Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas blog readers! Most families have their Christmas traditions. I thought I'd relate my own from many ages past.

In the days before Christmas, I had visited at least one Santa and sent off a letter to the North Pole. Bob Steele's Hobby Shop in Irvington and Sears Toy Department at Eastgate Mall were two of my favorite stops to add to my wish list.

Christmas Eve: We would open presents from family and friends. I would get to open the presents Mom and Pop got me. I'd set out Coke and cookies for Santa and go to bed.

Christmas Day: I would get up early and tie into the presents that Santa left. For a few years my grandmother and her sister and brother-in-law would come over for the turkey dinner.

[Footnote: Pop was up until the wee hours Christmas Eve assembling various forts and such. Odd that Pop and Santa liked Coke and cookies.] :)-

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Look at My World Travel Wish List

The states are under wraps on Christmas Eve. :)- After Christmas, I'll take a look at the countries I'd like to visit.

Great Britain: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are all on the list. The Netherlands, Belgium [old Walloon and Flemish territory], Baden [Germany], Switzerland, Sweden, and Normandy [France].

Some of the trips would be brief, others, like England, would be quite lengthy. So sit back and enjoy the journey. Great Britain will be first. That could take a year to complete!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rhode Island: Small State, Big Project

First stop in Rhode Island, the Historical and Genealogical Societies. From there, as needed Newport, Pawtuxet, Portsmouth and Kingston. Of course, the Roger Williams Family Association and  any monuments, memorials or museums concerning the colony's founder. With so many families [Arnold, Rhodes, Williams, Waterman, Holden, Dungan, Greene, Remington, Wall, Gorton, Goddard] it will be a long trip with tons of research and seeing a lot of historical sites dedicated to the most famous members of those families.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Virginia: A Lot of Ground to Cover

I have several ancestral families that spent time in Virginia. Richmond and the Library of Virginia would have to be the first stop to see what records are available for these families.

My Quaker families settled in Frederick Co. and I have done a fairly thorough job there with the Rogers and the non-Quaker Rinkers.

After Richmond, if onsite research is necessary, then the following counties are on my wish list: Orange, Culpepper, Hanover, Caroline, Louisa, Lower Norfolk, Princess Ann, and Prince William. Many of these counties were formed out of others on the list, which makes that stop in Richmond crucial. [Families: Gulley, Franklin, Barlow, Sumter, Land, Keeling, Bonney.]

Local museums and historical sites would help tell the stories of the families. A return to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown would also be in order.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Return to Pennsylvania

One area of research that I have neglected in Pennsylvania is that of my Quaker ancestors. The Quaker records collection at Swarthmore College is a potential goldmine. In Philadelphia, return trips to the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Since I recently visited the historic district, that would be on the back burner. I would like to take in Historic Rittenhouse Town and Washington's Crossing.

Western PA would call for a return trip to Fayette County. The library and court house in Uniontown are primary repositories. My Faucett, Crousore, Simmons and possibly Hostetler families. As there was some overlap, Washington County repositories would be on the trip itinerary. That would include the Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Side trips? Perhaps revisiting the local sites covering 1753-1781? I've seen them before, but it has been awhile. Maybe find the location of the tavern operated by my Simmons family.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

North Carolina Visitation

Lincoln Co., NC would be my destination for a difficult research junket. My Cawby ancestors settled there, Unfortunately, Cawby has a couple of hundred spelling variations! The local genealogical and historical libraries, as well as the court house would be stops on the trip. Getting a feel for southwestern NC will be good too.

There are a few Revolutionary War sites within a decent drive. Although it would be out of the way, I'd like to see Lake Baden again. That's where my folks and I spent time with Mom's aunt and cousins at their "vacation getaway."

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A New Ancestral Link?

I received an email from a fellow researcher a couple of days ago that could well take my Clark - Miller - Hostetler line back a generation!

The info comes from Descendants of Jacob Hochsteller the Immigrant of 1736.

