Wednesday, May 28, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #22: William A. GHOLSON

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 22nd installment, WILLIAM A(nthony) GHOLSON.  William is the 5th great-grandfather of my ex-husband, born and died in Spotsylvania county, Virginia, his life spanning the 1700s.  Note that the surname Gholson is a variant of the English surname Goldstone; other variants are Golson, Golsan, Gholston, Ghulson, Gulston. 

William was the eldest son of five known children of Anthony & Jane [unknown surname] GHOLSON; Anthony also was born in Virginia apparently, so I'm not certain yet of the original settler in the GHOLSON line.  All the children were apparently born in one of the precursors of Spotsylvania county, VA since Spotsylvania was not formed until December 1720.  As Spotsylvania was formed from 3 other counties, it is quite confusing to research this family line!  Checking this page [previous link] I see more research ideas for the area. My early research was done following clues on a very detailed history of the GHOLSON line on RootsWeb, plus a few land records.

William was born about 1705, and in about 1728 he married Susanna COLLINS, b. 5 Dec 1709, daughter of Joseph & Susanna COLLINS.  It is difficult to be certain of their children, and there are some unusual gaps in years of birth. To date, these seem to be the children:
  1. Lewis, b. abt 1730 - controversial addition to this line; more research needed
  2. Anthony [direct ancestor, named after gr-fa], b. abt 1733, m. abt 1759 Elizabeth [unknown]; 12 children - our line follows eldest, a son, Francis and wife Mary CRAIG.
  3. Frederick, b. abt 1736
  4. John, b. abt 1740
  5. Francis, b. abt 1742 or 1752
  6. James, b. abt 1743
  7. William Jr., b. abt 1758  [Susanna lived to about 1785, so the gap between the last two children remains unexplained]; m. Mary Jarrel.
  8. four or five daughters... still searching for a record detailing their names - his final will?
William apparently bought and sold a relatively large amount of land in Virginia, and was considered quite wealthy; he also had many slaves, according to records.  Details on the land records and related other records may be found in "Gholson and Allied Families", pub. 1950 by Virginia Baker Mitchell, which can be found online or through WorldCat.  In addition, has digital versions of several genealogies and histories of Gholson families, including the previously mentioned book.

Several of William's children served in the military; e.g., our ancestor, Anthony GHOLSON jr., has a Revolutionary War gravestone in Steubenville, Wayne county, Kentucky. 

William's wife, Susanna, died in Caldwell County Kentucky about 1775, possibly visiting family there. Sometime after 1775 and before 1786, William married a second time to "Joan" unknown surname. Joan is listed as wife on a land sale record of "William and wife" Joan.  No other details seem to be known of Joan, and they do not appear to have had additional children.  

William died about 1795, possibly in Spotsylvania or Orange county Virginia.  No will has been found to date, nor is it known where exactly he died or was buried. Note that Orange county was formed out of Spotsylvania in September 1734.  

Clearly there needs more research on the Gholson line, but there are missing or damaged records for the area over this time period and before, making it quite challenging. For example, the Census records for 1790 and 1800 are lost, and there are no parish records for this period.  Oh, those burnt courthouses and repositories! 

If you have more information or questions about the GHOLSON line, particularly William and his wife Susanna, do please contact me via calewis at telus dot net or through the Comments section below. I am always happy to find more sources to search, more details to add, and corrections to make!  

Monday, May 26, 2014

WW2 - Canada, Dad on leave at home

It's not Memorial Day in Canada - we honour our veterans on November 11th each year.  But this photo of my Dad from WW2 is a lovely one.

He's home on leave January 1943 with one-year old first child, my big sister, and he's in uniform. I wonder if he's arrived home recently or is on his way back soon? Luckily Mom dated the photo on the back.

Dad never went overseas, and by the end of the war, he ended up trained to work on the new RADAR back East in Nova Scotia.  RADAR stands for "RAdio Detection And Ranging", and is now used as a noun: radar.

Their dog, Buddy, is partly behind him, as both Dad and Leita face the camera - I'm sure Mom is taking the photo.

And do you see behind them? That horse-drawn wagon?  Yes, that's how milk as well as ice was delivered to homes.  I think horse-drawn delivery stopped around 1948, in Vancouver BC.

Honour to all the veterans, from all countries, whatever their work, wherever they served.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #21: Thomas Milligan VINEYARD

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 21st installment, Thomas Milligan VINEYARD, my ex-husband's 2nd great-grandfather on his mother's side (RICE).  Note the surname Vineyard may also be found as VINYARD.  

There is apparently a line of Vineyards in the USA originating from Germany (Weinert).  However another line of Vineyard immigrants were Anglo-Scots, and apparently arrived in possibly Virginia in the 1700s, with one branch moving through to Tennessee and then to Illinois - this particular branch. 

Thomas appears to have been the youngest of 7 known children of John VINEYARD and Leanah SNEED, all born in Tennessee.  I do not yet have the place they were born, nor the previous ancestors details... research is never done!! And with a middle name of Milligan, I suspect a maiden name in his ancestors to research.

