Sunday, March 15, 2015

#44- Sharing Information. Perhaps this will break down a Brick Wall?

 Adoption & Death and a Cross-Country Move, a Give-Away
This post will be different from the rest. It’s about sharing historical records or photographs that have fallen into your hands and what I’ve done with them.
Through the years I was lucky (?) enough to be handed photos and research, stories, newspaper clippings to help complete the family tree. 

It is by no means done, nor was all the research or conclusions I found accurate, usually part of a story. And, I’m always finding inaccuracies and or clarifying what  I know. I’m always adding to it.
In the process, I’ve found “collateral” records and photos: people who would be considered related but neither myself nor my husband is directly descended from.
What I have chosen to do with them is make my online tree PUBLIC tree, then to put the collateral information in the tree. 

 I have taken the time to add any photos that I have.
Why? Perhaps a descendant, despairing of a “brick wall”will stumble over the photos and information I have—and it will be helpful to them.

Below are two cases I have posted to my public tree of people who we are collaterally related to.

Case #1 is an adopted son; case #2 is an uncle, a brother, a husband and a father who left a family behind. The family eventually moved from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Case 1 - Adoption
Fletcher Blois Astels

Son of Mary Catherine Caroline McGee and Fletcher Tennyson Blois
Relationship to my husband:
His paternal grandfather (John McGee Johnson)’s half-brother

Bio -facts
•    Born 17 June 1888 New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Gaspe,  Que., Canada
•    Adoption 1889 abt Age: 1
•    Adopted by James Thomas Astles and Elizabeth (Crawford)
•    Renamed surname to Astels.
•    Marriage to Margaret Mullins in 1914 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
•    Died in 1950 in Carlton,  Ottowa, Ontario
•    Fletcher is buried at Beechwood Cemetery, Section 19, ......Plot 329
......Name on headstone
......Fletcher Astels
.....Birth 1888 - New Carlisle, Ontario, Canada
.....Death 1950 - Canada

Who is Fletcher Blois Astels?
His biological parents: 
Mary Catherine Caroline McGee was Fletcher's mother, and Fletcher Tennyson Blois was his father.
Fletcher was born on 17 June 1888 in Canada as Fletcher Blois McGee. Fletcher has several half-siblings.

How is he related to my husband?
Fletcher’s half-brother, John McGee Johnson, is my husband's paternal grandfather.
His mother, Mary Catherine Caroline McGee moved to Boston, Mass, USA after Fletcher was born, leaving him in care of her sister.
Fletcher’s Family
Fletcher was adopted by the James and Elizabeth (Crawford) Astels (who, it is believed, were distant relatives of the McGee family).
- Research from Ronald Johnson, researched in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
What did Fletcher’s biological mother do after he was Adopted?
Mary Caroline Catherine McGee moved to Boston to live with an uncle, John Duncan McGee, who had been living in Boston for many years, and was working as a riveter.

Mary Caroline Catherine McGee met John Johnson in Boston and they married (though I haven’t found records for that).
The son she had with John Johnson was my husband’s grandfather, John McGee Johnson.

As  a postscript, my husband’s relatives tell me his grandfather (John McGee Johnson) was staying with his half-brother Fletcher Astels at the time he met his wife-to-be, (my husband’s grandmother), Minnie May Marion Kendall.

Mary Catherine Caroline McGee’s Timeline
Born 5 Feb 1863 in Hopetown, Bonaventure, Gaspe, Quebec, Canada
Baptised - 1863 Hopetown, Qu├ębec
Lived - 1871 - Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada
Gave birth to
Fletcher Blois Astels, 17 Jun 1888 in New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Gaspe, Que., Canada  
Fletcher adopted by James Thomas Astles and Elizabeth (Crawford)
Moved to USA c 1888 – Arrived in Boston to live with father’s brother, John Duncan McGee (Everett, Mass)
Married (?)  immigrant John Johnson (Sweden or Norway) about 1892 (?) in Boston, Massachusetts
Gave birth to:
John McGee Johnson, 25 Aug 1894, Boston, Massachusetts (my husband's grandfather)
Said to have been widowed 1895
- Everett City, Massachusetts
- Medway, Massachusetts
- (1920) Winchester, New Hampshire
- 1926 Keene, NH
Died at 73 years old in 1936, in Keene, New Hampshire


