Friday, July 14, 2017

Indiana Pioneer - Noah Beauchamp

Indiana pioneer Noah Beauchamp who moved his family into the Indiana Territory around 1813, settled in Franklin County.

Noah Beauchamp was born in Maryland in 1785 and moved with the family to Kentucky in the 1790s. He married and left Kentucky for Ohio in 1804. The Beauchamps lived in Montgomery County until they eventually left for the Indiana Territory.

Noah purchased land in Section 24 of what was to become Connersville on December 14, 1812. It is most likely that his family would have moved  after his wife Elizabeth had her baby Mary who was born on March 13, 1813. Noah very likely would have gone ahead of his family and cleared some land and built a cabin.

Noah remembered events years later, "I moved to the State of Indiana and purchased a quarter section of land adjoining the town of Connersville... and settled in the woods; made some improvements and then I traded off that place, and my last residence in that county, was on Williams' creek."

It was while living in Franklin County that he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 11th Indiana Regiment during the War of 1812. There are only two sources for this information. A 1900 book which was transcribed from the original hand written Executive Journal of Indiana Territory and another from 1901 by William Pratt, entitled The History of the National Guard of Indiana. In the Executive Journal of Indiana Noah is listed as, "Noah Beachan" and in The History of the National Guard of Indiana he is listed as "Noah Beacham."

According to Pratt many of the early records were lost or destroyed, "official papers relating to the early days of Indiana are few. Many were lost during the moving of the State government from one capital to another, and from one State House to another. A wagon load of these valuable old documents was sold as waste paper by a janitor who did not realize their value. The record of early days is necessarily incomplete."

So for hundreds of soldiers in these early days of Indiana there are either no records of their service or very few. The fact that Noah was appointed a lieutenant is the only reason it is known that he was even in the 11th Regiment because the order survives in the Executive Journal. He died in 1842, before pensions were offered, so he never applied for one. Pension applications and records are a great source of genealogical and historical information.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Randolph R. Harris (b. 1786)

Randolph R. Harris was born in 1786 in Warren Co., North Carolina. He was the son of James H. Harris and Mary Smilley/Smelley. The name is sometimes written as Smilling.

Randolph married Sarah Davis on November 9, 1809 in Warren Co., North Carolina. I believe they are listed in the November 15, 1810 Montgomery Co. Census under Randle Harris as head of the household.

Shortly after this they moved to Dickson Co., Tennessee where Randolph joined Capt. Michael Molton's Regiment in 1813 and fought in the Creek War.

They had several children, although, I know the name of only one for sure, who was born in 1815. He was John C. Harris who was born in Dickson Co., Tennessee.

The 1820 and 1830 census records indicate that Randolph and his family were still living in Dickson County.

In 1824, Randolph purchased goods at Drury Price's estate sale in Dickson County.

After 1830, I believe that Sarah died, for in 1840, the age of Randolph's wife, in the census record is recorded in the next age bracket down from Randolph's.

In February of 1839, a son Thomas H. Harris was born to Randolph and Molly his second wife. What Molly's last name was and when and where they were married is not known. It has been speculated that Mary was the daughter of former Guilford Co., North Carolina resident Thomas Archer who was a Tennessee land speculator in the early 1800s. This speculation is based on family papers that came down through the Harris line.

In 1840 Randolph R. Harris and his family are listed as living in Hardin Co., Tennessee.

By 1850, they are living in Fayette Co., TN and Randolph is just listed as R. R. Harris, his wife Molly is down as having been born in Tennessee circa 1797.

In 1856, Randolph was mentioned in the records as living in the Northeast corner of Fayette County.

Randolph is not listed in the Tennessee census for 1860, instead he and his wife Mary are listed in the 1860 Arkansas Census and are listed as living with T. A. Dixon and his wife Sarah J., who was their daughter, in Duncan Co., Arkansas. Their son Thomas H. Harris age 21 is also listed as living with them.

After this 1860 Census, Randolph disappears from the records. He must have died sometime after 1860.

In 1870 his widow Mary is living with her son Thomas H. Harris and his family in Fayette Co., Tennessee.

