Published March 5, 2017

Nicholas Cresswell was a young British man who traveled to the American colonies in 1774, stayed for about three years, and recorded his experiences in a diary. In April of 1775, he had made his way to what is now western Pennsylvania. On April 15th, he wrote “Crossed Jacob’s Creek…

Read More A grisly sight on the banks of the Monongahela

Published January 30, 2017

In the early 20th century, men were often in the majority in co-ed colleges. In my grandfather’s graduating class of 1919 however, he was the only man. This unusual situation was due to world events of the time. Frank F. Jordan was a young man from Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. His…

Read More The male minority

Published May 6, 2015

My 4th great-grandfather was Henry Jordan (1755-1847). He came to the US from Germany, as a Hessian soldier paid by the British government during the Revolutionary War. The family story was that he was captured after the Battle of Trenton in December of 1776 and joined the American army. In…

Read More Henry Jordan and The Affair at Little Egg Harbor

Published April 25, 2015

  Through the Daniels family, my mother’s western Pennsylvania family is descended from the interesting and colorful Beebe family of Long Island. Samuel Beebe (1631-1712) left Broughton, Northamptonshire, England in 1650, sailing to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. After settling for a time in New London, Connecticut, he eventually ended up…

Read More The infamous King Beebe

Published April 5, 2015

One of the founding fathers of the United States was an ancestor on my mother’s family tree, named Robert Coles. He connects to my maternal ancestors of Western Pennsylvania through his daughter Ann, who married into the Townsend family of Long Island. Robert came to the American colonies with the…

Read More Robert Coles – skeletons in the colonial closet

Published March 1, 2015

As the northeast United States experiences record cold temperatures this winter, I have been reading about how the brutally freezing European winter of 1709 led to the immigration of a number of my ancestors from the southwest area of Germany known as the Palatine region. The surnames of Palatine Germans…

Read More Cold enough for you?

Published January 25, 2015

One of the US’s fears during the War of 1812 was that the British would invade the Great Lakes region and move down through Ohio to the Mississippi River, thus gaining easy access to much of the mid-west. After Fort Detroit fell to the British, General (later President) William Henry…

Read More Fort Meigs and the War of 1812

Published October 2, 2014

My mother’s family tree is composed primarily of German, English, and Scotch Irish ancestors who came to the US as far back as the 1600s. They eventually settled in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, but the earliest immigrants among them started out in New England and Long Island. After reading…

Read More The Townsends of Oyster Bay and Washington’s spy ring