Sunday, March 31, 2013

Women's History Month salute to Sarah (Bryan or Bryant) BALDWIN

Dear Grandmother Sarah,
In twenty-first century America, we have set aside March to celebrate "Women's History Month."
It is a time for remembering the women who went before us, over came obstacles and made a difference to their family, friends and country. Today, as I was reviewing those shaking leaves at, I discovered yours is a story that should be told.

Generally when I have reported the stories of our family's immigrant ancestors, they have been the stories of men. Today, I am pleased to share your story. My research show that you were the daughter of Thomas and Francis (Bowling) Bryan or perhaps Bryant, born in England about 1606. You were married to Sylvester Baldwin about 1620. From my studies, I believe that you lived at Saint Leonard's near Dundridge on "Chapel Farm".  According to "Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts", Ellery Bicknell Crane, editor, published by The Lewis Publishing Company of New York and Chicago in 1907; you and Sylvester were the parents of nine children, of whom six survived, all baptized at Aston-Clinton:
              Sarah, baptized April 22, 1623 married, 1638, Benjamin Fenn of Milford, Connecticut
              Richard, baptized August 25, 1622 married 1642, Elizabeth Alsop of New Haven
              Mary, baptized February 28, 1624, died in 1624
              Mary, baptized February 19, 1625, married 1640, Robert Plum of Milford
              Martha, baptized April 20, 1628
              Ruth, born 1630
              Samuel, baptized January 1632, died in 1632
              Elizabeth, baptized January 23, 1633, died in 1633
              John, born in 1635

I do not know why you and Sylvester decided to move with your family to New England. Sylvester was a man of property, respected by his Uncle Richard Baldwin who named him executor of his estate. It does not seem as if you were religious refugees like so many of my other ancestors. It must have seemed to be a daunting voyage with children ages 16 to 3. It must have been difficult to keep them safe and occupied on a voyage that took at least six weeks. After three days, my daughters would have been asking "are we there yet?"

We know that you sailed on the ship "Martin" because of the tragedy that Sylvester was taken ill.
He must have known for a while that he would not survive as he wrote or dictated his will which was made 21 Jun 1638. I can only imagine the panic you must have felt, watching your husband die, thousands of miles from your home, enroute to a place you had never seen. Did you know your husband so well that you encouraged him to make his will? How long did he live after the will was drafted? I assume he was buried at sea.

The Martin is supposed to have arrived in Boston about 13 July 1638. You and son Richard were appointed executors of Sylvester's estate when the will was proved before Deputy Governor Dudley.
History shows that you and the children with the exception of Richard went on to New Haven as had been planned. I wonder if there were any pleas from the children to return home to England.

Edward Elias Atwater wrote in his book "History of the Colony of New Haven to Its Absorption Into Connecticut", printed by the author in 1881 and available from Google books, that "According to the schedule of 1641, the proprietors of the south-west square were, at that time, William Fowler, Peter Prudden, James Prudden, Edmond Tapp, Widow Baldwin, An Elder, Richart Platt, Zachariah Whitman, and Thomas Osborne (page 137).

Darkened area shows the New Haven Colony which merged with Connecticut in 1665
(map can be found at

As your children settled into their new lives and married, you found another opportunity for happiness and married about 1643 Captain John Astwood a "husbandman from Little Hadham, Hertfordshire, England". He had arrived in Boston in 1635. He is listed as a freeman on the Massachusetts Colony census on 03 Mar 1636. Always ready for another adventure, you and your husband and most of your children removed to Milford. Your son-in-law Benjamin Fenn (and an Alexander Bryan - perhaps a brother or nephew) was among the men who purchased Milford from the local tribes for "six coats, ten blankets, one kettle, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives and a dozen small looking glasses."