Thomas H. Harris was a soldier in the Civil War for the CSA from Fayette Co. later he removed back to Arkansas and died there in 1900.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Thomas Archer (1752-1818)

Thomas Archer may possibly be an ancestor or related to my Harris family. Some papers that were handed down through the Harris/Borgman line (John A. Borgman married Mary O. Harris) had the names of both Thomas Archer and John Hamilton. Thomas Archer married John's sister.

Since some of the papers were regarding the Revolutionary War and since most of them were concerning Thomas Archer of Guilford Co., North Carolina, I think it is safe to say that this description of an event during the Revolutionary War is regarding this Thomas Archer.

The incident that was related in Interesting Revolutionary Incidents: and Sketches of Character, Chiefly in the "Old North State" by the Rev. E. W. Caruthers took place on February 13, 1781.

"Tarleton says that, " on the road many skirmishes took place between the British and the American light troops;" and it is said by others that they seldom shot at each other except across a turn in the road or when crossing a stream of water, though they were often in sight and sometimes within rifle shot. Occasionally, however, when the British were pressing too closely on them, they found it necessary to skirmish a little; and in such cases, as Williams, was on the retreat, he could generally select his own ground. On one occasion of this kind, according to favorable tradition, having drawn up the whole of his men in a position, he made show of fight, and appeared very determined on making a stout resistance. The British, thinking they had not force enough to encounter him, sent back for two pieces of artillery and a reinforcement of men. In the corps of Williams was a singular genius, by the name of Tom Archer, from the north-west corner of Guilford county, who, with some others, had probably joined them at Martinville, for the occasion. He was not remarkable for strength of intellect, but had some other qualities which admirably fitted him for the ever varying scenes of that arduous and perilous march. Rather above the medium height and well proportioned, bony, muscular and vigorous, he was always in his place and always ready for service. Though constantly on fatigue and exposed every hour to the most imminent dangers, he never complained or became discouraged. Frank and open hearted, with a good share of ready wit, and a good flow of spirits, he was the life of his comrades, and contributed not a little to their patient endurance of the toils and perils of the march. Inflexible in his purpose, when he thought he was right, and enthusiastic in the cause of freedom, rough in his manners, blunt in his language and never caring whether he "murdered the king's English," and made "Irish bulls," all the time or not, he was ever ready to be on the "forlorn hope," or take his turn at any kind of service. If to the above characteristics we add a great catfish mouth, a big stentorian voice, and a bushy head of hair that would hardly thank you for a hat, you have Tom Archer before you as large as life; and probably the reader will think with the writer that, in some situations at least, such a man would be a very desirable friend; but, at all times, a most undesirable enemy; or in other words, that he would, if not wronged or provoked in any way, be as clever a fellow as could be found in his sphere of life, ready to divide his last ration with a comrade or risk his life for a friend, but would "fight his weight in wild cats" before he would suffer any man or any set of men to trample on his rights. Hunting had been his delight from the time he was old enough to "draw a bead;" and, with his fine rifle, which he always carried and always kept in good order, he hardly ever missed his aim at any distance within two hundred yards.

When the artillery was brought up to its position in the road, Archer stepped out into the middle of he road, directly in front of the guns, and hailed them at the top of his big, strong voice, "Hallo, there— Mister, I wish you would take that ugly thing out of the road, or it may cause some trouble yet before all is over;" and then turning his head over his shoulder, said, to an officer standing by, "Captain, may I shoot that cussed rascal? for he has no business there, no how."

"No," said the captain, "not yet—wait till they are ready to apply the match; for we want to detain them as long as we can."

The enemy, of course, if they heard him at all, paid no attention, as they would take him for a drunken fool or some crack-brained mortal; but while the preparations were making—Williams bringing up and marshalling his men, and the British doing the same—Archer stepped to the side of the road and stood there leaning against a tree, resting his gun with the butt on the ground, and in perfect silence, as if in a " brown study," or anticipating the pleasure of the feat which he expected to perform, and keeping his eye steadily fixed on that " ugly thing," in the road. He had full confidence both in the gun and in himself; and having now a good opportunity as he thought, he was anxious to make another trial. Fear, was a word which had no place in his vocabulary, and he was probably never more composed in his life, but waited for leave to shoot, with as much impatience as he ever waited for a fine buck to come along when pursued by the hounds. The time was short—a very few minutes; and when he thought they were nearly ready to apply the match, he stepped out into the middle of the road and hailed them again. "Hallo, there—Mister, I say you had better take that thing out of the road, or I'll be hanged if I don't shoot some of you." Then turning to the officer, said as before, "Captain, may I shoot that cussed rascal now; for tellin' don't do him one bit o' good?"

