Background for Ulrich’s Travel Plans~~1749~~

Small beautifully detailed etching of a large Dutch three-masted merchant Hoeker running before the wind.

Small beautifully detailed etching of a large Dutch three-masted merchant Hoeker running before the wind.

Ever wonder what kind of ship Ulrich sailed on in 1749? It seems the most common type of ship in the seventeenth century for emigrants to America was a Northern European merchant vessel called by the Dutch a “Hoecker”, by the French a “Houcre” or “Hourque” and by the English a “Hawker” or “Hooker”. The vessel was described as having bluff rounded bows and sterns, with a high rudder and tiller fitted over the bulwarks. Some hoekers had pole masts, while others had the more usual separate mainmast with tops, shrouds and the rest. Here is an engraving to give you an idea of how crowded the ship must have been with all those emigrants on board.


MORE on Mathew


Three graves Knupp Cemetery, Wayne Co., Ohio. Mathew Hoffstatter on the left.  The other two unidentified.

Three graves Knupp Cemetery, Wayne Co., Ohio. Mathew Hoffstatter on the left. The other two unidentified.

Update Mathew Hofstatter gravesite

Background: Mathew’s grave was located by Ray Huffstutter in the Knupp Cemetery, Wayne County, Ohio in August of 2012. After much grass cleaning and some dirt removal with his bare hands Ray revealed the headstone for Mathew as well as establishing the graves for two of his daughters buried a few yards away.

New information on the markers at the Knupp Cemetery in Wayne County, Ohio was recently shared by Pat Houglan whose great-grandmother Jane Hoffstatter, married Abraham Weldy or Welday. Pat visited the cemetery and was able to dig around a few of the barely visible stones near Mathew’s marker.

Pat wrote: “I spent yesterday at Knupp’s!! and I found Matthew’s grave. What a pretty stone, ornate…I dug at the other two stones too. The one closest to Matthews was broken with no inscription, possible it was upside down? I could not lift it to see. The last stone was only the base for a stone. Matthew is there with at least two daughters and three grandsons.”

Now, all of us are curious about the heavy stone Pat was unable to lift and turn over. Who is buried there?

Thanks Pat for your efforts and this new information.


I couldn’t resist sharing with you some of the facts about one of the interesting relatives in the family tree of Mary Baxter Huffstutter, the wife of Ulrich Huffstutter.  Mary’s aunt was Rachel Brown the wife of Michael McGuire Jr. an early Indian trader, hunter and trapper on the frontier.  The McGuires lived near the Huffstutters both in Frederick Co MD and Huntingdon Co PA.  It was to Michael McGuire Jr that Ulrich Huffstutter sold his farm “Dyer’s Mill Forest  in Frederick County, Maryland  in 1782.  When the Huffstutters settled in Huntingdon Co it was near the McGuires.  Doubtless the early explorations of the frontier by Michael McGuire furnished first hand accounts  that influenced the Huffstutters in their move westward into Pennsylvania.

from The Benedictine Fathers in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, by the Rev. Modestus Wirtner, O.S.B. (1925), pages 11 and 12:

“The First Settlement on the Allegheny Mountains

“The history of Catholicity on the Allegheny Mountains begins with the first permanent settlement in Cambria County. Up to the year 1768 Frankstown, at the foot of the mountains was the last frontier settlement. Captain Michael McGuire, a hero of the Revolutionary War for Independence, was a noted trapper and hunter. Before the revolutionary struggle broke out, he was accustomed to start at intervals from his home in Taneytown, Md., and to make expeditions far into the interior of Pennsylvania.

“By a law of Pennsylvania, such as built a log house and cleared a few acres of land acquired a presumptive right to purchase at $5.00 per 100 acres. On one of his trips, about the year 1768, traveling up the Kittaning or Indian Trail, he crossed the Alleghenies and established his hunting camp near the present Chest Springs, on land later owned by Mr. Robert Sisk, then for over 20 years by Lawrence Sutton. This location is to be seen on an old draft of the country made as far back as 1793, which shows the exact location of “Captain McGuire’s Camp.” It is practically beyond all dispute that the Captain was, as Robert L. Johnston, the historian of early Cambria wrote, ‘The first white man who settled within the present bounds of Cambria County.’ Records, deeds, papers, etc., in the possession of his many descendants are more than sufficient to verify this statement.

