First Families of Pennsylvania

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.

The Welcome Society of Philadelphia Pennsylvania and the Shoemaker Family

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.

The Welcome Society Membership in the Works

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.

Winding Down My Term and Moving On

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.

Hot off the presses

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.

 

James Doty Book At the Printers

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.

James Doty Letter To Arthur Shoemaker

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.

Another Ancestor in the Revolutionary War

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.

Private Joseph S. Shoemaker, Civil War

I joined the Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865, this year, under Great, Great Grandfather John Wesley Duart.  I didn’t know too much about him or his regiment, so I’ve endeavored to write an article about him.  It also spurred me on to look for other ancestors who fought in the Civil War and I found Great, Great Grandfather, Joseph S. Shoemaker.

I started by requesting Joseph’s pension file from NARA, I already had John Wesley’s.  Well, 200 pages later I have finally waded through his file.  Most of it was repeated applications for an  increase in his pension,  however it was interesting reading.  Private Shoemaker was in Company C, 7th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry.  He enlisted May 9, 1863 and was discharged August, 23, 1865 in Harrisburg, PA.  He was in the battle at Shelbyville, Tennessee (later listed as Alabama) where he was thrown from his horse in a cavalry charge.  His horse fell on him, injuring his right arm.  He also contracted “malarial poisoning”, both which plagued him the remainder of his life.

Many of my other relatives wrote affidavits testifying that Joseph was totally disabled.  This included:  John Wesley Duart, Winfield Packard, S.B. Morse and second wife of Joseph, Sarah Shoemaker.

I’ll keep you posted on my research into this company and the battle at Shelbyville.

 

 

Benjamin Stone is Official

I’ve been notified that another one of my NSDAR supplements has been approved.  Benjamin Stone was born in 1732 in Dudley, Worcester Co., MA and married Susannah Buckman.  These are the parents of Perris Stone who was married to Jesse Morse.  I also have Obadiah Morse as an approved ancestor.  His is the father of Jesse.  Many of my newer ancestors hailed from the New England states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  My next ancestor to verify will be Samuel Clason.  He is the father of Lydia Clason Avery who is buried in the Alba, Bradford Co., PA cemetery with her husband, Ebenezer Avery and daughter, Esther Avery Packard.  Ebenezer, Lydia and Esther all died in 1842 within a short time of each other.  I’ve not taken the time to figure out what from, but can only assume it was some flu or other illness.

According to a letter that James Doty wrote to his cousin, Clell Shoemaker (I have documented most of this letter and will be publishing it shortly), there is probably a Revolutionary War ancestor in the Avery and Packard families, to locate.  My problem is finding the parents of Joel Packard and Ebenezer Avery.  In Connecticut Ebenezer Avery is as common as John Doe, so it has been a challenge teasing out the correct Ebenezer.

I have another ancestor waiting to be completed at NSDAR and that is Susannah Shafer Shoemaker Ayres father, Adam Shafer from Luzerne Co., PA.  This may never be resolved unless someone knows about a document that shows the parents of Susannah.  I only need to document that Adam and Elizabeth Swartwout Shafer are her parents.  Easier said than done and my time is running out to do this.