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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Suggested Sources for Documenting Generations

Keep track of everything piece of information, including where you did not find any information.  Documenting your sources is important in verifying that your data is correct and it will also assist to prevent the duplication of research. 
Types of sources:

Derivative vs. Original: Original are records that have contributed to written, oral, and visual information.  Derivative are copies, abstracted, transcribe, or summarized from other existing sources. 

When documenting your sources include the following information:
  •  Author: the person or organization that authored the book, provided an interview, wrote the letter, confirmed the records for example who issued the birth, death, marriage records.  
  • Publication details is the place of publication, name of a publisher, date of publication.  Include volume, issue, page numbers, series, roll and microfilm numbers. 
  • Location of where was your source found and include web site name, urls, cemetery names, any physical place that the documentation was found. 
  • Be specific on page and entry numbers, include dates, etc. 

Suggested Sources For Documenting Recent Generations include:


Completed Birth Certificate
Birth Record
Delayed Birth Certificate
Baptismal Certificate/Record
Church Records
Newspaper Announcement
Census - State - Federal - School
School Records
Social Security Applications
Hospital Certificate/Record
Passport Application
Baby Book
Doctor and Midwife Records
Work Permit Application


Complete Marriage Record
Marriage Certificate/Record
Marriage Bond
Published Marriage Bans
Newspaper Announcement
Divorce Record
Engraved Article (Caution)


Complete Death Record
Delayed Death Certificate
Tombstone/Cemetery Record
Church Notice
Commercial Cemetery record
Mourning Cards
Professional Organizations
Funeral Home Records
Fraternal Organization Records
Coffin Sales & Burial Permits
Insurance Policy

Classic Sources

Census - Federal & State
Probate Records
Land Record
Bible & Family Records
Military & Pension Records
Church Registers & Records
Tax Records
Encounters With The Law

Contemporary Sources

Employment Record - Private, Industry
Church Personnel
Resume (Use Caution)
Mortgage or Loan Applications
Passport & Visa Applications
Business/Trade License Applications
Cemetery Associations
Letters from Town Clerks and Town Historians
Institutional (Orphanage, Prison, Police)

Problem Areas

Certificate of Failure to Locate Records
Sworn Statement & Affidavits
Records in Foreign Language
Unreadable Records


Obtain a copy of the pamphlet,

"Where to Write For Vital Records in the United States"

Publications.usa.gov at http://publications.usa.gov/

Most of the State vital records (except New England) begin about 1900.

Documenting your research leads to properly citing all your sources and leave a big trail for others to follow or not.  Keep Research logs and properly document all sources.  For more information on documenting your family history, please contact me.

Copyright (c) 2014