Thursday, February 5, 2015

12 Unfortunate Ways My Ancestors Met Their Demise

It's a little dark, but there is some genuine fascination felt when you discover that something strange, gruesome, or out-of-the-ordinary happened to one of our early relatives, even if it resulted in their untimely death. It's difficult to explain the "Oh, wow!" feeling that overcomes you when you find something like that. Usually, it's not a very pleasant fascination, like when you read of the death of a relative who died in childhood. Our early ancestors lived difficult lives, and that fact is really brought to life like never before when can read all the gritty details. Those old newspapers left little to the imagination.

In my genealogical research, I have come across several relatives who died in unnatural ways. For the purpose of this article, I am defining an unnatural death as one that did not occur because of old age or any sort of disease. I had ancestors die of meningitis, tuberculosis, dysentery, cholera, diphtheria, and even pellagra. While all of those diseases could be considered unnatural to an extent, for the purpose of the forthcoming list I am lumping those deaths with the more common causes of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other conditions of that nature.

The following is a list of family members whose deaths were the direct results of their own actions, or the actions of others.

12. Howard T. Taylor - Died August 16th, 1851, Daviess County, Kentucky

The diary of Joseph Thomas of Daviess County, Kentucky provides us with the details of the death of my 4th great grandfather, Howard T. Taylor, who was shot and killed in a hunting accident.


11. Roxie Emeline May Jay - Died November 14th, 1938 in Guthrie, Oklahoma and Sarah Olive Sain Moose - Died November 3rd, 1944 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

These two are lumped together for two reasons: first, they died the same way, and they were the two grandmothers of my grandmother. My two great great grandmothers were both struck and killed by cars.


Roxie Jay was on her way to a night service at the First Baptist Church in Guthrie, where she was a Sunday school teacher, when she was struck by a car driven by four teenagers. In 2013, I called and spoke to the driver of the vehicle that killed Roxie, Kenneth English of Guthrie. He stated that it was very dark out, and as they came down the bridge on Noble Avenue, she was suddenly there, right in front of them. Kenneth was 15 years old at the time, and he had three friends in the car ages 14 and 15.

The article in the Guthrie Daily Leader states: "Patrolman Harold Shultz said Kenneth English 15-year-old high school sophomore signed a statement asserting he was driving the car. ... Mrs. Jay was rushed to the Cimarron Valley hospital. An attending physician said she received fractures below the knee in both legs, a shattered right arm, and probable internal injuries. She lapsed into unconsciousness about an hour following the tragedy." Roxie died 11 hours later.


Sarah Olive Sain was on her way to work at Wesley Hospital in Oklahoma City at 7:30 in the morning. She was struck by a car and died an hour later. [The below article is from The Daily Oklahoman.]


10. Albert Louis Moose - Died April 18th, 1932 near Ardmore, Oklahoma




Like his mother, Albert was killed when struck by a motor vehicle. However, there are significant differences in their circumstances. Albert was killed, along with a man named Joe Fitch, by an intoxicated 20-year-old man, Frank Coker in a hit-and-run. Coker was a known alcoholic, and despite this, his mother provided him with the means to obtain alcohol and access to a vehicle.



Albert's widow sued Coker and his mother, and was awarded a large sum of money. Coker's family appealed the ruling until the case came before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, where the court upheld the lower court's ruling, though they did reduce the amount of damages to be paid by Coker's mother.

The LexisNexis overview of Coker, et. al. v. Moose, et. al. states:

"The survivors were the widow and another relative of the decedent who was killed after being struck by a car that was driven by the son. The evidence revealed that the son was a known alcoholic and that at the time of the accident empty beer bottles were found in his car. The complaint alleged that the mother knew that her son was a careless, reckless, and incompetent driver and that she knew of a number of serious accidents that he had had. However, the mother gave the son free access to an automobile and paid the repair bills after his accidents. A jury awarded damages in favor of the survivors, and the court affirmed. It held that an error in the jury instructions was harmless and could not have prejudiced defendants in view of the evidence in the case. The court further held that there was no evidence that the jury ever was aware that either defendant was protected by insurance. The court reduced the amount of the verdict, however, because it found that the award was excessive based upon the decedent's history of earnings."

This case established the legal precedent in the state of Oklahoma that a parent, guardian, or caretaker could be held responsible for the actions of someone in their charge.

In the end, as it usually does, karma had the last laugh. Frank Coker was unceremoniously killed December 21st, 1934 at the age of 22 in Wewoka, Oklahoma. He got into an altercation with two other youths when he allegedly tried to steal the vehicle in which they were all traveling and leave the others behind. One of the other boys knocked Coker to the ground on the highway, where he was struck in the head by another car and died shortly after.

9. Colbert "Cole" Campbell - Died October 15th, 1862 in Jackson, Kentucky

My family had countless deaths that occurred in the fighting during the Civil War. However, it is my 4th great grand uncle's death that occurred while he was serving in the Civil War but not in action at the time that is the most interesting.

According to the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky, Cole was killed when struck by lightning.


The above excerpt comes from "History of the Orphan Brigade", an 1898 book by Ed Porter Thompson. Cole was enlisted in the 5th Kentucky Mounted Infantry (CON) at the time of his death.

It should be noted that the adjutant general's report of his death differs from the account on his Civil War service record, which states he was "accidentally shot" on October 15th, 1862. So while the two reports agree on the date, they do not agree on the means. Either way, Cole's death could be considered both unfortunate and out-of-the-ordinary.

8. Dr. David Allen Duckworth - Died November 19th, 1891 near Keosauqua, Iowa

Dr. Duckworth was my first cousin five times removed. He was a prominent physician in his locale in Iowa and was a veteran of the Civil War. He was conducting a house call at the home of a Mr. Duffield when Mrs. Duffield's dress caught on the hammer of Mr. Duffield's gun, discharging it and killing Dr. Duckworth instantly.


7. Reuben A. L. May - Died November 6, 1897 near Huron, Indiana and George A. Downing - Died October 16th, 1881 in Jeffersonville, Indiana

Reuben was my 3rd great grand uncle, and George was my 2nd cousin four times removed. The reason the two are lumped together are because they (sort of) related, and their deaths were very similar. Reuben was the son of an elder Reuben May, and was a product of Mr. May's second marriage. Mr. May's first marriage was to an Elizabeth Downing, who was the grand aunt of George A. Downing.

Reuben's death is described in the November 11th, 1897 edition of the Brownstown Banner in Brownstown, Indiana. It reads:

"How time has proven the words which Reuben May made to an acquaintance here during the last term of court, when he stated that he "had never been in an accident, but no telling how soon he would, and probably be killed."

A freight train on which he was fireman was wrecked near Huron, about ten miles west of Mitchell last Saturday. The place where the wreck occurred was a stretch of road that contains a number of bad curves. The cause was spreading of the rails. Seeing the train was about to be wrecked, May jumped and was caught under a box car. He was dead when found and it is supposed that death was instantaneous. The engineer did not jump and was uninjured. The wreck is said to have been a very
costly one for the company."

George A. Downing's death was similarly gruesome. A summary of the accident can be read below, which came from the October 17th, 1881 edition of The Indianapolis News:


A much lengthier article from The Courier-Journal [Louisville, Kentucky] dated October 17th, 1881 states in part: "Downing was conductor of what is called the L., N. A. and C. freight train. ... The train consisted of fourteen loaded freight cars, which were backing up at the usual rate of speed. This train is backed over, the engine being in the rear. When near the junction where the Jeffersonville Short-line intersects with the Louisville branch, a cow stepped on the track and the car knocked it under the trucks, turning the car completely over. Conductor Downing was standing on this car and attempted to jump. He went over the embankment with the car and was crushed beneath the debris. ...The body was soon removed, and it was found that the head and chest were terribly crushed, and death must have been almost instantaneous. His neck, right arm, and leg were broken."

6. Louvica Barnett Cunningham - Died January 1911 in Davenport, Oklahoma

Louvica was the elder sister of my great great grandfather, Andrew Barnett. Her death was the most unjust of those listed here. She had recently married to Richard Cunningham, but for reasons known only to she and those close to her, she attempted to have an abortion. The man hired to carry out the procedure was "Dr." Albert B. Armstrong, a native of Kentucky who resided in Shawnee but was well known in Stroud and Davenport. It had been established that despite the fact that he called himself a "doctor", he was not a licensed physician. He swindled multiple persons out of their money, and was a wanted man not only across Oklahoma, but in Texas as well.



