Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bressler Family


It is spelled many ways - Bressler, Bresler, Pressler, Presler and yes, even Presley, and there IS a possibility that Elvis is somehow a distant cousin.  I understand that Germans pronounce the English B and P the same, so thus the confusion.  Bressler and Pressler come off their lips exactly the same and it was up to the listener to interpret the spelling.   Immigrants often adopt the spelling "assigned" to them and carry that name forward.

For many years Elizabeth Presler, my Great Great Grandmother and her father John Presler sat on my chart.  I had confirmed their place there was legitimate while visiting the Lancaster chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.  I was also aware the name could be Bresler.  In John Presler's 1850 census record the name is spelled Prestler.  I had settled on Presler as the likely spelling.

By 1850   John Presler's daughter Elizabeth had married Joseph Born and my  Great Grandmother Maggie Born was shown in the census as 4 years old.  Maggie would become the second wife of Gottleib Darling (Deierling) and my mom's grandmother.

OK,  as of a week ago this is what we have:

Florence Darling - Mother
William Edward Darling - Grandfather
Maggie Born - Great Grandmother
Elizabeth Presler - 2nd Great Grandmother
John Presler - 3rd Great Grandfather

 I had in my data base that John Presler's wife was Hester (last name unknown) as she is shown as the wife in the 1850 census.  It had always bothered me that she was too young to be Elizabeth Presler's mother so I had a big old question mark by her name.

A lot of changes have happened in and Family over the past few years and many documents have been digitalized and are now available on-line.  So, I decided to find out about Hester, if I could.  And, she was indeed his wife....his second wife.  The document that tipped me off?

All kinds of wonderful information on this one document.  1)  Note the name is spelled with a B  2)  Note he received Bounty Land for his service. This was common procedure during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, an arrangement that exchanged land for service in the military.  3)  Note name of first wife - important! 4)  Note date of marriage of Hester and John Bresler - 1827. 4) I didn't understand the (FIRST MAR.DONOR) at first, but subsequent documents indicate that Hester was first married to Christian Donor.

Ancestry has a branch called Fold-3 where I found the following Application for Pension instituted by Hester Bresler in 1878.  It starts with the above document and includes many affidavits of individuals testifying as to Hester's marriage to John Bresler which could not be proven by any documentation.  Fold3 John Bresler & his Wife's Application for Pension  You'd think since they lived together from 1827 until he died in 1865 and she was still on the homestead in 1878 AND they had eleven children an assumption of a "marriage" would be sufficient.  Delia, Annie, Abraham, Jacob, Simon, Daniel, Hester, Phillip, Lafayette, William and Susan - they are all my half 3rd great aunts & uncles.

OK, Katy Letterman Bresler is now the likely candidate to be the mother of Elizabeth Bresler (we are going forward with the B version of the name as it appears to be the correct letter - but watch for another change in a bit.).  It appears from the affidavits she died a year or so before John married Hester.  Elizabeth, according to the census records was born between 1819 and 1822 depending on what year you are reviewing.  Folks often were not sure exactly how old they were and what age they had become - they didn't have Hallmark in those days!

The next document I found was John Bresler's will.  It's hard to read but although he doesn't name his two wives he clearly states the children by each.  With his second wife Hester the list matches exactly the statement given by Hester when she applied for the pension...see above.  He also names another 7 children by his first wife, Katie.  Michael, Peter, Benjamin, Mary, Katherine, Elizabeth and it looks like Peggy.

I'm at a dead end for the moment on Katie Letterman.  But, I found out where John Bresler came from and by what route.

The name, by the way, was originally Bressler.  I told you there would be one more change.  The family came from  Niederhochstadt, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.  Our line's first emigrants were Johann Georg Bressler's five oldest children who came together in 1749.  They left behind their brother Johann Valentin Bressler.

They were (1) Georg Simon Bressler b. 1722
                  (2) Johann Nicholaus Bressler b 1724
                  (3) Johann George Bressler b 1728
                  (4) Maria Elisabeth Bressler b. 1732
                  (5) Anna Maria Bressler b. 1735

Here is an article about the situation in the Palatine - Palatine History There was a huge influx of German emigrants from 1710 throughout the 18th Century, a lot of them to Pennsylvania with the help of William Penn.  Our little group above, with their families, arrived on the ship Lydia in October, 1749 signing the declaration of oath on October 9, 1749.

