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Huguenot Ancestors: Battaile,Bieber, Martiau, and Muse –52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, # 50



Huguenots, Emigration-Of-The-Huguenots-1566, public domain, wikimedia Commons

Huguenots prepare to emigrate-from Wikimedia Commons, public domain


This is my 50th post of 52 to complete this challenge to write  about family ancestors, at least once a week for a whole year! Great thanks are given to Amy Johnson Crow of the “No Story Too Small”  blog on WordPress for issuing and maintaining this callenge!  I started participating in the challenge last January, and will soon be finished! It is so hard to believe! I have been wondering for awhile what might be a good way to wrap up this wonderful adventure, and after much thought, decided that it might be fun to end this series (not that I won’t do other genealogical posts) with stories about some of our beginnings–the first of our ancestors in America! To that end, I have decided to write about our Huguenot Ancestors, our Jamestown Ancestors, and our Mayflower/Plymouth ancestors!  It is so amazing to me to know that we have members of our family from all of these groups! It also explains why I am kin to almost everyone! When your family is present in the beginning, there are fewer families, and at that time they tended to have huge families of ten and more children. All those children married others from their church and/or farming community generally, so it didn’t take long for everyone to be cousins! 

huguenot bridge, Huguenot Bridge over James River, upstream of Richmond and downstream from Manakin-Sabot, photo by Trevor Wrayton, VaDOT

The Huguenot Bridge over the James River in Richmond, Virginia, just a few miles south of Manakintown, the first settlement of Huguenots

You might wonder why I would even think to write about the Huguenots. As it turns out, I grew up only a few miles from the original Huguenot settlement in Manakintown, Virginia! I went to Huguenot High School and drove over the Huguenot Bridge almost every day. My own families were Methodists, not Huguenots, but as I began my genealogical research, I was pleased and surprised to find I had Huguenot ancestors and so did my husband! 

From the National Huguenot Society we learn this history about the Huguenots:  

“The Huguenots were French Protestants most of whom eventually came to follow the teachings of John Calvin, and who, due to religious persecution, were forced to flee France to other countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some remained, practicing their Faith in secret.

The Protestant Reformation began by Martin Luther in Germany about 1517, spread rapidly in France, especially among those having grievances against the established order of government. As Protestantism grew and developed in France it generally abandoned the Lutheran form, and took the shape of Calvinism. The new “Reformed religion” practiced by many members of the French nobility and social middle-class, based on a belief in salvation through individual faith without the need for the intercession of a church hierarchy and on the belief in an individual’s right to interpret scriptures for themselves, placed these French Protestants in direct theological conflict with both the Catholic Church and the King of France in the theocratic system which prevailed at that time. Followers of this new Protestantism were soon accused of heresy against the Catholic government and the established religion of France, and a General Edict urging extermination of these heretics (Huguenots) was issued in 1536. Nevertheless, Protestantism continued to spread and grow, and about 1555 the first Huguenot church was founded in a home in Paris based upon the teachings of John Calvin. The number and influence of the French Reformers (Huguenots) continued to increase after this event, leading to an escalation in hostility and conflict between the Catholic Church/State and the Huguenots. Finally, in 1562, some 1200 Huguenots were slain at Vassey, France, thus igniting the French Wars of Religion which would devastate France for the next thirty-five years.

The Edict of Nantes, signed by Henry IV in April, 1598, ended the Wars of Religion, and allowed the Huguenots some religious freedoms, including free exercise of their religion in 20 specified towns of France.

The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in October, 1685, began anew persecution of the Huguenots, and hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled France to other countries. The Promulgation of the Edict of Toleration in November, 1787, partially restored the civil and religious rights of Huguenots in France.

Since the Huguenots of France were in large part artisans, craftsmen, and professional people, they were usually well-received in the countries to which they fled for refuge when religious discrimination or overt persecution caused them to leave France. Most of them went initially to Germany, the Netherlands, and England, although some found their way eventually to places as remote as South Africa. Considerable numbers of Huguenots migrated to British North America, especially to the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Their character and talents in the arts, sciences, and industry were such that they are generally felt to have been a substantial loss to the French society from which they had been forced to withdraw, and a corresponding gain to the communities and nations into which they settled.”

“Huguenot”, according to Frank Puaux, at one time President of the Socitie Francaise de l’Historie du Protestantisme Francais and author of the article about the Huguenots in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“is the name given from about the middle of the sixteenth century to the Protestants of France. It was formerly explained as coming from the German Eldgenosen, the designation of the people of Geneva at the time when they were admitted to the Swiss Confederation. This explanation is now abandoned. The words Huguenot,Huguenots, are old French words, common in fourteenth and fifteenth-century charters. As the Protestants called the Catholics papistes, so the Catholics called the protestants Huguenots. The Protestants at Tours used to assemble by night near the gate of King Hugo, whom the people regarded as a spirit. A monk, therefore, in a sermon declared that the Lutherans ought to be called Huguenots, as kinsmen of King Hugo, inasmuch as they would only go out at night as he did. This nickname became popular from 1560 onwards, and for a long time the French Protestants were always known by it.”

There is a National Huguenot Society as mentioned above.  Apparently there is also The Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia. From them we learn some specific history of the Huguenots in Virginia. 

“Huguenots began coming to Virginia as early as 1620. In 1700-1701, five ships arrived at the mouth of the James River, then the York and the Rappahannock rivers, east of present-day Richmond, Virginia. French Huguenots, having fled religious persecution, had lived in England and Ireland and done military services for King William. They were granted lands in the New World for a permanent home where they had the freedom to worship as they pleased. West of Richmond, many founded a colony on the site of a village deserted by the Monacan Indians. This is a society of the descendants of that colony and French Protestants who came to Virginia before 1786 [see history of the society]. The society headquarters and library are located beside the Manakin Episcopal Church on the original King William Parish glebe land in Manakintown. The society convenes for a National Assembly annually (usually in June). For information on membership and branches, contact us by e-mail at manakintown @yahoo.com.

The next General Assembly of the society will be held June 18-20, 2015 in Richmond, VA.”

Perhaps this explains why I have found at least three different lists of registered lineages or ancestors  from the Colonial Huguenots in America.  If you are interested in joining one of these societies, be sure that  you check all of the different requirements for the one you are interested in joining. 

By far, my most famous Huguenot ancestor is Nicholas Martiau, my/our ninth great-grandfather and his children,,of whom Mary Martiau Scarsbrook is my/our 8th great-grandmother. The Martiaus are ancestors of George Washington, making us cousins.  There is a book written called  Nicholas Martiau: The Adventurous Huguenot by John Baer Stoudt.  You can read the blog post I wrote about Nicholas earlier at this link.  Nicholas was a French engineer who helped build the palisades around Jamestown Fort and the Fort at Yorktown.  He served as a Burgess from Jamestown and other places in Virginia. A bust of him, and a plaque to him can be seen in Yorktown , Virginia, today, honoring the gift of his land where the city of Yorktown stands today! 


 Another direct ancestor who was a Huguenot settler in the Colony of Virginia was my/our 7th great-grandfather, John Battaile-b.1658, his son Lawrence-b.1698 and his daughter Elizabeth Battaile-b. 1731 .  My/our 5th great grandmother. Elizabeth married George Muse, b. 1722, another Huguenot, and my /our 5th  great-grandfather as well! George Muse fought with George Washington in the Revolutionary War. 

Elizabeth Battaile, 1731-1786, granddaughter of John Battaile, daughter of Lawrence Battaile, and wife of George Muse, 1722-1784. -source sjwilson77 first shared this on ancestry.

Elizabeth Battaile, 1731-1786, granddaughter of John Battaile, daughter of Lawrence Battaile, and wife of George Muse, 1722-1784. -source sjwilson77 first shared this on ancestry.


 Dewalt Bieber is listed as an approved Huguenot ancestor under The Huguenot Society of America whose list you can find at the underlined link. He is my husband’s 6th great-grandfather, and my children’s 7th. This is a bit of interesting history about the Bieber/Beaver family in America.

  “The original family name for Bever/Bieber/Beaver was de Beauvoir. The name was taken by the family in the 10th century from the name of the little city in France where they lived  near Rouen in northeastern Normandy called Beauvais.  This town was known during the time of Caesar as Caesaromagnus.