Nicholas Hostetler and his brothers Christian and Ullerich arrived in Philadelphia on 15 September 1749 aboard the Phoenix. Nicholas was born in Glaurus, Glaurus Canton, Switzerland in 1725 and died on his farm near McClellandtown, Fayette Co., PA on 19 December 1795. His wife was Anna _______. Children: Nicholas, Cattey [Riffle], Margaret [Miller], Ann and Jacob.

Margaret married a Mr. Miller. Their children: Lewis, Catherine [Isaac Clark], Sarah [Benj. Miller], Mary [Alexander Sickles], Isaac, Eliza [Daniel Griffis], Ann.

My records have Ellen Hostetler as the wife of Henry Miller. It looks like that was an error. Of course, more research needs to be done, but it looks promising.

Friday, December 18, 2015

West Virginia's Greenbrier Valley

Greenbrier Co., WV - home to John Faucett - is on my list. Research facilities at Lewisburg would hopefully have some info on those early Indian raids that terrorized the area during the French and Indian War.

The North House Museum, and home to the historical society, looks like an interesting stop for research and site-seeing.

Since old Greenbrier County became 14 counties, it might be a challenge! Greenbrier was Augusta Co. when John was a youngster.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New York: Where to go?

I should visit the NY Public Library, see the site of John Simmons' tavern at the corner of Wall and Nassau Streets and visit the Old Stone House Museum [Battle of Brooklyn], but I'm not sure I could afford 2-3 nights in a NYC hotel!!

I do need to visit Chenango County, where John Simmons Jr. relocated to serve as his father's land agent. The court house and historical association need to be searched. Any historical museums would be on the "to visit" list. The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is not too far away!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Maryland Wanderings

I have taken in Maryland before, but there are a few repositories that need revisiting and places to see.

Harford County: The historical society is a good place to look for records; better if you schedule visits when all of its departments are open! I would also like to see the painting of the signing of the Bush Resolves in the court house.

Baltimore: The Baltimore Gen. Society and Maryland Genealogical and Historical Society library would be necessary stops to refresh my research. Quaker records and maritime records would top the list. Going back to see the Fells Point neighborhood where my Rhodes-Cunningham family lived and Fort McHenry would be fun.

Time permitting: The Maryland State Archives.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On to Missouri

Missouri, the lead mining area around Madison County in the SE part of the Show-me State.  The regional library and court house are research destinations. Hopefully, records exist for the Wagner and Laubscher families. The State Historical Society at Rolla would offer a look at mining and numerous family history records.

Kansas City would also be on my Missouri list. The KC library and other repositories might shed some more light on Treasury Agent David Nolan.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Illinois Trip

My trip to Illinois would primarily focus on Jo Davies County in the NW corner of the state.  The county historical society would be the target destination. My McHughs made a brief [2-3 years] stop before heading across the Wisconsin state line to Gratiot and Shullsburg. The county court house would also be a necessary stop for a check of vital and land records.

I would like to spend a little more time checking out the area, especially U.S. Grant's home.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Visiting Massachusetts

I was able to visit the NEHGS Library in Boston during a FGS Conference, I believe, in 2006. I also took in a handful of Revolutionary War sites as part of a Freedoms Foundation teacher workshop in 1998.

I really need a return trip to Massachusetts since so many ancestral families first set foot in America by way of Plymouth or Boston.

Plymouth, of course, would be high on the list: Plimoth Plantation, the Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrim Museum, and other sites related to the 1620 landing.

Boston: The Freedom Trail, Tea Party Ships and Museum, Old South Meeting House, and other Revolutionary War-related sites, including Lexington and Concord.

Salem and Danvers: Sites related to the 1692 witch trials, especially the Nurse House [home to Francis and Rebecca [Towne] Nurse.]

The families relocated to towns outside of Plymouth and Boston over the years: Sutton, Marshfield, Scituate, Taunton, Topsfield and others. Historical sites in those towns would be worth a visit.

The Lynn/Saugus Iron Works would be a must-see in honor of Scotsman Malcolm MacCallum. The Adams National Historical Park in Quincy also fits into the tour.

