Friday, September 22, 2017

Harshbarger line: Robert D. Harshbarger, cousin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beeks line: Hugh Donaghe, dates unclear, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

Holbrook line: Jacques Larzalere, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Allen line: Richard Lane, immigrant to paradise?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

Richard Lane-Alice Carter
Samuel Lane-Margaret Mauldin
Dutton Lane-Pretitia Tydings
Samuel Lane-Mary Jane Corbin
Lambert Lane-Nancy Ann Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R. Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, September 8, 2017

Harshbarger line: Margareth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Beeks line: Samuel Dunham 1742-1824

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, September 1, 2017

Holbrook line: Robert Winchell, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Graves, Immigrant 1585-1662

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Harshbarger line: Johann Jacob Enck, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beeks line: Henry (Heinrich) Harshbarger, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Holbrook line: Edmund Hobart 1573-1646, Immigrant

I love writing about the members of the Holbrook line.  They are numerous indeed, and many of them are well documented.  Edmund Hobart is such a man, at least after he arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Eminent genealogists have written about him and although there is some dispute about his parents (Robert Charles Anderson of The Great Emigration Begins volumes doesn't identify them), I am reasonably confident that they are properly identified. 

So, Edmunt Hobart was born about January 1, 1573 (not sure if this is a christening date) in Hingham, Norfolk, England to Thomas and Helen Windsofer Hobart.  Thomas was "Lord of the Manor in Hingham", although I've not been able to find more information about that claim.  When Thomas died in 1603, Edmund became the Lord of the Manor.  The family must have had some money, because Edmund's son Peter was able to attend Cambridge University and obtain his master's degree there.   

Edmund married Margaret Dewey, daughter of Robert and Margaret Stasye Dewey on September 7, 1600 in Hingham, Norfolk, England.  The couple had a least 10 children, with the last known birth in late 1617.  (Let's bless our female ancestors, specifically this one!)  Edmund and Margaret are noted as being a very pious couple, so we are not surprised that they made sure that at least one of their sons had the opportunity to become a pastor. 

Edmund was 60 years old when he came to the New World in 1633 with at least five of their children.  Sarah, the youngest, would have been 15 years old.  Margaret, his wife, is believed to have made the trip but did not survive long.  The family came on the ship Elizabeth Bonaventura, with a total of 95 passengers.  They may have come with the intention of setting up a congregation and location for their son Peter to pastor later, because Peter stayed in England for a few years. 

Like many early arrivals, Edmund first settled in Charlestown, where he joined the church on October 19, 1633.  Soon after, in March of 1634, he was made a freeman, and on September 10, 1634 he married Sarah Oakley Lyford, the widow of Rev. Peter Lyford.  That was certainly an eventful year, with highs and lows. He held the offices of Charlestown constable, lot-layer and assessor, so he was a highly respected person, almost as soon as he arrived in Charlestown  

Edmund and Sarah were some of the first founders of Hingham, Suffolk, Massachusetts, which was established in 1635. It's not certain exactly when they took up residence there, but he was serving on a grand jury there in 1637.  Later he was on a committee to levy a colony rate, and was deputy for Hingham to Massachusetts Bay Colony Court at least four different times. 

Edmund died on March 8, 1646/47 in Hingham, at the age of 73 or 74.  Unfortunately, his will, if he left one, has not been found but there are records of land settlements among the Hobarts in 1647 that may relate to his estate.  Sarah survived him and was apparently cared for by Rev. Peter Hobart. 

I would love to know more about Edmund.  Did he have an occupation other than "Lord of the Manor"/  How did he support himself and his family in Massachusetts?  Did he still own the manor in Hingham, England?  He obviously placed a high value on education.  What was the level of his own education?  While I have lots of questions about Edmund, I am also gratified to know this much about our pious ancestor, who courageously came to the New World when it was very new and he could almost have been termed "old", or at least well past middle age.  Thank you, grandfather Edmund, for your courage and your example.

The line of descent is:

Edmund Hobart-Margaret Dewey
Nazareth Hobart-John Beal
Sarah Beal-Thomas Marsh
Thoms Marsh-Sarah Lincoln
Thomas Marsh-Mary Burr
Deborah Marsh-Isaac Lazell
Deborah Lazell-Levi Rockwood
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen

Note: The first six generations of this family were born or/and died in Hingham, Massachusetts.  Our roots there run deep! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Allen line: John Clark, Immigrant

This is really a love letter and a challenge to a future family historian.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out more about John Clark.  I have one fact I'm reasonably sure of about the man, and a potential marriage date and name of his wife about which I am less sure.  And as to his birthdate and place, I am thoroughly confused.  So you, someone in the future and whomever you are, are assigned the task of finding out more about this ancestor of ours. 

