New Cousin Connection x 2!

I love it when I have cousin connections! My most recent one has come via Facebook.  Earlier this week, I received a Facebook friend request from (whom I’ll call JS).  I looked at his profile and noticed we had three mutual friends in common.  Two of the mutual friends were cousins of my father.  The 3rd mutual cousin was a cousin of my mothers.

So, I friended JS and sent a message inquiring how he knew my father’s cousins. He replied that his wife was related to them – thus, his wife was my cousin.  Of course I was happy about that. But then, he asked me how I knew our 3rd mutual friend and told me that she was his cousin. Wait? His cousin was my mom’s cousin? After further discussion, I learned that indeed, we were both cousins to each other!

Therefore, I gained two cousins for the price of one! I am related to him AND his wife. Crazy right?  Our relationship is as follows:

  • JS’s great-grandfather, David Elijah Walker, was a brother to my mother’s grandmother, Martha Jane (Walker) McNair.
  • JS’s wife’s grandfather, Samuel Valentine Lawhorn, was a brother to my father’s grandfather, William Lahworn.

And today, JS started sending me family pictures. I’m so tickled. :-)

Hattie Godrey Walker, on far right, was married to my great-grandmother’s sister-in-law. Hattie was married to Mattie’s brother David.

Cousins, Cousins Everywhere

I have had the most fabulous few days in that I have had several cousin connections! I can’t even begin to go in-depth on all of them, but in brief:

  • a third cousin of mine, Nafeesah, emailed me after searching online for more information about her family and finding my family genealogy site.  She and I share Anthony & Martha Jane (Baker) Walker of Washington County, NC as our 2nd great-grandparents. I spoke to Nafeesah tonight and had a great conversation. I cannot wait to speak to her sister tomorrow.
  • via the 23andMe account of a cousin Devon, we found another cousin — Katrina. Katrina, like Devon,  is also a descendant of Thomas & Phillis Holloway of Craven County, NC.   Katrina is my 3rd cousin once removed.   I was excited to learn that her grandparents live about an 90 minutes away from me and her grandfather went to high school with my grandfather. I am now making plans to go visit her grandfather as soon as I can.  She matches me at a different segment than she matches Devon – so, I now have two separate DNA segments that I can trace back to our common ancestral couple.
  • via 23andMe, I made contact with a genetic cousin, Eric but we do not yet know how we are related.  Such a small world though because Eric is an active member of the African-American Genealogical Society of North California – the same group which my hubby’s genetic cousin, Nicka Smith, is involved.  Eric has been doing genealogy for well over 30 years and I was the first person he’s chosen to connect with on 23andMe – he said he could tell I was serious about my business.   Eric and I share .76% of our DNA and 23andMe predicts us to be 3rd-5th cousins.  That may not sound like a lot, but here is the order of percentage shared from largest to smallest at the top of my Relative Finder list – my mother (49.6%), my sister (54.5%), my uncle (25.2%), my 3rd cousin Devon mentioned above (.80%), and Eric! I spoke with Eric Friday night and we are both excited about the potential to find our connection.

In addition to these wonderful connections, my uncle and my stepfather’s DNA results came back from 23andMe on Friday so now I get to sort through their relative matches.  I hope I get more relatives from my uncle’s results!

 

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – My 16

I’m going to take Randy up on his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun for August 8, 2009.  Not because of the intent to document my ethnicity for that is very easy – to the best of my current knowledge, all (with the exception of 1) of my ancestors as far as I can trace have been black and former slaves. But for the intent of serving as a great way for others to find me should we have any shared ancestry I think this is an excellent idea!

My 16 great-great grandparents are:

1.  Unknown? – I am not exactly sure who the father is of my great-grandfather Barfield Koonce. No name is given on his death certificate, and I’ve only found Barfield enumerated with grandparents. Maybe if we had the 1890 census I’d know more, but this is one of my genealogy brickwalls.  Whomever it is, he would have likely been born around the 1850s in Craven County, North Carolina.

2.  Caroline KOONCE was the daughter of James & Isaih Koonce. Caroline was born around January 1851 in either Jones or Craven County, North Carolina.  After having my great-grandfather and at least one other child, Caroline married George C. West on March 18, 1891 in Craven County.  She died August 12, 1928 in Dover, Craven County, North Carolina.

3.  Thomas HOLLOWAY Jr. was born around 1853 in Wayne County, North Carolina.  He was the son of Thomas & Phillis HOLLOWAY.  He married Polly Hood around the late 1870s.  The family lived in Wayne County in 1880 and I do not know when he died.

