Remembering Our Ancestors: William Andrews

William came with the company of Rev. Thomas Hooker to the colonies in 1624 and started the Andrews family of (what was to become) Hartford, CT.

1595 and London, England:  That should bring at least two things to mind, Shakespeare and the Black Death.  I guess some people think London was plagued by both – not I!

Regardless, our ancestors where there, in and around London during Shakespeare’s time, and surely they were bothered by the plague, among them our 12th and 13th great-grandfather William Andrews who was born in that year, 1595.  19 years later, however, we find our dear William quite far away from London, in the company of Thomas Hooker (as depicted in Frederic Edwin Church’s painting that you see featured, slightly cropped) in the colonies far west of England, and on their way to what would become Hartford, Connecticut.  William Andrews was one of the founders of that town.

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Founder’s Monument Ancient Cemetery Hartford, Ct

William married in the New World, as far as we know, and sources differ whether he was married once or twice.  It is pretty sure that he married Abigail Graves in 1632, the year our 11th and 12th great-grandfather John Andrews was born also.  Some sources say William also married Mary Savage (which would have been in the old world) and there is conflicting information because they, too, had a son called John, albeit born a good bit before ‘our’ John.  Chances are more than one William Andrews lived in London at the time, and possibly even made it to the colonies before 1700.

Our William and Abigail had eight children together, if we are correctly informed, firmly establishing the Andrews clan in the Hartford area where they stayed for many generations, until the early 19th century.  We have already portrayed several members of this branch of the family; they must have been an interesting and rather hardy bunch.  Eventually, the Andrews branch of our family tree joins the Christman branch with our (2nd) great-grandparents Dallas Christman and Alice Andrews.

William Andrews passed on at the age of 64, on 3 August 1659, this past week 361 years ago.  His wife Abigail lived on for 22 more years, and as far as we know, she married again, one Nathaniel Bearding.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa Andrews.  We do not know where exactly they have laid you to rest, but it is believed than you lie in the Ancient Cemetery in Hartford where the above monument bears your name along with those of other founders.

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THE FOUNDERS BRIDGE: This plaque and a second one commemorate the men and women who traveled there in 1636 with the Rev. Thomas Hooker to found the City of Hartford.

Remembering Our Ancestors: John Chris(t)man

Our 4th and 5th great-grandfather John was a real Christman: He was born on 25 December 1763.

The Christman’s, who for a few generations spelled their name “Chrisman” but have the “t” added back in again by now, at least in our branch of the tree, are of German origin.  The “Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County” (Chester Co, PA, that is) says the following about them:

The family is of German origin, tracing its ancestry back to the Fatherland, from whence came Daniel Christman in the good ship Alexander, William Clymer, master, ” from Rotterdam, last from Cowes,” as the vessel’s report shows. He landed in America September 5, 1730, and settled in Worcester township, then part of Philadelphia county, but now comprised in the county of Montgomery. He afterward removed to Frederick township, Montgomery county, where he died. He was a fanner by occupation, a member of the Lutheran church, and his remains lie entombed at Leedy’s burying-ground in Frederick township.

His children were : Anna E., married Johannes Grobb in December, 1749, and lived in East Coventry township, this county ; Felix, born in 1733, and removed to Vin- cent township; Elizabeth, born in 1734; Jacob, born in 1737, and died February 27, 1804; George, born in 1739, was a farmer, and lived in Frederick township, Montgomery county; and Henry , who was born in Frederick township, that county, in 1744.

Daniel Chris(t)man’s son Felix was our 5th (and 6th) great-grandfather, and today, we are remembering Felix’s son John, our 4th (and 5th) great-grandfather.  Before the Chris(t)man’s immigrated, they lived in southern Germany, in the Kaiserslautern area in Rhineland-Palate and in north-western Bavaria.

John Chris(t)man’s parents Felix and Rebecca had seven children altogether, as we have found out recently, and John was their third child and second son, the first son having been named after his father.  John was born on Christmas Day in 1763 in Chester County, PA – how very fitting, given his last name!

When John was 13, the colonies his grandparents had immigrated to turned into a nation, and his father Felix helped to bring it about, luckily surviving the Revolutionary War.

When John was 17, his mother Rebecca died, and when he was 31, his father passed on as well.  Until then, John had not found a wife, but in 1797, he married Jane Baer (or Blair), and the two still lived in the far south-eastern corner of Pennsylvania, in Chester County.

