Was He A Founding Member?

The oldest obituary that I have in my files is for one of my 2nd great-grandfathers, Randolph Kilpatrick.  He lived from 1885 – 1966.  The obituary was given to me by my grandmother many years ago.  I’d always marveled over the fact that she had manged to hold onto the obituary for so many years – she was about 34 years old when he died.

Tonight, I learned that he may have been a founding member of the church that my family is associated with – Alum Springs Church of Christ in Craven County, North Carolina.  I learned this from a picture that a lady who lives in the area took from a visit to the church to take pictures for me at the cemetery.  His name is listed on the name plate! I also see that the church was established in 1950. This is also helpful as I can now look for any newspaper accounts of the beginnings of the church.

 

There is also an Eddie Cox listed that I think may be the nephew of my 2nd great-grandmother, Cora Cox Lawhorn.  I’ll have to check on that.  Some of the other surnames on the list are recognizable from the area family names.

I am grateful for people that contribute to FindAGrave! This same lady who took this pictures and others in the cemetery, also took pictures at the cemetery where most of my Koonce ancestors are buried – Mitchell Cemetery.

Update: I realized that many of the tombstones in the church graveyard are much older than 1950. Is it possible that the current building is not the original? Or, perhaps the church was built after the graveyard? I need to find out!

GenealogyBank

I love historical newspapers and I find that you can learn a tremendous amount about the cultural context of a given community by reading through their newspapers. I have ordered old newspapers for a few communities of personal interest and some of my side projects involve indexing them (see links on sidebar).

I was pleased to get a message in my email inbox this past week about an online conference call this weekend that Sharon Seargeant is hosting about the use of newspapers as sources of information. I’ve not yet participated in any genealogy related conference calls/webcasts, so this should be an interesting experience. I very much look forward to any tips that may be offered. More information about the call can be found here.

In related newspaper news, I read on Eastman’s blog today that Genealogy Bank has added new content. I’ve kept my eye on Genealogy Bank for awhile now, but never subscribed. Today however, I decided to go ahead and do a one month subscription. I can’t wait to delve into all the offerings, but something immediately jumped out at me and I am going to email Genealogy Bank.

I do however have a recommendation for them (and any other site that indexes newspapers, Ancestry included) that I think would make these sources immediately more useful. Google Map the location of the newspapers! While there may be times that I am familiar enough with a region to know the nearest major town that I could possibly check for information, I do not know this all the time. A list of paper titles even if it includes the town name does not always make it easy for me to pick a paper. If I could type in the town name in Google Maps and see little red balloons for each paper that is geographically close, that approach would be MUCH more useful to me!

That said, I still cannot wait to get in and play around with Genealogy Bank! Just now I was doing some searching and located this ad from the October 17, 1829 issue of the North Carolina Sentinel. This is an advertisement for a runaway slave named Tom Whitfield from a man named Henry B. Mitchell. The ad states that Tom used to belong to Warre Kilpatrick – a man whom I suspect my own ancestor, Silas Kilpatrick, may have belonged to (or at the least, I suspect Warre to be part of that family). They could have known each other….

One Step Closer!

I have earlier posted about some information I received from a distant cousin that suggests that our ancestor, Silas Kilpatrick was owned by the white Kilpatrick family in that county. She mentioned to me that she had found a document where a slave named Silas was mentioned in the will of Warre Kilpatrick (d. 1821). Today, I received more information that is helping to support this and I am getting so terribly excited at the thought that I may actually get real evidence of one of my family slaveowners!

Here is my list of evidence thus far:

  • Thru census records, I guestimate that my ancestor, Silas Kilpatrick lived from approx. 1930 to sometime between 1880-1900. His wife, Mimi, was widowed by 1900.
  • A family member told me that members of our family resemble the white Kilpatricks in that area
  • My great-grandmother’s brother, informed me that the family knew they belonged to the white Kilpatrick’s and a Kilpatrick who’s first name began with a “Z” had papers showing that Silas was their slave. My grand-uncle could not remember the name other than it began with a Z.
  • In the 1880 census, I find a Zeph Kilpatrick who was the son of John Kiklpatrick. From looking at several online gedcoms and websites, it seems to be the case that Zeph is a great-grandson of Warre Kilpatrick
  • A distant cousin informed me that she had located a will record for Warre Kilpatrick (d. 1821) and in it, he will a boy slave named Silas to his son Wiley.
  • A response from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library informed me that papers for Willie Kilpatrick’s estate in 1838 show a slave named Silas (along with some other slave names that are mentioned in Warre’s will).

I am still trying to clearly define and verify for myself the white Kilpatrick lineage, but all of these factors above lead me to believe that they are the probable slaveowners of my Silas. I am now going to pursue the microfilm records of the estate files. I am going to go to my local LDS center on Saturday to try and order them.

