Genealogy of the Gann, Donaldson, Laubacher, McDowell and related families
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1 Wartime Letter From William Carroll Hester

(Thanks to Patricia Cooper and Robert Williams for forwarding this)

April 18th. 1864

Dear beloved wife
I take my pen in hand to let you know how I am getting along I am well as present and a doing very well I hope when these few lines come to hand once more we are at Hill Burrogh on the Rail Road about tenn mils from Decatur they say there are seven thousand yankys in Decatur we saddle up this morning to go hav a fight the yankys went bac and did not hav any fight. I expect we will hav fighting to do hear we left Georgia the 6th of Aprile and got hear the 16th all of our boys ar well S R and R B are well and a doing very well I would to hear from you very well to know how your Pa was geting along with his crop I would like to know what J A BOLTON sas a doing I want to know what all is a going on in the contry. I hant received but one letter sinc I was at home I want to see you very bad I dont know when I will get to come home to see you the yankys is as thick as black birds up hear. my prays is for peace once more in our land so we can liv togher as we have once before I want you to do the same and pray to God to pardon our sins and your Dear Husband will do the same writ soon as no more only I remain your tru Husband untill death
Wm. C HESTER the 4th Ala. Cav Co. E
Johns Brigade Capt. E J Oden Company 
Hester, Sergeant William Carroll (I032)
2 Bedford Co, PA, Wills, Volume 3, p. 348:

"In the name of God amen I Phillip Morgart of the township of East Providence in the County of Bedford in the State of Pennsylvania, farmer, being in perfect health of body and of sound mind, memory and understanding, blessed to God for te but considering the uncertainty of this transitory life do make and publish this my last will and testament in the manner and form following to wit, First and principly I commit my soul to God and my body to the earth to be decently buryed at the discretion of my executor hereinafter mentioned and after my debts and funeral expenses are paid I give and bequeathh all to my youngest son Abraham Morgart the home place with all that thereon is including a small part of the place where my son William H. Morgart now lives to line that I made myself in presence of both my sons. If the said Abraham dies without a lawful heir it falls back to the rest of my heirs. The said Abraham is to keep my beloved wife Rachel Morgart on the home place decently and respectfully during her widowhood. If my beloved wife Rachel Morgart sees cause for her own to leave Abraham she is to have one bed, one cow, one bureau, one wheel, one real and four chairs five dollars worth of citchen furniture, fifteen dollars in cash, the cash to be paid yearly. The said Abraham Morgart is also to keep my youngest daughter Margaret wile she stays single by her assistance to him. I give and bequeathh to my son William H. Morgart the place he now lives on, if the said William dies without a lawful heir it falls back to the rest of my heirs. I give and bequeathh to my oldest daughter Elizabeth Akers one year after my death five hundred dollars without interest. Also to my second daughter Rebecka Evans two years after my deth five hundred dollars without interest. Also to my third daughter Rachel Swartzwaller three years after my deth five hundred dollars without interest. I also give and bequeathh to my forth daughter Margret Morgart five hundred dollars four years after my death without interest. If said Margret dies without heirs it falls back to the rest of my heirs. And lastly I nominate constitute and appoint my trusty friends Bolser Morgart and Abraham Morgart to be my executors declaring this to be my last will and testmant. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this forth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-five.
Sugned in presence of
Andrew J. Morgart
Hezekiah O'Neal Philip Morgart

Bedford County, Ps:
Personally appeared before the subscriber Register for the Probate of Wills for said County Andrew J. Morgart & Hezekiah O'Neal the subscribing witness to the foregoing instrument of writing, who being duly sworn do depose and say that the personally present and saw the Testator Philip Morgart sign his name to the same and heard him pronounce and declare said instrument of writing to be his last will & testament, that they signed their names as witnesses in presence of Testator and at his request and that at the time of so doing he the said Testator was of sound mind, memory & understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief.
Sworn & subscribed the
9th day of Feby. 1846 Andrew J. Morgart
Before J.B. Noble Regr. Hezekiah O'Neal

Be it remembered that on the 9th day of February Anno Domino one thousand eight hundred and forty-six Letters Testamentary were issued to Bolser Morgart & Abraham Morgart Executors in the foregoing will named they having been first durly sccoring to Law. J.B.
Noble Regr." 
Morgart, Philip George (I3001)
3 BEDFORD GAZETTE, Bedford, Pa. - Wednesday, December 23, 1914

Ephraim B. Miller died at his home near Buffalo Mills on Monday, December 14, 1914, aged 75 years. In February 1866 he was married to Miss Amanda Swartzwelder. To this union were born eight children, seven of whom, with their mother, survive: Grant of Buffalo Mills, Rev. Colfax of East Altoona, Miss Alberta and Oscar G. at home, Simon D. of Mann's Choice, Mrs. S. J. Wolf of Claysburg and Mrs. A. A. Hyde of Dry Ridge.

