Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Identifying Clan Association

I am finding many different Clan names in my Ancestry.  I am curious to know how to choose which would be more dominant for me?


The suppression of the clans was in 1746 and 1747 after the final Jacobite rising, in response to this suppression many people emigrated thus loosing the clan ties. This suppression was done to weaken the Independence of the Highlands and Public executions of those loyal to the Jacobites were done.  As well kilts and bag pipes were outlawed for about 35 years.  Although one person can have many clan associations or ancestors with many clan surnames, the ancestor had loyalty to only one of those clans.  There is almost no way to find out what clan that was based on genealogy alone, because of intermarriages.  Researching their history to include the geographical area can reveal in which clan territory an ancestor lived to help identify that particular clan loyalty.  If you are really lucky you can find that document declaring clan loyalty but that doesn't always happen.  For example if an ancestor was in enlisted in one of the private highland armies such as the Seaforth Highlanders that means they had pledge loyalty to a particular clan.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Philip Embury Returns To Preaching

In the 1760 there was no Methodist Chapel or societies in New York let along in America.

Philip Embury had been converted to the Wesleyans' prior to leaving Ireland.  There was no no evidence that he was considering a lifelong calling as a Methodist Minister, especially since he had no training and was not ordained but he responded to the Wesleyans' need for lay ministers.

Philip was working very hard to make a living and he suffered four family bereavements.  Two of his children died young, Catherine in 1762, and John Albert in 1766.  His brother John died in 1764 and his brother Peter died in 1765.

Five weeks after the death of his son, Philip decided to stop "hiding his talent in a napkin."  Barbara Heck his cousin, sparked Philip's fire to preach again.

The historical accounts of how Philip met both Abraham Bininger and Pastor Weygand isn't clear but they talked regularly about the three different religious groups that each were members of and missionary work.  The three were from different centuries and religions: Lutheran, Methodist, and the Moravian.  Andrew had to have an influence on Philip during this dark time of his life.

August of 1765 was an informal first meeting that included newcomers who had been Methodists in Ireland and found homes near the Embury and the Heck families in New York.

Barbara Heck had had a rough time after the death of one of her children and after she interrupted a card game being played by some of the men.  She marched over to Philip's house with intent to persuade him to preach to redeem them form the emptiness of life they were experiencing or they will go to hell.  His reply was he had no congregation or a preaching home but his cousin replied "Preach in  your house, and to your own company."

Philip began to preach again on Sundays in his own cottage.  The first congregation included John Lawrence, Mr. Manson, Margaret Embury (Philip's wife), Paul , and Barbara Heck as well as the servants and their hired man.  This was the first gathering of the Wesleyans in New York.  The attendance numbers began to grow until Philip's home could not hold them all.  Soon they were able to rent an upper room ten doors from the barracks to hold the congregation.

For a time, Philip was responsible for all the preaching until February of 1767 when assistance came from Captain Thomas Webb, a half-pay officer and barrack-master, who had heard about the Methodist meetings and he began to attend services.  He had converted to the Methodist in England under John Wesley.  From that day forward Philip and Captain Webb alternated sermons and soon they were meeting three times a week.

Finding interesting facts about your ancestor can be really fun.

Need Help With Your Genealogy


To Their Heirs Forever
United Empire Loyalists
pages 50 - 54, 62-69
Camden Valley, New York to Upper Canada
Author Eula C. Lapp

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sewing The Pieces Together: The Legacy of John and Betsy Ross

Understanding the time period and the historical accounts of where our ancestors lived is very important.  

When I first started genealogy, I had an uncle who claimed that we were directly related to Betsy Ross.  As I progressed through and learned how to document the family history I got to the Rosses on my mother's side.  

Let's stroll back through time a bit.


My fourth Great Grand-Parents are Enoc/Enos Wellington Presley and he married Charlotte Ruth Ross,  Her father was William Ross and her mother was Sara English Belknop. Williams father is also William.  His father was Aeneas Ross.  His father was Aeneas Ross and his mother was Sarah Leech, the additional children (what I could find documented) was: Maria, Sarah, John, Mary, and Joanna. 

Here is where the folklore begins.  John Ross was born 1 Jan 1752 in Philadelphia. 

Betsy was a member of the Friends public school and she is Quaker and is the daughter of Samuel Griscom and Rebecca James and was born in Philadelphia, PA While attending this school for eight hours a day she learned reading, writings, and possibly sewing.  After she completing her schooling, her father apprenticed her to the local upholsterer.  During colonial times upholsterers did all manners of sewing jobs.   While working Betsy fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross.  John Ross was the son of an Episcopal assistant rector at Christ Church.

Quakers frowned on inter-denominational marriages and the penalty was severe, the guilty party would be "read out" of the Quaker House.  This is known as shunning.  This meant they would be cut off emotionally and economically from both family and meeting house. 

