Thursday 6 June 2024

Sam Jack Hyder (1892-1970)

I recently corresponded online with someone I've known for slightly more than twenty years. He lives in Carter County, Tennessee, where our Hyder ancestors took up residence sometime after arriving in America. I mentioned that my forebears had come from there, and he told me that Milligan University, formerly Milligan College, located near Johnson City, has a Hyder Auditorium and a Hyder House. Figuring that these were likely named for a distant cousin, I did a little research and learned that a Professor Sam Jack Hyder (1892-1970) taught mathematics at Milligan and appears to have made a singular impact on the university, which not only named two campus sites for him, but also issues an award in his name to faculty. Sam and his wife, Mary Ellen Thomas Hyder (1892-1984) are pictured here in 1915.

Using Find a Grave for reference, I discovered that Sam's parents were Nathaniel Henry Hyder (1847-1935) and Mary Isabell Williams Hyder (1851-1921). Nathaniel's parents were Samuel Washington Hyder (1817-1897) and Lavicia Elizabeth Edens Hyder (1824-1870). Samuel's parents were Michael Hyder II (1767-1861) and Sarah Eisenberg Zimmerman Hyder (1780-1865), from whom our line of the family is also descended. Michael's father was also named Michael and fought in the War for Independence. His parents, Hans Michael Hyder and Katherine Chasteen Hyder sailed from Germany to America by way of Rotterdam and Philadelphia in 1729. This makes Sam my second cousin three times removed.

Incidentally, Milligan University is a Christian university in the Restorationist (Stone-Campbell) tradition of the Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ, and the Churches of Christ. Sam's great-uncle Jacob Hyder (1814-1881), my third great-grandfather, was a trustee of the Union Church of Christ, located in nearby Washington County, in 1876. That two members of the extended Hyder family were associated with the Churches of Christ suggests that others might have been as well, but I've not found concrete evidence of this.

Friday 2 February 2024

The Booths of Stratford, Connecticut

Lucy Jane's grandparents were David and Nancy (Elkins) Wells. Recall that, according to the story making its way down through two family lines, David was murdered by "the Raiders or Ku Klux Klan as they were sometimes called" on the day the Civil War ended. Nancy Jane Elkins was born in 1822 and died from complications of measles in 1887, more than two decades after her husband's death. Nancy's father was Joseph Elkins (1789-1865), who, according to Lucy Jane, "died suddenly after being caught in a wind storm." Joseph's father was named Elijah (1760-1850), and his mother was Jerusha Booth (1771-1856). This brings us to the ancient Booth family whose origins appear to extend back to the 14th century with Sir Thomas de Booth (1330-1368). Several members of the Booth family, including our direct ancestors, were knighted by the king and thus had their names prefixed with "Sir."

The Booths lived in the northwest part of England near the cities of Liverpool and Manchester, more specifically in Lancashire, Cheshire, Trafford, and Staffordshire. Our line of the family crossed the Atlantic and were amongst the first settlers in and founders of Stratford, Connecticut, named after Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare's birthplace. The first arrivals landed in 1639, possibly escaping the troubles in their homeland just prior to the outbreak of the English Civil War, or the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (i.e., England, Scotland, and Ireland). Because the community was founded by Puritans, it is reasonable to assume that the Booths themselves were Puritans.

Thursday 25 January 2024

Seeking our roots

Lucy Jane with three of her children
Here is an article on genealogy which I recently published with a local periodical called Christian Courier: Seeking our roots. An excerpt:

Since childhood I have wanted to know who my ancestors were and where I came from. This flowed out of a general interest in history. I knew the major milestones such as the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and the exploration and settlement of the Americas. But where did my own family enter the picture?

Fortunately, my maternal great-grandmother, Lucy Jane Bentley Hyder (1875-1948), had the foresight to record two reminiscences of her own forebears extending back to the late 18th century. These included her grandfather David Wells (born c 1815), of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, who, on the day the American Civil War ended, was murdered by “the Raiders or Ku Klux Klan as they were sometimes called.”

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Piney Prospect

One of our ancestors was apparently responsible for building this house between 1790 and 1800. His name was Henry Hines (born around 1750, my 5th great-grandfather), whose wife was surnamed Williams and whose first name was either Elizabeth or Catherine (or perhaps a combination of the two). Their daughter Sarah Hines (1770-1856) married Squire Bentley (1770-1851). They were great-grandparents to Lucy Jane Bentley Hyder, my generation's great-grandmother.
The house was recently restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This 2015 article in Home & Garden tells the story of recent owners who restored the house and moved it to its present location: Homeplace: Piney Prospect. The house is located in Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, and is "[o]ne of the finest examples of federal architecture within North Carolina."

  • Henry Hines (c 1750—?), married Elizabeth (Catherine) Williams 
  • Sarah Hines (1770—c1856), married Squire Bentley (1770, North Carolina—1851), son of Benjamin Bentley (1747—1839, North Carolina) and Jane (1750, Rowan County, North Carolina—?)
  • Benjamin H. Bentley (1814—?), married Mary Davis (1815 Alexander, North Carolina—?), daughter of Jeremiah Davis (c1796 Virginia1882 Cave-In-Rock, Hardin, Illinois) and Nancy Bridgeman (Madcap?) (09 May 1796 Wythe, Virginia1873 Hardin, Illinois)
  • Squire Benjamin Martin Bentley (15 November 1849 Yancey County, North Carolina11 March 1903 East Stone Gap, Wise, Virginia), married Virginia Elizabeth Wells (1854 or 1857 Virginia8 Dec 1917, Big Stone Gap, Virginia), daughter of David W. Wells (1815, Virginia9 April 1865) and Nancy Jane Elkins (1822 Russell, Virginia22 December 1887 Wise County, Virginia)
  • Lucy Jane Bentley (1875—1948), married Nelson Hyder (1875—1959)

Monday 19 April 2021

Matthew Howard (c 1609-1659)

David W. Wells' great-grandmother was named Hannah Howard Osborne, who lived from 1735 until an unknown year. This is where the Wells line intersects with the Howards, who may have been descended from the Dukes of Norfolk in England. Here is the lineage:

  • Matthew Howard (1609, Wardour, Wiltshire, England—4 September 1659, Anne Arundel County, Maryland), married Anne Hall (1610, England—1640, Annapolis, Maryland), daughter of Richard Hall 1585-1645) and Marion Lee Loveland (1580-1645)
  • Captain Cornelius Howard (1637, Norfolk, Virginia—15 October 1680, Anne Arundel County, Maryland), married Elizabeth Todd or Gorsuch (sources differ)
  • Captain Cornelius Howard, Jr. (1664, Anne Arundel County, Maryland—23 February 1717, St. Annes Parish, Anne Arundel, Maryland), married Mary Katherine Hammond (1689, Anne Arundel—24 December 1714, St. Annes Parish), daughter of Major John Hammond (5 December 1643, Anne Arundel County—24 November 1707, Anne Arundel County) and Mary Howard (1647, Anne Arundel County—4 April 1721, Anne Arundel County), whose parents were Matthew and Anne Hall Howard
  • Captain John Howard (1698-1765), married Elizabeth Gassaway (28 March 1712, Anne Arundel—unknown), daughter of Thomas Gassaway (20 February 1683, Anne Arundel County—10 September 1739, Anne Arundel County) and Susanna Hanslap (8 February 1682, Anne Arundel County—24 February 1740, Anne Arundel)
  • Hannah Howard (1735, Virginia—unknown), married Caleb Osborne (1725 or 1731, James City (Williamsburg), Virginia—7 August 1781, Rowan County, North Carolina)
  • Elizabeth Abigail Osborne (1757-1856), married Zachariah Wells (1745-1825)
  • Dr. Jeremiah Wells (1792, Scott County, Virginia—18 November 1845, Wise County, Virginia), married Elizabeth Culbertson (1792 or 1796, Scott County, Virginia—5 April 1859, Wise County, Virginia), daughter of Joseph Culbertson (1766-1815) and Agnes Chittleton
  • David W Wells (c 1815, Virginia—9 April 1865), married Nancy Jane Elkins (1822, Russell, Virginia—22 December 1887, Wise, Virginia), daughter of Joseph Elkins (c 1789, Russell County, Virginia—after 1865) and Margaret (1803-unknown)
  • Virginia Elizabeth Wells, married Squire Benjamin Martin Bentley
  • Lucy Jane Bentley, married Nelson Hyder

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Michael Hyder (1740-1790), patriot

As we noted in an earlier post, Hans Michael and Katherine Chasteen Hyder immigrated from Germany to the American colonies in 1729. Their son Michael Hyder, Sr., fought in the American War for Independence, and his contributions to that and other skirmishes are memorialized on his headstone:

Erected by his Descendants to Michael Hyder Sr. Died 25 June 1790
Member of the Watauga Association in Watauga Fort, June 21, 1776. Took part in all the early Indian wars in Tennessee under Shelby, Sevier and Christian.
Was in the following battles of the Revolution, Thickety Fort, Cedar Springs and Musgrove's Mill in South Carolina. Was detailed from the King's Mountain, SC expedition to defend the Watauga Settlement from Indian invasion.

Wednesday 31 March 2021

'Irish Andrew' Culbertson (1694-1746)

Another line intersects with the Wells line with David W Wells' mother Elizabeth Culbertson. It begins in Scotland in the 16th century. A major figure in the line is a certain Andrew ("Irish Andrew") Culbertson, who came to Pennsylvania in the early 18th century and was my generation's 8th great-grandfather.

  • Thomas Cutbertsoun (c 1570?—unknown), married Bessie Hog
  • Nicoll Culberstone (21 November 1590, Kelso, Roxburgh, Scotland—27 April 1650, West-mains Seatoun, Midlothia, Scotland), married Cicill Waddell (1590, Berwickshire, Scotland—c 1692, Mid-Calder, Midlothian, Scotland)
  • Andrew Culbertson (Cuthbertson) (1612, Mid Calder, Midlothian—1654), married Elspeth Johnstone (1610-1661), daughter of Johnne Johnstoun (1580, Halifax, Yorkshire, England—14 October 1622, Midlothian, Scotland) and Margaret Hacketstoun (1580, Leith, Midlothianshire, Scotland—unknown, Leith)
  • William Culbertson (c 1645, Scotland—after 1720), married Jean Breckenridge (1668-1742), daughter of Thomas J Breckenridge (1655, Ballyrichard, Antrim, Ireland—1700, Clogher, Tyrome, Ireland) and Jane Austin (21 March 1652, Elton, Huntingdonshire, England—2 January 1690, Antrim, Ireland)
  • Andrew “Irish Andrew” Culbertson (1694, Derry, Londonderry, Ireland—1746, Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania), married Janet Breckenridge (Caldwell) (Miller?) (1696-1742), daughter of Alexander Breckenridge (c 1665—unknown) and Elizabeth Jane Preston (c 1665—unknown)
  • Andrew Culbertson, Jr. (c 1726, Culbertson's Row, Franklin County, Pennsylvania—1763), married Esther Arbuckle (1726, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania—unknown), daughter of Matthew Arbuckle (c 1700-unknown) and unknown
  • Joseph C Culbertson (1744, Cumberland, Pennsylvania—5 December 1805, Russell County, Virginia), married Agnes Bailey Stacy (1 August 1745, Westmoreland County, Virginia, or Lancaster, Pennsylvania—3 April 1811, Russell County, Virginia)
  • Joseph Culbertson (1766, Caswell County, North Carolina—1815, Scott County, Virginia), married Agnes Chittleton
  • Elizabeth Culbertson ((1792-1859), married Dr. Jeremiah Wells (1792-1845), David Wells' father.