Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Calendar

It's Saturday night (technically Sunday morning now but close enough) so that means Randy Seaver has posted this week's mission:

"1) Open your genealogy software or family tree program of choice and make yourself the highlighted person.
2) Find out how to create a Calendar to show birthdays and/or anniversaries of yourself and all of your ancestors (or all relatives, or all persons - your choice!). The "Help" button is your friend here!!! It can be done in all of the current software programs.
3) Create your calendar. Pretty it up if you want. Save it. Can you show us a page from your calendar - say January 2010?
4) Which of your ancestors (or relatives, or descendants - your choice!), if any, were born on 30 January?
Have fun with this. How can you use this information during the coming year?"

Using Legacy Family Tree software, I 1st created a calendar using everyone in my database and the default calendar design. Since I opted for birthdays and wedding anniversaries, I ended up with a 36 page calendar. Legacy puts items that won't fit in the "day" boxes in list format using additional pages as needed. Examples below:  
Options are available to change colors and fonts and add pictures to give the calendar the look you want. I didn't bother with the pictures because it would take too long to pick out just the right ones but did play around with the colors and fonts.

To cut down on the number of pages, I decided to limit it to my direct line ancestors. Selecting direct line ancestors isn't an option for the calendar but selecting a group with a specific tag is so I needed to tag my direct line. (Legacy has 9 tags available and I use a few that I consider permanent but always keep some open for temporary use in little projects like this. Tagging can sometimes be your best friend.) If you are familiar with Legacy's search and tagging features, finding and tagging your direct line can be done in a couple of minutes.

Once my direct line was tagged, it was back to the calendar creator to select the tagged individuals and make some cosmetic changes. Since Kentucky had defeated Vandy earlier making the Cats 20-1 on the season, I was in a happy Blue and White mood (see last week's genealogy fun for "interests other than genealogy").

Once your calendar is created, you can print it, save the whole thing as a pdf or save a specfic page as a graphic (which is how I saved the examples).

In addition to this regular type of calendar, Legacy also has a "calendar list report" that might be more useful when you just need the facts and especially when you have more entries than will fit in the calendar format.

While working on this mission, I discovered a related function that I was vaguely aware of in Legacy but had never used. On the "Home" tab, birthdays, death dates and anniversaries occuring in the next 14 days will be listed but only if you turn the reminders on for each person you want to see. I have to admit, I've noticed those reminder boxes on the data entry screens but never took the time to find out how they worked. There doesn't seem to be a way to turn them on for everyone in the database at once but since I already have my direct line ancestors tagged, I can easily turn them on for those people from the search list.

As for someone born on January 30th, there is no one in my direct line so I'll go with the oldest relative. Mary Waller was born 311/312 years ago in 1698/99. She was the daughter of my 7th great grandparents, John Waller and Dorothy King, and the sister of my 6th great grandfather, John Waller.

That was fun and I learned a few things. I just wish I could write as fast as I can operate Legacy.

This Week In The Family History - January 31 - February 6

1 Feb 1814 (196 years ago) - David Gamble enlisted in the South Carolina Militia to serve in the War of 1812. (3rd great-grandfather, Lanier Line)

1 Feb 1875 (135 year ago) - Rebecca Mullins Owens died in Rockcastle County, Kentucky at the age of 73. (3rd great-grandmother, Taylor Line)

5 Feb 1730/31 (280/279 years ago) - Joseph Barney died in Rehoboth, Bristol County, Colonial Massachusetts at the age of 57. (8th great-grandfather, Hopkins Line)

7 Feb 1831 (179 years ago) - John T. Bennett was born in South Carolina. (2nd great-grandfather, Lanier Line)

Specific day not known:
Feb 1603/04 (407/406 years ago) - Margaret Singleton Gudlawe died in Lancashire, England (12th great-grandmother, Hankins Line)

[Relationship listed is how the person is related to me. The family line listed indicates which of my grandparents the person is related through.]

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surname Saturday - Taylor

Today's surname is Taylor, the name of my maternal grandmother.

Emma Ewers Taylor
Born 24 Oct 1900, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Married Elmer Dennis Hopkins 11 Oct 1920, Jellco, Campbell County, Tennessee
Died 19 Jan 1978, Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky
Buried Elmwood Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

John Cook Taylor
Born 25 Dec 1863, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Married Sarah A. Ramsey 8 Jun 1885, Rockcastle County, Kentucky (died)
Married Margaret Frances Warren 22 Aug 1894, Rockcastle County, Kentucky (divorced)
Married Emma Jane Owens 16 Jan 1900, Freedom, Rockcastle County, Kentucky (Emma's mother)
Died 7 Sep 1863, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Buried Elmwood Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

James Francis "Jim" Taylor
Born 8 Jul 1830, Garrard County, Kentucky
Married Margaret E. Ramsey 11 Oct 1855, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Died 10 Jun 1894, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Buried Ramsey Taylor Cemetery, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

William Taylor
Born bet. 1798-1805, Virginia or North Carolna
Married Martha Ramsey 2 Jun 1825, Garrard County, Kentucky (died)
Married Mary G. Ramsey 27 Aug 1854, Rockcastle County, Kentucky (died)
Married Delilah Cox 23 Apr 1862, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Died bet. 1880-1886, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

That's as far as it goes and I've already written about the
Taylor brick wall.

