Friday, April 30, 2010

Follow Friday: Betty's Online Source of the Week: US Biographies Project

The US Biographies Project is an all-volunteer, non-profit online resource. State coordinators manage and upload biographies that have been transcribed & submitted by users.  Usually the biographies come from an original published source. Several years ago I helped transcribe a number of biographies for the California Biography Project.

The website was started in 1997 by Jeff Murphy as the Kentucky Biography Project and expanded from there to all 50 states.  I believe the website may have affiliated with US Genweb at one time, but seems to be an entirely independent entity, these days.

A quick perusal as of this morning shows some of the state links are down, and several states in need of coordinators.  The Indiana Bio Project (Deb Murray, coordinator) has the most bios online--over 20,000. I have used the Indiana page several times.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: The Stetson Sisters, California, about 1925-1930

Geraldine, Winifred & Barbara Stetson, daughters of Penneman H Stetson and Genevieve Brown (my grandmother Ruby's sister). The girls were my mother's first cousins.  

This photo taken somewhere in California about 1925-1930, just a few years before their parents both died of tuberculosis. The girls were adopted by Walter & Pearl (Stetson) Simpson, an aunt and uncle.  

One of my favorite family photos.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John Harvill Farm Cemetery, Oldfield, MO

The alternate title for this post could be, "How a Group of Distant Cousins Got Together and Saved a Lost Civil War Era Cemetery in Missouri."

And it all began with Merrill Dean Gray.

Dean was my 4th cousin, through the Thompson family.  My paternal grandmother, MINTTIE MAE BRUTON, was the granddaughter of SARAH THOMPSON b abt 1825 NC who married JAMES MONROE WHITECOTTON.

There are still many descendants of the Thompson family living in the vicinity of Christian County, Missouri, where my grandmother was born and raised.  The Thompson family migrated from Burke Co NC to Bradley Co TN to Carroll Co AR and ultimately, after the Civil War,  to Taney, Douglas & Christian Co MO.

In 2002,  Dean and I started corresponding  about genealogy.  Then we started talking on the phone.  We compared notes, sent packets back & forth.  He told me about Norma Stewart Maples, whose mother Alta had written down the Thompson oral family history with her cousin Lela Hall .

In 2003, my husband and I made a trip east to Iowa to attend the Huber family reunion.  On the way back, we headed south to Hollister, MO to finally visit cousin Dean in person.

"I know you...!" he said in a twangy Missouri drawl, chuckling as I stepped out of the car.  We gave each other a big hug and the bonds of kinship and friendship that had started a year before, online and over the phone, became permanent.

One of the most important things we did on that first trip in 2003 was to visit cemeteries.  Dean gathered up a group of us, a caravan of descendants including the family historian Norma Stewart Maples. We visited the Old Boston Cemetery (see previous Tombstone Tuesday post), among others.  But the most fascinating to me was the John Harvill Farm Cemetery.

This was where the patriarch of our Missouri family, ISAAC JOSEPH THOMPSON,  was buried, along with his daughter LOUISA THOMPSON HUGHES,  and two unidentified Civil War soldiers, one Confederate, one Union.  It was not a formal cemetery;  the graves were unmarked, and the grass in the field was allowed to grow unfettered each year to be cut down as hay.  The only real marker for the cemetery was a grove of wild cherry trees (including one impressively large tree),  a few big field stones, and the stories that had been handed down for more than a hundred years,  telling where the cemetery was located. Alta Thompson Stewart, Norma's mother, and Alta's cousin Lela Hall McCoy had been instrumental in writing down the stories, and this included the location of the John Harvill Farm Cemetery, and its occupants.

4th cousin Charles Thompson of OK visits the big wild cherry tree at the John Harvill Farm Cemetery

My husband & I visited Dean Gray & his wife Dorothy two more times, in 2005 and then in 2007, when we helped organize and attended the Thompson Family Reunion.  At the reunion, Dean announced that he was taking donations to clean up and memorialize the John Harvill Farm cemetery by putting up a marker and a fence. He got enough money that day to complete the project!

4th cousin Dean Gray at the John Harvill Farm Cemetery, 2009

Dean worked with local historians and the current owners of the property and found out the exact location to fence off.  Engraved on one side of the memorial stone are the following names (italics are  mine):

Isaac Joseph Thompson
Louisa Thompson Hughes
Alice Hughes (daughter of Joseph Alevis Hughes, Louisa's son)
Elizabeth Hughes (daughter of Joseph Alevis Hughes, Louisa's son)
Mrs. Boatrite
Mrs. Snooks
Small Girl & Boy of Granny Harville
Jesse Adams, Union Soldier, Civil War
Two Maggard Children
Claud Meadows, Confederate Soldier, Civil War
Twelve Unknown

I dedicate this post to the memory of my 4th cousin Merrill Dean Gray, who passed away Feb 2010.  He will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.

Have a great day!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Madness Monday: When Relatives Won't Share

I have been researching my family history a very long time, and, for the most part,  have had the full support of my relatives in my search for our ancestors. But I know this is not always the case.

Every once in a while, you might run into a relative who is NOT willing to share information, photos or even genealogical research.

Why? you ask yourself, as you flounder around, trying to find ways to convince  the recalcitrant relative  that you are on a noble quest, and that everyone in the family will benefit.  But despite your efforts, the stone wall does not come down.

The reasons for not sharing are many.  Perhaps the questions you are asking remind your relative of a horrrible, tragic event that they don't want to talk about (this happened to me once, and when I found out what had happened to my relative, I felt awful).  Sometimes the relative wants to feel a sense of control over who gets the family's information--or wants to hide a dreadful "family secret" (usually an illegitimate birth).   And sometimes the relative is just being stubborn, holding a grudge, or being  resentful and is refusing out of sheer cussedness (this I have seen too, but not in my personal experience).

So what is the enthusiastic genealogy researcher to do?

1) When dealing with a non-sharing relative, curb your direct questions.  I am a very direct, inquisitive person, and sometimes that puts people off. I have had to learn to allow people to tell their stories in their own time.  Ask open-ended questions, use gentle prompts and don't expect to get all the information you want in one sitting.

2) Build trust with the non-sharing relative, and show them the work that you are doing on the family history.

3) Try to find out the information from other family members. This is always a good idea anyway, since every person has a different perspective.

4) If no other family member has the information you are seeking, look to other sources, such as birth/death certificates, newspaper articles & obituaries, census records, etc.

5) Wait patiently.  Sometimes the non-sharing relative will reconsider--but sometimes they won't.  One cousin had to wait until her aunt died to look through the boxes of family photos and genealogical research that the aunt had been hoarding for years!

Have a great day!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Miss Winifred Stetson, and the Diary of Frank Ricard Brown

In the fall of  1989, shortly after I moved into my current home, my mother's first cousin Winifred Stetson came to visit. She and my mother came up together to spend the afternoon with me.  I had never met Wini before;  all I knew about her was that she had never married and had a successful career teaching at a business school in California.  Little did I know that she would inspire in me a deep desire to know more about my family history that would become a passion for genealogy.

When Wini came to visit that day, she brought with her a copy of a hand-written letter by my great grandmother, MARY ETTA (KENNEDY) BROWN, which had been sent from Unga Island, Alaska, to MARY's sister SARAH ADELINE (KENNEDY) HAWTHORNE in Bodie, California.

Wini also brought with her a large, 1880s era ledger that had been used as diary by my great grandfather FRANK RICARD BROWN when he first went from Bodie, California to Unga Island in 1887.  