~Kendall family records
~ Johnson Family Collection
~  Ancestry (international)
~ Find-a-Grave
~ Family sources:
 Phil Miner and Ronald Johnson

Case 2  Widowhood and Cross-country Move

Grove Graham Bancroft, husband, father, and brother
Son of Peter Sanford Bancroft and Isabella (“Bella”) Brinker
Relationship to me:
Grove Bancroft is the brother of my maternal great-grandmother (my mother’s father’s mother), Flora G. Bancroft [Tilton]

Grove’s sister, my great grandmother, Flora G. Bancroft (Tilton) held on to photos of him and his daughter (her niece) after Grove died fairly young. I found that there was a sad story behind his life.

I pulled out a box of old photos and found in my great grandmother's handwriting "My brother, Grove Graham Bancroft" in an elderly script. Grove had died young, leaving a family behind, always tragic.

I checked the records: it dawned on me that this was indeed a cruel blow to his siblings, Flora and Earl and his father Peter S. Bancroft for they had lost also their mother/wife, Bella Brinker when she was still a young mother. 

Their wife & mother Bella Brinker [Bancroft] died when Grove  was 5 years old and, Grove died when his daughter (and only child) was 7 years old.  His death was an echo of their mother's death.

A Picture Says It All and Talks Me Into Looking Deeper

It wasn’t just the story that caught my attention, I was also captivated by the photos.  Although they may standard fare of that period, I think catch a genuineness of expression in his daughter’s face that is rare in photos of this era. 
Grove G Bancroft & daughter Irene

Grove Bancroft and daughter Irene

I hunted down his widow and child’s journey, after his death and here is what I discovered: 
Etta Bowman [Bancroft], Widow of Grove Graham Bancroft
Grove’s widow Etta B. Bowman was born in 1870 in Pennsylvania and was living in 1880 (about 10 years old) in Saltsburgh, Indiana, Pennsylvania.   
The census says her father was a Pennsylvanian and her mother was from Ohio.  After her marriage, she and Grove lived in Butler, PA with Irene, their only daughter.

Grove died in 1899. She shows up in the 1900 census in Butler, PA.  Etta was a “member in full connection” of the First United Methodist Church in Butler in 1904 (she was 34).

Etta Bowman Bancroft Moves West

1910: By 1910, (she would be 41), Etta and Irene had moved to South Hood River, Hood River, Oregon. 

There they lived with her father Joseph Bowman, Etta’s married sister, husband and her sister’s son: 
Minnie [Bowman Howarth, George Howarth and  son Vogelay(?) Vogeley(?) Howarth. 

Vogeley Howarth was a year older than his cousin Irene Bancroft. The census says they were farming.

1920: But 10 years later, in 1920, (Etta was 50), she was in Portland, Oregon. Etta and her sister Minnie were managing a hotel (Minnie was assisting her, Etta is called the manager). By then both Etta and sister Minnie are widows.

1921: Etta never made the next census: Grove’s widow, Irene’s mother, Etta Bowman [Bancroft] died in 1921 in December in her 51st year in Portland, Oregon.
What Happened To Grove & Etta’s Daughter Irene Bancroft?
Their daughter Irene Bancroft married Leonard Knowles Armstrong when she was 18 in 1910 in Hood River, Oregon.

By 1920 Irene and her husband were living in Barrett, Hood River, Oregon.
However, the 1925 records place the Irene and Leonard in Portland, Oregon (whether she was there in 1921 at her mother’s death, I don’t know). 

Moving On
1930: Within 5 years Irene Bancroft [Armstrong] and her husband Leonard were living in San Francisco, California.

Another Move: 
Irene Bancroft Armstrong's  death records say she was living in San Jose, CA in 1972, the year she died.

