Saturday, July 20, 2013

Surname Saturday: House, but not those other House people

It's time for this week's version of one of my favorite blogging prompts from GeneaBloggers called Surname Saturday. If you are a blogger and not doing Surname Saturday, please let me encourage you to give it a try! Here's my own blog post about Cousin Bait and Surname Saturday has been the very best one for me. Randy Seaver over at his excellent blog, Genea-Musings left a comment and be sure to read that too because it gives clear instructions on how to construct a Surname Saturday post!

This week we're into the 3rd great grandmothers, already having covered earlier grandmothers and a bunch of grandfathers in previous Surname Saturday posts. To check a surname, just plug it into the search box near the top right under the surname graphic. Are we related? I'm continuing to include some of the collateral folks as better cousin bait. It seems to be working:)

OK, so about that title for this post. You ever go charging into a line of ancestors and run across a really juicy story and get all excited about it and the way it could add pizazz to your family history? And then wake up one morning, have a cup of coffee and think, hey, that's not right! Yeah, it happens. And it happened on this House line.

For a really long time, Mom thought that we were descended from the famed Andrew V. House and John Valentine House of the House Heirs Association events, which is a very juicy story with millions of dollars hanging in the balance. You can read about it by clicking here for Part I to find the basics of the whole affair, then here for Part II where we follow the money, and finally here for Part III in a post that tries to uncover what is known about all that land the King of England supposedly gave the Count. It's complicated! Just know that even though we have in our possession copies of some of the House Heirs papers, now Mom and I are totally doubting that we're connected to this line at all!! Begging the question: if not them, who do we descend from?

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
1916 - 2007
3. Virginia Williams, living and loving it

6. Cambria Williams 1897 - 1960
7. Emma Susan Whetstone 1897 - 1956

14. Joseph Hampton Whetstone 1858 - 1938
15. Catherine Elizabeth House 1865 - 1947

30. Samuel Albert House 1832 - 1917
31. Mary Elizabeth Farrell 1835 - 1919
I wrote a longish blog post about Samuel Albert House on February 25, 2013 and his strange life which you can find here. It tells the story of various jobs and moving and finally settling in Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland.
There's also an amusing post about the Counterfeiting Twins here, and those two, Rev. Edward Francis and Joseph Martin, were SA and Mary Elizabeth's children.
They had these 16 children:
* James I. House 1844 - ????. He married Sara C. Wilson
* John T. House 1855 - 1954. He married Sarah Dennison.
* William H. House 1858 - 1907. He married Ada Elizabeth Garlitz.
* Mary Amelia "Molly" House 1861 - 1949. She married John R. Davis.
* Samuel T. House about 1862 - ????. He married Emma Siebert.
* Garnet Soloman House 1864 - ????. He married Rhoda ?.
15. Catherine Elizabeth House 1865 - 1947
The following were the twins:
* Rev. Edward Francis House 1868 - 1926. He married Martha Edith Dennison.
* Joseph Martin House 1868 - 1950. He married Rose Praut and upon her death married Madge Cook.
*George House 1870 - 1871.
* Sarah Ellen "Sadie" House 1870 - ????. She married William Harvey Reckley.
* Margaret Anna "Nan" House 1872 - 1968. She married Philip Long.
* Sadie F. House 1873 - ????.
* Charles Harley House 1875 - 1945. He married Blanch Perdue.
* Michael A. House 1878 - ????. He married Lillian Meade.
* Nora House 1879 - 1964. She married Denton R. Kaseycamp.

Samuel Albert took his mother's surname as his own and changed it from Biggerstaff, his natural father's surname, to House some time after the 1850 US census. The presumption is that he was illegitimate and his father was Isaac Biggerstaff. Some records/ trees have him as the son of a House man who lived in Harper's Ferry but there is not evidence of that suitable to quote. What we do have is this index from Hampshire County Virginia/ West Virginia. Here's what that index looks like, along with the 1850 census listing:

1850 US Census

Hampshire County (now West Virginia) index of births.
And here's the URL of the index at "Hamshire County VA: Vitals: Births":
Now let's check out this House line back from Samuel Albert House's mother, Rebecca House Caton, and then his maternal grandfather.

60. Patrick Caton 1814 - 1861
61. Rebecca House 1808 - after 1861
Remember we're after following the House family line back so we'll leave the Catons alone except to say that Patrick Caton came here from Ireland. Because of where he ended up in America, which is now West Virginia on the Potomac River near the long gone town of Magnolia, he most probably was lured by work on the railroads or the canal, as were countless other Irishmen. In the 1850 US Census he's listed as a farmer, but Samuel (calling himself Samuel Biggerstaff) and Patrick's brother, Francis Caton a man of 30 years living in the household, are listed as laborers. Presumably based on history of the area they were most likely employed by the railroad or the canal digs.
Patrick and Rebecca had the following children together:
* Mary Caton 1846 - ????
* Margaret Caton  1847 - ????. She married George W. Meade
And then of course they cared for:
30. Samuel Albert House 1832 - 1917

122. James House 1777 - 1862
123. Margaret Hartley about 1787 - about 1847
James House was born in the western frontier, also called at this time the Far West, in Morgan County (was Hampshire County), Virginia, now West Virginia. I can not even imagine what life was like for him growing up and later caring for his family! He owned at least 115 acres of farm land on the Potomac River, that became the subject of legal wrangling after his death.
Margaret was also born in the same area in Morgan County (was Hampshire County).
They had the following children:
* Dinah House 1803 - after 1880. She married Aaron W. Boxwell.
61. Rebecca House 1808 - after 1861
* William House 1811 - 1881. He married Susannah Johnston.
* Mary House 1814 - 1905. She married Jacob Snyder who died. Then she married Elijah Shambaugh.
* Susan House 1818 - 1854. She married George Washington Athey.

Well, there you have it. Who was James House's father? If you know or have a clue please let me know because it's driving Mom and I crazy!

Jame's wife, Margaret Hartley's parents were Rebecca Biggerstaff  (1754 - 1826) and John Hartley (1750 - 1825). The 1782 census for Hampshire County shows a William Biggerstaff Jr. and Sr. living in proximity to a Thomas Hartley.

So here's the deal and if you are confused, it's real easy to get that way. Samuel Albert House' mother and natural father were related. Rebecca House, his mother was great granddaughter to that William Biggerstaff Sr listed above. Isaac Biggerstaff, his natural father was great grand son to the same William Biggerstaff Sr. And see that George Tarvin who is next on the list above? That was the minister of the church the Biggerstaffs were prominent members of. Interesting, huh?

Well, at least none of this bunch owned slaves. That's something to be happy about.

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