Category Archives: Other sides


Why I find this cow and calf in the stack of family photos still baffles me. Yes, I’ve already said farming was in Grandpa and Grandma’s blood, even though they had relocated to life in an industrial city.

But I still have no idea where this was taken. It’s too hilly to be the Binkley farm. Ditto for Uncle Samuel and Aunt Grace’s place, I think. Maybe over in Indiana?


On THE farm

When I was growing up, a trip to the farm meant going to the Binkleys, just outside Phillipsburg. It had two large barns, for one thing, and a woodlot down by the end of the road.

After Uncle Arlie died, Aunt Edna and cousin Kenny continued to live there. Here they’re standing with Grandpa and Grandma.

Do they look like sisters?

When I was old, I enjoyed climbing the former windmill tower, though vines made the effort difficult, and the woodshed also in sight revealed a host of curious objects. Unseen is the outhouse that was still in use, at least as an alternative to the indoor plumbing.

Kenny always enjoyed our visits, but he did sometimes play a little too rough. We learned to roll with it.


A Binkley plea

Annette Stewart, who has shared some of her Binkley research via postings here, has a new twist. (She is a descendant of Hans Binkley, Felix Binkley, Johnson Binkley, Samuel Binkley, Johnson Binkley, and daughter Catherine Binkley Culbertson Fourman.) Here’s what she says:


I have some new info on early Pennsylvania Binkleys Felix and Anna Binkley and his brother John and Susana Binkley and their descendants. Here’s FYI to descendants from these lines as well as Felix’s other brother Henry.
The Binkley family stones are missing at Mellinger Cemetery for family members Felix and wife Anna, who are Johnson Binkley’s parents. The other family stones of Susana, John, Elizabeth, Johnson, Mary, Veronica and Henrich are in very poor condition and the family wishes to replace them.

If you would like to contribute to this Binkley Stone Project please contact Lee Arthurs, descendant, at 10433 Big Canoe Jasper, GA 30143,, or 770-337-8862 (cell).

Major contributors (donations must be received prior to March 13, 2020) will be inscribed into the back of the rightmost headstone. Dedication ceremony and related activities, which will occur in Lancaster, PA after the new headstones are set, anticipated to occur in mid-May 2020. Contact Lee for detailed PDF file on history and planned stone inscriptions.
See Find a Grave for photos of Johan, Susana, Johnson and wife Elizabeth and their two children, unnamed and Mary McCloy as well as photos of the old stones of Veronica and Henrich, both children of David and Maria Binkley.
Mellinger Mennonite Cemetery is in East Lampeter Twp, Lancaster Co., PA. David Binkley is buried in Binkley Herr Cemetery on the farm in Manor Twp, Lancaster Co., PA.
Thank you.

Looking over Annette’s shoulder

Even with Internet everywhere and all of the opportunities it offers, genealogical research still comes down to a lot of paperwork. You make notes, scratch out possibilities, hit the historical archives and libraries, blow dust off books, and still send stuff off through the postal service. And, by the way, family research is always deepened when you can examine resources closest to their home at the time.

Here are some examples from Annette Stewart’s work on the Binkleys.

Now this is organized! And also legible … 


Annette’s use of three-ring notebooks makes great sense. I stuck to manila folders in filing cabinets, but the pages could get disorganized very quickly when I was working on them. 


Nothing like newspaper clippings, when you can find them. The Brethren in Christ (originating as the River Brethren) is an interesting detail, as is the Fairfield county connection, a place that seemed to be a landing spot for many of the Pennsylvania Dutch coming to Ohio. 


I would caution to take care to double-check anything that’s being quoted. Oral histories can have errors.


Articles like this make me wonder how much more we’ve lost because nobody asked the people who once knew and then recorded their answers. The obituary notes his switch in allegiance to the less stringent United Brethren in Christ. As a child, I attended my first wedding and my first funeral in the Phillipsburg church where Samuel had been a trustee. We later attended some of their Thanksgiving dinners, served as a fundraising project and an example of country-style cooking.  

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: 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.

Uncle Arlie

Arlie Binkley was Grandma’s brother-in-law, but he was also one of my grandfather’s two best friends. From everything I’ve learned, I’d say he’s the better of the two — which is saying something, considering that the other was the bishop.

The little I remember of Uncle Arlie was that he was a very kind and gentle man who welcomed us warmly to the farm. Sometimes I got to ride with him on the tractor. The last time, I think, was the year he tried to raise popcorn. Did we get to ride in the wagon while he drove down the rows with the harvester?

He got increasingly debilitated by the advance of ALS, and Dad was with him when he finally passed over.

Uncle Arlie’s death and funeral were the first in my awareness.

This portrait is stamped on the back, Studio of the Rike-Kumler Co., which was Dayton’s leading department store.

A Quaker Jones family nexus in western Ohio

Josephine "Josie" Jones
Josephine “Josie” Jones

Josie 2

Josie 3

Josephine Jane Jones (November 15, 1867-May 13, 1891), daughter of Samuel B. and Rhoda (Coate) Jones, married Joshua Francis Hodson (1857-1930) on December 25, 1888, under the care of Van Wert Friends Meeting. It was a service conducted by the pastor, reflecting the more evangelical stream of Quaker development.

They had two sons: Samuel Pleasant Hodson (November 30, 1889, Van Wert County, Ohio-November 13, 1961, Montgomery County, Ohio) and Kyle Jones Hodson (April 2, 1891, Van Wert-May 23, 1891, Van Wert).

*   *   *

Although Joshua came from Quaker stock in North Carolina, his line of the family had not officially been members of the Society of Friends for several generations, even though they worshipped with Friends (and extended family members) at Centre and Concord and are  buried next to the meetinghouses. Josie’s family, on the other hand, had been more meticulous about observing Quaker discipline. Before their marriage, Joshua formally requested to join Friends at Van Wert, where he was accepted into membership.

As a consequence, Josie’s ancestry is well documented in William Wade Hinshaw’s massive Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Ann Arbor, 1936). In fact, assembling her lineage from these abstracts allowed my first practice in using Quaker records and instilled a respect for the painstaking care Friends take in minuting church business sessions, something I now see as a unique form of liturgy in a denomination that generally eschews outward forms. Some things merely reappear in new ways; among Friends, the origin of keeping minutes was a matter of recording sufferings in the face of persecution.

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