Monday, February 12, 2007

The Will of William Strickling

The Will of William Strickling

In thinking back on this madcap adventure of researching genealogy, I would have to say that the search for my line of the Strickling family was a prime motivator. My grandmother was Vera Mae Strickling. A tragic tale surrounds her. The daughter of Monroe County Ohio native John William Strickling and Florance Ann Watson, Vera was born in Ravenna,Ohio in 1901. She was a ggrandaughter of famed Indian fighter and Revolutionary soldier Captain John Hontas Baker. Some of the "old timers" who new her, tell me that she was a lovely young woman. She married Harley E. Bowles when she was 18. They had three children, Betty, Donald and Robert. Robert is my father. I have an Ashland ,Ohio newspaper clipping of her untimely demise. It recounts how three young children came home from school,to find their mother with only a "spark" of life left in her as she lay across the kitchen floor, a suicide note beside her and a gas stove on.. .She was 28. My grandmother was not spoken of and growing up, I never knew her name. I once remember my father mentioning that each evening she would comb her hair one hundred strokes. I always wanted to know about her and as an adult I have worked hard to find out all that I can.
I did not know what a monumental project I was starting asI have found that the Stricklings were a large and prolific family and have resettled in many parts of the United States. I have spent a lot of time on researching the pre American origins as well.There is a fair amount of incorrect information circulating and a lot of information still to be uncovered.....
I think that interviewing the surviving Stricklings is an important source of information. I also believe that acquiring whatever documentation is available is important as well. Last year I interviewed Warren Harding Strickling who was born in 1921. He was a cousin of my grandmother Vera. He is in his 80's and lives in a retirement home in Ohio. He was kind enough to let me "pick his brain" until I tired him out. He related that it is very boring in the rest home. His father was Alexander Sweeney Strickling.During the interview Warren said that he was the 13th of 14 children and his parents were Alexander and Bertha Trader Strickling. He said his dad was born when Abraham Lincoln was alive. He and his youngest brother are still living. He said all the other children were born in W.VA. and he and his brother were born in Ohio. His dad bought a farm in West VA. but was not a farmer. ( Fed Census1930 shows Alexander was a "pumper" in the oil fields) His Grandfather was Benjamin Franklin Strickling. Warren spoke with pride of grandfather Benjamins service for the Union Army in the Civil War. (See the pictures section on the main page for a photo I took of his tombstone in Ashland Ohio)
I mentioned primary source material earlier and I am grateful to the active group of genealogists in Monroe Co. Ohio,. Dick Henthorne, Richard Harrington , K.W.Bailey, and posthumusly Catherine Fedorchak have contributed a tremendous boost to my family tree. They have made it possible for much primary material to be made available as well as contributing anecdotal information. Monroe Co Ohio has some sites which are some of my favorites to go back to over and over again . See and
A large collection of CD'S has been made available with scanned images of Monroe Co Ohio BMD'S. The extensive scanning of records has been done by Richard Harrington.I have purchased a number of these. The turn around of requested records from the courthouse is very speedy as well. My recent acquisition is the Will of William Strickling (1800-1870) husband of Elizabeth Braithwaite. He was the son of John Strickling and Elizabeth Timmons both of Harford , MD.
Here is the transcribed will of William Strickling.
In the name of the benevolent father of all, I William Strickling of Monroe Co., Ohio do make and publish this my last will and testament.
1st it is my will that all my just debts and charges be paid out of my estate.
2nd I give and bequeath to my brother Joseph Strickling, the sum of one hundred dollars.
3rd I give and devise to my grandson ,Samuel Walker Strickling, the sum of 700 dollars, to be paid to him by my executor Joshua Strickling when he arrives at the age of 21 years, then that sum is distributed according to law.
4th I devise and bequeath to my friend and relative, Joshua Strickling and his heirs my farm situated in Wayne Twp. Monroe Co Ohio, containing about 50 acres and allthe stock. household goods, furniture and other goods and chattle which may be therein at the time of my decease.
5th I do hereby nominate and appoint Joshua Strickling Executor of this my last will and testament hereby authorizing and empowering him to compromise, adjust, release and discharge in such measure as he may see proper the debts, to sell by private sale or in such matter upon sch terms of creditor oherwise as he may see proper all or part of my real estate and deed to excecute acknowledge and deliver in fee simple. I desire that no sale of my personal property be made and that the court of probate direct the ommissi0n of the same in purssuance of the Statute and also that my executor be required to give bond in testimony thereof. I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twelfth day of January in the year 1870. His x. William Strickling. Witnessed by J.W.Mrris and Daniel Baker
My Strickling line on WORLDCONNECT is here at:
This additional information has come to me by way of Richard Harrington. Good news for Monroe County Researchers!
Anna Lucas Strickling was the reporter in the Spirit of Democracy and/or the Monroe County Beacon, for several decades, for a section in the paper called “Buchanan” which covered the Lewisville , Ohio area. As the Buchanan reporter, she covered Lewisville and the area where my grandparents and many other kin lived and were active. I have photographed all of her articles and have burned them onto a CD. This has been so great because her articles read like a weekly “diary” of the area and through them, I have been able to get a week-by-week report on most of my relatives in MC.
and Richard Harrington writes:
I have put the transcript of the will of William Strickling on the website. You can access it at: Thank you very much. For your information, I have started photographing the Will Books in the record room of the Probate Court. I have photographed the first two (of 49 books) and should have them onto CDs within the week. The William Strickling will is in the first of the two books I have done.
And now for something completely different
Strickling/ Strickland links to England :
and lotsa Strickland info- terrific site here:

The Will Of Thomas Gilham Jr.