Wini was only staying in the area for a few days, but she allowed me to hold on to the diary and the copy of the letter for the weekend so that I could read and enjoy them.  What a thrill!  Unfortunately I was only able to transcribe the first few pages of the diary-- this was long before I had a computer or scanner.  I thought about taking the ledger somewhere to get copies made, but did not want to damage the original binding.  So I didn't. 

I cherished my transcriptions of the letter and the partial transcription of the diary. But then I also began working as an elementary school teacher, and my days became full.  I was preoccupied with the present, not the past. 

Winifred Stetson passed away in Nov 2002.  Shortly afterward, to my complete and utter astonishment, I received a parcel containing the 1880s ledger that was the hand-written diary of my great grandfather FRANK RICARD BROWN.

I made a full transcription of the diary, and after some soul searching, decided to put the diary and  a copy of my transcription on permanent loan to the Alaska State Library in Juneau, in what is now called the Winifred Stetson Collection--in honor of the person who left me such a wonderful gift.

Have a great day!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Surname Saturday: Kennedy of Windsor, Hants Co Nova Scotia and Lubec, Washington Co Maine

Village of Lubec, Washington Co Maine, photo source unknown

JOHN KENNEDY, my ggg grandfather, was born about 1795 in either Ireland or  Nova Scotia, Canada. He may have been the son of THOMAS KENNEDY, who settled in Maitland, Hants Co Nova Scotia.

In about 1818, JOHN KENNEDY married ELIZABETH "BETSY" RINES, born April 29, 1799, the daughter of JOHN RINES II and ELIZABETH McDONALD of Maitland, Hants Co Nova Scotia.

Shortly after their marriage, JOHN & ELIZABETH KENNEDY moved to the town of Windsor, Hants Co Nova Scotia, and there they lived for at least twenty years. All of their children were born there, including my gg grandfather, THOMAS KENNEDY.

JOHN KENNEDY was likely involved in ship-building, fishing or some other type of maritime trade.  Several of his sons and grandsons were shipwrights, mariners and fishermen.

Shortly before 1840, JOHN KENNEDY and his entire family moved across the border to the village of Lubec, Washington Co Maine.  They were enumerated in the 1840 US census, living near eldest son JEREMIAH "JERE" KENNEDY and JERE's father-in-law, EZRA KNIGHT.

JOHN KENNEDY died sometime between the 1840 and 1850 census. His widowed wife, ELIZABETH KENNEDY can be found in the 1850 Portland Cumberland Co ME census, with two of her sons and near a couple of her daughters.  Some of her children remained in Lubec, Washington Co ME. ELIZABETH  can be found in Portland, ME until the 1870 census. She likely died between 1870 and 1880.

The children of JOHN KENNEDY and ELIZABETH "BETSY" RINES, all born Windsor, Hants Co Nova Scotia, Canada:

1) JEREMIAH KENNEDY born about 1818; married CAROLINE KNIGHT, daughter of EZRA KNIGHT; occupation was mariner, fisherman and master ship's carpenter;  lived 1840-1880 Lubec, Washington Co ME (Children: Walter G Kennedy, William H Kennedy, Sarah Kennedy, Mary Prudence Kennedy, John Kennedy, Jeremiah Kennedy Jr, Frederick Kennedy, Ezra Knight Kennedy, Elizabeth Olive Kennedy, Caroline/Carrie Kennedy).

2) MARY KENNEDY b abt 1820; married JOHN O'DONNELL, a farmer; lived 1860-1900 Lubec, Washington Co ME (Children: John O'Donnell Jr, Elizabeth O'Donnell, James O'Donnell, Mary O'Donnell, Martha/Mattie O'Donnell, Anna/Joanna/Annie O'Donnell,  David Edward O'Donnell, Sarah J O'Donnell).

3) JOHN KENNEDY Jr--No further information

4) DANIEL KENNEDY, a shipwright, b abt 1824; married ROSALINDA RIPLEY; lived 1850 Gardiner, Kennebec ME; 1860 Pembroke, Washington Co ME;  died as a soldier during the Civil War, July 25, 1864, location unknown, of unspecified disease (Children: Rosalinda Kennedy, Nancy Kennedy, Daniel Kennedy Jr who died young, Jotham J Kennedy).

5) ELIZABETH KENNEDY b abt 1827 m EDWARD O'NEAL or O'NEIL, a laborer;  lived 1860-1870 Portland, Cumberland Co ME and 1880-1888 Saco/Biddeford, York Co ME, where she ran a boarding house on High Street; died aft 1888. (Children: Thomas O'Neal, Mary O' Neal, John O'Neal, Henry H B O'Neal, Frederick O'Neal, Edward O'Neal Jr, David J O'Neal, Catherine O'Neal).

6) THOMAS KENNEDY , my gg grandfather, a laborer and merchant, b abt 1829-1830;  married 1st) SARAH JANE BOLTON; 2nd) LIZZIE CORBETT; fought in the Civil War; lived Portland, Cumberland Co ME 1850-1870; lived Bodie, Mono Co CA 1878-1882; died bet 1882-1896. (Children: Sarah Adeline Kennedy; Helen Frances Kennedy; Mary Etta Kennedy)

7) MARTHA KENNEDY b abt 1832; m ISRAEL HAGUE  or  HAIG, a grocer; lived 1850-1869 Portland, Cumberland Co ME; no information after 1870 (Daughters: Frances E Hague, Elizabeth Hague, Alice Hague).

8) DAVID W KENNEDY  a woodworker, b abt 1839; wife unknown; fought in the Civil War; lived 1850-1870 Portland, Cumberland Co ME, and until 1888 in Saco/Biddeford, York Co ME (only known child: Seth Kennedy).

For more information, please see my Rootsweb Online family tree, New England Ancestors of Ruby Bolton Brown

As always, your comment appreciated. Have a great day!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Follow Friday: Betty's Online Source of the Week: Huguenots of Manakin Society Webpage

If you are researching Huguenot (French Protestant) ancestors in colonial Virginia, then I suggest that you check out the website  Huguenots of Manakin Society

According to the website, French Huguenot settlers came to Virginia  as early as 1620, but in 1700 a larger group came, in four ships, and settled at an abandoned Indian village called Manakin. Several of my ancestors were among this group.

This is an excellent website with information on history, resources, books and more. It maintains a list of Virginia surnames that have been proven to be of Huguenot origin. This is worth checking out if you had any ancestors in colonial Virginia, as many of the French surnames were changed or anglicized down through the generations.

Huguenot surnames in my Virginia ancestry: Guerrant/Guerin, Trabue, Verreuil, L'Orange, Macon, and Prodhomme.

For more information, see my Rootsweb online family tree Moseley, Miller and Related Families of Colonial Virginia

Have a great day!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Photo Copyright  2007 Betty L Tartas

I took this photo in my garden in October of 2007. The frog was about an inch long, and had climbed up a huge rose bush in order to find a warm place to sleep!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Inez Eileen Miller born 1894 Chillicothe, Livingston Co Missouri

This is my maternal grandfather's first cousin, INEZ EILEEN MILLER born 1894 Chillicothe, Livingston Co, Missouri, the only child of Henry F Miller and Margaret Brandt.

She is not to be confused with Inez May Miller who was born 1883 Chillicothe, Livingston Co Missouri, the daughter of Scott & Joann Miller.  They were apparently not related to the family of Henry F Miller, who was the youngest son of William Frederick Miller and Elizabeth Trabue Moseley, of Spring Hill and Chillicothe, Livingston Co MO.

