“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
This is entry #33 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
#33 Rachel WISEMAN 1769-bet. 1821-1824
My 4th great-grandmother Rachel WISEMAN was born on 1 March 1769 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. She was the 6th child of Isaac WISEMAN (1738-1818) and Elizabeth DAVIS (1738-1807).
Isaac WISEMAN and Elizabeth DAVIS, both born in August 1738 in Berks County, were married about 1758, most likely in that county. They were the parents of 11 known children all born in Berks County, Pennsylvania:1
- Joseph (1759-1836) born 29 Mar 1759
- John (1760-1842) born 18 Aug 1760
- Sarah (1762-aft. 1841) born 17 Jul 1762
- Isaac (1764-1852) born 19 Jun 1764
- Jacob (1767-1839) born 12 Jan 1767
- Rachel (1769-bef. 1824) born 1 Mar 1769
- Samuel (1771-1861) born 15 Feb 1771
- Abner (1772-1830) born abt. 1772
- Elizabeth (1774-1830s) born abt. 1774
- Margaret (1777-1869) born abt. 1777
- William (1779-1842) born 6 May 1779
WISEMAN Family and the American Revolutionary War
Rachel was six when the American Revolutionary War began on 19 April 1775. By this time Isaac and Elizabeth had nine children aged between 1 and 16.
In August 1776 Rachel’s oldest brother Joseph WISEMAN was drafted in the first militia that went out of Berks County. This was only the beginning as can be seen in the declaration of service given by Joseph D. WISEMAN in 1832 at the age of 73 to obtain his Revolutionary War pension.2,3 His pension file includes the family records that his son Samuel submitted in 1847 when he applied for pension money on behalf of himself and his siblings as their parents were both deceased. These papers show the dates of birth and death of Rachel’s parents Isaac WISEMAN and Elizabeth DAVIS.
WISEMAN Family Moves from Pennsylvania to Virginia
Family tradition is that Isaac and his brood, both married and single, left Berks County, Pennsylvania, and went up the Shenandoah Valley to Rockingham County, Virginia. In his declaration, Joseph states that he lived in Rockingham County, Virginia, about 10 years before moving in 1794 to Greenbrier County [the area which would later be Monroe County, West Virginia].
By the end of the war on 14 January 1784, the family had increased to 11 children, the oldest son Joseph and the oldest daughter Sarah were married. The marriage record for Sarah shows that she married on 3 November 1782 in Rockingham County. This would suggest that the WISEMANs made their move in 1782 [or earlier] and Joseph may have followed them only after he married his second wife.
Marriages of the WISEMAN siblings
1782 – Sib 1: Joseph D. WISEMAN married(1) Susannah MANLY abt. 1782 in Berks County, Pennsylvania
1782 – Sib 3: Sarah WISEMAN married James BARLEY on 3 November 1782 in Rockingham County, Virginia4
1785 – Sib 1: Joseph D. WISEMAN married(2) Elizabeth BATEMAN on 10 February 1785 in Robeson (Rabbesin) Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania5 (location confirmed by son Samuel)
1786 – Sib 2: John WISEMAN married Sarah GREEN on 10 May 1786 in Rockingham County, Virginia6
1790 – Sib 4: Isaac WISEMAN married Mary Magdalene ARMENTROUT on 9 August 1790 in Rockingham County, Virginia [record not located]
???? – Sib 5: Jacob WISEMAN married Rachael _____. She is listed as his wife in his will in 1839 and seen in the 1840 census as the head of the household.
1795 -Rachel WISEMAN married Frederick HONAKER on 28 September 1795 in Rockingham County, Virginia7 (The marriage bond, per an article in the Honaker Family Newsletter, was recorded in Shenandoah County. Shenandoah bonds on FamilySearch were browsed 6 August 2022 and the record was not found.)
1797 – Sib 7: Samuel WISEMAN married Polly BOWYER on 10 May 1797 in Rockingham County, Virginia8
1798 – Sib 9: Elizabeth WISEMAN married John BLANTON on 9 August 1798 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia9
1799 – Sib 10: Margaret WISEMAN married Bartholomew RAMSEY on 21 October 1799 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia10, 11
1800 – Sib 8: Abner WISEMAN married Isabel BLANTON on 18 February 1800 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia12, 13
1801 – Sib 11: William WISEMAN married Polly RAMSEY on 22 Oct 1801 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia14, 15
1804 – Sib 11: William WISEMAN married Phebe KILBURN on 31 January 1804 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia [record not located]
Rachel WISEMAN Marries Frederick HONAKER
As seen above the marriage of Rachel WISEMAN and Frederick HONAKER took place in 1795 in Rockingham County and the marriage bond was recorded in Shenandoah County as follows:
Know all men, by their presents, that we Frederick Conickor and Isaac Wiseman are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency Robert Brooke, Esquire, Governor of Virginia, and his Successors, in the sum of one hundred fifty dollars to the payment whereof, well and truly to be made, we do bind ourselves, our heirs, and each of our joint and several heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally firmly by their presence, felled with our feats, and dated the 24th day of September 1795 in the 24th year of the Commonwealth. The condition of the above Obligation is such, that whereas there is a Marriage suddenly to be solomized between the above bound Frederick Coniker and Rachel Wiseman, daughter of Isaac Wiseman of Rockingham County; if therefore there shall be no lawful cause to object of said Marriage, then this obligation be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.