The Will Of Thomas Gilham Jr.

Transcription of the will of Thomas Gilham 1809-1856
Thomas Gilham was born in Morristown ,Belmont Co. Ohio on 15th of October 1809 . He was the son of Thomas Gilham Sr. of Virginia and Mary Elizabeth Nee Triplett of Loudon Co. W.VA. . He was married twice ,First to Catherine Hall and secondly to Dorothee" Dolly" Unknown. His sister Mary Gilham ,who married Rev. Issac C. Burr, was my ggggrandmother.
Following is the will which I received from the Harrison Co. Ohio Courthouse in December of 2006.
Record of the Last Will and Testament of Thomas Gilham, Deceased
In the name of the Benevolent Father of us all, I Thomas Gilham make and ordain this my last will and testament.
Item 1. That all my legal debts of every character and nature shall be liquidate.
item 2. That the residue of my entire estate good of all description, I will and bequeath to Dolly my beloved wife during her natural life and that if the Dorthy Anne I. Drake should marry before the death of Dolly my wife and that if anything is left after the death of my wife,that the effecets thus remaining shall go to Dorthy Anne.
Item 3. I do Bequeath to my nephew William Reese Burr my best saddle and rifle on account of labor.
Item 4. I do hereby nominate and appoint Elsey Moore and Dolly my wife as executor of this my last will and testament
In Testimony thereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this 21st day of July in the year 1856.
Signed and acknowledged by said Thomas Gilham in his last will and testament in our presense.
J.W.Wherry, Issac Clevenger, Thomas Jones.

The Will of Thomas Gilham SENIOR

The Will of Thomas Gilham SENIOR

by Randi Bowles Meentzen Feb 2007
I have been looking for that last peice of paperwork which would finish up my application for my admission into the DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. I had several ancestors who had been "proven" such as 6th ggrandfather Henry Winland and 6th ggrandfather Captain John Baker. However I wanted to "prove" an ancestor who had not yet been documented and that is my 5th great grandfather Abel Triplett. He was born in Goose Creek Loudon Co Virginia about 1753 and he sold beef to the troops and drove the cattle to them. The Rough Minute books of the Ketoctin Chapter of the DAR record his service and payment for the same. He did not serve as a soldier as two of his brothers did . He was at home managing the farm alongside of his mother who was also recently documented into the DAR by "cousin" Bev Bartley. If you have applied for a lineage society, then you know that each generations connection has to be documented by birth ,marriage and death records. That isnt too difficult until one gets into the timeframe before 1830-1860 when it was not required to register such events. At that point one has to start looking in tax and census lists, wills and tithables,land patents and any other source which can fix a location and the connected relatives. Many County boundary lines changed in this time frame and in the case of the Triplett family they moved "west". First they left Virginia and settled in Zanesville Ohio and then moved to Bureau County Illinois. This gave a wide range of areas to search in.
Abels daughter was Elizabeth Mary Triplett born on the 7th of January in 1786 in Loudon Co. VA. She married Thomas Gilham Sr (1774-1845) and this was the final connection which I needed to document. I was very happy when I received the will of Thomas Gilham several weeks ago from the Harrison Co Ohio Courthouse until I found it to be the wrong Thomas Gilham. It was the will of his son, Thomas Jr. But, lucky for me , my genealogical mentor, Ruth Lockwood of the Fernanda Maria Chapter of the DAR was on her way to the Mecca of research... the Latter Day Saints library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was ecstatic to find on opening my email on my birthday of all days, that Ruth had found the missing link, the will of Thomas Gilham Senior. He several times mentions his wife Elizabeth and his son in law , (my 4thggrandfather, )the Rev. Isaac C. Burr who married Mary Gilham in 1828 in Belmont Co Ohio.
I will be transcribing the will later this week so return to this section for the update. It is worth noting that there are 2 sons mentionedwhom I have not seen attributed to Thomas before i.e. Greenbury Gilham and Stephen Gilham. Greenbury is a name often used in the Triplett line. He mentions son Israel and son Peter and daughters. His executors are Lewis Gilham and John Gilham. The sons Greenbury, Stepehen and Peter are each instructed to choose a horse as the others allready have. An extra 100 dollars is given to Peter to make him equal with what the daughters had allready received. The bulk of the property ,personal and real is given to his wife Elizabeth.
John and Lewis Gilham as executors are admonished to assemble a list of his worth at time of death and are given a time frame of 3 months to do it.I have a document which they presented listing "notes" which he was carrying . I think but am not certain that this was money owed to him at the time of his death for real estate purchased from him and land rent owed to him. The names listed are
William Dunn Sr. amt owed $106.75
Samuel Clark $ 1.00
Jonas Bimand $ 1.56
William Gilham $ 62.00
Thomas Gilham $104.00
Isaac Burr $ 73.00
Amount Received from James Tallman
for Real Estate $826.00
Amount Received from Isaac Hazelet
for Real Estate $2,940.00
By Cash Received of
Unreadable Charles Unreadable $ 3.76
By rent from John Gilham $ 41.18
Cash on hand at time of death $89.93
Some other items are unreadable.
The previous page itemizes personal items and totals of columns are, $135.27,. $39.67,$34.92, $147.06, $ 106.75, $4.00, +5.00
The final column is almost unreadable but my closest guess is $4,882. 64
Lewis Gilham signs that the executors are receiving no commission.
I will post more transcriptions from these documents so continue to check back
My DAR application is on its way to Washington D.C. and will be pending until the final approval is made. At that time ,Abel Triplett, patriot of the American Revolution ,will be given a National number.His documentation will be entered into the DAR archives in Stone Mountain and will gain his rightful place of respect and honor for the services he performed to forward the cause of Americas Freedom.
January 18,1842, To all whom it may concern, I Thomas Gilham, being of sound mind and..illegible...and the uncertainty of human life do make and ordain this my last will and testament in the manner following to wit
First I will that all my past debts and financial expenses be fully paid and 2.that my sons Greenbury, Stephen and Peter should each have a h.... ........ if they should not get there before my departure from the world 3. I agree and bequeath to my daughter Ellen Jones fifty dollars to make her equal to what I have allready given to the rest of my daughters after .... 4, I will that my beloved wife Elizabeth have all the balance of all my property both real and personal during her life and after her demise I will that my executors herein after with all my property both real and personal be sold at public or private sale and when all is sold that equal division be made between all of my children and after it is ascertained what and ......... I will that 100 dollars be taken from my son Israel Gilham's share be added to my son Peter Gilhams share that he may have that much more on account that he is a cripple and that Israel may have that much of than the balance and further I do make make constitute and appoint my sons Lewsis and John Gilham executors of this my last will and testament in testimony hereof I hereby set my hand and seal this day of and yaer above Thomas Gilham, witnessed by James Tallman, Evans Berry.
Probate, The State of Ohio Belmont County, Court of Common Pleas, September 10 ad 1845, The last will and testament of Thomas Gilham Late, deceased, was this day brought into court and presented for probate and it appeared to our satisfaction in open court reduced to writing and filed, that said will was duly attended and not under any constriant whereupon the court approve said will to order that the name be recorded with the proof now taken.

