Saturday, October 05, 2013

Surname Saturday: PECK

There are a number of meanings for the surname, PECK. In English, where it is found mostly in East Anglia, it was an occupational name for someone who dealt in weights and measures, as a peck was an old measure of dry goods equivalent to eight quarts or a quarter of a bushel. The surname could also be an English or Irish variant of the name Peak, or a South German variant of Beck. Similar to the East Anglia occupational name, in North Germany and the Netherlands, it could be an occupational name fo someone who prepared or sold pitch (Pek, Pec, or Pic). Finally, it could also be a Dutch nickname (Pec, Pick) for someone in difficult circumstances or with a gloomy disposition.

Stories and History:

Ahnentafel #66 - Nelson H. PECK (c. 1819 - 1849) - Probably born in New York, although one unreliable source states England as his birthplace. He married Lura Ann JACKSON (1826 - 1894) about 1847, probably in Potter Co., Pennsylvania. There are a number of PECK families that lived in Potter County, but so far, I've been unable to connect my Nelson to them. This is partially because he died young, at the age of about 30, probably in Coudersport, in Potter County. We know he was listed as a carpenter and joiner in 1848 in the Early History of Coudersport; Pioneer Families of Coudersport, as well as being mentioned as a carpenter in a newspaper extract about his death, filed with the Potter County, Pennsylvania Historical Society. There was another man by this name in the same area, quite possibly a relative, who served in the Civil War.

Ahnentafel #33 - Viola Gertrude PECK (1848 - 1918) - Born in Coudersport, Potter Co., Pennsylvania, she was the only known child of her parents. After her father's death when she was an infant, her mother remarried to a widower, the eccentric Reverend John CRAPSEY, Jr. She was raised with her step-brother, Angelo M. CRAPSEY, as well as four younger half-siblings. The family removed to nearby Liberty Township, McKean Co., Pennsylvania. Shortly after the Civil War, Viola married her neighbor, Charles H. ROBBINS (1844 - 1934), who was a fellow soldier and best friend of her step-brother, Angelo. Viola and Charles were married by her step-father in 1864, probably in her parents' home in Liberty Township. The Robbinses moved to Hesperia, Oceana Co., Michigan with Charles' parents and siblings the following year. Their second child was born in Minnesota in 1867, probably on a visit to Viola's parents in Cottonwood County. About 1873, the family moved from Hesperia to Southbrook Township in Cottonwood County and lived there about 10 years. Charles and Viola returned to Hesperia with their children to live out the rest of their years in that community. Viola's obituary stated that when they first moved to Michigan, "their early neighbors were Indians, among whom they won many friends, and as the white people came she was a friend to all and loved by all in return."

Ahnentafel #16: Viola's son Angelo Merrick ROBBINS (1874 - 1923) was a schoolteacher who died young due to a ruptured appendix. You can read his story here .

Ahnentafel #8: Angelo's son, William Bryan ROBBINS (1896 - 1972), served during WWI in North Russia as a Polar Bear. Read more here . I've also written extensively about his experiences in North Russia on this blog.

Ahnentafel #4: My beloved paternal grandfather, Robert Lewis ROBBINS (1920 - 2003), was a WWII veteran, and you can read all about him here . I remember how well he could ride a unicycle!

Ahnentafel #2: My dad, living.

Ahnentafel #1: Myself.

More About the PECK Family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): PECK ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)

2. Some PECK obituaries [on website]

3. Posts about PECK ancestors and relatives on this blog

My PECK Immigration Trail:

NY > Potter Co., PA > McKean Co., PA > Oceana Co., MI > Cottonwood Co., MN > Oceana Co., MI > Newaygo Co., MI > Muskegon Co., MI > Ottawa Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

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