Louvica died while Armstrong was performing the operation, and he promptly fled the area. He was a wanted man, and eventually apprehended in Hollis, Oklahoma and extradited back to Davenport. In what can only be described as a tasteless and classless move, a number of citizens of Davenport signed a petition for Armstrong to be granted bail, and then promptly threw a party in his "honor". Only after he swindled yet another citizen of Davenport was he apparently seen for what he was, and he fled again. He escaped jail, was apprehended again, and was going to be extradited to Texas on other charges when he escaped once again. I have not found record that he was ever held accountable for his crimes, including the death of Louvica Barnett Cunningham. She was 19 years old.

5. Thomas Glass - Died February 21st, 1915 in Thompson, Texas

Thomas is the youngest person on this list, and his death was perhaps the most tragic. My first cousin four times removed was accidentally shot and killed by his younger brother, Byron, who was four years old at the time. Eight-year-old Thomas (the newspaper incorrectly gave his age as 7) and Byron were presumably playing when Byron pointed his father's gun at Thomas and fired, shooting Thomas through the neck. Their parents consoled the frightened and upset Byron, not knowing that Thomas had even been hurt. Tragically, they only discovered this after it was too late.


The above article was from the February 25th, 1915 edition of The Courier-Gazette out of McKinney, Texas. Thomas was interred at Princeton Cemetery.


4. John M. Downing - Died  June 18th, 1921 in Iowa City, Iowa

John Downing's death is both depressing and morbidly fascinating. Downing, who was my first cousin five times removed, attempted to hang himself in his home in West Liberty, Iowa. It is unclear if the attempt simply failed, or was thwarted by another person's intervention. Either way, he clearly intended to leave this life relatively quickly, and instead he hurt himself so badly that his last weeks were certainly filled with significant pain, both physically and emotionally.

The first article comes from the Iowa City Press-Citizen (18 Jun 1921), and the second from the Lime Springs Herald (30 Jun 1921).





3. Roy Lewis Moose - Died July 28th, 1929 in Pampa, Texas

My great grandfather's cousin, Roy, and another man were killed in a gruesome accident in an accident at an oil site in Pampa, Texas. The Pampa Daily News (July 28th, 1929) writes:

"One man killed outright and another was critically injured late Friday in a shower of lines and blocks from the top of the rig of Gulf's Saunders No. 2, about 2 miles southeast of Lefors. Amos Robertson, 36 years old, died instantly, his body crushed to the floor of the rig and battered by falling materials. Roy Moose, 22 years old, suffered a skull fracture and has since been in a semi-conscious condition. His recovery is problematical. His wife is with him at Pampa hospital. ... The men were working for Adams & McGahey, drilling contractors, at the Gulf well, in section 3, block 1, when the accident occurred. In some manner a string of pipe under control of a rotary rig crashed into the top of the derrick. Lines, pulleys, and part of the crown block fell to the floor of the rig.

It is believed that neither man was aware of the danger. Others working on the floor miraculously escaped injury. Two Malone ambulances were summoned as soon as possible after the accident, which took place about 5 p.m. Mr. Moose was at first thought fatally injured, but he rallied and yesterday was slightly improved, The back of his head was crushed when struck by a portion of the crown block."

Despite his rally, Roy died the day the above article was published, his death certificate citing a brain contusion resulting from his skull fracture as the cause of death.


2. Thomas Alexander Jeter - Died May 15th, 1885 in Bedford County, Virginia


Thomas Alexander Jeter, or "T. A.", was shot and killed by Hairston H. Terry, or "H. H.", the son of famed General William R. Terry. (This is General Terry's Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_R._Terry) He was said to have been killed because he named his family's dog, which had been gifted to him by the Terry family, "Lettie", which was the name of Harriston's sister and grandmother. Perceiving this to be a slight against his family, Terry shot Jeter, my first cousin six times removed, and was arrested.

The book "Our Kin: The Genealogies of some of the Early Families who made History in the Founding and Development of Bedford County, Virginia" was co-authored by Jeter's daughter, Lula Jeter Parker, along with Mary Denham Ackerly. About Thomas, they wrote:

"Thomas A. Jeter (called "Pomp" Jeter from childhood by his family and intimate friends), was one of the most popular men that Bedford County has ever produced. He had a big heart and pleasing personality and his business brought him into daily contact with all classes of people--both black and white--and also placed him in position to befriend many who needed assistance, by advancing money on their crops of tobacco. These kindnesses were never forgotten, and for decades after, were recounted to his children whenever occasion permitted.

He was assassinated May 16, 1885, at his place of business by Hairston H. Terry, son of General William R. Terry, who, in a temporary fit of insanity and without the slightest provocation, shot him through the heart--death resulting almost instantly. Terry, for years, had been one of his most intimate friends, had never shown any ill feeling toward him, and often came in town and visited him at the warehouse in a most pleasant manner."

The below article originated in the May 27th, 1885 edition of the Staunton Spectator out of Staunton, Virginia.


The below article is another condensed version of the events which came from May 23rd, 1885 edition of the Peninsula Enterprise out of Accomac, Virginia.


The picture below came originated in the previously-referenced book, "Our Kin".


As in the case of the above Frank Coker, karmic justice was swift and unfavorable to Hairston H. Terry.



1. Absolom Rorie and Hezekiah Columbus Rorie - Died January 24th, 1864 near Sylamore, Arkansas

The most gruesome and terrible of the deaths in my family were those of my 5th great grandfather, Absalom Rorie, and his son, Hezekiah. They were said to have been providing powder works to the Confederate army, and when the Union army learned that Colonel Thomas R. Freeman was reportedly camped at Rorie's Mill, which was owned by the eldest Rorie who was assisted in running it along with his sons, soldiers came to apprehend Freeman.

The following was written in "Places of Our People: Stories of the People and Places of the White River Valley" by Freda Cruise Phillips:

"Scouts were sent to find Freeman, with the remaining Union troops moving to Riggsville to join the Eleventh Missouri Cavalry that had gone south out of Batesville. The scouts reported back that Freeman was camped on Middle Sylamore Creek at Rorie’s Mill. Union soldiers were dispatched. Next morning, Jan 27th, 1864 William] Monks and the 11th Missouri Cavalry went in first, but Freeman had left before dawn going back northeast toward Livingston Creek. Official records report they [Monks and his men] burned both the saw mill and grist mill and killed three men. ... Angry that Freeman had gotten away, the Union soldiers burned the Rorie family’s sawmill and grist mill to the ground, but not before torturing and killing three men of the Rorie family in an effort to determine the location of Freeman and of Rorie’s Cave, believed to be producing powder works. Absalom Rorie and his sons, Andrew and Hezekiah, had their arms tied to separate horses, which were driven in opposite directions, dismembering the bodies."

After this was published, it was discovered by this researcher that Andrew B. Rorie was not the third man killed at Rorie's Mills as previously believed. He, along with his brother John G. and Absolom Josiah "Jody" Rorie [my ancestor], enlisted in the Union army days after their father's and brother's deaths, presumably for the safety of their surviving family members. My belief is that they assumed that if they joined the Union army, were the soldiers who killed their father and brother to return to the area, they would be less likely to harm their family with three of them being soldiers in the Union army. Andrew died in the service of the Union army according to his service records, so the identity of the third man killed at Rorie's Mills is not known. More on the scoundrel William Monks can be read here: http://ozarks-history.blogspot.com/2013/04/william-monks.html.


Pictured above is Absolom Josiah Rorie and his wife Mary Snellgrove, my 4th great grandparents. In his later years, Jody would not speak of the attack on his father and brother in 1864. But the effect on him was lasting, and the family has never forgotten what occurred that day.

This has been a summary of some of the unusual and unfortunate deaths that have occurred in my family. Though all sad in their own ways, I think it is important to remember these events, as they affected our families immensely, and can often be cited as the reasoning for some family's habits or beliefs. Perhaps one day I will have discovered 12 more and I will share those as well.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Miss Ruby Jay - Letters from my great grandfather to my great grandmother in 1929

In 1929, my great grandfather and great grandmother took several trips. Robert Royer "Bob" Moose ventured to Sulphur and Oklahoma City, as well as several destinations in Arkansas. Ruby Fern Jay visited family in Kansas and Iowa. During these times apart, Bob wrote several letters and postcards, and sent several telegrams. Ruby saved these correspondences, and I have transcribed them with the intention of including them in genealogy book I plan to publish in the future. I am sharing some of my favorite excerpts here.


______________________________________________________


Ruby Jay – 1220 W. Wash. – Guthrie, Okla.

June 27

Will leave here tomorrow. Still having a good time. Sure is hot but coal [sic] at night. Love, Bob

_______________________________________________

Miss Ruby Jay – First Natl. Bank – Guthrie, Okla.

