Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts.
Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking. -author unknown
Welcome to An American Family History. This website is about the ancestors of one California family. Our family history mirrors American history. Our ancestors were mostly farmers. They immigrated to America, fought and died in wars. They homesteaded, "made-do" during the Great Depression and made their way west.
Frances Morrisons's father, Simon S. Morrison's, family came from Klodawa, Poland. Their name was originally Swietoslawska. They immigrated to the United States about the time of the First World War. They became successful clothing manufacturers and watch importers.
Frances' mother, Yetta Yarmark's, family came to the United States in the 1890s from eastern Galicia on the San River in the Lwow district.
Anti-Jewish riots, congested conditions and increasing unemployment led to large-scale emigration of Eastern European Jews. After arriving, the family overcame poverty in the tenements of Brooklyn, New York and moved to Chicago. The next generation moved on to California and Arizona.
Virginia's father, John Elmer Smith's, grandparents were from Tennessee. His grandfather, Josiah Smith, was in the 5th Tennessee Cavalry during the Civil War until he was captured by Union troops. In exchange for his freedom, he signed an oath not to return south of the Ohio River. The family left Tennessee and made their way to Illinois and then to Iowa.The Wind in the Willow is a book of Smith Family memories.
Elmer Smith's grandmother, Sarah Jane Ricketts Fox's, family was in Maryland by 1765 where Robert Ricketts was born. Robert's family moved to Pennsylvania where he served as a private in the American Revolution. The family moved from Pennsylvania to Kentucky to Indiana and to Illinois. Sarah Jane Ricketts Fox's family moved from there to Missouri and then moved on and settled in Lucas County, Iowa.
Sarah Rickett's second great grandmother, Mary Douglas Wilson, was born in 1718 in Charles County, Maryland. Her ancestors were Roman Catholics from Charles County, Maryland. They were land-owners who enslaved people and were members of the Maryland aristocracy of the time. Tobacco was both their crop and their currency.
The Oxleys, settled in Hopewell, New Jersey and moved on to Loudoun County, Virginia. They were Baptists and members of the Hopewell Baptist Church in New Jersey and the Ketoctin Baptist Church in Virginia.
Eliza Fox Smith's father, John Newton Fox's ancestors came from England to Kingwood, Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 1729. They moved with a group of Baptists, led by the Reverend Stutton to
Loudoun County, Virginia to
Hampshire County, West Virginia to
Washington County, Pennsylvania and finally to
Warren County, Ohio. Eliza's great-grandfather, Bonham Fox, went on to Butler County, Ohio and her grandfather, Levi Fox, moved on to Lucas County, Iowa.
Elmer Smith's grandmother, Eliza Yerkes Fox's, ancestors came to America before 1683 from Germany or the Netherlands and settled in the Manor of Moreland in Pennsylvania. They relocated to Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia) and then to
Hamilton Township, Butler County, Ohio where Eliza died. Her family went on to
Washington Township, Carroll County, Indiana. Eliza's great great grandfather, the Reverend John Watts, was the well-known pastor of the The Pennepek Baptist Church.
Mary Walton Yerkes was born about 1720 in the Manor of Moreland. Her grandfather, Thomas Walton and his brothers were Quakers who came from England to Pennsylvania. Her great grandparents, the Kitchens, were also Quakers who were persecuted for their beliefs in early Massachusetts.
Emma Bertrands' grandmother, Louisa Taylor Long's ancestors were living in Pennsylvania by 1784. They migrated to Green County, Ohio and then to Shelby County. Shortly after the family arrived, her grandfather, David Taylor, died and all the family's possesions were sold at auction to pay debts. Her father, Jacob Taylor, was a triplet. He moved the family to Warren County, Iowa.
Louisa Taylor Long's mother, Sarah Branstiter Taylor was a German Lutheran. Johann Jacob Branstetter and Anna Magdalena Spitelmaier immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1738 on the ship Robert & Alice. 1738 was marked by considerable deprivation on the journey, so much so, that it became known as the the "Year of the Destroying Angels." Sarah's great grandfather, John Jacob Branstetter, was a private in the Northampton Militia during the American Revolution.
Elizabeth Baker Branstiter was born in 1805 in Virginia. Her ancestors were German Palatine Lutherans who came to Philadelphia in 1752. From there, they went to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and then to German Township, Clark County, Ohio. Elizabeth's grandparents were active in the American Revolution. The family remained Lutheran.
Robert Miller, Jr.'s mother, May Violet Treahy Miller's family immigrated to Canada from Ireland. Her grandfather, Patrick Treahy was a railway mail clerk in Toronto. Her father John Patrick Treahy, made his way to San Diego, California where he married Matilda Jones. Matilda was raised at a stagecoach stop named Cocktail Springs. Her mother Eliza McKellar, was the assistant lighthouse keeper of Point Loma Lighthouse for a few years. Matilda later left her husband and five children and ran away with a musician and was shot dead in a dance hall in Mexico.
Robert Wilson Miller's ancestors immigrated to Canada from Ireland due to the Irish famine. They lived briefly in Minnesota and then took the train to San Diego, California. His father and grandfather were ships carpenters.
Isaac Davis Dwinnell's grandmother, Eunice Davis Dwinnell's' father, Captain Isaac Davis, died in 1776 of wounds suffered in the American Revolution. The entire Davis family was active in the American Revolution and many members signed the Association Test in Chesterfield, New Hampshire.
Simon's great grandfather, Barnabas Davis, first came from England in July, 1635, on the ship Blessing. He brought his wife and children in June, 1639. They settled in Charlestown.
Captain Isaac Davis' wife, Elizabeth Powers Davis Griswold's,ancestors include the Fiske, Fry, Jennings, Shepard and Stanhope Families. They were Puritans who came from England to Massachusetts and suffered during the Indian Wars.
Benjamin Dwinnell's wife, Mary Estey Dwinnell's great grandmother, Mary Towne Estey, was executed for witchcraft in Salem in 1692. Mary's ancestors also included members of some of New England's earliest settlers. The Towne family was in Salem by 1640. Jeffrey Estey was granted land in Salem in 1636. The Kimballs came on the ship Elizabeth which sailed from Ipswich, England in April, 1634.
Aaron Estey's wife, Esther Richards Estey's, ancestors included the Richards, Collins and Brewer families who were early settlers in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. Henry and Ann Collins immigrated to America on the “Abigail" in 1635.
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