Tag: Historical Figures

I learn my husband may be descended from the first documented slave in America, John Punch…

I learn my husband may be descended from the first documented slave in America, John Punch…

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African slave in America, John Punch.
Barack Obama is descended from the first documented African slave in America, John Punch.
A while ago I learned from news headlines that President Barack Obama is descended via marriage from John Punch, the first documented African slave in America. He was an indentured servant declared a slave for life in punishment for attempting an escape in 1640.

Ancestry.com has been researching Barack Obama’s ancestry for several years and has declared that Barack Obama is the eleventh great grandson of the first documented African slave in American history, John Punch and eighth cousin to my husband, Mark.

If this is true, then by virtue of the connection of my husband Mark and Barck Obama through Ulrich Stehle (1720-1773), who was sixth great grandfather to Mark and seventh great grandfather to Barack Obama, Mark and Barack are eighth cousins.

In the words of Joseph Shumway, genealogist with Ancestry.com , “Two of the most historically significant African Americans in the history of our country are amazingly directly related.” What is wholly surprising is that the connection exists through his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and not his Kenyan father.

John Punch, an indentured servant in Colonial Virginia, was declared a slave for life in punishment for trying to escape in 1640.

Ancestry.com states further that they used DNA analysis to learn that Stanley Ann Dunham’s ancestors were white landowners in Colonial Virginia, who were actually descendants of one African man, John Punch.

President Obama is traditionally viewed as an African-American because of his father’s heritage in Kenya. However, while researching his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham’s lineage, Ancestry.com genealogists found her to have African heritage as well, which piqued the researchers’ interest and inspired further digging into Obama’s African-American roots. With the support of existing documents and DNA, it is believed that John Punch had children with a Caucasian woman, and her free status was subsequently passed on to their children. Her descendants continued to be free land owners in Virginia.

The findings were further reviewed and verified by Elizabeth Shown Mills, past president of the Board of Certification of Genealogists and a Southern research expert. She states, “In reviewing Ancestry.com ‘s conclusions, I weighed not only the actual findings but also Virginia’s laws and social attitudes when John Punch was living,” said Mills. She further states, “A careful consideration of the evidence convinces me that the Y-DNA evidence of African origin is indisputable, and the surviving paper trail points solely to John Punch as the logical candidate.

Source:

  1. Ancestry.com ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Ancestry.com Press Release.

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Sir William ap Thomas and Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam

Sir William ap Thomas and Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam

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Sir William ap Thomas Herbert, (21st great grandfather to my children) was born about 1390 to Sir Thomas ap Gwilyn (1360-1438) and Maud de Morley (1375-    ).

Featured image: Tomb with Effigies of Roger Vaughan and Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam.

Sir William ap Thomas first married Elizabeth (or Isabel) Bluet (1380-1420), daughter of Sir John Bluet of Raglan Manor and Katherine Wogan, and widow of Sir James Berkeley. Elizabeth inherited Raglan Castle while married to to James Berkeley, who later died in about 1405. There were no children born to William and Elizabeth.

Sir William ap Thomas - Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Sir William ap Thomas – Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

William fought in support of Henry V of England alongside Sir Roger Vaughan, first husband of his later wife Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam and her father Dafydd Gam ap Llewelyn in the battle of Agincourt. Both Sir Roger and Dafydd Gam died in battle and Dafydd Gam was knighted as he lay dying. Sir William was made a knight-banneret.

In 1426, William was knighted by King Henry VI, and was known as “Y marchog glas o Went” (the blue knight of Gwent), because of the colour of his armour.

When Sir John Bloet died, Raglan Manor was inherited by Elizabeth and her husband James Berkeley. Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1420, William lived at Raglan as a tenant of his step-son James, Lord Berkeley. In 1425, James Berkely granted William the right to live at Raglan Manor for the remainder of his life.

In the earliest of his many occupations, William was made Steward of the Lordship of Abergavenny by 1421. At about this time, he married secondly the daughter of Dafydd Gam and the widow of Sir Roger Vaughan, Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, who was known as ‘Seren y fenni’ (Star of Abergavenny). The exact date of Gwladus’ birth is unknown, but she was born in Breconshire, Wales. She was renowned for her beauty, discretion and influence.

Her father supported Henry IV of England and as a result, she, her father, grandfather and two brothers were driven from their last home in Wales, finding refuge at King Henry IV’s court, where Gwladus served as a Maid of Honor to both of Henry IV’s wives, Mary de Bohun (about 1368-1394) and Joan (about 1370-1437).

After her marriage to Sir Roger Vaughan, she returned to Wales with her family as Roger was a great friend of her father’s and would later fight and die with him at Agincourt. Roger and Gwlady’s children were:

  • Watkin (Walter) Vaughan, who died 1456, married Elinor, daughter of Sir Henry Wogan, on Easter 1456. Watkin was murdered at home at Bredwardine Castle. His half-brother William Herbert and Walter Devereux worked to ensure the execution of the culprits at Hereford.
  • Thomas Vaughan, born about 1400, married Ellen Gethin, daughter of Cadwgan ap Dafydd. In 1461, Thomas died at the battle of Edgecote and was entombed at Kington church, near Hergest.
  • Sir Roger Vaughan of Tretower Court married first to Cicely, daughter of Thomas ap Philip Vychan, of Talgarth and second to Lady Margaret, daughter of Lord James Audley, another of the heroes of Agincourt. He died in 1471.
  • Elizabeth Vaughan married gentleman Griffith ap Eineon.
  • Blanch Vaughan married John Milwater, a wealthy Englishman commissioned by Edward IV to accompany Blanch’s half-brother, William Herbert, to the siege of Harlech Castle.

William ap Thomas and Gwladus had the following children:

  • Thomas Herbert, born in 1422.
  • Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1423–1469), who took the surname Herbert. William’s support for and loyalty to Richard, Duke of York, and Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, resulted in his being recognized as Edward IV’s Welsh “master-lock”. He was the first full-blooded Welshman to enter the English peerage and he was knighted in 1452. William married Anne Devereux in 1449. She was the daughter of Sir Walter Devereux.
  • Sir Richard Herbert, born about 1424, of Coldbrook House, near Abergavenny who died in the battle of Danesmoor.
  • Elizabeth, born about 1427, married Sir Henry Stradling (1423–1476), son of Sir Edward Stradling  and Gwenllian Berkerolles. In contrast to previous generation, Henry and his brothers-in-law were hostile to the Henry VI reign. In 1476, Henry went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land dying on August 31, 1476 on his journey back to England. He was buried at Famagusta, Cyprus.
  • Margaret, born about 1429, married Sir Henry Wogan, Steward and Treasurer of the Earldom of Pembroke. He was made responsible for securing war material for the defence of Pembroke Castle. Their son, Sir John Wogan, was killed in battle at Banbury in 1465, fighting along side his uncle, William Herbert.

Other children that have been attributed to Gwladus and William include: Maud, Olivia, Elizabeth (who married Welsh country gentlemen, John ab Gwilym).

Gwladus and William raised their own children as well as those from her marriage to Sir Roger Vaughan.

Abergavenny Priory, Abergavenny, Wales
Abergavenny Priory

By 1432 William was able to purchase Raglan Manor for about £667 and afterward, he expanded the manor to become Raglan Castle.

Sir William was appointed to the position of High Sheriff of Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire in 1435, and in 1440, also to the position of High Sheriff of Glamorgan. About 1442 or 1443, William became Chief Steward of the estates of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York. He also served as a member of the Duke of York’s military council.

William ap Thomas died in London in 1445 and his body was brought back to Wales. William’s wife, Gwladys, died in 1454. Gwladys and her husband William ap Thomas were patrons of Abergavenny Priory where they were both buried and their alabaster tomb and effigies can still be seen in the Priory.

Sources:

  1. The Herbert Family Pedigree, Ancient Wales Studies online; [http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id40.html].
  2. Herbert and Einion Sais links to Blayneys, online; [http://keithblayney.com/Blayney/Herbert_Einion.html#GAM].
  3. Thomas Allen Glenn, Merion in the Welsh Tract: With Sketches of the Townships of Haverford and Radnor (Norristown, PA: 1896), ; pdf, Digital Library; [http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Pennsylvaniana/Radnor%20Township/Radnor%20Friends/RadnorFriends-00004.xml].
  4. Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam; Find A Grave; [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=87468153].
  5. Early Leighs of Wales; [http://www.welshleigh.org/genealogy/prichardancestry/prichardhistorical4.htm].
  6. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdon, Extant, Extinct or Dormant (G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I.).
  7. John Burke, History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland (1834-1838).
  8. Dr. Thomas Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales (1875); [http://books.google.com/books?id=M34ystsNDn8C&pg=PA196&lpg=PA196&dq=cadwgan+ap+elystan+glodrydd&source=web&ots=I5BTVLyS8g&sig=wllXZyPfJjxL5e9oNePiwr6YX74&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result].
  9. John Edward Lloyd and R. T. Jenkins, Ed.; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (1957).
  10. Wikipedia; [http://www.wikipedia.org].

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Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky

Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky

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Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky is the grandson of the original immigrant from Wales, Evan (Dhu) Shelby (Selby), who is eighth great grandfather to my children, Erin and Stuart; the son of Brigadier General Evan Shelby, who is the son of Evan (Dhu) and seventh great granduncle to my children; and is therefore first cousin eight times removed from my children.

Although not a direct ancestor of my husband, Marshall Mark (Mark) Blythe or our children, Isaac Shelby is of great interest to us for a couple of reasons. First, he was renowned for and distinguished himself for his actions in battle against United Empire Loyalists in Canada in the War of 1812, ultimately defeating Loyalist forces at the Battle of the Thames in southern Ontario. We are also related to and are descended from Loyalists who settled in this area. For a lengthy period of time, we lived in Trenton, Ontario which is located in the area of Loyalist activities and battles against American forces. This area is steeped in this history and it is still considered to be an honor to be from a Loyalist lineage.

Marshall Matthews Blythe
Marshall Matthews Blythe
Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.
Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

Second, because Isaac Shelby is so revered in history, there are accurate portraits of him during the latter period of his life available. Upon comparing portraits of him with recent pictures of my father-in-law, Marshall Matthews Blythe (father to my husband Mark and grand-father to my children Erin and Stuart), the resemblance between them is quite remarkable. For clarification, Isaac is first cousin six times removed to my father-in-law.

Isaac Shelby (December 11, 1750 – July 18, 1826) was a revered and decorated soldier and the first Governor of Kentucky.

The son of Brigadier General Evan and Letitia (Cox) Shelby, Isaac was born December 11, 1750 near North Mountain, Frederick (now Washington) County, Maryland.

Having been raised with the use of arms, he became proficient at an early age and was very familiar with and accustomed to the hardships and stresses of frontier life. Isaac worked on his father’s plantation. However, having received an education, he was occasionally employed as a surveyor and also as Deputy Sheriff.

About 1773, the Shelby family moved to the Holston region of Southwest Virginia, now East Tennessee, where they established a new home. A timeline of Isaac Shelby’s military and political career thereafter is as follows:

1774

  • Isaac Shelby served at the Battle of Point Pleasant as a Lieutenant under his father, Brigadier General Evan Shelby, in the Fincastle Company on October 10.
  • Second in command of the garrison of Fort Blair (until July 1775), which was built on the site of the battle. An uprising of the Shawnee and Delaware Indians compelled Isaac to take up arms and he served as a Lieutenant under his father Brigadier Evan Shelby in the Battle of Point Pleasant in West Virginia.
  • He fought in the Battle of Kenhawa of 10 October. This was believed to be the most severely contested campaign ever fought with the north-western Indians.

1775

  • After July of 1775, he visited Kentucky and surveyed lands for the Transylvania Company.
  • After returning to Kentucky due to failing health, he became involved in the Battle of Long Island Flats.
  • At the first onset of the Indians, the American lines were broken and Shelby, who was there only as a volunteer Private, seized command, reformed the troops, and severely defeated the Indians.

1776

  • In July he was appointed by the Virginia Committee of Safety to the position of Captain of a company of minute men. However, he was not called into service.

1777

  • Governor Patrick Henry promoted Shelby to Captain and made him Commissary-General of the Virginia forces.
  • He attended the Long Island Treaty with the Cherokees, which was finalized at Fort Patrick Henry on July 20, 1777, at which his father was one of the Virginia commissioners.

1778

  • Helped to provide supplies for the Continental Army and for the expedition projected by General McIntosh against Detroit and the Ohio Indians.

1779

  • Provided boats for Clark’s Illinois campaign and collected and provided supplies upon his own personal credit for the successful campaign waged about the same time against the Chickamauga Indians.
  • In the spring he was elected as a member for Washington County of the Virginia legislature.
  • In the fall, Governor Thomas Jefferson made him a Major in the escort of guards for the commissioners appointed to run the western boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina. By the extension of that line, his residence was found to be within the limits of North Carolina.
  • He resigned his commission, but was at once appointed Colonel of Sullivan County by Governor Caswell.

1780

  • Upon receiving news of the fall of Charleston on May 12th, he returned home to an urgent summons for help from Colonel Charles McDowell.
  • He organized a force and about July 25, he joined McDowell at the Cherokee Ford, South Carolina.
  • On July 30, Shelby captured the major Loyalist stronghold, Thicketty Fort (Fort Anderson), at the head of the Pacolet River. On August 8, his command successfully repulsed a party sent by Major Ferguson at the second Battle of Cedar Springs.
  • Upon receipt of the report of General Gates’ defeat at Camden on August 16, operations under McDowell and Shelby were halted.
  • On August 18, he was largely responsible for the victory at Battle of Musgrove’s Mill on the north side of the Enoree River.
  • As a result of a threatening message dispatched by Ferguson, Shelby held even greater resentment and determination and in consequence, with the assistance of John Sevier and others, he organized and conducted the expedition against Ferguson.
  • On October 7, they overwhelmingly defeated Ferguson’s combined Provincial and Loyalist force in the Battle of King’s Mountain.

1781

  • Shelby has also been credited with the plan for the attack, which led to the Battle of the Cowpens on January 17.
  • In February, the legislature of North Carolina adopted resolutions of thanks to Shelby and his compatriots for their services at King’s Mountain.
  • Similar resolutions were adopted by the Continental Congress on November 13.
  • As a result of repeated uprisings by Cherokee Indians during the first half of the year, it was impractical to send forces from there to assist.
  • A treaty with the Cherokees was negotiated on July 20.
  • In October, upon receipt of a delayed message of appeal, Shelby raised 500 mounted riflemen and was accompanied by Colonel John Sevier in command of 200 more.
  • He marched to join Greene, by whose order they reported to General Marion on the Santee.
  • The joint command of Shelby and Colonel Hezekiah Maham, of the Carolina dragoons, contributed greatly to the capture of a strong British post at Fair Lawn, near Monck’s Corner, South Carolina on November 27.
  • Meanwhile, having been elected a member of the North Carolina legislature and having obtained a leave of absence, he attended the sessions in December.

1782

  • Reelected to the North Carolina Assembly, he attended the legislative sessions held at Hillsboro in April.
  • He was appointed one of three commissioners to superintend the laying off of the land south of the Cumberland River allotted by North Carolina for military service in the Revolution.

1783

  • Completed the laying off of the land south of the Cumberland River.
  • He relocated to Kentucky, where he was married to Susannah Hart, daughter of Captain Nathaniel Hart, at Boonesborough on April 19, by whom he had eleven children.
  • Appointed a Trustee of Transylvania Seminary (later Transylvania University).
  • Chairman of the convention of militia officers held at Danville on Nov. 7-8 (was also a member 1787-1789).

1787

  • In January 1791, he was appointed a member of the Board of War, which was created by Congress for the District of Kentucky, and was charged with providing for the defense of the frontier settlements mounting punitive expeditions against the Indians.
  • For several years he served as High Sheriff of Lincoln County.

1792

  • Member of the convention (April 2-19) which framed the first constitution of Kentucky.
  • In May he was elected Governor, taking office on June 4 and serving four years.
  • During his administration many events of importance to the infant commonwealth occurred, not the least being the part it took, under Shelby, in supporting Wayne’s campaigns against the Indians in the Northwest Territory.

1796

  • At the close of his term, he declined reelection.

1796-1812

  • Retired from service.

1812

  • Elected Governor of Kentucky a second time in August.
  • He actively participated in the planning and preparation for war.

1813

  • With a sword presented to him by Henry Clay as voted by the legislature of North Carolina for his gallantry at King’s Mountain 32 years before, Shelby assembled and personally led 4,000 Kentucky volunteers to join General Harrison in the Northwest for the invasion of Canada, resulting in the defeat of the Loyalists on October 5 at the Battle of the Thames.

1817

  • He was given the portfolio of War in March by President Monroe, but declined due to his age.

1818

  • Isaac Shelby was awarded a gold medal by Congress on April 4 in recognition of his patriotic and heroic services.
  • Shelby and General Andrew Jackson were commissioned to hold a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians for the purchase of their lands west of the Tennessee River.
  • He was President of the first Kentucky Agricultural Society, formed at Lexington in 1818.

1819

  • He was Chairman of the first Board of Trustees of Center College, founded in 1819 at Danville, Kentucky.
Governor Isaac Shelby - Traveler's Rest Burying Ground Plaque
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky – Traveler’s Rest Burying Ground Plaque.

1826

  • After his death on July 18, he was buried at his historic home, “Traveller’s Rest,” and a monument was erected over his grave by the state of Kentucky. Counties in nine states have been named Shelby in his honor. __________ An account of Governor Isaac Shelby by Samuel M. Wilson is as follows:

 

Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky - Grave Marker.
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky – Grave Marker.