(1)Simon Bressler went to Tulpehocken, Berks County, Pennsylvania shortly after arrival in the US.  In 1767 he was warranted over 210 acres of land in Pine Grove, Berks County (present day Schuylkill County).  In 1789 he is listed on an agricultural census as A Farmer with 300 acres of land in Pine Grove.  Simon and his wife Anna Barbara Unruh are buried in Hetzels Lutheran Church Cemetery in Pine Grove, Pa.They had four (known) children:

They were (6) George Peter Bressler b. 1749
                  (7) John Bressler b. 1733
                  (8) John Nicholas Bressler b. 1758
                  (9) Sarah Bressler b. 1766
(6)  George Peter Bressler, known as Peter was also warranted 150 acres of land in Pine Grove, Pa in 1774.  He was in the Berks County Militia on May 17, 1777 and as an Ensign, Fifth Company, Second Battalion, Berks County Militia in May 1780.  He was warranted an additional 200 acres of land in 1785 and in 1798 an agricultural census indicates he had a barn and 199 acres in Pine Grove, valued at $497.  He was living in Centre County, Pa by 1804.

Peter Bressler purchased 162 1/2 acres in Amanda Township, Fairfield County, Ohio on June 16, 1809.  The family's cabin was built on the southern half of the farm property.  He married Eva Barbara Ulrich and they had 13 children.  Eva died in 1824 and he died around 1832 at the home of his daughter Sarah Bressler Hitchcock.  They are buried at the Haas-Peters Cemetery in Amanda Township, Ohio.  This poor woman was basically pregnant for 25 years!!  The children are:

(10)  Valentine Pressler b. 1772
(11)  Michael Bressler b. 1774
(12)  Jacob Bressler b. 1776
(13)  John Bressler b. 1779
(14)  Peter Bressler b. 1782
(15)  Anna Maria Bressler b. 1784
(16)  Catherine Bressler b. 1787
(17)  Elizabeth Bressler b. 1788
(18)  Phillip Bressler b 1790
(19)  Mary Magdalena Bressler b. 1791
(20)  Sarah Bressler b. 1793
(21)  David Bressler b. 1795
(22)  Christina Bressler b. 1797

(13)  John Bressler - this brings us full circle.  John Bressler is my 3rd great grandfather and his daughter Elizabeth married Joseph Born...see above.

There are several more generations beyond Johann Georg Bressler listed on peoples genealogies on Ancestry, but it starts to get murky - they were all named Johann (Georg, Valentin, Michael, etc) and they all used those names for their children and I need to work to see what I can make of it.  Several arguments going on as to the maiden name of some of the women....All of whom are named Anna, Maria, Elizabeth, etc.  Eva Christina Barbara is a common one.

Just a note on location,  The Bressler family's home in Germany was only a short distance from where the Deierling/Darling family originated in Neustadt an der Weistrasse - on today's roads a 30 minute drive.  The Deierlings did not arrive for another 100 years after the Bresslers but they likely knew each other in Fairfield County, Ohio.  Gottleib Deierling married Maggie Born whose mother was Elizabeth Bressler.  It's a small world after all.

Oh, and as I plugged the Bressler information into,  guess what?  I started getting a couple of hits on DNA matches related to Bressler.  Here is one of them:

To be continued....

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Allen Family Photo Album

Recently a third cousin, once removed showed up in my Ancestry DNA matches.  It turns out he has a picture of my great-grandfather's sister, Elma Allen and is descended from her.  Elma and my great-grandfather, John D Allen,  were born to John Allen and Sarah Ann Freeman who were married in New Jersey and headed west to join relatives on the frontier....Muskingum County, Ohio.  Arriving in 1831, Elma was born in 1832 and John D followed in May of 1833.  However, tragedy struck in November of 1833 when John Allen died, likely of cholera.   In a couple of years Sarah married again, an older man by the name of Benjamin Robinson.  She had four children by Benjamin before he also died, leaving her a young widow with six children.  Those four children were Nancy, Lucy, Emeline and Albert.

