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Weston Wagons West - Ep. U0 -Family Saga - Historical Fiction - Introduction

Updated on May 19, 2014
DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

The Wagon of the Western Movement in America

Conestoga wagon, circa 1784, Pennsylvania
Conestoga wagon, circa 1784, Pennsylvania | Source

Introduction to Weston Wagons West stories

This Hub is the initial introduction and overview of what will become an extended series of family saga historical fiction (totally interconnected) stories. The stories all occur in times and locations where the author actually had living ancestors/relatives who will appear as supporting characters in each story. The stories will each offer insights into the lives of actual historical figures using fictional story-telling techniques to share those stories.

Three brothers of the Weston family, not the oldest son, of course, who stood to inherit the family estate in England, individually come to America in their early to middle twenties to find their place in the new world. Each is a skilled horseman and trained as a farrier. Each has also worked in the family wagon manufacture business before he sailed. Two brood mares and their farrier tool set are their primary assets as each arrives in America to take their place in this new society

Born in 1608, William Weston is first to arrive, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1630, at age 22.

James Weston, born in 1616, is second to arrive, landing in Maryland, in 1640, at age 24.

Thomas Weston, born in 1624, arrived third, in the Virginia colony, at age 26, in 1650.

Each survives, eventually marries, and has one or more male heirs to carry on the family name, along with other children. Most of our stories come from these future generations as they interact with the Brightwells, the Kinnicks, the Prestons, and many other of the authors actual ancestors and relatives as the Westons move west.

Young Morgan Horse Type

A young Morgan showing typical breed type A Brown Silver Morgan horse. A genetically brown horse that shows the silver phenotype with the mane and tail diluted from black to white and the lower legs diluted from black to dark grayish.
A young Morgan showing typical breed type A Brown Silver Morgan horse. A genetically brown horse that shows the silver phenotype with the mane and tail diluted from black to white and the lower legs diluted from black to dark grayish. | Source

Origins and Uses of the Morgan Horse

As our stories are told in the nineteenth century, one thing they have in common is a growing interest in the Morgan horse. Morgan horses trace back to a stallion named Figure owned by a man named Justin Morgan. Figure was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts in 1789. Justin Morgan received the horse (my source for this story is Wikipedia, by the way) in 1792 as a debt payment. He then used Figure as a breeding stallion. Three of his direct offspring are recognized as the foundation blookstock for what became known as the Morgan breed.

Morgan horses, over subsequent years, have been very popular for harness racing and for pulling coaches. They are used as stock horses and general riding. Miners in the California Gold Rush used the breed and they were very popular as cavalry mounts during the American Civil War was well as for both general riding and as harness horses. My Great-Grandfather James P. Preston raised and bred Morgan Horses on his ranch near Deer Lodge, Montana, following his years in the California, Idaho, and Montana Gold Fields.

I'll try to avoid getting too detailed into the Morgan Horse breed details except to point out that over the years four main bloodlines groups developed within the breed. These four groups are known as: Brunk, Government, Lippitt, and Western Working "families." The American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) is the largest association for the breed.

A Morgan Horse Book Series

Salute to the Morgan Horse

A Morgan horse with rider in colonial attire at the Kentucky Horse Park. Costuming intended to resemble Justin Morgan and Figure.
A Morgan horse with rider in colonial attire at the Kentucky Horse Park. Costuming intended to resemble Justin Morgan and Figure. | Source

William Weston descendants stories

My Preston ancestors arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony about the same time as William Weston. They, and he, were much involved in the development of the colony, as well as the State of New Hampshire in later years, where William also went. One ancestor related to the Preston line was a governor of the Colony as well as a founder of Salem. One direct ancestor was a distinguished soldier in the Revolutionary War. My Great-Great Grandfather, William Preston was born in New Hampshire but migrated to northwest Ohio around the time of the War of 1812. He became the first sheriff of Defiance County, Ohio, in 1826. You can be assured that a descendant of William Weston will be there, as well, to share some of those stories.

James Weston descendants stories

We will find James Weston, and his son, Keith, supplying horses to my direct ancestor, Captain Richard Brightwell during the latter third of the seventeenth century. Richard arrived in America as an indentured servant in 1666 but quickly earned his place in the essential Horse Rangers patrolling the Maryland frontier relative to American Indian activity in the area. He interacted with George Washington's grandfather, John, in the course of this activity as recorded in Maryland Archive records. Keith's son, Delton Weston, lived near where Richard lived and died far too young. Richard left a large estate to a very young family. By the time his young sons were of age, the estate was largely dissipated by the local Sheriff and other guardians he assigned in his will. Delton will share some of these stories with us. Delton's son, Theo, was a contemporary of Sergeant Major William Kinnick from the Revolutionary War period, my fifth great-grandfather.

