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Full text of "History of the Easterday family"




HISTORY 



EAvSTERDAY FAMILY 






RESERVE 

STORAGE 

COLLECTION 



L. l\ M. BASTERDAY 

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HISTORY 



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EASTERDAY FAMILY 



BY 

L. F. M. EASTERDAY 

a . 
LINCOLN. NEBRASKA 



"So teach us to number our .days that wo may apply 
our hearts unto wisdom." 



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COPYRIGHT, 1908 

BY L. F. M. EASTERDAY 

ALL EIGHTS RESERVED 






JAM 20 1908 

G<lMHl|t'lH till , 

CUSS A- «Cc, No 
'COPY a. 



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CONTENTS OF PART FIRST. %, 



Introduction 3 

Traditional Beginning 4 

Early History of the Christian Easterday Family 4 

Family Record of Same 6 

Quotations from Letters 7 

Who the Writers Quoted Are 8 

The Quotations Discussed 9 

The Easterday Grave Yard 10 

The Writer's Visit to Same 11 

The Old Family Bible etc. 12 

The Will of Christian Easterday 12 

A Study of the Will 16 

Early History of the Martin Easterday Family 18 

Family Record of Same 22 

Quotations from Letters 20 

Homes of the Martin Easterday Family 22 

The Ohio Easterday Home 23 

A Letter Quotation 24 

A Study of the Fourteen 25 

Connecting Visits 26 

Connecting Correspondence...... 27 

The Blessing Connection.*.^.: 28 

Patriotism 29 

The Closing of Part First 30 

Aid Solicited 31 

Recapitulation of Easterday Men 32 

A Few Descendants 32 



HISTORY 



OF THE 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 



PART FIRST 



Introduction. 

The writer, L. F. M. Easterday, of Lincoln, Nebr., begins 
the compiling of this history under date of November 20, 1907. 
lie recognizes with satisfaction that in the great country of 
our adoption one can make little use of the credit of his ances- 
try, titled as that ancestry may have been. However, he 
heartily accords in this old saying: "Other things being 
equal, we prefer to trust the man who has had a grandfather. ' ' 

More than forty years ago the writer became interested 
in securing historical facts relative to -his people. Since that 
time he has written very many letters of inquiry, and has 
received many responses. As would be supposed, the inquiries 
very much outnumber the responses. These written responses 
and traditions, handed down orally, are depended upon for the 
history. And, whilst they are meager enough, the writer feels 
that no other one has in haDd so much material needful in 
the task of compiling a reliable history as is now in his pos- 
session. He feels, too, thtat such compiling has become neces- 
sary in order to preserve that which is within his reach. Rela- 
tives appreciating these facts have urged him to perform this 
duty. The expression of their desire renders an arduous task 
more pleasing to perform. 



HISTORY OF THE 



The Traditional Beginning. 

A story goes that in the long ago a baby boy was found 
in the Fatherland of Germany on the morning of Easter Day. 
A conspicuous package was discovered on the door-step of a 
great church building when the worshipers were convening 
"upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning." 
The package was opened and the smile of a comfortable baby 
boy at once captured the hearts of the increasing company, 
The conduct of the parents in disposing of the son may almost 
be forgiven when their interest in his welfare is so clearly 
evidenced by the careful selection of time and place for the 
deposit of the treasure. 

The day of the finding of the boy — Easter Day, the Chris- 
tian Easter Day — suggested for him a beautiful name. He 
was cared for by good people, grew to manhood and became 
the ancestor of the hosts who bear the name of Easterday. It 
may here be stated that the given name, Christian, has been 
used freely by the family in all succeeding generations, and 
it may be added also that the type of their Christianity has 
been indicated by the similar use of the name Martin, the given 
name of the great reformer, Dr. Martin Luther. 

Early History of Christian Easterday and His Family. 

How many generations of Easterdays preceded those to 
be named in this history cannot now be stated. To the interested 
reader the more important fact is that about the year 1750 
a man known as Christian Easterday and his bride, whose name 
had been Julia Blessing, came from Germany, leaving there 
many relatives and friends, and located temporarily in Vir- 
ginia, near the southwest corner of that state. There is some 
reason for believing that they were accompanied by George 
Blessing and Julia Easterday, another groom and bride, Mrs. 
Blessing being the sister of Mr. Easterday, and Mr. Blessing 
being the brother of Mrs. Easterday. 

The part of Germany from which they came was prob- 
ably Saxony, although Alsace has been mentioned as their 
former home. Possibly a preceding generation had moved 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 5 

from the former to the latter part of Germany, the sojourning 
in Alsace being temporary. In case there be in Saxony a town 
or place bearing the name of Elsass or Elsace, the confusion 
would be relieved. 

It is very certain that the family name in Germany was 
Ostertag or Osterdock, and that this was translated to Easter- 
day after their arrival in America. A statement made in a 
letter at hand is that the name was Easterclay before they 
left Germany. This is very doubtful. A curious fact is that 
the will of the Senior Easterday was signed Christian Osterday 
under date of October 29, 1804. 

The first location of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Easterday in 
southwest Virginia is n^t very definite. It was probably about 
250 miles west of Jamestown and about the same distance 
southwest of Harper's Ferry. Their first son, Christian, was 
born in Virginia on November 27, 1752. Indian troubles drove 
them from their Virginia home, or homes, and they went to 
what is now known as Frederick County, Maryland, locating in 
the beautiful Middletown Valley probably in the spring of 
1753 or 1754. In this journey of nearly 250 miles, which was 
probably not continuous, but broken into two or three parts, 
they passed almost directly northeasterly along the Blue Ridge 
Mountains, crossing the Potomac River a few miles below and 
east of Harper's Ferry. 

The first lodging place north of the Potomac River of 
this family of three was under a large oak by the side of a 
spring of clear, cold water, and this providentially was des- 
tined to fix their permanent home all the remaining days of 
their lives. This determined the location of the Easterday 
farm, which is one and a half miles west of the town known 
as Jefferson, Frederick County, Md. On this beautiful farm 
these parents lived, reared a large family, acquired very con- 
siderable property, died and now lie buried. They had seven 
sons and four daughters, one daughter dying in infancy. 
Every one of the ten grew to maturity, married and raised 
families. Following is the list, some of the dates appearing 
having been secured by long continued effort. 



HISTORY OF THE 



Family Record of 

Christian Basterday and Julia Blessing, married in Germany, 
probably in Saxony, about 1750. 



Christian Easterday, born in Virginia November 27, 1752, 
died in Frederick County, Maryland, May 28, 1835. 

Lewis Easterday. second son, born in Frederick County, Mary- 
land, died probably in Kentucky, dates unknown. 

Daniel Easterday, third son, born in Frederick County, Mary- 
land, November 12, 1762, died in Georgetown, D. C, Sep- 
tember 25, 1833. 

Conrad Easterday, fourth son, born in Frederick County, Mary- 
land, March 4, 1769, died in same place October 14, 1825. 

Francis Easterday, fifth son, born in Frederick County, Mary- 
land, July 18, 1770, died in same place December 3, 1841. 

Jacob Easterday, sixth son, born in Frederick County, Mary- 
land, November 20, 1772, died in same place August 30, 
1840. 

