Bickford Family Heritage

Information Please

I'm always looking to increase the reporting accuracy, photo album and/or "family lore" of this database. If you have additional information, photos, or stories to share please email me at


On these pages I'd like to share interesting and medical stories about the individuals which make up our family tree. If you have an amusing, interesting or medical story about our family members please share them with me. 

The Armstrong Clan is generally of Scottish Decent. Debbie's Armstrong linage  has been difficult to trace. Debbie's grandmother Florence did not disclose a great deal before her death and her uncle George, who has been attempting to trace the linage for some time, had not made much headway before his death this year. Undaunted, Debbie has made great progress in this family line this year, establishing the family line to colonial times.

Ancestry Report for Merle Dewitt Armstrong

  • Merle Dewitt Armstrong was a longshoreman working the San Pedro Docks until his death. He had served in WWII. Flying first in the Canadian Air Corps and then flew P38s and B24s in the US Army Air Corps. He was stationed in the southern Philippines. Upon his return to the U.S., he was stationed near Sacramento as a flight instructor.

  • Elsberry Armstrong - The religious history of Arrington is, in the main, the same as in other portions of the county. Elsberry Armstrong was probably the first one to preach to the scattered inhabitants of this section. He delivered his discourses in the Walton Creek Schoolhouse, which was used for religious purposes for several years. He was of the Regular Baptist denomination, as were also William Watkins, old man French, who taught school also, and Robinson Eskridge, all of whom were early preachers in this township. Elsberry served as a Sergeant under William Henry Harrison during the Battle of Tippecanoe. The battle was fought in 1811 between United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and forces of Tecumseh's growing American Indian confederation. The battle took place outside Prophetstown, near present-day Battle Ground, Indiana, and was part of what is sometimes known as Tecumseh's War, which continued into the War of 1812. Although Harrison's side suffered greater casualties despite its far superior numbers, the battle was an important political and symbolic victory for the American forces.

  • John Armstrong - John Armstrong, was descended from Irish parents and born in N. C.. His parents died when he was young, and at the age of fourteen he went to sea, where he made his home until he grew to manhood. During his sailor days he was shipwrecked three times. He quit seafaring and married Molly Swayne. Her parents emigrated at an early period from Scotland, and settled in Nantucket Island. After his marriage Mr. Armstrong returned to N. C., subsequently moved to KY., and in 1809 with his family, came to Gibson County. He afterwards moved to the north part of Vanderburg Co., where he lived until his death. He had seven children, four sons and three daughters. One of his sons, Miles Armstrong, was a noted hunter and killed a great number of bear and deer. He served as a private soldier at the battle of Tippecanoe; he was after the war made Captain of the Militia. Elsberry, another brother, was also in the Tippecanoe battle. By the marriage of Nancy, the Waters and Armstrong families were united.

  • Philomon Armstrong - The Town of Easton, Maryland, seems to have received its official beginning from an Act of the Assembly of the Province of Maryland dated November 4, 1710. The Act was entitled, "An Act for the Building of a Court House for Talbot County, at Armstrong's Old Field near Pitt's Bridge". Prior to this date, the Court had met at York, a small settlement located on Skipton Creek. The Court decided that this location was not convenient to all sections of the County and, in order to change the location, the above Act of the Assembly was passed. As a result of this Act, two acres of land were purchased from Philemon Armstrong, at a cost of 5,000 pounds of tobacco, the currency of the times. The tract was of the original lands of Philemon's father, Francis Armstrong, and a part of Francis' 1667 London-Derry Grant from Lord Baltimore. Upon this tract, the same plot upon which the present Talbot County Court House now stands, the Court House, a brick building 20 x 30 feet, was erected at a cost of 115,000 pounds of tobacco. The Courts of the County were held in this building from 1712 until 1794. A Tavern to accommodate those who attended Court was one of the first buildings erected; stores and dwellings followed. The village was then known as Talbot Court House. These were not the first buildings in the area. The frame meeting house of the Society of Friends was built between 1682 and 1684, again on land sold by Philemon. Undoubtedly some homes were built nearby. Pitt's Bridge crossed a stream forming the headwaters of the Tred Avon or Third Haven River. It was located at a point where North Washington Street crosses this stream, now enclosed in culverts, north of the Talbottown Shopping Center, and passes under the Electric Plant property. Background.htm

  • John Swain - During the summer of 1659, John Swain, his father, Richard, Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Thomas Barnard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf and William Pike joined together to purchase the Island of Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew. Mayhew's price - "30 pounds and 2 Beaver hats....1 for myself and 1 for my wife." (Source: Nantucket Island History - Nantucket Chamber of Commerce). Thomas Mayhew kept a small portion of the island for himself. The Wampanoag Indian tribe was friendly to the settlers and helped them get through the first years of trying to establish a settlement. Not all of the original purchasers of the Island made their home there. John Swain, his father, Richard, and their families moved to Nantucket about 1661. It would be many years before there were sufficient numbers to form a community. In 1700, only 300 whites and 800 Indians occupied Nantucket Island. At one time there had been about 3,000 Wampanoag on the Island. Over the years the Indians had contracted some of the diseases introduced by the whites when they first began to inhabit Nantucket.

  • There are many new family member entries in this line. Debbie has been working overtime and has made a lot of headway.