the family.   

The line of descent is:

Michael Birkle-Anna Maria Willmann
Maria Magdalena Birkle-Andreas Kraemer
Daniel Kramer-Anna Maria Geise
Anna Maria Kramer-Andrew Kepler
Mary Kepler-George Harshbarger
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Ellen Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Beeks line: Elizabeth Harshbarger Phillips Wise Williams

What's a Harshbarger name doing in the Beeks family tree, one might reasonably ask?  After all, this family (descendants of my husband and his siblings) already have a line that goes back to the late 15th century in Bern Canton, Switzerland.  Why would I write about a Harshbarger, under the Beeks heading?  It's simple, really.

Elizabeth Harshbarger was the wife of Jacob Wise, who was the father of Jackson Wise, so she belongs in the Beeks family.  Her family has been traced all the way back to Bern Canton, Switzerland, also, to some of the same villages as the Harshbarger line.  Here's the confusing thing.  So far, I have not been able to make a connection between the two lines.  Maybe the connection is far back in the murkiest of times, but surely there is a connection somewhere.  Those villages were quite small and the choice of spouses was just not that large!

What we know of Elizabeth is that she was one of those true pioneer women who helped the men build this country.  Elizabeth's life story is not as dramatic as some, but she had and apparently survived three husbands, so she had to make many adjustments in her life.  Also she lived in several different locations, from Virginia (now West Virginia) to two or three places in Ohio to possibly Indiana. 

Elizabeth was born in 1790 to Jacob and Mary Pence (Bentz) Harshbarger.  She had one brother, Henry, who was born about 1789.   Her mother apparently died early, although I have not yet searched for divorce records.  Jacob married again later to Mary Magdalene Koenig and later yet to Barbara Bushong.  There were several more children born but I'm not sure which children belonged to which mother.  Regardless, Elizabeth, as the oldest daughter, would have been expected to help care for the younger children, until she herself married at the age of 18, in Culpeper County, Virginia to George Phillips.  She and George had four children together. 

I'm not sure when the Phillips family moved to Ohio because the next we hear of Elizabeth she is a widow, with Jacob Wise being appointed the guardian for the children.  Jacob and Elizabeth were married July 29, 1817 in Montgomery County, Ohio. Jacob died about 1829, after apparently having only one child, Jackson.  Elizabeth is found in the 1830 census for Bath Township, Greene County, Ohio with just herself and a male aged 10-14 (probably Jackson).  I don't know what had happened to the Phillips children.

She remarried in 1832 to Thomas Williams, also in Bath township, Greene County, Ohio. 
I have no record that she had children with him, but she would have been 42 years old, so there may or may not have been children. 

After that, I lose track of Elizabeth.  There are several Thomas and Elizabeth Williams couples in the 1850 census but nothing that makes sense in term of ages and locations.  I need to keep searching to learn what happened to Elizabeth.  I have seen a report on an online tree that she died in 1866 in Lafayette Township, Allen County, Indiana but I have yet to follow up on that report.  I would certainly like to learn more about her later life.  If she did die in 1866 and it was in Allen County, Indiana then perhaps her son Jackson, in Wabash County, was able to see her in her last years.  It's nice to think that happened, but even if I locate death records for her, we're unlikely to know whether she and Jackson stayed in touch. 

I would love to write more about this woman but first I have to learn more.  For some reason, she's one of those who have captured my interest, and I want to learn more about her.  If someone out there knows more about Elizabeth, or can correct something I've written, I'd sure love to hear from you. 

The line of descent is:

Jacob Wise-Elizabeth Harshbarger
Jackson Wise-Charity Botkin
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, March 31, 2017

Holbrook Line: Richard Rockwood 1602-1660 Immigrant

Richard Rocket or Rockwood came to America in or before 1633, but Robert Charles Anderson has not included him as a featured immigrant in his Great Migration series.  I don't know why he has been missed, but fortunately there are other sources that help tell his story.  It's just that Anderson would have done a superb job, and he missed that opportunity. 

Richard was born in 1602 in Weymouth, Dorset, England.  His parents were Richard and Elizabeth (maiden name not known) Rockwood.  Weymouth is a town on the south coast of England, and has always had a port since is was founded in the middle of the 13th century.  So much of the townspeople would have either worked as merchants or in the maritime trade itself.  Probably there were fishing fleets that sailed from here as well.  Richard, therefore, would have lived in a town that was very different from the hometowns of some of our other ancestors, who either lived in a large city or in a small inland village. 

It's believed that Richard sailed to Massachusetts in 1633, when he was given land in Dorchester.  He first married an unknown wife in 1628, and then married Agnes Lovell, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Dunckley Lovell in 1636/37.  She died in 1643, after giving birth to John Rockwood and possibly one other child.  Robert then married Ann as yet not identified, but they apparently had not children together. 

By 1641 it appears that the Richard and Agnes and their children were living in Braintree, where they lived out their lives.  Agnes died in 1643 in Braintree and Richard died July 6, 1660 in Dorchester,  with third wife Ann surviving. 

We don't know Richard's occupation, or his religion, and although there seems to be a will and an appraisal or inventory I have not yet located it. I do find notes that the estate was balued at slightly over 38 pounds, but I don't know whether or not that included his land, and I don't know how much land he owned when he died.  At one time, he had 40 acres in Dorchester. 

Richard is the ancestor of President James Garfield, so this President is also our distant cousin. 

The line of descent is:

Richard Rockwood-Agnes Lovell
John Rockwood-Joanna Ford
Joseph Rockwood-Mary Hayward
John Rockwood-Deborah Thayer
Joseph Rockwood-Alice Thompson
Levi Rockwood-Deborah Lazell
Susanna Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Rockwood Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Allen line: John Root 1608-1684, Immigrant

Although we know quite a bit about John Root, there are two big questions I have after going through all the material I can find about him.  The first is his origin.  His gravestone, which I think is old but probably not dating back to 1684, states that he was a "Descendant of the Huguenots Routtes who fled from France to England."  I've seen statements that this headstone was actually put up as late as 1880, and that the statement should be discounted because it was an American who had it installed. Being an American doesn't necessarily make it wrong, of course, and there is a Thomas Routte/Roote/Root who is accepted by the National Huguenot Society as being an ancestor.  I don't know how much credibility to apply to this statement except that it does seem likely that at some point the Routte family came to England.

The second mystery about John is his parents.  They are given everywhere as John Roote and Mary Ann Russell or Rushall.  However, we are also told that John was raised by a wealthy uncle, and looking at the family tree, it appears that this couple might fit that description.  I can't find documentation as to his birth or to the death of these "parents" so I'm not clear on exactly who John is.  However, he was born February 26,1608 in Badby, Northamptonshire, England.  Supposedly the uncle who raised him was pressing John to go into the Parliamentary Army under Cromwell, and our John was not willing to do that, so he came to America as a Puritan and settled in Farmington, Connecticut in 1640. 

He married Mary Kilbourne, most likely after arriving in Farmington but possibly in England.  Their first known child was born in 1642 in Farmington, so if they met soon after John's arrival, possibly in church, then a marriage perhaps in 1641 and a child born a year later would make sense. 

John was a weaver as well as a farmer.  We know that he and his wife were members of the church in Farmington, that John served on several juries at Hartford, and that he was apparently a respected man of his town.  We are fortunate that copies of his estate are still available.  At his death, it was valued at 819 pounds.  Interestingly, it includes a list of the 32 books in his library, most of which were religious.  There was one "law book" and it's not clear what a couple of the other books were, but most had titles like "Israel's Safety" or "door of Salvation."  His inventory also included a long gun, a musket, a carbine, a backsword and belt, and various equipment needed to support these weapons.  It is likely that he was part of the "military train" for much of his life, but since he lived until 1684, when he would have been 76 years old, he had probably been excused from military service some years earlier.  He was have been 67 or 68 when King Philip's War broke out, so likely stayed home to help guard the women and children when the men of the town were called out. 