Abraham Easterday, seventh son, born in Frederick County, 
Maryland, March 20, 1777, died in same place December 
30, 1823. 

Catherine (Tabler), born in Frederick County, Maryland, 
place of death and dates unknown. 

Phoebe (Tabler), born in Frederick County, Maryland, place 
of death and dates unknown. 

Julia (Blessing), born in Frederick County, Maryland, May 
30, 1765, died probably in same place October 3, 1824. 



The order in which the one son and two daughters with 
unknown birth days came in the list the writer has not been 
able to determine. Probably they all came in the ten years 
between Christian and Daniel. Certainly the second son came in 
this space. Very probably Abraham was the youngest child, 
he having been twenty-four years and four months younger 
than the oldest child. It may here be noted that the father 
died November 15, 1805, and the mother December 5, 1804. 
The birth years of these grand old fruitful pioneers are un- 
known to the writer, but may now be guessed at by the reader. 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 7 

Quotations From Letters. 

Judge Joseph Easterday, the son of Jacob of the foregoing 
list of seven brothers, at the age of fifty years, under date 
of March 10, 1864, from his home near the old farm with its 
famous spring, wrote as follows: "My grandfather's name 
was Christian Easterday. He emigrated to this country from 
Germany before the Revolution and settled on the Holston 
Eiver between North Carolina and Tennessee. He must have 
come in a ship bound south. The Indian troubles compelled 
him to come further east, and he settled in this county when 
Maryland was a province under King George the Third, and 
accumulated a fortune before he died. He was a man of 
energy and enterprise and of a good education in the Ger- 
man language. He had seven sons and three daughters. Two 
daughters married in this county, the other in Virginia, near 
Martinsburg. All are now dead. Lewis emigrated to Gallatin 
County, Kentucky, and certainly has grandchildren living. 
My father's name was Jacob. He died in 1840. and 1 own a 
portion of his land. My grandfather died in 1805. They are 
all interred in the family cemetery. ' ' 

Kate A. Easterday, a maiden lady of fifty-eight years, 
whose father's name was Conrad, and whose grandfather's 
name was Conrad of the foregoing list of seven brothers, under 
date of March 18, 1884, Ellerton, Frederick County, Maryland, 
not far from Myersville, in the northern part of Middletown 
Valley, wrote as follows: "My great grand lather, Christian 
Easterday, married Miss Julia Blessing in the Kingdom of 
Saxony, and started on a wedding tour for America. The 
exact date I do not know. They landed safely in Virginia. 
There they settled three times, and every time the Indians 
routed them and put them to flight. They were compelled to 
leave some of their property. How long they lived in Virginia 
I do not know, but their first child was born in Virginia. The 
last time the}' were routed the Indians compelled great-grand- 
father to turn his own grinstone to grind their tomahawks. 
They took horses and what few things they could get and lied 
for Maryland. Great grandmother rode horseback and carried 
her son. Christian, on her lap. Nine miles below or east of 



8 HISTORY OF THE 

Harper's Ferry they crossed the Potomac River into Maryland, 
which they found a vast, howling forest uninhabited. After they 
crossed the river they travelled six miles due north, and came 
to a never-failing spring of water. There they stopped, lived 
and died and were buried. They arrived there in the spring 
of the year and in the evening of the day. They ate their sup- 
per and spread their bed on the ground .under an oak tree. 
Tired and weary they lay down to rest. In the morning they 
rose refreshed and encouraged and viewed their home. That 
home was in our now beautiful, fertile, famous Middletown 
Valley. Great grandfather Easterday built the first house that 
was built in Middletown Valley. This was prior to the year 
1748, in which year Frederick county was organized. At the 
same time and place that Christian Easterday married Julia 
Blessing, George Blessing married Julia Easterday. Julia Eas- 
terday was great grandfather's sister and George Blessing was 
great grandmother's brother. They emigrated together. Short- 
ly after great grandfather Easterday settled in Maryland, 
great uncle Blessing settled near by him. Hence the Blessings 
and Easterdays are all related." 

Who the Writers Quoted Are. 

Judge Joseph Easterday was born in 1814 and died in 
1882. He was a grandson of the Senior Christian Easterday, 
who died in 1805. His letters indicate that he was a scholarly 
man. In the early part of 1864 the writer noticed the name 
of Rachel A. Easterday as a subscriber to the Lutheran Ob- 
server, and applied to her for Easterday history. In response 
she wrote a beautiful letter in a beautiful hand. In it she 
said: "Father will write and give you the history of his fam- 
ily from the time they emigrated to this country from Germany, 
which is, I think, very interesting. My father has filled sev- 
eral public offices, such as Judge of the Orphan's Court, Dis- 
trict Judge, etc. Consequently he goes by the familiar name 
of Judge Easterday." Her letter was elated March 10, 1864. 
Her father, Judge Joseph Easterday, under the same date, 
wrote the letter from which the foregoing quotation is made. 

Kate A. Easterday was born in 1826 and died in 1884, 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 9 

less than four months after the date of her letter. She was 
a great granddaughter of the Senior Christian Easterday. She 
had been mentioned to the writer as everybody's "Aunt Kate" 
who knew everything from awaj' back. 

The Quotations Discussed. 

The testimony of the two witnesses is very valuable, and 
yet there are discrepancies. These, however, are not great, 
and they show that the witnesses were not in collusion. The 
information reached them by tradition and orally, but the 
facts as to when and where are established in a manner very 
satisfactory to one who has long puzzled over them. 

Joseph Easterday refers to the Ilolston River between 
North Carolina and Tennessee, and Kate Easterday refers only 
to Virginia as the first location of the Easterday family. Now 
the Holston River flows southwest through the northeastern 
part of Tennessee, emptying into the Tennessee River. Its 
three branches, the North Pork, the Middle Fork and the South 
Pork, all take their start in southwestern Virginia, from about 
twenty to fifty miles north and slightly east of the northeast 
corner of Tennessee and the northwest corner of North Caro- 
lina, no part of them apparently passing within fifteen miles 
of North Carolina. Considering then the Holston River, men- 
tioned by Judge Joseph, and Virginia, mentioned by Kate A., 
we conclude that the first location was probably in southwest 
Virginia, about forty miles northeast of the adjoining north 
corners of North Carolina and Tennessee, and in or near that 
which is now Bland County, Virginia. 

Again, Joseph E. refers to their settlement in Maryland 
when that was a province under King George the Third. Now 
the thirty-three years reign of George the Second ended in 
17<i(» ami the sixty years reign of George the Third began in 
17<i(). Kate E. says they reached Maryland with their infant 
son before the year 1S48. This son. however, was born in 
1752. The probability is that Joseph got his Georges mixed, 
and that 1753 or 17f>4 is near the date of the Easterday entry 
into .Maryland. 

It may seem that their first location for so earlv a date 



10 HISTORY OF THE 

was far from the Atlantic. Let it be remembered that James- 
town had then been in existence over 140 years, and a western 
movement of less than two miles a year would cover the case. 
Also let it be remembered that the Jamestown end of the Chesa- 
peake bay was much more easily reached by a European vessel 
than was the Baltimore end. Hence, the reference of Joseph E. 
to the ship bound south is not fully appreciated. 

