Monday, January 30, 2017

Pennington’s in Ashe Co., NC in Early Census Records - 1810

As previously discussed in the blog entry Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC in Early Census Records - 1800.  These records can be pretty difficult to figure out who is who.  The 1810 Census is probably more difficult than the 1800 census because now they have done the disservice of only giving first initials.  So, once again, these are my theories and are not facts.  Check the records for yourself to see if you read them any differently.  

E Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Number of household members under age 16
1 - Number of household members over 25
4 - Number of Household Members

I think that this individual is likely Ephraim Pennington b. 1769 - which would put him as as 41.  As previously discussed, I do not know who his wife is.  I am also unsure who all the children are.  However, the age fits for the white male of 16-25 to be Levi Pennington who was born in 1794.  This Ephraim is most likely the son of Ephraim b. 1745.

A Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
2 - Number of household members under age 16
4 - Number of Household Members

I believe this is Aaron Pennington b. Abt 1786 in North Carolina who is a son of Ephraim Pennington (See 1800 Census Blog) The dates pretty well fit.  The oldest male in this household would have been in his early 20’s as would the oldest female.  Aaron’s wife was Ann Coldiron who was likely born about 1790 in Virginia, therefore the age would still fit.  There are two male children in the household.  Aaron and Ann had two sons:  Levi b. Abt 1807 and Henry b. Abt 1808.  It is also interesting to note that the line on the census is located right by an E Pennington and L Pennington.  As I believe this is a son of Ephraim Pennington with a brother of possibly Larkin - it is an interesting coincidence.

E Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
2 - Number of household members over 25
2 - Number of Household Members
I had thought that old Ephraim had passed and he might have.  If not, then this is likely Ephraim b. 1745 who would have been 65 years of age which is certainly in the realm of possibility.  Theoretically, this could also be Elijah, son of MIcajah as well.  He was b. In 1761 and married a Susannah Kelley.  I haven’t really been able to locate him with any certainty.  Since he doesn’t show up in the 1800 census, I don’t really think it is him.

E Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
4 - Free White Persons, Females - Under the age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 26-44
6 - Number of household members under age 16
2 - Number of household members over 25
9 - Number of Household Members

Theoretically this could be the Ephraim b. 1769 rather than the one I mentioned above.  The same information fits.  I am unaware of the age of the others in the household.  I also do not know the identity of this individual.  Perhaps the name is wrong.  There are a few missing Penningtons who I know are alive in this era, but I still can’t find out where they are.

L Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
2 - Free White Persons, Females - Under the age of 10
2 - Free White Persons, Females - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 26-44
6 - Number of household members under age 16
2 - Number of household members over 25
8 - Number of Household Members

This is where I go into the realm of theory.  I can’t identify this person with any certainty.  If I look at the 1815 Tax list, there are two Levi’s recorded in that tax list.  One of those is labeled as Levy, Jr - but I think that merely means that this is a younger Levi not that he is necessarily the son of the older Levi.  Levi b. 1767 would just fit into the category of male 26-44 in that he is 43 years of age.  I think that Levi either passes away or moves sometime after 1815.  As a son of Micajah Pennington, he likely had land that he either inherited from his father or his own land and could have been on the tax list without living there.  As for identifying the household members, I can’t do that with any certainty.  However, it is interesting to note that there are some Penningtons that don’t show up in the census records.  

M Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
1 - Number of Slaves
2 - Number of household members under age 16
2 - Number of household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

I believe that this likely MIcajah b. 1743 with his wife, Rachel Jones b. 1740.  That would put them at age 77 and 80 respectively.  I am unable to identify the three young males recorded in the household.  Perhaps they are grandsons.  Since this household also has a slave and the 1800 census also showed a slave for Micajah Pennington’s  household.  I think it is reasonable to assume that this is the same household.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pennington’s in Ashe Co., NC in Early Census Records - 1800

It can be very difficult to decipher who is who in the census records from 1850 on because of the similarity of names.  There are multiple Penningtons in the region with similar names.  I can tell from personal experience, that it takes a lot of time and study to figure out who fits where.  I thought I would spend some time looking at some of the early census records of Ashe Co., NC.  Since, Ashe County was split off of Wilkes County in 1799, it seemed wisest to start with the 1800 census. I will start with a summary of each household then explain who I think the household members are.  These are my conclusions based on my knowledge of the family.