John D Allen married Mary Short Lake, the Short for her natural father and Lake for the family that adopted her when the Short family arrived in Ohio.  So, Mary had two fathers.

This album belonged to John D and Mary.  My dad identified a few of the pictures but many remain unidentified.  When I went looking for the album to see if any of the pictures matched the one my new cousin had of Elma Allen I had a hard time finding it and was so relieved when it finally showed up.  I decided to scan all the pictures and preserve them here and, who knows, maybe someday someone WILL identify these folks.

The family members that are possibilities:
Sarah Ann Freeman, John D Allen, Elma Allen, Nancy Robinson, Lucy Robinson, Lucy's husband William Case, Emeline (who, to my knowledge was never married) and Albert Robinson and his wife.

We have to also add the possibility of Mary Short Lake's family, which would include her, her fathers Christopher Retallick Short and Enoch B Lake.  Mary had one full brother, William Short and a half sister by the name of Sarah Short - oh, and possibly her mother Keziah Ogg.

Then, of course John D's nine children, Lillian, Mollie, Jennie, Nell, Anne, John, Charles, Jude and Babe.  Mollie's husband Isaac Newton Keyser and Jennie's first husband Noah Bowers are also in this group.

The pictures all appear to be before the turn of the century.  So, here we go - first, the ones I know:

 Anne Elma Allen 1870-1951
Never Married
 Louis Lake (Babe) Allen 1881-1923
Was a Printer
Married Margaret Lutz after the turn of the 
century, no pictures of her
 Charles R Allen 1876-1951
Charles married Ada Alma Martin in 1920
 Charles R Allen 1876-1951
 Jennie Allen 1865-1962 
and an unidentified friend in a tintype photo
  Jennie Allen 1865-1962
  Jennie Allen 1865-1962
 John E Allen 1874-1943
John married Gretchen Rutter in 1906, but
there are no pictures of her in this album
John D Allen 1833-1929
Mary Short Lake 1842-1900
 Isaac Newton Keyser 1857-1932
 Noah Fenton Bowers 1852-1914
Noah Fenton Bowers 1852-1914
 Adda Alma "Addie" Short 1864-1951 
Addie was the dtr of William Short
George Shuler 1865-1946
Husband of Addie Short
They lived in Salina, Kansas 

The following picture is not in the album, it is the picture of Elma Allen my cousin sent me.

                                              Elma Allen 1832-1914
Married Oliver Hamilton 1857

The following people are unidentified, but are Allen's in my opinion because of the deepset eyes and nose.  They all appear to be related.

 My feeling is that this is a younger Elma
 Very likely also Elma
 Again, it's the eyes - check out John D Allen above
Again, it's the eyes - check out John D Allen above

The following are ones where I don't have a clue.

 A couple of these (far left and top right) might be Allen girls.

 This is an old photo.  Sarah Freeman died in 1875, could this be her?

Some of the Tintypes that were scanable....some I didn't do because they were in bad shape.  Have no idea who any of these folks are.  

 This girl looks like the one on the left above.  Sarah's other daughters?  One of them died young, these could be Emeline and Lucy?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

From England to New Jersey

We all have 2,048 9th Great Grandparents.  Rather daunting.  I did a little research on how a group of mine emigrated to the United States.  I picked my 5th Great Grandfather, Ephraim Martin and his wife Eunice Dunham and worked them back to MY 9th Great Grandparents through them.  Hope that makes sense.  The spread sheet below lists 32 of my 2,048 9th Great Grandparents in this group and I know most of the names...well, I know 24 of them.

