Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Line 20.3 MARGARET AIKEN, mother of many reglious roads

Margaret Aiken McArthur was the daughter of Scot-Irish parents. She was probably raised in the Presbyterian and married into it as well. While her life isn't well documented a lovely letter written by her daughter, Roxann, provides an unexpected view into a large family that spread out in New England and out into the West.

 Margaret Aiken was born 10 February 1759 in Chester, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. She was the daughter of James AIKEN and his wife Mary McFarland.
She married John McArthur 24 Dec 1775 in Chelsea, Orange County, VT
Their children were:
    1. Catherine McArthur born 29 Dec 1776 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire. She married David Bartlett Jr. and died in Rochester, New York on 16 Oct 1822
    2. James McArthur born 2 Dec 1778 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire. He married Polly Church on 20 March 1806 and died in Allegany, Orange Co., Vermont on 24 Aug 1848.
    3. Mary McArthur born 10 Jan 1781 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire married Josiah Maltby probably in Orange Co., Illinois. She died 18 Aug 1848 in Sangamon, Illinois
    4. John McArthur was a twin of Mary McArthur. He married Sally Fuller on 31 March 1811 and died in Holland, NY on 24 August 1827.
    5. Andrew McArthur was born 11 Feb 1783 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire, married Sarah (who was called Sally) Cheney on 9 Feb. 1807 and died 24 Feb 1812 in Chelsea, Orange, Vermont
    6. Samuel McArthur was born 25 April 1785 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire and died at sea in 1814.
    7. Margaret McArthur was born 2 Feb 1786 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire. She married Thomas Keyes on 16 June 1807 and died 15 August 1853 in Newbury, Orange, Vermont.
    8. Salley McArthur was born 25 February 1789 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire. She married Phiny Dwight 24 October 1810. She died 01 July 1865 in Barre, Washington Co., New Hampshire.
    9. Janet McArthur born 04 September in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire
    10. Moses Little McArthur born 28 February 1794 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire, married Mary Salisbury  06 July 1820 and died 12 Feb 1879
    11. Duncan McArthur born 22 May 1789 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire died 20 Oct 1866 in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah. He was a polygamist who married 1. Susan McKeen 1 Jan 1818 in Holland, New York; 2. Cynthia Nickola and 3. Eliza Rebecca Scovil. He died in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah on 20 Oct 1866.
    12. Roxana McArthur born 27 July 1798 in Thornton, Grafton, New Hampshire. She never married and died 19 Jan 1879 in Vershire, Orange, Vermont.

Margaret Aiken McArthur died 31 Oct 1842 at Vershire Center in Vershire, Orange County, Vermont.
    Margaret Aiken was born 10 February 1759 in Chester, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. She was the daughter of James AIKEN and his wife Mary McFarland. although some sources list her birthplace as Newbury, VT. Most likely she was raised a Presbyterian and her husband John McArthur, being a good Scots, probably was Presbyterian as well. Margaret didn’t leave a lot of records but a letter written to her grandson by her youngest daughter, Roxann has survived and creates of wonderful history of Margaret, her husband John McArthur


Roxanne wrote the following undated letter to her nephew, Duncan McArthur after he joined the the Church of Latter Day Saints (also called Mormans) and moved to Utah. Since the Mormans are very interested in genealogy for religious reasons, Duncan most likely asked for the information just for that reason. But whatever the reason behind the letter, it is a wonderful piece of genealogy wealth and information about the McArthur family.