Click the links above for more information about each ancestor. If you are connected to this family, e-mail me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Letter From A Young Soldier To His Parents


James Bailey Hankins was the son of Lee and Samantha Hankins and the brother of my grandmother, Verda McCauley. (He had a hand in naming me but that's a story for another day.) When I was growing up it was an event when Uncle Jimmy came to Kentucky from California for a visit. He was handsome, charming, successful and the favorite uncle of my father and (I believe) his nine siblings. This newspaper clipping shows the somber side of a young soldier that I doubt any of them ever saw. It is letter that he wrote to his parents as he was being shipped to France after he had joined the US Army during World War I. I don't know (yet) the exact dates of his service or the date the letter was published in a local Hopkins County, Kentucky newspaper but he was only 17 years old when the Armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918 so he was definitely no older than that when he left for France.

James Hankins' Farewell Letter Before Sailing
The following letter was written by James Hankins, who is now with the American army in France, to his parents, Rev. and Mrs. Lee Hankins, of Earlington, on the eve of his departure for France:

Camp Merritt, N. J.
Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Hankins.
Dear Father and Mother: - I write you my farewell letter. I received your kind letters. I was so glad to hear from you all. Mother, you ask me why I had to go to France. They wanted some good men over there and I thought it was my duty to go. I didn't have to go. Just wanted to go, and when you are reading this letter I will be sailing across the briny deep. But don't grieve or worry about me. If I never get back you can say I died fighting for my country and nobody can say I was a slacker, and if I get back, like I feel I will, I can tell you something of this war. So do the best you can and have a good time. Don't grieve for me. I will be back some day if I live, and if we never meet here on earth any more we will meet some day where parting is no more and there are no more goodbyes, for there is a better land than this, and if we never meet here we will meet up there. So I will close [my] farewell letter in the good old U. [S. A.] Good-bye.
Your loving son,
James Hankins

I received this copy of the original clipping from my 2nd cousin, Sue Morgan London, several years ago after she found my genealogy website. Sue and I have never met but her mother, Helen Hankins Morgan, was my father's cousin and Jimmy's niece. The clipping was no doubt originally saved by Lee and Samantha and Helen must have saved it after Samantha's death. This is another example of a family treasure I would not have if I hadn't set up a website.  

Photo courtesy of Rick Thorpe, descendant of Lee Hankins' sister, Mollie Hankins Clements. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Hankins Family

Lee & Samantha Petty Hankins with sons, Jimmy (seated) and Perry
around 1905-1906

Lee & Samantha were my great grandparents.
Photo courtesy of Sue Morgan London.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Orin E. Taylor

In five days it will be the 66th anniversary of Orin Edward Taylor’s death. Orin was killed in action during WWII in Anzio, Italy at the age of 24. He was a 1st Lieutenant in the 4th Ranger Battalion that suffered heavy casualties at Anzio along with the 1st and 3rd Rangers.

Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Orin E. Taylor, Kansas, 1 Lt., 4 Ranger Inf Bn, World War II
November 13, 1919 - January 31, 1944

When Orin’s father, William Robert “Bill” Taylor, was a young child his parents divorced and his mother took him from Kentucky to Kansas to live when she moved there with her parents shortly after 1900. Bill had been told as a child that his father, John C. Taylor, died and did not learn that he was actually still living in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky until about 1930 when his mother was dying and told him the truth.

By the time Orin joined the army in 1941, Bill had traveled to Kentucky to visit his father, half-sisters and other relatives several times but Orin had never gone with him. For some reason, Orin decided to make the trip from Kansas to Kentucky before he reported for duty. He came alone and was welcomed by his grandfather and the rest of the family who all immediately fell in love with him. Sadly, it was their one and only chance to see him.

Orin with some of his Kentucky relatives during his visit.

[Headstone photo courtesy of Find A Grave volunteers, Ed n Edna Lane.]

Monday, January 25, 2010

Madness Monday - The Father of James Arton Hopkins

Lum, Landon (a cousin) and Jim Hopkins

Oral family history tells us that James Arton "Jim" Hopkins and his brother, William Columbus "Lum" Hopkins were the sons of Stephen Wolfenbarger and Eliza Hopkins. “The story” passed down through the family is that Eliza and Stephen got married and had two boys, Stephen went off to fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War and was killed in battle, Eliza re-married and moved away leaving the boys to be raised by her parents, Jim and Lum went by Hopkins because they were raised by their Hopkins grandparents. The problem is that story doesn’t exactly hold up when the limited available records are examined.

It is a fact that Eliza was the mother of Jim and Lum, that her parents (Stephen and Rachel Hopkins) raised them and that they always went by Hopkins. The 1st indicator of at least a discrepancy in “the story” is the 1860 census in Hancock County, Tennessee. Eliza and Lum were listed with her parents in Mulberry Gap as Elisa Hopkins (age 23) and William Hopkins (age 5 months). Twenty-seven dwellings away was Stephen Wolfenbarger (age 22) living with Margaret Wolfenbarger (age 18). Well, isn’t that interesting? Of course, the Hancock County courthouse burned in 1880 and again in 1930 so there are virtually no records available from the 1860’s. If Stephen was married to someone named Margaret, their marriage record isn’t going to be found.