What Else?
I have nothing else about Grove’s daughter & my great grandmother’s niece: 
The trail trickles to an end with the married adult Irene and her husband Leonard Armstrong in California.

Perhaps there was more to tell—and some descendant will stumble across the photos either here or on my  online tree and rejoice in finding them.

Facts About the Bancrofts from Peter & Bella to Irene

Children of Peter Sanford Bancroft and Isabella Brinker:
1 Flora Gertrude Bancroft (1867- 1949) my great grandmother
2 Earl D Bancroft (1868-1927)
3 Grove Graham Bancroft (1869-1899)

Grove & His Family:
Grove Graham Bancroft,  Irene Bancroft’s father:
Birth 1869 in  Crawford County, Pennsylvania
 - 1870 Woodcock, Crawford, Pennsylvania
-  1880 Age: 11
    Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania, United States
Marriage  to Etta B Bowman (1870-1921)
    27 Oct 1891 at age: 22
    Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania
    1899 -1900 (Age: 30)
Died in 1899 Age: 30 in Allegheny City,* [now part of Pittsburgh] Pennsylvania
Buried in Butler, Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA

Irene Bancroft
Daughter of Grove Graham Bancroft and Etta B Bowman
Born 1892 Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania
Married Leonard Knowles Armstrong in 1910 in Hood River, Oregon.
1920 - Barrett, Hood River, Oregon.
1925 - Portland, Oregon
1930 - San Francisco, California, that would be 1930.
1972 - San Jose, California
Died: 1972 in San Jose, California

Irene Bancroft & Leonard K. Armstrong’s Children:

~ Butler Library, genealogical room
~ Margaret B Walmer Collection of Bancroft papers and information left by Flora Bancroft
~ Ancestry

Friday, March 6, 2015

#43 - The Amazing Gilpin Family: From Manor to Cave

The Amazing Gilpin Story
How am I related to the Gilpins?  Here is a quick look: Gilpin --> Cook--> Griest -->Tyson-->my mother
Here’s a more detailed version:

Found in the book, “History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches Volume 2,by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, is this sketch of the Gilpin family history:
"The ancestry of this family can be traced in a direct line to Richard De Guylpin, who in the year 1206, during the reign of King John, became  the owner of the manor of Kentmere, which was bestowed upon him by the baron of Kendal for deeds of prowess, and as the name indicates, are of Norman extraction.”
also found there is this about Joseph Gilpin:

"Joseph Gilpin of Dorchester in the County of Oxfordship, son of Thomas Gilpin of Warborough in the same count, tallow-chandler and Joan his wife was married 1691 to Hannah daughter of ? and Alice Glover of county of Southhampton.

They came to Penn in 1695 and settled on a tract of land in Birmingham township in Chester (now Delaware) County which had been given to Hannah his wife by an uncle as a marriage present.

Their first dwelling was a cave on the side of a hill, such as was frequently used by the early settlers until better structures could be provided.

Some years thereafter he erected a frame dwelling house. He resided there the remainder of his life. He died in 1739 at the age of 75 years, leaving 15 children, and 45 grandchildren."

The names and births of his children:
 1 Hannah Gilpin b 1692  M William Seal
 2 Samuel Gilpin M Jane Parker
 3 Rachel Gilpin 1695 M J Peirce
 4 Ruth Gilpin 1697 M Joseph Mendenhall
 5 Lydia Gilpin 1698 M William Dean
 7 Ann Gilpin 1702 M Joseph Miller
 8 Joseph Gilpin 1703  M Mary Caldwell
*9 Sarah Gilpin 1706 M Peter Cook
 10 George Gilpin 1708  M Ruth Caldwell
 11 Isaac Gilpin  1709 M Mary Painter
 12 Moses Gilpin 1711 M Ann Buffington
 13 Alice Gilpin 1714 M Richard Eavenson
 14 Mary Gilpin 1716 M Philip Taylor
 15 Esther Gilpin 1718 M Samuel Painter

  What?  The Lord of the Manor, the Gilipin Family, go from living in a MANOR HOUSE to living in a CAVE?  Yup, from hero to zero; from Kentmere hall to a mere hole in the earth.
Kentmere Hall, Gilpin's ancestral home

How did they go from the manor to America?

