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My Connection to America’s First Spies

I love a good spy story. And if you put it  in a historically accurate context, all the better. So I’m looking forward to the new AMC series Turn, which starts tonight. It’s tagged The story of America’s first spies.

When I saw the first promos a few months ago I had to find out if it was based on real events or if it was historical fiction. Turns out it’s based on real events, and The Culper Ring, as the group was called, had a part in winning the American Revolution. The spy ring was organized by Benjamin Tallmadge, who became George Washington’s chief intelligence officer.

The name Tallmadge sounded familiar so I did some exploring through my very rudimentary family history and turned up Thomas Talmadge Sr., possibly my 12th great-grandfather. He was born in England in 1595, and died in New Netherland (later renamed New York) in 1653.

My “research” was more like a quick glance, but it seems Benjamin Tallmadge, the revolutionary war spy, also descended from Thomas Talmadge Sr. Note the name Talmadge is spelled differently in different places at different times. Pretty tricky when looking for records about these guys.

Thomas Talmadge, Sr. brought his family from England to New Netherland maybe about 1633. Among his family members were sons Thomas Talmadge Jr., 1617-1691—possibly my 11th great-grandfather—and Robert Talmadge, 1622-1662, Benjamin Tallmadge’s 3rd great grandfather.

Cool, huh?

So it could be the story of America’s first spies is also the story of a long-lost cousin. Makes watching it all the more interesting.

As for my Talmadge immigrant line, it goes like this:

  • Thomas Talmadge Jr., 1617–1691 >
  • Nathaniel Talmadge, 1643–1716 >
  • John Talmadge, 1678–1764 >
  • Elizabeth Talmadge, 1703–1772 >
  • Elizabeth Hedges, 1731–1778 >
  • Robert T Crockett, 1755–1835 >
  • Jemima Crockett, 1763–1853 >
  • Elizabeth Bivens, 1803–1873 >
  • Maggie Cochran, 1838–1915 >
  • Mittie Bryant, 1864–1931 >
  • Will Rose—my great grandpa—1885–1972 >
  • Ed Rose, my grandpa, 1909–1985 >
  • my mom,
  • then me.

Here are links to previous posts with more about my Rose line, and about the Crockett connection.

Coincidentally, Turn, is based on Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring a book written by Alexander Rose. I wonder if he’s another long-lost cousin.

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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Rose

 

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Peggy, 12, Stowaway to America

In 1743 Margaret, who was called Peggy, was born. She would marry Nathaniel Bivens and become my 6x great-grandmother.

I don’t know much about her yet, not even her last name for sure. Could be Tyler, could be Taylor, but I found several accounts that say she stowed away to America at age 12. What a brave little girl.

By all accounts it seems her mother died and her father was getting married again. One report said she had family in America, another said she had family “going” to America. Maybe she was able to stowaway with the relatives who were going to America so she wasn’t entirely on her own.

Several reports say she was born in Holland and she sailed from London, likely landing in Philadelphia or another nearby port because a few years later, about 1759, she married Nathaniel Bivens of Pennsylvania.

Family legend says they moved from Franklin County, Pennsylvania to Anson County, North Carolina sometime during or just after the Revolutionary War years. Nathaniel and Peggy had ten children. Their son John, born in 1760, was my 5x great-grandfather. He grew up and married Jemima Crockett, Davy’s cousin. I have that John Bivens was born in North Carolina, but if that was the case the family would have moved to North Carolina many years before the revolution which started in 1776. Another report says the family moved to North Carolina in 1773, which means John was born in Pennsylvania. Many strings to untangle when teasing out the family history.

But in my book the hero of this story is Peggy, the little girl who stowed away to America. I hope I can find out more about her. Was she running away from something, or, like so many other folks seeking adventure in a new place? I’ll keep looking and if I find anything else I’ll let you know.

Here’s the direct line from me to Peggy.

Jan Miller Stratton
Darlene Rose James W. Miller
Thomas Edwin Rose Lela Scott
William Thomas Rose Bessie Belew
Mittie Bryant John Henry Rose
Elizabeth Bivens Levi Thomas Cochran
John Bivens Jemima Crockett
Peggy Tyler
Nathaniel Bivens
 
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Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Rose

 

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400 Years of Rose Family History

Hey Rose cousins! William Rose, Colonial Virginia, 1650. That’s where it all started.

I’m fleshing out the details, but here’s a rundown on our Rose pedigree, which started on 211 acres on the fork of Gray’s Creek across the James River from Jamestown.

Generation 1: William Rose was born about 1622 in England or Scotland. He married Anne, we don’t know her last name, and they came to Virginia about 1650.

Generation 2: William Rose was born about 1655 in the newly formed Surry County, Virginia. He married Lucy Corker Jordan, a widow with a young daughter.

Lucy takes us back a couple of decades. Her father was Captain William Corker and his father, John Corker was born in 1601. He arrived in Jamestown on the Warwick in 1621.

But back to the Roses.

Generation 3: John Rose was born about 1696 in Virginia, probably Surry County. He married Abigail Hicks in 1728.

Generation 4: William Rose (another one!) was born in 1729 in Surry County, Virginia.  He married Frances, last name unknown.

Generation 5: Samuel Rose is where we start to wander out of Virginia after over 100 years in the vicinity of the James River. Samuel Rose was born about 1755 in Virginia, his wife was Rhoda. When the revolution rolled around Samuel signed up as a patriot in Guilford County, NC. The Guilford County Court House was the site of a significant battle in 1781.

Generation 6: Francis Rose was born in 1775, I think in Virginia. He married Elizabeth “Betsey” Ford. She was born in North Carolina. Francis and Betsey lived in Buncombe County, NC and later they moved over the mountains to McMinn and Monroe Counties Tennessee.

Generation 7: William Rose was born in Buncombe County, NC in 1806. William was one of a passel of kids and he and his brothers would take their generation to the edge of the frontier as it continued to move west through the decades of the 19th Century. William married Elizabeth, last name unknown.

William and Elizabeth crossed over the state of Tennessee and started their family in Chilcot County, Arkansas on the Mississippi River.  After a few years of river living they moved catty-cornered across the state of Arkansas to Benton County in the northwest corner. There they lived near some of William’s brothers and then as Texas was about to become a state they made some trips to Texas, eventually moving there.

Generation 8: David Rose was born in Chilcot County, Arkansas in 1833. His younger siblings were born in Benton County, Arkansas, and he was 17 when his baby sister was born in 1847 in Van Zandt County Texas.  His dad, William Rose, was one of the founders of the county.

JohnHenryRose1

John Henry Rose, born 1860, Shelby County, Texas.

David married Mary Lucinda Wright and they started a family in the Owlet Green community of Van Zandt County. In 1860 John Henry Rose was born and in 1861 David and his younger brother James signed up with the Texas Militia to fight in the Civil War. James was married and had a son before he went off to war. He died in Mississippi in 1864.

Generation 9: John Henry Rose was born 1860 in Shelby County, TX. He married Sally Ida Lake “Mittie” Bryant, a southern belle from southern Tennessee. He brought his family to Oklahoma before statehood first to Chickasaw Territory near Ardmore. Unfortunately the area was full of outlaws and it wasn’t long before the family moved further north to Cleveland County to the community of Buckhorn, east and south of Lexington.

Generation 10: William “Will” Thomas Rose, my great grandpa was born in Cleburne, Johnson County Texas in 1885. He was probably about 20 when his family arrived in Cleveland County and in 1907, the year of Oklahoma statehood he married Bessie Jane Belew, newly arrived from Tennessee. Their first child was born in 1908, John Wesley “Wes” Rose, and in 1909 my grandpa, Thomas Edwin Rose was born. Sadly Bessie died two months later.

Bessie Jane Belew on AmericanSage

Will and Wes moved home to live with his parents, and baby Ed was cared for by his Grandma and Grandpa Belew who lived close by. In 1910 Will married Lizzie Black. The family was reunited and soon joined by more kids.

