Saturday, April 30, 2011

Surname Saturday - Lanier

Nathaniel Lanier & Mary

Nathaniel Lanier was born on 15 Nov 1749 in Brunswick County, Virginia. He was the 2nd of 11 children born to James Lanier and Mary Cooke. He married Mary about 1771 in Pitt County, North Carolina. Mary's parents are unknown. 

Nathaniel and Mary apparently moved to North Carolina (as two of their eight children are said to have been born there) and then later to Georgia. Nathaniel died in Jan, 1795 in Georgia.

Nathaniel and Mary's children:
John was born about 1780 in North Carolina. He married Sally Spencer on 28 Jun 1812 in Jasper County, Georgia.

James was born about 1785 in North Carolina. He married Polly Smith on 29 Jul 1810 in (old) Randolph County, Georgia. (The county name was changed to Jasper in 1812. Current Randolph County, Georgia is a completely different location.) James and Polly had eight children and he died between 1850-1860 in Meriwether County, Georgia.

Sampson was born on 26 Nov 1787. He married Margaret "Peggy" Spencer on 23 Feb 1812 in Jasper County. Sampson died on 2 Aug 1845 and was buried in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

William married Peggy Stone on 25 Nov 1813 in Jasper County. He died there about 1814.

Nathaniel married Rebecca Weems on 31 Mar 1814 in Jasper County.

Nathaniel and Mary also had three daughters. Nothing is known about them, not even their names.


Nathaniel and Mary were my 4th great-grandparents through their son, James. For sources and additional information, click on the links above. If you are connected to this family, leave a comment here or e-mail me



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Did the U. S. Federal Government Register Births?

Since birth certificates are such a big topic lately, it seemed like a good time to ask this question and look for an answer. You are probably wondering why I would ask such a question. This is why.

Click on image for larger version

This document isn't in the best shape and the ink is a little faded but it is a "Notification of Birth Registration" which appears to have been issued by the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census. It says that David Hankins McCauley [my father] was born on July 12, 1926 at  RFD #4, Greenville, Ky and lists his parents as John Will McCauley and Verdie Hankins. It has signatures of the Director of the Census and the Special Agent of the Bureau assigned to Kentucky which appear to have been stamped on the document. It even has a file number - 34948. Looks like an official birth registration issued by the U. S. government doesn't it?

I've wondered for years what this thing is exactly and today I finally decided to find out. It was pretty easy to find the answer. I went to the Census Bureau website, entered "birth records" in their search field and found this article.  In summary, it says that the "Notification of Birth Registration" form was issued by the Census Bureau in the first half of the 20th century but it's not a "birth certificate." The form was created in 1924 at the request of some state vital statistics offices "to promote the accurate registration of births in the United States." It was completed by the state agency and sent to the parents of newborns when the birth was registered in the state office of vital records. The form was used until the late 1940s but the Census Bureau never maintained these records. 

Click on image for larger version

After reading this, I did something that should have occurred to me long ago. I compared the file number to the number on Daddy's state issued birth certificate. Yes, it's the same number. As you can see, the state issued birth certificate is a "short form" which is apparently all that Kentucky has issued for several years now. I didn't find a copy of Daddy's birth certificate at the house or in the safety deposit box (where I found Mom's) back when I got into genealogy about 10 years ago. (Wonder what he used when he applied for Social Security?) I finally ordered a certified copy of his birth certificate in 2004 and was very disappointed that it was just an abstract of some of the information from the original form. I called Vital Statistics and was told the short form is all I could get. 

Lucky for me, I have a "long form" copy of my own Kentucky birth certificate - just in case I decide to run for President. Of course, it's titled "Certificate of Live Birth" so maybe I won't try to run. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Going To NGS 2011! Are You?

Official Poster for NGS 2011
May 11 - 14
Charleston, South Carolina

It is almost time! This will be my 1st NGS conference so I'm really excited about it. The program looks amazing which means I had trouble making a choice for several time slots.

The location is an added bonus for me. I have several ancestors who lived in South Carolina so I'm leaving home a few days early to work in some research on the way to Charleston.

One of the best things about a genealogy conference is meeting people who share your obsession. If you'll be there, let me know.