 At the time of the French Church Reformation in the 1500’s, the Beauvoirs accepted the teachings of John Calvin and left the Catholic Church to become Huguenots. Huguenots were a group of Protestants who became the center of political and religious quarrels in France in the 1500 and 1600’s. The French Roman Catholics game them the name “Huguenots”. Most of them were craftsmen and textile workers. During the reign of Henry II (1547 – 1559) the Huguenots became strong in numbers and influence within France.  As they grew strong, the Catholic government persecuted them more and more.
Many Huguenots were murdered in the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Day on Aug 24, 1572.   Michol de Beauvoir escaped from France with a group of Huguenot  as refugees and was received into Geneva, Switzerland as a “bourgeois” about one month later on 29 Sept 1572. In 1573 he crossed the frontier and was almost massacred. This obliged him to return to Switzerland.
Henry of Navarre became King of France and in 1598 he issued the Edict of Nantes. This law gave the Huguenots freedom of worship in about 75 town and cities. The edict also gave them complete political freedom. The Huguenots thus formed a sort of Protestant Republic within the Catholic Kingdom.
The Huguenots lost their political freedom during the reign of Louis XIII. They lost their freedom of worship in 16 85 when Louis XIV repealed the Edict of Nantes. They there were hunted like wild animals and slaughtered in their hiding places. “400,000 were driven out of France until there were no Huguenots left in the land.” Thousand of these fled France to find new homes in England, Germany, Holland and America.
Those Beauvoirs who fled to Germany found themselves a dismembered and fugitive family bearing a name which brought back only bitter recollections and burning recrimination. The name in Germany was pronounced “Bieber” and soon they were spelling it in the language of their adopted country. The name Bieber means “beaver catcher”. Some shortened their names to Beber and Bever.
Settling in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany brought no degree of peace to the misplaced French families.  There was a continual battle between Germany and France over the country and continual friction between the Protestants and the Catholics.  Perhaps this helped influence the Bieber/Bever family in their decision to seek a new life in America.
In the early 18th century when the shipping agents were working up immigration parties for America, Peter Bieber and his cousin Lorentz Biever, were among those who chose to immigrate to the new World.  Peter Bieber left his home in Saarbrucken, Alsace-Lorraine and went down the Rhine River to Rotterdam in the Netherlands where he set sail in 1739 on a ship called “Robert and Alice.” There were 78 men, 57 women and 88 Children on the ship that landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 3 Sep 1739.  This Peter Biever would have been our Peter Bever, Jr.  Ship records state these passengers came from Rotterdam via Dover from the Palatinate.  The Palatinate is a historic division of Germany. They settled in Pennsylvania.
 (SOUR CES:  World Book Encyclopedia: “Histyory & Genealogy of the Biever, Beaver, Biever, Beeber Family” by Rev. I> M> Beaver, 1939, Reading Pennsylvania (Mar 16, 1993)  “
 We have many Huguenots in our family who are only kin to us by marriage, or perhaps are distand cousins. These alone wouldn’t get you into a society, but it is interesting to know of our kinship!  Martha Patsy Demoss, b. 1787 in Virginia, wife of   Thomas Youngblood. Anne Beaufort, her daughter Mary Ragland, and her son Nathaniel Bowe Jr. are kin to us through marriage.   The DuBois family and the Vias are kin to us in multiple ways, but none very directly–mostly through marriage or distant cousinship.

Little did I know growing up that I was the descendant of at least three direct Huguenot ancestors, now my husband of at least one! That means my children could easily qualify for membership in a Huguenot Society I would think. It’s an amazing history!

Since I am feeling very French today, I will leave you with this: 



Theobald Dewalt Bieber (1690 – 1769)
is your 6th great grandfather
son of Theobald Dewalt Bieber
son of Laurentius Bieber
son of David A Beaver
daughter of Paul Beaver
son of Martha Lucinda Beaver
son of John Calvin Holshouser
You are the son of Henry Max Holshouser
John Battaile (1658 – 1707)
is your 7th great grandfather
son of John Battaile
daughter of Lawrence Battaile
daughter of Elizabeth Battaile
son of Elizabeth Muse
daughter of Ellis Putney Omohundro
daughter of Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse -
John Muse (1633 – 1723)
is your 7th great grandfather
son of John Muse
son of John Muse
daughter of George Muse
son of Elizabeth Muse
daughter of Ellis Putney Omohundro
daughter of Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse -
Nicholas Martiau (1591 – 1657)
is your 9th great grandfather
daughter of Nicholas Martiau
son of Mary Jane Martiau
son of John Scarsbrook
daughter of Col. Henry Scarsbrook
son of Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook
son of Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne
son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne
daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

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Houchins, Stoops, and Cheely—Is the Mystery Solved? Is the Brick Wall Smashed?–52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, # 49


A couple of weeks ago, the folks at Ancestry.com decided to change the way they presented our dna results to us. They cut my dna matches from 6000 to 2500, and cut some of my favorite matches, some I had “proved” with historical research! I’ve been meaning to ask if they will be adding more as they move forward, I assume they will, just like they did before. They have also given us circles of relatives now. I have eight circles!

 From Ancestry we learn:

“Finding evidence that you’re a descendant of a particular ancestor is one of the powerful applications of DNA testing. AncestryDNA allows you to leverage all the information gleaned from your matches to show genetic evidence for the ancestors in your family tree. Some people advocate manually comparing segments of shared DNA to allow two or more people to infer whether DNA has been passed down by a common ancestor. Instead, AncestryDNA has created DNA Circles to leverage a massive collection of family trees and the DNA of thousands of AncestryDNA members. DNA Circles can provide you with more evidence to accomplish what chromosome browsers can do, but more effectively.

How do DNA Circles work?

A chromosome browser may help you start to find evidence about whether you and another person are descendants of a particular ancestor; however, it might not give you all the evidence you need. Because of its limitations, it’s almost impossible for you to find enough matching segments with other users to have confidence that you have a common ancestor. To solve this problem, we created DNA Circles, where we collect evidence across millions of trees and DNA from all AncestryDNA members. Because of this power of numbers, the evidence that you really did inherit DNA from the same ancestor as everyone else in the circle can increase. DNA Circles also have some added benefits.

We use DNA matches and indirect connections

We create DNA Circles around a particular ancestor, rather than around matching segments of DNA. This is what allows us to achieve the power of numbers.

Each DNA Circle has people who all have an ancestor in their trees and who share DNA anywhere in the genome with someone else in the circle. If one of your DNA matches shares DNA with other people who seem to be descendants of an ancestor, the evidence that they are descendants of the ancestor increases—and so does yours.”


Back towards the beginning of this genealogical journey, I reported that while I knew that my great-grandfather, Walter Thomas Houchins, was married to Evaline/Evelyn Langhorne, and I knew that his mother was Nancy J. Houchins, a single mother shown in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses of Patrick County, Virginia. I could not determine his paternity.  He listed a father on his marriage certificate as you can see in this blog post I wrote about him earlier.  We have proved him wrong. A father is listed on his death certificate, again wrong.

When all data was collected and given to a professional genealogist, she said she couldn’t be 100 % sure, but she suspected Walter Houchin’s father might be William W. Stoops who lived on the farm next to hers, who also worked for the postal service as she did, and where we find my grandfather living when he is 16!

As it turns out, Nancy J. Houchins married William W. Stoops in 1880, when my great-grandfather Walter was 26 years old! William W. Stoops mother had died in 1850, before the Civil War in which William fought.  His father died in 1878, then he married in 1880, did that have anything to do with their not marrying? Nancy’s mother was still living in 1880 but her father had died twenty years earlier!  There were many variables that might have affected their choices.

I continued to search for clues always, as I’ve worked on my genealogy all this time, then lo and behold….here comes DNA circles, and I have a Cheely Family Circle! I had never even heard of the name Cheely! But surely enough, ancestry says my dna matches that of Cuthbert Cheely from two other sources and three family trees! They say, Cuthbert Cheely is my 4th great grandfather, that his daughter Elizabeth Cheely is my third great grandmother, and that William W. Stoops is her son and my 2nd great grandfather, the father of Walter  Houchins! I was incredulous! Could it be that easy? Had ancestry just broken through a brick wall for me? Wow! But I am/was skeptical. So I investigated.

It said I matched one person who’s name was given as HesterBros14K.  This was our shared ancestral line: (quoted from ancestry)

Cuthbert Cheely
(from Helen Spear Youngblood Holshouser’s family tree)

Elizabeth Cheely

3rd Great-Grandmother

William W. Stoops

2nd Great-Grandfather

Walter Houchins


Katherine Steptoe Houchins


Margaret Steptoe Kerse


Helen Spear Youngblood Holshouser


Cuthbert Cheely
(from HesterBros14K’s family tree)

Sarah Cheely


Charles Tilman (Cheely) Pullen


Mattie Corine Pullen




Cuthbert Cheely
(from B.C.’s family tree)

William Cheely


James Eleaney Cheely


Burl Rex Cheely




I went hunting for the trees from my two matches. Neither tree had any Stoops in them, what?!

