Monday, November 10, 2014

The Troutman wrap-up and what I found that I didn't know

If you've been following along as I tracked down the life and times of Peter Troutman and his descendants down to my sweet and dear Grandma Kelly, you'll know how much fun I've been having. I've traced the line from Grandma Kelly back through her mother, Moretta (Workman) Zeller, and then her mother, Nancy Ann (Troutman) Workman, then her father Benjamin Franklin Troutman then to the patriot, Peter Troutman. The land records were plentiful and yielded much as did the court records and estate papers. I started to realize that vital records are nice and easy but all the other records just mentioned sometimes give a much fuller picture of what was going on in a family.

When I finally got back to Peter Troutman's generation I felt like I had arrived at my destination! He was the one who fought in the Revolutionary War, and moved from Berks County in Pennsylvania to Somerset County in the western part of the state taking advantage of his military land grant. He settled there and became a part of the community. He farmed, of course, but he was a weaver and carpenter. With other men from the Southampton community, they rebuilt the Comp Church after a fire destroyed it.

His son, Benjamin Franklin Troutman, remained in the area also farming and working as a gunsmith. He went down to Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland to work as an apprentice to a blacksmith and learn the trade. But then look! His father was a carpenter and he probably learned much of that craft from Peter. So he knew carpentry and metal working and used those skills to become a fine gunsmith. He's listed as such in a book about gunsmiths of the region. It is said that he was a "fine musician" and played the fiddle.

He apprenticed in 1807 and married in 1812 so I'm wondering if he met his young bride while sojourning in Cumberland because she was from Maryland. Oh, and I should mention that Cumberland and Southampton are about 15 miles apart.

His daughter Nancy Ann Troutman married Elisha Workman from a prosperous and landed family in Western Maryland. Their families resided just 12 miles away from each other. Until quite recently I had difficulty organizing some of the records for Nancy Ann. Growing up she was called Nancy, but once she married she became Anne or Anna, or even Angeline. Maybe I had three different people? But no. Once I made a list of which name she used and when I could see how it went. Her birth family called her Nancy, a diminutive of Anne. It was only in her marriage that she was also called Angeline. All the same person.

I don't really know why knowing such details of these ancestors lives makes me so happy, but it does. I guess it gives them some flesh and bones. Early on when I first started doing genealogy I read something that's stayed with me. The writer said that it's what the dash represents, the one between the birth and death years, that's the most fascinating part of this work. Yes it is!

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1 comment:

  1. I really loved this post. I had it saved in my to read file for some time but I'm happy that I read it. I love how you said, "I don't really know why knowing such details of these ancestors' lives makes me so happy" and the go on to say it gives them flesh and bones. I have always felt the stories matter more than names, dates, and places. Keep up the good work. Thanks for making your ancestors real to me.