John died in August of 1684 and his wife Mary died in 1697.  Among his descendants, so our cousins, are President Rutherford B. Hayes, Louisa May Alcott (yes!  I knew I liked her!), Nancy Davis Reagan, Bess Wallace Truman, and Clint Eastwood.  He contributed much to American's history, besides settling in Connecticut and helping make a town out of the wilderness.

Our line of descent is:

John Root-Mary Kilbourne
John Root Mary Ashley
Samuel Root-Mary Gunn
Martin Root-Eunice Lamb
Martin Root-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

A second line is the same for the first two generations, and then is:

John Root-Sarah Stebbins
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
and so on.  Ruth Noble and Martin Root were second cousins, if I have this figured right.  So we're doubly related to all those famous people I mentioned! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Harshbarger line: Jacob Kobel, 1682-1731 Immigrant

I'm once again coming to the end of known Harshbarger line immigrants to write about, so it was a thrill to find one who has a well-known history.  Actually, it's better known than I am going to write about, because there are some articles in genealogy journals that I've not yet been able to consult.  So this will be an incomplete sketch.  If the articles tell me more that I think the family would want to know about, I'll do an update.  But the story as I already know is one of courage and hard work and all the things we admire in our ancestors. 

Jacob Kobel was born in 1682 in Sinsheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, the son of Johann George and Eva Sonsst Kobel.  He had about 7 brothers and two half-brothers, so it was a large family.  He married Anna Maria Egli in 1708 in Hofferheim, Baden-Wuerttemburg, Germany.  Probably for economic reasons (his father had to provide a living for all those children!), Jacob and Maria left Germany when Queen Anne of England signaled her willingness to help the hopeful immigrants get to the New World, where they would work to build a colony.  Or did she?  Perhaps it was an offhand comment that somehow made it's way to Germany, but the arrivals in London thought they were on their way to the New World, where the queen was granting them free land.  Such was not the case. 

While the German immigrants arrived in greater and greater number, the English didn't know what to do with them.  Some found menial jobs, or joined the English army.  But most stayed on, jobless and without hope as they realized there was no free transportation or free land in their future. They were there for several months, if not longer, while funds were found to send them onward.  Meanwhile, these people lived in tents in a dismal part of London.  Even in summer, England is not always warm and they were there during the winter months, too, with little food or fuel to survive on.  I can't imagine spending a London winter living in a tent!  Finally, the group was so large that the Queen had to move them on, and the immigrants were sent to New York.

Most of them were indentured and worked around Schoharie, NY for the first years they were in America.  Once they had paid back their passage money by serving their indentureship, conditions didn't improve.  Their masters refused to free them, or to give them the money, tools, or clothes they were entitled to.  Finally, groups of Germans turned New Yorkers left the Schoharie area, fearing they were being followed all the way, and then those who survived the journey settled mostly in Tulpehocken, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

There, with the few things they had been able to bring with them, they settled, finally free.  It's not clear whether they were able to purchase land right away or whether they settled where they could and then paid for the land later, when crops and trapping allowed them to accumulate the funds to buy their own land.  Jacob was a miller, having built mills in the Schoharie area and also in the area of Womelsdorf, Pa., so he may have had a cash flow sooner than some of the other settlers.   

However, it was a hard life even after it got better, and Jacob lived only until 1731.  He and Maria had at least 8 children, with the first known child being born in 1713 and the last in 1726.  There may be other children, born before 1713 or after 1726, that we don't know of, perhaps because they didn't survive.  Maria, however, was a survivor and lived until 1774.  She had the misfortune to see her son Henry and most of his family massacred by Indians at the beginning of the French and Indian Wars, in 1755. (Although Jacob and Maria were Lutherans, Henry had married a Mennonite woman and they were pacifists who believed they were on good terms with the native Americans.  The surviving children became Lutherans as young adults.) 

We just can't begin to imagine everything that Jacob and Maria endured in their efforts to improve their lot and raise their family in America.  Take pride in this heritage!. 

I'm looking forward to finding the books and articles I have printed out for my next trip to the Allen County Public Library, and will do an update if I find more of interest. 

The line of descent is:

Jacob Kobel-Anna Maria Egli
Maria Barbara Kobel-Johann Jacob Schaeffer
Anna Maria Schaeffer-Jacob Whetstone
John Whetstone-Magdalena
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook or Koch
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, March 21, 2017

Beeks line: David Jones 1653-1707, Immigrant

It's possible that I should be writing about Samuel Jones, who may or may not be David's father, and who may or may not have emigrated from Wales to Pennsylvania.  However, I can find a bit of documentation for David and I find nothing for Samuel, so at this point we'll write what we can about David. 

David was born in 1653 in either Pembrokeshire or Carmarthenshire, Wales.  We know nothing at all of his early life until he shows up in 1682 in Langamin, Carmarthen(shire) Wales, marrying Susanna Howell at the Monthly Meeting of Pembroke.  This gives us our first clue-he was a Quaker, and so that may explain some of why he can't be found earlier.  Quakers left few footprints, unless they were jailed for their faith.  So far, records haven't been found that would indicate this.  So he probably lived a very quiet life, and either paid his taxes when due, as some Quakers did, or possibly owed no taxes. He married Susanna Howell, whose parents are believed to be Morgan Howell and Elizabeth Adams, on April 6, 1682.  There are 22 names signed as witnesses on the marriage record, including Saara Jones, who may be a relative, and three people with the last name of Howell. 

Soon after their marriage, David and Susanna came to America, arriving in Pennsylvania in 1682, so probably part of the William Penn group.  Here they found frontier territory to settle, and it appears that they settled in what became Chester County, in what was later termed the "Welsh Tracts".  He and Susanna had at least three children-Susanna, Elizabeth, and Alice.  That is all we know of him until his death 04 Eleventh, 1707 (Quaker usage), or January 4, 1707, as we would know it.  This is noted in the Chester Monthly meeting, and his religion is indicated as "Orthodox" which doesn't seem to have much meaning as applied to this time period in history. 

It appears that his wife Susanna died within just a couple of months of David's death.  Was there an epidemic, or were these two fifty somethings just worn out?  I've seen no hints that there were problems with the native Americans, as the early Quakers did all in their power to treat them peacefully. 

Of course there is so much more we'd like to know.  David undoubtedly did some farming, but was this his principal occupation?  Was he a fur trader, or a merchant of some kind?  With no known sons, it would have been hard to expand his landholdings, if he even owned land.  Did his daughters work for others in order to help support the family, or was David doing well enough by the time they were born that they didn't need to do that?  I'd like to know what land he held, if any, and of course I'd love to know about his life in Wales, and his family further back. 

The line of descent is:

David Jones-Susanna Howell
Elizabeth Jones-Isaac Malin
Isaac Malin-Lydia Booth
Sarah Malin-David Ruble
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, March 17, 2017

Holbrook line: William Hawkins 1609-1699 Immigrant

For a man who lived such a long life, he sure seems to have left few records behind.  Even his place of birth is something of a mystery.  It is listed as "Exon, Glouer, Devon, England" on several genealogy sites.  I think this comes from a passenger ship listing, and the "Glouer" should actually be read "glover", as his occupation, when he left England for New England in 1634. If this is true, then perhaps the birth year came from that same list, and may be off by a year or two. I've also seen one mention that he was of Exmouth, England, which is a very different place than the only Exon I've been able to find. So, he may have been born near the castle of Exon, or in the village of Exmouth, but I've not found real documentation for either location  Perhaps someone with knowledge of this will be able to enlighten me on this subject!

