Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time Out

Sadly folks, I am going to have to take a break.  The last couple of weeks have been spent visiting family in Georgia and Tennessee, along with taking care of family matters, and the next few weeks will be spent doing much of the same as we welcome Mike's sister and her two little children, five and two, into our home.   Hopefully, I will have some time to blog every now and then, and I look forward to getting back to it full time.  Family is important, however, and should come first.   Be back later!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Warren County, Georgia

I'm in Georgia this week, visiting Cousins Bobby Gene and Vivian at their beautiful home in Bonaire.  My mother and Aunt Tootsie are with me, and after dropping them off and saying a quick howdy-do, I made my way over to Wilkes County, specifically the town of Washington.   Wilkes County bills itself as the the mother of upper Georgia since so many other counties came out of the original county of Wilkes.  Because of its historical significance, I was expecting great things genealogically and unfortunately was disappointed.  The town has many beautiful homes and a lovely downtown.  Their library was the first free public library in the state of Georgia and was designed by a noted Atlanta architect.  It has the county's only public genealogical book collection, housed in a gorgeous room, albeit tiny, with stained glass windows and wonderful wood wainscoting and shelving.  I had the entire room to  myself, being the only room there, but unfortunately, for my purposes of research (pre-1800) there was very little of interest.   The genealogical collection is not maintained by the library, but by volunteers as I understand it, and there is no dedicated genealogy librarian (unlike over in the smaller library in Lincoln County).

My experience at the Wilkes County courthouse was mixed.   The folks at the Superior Court  (land records) office couldn't have been nicer, but the clerk of the Probate Court (was downright rude and indifferent.     The next day at the courthouse in Lincoln County, everyone was very helpful, and the records were well-maintained.  At the library in Lincolnton, there was a fairly large area devoted to genealogy, and the librarian there - also a genealogist - was very knowledgeable and helpful.   

My next stop was Warren County, and its beautifully restored courthouse is pictured above.  The staff in the Superior Court office were also very nice, which brings me to the point I want to make.  Warren County was not on my list of places to visit, and if there had been access to the probate records in Wilkes County then I might not have even made it to Warren County.  The short time spent in Warren County, at the courthouse and at their small genealogy section (think walk-in closet) in the local library, was well worth the visit.  There was no "big find" or an "aha" moment, but I was able to develop a better understanding of the area.  Ralph Kilgore bought up several tracts of land in colonial and post-revolutionary Georgia, and after his death his heirs sold off this land.  One of these tracts was sold in Warren County, 350 acres on the mouth of Kilgore Creek, a branch of the Little River.  Based on the maps I found in Warren County, this land was just over the county line from Wilkes County, formerly St. Paul's Parish.   I was also able to find the 1795 deed and get copies of the full record where Ralph Kilgore's heirs sold the land.   

Who was Ralph Kilgore, and why is he important?   From the records I've seen, it appears that Ralph was the father-in-law of William Dulaney.   William owned land on Mill Creek  near the Savannah River in what was then Wilkes County, now Lincoln County, and I think he was Daniel's brother, or perhaps even his father.  (Thus, my interest in Ralph and William.)   The 1785 tax list for Wilkes County includes Daniel Dulaney, and he was living in the district that included Mill Creek.   Later, in 1795 in Pendleton District, South Carolina, a Robert Kilgore gives Daniel his power of attorney to sell his land in Richmond County, Georgia.

Today has been spent visiting with kinfolk.  Tomorrow I'm headed to the wonderful Washington Memorial Library in Macon, Georgia to further research the Kilgore family.   

