Source:Wilson, Howard McKnight. Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom

Source The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom
a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952
Author Wilson, Howard McKnight
Place Augusta, Virginia, United States
Tinkling Spring, Augusta, Virginia, United States
Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Augusta, Virginia, United States
Fishersville, Augusta, Virginia, United States
Year range 1732 - 1952
Subject Church records
Religion Presbyterian
Publication information
Type Miscellaneous
Publisher Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches
Date issued 1954
Place issued Fishersville, Virginia
Wilson, Howard McKnight. The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom: a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952. (Fishersville, Virginia: Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, 1954).
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Bibliographic Citation

Wilson, Howard McKnight, 1954. The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom: a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952. Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, Fishersville, Virginia

Inline Citation

Source:Wilson, 1954


Commentary on Source:Wilson, 1954 and Source:Hatke, 1979

The following note is from Mary Richardson of the Tapestry mailing list. Mary made a quick comparison of the baptisms in this work, and those presented in Source:Hatke, 1979.

I've just finished compared Hatke to The Tinkling Spring - Headwater of Freedom. The Hatke transcription is only 24 images, so I've printed them tonight ... Other than the quoted intro to the records, there is nothing on either the 1st transcribed page or the last that specifies Hatke's source. The Tinkling Spring transcription includes the following insertion after the quoted intro: "The manuscript of the Record of Baptisms, 1740-1749, is in chronological order. The arrangement below is in alphabetical order with the place of baptism given in the footnotes. The congregation referred to was the old Craig parish in which was included both Stone and Tinkling Spring Meeting Houses." Hatke makes no such rearrangement. It goes straight from the quoted intro to a chronological listing of the baptisms. Moreover, each baptism appears to be transcribed in its original form. For example, here is the transcription of one of my ancestors from Hatke:
August 1745.
15. John Maxwell, a child baptized named John.
a child baptized named Margaret.
Now, here is the Tinkling Spring version:
John Maxwell
William 3 July 1743
James 15 Aug. 1745
Thomas 28 Feb. 1748
I didn't look up William and Thomas' baptisms in Hatke. I include them here to highlight the missing Margaret. What disturbs me more...and this is the first time I've looked at Hatke...there's a significant transcription error here: was the Aug. 15th baptism for John or James? Houston's treatise on the MAXWELLs, p. 575, has yet another transcript of the Rev. John Craig's baptisms. It says "copy of the original," but I disagree now that I've seen Hatke. Regardless, Houston agrees with Tinkling Spring, i.e., John's son was James, not John.

I checked another MAXWELL. Per Tinkling Spring, Patrick, son of William, was baptized 10 May 1741 at "the west branch of Conococheague, a stream in Pennsylvania." According to Hatke, there were five baptisms on 10 May 1741, including Patrick. However, Hatke only denotes the other four as being performed "At the East Branch of Cancgochige," i.e. Patrick was baptized in Craig parish. It seems unlikely that Patrick wasn't also baptized with the other four (west or east branch!) since John Craig couldn't have been in two places that far apart at one time. So was Hatke correct, and the Tinkling Spring transcriber made the leap that Patrick must have been baptized with the other four? Or was Hatke wrong? Houston weighs in with more confusion, noting a John, son of William, who was baptized at West Branch Conegochegan on 10 May 1741 -- neither Hatke nor Tinkling Spring report this John.

Obviously, all these transcriptions raise questions. Regardless, I conclude that Hatke transcribed the original, if for no other reason than it's the only one that reads like an original. Tinkling Spring's alphabetical presentation is handy, but it seems to take too many licenses. Houston has been suspect for some time -- it appears to be the case here, too. Has anyone ever checked to see if it's still possible to view the original? If it's still at the church in Fishersville (or nearby, say Augusta Co.), I could check it the next time I go through there.

Some additional observations by Mary (wih minor wordsmithery for continuity and format):

  • Wilson standardizes the spelling of baptism locations. For instance, Hatke's
"Cancgochige" (or Canegochige?) is "Conococheague, a stream in Pennsylvania" in Wilson (footnote 8 -- see attached).
"Shannando" in Hatke is "Shenandoah" in Wilson (footnotes 7 and 29).
"Chemutlevell" in Hatke is "Chestnut Levell in Pennsylvania" in McKnight (footnote 28).

  • By revealing the Rev. Craig's travels, the Hatke transcriptions clarify and/or confirm people's locations. For us MAXWELLs, McKnight lists a Patrick MAXWELL, son of William, as being baptized on the Conococheague on 10 May 1741. (See attached.) Hatke, too, lists this baptism (p. 3) but fails to denote it as a Cancgochige baptism with the other four baptisms that day, the implication being that Patrick was baptized at Tinkling String. It is most improbable that Rev. Craig performed 4 baptisms in PA on the same day that he performed one in VA. A review of Rev. Craig's baptisms in May and June 1741 confirms that he travelled through the valley north to around Winchester and then to near Greencastle, PA. Then, he went east to Chestnut Level, which is just east of the Susquehanna River above the MD line. After that, he basically retraced his steps, arriving home by early July.
  • Confirming that Wm MAXWELL and son Patrick were in PA rather than VA is a big help to us MAXWELL researchers. We've never found evidence of Patrick in VA, but we weren't confident that the Wilson transcription was accurate.
  • Hatke also has transcription errors. This was confirmed by the above analysis where I was able to demonstrate that Hatke undoubtedly failed to include a ")" after Patrick's name. I also found my ancestor Sampson ARCHER as "Bamson Archer" -- his name begins with an "S" elsewhere throughout Hatke. Errors are also apparent when comparing Hatke's transcriptions with his (or her?) 13-page alpha index that follows the transcriptions: the MAXWELLs in the transcriptions aren't exactly the same as the MAXWELLs in the index. This explains why the baptisms appear as they do in Maxwell History and Genealogy. (See attached. Maxwell History and Genealogy is our version of White's treatise on the WALKERs -- written around the same time, fraught with errors, and accepted as bible by far too many.)
  • According to, Wilson is being updated. I don't know if this includes changes to Appendix F. Record of Baptisms 1740-1749, but since no one from the church has responded to my inquiry about accessing the original, this gives me a good segue to contact them and see what's up.

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