“In person, Shelby was of a sturdy and well-proportioned frame, slightly above medium height, with strongly marked features and florid complexion. He had a hardy constitution capable of enduring protracted labor, great privations, and the utmost fatigue. Habitually dignified and impressive in bearing, he was, however, affable and winning. A soldier born to command, he nevertheless evidenced a high degree of political sagacity and executive ability. Numerous difficulties confronted him during his first administration, when the new government was passing through its formative stage, and much depended on the choice of officials then made by the executive. Shelby exhibited rare selective intelligence and an extraordinary mastery both of men and measures. Kentucky at this time experienced constant dread of the occlusion by Spain of the Mississippi River, and use was made of this situation by designing men to promote speculative ventures and political schemes hostile to the true interests of both Kentucky and the Union. Through it all, Shelby pursued a wise and moderate course which baffled the plots of all conspirators and held Kentucky firmly to her federal moorings. During his second administration, the pressure of the war with Great Britain fell with extraordinary and unremitting severity upon the state, and he showed himself not only a prudent and farseeing counselor, but an active, resourceful, and patriotic leader. His energy, determination, and perseverance knew no bounds, and his devotion to duty was unflagging.”

You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site are available for free access and download.

Sources:

  1. Shelby, John Todd: KERR, C. ed. History of Kentucky, v. 3-5, 1922 #4.
  2. History of Michigan; Moore, C.; v. 2-4; 1915; Shelby, William Read.
  3. Family Data Collection – Births; Shelby, Alfred, 1765.
  4. Family Data Collection – Individual Records; Shelby, Nancy, 1792.
  5. 1860 US Census; Shelby, John Warren, b. 1835; PO Lexington; Roll M653_365; Pg 0.
  6. Shelby, Isaac Flournoy: KERR, C. ed. History of Kentucky, v. 3-5, 1922.
  7. The Pioneer Mothers of America 1; Shelby, Susannah Hart; Green, H.C. and M.W.; 3 v., 1912.
  8. American Biographical and Historical Dictionary; Shelby, Isaac; Allen (W); 1832.
  9. Military Heroes of the War of 1812; Shelby, Evan; Peterson, C.J.; 1848.
  10. Eminent Americans; Shelby, Isaac; Lossing, B.J.; 1857.
  11. National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans; Shelby, Isaac; 4v.; 1865.
  12. Dictionary of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; Drake, F.S.; 1870.
  13. Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the US…; Shelby, Isaac; Lanman, C.; 1876.
  14. Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky; Shelby, Isaac; 1878.
  15. National Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; v.1-13; 1898, 1893-1909.
  16. Harper’s Encyclopaedia of American History; Shelby, Isaac; 10v.; 1902.
  17. Century Cyclopedia of Names; Shelby, Isaac; 1904.
  18. Herringshaw’s National Library of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; Herringshaw, T.W.; 5v.; 1909-14.
  19. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army…; Shelby, Isaac; 1775, to… 1783; new, rev. & enl. ed. 1914.
  20. History of Kentucky; Shelby, Isaac; Kerr, C. ed.; v.3-5; 1922.
  21. An American Biographical and Historical Dictionaryy; Shelby, Isaac; Allen, W.; 2nd ed.; 1832.
  22. US Army Historical Register; Shelby, Isaac; 1789-1903; Vol. 1.
  23. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Shelby, Evan; 6 vol.; 1888.
  24. 1820 US Census; Shelby, Isaac; 1750; Roll No. M33_25; Pg 59; Image No. 38.
  25. Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1500s-1900s; Shelby, Isaac.
  26. Settlers of Maryland 1679 – 1783; Consolidated Edition; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.; 2002; Pg 597.
  27. Kentucky Land Grants, Shelby, Isaac; Jillson, Willard Rouse; The Kentucky Land Grants, Vol. I-II, Louisville, KY: Filson Club Publications, 1925.
  28. US and International Marriage Record; Shelby, Isaac b 1750; 1560-1900.
  29. Shelby, Isaac; KY Historical Society: http://kentucky.gov/kyhs/hmdb/MarkerSearch.aspx?mode=Subject&subject=185. KW-N-399-3.
  30. Dictionary of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac.
  31. DAR; Mrs. Maria Shelby Tevis Field; DAR ID Number 7785; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Vol. 8; Pg 265.
  32. DAR; Anna Stein Shelby (Annie Shelby Darbishire); National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 11; Pg 182.
  33. DAR; Mrs. Alice McDowell Shelby Riddle; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 16130; Vol. 17, Pg 51.
  34. DAR; Mrs. Katherine Shelby Scott; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 18004; Vol. 19; Pg 3.
  35. DAR; Miss Katharine Shelby Todd; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 25234; Vol. 26; Pg 83.
  36. DAR; Mrs. Laura Shelby Fisher; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 42; Pg 154.
  37. DAR; Mrs. Mary P. Shelby Napton; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 62264; Vol. 63, Pg 87.
  38. DAR; Miss Christine Shelby; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 68811; Vol. 69; Pg 291.
  39. DAR; Miss Shelby Walker Patton; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 83679; Vol. 84; Pg 263.
  40. DAR; Miss Susan Shelby Taylor; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 85134; Vol. 86; Pg 51.
  41. DAR; Mrs. Ann Shelby Magoffin Austin; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 114; Pg 141.
  42. “Soldiers of the American Revolution from Franklin County,”  database, Ancestry.com http://search.ancestry.com; extracted from  (N.p.:n.p.n.d.).Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky p. 174.74.
  43. Shelby Historical Data (Chronology for Evan Shelby, Jr. and Letitia Cox), online http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.trolinger.com, accessed.


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Genealogy Database

Genealogy Database

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Athelwulf, King of Wessex
Athelwulf, King of Wessex

Our Blythe Genealogy Database

After extensive work, my genealogy database is now updated and links can be found in the upper menu or in the left sidebar. There are thousands of surnames and the extensive lineages include Welsh Quaker immigrants to the USA, French Canadian, Acadian, American pioneers, Canadian pioneers, French, British, Welsh, German, Scandinavian and medieval and royal genealogies.

The database includes extensive facts, sources and some images.


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WWII art thefts documented in recently recovered diary of Alfred Rosenberg.

WWII art thefts documented in recently recovered diary of Alfred Rosenberg.

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WWII art thefts
The nazi military and culture resulted in a great many WWII art thefts.

A lingering mystery from the second world war is where are the artworks missing as a result of the WWII art thefts?

One of my earliest memories is from when I was about five years old, shuffling through a small stack of black and white postcards my parents had collected of Hitler’s compound and bunker, and some of the concentration camps.

I was fascinated because my parents had told me what I could understand about the second world war, most likely fostering my ongoing fascination with war, history and genealogy.

I was born in July of 1959, just fourteen years after the end of WWII, and the war was still very fresh in everyone’s mind – including my parents’. Mom had travelled to Germany in 1958 to marry my Dad, who was posted with the Canadian military, and live with him in a tiny apartment in Baden Soellingen – where I was born just a year later. My Dad was quite an amateur photographer and they spent most of their free time travelling around Europe, including visiting the most memorable and disturbing landmarks of Hitler’s regime up to and including the second world war.

The stories my Mom and Dad told of their landlords and others they got to know while living on the German economy painted a picture of lovely, warm, welcoming people, as described in a post on my personal blog, Feathering the Empty Nest, “Did my birth break a curse?” There was no way I could reconcile these stories with the ones I was hearing about the Hitler regime (the military and politicians) of the time. How could there be such a dichotomy?

Among the numerous unspeakable acts against the Jews was the systematic theft of valuables including cash, jewelry, and works of art. Alfred Rosenberg managed the thefts and documented the entire endeavor in his diary.

This morning I read an article in Prologue: Pieces of History on the National Archives site called “Nazi Art Looter’s Diary, Long Missing, Found and Online for the First Time” about the availability online of this German language diary, which was recovered recently and moved to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

I only hope that Mark’s and my interest in the events of WWII has made enough of an impact on our kids that they will do their part to ensure the tragic consequences of the madness of one man and his regime will never be forgotten in their generation and that of their children to come.

Source:

Hilary, “Nazi Art Looter’s Diary, Long Missing, Found and Online for the First Time,” National Archives, http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/.

Photo credit:

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc


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Transcription and Translation: Plaque at St. Bendts, Ringsted, Denmark listing Danish rulers from 1130 to 1331.

Transcription and Translation: Plaque at St. Bendts, Ringsted, Denmark listing Danish rulers from 1130 to 1331.

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Transcription and Translation of Plaque at St. Bendts, Ringsted, Denmark listing Danish rulers from 1130 to 1331.

St. Bendts Plaque

??????? in ST: BENDTS ????? in RINGSTED:
Duke KNUD LAVARD, died 1130.
King VALDEMAR I, died 1882.
His Queen, SOPHIA, died 1198.

His Son Duke CHRISTOPHER, died 1166.
King KNUD VI, died 1202.
His Sister RIKIZA ??:of SVERRIG, died 1220.

Skt. Bendt's Church, Ringsted.

King VALDEMAR II, SEIR, died 1241.
His Queen, DAGMAR, died 1213.
His Queen, BEENGJERD, died 1220.
King VALDEMAR III, died 1231.
His ?????????? ELEONORA, died 1231.
KUND, Duke of LOLLAND, died 1260.
His Son ERIK, Duke of HALLAND, died 1304.
Prince VALDEMAR, King CHRISTOPHER I Son.
King ERIK PLOVPENNING, died 1250.
King BIRGER of SVERRIG, died 1321.
His Queen MARGARETHE, died 1341.
King ERIK MENVED, died 1319.
His Mother, Queen AGNES, died 1304.
His Queen INGEBORG, died 1319.
ERIK, Son of CHRISTOPHER II, died 1331.

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The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 


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Transcription: Sworn Statement regarding the Birth of Matthew Coon

Transcription: Sworn Statement regarding the Birth of Matthew Coon

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The following is my transcription of the Sworn Statement regarding the birth of Matthew Coon.

State of Wisconsin
County of Waushara

Mrs. Mary Russell & Sarah Bradway being duly sworn upon their oaths say that they reside in said County and state that are acquainted with Isabel A. Coon widow of David Coon of Co A Batt Regt Wis Vols, and was acquainted with the said David in his lifetime.

That they were present at the births of Matthew E. Coon child of the said David and Isabel A. and know that he was born on the 3 day of November 1861 at the town of Bloomfield in said County and State.

They further say that they have no intent in any application in which this may relate.

Mary Russell

Sworn and subscribed before me this 27th day of February 1867 and I certify the affiants to be credible persons and that I have no intent in the claim of said Isabel A. for increase of pension  the word Poysippi erased & Bloomfield enten????? before signing —

James Russell  Justice of the Peace

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The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 


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We must fight for our veterans as they fought for us.

We must fight for our veterans as they fought for us.

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We must fight for our veterans.
poppy field

Remembrance Day is fast approaching and this is one very important day I always recognize with a post on this blog.

My family’s history is well-entrenched in military service.

  • My father was in the military for 30 years.
  • My father-in-law was in the military for over 30 years.
  • My husband, Mark served 20 years.

They all served tours in hostile environments.

Our family have also lost two family members in WWI, one being Pte Philias Joseph Albert Emery during advance actions at Vimy Ridge, and the other being Pte Joseph Turmaine in the Battle of Courcelette.

I have always thought that our government was not doing enough to help veterans who are disabled as a result of their duties.

I’m appalled to say that under this present Conservative government, instead of improving, the conditions and treatment of our valued veterans are much, much worse.

Reading this post at Change.org prompted me to write about his myself and I encourage everyone to go online at the Change.org site to sign the petition demanding better financial, physical and mental health care, and administrative treatment of our veterans.

This video of a rant by Rick Mercer on behalf of our veterans is a good example of just one area of concern.

Author credit: Christine Blythe, Feathering the Empty Nest Blog

photo credit: Dukas.Ju via photopin cc


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Transcription: Biography of Henry O’Reilly from ‘Rochester History’

Transcription: Biography of Henry O’Reilly from ‘Rochester History’

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Rochester History, Henry O'Reilly
Rochester History, Henry O’Reilly

The following is a transcription of the biography of Henry O’Reilly from the book, “Rochester History,” edited by Dexter Perkins, City Historian, and Blake McKelvey, Assistant City Historian.

ROCHESTER HISTORY

Edited by DEXTER PERKINS, City Historian and BLAKE MCKELVEY, Assistant City Historian

VoL. VII JANUARY, 1945 No. 1

Henry O’Reilly

By DEXTER PERKINS

Henry O’Reilly (or O’Rielly, as he insisted on calling himself in later life) was, no doubt, not one of the greatest figures connected with the city of Rochester. He was not born here; he did not spend the major part of his life here; and when he died in 1884, he had long since outlived the period of his major usefulness. He never attained distinction of the first order; he was volatile, improvident and —— so his enemies said — quarrelsome; he was a great man for starting something, and a poor man for finishing anything — with the large exception of his Sketches of Rochester, published in 1838. But none the less he is an extremely interesting person. He had warmth and brilliance; he identified himself with a whole variety of good causes, and contributed materially to all of them; he had a kind of itch to improve the little world in which he moved; and he succeeded in doing so in many ways. He was also the storm center in one of the most interesting technological and business controversies in the period before the Civil War, the controversy over the telegraph; and though he lacked the constructive genius that characterized Hiram Sibley, another Rochesterian of far more practical capacity, he was for a time the idol of those Americans who saw in the telegraph a menacing monopoly and played a part, stormy and dramatic, in the development of a great industry. When you begin to study O’Reilly, you may not unqualifiedly admire him, but you are sure to find him worth knowing; and because he is well worth historical acquaintance, I am going to sketch in this number of Rochester History the essentials of his career.

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Rochester History, published quarterly by the Rochester Public Library, distributed free at the Library, by mail 25 cents per year. Address correspondence to the City Historian, Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester 4, N.Y.

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The Young Immigrant

O’Reilly was born in Cartickmacross, County Monaghan, Ireland, on February 6, 1806. Like many another Irishman, in later years Henry was prone to discuss his ancestry in terms that suggested a distinguished lineage. He seems to have dwelt with some pleasure upon a certain great grand-uncle who was Bishop of the Diocese, and he was also proud to relate that his maternal grandfather, Henry Ledbetter, had once been offered a peerage, and was the confidential physician of the Bresfords, a family then powerful in Ireland. But Henry’s immediate origins were less impressive. Of his father, very little is known; he seems to have been a merchant; he failed in business in the depression following the Napoleonic wars; and he was, through the rigor of a brother-in-law, confined in a debtor’s prison in 1816. Though later he followed the rest of the O’Reilly family, that is, his wife, and son and daughter, to America, he seems to have played no important part in Henry’s life, and even the date and place of his death are uncertain.

Henry came to the United States at the tender age of ten, with his mother and sister, and landed, as millions of immigrants have landed since, in the City of New York. There he was received by his “good uncle,” Edward Ledbetter, but his uncle’s benevolence did not extend so far as to provide support for his youthful relative, and still at the age of ten, O’Reilly was apprenticed to Baptiste Irvine, editor of the New York Columbian. The articles of apprenticeship were for a term of eight years, and for the greater part of the period O’Rei1ly was to serve without pay. He was to be given sufficient meat, drink and clothing; and he was to be instructed in the mysteries of the art of printing, in reading, writing and arithmetic, and in the rudiments of the “latin and french languages.” In exchange for these manifest advantages O’Reilly agreed “not to waste his master’s goods, not to commit fornication or contract matrimony, not to play at cards, dice or any unlawful game, not to absent himself day or night frorn his master’s service without leave, and not to haunt alehouses, taverns, or playhouses.”

There was to be plenty of variety in Henry O’Reilly’s career as time went on, but the termination of his first apprenticeship was no fault of his, and it is probable that a similar statement may be made

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with regard to his other frequent changes of employment in these early years. The papers of the time were frequently ill-supported; Irvine gave up the editorship of the Columbian less than a year after the signing of Henry’s articles of apprenticeship. The boy seems to have Worked for some time thereafter in the printing office of Clayton and Kingsland; but in 1823 he was offered a place on the New York Patriot, and there he first began to take part in politics, becoming, as was natural in the circumstances, an ardent partisan of the candidacy of Andrew Jackson for the Presidency of the United States. In 1824, indeed, in company with his employer, Colonel Charles K. Gardner, Henry paid a visit to Washington, and was presented to Old Hickory. Before the year was out, we find him moving to Kinderhook, New York, to become the printer of the local paper, the Herald, and we cannot help believing that he had by now formed a connection with Martin Van Buren, and that he was fairly launched in a reasonably active political career.

But Kinderhook was only a way station to Rochester. While serving on the Patriot, O’Reilly had had as a fellow-compositor one Luther Tucker. Tucker had a friend who wished to establish at Rochester a daily newspaper, and he was offered the business management of the paper, and asked to select a competent editor. Thus, in 1826, at the age of twenty, the young Henry moved once more, and on October 21, 1826, he issued the first number of the Rochester Daily Advertiser, which, with changes of name, and, indeed, changes of policy, has none the less endured down to our own day.

The Editor and Politician.

