|Solomon Hartley's only known signature, from his 1803 Seaman's Protection Certificate. It looks like it says Salomon. The confident script leads me to think that he knew how to write.|
The origins of my 4th great grandfather, Solomon Joseph Hartley (1775-1815), remain elusive. I will summarize what I know about him.
|My Hartley line: my father's father, George Hartley, Jr, is at bottom left.|
Solomon's grandson James Hartley married Mary Jane Tibbetts, half sister to family historian May (Tibbetts) Jarvis. May Jarvis had this to say about Solomon:
|From my personal copy of "The Hartley Family" by May Jarvis.|
The first record I definitely find for Solomon is his Seaman's Protection Certificate on 3 November 1803, in Southwark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
|Found in Ancestry's database, "U.S., Atlantic Ports Seamen's Protection Certificates, 1792-1869"; originally from The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Proofs of Citizenship Used to Apply for Seamen's Certificates for the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1792-1863. These certificates can also be found for free in the image-only "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Seamen's Proofs of Citizenship, 1791-1861" at FamilySearch.|
Note: Content of actual record of Solomon Hartley (n. 9566 Soloman Hartley, 2 Nov). The certificate is folded, with info on each side:
Commonwealth of Penn.
Personally appeared before me the Subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace forsaid county, James Creed(?), who upon his sollemn Oath Sywreth and Sayeth, that Solloman Hartley to his certain knowledge was born at Pitsborough in the Commonwealth aforesaid, said Solloman is about twenty eight years of age, five feet five inches and three quarters high, brown hair, near unto black, blue eyes and dark complexion, a scarr under his left chinn on the upper part of his neck. A mark or scarr on the upper joynt of the little finger of his right hand-- Said Solloman Hartley acknowledges no government but the government of the state of Penn and generally the Government of the United States of America of whome he claims citizenship--
Sworn and subscribed before me Given under my hand and Seal the 2nd day of Novem. 1803
James Creed(?) (signed)
Salomon Hartley (signed) (might read Solomon)
Wm Robinson(?) (signed)
I would thank the Gentleman at the Custom house to Inform me what he desires to be done, the written is what has on all ocasions been Practized--I believe the Gentleman will find by the Late law of Congress some Person to Vouch on Oath (for the Person to achieve this protection) where the person was born, and the person vouching the only by person to be sworn, and the only Subscriber, nessessary but if the custom house officer acting will Point out the mode, if any other, I will thank him, subscribe Myself.
Wm Robinson (signed) (last name unclear)
One of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Philadelphia according(?) in the District of Southwark
So I guess he didn't have a witness available.
So this is where Solomon was willing to officially claim he was from, Pitsborough (now known as Pittsburgh). This surprised me as I have seen an almost exclusively East to West migration pattern during this time period, but this indicates Solomon was born on the Pennsylvania western frontier, about 1775, and made his way to Philadelphia to be a mariner.
From what I can figure out, the village of Pittsborough grew around Fort Pitt in the 1760's (Fort Pitt was previously Fort Duquesne). Life was hard, as indicated by this Wikipedia excerpt about early Pittsburgh:
The Iroquois signed the Fort Stanwix Treaty of 1768, ceding the lands south of the Ohio to the British. European expansion into the upper Ohio valley increased. An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 families settled in western Pennsylvania between 1768 and 1770. Of these settlers, about a third were English, a third were Scottish-Irish, and the rest were Welsh, German and others. These groups tended to settle together in small farming communities, but often their households were not within hailing distance. The life of a settler family was one of relentless hard work: clearing the forest, stumping the fields, building cabins and barns, planting, weeding, and harvesting. In addition, almost everything had to be manufactured by hand, including furniture, tools, candles, buttons, and needles. Settlers had to deal with harsh winters, and with snakes, black bears, mountain lions, and timber wolves. Because of the fear of raids by Native Americans, the settlers often built their cabins near, or even on top of, springs. They also built blockhouses, where neighbors would rally during conflicts.
Increasing violence with especially the Shawnee, Miami, and Wyandot tribes led to Dunmore's War in 1774, and conflict with Native Americans continued throughout the American Revolution. In 1777, Fort Pitt became a United States fort, when Brigadier General Edward Hand took command. In 1779, Colonel Daniel Brodhead led 600 men from Fort Pitt to destroy Seneca villages along the upper Allegheny.
Was Solomon's family among those who migrated during that time? And this brings up another question for me, what ethnicity was Solomon??
For a long time I just assumed he was English, although one of my Hartley relatives thought he might be Dutch. Hartley is a good English name, right?
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