A Slave Owner!

Can it be true? Tonight, I talked on the phone with a lady who is a distant cousin of mine. She found my family tree in Ancestry and emailed me – I am her 4th cousin once removed. As we talked, she shared some of her lineage. Her great-grandmother was the sister to a great-great grandfather of mine (Randolph) and the crazy thing is that she didn’t have Randolph in her list of her great-grandmother’s siblings.

One of the things she shared with me, which I am most excited about, is that she thinks she may have found the slaveowner of our common ancestor, Silas Kilpatrick. All that I know about Silas is that he was born somewhere around 1830 and was a slave of course. I also knew that there were white Kilpatrick slaveowners in that same county. In reading the will of Warre Kilpatrick, who died in Craven County, NC in 1831, he wills to his son a negro boy named Silas! I found the will transcription on the Craven County USGENWEB site. Could this be our Silas? I plan to investigate this further for sure.

ABSTRACT OF WILL OF WARRE KILPATRICK - 1821 - Craven Co.

loving wife Leovicy two beds and furniture, two cows and calves, six ewesand lambs, two sow and pigs, two horses called Snap and Twig, two plows andgeer, one maple desk and third of my household and kitchen furnitureincluding that already mentioned.  I also lend her my dwelling house andnegro woman Hue, during her natural life -  Secondly, I give unto my sonJames, the one half of my manor plantation lands beginning at the East sideand running up Moseley's back line, then a line parallel with the lowerline to the River, so as to include one half of said lands, also one thirdpart of a tract of land on the cypress pond patented by James West, alsonegroes Jack and Edmond, to him his heirs and assigns forever  Thirdly.I give unto my son Wiley the other half of my manor plantation landsincluding my dwelling house and improvements, also the third part of mylands on the cypress pond, also one negro man called Ben and one boy calledSilas, and after the death of wife, also the negro woman Hue, to him, hisheirs and assigne forever. - Fourthly, I give unto my son Worry myplantation known by the name of the Jones Land, also three hundred dollarsto be paid in cash by my sons James and Wiley one hundred each twelvemonths after the lawful time of paying my debts and fifty each twelvemonths after that, also one negro girl called Lucy, also one third of atract of land on the cypress pond, to him, his heirs and assigns forever. Fifthly, having already given a portion to my son John I now give him tenshillings to him and his heirs forever - Sixthly, I give unto mygranddaughter Sally Kilpatrick, one negro girl named Harriet and twohundred and two dollars in cash to her and her heirs and assigns forever - I also give unto my son Wiley the land that I bought at the sale of myson Lewis, dec on conditions t at he pays Sally the above mentioned twohundred and two dollars with interest from the time of my decease.  I leaveall my property not above mentioned,  etc to be equallydivided between my sons, James, Wiley, and Worry.  I appoint WilliamMcKinney and James Kilpatrick Executors to this my Last Will and Testament.- 27 Aug l82l

Worry's widow Lovicey appeared and dissented this Will.

From: http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/nc/craven/wills/klptrk02.txt

Scrapbooking

This past week still sees me doing more organization of my genealogy files. I have requested a few more certificates and they are starting to trickle in. Also, my mother found some of her papers, so I now have her parent’s marriage certificate! I’m quite happy about that. :-)

I am also learning how to do digital scrapbooking, so I of course had to do a couple of family-related ones as I experiment. This first one is of one set of my great-grandparents -William and Pearlie Mae Kilpatrick.

And this one is for my maternal grandmother. I love looking at her older pictures. I believe all of these are from around the 40’s.

Speaking of….

While I was in Craven County, NC to attend my grandmother’s funeral, I had an opportunity to do gather more information about her side of the family. I have to get it all recorded still! While there I was able to take pictures of my relatives’ headstones at one of the family cemetery. There are around 40+ people buried there and I got at least half of them. I also got a few headstones at the church cemetery (where my grandmother’s services were held and we have a lot of family there), but only about 3 or 4. I have a cousin who will help get the ones I missed.

While there, I also was able to talk to my grandmother’s brother. I only remember him vaguely before now, but he showed me something that absolutely wowed me! I was telling him how I had finally elucidated the accurate name of his grandfather and he said, “Speaking of Samuel Becton Lawhorn…” and pulled out a 16 x 20 picture of his grandfather. So, with this picture, this is now the oldest picture of an ancestor that I have. This man, Samuel Becton Lawhorn was born in 1871 and died in 1916.

Furthermore, at his house, he has a picture of his parents, and while I had pictures of his father, I had no pictures of his mother and didn’t know what she looked like. He explained to me that this picture of them was created as an oil painting based on pictures of the two of them taken independently and at separate times — they were not originally posed together in the picture. Neat isn’t it?