More Genealogy!

Which is literally probably of interest only to me and my relatives, but it’s my blog so… yeah.

I’ve been spending a lot of time researching the two lines that my parents come from: Davis and Reed. Yes, I know my maiden name was Hitchcock and now it’s Morimoto; it’s a not-very-long-but-kind-of-involved story. Suffice it to say, Davis and Reed are the paternal lines of both my parents. Is this important in genealogical terms? I have no idea; mainly, they’re both just unusually interesting.

So, my mom’s paternal line: Reed. If we work backwards, which tends to be the safest direction to go since so many people are fully prepared to embrace royal ancestry or whatever without looking to see if the closest connections are even possible, we know that my great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Reed, Jr., was (as you might imagine) the son of Thomas Jefferson Reed, Sr. (1824-1881) and Lucy Renfrow (1837-1916). Both TJR, Sr. and Lucy were born in Illinois and died in Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas (I mention this because “Waxahachie” is, like, the greatest place name).

TJR, Sr. was the son of Mary Cox (1799-1848) and Josiah Cunningham Reed (1802-1871), the latter of whom is an absolute enigma and very difficult to trace much farther than (probably) his father. There’s not even a lot of documentation putting Mary and Josiah together, and what exists is largely circumstantial. To wit:

  1. There is a headstone for a “Mary,” wife of “J.C. Reed” at Clark Cemetery in Wayne County, Illinois (this is where her birth/death dates come from, rather than other sources). Josiah and his second wife, Ann, were buried in a double grave at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Wayne County, Illinois.
  2. As of the 1830 Federal Census, five families were living as neighbors in Wayne County, Illinois: David Reed, “Joseph C. Heed,” Moses Renfro, Thomas Cox, and John Harlan. There is evidence that the Coxes, Bonhams, and Harlans were in Lincoln County, Kentucky prior to migrating to Illinois (Kentucky Pioneer and Court Records, p. 109; History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p. 107), and Renfros and Reads in Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky in 1820 (1820 United States Federal Census) prior to the Illinois migration.
  3. Thomas Cox is given the middle name “Wesley” on Ancestry.com genealogies; now, these are the same genealogies that sometimes have no concept of space-time and how it works, so I can’t say where “Wesley” comes from definitively. That said, J.C. Reed and Mary did have a son, Wesley. If that can be confirmed as Thomas’s middle name, that’s a strong circumstantial connection.

So it seems as though we can reasonably connect Mary Cox, daughter of Thomas Cox and Ruth Bonham, to Josiah Cunningham Reed, who we know to be the father of TJR, Sr., father of TJR, Jr., father of my grandfather CDR.

So let’s now go back one to Ruth and Thomas Cox. Here, the person we’re interested in is Ruth, not Thomas. I mean, Thomas is great, I’m sure, but he’s also not easy to trace more than two or three generations back.

Ruth, on the other hand, is kind of a lynchpin person in terms of how interesting or not, historically, this line might be. Ruth Bonham is documented as the daughter of Phebe Harlan and Elijah Bonham. Given that she’s a girl, what we mainly have to go by are Harlan family histories (of which there are actually several, because these people keep records OMG) and one shred of documentation that I found somewhere and forgot to cite properly, so I’m still looking for the source. Nonetheless:

Particularly given the witnessing by “Gorge Harling,” it seems reasonable to hypothesize that this “Feaba Boneham” is Phebe Bonham, and that her daughter Ruth married Thomas Cox.

Assuming that this Phebe Bonham is the daughter of Jacob Harlan, son of James Harlan, son of George Harlan and Elizabeth Duck (as The History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family documents), then the Reeds:

  1. descend from Quakers who emigrated to Pennsylvania from County Durham near Yorkshire and Newcastle, by way of County Down in what’s now Northern Ireland.
  2. are related to George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore through his parents Leonard Calvert and Alicia Crossland, who were also the parents of John Calvert, father of Isabel Calvert, mother of Hannah Hoope, mother of Elizabeth Duck.

For my money, the Quakers are pretty interesting in of themselves. George Harlan arrived in New Castle County, Delaware Colony in 1687 with his wife, Elizabeth Duck, whom he married “at the house of Marke Wright in ye Parish of Shankell” on 17 Sep [Julian calendar] 1678 (Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania 1682-1750, p. 320), and living children. The family moved from Delaware to Kennett Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where his son, Ezekiel, donated the land on which the Kennett Meetinghouse was constructed. George was appointed by William Penn as governor of the “three lower counties” of Pennsylvania – now Delaware – after his arrival in the colonies, and he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1712, dying two years later in 1714.

To be continued…