The young editor had walked into the center of a major political storm. These were the days of the anti-Masonic agitation. In September of 1826, William Morgan, who had written and promoted a book which purported to reveal the secrets of Masonry, had been abducted from the jail at Canandaigua, and had disappeared. Now in Western New York at this same period, the foes of the Jackson patty were looking for a political issue, and particularly for an issue that would wean away from the dominant political faction some of the more democratic elements in the population. They found what they wanted in the disappearance of Morgan. Here was an opportunity to raise a

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terrific hue and cry over the secret society of Masonry and its aristocratic implications. The opportunity became still more profitable when a body was washed ashore from Lake Ontario, which, it was speedily rumored, and afterwards alleged in a coroner’s inquest, was the body of Morgan himself. Political excitement, therefore, mounted higher and higher, and in due course gave rise to a new political party which described itself as the Anti-Masonic party.

Into this interesting political scene Henry O’Reilly was precipitated in the fall of 1826. He began his editorship of the Advertiser, as a wise editor would do, by professing the highest impartiality with regard to politics. But O’Reilly, as a detached and neutral observer of the political scene, or indeed of anything else, is an O’Reilly that never existed. He already had his political predilections; his Irish blood yearned for a fight; and before long he was involved in the controversy over anti-Masonry, arid was locked in conflict with one of the most formidable figures in the history of political journalism.

In 1826 Thutlow Weed was editor of the Ror/Jerter Telegraph, a man thirty-four years of age, who might well resent the appearance of a stripling of twenty as his competitor in the thriving frontier community. Weed was not the originator, but soon became one of the participants, in the anti-Masonic agitation, and one of the leaders in the attempt to capitalize the disappearance and the death of Morgan in the formation of the new party. It is not likely, having regard to the newspaper methods of the time, and to the extraordinary violence of journalistic controversy, that O’Rei1ly would long have escaped the shafts of his rival. But the hot-headed Irishman apparently offered the first provocation for the outburst of hostilities. From the first he had been suspicious of the inquest that had attended the finding of the alleged corpse of Morgan on the shores of Lake Ontario, and had not hesitated to express his suspicions that there was something very peculiar about the whole business. Soon a most interesting story came to his ears. In the arguments that took place in the frontier community the question of the identity of the body of Morgan naturally rook a prominent place. In one of these arguments, so the story began to circulate, Thurlow Weed was reported to have said, in informal conversation, that at any rate the corpse was a “good-enough Morgan till after election.” Later on, when confronted with this charge, Weed denied it categorically, and declared that what he had said was that it

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was a good enough Morgan till another body was found, a comment which, it must be admitted, was hardly less cynical than that of which he was accused. But when O’Reilly published the first of these two versions of his rival’s words, he found himself the object of the most bitter attacks on the part of Weed. He was pilloried as a liar; he was described in the pages of the Telegraph as a “Mason-jade” a peculiarly offensive epithet in the current political controversy, and all the more so in the case of O’Reilly, since O’Reilly was not a Mason; and he was in due course, fixed with a libel suit whida hung over his head for thirteen years, and was naturally a source of considerable embarrassment. In such circumstances, to put it bluntly, O’Reilly found that he could not take it, and in ]uly, 1827, he temporarily withdrew from the scene, alleging feeble health in part as an excuse. After a visit to Niagara Falls, he went back to New York City, and there again took up printing at the Methodist Printing Office which had been one of the scenes of his employment some years before.

But the itch for politics was strong in O’Reilly, and a most exciting and possibly a most rewarding Presidential campaign was approaching. The Old Hero, the veteran of New Orleans, the idol of the people, Andrew ]ackson, was running for the Presidency. The campaign was a delirious one; indeed, never before had so large a part of the electorate gone to the polls. How could a good party man be content to print Methodist tracts instead of ringing Jacksonian speeches? There could be but one answer to this question, so O‘Reilly, at the solicitation of Mr. Tucker, his original employer, went back to Rochester, and took part as editor of the Advertiser once more in the campaign which was to elevate Old Hickory to the Presidency of the United States. And now O’Reilly appears for the first time, but not the last, if not in the guise of an officeseeker, at least in the guise of one much interested in the offices. In 1828 Abelard Reynolds was Postmaster of Rochester, a position which he had held since the very beginnings of Rochester’s civic history. Reynolds, of course, was a supporter of the conservative cause, and of John Quincy Adams in the campaign of 1828. It was obvious, at any rate to the Jacksonians, that a new appointment was in order. So the editor of the Advertiser journeyed to Washington, and secured the appointment of a good Jackson man, ]ohn B. Elwood, in place of Reynolds. He also brought back from his visit to the capital another political plum, the collectorship

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of the Genesee Revenue District, which was awarded to General Jacob Gould.

One might have thought that by this time O’Reil1y would have been in a fair way to settle down. But in 1850 he married, and his bride, Marcia Brooks, was the daughter of a land~holder of the upper Genesee country, in the neighborhood of Nunda. Thither the editor of the Advertiser removed in May of 1830, hoping no doubt to profit from his father-in-law’s plans to establish a village in that neighborhood, and thoughtfully providing himself with the job of postmaster in the new locality, a matter which was not difficult in view of his services to the administration in power. O’Reilly‘s removal to Brooks Grove, as the place was called, hardly does credit to his business sagacity. It is true that in 1830, when for the second time he left Rochester, the town was experiencing its first recession, following the boom created by the building of the Erie Canal. But there was no good reason to believe that the Genesee mill town and canal port had exhausted its potentialities; indeed those with greater confidence were soon justified as growth was resumed and the village became a city in 1854. Nor was there anything about the job of postmastership at Brooks’ Grove that could be described as challenging to a young man now 24, who had substantial capacities, and a growing circle of friends. So once again O’Reilly’s exile was a brief one, and the campaign of 1832 saw the young Irishman, now a citizen, back once more in the editorship of the Advertiser, and warmly engaged in re-electing Andrew Jackson to the Presidency of the United States. For his services in this regard he received the post of Deputy-Collector for the Genesee District, and this together with his journalistic activities, provided him with a reasonable pecuniary reward. He was now to settle down for a while — in so far as it was in his nature to settle down, and in the course of the next ten years he played an important part in the life of the young community. In some ways he was at his best during these next ten years, active, public-spirited, the friend of many liberal causes, and the author of one of the best books of its kind, a book that is invaluable to any student of Rochester history.

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The Rochester Civic Reformer

Amongst the objects of O’Reilly’s activity during his ten years’ continuous residence in Rochester none was more important than the enlargement of the Erie Canal. The canal had been finished in 1825, and had, of course, been the major factor in the astoundingly rapid growth of the city on the Genesee. Constructed at a cost of around $10,000,000, it had been amazingly profitable, and it had been possible for the state to retire a loan of seven and three quarter million dollars from the revenues of the first ten years. The chief drawbacks were its size, particularly its depth of only four feet, and the flimsy character of the locks and other features of its construction. It was natural that there should arise a demand for its reconstruction and enlargement, and this movement was closely connected with a movement for the reduction of the tolls. But the question soon became a controversial one; there was much opposition in the legislature to a new borrowing program; and it took a long and vigorous agitation before the enlargement of the canal could be carried into effect.

Into this agitation O’Reilly threw himself with characteristic ardor. He was, of course, by no means alone in his advocacy of enlargement Indeed, the opinion of leading Rochester citizens of both political parties coincided as to the necessity of such a policy. But his name appears again and again amongst the men who took the deepest interest in the project, and his views, it would appear, had a greater and greater influence as time went on. The canal commissioners first recommended the enlargement of the canal in their report of the spring of 1855. The legislature, very much under the influence of those short-sighted individuals who thought borrowing to be inherently immoral, enacted in May a law providing that the surplus tolls from the Canal might be devoted to the deepening of the waterway, or to the construction of further locks, if needed. In the fall of 1835 a committee of Rochester citizens, of which O’ReilIy was a member, passed resolutions expressing pleasure at this initial step and the profound conviction of the importance of a forward looking policy with regard to the canal in general. But the method of providing for enlargement through surplus revenues was soon seen to be inadequate. The sum that was found to be necessary to carry through the program

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determined upon by the canal commissioners was found to be at least equal to the original expense of constructing the canal. To expect that such a sum could be found through tolls would mean that the much-desired improvement would be long-delayed. Confronted with this fact, friends of the canal urged a borrowing program to effect the necessary construction.

It may well be that O’Reilly was one of the first to formulate such a policy and to join with others in bringing it to fruition. (He was never afraid to borrow, either personally or otherwise.) At any rate, on the 30th of December, 1836, he was one of three citizens of Rochester who addressed a public meeting assembled at the courthouse, to consider the canal question, and out of this meeting came resolutions urging new loans based upon the canal revenues, and a call for a convention of the people of western New York to press for similar action. This convention met in Rochester on Ianuary 18, 1837, and attracted immense attention. It appointed a central executive committee, of which O’Reilly was chairman, for placing the matter before the public. This committee engaged in a successful agitation which had its final fruits in the law of April 18, 1838, authorizing a loan of four million dollars, (not as much as had been desired), for the improvement and enlargement of the canal.

O’Reilly’s success in bringing about the end which he had in view was due in part to a very energetic and skillful agitation. But it was due in part, also, to the particular circumstances of the time. The Jackson administration had hardly gone out of office when there followed one of the most disastrous depressions in the early history of the country, and one which was extremely severely felt in western New York. Of course in general the idea of borrowing to create employment was hardly the economic gospel of the 1830’s. But curiously enough in New York state there was considerable sentiment for just such a course, as was to be strikingly exemplified when William H. Seward was elected Governor in the fall of 1838. The passage of the canal law, it seems hardly doubtful, was in part assisted by the fact that here was a means ready to hand to deal with the critical problem of the depression.

Was O’Reilly’s agitation for the enlargement of the canal wise and far-seeing? In the very year in which the legislature voted for

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the enlargement of the canal, the first steam railway entered Rochester. Was it therefore something less than far-sighted to agitate for the development of canal navigation, at a time when a new agency of transportation was coming into being? Superficially, it might seem as if this question would have to be answered in the affirmative. But if one looks a little more deeply into the facts, one discovers that the Erie Canal remained for a long time after 1838 the principal means of transportation through the state of New York, and that the high point of its usefulness (the maximum development of its traffic) was not reached until the middle of the decade of the fifties. Looking at the matter, then, from this point of view, it seems clear that Henry O’Reilly was not only faithfully representing the necessities of his community in the agitation with which he had so much to do, but was promoting a development which was eminently desirable from the viewpoint of his time and of the decades immediately to come.

There was a second movement, fully as important as that which had to do with the canals, in which O’Reilly’s name appears again and again. This was the movement for the improvement of the schools of Rochester.

The decade of the thirties is remarkable not only in New York but throughout the Northern states for the developing interest in education. The great wave of liberalism which characterized the period expressed itself nowhere more vigorously than in the field of the schools. There was much to be done to improve them, for in most of the country only the most rudimentary educational conditions existed. This was true of Rochester when O’Reilly took up his residence in the community on the Genesee.

The Rochester schools had begun on the district system, that is, they bore no relation whatsoever to the community as a whole. One district might be well run, according to the standards of the time; another might be little short of infamous. One district might pay its teachers fairly well; another might grant little more than sweatshop wages. True, when the city was incorporated in 1854, the Common Council was given the power to act in the capacity of Commissioner of Schools, and was given a broad kind of supervisory authority. But these powers were almost never exercised, and the districts struggled along without any substantial support from the municipality. As late

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as 1839 three districts within the city lacked school-houses, one of them renting a room in an old cooper’s shop. Each separate school was kept only as long as the funds of the district permitted, some of them for only three or four months a year.

Into the movement for the improvement of the public schools, O’Reilly flung himself with characteristic energy. In 1836 a public meeting in Rochester provided for the appointment of a citizens‘ committee called “The Committee for Elevating the  Standards of Common School Education.” It provided for the circulation of a sheet called “The Common School Assistant,” and engaged young A. C. Pratt as a kind of propagandist to go through the county calling attention to the educational needs of the communities. lt continued its work during 1837 and 1838, and in November of the latter year recommended an “entirely free common school system, supported by a general tax on real and personal property.” A little later, on December 1, 1858, a resolution was adopted looking to the organization of a Board of Education which would appoint a superintendent of public schools, and which would have “districts so arranged and schools so regulated as to allow of gradation in public English education.” A committee of fifteen was appointed to urge the adoption of this policy upon the Common Council and the legislature.

It took time, however, to reach the desired goal. Today it is difficult for us to realize that the expenditure of funds for educational purposes was often opposed a century ago as an unnecessary coddling of the masses. There were Americans in that day who wished to keep the less fortunate in their place, and could see no point in making it possible for them to rise in the social and economic scale. The improvement of our schools, like most important steps in social progress, did not come about with the unanimous adhesion of all citizens, but had to be struggled for, as most good things do have to be struggled for.

But Henry O’Reilly had no doubt as to what needed to be done. At every stage he supported in the pages of the Advertiser the contemporary agitation. And in the spring of 1841 he drew up a memorial on the school question which received wide circulation throughout the state and which was one of the factors in securing the passage of a bill amending the city charter and providing for reforms of the first

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order of importance. The law of 1841 provided for the election of a board of education, composed of two members from each ward, which should have power to appoint a superintendent of schools, and which was charged with the financial authority necessary to the building up of the school system. The system to be established was to be public and free. Sixteen years before the state of New York entirely abolished the rate bill system, and early enough to become the fourth city of the state to do this, Rochester in 1841 set up an educational machinery which was hailed at the time, and with reason, as a great advance. The citizens of Rochester showed their appreciation of the role that O‘Reilly had played in the battle for the school law by electing him to the Board of Education constituted under it. There is no room for doubting his notable public service in this regard.

O’Reilly’s interest in the improvement of the educational standards and opportunities of Rochester was shown in another way when he was prominent in the organization, in 1838, of what was known as the Young Men’s Association, and of which he became president. The special circumstance which promoted the growth of this important agency in the early life of Rochester was, interestingly enough, the commission of the first murder which had ever taken place in the city in 1837. This untoward event, says O’Reilly, directed public attention to the necessity of establishing institutions for “presenting intellectual and moral attractions to counteract the vicious allurements to which (as legal examinations proved) the young men of this city were largely exposed.” It was resolved that what was particularly needed was a library and educational program, and the establishment of a center which should serve as an alternative, as O’Reilly highmindedly put it, to “eating-houses, with each a newspaper and a bar—bowling alleys, with their temptations to drinking and their temptations to belting – gaming tables with their enthralling allurements and their degrading companionships—and enticement to every vicious indulgence—diligently provided by those who excite appetite and feed passion for the sake of emolument.” Accordingly, funds were found to rent the second floor of a building on State Street, and there to provide the first public reading room and city library in the history of Rochester. There were small membership dues, and books could be taken out only by accredited borrowers – but the library itself was open to all, and the provision for taking out boolm was the first that had been made. By

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the close of 1838 the library counted more than 2000 volumes, and the membership included 139 full subscribers, and 97 others holding reading room privileges. Once started on this hopeful project, O’Reilly’s soaring imagination carried him further. He attempted to raise funds for a city library to be erected by the Association, and took an option on two lots at the corner of State and Mumford Streets with this end in view. An attempt was made to sell stock for the promotion of this project
at $50 a share, but this project failed, like so many others in which O’Reilly was financially concerned, and the energetic editor of the A41/miter had to pay $400 out of his own pocket as a result of his premature action. On the other hand, O’Reilly was more successful in securing the amalgamation of the Young Men’s Association with the Athenaeum, an earlier venture in the field of literary and educational activity. The union of the two still further enlarged the library resources of the Association, and by the close of 1840 there were over 2500 volumes available to members, and membership had risen to 409.

It would be pleasant to believe that the impetus thus given to the love of learning was permanent in its effects. Unfortunately, the facts are otherwise. After O‘Reilly’s removal from the city the activities of the Association declined. But the work that was done in this early period was not in vain. It served, no doubt, as an inspiration to the efforts of the late forties, when an attempt was made to pump new energy into the educational current of Rochester. And, wholly apart from its practical results, it is highly characteristic of O’Reilly himself. His generous impulses, his democratic instincts, and his intellectual energy all contributed to make him feel keenly the necessity of an educational advance. In taking the position that he did, he was acting in the most elevated spirit of his own time.

The Local Historian

The year 1838, which saw the establishment of the Young Men’s Association, was also the year in which O’Reilly published his Sketcbes of Rochester, the first important descriptive work published in and with regard to the city on the Genesee. The occasion for this work the author describes in his preface. In 1856, in response to a request from the city corporation, O’Reilly had published some statis-

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tical data on the community in which he lived in pamphlet form. The success of this venture emboldened him to go further. He was encouraged by Everard Peck and Thomas Kempshall to carry his project through, and these two men assisted him in securing a publisher. In the winter of 1858 the committee which had the work in charge travelled by the only conveyance then possible, the stage-coach, all the way to New York, taking five days to do so, “with good sleighing,”to put in the hands of Harper Brothers the manuscript of this important work. When it was published it sold at the price of $1.50, or $1.25 when ten copies were taken by a single subscriber. The first edition was quickly sold; but-—quite characteristically, O’Reilly realized little financial profit from his venture. He had made the work more elaborate and more costly than had been originally proposed.

It would he extravagant to contend that the Sketches of Rochester was a great piece of literature. But it is fair to say that very few communities have enjoyed, in the early stages of their development, the services of a more conscientious or thorough chronicler. It is impossible to write the history of our city Without frequent reference to O’Reilly. His work is invaluable as a contribution to local history. It is a mine of information on the economic and social development of a frontier community. And, in the life of a busy editor, and active citizen, it represents no inconsiderable achievement.

