Thursday, December 18, 2014

#5 - More Family Stories and Pictures - of an Early Colonial Minister, a Kidnapped Bagpiper, a Reluctant Teacher, and a Cook Book-Writing West Point Cadet


Glidewell Kin: 

Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, the First Minister of Rowley, Massachusetts

Tombstone, Rev Ezekiel Rogers

Reverend Ezekiel Rogers comes from a distinguished line of English ministers. Most notable of these was his grandfather, John Rogers, a follower of William Tyndale and a martyr for his Protestant faith.

Ezekiel was born to Rev Richard and Barbara Rogers on 5 Feb 1588 in the village of Wethersfield, Essex County, England.  We do not know where he obtained his schooling, but it is documented that he led the congregation of St Peter's Church in Rowley, Yorkshire from about 1619 until emigrating to New England in 1638.

St Peter's Church, Rowley, Yorkshire, England
The first mention of Rogers in official writings in his new home appeared in October of that year, as Ezekiel "sought for himself and for his people, the liberty of partaking of the Lord's Supper." That document further revealed that he and his flock had broken off with the Church of England because of its corruptions. Rogers confessed there was much he admired in that Church including a sound doctrine, but stated five main objections: 
  • First, their national church (preferring a separation of church and state),
  • Second, their hierarchy, which he considered wholly anti-christian. 
  • Third, their dead service,
  • Fourth, the compelling of all to partake of the seals,
  • Fifth, the abuse of excommunications. 

Tombstone closeup

Reverend Rogers appears to have acquired a great deal of wealth before his death in 1660. His will cataloged houses, barns, lands, and pastures as well as numerous fine quality household goods. Even after dividing his goods among all of his children from several marriages, there was plenty left over to share with his church and with that new Harvard College down at Cambridge.

photo from, courtesy of Bob Spafford
In 1994, the people of Rowley, Massachusetts, gave the above stain glass window to St Peter's Church in Rowley, Yorkshire. Known as the "Ezekiel Rogers Window," it depicts Rev. Rogers, the ship upon which the immigrants fled England, and the peoples and church buildings of the two congregations.

[How are the Glidewells related to this Rogers family? The chart below takes you from Ezekiel Rogers to Edith Glidewell. Click on image to see larger.]

Much of the information in this article was obtained from "The History of Rowley" by Thomas Gage. Published in 1840, electronic version prepared 2002. See 

Hamar Kin:

John Peacock's Unplanned Trip to America

Notes for JOHN  PEACOCK,  JR.from "A History of the Peacock Family" compiled by George F. Peacock:

"All the Peacocks of New Jersey, so far as is known, trace their descent from John Peacock, born in Scotland, on the 10th day of August, 1698. Tradition says that he lived on "the borders," as the tract of country along the boundaries of England and Scotland was called, with his uncle who was a musician on the "bagpipes", the national instrument of music.
'As he and his uncle were one day in a town on the water they came across some sailors in a tavern, and while playing for their amusement John was persuaded by them, after some hesitation on his part, to go on board their vessel in the evening to entertain them with his music. He told them "they would like to take away such fellows as he was" but they gave him assurance which quieted his suspicions.

'While on board he went to sleep, whether from being drugged or not is not known, and remained so until the next day. When he woke, he found the vessel was under way for America.
'Stealing children, or "kidnapping" as it was called, to send them to the "plantations" in America where they were sold to the planters, was a common practice that day as we read in histories of the time, and encouraged, by the captains and owners of the vessels who derived profit from this slave trade.
'When the vessel arrived in this country he was sold by the captain to one John Gosling, a justice of the peace, who lived at what is now known as Oliphant's Mills [New Jersey], about one mile south of the present village of Medford. Squire Gosling possessed a large extent of land around the neighborhood, where it appears he carried on the milling business." 
And that - my dear readers - is how John Peacock arrived in America. His would become a new world success story. He learned the milling business well and while enduring the setbacks common to most settlers of this new land, became a wealthy man. He married Elizabeth Prickett of the Prickett's Fort family written about in an earlier post.  Tradition says that she worked at sawing logs as well as he, and due to their industry and his proverbial Scots' frugality, acquired considerable property.  