So I entered Stoops in my dna surname matches search engine, and I got a match! I had done this before, with no matches found! But now I had a match, one S. A. Stoops! His Stoops matched the Stoops who lived next door to my grandfather, Walter Houchins, so he was definitely a match. The next thing I did was check my brother’s ydna matches on FTDNA, and yes, he matched one Stoops also. Unfortunately, I could not trace that Stoops at all. It was another brick wall, but certainly a viable hint!

With ancestry.com producing a dna circle linking my dna to William W. Stoops, the Houchins, and Elizabeth Cheely, William’s mother, I don’t see how we can deny that William W. Stoops is indeed the father of Walter Houchins, our great-grandfather. Considering that my brother’s ydna also matches a Stoops, any Stoops lends weight to the match by surname and dna.  I feel about 92% confident that William W. Stoops, a Cival War veteran, is our 2nd great-grandfather making Elizabeth Cheely his mother our third great-grandmother.  If they feel reciprocal, it will be very nice to add new cousins from the Stoops and Cheely families! 


This gallery contains 3 photos


Magdaleen Helena Van Swol—52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #48



Artist is Granger, New Amsterdam, 1660. Governor Peter Stuyvesant and Dutch Settlers in New Amsterdam parlaying with Indians. Wood engraving, 1855.http://render.fineartamerica.com/displayartwork.html?id=4060758&width=249&height=248&domainid=1

Artist is Granger, New Amsterdam, 1660. Governor Peter Stuyvesant and Dutch Settlers in New Amsterdam parlaying with Indians. Wood engraving, 1855.http://render.fineartamerica.com/displayartwork.html?id=4060758&width=249&height=248&domainid=1

Magdaleen Helena Van Swol was my/our 8th great-grandmother, and the grandmother of almost everyone in my Youngblood facebook group which numbers about 40 people. Obviously, she has a lot more descendants than that, but considering she lived from 1630-1697,  to think that almost 400 years later, 40 of her descendants have gathered together to get to know each other and to research family history, is more than amazing! Can you imagine what she would have thought had she dreamed her descendants were thinking of her, looking into her life, in 2014! Our lives, our homes, our machines, would have amazed her to say the least.

We don’t know a lot about her early life, but she was born in New Amsterdam, New York in 1630. Think about that, Plymouth was settled in 1620, and here is our ancestor born in New York in 1630! Hard to believe. Unfortunately, we do not even know her mother’s name, and we know her father, Hans Van Swol, died in 1633. So where was she from age 3 to age 22 when she married our 8th great- grandfather, Hendrick Jansen Spier, birth 1619 in Aschwaerde, Stift, Bremen, Germany, death 12 May 1679 in Pemperpogh, Bergen, New Jersey, United States? For now, that remains a mystery.

New Amsterdam

Museum of the City of New York – Peter Stuyvesant, the fourth and most famous of the Dutch Governor – Generals was appointed in 1647. It was his lot to be obliged to surrender New Netherland to the English in 1664. collections.mcny.org


If you are interested in some overall history of the settlement by the Dutch of New Amsterdam, this article in Wikipedia provides a good overview, some of which is reproduced for you here:

:  “New Amsterdam (DutchNieuw-Amsterdam) was a 17th-century Dutch settlement established at the southern tip ofManhattan Island, which served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland territory. It was renamed New York on September 8, 1664, in honor of the then Duke of York (later James II of England) after English forces seized control of Manhattan Island, along with the rest of the Dutch colony.

The settlement, outside of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, in the New Netherland (1614–1664), was a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic as of 1624. Situated on the strategic, fortifiable southern tip of the island of Manhattan, the fort was meant to defend the Dutch West India Company‘s fur trade operations in the North River (Hudson River). Fort Amsterdam was designated the capital of the province in 1625.

The 1625 date of the founding of New Amsterdam is now commemorated in the official Seal of New York City. (Formerly, the year on the seal was 1664, the year of the provisional Articles of Transfer, assuring New Netherlanders that they “shall keep and enjoy the liberty of their consciences in religion”, negotiated with the English by Pieter Stuyvesant and his council.)”

“The first recorded exploration by the Dutch of the area around what is now called New York Bay was in 1609 with the voyage of the ship Halve Maen (English: “Half Moon”), captained by Henry Hudson[2] in the service of the Dutch Republic, as the emissary of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, Holland’s stadholder. Hudson named the river the Mauritius River. He was covertly attempting to find the Northwest Passage for the Dutch East India Company. Instead, he brought back news about the possibility of exploitation of beaver pelts in the area, leading to private commercial interest by the Dutch who sent commercial, private missions to the area the following years.

At the time, beaver pelts were highly prized in Europe, because the fur could be felted to make waterproof hats. A by-product of the trade in beaver pelts was castoreum—the secretion of the animals’ anal glands—which was used for its medicinal properties and for perfumes. The expeditions by Adriaen Block and Hendrick Christiansz in 1611, 1612, 1613 and 1614 resulted in the surveying and charting of the region from the 38th parallel to the 45th parallel. On their 1614 map, which gave them a four-year trade monopoly under a patent of the States General, they named the newly discovered and mapped territory New Netherland for the first time. It also showed the first year-round trading presence in New Netherland, Fort Nassau, which would be replaced in 1624 by Fort Orange, which eventually grew into the town of Beverwyck, now Albany.

Dominican trader Juan Rodriguez (rendered in Dutch as Jan Rodrigues), born in Santo Domingo of Portuguese and African descent, arrived in Manhattan during the winter of 1613–1614, trapping for pelts and trading with the local population as a representative of the Dutch. He was the first recorded non-Native Americaninhabitant of what would eventually become New York City.[3][4]

The territory of New Netherland, containing the Northeast’s largest rivers with access to the beaver trade, was originally a private, profit-making commercial enterprise focusing on cementing alliances and conducting trade with the diverse Indian tribes. Surveying and exploration of the region was conducted as a prelude to an anticipated official settlement by the Dutch Republic, which occurred in 1624.

In 1620 the Pilgrims attempted to sail to the Hudson River from England. However, the Mayflower reached Cape Cod(now part of Massachusetts) on November 9, 1620, after a voyage of 64 days.[5] For a variety of reasons, primarily a shortage of supplies, the Mayflower could not proceed to the Hudson River and the colonists decided to settle somewhere on or near Cape Cod.[5]

The mouth of the Hudson River was selected as the ideal place for initial settlement as it had easy access to the ocean while also securing an ice-free lifeline to the beaver trading post near present day Albany, settled in 1614. Here American Indian hunters supplied them with pelts in exchange for European-made trade goods and wampum, which was soon being made by the Dutch on Long Island. In 1621 the Dutch West India Company was founded. Between 1621 and 1623, orders were given to the private, commercial traders to vacate the territory, thus opening up the territory to Dutch settlers and company traders. It also allowed the laws and ordinances of the states of Holland to apply. Previously, during the private, commercial period, only the law of the ship had applied.

In 1624 the first group of families arrived on Noten Eylant (Nut Island, now Governors Island) to take possession of the New Netherland territory and to operate various trading posts. They were spread out to Verhulsten Island (Burlington Island) in the South River (now the Delaware River), to Kievitshoek (now Old Saybrook, Connecticut) at the mouth of the Verse River (now the Connecticut River) and further north on the Mauritius or North River (now the Hudson River), near what is now Albany.

Upon first settlement on Noten Eylant in 1624, a fort and sawmill were built. The latter was constructed by Franchoys Fezard.

The New Amsterdam settlement had a population of approximately 270 people, including infants. In 1642 the new director-general Willem Kieft decided to build a stone church within the fort. The work was carried out by recent English immigrants, the brothers John and Richard Ogden. The church was finished in 1645 and stood until destroyed in the Slave Insurrection of 1741.


