15 July 2014

#28-52ancestors: d'Anterroches-Vanderpoel


Surprising French Connection
Chevalier d'Anterroches and Mary "Polly" Vanderpoel

Julie d'Anterroches, wife of Warren Rogers--1839;
daughter of Louis-Joseph d'Anterroches and Mary Vanderpoel

Henry Knox (1750-1806) was a military officer of the Continental Army and later the United States Army, and also served as the first United States Secretary of War. In 1787, he received a request from his former commander, General George Washington, to learn more about a particular Frenchman, whose “distressed” mother had written to Washington requesting assistance for her son who had come to America as a British soldier during the American Revolution.

Knox replied to Washington: New York 26th March 1787.

“I have attended my dear sir to your request respecting the Chevalier D'Anterroches and the following sketch is the result.

He is the son of a general officer in the French service, old and infirm; his uncle is the bishop of Condom [in southwestern France], rich, and miserly; besides which he is a relation of the Marquis de la Fayette. In the early part of his life, his father designed him for the church, and forced him to enter on studies necessary for the profession—as this business was his horror, he fled to England and enlisted as a soldier, but afterward became an officer, by what means does, not appear, but he came out to Canada with General John Burgoyne in the year 1776 or 1777, and was taken prisoner at Saratoga [New York].

On information that France had decidedly espoused the cause of America he [Chevalier D’Anterroches] left the service of England — whether he refused to be exchanged, resigned, or the precise means of leaving the British service, I cannot ascertain.

Some four or five years ago, he was at Chatham, Morris County [New Jersey],  in the house of a Mr. Pool, where he fell sick—Mr. Pool [David Vanderpool] is a shoemaker, his daughter was extremely attentive to the sick chevalier, who testified his gratitude on his recovery by marrying her. Two or three children are the fruits of the marriage. He lives on a small farm near Elizabeth Town, and is in great distress, but is in constant expectation of being relieved by his [wealthy] relations. His character is unexceptionable, and he is spoken of as a deserving man.

My own opinion is that nothing could more effectually please him than placing him in the French service, but his wife and children seems to be an insuperable bar to that idea — perhaps were you to write to the Marquis de la Fayette a letter calculated for him to show to the persons of influence, the poor chevalier might obtain some office in the customs, in the islands, or vice consul of these states by which he might maintain his family. I know of nothing in the gift of the United States at present which would relieve him — were it practicable for him to enter the service in a military line, the payments are so deficient that his family would starve.

I am my dear sir
Your respectfully & affectionate friend and very humble servt [servant]
HKnox [Henry Knox]”

It may be through the interposition of President Washington's influence that Joseph-Louis  D’Anterroches was made an adjutant general to the army commanded by General Henry Lee during the fall 1794 expedition to Western Pennsylvania in suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion.

Joseph-Louis, Chevalier d'Anterroches was born at the Chateau of Puydernac, near Tulle, Limousin, France, on August 25, 1753. His parents were Jean-Pierre, Count d'Anterroches, and Lady Jeanne Francoise Teissier de Charnac. On his mother's side he was related to General Lafayette.

Chevalier d'Anterroches married Mary “Polly” Vanderpoel [as some of the family spelled the surname], daughter of Captain David Vanderpoel (1735-1821), at the Presbyterian parsonage in South Hanover, New Jersey on January 30, 1780 by the Rev. Ebenezer Bradford. The wedding ceremony was quiet and simple and not the usual large festive gathering, precluded by the severity of the weather and the unsettled condition of the country. Later an elegant trousseau was sent to Polly by her in-laws. The simple ceremony was not considered a sufficient compliance with the marriage laws of France, so seven years later a second ceremony was performed, according the rites of the Roman Catholic Church in the chapel of the French Legation in New York City.

The Vanderpoel family’s version of the meeting and courtship of Mary (called Polly) Vanderpoel and the chevalier differs somewhat from Knox’s, but these details are independently unverifiable. Her father, David Vanderpoel, was a tanner and currier by trade, and a soldier in the New Jersey militia. The family claimed he was a captain. Her mother was Deborah Lane (1739-1820). In the Dutch custom, their surname often was shortened to v. d. Pool (or Poel) or to just Pool. Her father objected to their marriage — some say because he was French, perhaps a spy, a paroled prisoner of war at the time, and had been fighting on the British side, but more likely it was a religious objection, since the Vanderpoels were Protestants.

By 1784, with the American Revolution ended and peace restored, the d’Anterroches settled down in Elizabeth Town, New Jersey. Years later, on a visit to his aging parents, his father died, and before Joseph-Louis  d’Anterroches could arrange affairs and get back to his wife and family in New Jersey, he died on 18 January 1814 — in his native land at the age of 60.

Mary “Polly” (Vanderpoel) d'Anterroches lived on in New Jersey and New York until 1844. When Lafayette revisited this country in 1824, she and her children were received at a private interview and embraced with the affection of a relative — as the children told their children.

They had 10 children, one of whom was Julie Francoise Gabrielle d’Anterroches (born in 1794) who married first Edward Griffith in 1811 and secondly, Warren Rogers in 1821. The 1839 watercolor-on-ivory portraits of Julie and Warren by the artist Theodore Lund (1810-1895) were donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York by the family.

07 July 2014

#27-52ancestors: Kimbro

Kimbros -- Gone to Texas?

George Kimbro (1779-1860)

Dear 4g-grandpa, I am sure you didn’t mean to leave such a tangled mess of branches. After all, with your tidy Germanic background, you were kind enough to make a detailed will, and it is not your fault that the courthouse in Shelbyville (Bedford County), Tennessee was burned down by the Confederate Army forces in 1863, taking with it your 1860 will.

Lucky for us descendants, in 1865, the will was reconstructed from the memory of the minister who originally drew it up and the estate was then probated. In it, your nine children were named and because four of your sons had predeceased you, their widows (if they were still living in 1860) are mentioned and their children are named as heirs.

Bedford County, Tennessee Courthouse

The problem is the reconstructed will has conflicting information (nothing is perfect in genealogical records, is it?) regarding the children of your son, James (my ancestor) and whether they lived in Tennessee or Texas. Thank goodness for tax records as I finally have been able to determine that James Kimbro was in Bedford County, Tennessee paying taxes from 1836-1839 and probably is the one listed in that county in its 1840 census. Evidently he died before 1850, but not a trace of him has been found after 1840 in Tennessee.  So perhaps he went to Texas as did a couple of his brothers.

That’s why I started digging deeper in Texas records since I knew his brother, William, had gone to Texas as early as 1831 and Neely was in Shelby County, Texas by 1849.

William fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and was a sheriff in San Augustine County, Texas. I was hopefully that my ancestor had settled near him or Neely so I could put my quest to rest.
I have not been successful and while a great deal has been written about Captain William Kimbro in various histories of Texas, it is claimed that he came to Texas with a wife and son in 1831.
However, his two known children (mentioned in their grandfather’s will) were Martha Ann Kimbro and Benjamin W. Kimbro. They were born ca 1833 and 1839, so if there was a son born prior to 1831 he must have died young.

So far, I have not found my James Kimbro in 1840 to 1850 --  and Texas is a mighty big state.
But I found the following about his brother, William, in the "veterans’ biographies" of the San Jacinto Museum of History.

“KIMBROUGH, WILLIAM (ca. 1810–1856). William Kimbrough (Kimbro, Kimbo), soldier and law officer, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, and moved to Texas in 1831 with his wife, Sarah, and son. They settled in David G. Burnet's colony about five miles west of the site of present San Augustine.

“In September 1835, with the coming of the Texas Revolution, Kimbrough raised a company of volunteer infantry in the area and served as its captain in Col. Sidney Sherman's Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers. After San Jacinto, Kimbrough was captain of the militia company of the Northwest Beat of San Augustine County.

He served as sheriff of San Augustine County from 1836 through 1838, was elected sheriff on February 1, 1841, and held the office until 1843. He was re-elected in 1847 but did not serve through his term.

“In 1850 he was farming in San Augustine County and was elected justice of the peace of Beat Four. In 1853 he moved to Anderson County, where he lived until his death, on September 14, 1856. He was buried in Palestine, and in 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission marked his grave with a historical marker.”

While my quest to find James goes on, it is nice to learn more about the adventures of his siblings who went to Texas.  I may stumble onto something yet about my ancestor in the Lone Star State.

01 July 2014

#26-52 Ancestors: Unmarked Graves

Unmarked Graves
Pyrene (Christian) Connally 1808-1891, Murray County, Georgia

“Someday I will buy a tombstone for him so he will not be forgotten,” my maternal grandmother use to tell me. She and I went to the local cemetery when I was child, placing flowers on the graves of ancestors and relatives. Back then it was called Decoration Day — now it is Memorial Day — and grandmother told me about each person on whose grave we placed flowers. She certainly gave me a head-start as a family historian for her side of the family and for her in-laws who were buried in that location.

My tough Indian Territory-pioneer granny, undaunted by snakes, wasps, rats and tornadoes, always cried when we came to that unmarked plot for Francis Porter Fricks, her two-year-old son, who died of the croup in 1909. Losing a child has to be one of the most painful things a mother has to bear. I have discovered many of my ancestors’ histories are rife with information about their children who died young — many victims of childhood diseases — and others who died in accidents and wars.

Pyrene Christian and Samuel Connally who lived in Murray County, Georgia, had six sons. They lost their son, Drewry, when he was about 21 in 1853 (the reason is unknown). In the 1860 federal population schedule, Samuel and Pyrene are listed with four sons, ages 13 to 24 at home and nearby is their recently married 31-year-old son, Thomas Connally with his wife, Mary, and a baby daughter, Pyrene (obviously named for her paternal grandmother). Then came the Civil War.

They lost their sons Thomas, Francis M., David and Samuel fighting for the Confederacy in Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia and then on 24 July 1864, their next-to-youngest son, John W. Connally, age 20, was captured by the Yankees not far from the family farm. Taken to a graveyard near Jasper in Pickens County, along with other captured Confederate soldiers, he was shot and killed. His death was recorded in the Southern Watchman (a weekly newspaper published in Athens, Georgia) on 17 August 1864.

“The prisoners, disdaining the idea of being shot in the back, tore blindfolds from their eyes and about faced, opened their breasts to them, and in a few minutes were in eternity.”

Within four years, five of Samuel and Pyerene’s sons were dead from disease or battle injuries.
Samuel Connally died in 1878 and Pyrene lived on until 1891. They are buried in the Mount Zion Methodist Church Cemetery in Murray County, along with their son, Drewry, their only daughter-in-law, and her three-year-old child by her second husband.

Like the grave of my grandmother’s son, there are no markers for these five young men who died during the Civil War, and one can only imagine the pain and grief that Pyrene must have borne all those years because none of those sons came home and none of them were properly laid to rest with the rest of that family.

Pyrene (Christian) Connally, 1808-1891 -- thanks to the kind permission of Don Gresh.
Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery, Murray County, Georgia

Connally family stones in Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery
Thanks to the kind permission of Don Gresh (Find-a-Grave)
Murray County,Georgia