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…

Scippio Motley

One of my stepmother’s ancestors was Scippio Motley. His wife’s name was Jane Johnson Motley. Scippio or “Sip” was her great-grandfather.

Last month, I spoke with one of her aunts who told me the story about how Sip died. She informed me that Sip and Jane had several beautiful girls and the family lived in a wooden hut in Kershaw County, South Carolina. There was apparently a local white man who wanted one of Sip’s girls, which of course, Sip was against. When the girl was about 14, the man came around to the house to get her and Sip shot and killed him. After this happened, he had to go on the run, so he fled the home and lived in the woods for the next three or four weeks. While in the woods, he contracted pneumonia, so came home one evening to recuperate, get warm, etc. It seems other local white men in the area were watching for him, so that night when he came home, they came to the house and shot and killed him in front of the fireplace. According to my step-aunt this happened about 1910.

So, I have been working to collect documentation about Sip and his family. So far, I only have two census records:

  • 1880 census record – shows Sip age 20 and Jane age 20 with two children, Elliot who is 2 and McKnight who is an infant, born in January of 1880.
  • 1870 census record - for Sip’s mother, Margaret, who is 55, with three others in her house – a 13 year old Daniel, 9 year old Lucy and 12 year old Delia. Family information has Margaret as Sip’s mother, so is Daniel = Sip? Not sure? But, in 1880, Margaret lives three doors away from Sip and Jane.
  • Sip’s daughter Pearl is my stepmother’s grandmother, and from her 1930 census record, a brother named Vernon is listed as living with her and her family.
  • Then, when I talked to my stepmother’s aunt, she told me that Pearl also had a brother named Frank.

I have not found Sip & Jane in 1900 or 1910 yet. I found a possible match for Jane in the 1900 census – living in the right county, about the right age, but this Jane is listed as having three children – an 18 year old daughter named Daisy, a 12 year old son Clarence and an 8 year old son Frank. The issue here is that there are several children missing if this is her, including Pearl?

This is going to take more work!