It began with his father, Thomas Gilpin. Joseph Gilpin’s father, Thomas married Joan Bartholomew and had three sons, Joseph, Isaac and Thomas and a daughter Rachel.

Thomas (senior) was an officer in the army (Cromwell’s).  It was after the battle of Worcester in 1651 joined the Society of Friends.

Thomas, though he had been on the winning side, presumably became sickened by fighting against his own countrymen, joined the Society of Friends (and signaled himself a pacifist in so doing).

The Amazing Gilpin Story
The Gilpin family who left England to live in Pennsylvania: Joseph Gilpin, Hannah (Glover) and their two small children.

Thomas's Son, Joseph Gilpin
Mentioned above, in1664 Thomas’ wife Joan had a son, my ancestor, Joseph.
His father Thomas had suffered persecution as a Friend and had been jailed.

Possibly worse, his parents, Thomas and Joan Gilpin lost almost everything, even the crops from the fields on his farm. He and his family were

................""left with not a pot in which to boil their food.”

Their son Joseph was born in the middle of persecution and would possibly wished to live far away from persecution Quakers experienced in England.

Son Joseph Gets a Break

Thomas and Joan's son Joseph married Hannah Glover in 1691.

Joseph's wife was Hannah Glover and Hannah's uncle, William Lambel/Lambol of Reading, had purchased 625 acres of land in the Delaware Valley near Newcastle on Delaware in the American colonies.

Joseph & Hannah's break came when Uncle Lambol gave 100 acres of this land to them (allegedly as a wedding present?).

Having land in the colonies made immigration to Pennsylvania attractive to Joseph and Hannah.

But by the time they were ready to migrate, they were already a family.

The first two children were born in England before their emigration: Daughter Hannah Gilpin was born in December 1692 and son Samuel was born in April 1694.

The Gilpin family emigrated to the colonies in 1695: Joseph, Hannah (Glover) Gilpin and their 3 year old and a 1 year old infant.

Welcome to the New World?
The Gilpin’s grandson Isaac Glover Glipin wrote of his own account of his father’s and grandparents’ life in the new world:

In 1695 Joseph Gilpin, weaver, and his wife, Hannah Glover Gilpin, arrived from Dorchester, Oxfordshire with their two children.            

They left the ship at Newcastle and were guided inland [on foot] by the Indians to the land where they were to settle  near Birmingham township, Chester County (now Philadelphia).
This was their introduction to the new world. 
Hannah's uncle, William Lamboll of Reading had given them 100 acres which of the total 625 acres he had bought from Penn.                                   
The Indians told them they must build near a spring.
However, they spent the winter in a cave  [In the cave] Hannah had their third child.  Rachel was born.

Cave Sweet Cave
How long did they live in the cave?

The Gilpin family lived in the cave for 5 years and while they were still living in the cave, their family grew by two: Rachel (as mentioned), and Ruth in 1697.

"Joseph was busy clearing his land (of trees) and at the same time a small house and barn were constructed. The house was later destroyed in a fire."
"Joseph then built a frame house a few hundred yards to the westward, it was built two stories high, 16 feet by 18 feet, a superb edifice for the time.”

Washington did Not Sleep Here
Of their house:

Of the house the Gilpins eventually built (yes, they left the cave), Bob Cooke writes:
“Architects and historians now believe that the frame part of this house, first section built, was Joseph's original dwelling.
They consider it ‘probably the oldest frame house in the Delaware Valley - one of the few remaining examples of an English type frame house covered with clapboards, typical of the seventeenth century. - Most of the present clapboards are hand-split and shaved red oak.’
It may have been enlarged by Joseph - (let us hope so, since he had fifteen children!) - and later by his son Joseph, Jr. and his grandson Gideon.

Gideon owned the place during the Battle of the Brandywine, when Lafayette was his overnight guest. The situation was probably arranged by Gideon's first cousin, Colonel George Gilpin, aide to Washington, who was disowned by Concord Meeting. Lafayette stopped again in 1824 and paid his respects to old Gideon.

