Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I wanted to make one more post today about our Fleming origins. So far I have posted about the families who married into the Fleming family, Bartletts and Lelands.
Lets go back from Robert King Fleming. His parents were David Fleming and Eleanor King. Both fathers of this couple would be recognized for their contributions to the Revolutionary War.
David Fleming was the son of John and Mary Fleming. Mary's maiden name has been applied as McQueen, Sullivan and other names in various sources. We don't know definitively what her name was. John and Mary lived in Bald Eagle Township, Waterford County, Pennsylvania. During the early part of the year of 1777, John was elected to represent Bald Eagle Township on the county Safety Committee. This was the first election held under the democracy framed by the early patriots in Pennsylvania. For this patriotic service he was recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Eleanor's father, Robert King, who came to this country when he was six years old from Donegal, Ireland, served as a Captain in the Continental Army. He was wounded and later received a pension.
John Fleming is as far as I have been able to go on this line and feel certain we have the right ancestor. I am sending off for his will which should still be on file in Waterford County. Hopefully it will shed some light on where he came from.

The Bartlett Family

Here is a list of the Bartlett line before it joins the Fleming family and where the signer of the Declaration of Independence fits into it.
Richard Bartlett III and Hannah Emery had two sons of interest to us, Stephen and Richard IV.
Stephen Bartlett was the father of Josiah Bartlett, pictured left, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Josiah was elected the first chief executive of New Hampshire. Later the title was changed to Governor. His portrait hangs in the New Hampshire state capitol building. His home in Kingston, New Hampshire is a national historic site. His statue is in the town square of his place of birth, Amesbury Massachusetts. Bartlett, New Hampshire was named in his honor. He was a medical doctor by profession. He also was on the committee that drafted the Articles of Confederation, the forerunner to the Constitution. He was also Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
The other son of interest to us is Richard Bartlett IV, our direct ancestor and a first cousin of Josiah. The technical relationship between myself and Josiah is that I am his first cousin, seven times removed.

Richard Bartlett III and Hannah Emery were married on November 18, 1673. Their son Richard IV was born on October 20, 1676. Their son Stephen was born on April 21, 1690. Stephen married Hannah Webster on December 18, 1712, and their son Josiah was born on November 21, 1729.

Richard Bartlett IV married Margaret Woodman April 12, 1699. Their daughter Elizabeth Bartlett would marry Seth Chase.

(Note: The Bartlett family tree was very confusing to me for two reasons. First, there are quite a few Richard Bartletts, and second there was quite a bit of marriage involving first cousins. Our ancestor, Lucina Bartlett actually has Bartletts on both sides of her family tree. So, I am basing this information on notes written out for me by Gary Boyd Roberts who sorted through this. Gary based his notes on the book "The Descendants of Joseph Bartlett" and others. To ensure that I understood this, I photocopied many of the pages of books that were applicable.)

Elizabeth and Seth Chase would have a daughter, Rebecca Chase. Rebecca married, Gary believes, a cousin, John Bartlett. These were the parents of Lucina Bartlett who married Silas Leland. Their daughter Lucina would marry Robert King Fleming. For the Flemings I have previously shown the lines of descent.

Finding Our Signer

When I presented my family trees to the professionals, they closed in on the Flemings fairly quickly. I am all Irish on my father’s side and mostly Irish on my mother’s side. But there was one family that caught their attention in our Fleming family line: the Lelands. In short order, I would learn:

Almost all Americans named Leland trace their heritage back to Henry Leland who was born in England about 1625. He was a founding father of Sherborn, Massachusetts.
Henry and his wife Margaret (Badcock)had five children.

Henry’s son Ebenezer, born January 2, 1657/8 would be our Fleming ancestor. Other sons were two boys names Hopestill. One died in infancy and his brother was given the same upon his birth two years later. Eleazer was their fourth son and Experience was their only daughter.

Next in line would be Ebenezer’s son with Deborah Brazier, James Leland, who was born September 20, 1687. Deborah and Ebenezer had four children before Deborah died in her thirties. Ebenezer married a second time to Patience Rice having five more children with her. James, working as a farmer and Captain would marry Hannah Learned and their son Moses continues the line toward the Flemings.

Moses Leland was born in 1716 in Massachusetts. The family lived in various places which included Sherburne, Grafton and Sutton primarily. Moses married Abigail Robbins and they had nine children. Moses supported his family as a farmer.