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One Archives Find.... Many Itawamba Connections

If you have an opportunity to visit the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson, you should do so.   The facility is top notch with many reference books and materials for the genealogist or researcher, and the staff are extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.  Unless you've visited the archives facilities at other states, you don't know just how nice our state archives is.   One particularly nice feature that I appreciate is the abundance of wide tables with multiple plugins for laptop hook-ups.   The tables are located by the large windows that face north and let in plenty of natural light.   Like most departments in the state, the Mississippi archives could use extra funding that would allow them to replace or fix some of the microfilm readers as well as add more microfilm printers, and I'm sure they would like more in their budget to purchase additional books as well.   Still, it is a great facility, and I'm proud as a Mississippian to have it.

Back to business.   While at the archives, I found an interesting entry in the book "Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770-1823" compiled by Dorothy Williams Potter.     The early laws of our country required passports for travel into Indian territory.  Large portions of both Mississippi and Alabama, indeed Georgia, were still occupied by Indian tribes into the early 1830s and after.   To travel from Georgia and South Carolina to the areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee that were already settled by whites, a direct route was impossible unless the traveler went through Indian territory.

From what I learned in the book, passports were issued primarily through federal employees called Indian Agents, but state officials also would issue passports, and apparently some traders issued them illegally as well.     The earliest passports were issued to traders or persons who were on a mission to collect a debt or recover stolen property.   As settlers flocked to lands opening up further westward, more and more of the people needing passports were emigrants to the new territories.   Some people took their chances and traveled illegally without passports, or took a longer route to get where they were going.   In 1805, a new treaty with the Indians allowed the federal government to build a road through their territory, and settlers could travel along this road without a passport, but other routes required permission.

Regardless of the reason for the need of a passport, it was supposed to have only been issued to individuals of high character and good conduct.   The reason for this is simple:  the federal authorities didn't want troublemakers causing mischief, or worse, in Indian territory.   Upon submission of an application for a passport, it was good to provide proof of your good character, and the following affidavit did just that.

State of Tennessee
Lincoln County
We the undersigned Citizens of the County aforesaid do hereby certifie that we have been acquainted with Anselom [Ancel] Mills about two years and some of us more than that long, and can say that he has always conducted himself as a good honest citizen, and we have never heard any things to the contrary from where he came from in the State of Georgia.
Given under our hands in July 1813.
John Whitaker                Wm Dickson, JP
Joseph Whiteaker          John Whiteaker, JP
Charles Lucas                 Wm. Whiteaker, JP
John Loyd                       Thomas Delaney, Capt.
Benjamin Whitakere      Hardy Holeman
Wm. Young

This particular entry delighted me when I found it.  Here, in one document are three connections.

The most obvious one is Capt. Thomas Delaney, my husband's GGGGG-grandfather, who served in the War of 1812 and was active in the local militias of Lincoln County, Tennessee. Thomas is the ancestor of all Itawamba Dulaney-descendants.

The other obvious surname is Mills.  I've researched this Anselom Mills before for a possible connection to my husband's family.  In 2002, y-DNA testing revealed an exact match between my husband, whose Mills ancestors were from North Carolina, Hawkins County, Tennessee and Indiana, and another Mills gentleman whose ancestors came from Georgia,  Lincoln County, Tennessee and Alabama.  By researching Anselom Mills and the rest of the Mills men who settled in early Lincoln and Maury counties of Tennessee, I was hoping to find a clue that would connect, on paper, my husband and this other gentleman.  So far, no such luck.

The third name to jump out at me was John Loyd.  John was a brother to James Loyd, the father of Isham Loyd, my great-great grandfather.  The Loyds moved to Lincoln County, Tennessee from North Carolina.  Isham later moved with his mother and siblings to Alabama, and his granddaughter Pearl Cofield Robinson was my grandmother.

Pretty neat, huh?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Robinson Family Bible

Thought I would share an image of a page from the Robinson family Bible.   I don't have the original Bible, just the pages of family information which my father had in his possession.   Interestingly, the surname is spelled ROBISON without the "n"!   G.C. is Gideon Casibay Robinson (he went by "Gid") and A.P. is Arthusa Parneshia (she went by "Thusie").   It looks as if the first three names were wrote down first, probably when the Bible was first purchased, possibly after the birth of Lawrence Evans Robinson.   The last five names were written at the same time, at a later date.  I suspect that this is Thusie's handwriting both times.