Origin of Set A - 9th Great Grandparents
John MartinEnglandEngland
Suzan HemertinEnglandEngland
Thomas Roberts*1600Worcester, Eng1673Dover, NH
Rebecca Hilton*1602Wearmouth, Eng1673Boston, Ma
George Trotter*1607Byer's Green, Eng1657Newbury, Ma
Gertrude Wren*1610Auckland, Eng1660Newbury, Ma
John Gibbs*1600Bath Abbey, Eng1650Newbury, Ma
Joan Scott*1605Long Sutton, Eng1655Newbury, Ma
Thomas Dunham1556Scrooby, Eng1652London, Eng
Jane Bromely1560Scrooby, Eng1656Nottinghamshire, Eng
Thomas Billiou1572Wichres, France1617France
Anne Aime1574France1625Netherlands
William Tilson*1570England1640Plymouth, Ma
Jane Bromely*1575England?Plymouth, Ma
Francis Singletary1559Surfleet, Eng1617Surfleet, Eng
Agnes Cook1563Haverhill, Eng1618Surfleet, Eng
William Cooke*1584Worcestershire, Eng1682Essex, Ma
Martha White1589Cornwall, Eng1648Oxfordshire, Eng
John Bloomfield*1589Suffolk, Eng1639Newbury, Ma
Mary*1620England?Prob Newbury
Richard Ilsley1577London, Eng1613London, Eng
Joanne Lewes1572Wiltshire, Eng1613London, Eng
John Stevens1575Oxford, Eng1627Oxford, Eng
Alice Atkins*1580Chesham, Eng1650Newbury, Ma
Next group - 8th Great Grandparents
John Martin*1620England1687Piscataway, NJ
Esther Roberts1626Dover, NH1687Piscataway, NJ
William Trotter1630Newbury, Ma1676Piscataway, NJ
Cutbury Gibbs1628Newbury, Ma1667Piscataway, NJ
John Dunham*1589Nottinghamshire, Eng1668Plymouth, Ma
Abigail Barlow*1600Leiden, Holland1669Plymouth, Ma
Edmond Tilson1605England1660Plymouth, Ma
Joan1609England1668Plymouth, Ma
Richard Singletary*1594Lincolnshire, Eng1687Essex, Ma
Susanna Cook*1616Essex, Ma1682Essex, Ma
Thomas Bloomfield*1617Suffolk, Eng1684Woodbridge, NJ
Mary Withers*1620England1686Woodbridge, NJ
William Iseley*1610Berkshire, Eng1681Newbury, Ma
Barbara Stevens*1611Oxfordshire, Eng1681Newbury, Ma
Next group - 7th Great Grandparents
Joseph Martin1657Dover, NH1732Piscataway, NJ
Sarah Trotter1665Newbury, Ma1750Piscataway, NJ
Benejah Dunham1640Plymouth, Ma1680Piscataway, NJ
Elizabeth Tilson1640Plymouth, Ma1682Piscataway, NJ
Johathan Dunham1640Salisbury, Ma1706Woodbridge, NJ
Mary Bloomfield1642Newbury, Ma1702Woodbridge, NJ
John Ilsley1641Newbury, Ma1707Woodbridge, NJ
Ann1654Woodbridge, NJ?Woodbridge, NJ
Next group - 6th Great Grandparents
James Martin1680Piscataway, NJ1771Basking Ridge, NJ
Hannah Dunham1680Piscataway, NJ1779Basking Ridge, NJ
David Dunham1673Woodbridge, NJ1753Woodbridge, NJ
Mary Ilsley1680Woodbridge, NJ1750Woodbridge, NJ
Next group - 5th Great Grandparents 
Ephraim Martin1707Piscataway, NJ1789Basking Ridge, NJ
Eunice Dunham1710Woodbridge, NJ1737Basking Ridge, NJ

The * indicates the emigrant ancestor.  With one exception they were all from England and all entered America at Plymouth or Newbury, Mass.  I have included John Martin and Suzan Hemertin as our across the pond Martin connection, but as with several of these families we can only rely on other's research.  For many years the Martin family genealogies name an Isaac Martin and Martha Greenhill as John Martin (1620)'s parents.  In fact those are the names in the Martin Genealogy put together by Alma Martin in 1976.  That has proven to be false and the above is the current consensus and is included in The Martin Family of America, last updated 1984 by Louise Martin Mohler.  I corresponded with a fellow many years ago that was convinced the Martins are descended from Martin de tour who came to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror.  Not to be confused with St Martin de tour, although lots of folks are claiming the Saint as a remote ancestor - and, who knows, perhaps he is.