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John and Jane had six children, and they consistently spelled their name “Chrisman”, it seems.  Would be interesting to research how many branches of the Chris(t)man family spell their name without the “t” until this day, much like the Denney’s with and without the second “e”, but we’ll leave it to another day.  Our direct ancestor in the Chris(t)man line is John’s first son Daniel, named (apparently) after his grandfather.

We do not know what John did for a living, but he stayed in the area with his family, for he died on 1 August 1830, tomorrow 190 years ago, in Vincent Twp. (not sure if East or West), Montgomery, PA, and he lies buried in Vincent Baptist Churchyard in Pikeland, Chester Co., PA.  From what I can see, that’s all rather close together.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandfather John.  It’s good to know that at least one member of the Christman family was born on Christmas Day.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: John Case

John Case, our 10th and 11th great-grandfather in the Snyder line, immigrated to the New World in the first half of the 17th century.

John Case was born on 25 Jul 1616 Aylesham in the Dover District in England, that’s tomorrow 404 years ago.  We don’t know much about his childhood, but the Case family, father, mother and four sons, left Gravesend, England, bound for Boston on the ship Dorset, of the Winthrop fleet, in 1635, when John was 19 years old.  The father William (properly John William Richard) died en route in September of that year, but the rest of the family settled largely in what today is the area of Hartford, CT.

John married Sarah Spencer, whose family had been living in the colonies since the 1630s as well, around 1655, and in 1656 their first daughter Elisabeth was born.  Nine more children were to follow.  In the early years of their marriage, John, Sarah and their children lived in the settlement of Massacoe which had 13 permanent residents in 1669. People appeared to be have been hesitant to settle there in the first years.  John was appointed to the position of constable of the ‘plantation’, this being the first recorded civil office held by residents of the area.  John also appears to have been instrumental in the process of turning the settlement into a town of Connecticut, which happened on 12 May 1670 when the plantation was ordered to be called “Simmsbury“.  The boundaries at that time were Farmington on the south side and Windsor on the east side, with the extent of Simsbury running 10 miles north of Farmington and 10 miles west of Windsor.

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One can surely say the family were American pioneers, and it appears that for most of his life, John played an active role in the community life of his plantation / village / town.

Following Sarah’s death on 3 November 1691, John married Elizabeth Moore, the widow of Nathaniel Loomis, but they had no children together, Elizabeth already having had 14 children by her first husband.

John in turn died on 21 February 1704 in Simsbury and it is believed that he was buried next to Sarah in an unmarked grave on Simsbury Cemetery.

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Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa John.  It’s hard to imagine what life must have been like for your family, setting out into the New World and losing the father before you even got there, and then going on to build a community where there had been uninhabitable wilderness before.  On your shoulders we stand, and we hope to live in such a way that you do not have to be ashamed of us.

Remembering Our Ancestors: John Phillips

The Phillips family had been in the New World for two generations already when John was born in 1776: The first Phillips of this line, James, immigrated during the first decade of the 18th century from Suffolk in England.

Did you spot it?  Did the dates ring a bell?  Our 5th and 6th great-grandfather John Phillips, whose great-great-granddaughter was our (great-)great-grandmother Goldie Fouts, was born during the Revolutionary War and died during the Civil War.  But let’s not jump ahead too far.

John Phillips was born in Hagerstown, Washington Co., Maryland on 26 June 1776, today 244 years ago, just eight days before the Declaration of Independence.  The town was called Elizabethtown at the time:  Jonathan Hager, a German immigrant, had bought 200 acres of land in the Great Appalachian Valley in 1739, called it Hager’s Fancy and named the town he founded there in 1762 after his wife Elizabeth.  In 1814, it was renamed Hagerstown, following popular use.

But by that time, John Phillips was not living in Hagerstown anymore.  We are not sure when he left the area, but records show that his parents already went west towards the Old Northwest, with little John and his siblings no doubt.

By the beginning of the 19th century, we find John marrying west of the Ohio River in Barnesville, today located in Belmont Co., Ohio.  Funnily enough, Barnesville was named after one James Barnes who happened to have been born in Maryland and was the first settler in the Barnesville area.  Go figure.