Every tree that I have looked at gives John's birthdate as about 1606, but there are probably many John Clark's in England that fit that broad description.  There are several dates and places attached to his various trees on Ancestry, but none of them match any other information in the trees.  His wife is believed to have been named Joan.  There are several trees listing a 1620 marriage to John, but this could not be our John if he was born in 1606 or thereabouts. 

One interesting possibility is a record from Hartpury, Gloucester, England from April 30,162, stating that John Clark married Joane Nelme on that date.  I do know that people from Gloucester went to Virginia, so this seems to be a reasonable possibility.  However, his son Abraham is believed to have been born in Weathersfield, Essex, England and that is a long way from Gloucester.  So maybe the Joane Nelme idea isn't as possible as it seems.  We know that John and possible wife Joan had at least two children, Abraham and Ann. 

If the time and location of Abraham's birth is correct, then that would mean John left Virginia no earlier than 1639.  I've not yet found an immigration record that gave me any confidence that this was our John.  The death information I have consistently gives him a death date of 1664 (nothing more specific) in (old) Rappahannock County, Virginia.  This would have been on the Rappahannock river or its tributaries, north of the current city of Richmond. 

That is all that I have been able to locate about John.  There are so many questions, both in England and in Virginia, but I leave them to the future family historian to dig into this untold story, thanking him, her or them in advance.  For now, we only know that he is an ancestor and that he was an immigrant at a time when life was not easy in Virginia.  That is a good reason to honor him.

The line of descent is:

John Clark-Joan
Abraham Clark-Sarah Kinsey
Elizabeth Clark-William Wilkinson
Jane Wilkinson-Edward Corbin
Mary Jane Corbin-Samuel Lane
Lambert Lane-Nancy Ann Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, August 11, 2017

Harshbarger line: Christopher Ketteman, revisited

I'm going to try again with this ancestor.  I wrote about him before, but my information confused two different men by the name of Christopher Kitteman or Ketteman or Kettemann or probably other spellings.  Virginia Perry, whose work I thought I was following when I wrote the first post, has been so kind as to send me two lengthy emails, giving me additional information and clues, which I haven't followed up on yet.   I wanted to at least get this much information corrected and added to, in case I'm not successful in following up on her clues . I only hope I don't mess this up this time!

OK.  Our Christopf Ketteman (the way it was spelled on the ship coming over in 1751) or Christopher Kettemann (German spelling) first shows up on an American record in 1756, as a single man, in Springfield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1756. He married Anna Margaret Lawall there in 1761 in the Tohickon Reformed Church of Bedminster Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  The church has records dating back to 1745 so good Germans had been settling this area for several years. 

It appears that the family went to Frederick County, Maryland soon after their marriage, but they left when the rents came due in 1770-1771.  After a stay in Northampton County, Pa, with or near Anna Margaret's parents, they seem to have gone directly to Augusta County, Virginia They probably stayed there the rest of their lives, although boundary changes means there could be records in Hampshire County, Pendleton County, and Hardy County, in what is now West Virginia.   They had several children, more than I realized when I wrote the first blog post.  Besides Daniel, George, Mary and Jacob other likely children are Peter, Susanna, Stoffel, and Frederick.  (This is by process of elimination, not necessarily the best way to document children but it's a start).

Unfortunately, many records were burned in this area during the Civil War unpleasantries, so we may never find some of the records we need to determine when Christopher and Margaret died, or what land they owned.  We can guess they lived simple, hardworking lives.  I've not found any Kittemann etc name in the reference books I have indicating service prior to the Revolutionary War, nor could I find a reference to Christopher on Fold3.  It is likely, however, that at the very least he would have been involved in frontier defense, as all able-bodied men were expected to do their duty, defending against potential Indian attacks. 

That is as much as we know about Christopher and Margaret.  I will keep looking for records to try to pinpoint death information, location and whether there was a will or estate.  That could tell us more about this couple.  I hope everything I have written here is either true or likely (speculation about additional children, and military service).  Any errors are of course my own but for the facts, we can thank Virginia Perry! 

Again, the line of descent is:

Christopher Ketteman-Anna Margaret Lawall
Mary Ketteman-George Harter
Johan George Harter-Mary Miller
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Beeks line: Johann Jacob Bentz 1727-1778

I've been trying to learn about Jacob Bentz or Pence, and the first thing I learned is that there are a lot of men by the name of Jacob Bentz or Pence in the same locations and the same time frame.  So I'm going to go mainly by what I've found in other's people's research.  I hope they have figured it out correctly! 