It is a fact that Stephen died during the Civil War. Muster rolls for Company K of the 19th Regiment, Tennessee Infantry show he joined on 22 May 1861 [before Jim was born in Dec 1861]. “Killed in battle” is noted in the remarks on his muster roll dated 14 May 1863.

It is a fact that Eliza got married, moved away and left the boys with her parents. Sometime in the mid 1860’s, the Hopkins family moved to Harlan County, Kentucky. In 1866, Eliza married Ephram Simpson and moved to Indiana then later to Missouri. Their marriage record is another little nick in “the story”. Eliza HOPKINS, not Eliza WOLFENBARGER, married Ephram Simpson. Hmmm – in 1866 why would a widow with 2 children revert to her maiden name?

There was a Margaret Wolfenbarger listed in the 1870 census in Lee County, Virginia (which borders Hancock County, Tennessee). She was 27 and had two sons, Peter (9) and Richard (3). Even though Richard would have been too young to be Stephen’s son, this is possibly the Margaret listed with Stephen in 1860. The 1870 Lee County census not only lists Tennessee as the birth place for all three, it lists Hancock County. [I wish more of my ancestors had lived in this census taker’s district.]

So was Stephen Wolfenbarger the really father of Jim and Lum? Did they even have the same father? I certainly don’t know but I am convinced that Stephen and Eliza were never married which opens the possibility that he was he was just a convenient answer to give the boys since he died long before they were old enough to ask questions. Probably the only way this question will ever be answered is with Y DNA testing. I should be looking for a willing candidate.

James Arton Hopkins was my great grandfather.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Nght Genealogy Fun - Other Interests

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posts a weekly "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" challenge for bloggers. I've enjoyed reading these for some time now but this is my 1st time to actually participate! Today's mission is: "Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc."

My other interests (in no particular order) include:
  • Travel, especially cruising. Just got back from my 9th cruise a week before Christmas.

  • The Beach. That means Pawleys Island or nearby Litchfield Beach in South Carolina. Starting April 25th, I'll spend two weeks enjoying this view at Pawleys.

  • University of Kentucky Basketball. I was born a Wildcat basketball fan. (Come Monday the Cats will be the #1 team in the nation so watching the Big Blue has been big fun so far this season.)
  • University of Kentucky Football. I developed into a Wildcat football fan. This fall will be my 21st year as a season ticket holder. For many of those years, football was just a social occasion (tailgating way more fun than games) but that's changing.
  • Audio Books. If I'm sitting down, I should be working on genealogy so my "reading" has turned into "listening". With books loaded to my iPod, I can listen in the car, on the beach, doing housework, at the gym, etc. Favorite authors include James Patterson, Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum series), Mary Higgins Clark, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Richard North Patterson and Chelsea Cain. 

Surname Saturday - Lanier

Today's surname is Lanier, the birth name of my paternal grandfather.

John William "Will" McCauley (aka Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Lanier)
Born 1 Mar 1875, Alabama (either Chambers or Randolph County)
Married Verda Waller Hankins 27 Sep 1904 Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Died 20 Jul 1959 Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky
Buried Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Joseph Smith Lanier
Born 2 Jun 1847 Randolph County, Alabama
Married Nancy Jane Bennett abt. 1869
Died 1 May 1909 (probably in Mississippi)

William Washington "Buck" Lanier
Born 15 Mar 1813, Jasper County, Georgia
Married Charlotte T. Jackson 22 Oct 1835 Meriwether County, Georgia
Died 11 Feb (or 28 Jan) 1892, Fredonia, Chambers County, Alabama
Buried New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery, Fredonia, Chambers County, Alabama

James Lanier
Born abt. 1785 North Carolina
Married Polly Smith 29 Jul 1810 Jasper County, Georgia
Died bet. 1850-1860 Meriwether County, Georgia

Nathaniel Lanier
Born 15 Nov 1749 Brunswick County, Colonial Virginia
Married Mary (maiden name unknown) abt. 1771 Pitt County, Colonial North Carolina
Died Jan 1795 Georgia

James Lanier
Born 11 Nov 1724, Brunswick County, Colonial Virginia
Married Mary Cooke abt 1746 Brunswick County, Colonial Virginia
Died abt. 1786 Pitt County, Colonial North Carolina

Sampson Lanier
Born abt. 1682 Charles City County, Colonial Virginia
Married Elizabeth Washington abt. 1706 Surry County Colonial Virginia

The Lanier family has been documented back to the 1500's in a book titled "Lanier, A Genealogy of the family who came to Virginia and their French ancestors in London" by Louise Ingersoll. The three earliest generations listed here are solely from that book. My family was just able to prove my grandfather's parents this past year and I have only done research back to James Lanier & Polly Smith so there is much work to be done on this line.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Square Nails

Jim & Cindy Hopkins moved their family from Wallins Creek in Harlan County, Kentucky to Rockcastle County between 1900-1902. Their new home was this 2-story house near Brodhead on what is now KY 1326. According to family legend, the house had been used by troops during the Civil War and almost 40 years later still had blood stains on the upstairs walls and porch from the wounded soldiers. (I've never been clear on whether that was Union or Confederate troops.) The family lived here until 1919 when they moved to Gum Sulphur to the west of Brodhead.

