Potato wagon

Dad was born on a rented farm near Verona, which Grandpa worked before moving to the city of Dayton.

Here Dad sits on a load of potatoes.

Even though this is the early 1920s, Grandpa is still relying on horses. These are the kinds of details photos can add to a family history.


Keeping time in eternity

Last week I mentioned Jesse Haines, the Hall of Fame Baseball pitcher.

He was a pious man who kept his personal integrity in an often ribald profession, and when he retired from pitching, he was given a sundial, which he treasured so much it became part of his gravestone in Bethel Cemetery just north of Phillipsburg.

Uncle Arlie and Aunt Edna are buried nearby, as are my Ehrstine great-grandparents.

Some fresh Binkley documentation

One of the joys of doing genealogy comes in hearing from others who are working a related part of the puzzle.

The point of creating this blog, in fact, was to make my files more accessible and useful to others.

Last October, Annette Sease Stewart piped up with comments on her Binkley roots.

While I don’t descend from the Binkleys, my grandmother’s sister married one, and so I have posted their genealogy, drawing largely on materials provided by my cousins on that side. In addition, my grandfather’s half-brother married Grace Binkley, adding to the intrigue.

Annette later sent me copies of four pages of materials she found helpful in sorting out Catherine Binkley (born 1826), daughter of Samuel Binkley and Catherine Beam from Annette’s ancestor Catherine Elizabeth Binkley (born 1834), the daughter of Johnson Binkley and Mary Nelson.

Yes, these things do get tangled, but sometimes you need to work through both lines to make sure you’re connecting to the right one.

As the materials show, the 1826 Catherine died in a fire and was unmarried.

Now for the closer look.

The first entry, from a family Bible owned by Marilyn Dewey, gives us the simple record of her death. Note that the first name is misspelled, with an a, as well as the Jun’r designation. The script, meanwhile, tries to maintain the style of what we’ll find in earlier entries.

Moving from the DEATHS part of the record to the BIRTHS gives us a page rich with information.

I’m struck that Samuel sen. (senior) is only ten days older than his wife, but they fall under different zodiac signs – his Gemini to her Cancer. Make of that what you wish. An astrologer would see potential conflict.

The penmanship, of course, is striking, as is the note that it was done in 1819 by 17-year-old Abraham Hershey a year before his death. The fact that this is in English rather than German perhaps reflects a degree of assimilation.

Middle names begin to appear among the sons, a sign of changing times.

In one email, Annette mentioned that this family descends from “Johannes the Mennonite in Pennsylvania,” which is a helpful detail. I read somewhere that the Pennsylvania Dutch Binkleys originate in five different families, not all of them Mennonite.

Which points to the next twist here.

Samuel’s wife, Catherine, descends from Martin Boehm, who was a Mennonite bishop who co-founded the United Brethren in Christ denomination with Philip Otterbein. They were both present at the confirmation of Francis Asbury as bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church in Baltimore.

With their son Jesse, note the inserted middle name – Asbury, no doubt in honor of the Methodist bishop.

In another twist, when the Evangelical United Brethren church (as the United Brethren had become in 1946) merged into the United Methodist denomination in 1968, Martin Boehm retroactively became the first Methodist bishop in America.

Judging from these points, I’m assuming that Samuel and Catherine were actively United Brethren.

Haines, meanwhile, is a family related to my Ehrstines. The Hall of Fame baseball pitcher, Jesse Haines, lived next door to the United Brethren church in Phillipsburg.

Returning to the DEATHS record, more details. Who would expect medical prognosis in a family Bible?

The transcript of deaths and funerals performed by the Reverend Isaac H. Reiter of First German Reformed church in Dayton is another surprisingly rich document. He obviously officiated at funerals for non-members, on request. My guess here is that Catherine’s brother Henry was a member of his church, which led to the connection. We get the detail that she died at a fire at home in West Carrollton, though I’m left wondering if her dress caught on a flame or the fire erupted in the middle of the night or even if she was a smoker who fell asleep with a lighted cigarette. I’m at a loss about the “residence” references, however; do these denote a service in a private home, in this case, the brother’s? Alexandersville, it turns out, was a town just north of West Carrollton, which incorporated it just before World War II.

As a researcher to researcher aside, I love Annette’s quip, “I’m in field with harvest but I’ll get back once able.” It’s so telling of the way we do these puzzles, bit by bit when we can.

She also included a link to an online tree she’s found valuable: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Binkley-518. Sometime I’ll have to compare his findings with mine. I’m sure there will be differences once we get past the material collected from the chart found inside the Lancaster County grandfather clock that sat at the top of Uncle Arlie and Aunt Edna’s stairs.