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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt — for Ancestors!
 
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Kate (MOREHART) THOMPSON's 1925 Letter to Her Brother, Lindsey —
an Annotated Transcription
Source:  A handwritten letter from Kate (MOREHART) THOMPSON to her brother, Lindsey T. MOREHART, dated January, 1925.  The original is in the possession of Nancy (STRAUB) HOLBEN, a descendant of Kate's uncle, Rev. Benjamin STRAUB (1802-1873).  Nancy generously emailed images of the pages to me (7 Jul 2001), which I have transcribed below.

The parentheses around dates and places appear to possibly have been added later, but could have been part of the original (both the letter and parentheses are in pencil); they appear to have been added as a form of emphasis or highlighting.  Boldface and comments (on the right) are added by me.—DGM

Jan __, 1925
Dear Brother:
L.T. Morehart.

I am a going to write you and tell you where Grand father and Grand Mother Strop was born.  They were born in (the Netherlands.) a Kingdom also called (Holland) on the North central coast of Europe, in (1802.)  It is Near Belgium.  the Old Kiser fled to Holand during the world war + I guess is there still.  Grandfather and Grandmother came to

The "dash" in the date is in the original letter; it doesn't indicate I couldn't read the day.

These grandparents were (obviously) Kate's maternal grandparents, whom we find futher on to be Benjamin & Elizabeth (HAAS) STRAUB.

Despite Kate's belief that she was Dutch, all other evidence points to this family being German.  And the difference may be a semantic one.  "Low German" refers to a language-cultural group that encompases the lowlands of northern Germany and the northern, non-Flemish- speaking part (the major part) of the Netherlands (formerly, Holland).   It was this similarity of language and culture that in part led the Germans of Pennsylvania to be called "Pennsylvania Dutch" when, in fact, they are mostly "Pennsylvania Deutsch"!

2.

United States. and settled in Philadelphia Pensylvania. He set up a law office and in course of time he was called to preach + joined the ministry + preached for the dutch Lutherans there, later he came to Ohio. and Joined the Sandusky United Brethern conference. + preached for the United Brethern. at one time he owned + lived on a farm south west of Vanlue, O. now called

The vast majority of Germans entering Pennsylvania did so at the port of Philadelphia, so it's not surprising that Philadelphia occurs in the verbal tradition of a Pennsylvania Deutsch family.

However, Kate believes her grandparents to be the immigrants, which is not the case.  It's a very common phenomenon for people to underestimate the number of generations between themselves and the immigrant.  My own grandfather (Kate's 2nd cousin and, thus, of her generation) also believed his grandfather was the immigrant, but it is their grandfather's paternal grandfather who was the immigrant.

The town of Sandusky is in Erie Co., OH, but there is also a Sandusky Co. and there are Sandusky Townships in Sandusky, Richland, and Crawford Cos.  Vanlue is in Hancock Co., OH.

3.

the Henry Misamore farm.  Misamore has the deed that Grand-father made when he sold the farm.  They also lived in Fairfield Co. where mother was born in 1832. they named her Esther, but mostly called her Hester for I think that was the English.  Then I think they lived in Vanlue, O. when Tom was

There was a George MESAMORE in Hancock Co. who married Martha Ann CORBIN.  Martha's niece, Sarah E. CORBIN, married George Washington STRAUB in Marion Co., OH, and George is a nephew of Rev. Benjamin STRAUB (Kate's grandfather).
4.

a baby or very young, and later lived during the civil war near the Vince Coons sawmill along the Electric line from Findly to Fostoria, later they moved to Salem Allegan Co. Michigan, where He died at a ripe old age. Grand Mother went then to live with Aunt Susan and died there in Montery Mich. they had 3 daughters,______

There is a Findlay and a Fostoria in Hancock Co., and there is a town of Salem, a town of Monterey Center,  and a Monterey Township in Allegan Co., MI.
5.

Mary - Susan - and Esther, and 7 Sons, Adam - High - Aaron - Benjiman - Samuel - Sheldon and ThomasAdam died in infancy - Aaron - High - Shell and Tom went to war + all returned but Aaron died soon after he reached home near the Vince Coons farm. and our Father Andrew L. Morehart.

"High" is Hiram; "Shell" is Sheldon.
6.

went to war in Co. A. 21st Regiment with Uncle Tom but was killed in battle near Vining station ga. on the 9th of July and went to war in Feb. the same year if I remember right he was only there about 6 months.  Our Great grandfather came from (Holland) before Grandfather did, and he too settled in Monroe Co. Pensylvania and

Monroe County was not formed from Northampton and Pike Counties until 1836, so great-grandfather would not have called the place he settled Monroe County, even if, in fact, that's the location, today, of where he settled.

