Showing posts with label Foster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Foster. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Foster Family :: Index to Posts

An Index Post is how I keep track of all of the blog posts that have been written on a family line. It helps keep me organized and allows visitors to easily find information on that family. This post will be updated as new blog posts are written on the family.

It is not known when William Foster (my 5th great-grandfather) who was born Wilhelm Georg Forster about 1749 somewhere in the area now called Germany, came to this country but it is presumed by some researchers to be about 1765. What is known is that he married Magdalene Daniel, daughter of Adam Daniel, on April 19, 1774 at Christ Lutheran Church, Tulpehocken Valley, Bethel Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. About 1796 he purchased 190 acres of land on the "drains of Bauman Mill Run" outside of Strasburg, Virginia.

By that time he had become a Lutheran minister and served two small congregations - one in neighboring Hampshire County (now in West Virginia) from 1797 to 1803 and the other - then known as the "Hawksbiel" church in Page County from 1798-1806.

About 1805, he began  a stint as a traveling preacher in the wilderness of what would become Perry county, Ohio. He moved his family to Ohio in 1808 and lived there until his death on July 11, 1815. During that time, he organized at least three Lutheran congregations in what is now Perry County, Ohio. In addition to being a Lutheran minister, William became a large landowner. When he died in 1815 his bequest to each of his 12 children was 160 acres.

My line of descent is through his 10th child, Benjamin Foster (1791-1879). His daughter, Sarah Foster (1818-1904) had a son, William Brubaker (1843-1912), who was born out of wedlock. William's son, Charles Romain Brubaker (1871-1945), had a daughter, Hazlette Aileen Brubaker  (1902-1984). She married Rolland Victor Phend (1893-1991) and they are my mother's parents.
  • The Search for Hawksbill Church - - November 11, 2009 - - Located in Shenandoah County, Virginia the Hawksbill Church was the pastorate for three of my ancestors - the first two pastors of the church were Johann Caspar Stoever Sr. (1733-34) and Johann Caspar Stoever Jr. (1734-42). They were my 6th and 5th great-grandfathers, respectively. The eighth pastor of the Hawksbill Church  was my 5th great-grandfather, Wilhelm Georg Forster, who served from 1798-1806. 
  • Help Wanted! A gift received from a Genea-Angel! - - December 31, 2011 - - A reader sent a "Letter of Recommendation" for Wilhelm George Forster that was signed by two of the reader's ancestors. The letter is undated but written while Forster was still pastor of the Hawksbill Church, which he left in 1806.
Benjamin Foster (1791-1879) had two children by his first wife, Margaret "Peggy" Myers (abt 1797-abt 1821): Sarah and Eli. In 1821, Benjamin married Margaret's sister Anna Maria, known as Mary Myers and had 11 children with her. Benjamin lived in Perry County, Ohio and is buried in Zion Ridge Cemetery in Thorn Township.

Sarah Foster (1818-1904), whose first child, William Brubaker was born out of wedlock in 1843 was married on March 28, 1849 to George Thomas Parkison. About 1851, they moved to Thorncreek Township, Whitley County, Indiana. Sarah's brother, Eli, as well as several of their half-siblings also moved to Whitley County at about the same time or shortly thereafter. John Brubaker, the father of William, had settled in Rock Creek Township, Huntington County, Indiana prior to 1850.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Foster Family :: Index to Posts," Kinexxions, posted February 5, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Help Wanted! A gift received from a Genea-Angel!

The letter below was found on the internet by Jeff Somers who, just a few days ago, found my story of The Search for Hawksbill Church. And then, wonder of wonders, Jeff actually contacted me!

He was able to obtain a partial transcription of the letter, which seems to be a letter of recommendation for my ancestor, Wilhelm George Forster (aka William Foster) signed by two of Jeff's ancestors!

Here's the transcription that Jeff sent:
The Hawksbill Church
We, the complete evangelical, protestant, lutheran parish hereby state
that we have had Mr. Goster (or Foster, name is not clear) for ten years as a pastor in our parish.
He had asked us for this reference, to be presented to an "Honorable Menisteri" (?)
and we are willing to confirm that he has served faithfully and never missed any of the duties of his office.
Especially he spend much time in the youth ministry and tried to keep the youth with their mothers.
This would be desirable for others to do as well.
He does not accept help for his office duties.
He takes all the time needed, to visit sick people, in oder to be with them and to comfort them
So far, we have been quite happy with him, and he ...
I'd love to have a more complete transcription, so, if anyone out there can make sense of the Old German Script, please contact me!