John died of dropsy (usually a reference to congestive heart failure) June 5th, 1759 and was buried in the Episcopal church burial yard at Mount Holly, New Jersey.

[How are the Thompsons and Hamars related to the Peacock family? The chart below takes you from John Peacock to my paternal grandmother, Celia Hamar Thompson. Click on image to see larger.]

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Hackney & Holmes Kin:

Why My Mother Became a Teacher

We should begin by saying that Betty Hackney was a brat, a precocious child. She confessed that to me more than once in her later years. She was also bright, and her father exerted his influence as a school board member to get her enrolled a year early in the one-room school down the road, thus allowing her mother a little peace and quiet in the home.

Betty Hackney (third from left) at Union School
With that year's head start, she graduated from high school in nearby Wellington at the age of 16, and headed off to college at Pittsburg State Teachers College. She chose biology as a major, and at the end of the first semester (perhaps the first full year), she announced to her father that she wanted to become a nurse.


Her father had spoken, and that was that. Once again, her Papa exerted his influence, and within a few days she had received an offer of a teaching position at a remote, one-room rural school in Sumner County where she lived with the family of the school's superintendent. The nearest "town" was eight miles away - Geuda Springs, which you may or may not find on a current map.

Betty at Floral Vale School, her first teaching assignment
Betty did manage to return to college at Pittsburg where she received her teaching degree with a major in biology. Unfortunately, she was not qualified to coach football, so there were no openings for her as biology teacher. Finally, she found a position as librarian at Sedan (Kansas) High School. It was at Sedan that she met Burl Thompson, a hard-working butcher at Ackarman's Grocery and Hardware Store, and catcher on the town's baseball team. The rest, as they say, is history...  

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Cadet Thomas Jefferson Holmes, Jr., Only person in the family tree known to have graduated from one of the US Military Academies. Born 1902 in Chicago, he graduated from West Point in 1924, and died 1993 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was the nephew of John Frank Holmes (my great-grandfather).

Upon graduating from the Point, Thomas married Louisiana socialite Lucie Barbour and entered the military. Within a few years he resigned his commission, received a master's degree in mining engineering at Colorado School of Mines and joined his father-in-law's international minerals and crude oil business. Within a couple of years, Tom and Lucie returned to Lucie's childhood at Oaklawn Manor in Franklin Parish, Louisiana, to help in the managing of the vast estate - Oaklawn Manor, a Greek Revival plantation home on 100 acres of land. Web searches have led me to believe it was recently in use as a bed and breakfast, but apparently with little success. Maybe some of our Louisiana kin know more about its present state.

Oaklawn Manor

Tom rejoined the army in 1941, and given the rank of captain. In In August 1943, he received an overseas assignment as Assistant Chief of Engineering at the 23rd Depot Repair Squadron, at Blackpool, England. Discharged at the rank of major, he returned to New York City to do consulting work.

Not contented with city life, he returned to Oaklawn Manor, upon which he devoted vast energies to preserving the historical home, and was responsible for its current listing on the National Register of Historic Places. In their later years, Tom and Lucie moved to nearby town of Franklin. While there, Tom was to write and illustrate "The Bayou Cookbook," a financial success which later sold to a publisher.

The book cover shown here was downloaded from When I first saw this item on Amazon, no author credit was listed, so I contacted them with the information I had. Apparently they agreed with me that this is the book done by our cousin, and have added his name to the page and site. See:

Prior to his death, Thomas Jefferson Holmes made many television appearances to promote his cook book, and was also in demand as a lecturer at state universities, speaking on the topic of Louisiana tourism.

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from the Photo Archives...

The photo I will be using in the top banner of the blog post is of the John Frank Holmes family at their home in Aledo, Illinois - about  1895 per my estimate. John Frank (dark suit) is standing behind Sarah Canum Holmes. Glen (Will) is the boy holding the dog, and next to him is the oldest daughter, Stella. The girls holding dolls in front are (I believe) Anna (left) and Maude (my grandmother - right). Cecil was born a couple of years later.

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Several people have inquired about the program(s) I utilize in my family tree. I use Family Tree Maker 2014 on my PC and laptop. Online, I use, World Deluxe version. The online and offline programs can be synchronized, allowing me to keep both up to date. 
I am always willing to answer questions you might have about the family tree(s) and / or research.