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Barlow and William’s son were also clergy it has at times been confusing as to which “Barlow” is being referenced in historical documents from the time of Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. It is also believed that he may be Friar Jerome who is considered the author of a number of satirical pieces that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 …

Why Labor Day?

Despite what I heard yesterday on the radio, Labor Day isn’t the official end of summer (unofficial maybe) nor is a get drunk and blow things up day.  According to Wikipedia, “Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.”  What are we honoring? The men and women who fought to help put in place the perceived 40 hour work week, child labor laws, overtime pay, workplace safety laws. Things we tend to take for granted.  What we tend to forget is that this wasn’t easy, today when you’re popping open your drink with your burger on your lap remember the following:
The Haymarket Affair 
“The Haymarket Affair (also known as the Haymarket Massacre or Haymarket Riot) was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.”


Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (which came after the federal declaration for Labor Day)
“On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned, killing 145 workers. It is remembered as one of the most infamous incidents in American industrial history, as the deaths were largely preventable–most of the victims died as a result of neglected safety features and locked doors within the factory building. The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of workers.”
Pullman Strike
“More than 14,000 heavily armed federal troops, marshals and policemen called to duty in 27 states ranging from New York to California – 34 people shot dead, dozens seriously wounded, hundreds jailed…$80 million worth of property destroyed…the country’s vital rail system badly crippled …
It was the great Pullman strike of 1894, a virtual insurrection of working people against the corporate forces who dictated their conditions of employment, subjecting them without recourse to lives of poverty or near-poverty.
It took nearly three weeks and the might of the U.S. government itself to defeat them. But when it finally came, the defeat was among the most severe ever dealt the American labor movement.
The strike nevertheless was one of the most important of the events that ultimately led to widespread unionization and the granting of fundamental rights and protections to all U.S. workers, unionized or not.”
Ludlow Massacre
“The Ludlow Massacre was an attack by the Colorado National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, on April 20, 1914. About two dozen people, including miners’ wives and children, were killed. The chief owner of the mine, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was widely criticized for the incident.”

The above were just a sampling, other workers deaths are listed at from 1850 to 1979.



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.




Bertrade de Montfort , Queen Consort of the Franks


Bertrade de Montfort , Queen Consort of the Franks was born around 1070 to Simon I de Montfort and Agnes, Countess of Evreux. Her parents died while she was a teen and she was left to the guardianship of her older brother, Amaury. She was married to Fulk IV, Count of Anjou also known as Fulk le Réchin, about 1089 (she was his fifth known wife, he like to repudiate his wives) and they had a son together, Fulk, Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem. With Fulk having a nickname that seems to indicate he was a bit of a jerk and with contemporary chronicler, John of Marmoutier claimed, “The lecherous Fulk then fell passionately in love with the sister of Amaury de Montfort, whom no good man ever praised save for her beauty.”1 This sounds like a “bad boy” fell in love with a “bad girl” which is probably right since in 1092 she ran off or was “kidnapped” by King Philip I of France. The pair married on May 15, 1092 much to the chagrin of their spouses. Bertrade didn’t see it as a big deal and expected Philip and Fulk to be friends. Philip repudiated Bertha claiming that she got too fat and locked her up in the fortress of Montreuil sur Mer. Neither Hugh of Die nor Pope Urban II agreed and the pair was excommunicated. In 1095 and poor Philip wasn’t allowed to run off and join the First Crusade. Philip and Betrade had three children, Philip, Fleury and Cecile.

Bertrade made the annals of another chronicler, this time, Orderic Vitalis, who claimed that she was so concerned with making sure one of her sons succeeded Philip that she wrote to Henry I of England to have Philip’s oldest son, Louis, arrested. (Some claimed she was behind the death of his son Geoffroy on May 19, 1106 from a ‘friendly fire’ arrow.) He also claimed she used witchcraft and poison against her stepson but to no avail, he succeeded his father in 1108. Betrade lived on and according to William of Malmesbury, a 12th Century historian and monk “Bertrade, still young and beautiful, took the veil at Fontevraud Abbey, always charming to men, pleasing to God, and like an angel.”, 1 Not sure about witchcraft and joining a convent a few years later but stranger things have happened. She died February 14, 1117.

Sources 1,_Count_of_Anjou

Marguerite de Sablé



Marguerite de Sablé was born abou 1179 in France to Robert de Sable and Clémence de Mayenne. She was the eldest of three children, only two of which survived to adulthood. Her brother, Robert, died as a child and her younger sister was Phillipa. Her father was a Grand Master of the Knights Templar and died in the Holy Land on September 23, 1193. At this point Marguerite had been married for two years to William des Roches, Seneschal of Anjou, a knight in the Third Crusade, she was second wife. Her father’s death made the young couple extrememly wealthy and William a very powerful man. The pair had three children, Robert who died young as his uncle before him, Jeanne and Clemence. William died on July 15, 1222.

She supported the two abbeys that her father founded. In 1200 she lands to the abbey at Perray aux Nonnains which her uncle added to. And in 1209 they had the abbey at Perray-Nauf moved to closer to Sable. In 1227 she donated to the nuns at the Abbey at Bonlieu to pray for the souls of her departed family. In 1235 she supported the monks at the Church of St. Nicholas of Sable.

Marguerite died in 1238 (around the same time as their daughter Jeanne) and is buried in Perray-aux-Nonnains, France while her heart is buried with William at the Abbey at Bonlieu.


Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun


Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun was born around 1227 in France. Her father was Geoffrey VI, Viscount de Chateaudun and her mother was Clémence des Roches. She married Jean I de Montfort in March of 1248 and the pair had a daughter, Beatrice. Jean died during the Seventh Crusade in 1249 while in Cyrpus. She married again, this time to Jean de Brienne, Grand Butler of France and son of the King of Jersuluam and Emperor of Constantinople in 1251. She had her second daughter with her new husband, Blanche. In 1265 she attained the additional title of Dame de Chateau-du-Loir. She eventually passed on her title of Loupeland to Blanche. It is unknown when she died.