Trip to Willard Library

I am just now getting around to posting this, but a couple of weeks ago, we went to Evansville during the week and I had an opportunity to spend a few hours visiting Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana. This library is the oldest public library in the state of Indiana. I’d begun to notice over the past several months that many of the resources I was interested in, are held at this library! They have a very extensive genealogy collection and the three hours I spent there seems like such a small amount of time!

So, here’s a recap of what I ended up bringing home with me, though I looked at much more.

  • Marriages of Rowan County, North Carolina: 1753-1868 compiled by Brent H. Holcomb. I was looking in this book primarily for surnames associated with my stepmother’s tree (Fry, Reed, Bean, Oneal, Crowell). I found several entries that I photocopied for later analysis.
  • County of Todd, Kentucky: Historical and Biographical – edited by J.H. Battle. – I photocopied a few pages out of this book as this is where my brother-in-law’s paternal family is from. Interestingly enough, he has a 2nd great-grandfather named Granville Waddell (who was a slave) and in this book I found mention of a white Granville Waddell who emigrated to the county and died there in 1852. I have yet to further research this possible lead. Another surname of interest from this book is Talley. Kalonji has black ancestors with the surname from this county and there is mention of white Talley’s in the area.
  • Todd County, Kentucky Obituaries by Tim Pulley – found many obits here for Meriweather’s (white and black), another surname associated with Kalonji’s tree. Also some obits for Talley, Daniel and Wisdom.
  • Todd County, Kentucky Marriages 1820-1879 by Era W. Stinson – another source for looking up Kalonji and his brother’s lines. Found some possible listings of interest. I did find one goldmine – the above mentioned Granville Waddell married Philis Bell 8 Feb 1868 – I finally have their marriage date!
  • Vital Statistics Todd County, Kentucky - by A.B. Willhite – this book had births, marriages and deaths – both black and white.
  • Marriage and Death Notices from the Western Carolinian by Robert M. Topkins – found a few Crowell’s and Reed’s listed.
  • Estate Records of Edgecombe County North Carolina 1820-1850 Vol. II – by Joseph W. Watson – one of the few books they had for Edgecombe County (of interest sfor my maternal grandmother’s line). I am glad I looked here, because I learned more about Edmund McNair than I knew before, including the fact that he had plantations and slaves in more counties than I knew of. I will have to go back to some of the material I’ve collected about Dred Wimberly, but I think I remember that some items mentioned him being born at Walnut Hill. Well, from this inventory information, I learn that Walnut Hill is in Franklin County, not Edgecombe County.

I also photocopied a few Kentucky death certificates in hope of finding more relationships. Overall, a good visit. I really need to get back!

Light blogging

My blogging these days has been light but I have been working on genealogy. I have been helping my stepmother’s cousin work on his mother’s tree. Also, I’ve been taking a look at Family Tree Maker 2008 trying to decide if I want to purchase it or not. So far it has some cool features, but I’m not sure it’s right for me. I have such high demands and expectations for genealogy software :-)

Newspaper Directory

For anyone that loves historical newspapers as much as I do, this post is for you. In reading the latest issue of Family Tree magazine, I read the column they have on the Library of Congress’ website for historical newspapers. While I’d been to the site before, I didn’t realize until I read this column that the site offers a directory to published newspapers that also lets you see which libraries hold it! This is great!

A Big Family

From the 1 Apr 1898 issue of the Roanoke Beacon (Plymouth, North Carolina)
pg. 4

Mrs. Sallie Hinton of Turkey Foot precinct, this county, is probably the head of the largest family in the world. She is the mother of twelve children, all alive and married. She is the grandmother of fifty-seven grandchildren, and the great-grandmother of twenty-two great-grandchildren, all of whom live within a few miles of her. She is seventy-one years old and an active lady, does all her milking, cooking and other housework, and enjoys the very best of health. — Georgetown (Ky.) News.

Dred’s Brother?

In my quest to confirm my suspicions on Dred Wimberly, I have another clue. I sent away for his death certificate, but the register of deeds tells me they could not locate it. Hmm.. time to try the NC State Archives. But, they did have the death certificate of whom I suspected to be Dred’s brother, Richard Wimberly.