Born 12 Apr 1811, Thomas and his parents and family moved to Illinois after he was born.  On 16 August 1830, at the age of 19, Thomas married Priscilla POOLE, only 14 years of age at the time of their marriage. Only 2 years later, Thomas volunteered and fought with the D.Powell Company Regiment 3, Brigade 2, Illinois Mounted Volunteers from White county, during the Black Hawk War

Thomas and his new family are listed on the 1840 Census for White County, Illinois, as well as 1850, and 1860 Censuses, before his death in 1872.  I have not found him in the 1870 Census as yet.  Click on the county name for more information on White County history.

Priscilla died in 6 Sep 1857, six months after the birth of their 10th child.  Thomas and Priscilla's children are as follows, all  apparently born in Norris City near Indian Creek area; note not all children's spouses listed:

  1. Rebecca Leannah, b. 1832, d. 1903
  2. *Phillip Wesley [ancestor], b. 1834, m. 13 Dec 1855 to Margaret C.WALTERS; d. 6 Feb 1874 IL
  3. Margaret Priscilla, b. 20 Jan 1836, m. abt 1856 to Lewis Jackson Oliver; d. 29 Jan 1910 IL
  4. William Alexander "Alex", b. 18 Jan 1838, m. 14 Nov 1861 to Patsy C. Garrison; d. 1912
  5. Mary Jane, b. 10 Feb 1841, d. 5 Aug 1913, Gossett, IL
  6. Sarah Ann, b. 19 Nov 1842, d. 14 Sep 1927, Houston, TX
  7. Martha Ellen, b. 10 Mar 1845, d. 3 Oct 1931, Muskogee, OK
  8. Amanda, b. 1847, d. bef 1860 IL
  9. John F., b. 3 Dec 1849, d. 5 Sep 1894
  10. Jesse E., b. 23 Mar 1857, m. abt 1879 to Florence Stafford; d. 26 Aug 1901 Mayberry IL
Within a few months of Priscilla's death, on 30 Jan 1858, Thomas took a 2nd wife, Samantha J. Garrett.  

On the 1860 Census, Thomas is shown with his wife Samantha, previous children still at home: Martha, John, and Jesse, plus he and Samantha's 1st child, Daniel.  As well, Thomas' widowed mother, Leanah, aged 93, was living with them.  

Thomas and his family continued to live in White County IL, on his farm, and had 4 more children:

  1. Daniel E., b. 13 Dec 1859, m. 24 Oct 1882 to Dicia A. McKenzie
  2. Nancy Sharon, b. 21 Nov 1861
  3. Susan E, b. 4 Oct 1863, m. 5 Apr 1891 to Charles Armstrong; d. 19 Jul 1894
  4. Lovina, b. 1 Apr 1865, d. 10 Aug 1867
Samantha, Thomas' 2nd wife, died 21 Oct 1867, scarcely 2 months after her 4th child.  

He married for the third time on 19 Jan 1868, to a widow, Martha J. Thompson; no further children are listed.  Thomas died only 4 years later, on 16 Jun 1872, while visiting a Dr. Berry in his office in Hoodville, Hamilton county, IL.  I clearly need to research what relationship the two had, as to why he was visiting Dr. Berry. 

I know very little about Thomas - aside from his military history, occupation as farmer, and his many children.  He seems to have been a relatively successful farmer in the area, and there may be more histories of White County IL which may have additional details. 

If you have any questions or further information you could share, please contact me via calewis at telus dot com, or in the Comments below.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #20: Rachel PIERSOL

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 20th installment, another woman ancestor with virtually no details about her aside from Birth, Marriage, Death.  

The PIERSOL family grew up around Morgantown, Berks, Pennsylvania, with many other Welsh immigrants with surnames such as Davis, Evans, Hudson, Jenkins, Hughes, Bowen, Allen, Owen. Interestingly, I noted that a Pearsall Family DNA study shows that the males have a Swedish origin from perhaps 2000 years ago; they list many spellings for the Piersol/Pearsall surname. If this is your surname, do check out their site for testing. 

Note: I have a copy of the Caernarvon Township map of Warrants/Surveys/Patents of landowners, constructed in 1934 from original drafts.  This may be requested of me by direct-message or below, using my email address as shown; for personal use only, not for publication, as it is copyrighted. 

Rachel is my 5th great-grandmother on my mother's lines.  The PIERSOL surname is spelled many ways, of course: e.g., Pearsall, Pearsol(l), Piersol(l), Persall, and so on.  

Rachel's father was Richard PIERSOL, born about 1677, apparently in Wales. He immigrated with his father (name either John or Richard Sr.), about 1683. His family settled in Pennsylvania. On about 1720, in Caernarvon, Richard married Bridget BROWN about 1720. Bridget emigrated before that date, but I know nothing about Bridget's family.Well, except that a Richard Brown was one of the executors of her will - a brother? Maybe. Richard was the only living son, along with at least 4 sisters, as named in his father's will, 1777. 