Witness: M. Gambill. Signed Frederick Honaker, Isaac Wiseman
[Source: Honaker Family Newsletter]
Rachel and Frederick Had 8 Known Children
- Ch 1: Isaac Morgan (1796-1885) born Bet.1796-1799
- Ch 2: Elizabeth “Betsy” (1797- ) born Bet. 1797-1800
- Ch 3: Margaret “Peggy” (1798-1879) born Abt 1798
- Ch 4: Rachel (1804-1860) born Abt 1804
- Ch 5: Sarah (1805-1862) born Bet. 1805-1806
- Ch 6: Anna (1806-1873) born 10 Sep 1806
- Ch 7: Letty (1810-1825) born Aft 1810
- Ch 8: Frederick Styrus (1810-1836) born Aft 1810
As Rachel lived with her husband Frederick in Monroe County, (West) Virginia, following their marriage until her death, her children were most likely all born in that county. Estimated years of birth were calculated after analysis of the pre-1850 censuses for children who did not live to be seen in 1850 and later censuses.
Many changes took place in Rachel’s life. She gave Frederick six children before her mother Elizabeth DAVIS died on 19 July 1807. Rachel had two more children following the 1810 census. Her father Isaac WISEMAN died 3 May 1818. Isaac and Elizabeth spent the rest of their days in Monroe County and were buried in the Old Rehoboth Churchyard near Union, the county seat. Three of their children, Abner, Jacob and Elizabeth who married John Blanton went to Kentucky; Samuel, John, and Isaac II went to Ohio; Sarah who married James Barley remained in Rockingham County, Virginia; Joseph, William, and Margaret, who married Bartholomew Ramsey, and Rachel, who married Frederick Honaker, stayed in West Virginia.
Following the 1820 census Rachel saw her oldest son Isaac Morgan HONAKER marry Rebecca Ann SAMS (1799-1860) on 28 October 1820 in Monroe County.16, 17
The next two marriages in the HONAKER house were those of Betsy and Peggy. As we do not know the exact date of Rachel’s death, she may or may not have seen these daughters marrying.
Elizabeth “Betsy” HONAKER married William SANDERS (1795- ) on 17 January 1822 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.18, Betsy’s half-brother John HONAKER went bond with William SANDERS on 15 January 1822 in Monroe.19
Margaret “Peggy” HONAKER married Alexander CAMPBELL (1798-1881) on 30 Oct 1823 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.20 Peggy’s brother Isaac HONAKER went bond with Alexander CAMPBELL on the 20 October 1823.21
Rachel was the first of the WISEMAN children to pass away. She died between 1 April 1821 and December 1824 in Monroe County.22 She predeceased her husband Frederick HONAKER who died about December 1824 in Monroe County.23
Three of Rachel’s daughters married within the year following Frederick’s death:
Rachel HONAKER married Elijah WOOD (1806-1885) on 4 January 1825 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.24
Sarah HONAKER married Thomas J. REYNOLDS (1785- ) on 3 March 1825 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.25 Thomas went bond with Dudley G. Reade.26
Anna HONAKER married Owen DUFFY (1800-1867) on 1 Sep 1825 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.27
The Burial Place of Rachel’s Parents
The log structure that was named Rehoboth was constructed in 1786 on land donated by Edward KEENAN. In 1788 the first American Methodist bishop, Francis ASBURY, preached the dedication service. In 1796 he ordained Frederick’s brother-in-law John WISEMAN as a Methodist minister. Nearly 50 years after Frederick HONAKER joined his parents-in-law in the grounds surrounding Old Rehoboth, a new meeting house was constructed. The old log relic lay abandoned for another half-century until it was restored in 1927. Another 30 years later a shed was constructed to further preserve the structure.
Robert N. Wiseman, the Senior Historian of the Wiseman Family Association, gave me permission to use this photo of the church taken in 1934 before the “shed” was added.
And this is what the building looked like 70 years later when Irene Warner and her husband took her parents to visit the cemetery and meeting house.