The lot numbers may be too small to read but J. Astwood has lot #1, John Baldwin lot #13, Joseph Baldwin lot #52, Nathaniel Baldwin lot #7, R. Baldwin (presumably Richard) has lot #2, Tim Baldwin lot #22, son-in-law Benjamin Fenn lot #3, son-in-law R. (Robert) Plum lot #37. How nice it must have been for you to have all of your children nearby.
Alas, the fates were not kind to you. Capt. Astwood sailed back to England on business and died in London in 1653. You lived another 16 years in Milford among your family.  We know you were close to some of your grandchildren as you left them bequests in your will. We also think that you were literate as you left your daughter Mary Baldwin Plum a book entitled "The Soule's Conflict."
There is a memorial bridge over the Wepawaug River in today's Milford. I imagine you would be pleased to know that your name is among those memorialized there.
Photo from
It was added by Nareen, et al 12 Jul 2008. She has
added more that 48,000 Memorials to the website.

The challenges you faced in your life truly earned you the right to be honored during Women's History Month.
Cecily Cone Kelly
One of your many 10th great grand daughters
P.S. for family members here is my descent from Sarah:
Cecily daughter of Charles Newton Cone, Jr.; son of Charles Newton Cone; son of Helen Brown Newton; daughter of Charles Shepard Newton, son of Reuben Newton and Caroline Beckworth Sanford; daughter of Stephen Sanford and Olive Woodruff; daughter of Andrew Woodruff and Miranda Orton; Andrew is son of Samuel Woodruff and Anne Nettleton; Samuel is son of John Woodruff and Sarah Baldwin, Sarah is daughter of Thomas Baldwin and Jerusha Clark; Thomas is son of Barnabas Baldwin and Sarah Buckingham; Barnabas is son of Elizabeth Alsop and Richard Baldwin; son of Sarah Bryan(t) and Sylvester Baldwin.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Surname Saturday - PROPES

Because March is the birth month of both my son-in-law Chris and his father Tim, I decided that today's Surname Saturday  should feature their surname PROPES. Most researchers believe that Propes is probably a derivation of the German surname Probst. We have not yet discovered the immigrant ancestor for the Propes.

The first of this Propes family to emigrate to Texas was John Alexander Propes. He was born 29 Mar 1840 (another March birthday) near Gainesville in Hall County, Georgia, the second of nine sons and one daughter born to Nicholas R. Propes and his wife Mary Wilson. Hall County is about 50 miles northeast of Atlanta.

John Alexander Propes
from the PropesVille-UpCountry S.C. Public Family Tree
Submitted by Huckleberry to 13 Apr 2007
John enlisted as a private in Company F of the 43rd Georgia Infantry on 10 March 1862 (another March date). As did his brothers Rufus Clark Propes and Richard W. Propes. Richard was killed 31 Oct 1862 in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky leaving behind an eighteen year old widow Sarah J. Carroll and their infant daughter Mary Ann Propes. The surviving brothers are absent in the regimental muster of November 1862. One can imagine that they took their brother's body home to Hall County for burial before returning to their unit.
J. A. Propes Company Muster Report
November and December 1862
Listing him as absent.

Rufus and John were captured by Union troops at Vicksburg 06 Jul 1863, and after signing pledges to "Not take up arms against the United States" again they went back to George for thirty days leave and then rejoined their unit. Rufus was taken ill and left the 43rd Georgia Infantry for good July 1864. John continued to serve and surrendered with his regiment 26 Apr 1865.

Their father Nicholas R. Propes listed his birth place as North Carolina on both the 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses. His birth year fluctuates from 1814 to 1817.
1880 Census from
We are not certain of the identities of Nicholas R. Propes parents. We think that he was born and married to Mary Wilson in North Carolina. His first child, Rufus Clark Propes was born there. He moved to Hall County, Georgia between Rufus' birth 26 Apr 1838 in North Carolina and John's birth 29 Mar 1940 in Hall County. I am still looking for a baptismal or marriage record in North Carolina.
There is a Nicholas Propes listed as Head of Family in the First Census of the United States (1790) in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Unfortunately, there is not yet a way to tie the two Nicholas' together.
The search continues....
Cecily Cone Kelly

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Surname Saturday - GIBSON

Dear Grandfather Gibson,

Yesterday was a great day. For the first time in years I found some new information about you.