Saturday, April 23, 2011

Surname Saturday - Owens

Wesley Owens and Louis Mullins

Wesley Owens was born on 20 May 1801 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the 10th of 13 children born to David Owens and Winifred Mullins. The family moved to Rockcastle County, Kentucky between 1800 and 1810 along with Winifred's parents and several of her brothers. 

Louis Mullins was born about 1802 in North Carolina, probably Wilkes County. She was one of nine children born to Spencer Mullins and Mary King. Spencer was one of Winifred Mullins Owens' brothers who moved to Rockcastle County between 1800 and 1810. Some researchers list her name as Louisa and others as Lois A. but the only two records I've seen that list her name (1850 census and the 1876 death record for her daughter, Jalia) both have it spelled Louis. 

Wesley and Louis were almost certainly married in Rockcastle County but the date is unknown. They had 10 children. Louis apparently died between 1850 and 1860 as she doesn't show up in census records after 1850. Wesley died in Apr 1876 in Rockcastle County. 

Wesley and Louis' children:
Phoebe was born about 1824 in Rockcastle County. She had two children.

Rebecca was born about 1826 in Rockcastle County. She married William Bussell.

Milton was born about 1828 in Rockcastle County. 

Larkin was born about 1829 in Rockcastle County. He married Barthenia Bryant on 1 Feb 1852 and they had 10 children. 

David was born about 1830 in Rockcastle County. He married Sarah Frances Suttles about 1866 and they had five children.

Emily was born about 1831 in Rockcastle County. She married Elijah Abney on 1 Dec 1859 and they had eight children. 

Jalia Tetitia was born on 11 Nov 1833 in Rockcastle County. She married Solomon Griffin and they had eight children. She died on 14 Feb 1876, probably from complications due to childbirth, and was buried in Arnold-Grubb Cemetery in Rockcastle County.

Mary was born about 1837 in Rockcastle County. She married John Nelson Griffin on 22 Jul 1856 and they had eight children. Mary died on 1 Feb 1875.

Cecilia "Celia" was born on 27 Apr 1939 in Rockcastle County. She married Madison Crawford Owens on 7 May 1863 and they had seven children. Celia died on 18 Nov 1908 and was buried in Roberts/Old Freedom Cemetery. 

Spencer was born about 1844 in Rockcastle County. He married Julia Ann Abney and they had five children. 


Wesley and Louis were my 3rd great-grandparents through their daughter, Celia. Click on the links above for sources and additional information. If you have a connection to this family, leave a comment here or e-mail me. 



Thursday, April 21, 2011

More About John T. Bennett

Since writing John T. Bennett - 41st Georgia Infantry last week, I've learned a little more about John. I spent some time poking around in Ancestry's Civil War records and found several record groups that I need to explore further but the one that gave me the most additional information about John Bennett was the 1907 Alabama Census of Confederate Soldiers.

John lived in Heard County, Georgia when he enlisted in Company I, 41st Georgia Infantry but after the war he lived in Randolph, Chambers and Morgan Counties in Alabama. In 1907 he was living in Morgan County and this Census of Confederate Soldiers record contains some information I have not seen anywhere else.


First off, he is listed in this census as John F. Bennett but I have no doubts that this is my John T. Bennett. The birth date of 7 Feb 1831 listed here is the same birth date that is on John T.'s headstone. Other records indicate John T. was born in South Carolina. John T. moved to Morgan County, Alabama with his daughter, Mollie Bennett Hester, and her family sometime between 1900 and 1910. They lived near the the Morgan and Cullman County line. Baileton [Baileyton] listed as his Post Office address is in Cullman County, about 4 miles from the Morgan County line.

This records gives two separate enlistments for John. I have copies of his service record for the second enlistment but was unaware of the first one. According to this, he enlisted on 1 Nov 1861 at Savannah, Georgia. Considering that John was living on the opposite side of Georgia in Heard County (bordering the Alabama line) at that time, that seems a little odd to me but "Herd Co" is listed in the space that should have been Company and Regiment. I have not been able to find his service record for this enlistment. 