We do know that he and his future wife, Margaret Harwood, were on the same ship as they sailed from England to St Christophe in the Caribbean and then north to -where?  Most sites give Providence, Rhode Island but they must have been somewhere else first because Providence wasn't founded until 1635-36, when Roger Williams was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  So they would have gone either to Connecticut or to Boston, most likely.  I'd sure like to know what they were doing for those three or four years before they showed up in Providence in 1638!  How did they meet or hear of Roger Williams? Why did they choose to join his settlement/colony?  Oh, the questions! 

William married Margaret Harwood, probably not long after their arrival in Providence, and he was granted land in December of 1638.  This appears to be in what later became Smithfield.  His name is on the list of those who signed a compact in 1640, agreeing on the basic rules of government, and he purchased more land in 1645.  Ten years later, he was made a freeman.  He was granted more land on the condition that he cut the meadow and build a house and live there within three years, which he did .  When the troubles came with King Philip's War, he was one of the few men who stayed in Rhode Island, not leaving for a safer place, although we are not told what his family did.  (Family included at least five children, born between 1641 and 1649).  Since that was the end of the child bearing, did Margaret die about this time?  I find no mention of her death.

He apparently wrote his will in 1699, at that time granting freedom to his slave Jack, but not for another 25 years.  Still, it was better treatment than most slaves received!  Some think a reference in 1702/03 to William Hawkins Sr. refers to this William.  It could just as well be his son William, who might now be a "Senior" as there were likely grandchildren of our William who were named after him.  In 1698, his rateable estate included 2 oxen, 4 steers, 6 cows, 3 heifers, a horse, 2 mares, 6 acres Indian corn, 3 acres rye, 10 acres meadow and 10 acres pasture, without mentioning his dwelling. 

I found no reference to his religion, to his occupation (glover? in the wilds of Rhode Island?), or to any role he might have played in government.  Those are questions I would like to answer, one way or another.  But I did find enough to show that he is another in a long line of extraordinary and normal folks, probably not far up the economic ladder, who came to America and made it what it is today.

Our line of descent is:

William Hawkins-Margaret Harwood
John Hawkins-Sarah Daniels
Mary Hawkins-Hosanna Brown
Othniel Brown-Deborah Brown
Sarah Brown-Enos Eddy
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Brown Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Starr 1565-1640 Immigrant

How hard can it be to write about the very first ancestor I ever heard about, back when I was a pre-teen or early teen-ager?  A family genealogist, unidentified, had researched the Starr family and an aunt gave us a copy of her discoveries as a Christmas gift.  (Although, now I wonder how much of it was her work and how much was a compilation; still, it was and is precious to us). 

But when I actually sat down to write about him, there is much less information than I expected to find, and some of it is contradictory, as is often the case.  His father was Thomas, his son was Thomas, and hehad grandsons named Thomas, so it's easy to see how facts could be a little confusing, and confused. 

Thomas Starr was born about 1565 in New Romney, Kent, England.  His father was Thomas Starr who served as mayor of New Romney for a short period of time, and it appears that his mother's name was Agnes.  Our Thomas was a mercer, a dealer in textile goods, generally silks, velvets, and fine materials.  He would have supplied the well-to-do of the towns of Cranbrook and Ashford, which are the two towns where most of his children were baptized.  It is likely that Thomas and his wife Susan or Susannah made the first move, from New Romeny to Cranbrook, because of economic reasons.  They may have moved a second time because they had become Puritans, and Ashford was a center for people with these beliefs.

Thomas and Susan gave names to their children that are on trivia games and lists of "amazing" names, but they surely didn't intend to give their children a fleeting moment of fame.  They were names chosen because they meant something to the family, even if we are a bit puzzled by some of them now.  Their children were Jehosaphet, Comfort, Nostrength, Moregift, William, Mercy, Suretrust, Standwell, Judith, Truth-Shall-Prevail, Joyfulle (also seen as Joyfoole), Constant, and Beloved.  I hope someone called them "Bub" or "Sis"!  It does give us a glimpse into the mindset of Thomas, though. 

His son Comfort, a surgeon, seems to have been the first of the family to make the trip to Massachusetts, in 1637, and his parents are believed to have come in 1637, although I've seen one guesstimate as 1633.  At any rate,  it was still early in the history of the colony.  Thomas would have been somewhere between 68 and 72 years of age, so perhaps he expected more of his family to come also, or maybe the religious pressures in England were just beginning to be more than he could deal with. 

We know little of his life in Boston except that he is believed to have died in Dorchester in late 1639 or early 1640.  His estate in New England was small, about 69 pounds, but he still owned lands and buildings in England which helped his family live more comfortably than some. 

We have two lines of descent from Thomas:

Thomas Starr-Agnes
Comfort Starr-Elizabeth Watts
Thomas Starr-Rachel Harris
Samuel Starr-Hannah Brewster
Thomas Starr-Mercy Morgan
Mary Starr-John Chester
Thomas Chester-Sarah Eldridge
Bathsheba Chester-Jonathan Havens
Betsy Havens-John Starr
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

The second line is the same through Thomas Starr and Mary or Mercy Morgan.  Then it's
Thomas Starr-Jerusha Street
John Starr Mary Sharp
John Starr-Betsy Havens
and continues on from there.  So John and Betsy would have been distant cousins.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Harshbarger line: John Buchtel 1733-1809

We are fortunate to have a good amount of information about John.  He is also known as Johannes, but it seems that most of the records about him refer to him as John.  Henry Meyer in volume 8 of the Pennsylvania-German magazine does a wonderful job of telling John's story, making it easy for us to imagine him and proud for us to honor him.  I recommend that you get a copy of the magazine (it's on Google, at no cost) in order to get a full sense of the man and his family.  This is necessarily shortened. 

John was born in late 1732 or early 1733 in Linsenhofen, Wuerttemburg, Germany.  This alone makes him different from many of our ancestors, because he wasn't Swiss and may not have suffered religious persecution.  He and his family were Lutheran,  Well, actually he may have been a bit of a free thinker, but mostly he was Lutheran.  His family had lived in the little village for at least five generations, going back to Petrus Buchtel who was born there in 1610.  For references, it's near Stuttgart, Germany, and has a population of about 2500 people, but that's about all I've been able to find about it.  John's parents were Johannes and Lucia Ehhalt Buchtel, and he had a sister and quite probably other siblings.

John came to America in 1753, possibly because war seemed to be brewing at home.  He was single when he arrived here, and had little in the way of material goods.  He served an indentureship to pay off the cost of his passage, and married Catherine Seiler or Scheler, a neighbor who was also working to pay off her indenture.  They were married December23,1760 and first went to live in Snyder County.  Later they moved to Brush Valley, in what is now Centre county, and this is where they made their forever home. 

John and Catherine had at least 9 children, and all of the family members are considered to be pioneers of Centre County.  they had to clear their land while keeping an eye out for wolves, bears, and even panthers.  By 1792, the year they apparently moved to Brush Valley, the threat from the native Americans was pretty much over, but there were still many dangers to overcome.  John farmed and planted apple trees as well.  His grapevines were not as successful, and I don't understand the slang in the article that explains why.  It is apparent that the failure was not due to lack of work on John or the family's part.  John was also a cooper (made barrels, buckets, and pails) and a mechanic, and as the Valley filled up, or as travelers passed, his skills were much needed.  He seems to have been well educated, or self-educated, with particular interests in mathematics, astrology (common at this time period) and philosophy. As already stated, he was a Lutheran but not a regular church goer.  It is said that ministers went to him in order to learn. 

John several times mentioned that he would not die in his bed and that prediction came true one unnoted day in 1809.  He was standing in the doorway to his house, and fell down dead.  Some of the Buchtel children wanted to move on to Ohio, perhaps because they weren't given enough land to survive on in their father's will (that is just speculation on my past).  In 1812, all but two of the children, plus Catherine herself, set off for a new home near Uniontown, Stark County, Ohio, and Catherine died there in 1813.  The trip was probably quite difficult for her. 