“When the Land Office was opened Captain McGuire was among those who ‘took up’ land on which he subsequently planted the ‘McGuire Settlement.’ His first and for several years his only neighbors, were the settlers at Blair’s Mill, more than 12 miles away, with a dense, unbroken forest between.

“According to the Rev. Edwin Pierron, O.S.B., of Patton, John McGuire (who built the McGuire grist mill, about the year 1845, on the site which is now within the borough of Patton) in relating his reminiscences stated that his grandfather, Captain Michael McGuire, built a second log cabin near Ashville, which later became the homestead of Augustine Hott, Father Gallitzin’s hostler. No doubt the majestic oak trees at Loretto indicated better land, so he built, with the assistance of his nephew, Michael McGuire, a third cabin in 1784, at Loretto.

“The exact spot, chosen by him for a settlement was the valley just below the present town of Loretto to the east. In a short time a few log cabins were built, and these served for shelter and protection until more permanent structures could be erected. This land is now part of the tract owned by the Franciscan Brothers.

“Captain McGuire brought his family to McGuire’s settlement in the year 1788. In 1790 Luke McGuire, eldest son of the captain, took up his residence on the farm now owned and cultivated by his grandson, George Luke McGuire. He completed his house in 1794 and at present it still stands well preserved. Captain Richard McGuire the younger son of Captain Michael McGuire, was married in 1800, located and built in the vicinity of his brother.

“Taking advantage of the law, Captain Michael McGuire lost no time in providing for the church, for which his wonderful faith alone could have given him hopes, and took up 400 acres of land which he made over to Bishop John Carroll, who had been just consecrated, and returned to the United States. On this land Prince Gallitzin built the first church, used for divine services, between Lancaster, Pa., and St. Louis, Mo.

“The settlement founded by Captain McGuire attracted other pioneers to the Alleghenies, and he was soon followed by Cornelius McGuire, Richard Nagle, William Dodson, Richard Ashcraft, Michael Rager, James Alcorn and John Sturm. These were followed by others. John Trux, John Douglas, John Byrne, William Meloy and many others whose names together with the names of their descendants, are preserved in a Register of St. Michael’s Parish, Loretto. …

“In the summer of 1796 Father Gallitzin came here on a sick call. Mrs. John Burgoon, a protestant woman, was taken very ill (5), and begged so hard to see a Catholic priest, that Mrs. Luke O’Hara McGuire, a good Catholic neighbor and another lady set out on horseback through the wilderness of Conewago, 130 miles distant, to find a priest who would be able and willing to visit her. The message came to Father Smith, now revered as Father Gallitzin, who returned with them, and received the sick woman into the church. He said Mass in Luke McGuire’s log house, administered baptism to a number of children, and even to one or two adults, exhorted them to faith, prayer, courage and perseverance. After that he made several visits.

“In the beginning of 1799 there were ten or twelve families at the McGuire settlement, sometimes also called Clearfield, and also Allegheny. These people with those of Frankstown and Sinking Valley petitioned Rt. Rev. Bishop Carroll, D.D., to give them a resident priest. Father Gallitzin made this request his own and the Bishop cordially acceded to it. On March 1, 1799, Bishop Carroll appointed him pastor of Clearfield, Frankstown and Sinking Valley.”

Additional notes on Michael McGuire

In 1775, Michael McGuire, joined the Continental Army. He served as a captain directly under General George Washington. In 1787, he was awarded a land grant as payment for his service during the Revolutionary War. This meant he could claim all the land around which he could walk his horse from sunup to sundown. He had previously traveled through Central Pennsylvania and decided to stake his claim there.

At the time, he was co-owner of a tavern in Taneytown, Maryland. His partner, also a veteran, traded his land grant for Michael’s share of the tavern. Now Michael had two days in which to block out his territory. Naturally, he chose the time of the summer solstice! Upon taking possession, he became the first white man to inhabit that part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

This land is largely in what is now Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Captain Michael McGuire died in 1793, bequeathing one-third of his property to Bishop Carroll of Baltimore, to be held in trust for resident clergy. Part of it became the Borough of Loretto. In 1796, Rev. Demetrius Augustine Smith (the alias used by the Russian prince/priest, Demetrius A. Gallitzin) arrived at McGuire’s Settlement, as it was then known. He saw the potential of the area as a sanctuary for Catholics and invested $150,000 of his personal fortune in land adjoining that which Michael McGuire had given to Bishop Carroll.