Regardless, John Phillips married Catherine McFarland, daughter of Irish immigrants, in Barnesville on 12 September 1809, at a time when warriors of Tecumseh’s Confederation, armed by the British, hoped to rid the territory of American settlers and increasingly raided their towns and farmsteads.  John, by then father of two and the third on the way, enlisted in the War of 1812 on 4 September 1812; the necessity to defend his homeland surely did not need to be impressed on him, but we do not know any particulars about his life as a soldier.  He survived the war, this much is sure, and the family stayed in Barnesville where six more children were born to John and Catherine.

John Phillips passed away in his 87th year on 9 June 1863, smack-dab in the middle of the American Civil War.  His life was indeed framed by armed conflicts on American soil.

Requiescat in Pace now, Great-Grandpa John.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Susanna Trevilian and Eunice Porter

Our 10th and 11th (and 11th and 12th) great-grandmothers Chidester both died around the same date, albeit a quarter of a century apart.

James H. Chichester, born in England and present in the New World as early as 1643, lost his mother Susanna as well as his wife Eunice in this third week of May, the former in 1636, the latter in 1661.

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Susanna Trevilian, our 11th and 12th great-grandmother in the Snyder line, was born on in 1585 in Somerset, England.  William Chichester, our 11th and 12th great-grandfather, was her second husband:  With her first husband Richard Carpenter, she had already had more than 10 children.  But our direct ancestor was among the sons of William, whom she married after her first husband had died.  Susanna’s mother was a Chichester by birth.  It can be therefore assumed, that William was one of Susanna’s cousins, but more research is necessary to confirm this assumption.  Susanna died on 20 May 1636 in Widworthy, Devon, at the age of 51.

After Susanna’s death, her sons William Jr. and James Chichester, who was nine years younger than his brother, apparently set sail in their own boat for the New World.  Both men were seafarers, it is said, and both lived in the Puritan community in Massachusetts, more precisely in Salem, for a while.  There, James met and married Eunice Porter, daughter of Jonathan Porter who had immigrated to Massachusetts from England before 1632.  Eunice was born in 1621, presumably still in England, and married James H. Chichester in 1643 in Salem.

It appears that Eunice and James, although Puritans when they arrived in the New World, joined the Quakers eventually and thus moved away from Salem to settle in Huntington, NY, although they had little to do with and apparently little love for the Dutch there.  Eunice died on 21 May 1661, one day and 25 years after her mother-in-law, in Huntington at the age of 40.  Through their son David, our line goes straight to Sarah Chidester, who married Abraham Snyder Sr. on 10 June 1797.

Requiescat in Pace, dear Great-Grandmothers Chichester.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Two Birthdays and a Burial

So many of our family lines go back to the early days of European settlement in the New World.

When I first looked at our family tree today there seemed to be no-one new to portrait this week, but I was quite wrong.  Within the last 12 months, we actually added three great-grandparents to the tree that all either were born or died within this past week.

In the Denney line:
The oldest of today’s ancestors in terms of distance from us is Humphry Shinton, our 10th and 11th great-grandfather.  He was born on 19 April 1640, in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England, to Humphrey and Elizabeth (Love).  He married Anne Perry on 6 June 1663, in his hometown, and they had two children during their marriage as far as we know.  Their daughter Elizabeth married Richard Felton, and the two of them immigrated to the New World in or around the 1680s.  Their great-granddaughter was Sally Wise Felton, wife of Azariah Denney.  Humphry Shinton died in August 1681 in Wolverhampton at the age of 41, and was buried there on 29 Aug 1681 in the churchyard of St. Peter’s.

In the Lindsey line:
Mary Duset, our 5th and 6th great-grandmother, was born on 3 December 1742 in Milton, Norfolk, MA.  Her parents Peter and Ruth (Newcomb) had at least four more children, and it appears as though Mary’s forefathers and -mothers had already been living in the New World for four generations.  Mary married Benjamin Everenden (later Everton) on 2 December 1760 in Stoughton, Massachusetts.  They had seven children, and their son Thomas was (great-) Grandma Irene‘s great-great-grandfather.  Mary’s husband Benjamin died ten years before America’s independence from England in 1766 and did not even live to see the birth of his last son who was named Benjamin (in his honor without a doubt), but Mary lived to be 80 years old and thus saw a good bit of what went on in the early days of independent America.  She passed away in Dorchester, Suffolk, MA on 4 March 1823.

