Friday, May 11, 2012

Two Books, One Location

I have two new best friends: Samuel Doak Porter and H. Andrew Brown! Actually they are both deceased as are many of my new friends;) You know how it is... you "meet" ancestors or whatever online and the next thing you know you are dreaming about them, right Mom?

I ordered up two microfilms of books about ancestors through and the Family History Library. Had been trying to get a copy of each forever, trolling bookseller web sites, gazing longingly at WorldCat to see which libraries held them, and wondering how on earth I was going to travel to far-away locations. Then I noticed that one of the WorldCat listings was for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Hmmm... could I get them on microfilm?! YES!

So I ordered them up to be sent to the local Family History Center here in San Diego. And I've seen them. Not only that but I scanned the relevant bits and made copies for Mom! I'm thrilled!

The first is about my Eckhart ancestors, "George Adam Eckhart and Philip Hansel of Allegany County, Maryland," by H. Andrew Brown. It's mostly about the Hansel family because Andrew Brown descended from that line, but never mind. There's enough meat in it about the George Adam Eckhart side to interest me.

My big "take-away" moment from the Brown book is the mention of an article in the 22 OCT 1860 New York Evening Post about the Eckhart heirs being "cheated out of land". That goes along with family oral tradition and to my knowledge this is the only thing ever written about that whole affair. (Scroll down to read more about the Eckharts and their land.) Andy Brown was not able to see that article from himself, and he was a super researcher, you can tell by reading his work. Interestingly, Mom has correspondences with him in her file about the Eckharts when he was writing the book. Now I'm wondering, how can I get to see that article?

The second book on microfilm is "A genealogy of the Porter family of Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan," by Samuel Doak Porter. I've been after it for a long time and here's why. George Adam Eckhart's grandson Jacob Eckhart (1801 - 1836) was married to Delilah Porter (1812 - 1881). Mom and I have tried repeatedly to figure out who her father was. There are tons of Porters in the area and the generations use the same handful of given names over and over which drives us to distraction! You ever run into that? Yikes!

I've only had the most basic peek at the Porter book - which I scanned at the Center yesterday afternoon - but I can tell already that this is going to be a real challenge to sort out. The author pretty much starts the book by saying that it was frustrating for him as well as many others trying to trace this line when sorting out all the various Moses, Samuel, and Josiah men!! But Mom is a really good detective and there are a couple of telling moments in the lineage where Delilah and her presumed brother Josiah could fit in. This mystery will be an educated guess at best with no solid proof available, I'm sorry to say.

The interesting thing for me right off the bat is how these families, the Eckharts, the Porters, the Frosts, the Workmans, the Combs and all the rest living just a few short miles from each other, one hill away, married and re-married in to each other's families again and again. Geography determining biology once more. Seems like church was the of the day;)

The photo of the day from my archive:

The Eckhart land, in part, Eckhart Maryland.

The Eckhart Cemetery, Eckhart Maryland
Looking toward the Porter property on Rose Hill... sort of.

The Porter Cemetery, Rose Hill.

See the yellow? All Josiah Porters! Yikes!!
(From the Samuel Doak Porter book.)

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