Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What's To Become of Your Final Resting Place? 10-012

     Every day, every hour and every minute, our lives in some way create or influence changes in our families, friends, neighborhoods, our country and sometimes even the world. Most of the time we don't even know it happened.
     Every word we speak and every action we take has some consequences or affects on someone or something, whether at that very moment or years down the road or even far removed from our present situation.
     Abraham Lincoln was a very wise, learned and articulate man but even he did not know the affects that his life and his words would have even now 150 years later. His Gettysburg Address with the words "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here..." are still widely memorized and quoted today.
      Hitler, bent on conquering Europe and beyond, killed people by the millions. Millions of others were persecuted and tortured. The effects of this rampage is still felt today in the lives of survivors and families of those who died more than 70 years ago.
     An act of war or terror such as Pearl Harbor or The World Trade Center destruction can send repercussions around the world that not only call for reaction but can change our feelings and opinions about a whole group of people whether justified or not. Our internal fears, following an incident, cause us to loose trust. Our lives, without our realizing it, are changed forever even though we are not directly involved and are far from the incident.
     It doesn't take something dramatic to create change. Little things happen every day that ultimately affect us in larger ways down the road. As we grow from a child to adulthood our peers create changes in us through everything they say and do. A child learns by the examples of others and eventually imparts themselves on future generations because of the way we reacted to today's situations. A father, mother or friend's advice can send us down a different path in our lives. Think about it. What would our lives be like today and how many other people would be affected if we had taken the other path?
     Even a small rumor started whether true or not can cause change in people's lives.
     Thomas Edison could have never imagined how big an effect his invention of the simple light bulb would have in the home and industry.
     How will we be remembered? Will anyone even care? What changes did our life create? All are  determined by what we as individuals and others say and do in our lives.
     In the end where will our final resting place be? Will it be a huge monument that the public come to view or a humble stone or plaque that occasionally family and friends come to visit? It doesn't matter which way it happens, our lives will have changed the world in ways we can't imagine.
     Why, if our lives are so important and create so much change in those around us, have we lost so much respect for the final resting place of those who have gone before us?
     I completely understand when, because of the remote locations and and the lack of available funds for upkeep, many cemeteries are left to run down and are forgotten. What is really disturbing to me though is intentional destruction of our cemeteries. Vandalism of the stones has become more and more of an occurrence. Theft of older brass vases from graves just for the purpose of resale of the metal is occurring. Actual theft of stones is occurring for who knows what purpose. My GGG grandfather's headstone is one of these. Society has always had these types of individuals and they will always be there.
     But recently I stumbled upon a new and more destructive element that has hit our larger cemeteries today. And it is all legal.
     I visited a very large local cemetery, where I had every intention of being buried myself. The purpose for my visit was to locate a couple family plots. When I inquired at the office, I was informed that I had to pay for the information I was requesting. Needless to say I was absolutely livid. I found out that this standard was coming down from the "corporation" that owned this cemetery and others, both locally and in other areas of the country. I was so upset I didn't even think to ask how much. Later on as my wife and I were trying to find these graves on our own, more evidence of corporate greed began to surface. The roads through the cemetery are completely falling apart. A lack of concern or respect for the graves themselves is quite evident. Heavy equipment has been run over the thick metal grave plaques and left them bowed like a quarter moon. Plaques are getting sunken in the ground by time or the running over with equipment. No repairs are being made whatsoever. Mowing is the only thing done. Vases are broken and lying around. Small death date plaques added after the death are loose or not attached. Families are not being notified of damage because they have been in this condition for quite a while. Most people have no idea how many of our cemeteries and funeral parlors are being gobbled up by corporations simply for the cash flow that is available. All you get from them are letters and telemarketing calls trying to sell you everything under the sun for your cemetery plots to rake in the money as quickly as possible. On top of all of this I have found nowhere in their Internet listings or advertisements who this corporation actually is. They have hid their identity very well from the public. These is supposed to be a perpetual care cemeteries that we have trusted our loved ones to.
     If you have purchased lots at any cemetery, I would advise you to take a closer look at your final resting place. Corporate greed in search of  the all mighty dollar is taking our cemeteries for everything they can get without giving back any of the perpetual care they have promised.
     What's to become of YOUR final resting place, when there is nothing more for the corporations to take and they pull out?
    ........Today I purchased plots at my local church cemetery. A hundred years from now there may still be no one to care for my plot. At least here people there will care about my resting place until the money for upkeep runs out naturally, instead of being skimmed off by the greedy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Virginia or West Virginia? 10-011

     While reading through the previously published posts, I am sure that some of you have noticed and are wondering why sometimes I am listing the family farm in Hampshire County, Virginia and other times in Mineral County, West Virginia.
     This change took place in the middle of the Civil War when West Virginia became a new state.
     The "1861 Wheeling Convention" consisted of two sets of meetings held at what later became known as West Virginia Independence Hall. The first set was held in May and the second was held in June. These meetings repealed the "Ordinance of Secession" passed by Virginia. This established the "Restored Government of Virginia" and ultimately authorized the counties that organized the convention to become West Virginia. During this time of Civil War the Restored Government was recognized by the Union, including President Lincoln, as the State of Virginia with its capitol in Wheeling.