Foreman, Ark. – June 28-29

My dearest:

I am still in Foreman and having a good time. Kid you sure would like to be down here. I can’t hardly leave. I intended to leave here yesterday but the folks wouldn’t let me. I am going to Idabel tomorrow this afternoon. Will probably stay there tonight. We may go from there to Okla City. We have rode about six hundred miles since we left Guthrie. We went to a peach orchard yesterday and filled up.
Kid the trees and everything here are just beautiful. There is almost any kind. Pine, walnut, maple, hickory, and a million others.

Say kid don’t notice this writing as I am so nervous that my hand shakes. This writing love letters is almost a new experience to me. But dear, I love you enough to try it once. I have been riding that motor-cycle until I am stiff and sore. I am sending Lawrence two cucumbers. You should sell them. They are only small ones. I am going to take two back on the motor. They are plenty big. How is B.Y.P.U. by now? Boy I would sure like to be there with you and the old gang.

When we arrived here we were as mudy [sic] as hogs. We stopped at Foreman to fix a flat. We stopped at the Ford garage, and hadn’t been there but a few minutes until two of my cousins walked out. They didn’t know us but it didn’t take long to get acquainted. Tommie wanted us to go to the home and we wanted to clean up first, but no use as Tommie is a girl and wouldn’t let us. If you could see me while I am writing this letter you wouldn’t want to be my little wife. I have sent all my clothes back to O.C. and don’t have any more here so the girls and Aunt Mae said I could stay a few hours like this. Oh man but for a good swim in a river, I had one yesterday and didn’t need any bathing suit. There was a boat by the name of Ruby in the water. But I couldn’t use it.

I will try to write so you can read the next letter if you will excuse this one. Remember I love you and always will.

Lovingly, Bob

______________________________________________


Miss Ruby Jay – Pleasantville, Iowa – General Delivery  [8-3-29 Postmark]

From R.R. Moose – 218 N. First – Guthrie, Okla.

Guthrie, Okla. - Sat. Morn.

Dearest Ruby:
I was sure glad to receive a letter from you this morning. It seems like a month since I said good-bye, but it is only three days. I am glad that you are having such a good trip and sure would like to be with you. I sure wish you would write more in these short letters, but I guess that is good for the first letters I ever received from my little B.-T.-B. [sic]

Now figure that out if you can, and if you can’t, I’ll try to tell you when you, “come back to me.” This is our busy day, but you can imagine how hard I am working. I am getting off easy at the present but wait till this afternoon.

Sarah came home last night and knocked Lawrence and I out of a trip to Tulsa as we were going after her next Sunday or rather tomorrow. Now I guess I will go to bed and sleep all day. Heck no! Not me.

Mr. Lintz arrived home yesterday and sure is a busy man. Don’t know for sure, but, it looks like re-moddeling [sic] will start soon. Well I guess I had better stop and get to work before someone tells me too. [sic]

I close longing to hold you in my arms once more.

Love, Bob


P.S. Tell all the folks hello. Hoping you lots of good luck. Bob

_________________________________________________

The last letter in the group is this one, and I thought it was a particularly nice testament to their relationship. The is is a telegram that was sent on Valentine's Day 1930. 


They married one month later, on March 15th, 1930 in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and were together until Bob's death on June 18th, 1975 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally created as a way to honor men who died during their military service in the Civil War.
I like to remember those men on a regular basis, and to do so in a small way, I'm going to list the men in my immediate and closely extended family who died, or are believed to have died, while serving in the Civil War. Every one of these men is either a director ancestor/grandfather, a biological uncle, or a 1st cousin. For several months now, I have been undertaking the daunting task of identifying as many of my 1st cousins and uncles that served in the Civil War as possible. This list now includes over 400 names, and I am less than halfway through my tree. All of these men's service can be proven by Civil War service records, pensions, accounts by comrades, or sworn statements from immediate family members or neighbors.
There are many more on my list, but these are the men who died or are believed to have died during their service. Notice how very few of these men were actually killed in action, and even still relatively few from wounds sustained in actual battle. Most died of disease not related to having fought in battle, and a few died in POW camps. You'll also find one execution.

Grandfathers:

Calvin W. Selph - Missouri 12th Infantry (CON) - Did not return home from the war
Gassaway Snellgrove - Arkansas 18th Infantry (Marmaduke's) (CON) - Did not return home from the war

Biological uncles:

Cole Campbell - Kentucky 5th Mounted Infantry (CON) - "Accidentally shot" in 1862
James C. Epps - 1st Tennessee Infantry (CON) - Died of wounds at Chancellorsville, 8 May 1863
William B. Eversole - Kentucky 6th Cavalry (UN) - Died of disease at Cumberland at Cumberland Ford
Andrew Hash - Virginia 50th Infantry (CON) - Died of disease in Bland County, VA, 26 Jun 1862.
John Hash - 97th North Carolina Militia (CON) - Died of smallpox in February 1862
Adrian Hays - Arkansas 34th Infantry + 7th Militia (CON) - Family records indicate he did not come home from the war
Garner Holmes - Arkansas 31st Infantry (CON) - Died of wounds at Richmond, Kentucky
Richard C. Hutcheson - Unknown, most likely 14th Arkansas Infantry (CON) - Died of disease November 1862. Letter from Confederate surgeon who was courting and eventually married Richard's cousin confirms Richard's death, though no service record has been found for him.
William B. Manning - Texas 18th Cavalry (CON) - Died at the Confederate prison camp Camp Douglas in Chicago, IL on 16 Feb 1863
Richard Radford - Kentucky 7th Infantry (UN) - Died of consumption 26 May 1863 in Grand Gulf, Mississippi.
Andrew B. Rorie - Arkansas 3rd Cavalry (UN) - Died of chronic diarrhea 14 Jan 1865.
John H. Taylor - Kentucky 1st Cavalry (CON) - Died 26 Jun 1864 of disease in Cassville, GA.
John Wolf, Chaplain - Arkansas 14th Infantry (CON) - Died of sickness on duty in 1863.

1st cousins:

John E. Baker - California 3rd Infantry (UN) - Killed in battle with Indians, 29 Jan 1863.
Henry C. Barringer - North Carolina 5th Infantry (CON) - Killed 9 Nov 1862
Jacob A. Barringer - North Carolina 8th Infantry (CON) - Killed in Action, 20 Apr 1864 in Plymouth, NC
Edward L. Beaver - North Carolina 8th Infantry (CON) - Last official record states he was captured. Testimony of a comrade states he was KIA.
John D. Beaver - North Carolina 8th Infantry (CON) - Died of wounds at Globe Tavern in Aug 1864.
Moses W. Beaver - North Carolina 57th Infantry (CON) - Died 23 Sep 1862 in hospital in Richmond, VA.
James H. Binkley - Tennessee 20th Infantry (CON) - Died of pneumonia 2 Dec 1861 in Knoxville, TN.
John M. Binkley - Tennessee 20th Infantry (CON) - Died of measles 28 Nov 1861 in Knoxville, TN.
William Binkley - Tennessee 20th Infantry (CON) - Killed at Battle of Chickamauga, 13 Sep 1863.
George E. Boaz - Alabama 30th Infantry (CON) - Died of disease 3 Jan 1853 in Talladega, AL.
Sampson H. Boaz - Alabama 30th Infantry (CON) - Died 1 Aug 1862 in Tennessee.
William A. Denton - Arkansas 3rd Cavalry (UN) - Died 19 Jan 1864 of typhoid fever three mile from Little Rock, AR.
Franklin Dobbs - Georgia 34th Infantry (CON) - Died of wounds sustained at Vicksburg on 31 Oct 1862.
Joseph H. Dobbs - Alabama 10th Infantry (CON) - Died as POW at Point Lookout, MD
Silas M. Dobbs - Mississippi 31st Infantry (CON) - Died December 1864 in Franklin, TN of wounds.
William U. Dobbs - Alabama 21st Infantry (CON) - Died of disease as a POW on 8 Nov 1864 in Elmira, New York.
Daniel A. Eagle - Missouri 16th Infantry (CON) - Died 24 May 1863 of a fever at Little Rock, AR.
George Eagle - North Carolina 8th Infantry (CON) - Died of disease in Goldsboro, NC on 18 Dec 1862.
Moses W. Eagle - North Carolina 8th Infantry (CON) - Died in Goldsboro, NC on 29 Dec 1862.
John C. Eversole - Kentucky 14th Cavalry (UN) - Killed by Confederate guerrillas while on furlough on 2 May 1864. The home where he was killed is still standing and still riddled with bullet holes.
Woolery Eversole - Kentucky 8th Infantry (UN) - Died sick in Nashville, TN on 9 Oct 1862.
Andrew J. Fancher - Louisiana 9th Infantry (CON) - Died from being mortally wounded in June 1864 at Battle of Moncrary [Maryland].
Early A. Fancher - Alabama 10th Infantry (CON) - Last service record shows him sick with diarrhea in Sep 1861. His estate was assigned an administrator in Mar 1862, indicating he died in service.
John W. Fancher - Mississippi 41st Infantry (CON) - Died in hospital of acute dysentery in Georgia.
Lawrence D. Fancher - Alabama 20th Infantry (CON) - Wounded at Gettysburg, and died 25 Oct 1863 in Atlanta of "chronic disease".
Noah F. B. Fancher - Mississippi 31st Infantry and 1st Cavalry (CON) - Died 12 Oct 1864 in hospital in Macon County, Georgia.
David C. Gist - Aransas 5th Infantry (CON) - Killed in Action 31 Aug 1864 in Battle of Jonesboro [Georgia].
James Gist - Tennessee 2nd Mounted Infantry (UN) - One record says he was Killed in Action 14 Jan 1864 at Shoal Creek, Alabama. Another says he died of wounds on 14 Apr 1864 in Waling's Spring, Tennessee. I suspect he and his brother's records of death got mixed up at some point. (See below)
Levi Gist - Tennessee 2nd Mounted Infantry (UN) - One record says he was Killed in Action 14 Jan 1864 at Shoal Creek, Alabama. Another says he died of wounds on 14 Apr 1864 in Waling's Spring, Tennessee. I suspect he and his brother's records of death got mixed up at some point.
William A. Haddix - Kentucky 5th Mounted Infantry (CON) - One record states he died 10 Nov 1863 in Lewisville, GA. The other has no date, and just says he died in Cassville, GA.
Byron B. Hash - Virginia 50th Infantry (CON) - Taken prisoner at Gettysburg and died as a POW 26 Jan 1864 at Point Lookout, MD.
Elbert S. Hash - Virginia 51st Infantry (CON) - Missing in action and presumed dead 10 Feb 1862 at Fort Donelson.
Jerome C. Hash - Virginia 50th Infantry (CON) - Died 14 Feb 1862 in Kentucky.
Levi Hash - Virginia 51st Infantry (CON) - Died 12 Feb 1862 at home in Grayson County, Virginia of smallpox. Brought the smallpox home with him, eventually killing his mother, brother, and other immediate family members within weeks.
William C. Hash - Virginia 45th Infantry and 29th Infantry (CON) - Died at hospital in Richmond, VA on 10 Jun 1865.
John Hodge - Missouri 16th Infantry (CON) - Family records claim he died in service.
Andrew J. Hollis - Cocke's Arkansas Infantry (CON) - Died 27 Sep 1862.
Thomas L. Hollis - Mississippi 1st Cavalry (CON) - Died at Alton, Illinois Confederate Prison Camp on 1 Nov 1863.
Charles B. Holmes - Arkansas 21st Infantry (CON) - Died 7 Aug 1862.
Paul C. Jeter - Virginia 34th Infantry (CON) - Killed at Battle of Seven Pines on 31 May 1862.
William J. Jeter - Virginia 58th Infantry (CON) - Died of wound received at Cedar Run on 10 Aug 1862.
Alfred T. Jones - Virginia 64th Mounted Infantry (CON) - Died as POW at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois on 9 Jan 1865.
Henry C. Jones - Virginia 50th Infantry (CON) - Died as POW at Fort Delaware
John G. Marks - Ohio 96th Infantry (UN) - Died at Columbus, Ohio on 15 Oct 1864.
John T. May - Indiana 22nd Infantry (UN) - Died 10 Nov 1862 in Louisville, KY.
Lafayette May - Indiana 22nd Infantry (UN) - Killed in action 8 Oct 1862 at Chaplin Hill, KY.
James McElhannon - Mississippi 2nd Infantry (CON) - Died of disease 4 Nov 1862 at Stanton, VA.
Leonidus H. Mitchell - Georgia 30th Infantry (CON) - Killed in Action 30 Nov 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee.
S. Daniel Mitchell - Georgia 30th Infantry (CON) - Died of disease 12 Sep 1862 in Savannah, GA.
Albert Mooney - Mississippi 7th Battalion (CON) - Executed by Captain Bayliss in October 1862 for desertion.
Kenyon H. Mooney - Mississippi 8th Infantry (CON) - Died of disease at Tullahoma, TN on 20 Nov 1862.
Reuben Mooney - Mississippi 7th Battalion (CON) - Left at hospital in Sep 1862 and "not heard of since". Apparently died, as his widowed applied for assistance in Apr 1863.
Jacob A. Moose - North Carolina 28th Infantry (CON) - Died 28 Jul 1865.
George W. Napier - Virginia 19th Infantry (CON) - Died in service 30 Jun 1862; unable to read the place he died in the record.
Eli W. Peck - North Carolina 8th Infantry (CON) - Died as POW at Elmira Prison [New York] on 7 Oct 1864.
Julius Peck - North Carolina 5th Infantry (CON) - Shot in the head at Gettysburg. Left "in the hands of the enemy" and succumbed to his wounds on 6 Jul 1863.
John Powell - Mississippi 33rd Infantry (CON) - Killed at Franklin, TN on 30 Nov 1864. Was a Captain and acting Major at the time of his death.
Joseph Powell - Edwards' Louisiana Battalion (CON) - Died 10 Mar 1865. Apparently died on his way home after being released as a POW.
Elisha Russell - Missouri 11th Infantry, 8th Battalion Infantry, and 9th Infantry (CON) - Died of congestive chill in 1864, according to family records.
Harvey Rutherford - Virginia 51st Infantry (CON) - Died circa May 1863. "Present" for Mar/Apr 1863 Muster Roll, "Died" by May/Jun muster roll.
George M. Sain - Tennessee 16th Infantry (CON) - Killed 1 Jul 1861, no details on death.
William M. Sain - Tennessee 35th Infantry (CON) - Died March 1862; no details on death provided.
Eli A. Smith - Missouri 5th Infantry (CON) - Died of wounds at Corinth, MS. Service records give two dates: once gives 5 Oct 1862, next gives 12 Oct 1862. Family bible record gives 10 Oct 1862.
Joseph W. Spradlin - Georgia 41st Infantry (CON) - Died of disease 5 Apr 1862.
Newton Spradlin - Georgia 63rd Infantry (CON) - Died of disease 4 Apr 1863.
Jacob Whitesell - Tennessee 41st Infantry (CON) - Last record shows him left sick at Bowling Green, KY in Jan 1862. Does not appear in records after that; appears likely he died in service.
William W. Whitesell - Confederate 1st Cavalry (CON) - Killed at Battle of Shiloh on 6 Apr 1862.
Jacob R. Wilhoite - Tennessee 17th Infantry (CON) - Killed during Chattanooga campaign, 24 Oct 1863.
John B. Young - North Carolina 37th Infantry (CON) - Died Apr 1862 of disease.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ancestors and Descendants of Peter Ribelin

As is the case with many of my early North Carolina families, there is a lack of documentation connecting various generations. So I have set out to try and connect them with as much documentation as possible. Where the documentation is non-existent, I will be seeking out a suitable amount of circumstantial evidence, enough at least to convince myself if not others.

One such troubling family is my Ribelin family of Rowan County, North Carolina. I recently found a deed which appears to show 6 of the 7 heirs of my ancestor Peter Ribelin, and that got me to looking into the documentation tying Peter to his father. Unfortunately, there isn't any. Peter's father is believed to be Martin Ribelin, who died and left a will in Rowan County in 1793. Martin's will does not name a son, Peter. He names children Martin, Jacob, Anna, Elizabeth, Sarah, Susanna, and Rachel.

As it turns out, however, it appears that Martin likely had multiple children who were not named as heirs in his will. This may have been for a number of reasons. The most likely of which is that he gave each child their portion of his estate when they came of age, married, or else moved away. This has happened many times in many other families. There is a solid amount of evidence indicating that Martin had a daughter named Katharine who married an Adam Kern,and Martin did act as the bondsman for the marriage of a William Ribelin in 1779 in Rowan County. These facts appear to indicate that he had at least two children who were not named in his will, so why could Peter not be a third?

The fact is, Martin Ribelin was basically the only known Ribelin progenitor in North Carolina, and perhaps in all of the United States. It is shown that he came to America on the ship Duke of Wirtemberg and received at the Philadelphia Court House on 20 Oct 1752. His name was listed as "Hans Martin Raible". He also came with a brother, Johannis Reiblen. What became of this brother is unknown, but no descendants of his have been identified, so it is fair to name Martin Ribelin the sole progenitor of the name Ribelin in America. His name and the names of his descendants were spelled a number of different ways in early records, including Ribline, Ribley, Raiblin, Reblin, Riblin, Ribling, and more. They seem to have all eventually settled with Ribelin.