This is a scanned copy of an original photo which is in my possession, taken between 1915 and 1920. The photo originally belonged to my grandfather R B "Rolla" Martine, son of Charles Albert Martine & Alice Miller.

I have not been able to trace INEZ EILEEN MILLER after the 1910 census.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Rhodes Family, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria BC Canada

Here is a photo of the Rhodes family plot at the Ross Bay Cemetery in the city of Victoria, BC, Canada.  Henry and Sophia (Cape) Rhodes were an immigrant family from England who came to  Canada in the mid-1800s, and became quite prominent in the early society of Victoria BC.  The following people are buried in this plot:

Henry Rhodes b 1824 England, died 1878 Victoria BC

Sophia Harriet (Cape) Rhodes b 1830 India/Ceylon, died 1899 Victoria BC

Sophia Edith Rhodes, b 1860,  died 1902 Victoria BC; daughter of Henry & Sophia, wife of Hon. George Anthony Walkem

Hon. George Anthony Walkem, husband of Sophia Edith, premier of British Columbia 1874-1876, and 1878-1882; Justice of the Supreme Court of BC 1882-1908.

Charles Wallace Rhodes b 1861 died Sept 12, 1912 Victoria BC; son of Henry & Sophia.

Phebe Brown Rhodes b April 18, 1868  Folsom, CA, USA; died 1932 Victoria BC Canada ; wife of Charles Wallace Rhodes; sister of my great grandfather Frank Ricard Brown, daughter of my gg grandparents H.N.H. Brown and Cordelia Rickard of Folsom & Sacramento, CA.

Mabel Rhodes Sterry, b Jan 18, 1901, died Aug 31, 1930 Victoria BC;  married Francis "Frank" Middleton Sterry who moved back to England with their two children (Ann Louise Sterry and Peter Wasey Sterry) after Mabel's death. Mabel was the daughter of Charles Wallace Rhodes and Phebe Brown.  I posted Mabel's photo on a previous blog post

Unknown Dovey d 1951, likely the husband of Ethel Rhodes, sister of Mabel Rhodes Sterry. I posted Ethel's photo on a previous blog post.

Several other of the children of Henry & Sophia (Cape) Rhodes are also buried here:

Annie Isabella Rhodes, b 1852 Hawaii, died 1920 Victoria BC; wife of unknown Janion; daughter of Henry & Sophia Rhodes

Harry Rhodes b 1854 Hawaii, died 1895 Victoria BC, son of Henry & Sophia Rhodes

Godfrey Rhodes b 1855 Hawaii, died 1882 Victoria BC age 27, son of Henry & Sophia Rhodes

Martha Rhodes  b 1869 d 1919 Victoria BC daughter of Henry & Sophia Rhodes

Emily Beasley Rhodes b 1854, d 1919 Victoria BC (spouse of Harry?)

Harry Dean Morgan Rhodes b 1922, d 1979 Victoria BC (Harry's grandson?)

Photograph of Phebe Brown Rhodes from her obituary, 1932, Victoria BC Times-Colonist Newspaper. The following excerpt is from her extremely long & detailed obituary:


Victoria lost one of her most public-spirited citizens yesterday with the death of Mrs. Charles W. Rhodes of 1024 Terrace Avenue, noted for many years as a keen worker in the interests of Jubilee Hospital. Mrs. Rhodes passed away suddenly early yesterday morning as the result of a heart seizure on Tuesday evening, which was of such obviously serious nature that she was removed at once to the hospital. Her daughter, Miss Ethel Rhodes, RN, who was summoned from Seattle, arrived just too late to be with her at the end.

The remains will repose on Saturday at the residence on Terrace Avenue until 2:15 p.m. when the funeral cortege will proceed to Christ Church Cathedral, where services will be held at 2:30 o'clock. The remains will be forwarded to Vancouver for cremation. Interrment will later be made at Ross Bay Cemetary here. haywards BC Funeral Company is in charge of the funeral arrangements.

Mrs. Rhodes was born on April 18, 1868 in Folsom, CA, being the daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. H.N.H. Brown. She first came to Victoria in 1896 as a bride, her husband the late Charles W. Rhodes, who died about twenty years ago, being the manager for many years at the Brackman-Ker Milling Company. They took up their residence on Terrace Avenue immediately on arrival here, and Mrs. Rhodes continued to make her home there until the last.

CHARLES WALLACE RHODES was born in Victoria BC in 1861 to a pioneer family from England, Henry & Sophia Rhodes. According to his obituary, he first began working in 1878 as a clerk in his father's lumber business, Henry Rhodes & Company. In 1880 he left Victoria and joined the western division of the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) as a paymaster. The territory he covered was between Port Moody and Savonas, and he was in responsible for paying the seven thousand men who were forging that railway. He was also required to see to the forwarding of supplies by pack animals over very rough terrain and trails. When he returned to Victoria, he worked as an accountant and as a realtor, until 1889 when he joined the Brackman-Ker Milling Company. He was to stay with that company for twenty years. In addition to his business career, Rhodes served in the militia under a Major Dupont, was an amateur actor in local productions and had a fine baritone voice. He passed away on September 12, 1912. He was a member of the Victoria Native Sons Society, Post #1, the Arion Club, and the Union and Pacific Club. When he died, the flag on the Union Pacific building was flown at half mast in honor of his memory.

Victoria BC Canada is a two hour ferry ride from my home, and I have visited there many times over the years.  In 2001 my mother & I went there and photographed the Rhodes family plot. We tried to find the family home on Terrace Avenue, but were unsuccessful.

Have a great day!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: My First Home

My first home, and the one with the happiest memories for me, was in Maple Valley, WA.  My father, Bill Huber, bought ten acres and built our small house (in middle of photo) in about 1948. The house was situated on top of a big hill, and had a sweeping view over a wide valley and the distant foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

As our family grew, Dad added on more bedrooms. Later, in 1952, he built the house on the left for my maternal grandparents.

My sister and I used the old Model A Ford as a playhouse when we were very young.  I think my father had some plans for it, but never got around to fixing it up!

I took my first steps in the driveway at this house. 

I was only two years old when my Grandma Ruby and Grandpa Rolla moved in next door.  So in my memories, they were always present for my earliest birthdays and holidays. Their house was so much fun to visit!  When I was older, say about four or five, I would scamper next door by myself and join my Grandma Ruby for afternoon tea--a real tea party, not just pretend!

I was very sad when my grandparents moved to Seattle, but they were used to living in the city, and neither of them could drive a car.  We did visit them frequently, after they moved, and often celebrated holidays in their tiny apartment on Queen Anne Hill.

Dad showing me the construction of my grandparents' new home, in 1955.

The inside of Ruby & Rolla's house in Maple Valley.  It was always very tidy and full of interesting & pretty "artifacts" and treasures!  

My parents sold the houses and ten acres in 1960, and we moved to a large farm in eastern Washington. I missed the Maple Valley house very much. But we never went back, not even to visit.

In 1994 my husband and I decided to try and find the old place.  I was amazed that after nearly forty years, I still knew the way home!  And miracle of miracles, the area was still rural, and looked very much the same as when I had lived there. The entire property was fenced off as a horse pasture, and although our house was long gone, my grandparents' house was vacant but still completely intact--a testament to my father's fine carpentry skills!

Have a great day!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Surname Saturday: Baree, Barre, Baryee, Berray, Berry of New York

For many years now I have been looking for the origins of my great x 6 grandmother, RACHEL BAREE who married JEREMIAH MARTINE (b 1734 Phillipsburgh, Westchester Co NY).  During their married life they lived in Orange & Rockland Co NY, specifically in the towns of Kakiat/New Hempstead,  Haverstraw and possibly Clarkstown.