Bible records are precious keepsakes, don't you agree?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rebekah.... about Rebecca, the original hipster

Too busy at the Archives in Jackson to do much of a post today.   Check out my daughter's blog post about her great-grandmother, and namesake, Rebecca Davis Pennington -- "the original hipster"!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ebenezer Clifton Sloan, 1887-1943

Ebenezer Clifton Sloan was born January 12, 1887, the seventh child of Jackson Samuel Sloan and Malissa Caroline Potts.     Before his marriage to Minnie Lee Rayburn in August 1912, Uncle Cliff was a traveling salesman for Rawleigh's Medicine Company, and was stationed out of Webster County, Mississippi, as evidenced by the following news bit:

Itawamba County News
August 15, 1912
Local News
Mr. E. C. Sloan, who travels for Rawliegh Medicine Co. in Webster county, and Miss Minnie Raburn of Eastman were quietly married here Tuesday afternoon.  We join in wishing for them a long life of happiness.

Rawleigh's was established in 1889, and according to the company's website it is still a leading provider of salves, ointments, spices, and extracts.

When the draft came calling for World War I, Cliff Sloan was found living near Antoine, Arkansas, a small town in Pike County.    Cliff was self-employed as a farmer, the draft registration noted, with a wife and two children as dependents.    By 1920, however, the family was back in Mississippi, living near Aberdeen in Monroe County.

Uncle Cliff died in 1943 and is buried in Wiygul Cemetery in Itawamba County.  Aunt Minnie died in 1971.

A big thank you goes to Sarah Thompson, granddaughter of Cliff and Minnie Sloan, who shared this photograph of her grandfather with me.   Amazing how I can look at his picture and see you in him.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Bethel Church, c 1939

Gail Newton Carter, granddaughter of John Gainey Sloan of the Peaceful Valley community, shared the above photograph with me last Labor Day.  She didn't know any of the people pictured, but when I showed the photograph to my Aunt Tootsie (82 her next birthday and still going strong - was baling hay yesterday) she named nearly every person.   

According to Tootsie, whose real name is Clara Nell Pennington Wardlaw, the photo was made about 1937-1939 in front of New Bethel Baptist Church.   She remembers when the church was built, or remodeled, about that time.    The man standing front right with his hat in his hand was the preacher, Bro. Darling, who lived in Tupelo at the time.  Bro. Darling (Tootsie couldn't remember his first name) started the church.  He first preached at Uncle Joe and Aunt Zadie's home, then the sermons were moved to a brush arbor constructed nearby.  

Aunt Tootsie remembers the brush arbor meetings and describes the brush arbor as being made of small tree posts with pine branches on top for a cover and old benches underneath.  Folks from the community would gather there to hear various preachers of various faiths, although mostly Baptist.  She said that while her father, William Hugh Pennington, and her uncle, John Gainey Sloan, would help prepare the brush arbor, they didn't attend the meetings held there.   Hugh, known as Big Daddy, and his wife Dee Sloan Pennington, attended church at Emmaus Primitive Baptist Church.   According to Tootsie, Hugh and Dee liked Brother Stegall, a traveling minister who preached in the community, and because of him, they became Primitive Baptists**.   Emmaus Church is no longer standing, but it was located at the present intersection and corner of Carolina-Van Buren Road and Dozier Road, almost in the Carolina community.    Enon is another Primitive Baptist Church located in the same part of the county, and many of the Emmaus folks and their descendants moved their membership to Enon when Emmaus no longer was a congregation.

