St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, June 16, 2008

1864 Will Located for Widow of a Patriot

There goes the phone again. Here it comes with a new find.

One of my cousins, who always delights me with his now famous, "I've found something," called and relayed the welcome news. Today, I received the news via snail mail.

He has found the 1864 probated will of Margaret Harbsion Moffitt Simmons. Margaret was born c. 1795, the daughter of American Scout John Harbison and wife, Massey White. Massey's story in itself is fascinating. She was kidnapped by Indians, escaped, came back to Pittsburgh area, and gave invaluable information to the locals regarding the Indians and some local supporters of the Crown. Massey even has a Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter named in her honor in Pennsylvania.

Margaret first married a Mofftt but is quickly widowed. She then becomes the third wife of John Simmons (1761-1843). Her will has been published in a recent book about Pennsylvania Revolutionary War pensions. Now we have her death date (March 9, 1964)! Now we know more!

Now we have more mysteries to solve! Her will mentions land in Iowa? She gives this land to her daughter. I have always assumed this eldest child of hers was from her first marriage. Did the daughter move to Iowa? Did she sell the land? How did they get this land? Was it given to her husband? So many questions.

The big surprise in her will was the mention of two children of which I was unaware. The order on the will leads me to suspect one of them was from her first husband, and the other was with John. I've even got a husband to go with this name! Time to search again in Wasington Co, PA, for this new name.

I still don't know where she is buried. Was she buried in Wheeling, WV, with her husband who died in 1843 or was she buried in Washington, PA? So far, all of my stone turnings have not turned her up.

I'm off to investigate land deeds in Iowa now. How far will my search lead me? How much will I learn? I've certainly learned history on two continents during my tenure in genealogy and have gained an even deeper appreciation of early America.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some Elusive Headlines Uncovered

Thought you'd want to know that is offering free access
to their historical newspaper collection through June 19. They have
recently doubled the collection.

Looking for me until then? I'll have my nose stuck in the papers of
old digging for those elusive kinsmen of mine.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Photos of Stinchcomb and Turner Families

There are several photos available to descendants of the STINCHCOMB and TURNER families of early Fayette County, GA. The owner of these photos has graciously offered to share them with any who may be interested.

Let me know if you are interested and I'll get you in touch.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Stinchcomb Cemetery

Nathaniel and Susannah Stinchcomb

It was a beautiful late May day when I took the golf cart over to the Stinchcomb Family Cemetery, which is located just east of Lake Peachtree in Peachtree City. There are only a few marked graves in the well kept plot, which can be found just off of Hwy 54 and adjacent to a cart path.

The largest monument is for Nathaniel and his wife. Nathaniel was the son of Absolom STINCHCOMB and Mary PENN. In the 1833 Elbert Co, GA, will of Absolom, he gives one half of his land which he drew in the GA land lottery to Nathaniel. The actual location is designated as "number 101 in the sixth district."

For those researching the STINCHCOMB family, Absolom and Mary were married in 1785 in Amherst Co, VA. Mary was the daughter of Philip PENN. Early family lore placed Mary as a niece of William PENN, but research by family members find evidence that Philip PENN (b. 1736) was a son of George and Ann.

I have not researched any further into the PENN family lines. According to a John M Penn, there are no living descendants of the founder William PENN with the PENN surname by about 1860 in America.

Go out and photograph old grave stones. Each of them have a story to tell, and some of them will send you on a journey into history.