Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gottleib Mittelberger and Pennsylvania of 1750

Stumbled on this pdf file of Gottleib Mittelberger's description of his journey to PA in 1750 and the conditions there (he eventually returned to Germany).  Provides some context for the Rippeys and Orsons.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jonas Lighty, His Background, and the "Flying Camp"

Jonas Lighty, who left Mary Orson his estate, was, I believe, headed for the "flying camp" which wikipedia has an article on.  (It's a step towards a Continental army.)

And I quote from a message on the Lighty family message board.
John Lighty is my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was the son of Christian and Catharine Leyty (correct spelling) who emigrated from Switzerland in 1737 and purchased a patent from Penn for 200 acres in Lancaster County, later to be York County, in Washington Township (There still remains in the Lighty name, 50 acres of that original patent purchase). They settled in the East Berlin (York and Adams County) area with three other families (Asper, Leas & Malaun) in 1741. John had a younger brother, Jonas, who died as a Revolutionary War soldier in 1776. The York County Historical Society has copies of the Wills of Christian and Jonas. The York County Register of Wills had at one time, copies of the Wills of Christian and John. John's estate record listed his death date as November 30, 1803, having died in Washington Township, York County, PA. I'm sorry that I do not have a burial location. My line follows Abraham. I am familiar with other lines. If you are still interested, please supply an updated email address, as the one on file for this site is not current.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rev. Michael and the Reformed Presbyterians

The Reformed Presbyterian Synod met in Pittsburgh on May 25, 1868 with Rev. Michael Harshaw in attendance and speaking.  The Pittsburgh paper reports their deliberations, which seem stormy.  Though the exact issue isn't clear it's possible that it was united with the larger Presbyterian church. (Much discussion about reunion after the Civil War.) 

 Rev. Michael leaves the Reformed and joins the United in 1870.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trip--Day 7

Just figured out I didn't post a record of day 7 of the trip Marjorie and I took back in 2008, so I'm only 6 years late (and probably inaccurate).

We left Brecksville, Oh, traveled east, visited Grove City, noting the stone blocks in the main street recording history, including that of the Grove City Harshaws.  Marjorie visited the bank where the Harshaw Diaries had been stored, though she wasn't able to see the vault.  We then went north, stopping briefly in the Grove City cemetery and then to try to locate Andrew Harshaw's farm, but I got lost and frustrated and couldn't find it.  We did succeed, after searching a good while and finally asking for instructions, in finding the church where Michael and M. were married, and then the Rocky Glen graveyard, where Sarah and her children are buried.

Late in the day we got into New York.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

John Coventry Smith

One of Sarah Harshaw's descendants, making him a third cousin.  He rated an obit in the NYTimes, beginning:

" Rev. Dr. John Coventry Smith, a former president of the World Council of Churches and a leader of the United Presbyterian Church, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack while participating in a panel discussion at the Abington Presbyterian Church in Abington, Pa. He was 80 years old."

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sarah Harshaw b1831

Marjorie reported finding a genealogy: "the Harshaws of Northwestern Pennsylvania", mostly focused on Michael Harshaw's brother Andrew and his daughter Sarah.  While I'd found data for Andrew's sons, Sarah was a blank.  So with the names of her husband (Smith) and children, I've been able to fill in some blanks in my ancestry tree.  Mostly her children seem to have lived in the Grove City area.  It's a prolific branch of the tree, so there's much more to do.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Clarifications on Irish Harshaws

Marjorie has clarified to me: "Loughgilly"  is the civil parish in County Armagh, "Donaghmore" is the civil parish in County Down, Ballydogherty is the townland in County Down where Andrew and Sarah Harshaw lived, from which Sarah and 3 of her sons emigrated.

I also ran across this writeup: not about the church where the Harshaws worshipped, which was Tyrone's Ditches, but nearby church which split.

"The same evangelized truth continued to be taught and the worshipping community peaceful and prosperous under the ministry of Mr. Turrittine for 12 years, when an event occurred which suddenly and unexpectedly proved the occasion of dividing the congregation into two equal parts.  This event was the rebuilding of their meeting house consisting of four large aisles, but now falling into decay.  One party to suit their local convenience would have the new house built at the village of Mountnorris about three fourths of a mile distant.  The other party from the same motive would have it erected on the old ground and both actually began to build in the two places at the same time.  Their common minister, as may be well imagined, was greatly disappointed.  For some time he preached at a bleach mill midway between the two houses which were being erected for him, and performed the other duties of his office alike to both sides.  Matters were carried on in this manner for some time until the Presbytery visited the congregation and decided that the house erected in the village of Mountnorris should in future be Mr. Turrittine’s place of labour.  This decision, which was no doubt considered partial, rash, and inconsiderate by many at the time, immediately led the party at Tullyallen to resolve to apply to the Associate or Secession Presbytery of Monaghan to take them under their care and supply them regularly with services.  This was done and shortly afterwards in the year 1791 Mr. Wm McAuley was ordained amongst them as their minister.  A few years afterwards a wing of the original congregation around Kingsmill and remote from both the former places formed themselves into a separate congregation there and is at the present time in a flourishing condition."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Covenanters of Lower Chanceford