"Yes," said the captain, "and as quick as you can, for we have no time to lose."

Having got permission, he clapped his rifle up against the side of the tree and taking sure aim with the quickness of an experienced hunter, and at the distance of about two hundred yards, when the gun cracked, a "red coat" fell. Then vaulting into the saddle, they all dashed off at full speed; and being favored by a hollow or a turn in the road, they had just time to get beyond the reach of the grape shot before the "big gun," was fired. By this manoeuvring on the part of Williams the enemy were probably detained an hour or two, which was no small advantage to the retreating army.

The above anecdote I had, some years ago, from what I consider good authority, and the character of Archer is well known in this community. There are many yet living who, when they were young, were well acquainted with him and they all, when asked, gave me the same account. One old gentleman replied to my inquiry with a laugh, that he had just sense enough to be "fool hardy;" but then he went on to give me his character more seriously, which agreed perfectly with that given by many others. He had considerable military spirit and got some office, that of captain, or one of lower grade; but it was found that, with a courage that feared nothing, he lacked discretion."

Another incident regarding this same Archer, I believe, is recorded in a Revolution War pension application by William Gipson. He relates, “That sometime in the summer of 1779, at one WILLIAM BRAZELTON’s in Guilford County, he and his party were in the house, when suddenly two armed men stood at the door. They, seeing the party within, immediately wheeled, and Colonel MOORE knocked down one of the men, who proved to be the notorious HUGH MCPHERSON, a Tory. His party soon took the other one, who proved to be one CAMPBELL and brother to the CAMPBELL taken prisoner and made his escape during the first campaign above related. His party took both of these Tories to Guilford Courthouse, about fifteen miles from the place of capturing them. There, a court-martial was held, composed of the officers of his party, and MCPHERSON was condemned and shot in the presence of this applicant. And CAMPBELL was condemned to be spicketed, that is, he was placed with one foot upon a sharp pin drove in a block, and was turned round by one THOMAS ARCHER, to the best of his recollection, until the pin run through his foot. Then he was turned loose.

This applicant cannot forbear to relate that as cruel as this punishment might seem to be to those who never witnessed the unrelenting cruelties of the Tories of that day, yet he viewed the punishment of those two men with no little satisfaction, as they were then supposed to belong to the identical band who inhumanly inflicted corporal punishment upon his helpless parent, who had committed no other offense than that of earnestly exhorting her sons to be true to the cause of American liberty.

My speculation is that Randolph R. Harris married into the Archer/Hamilton family, possibly marrying a daughter of Thomas Archer since both Archer and Harris came from North Carolina and lived in Dickson Co., Tennessee.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Solomon Morgan (died Nov. 16, 1847)

Solomon was the son of Major Mark Morgan and his wife Sarah (Hinton) Morgan most likely born sometime in the 1740s in Orange Co., North Carolina.

Solomon married Nancy Sears who was known as Ann. One author who wrote a Morgan genealogy believes he may have been married previously to an Ester.

He became a successful farmer. In his will which was written in 1847 he mentions his wife Ann and his children, Jones, Sampson, Louisa and Mary.

After his death on November 16, 1847 he was buried on land beside Morgan Creek. His body apparently was then transfered to the Morgan and Mason Cemetery, Chapel Hill, Orange Co., North Carolina.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Finding Graves

I love history and genealogy. I have posted on various genealogical forums and turned have to many over the years while working on my ancestry and just for fun.

I have contributed to several websites to post information on my ancestors and family members and to post info and photos for others over the years

One website, Find A Grave, I signed up with over ten years ago. It's fun, and when things are going well, perfect strangers go out of their way to help people out. I have been helped many times by these people who share a love for genealogy, by them giving me information and taking photos of graves and posting them on the Memorials I created. I've created over 300. Not many compared to some.

