George P Baker.

One of the people I keep coming across in my family tree work is George Baker, sometimes referred to as George “Perilous” Baker who was on of the original settlers in what is now Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  He is an ancestor on my maternal Grandmother’s side and has ties through one of his daughter-in-laws to John Hart, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He is also related to my children’s father and from looking at records, a very large portion of those in Beaver County today, close to 300 years after he was born.

I won’t go into long details about him now because a historian at Penn State Beaver did years ago, but what I will do is share Mr. Smith’s work with you.




Information for the museum can be found here:


Bishop William Barlow


Bishop William Barlow was born about 1498 in Essex, England to Robert Barlow and his wife, Anna. William, along with three of his four brothers, all entered the clergy at a time of religious change in England. Because there were three active Bishops by the name Barlow and William’s son were also clergy it has at times been confusing as to which “Barlow” is being referenced in historical documents from the time of Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. It is also believed that he may be Friar Jerome who is considered the author of a number of satirical pieces that attacked Cardinal Thomas Wolsley. Knowing the family history with Woosley it would not be surprising (two of William’s brothers were confidants to Anne Boylen). He was the author of “On the Luthern Factions.” During the reign of Mary I he spent time in the Tower of London. Later he and his family were exiled in Germany and he met many Protestant reformers there including Martin Luther. He later went to Poland before returning to England when Elizabeth was crowned. He also contributed to The Institution of the Christian Man.

Religiously he was a staunch reformer who was behind selling church properties and breaking up the monastaries among other things. He did not believe that confession was biblical and purgatory did not exist. He also was for translating the Bible into English.

While there is little evidence that he took an active role in the court of Henry VIII he was sent to James V of Scotland at least twice on the King’s behalf. During the second visit his stay was extended on behalf of Margaret Tudor, the king’s sister. While at Holyrood Palace William presented James with the Order of the Garter.

William is considered the first English bishop to wed. He married Agatha Wellsbourne before 1544, the marriage was before the demand for clerical celibacy was lifted. Their five daughters all married bishops and their oldest son also became a bishop.

William had been Bishop of St. Asaph, St. Davids, and Chichester.

William died in 1568.


Schwartz-Leeper, Gavin, From Princes to Pages: The Literary Lives of Cardinal Wolsey, Tudor England …

Christopher Barker



Geneva_Bible_Title_Page_1589Christopher Barkar (turned Barker) was born in 1529 in England to Edward Barkar and Joyce Burton. He had inherited wealth and position through his great uncle Sir Christopher Baker, a Garter Knight at Arms and a Knight of the Bath. In 1569 he began to have others print books for him, mostly Bibles and prayer books and in 1576 he obtained his own press. That year he printed copies of the Bible in two different versions. On September 27, 1577 for about $3,000 pounds he purchased a patent, or business license, which granted him the ability to use the title Queen’s Printer. “The full patent granted to Barker the office of royal printer of all statutes, books, bills, Acts of Parliament, proclamations, injunctions, Bibles, and New Testaments, in the English tongue of any translation, all service books to be used in churches, and all other volumes ordered to be printed by the Queen or Parliament.”1 He obtained the patent for his son and later his grandsons. He retired after 1588 and at that time he and his deputies had printed 70 editions of the Bible. He died November 29, 1599.

One thing that Christopher would not print were books of music and he would not provide shelves for them either.

Sources 1

Luckombe, Philip, A Concise History of the Origin and Progress of Printing: With Practical Instructions to the Trade in General January 1770, accessed via Google Play on April 9, 2018

Stephen, Sir Leslie, ed.; London, England: Oxford University Press; Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22; Volume: Vol 01; Page: 1115

Smith, Jeremy L., Thomas East and Music Publishing in Renaissance England Oxford University Press 2003,, accessed via Google Play on April 9, 2018

Sarah Webb


Sarah Webb Price

We all know Colonial times were rough and tumble and comforts were scarce. But how many realize how many “wars” went on before the Revolution. There were a number of Indian Wars such as Powhatan Wars(1610-1646), Pequot War(1636-1637), King Phillip’s War(1675-1676), King William’s War (1689-1697), Queen Anne’s War (1702-1711), the French and Indian War (1689-1763), the War of Jenkin’s Ear (1730’s) and Pontiac’s Rebellion(1763-1768) not counting the Seven Years War going on in Europe. English colonies were at war with the French, Spanish and various native tribes. So our colonial ancestors were pretty used to war and the brutalities associated with it. Sometimes these ancestors got stuck right in the middle of a battle while tucked in their beds asleep.

