Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Few Notes from Mom

I love the Medieval history and even more ancient civilizations' stories. And I love tracing those lines to the pioneers of this great country.
It occurred to me lately that I need to slow down and share some of the stories closer to this end of the line.
I will share some wonderful stories that were told to me by my mother but first I thought these notes should be posted first. It is a list of my parents families as told to my wife in a conversation a few years ago by my Mom.
This is for my brothers and their children - anyone else may or may not find anything helpful here unless you are researching the Green family of McDowell county, WVa.

Geneology – Notes from conversation with Garnette Green
By Jackie Green

Garnettes Family – 

Mary Kathleen
Garnette Ruth
Robert Lee French
Douglas Ray French
Glenna Marie
Darlene Sue

F.  Cecil French (Coal miner then Railroad) Cecil (L) with his brother Albert (R)
M.  Ethel Bishop French ( Worked in a department store)

Freemans Family-

1-Lawrence Romeo (d.1991?)
2) James Garland (Jara?)
3) Golden Garfield (Gary)
               Ella Mae (d.1912) (died young)
4) Hazel Viola
5) Howard Walter
6) Ethel
7) Jay Forest Green
               Estel Lee (died young)
8) Freeman
9) Juanita Virginia
10) Charles Willard
11) Harrison (Harry)

F.  Daniel Sheridan Green - Pineville, WVa 1880 (Coal miner)
               1st. marriage – 3 step sisters (Dorothy, Shirley, Bessie)
               2nd marriage – 7 brothers & 3 sisters
M.  Lula Jane Jewell 4/18/1891 - Key Rock, WVa  4/8/1891
 Harry, Charles, Juanita, Freeman, Jay, Ethel, Hazel, Golden, Lawrence Green

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Holland, a leaky ship, and a Seagull

King Henry VIII wanted a divorce from his wife so he could have a new wife that would give him sons to carry on the family name. The Pope wouldn’t go for it and told the King he couldn’t have a divorce. Well, King Henry says “I am the King and if you won’t give me what I want, I’ll just start my own church. So there.”   
So it was that in 1534 the Anglican Church of England was created by breaking away from the Catholic Church. King Henry was excommunicated from the Holy Catholic Church but he got a new title – “The Supreme Head of the Church of England” – and a new wife. Of course that didn’t fix his initial problem but that’s another story that you can read about here: King Henry VIII
The point is that the church was changing, especially after the Reformation and the Bible being translated into the common language. Before the Bible was only printed in Latin and most common folk could not read their own language much less Latin.
Once people started reading and interpreting the Bible for themselves, many people took issue with the established church and some wanted to purify the church (Puritans) and reform the church from within. Others wanted to separate from the church altogether (Seperatists) and start their own church.
The only problem was that The Church of England was the official church of the state and everyone was required to attend church once a week and pay taxes to support the church. If you didn’t go to church or were vocal about disagreeing with the church you became an enemy of the state. You could be in line for all kinds for persecution including jail or even death.
After living under this persecution for several years a few groups did actually leave their homes for the relative safety of Holland. They were free to worship as they saw fit in Holland which was friendly to all strips of the Christian faith including Catholics.
This is how our English ancestors found themselves in Holland in the early 1600’s. But this was not an ideal situation for them. It has hard to find jobs in the overcrowded cities, there was a language barrier and they saw their children becoming more Dutch than English in language and habit. Their culture and faith was being diluted and they saw it slowly slipping away.
The truce between Spain and Holland was growing thin and war looked inevitable. It was at this point in history that the Seperatists' church in (Leiden) Leyden, Holland decided it was time to consider moving to the new world to start over again.
The Pilgrams , as they came to be known, sold their possessions and secured investors for the trip to New England. They purchased the “small sailing ship, Speedwell” and on July 22, 1620, they sailed to Southampton, England to meet up with other pilgrims who were waiting for them on the sister ship, “Mayflower”.
The two ships set out from England on August 15th but it quickly became apparent that the “Speedwell” was leaking. The ships returned to port where it was determined that the leaky ship would require much time and money to repair.
After weeks of delay and frustration the two ships set out again only to find that the “Speedwell” was leaking again and they returned to Plymouth. It was decided that the “Speedwell” was not seaworthy and different arrangements had to be made.
It was agreed the strongest would continue the journey and so passengers, supplies and cargo was transferred to the “Mayflower”. The remaining members would stay behind and follow later.  And so it was that these pilgrams, in a cramped and overcrowded “Mayflower” would sail on alone and become the first colony in the New England area.
I read somewhere that it was later found that the crew had sabotaged the ship because they did not want to serve the 1-year contract that they had signed.
It is known that there were three pregnant women on that initial voyage to the New World and that one of those babies was named “Oceanus”, being born at sea.
Some years later the good ship “Speedwell” was sailing again for the colonies (presumably, after fixing that pesky leaking problem), except on this journey in 1635, my ancestor, Thomas Bruce Green was aboard. During this voyage a son was born to John (b. 1575 Bobbng, Kent, England) and Martha Malone (b.1600, Netherlands).
Their son was named Thomas after a long line of men of the same name, but then and forever after carried the nickname, “The Seagull”. Thomas Seagull Green married Martha Elizabeth Filmer 1680 in Charles City, Virginia. They lived and raised a family in Amelia, Virginia and were my 9th Great Grandparents.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Open letter to my brother