There is a picture in the article of a home that Solomon Buchtel built in Brush Valley near Rebersburg.  It is probably not standing any longer, but it looks like it would have been a nice farm home at the time it was built. 

I admire John Buchtel and would like to learn more about him.  One thing I'm really curious about is where he got his education, and what his parents hoped that he would do with it.  Did they want him to become a pastor or a schoolteacher?  And what inspired him to continue his learning while he was so busy doing the back breaking work of farming and breaking in new land? 

The line of descent is:

John Buchtel-Catherine Seiler
Solomon Buchtel-Maria Margaretha Reber
Benjamin Buchtel-Barbara Burkholder Long
Fannie Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Beeks line: Jackson Wise 1817-1893

Jackson Wise may or may not be the biological ancestor of those in the Beeks family.  But he was certainly part of the family, known as Dad, Grandpa, and Uncle to the Beeks family, and they must have known his story at one time.  We don't know much of his story particularly after he came to Wabash County, but I'm learning more.  T.J. Hunnicutt, the archivist at the Wabash County Historical Museum, has been sending me copies of the "rather large file" about Jackson that he has there.  While I may or may not share all of it, one of the first items he sent me answers an important question:  How did Jackson Wise die?

This is from a typed copy of an article taken from the Wabash Daily Plain Dealer of Monday Evening, March 6, 1893, page 4 column 3. 

"Died From His Injuries"

"Jack Wise, a noted character living about two miles southwest of Lincolnville, died at his home Saturday from internal injuries sustained Thursday of last week while assisting a horse which had fallen in his stable to arise.  The horse was on his back and was wedged in the stall.  A rope was tied around the animal's neck in order to pull him around.  Mr. Wise was behind the horse and he kicked back with one foot striking him in the stomach with the above result.  Wise was picked up and assisted to his house where he lingered in great pain until death came to his relief.  the funeral occurred Sunday morning at 10o'clock. Burial in Center Grove Cemetery."

I'm looking forward to learning more about the reasons "Jack" was considered a "noted character", I think.  I'm also wondering why there would be a funeral at church service time on a Sunday morning.  Maybe that's when the family could be there, or the preacher was available because he didn't have services until a little later in the day.  I don't recall seeing many Sunday 10 a.m. funerals, though, even in that time period.  As often happens, answering one question generates more questions. 

The line of descent is:

Jackson Wise-Charity Botkin
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, March 3, 2017

Holbrook line: Matthew Whipple 1588-1647

It's always fun to find an ancestor I've overlooked, and to find there is quite a bit of information about him, AND to find his will AND his inventory.  So it's been a fun morning. 

Matthew Whipple isn't a name that leaps to my mind when remembering my immigrant ancestors, but maybe now he will be.  There is a log of information about him on the Geni sight, and more on AmericanAncestors.  The will is found in Volume 1 of The Probate Records of Essex County, which means it's been transcribed and although I still struggle with archaic spellings and meanings and even vocabulary, at least I don't have to try to read ancient handwriting. 

Matthew was born, or christened, December 19,1588, in Bocking, Essex, England.  His parents were Matthew Whipple and Joan.  Matthew of England was a clothier, and based on his will, was apparently well off.  I'm not finding a lot of information about Bocking on line, but I did find St Mary's Church, which is where Matthew probably attended as a child, and where his father is buried (likely his mother, too)..  He had at least nine brothers and sisters, and Matthew was the fifth child born into the family. 

Matthew married Ann or Anne Hawkins on May 7, 1622, at St Mary's church in Bocking.  I haven't done any proof work to say whether I believe this or not, but Ann is supposed to be a granddaughter of the famous John Hawkins, merchant, slave trader, explorer, treasurer and controller of the English Navy.  (I am learning to be somewhat doubtful when I find a line tied to someone famous, since I've been burned a few times by published genealogies that turned out to be mistaken or in some cases just plain fraudulent.)

Matthew and Ann had at least 5 children and possibly more.  Apparently most were born in Bocking but the last one or two may have been born in Ipswich, Massachusetts Bay Colony.  The family immigrated apparently between 1636 and 1638.  He was a member of the church there and I believe that when I see the phrase "Deacon Whipple" it refers to our Matthew.  Ann died sometime before September 28, 1646, when Matthew married Rose Barker Chute, who outlived him. 

I've found that Matthew held many offices but I've not found a list other than that he was frequently a "clerke",  That indicates he could read and write, and that is supported by contents of his inventory which included 29 books.  He was one of the largest landowners in the area, along with his brother John.  From his inventory, we can see that he farmed, that he had several weapons, and that he had a large amount of linen goods as well as at least three wheels, two linen and one cotton.  It appears that his home had at least three  rooms as many objects, including 85 "peeces" of pewter were in the hall, and the linens and some clothes were in the parlor.  There was a chamber over the parlor which held miscellaneous items, and then there are a lot of tools that must have been kept in a barn.  He had a dwelling house with 4 acres of ground that included a "barne" and other out houses, a 6 acre lot, a four acre lot, six acres of marsh, and a farm containing 160 acres plus a meadow of 30 acres, and then another 20 acres of marsh and "wast" land.  We are surprised that his estate was valued at only a little over 287 pounds when we see the long list of his property. 

His will was written March 7, 1645 and then he added a codicil September 13, 1646 to provide for his new wife, Rose.  All of her items that she brought to the marriage were to remain hers, and she was given 10 pounds, besides.  William must have died within a year, because the will was proven July 28, 1647. 

I'd love to learn more about Matthew and his life in both Bocking and Ipswich.  It's been fun to learn this much but I always have more questions, it seems.  For now, we know of another immigrant to the New World, one who apparently did well for himself and his family.  It's a start.

The line of descent is:

Matthew Whipple-Ann Hawkins
Anna Whipple-John Annable
Elizabeth Annable-John Whittemore
John Whittemore-Elizabeth Lloyd
John Whittemore-Lydia Clough
Josiah Whittermore-Lucy Snow
Josiah Whittemore-Betsy Foster
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph R Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Allen line: Aaron Stark(e) 1608-1685

Oh, what a mess he was!  We don't know anything about his early life although it's believed he was of Scotch descent.  He seems to have been in the New World as early as 1627, when he is reported to have landed in Salem, Massachusetts.  This was the main port of Massachusetts Bay Colony at the time. We lose sight of him for about ten years, which may mean he stayed out of trouble, and it also probably means he stayed out of church.  He is not known to have been a Puritan, despite possible being associated with Rev. Hooker. 

During his early years in the colonies he is reported to have "misbehaved" with an animal  young men, and finally a girl.  For the girl, he was ordered to be branded and whipped, and when the girl was ready, to marry her.  Apparently the marriage didn't happen, and apparently there was some question about the virtue of the girl involved, as there was another court case involving her the next year . There is no evidence that Aaron and Mary Holt ever married.

It's believed that Aaron's wife was Sarah, possibly Lambert, with no real documentation for that last name.  So for now, we need to consider that as an open question.  From the ages of his children, it seems that he married late in life, perhaps around 1650 when he would have been in his early 40s.  It may have taken him this long to establish himself and rebuild his damaged reputation. 

There is an Aaron Stark from Windsor who participated in the Pequot War under Captain Mason, and it's believed this is our Aaron Stark since he was later awarded land based on his service during this conflict.  He is also reported to have participated in King Philip's War.  He had a son Aaron who would have been about 26 years old at the time of King Philip's War, and he seems to be a more likely candidate to fill the military mission.  It's possible that our Aaron was credited with military service, but was one of the "old men" who stayed behind to help protect the women and children while the men were out fighting native Americans.