4. Polly HOOD was born abt. 1860 likely in Wayne County, North Carolina.  Her mother’s name was Caroline.  Polly died in Ft. Barnwell, Craven County July 16, 1916.

5. Samuel Becton LAWHORN was born abt. 1871 in Craven County, North Carolina.  He was the son of Valentine & Harriett Lawhorn.  He married Cora Cox on May 28, 1899 and according to the Lawhorn Family Bible died April 11, 1917.

6. Cora COX was born March 3, 1876 in Craven County, North Carolina.  She was the daughter of Robert & Amanda Cox. Cora’s first husband was Samuel Becton Lawhorn whom she married May 28, 1899. After his death, she married neighbor Willie Morton on December 23, 1924.  She died November 26, 1949 in Craven County, North Carolina.

7. Randolph KILPATRICK was born September 2, 1885 in Craven County, North Carolina.  He was the son of Edward Kilpatrick & Violetta DONALD.  In 1905 Randolph married Mary Maggie HARVEY.  He died September 24, 1966 in Craven County, North Carolina.   (His mother Violetta is reported by family to be half Native American, and her grandson told me a few years ago that she had hair all the way down her back, a trait that was carried down to all of her daughters.  He remembers her from when she lived with him and his family and she died when he was about 15 years old.  So, this would make Randolph 25% Native American.)

8. Mary Maggie HARVEY was born August 4, 1889.  Her exact parentage is not exactly known, but according to family information, she was the daughter of two individuals that were both married to other people.  Her father was Clayton HARVEY and her mother is said to be a DAWSON, but I’m unsure if that was her mother’s married name or maiden name.  Mary died August 21, 1940, likely in Craven County, North Carolina.

9. William ROBINSON was born in September of 1830, likely in Columbus County, North Carolina.  He may have been the son of Bob & Hagar Robinson.  In 1855 he married Rebecca Toon. His date of death is unknown.

10.  Rebecca TOON was born in May 1841, likely in Columbus County, North Carolina. Her parentage is unknown as is her date of death.

11. John LENNON was born approximately in 1854, likely in Columbus County, North Carolina.  Another researcher has informed me that his parents were Josh & Barbary Lennon.  John married Etta Lennon March 30, 1882 in Columbus County, North Carolina.  His date of death is unknown.

12. Etta LENNON was born approximately in 1862, likely in Columbus County, North Carolina.  The current thought on her parentage is that she was the daughter of Council & Elizabeth Abigail Lennon though I am not 100% sure on this.  She married John Lennon in 1882 and married Isaac ROBINSON May 25, 1905.  Her date of death is unknown.

13. Andrew D. MCNAIR was born May 5, 1866 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. He was the son of Rufus Tannahill McNair and Mariah Wimberly.  Andrew married Gracy Bullock around 1893, then after her death, married Bennie Slade.  Andrew died February 10, 1930 in Washington County, North Carolina.

14. Gracy BULLOCK was born in March 1874 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  She was the daughter of Lawrence & Chanie Bullock.  Gracy’s date of death is unknown, but it was prior to 1910.

15. Anthony WALKER was born in May 1850, likely in Washington County, North Carolina.  He was the son of Prince Walker & Lovey Boston.  Anthony married Martha Jane Baker on December 29, 1881.  He married Winnie Walker between 1910 & 1920.  Anthony died January 10, 1921.

16. Martha Jane BAKER was born in August 1853, likely in Washington County, North Carolina.  She was the duaghter of Daniel & Frances Baker.  Martha died between 1900-1910.

Saturday Night Fun This Week

I’m feeling all inspired again with my genealogy blogging! I’ve gotten some great thoughts from reading others’ blogs. For this post, I’m taking Randy up on his last Saturday Night Fun quest, Where Were They in 1909?

The task was as follows:

1) Which of your ancestors were alive in 1909?

2) Tell us where your ancestral families were living in 1909. What country, state, county, city/town, etc. Who was in the family at the time? Use the 1910 census as “close enough.”

3) Have you found each of these families in the 1910 census?

Here is a brief synopsis of my ancesestral families and what they were up to in1909. To keep it simple, I’m going to go three generations back to my great-grandparents.

Barfield & Josephine (Holloway) Koonce - my father’s paternal grandparents were both alive and living in Craven County, North Carolina.  The family was from this area.  In 1909 they had been married for about six years and had two children, son Hampton and daughter Minnie.  The third child that appears in their 1910 census record would not be born until early in 1910.