The undated letter reads as follows:



Dear Nephew


I commernced writing this more than a year ago but eye sight and lame wrist put a stop to things. You will see by the words that I am an old woman to write much. Helen Rogers what lives near your aunt Morrow wrote me that you had gone to Scotland and would be back this winter. Your uncle Rev. Dr. Silas McKeen died more then a year ago. I will send the sermon that was preached at his funeral to Mrs. Morrow and she will send it to you. When you receive it please write me and I will send you my picture that was taken tenyears ago and I would like one of yours in returen. You speak of a gold mine near you. I hope you will be benefited by itif so I wish you would send me a bit if no larger than a pins head. It would be such a treat to have some of oru own gold right from the mine. Did you see any McArthurs Cousins in Scotland? After yourself ggive much love to your wife & children & brothers & sisters. When I first heard you had moved to Salt Lake they said some of the children did not go there. Now if so please tell where they are and what their names. May we all have our sins washed away int eh blood of the Land that was slain on Calvery & be forever with him and with the dear ones that have gone before us in the wish of Aunty Roxanna McArthur. I feel as if this may be perhaps the last letter I may writ. May God’s will be done--. I am always thinking I shall live to be as old as my mother was Live is very uncertain how many sudden deths we hear of.


John McArthur was born in Scotland Glenion Parish of Fortingall 1742 Emigrated to America 1772


Margaret Aikin in Chester N. H. Rockingham County Feb 10 1759. They were married Dec 24, 1775 the births of their children are as follows.


Catherine McArthur Dec 29, 1776

James McArthur Dec 2, 1778

John and Mary McArthur Jan 10, 1782

Andrew McArthur Feb 11, 1783

Samuel MacArthur April 25, 1785

Margaret McArthur Febuary 2, 1787

Sally McArthur Feb 23, 1789

Jannet McArthur September 4, 1791

Moses McArthur Feb 28, 1794, Still lives in Holland N. York

Duncan McArhtur May 22, 1796 died 63

Roxana McARthur Feb 23, 1789


We were all born in Thornton N. Hampshire County of Grafton. My father moved to Chelsea Orange County State of Vermont in 1802. After Father died Mother and I went to Vershire & lived with Sister Keyes. He [brother-in-law] died in 1850. He left her well off for property. They had 4 sons all dead but one Horace t. Keyes lives here his health is not good. Henry was President of Topeka Atchkison & Santifee R. Road died six years ago. Freeman five years ago. I live in one of their house another family in the house. John McArthur died in Chealsea Vt Orange Ct Dec 20, 1816. My Grandfathers name was Robert McArthur his wife Jannet.


Margaret McArthur died in Vershire Orange County Oct 31 1842. Her Fathers name was James Aiken he & 3 sons went into the army of the revolution. He & one son were killed in Ticonderoga and other 2 were wounded they are all dead.

C. Barlet [of] Rochester N.Y. [died] Oct 161822. Her husband died soon after

Jas [of] Allegany Pen., Orange Vt. [died] August 24, 1848. His wife died next year.

Joh [died] Holland Ny 1832; Mary Ill 1827

Andrew Chelsea Vt. Feb 23, 1812

S was on a vessel lost at Sea in 1814

M Keyes Newbury Vt. Orange Ct August 15 1853

Sally Dwight at Barre Vt Washington Ct July 1, 1865

Jannet Baily Essex N.Y. August 4,1 839. Her husband is dead. Her son Keyes a. Bailey was living the last I heard of him in N York City. She had one daughter married Amherst Stone. She is dead but he lives in Denver City Colorado in Supreme Judge of the State. James had a son John & Noble they both went to Mich. Or Wis, they must be old [as] me if living. Mary Maltby had one son Alonso who went to Arkansas & John went to Iowa to the lead Mines.



    "The family moved here [Chelsea, Orange, VT] in 1802." [RM] "After father died Mother and I went to Vershire and lived with Sister Keyes." [RM]



1. Olive Connary

2. DAR Applications of B. Mae Kimball Collins and Leah McArthur Moellmer,

3. Roxana McArthur, letter

4. Olive M. Peters, McCook Nebraska (Per info from June Knaack and Margery  Peterson)

5. The Maltby Family Genelogy by Dorothy Maltby Verril and Prof. Fred A. Molby

6. "History of Old Chester, From 1719 to 1869" by Benjamin Chase, 1869

7. "Descendants of Andrew McFarland" by Lewis L. Gregory Jr., 2002

Friday, June 20, 2014

Line 20.2, James AIKEN, Oh, my Aiken Heart

Oh, James, oh, James, you left too many records. Records of James AIKEN born 1 June 1731, married Molly McFARLAND  and died. 27 July 1817 and buried in Antrim, New Hampshire.  On page 6 of Vol I of the DAR Patriot Index, two James  Aikens both married to Molly McFarland. are named. James the second (or was he the first as well?) was born in  1736 and died July 1780. (Other genealogist put his death as 12 May 1787 in Londonderry, Rockingham, New Hampshire.) Both had patriotic service in NH. It has been suggested that Molly or Mary McFarland married first our James and then a cousin of his also named James. To add to this later genealogist add even more confusing information regarding our dear James. More on that later in this post.