On 4 Nov 1773 during the night 21 year old Betsy eloped with John Ross.  They had ferried across the Delaware River to Hugg's Tavern and married in New Jersey.  This marriage caused an irrevocable split with her family.  On their wedding certificate is the name of the New Jersey's Governor, William Franklin who is the son of Benjamin Franklin.  Three years later William did irrevocable split with his father because he was a Loyalist and was against the cause of the Revolution.  Two years later, John and Besty opened their own upholstery business.  Since Betsy was "Read Out" she attended Christ Church and would be found sitting in pew 12 with John.  Some Sundays sitting in an adjacent pew would be George Washington.

Canyon at the Gettysburg Cemetery

According to what I found, John was a Lieutenant in the Pennsylvania militia, and while guarding an ammunition cache in mid-January he was mortally wounded by a cannon misfire.  



He  died 21 Jan 1776 and was buried in Christ Church Cemetery.  John and Betsy had no children and Betsy would marry two more times.

In late May or early June of 1776, after the death of John Ross, Betsy had the fateful meeting committee of three: George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris.  This meeting lead to the sewing of the first flag.

Betsy is the famous Philadelphia seamstress who, according to history and by her stories, fashioned the first flag of  the United States.  When she was 84 year old she use to tell her Grandson William Canby (Who later wrote it in a newspaper in 1870) of when George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross her late Husband's uncle came to visit her at her home.  George Washington was then the head of the Continental Army. Robert Morris, an owner of vast amounts of land, was perhaps the wealthiest citizen in the Colonies. Colonel George Ross was a respected Philadelphian and also the uncle of her late husband, John Ross. 

Betsy Ross already knew George Ross, she was married his nephew John Ross.  Betsy was also acquainted with General Washington. They both worship at Christ Church in Philadelphia and her pew was next to George and Martha Washington's pew. Betsy's daughter recalled, "That she was previously well acquainted with Washington, and that he had often been in her house in friendly visits, as well as on business. That she had embroidered ruffles for his shirt bosoms and cuffs, and that it was partly owing to his friendship for her that she was chosen to make the flag."

In June 1776, brave Betsy was a widow struggling to run her own upholstery business. According to Betsy, General Washington showed her a rough design of the flag that included a six-pointed star. Betsy, a standout with the scissors, demonstrated how to cut a five-pointed star in a single snip. Impressed, the committee entrusted Betsy with making our first flag.  They had asked her to make a flag for the new nation that would declare its independence the following month.  A rough sketch was presented to her and was redrawn by Washington incorporating her suggestions.  She then fashioned the flag in her back parlor.  There is evidence that she did make flags to prove her claim. 

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the stars-and stripes as the national flag of the United States.  In her later years she lived at the home of one of her seven daughters.  Her home is located on the East Side of Philadelphia, Pa and is a historical place and is open to the public. She was also very active in the American Red Cross.  Documented from the Britannica Encyclopedia Micropaedia Twelfth Edition 1992.  Printed in the USA page 188-189. 

By researching the historical accounts the claim that we were directly related to Betsy Ross is disproved although there is a relationship by marriage only.

Finding interesting facts about your ancestor can be really fun.

Need Help With Your Genealogy


The image from c 1917 depicts what is presume to be Betsy and two children presenting the "Betsy Ross flag" to George Washington and three other men.  The image is a version of the painting entitled "The Birth of Old Glory" by Percy Moran, from the Library of Congress: Title: The Birth of Old Glory / from paint by Moran.  Call Number: Lot 4703; Reproduction Number:  LC-USZCA-2791 (color film copy transparency) LC-USZ62-1767 (b&w film copy neg.).  Summary: Betsy Ross(?) and two girls showing United States flag to Georg Washington and three other men.  Medium: 1 photomechanical print: color.  Created/Published: c1917.  Related Names: Moran, Percy, 1862-1935, artist.  Notes: Copyright by the T.D.M. Co., Red Oak Iowa, U.S.A. no. 393.  It is in public domain.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Embury: Living in Ballingrane

I have learned fascinating historical information about the locality and time period of my Palatine Ancestors after they immigrated from Germany.

Andrew (Andreas) Embury (Imberger) lived across the road from his niece/cousin Barbara Ruckle in Ballingrane.  To gain access to his home a visitor would have to go between two massive gate post which he erected so that he could finish off a wall of field stones to around his farm.

The Irish-Palatine children worked with their hands completing many chores which include feeding pigs, chickens; weeding gardens, carrying materials for fires, weaving, etc.  Sometimes children around the age of twelve would plough fields while driving four horses.  When there was time to play, the children would be roaming fields, climbing trees and wall stones, exploring country roads, riding this parents to market, or fishing for salmon in the Shannon River.  Music played a major part in their lives.

