Luxracines on Tour 2013 – Part II

logo_klengMy field trip to Germany last Saturday was a huge success. It was an enjoyable day and the best part was the RESEARCH! With just one hour to check out the genealogy library, it was a good thing I was prepared.

I’d generated ancestral reports in pdf format for all lines with individuals born in what is now Germany and emailed the file to my Kindle Paperwhite so that I wouldn’t be shuffling through all kinds of paper.

In the library, I consulted my reports and worked fast pulling the books on the villages that my ancestors came from. With my Nikon Coolpix (set on macro and without flash) I took pictures of the covers/title pages and all entries for surnames that matched mine. Although time was short and there was not much elbow room, I took nearly 120 photos.

Halfway through evaluating these, I have 50 family groups that fit into my tree. On several lines, I was able to go back 3 generations further than I had. One ancestral couple, Hubert WELTER (d. 1744) and Anna Margaretha BERNARD (d. 1760), turned out to be my 6th and 7th great-grandparents!

I’m going to be busy inputting all of the data, citing the sources, and planning a trip to the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg to look up the families I missed.

familienbuch

A quick explanation of entries in family books: In this photo of family group 822 in Ernzen we see Hubert WEIMANN <858.2> which means that he is the 2nd child of family group 858. Symbols seen are * (birth), oo (marriage), and + (death). Following P.: are names of godparents. Further information for child #3 is found under family group 867.

For the surname PLEIN there were 28 pages in one town – it will take me a while to go through these as the family groups were not numbered or cross-referenced (as in the photo).

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Luxracines on Tour 2013 – Part I

logo_klengSaturday I’m going on a genealogy field trip! The genealogy association I belong to in Luxembourg, Luxracines, has organized a trip to Neumagen and Wittlich (Germany).

Starting with a cruise of the Mosel River on a Roman ship, followed by lunch at a typical German “Gasthaus”, and a tour of Peter Daus’ private library, in Haus Daus. The library is made up of about 2000 family books for localities in Rheinland-Pfalz, Pfalz, and Saarland.

In comparison, the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg has a collection of about 150 family books for the Eifel area and the Bistumsarchiv (diocese archives) of Trier has about 1200 family books.

A family book (Familienbuch) is compiled from the parish and civil records (church books and town registers) – kind of like an index to where you can find the original records.

Unfortunately, Mr. Daus’ holdings are being disposed of so this will be my last chance to see this amazing collection.

Time is precious so I’ve made up a list of ancestors on my maternal grandfather’s branch and a few little twigs in my husband’s family tree that reach into Germany.

Don’t know how much research I can do but I’ll be prepared.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Bailey WOOD Sr.

Door14Bailey WOOD Sr. of Woodville, Virginia (present-day Ansted, West Virginia)
b. bet. 1755-1758 d. bef. 21 Sep 1826

On November 24, 1781, Pastor John Alderson of the Greenbrier River area organized the Old Greenbrier Church at Alderson, the first Baptist organization west of the Alleghenies. Bailey WOOD, Ann WOOD, and James WOOD were three of the twelve original members.
At this time he had been married about five years and lived with his wife Nancy and several children in a cabin near the foot of Keeney’s Knob near Alderson where wild game hunting was so plentiful.

The relationship between him and Ann WOOD and James WOOD is not known. Could they have been his parents or siblings?

In 1788 he was granted 450 acres of land on the south side of Greenbrier River. It is possible that he also acquired 280 acres in 1785. Bailey was seen on tax lists in Greenbrier County from 1782 until 1799 when the area that he lived in became Monroe County.

Around 1792 he was one of a group of “squatters” who were the first settlers in the Ansted area. In 1796 Bailey WOOD was instrumental in organizing Hopewell Baptist Church, the first Baptist Church in the area of Woodville, now known as Ansted, (Fayette County, West Virginia). The initial membership of the new church included members who had been dismissed from the Greenbrier Baptist Church, most likely due to a westward migration of families. The Woodville area fell in Nicholas County in 1818 and then in Fayette County in 1831 when the counties were formed. The family moved only once, though they appeared to move several times due to the changing of county boundaries.