The Easterday Grave Yard. 

The following is quoted from Kate A. Easterday 's letter: 

"There is a beautiful stream of water flowing through the 
entire length of our valley called the Cotoctin Creek. The 
Easterday family grave yard is on the east of the creek; and the 
Blessing grave yard on the west of the creek. Both are on a 
hill, and not a quarter of a mile apart. There is also a grave 
yard there where they buried their colored people." 

"All the seven brothers but two owned farms, married, 
lived, died and were buried in the Middletown Valley. These 
are Christian, Conrad, Jacob, Francis and Abraham. They 
were all buried with their parents in the Easterday grave yard 
on great grandfather's home farm. Lewis died in the west. 
Daniel died in Georgetown, D. C." 

"Ten years ago (in 1874) my uncle Lewis took me to the 
Easterday grave yard. It is near the spot where my great 
grandparents lodged the first night they lived in Maryland. 
Great grandfather and mother lived to old age. The time of 
their death is on their tomb stones, but not their ages. Great 
grandfather Christian died Nov. 15, 1805, and great grand- 
mother Julia died Dec. 5, 1804. Their oldest son, Christian, 
lies close beside them. I cannot describe my feelings at that 
time. My eyes overflowed, my heart welled up with emotion. 
I could not help but bow upon their graves and pray, 'Oh Lord, 
Thy Will be Done.' The graves are all visible and have plain 
marble slab tomb stones. It was snowing or I would have taken 
a copy of the inscriptions. The date of the birth of great uncle 
Christian is on his tomb stone. If I live and can, I will again 
go to the cemetery of my ancestors and take a registry from 
the tomb stones." This dear Aunt Kate Easterday died in 
less than four months a Tier writing the above. 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 11 

The Writer's Visit to the Easterday Grave Yard. 

The writer visited this most interesting Easterday grave 
yard in October, 1903, and he heartily sympathized with the 
tender feelings of the dear old maiden Kate, experienced by 
her twent3 r -nine years before. He then made a complete list 
of the inscriptions on the tombstones. He noted that, if Kate 
A. had read the 1852 as the birth year of the Virginia born 
Christian, she would not have *put him into Maryland as a 
baby boy prior to 1848. 

But what a wonderful thing is here! Parents and five 
sons (with the wives of some of them) all fathers of. families, 
all buried in a plat less than fifty feet square ! The first death 
indicated by the inscriptions was that of the mother, who died 
Dec. 5, 1804 ; the second was that of the father, who died Nov. 
15, 1805, less than six years after the death of George Wash- 
ington ; and the last was that of Francis, who died Dec. 3, 
1841, and was buried by Rev. Dr. S. W. Harkey, who in later 
years became the dear old friend and teacher of the writer at 
Springfield, 111. Under date of May 3, 1864, Rachel A. Easter- 
day wrote: "The Mr. Easterday that Dr. Harkey had refer- 
ence to when he spoke of preaching a funeral sermon, was not 
my grandfather, Jacob, but a brother of his, Francis Easter- 
day." Francis was the grandfather of George E. Easterday, 
who now resides one and a half miles southeast of this ceme- 
tery and who delightfully entertained and accompanied the 
writer at the time of his visit to this inl cresting and sacred 
locality four years ago. This George Easterday was a little 
less than three years of age at the time of the funeral of his 
grandfather, Francis, and he fancies that he retains a dim 
recollection of being at the grave yard on that occasion. 

At the time of this visit the writer also stood reverently 
at the grave of Judge Joseph Easterday at the Lutheran church 
in Jefferson, and at the grave of Kate A. Easterday at St. 
John's Lutheran church, about two miles north of Myersville, 
on Church Hill. The former had then been at rest twenty-one 
years, and the latter nineteen yens. 

The location of the Easterday grave yard, so fundamental 



12 HISTORY OF THE 

in this history, is in Frederick comity, Maryland, about half 
a mile southwest of the old Easterday home by the spring, 
about one and a half miles west of Jefferson, about nine miles 
west of Frederick City, about twelve miles northeast of Har- 
per's Ferry and about twenty-five miles southeast of Hagers- 
town. 

The Bible, Education and Religion. 

Kate A. Easterday wrote further: "Great grandfather 
Easterday is said to have been a short, stout, heavy man, his 
head was very white and he was very old before he died. He 
gave all his children an education. I had the Bible that he 
brought with him from Saxony. We kept it in a chest with 
other German books upstairs, and one day mother's grand- 
children were playing, and took those books to play with, and 
they tore up the Bible that we were keeping for a precious 
and holy relic. The loss of it has been a source of great grief 
to me. That Bible was the first and, for a time, the only Bible 
in Frederick county, and it was used and studied a great deal. 
Great grandparents worshipped the Triune God and taught 
their children the precepts of the Bible. My ancestors were 
Lutherans, and the greater part of the Easterdays were and 
are Lutherans." 

Joseph Easterday wrote further: "You say you are 
proud of the name Easterday. "Well you may be. I glory in 
my name. The word Easterday, as you know, is derived from 
the German Oasterdock, meaning the day of the resurrection 
of Jesus from the Grave — that name that charms our fears 
and bids our sorrows cease. Who that would not love the 
name? Who so base as to bring that name into disrepute? 
The Easterdays in our country are all Lutherans and love their 
church." 

The Will of Christian Easterday, Senr. 

In the name of God Amen I Christian Osterday Senr. of 
Frederick County & State of Maryland being in perfect health 
of body and of sound and disposing mind memory and under- 
standing considering the certainty of death and the uncer- 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 13 

tainty of the time thereof and being desirous to settle my 
worldly affairs and thereby be the better to leave this world 
wdien it shall please God to call me hence do hereby make and 
publish this my last will and testament in manner and form 
following that is to say: 

First and Principally T commit my soul into the hands of 
Almighty God and my body to the earth to be decently buried 
at the discretion of my executors hereinafter mentioned and 
after my debts and funeral charges arc paid I devise and be- 
queath as follows : 

1. — Item I devise and bequeath thai the part of the tract 
where I now live laying on the south side of the road leading 
from Frederic ktown to Harpers Ferry and that field on the 
north side of the above road where the new tobacco house 
stands be sold to the highest bidders provided no stranger be 
allowed to bid but the family shall buy the above mentioned 
tract of land among themselves 

2. — Item I devise and bequeath that all my slaves shall 
be sold in the same manner as the above mentioned tract or 
parcel of land 

3. — Item I devise and bequeath that the house clock be sold 
as the land and the negroes above mentioned 

4. — Item I devise and bequeath to my son Francis Oster- 
day all that part of the tract of land on which I now live lying 
on the north side of the road leading from Predericktown to 
Harpers Ferry — except that field where the new tobacco house 
stands to him & his heirs forever and also fifty pound current 
money of Maryland to be paid him by my executors hereinafter 
mentioned in two equal annual payments 

5. — Item I devise and bequeath to my son Conrad Osterday 
the tract of land he now lives on as divided between him and my 
son Christian Osterday provided lie pay to my executors fifty 
pound Current money in two annual payments without inter- 
est to him and his heirs forever 

6. — Item I devise and bequeath to my son Jacob Osterday 
all that tract or parcel of land which 1 bought of Beler to him 
and his heirs forever and fifty pound current money to lie paid 



14 HISTORY OF THE 

him in two annual payments without interest. 