Richard Wimberly, according to the death certificate, was born about 1859 and his parents were Allen & Della Wimberly. Informant was Dred Wimberly. Well, since my hand searching of the county census records of 1870 show only one Richard Wimberly and he is in the household of Allen & Della, I’m fairly certain this is he. Then, given that Dred was his informant, this adds to my theory that Dred is the son of Allen & Della as well.

I’ve located Richard and his family in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census records. I’ve located his widowed wife in the 1930 census (he died in 1921). Maybe through his line I can find a living descendant to talk to. I continue to search.

Explorations in Evansville: Part 1

Yesterday, we took three of my stepsons back home to Evansville after having had them for two months. Yesterday afternoon, Kalonji drove me to the area of town where he grew up.

Our first stop was to E. Cherry street. His grandmother, Betty Sanders, lived in the first house on the street – 652 E. Cherry Street. However, her house is no longer there, it is now the empty lot you see in the picture, to the left of the driveway. So, I took a few pictures and pasted them together. It’s not a great paste, but it gives the idea of what her corner looked like. The two houses next to where hers was are very similar in shape and appearance to what hers was according to Kalonji.

I Love the Tennesse State Archives!

This past week has been filled with a lot of fun hunting for relatives of my stepmother. Her family reunion was this past weekend and I connected with a few of her family members who are also into genealogy. Then, I had a chance to make a quick trip to the Tennessee State Archives and it was a VERY productive 45 minutes!

Some of what I gathered:

  • Abandoned Cemeteries of Stanly County – My stepmother is a Frye and last month, her cousin was able to find the mother of their earliest known ancestor. It turned out that the ancestor, Maggie Fry, is white. So, I’m researching her family, the Fry’s of Stanly County. In this book, I found information on the Fry family cemeteries there, but Maggie is not listed. However, other members of her family are listed. Additionally, another branch of the family, Crowell, is from this county. So, I’m beginning to track the white Crowell families in hopes of making a connection. Found some cemetery listings for Crowells.
  • Stanly County, North Carolina, Marriages – More Fry’s, Crowell’s and a couple of other surnames located. Found the marriage record of a relative of Maggie’s.
  • Kershaw County, South Carolina Cemetery Survey – two days ago, I found a post on the Ancestry Kershaw County board of someone who was willing to do lookups in this book. She provided me with information for some of the Reid’s in my stepmothers tree. So, I had to go look at the book myself after discovering TSLA had it. There are several family members listed in the book along with more clues to follow.
  • Rowan County Cemeteries – this was a multi-volume set, like 8 volumes or something like that! I only had about 5 minutes to look in it, but I struck gold! Tony’ Reid’s burial plot is listed and the book provides the names of his wife’s parents. His wife was Elizabeth “Bettie” Parker and her parents were Wiley and Lucinda Parker. Tony’s birth year as listed in the book is wrong, but that’s okay. I know from census records when he was born.
  • Marriages of Rowan County, North Carolina: 1868-1900 - Jackpot! Found out that Tony Reid and Bettie Parker were married November 15, 1871.
  • Rowan County: a Brief History – was interested in this as it had a few pages on the history of Gold Hill. Gold Hill was the community around the gold mines in Rowan County that were the first docmented gold mines in the US. Tony Reid lived in Gold Hill and in 1880 his occupation is miner and farmer, so I’m guessing he may have worked these mines.
  • Somebody Knows My Name – went back to this classic to get the marriages of Rowan County. Unfortunately, the book does not cover Cabarrus or Stanly counties. Located a couple of people of interest, but can’t be sure of anything yet.

Amazing day! Now, to start analyzing all of this…

Also, I created a database of books that I want to keep track of. I found I was having difficulty managing what books I wanted to make sure I kept note of for future lookups, where they may be located etc. Once I get it more developed, I’ll blog about it more in depth.

I’m Published!

Yesterday in the mail, the latest issue of the Washington County Genealogical Society Newsletter arrived and I am now officially published! This is the only society I am a member of so far, and I submitted an article for the newsletter about using Google Patents and they published it. Whippee!

Now, they made a point to make a call for family group sheets and genealogies, so I plan to next submit some of my family information for them. This is cool.

More Family History

This weekend was my stepmother’s family reunion and now that I’m genealogy obsessed, I approached it from a completely different perspective. Some of her ancestors have some interesting stories. In particular, they handed out information on the history of the Reid patriarch, Tony Reid. With the additional information, I was able to find Tony and his family in the 1910 and 1920 census.