West Virginia Independence Hall
Wheeling, WV

      The first meeting outcome in a nutshell established that the Ordinance of Secession had to be voted on by the Virginian delegation before they could proceed. If it passed then the western counties would then go ahead with electing official delegates for representation at a second convention.
     With the adoption of Virginia's Ordinance of Secession on May 23, the Second Wheeling Convention began on June 11 as decided at the First Convention. The first measures adopted at the Convention ruled that 88 delegates representing 32 counties were entitled to seats in the convention. On June 19, delegates approved a plan that called for the permanent and decisive separation from the eastern portion of the state. The following day new officers of the Virginia State Government were chosen and Francis Pierpont was elected Governor. This new government became known as the "Reformed Government of Virginia" to distinguish itself from the secessionist government in Richmond.
     President Lincoln recognized the new government as the legitimate authority for the whole of Virginia, and the United States Congress seated Representatives and Senators loyal to the restored government and the Union on behalf of Virginia. The Restored Government met in Wheeling until the northwestern part of the state was separately admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.
     On August 26 1863, Governor Pierpont moved the Restored Government to Alexandria (a city across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. that was under Union control for the entirety of the war).
    At the end of the war in May 1865, the government was moved to Richmond, VA. Before Virginia could be readmitted to the Union, they had to consent to the creation of the State of West Virginia retroactive to 1863.
    Mineral County was created in 1866 by an Act of the West Virginia Legislature from the existing Hampshire County.

Who Am I ....Really? 10-010

     Before we go any further down the Abe family line I would like to pause and take a look at names. Some given names will be repeated many times. This apparently is causing considerable confusion for many genealogists searching the Abe line. Hopefully I can help clear up a couple of those issues.
     If I counted right, the first name John is used seven times. Of those seven, John Adam is used three times. The names Frederick and Martha are also used three times. Elmira, Jacob, Mary, Nicholas, Sara, Virginia and William are used as first names twice. All these were used in just the first four generations.
     I find online family trees all the time that have the wrong person with the wrong family. A lot of the confusion could be easily eliminated if researchers would remember to cross-reference the person with all available records (birth, death, marriage, military, burial, census, etc.). Try to curb some of the excitement of finding a possible match until you are sure it is the right one. Don't just accept the first one you run across even if it seems to be the right one.
     The two names most confused are John Adam and Frederick.

#1. John Adam Abe (1782-1866) - husband of Annie Catherine and founding  father of this Abe line. He usually went by his middle name Adam.
#2. John Adam Abe (1844-1914) - grandson of the #1 John Adam Abe. Son of Nicholas Abe and Lacy Ann Long. He also usually went by his middle name Adam.
#3. John Adam Abe (1880-1886)  - great-grandson of #1 John Adam Abe. Son of Jacob Abe and Mary Buser.

#1. Frederick Abe (born between 1820 and 1825) - Son of #1 John Adam Abe. This Frederick, at this time, only exists by name in family stories passed down. The 1840 Census does list a male child born between 1820-1825. No record has been found to confirm him by name.
#2. Frederick Abe (1848-1929) - Grandson of #1 John Adam Abe and son of Nicholas Abe. He lived and worked in Mineral County, West Virginia. He is buried in the Abe Cemetery. This Frederick Abe DID NOT serve in the Civil War.
#3. Frederick Abe (1844-1862) - Grandson of #1 John Adam Abe and son of John Abe and Mary Margaret. This Frederick served in the Civil War in the 11th Virginia Cavalry. He was captured in Moorefield, West Virginia, and sent to Camp Chase Prison in Ohio. One month later, he was sent to the Cairo, Illinois prison hospital where died of smallpox at the age of 18. No burial information is known. He most likely is buried in one of the many unmarked graves near the hospital.

Be careful out there, especially with the #1 and #2 John Adam Abe and the #2 and #3 Frederick Abe. I will be covering the #2 John Adam and the #2 and #3 Frederick in future posts.

Frederick Abe 10-009

    This Frederick Abe only seems to exist in the family stories passed down through "The Abe Family Heritage" books published since 1982. I have not found one record that mentions him by name. The story is told that he was born in Germany and came to this country in the 1830's with his parents John Adam and Annie Catherine Abe, and his three brothers Nicholas, John and Augustus. The story further states that Frederick at some point went west to Missouri. The (2)1840 Census does not list any children by name but does list two sons that fall into the 1820-1825 birth age group. The other child in this group would be John Abe (see posting 10-008). No other records have been found to substantiate his existence.
    Please see the post "John Adam Abe and Annie Catherine 10-002" for further information. 

John Abe 10-008

    John Abe is the son of John Adam Abe, and emigrated from Germany with his parents and brothers in the (6)1830's.
    Very little is known about him. He fits in the birth time period of 1820 to 1825 shown in the (2)1840 Census for Hampshire County, Virginia. Here only sex and age groups of the spouse and children are listed. The head of household is the only person listed by name. John's birth place was in Germany.
   The only confirmed record to date that mentions him by name is his father's (7)will. The will dated October  12, 1864, states that John Adam's son John is deceased and he has a grandson, Tieber.
    I have a copy of  an estate sale that is possibly John's. The sale was handled by Nicholas Abe in 1849. Further investigation is needed to confirm the connection.
    John Abe was believed to be married to a Mary Margaret and had two sons Frederick and Michael T. Abe. The (19)1860 Census for the Western District of Hampshire County Virginia lists Mary M. Abe and the two sons on Page 290 Dwelling 6.
    Sometime between (19)1860 and (20)1870, Mary Margaret Abe remarried to a John Crawfis. A (98)"Maryland Marriages, 1866-1970" record on Family lists a John Crawfus and a Ann M. Abbe marrying on April 27, 1865 in Allegany County, MD. No physical copy of the record is available.
    At some point between (20)1870 and (21)1880 John Crawfis dies.
    The (21)1880 Census shows Mary living in the Joseph C. Lechliter residence.
    The exact time, place and burial for John Abe, Mary Margaret and John Crawfis is unknown at this time.
    Please see the post "John Adam Abe and Annie Catherine 10-002" for further information.

Mary Margaret

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Augustus "Gustus" Abe 10-007

    Augustus "Gustus" Abe was (1)(2)(3)(4)born in 1826 in Germany. He was a young boy of about 10 years of age when the family emigrated from Germany. Gustus was the son of John Adam and Annie Catherine Abe. He never married nor had any children.
    The (3)1850 and (4)1860 Censuses for Hampshire County, Virginia, show him still living and working on the family farm.
    Augustus served in the 77th Regiment of the Virginia Militia prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. This small militia group, mostly from Hampshire and Hardy Counties in Virginia, was later absorbed into the 11th Virginia Cavalry as Company D. August is not listed with any actual Civil War Military unit so I believe he discontinued service when the militia group was absorbed. He probably discontinued military service because of his age. He would have been about 35 at that time.
    His life changed considerably over the next ten years. His father has passed away in 1866 and the (7)will disposed of the family farm to Nicholas and himself (see John Adam Abe, blogs 10-002 and 10-003). "Gustus",  within two years, sells his portion of the farm to Nicholas and purchases his own farm. The deed for his farm purchase was dated in December 1868. Here in the (5)(9)1870 Census for Mineral County, West Virginia, he is now living in a different household some distance away with his mother. They appear on Page 8, Dwelling 55 of the census and Nicholas (and the Abe Farm home place) are listed on Page 11, Dwelling 78. As discussed in the John Adam Abe Will, "Gustus" is charged with taking care of his mother for the rest of her life. As seen here Annie Catherine is now living in "Gustus" Abe's household.
     The (16)property was purchased for $800.00 from Joseph and Rebecca Pancoast of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. See the transcribed version of the deed that follows:

Gustus Abe Deed
Page 252
This Deed made this twenty eighth day of December in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty eight, between Joseph Pancoast and Rebecca H. Pancoast, his wife of the city of Philadelphia of the State of Pennsylvania, of the first part, and Gustus Abe of Mineral County, in the State of West Virginia, of the second part, Witnesseth, that, in consideration of eight hundred dollars, in hand paid to said parties of the first part by Gustus Abe, they, said Joseph Pancoast and Rebecca H. Pancoast, his wife, do grant, sell and convey in fee
simple, to said Gustus Abe, his heirs and assigns, the northerly tract of said tract of land, lying on Plum Run, in Mineral County and State last aforesaid, by William D. Miller, trustee, by deed, dated October eleventh, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty two, and recorded in the land records of Hampshire County, in the State of Virginia (new West Virginia); beginning for the said northerly half of said tract of land, at the end of seventy poles, less twenty one links, on the fifth line, and from the beginning of the whole tract, and running thence across the whole tract, north sixty nine degrees, fifteen minutes west, two hundred and twenty seven poles, (N 69° 15' W 227 ps.) to the middle of the second line of the whole tract, and running thence with said second line, reversed, North twenty two degrees East, seventy one poles to the beginning of said second line, and thence with the first line of the whole tract reversed to the beginning of the whole tract, and thence, with the fifth line reversed, South twenty three degrees thirty minutes West seventy poles (S 23° 30' W 70 ps) less twenty one links, to the beginning of the half, hereby intended to be conveyed and continuing for the said half, one hundred acres of land, more or less Reserving the right of user of land on which the Furnace building is erected, and the Steam Engine and
Page 253
Boilers, and fixtures are located and being; to the Extent of one acre of ground alone measured and laid off around said furnace, Engine, Boilers and fixtures, including as part of said acre the land on which the same are located and erected; until the same are removed or taken away, at the option of said Joseph Pancoast and his assigns, and with the right to remove and take away the same at pleasure. Together with all and singular the covenants, hereditaments and appertinances thereto belonging, or appertaining ---- and the said Joseph Pancoast covenants that he will warrant specially the premises hereby granted and sold, to said Gustus Abe, his heirs and assigns, in fee simple.
Witness our hands and seals, on the day and year first herein aforesaid – Signed, Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of }
Bessie A. Pancoast } 
Joseph Pancoast {Seal}
Thomas A. Porter } 
Rebecca A. Pancoast {Seal}

City of Philadelphia, State of Pennsylvania, s s: ---
I, Thomas A. Porter – a Notory Public, for the City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, do certify that Joseph Pancoast and Rebecca A. Pancoast, his wife, whose names are signed to the writing above, bearing date on the Twenty eighth day of December in the year Eighteen hundred and sixty eight, have each separately acknowledged the same before me, in my city aforesaid; and I do further certify that said Rebecca A Pancoast, wife of said Joseph Pancoast whose names are signed to the writing above, bearing date on the day and year last herein before written, personally appeared before me in the City aforesaid and being examined by me, privately and apart from her husband, and having the writing aforesaid fully explained to her, she, the said Rebecca A. Pancoast, acknowledged the said writing to be her act, and declared that she had willingly executed the same, and does not wish to retract it. Given under my hand and notarial seal on this Twenty-eighth day of December in the year Eighteen hundred and sixty eight -------

U.S. __?___ Notarial Thomas A. Porter
1 Dollar 1 Seal Notary Public

Note: The "furnace building, steam boilers and fixtures" mentioned in this deed will be visited again in a future blog for an explanation. See The Vulcan Furnace 10-013.

     The (17)1880 Census for the Frankfort District of Mineral County, WV and dated June 14, shows Augustus Abe now living by himself. His mother died in 1876.
    In (18)1898 Gustus Abe writes his will as follows: 

Gustus Abe Will
Recorded in Will Book No. 1 Page 4 N and C
Keyser, West Virginia, County Courthouse of Mineral County, West Virginia.

Know all men by these presents, that I, Gustus Abe, a citizen of Mineral County, West Virginia, being in ill health, but of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and publish this my last will and testament.
And as to my worldly estate of which I shall die seized and possessed or to which I shall be entitled at the time of my decease, I devise and dispose thereof in the manner following, to wit:

1. I direct that my body be decently interred and a set of tombstones, the cost of same to be from forty to fifty dollars, with suitable engravings, to be set to my grave.
2. That all my just debts and funeral expenses shall, by my executor, be paid out of my estate, as soon after my decease as shall by him be found convenient.
3. That each person who shall engage in digging my grave, shall receive the sum of $2.50 for his services, but the total amount of digging the grave shall not exceed $10.00.
4. Next, I will the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00) to J. W. Arnold, Taylor Arnold and J. W. Leatherman, trustees of the Beaver Run Church of the German Baptist Brethren, and to their successors. The said $1500.00 to be owned and controlled by the Beaver Run congregation, First District of W. Va., of the
German Baptist Brethren Church. I further will that the said $1500.00 be put on interest and only the interest accruing thereby be available for use, and that said interest shall be used for Home Mission work in the First Dist. of W. Va., and for the support of the poor at the discretion of said congregation.
5. That my executor, hereinafter named shall receive 5 per cent commissions on my entire estate for his services in settling up my said estate.
6. All the rest and residue of my estate of which I shall die seized and possessed, I will to be divided between and among my niece Mary Herrick, and my nephews, Philip Abe, Adam Abe, Frederick Abe, Jacob Abe and John Abe.
And lastly, I do nominate and appoint George S. Arnold, to be executor of this my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof, I, the said Gustus Abe, have to this my last will and testament subscribed my name and affixed my seal this sixteenth day of April, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.

Gustus   X   Abe (seal)

Note: Gustus Abe’s signature is only a very shaky “X” as his mark. The writer of his will wrote his name around his mark as shown above.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Gustus Abe as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who, at his request and in his presence, and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.

Dennis Culp
John D. Culp
M. H. Duckworth

John D. Culp, M. H. Duckworth May 2, 1898

Note: John D. Culp and M. H. Duckworth signed the will again, as seen above, in the presence of the probate court. See clerk statement below.

In the Clerks Office of the County Court of Mineral County, West Va, In the recess of said Court.
On this 2nd day of May. 1898, a writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Gustus Abe, dec’d, late of Mineral County, West Virginia.bearing date the_16_day of April 1898 was presented in the Clerks Office of the County Court of Said County, for probate and record and was proven by the others of John D. Culp and M. H. Duckworth two of the subscribing witnesses thereto to have been signed acknowledged- published and declared by the said Gustus Abe in their presence as and for his last will and testament and that they at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other subscribed their names thereto; that at the time of so doing they considered him of sound mind memory and understanding and capable of executing a valid instrument, The said writing is therefore admitted to probate and record as the last will and testament of the said Gustus Abe, and George S. Arnold the executor therein is permitted to qualify upon his executing bond with good and sufficient security in the penalty of $4500, conditioned according to law.

Given under my hand this 2nd day of May. 1898.
(signed) J. V. Bell Clerk


    Augustus "Gustus" Abe died on (1)April 28, 1898, just 12 days after he wrote his (18)will. He is buried in the (1)Long Cemetery in Short Gap, Mineral County, West Virginia with his parents and two nieces.

UPDATE:  Records for his service to the 77th Virginia Militia have now been added. Augustus Abe was released from service in the militia on December 31, 1861 as he had passed the age of 35. In most cases this was the upper age limit for military service.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Lacy Ann Long Will 10-006

(68)Lacy Ann Long Abe's will is on record at the Mineral County Courthouse, Keyser, WV.
Will Book 1 Pages 469-470

 Following are highlights of the will:

 Item 1
     Pay all debts with monies found in her possession at the time of her death. If debts exceed monies then then they will be paid from the sale of personal property as described in the will.

Item 2
     Philip Abe is given her corner cupboard.

Item 3
     Lacy Ann Abe, granddaughter, is given one feather bed, bedstead and bedding. Also bolster and pillows.

Item 4
     Granddaughter, Mary Ann Abe Baldwin, is given all the baskets on the floor in her bedroom and her copper kettle.

Item 5
      Note: This section is a good example of society's beliefs that the woman could not own property unless it was given to her by her husband. I will write this section out just as it was written in the will so there is no misunderstanding about what is said.

"It is my will, that my Executor, at the time of my decease, shall take possession of all the residue of my property, not herein disposed of, of whatever name or description, including any grain or other farm crops, that may at the time, be on the land, and belong to me under the provisions of the will of my late husband, Nicholas Abe deceased, and after advertising the same, a reasonable length of time, sell the same to the highest bidder, at auction, and out of the net proceeds of sale, I will bequeath to my son Frederick Abe, the sum of one dollar. And to my son Jacob Abe also one dollar."

"And lastly, I hereby will and bequeath all the residue of my estate, or the proceeds thereof, share and share alike - equally - to my son Adam Abe, one share. To my daughter, Mary Catherine Herrick, wife of Adam Herrick, one share. To my son Philip Abe, one share, and to my son John Abe, one share; and share and share alike, as aforesaid."

She goes on to appoint Philip Abe as Executor and makes a declaration that this is her last will and testament signing the will on December 9, 1895.
V.C. Armstot, Robert M. Johnson and John Johnson witnessed the signing.

On August 23, 1899, was presented for probate by witnesses John Johnson and Robert M. Johnson.

Philip Abe signs a statement declining the appointment as Executor.
It is unknown who did accept the Executor position.

Nicholas Abe Will and Deed Survey 10-005

  I will not get into retyping the complete will and deed here as they are about eight pages long. I will just touch on the highlights. (See source #8 for the original deed)
    Nicholas' will is recorded in Keyser, WV at the Mineral County Courthouse
    Will Book 1, Pages 338-343.

    Because the land was split between Jacob and Frederick, they in turn were required to compensate the other brothers and sisters over a three-year period in cash.

Nicholas Abe Will

    First the south, southwest portion of the property to Jacob Abe. Here he states that this portion was originally willed to his brother August and he in turn purchased it from August. Nicholas states that the original property comprised of about 419 acres.
(The property being divided here is slightly more ... about 433 and 3/4 acres. Part of this difference came about from a swap of two small portions of land between the Abe farm and his son, Philip Abe's property when this survey of the property was done for the will.) 

This portion of the property being conveyed to Jacob Abe be is comprised of 238 3/4 acres. This part of the property joins lands of Philip Abe, John Senn, Wagoner heirs and others. He also says that one of the lines of the survey passes through the center of the barn.

    Second part..... Here Nicholas gives Philip Abe $200.00 to be paid by Jacob Abe in cash over three years. Payment schedule is included both with and without interest.
    Third part..... Nicholas gives John Adam Abe $200.00 to be paid by Jacob Abe in cash over three years.  Payment schedule is included both with and without interest. The same payment schedule as for Philip Abe.
    Fourth part..... Here Mary C. (Abe) Herrick receives $50.00 to be paid by Jacob Abe at the end of three years with interest. A lien is placed on Jacob's portion of the property to secure payment.
    Fifth part...... Frederick Abe is given the remaining north by northeast portion of the farm which constitutes 195 acres. This portion joins lands owned by persons of Humbird, Robinson, Pollock, House, Seibert and others.
    Sixth part..... Here Mary C. (Abe) Herrick is given  $150.00 to be paid by Frederick Abe in cash over three years. Payment schedule is included both with and without interest.
    Seventh part..... Nicholas gives John H. Abe $200.00 to be paid by Frederick Abe under the same terms as the second part of the will. A lien is placed on Frederick's portion of the property to secure payment.
    Eighth part..... Directs the Executor to see that all roads and passages remain for access by each or both Frederick and Jacob as necessary and convenience requires.
    Ninth part..... Jacob and Frederick are charged by Nicholas with furnishing and delivering one sixth part of all grain annually to the granary or crib for the use by Lacy Ann, his wife and their mother, as a support for her should she survive him. Lacy Ann is also given two cows for which Jacob and Frederick will furnish necessary rough feed for winter and pasture for summer. She is also given as much of the household and kitchen furniture as she desires.
    Tenth part..... Here Nicholas gives his granddaughter Mary C. Abe, daughter of Frederick Abe, one cow, one bedstead and bedding. She also receives $30.00 from the proceeds of his personal property sale. (The only Mary Abe, daughter of Frederick Abe, is Mary Ann Abe who later marries George Seymour Baldwin. It is unknown why she is called Mary C. here). What is interesting is that she is the only one of the many grandchildren to receive a portion in the will.
    Eleventh part..... The Executor is directed to advertise  and sell at public auction all his personal property, not before disposed of in this will, and collect all money owed him. He then is to pay off his debts and expenses and then distribute the third to his wife and the remainder split between his children.
    Twelfth part..... Here Nicholas appoints Jacob Abe as his Executor. The will is dated and signed here on March 17, 1887.

    John Johnson, W.P. Everett and Emmor Lichliter witness the signing.

    The will was admitted into probate on October 8, 1894 and proven by the witnesses above to be his last will and testament.

Deed Survey Attachment

    The deed survey is pretty standard as surveys go with all of the degrees, boundaries and distances listed so all I will mention is who got each portion.
The first part deals with the 238 3/4 acres that was being transferred to Jacob Abe.
The second part deals with the 195 acres that was being transferred to Frederick Abe.
The third part lays out 5 1/8 acres of land traded to Philip Abe from the Jacob Abe portion of the the survey.
The last part lays out 9 1/2 acres of land traded to Jacob Abe from Philip Abe.
    Both the first and second parts show the unique situation of dividing the property where both parties will share half of a barn.

Philip Abe, Nicholas' oldest son, had purchased a farm that joined the Abe farm about 1885 just two years before this survey was done. Apparently Philip and either Jacob or Nicholas had come to an agreement on a swap of land that would mutually benefit both and they just had the task taken care of at the same time as the division survey to satisfy the deed transfer that would later be part of the will.

Nicholas Abe and Lacy Ann Long 10-004

     Nicholas Abe is the son of John Adam and Annie Catherine Abe. He was (9)(10)(11)(12)born on November 10, 1819 in (9)Hannover (10)Westphalia), Germany. Family stories say Nicholas worked on construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal for a while but these have not been confirmed. He did start farming when his father purchased the farm on the Old Furnace Road. His father (7)(8)deeded half the farm to him when it was originally purchased. August, his brother, also lived and farmed there. (7)His father’s will, gave the other half of the farm to his brother August when he died. (8)August in turn sold it to Nicholas. The farm was then his till his passing.
     (3)Nicholas married Lacy Ann Long about 1842.
     Lacy Ann was born in Virginia on January 12, 1826. Her birth is calculated from death information found on her headstone (73 years, 7 months and 6 days). Lacy Ann was the daughter of Mary Flood. Her father is unknown. Stories passed down say that her father was an American Indian. Her son (15)Philip Abe's death record lists her name as "Sacana Long". (13)Her grave stone has an inscription "God in his Kingdom has recalled the Indian Lass Lacy Ann and tho' the body molders here the soul is safe in heaven". (14)Philip Long married Mary Flood and adopted Lacy Ann and her brother Isaac as his own. Her name was changed from Flood to Long. No birth or death records have been found.
        Lacy Ann’s name is spelled that way on her cemetery headstone and in the (10)1880 Census. The (4)1860 Census spells her first name as “Lacey”. At this point we will consider Lacy as the correct spelling. On the cemetery headstone for Sara Ellen and Virginia, the two youngest children of Nicholas and Lacy Ann, there is a inscription that states that they are the “children of  N and E. A. Abe”. The (5)1870 Census gives their mother’s name as Elizabeth. Her name could very possibly be Elizabeth Ann and Lacy Ann was a nickname she carried to the grave. Nicholas gives no clue to her name in his (8)will. He only refers to her as “his wife”. She does call herself "Lacy Ann Abe" in (68)her own will.

     Nicholas and Lacy Ann had 8 children, Philip, John Adam, Frederick, Mary Catherine, John H., Jacob, Sara Ellen and Virginia. Sara and Virginia died young from eating too many green apples causing uncontrolled diarrhea. Jacob nearly died in the same incident. The six children, Philip through Jacob, are the ones who produced the Abe Family line that sprang up in this area of  Maryland and West Virginia.
     The (3)1850 Census for the 24th District of Hampshire County, VA lists Nicholas and Lacy Ann along with four children, Philip, Adam, Frederick and John.
     The (4)1860 Census for the Western District of Hampshire County, VA is dated November 2, 1860. Here Nicholas and Lacy Ann now are listed with seven children: Philip, John Adam, Frederick, Mary Catherine, John, Jacob and Ellen. Included in the same household are Nicholas' father, mother and younger brother.
      The next ten years would bring about many changes for the family. The (9)1870 census for the Frankfort Township of Mineral County, WV shows Nicholas' family much smaller now. With him and Lacy Ann (listed here as "Elizabeth") are his sons Frederick, John H. and Jacob. A farm hand, John Lury, is also listed. The Civil War is now over and the two oldest children Philip and John Adam never returned home to live. They have started their own families elsewhere. The two youngest children, Sara Ellen and Virginia have died. Mary Catherine has married and moved into her own place. Nicholas' father has died and his mother is now living with the his brother "Gustus" in accordance to the conditions of the elder (7)John Adam's will. We will explore each of these individuals in later postings.

     In the (10)1880 Census a 15 year old Emmer Lichliter was living in the household as a farm hand. Nicholas’ son Jacob, is  the only child of his family still living on the farm so I am sure extra help was a necessity to keep the farm going. Jacob and his wife and children are listed as living in a separate household either on the farm or next door. Frederick and John H. have married and moved away.  
     At some point before his death Nicholas set aside a portion of the Abe Farm for the (13)Abe Cemetery.
     Nicholas died (13)October 3, 1894, at the age of 74, and was buried in the family cemetery. Lacy Ann died on (13)August 15, 1899 at the age of 73 and was buried with her husband.

     Children Of Nicholas Abe and Lacy Ann (Long) Abe are:
           1. Philip Abe (1843-1920)
           2. John Adam Abe (1844-1914)
           3. Frederick Abe (1848-1929)
           4. John Abe (1849- ?) unconfirmed
           5. Mary Catherine Abe (1851-1907)
           6. John H. Abe (abt 1853-1918)
           7. Jacob Abe (1856-1929)
           8. Sara E. Abe (1857-1868)
           9. Virginia Abe (1861-1868)

     Next we will look at Nicholas' last will and testament and his version of the farm deed as it was passed on to his sons Frederick and Jacob.

John Adam Abe Census, Property and Will 10-003

     The earliest record found to date is a (2)1840 Census Record for Hampshire County Virginia. Both this and the (3)1850 Census are examples of the extremes in misspelling and wrong recording of names that you will find in records.
     Most records will list John Adam's name as "Adam".
     The (2)1840 Census lists John Adam's name as "Adam Appie". It also only lists the head of the household and very little else. It does list five males: one between age 10 and 15 (Augustus) , two between 15 and 20 (John and Frederick), one between 20 and 30 (Nicholas) and one between age 50 and 60 (John Adam). Also listed is one female between 40 and 50 (Annie Catherine). The census is for the Western District of Hampshire County, VA.
      The (3)1850 Census for District #24 of Hampshire County, Virginia lists his name as "Adam Hoppy". This census is dated October 17, 1850. This census for some unknown reason shows Adam and his son Nicholas in separate households. All other census records list one household. Nicholas is now married with his own family. We will look at Nicholas and other family members in later postings. Here Adam is listed with his wife and youngest son August. For some unknown reason his wife is listed as "Martha" instead of Annie Catherine. Also Adam's age is inaccurately recorded as 78 years instead of 68. The "value of real estate owned" ($1000) is listed by Nicholas' name so I believe we can assume that operation of the farm was now his responsibility. In the 19th century Adam's age (68 years) would have been considered elderly so I am sure he was greatly scaling back farm responsibility although he was still shares ownership of the farm with Nicholas. In this census he is listed as a laborer.

     The (4)1860 Census is the last one that records John Adam. Page #288 of the Western District of Hampshire County, VA is dated November 2, 1860. Here John Adam is listed as a farmer, born in Germany. There is another discrepancy with the name of his wife, Annie Catherine. Here she is listed as "Elizabeth" and also born in Germany.
     John Adam's cemetery headstone at the (1)Long Cemetery, Short Gap, Mineral County, WV lists his death as August 14, 1886 at the age of 83 years, 11 months and 22 days.
      (8)When John Adam purchased the farm on the Old Furnace Road he immediately deeded the property jointly and undivided with his oldest son Nicholas. This would be also played out in a similar manner for later generations. This was done to help insure the property stayed together and be a sufficient crop producer to support the family. Adam's last will and testament gave his half interest in the property to the youngest son "Gustus". (8)Gustus decided he didn't want to share the property with his brother and sold his half to Nicholas. "Gustus" then purchased another farm nearby for himself. After Nicholas passed, his deed transferred the farm to his two sons Frederick and Jacob. Nicholas deeded the property differently. He divided the property and set the center dividing line to run straight through the center of the barn, half to each son. One distant cousin told me she remembered, as a child, going to the barn in the early morning and finding Jacob and Frederick milking their cows, one on each side of the barn.
     John Adam signed his last will and testament on (7)October 12, 1864, a little less then two years before his death.  Apparently he never learned to write because he signed the will with an "X" in the presence of three witnesses listed therein.  (7)Three months after his death the will was processed in probate court and his son August became the executor of the will. The following is a transcription of the will. Spelling and punctuation are kept as in the original will.

(7)John A. "Adam" Abe Will (transcribed)

In the name of God, Amen. I, Adam Abe of Hampshire County of
West Virginia being old and weak of body, but of sound disposing
mind, memory and understanding; considering the certainty of death but
the uncertainty of the time thereof; being desirous to settle my
worldly affairs, thus be the better prepared to leave this world
when it shall please God to call me hence; do therefore make and
publish this my last will and testament.

First and principally, I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty
God, and my body to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion
of my executors herein after named. After my debts and funeral
charges are paid, I desire and bequeath as follows.

To my Grandson Tieber Abe I bequeath the sum of five dollars. My
son John dec. (his father) having during his lifetime received from
me more than a fair proportion of my worldly estate.

To my beloved son, Nicholas I bequeath the sum of five dollars
(having at the time of the purchase of the property on which he and I
now live) given to him (the said Nicholas) by a joint deed one
undivided half of said land.

After payment of my debts bequests, do I bequeath to my beloved
son Gustus Abe all my property both personal and real charging my
said son Gustus with the care and maintenance of my beloved wife
Catherine (should she survive me) during her life.

Should my son Gustus not outlive me then to my grandson Tieber
Abe I give and bequeath the sum of fifty dollars and to my grandson
Philip Abe, I give and bequeath all the balance of my property both
personal and real.

And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint I. W. H. Pollock
Allegany County Maryland and Gustus Abe of Hampshire Co. West Virginia
to be the executors of this my last will and testament revoking and

annulling all former wills by me heretofore made, ratifying and
confirming this and none other to be my last will and testament, in
testimony whereof I herewith subscribe my name and affix my seal this
12th day of October
In the Year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Four.
Adam   X   Abe ( seal )

Note: Adam Abe used an “X” as his signature. “Adam Abe” and “his mark” was
written around his “X” by the person writing the will for him.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by Adam Abe the above named
testator as, and for his last will and testament in the presence of
us who at his request and in his presence, and in the presence of
each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.
Solomon Alkire
Hiram W. Shell
Jacob P. Daniels


Recorder’s Office
New Creek November 12, 1866
State of West Virginia
Mineral County to Wit
Before Geo. E. Leps Recorder Sitting as a probate Court

Know all men by these present that whereas the Last
Will and Testament of Adam Abe dec’d late of this County dated on the
12 day of October 1864 was this day presented in Open Court and being
So proven by Solomon Alkire and Hiram W. Shell two of the subscribing
witnesses thereto to be his Last Will and Testament the Same is
hereby admitted to Record & Probate And on the Motion of Gustus Abe
who is named as Executor in Said will is hereby permitted to qualify
as Such Executor on his giving Bond in the penal Sum of $1000.--
Conditioned as the Law Directs.
Now know ye that the Said Gustus Abe has filed the Bond Required
and qualified as Executor as aforesaid.

