Greeneville Trip Three; the lost dpjenkins@charter.net post; notes on Peter Feicht in the 1920 census.

I didn’t do too much in the third trip, as the main reason to do was to capture the photograph of the “Conrad Girdner Obit” (see also here) that is all over the Internet presently. It is an article in the Greeneville Herald of May 1882 and a copy is in the T Elmer Cox library in Greeneville TN.
IMG_0426a

We did some tax studies in the period 1828-1832 and in the area you mostly find a Barnabas Myers and a Gabriel Myers. I’m pretty sure that Barnabas is the son of William Myers Jr but I’m not 100% sure that Gabriel Myers is the son of William Myers Sr, though I suspect he is. We also picked up a photo of the marriage license of Barnabas Myers.
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I note that the old dpjenkins quote re: Myers of the early 18th century in Greene County has disappeared off ancestry and rootsweb. I suspect that it’s gone because of the reference to the now defunct Myers surname project. So, we’ll present the quote absent the stuff that’s no longer relevant.

From: dpjenkins@charter.net
Subject: MYERS DNA PROJECT – HELP SORT THIS OUT
Date: 23 Jan 2005 17:05:58 -0700

This is a Message Board Post that is gatewayed to this mailing list.

Classification: Query

Message Board URL:

http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/msg/rw/ihB.2ACI/4690

Message Board Post:

There were about 5 different early Myers families in Greene Co., TN before 1810. They are all very difficult to trace before their arrival. Among them were:

1. The Myers on Cove Creek who were akin to the Girdners. This family intemarried with Kochers, Gables, and others. The progenitor is believed to be Wilhelm, aka William Myers, Sr., born approx. 1735 and came from Northhampton Co., PA (now Lehigh) where he was in the Rev. War. Most of these Myers moved on out of Greene Co., TN by the 1830’s.

2. Henry Myers (1777-1843) who married Elizabeth Trobaugh and whose descendants are well documented. There are still many of them in Greene County, TN. Henry had probable brothers who married his wife’s cousins: Frederick Myers (1789-1856) m. Mary Kerbaugh and moved to Harrison Co., IN, and John Myers (ca. 1785-1815) m. Caty Kerbaugh and had two daughters Polly and Eliza Myers I have been unable to trace.

Henry, Frederick & John Myers were likely the sons of Michael Myers (1750 – ?) who owned a farm adjoining Nicholas Trobaugh’s land in Augusta Co., Virginia at the time of Henry Myers marriage to Elizabeth Trobaugh. (Nicholas Trobaugh was the father of Elizabeth Trobaugh.)

This particular Michael Myers was believed to be the son of Frederick Meyer/Myers (1711-ca.1782) who immigrated from Germany in 1741 on the ship “Marlboro.” This family of Myers interacted with the Trobaughs before Nicholas Trobaugh left York Co., PA and after the move to Augusta Co., VA which I think increases the likelihood of a connection.

Frederick Meyer/Myers was the son of Hermann Meyer of Thal Lichtenberg, Kries Kusel, Germany. He married Barbara Schmidt and lived in Bedesbach, Kries Kusel, before the move to Pennsylvania.

3. Adam Myers who had a son named Peter who moved to West Tennessee and applied for a Rev. War Pension mentioning residence in Greene Co., TN.

4. The extremely large Gap Creek Myers family that intermarried with the Couch, Manis/Maness, West, and Rutherford families early on.

5. Henry Myers family who was born ca. 1784 in PA and lived on the Hawkins Co., TN line at Laurel Gap. His children include Anna Myers who married James Gardner.

DNA from male members of these Myers families could help tell if they all have the same remote ancestor. I have had my uncle and a couple of others in my line do this in an effort to get started.

The only factual error I know of in the above is that the part of Penn Township where William Myers lived is now part of Carbon County, not Lehigh. There is a map of his old land presented in this post.

The final comment of note is that the Feicht family, with which I have a very close Y67 match (I believe 65/67) has been associated with Wurrtemberg. Peter Feicht 1840-1921 is known to have come from Germany and in the 1920 US Census, says that he was born in Wurrtemberg.

peter-feicht-1920-us-census

Greeneville TN visit number two. Some conclusions.

I decided to make a quick dash to Greeneville on a Saturday, to make sure I could clear up some loose ends. The agenda list was as follows:

  1. Photo of Charles Myers Sr being made administrator.
  2. Nancy Carter Will. Did she sign it?
  3. William Myers Nancy Carter marriage deed.
  4. 1805 tax rolls. George Moyers in same district as the Williams?
  5. 1798-1800 Charles Myers Sr apprenticeship.
  6. Conrad Girdner obit. A photo
  7. John Myers land sales 1802-1806.

Some things were missed. The 1805 data, the T Elmer Cox librarian told me, was not provided by them, but by a third party online who claimed to be them. They didn’t have the originals. We could not find evidence of apprenticeship in the 1798-1800 time frame. We did not find the Nancy Carter will in the time we looked. I did take a photo of the Conrad Girdner obit but lost the data when I tried to rotate the image while still on the camera. It was a mistake I’ll not make again.

I found that deeds are on microfilm/fiche and thus have to be printed from the microfilm, using a combination printer/photocopier. That’s the form I have a 1805 deed by John Myers in.

The photo of the original assignment of administrator to the William Myers Jr estate does not mention Charles Jr or Sr, just Charles Myers.

Charles_Made_Administrator

The document confirms that William Myers Jr died without a will. Photos I have of the estate sale have it signed by Charles Myers Jr

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These things are important details as the tax rolls do not distinguish between Charles Myers, the owner of 19 acres of land in 1815, and Charles Myers, administrator of the William Myers Jr estate. Yet they distinguish between William Myers Jr and Sr.

Some things do not go away. While Charles Myers Jr buys a lot of items from William Myers Jr, Charles Myers Sr buys just a few items. Four I recall are a drawing knife, an oven with lid, a crock full of fat and a spelling book. The spelling book sticks out because by this time, Charles Myers Sr’s first daughter would be around three years old. Also around this time, Charles Myers Sr is made the guardian of Elizabeth Myers, so we have solid evidence that he’s in Greene County in 1815, and close to the Cove Creek Myers. The other three guardians were Solomon Wilhoite, John Cook Sr, and Charles Myers Jr.

We looked at signatures of William Myers Sr, and the conclusion we drew is that people must be signing for him, as his signature is different every time we look at it. The y umlaut of the Barnabas Gable marriage deed is not duplicated anywhere else.

The John Myers sale is interesting. The 235 acres of land he sells are adjacent to the Girdners on one end and to the Parmans on another. Conrad Girdner mentions a widow Parman in his obit.

I’m trying to figure out why Wayne Myers assigned the administrator to Charles Sr. My only guess would be the absence of any identifier after the name. If you look further down the image, A Fredrick Myers passes and his wife is made administrator, and the document explicitly names her as his wife. Perhaps Wayne reasoned that if Charles Myers Jr was made administrator, that his status as first born son of William would have been mentioned.

Charles Myers 1789-1857. Is his mother a Girdner?

My original source for the Conrad Girdner obit was an email from Rayedene Graves. Later I found a link on Ancestry and there is also this little bit of info from RootsWeb. The story goes as follows (emphasis mine):

OBITUARY of Conrad Girdner
Died, at his residence in the 9th district of Greene County, Tennessee, of old age and a consuming sore, on the 12th day of May, 1882, Conrad Girdner, aged 95 years, 2 months and 22 days.
The subject of this sketch was born in Hedrick Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, on the 20th day of February, 1787. He was of German extract. His father’s name was Michael. He was born in Northampton County. His father married Huldah Beach, and they had nine children, whose names were: David, Conrad, Joseph, Christena, Michael, Charlotte, Geroge, Mary and Naney.

The writer was at Mr. Girdner’s residence the very last days that his memory was anywise good and was able to snatch from the mind of one who, only a few weeks before possessed a most retentive memory of past events which had come to his knowledge the past ninety years and I will give what follows in quotations in his own words:
“I was five years old when my parents, with the oldest and two younger than I, left Pennsylvania for the wilds of Tennessee with two horses and a wagon. They were accompanied by two brothers-in-laws one named Myers and the other Cook, and their families.
“I walked all the way from our old home to Flag Branch, in Greene County, where my father settled on one hundred acres of land. He afterwards added to it by purchase. The distance we traveled was seven hundred miles, and I now well remember every step of the journey. We left in February, 1792, and were fully seven weeks on the way. —
When we arrived there was just a little cabin on the purchase, which property is now owned and occupied by the widow Perman. When we came the Indians were still in possession of portions of East Tennessee, and continued to annoy the white settlers til 1805, when a treaty impelled them to go elsewhere, and leave the white men in full possession of this portion of our wide domain.
“During one of the Indian wars Charles O’Neal, an Irishmen, taught school in our neighborhood, and I attended three months. He said he had taught thirteen hundred different schollars and that I was one of the very quickest to learn. But our facilities for schooling were very limited. I learned to read, write some and could cast accounts sufficently for my purpose through life. The elder children had to get up before daylight and break flax and perform other labor before school, in order to enable my mother to spin and weave cloth with which to clothe us.
I lived with my father til 1807, when I married Elizabeth George, daughter of Yost George, who came from Germany when he wwas but four years of age. I was twenty years old when I married. A portion of father’s land was set off to me and I settled down for life. My wife and I had eleven children-six daughters and five sons-viz: William, Catherine, John, Delilah, Luther, Eliza, Mary Jane, Stephen, Alexander, Nancy and Sally.
“Years after my father came out grandfather, David Girdner came to Greene County {c1798) with a span of horses and a wagon. Grandmother drove the team and grandfather sat by her side. He died on the estate I now occupy, on Richland Creek.
“I was engaged in the war of 1812 under Gen. Andrew Jackson. And so was my father, though he was a man well stricken in years. He died in 1814, aged sixty years. After his death my mother married Lewis Ball.”
During the recital of the above his mind several times wandered, and I had to give him rest. The next day he was incompetent to tell anything, and rapidly grew worse, til soon his mind gave way entirely.
I had intended to have drawn out of him and rescued from oblivion many facts in his knowledge which have gone out with his mind.
Mr. Girdner came to town for the last time in September last to prepare his pension papers. His mind was vigorous til about February, when it began to weaken, as well as his body. On his 95th birthday, February 20th, he gave a dinner party, which was attended by his son, Dr. William Girdner, his wife and some others. he had been very feelbe previous to that occasion, but seemed quite cheerful and much better on that day. He commenced growing worse till at last the once brilliant mind flickered out and he was totally ignorant of everything going on around him.

About fifteen years ago he was afflicted with a cancerous sore on his nose between his eyes, which he was admonished was dangerous unless he would submit to an operation, but he would not, and the sore continued to eat into his flesh till it consumed his nose and caused blindness, and ultimately spread through his whole system, till death came to his relief at the time above stated.
J.S. WARNER – WRITER
THE GREENEVILLE HERALD – MAY 1882 – PUBLISHED IN GREENEVILLE, TENNESSEE.

So, just for yucks I got onto Ancestry and looked for matches to folks who had the name ‘Girdner’ in their family trees. I had six matches. Of these, three were related to David Girdner and three to women in eastern TN, in places like Moore County, that easily could have descended from these folks.

These results need to be confirmed. They are not close but distant matches, and only one rated as ‘Good’ by Ancestry. Understand, we’re getting to the point DNA information gets lost, and just by matching, I can’t eliminate an accidental match. I can’t even check to see if the match is paternal, by myself.

On the other hand, my autosomal data does not preclude the possibility that Charles Myers’s father is the Myers spoken about in the Girdner obit, and his mother is an unknown Girdner female.

Update: A really good Girdner link.