Who Were the Immigrant Ancestors? # 5 George Westfall and ???

I’m on a mission to identify the immigrant ancestors in my family and my husband’s family.

These are the questions I’m asking:
* Who were our ancestors who first immigrated to the United States?
* How many of them have I already identified?
* Did the family follow a pattern of family reunification (what is being described negatively as chain migration) with one person or family arriving, getting settled, and sponsoring a family member or family unit?
* Can I determine (or make a good guess) about why they left their native country?
* How might our ancestors have fared if a merit-based policy had been in place at the time?

It was easy – so easy! – to identify the immigrant ancestors in my Grandmother Eveline’s line. Her parents! Joseph Coates. Mary Ann Harris. Mary Ann’s parents William Harris and Celia Jenkins. Easy peasy.

Turning to the line of Eveline’s husband, my grandfather Thomas Hoskins – I can only identify one: George Westfall (or Westall), my 4th great-grandfather.

“History of Perry County, Ohio” written in 1838, includes a biographical sketch of John W. Westfall, grandson of George.
” … George Westall, was born in London, England, and after a 42 days voyage, full of peril, landed in Rockingham county, Virginia, in time to serve in the Continental army as a drummer.”

Sometimes you have to take these county history bios with a grain of salt, but I tend to believe the naming of a grandparent as an immigrant. I looked some yesterday for a record of George serving as a drummer in the Continental army, but haven’t come up with anything to verify that yet.

It was finding transcribed letters online between George’s daughter, Hester Jane Westfall (my 3rd great-grandmother) and her sons that gave me the genealogy bug years ago. Thank you, Hester Jane and whoever kept those letters for posterity!

The rest of the immigrant ancestors in my grandfather Hoskins line are a mystery to me.

3rd great-grandfather John Franklin Bryan (married to George Westfall’s daughter) was born in 1794 in VA.

I have a 4th great-grandfather Jones Stokes born about 1775 in VA.

And I have a 3rd great-grandmother Mary Keeling born about 1794 in VA.

It’s the end of the line for now identifying the immigrant ancestors in my mother’s family line.

So a review of my mom’s family for immigrant ancestors yielded two “recent” coal mining immigrant families from England, some folks born here before 1800, one “confirmed” immigrant who may have arrived young enough to be a drummer boy for the Continental Army, and a bunch of unknowns.

Many of these families arrived before there was a formal immigration/documentation requirement.

I have one old photo from this side of the family: Jones Stokes’ granddaughter, Sarah Stokes. She was my 2nd great-grandmother.

The search continues …

Who were the Immigrants?
Who were the Immigrants? #1 Joseph Coates
Who were the Immigrants? #2 Mary Ann Harris, #3 William Harris, #4 Celia Jenkins

New Bible Records Page

DSCN1906I may not be writing, but I’m doing a little organizing. A couple of days ago I added a landing page for my great-uncle, Fred Myron Webber. Today I added a landing page for Bible records.

The page for the Joseph Coates Bible has only one linked post, but I did a series of posts about the Bible belonging to my second great-grandparents George Washington Bryan and Sarah Bryan nee Stokes.

I had a couple more posts planned, but chemotherapy messed with my brain and I never finished. I’ll get back to it one of these days. In the meantime, all of the posts now live happily together on their own page.

By the way, my favorites are:
Bryan Family Bible – To Honor a Life
Bryan Family Bible – A Strand of Hair that Matches Mine

Sepia Saturday – Can I Count This?

Sepia Sat 27 July 2013Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

How can I not participate in Sepia Saturday this week? Five of the images that make up the collage/prompt for today are pictures I took of the Bryan Family Bible – a Bible that belonged to my ancestors – George Washington Bryan and his wife Sarah Stokes.

DSCN3129I was in a blogging slump due to some weird symptoms I was having so, just to get back into the habit of blogging again, I decided that this Bible would give me the focus I needed. I let the Sepia Saturday Facebook group know that I would not be participating for a while, but had found something I could do. Somehow my comment and first post about the Bible morphed into the prompt for this week.

I had no plan in mind as I started blogging about the Bible and just wrote about whatever interested me at the moment. I’ve gotten sidetracked again by some personal things, so for Sepia Saturday, I ask that you visit one of my previous posts:

Treasure Chest Thursday – Bryan Family Bible: introduced the Bible and includes the pictures above. George Washington Bryan and Sarah Stokes were my 2nd great grandparents.
The Best Laid Plans:  I wish I hadn’t published this, so don’t bother. My point was to get myself blogging again and I did, but this one should have remained unpublished because I didn’t fully think it through.
To Honor a Life: In this post, I discovered what I believe was the catalyst for the family to begin recording events in the Bible.
George Washington Bryan Wrote Here – I Think: I made a case for identifying one handwriting style as belonging to George Washington Bryan.
Just the Facts, Ma’am: after discovering what a goofy post the second one is, I decided to stick to pictures of the writing in the Bible and a transcription.
A Strand of Hair That Matches Mine: There were several items tucked between the pages of the Bible. One is a strand of hair that closely matches a lock of hair I saved from the fourth grade.
Family Relationships Explained: The transcript and writing in the Bible are put in the context of family relationships and I followed what I think is the provenance of the Bible.

I have a few more ideas to pursue with the Bible. There are the rest of the items that were between the pages of the book…. I think I might be able to make reasonable guesses about who one or two of the other handwriting samples belonged to….  When I went through the Bible, I also noted all of the passages that had been underlined or had notations beside them – wondering if I could gain any insight from them.

I apologize for not fully participating this week, but it’s the best I can do for now.

Please visit other contributors to Sepia Saturday.