Wednesday, March 31, 2010

William Taylor - Will DNA Give Us Answers?

In January and February, I wrote about my William Taylor brick wall (here and here) and set out a research plan. I haven't done much work on this project since then but this week brought some exciting news.

First a short re-cap: William Taylor, born bet. 1798-1805 probably in Virginia; married 3 times, 1st in Garrard County, Kentucky; lived in Rockcastle County, Kentucky and died there between 1880-1886; father possibly Rev. War soldier William Taylor from Rockbridge County, Virginia who settled in Rockcastle County in early 1800's. Problem - no real proof that the elder William Taylor was the younger William's father.

A few days ago I received an e-mail from Richard McMurtry who is heading up a W/SW Virginia Taylor Family DNA Project. This project is seeking to determine the relationship, if any, between the various Taylor families of colonial western and southwestern Virginia, including the counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Botetourt, Rockbridge, Montgomery, Wythe and Grayson. Richard asked if I would be interested in finding a descendant of my William Taylor to participate.

Of course, I was interested. According to his Pension Application filed in Rockcastle County, Kentucky in 1832, Rev. War William was born in Augusta County, Virginia and enlisted in Rockbridge County where he was living in 1777. This could be just the break we've needed to finally tie the younger William Taylor to Rev. War William Taylor.

My mother has a cousin who fits the male line requirements for Taylor Y DNA testing. Even though I've never met him, both he and his wife have been extremely generous with their research from the first time I contacted them several years ago. I forwarded Richard's e-mail to them and, as of today, a DNA test kit is already in the mail to him.

This W/SW Virginia Taylor DNA project is allied with the larger Taylor Genes DNA project which already has over 300 Taylor DNA samples analyzed. Included in that group is a sample from a descendant of Isaac Taylor who died in 1781 and is said to be the grandfather of Rev. War William.

I'm excited!

Anyone interested in participating in this Taylor DNA project should contact Richard McMurtry.

Wordless Wednesday - Will McCauley and his Hankins brothers-in-law

Jimmy, Dick and Will; early 1950's


[Will - paternal grandfather; Jimmy & Dick - brothers of paternal grandmother, Verda Hankins McCauley]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Madison Crawford Owens

Roberts/Old Freedom Cemetery, Freedom, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
M. C. Owens
Born June 4, 1836
Died Mar 21, 1920

Madison Crawford "Matt" Owens was the son of Alfred Owens and Rebecca "Becky" Mullins. He was born, lived and died in Rockcastle County. He married Cecilia "Celia" Owens on May 7, 1863 and they had seven children. 

[Matt Owens was my 2nd great grandfather.]

Sunday, March 28, 2010

This Week in the Family History - March 28 - April 3

1 Apr 1678 (332 years ago) - Thomas Hopkins and Mary Smith were married in Providence, Colony of Rhode Island [8th great-grandparents, Hopkins Line]

1 Apr 1720 (290 years ago) - Deborah Allen Buckland died in Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony. [9th great-grandmother, Hopkins Line]

2 Apr 1894 (116 years ago) - Elmer Dennis Hopkins was born in Wallins Creek, Harlan County, Kentucky. [maternal grandfather]

3 Apr 1861 (149 years ago) - Samantha Angeline Petty was born in Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia. [great-grandmother, Hankins Line]

Apr 1749 (261 years ago) - Henry Goodloe died in St. George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, Colony of Virginia. [8th great-grandfather, Hankins Line]

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Surname Saturday - Thomas

Today's surname is Thomas, the name of one of my gg grandmothers. (I've included Ahnentafel numbers to make the relationships clearer.)

5. Verda Waller Hankins (my paternal grandmother)
11. Samantha Angeline Petty

23. Margaret E. Thomas
Born abt. 1836 in Georgia
Married John R. Petty 20 Sep 1857 in Whitfield County, Georgia
Died 28 Jul 1876 in Hopkins County, Kentucky

46. Jesse Thomas
Born abt. 1802 in South Carolina
Married Rebecca (maiden name unknown) bef. 1828
Probably Died bet. 1860-1870 in Georgia

Obviously, there is much work to be done on this line. Jesse Thomas was living in Murray County, Georgia in 1840 and 1860 and in neighboring Lumpkin County in 1850. Nothing else is known about him.

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

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm Confused about the 2010 Census

Everywhere you look there's someone telling us to mail back our Census form. The official Census website says to "mail it back TODAY" so it seems like they want it now. They even have a map showing current participation rates. As of today, March 25th, the national participation rate is 20%.

Here's where I get confused.

The Census form actually says: "The Census must count every person living in the United States on April 1, 2010." The first question asks "How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?" The second question asks "Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2020 that you did not include in Question 1?"

So, can 20% of households predict the future?

It appears that the Census Bureau is happy to have those forms already submitted but how can they possibly all be accurate come April 1st? The form says not to include anyone in a nursing home, jail, prison, etc. I guess we can all assume no one in our household will be in one of those facilities any time soon but can we know that for sure? Can we be absolutely sure that no one will have to move in with us between now and April 1st? For that matter, how many people die in this country everyday? How can we guarantee someone will be alive on April 1st?

I've often had to wonder if an ancestor's Census record really reflected the household composition as of the Census date so maybe I'm just a stickler for details. Regardless, I'm waiting until April 2nd to complete my form and mail it back.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dance!


92nd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Dance! Did you take dance lessons as a child? Did your parents go out dancing every Friday at the Elks Hall? Do you enjoy taking in a good ballet at the theater? Care to share a memory from your high school prom? What role does dancing play in your family history? Come on, let's cut a rug! 