While researching at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, I found information in the US Army Indian Campaign Service Records listing Newsom Gibson's service as a Private in Hill's Company
1st Tennessee Infantry. I also discovered that your wife, Elizabeth Jane (Jones) Gibson had filed for a widow's pension in 1892.

Most of the information I had on you before came from the Hugunin Family Bible that was passed from your daughter Sarah Amanda Gibson Hugunin to her daughter Mary Elizabeth Hugunin Colby to her daughter Ada Grace Colby Werst to her daughter and my mother Betty Werst Cone. The inscriptions in the family Bible give your birth date as 13 April 1817 in Tennessee and your death date as 30 Jul 1875 in Nashville.

I know you and Elizabeth were married 29 Dec 1840. I have found you and your family's listings in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census in the Edgefield Junction area that today is part of Nashville proper. I imagine you were an admirer of Henry Clay as you named your first son for him.

What I have been unable to determine is the name of your parents. There are several Gibson families in Davidson and surrounding counties that could be your parents. I often wonder if Newsom was the maiden name of your mother or grandmother. I really could  use a little help here, Grandfather!  I am hoping when there will beclues in your service record or the pension application.

Did you know from where your Gibsons immigrated to the United States? According to Wikipedia, Gibson is a Scottish and English surname that is a patronymic for Gib a short form of Gilbert. There are several Gibson's who received donation land grants in middle Tennessee following their service in the Revolutionary War. Could one of these men be your grandfather? I know, I know, sooooooo
many questions.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On my way to Japan 40 years ago... Adventure on Mars

Dear Grandparents,

Usually my posts are about one or another of you and your families, today I am remembering an adventure in my own life. Forty years ago in March, I was part of what the U. S. Navy called an "Organic Lift." My husband Lt. j. g., Edward Kelly was the 2nd Division Officer in USS Mars AFS-1 which was home ported at Naval Air Station Alameda, California. The ship had just returned from an 8 month deployment to Viet Nam in mid December 1972, and was being re-homeported to Sasebo, Japan.

The year before Mars' sister ship, USS White Plains AFS-4 and her families, had been sent to Japan and most of the families had been transported on ocean liners. There were fewer opportunities for trans-pacific liner voyages in 1973 and like now with a war going on, the Navy was hoping to save some money so devised the "Organic Lift" sending wives, children and pets to Japan on the Mars.

USS Mars AFS-1

Captain Richard Adams, USN established a liberal leave policy for personnel who were not considered essential for the crossing. This was especially attractive to crew members who would not be able to bring their family members (called dependents by the Navy) They would have additional leave and then be able to meet the ship in Sasebo. Officers' spouses and children were to be housed in vacant officer staterooms (there would be no co-habitation, I repeat, no co-habitation). The Chiefs' berthing area was cleared out and enlisted wives and children were to bunk there.

Ship's carpenters constructed a series of cages for dogs and cats forming a perimeter above a cargo hold with a sand box for pet relief. Cinders and Puddles, our first two long-haired dachshunds, were the denizens of one of those cages.

The cruise was to be four days to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and then an additional ten days on to Sasebo a naval port on the southern island of Kyushu. Each family member had to be screened to make certain that they were healthy and well-behaved enough to live overseas and not cause international incidents between the U. S. and Japan. The Navy was interested in helping us make a successful adjustment to living in Sasebo so they provided an instructor who provided classes in the Japanese language and culture during the cruise.

I had never been to sea before but like to travel and had been able to meet the Mars in Hong Kong for a week long reunion with Ed about six months into his first deployment. Having lived as an exchange student in Argentina, I was excited about the opportunity to live in Japan but I was more excited about having Ed gone less. Certainly, deployments to Viet Nam would be shorter since they would be more than half way there already. I was also very curious about what it would be like to be at sea, out of the sight of land and what my husband was doing everyday on the ship.

Cathy Wilburn and I shared a crusty old Warrant Officer's stateroom. He had been annoyed that the Navy would dare to allow women to ride the ship so signed up to meet the ship in Sasebo. Little did we know that he had left a present for us behind.

