Easterly Family History
By Philip Easterly (1815-1897)
Son of Casper (1783-1862)
Son of George (1749-1828)
"About the year 1742 3 brothers, JACOB, GEORGE, AND CONRAD EASTERLY emigrated from Germany to the British Colonies, afterward the United States of America."
JACOB went to New York State. GEORGE died single.
CONRAD EASTERLY married and settled in Shenandoah or Rockingham County, Old Virginia, and had three children-2 daughters (one married NEASE and the other RINEHART) and one son-George Easterly. Conrad died about 1750. His widow married MICHAEL BRANNER .
The above named GEORGE EASTERLY was born May 4, 1749.
He married MARY HERPIN whose age is not known, and had eleven children-7 boys and 4 girls. He emigrated with all their family in the year 1796 in the month of October to Greene County, Tennessee on the south side of Nolachucky River, some eighteen miles southwest of Greeneville, and there entered a large tract of land, some 5 or 6 hundred acres , which was afterwards divided between his sons.
The above George Easterly's wife died sometime after A.D.1800 (not known when.) He married a second time to a widow by the name of Neace, but had no children. He died July 9, 1828. The widow lived some years afterwards."
Easterly Family History
By Isaac Easterly (1800-1869)
Son of Jacob (1777-1851)
Son of George (1749-1828)
"The name of the Easterly family is traced to Germany . . . Three brothers of that name came to America, Conrad, Philip John, and George, and settled in the State of Pennsylvania. One of these brothers died without descent. From the other two descended numerous posterity.
Conrad, who was our Great Grandfather, marryed a lady by the name of - Circle - a German lady - in the State of Pennsylvania. They had two children, son and daughter. Magdalena, and John George - who was our Grand Father - Magdalena marryed a gentleman by the name of Adam Rineheart - from whom descended numerous posterity.
George, our Grandfather, marryed a lady by the name of Mary Harpine - a descendant of Germany - and settled in Virginia. Our Grand Mothers ancestors lived in France and fled from France and came to America in time of the persecution in France - Our ancestors, were of the pilgrims, who all fled, from the Old World in time of persecution. By the Papist - Our forefathers were by profession Lutherans.
Our Grandfather George - had seven sons and four daughters - whose names were, Conrad, Jacob (our father) Philip, George, Casper, John -and Moses - Daughters, Catharine, Margaret, Polly, - and Magdalena from whom descended a very numerous line of sons and daughters.
Our Grandfather removed from Virginia, and settled on Nola Chuckkey River, in East Tennessee where his children married and Settled . . . "
These are two versions of the same story told by two Grandsons of George Easterly, Sr. One living in Illinois and the other living in Louisiana, one was a doctor the other a Methodist minister. Rev. Isaac's version was written in 1855 and Dr. Philip's version was last revised in 1878.
Though the names differ both agree on the three brothers from Germany story . They agree that George married Mary Harpine and that the family moved from Virginia to East Tennessee. The two writers also agree upon the list of descendants for George. They both agree that one of Conrad's brothers died without descendants. They disagree on the number of children born to Conrad Easterly. Only Rev. Isaac mentions Conrad's wife's name. Only Dr. Philip writes that Conrad's widow remarried. Only Dr. Philip writes of George remarrying.
A third source of Easterly lore comes from the Branner Genealogy published in 1913. J. C. Branner writes:
"The father of George Easterly, Jr. was George Easterly, who is said to have gone to Greene county, Tennessee, about 1812. Deed Book N, page 358, Woodstock, Virginia shows that he was already in Greene county, Tennessee, September 15, 1803. Rader's church record says his wife was Ann Maria Neas. He seems to have been married a second time to Mary Harpine, a daughter of Philip Harpine of Shenandoah county, Virginia."
Another published source containing early Easterly genealogical declarations is the volume written by J.W. Harpine issued in 1952. Harpine makes several unsupported claims regarding George Easterly, Sr.
"He [George Easterly, Jr.] was the son of George Easterly, Sr. and Ann Maria Nease. The Easterly's came from Germany. "30,000 names of Immigrants" by Rupp V. C. 311 German, Swiss, Dutch and French Immigrants of Pennsylvania, 1727-1775, Page 118, Hans Michael Easterly, September 9, 1738, Palatines Import in the Snow Two Sisters, James Marshall commander, from Rotterdam, last from Crews, England. Likely Hans Michael Easterly mentioned above was the grandfather of George Easterly, Jr. and father of George Easterly, Sr. They first settled in Pennsylvania and then they migrated to the Shenandoah Valley near Forestville, Virginia. Later on to Greene county, Tennessee. They moved to Tennessee prior to 1796 or about that time. It is said that George Easterly, Sr. fought in the War of American Independence in 1776."
Reflections by E. M. Easterly Revised March 2001
Every piece of evidence, even when it is wrong makes me try to figure out how or why a statement is make. Example, J. W. Harpine author of Philip and Catherine and Their Descendants and a major source of the Easterly genealogy obviously had access to the Branner genealogy published in 1913 which stated George Easterly Sr. married Anna Marie Neas. The Dr. Philip history may have been Branner's source, but I rather doubt it since Philip only provides the surname Nease. We know Branner accessed the Rader [RÃƒÂ¶der/Roeder] Lutheran Church of Timberville, Virginia records and that he claimed: "Rader's church record says his [George's] wife was Ann Maria Neas." Branner provides no documentation to support this claim. Indeed, a review of the Rader church record provides only the Christian names for George Easterly's wife. Unfortunately, Branner accepts the declaration of his correspondent, Sallie Mitchell, without directly declaring that she is his source for the name Neas to his readers. Finally, Branner acknowledges the existence of the German language Easterly bible in the possession of Sallie Mitchell. But did he actually see it?
His conclusions would suggest he did not. Unfortunately, Harpine accepted the Branner conclusions and then further complicates the story by suggesting that Hans Michael Easterly is the first North American immigrant ancestor for the Virginia > Tennessee Easterly family.
From a two hundred-year after the fact perspective we know that the family bible supports the Rev. Isaac version of just two children being born to Conrad Easterly, Sr. The circumstantial evidence also supports the notion that George Easterly was raised in a Branner household as Dr. Philip writes. However, Dr. Philip used the wrong name. Casper Branner is the second husband for Christina Zirkle Easterly Branner. Michael Branner was Casper and Christina Branner's second son and George Easterly Sr.'s, half brother.