On August 27, 1664, while England and the Dutch Republic were at peace, four English frigates sailed into New Amsterdam’s harbor and demanded New Netherland’s surrender, whereupon New Netherland was provisionally ceded by director-general Peter Stuyvesant. On September 6 Stuyvesant sent lawyer Johannes De Decker and five other delegates to sign the official Articles of Capitulation. This was swiftly followed by the Second Anglo-Dutch War, between England and the Dutch Republic. In June 1665, New Amsterdam was reincorporated under English law as New York City, named after the Duke of York (later King James II). He was the brother of the English King Charles II, who had been granted the lands.[11]


Hopefully, further research will lead us to discover more about her childhood. However, she has an interesting adulthood for us to consider. She married our grandfather Hendrick Spier in 1652, and had her first of nine children in 1653, a son, Johannes Jan Spier, 1653-1724. Johannes becomes our 7th great grandfather. The others included:  

  • Tryntje SPIER, 1654 – 1657
  • Seytje Spier, 1655 -
  • Jacobus Spier, 1659 – 1670
  • Hans Hendrickszen Spier, 1663 – 1726
  • Willemtje Spier, 1665 –
  • Cathryntje SPIER, 1667 –
  • Abraham Spier, 1671 – 1679
  • Barent Spier, 1675 – 1742


Notice that Abraham Spier died at age 8. We can see that he was buried at the Bergen Protestant Reformed Church, in Bergen, New Jersey. So the family had certainly moved from New Amsterdam to New Jersey by then.  The record below is from the Holland Society, documenting records concerning Magdaleen Hans Spier, in the Bergen Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church. Notice, she lost her husband and her child the same year! Abraham, May 12, and Hendrick on June 12, wonder if they were connected?

Spier, Abraham, death at age 8 in 1679 in Bergen, NJ--Magdaleen Hans Spier,Bergen Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church

Documents death of Abraham Spier, age 8, in 1679, son of Magdaleen Van Swol and Hendrick Spier.



Their last child was born in 1675, and then, not Magdaleen, but Hendrick Jansen Spier her husband dies in 1679.  She has at least four, maybe five children still at home. Maybe that is why she remarried immediately, to keep her children well taken care of.  She married Harmen Edwards at her age 49, in 1679. Unfortunately, he died in 1681, when her youngest was only 6 years old, and Catheryn was just 14, and William 16. She married for a third time again immediately. This time she married a wealthy man, Jan Aertsen Van der Bilt. Even though she would have been 54 years old, we are told she and Jan Van der Bilt had one child together, Jan Janse Van Der Bilt, 1684-1737. He is our 7th great Uncle, just like all of  Magdaleen’s children,  but he gives us entry into the wealthy Vanderbilt family!  That alone is a noteworthy event, but one that always makes me stop and ponder my very middle class existence!

We can see that Jan Vanderbilt was active in his stepchildren’s lives, and even their children, his stepchildren, in this article from these sources:  “Bergen, T., “Early Settlers, Kings Co., Long Island, New York”, pp 319-321; Boyer, C., “Ancestral Lines,” p 230; Strong, T. M., “History of Flatbush,” p 60; Kip, F. E., “Kip Family,” p 89; Hoppin, C. A., “Washington Ancestry,” v. 3, p 64, Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, v 55, pp 1-3; Collections, Holland Society,” Records Dutch Reformed Church, Bergen, New Jersey, V 4.)

Jan Aertsen Vanderbilt (b. 1627, d. 02 Feb 1704/05)

Jan Aertsen Vanderbilt was born 1627 in Holland, and died 02 Feb 1704/05 in Bergen,(Jersey City),NJ. He married Anneken Hendricks on 06 Feb 1649/50 in DRC New Amsterdam,New Netherlands.

 Notes for Jan Aertsen Vanderbilt:
Jan Aertsen Vanderbilt was born about 1627 in Holland. Jean M. Rand, in her book “Some Descendants of Jan Aertsen Vanderbilt” speculates that Jan’s father was named Aert (because of the use of patronymics by the Dutch). She also speculates that he came from Bilt, 3 miles east of Utrecht, Holland. He was about 13 when he emigrated to New Amsterdam. He was indentured, 12 Oct 1640, to Peter Wholfertsen Van Couvenhoven for three years. At age 16, in 1643, he participated in Indian fighting in the area. Jan had no money, this is why he was indentured as a servant for three years. Jan was very industrious, he was a prosperous farmer and owned land in a variety of places. Dorothy Kelly MacDowell in her book “Commodore Vanderbilt and His Family” places Jan Aertsen’s birth date at about 1620. Since he died in 1705, his age would be between 78 and 85.

Jan married his first wife at the Dutch Reformed Church at New Amsterdam on February 6, 1650 to Anneken Hendricks. Jan was about 23. Jan and Anneken had three children. Anneken died about 1655. Jan was 28. 

Jan married his second wife between 1655 and 1660. Jan was between 28 and 33. She was Dieber (Divertje) Cornelis, the widow of Lubbert Gysbertsen. Jan become the stepfather of five children. Jan and Dieber had one child. Dieber died before 1680.

Jan Aertsen owned a farm in 1661the location of which was described in the “The Social History of Flatbush” by Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt, published in 1881, in pages 221 and 229 as “From the south corner of Clarkson Street to the South corner of Winthrop Street… The original farm is now enclosed within Prospect Park.”

Jan lived in New Amsterdam in 1663. On February 5, 1667, Jan mortgaged a bouwery of his in Flushing, Queens, New York, to Nicholas de Meyer

Jan married his third wife on December 10, 1681 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York. Jan was 54. She was Magdalena Hanse/Jans Van Swol, the widow of Hendrick Jansen Spier and Harmen Edwards. Jan became the stepfather of nine more children. Jan and Magdalena had one child. 

Jan Aertsen Vanderbilt had joined the Bergen, NJ Dutch Reformed Church by 1682. He sponsered the baptism of Frans Spier, his step grandchild, born 2 April 1683, and of Hendrick Spier, his step grandchild, born in 1685. Jan was on the Rate List of Flatbush in 1683. In the same year he and his son Aris Janse were named Overseers. Jan owned land in Bergen New Jersey in 1694. Jan died there in 1705 at age 78. –this article was originally shared on Ancestry’s website by W. _VanCleave originally shared this to Van Cleave Family


Magdaleen Van Swol, my/our 8th great grandmother, was a courageous pioneer, a mother of ten, and took us through the Spear family as well as connecting us to the Vanderbilts! What an interesting woman she was, and what  an interesting surname to add to our collection of names. Magadaleen enriches our Dutch ancestry as well. 

Magdaleen Hans VanSwol (1630 – 1697)

is your 8th great grandmother

Johannes Jan Spier (1653 – 1724)

son of Magdaleen Hans VanSwol

Frans Johannisse Spier (1683 – 1771)

son of Johannes Jan Spier

Jacobus Spier (1714 – 1797)

son of Frans Johannisse Spier

Hendrick Jansen Spier (1760 – 1850)

son of Jacobus Spier

Jacob Speer (1788 – 1858)

son of Hendrick Jansen Spier

Edwin Speer (1822 – 1861)

son of Jacob Speer

Clara B. Spear (1851 – 1931)

daughter of Edwin Speer

Edwin Spear Youngblood (1882 – 1943)

son of Clara B. Spear

Cecil Hogue Youngblood (1910 – 1988)

son of Edwin Spear Youngblood

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood – (







Albert Speer, First Identified Nazi in the Family—52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #47




My maiden name is Helen Spear Youngblood, named for my grandmother Helen B. Hogue, and her husband Edwin Spear Youngblood, also named for his mother Clara B. Spear. I was always proud of the name Spear. As a child, living in Cherokee Indian territory, I was sure it must be an Indian name, both Spear and Youngblood! I was only mildly disappointed to give up my romantic notions when I realized they were both names of German origin! Youngblood started out as Jungblut, and Spear was spelled variously as Speer, and Spier at least.

When I thought of Germans, I thought Oktoberfest, colorful costumes, dancing and polkas, and of course beer!  Obviously, I knew about Hitler and Nazis, but they were nightmares that I tried not to think about! I had Jewish friends, I knew about the Holocaust. Surely, no one in our family would be/could be a Nazi!

Just this week, my sister called with a request. She had heard a report, and read an article about a man named Albert Speer who was a Nazi who worked with Hitler, an architect. She wanted me to research and see if he was kin to our Speers. It only took a few minutes! I had already done a lot of research on our Spear line, and knowing some about his family from the reports, and from Wikipedia, it was easy to see that he was our fifth cousin. The relationship chart looks like this:

Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer (1905 – 1981)

is your 5th cousin 1x removed

Albert Sydney Speer (1872 – 1946)

father of Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer

Charles Henry Speer (1845 – 1917)

father of Albert Sydney Speer

Edward Speer (1817 – 1885)

father of Charles Henry Speer

Peter Speer (1789 – 1865)

father of Edward Speer

Gerrit Jansen Spier (1753 – 1828)

father of Peter Speer

Jacobus Spier (1714 – 1797)

father of Gerrit Jansen Spier

Hendrick Jansen Spier (1760 – 1850)

son of Jacobus Spier

Jacob Speer (1788 – 1858)

son of Hendrick Jansen Spier

Edwin Speer (1822 – 1861)

son of Jacob Speer

Clara B. Spear (1851 – 1931)

daughter of Edwin Speer

Edwin Spear Youngblood (1882 – 1943)

son of Clara B. Spear

Cecil Hogue Youngblood (1910 – 1988)

son of Edwin Spear Youngblood

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood 

Oh my gracious, I will never think of my name the same again. I hate that it has been tainted this way. It is interesting however, this man, our cousin. Albert wasn’t just a Nazi, he became the Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich! He knew Hitler personally, were they friends? Apparently so, in his own memoirs he admits that he and Hitler were “closest of friends”.