Research? A return to the NEHGS Library is at the top of the list. Historical and genealogical society research libraries in Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Plymouth, Sussex and Worcester Counties also fit the bill.

The problem is that this trip would probably require about three months!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Genealogy Adventures to be Taken

Over the past 25 years, I have visited 14 states and one country for genealogical purposes. Florida [Tampa, Sarasota, Ft. Myers] and Utah [Salt Lake - FHL] have been strictly for research. Massachusetts [NEHGS Library while attending an FGS Conference] and Illinois [Galena, the historical society was closed - poor planning!] were very limited. My visits to other states have focused on certain locales for both research and site-seeing. [CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, WI, KY, OH, IN] Scotland was an adventure.

Still there are several states and countries that I would like to visit or revisit, focusing on new regions.

States on the list: Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia [return trips]. Rhode Island, North Carolina, West Virginia, Missouri [new stops].

Countries: England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland [again], Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland.

Those are for starters. The trips would include research and culture. Details as we proceed.

Massachusetts will begin the journey.......

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Last Word on Historical Ties of Ancestors

I left out a small group of historical figures that were a bit of a reach, even for me. Here the are:

The Earp Brothers: [Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan] The link to the so-called "Gunfight at the OK Corral" is the farthest reach. If you aren't familiar with the Earps, their greatest claim to fame came in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Political and personal grudges led to a showdown on 26 October 1881 in a vacant lot next to Fly's Photographic Studio. Lawmen Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan Earp, along with gambler-dentist Doc Holiday faced off against Ike and Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury.Ike fled the scene, while Billy and the McLaurys were killed. Virgil and Morgan received serious wounds. Doc was grazed. Over the ensuing months the Earp faction was tried and acquitted on murder charges, Virgil was ambushed and crippled. Morgan was ambushed and murdered. Earp allies went on a vendetta ride, thinning out the ranks of those who ambushed Morgan and Virgil. Ike Clanton was killed while cattle rustling. Doc died of tuberculosis. Wyatt and Virgil lived into the 20th century. connection? One of the brothers of Martin Cawby married an Earp. The common ancestor was the immigrant Earp.

George Washington: OK, technically all of our Revolutionary War ancestors served under Washington. Inn-keeper Hans Casper Rinker played host to Washington when he was on a surveying job. My Simmons family lived across the street from Federal Hall in NYC and had the opportunity to witness the Presidential Inauguration. connection? The Rinker and Simmons families were direct line.

Al Capone: The Chicago crime boss was taken down by the Treasury Department. My grandmother, Bess Crail McHugh, had a cousin who worked as an investigator in that department. Agent David Nolan helped collect evidence used to convict the gangster. connection? collateral on my mother's side.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Historical Ancestors Return and Bow Out

SUMTER: William [c1700-1752] and Elizabeth [????-????] Sumter were the parents of South Carolina partisan leader General Thomas Sumter, who became known as the "Gamecock." He served from 1776-1778, then retired. After the fall of Charleston, SC, Sumter came out of retirement to command a militia unit that would help General Greene's regular army defeat Lord Cornwallis in the Southern campaign, along with the likes of Francis Marion, Andrew Pickens and Daniel Morgan. After the war, Sumter served as a state senator and assemblyman, as well as US Congressman and Senator. [collateral]

CUNNINGHAM: Irishman Robert Cunningham [????-1791], a sea captain, married Lucinda Morris [1760-c1822]. Their grandson, Robert W. Cunningham was born in NY and resided in southern Indiana, before choosing a career as a riverboat man. He elected to move to Texas in 1835. Robert served with the Texican army at San Antonio de Bejar in December as an artillery sergeant. Cunningham stayed on as a volunteer in Captain Carey's artillery unit at the Alamo, where he gave his life on 6 March 1836. [collateral] Note: Robert's grandmother's 2nd husband was John Simmons Jr. and his mother, Anna Jennison was the sister-in-law of John's son, John William Simmons, who married Dolly Jennison.]

