Let’s face it, most of us are in this genealogy game for the intrigue. Why did so-and-so disappear? Why did he/she change his/her name? And who did Solomon Leonard really marry?
Questions & Ancestors
You native Pennsylvanians probably know all about the state of Westsylvania, but news of the insurrection and subsequent attempt at secession is just now reaching those of us on the left coast. Nevermind that it happened 232 years ago, this is news to me.
And guess who was right smack in the middle of that isolationist plot? The idea that the same Leonards who got involved in the Whiskey Rebellion eighteen years later might have a hand in forming their own state is, well, predictable I guess. But it was news to me.
Wow! That’s all I can say about William C. “Bill” Mitchell’s research. It spanned several decades, dozens of families, and he was meticulous about citing his sources. There is some evidence he may have even corresponded with Jennie Leonard Hutchinson before her death.
Among the new leads I picked up for future followup… 1) Caleb Jr. left a will in Washington County Orphan’s Court (none of us had ever thought to look there), 2) Luzanna left a will in Uniontown, Fayette County (who would expect a will, let alone in the “wrong” county?), and 3) Caleb Jr., Silas, and Abner all signed a petition seeking an independent state of Westsylvania.
Most of us are clear on the difference between the “Mayflower Leonards” and the “Iron Leonards,” but I still get questions and I need a point of reference, so here’s the skinny…
Every once in a while, the universe and the gods of public records conspire to create an unsolvable mystery. Like the cousin who refuses to attach him/herself to any of the relatives living nearby. In my case, it’s a distant ancestor who couldn’t decide when he was born and eventually declared himself a twin. Sorta.