Mr. Miller was a prosperous farmer and spent nearly all his life on the farm. In politics he was a Republican and filled several local offices creditably. He was a member of the Christian Church, having joined it in early manhood. He was a veteran of the Civil War, being a member of 138th Pa. Inf. While serving under Sheridan at Cedar Creek he was wounded. After spending some time in the hospital he rejoined his regiment at Petersburg before the final surrender of Lee at Appomattox and was honorably discharged in 1865.

By his death the community loses a most estimable citizen.

The funeral service was held in the Cove Christian church Wednesday morning of last week.

Born July 6th, 1840 on the farm adjoining where he died. In August 1862 he enlisted in the 138th P.V. for the term of three years or during the war. He shared the fortunes of his regiment in camp, on the march, and on battlefield and was d while serving under Sheridan at Cedar Creek. After spending some time in the hospital he rejoined his regiment at Petersburg before the final surrender of Lee at Appomattox and was honorably discharged in June of '65.

He was always interested in the welfare of his family, his neighbors, his community and his country. for eight years he served as road supervisor and for six years as assessor of his Township.

(Son of John E. and Hannah (Carpenter) Miller.)

Obituary and information from Frederick D. Royer.
Miller, Ephraim B (I2911)
4 Ephriam B. Miller has long been actively identified with the agricultural and political interests of Harrison township, Bedford County, Pa., and is held in high regard throughout the community in which he lives. A son of the late John E. Miller, he was born in this township, July 6, 1840. He is of pioneer ancestry, his great-grandfather, Abraham Miller, having been one of the first settlers of this section of the State.

Elias Miller, son of Abraham and father of John E., was born in Loudoun County, Virginia. He migrated with his parents to Harrison township, where he subsequently spent his life in the toilsome labor of clearing and improving a homestead. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and one of his brothers served several years as Sheriff of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

John E. Miller, father of the subject of this sketch, was a lifelong farmer of Harrison township, where he died in June, 1876, at a good old age. He belonged to the Republican party, and served his fellow-townsmen in various official capacities. A man of eminent piety, he was a consistent and active member of the Christian church, of which he was a Deacon for a number of years. His wife, Hannah Carpenter, a native of Londonderry, Pa., bore him several children, of whom the following named are yet living: Eve, wife of Job H. Martin, of Buffalo Mills, Pa.; Ephraim B., whose personal history is given below; Simon G. Miller, M. D., a physician in Putnam County, Florida; Amanda, wife of Daniel Swartzwelter, of Fayette County, Pennsylvania; and Hannah, wife of John R. Diehl, of Colerain, Pa.

Ephraim B. Miller was bred and educated in Harrison, becoming as familiar in boyhood with farm life and labors as with the contents of his school books. In August, 1862, he offered his services to his country by enlisting in Company F., One hundred and Thirty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, as a private. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Corporal; and with his regiment, which belonged to the Army of the Potomac, he fought at the battles of Snicker's Gap, Brandy Station, Locust Grove, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, siege of Petersburg, at Monocacy Bridge, Md., Charlestown, W. Va., Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Harrisonburg, Mount Jackson, and Cedar Creek. At the latter engagement he received a wound in the left arm of such a serious nature that he was forced to remain in the hospital five months, after which he served with his regiment until receiving his discharge on June 25, 1865. Returning then to the scenes of his childhood, he has since carried on various branches of agriculture with good financial results. His farm of three hundred acres is finely located, and with its equipments and substantial improvements is one of which he may well be proud. Evidences of his judicious labor and thrifty management are to be seen on every hand, and invariably attract the attention of the passer-by.

Mr. Miller is a Republican in politics, and has ably served the township as Road Supervisor, a position which he held five years, and as Assessor, an office which he is now filling for the second term. He is one of the leading members of Harrison Post, No. 332, G. A. R., at Buffalo Mills, of which he is ex-Senior Vice-Commander.

On February 15, 1866, Mr. Miller married Amanda, daughter of Daniel and Rachel (Morgart) Swartzwelder, late of Monroe township, Bedford County. Mr and Mrs. Miller have eight children, namely: Grant A.; Otho C.; Alberta O.; Simon D.; Viola wife of Samuel Wolf, of Hyndman, Pa.; Veda L.; Oscar G. and Pearl L., deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are both members of the Christian church.