 In an article in Wikipedia, we learn that Under his leadership, Germany’s war production continued to increase despite considerable Allied bombing. After the war, he was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the Nazi regime, principally for the use of forced labor. He served his full sentence, most of it at Spandau Prison in West Berlin.”

A movie was actually made about Albert! A BBC documentary, titled,The Nazi Who Said Sorry” and can be seen on You Tube and is included here in this post. Both at his trial at Nuremberg, and after his 20 years of incarceration, when he was released, in 1966, Albert did state that he was sorry, that he was full of remorse for what the Nazi’s had done to the Jews. He steadfastly denied that he knew about Auschwitz and some of the worst atrocities against the Jews. Most scholars  do not believe him, and it is very hard to believe.

While his remorse does not in any way excuse what he did, it does make me think. He wasn’t given a choice when first recruited as an architect by Hitler. At least, his choice would have been to accept or to die a traitor. But to succeed in such a stellar manner that he became the Minister of Armament and Hitler’s close friend—well, that has to be a choice!

 Albert was released from Prison in 1966.  In 1970 he published his memoir, Inside the Third Reich, which you can buy as a movie at this link.  It is a terrifying movie I would not recommend.  and in 1976, Spandau: the Secret Diaries. Albert Speer .  

Born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer on March 19, 1905 in Mannheim, Baden, Germany, Albert married Margarete Weber in 1928, and together they had five children, three sons and two daughters. They remained estranged , the children and their father all of his life. He died in London on  September 1, 1981. 

Whether or not Speer knew of the Holocaust, or whether or not he was truly remorseful remain huge controversies among the scholars. It doesn’t seem possible to me that he would not have known everything from what I have read, and  most “experts” doubt his innocence also. As a family member, I would be very pleased if that were true. This is  history in our family. We had many American members of our family fighting Hitler. History is history. Unfortunately,  there have been many happenings in history which we as a civilized society should disapprove of. However, like slavery, they happened, and only the study and understanding of the issues gives us a chance not to repeat such terrible acts.

If you are interested in  further reading you might consider: 

(Original German edition: Speer, Albert (1975), Spandauer Tagebücher [Spandau Diaries], Berlin and Frankfurt am Main: Propyläen/Ullstein Verlag,ISBN 978-3-549-17316-9, OCLC 185306869)
  • Speer, Albert (1981), Infiltration: How Heinrich Himmler Schemed to Build an SS Industrial Empire, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-02-612800-1
(Original German edition: Speer, Albert (1981), Der Sklavenstaat : meine Auseinandersetzungen mit der SS [The Slave State: My Battles with the SS], Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, ISBN 978-3-421-06059-4, OCLC 7610230)

 You can find these and many more in the Wikipedia article at this link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Speer

This gallery contains 1 photo.

R.J.Reynolds—52 Ancestors in 52 Week #46



Richard Joshua, Sr. Abram, and Harbour.  standing, from left...Walter and Will .about 1915 From the Patrick Reynolds Collection; no copyright.abt.1915

The Reynolds Brothers abt. 1915: Standing from left: Walter and Will Neal; Sitting from left: R.J.–Richard Joshua, Major Abram,, and Harbour. From the Patrick Reynolds Collection, no copyright


How is it that we can go all our lives knowing all about someone, even visiting their historic homes and learning about them, and not know we are related to them? That has happened to me several times now in my genealogical journey. I am always very surprised to find certain paths to kinship, and I always wish my mother were still alive to share my discoveries. She knew a lot about the family, and she had a love of and zest for history. She would have practically swooned at some of the people I have learned we’re kin to–especially the ones like Henry Cary who designed the Colonial Capital Building in Williamsburg, or Nicholas Martiau, or Peyton Randolph! They give our family tree a luster, a breadth and depth we didn’t know existed!
This week, one of my cousins, Betty Spangler Smith, contacted me with a consultation about our Virginia Harbour family. They are a family that I’ve only gotten to know on paper, but I knew that they took us back to Wales. Betty and I put our heads together and dusted off some of our knowledge of this family.
Reviewing the Harbour family yesterday led me to a discovery that I had “flirted” with before, but had just never taken the time to explore in detail. That discovery was that my 5th great-grandfather, Abner Harbour, 1730-1778, was also the 2nd great-grandfather of Richard Joshua Reynolds, the magnate and founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, making R.J. and me third cousins!
Now, a lot of you are possibly wondering why this is such a big deal to me. Tobacco isn’t even a product considered healthy anymore, certainly not important in our society these days. But I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, my maternal grandmother was from Patrick County, Virginia, and I had an Aunt who lived in Winston Salem, North Carolina, so I grew up touring the magnificent Tanglewood Park and the Reynolds’ estates when open to the public. I even spent most of a week exploring inside what is now Graylyn International Conference Center when I was about eleven years old! Neither I nor my Aunt who took me there had any idea there was a family connection!

Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, the Reynolds Tobacco Company and American Tobacco Companies were arch rivals, but tobacco still accounted for huge parts of our economy. As a child, all I knew was that my Dad smoked all the time, as did most people I knew, and that tobacco had been important since the white man’s arrival in America. Every single year, my family packed a basket with sandwiches for supper, and sat on the curb of a huge boulevard in downtown Richmond, to watch the Grand Illuminated Tobacco Parade, the largest parade and only nighttime parade in the Southeast at the time! It was the kick-off to the amazing Tobacco Festival which took over the city like Mardi Gras does New Orleans. What a rush it was to a young child! The lights, the noise, the music, the balloons, the clowns and of course..Joe Camel of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the most thrilling to me, little Johnny Philip Morris, whom I now know as an adult actor with dwarfism whose real name, was John Louis Roventini. He became the famous voice of Philip Morris Tobacco, and was known as a “living trademark”. Less than four feet tall, maybe that’s why I loved him, he was my size as a child. Yet he strode confidently down the avenue always in tune with his perfect B-flat toned chant: “Call for Philip Morrrrriss!” I can hear it now! Those were exciting times, about 1952-9, the war was over, and we baby boomers were everywhere having fun! We didn’t know tobacco killed.


R. J. Reynolds left his father’s tobacco farm and factory in Patrick County, Virginia, and set up his own company in the nearest town with a railroad connection. That happened to be Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he bought his first building from the Moravian Church. He soon bought out any competitors and produced 150,000 pounds of tobacco in his first year! (Source of this history: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Wikipedia,)
“The company produced 25% of America’s chewing tobacco. 1907’s Prince Albert smoking tobacco became the company’s national showcase product, which led to high-profile advertising in New York City’s Union Square.  The Camel cigarette became the most popular cigarette in the country. The Reynolds company imported so much French cigarette paper and Turkish tobacco for Camel cigarettes that Winston-Salem was designated by the United States federal government as an official port of entry for the United States, despite the city being 200 miles (320 km) inland.  Winston-Salem was the eighth-largest port of entry in the United States by 1916.”
“At the time Reynolds died in 1918 (of pancreatic cancer), his company owned 121 buildings in Winston-Salem.  He was so integral to company operations that executives did not hang another chief executive’s portrait next to Reynolds’ in the company board room until 41 years later.  Reynolds’ brother William Neal Reynolds took over following Reynolds’ death, and six years later Bowman Gray became the chief executive. By that time, Reynolds Co. was the top taxpayer in the state of North Carolina, paying $1 out of every $2.50 paid in income taxes in the state, and was one of the most profitable corporations in the world. It made two-thirds of the cigarettes in the state.”
I knew Reynolds tobacco was big, but this history still astounds me, and helps me understand why Winston-Salem businesses like their banking company of Wachovia, and their lawyers became some of the biggest in the country.
William Neal Reynolds, brother of R.J., had taken over the company after his brother died from Pancreatic cancer.
In 1924 he turned the presidency over to Bowman Gray.
It’s hard to believe that this one family, one small farm in the mountains of southwest Virginia, in Patrick County, Virginia, could parent two of the largest companies in the United States, but R. J. Reynold’s nephew, the son of Major Abraham David Reynolds, Richard Samuel Reynolds founded the Reynolds Metals Company in Louisville, Kentucky!  By 1938, they were headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and interacting with members of my family in business and education, without knowing that we were family.
Back to Winston-Salem and RJ Reynolds and the tobacco company, I want to show you some pictures and tell you about an interesting personal experience on my part.