Been a long time since I posted here but I stumbled on the Rev. Alexander Craighead (aka Creaghead), who was an early Presbyterian minister in PA and then points south.  One of the Covenanters and apparently a man very firm in his beliefs, who had problems making common cause with other Presbyterians. 

From the introduction to one of his works:
"At the time of the renewal of the Covenants, in 1743, there were at least seven regularly organized Covenanter societies in Eastern Pennsylvania, in each of which were ruling elders, as follows: Middle Octorara, Lancaster County, with elders Samuel Irwin, Josiah Kerr, and Robert Laughead. Pequea, Lancaster County, with elders Neal McNaughton, William Ramsey, and Joseph Walker. Muddy Run, Lancaster County, with elders Joseph Bell and John Brownlee. Lower Chanceford, York County, with elders Samuel Hawthorne and Samuel Jackson. Paxtang, Dauphin County, with elders James Brown, James Mitchel, and Andrew Smith. Rocky Spring, Franklin County, with elders Christopher Houston and James Willson. Rock Creek, Adams County, with elders Robert McCullock and Thomas Wilson. No doubt many of these elders, and a large number of the people, were present at Middle Octorara, and entered into the proceedings of the solemn covenanting occasion."

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Helen's in the New York Times

Thanks to Beth Chase, whom I've invited to be a co-author of the blog, we know that Helen Harshaw's appointment as a secretary in the YWCA in China was announced in the New York Times on June 4, 1915 (just after the sinking of the Lusitania, as an article on the same page makes clear.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

More on Mac

we know in the summer of 1915 he was in North Fenton with John and Ada on the farm.  He was 18 then.

He graduated from high school in 1914, so presumably he had just finished his freshman year at the U of Minnesota.

That would make him a junior the spring of 1917 (assuming he was doing the usual 4 year course).  Did he complete his year  before enlisting in the Army?  How did he qualify as an officer with only 3 years of college or did he finish in 3+ years and graduate before enlisting?

Assume he's demobilized in the winter of 1918/19, so returns to college in the fall of 1919.  If he has 1 year to complete that would mean he graduates in 1920. 

Presumably he spends the 1920's doing graduate work, researching, and possibly teaching.

He's doing research in 1923--don't know if he got a masters before his doctorate. He resigned as an assistant in biochemistry at the U of MN in 1923, perhaps at the end of the school year?He gets his doctorate from University of Missouri in the mid 20's. He's listed as a member of Sigma Xi (dad also was) the chemistry honorary society at U of Nebraska 1928/2.

In the spring of 1929 he resigns from U of Nebraska to take a post at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.  That's where the family is when Marjorie is born.

On Lincoln Memorial University, from a recent history: " Located near Cumberland Gap in the rugged hills of East Tennessee, Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) was founded in 1897 to help disadvantaged Appalachian youth and reward the descendents of Union loyalists in the region. Its founder was former Union General Oliver Otis Howard, a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, who made it his mission to sustain an institution of higher learning in the mountain South that would honor the memory of the Civil War president."

Marjorie doesn't think he would have been a good teacher, because he lacked patience, and that may have been a factor in his leaving the University after only one year.  But it appears from the history there was a lot of unrest and dissent among the faculty during his year.  In the history he's a co-author of a letter cited in a footnote written in April 1930 when things were coming to a boil.

So, we don't know why he decided to leave after a year--the uproar in the university, dissatisfaction with teaching, better pay in USDA, better research opportunities, a metropolitan area, the opinion of his wife? Whatever the reason he takes a job with USDA/Agricultural Research Service  at Beltsville, MD.  He stays for 12 or 13 years and then goes to Massachusetts with Webster Feed, where he worked until retirement

Note: I did a previous post on his research articles, but Googling "H.M.Harshaw" now shows more articles, all or almost all on nutrition of various farm animals, during the 1920's and 30's.

