Anniversary of Pennsylvania's Charter

I was a little late in  wishing Pennsylvania a happy birthday (on Facebook).  Last Wednesday was the 328th anniversary of William Penn receiving a colonial charter which was granted on 4 March 1681.  Today is the day that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is celebrating it.

Click here for further information. Images of the actual documents can be viewed by clicking on thumbnails in the right-hand column.


Sorry if you've received this multiple times in a blog reader....I can't believe how many stupid little errors slip through.

Tombstone Tuesday

Somewhere, although I do not remember where, I know that there is a genealogy topic to post for each day of the week.  I was reminded because of visiting Randy's Genea-Musings. I don't know that I'll post on these kinds of things regularly because I generally like to post what I want when I want.  So this is "Tombstone Tuesday."

I've had another blog and only recently decided to split my history and geneaology topics into a blog of their own.  I transfered all my old posts here, but not the comments. So welcome, if you are new, and welcome back for those who read my other site.

This tombstone has a great story behind it... a "happy dance" kind of story behind it.   From  a marriage record showing a second marriage of my ancestor Albertus Van Hoesen, I knew that the first wife likely died. They had moved from Clarksville, Butler County, Iowa, in 1896 to Willow Springs, Missouri.  However, in perusing all the cemetery books, I was unable to locate any gravesite for Carrie A. Burton Van Hoesen.


To back up a bit, I had been in Clarksville, Iowa, a few years ago looking at courthouse records, visiting cemeteries, and viewing the files of Rudolph Priepke who had been the town genealogist and historian for many, many years.  Mr. Priepke's files can be found in the public library in Clarksville, staffed, I might add, by the wife of a descendant of one of the original settlers of the town.  Although quite a bit is known about the Burtons, not that much is about the Van Hoesens who arrived in about 1866. Nevertheless, Mr. Priepke did have a small file on the Van Hoesens which contained a letter  to him asking about my ancestors. The letter's author was descended from a sister of Robert Van Hoesen, father to my Albertus.  This letter was written some time in the 1970s.  When I got home, I looked her up and found she was living in the same house from which she had written!

When this new-found cousin (Emma Lou Stanislav) found out about the difficulty I had finding Carrie's grave in Willow Springs, she immediately volunteered the fact that she had gotten a response to a query to the Willow Springs area.  The woman (Aletta Van Hoesen) who responded to her query had told in which cemetery Carrie was buried (it's a big one), and she had made a drawing of the tombstone and transcribed it.  My cousin photocopied it and mailed it to me.  Because of the kindness of these two women, I was able to stand in the cemetery, rotate, and zero in on the correct tombstone.  I was thrilled to find resolution to the life of one of my ancestors.

In loving remembrance

Carrie A. Wife of A.L. Van Hoesen

Daughter of H.F.L. and M.E. Burton

Born Nov. 18, 1861 Died Sept. 17, 1897

Sweetly slumber angel Carrie, Let no strife disturb thy rest,

Thy loving eyes are closed forever, Thou art with the blest.


Happiness in the small things

I reckon it among my felicities, " Franklin told his Scottish friend Kames, "That I can set my own razor and shave myself perfectly well, in which I have a daily pleasure, and avoid the uneasiness one is otherwise obliged to suffer sometimes from dull razors and the dirty fingers or bad breath of a slovenly barber."

The naked philosopher [a reference to BF's penchant for 'air baths'] pondered matters large and small, among them why shaving himself was such a pleasure. Franklin and Kames had been comparing notes on true happiness; Franklin summarized for them both: "I have long been of an opinion similar to that you express, and think happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life."



The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H.W. Brands, p. 411-2

Genealogy as a microcosm of history

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG has written an article of which the opening paragraph so aptly describes what I love about genealogy that I'm copying it here:

Modern genealogy—appropriately done—is history in microcosm. Our
research projects study “up close and personal” small slices of the
past. We pluck individuals from the nameless masses that historians
paint with a broad brush. We learn their names. We follow them from birth to
death. We see the actual effect upon human lives of the grand world events that
historians write about—wars, economic depressions, plagues, politics, and perse-
cutions. We see how one humble person and his or her neighbors can reshape a
community, a state, or a country. Then we repeat the process, generation by gen-

This was originally published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), Volume 91, pp. 260-77 and is available for download.

Living on the Frontier of Pennsylvania


Path Valley, in Cumberland County, May 18th, 1778

To the Executive Council of the State of Pennsylvania:

The Humble Petition of the subscribers, the Inhabitants of the above mentioned Valley, Humbly Sheweth:

That we, your Petitioners, Labour under the Greatest anxiety posseble at this present time, for our Malitia has received orders for four Classes to be in readiness to march Immediately to Camp. The Indians (or rather the tories) is Murdering our neighbours close by us, no futher off than Bedford, and what active men is of use here is Entirely Defenceless, for want of arms and amunition. We earnestly request and beg, that the worthy Council may take our Distressed Circumstances under their wise Consideration, and Contribute to our assistance by sending us some quantity of Rifled guns and amunition. Likewise to order our Malitia back against the Indians, for nothing appears to us more probable than if our men is marched to Camp our Women and Children will fall a sacrifice to Savage Cruel Barbarity. As there was of Late a Number of wicked tories Joined in a combination, and went to Conduct the Indians Down to Murder the whigs (as they call us) here, but was Disappointed by a Supernatural Cause. Some of said party is taken, the rest is sculking in the mountains, and thought to be the Murderers of these people Near Bedford, and their Leaders is not taken as yet. They will bring the Indians on us if in their power. What moves us to supplicate for rifles is, because m'skets is of very little use in the woods against Indians. We hope a sensible feeling of our gloomy aspect, and the safety and security of our distressed Country and Interests, will move you to grant, with all possible speed, our Humble requests; and your petitioners shall, as in Duty bound, Ever pray, &c.

This, our petition, we Commit to our very Trusty friends Capt. Noah Abraham and James Elder, in whome we very mutch Confide.

Noah Abraham, Capt.,                            James Hall,

Archibald Elliot, 1 leut.,                          Neal Judge,

Samuel Walker, 2 Leut.,                          William McCibbins,

Thomas Morton, Ensine,                         Charl. Gibson,

Rev. Samuel Dougal,                               James Mountgomory,

John Noble,                                              Samuel Mears, Sen'r,

Joseph Noble,                                           Samuel Mears, Jun'r,

Francis Eliot,                                            John Noble, Jun'r,

Patrick Davis,                                           William McClellan,

Henderson Hervy,                                     James McClellan,

William McClelan,                                   W'm Elder Ens'n,

Robert McConnell,                                   John Wallace,

William Elliot,                                           Robert Futhey,

John Campbell,                                         Samuel Futhy,

John Monow,                                             Charles Gibson,

Henry Hoghanbry,                                     Elijah Sackett,

Wm. Clark,                                                Azariah Sackett,

Patrick Murphy,                                         Edward Kelley,

James Fegan,                                             William Richardson

Daniel McMullan,                                      And'w Miller

Eneas McMullen,                                       James Fegan,

Thom's Ackers, Capt.,                                David Elder,

David Anderson, Lt.,                                  David Elder, Junior, [out of sequence]

Richard Coulter, Lt.,                                   John Elder        [out of sequence]

Benjamin Walker,                                        Jas. Wallace [out of sequence]

Alexander Walker,                                     Philip Hutchinson,

Hugh McCurdy,                                         William Campbell,

William Fear,

Timothy Conner, In Elizabeth Town, has Ten Rifles taken from none Sociators.

Pennsylvania Archives, Series 2, Volume III, Papers Relating to the War of the Revolution, 1778


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