The argument for attaching Katharine, wife of Adam Kern, to Martin Riblin is presented in The Kern Family of Rowan County, NC, Nicholas, KY, Indiana, Iowa (Mary Margaret Kern, 1968). The argument for attaching William, as previously mentioned, primarily hinges on the facts that Martin acted as William's bondsman when he married, and the fact that Martin was pretty much the only Ribelin around. (More information on William Ribelin can be found here: http://www.reocities.com/dkiker_liddell/KIKER_PAGE/Keicher_Sisters.htm). There is no documentation like William's marriage record for attaching Peter to Martin, so virtually the only argument here is that Martin was the only man around who could have been Peter's father.

Jacob Ribelin is named in Martin's will. Peter's grandson Jesse Ribelin, son of Isaac, named one of his sons Jacob Asa Ribelin. Asa Ribelin was a well-known teacher in Rowan County, and was a son of Jacob Ribelin. Jacob Ribelin was also supposedly a gunsmith, a trade which was shared by Isaac Ribelin and his son Jesse. These bits of loose circumstantial evidence are not much for connecting Peter to Martin, but unfortunately that's about all that can be done.

DNA evidence has not confirmed much as of yet. My grand uncle Ronnie Moose's DNA sample came back with "Very Low" confidence matches to four descendants of Katherine Ribelin who married Adam Kern. But they did yield a "Moderate" confidence match to a descendant of Rosannah Ribelin, daughter of William Ribelin for whom Martin was the bondsman for his marriage. This is encouraging, but not definitive. Matches to more descendants of the Ribelins can help confirm Peter's lineage eventually.

It should be noted that Martin Ribelin's wife's name is not known; most have it as "Anna", but not identified a source for this name. Similarly, Peter's first wife's name (or wives' names) is not known. He remarried to a Nancy Johnson on 27 Oct 1814, but it does not appear they had any children together, as they have no young children in their household in 1820.

I have found little written on the children of Peter Ribelin, so I wanted to share this deed which names 6 of his 7 heirs.

This was taken from "Abstracts of Deed Books 30-34 of Rowan County, North Carolina 1828-1840", compiled by the Genealogical Society of Rowan County.

On 28 Oct 1830 [in Rowan County], Isaac Ribelin, John Linn/Lynn and wife Catherine, Henry Barger [Note: Should be Barrier] and wife Elizabeth, William Cox and wife Rachel, and David McMackin and wife Susanna sold their portions of Peter Ribelin's estate to their apparent brother, Samuel Ribelin.

Each were entitled to 1/7 part of the property. This means that there was a 7th child in this family who has not yet been identified. This 7th was most likely a son, as Samuel and Isaac make two, but Peter's 1810 Census shows two sons under ten and one son 10-15. The marriages for Isaac, Samuel, Elizabeth, Rachel, and Susanna can be found with various spellings of Ribelin. I could not find the marriage of Catherine to John Linn/Lynn. I could only find Susanna still living in 1850, when she is enumerated in Rowan County.

Any researchers wishing to exchange information on the Ribelins can feel free to contact me.

Sorting out my Eagle/Agle/Egle lineage in Rowan and Cabarrus Counties, NC

For a while now, I have not been satisfied with the documentation, or lack there of, connecting my ancestress Mary "Polly" Eagle Ribelin to her parents. The assertion many online trees and published genealogies have made is that she was the daughter of George Eagle and a Mary Magdeline Susannah Huldermar/Haldeman/Holdeman. I had several problems with this assertion, the primary one being that I could find no definitive documentation connecting Mary to George, who died in newton County, Missouri in 1864 (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=EA&GSpartial=1&GSbyrel=all&GSst=26&GScntry=4&GSsr=1361&GRid=6429358&). Further, I've taken issue with the assertion that the "Mary Magdeline" that George is shown to be married to after 1850 being the same "Susanah Haldeman" he married in 1802. Beyond that, I also took issue with George being labeled the son of another George Eagle, as there similarly appeared to be a complete lack of documentation proving this. So I took it upon myself to see if I could prove or disprove any of these assertions, or at least add possible alternate scenarios.

It appears the definitive resource for Eagle family genealogy has been "Pennsylvania Genealogies; Chiefly Scotch-Irish and German.", first published in 1886 by renowned Pennsylvania historian William Henry Egle. (https://archive.org/details/cu31924028856900) Mr. Egle has a Marcus Egle as the progenitor of the Eagle family of Pennsylvania. According to Egle's book, Marcus was from Zurich, Switzerland and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he had four children that have been identified: John, Caspar, Adam, and Susannah. He begins to give outlines of each family to the best of his knowledge; unfortunately, he does not cite many primary sources. He states that Marcus's son Adam had three sons: John, George, and Phillip, who each later immigrated to Rowan County, North Carolina. I do not take issue with this assertion, as all three men appear in the 1800 Census of Rowan County and in probate records there. He does not detail John's progeny beyond stating he had sons named David and John.

Egle goes into great detail outlining Phillip's descendants, and he lists three children for George: daughters Mary and Margaret, and George who married the woman he lists as "Mary Haldeman". Since he did not list his sources, it is difficult to ascertain how he came up with this lineage. It is likely fair to assume that the three early Rowan County Egle/Eagle's were brothers, and though I have not located specific proof of this, I will tentatively agree with the conclusion unless proven otherwise. Also, none of these three probable-brothers left wills behind naming their heirs, though there are estate files in their name. After looking through these estate files and a couple of other basic records, the first undocumented conclusion of this book I would like to dissect is that George, son of Adam, was the father of George who d. in Newton County, Missouri.

After some simple searching, I have concluded that this George who d. in Missouri is really the son of John, rather than George. George's headstone, which is located in McDonald County, Missouri, gives his date of birth as 25 Dec 1781. This is consistent with the 1850 Census which has him born about 1783, and the 1860 Census, which has him born about 1782. This would put him in the 17-19 age range in 1800. As it turns out, only one of the three brothers has a male in his household in the 16-25 age range: John Egle. Further, the bondsman for George's marriage to Susanah Haldeman was: John Egle. John died in 1806, and a George Egle is named the administrator of his estate. I can't find definitively whether this would be George b. 1781 or John's brother George, but it can assumed with relative certainty that it was his son, George b. 1781, based on an 1813 deed.

On January 18, 1813, George Eagle, Samuel Albright and his wife, Elisabeth, Catharine Eagle [Note: This is likely the Caty Eagle who m. Jacob Mowrie on 6 Apr 1814 in Rowan County], John Smith and wife, Eave, George House and wife, Margaret, all of Rowan County and heirs of John Eagle, dec'd, to Michael Isehower land in Cabarrus County (land on Ruben's Branch of English Buffalo Creek). This proves that John had a son named George, and combined with the above information, it appears clear that this son was George b. 1781. John's brother George, long assumed to be the father of George b. 1781, did also have a son named George. On 28 Feb 1818, George Eagle Sr. gifted 100 acres on Dutch Buffalo Creek in Rowan County to his son George Eagle Jr. This was certainly George who was born about 1799; he was most likely being gifted the land for coming of age.

By 1818 when that deed occurred, George b. 1781 was likely already in Cabarrus County where he is found in the 1820 Census. I base this assertion on the fact that only one George Eagle appears on the 1815 Rowan County tax list, and based on his proximity to Phillip, it is almost certainly George Eagle Sr. [http://www.ncgenealogy.org/publications/ncgs-journal/ncgs-journal-2000-2004/ncgs-journal-2004/201-ncgs-journal-vol-xxx-no-3-august-2004-1/file]

Now that I've established George b. 1781's parentage, I want to look at what we know about him and work toward attempting to connecting him to my Mary. At the very least, I would like to connect her to other Eagles who in turn could be connected to George, or else rule her out as a potential daughter for two other Eagle men who could have been her father. So I am going to split the remainder of this narrative into six sections:

I. What do we know about George Eagle, b. 1781?
II. Could anyone besides George b. 1781 be Mary Eagle Ribelin's father?
III. How else can Mary be directly or indirectly tied to George b. 1781?
IV. Could anyone besides George b. 1781 be Solomon Eagle's father?
V. DNA Evidence
VI. Are Susannah and Mary Magdeline the same woman?

I. What do we know about George Eagle, b. 1781?


George appears in the 1810 Census in Rowan County; after that, he is found in Cabarrus County in 1820-1850, and finally in Newton County, Missouri in 1860. He is living with the family of his son, Moses, in 1850 and 1860, along with his wife, who is listed as Mary M. in 1850 and Magdeline in 1860. Whether this is the same woman as the Susanah Holdeman he married in 1802 has yet to be determined with absolute certainty.