Aaron's first known residence was in Stonington, Ct where he stayed for several years.  Finally, in 1666, he was made a freeman there.  Three years later, he was accepted as a freeman in New London  This means he was a respectable person who owned property, so he had indeed come up in the world.  It's nice to see that he was rehabilitated from the scandals of his early days.  Sarah may have settled him down.  There were at least 6 children born to Aaron and Sarah:  Aaron, Mehitable, John, Sarah, Elizabeth, and William.  Some lists also show a Margaret, but I think she was probably the daughter of the son Aaron Stark.  His final move seems to have been to Mystic, Ct and he seems to have died there in 1685. All of these locations were in close proximity so he may not have moved far, at all. 

That's what is known about Aaron Stark, in a nutshell.  He was a rehabbed citizen, a soldier of the early years of our county, and he came from nothing to owning his own land.  He may not be the first ancestor we think of when we think of those we are proud of, but I would like to hear his side of the story.  Perhaps the whipping/flogging he received gave him something to think about, and aided somehow in his reformation, or perhaps the early charges were greatly exaggerated.  We'll probably never know, now, but he lived with those charges every day for the rest of his life  That takes some kind of courage, and for Sarah, it took some sort of compassion.

The line of descent is:

Aaron Stark-Sarah
Sarah Stark-Samuel Fish
Abigail Fish-Daniel Eldridge
Sarah Eldridge-Thomas Chester
Bathsheba Chester-Jonathan Havens
Betsy Havens-John Starr
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, February 24, 2017

Harshbarger line: Introducing Barbara Burkholder Long Buchtel Kemery

We found her!  We found Barbara Long, the most recent brick wall ancestor that I couldn't locate.  Dawna Morton, a distant cousin, found the clue that allowed us to begin to learn her story, and I can't thank her enough. There is still more to learn, but I wanted to share my excitement at "finding" her, and my admiration for what must have been a remarkable woman. 

Barbara was actually born a Burkholder, not a Long.  Her father was Joseph Burkholder (in some records showing as Barkholder) and her mother may have been Elizabeth Miller.  I haven't found the for sure documentation of that yet, but Barbara's youngest brother, Hiram's mother was Elizabeth Miller.  She was born in 1826 somewhere in Ohio, probably Portage County but it could have been elsewhere.

The first mention we can find of her is in an every youth census of Portage County taken in 1838.  This book lists all, or nearly all, of the youth in the county who were between the ages of 4 and 30, and it lists them by school district.  So in Suffield School District #4, there is Joseph Barkholder with the following children:  Joseph Barkholder Jr., Eliza Barkholder, Barbary Barkholder, and Eva Barkholder.  (Joseph Jr. later married Catherine Miller, who is listed on the same page as a daughter of Barbary Miller.  There is also a parent named Anthony Miller on the page, and he needs to be investigated further as he could possibly be related to Elizabeth Miller).

The next we know of Barbara is her marriage license, just two years later.  It can be found on FamilySearch, and clearly shows her to be fourteen years old at the time of the marriage license on Augut 13, 1840.  So the approximate birth date we have for her of 1826 is correct, although I still don't think the Georgetown, Brown County location showing on the internet is correct.  She was marrying a Thomas Long, who was 21 years old.  Elizabeth Burkholder, Barbara's mother, was there and gave consent to the marriage. 

We don't know why a fourteen year old girl was marrying a 21 year old man, nor why it was her mother who gave permission and not her father.  Speculation would be that it was the honorable thing to do, to get married, and that father did not approve, but that is only speculation.  At any rate, the two married.  They had a baby who died in 1842.  I'm unable to locate my notes that gave the name of the child and how old he was when he died, but there exists a slight possibility that Barbara was pregnant with this child when she married Thomas.

 Another piece of the puzzle that is missing at the moment is what happened to Thomas.  Either the marriage failed or Thomas died, but I can't say which at this point.   My guess is that Thomas died, because Barbara and her second husband were married March 24, 1844 and they named a son Thomas, presumably in remembrance of Thomas Long. Benjamin Buchtel was 38 years old when he married, and his bride was 18.  I've looked for an earlier marriage record for Ben, as he was known, but have not located one.  This may have been his first marriage. 

In 1850, the family, under the name indexed as Booken, is listed in Brimfield, Portage County, Ohio.  There were already three children in the family, Joseph Jr, Betsey, and Fannie.  Also living with them was Susan Long, aged 76.  I am thinking this may be Thomas's mother.  She would have had Thomas when she was 43 years old, which is well within the realm of possibility.  I need to trace her further to fill in that part of the puzzle.

Joseph Burkholder and family moved to Whitley County, Indiana sometime around April of 1854, when he purchased land.  Joseph Jr and his wife Catherine were there also, as was an as yet unplaced Michael Burkholder.  He was in Portage County in 1850 aged 28, so he may well be a son of Joseph Sr also.  Ben and Barbara Buchtel show up in Whitley County in February of 1860, when he purchased land, and were there for the 1860 showing 6 children.  One more would join the family in a few years.

It may have seemed from the outside that things were going well for Ben and Barbara, but in March of 1871 she filed for divorce.  Now, in those days, divorce was not as common as it is now and usually it was the man who filed.  Barbara still had children at home, and as far as I know now had no visible means of support.  She did, however, have about a dozen witnesses who testified on her behalf, showing that Ben had become an alcoholic, beat her often, the most recent time with a club, and had several times threatened to kill her.  One wonders whether she was injured or had bruises to show the court, because she apparently filed shortly after the club beating.  She was promptly granted a divorce, and also maintained custody of Solomon, aged 14, and Evie, who was 6 and blind. 

Somehow, Barbara provided for herself and the two children, perhaps assisted by some of her other children. Benjamin didn't change his will, and when he died on or before January 10,1872, she inherited land from him.  Roughly two years after the divorce, she married Daniel Kemery, who was not only a neighbor but the father in law of her daughters Margaret, who was married to Alexander Kemery, and Fannie, who was married to Adam Kemery.  Daniel was 15 years older than she was, but would have provided security for herself and the children.  We can hope it was a love match, also, because Barbara had had a hard life. 

Barbara was apparently loved by the Kemery children and grandchildren because in some of the Kemery obituaries, she is listed as the mother of the children, when she was clearly the stepmother.  It is possible that grandchildren of Daniel provided the information and they may not have known Daniel's first wife, Susan or Susanna Essig.  At any rate, Daniel died in 1877.  Barbara died within the next two years, because in a March 1879 deed Adam Kemery, her son in law, describes her as deceased, of Whitley County, and she had died intestate. 

That is what is known of Barbara Burkholder Long Buchtel Kemery.  She died in her early 50's, perhaps of hard work, stress, and the effort of giving birth to at least eight children.  She'd moved to a new state  As I sit back and look at her life, I just have to admire her.  When she gathered up her courage to get a divorce, and rounded up witnesses who told her story for her, she became more than a typical woman of her time.  I am not really a feminist, but I sure admire courage, and I would describe her as courageous. I'm so glad I got to know her this much, and would love to know more. 

(Besides the sources mentioned in this post, I've also referred to divorce papers, wills, and deeds found in the Whitley County File Management department and the recorder's office, and the census records of 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870.  It's been fun putting most of this together, after Dawna gave me a push in the right direction!)

The line of descent is:

Benjamin Buchtel-Barbara Burkholder
Fannie Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William Withers,
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Beeks line: Daniel Shed 1620-1708, Immigrant

Daniel Shedd is another in a line of New Englanders of whom little is known.  I often wonder about them.  For instance, was Daniel the kind of man who would have been the life of the party?  Was he a Puritan?  If he was, then he probably wasn't the life of the party, but he may have been a very religious man, or he may have been someone who went through the motions for business reasons.  He may have been a farmer or a tradesman of some sort, but so far I've found nothing to help indicate his occupation, trade, or even education.  That's the bad news.

