I started this project,
as a lame attempt, for a high school history class in 1977.
I sat with my grandmothers and wrote down what they knew about
their families. Though it was vague, it's the basis or my research.
I remember my one grandmothers saying
"Bill's grandfather was a Civil War Vet"; "my mother died when
I was ten." and the other, "John's great grandmother was an American
Indian, his great-great grandfather came home to find his family scalped".
My sister rekindled my interest
when she wanted to know what happened to my project. It’s
probably sitting in a closet in the attic of my mom’s
She was trying to find
out family tales about the Frankenfields from Williams
Township weren't related to other Frankenfields in Pennsylvania
and New Jersey were true. There was a story that they were horse thieves
from Ohio and escaped to Pennsylvania! With a little more research,
my great-great-grandfather, Nathan Frankenfield moved to Ohio with
his sisters family (Sloyers). He returned, they didn't.
In fact my great-grandfather's
Forrest Frankenfield was born in Ohio, and is the one who told
the story to my uncles. William was known as "Uncle" in
William Township, he married late in his life, after his step sister, Lilly,
and mother passed on. He and his
sister, Lilly, inherited the farm on Old Well Road in Williams
Townshp after their mother passed away. He sold the farm after
his sister passed away and moved to an old stage coach hotel on Morgan Hill
Road. My cousin Wanda recalls playing in the vacant rooms of the
old hotel as a child.
The Old Well Road farm
was previous owned by the Crick's who married into the Brotzman family
contained in this site. The farm has passed through several families
since. The old hotel is still standing and used as a residence
Researching more of Williams
Townshp and I realized that Nathan Frankenfield didn't live far
from his Aunt, Catherine Moser, his mother's sister. While Nathan
lived on Old Well Road, his aunt lived on Morgan Hill Road, just
a few hundred feet from where my grandparents built their house(The corner of Old Well Road and Morgan Hill Road, across the street from the Old Glendon Iron Works Office).
William sold a track land
to my grandparents for $1 and they build the house at the top of
Old Well Road. The used rafters from an old barn that burned, they
hand dug the basement. Tthere is a crawl space under part of
the house because of an old foundation of a hotel.
In the crawl space is a hole that may have lead to a cave or was
used for cover during indian raids. It could have also been a mine
shaft since they mined iron ore in the area. During the years, my grandparents
sold off parts of the land, my uncles and cousins have built there
residents on what was part of the original farm.
Across the street from
my grandparents house, was the old office of the Glendon Iron Mines.
My great-grandfather, Charles H. Frankenfield lived there with
his second wife, Meda Longenbach, and their children, Lilly, Edith
and Helena. This was also the mining company that my great-great
grandfather, Nathan Frankenfield, worked.
As I stated above the
property of my grandparents, at one time, contained a hotel
and sat on one of the main roads that went from Easton to Philadelphia.
It was know as Old Philadelphia Road and was later renamed Morgan
Hill Road after Mammy Morgan (a revolutionary war figure who resided
in Williams Township and she is buried in one of the few graves remaining
at the Easton Library). Old Well road was named after the hand
dugged well that belong to the hotel, the hotel no longer remains,
but the old well is still in existance though taken out of service
in 1976. The township has erected a cement retaining wall around
the well. This was done to protect the well as they widened Old
Well road for through traffic. It can seen next the stop sign at
the top of Old Well Road.
When my father was 12 he
recalls Benjamin Raub telling him about the hotel that use to stand
at the corner of Morgan Hill Road and Old Well Road. He stated
Benjamin was quite old at the time and with a little research,
Benjamin had to be in his 90's. My dad said he passed
away a few years later at the age of 98.