Biographical Review, pages 198-199.
Miller, Ephraim B (I2911)
5 "born of 'James and Theodate Donelson' (New Shoreham town rec.). Settled in Lebanon, Conn, where he married twice but no children recorded" - from Hyde. Danielson, James (I1855)
6 Hester Family Bible
marriages - Levi Rikard & Amy P. Hester 18 February 1841
births - Amy Pertheny Hester, 12 January 1824 age17 at marriage
Robert Franklin Rikard ,10 February 1842
William Lewis Rikard , 19 December 1843
John H. Rikard , 15 March 1846
William G. Rikard, 4 April 1846
could be son of J. Carlyle Rikard 
Rikard, Levi (I248)
7 !Ancestral file, 1990, IGI
Our Webb Kin of Dixie, p. 67, Old Southern Bible Records by M. A. Lester,
Corres. with J.R. Malone died 3 yrs ago This from Kay Beal, Farmington, UT
Blackwell, John (I336)
8 "...and her child with her." Blogget, Ruth (I2273)
9 "...in his 68th year" Kimball, Robert (I2165)
10 "...of Johnsonburg and Montague, Sussex Co., N. J."
"He was in the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in 1777, in Capt. Archibald Dallas's Company, Col. Oliver Spencer's Regiment, Continental troops." 
Hull, John (I1955)
11 "...of Sussex Co., N. J...." Hull, Joseph (I1957)
12 "...[T]o the heirs of Mary Long, daughter of Francis Joseph Larabaugh (sic.), who died in Europe..." Laubacher, Maria Anna (I2546)
13 "11 children." Family F1821
14 "1301" is probably a mis-print; more likely the intended address was "2301" Weckman, John Sebastian (I2822)
15 "A mariner in Hampton, he inherited the Hampton homestead and was an active and useful citizen. In 1671 he had a grant of lot 52, 40 acres in the south of Hampton called 'The New Plantation' (now Seabrook). He drowned in the Hampton River, near the mouth of Cole's Creek." Philbrick, James (I4162)
16 "Abigail Mun daughter of Benjamin Mun borne ye 28 day of ye 4: mon: 1650" Mun, Abigail (I1324)
17 "Abigail the Daughter of William Brookes born ye 25 of Jan: 1665." Brookes, Abigail (I1323)
18 "Abigail the wife of Thomas Stebbins was sicke & died Febr: 12: 1691" Mun, Abigail (I1324)
19 "About 1608, probably in the vicinity of Redenhall, co. Norfolk, England" Fuller, Samuel (I2080)
20 "Absq smts obiit. Eram in via at nuncius occurrebat dice batq. iam tum ec. morituum."