The good news is that there is a little bit of information about him, anyway. He was born on or before June 25, 1620 in Finchingfield, Braintree, Essex, England, and was baptized on that date as the son of Daniel Shedd and Sarah.   Daniel and Sarah had three girls, and Daniel, that we know of.  Do you think Daniel might possibly have been just a little bit spoiled?  We don't even know for sure when he came to America.  He was here by 1643, when he was an early settler of "Brantrey", but he wasn't given land in the first set of grants so either he was young or he wasn't there when the village was started. He did receive land in 1645. He's not found on any immigration lists that I've found, which means that he may (or may not) have come over as an indentured servant and had just gained his freedom in 1643, at the same time that he went to Braintree.  (This is just my conjecture, but it makes sense to me.)

He was married by 1646, to Mary Gurney, who seems to have been a daughter of John Gurney, and they had seven children together.  Mary died about the time their youngest daughter Sarah was born, in 1658, and Daniel married Elizabeth, maiden name not known, soon after, because the first of four children was born to Daniel and Elizabeth on August 13, 1660.  Daniel had the sad situation of seeing at least three of his children die before he did, as young marrieds in the prime of life.  One son, his namesake,  died of small pox and I've not seen the cause of death of his two daughters. 

In 1658, the year his youngest daughter in the first set of children was born and possibly the year his first wife died, he moved from Braintree to Billerica, where he stayed for the remaining 50 years of his life.  His family was assigned to live in the main garrison there, during King Philip's War. Billerica was on the frontier and considered a possible target of the native Americans.  I'm finding various "alternate facts" about the war, indicating that Billerica did or did not suffer attack, and indicating that the town of about 48 families evacuated to safer locations.  Maybe all of the above are true, at different times during the conflict. 

Daniel lived a long life and died in Billerica July 27, 1708.  Elizabeth survived him.  Although we know little of his life, he surely lived a long life in interesting times.  He came across the Atlantic as a young boy or young man, made a home out of the wilderness not once but twice, raised two families, likely served in the militia and possibly saw duty during King Philip's War. Even though his name does not survive in very many records, we know that he was a pioneer when that word meant something, and he is a man the family can be proud to honor. 

The line of descent is:

Daniel Shedd-Mary Gurney
Eliabeth Shedd-Daniel Pierce
Elizabeth Pierce-Samuel Smith
Shubael Smith-Prudence Fitzrandolph
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-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, February 17, 2017

Holbrook line: "Oulde" John Mott 1570-1656, Immigrant

Most of what is known of "Oulde" John Mott comes from articles published in The American Genealogist back in 1942-43.  Nothing here is my own research, and there are certainly a lot of questions that I can't answer.  However, we have this much, and it's enough to let our imaginations soar, perhaps.

John Mott was born about 1570 in Saffron Walden, Essex, England, probably the son of John Mott and Francis Gutter.  Saffron Walden appears to have been a town larger than a mere village.  There was an old castle there at the time, and at least one house from medieval times stands there even now.  So there would have been more opportunities to make a living than just farming, although we don't know what John did for a living.  He was apparently married several times, to Elizabeth, Catherine, and possibly Mary.  We apparently descend from Elizabeth.

John was already an old man when he came to the New World.  Apparently son Adam came first, and then John came.  He was made a freeman at Aquidneck in 1638, the year of its founding, so at that time he must have been relatively healthy.  Aquidneck is the large island of the state of Rhode Island, and some of the most interesting people lived there, such as Anne and William Hutchinson and John Dyer. It would have been a collection of free-thinkers, Quakers, and others who were not welcome or comfortable in  Massachusetts.  John Mott had land in 1639, but by 1644 the town of Portsmouth was providing for his care.  He was apparently desperately ill in 1652 when the town ordered that a stone house be built for the "more comfortable being of ould John Mott in the winter".  The house was not enough so on January 23,1654/55 the town shipped him off to Barbados Island with the admonition to the ship owner to bring him back if he "cannot be received there".  He was brought back, and son Adam was to provide him with a cow and a supply of corn, in addition to what the town supplied. 

John died about 1656.  I have so many questions about him.  First, I'd like to know something of his life in England.  Second, I'd like to know why he decided, as a man in his late 60's, to come to the New World and then to settle in what was wilderness, and even then on an island.  Was he a free-thinker, or a Quaker, or someone fleeing from some kind of persecution in England?  Was he healthy when he came to America, and was there a disease such as consumption or cancer that slowly took his life?  Why was Adam not responsible for his father's well-being?  Was he poor or/and sick himself?  He died just five years after his father. 

We can identify a lot of potential answers to these questions, but quite possibly, most or all of them would be wrong.  I must say, however, that because of his neighbors, this is one ancestor I would love to meet in his time and place, on the island of Aquidneck.  I'd love to hear John's story in his own words, and his testimony, if he had one.  And I'd love to talk to his neighbors, too!

The line of descent is:

John Mott-Elizabeth
Adam Mott-Elizabeth Creel
Elizabeth Mott-Edward Thurston
Sarah Thurston-John Thornton
Benjamin Thornton-Mary possibly Gurney
Sarah Thornton-Stephen Paine
Nathan Paine-Lillis Winsor
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Allen line: Richard Miles, Immigrant 1598-1666

It's unusual to find so much information about an immigrant ancestor.  Usually I bewail the fact that I know almost nothing about the person and then work hard to stretch a post into a three paragraph biography.  With Richard Miles, it's the opposite.  I have enough information to make a rather long article, but other people have already done that.  So, here are the highlights that I'm choosing to share.

Richard Miles, variously styled yeoman, judge, and deacon in later life, was born in 1598 in Great Munden, Hertfordshire, England, the son of Richard and Alice Cherrye Miles (Myles).  I've not located siblings for him but it's possible that he had some who died young, for his father's will mentions only his wife Alice (who actually predeceased him by 5 weeks) and son Richard.  Richard Senior appears to have been a prosperous "yeoman", because he mentions a room in his "mansion" as being a "hall." 

Richard became a Puritan, as were some of his neighbors and friends.  He married Mary Chambers and they had five children together, three in England and two in Connecticut.  It appears that they emigrated to Connecticut in 1638, although some records indicate they were in Boston in 1637 and (probably due to weather) waited until 1638 to go to Milford.   He's listed as a founder of Milford, and a freeman, and owned land there until 1645, but he was in New Haven by 1643.  Perhaps this move had to do with the death of his first wife and his subsequent remarriage.  He marred Mary Katherine Elithorpe Constable, the widow of a pastor.  They must have met shortly after the death of Mary Chambers, if they didn't already know each other, or at least know of each other. 

The Constable children returned to England after their father's death, and Richard and Mary Katherine had two more children in Connecticut.  He served as magistrate, elder, and deacon, from 1656-1667, and also had various other positions such as surveyor of all roads and bridges, deputy for the plantation, and clerk of the artillery company.  He seems to have been an educated man, although I've not found a record claiming education in a particular school or college. 

Richard made his will December 26,1666 and died early in 1667.  He left a well and the inventory was valued at 288 pounds, 6 shillings and 10 pence.  I haven't found the inventory yet but I would love to see it.  Did he have books, and does it estimate how many books?  What tools or implements did he have?  The number of his animals might give us a sense of his prosperity, too. 

Still, this is a nice amount of information for a man who died 350 years ago.  He was respected by his townsmen and church members, and he did a lot to help establish and further the interests of his new home.  We can be proud of such an ancestor!

The line of descent is:

Richard Miles-Mary Katherine Elithorpe
Anna Miles-Samuel Street
Nicholas Street-Jerusha Morgan
Jerusha Street-Thomas Starr
John Starr-Mary Sharp
John Starr-Betsy Havens
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, February 10, 2017

Harshbarger line: Johan Niclaus Shaffer, Immigrant 1674-1758

Sometimes when I think of what our ancestors went through, it is almost more than I can bear.  I wonder if they thought they were having it really tough, or if they just took it one day and a time and trusted God for that day only.  One of these ancestors, or rather, two of them, are Johan Niclaus Shaffer and his wife, Maria Catharina Suder.  Both of those last names have many variant spellings, it seems, so don't be disturbed if what you find isn't what I wrote.  It could very well be the same person. 