Tell Me Your Ghost Story: My Visit to the Queen Mary

photo by Randi Bowles Meentzen

Today, like many days, I was thinking about chocolate.This led me to fantasizing about candy in general and reminded me that one of my favorite holidays for "free candy" is approaching next month. Yes ,Halloween. Halloween , of course gave me pause to think about ghosts. Being a genealogist, I spend a lot of time getting to know the dead, but usually only on paper. It is uncommon, even for me, to have a 2 sided conversation with one of my dearly departed ancestors. Now I am no John Edwards but there have been rare times when I have felt that perhaps someone who has crossed over is trying to tell me something. This leads me to this weeks topic. Have you ever seen a ghost, felt a prescense or know someone who has? Would you tell me about it?
I will go first.
I live in California. There are a lot of tourist attractions in Los Angeles County and one of my favorites is the Queen Mary. The above picture was taken there of Carl and I in 2005.The old ship is permanently docked in Long Beach Harbour and is open to the public as a museum. You can catch a feature about it on TV almost every Hallowen as it is supposedly haunted by a young girl, a woman in white and by a man who was killed in the engine room. I have gone on several tours there, eaten in the restaraunts on board and even spent a weekend in the cabin suites which are now used as a hotel. The ship has a wonderful feeling of history but neither myself or anyone I know has ever seen a ghost on board. Now one of the things I learned on the QM tour is that the ship was used during World War II by the military. Soldiers were transported on the ship and the injured were returned to home or hospitals aboard this grand liner. Towards the bow of the boat is a hospital ward. The bunks inside are head to toe and stacked 3 beds high. I have been past this area numerous times. Last year , a group of freinds and I went on board the ship to veiw a special exhibit about the Titanic. Afterwards we wandered through the Queen Mary. This time I was drawn to the hospital ward. As I stood veiwing it, I thought about the brave soldiers and how uncomfortable it must have been to be injured and packed in like sardines. I stood for some time and the rest of my freinds had wandered off when I heard IT.!!!!!!!!!! This is where the creepy music should enter, because as I stood there I heard a man sobbing. Not a little boohoo, not a ghostly whisper,but a gut wrenching sobbing which went on for some time. I was absolutely the only person viewing the display. I stepped back and looked all around and even walked around the corner to see if anyone was there and playing a trick on me. No one was there. When I stepped back around the corner,the sobbing had stopped. I guess the moment was gone. I did not mention the incident to anyone until we got home and I told my husband about it. He said " I beleive you, that place has a feeling about it".
OK so I went first and I am not crazy, much.
Tell me your story and dont make one up just to fit in with the lunatic fringe, and hallucinations from the 70's dont count either.