Now, I’m working through additional details trying to verify the oral history. One fact in the oral history is that Tony had an uncle named Solomon Bean Shad who worked and earned enough to buy his freedom from his master, Mr. Bean. Shad was Tony’s father’s brother. In that 1870 census record that I suspected was Tony (despite he being listed with his mother’s last name of Crowell), I now do feel that it is him as on the same page, is Solomon Shad living in the household of a John Palmer. Living with Tony and his mother is an Eliza Parker.

So many more things to research, but I enjoy looking. I also have another contact who is researching african-american crowell’s from Cabarrus County and I found a post of his on Afrigeneas that mentions that the white Reid’s of the county opened a gold mine. Further research there reveals that it was the first documented gold find in the US. In 1880, Tony’s occupation is listed as Miner – he must have worked in that mine!

I need to add these resources to my “get” list:

1. Golden promise in the Piedmont : the story of John Reed’s mine – by Richard F. Knapp
2. Gold mining in North Carolina – by Richard F. Knapp and Brent D. Glass
3. Reed Mine Guidebook – by Linda Funk
4. The first gold rush: [a master plan for Reed Gold Mine] – by US National Park Service

Tony Reid/Reed and his mother Winnie Crowell

Another story from my stepmother’s family — One of their ancestors was Tony Reid/Reed. I first learned his name when I received the death certificate for my stepmother’s grandmother, Daisy Fyre. It stated that her father’s name was Tony Reid, but that the mother was unknown.

When I spoke to my stepmother’s aunt, she told me a story about Tony that matched information also received from my step-uncle the other day. The story about Tony is that he saw his wife to be and asked his master to buy her. He worked seven years in order to “make” enough money so they could get her.

Information from my step-uncle from a cousin of his is that Tony was a slave of Miles Reid. Tony’s mother was named Winnie Crowell and she was sold to Miles Reid. This was in a town called “Tucker” in Stanly County. Winnie also had a son named Ambros that was sold to a plantation in Georgia and she begged her master, Miles Reid to keep Tony. Tony lived from about 1834-1926. Tony and his wife, Betty Paker, had 13 children.

So, before I received this information, I had not found Tony in any census records. Turns out, I had not been looking in the right place.

  • With the names of Crowell and Reid, I began to do some general internet searching for any relationship between these names. I found out that a white woman named Ann Reid had married a white man named Jennings Crowell and they lived in Stanly county. Good to know about.
  • 1870 Census – since I had not located Tony, I decided to look for his mother. A census search quickly found her! In Cabarrus County, NC (Concord) are living a 50 year old Winnie Crowell and a 30 year old Tonney Crowell. I began to suspect this was them as there were no other Winnie Crowell’s to be found. Living with them is a 14 year old girl named Eliza Palmer. Is this Tony’s wife to be? The age difference is about 15 years.
  • 1880 Census – 41 year old Tony Reid and 24 year old wife Elizabeth are living in a township called Reed Misenheimer’s in Cabarrus County, NC. So, his wife is about 15 years younger! I do believe the Eliza Palmer living with them is his wife to be. At this point, they have 4 children – 7 year old daughter Frances L., 5 year old son John W., a 5 year old daughter whose name is hard to read, and a 3 year old daughter, Hattie. Tony’s occupation is listed as a miner and a farmer and it is noted that he cannot right.

    Now, interestingly enough, the next household is headed by a black 40 year old man named Amos Melcher? He is married to 33 year old wife Adeline H. They have 7 kids – 15 year old son Thompson, 13 year old daughter Georgianna, 12 year old daughter Dora, 10 year old son Horace, 8 year old son Buckie, 7 year old daughter Mary E., and a 4 year old daughter whose name I can’t read. Right next to them is a woman named Weensy/Wenny Crowell, age 55 and listed as Mother. She is in a household to herself, so whose mother is she? Amos’? If so, that would be Tony’s brother! Is Georgianna so named because he spent time in Georgia? Questions to further investigate!

  • 1870 again – so, I go back to 1870 now that I have the name Amos to see how close he is to Tony & Winnie. I found him, but he is not living near Winnie and Tony.
  • 1900 Census - Found Tony & Bettie! He’s enumerated as “Loney” in Ancestry’s database.

Stay tuned…