Solomon Leland was the son of Moses and Abigail. He was born in 1742, lived in Sutton and was a farmer, church deacon and State Representative. Before he died in 1808 he would marry Lois Haven and they would have eight children.

It is at this point that the Leland family is about to accept into their ranks a relative of Josiah Bartlett, first Governor of New Hampshire and a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Silas Leland was the sixth of the eight children of Solomon and Abigail. He would marry Lucina Bartlett. This couple would be the ones to leave Massachusetts for the midwest, living in both Wisconsin and Illinois. Silas worked as a blacksmith and “machinist” in New Diggings, Wisconsin near Hazel Green. At the time there was a lead rush in the area they settled. I believe that Silas used the plentiful supply to make metal parts for wagons and other equipment. Silas and Lucina would have five children: Candace, Lucina, Silas, Larinda and William H. Their daughter, Lucina Leland, born in 1808 would marry Robert King Fleming.

Robert and Lucina would have 6 children and would be the first of this line of ancestors to move to the Saint Louis area. Their youngest son was named after a family friend, Thomas Hart Benton Fleming would work as a printer and reporter in Saint Louis. He would marry Ellen Giblin and they would have six children, the second of which was my grandfather, John Leland Fleming born in 1875.

Here is a graph

Henry Leland = Margaret Badcock

Ebenezer Leland = Deborah Brazier

James Leland = Hannah Learned

Moses Leland = Abigail Robbins

Solomon Leland = Lois Haven

Silas Leland = Lucina Bartlett
(1781-died after 1850)

Lucina Leland = Robert King Fleming
(1808-1878) (1801-1874)

Thomas Hart Benton Fleming = Ellen Giblin
(1840-1923) (1853-1920)

John Leland Fleming = Margaret Finnegan
(1875-1919) (1880-1969)

This gets our line the families of the women who married into both the Fleming and Leland families, but it does not get us back to our Signer. So, in the next article, I will close in on Lucina Bartlett and her forebears.

My Week in Boston

I can remember as a small boy, being taken to the Saint Louis library by my Mom and accompanying her while she looked through what seemed like a mountain of books. She was researching our genealogy and would occasionally show me one of these reference books. It would contain lists of births, marriages or other vital statistic. One of the consistent things that she would tell me was that we were related, in some way, to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The name of the signer was fuzzy, and many years later, my sister Margie and I thought it was Stephen Hopkins from Rhode Island. We thought this because my Mom had gone to a convention in Rhode Island and talked about going to a museum there. The Hopkins House has been converted to a museum.

As I began to do amateur genealogy work, I searched records online and found nothing to lead me to any signer. I had picked off all the easy stuff and had hit brick walls beyond that. In the summer of 2011 Nancy and I decided that I should go for some additional training to better help me gather more deeply hidden information. The New England Historical and Genealogical Association was offering a class “Come Home to New England” at their Headquarters in Boston. We debated the expense of the trip, cost of a hotel in downtown Boston for a week, plane fare and so forth. I am forever grateful that Nancy thought it was important enough to spend a considerable amount on this effort.

I attended the training last week and am committing what I learned with these postings. Our 20 or so students had a world class library at our disposal and a team of expert professional genealogists with whom to consult. We started each morning with a one hour lecture on a topic related to research. We spent very little time working on internet sources although I did pick up a few new places to look online. After our opening lecture with questions and answers following, we would move from the classroom to the library. NEHGS has a six story building. The first floor is a high ceiling rotunda, the second floor is their classroom area. The third floor houses their administrative offices while the fourth has their extensive microfilm collection. The fifth and sixth floors are their extensive libraries. These contain many family genealogies done by professional genealogists over the years and manuscripts, rare books and a variety of other books with historical references of all manner.

All of us had brought our own genealogy projects to work on so we would begin to do research. We would also be assigned a consultation with a professional genealogist of our choosing. There were ten available to us and we were given each of their specialties in advance. Inevitably these consultations would deepen our understanding of possible sources. In some cases they debunked the work that students had done before the class. Luckily in my case they did not find any problems with my work in advance.

We had one other invaluable resource at our disposal. The first morning, Gary Boyd Roberts, announced that he wanted to work with each one of us for at least two hours during the week. In order to accomplish this, he was going to be keeping the library open until 11:00PM every night. Gary is the author of several books on genealogy “Notable Kin”, “The Ancestry of U.S, Presidents” and others. He was born in Texas, educated at Yale and has spent his working life pretty much at NEHGS. Gary’s generosity with his time was the key to the discoveries I would make during this week.

So thats the background, now on to our Fleming family kin.