Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Real Rabble-Rouser!

     We have been learning about several of our more illustrious ancestors, people with strong Christian convictions.  Now it's time to hear about one of the more "colorful" characters in our family tree!

     Dirck Pennybacker (1737-1802) was married to Hannah DeHaven (1737-1825), the daughter of Abraham DeHaven (1714-1771).  Hannah's grandfather, Herman DeHaven (1682-1752) came to America as a small boy with his father, Evert DeHaven (1650-1728).  The family came to escape religious persecution for their Protestant beliefs.  Some researchers believe that the DeHavens had originated in France and fled to Germany.  Evert's marriage to Elizabeth Shipphauer on May 21, 1675 was recorded in the Evangelical Church in Mulheim on the Ruhr, Westphalia, Germany.  They arrived in America in 1698 and settled in Germantown, PA.  Evert and Elizabeth were charter members of the Whitemarsh Presbyterian Church, established June 4, 1710.

     The family name is sometimes written as In De Hoff, in Hoffe, In Den Hoffen, or Endehoven, or Ten Heuven.

     Herman and his brother Gerhardt built a stone house on the banks of the Skippack Creek in 1725, and it is still standing.  The stones came from the creek, held together by a mortar made from the red creek clay mixed with horse hair, straw, and rope.  Eventually, Herman moved on to another property.  He operated an inn on the main road of the town of Trappe, PA.

      The Indehoven House, now a part of the Evansburg State Park and headquarters for the Historical Society of Skippack.  There is a Revolutionary War re-enactment held here each year. 

     Herman deeded the tavern to his son, Abraham, and that is where the story becomes interesting! The inn and tavern became quite the place for the locals to spend time discussing current events.  The tavern was a constant source of irritation to the pastor of the nearby Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

                                        Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is the
                                        oldest unchanged Lutheran church building in constant
                                        use by the same congregation in all of America.

      The pastor stated in a letter to his superior that Abraham conducted horse races right in front of the church during the worship services.  Abraham was also accused of allowing cards and dice, fiddling, dancing, swearing and fighting at the tavern.  But the straw that broke the camel's back happened on July 19, 1752.  "A company of young people coming out of church were given too much rum and punch, so that they got fuddled and beat one another bloody, behaving themselves in a scandalous manner!"

    In 1736, Abraham married Rebecca Pawling and Hannah was born the next year. I guess we can't say they "settled down," because the shenanigans above happened when his daughter Hannah was 15 years old!  By 1761, Abraham sold his property and moved to Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia.  He died April 8, 1771. 

     Here is a pedigree chart for Hannah DeHaven Pennybacker and her ancestors.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Sheriff of Germantown

     Peter Dirck Keyser's wife was Margaret Souplis.  She was born in 1682, probably in New York, NY.  Her parents were Andreas and Anneke Souplis.  There are many variation of both first and last names here, including Andris, Andre, and Andrew for the first name and Supplee, Suplea, Souple, and Suplee for the last name. 

     Andreas was born in France  in 1634 and was of "distinguished parentage," according to the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, PA, Volume II.  He had served as a colonel in the French Army, but became a Huguenot, or French Protestant and probably had to resign.  The Army was expected to enforce the desired eradication of the Protestants from the Roman Catholic country.  The Edict of Nantes, issued in 1598, had allowed the Protestants to worship as they please.  However, in 1685, a new king revoked the Edict of Nantes.  This led to extreme persecution and mass exodus of the Huguenots.  The Huguenot Society states that the revocation caused France to lose "half a million of its best citizens."  The Huguenots were influenced mainly by the writings of John Calvin.

The Huguenot Cross

     One record states that Andreas escaped France with a following of 30 other Protestants, but only seven survived the trip.  The little group is said to have settled in Germany, or possibly Holland.  By about 1684, Andreas had moved to America, probably landing in New York.  There is a record of him being a "burgher" or free citizen in New York, or "New Amsterdam" as it was called at the time.  By 1686, he had moved to Germantown and in 1691, he was appointed the first Sheriff of Germantown. 

     After Anneke died, Andreas married a widow named Gertrude.  His will left one-third of his estate to Gertrude, and two-thirds to be divided among his five children:  Bartholomew, Margaret, Ann, Andrew and Jacob.  Andreas died in 1726, at 92 years of age.  He was buried in the Old Swede's Episcopalian Church in Philadelphia.  He had numerous grandsons who served in the American Revolution.

