It is with sadness that I share that my Mom, Martha B. White passed away on Friday, September 11, 2020 at Masonic Village, Elizabethtown, PA. She moved to Elizabethtown 5 years ago, so I have had the privilege to share her last few years. She has been such a trooper, always ready for a shopping trip, a visit with cousins or just coming to my house for Sunday pizza and Americas Funniest Home Videos.
Her last major trip was to Hudson OH to celebrate nephew, Bill and Kathy McCord’s 50th anniversary. What a great time we had.
Mom was still very sharp to the end and always ready for a good argument about politics. She was a journaler and kept them for the majority of her life. I have them now and will enjoy reading them for years to come to see her view on current events and her trips.
We will miss her so much, but hope she is now at peace with Dad and Barb.
Descendants of John Wesley Duart and Joseph Shoemaker, this is for you. Our ancestors of the PA Co. C, 7th Cavalry, fought in the Battle of Stones River or Murfreesboro, TN near Shelbysville, TN. Joseph Shoemaker fell from his horse, was severely injured and continued to have issues with his badly, broken arm for the remainder of his life. He was a young man, so you can understand the sacrifice he made during the Civil War, living with this disability, as a farmer with restricted use of the arm for the rest of his life.
Forty two acres of the battlefield are being sold, probably for yet another shopping mall and with the American Battlefield Trust we can save this land. This organization continues to preserve our historic places for the generations to come, so that we do not repeat history. If you are so inclined to help preserve the battlefield where John and Joseph fought, please go on their website https://www.battlefields.org and donate today.
If you would like to know more about John Wesley Duart and Joseph Shoemaker, I have ordered their pension files from the National Archives. John’s is minimal, however I have 400 pages for Joseph. Very interesting reading, to say the least.
I finally have time for my own research and have decided to work on First Families of Pennsylvania through the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (GSP). My initial family was Sarah Shoemaker who arrived in Philadelphia in 1686 and purchased 200 acres. Her husband, George had died on the way over from Germany or before she had left so it was that she landed in Philadelphia with seven children.
From further research, we know that Sarah’s son, George married Sarah Wall, whose family was already here in 1682. I will work on the Wall/Waln family for my supplement to First Families of PA. There is an abundance written about the Wall’s, but I haven’t found EVERYTHING, so if you are researching the Shoemaker/Wall connection and have some records not available on line, I would love to have a copy.
The next families will be the Richardson and Levering families. It is a challenge to get them listed in the oldest division of First Families – Colony and Commonwealth: 1638–1790, but how fun to see how much information is available from that time period at GSP and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia.
Happy hunting to those who try.
I haven’t written in a while about the Shoemaker’s, but thought I would give a little update. I had been working on a Welcome Society application for two clients when I realized that I was eligible. That has led me to a quest of completing the application for my ancestor. It has been a long time coming, but I think I now have it all sorted out that George Shoemaker, who married Sarah Wall is my eligiblity. Sarah arrived in Philadelphia in 1682 with her father and grandfather, Richard Jr. and Sr. Wall. Richard Jr. died and Sarah was the only child to survive to inherit her grandfather’s land and home.
The home Sarah inherited is still standing in all it’s glory in Elkins Park, PA. It is owned by Cheltenham Township and may be visited on the 4th Sunday from 1-4 pm. I happened to be there on an off day, but got a sneak peak of the inside. How wonderful to still have this historic home of our family available for viewing and being preserved. They have a cd available at their gift shop or visit their website. http://www.cheltenhamtownship.org/pview.aspx?id=3593&catid=26.
For those interested in The Welcome Society, it is an organization of descendants of those who came on William Penn’s twenty three ships in 1682. If you can prove your descent, this is a very interesting organization. A very helpful article was written about the ships by Marion Balderston, William Penn’s Twenty-Tree Ships with N0tes on Some of Their Passengers. This may be found in Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684, Vol. 1 of Penn’s Colony, by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. through Heritage books or from Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
I recently learned about The Welcome Society while working on an application for a client. What is this society? It is an ancestral organization for families who can trace their family to the ships of William Penn. The Welcome was the first ship and it just so happens, there was a Nicholas Wall/Waln on that ship. His great granddaughter, Sarah Wall, married George Shoemaker who came over from Kreigsheim with his mother, Sarah and siblings. The Shoemaker’s arrived in 1686, but through the Wall’s, that will take me back to 1682.
Of significance is that the Wall House is still standing and owned by Cheltenham Township, Montgomery Co., PA. The next meeting of The Welcome Society will be meeting there. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend, but have already been there. Very close by is the Shoemaker Burying Ground where Sarah and many of the other Shoemaker’s are buried. The Wall house is open on Sundays for tours, so google it.