"Died without (having had any) sacraments. I was on the way when a messenger found me saying he had died suddenly." 
Blumendael, Herman Heinrich (I4546)
21 "age 94 yrs 5 mos 3 das" Malone, Frances (I305)
22 "Aged 85 years or thereabouts" Leach, Lawrence (I3896)
23 "Apr 21 1711 Japhet Chapin of Springfield enters his intention of marriage w Dorothy Root of Enfield by their publishing was posted the same day
"Japhet Chapin and Dorothy Root [illegible] were maried May 31st anno. dom. 1711" 
Family F593
24 "April ye 23: 1712 William Niccoles and Sarah Mighal were joined together in marriage" Family F521
25 "As we were preparing to go to press the sad news came to us of the death of Joseph J. Streb, father of post-master Streb. While assisting his neighbor, Mr. Schneider, who is building a barn, Mr. Streb fell backward about 4 feet, striking his head on a piece of timber, which raised a small lump; he was stunned by the fall, but with the assistance of stimulants, soon revived, got in his buggy and drove home. This occurred at 6 o'clock; at 10 that night Mr. Streb died, aged 53 years, 4 months, and 4 days; he was born and raised in Tuscarawas county. -- Dover News, Apr. 27." Streb, John Joseph (I2435)
26 "At his residence in the southern part of Canton township, on Christmas, after a lingering illness and old age, Mr. John Harbet [sic.], aged 72 years. The funeral took place from St. Peter's Church, Canton, on Tuesday morning. Deceased leaves a family of four boys and two girls, all adults." Harbert, John (I2869)
27 "at Mr. Cudworth's by Capt. Standige [Standish]" Family F915
28 "Baptizatus ab obstetrice," or "baptized by midwife." Blumendtaell, Bernard (I4544)
29 "Baptizatus en necessitate," that is, baptized out of necessity, which typically means the child was not expected to survive. Burlage, Johan Henrich (I4652)
30 "Beniamin Stebbins sonn of Thomas Stebbins borne the 11 day of ye 2 mon: -- 1658" Stebbins, Benjamin (I1206)
31 "Benjamin Stebbein & Abigail Denton were marryed October 9th 1682" Family F557
Frank Walters and Frank Newman Gathered in by the Police.
About five or six weeks ago the residence of Mel. Cox on North Poplar street, was entered by burglars and a lot of property carried off. A few nights ago Mrs. Drissel's house on East Third street, was also visited and a quantity of articles stolen. Both cases were given to MArshal Schlegel to work on, and he succeeded so well in tracing the burglars and hunting them down, that at five o'clock this morning, armed with a search warrant, and accompanied by Officers Sell and Louzenheiser, he proceeded to the dwelling of Frank Walters, corner of East Second and Slusser streets, and there found Walters and his stepson, Frank Newman, both of whom were arrested. A search was made of the house, which brought to light a lot of canned fruit and baskets, stolen from Mel Cox's residence, and some baskets, a pitcher and other articles, identified as being part of the property taken from Mrs. Drissel's residence. Walters and Newman were takend to the city prison and locked up to await a hearing before the Mayor." 
Walter, Frank (I4313)
33 "Chase, in his History of Haverhill, says: "Feb 22d, 1698, this Samuel Ladd, with his son Daniel, and Jonathan Haynes, with his son Joseph, who lived in the western part of the town, had started that morning with their teams, consisting of a yoke of oxen and a horse each, to bring home some hay which had been cut and stacked the previous summer in their meadow in the extreme western part of the town. While they were slowly returning, little dreaming of present danger, they suddenly found themselves between two files of Indians, who had concealed themselves in the bushes on each side of their path. There were seven of them on each side, with guns presented and cocked, and the fathers seeing that it was impossible to escape begged for 'quarter.' To this the Indians replied 'boon quarter, boon quarter.' (good quarter.) Young Ladd, who did not relish the idea of being quietly taken prisoner, told his father that he would mount the horse and endeavor to escape. But the old man forbade him to make the attempt, telling him it was better to risk remaining a prisoner. He cut his father's horse loose, however, and giving him the lash the horse started off at full speed, and though repeatedly fired at by the Indians, succeeded in reaching home, and was the means of giving an immediate and general alarm. Two of the Indians then stepped behind the fathers and dealt them a heavy blow on the head. Mr. Haynes, who was quite aged, instantly fell, but Ladd did not. Another of the savages then stepped before the latter and raised his hatchet as if to strike. Ladd closed his eyes, expecting the blow would fall, but it came not, and when he again opened his eyes he saw the Indian laughing and mocking at his fears. Another immediately stepped behind him and felled him at a blow. The Indians, on being asked why the killed the old men, said they killed Haynes because 'he was so old he no go with us,' meaning that he was too aged and infirm to travel; and that they killed Ladd, who was a fierce, stern looking man, because 'he so sour.' They started for Penacook, where they arrived with the two boys." Ladd, Samuel (I3460)
34 "Cisely Chapin the widow of Deacon Sam'l Chapin was sicke & dyed Febr' 8 1682" Penney, Cicely (I1225)
35 "Cornet Joseph Parsons was sicke & died Octobr 9 1683" Parsons, Joseph (I1334)
36 "d. young" Dunham, Benjamin (I3813)
37 "David Chapin joyned in marriage to Liddia Crump the 29 of ye 6 mon--1654" Family F580
38 "Deacon John Hitchcock ye husband of Hanna Hitchcock was sick and died Feb ye 9th 1711/12" Hitchcock, John (I1363)
39 "Death of Andrew McCaleb (Gospel Advocate 1899)