And it is in Lafayette’s honor, rather than the Gilpin family, that this house has been restored, suitably furnished.”

He adds:
“Historians now agree that this was Joseph's original home, right on the Baltimore Pike, originally called the Chester-to-Nottingham Road.”

Their Children
Joseph and Hannah had 15 children:

Born in England:
Hannah Gilpin  1693 -1746 – born in England
Samuel Gilpin  1694-1767 – born in England

Born in the cave in Pennsylvania:
Rachel Gilpin   1696- 1776 – born in the cave
Ruth Gilpin    1697- 1758- born in the cave

Lydia Gilpin  1699- 1750
Thomas Gilpin  1700-1766
Ann Gilpin  1702-1759
Joseph Gilpin, Jr.  1704-1792
* Sarah Gilpin  1706-1783 –my ancestor
George Gilpin 1708-1773
Isaac Gilpin  1710-1745
Moses Gilpin  1711- ?
Alice Gilpin   1714-?
Mary Gilpin  1716-1806
Esther Gilpin 1717-1795

Life at the Gilpin's Home

Here is more from grandson Isaac Glover Gilpin account of his father’s and grandparents’ life:

There were a number of Indian wigwams on the farm of Joseph Gilpin, and the account we have is-that they all lived together in perfect harmony.

Joseph Gilpin's house was seldom clear of the Indians who frequently slept there, perhaps a dozen or more at a time - men, women and children, all peaceably and much friendship.

The children of Joseph Gilpin give very pleasant and interesting accounts of their sports and games with Indian boys, of their shooting with them for days at a time with bows and arrows, there was no quarreling or fighting.

The Gilpins as friends--and as Friends

Joseph Gilpin's hospitality was likewise extended in equal measure to all newly arrived emigrants, quite in contrast to his own reception the night after landing.

As he was so well known there great numbers of families on coming over, came to his house, where they were kindly received and entertained week after week.

As an evidence of this writer, who was an inmate of Joseph's family-knew that he killed
upwards of 30 hogs and 7 or 8 [?] in the fall season and the meat was all duly   and frugally consumed by the next harvest. 
and, Hannah Glover Gilpin
was the best of housewives, and superior to most in intellect and friendly conduct.

Thomas Chalkey (1675-1741), the celebrated Quaker preacher who traveled extensively in the colonies for the Friends makes the following note in his journal
[in 1740]
Lodged at the widow Gilpin’s, who’s husband, Joseph Gilpin, was lately deceased; there was true Christian Love and friendship between us for above fifty years.
When first I saw Joseph in Pennsylvania, he lived in a cave in the earth, where we enjoyed each others company in the love and fear of God.
This friend had fifteen children, who he lived to see brought up to the states of men and women, and all but two married well and to his mind.
As stated in Chalkley's journal, of the fifteen Gilpin children all but two had, prior to the father's death, in 1739, "married well and to his mind."
The youngest son [Joseph] and the youngest daughter, [Esther] married shortly afterwards.

Despite the deprivations, the family was healthy

The Gilipin family has been called a “remarkable case of longevity,” in that only one of the 15 children died under the age of 60 years.

Common for the period, families lost one or more children to childhood illnesses and/or accidents, yet remarkably all the Gilpins grew to adulthood.

At the time of mother Hannah Gilipin’s death in 1757, there were 12 children, 62 grandchildren and nearly as many great grandchildren, 133 living descendants in all. (Frank William Leach, 1908)

Helps & Sources:
"The North American Philadelphia, Sunday, May 24, 1908,  Page 1
"The Philadelphia of Our Ancestors -- Old Philadelphia Families" by Frank W Leach, 1908
History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches, Volume 2,by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope,  Republished by Heritage Books, MD 2007; Originally published by Louis H Everts, Philadelphia, 1881
Quaker Date Book 1961
J. Painter. 1870
Albert Cook Myers 
R. L. Cooke, Jr.     R. L. Cooke, III   
Bob Cooke
Wikipedia (Kentmere Hall photo)