Back to the picture.  That's Tom Malloy standing on the far left.  John Thomas "Tom" Malloy was the song leader, and he was married to Hugh's first cousin, Laura Pennington, daughter of Greenberry Pennington.  Tom and Laura's daughters, Aminee and Icie, also attended the church at New Bethel.  Standing immediately behind Tom, over Tom's shoulder, is an unknown person.  His face was too much shadowed to be recognized by Aunt Tootsie.  Next to the unidentified man is Clyde Powell, and in front of Clyde on the front row is Aubrey Sloan.

Standing behind and between Aubrey Sloan and Bro. Darling appears to be Jimmie Sloan, daughter of Uncle Cliff and Aunt Minnie Sloan, but Aunt Tootsie couldn't be certain.    The woman on the other side of Bro. Darling, holding a baby, is Tibbie Blake Hood, possibly holding baby Fay.   The woman with the bonnet on her head appears to be Aunt Zadie Blake, but again Aunt Tootsie wasn't completely sure.   The children standing in front of Aunt Zadie couldn't be identified.   

On the scaffolding in the rear, from left to right:  Rich Sloan, Ogal Sloan, Buddy Hood and Dewey Bethay.

I am amazed that Aunt Tootsie can readily identify most of the people in this photograph.  She was about ten years old at the time, maybe younger, and that was seventy years ago!  

**  Hugh's parents, Jim and Laura, were likely Primitive Baptist.  Hugh has an infant sister buried in Emmaus Cemetery in Lamar County, Alabama and the church associated with this cemetery, no longer standing, was Primitive Baptist.  Hugh was born in 1881 in Lamar County and moved with his family as a young boy when he was about 9 or 10 years old.  Several families from Lamar County moved about the same time to the Lost Corners area of Itawamba County, and they likely named their new church Emmaus after the one in Lamar County, although this is just an assumption on my part.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day greetings

Here's a shout-out to my Sloan cousins at their annual Labor Day reunion near Hatley in Monroe County.  Last year my mother, and Aunt Tootsie and myself, attended the reunion, which can be counted on for great food and music, but this year other commitments prevented our attending and participating in Sloan fellowship.   We are looking forward to an October reunion at the "old home place" in Peaceful Valley later this fall.

Pictured above are Johnnie Ridings Sloan and Troy Newton Sloan with their children.  This photograph was shared by Acel Sloan Stallings at last year's Labor Day reunion.   Below are snippets from past newspapers.     New Bethel refers to the community in southern Itawamba County named after New Bethel Church, in Peaceful Valley. The New Bethel community correspondent, or reporter, in 1946 was none other than Una Sloan Newton.   Una Sloan  and Johnnie Sloan were siblings, children of John Gainey Sloan and Dora Ridings Sloan, who married siblings, Troy Newton and William Forrest Newton, children of James Elonzo Newton and Willie Maud Bourland Newton.

Itawamba County Times
January 31, 1946
New Bethel News
Mr. and Mrs. John R. Sloan and children of Columbus Air Base are visiting their parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Sloan and Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Newton.

Itawamba County Times
May 30, 1946
New Bethel
Mr. and Mrs. Gainie Sloan, Miss Dorothy Sloan, Mrs. Gilbert Barrett, Bobbie Sherrill Barrett and Mr. Shirley Sloan spent Sunday night and Monday with Mr. and Mrs. Johnnie Sloan of the Columbus Air Base.
Little John Renes Sloan of Columbus Air Basae is spending this week with Mr. and Mrs. Gainie Sloan.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Momma and Poppa Robinson's Place

Gideon C. and Arthusa "Thusie" Evans Robinson

Cousin Lucy shared the above map and diagram of the homeplace of Momma and Poppa Robinson, her grandparents.   Lucy is my father's first cousin and daughter of my great-uncle Lawson Robinson, who was a Methodist minister in North Mississippi for many years and brother to Luke (my grandfather), Buddy, Louis, Lawrence and Jewell. 