The most exciting thing I learned from this record is that John was born in the Edgefield District of South Carolina. This is a completely new location for the Bennett family! The U.S. Census lists John's father, Lewis Bennett, in Darlington County, South Carolina in 1830 and Troup County, Georgia in 1840. Later census records show that John and some of his siblings were born in South Carolina so I was working under assumption that they were born in Darlington County before the family moved to Troup County. (In my defense, that theory is just in research notes and their birth places are listed simply as South Carolina.)

This is a very timely find since I'm planning a stop at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History for some Bennett research on my way to NGS in Charleston next month. Now I have another location to check!


John T. Bennett was my 2nd great-grandfather.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Surname Saturday - Owens

Alfred Owens and Rebecca Mullins

Alfred Owens was born on 20 Sep 1803 probably in Wilkes County, North Carolina but possibly in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. He was the 11th of 13 children born to David Owens and Winifred Mullins. The family moved to Rockcastle County, Kentucky between 1800 and 1810 along with Winifred's parents and several of her brothers. Some census records list Alfred's birthplace as North Carolina and some list it as Kentucky.

Rebecca "Becky" Mullins was born about 1802 in either Wilkes County, North Carolina or Rockcastle County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Champ Mullins and Elizabeth (maiden name unproven but possibly Calloway). Champ was one of Winifred Mullins Owens' brothers who moved to Rockcastle County between 1800 and 1810.

The date and location of Alfred and Becky's wedding is unknown but it was almost certainly in Rockcastle County. They had three children - a daughter who may have died young and two sons who both raised large families. Becky died on 1 Feb 1875 in Rockcastle County. Alfred died sometime after 1880.

Alfred and Becky's children:
Julia was born between 1825-1830 in Rockcastle County. She appears to be listed in the 1830 and 1840 census in Alfred's household as a female under 5, and a female 10 to 15. Nothing further is known about her. 

William L. was born about 1828 in Rockcastle County. He married Wilmoth Lofton and they had 12 children. He died on 11 Sep 1908 in Rockcastle County and was buried in Roberts/Old Freedom Cemetery.

Madison Crawford was born on 4 Jun 1836 in Rockcastle County. He married Celia Owens there on 7 May 1863 and they had seven children. Matt died on 21 Mar 1920 and was buried in Roberts/Old Freedom Cemetery.


Alfred and Becky are my 3rd great-grandparents through their son, Madison. Click on the links above for sources and additional information. If you have a connection to this family, leave a comment here or e-mail me


Sunday, April 10, 2011

John T. Bennett - 41st Georgia Infantry

John T. Bennett joined Company I of the 41st Georgia Infantry on 4 Aug 1862 in the Heard County, Georgia town of Franklin. He joined for three years. John's service record doesn't give any information about where he was until 16 Dec 1864 when he was captured near Nashville, Tennessee. He was listed on the roll of prisoners of war who arrived at Military Prison in Louisville, Kentucky during the five day period ending 5 Jan 1865. He apparently didn't spend any time in Louisville as he is listed as transferred from Louisville to Camp Chase, Ohio on 2 Jan 1865. John was described as 5' 7" with blue eyes, light hair and fair complexion. He was 34 years old when he was released from Camp Chase on 12 Jun 1865 after taking the oath of allegiance to the United States.

John had married Martha Gamble around 1850. By the time he joined the Confederacy, they had five children and Martha was about three months pregnant with what turned out to be twin girls who were born the following February. It's hard to imagine how Martha and the children survived the three years that John was gone. They owned no property and, prior to the war, John had been working as a hireling or farm laborer. Their children were between four and 10 years old when he left. John's father had died in 1851 but his mother was still living as were Martha's parents so they must have helped to support Martha and the children during John's absence. 

After being released from Camp Chase, John made his way back home. According to his military records, his residence was Randolph County, Alabama at the time of his release. Randolph County borders Heard County, Georgia where John had enlisted and where Martha's parents lived. 

John and Martha had two more children after the war and she died before 1900. John lived with his daughter, Mollie, and her children in 1900 and 1910. Mollie was one of the twins born during the war. Between 1900 and 1910, they moved to Morgan County, Alabama where John died on 15 Mar 1910.