R.J. Reynolds and his wife Katherine built an estate in Winston-Salem, NC,  that is now a museum of American art called the Reynolda House. I hope you will think about taking a trip to see this beautiful sight, with its exquisite pieces of American art and time period furniture. You will be so glad that you did! 

Nearby you can explore the beautiful Tanglewood Park, with its action-packed activities for the family! You can fish in two stocked lakes, ride the paddle boats, play on tennis courts, swim in the Aquatic Center, hike trails, ride horses, golf, tour gardens, and picnic in the shelters! I have been there several times over the years, and it is beautiful! Tanglewood was the estate of R.J. Reynolds’s brother, William Neal (also our 3rd cousin) and his wife Katherine Reynolds.

There is another historic estate connected to the Reynolds, known currently as Graylyn International Conference Center in Winston Salem. They also host weddings and special events. “The mansion was built in 1927, and is a large and rambling Norman Revival style mansion. It is 2 1/2 stories and is faced with yellow Randolph County stone. It features an irregular slate covered a hipped roof pierced by roundheaded dormers and ornamented brick chimneys with multiple flues. It is set on grounds designed by noted landscape architect Thomas Warren Sears. Associated with the house are a number of contributing outbuildings including a garage-guest house and “farm” complex. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.”
I love this stone mansion! Here’s some more history you might enjoy, I cannot tell it better! “In 1912, Gray moved his family to Winston to take up his new position of vice president and director of R. J. Reynolds, picked by Reynolds himself to head the company’s finance division. In 1924, he was promoted to president of the company to succeed William Neal Reynolds, and in 1932 he became the chairman of the board of directors. Gray’s brother James Gray, Jr. would also become president of R.J. Reynolds.
Between 1927 and 1932, he and his wife oversaw the construction of Graylyn, their 87-acre (350,000 m2) estate in the countryside surrounding Winston, across from R.J. Reynolds’ estate Reynolda House. In 1932 when they moved into Graylyn, Gray and his wife donated their former house for use as a church.[1] Two years after moving to Graylyn, Gray died of a heart attack while vacationing with his family aboard a ship off the coast of Norway. He was buried at sea.
At the time of his death in 1935, he left $750,000 worth of stock in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to be used for a cause beneficial to the community. His brother, wife and two sons would eventually decide to donate it to a medical school willing to relocate to Winston-Salem. Wake Forest College, then located in Wake Forest, N.C., eventually agreed to move its two-year medical school and expand it to a four-year curriculum, partnering with N.C. Baptist Hospital. Bowman Gray School of Medicine opened in 1941.  

 The move of the medical school later inspired members of the Reynolds family to lead efforts to bring the rest of Wake Forest College to Winston-Salem, which occurred in 1956. Today, Wake Forest University, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are key drivers of the region’s economy and have national reputations.

Years after Gray’s death, Graylyn the home, was donated to the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, where it served as an academic psychiatric hospital facility until 1959. In the 1970s, parts of Graylyn were used as off-campus student housing. In 1979, the main house hosted the Wake Forest University “German House.” There is an underground tunnel connecting the main house to the large guest house (the “French House”). It was not until 1980, after a fire burned the top floor of the estate, that the president of the university announced the property would be restored to its original condition and used as a conference center.”
This is all so very interesting to me, because I live very close to Wake Forest, NC, and of course have friends and relatives who live in Winston-Salem. I have friends who work in the Baptist Hospital there and some who’ve attended the esteemed Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
Even more interesting to me, is that I know Graylyn mansion very well! When I was a girl of eleven, all full of Nancy Drew courage, I had the opportunity to be at Graylyn everyday for a full week! I was free as a bird to wander the halls and look in the nooks and crannies. This would have been the summer of 1960, so just after they stopped housing psychiatric patients there. That summer they were having some model classrooms for teacher training purposes. My aunt, Mrs. Janey Bell Kerse Sommers (see blog post) taught children then called Emotionally Disturbed. They were generally children with family problems who were average or above average in intelligence, but who weren’t succeeding in school, weren’t learning because their behavior was so poor, they were often suspended, sitting in the Principal’s office, or in time-out. Temper tantrums led the list of manipulative behaviors. Many also had learning disabilities, therefore they needed a special teacher to unlock their learning abilities and teach them to read and do math so they could function in the world. My aunt taught these children. Later she became the supervisor of all Special Education Classes in Forsyth County Public School System in Forsyth County, NC. That summer I was visiting when it was arranged she would teach the model class of these students, some of her own from the school year. I was actually thrilled to get to observe, and she gave me the run of that incredible mansion, because there was hardly another soul around.
I would like to share with you as well, that I admired my aunt’s work so much, that I ended up teaching Emotionally Disturbed children also! I got my education, but I never forgot the techniques and amazing ways my aunt worked with her students as long as I taught. But look at that house–Graylyn Mansion, and oh, can you imagine being eleven and having the chance to explore it. I was sure it was haunted! I would stealthily creep up the stairs, half afraid I’d hear or see something, and half disappointed that I did not! LOL That experience shaped my life in so many ways, now I might just take the time to go back and stay there as an adult. Wish you and I could go together and explore Graylyn the way I did as a child, wouldn’t that be fun!
It was so much fun to discover my kinship to R.J. Reynolds and his family.
LOL, thanks for sticking with me, and if you are family, tell me how you like being kin to the Reynolds or share any ol’ little thing you’re little heart desires. (in a Southern mood, LOL) Until next week!

Richard Joshua Reynolds (1850 – 1918)
is your 3rd cousin 3x removed
father of Richard Joshua Reynolds
mother of Hardin William Reynolds
father of Mary Polly Harbour
father of David Harbour
son of Abner Harbour
daughter of Moses Harbour
daughter of Joyce Harbour
son of Nancy J Houchins
daughter of Walter Thomas Houchins
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse -


This gallery contains 11 photos

Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #45



source: commons, wikimedia.org Andrew Jackson

I always knew I was kin to Andrew Jackson; it’s something my father was very proud of, since it was through his mother’s family. My mother, on the other hand, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, always hedged her words carefully, indicating that he might not be the relative of whom we’d be most proud! Now I know why she’d say that. I believe politically, I’d agree with this President’s policies, but personally, I kind of doubt we’d like each other. He was known to have a temper, to even be violently explosive at times! Gracious! How could someone like that become President?
Well, he was a war hero, active in politics for years, and truly, the first “populist” President. He and his supporters formed the Democratic Party! He was the first President not born in wealth, the one the people could identify with, and him with them! Let me start at the beginning, for a brief synopsis of his interesting life.

Andrew Jackson trivia

source: galleryhip.com

Andrew Jackson was born on my birthday, March 15, but over 180 years earlier, in 1767. Tragically his father died in an accident just before Andrew was born. Andrew’s father was also Andrew–Andrew Bennett Jackson and his mother was Elizabeth Hutchinson. The parents had emigrated from Ireland, but were of Scots-Irish descent and devout Presbyterians. Andrew’s older brothers, Hugh, age 2, and Robert, age 3, came to America in 1765 with their parents. Andrew was born in what is now Waxhaw, South Carolina, but both Carolinas claim him, as his birthplace was only about 18 miles south of Charlotte, NC., right on the line between North and South Carolina! At the young age of 13, Andrew acted as a courier during the Revolutionary War, as did his brother Robert. Andrew’s oldest brother Hugh fought and died in the War. The younger boys were captured by the British, imprisoned, and made to serve as servants to the British officers. One story states that Andrew was ordered to polish an officer’s boots, and when he refused, he was slashed with a sword, forever scarred on his hand and head! By the time their mother secured their release, Robert and Andrew had come down with smallpox, and Robert soon died! By the end of the year of 1781, Elizabeth died also, of cholera, which she contracted as she nursed American soldiers with that disease. So, the Jackson family  came to America pursuing religious freedom, and economic stability, and within years, all were deceased except Andrew, who became our 7th President! Some people crumble under such adversity, some are honed by fire, I would have to say, Andrew succeeded brilliantly but with a sad and very rough beginning.
As he matured, Andrew taught school, and eventually became a lawyer through his education in Salisbury, NC. He then moved to S.W. North Carolina, which is currently part of Tennessee. In fact, Andrew Jackson is credited with helping found the town of Memphis, Tennessee.

Battle of New Orlans, with General Andrew Jackson, www.history.com

Battle of New Orlans, with General Andrew Jackson, http://www.history.com

His legal work began to earn him a stellar reputation in Tennessee, and among other honors, he was elected to the Continental Congress of 1796. It appears that his highly respected leadership in the War of 1812 propelled him to National fame. He was known as the person who led the troops that saved New Orleans. Then even though he defied the orders of his superiors, he went to Florida, fought and conquered the Spanish and the Seminoles, and won Florida for America! That earned him significant fame and recognition.


source: proactvoice.wordpress.com, Clear and Present danger: The Corporation is Systematically Sucking the Lifeblood Out of America

source: proactvoice.wordpress.com, Clear and Present danger: The Corporation is Systematically Sucking the Lifeblood Out of America


In 1824, he ran for President against John Quincy Adams. All together, there were four candidates, and no one got enough votes to win. The House of Representatives appointed John Q. Adams as President, and Andrew Jackson was furious, feeling like the voices of the people had not been heard. At that point he vowed to rid the country of the electoral college, a sentiment I’ve shared a time or two!

Andrew Jackson quote-it-is-to-be-regretted-that-the-rich-and-powerful-too-often-bend-the-acts-of-government-to-their-own-andrew-jackson-92179
Andrew Jackson was elected President of the People; the first of the Democratic party, in 1828. He was the first President to open the White House to the public. He investigated the administrators of Government controlled agencies like the postal service among others. It did not make him popular among the insiders, who thought their positions and power were secure. Jackson even called the Second National Bank a monopoly, and vetoed a bill passed by congress extending their charter for another four years. He diverted the money to banks in the States. The people loved him, and readily reelected him in 1832. The other politicians didn’t like him half as much, accusing him of being rude and manipulative. On January 30, 1835, a man named Richard Lawrence attempted to assassinate Andrew Jackson, but his gun misfired! This was the first attempt to kill a sitting President in our country. Lawrence was an out of work house painter. He said he blamed Andrew Jackson, for his loss of work, due to his dealings with the bank, and that only if Andrew Jackson died would money flow again!

When Andrew Jackson retired from his Presidency, he retired to his Presidential home in Nashville,Tennessee, named “The Hermitage”. Today the home is a beautifully restored piece of history we are told, and I for one would like to visit there. Although it tends to rank third behind Mount Vernon and Monticello for numbers of visitors, it is considered just as significant and beautiful as the others.
Just as Andrew Jackson’s personhood and Presidential practices were controversial, so are his genealogical ancestry records. For years, most experts named our 6th great-grandfather, Dr. Joseph Jackson, 1690- 1765 in Londonderry,Ireland, as the grandfather of our President. His father Andrew Bennett Jackson, 1737 is not in question. However, many more recent genealogists have made the case for one Hugh Jackson and his wife Elizabeth Creath as the grandparents of President Andrew Jackson. The Andrew Jackson Foundation which maintains Hermitage presents both lines of ancestors and states that the proof is still not conclusive to either line. In the second line, Andrew remains our 1st cousin, because the second ancestral line only changes the father of our grandfather David, not the brotherhood of him and Andrew Bennett. This family was surely well-connected, because earlier I wrote a blog post about David Jackson, my fifth great-grandfather, Uncle to the President (his father’s brother) who fought in the Revolutionary War with President George Washington, also a cousin of mine.(see this blog post)   From http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30167-President-Andrew-Jackson-belonged-to-haplogroup-I1, “Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), the seventh President of the United States, most probably belonged to haplogroup I1 based on results from the Jackson DNA Project. His genealogy shows that he is descended from Richard Jackson (1505-1562) from Killingsworth, Eske, Yorkshire, England. Several members (e.g. 93323, 188015, 222633) of this lineage have been tested and they all belong to I1-M253.” Our Hogue family who married into the Jackson family is also in Haplogroup 11, how interesting!

According to our family tradition, this is my/our relationship with President Andrew Jackson:


Andrew (7th Pres.) Jackson (1767 – 1845)

is your 1st cousin 6x removed

Andrew Bennett Jackson (1737 – 1767)

father of Andrew (7th Pres.) Jackson

DR JOSEPH JACKSON (1690 – 1765)

father of Andrew Bennett Jackson

David Jackson (1730 – 1811)


Mary Jackson (1754 – 1800)

daughter of David Jackson

Hugh (twin) Hogue (1788 – 1880)

son of Mary Jackson

Hugh Jackson Hogue (1825 – 1870)

son of Hugh (twin) Hogue

Robert Fulton Hogue Sr. (1850 – 1924)

son of Hugh Jackson Hogue

Helen Blanche Hogue (1881 – 1964)

daughter of Robert Fulton Hogue Sr.

Cecil Hogue Youngblood (1910 – 1988)

son of Helen Blanche Hogue

Helen Spear Youngblood Holshouser

You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood 


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Lewis Jacob Youngblood, 1846-1919, Civil War Cavalryman–52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #44



Lewis Jacob Youngblood was my great-grandfather. My direct Youngblood cousins are all descendants of this man, and we are a large group. Some of us have known each other all of our lives, while others have just met in the last year or so. Lewis and his wife Clara B. Spear  not only have great-grandchildren, but 5th great-grandchildren living as of the date of this writing, November 4, 2014. It is so exciting to have cousins come together to share their knowledge and memorabilia from Lewis J. Youngblood, so that all the current and future descendants  may enjoy knowing about their grandfather. 

Although none of us alive today  actually met Lewis Jacob Youngblood,  we knew some of his children, and we heard the stories of his life, so we know a few things about him. We know he must have been brave, because as soon as he was 18 years old, he joined the New Jersey Cavalry, and fought throughout the rest of the Civil War. We know he was smart, because after the war, he worked as a tax collector for the federal government–dreaded in the South! I imagine he must have had a toughness about him, as his move to the South after the Civil War and his buying a farm in the Petersburg, Virginia area, earned him the title of “carpetbagger”.  This was the derogatory name applied to the many northerners who moved South after the Civil War with all their belongings in carpetbags. They came for the opportunity to buy land which had become cheap from people who had become poor because their Confederate money was worthless,  and their huge farms often couldn’t be worked without slave labor.  His community didn’t like him we are told. When he went to church at Gary’s  Methodist Church, no one wanted to sit near him and would usually move to a different place in the church! Feelings from the Civil War ran deep, and he was a Yankee in Rebel territory.


Lewis was the son of  Jacob Youngblood, 1807-1869, and his wife Mariah Charlotte Cooper, both of whom were born in New Jersey, USA.  Jacob’s father, John H. Youngblood, was the first Youngblood emigrant to America, in this line. He arrived from Germany where the name was spelled Jungblut/Jungblot. We are looking forward to the day when our genealogical research identifies John’s parents and place of birth.  Mariah Charlotte Cooper is often found spelled Maria or Moriah as well.  However, family stories clearly identify her as Mariah.  In fact, Lewis Jacob named his first daughter Mariah after his mother of course, and his second child, a son James Cooper Youngblood, again after his mother. 

Jacob and Mariah had six children including Lewis Jacob, the focus of this story.  They were James C. Youngblood, 1841-1897, Emma born in 1844, Lewis Jacob 1846-1919, Laura E. born in 1851,  John J. born in 1853, and Hattie born in 1858. These childrens’ stories will be told at another date.  

As we know, Lewis joined the Union Armed Forces when he was eligible to do so at age 18.  He must have been a skilled horseman, because by then, the Union was testing their Cavalry recruits for superior horsemanship.  They would have to concentrate on fighting, handling their horse had to come second nature to them.  We know from his military records that Lewis enlisted as an 18-year-old Private in the New Jersey Cavalry, 2nd Regiment, Company E.  From records gathered on ancestry.com, we can not only see that he enlisted on 5 September, 1864, but that he mustered out on 29 June, 1865 at Vicksburg, Mississippi.  The source of this information is the Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War 1861-65, and  Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.  Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works.Copyright 1997-2009, Historical Data Systems, Inc. PO Box  Duxbury, MA 02331. 

Furthermore, we can actually find out  in what battles our grandfather fought .  We learn that the 2nd Cavalry of New Jersey participated in many battles before Lewis was old enough to join their ranks. Exactly seven days after Lewis joined his Cavalry, on Sept 12, 1864, his Cavalry was engaged in a battle in Memphis, Tenn.! He was 18 years old, and only one week in the Cavalry.  Was he excited, scared to death? I cannot imagine! The following information lists other battles Lewis participated in and tells us the story of their experiences. 

-Fought on 12 Sep 1864 at Memphis, TN.

