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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.

The Weston Brothers were Farriers and Horsemen

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.

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?

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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?

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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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