7. — Item I devise and bequeath that the purchaser of the 
land ordered to be sold shall pay the money in three annual 
payments without interest 

8. — Item I devise and bequeath to my son Daniel Oster- 
day two hundred pounds current money to be paid him in three 
annual payments without interest. 

9. — Item I devise tnd bequeath to my son Lewis Osterday 
two hundred pounds current money to be paid him in three 
annual payments without interest 

10. — Item I devise and bequeath to my son Abraham Os- 
terday two hundred pounds current money to be paid him in 
three annual payments without interest 

11. — Item I devise and bequeath to my daughter Catherine 
Tabler two hundred pound current money to be paid her in 
three annual payments without interest 

12. — Item I devise and bequeath to my daughter Phebe Tab- 
ler two hundred pound current money to be paid her in three 
annual payments without interest 

13. — Item I devise and bequeath to my daughter Julia Bles- 
sing two hundred pound current money to be paid her in three 
annual payments without interest 

14. — Item I devise and bequeath to my grandson Adam 
Tabler twelve pound current money 

15. — Item I devise and bequeath to my grandson William 
Tabler twelve pound current money 

16. — Item I devise and bequeath to my son Christian Os- 
terday one shilling sterling 

17. — Item I devise and bequeath that my executors shall 
sell my house and lot in Georgetown upon the following terms 
to-wit, one third of the purchase money to be paid upon the 
day of sale and the balance to be paid in two annual payments 
with interest from the day of sale and I hereby authorize and 
empower my executors to convey the above mentioned lot to 
the purchaser or any other real property ordered to be sold 

by this testament 

18. — Item I devise and bequeath my wearing apparel to 
be equally divided between my following children, viz. Chris- 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 15 

tian Osterday, Francis Osterday, Jacob Osterday, Conrad Os- 
terday, Lewis Osterday, Daniel Osterday and Abraham Oster- 
day share and share alike 

19. — Item I devise and bequeath to my three daughters 
Catherine Tabler, Phebe Tabler & Julia Blessing all my chitchon 
furniture to be equally divided share and share alike 

20. — Item I devise and bequeath to my daughter Phebe 
Tabler one bed and furniture 

21. — Item I devise and bequeath to my daughter Julia 
Pressing one bed and furniture 

22. — Item I will and devise that there be no quarreling 
among my children after my death but that they may settle 
with my executors amicably or without i aw suits 

23. — Item I devise and bequeath that the remainder of 
my estate real and personal be equally divided among my seven 
following children, viz. Lewis Osterday, Jacob Osterday, Fran- 
cis Osterday, Abraham Osterday, Catherine Tabler, Phebe Tab- 
ler and Julia Blessing share and share alike 

24. — And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint Wil- 
liam Tabler, Christian Osterday and Jacob Osterday executors 
of this my last will and testament revoking and annulling all 
former wills by me heretofore made ratifying and confirming 
this and none other to be my last will and testament. In testi- 
mony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affix my seal 
this 29th day of October Anno Domini one thousand eight hun- 
dred and four 

CHRISTIAN OSTERDAY. (Seal.) 

Signed, sealed, published and declared by Christian Os- 
terday Senr. the above named testator as and for his last will 
and testament in the presence of us who at his request and in 
his presence have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto — 

JESSE MATHEWS 
THEODORE MITCHELL 
THOMAS HAWKINS. 

True copy Test : 

(Signed) CHAS. E. SAYLOR 
Register of Wills for Frederick County. 



16 HISTORY OF THE 

A Study of the Will. 

This is a most interesting document. It is the will of a 
Christian gentleman. In it an aged man, twelve and a half 
months before his death, gives evidence of remarkable sound- 
ness of mind. A hard working, careful, thrifty, Christian man 
had reared a large family and accumulated very considerable 
property. Every one of the seven sons and three daughters 
is mentioned in the will. Thus all were known to be living 
some years after the parents had passed their golden wedding 
anniversary. Each is remembered kindly, all are exhorted ten- 
derly by the grand old man. 

The items are numbered for the convenience of the writer. 
Nos. 1, 2 and 3 provide that no stranger shall be allowed to 
disturb in the bidding on property of the estate and that the 
old clock and the .slaves shall be kept among those who would 
properly care for them. The following quotation from Rachel 
A. Easterday's letter of May 3, 1864, may here be admitted: 
"Grandfather Jacob Easterday was, in his life time, a large 
slaveholder. Father, too, has owned eight or ten, but we have 
only four left. We have one old servant named Harry who 
belonged to my great grandfather, Christian Easterday. He 
speaks the German language very well, as it was taught him 
by his old master, and I believe he says his prayers in German. 
Is not he a perfect wonder?" 

No. 4 refers to the bequest of the old home farm to his 
son Francis. This includes the field in which the old grave 
yard now is, and in which the grave of Francis seems to have 
been the last one made. As noted before, Francis was the 
grandfather of George E. Easterday now residing one and a 
half miles southeast of this place. 

No. 6 refers to the bequest of land to his son, Jacob, who 
was the father of Judge Joseph E. The Judge's letter states 
that he OAvned a portion of his father's land. 

Nos. 8, 9 and 10 are bequests in money alone. Daniel had 
gone to Georgetown, Lewis had gone west to Gallatin county, 
Kentucky, and Abraham is said to have "kept a tavern near 
Fredericktown. " It may be noted that 200 pounds was nearly 
$1000. 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 17 

A disposition to be equitable appears strikingly in Nos. 
8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 1;J. In this connection note also 19, 20 
and 21. Catherine evidently was not in need of an additional 
bed. 

No. 17 refers to property in Georgetown originally pur- 
chased, no doubt, through the influence of the son Daniel, who 
later purchased the same from the estate. 

No. 18 is interesting. Every one of the seven sons is 
named. The articles of wearing apparel must have been rather 
numerous and of value. It has been remarkable to the writer 
that the listings of the seven sons never follow the same order. 
However, Christian invariably stands first and Abraham last. 
The daughters usually appear in the order Catherine (Tabler), 
Phebe (Tabler) and Julia (Blessing). 

No. 16 shows that Christian was not overlooked. He is 
referred to incidentally in No. 5. He had doubtless been equit- 
ably provided for previously. That no slight was intended by 
the bequest of one shilling is evidenced by the fact that he 
was appointed one of the executors of the will. 

The grandsons, Adam and William Tabler, referred to in 
Xos. 14 and 15, are either brothers or cousins, the sons of Cath- 
erine or Phebe or both. 

No. 24 constitutes as executors of the will, William Tab- 
ler, Christian Easterday and Jacob Easterday. The writer has 
as yet learned nothing of the Tabler families, and he wonders 
who is this William Tabler heading the list? Christian was 
then fifty-two years of age. 

The grandson, William, named in No. 15, was compara- 
tively young. However, if his mother was horn in the early 
part of the space between 1752 and 1762, formerly referred to, 
he might have been thirty years of age at that time. It is also 
possible fliat one of the sons-in-law of the maker of this will 
was William Tabler. 