Bentz families were in Philadelphia by at least 1727.  I haven't found anything that ties our family to any of the earlier arrivals, but the possibility exists that they are relatives, at least some of them.  Our Jacob was baptized December 8,1727 in the Reformed Church at Iggelheim, Pfalz, Bayern in what became Germany.  He was the son of Johann George and Anna Barbara Bullinger Bentz.  Iggelheim appears to be a village in southwest Germany, not far from other areas where our German families emigrated.  It is a town that suffered serious loss in the Thirty Years War and was probably still struggling to recover as the Bentz family made the decision to move to America.

Jacob's father, Georg, and at least two of his brothers traveled together on the ship Phoenix, which landed in Philadelphia September 15, 1749. (I am not writing this post about Georg because there is no record of him after his arrival here.  We know he was a shoemaker by trade. It's possible that he lived with one of his sons but it is believed he didn't survive long in the New World. Many seem to think he died in 1749, but I've seen no proof of that.)

Jacob settled in the Hawksbill area of the Shenandoah Valley.  We're not sure just when he arrived there.  There are military records for a Jacob Pence who served in 1757 in Captain Hog's Company of Rangers. Our Jacob would have been of the right age to be this Jacob.  We know our Jacob called himself Jacob Pence, and that is the name used in the records.  So possibly our Jacob had military service in the French and Indian War, although none of the sites I'm looking at it have claimed military service for Jacob. 

One tree I've seen gives his wife a name, Christine Barbara Willrett.  There is no documentation, but it says they married in 1756.  If this is true, then there must have been a first wife, for three sons were born before this marriage.  I've also seen a marriage date of "about 1745".  I'd love to hear from someone who knows more about Jacob and can give some insight about his wife or wives.

We do know he had ten children, and that Jacob didn't leave the Shenandoah Valley after he arrived there.  He died on or before October 29, 1778 in Shenandoah County, Virginia.  As a typical German in this area, he would have farmed and perhaps had a "side trade", but that is all I really can say about the life he led here.  He was working too hard to leave paper records, apparently. 

That's not a lot of information for a blog post, but it gives us something of a feel for the man and his life. We can say beyond a doubt that he worked hard, and that he defended his adopted country, whether he was the Jacob Pence who saw in Captain Hog's company, or whether he stayed home to protect his family.  He's another of the mostly unrecognized men whose pioneer work led to our country's formation.  Thank you, Jacob Pence!

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, August 4, 2017

Holbrook line: James Harmon 1635-1680, Immigrant

It takes all kinds.  Most of our ancestors were fine, upstanding people, who served God, lived their religion, and contributed to the building or/and protection of their country.  And then there is James Harmon. 

We don't know a lot about James, and what we do know is largely from court records and is not very complimentary.  Many believe him to be the son of Frances and Sarah Martin Harmon, but there seems to be no documentation at this point for that relationship.  His parentage remains unproven. 

We don't really know when James first showed up in the New World.  Indications are that if he first touched ground anywhere other than Saco, Maine, it would have been for a very brief period . Based on his history in Maine, it's possible that he was "invited" to leave England, or he may have come as a crew member of a ship and decided, on his own or with persuasion, to stay in the New World.  (Those last two items are purely speculation, but read on,)

James married Sarah Clark, daughter of Edward and Barbara Clark, about 1658 at Saco.  Unfortunately, the record shows that the part of the page showing the date was torn, so we will likely nevver know the exact date.  We an wonder what Sarah saw in him, but she may have had little to choose from, as far as husband material goes.  The couple had two known children, but they were not enough to keep this marriage together. 

In 1655, James made an announcement that he had slandered John Snelling.  This sounds very much like it must have been a church happening, but at the time there was little difference between church and court.  He was likely given a light punishment and returned to his life and occupation, whatever that was.  About the time of his marriage, in 1658, he was sentenced for swearing, a fine and a bond were required.  By 1660, James was known as a wife abuser, and that year he also slashed his father in law with a knife.  He was also charged with not providing for his family. 

The court, believing that James was preparing to leave to go elsewhere, appointed Edward Clark, Sarah's father, to be in charge of James's estate, to provide for the wife and family.  Unfortunately Edward drowned the following year.  Sarah must have felt so alone, with an abusive husband and no father to protect her or to help provide for her children.  James lived sometimes in Saco and sometimes in Kennebunkport, and there appear to be attempts at reconciliation, or at least no attempt at divorce.  Sarah had permission to live with a Mr. Gibbons, possibly as a housekeeper (my guess) and later Mr. and Mrs. Gibbons took in daughter Jane, who was also being abused. 

