In 1964, while I was living with an aunt and uncle, I had the opportunity to visit the old cemetery in Matagorda, Texas.  I wanted to find the graves of my great-grandparents, Peter Duffy and Maggie Vogg.  Peter’s was easy to find.  The monument was one of the largest and was located very close to the center of the cemetery.  But Maggie’s was much harder to find.  I finally found it out towards the edge of the cemetery.  The monument was a very small sandstone arch that had been broken and was very difficult to read.  The contrast between the two monuments, one of the young mother who had died in childbirth at the age of 22 and the other of her husband who had lived a full and reasonably prosperous life struck me and made me want to know more about these people and all of the others that had shaped me and my family.

Family history has been a passion for me ever since.  I have not worked on it continuously but have picked up a fact here and a story there every so often.  Now, with the wealth of information available on the internet and the speed with which stories can be shared I have become almost overwhelmed.  I have learned so much that I felt I needed to try to share what I have learned.  Where ever possible, I have tried to give a sense of who these people were because they were real people.  Some were poor, some were rich.  Some were in the top echelons of society, some were tradesmen.  But the one thing that I have learned that has come down through the generations to our own generation is a deep sense of family.

This is very much a work in progress.  I intend to add additional biographies and source materials as I have time.  Please contact me with any comments, corrections, or additions at

Finally I would like to thank a few of the researchers who have been kind enough to share their information with me.  I am sure I will forget someone but I would like to thank Helen Smith, Carol Vass, Roger Alexander, Katherine Sharpe, Dodie Bradley, Martha Mordecai, Judy Trolinger, Ural Donohoe, Jeannette Davison, Fred Spross, Peggy West,  Bobbie Hinman, Pauline Laughlin and David Hedgpeth.

A family tree that relates to these biographies can be found here at

Sonya Suzann Beckenbach Manderson
25 December 2008


Updated 12 December 2010



Nicholaus von Beckenbach (1705 - ca 1750)

Johann Christian Beckenbach (1739 - ca 1790)

Johann George Beckenbach (1772 - 1834)

Johann Jacob Beckenbach (1797 - ca 1850)

Peter Beckenbach (1836 - 1878)

Charlie Geiger Beckenbach (1869 - 1932)

Edwin Ford Beckenbach (1906 - 1982)


John Simons (1715 - 1780)

Shadrach Simons (1758 - 1801)

John Joseph Simons (1793 - ca 1858)

Henry James Simons (1818 - ca 1870)

John James Simons (1842 - 1969)

James Elmo Simons (1870 - 1935)

Madelene Shelby Simons (1913 - 1985)


Heinrich Dufe (ca 1760 - ca 1810)

Peter Joseph Dufe (1784 - 1846)

Peter Duffy (1815 - 1883)

Peter J Duffy (1851 - 1924)

Annie Elizabeth Duffy (1877 - 1935)


William Peake (ca 1800 - ca 1832)

Joseph Peake (1826 - 1876)

Lucy Charlotte Peake (1851 - 1883)


James Bradley (1720 - 1788)

Francis Bradley (1743 - 1780)

James Alexander Bradley (1768 - 1839)

Margaret Weir Bradley (1813 - ca 1880)


Shelby Phillip (ca 1650 - 1731)

Evan Shelby (ca 1690 - 1751)

Moses Shelby (1728 - 1776)

Evan Shelby (1748 - 1825)

Moses Shelby (1784 - 1826)

James Madison Shelby (1814 - 1889)

Jane Eliza Shelby (1846 - 1902)


Michael Vogg (ca 1800 - ca 1845)

John Frederick Vogg (1824 - 1901)

Margaret Vogg (1856 - 1878)


Alexander Coachman (ca 1640 - 1671)

Tilney Coachman (ca 1660 - 1716)

John Coachman (1700 - 1750)

James Coachman (1732 - 1789)

Joseph Coachman (1761 - 1814)

Mary Lynch Coachman (1792 - ca 1857)