In the 1980's, one of my mother's cousins from Michigan was visiting her and other relatives in Rockcastle County. The last remnant of the house had recently been torn down but they took a drive out there anyway. They stopped to look around and ran into the current property owner. When they told him their fathers had lived in the house as children he told them he had saved some of the square nails that were removed during the demolition and gave them several before they left.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Emma & Elmer Hopkins

Emma died 32 years ago today.
Elmwood Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

Emma E. - Oct 24, 1900-Jan 19, 1978
Elmer D. - Apr 2, 1894-May 26, 1980

Emma Ewers Taylor was the daughter of John Cook Taylor and Emma Jane Owens. She was born in Rockcastle County, Kentucky and died in Harlan County, Kentucky. Elmer Dennis Hopkins was the son of James Arton Hopkins and Lucinda Howard. He was born and died in Harlan County, Kentucky. Emma and Elmer were married on 11 Oct 1920 in Jellico, Campbell County, Tennessee.

Emma and Elmer were my maternal grandparents.

Photographed 4 May 2005 by Linda McCauley.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Madness Monday - Rachel Hopkins' Maiden Name

Here we go again with something that is widely accepted without any apparent proof. Many Hopkins researchers list Stephen Hopkins Jr.'s wife as Rachel McFarland. Her name was definitely Rachel - that's how she was listed in census records and by my grandmother (who married Rachel's great grandson).

Rachel married Stephen Hopkins abt. 1822 possibly in Claiborne County, Tennessee since that's where they were living in 1830 & 1840 according to census records. They were in Hancock County in 1850 & 1860 but since Hancock was created in 1844 from parts of Claiborne, Grainger and Hawkins Counties it appears they didn't actually move - their property was just in the part of Claiborne County that became Hancock. Census records from 1850-1870 indicate Rachel was born in Tennessee between 1806-1808.

Rachel and Stephen had at least 11 children and also raised several grandchildren, among them my great grandfather, James Arton Hopkins. The family moved to Harlan County, Kentucky between 1862-1865. Rachel apparently died there between 1870-1880 as she wasn't listed in the 1880 census and Stephen re-married in Nov. 1880. Family legend says she died of a hemorrhage while trying to pack her nose with salt to stop the bleeding.

The only documented clue to Rachel's maiden name that I've found is in the death certificate of her daughter, Eliza. Eliza's husband, Ephram Simpson, provided Rachel's maiden name as McFardan but it's certainly possible that he either mispronounced or misspelled McFarland.

There were no McFardans or McFarlands in Claiborne or nearby Tennessee counties in 1820 but there was a John McFarland in bordering Lee County, Virginia. Stephen's brother, George, may have married a Polly McFarland who some say was the daughter of John McFarland and Mary Reed and was also Rachel's sister. I don't know yet if he is the same John McFarland but the one from Lee County had four daughters potentially old enough to have married in 1822 (two between 10-16 and two between 16-26). None of this proves anything but it is a decent lead so the next step is to check out Lee County John McFarland.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Surname Saturday - Hopkins

Today's surname is Hopkins, the name of my maternal grandfather.

Elmer Dennis Hopkins
Born 2 Apr 1894, Wallins Creek, Harlan County, Kentucky
Married Emma Ewers Taylor 11 Oct 1920, Jellico, Campbell County, Tennessee
Died 26 May 1980, Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky
Buried Elmwood Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

James Arton "Jim" Hopkins
Born 1 Dec 1861, Mulberry Gap, Hancock County, Tennessee
Married Lucinda Howard 25 Dec 1885, Wallins Creek, Harlan County, Kentucky
Died 5 Jan 1933, Harlan Township, Warren County, Ohio
Buried Morrow Cemetery, Salem, Warren County, Ohio

Eliza Hopkins
Born 22 Feb 1837, Claiborne County, Tennesse
Married Ephram Simpson 11 Oct 1866 Harlan County, Kentucky (He was not the father of Eliza's children.)
Died 16 Jan 1912, Epps, Butler County, Missouri
Buried Sparkman Cemetery, Butler County, Missouri
[Note: Father of James Arton Hopkins may have been Stephen Wolfenbarger. More about that in a future Madness Monday post. For now, since Hopkins was the surname of Eliza's descendants, that line will be followed here.]