What I do know about RACHEL is this:  She was likely born in New York.  She likely had a sister named SUSANNAH/SUSANNA BAREE who married WILLIAM FELTER, and who had two children (twins?) born in Clarkstown, WILLIAM FELTER Jr and SUSANNAH FELTER born Nov 14, 1762.  There was also a possible brother, ISAAC BAREE/BERRAY, who was on a list of enlisted men, Revolutionary War, 2nd Regiment, Orange Co NY. His likely sisters both married men from Orange/Rockland Co NY, and at least one of those, WILLIAM FELTER,  was also in the 2nd Regiment.

RACHEL BAREE & JEREMIAH MARTINE had the following children, all born Haverstraw NY:




--ISAAC MARTINE b 1766 d 1813 m GEERTJE "CHARITY" CAMPBELL ( my g X 5 grandparents)

--RACHEL MARTINE b abt 1770, no further info

--JEREMIAH MARTINE Jr b 1774, no further info

--ABRAHAM MARTINE b June 6, 1776 m SARAH SALLY VANDERBILT, buried Clarkstown NY DRC cemetery

--REBECCA MARTINE (unverified) b 1770s, no further info

Although French in both surname & origin, most if not all of these children were members of the Dutch Reformed Church and were baptized & married in that church. JEREMIAH MARTINE's parents JOHN/JEAN MARTINE Jr b 1690 and  EVA AEFJE MABIE, were also members of the Old Dutch Reformed Church at Sleepy Hollow, formerly the manor church of Phillipsburgh, by June of 1732.

The first names "Isaac" and "Susannah" did not appear in previous generations of the MARTINE family.

For more information, see my Rootsweb Online family tree Martine of Westchester Co NY and Scofield of Stamford Fairfield Co CT

As always, your comments appreciated!  Have a great day!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Follow Friday: Betty's Online Source of the Week: Documenting the American South

If you are researching ancestors in North Carolina, I recommend a perusal of the website Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

This is a website that allows you to search texts and other resources held by UNC.  While it is not a genealogy website per se, it does offer lots of interesting historical information.  A search here provided me with information  about ancestors who were involved in the Regulators (North Carolina's equivalent of the Boston Tea Party at the start of the Revolutionary War),  and about some ancestors who obtained  land grants in colonial NC.  I also found quite a bit of information here about HENRY WATKINS MILLER, who was the brother of my gg grandfather and a judge, orator and political figure in Raleigh, NC; and about ROMULUS MITCHELL SAUNDERS, who was the first cousin of my ggg grandmother, and also a prominent judge and diplomat from NC.

Some of the searchable  collections available at this website include:

--Colonial and State Records of North Carolina

--Church in the Southern Black Community

--North Carolina Slave Narratives

--First Person Narratives of the American South

There is also a great deal available on the website about the history of UNC and its students.

Have a great day!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Daniel Bolton of Windham, Westbrook and Portland, Cumberland Co Maine

1906 Postcard of Harbor,  Portland, Maine; my collection

My great X 3 grandfather was DANIEL BOLTON who was born about 1794 in probably Maine, and died between 1851 and 1860 in Portland, Cumberland Co, Maine.

DANIEL BOLTON was a ship's carpenter and a joiner by trade.  He was conscripted during the war of 1812 in Capt Nathan Goold's regiment from Windham, ME,  from Sept 10, 1814 to Sept 24 1814, mustered at Portland, ME; regiment was only mustered for a very short time, was never under fire and saw no casualties.

On March 6, 1817,  DANIEL BOLTON of Windham married THANKFUL MORTON of Standish, ME. They lived in Windham  from 1817 until the 1840 census.  By 1846 DANIEL BOLTON had moved his family to Portland,  ME.  He is listed in an 1846 Portland directory, occupation joiner.   Then the family is listed in the 1850 Cumberland Co ME census, living in Westbrook. An 1851 Portland directory shows DANIEL BOLTON as a ship's carpenter "on the Westbrook side, Deering Bridge".

By 1860 census THANKFUL (MORTON) BOLTON was listed as a widow with children in Portland, Cumberland Co ME.  In 1870 she was living in the household her son-in-law, JEDEDIAH GRAFFAM.
She must have died sometime between 1870 and 1880.

I have not yet been able to find documentation showing the  parents of DANIEL BOLTON b abt 1794.  He does not seem to be related to the family of Thomas Bolton  & Mary McClellan Craig who settled in Windham, but I have not ruled that out entirely. I suspect he may be the son of DANIEL BOLTON who fought in the Revolutionary War in Hallowell, Lincoln Co ME, possible mother  RELIANCE (PRATT) HOVEY.  This would connect my DANIEL with the immigrant William Bolton family of Middlesex Co MA.  But as yet I have no definitive proof.

As always, your comments appreciated! Have a great day!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: William Henry Huber 1922-2001

My father William Henry Huber showing me the house he was building for my grandparents, 1955 Maple Valley WA.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Henry Frazer & Mary "Polly" Otwell, Cedar Creek Cemetery, Mt Pleasant, Iowa

This is the tombstone of my great X3 grandparents HENRY FRAZER b Aug 20, 1793 Guilford, North Carolina and his wife MARY "POLLY" OTWELL b Dec 13, 1798 Guilford, North Carolina. The grave is located in the Cedar Creek Cemetery, Mt Pleasant, Henry Co Iowa.  They were Quakers.

Excerpt from an article in Marshalltown Iowa Times-Republican Newspaper on Henry Frazer and Mary Polly Otwell, written for the Second Annual Frazier Reunion in 1931, byline missing.

Old Log House Moved

When Henry and his wife Mary came from N. Carolina to Indiana with their six oldest children, in 1826, they bought a log house and tore it down to move it to an acre of timber land Henry had bought in Boone County IN. This log house was the birthplace of the other five children. After Henry had left this house, his oldest daughter, Ann married Henry Way, and the Ways lived in the old home. The third daughter, Matilda, married William Brown (this is an error; MATILDA FRAZIER married JOHN CROSBY/CORSBIE) and occupied the house.  When the Browns were visiting in Indiana in 1905 they found the place still standing. They had it photographed and a log taken from the structure from which a replica of the building was made and both the picture and the miniature of the cabin were displayed Sunday at the reunion.

To Iowa in 1855

Henry and Mary Frazier came to Iowa in the spring of 1855 and made their entry into the state by fording the Mississippi, as there were no bridges. They located in Henry Co, where Mary died on Oct 11 that year. She was buried in the Cedar Creek cemetary. Henry lived until Aug 3, 1863. He too was buried in the Cedar Creek burying grounds.

(Photo and newspaper article sent to me by Elizabeth Frazier Cole in 2001)

Have a great day!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Fan Charts

Here is an example of a fan chart, made out for my grandfather ALONZO COX HUBER.

I love fan charts because they give an immediate visual reference of your family tree and show you exactly which areas you need to work on in your genealogy research. Plus they look really cool!

You can get blank copies of this  free downloadable fan chart and several other types of genealogy charts from Wakefield Family History Sharing in the UK.

Have a great day!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shared Ancestors with Barbara Poole

One of the great joys of having your family tree posted on the Internet is the contacts that you make with people  who share your ancestors.

Over the last ten years, I have been contacted many, many times by people who are my distant cousins.  Usually these people are related to one person in my family tree, or at the most, one family.