For printing purposes I split the letter into two images and also enhanced the contrast a little. The original image of the letter that was found by Jeff on this message board posting. I have contacted the poster of that message but have not received a response from him.

If I hadn't blogged about my little trip to find the Hawksbill Church, I would not (most likley) have found this letter on my own. Thank you, Jeff, for contacting me. It's very nice to end this year on a "high" note!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Search for Hawksbill Church

Monday afternoon (November 2nd) found me back in Shenandoah County, Virginia - specifically Strasburg, Edinburg, and Luray - in search of that elusive church mentioned in my previous post!

On Wednesday (October 25th) I had made a detour from Shenandoah National Park to Luray, known for its caverns. But that isn't why I went there. I stopped at the library and got some assistance from one of the librarians. I was looking for the location of what in the 1700s and early 1800s was known as the Hoxbiel or Hawksbiel or Hawksbill Church. By 1848, when a new brick building was constructed, it was known as Mount Calvary Lutheran Church. The librarian provided a copy of transcriptions of the church register of baptisms and marriages but it was for a much later time period. But in the preface I learned that even though the congregation disbanded in 1959, the church building still existed and that it was located three miles south of Luray. However, none of the library staff knew where it was located.

The first two pastors that served the Hawksbill congregation were J. C. Stoever (Sr) from 1733-34 and J. C. Stoever (Jr) from 1734-42. They were Johann Caspar Stoever and were my 6th and 5th great-grandfathers, respectively. As stated in the previous post mentioned above, the elder man died at sea in 1739 while returning from a fund raising trip to Europe. The younger Stoever was a traveling pastor visiting and serving several congregations, often at the same time, in Pennsylvania (primarily in what was then Lancaster County, which encompassed a great deal more territory than it does today) and northern Virginia. Much has been written of his exploits and troubles regarding his pastorate and conflicts with his fellow clergymen. There is no way that I can possibly condense it all down so it would make sense in a brief blog post. A fairly complete accounting of his life can be found on pages 51-101 in "Stover-Stoever-Staver- Stiver, An Account of The Ancestry and Descendants of Johann Caspar Stoever of Pennsylvania" by Vernon Stiver & Patricia R. Donaldson, Saline, Michigan, 1992.

The fact that the two Stoevers were both pastor of this church was interesting but not too surprising given the fact that it wasn't all that far from Madison and the Hebron Lutheran Church, albeit on the other side of a mountain range! But what intrigued me more was the fact that another ancestor, 5th great-grandfather, Wilhelm Georg Forster aka William Foster, served as the eighth pastor of the Hawksbill Church from 1798-1806. The Stoevers are ancestors on my Dad's side of the family and William Foster is on my Mother's side.

I took the main road south from Luray (Business Route U.S. 340) thinking there might be a sign pointing the way. I got excited when I saw a sign for Hawksbill Primitive Baptist Church, until it sank in that it was a Baptist Church! I did stop at a gas station along the way, but no one there knew anything about Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, which wasn't surprising since it had closed in 1959. For another hour, I aimlessly drove along the back roads of the valley, hoping for some good luck but finding none, and not finding the church.

While staying with my aunt that weekend I spent some time at Panera Bread using their free WiFi (thank you very much – my aunt has dial-up access, sloooow) and found a pdf file which is an application for the National Register of Historic Places and which provided an exact location for Mount Calvary Church. I really wasn't concerned with finding the actual church so much as just wanting to see where it was located. The building itself held no meaning for me since it was built long after the Stoevers and Fosters were there.

To make a long story short, I returned to Luray after I left my aunt's place and found the church, sort of. I briefly saw the building through the trees high on a hill at the base of a mountain on a narrow, winding dirt road where there was no place to stop without blocking the road completely. I did see a dirt road (more like a trail) that led up the hill, but it was deeply rutted and overgrown and there was no way I was going to attempt to drive my van on it. I also chose not to walk up the trail since it was rather remote and rugged terrain. And I didn't get any pictures either. But I did satisfy my curiosity. It was really out in the middle of nowhere. Now and even moreso back then.

While pastor of Hawksbill, Wilhelm Foster also served as pastor of the Hebron Lutheran Church in Hampshire County, Virginia (now part of West Virginia) from 1797-1803. It is located on West Virginia route 259 between Capon Lake and Intermont (Photograph on wikipedia). And yes, I did make the drive and went to see where this church was located.