After giving me permission to use her photos Irene sent more with this explanation: “I have attached pictures of the inside of the church. It was so special to get to see this old building in its original shape – very small inside; but it had a balcony…..[in this picture at the bottom and on the balcony are what] look like flat boards or similar; unfortunately, cameras didn’t do 3-dimensional pictures. They are pictures of the LOG seats – a log was split in half; a person sat on the inside part of the seat, the bark was at the bottom; there are “peg legs” on the logs. I’ll bet there weren’t too many long sermons in that church….don’t know how anyone could sit very long on a seat that hard…..”
A New Discovery – What Do You Think?
Working my way back on my paternal line has me looking at things that I haven’t worked on in a long time. In the case of the HONAKER and WISEMAN lines, I never really went in and checked on all the census and vital records for collateral lines. Both families have associations with historians who are keeping track of these families and updating as new information is uncovered. The list of Rachel’s siblings grew and then shrunk as I checked and checked for supporting records while writing.
I thought I’d found another child for Rachel’s parents but she turned out to be a granddaughter.
When Rachel WISEMAN married Frederick HONAKER on 28 September 1795 Rachel brought Edith, her 10 years old daughter, into the marriage.
Supporting documentation? I don’t have three sources for every event but I’d say, “Yes!”
On 23 May 1803, in Monroe County, Frederick HONAKER went bond with Seth BOGGESS for the marriage of Edith WISEMAN to Seth.28 Edith and Seth were married on 9 June 1803 in Monroe by John WISEMAN.29 I did not find a permission slip from her parents.
After finding the marriage I searched for the couple/family in the census, found them in 1820 and 1830, and then hit a dead end. As a last resort, I searched the internet for possible queries about the couple. An old GenForum posting30 helped me locate the death record of Edith BOGGESS. I had been so focused on trying to locate the entire family in the census that I didn’t check for her death record.
On 5 February 1857 in Monroe County Edith BOGGESS died of cancer at the age of 72 years and 1 day. She was the daughter of Rachel WISEMAN (no father listed) and the consort of Seth BOGGESS. The informant was Wm SMITH, a relative.31
Further research shows that William SMITH was Edith’s son-in-law, the husband of her daughter Elizabeth.32 Per Edith’s death record she was born in Monroe and the date of birth can be calculated as 4 February 1785. The place of birth is not reliable as Monroe wasn’t formed until 1799. Her birth would have taken place about the time that the WISEMAN family came down the Shenandoah Valley to Rockingham. At this time, the only Rachel WISEMAN in the area who would have been old enough to have a child was Isaac and Elizabeth’s daughter Rachel who would turn 16 on 1 March 1785.
Would you agree that my 4th great-grandmother Rachel WISEMAN was the mother of an illegitimate daughter? Please leave a comment telling me what you think.
This Post was Updated on 14 August 2022: Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.
© 2014–2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.
- C. M. L. Wiseman, The Wiseman Family and the Old Church at New Salem : a brief sketch, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/57919-the-wiseman-family-and-the-old-church-at-new-salem-a-brief-sketch : accessed 12 February 2020), FL1103481_TN-76231, digitized by FamilySearch International, 2013, [originally published: Columbus, Ohio : Fred J. Heer, 1902], pg. 24, Family Record of Isaac Wiseman of Virginia, includes the dates of birth or year of birth for all of the known children. ↩
- “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900,” database and images, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1995/), citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C., Joseph Wiseman and Elizabeth, file number R11741 (accessed 11 February 2020). ↩
- “Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters,” RevWarApps.org (online database http://www.revwarapps.org/), Pension Application of Joseph Wiseman (R11741) Elizabeth Wiseman NC PA, transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris, revised 3 March 2015. (http://www.revwarapps.org/r11741.pdf : accessed 12 February 2020). ↩
- Dodd, Jordan. Virginia, Marriages, 1660-1800 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997. Original data: Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Virginia. ↩
- Pennsylvania Church Records – Adams, Berks, and Lancaster Counties, 1729-1881 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: Extracted from microfilmed transcriptions of the original church records. The microfilmed records are located at the Family History Library. ↩
- Dodd, Jordan. Virginia, Marriages, 1660-1800 ↩
- “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch, FHL Film Number: 7579045, Rockingham County (Virginia) County Clerk, Marriage register (ministers’ returns), 1791-1852, Item 2, image 84 of 520, page 11, entry 8, Fred Coniker and Rachel Wiseman, 28 Sep 1795. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-296G-D?i=83 : accessed 6 August 2022). ↩
- Ibid., FHL Film Number: 7579045, Rockingham County (Virginia) County Clerk, Marriage register (ministers’ returns), 1791-1852, Item 2, image 82 of 520, page 8, entry 8, Samuel Wiseman and Polly Bowyer, 10 May 1797. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-29DK-D?i=81 : accessed 12 August 2022). ↩