However, Barbara Poole of Life From the Roots takes the prize!  We have at the very least 34 ancestors in common (and counting),  many of them immigrant ancestors to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Amsterdam. Through these ancestors Barb is related to three out of my four grandparents!

Comparing our family trees will take some time. Barbara Poole's Rootsweb database Trees4u has over 36,000 individuals (not all her direct ancestors), and must be compared with my three separate Rootsweb family trees:

 New England Ancestors of Ruby Bolton Brown with 1630 individuals,

Martine of Westchester NY and Scofield of Stamford Fairfield CT with 1713 individuals, and

Ancestors of Alonzo Cox Huber with 2793 individuals.

Here is the list so far:

Ancestors Shared with Barbara Poole from the lineage of maternal grandmother RUBY BOLTON BROWN:

GOVERNOR THOMAS DUDLEY b 1576 Northhamptonshire England; m DOROTHY YORKE; came to America 1630 with wife & children, accompanying Rev John Winthrop, with the Winthrop Fleet; was one of the original settlers of Cambridge, MA; held many public positions in the colony, and was Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 1634, 1640, 1645, 1650. . In 1650, as governor, Thomas Dudley signed the original charter founding Harvard College. Biography of Governor Thomas Dudley

GOVERNOR SIMON BRADSTREET b 1602 Horbling, Lincolnshire, England; m ANNE DUDLEY, ( the first published woman poet in the American Colonies), dau of Gov Thomas Dudley. All three came to Massachusetts with Rev John Winthrop with the Winthrop Fleet on the ship "Arbella"; was one of the original settlers of Cambridge, MA; became a Magistrate, and eventually Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1669-1686 and from 1689-1692. He died March 27, 1697. His daughter Hannah BRADSTREET married Andrew WIGGIN.
Click here for Biography of Anne Dudley Bradstreet

Click here for published biography of Governor Simon Bradstreet

WILLIAM SHEPHERD/SHEPHARD b abt 1624 England, settled in Taunton, MA; died 1664 New Haven CT (while away on business there). Married an Unknown HATHAWAY. In his will, WILLIAM indicates John Hathaway as his "brother", who would assume guardianship of his children. John was the son of Nicholas Hathaway, and it is commonly supposed that WILLIAM SHEPHERD's wife was one of Nicholas Hathaway's daughters. William's daughter Elizabeth SHEPHERD married Abraham BROWN of Salisbury, Essex Co MA.

GOVERNOR THOMAS MAYHEW b abt 1593 Tisbury, England; d March 1682 Martha's Vineyard; came to Massachusetts 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet and was made Governor of Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket; m 1st ) Unknown PARKHURST 2nd) JANE GALLION (surname not verified); Published bio available here "History of Martha's Vineyard Vol III" by Dr Charles Banks

JOHN DAGGETT (Doggett) b abt 1590s-1600 Suffolk Co England; died1673 Plymouth, MA m 1st) HEPZIBAH BROTHERTON; came to America in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet and settled at Watertown, MA; became "a man of note"; moved 1644 to Martha's Vineyard in company of Gov Thomas Mayhew. Married 2nd to Bathsheba Pratt, a widow, on May 29, 1662.Published bio available here: "History of Martha's Vineyard Vol III" by Dr Charles Banks

WILLIAM CHANDLER b abt 1590s Bishops-Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, d Jan 19, 1642 Andover Essex Co MA; m ANNIS BAYFORD, dau of Francis & Joan Bayford.

Ancestors Shared with Barbara Poole from the lineage of maternal grandfather  R B MARTINE:

THOMAS KILBORN / KILBOURNE b abt 1578 Wood Ditton, Cambridgeshire, England; died bf Dec 25, 1640 Wethersfield, Hartford Co CT; m FRANCES MOODY. Came to America on the ship "Increase" with his wife and several children; other adult children came with their spouses.

WILLIAM BELDING b abt 1625 Yorkshire, England; died March 27, 1655 Wethersfield, Hartford Co CT; m THOMASINE or TAMSEN SHERWOOD b Nov 3, 1629 England died aft 1651 Stamford, Fairfield Co CT, daughter of Thomas SHERWOOD.

WILLIAM HICKOCK b Dec 10, 1609 Warwickshire, England; died bf 1645 Farmington, Hartford Co CT; m ELIZABETH COLE. One of the first settlers of Farmington, Hartford Co CT.

THOMAS UPSON b abt 1600 England; died July 19, 1655 Farmington, Hartford Co CT; m ELIZABETH FULLER

MATTHEW MARVIN b March 26, 1600 Essex Co England; died 1678 Fairfield Co CT; married 1st) ELIZABETH GREGORY and 2nd) ALICE KELLOGG, widow of John Bouton. Matthew Marvin came to America 1635 on ship "Increase" with 1st wife & five children, settling first at Hartford, CT and then at Norwalk, Fairfield Co CT.

WILLIAM RUSCOE b abt 1593 Essex, England, m REBECCA Unknown.  Emigrated on the ship "Increase" in 1635; his wife Rebecca died shortly thereafter; lived at Cambridge, MA; Hartford, CT and Norwalk, Fairfield Co CT before settling at Jamaica, Long Island, NY.

CORNELIS HENDRICKSE VAN NESS b abt 1600 Nes, Friesland, Netherlands, d abt 1684 Rensselaerywck, New Netherlands (Albany, NY). m MAYCKE VAN DER BURCHGRAEFF, dau of Hendrick Adriense van der Burchgraeff & Annetje Jans; came to America possibly on the ship "den Eychenboon"; occupation was farmer, brewer, councillor of the colony of Rensselaerywck, and magistrate of the court of Fort Orange and Beverwyck.  Appears in both my maternal grandfather's and paternal grandfather's family trees.

Ancestors Shared with Barbara Poole from the lineage of paternal grandfather  ALONZO COX HUBER:

SYMON JANSEN VAN ARSDALEN This individual is thought by most historians & genealogists to be the immigrant ancestor of the entire Van Arsdale family in America (including its many variant spellings Van Artsdalen, Vanarsdall, Vanausdol, Van Orsdol, Vanarsdell, Vanalsdale, Van Alsdale etc, etc). Symon was said to have been born abt 1627-1629 at Arsdalen on Bornholm Island, Denmark. Other researchers indicate he was born at NeuKerke, Flanders in Belgium, and that the family migrated north to Amsterdam (They were most likely Dutch, not Danish). Symon was the son of Jan Paulwelsen VAN AERSDALEN and Geertje Philips HAELTER. Symon was a potter by trade and came to the American colony of New Netherlands (Albany NY) in 1653 (some say 1656) on the ship "Dynasty". to see if a pottery works could be established in the colony to make china. It is commonly believed that Symon had a wife Marretje BALTHUS & two children who remained in Amsterdam, and who died there of the plague, and that Symon learned of their deaths in a letter from his father, received just as he was getting ready to sail back to the Netherlands. He then settled in Flatlands, Kings Co NY (Long Island), and eventually became a magistrate for the county. He married 2nd) to PIETERJE CLAESSEN  VAN SCHOUWEN who was born in New Amsterdam, the daughter of Claes Cornelissen VAN SCHOUWEN & Metje HARPERTS. A letter written 1698 to his brother Joost Jansen VAN ARSDALEN in Amsterdam describes that he had two sons, Cornelis and Jan, and several daughters. Symon died Oct 29, 1710 in Flatlands, Kings Co NY on Long Island.

