Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Our Martyred Grandpa

When I was about 12 or 13, I became very interested in genealogy.  I would go to Grandma Powell's house and I recall us sitting on the porch in the swing talking about my ancestors.  She did not know much about the Powells or Coopers.  I don't think she had much respect for them.  I recall one Cooper (Betty's brother and maybe it was Ben) Grandma said they just traveled around in a wagon and when they came they just stayed and stayed and I got the idea they were a little lazy or at least they was her opinion of them.  I think today of how I am so like her.  If Uncle Ben and his wife came and stayed with me 6 weeks and I had to cook and wait on them and foot the bill, I would be just like my Grandma.  I believe she and I are a lot alike and I know I look like her mother, Sarah Coxsey Maples.  Well, what Grandma told me I wrote in a notebook.  She told me that her Grandparents Maples came to this country on the Mayflower and the first two Maples in America were William and Mary Maples.  This was all just a made up tale I do believe today, but I wrote it down.She told me that Sarah's mother was Martha Bartles and Sarah's father was Ben Coxsey (Coxey was really the spelling I now think).  When Fleta, Patsy, and I began looking for our families in real history in the 1980's and 1990's.  We could never find a Bartles family that Martha Jane Coxsey could have belonged to.  I forget how we figured out it was really Barksdale, but we did.  I am going to take the credit for solving that mystery as I think someway I found a record and came to that conclusion.  Fleta found a suit in Tennessee that was filed by Martha's mother against her husband's family.

This is what information I have about Martha's mother--When Rebecca Bedwell was born about 1810, in Tennessee, her father, John, was 42 and her mother, Sarah Ogle, was 35. She married Nathan Barksdale on October 31, 1833, in Dayton, Tennessee. They had four children in 11 years. She died in 1880 in Polk County, Tennessee, at the age of 70.  From census records I know that one of her children, Armenia or Melvinia, was retarded.  I know that when Nathan Barksdale died she had an infant son.

Nathan Barksdale was a lot older that Rebecca Bedwell.  He had been married twice before and both wives had died.  His first wife was his cousin, Elizabeth Rogers,  She was the daughter of his mother's brother.  His mother was Lucy Rogers.  Grandmother Lucy's father was Giles Rogers and her mother, Anne Lewis.   Yes, of the famous family of Meriweather Lewis of Lewis and Clark! Maybe Fleta will see how Ann Lewis was related to Meriweather.  I really don't know but it was close.  All these Lewis and Rogers lived near Thomas Jefferson.  They probably dined with him.  Some believe Giles Rogers is the one that descends from John Rogers, the martyr.

Someone in the Rogers family has connected Giles to John Rogers.  John Rogers was a friend of Tyndale and helped him translate the Bible into English.  From Wikipedia--John Rogers, Vicar of St. Sepulchre's, and Reader of St. Paul's, London  The quotation that follows is from Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Chapter 16. It is included here because of its historical significance, being the vehicle by which the story of Rev. John Rogers has been most widely disseminated.

"John Rogers was educated at Cambridge, and was afterward many years chaplain to the merchant adventurers at Antwerp in Brabant. Here he met with the celebrated martyr William Tyndale, and Miles Coverdale, both voluntary exiles from their country for their aversion to popish superstition and idolatry. They were the instruments of his conversion; and he united with them in that translation of the Bible into English, entitled "The Translation of Thomas Matthew." From the Scriptures he knew that unlawful vows may be lawfully broken; hence he married, and removed to Wittenberg in Saxony, for the improvement of learning; and he there learned the Dutch language, and received the charge of a congregation, which he faithfully executed for many years. On King Edward's accession, he left Saxony to promote the work of reformation in England; and, after some time, Nicholas Ridley, then bishop of London, gave him a prebend in St. Paul's Cathedral, and the dean and chapter appointed him reader of the divinity lesson there. Here he continued until Queen Mary's succession to the throne, when the Gospel and true religion were banished, and the Antichrist of Rome, with his superstition and idolatry, introduced.