                                                                Will of Andris Souplis

In The Name of God Amen This Twenty fifth Day of March in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Twenty four I Andrew Suplea of the Township Kingsess in the County of Philadela in the Province of Pensilvania, Weaver, Being Aged & weak of Body But of Sound & perfect Memory & health praised be God and knowing the uncertainty of this Life on earth and Being Desirious to Settle things in order Do Make this my Last Will & Testament in Manner & form following That is to Say First and principally I Comend my Soul to Almighty God my Creator And my Body to the earth from whence it was Taken to be buried in Such Decent & Christian Manner as to my Executls hereafter named That be Thought Neet & Convenient And as Touching Such worldly Estate as the lord in Mercy hath lent me my will & Meaning that the Same Shall be Employed & Bestowed as hereafter in this my will is Expressed And first I will that all my funeral Charges and Just Debts be fully paid & Discharged by my Executls hereafter named And The Remainder of My Personal Estate Goods Cattle & Chattles (after my sd Debts are paid) I will and Order that the Same be Divided into three Equal parts and Third part I Give to my welbeloved wife, Gertra Suplea And the other Two parts to be Equally Divided Between my five Children (viz) Bartholomew Suplea, Margaret, Andess, Ann and Jacob. And As for my House & plantation and Tract of Land Thereunto Belonging and all other the Appurtenances whereon I now Live, my will is that My Loving wife Gertra aforementioned Shall have and Enjoy the Same for & (the original paper is torn at this point) Her naturall life ( if remaining my Widow) Provided she always (again, the paper is torn) Timber now (torn) premises (torn) Of any nor Clear any Land And (torn) Of no more Timber then what will be wanted for Reparing the Buildings Fences & firewood. And after my sd wifes Decease or Marriage my will is that my Son Andrew Supplea & my Son in law Peter Caylor*  Do Sell my Sd House and plantation Land & appurtenances for the Best price that Can be had for the Same And that they or the Survivor of them Do make a Title to the purchaser thereof which I do hereby Impower them to Do And the Money Arising from the Sd Sail my will is that the Same Be Equally Divided Among my Children aforenamed And as Touching my Daughter Anns Share the Sd Money arising from the sail of my Sd Land and her Share of my personal estate afforementioned my will is That the Same be Lay'd out on Interest by my Exts for her use the Interest to be paid her yearly And in Case She Survive her present husband Charles Yeocum Then the Sd Money to be paid her wholy but in Case he Survive then the Same to be Divided Amongst her Children And to be paid to them at the Respective Age of Twenty one years or Marrige day which of the Two Shall first happen each parties Share to be kept at Interest for the Respective uses untill paid And I Do hereby Nominate my Sd Son Andrew Supplea & my Soninlaw Peter Cayson Executls of this my Last will & Testemt: Hereby Revoking all former wills by me made either by word or writing & declaring to be my Last will & Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand & Seal dated the day & year above Written

Andris Souplis
Sealed Signed published & Declared to be his Last will & Testament

*"Peter Caylor" refers to daughter Margaret's husband, Peter Dirck Keyser

Old Swede's Church, Philadelphia

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Friend of Martin Luther, Burned at the Stake

     The wife of John Pennybacker (1713-1784) was Anneke Keyser, who was of a very prominent family important in the early settlement of Germantown, PA.  Anneke was born May 23, 1716 in Germantown.  Her father, Pieter Dirck Keyser came to America in the fall of 1688 with his father, Dirck Keyser, and two siblings.  They landed in New York and traveled to Germantown to be a part of William Penn's settlement at Germantown.  Pieter Dirck's little sister, Johanna, only five years old, died on the way to Germantown, and was buried on a farm along the route.

     Pieter Dirck Keyser was 12 years old when he and his family arrived in America.  He had been born November 25, 1676 in Amsterdam.  He married Margaret Souplis and recorded the event in the Keyser Family Bible:

               "1700, September 4.  I was married to Margaret Souplis aged 18 years,
               the Lord grant us his blessing and all which will be necessary in this
               world and in the world to come and we will praise his holy name now
               and forever. Amen."