By 1804 Bailey had disposed of 450 acres of land. In 1826, after his death, his heirs sold 100 acres on the south side of Greenbrier River, then in Monroe County, to John Alderson.

The search is on for the parents of Bailey WOOD.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

William JOHNSON 1755-1805

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Pioneer settler of present-day Nicholas County, West Virginia

When I first began doing genealogy research on the internet in 2000 I found William JOHNSON, husband of Amy NELSON, listed with ancestors going back to the 1400s. Lack of sources made me suspicious and, to date, I haven’t found “documented” parents for William JOHNSON.

He is mentioned in several history books:
West Virginians in the Revolution
History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens (1911)
A History of Monroe County, West Virginia (1916)
History of Nicholas County, West Virginia (1954)
A Record of the Early Settlement of Lower Loup Creek-Fayette Co. WV-1798-1805 (1933).

In the last, L. Neil Darlington wrote, “John Johnson and his brother, William, came to Loup Creek in 1827, from Gauley River. They were sons of William Johnson, Sr., one of the first settlers of Nicholas Co. He had come about 1795, from Bath Co. Va, and settled on Peter’s Creek, a branch of the Gauley. Here he died in 1805 and was buried on the farm now occupied by a Mr. Summers. His headstone states that he was a soldier in the Rev. War.

In regard to William’s Revolutionary War service, I would like to see pgs. 372-373 of Augusta County, Virginia Court Orders 1774-1785 by Bevin Creel which may mention that he was a constable in Capt. Campbell’s Co. in 1782 (as per DAR#A063847). I would also like to see the Revolutionary War pension application S7220 which I assume was for his widow Amy.

I found “William Edward Johnson” on Find A Grave (Memorial# 29135496) with a photo of this headstone taken by a descendant. I don’t know where the middle name comes from and if it is correct or not. Further searches showed that the person who took the photo, Carl Johnson, believes that William was the son of James Johnston and Mary Elizabeth Ware. I contacted Carl and we’ll be discussing his information.

Hopefully, I’ll soon be able to post updates on our discussions.

UPDATE: David Fridley provided me with pgs. 372-373 of Augusta County, Virginia Court Orders 1774-1785 by Bevin Creel AND solved the mystery of the Revolutionary War pension application S7220. He looked it up by app number on fold3.com and it belonged to John Merrill of NJ who died in Buncombe Co, NC. The error was caused when some footnotes were converted incorrectly into a new genealogy program. Fixed and checked off my list.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

LANDRUM Brick Wall

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Guardian Bond
20 Patsy Landrum — 4:305 GB Geo. Wright and Thos. Spencer, Aug. 21, 1797, for GW as gdn of Patsy Landrum, orph of Jas. Landrum, dec’d.
[Source: Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, compiled by Bailey Fulton Davis, Amherst Court, Virginia ” Wills”, Vol. 2, E-O, page 5 L Wills.]

What I wouldn’t do to see this document!

Patsy LANDRUM, orphaned daughter of James LANDRUM, married William DEMPSEY in Amherst County, Virginia, on 21 August 1799. This was exactly two years after the guardian bond date. On the original marriage bond (photocopy) she was listed as a spinster.

I’ve looked at other LANDRUMs in Amherst County during this time period and searched all over for someone who may have done more research on this family. New searches “show” that James was the son of Elizabeth and Samuel LANDRUM, a son of James LANDRUM and Mary BROWNE who married in 1696 in Old Rappahannock County. This James LANDRUM was one of two brothers who first came to America in the 1680s.

The first LANDRUMs in America were two brothers, John and James LANDRUM, who arrived in America in about 1688 and lived in Old Rappahannock County (present Essex County), Virginia. The theory that LANDRUM is a variant spelling of LENDRUM comes from early records in America pertaining to the same person where the name is spelled as “Landrum” and as “Lendrum”, a Scottish family name. The LENDRUMs were originally of the COMYN family. When Robert Bruce defeated the COMYNs, the name was banned, and they took the name, LENDRUM, from a place called “LENDRUM” in Scotland.

I am very suspicious when I see descendants’ charts with all the dots connected. So once again I will save everything I have found and hope that one day I can prove that my James LANDRUM was the son of Samuel and grandson of James the immigrant.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!

The phrase “luck of the Irish” is an American term and not of Irish origin. So on St. Patrick’s Day let’s just say it was the luck of the Irish that dropped a new key in my lap that helped me open a door in an Irish-American brick wall this weekend.

The Irish Surname: DEMPSEY

The Key: The Chancery Records Index – archival processing and indexing projects overseen by the Library of Virginia.

My 3rd great-grandfather Seaton Y. DEMPSEY had three brothers, one of them being Wesley G. DEMPSEY who lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia, from a little after 1850 until his death in 1890. In the Chancery Records Index I found three bunches of court papers referring to him in 1861, 1876, and 1895. Per the last bunch, Wesley had no children or descendants of children, no mother, no father, no brothers or sisters living when he died in 1890.

The papers show that he had a nephew John E. Dempsey, a niece Jennie Terry (née Dempsey), two great-nieces Fannie Montgomery (née Dempsey) and Eliza A. Maxwell (née Dempsey) and a great-nephew W. E. Dempsey. All were living in Rockbridge County except for J. E. Dempsey, a non-resident. These are not all known nephews and nieces who were living at the time but very likely the ones with whom he had the most contact.

Note: John E. was the son of Wilson M. DEMPSEY and the great-nieces and great-nephew were the children of William S. Dempsey, s/o Seaton Y. DEMPSEY.

The Brick Wall:
Jennie Terry, the wife of Marshall S. Terry, was a new name. I searched for them in the census and found Jennie with her husband in 1870 to 1910 as Geneve, Janie E., and Jane E. I checked the stray Dempsey individuals in my GEDCOM file as the name sounded familiar. Jenna Dempsey, a pauper with 3 young daughters, was found in Amherst County in the 1860 census. I had never been able to trace this family group forward nor backward. I believed that in some way they must be connected to my Seaton Y. DEMPSEY as his wife and Jenna’s oldest daughter were named Clementine. The other two daughters were twins. They matched a set of twins listed with the Terry surname in Marshall Terry’s household in 1870.

By 1860 Seaton had moved with his family to Fayette County, West Virginia. All children seen with him in 1850 were with him in 1860 except for Elizabeth (1850 age 14) and William S. Dempsey who was seen with his wife in Rockbridge County. I believe that Elizabeth was the middle name of Jennie/Geneve/Janie E./Jane E. To possibly prove this a marriage record for Marshall S. Terry and his wife Jennie Dempsey needs to be found. Per 1900 and 1910 census they had been married 34 and 41 years, i.e. about 1866-1869.

The hunt continues but this little wall is tumbling.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Robert CARROLL b. abt. 1783 d. bet. 1860-1870

Door 11With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, here is a possible Irish brick wall. According to Irish genealogists the great majority of people called CARROLL are, in fact, O’CARROLLs.

Robert and Anne CARROLL lived in Montgomery County, Virginia, as seen in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 census. In 1831 Floyd County was formed from Franklin and Montgomery counties. In 1840 the family was seen in Floyd County. I believe they lived in an area that was Montgomery and became Floyd County. Robert and Anne have not been located in 1850. It is possible that Anne died and Robert was moving around as some younger CARROLL individuals have been found with other families. In 1860 Robert was seen in Montgomery County with several of these younger CARROLL relatives.

Known sons are John, Joseph R., and Robert R.; known daughters are Elizabeth, Mary “Polly”, and Catherine (all three married to sons of my Henry RUPE); several more daughters were born to this couple per pre-1850 census listings. Further research needs to be done on the younger CARROLLs found with Robert in 1860.

Polly was the last of the children to die in 1909 at the age of 101. Sally Rowe, a ROOP/RUPE researcher, wrote in 1986, “Story says her father brought her to U.S. as a child from Germany but that conflicts with other data.” This statement is not further discussed. The 1880 and 1900 census show that she and her parents were born in Virginia.