Thomas Weston descendant stories

Thomas Weston first settled in Virginia, but his descendants, moving westward, found their way to Illinois, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. For example, Thomas had a great-grandson, Fred, born in 1745, who had three sons. Charles settled in Duncan Township, Mercer County, Illinois, named for my ancestor, Duncan, who first settled the area. Truman settled in northwest Ohio where the Preston line lived at the middle of the nineteenth century. Jacob formed a Freight Line in Central Missouri doing the Civil War. Ferrell, a son of Charles, was instrumental in my great-grandfather's trip to the California Gold Field from his base in Peoria, Illinois. He also ran freight to Princeton, where he interacted with my Kinnick relatives.

What do you think?

With this brief preview, which brother's stories pique the most interest to you?

See results

History of Weston Wagons West development

The concept for the Weston Wagons West series of family saga historical fiction stories which demonstrate interactions with actual historical figures and ancestors of the author has been under development for nearly 20 years. The HubPages platform appears to be the platform for which the Weston Wagons West stories have been waiting. Recently, the author, writing as "Homeplace Series," published six Hubs (to date) related to his "The Homeplace Saga" family saga series of historical fiction set in the Southern Missouri Ozarks. This series of articles adequately demonstrated the feasibility of using HubPages for the Weston Wagons West series of stories.

The Latest "The Homeplace Saga" Novel

Historical Fiction

Are you a fan of historical fiction family saga stories?

See results

Thank you for your continued support of this series

Hub readers are a faithful group and I want to thank you in advance for reading this series of stories. I will do my best to make them interesting, to make them plausible, and to make them as historically accurate as I am capable of doing. I look forward to receiving your feedback and meaningful comments on each story. I am using my real name on these stories and will reply to each comment, as I've noticed is common among the more prolific writers on this platform. As a retired university professor, I do have the time for this level of interaction and pledge that I will do so as long as I feel the comments are well intentioned - which I assume will be indefinitely. Thank you, again, for your support! ;-)

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    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 21 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Ann. I really enjoy looking at family relationships.

      I look forward to your additional comments. ;-)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      You have an interesting basis for an historical saga, seeing as it's using your ancestors. I am really keen on family history and have delved into my own with much help from my sister. It's interesting that yours starts in Britain.

      Thank you for the follow. I'm looking forward to reading more of your series.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much, Pamela! Yes, my love of family, and family history research, is behind all of my many (now) manifestations of "The Homeplace Saga" stories... now including Weston Wagons West! What fun!

      I'm very happy you enjoy them. I hope you find the time to read them all! ;-)

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      'Weston Wagons West Series found its home on Hubpages.' That's a great statement you made -- full of energy and determination -- when you started sharing your finely-crafted stories here. I enjoyed this first one very much. And thank you for introducing us to the Morgan horse.

      My g-g-g-g-g- grandfather Hezekiah (Hesekiah) Ingraham (1753-1826) came to mind as I read your first seven paragraphs. That's the way it works, isn't it? When we love to do our genealogy, our hearts are easily turned to our forefathers. Hezekiah settled and married in Saybrook, Connecticut. He was a participant in Tecumseh's War of 1811.

      Voting up and across and sharing.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Love working together! Thank you for stopping by. Hope you will again, one day! ;-)

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 3 years ago from Northeast United States

      I liked how your are mixing fact with fiction :) Interesting start. Thank you for sharing the history with follow hubbers. Just a little note....In light of your honest feedback to my Ginger Spice story...I have edited it again and feel the first paragraph flows much better and is a little less raw. I would appreciate if you could read it again and give me your feedback to see if this is an improvement :) Thanks a whole bunches.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Dad was raised on a 320 acre (half a section) farm just outside Coggon, Ia. At that time, it supported his grandparents, his parents, his three older siblings, and several farm hands. All work was done with horses, mules, and men. It also took three women to feed the men three times a day, and do all the other household chores. Life was hard on early farms.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great! I'm an Iowa farm boy, myself, for the first eighteen years, when Dad sent me off to college! Look forward to sharing more of your stories and mine!! ;-)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      My father spoke fondly of the Morgans they used on the family farm in Iowa, all those years ago.