Historically, within twenty-five years there had been at least three or four famines but the Palatines were always prepared because of their farming skills.  Eventually the colony couldn't escape privation so learning to be frugal and thrifty had to become ingrained habits for survival.

Rev. Philip Embury eventually studied at at an English School, was the schoolmaster to this little community and he taught the elements of German knowledge.  Philip Embury was a carpenter apprentice at the Charter School in Rathkeale, while his brother John received business training.

Philip Embury had been one of Father Guier of Ballingrane promising students so he extracted a promise from my ancestor to go to Limerick with him.  August of 1752 the Methodist preachers held their first conference in Limerick.  By then Father Guier was officially appointed a Methodist minister to the Limerick Palatines.  Philip Embury assisted Father Guier and Walsh with meetings on the Estate.  Philip's religious beliefs were initially Lutheranism and because of his heritage and German Background it took him a while to deliberate and make a decision to join.  On Monday, Dec 25th 1752, Philip was twenty-four years old when his personal salvation paid off through is soul-searching prayers and he made the decision to become Methodist.

Finding interesting facts about your ancestor can be really fun.

Need Help With Your Genealogy


To Their Heirs Forever
United Empire Loyalists
pages 50 - 54, 62-69
Camden Valley, New York to Upper Canada
Author Eula C. Lapp

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Odds and Ends of Old Virginia and West Virginia

Knowing about the locality and time period of where your ancestors were, becomes very important in trying to find documentation that they were there. A good example of understanding the time period and locality is understanding the Odds and Ends of Old Virginia and West Virginia.

The records of James City County have been completely destroyed. A sheriff's tax book for the years 1768 and 1769 are the few remaining records of the residents in the county before the Revolutionary War.

Virginia was well settled by 1775. By 1800 it had 90 counties and a population of nearly a million. Until 1686 the Episcopal Church was the state church and all children, regardless of their religious affiliation was required to be baptized by the ministers of that church. Dates of their baptism includes their names, dates of birth, and the names of parents in the parish registers. Parish records for marriages, death, and burials include the same information. All church records have been preserved, some are printed, and are all available in the Virginia State Library in Richmond Virginia. Copies of the original entries may be obtained by contacting the library. This library also have Parish Registers and Vestry books from 1618-1860.

The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom was written by Thomas Jefferson and was passed by the Virginia General Assembly on 16 January 1786. It is considered the forerunner for the first amendment protection for religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

To be married, people were married by banns or by furnishing bonds. The banns were published in the parish where they lived and if the couple lived in a different parish the banns were published in both parishes. Bonds were filed in the county clerk's office but the marriage itself was recorded in the parish records.

In 1704, the Quit Rent Rolls were used as census because all who owned more than fifty acres of land had to pay the King of England rent of one shilling for each fifty acres. Counties that were not affected by this was Lancaster, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Richmond, and Stafford. The 1790 census was all destroyed by fire. By using various records a list has been made available and it is called the Tax List for 1790.

The State of Virginia has records of births, deaths, and marriages from 1853 to the present. Prior to that records are found in each county where the event took place. As to the marriage bonds, some are located in the State Library in Richmond and others in the individual counties. That State of Virginia doesn't have births and death between the years of 1896 - 1912, instead these are located in the individual counties (if any remain) where the event took place.

There are some cities in Virginia that are independent cities and they maintain their own records. Check the cities as well especially the board of health offices in Alexandria, Bristol, Buena Vista, Charlottsville, Clifton Forge, Colonial Heights, Danville, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg, Portsmouth, Radford, Richmond, Roanoke, South Norfolk, Stauton, Suffolk, Waynesboro, Williamsburg, and Winchester.

In what was known as All Ohio County in West Virginia, most of the records prior to 1850 are in Wheeling, WV. Marshall, Tyler, and Wetzel Counties start most of their birth, death, and marraiges records about 1853. Some marriages were recorded in Wetzel and Marshall County as early as 1846. Land records and deeds, and will were recorded much earlier. Wheeling, West Virginia has records going back to 1792 and includes marriages. Some early birth and deaths records maybe found there but since it was not a law to record these events at this time, these will be limited.

Someone wanting to do understand their own family history needs to have a love of history to begin with.


Copyright (c) 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hardships of Palatine Immigrants



Even my own family on both sides had their hardships both here in America and across the seas everything from crusades, wars, famine, plagues, and genocide attempts to wipe the family out.

The winter of 1708-09 was long and bitterly cold in the Rhineland. During the bleak evenings, as they sat huddled around their fire, many families rehearsed again and again the pros and cons of quitting their familiar homes forever.  By the beginning of aril the land was in winter's frozen grip, and most of the vines, on which depended their livelihood, had been killed.  Yet this was only the last straw.  When the kindern were asleep between the dowendecks. Parents talked sadly about the past trying years and the hopeless prospect for the future.  Ever since the war began in 1702 they had known nothing but hardship and misery.  The some aged grandfather would counter that it was worse when he was young, During the Thirty Years War.  Why in that war almost one third of the population of Germany had perished.  If only they could be free of the burdensome taxes and the cruel religious persecutions!  Grandfather would remind them that away back in 1677, William Penn had visit the Palatinate and had extolled Pennsylvania in America as a province where princes and priestcraft were unknown and a man could be his own master. 