By Willem van de Passe
The circumstance of Mr. Rogers having preached at Paul's cross, after Queen Mary arrived at the Tower, has been already stated. He confirmed in his sermon the true doctrine taught in King Edward's time, and exhorted the people to beware of the pestilence of popery, idolatry, and superstition. For this he was called to account, but so ably defended himself that, for that time, he was dismissed. The proclamation of the queen, however, to prohibit true preaching, gave his enemies a new handle against him. Hence he was again summoned before the council, and commanded to keep to his house. He did so, though he might have escaped; and though he perceived the state of the true religion to be desperate. He knew he could not want a living in Germany; and he could not forget a wife and ten children, and to seek means to succor them. But all these things were insufficient to induce him to depart, and, when once called to answer in Christ's cause, he stoutly defended it, and hazarded his life for that purpose.

After long imprisonment in his own house, the restless Bonner, bishop of London, caused him to be committed to Newgate, there to be lodged among thieves and murderers.

After Mr. Rogers had been long and straitly imprisoned, and lodged in Newgate among thieves, often examined, and very uncharitably entreated, and at length unjustly and most cruelly condemned by Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, the fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord 1555, being Monday in the morning, he was suddenly warned by the keeper of Newgate's wife, to prepare himself for the fire; who, being then sound asleep, could scarce be awaked. At length being raised and awaked, and bid to make haste, then said he, "If it be so, I need not tie my points." And so was had down, first to bishop Bonner to be degraded: which being done, he craved of Bonner but one petition; and Bonner asked what that should be. Mr. Rogers replied that he might speak a few words with his wife before his burning, but that could not be obtained of him.

When the time came that he should be brought out of Newgate to Smithfield, the place of his execution, Mr. Woodroofe, one of the sheriffs, first came to Mr. Rogers, and asked him if he would revoke his abominable doctrine, and the evil opinion of the Sacrament of the altar. Mr. Rogers answered, "That which I have preached I will seal with my blood." Then Mr. Woodroofe said, "Thou art an heretic." "That shall be known," quoth Mr. Rogers, "at the Day of Judgment." "Well," said Mr. Woodroofe, "I will never pray for thee." "But I will pray for you," said Mr. Rogers; and so was brought the same day, the fourth of February, by the sheriffs, towards Smithfield, saying the Psalm Miserere by the way, all the people wonderfully rejoicing at his constancy; with great praises and thanks to God for the same. And there in the presence of Mr. Rochester, comptroller of the queen's household, Sir Richard Southwell, both the sheriffs, and a great number of people, he was burnt to ashes, washing his hands in the flame as he was burning. A little before his burning, his pardon was brought, if he would have recanted; but he utterly refused it. He was the first martyr of all the blessed company that suffered in Queen Mary's time that gave the first adventure upon the fire. His wife and children, being eleven in number, ten able to go, and one sucking at her breast, met him by the way, as he went towards Smithfield. This sorrowful sight of his own flesh and blood could nothing move him, but that he constantly and cheerfully took his death with wonderful patience, in the defense and quarrel of the Gospel of Christ."

I don't think Jonathan Barksdale's wife is connected absolutely with the Martyr but she is with the Leiws and  Rogers family.  In the George Rogers Clark papers he states that the connection is not proven.

Grandma Powell would be overjoyed to know that she was related to both Meriwether Lewis and George Rogers Clark!  Rebecca Bedwell Barksdale had sued the estate of her husband's father.  So there are legal records showing who she married--Nathan Barksdale, son of  Jonathan Barksdale and Lucy Rogers.  I do not think the rest of these families "claimed" us.  But in my DNA file, I have this link.  If you search for the family tree information, there are errors.  Most have John Rogers' wife and Giles' Rogers wife with the same name.  I entered it into my tree like that but probably one is not correct.  However, often children were named for relatives and they could carry the same name.