The year 1838, which connects with so many of O’Reilly’s activities, must now be connected with one more. The editor of the Advertiser, as we have seen, had always been interested in politics. He had acquired a small political oflice in 1832. He had run for the state Assembly-—unsuccessfully—in 1837. In 1838 the postmaster of Rochester resigned. The friends of the man who must by now have been one of Rochester’s most prominent Democrats, perhaps the most prominent Democrat, rallied to present him for the vacant office. O’Reilly himself was absent in New York at the time, and does not seem to have bestirred himself particularly. But on May 24, 1838, his Presidential commission came through, and from that time forward until his removal from Rochester, he performed the duties of this important office. It is difficult to arrive at any clear evaluation of his service in this regard. He is said to have done great work in reducing the number of robberies in the mails. He certainly became well known to many influential Democrats, and established connections which were useful

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to him in the future. But it may be also that in accepting the position of postmaster, he gave unnecessary hostages to fortune; the work may well have been distracting; and it exposed him, of course, to prompt political reprisal when the Whigs came into office in the elections of 1840. These were the days of the very perfection of the spoils system. There could be only one answer to the question of what to do with postmasters who had the bad judgment to belong to the opposite political party, and that was to get rid of them. O’Reilly, in common with others of his political creed, was soon made to walk the plank; and it seems probable that his dismissal from the post-mastership had something to do with his removal from Rochester at the end of 1842, or in the very beginning of 1843.

But the editor and author of the frontier was so constituted, at any rate while in his thirties, that he could not be long without a cause; he must always he promoting something; and the cause that now caught his eye, and that offered also an opportunity to earn a living, was the cause of constitutional reform. The constitution of New York state had undergone revision in 1821; but in many respects it was still archaic in 1842. Unlike the constitution that preceded it, it had provided for a procedure by which it might be amended; but somehow or other this procedure, with a single exception, had failed signally to function in practise. There were a number of respects in which, from the view-point of the liberal forces of the time, changes  were indicated by the beginning of the forties. It was thought, for example, that the judiciary should be made elective, rather than appointive; it was thought that the terms of members of the legislature ought to be shortened; and still more, the disturbances which had broken out in the Hudson Valley, where a semi-feudal system of landholding still persisted, seemed to call for a drastic alteration of the
existing law.

The Albany Years

The revamping of the constitution was just the kind of a cause that Henry O’Reilly enjoyed serving; and it must have been in his mind when he left Rochester in 1842, for he then accepted the editorship of the Albany Atlas, a journal which advocated constitutional reform. But journalism was not enough. In 1843 O’Reilly started the

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organization of what was called the State Constitutional Association. He became a member of its Executive Committee; he persuaded one of the most powerful Democratic politicians in the state, Michael Hoffman, to accept the post of leader; and he initiated an agitation for the calling of a constitutional convention. This agitation bore fruit in the legislative action of 1845, in an overwhelming popular vote in favor of a convention, and in the constitutional convention of 1846. The reforms which have been mentioned above were adopted, and O’Reilly had the satisfaction of seeing the work of the convention accepted by the people at the polls. But before this day had come the ebullient Irishman had made another dtange of base. When he had transferred his activities from Rochester to Albany, he seems to have indulged the hope that, since the Democrats were in power, he might secure the state printing. By this time he was thoroughly familiar with the mixing of business and politics, and had, indeed, almost continually held some office such as was dealt out in the thirties to deserving members of the party. But something slipped; the Democrats, badly divided into factions, could not unite on the Irishman as their candidate for printer; O’Reilly belonged quite clearly to the radical wing; and it is probable that in this as at other times he took very little pains to moderate his opinions or to express them other than with vehemence. The warring groups in the legislature united upon a compromise candidate; and O’Reilly, after only a brief period with the Atlas, transferred his energies to the New York State Agricultural Society, and became its Recording Secretary. But here again the pickings apparently were insulficient and after a short time in this post O’Reilly, like many another American, turned from the slim rewards of daily labor to the glowing opportunities of successful promotion.

His Telegraph Ventures

The middle forties mark a very decided change in the personality of this interesting man. The impulse for reform, the zeal for causes, the political ardor, never completely deserted him; indeed he was usually able to rationalize his conduct in terms of some great popular  good. But after 1844 O‘Reilly became interested in making money in a big way. He had certainly been conspicuously unsuccessful up to

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this time; he had left Rochester in debt; he had not demonstrated any extraordinary business capacity at any time; but perhaps these very facts tempted him to some kind of scheme for easy and rapid accumulation; his temperament made it easy for him to see immense possibilities for the future in a new invention; and the year 1844 was the year of the first American telegraph. As is well known, on the 24th of May of that year, Samuel F. B. Morse, having persuaded Congress to appropriate the funds for an experimental line from Washington to Baltimore, had sent the famous message, “What hath God wrought ?” over the wire. A new era of communication was thus ushered in.

There were those, in 1844, of course, who did not think so. Morse offered his invention to the federal government for the modest sum of $100,000; and it is interesting to reflect upon the acumen of the Postmaster-General of that day, who reported that he was uncertain that the revenues from the telegraph could be made equal to the expenditures. Disappointed by this rebuff, Morse turned to private capital, and early in the story of the development of his invention, Henry O’Reilly appears upon the scene.

How came it that he was projected into this new field of endeavor? The answer lies in his friendship with Amos Kendall, who had been Postmaster-General of the United States under ]ackson and Van Buren. Kendall had been selected by the Morse patentees, (there were four of these), to represent them as their business agent. In June of 1846, he signed a contract with O’Reilly, calling for the “construction of a line of Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph to connect the great seaboard line at Philadelphia, or at such other convenient point on said line as may approach nearer Harrisburg, in Pennsylvania, and from thence through Harrisburg and other intermediate towns to Pittsburg, and thence through Wheeling and Cincinnati, and such other towns and cities as the said O’Reilly and his associates may elect, to St. Louis and to the principal towns on the lakes.” Here, so it seemed to the former Rochester editor, was a princely grant indeed, little less than the concession of a great telegraphic empire in the most rapidly growing part of the country, the booming middle West.

Whoever reads carefully the contract that I have just quoted can readily appreciate what troubles lay in its vague and wholly unlawyerlike phraseology. Amos Kendall, it is clear, believed that he was giv-

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ing to O’Reilly merely a right of construction in a telegraph system which should remain under a single and undivided ownership and control. He believed, furthermore, that he was conferring on the other party to the contract nothing more than a commission to construct telegraph lines, not the right to manage them, or to become a kind of telegraph baron with a dominating interest in any of them. But O’Reilly had a wholly different view of the matter. What he did was to start the organization of a whole series of companies, independent of one another, and extending over — and finally beyond — the great area in which the contract gave him the right to operate. Nor was he without the desire to play a part in the management of the lines. He hoped to use his position to secure wide stock interests. Those interests would carry with them, of course, a very substantial measure of control over the companies which he was successful in organizing.

The difference of opinion that soon developed between O’Reilly and the Morse patentees goes to the heart of some very interesting problems of business organization, as those problems presented themselves in the decades of the forties and fifties. It is tolerably clear to us today that the telegraph is a natural monopoly, and that the consolidation of the telegraph lines of the country has been, on the whole, a highly desirable consummation. But a hundred years ago, the feat of monopoly was keen. The nation had not long before expressed a decisive opinion on the question of the concentration of financial power in the Bank of the United States. It had emphatically supported Old Hickory in his war on that institution. Now there loomed the possibility of another monopoly, monopoly of a new and potentially significant means of communication. What could be more dangerous? In taking a contrary view of the problem, in organizing many local companies, and eventually in his fight with the Morse patentees, O’Reilly appeared in the characteristic role of the champion of the people and the foe of special interests. He was probably never more widely known, and never more popular, than in the late forties and early fifties; and there is little doubt that he gloried in this popularity, and pictured himself, (while engaged in the most fat-teaching plans for personal gain), as the hero of a great fight for the common man.

There is another aspect of this question that ought to interest us. O’Reilly, in his energetic organization of telegraph companies all over

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the country, undoubtedly performed a yeoman service in awakening the interest of local capital in what has become one of the great industries of the country. Where, indeed, in the late forties, was the capital to be found, except in the communities to be served? The country had not yet developed to the point where vast stock issues could have been floated in New York. The only practicable method of approach to the problem of securing funds was to go out and get them in the areas which were to be opened up. O’Reilly did just this. His methods were the methods of his time. That they aroused a tremendous interest in the new means of communication, and that, despite the final collapse of his hopes and of his fortunes, these efforts were by no means wasted, is clear.

O’Reilly’s financial methods look peculiar and by no means prudent from the angle of vision of 1944. The funds raised by the sale of stock were used for the construction of the lines. The companies which O’Reilly organized were apt to begin business with a large part of the money which had been raised to set them off already expended. But, however imprudent this may appear today, it was not regarded as foolish in 1845. The unlimited optimism of the American temperament in the period before the Civil War is difficult for us to understand today. But it made possible business practices that would now be universally condemned as unsound.

None the less, we must not, in our understanding of O’Reilly’s motives and view-point, attempt an apologia for him. The judgment of James D. Reid, who had been his assistant in the post-oflice at  Rochester and whom he brought into the telegraph business, does not seem an uncharitable one. “Henry O’Reilly,” he wrote in 1879, “was in many respects a wonderful man. His tastes were cultivated. His instincts were fine. He was intelligent and genial. His energy was untiring, his hopefulness shining. His mental activity and power of continuous labor were marvelous. He was liberal, generous, profuse, full of the best instincts of his nation. But he lacked prudence in money matters, was loose in the use of it, had little veneration for contracts. . . . He formed and broke friendships with equal rapidity, was bitter in his hates, was impatient of restraints.” This characterization is sound. And the criticism which it contains will be found to be amply justified by the history of O‘Reilly’s telegraph companies.

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From the beginning, of course, O’Reilly, in his fulfilment and elaboration of his contract with Kendall, had many difficulties to contend with. He was reasonably successful in securing the funds for the construction of the Pennsylvania line as Jonathan Child, Samuel L. Selden, Hervey Ely, Alvah Strong and many others are found amongst the subscribers. But his contract called for the completion of the line within six months of the signing of the agreement. O’Reilly and those associated with him had, of course, not the slightest experience in constructing telegraph lines. They were the pioneers, working without the technical knowledge that could only be gained in that day from experience. They had no models to follow. As winter came on, their troubles multiplied. At the end of November a storm broke their wire (which they had drawn tightly in the belief that transmission was aided by a taut line) in a hundred places. When the 13th of December arrived, the line had not been completed. The contract of O’Reilly with the Morse patentees was by any strict construction, null and void.

Of the patentees, however, (and there were four of them) only one, the villain of the piece in most accounts of telegraph history, F. O. ]. Smith, was anxious at this time to take advantage of O’Reilly’s predicament. Morse and Kendall, the business agent, were willing to be generous. O’Reilly had worked hard. His difliculties had been great. He might still he a very effective helper. Why not let him go ahead? During the year 1846, in fact, the line between Philadelphia and Pittsburg was made ready for business. Time was to show that it was flimsily constructed, and some of it had to be rebuilt as early as the fall of 1849. But at the outset of the telegraph era in 1846 no one could know this.

Meanwhile O’Relly went ahead with other projects. A line was constructed between Boston and New York; another was started to run west from Cincinnati to Pittsburg and Louisville. Often the difficulties seemed almost insuperable. ln one night a storm in New England produced 170 breaks in a stretch of 50 miles. The ambitious Irishman was in financial difliculties. His files for the winter of 1847 are full of duns and protested notes. He had to plead with Rochester merchants for more time for his grocery and clothing bills, and even to beg credit for a ton of coal for his home.

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There seems little doubt, moreover, that he had gone beyond his powers, as defined in his contract. In order to get his companies started he issued stock which, it was alleged, represented an interest in the patents themselves. His organization of separate companies was directly contrary to the desires of Kendall and of the patentees. In addition, F. O. J. Smith managed to persuade his associates virtually to hand over to him the control of the patent interests, and by this time Kendall, concluding that O’Reilly was not to be trusted, went over to the opposition. The patentees began to construct competing lines; they sought to close the lines they did construct to O’Reilly business. Though a temporary injunction restraining O’Reilly was denied them in 1847, they went ahead making more and more trouble for him. Efforts at compromises were blocked by the dominating personality of Smith. The struggle waxed hotter and hotter.

In the popular view O’Reilly was the hero of this bitter battle. He had had the vision to propose lower rates on telegraph service for newspapers than his rivals, and he also hit upon the sound principle of lower rates for quantity service. He was the gallant David directing his sling against the burly giant Goliath.

“The steed called lightning (says the Fate)
Is owned in the United States.
‘Twas Franklin that caught the horse.
‘Twas harnessed by Professor Morse.
With Kendall’s rein the steed went shyly,
Till tamed and broke by H. O’Reilly.”

So chanted the friends of the fighting Irishman.

But unfortunately O’Reilly never knew when to stop. There might have been some color of right in his activities in the region north of the Ohio, There could be none whatever when he sought to construct lines south of the river, and he knew it. In order to make his case stronger in this region, he bought the patents to a telegraphic instrument described as the Columbian, and that has been described by Alvin F. Harlow as the “most absurd imitation and infringement of the Morse system that supposedly sane men ever tried to get away with.” The only excuse that can be given for him is that he was so ignorant of mechanisms as not to realize how bald a fraud this was. But naturally the Morse interests rook advantage of the situation. In

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1848 the District Court declared against 0’Reilly. His instrument was declared to be an infringement of the Morse patent. Of course O’Reilly appealed. But the years of litigation that followed naturally did not help his financial situation. And in 1855, the Supreme Court, in a decision rendered by Chief Justice Taney, dealt the interests which O’Reilly represented what was virtually a death blow. After this time the ebullient Irishman appears only infrequently in connection with the history of the telegraph. Some of the lines which he had built virtually disintegrated; others were developed by other men into powerful agencies of communication. But none owed anything of their further growth to him. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he had strayed into fields in which his talents were not conspicuous, and, indeed, in the years that followed, he was to be a rather pathetic figure, never attaining success, from time to time seeking once again to capitalize his talent for popular controversy, and for popular causes,but rarely doing so with any profit to himself.

It is curious that O’Reilly, in this decade of the fifties, never took any important part, so far as can be discovered, in the slavery controversy. The probable explanation lies in his close affiliations with the Democratic party. One might have thought that such an issue as this would decidedly appeal to him. But O’Reilly was a partisan Democrat, and it may well be that he hesitated to cut loose from his old associations. At any rate, at no time does he appear as a militant foe of the extension of slavery, let alone of the “peculiar institution” itself, and his migration, as a chronic officeseeker, from the Democratic into the Republican party was not successfully effected until somewhere around 1869.

Years of Discouragement

In the intermediate years between 1853 and 1869 he interested himself in a number of unsuccessful ventures. He started a project for the improvement of the Des Moines River, in Iowa. But before lung he fell to quarreling with his associates, was kicked out of the company which he had helped to form, and had to content himself with the meager satisfaction of exposing some of its irregularities before the lowa legislature. In 1859, returning to New York, he engaged in a more congenial and more successful battle, a battle to pro-

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tect the canals of New York State against the hostility of the railroads. But the victory which he won in a campaign for the further enlargement of the canals left him once more without employment. Two years later we find him president of a concern called the American Terracultor Company, located in Rochester. This company was organized to manufacture a machine which would supplant the plow, and which, instead of turning the soil, dug up the ground and pulverized it by means of forks attached to endless chains, cutting a strip of land forty inches in width and ten inches in depth. But matters did not go smoothly here, either, and in addition the period of his connection with the terraculror was saddened by the death of his son at the battle of Williamsburg. In 1863 we find him acting as Secretary of an Association for promoting Colored Volunteering, and acting in conjunction with Peter Cooper to see to it that such volunteers would be authorized and credited to the quota of New York State. In 1867 we find him once more attacking his old foe, the railroads, and becoming Secretary of the National Anti-Monopoly Cheap Freight Railway League, which had as its fantastic object the construction of railway lines which should be open to free competition for the transportation of freight and passengers, but which is interesting as an early expression of the popular resentment against the growing power and arrogance of the railway systems of the country. On this project O’Reilly got exactly nowhere, and his own compensation in connection with it was so small that it did not meet his living expenses. During all this time, it would appear, he was constantly in debt, dependent often upon the generosity of his creditors.

In 1869, however, O’Reilly secured an appointment in the New York Customs House as store-keeper. This job, which could hardly have been particularly lucrative, he attempted to supplement by editorial work for one or another of the New York papers, forming a temporary connection with the World and with the Tribune. But his old flair for editorial writing seems to have deserted him, and he could give satisfaction neither to Manton Marble nor to Horace Greeley, the editors of the sheets in question. He was busy during this period with his Memoirs, and with the arrangement and collection of his historical papers; but the first of these two tasks he never completed.