James Aikin born 1 June 1731, son of Samuel AIKEN and his wife Miss YOUNG

James married Molly or Mary MacFarland

   Most genealogist agree that James and Molly Aiken were the parents of

1. Andrew AIKEN  born 1755 in Chester, Rockingham, NH, married Margaret ?, died 06 March 1835 in Bradford Center, Bradford, NH and buried there

2. William AIKEN born about 1757

3. Margaret AIKEN McArthur born 10 Feb 1759 in Chester, Rockingham, NH; She married John McArthur and died 31 Oct 1842 in Vershire, Orange, VT and buried at Vershire Center.

4. Samuel AIKEN born 9 Jan 1761 in Chester, Rockingham, NH. He married Martha Graham.

5. James AIKEN born 1762 in Chester Rockingham, NH and died 2 July1777

6. John AIKEN was born 1762 in Chester, Rockingham, NH and died 28 July 1777.

7. Mary "Molly" AIKEN  was born 1774(?) in Chester, Rockingham, NH and married Stephen Heath.Heath

8. a possible Mary AIKEN b. 1760 who married Ebenezer KIMBALL.

James died27 July 1817 in Antrim, New Hampshire. (maybe)


It is obvious that more research needs to be done on our James. His birth date and death dead could possible indicate that we are dealing with more then one James AIKEN who married a Molly What we do know about James is that he is listed in the 1776 Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire, census of men who were of the right age to service in the Revolutionary War. There is also a James Aiken listed in the 1790 US Census that reads:

   US CENSUS: 1790, New Hampshire, Hillsborough County, Antrim Town  James AIKEN, 3 free white males 16 years and upward (including head of  house), 5 free white females including heads of families This James may be a son or grandson of our James. Benjamin Chase who wrote a wonderful book about the populations of Chester, New Hampshire says our James was killed in the Revolutionary War along with his son James. However, Chase also notes that a James AIKEN died July 1780, hence the confusion. Maybe, Molly MacFarland just liked married men named James AIKEN or she just wanted to confuss future generations of genealogists.(1) James (all of them) AIKEN certainly needs to have more research done on him! It is believed that three of James sons fought in Revolutionary War, young James being killed at Ticonderoga and the other two wounded there. The DAR book (2) lists James the elder as being a soldier at both Bunker Hill and Benhington.

A map of Chester, New Hampshire puts “J. AIKEN” at lots #146 and #145, next to #57 owned by John Powel as well as #146 (unnamed) on the east side, John Boyd at #59 on the west.

Who knows when and where our James died and was buried. He is also listed by Lewis L. Gregory in “Descendants of Andrew McFarland” 2002 as having died 13 May 1787 in Londonderry, Rockingham, New Hampshire. (12). However the one thing people can agree on is that James was of the The Scot-Irish Presbyterians church and religious lending



1.  "History of Old Chester, From 1719 to 1869" by Benjamin Chase, 1869
2.   Roxann McArthur
3.   "New Hampshire State History of Daughters of the American Revolution" complied and edited by Elizabeth Knowles Folsom
4.   Olive M. Connary
5. Microfiche of the Maltby Family Genealogy by Dorothy Maltby Verril and Prof. Fred A. Molby
6.   New Hampshire Census, 1776 (for or against the War) by Jay Mack Holbrook 1976, Holbrook Research Institute, Census NH, 1776-7
7.   A Map of the Original township of Chester, NH, drawn by Benjamin Chase for his history of Chester
8.  DAR Lineage book, Vol 104, pgs 284 & 285
9..  "Descendants of Andrew McFarland" by Lewis L. Gregory Jr., 2002


The Ancestral File, Ver. 4.02, Carson FHC, 1992---lists Jane AIKEN, b. 1769, Antrim Hillsbr., NH as a daughter of this James AIKEN. Needs checking. In fact this whole family needs checking out!