Johan Niclaus was born in Relsburg, Kusel, Rheinland-Pfalz; in the western part of what is now Germany.  This was a small village, but it is also where he found his wife, and where their children, Johann Michael, Anna Barbara, Caspar, Peter Nicholas, and Johan Jacob were born.  Shortly after Johan Jacob's birth, the family emigrated to New York.  The information I looked at does not clearly state whether this was part of the group that was sent at Queen Anne's direction, but they ended up at Livingston Manor and then Schoharie, N.Y., which is the route the impoverished immigrants sent at the Queen's direction took.  Johan Niclaus traveled with his two brothers, Johann Michael and Johann Friederich and their families, so at least they had someone to rely on in their difficulties.

The Shaffer's stuck it out in Schoharie for about 10 years, and then left-basically escaped-to Tulpihocken, Berks County, in Pennsylvania. This was about 250 miles through the wilderness, with wild animals, lack of supplies, and native Americans to worry about every step of the way.  It wasn't an easy trip but it appears that all the family members survived, which means the men of the party deserve great respect.  They must have been good leaders, and the women willing followers and help-meets.  They were some of the first settlers in Tulpehocken, although more and more families from Germany eventually settled there, too. 

The next fact I've been able to learn about Johann Niclaus is his death, in July of 1758.  He lived a long life, especially considering the hardships he faced.  It appears that his wife, Maria Catharina, died two years later, so she also had a long, if hard, life. 

I'd love to know more about this couple.  Where exactly did they live in Tulpehocken?  What religion were they, and what church did they attend?  Did they ever regret their decision to come to America, or were they content, knowing that they had given their children a chance for a better life than they would have had in the old country?  Did they learn English at all?

We might be able to find the answers to some of these questions, but some will remain a mystery.  What we do know is that this was a remarkable man. 

The line of descent is:

Johan Niclaus Shaffer-Anna Catherina Suder
Johan Jacob Shaffer-Maria Barbara Kobel
Anna Maria Shaffer-Jacob Whetstone
John Whetstone-Maria Magdalena
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook
William Cook-Elizabeth Brown
Barbara Cook-William Withers
William Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Beeks line: George Jacob, Immigrant 1675-1731

George Jacob is another mystery, although his story begins later in time than some of the other immigrants in the Beeks line.  He was born in the Palatinate, which is the southwestern part of Germany, but an exact location still eludes researchers.  However, knowing that he came from that region tells us that he probably came to the New world with others from his village and of his religious belief. 

He settled with his wife and children in Roxborough (Roxborrow) township, which is now part of Philadelphia but at that time would have been outside of the city.  There he died, in 1731. 

Most of what we know of George comes from his will, actually.  He had married Gerdrew, maiden name unknown, in about 1699.  The will tells us he was a weaver by trade, but we don't know if that's what he did in the Old World, too.  It's believed that the children were born in the Palatinate but once again we refer to the will for information. It names his wife, Gerdrew, and lists his children as Henry, Jacob, Peter, Catherine, Sarah, Jane, and Matthias.  His sons in law were Samuel Kastner, Hans Jerk )Jorg, maybe) Trout, and Uleriah (Ulrich) Rubel.  This is from an abstract only; I don't yet have a copy of the actual will.  It was written November 28, 1731 and proved January 20, 1732, so the actual date of death is somewhere in that time period. 

That is what we know of George Jacob.  We don't know when he came to the New World, how he fared after he arrived here, what religion he was, or any of the other dozens of things we'd like to know.  I don't think it likely that he was one of those who came through England, because most of those people ended up north of Philadelphia, in Berks County.  So he likely made the trip from Rotterdam to Philadelphia, but I'd sure like to find his name on a passenger list! 

George is important to the Beeks family because he is one of the relatively few German ancestors this family has. 

The line of descent is:

George Jacob-Gerdrew
Jane Jacob-Ulrich Ruble
David Ruble-Sarah Malin
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Matilda Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Actually, when you look at this list, several German lines show up.  So maybe George isn't such an anomaly and maybe more can be learned about him!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Holbrook line: Alexander Chalker, Immigrant

Although I tend to think of my ancestry as being mainly in Massachusetts, of course there are a lot of immigrant ancestors who settled elsewhere, up and down the East Coast.  Alexander Chalker was one who apparently went to Connecticut directly, without stopping in Boston or Plymouth.  It's quite possible that he travelled with Reverend Henry Whitfield, who led a group of settlers there.  Alexander's signature is not included in the list of 22 men who signed as original settlers, but he is thought to have been quite young when he arrived there, perhaps not yet 21.  He may have come as a servant to one of the signers, for instance.

The Whitfield group was formed primarily from those in and around Ockley, Suffolk, England, where he was pastor of St Margaret's Church.  He was a Church of England pastor there for twenty years, but eventually was caught up in the Archbishop Laud trouble and was apparently forced to resign. He and many of his congregation came to Connecticut, purchased land from the native Americans, and settled in what became Guilford.  This would have been wilderness, but the men and women worked hard and soon it was home.

Alexander may have come from in or near Ockley but as far as I know no one has pinned down the names of his parents.  We know he became a freeman in 1644, which means he was at least 21 then, and a member of the church.  He probably owned property, too.  This explains why his birth date is given as about 1620, although it could be a couple of years later and certainly could also be earlier. 

The next we know of Alexander is that he married Katherine Post on September 29,1649 in Guildford.  She was the daughter of Stephen Post and Eleanor Panton.  At least eight children were born to the couple, although Samuel has been a bit of a mystery.  I show a birthdate of 1655 for him, although others say he was born in 1649, which would make him either an "early" baby or the son of another woman.

After some years, the family moved to Saybrook, which was not far away, and may have stayed there until Alexander died.  I don't think Alexander was way high up on the social scale because in a 1669 list of treemen several are listed as "Mr.", a term of some respect, and Alexander has no such title attached.  So he was a plain vanilla kind of man, likely the kind of hard worker who did the real work of building America. 

As far as I can tell, no one knows when Alexander died.  Many websites say 1659 but their were children born as late as 1666, so it must have been 1665 or later.  Some say it was before fall of 1673, when either his wife or his daughter married a John Hills.  If it was his daughter, as seems likely, that date is irrelevant and he could have lived on after that.  I've checked several of my "usual sources" and am unable to find a will or death records. 

This is as much as I can tell you about Alexander Chalker at the moment.  Oh, there's one more thing...He is an ancestor of Mitt Romney, so we are distant cousins to Mr. Romney.  If he ever hires a genealogist in England to try to find Alexander's roots, I hope he will share the information with his less wealthy cousins!

The line of descent is:

Alexander Chalker-Katherine Post
Katherine Chalker-John Jordan
Hannah Jordan-John Stannard
John Stannard-Hannah Hatchett
Libbeus Stannard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stannard Jr-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Allen line: Timothy Ford bt 1611-1684, Immigrant

We know at least a few things about Timothy Ford.  It is quite likely that he came from Devonshire, England.  He may or may not be connected to the Henry and Catherine Drake Ford from that area.  I have it on my tree as fact, but looking at it more closely, he didn't have children named Henry or Catherine so I am a bit skeptical.  Also, Henry was a Sir Henry and Catherine was from a family connected to Sir Francis Drake.  So one would think that he would at least be accorded the title of "Gentleman" and I haven't found him referred to as such.  So maybe they were distant cousins, but Timothy was probably not their child.  (I hope I'm wrong; I like the Francis Drake connection.)