Stephen Hopkins Jr.
Born abt. 1805, Tennessee
Married Rachel McFardan/McFarland abt. 1822
Died bef 13 Apr 1891, Jerry Branch, Molus, Harlan County, Kentucky
Buried Jerry Branch, Molus, Harlan County, Kentucky

Stephen Hopkins Sr.
Born abt. 1770
Married Catherine Clouse
Died abt. 1835, Tennessee

Nehemiah Hopkins
Born 6 Mar 1738/39
Married Elizabeth Cole 11 Mar 1762, Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island
Died aft 1830, Tennessee

Jabez Hopkins
Born 15 Jul 1713, Lincoln, Providence County, Rhode Island
Married Bethiah (maiden name not known)
Died 1 Jul 1790

William Hopkins
Married Deborah Allen bef. 1711

Thomas Hopkins
Born abt. 1650, Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island
Married Mary Smith 1 Apr 1678, Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island
Died 21 Apr 1718, Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island

Thomas Hopkins
Born abt. 1616, Cheselbourne, Dorset, England
Died 1684, Oyster Bay, Nassau County, New York

William Hopkins
Born England
Married Joanna Arnold
Died England

Friday, January 15, 2010

Surname Saturday - Taylor

James Francis Taylor and Margaret E. Ramsey

James Francis Taylor was born on 8 Jul 1830 in Garrard County, Kentucky. He was the son of William Taylor and Martha Ramsey. The family moved to neighboring Rockcastle County sometime between 1840 and 1850. 

Margaret E. Ramsey was born on 15 Nov 1840 in Rockcastle County. She was the oldest of three children born to Thomas Ramsey Jr. and Rhoda Ann Lavender. Her mother died before Margaret was 10 years old and her father died by the time she was 12.

Jim and Margaret were married on 11 Oct 1855 in Rockcastle County. Jim was a wagonmaker as a young man but spent the most of his life farming. Jim and Margaret lived on their farm between Mt. Vernon and Renfro Valley where they had 11 children.

Margaret died on 23 Jun 1892 and Jim on 10 Jun 1894. They were both buried in Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery near their home. Neither of them have a marker in the cemetery.

Jim and Margaret's Children:
William Thomas was born on 11 Aug 1856. He married Mary Elizabeth Fletcher on 7 Jan 1880 and they had four children. Tom died on 2 Feb 1904 and was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

Josiah Love was born on 20 Dec 1858. He married Mary Alice Kirby on 19 Jul 1888 and they had eight children. Joe died on 13 Feb 1921 and was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

Martha Ann was born on 10 Jun 1861. She married George W. Riickert on 25 Dec 1887 and they had six children. Mollie and George moved to Madison County, Indiana between 1900 and 1910. Mollie died there on 14 Jun 1923. She was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

John Cook was born on 25 Dec 1863. He married Sarah A. Ramsey on 8 Jun 1885. They had two children before she died in 1892. John then married Margaret Frances Warren on 22 Aug 1894 and they had one son before divorcing a few years later. John next married Emma Jane Owens on 16 Jan 1900 and they had three children. John died on 7 Sep 1953 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.

Rhoda Nell was born on 19 Apr 1866 and died at the age of 27 on 5 Oct 1893. She was never married and had no children. Rhoda was probably buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery although there is no marker to prove that.

Margaret Lula was born on 31 May 1868. She had one daughter and was later married to Francis Preston Fralick on 15 Sep 1917. Lou died on 8 Feb 1940 and was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

Robert Burke was born on 14 Aug 1870 and died on 11 Aug 1948. Bob was never married and had no children. He was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

Milton J. was born on 17 Feb 1872. He married Jane Sowder on 7 Aug 1901 and they had three children. Milt died on 3 Jan 1928 in London, Laurel County, Kentucky where he was taken to the hospital after being hit in the head with an axe by a neighbor. Milt was buried in Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

Alford was born on 7 May 1875. He married Susie P. Leffew on 13 Nov 1898 and they adopted a son. Susie died in 1942 and App later married Edith Powers. App and Edith lived in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky where he died on 17 Jun 1968. He was buried there in Resthaven Memorial Park.

Susan was born on 6 Aug 1877 and died just a few days before her 5th birthday on 26 Jul 1882. She is probably buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery. There is no marker to prove where Susan was buried but it's very likely that she was the first person buried in what became the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

Nancy Lair was born on 4 Nov 1880. She married Henry T. Harrison on 20 May 1915 and they adopted a daughter. Nannie died on 8 Jan 1959 and was buried in Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.

Jim and Margaret were my 2nd great-grandparents through their son, John Cook Taylor. Click on the links above for sources and additional information. 

Related Surname Saturday Posts:
John Cook Taylor and Emma Jane Owens

Ancestor Bio Series - Isabella Jane Goodloe

Isabella Jane "Janie" Goodloe was born 172 years ago this month on 27 Jan 1838 in Hopkins County, Kentucky. She was the first of four children born to John Emerson “Jack” Goodloe and Eliza Ann Dobyns. By the time Janie turned 11 years old, her mother had died and her father had married Elizabeth Pettus. She and Elizabeth apparently had a close relationship. Clippings from the personals section of the Earlington Bee from 1903 and 1904 make reference to Elizabeth visiting her daughter or Janie visiting her mother in reporting visits between the two.