On the morning of July 2, 1899, brother Andrew McCaleb died at his house near New River, Alabama. Uncle Andrew (as we all called him) was born on Feb. 3, 1813 in North Carolina, and moved to Fayette County, Alabama with his parents at an early age in which county he spent the remainder of his life." 
McCaleb, Andrew (I417)
40 "Deboragh Coulton the daughter of George Coulton Borne ye 25 of ye 11 mon--1654" Note the new year at that time began on March 25th. Colton, Deborah (I1387)
41 "Deborah Bliss Wife of Nathl Bliss of Springfd Dy'd Novr 26th Anno. Dom. 1733" Colton, Deborah (I1387)
42 "Dilmus Lyle was married to Kathrine Reed. Shortly after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Dilmus and his young bride left Virginia to enter a new and practically unknown country. Leaving behind them all signs of white men, the intrepid pair penetrated the wilds of northwest Georgia. They were the first white people to see much of the new country. For years theirs' was the only white family in that part of the state. Dilmus intended to build a mill close by some mountain stream, whose swift current would turn the stones and furnish him and his family with flour. While searching for the stream, he found gold. Dilmus and his wife lost no time in staking a claim on the banks of the little river. They also decided to give their families a chance to share in their good fortune. Turning their backs on the bonanza, the pioneers set out on the long journey back to Virginia (probably the writer meant South Carolina). As may be imagined, their families lost no time in beginning the long trip to Georgia. Maher Shalal Hashbaz Lyle, father of Dilmus was as enthusiastic as his son over the discovery. Two brothers of Dilmus, John and George Lyle, decided to move their families to Georgia. They hastened to close up their affairs at home and to join the party on its return trip. Dilmus never had the slightest doubt of his ability to lead the party straight to the gold, but after months of searching the party was forced to admit their failure. The creek with its precious contents, to this day has not been found. The pioneers settled on the north shore of the Mulberry River, near the spot where the Winder-Gainesville Highway now crosses that. At that time the Mulberry River, was known as the Tishmauga. As soon as homes had been built and the bare necessities of life provided for, Dilmus began work on the first grain mill in northwest Georgia. By the turn of the century the Lyle home was a scene of rushing business. Indians and a few white settlers, the closest of whom, with the exception of the Reed family, lived ten miles away, brought corn and wheat to the grist mill and lumber to the first saw-mill.

Another important industry which sprang up on the banks of the Tishmauga was the distilling of whisky. Reared in Virginia, Dilmus Lyle could and did make the best whisky to be found anywhere in the new country. In fact, his reputation became so great that when the War of 1812 broke out the neighbors were unanimous in their refusal to allow Their Friend to go off to war. No amount of pleading on the part of Dilmus could convince the pioneer Georgians that duty to country was as important as the production of 'Spirits'.

As soon as the English blockade was broken and shipping again resumed, Dilmus Lyle sent to Nova Scotia, for two pairs of the finest flint millstones that could be obtained. They were four feet in diameter, eighteen inches thick and made of the hardest blue white and yellow flint, commonly know as quartz. Finally they arrived and were deposited on the wharf at Charleston, there the real work began. It was necessary to haul those four massive rocks by ox cart through an almost impassable wilderness. After weeks of cutting trails and laying corduroy roads over swamp stretches, the four huge rocks were finally delivered at the Lyle mill. From that time until around World War I, the rocks second in hardness only to diamond, ground almost incessantly. For years they were the only millstones within a radius of thirty miles. All corn and wheat to be converted into meal and flour had to be hauled to the Lyle home.

Thirty two years after their arrival in this country, the rocks caused the death of the man who had imported them. At intervals, it was necessary to hoist the massive millstones out of their places for re-dressing and cleaning. It was during one of these periods of repair that one of the rocks, which had been propped up on edge for work, fell on Dilmus Lyle's foot and crushed it. The pioneers were miles from medical aid, and knew nothing of the dangers of infection. In a short time gangrene had set in and Dilmus Lyle was dead. Dilmus Lyle died on November 1, 1847 and is buried near the Mulberry River, in the Lyle cemetery, in what is now south Jackson County. Dilmus Reed Lyle, son of the pioneer, continued to operate the mill until his death in 1889."

(This information from an article by Robert Poor, published in an Atlanta newspaper, 1934) 
Lyle, Dilmus (I3295)
43 "Dunham Genealogy" gives the year 1680 but his will was proved before 24 Dec 1680 Dunham, Captain Benajah (I2076)
44 "Edward Foster was joined in Mariage to Hester Bliss: Decembr 26th 1661" Family F571
45 "Edward Stebbein and Mary Graves were maried[sic] Apr 1679" Family F555
46 "Edward Stebbin & widow Mary Colton were joyned in marriage Oct: 18th 1701 by Jon' Holioke" Family F556
47 "Edward Stebbin entred his intention of marriage w/ Mary Colton widdow[sic] on 3rd of Octob'r 1701 & were published on the 4th day of the same month" Family F556
48 "Edward Stebbin sonne of Thomas Stebbin borne the 14 day of the 2 mon: -- 1656" Stebbins, Edward (I1205)
49 "Edward Stebbins ye husband of Mary Stebbins was sick and died Octo: ye 31 1712" Stebbins, Edward (I1205)
50 "Esther [sic] Foster was sicke & died Jun 12 1683" Bliss, Hester (I1221)

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