Momma and Poppa Robinson were Thusie and Gideon Robinson, and they lived on the land that today encompasses the homes along Willow Road and Mimosa Drive.   The name of Mimosa Drive came from the mimosa trees that Thusie grew around her house.  You can see from Lucy's map that the mimosas fronted the dirt road that went by the Robinson house, which today would be located at the fork of Willow Road and Mimosa Drive (Lucy indicates where this fork is by the notation "thick sand").   "The Creek" that Lucy identifies on the map is the creek that crosses Willow Road at Farrar Drive.

One thing that I should point out about Lucy's map is that the dirt road she shows heading off straight to the left on the map actually continued onward to what is now Main Street.   Gideon died in 1944, and Thusie in 1952.   After Thusie's death, the Robinson land was sold to a cousin, Buster Robinson, who developed the subdivision that is there now.

Here is a picture, made about 1934, of my father, as a toddler, sitting on Thusie and Gid's porch.   I can't tell if that is a piece of watermelon, or a peach from one of the Robinson peach trees, or perhaps one of Thusie's fried pies that he is eating.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Aunt Zadie and Uncle Joe

Zadie Alice Sloan was my great-grandmother's sister.  Zadie and Dee lived within "hollering" distance of each other in Peaceful Valley in southern Itawamba County.   Dee's husband, William Hugh Pennington, was a quiet man and very even-tempered while Zadie's husband, Joseph Griffin Blake, was a gregarious, outgoing person.   Dee and Hugh's daughter, my great-aunt Tootsie, remembers as a child that she would accompany her Uncle Joe to "town" (Amory) on his logging truck.   If there was no room in the cab, she said she would crawl on the back of the truck and ride on the logs, holding onto the chain, and barefooted at that!   Sometimes he would give her a few cents to buy some candy, but most of the time she was just along to see the goings-on in town.   Tootsie said she loved her Uncle Joe.

When Aunt Zadie needed to talk to her sister, Dee, she would holler out from her side of the valley.   Dee could tell by the way that Zadie hollered whether or not there was an emergency or just a friendly call to talk.  Sometimes Zadie would holler, and Dee would tell  her daughter, Tootsie, come on, let's go, Aunt Zadie has something she needs to tell us.   Dee would start walking, and Zadie would start walking, and they would meet somewhere around their brother Luther's house.

Above are colorized portraits of Zadie and Joe Blake.   They were married in 1901 and had six children:  Hudson, who represented Itawamba County for one term in the state legislature; Ada May, who was married to Keith Cathcart; Jodie, who worked as a cook on a riverboat in Missouri;  Davannah, who was better known as Tibby and was married to Cecil Hood; and brothers Herman and Hershel, both of whom lived practically next door to each other in Peaceful Valley.   Herman and Hershel were regular visitors in Fessie and Beck Pennington's living room, just down the road, for many years.  It was some time before I realized that they were my grandfather Fessie's first cousins!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Woodrow and Rebecca

 Woodrow and Rebecca were siblings, born just three years apart - Woodrow in 1913 and Rebecca in 1916 - to James Kelly Davis and Queenie Victoria Clayton.   Rebecca, or Beck, as she was known, was my grandmother.   Uncle Woodrow was married to Reba Wren, and they made their home in Peaceful Valley for many years, just up the road from Fessie and Beck.  I'd guess the above photograph was made in the 1980s.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Glader and her Mommy

Glader Johnson Mills with her mother, Nora Thornton Johnson 

It was always odd to me to hear Mike's grandmother Glader refer to her mother as "Mommy" but that is what she called her.    Glader was widowed before her mother Nora; Henry Mills died in 1963 while Fisher Johnston died in 1971.   After Fisher's death, Glader moved into the home with her mother.   I have memories of visiting "Norie" in her home during the Christmas holidays.   There was a coal-burning fireplace in the front room which fascinated me.   Grandma Johnson had a low-seated, straight-back chair in which she sat with her feet crossed and encased in what she called her "ball shoes."  These shoes were high-top basketball shoes that she liked to wear, i.e. her "ball shoes."