Per Ancestral File, ver 4.15: Family Group Sheet lists two (2) James (1) b. 1762 (2) b. 1772. Also gives the first James and John's wives names are Betsey McDUFFEE. This record also adds a daughter named Jane born in Antrim. I feel Jane is someone else's child, not from this family. Folsom [3] adds a second daughter named Mary who married Ebenezer KIMBALL

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Line 20.1 Samuel Aiken, Scots-Irish American

You’ve got to love the fierce bravery of the early settlers in the far North New England states. They were facing a frontier that was days, if not weeks from the ocean and an escape back to civilized Europe. On the other hand, they were facing an adventure that would lead to more religious freedom and thought. The Scot-Irish Presbyterians found a haven in Chester where they could build a church and create a community. And on the other hand (I know that makes three hands) there is also the sense of loss where the “native” population is concerned too. I’ve done a poor job of determining the effect of the building of a Scot-Irish community in the wilderness might have done to the Indians of the area. But I still have to admire a people group that would pick up and leave the familiarity of Ireland (even if they were transplant just a generation or two before) for a totally foreign place.

Samuel Aiken was born about 1708 in Ireland, probably the son of John AIKEN although William Aiken and Janet Wilson have also been suggested as Samuel’s parents

He married a woman whose surname may have been YOUNG.

The children of Samuel AIKEN and his wife were:
1.       William AIKEN born about 1730 in Ireland. He married Rebecca FOWLER. They drowned together at Passamoquaddy. His two sons, James and Robert died at the Battle of Bunker Hill

2.      James AIKEN born 1 June 1731 in Ireland or in Chester, NH and died 13 May 1787 in Londonderry, Rockingham, NH. He married Mary “Molly” McFARLAND

3.      Peter AIKEN born 1736 at sea and died 21 October 1806 in Canada. He married Rebecca Fowler the daughter of Thomas FOWLER (obviously a different Rebecca Fowler from the one who married Peter’s brother William.)

4.      Sarah AIKEN was born about 1740 in Chester, Rockingham, NH. She married Robert WITHERSPOON and had at least four sons

5.      Samuel AIKEN was born about 1749 probably in Chester, New Hampshire. He died there 4 January 1825. He married Isabella MCMCDOLE 17 April 1738 in Gofftown, Hillsborn, New Hampshire.

6.      Sarah AIKEN possibly born about 1736 and died young as a second daughter named Sarah was born about 1736.

Samuel AIKEN died in 1786 in Chester, New Hampshire and was buried there.

These early AIKENs in New Hampshire were a bear to research. Records were sparse and they, as was the English and Scottish tradition, name their numerous children names that were repeated by the many branches of their family tree. In one source (1) Samuel is listed as the son of John AIKEN; in another William and AIKEN and Janet Wilson (5) are named as his parents. I think Benjamin Chase just got the generations mixed up as Samuel is not mentioned in John AIKEN’s will and Chase in his book on Chester, New Hampshire mentions that he Samuel) was a young brother of John Aiken. Chase writes that He took the scenic route stopping at Portsmouth and Greenland where they might have lived for a short while before continuing on to the America colonies. The Scots-Irish who settled in Chester were early settlers although not the earliest European settlers. However, they soon became the largest group of settlers there. Samuel purchased one half of lot No. 32 in Chester on 22 June 1738. He later bought the other half for his sons, James and Peter. Samuel is mentioned in the town and church records but not as often as his older brother.
The Rev. John Wilson became the minister of the First Presbyterian Church in 1734. They worshiped in private homes until 1749 when the church was built. Samuel was one of the men in a committee to “examine the collector’s list” in 1743/4 and 1745 and again in 1749.