His headstone in McDonald County, MO gives his year of birth as 1781, while his 1850 and 1860 Census records give his approximate year as 1783 and 1782, respectively. His known children are: Leah (m. John Peck), Elizabeth (m. Isaac Beaver), John b. 1813, George Adam, Sophia, and Moses. All of these children with the exceptions of Elizabeth and John b. 1813 migrated to Newton County, Missouri along with George and his wife. Elizabeth's son, Daniel Beaver, made the trip to Missouri with his grandparents and relatives, and Elizabeth fits with George's Census records and came to Cabarrus County with him from Rowan. John also fits George's Census records, moved to Cabarrus with him, and actually took up the same profession as George, which was gunsmithing.

[Note: No marriage record has been found for George's daughter Sophia, who married Jesse Hodge. But her maiden name can be proven by her son George's and son Daniel's death certificates in Missouri, which give their mother's name as Sophia Eagle. Her daughter Agnes's 1949 Texas death certificate also gives her mother's name as Sophia Eagle. She is buried in the same cemetery as her parents and her siblings George Adam and Leah.]

George and John were both highly respected gunsmiths in their geographic area. Some of their rifles are still surviving today and fetch thousands of dollars. One of John's rifles is on display at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Salem, NC. [http://www.mesda.org/collections/silver_sprite/mesda_longrifle.html]


George's rifles are equally revered and collectible. Photographs of one of his rifles can be found here: http://contemporarymakers.blogspot.com/2011/05/2011-33rd-tennessee-kentucky-rifle-show_23.html.

This shared profession, along with John's fit with George's census records and geographic locale make him an almost certain son of George. Additionally, John doesn't actually fit in the household of any other Eagle man in the 1830 Census, as well be discussed later, which further solidifies the near certainty that he is indeed George's son.

The other two children typically attached to George are Solomon Eagle and Mary "Polly" Eagle who married Isaac Ribelin. As George did not leave behind any estate records that we know of, putting together his family has been done mostly by logical deduction and circumstantial evidence, or at least that's how it appears to me. Several published accounts of the Eagle family over several decades have listed George with these eight children, and for the most part, the family fits together pretty straight forwardly. They all match with George's census records, and as shown above, most can be attached to him by geographic movements and other means. However, all of these same published accounts list George as the son of George Sr., and as I have proven above, he was the son George Sr.'s brother John. So if they can be wrong about that, they could be wrong about his children as well.

Fitting Solomon and Mary into George's family isn't as simple as fitting in the other children. For one thing, the six more or less confirmed children all lived in Cabarrus County with George at one time or another. However, Solomon and Mary were firmly rooted in neighboring Rowan County for their adult lives from their marriages on. It would be easier in some ways to conclude they were the children of either George Sr. or Phillip (being the only two Eagles in NC old enough besides John who had his own daughter Mary to be the father of Mary), or that Solomon (born in 1811) could be the son of one of George's or Phillip's eldest sons. But they have been attached to George b. 1781, and therefore I have become determined to show with as much conviction as possible that they do indeed belong to George b. 1781's family. So I have set out to do so, and I will share my evidence and conclusions below.

II. Could anyone besides George b. 1781 be Mary Eagle Ribelin's father?


Mary "Polly" Eagle who married Isaac Ribelin was born about 1807, according to her headstone, which states she died in 1878 at age 71. In order to rule out other Eagles as Mary's father, we can start with looking at the four other "elder" Eagles found in Rowan and Cabarrus counties in 1850 besides George b. 1781: Peter (1794), John (1790), George (1799), and John (1794). Obviously all four of these men are too young to have been Mary's father, as even the eldest of them, John b. 1790, would have been only 17 at her birth and neither he nor John b. 1794, nor Peter have a female over age 10 in their 1820 households.

George b. 1781 is the only one of the elder Eagles living in 1850 who was really old enough to be Mary's father, but that doesn't mean one of the other eldest Eagles could not have been. The previously mentioned deed listing John Eagle's heirs includes a daughter named Mary who was married to Samuel Albright, which means John is not this Mary's father. In the 1810 Census, George b. 1781 has 3 daughters under age 10, while George Sr. has one and Phillip has two. This leaves open the possibility that George Sr. or Phillip could be Mary's father.

In the 1820 Census, George's under age 10 female from the 1810 Census is now in the 16-26 age range, making her too old to be Mary. It is unclear who this female is; she may be the Jane Eagle who married Archibald Gibson in Rowan County on 7 Oct 1828, as it does not appear this Jane has been connected to any particular family, but as she not found in other records we can not ascertain her age so we can really only guess as to where she belongs. Phillip's two daughters from the 1810 Census appear in 1820 in the 10-16 age range, leaving open the possibility that one of them could be Mary. It is certain that one of them is Esther Eagle who married Thomas Franklin Bain on 14 Mar 1829. Esther and her husband followed the majority of Phillip's children after his death to Maury County, Tennessee; John b. 1794 and James who later moved to Mecklenburg County.

According to William Henry Egle's "Pennsylvania Genealogies", this second daughter would be an Elizabeth Eagle who married a Simeon Lutz and had at least two children by him. I have not found any record of a daughter Elizabeth, nor of her husband Simeon Lutz or their supposed children, Henry and Sophia. Egle's genealogy has been proven to be imperfect, but his work on Phillip Eagle's descendants is mostly solid and verifiable, so I am inclined to believe Egle that the second 10-16 year old female in Phillip's 1820 household is indeed Elizabeth. However, as Elizabeth's existence has not yet been proven with documentation, it leaves open the small possibility that Mary could be Phillip's daughter. But since by 1840, all of Phillip's other descendants were either in Maury County, Tennessee or else Cabarrus (John b. 1794) or Meckelnburg (James) counties, it seems unlikely that Mary would have stayed behind and not gone to be nearer any of her immediate family if she were indeed a part of Phillip's brood.

Having reduced the probability that anyone but George b. 1781 could be Mary's father to almost none, we must now ask ourselves:

III. How else can Mary be directly or indirectly tied to George b. 1781?


By now, we've covered the facts that Mary cannot be tied to George b. 1781 with documentation or even really with geographic proximity, but she does fit into his family's census records. So how else can we show Mary to be connected with George b. 1781? For me, it starts with her marriage.

Mary married Isaac Ribelin on 10 Aug 1822 in Rowan County. The fact that she married Isaac in Rowan County has always struck me as strange since by 1820, George b. 1781 was in Cabarrus County and she would seemingly be one of the 10-16 year old females in his 1820 household there. But it would certainly not be unheard of for someone to get married in a county adjacent to where they are living, especially when they were born in that county and lived their early life there. The bondsman for this marriage is an important clue; the bondsman's name was George Vogler. Like Eagle, Vogler was a celebrated gunsmith. He moved to Rowan County in about 1815, having apprenticed under his uncle, Christopher Vogler, in Salem, NC. Information on Vogler and a picture of one of his guns can be found here: http://contemporarymakers.blogspot.com/2011/05/2011-33rd-tennessee-kentucky-rifle-show_23.html

It is likely that all of the gunsmiths in early Rowan county were well-acquainted with one another, if not friends. This assertion is even further supported by the fact that yet another celebrated gunsmith of Rowan County was none other than Mary's husband, Isaac Ribelin. The same blog I have linked to multiple times has information on Isaac's work and a picture of one of his rifles.

This common link between George Eagle, George Vogler, and Isaac Ribelin is an important one. I think it is possible, if not probable, that Isaac apprenticed under George Eagle, which is where he probably learned the gunsmith trade. This is purely conjecture, but George b. 1781's 1810 household includes an unidentified male under the of 10; is it not possible that this could be Isaac Ribelin, b. 1800, appearing in the household as George's apprentice? It's a possibility, but not something that I could prove. Regardless, the fact that George b. 1781 was a gunsmith, and that Mary married another gunsmith while a 3rd gunsmith acted as bondsman for said marriage points to the likelihood that Mary was indeed George's daughter.

Mary can also be succinctly connected to Solomon Eagle, who as previously mentioned is in a similar boat to Mary in that he cannot be attached to George b. 1781 by documentation or geographic proximity, though he fits in George's early census records and has been attached to George in many published genealogies. Mary's husband, Isaac Ribelin, acted as the bondsman for Solomon's 18 Dec 1834 marriage to Agnes N. Hodge in Rowan County. Once again, it is curious that Solomon married in Rowan County when he would have been living in Cabarrus, but it is not unheard of. Solomon appears to have lived the remainder of his adult life in Rowan County, as did Mary.

It would be nice if Solomon were also a gunsmith, which would tie him even more firmly to George b. 1781, but in the 1850 Census he is listed as a cooper, who was a person who made and repaired casks and barrels. However, in that census he is living next door to another gunsmith: Jesse Ribelin, the eldest son of Mary and Isaac, who clearly picked up the trade from his father. Further, Solomon is buried mere feet from Mary in Saint Matthew's Lutheran Church Cemetery. According to their records, Solomon is buried in Row 3, Plot 15, while Mary is buried in Row 4, plot 22 which means they are laid to rest not just in the same cemetery but within a few yards of one another. [http://files.usgwarchives.net/nc/rowan/cemeteries/stmatthw.txt]

These facts appear to tie Mary and Solomon together as siblings, which then leads us to out next quandary:

IV. Could anyone besides George b. 1781 be Solomon Eagle's father?


According to his headstone, Solomon Eagle was born 14 Jun 1811. This would mean he would be enumerated as an under 10 male in the 1820 Census, and as a 15-20 year old male in the 1830 Census. Fortunately, this makes finding him fairly straightforward. In the 1820 Census, Phillip's son Joseph, who is living in Cabarrus County, has 3 sons under age 10, while Peter, John b. 1790, and John b. 1794 each have one, and our George b. 1781 has 3. George Sr. and Phillip have no males in their households under the age of 16.

The eldest sons of Peter, John b. 1790, and John b. 1794 have not been identified the majority of Eagle genealogies as best as I have ascertained. In fact, after having identified each of these sons myself, I found that little can be found about them online, and when I did find them online, no one had bothered to attach them to their fathers. So I believe I have identified the sons of these three men who were born between 1810 and 1820. None of these men left wills, so obviously these connections are circumstantial, but I think my cases for each of them is as strong as one could hope for.

1. Peter's son under age 10 in the 1820 Census is almost certainly David Eagle, who was born about 1816 and can be found in Rowan County census records in 1850 and 1860. David was a little difficult to place because while he was living next door to Peter in the 1840 Census, in 1850 he was living next door to Peter's brother John b. 1790 who also would have had a son David's age. It wasn't until I had identified John's son who was David's age that I felt sure David was Peter's son. Peter and David living next door to one another in 1840 in combination with the evidence regarding who John b. 1790's son is is good enough for me.

2. John b. 1790's son was almost certainly John A. Eagle. John A. Eagle married Barbary A. Lorets in Rowan County on 4 Feb 1845. In 1850, they are found living Ouachita County, Arkansas. John's Census records in 1850 and 1860 put his age at about 1820, so he would be the "under 10" in John b. 1790's 1820 household, the 5-10 year old in his 1830 household, and the 20-30 year old in his 1840 household. The reason I have connected John A. to John b. 1790 is because by 1860 another of John b. 1790's sons can be found in Ouachita County, Arkansas: his next eldest, Daniel M. Eagle, who was born about 1833. He can be found enumerated as "D M Eagle" in Ouachita County in 1860, while in 1850 he was still living in his father's home.

This circumstantial evidence is strong enough for me to tie John A. to John. Further, John b. 1790's 1840 Census proves that his "under 10" son from 1820 was still living with him as a 20-30 year old male. The above-mentioned David already had his own household by 1840 when he was living next to Peter, while Peter's son who was under 10 in 1820 is not still residing with him.

3. The son of John b. 1794, who was a son of Phillip and moved to Cabarrus County between 1830 and 1840, was certainly Daniel Eagle. Though his census records have him being born anywhere from 1815 to 1817, Daniel's enlistment records when he joined the 4th North Carolina Senior Reserves in the Civil War gives his age as 44 years, 10 months, and 17 days on the day he enlisted, 29 Jun 1864. This would make his date of birth 12 Aug 1819. The record gave his place of birth as Rowan County. Daniel is the only Eagle male born between 1810 and 1820 who is found in Cabarrus County census records with the exceptions of George b. 1781's sons John b. 1813 and George Adam. Further, like the above John b. 1790, John b. 1794 still has a 20-30 year old son in the 1840 Census in Cabarrus County, and Daniel did not have his own household that year which points to the strong likelihood that Daniel was the 20-30 year old male in John b. 1794's household.

For the identifications of Joseph Eagle's 3 sons under the age of 10 in the 1820 Census, we can refer back to Egle's "Pennsylvania Genealogies". Joseph's is another of the lines that appears to have been thoroughly researched, and can likely be trusted. Egle attributes 3 sons who were born between 1810 and 1820 to Joseph: James, born 24 Mar 1813, and Phillip and Henry, twins born in 1817. James and Henry can be firmly tied to Joseph, and while Phillip died young the fact that he married a sister of James's wife raises the probability that he was indeed Joseph's son rather than a son of one of Joseph's brothers.

It should be noted that Joseph's 1820 household also includes a 10-16 year old male who has not been identified. A marriage record for Joseph and his wife, Rosena Furr, has not been found. Some online sources give their date of marriage as 11 Apr 1811 in Cabarrus County, but this marriage is not found in Rowan County's marriage register. [http://www.cabarruscounty.us/government/departments/library/Local%20History/1793-1868_Marriage_Bonds.pdf] Rosena was previously married to George Klutts on 13 May 1807 in Cabarrus. The 10-16 year old male could have been a product of her first marriage, or else could have been on of Joseph's brothers. Some genealogies (http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/c/p/Linda-Spires-Mcpherson/PDFGENE22.pdf) claim the family also had a son named George b. about 1811, but no documentation of this George has been discovered.

Further, most Eagle genealogies attribute the aforementioned John Eagle b. 1790 as a son of Phillip. This appears to have been done primarily because this John married Sophia Furr, a sister of the above mentioned Rosena Furr, both daughters of Henry Furr. Henry Furr even names his son-in-law John Eagle the executor of his estate. And Joseph Eagle acted as the bondsman for John's marriage to Sophia. People appear to have assumed this was a case of a pair of brothers marrying a pair of sisters, which was not uncommon in these days. However, I think it is more likely that John and Joseph were first cousins. First of all, John who married Sophia, while he married in Cabarrus County, appears to have resided in Rowan County all of his life. He is always found to be very near Peter and George Jr., and I believe the three of them are the three sons of George Sr. who are found in his 1800 and 1810 households. I believe John b. 1794 is the son of Phillip because he migrated to Cabarrus from Rowan County along with his brother, Joseph.

It is certainly possible that I have these two John's mixed up at John b. 1790 of Rowan is the son of Phillip and John b. 1794 of Cabarrus is the son of George Sr., but the remarkably close proximity in which John of Rowan lived with Peter and George Jr. leads me to strongly believe that he is their brother, rather than their 1st cousin.

Now that we have seemingly identified all of the under age 10 male Eagles from the 1820 Census, we can take it a step further. As previously stated, in 1830 Solomon Eagle would have been in the 15-20 age range, and as stated even earlier, John b. 1813 would have also been in the 15-20 age range. As it turns out, there is only two Eagle households in 1830 with males between the ages of 15 and 20: George b. 1781 and Joseph, son of Phillip. As Joseph's 15-20 year old son has already been firmly identified as James Eagle, born 24 Mar 1813, that leads us to a logical conclusion that the two 15-20 year old males in George b. 1781's 1830 household must be Solomon b. 1811 and John b. 1813.

Again, all of this is circumstantial evidence, but it would appear that since Solomon and Mary are pretty firmly connected together, and they cannot fit into any other Eagle household but George b. 1781's, they logically must be the son and daughter of George Eagle b. 1781. There is also one more way we can confirm that Mary was indeed the daughter of George b. 1781, and that is by look at:

V. DNA Evidence


I have collected a DNA sample from my grand uncle, Dr. Robert Ronald "Ronnie" Moose, M.D. He is the son of Robert Royer Moose, son of Adolphus Franklin Moose, son of Sarah Jane Ribelin, daughter of Isaac Ribelin and Mary Eagle. This would make Isaac and Mary his great great grandparents. The Ancestry DNA test picks up familial relationships very well within 5 generations, and relatively well up to 8 generations. As Ronnie's relationship to Isaac and Mary is within 5 generations, one can assume that his Eagle connections will be quite accurate.

Ronnie had two matches that came back at 96% confidence, predicting a relationship of 4th-6th cousins.

