15 February 2008

Is it Spring yet?

Dear Cousins,

No! It isn't spring yet. HA! But, it is gettng close. Well, ok....maybe not close enough. Especially up here in Alaska where winter, many times, lasts for 6 months. I just got back home from a mining job in Juneau. It was a bust, so no good news there.

I have some interesting news concerning Old Molly Derry. First, Joan Brown Derry wrote to me about a new lead she is working on about the old witch (I say that with much affection). It seems there may be much more to Old Moll than we already knew. It's easier if I let her tell you so, I'll include her letter to me about it.

"Just a quick response to your question as to HOW Valentine Derry might tie into the Loudoun County line -- here are my thoughts:

1. First of all, the only DERRY's in Georges Township, Fayette County, PA is our line -- and we know that our female progenitor was named MOLLIE. The magazine article said that after the war "Valentine (Felty) and Mollie Derry came up over the mountains and settled in Georges Township, Fayette County, PA." This is too "on target" to not be our guy.

2. "Up over the mountains" to me is coming up out of Harpers Ferry - Loudoun County, VA area into SW Pennsylvania. Ron and I have driven it multiple times -- and there ARE the Allegheny mountains you need to cross. I have several old newspaper articles that clearly state...."The Derry's came from Loudoun County, VA"

3. The magazine article also said that Valentine Derry "deserted the British army and fought under General Morgan." Documentation records that General Daniel Morgan lived in Charlestown (outside of Harper's Ferry) and across the line from Loudoun County, VA for part of the time when he was recruiting his riflemen.

4. Mollie's eldest son was named Bazil (BALSER in the earliest Tax Records) -- and we have the name of BALTSER (Balser, Palser, etc.) in Loudoun County, VA. Plus we know that the DNA was a perfect 12-point match for you, Ron, and other Loudoun Co., VA male descendants. The older BALTSER was born 1739 in Germany. VALENTINE's birthyear was 1752/53 in Germany. The older BALTSER could possibly be an uncle or older cousin.

5. I hope we can find out where Valentine and Mollie landed in America as Hessians with the British army. Ancestory.com has their arrival time in America as November 1783 which was at the close of the war. There is the chance that they landed in Virginia -- but then again -- they could have landed elsewhere along the east coast and made their way to Virginia -- especially if they knew they had "family living there" and had planned on deserting. Having his regiment and arrival time on record, there must also be the "place" that they were transported to on record somewhere as well.

6. Lastly, I am hoping that if my German researcher can find family church records we will have other familiar first names in older generations like Balser, Peter, Jacob, etc. to help pull it all together. Hope some of my thinking makes sense -- it is so easy to "dream wonderful dreams" just because we want them to be true -- but then again, I never thought we would have this wonderful magazine article on record and brought to our attention. Miracles do happen.


WOW! This just keeps getting better and better! I need to make a note to myself to ask Joan which magizine she found this article about "Valentine" in.

One more thing about Old Molly. Kathy sawyer recently sent an email to me and Joan about a book that was found on a Google search by her sister, Cindy. Here is what Kathy wrote to me..

"Dear Joan & Doc:

Click on the link I am sending and check out this book! It was published in 2004 so I am surprised none of us had discovered it before. My sister happened upon it today while searching "Witches - Old Moll Derry". I have of course ordered a copy for my full-to-bursting library! Have a good one!!

Thank you, Kathy! I did check the book out, and really liked it. Follow the link to preview the book. It's sure to be a good read.

Until the next blog. I promise not to wait so long before I write again. As always, feel free to leave comments on any of my blogs.