James left no known record after 1668.  He could have left the area, gone to sea, straightened out, or any of a number of other possibilities.  I suppose this could make the outline for a good story or novel, except, hey, he's our ancestor.  If nothing else, we can thank him for marrying a strong woman who survived in spite of his bad behavior,.

The line of descent is:

James Harmon-Sarah Clark
Jane Harmon-Samuel Doty
Sarah Doty-Josiah Standish
Hannah Standish-Nathan Foster
Nathan Foster-Elizabeth Lansford
Jude Foster-Lydia M.
Betsy Foster-Josiah Whittemore
Mary Elizabeth Whittermore-Joseph R Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Allen line: Hugh Kinsey 1592-1667

Hugh Kinsey is another one of those "really" ancestors who reminds me that no, I'm not entirely of sturdy New England stock.  This line goes back to early Maryland and before that, Virginia, when the land was being newly explored and settled, relations with native Americans were tense, and life was hard, even though the winters may have been milder than those of much of New England. 

Hugh was baptized February 16, 1592 at Oldhaugh, Cheshire, England.  This is a new location for me, so I tried to Google it and found only other people who were born there.  My best guess is that this was a small farming community and that the reason for leaving here may have been economic. 

Hugh married Margaret Coulton in England (lots of sources say Margaret Johns but that appears to be incorrect) in 1632 and they had six known children together, (one died young) but not until Hugh was middle aged.  Margaret was reportedly baptized in 1611 so Hugh was enough older that he may have had an as yet unlocated first marriage.

Hugh and brother Robert were in Virginia by 1655, settling in Rappahannock and later Lancaster County, Virginia. Hugh was already over 60, and life was hard in the new land.  It gets a little complicated here.  Hugh inherited from his brother Robert in 1656 and mortgaged those 500 acres, later selling them to the mortgagor in London because he couldn't make the payment.  It's not clear why he needed to sell; did he have trouble financially because he had become (or perhaps always was) a Quaker?  A group of Quakers from Lancaster county did emigrate together, to the area on the Patapsco River where Hugh settled.  He brought two of his children over from England in 1662, and about the same time, acquired 100 acres of land along the river.  The 100 acres probably represented headrights,  meaning Hugh had paid the transportation costs and brought new settlers in to the area. 

Hugh is seen as a witness to various land transactions in the 1650's and 1660's, but seems to have not generated much other paperwork.  He did leave a will dated May 6, 1667 in Anne Arundel County, leaving bequests to grandchildren and the estate to his wife, until her death when it was to go to his living children and grandchildren.  I've not located anything saying what the value of the estate was. 

It's likely that Hugh's estate was not large.  As far as we know, he had just the 100 acres, and that was not enough to support a family.  If he was a Quaker, he probably had suffered both religious and economic persecution in Virginia.  But he was free and had had opportunities in the New World that he would never had had in England, and he may have felt that the opportunity was worth the risk, even for an older person.  He contributed to the building of America, and for that I am grateful.

The line of descent is:

Hugh Kinsey-Margaret Coulton
Sarah Kinsey-Abraham Clark
Elizabeth Clark-William Wilkinson
Jane Wilkinson-Edward Corbin
Mary Jane Corbin-Samuel Lane
Lambert Lane-Nancy Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-William McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Harshbarger line: Thanking some wonderful folks

I've been overwhelmed this week by two wonderful people who have contacted me and gently corrected some of my genealogy work.  Both of these corrected lines belong to the Harshbarger family, several generations back.

I now have the beginning of some information about Johan Jacob Enck, whom I shall write about in some future post, possibly.  I had the wrong man listed as the father of Anna Catherine Enck.  I have her parents corrected, and now have his parents now, too, and some baptismal records from Germany dating back to 1670.  So cool!   And I am so grateful to Anne Caston! Also, she shows copies of the permission that John Mentz
er received from the Margrave of Baden-Wuerttemburg, to leave for America in 1751.  Those documents are rare, and it is a joy to see them. 

Also Virginia Perry, whom I mentioned in my earlier post about Christopher Kitterman, wrote to clarify the wonderful work she's done.  What I didn't understand, and what confused me immensely as I was writing my original post, was that there were two different men by the same name.  She has done an enormous amount of research to clarify which Christopher was which, and she generously shared some of her conclusions with me.  I will either write a separate post or update the post I already wrote, so that my misunderstandings don't clutter up the two different lines, hopefully.

The collaboration and generosity of these two women exemplify the best of genealogy.  No one would ever know more than a few generations of their family history if everyone had to start from square one, and walk the complete journey by themselves.  In the case of genealogy, it truly takes everyone working together to have accurate information on our families.  I hope by writing this blog, I'm contributing to some of the sharing of information.  When I mess up, which is more often than I'd like, I want to fix my messes, which are entirely my own fault, and give credit where credit is due.