If I"m understanding this and this correctly he knew German well enough to translate an article, or at least enough to abstract them

William's Obit notice

died January 1 at the home of his
daughter, Mrs. Ralph Gould, Newport.
R. I. Besides his daughter,
he is survived by two sons, Dr.
H. M. Harshaw of Andover, Mass.,
and John R. of Chenango Forks;
and four grandchildren. The funeral
will be held today at Newport,
and the body will be brought
to Greene for burial in Sylvan
Lawn Cemetery Wednesday, following
, arrival by Lackawanna
Railroad at 1 p. m. Arrangements
were made by Harry R. Rogers,

Source is Binghamton Press, here Jan 5, 1948

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rev. John Rippey's Classmate

Was doing some searching and found a listing from Union College of the members of various classes. The 1851 class included Rev. John Rippey, Capt. John's grandson and my great grandfather.

He made Phi Beta Kappa.  I happened to notice the listing for a classmate who also made Phi Beta Kappa, Leonard G. Calkins.  What stood out was his "Residence at Entrance", which was China.  (Most of the class was from New York, though there were a couple of Southerners as well.)  So I googled him, and found a reference to "New York Central College" in McGraw, NY (just east of Cortland), which turns out to be a short-lived institution modeled on Oberlin, which was open to both sexes and to blacks.  Calkins isn't mentioned in this newspaper story but there is a former "Calkins hotel" in McGraw.

Calkins appears to have bounced around, being in real estate in Chicago when the Union centennial directory was published.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Captain John's Service

The Pennsylvania militia has a confusing history and organization.  What we know about Captain John Rippey is that he was elected Captain of the 6th Company of the 6th Battalion of the militia in 1777.  The company was one of three raised from Chanceford township, the 7th Company was headed by  Captain Joseph Reed, Esq.  and the 8th by Captain Thomas McNarry. The Battalion was led by Colonel Ross.

There's an extensive discussion of the historical background here but I'll try to summarize.
Between 1775 and March 1777 the PA militia were only semi-official, due to the pacifist ideals of the Quaker founders.  In March 1777 the militia became official, so the table of organization  I relied upon for the first paragraph reflects the initial establishment.  This lasted for 3 years, with a new establishment in 1780, when Rippey, Reed, and McNarry were not re-elected as Captains.

Each member of  militia could be called up for 2 months of active duty at a time, therefore they were divided into "classes" with all members of the class being called,. A call-up would find  neighbors still serving together, but their colonel would be different and their battalion designation would be different.  (Read the historical background for an explanation.)

When and where was Captain John on active duty?  Can't tell at the moment,  Here's what the historical background says:
Most of the service rendered by members of the Pennsylvania Militia fell into one of three categories. They were either used to augment the operations of the Continental Line such as when some of the Associators accompanied General Washington in crossing the Delaware in January 1777. Other examples of this type of service include the large numbers of Pennsylvania militia employed in the summer and autumn of 1777 to oppose the British invasion at Brandywine and on the flanks at the battle of Germantown, though in neither case did they actually see action. The militia did provide a significant defensive force patrolling the south side of the Schuylkill River and engaged in occasional clashes with British outposts and scouting parties including heavy skirmishes at Whitemarsh on December 7. Due to the sixty-day turnover, however, none of the men who were at Brandywine in September would have been present at Whitemarsh in December. It is known that no Pennsylvania militia served at Valley Forge, Monmouth, or Yorktown. The second type of service was duty on the frontier in Northumberland, Northampton, Bedford and Westmoreland counties. Occasionally, militia reinforcements from Cumberland, Lancaster, and York counties would be brought in to reinforce these frontiers as occurred in the summer of 1778. A third type of militia duty was in providing guards for supply depots located in Lancaster, Lebanon and Reading and at various prisoner of war camps.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Rev. William's NYC Was Like

William Harshaw's church in the 1890's was on E. 86th street.  Today's NYTimes has an article on a long time resident of E. 84th Street.  Obviously William and family had long since departed for West Pittston by the time Mrs. Jacobs arrived:
WHEN Lillian Jacobs was 2, in 1911 or ’12, her family moved from the Lower East Side into a tenement building on East 84th Street, just off York Avenue, then known as Avenue A. Her parents ran a candy store on the building’s ground floor, catering to the newly arrived immigrants from Germany, Hungary, Austria and Ireland.
People came and went over the years; apartment houses were built and tradesmen’s shops disappeared, along with the family candy store. But the character of the area, and specifically this part of East 84th Street, has largely remained the same. The brownstones, built at the turn of the 20th century and flanked by trees planted in more recent years, have stayed true to the block. 
We don't know whether William was trying to evangelize among the new immigrants, or was serving those good Presbyterians who'd moved from points south, trying to keep ahead of the influx of immigrants.