1800 Census - Morgan, Ashe Co., NC

Benj Pennington (Either Benjamin or Benajah Pennington)
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Number of household members under age 16
3 - Number of Household Members

The oldest male in the household is likely around 20-25 years of age which would make said male born between 1775-1780.  The question is whether the name is Benjamin or Benajah.  Based on naming patterns, it is most likely Benajah.  The question is which one.  Micajah Pennington b. 1743 has a son name Benajah born in 1782 and another Benajah b. 1770 whose father is unknown.  I suspect that this is likely the son of Micajah - however it is difficult to identify the other household members as there isn’t a proven wife of Benajah that is known.  

Ephraim Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10 - 15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
1 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 45
4 - Number of Household Members

I believe that this is the Ephraim who was likely born about 1745.  His father was possibly Ephraim b. 1720 and wife Elizabeth.  Am I sure about this...no.  There is nothing to really back up my supposition.  Based on DNA research, it is also likely that there is a close relationship between this Ephraim and Micajah b. 1743.  They could be cousins or brothers.  Ephraim’s wife’s name is unknown.  The male in the household who is aged 10-15 (b. 1785-1790) is interesting.  I think (based on my research and that of Jim Pennington) that it might be the Aaron Pennington who was born about 1787 in Ashe Co., NC.  Aaron died about 1860 in Harlan Co., KY and an Ephraim Pennington is listed as his father on the death record.  I do not know who the young female in the household is.

Ephraim Pennington
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

I believe that this is the Ephraim Pennington b. 1769 recorded in the 1850 census with son Andrew Pennington.  I believe that he is also the son of the previous Ephraim Pennington b. 1745 and therefore a brother to previously mentioned Aaron Pennington.  The identity of the spouse is unknown.  Another cousin has speculated that the wife might be Margaret Spencer based on the land records.  I believe that one of the males in the household is my 4th great grandfather, Levi Pennington b. 1784.  At a guess, I think the other young male is Larkin Pennington who dies sometime after 1840 in Whitley Co., KY.  He shows up in some land records in the area and Levi has a son named Larkin Pennington.  It is hard enough to identify young male children in a family but almost impossible to identify young females.  I am unable to identify this young female.

Levi Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
2 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 26-44
3 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

This Levi Pennington is most likely the son of Micajah Pennington b. 1743 and Rachel Jones and was therefore born 21 Dec 1757.  For many years, most researchers were convinced that Levi b. 1794 (m 4th great grandfather) was a son of this Levi and therefore a son of Micajah.  However, for many reasons many of us who research the Levi Pennington b. 1794 no longer believe this connection.  Therefore, very little of the information that I have on this Levi is what I would call trustworthy.  I think that this Levi leaves Ashe Co., NC for Lee Co., VA with most of the Micajah Pennington family.  I don’t believe that this is the Levi who is recorded in 1815 tax list but rather Levi b. 1794.

Micajah Pennington
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
3 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
5 - Number of Household members under age 16
1 - Number of Household members over 25
7 - Number of Household Members

I would identify this Micajah as Micajah, Jr b. 13 Dec 1763.  Once again, I can’t identify the spouse, so the adult female is unknown.  However, I have a better chance of identifying the children, I have the following children of Micajah, Jr.
William Thomas b. 1784
Joshua b. 1790
Micajah III b. 1794
James Daniel b. 1797
Margaret b. 1799
Charles b. 1804
Mariah b. 1806

I am unsure of the child named William Thomas as I have never really found him listed anywhere.  The two young males are likely Joshua and Micajah.  One of the female’s is definitely Margaret and I wouldn’t be surprised if James Daniel might have been recorded as the other female.  This family left Ashe Co., NC and ended up in Lee Co., VA and Harlan Co., KY.

