my search of census records, old court
records, tombstones, historical
reference books, and conferring with others
researching the same families, I have been able to gather and document
much information on our family's
genealogy. Most of my findings are
focused on Hazel Masten Brancheck's ancestors and can be found on these
is a family
outside of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania where most of our ancestors are
buried. The cemetery is called The Little Redstone United
Cemetery. It is on the property of a church with the same name. I will
post some photos of the church, cemetery, and tombstones in the near
future. I will also post some documents such as transcribed copies of
wills of various
family members, along with old photographs I have come across.
Brancheck's family comes from Ireland and Wales on her
of the family and possibly Switzerland on her mother's side of the
family. On her father's side the immigrant ancestors are Peter Maston
(her father's father's line) and Evan ap Stephens (her father's
mother's line). Peter Maston was born about 1743 in Ireland. Evan ap
Stephens was born about 1692 in Wales. On her mother's side the
immigrant ancestors are still being researched. However, it
seems one immigrant ancestor (her mother's father's line) may be
Solomon Glattfelder born February 1, 1738 in Zurich, Switzerland. If
this is true then the family ancestry for Hazel's mother's father's
family can then be traced back to as early as 1540 in Switzerland.
Brancheck's family is still being researched. Information will be added
as soon as it is available. What is known currently is that Joe's
parents were Andy and Anna (Annie). They had five children named Andy,
sixth child, Anna, died in infancy. What is not known is where they
were from, where they came from, or what the original spelling of the
last name was. Andy, John, Joe, and Mildred used Brancheck, but Ludie
used Barancheck. Other variations of the surname include Branchak,
Branchek, and Branchick. It also could be none of these. However
these surnames are being researched currently. Hopefully they
up soon on a census and more information can be uncovered. There
is a family bible that was kept by Mildred and was in Ludie's
possession after her death. Unfortunately upon Ludie's death the
whereabouts of that valuable piece of information is unknown. It most
likely holds the key to the correct spelling of the surname and where
to start looking for traces of the family roots.
December 19, 2011 - I
located a valuable piece of information for my grandfather's family! I
now know that Andy and Annie were Slovaks who came to America in 1891
(Andy) and 1902 (Annie). Neither could read or write English,
but they did speak English although their mother tongue was Slovak.
According to the information I have found, both of their parents were
Slovak as well.
Hazel Masten Brancheck's great-great-great grandfather.
He left Ireland and came to settle in Dutchess County, New
York sometime during the 1760s. He met and married Margaret Frayer
about 1766 at Poughkeepsie Reformed Church in
Poughkeesie, Dutchess County, New York. Tax records show Peter
as a taxpayer in Poughkeepsie through the mid 1760s to early 1770s.
Peter and Margaret had 5 children while living in Poughkeepsie.
Washington Township in what was then known as Westmoreland County
(later changed to Fayette County), about one and one half miles from
Fayette City. Nelson's Biographical Dictionary and Historical Reference
Book of Fayette County mention the Maston family on pages 919 and 920.
It was here that the family settled and Peter and Margaret had their
last child, Levi Masten. It is also here that for some reason
the surname was changed from Maston to Masten.
26, 1783 Westmoreland County was changed to Fayette County.
Fayette County, Pennsylvania tax records show Peter Maston as a
taxpayer in Washington Township
Peter allowed his home to be used as a place of worship for a
Methodist circuit riding minster as mentioned on page 17 of
Methodism in Western Pennsylvania
Census shows Peter Maston had 3 free white males over 16 (himself,
James, and Ezekiel), 2 free white males under 16 (Peter Jr. and Levi),
and 2 free white females (Margaret and Polly).
and son James purchased 65 acres situated on the waters of Little
Redstone Creek in Washington Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania
from Ephraim Chaimbers for 60 pounds. Recorded in Book 169 page 481 of
Fayette County records. (Note*- In the year 1792 one British pound was
equivalent to $4.47 so 60 pounds was equivalent to roughly $270.00 )
Peter's children, our direct ancestor is Levi Masten. Levi was born
He married Sarah
Stephens (see Stephens section below) about 1801 in Fayette County,
Pennsylvania. Sarah was born on
April 17, 1786 in Washington Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
Levi and Sarah had 12 children. Levi died on December 18,
1867. Sarah died on February 4, 1864. They
are both buried in
the family cemetery.
second youngest child, Israel S. Masten, is our direct ancestor.
Israel was born about 1827 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He married
Lucinda P. Boltz about 1853. Lucinda was born July 31, 1821 in
Pennsylvania and died on August 6, 1875 in Fayette County,
married Sarah Daugherty about 1878. Sarah was born about 1856 and died
about 1893. Israel
about 1898. They
are all three
the family cemetery.
had a son named Ira. According to other genealogists researching the
Masten/Maston line, some have two Iras in their pedigrees, one born
about 1855 son of Israel and Lucinda, and one born about 1884, son of
Israel and Lucinda's Ira. Some have the Ira born about 1855 as Hazel's
father, others have the Ira born about 1884 as her father.
To clear things up, it is the Ira born about 1884 that is Hazel Masten
Brancheck's father. A 1920 census shows an Ira Masten and
Maude Glodfelty Masten with
3 children and Maude's widowed father Martin living in the
home. Hazel's parents names were Ira and
Maude, but it cannot be the Ira born about 1855 as the census
shows Maude as 27 and Ira as 36 (born about 1883) . Clearly this is
NOT Israel's son Ira.
