Powell-Ranney Family

The Family History of Edes Lawrence Powell


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Welcome to the family history of Edes Lawrence Powell.

For the first five generations, Edes’ paternal ancestors include families who lived in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Her Powell ancestors were early settlers of Queen Anne’s county, Maryland, and remained in that state for generations before moving into neighboring Delaware and then further west. For the most part Edes’ paternal ancestors were members of the established protestant church of their town, but the Cleave family, ancestors of Sarah Cleave, the wife of George Powell III, were Maryland Quakers in the late 1600s.

The ancestors of her paternal grandmother, Mary Gertrude Wilson, have proven to be more elusive in the further generations. Many of them are first discovered in Philadelphia and neighboring communities in Pennsylvania about 1800. While her Wilson ancestors may have immigrated from Ireland, most of these family lines probably have German origins. Unfortunately, with one exception, those trails grow cold in the records available in Pennsylvania at the time. That exception was Elizabeth Lawrence who married the German immigrant George Bickham in Philadelphia in 1813. Her Lawrence ancestors can be traced back to Hans Lorentz who lived in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, in the 1600s.

Edes’ maternal ancestors present an entirely different picture. Helen (Ranney) Powell’s paternal grandfather, Henry Collings Ranney, came with his parents from Exeter, Devon, England, to Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, in 1849. The rest of Helen’s ancestors, however, can trace their lineages back to colonial New England, including one ancestor who was a passenger on the Mayflower. Her Butler ancestors descend from early Connecticut families, while the Bradshaw/Edes and Fisher families are primarily from Massachusetts.

Helen’s grandmother, Helen Marina Smith, had paternal ancestors (the Smiths and Tatmans) who hailed from Virginia, while her maternal lines (the Fisher and Smith families—different Smiths) can also be traced back to colonial Massachusetts, with some lines well documented in England back to Medieval times.

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