Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 30 May 2015.
My family does not stay in one place for long which makes tracing them a challenge. As I mentioned in my last blog, my husband and my family also tends to migrate in circles. -I’m still in Harbaugh Country but I’m thinking about the odd way I discovered this phenomena with my Duer family.
I had traced my paternal grandmother’s line back to a Maria Dure with the help of some distant cousins in the late 1990’s but I hit a brick wall with Maria and was unable to discover who her parents were. My cousins said she was German which made sense as Maria married Henry John Kuhn Jr. who was born in Germany 3 Dec 1831.1 I tried to obtain a death certificate, probate records, cemetery records, and obituary for Maria hoping that a clue would be uncovered as to her parentage but nothing was available electronically. Then, online trees started showing Maria as the daughter of a John Duer and Mary Cook in Mahoning, Ohio. I wasn’t sure if my Maria was John and Mary’s daughter so in April 2010 I emailed a “cousin,” Edward Duer Whitley, about a posting I had found on Genforum. Ed informed me that I had spelled Maria’s last name wrong – reversing the last two letters (Dure should be Duer). He mentioned that he had been searching for Maria’s line for years as he had updated all of her siblings but had been unable to trace her. That was because Maria and her spouse had relocated to Mercer County, Ohio. Ed gave me his electronic tree going back to Robert Dure (1563-1617) who spelled his name the way I had spelled Maria’s. I don’t know why I had the original and not the most recent spelling. Perhaps Maria’s children had remembered the original name and that was what was passed down my line. Some mysteries we will never solve! Ed and I had only corresponded for a few weeks when I lost contact with him. I never discovered what happened and assumed he died as he was 93 years old. I know in genealogy we shouldn’t assume anything but he was up there in years, and then just disappeared. Since Ed had not made his tree public, it was fortunate that I had contacted him when I did or his years of work may have been lost. (My next blog will be about disappearing data!) I have entered all the information Ed shared with me on my public Main Tree on Ancestry. What was truly odd, though, was the timing of this find.
Maria’s great great grandfather, Thomas Stone Duer, was christened 29 Sep 1663 in Charleton, Devonshire, England.2 He emigrated with his maternal Uncle George Stone to Philadelphia in 1683.3 Thank goodness he was a Quaker so there’s wonderful records of Thomas and his wife, Elinor “Ellen” Beans (Bayne/ Bane) but I will save Ellen’s story for another day.
Thomas and Ellen had a son, Thomas, born 7 Mar 1702 in Falls, Buck, Pennsylvania.4 From the Duer Bible, Thomas married in 1729 but the Bible does not list his wife’s name.5 Ed discovered she was Mary Ann Hollinshead, born 11 May 1712 in St. Michaels, Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies, the daughter of Daniel and Ann Alexander Hollingshead. Ann died in Feb 1715 in Barbados.6 Why was the family in the West Indies? Daniel was in Barbados as an indentured servant.7 After Ann’s death, he remarried, completed the terms of his servitude, and moved with his family to New Jersey where he died in 1730.8
Why move to New Jersey? That I haven’t yet proven but I do know that while in New Jersey a strange family event occurred. “Daniel Hollinshead was born in Leicestershire, England in 1683. He was one of several brothers, one of whom was Captain under the Duke of Marlborough and was killed at the Battle of Blenheim. One of his brothers was a merchant in Boston, of him, he used to relate the following incident: While riding along the road at a distance from home, he overtook a person traveling the same way: They entered into conversation and after some time discovered that to their great joy, they were brothers. They had not seen each other since childhood. This brother had been shipwrecked on his passage from London to Boston and had lost the whole of his fortune. He went with his brother to his home in New Jersey where he then lived, obtained a public office, and died in Sussex County in 17–.”9
To sum up, Daniel Hollin(g)shead moved from his birthplace of Leicestershire, England to Barbados, West Indies as an indentured servant and then to Sussex, New Jersey where he died. He met his long lost brother who traveled from England to Boston, after being shipwrecked somewhere, and then on to Sussex, New Jersey.
Yes, this is a weird chance meeting but what I find odder is my own child’s migration route 300 years later.
My oldest left Florida to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. During a January term, she visited friends in England who were attending Cambridge University and there she finalized her decision of where she wanted to attend medical school. Upon her graduation from MIT, our daughter moved to Grenada, West Indies. Why? As an International Baccalaureate graduate she insisted she wanted an international medical school experience. The medical school, St. Georges, is based on Long Island, New York. As I’ve noted in my previous posts, the early founding families of Long Island were my husband’s lines, along with his family connections with the Caribbean and the Dutch West Indies Company (see Motherhood and the Brain blog 10 May 2015). Our daughter did not choose the school based on previous family connections to the area, rather her decision was based on its strong international curriculum. St. George’s students spend the first two years in Grenada, West Indies and the last two years either in the US or England. She selected her last two years to be in Morristown, New Jersey. We have no relatives in New Jersey so why pick Morristown? At the time of her decision we didn’t even know where Morristown was located in New Jersey. She said she was drawn to it after speaking with fellow students who knew the area.
Even stranger, at the time of her decision I made the comment to a coworker in Florida that our daughter was relocating to New Jersey. Turns out, he happened to have been the former principal of Morristown High School. Truly, it’s a small world after all!
But before continuing on, let’s review my family’s migration patterns: We know our daughter was not the first in the family to move from Boston and the West Indies to New Jersey. If you take into consideration her student loans, she’s not even the first indentured servant in the family. But moving to Sussex, New Jersey is not the same as moving to Morristown, New Jersey. Well, the family travels will take another twist!
Thomas and Mary Ann Hollingshead Duer had a son, John, who married Susannah Miller in Sussex, New Jersey in 1773.10 After Thomas served in the New Jersey Militia during the American Revolution, he and Susannah relocated to, you guessed it, Hanover Township, Morris County, New Jersey.11 Thomas and Susannah are my daughter’s 5 great grandparents. We did not know this relationship until a year after she was residing in an apartment that was built on the former site of the military encampment where her 5th great grandfather was housed during the American Revolution. Our daughter is a DAR but not through this line which we had not
1United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
2Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection – Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001
3Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2012.
4Hinshaw, William Wade. Marshall, Thomas Worth, comp. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Supplement to Volume 1. Washington, D.C.: n.p. 1948.
5Editor. Literary Era, Vol. III, 1896, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Repository: 486-7, Print.
6Sanders, Joanne McRee. English Settlers in Barbados, 1637-1800. S.l.: Brøderbund, 1999. Print.
7England, Terri. Indentured Servants on Barbados Bristol Servants: A-F. N.p.: n.p., 2002. Print.
8Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection – Deaths [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
9“The Hollinsheads.” Our Ancestors, A Genealogical & Biographical Magazine, 2.2 (1882): n. pag. Print.
10“The Henry B. Baldwin Genealogical Records.” Publication: File OR919.3B193r, (26 Jun 2010): Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio.
11Jackson, Ronald V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. New Jersey Census, 1643-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.