Did I take dance lessons as a child? Why, yes I did.

"Mrs. Cooper's School of Dance" sounds like it would be in a lovely dance studio with walls of mirrors and bars, the whole works, doesn't it? It wasn't. At least, the space she used for a studio in Mt. Vernon wasn't. Mrs. Cooper came from Danville once a week to give tap and ballet lessons in Mt. Vernon at the Fire Station - in the garage, right beside of the big red fire truck. She made the 35 mile trip each week on the Greyhound bus, bringing her portable record player and records with her.

I was about 5 years old when I started the lessons in the 1st year Mrs. Cooper came to Mt. Vernon. I took lessons for two years, possibly three. I can remember standing in a line beside of that fire truck with several of my friends learning the steps. I can remember that, when we finished, the next class of "older" girls had toe shoes and we all wanted toe shoes too. (Just so you know, you can't stand on your toes in regular ballet shoes. Trust me, we tried.) I remember our dance recitals which were held at the Renfro Valley Barn. I remember being backstage at the Barn waiting to go on stage and then dancing on what seemed like a very high stage. I remember the costumes and shoes, especially the tap shoes. (Since I couldn't stand on my toes in the ballet shoes, the tap shoes were my favorite).

Backstage at the Barn.
That's me, facing the camera with the baton over my head.
Don't ask me what a baton has to do with ballet.

Just for the fun of it, I googled Mrs. Cooper's School of Dance. I was surprised to discover that there is still today, more than 50 years after I took lessons, a Cooper School of Dance in Danville, Kentucky. I wonder if it's run by Mrs. Cooper's family - her children or maybe even her grandchildren.

Wordless Wednesday - John & Gertie Hankins

John C. and Gertie Tapp Hankins

John was the son of Lee and Samantha Petty Hankins. He and Gertie were married in 1910. John died in 1923 and Gertie in 1925 leaving two young children to be raised by John's parents.

Photo courtesy of Sue Morgan London, granddaughter of John and Gertie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Gracie Taylor

Elmwood Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky 
1886 - 1961

Gracie was the daughter of John Cook Taylor and Sarah A. "Sally" Ramsey. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This Week In The Family History - March 21-27

21 Mar 1920 (90 years ago) - Madison Crawford "Matt" Owens died in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. [2nd great-grandfather, Taylor Line]

25 Mar 1811 (199 years ago) - John Emerson "Jack" Goodloe was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky. [3rd great-grandfather, Hankins Line]

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fearless Females - Prompt 20

March 20 — Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.

The answer to that first question is yes, definitely, many, too many. The second question probably has several answers but, after looking around at some of my female brick walls for this post, I think the main answer to "why" might be "because I haven't really looked for them."

I have at least a first and last name for everyone through my 2nd great-grandparents (all 16 of them) but I can't go beyond six of them (four of those six are females).

1. Polly Smith
What I know: According to Ancestry's database "Georgia Marriages to 1850", Polly Smith married James Lanier on 29 Jul 1810 in Jasper County, Georgia. Census records show they lived in Jasper County in 1820 but were in Meriwether County by 1830. I haven't found them in 1840 but they were also in Meriwether County in 1850. Based on that record Polly was born about 1793 in North Carolina. No clues as to her parents.

To Do List: (1) Get a copy of their actual marriage record; (2) Look at Smith's in Jasper County, Georgia in 1820 for possible parents. (There are 28 Smith household's in 1820. Did any of them later move to Meriwether County?)

2. Rachel McFardan
What I know: Rachel married Stephen Hopkins, Jr. about 1822 and they had 11 children. Rachel and Stephen lived in Claiborne County, Tennessee in 1830 and 1840. In 1850, they were in neighboring Hancock County (but probably didn't actually move since Hancock was formed from Claiborne and Hawkins counties in 1844). They moved to Harlan County, Kentucky between 1862-1865.

According to many on-line trees, Rachel's maiden name was McFarland (no sources listed anywhere) but the death certificate for her daughter, Eliza Hopkins Simpson, lists her name as McFardan. This information was provided by Eliza's husband, Ephram Simpson. Eliza and Ephram left Harlan County shortly after their marriage in 1866, moved to Indiana and then later Missouri. They probably never saw her parents again so it's unclear how reliable a source Ephram would have been for her mother's maiden name but, for now, that is the only actual documentation I have for it. It is certainly possible that "McFardan" was a misspelling of McFarland.

To Do List: (1) Check Claiborne and surrounding counties for a marriage record. (2) Check census records for eastern Tennessee and bordering Virginia counties for families named McFardan, McFarland and other variant spellings. (Have already checked in Claiborne and Hancock counties and found nothing. There was a William McFarlane and a John McFarlain in 1820 in neighboring Lee County, Virginia who need a closer look.)

3. Teresa
What I know: Based on Census records, Teresa was born about 1806 in South Carolina. She married Lewis H. Bennett and they had 11 children. Lewis was also born in South Carolina about 1804 but I don't know anything about his parents either. He and Teresa may have been living in Darlington County in 1830. There is a Lewis Bennett household there with a male and a female both age 20-30 but no children. Other records indicate their 2 oldest children were born before 1830 so that may not be them. Lewis and Teresa were in Troup County, Georgia in 1840 and 1850. Lewis died in 1851 and Teresa appears to still be living in Troup County in 1880 (listed as Terrecy Bennett). Several on-line trees list her maiden name as Garrett but I've seen no proof of that.