It is mainly because of McGuire’s largesse that Catholicism flourished in this region of the state, but Gallitzin’s legend of trading princely robes for priestly ones gets more attention. The town of Loretto has been under church control for centuries. It once included St. Francis Seminary, which was sold to the federal government when vocations to the priesthood faltered. It still boasts Prince Gallitzin’s Chapel House (historic site), the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Francis University, and the Carmelite Monastery (strangely named, since it houses nuns). Retired Franciscans live at the former estate of Charles M. Schwab, steel magnate.

Prince Gallitzin is much revered locally. Presently, he is under consideration by the Vatican for canonization. The small town of Gallitzin was, of course, named in his honor.

Dancing in the Dark, tap dances and tangos

Hello all,

Haven’t written for a while but it wasn’t due to laziness.  The website has been busy exploring the outer reaches of the universe for answers to questions of curious researchers asking “Who am I and how am I related to the Huffstutters.”  The answers weren’t easy to find and quite frankly we had to dance around in circles and still came up empty handed.

C. W. wrote the blog asking about one of my more colorful ancestors who managed to be murdered and in whispering voices we swapped family tall tales about the incident and hopefully laid some of the more messy details to rest forever.  Lest the story become replicated ad infinitum on the internet I will refrain from repeating it here.  For the curious who want the salacious details you know the drill—e-mail me!

B.B. from Tulsa, OK wrote wondering about some Oklahoma Hufstutlers that he has traced back to  Hamilton County, Illinois. They are not related to our Ulrich as far as we know and within recent memory say the last 300 years or so but we do like to track anyone with the surname if for no other reason than to find out we are not related.  (This is where the tap dance routine comes in.)

B.B. mentioned his direct relative George Hufstudler b 1833 married Martha Gunter b1846 in IL in 1863.  In the 1860 Census, she is living at home with her parents on the farm/home next to John Huffstutler Jr. who has a 14 year old George W. Huffstutler living in his household. This George W. Huffstutler is not to be confused with George Washington Huffstutler b~1820, son of John Huffstutler, Jr or George Washington, Huffstutler b~1844, son of Solomon Huffstutler b~1819 and brother of above.

(Well B. B., I am confused already. Is that a tap dance you are doing too?  Hmmm.)

B.B. concluded: So, I would say cleary my direct relative, George W Huffstutler ~1833 is a relative of James Huffstutler Jr, and George Washington Huffstutler  ~1822. But, my primary question is. who are his parents?

Connie replied: The Huffstutler (all spellings) do seem to love the name George W.  It is confusing.  Just off the top of my head I checked the 1840 census for Hamilton Co IL and found 3 households for Hufstutler.  There was John Hufstutler (age 50-60); Washington Hufstutler (age 20-30); and John Hufstutler Jr (age 20-30).  Best guess is Washington Hufstutler is the same as George W. b 1820-1822, however his household in 1840 did not have a male in the age group to be your George.  Neither did John Jr  have a male in the household to fit age of your George.  That leaves us with John [Sr?] who was age 50-60.  He had 4 males under 5 and 1 male 5-10 so perhaps anyone of them might have been your George ba 1833.  Now that does not mean they were sons of John (50-60).  They might be grandsons just visiting for the day or something but it is significant that there were 5 males in his household in the approximate age to be your George.  Certainly the 1860 census where your George is living in the household of George b 1820 shows there is a family relationship here.

Too early for conclusions but just wanted you to know I was working on your puzzle and thinking out loud.

Well folks, I am still dancing in the dark on this one.  Perhaps the county records for Hamilton County, Illinois might shed some light.  Have any of you dug in the Hamilton Co. IL records that might add to our knowledge?  Does anyone know what happened to John Hufstutler?  This family in Hamilton Co IL has a rather colorful history that goes back to  Logan/Barren Co KY.

We’ll keep you posted on how it turns out, if we ever make the necessary connections and find out WHO were the parents of George W. Hufstutler.

In the meantime I will keep on my twinkle toe dancing slippers.






