An American Family History

Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts.
Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking. -author unknown

Welcome to An American Family History. This website is about the ancestors of one California family. Our family history mirrors American history. Our ancestors were mostly farmers. They immigrated to America, fought and died in wars. They homesteaded, "made-do" during the Great Depression and made their way west.


Ancestors of Frances Fay Morrison Tuller

The Morrison
& Yarmark

Frances Morrisons's father, Simon S. Morrison's, family came from Klodawa, Poland. Their name was originally Swietoslawska. They immigrated to the United States about the time of the First World War. They became successful clothing manufacturers and watch importers.

Frances' mother, Yetta Yarmark's, family came to the United States in the 1890s from eastern Galicia on the San River in the Lwow district.


Ancestors of Milton Leo Tuller

The Tuller & Levine

Milton Tuller's father, Manes Tuller, came to New York about 1907. Manes' parents, Symcha Tuller and Miriam Avrech, lived in Maciejow, Poland. Milton's mother Bella Levine, and her mother, Rive Levine were from Vilna, Lithuania.

Anti-Jewish riots, congested conditions and increasing unemployment led to large-scale emigration of Eastern European Jews. After arriving, the family overcame poverty in the tenements of Brooklyn, New York and moved to Chicago. The next generation moved on to California and Arizona.


Ancestors of Virginia Maxine Smith Miller

Virginia's father, John Elmer Smith's, grandparents were from Tennessee. His grandfather, Josiah Smith, was in the 5th Tennessee Cavalry during the Civil War until he was captured by Union troops. In exchange for his freedom, he signed an oath not to return south of the Ohio River. The family left Tennessee and made their way to Illinois and then to Iowa. The Wind in the Willow is a book of Smith Family memories.
The Ricketts & Wilson

Elmer Smith's grandmother, Sarah Jane Ricketts Fox's, family was in Maryland by 1765 where Robert Ricketts was born. Robert's family moved to Pennsylvania where he served as a private in the American Revolution. The family moved from Pennsylvania to Kentucky to Indiana and to Illinois. Sarah Jane Ricketts Fox's family moved from there to Missouri and then moved on and settled in Lucas County, Iowa.

The Douglas, Land & Heard

Sarah Rickett's second great grandmother, Mary Douglas Wilson, was born in 1718 in Charles County, Maryland. Her ancestors were Roman Catholics from Charles County, Maryland. They were land-owners who enslaved people and were members of the Maryland aristocracy of the time. Tobacco was both their crop and their currency.

The Oxley
The Oxleys, settled in Hopewell, New Jersey and moved on to Loudoun County, Virginia. They were Baptists and members of the Hopewell Baptist Church in New Jersey and the Ketoctin Baptist Church in Virginia.  
The Fox
Eliza Fox Smith's father, John Newton Fox's ancestors came from England to Kingwood, Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 1729. They moved with a group of Baptists, led by the Reverend Stutton to Loudoun County, Virginia to Hampshire County, West Virginia to Washington County, Pennsylvania and finally to Warren County, Ohio. Eliza's great-grandfather, Bonham Fox, went on to Butler County, Ohio and her grandfather, Levi Fox, moved on to Lucas County, Iowa.  
The Bonham,
Fuller & Lothrop
Levi Fox's grandmother, Christian Bonham Fox was born in 1737 in New Jersey. She was the daughter of Amariah Bonham who was one of Hezekiah Bonham's many "iah" sons. The Bonhams were a early New Jersey Huguenot family. Hezekiah's mother was Hannah Fuller whose father, Samuel Fuller, was a Mayflower pilgrim.  
The Yerkes & Watts Index
Elmer Smith's grandmother, Eliza Yerkes Fox's, ancestors came to America before 1683 from Germany or the Netherlands and settled in the Manor of Moreland in Pennsylvania. They relocated to Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia) and then to Hamilton Township, Butler County, Ohio where Eliza died. Her family went on to Washington Township, Carroll County, Indiana. Eliza's great great grandfather, the Reverend John Watts, was the well-known pastor of the The Pennepek Baptist Church.  
The Walton & Hunn Index

Mary Walton Yerkes was born about 1720 in the Manor of Moreland. Her grandfather, Thomas Walton and his brothers were Quakers who came from England to Pennsylvania. Her great grandparents, the Kitchens, were also Quakers who were persecuted for their beliefs in early Massachusetts.

The Bertrand &
Long Index

Virginia's mother, Emma Bertrand Smith, was born in 1890 in Iowa. Emma's father Gilles Joseph Bertrand's family immigrated to America from Belgium in 1870. They lived briefly in Illinois where Catherine and Francois Bertrand died. Their three sons moved to Iowa.

Emma's mother's grandfather, Thomas Long, was a Union soldier in the Civil War. Thomas and his family lived in Iowa and then homesteaded in North Dakota.