Janie married Albert Hankins on 24 Oct 1855 at her father’s home in Hopkins County. They had four children: John Houston born 24 Aug 1856; Thomas Leander “Lee” born 13 Jun 1858; James W. born 25 Jul 1960 and Mary Madore “Mollie” born 10 Mar 1863. In 1860 they were living next to Albert’s parents Houston & Mary Weeks Hankins. Sometime between 1863 and 1870, Albert apparently died although it is not known exactly what happened to him. He had enlisted in the 8th Kentucky Infantry (Confederate) in Oct 1861 and his muster roll on 1 Aug 1862 lists him as a 4th Sgt. with Company I but shows he was “absent at home in Kentucky without leave.” Family stories tell that he was wounded in the hand during a battle some time after that which would mean he had to have rejoined his unit at some point. There are also family stories that Albert was with a friend in a barn in the company of Confederate deserters, was accused of desertion and shot. Aunt Liz once told me (in response to my question about how Albert died) that she remembered hearing “he got into some trouble and was shot” which seems to go along with the barn story.

Regardless of how Albert died, Janie was left alone with four young children to raise. Janie and the children moved near her father, likely on his property since they were listed next to him in the 1870 census. She married Thomas G. Yates on 3 Jan 1874. Yates probably died within a few years since she married Thomas K. DeVault on 23 Nov 1879. In 1900, DeVault and Janie lived on Robinson Street in Earlington and had adopted a daughter, Bessie, who was 16 years old at the time of the census. Bessie's last name was listed as Walker in that census but as DeVault in Janie's obituary a few years later. Nothing further is known about her.

Janie’s children were all married by 1885 and she had 14 grandchildren born between 1880 and 1901. Her son Jim was a coal miner, son Lee was a farmer and General Baptist minister and son John was a farmer, operated several mills and was the Hopkins County Sheriff for a while.

Janie died of Malaria on 23 Jul 1905 in Earlington and was buried the next day in Grapevine Cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Rick Thorpe, descendant of Mollie Hankins Clements, who shared many Hankins pictures with me several years ago.

Janie was my gg grandmother (Hankins line). I plan to post an Ancestor Bio 2 or 3 times a month.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Lee & Samantha Hankins

Grapevine Cemetery, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Thomas Lee - 1858-1929
Samantha A. - 1861-1944

Thomas Leander "Lee" Hankins was born on 13 Jun 1858 in Hopkins County, Kentucky to Albert Hankins and Isabella Jane Goodloe. He died on 23 Apr 1929 at his home in Madisonville.

Samantha Angeline Petty was born on 3 Apr 1861 in Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia to John R. Petty and Margaret E. Thomas. She died on 7 Jan 1944 at the Hopkins County Hospital in Madisonville.

Lee and Samantha were married on 14 May 1879 at the Hopkins County Courthouse in Madisonville. They had 7 children (2 daughter, 5 sons).

Lee and Samantha were my great grandparents.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Madness Monday - William Taylor

Don’t you just hate it when you see parents listed for someone over and over and over again in on-line trees but there is no actual proof of a relationship anywhere? It seems to be widely accepted among Taylor researchers that my William Taylor’s parents were William Taylor and Jean Guffey. Dozens of on-line trees say they are so it must be true. Right?

The problem is it seems everyone either got the information directly from someone else or picked it up on-line. Either way, they didn't get a source to go with it. So far, I have not found “researcher zero” who first made the connection. Maybe the idea initially developed because the elder William lived in Rockcastle County, the younger William also lived there and they shared a first name hence they must be father and son. Maybe it is just that simple but I need something more substantial.

Here is what I can document about my
William Taylor.

  1. He was born between 1798 and 1805 (based on ages in various census records) in either Virginia or North Carolina (from census and marriage records) and eventually settled in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.
  2. He was married three times and had 14 children. His first wife was Martha “Patsy” Ramsey, daughter of Thomas Ramsey, Sr. of Garrard County, Kentucky. They were married in 1825 in Garrard County and lived there until after 1840. They had three children and moved to Rockcastle County before 1850. Patsy died there in 1852.
  3. William next married Mary G. Ramsey, daughter of Daniel F. Ramsey and Mary Donaho in 1854. He and Mary had one child and she apparently died before 1860.
  4. In 1862, William married Delilah Cox, daughter of Ambrose Cox. They had 10 children.
  5. The exact date of William’s death is not known but it was sometime between 10 Jun 1880 (when the 1880 census was taken) and 8 Feb 1886 (when his son, Jim, sold property that he had inherited from William).

There's not much there to indicate who his parents might have been. The elder William Taylor was a Revolutionary War soldier from Rockbridge County, Virginia who later settled in Rockcastle County, Kentucky so the location works. He filed his Revolutionary War Pension application in Rockcastle County in 1832. Unfortunately, he did not mention any children in that application. He was approved for a pension based on his service in the Revolution yet there is not one descendant in the DAR based on his service. What does that mean? Maybe nothing, but it might mean that no one can adequately document any children for him.

Since young William first married in Garrard County and lived there for over 15 years afterwards, maybe his parents lived there as well. There were other Taylor’s there at the time but so far, I haven’t been able to connect him to any of them either. Census records show William was born in Virginia but when he married the second time in 1854, his birthplace was listed as North Carolina. That opens up a slight possibility that he was not even from Virginia and if not, he could not be the son of the elder William.

It occurred to me while writing this post that brick wall articles should include a research plan for going forward and, hopefully, a future post to discuss progress with that plan.

So, where do I go from here?