To Do List: (1) Determine if Lewis and Teresa were in Darlington County, South Carolina (and if not, where). (2) Search for a marriage record. (3) Check for Garrets in South Carolina (just in case there's any truth in those trees).

4. Rebecca
What I know: Census records indicate that Rebecca was born about 1807 in Georgia. She married Jesse Thomas who was born about 1802 in either South Carolina or Georgia. Rebecca and Jesse were in Murrary County, Georgia in 1840 and 1860 and in neighboring Lumpkin County in 1850. Rebeca was in Logan County, Kentucky, living near her daughter, Margaret (and John) Petty by 1870 so Jesse probably died before that census. I have no clues about a maiden name for Rebecca and also don't know anything about Jesse's parents.

To Do List: (1) Look for a marriage record for Jesse and Rebecca in Murray and Lumpkin counties. (2) Since I don't have a ideas about Rebecca's parents or where in Georgia she may have been born, the logical next step seems to be to try to find Jesse's parents (at least I have a surname for them). If I can find Jesse's family then I might be able to find out if he and Rebecca were married in the Murray and Lumpkin area.

This has been a really beneficial exercise. It's pretty obvious that you can't get past a brick wall if you don't work at it and you can't work at it if you don't even have a plan. I'm sure I have some "to do" items for most of my brick walls but I need to go through this process for every "end of the line" ancestor in my database.

Fearless Females is a series of daily prompts for March in honor of Women's History Month created by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist.

Surname Saturday - Goodloe

Today's surname is Goodloe, the name of one of my gg grandmothers. (I've included Ahnentafel numbers to make the relationships clearer.)

5. Verda Waller Hankins (my paternal grandmother)
10. Thomas Leander Hankins

Born 27Jan 1838, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Albert Elvie Hankins 24 Oct 1855, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Thomas G. Yates 3 Jan 1874, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Thomas K. DeVault 23 Nov 1879, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Died 23 Jul 1905, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Buried Grapevine Cemetery, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Born 25 Mar 1811, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Eliza Ann Dobyns 5 Oct 1836, Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Married Elizabeth Pettus 2 Jan 1849, Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Died 17 Apr 1899, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Buried Grapevine Cemetery, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Born 10 Mar 1779, Colony of Virginia
Married Elizabeth "Betsey" Berry 9 Apr 1801, Clark County, Kentucky
Died 29 Jul 1856, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Buried Grapevine Cemetery, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Born 23 Jan 1754, Spotsylvania County, Colony of Virginia
Married Dorothy "Dollie" Waller abt. 1776, St. George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, Colony of Virginia
Died abt. 1813, Fayette County, Kentucky

Born abt. 1730, Spotsylvania County, Colony of Virginia
Married Frances Diana Kemp 27 Sep 1751, Caroline County, Colony of Virginia
Died bef. 21 Oct 1820, Spotsylvania County, Virginia

Born 23 Jan 1700/01, Christchurch, Middlesex County, Colony of Virginia  
Married Diana Minor 13 Jul 1728, Christchurch, Middlesex County, Colony of Virginia
Died 11 Dec 1741, St. Margaret's Parish, Caroline County, Colony of Virginia

Born abt. 1675, Middlesex County, Colony of Virginia
Married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) abt. 1698, Gloucester, Gloucester County, Colony of Virginia
Died Apr 1749, St. George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, Colony of Virginia 

Born abt. 1637, Aspull, Wigan Parish, Lancashire, England
Married Mary (maiden name unknown) - unknown if they were married in England or in Virginia
Emigrated to Colony of Virginia abt. 1655
Died Bet. 7 Dec 1710 and 2 Jan 1711, Middlesex County, Colony of Virginia

This line goes back several more generations and can be accessed starting here. Most of the earlier information is from Goodloe Genealogy by Paul Miller Goodloe (Baltimore, Maryland, Gateway Press, 1982). 

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

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Our Family History


Last week's featured treasure was my grandmother's life story that she wrote in a spiral notebook. This one is a sort of companion piece to that. My mother bought this fill-in-the-blanks family history book for my youngest sister to give to Mamaw as a Christmas gift sometime in the early 1970's (when my sister was about 4 or 5 years old). 

I looked at this book and read the notebook around the time my grandmother died in 1978 but didn't give them much thought after that for years. In 2001, something caused me to take a second look and that's when I became interested in genealogy. If you read through this book, you might think that my grandmother tried to fill it all out in one day. There is a lot of information about both her family and my grandfathers' but everything isn't necessarily in the right place so it's sometimes hard to follow. My original plan was to find some kind of family tree software so I could sort out the relationships in this book. I was hooked before I even completed that process.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fearless Females - Prompt 17

March 17 - Social Butterfly? What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to? Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge? Describe her role in the group.

Both of my grandmothers belonged to the ladies group at their respective churches. Verda Hankins McCauley belonged to the Women's Society of Christian Service at the Pleasant Hill Methodist Church in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Emma Taylor Hopkins belonged to the Ladies Aid at the Loyall Church of Christ in Harlan County, Kentucky. Her church group may well have been the only social organization that Verda belonged to but Emma was actively involved in several other organizations.

Emma joined the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) in 1927 and remained active in that organization long after her children graduated from high school. She was the local president from 1944-1945, district president from 1954-1957, served on the Kentucky State PTA Board from 1954-1960 and was elected state secretary for 1957-1960. She joined he Homemakers Club in 1930 and served as the chapter president as well as county president and the chair of various committees over the years. She was also a member of the Women's Civic Club in Harlan County and served as 1st vice president from 1957-1958.

Fearless Females is a series of daily prompts for March in honor of Women's History Month created by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist.

Wordless Wednesday - A Trip to Mexico

Emma, Daisy, Elmer and Grant Hopkins

While Emma and Elmer were visiting Daisy and Grant in Arizona in the late 1940's, they all took a little trip across the border.

Emma and Elmer were my grandparents; Grant was Elmer's brother and Daisy was Grant's wife.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fearless Females - Prompt 16

March 16 - If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?


I didn't have to think about this for one second. I would have lunch with Nancy Jane Bennett Lanier. Nancy Jane was my great grandmother but until last year I knew virtually nothing about her and had never seen this picture. My grandfather left home as a young man, never saw his family again and, except for names and birth dates, told his children almost nothing about his parents. Because of that I've never heard one single story about Nancy Jane that was passed down through my family - everything I know about her comes from research.

Where would we go? Somewhere quite and private, I have a lot of questions. What would we eat? Whatever she wanted since I doubt I would have any interest in food if I could talk to Nancy Jane.

Fearless Females is a series of daily prompts for March in honor of Women's History Month created by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Collier Mehl, great great granddaughter of Nancy Jane. 

Tombstone Tuesday - John C. and Emma J. Taylor

Elmwood Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
TAYLOR
John C. - 1964-1953
Emma J. - 1882-1968

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Not Just Madness Monday - It's March Madness!

There aren't too many things that distract me from genealogy these days. There are probably people who would tell you that nothing does, but they would be wrong. I will drop everything for some time at the beach or for a cruise so that's two things right there. A third thing that can make me forget all about ancestors is the NCAA Tournament - especially this year when my Kentucky Wildcats are looking good.

What does this have to do with Genealogy, you ask? Well Genealogy and the NCAA Tournament actually have something in common. Each uses the same basic chart to track progress. The NCAA bracket is really a just an hourglass style 7-generation pedigree chart, completed in reverse by starting with 64 teams (I know it's really 65 but humor me) and working down to one. It's the same chart we use to start with ourselves and work toward our 64 ancestors in generation 7.

I'll try to get a little genealogy and blogging done around games but, starting at noon on Thursday, I'll be thinking less about brick walls and more about John Wall although I won't stop thinking about my favorite Cousins. I hope to be completely distracted through April 5th but anything can happen in the tournament so I could become unhappy at any time. If that's how it turns out, I'll have those brick walls and that other chart to help take my mind off the pain.

GO BIG BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This Week In The Family History - March 14-20

15 Mar 1813 (197 years ago) - William Washington Lanier was born in Jasper County, Georgia. [2nd great-grandfather, Lanier Line]

15 Mar 1910 (100 years ago) - John T. Bennett died in Morgan County, Alabama. [2nd great-grandfather, Lanier Line]

16 Mar 1814 (196 years ago) - David Gamble and Anna Finney were married in Laurensville, Laurens County, South Carolina. [3rd great-grandparents, Lanier Line]

17 Mar 1968 (42 years ago) - Emma Jane Owens Taylor died in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky. [great-grandmother, Taylor Line]

20 Mar 1766 (244 years ago) - Winefred Mullins was born (location unknown). [4th great-grandmother, Taylor Line]

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Surname Saturday - Gamble

Today's surname is Gamble, the name of one of my gg grandmothers. (I've included Ahnentafel numbers to make the relationships clearer.)

4. John William McCauley (my paternal grandfather)
9. Nancy Jane Bennett

Born abt. 1830, South Carolina
Married John T. Bennett
Died bef. 1900

Born abt. 1789
Served in the War of 1812 with the South Carolina Militia
Married Anna Finney 16 Mar 1814, Laurensville, Laurens County, South Carolina
Died bef. 1880, Heard County, Georgia

This line obviously needs some work. Click the links above for possibly more information on each ancestor. If you are connected to this family, e-mail me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fearless Females - Prompt 12

March 12 - Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

Once again, my subject in this series is my maternal grandmother, Emma Taylor Hopkins. Until I read this prompt, it had never really occurred to me that she was the only female direct ancestor I have who worked outside the home. She had several different jobs over the years including working at the Post Office, at a bank and teaching school all before she married my grandfather a few days before her 20th birthday.

Emma had always wanted to be a teacher but was too young to take the teacher's exam when she graduated from high school in 1916. She went to work at the Post Office until she could take the test. She passed the teacher's test on her first attempt and got a job in a neighboring county for for the 1918-19 school year. She was enjoying teaching until the flu caused schools to be closed in February that year and she never taught full time again. She returned to work at the Post Office and before long the Postmaster came down with the flu and his Assistant left to join the Navy. So at the age of 18, Emma was running the Mt. Vernon Post Office. By 1920, she was working at Peoples Bank as an Assistant Cashier but resigned when she got married.

Emma behind the counter at the Loyall Post Office.

In March, 1937, Emma became Postmaster at Loyall, Kentucky and held that position until September, 1941. She was the bookkeeper for a small coal mine for a couple of years after that and then about thirty years after the flu cut her only year of teaching short, she returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher.

Fearless Females is a series of daily prompts for March in honor of Women's History Month created by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Mamaw's Notebook

This is probably the biggest treasure my family has.
It doesn't look like much of a treasure on the outside, does it? 
Well, you have to open it to find the treasure.


My grandmother, Emma Taylor Hopkins, wrote about her life on the pages of this spiral notebook. She only wrote 54 pages but they are full of snippets about her life. She covered her childhood and school years, her marriage and the births of her children and grandchildren. She wrote about places she lived, trips she took, every day life and her family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. There is an occasional list mixed in with the stories and if you read what follows you can see that when she took a break from writing she left herself some reminders of what she wanted to cover next.  

I don't think anyone knows exactly when Mamaw (as all of her 8 grandchildren called her) started writing her story or when she wrote the last passage. She died suddenly on January 19, 1978 of a heart attack. I've often wondered if, whenever she wrote the last paragraph, she knew it would be the last thing she would write. She listed her grandchildren by name then added these last words "I wonder if they can imagine how much I love them." 

Yes, Mamaw, I think we all knew.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fearless Females - Prompt 8

March 8 - Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.

My maternal grandmother, Emma Taylor Hopkins, didn't really keep a diary or journal but she wrote 54 pages about her life in a spiral notebook not long before she died in 1978. Here's a excerpt about her one and only plane trip.





Transcript (if you aren't familiar with her handwriting it can be hard to make out sometimes):
"I took one trip on plane to San Francisco. Lila Bolten & I went to a PTA Convention in 1956. The trip out there was wonderful but coming back I had to have oxygen. I couldn't breathe so I went to the bathroom and took off my corset and left it in there. The stewardess noticed me and put the oxygen on me for 2 hrs. Everyone was wanting to smoke so she took it off and I was O. K. We had to change at Kansas City & she brought my corset to me in a brown paper sack. I carried it off and at that time didn't care if I ever put it back on. When I got to Chicago, had to wait on another plane. My husband was at Louisville to meet me. So I had him paged to wait for me as I was trying to get to Mt. Vernon in time to see Linda & David in their Dance recital. I made it and I have never had the desire to fly again. I came too near to conking out."

This story is funny to me but not just for the obvious "taking off a corset in a airplane rest room and then leaving it in there" segment. What is funny to me is that she had my grandfather paged at the Louisville airport to tell him to wait for her because her plane was late. First she refers to him as "my husband". Who did she think was going to read her story that wouldn't have known who she was talking about if she'd said Elmer was waiting for her in Louisville? And the bigger question, did she think he would just leave when her plane didn't get in on time? It's not like they lived in Louisville and she could call a cab when she finally arrived. They lived over 200 miles away in Harlan County so I can't really see my Papaw saying "that's too bad, her plane is late, she'll just have to get home the best way she can, I'm outta here."

Of course, the important thing is that she made it to Mt. Vernon in time for the dance recital. I'm not sure about my brother's performance, but I'm sure mine was worth her efforts to make it on time.

Fearless Females is a series of daily prompts for March in honor of Women's History Month created by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

This Week In The Family History - March 7-13

8 Mar 1657/58 (352/353 years ago) - Hugh Cole was born in Plymouth Colony. (9th great-grandfather, Hopkins Line)

9 Mar 1672/73 (337/338 7years ago) - Joseph Barney was born, probably in Plymouth Colony. (8th great-grandfather, Hopkins Line)

10 Mar 1779 (231 years ago) - Henry Lewis "Harry" Goodloe was born in Colony of Virginia. (4th great-grandfather, Hankins Line)

10 Mar 1856 (154 years ago) - John Covey Howard married Mary F. "Polly" Morris at her parents home in Harlan County, Kentucky. (2nd great-grandparents, Hopkins Line)

11 Mar 1762 (248 years ago) - Nehemiah Hopkins married Elizabeth Cole in Warren, Bristol County, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. (5th great-grandparents, Hopkins Line)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Surname Saturday - Jackson

Today's surname is Jackson, the name of one of my gg grandmothers. (I've included Ahnentafel numbers to make the relationships clearer.)

4. John William McCauley (my paternal grandfather)
8. Joseph Smith Lanier

17. Charlotte T. Jackson
Born 15 [or 3] Nov 1818 in Jasper County, Georgia
Married William Washington Lanier 22 Oct 1835, Meriwether County, Georgia
Died 26 Sep 1892, Fredonia, Chambers County, Alabama
Buried New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery, Fredonia, Chambers County, Alabama

34. Samuel W. Jackson
Born abt. 1797, North Carolina
Married Lavinia Malone
Died abt. 1871, Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas
Buried Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas

68. Coleby R. Jackson
Married Charity (maiden name unknown)

This line obviously needs some work. Click the links above for possibly more information on each ancestor. If you are connected to this family, e-mail me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Genealogy Is Prime Time!

Genealogy has come to television. There's already been a lot of talk in the genealogy community about the recent PBS series Faces of America and the built up to NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? has been crazy. I wanted to see both programs before offering my opinions.

I was somewhat disappointed in Faces of America and was hoping the same thing wouldn't happen with WDYTYA. I had actually expected that the PBS show would be better than network television's version but it wasn't.

Faces tried to cram too much information and way too many people into four episodes. About the time a story got interesting, they switched to someone else and each person's story was told in so many disconnected segments that I'm not sure I remember anything they learned. The participants weren't involved in the process at all - they just sat around waiting for Dr. Gates to hand them their genealogy. One particular exchange made me cringe. After learning that she had ancestors in this country back to the 1600's, Meryl Streep commented that she could join the DAR if she wanted and Dr. Gates' responded that she could own the DAR. Shouldn't someone in the production/editing end of this series have checked the requirements for DAR membership and found that they are related to participation in the Revolutionary War not early immigration to the Colonies? All the DNA talk in the final episode was complete information overload and I doubt that many people came away with any kind of accurate understanding of that process.