     Pieter and Margaret had eleven children.  Three of their children married into the Pennebacker family.  Pieter Dirck II married Susanna Pennebacker, Anneke married John Pennebacker (our direct line ancestor), and Elizabeth married Peter Pennebacker.

    Pieter's father Dirck Keyser was born in 1635 and was engaged in the manufacture and sale of all kinds of silk goods in Amsterdam. He brought this copper plate from Amsterdam with him:

     Dirck married first Elizabet ter Himpel, who was the mother of our direct line ancestor, Pieter Dirck.  After she died, he married Johanna Harperts Snoeck, who was the mother of two daughters, Johanna and Cornelia, both of whom died as young children.  Dirck was a single dad when he made the voyage to America.  He served as the first pastor of the Mennonite Church of Germantown until his death in 1714.

     The family's strong Christian faith started with Dirck's ancestor, Leonhard Keyser.  Leonhard was a Catholic priest in Bavaria, who read the writings of Martin Luther and went to Wittenberg to meet with him.  He returned to Bavaria in 1525, spreading the Gospel  "with great zeal and power."  He was taken by the Bishop of Passau and charged with preaching that only faith justifies, and other Reformist beliefs.  The book Foxe's Book of Martyrs reports that Leonhard was condemned to death by fire. 

               "Then the wood was made ready to be set on fire, and he began to cry out with
                a loud voice, "O Jesus! I am thine, have mercy upon me, and save me." And
               therewithal he felt the fire begin sharply under his feet, his hands, and about his head.
               And because the fire was not great enough, the hangman plucked the body, half burnt,
               with a long hook, from underneath the wood.  Then he made a great hole in the body,
               through which he thrust a stake, and cast him again into the fire, and so made an end
               of burning.  This was the blessed end of that good man, who suffered for the testimony
               of the truth, on the sixth of August, A.D. 1527."

     In the book History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century in Germany, it is said that when Martin Luther was told of Leonhard's death, Luther said, "Who am I, a wordy preacher, in comparison with this great doer?"

                                             Leonard Keyser, in the cart, picked a flower from
                                             beside the road, on the way to his death by fire.

     The Keyser Family in America became very prosperous and active in the Mennonite and Dutch Reformed churches.  Pieter Keyser memorized all of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament as a young man by installing a shelf over his work station in a leather tannery.  He placed his Bible on the shelf and worked at memorizing Scripture while he worked.

     The Keysers were great supporters of education.  They were well-known for their love of artwork, needlework, and especially penmanship.  Charles Keyser handwrote a 1,838 page Concordance of the New Testament when he was 80 years old, and it had the appearance of being engraved because each letter was formed so perfectly.

     The family's physical characteristics were that they were unusually tall, both men and women being at least six feet tall. The women were said to have very small hands and feet.  Most of the family had dark hair and blue eyes.  The men loved outdoor sports, especially skating, swimming, and horseback riding.  Two descendants were known especially for their strength:  John Keyser, a Marshall in Philadelphia, carried two adult outlaws down the street at the same time.  Enoch Keyser was notorious for lifting a millstone that was said to weight 2,000 pounds.

     A family reunion was held in 1888 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Keyser's arrival in America.  It included many speakers, and a book was made of the transcriptions of all the speeches.  That book, The Keyser Family: Descendants of Dirck Keyser of Amsterdam by Charles S. Keyser is available on and was the major source for this post. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Family Bible From 1568

     Eve Umstadt, wife of Hendrick Pannebecker, was born on March 21, 1676 in Germany.  When she was only nine years old, on August 16, 1685, she boarded the ship "Francis and Dorothy" and headed to America with her parents and her brother and sister.  The family arrived in the area of Philadelphia on October 12.  They had left because of fear of religious persecution for their protestant beliefs, enticed by stories of the freedom and possibility of financial gain in the New World.
     Eve's father, Hans Peter Umstadt, brought his most prized possession with him on the long voyage, a Bible in which he, and his father, Nicholas Umstadt, had written important life events.  Pictures of the Bible and transcriptions of the notes written in German on its pages can be viewed at  The Bible was printed in Heidleberg in the year 1568 and had been passed down at least two generations before it came to belong to Hans Peter Umstadt.  The Bible then came down through the Pannebecker family, and today is housed at Pennypacker Mills, though not available for viewing except by special permission.  I would love to include a photo of the Bible, but the "Umstead Family Organization" owns the copyright to all the photos I have found, so I encourage you to visit their site or just Google "Umstadt Bible."
     Some of the interesting notations include:  a note about the winter of 1658 being so bitter that the Rhine River froze solid and a snowstorm lasted four days; the great comet that streamed across the sky in 1680; and the dates of death for family members.
     It is very humbling to think of my ancestors, living in fear of persecution for the same Reformed beliefs to which I subscribe, and of them being willing to leave their family and country in order to be able to worship as they choose.  I pray that I will also leave a spiritual legacy worthy of their sacrifice.
   The Umstadt Family Tree is attached below.



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hendrick Pannebecker, Surveyor for William Penn

     The first of the Pennybaker family to come to America was Hendrick Pannebecker.  He arrived soon after the "first thirteen" settlers who formed Penn's first settlement at Germantown (now part of Philadelphia).  The record of his arrival has not yet been found, but there is record of his marriage to Eve Umstat in 1699 in Germantown.
     Hendrick was born in Flomborn, Germany, not far from Worms, where Martin Luther was put on trial for his writings that led to the Reformation.  Hendrick was born March 21, 1674.  His family was of Dutch ancestry.  He was well educated, being fluent in three languages: Dutch, German, and English.  He was also a very religious man, who suffered in Germany for his religious beliefs.  He has been described variously as a Quaker, which most of those who settled in Germantown were, a Mennonite, and as a Dutch Reformed.  His children were taken to a Dutch Reformed church in New York to be baptized, as there was no Dutch Reformed church in Germantown.  It is known that many of the Pannebecker family refused military service because of their religious beliefs, and paid fines because of their lack of military service. 
     Hendrick was trained as a surveyor, and was used by William Penn to prepare deeds and other legal documents in the earliest days of Pennsylvania.  Most of the roads in and around Germantown were laid out by Hendrick. 
     In 1702, Hendrick moved to a new settlement, called Skippack, in what is now Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  He became administrator of the settlement.

Land Grants in Skippack, PA
     Notice the names Panebeker, Umstadt (Hendrick's brother-in-law), and OpdeGraf (another family in our ancestry).  Also notice what is in the lower left corner.......Valley Forge!  There is another family in our ancestry(the Pawlings)  whose family homestead is now a part of Valley Forge National Park.  As mentioned in an earlier post, the Panebeker family homestead became known as Pennypacker Mills, which served as George Washington's headquarters twenty years after Hendrick's death on April 4, 1754.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Clarence Goldsberry's 4 Generation Pedigree

     To help understand how Clarence Goldsberry is related to the families the previous posts have featured, here is a four-generation pedigree chart that shows the Ashworths, Pennybakers, Lovetts that have been mentioned so far on Goldsberry Pickin's:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cast Iron Stoves and Cannonballs

     Mary Elma Ashworth was the daughter of  John Ashworth and Caroline Rebecca Pennybaker.  The Pennybaker family has a long and colorful history!  And, as my dad would say it, there's some "highfalutin" folks in this family!  The name has been spelled many various ways over the centuries, including Pennybaker, Pennybacker, Pennypacker, Pannebecker, and the original Dutch spelling Pfannebecker.  The name literally means "baker of tiles."

     Caroline Pennybaker was born January 7, 1836 in Belleville, Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia).  I have not yet found a birth record for her, but the Census records always record her place of birth as Virginia, and her parents, Isaac Pennybaker and Mary Alkire, got married in 1828 in Wood County, Virginia.  Soon after Caroline's birth, the family moved to Meigs County, Ohio.  Here is the 1840 census, showing the family in Bedford Township, Meigs County:

     Here is the 1860 Census, showing that the whole family, including Caroline's younger brother, John, was born in Virginia:

     Caroline Pennybaker Ashworth died September 12, 1918 and is buried in the Carleton Church Cemetery in Bedford Township, Meigs County.  Her husband, John Ashworth, died in 1898 and is also buried there.  Caroline's father, Isaac Pennybaker, died in 1893, but I have not yet found a record of where he is buried.  I hope to visit this cemetery in person soon!
     I believe Isaac's father is John Pennybaker, who was born in 1768 in Pennsylvania, and died in 1834 in Virginia.  John's wife was Phoebe Fugett, sometimes spelled Fewkett or Fewgett.  Their marriage is recorded in State of Virginia Marriage Records as taking place on June 25, 1793 in Shenandoah, Virginia.  She can be found as a widow in the 1840 Census of Wood County, VA.  Remind me sometime to tell you about the Blue Fewgett Family of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky......they had a recessive gene that produced blue skin.....real live Smurfs!
     John Pennybaker's father was Dirck Pennybaker, and this is where the story get really interesting!   Dirck was born in Providence, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1737, son of another John Pennybaker and grandson of a very influential man in Germantown, PA, Hendrick Pannebecker. 
                                                  Birth record of Dirck Pennebacker  
     Dirck worked as a wagonmaster and worked with an ironmaster named Mark Bird.  Here he learned the iron trade and helped make cannonballs used in the American Revolution!  His family also owned a grist mill that supplied flour to the Revolutionary Army.  The farm where the mill was located was Pennypacker Mills, and is a historical site open to visit.  There is an archives of Pennybaker family records there, and that is where the birth record above came from.  On June 4-5, 2016, there will be a civil war re-enactment there.  Closeby is the mansion where one of the Pennypackers who became Governor of Pennsylvania lived.  He is responsible for documenting much of the Pennypacker family history.  The mansion is open for tours. 
                                              Pennypacker Mill
     Dirck moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains, which were full of iron ore, and built his own iron-working business.  His first iron business was called Redwell Furnace, close to Luray, Virginia.

                       The title on this mural is Dirck Pennybacker and his Redwell Furnace.
     Dirck built a second iron furnace on Smith Creek called Pine Forge.  The Pennybakers became well-known for their cast-iron stoves, which had their name stamped on the front panel.  One of the stoves is in the Mauck Meeting House, a historical building near Luray, Virginia.

                Notice "D. Pennybaker" inscribed in the banner of the design at the top of the stove.
      One of Dirck's sons, Benjamin, brother to "our" John, had a son named Isaac S. Pennybacker who served as a federal judge, U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator.  How's that for "highfalutin" folks?
     Dirck died on February 15, 1802 from falling off his horse.  He was buried on his property.  The obituary was published in the Winchester Gazette on March 3, 1802.  His grandfather Hendrick will be the subject of his own blog post.
     For further reading about the Pennypackers, look for the following publications on Google:
A History of Shenandoah County by John W. Wayland
The German Element of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia by John W. Wayland
The Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park by Darwin Lambert
The Presence of African Americans in the Shenandoah County Iron Industry by Nancy B. Stewart
Biographical Sketches by Samuel W. Pennypacker
The Autobiography of a Pennsylvanian by Samuel W. Pennypacker
A Genealogy of the Pennypacker Family by Samuel W. Pennypacker
The Perkiomen Region, Past and Present, Vol. I by Henry Sassaman Dotterer

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Successful Businessman

     F. E. Goldsberry was a very successful businessman in Athens.  This picture of his hardware store was taken from the Centennial Atlas of Athens County, published in 1905.  Here is the accompanying article in the Atlas:

     As the article states, he was a hard-working young man, who began working at the age of 16, working as a store clerk and driving a huckster (peddler) wagon through Meigs and Athens County.
     At the age of 22 (when he found out that Mary Ashworth was pregnant) F. E.  left town to work on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, working as a news butcher.  A news butcher walked up and down the aisles of the train, selling newspapers and other small items.  He must have managed the money he made very well, because within six years of returning from out west, he purchased the store and inventory from George Ullom.  Ullom is who he had worked for before venturing out west.

The route of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad

     F.. E. seemed to have a knack for marketing and promotion.  An 1896 ad in the Athens Messenger and Herald touts the fact that he sells on a cash-only basis.  He also had a promotion of giving a meal ticket to any customer buying $3.00 or more of hardware:

     An article similar to the story in the Atlas, with more detail, appeared the next year on the front page of the Athens Messenger:

     I was amused by the ad for White Lead Paint.  Have any of you struggled as I have in removing that old lead paint safely?

     F. E. must have sold the store in 1911, and then had to take ownership back, which was front page ad-worthy!

     It was also front-page news when F.E. sold the store in 1945.  According to the article about F. E.'s retirement, posted earlier, his store had been in business longer (50 years)  than any other business on Court Street.