Rachel PIERSOL was born about 1723 in Caernarvon Township/Morgantown area - note that Morgantown (Morgan's Town) was not laid out until about 1770. She married Jacob MORGAN in 1739 in Honey Brook, Chester, PA.  Honey Brook is only about 5 miles south of Morgantown area. 

Much is known of Jacob MORGAN (Sr) as he was very well known in the region in various roles, e.g., as a Judge and other official capacity; a Captain in the Seven Years War (French & Indian Wars), in Col. Weiser's regiment; plus a Colonel in the Revolutionary War.  A number of DAR and SAR applications may be researched, based on Jacob Sr. or his son Jacob Jr. MORGAN's military service.

Rachel and Jacob seem to have settled in the Caernarvon/Morgantown area, raising their 7 known children:

  1. Rebecca, b. 1741; m. John Price
  2. Jacob (Jr.), b. 1742; m. Barbara Leisure Jenkins, 6 children
  3. Benjamin, b. abt 1745; m. Harriett Ashton, at least 1 son
  4. Mary [ancestor], b. 20 Jun 1748; m. John/Jonathan HUDSON, 7 children
  5. Sarah, b. abt 1750; m. Joseph Jenkins
  6. Frances, b. est. 1752
  7. John, b. est 1755 
In the mid 1780s, Jacob & Rachel appear to have moved for a time to Philadelphia, returning to Morgantown area before 1791. I still have much research to do on Jacob's various roles in his very active life.

Rachel died at the age of 68 years, on 19 Dec 1791 in Montgomeryville, apparently. I am not certain why she was there - visiting relatives? Or one of her married daughters?  Her husband, Jacob, died the following year on 11 Nov 1792, aged 76, in Morgantown.  The gravestone - a large horizontal one on a raised base - has details of both Jacob and Rachel, and can be seen here on FindAGrave.  

If you have further information about Rachel PIERSOL and her parents, or if you have questions about any of this information, contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #19 : John GRUMMAN

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 19th installment, for John GRUMMAN/GROMAN, my 8th great-grandfather on my mother's lines. He is a very early settler in Connecticut, apparently arriving about 1649. 

John GRUMMAN, was b. 24 Feb 1627 in Cranfield, Bedford, England (abt 50 miles north of London); parents were John GRUMMAN and Elizabeth WHEELER.  The surname GRUMMAN may also be found spelled in various ways as Grumant, Grumand, Groman, Gromman, and so forth.  John arrived in the New England Colony before 1650, settling in Fairfield, Connecticut. It is not clear if he came with any siblings, or any family members.   (Photo from Wikipedia)

In 1651, in Connecticut, he married his first wife, Sarah TRY who was born about 1630 in Long Island, New York, of early settlers to that area, Michael TRY, and [Unknown] PHILLIPS.  John and Sarah had 6 children (4 boys, then 2 girls), of whom the youngest, our direct ancestor, was Sarah GRUMMAN, b. 1675 in Fairfield, as were all the children.  

Children of John and Sarah:
  • John, b. 1652
  • Samuel, b. 1667
  • Thomas, b. 1669
  • Michael, b. 1671
  • Elizabeth, b. 1673
  • *Sarah [ancestor], b. 1675, m. Samuel JENNINGS in 1691; 10 children (3 boys)
  • ?possibly Abigail, b. 1685.  -- mentioned in his will, unclear of relationship.
The gap between the first and second child has not been explained; possibly it has been discussed in various books or articles I have yet to find and read.  Normally I would expect that showed the death of a wife, and subsequent marriage.  However it has not shown up in the usual early records of marriages in early New England.  Of course, the date itself may be in error... Research to do.

In 1664, John GRUMMAN was made a Freeman of Fairfield Connecticut, according to a history of Fairfield. 

Many of the details I have about my ancestor John GRUMMAN has come from two sources: Jennings Family Association, and a particular book, "The descendants of John Grumman(t) of Cranfield, Bedfordshire, and Fairfield, Connecticut, and his wife Sarah Try"  by Marion G. Phillips;  New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Mass. : Newbury Street Press, 2007.  Histories of early settlers in Fairfield also contain details and summary information.  

John died after 2 Jun 1685 in Fairfield Connecticut; Sarah, his wife, died died a few years later on 8 Apr 1691, same place.  There is apparently a will dated 2nd June 1685, mentioned in several trees and sources, but never detailed.  Perhaps it may be found on the NEHGS site in their databases.  In his will, he lists children John, Samuel, Thomas, Michael, Sarah who had married Samuel Jennings, and Abigail. I have yet to see the will.  There may well be additional tidbits of information and confirmation of some details of this early settler of Fairfield Connecticut. 

Addition, August 29, 2019:  WikiTree has the transcribed will of John GRUMMAN, taken from "The American Genealogist" vol.32.  Thank you to a friendly reader for providing me with this helpful detail. 

If you have any further information or any questions, do please contact me via email calewis at telus dot net, or in comments below. Thank you so much for reading about this early New England settler.


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis