Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Interesting Family

I stumbled across a rather interesting family (at least according to the online family trees which are in various states of documentation ranging from none to mediocre). I had copied various Harris and Davis marriages from the Lincoln County index in Mrs. Harry Kennett McAdams' book Kentucky Pioneer and Court Records: Abstracts of Early Wills, Deeds and Marriages from Court Houses and Records of Old Bibles, Churches, Grave Yards and Cemeteries (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1961). One of the marriages was for a Samuel Harris to an Elizabeth Van Cleve on 25 October 1784. (p. 112) I will admit that this Samuel Harris is in Kentucky earlier than my family appears to have been.

I decided to see if I could find anyone researching this couple in an effort to discover how these families might or might not be related to my Harris and Davis families. As I inserted the couple in a search in WorldConnect (http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/), I came up with something quite interesting just from the locations mentioned for Samuel's birth and death. Samuel was said to have been born 20 Nov 1763 in Bechman Twp., Dutchess Co., N.Y. I recognized that immediately as the area where the Beekman Patent was. At least one tree stated that he was born in neighboring Nine Partners rather than Bechman Twp., but it was still in the area. There is a note in one tree that states he was a member of the Reformed Dutch Church. His death location was listed as Pleasant Hill, Mercer Co., Ky. I immediately recognized this as what we call "Shakertown." In fact, some of the trees elaborated a bit more on this connection. It appears that Samuel and his wife Elizabeth, said to have been a North Carolina native, became Shakers in 1806. Seven children were listed in one of the trees, and it was noted that all of their sons eventually left the Shakers, but that the daughters remained. Samuel and his wife Elizabeth are said to be buried in unmarked graves at Shakertown.

I found this connection between the Beekman Patent and Shakertown to be very interesting. I'd love to do further research on this family to try to prove or disprove the claims made in the online trees.

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