  • Check deed records prior to 1900 in both Rockcastle and Garrard counties for all Taylors. [In progress in Rockcastle County]
  • Review Rockcastle and Garrard County early tax lists. [In progress for Rockcastle County]
  • Find the 1825 marriage bond for William and Patsy from Garrard County. [According to a microfilm index of Garrard County marriage records, this record is in a box of loose records at the courthouse.]
  • Find the marriage record for William and Mary G. from Rockcastle County. [Have only seen a transcription in a book of marriage records.]
  • Check Garrard County wills for Taylors. [Already know that Rockcastle County does not have a will for either William.]

    Leave a comment or e-mail me if you have some other research ideas.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy 101 Award Received

Imagine my surprise when I found that Dr. William L. Smith at "Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories" had honored me with the Happy 101 Award. Since I've only been blogging for about two weeks this is a very nice welcome to the club and I appreciate Dr. Bill including me. Within minutes of originally publishing this post, I also received this award from Cathy Palm at "In Deeds" so I am doubly happy and appreciate Cathy thinking of me.*

It appears that my charge for accepting this award is to list 10 things that make me happy and pass the award on to 10 other blogs.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

  1. Ancestors (except for the ones who are hiding from me)
  2. Pawleys Island, SC (fondly referred to as "the beach")
  3. Breaking down a brick wall (or even making a little nick in one)
  4. Watching my favorite college basketball and football teams (Go Big Blue)
  5. Retirement (no explanation necessary)
  6. Cruising (just completed my 9th last month)
  7. Photography (check out my pix on SmugMug)
  8. Mystery Novels on my iPod (because I can listen while driving or laying on "the beach")
  9. Gadgets (especially if they are useful for Genealogy)
  10. Blogging
Finding 10 blogs to pass this award to was harder than it first sounded. Mainly because so many of the ones I read have already received this award in the past few days. I decided to spread the happiness around so tried to find 10 that had not received it and some who, like me, are new to blogging.
  1. Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog
  2. Carrow and Fount family tales
  3. Genwriting
  4. Last2cu
  5. Journeys In Genealogy
  6. Tina's Genealogical Wish List
  7. Elyse's Genealogy Blog
  8. Raeburn Family Odyssey
  9. Who Will Tell Their Story?
  10. KSCollier (This one isn't a genealogy blog but it belongs to a new cousin found through genealogy research.)

*Revised: 10 Jan 2010, 3:40 PM

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Surname Saturday - Hankins

This is my first "Surname Saturday" post. I was around last Saturday but couldn't decide on a surname so I skipped it and spent some time this week reading other blogs looking for ideas. I've decided to start with my grandparents and when those four surnames are finished work back a generation at a time. While I'm not going in strict Ahnentafel order like Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings his logical approach was my inspiration.

Today's surname is Hankins, the name of my paternal grandmother. One thing I learned early on in my research about the Hankins name is that many transcribers aren't familiar with it and think it should be Hawkins.

Verda Waller "Verdie Jane" Hankins
Born 1 Dec 1884, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married John William McCauley 27 Sep 1904, Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Died 16 May 1942, Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
Buried Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Thomas Leander "Lee" Hankins
Born 13 Jun 1858, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Samantha Angeline Petty 14 May 1879, Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Died 23 Apr 1929, Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Buried Grapevine Cemetery, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Albert "Elvie" Hankins
Born abt. 1838, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Isabella Jane Goodloe 24 Oct 1855, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Died bet. 1863-1870

Houston G. Hankins
Born abt. 1811, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Mary Weeks 17 Jul 1833, Livingston County, Kentucky
Died 16 Nov 1861, Christian County, Kentucky

Barnabas "Barney" Hankins
Born bet. 1785 - 1794, Wilkes County, North Carolina
Married Sarah Fox 1 Jan 1811, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Died bet. 1821 - 1830, Hopkins County, Kentucky

John Hankins
Born abt. 1760, Frederick County, Virginia
Married Sarah Gill 30 Oct 1783, Frederick County, Virginia
Died aft. 1833, Hopkins County, Kentucky

John Hankins fought in the Battle of Guilford and the Seige of Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. He enlisted from Frederick County early in the war and later enlisted again from Culpeper County. John was present at Yorktown for the surrender of Cornwallis and received a pension based on his service. After the war, he moved to Wilkes County, North Carolina and later to Hopkins County, Kentucky. He was in Hopkins County by the the time of the 1810 census and probably had been there for several years at that time.

William Hankins and Jane Sharp may have been John's parents but I haven't done the work to prove that yet. If they are, then the Hankins roots go back to New Jersey in the early 1700's.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - A Tribute to Verda McCauley

Verda Hankins McCauley was my paternal grandmother. She died nine years before I was born so I never knew her. I know the basics. She was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1884, married my grandfather there in 1904, settled in nearby Muhlenberg County, had 11 children and died in 1942 at the age of 57 from chronic myocarditis.

In 1946, my Aunt Vashti wrote a tribute to her mother that was preserved in a scrapbook at the Pleasant Hill Methodist Church, the little country church the family attended. Aunt Vashti apparently presented the tribute at Pleasant Hill four years after Verda's death to either the whole church or to the women's group.