Update Hoffstatter Saga

There is another piece to the “westward ho” story of those Giffin barrels mentioned in my previous blog.  It appears very likely they did accompany Mormon wagons on the trek to Utah.  At least we know Mary Jane Hoffstatter had a brother Elias Solomon Hoffstatter (1828-1903)  and he married  Luanna Bird Bybee.  The significance of this is Luanna’s father was Byram Bybee an early Mormon pioneer to Utah.

Byram Bybee was a shoemaker by occupation and also a farmer.  He and his family were living in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844 the same year as Mary Jane Hoffstatter’s marriage to Isaac Giffin.  That was also the year Joseph Smith was murdered in Nauvoo and Luanna and her family attended the funeral.

The Bybee’s then moved to Missouri where Luanna married Elias Hoffstatter in 1847.  Elias and Luanna Hoffstatter eventually settled in Davis County, Iowa but most of Luanna’s family went west to Utah.  In fact, Byram Bybee, a man of many talents, built the wagons for his family make the trip.  Is it any wonder we surmise the goods and supplies in those wagons were carried in Giffin barrels?

Thanks again to Margaret Schweda for alerting me to the Bybee family and their interesting history as well as the connection with our Hoffstatter family.

Connie Graves

Shalimar, Florida

October 6, 2013

Whatever happened to Mary Jane Hoffstatter?



Farming was the most common occupation  for  the Huffstutter family for centuries and  as far back as we can trace. So I am delighted to tell you our most recent discovery of  a branch of the family who for several generations were members of the cooper trade.  They were a dynasty of  barrel makers.

This discovery that a Hoffstatter was connected to the cooper trade was made by Molloy family researcher Margaret Schweda  related to the Huffstutter family through a marriage several generations back.  Margaret is the great-grand niece of Douglas Giffin who married  Annie Molloy and  Margaret’s great grandmother, Margaret Molloy Nee (1863-1921), was Annie’s sister.

Margaret Schweda found that Douglas Giffin was the son of Isaac Giffen and Mary Jane Hoffstatter.   Examining her discovery Margaret thought it very likely that Isaac Giffen’s wife Mary Jane Hoffstatter was the grand-daughter of Mathew Hoffstatter son of Ulrich Huffstutter.   Accordingly she e-mailed  the Huffstutter Family website and offered to share the Giffin family research.

Up until this time Mary Jane Hoffstatter was a mystery in our family database.  Her line had not been traced and very little was known about her other than the fact she was born about 1826 in Ohio the daughter of John Hoffstatter and Sarah Taylor.  Going over Margaret’s excellent documentation Ray and I  heartily agreed with her conclusions.  Thanks to the efforts of Margaret Schweda we have a complete picture of Mary Jane Hoffstatter [I 944] and her descendants who were coopers.

What is a cooper?

A cooper is a craftsman who builds wooden slatted containers such as barrels, buckets,  or butter churns. There are different kinds of coopers. Although all are referred to by the term cooper, individually they are craftsmen with varying levels of skill, who produce specific containers for use in the home as well as business. For centuries no one could move or store  commodities on land or sea without something functional, strong and dependable to put them in and wooden barrels were the best way to accomplish it.  A skilled cooper was as necessary to any community as a blacksmith.

The “aristocracy” of the cooper world are the most highly skilled called “tight coopers”.  Often referred to as a “Master Cooper”, the casks they produced were designed to keep moisture out for a long storage period. Working with oak wood their casks hold important  items such as gunpowder, flour or whiskey.  The Giffins were Master Coopers.

Mary Jane Hoffstatter’s  family

Mary Jane’s husband, Isaac Giffen, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio where Giffins were among the earliest settlers.  Located on the Ohio River, Cincinnati quickly grew into a major shipping and transportation center.   The variety of goods passing through the city economically demanded active communities of skilled craftsmen whose services were required for commerce both overland and on the river.  This offered .Isaac Giffin the opportunity to learn his craft of cooperage  by serving a long apprenticeship.   As a young man he followed the river traffic along the Ohio River and up the Mississippi River honing his skills as  he journeyed westward. By the time he met Mary Jane Hoffstatter he was a “Master Cooper”, skilled in all types of cooperage.