My grandfather Forrest
Frankenfield was also known as Bill. Bill was a carpenter
and a farmer, and had a vegetable stand on the Circle in Easton. When
Bill passed away, my grandmother sold the house to my father and
mother. My mother currently lives in the house that my grandfather
had built. My one uncle and my father were born in that house in
the 1930's and my grandfather had passed way on the night after Christmas 1958. It was a result of a heart attack from an accident that
happened in front of the house on Christmas Eve. When two men were
driving home and one put his foot on the gas petal to see how fast
they could go around the curve. The car ran off the road and into a tree, one of the men in the car didn't
As I stated early about the tale that we are from Ohio; my branch did move to
Ohio and then moved back! My great great grandfather's baptism
and birth record (1877) can be found in Northampton County. His
brother's birth certificate (1880) ,which is in the pocession of
my uncle, states he was born in Ohio. As I'm researching the project,
I'm discovering that we are related to more then first lead to
believe. The good, the bad, the ugly and the famous…
I actually started this
web site on my personal site;
it was going to include my direct ancestors. Today it has grown
and I created a separate site, www.frankenfield-beam.com and www.frankenfield-beam.net..
I moved the site to a web server in Northampton County, PA. I wanted
to keep the information there. I have over 80,000 names in my database
and only a small portion on this site. I wanted something from
the areas I've been researching; mainly Bucks, Northampton County
and Warren County, NJ. Warren County was part of Sussex County,
I've spent many hours in
the Marx room at the Easton Library, going through the various
church records, obituaries, cemetery records. I also find the librarians
in the Marx Room very helpful.
When I started researching
the Frankenfield's most of the research was done, thanks to a great
book by Alfred Patton Davidson, I realized I didn't know much about
my mother's side of the family. She didn't know much either. Her
mother divorced her abusive father in the late 40's, which wasn't
common at that time period. She didn't know her father's side of
the family that well. I started piecing parts together. I do remember
my grandmother talk about "his" side of the family once. Stating that
his great grand mother was American Indian and someone getting
After I research this
family, I realized why no one talked about them. I descendend from
the black sheep of this family. The wills are very interesting
reading, my great great great grandfather leaves $5 for my Great
Great Grandfather. My great Great grandfather leaves $1 for my
Great Grand father. My grandfather (an alcoholic) was dead by the
time my great grand father passed away.
I was told of stories of
relatives showing up drunk at funerals or late to funeral. One
story I heard was when one of my great grandfather's brother was
being buried in Greenwich Cemetery, another of the brother's showed
up late, they were lower the coffin into the grave when he showed
up. He stumbled across the cemetery and demanded they open the
coffin so he could see his brother. I was told they opened his
coffin in the noon sun and what a ghastly site.
Another story I heard was
when my great grandfather died, his sibling showed up drinking
whiskey from a cough medicine bottle during the service and to
the grave site.
started piecing together the Beam and Walter families. I talked
with aunts and uncles and they said the family wasn't discussed
much. I would hear certain buzz word from my mom, such as Uncle
John, Aunt Sue,
and the one I still haven't found, Cousin Lizzie. My great grand
father would talk about the Woodrings and the Flory’s but
I had no idea who they were.
When I was in elementary
school, we had a new kid in our class, Joe Rowe. I told my mom
about him. One day she asked if his parents were such and such
and if his father moved to Florida. I asked him, he told me yes.
I went home and told my mom and she said we are related. Somehow
I was a third cousin to Joe Rowe and his sister.
What I consider my Beam
side is actually my maternal side, the Beams, Nixons, Walters,
I was fortunate enough to know my maternal great-grand parents,
John and Lizzie (Brown) Walter. They lived a few hundred feet from
the Trinity Union Church in Hecktown also known as the Dryland
Church. I can remember the old Dryland Cemetery before they removed
the tombstones. We used to go visit them every other Sunday. Every
time we visited we would get a nickel from my great grand mother.
Each time we would visit, my great grandmother would go to the
cupboard and give us nickel. This use to scare me because she was
old, and blind and felt her way around the house. My great grand
mother passed away first. It was the first viewing I ever attended.
After her death, my great grand father lived by himself well into
his 90's and then moved in with my grandmother for the final years
of his life. He passed away in his sleep at the age of 98. We found
out just before he died 1989 that
he was the youngest of thirteen children.
His father, Zebulon Walters was born in 1824 and was
68 years old when my great grandfather was born. The two Generations
expanded over a 167 year time period.