CLAES CORNELISSEN van SCHOUWEN b abt 1574 possibly Boda, Sweden? Netherlands?? d abt 1674 prob near Flatbush, Long Island, New Amsterdam/New York; married possibly 1st) MARGARET VAN DER GOES (there is some controversy about this 1st wife who died 1631 in the Netherlands) and 2nd) METJE HARPERTS in 1632 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Metje died 1652 in Bergen Co NJ. CLAES CORNELISSEN van SCHOUWEN is possibly the originator of the "Wyckoff" surname in America?? CLAES' nickname was "Mutelaer" (Grumbler), and an island near Long Island was named after him, although it is now known as Bergen Island. My line descends from the 2nd wife Metje HARPERTS & their daughter Pieterje Claessen VAN SCHOUWEN who married SYMON JANSE VAN ARSDALEN. There is an excellent article with full documentation on CLAES CORNELISSEN van SCHOUWEN in the July 1999 edition of The Vanguard, Newsletter of the Van Aersdalen Family Association

JAN GERRITSE STRYKER b abt 1615 Drenthe, Netherlands; d Mar 3, 1693 Flatbush (Long Island) NY; m Lammertje Roelofsen SEUBERING.

HANS HANSEN BERGEN b abt 1600 Bergen, Norway, died 1662 New Amsterdam (NY); m Sarah de RAPALIE b June 7, 1625 Fort Orange, New Netherlands, (Albany, NY), d abt 1685 Brooklyn, NY. (My only Norwegian ancestor). From Genealogical and Personal Memorial of Mercer County, New Jersey, p.561:3
-- Hans Hansen Bergen, the pioneer ancestor of all the Bergens in the states of New York and New Jersey, was a native of Bergen, Norway, and a ship carpenter by trade. He migrated to the Netherlands while still a very young man, and emigrated to America in 1633, arriving at New Amsterdam in April of that year. He took up his residence in New Amsterdam, now the city of New York, owned and occupied a lot on Pearl street, and had large interests in an extensive plantation elsewhere on the island of Manhattan. His death occurred in 1653. He married, 1639, Sarah, born June 9, 1625. She was the daughter of Jansen de Rapalfe, of French descent, and was said to have been the first white child born of European parents in the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. The children of this couple were: 1. Anneken, born July 22, 1640. 2. Rebecca, born July 27, 1642. 3. Jan Jansen, born April 17, 1644. 4. Michael Hansen, born November 4, 1645. 5. Joris or George, see forward. 6. Maretje, born October 8, 1651. 7. Jacob Hansen, born September 21, 1653. 8. Catherine Hansen, twin of Jacob Hansen.

JORIS JANSEN de RAPALIE b abt 1600 La Rochelle, France; d abt 1662 New Netherlands (Albany, NY) m Catalyntje Trico (Tricault) b abt 1605 France; possibly of Walloon (French-speaking Belgians) or French Huguenot descent?  From The Bergen Family by Teunis G. Bergen, Albany, N.Y., 1876, beginning on page 24:20  [Page 24]
--Joris (George) Jansen de Rapalie, the father of Sarah, and the common ancestor of the Rapalies of this country, is said by some writers to be a proscribed Huguenot, from Rochelle in France, an emigrant in 1623 in the ship "Unity" with Catalyntie Trico, whom he probably married before the voyage (although the ceremony may have been performed after his arrival, having no date of the same), appears to have resided for three years, until in 1626, in Albany, then removed to New Amsterdam, where he remained for more than 22 years (occupying and owning a house and lot on the north side of the present Pearl street, and butting against the south side of the fort, for which he received a patent on the 18th of March, 1647), and until after the birth of his youngest child in 1650.1 During at least a portion of this time he kept a tavern or tap-house, as then styled, his name appearing as late as March 16, 1648, on the records in the book of the burgomasters court of said city, among the inn keepers and tapsters, inhabitants who promised to observe the proclamation of Gov. Stuyvesant of March 10th, 1648, in relation to the regulation of such houses. He probably removed to his Long Island farm as early as 1655, which he probably partially cultivated previously, for April 13th of that year he was appointed one of the magistrates of Brooklyn, in the place of Pieter Cornellisse.  Rapalie figured frequently in numerous suits.

FREDERICK LUBBERTSEN b abt 1606 Amsterdam, Netherlands, died aft 1674 Brooklyn, NY m Tryntje HENDRICKS

CORNELIS HENDRICKSE VAN NESS b abt 1600 Nes, Friesland, Netherlands, d abt 1684 Rensselaerywck, New Netherlands (Albany, NY). m MAYCKE VAN DER BURCHGRAEFF, dau of Hendrick Adriense van der Burchgraeff & Annetje Jans; came to America possibly on the ship "den Eychenboon"; occupation was farmer, brewer, councillor of the colony of Rensselaerywck, and magistrate of the court of Fort Orange and Beverwyck.  Appears in both my maternal grandfather's and paternal grandfather's family trees.

For more information on Betty's Immigrant ancestors of the 1600s & 1700s, see the following links:

Betty's Immigrant Ancestors of New England

Betty's Immigrant Dutch Ancestors of New Amsterdam & New Netherlands

Betty's Immigrant German & Swiss Ancestors

Betty's Immigrant Ancestors of Colonial Virginia

Betty's Quaker Immigrant Ancestors of Pennsylvania & North Carolina

Have a great day!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Correction on Previous Post 1790 census JACOB SHRIVER

Closer examination of the 1790 census shows that  JACOB SHRIVER had one son under 16 and one son over 16 still living in the household, no females.  He did not have three slaves. My mistake! That's what I get for attempting to write my blogpost at 5 a.m.......

You can find a copy of this 1790 census at the Anne Arundel Co MD US Genweb Archives site.


Surname Saturday: Shriver, Schreiver, Shrivour, Schreiber

Another one of my difficult German surnames is SHRIVER, also spelled numerous other ways in records, but originally in German SCHREIBER.   This family has been the focus of much of my research time, lately.

I am descended from LAWRENCE SHRIVER (LORENTZ SCHREIBER) Sr b abt 1692 Essenheim, Palatinate, Germany, who migrated to Anne Arundel Co MD sometime after 1730. He married 1) URSULA ROTHENBUCHER on Nov 10, 1710 in Essenheim, Germany, several years before the family immigrated; and 2nd) MARY unknown as per his 1772 will.

My line is through his son JACOB SHRIVER b abt 1720-1730 in Essenheim, Germany. This family was the subject of a self-published book A History of the Shriver Family, with particular reference to JACOB SHRIVER and son LEWIS SHRIVER by Harry C. Shriver, which provides a good base for research, but leaves a lot of questions unanswered.  

Of all the families I have researched, this one has generated some of the most bizarre theories & wild speculation, mostly concerning the descendants of LAWRENCE SHRIVER Sr,  whose will was dated 1772 in Anne Arundel Co MD. In the will, LAWRENCE listed his children (all born 1710-1730) as:

--FREDERICK (Frederick William) SHRIVER
--MAGDALENA (Madllenor) SHRIVER married WILLIAM CROMWELL (still researching this marriage)
--CHRISTINA (Christennor) SHRIVER who married SAMUEL SANTOR (Sanders) and was left one shilling, no more;
--and  "my poor broken-back'd son JACOB SHRIVER, to have two shares to all the Rest".

Well. Apparently the "two shares to all the rest" did not sit well with all the rest of the siblings, because according to court records from Anne Arundel Co MD, the estate of LAWRENCE SHRIVER Sr was not actually distributed by CORNELIUS SHRIVER, the executor of the will,  until 1796. Since JACOB SHRIVER died in 1794, as per his own will, he likely did not ever receive his two shares, nor did his children. I am guessing that the estate was intentionally tied up in the courts for over twenty years!