The Taylor
Emma Bertrands' grandmother, Louisa Taylor Long's ancestors were living in Pennsylvania by 1784. They migrated to Green County, Ohio and then to Shelby County. Shortly after the family arrived, her grandfather, David Taylor, died and all the family's possesions were sold at auction to pay debts. Her father, Jacob Taylor, was a triplet. He moved the family to Warren County, Iowa.  
The Brandstetter, Bloss & Spitelmaier
Louisa Taylor Long's mother, Sarah Branstiter Taylor was a German Lutheran. Johann Jacob Branstetter and Anna Magdalena Spitelmaier immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1738 on the ship Robert & Alice. 1738 was marked by considerable deprivation on the journey, so much so, that it became known as the the "Year of the Destroying Angels." Sarah's great grandfather, John Jacob Branstetter, was a private in the Northampton Militia during the American Revolution.  
The Bauman & Dreissbach

Christina Bauman was born in 1780 in Carbon County Pennsylvania. Her grandparents, Johann Dietrich Bauman & Eva Elizabeth Beil were born in Germany, but married in Pennsylvania. They settled in Carbon County.

Christina's great grandparents, Johann Simon Dreisbach & Maria Katharina Keller, brought their family to America from Germany in 1743. Her grandfather, Johann Jost Dreisbach, was a soldier in the American Revolution.

The Baker,
Kessler Kibler & Kenoyer
Elizabeth Baker Branstiter was born in 1805 in Virginia. Her ancestors were German Palatine Lutherans who came to Philadelphia in 1752. From there, they went to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and then to German Township, Clark County, Ohio. Elizabeth's grandparents were active in the American Revolution. The family remained Lutheran.  

Ancestors of Robert Wilson Miller, Jr.

Robert Miller, Jr.'s mother, May Violet Treahy Miller's family immigrated to Canada from Ireland. Her grandfather, Patrick Treahy was a railway mail clerk in Toronto. Her father John Patrick Treahy, made his way to San Diego, California where he married Matilda Jones. Matilda was raised at a stagecoach stop named Cocktail Springs. Her mother Eliza McKellar, was the assistant lighthouse keeper of Point Loma Lighthouse for a few years. Matilda later left her husband and five children and ran away with a musician and was shot dead in a dance hall in Mexico.

John Patricks' mother, Eliza Thomas Treahy's, family came to Canada from England in 1833. Her father, John Morgan Thomas, started the Thomas Organ Company in Ontario.

The Miller
Robert Wilson Miller's ancestors immigrated to Canada from Ireland due to the Irish famine. They lived briefly in Minnesota and then took the train to San Diego, California. His father and grandfather were ships carpenters.  
The Dwinnell, & Lapoint
Robert Miller's grandmother, Victoria Zellena Dwinnell Miller's, mother was a French Canadian Lapointe and her father, Isaac Davis Dwinnell, was a descendant of the Puritan Topsfield Dwinnell family. She was born in Yonge Mills, Ontario, Canada. Her great grandfather, Benjamin Dwinnell marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775. Benjamin's father, Michael Dwinnel, was the first physician in Topsfield, Massachusetts.  
The Davis and Waters Index
Isaac Davis Dwinnell's grandmother, Eunice Davis Dwinnell's' father, Captain Isaac Davis, died in 1776 of wounds suffered in the American Revolution. The entire Davis family was active in the American Revolution and many members signed the Association Test in Chesterfield, New Hampshire. Simon's great grandfather, Barnabas Davis, first came from England in July, 1635, on the ship Blessing. He brought his wife and children in June, 1639. They settled in Charlestown.  
The Powers & Fiske
Captain Isaac Davis' wife, Elizabeth Powers Davis Griswold's,ancestors include the Fiske, Fry, Jennings, Shepard and Stanhope Families. They were Puritans who came from England to Massachusetts and suffered during the Indian Wars.  
The Estey, Kimball & Towne Index
Benjamin Dwinnell's wife, Mary Estey Dwinnell's great grandmother, Mary Towne Estey, was executed for witchcraft in Salem in 1692. Mary's ancestors also included members of some of New England's earliest settlers. The Towne family was in Salem by 1640. Jeffrey Estey was granted land in Salem in 1636. The Kimballs came on the ship Elizabeth which sailed from Ipswich, England in April, 1634.
The Fiske,Warner, and Batcheller
Michael Dwinnell's wife, Elizabeth Fiske Dwinnell's family were early settlers in Massachusetts. Joseph Batcheller, William Warner Austin Kilham and William Fiske brought their families to America and settled in Salem, Wenham, and Ipswich.  
The Richards, Collins & Brewer Index
Aaron Estey's wife, Esther Richards Estey's, ancestors included the Richards, Collins and Brewer families who were early settlers in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. Henry and Ann Collins immigrated to America on the ÔÇťAbigail" in 1635.
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