AP Free History - Martha Belcher, Betsy Strait, Annie Hicks, Sarah Jarrold Hyder and Elizabeth Jane Jarrold Whitehead


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Welcome to our new site

Submitted by joefree on Wed, 2006-07-12 07:00.

This site is our latest attempt to provide a place to share the information we have about our ancestors. The "postings" are in no particular order, except the order they were entered.

The best way to consume the content on this site is to either "search" for a name (top-right) or click on "ancestors" (top-left) and then select a name. When you do, all the information we have about that person shows up, stories, photos, attachments, whatever.

Give it a try, click on "ancestors" and then select "Absalom Pennington Free"...

The images on this site have four different resolutions to view...the small thumbnail all the way up to high enough resolution to make a nice print. So make sure and click to see the larger versions.

We would love to have your contributions to the site. Just register then select "create content" in the menu that will show up.

The site will be experiencing many changes in the near future. If you have any suggestions or questions just email me at [joe at thefrees dot com]

Annie Hicks, Daniel Hicks, and Hannah Wenlock Hicks map locations

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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-12-03 05:35.
Annie Hicks, Daniel Hicks, and Hannah Wenlock Hicks map locations

Looking at the possible census entries for Ann, Daniel and Hannah, I wanted to see where they were physically located. Here is a screen from google earth of the locations. Each of their birthplaces we believe to be Barking, Essex, England. The other two highlighted areas are Romford and Tower Hamlets where Ann may have been a servant in 1851.

A possible death date for Daniel Hicks

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-12-03 05:28.
A possible death date for Daniel Hicks

Here is a death reference that fits with previous information we have on Daniel Hicks. This show that he died in the first quarter of 1873 at an age of 62 and living in Romford which is where he had been in the 1851 census. This is from the FreeBMD Death Index.

1851 Census, probably Daniel Hicks

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-12-03 05:24.
1851 Census, probably Daniel Hicks

This appears to be Daniel Hicks in 1851. He is living in the Romford Union Workhouse (apparently the same place his wife will be later in 1881). It has him listed as a 40(?) year old married "Pauper" that was previously a "Seaman". This fits with Annie's description of him being and invalid and a sailor.

I found a link giving information about the Romford Union Workhouse including pictures and a link to see who was there in 1881.

1881 Census for Hannah Wenlock Hicks?

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-12-03 05:18.
1881 Census for Hannah Wenlock Hicks?

This appears to be Hannah Wenlock Hicks in 1881. She is living in the Romford Union Workhouse (apparently the same place her husband was in back in 1851 as an invalid seaman). It has her listed as a 72 year old widow "Charwoman".

I found a link giving information about the Romford Union Workhouse including pictures and a link to see who was there in 1881.

1851 Census, possible entry for Annie Hicks

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-12-03 05:10.
1851 Census, possible entry for Annie Hicks

This is from the 1851 British Census. It lists Annie as "Ann Hicks", 15, shows her correct birthplace. She is a servant at the household of 59a Lucas St, St. Georges East Parish, Tower Hamlets borough of London. It is interesting that in her history she talks about having to take care of herself at a young age. Then when talking about joining the church how her family heard about it and sent her a book all marked up. This location is not too far from her birthplace.


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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 01:25.

by Geraldine Hamblin Bangerter 1983

Oscar grew up in the shadow of one of the most picturesque pioneers who early helped settle the West and colonized and labored among the Indians in the desert, color-country of southern Utah as well as Nevada and Arizona, JACOB VERNON HAMBLIN. Oscar was 14 years younger. Jacob was unique in several ways: first, he kept a record (diary) of his life; second, he was a spiritual man who lived by simple faith and the whisperings of the Lord which came to him which they did often; third, Jacob's calling as an Apostle and president to the Indian Mission; fourth, Jacob knew well the prophet Joseph Smith; fifth, his callings after arriving in Utah kept him close to Brigham Young and there seemed to be a mutual trust and confidence and loyalty to one another which never faltered in those growing, troublesome and periolous years.

Oscar was born in Bainbridge, Geagua County, Ohio, April 4, 1833. The country then was just a wilderness. He was the 9th child of 12 children born to Isaiah Hamblin and Daphne Haynes. His father and older brothers worked hard in clearing the land which is said by Jacob, Oscar's older brother, to have taken 20 faithful days to work to clear an acre and render it fit for the harrow and a crop of wheat. When Oscar was 5 years old his family moved to Franklin, Woolworth county, Wisconsin.


Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 01:03.

AUSTIN or AUGUSTINE BEARSE came over in the ship Confidence, of London, from Southampton, Apr. 24, 1638, aged 20; and came to Barnstable 1639. It is said that his wife was named Mary. Among the passengers of the Confidence on the voyage when he came was Mary, dau. of Martha Wilder, and it has been conjectured that she may have become his wife. [hkb -- obviously, someone has connected him to Mary Hyanno, an indian, thereby casting doubt on the Wilder connection.] His houselot of twelve acres of very rocky land was in the west part of the east parish; bounded west by John Crocker's land, north by the meadow, east by Goodman Isaac Robinson's land, and southerly into ye woods; he owned six acres of meadow adjoining his upland on the north, and two thatch islands, known as Bearse's Islands; he had about six acres in the Calve's Pasture, esteemed to be the best land in town; eight acres of planting land on the north side of Shoal pond; and bounded by Goodman Cooper's, called Huckins' Neck; and thirty acres at the Indian pond lot; bounded east by Herring river. His house stood on the north side of the road; the cellar and some remains of his orchard existed a hundred years ago (written in 1899). A road from his house to Hyannis is known as Bearse's Way; freeman June 3 1752 [1652?], and May 3, 1653; Grand Juror 1653, 1662; surveyor of highways 1674; adm. to Mr. Lothrop's church, Apr. 29 1643. Goodman Bearse did what he honestly believed to be his duty; and was one of the very few against whom no complaint was ever made, which speaks well for his character; a farmer, lived on the products of his land; and brought up his large family to like himself, useful members of society. The record of his marriage, death or settlement of his estate has not been discovered.

James Hamblin (the immigrant) biography and will

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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:58.

James HAMBLIN I [the Immigrant] was born about 1608 in London, London, England. He died on 22 Oct 1690 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Biography 1608 - 1690.6

History of James Hamlin, the Immigrant

From: A Genealogy of JAMES HAMLIN of Barnstable Massachusetts
Eldest son of James Hamlin, the immigrant, who came from London, England, and settled in Barnstable, 1639. 1639--1902

by the Hon. H. Franklin Andrews,
Publ. By H. Franklin Andrews, Exira, Iowa, 1902

1. JAMES HAMLIN: So far as is known was the first of the name in America. Little has been learned of his early life. The records show that he came from London, England, and settled in Barnstable, Mass., in the spring of 1639. Records exist from which traces of him have been discovered. The late David Hamblen, Esq., of Boston, the first to investigate the family history, about 1849, caused research to be made in England for his ancestry, and discovered records which may relate to him and his ancestors...

History of James Hamlin, Son of James Hamlin the Immigrant

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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:51.

From: A Genealogy of JAMES HAMLIN of Barnstable Massachusetts
Eldest son of James Hamlin, the immigrant, who came from London, England, and settled in Barnstable, 1639. 1639--1902

