Interlibrary Loan

ILL is so cool. I should know, I’m a librarian :-)

Today, our branch library received the book that I’d requested through Interlibrary Loan – The History and Genealogy of Jones County, North Carolina. I’d ordered this book as the Koonce family I’m researching is of Jones County. This book is so cool! The way the family information is presented is in the same format as the Heritage books series. Then, following the family profiles, Ms. Harriett has created an index of people and clarifies the family relationships – we’re talking thousands of people. In the Introduction of the book, she mentions that she gathered all this data in the course of doing her own personal research.

I am about to really look more closely at it, but I know I’ll be making many photocopies this weekend from it – there is just so much information in it. If not for immediate use now, for future reference later.

Results from my State Archives Visit

Okay – here is a summary of what I retrieved today at the TN State Archives. Today I focused on Edgecombe County, NC where I am most heavily researching my McNair, Wimberly and Tannahill surnames as I look for possible slave owners.

1. I have a few counties photocopied from Somebody Knows My Name, but went today to look for the records of cohabitation for Jones County, North Carolina. I need to order the CD so that I can have my own copy. Unfortunately, Jones County is not included. However, I did go ahead and photocopy Nash County. I learned yesterday that Rocky Mount,NC is split in the middle of town, between Edgecombe County and Nash County. I have had family in Rocky Mount, and so I decided I should have this county as well. Good thing too – I found another Wimberly!

2. From the book, Heritage of Lenoir County, I photocopied the entry for Richard H. Koonce & Eliza King. Richard is the son of Wiley Benjamen Koonce. I still am not sure how Wiley fits into the family tree for the white Koonce family I am specifically tracking, but I figure I will get there eventually. Good to have it for later reference.

3. Abstracts 0f Wills, Edgecombe County by David B. Gammon – This was wonderful! It is a four-volume set that covers wills from 1732-1910. I photocopied almost every will that had a mention of any McNair, Wimberly, or Tannahill person. I see now that there were two I missed, so I’m making a note to get those when I go back. I also photocopied the indexes of volumes 3 & 4. I plan to make them PDFs and put them online so that others will know if the person of interest is at least mentioned. I’ll go back another time to get the indexes for Volumes 1-2.

4. Marriages of Early Edgecombe County 1733-1868 – Another great book. The authors have compiled early marriage bans, marriages as proved by county wills, as published in newspapers, and other various sources. I photocopied every page that had a reference to a Wimberly, McNair or Tannahill. I also copied the indexes from this book as well.

5. Tombstone & Census Records of Early Edgecombe County - This is a compilation of cemeteries throughout Edgecombe County. Again – I photocopied every reference to a McNair, Tannahill or Wimberly that I could find. I do see that I skipped one, so I’ll have to go back to get it.

Overall, a wonderful morning. I think however, that I am going to now have to create formal trees to track everyone I want!

Didn’t Take Long

Last month, I ordered microfilm of the newspaper from Kinston, NC (my father is from outside of Kinston). I ordered the microfilm b/c I have many, many relatives from the outskirts of Kinston, that while technically in a different county, still seem to be missing (well, obits anyway) from that county’s newspapers. So, I figured I’d look more closely at Kinston (Lenoir County).

Today, I went to the public library to scan some issues. Wouldn’t you know, the very first issue I scan has an obituary for a Koonce? (my name!). However, it is a white Koonce (of course, there are many white Koonce’s in the area) and to be honest, I have not really researched the white Koonce families in order to ascertain a connection to my Koonce family.

The lady in mention here is Carrie Heritage Koonce. She was 68 and her funeral was held on October 9, 1928. It does not mention when she died. She was the daughter of Dr. Heritage Blount. I did a search in Ancestry and find what appears to be her information – if it is correct, her husband was Bryan Koonce and her first name was Caroline. Unfortunately, there is no contact information for the person who submitted the gedcom. Hmm.. another search reveals a gedcom for Carrie’s father, but they do not have Carrie – but a brother listed. I think I’ll email them. I love the internet!

Here is Carrie and her family in the 1920 census. Her husband was still alive and it seems his first name started with an M, Bryan may have been his middle name? But they are listed with kids M.B., Lucille and John. Seems the family worked in a grocery store. The family also had two lodgers living with them.

