Saturday, November 2, 2013

Surname Saturday: About those Trimbles

It's Saturday once again, and that means it's time for my still fav blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers called Surname Saturday. Here's the official description from the source itself:
To participate in Surname Saturday, simply create a post in which you discuss a surname and mention its origins, its geographical location(s) and how it fits into your genealogy research.

I was encouraged to do this at the beginning of the year as cousin bait, and am so very glad I did. It truly is the perfect cousin bait because any remote cousins out there interested in genealogy will probably get around to Googling that surname and hopefully find this blog. One thing I can say is that if you decide to do this one, take the surnames in an orderly manner back through the generations, and follow each back. It's easy and I've eventually been in contact with just about one cousin for each of the surnames I post!

I've taken a longish break from my Surname Saturday posts but let's get going again. I got stumped on the Trimbles because, frankly, I was having "Trouble with Trimbles" (and that reference is for Star Trek fans;)

So here goes as we follow the branches back to the Trimble family of Maryland. There are Trimbles elsewhere in the Colonies early history, but those aren't ours. Here is our bunch.

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

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

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985)

10. Gustav William "Gus" Zeller (1858 - 1927)
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946)

22. Elijah Workman 1816 - 1864
23. Nancy Ann Troutman 1826 - 1882

44. John Workman 1779 - 1859
45. Amelia or (Abigail) Combs about 1789 - ????
John was also born in Zihlman but died just up the hill in Frostburg. Presumable, Amelia Combs was born close by Zihlman and also died in Frostburg, but proof remains elusive.
John was a farmer and in the 1840 US Census owned one slave. This was the first record of him owning slaves.
They had these children:
Rebecca Workman 1809 - before 1908. She married Solomon Hansel. They both died in Frostburg.
Kate Workman 1810 - ????. She married Noah Trimble from Wellersburg PA.
Joseph Workman 1812 - 1879. He married Louisa Knabenshue from Keyser, Mineral County, WVa.
Isaac Workman 1814 - 1897
22. Elijah Workman 1816 - 1864
Margaret Workman 1819 - 1908. She married James P. Hannah and then Harry Stevens.
John L. Workman 1821 - 11873. He married Druzilla Workman.
Stephen Workman 1823 - ????.
Cuthbert Workman 1825 - 1882. He married Nancy Conkle. He died in Danville, Knox, County, OH.
Nimrod Workman 1828 - 1870.
William Combs Workman 1831 - 1894. He married Clara Sophia Winebrenner and then Rebecca Sheffiff.

90. John Combs (1765 - 1854)
91. Margaret Trimble (1780 - 1859)
Combs family history has it that John Combs was born in Virginia and married Margaret Trimble in 1794, presumably in Allegany County, Maryland, where they had their family. Mom thinks he was from the part of Virginia that became West Virginia, and perhaps as far west as Hampshire or Morgan counties, or maybe even old Virginia's Frederick County. If he was, then it wasn't so far to go to get to Western Maryland where he ended up.
It's been thought that this John Combs served in the Revolutionary War but he would only have been 11 years old when it began. His birth year could easily be incorrect, as records from this time and place are sketchy at best. But if you look you'll find an approved SAR application from about 1940 on but I have my doubts. It is true that Military Lot #3352 was assigned to a Jacob Corns, and that could be a transcription error of some sort, but I haven't seen the original and can't really comment.
The connection that's real solid is to his brother, Cuthbert Combs/Coombs who married Margaret Trimble's sister Abigale. Cuthbert took Military Lots numbered 3408 and 3407.
This John Combs remains a mystery to me and is on the list for a full investigation because we need details, don't we? First place I'll look is Fold3.
They had these known children:
45. Amelia Combs about 1789 - ????
William Combs 1799 - 1878. He married first Marie Arnold and then Sarah Wheeler.
Mary Margaret Combs 1803 - before 1839. She married Josiah Porter and you'll find this couple on the Porter Surname Saturday post.
We know much less about these children:
Martha Combs
John Combs, who married Bathsheba Drake.
Althea Combs

Tombstone of John Combs at Percy Cemetery, Allegany, Maryland. Find A Grave # 55582247
Margaret Trimble Combs is buried there as well. Find A Grave # 55582257

182. John Trimble (about 1735 - 1802)
183. Margaret Arnold (1739 - 1805)
John Trimble and Margaret Arnold had these 8 children:
Charlotte Trimble (1765-1844). She married William Shaw Sr.
John Trimble Jr. (1767-1823). He married Elizabeth Ann Arnold.
Abigail Trimble (1771-1793). She married Cuthbert Combs.
Henry Trimble (1772-1825). He married Margaret Critchfield.
Sophia Trimble (1774-1860). She married Peter Crow.
Catherine Trimble (1774-1815). She married Kelita Potter Sr.
Note: were Sophia and Catherine twins? Looks like it!
91. Margaret Trimble (1780 - 1859)

We're way back here and out in the western most reaches of Allegany County, Maryland, and the frontier of the time, where our John Trimble was born. Our Trimbles were part of the group of families who lived on the land between Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland and Mount Savage, Allegany, Maryland, called Federal Hill. If you want to know more about this location then you've just got to check out The Evergreen Heritage Center. Here's what they have to say about the Trimble family of this area:
Eight generations ago, in the late 1700s, one of Allegany County’s early settlers, Edward Grimes, built a stone foundation log home about a mile from a settlement that would become known as Mount Savage. That home was later acquired by the Winter family, who expanded the home with a large stone addition and outbuildings, creating a southern style plantation. After the Civil War, the Winter’s neighbors, the Trimble family, who had also settled in the area in the late 1700s, acquired the property, further expanded the home and painted it white, and named the new farm Evergreen, in honor of the fledgling evergreen trees planted there.

These Military Lots and their locations all but predict the marriages of the time. You can look at the map and see whose lot is adjacent or really close to others and then see a marriage. The Arnolds to Trimbles. The Trimbles to Coombs, and the Workman and Porters to just about everyone in the area!

This map of Military Lots showing the Trimble lots (As well as the Workman lots) awarded after the American Revolutionary War, was put together as a joint project of Frostburg State University and The Evergreen Heritage Center. It's one of my absolute favorite maps!

OK, it needs to be said right here that there were a bunch of Trimbles in the Colonies at this time in the early 1700s and I'm really not super familiar with all of the lines that resided outside of Maryland. Maryland, being basically a historic Catholic colony, has its separate history... not that Pennsylvanians and Virginians can't slide on over and mess up a person trying to trace a line back in time! And I know from personal experience that other Trimble lines have lived in Maryland in the early Colonial period... because I bought a book that didn't contain even one of our guys!

In order to sort out the ball of yarn that is the Trimble ancestry in this particular line, some time and effort needs to be invested, starting right here with John, and then of course his parents. But that goes on the list to do for later. If you care to you can search on John Trimble in this time period on any of the various genealogy web sites and easily find that there are a couple. So you see the problem.

Maybe John Trimble's father was David Trimble (1720-1799) born in Scotland and died in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and married Mary Houston (1724-?) and born in Kentucky. He seems to be the logical choice, and at least Mom thinks so, so it works for me until we see evidence otherwise. If so, then David's own father would be Robert Trimble (1695-?) and born in Scotland. The trail, such that it is, ends right there.

I like this line because it gets interesting and totally documentable right there on that lovely Military Map. That map tells a story, all right!

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  1. Hello There
    I am Robert Watt born in 1941 near Dungannon in Co. Tyrone, Ireland. My mother was Hannah Trimble.
    We have been researching our Trimble family for several years, We know many of our ancestor's siblings went to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and America.
    I have noticed many of the same names on your lists as there are in our present Trimble family.
    My grandparents were Henry and Margaret Trimble,we have Abagail, John, Charlotte, David and Robert.
    Are there any Irish connections in your Trimble families??
    Kind regards from Robert.

    1. Hi Robert--

      We're not sure about the Ireland connection. Previously published genealogies tend to say our people came from Scotland.

      But as you point out, look at those given names and the reoccurrence of a small set! Hmmm. Fascinating:)