In 1796, Wilhelm Forster had purchased 289 ½ acres of land located on the "drains of Bauman Mill Run" outside of Strasburg, Virginia. It was from this central location that he served these two congregations. Strasburg is located midway between the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountains, just below the northern end of Massanutten Mountain, which divides the Shenandoah Valley.

To get to Hawksbill he had to go over a portion of Massanutten. To get to the Hebron Church in Hampshire County, he had to cross over the Shenandoah Mountains. Both churches are about a distance of 25-30 miles from Strasburg. Over the mountains, through the rivers and forests. A distance that took me far less than an hour to travel probably took him several days. By spending the time to drive through the valley and over the mountains to locate the churches, I gained a greater appreciation for these pioneer ancestors.

Oh, and I also obtained the signature of Wilhelm Georg Forster. It was on the land record where he and his wife Magdalene were selling the land they had purchased in 1796. (Shenandoah County Deed Book Q page 43) They sold the land on July 4, 1807 prior to their move to Fairfield (now Perry) County, Ohio. In 1805 Wilhelm had been appointed as a traveling preacher in the Ohio district known as "New Pennsylvania" which included Fairfield (Perry), Muskingum, Pickaway and Ross counties.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Parkison Family

The Parkison plot in the Masonic Section, Greenhill Cemetery, Columbia City, Indiana. The large stone in the center is for George and Sarah Parkison. On the left is the marker for one of their sons, Benjamin F. Parkison.

Sarah Foster Parkison is my 3rd great grandmother. Born on May 14, 1818 in Perry County, Ohio she was the daughter of Benjamin Foster and Margaret "Peggy" Myers. Sarah's brother, Eli, was born December 28, 1819. I don't know for sure when their mother died, but on September 27, 1821 their father married Peggy's sister, Anna Maria "Mary" Myers. Benjamin and Mary Foster had eleven children between the years 1822 and 1843.

On November 20, 1843 Sarah Foster gave birth to a son, William Brubaker, who became my 2nd great grandfather. Born out of wedlock, his father was John Brubaker. On March 28, 1849 Sarah was married to George Thomas Parkison and two years later they moved to Thorncreek Township in Whitley County, Indiana. At that time the family consisted of William and his half-brother Jacob Henry Parkison. (William and Jacob would later marry sisters, Malissa and Roxie Joslin.) Sarah and George would have three more children, all born in Whitley County: Mary E. Parkison, Benjamin Foster Parkison, and George Washington Parkison.

GEORGE T. PARKISON / DIED JUNE 27, 1902 / AGED 81 Y. 10 M. 15 D. / SARAH - WIFE OF G. T. PARKISON / DIED APR. 24, 1904 / AGED 85 Y. 11 M. 10 D.

BENJAMIN F. / Son of / G. T. & S. PARKISON / DIED / Apr. 27, 1873. / AGED 19 Ys. 11 M. 15 D.

All Photographs taken October 20, 2001 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Civil War Ancestor - William Brubaker

William Brubaker was born in Perry county, Ohio, November 20, 1843. His mother was Sarah Foster, daughter of Benjamin and Margaret "Peggy" Myers Foster. His father was John Brubaker, son of Martin and Nancy Neel Brubaker. William's parents were never married to each other. My grandmother's notes state that two girls were pregnant by John Brubaker, Sarah Foster and Catharine Clum. John chose to marry the one that was "more pregnant" and that was Catharine. In 1849 John and Catharine moved to Huntington County, Indiana. They had eleven more children. Even though William was not mentioned in his father's will of 1879 it is thought that he did have a relationship with some of his half-siblings as he is mentioned in the obituary notices for several of them and those still living when he died are mentioned in his obituary. When he enlisted in the 17th Indiana he used the Brubaker surname; he used that name for the rest of his life.

When William was 5 ½ years old, his mother, Sarah Foster, was married to George Parkison and in 1851 the family moved to Whitley County, Indiana. In the 1850 and 1860 census William was listed in the household of George and Sarah Parkison, under the Parkison surname. In the 1870 census he is listed with them as William Brubaker. George Parkison, in his will dated June 10, 1902 stated "It is my will that said William Brubaker, although he is my step-son only, shall take his equal share as hereinbefore and hereinafter set out, the same as if he were my son by blood." William was also made co-executor of George's estate.

William Brubaker enlisted April 21, 1861 in Company E, 17th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which became known as Wilder's Lightning Brigade after the regiment was mounted in February 1863 and then armed with Spencer repeating-rifles in May 1863. William served three years and two months in the 17th. He took part in all the battles and skirmishes in which the regiment was engaged through October 3, 1863.

One record in his pension file No. 102.087 shows that he was 5 feet 8 ¼ inches tall when he enlisted in 1861 and he had a fair complexion, gray eyes, and brown hair. A surgeon's certificate dated April 17, 1878 shows that he was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 145 pounds and had a dark complexion.

On October 3, 1863 while in the line of duty at Thompsons Cove, Tennessee and engaged with his company in a skirmish with rebel troops he was shot through his right thigh by a musket ball. The next day he was sent to the hospital at McMinville, Tennessee where he remained until January 15, 1864 when he was sent to the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee. He was at Nashville for four days when he went home on furlough with his company. He remained at home until March 20, 1864 when he returned to the field again. He was discharged on June 20, 1864 at Columbia, Tennessee. I would imagine that he went home for further recuperation.

On February 28th 1865 he was "veteranized" and enlisted as a sergeant in Company I, 152nd Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was again honorably discharged at Charlestown, West Virginia on August 30, 1865.

His injury plagued him the rest of his life. He filed for an "invalid" pension on February 1, 1866 stating "He was and still is unable to perform any manual labor of any consequence. He can do some light work and that is all." and was awarded $4.00 per month with a one-half disability. In March of 1891 he applied for a re-rating of his pension and was awarded $6.00 per month.

The pension act of February 6, 1907 apparently based pensions on age rather than just disability. William reapplied for pension on March 5, 1907 when he was 63 years old, which made him eligible to receive $12.00 per month. Veterans over 70 years of age could receive $15 while those 75 and over could receive $20 per month. He received the increase of $12 per month for the rest of his life.

William died on January 26, 1912 aged 68 years, 2 months and 6 days. His widow, Malissa Joslin Brubaker, immediately applied for pension and was awarded $12.00 per month, which she received until her marriage to Jacob Bower on May 18, 1915. He died on March 22, 1929 and just four days later, Malissa reapplied for a widow's pension based on William's service. Malissa had moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana and was living with her granddaughter Hazlette Brubaker Phend and her husband, Vic Phend at 2221 West Brook Drive. Malissa's application was approved and she received a pension of $40.00 per month until her death on September 30, 1937 at Columbia City.

William Brubaker and Malissa Mariah Joslin, daughter of Lydia Robison and Lysander Price Joslin, were married on April 20, 1871 by A. J. Douglas, Minister of the Gospel. (Just as a side note, six years later, A. J. Douglas would become the father of Lloyd C. Douglas, minister and author.)

Photos: The first two were tintypes and are of William Brubaker and Malissa Joslin Brubaker. They were probably taken about the time of their marriage in 1871. The group photo was probably taken around 1890-1891, shown are William (born 1843), Hale (born 1886), Charles (born 1871), and Malissa (born 1849).

From the 1907 History of Whitley County, Indiana we learn that in 1871, William "purchased one hundred and thirty acres of native forest land, bordering Goose Lake, which now, as a result of his earnest labor and successful management, presents a neat and thrifty appearance, being nicely fenced, well drained and thoroughly equipped with a comfortable and substantial residence, barn and other improvements necessary to render farm life pleasant and profitable. In politics he is a Republican, but refuses to serve in public capacity. Mrs. Brubaker is an active member of the Woman's Relief Corp of Columbia City and also takes an interest in religious matters, being a member of the Baptist church. The family is well known and highly respected, taking an active interest in all social and public enterprises."

Two children were born to William and Malissa: Charles Romain was born August 19, 1871 and married Maud Wise (more on them in the future). Maurice Hale, who was born May 17, 1866 and died December 14, 1910 at New York City while attending the law school of Columbia University.

His obituary, published January 27, 1912 in the Columbia City Post, in part, stated: "William Brubaker, an old veteran and one of the kindliest of men, entered into the long sleep at his home on North Elm street Friday forenoon about ten o'clock. He had been unconscious since Wednesday and his passing was peaceful and quiet. The last illness dates from a week ago Monday, but Mr. Brubaker had been feeling badly for the past six weeks, during which time he had not been off the premises. It was four years ago that his health began to fail, and the sad and untimely death of his son, Hale, which occurred December 14th, 1910, was an affliction which bore heavily upon him and burdened him with grief. Heart trouble and such complications as follow diseases of that organ undermined his strength and when Bright's disease set in his powers of resistance were almost exhausted."

On Saturday, April 28th, William Brubaker, my 2nd great grandfather, was inducted into the "charter class" of the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana, a project sponsored by the Indiana Genealogical Society.