Timothy is believed to have come to New England in 1637 and to have stayed in the Cambridge area for a couple of years before traveling to New Haven.  We don't know whether he went to New Haven for religious reasons or for some other purpose, but it appears that his marriage took place at about this same time.  New Haven was the most Puritan town, and the strictest, in New England so we can hope he went willingly, knowing that life would be different in New Haven than it was in Boston. 

Most sides give his wife's name as Eliza Gordy, but I haven't found any documentation as to that name.  Torrey's New England Marriages doesn't give her even a first name, so I guess the verdict is still out on the name of his wife.  The marriage, however, is supposed to have taken place before 1640, as Samuel Ford was born in that year, and at least five other children were born after that.  Timothy signed his name to the New Haven Covenant in 1639 and received land during the first and second divisions of land there.  He took the "oath of allegiance" in 1644, which basically said he would do what the government (local) said.  215 other men took the oath at the same time, probably all the residents except for perhaps the very sick and those temporarily away from home.

He is believed to have been a farmer, and seems to have been hard pressed for funds in the early years of his marriage, but gradually acquired more land.  He moved to Fairfield, where he owned land before 1650, but was back in New Haven by 1652.  He was fined there, then for a defect in his arms (there were strict rules as to what kind of guns and swords each man must have, and the type and amount of ammunition0 and he tried to excuse himself by saying the requirements were different "where he came from".  Since he was fined, apparently the judge didn't buy the excuse. 

When the meeting house was built, the Fords were assigned seats toward the back of the room, which indicates a low social status, but 25 years later they were in the center of the room, and he was in the 7th row, which may mean he was more prosperous or it may mean simply that age had its privileges. 

His wife, referred to as Goody Ford, died in 1681 and Timothy died August 28, 1684.  He had sold some of his land to one of his sons in 1679, but his estate was still valued at 166 pounds, 17 shillings, and two pence. He had come up in the world. 

Timothy didn't leave a lot or records behind, but apparently he kept out of trouble except for the one arms violation, and that was hard to do in a town like New Haven.  My respects to this gentleman, our ancestor!

The line of descent is:

Timothy Ford-possibly Elizabeth Gordy
Bethiah Ford-Matthew Bellamy
Matthew Bellamy-Mary Johnson
Hannah Bellamy-John Royse
Elizabeth Royse-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, January 27, 2017

Harshbarger line: Jacob Whetstone born 1738

At last, here's another Harshbarger ancestor with information available, at least a little bit.  Jacob Wetztein was born in either Pennsylvania or Germany in 1738.  His parents were Isaac Wetzstein and possibly Anna Maria Maag, although there is some confusion as to his mother's name.  Isaac was supposedly born in Wuerttemburg, Germany and Anna Maria was born in Zurich, Switzerland.  Both are believed to have died in Pennsylvania but I've found little documentation for that at this point. 

Jacob, however, did live in Brunswick Township in what was Berks and then became Schuylkill County in Pennsylvania.  He married Anna Maria Schaeffer (various spellings) on January 23,1770at St. Gabriel Church, Douglasville.  She was the daughter of Johann Jacob Schaeffer and Maria Barbara Kobel.  While Jacob was either an immigrant as a young child or a second generation Pennsylvania, Anna Maria was in the third generation in America. (Possibly grandparents, parents, and children all came together.)

Jacob was 32 years old when he married.  This may indicate that there was an earlier marriage, or it may indicate that he waited to marry until he had found the right woman and had the means to support a family.  The family started arriving in 1771 and by 1775 three sons had joined the family.  It would have been a happy time for the couple, except for the war clouds on the horizon.

Jacob joined the Pennsylvania Militia, the associators, and was a Captain under Colonel Daniel Houser, in the first company of the Fourth Battalion.  This unit fought under George Washington at the battle of Germantown, so Jacob is not only a Revolutionary War soldier, but a hero.  Although the unit was on active duty for only a few months, Jacob was still listed as a captain (second company, this time, I don't know what happened to the first) in 1780.  I haven't been able to determine whether he served additional time but he would have been subject to regular drills and border patrol, if nothing else. 

I'm not going to hazard a guess as to how many children this couple had, because some of the information I'm finding on line is contradictory.  I'm willing to guess that there were more children than the three mentioned above, though.  The Whetstones are stated as living near McKeansburg, but church records are either incomplete or inconclusive.  I've found a church record for only one son. 

Both Jacob and Anna Maria lived long lives, with Anna Maria dying in 1818 and Jacob in 1833.  They are believed to be buried on or near their farm, but perhaps if their church could be identified more records could be found. 

I'm glad to have found this man, my children's ancestor.  If this is all I ever learn of him, we know that he was respected enough to be elected captain of his unit, and to have served honorably in what was a very difficult battle.  That is enough reason to give him honor and respect.  Thank you for your service, Jacob Whetstone!

The line of descent is:

Jacob Whetstone-Anna Maria Schaeffer
John Whetstone-Mary Magdalene
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook
William Cook-Elizabeth Brown
Barbara Cook-William Withers
William Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

From Catherine Whetstone-Henry Gook on down through Cleveland Harshbarger, these are all people who were born or died, or both, in Whitley County, Indiana.  It's a deep history the family has there! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Beeks line: Samuel Burgess Immigrant or not?

I'm not sure whether this man is an immigrant, or not, but he's a Beeks ancestor and as such deserves at least a few lines.  There is much confusion in on line sources about this man, from his hometown to his parents to whether or not he came to the New World.  I am starting to suspect he never arrived here.  If he did, he died shortly after his supposed arrival.  Much of the confusion comes because he had a son Samuel Burgess, of whom there is an abundance, relatively speaking, of information.  I am quite sure that Samuel 1, as I am labeling him, is not the Samuel who was a representative in 1712 and who died in 1714.  That Samuel is likely the son of Samuel 1.

But was our Samuel here, or did he intend to come here?  I found one reference to a Samuel who owned land already, in 1683, in what became Bucks County.  Was that our Samuel 1, or was it Samuel the son?  I'm not sure about that.  Most of the references in the 1690s I can somewhat confidently say were Samuel the son, not the Beeks ancestor. 

Samuel was born in 1623, the son of Daniel and Catherine Burges.  His birthplace is generally given as Bristol, England, which is quite possible.  Sometimes it is given as Wales, which seems a little less likely but still possible.  I haven't found records yet that proved it either way for me.    He married, about 1638, Eleanor or Elin Peeres (could be Pierce or Pers or some other variation), and they appear to have had at least three children, Joan, Samuel, and Sarah.  Other children are also listed but these must be the children of Samuel the son, as their birth dates are in the 1690's.  And of course, one of those grandchildren is named Samuel, also. 

It's possible that the land owned in 1683 belonged to Samuel1, and it's possible that he didn't survive to come to Pennsylvania.  It's also possible that it belonged to Samuel the son, who apparently arrived late in 1683, with an interesting cargo.  Or Samuel 1 could have purchased it in England for Samuel the son.  I've not found enough information to make a guess about this yet.

Some trees say that Samuel died as early as 1665, and that Elin or Eleanor died in 1701.  Samuel would have died in England is the 1665 date was correct, but Elin is supposed to have died in 1701 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Is this again a case of mistaken identity, or did she perhaps come to the New World with her son, and she is the true immigrant?

There is nothing about this man that is clear at the present time, or I haven't yet found the proper records and documentation.  However, if he didn't come to Pennsylvania he at least instilled in his family and perhaps even his widow the desire to do so.  For that, I honor him. 

I'd love to hear from someone who is working on this family and perhaps has sorted them out better than I have! 

The line of descent is:

Samuel Burgess-Elin Peeres
Joan or Jane Burgess-James Moone
James Moon-Mary Wilsford
Simon Moon-Louretha Humphrey
Jacob Moon-Jane Rees
Thomas Moon-Jean Gray
Margaret Ellen Moon-Owen Traveler Reese
Eliza Matilda Reese-Samuel G Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants
Elia Matilda Reese-Samuel G Dunham