They were married in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois 4 May 1844.  This was during a very historic era in Nauvoo history.  The Mormons under the leadership of their founder Joseph Smith had settled in Nauvoo about 1840.  There is no evidence that Isaac and Mary Jane were Mormon but at the time of their marriage the Nauvoo Mormon community was  embroiled in disputes with their non-Mormon neighbors.  These conflicts led to the murder of Joseph Smith by an angry mob on 27 June 1844 a little over one month after Isaac and Mary Jane’s wedding. The violence and harassment caused the Mormons under the leadership of Brigham Young  to move west and eventually settle in Utah.  It is easy to imagine that some of the items on that wagon train were contained in barrels and casks made by Isaac Giffen.

Mary Jane and Isaac settled in  Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa  located on the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers directly across from Nauvoo, Illinois.  Keokuk was a major center for outfitting Mormon travelers for the trail to Utah and coopers skills and products were in great demand. The Giffins operated a successful cooperage, remaining in Keokuk the rest of their lives and producing 11 children.  At least four of their sons (James W., John, Douglas, and George) became Master Coopers  and one of their daughters Amanda A. married William M. Lucas, a cooper.

Unfortunately, during the lifetime of the sons the need for cooperage declined and wood barrels were replaced by metal, cardboard and plastic.  But the romance and long history of their craft can be admired and happily included as a chapter in the Huffstutter family saga.

 Connie Graves

30 September 2013


Harvesting apples on the McIntosh Tree

America’s role as a melting pot of different races, religions, and ideas has often been commented upon.  Sometimes these differences bring the nation together as “Americans” and other times they separate the country into fanatical opposites.  The melding process was never more apparent than among the descendants of Ann Huffstutter, the daughter of Ulrich and his first wife Catherine.

Certainly the exploits of Ann’s husband, Peter McIntosh, both during the Revolutionary War and on the frontier in Pennsylvania and Indiana contain enough guts and glory for any history buff , but there is more to the family story. Ann and Peter’s two sons both married into the Boone family.  This brought more prestige to the family line with connections to Daniel Boone and his famous extended family.  However, the story did not end there.

Recently, through The Huffstutter Family website, we connected with a McIntosh descendant named Clay Jones and he had a whopper of a family story to add to the family history.  Mr. Jones in his e-mail declared his American Indian ancestry stating : “Besides Cherokee I am also Sac and Fox through a g-g-grandmother Keti-aqua (Eagle girl) and thereby a Sac and Fox tribal member. Her father was a Wa-she-ho-wa, a chief to which I find no other record. The Sac and Foxes were at Tippecanoe and were known earlier as the “British Band” because of their allegiance to them. So my ancestors were probably on the other side in the French and Indian War. Actually I am Mesquakie which is the “Fox” part of Sac and Fox.”

Mesquakie (Fox) Indians, 1857.  Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Mesquakie (Fox) Indians, 1857. Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Having caught my attention with his opening statement from here the story only became more intriguing to me.  Using the bits and pieces of history Mr. Jones tossed about so cavalierly in his e-mails I was able to piece together the family line which goes like this:

George Baxter McIntosh and his wife Elizabeth Ann Boone had 15 children.  Among them was a son, Moses Boone McIntosh who married Elizabeth Marksbury.  Their daughter Amaltha  Elizabeth McIntosh married John Jacob Case in Harrison Co., Iowa in 1868.  Their daughter Aseneth Aletha Case married as her second husband Leroy Jones.  So now we are down to the Jones branch of the McIntosh tree and explains how Clay Jones became a Huffstutter descendant dangling from one of the twigs.

As Clay Jones continued to tell his story, “Keti-aqua was the squaw of William Washington Jones whose enlistment papers show his occupation as gold miner enlisting from Breckenridge CO in 1862 and serving in the 3rd CO Cav…The Jones were from KY in the early 1800’s and “lived near the Lincoln’s and moved west”… He is said to have served in the Black Hawk Indian War acquiring his Sac and Fox wife and my g-grandfather Henry Clay Jones was born on the Iowa River near Tama, IA in 1844.”