William Lawhorn Jr. - In 1909, my father’s maternal grandfather was not yet born! He was born August of 1910, so his parents, Sam & Cora (Cox) Lawhorn were close to his arrival as their 3rd child.  His parents were also living in Craven County, NC and I have located them in the 1910 census. His future wife, Pearlie Kilpatrick, was not born until 1912.  I’ve found her too in 1910.

Lewis “Christopher Columbus” Robinson & Lucinda (Lennon) Robinson – my mother’s paternal grandparents have thus far eluded me in the 1910 census.  I periodically search for them, but I’m not sure where to look for them! They were both from the Columbus County area of North Carolina, but by 1920 they’d moved to New York.  I do not know for certain when they were married, but their oldest child, Ethel,  was born in 1908 in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina.   Their next child was not born for another 5 years. I have located a man that fits his description (age, race, state of birth) in the 1910 census living in Trenton, NY as a hired man, but I’m not sure if this is really him or not.  If it is him, I suspect perhaps Lucinda may have been living with family with their young daughter? In any case, I’ve still got some searching to do.

Abraham Lincoln McNair- In 1909, my mother’s maternal grandfather was a 13 year-old boy living  in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina with his father and five siblings.  His mom, Gracy (Bullock) McNair seems to have passed by 1909 and soon after, his father would remarry.  His future wife, Martha Jane Walker, was 12 years old, living in the same town, with her own parents, Anthony Walker and Martha Jane Baker and 4 other siblings.  I have located both of them in the 1910 census.

So, of my 8 great-grandparents, only two were not yet born in 1909.  I obviously have work to do tracking Lewis & Lucinda down in 1910.  Very interesting to reflect on this.  Thanks Randy!

Great Finding!

This is why I stay up until 1 in the morning! Tonight while doing some newspaper transcription, I had a great discovery.

For the past couple of years, I have been transcribing old issues of  The Roanoke Beacon. This is the newspaper of Plymouth (Washington County), North Carolina.  My maternal grandmother and practically all of her family and ancestors are from Plymouth and neighboring Tarboro, so I’d always hoped that I’d find something relevant for my family.   I didn’t expect to find much until early to mid 1900s, but tonight I found the death notice of one of my 3rd great-grandfathers, Prince Walker.

The notice from the February 24th, 1899 issue states that he died near his home and was about 90 years old. This is fairly close to what I’d estimated his birth to be from census records.  He is also described as a ” ‘fore the war darky,” which I take to mean he went along with social norms of the day on how blacks were to behave with whites.  According to the article, Prince died Febrary 22nd, 1899.

Prince was born in North Carolina and was married to Lovie Boston.  They had at least 8 children, their son Anthony W. Walker being my ancestor.  Anthony and wife Martha Jane Baker were the parents of Martha Jane Walker.  Martha Jane Walker was the mother of my maternal grandmother, Alice.  This Walker line is one that I know I have several gaps to fill, but I’ve not made concerted effort to get in contact with many Walker relatives.  There are a few that I know I can share this with, but maybe this will inspire me to work harder.  I am too thrilled!

Last night I had another discovery that I think may be relevant to my husband’s aunt, but I’ll save that for another blogging day.

Reconnecting with family

This weekend, my uncle found an old address book of my grandmother’s. My mother started calling people in it, just to touch base, and reconnected with a cousin of my grandmother’s that had wondered for the past six years what had happened to her! (My grandmother has Alzheimer’s now and lives in a nursing home).

So, he was ecstatic to hear from my mother and so glad to talk to her. And, he told my mother exactly how he was related. His father and my grandmother’s mother were siblings. I have just gotten off the phone with him and learned a great deal of information! He is 81 years old and just a lucid and in great health. I definitely will call him back! But, now I have more info to document in the tree.

Martha Jane "Mattie" Walker

Martha Jane “Mattie” Walker McNair
March 15, 1897 – September 24, 1991

Today is the birthday of my great-grandmother, Martha Walker McNair. She was born in North Carolina and lived most of her life in the Plymouth/Tarboro areas of Washington and Edgecombe County. Martha was the next to the youngest of 10 children that I know of, born to Anthony Walker and Martha Jane Baker.

Martha married Abraham Lincoln McNair and together they would have 10 children, 5 of whom died as young kids. Her only daughter to live to adulthood, Alice, is my grandmother.

I don’t know very much about Martha. I only have one memory of her, and that was when I was quite young and I remember her being in bed. My mother describes her as being quite stern and tough. I recently asked my mother is she could choose one word to describe her, what would it be – her answer, “Bossy.” Kalonji says that’s who I get it after :-)

Happy Birthday to my great-grandmother!