Given under my hand at my
office at New Creek the day and
year above written
Geo. E. Leps


John Adam Abe and Annie Catherine 10-002

     For the Abe Family I think we will start from the farthest back we know and work our way forward. I am doing this because most of the early genealogy information has currently been established in my research. Later areas of my research are still a major work in process so it will give me more time to work on more recent family members.
     John Adam Abe was born on (1)August 23, 1782 in Germany. He died on August 14, 1866 in Mineral County, WV. He was buried in the (1)Long Cemetery in Short Gap, Mineral County, WV.
     In various records for John Adam and his children, references have been made to their origin as Hannover (or Hanover) or Westphalia. Westphalia is a territory or region in the central portion of Germany and varied in size over the years from the middle of the country to the western border. Hannover is a city in north central Germany within the Westphalia region at that time. It is the capital of Lower Saxony, Germany. It was also the capital of the administrative area Regierungsbezirk Hannover. Are we talking about the city, Hannover or the region? It's hard to say at this time. Both point to north central Germany so we at least have an area they were from.
      Adam was married to Annie Catherine (maiden name unknown). She was born (1)October 8, 1789 in Germany. Records found, all show her name differently. The (3)1850 Census lists her name as "Martha". The (4)1860 Census lists her name as "Elizabeth" and the (5)1870 Census lists it as "Catherine". Her husband calls her "Catherine" in his (7)will. Her headstone at the Long Cemetery lists her "Annie C.". No explanation has been found to explain the names "Martha and Elizabeth". She died (1)August 2, 1876 at the home of her son, "Gustus" near Short Gap, WV. She also is buried in the (1)Long Cemetery.

      Birth dates for both have been calculated from death information found on their headstones and death records. No birth certificates have been found.

      John Adam and Annie Catherine entered this country about (6)1836. No date or ship of passage has been found at this time. (6)Stories passed down say that they were sent to the Cumberland, Allegany County, MD area where Adam and their sons found work on the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This would give them income till they purchased the 400+ acre farm on the Old Furnace Road near Short Gap, Mineral County, WV. It has never been confirmed that the family did work on the canal. The (2)1840 Census for Hampshire County, WV shows they were living in Hampshire County, WV (now Mineral County, WV) at that time.
      There are three known sons born to Adam and Catherine:
           1. (2)(3)(4)Nicholas Abe (1819-1894)
           2. (2)John Abe (born between 1820 and 1825 and died...?)
           3. (2)(3)(4)(5)Augustus "Gustus" Abe (1826-1898)

      (6)Stories passed down say there is a fourth, "Frederick Abe", but no specific records of his existence have been found. The (2)1840 Census shows there was a fourth male child that was born between 1820 and 1825 but no names of children are listed in this census. This "Frederick" is not mentioned in (7)John Adam's will.
      (6)These family stories also state that Frederick and John went west with John stopping in Ohio and Frederick going on to Missouri. No records have proven any of this. In fact a recently found set of estate settlement documents seem to show that John may have never left the area and died in West Virginia in the late 1840's. I need to research this further.
     The books, (63)“Allegheny Passage – Churches and Families – West Marva District – Church of the Brethren 1752-1990” and (62)"A History of the Church of the Brethren in the First District of West Virginia", both basically mirror the same information that the (6)“Abe Family Heritage” presents. Still, I can only stand on the information that I can prove and the “stories” of Frederick and John going west and the family entering through the port of New York, I cannot prove. Also neither the  (6)“Abe Family Heritage” nor the (63)“Allegheny Passage” lists all of their sources for their information.
      In my next post we will look at John Adam's census, property and will records.

NOTE: The small number in parenthesis throughout these posts refer to an associated record. Find that record at the top of the page under the source tabs.

A New Beginning 10-001

     This blog, for me, is a beginning of a new avenue for publishing of my genealogy information.
     My name is Michael Wayne Abe. I have been researching for the last 12+ years on the paternal side of my family. My earliest Abe ancestors began their life in Allegany County, Maryland and Mineral County, West Virginia. My aunts, uncles and cousins began a research of the Abe family in the late 1940's. While their source record keeping was almost non-existent their passion for information was of the highest quality. They began publishing a book "The Abe Family Heritage" in 1982 with several editions that followed. All were hand typed and photocopy printed. Copies were made available for sale at cost to members of the family that were interested. As the 1990's wound down family members who had diligently worked on the research were passing on or became unable to continue the work. Not wanting to see their work die out I began my era of the work by first entering all their work on computer. After about 8 months of work I completed the task and printed the first draft of the new book in 2000.
     I have had many joys, disappointments and lessons learned along the way. There have been joys of finding something you were looking for and the exhilaration of finding an important bit of information that you weren't looking for. I have had disappointments of the cold trail and the proverbial brick wall. I have also experienced the tragedies of computer crashes, viruses, and hard drive failures that have wiped out important information. (Always remember to backup, backup, backup.....).
     Research is far from being an exact science. There are rules to follow but no guarantees. You can plan an avenue to take but what you find and where the road leads may end up completely different. In the end I can truthfully say that I have enjoyed every bit of time spent in this wonderful world of genealogy research.
     Check back from time to time and see what nuggets of information have been dug up.
     Maybe you will get the genealogy bug as I have and decide to share your nuggets with others.