Rose-Will & Lizzie Family

Will and Lizzy Rose, about 1919. The kids are: John Wesley, b. 1908 (center back); Ed, b. 1909 (far right); James Earldon, b. 1911 (center); the girls are Dorothy, b. 1913; and Wanda, b. 1916,

Generation 11: Thomas Edwin “Ed” Rose was born in Cleveland County in 1909. He married Lela Mae Scott in 1928. He operated heavy machinery and worked road construction much of his life. He and grandma also owned a couple of grocery stores when he was unable to do that. He managed to stay employed, although meagerly, during the Great Depression. He went to where the work was with a job in Illinois, and other jobs all over the state of Oklahoma. Ed and Lela had two kids: Darlene and Sonny. The family was very close to Ed’s brother Wes, and his wife Ruby who had no children. When World War II arrived Wes was drafted and sent to England to prepare for the Invasion in June 1943. Fortunately he didn’t cross with the first wave, but arrived in France with the last wave nearly two weeks later. He fought across France, was injured once and spent some time in a hospital then sent back to battle. In October 1943 he was lost behind enemy lines for three weeks. Letters to Europe were returned and the family got the word he was Missing in Action. He eventually turned up, promising to tell all about it when he got home.  That cold November of 1943 things were hot and heavy across France, Belgium and Germany and plans were underway for the Battle of the Bulge. Three days later Pvt. John Wesley Rose was Killed in Action.

Generation 12: Darlene Nevell Rose, b. 1932; and Sonny Wayne Rose, b. 1936.

Ed Rose  1940

The Ed Rose Family, 1940. Sonny, Darlene, Lela and Ed.

Generation 13: Then there’s us:  Janet, Jimmy and David Miller; Tina, Brent and Lori Rose.

Generation 14: How many kids do we have?

Generation 15: Underway, but incomplete: Jayce, Jett, Rylan, Bodin, Hadden, Owen, Mia, Riley and Avery.

So that’s it. Over 400 years of family history whittled down to about a thousand words.

There’s way more to tell about our early ancestors, they were tobacco farmers, plantation owners, Indian fighters, slave owners, patriot soldiers, frontiersmen, pioneers, and settlers. They helped establish new settlements in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma, always moving to a new area shortly after—and sometimes before—it was available for settlement.

So any comments?  What do you think of our ancestors? They seem like pretty gutsy people to me. Here’s hoping I can find the primary documentation to validate all this.

Jan

Here are links to some of my Rose research.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Rose

 

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John and Mittie Rose

My grandpa Thomas Ed Rose had blue eyes. His dad, Thomas Will Rose also had blue eyes. And based on this picture it looks like his dad, John Henry Rose also had blue eyes.

This is the John Henry Rose family, circa 1892. John was born in 1860 and Mittie was born in 1863. The kids are Ora Pearl, born in 1883, and Thomas William born in 1885. Their third child, John Wesley, was born in 1887. He died when he was four, about 1891. This was taken after he died and based on the apparent ages of his siblings it looks like this was taken not long after he died.

John and Mittie Rose Family

I love that little smile on Will’s face. He was my great grandpa and I remember he always had a twinkle in his eye and that little boy smile seems just right.

John and Mittie are buried in the Lexington Cemetery and I’ve seen their slate gray granite headstone many times. Just recently I came across a little story written by their youngest child, Melva, who was born in 1907. Suddenly they became real people to me, not just names etched in stone.

So here it is. A family biography about John and Mittie Rose written by their daughter Melva Rose Duffield who died in 1999.

ROSE-BRYANT

John Henry Rose, the third child of David and Mary Lucinda Wright Rose, was born April 4, 1860 in Shelby County, Texas, where Lucinda’s parents, Harden and Hepsebeth* Wright, lived. They moved immediately to Van Zandt County where David’s parents, William and Elizabeth, lived. John’s older sister was Mary Etta and his brother was William Thomas. Sometime about 1863, they moved to Johnson County where two more daughters were born, Margaret J. and Sarah A.E.

Mary Lucinda died about 1868 leaving David with five small children. He married Martha Anne Conley, a girl of sixteen. Coping with five children and soon having another was very hard for her and an active eight year old was too difficult to handle. John often went with his father, who was a teaming contractor. They hauled some of the logs which were used to pave the first streets in Ft. Worth. When John was fourteen, he left home to be on his own, working for other people on farms and ranches. He worked in Van Zandt, Bosque and other counties, but by 1890 he was back in Johnson County working for Mrs. Martha Russell, a widow.