In 1878, moreover, misfortune befell him. Rutherford B. Hayes, elected President in 1877, was one of the first Presidents to put into

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practise, and against strong opposition, the principles of civil service reform; and the Presidential axe was soon whetted for Alonzo B. Cornell, the Collector of the Port of New York, to whom O’Reilly had owed his appointment as store-keeper. Ar the age of 72, then, O’Reilly was removed from office. He continued to live in New York till 1884, when he returned once more to the scene of his youthful successes, the city of Rochester. There he died, in St. Mar’y’s Hospital on the 17th of August, 1886, and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, the site for which he had been instrumental in selecting nearly fifty years before. He had, at one time, lapsed from the Catholic faith, but in these last years of his life he returned to it, and before his death received extreme unction, according to Catholic ritual. The career which we have thus been analyzing was certainly nor, from the worldly point of view, a successful one. O’Reilly was devoid of the qualities that make for achievement in the business world. He was improvident, rash and by no means easy to deal with. To the eye of the hyper-critical, he might well appear as one who had a professional interest in controversy, in stirring up trouble, in which he generally found himself brilliant and inextricably involved. But any such judgment would be not only partial, but far too severe. O’Reilly was a man of very generous impulses, of very substantial Capacities, and of some measure of successful achievement. In particular is this true of the period that he spent in Rochester. He identified himself during that period with a number of important causes, with the development of the Erie Canal, which (it must never be forgotten) played a fundamental role in the growth of the stare down to the Civil War, and on which the prosperity of this city depended, with the establishment of a great step forward in the system of public education,with the first feeble steps towards the maintenance of a public library, with the development of a newspaper which has had a continuous existence since 1826. On a larger scale his activities seem, in retrospect, to be futile and ill-judged. Perhaps they were. But here too it must not be forgotten that he was a popular hero to many Americans in the early part of the fifties, and that, crude as were his methods, and wrong as were many of his decisions, he expressed something that needed to be expressed in his opposition to unrestricted monopolistic control of an important industry. The remedy for such control was emphatically not the remedy that he envisaged. It was not competition, but

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regulation, that was finally to be judged necessary in the telegraph industry. But it would have been difficult for an American of his period to have foreseen this. After all, the era of regulation was to come after O’Reilly was in his grave. No one contends that here was a great man. But surely here was an interesting man, a man towards whom a charitable judgment is easy, a man whose generous impulses command respect, and whose life was not devoid of service to his fellows.

Biographical Note: This effort to present a full length picture of Henry O’Reilly in brief compass has been greatly facilitated by a master’s thesis written by Sister Miriam Monaghan at the Catholic University of America. A typed copy of her study, Henry O’Reilly: Journalist and Promoter of the Telegraph, has generously been made available by a gift to the Rochester Historical Society. In addition to his own published works, cited in the paper, the fat volume by James D. Reid, The Telegraph in America (Albany, 1878), and Carleton Mabee’s The American Leonardo: A Life of Samuel F. B. Morse (New York, 1943), have proved useful.

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Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales

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Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales.

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr., born in 1725 in Tregaron, Ceredigion, Wales to Evan (Dhu) Shelby (Selby) and his wife Catherine Morgan and was baptised in St. Caron’s church. This Evan Shelby’s birth is frequently confused with that of his earlier brother Evan, who was born in 1720 and died as an infant in 1721.

Tregaron, CeredigionEvan and his family immigrated to America from Tregaron, Wales in approximately 1735, when he was about ten years of age, and settled in what was later called Antrim Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

In 1739, they moved into Prince George’s (later Frederick) County, Maryland where his father died in July 1751.

Evan Jr. continued to reside in Maryland, near the North Mountain, Frederick County (now a part of Washington County) where he obtained by either deed or patent nearly 24,000 acres of land. He became interested in the Indian fur trade and was concerned in trading posts at Michilimackinac and Green Bay.

On February 26, 1745, Evan Jr. purchased property from his father, called “Maiden’s Choice” in Prince George County, Maryland.

Evan married Letitia (Leddy) Cox (Coxe) on December 4, 1745 at Kings Meadow. They had seven children: Rachel, born 1745; Susannah, born 1746; John, born 1748; Governor Isaac Shelby, born 1750; James, born 1752; Catherine, born 1755; Major Evan Shelby III, born 1757; and Moses, born 1761.

In his publication “The Birthplace and Childhood Home of Isaac Shelby in Washington County, Maryland”, 1972, Gerald J Sword describes how  Evan and Letitia Shelby lost the fight for their land (part of “Maidens Choice”) to Dr Charles Carroll. It’s not clear who aptly renamed the land to “Shelby’s Misfortune”.

Mr. Sword states:

“…The reason for Letitia to appear in court was to answer charges that she instructed their ‘Dutch servant man’ to cut down and burn the tree marking the beginning point of this land.

In June 1754, Shelby gave a recognizance of 6,000 lbs of tobacco for the appearance of his wife to answer the charges against her in the Frederick Co. Court. The case was continued from time to time until the June court of 1758:

“A suit on behalf of the Lord Proprietary vs Letitia Shelby for destroying a bound tree for a tract of land belonging to Dr Carroll, when it was ‘maked struck off after 15 continuances…”

Evan’s great skill as a hunter and woodsman led to his appointment as Captain of a company of Rangers in the French and Indian War, during which year he made several successful expeditions into the Allegheny Mountains.

He fought many battles in what is called Braddock’s War and was noted for his performance in the battle fought at Loyal Hanning, now Bedford, Pennsylvania.

During the French and Indian War, Evan participated in General Edward Braddock’s campaign in 1755 and laid out part of the road from Fort Frederick to Fort Cumberland. He led the advance of the army under General Forbes, which took possession of Fort Du Quesne in 1758.

Having served as First Lieutenant in Captain Alexander Beall’s company 1757 to 1768, he was commissioned by Governor Sharpe of Maryland as Captain of a company of rangers, and also held a commission as Captain under the government of Pennsylvania. He was in the advance party of the force under General John Forbes, which took possession of Fort Duquesne in 1758, and crossed the Ohio River with more than half his company of scouts, making a daring reconnaissance of the fort.

On November 12, 1758, near Loyalhanna, he is said to have slain with his own hand one of the principal Indian chiefs.

In the same war, he served later as Major of a detachment of the Virginia regiment.

For several years after the conflict, Evan was a Justice of the Peace.

In May 1762, he was chosen one of the Managers for Maryland of the Potomac Company. He sustained heavy losses in the Indian trade from the ravages growing out of Pontiac’s Conspiracy of 1763, and most of his property in Maryland was subjected to sale for the satisfaction of his debts.

Hoping to better his fortune he moved, probably in 1773, to Fincastle County in southwest Virginia, where he engaged in farming, merchandising, and cattle ranching. He again became a prosperous landowner and influential frontier leader.

In 1774, he commanded the Fincastle Company in Dunmore’s War, and in the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, he succeeded near the close of the action to the chief command as a result of the death or disability of his superior officers and he utterly routed the enemy.

His son, Isaac, served under his command as his Lieutenant in the Battle of Point Pleasant, which he was instrumental in winning. Isaac commanded the fort there until July, 1775, when his troops were disbanded by Lord Dunmore.

After returning to Kentucky due to failing health, he became involved in the Battle of Long Island Flats. At the first onset of the Indians, the American lines were broken, and then Shelby, present only as a volunteer Private, seized the command, reformed the troops, and defeated the Indians, with the loss of only two badly wounded men.

This battle, and John Sevier’s defence of Watauga, frustrated the rear attack by which the British hoped to envelop and crush the southern colonies.

In 1776, he was appointed by Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia a Major in the troops commanded by Colonel William Christian against the Cherokees, and on December 21, he became Colonel of the militia of the County of Washington, of which he was also a magistrate.

In 1777, he was entrusted with the command of sundry garrisons posted on the frontier of Virginia, and in association with Preston and Christian, negotiated a treaty with the Cherokees.

When Sevier, in 1779, projected the expedition that captured the British stores at Chickamauga, Shelby equipped and supplied the troops by the pledge of his individual credit. In this year he was commissioned a Major by Governor Thomas Jefferson, but, when the state line was run, his residence was found to be in North Carolina. He then resigned his commission, but was at once appointed Colonel of Sullivan County by Caswell.

He was in Kentucky, perfecting his title to lands he had selected on his previous visit, when he heard of the fall of Charleston and the desperate situation of affairs in the southern colonies. He at once returned to engage in active service and, crossing the mountains into South Carolina in July, 1780, he won victories over the British at Thicketty Fort, Cedar Springs, and Musgrove’s Mill. But, as the disastrous defeat at Camden occurred just before the last engagement, he was obliged to retreat across the Alleghanies. There he undertook with John Sevier the remarkable expedition which resulted in the Battle of King’s Mountain and turned the tide of the revolution. For this important service he and Sevier received the thanks of the North Carolina legislature, and the vote of a sword and a pair of pistols.

As a result of the new boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina, it was discovered that his residence was in North Carolina, and in 1781, he was elected a member of its Senate. Five years later, the Carolina Assembly made him Brigadier General of the militia of the Washington District of North Carolina, the first officer of that grade on the “Western Waters”.

In March 1787, as commissioner for North Carolina, he negotiated a temporary truce with Col. John Sevier, Governor of the insurgent and short-lived “State of Franklin”.

In August 1787, he was elected Governor of the “State of Franklin” to succeed Sevier but declined. Having resigned his post as Brigadier General on October 29,1787, he withdrew from public life.

Read More Read More


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Journey through centuries: An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!

Journey through centuries: An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!

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My biggest fascination with my genealogy research is finding old photos of the people – especially any rare ancestral doppelganger to current family members.
An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!
Marshall Matthews Blythe (Mark’s father) c. 2004.
An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky, c. 1812 – An ancestral doppelganger!

These images bring some life to the profile created by the fact finding of my research and brings these characters closer and makes them more relatable and understandable.

A while ago, while I was researching the Shelby family which included the original Welsh Quaker immigrant Evan Isaac Shelby (8th great grandfather to my father-in-law), his son Brigadier General Evan Shelby (7th great granduncle) and Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky (1st cousin, 8 times removed, and born in 1750),

I was immediately struck by the resemblance between my father-in-law and Governor Isaac Shelby.

Considering this relationship spans seven generations, it is quite amazing!

In another instance, I was doing some research for a friend who was curious about what happened to one mysterious great great aunt who had a past around which there had been rumours. Upon researching, I discovered that she was actually the birth mother of a girl who was raised by another family member, believing this person was her own aunt.

At the time of the child’s birth, this woman worked as a domestic in the home of a wealthy entrepreneur in the late 1800’s and became pregnant, having the child out of wedlock.

Knowing how often the domestics were taken advantage of by the men of the house, I looked into it further, believing he might be the baby’s father. I was sort of surprised (but not too much) to find a picture of this gentleman’s grandson and great-grandson – and there was a definite resemblance! In this case it was not quite as striking, but was there nonetheless around the mouth and eyes.


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Legend lives on: George, the Duke of Clarence, drowned in wine.

Legend lives on: George, the Duke of Clarence, drowned in wine.

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George, Duke of Clarence was born on October 21, 1449 at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland to Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York (21 Sep 1411-30 Dec 1460) and Cecily Neville (3 May 1415-31 May 1495). George has lived in infamy because of his horrible end: George, the Duke of Clarence, drowned in wine.

 

George, the Duke of Clarence, drowned in wine
George, the Duke of Clarence, drowned in wine.

This was a time when Richard, Duke of York, was beginning to challenge King Henry VI for the crown.

George was the third of the four sons of Richard and Cecily who survived to adulthood. Following his father’s death and the accession of his elder brother, Edward, to the throne, George was created Duke of Clarence on June 28, 1461 and became a Knight of the Garter. From February 1462 to March 1470, he was Chief Governor of Ireland, and on May 20, 1471 he became Great Chamberlain of England.

On July 11, 1469, George married Isabel Neville (5 Sep 1451-22 Dec 1476) at Calais, which was controlled by England at that time. Isabel was the daughter and co-heiress of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, and his wife Anne Beauchamp.

George had actively supported his elder brother Edward’s claim to the throne, but when his father-in-law the Earl of Warwick deserted Edward to ally with Margaret of Anjou, King Henry’s consort, George, along with his pregnant wife, followed him to France.

Their firstborn, Anne, was born on April 16, 1470 on a ship off Calais, only to die shortly afterward while still on board the ship.

Henry VI rewarded George for his loyalty by making him next in line to the throne after Edward of Westminster, justifying the exclusion of Edward IV either by attainder for his treason against Henry or on the grounds of his alleged illegitimacy.

After a short time, George realized that his loyalty to his father-in-law was misplaced. Warwick had his younger daughter, Anne, marry Edward of Westminster, King Henry VI’s heir. Since it now seemed unlikely that George would be replacing Edward, George again allied with his brother King Edward and regained his favor.

The George, Duke of Clarence and his wife, Isabel.
The George, Duke of Clarence and his wife.

Although George was made Earl of Warwick on March 25, 1472, he did not inherit the entire Warwick estate as his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, would marry the widowed younger sister of his wife, Anne Neville.

Anne had become increasingly concerned with her sister Isabel and how she must be coping with these hostilities. Isabel was expecting another child. She had already borne two children, their daughter Margaret (14 Aug 1473-28 May 1541) and their son, Edward (25 Feb 1475-28 Nov 1499), who was later also Earl of Warwick. Edward passed the greater part of his life in prison and was beheaded in 1499.

Being close to the king, the Woodvilles were under scrutiny, and Richard had witnessed their self-serving and underhanded ways and knew it was best to avoid them. It was well known that George had always loathed the Woodvilles. To him, they were usurpers who achieved their ends through manipulation and control.

Clarence had suspicions about the validity of the marriage of Elizabeth Woodville and did not hesitate to say so. Having been informed that a certain lady of high breeding had caught Edward’s eye, George took further notice. She was was of good morals and would not lose her virtue, even to the King, so the King had a private wedding ceremony before he had married Elizabeth Woodville. George made sure to tell the people through whom the story would travel to Burgundy and the ears of Louis XI, and James III of Scotland.

The Woodvilles became aware of the allegations and planned Clarence’s downfall to protect their positions from being threatened.

Isabel was late in her pregnancy and was staying at Warwick Castle when a lady named Ankarette Twynyho professed to be a midwife and offered her services. Things looked good at first as Isabel gave birth to a boy who they named Richard (6 Oct 1476-1 Jan 1477). Richard was a sickly child and both of his parents worried for his welfare.

Isabel seemingly recovered well from the birth. The midwife, having told them she was good with herbs for healing, also told them she could nurse the baby back to health. Both George and Isabel having believed her claims, allowed her to remain until Isabel suddenly fell ill after drinking ale. In panic, the midwife fled and Isabel died in agony two months after giving birth to Richard who lived only about three months, and they were buried together at Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire.

Clarence truly believed his wife had been murdered. He wanted whoever was responsible for his wife’s murder brought to justice, and he refused to eat and drink as if he suspected attempts to poison him as well.

Today, most historians believe Isabel’s death resulted from either childhood fever or consumption. Clarence was convinced she had been poisoned by Ankarette Twynyho, and in revenge he had her murdered in April of 1477, by having her arrested, and strong-arming a jury at Warwick into convicting her. She was one of two hanged immediately after the trial with John Thursby, a fellow defendant.

A petition regarding the events states:

“That whereas the said Ankarette on Saturday, 12th of April 17 Edward IV (1477), was in her manor at Cayford (ie Keyford, Somerset) and Richard Hyde late of Warwick, gentleman and Roger Strugg late of Bekehampton, co Somerset, towker, with drivers riotous persons to number of fourscore by the command of George, duke of Clarence, came to Cayford about two of the clock after noon and entered her house and carried her off the same day to bath and from thence on the Sunday following to Circeter (Cirencester) co. Gloucester, and from thence to Warwick, whither they brought her on the Monday following about eight of the clock in the after noon, which town of Warwick is distant from Cayforde seventy miles, and then and there took from her all her jewels, money and goods and also in the said dukes behalf, as though he had used King’s power, Commanded Thomas Delalynde, esquire, and Edith his wife, daughter of the said Ankarette, and their servants to avoid from the town of Warwick and lodged them at Stattforde upon Aven that night, six miles from thence and the said duke kept Ankarette imprison unto the hour of nine before noon on the morrow, to wit the Tuesday after the closing of Pasche (ie Easter) and caused her to be brought to the Guildhall at Warwick before divers of Justices of the peace in the County then sitting in sessions and caused her to be indicted by the name of Ankarette Twynyho, late of Warwick, widow, late servant of the duke and Isabel his wife, of having at on 10 October, 16 Edward IV, given to the said Isabel a venomous drink of ale mixed with poison, of which the latter sickened until the Sunday before Christmas, on which day she died, and the justices arraigned the said Ankarette and a jury appeared and found her guilty and it was considered that she should be led from the bar there to the gaol of Warwick and thence should be drawn through the town to the gallows of Myton and hanged till she was dead, and the Sheriff was commanded to do execution and so he did, which indictment, trail and judgement were done and given within three hours of said Tuesday, and juror for fear gave the Sheriff was verdict contrary to their conscience, in proof where of divers of them came to said Ankarette in remorse and asked her forgiveness, in consideration of the imaginations of and her good disposition, the King should ordain that the record, process, verdict and judgement should be void and of no effect, but that as the premises were done by the command of the said duke, the said justices and Sheriff and the under-Sheriff and their ministers should not be vexed, The answer of the king. So it fait come il est desire (“ Let it be done as the petitioner”)

George had known that it was the work of Elizabeth Woodville that was behind Isabel’s death and he was determined to prove to all that Elizabeth Woodville was behind it all. Elizabeth reinforced with Edward that George must be silenced for the sake of children, including the heir.

At first Edward was reluctant to turn against his brother, not caring much for his wife or her family. But George had turned his attentions to Edward, and managed to anger Edward sufficiently that he decided to act. Clarence was arrested for treason and and attempted necromancy against the King.

Wishing to look into the acts of Clarence George further, Edward summoned him to appear before him at the place of Westminster. He accused Clarence of pursuing vigilante justice and then had his guards escort Clarence to the tower. Meanwhile, a messenger brought Richard the news that Clarence was locked up in the tower and having read the charges, Richard realised that George had walked into a trap set by the Woodvilles trap and was therefore at the mercy of the King.

Richard sent a letter to Edward requesting that his own servants look after George in the tower and he had also asked Edward if he could look after George’s children. Having obtained permission, Richard journeyed to Warwick. He dispatched sent George’s most trusted servants to the tower.