I also see from searching the New Bern Obituary Index, that her obit also appeared in the Morning New Bernian newspaper as well. Cool.

UPDATE: It’s about 8 hours later and I think and am hopeful that I have some good leads. As a result of that email to the person I indicate above, I now know a lot more about Carrie’s family. Her husband appears to be from the Koonce’s of Jones’ County, NC. A search of the 1860 Slave Schedules shows that these Koonce’s owned a TON of slaves. And, they are clustered primarily in Jones County (one group in Onslow County).

Besides, I do know that there are also Black Koonce’s in Jones County today that we are supposedly related to somehow? So, I am hopeful. Over the next couple of months, I am making this my primary genealogy research goal. I plan to order Estate Records, Wills, etc and any original documents that I can get my hands on of the Koonce family of Jones county. Of note, (not that these names are uncommon), but the Carrie’s husband, Marrion – his father’s name was James and he had a sister named Caroline. My great-grandfather’s mother’s name was Caroline and her father’s name was James. Like I said – they are common names – but it gives me a little hope :-) I’m going to bed now – this search could keep me awake all night!

Barfield’s mother!

I think I have finally found Barfield Koonce’s mother! Barfield was my great grandfather and the beginning of my interest in my family genealogy. When my aunt died back in 1984 (I was 9 at the time), she was buried in Mitchell Cemetery – where I would then learn that we had a lot of family buried there. Her burial is my first recollection of knowing/learning of my father’s family tree. In the same cemetery, his father is buried, along with his father’s father. Barfield was his father’s father and he never knew him. I remember looking at Barfield’s headstone and wondering about who he was.

Well, since I started gung-ho again on my genealogy last year, I have been trying to find out more about Barfield. Problem was, I couldn’t find his parents! Though, I knew who his grandfather was from census records. But tonight, I received the death certificate of whom I think is his brother (Richard Koonce) and on Richard’s death certificate, parents are listed.

As I sort through things, I decided it would be helpful to compile a list of my “preoponderance of evidence” for tying Richard & Barfield together.

Evidence for:

  • My father’s aunt told me that her father (Barfield) had a brother named Richard.
  • I can only locate one Richard Koonce in that county throughout the 1900-1930 censuses. This Richard that is listed is a few years older than Barfield.
  • In the 1910 census, Richard is listed 5 families away from James & Mariah Koonce. Given this close proxmity, in my experience so far from looking at census records, this leads me to believe Richard is related to James.
  • There is only one James Koonce in Craven County in the 1870-1910 census records for Craven County.
  • In the 1900 census, Barfield is living with James & Mariah Koonce and he is listed as their grandson.
  • Richard’s death certificate lists his mother as Caroline Koonce (and his father as Mike Davis).
  • In the 1880 census, James & Mariah have in their household a Charlotte and Caroline Koonce.
  • The Caroline Koonce in that census is of right age to have had Barfield and Richard.

So, from all of this information, I am truly inclined to believe that Caroline is Barfield and Richard’s mother! Who know is this Mike Davis is also Barfield’s father (Barfield’s death certificate does not list any parent). However, I am going to put him as his father for now.

Anniversary of a Wedding

Yesterday was also the day my parents got married – January 18, 1975. I was there :-) (okay – me as a fetus was there!)

A few months ago, I asked them questions about the ceremony because one day, I plan to do a scrapbook page about it. My parents got married in New York. My mother does not remember the name of the church, so I’ll have to do a little research.

The bridesmaids were Ella (daddy’s sister), VK (daddy’s sister), Loretta (mommy’s friend) and Vera (mommy’s friend). The groomsmen were Adolph (daddy’s brother), Curtis (daddy’s cousin), Dennis (daddy’s friend). The flower girl was my cousin, Keesha, and the ring bearer was my uncle, Morgan.

Mommy tells me that originally, her father was not going to attend the wedding, but his brother-in-law laid him out so he ended up coming after all at the last minute. Mommy’s brother was going to give her away, so his tux was the same as Daddy’s father’s tux as it was too represent the “father.” My grandfather’s girlfriend, Mariah, made the bridesmaids dresses.

one day i’ll get around to scrapping this – i promise i will!