Now that was a terrific story but it does not end here.  Mr. Jones added to the tale: “…A great uncle, William Jones, I did not tell you about. He was my grandfather’s half-brother. [sic Henry Clay Jones] He began by his mother dying when he was 1 or 2 and then being raised by his grandmother Kati-aqua so that his first language was Meskwakie. He was a cowboy in Kansas. His father encouraged him to go to school, I think at Carlisle, Hampton Institute, Harvard, then a Ph.D at Columbia. Some of his essays at Harvard were beautiful and were online at one time. He produced several texts, such as Fox Tales, which is the mythology of the Meskwakie and is written in that language which he devised a writing for on one page and the English on the other. But being the 2nd Indian to get a Ph. D. in ethnography under Franz Boas (the first native American having gotten a Ph. D in the 1600’s) there would be difficulty in finding an academic position. He took on a field trip to the Philippines funded by the Field Museum to establish his name. But after a couple of years as he was pressing to go home he was killed. ..Much of the story is recounted in a book written about him in about 1912 by a Harvard friend.”

After a little hunting and pecking online I managed to find the book: William Jones, Indian, Cowboy, American Scholar, and Anthropologist in the fields, by Henry Milner Rideout and if you like cowboy and Indian stories I recommend it.  You will enjoy the poetical  “Indian” views of life as much as I did. 

Here is a personal description of William Jones from Rideout’s book:

“It was always regret to him as well as to his friends that he had not been able to conquer his shyness and learn enough of music to write out the songs he knew so well. A friend to whom he was willing to sing them tried to take down some of the simpler songs, but never succeeded in getting them quite as he knew they ought to be. One only — a simple little one — remains to bear the stamp of his approval — the song he as a little boy sang to the snake, begging him to find the arrow he has lost in the grass.

As a little child he learned to imitate the call of the birds and squirrels, the wild prairie animals and the horses, and often amused himself, even in the East, by, as he said, ‘talking to them’. Any horse was of interest, and sometimes on the crowded streets he would stop to ‘say just a word to that tired old horse’. Whatever it was, the horse would prick up his ears and seem to understand.

He also had a trick of patting on his knees the different gaits of a horse— trotting, cantering, loping, galloping or running — so accurately that one could almost see the action. Imitating the reports of different firearms was another form of amusement. ‘Hark’, he would exclaim, under his breath, ‘do you hear that Winchester way over yonder?’ And sure enough from ‘way over yonder’ would come the sound that one could hardly believe was made by a human throat.”

Knowing the Joneses would have been a pleasure. Thank you, Clay Jones, for sharing your wonderful family history with us. We can safely say the descendants of Ann Huffstutter McIntosh garnered their share of fame and truly represent the diversity of America and the amalgam of different cultures that glues us together. 

Connie Graves

11 Aug 2013



The Journey Continues, birthdays and things

Bonnie Wilson Preisler

When I say “the journey continues” I mean the one that began in Switzerland when Ulrich Huffstutter was born 27 May 1731.  In a few days that will be 282 years ago.  WOW. The glow from the candles on his cake must be visible from outer space. Just in time for this occasion a surprise birthday present arrived.  Call it the fickle finger of fate or whatever but a  descendant left a “Comment” with some family info on the website and  Ray forwarded it to me. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

As the above photo shows Ulrich’s Journey continues. Let me introduce you to the newest Daughter of Ulrich, Bonnie Wilson Preisler.  Just like me she is a descendant of Susannah Huffstutter and we are second cousins.  We have not seen or heard from each other for 65 years.  That deserves another WOW.

Bonnie says she was fooling around on her computer and decided to Google her Dad’s name.  Whaa Laa what should pop up but The Huffstutter Family website with his family group sheet.  Now this is something Ray and I love to hear since our purpose is to provide “all things Huffstutter” to the world at large. Bonnie noticed we did not have complete info on her family so sent a little comment about it.  And there you have it.  The journey had gone full circle back to Ulrich.

Now for the rest of the story. Bonnie and I were born in the same year, three months and a few miles apart.  As far back as I can remember there has been a photo in the album my mother made of my childhood and on the back is noted “Connie and Bonnie 14 months”.  That cryptic memo means the picture was taken when I was 14 months old and Bonnie 1 year old.  Making a quick phone call to my mom filled in the additional info that the photo was taken on Bonnie’s first birthday.  WOW and WOW.  The journey had gone full circle back to me.

Bonnie and I have reconnected.   We are friends on Facebook, Pinterest and “like” many of the same things. The journey continues.