By October, 1477, Richard was actively pleading for Clarence since he’d become aware that the Woodvilles were seeking Edward’s signature on  a death warrant. Richard hoped that George would beg for forgiveness and promise to remain loyal to Edward.

Upon seeing George, Richard realized he was prepared to die rather than even hint at submission to the Woodville family. Richard pleaded with Edward to allow him to try to persuade George, and Edward promised not to sign the death warrant.

Having been arrested, one of Clarence’s retainers, confessed under torture that he had ‘imagined and compassed’ the King’s death using the black arts. He implicated two others and they were all tried for treason, convicted, and sentenced to be drawn and hanged at Tyburn. One was saved at the eleventh hour by a plea for his life by the Bishop of Norwich, but the other two were executed.
Clarence chose to ignore this ominous warning.

Edward had Clarence brought to Windsor, accused him of treason, and ordered his arrest and imprisonment. Clarence was held in the Tower of London and put on trial for treason against his brother Edward IV. Edward prosecuted his own brother, demanding that a Bill of Attainder be passed by Parliament. Clarence was executed at the Tower of London on February 18, 1478.
He was laid to rest at Tewkesbury along  with his wife and son.

The legend grew that Clarence had drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine, possibly having evolved from a joke about his being a heavy drinker. What was believed to be the body of Clarence was later exhumed and it surprisingly showed no indications of beheading, which was the traditional method of execution for those of nobility. It could also be possible that George’s remains were transported to the abbey in a barrel of Malmsey.

In Shakespeare’s play, “Richard III”, George is portrayed to have been drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.

Sources:

  1. Kings and Queens of England – The Plantagenets, The Royal Family online [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page58.asp].
  2. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy online [http://fmg.ac/].
  3. Kings and Queens of England – The Plantagenets, online [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page58.asp].
  4. “George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence”; Wikipedia.org; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Plantagenet,_1st_Duke_of_Clarence]
  5. “The Demise of George, Duke of Clarence”; Historum.com; http://historum.com/blogs/crystal+rainbow/831-demise-george-duke-clarence.html
    http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/clarence.htm

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William B. Coon – Soldier in the War of 1812

William B. Coon – Soldier in the War of 1812

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In a previous post, I told the story of David Coon, the fourth great grandfather to my children Erin and Stuart, and his service and death in the Civil War.
His father, William B. Coon (about 1789 to August 25, 1854) was also a soldier, but in his case he served in the War of 1812.
William was born in Beekmantown, Clinton, New York and was the son of Joseph Coon.

 

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty Land for William B. CoonWar of 1812 Claim to Bounty Land by William B. Coon, page 1.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Claim to Bounty Land by William B. Coon, page 2.

Zebulon Pike
Colonel Zebulon Pike

In 1813, at the age of 24, William enlisted as a Private with the 36th Regiment of the New York Militia under Captain Fillmore at Plattsburgh, New York.

On January 4, 1851, William B. Coon swore an affidavit before John Kilborn, Justice of the Peace in Canada West, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, in support of his claim to bounty land in compensation for his service in the War of 1812. According to the affidavit, he, along with his horses and sleigh, were pressed into service March 1, 1813 by Colonel Pike’s 15th Infantry Regiment to go from Plattsburgh to Sackets Harbor, serving seventeen days.

Subsequently, he enlisted August 25, 1813 at Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York, as a Private in Captain S. Fillmore’s Company of the militia commanded by Major John Roberts. He was honorably discharged about December 1, 1813. During this three month period of service, they defended the town of Plattsburgh during the burning of the newly promoted General Pike’s encampment, under command of Colonel Thomas Miller.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Minor’s Claim to Bounty Land, page 2.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Minor’s Claim to Bounty Land, page 1.

A supporting “Declaration on Behalf of Minor Children for Bounty Land” of August 3, 1869 by Harriet (Hattie) Laplaint of Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York states she is the child of William B. Coon, who had been married to Elizabeth Hicks. She further states William B. Coon had died August 25, 1854 and that Elizabeth had predeceased him on September 26, 1842. She was the only child of William and Elizabeth listed and as there were other children by both of his marriages, it appears she was the only claimant for the bounty land. This declaration is witnessed by her half-brother Samuel C. Coon and one Joel Cudworth.

Bounty Land Claim signed by Hiram Southwick.Bounty Land Claim signed by Hiram Southwick.

The “Bounty Land Claim” document signed by Hiram Southwick proves the previous marriage of William B. Coon, although his first wife is not named, stating he was the half-brother of Hattie in support of her claim. William’s first wife Clarissa Haskill had previously been briefly married to Ebenezer (Eben) Southwick and had two sons by him, Hiram and James.

Power of Attorney re land claim.Power of Attorney re William B. Coon’s land claim.

William B. Coon was married about 1818 to Clarissa Haskill at Beekmantown. Their children were: John Williams Coon (1819-1842); David Coon (1824-1864); Samuel Churchill Coon (1824-1903); and Clarinda Coon (1826-1870).

The fate of Clarissa is unknown at this point, but it is assumed she had died sometime between 1826 and 1840, as William married a second time in about 1840 in Ontario, Canada to Elizabeth Hicks. Their children were: Mary Eleanor Coon (born circa 1840) and Harriet “Hattie” Coon (born circa 1841).

Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate - William B. CoonWilliam B. Coon’s Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate.

William died August 25, 1854 in Alexandria, Licking County, Ohio. Unfortunately, this was before he could receive his 40 acres of bounty land in Wisconsin, which then went to his son David, who relocated there with his family prior to his own service in the Civil War.

Keep checking back as I will soon write a post about my children’s other fifth great grandfather, Alanson Adams, the father of David Coon’s wife, Mary Ann Adams. Alanson also fought in the War of 1812, having enlisted along with his brother Gardner in 1813.

Sources:

  1. Emily Bailey, “David Coon and Family Background,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 19 Nov 2006.
  2. Emily Bailey, “William B. Coon Family,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 20 Nov 2006.
  3. Coon, William B.; War of 1812 Service File.
  4. Act of Sept. 28 1850 Land Warrant Card – Coon, W.B. and Coon, David.
  5. Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate – Coon, William B.
  6. Military Bounty Land Location Record – Coon, William B.
  7. 1851 Canadian, Lansdowne Township, Leeds County; Ontario GenWeb; http://www.geneofun.on.ca/ongenweb/.
  8. “Genealogy Genforum,” database, Coon Family (http://genforum.genealogy.com/coon/messages/1961.html).

 


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Edward “Longshanks” I, King of England

Edward “Longshanks” I, King of England

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Edward “Longshanks” I, King of England was born 17/18 June 1239, eldest son of Henry III, King of England (1207-1272) and Eléonore de Provence (1223- ), in Westminster Palace, London.

 

Edward I, King of England
Edward “Longshanks” I, King of England

Edward was created Earl of Chester and granted the Dukedom of Gascony on 14 February 1254, after arriving in France.

Leonore de Castile
Leonore de Castile

Edward’s father arranged his  marriage to Infanta doña Leonor de Castile y León (1240-1290) with an eye to preventing the barons obtaining help for their rebellion from Castile. What started as an arranged marriage on 18 October 1254 at Abbey of Las Huelgas, Burgos, Castile, Spain, later became a love match. Leonore was born to Infante don Fernando, III, de Castilla y León, King of Castile, Toledo and Extremadura from his second marriage to Jeanne, de Dammartin, Comtesse de Ponthieu.

Their children were:

Eleonore (1264-1297)
Joan, of England ( -1265)
John, of England ( – )
Henry, of England (1267-1274)
Julian (1271-1271)
Katherine of England (1271- )
Joan D’Acre, of England ( -1307)
Alfonso, Earl of Chester (1273-1284)
Margaret (1275-1318)
Berengaria, of England (1276-1276)
Mary, of England (1278-1332)
Alice ( – )
Isabella (1279-1279)
Elizabeth (1282-1316)
Edward, II, King of England (1284-1327)
Beatrice (1286-1286)
Blanche (1290- )

Edward initially supported the rebellious barons under Simon, de Montfort, Earl of Leicester (26th great grandfather to Mark). He later changed to support his father, served and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264 by Simon de Montfort’s rebel Barons, but escaped after only 12 days on 16 May 1264. With the objective of making peace and ending the war, Edward gave Simon de Montfort the Earldom of Chester on 24 Dec 1264. The Earldom of Chester was restored to Edward after he killed Simon de Montfort at the battle of Evesham, on 4 Aug 1265.

Although originally planning to join Louis IX, King of France (27th great grandfather to Mark) in Tunisia in the summer of 1270, his plans were changed upon hearing the news of the King’s death when he arrived in Africa. After spending the winter with King Charles in Sicily, he sailed for Acre, Palestine,  to join the seventh crusade, landing on 9 May 1271.

Lacking resources against the Mameluk Sultan Baibars, he and the Sultan signed a peace agreement at Caesarea on 22 May 1272.

In an assassination attempt, Edward I was stabbed him with a poisoned dagger. Although he survived, the effects of the poison left him incapacitated until he left Acre to return to England 22 September 1272. He succeeded his father as Edward I, ‘Longshanks’, King of England while stopped in Sicily during his return from the Crusade.

He returned to England just prior to being crowned King of England on 19 Aug 1274 at Westminster Abbey in London.
Edward turned out to be a strong king and managed to increase the power and influence of the crown at a high cost to the Barons.

Caernarvon Castle
Caernarvon Castle

In 1277, Edward initiated a war with Llewelyn ap Gruffydd (25th great grandfather to Mark), ruler of Wales, and husband to Eleanor de Montfort, the daughter of Simon de Montfort, after Llewelyn he refused to submit to the English crown. As a result, the dominions of Llewelyn were halved. In 1282, Llewelyn’s brother David rebelled. Llewelyn joined him in the revolt but was soon killed in a small foray. With no leader remaining, Wales became annexed by England in 1284, and soon after, Edward saw several large castles built including Caernarvon, Harlech and Conway, to prevent any further revolt. Edward resided in Caernarvon Castle, Caernarvonshire, Wales, where his own son Edward II, future King of England, was born in 1284.

Edward Longshanks I presiding over parliament.
Edward I presiding over parliament.

In 1290, the same year Edward I lost his wife Leonore, the royal line of Scotland ended, and Edward agreed to arbitrate the negotiations with claimants to the throne of Scotland on condition that he was recognized as overlord of Scotland. In the end, the Scots acted against him, allying with France. To support his efforts to resolve the situations in Scotland and Wales, Edward formed the ‘Model Parliament’, the forerunner to following parliaments. Buoyed by this support, Edward was able to quell the Welsh rebellion in the field, conquering northwest Wales and ending the rule of the native Princes of Wales, naming his own son Prince of Wales. After his invasion and conquest of Scotland in 1296, he named himself King of Scotland and began a rather brutal, ruthless rule. In 1298, he was again called to invade Scotland to suppress a new revolt under Sir Walliam Wallace. Although victorious at the Battle of Falkirk, he was unable to win the war.

In 1299, peace was made with France and Edward married Marguerite de France (1275-1318), daughter of Philippe III, King of France (son to Louis IX above, and 26th great grandfather to Mark) and his second wife Marie de Brabant, on 8/9 September 1299 at Canterbury Cathedral.

Free of conflict with France, he again attempted to conquer Scotland in 1303. Sir William Wallace was captured and executed in 1305, only for another revolt to start up, this time successful and culminating in Robert Bruce’s coronation as King of Scotland.

Edward once again sought to subdue the Scottish, but before he could, he died 8 July 1307 near Carlisle and was buried 28 October 1307 at Westminster Abbey in London.

John Fines, author of “Who’s Who in the Middle Ages” describes Edward Longshanks I, King of England as:

Son and father of weak and ineffectual kings, Edward I had many fine qualities which seem to make nonsence of heredity. He was tall and strong, a fine horseman and a doughty warrior. A great leader of men, he was also able to lead to success. He was interested in government and law in a very genuine way. As a personality he was pious, but easily provoked to rage and often vindictive. He was fond of games—so passionately did he love his hawks that when they were ill he sent money to shrines to pray for their recovery. He was generous to the poor, and often a gay companion: he played chess, and loved music and acrobats; once he bet his laundress Matilda that she couldn’t ride his charger, and she won! Every Easter Monday he paid ransom to his maids if they found him in bed. He loved his two wives, and fussed over their health and that of his children with a pathetic concern—sometimes threatening the doctor with what would happen to him if his patient did not recover. His people feared, respected and remembered him.

Sources:

  1. Kings and Queens of England – The Plantagenets, The Royal Family online [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page58.asp].
  2. Gary Boyd Roberts, The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants, (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983).
  3. T. H. Owen, Compiler, Cross Index of Ancestral Roots of 60 American Colonists and Supplement (Supplement by Frederick Weiss,). David Faris, The Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists (English Ancestry Series, Vol. I, Second Edition; New England Historic Genealogy Society, 1999).
  4. John Fines, Who’s Who in the Middle Ages (New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1995).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Th.D., The Magna Carta Sureties, 1215, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.), 5th Ed., c1999. George Smith, Dictionary of National Biography, Vols. 1-21 (: Oxford Press, 1885-1990).
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came To America Bef ore 1700, 8th Edition (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 2004).
  7. The Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists. Directory of Royal Genealogical Data, Brian Tompsett, Dept. of Computer Science, Hull University online [http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/cssbct/genealogy/royal/].
  8. Ernst-Friedrich Kraentzler, Ancestry of Richard Plantagenet and Cecily de Neville (Selp-published, 1978).
  9. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdon, Extant, Extinct or Dormant (G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I.).
  10. Sir Bernard Burke, LL.D., A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire; New Edition, 1866; London, Harrson, 59, Pall Mall; Bookseller to her Majesty and H.R.H. the Prince of Wales..
  11. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, online [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLAND,%20Kings%201066-1603.htm#HenriIIdied1189A].

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Transcription: Biography of William Fitzalan.

Transcription: Biography of William Fitzalan.

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Biography of William Fitzalan, from the Dictionary of National Biography.

 

William Fitzalan BioFITZALAN, WILLIAM (d. 1160), rebel, was the son and heir of Alan Fitzflaald, by Aveline or Adeline, sister of Ernulf de Hesding (EYTON, Shropshire, vii. 222-8). His younger brother, Walter Fitzalan (d. 1177), was ‘the undoubted ancestor of the royal house of Stuart’ (ib.) His father had received from Henry I, about the beginning of his reign, extensive fiefs in Shropshire and, Norfolk. William was born about 1105 and succeeded his father about 1114 (ib. pp. 222, 232). His first appearance is, as a witness to Stephen’s charter to Shrewsbury Abbey (Monasticon, iii. 519) in 1136. He is found acting as castellan of Shrewsbury and sheriff of Shropshire in 1138, when he joined in the revolt against Stephen, being married to a niece of the Earl of Gloucester (0KD. VIT. v. 112-13). After resisting the king’s attack for a month, he fled with his family (August 1138), leaving the castle to be defended by his uncle Emulf, who, on his surrender, was hanged by the king (ib.; Cont. FLOE. WIG-. ii. 110). He is next found with the empress at Oxford in the summer of 1141 (EXTON, vii. 287), and shortly after at the siege of Winchester (Gesta, p. 80). He again appears in attendance on her at Devizes, witnessing the charter addressed to himself by which she grants Aston to Shrewsbury Abbey (EITON, ix. 58). It was probably between 1130 and 1138 that he founded Haughmond Abbey («A. 286-7). In June 1153 he is found with Henry, then duke of Normandy, at Leicester (ib. p. 288). With the accession of Henry as king he regained his paternal fief on the fall of Hugh de Mortimer in July 1155. He is found at Bridgnorth with the king at that time, and on 26 July received from his feudal tenants a renewal of their homage (ib. i. 250-1, vii. 236-7, 288). His first wife, Christiana, being now dead, he received from Henry the hand of Isabel de Say, heiress of the barony of Clun (ib. vii. 237), together with the shrievalty of Shropshire, which he retained till his death (Pipe Molls, 2-6 Hen. II), which took place in 1160, about Easter (ib. 6 Hen. It, p. 27). Among his benefactions he granted Wroxeter Church to Haughmond in 1166 (EYION, vii. 311-12), and, though not the founder of Wombridge Priory, sanctioned its foundation (ib. p. 863). He was succeeded by William Fitzalan the second, his son and heir by his second wife. By his first he left a daughter, Christiana, wife of Hugh Pantulf.

[Ordericus Vitalis (Société de l’Histoire de Prance):; G-esta Stephani (Rolls Ser.); Florence of “Worcester (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Monasticon Anglicanum, .new ed.; Pipe Rolls (Record Commission and Pipe Roll Soc.); Eyton’s Hist, of Shropshire.]

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Dame Emma Albani (Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse) of Chambly, Québec

Dame Emma Albani (Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse) of Chambly, Québec

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Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (known professionally as Dame Emma Albani), was a world-renowned soprano for most of the 19th century and into the early 20th century.

 

Featured image: Dame Emma Albini (4th cousin 3 times removed) on her tours of Europe and North America, where she sang for Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Csar Nicholas.

 

Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five
Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five years of age in about 1852.

She was also a harpist, pianist and teacher. Her birth date is commonly believed to be November 1, 1847 , although some believe she was born in 1848 or 1850. Emma was my fifth cousin, twice removed, as she was the fourth great granddaughter of my 7th great grandfather, Jean Jacques Labelle (1682-1748) of Île Jésus (Laval), Québec, Canada.

