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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
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Letter from Eliza TRIMBLE
Ballard, Washington
May 1, 1906
Winifred Markee Miles
49 Astor Street, Chicago

Dear friend and relative:

I have just received your package of letters of inquiry concerning the Trimble family, our ancestors, back to their emigration from their native country to America, all of which I will try to do as far as I have any knowledge that I have of them by information that I got from my husband's father, Joseph Trimble, which I have often heard him relate.

I see by your dates that you haven't any knowledge of their ancestry any farther back than James Trimble, the father of Joseph Trimble, your mother's uncle but I can go one generation beyond that.

Joseph Trimble's grandfather was a native of either Ireland or Scotland.  I disremember which.  He was a Catholic in his religion.  His given name I don't remember, but I think it was James. 

He boarded a merchant vessel when he left his native land he and a fellow partner of the same country bound for America. They were captured by a pirate vessel, and he and his comrade were pressed into the service of the pirate vessel.  This same pirate vessel was captured, but by making it appear to the satisfaction of the public and those in authority that they were not pirates, but had to serve as pirates, their lives were granted them. 

They came to America and joined in the service of the country in the struggle with England to gain our liberty.  He was faithful to his post until he and his comrade were taken prisoners by the Indians; they were a long time with the Indians suffering all the hardships and privations of a captive life.  They finally made their escape and wandered in the wilderness and mountains of Kentucky without food or shelter, on the continual watch of a merciless foe.  They at last got to the Kentucky River where they were discovered by those at the fort crawling on their hands and knees through weakness.  Those at the fort took them to be Indians.  The cry was to shoot them but they made signs of distress and they took them in but it took great care to save them they had suffered so much and so long but when they got able to do service, again they went to their post and served during the struggle with England until the war was ended.

He then married.  I don't remember his wife's name.  I have knowledge of four children born to them, three girls and a boy named James Trimble (your grandfather) who married Sarah Hinton.  The girls' names I don't remember, but one married a man named Cowden, one a man named Bird, the other I am not sure, but I think his name was Matney. 

I was well acquainted with the Cowden family and who they married.  They had five girls Ellen, Elizabeth, Henrietta, Martha Ann and Nancy.  Ellen married a Simpson; Elizabeth married a Neel; Henrietta married a Booker; Martha Ann married a Posey; I can't think who Nancy married at present.

The one that married Bird had three children James, Sally and I think Nancy.  Sally married a man named Rice had no children.  Nancy's husband was a man named Essex and they had a son.  James Bird married and had a daughter by first wife; he married again Sarah Solomon of Indiana, but as to their ages and deaths I know nothing.

As to the religion of the Trimbles they were Catholics.  As to their politics, as far as I know they were true to the cause for which they fought the liberty of our country.  If there were any more Trimbles that came to America besides the one I have spoken about, I don't know anything about them.  They came to Indiana before my parents came.  I was four yrs old when my father came to Indiana, and I am ninety years old since April 6th.  I was born April 6, 1816. 

Well, I have given you all the information that I have any knowledge of at present concerning the early Trimbles.  I will write a few lines concerning myself and my husband on another page.

Eliza Trimble


Based on the censuses of 1810 and 1820, the James Trimble who married Sarah Hinton was born in or before 1765; therefore, James, the immigrant, did not marry after the Revolutionary War, but at  least a decade before it.  But what it really sounds to me like is that James the immigrant and the James who married Sarah Hinton are the same person.  On the other hand, it is hard to believe that Joseph Trimble could be that confused about his own father.  Then again, the writer is the widow of Joseph's son, not Joseph himself, and she is writing at the age of 90.  Memories do fade.

Lastly, it should always be kept in mind that romantic family legends, such as the above, rarely turn out to be true.  It's just human nature to want them to be true and, so, to believe them.

Family Group Sheet of James TRIMBLE

Family Group Sheet of Joseph TRIMBLE & Catherine CARRICO

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