From our record of dates it appears that the aged wife, 
unmentioned in this will, was yet alive, living, however, only 
five weeks after its execution. II may be noted that the men- 



18 HISTORY OF THE 

tioning of her name might have complicated the settlement 
of the estate, and the husband had no fear in regard to her 
care in the possible event of her outliving him. 

The writer is as yet unable to account for the peculiar 
spelling of the name in this will. In answer to inquiry the 
commissioner of the Maryland land office at Annapolis, under 
date of April 29, 1902, wrote the following: "We find but one 
grant between 1680 and 1800 — 'Good Luck', patented to Chris- 
tian Easterday, May 16 ,1760, lying in Frederick county on the 
side of a hill on Killowkin Creek, near the wagon road to Har- 
per's Ferry." This furnishes conclusive evidence of the 
full translation of the name more than forty-four years before 
the will was made. Aside from this, the record presents an 
interesting description of a tract of land. 

In answer to the writer's inquiry the following written 
under date of Frederick, Maryland, Dec. 16, 1907, by Wm, B. 
Cutshall, Reg. Wills, has been received: "Your copy seems 
to be correct. As to the executors, he does not describe them 
as sons or grandsons. He just names them as executors. The 
will is written in English, but signed in German, Christian Os- 
terday. ' ' 

A most fitting and suggestive ending of the discussion of 
this interesting will is found in No. 22, which begins: "I will 
and devise that there be no quarreling among my children 
after my death." 

Early History of Martin Easterday and His Family. 

It is with a tinge of regret that the writer must now turn 
somewhat from the story of the family of the Senior Christian 
Easterday in order to trace his own immediate ancestry. This 
comes down through Senior Martin Easterday, a brother of 
Christian. 

In some manner communication seems to have been kept 
up between the brothers, Christian in Maryland and Martin 
in Germany, during the few years after Christian's coming, 
and Martin was induced to follow. Christian with his bride 
came about the year 1750. Martin with a small family of 
little children came about the vear 1760. in both families the 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 19 

first born son was named after his father. Martin Easterday, 
Jr., was the great grandfather of the writer. 

A story goes that this Martin, all through his life, could 
remember how the passengers of the vessel teased him on the 
long trip by tramping upon his toes. The tomb stone of Mar- 
tin Easterday, Jr., in the cemetery of the Lutheran church 
of Bowling Green, Jefferson County, Ohio, frequently visited 
by the writer, indicates that he died on Dec. 11, 1840, at the 
age of 84 years, 1 month and 25 days, having been born in 
Germany, therefore, on October 16, 1756 (N. S.) The assump- 
tion that the long trip was made in 1760 would make his age 
at that time about four years. Prom such age he might re- 
member the teasing referred to. 

Compare for a moment these first born sons and first 
cousins. Christian was born in Virginia in 1752. Martin was 
born in Germany in 1756. From 1760 for thirty-six years, as 
single and married men, they lived neighbors in Frederick Coun- 
ty, Maryland. In 1835, at the age of 82 1-2, Christian was 
buried in Maryland. In 1840, at the age of 84, Martin was 
buried in eastern Ohio. Very probably, however, Christian, 
Sr., was older than Martin, Sr., and presumably their father, 
who lived and died in Germany, bore the name of Christian. 
As noted before, the names Christian and Martin have always 
been favorites in the family. 

A moment's return must be made in order to note the 
interesting circumstances attending the landing of the little 
Easterday family from the vessel at Baltimore. For some 
reason they found themselves unable to pay their fare and keep- 
ing during the long voyage now at its end. According to a 
custom then prevailing vessel passengers were subject to be 
sold into bondage for the sum required, the bondages to last 
till the purchaser might be amply remunerated by the ser- 
vices of the parties purchased. Martin's brother, Christian, 
who in later life exhibited so much of greatness and goodness, 
came to the rescue. He satisfied the master of the vessel, and 
the loving families held a delightful reunion at the new, but 
fruitful, Easterday farm in Frederick County, Maryland. The 
foregoing story had been handed down orally through the 



20 HISTORY OF THE 

Martin Easterday family. It came to the writer in rather a 
misty form, and he has sought eagerly for its confirmation by 
the Christian Easterday family. We will hear again from 
our two valuable witnesses. 

Quotations from Letters. 

Judge Joseph Easterday, under date of March 10, 1864, 
wrote: "I am of the opinion that you are a descendant of a 
brother of my grandfather, Christian. I have noticed your 
name in the Lutheran almanac, and in the list of graduates in 
Springfield, 111., in which the name of yonr brother also ap- 
peared, and was at a loss to know the relation that existed. 
But we are relatives, for my father in his lifetime corresponded 
with a Martin Easterday, then residing in Ohio, and said he 
was a relative of his. I was then but a boy. I am now fifty 
years of age." These correspondents were Jacob and Martin, 
first cousins, both of whom died in 1840, the former being 
Joseph's father, the latter being the writer's great grand- 
father. 

Kate A. Easterday, under date of March 18, 1884. wrote: 
"After some years a brother of great grandfather and his 
wife emigrated here too. He went to Kentucky. I have al- 
most forgotten his name.. I think it was Lewis, but I may be 
mistaken. Perhaps I can find out what his name was. Father 
has a sister living yet, the only surviving one of father's broth- 
ers and sisters. Her name is Mary Easterday Maught. She 
is in her 92nd year." This Mary Maught was the daughter of 
Conrad of the seven brothers. She was born Nov. 1, 171*2, 
thirteen years before her grandfather, Christian Easterday, Sr., 
died. In the above Kate Easterday got the brother mixed 
with the son, Lewis, who went to Kentucky. 

In the same letter Kate Easterday wrote further of the 
coming of this brother and his wife: "They went from Saxony 
over to England, and there they paid their fare to America. 
After a long, perilous and dangerous voyage, they arrived at 
Baltimore, Maryland. On their way to America 'they wen- 
robbed of all they had, and when they arrived here the ship- 
master demanded that they pay their fare again or be sold into 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 21 

slavery. Great grandfather Christian paid their fare and re- 
deemed them. They had a rough and tough reception when 
they first got here. I have been told that great grandfather 
and great uncle Blessing both had a considerable sum of 
money. ' ' 

Again, under date of April 21, 1884, Kate wrote: "I think 
I can correct a mistake T made in my last letter. Ten years 
ago I spent a week with Aunt Maught and then she told me that 
the name of the great uncle who was redeemed by her grand- 
father at Baltimore was Martin. [ told it when I came home, 
and my brother John says he remembers me telling that Aunt 
Maught said his name was Martin. Aunt says that her great 
uncle had three sons and she thinks two daughters, but she 
is not certain about the daughters, and that the name of one 
of his sons was Martin. She says she was twelve or thirteen 
years old when her grandfather, Christian Easterday, died." 