The persons to which the estate of LAWRENCE SHRIVER Sr of Anne Arundel MD was distributed in 1796 were:

Clearly, by the time the estate was distributed, siblings HENRY SHRIVER, JOHN SHRIVER, JACOB SHRIVER d 1794, MARY SHRIVER who married RICHARD ROBOSSON, and ELIZABETH SHRIVER who married JACOB MILLER had all died or relinquished their claim on the estate.

 The 1794 Anne Arundel Co MD will of JACOB SHRIVER shows that he left his own estate to his children:

--FREDERICK (Frederick William) SHRIVER b Feb 8, 1744; died Feb 27 1820, buried St John's Lutheran Church, Creagerstown, Frederick Co MD; married 1st) MARIA ELISABETH BEIRLE, and 2nd) to ELIZABETH SEESMAN
--LEWIS SHRIVER b abt 1750  who married MARY SHEETS; died July 11, 1815 Cumberland, Adams Co PA
--Will also mentioned  SAMUEL SANTOR (Sanders) who married CHRISTINA SHRIVER
--Will witnessed by Mrs J. E. Rowland

The big confusion here is that the names of the children of JACOB SHRIVER who died 1794 Anne Arundel Co MD  match the names of the children of LAWRENCE SHRIVER Sr who died 1772 Anne Arundel Co MD.  Plus JACOB mentioned CHRISTINA SHRIVER & SAMUEL SANTOR/SANDERS in his will. Plus daughter ELIZABETH married a MILLER.

I have had researchers contact me postulating (insisting, really) that JACOB SHRIVER who died 1794 Anne Arundel Co MD never married or  had any children, and simply left everything to his siblings.

The proponents of this theory are, I believe, quite mistaken.  In the 1790 Anne Arundel Co MD census, just a few years before his death, JACOB SHRIVER is listed as head of household with two males under twenty still in the household and 3 slaves.

Also on the transcription of JACOB's 1794 will, FREDERICK, LAWRENCE, LEWIS, HENRY & ELIZABETH are all listed as his children. If they were not his children, why were they listed as such? Not to mention that they were much younger than the previous folks with the same names --many of whom were born in Essenheim, Germany, and married different people!

 I have not seen an original copy of this will, but I think finding it would help to dispel the wild claims.

If anyone seeing this has more documentation on this family, I would appreciate a response!

Another wild theory has to do with HENRY SHRIVER, son of JACOB who died 1794,  and a name change --to HENRY CLARK--in West Virginia. But I'll save that for another time.

As always, your comments appreciated. Have a great day!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Follow Friday: Betty's Online Source of the Week: Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records Online

Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records Search Site

If you are looking for US land patents or records in the 1800s, then you might want to  check out the BLM GLO website.  Using their search engine,  I was able to find and view scanned copies of the original land patents for several ancestors in Missouri in the 1840s.

According to the BLM GLO website:

"We ... provide image access to more than three million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. Currently, we are adding images of Military Land Warrants. These land patents were issued to individuals as a reward for their military service. Images related to survey plats and field notes, dating back to 1810, are added to the site state-by-state as each state's documents are completed. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States."

Excellent website, well worth checking out!

Have a great day!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ancestor Approved Award!

I was very surprised and honored to be chosen by TJLGenes for the Ancestor Approved Award! Thanks very much!

The rules of this award are that if you receive it, you must list 10 things you have learned about your ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened you,  and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers who you believe would make their ancestors proud.

So here are my ten items:

1) I am constantly surprised at how many people in the United States actually share  "my" ancestors.  Case in point is Barbara Poole from the genealogy blog Life from the Roots. We share at least thirteen ancestors in MA and CT, and probably more! 

2) I was very surprised to find out that my great great grandfather JOHN F MARTINE lived on Bay street in downtown Bellingham, Whatcom Co  WA in the early 1900s.  When I moved to Bellingham WA in the 1970s to go to WWU, I lived in an upstairs apartment in a building on Bay street--right across the street from where gg grandfather JOHN F. MARTINE once lived. Of course, I didn't know it at the time, and the building he lived in was long gone, but still this is one incredible coincidence. The sad part is that no one in my immediate family seemed to know that  JOHN F. MARTINE was even our ancestor or that he ever lived in WA state!

3) I was humbled to learn that my gg grandmother NANCY VAN ARSDALE (b 1828 Harrison Co IN) lost nearly her entire family during the Cholera epidemic of 1832. Her mother and six of her siblings perished from the disease in Harrison Co IN.  Only NANCY and her sisters HARRIET VAN ARSDALE and MARGARET VAN ARSDALE survived.  The orphaned girls were raised by relatives in Boone & Montgomery Co IN until they were old enough to be "bound out" for service. This basically meant forced child labor in other families within the community, probably only for room & board. The three girls must have had very difficult lives before they married.  NANCY married ELI BRANSON FRAZIER, a Quaker, in 1847, Thorntown, Boone Co IN.

4) I was surprised, humbled and enlightened to find that I have at least 31 ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War (and counting).

5) Likewise I was surprised, humbled & enlightened to find out that I have ancestors who came over on the Mayflower--John Howland & Elizabeth Tilley

6) I was surprised, humbled & enlightened to find out that many of my Quaker ancestors were involved in the Underground Railroad in Indiana and Iowa.  Some of monthly meetings they attended that were involved in the UR were:  Westfield MM, Hamilton Co IN;  Salem MM, Henry Co Iowa and Bangor MM, Marshall Co Iowa. 

7) I was  surprised and enlightened to learn that my background is about 90% English.  This goes slightly against what I was told as a child.  The remaining 10% of my heritage is  Dutch, French, German/Swiss, Scots, and Welsh. I have a couple of ancestors from the Isle of Man, some from Belgium, a few that were possibly Irish, and as I noted in a previous blog, one branch that was possibly Native American (Cherokee). And only one Norwegian.

8) I was surprised to learn that some of my Dutch ancestors in PA owned slaves. I believed  the Dutch Reformed church was against slavery. Maybe it was--but that didn't stop my Dutch ancestors from owning slaves in the colonial period.

9) I was humbled to learn that one of my gg grandmothers, LAVINA SCOTT BRUTON, hung herself in 1880, when she was in her 70s.   When I obtained the court inquest documents, it was apparent to me from the description of her behavior  that she was likely suffering from dementia (having had the experience of caring for my mother, who had dementia, I recognized the symptoms. ). Of course, back then, there was no such diagnosis. 

10) I am completely & totally surprised & enlightened at how very much I have been able to learn about my family tree, and humbled by how much more there is to learn.  I love doing the research, and hope to continue for many years to come!!

And here, in no particular order, are the ten bloggers that I nominate for the next Ancestor Approved Award:

Barbara Poole  Life from the Roots
Renate Sanders Into the Light
Teri Pennsylvania History & Genealogy Blog
Katie The Gene Gleaner
Amy They That Go Down to the Sea
Cheryl Twice Upon a Time
Becky  Grace and Glory
Sarah Geneapprentice
Wendy New England Genealogy
Lisa Are You My Cousin?

I have tried to select bloggers who have not received this award before. I apologize for any duplication!

Have a great day! 


Saunders/Sanders Family of Orange & Caswell Co NC : How One Error in a Published Source Can Throw You Off Track For Years!