Sarah Webb was born about 1646 in Hartford, Connecticut to John Webb and Anne Basset. She married Robert Price around 1677 and among their children were daughters Elizabeth Stephens, whose husband Andrew was a Native American of unknown tribe, and Mary Smead and a son, Samuel. On the night of February 29, 1704 a group of French and a mixed band of native warriors (a mix of Abenaki, Mohawk, Wyndot and Pocumtuc met at Chamby to attack the small town of Deerfield. The raid had been planned since about 1702 and was under the command of Jean-Baptiste de Rouville and Wattanummon. The raid was not entirely unexpected and Deerfield had increased the pallisaides around the community and there were soldiers being housed in the town. Unfortunately, heavy snow fall had drifted making walk ways directly over the barriers in areas.

The first home attacked was that of the Reverend John Williams who was taken captive after his attempt to shoot the intruders failed when his pistol misfired. Not all of the household was so lucky, two of his children and a female slave were slaughtered in front of him. At the end of the raid 17 homes were destroyed, 44 residents were killed, mainly small children and infants and 109 were taken captive and marched to Canada roughly 300 miles away. Andrew Stephens was one of the men killed that night Mary, her in-laws and her two small children were also killed in the village. About 20 of captives including Sarah did not survive the march through the frozen land. Samuel was later ransomed and was able to return home around 1714. Elizabeth stayed with her captures and eventually married a Frenchman named Jean Fourneau.

Some people in the community had managed to escape the raid and ran for help, however, by the time help arrived it was deemed unsafe fo chase after the raiders due to the snow and the villagers lack of snowshoes.


This is Halloween, This is Halloween… oh wait…

Today is Halloween, Samhain (Beltane for those in the southern hemisphere), All Hallows Eve (and a large number of Saint’s feast days and Reformation Day for some Protestant sects), Hop-tu-Naa, National Unity Day, World Cities Day, World Savings Day, and for those in Girl Scouting, it is Juliette Lowe’s birthday. On this day many cultures look at those that have gone before them, some in love and remembrance and others in fear. Of course, here in the U.S. today is a day of candy mayhem for children though trick or treat may have already occurred in many communities.

This year my family lost my maternal grandmother, Marjorie Schooley nee Russell in June. In August her oldest son, Ralph David Mortimer died after an accident. Later in August, my children lost their uncle, Jeffrey Caler. Both my children and husband had cousins die this year as well.

How do we remember these people, keep their memories alive? Tell stories, write their histories, share photos with far flung family. Americans tend to move on and forget their past, it seems it is in our blood. After all we are a nation formed by people leaving their old world behind to build a new one. Is this healthy though? Many faiths have ancestor veneration as part of their path, mine does. Why do some faiths feel that honoring the dead is so important. The Old Testament lists genealogies of prophets and kings, during the Middle Ages European nobility often built family trees that tied into Joseph or Joseph of Arimathea to prove their legitimacy to rule. Today with the relatively easy access to DNA testing and sites like Ancestry and 23andme, vast numbers of people are looking into their pasts. With those sites come people with questions, “Help, I was adopted”, “My father isn’t my father, what do I do”, “My great grandparents came from Sweden I don’t know their names.” This is sad to me. Personally, I have a block with one of my maternal great grandmother’s parents. I have what is supposed to be their names but all legal documents say otherwise. She is my brick wall. It is hard to honor those who have been lost to time.

If you are reading this blog you probably have an interest in genealogy, please for the sake of your grandchildren, write down your stories, the stories of your loved ones. Take photos, load them to social media, the cloud, zip drives, protect them from old age or computer failure or storm damage (many families in Japan lost their shrines after the tsunami). Don’t forget those “black sheep” they may be an embarrassment now but they are still kin and may one day be seen in a different light. My own family hid our relationship of Wyndham Mortimer, my great great grandfather’s brother (son of Rachel who I have written about) because of his communist leanings. One day we will all be someone else’s history.



Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well


Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But I know one thing that never dies,
The glory of the great dead


Migration Monday Rachel Jenkins


Rachel Jenkins was born April 21, 1852 (ish some some census records vary) in Ystradgynlais, Breconshire, Wales to Rachel Davies and possibly a David Jenkins. There were multiple Davids and Rachels in the village and it is hard to determine who is who (also, in Unionize by her son Wyndam Mortimer her parents are listed as William and Sarah but that doesn’t match up to some of the legal documents). David is the signature of father on her marriage license and in the baby book for her grandson George Ivor. In about 1857 David died leaving Rachel with three children to raise and a blind mother. The dates may be off because census records indicate a fourth child was born in 1863 but we all know how that works. No matter what happened to David, Rachel Davies Jenkins was in a pinch with more mouths to feed that she could afford through her embroidery. To help solve this problem young Rachel Jenkins was sent off to work at a nearby farm as farm labor. She helped with kitchen work, tending the children and such but she also did some fieldwork. In her early teens her flinging bails of hay caught the eye of a young English man, Thomas George Mortimer, who drove cattle from Wales to the markets in London. He too came from a poor home and had started working at 10 to help support his siblings. He was interested in the young girl but he only spoke English and she only spoke Welsh but apparently they made it work. When arriving home from that particular drive Thomas learned his mother had died and deciding he had no more reason to walk back and forth with cows when he could work in Wales in the mines that’s what he did. He walked back to be near Rachel and worked in the mines. They married on February 9, 1873 in the District of Neath, County of Glamorgan Brecon in Wales. They immigrated to America and came to Pennsylvania on September 19, 1881. Their first three were born in Wales, including their son Benjamin who died at or near birth. The next six were all born in Pennsylvania, including two others who died in infancy Gomer and John. Thomas worked in the mines in Pennsylvania and found them just as difficult as the ones they left in Wales but this time with no supports and they debated on moving home. They stayed though and much of their earlier years is told in Wyndham’s introduction in his book. Including tales of Thomas not allowing his children to tease a black man whom he had invited to dinner. They later moved to Lorain, Ohio where Thomas and his sons worked in the mills which were vastly safer than the mines. Rachel died November 30, 1920 in Lorain, Ohio, never having learned to read or write.


Welsh and US census records

Marriage Licensce of Thomas and Rachel Mortimer

Babybook of George Ivor Mortimer

Unionize by Wyndham Mortimer (Though his book does not always match records)

Family history compiles by their great granddaughter Lila and gifted to me.

Ermentrude of Orléans



Ermentrude of Orléans (also known as Hirmentrude and Irmintrud) was born September 27, 823 in France. She was the daughter of Odo, Count of Orléans and Engeltrude of Fezensac. On December 13, 842 she married Charles the Bald and proceeded to have about 10 kids (some records say only 9). The marriage made her Empress of the Holy Roman Empire and Queen of West Francia (yeah we didn’t leave the Frankish queens completely yet). Other than popping out heirs her hobbies were embroidery, which she was renowned for and abbeys. Charles presented her with the Abbey of Chelles and at least four of her children entered the church though Lothar didn’t remain there. In 866 her brother William was charged with treason and was executed by her husband. She didn’t appreciate that much at left him to join a nunnery. She died October 6, 869 and is buried at Basilique Saint-Denis, Paris, France.


Ermesinde of Carcassonne



Ermesinde of Carcassonne was born about 972 in France, she was the daughter Roger I of Carcassonne. In 993 she married Ramon Borell with whom she had three children, Borrell Ramon (who died as a child), Berenguer Ramon and Estefania, also known as Adelaide. She was politically active through her husband’s life, where she presided over tribunals and assemblies and dealt with finances and when he died in 1018 she became regent for their son. Berenguer Ramon I died a in 1035 and she became regent again for her grandson. During her lifetime they were often at war with the Muslims in Iberia, her son wasn’t big on warring but mom sure was since their presence and her son’s attempts at peace irritated the nobles. She was also the driving force behind Pope Victor II excommunicating grandson Ramon Berenguer I and Almodis de la Marche (yeah remember them). She continued as regent until 1044 when she was declared too old. She died March 1, 1058 in Cataluna, Spain and is buried at Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona


Luitgarde of Vermandois

Luitgarde of Vermandois was born about 914 to Herbert II of Vermandois and Adele, daughter of Robert I of France. She was countess of Vermandois and later became duchess consort of Normandy. Her first husband, William I of Normandy (William Longsword) died without them having any children, it was a short-lived event lasting only from 940 to 942. She later married Theobald I of Blois in 943 and had four children with him, Theobald, Hugh, Odo and Emma. She died February 9, 978.