The Presbyterian Church seemed to be the center of this community, made up mostly of Scots-Irish immigrants. The government of the church was led by the Pastor but controlled by the elders. There must have been a very strong sense of democracy in this little town. Many of the Aikens and their cousin participated in the Revolutionary War. I imagine (and this is just my imagination) strong preachers who emulated the fierce image of John Knox of Scotland and the independence of pioneers in a new world.

Samuel AIKEN died about 1788. His wife survived him nine years and died in Chester in 1797. Only daughter, Sarah and son Samuel seemed to have remained in Chester until their deaths.


1. "History of Old Chester, From 1719 to 1869" by Benjamin Chase, 1869

2. "Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire" Vol. 4, 1750-1753 State Papers Series Vol 34, Edited by Otis G. Hammond, 1933, 974.2 Rec 21.2-4
3. "History of Chester, New Hampshire" a Supplement to the History of Old Chester," compiled and published by John Carroll Chase, 1926; 974.22  CHE 3.60

4. Internet http://www.redrock.net/sjones/d0006

5. http://hstsearches.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ifetch2?/u1/texindices... Roots Web surname searches "CNIDR I search -cgi 1.20.06" Akin Family by Marci
6. Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A friend on Facebook began posting about her resent interest in her family's history. That reminded me that with the death of both of my parents in the past year, I've neglected posting on my blog. So with some renewed energy, I am going to start back on my journey through my family's "religious" history with a Presbyterian Scots-Irish line.
Line 20

Edward AIKEN



I’ve been dealing with Southern ancestry and am now returning to my New England ancestors. Edward Aiken was born in Londonderry, Ireland of Scottish ancestry, which of course makes him Scots-Irish. Further evidence of his ancestry is that he was connected, as you will see, with the Presbyterian Church. My source for this, puts his birth as 1618 so unless he married very late in life, he may have been the grandfather of the following children rather than the father.

Edward Aiken was born about 1716 in Londonderry, Ireland, his parents’ names being lost to history as are his death date and place.

He married a woman whose name has not been discovered.

The children of Edward Aiken were:


1.       John Aiken born about 1689 in Ireland and died 1 Dec 1750 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire. He married Mary Karr born about 1700 and died after 1750.

2.      Samuel Aiken born about 1700 in Irland and died about 1688 in Chester, Rockingham, NH. He married a woman from the Young family who died in Chester, New Hampshire in 1797

3.      William Aiken born about 1702, died before 1736 in Ireland.  William was an educated clergyman.


Edward Aiken probably died sometime in the early 1700s.


Little is known of Edward Aiken. I am not sure where my source got her information on Edward but we can be fairly sure that Edward was among the people who were sent to Northern Ireland from Scotland by James I of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Ireland) to keep an eye on the rebellious Irish in the seventeenth century.  Many of the Scotch-Irish, including two of Edward’s sons, (a term that originated in the American colonies to distinguish them from the Catholic Irish American) became disenchanted with Ireland and migrated to the colonies.

This family was Presbyterian. Son, William Aiken was known to be not just a clergyman but a well-educated one too. It is likely that his brothers had a better than average education as well. This marks the Aikens as probably middle-class, although the protestant lower classes tended to teach their children to read as their version of the Bible would have been printed in English or Scotch rather than Latin as the Catholic Bible was at that time. The Presbyterians came from the reformed Protestantism movement in the British Isles, begun in Scotland by John Knox a follower of the Calvinist theology founded by John Calvin. The name of the church comes for the “Presbyterian” form of church government which is represented by an assembly of elders. Their theology is built on the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures and salvation through grace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. 



1. "History of Old Chester, From 1719 to 1869" by Benjamin Chase, 1869

2. http://hstsearches.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ifetch2?/u1/texindices... Roots Web surname searches "CNIDR I search -cgi 1.20.06" Akin Family by Marci

3. Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History


Friday, March 21, 2014

Line 19.3, Margaret Sellman; the lesser part of the family

Margaret Sellman

Margaret Sellman was born about 1742 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the daughter of Charles Sellman and his wife Elizabeth Gassaway.