Pleasant Hill Church no longer exists and I have no idea what happened to that scrapbook but, luckily, my mother had the foresight to transcribe Aunt Vashti's tribute during a visit to Pleasant Hill in the 1980's. It tells so much about the grandmother I never knew.

A Tribute to Verda McCauley
By Vashti McCauley Wells

Verda Jane McCauley was born near Providence, Kentucky, Dec. 1, 1884, spent her childhood days in Hopkins County, was the daughter of a General Baptist minister. Many times in those days she rode horse-back cross country with her father to fill an appointment, and at a very early age made a host of friends. She loved meeting people, and one of her best traits was making those about her feel welcome. She had a kind word and a smile for everyone. How often have we seen the faces of those who knew her brighten when she would appear for church service, after an absence of a few weeks on account of illness. She surely had her share of suffering while here on earth, but through it all she always managed to smile when you were by her side. She was faithful to her church, family and friends. Her vacancy can never be filed, we see the need about us more and more for consecrated Mothers such as the one we knew and loved. And may the Women's Society of Christian Service rededicate their lives for greater service, for having known a true friend and Christian, our Mother.
Of all the memories I hold dear
There's one apart from all the other
Clearer than the noonday sun,
The memory of my mother.

Her daily life was a written page,
And in memory we read
How she always offered a helping hand,
Or did a kindly deed.

She was numbered among the faithful
On her you could depend,
Was always so understanding,
Had a smile for every friend.

Just as spring burst fourth in beauty
Four years ago in May
While her favorite flowers were in full bloom
She quietly slipped away.

Away from all the cares of life
And the ones that loved her best
We've missed her so in these four years,
But God knew she needed rest.

I know she has a mansion
In that City built four square
And I know she'll be waiting,
For her friends and loved ones there.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Martha Ramsey Taylor

Hiatt Cemetery, Renfro Valley, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

In Memory of Marthy Taylor

Wife of William Taylor

Died Feb 13, 1852

Age 52 years

Photographed 30 Sep 2003 by Linda McCauley

Martha "Patsy" Ramsey was the daughter of Thomas Ramsey, Sr. and his wife, Martha. She was born in Virginia but the family moved to Garrard County, Kentucky when she was a young child. She married William Taylor in 1825 in Garrard County. They had three children (Robert, James Francis and Elizabeth) and moved to nearby Rockcastle County before 1850. Patsy died there in 1852.

Patsy was my ggg grandmother. (Taylor Line)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Madness Monday - John R. Petty

Madness Monday is a theme I can get behind since brick walls often drive me to madness.

Who was the father of John R. Petty?

John R. Petty was born about 1836 in Tennessee and married Margaret E. Thomas in 1857 in Whitfield County, Georgia. Census records show John R. and Margaret in McMinn County, Tennessee in 1860 and in Logan County, Kentucky in 1870. They moved from Tennessee to Georgia after the 1860 census but before April 1961 when their daughter, Samantha, was born in Dalton (Whitfield County). Two other children were born in Georgia in 1865 and 1867 then between 1867 and 1869, they moved to Kentucky were their 5 youngest children were born.

Margaret died from childbirth complications in Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1876 and the younger children were living in Forsyth County, Georgia in 1880 with Margaret's sister, Mary Echols. John R.'s whereabouts after 1876 are unknown but there is a record in Whitfield County for a marriage in 1878 for a John R. Petty and M. C. Bohanan. It is unclear at this point if this that was this John R. but it could be.

There was a John Petty (age 51) in Bradley County, Tennessee in the 1860 census. Living with him was Martha (21), Rash (19), James (16), Joseph (14), Angeline (12) and Mary (9). It appears this John was a widower living with his children (although Martha could be a younger 2nd wife). In that same census, John R. and Margaret were listed in McMinn County, Tennessee which adjoins Bradley County. John R. was 24, making his age in line for him to be a sibling in this family.

Based on a newspaper clipping about John R.'s daughter, Samantha, we know that he served in the Confederate Army and that the family lived in Dalton, Georgia during the war. The Tennessee 43rd Infantry, Company I (which was formed in Bradley County) had a Sgt. John R. Petty as well as Privates James, Joseph and R. P. Petty. Even though John R. was probably living in Georgia at the time he joined the Confederacy, Whitfield County borders Bradley so it's reasonable that he would have joined from there - especially if these other 3 Petty's were his brothers. There is no doubt that James, Joseph and R. P. are the 3 brothers from the 1860 census in Bradley County. (Later census records list Rash as Rash P. and R. P.)

By 1870, John R. and Margaret were living in Logan County, Kentucky. Two doors down from them was a Joseph Petty who was born in Tennessee and was the right age to be the Joseph from Bradley County. His close proximity to John R. and Margaret seems to further indicate a relationship.

Three of John R. and Margaret's children had names found in the Bradley County Petty family. While Mary and Joseph were very common names, Angeline (which was their daughter, Samantha's middle name) wasn't.

So where does that leave the question of John R. Petty's father? I think the 1860 Bradley County family's location, the brothers in the same Confederate unit and younger brother, Joseph, appearing to follow John R. to Kentucky means the elder John was almost certainly John R.'s father. It's just that word "almost" that drives me mad.

John R. Petty was my great great grandfather. (Hankins Line)