The first was to a user name stoweanne. She appears to be a 6th cousin of Ronnie, as she descends directly from Rachel Eagle McNeely, daughter of Phillip Eagle, son of Adam Eagle. Ronnie's second match was even more promising, as it showed him to be a 4th cousin once removed of user brentley_clark, a direct descendant of Sophia Eagle who married Jesse Hodge, a daughter of George Eagle b. 1781. This match further solidifies my conviction that despite the lack of strong documentation proving the relationship, Mary "Polly" Eagle, wife of Isaac Ribelin, is indeed a daughter of George Eagle b. 1781.

Ronnie's DNA evidence also lent some assistance to another mysterious question, one regarding George b. 1781's wife, which is:

VI. Are Susannah and Mary Magdeline the same woman?


On 18 Oct 1802, George Eagle is shown to have married a Susannah Haldeman, a surname of Mennonite origin which has been found to be spelled in a number of variations including Holdeman, Halterman, and other similar spellings. Pastor Storch's records list her as "Sus." However, by 1850 George's wife's name in the census is Mary M., and in 1860 she is listed as "Magdeline". Her headstone lists her as "Mary M. Eagle". Most Eagle researchers label her as "Mary Magdelin Susannah", but I am suspicious of this, as it seems more likely that Susannah was a first wife who passed away and then George remarried to a Mary Magdeline.

The evidence to the contrary of that sentiment is, however, quite strong. First of all, Cabarrus County kept very accurate marriage records, and there is no record of George remarrying. Second of all, in 1820 George is found two households from a Paul Nussman in Rowan County. Thirty years later in neighboring Cabarrus County, George is found living next door to Paul Nussman. And who was Paul Nussman's wife? Why, none other than a Hannah Haldeman, whom he married in Cabarrus County on 20 Aug 1810. It seems unlikely that George would live in such close proximity to Paul Nussman and his wife Hannah for so long if it were George's former wife who was a Haldeman and not his current one. This lends credence to the assertion that Susannah and Mary Magdeline were one in the same.

Further, both Mary and Hannah in the 1850 Census claim to have been born in Pennsylvania. This is where the Haldeman family originated, as did most early Mennonites.

Marlene DiGiovanni, a longtime genealogical researcher of the Eagle family and descendant of Leah Eagle, daughter of George b. 1781, who married Isaac Beaver, asserts that it was not uncommon for a person's given Christian name and their personal name among their family members to be different. She believes strongly that Mary Magdeline and Susannah are one in the same, and I am inclined to agree with her despite the lack of documentation proving this assertion.

Three other Haldemans are found in Cabarrus County records in addition to Hannah and Mary/Susannah. An Elizabeth Haldeman married a William Groner or Croner in Cabarrus County on 19 Jan 1795. A Christian Halteman/Halterman married a Mary Schmidt/Smith on 1 Sep 1800 in Cabarrus County, and is found in Cabarrus County census records in 1810, 1820, and 1830. His eldest and only identified son was Abraham Halterman who appears in several Cabarrus County records. It is interesting to note as well that Pastor Storch's records state that he buried an Abraham Haldeman in 1798.

A researcher named Donna Basinger who has thoroughly researched many Haldeman Mennonite families believes that this Abraham was almost certainly the father of this clump of Haldemans in Cabarrus and Rowan counties. She believes this Abraham who was buried by Pastor Storch to be an Abraham Krey Haldeman of Pennsylvania, brother of John Krey Haldeman and Nicholas Haldeman, the latter of which apparently also migrated to North Carolina from Pennsylvania. She writes:

"The brother of my possible ancestor John Krey Haldeman was Abraham Krey Haldeman. He was supposed to have moved out of Pennsylvania, probably after the Rev. War. His brother Nicholas Haldeman supposedly went to North Carolina as well. I think this is Abraham, father of Christian. This Abraham’s father was Christian and Mennonite naming patterns means you name the first son after his grandfather. So Abraham named his son Christian after his father. Christian then named a son Abraham after his father."

 She also sent a biographical sketch of an Eli Eddlemann from "History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois", edited by William Henry Perrin. He married a daughter of the aforementioned younger Abraham Halterman, son of Christian of Rowan County, likely son of the elder Abraham. 

"He was married in 1852 in this county to Miss Mary L. Halterman.  A native of N. Carolina born September 24, 1827 and came to Union Co with her parents in 1850. ...Mrs  Eddleman’s father was Abraham Halterman, a native of N. Carolina and born in 1800.  He was a farmer and carpenter and in 1852 built the County Court house at Concord N.C.  and in 1850 came to Union Co. ILL.  He was a large landholder owning some 2500 acres.  He died in 1853   His father was Christian Halterman a native of Pennsylvania but an early emigrant to North Carolina."

This sketch further points to the probability that Christian was a brother of Mary/Susannah, Hannah, and probably Elizabeth as well. The only other way I know of to try and learn more about the family of Mary/Susannah, or at least confirm assumptions, is by looking at DNA evidence. Once again, I will look at Ronnie Moose's DNA results to see if they lend credence to the assertion that Mary Eagle Ribelin's mother was a Haldeman/Halterman of Pennsylvanian Mennonite descent.

I have decided to search through Ronnie's results using six different variations of the name: Haldeman, Halderman, Holdeman, Holderman, Halterman, and Holterman. Each search yielded matches of varying degrees of confidence with the exception of Holterman, which yielded no results. I will not be looking at the many results with "Low" and "Very Low" confidence; I will focus only on those with "Moderate" or higher confidence.

Under these parameters, I came up with six promising matches. The most intriguing of which was to user Forcumjr. He descends from a Joseph Halterman who died in Davie County, NC in October 1845, and who married his wife, Rosanna Tate, in none other than Rowan County on 10 Jun 1829. The bondsman for their marriage was a Frederick Stirewalt. And who did Abraham, son of Christian, marry? Why, he married Enny Stirewalt on 1 Jan 1825 in Rowan County. I believe Joseph was likely another son of Christian, and with Ancestry's Moderate confidence that this user is a 5th-8th cousin of Ronnie, it appears even more likely that Mary Eagle Ribelin's mother was indeed a Haldeman who was likely a sister of Christian. 

Four of the remaining five matches are of "Moderate" confidence, and they all seemingly connect back to the Haldeman/Holderman families in the areas of Bucks and Chester counties, Pennsylvania.

1. User Dobisearch descends from a Magdalene Halderman who married Henry Showalter. The Showalters were from Chester County, PA.

2. User lwendell183 descends from a Susanna Haldeman who married John O. Fretz and died in Bucks County in 1875. She was a daughter of a John Haldeman who came to Bucks County from Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He was the son of a John Haldeman b. 1694 who married a Rebecca Nightengale. 

3. User Linda84 descends from a Catherine Holdeman who was from Ohio and Indiana. She was the daughter of a David Holdeman who was born in Ohio and died in Kansas in 1905. He was the son of a Christian Holdeman who died in Wayne County, Ohio and was born in Bucks County, PA. He was the son of a John Holdeman who died in Bucks County, PA in 1813. The user lists him as the son of another John who was the son of yet another John.

4. User ThomasCJenkins descends from the same Magdalene Halderman who married Henry Showalter as the above-mentioned user "Dobisearch". He has Magdalene as a daughter of Nicholas Haldeman and Catherine Gueldin. He has this Nicholas as the son of another Nicholas who died Chester County, PA in Sep 1762. He has Nicholas as the son of a Michael Haldeman. 

The last Halterman DNA match is an intriguing one in a different way. This user, denshebailey1, connected to Ronnie with 96% certainty that they are 4th-6th cousins. His Halterman family, however, do not appear to have been Mennonite in origin. He descends from a Catherine Halterman who married a Solomon White. She was a daughter of Adam Halterman and Sarah Peck, and they were from Pendleton County, Virginia. Adam's father was apparently a Charles Halterman who he has as being born in Germany and marrying an Elizabeth Huffman. How accurate this is I can't be sure without delving into this family, but it is an interesting connection nonetheless. It is also possible that we connect to this user through a line other than the Halterman family, a possibility with every one of these matches. 

However, the sheer number of matches with moderate confidence seems to point to the probability that Mary Eagle Ribelin was indeed the daughter of a Haldeman, and I will keep that assertion in my records until proven otherwise.

A final note: Some online Eagle genealogies attribute a handful of other children to George b. 1781 and his wife. They list a Daniel b. 1805, "Katie Anna" (some with no birth date, some with date of 18 May 1818), Noah b. 14 Jul 1819, and Anna Maria b. 22 Jun 1823. Please note that there is absolutely zero proof that any of these children existed, they are most likely figments of the imagination of some long-gone researcher. Daniel is the only "real" possibility as George does have a son under age 10 in his 1810 household, but there is no proof of this child's name, if he was indeed George's child. 

I hope this post will be of help to Eagle researchers. Please feel free to e-mail me or leave comments with any other thoughts or information.