"Aunt Kate's" report is very pretty, but another story 
comes floating through the mist along the Martin family line, 
which should not be overlooked. It is that the Senior Chris- 
tian, being the oldest son, inherited all his father's property, 
coming to America with considerable wealth. Needing as- 
sistance in his early undertakings, he negotiated with his less 
favored brother, Martin, who came to Baltimore with his little 
family and was formally purchased into bondage by his bro- 
ther, according to previous agreement. It is further related 
that the debt was fully paid in labor, Martin, Jr., about four 
years old on their arrival, remembering himself to have aided 
in completing the burdensome contract. The following comes 
down as a literal quotation from this Martin, Jr., the writer's 
great grandfather: "Boys, you need not look to Germany for 
a fortune, for your ancestor was sold to pay his passage to 
America." Now the writer, as a representative of the Martin 
branch of the family, siezes upon this opportunity to express 
gratitude to the Christian branch v for favors received, and also 
to remind them that the debt has been paid in hard and faithful 
labor and the account balanced. It is hereby admitted, how- 
ever, that, in case of the Senior Martin Easterday, evidence is 
wanting as to his ever owning slaves or his ever executing a 
will. 



22 HISTORY OF THE 

Family Record of 

Martin Easterday and wife, maiden name unknown, married 
in Germany about 1755. 



Martin Easterday, born in Germany October 16, 1756, N. S., 
died December 11, 1840, buried in Bowling Green Ceme- 
tery, Jefferson County, Ohio. 

George Easterday, born in Frederick County, Maryland, about 
1765, died in 1850, buried in Chester Church Cemetery, two 
and a half miles south of Chesterville, Morrow County, 
Ohio. 

Jacob Easterday, born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1774, 
died December 31, 1824, buried at Bowerstown, Harrison 
County, Ohio. 

Margaret (Eberhart). born in Germany before 1760, or in Fred- 
erick County, Maryland, after 1760, died, date and place 
unknown. 



The dates of the births and the dates of the deaths and the 
places of burial of the parents are unknown to the writer. 
He especially regrets that he has been unable to locate the 
grave of the Senior Martin Easterday. For many years he 
was within ready reach of his grandfather, Christian, who 
was the grandson of the Senior Martin, and the son of the 
Junior Martin, but he neglected to secure that which is now 
so desired and so out of reach. 

The Homes of the Martin Easterday Family. 

Carroll's Manor is named traditionally as the Maryland 
home of this family. Its location is a short distance southeast 
of the old Christian Easterday home, and in the lower part of 
Frederick Valley, which joins Middletown Valley on the east. 
The family seems to have resided at or near this place from 
the time of their arrival, about 1760, to about the year 1796. 
Quite probably the parents died and were buried at this place 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 23 

near the close of the period of the thirty-six years of the fam- 
ily's residence in Frederick count}'. 

Martin Easterday, Jr., who is known to have been a bright, 
active, strong man, both mentally and physically, seems now 
to have become the natural and recognized leader of the fam- 
ily. About the year 178:5 he married Barbara Bauer, probably 
changed later to Bower and Bowers. Under his leadership 
all the descendants of his parents and part of the Bowers 
family are understood to have removed from Maryland to 
Red Stone, Payette County, Pennsylvania, on the Mononga- 
hela River, about sixty miles south of Pittsburg, in the year 
1796. They seem to have been preceded by members of the 
Bowers family. In the spring of 1800 apparently the same 
company, with Martin as their leader, in the hope of bettering 
their condition, placed their goods upon a flat boat, floated 
down the Mononghela to Pittsburg, then down the Ohio River 
landing at a point a few miles above Steubenville, Jefferson 
County, Ohio. This trip ante dates steamboat travel by more 
than ten years, and Steubenville could not then claim an age 
greater than three years. 

The Ohio Easterday Home. 

Pushing his way westward from the Ohio River through 
a wild, dense forest, Martin, Jr., found his ideal location. This 
is about five miles from the river, about one miles west of that 
which sixteen years later became Knoxville, and two miles 
east of that which is now known as Bowling Green, all in Jef- 
ferson County, Ohio. It may be noted that, for many years, 
Osage has been the name of the postoffice at the latter place. 
Here Martin Easterday lodged and made his home on a beauti- 
ful plat of land at the side of a grand old spring of water. 
Here for forty years he lived and thrived and here he died. 
At this place in a most remarkable manner Martin, Jr., dupli- 
cated the experience of his uncle Christian in Maryland. This 
lasted more than forty years and that more than fifty. The 
interesting periods lapped over each other from the spring of 
1800 to the fall of 1805. The distance east and west between 
the places is about one hundred and eighty miles. 



24 HISTORY OF THE 

The dear old Ohio Easterday farm and spring and "sugar 
camp" the writer will never forget. The writer's father, Dan- 
iel, labored much upon this farm for his grandfather, Martin. 
His father, Christian, the oldest son of Martin, resided on this 
farm for several years after the death of his father. The 
writer, born three miles distant from this place, and one year 
before the death of this his German born great grandfather, 
thus received his earliest and most delightful impressions of 
the new world into which he had been ushered when, under the 
protection of his parents, he visited the old "sugar camp." 
"Why, then, should he not repeat his visit to this dear old 
place at every opportunity? 

Those who came to Ohio with Martin Easterday located 
at convenient distances from this place. The Penna. home 
was about one hundred and twenty miles west and somewhat 
north of the Maryland home, and the Ohio home was about 
sixty miles, in a straight line, northwest of the Penna. home. 
The distance by boat, north to Pittsburg from Red Stone, and 
southwest from Pittsburg to their landing place, was nearly 
one hundred and fifty miles. 

A Letter Quotation. 

Eli** S. Easterday. of Nokomis, 111., is the youngest brother 
of the writer's father. After he secured a home of his own 
his parents continued to live with him. Following are quota- 
tions from letters written by him in 1902, responding to ques- 
tions put to him by the writer: "I lived with my parents o vet- 
forty years, and I heard some things repeated one hundred 
times. One was that our folks came to Jefferson County in 
April, 1800. Another was that my grandfather, (Martin Eas- 
terday, Jr.,) lived on Carroll's Manor, Maryland, and from 
there he went to Red Stone, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. 
where he lived three years and a half. Red Stone is a creek 
where my grandmother's brother, Joe Bowers, had a mill. 
I do not think Marl in Easterday, Sr,, ever left Maryla d. 
The Easterdays went to Red Stone because some of the Bowers 
people were there. There were probably three families in the 
same boat coming from Pennsylvania. I have heard my father 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 25 

say what one of his uncles, George or Jacob, did when one 
of the sheep jumped overboard when they were landing 
the boat. Grandfather (Martin, Jr.,) had a wagon, but 
he could not use it to haul his goods out from the Ohio 
River, as there was no road. So they took two poles and made 
shafts for each horse, letting the poles extend some distance 
behind. On these they pinned cross pieces. On these slides 
they hauled all their goods about five miles. As it was then 
planting time they could not stop to build a house, but built 
a camp — a three-walled shack with one side open and a fire 
in front. Then they went to clearing ground for corn, flax, 
etc. After it was too late to plant they built their first cabin. 
Then grandfather went back to Red Stone to harvest a crop 
of wheat he left there. When winter came grandfather again 
went back to thresh his wheat. After that he had it ground 
and brought the flour down the river with him." 

A Short Study of the Fourteen. 