Ulrich’s farm-the original boundaries

Ulrich surveyKY(Survey drawn using Tract Plotter software)

The recent survey and creation of a trust for the family cemetery on the Ulrich Huffstutter farm in Nicholas County, Kentucky prompted me to think about the chain of title for those acres.  There are several easy to use online software programs to chart land surveys so I entered the co-ordinates from the original deed and was pleased with the resulting survey outline  included with this post.

The rest of the property description and chain of title is as follows:

1) 1796–The original deed for Ulrich’s farm.

Bourbon Co KY Deed Book C:632-633  UNDATED, proven in April Court 1796 John Townsley and wife Ester to Ulirick Hufstuter—55 acres on waters of Hinkston,  boundaries mentioned are a buckeye and ash on Owings line; sugar tree and elm standing in Tabbs line; buckeye and box elder in Tabbs line.

2)  19 Aug 1794 Sale of sub-divided portion of the Tabb & May grants

Bourbon Co., KY Deed Book C:60-61  19 Aug 1794  Proven in August Court 1794  Philamon Thomas and wife Mary of Mason Co to John Townsley—55 acres on the lines of Parish and Tabb…

(There were several sale deeds from Philamon Thomas to various individuals on the same date, 19 Aug 1794.  One of them was to Nimrod Parish mentioned above who shared a boundary line with Townsley.)

3) 8 Mar 1794 Sale of Tabb & May grants as the result of a lawsuit

Bourbon Co KY Book C:172-174  8 Mar 1794  Proven in Bourbon Co Court of Quarter Session June 15, 1795  John Tabb and wife Frances of Amelia Co VA to Philamon Thomas of Mason Co.

Philamon Thomas was a lawyer and land speculator.  Backed by a consortium of wealthy investors Thomas bought up large tracts of land with questionable titles and then subdivided and sold it quickly.  Often the tracts of land became entangled in lawsuits that lasted for years making it difficult to sell the property.

The sale and recording of the Thomas deed was the result of a 1794 court decision May v Frazee involving ownership of thousands of acres of land which was appealed and went through various courts. Final decision was handed down in Dec 1823 [4 Littell 391] with the court declaring legal title belonged to Tabb and May.

4)  Land Grant  signed by Patrick Henry dated 15 Nov 1787

5) Survey for Tabb & May, 10,000 acres, dated 25 Oct 1784

Having established the trail of land transactions from the original patent given to John Tabb and John May to Ulrich I’ll continue the story forward through time. Ulrich in his will dated 1801  left his 55 acre farm  to his son George Huffstetter.

About 1816 there was a change in the county line between Bourbon and Nicholas Counties and a section of Hinkston Creek became the boundary.  Several farms on the north side of Hinkston Creek that had previously been in Bourbon Co became part of Nicholas County among them Ulrich Huffstutters.

Thus, when George Huffstetter sold Ulrich’s farm in 1818 it was recorded in Nicholas Co KY Deed Book E, p 296.The deed states, George Huffstetter and Catherine his wife of County of Harrison and State of Indiana to William Sparks of the County of Nicholas and State of Kentucky sell for $600, 55 acres on Hinkston Creek.

The ongoing lawsuit over title to the numerous land grants of Tabb & May, including the 10,000 acre claim of which the 55 acre Huffstutter farm was a part, resulted in this statement being included in the George Huffstetter deed: “all that tract or parcel of land situate in the County of Nicholas on the waters of Hinkston being part of two claims one in the name of Abraham Shepherd of 1000 acres and the other entered and surveyed for John Tabb and conveyed by Philoman Thomas to said Huffstetter “

Also included in the deed was this disclaimer:  “…but it is understood that in case the said tract of land should hereafter be lost or taken by any other claim whatever, then in that case the said George Huffstetter and his heirs are not to be liable to refund the purchase money, nor no part thereof, as the true intent of this conveyance is to sell the chance of the land without recourse either in law or equity.”

The sale of Ulrich’s farm to William Sparks explains why several Sparks tombstones are found in the cemetery.  The property would come full circle when William Sparks daughter Elvira Sparks married James Huffstetter.  We are still researching the deeds and it is not clear if Elvira inherited the farm from her father and that is how the acreage returned to the family or whether James Huffstetter purchased the farm from William Sparks. As soon as those details are established I will post it in my blog.  To be continued…..


