Big Darby Plain

An extended family group in my tree traveled from Lower Canada/ Northern Vermont region to Union County, Ohio.

Patrick, Tarpenning and Bigelow families were original settlers on the Post Road Green Settlement.  I was able to visit Union County and hear the wind and bird song. I was amazed by the sea like landscape and held great respect for the labor My People poured into the land.

My ggg grandfather David Patrick learned to farm from his father, his grandfather, uncles, cousins and brothers. He likely learned most from his two older brothers, Levi and Ransom. The Patrick brothers worked together in their teens and twenties. They depended on each other because they had lost their father and grandfather.

With three strong young men as workers on a farm, they could bring in more wheat, oats and hay than a farmer on his own. They farmed before machinery was regularly used and cut down wheat and oats with hand scythes or sickles and bundled into sheaves. The grain was flailed and winnowed by hand.

Ransom, Levi and David grew their own animal feed and seedcrops. They grew food to get through the winter. The main crops were wheat, cattle and corn. All labor intensive and subject to the ups and downs of the weather and commodity markets.  Hail could take out your seedlings. Varmints could get get the corn before it made it to the corn crib for winter. The price could plummet and the year could be lost.  Frontier life is sustenance living. Cash money was scarce and little there was would be set aside for paying taxes. David grew up in a barter economy. A bushel of wheat could be traded for butter, a blacksmith repair, a bolt of cloth.

David learned to hunt, fish and trap in the tall prairie grasses and along the wooded banks of the Big Darby River. It was a big moment in a boys life to learn to shoot and taking proper care of a family fire arm. Farm boys learned to fish and trap small game long before they had a opportunity to shoot a rifle.

David grew up not just a farmer, but a citizen farmer responsible for self governance of town and state. In addition to learning how to work a scythe, he learned the Constitution and Bill of Rights. His Scots-Irish family was fiercely protective of their rights and liberties. Not only did you farm the land, you were also expected to defend the land and the Republic.


Moses Patrick b. 14 Feb 1772 Massachusetts; d. 23 Aug 1850 in Ohio. Married 5 Feb 1797 Vermont to Clarissa Geer b. 7 Jul 1773; d. 23 Feb 1850 in Ohio. Children: Harriet 1797-1876 ; Ira 1802-1848; John b. 1804; Levi 1811-1884.

Ira Patrick b. 13 Jun 1802, Dunham, Quebec, Canada; d. 11 July 1848, Union City, Union, Ohio.  Married Laura Tarpenning 15 Feb 1826, Union County, Ohio. Children: Ransom; Levi; Cynthia; David; Joseph.

David Palmer Patrick b. 1836, Union County, Ohio; died 23 Nov 1864 in Enemy Hospital, Camden, Ouchita County, Arkansas. Married Mary Hull 19 Jun 1860 in Benton County, Iowa. Children Mahitable; Ira.

Ira David Patrick father to Girtha Patrick, mother to Sarah Blanchard, mother to Sandra Montgomery, my mom.

Welcome to Gathering My People

“Come gather round my people wherever you roam…”

It’s been on my mind for a while to share my family history and genealogy research with family and other interested folks. The search for my people has been a favorite pastime for years. I enjoy the hunt, verification of family stories, looking at the landscape of America through the eyes of My People–My Folks.

I’ve hitchiked to Sapulpa to find out about a particularly wild Fern, discovered a murdered gggg grandfather Somerville in an unpublished manuscript in small town Kentucky library and finally found my grandmother Helen in a graveyard in Wisconsin. These travels have been physical and emotional journeys for me as well. I lay down flowers, sing songs, listen to the sounds of the places that were left behind.

“This land is your land, this land is my land!”

I was born in Portland, Oregon in 1960. Some of my people started arriving in the early 1600s. We walked this land from coast to coast and it took generations to make the journey. Some folks were left behind, some died on the way but there was always someone able to go just a little bit further.

This blog is intended to share facts and documents, as well as my reflection and commentary about the research.  I want to share what it means to me.  I’ve collected a number of source documents over the years. They are filed and in boxes, a bunch of paper. There are stories to each of  those papers as I gather my people.

David Patrick was my writing focus during the Family History Writing Challenge in February 2017. I’ve been engaged with the Family History Writing Studio workbooks since December 2016.  I use this framework for the creative non fiction writing I have to share about him.