So thank you, Anne Caston, and thank you, Virginia Perry. I hope to get it right this time! 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beeks line: Anna Mae Beeks gets married

I'm breaking a rule here, because normally I don't write about people who are living.  This is such a wonderful article, however, with names that are near and dear to us, that I am choosing to share it now.  I hope it brings smiles to the faces of some, and I certainly hope that the wonderful lady in the title doesn't mind.

This article is from the August 1,1946 issue of the Huntington Herald-Press, page 6.

"Miss Anna Mae Beeks and Clyde L. Osborne United in Marriage"

"Miss Anna Mae Beeks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Beeks, Andrews, and Clyde L. Osborn, son of Fred Osborn, Attica, exchanged vows of the double-ring ceremony solemnized at the First Christian Church in Andrews at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon.  Greenery, white gladioli and phlox banked the altar, at which the Rev. R. M. McBride officiated at the ceremony.

Miss Mary Margaret Beeks attended her sister as maid of honor and Cleve Harshbarger acted as best man.  Ushers were Norman Beeks, the bride's brother, and David Boone.

Preceding the ceremony Mrs. George Kellam at the piano presented a program of bridal selections including "Oh Promise Me" (deHaven), "At Dawning".(Cadman), "Intermezzo" (Mascagini), "Indian Love Call" (Frimi), "I Love You Truly" (Bond), and "To a Wild Rose" (MacDowell), which was played softly during the ceremony. The traditional wedding marches were played.

Mr. Beeks gave in marriage his daughter who for the wedding was attired in a street length frock of pink taffeta fashioned with sweetheart neckline, short puffed sleeves and gathered bodice which joined a full skirt.  She wore a shoulder corsage of white glamellias and a single strand of pearls which was the bridegroom's gift.  A half hat of white straw trimmed by tiny pink rosebuds and a pink veil, and other accessories in white completed her ensemble.

The maid of honor work a silk dress of aqua blue styled with a v-neckline and cap sleeves.  Her accessories were in white and pink gladioli formed her corsage.  The single strand of pearls she wore was her sister's gift.

The bride's mother chose to wear a flowered jersey dress accented by white accessories and a corsage of tiny orchid pompom asters.

Immediately following the ceremony sixty guests assembled in the church basement for the reception.  A three-tiered wedding cake topped by a miniature bridal couple centered the table laid in white linen.  Assisting with the serving of the guests were the Misses Norma Jean Beeks, sister of the bride, Marilyn Stech and Donna Jean McBride.

A graduate of the Andrews high school with the class of 1944, the new Mrs. Osborn is now employed at the J.C. Penney company in Huntington.  Her husband was recently discharged from the navy after serving three years, and is an employee of the Caswell-Runyan company.  Following a short wedding trip the couple will reside in a newly furnished apartment in Andrews."

I've been reading newspapers of the time period for several months now, and can confidently state that people got married at all hours of the day and night, and all seven days of the week, so a Sunday afternoon wedding wasn't unusual.  It also wasn't unusual to get married in a street length gown (or even a suit) in a color other than white.  Customs have changed but we can feel the joy of that day, and we can honor the long and happy marriage of Clyde and Anna Mae.

I'd love to know, if someone can tell me, how long Clyde had known Cleve Harshbarger, and how they met. It was a surprise to us to find that Cleve and Mary Margaret had been in a wedding together, about 11 months before their own marriage.  If anyone knows more about this wedding, or has memories of this day, I'd love to hear them! 

Update July 28,2017:  I've heard from Anna Mae' and Clyde's son Gary, who assures me that his father Clyde's middle initial was "S" for Seward.  I copied the article correctly but apparently there was a typo in the article.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Holbrook line: Moses Cleveland 1620-1703, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Allen line: Richard Lamb 1696-1736

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line if descent is:

Richard Lamb-Anna White
Anna Lamb-Richard Falley
Richard Falley-Margaret Hitchcock
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, July 14, 2017

Harshbarger line: Paul Hawn, another veteran to thank!

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

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

"Reports Saturday"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beeks line: John Gurney 1603-1663 Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, July 7, 2017

Holbrook line: Alexander Balcom 1615-1711

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Allen line: Humphrey Belt, Virginia immigrant 1615-1698

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Beeks line: Gilles de Mandeville 1626-1701 Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Friday, June 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line of descent is:

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Stebbins about 1619-1683, Immigrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

One line of descent is:

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

The second line is

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

This is just one way we are our own cousins!