     F. E. was also Secretary of Athens County Savings and Loan.

     It's sad that he was so successful and let his first-born son, Clarence, struggle his whole life.His other children had a much easier life, probably best-known was Dr. Blaine Goldsberry.

     F. E. Goldsberry died in 1950 at the age of 83 and was buried in the West Union Street Cemetery.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Private John Van Buren Goldsberry

Private John Van Buren Goldsberry
     John Van Buren Goldsberry is my great-great grandfather.  He was born June 25, 1824 in Montgomery County, Maryland.  Finding proof of his parents has been difficult.  I have tried to be very meticulous in my research and records.  Many people take other people's trees on sites such as as a legitimate source, and I have seen many, many errors.  So, I look at other people's research for ideas, but then I look for official documents to prove what I have been told or other people have reported.  If any of you ever see an error in my reports, please let me know!
     My father had told me about John Van Buren, and that Clarence's Grandma (Phoebe Lovett Goldsberry) was adamant that my dad was to be named John in her husband's honor.  Ada Goldsberry (Daddy's mother) had another idea.  She wanted my father to be named Dale.  Finally, the two ladies agreed that my father's name would be John Dale, but he always went by Dale.  Imagine my surprise when I found my father's original birth certificate and it said only "Dale Goldsberry."  However, when my father signed any legal documents, including his military papers, it was always John Dale Goldsberry.  I guess Ada won the battle on the birth certificate, but Phoebe won in the long run!
     Here is a picture of Phoebe.  I don't know if I would have been brave enough to stand up to her!  I like to think of her showing up at Mary Ashworth's door and demanding custody of Clarence.  I can understand Mary handing over Clarence!
     John and Phoebe got married on July 27, 1856 in Racine, Meigs County.  They had a son, George William, listed in the 1860 Census, who must have died at a young age because he is never listed in any further census records.  By the 1870 Census, they have four children, David, 11; Christina, 8; Elza, 4; and Ella, 2 months.  It took me awhile to figure out that Elza was Frank Ellsworth.  In the 1880 Census, there is another son, Charles, 5 years old in 1880.  The nationwide census is not available, and by the 1900 Census, Phoebe is a widow and 12-year-old Clarence is living with her.
     Notice that the 1860 Census asks for place of birth, and John Van Buren states Maryland.  The 1880 Census ask for birthplace of the individual, as well as the individual's parents.  John states that his birthplace is Maryland, as well as his mother's and father's birthplace.  Therefore, I'm pretty sure John Van Buren was truly born in Maryland.
     My father had told me that Glenna Goldsberry Weatherby had done a lot of family tree research.  Glenna is the daughter of Charles Goldsberry, John and Phoebe's youngest child.  Glenna is important in another way. My grandmother, Ada Goldsberry, had a son quite late in life, my Uncle David.  Ada's mental and physical health was not good at the time, and Glenna and her husband, Alan, adopted my Uncle David.  Grandpa Clarence Goldsberry would not allow the Weatherbys to change David's last name, but they cared for him as their own.  My father remained very close to David, and some of my favorite memories of Uncle David are when we traveled out west to attend his wedding.  Daddy served as David's best man, and David and Dorothy traveled back to Ohio with us to meet the rest of David's family. 
     There is a reason I digress!  David wrote a report "An Interesting Ancestor" for a school assignment.  It is a young person's synopsis of what Glenna had found out in her research, and is one of my prized mementos, sent to me by Aunt Dorothy, David's wife.  Enjoy!
     It has been fun trying to substantiate what David wrote in his report.  Another relative, Drennan Goldsberry, wrote an article for the Athens County Historical Society book, Athens County Family History, published in 1987. It states that John V. Goldsberry enlisted in the Ohio 116th Regiment, Company B on August 15, 1862.  This article states that John was wounded at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, right before the end of the Civil War.  He is said to have received a musket ball to the chest, which never healed completely.  John had been a blacksmith and wheelwright before the War, and used those skills for the company.  He worked as a blacksmith for several years after mustering out with his company on June 14, 1865 at Richmond, Virginia. 
       A history of the 116th battles is available on  I don't find any record of them being at the Battle of Lookout Mountain.  John was one of the oldest men in his unit, and was in the same unit as Phoebe's brother,  William Lovett.  Another man in the unit, Dennis Secoy, traded places with John when John was at front of the line because John had children back home and Dennis was single. 
     John Van Buren died August 25, 1884 and is buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Shade.

     Glenna had also told my father that the last name was originally Goldsborough and that John Van Buren's parents died when he was young.  That does not match up with what many other researchers have said regarding John Van Buren's parents, so I am still researching!  Charlene King shared with me research done by Ann Butt, whose husband is the grandson of Charles Goldsberry (the youngest son of John Van Buren and Phoebe).  She believes that John Van Buren's parents are J.W.Goldsberry, born about 1795 in Maryland, and Margaret Shockey.  Many people on have this J. W. moving to Kentucky and living until 1854, which doesn't match up with the family tradition of John Van Buren's parents dying when he was 12 years old.  J.W. Goldsberry's parents are said to be Jonathon Goldsberry, born 1770 in St. Mary's, MD.
     One final thought:  if you have never traveled to Appomatox Court House, Virginia, you should make the trip!  It is an almost spiritual experience to walk the battlefields and know that our ancestor fought and was wounded there.  Appomatox is close to Lynchburg, where my son has lived since attending Liberty University.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

No Blarney--Our Irish Roots!

County Wicklow, Ireland
   I introduced Mary Ashworth (1863-1928) as my great-grandmother in the previous post.  My father never really told me anything more about her, and she would have died when Daddy was only 10 years old.  She must, however, have maintained a relationship with Clarence, even though he didn't live with her for much of his childhood, because she is buried in the Burson Cemetery, right behind Clarence's grave with a grave marker that says "Mother." 
    It turns out that Mary Ashworth's family is a fascinating one to research!  Her great-grandfather, James Ashworth came to America in 1812, with his wife, Mary, and five children.  James and Mary were both 50 years old.  The children accompanying them were: Jonn, age 24; Cath, age 21; Thomas, age 20; Anne, age 18; and James, no age given.  James, Jonn and Thomas are listed as having the occupation of "weaver."  They departed on the American ship, the Vermont,  from  Dublin, Ireland about June 18, 1812 and listed their hometown as Wicklow Town, County Wicklow, Ireland.  County Wicklow is on the central eastern shore of  Ireland and is known as the "Garden of Ireland."
Passenger Manifest

     I'm sure the Ashworth Family was not prepared for the adventure that followed their departure! Although even the captain was unaware when they set sail, the U.S. Congress had declared war on Great Britain the day they departed.  Now the Ashworths not only had the dangers of a long sea voyage, but the dangers of war to contend with!  The British could have commandeered the ship and forced the Irish passengers to aid the British Navy.  It's probably a blessing that communication was so slow, and the passengers knew very little of what was going on until they were almost to their destination.  
     As the Vermont approached the American shore on July 17, 1812, one can only imagine the excitement of the passengers who saw their destination just ahead after a month-long voyage!  Commander Frederick Lee, on the cutter  Eagle, spied the Vermont off the coast of Connecticut  and demanded to board and search the ship.  Captain Samuel Nicoll of the Vermont provided all the necessary paperwork, including the passenger and cargo list.  That paperwork was preserved in the State of Connecticut records and provides an important part of our family history!
     I have found an enlistment record for the War of 1812 that shows a Thomas Ashworth, native of Ireland and the correct age for "our" Thomas (son of James) enlisting in the war effort in November 21, 1814 in Albany (I assume New York, not Ohio).  I believe he was only on the military roll for less than a month.  More research is needed! 
     James and his son Thomas are both listed in the 1820 census for Sutton Township, Meigs County.  It is interesting to note that they are listed as "unnaturalized foreigners."  James also appears in the 1830 and 1840 census records, but in Chester Township of Meigs County.  James died in 1844, so does not appear in any later census records.  James was buried in the Chester Cemetery, which I hope to visit soon!  Thomas is listed in the 1850 Census.  He died in 1857 and is also buried in the Chester Cemetery.