WDYTYA succeeded in several of the areas that disappointed me in Faces. An entire episode devoted to one person makes for a much more cohesive story. Having the participant at least go to the places where their ancestors lived and at least see actual records was nice even if they had professionals actually finding the records. I hope newbies jumping into genealogy because of the show don't think all they have to do is visit a library and the staff will hand them a stack of records for their ancestors. The constant re-capping after every commercial got on my nerves and wasted time that could have been spent on the story. Network television doesn't re-cap dramas after every commercial. Do they think this subject is so complicated people wouldn't be able to remember what they'd just seen 3 minutes ago?

There's been much discussion recently about why these shows feature celebrities instead of real people. The answer to that question is because normal people non-genealogists wouldn't watch a show about you or me. They needed the hook of celebrity to bring in an audience so I don't have a problem with that. However, that brings up another show that seems to get overlooked in all the hype for Faces and WDYTYA. BYU-TV's The Generations Project actually does feature real people and their latest episode is available online. It's similar to the format of WDYTYA but has the added feature of the participant sitting in a studio discussing the experience with the moderator.

While I enjoyed WDYTYA much more than Faces, I think the bottom line is anything that brings more attention to genealogy has to be a good thing in the long run. I hope this trend continues.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

91st Carnival of Genealogy, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 4)

Continued from Emmie's Story (Part 3)


Three of my great-grandparents were living when I was born but Emmie was the only I really knew. John died before I was two years old so I don't remember him at all. My great-grandmother Hopkins died when I was five and while I have memories of her, I didn't really know her. I was six months old when my family moved to Mt. Vernon and was 16 when Emmie (who I called Granny) died. I doubt there was a week that went by without my seeing her during those years.

Emmie and John had been married for over 50 years when he died in 1953 but there was one thing they never agreed on - politics. He was a staunch Republican and she a Democrat. This fact alone proves what an independent women Emmie was. Most women of her time deferred to their husband on many things, especially politics. Considering she had been married for 20 years by the time women even gained the right to vote it is really amazing that she openly disagreed with John. I can remember being at the polls with her because Mom would drive her to vote. When Kentucky changed from paper ballots to voting machines she had to have help to operate the machine. Kentucky law required that a poll worker from each party go into the booth with voters who needed assistance. Emmie's hearing wasn't very good by that time so she talked loud. Everyone could hear her telling the two workers how she wanted to vote. There was no such thing as a secret ballot with her.  

Sometime in the 1960's Emmie got a television. She enjoyed it very much even though she could hardly hear by that time. Many times when we stopped by she would be watching TV and she would always explain what was going on with the show she was watching. Her explanation rarely had anything to do with the actual plot since she couldn't really hear it but she was perfectly happy and entertained by the stories she made up to go with what she was seeing.

Emmie always enjoyed having company and visiting with family and friends. A family friend once saw Emmie's walking home from the nearby funeral home and stopped to give her a ride. When the friend asked who had died, Emmie said she didn't know them she just thought she'd go to the visitation in case there was anyone there from out in the country that she might know. "Out in the country" meant the Freedom area where she grew up.

Just a few years before she died the family started getting together to celebrate Emmie's birthday every year. The parties were held at Emmie's house and were potluck so everyone brought a dish and stayed all afternoon. Guests included grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and their families.

Emmie died on March 17, 1968 at the Rockcastle County Hospital in Mt. Vernon one month before her 86th birthday. She had been in the hospital for several days but between her daughter (Emma), daughter-in-law (Betty) and several of her grandchildren, she was never left alone at the hospital for a minute. She was buried next to John in Elmwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.

Photos from the top: Emmie and her brother, Dave Owens; Emmie (on right) visiting one of her neighbors; Emmie visiting her niece, Ollie; Emmie at one of her birthday parties.


Other Posts in this Series:
Timeline for Emma Jane Owens Taylor
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 1)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 2)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 3)

Sources for the personal events in this series are from my own memories, family stories, marriage records, census records, death certificates and newspaper articles. See my website for detailed sources. The historic events are from Infoplease.com-US History Timeline. To learn more about the Carnival of Genealogy, see FAQs at Creative Gene.

Fearless Females - Prompt 4

March 4 - Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

Marriage Certificate for 
Emma Ewers Taylor and Elmer Dennis Hopkins

Emma and Elmer were married October 11, 1920 in Jellico, Tennessee (Campbell County). They lived in Rockcastle County, Kentucky but eloped because when Emma was 10 years old her mother cried at when her sister, Susie, got married. She decided right than that when she got married she would elope to avoid all the crying. 

Not only do I have a family story about the wedding day, I have the story written in Emma's own words:

"I went home from work at noon and Elmer and I left in a taxi as I went back to work. We went to Wildie. Got on train and rode to Jellico, Tenn. We were married by Justice of the Peace in a furniture store with 1 witness which was all the state of Tenn required. We went to a hotel and ate supper then caught the train to Corbin. We got there about 11 P.M. and went to our house Elmer had bought and furnished. I fixed a special delivery letter to be delivered to Mama about the time I would get home from work telling her I would be married by the time she got it. My brother told me later there was weeping and wailing. She wrote me a letter the next day for us to come home. So we went to Mt. Vernon the third day of our honeymoon. Mama had a good supper and a real nice cake. They didn't cry for which I was glad."

Emma and Elmer were my maternal grandparents.

Fearless Females is a series of daily prompts for March in honor of Women's History Month created by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

91st Carnival of Genealogy, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 3)

Continued from Emmie's Story (Part 2)


Like most, if not all, other places Emmie and John had lived, the house on this 2nd farm didn't have electricity or running water. They had a spring which supplied drinking water and also served as a way to keep butter and milk cool. They caught rainwater for laundry. Emmie would build a fire under a big pot of rainwater and stir their clothes and linens with a big paddle that John had made for her. She didn't have a clothesline so everything was hung on the fence.