- West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 595040, image 11, Greenbrier County minister returns, Jno. Blanton and Eliza. 1797/9 (1798), left page, last entry. (http://images.wvculture.org/595040/00011.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710517, image 1380, Bartholomew Ramsey and John Wiseman went bond on 21 Oct 1799 in Monroe for the marriage of Margaret Wiseman and Bartholomey Ramsey. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710517/01380.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1167, minister’s return by John Wiseman, page 1, 22 Oct 1799 Bartholomey Ramsey to Margaret Wiseman. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01167.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710517, image 1405, Abner Wiseman and William Blanton went bond on 17 Feb 1800 in Monroe County for the marriage of Abner Wiseman and Isabel Blanton. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710517/01405.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1168, Monroe County minister returns, page 3, entry 13, 18 Feb 1800, Abner Wiseman and Isabel Blanton married by John Wiseman. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01168.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710518, image 116, William Wiseman and John Ramsey went bond on 17 Oct 1801 in Monroe for the marriage of William Wiseman and Mary Ramsey. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710518/00116.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1169, Monroe County minister returns, page 6, entry 3, 22 Oct 1801, William Wiseman and Polly Ramsey married by John Wiseman. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01169.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710519, image 1427, 28 Oct 1820 Isaac Honiker and Saml Sams went bond for the marriage of Isaac Honiker and Rebecca Sams. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710519/01427.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1195, 9th entry, 31 Oct 1820, Isaac Honicker and Rebecca Sams. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01195.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1350, Monroe County minister returns, entry 2, Jas Christy married Wm Sanders to Betsy Honicker on 17 Jan 1822. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01350.jpg : accessed 11 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710519, image 1837, William Sanders of John Honicker went bond on 15 Jan 1822 in Monroe for the marriage of William Sanders and Betsy Honicker. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710519/01837.jpg : accessed 11 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1352, Monroe County minister’s return, 4th entry, 30 Oct 1823, Margaret Honicker and Alexander Campbell, married by James Christy. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01352.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710520, image 10, Alexander Campbell and Isaac Honicker went bond 20 Oct 1823 in Monroe County for the marriage of Alexander Campell and Margaret Honicker. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710520/00010.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- Monroe County (West Virginia). Clerk of the County Court, “Deed book, 1789-1901; deed index, 1789-1969,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Monroe County courthouse, Union., Deed book, v. F-G 1814-1823, images 547 of 651, Deed Book G, page 415, 31 March 1821, Frederick Honiker and wife Rachel to Hugh Caperton and Henry Alexander 13 acres in Monroe near Rehoboth Meeting House . (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKV-G3X7-7?i=546&cat=98998 : accessed 7 August 2022). ↩
- “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch, digital images of originals housed at local county courthouse in West Virginia, Monroe > Will book, v. 002 1819-1829 > image 149+150 of 295 > page 255-257, Last Will and Testament of Frederick Honaker presented in December Court 1824 and proven. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HRS3-Z?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-B38%3A179686801%2C179709801 : accessed 17 August 2014. ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 495643, image 130, West Virginia, Re-Index and Copy of Marriage Record No. 1–Nicholas County, line 6, 4 Jan 1925, Elijah Wood and Rachel Hannaker, married by Jno Campbell, citing Nicholas County. (http://images.wvculture.org/495643/00130.jpg : accessed 25 April 2013). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1351, Monroe County minister return, 3 March 1825 Thomas Reynolds and Sally Honeker married by Jas. Christy. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01351.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710520, image 401, Thomas J. Reynolds and Dudley G. Reed went bond on 3 March 1825 in Monroe for the marriage of Thomas Reynolds and Sally Honeker. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710520/00401.jpg : accessed 12 February 2020). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710520, image 491, Owen Duffy and Will Spotswood went bond for the marriage of Owen Duffy and Ann Honiker 1 Sep 1825 in Monroe County. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710520/00491.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710518, image 414, Seth Boggess and Frederick Honaker went bond on 23 May 1803 (27th year of the Commonwealth) in Monroe County for the marriage of Seth Boggess and Edith Wiseman. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710518/00414.jpg : accessed 12 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1171, Monroe County minister’s return, 1803 entry 3, 9 Jun 1803, Seth Boggess and Edith Wiseman. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01171.jpg : accessed 12 February 2020). ↩
- GenForum, Wiseman Surname Forum, message 824, Re: Edith Wiseman b. 1780 PA or VA by Patricia Boggess 10 January 2001. (https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/wiseman/824/ : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 589915, image 17, Monroe County Register of Deaths, page 13, line 6, Edith Bogess, born abt. 1785, died 5 Feb 1857 in Wolf Creek, 72 years 1 day, married, mother Rachel Wiseman, spouse Seth Boggess. (http://images.wvculture.org/589915/00017.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710879, image 466, William Smith and Seth Boggess went bond on 17 Sep 1832 in Monroe County for the marriage of William Smith and Elizabeth Boggess. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710879/00466.jpg : accessed 12 February 2020). ↩