It now appears that at the beginning of the 19th century 
most of the seven sons and three daughters of Christian Eas- 
terday, Sr., were still residing in Maryland. Three sons and 
one daughter of Martin Easterday, Sr., were residing in eastern 
Ohio. These fourteen were all born between the years 1750 
and 1780, one or two having been born in Germany, one in 
Virginia, and at least eleven in Frederick County, Maryland. 
And all the fourteen seem to have died between the years 
1820 and 18o0. No name in the two families of children is 
repeated except that of Jacob. It may here be stated that 
Jacob, the son of Martin, Sr., married, but died childless. In 
following generations several names have been frequently re- 
peated, greatly increasing the chances for confusion in tracing 
the history of the family. Notably among these are Christian, 
Martin, Daniel, David, George, Conrad, John, Jacob and Lewis. 
Note that the ten children of Christian E., Sr., and the four 
children of Martin E., Sr., are first cousins. The children of 
these respectively are second cousins. The children's children 
are third cousins, and so on. thus connecting children only of 
the same generation. To aid in avoiding confusion, the child- 



26 HISTORY OF THE 

ren of Christian E., Sr., will be referred to as "the seven 
brothers" and "the three sisters," and the children of Martin 
E., Sr., will be referred to as "the three brothers" and "the 
one sister," and the children of both Christian, Sr., and Mar- 
tin, Sr., will be referred to as "the fourteen children." 



Connecting Visits. 

In 1884 the writer addressed the following to Kate A. 
Easterday, Frederick County, Maryland: "My father, Daniel 
Easterday, tells me that in 1823 when he was a boy ten years 
old and plowing for his grandfather, Martin, in eastern Ohio, 
a Conrad Easterday came from Maryland to visit his cousin, 
Martin Easterday. He says that this Conrad and his grand- 
father came out to the field where he was at work, and he 
heard them speak of being cousins. He thinks his grandfather 
was then about sixty-three years old, and that the visiting 
cousin was considerably younger. He says his grandfather 
was about six feet tall, and Conrad was shorter. Now was 
this Conrad your father or your grandfather ? Does your Aunt 
Mary Maught remember that her father visited relatives in 
Ohio when she was about thirty years old? Or was it her 
brother, your father, Conrad? If she remembers, can she tell 
how this Conracl was related to the Ohio Easterday?" 

Before quoting from the response of Kate A., the writer 
may state that he did not then understand the relationship 
as he does now. He was then feeling for facts many of which 
he has since grasped with certainty. The reader may now 
aid in reconciling the personality of the visitor and the date 
of the visit. In 1823 Martin, Sr., was sixty-seven instead of 
sixty-three, and Conrad Easterday, the cousin, was 54. Con- 
rad, the son of Conrad of the seven brothers, was twenty-six 
in that year. 

Kate A. answers: "Aunt Mary Maught says her father 
never vent west, but my father, her brother Conrad, went west 
in 1820 or 1821 to see his uncle Lewis Easterday and he also 
went to Ohio to see relatives. She says my father was a bache- 
lor and went alone. My father. Conrad Easterday, was born 
Jan. 22, 1797. 1 remember very well my father telling about 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 27 

his visit to Ohio and Kentucky. He related many instances 
about his travels. He rode all the way horseback. He rode 
whole days through woods thickly timbered and no road. 
Many nights he could hardly get a place to lodge. After father 
returned from the west he bought a farm and moved on it 
and kept bachelor's hall nearly two years. He got married 
March 22, 1823." 

Now for the study. The cousin must have been the son 
of a cousin. The writer's father, Daniel, born Oct. 19, 1813, 
must have plowed at the age of eight years. Conrad, Jr., the 
bachelor visitor was only 24. The name and time are now 
satisfactorily settled. To the boy of eight the rough rider of 
twenty-four may have seemed the bachelor of considerable age 
as the scene in the field was recalled sixty-three years later. 

The writer is of the opinion that this was the last visit 
between representatives of the two original families when the 
exact relationship was understood by the participating parties 
until the writer, of the family of Martin, visited with mem- 
bers of the family of Christian near the old Maryland home 
in 1903. The exact relationship then existing between the vis- 
itor* and the visited was known to the visitor and gracefully 
accepted by the visited. This visit the writer will ever remem- 
ber wtih very great pleasure. The visit of Conrad to Ohio in 
1821, which was witnessed by the writer's father, was thus 
returned by the writer eighty-two years later, and the members 
of the two branches of the family are again "on speaking 
terms. ' ' 

Connecting Correspondence. 

The following is quoted from a letter from Kate A. Easter- 
day, written in 1884 : ' ' Thirty years ago a young Easterday 
.that was a school teacher in Illinois corresponded with me for 
a while. He and his parents were born in Ohio. He gave me 
the names of his parents and ancestors, but 1 have almost for- 
gotten how they run. Perhaps he was one of your father's 
brothers. His mother's first name was Anne Maria." 

The writer can discuss this was assurance. The Illinois 
school teacher was the writer's uncle Martin. The time was 
the winter of 1851 and 1852, thirty-two years before the date 



28 HISTORY OF THE 

of the letter quoted. The teacher Avas born in Ohio but his 
parents were not. The date of his birth was Aug. 29, 1825. 
He is now spending the evening of his life at Steilacoom, 
Wash., by the side of Puget Sound. This Martin was twenty- 
seven years of age and Kate A. was twenty-six years of age 
at the time of the correspondence. Their grandfathers were 
first cousins, but they then had no correct idea of the relation- 
ship existing between them. 

Probably the next correspondence between representatives 
of the original families was that of 1864, between the writer 
and Rachel A. Easterday and her father, Judge Joseph Easter- 
day. The tracing of the relationship here began to take shape. 
Then followed a brief but pleasant correspondence in 1869 
with Milton Easterday, now dead, then a student of Selin's 
Grove, Pennsylvania, and a brother of George E. Easterday, 
who entertained the writer in 1903. The next leap was into 
the year 1884, when the extended correspondence with Kate 
A. Easterday occurred just before her death. Some inaccur- 
acies in her answers have appeared, but her letters are of great 
value. In all they consist of eighteen pages of letter paper 
very closely written. These letters very largely have been 
responses to questions asked by the writer, and, therefore, they 
are very disconnected, and now rather difficult to discipher. 
Quotations have been made freely from them, and there are 
more to follow. It was after the correspondence was com- 
menced with her that the story of the Easterday family in 
America was fully figured out. Very many additional letters 
having to do with the latter history are in hand, but the ear- 
lier facts presented or confirmed by Kate A. Easterday just 
before her death, if lost, could never be regained. 

The Blessing Connection. 

Kate A. Easterday stated: "If you are of our race of 
Easterdays, you are part Blessing. Aunt Susan Easterday 
Blessing, one of father's sisters, (who was born Aug. 9, 1802), 
died Feb. 3, 1884, about six weeks ago, in the eighty-second 
year of her age. ' ' 

Kate is wrong in her first statement here. The descen- 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 29 

dants of Martin Easterday, Sr., are not part Blessing, bnt they 
are related to all the Blessings because all the Blessings are 
part Easterday. This for the reason that the wife of the 
Senior Blessing was Julia Easterday. It is true that all the 
descendants of Christian Easterday are part Blessing, for 
the reason that his wife was Julia Blessing. 