Married Joshua Hobbs, the son of John and Elizabeth Hobbs

The children of Margaret Sellman and Joshua Hobbs were:

1.      Eli Hobbs born about 1761 in Frederick Co., MD, married Elizabeth Hamilton on 4 October 1782 and died 1830 in Nelson Co., Kentucky

2.      Elizabeth Hobbs born 31 December 1765 in Frederick, Frederick Co.,MD, married Christopher Frederick Burkheart 16 November 1780 in Frederick, MD and died 22 October 1844 in Clinton, Henry County, MO.

3.      Anna Hobbs, also known as Nancy, born about 17666 in Maryland. She married 1. George Burkheart on 10 March 1838 in Nelson County, KY and 2. Aaron Bridges. Nancy died 18 May 1840 in Nelson Co., KY

4.      Ezekiel Hobbs born about 1767 in Frederick Co., MD, married Nancy Read 4 August 1830 in Nelson Co., KY.

2.      Joshua Hobbs born about 1768 in Frederick Co., MD, married Rachel Hobbs and he died about 1846 in Nelson C., KY

3.      John Hobbs born 1770 in Frederick County, MD, married Cassandra Briscoe 28 Feb 1787 in Nelson Co., KY and died there in 1840.

4.      Nicholas Hobbs born about 1773, married Kate Shelton in Nelson Co., KY and died 5 July 1830 in Hardin Co., KY

5.      Vachel Hobbs born 31 October in Frederick Co., MD, married 1. Mary Scott. 2. Sallie, 3. Celia Helm on 17 April 1799 in Nelson Co., KY, 4. Eleanor Marshall15 Oct 1817 in Nelson Co., KY and  5. Amelia ? on 3 March 1823. Vachel died 26 April 1847 in Mt. Pleasant, Howard Co., MO

6.      Peggie Hobbs born about 1778 and probably died young.

7.      Hennie Hobbs born about 1780 and married Samuel Brown on 22 May 1799.

8.      Sarah Hobbs born about 1782. She married twice 1. Stephen Compton Briscoe in Nelson Co., KY on 15 November 1799 and 2. Also in Nelson co., John Rogers on 20 January 1806.

9.      Lydia Hobbs born 22 December 1786 who married William Jones Bayne on 8 January  1801 in Nelson Co., KY

Margaret isn't a "lesser" part of the Sellman family in my mind. She is just very special to me because without her, I wouldn't be here. But by the time Margaret was born the family had "come down" in the world and no longer owned lots of land. I don't know if she grew up with a slave or two on the farm. Hopefully not but it is possible. However, she must have lived an adventuresome life having been born in Maryland and then as a married woman, moving to Kentucky with her husband and children.

Family tradition names Margaret Sellman as the mother of all of Joshua Hobbs children. In 1784 Joshua Hobbs and his wife Margaret sold their land in Frederick County, Maryland. Land deeds for Joshua Hobbs are found near the Sellmans in both Anne Arundel County and Frederick County, Maryland which makes the probability even higher that the family remembered correctly. Joshua sold land in 1785 and 1786 that set next to a John Sellman. Another family story, first reported by George N. Hobbs says that John married Margaret’s sister Ann first and had several children George reports she died giving birth to Vachel and then Joshua Hobbs married Margaret. However George also reported some family “facts” that can be proved incorrect. Also, Eli Hobbs, the eldest son of Joshua named his first daughter, Margaret and had several other daughters, none named “Anne”. Since it was common for the eldest son (as well as younger children) to name their first daughter after the father’s mother, the second after the mother’s mother, it would make since that Eli would have named a daughter Anne, which he did not.
There is a good chance that Margaret and her family were practicing Baptists or maybe just nominal ones. Moving to the "wilderness" took faith and strength. Margaret must have been one busy woman with nine children born in 19 years as well as leaving her home in Maryland and moving to the frontier.


  1. Bob Moore, “Joseph Hobbs of Md. And KY” GenForum, 5 March 2000
  2. George N. Hobbs, 25 June 1940 (Great-grandson of Vachel) to Anna M. Grisez
  3. Familysearch.com Ancestral File v. 4.19