by the Hon. H. Franklin Andrews,
Publ. By H. Franklin Andrews, Exira, Iowa, 1902

It is supposed that he was born in England; and was baptized in St. Lawrence parish, Reading, Berkshire, April 10, 1636; and that he came to America with his mother and sisters prior to 1642; Married in Barnstable, Massachusetts, Nov. 20, 1662, to Mary, daughter of John and Abigail Dunham, born 1642. Farmer; resided first at his father's Coggin's Pond lot; but in 1702 had removed to Hamblin Plains, West Barnstable; and his son Ebenezer occupied the Coggin's Pond homestead; afterwards sold to Col. John Gorham, who died 1716, and gave this place to his son; which was occupied by three generations of Gorhams; and in 1899 was occupied by Mr. A. T. Jones. Mr. Otis says that he probably lived in Barnstable all his life; but a writer on the Hatch family asserts that he settled in Falmouth, Massachusetts, about 1660; which must be an error. He was a proprietor of that town at the time mentioned; but if he ever resided there, it was temporarily, only. The erroneous idea of his settlement in Falmouth probably arose from the following circumstances. A controversy arose in Plymouth colony over the persecution of the Quakers. Gov. Thomas Prence and his party were relentless in their opposition; another party were inclined to more tolerant measures toward these persecuted people; which brought down the vengeance of Gov. Prence upon the leaders of the opposition; in consequence a company of the dissatisfied people left Barnstable in 1660. It is supposed they contemplated settlement at Martha's Vineyard, a favored retreat of the Quakers; and one of their number took a letter of dismission to the church there. The names of this company were Jonathan Hatch, Isaac Robinson, John Chapman, John Jenkins, JAMES HAMLIN, Mr. Thomas, Samuel Fuller, Thomas Lothrop, Anthony Annable, Peter Blossom, William Nelson, James Cobb, Samuel Hinckley and Thomas Ewer. They coasted around Cape Cod and landed at Succonesset, now Falmouth, Massachusetts, where lands were assigned to them as proprietors, Nov. 29, 1661. Hatch and Robinson settled there; but most, if not all the others, returned to Barnstable.

Will of Elkanah Hamblin

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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:44.

Elkanah (Hamlin) HAMBLIN was born on 16 Mar 1684 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts. He was christened on 16 Mar 1685 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts. He signed a will on 26 Mar 1754 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts.5

In the name of God, Amen. I, Elkanah Hamblen of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable, Yeo, being advanced in years tho by God's goodness of sound and disposing mind and memory, do this 26th day of March, 1754, make & ordain this myh last Will and Testament, Knowing that it is appointed for man once to die, and first I commit my soul to God in Jesus Christ & my body I comit to the earth, and touching the worldly estate wherein God hath blessed me I give demise & dispose of the same in the following manner and form, & first my will is that my just debts and funeral charges shall be paid out of my personal estate by my executers.

Imprimis, I beve and bequeath to my loving wife Margaret in liew of her dower the use and improvement of a fire, room, cellar and chamber in my dwelling house, the profit of a cow, six sheep and of a swine pastured, four loads of wood at the door per annum, a sixth of the produce of lands tilled, a sixth part of the fruit of the orchard, a privilege of being carried to meeting oad of having her grain carried to mill & the meal brought home. These articles to be done & performed by my son Rueben Hamblen for his mother during her widowhood yearly & every year in consideration of what is hereafter given, & it is to be understood said Rueben is to find and keep said cow & sheep for his mother's profit, and of all the land hereafter given him to render a sixth for the produce to his mother of what is planted or sown, also I give my said wife one half of my personal estate not hereafter particularly disposed off.


Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:40.

Source: Mary Lightner, "Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner,"
The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 (July 1926):193-205, 250-

I was born in the town of Lima, Livingston County, state of New York, April 9, 1818. My father, John D. Rollins, came from one of the New England States; I think it was Vermont. My mother, Keziah Keturah Van Benthuysen, was born in Albany, state of New York, May 16, 1796. She married my father in 1814 or 1815. Three children were the fruit of this marriage, James Henry, myself and sister Caroline, the youngest. When Caroline was six months old, my father was shipwrecked on Lake Ontario during a terrible storm. Only one person was saved out of all the passengers and crew.

When I was ten years old, we moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and lived in a house belonging to Algernon Sidney Gilbert, mother's sister's husband. We remained there two years, when we heard of the plates of the Book of Mormon, being found by Joseph Smith. Soon the news was confirmed by the appearance of Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson, with the glorious news of the restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. They bore a powerful testimony, by the Holy Spirit, of the truth of the great work they were engaged in; and which they were commissioned by the Father to present to all the world.

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightener Speech at BYU

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:39.

Speech on 14 Apr 1905 in Speech at B.Y.U..

Remarks and a letter by Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner. Copies or originals exist in the BYU Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Electronic Text by Howard K. Bangerter, Sept. 1997

B.Y.U. April 14, 1905

Remarks by Sister Mary E. Lightner who was sealed to JOSEPH SMITH in 1842. She is 87 years of age.