I have also learned where several of my ancestors were buried from the help of distant cousins or just fellow enthusiasts. This is what is great about Find A Grave and many of the other forums. People at their best.

Then, of course, there are the nasties. These are people who represent everything bad that can happen when working online. The worst site for these type of petty, domineering, and arrogant people was Wikipedia. But, I've discovered them on Find A Grave too.

The latest is an anonymous person from Texas, I'll assume it is a she. She has websites and postings all over the internet regarding genealogy. She also has contributed a massive amount of graveyard listings. While this is all well and good, she in the last two days has fixated on my contributions to the website.

Since, she appears to just go out to cemeteries and take pictures and create memorials, I guess she doesn't appreciate people, like me, who add memorials for ancestors. Sometimes, I have not located where my ancestors were buried. I had many this way, until some good person or other who knew where the person was buried would add the information.

This Texas woman however, was e-mailing me telling me to stop linking memorials with other memorials, especially ones where I have "unknown" listed under burial. In ten years this has never been a problem, and like I said, I have learned the burial locations of many this way.

So, I first got two e-mails and a recommendation to remove my links for a John Cocke. Since I don't know where he's buried I obviously shouldn't link him to his parents memorials?! Huh? One of her e-mails incorrectly accused me of having a duplicate memorial with another crazy lady who was one of the first knuckleheads to cause me problems at the site, but that's another story.

The other message told me to stop linking parents and children via the memorials. Anyway, I ignored her communications. Why answer when I didn't have anything nice to say?

Well, today, I had to respond because she wrote me again. She seems to have misinterpreted the "rules" that Find A Grave had on its FAQ page. So she began quoting from some of these rules. Obviously, she is right and can't be ignored! My question since thousands of people have listed memorials for people with unknown burials, is - why is she focusing on me?

I hate this type of behavior. You never know what is wrong with people like this you run into on the internet, but I felt like I had to respond.

And thus I wrote this:

I don't know what has set your focus on me, but I'll ask you to please stop. Firstly, I notice that your e-mail address doesn't have @findagrave attached to it. So, I guess you are not an official organ of the website. Secondly, trying to delete legitimate links on Memorials is a form of vandalism.

Writing erroneous messages suggesting that Richard Cocke is the same as another Richard Cocke isn't helpful. 

If you intend to write everyone on Find A Grave telling them that their memorials aren't allowed, than you better get started. 

In the meantime please stop bothering me. 

It's always a danger to engage with people like this because they could try to cause a whole slew of problems... But sometimes you have to respond.

I'll just end this because there is not much more to say. I just wish people will cool their jets; stop trying to tell everyone what to do; and go out and take more cemetery pictures!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Yankee Jazz Beat 15,000 Views And Counting

A few days ago the blog, Yankee Jazz Beat, I operate in remembrance of my father George A. Borgman and to share his writings, research and love of jazz received 15,000 hits.

"Yankee Jazz Beat" was the name of my father's column in the international jazz publication The Mississippi Rag for which he was also a contributing editor.

I'm proud that the blog is getting so many views from all around the world especially since my father  stated that, "Jazz is for the world."

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Something's Brewing Interview - July 6, 2015 at 11:30AM

It is a great honor to be asked to be a guest on the blog talk radio show Something's Brewing devised, created and hosted by Casey McDougal and John Henry Soto!

My friend Casey who, I believe will be hosting the show on her own tomorrow, was forced to find a guest from the bottom of the barrel and of course, I said, "Yes!"

It's not everyday that such a talented, actor, producer, director and writer invites you on her show so I accepted the offer before the words were even completely out.

Casey was one of my co-stars in my farce comedy, The Girl of His Dreams. Since then her star has risen fast and furious. She wrote, produced, directed and starred in her award winning web series Holding and won a Emmy Award for something else she produced!

So my plan is to try and hitch my wagon to her train and pick up any scraps of celebrity I can get. Just don't tell her that.

I must stop writing now, so I can plan my witty comments and pithy comebacks for the show tomorrow. Hopefully, everyone will listen in, either to the show live tomorrow, or at your own convenience by streaming it later. Wish me luck...