Recently I did a DNA test on and it has taken me back to Colonial America and these Martin ancestors. They  were all here by the mid 1600's.   I  did the DNA test hoping to uncover some new clue on my Mom's side, but alas, as I learn more about the process I find the longer your family has been in this country, the more likely you are to find a DNA match.  Just a numbers thing, actually. matches you with other folks who have taken the test, so I was amazed to get thousands of matches, most of which I can 't determine how or why we match.  If we have a name in common, that helps!

Mom's family stepped off the boat only a couple of generations ago, so she is not likely to show up.  I do have a potential Deierling "cousin" to match with as you can do one on one comparisons...but after getting me started on this endeavor she is not responding to my notes.

Even on Dad's side, the Lewis, Tyson, Short, Williams families are fairly new and I'm not getting any matches on those lines.  Tyson actually should show up as there were Tysons in Virginia in early years.  The Zanes show up.  I do see the Allen and Freeman families occasionally, but as I have a dead end in Morris County, NJ on John Allen and Sarah Freeman, I can't conclusively say where these "matches" fit.  They do indicate I am on the right track, however - because they are the same family groups I have already collected to attach to John and Sarah as collateral and/or direct ancestors. Sort of trying to backdoor Sarah and John into the family tree.

So, back to the above 9th Great Grandparents.  In looking at my DNA matches, the first thing that jumped out at me is that all roads in this group, so to speak, seemed to lead to Piscataway and/or Woodbridge, New Jersey.  I've always known the Martins were from Piscataway but with this new research,  I even added in some grandparents along the way that I was unaware of - and they led me to Piscataway/Woodbridge, too.   In fact, since the internet and online genealogical data, there are several lines I have never pursued and this was a great opportunity to work on those folks. The Tilsons, The Bloomfields and the fact there were two Dunham family is actually new to me.

Most of the names of our direct ancestors appear in the book "Woodbridge and Vicinity".  Another old book of interest is "History of the First Baptist Church of Piscataway".   We are related, in one way or another, with most of the first settlers of Woodbridge and/or Piscataway because, frankly...there were no other people there to marry.  So the sons and daughters of these early pioneers married each other.  I find Runyons and Drakes and Dunns, etc throughout the tree.  The Drakes, by the way are of the Sir Francis Drake lineage - and a supposed ancestor of John Martin (1620), one Capt John Martin supposedly sailed around the world with said Sir Francis Drake.  One does always see Drakes and Martins in the same, who knows.  Supposedly, it could be true.

A note on the Dunhams.  It looks like a lot of Dunhams in here, but there were actually two unrelated families, one in Piscataway and one in Woodbridge.   Jonathan Dunham listed in the 7th Great Grandparents group is actually a son of Richard Singletary.  Jonathan took on the Dunham name and no one seems to know exactly why although it may have had something to do with a family quarrel.  Everyone else in the family retained the Singletary name.  Jonathan (Singletary) Dunham is the common ancestor we have with President Barach Obama.  Jonathan was very active in the Woodbridge community and had the first grist mill in Woodbridge.  If you click on his highlighted name above, you can read all about him.

The "other" Dunham family originated in Scrooby, England which is the source of the Pilgrim movement.  The Pilgrims escaped from England in 1608 to Holland and after a dozen years or so in Holland, where they were not happy,  a group of them climbed onto the Mayflower and the rest is history.  Unfortunately, our direct ancestry Dunhams, although they were in Leiden, Holland with the others, did not arrive until about 1633 and thus we are not Mayflower descendants as we would have been had they caught the first boat. In Holland, John Dunham married Abigail Barlow/Billiou, whose family originated in France and this is the only non-English line in this group.

An e-book I just discovered - Dunham Genealogy. I need to do some additional research because there seems to be another theory on who John Dunham married, I have read about genealogies being embellished to provide descendants with a Mayflower ancestor and I think the e-book linked may well be part of that kind of manipulation as it has John Dunham on the Mayflower under cover as John Goodman.  Hmmm.

There was a Christopher Martin on the Mayflower but, alas, we are not related to him, either.

More Later.