In the Mulford line:
Our 3rd and 4th great-grandfather William Henry Harris was born on 25 April 1825, only two years after Mary had died, in Mason, West Virginia, the first child of Henry and Jane (Summers).  Four more children were to follow.  At some point in his youth or early adulthood, William Henry crossed the nearby Ohio river and on 21 July 1853, he married Joanna Dianne Brown in Gallia County, OH, but apparently the couple did not stay long on the western side of the Ohio.  Instead, they settled back on the West Virginia side and raised their family there.  We know of only one child that the two had, Arilla Jane Harris, who was Mattie Mulford‘s mother and who in turn became the mother of (great-) Grandpa Lorain.  On 8 January 1886, William Henry died in Mason County, WV at the age of 60, and as far as we know, he lies buried there.

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Requiescat in Pace, Humphry, Mary and William.

 

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Elizabeth and Nathaniel Kellogg

Our 9th (and 10th) great-grandparents appear to have both died on April Fool’s Day, and it’s not a joke!

What happened on 1 April 1762 in East Windsor, CT?  This is one of the mysteries in our family tree, the kind that hobby genealogists know only too well.  The records indicate that our 9th (and 10th) great-grandparents in the Andrews-line, Nathaniel Kellogg and his wife Elizabeth Williams, died both on the same day, so the question is, what happened to them on that day?  We have not been able to find out thus far.

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Elizabeth Williams was born on 13 February 1703, and her later husband Nathaniel Kellogg shortly thereafter on 8 May 1703, both in Colchester, CT, a little speck of a place that only four years previously had been named so, after the port city of Colchester in Essex, England.  In the year of Nathaniel and Elizabeth’s birth, it was ruled that the settlement could organize a church body there, and within a few years, several grist mills and saw mills were built to provide grain and lumber for the settlement.  In 1706, the first street was laid and called Town Street.  By 1714, there were nearly 50 English colonial families in town, among them our Kellogg’s and Williams’ ancestors.

Nathaniel and Elizabeth got married on 1 July 1725 in Colchester, just before Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Weeks, wife of Charles Williams, died.  The couple had eight children altogether, their daughter Delight, who married Lt. Robert Andrews, being our 8th (and 9th) great-grandmother.

The family lived in Colchester, CT for many years, but shortly before Nathaniel and Elizabeth died, they moved to East Windsor, CT, possibly with Delight and Robert who were living there by 1756.  Robert’s family was one of the founding families of Hartford, CT and among the first settlers in Windsor as well.

As mentioned, both Nathaniel and Elizabeth died on 1 April 1762, in Windsor, Connecticut.  She was already 59 by that time, and he was still 58.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandparents Kellogg.  Maybe it is for the best that we do not know how you died.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Margaret Ann George

People endure much in life.  Let us not forget them and their stories.

When Margaret Ann George was born on 16 May 1760 in Bedford, PA, little did she know that by the age of 16, her colony would become an independent country in its own right.

On 5 June 1778, she married Lt. John George Longstreth in Bedford, who had been a soldier when they married, and who continued to be a soldier off and on.  They had 11 children between 1778 and 1800, and their great-granddaughter Rebecca married William David Christman, our maternal 2nd (and 3rd) great-grandfather.  Margaret passed away this week 183 years ago, on 18 February 1837, in Deavertown, Ohio at the age of 76 years, and was buried there.

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This marker was erected by family members of Margaret and John Longstreth across the street from Christ Church Cemetery where Margaret lies buried.  John was buried, it is believed, in Green County, PA.

The family lived in Bedford, PA, so how can it be that Margaret ends up being buried in Morgan Township, Ohio, while John rests in Green County, PA?

There are two versions of the story of John and Margaret going around.  Their common denominator is that John, being a soldier, eventually stayed away from home for an unusually long time.  Apparently, he left in 1800 and was neither seen nor heard of for 17 years, and rumors reached Margaret that he was dead.

According to one version of the story, when other Longstreth family members moved to Ohio around 1820, Margaret and her children, thinking John dead and gone, went with them.  John, not at all dead, eventually returned home only to find his wife and children gone and nobody knew where they went, so John stayed in the Bedford area and died there in 1834.