Emmie was a great cook even though she never owned a cookbook and only had a wood stove. Her daughter, Emma, had a long list of favorite foods that her mother cooked including biscuits, fried chicken, gravy, fried apples, corn bread and chow chow. She churned her own butter and made cottage cheese and also made pies and jam with wild blackberries that the girls would pick. She had very few kitchen utensils or even pans so she would bake big pies in the lid to the lard can.

By the mid 1940's John was in his eighties and his health was failing so they left the farm and moved back into town to a duplex on West Main Street where they had lived in the early 1920's. Their youngest daughter, Anna Rose, married Holt Chesnut on February 3, 1947.

Emmie and John had eleven grandchildren. Susie and Emma both had four children, Hartford two and Anna Rose one. There was no mention in the family of "step" or "half" relationships. I was probably a teenager before I found out that Susie and Grace were my grandmother's half sisters. They were simply sisters and Susie's children were simply Emmie's grandchildren.

John died on September 7, 1953 just a few months short of his 90th birthday. By that time all of Emmie's siblings had also died so she was the last one left from her family. Gracie died on September 25, 1961. She had never married so had lived with John and Emmie during their entire marriage and with Emmie after her father's death.

Continued - Part 4 (the end) of Emmie's Story

Other Posts in this Series:
Timeline for Emma Jane Owens Taylor
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 1)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 2)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 4)


Sources for the personal events in this series are from my own memories, family stories, marriage records, census records, death certificates and newspaper articles. See my website for detailed sources. The historic events are from Infoplease.com-US History Timeline. To learn more about the Carnival of Genealogy, see FAQs at Creative Gene

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

91st Carnival of Genealogy, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 2)

Continued from Emmie's Story (Part 1)

Emmie and John started their marriage in this house on what is now West Main Street in Mt. Vernon and their daughter, Emma Ewers, was born there on October 24, 1900. The house is still a residence today, 110 years after they lived there (photo from GoogleMaps). Emmie and John also lived in seven other locations in and around Mt. Vernon.

Over the next few years, their son, Hartford Conn, was born on April 11, 1905; Emmie's mother, Celia, died on November 18, 1908 and Susie married August Krueger at Emmie and John's house on September 7, 1911. During this time John was running a blacksmith shop in Mt. Vernon on Spring Street and the house they were living in at one point burned down causing them to lose everything.

This family portrait was taken about 1906. Seated: Emmie and John holding Hartford; standing: Susie, Gracie and Emma.

Emmie was an accomplished seamstress and not only sewed for her family but also for other people. She could look at a picture of a dress in a catalog and make one just like it. She no doubt made the dresses Emma and baby Hartford were wearing in this picture and probably also made Susie's, Gracie's and her own.

On June 10, 1918, Emmie gave birth to their daughter, Anna Rose. Emmie was 36 and John 54 when she was born and they already had two grandchildren (Susie's daughters). (Photo at right is Emmie and Anna Rose bet. 1928-1930.)

During the next ten years, Emmie's father, Matt, died on March 21, 1920; their daughter, Emma, married Elmer D. Hopkins in Jellico, Tennessee on October 11 that year and their son, Hartford, married Betty Mulliner on November 9, 1928 in Galesburg, Illinois.

Around 1925, John decided to sell the blacksmith shop and buy a small farm about a mile from town. They lived on the farm for several years but in the early 1930's as the depression was causing problems for many families, they gave up farming and moved in with Susie and her children. Her husband, August, had died in 1927. A few years later, their son-in-law, Elmer Hopkins, bought a small farm near the farm they had lost and Emmie, John, Gracie and Anna Rose moved there.

Continued - Part 3 of Emmie's Story


Other Posts in this Series:
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 4)

Sources for the personal events in this series are from my own memories, family stories, marriage records, census records, death certificates and newspaper articles. See my website for detailed sources. The historic events are from Infoplease.com-US History Timeline. To learn more about the Carnival of Genealogy, see FAQs at Creative Gene.

91st Carnival of Genealogy, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 1)

Emma Jane Owens Taylor lived her entire life in Rockcastle County, Kentucky and over the course of her almost 86 years many things happened in her life and the world around her.

During her childhood the Statue of Liberty was dedicated, the National American Woman Suffrage Association was founded, the last major battle of the Indian Wars was fought at Wounded Knee and Ellis Island became the chief point for immigration into the United States. She was 21 years old when the Wright brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk and 79 when John Glenn orbited the Earth. She lived through wars from the Spanish-American in 1898 to Vietnam in the 1960's and Presidents from Chester A. Arthur to Lyndon B. Johnson. Cars replaced horses as normal mode of travel yet she never owned or drove one.

Emmie (as most everyone called her) was born on April 16, 1882 in the small Rockcastle County community of Freedom to Madison C. and Cecilia Owens. Her parents had been married for almost 19 years and she was the youngest of seven children. Matt and Celia's home didn't have electricity or running water and Emmie spent most of her life without those conveniences.

To say Emmie was the youngest child doesn't really explain that she was truly the baby of the family. Most of her siblings were much older than her. Elizabeth was married two years before Emmie was born and had a son that was older than her. Sally and George were both married by the time she was five years old. Another sibling died as an infant eight years before she was born so for most of her childhood only her brothers, Wesley and Dave (who were 10 and 7 years older than her), were at home with her and their parents.