The husband of Aunt Susan Easterday Blessing referred 
to above by Kate was George Blessing, who was born Feb. 
15, 1794, and died Dec. 17, 1873. Because of very heroic acts 
performed by him in defense of his neighborhood at the time 
of our civil war this George Blessing became well known in 
the last ten years of his life as the "Hero of the Highlands." 
The Highlands are at the northern end of the Middletovvn 
Valley. 

The earlier intermingling of the Blessing and Christian 
Easterday families by marriage has been a matter of tradition 
and comment. It is a remarkable fact that the fathers of the 
George and the Susan, above referred to, each married the sis- 
ter of the other. Thus George Blessing and Susan Easterday 
were doubly first cousins before their marriage, the father of 
Susan being Conrad of "the seven brothers," and the mother 
of George being Julia of "the three sisters." The maiden 
name of Susan's mother was Barbara Blessing. The first 
name of George's father is unknown to the writer. The only 
honor claimed by the writer in this connection is that his grand- 
father, Christian, and the ' ' Hero of the Highlands ' ' were second 
cousins, the grandfather of the one and the grandmother of 
the other being brother and sister. 

Patriotism. 

It may here be noted that in 1776 the oldest of "the seven 
brothers" was twenty-four years of age and the oldest of "the 
three brothers" was twenty years of age, but the writer has 
been unable to find evidence of record indicating that any one 
of the name was in active military service during the Revolu- 
tionary War. It* is known, however, that to Martin of "the 
three brothers" was applied a military title by his neighbors 
in eastern Ohio. That all were loyal, patriotic, law-abiding 



30 HISTORY OF THE 

and peace-loving from their earliest history has never been 
questioned. 

The Closing of Part First of Easterday History. 

That which may be considered as Part First of this history 
has been prepared by very great effort on the part of the 
writer. Many conflicting statements have been presented for 
his consideration. The larger number of these have been dis- 
posed of with ease. Many have been very puzzling. Some have 
furnished amusement. Among the latter is a statement of a 
grandson of one of "the seven brothers" to the effect that his 
grandfather was born in Ireland and lived to be one hundred 
and twelve years of age and that the Easterdays are all full 
blooded Irish ! The fact is that this grandfather, born in Mary- 
land, died before he was forty-seven years of age. Of course 
many good people know very little about their grandfathers, 
and it is often the case that a man may give to his grandfather 
any reputation that his imagination may suggest without fear 
of successful contradiction ! With apologies to all Irish friends, 
this witness is called down. 

Whilst our Part First is fundamental and may be con- 
sidered the most difficult to prepare, the work having now 
reached to the starting out of "the fourteen children," that 
which is to follow will be difficult enough, and will furnish a 
never-ending task. Intentionally there has already been a 
reaching down among the descendants of several of the four- 
teen, which will act as a sort of skeleton for that which may 
follow, yet, so far, there has been no regular tracing from any 
one of these fourteen. Very considerable material as touching 
some of them is in hand, but very little as touching others. 
The descendants of the fourteen yet to be attached to the 
family tree are now very numerous and very scattered, and 
they include a large majority of the Easterdays of our coun- 
try. In advance of the systematic arrangement of the names 
at hand and within reach, the writer gives it as his opinion 
that the descendants of Conrad of "the seven brothers" and 
of Martin of "the three brothers" will present the largest 
crowds. Kate A. Easterday is a grandchild in the former and 
the writer is a great grandchild in the latter. Descendants of 



EASTERDAY FAMILY 31 

eight of the ten men are clearly in evidence, but the writer 
seems now to have in hand very little relating to the offspring 
of Christian, the oldest of "the seven brothers," and it is well 
established that Jacob, the youngest of "the three brothers," 
died a married man, but childless. 

The writer has already found much pleasure in introduc- 
ing Easterday relatives to each other. This, too, has been 
gratefully received and acknowledged by those introduced. It 
is a fact, however, that letters are in hand which relate to 
Easterdays in America whom the writer does not expect to be 
able to attach to this tree which he is cultivating. The rela- 
tionship may include all, and probably does, but some have 
evidently emigrated from Germany in later years. These later 
emigrants also include those who still cling to the name Oster- 
tag. 



"»• 



Aid Solicited. 

The aid of all members of the Easterday Family is earnest- 
ly solicited in the preparation of Part Second of this history. 
With the aid now attainable decided success is possible. 
There is danger in delay. One hundred years ago Part First 
might have been written with comparative ease. Such earlier 
writing would now furnish delightful reading. The present 
writer, however, confesses that the existence of the early record 
would have deprived him of the privilege of solving some intri- 
cate problems, a sort of service always fascinating to him ; 
but he Would gladly exchange this pleasure for that of the 
reading of the record made in the long ago. 

Following is a recapitulation of names of the prominent 
Easterdays of a century ago. The Easterday reader is re- 
quested to aid in determinmg which of these is his ancestor. 
The final list of a few of their descendants, who reside in 
various parts of our country, is intended to be a help in this. 
Ordinarily, if the one seeking his place in the family can give 
the first name of his grandfather Easterday, and a hint as to 
the time and place of his birth, the writer will be enabled to 
place him with certainty. Such aid as suggests itself to the 
interested reader is anxiously and hopefully awaited. 



1. 

2. 

3. 
4. 
5. 
6. 



1. 

2. 
3. 



Recapitulation of Easterday Men. 

Sons of Christian Easterday. 
Christian— 1752— 1835. 
Lewis 



Daniel— 1762— 1833. 
Conrad— 1769— 1825. 
Francis— 1770— 1841. 
Jacob— 1772— 1840. 
Abraham— 1777— 1823. 

Sons of Martin Easterday, 
Martin— 1756— 1840. 
George— 1765 (?)— 1850. 
Jacob— 1774— 1824. 



A Few Descendants. 

Of Lewis: James W. Easterday, Carrollton, Ky., John D. 
Easterday, San Jose, Calif., Mrs. L. A. Spitzer, San Jose, 
Calif. 

Of Daniel: George J. Easterday, Washington, D. C, John S. 
Easterday, Charleston, W. Va., A. P. Easterday, Mena, 
Arkansas. 

Of Conrad: Martin V. Easterday, Myersville, Md., Miss Sybil 
U. Easterday, Mayfield, Calif., Miss Pearl Easterday, How- 
lands, Ind., Luther Reck Easterday, Indianapolis, Ind., 
Bradley Easterday, Sumpter,* Okla. 

Of Francis : George E. Easterday, Jefferson, Md. 
Of Jacob : Miss Virginia Easterday, Prairie Ave., St. Louis, 
Missouri. 

Of Abraham: H. W. Easterday, Unionville, Mo., Alvin W. 
Easterday, Eustis, Neb. 

Of Martin : Melancthon Easterday, Cairo, 111., David A. Easter- 
day, Chewelah, Wash., Martin V. Easterday, Steilacoom, 
Wash., Elias S. Easterday, Nokomis, 111., T. R. Easterday, 
Sault St, Marie, Mich. 

Of George: John Easterday, Leesville, 0., S. R. Easterday, 
Toledo, O., Win, Easterday, Albion, Ind.