The other version of the story says that Margaret, thinking her husband had died, married again (although we have found no record of this anywhere).  When John, after enduring many hardships and looking much like a tramp, returned home and asked for some food and a bed for the night, it was refused.  When he made himself known by asking for an apple from one of the trees he had planted with his own hands almost 20 years previously, Margaret recognized him and asked him to stay, but he did not, seeing how she had a new life now and not wishing to be in her way.  He left, and died a lonely old man in 1834.

The second common thing of the two stories is, obviously, that in either case John lived alone for the last years of his life and died at the age of 83.

Wherever the truth lies in these stories, in one or the other or some place in between, it appears their relationship was somewhat tragic towards the end.  People endure much in life.  Let us not forget them, their joys and their sorrows, and their stories.

Requiescat in Pace, Margaret and John.  We hope you found each other again on the other side.

** The featured image shows Margret’s original sandstone grave marker.  As can be seen, it is quite hard to determine what it once said. **

Lt. John Longstreth
Lt. John Longstreth (1751–1834)

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Richard Felton Jr.

This week 351 years ago, our 9th (and 10th) great-grandfather Richard Felton Jr. was born in England’s West Midlands. By the time he died in 1734, he had made the journey west across the Atlantic.

Latest since the 16th century, the Felton’s of our family tree appear to have lived in the West Midlands of England.  The village of Worfield in Shropshire was their home, a place that was first settled in the Iron Age when it was inhabited by the Celtic Cornovii.

Our 9th and 10th great-grandfather Richard Jr., son of Richard Felton Sr. and Alice White, was born there on 4 February 1669 and baptized nine days later.  By the time he was old enough to marry, we find Richard a couple of miles further east in the thriving market town of Wolverhampton.  There, he married Elizabeth Shinton of Wolverhampton on 7 April 1686, and they had at least one son whom they named – you guessed it – Richard.

Some sources say that Richard Sr., his wife Alice and Richard Jr. already sailed to Virginia in 1662, and given that the same sources declare how Richard Sr.’s brothers John and William may have lived in the New World for a while and then returned to England, it is well possible that Richard Jr. returned with them to the old homeland to marry, and then took his new wife back to the New World with him.  In any case, Richard Jr.’s son Young Richard was born in 1690 in Surrey County in South Carolina, which is where our Felton’s had settled and where, two generations later, Sally Wise Felton married Azariah Denny in 1776 (sic!).

Richard Felton Jr. died in 1734 at the age of 65 in the New World, and his great-granddaughter carried his family name into the Denn(e)y family:  Both her last names, Wise and Felton, appear for a while as middle names in the family tree.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa Felton.  You did not live to see the birth of the new nation, but your grandchildren and great-grandchildren did.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: William Southard

Our 11th (and 12th) great-grandfather William Southard immigrated from England to the colonies some time before 1640.

Today we remember an ancestor who died this past Monday 305 years ago in Virginia.

William Southard, father-in-law of the first Denny in our direct paternal line to settle in the Colonies, was born in February 1619 in Kirkham, Lancashire, England, where he was baptized on 20 February of that same year.  Some sources say he was born in Leyden in the Netherlands, but that seems rather unlikely, given that his baptism is recorded in the parish records of Lancashire, although William did move to Leyden at some point before he turned 20.

His parents never crossed the Atlantic Ocean:  William’s mother Margareth Lyvesey (a prominent Lancashire last name) died in England around 1624, and his father Thomas passed on in 1640 in Leyden in the Netherlands when William was 21 and possibly already married.  It is conceivable that he and his father both planned to go to the colonies from the Netherlands as many did back in the day, but his father did not actually make the journey.  William’s daughter Mary was born in the Colonies in 1642.  Who William’s first wife was, we have not been able to find out, but we do know that he married again later in life when he was already 69 years old.  His bride then was Margaret Lewis, and they got married in Christchurch, Virginia on 17 April 1688.

William was blessed with a long life.  His son-in-law Samuel Denny, also an English immigrant whom his daughter had married around 1660, had already passed on in 1710, his grandson David Denny was already 50 years old, and his daughter Mary would die only two years after him:  William lived to be 95, and died on 6 January 1715 in Christchurch, Virginia.

It takes a sturdy condition to live that long even under altogether favorable living conditions, and one can imagine that the 17th century did not exactly offer those, especially not for colonists.

Rest in Peace, Great-Grandpa Southard.

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