At the same time as Robert CARROLL lived in the Montgomery/Floyd area there was also a George Valentine CORRELL b. 1781 in Germany. The similarity of these surnames has made it difficult to research the families. The family story noted by Sally Rowe also complicates matters.

In 1810 a Samuel CARROLL age over 45 (b. bef. 1765) was living in Montgomery County. In his household was a woman, most likely his wife, age over 45 and three males between 16-25 years old (b. bet. 1785-1794). Could this family group have been Robert’s parents and brothers? Samuel was not in the county in 1820. Did he move or die? Who were the three young men in his household?

Were Robert CARROLL and/or Samuel CARROLL in anyway related to the following man?

Charles CARROLL (1737-1832), a wealthy Maryland planter whose grandfather was Irish-born, served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and later as first United States Senator for Maryland. He was the longest-lived (and last surviving) signatory of the Declaration of Independence, dying at the age of 95.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Brick Wall – Zachariah PETERS

Door 9Zachariah PETERS was born between 1766-1770 in Amherst County, Virginia, and died between 1830-1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. Although much genealogy research has been done on him, his parents are to date not known.

Paula Kelley Ward, who is to be credited for her work on this family, hired Andrew S. Webb, of Lineages, Inc., to do research in 2001-2002. After seven sessions of research, Mr. Webb concluded that circumstantial evidence suggests that John PETERS was the father of Zachariah PETERS as well as James PETERS and Elisha PETERS.

“William Elisha PETERS born in Bedford county, Virginia, August 18, 1829, son of Elisha PETERS, a successful agriculturist and planter of Bedford county, and Cynthia Turner, his wife; grandson of the Rev. William PETERS, a minister of the Church of England, who came from England to this country, settling in Virginia in 1750, and his death occurred in 1773.” This statement found in a biographical sketch of William Elisha Peters contradicts the conclusion drawn by Mr. Webb.
[Source: Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume III, VII–Prominent Persons; Virginia Biographical Encyclopedia [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Original data: Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Richmond, VA, USA: n.p., 1915. Online at ancestry.com]

Was John PETERS Jr. or Rev. William PETERS the father of Zachariah PETERS?

Zachariah PETERS in my GEDCOM file at RootsWeb WorldConnect.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

William DEMPSEY b. abt. 1779 d. bef. 20 June 1836

Door 8This is not a repeat posting of a brick wall. I have two DEMPSEY lines with a William DEMPSEY – both are brick walls.

William DEMPSEY was first seen in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799 when his mother Susannah DEMPSEY gave consent for his marriage to Patsy LANDRUM [Hurrah! for marriage consents].
He was on the 1800 Tax List and 1810 & 1820 census for Amherst. He bought land in that county in 1810 and is mentioned in land deeds for land that adjoined his property up until 1830.
On 29 June 1835, the “Lynchburg Virginian” published a notice of Martha DEMPSEY’s death on 27 September 1834 with a request for the papers in the state of Ohio to publish the information for Mr. William DEMPSEY, the husband of the deceased, who was supposed to be somewhere in that state. A year later, as William did not return home, a bond was filed making Wilson DEMPSEY the administrator of William DEMPSEY’s estate. The division of the estate was well documented as court records were found from 1836 until 1848 when the suit was discontinued. These records show that his children were Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G., Louisa J. (wife of Simeon J. Burch), and Eliza (wife of Patrick H. Rowsey).
Did William go to Ohio with his son Coleman who lived in Ross County, OH, from 1830 until 1854 when the family immigrated to Missouri?
Were Jane DEMPSEY, wife of Allen CAMERON (md. 1795) and Tandy DEMPSEY, husband of Nancy THOMPSON (md. 1801) William’s siblings?
Was William DEMPSEY, a man who had land in Amherst in 1771, the husband of Susannah?
Were John and Jane DEMPSEY, a planter and his wife who lived in Amherst as seen in court records from 1762 to 1768, the parents-in-law of Susannah?
Hopefully, these questions will one day be answered.
A special thank you to Norma Dempsey for sharing the court and land records!

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.