First they would have to procure scows for the long journey down the Rhine.  Then they could take only what possessions they could carry; and they would be dependent on charity for most of their provisions along the way.   None of them could speak English.  Perhaps they would soon feel at home - Andreas Imberger had heard from an uncle in England that a year ago the British Parliament has passed a naturalization bill granting all protestant immigrant the right to become British subjects.

So the talk went on and on.  Finally, some father sat down to write cousins in the next village - letters to be carried by his eldest son - saying that he had almost made up his mind to leave his home and set out with his family for America - or at least England.  but he could not bear the thought of being forever separated from his kin; would they consider emigrating too?

Then, before an answer had come back, the night of terror arrived.  Families awoke to find their homes and the whole village in flames and the air rent with the shrieks of terrified neighbours.  The strident armies of France's Louis XIV were ruthlessly ravaging all the towns in the Lower Palatinate.  Some families were prepared for escape with bundles already tied and assigned to those who would carry the, and with plans made to meet friends in the dark at specific places.

It was in April 1709 that the first parties of refugees began to move on the great river.  (some, tragically, perished of exposure, hunger - or fright-before their friends embarked.)  The weather was still inclement.  What with local restrictions, and fee and tolls to be paid, the trip took four to six tedious weeks.  By the autumn of 109, more than ten thousand persons had made this first leg of the journey to freedom.

A few Dutch ship-owners were commissioned by the Duke of Marlborough - whom Queen Anne had made responsible for transporting the displaced Germans to England - to carry some of the refugees.  The others were brought in troopships used normally to carry the Army of the Duke, That famous ancestor of Sir Winston Churchill.

Andreas Imberger (my ancestor) on my mother's side soled from Rotterdam on May 23 and was probably at Blackheath.  But just like in America and other places, not all Londoners welcomed the Germans.  the poor resented the influx of immigrants and complained that they were taking the food out of their mouths as bread was scare after seven years of war.

From there this family immigrated to Ireland on August 8, 1709 and there were hundreds of wagons to carry women, children and belongings but the men were expected to walk about one hundred and twenty miles.  The voyage took about twenty four hours when they would find themselves in Dublin in the sea of Gaelic.

The Imbergers also known as the Embury were the original Palatine Families that settled on The Southwell Estate.






Need Help With Your Genealogy

To Their Heirs Forever
Pages 32 - 39, 41
Camden Valley, New York to Upper Canada
Author Eula C. Lapp

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Evaluating The Time Period And The Locality of Interest

It is really important to understand the time period and the locality of interest of your ancestors. Clues to how they lived or adapted can point to their culture especially if they immigrated to another country. 

It is important to remember that if you suspect they lived in a specific county, check the surrounding counties to be sure when the county lines were created.  Research the type of records that are available and remember wars, fires, natural and manmade disasters may result in documents not being available or completely intact. 

When looking for vital records search for
  • Any civil, birth, marriage, or death records? 
  • What church were in this locality during the time period your ancestors where there and did any records survive? 
  • Any church birth, christening, marriage, or burial records? 
  • What cemeteries are in the area and include public, church, and private?

Looking up census records
  • Do the U.S. Census records apply to this time period and locality? 
  • Are there any State Census records for this time period and locality? 
  • Are there any local Census record for this time period and locality?

 Probate record can be a gold mine of information
  • Were there probate records for the time period and locality? 
  • Did Probate Court records survive for this time period and locality? 
  • Probate records can include wills, bonds, inventories, accounts, distributions, etc.

Land Records

  • Where land records available for the time period and locality?
  • Have land records for the time period and locality survived?

Other Records
  • Military Records if available can provide a lot of information.  
  • Don't forget Military Records were maintained by both the Federal and State Government. 
  • Court Records will be available if your ancestor was a criminal, if involved with equity suits, orphans, or various other records. 
  • Federal Immigration Records can provide detail information, if they immigrated.  Federal Immigration records have been kept since 1820 and are at the National Archives.  Some are indexed but you need to know the port of entrance. 
  • Naturalization Records are available if your ancestors were involved with naturalization.  Your ancestor could apply for naturalization in any court of record.  Try local county courthouse first. 
  • Newspapers if any are surviving  for their time period and locality can give a wealth of information. 
  • Maps for the locality is very important especially when boundaries were created from existing states and counties.

Correspond with or visit the National Archives, State Libraries, State Archives, Historical and Genealogical Societies for the localities being searched.


Copyright (c) 2014