If anyone is interested in joining The Welcome Society, wait a couple of weeks until I get my application approved and you can tie into mine for an easy route to membership.
I also joined First Families of Pennsylvania on Sarah Shoemaker. She was quite a woman, arriving in Pennsylvania in 1686 with kiddies in tow, bought 200 acres and started a new life. I hope that is where I get some of my spirit.
Well, the three years as South Central District Director for the Pennsylvania State Society, DAR is winding down. I’ve had a busy 3 years, but very rewarding. I have visited each of the DAR Chapters in the South Central and joined in on many other celebrations. It is so much fun and you get to meet the most interesting people.
I will now be concentrating more on Lineage Society applications. I’m taking on the Sons of the American Colonists. I guess I should try doing my papers for Daughters of the American Colonists. It is one more way to document my ancestors and their struggles to start in a new world. I also will be working on those few elusive ancestors who moved from the New England states to Pennsylvania. Joel Packard where are your parents?
I’ve submitted another ancestor for Daughters of the Union Veterans of Civil War. Great grandfather, Joseph S. Shoemaker, certainly lead an interesting life. He and great grandfather John Wesley Duart fought in the same 7th PA Cavalry. As I’m learning more about both of them, I hope to write an article to let others know just how brave they were to go to war.
I picked up my book from the printer yesterday. It looks great. Now the hard part comes – advertising and marketing a limited audience book. The book title is: Shoemaker and Packard History: A Letter from James Doty to Arthur Shoemaker 1965. I hope the families find this information interesting and something to keep on their shelf for family tree reference.
Now it is on to my next writing project. I have so many ideas in the que, where do I start? Any ideas, let me know.
I didn’t make the Christmas deadline I had set for myself, but did make it to the printers December 28th. The book will be available through my website in the new year. With the index of more than 3000 names, the book will be at least 120 pages, in hardback, with a few pictures. I’m so excited that it is finally done, but I know there was so much more to add. I think I’ll continue to collect obituaries, death certificates, grave photos, and family histories to add to a supplement of this book. So if you have any Shoemaker, Packard, Duart, Brown, More, Morse, etc., information please consider sharing that with me.
The Harrisburg Chapter, NSDAR book “Revolutionary War Patriots’ Historic Houses of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania” has been a hit. I continue to collect patriot homes throughout Pennsylvania for a possible follow-up book. The Historic Preservation Committee of Harrisburg has at least 60-80 more homes that could make up a second book. The research that is necessary for such a book will slow down our next publication date, but standby for more.
I have been invited to a number of local NSDAR chapters and historical societies to talk about the Revolutionary War homes in PA and always get a lead on yet another home. It amazes me that so many of these homes remain and occupied. By bringing these homes to public attention, it is our intent to keep them for many generations to come, to enjoy.
I’m coming down the home stretch on publishing the letter that James K. Doty wrote to his cousin Arthur (Clell) Shoemaker in 1965. I have been working on documenting this letter for at least 4 years. I’m still looking for an obituary on James K. Doty, who died in 1981, in California. Once I find that, I’ll be able to index the whole book and get it published.
The letter started as a 20 page, handwritten letter. It is now about 100 pages with all the documentation and the index. I’m still working towards a Christmas publication date.
This will be a nice addition to the book that we just published in September on the “Revolutionary War Patriot Homes of Dauphin County, PA”. It has been a good seller and is just wonderful for anyone who has ancestors in Dauphin Co.
I’ll never be a James Patterson, publishing 10 books a year, but I’m hoping this will at least be a worthwhile effort to document some of our family.
I have finally proven my ancestor, Susannah Shafer Shoemaker Ayres, to be the daughter of Adam Shafer and Elizabeth Swartout/Swartwood of Luzerne County, PA. This was a hard one. I first found her listed on an application for NSDAR, as one of the children of Adam and Elizabeth. I could prove all the other children, but could never find a record to connect my Susannah to any parents. I began to think maybe I was trying to prove a negative – these weren’t really her parents. I checked for records in many of the counties of Pennsylvania, between New Jersey, where Adam was born to Franklin County where he was living at one point.
“Never give up” is now my motto. I had sent an email many years ago to a person on the internet, inquiring if she had any information about my ancestor. Just about when my 2 years was running out on the DAR application, this wonderful person wrote back that she had transcribed some letters that might be helpful. The letters were written by Adam Shafer’s grandson and included connecting information about “Aunt Susannah”, he had attended the Shoemaker reunions, he knew his grandfather, viola, connection.
Folks, this is what it is all about. Share those family stories, letters, bible inscriptions. Put it out there so we can get connected. I now have another line of my family documented for the ages. We need to make these connections so our children and their children will know from where they are descended.