Can Genealogy Shed Light on a Ghost Story ? Gore Orphanage and the Haunted Tunnels

Several weeks ago I posted a light hearted piece about the haunted history of The Queen Mary. I asked people to share their ghost stories with me. I heard some fascinating ones. The one which intrigued me the most was told to me by my sister-in-law Melodie Bowles of Ashland , Ohio. She had grown up hearing the legend of the Haunted Tunnels and The Gore Orphanage in Lorain County Ohio. The legend is that in the early 1900's an orphanage was located on several hundred acres of rolling farmland. The overseer of the children harbored hatred and resentment of his small wards and one evening after seeing them all tucked into bed, he locked the doors from the outside, set the place ablaze and waundered off into the darkness. All of the children died save for a small boy named Jacob. The screams of the children are often heard through the treetops on Gore Orphanage Road. There are 3 tunnels near the property and if you park your car underneath one of them, turn off the engine and wait, you may be visited by the ghosts of the orphans. Tiny handprints may appear on your car or you may see the fires lone survivor Jacob standing on the edge of the forest in his raggedy clothes. The tunnels have become a magnet for pshycic activity and others have seen a sad end there .Lore has it that a grief stricken widower hung himself jumping from the railroad tracks above with noose lashed around his neck., And a local woman accused of witchcraft and stealing children for satanic rituals was decapitated by local farmers and her head buried on the property. She and the widower are said to haunt the tunnels and surrounding farmlands. Like many of the locals, Melodie visited one of the tunnels at Gore Orphange Road and shared a chilling experience with me. (You can read her story at the end of this article.)
As a genealogist, I had to look at these tales in a different light. I wondered what truth there was to the rumours. Was there an orphanage called Gore and did 100's of children die in this Lorain County fire. Who was the ruthless man who set the fire? Was he caught and prosecuted.?I had a lot of questions and since the time of the fire was said to be the first decade of the 1900's, I knew just where to find the answers.
First I "googled" Gore Orphanage. I came up with numerous sites which featured "true ghost stories" and pictures of ruins said to be that of the old orphanage. Here are the links to some of these sites.
As we all know , just because its on a website doesnt make information reliable. I went to some more reliable sites. I stopped by Wikipedia where I got my first clue that perhaps Gore Orphanage never existed. I then went to Newspaper Archives online and to and searched newspapers in the areas near Lorain County. In checking the articles for the time period of 1875-1920 I found no Gore Orphanage. I did find the Light and Hope Orphanage in the area which is now called Gore Orphanage Rd.. I also learned that Gore Road was named after a wedge shaped piece of land called a gore and not after a blood thirsty maniac who ran a home for bedraggled orphans.
I chose to follow the trail of the Light and Hope Orphanage and found that it was run by Rev. John Sprunger and his wife who moved from Indiana. I found an announcement in an area newspaper transfering the land of Mr Swift to Nicholas Wilber and again a later sale to Rev. Sprunger. . I ran across two modern day articles by Bill Ellis and Rini Caudill who both debunked the Gore Myth. They agreed that 3 things worked together to create the myth. The Swift mansion which was purchased by the Rev Sprunger, burnt down years after the orphanage closed. Nicholas Wilber had 4 grandchildren die within weeks of each other in the diptheria epidemic. In 1908 the Collinwood School in nearby Cleveland caught fire. The following is from Wikepedia,
"The Collinwood School Fire (also known as the Lake View School Fire) of March 4, 1908 was one of the deadliest disasters of its type in America up until that time. 172 students, two teachers and a rescuer were killed in the tragedy in Collinwood, Ohio, a community that has since been absorbed into the city of Cleveland, Ohio.
While the Lake View School was built with load bearing masonary outer walls, much of the four story building’s floor structure system used wooden joists. It was one wooden joist that caught fire when it was overheated by a steam pipe. The building’s main stair case extended from the front doors of the building, up to the third floor; without benefit of fire doors, the stairwell acted like a chimney, helping to spread the fire quickly. Oiled wooden hall and classroom floors also fueled the fire. "
I pulled up the 1910 census records for the Light and Hope Orphanage in Henrietta Twp. Lorain Co. Ohio and the image can be seen in the photo section of the blogs home page. It shows a list of about 25 orphans living with Rev Sprunger and his wife. In 1920 census they are no longer listed because the orphanage had closed. It is important to note that all documents indicate that Rev Sprunger and his wife were benevolent people who were trying to make a positive change in the lives of orphaned children.
I looked up the Nicholas Wilber family and related death records. In 1911 Both Nicholas and his wife Harriet died as well as several of the grandchildren, all within months of each other.
In fact, the three items which merged together to form the Gore Orphange Legend were all to be found in historical records and documents. It does explain a lot.
But there are some things that it does not explain, such as Melodie Bowles experience in her own words. " It was fall and the leaves were turning. The air was crisp and I love fall weather. My friend and I decided to go for a drive. We decided to go to the haunted tunnel. We had heard stories about it and thought we would go check it out. We parked our car underneath the tunnel and sat on the hood of the car. The tunnel is in a deserted area and it is so narrow only one car can drive through it at a time. It was a beautiful night and we talked for a couple of hours but we didnt hear or see anything ghostly! We decided to leave and I got behind the wheel. As I put the key in the ignition a bright light came towards the front of my car really fast. It looked like a set of headlights. I turned the key and the engine stalled. I looked up at the lights which were almost on us, closed my eyes and waited for the impact. I waited, waited. No crash. I opened my eyes and no car was there. There was no car in the ditch or on the side of the road. We checked the brush for tire tracks and there was no car. We were scared out of our wits, got in the car and left as quickly as we could."
Melodie had not been back to this spot for several years. After she told me about it I asked her to go back and photograph the area. She was apprehensive about returning but made up her mind to go. She charged 2 battery packs for her camera in hopes of sending me dozens of shots. Both battery packs went dead.
To see the few pictures which she was able to get, go to the section at the top left which says "top page". Click on that and on the right is the photo section. Click on the tab and click on Haunted Tunnel and view pictures at this link