This is a pachinko machine. In the 1970s the were literally hundreds of parlors with banks of pachinko machines where Japanese would play for hours. I guess we would have called them vertical pin ball machines. They were filled with little metal balls.

Our friend the warrant officer had taken a couple hundred of these balls and locked them in the metal drawers of his stateroom.

We were busy on deck waving goodbye to friends on shore as the ship pulled away from the dock. It was thrilling to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and move out into the Pacific Ocean. Busy with getting oriented, taking tours of the ship and eating in the Wardroom, it wasn't until we settled down for the night that we began to hear the incessant rolling and clanking of the balls each time the ship moved. By morning we were nearly bonkers and desperate for someone to figure out what was going on. It took two days, but finally the assistant supply officer was able to find a key for the drawer and the offending pachinko balls were removed and we were finally able to sleep.

The photo above is from Mess night held onboard during the cruise. From left Cathy and Jeff Wilburn, Cecily and a bearded Ed Kelly. You can see from the smile on my face that sleep had been restored.

Over the next month, I'll be adding some additional stories from my adventure on Mars.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Everyone's Irish on Saint Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Daughter Colby Kelly Propes with husband Chris and son Cooper

Dear Grandparents,

Its St. Patrick's Day and our family is mostly clad in green to honor our Irish ancestors. Now, when I married a man with the surname Kelly, I figured that I would have to get my Scots, English, Welsh, Swiss and German self into the spirit of "the wearing of the green." Of course as the saying goes, "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day" so little did I know that I really did have Irish heritage.

This summer, while researching at the Pennsylvania Historic Society in Philadelphia, I sat down in the venerable reading area of the Society with a folder of McCowan family archives. Carefully, turning the crumbling sheets to the first page I read, "My name is William McCowan and I was born in Duncannon, County Tyrone, Ireland." There was my very own Irish ancestor on my paternal Grandmother Hazel Bynon Allen's side! She always thought of her background as Scots and I imagine that the McCowan's were Scots-Irish. I am still looking for information on the family in County Tyrone.

I expect that there may be Irish on my mother's side as well. After visiting Belfast last fall, I was impressed by the number of surnames that I would have before considered to have been English that were clearly also Irish. My maternal 3rd great grandmother Nancy Carr might be Irish. My great grandmother Mary Jane Barnes, daughter of Simpson Barnes also might have Irish ancestry.

My husband's paternal side is nearly solidly Irish. His family tree is populated with Hannas, Carrolls, Rileys, Summers, O'Donalds, Coles, etc.  The Irish are not restricted to just his paternal ancestors, his maternal great grandmother is Ella Murray.

I think when my family was planning our trip to Ireland last year, my son-in-law was humoring me when I told him that I thought I would be able to find an Irish ancestor for him also. But then shortly before we went I found the Copeland family on his paternal grandmother's side.

This is the headstone of his sixth great grandparents John Copeland Sr. and his wife Margaret Blakely, from the Duncan Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery near Clinton in Laurens County, South Carolina contributed by Tracker to
The headstone clearly reads "both born in Ireland." This is a bonus ancestor for Chris as John Copeland Sr. is also a proven Revolutionary War Patriot who served as a Lieutenant from the Laurens District of South Carolina.

So, dear grandparents, we know some of you were of Irish descent and we would be happy to have more of you step forward and let us know your Irish origins.

Erin go Bragh!

Surname Saturday - HUGUENIN - HUGUNIN

Dear Grandparents,

Sometimes life interferes with my determination to post information about a different surname each week. Last week was one of those times but I will endeavor to catch up. Last week's Surname Saturday topic is HUGUENIN or HUGUNIN. My ancestors David Huguenin age 60 and his wife Susanne Jacot age 47 and their children Son Dan'l age 14, Marguerite age 12, Son Abraham age 10 and son David age 8 are found among "A List of Germains and Switz Protestants under the Command of Collo Purry qualified before his Excellency Robert Johnson Esquire Gorernour of this Province on the 22 and 23 dayes of December 1732." This citation is from the article "Purrysburgh" by Henry A. M. Smith published in "The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine" vol. 10:4 (Oct 1909) pages 208-210 ( as found on and includes the original spelling. Family tradition would number the Huguenins among the french speaking Swiss protestants.