One of my ancestors who would get  the "most challenging to research" award if there was such a thing was THOMAS SAUNDERS/SANDERS b abt 1727-1728 who married MARY MITCHELL and died Nov 28, 1812 in Davidson Co TN as per his will.  THOMAS had three brothers:

--Capt WILLIAM SAUNDERS b 1735 who married 1st) HANNAH MITCHELL and 2nd) NANCY CUNNINGHAM  and died 1803 in Smith Co TN.
--Maj RICHARD SAUNDERS b abt 1730 who married unknown, died aft 1832 Sumner or Davidson Co TN.
--Col JAMES SAUNDERS b 1733 died 1825 Caswell Co NC, who never married, but who adopted his nephew ROMULUS MITCHELL SAUNDERS, son of Capt WILLIAM SAUNDERS & HANNAH MITCHELL.

All four of these brothers fought in the Revolutionary War in NC.  Two of them, THOMAS & Capt WILLIAM, are listed in the DAR Patriot Index.

For nearly a decade I labored under the assumption that these four brothers were the sons of WILLIAM SAUNDERS & AGNES ADAMS.  I obtained this information from a published source, "Early Settlers of Alabama, Vol II" by Col James Edmond Saunders published 1899.

The problem is, that couple doesn't seem to exist. There is no record of them in Orange/Caswell Co NC, where the four brothers lived just before the Revolutionary War.  No will, historical reference, nothing. Just the citation in the book listed above.

It took me years, and probably the most intensive genealogical sleuthing to date, but I was finally able to unravel the mystery of this family--at least a little bit!

The first piece of truly meaningful documentation that I obtained on this family was the 1825 Caswell Co NC will of Col JAMES SAUNDERS (Jr) who never married, and who adopted his nephew ROMULUS MITCHELL SAUNDERS (who later went on to become a judge, NC state senator, and foreign diplomat--US minister to Spain). I don't have a copy of the original but here is the transcription:

Nephew JAMES SANDERS, son of THOMAS SANDERS, decd (land on Dan River including Mansion house, 820 acres, at mouth of Little Creek). Nephew ROMULUS MITCHELL SANDERS (land on Dan River called lower tract of 875 acres). Faithful old slaves to live on the land. Nephew ALANSON TRIGG, son of WILLIAM TRIGG decd; niece MARTHA TRIGG, wife of ABSOLEM (should read ABRAHAM) TRIGG; BETSEY P. ATKINSON, wife of THOMAS ATKINSON and her children; brother RICHARD SANDERS and his daughter ANN P SAMUEL;  JAMES SANDERS, son of RICHARD SANDERS; HARRIOT SANDERS, daughter of JAMES SANDERS (son of THOMAS) and wife of DOCTOR NATHANIEL SANDERS; Children of LETITIA ALLEN mentioned. Nephew FRANCIS SANDERS, son of THOMAS. Niece SALLY MOSELEY and her son LUCIEN BROWN and her daughter by her former husband BEDFORD BROWN; LOCKETT SANDERS some negroes for her life; Niece ELIZABETH JONES and her son THOMAS JONES and daughter POLLY; Nephew WILLIAM TRIGG of Alabama; KEZZIAH JEFFREYS, wife of THOMAS JEFFREYS (land on Little Creek adj to ARCHIMEDES DONOHO, said land to go to her children, but if no children, land to MILLY WATLINGTON); Nephew JOSEPH SANDERS, son of RICHARD; Nephew JAMES SANDERS, son of THOMAS; Nephew SANDERS DONOHO. Wit: B Yancey (Bartlett Yancey, NC state senator who died 1828), William Harris, Da vid M Sanders. Romulus M Sanders qualified.

Although somewhat daunting, this will is a wonderful piece of documentation in that it connects all four brothers and also the family of  SARAH SAUNDERS who married Col WILLIAM TRIGG Jr. She was really key to finding the father of the four Rev War brothers.

The second piece of truly meaningful documentation that I obtained on this family was the 1776 will Orange Co NC (which later became Caswell Co) of JAMES SAUNDERS/SANDERS Sr who was likely married twice, the second time to CASSANDRA HAIDEN/HADEN. Once again I don't have an original copy; this is a transcription:

--WILL of JAMES SAUNDERS/SANDERS, Sr., Record No. A-197, Orange Co NC, dated 28 Feb 1776, proved May 1776. Wife mentioned, name not given. Sons: JAMES, RICHARD,WILLIAM. Daughters: SARAH, wife of WILLIAM TRIGG; CASSANDRA; SUSANNAH, wife of ROBERT TERRY; FANNY, wife of WILLIAM SANDERS the Elder. Grandson: JEREMIAH TERRY, son of daughter SUSANNAH. Granddaughter: CASSANDRA's oldest daughter. Executors: sons JAMES SANDERS, RICHARD SANDERS, Wm. TRIGG. Witnesses: Andrew Haddock, James Sanders, Robin Terry.

This 1776 will obviously is referring to the same family as the 1825 will of Col JAMES SAUNDERS Jr.  As I said, the key is SARAH SAUNDERS who married Col WILLIAM TRIGG Jr, who is listed in both wills, as are three of the four Rev War  brothers. She was their sister.

The big mystery is why THOMAS SAUNDERS/SANDERS is not included in the 1776 will. Clearly he was a son of JAMES SAUNDER/SANDERS Sr, as Col JAMES SAUNDERS Jr referenced THOMAS' children as nephews and nieces in his 1825 will. Also not included in JAMES SAUNDERS/SANDERS Sr's 1776 will  are KEZIAH SAUNDERS who married ARCHIMEDES DONOHO, and ELIZABETH P. "BETSEY" SAUNDERS who married THOMAS ATKINSON. But they and their children, listed as nephews & nieces, are in the 1825 will of Col JAMES SAUNDERS Jr.

Perhaps finding an original copy of the will would provide more clues.  Transcriptions & abstracts often leave out pertinent information that might help a researcher.

The last piece of truly meaningful documentation that I found on this family was from a biography of ROMULUS MITCHELL SAUNDERS in the book "Biographical History of NC from Colonial Times to the Present" edited by Ashe, Weeks & Van Noppen pub 1906, page 386 :

" ...his (Romulus Mitchell Saunder's) grandfather was JAMES SAUNDERS of Orange County,who had four sons, among them Col JAMES SAUNDERS , a patriot in Revolutionary times, who represented Orange County in the Provinical Congress of 1776.... and (Capt) WILLI AM SAUNDERS  (p386, parentheses are mine)" The bio goes on to say:

"WILLIAM SAUNDERS, a son of JAMES SAUNDERS....shortly after peace was won.... was married to HANNAH MITCHELL, by whom he had two sons, FRANKLIN and ROMULUS MITCHELL SAUNDERS, the subject of this sketch. Mrs Saunders dying, her husband and two sons moved to Sumner County TN, where he married Miss CUNNINGHAM, a sister of Major Cunningham, who was a member of General Washington's staff, and who moved from the Dan River to Sumner County, Tennessee. By this lady WILLIAM SAUNDERS had three sons and two daughters. One of these sons was Judge LAFAYETTE SAUNDERS of Baton Rouge, Louisiana....." ( p 386-387)

This whole process took me several years, and a lot of sleuthing, but I think this final bit plus the wills pretty much proves that the father of THOMAS SAUNDERS and his three brothers was JAMES SAUNDERS Sr who died 1776 Orange Co NC and an unknown first wife-- not WILLIAM SAUNDERS & AGNES ADAMS, as had been erroneously cited in the book "Early Settlers of Alabama Vol II" by Saunders.

For more information & documentation, here is a link to the family of JAMES SAUNDERS Sr of who died 1776 Orange Co NC on my Rootsweb tree
Moseley, Miller & Related Families of Colonial Virginia

As always, your comments appreciated.  Have a great day!