When I visited my family in Atlanta recently, I shared some of the stories and characters I am  sharing with you now. My brother asked me, "Who are we? What are we? I mean, what percentage of heritage are we?"
Well, Larry, I went through the charts I have collected and the information I have so far and this is what I came up with...we're all mutts. We are all connected to so many different families and histories that I was surprised, if not, stunned, at the realization. Every marriage brings a new family to the tree and every family has it's own tree and history, but here is ours:

European Relatives
The first European I have found to date that is related to me is James Goheen (3rd ggrandfather) b. 1834 in Germany. He is the father of Sarah Goheen who married Albert French who is my 2nd ggrandfather. He is my Grandpa French’s grand father.
In 1783 William Melton French ( 4th g grandfather) is born in England and marries a lady named only “Ione” also born in England. Their son Jeremiah French has a son, Albert, who is Mom’s ggrandfather.
Also in this generation is Nellie Pemberton b. 1754 in Scotland ( 4th ggrandmother) who married John Cooke. Their great granddaughter is grandma Green’s mom.
These are the closest I have found to date, although, new information is popping up all the time. I am sure that I will be adding revisions as I go along.
In the next generation there are more and as each generation steps further back, more and more are from Europe. William French (5th ggrandfather) b. 1739 and his wife Mary Scammel b. 1761 are both from Somerset, England.
John Cooke (5th ggf) b. 1730 and his wife, Elizabeth Gurney b. 1732 both lived and died in London, England.
James Stewart (5th ggf) b. 1719 in Dunblane, Scotland,  who’s line goes back to the kings of Scotland and England, married Mary Ann Lafferty b. 1720 in Dublin, Ireland.
The next generation has more European blood starting with Hans Johannes Bischoff (6th ggf) b. 1731 in Oberhausen, Germany. His wife, Margaretha Overmeyer was b. 1732 in Bayern, Germany.
Joseph Scammel (6th ggf) b. 1720 in Somerset, England married Mary Usher b. 1737 Somerset, England.
Thomas Cooke b. 1710 in England married Lady Hanna b. 1715 England. And from the other side of the English border and across the Irish Sea is 6th ggf John Stuart b.1708 in Perthshire, Scotland and his wife, Mary Shaw b. 1710 Antrim, Ireland. Their son married an Irish girl, Mary Ann, and her parents are both from Ireland – Thomas Lafferty b.1690 in Dublin and his wife, named, interestingly enough, Last Easter b.1700 in Dublin.
My 6th ggmother from the Blankenship- Perdue- Green line is Elizabeth Hudson b. 1704 in Leicestershire (pronounced “Lest-a-sher”), England.
So, in the time between 3 generations - early 1800’s to the late 1600’s - I have found 11 relatives from England, 3 from Scotland, 4 from Ireland, and 3 from Germany.
Earlier in the 1600’s and further back there are 2 from Holland, but it looks like the husband’s family moved from England and were living there when he was born . I believe the wife was from a family based in Holland.
There is also a lady from Russia who married an Irishman, I believe, in England. Also, back in the 9th or 10th century the royal line of Wales married into the royal line of England and there is some evidence that we are remotely related to that line through the Green’s in England or the Steward’s in Scotland.
So, to answer your question, brother, it looks as though we are roughly half English and the other half split between German, Scottish, and Irish.
Oh, and don’t forget the lines that joined the family in the 16-1700’s – the Native American Indian’s. That is mostly Eastern Cherokee but there are, most likely, also other tribes involved as well. As to that subject, the research continues.

David L. Green