An Interesting Census Find

Tonite, I was doing some searching and came across an interesting census record. So far, I have not been able to locate my ancestors, Anthony Walker & wife Martha in the 1880 census. But, I had been limiting my searching to the Washington County, NC area, where I know they lived most of their life. Well, tonite, I found an entry for what might be the family – but living in Louisiana!

This is what is in the census record

1880 Morehouse County Louisiana, 10th Ward
Anthony – Head, age 30, farm laborer, born in NC, parents born in NC
Martha – Wife, age 25, born in Ark?, parents born in NC
Martha – daughter, age 6, born in Louisia, parents born in NC/Ark
Mary – daughter, age 4, born in Louisiana, parents born in NC/Ark
Bertha – daughter, age 1, born in Louisiana, parents born in NC/Ark

This is what matches what I already know:
1) That both Anthony & Martha report being born in NC
2) Anthony’s age in this census record matches what I already knew – that he was born in 1850
3) Martha’s age (the wife) in this record matches what I already know – that she was born somewhere around 1853 or so..
4) Two of the kids names matches two names I already had – Martha & Mary

What doesn’t match
1) the daughter Martha is not our direct relative, but Mattie was born in 1897. On the 1900 census she is 3, so I know that the Martha above is not the same as our Martha. However, given the high rate of infant mortality and the apparent penchant in our family for them to reuse names of kids that previously died, maybe this was an older sister of Mattie’s that died before Mattie was born?
2) the Mary above seems to be around 10 years older than the Mary I already have for Anthony & Martha. Again, from the 1900 census, they list a daughter Mary that is 14 years old. She would not have been born in 1880. But again… possible older sister that died?
3) And, I don’t have a daughter for them named Bertha – but that too may be a child that died?

Hmm.. are these my ancestors? Off to do more research! But, if this is them – it then makes one ponder – what were they doing in Louisiana???

Update – nope, this wasn’t them

More discoveries

Today’s mail brought another 20 or so birth/death certificates. I am thrilled to say the least. And, among them, I made a very interesting discovery.

My paternal great-grandmother’s name was Josephine. In her funeral program and on her death certficate, it stated that her mother’s name was Priscilla. In searching census records looking for Josephine as a child, the only black Josephine in Craven County, NC at anywhere near the right age was living in a household with a sister named Priscilla and a mother named Polly. So, I began to wonder as to the accuracy of the funeral program and the death certificate. From Josephine’s funeral program, I knew that she had a sister named Dizzer (what a name right?) Well, I received a copy of Dizzer’s delayed birth certificate today. On the birth certificate, her parents are listed at Tom Holloway and Pollie Hood. Furhtermore, one of her items of “evidence” to her birthdate was an affadavit from her older sister “Parcilla”. Looks like my suspicions were right! Priscilla (Parcilla) was not their mother, she was their sister and their mother was indeed Polly (Pollie). I can only surmise that at the time of Josephine’s death, the family must have misremembered her mother’s name. Tonite, I discovered a new generation of ancestors — my great-great grandparents Tom & Polly.

On my maternal side of the family, of significance so far are three death certificates I received. My mother’s mother’s mother (Mattie) had 10 children. Five that lived, five that died. My mother always heard about my grandmother’s siblings that never got a chance to grow up – they died as babies/toddlers. Two girls and one boy that we know of. I also know from one birth certificate that Mattie had a stillborn child. There is still one child unaccounted for, so we will have to ask my grandmother about that. I really cannot imagine what it must be like to lose half of children – -in reading their death certificates, I was just filled with sadness for this loss of life.

  • Abraham Jr was 2 years old. He died of 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his arms and legs. My mother is not quite sure what happened, but she did remember that he somehow got hot water on him and this caused his burns.

  • Daisy was almost two years old when she died. Cause of death appears to be Laryngeal Diptheria (hard to read on the certificate).
  • Martha Jane had just turned one when she died. We can’t read the cause of death, but we know that one child passed away from an overdose of some medicine that people used to give children to sleep while they worked in the fields. Tragic to think that people resorted to this, but maybe this was her cause of death.

So sad. Also, a rather interesting thing I noticed, on each of their death certificates, the date of birth is slightly off from the date of birth on their birth certificates. For record purposes, I am going with the date of birth on their birth certificates since it was closer to the actual event, but I find it again striking how variable people’s birthdays seemed to be years ago. From census records, I have seen ages fluctuating quite widely between the 10 years and this is an interesting phenomenon to me. Were birthdays not as celebrated as they are now? I surmise that with the creation of state record keeping requirements, this has helped establish dates more concretely.