Richard Rogers : War of 1812


Richard Rogers : Soldier in the War of 1812

The War of 1812 is sometimes known as the forgotten war. Although often attributed to the Revolutionary War era, Francis Scott Key penned his famous poem on the evening of September 13,1814. Some historians say this war was a British victory and others a stalemate. I join with the others who perceive this war as the symbol of finality when America defined herself as a complete entity apart from Brittain.
Richard Rogers, my 4th great grandfather served in the War of 1812. He was born in Lyme ,New London, Connecticut in October of 1775. At the age of 23 he married Connecticut resident Lois Maynard . The Barbor Collection lists their marriage on November 4, 1798. They had one child George in 1805 and then moved to New York where their next son John J. Rogers was born in 1807. In 1812 Richard Rogers enlisted and served in the War of 1812. After returning home he fathered three more children. Lois who later married Sylvanus Bliss, James who married Louisa Stevens, and my 3xgreat grandfather Samuel Griffin Rogers who married Azuba Hill.
This line of the Rogers family were some of the pioneers who "moved west" as a group with people such as the Beebe's, Labories', Sage and Minor familes, having received land through the Connecticut Land Company and settled" New Connecticut". These ancestors settled land in what is now known as Lorain County Ohio. I was able to acquire the will of Richard Rogers and numerous other items such as plat maps,and land grants through the Lorain Co. Genealogical Society and The Hickories Museum. In June of 2006, I traveled from Los Angeles, California, to the bucolic Huntington Twp. in Lorain Co Ohio and visited the graves of my Rogers, Bliss and Maynard ancestors. It was a wonderful experience to drive along the pastoral countryside and see the land which they had owned and the paths which they had cleared.
My current research is on collecting the military records of these ancestors. I am focusing on the War of 1812 records of Richard Rogers. There are several Richard Rogers records listed on Ancestry .com and my big concern is to allocate the correct records to the person whom they belong to. If you have tried this yourself than you know it is not that easy. I am looking for that one item with the names of other family members or exact locations other than just "State of Ct" or "State of New York". Please post a comment if you have a suggestion for me.
Pictured above is The Old Huntington Cemetery in Huntington Twp., Lorain Co. Ohio. The center stone represnts the monument of 2 families, The Bliss Family and the Rogers Family. On either side of that stone lays Richard and Lois (nee Maynard) Rogers and Sylvanus and Lois (nee Rogers) Bliss.Many of my ancestors are in this little cemetery.More of their gravestones can be seen by going to the "main page" of the blog.( click on the drop down menu in the pictures section on the right hand side of the blog.)
Special Thanks to Russell Sage of Ohio who offered a lot of information to me about my ancestors.
War of 1812 Links:

The Search For Lt. Jeremiah Greenman

The Search For Lt. Jeremiah Greenman: A Genealogists Journey

Story by Randi Bowles-Meentzen 2006
Two Hundred and twenty five years ago Lt. Jeremiah Greenman fought for the independence of the United States against the Britons. He recorded the following in his journal after the battle of Englishtown. " Under the command of General Lee we advanced towards the enemy, they being so much superior to ours in Number we retreated. We formed again under a fence where the light horse advanced on us. We left the ground with about a thousand killed and wounded and dead from heat. I had taken a ball in the thigh. In the morning we went back to Englishtown where we buried some of our officers." After serving eight years in the Revolutionary War, and then 15 years as a sea captain,Rhode Island native, Jeremiah Greenman settled a farm with his wife Mary Eddy Greenman in Washington County Ohio. He would eventually be buried on the highest hill in this rolling farmland where he would be forgotten for a time.
While Lt. Greenman lay peacefully at rest ,Lorraine Hamann Chandler , his 4xgreat grandaughter, was aggressively trying to find information about his life ,death and whereabouts. What began as a moderate interest in joing the Daughters of The American Revolution lineage society , quickling became an obsession for this novice genealogist. She began her research by using one of the great free resources for genealogists, i.e. talking to relatives. She soon discovered an Aunt who knew of a cousin whose deceased mother had researched the same soldier. She called the cousin and he generously forwarded his mothers paperwork to Lorraine. She was delighted to find that the soldier was buried in the town of Beverly, Washington County ,Ohio. At her husbands urging, they took a trip to Ohio in 2005 and stopped by the village of Beverly. The Chandlers visited the town library and were rewarded by finding a booklet which listed the burial place as being on the farm of Neil Davis. Its not difficult to guess where the couple headed next,. In small town fashion, they knocked on the door of the Davis home and were warmly received. Neil Davis told Lorraine that he had been born and raised on the farm where her Jeremiah was buried and for many of his 80 years, he had wondered about the story behind the grave. That is until two professors from Wesleyan University ,Robert Bray and Paul Bushnell stopped by his farm in 1978. They told Neil that the Liutenent had kept a journal for the 8 years of his soldiering career and they were writing an edited version of it. The book is titled Jeremiah Greenman: Diary of a Common Soldier in The Revolutionary War 1775-1783. The high point of the Chandler's day was when Neil Davis took them to the gravesite and Lorraine was able to stand next to her gggggrandfathers' grave and contemplate the legacy of his life. The tombstone ,which was carved by his sons,read "Revolutionary Soldier- In Memory of Jeremiah Greenman an Active Officer in that army which bid defiance to Britons power and established the independence of the United States."
Lorainne can now pass this information on to future generations and she can proudly display next to her name the DAR National # 830211.
photo submitted by L.H.Chandler
Paraphrasing from the diary of Jeremiah Greenman
Email interveiw with Lorraine H.Chandler

Medieval Research Medieval Research Medieval Research Medieval Research Medieval Research Medieval Research Medieval Research Medieval Research Mediev

Many genealogists will at some point find that their family research leads them to the medieval times. I came to this point after our family Bowles DNA results proved our deep ancestral roots to be " pure viking". This is one of those areas where I found that " the more I learned, the more I needed to know." I can see how one could spend a lifetime in researching this one area of history alone. I have followed our Bowles line to an area in Essex England. They seem to have been in this general area since they arrived with William The Conqueror. I have assembled some links which you might find helpful when you are researching a medieval line. Some links are genealogical and some are historical.;idno=EGilds
Hope you find this helpful.

The Jamestown Society

Today I had the pleasure of listening to a member of the Jamestown Society speak about the settlement at Jamestown Virginia. It was the first enduring settlement of Engish speaking peoples in America. 104 English explorers between the ages of 27 -57, traveled on 3 small ships for a four month long ocean voyage and landed on the wild,marshy peninsula. It was 13 years before the Mayflower would cross the sea to the New Land. The settlers faced the harsh mosquito infested terrain with determination and enterprising spirit. The Jamestown Society seeks to record all living descendents of these pioneers. It is dedicated to historical, patriotic and educational purposes. If you had relatives in Jamestown in 1607-1700, you might qualify for this lineage society. Below are some links to learn more about Jamestown and other links with Jamestown Genealogy information.
Historic Jamestowne;
Jamestown Settlement, ;
For updates on the 400th anniversary events, go to
COLONIAL Time Travelers:
Jamestown Archeology:
Tourist eye view of Jamestown:
Colonial Williamsburg,
Colonial National Historical Park, 757 898-3400;
Yorktown Victory Center, ONE OF THE BEST SITES:
Museum of Essex Co VA., History ofJamestown,
Virginia Cemeteries: Colonial Ancestors Site:
VA. Historical Society
Virginia Tombstones
Fairfax Co. VA SITE
BOOKS: Brown, Stuart E. and Lorraine F. Meyers and Eileen M. Chappel. Pocohontas' descendants. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1994.
Hotten, John Camden, editor. Original Lists of Persons of Quality 1600-1700. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980.
McGinnis, Carol. Virginia Genealogy: Sources and Resources. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1993.
Meyer, Virginia M. Adventures of Purse and Person: Virginia 1607-1624/5. Richmond, Virginia: Dietz Press, 1987 (third edition)
Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1979.

BACKENSTO Family History: From Switzerland to PA to Ohio

By Randi Bowles Meentzen 2007
pictured above Luella May Backensto and husband Charles M. Tucker about 1905
The Backensto Family of Olivesburg Ohio
The Backensto family association is an active one with family experts such as Elwood Backensto and J.Hall Backensto keeping the webpages and family publications in order.My line of the Backensto family has needed a bit of attention and this is my attempt to add what information I have gleaned over the last several years.
The Backenstoss are first seen in America in Berks County Pa. in the early 1700's. After arriving from Rafz, Switzerland , Hans Uhlrich Backenstoss Sr. and wife Susanna nee Baur, along with other Swiss immigrants followed the Schyulkill Riverfrom Philadelphia to settle in Center Twp., Berks County, PA, It was formerly a part of the old Bern township. An excerpt from the will of Hans Ulrich gives insight into their life :
Wills, ., From History of Berks County, Pennsylvania, Compiled by Morton L. Montgomery, 1909 ... among the list of taxables in 1752, we find the name of this pioneer settler. His long will is on record in Will Book B, p. 347, in which he disposes of a very large estate. It is written in English, the signature alone being in German "Ulrich Backenstoss." The document was made Nov. 20, 1793, and was entered for probate Jan. 20, 1794, therefore it is evident that his death occurred between those two dates. In item No. 1 in the will he makes abundant provision for his wife Catherine, among the things mentioned being: "Plenty of grapes from the one-acre vineyard; flax; one gallon apple-jack; one gallon run; plenty of potatoes; plenty of cider and vinegar; plenty of winter apples and wood; plenty of everything she needs." This she was to receive annually, in addition to money and a home. Other items were: son John to receive the plantation; son Henry to receive the plantation in Bethel township, Dauphin, now Lebanon, county; and Jacob to receive the other plantation of 100 acres situated in Bethel township. The will, which also mentioned children Elizabeth, Susanna, Catherine Eckel and Christina Moyer, was witnessed by Jacob Runkel and Jacob Himmelberger and the executors were John Bagenstose and George Sharff.
In the early part of the 1800's a group of pioneers traveled by covered wagon, probably following the National Road. They included my 4th great grandparents Jacob Sr.Backensto and wife Rebecca nee Boeshore,and their eight children. Accompanying them was the family of Christian Uhrich, the Boeshore family and others. They took up farming in the fertile land of Richland County Ohio. It was rigorous work to clear the land for farming ( Plat maps can be seen in the pictures section of the "top page" as well as family tombstones). Their son Jacob Jr Backensto settled with his wife Hannah Fox in the area of Shenandoah , Richland Co Ohio and their son Uriah Pierce Backensto took up land in Olivesburg Ohio.
Beers History of Ohio has this to say about Jacob's brother Henry
BACKENSTO, HENRY, pioneer and retired farmer, was born in Dauphin Co., Penn., Oct. 31, 1825; his father came to Ohio about the year 1830; brought his family by wagon, and settled in Franklin Township, Richland Co., where he remained until he died in 1851. Henry was the fourth of eight children; he received his education in the subscription schools of the county ; at 16 years of age, be took charge of a thrashing machine, which he followed for six years ; his father gave him an 80 acre tract of land, which was covered with timber; he built a cabin on it, and moved into it in the fall of 1847; he in a few years purchased several other tracts ; bought a tract of land near Shiloh, and then sold his farm in Blooming Grove Township; in the year 1863, be moved to Shiloh, where he now liven; in 1873, he built a brick block in Shiloh, which he still owns. He came of a thrifty stock of Pennsylvania farmers; when he paid for his dwelling where he now resides, he had $15, which he earned when a boy between 8 and 12 years of age, making broom-handles and whipstocks. He was married to Miss Sarah Clayburg Oct. 28, 1847; they have nine children, four of whom are living.
I visited the village of Olivesburg in 2006. It is a lovely countryside with gently sloping hillsides. Time has stood still in regards to the scenery . The Amish horse and buggys which make their way to the Olivesburg General Store for feed and supplies only add to the aura of days gone by. Here is an excerpt which relates to this Olivesburg General Store and the Backenstos. The John Backensto mentioned here is the brother of my gggrandfatherUriah Pierce.
Olivesburg, Neighborhood News, A very exciting runaway occured here Thursday
evening. John Backensto drove to the store and left
his wife to hold the the horse while he went into the
store. Just as he returned and got the lines the
horse became frightened and ran quite a
distance,dragging Mr Backensto, when finally he lost
control of it and ran over the church hill and ran
against a telephone pole where it threw Mrs.
Backensto (nee Emma Crosier) out and freeing itself
from its haness ran a distance where it was caught by
C.D.Wolfe. Mr Backensto was badly bruised. Mrs
Backensto received no injury. May 23 1900
BEERS History of Ohio has this to say about Uriah Pierce's brother Anthony
BACKENSTO, ANTHONY J., was born in this county April 20, 1851, where he has since resided, and has lived in this township for a period of six years; his occupation has been that of farming all his life, In the year 1871, June 15, he was married to Miss Jane Eller; they have two children, both of which are still living, and named Ira E. and Ernestus C. The health of his family, together with himself, is not very good, and has not been since he removed to this place, he being troubled with the heart disease, while that of his wife and that of the oldest child is good, but the youngest has never been very rugged, although Mr. Backensto lives in one of the healthiest localities in his township, as well as one of the most pleasant ; although the Land of disease has laid its hood upon him, he has the satisfaction to know that himself and family enjoy the respect of all in the community where he resides.
Uriah Pierce Backensto and his wife Elizabeth nee Edmonds, daughter of Civil War Soldier David Edmonds and grandaughter of Rev War Soldier Sgt David Edmonds Sr., were the parents of 4 children, Luella May, (my great grandmother,pictured above ), Blanche, Omar and Levi . I found a wealth of information in the Mansfield News and the Mansfield News Journal about the Backensto family. Rarely would a month go by without a mention of the social happenings of this family in the "Neighborhood News" section of the papers. Luella appears to have been a lively and popular girl, active with the Epworth Society and attending frequent parties and events. In the weeks leading up to her marriage to Charles M. Tucker, a flurry of articles noted her comings and goings with freinds and family. After her marriage in 1901, she and Charles eventually moved to Savannah in Ashland County which was a only a matter of few miles from Olivesburg. Their eldest son was my grandfather, Frend Donald Tucker. His Siblings were Muriel Marie born in 1904, Nellie Ruth Tucker in 1910 and Ted in 1915.The four of them are pictured above. Ted was born in Guy Mills Pennsylvania during a family visit there. GGrandmother Luella May Backensto Tucker died unexpectedly at the age of 48. It was a shock to her friends and family and was initially listed as a heart attack. It was later discovered the cause of death was thyroid disease. Luellas son Ted Tuckers,later married Marguerite McCuen . She is now 90 years old tells me that it was a terrible sadness to all to loose Luella so early in life. She said that Luellas husband Charles Tucker was probably the most kind and gentle man she had known and raised the children on his own after Luella passed.Luella and Charles are at rest in the Ashland Cemetery on Main Street.
Luellas father,Uriah Pierce Backensto ,well known for his farming, his buisness acumen and community involvement, lived another 10 years after his daughter Luellas death. He was 80 years old.He is at rest with his wife Elizabeth in the Olivesburg Cemetery.
As noted in the above excerpts the Backensto's are called Dutch or German. As we know from other research ,they where Swiss. However at that time in History it seems the terms were viewed as interchangable .
John Hall Backensto's webpage is here
My family tree can be seen at the following link on WorldConnect at Rootsweb Freespace
The Following Backenstos are buried in the Old Olivesburg aka the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Backensto, Bertha F. 1889 1968 w/o Omar A. Backensto, Charles E. 9/22/1920 4/13/2002 h/o Iva V. Backensto, Christine 1910 1985 w/o Howard P. Backensto, Elizabeth 1854 1907 w/o U. Pierce Backensto, Francis E. 1908 1975 WWII Backensto, Howard P. 1906 1995 h/o Christine Backensto, Leo 1881 1950 h/o Mary A. Backensto, Lila M. 1921 1971 w/o Omar L. Backensto, Martha 1916 1918 d/o Omar A. & Bertha F Backensto, Mary A. 1886 1966 w/o Backensto, Omar A. 1882 1959 h/o Bertha F. Backensto, Omar L. 1911 1975 WWII; h/o Lila Backensto, U. Pierce 1853 1933 h/o Elizabeth
More Backensto Records here:
Names from the Bible of Jacob Backensto
This is taken from the Ohio Genealogical Society Webpage. I have ordered copies of the Bible pages and when they arrive I will post the dates and images of the pages in the pictures section:
Backensto Almeda F. Backensto Benjamin Morelan Backensto Benjamin Morris
Backensto Derward
Backensto Eliza L
Backensto Eliza M Backensto Elizabeth Backensto Frederick Backensto George S Backensto Guy Backensto Jacob G Backensto John Hangen
Backensto John W
Backensto Joseph Backensto Lloyd c Backensto Mahala Backensto Mary Backensto Rollen Backensto William Hooks Backenstoes Anthony J Backenstoes Hannah Backenstoes Idy Niora Backenstoes Irne Backenstoes Jacob Backenstoes John Elmer Backenstoes Leila Ada Backenstoes Lilly May Backenstoes Mary M Backenstoes Mary Meliss Backenstoes Uriah Pierce Backenstoes Anthony J Backenstoes Hannah Backenstoes Idy Niora Backenstoes Irne Backenstoes Jacob Backenstoes John Elmer Backenstoes Leila Ada Backenstoes Lilly May Backenstoes Mary M Backenstoes Mary Melissa
One significant connection to Richland Co Ohio is Donner party survivor Virginia Backensto Murphy Reed.
She is well known for her article and book Across the Plains in the Donner Party. An excerpt about her follows
REED(-MURPHY,) VIRGINIA BACKENSTOE Though only 13 in 1846, when the Donner party departed,Virginia Reed has become one of the most prominent of Donner Party survivors. Most families in the party were very prejudice against the Reeds, James Reed being a wealthy, Irish emigrant, and Virginia Reed has contributed a great deal to what we know was more likely to have happened among the Party, through letters and the famous interview in Century Magazine.
She is a cousin of the Richland Co Backenstoes and would have been a generation older than my ggreatgrandmother Luella May Backensto Tucker. 1879-1923
Virginia Elizabeth Backensto was the daughter of Illinois tailor LLoyd Backensto who died several years after her birth. Her mother remarried and it was with the wealthy Reed stepfather and family that she traversed the frozen plains.
Here is a nice website about the Donner party
and here is a link to read more about the Richland County Ohio Backensto family
Randi Bowles Meentzen
Civil War Records of Ohio Backensto's
List is from the OGS webpage
First Name Company Regiment Beginning Rank Ending
Light Artillery Artificer Backenstoe Frederick W. A 1st Regiment, Ohio Cavalry Private Backenstoe George A. C 1st Regiment, Ohio Heavy Artillery Private Backenstoe John A 1st Regiment, Ohio Cavalry Quartermaster Sergeant Backenstone Edward 1st Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery Artificer Edward/Backenstoce Original filed under Edward/Backenstoce Backenstore, George A. C 1st Regiment, Ohio Heavy Artillery Private Private George A./Backenstoe Original filed under George A./Backenstoe Backenstos Henry I 126th Regiment, Ohio Infantry Corporal Sergeant Backenstos William I 123rd Regiment, Ohio Infantry Private Backenstose Edward 1st Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery Artificer Edward/Backenstoce Original filed under Edward/Backenstoce Backenstots Benjamin S. G 31st Regiment, Ohio Infantry Private B. S./Backenstots Backenstow Frederick W. A 1st Regiment, Ohio Cavalry Private Frederick W./Backenstoe Originaly filed under Frederick W./BackenstoeBackenstow John A 1st Regiment, Ohio Cavalry Quartermaster Sergeant John/Backenstoe Original filed under John/Backenstoe Backenstoe Frederick W. A 1st Regiment, Ohio Cavalry Private Backenstoe George A. C 1st Regiment, Ohio Heavy Artillery Private Backenstoe John A 1st Regiment, Ohio Cavalry Quartermaster Sergeant