Micajah Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
1 - Number of Slaves
1 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 45
4 - Number of Household Members

This is likely the Micajah Pennington b. 1743 family who is considered to be the progenitor of the Pennington Research Association Group 7. Micajah is unquestionably the older male in the household and Rachel Jones, his wife, is the older female in the house.  My guess is that the young female under the age of 10 is their granddaughter, Ann Little Pennington.  I have that she died before 1800 but that date is not absolute.  By that time, they had no children in the household who could have been that age, so it is either their illegitimate granddaughter, Ann or likely another granddaughter.  

Reuben Pennington
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household members under age 16
1 - Number of Household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

This Reuben is unknown to me.  From the research done by members of the PRA (Pennington Research Association) this is likely the son of Timothy Pennington and grandson of Ephraim Pennington b. 1720.  This would mean that he is likely a nephew of Micajah b. 1743 and Ephraim b. 1745.  

Wells Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household Members

This Wells Pennington is considered to be the progenitor of the PRA Group 32.  There is no documentary evidence which connects Wells to any of the other Penningtons that I have listed.  However, DNA evidence suggests that there is a family connection.  Wells Pennington was born in 1781 likely in what was then Wilkes Co., NC.  He married Elizabeth Strunk who was a few years older than he and they were likely married very close to 1800.  Their first child was born about 1802.  I think that Wells is likely a son of Ephraim b. 1745.  He is recorded in the 1820 census in Whitley Co., KY near Aaron Pennington who I think is possibly his brother.  Wells dies sometime after 1860 probably around Pulaski Co., KY which is where he was recorded in the 1860 census.

William Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
4 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 25
7 - Number of Household Members

William Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household Members

I cannot identify either one of these William Penningtons with any expertise.  I suspect that they might be connected with the Group 28 William Pennington because they lived nearby.

So, what conclusions can you derive from this data and my theories.  The families are likely connected and this is suggested by the DNA evidence.  There is definitely shared ancestry between the Ephraim’s, Micajah’s, Levi’s and Wells.  It is possible that the Benj is Benajah and also likely connected.  Even though I can’t identify the Reuben and Williams - I believe that the Reuben is connected to what the PRA would call Group 4 and a descendant of Ephraim b. 1720...however, I don’t feel very confident with offering any opinions on the William’s.  Just this short look at the Pennington’s in the 1800 census should explain to you why I differentiate many of these male Penningtons by their birth years. There is a bad habit of naming multiple males in multiple generations the same name.  While there are certain names that help you identify which branch they might belong with - the only way to really identify which is which is labeling them with something as trivial as a birth year.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

John Gallop...The Rest of the Story

The Gallup family has been exceptionally well researched.  Part of it is thanks to the fact that they are one of the early settlers of the "New World" with John Gallop having arrived in 1630 on the "Mary & John".  In addition, if you are doing any genealogical research, you have to be thankful to have New England ancestry because their is a wealth of records to draw from.  Not only that, these families have numerous connections and one never knows when you will run into another "cousin!"  That can be both a good thing and bad thing.  

John Gallop was born about 1591 in Mosterne, Dorset, England to John Gallop and Mary Crabb.  He married Christobel Bruschett on 19 Jan 1617 at St Mary's, Bridport, Dorsetshire, England.  Their family started fairly quickly and they had the following six children:

Joan b. 1618 d. 1691 m. Thomas Joy
John b. 1619 d. 1675 m. Hannah Anna Lake
William b. 1622 d. ?
Francis b. 1625 d. 1625
Nathaniel b. 1629 d. 1676
Samuel b. 1629 d. 1667-1679

Most of the American Gallup's that I have seen are descended from John, but there are a few descended from Nathaniel.  I have talked about John Gallop and the endeavor to get his wife and family to join him in America from England.  (See John Gallop - 10th Great Grandfather) There is much more to the story of John Gallop though.  He was an important man in America early in its history.  John Gallop was a talented ship captain and explorer of early New England.  It wasn't too long after he arrived, that he began exploring the coast near Boston and is considered to be one of the early explorers of the Connecticut coast.  During one of his exploratory forays up the coast, he discovered a shorter and safer course through the islands that were in Boston harbor.  The coastal areas were uncharted, and John Gallop helped provide valuable knowledge for future sailors.