Chambly, Quebec
Emma’s birthplace, Chambly, Quebec.

In her own memoirs, Emma states her birth was in 1852 in Chambly, Québec, Canada to Joseph Lajeunesse (1818-1904) and Mélina Rachel Mélanie Mignault ( -1856).

Emma was the first Canadian singer to become internationally known and sought after. She performed operas composed by Bellini, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and later, Wagner. Her audiences included such luminaries as Queen Victoria, Csar Alexander II, and Kaiser Wilhelm I.

Emma Lajeunesse’s parents, both musicians, recognized their daughter’s wonderful talent very early. Although she studied first with her mother, her father took over her tr

Royal autographs.
Autograph of Queen Victoria and other royals from Dame Emma Albani’s autograph book.

aining when she turned five. He was a great musician in his own right and was skilled with the harp, violin, organ and piano. Her practice schedule was very busy and strict, in which she dedicated up to four hours a day. In 1856, shortly after his wife died, Joseph Lajeunesse was hired to teach music at the Religious of the Sacred Heart Convent in Sault-au-Récollet (Montréal), where Emma and her sister Cornélia (nickname Nellie) were boarders.

Emma attended from 1858 to 1865, and her talent was evident to the convent’s nuns, who were forced to bar her from the convent’s musical competitions so other children had a chance of winning.

At eight years old, Emma performed her first concert on September 15, 1856 at the Mechanics’ Institute in Montreal. The critics were amazed, and recognized her as a prodigy. She also sang in Chambly, Saint-Jean (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), L’Assomption, Sorel, Industrie (Joliette), and Terrebonne, all in Québec.

Dame Emma Albani
Dame Dame Emma Albani in costume for her role as Amina.

Unable to finance a musical education in Quebec, where singing and acting were considered unsavory careers for a woman, Joseph Lajeunesse attempted to raise sufficient money to send her to study in Paris.

In 1865, Emma’s family moved to Albany, New York, stopping at several towns, including Saratoga Springs and Johnstown, where Emma and her sister performed. She became a popular singer in New York, and managed to save enough money for her studies.

Emma Albani in costume for Violetta
Dame Emma Albani in costume for Violetta.

In Albany, Emma was hired as soloist for the parish church of St Joseph, where she worked three years singing, playing the organ, and directing the choir. She also worked at composing scores, as well as musical pieces for harp, solo piano and two pianos.

With her father’s savings and financial assistance from well-wishers and parishioners, Emma was able to go to Paris to study at the ‘Paris Conservatoire’ with Gilbert-Louis Duprez, the famous French tenor. Not long after her lessons with him began, Duprez was heard to say about Emma, “She has a beautiful voice and ardor. She is of the kind of wood from which fine flutes are made.”

At the suggestion of her elocution instructor, Signor Delorenzi, she changed her name to the simpler Emma Albani, which sounded more European and happened to be a very old Italian family name. The closeness in sound of her new surname and ‘Albany’ in New York pleased her, as she had been treated so well there.

Emma continued to study in Milan, Italy for a year and with the assistance of eminent voice teacher Francesco Lamperti, she learned solid technique and, along with her rigid discipline, was able to maintain good vocal health. These techniques enabled her to perform a range of roles from light to dramatic.

Emma Albani in 1899.
Dame Emma Albani in 1899.

Emma’s funds diminished, and although she was not yet finished her training, she began to look for work during the 1869-70 season to help support her schooling. She found a position in Messina, and her operatic debut was on March 30, 1870, playing Amina in Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula. Her debut performance was very well received and she later stated, “I was literally loaded with flowers, presents, and poetry, the detached sheets of which were sent fluttering down in every direction on the heads of the audience; and among the numberless bouquets of every shape was a basket in which was concealed a live dove. They had painted it red, and the dear little bird rose and flew all over the theater.”

From the time of her debut in Messina, she realized that to portray historical characters, it was not enough to sing well and made a point of visiting museums and reading extensively.

She returned to Milan after her contract in Messina had expired and resumed her instruction with Lamperti. Meanwhile, more work offers began to pour in, including a role she accepted in Rigoletto, which was being performed in Cento. Other roles followed in Florence and Malta, with parts in Lucia di Lammermoor, Robert il Diavolo, La Sonnambula, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Africaine.

After performing in Malta in the winter of 1870 to 1871, she auditioned for Frederick Gye, manager of Covent Garden in London. He was so impressed with her abilities, he signed her to a five-year contract. Before her London contract was to start, she returned to Italy to complete her studies with Lamperti.

Albani arrived in London in the spring of 1872 and her first performance under her contract was on April 2, 1872 at the Royal Italian Opera (the name taken in 1847 by Covent Garden in London) and was a great success. She was the first Canadian woman to perform in this opera house and would perform there until 1896.

Emma continued to perform in various roles and venues throughout Europe, Russia and the United States over the next five seasons. Her performances included that of Ophelia in Hamlet and the Countess in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.

Queen Victoria later requested a private performance from Albani, who traveled to Windsor Palace in July, 1874 to perform “Caro Nome” from Rigoletto, “Ave Maria”, “Robin Adair”, and “Home, Sweet Home”. This was the first of many occasions on which Albani would perform for monarchs and other dignitaries, but it was also the beginning of a friendship and the two women would visit each other regularly until Queen Victoria died in 1901. Albani would also sing at the funeral of Queen Victoria.

Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.
Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.

Emma Albani toured the United States in the fall of 1874, visiting Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago and Albany.
In November 1874, Emma went on tour in the United States, where she performed her first role in a Wagner opera as Elsa in “Lohengrin” at New York’s Academy of Music. Her repertoire grew over the years.

After 1876, Emma’s sister Cornélia was always by her side. Cornélia was also a talented pianist and had studied in Germany, later teaching music to the children of the royal family of Spain. Cornélia worked her entire life as Emma’s accompanist and companion, dying soon after Emma.

Mr. Frederick Gye
Mr. Frederick Gye, father of Emma’s husband Ernest Gye.

Emma married Ernest Gye on August 6, 1878. He was the son of the director of the Royal Italian Opera and after his father died in an accident, he took over the position from 1878 to 1885. Their son, Ernest Frederick was born June 4, 1879, became a prominent diplomat and would die in London in 1955.

In 1880, as a result of playing Lucia in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Gilda in “Rigoletto” at La Scala in Milan, Italy, Emma suffered a setback. The audience was already hostile to non-Italian singers in this theater, but she was not in very good voice, resulting in being unable to impress her listeners. Despite this, her career continued to grow since she performed in cities she had not previously visited.

Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: "MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!"
Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: “MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!”

In 1883, Emma and another singer, Adelina Patti, undertook a long tour in the United States, visiting Chicago, Baltimore, New York and Washington. She also gave three recitals in Montréal, for which appearance more than ten thousand people showed up to greet her, and poet Louis-Honoré Fréchette composed a poem in her honor which he read at a reception.

She remained attached to Canada and toured nine times to perform recitals from 1883 to 1906, traveling from one coast to the other. In1890 Emma performed in two complete operas at the Academy of Music in Montréal, Verdi’s “La Traviata” and “Lucia di Lammermoor”. Albani was always generous to charitable organizations and she supported and performed in a benefit concert in Montréal for Notre-Dame Hospital.

Albani became the first French Canadian woman to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on November 23, 1891 in “Les Huguenots”. That winter, she was in several other productions at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Albani retired from the Covent Gardens opera, and her final stage performance taking place in July 1896 at the Royal Opera House. To accommodate the changing tastes of the theater’s directors and the public, Emma had to show great flexibility and perform diverse roles. Emma received the royal Philharmonic Society’s gold medal or the “Beethoven Medal” in 1897.

Letter from Dame Emma Albani
Letter from Dame Emma Albani from her memoir titled “Forty Years of Song”.

Although retired, she still sang in recitals and in 1901 she traveled across Canada, traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia. She then continued to go on tour in Australia (1898, 1907), South Africa (1898, 1899, 1904), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (1907), New Zealand (1907) and India (1907). In 1906 she made her farewell Canadian tour. During this period she is said to have recorded nine titles (audio of one follows article) and some have since been remastered and are available today. Her ‘post-retirement’ career came to an end on October 14, 1911 when she gave her last public performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. That same year she released a book a book of her memoirs, “Forty Years of Song”.

She and her husband retired to Kensington where Emma’s last years were troubled by financial difficulties necessitating that she teach and occasionally perform in music halls. Her circumstances resulted from the war and poor investments, and in concern the British government voted her an annual pension of £100. Word of her difficulties reached Montréal, where “La Presse” sponsored a recital on May 28, 1925 in the Théâtre Saint-Denis. More than $4,000 was collected. Assistance was also sought from the Canadian and Quebec governments, who declined, stating that Albani had become more of a British subject than a Canadian citizen since she had resided in London since 1872).

Postage stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma's death.
Postage stamp issued by Canada Post in 1980 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma Albani’s death.

Dame Emma Albani died on April 3, 1930 at her home on Tregunter Road, Kensington, in London and was buried at Brompton, London, England.

During her lifetime, she received many awards, including the gold Beethoven Medal (given by the Royal Philharmonic Society of London) and the Medal of Honour commemorating Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1897. In 1925 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Of two streets that were named after Emma Albani in Montréal, the first was dedicated in the 1930s, but was later removed when the road was merged with another street, and the second was named Rue Albani in 1969.

Other honors included a postage stamp issued by Canada Post and designed by artist Huntley Brown. It was released July 4, 1980 and eleven million, seven hundred thousand copies of the stamp were printed. She is also immortalized in a stained glass mural at Montréal’s Place des Arts station.

Photo credits:

Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Albani].

Sources:

  1. “Forty Years of Song,” by Emma Albani; Project Gutenberg Canada website; [http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/albani-forty/albani-forty-00-h-dir/albani-forty-00-h.html]
  2. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=7930]
  3. Les Labelles, Daniel Labelle online [http:www.leslabelle.org]
  4. Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Albani].

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Melansons and the Acadian Expulsion

Melansons and the Acadian Expulsion

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The British conquered Acadia from the French in 1710 and subsequently, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. At this time, the Acadians and Mi’kmaq formed militia against the British and as a result of what the British viewed as the rebellious actions of some of the Acadians, British Governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council ordered the expulsion of all the Acadians. This action led to the deaths of thousands of Acadians.
The Acadian people were expelled from what are now the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island between 1755 and 1763 and were deported to Britain, France and other British colonies.

Fort Edward in 1753

Fort Edward, in what was then Pisiguit (Windsor, Nova Scotia) played an important role in the Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755) of the Acadian Expulsion. Fort Edward was one of four forts in which Acadians were imprisoned over the nine years of the expulsion (the others were Fort Frederick, Saint John, New Brunswick; Fort Cumberland; and Fort Charlotte, Georges Island, Halifax).
In the early 1760’s it was illegal for Acadians to reside in Nova Scotia. Families and individuals who had avoided capture in 1755 were imprisoned. The prison lists for Fort Edward between 1761-1762 still exist (For a list of the prisoners see List of Acadian Prisoners – Fort Edward). There was Acadian and Mi’kmaq resistance to the Expulsion. In April of 1757, a band of Acadians and Mi’kmaq raided a warehouse near Fort Edward, killing thirteen British soldiers and, after taking what provisions they could carry, setting fire to the building. A few days later, the same group also raided Fort Cumberland.

Fort Beausejour in 1755

Fort Beauséjour, (later known as Fort Cumberland) is located at the Isthmus of Chignecto in present day Aulac, New Brunswick, Canada. This fort was famous for the Battle of Fort Beauséjour, which was both the final act in the long fight between Britain and France for control of Acadia and the beginning of the final struggle between the two great empires for North America itself. Fort Beauséjour was one of several French forts erected to strengthen the French position in North America against the British.
In 1755, there was a major battle at Fort Beauséjour. It was also the site of the start of the Expulsion of the Acadians and the area was afterward subjected to the resistance of the Mi’kmaq and Acadians. On June 4, 1755, British forces and militia attacked Fort Beauséjour from their base at Fort Lawrence. After taking control of Fort Beauséjour by June 16, 1755, they changed its name to Fort Cumberland. After the capture of the fort, British forces attempted to convince Acadians of the Beaubassin region to sign the oath of allegiance demanded by the British Crown; however the Acadians refused, stating that they would rather remain neutral. Some of the captured Acadians who remained reported that they were forced to help defend Fort Beauséjour. Armed with this information, the British planned and executed the expulsion of Acadians in August 1755.
This event was the start of what would come to be known as the Great Upheaval (le Grand Dérangement) of Acadian society. It commenced with the Acadians in the Beaubassin region. British forces burnt Acadian homes at Beaubassin and the vicinity of the fort to prevent their return. Fort Cumberland became one of four sites in which Acadians were imprisoned during the nine years of the expulsion, including Fort Edward.
Pierre “Parrotte” Melanson was born in 1720 in Port Royal (later Annapolis Royal). Pierre “Parrotte” Melanson and Marie Josephe Granger (my 5th great grandparents) were married on 1 Feb 1746 in Port Royal. Marie Josèphe Granger, daughter of Laurens Granger and Marie Bourg, was born on 12 Jan 1723 in Port Royal. He and Marie Josèphe had six children: Marie-Josèphe, Jean “Janne”, Osite, Pierre, David and Dominique-Pierre. Escaping deportation during the Acadian Expulsion, Pierre, Marie Josephe and their three living children, Marie-Josephe, Janne and David (see below for more information about the children), sought refuge in the Petitcodiac region (today in New Brunswick) from 1755 to 1760. They were captured and subsequently held prisoner at Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763. They then lived as captives in Fort Cumberland, between 1763 and 1768. Their youngest son Dominique-Pierre was born in captivity at Fort Cumberland. Pierre “Parrotte” and his family lived after their release from Fort Cumberland in Minudie, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, where he died about 1791 at the age of 71. His wife Marie Josèphe remained in Minudie until her death about 1790 at the age of 67.
Marie-Josèphe Melanson was born on 4 Mar 1747 in Port Royal. Marie-Josèphe Melanson and Jean-Augustin Gaudet, son of Augustin Gaudet and Agnés Chiasson, were married about 1767 while in captivity at Fort Edward. They lived as captives in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763, and then also in captivity in Fort Cumberland between 1763 and 1768. They had nine children: Marie-Madeleine, Isabelle, Marie-Anne “Nannette”, Marguerite, Jean, Marguerite, Pierre, Pélagie and Sauveur and they all settled in Westmoreland County, New Brunswick, Canada.
Jean “Janne” Melanson was born on 12 Aug 1749 in Port Royal. Janne lived as a captive along with his family in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763. He lived as a captive along with his family in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, Canada between 1763 and 1768. Janne later died in Minudie.  Jean “Janne” Melanson and Modeste “Ursule” Forest (4th great grandparents), daughter of Charles Forest and Marie Chiasson, were married on 20 Nov 1773 in Franklin Manor, Minudie. Janne and Modeste had seven children, Louise “Lizette”, Henriette, Romain “Roma”, Apollonie, Pélagie, Rose Anne and Pierre Melanson (3rd great grandfather).
David Melanson was born in 1755 in Port Royal. He lived as an escapee with his family in Petitcodiac between 1755 and 1761. He lived with his family in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763 and in Fort Cumberland between 1763 and 1768. David Melanson married firstly Marguerite Leblanc, daughter of Joseph Leblanc and Marie Doiron, about 1776 in Minudie, Cumberland County. They had eleven children: Pierre, Cécile, Rosalie, Dominique, Fabien, Firmin, Brigitte, Joseph “dit Magoune”, Gertrude, Romain “Roma” and François. David became a land owner from land grants in Dorchester Crossing and Scoudouc, New Brunswick. David and Marguerite both died in Memramcook, Westmorland County, she in 1810 and he in 1834. Marguerite is among those originally buried at the old Memramcook parish cemetery that were exhumed and re-interred at the new church’s cemetery (St. Thomas) when it opened in 1840.
David married secondly Anne Nanette Richard, daughter of René “petit René de Beaupré” and Perpétue Bourgeois, on 4 Feb 1811 in Memramcook, Westmorland County. They were granted dispensations for third to fourth degree of consanguinity and a third degree of affinity. She died shortly after their marriage at the age of 44 in Memramcook.
Dominique-Pierre Melanson was born in captivity in Fort Cumberland in 1765 and was captive there along with his family between 1765 and 1768. Dominique-Pierre Melanson and Anne-Rosalie Babin, daughter of Pierre Babin and Madeleine Bourque, were married on 8 Nov 1783 in Franklin Manor, Minudie. They had five children: Apolline, Isabelle, Laurent “P’Tit Laurent”, Franéçois and Anne. Dominique-Pierre died on 11 Aug 1813 at the age of 48 in Memramcook.

Sources:
1. Michael B. Melanson, Melanson – Melancon: Genealogy of an Acadian and Cajun Family (Dracut, Massachusetts: Lanesville Publishing, 2004).
2. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian/Default.asp).
3. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian/Default.asp) .
4. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian/Default.asp) .


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Transcription: Obituary for Major General George Burges Cadwalader

Transcription: Obituary for Major General George Burges Cadwalader

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Transcription of an obituary for Major General George Burges Cadwalader.

 

Obituary; General George Cadwalader— General George Cadwalader died in Philadelphia, on Monday afternoon, in the seventy-third year of his age, from an attack resembling apoplexy, with which he was seized on Sunday night. He was a brother of Judge Cadwalader, who died on Sunday week, and was the last of the five sons of General Thomas Cadwalader. The deceased was born in Philadelphia, in 1806, engaged in mercantile business, and filled the position of President of the Mutual Insurance Company for a third of a century. He served gallantly in the Mexican War as well as in the Slaveholders’ Rebellion, and distinguished himself in both position. His record is one of the best which he can safely leave behind as a grand inheritance to his family and friends.