Emmie was 17 years old when she married John Cook Taylor on January 16, 1900 at her parents home in Freedom and gained an instant family. John was 36 years old, had been married twice before and was raising two daughters, Gracie and Susie. John married, Sarah A. "Sally" Ramsey on June 8, 1885 and she died in 1892. When John married Emmie, Gracie was 13 years old and Susie was 10 but they had both been under six when their mother died. John married Margaret Frances "Fannie" Warren on August 22, 1894. They had a son, Bill, but their marriage ended in divorce. Fannie moved to Kansas along with her parents and other family members when Bill was still very young and John didn't see his son again for many years.

Continued - Part 2 of Emmie's Story

The above photo made about 1904 with her daughter, Emma, is the earliest one I have of Emmie. 

Other Posts in this Series:
Timeline for Emma Jane Owens Taylor
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 2)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 3)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 4)

Sources for the personal events in this series are from my own memories, family stories, marriage records, census records, death certificates and newspaper articles. See my website for detailed sources. The historic events are from Infoplease.com-US History TimelineTo learn more about the Carnival of Genealogy, see these FAQs at Creative Gene.

Tombstone Tuesday - Cecila "Celia" Owens

Roberts/Old Freedom Cemetery, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Born Apr 27, 1839
Died Nov 12, 1908

Celia was my great great-grandmother

Monday, March 1, 2010

Timeline - Emma Jane Owens Taylor

This timeline and related posts to come are for an entry in the 91st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy "A Tribute to Women!." This edition of the COG states: "March is women's history month and a great time to honor the women on our family trees. Write a biography about a woman on your family tree starting with a timeline of their life." To learn more about the Carnival of Genealogy see these FAQs at Creative Gene


I've chosen my great-grandmother, Emma Jane Owens Taylor, as the subject for this tribute because she is the oldest ancestor that I knew well. She was one of 3 great-grandparents who were living when I was born but the other two died before I was six years old. "Granny" died when I was 16 years old and I'd lived in the same town with her since I was six months old. 

TIMELINE - Emma Jane Owens Taylor

1881-Sep 19 - Chester A. Arthur became President of the United States.
1882-Apr 16 - Emma Jane Owens was born in Freedom, Rockcastle County, Kentucky to Madison Crawford Owens and Cecila Owens. She was the youngest of 7 children.
1886-Oct 28 (age 4) - The Statue of Liberty was dedicated.
1886-Dec 23 (age 4) - Her sister, Sallie, married Mack Craig at their parents home in Freedom.
1888-Feb 1 (age 5) - Her brother, George, married Sibbie Jane Hamm in Rockcastle County.
1895-Apr 19 (age 13) - Her brother, Dave, married Ida Belle Owens in Rockcastle County.
1898-Apr 25 - Dec 10 (age 16) - Spanish-American War.
1900-Jan 16 (age 17) - She married John Cook Taylor at her parents home in Freedom.
1900-Oct 24 (age 18) - Her daughter, Emma Ewers, was born in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky.
1903-Dec 17 (age 21) - The Wright brothers made the 1st flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1905-Apr 11 (age 23) - Her son, Hartford Conn, was born in Mt. Vernon.
1908-Nov 18 (age 26) - Her mother, Celia Owens, died at her home in Freedom.
1911-Sep 7 (age 29) - Her step-daughter, Susie, married August Krueger at Emma Jane and John's home in Mt. Vernon.
1914-Apr 6 (age 31) - US entered World War I.
1918-Jun 10 (age 36) - Her daughter, Anna Rose, was born in Mt. Vernon.
1918-Nov 11 (age 36) - World War I ended.
1920-Mar 21 (age 37) - Her father, Matt Owens, died at his home in Freedom.
1920-Oct 11 (age 38) - Her daughter, Emma, married Elmer D. Hopkins in Jellico, Campbell County, Tennessee.
1928-Nov 9 (age 46) - Her son, Hartford, married Betty Mulliner in Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois.
1934-Jan 10 (age 51) - Her brother, Wesley Alfred, died at Freedom. 
1937-Jun 3 (age 54) - Her sister, Elizabeth Craig, died.
1941-Dec 8 (age 59) - US entered World War II.
1945-Sep 2 (age 63) - World War II ended.
1945-9 Nov (age 63) - Her sister, Sallie Craig, died in Rockcastle County.
1947-3 Feb (age 64) - Her daughter, Anna Rose, married Holt Chesnut (location undetermined).
1950-Dec 6 (age 68) - Her brother, George, died in Rockcastle County.
1953-Jun 16 (age 71) - Her brother, Dave, died in Rockcastle County.
1953-Sep 7 (age 71) - Her husband, John, died at their home in Mt. Vernon.
1961-Sep 25 (age 79) - Her step-daughter, Gracie Taylor, died in Mt. Vernon.
1962-Feb 20 (age 79) - John Glenn became 1st US astronaut to orbit Earth.
1963-Oct 17 (age 81) - Her son, Hartford, died suddenly of a stroke in Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois.
1964-14 Feb (age 81) - Her step-daughter, Susie Krueger, died in Mt. Vernon.
1968-Mar 17 (age 85) - Emma Jane died at the Rockcastle County Hospital in Mt. Vernon.
1968-Mar 19 - Her funeral service was held at Cox Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon and she was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Other Posts in this Series:
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 1)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 2)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 3)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 4)

Sources for these personal events are from family stories, marriage records, census records, death certificates and newspaper articles. See my website for detailed sources.  The historic events are from Infoplease.com-US History Timeline.