We also had special names
for family members, Pop was always know as my great grand father, John
Walters, and Mom (Pronouced Mum)
was always his wife, great grand mother Lizzie
Brown. Mother was always referred
to my grandmother Martha
Martha was well known
at Easton Hospital. She worked in the cafeteria. She also was
a waitress in several diners in Easton. A few of my friends who
worked at the hospital would say, Martha is your grand mother
and would be very surprised! She was always lending a helping hand.
Martha was the first person at Easton Hospital to have heart
Surgery in the 1960’s, she was only to live 15 more years, but she
lived at least another 30. She said during the operation she saw
a bright light and several people who had passed on at that time,
she didn’t talk much about that experience.
I'll always remember my
last visit with Grammy Beam (as I called her), I took my mom over
to visit. We walked into the room and she was talking to the spirits
that were surrounding her. She looked up at me and asked what I
was doing there (her last words to me) and continued to talk to
these spirits. My aunts,uncles and my cousins were coming to visit
her that evening. It was the last time that we have been together
with her when she was alive. That night she passed away, joining
the spirits that were visiting her in the room. She passed away
at the age of 84.
When I started researching the Beam side,
I was in contact with my grandfather's two
sisters, Ethel and Ruth.
They also told me the storys above. Aunt Ethel gave a few generations of
the Beam family of what she could remember. She also told me about
the American Indian relative. She remembers visiting her when she
was young. This American Indian relative was Margaret
Inscho Strunk Winters. She said she use to smoke
a corncob pipe. She also mentioned about relatives living at
Jenny Jump State Park in Warren County, NJ.
What I find is that all
the Inscho contacts I've been in touch have the same American Indian
story. Were not sure just exactly where the American Indian fits
into the family but Margaret Inscho's father Ebenezer was
reportedly married to one. We believe he had three wives. Two are
accounted for and the third was to be an Indian princess. Another
Inscho researcher pointed out that this American Indian princess
could well be Margaret Inscho's mother Eleanor
Weller. Eleanor's death certificate indicates her parents are Philip
Weller and Sarah. Sarah's
death record indicates that she was born in PA, does not give a
clue to her maiden name or her parents.
Another interesting fact
with the Beam side is number of religious leaders in the family.
Let's start with the oldest one first. On the Brown side there
are two, John Betchel and Cornelius
Weygandt. John Betchel is one of the founders of the Bethlehem
Moravian Church. He came to Philadelphia and lived in Germantown
and then moved to Bethlehem. John wrote several religious books
that were published by Benjamin Franklin. They were in German and
John Betchel's daughter, Agnes
Maria, married Cornelius Weygandt. Cornelius lived beside
Chief Tatamy. Cornelius later in life switch over to Moravian
and help found the Shoeneck Moravian Church, just outside of
Nazareth, Northampton County, PA. I'm a descendant of Two Moravian
founders in the USA. I actually descend from two of Cornelius's
children his daughter Hannah,
who married Conrad Best,
and his son Jacob who married Catherine
Nolan (Nowlane). Her father John
Nolan was a tavern owner. The tavern is still in service
today and is know as the Newburg Inn.
Switching from Moravian,
we will now go to the Baptist side of the family. I'm a descendant
of Thomas R. Cole, founder of
Baptist Church in Port Murray, Mansfield Township,
Warren County, NJ. Thomas daughter, Joanne,
married Andrew Beam and deserts
him after he returns from the Civil War with his four children.
Not much is known about Joanne and still needs research.
If you’re a descendant of Simon
Frankenfield, then your related to William
Clark Gable. Clark starred in a little known film called "Gone
with the Wind". You may have heard of it.
My sister even stated I went to far,
when I found that my parents who are divorced are related through
the Miller's genealogy.
I had two grandfathers in the Civil War. Andrew
Beam who fought for NJ and Isaac
Fox who fought for PA. There is possibly another, William
Strunk, the family legend has the he went to the Great War
and never returned. I cannot find any record of him after 1862
nor can I find any records of him in the Civil War..
I have also found several grandfathers
in the Revolutionary War, Hans Heinrich
Frankenfield, Henry Frankenfield, Peter
Lattig, Jacob Pence, John
Strunck, Barnet Walter, Michael
Walter and Captain Jacob Weygandt.