Sallie Bryant was the third child of William Jefferson and Margaret Josephine Cochran Bryant. She was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on January 18, 1864, while her father was in a prison hospital in the North**. She had an older sister named Leni L. and a brother, William E.

When the war was over and Jeff returned home, he wanted to add the name Ida to Sallie because a nurse named Ida Lake had been very kind to him in the hospital.

Times were very hard after the war and Jeff was not well. He bought a mill from his father-in-law, Levi T. Cochran in Marshall County, Tennessee, and operated it for several years. It was both a grist and lumber mill. During this time, five more children were born: Robert Wesley 1866, Mary Francis 1867, Bootie 1869, Samuel Davis 1871 and Maxey B. 1874.

By this time, many friends and relatives were moving to Texas and Jeff and Maggie decided to go along. They found fertile land at Blossom Prairie about nine miles east of Paris, Texas in Lamar County. Clearing the land for cultivation was very hard and Jeff was not strong. The boys were not large enough for much help. Another child was born July 17, 1878 and died August 3, 1878. Jeff died September 10, 1878. Both were buried at Blossom Prairie. Maggie could not manage the farm with all the children so she moved to Johnson County to be near her sister, Eliza E. Cummings (Mrs. J.C.) and family who had come to Johnson County earlier.

One day, in early 1882, while he was looking for a stray animal, John went to the home of Mrs. Margaret J. Bryant. Her daughter, Sallie (nicknamed Mittie), answered his call at the door. After a brief conversation, he asked if she were married. She wasn’t and he asked to call on her. Love blossomed and they were married Easter Sunday April 4, 1882.***

John had a horse and saddle, but no buggy. He borrowed a buggy and they went to get married. The horse was frightened by some­thing beside the road and ran away under a fallen tree. The buggy was broken but they were miraculously spared.

They farmed in Johnson County until about 1892. Three children were born there: Ora Pearl 1883, William Thomas 1885, John Wesley 1887. John Wesley died in 1891 with spinal meningitis.

The family moved soon to Ardmore, Indian Territory. Two more children were born there. Dollie 1896 and Ollie Bessie 1899. Outlaws were very active and they were far from schools so they decided to move to Lexington, Cleveland County, where Melva Lucille was born in 1907. In 1910, they moved to Comanche County, Oklahoma, but were nearly wiped out by a drought. They moved back to Lexington where they lived until John retired. They moved to Norman so Melva could finish high school and college. Mittie died in 1931 and John died in 1936. Both are buried in Lexington Cemetery.

Melva married John B. Duffield in 1931 and moved to Texas, first to Longview, Gregg County, then to Three Rivers, Live Oak County and last to Houston, Harris County.

Wesley Bryant married Rhettie Franks November 19, 1893 and lived in Johnson County near Alvarado until he died in July 1931. Rhettie died in 1942. Both are buried in Buel Cemetery.

Some of the Bryants and Cummings lines are still living in Johnson County.

 by Melva Rose Duffield

*Hepsebeth was Lucinda’s step-mother. Her mother, Mary Nail, died when Mary Lucinda was 5.
**During the Civil War, William Jefferson Bryant was a Confederate. ***Easter Sunday was April 9 in 1882 and online records indicate they married on April 9.

Thanks to Don Rose for putting this story online so I could find it. He descends from James Rose, a younger brother of my 3x great-grandfather David Rose. I found it on his Rose family tree on Ancestry.com.

I am all about context when exploring my family tree and I couldn’t help researching the details of the story. I learned a lot about Mittie’s father’s Civil War experience and imprisonment. I also followed the Rose family back to Buncombe County, NC at the same time my Scott family was there during and following the Revolutionary War. The families took different routes to Oklahoma, but connected for good when my grandparents Ed Rose and Lela Scott met and married.

More about all that in future posts.

Any cousins out there who have stories or memories to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Jan

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Rose

 

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