- Fought on 13 Sep 1864 at Memphis, TN.

- Fought on 5 Oct 1864 at Memphis, TN.

- Fought on 24 Dec 1864

- Fought on 26 Dec 1864

- Fought on 28 Dec 1864 at Egypt Station, MS.

- Fought on 18 Feb 1865 at Mississippi.

- Fought on 28 Apr 1865 at Clayton, AL.

(also known as the NJ 32nd Infantry)
Second Cavalry.-Col., Joseph Karge; Lieut.-Cols., Marcus
L. W. Kitchen, P. Jones Yorker Majs., Frederick B. Revere,
Peter D. Vroom, Jr., Philip L. Van Rensselaer. This regiment
was recruited in the summer of 1863 and left Trenton for
Washington on Oct. 5 of that year, reaching the capital on the
following day with 890 men. On Oct. 17 Co. A was attacked by
Mosby at Fairfax, Va., and the company was routed, the captain,
with 2 sergeants and 1 private being taken prisoners and 1
corporal wounded and left on the field. Being transferred to
the southwest, the first skirmish of importance took place at
Iuka, Miss., where two companies of the regiment encountered a
force of the enemy and drove it through the place, losing 1 man
killed. On Dec. 6, a change in the plan of operations in that
quarter having been determined upon, the regiment was
transferred by steamer to Columbus, Ky., whence, on the 15th,
it proceeded to Union City, Tenn., where it was placed in the
cavalry brigade commanded by Col. Waring, of the 4th Mo.
cavalry. In Jan., 1864, the command moved forward rapidly
without encountering the enemy in any force, but meeting and
dispersing small gangs of guerrillas, until the 2nd Jersey,
having the advance, came into collision with and routed a force
of hostile cavalry near Aberdeen, Miss., the same evening
occupying Prairie Station and destroying an immense quantity of
corn, together with cotton and other property belonging to the
Confederate government. The regiment, still advancing,
skirmished for some hours with Forrest’s cavalry, finally
reaching the vicinity of West Point, about 100 miles north of
Meridian, where Sherman’s cooperating column had already
arrived. The following day it was also engaged and on Feb. 22
it participated in a fierce conflict at Okolona. On April 10,
Maj. Yorke, with 300 men of the regiment, was sent against the
enemy in the vicinity of Raleigh, Tenn., some distance north of
Memphis, and coming up with the hostile force bravely charged
into its midst, driving it into its brigade camp, after
inflicting severe loss in killed and prisoners. The regiment
also participated in the fight at Bolivar, Tenn., and lost in
the engagement 2 killed and 6 wounded. The conduct of the
regiment in the disastrous affair at Guntown, Miss., both in
the main action and on the retreat, was creditable in the
highest degree, but it suffered heavily, losing 8 officers and
130 men out of 17 officers and 350 men taken into action. On
July 11, with other troops, it moved in search of the enemy
encountering him at Port Gibson, Miss., and losing in the
combat which ensued, through alleged mismanagement, 2 men
killed and Lieut. Braun, 26 men and 2 guidons captured. Two
days afterward, at an early hour in the morning, the enemy in
some force made a sharp assault upon the Union picket line,
pressing it with equal vigor along the entire front but the
assailants were promptly met and after an hour’s fighting were
driven in confusion. Being ordered into Arkansas and
disembarking at Osceola, the command crossed a swamp some 18
miles in length, the mud and water reaching to the saddle-
girths of the horses, to Big lake, where after some brisk
firing a Confederate train consisting of some 18 wagons, loaded
with over 900 stand of arms of approved pattern, together with
11 prisoners and 2 commissioned officers, was captured.
Reaching Verona, Miss., on Dec. 25, the command at once charged
gallantly on the enemy, who was completely surprised and
offered but a feeble resistance, most of them escaping into the
timber under cover of the darkness leaving as spoils, eight
buildings filled with fixed ammunition, estimated at 30 tons,
5,000 stands of new carbines, 8,000 sacks of shelled corn, a
large quantity of wheat, an immense amount of quartermaster
stores, clothing camp and garrison equipage, a train of cars
and a large number of army weapons which had been captured by
Forrest from Gen. Sturgis during the latter’s disastrous
expedition in June. The regiment also participated in the
fight at Egypt Station, in which 74 men and over 80 horses of
the 2nd N. J. were killed or wounded. The regiment returned by
steamer to Memphis, having lost during the entire expedition 19
men killed, 69 wounded and 2 missing, and 155 horses and mules
killed or disabled. The regiment was finally mustered out on
Nov. 1, 1865. (This was also known as the 32nd N. J.
Source: The Union Army, vol

Source Information

Historical Data Systems, comp. American Civil War Regiments [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works. Copyright 1997-2000
Historical Data Systems, Inc.
PO Box 35
Duxbury, MA 023.

This is all very exciting, and quite amazing to find in my opinion, but we have more! Lewis kept his saber that he used in the Cavalry, his Spencer’s Repeating Rifle, and his original discharge papers from the New Jersey Cavalry of the Civil War, signed at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and dated 29 July, 1865. He gave these items to his sons, James Cooper Youngblood, 1875-1935, and Lewis H. Youngblood, 1889-1953. They in turn passed these treasured historic items down to their children! One more generation, the heirlooms were passed down again, and yet they survive and remain in the family! I had the opportunity to touch the discharge papers last weekend when visiting my cousin, Kay Youngblood Fuller who is the owner of this 149 year old document! Her sister, Susan Youngblood Rawls owns the rifle! Lewis H. Youngblood III owns the saber! Lewis, Kay and Susan have generously provided pictures for us so that we can all share in the treasures left by our great-grandfather! It is quite exciting to me, to look at these pictures and imagine our grandfather’s hands touching these items as well. The weapons may have saved his life, we don’t know. If not, we would not have been born, because he didn’t marry and start building his family until after the war! Our lives hung in the balance of his skills on his horse, with his sword, his rifle, and in his courage. I have never liked the idea of war. Having grown up a Southerner, it is hard for me to think of being glad this man may have fought other relatives of mine and that they might have hurt each other. Such conflict, can you imagine if you were alive at that time, and your family were split as we know happened? Very sad. 

 I included the pictures of the weapons and the discharge papers  with the soldiers’ pictures so that you could see how they were worn and used. The Spencer’s Repeating Rifle was made in Boston I have learned, and was the Northern Weapon. the Sabers were more often used by the Yankees as well. They were not real sharp on the sides of the blade, for they were not designed to slice the flesh, but almost as clubs to break arms and ribs! The ends were sharp however, allowing the soldier to stab his opponent.  There are two very interesting articles written about the Cavalrymen where I found this and a lot more information in Wikipedia and they can be found at these links:

“List of Weapons in the American Civil War” and  “Calvary in the American Civil War”

Having these heirlooms in the family is an amazing treasure. We can see, touch, and learn so very much about our Grandfather and our history through these objects, awesome! Before we part, I want to list Lewis Jacob Youngblood and his wife Clara B. Spear’s children for you. Then I want to include relationship charts for the owners of these historic items as well. I am happy to do this for anyone in our family, just let me know if I can help. 

 Lewis Jacob Youngblood and wife Clara B. Spear had nine children, all born in Petersburg, Virginia. 

Mariah Youngblood b. 1871, married Wade H. Temple

James Cooper Youngblood, 1875-1935 married Georgeanna Rodgers

Mabel Youngblood, 1878-1957, married Rudolph Beck

Ella Youngblood, b. 1880, married Edward Stanley Parker

Edwin Spear Youngblood, 1882-1943 married Helen Blanche Hogue

Gertrude Youngblood, 1884-1965 married Frank Bonner McCann

Clara Youngblood, 1887-1904, died age 7

Lewis H. Youngblood, 1889-1953, married Lillian Moore

Russell Calvin Youngblood, 1895-1958 married Martha Tally


Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your great-grandfather
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
son of James Cooper Youngblood
Kathryn Anne Youngblood Fuller  and sister Susan Youngblood Rawls
You are the daughters of James Cooper Youngblood -
Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your great-grandfather
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
son of Lewis H. Youngblood
You are the son of Lewis Howerton Youngblood, Jr
Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your great-grandfather
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
son of Edwin Spear Youngblood
You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood -


 How about a longer line, this may be one of the longest so far. 
Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your 5th great-grandfather
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
daughter of Edwin Spear Youngblood
daughter of Helen Marie Youngblood
daughter of Grace Marie Webb
daughter of Vicky Lynn Wingo
daughter of Tracy Jarvis
You are the son of Courtney Pender

This gallery contains 3 photos


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