Stroudsburg was incorporated as a borough on 6 Feb 1815, named for Col. Jacob STROUD, an early English settler.  A home he built for his son, at the corner of 9th and Main Streets in Stroudsburg, has been restored and is operated as a museum by the Monroe County Historical Assn.  In other words, this is a well-known English family, and neither their name nor the town's name was derived from German STRAUB (or STROUP or STROP).

Kate's story may be a garbling of other stories that exist among the descendants of these STRAUBs, namely:

1) that they are descended from the Andrew STRAUB who founded Milton, Northumberland Co., PA, which is also untrue (Andrew's children have been otherwise accounted for); or

2) that they are descended from the Andrew STRAUB who founded Straubstown (now Freeburg) in Snyder Co., PA, which legend may very well be the correct one — at  least, the evidence so far is consistent with it, and I have yet to find anything disproving it or even discouraging it.

7.

built up a town and called it (Strop town.) and it built up so fast that they changed the name from (Stroptown) to (Stroudsburg.) You can find it on the map in Monroe Co. it has over 5,000 population.  When they first came to U.S. they spelled their name Strop -- then later to Stroup

8.

later to Stroub and in 1871 when Uncle Shell was here the last visit they had a Stroub - reunion in Walkerton Laporte Co. Indiana. Uncle Shell went and they changed the name (Stroub) to (Straub) so the right way to spell it is (Straub.) I guess that must be the English way and it will stay that way.

It is interesting — and another lesson in the unreliability of family tradition — that Kate has the evolution of the surname backwards.  The ancestral name was STRAUB, which became phonetically misspelled STROUB or  STROUP (rarely, STROP).  With the exception of Kate's letter, I have yet to find an instance where German STRAUB has been confused with English STROUD, and in no case have I seen one transform into the other.

Most of the STRAUBs related to Benjamin and his brothers held on to the STRAUB spelling despite the fact that most other lines converted to STROUP.  I believe this can be explained by the fact that most of them were merchants, preachers, or teachers and, therefore, literate, as opposed to most of the rest who were farmers.  In the 18th-century, farmers were generally illiterate.  In the case of the Pennsylvania Deutch, even if they were literate in German, they were not literate in English, which led to the phonetic misspelling of their name by English clerks.

9.

Mother got a letter from her Cousin in Chicago and they are Music Publishers and they signed their name (Straub) and they sent us some of their books of music and they had their name printed on them (Straub.) they composed music to [too]. I guess their name was so dutch it was hard to translate it to the English. Grandmothers name before she was

Kate's mother, Hester/Esther (STRAUB) MOREHART, was first cousin to Solomon W. STRAUB, music teacher, composer, and publisher in Chicago, IL, ca. 1870s/80s.

A legend passed down in my line of this family is that we are related to the STRAUBEs of the STRAUBE Piano Co., in Chicago.  They were in business from some time in the 1800s until 1941, when they were bought out by the Conn Co. (manufactureres of Conn organs).  In Germany, STRAUB and STRAUBE are distinct families, and I have yet to see one transform into the other.  It seems likely to me that my grandparents had some knowledge of Solomon, which later got transformed into a connection to the piano company.

10.

married was Elizabeth Hoss so you see how dutch they were and how dutch we are but never learned it so you will feel dutcher when you read this. the only way they know you are dutch (Will) says is your nose-nose-nose.  The people of Holland are dutch their religion is protestant. the Capital (The Hague) queen Wilhelmina acceded

Elizabeth's surname was HAAS; HOSS is an Anglicized variant.  She may be Dutch, but she is much more likely German.

"Will" would appear to be Kate's husband, William THOMPSON.

11.

Nov. 23--1890. the population in 1911 was 5,898,429.

Now Lindsy you keep this so when you are gone Charly will know where his Ancesters came from. and where they died. I got a letter from Uncle Shell since Xmas, and he told me this.  This would be Charlies Great Grand-

It appears that "Charly" is Lindsay's son, making Benjamin STRAUB Charlie's great-grandfather and Benjamin's unnamed father his great-great grandfather.

And wouldn't we also like to see Uncle Sheldon's letter?!

12.

father + Great-Great Grandfather.
 

From Sister Kate,
Mrs. Wm. Thompson,
Findlay, Ohio.
Findlay is in Hancock Co., OH.
ADDENDUM:  Since writing the above annotation, a descendant of Andrew S. STRAUB of Waldo, OH, brother of Kate's grandfather, Rev. Benjamin STRAUB, has been DNA tested.  Results prove a tight genetic connection to Johann Pieter STRAUB I, the 1733 immigrant to Philadelphia and paternal grandfather of the Andrew STRAUB who founded Straubstown [now Freeburg], Snyder Co., PA.

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