 

Source Image: Bucks County Gazette article, , Bristol, Pennsylvania , 6 Feb 1879, Col. 3

 

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The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 


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This homebody wishes to be part of an Acadian trip to France.

This homebody wishes to be part of an Acadian trip to France.

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Of all of the numerous branches in our family history, there are two of which I am almost obsessive in my interest – and research.

 

Those are my mother’s Acadian roots and my father-in-law’s Welsh Quaker ancestry.

Featured image: La grande derangement (Acadian Expulsion)

 

A few years ago, we had the amazing experience of visiting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for a prolonged camping trip to take in the sights and sounds (and smells) of the lands originally settled by the French Huguenot exiles in the 17th century.

I came across an article on the Daily World website describing a trip to be taken by a group of Acadian descendants from Canada, Louisiana and other US locations. These families had relocated to diverse areas as a result of the Acadian Expulsion (la grande dérangement) at the hands of the British under authority of the king in retaliation for the Acadians’ refusal to swear allegiance to the British king.

La Rochelle, France in 1628.
La Rochelle, France in 1628.

This trip is an amazing opportunity to see and experience the lands from which the original Acadian settlers came.In our family’s case in particular, it would be great to have a chance to visit archives, churches and other repositories to try to trace the origins of our Melanson ancestors.

The couple who originally settled in Acadia were Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla Mellanson, as well as their sons, Pierre, Charles and Jean.

It is widely believed that although they traveled from England, Pierre was originally a Huguenot exile from the La Rochelle area of France, who married Priscilla in England, later traveling to Acadia with his family.

Researchers in the past have been unsuccessful in locating documentation proving Pierre’s origin, and I would love a chance to explore the possibilities in France.

Then again, a tour  may not be the best way as a great deal of personal freedom to explore and time to research would be necessary. Perhaps one day, in our retirement, our dream of traveling Europe will come true and I will have my opportunity.

 


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In Remembrance.

In Remembrance.

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Being from a dedicated military family, this is a somber time of year for us, in remembrance of those in our families who have served, or worse yet, who we lost during military service.

 

The relationships to our children, Erin and Stuart, are in italics following the excerpt.


Remembering those we lost in battle:

 

Coon, David 1843

  • Elisha Cadwallader (1840-1862) – Civil War (4th cousin, 7x removed)
  • Private Joseph Turmaine (1889-1916) – First World War(great granduncle)
    • The 27th Battalion, Winnipeg Regiment left at 2 pm, September 14, 1916 for brigade headquarters, arriving at 5 pm. They then left brigade headquarters at 9 pm and proceeded to the front line to take up position in assembly trenches, which was delayed due to congestion of the trenches…

 

Pte Joseph Philias Albert Emery


Veterans in our family who later passed away:

 

 

Cadwalader, General John Cadwalader (Revolutionary War)

  • General John Cadwalader (1742-1785) – Revolutionary War (3rd cousin, 11x removed)
  • Nathan “Hoppity-Kickity” Porter (1742-1815) – French and Indian War (7th great grandfather)

 

Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

  • Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826) – Revolutionary War, War of 1812 (1st cousin, 8x removed)
    • With a sword presented to him by Henry Clay as voted by the legislature of North Carolina for his gallantry at King’s Mountain 32 years before, Shelby assembled and personally led 4,000 Kentucky volunteers to join General Harrison in the Northwest for the invasion of Canada
  • Private John Jaquish (1753-1845) – War of 1812 (6th great grandfather)
  • Quartermaster Joseph Shelby (1787-1846) – Indian Wars (5th great grandfather)
  • James Shreve (rank unknown) (1754-1839) – War of 1812 (6th great grandfather)

 

Cadwalader, Gen. Thomas.jpg

  • General Thomas Cadwalader (1779-1841) – War of 1812. (3rd cousin 10x removed)

 

Jaques, William H

  • William Henry Jaques (1820-1913) – Civil War (4th great granduncle)
  • Laurent Jude Melanson (1820-1914) – Fenian Raids (3rd great grandfather)
  • Alfred E. Melanson (c. 1847-?) – Fenian Raids (2nd great granduncle)
  • Private Robinson Coke “Boby” Jones (1822-1897) – Mexican War (4th great grandfather)
  • Private William Seth Cadwallader (1825-    ) – Civil War (4th cousin, 7x removed)
  • John Mumby Blythe (1831-    ) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)
  • Private Francis Elmer Keefer (1839-1863) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)
  • Charles George Blythe (1840-1914) – Civil War(3rd great grandfather)
    • …his descendants remained in the Louth and Somercotes areas of Lincolnshire until the emigration of his great grandson Thomas Blyth and Thomas’  sons Charles George (3rd great grandfather to Erin and Stuart), John Mumby and Robert to America…

 

Keefer, Lenard Scott 2 (maybe) proof needed

  • Leonard Scott Keefer (1841-1916) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)

 

Wedding of Elam Dennis Matthews St.

  • William Dennis Matthews (1875-1940) – Spanish American War(2nd great grandfather)
    • Bip, Fred, White and I went down to the armory this evening The Governor’s (Tanner) order, for all Illinois regiments to move to Springfield was read and great applause followed. Came home about 9 o’clock and packed up my belongings…
  • Clayton William Blythe (1883-1943) – First World War (2nd great grandfather)
    • The following men, registered with Selective Service Local Board No. 1, are classified as suspected delinquents. Any person whose name appears upon the list should report immediately to this board, for correction of records.
  • Wesley Elmer Blythe (1890-1977) – First World War (2nd great granduncle)
  • Hervé “Hervey” Turmel (1894-    ) – First World War (4th cousin, 3x removed)

 

Luther Gummeson

  • Private Luther Gummeson (1895-1934) – First World War (great granduncle)
    • Before enlisting for military service on December 10, 1917, he was a Lutheran and a farmer in Vancouver, BC. Rumour had it that his early death was attributed to being gassed during WWI. Before his death, Luther was living in the Peace River area…
  • Joseph Antonio Tumel (1896-    ) – First World War (2nd cousin, 4x removed)
  • Alfred Turmel (1896-    ) – First World War (2nd cousin, 4x removed)
  • Chester C. Blythe (1908-1995) – General Service (great grandfather)
  • Doyle Clement Cadwallader (1925-1944) (6th cousin, 5x removed)
    • “In the midst of life we are in death.
      In the moment that ye think not,
      In the twinkling of an eye,
      The Angel of Death may appear.”
    • The foregoing quotation seems to me very fitting for Doyle Clement Cadwallader, whose death was caused by an automobile accident while he was returning home on September 30, 1944…

 

Dad, c. 1955.


Veterans in our family who are still living:

 

Marsh-at-Night-at-Cabin-Small.jpg

 

Mark and I with my Mom and Dad at our wedding.

 

For more facts and dates about the above mentioned individuals, check out our family’s extensive genealogy database linked in the menu bar above.


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Cadwallon ap Cadfan, King of Gwynedd.

Cadwallon ap Cadfan, King of Gwynedd.

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My children’s 40th great grandfather, Cadwallon ap Cadfan (also Cadwalader, Cadwallon, Caedwalla, Caswallon, Caedwalla, or Catgublaun), King of Gwynedd (presently north Wales), was born about 600 in Gwynedd, and is just one of their many Welsh Quaker ancestors.

 

Cadwallon ap Cadfan's Kingdom of Gwynedd

He was the son of Cadfan (Cadvan) ap Iago, King of Gwynedd (570-625) and Afandreg “Ddu, the Black” ferch Cynan Garwyn (580- ). Cadwallon ap Cadfan was the namesake ancestor for the Cadwallader lineage which continued down through Evan (Dhu) Isaac Shelby, ninth great grandfather of Erin and Stu. and the original Cadwallader descendant who immigrated to Pennsylvania, USA to escape religious persecution.

In 614, Cadwallon ap Cadfan married Alcfrith of Mercia (600-   ), who was only about 14 years of age and the sister of King Penda. Their only child, a son, was St. Cadwaladr (Fendigard, The Blessed) ap Cadwallon, King of Gwynedd, who was born about 630 and died at 52 years of age in 682.

King Eadwine of Northumbria
King Eadwine of Northumbria

It is speculated that Eadwine (later to be King of Northumbria) may have attended with Cadwallon, where animosity grew between them, laying the foundation for hostilities in later years that turned to war. Meanwhile, a deadly rivalry had long existed between Gwynedd and Northumbria. Aethelfrith, the (Fierce, Destroyer), had soundly defeated the Britons in battle at Chester in 613 and after Eadwine left the royal Gwynedd court, he was able to succeed Aethelfrith to a united Northumbrian crown with the intervention of King Redwald of East Anglia in 616.

About 625, Cadwallon ap Cadfan succeeded his father as King of Gwynedd.

Cadwallon ap Cadfan's father's gravestone at Llangadwaladr Church, Anglesey.
Cadwallon ap Cadfan’s father’s gravestone at Llangadwaladr Church, Anglesey.

Afterward, Eadwine began to work toward expanding his kingdom, conquered the kingdom of Elmet (now Yorkshire). and then after Cadfan’s death, went after Gwynedd, Ynys Manaw (Isle of Man) and Ynys Mon (Anglesey). Having experienced several defeats at Ynys Mon, Cadwallon ap Cadfan was forced back to Ynys Lannog (Priestholm) in about 629, where he was further attacked for weeks before he escape to Ireland. After his escape to and brief stay in Ireland, Cadwallon formed an alliance with Penda, King of the Mercians in about 632 and they invaded Deira to defeat Eadwine’s army and killed Eadwine and his son Osfrid in the battle of Heathfield (Hatfield Chase) on October 12, 633.

Despite Cadwallon ap Cadfan being a christian and Penda being a notorious and merciless pagan. Cadwallon’s own viciousness was indeed worse than Penda’s. It is said he worked toward his ambition to eliminate the Anglians from Britain with no limits on his actions, not hesitating to subject women and children to torture and ultimately death. This is, however, believed to be an exaggeration of what actually occurred.

Eadwine had been converted to Christianity by Paulinus, who later retired to Kent. In his retirement, Paulinus was accompanied by the Queen, her daughter, son and grandson, Osric (Eadwine’s cousin) and Eaufrith (Aethelfrith’s son). They renounced their christianity with the hope of recovering the kingdom of Deira and Bernicia, and to win favour with the Mercians. Their efforts were short-lived though, as they were defeated and killed by Cadwallon within the next year.

Saint Oswald of Bernicia
Saint Oswald of Bernicia (Northumbria)

Having proved his prowess as an oppressor, Cadwallon ap Cadfan claimed that his forces were invincible. He was proved wrong, however, when Eaufrith’s young brother and Eadwine’s cousin, Oswald, promised to defeat him. Very soon within the same year, he rallied his army and proceeded to Heavenfield (Hevenfeith), which was situated on a hill north of the Roman wall near Hexham. Here he helped his army erect a cross and they knelt and prayed “to the living and true God, who knew how just their cause was, to save them from their fierce and haughty foe.” With a new-found resolve, they attacked and defeated Cadwallon’s force, driving Cadwallon ap Cadfan into the valley where he was killed in 634 at “the Deniseburn”. Speculation is that this was a creek that flowed to the Tyne.

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The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

photo credits: Wikipedia.org

Sources:

  1. Early British Kingdoms; David Nash Ford.
  2. Dictionary of Welsh Biography; Sir John Edward Lloyd, D.Litt., F.B.A., F.S.A. (1861-1947), Bangor.
  3. Wikipedia;  Cadwallon ap Cadfan.
  4. Ancient and Medieval Wales and the Cadwal(l)ader and Quaker Traditions; Anna Baker.
  5. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth Ancestor Table, Rootsweb.com online (http://www.rootsweb.com/~medieval/llywelyn.htm).
  6. Dictionary of National Biography; George Smith, Vols. 1-21 (Oxford Press, 1885-1990).
  7. Ancestry of Cynan Tyndaethwy; Ancient Wales Studies.
  8. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy.

 


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Records and Documents from the Past Paint a Picture

Records and Documents from the Past Paint a Picture

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Edward VII at Balmoral Castle

I’m a visual thinker.

Every record I find provides information that helps to inform of the living conditions, financial circumstances,  physical health and social times of the people concerned. The more informative the record is, the more vivid is the picture it paints in my mind.

The best example of this I’ve ever seen are the Valuation Rolls of Scotland. I discovered them on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk.

The one for Balmoral Estate was particularly interesting. I always thought of the estate as just a castle and its grounds but there was much more to it.

According to the 1915 Valuation Rolls, not only was the estate home to the royal family, but to the families of servants, merchants, farmers, gardeners, tradesmen, police officers and a doctor with responsibilities at the estate. To house all of these people and their families, the estate consisted of at least 38 houses and cottages. There were also other amenities present including stables, woodlands, gardens, a deer forest and grazing, a dairy farm, golf course, curling club, sanatorium (if you can call this an ‘amenity’), and there must have been telephone service, or at least plans to install it, as ‘telephone wire’ is listed.

It appears to have operated as its own little ‘town’. The only thing missing on the Rolls is the ‘mayor’ and council, and what town would need them with the royal family present?


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What was there?

What was there?

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What was there is a website that provides comparative photos of a location in the present day with archived photos from history.

 

My favorite part of genealogy is finding treasured images relating to people, places, events and things in my genealogy research. All of this information provides the color to our ancestors’ stories.

 

So I took a look at “whatwasthere.com” and although the quantity of content is somewhat wanting the premise is ingenious and the images that have been uploaded to the site are wonderful.

Sault Ste. Marie ArchThe “Friendly City Gateway” in Sault Ste. Marie of the 1940’s.

The purpose of this website is to provide a map-based database of locations for which registered users can upload images they hold related to that location.

Since a great deal of my research into my husband’s ancestry is in Pennsylvania, this is where I concentrated my efforts to see what I could find – and I was pleasantly surprised! There were dozens of images available, mostly of historic buildings and landmarks, as well as some background information for each image.

I also checked out Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, which is where I currently live, and the results weren’t nearly as numerous.

Vancouver, on the other hand, about one hour’s drive away has several images uploaded. It appears the larger city centers have the most available. I guess this isn’t so surprising when one really thinks about it.

One feature of this site that I love is the street view. It’s a comparison view where a continuous image is created by combining the uploaded vintage image and a current image next to it.

I performed this function for an image in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario showing the entry sign near the Michigan border crossing.

The vintage image is transparent enough that part of the skyrise in the current image can be seen where it would have been located at the time.

Sault Ste. Marie is the birthplace of my father. He lived there with his parents until he joined the Canadian Armed Forces about 1957. His father worked in the Algoma Steel Mill and actually died on shift in the plant.

This site as I feel it has the potential to be one of the most valuable available to genealogists and history buffs.


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Transcription: Isaac Shelby’s Order for Recruitment of Troops for the War of 1812.

Transcription: Isaac Shelby’s Order for Recruitment of Troops for the War of 1812.

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The following is my transcription of Isaac Shelby‘s “Order for recruitment of troops for the War of 1812”  for the Kentucky Militia, to fight against Upper Canada in the War of 1812.

 

Isaac Shelby's Order for Recruitment of Troops for the War of 1812
Isaac Shelby’s Order for Recruitment of Troops for the War of 1812.

 

FRANKFORT, July 31st, 1813.

DEAR SIR,

THE following address to the militia of Kentucky will inform you of the call that has been made upon the governor of Kentucky for a reinforcement to the North Western Army; and of my views as to the mode of complying with it. I forward one to you particularly, sir,     under the hope that you will exert your influence to bring into the field all the men in your power. Be so good as to acknowledge the receipt of the letter, and apprise me of the calculations which I may make of the number of men that can be  raised in your county—and whether it will suit your convenience to go with us. I shall at all times take a pleasure in acknowledging the public spirit by which you will be actuated—and the obligations you will lay me under

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your obt. serv’t.

(signed by)
Isaac Shelby

(signed by)
Norborne B. Bealle, Esq.


TO THE

MILITIA OF KENTUCKY

FELLOW-SOLDIERS,

YOUR government has taken measures to act effectually against the enemy in Upper Canada. Gen. Harrison, under the authority of the President of the United States, has called upon me for a strong body of troops to assist in effecting the grand objects of the campaign. The enemy in hopes to find us unprepared, has again invested Fort Meigs; but he will again be mistaken; and before you can take the field he will be driven from that post.
To comply with the requisition of Gen. Harrison, a draft might be enforced; but believing as I do, that the ardor and patriotism of my countrymen has not abated, and that they have waited with impatience a fair opportunity of avenging the blood of their butchered friends, I have appointed the 31st day of August next, at Newport, for a general rendezvous of KENTUCKY VOLUNTEERS. I will meet you there in person. I will lead you to the field of battle, and share with you the dangers and honors of the campaign. Our services will not be required more than sixty days after we reach headquarters.

I invite all officers, and others possessing influence, to come forward with what mounted men they can raise ; each shall command the men he may bring into the field. The superior officers will be appointed by myself at the place of general rendezvous, or on our arrival at headquarters ; and I shall take pleasure in acknowledging to my country the merits and public spirit of those who may be useful in collecting a force for the present emergency.
Those who have good rifles, and know how to use them will bring them along. Those who have not, will be furnished with muskets at Newport.
Fellow Citizens! Now is the time to act; and by one decisive blow, put an end to the contest in that quarter.

ISAAC SHELBY
Frankfort, July 31st, 1813.

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 


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