And another cousin!

Tonite, I made contact with another cousin of mine. Her grandfather and my grandfather were brothers! I found a post that she made online a few years ago, but the email address was no longer valid. So, I asked my father if he knew the name and he and my aunt told me who she was and where she lived. I looked her up in an online directory, found her and just gave her a call! We spent a great half-hour on the phone, I learned more info about the family, and I know I have just made another great family contact. I am so happy right now :-)

Nothing Major

I don’t think I’ve had any major discoveries in my own family genealogy as of late. I just continue to request certificates to add to my files. The other day, I received my paternal grandfather’s death certificate. He died 1/1/76 in a car crash and all the information on there was info I already knew. His death resulted in a court proceeding, to which I have the transcript, that I hope to be able to find more records on if I can. But, that is a post for another day…

Recently, I have been working on a friend’s genealogy and that has been fun! Her family is steeped in Madison County, AL, so I’ve been fortunate to be able to find most of them pretty well in the census records. And, Madison County has an excellent website of indexes to their marriage records that has been wonderful for verifying some dates! Our next step is to start requesting certificates from there for her to add. She is just beginning her genealogy and within a matter of a couple of days I was able to find one of her 4th-Great Grandparents! She loved that!

In my indexing project of the newspaper from Plymouth, NC where my maternal grandmother is from, I just came across the news blurb of the opening of Plymouth High School. My grandmother graduated from there in 1944 and the school opened in 1889. That’s kinda cool.

More Resources

Last night brought some more information! I received two emails in response to some posts I made on Ancestry that yielded some beneficial information.

1) Someone was able to send me a list of marriages of persons of color from the book Somebody Knows My Name by Barbara McGhee White. In the list is the marriage of my great-great-great-grandfather, James Koonce, to his first wife Susan. They got married in 1860 and I learned her maiden name – it was Craff.

2) I also was provided a link to an online database of deaths in the five boroughs of NY from 1891-1945. In searching that database, I think I have located the death date of my mother’s grandfather. There is only one Lewis Robinson listed that comes close to even being him! My uncle lives in NY, so he is going to the Municipal Archives sometime within the next couple of weeks to check it out and if it is him, get a copy of the death certificate for us. Maybe, just maybe, Lewis’ death certificate will have his parents names — here’s to hope. Furthermore, it turns out I am going to help contribute to the cause and will be helping add more records to the database! The coordinator is going to send me papers that I will help transcribe into Excel.

What is up with Barfield Koonce?

I am having the hardest time learning much about the very line whose name I have! Barfield is the furthest back I can go and I thought that once I received his death certificate, I would surely get his parents names. No such luck. It came in the mail today and both fields are “unknown.” Barfield was my great-grandfather and he died in 1953. I did learn that he died of a fall that occurred a few days before his death and he struck his back. Official designation: Fracture of the cervical spine. My father’s other grandfather also died of injuries as a result of a fall.

I also got Barfield’s wife’s death certificate. Josephine Holloway Koonce died in 1977. I was hoping for her father’s name on her death certificate, but that was blank too. It had her mother’s name on there which confirmed the name I had from her obituary. I am having trouble locating Josephine’s family as well, but will keep investigating.

And, on my mother’s side of the family, a cousin sent me the printed family tree from the McNair Family Reunion. The McNairs are based for the most part in Plymouth, NC and let me tell you — I think I am related to every McNair in that area – there are so many of them! The farthest back we go so far is to Rufus (b. 1824) and Mariah. They had 12 children at least and then each of those children had tons of children. Too many McNairs! Kaleya is a 6th generation descendant of Rufus & Mariah McNair – they are her 4G grandparents. 6 GENERATIONS! That is amazing to me. But, this is great information to have because it confirms that all those McNairs I’ve been seeing in the census records are indeed relatives. The quest to get as many birth/death certificates as possible seems neverending…. As of tonite, there are 142 individuals in Rufus’ descendant chart and I’ve only put in about 50% of his grandchildren.

Here is her relationship to him: