Thursday, February 4, 2016

Did 2 Sisters & 1 Brother Marry 2 Brothers & 1 Sister?

My fourth great grandparents, Jacob Coppenbarger (1769-1841) and Catharine Ann Snavely (1780-1857) had a dozen known children: 7 sons & 5 daughters. Last week, I came across a newspaper article which was published by the Circuit Court and involved the estate of Jacob Coppenbarger. Jacob's oldest four daughters are listed alongside their husband's names. His fifth daughter, Emily, was only 15 years old when her father died. Though she wasn't yet married, she would marry shortly after her 1t6h birthday.

Circuit Court, May Term, Peter Coppenbarger, Illinois Weekly State Journal, Springfield, Illinoisi,11 Mar 1842,
page 4, column 2, digital image accessed 20 Jan 2016
Jacob's son, Peter Coppenbarger (my direct ancestor), is the complainant. The list goes on to list Jacob's other 11 children, including the daughter's spouses, and Jacob's widow, Catharine.
  • John Copenbarger [spelling used in this newspaper clipping]
  • Elias Copenbarger
  • Jacob Copenbarger
  • Joseph Copenbarger
  • George Copenbarger
  • Elisha Butler, and Mary Ann Butler his wife
  • Wyatt Stricklin, and Elizabeth Stricklin his wife [other records show Strickland]
  • Obediah Hooper, and Sarah Hooper his wife
  • William Hooper, and Catharine Hooper his wife
  • Emily Copenbarger
  • William Copenbarger
  • Catharine Copenbarger, widow of Jacob

Seeing the names listed this way made the two "Hooper" marriages stand out. My first thought was, were Obediah & William Hooper brothers?

Then, I came across another online tree showing one of their older brothers, Jacob, was also married to a Hooper! Jacob's wife is listed as Mary Elizabeth Hooper.

Though I have seen quite a few cases of two siblings of one family marrying two siblings of another family, I've never seen 3! Of course, I still have to "prove" that Obediah, William, and Mary Elizabeth Hooper were all siblings. Other trees show they are all children of Obediah Hooper, Sr and his wife, Downey (Downing) Hooper. So, my search continues!

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Sweet Homecoming Story of My 5x Great Grandfather Who was Taken Prisoner during the Revolutionary War

My Vincent ancestors moved from Essex County, New Jersey to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania in the mid to late 1700's. During the Revolutionary War, they were at Fort Freeland when it was attacked by the British and their Indian allies in 1779. The women, children, and elderly men were set free, but the able-bodied men were marched to Canada as prisoners.

In 1876, The Columbian published a series of articles titled "History of Columbia County." The fourth part of this series was published on January 28th and told about the capture of Fort Freeland.

Part of the article tells about Bethuel Vincent:

It would be interesting to know who were taken prisoners, and who returned from the captivity. But one case is known, that of Bethuel Vincent, who had been married a short time before he was taken prisoner. His wife returned to her home in New Jersey. For four years she heard nothing from her husband. One evening she was out with a sleighing party, and having stopped at a tavern a roughly dressed stranger inquired if a Mrs. Vincent lived in the vicinity. She was pointed out to him, and he informed her that he knew her husband in Canada, had lately seen him, and that he was well. On the return home the stranger went with the party, and the extra passenger crowding the sled, he proposed to take Mrs. Vincent on his lap; but she indignantly declined the familiarity, whereupon the stranger discovered himself to be her husband, when the proffered courtesy was joyfully accepted.

What a lovely, romantic story! I believe Bethuel was the brother of my 5 times great grandfather, Daniel Vincent, who was married to Angelchy/Angelica. But, it looks like the author of this story got it wrong! The following week a letter is published in The Columbian which attempts to correct a mistake made in the story:

This letter from A. I. Quigley explains that the story was actually about Daniel Vincent (my direct ancestor), and not his brother, Bethuel. And, this information is from Daniel's grandson-in-law!

Was A. I Quigly correct? I believe so, though I don't have a lot of information on Bethuel. It appears that he didn't marry until about 1788 while the attack on the fort occurred in 1779 so the 'sleighing' incident would've taken place about 1783. Daniel's wife, however, gave birth to their first child in late 1779 several months after the attack on the fort. Their second child wasn't born until late 1783, which pretty much corresponds with the story that she hadn't heard from her husband in four years. (Though perhaps it was more like three years.)

So, I'm happy to claim this story for my 5 times great grandparents who were separated for several years after Daniel was taken captive and marched up to Canada. And, I appreciate Daniel's grandson-in-law providing Angelica's last name, Heuff. I have also seen her name spelled Huff and Hough, but I didn't have a source. And, though I knew the Vincent's came from Essex County, New Jersey, I didn't know Angelica was "from" there, also.

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please write me at

Monday, February 1, 2016

Doing Time for Manufacturing & Selling "Intoxicating Liquor" During Prohibition

August Heuszel, my great, great grandmother's brother-in-law, served time in the Texas State Penitentiary for "manufacturing" and "selling intoxicating liquor." The year was 1922. This was near the start of prohibition which lasted from 1920 to 1933.  

Texas Convict and Conduct Registers, 1875-1945, Huntsville, B 047021-052020
accessed at

The photos above show August's record in the "Texas Convict and Conduct Register." The columns tell us more about August Heuszel:

Registered #: 18037
Name: A. Heuszel
Age: 65
Height: 5-3 5/8
Weight: 128
Complexion: W [white] M-Fair
Eyes: W Maroon [maroon eyes? but there are others listed as maroon]
Hair: Blk & Gray
Marks on Person: 2-vac scrs [some type of scars?] upper L arm; outer [hard to read] & upper teeth all out; circ cut se[?] L lit[tle] finger over 2nd [joint] outer; N---[?] operation sc[a]rs back neck outer & center; NO CHURCH; Shoe #6 1/2
Marital Relations: yes
Use of Tobacco: yes
Habits: Temp[erance]
Education: choices appear to be fair, poor, none, or com... his marked "Com" [unknown meaning]
Able to Read: yes
Able to Write: yes
No. of Years in School: 4 [this ranged from none to 12]
Date of Birth: 1857
Birthplace: Ill
Birthplace of Father: Germany
Ex Service Man (handwritten & unclear): blank
Birthplace of Mother: Germany
Occupation: farming
Time of Conviction: June 8, 1922
Offense: Manufacturing intoxicating liquor - Selling intoxicating Liquor
Term of Imprisonment: (1 + 1 - c[???]; 2 years
County: Polk
Residence: Livingston
Plea: 1st Not; 2nd Quilty [so plead not guilty to manufacturing, but guilty to selling]
When Received: July 12, 1922
Expiration of Sentence: Finger Prints; June 8, 1924
Remarks: Disc. Dec 13th, 1923

Some interesting items from the page:

  • Of the 20 inmates, only 3 of them are for liquor related charges. The rest are burglary/theft, rape, forgery, and two for murder. 
  • The "remarks" column usually lists when an inmate is discharged, paroled, or pardoned. But, there is one who died - he was only 17 and serving 2 years for burglary. 
  • Also found in the "remarks" column are 3 inmates who escaped! Of the three, one was serving 5 to 25 years for murder; a second was serving 15 years for robbery/burglary; and the third was serving 5 years for robbery. 
  • All 3 escaped prisoners were evidently eventually caught as they all have "finger print" dates listed years after their escape. The convicted murderer escaped in 1929 and was fingerprinted 18 years later in 1947!

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please write me at

The 1828 Will of Peter Close's Relict: Catharine Elizabeth Close

Yesterday, I shared the 1810 will of my 5th great grandfather , Peter Close of Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Peter's wife, Catha...