A photo is worth a thousand words

Wilbur George "Gup" Allen

Wilbur George “Gup” Allen

Philip Allen with ghost image

Philip Allen with ghost image

These two photos represent the end result of a very interesting side light in our family history.  They are vintage photographs taken about 1940 in Long Beach California.  The man on the far left is “Gup” Allen who married Charlotte Huffstutter in 1947 in Los Angeles, CA.  and that explains his connection to the family.  The man in the next photo is Gup’s father, Philip Allen.

Our rather convoluted story begins in 1975 when I decided to join the Daughters of the American Revolution using Ulrich Huffstutter for my Patriot Ancestor.  In those days genealogy was totally new to me so I was surprised to find someone named Emma Dankers Judd who lived in Neenah, Wisconsin had previously joined the DAR in 1950 using Ulrich as her ancestor.  When I was eventually accepted for membership into the society Mrs Judd’s original research on Ulrich was included on my application.  Curiosity over who she was and how we were related was something I intended to find out more about but never got around to digging into.  A few years later Ray Huffstutter began researching the family and as luck would have it we connected and he also wanted to find out more about the earliest research of Mrs. Judd.  It was one of those things we both always intended to pursue but never did.  Then, after The Huffstutter Family website became a reality, Ray decided to tackle the job of finding out about Emma and any family research she might have collected. He did an admirable job of tracking down Emma and her daughter.  In January 2013 he sent me the thread of some e-mails he received from Sharon Stovall concerning  Mary Sue Judd,  daughter of Emma Dankers Judd. Sharon also added info she had on  a first cousin of Emma’s named Charlotte Huffstutter along with some family  photos that included those shown above that had been originally posted on Ancestry by Louise Miller.  Suddenly we were finding all sorts of family connections.

It was at this point that I became intrigued with the twists and turns the story was taking as well as the above photographs.  Ray passed the football to me and I ran with it, trying to uncover the meaning and what the Allen photos represented.

Both Gup and Philip Allen were Photographers in Long Beach, California.  Apparently fascinated with double imagery they had the necessary skill to produce these photos that tell a story.   What is the meaning?  Philip Allen’s photo may represent the “muse” or genie of invention that gave him ideas. Gup’s photo shows him holding a bottle and the little man sitting on his knee would be a “genie”, perhaps meaning the genie was out of the bottle. At least this is how I have interpreted the photos.

How this all came about is also an interesting story.  When Gup was merely a toddler his father Philip, according to the 1920 census operated a Popcorn Shop in Long Beach CA.  During the 1920’s  the family moved to Avalon, Catalina Island, a glamorous vacation spot off the coast of CA, where Philip Allen owned the Busy Bee Concession stand.  In the 1930’s perhaps as a sideline to his other business, Philip Allen became a photographer and began to tinker with improving his photographic equipment and processes.  His son Gup learned the business at his fathers knee.  Then along came World War II.  Here is where a little mystery enters the picture. Anyone with knowledge and skill in photography was definitely to asset the US government during the war and lots of innovations in photography took place during those years. Neither Philip or Gup apparently served in the military during the war, and neither received a deferment from military service that I can find. In fact there is no mention of either of them until after the war when Gup married Charlotte Huffstutter and Philip Allen received a patent on several of his photo processes. It is easy to imagine they worked on some top secret military projects during World War II that involved photography. Certainly an interesting aspect of their lives to ponder.

But to continue with the story. Perhaps the biggest invention of Philip Allen was the Photographic Booth for which he received a patent in 1948.  Those used in malls today are descended from the one Philip Allen invented.  There is quite a list of Allen patents including a liquid beverage machine that appears to be like the coin operated coffee machines in use today. Through the 50’s and 60’s the Allens lived in Carlsbad, CA  operating company called Allen Machine Development that must have included many of the items patented by Philip Allen.

So now you know some of the details of our search for Emma Judd, how it hooked up with possible intrigues of World War II, and led to a greater appreciation of some of the machines we take for granted every day. All and all a very entertaining story. Who knows? Maybe someday they will make a movie about the Allens and the Huffstutter connection will be mentioned.  You never know.