So either there is a second Ira that is "missing" as I have
been unable to find anything out about him so far in regards
to who he married,
died, or names of his children. Or it is possible that the Ira
born about 1855 died in infancy and that Israel had a second
son named Ira with his second wife. I am not sure the Ira
born about 1855 existed at all. I have not found him on any census. It
is my belief that Israel's had only one Ira, Hazel's father, but he was
born about 1884, the son of Israel and Sarah.
was born about 1692
in Cardigan, Wales. During
this period in
Wales surnames were not commonly used. People were referred to
as so-and-so (their name) son of so-and-so (their father's name). Taking
the son's name
and adding the
father's name onto it formed the given name and the surname.
Depending on the
father's name either
"ap" or "ab" was used ("ab" and
"ap" simply meaning "son of"), and a possessive "s" was added to the
end of his name. If the father's name started with a vowel, "ab" was
used. If the
father's name started with a consonant, "ap" was used.
Based on this
information, it can be assumed that Evan's father's name was probably
literally Evan son of Stephen.
his wife, Elizabeth, were married about 1714
in Wales. Elizabeth was born about 1694
in Wales. Evan and
Elizabeth had a son, John, born about 1714
in Wales, and then
shortly after they emigrated to
New Britain, Bucks
County, Pennsylvania. Here they settled and had four more children
between 1716 and 1726. It is not known when Evan or Elizabeth died, but
John (and his son, also named John) were named heirs in Evan's will
which was dated September 28, 1760. So Evan must have died in 1760 as
wills were generally written on one's death bed during this time.
Stephens married Sarah Dungan about 1738 in Bucks County,
Pennsylvania. Sarah was born about 1718 in Bucks County. Between 1740
and 1756 they had a total of 9 children.
(and his son John) mentioned as heirs in Evan ap Stephens
15, 1773 John
sold 100 acres of
land, inherited from Evan's will in New Britain Township, to his son
Isaiah which is recorded in Bucks County Sheriffs
all of his land and relocated to Washington Township in what
was then Westmoreland County.
Revolutionary War under command of Captain Moore in Westmoreland
County, Pennsylvania with his sons John, Levi, and Seth.
their children, were very prominent and successful. They owned large
amounts of land and most of them are buried in the family cemetery.
left Bucks County, Pennsylvania and settled in Washington
Township in Westmoreland County in 1779. In
1782 he served in
the Revolutionary War under command of Captain Moore in Westmoreland
County, Pennsylvania. A 1790 Census for Fayette County, Pennsylvania
listed 1 son and 3 daughters. He is believed to have moved
to Kentucky about 1800. In 1806 he
was bequeathed his father's clothes in his will Last
Will and Testament.
joined his family
in Westmoreland County in 1781. In 1782 he served in the
Revolutionary War under
command of Captain Moore in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He is
listed in Uninhabited Lands in the Pennsylvania Archives as owning 300
acres in Washington County. Possibly joined his brother, John, in
moving to Kentucky.
Isaiah, owned a great deal of land. On June 15, 1773 he purchased 100
acres from his father, John Stephens, in New Britain, Bucks County
(Bucks Sheriffs Deeds 1749-1776 #162). Also in 1793 he purchased land
from Christian Wireman of Bucks County situated on Ten Mile Creek. And
he owned land near Uniontown in Fayette County as well.
owned land bordering on the land of his brother, Levi, called Stephens
daughters Rachel and Rebeccah married into the Craig family. Rebeccah
remained in Bucks County,
Pennsylvania when her family moved to Washington
Township in Westmoreland County. The Craigs were important in
Bucks County history which
is documented in
the book The Craig family of Pennsylvania, 1708-1895, self
published in 1921 by William Montgomery Clemens.
daughter Mary married William Hogg, who was a
deserter at Charleston, South Carolina, and sought a future in
great unknown west, namely Brownsville, Pennsylvania. He became very
prominent and acquired a large fortune. He organized the Monongehela
Bank in Brownsville. Henry Clay & Bishop Chase negotiated with
him for 8,000 acres of land he owned to build Kenyon College
at Gambier, Ohio.
son, Levi, is our direct ancestor. Levi
was born July 14,
eighteen years of age he became a land surveyor to
what is now Fayette
County, taking land in pay for his services. As a result,
he became the owner of a
rather large estate. In 1767 Levi was employed by Charles Lukens as a
Deputy Surveyor, and surveyed land in Newberry Township, York County,
and Fayette County. He helped survey the Mason Dixon Line about 1770.
In 1782 he served in the Revolutionary War under command of Captain
Moore in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Brown, son of Nathaniel and Sarah Brown, of
Chester County, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth was born March 27, 1757. They
were married on December 4, 1775 in Washington Township, Fayette
County, Pennsylvania. They had 9 children between the years of 1782 and
1800, two of which died in infancy. Their third child is Sarah
Stephens who married Levi Masten (see Maston section above).
and Levi are Hazel Masten Brancheck's great grandparents.
Information and Links
site is a
work in progress. New information and surnames will be added as
discovery is made. Not all
of the research here is complete. There
are still many
pieces of the
puzzle that are missing, and research is done almost daily to fill in
the gaps. Genealogy
takes a great deal of time and hard work. It may take years to fill in
the gaps and uncover new information pertinent to the ancestry of the
If you have a
connection to any of the families here, or have any
that you would like to share, please feel free to let me know. If you
think I might have information that may help you I will be more than
happy to share. It's always nice to find a missing piece of the puzzle
and meet a distant relative at the same time.
you have a genealogy website related to any
of the surnames here send me your URL and I will
be happy to link your