JERRELL: Henry [1821-1884] and Serepta [1823-1862] Jerrell had eight children. The eldest, Henry, joined the Reno Brothers Gang after the Civil War. The gang robbed trains and  banks. In 1868. Henry and other gang members were arrested near Marshfield, Indiana. Vigilantes overpowered the posse and took the outlaws. They were lynched. Younger brother, William ended up in New Mexico. He was enlisted as a deputy sheriff to bring in an outlaw. While riding in a stagecoach near San Angelo, Texas, Jerrell and a Texas Ranger foiled a hold-up attempt. Deputy Jerrell was wounded and died in San Angelo. [collateral]

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More Historical Connections

MAVERICK: Reverend John Maverick [1578-1635/6] was the first of his line to set foot in America arriving with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 and setting in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay. Eldest son, Samuel, had arrived in 1624. It is from Samuel that a key figure in the history of Texas descends, Samuel Augustus Maverick. He moved to Texas in 1835. Maverick was elected by the Alamo defenders as their representative at the Texas Convention and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on 2 March 1836. Samuel became one of the largest landowners in Texas before his death in 1870. Because of the Texas pioneer's independent mindedness, the term "maverick" was born. The term also became applied to unbranded cattle, which roamed the Maverick range. [collateral]

NURSE & TOWNE: Francis Nurse [1618-1695] married Rebecca Towne [1621-1692] in 1644 Salem, Massachusetts Bay. The couple became embroiled in the legendary Salem Witch Trials in 1691. The Nurses were among the Salemites that opposed recently hired Reverend Parris. As the story unfolded, many of those who opposed the reverend were charged with witchcraft. Among those arrested and later hanged was Rebecca Towne Nurse. [Rebecca's parents were William Towne and Joanna Blessing.] [direct]

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Brief Tribute

I would like to take a break from the blog posts to pay tribute to those US service men and women who were stationed at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Likewise, a tribute to those who gave their time and, in many cases, their lives over the next four years in Europe and the Pacific. Also to the British and other allies who gallantly held out against the Nazis and Imperialist Japan until the US until the conflict. Thank you!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

More Historical Ancestral Connections

BREWSTER: Elder William Brewster [1565-1644] was one of the Mayflower passengers and leaders of the Separatist movement. Although Brewster could not deliver sacraments, he served as the religious leader of the early Plymouth Colony. [direct]

REMINGTON: John Remington [1599/1600-1667] was the ancestor of Eliphalet Remington, founder of  Remington Arms. The Remington Arms Company has produced firearms since its founding in 1816. [collateral]

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ancestral Links to History

GORTON: Samuel Gorton [1592/3-1677] fled Plymouth Colony for what became Warwick, Rhode Island due to his religious convictions. Gorton's followers became known as Gortonites and
believed Jesus Christ was divine, but did not believe in the Trinity. [direct]

PRENCE: Thomas Prnce [c1600-1672/3] arrived in Plymouth in 1621. He quickly married into the Brester family and was elected governor of the colony three times. Only William Bradford and Edward Winslow served as governor during Prence's lifetime. They were Mayflower passengers. Prence's terms were marred by his hatred for Quakers, including Arthur Howland, Jr., married the governor's daughter Elizabeth. [direct]

Friday, December 4, 2015

Family Connections to Famous Relatives

GREENE: John Greene [1590-1658/9] was a noted surgeon and physician in Rhode Island. One of his great-great-grandsons gave the family its notoriety. Major General Nathanael Greene [1742-1786] was born a Quaker, but patriotism took front stage as the Revolutionary War broke out. He served as Quartermaster General of the Continental Army from 1778-1780. After presiding over John Andre's courts martial[Benedict Arnold's British contact], then took command of West Point. Following Horatio Gates' debacle at Camden, SC, Greene, long Washington's choice for the position, was finally appointed commander of the Southern Continental Army in October 1780. Greene held Cornwallis at bay until the siege of Yorktown in March of 1781. His motto: "We fight, we get beat, we get up and fight again." [collateral]

LATHAM: Frances Latham Dungan Clarke Vaughn [1610-1677] was known as the "Mother of Governors." Nine direct descendants became governors into the 21st century [eight from Rhode Island and one from Washington], three deputy or lieutenant governors. and six related by marriage - including 2nd husband Jeremy Clarke. [collateral]

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Family Lines with Famous Connections

The next few posts will deal with direct-line and collateral ancestors who held a role in history.