      Thomas married Nancy Blain on July 1, 1824 in Meigs County.  Nancy's father, James Blain, was also a native of Ireland, but I have found very little information on them so far.  Thomas and Nancy had a son named John Ashworth in 1828, who is our direct line ancestor.   Thomas died November 26, 1857 and is buried in the Chester Cemetery.
 Thomas Ashworth Tombstone
Chester Cemetery, Meigs County, Ohio
     John Ashworth was born December 8, 1828 in Meigs County.  He married Caroline Rebecca Pennybacker (just wait until you hear about her family!!!)  John and Caroline had at least 11 children, including "our" Mary Ashworth, Clarence Goldsberry's mother.  The death certificate for Mary below shows John and Caroline as her parents. It states that the cause of her death was tuberculosis.


     The pictures above are of Mary Ashworth's grave at Burson Cemetery.  In the bottom picture of Clarence and Ada's grave, you can see Mary's grave is right behind Clarence's grave (you can see the pink flowers in front of her stone).  Thanks to my sister, Suellen, and my mother for making the trip each year to Athens County before Memorial Day to make sure there are flowers on her husband's family graves.
     To read the entire article about the Vermont's voyage, do a Google search on "Irish Immigrants on the Vermont 1812."
     I hope you will celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year by remembering our brave Ashworth ancestors!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Proving Clarence Goldsberry's Parentage

                                     Clarence Goldsberry and Ada Hartley's Wedding Picture

     My Grandpa Goldsberry was Clarence Frank Goldsberry, born January 4, 1888 in Meigs County, Ohio.  My father had told me the story of Clarence's birth many years ago, but I didn't have any proof of the story until this past year.

     My father told me that Clarence's mother was Mary Ashworth, who got pregnant by Francis (or Frank) Ellsworth "F.E." Goldsberry.  When Mary told F. E. that she was pregnant, he ran off out west.  F.E. returned a couple of years later and asked Mary to marry him, after she had been raising a son all by herself.  She told F.E. it was too late, to get lost, and that is exactly what he did.  I don't believe F.E. ever acknowledged his son, legally or personally.  F.E. and Mary went on to marry other people.  F.E. went on to become a successful businessman in Athens, Ohio.  Mary, on the other hand, married a Civil War veteran, Lewis Jeffers, who was 25 years older than herself.  She was his third wife, and Lewis  had many children from his previous marriages.  Mary and Lewis had seven children together.

     Clarence had a hard life as a young child.  Lewis Jeffers had a 145 acre farm, but many mouths to feed.  Clarence's job was to bring the cows in for milking each morning and evening.  He told my father that he used to jump from "cowpie" to "cowpie" in order to keep his feet warm on the cold days because he had no shoes.  Clarence's paternal grandmother, Phoebe Lovett Goldsberry, was concerned about his welfare.  She talked Mary into letting Clarence live with her.  I don't know exactly when that took place.  Phoebe's husband, John Van Buren Goldsberry, died in 1888, four years after Clarence was born.  There are no census records available for 1890, when Clarence would have been just two years old.  By the 1900 census, Clarence is 12 years old and living with his grandmother.  My father told me that when Phoebe went to pick up Clarence, she asked for his things, and Mary handed her a red bandana handkerchief, tied up on all four corners, which contained everything she had for Clarence.

     The census records were my first proof that the story passed down was accurate.  Phoebe is listed as "head of household" in 1900 and Clarence is listed as her grandson.  Next I started looking for proof that Mary Ashworth was Clarence's mother and F.E. Goldsberry was his father.  I found a birth record by searching by mother's name in Meigs County, Ohio.  It lists a male child, born to Mary Ashworth and father's name is listed as "Illegitimate."  So, how could I prove that F.E. Goldsberry was the father?

     F. E. Goldsberry's obituary does not list Clarence as a survivor.  Articles about his business in Athens never mentions Clarence.  However,  does substantiate the part of the story that he went out west for two years.  Then I found an article about his retirement that says that F.E. worked as a "news butcher" on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

          I was excited to find the original marriage license for Clarence and Ada Hartley, knowing that those sometimes contain parents' names.  Disappointment again.  Clarence's parents are listed as Mary Jeffers (her married name) even though it specifically asks for mother's maiden name.  Father's name is left blank.
     Finally, on a trip to Athens County with my sister, we obtained a copy of Clarence's death certificate.  Voila!  Finally, a legal document that lists his parents as Mary Ashworth and Frank E. Goldsberry. 
     As many genealogists have told me, family tradition handed down from generation to generation usually turns out to be mostly accurate.  I look forward to tracking down documentation for some more of the family stories I have been told!
     What family stories have you been told?