You have to remember that John Gallop's entry into America was almost 10 years after the Mayflower had landed.  During that time, the population in America had grown and the colonists were running out of space.  John Gallop's forays up the coast provided much needed exploration for the colonists and potential land for the new arrivals as well as opportunity trade with the Native Americans.  At first, these traders were welcome because they brought items that were welcomed because they provided items that made the Native American's lives easier. These traders who traveled and brought goods and food from the Rhode Island and Connecticut coasts back to Boston.  They also provided communication as weJohll as goods and services to new settlements in Maine.  Eventually the colonists would begin to make new settlements in Connecticut and Rhode Island and captains like John Gallop were extremely important to the success of some of these early settlements.

When the possibility of profit, it was well apparent that there were going to be those who took advantage of the situation.  Some of the new settlements in Maine (whose land was claimed by the French) experienced the results of those wanting to take advantage of the profit.  An English captain named Dixy Bull was robbed by French privateers of beaver skins that were being transported for trade.  This English captain upset at being robbed decided to turn pirate raid ships bringing goods into Boston harbor.  John Gallop was sent out with his friend John Mason to attempt to find and stop Dixy Bull.  They ended up stranded because of a storm in Cape Ann harbor.  When they started again in the Spring, they spent several months patrolling the Maine coast for Dixy Bull.  He had decided to escape the pursuit and traveled to Virginia where he was eventually captured.

John Gallop was one of the early grantee's of land in the northern part of Boston and had land on the southeastern portion of a penninsula called Gallop's point.  He also owned Nix Mate Island and Gallop's Island.  After John Gallop's family arrived in 1933, the colonies were beginning to change rapidly.  Conneticut became the "land of opportunity" for many of the settlers.  Soon Dutch traders began to venture into the mix as well as English explorer, John Oldham.  In addition, there were tribal wars that was definitely going impact the area.  The small relatively friendly Connecticut tribes lost in battle to the Mohegans, a branch of the Mohawks and the new colonists were about to land right in the middle of local rivalries.  It was apparent that the Natives were no longer to be considered necessarily friendly.

During the spring of 1636, John Gallop was sailing with his three sons (John, Samuel & Nathaniel) with goods on a trading trip.  He saw a ship anchored off of Block island and noticed that the rigging was loose and the ship appeared to be deserted.  As he got closer to the ship, he recognized it as John Oldham's ship and noticed that there were men who appeared to be Native American's laying asleep on the deck.  As he hailed them, some of the Natives slipped over the side on a canoe and headed to shore.  Others loosened the anchor and tried to slip away.  John Gallup and his sons pursued the ship and the boys armed the guns and shot them towards the ship.  Some of the Natives tried to hide below and John Gallop pursued the ship and rammed it with his own and tied the two ships together.  Some tried to escape and John and his son took a few prisoners.  They found John Oldham in his cabin murdered with his skull bashed in.  John Gallop took the valuables off of the ship attempted to tow the ship to shore, but was unable to do so and eventually had to let it loose.

When news of the murder spread throughout the colonists, it spread a lot of fear but also a quest for revenge.  You could argue that this incident was a turning point.  No longer would the colonists view the Natives as friends or vice versa.  The upcoming battles would eventually escalate into a war that we know today as "King Philip's War!"  It is interesting to note that John Gallop was not a man who was necessarily allied with the Puritans and their religious beliefs.  He was considered by the language of the day a "God Fearing" man and had a good relationship with the Puritan community as well as a good relationship with the local Native Americans.  I believe that John Gallop can be considered to be one of the most important men of the young colony.  He was an experienced sailor who navigated and charted the waters of the New England coastline as well as discovering route through the maze of Boston channel to the city of Boston that made the route safer and easier to navigate.

John Gallop doesn't really appear in the records much after the incident with Oldham and his ship.  It assumed that he lived out his life still sailing his ship and living in his home on Gallop's point with his family.  We know that he died in 1649 because his will enter's probate.  We also know that his wife, Christobel Bruschett is still alive and that he is survived by his oldest son John Gallup, Jr, daughter, Joan Gallup (Joy) as well as sons Samuel and Nathaniel.  His son William Gallop returned to England and is reported as dying while fighting for Cromwell.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Margaret Gallup Crary

The Gallup family has several names that seem to intersect quite often within the Gallup lines.  As I have mentioned many times, I tend to look at the siblings of some of my ancestors.  Ebenezer Gallup is my 4th great grandfather and was the son of Silas Gallup and Sarah Gallup.  I was perusing the siblings of Ebenezer Gallup and was caught by the name of Joseph Crary who married Margaret Gallup.  This is one of those names that seem to show up often. 

Joseph Crary was born 28 Jan 1781 in Groton, New London Co., CT and died 11 Jul 1845 in Sweden, Monroe Co., NY.  He was married to Rhoda Lindsley (b. 1784 d. 1809) and had three children with her until her death in 1809. 

They are:
  • Rhoda Crary b. 1802 d ? (possibly young)
  • Alfred Crary b. 1804 d. ?
  • Lucy Crary b. 1806 d. 1862 m. Benjamin Evan Whipple


Joseph married Margaret Gallup in 1809, a woman who was five years his senior. (Margaret was b. 21 July 1776 and d. 5 Aug 1851) From what I understand, this was a first marriage for Margaret Gallup, and she was 33 years of age.  Crary is an early Gallup surname.  Christobel Gallup (daughter of John Gallup and Hannah Anna Lake) and married Peter Crary and were Joseph Crary’s great grandparents.  Joseph’s parents were Isaac Crary and Mary Gallup.  Mary isn’t really that close of a cousin to Margaret Gallup, even though they share the last name something like 2nd cousin, three times removed.  My genealogy program calculates that Margaret Gallup and Joseph Crary are 3rd cousins.  I am not sure many of the family lines would do well under too close of inspection as it was a small geographic area and too many families intermarrying.

There are a few things that seem intriguing to me.  Joseph Crary is five years younger and marries Margaret Gallup as his second wife.  It is her first marriage and she is 33 years old.  Joseph and Margaret manage to have four children together with the last one born when she was 43 years old. 
Their children are:
  • Alanson Crary b. 1810 d. 1885 m. Eliza Whipple
  • Silas Crary b. 1813 d. 1870 m. Mary Chapin
  • Emily Crary b. 1816 d. 1820
  • Isaac W. Crary b. 1820 d. 1910 m. Martha A Efnor

So, Joseph preceded Margaret in death dying on 11 July 1845 in Sweden, Monroe Co., NY and his buried at East Lake Cemetery (Find A Grave #  116841314)  Margaret died on 5 Aug 1851 and is also buried at the same cemetery (Find A Grave # 134756259)

You might have noticed that Alanson Crary and Lucy Crary both married Whipples…yes they married siblings, both the children of Israel Whipple and Mercy Carpenter.  Joseph Crary was not the only one who married a Gallup.  His brother, Nathan married a Hannah Gallup (daughter of John Gallup and Hannah Denison) and Sarah married Eli Gallup, the younger brother of Margaret Gallup. 
If I go back a few more generations, I am sure that I would find more connections.  Not only did they come from Connecticut but seemed to travel to New York in the same time periods so the family ties continue for a few more generations.  

Here is Margaret Gallup’s family line:

John Gallop m. Christobel Bruschett
John Gallup m. Hannah Anna Lake
John Gallup III m. Elizabeth Harris
Nathaniel Gallup m. Margaret Gallup (see below)
Nathaniel Gallup m. Hannah Gore
Silas Gallup m. Sarah Gallup (see below)

John Gallop m. Christobel Bruschett
John Gallup m. Hannah Anna Lake
Benadam Gallup m. Esther Prentice
Margaret Gallup

John Gallop m. Christobel Bruschett
John Gallup m. Hannah Anna Lake
Benadam Gallup m. Esther Prentice
Benadam Gallup, Jr m. Eunice Cobb
Nathan Gallup m. Sarah Giddings
Sarah Gallup

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dedicating Shearer Park

Yesterday (Oct 1, 2016), we dedicated Shearer park which has been in process for about eight years. Our family donated the land in Elk City a number of years ago and it has finally come to fruition. The potential for the park as a trail head with an ATV trail going all the way to Avery, ID is a pretty cool possibility.  For those outside of the area, this area of Idaho is definitely a wild area with a truly beautiful landscape.  This will not be a trip for the faint of heart.  I can't tell you how much this means to our family and we really have a lot of thanks for a bunch of people for making this happen.  Especially the "Framing our Community" of Elk City and the Dust Devils ATV club of Elk City.  We worked specifically with Joyce Dearstyne of "Framing our Community" and Mike and Arlene Evett of the Dust Devils ATV club. I am posting a few pictures of the occasion and the speech that I made.

This has always been a special place for my family.  From summers fishing, camping and swimming at Red River to winters where we enjoyed using sleds and the toboggan coming down that hill.  It would be pretty difficult to do that now as my brothers planted a few too many trees in their boy scout project over 40 years ago.

When my grandparents, Gwen and Cappy, sold the mill in 1978 and moved back to the LC Valley…they left a part of themselves here.  They worked for 20 years to build Shearer Lumber products.  They also spent those 20 years working on trying to improve the community that they adopted as their home.  If you knew Gwen and Cappy – they had no pretensions.  If you worked for Gwen Shearer at the mill, he expected you to work hard and give the best effort that you were capable of…he also expected the same of himself.  I would bet that there weren’t many jobs that he wasn’t capable of doing himself.  Grandma Cappy worked for many years as a teacher.  I suspect that if you were a student of hers – you would call her strict but a patient teacher.  That was the Grandma I knew…she didn’t tolerate a lot of nonsense but if you were curious to learn she had the most wonderful patience as you asked her question after question.  Education was an important part of my grandparents lives.  Grandpa Gwen was a member of the school board.  Grandma Cappy taught school and wrote a column for the Idaho Co., Free press for a number of years. 

When my grandmother graduated from high school in 1930 – she went to school at the Lewis Clark Normal.  Her parents had to butcher a hog to pay for tuition and she rode a horse to school.  Grandpa Gwen never had the opportunity to go any further in school.  Despite being his Senior Class President and one of the top students – there was no money.  It was a struggle to just have food on the table.  These experiences left an impression on them. In 1981, my grandparents set up a scholarship where one student from each of the high schools in Idaho county could earn a scholarship to the University of Idaho.  Over 100 students have received that scholarship to date.  In 1986, my grandfather was able to attend a University of Idaho graduation to see not only my brother, Russell, graduate but also those first scholarship students.  Our family is very proud of the Gwen and Capitola Shearer scholarship and the opportunities that it has given to those who have earned the scholarship and have gone onto productive lives. 

It has been about 30 years since we lost the Grandparents.  There have been a lot of changes during that time.  I can tell you that my grandparents would have heartily approved of the improvement of the recreational opportunities that the trail head will produce.  I am sorry that neither one of them ever got to enjoy the sheer fun of riding a ATV.  I can remember riding with my grandmother to the post office to get the mail in the winter time on the snow-cat…If she were here today, she would have certainly enjoyed the taking an ATV.  Grandpa Gwen would have definitely enjoyed the utility at the mill…but also during his hunting and fishing trips.  My grandparents loved this area and deeply cared about what happened here.  I know they would be pleased to see this park. 


I believe that there are two memorials to my grandparents now.  The scholarship is one that they created – and this park is one that the community they so loved created.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Revisiting Rebecca Jane Pitsenbarger

My 2nd great grandmother died 112 years ago in 1904.  My great grandmother was only 7 years old when she died...Grandma Florence was one of 5 children who lost their mother to tuberculosis.  Since, I have never been able to get a death certificate because they weren't available at that time, I have never been absolutely positive that it was tuberculosis or pneumonia.  Either way, I know that she died quickly at the age of 34 years of age.  There has always been a little bit of mystery about Frankie.  She was born Rebecca Jane Pitsenbarger on 28 Jan 1870 in Shawverville, WV.  She was the daughter of William Pitsenbarger and Mary Amick, the youngest of nine children.

All I knew for a long time was her name and a bit about her siblings.  There was some note that she had married a Moffat but nothing more than that.  For the past several years, I have thought that this Moffat might have been a just a story.  There was a mention in Grandma's notes and one in Uncle George's notes (her older brother.)  There was so much that we tried to piece together.  My Mom and I worked on the trying to figure out all of the characters in the story and I continued after she died. There has been bits of pieces that have come to surface that I could research on my computer on the internet.   It turned out that Frankie's parents were actually first cousins.  There was something that always stuck in my mind - wondering what the connection was.  William Pitsenbarger's mother's name was Elizabeth Amick (m. Peter Pitsenbarger)  and his wife's name was Mary "Polly" Amick.  At the time, I didn't think that was that common of a name.  Now I know better.  It turned out that Mary Amick was the daughter of Jacob Amick and Rachel Shroyer and it turned out that Jacob and Elizabeth Amick were siblings.  They were the children of Henry Amick and Elizabeth Barbara Niemand.  It was a discovery for me that that particular branch of my family tree didn't branch as much as I would have liked.  I had earlier figured out that Frankie ran off with her sister's husband.  The story that I had heard was that she had come from West Virginia to help her sister out with her children.  There was the story about the Moffat.  First of all, did he really exist?  Did she marry him in West Virginia or was it in Iowa?  A few weeks ago, I discovered the answer to both of those questions.

Within the past year, Ancestry has added birth and marriage records for Iowa.  Other than census records and some burial records - Iowa had been pretty difficult to research from a distance.  I had gotten some mistaken information in my data file and I was trying to fix the mistakes.  I had Frankie's father as William Delatus Pitsenbarger.  There was a lot of similar information but I had figured out that they were two completely different people.  The Delatus name didn't fit.  So, in the process, I was trying to removed the incorrect information and found a marriage record that listed William Pitsenbarger in Iowa for his daughter, Rebecca Jane Pitsenbarger with a husband listed as William Henry Moffat.


They married on 21 Apr 1889 in Woodbury, Iowa.  So, now I have a different mystery.  What happened to William Henry Moffat...did he die..did he abandon Frankie or did she abandon him?  Sometime between April 1889 and early 1891, Rebecca Jane "Frankie" left with her brother in law for the Tacoma, WA leaving her sister behind with four children and a 5th child on the way.  It turned out the Frankie was also pregnant and she and her sister actually delivered their children one day apart.  I can't seem to be sure that I have been able to find any more info about William Henry Moffat...there are a few records in Canada that could be the same person.  Right now it is impossible to tell...so I have a new mystery to look at.

If you are interested in the whole story about George Christian Shawver and his family check out these three blogs.

George Christian Shawver - 1st family
George Christian Shawver - 2nd family
George Christian Shawver - 3rd family

and here is a bit more info on Frankie - My Pitsenbarger Ancestor.

All of this proves something...it is a good idea to go back and see what information might be new. You never know what you will find out when you revisit the information on one of your ancestors