ARNOLD: Immigrant William Arnold's [1587-1675] son was a Rhode Island governor, but it was the governor's great-great-grandson who holds down the "honor" for the most prominent famous member of the family: Brigadier General Benedict Arnold [1740/1-1804]. He was a hero at Ticonderoga and the Canada campaign. Arnold should have received the lion's share of the credit for the Continental Army's victory at Saratoga that went to General Gates. But it was striking a deal with John Andre and the British government to sell the plans to strategic West Point in 1780 that Arnold will be best remembered for. [collateral]

WILLIAMS: Following his banishment from Massachusetts for his religious convictions and views on dealing with the Indians, Roger Williams [c1605-1683] fled to Narragansett territory. There he was given a tract of land on the Seekonk River that became Providence Plantation and eventually part of Rhode Island. [direct]

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

500th Post!

It's hard to believe that this is post #500! Part of my original focus was to post Prall Family Association news. That's taken a bit of a back seat. If you do have Prall ancestors, let me know and I'll give you info on the PFA.

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy has gotten a lot of coverage. The 2016 SLIG has a few slots left open. If you are interested contact I'll post my MacCallum research progress during the Problem Sulving track at the institute, as well as any new or informative items that come along.

I have covered a variety of topics since beginning the blog. If there's a topic you'd like to see me address, drop me a note. Otherwise, you are at my mercy! :)- I'll try not to miss weeks at a time.

Now I have to pick a topic for post #501.......

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The list and frequency of occupations

farmer / planter: 102 - from 1600s through 1800s; full-time or  with another profession.
grist mill owner: 10
tavern or inn keeper: 8
carpenter: 6
mariner: 5
minister: 4
merchant: 4
tanner: 3
teacher: 3 [one 20th century]
iron worker: 3
coastal trader: 3
saw mill owner: 3
farmstead manager: 2
clerk: 2
stone mason: 2
teamster: 2 [late 1800s as urbanization set in]
blacksmith: 2
doctor: 2
cooper: 2
farm laborer: 2

One time jobs:

wheelwright                      papermaker
coal miner                         hunter
tailor                                  attorney
sales agent                         farrier
lead miner                         housewright
land agent                         cattle tender
distiller                              tray maker
chandler                            vintner
supercargo                        livestock dealer
brickmaker                       turpentine maker

The majority of the above professions covered the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. A shift came during the last half of the 19th century as farmers sold their land to look for opportunities in America's growing cities.

Four of the above occupations were tied to the sea from about 1600-1815: mariner, chandler, supercargo and coastal trader. 10 total.

For those of you with Huguenot or Walloon ancestry: The majority of the male immigrants were tied to the cloth or fabric trades. Weaver, threadtwister, camletmaker and other jobs found in that business will show frequently as careers in The Netherlands as the Huguenots and Walloons prepared for trips to New Netherland, Virginia, the Carolinas, etc. These people became farmers, planters, merchants, traders, etc. in the colonies.

Almost exclusively 20th century:

tool and die maker: 2
solicitor: 2, collector, canvasser: 1 each [probably the same job]
cornice maker: 1
genealogist: 1 [of course, a few other family members kept records, but most were lost]
janitor: 1
secretary: 1
federal meat inspector: 1
night watchman: 1

As you utilize city directories for your research, beware of occupational terminology. City directories cover about 1865 - present in most cases. Some large cities [NY, Philly, etc.] may date back much earlier.

The directory entry will give the person's occupation and may give the place of work. Lookout for generic terms such as mechanic or laborer. Those two cover a lot of territory. A mechanic works with his hands or machinery [carpenter, painter, smithy, etc.] Generally an auto mechanic will be listed as such. Laborer could cover almost any job. Look at entries for 4-5 years: laborer, mechanic, carpenter, carpenter, laborer - focus on the specific career: carpenter.