Well, my young brethren I can say I never was more surprised in my life than to be called upon to speak to you young men who are called upon to go into the mission field to preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth. It is true I have been in the Church from its beginning. Just six months after it was organized I joined it. I have been acquainted with all of those who were first members of this Church, with all of those who saw the plates and handled them; with even those who saw the angel Moroni who came to them. I am well acquainted with every one of them and I have known them from the time that they came to Ohio until their death; and I am the only living witness who was at the first meeting that the Prophet held in Kirtland. The Smith family were driven from New York, and a small Church had been organized. Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson were members. Well I being anxious, though young, to learn about the plates from those who knew all about it, My mother and I went up to the Smith family the next night after they came to Kirtland. As I went in there were two or three others present. They were all there, from the old gentleman and his wife to all the sons and daughters. As we stood there talking to them Joseph and Martin Harris came in. Joseph looked around very solemnly. It was the first time some of them had ever seen him. Said he, "There are enough here to hold a little meeting." They got a board and put it across two chairs to make seats. Martin Harris sat on a little box at Joseph's feet. They sang and prayed. Joseph got up and began to speak to us. As he began to speak very solemnly all very earnestly all at once his countenance changed and he stood mute. Those who looked at him that day said there was a search light within him, over every part of his body. I never saw anything like it on the earth. I could not take my eyes off him, he got so white that anyone who saw him would have thought he was transparent. I remember I thought I could almost see the bones through the flesh. I have been through many changes since but that is photographed on my brain. I shall remember it and see in my mind's eye as long as I remain upon the earth. He stood some moments. He looked over the congregation as if to pierce every heart. He said "Do you know who as been in your midst?" One of the Smiths said an angel of the Lord. Martin Harris said, "It was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ". Joseph put his hand down on Martin and said: "God revealed that to you. Brethern and Sisters, the Spirit of God has been here. The Savior has been in your midst this night and I want you to remember it. There is a veil over your eyes for you could not endure to look upon Him. You must be fed with milk not with strong meat. I want you to remember this as if it were the last thing that escaped my lips. He has given all of you to me and has sealed you up to everlasting life that where he is you may be also. And if you are tempted of Satan say, ‘get behind me, Satan.'"

Letter from Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightener to Emmeline B. Wells

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:37.

Letter in 1905 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah.

Letter written to Emmeline B. Wells by Mary E. Lightner - Summer 1905
Typed by Myrtle Hamblin Stoddard - June 1983

Dear Sister Wells:

I was very much surprised to receive a letter from you, after 15 years silence. But am very thankful to be remembered. I have felt, and do yet, that I am alone I feel as if I was not recognised by the Smith family.

I have never had five minutes conversation with Joseph F. Smith in my life, I could tell him a great many things about his father that he does not know, about the early days of the church, and in Far West, but have never had the opportunity. I have received but very little council or advise since Joseph's death. I feel that I have been spiritually neglected.

I was at your Relief Society conference in the afternoon last April, Sister's Stevenson and Pratt came and shook hands with me after meeting. I spoke to you and Sister Richards, who has been my staunch friend for years. Oh, how I have longed to have a good talk with you. How happy you must be up there all together among the noble women who are energetic in the work of God.

Poem for James Henry Rollins by his sister Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightener

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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:34.

Poem about 1899 in Minersville (?), Beaver County, Utah.

Date uncertain:

To my Brother J Henry Rollins

When these scenes of life are fled
And we are numbered with the dead
O may our souls in Glory rise
To meet our Father in the skies.

There may we join in the hallowed throng
And sing a Glorious Heavenly Song.
Even to him who gave us birth,
And died for Mortals here on Earth.

Yes, Jesus died for all mankind,
That they Eternal life might find
And in his Glorious Kingdom rest
There to dwell amid the Blest --

Then do not grieve o'er trials here,
But trust in God, and never fear --
For Angels soon will bear us home
To meet our loved ones near his throne

I have written to Brother to day
and sent a copy of these verses
for fear he wont live
and I want him to have them
before he goes --

[no date given -- James died 7 Feb 1899, may have been written around that time]

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