This Huguenin Family came from Le Locle in the canton of Neuchatel, in western Switzerland near the border with France. According to the Huguenin Family History blog at "The known ancestor, named Outhenyn chiez Heuguenin, was a free-burgher and lived there at the end of the 15th century." Though the surname may have existed in Switzerland before the influx of the French protestants fleeing France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, there is no doubt that our Huguenins were Protestants and would have identified themselves with the Huguenot refugees who settled in South Carolina. Our ancestor, David Huguenin, is included in the list of "Ancestors Claimed by Members of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina since 1885."

The Huguenin surname appears in France as early as 1292 according to the Huguenin Family blog at wordpress. The author cites two incidences of the name, "The Census Parisiorum refers to the presence in Paris of a so-called Huguenin la Bourguignon, this name suggesting a Burgundian origin." The second  incidence is in Burgandy "a certain Hughes Bourgogne, called Huguenin, born in 1260 and dead in 1288."

Many Huguenin researchers list Moyse Huguenin, born about 1630 in Le Locle and died about 1675 as David Huguenin's father. His mother is listed as Marie Huguenin-Virchard, born about 1639 in Switzerland. She is from another of the many two named Huguenin clans in Neuchatel. I do not have any personal knowledge of their information.

In an interesting coincidence, while my husband was working at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, he called one day asking me for the name of the colonial town where my ancestors had settled in South Carolina. When I replied Purrysburg, he mentioned that a History Professor at Whitworth had announce the publication of a book on Purrysburg. Arlin C. Migliazzo's book "To Make This Land Our Own: Community, Identity and Cultural Adaptation in Purrysburg Township, South Carolina, 1732-1865" was published in 2007 by the University of South Carolina Press. It is the definitive study of Purrysburg. I enjoyed talking with Prof. Migliazzo about Purrysburg and the Huguenin family.

In a couple of weeks, I will have the opportunity to travel to Charleston and I hope to do some additional research and visit the Purrysburgh site.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Surname Saturday PUTERBAUGH

Dear Grandparents,

I'm behind on my weekly surname posting. Last week we talked about one of our English ties, this time we're looking to mainland Europe with Puterbaugh. Germany is undoubtedly the origin of the surname Puterbaugh. It is the name of a small town in the Rhineland - Palatinate area of Germany but there certainly may be more than one place with the name. The word may be used to designate a  fast moving stream.
There are many variations of the spelling of Puterbaugh probably owing to the easy confusion in English of the pronunciation of the German b/p and d/t sounds. The family name here is written Puterbaugh, Puderbaugh, Butterbaugh, Puderbach, etc. One wonders how George pronounced his name.
I wish I could ask if George was from the Rhineland area in Germany. He and his family were members of the Brethren or Dunkers Church, a sect of German Baptists who were from the north Rhine Westphalia area of Germany.
We are not certain when my 5th great grandfather George Puterbaugh arrived in Pennsylvania. He married Christina Adam, a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1756. Peter Wilson Coldham, in his book "Settlers of Maryland 1679-1783" lists George as having "purchased 9 acres of land in Frederick County, Maryland 18 Feb 1768." (page 542). There was a border dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania over land in this area of Frederick County so I am not certain if the Puterbaugh's relocated or the boundary was moved, but they are soon described as living in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
George was a Revolutionary War patriot. He is listed in the Pennsylvania Archives as having "rendered aid" i.e. "paid Supply Tax to support the Revolution." In the Daughters of the American Revolution ancestor data base, George is listed as George Butterbaugh but he is our same George married to Christina Adam. He and Christina had 8 children and firmly established the Puterbaugh clan in the United States.
P.S. For family members... Cecily Cone, daughter of Betty Werst, daughter of Cecil Oscar Werst, son of Lewis and Mary Barnes Werst, son of George Washington West and Elizabeth Puterbaugh, daughter of Jacob and Magdelene Schlechty Puterbaugh, son of Jacob Puderbaugh and Susannah Ulrich, son of George Puterbaugh.