      I look forward to reading the rest of the saga.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the series. Your comments on each are greatly appreciated! ;-)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi Bill, this sounds like a fascinating series, I have a lot to catch up on! I look forward to reading more, nell

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Peggy, for stopping by. Hope my hubs are of interest to you. I've really enjoyed the approach I've taken. On my father's side, his grandfather came from Alsace-Lorraine, now a part of France, but Germany speaking, on border of Germany and Switzerland. His grandmother, was born in Sweden... some close commonalities there! ;-) Looking forward to your comments on some of the other hubs... ;-)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      When I saw your comment on my hub and came over here to return the courtesy and discovered that this was a continuing series, I searched for the first one and apparently found it. It sounds as though you have a very interesting family history! Will be fun reading it. My family forebears originally came from Germany and Norway.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      So very happy to have you as reader, and commenter. Really appreciated in this corner. Comments keep my writing! Thanks for stopping by! ;-)

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 3 years ago from Arizona

      Voted up interesting! I can't wait to read the rest of your articles. You have original topics. Thank you!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for this fine comment. I have such a wide variety of ancestors it is a pleasure to share while examining the social context in which they lived. My Smith ancestor came from Alcase-Lorraine just before the civil war and was a farrier... in the Civil War! ;-)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      A wonderful read and introduction to your series. I enjoyed reading this. My paternal ancestors came from Germany to America during the 1770's and the Revolutionary War. No, they were not part of the Hessians, but my great+grandfather was a Lutheran minister so he was into religion and peace. He did not take sides during the war, according to my father, but thrived and flourished in this new country. These ancestors all lived in Pennsylvania. I don't know much more than this about them, but I find family genealogy so interesting. Your series is so interesting too.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for comment, W1totalk. I appreciate your thoughts, very much. ;-)

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 3 years ago

      I enjoy how this introduction flows, overlaps and excites. Very solid hub.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks. I'm enjoying the approach, so far. Have wanted to do this for years... planned off and on... finally took the plunge! I appreciate your kind remarks. ;-)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I started with your last hub but now I'm here at the first. Looking forward to reading your series. it is always interesting to get to know a family (fact or fiction).

      Voted up and interesting.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I'll look forward to reading about it... ;-)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      I am enjoying hearing about your family history. I'm afraid I tend to wax long about mine with many details, but I spare you and remove it before posting. (Saving it for my book! haha)

      I was about 10 when I watched the rural electric cooperative bringing electric lines across the miles at the ranch. It was such a thrill!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Just two generations spanning that broad a time period is amazing. Thank you for sharing. I was a first born, so it my grandparents born in 1870-1890. Dad was born in 1915. I do have some of their papers from the period. I'm currently putting Mom's diary from 75 years ago each day on the The KINNICK Project blog. She'll give birth to me by mid-year... so it is much fun... they are hoping to get electricity at the Iowa farm houses... before I arrive! ;-)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Yes, it is fascinating! My family's histories are well chronicled and I'm continuing the research. You may or may not know that I'm to be 82 in about 3 weeks, and was the youngest child of older parents, who were born in 1890 and 1892. Their families then were so different and they, themselves were practically pioneers in far Southwest Texas in the early 1920s. The stories are abundant!

      I'll read with relish your stories! Thank you for sharing them!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Nellieanna. Tracing family history, and understanding the social context of our ancestors, is totally fascinating, to me, as well. I enjoy writing stories based on my research, as well. ;-)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Dr. Bill, I love this, in all its parts. I love tracing my own family, whose history is pretty well documented; but, even so, I'm finding so much more to add now, in combining the histories of both my parents as I probe into them.

      Their ancestors spanned a lot of times

      and places, both in Europe and in America. The Western motif appeals to me, because it is my own personal heritage. I'll be reading more of yours! Thank you for sharing it!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Graham. I hope you enjoy reading my stories. ;-)

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. A great introduction to your saga. I look forward to following the series. Well done.

      voted up and following.

      Graham.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I appreciate your visit, cynetbrown... but, it does not appear. Sorry!??

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 3 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      I checked out your blog and left a comment.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I'll want to check out your "The Locket Saga" - thanks for mentioning it, and thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts, as a neighbor, are especially appreciated. Hope you will look at my "The Homeplace Saga" set in the southern Missouri Ozarks. Blog: http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      billybuc,

      Thank you for your thoughts. I wrote six hubs under the Homeplace Series name, before I realized I really wanted to use my own name. Those are hubs related to my "The Homeplace Saga" series, where I have published four novels. I've been wanting to do this series, on the "Westons" - and decided hubs would be a good place. I do feel good about them, so far! ;-)

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 3 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      Although my fiction is not here on hubpages, I also write a family saga which I call "The Locket Saga". I'm currently getting ready to write the second draft on the third book in the series A Coward's Solace based in the Valley Forge area during the Revolutionary War. Good luck to you in your writings here on hubpages. I look forward to your installments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I do love historical fiction, and we once owned a Morgan when we lived in Vermont, so I'm going to enjoy this series. I wish you well here; fiction is a tough gig on HubPages with regards to gathering large numbers of views; still, some writers manage to do quite well at it, so I look forward to your efforts. What I see so far tells me you have done your homework at HP and you need very little help with this platform. For a first Hub this is very, very good.