John Bennett was my 2nd great-grandfather. This post was written for the Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge issued by Bill West of West in New England. You can read the details of the challenge at Bill's blog and find a listing of entries there on April 12th.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Surname Saturday - Ramsey

Thomas Ramsey, Jr. and Rhoda Ann Lavender

Thomas Ramsey, Jr. was born about 1782 in Virginia. He was the son of Thomas Ramsey, Sr. and Martha (maiden name unproven but possibly Goldman or some spelling variation of that). Thomas, Sr. moved the family to Kentucky in the early 1800's and settled in Garrard County. Thomas married Atly Percith on 23 Feb 1818 in Pulaski County. They had one son, William B., and Atly probably died prior to 1820. Thomas then married Millie Welsh on 12 Feb 1820 in Lincoln County. They apparently had no children and Millie's fate is unknown.

Rhoda Ann Lavender was born between 1800 and 1810 in Kentucky, probably Lincoln County. She was the daughter of John Lavender. Her mother is unknown. Rhoda married Stephen Bradford Lair on 25 Aug 1829 in Lincoln County. They had two sons, William Thomas and Jerome Burke, and Stephen died sometime before 1839. 

Thomas and Rhoda were married on 20 Jan 1839 in Lincoln County. They settled in Rockcastle County and were listed there in the 1840 census. Thomas and Rhoda had three children, Margaret, Joseph Love and Harriett L, between 1840 and 1844. They lived in Mt. Vernon on the corner of what is now Main and Richmond Streets and Thomas ran a blacksmith shop behind the house. Rhoda died sometime after Harriett was born and before the 1850 census was taken. Thomas died about 1852 as that is when he disappears from the Rockcastle County Tax List. By 1860, their oldest daughter was married and the two younger children were living with their half-brother, William Thomas Lair. 

Thomas and Rhoda were buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon. They do not have markers so the exact location of their graves is unknown.

Thomas and Rhoda's children:
Margaret E. was born 15 Nov 1840 in Rockcastle County. She married James Francis Taylor there on 11 Oct 1855. They had 11 children and Margaret died on 23 Jun 1892. She was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery at Renfro Valley.

Joseph Love was born on 29 May 1842 in Rockcastle County. He married Martha Jane Bryant there on 29 Dec 1862 and they had three children. Martha died in 1895 and Joe married Glathia Jane Coffey on 28 Feb 1898. They had one daughter. Joe died on 19 Dec 1901 and was buried in the Ramsey-Hiatt Cemetery at Renfro Valley.

Harriett L. was born on 19 May 1844 in Rockcastle County. She married John J. Proctor there on 4 Apr 1883. They had no children and Harriett died on 13 Mar 1915. She is buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery at Renfro Valley.


Thomas and Rhoda were my 3rd great-grandparents through their daughter, Margaret. Click on the links above for sources and additional information, including Thomas' and Rhoda's other children. If you have a connection to this family, leave a comment here or e-mail me.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another Possible Marriage for both John and John R. Petty

Yes, it's another post about the Petty family but it will probably be the last for a while. 

When last we saw the older John Petty, he was living with his daughters, Martha Martin and Angeline Long, in Whitfield County, Georgia in 1880. John was listed as age 72 and widowed. His potential son (and my 2nd great-grandfather), John R. Petty, hasn't been located in the 1880 census but he was apparently living in Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1876 when his wife and newborn son died.

There is a marriage record in Whitfield County, Georgia for a John R. Petty in 1878 and another one for a John Petty in 1881. I think the 1878 record is my John R. and the 1881 record is older John. Here is why.

The first marriage record is for John R. Petty and M. C. Bohanan on 26 Apr 1878. In the 1880 census there is a Mary Petty living with Thomas and Lucinda Bohannan. Mary Petty was listed as 31 years old and widowed. She had two sons, Charley (6) and Benjamin (1) Petty. Since Mary married John R. Petty in 1878, it's likely that six-year-old Charley wasn't his son and Petty wasn't really his name. Regardless, this appears to be the M. C. Bohanan who married John R. Petty two years earlier and it appears that John R. has died. If he is my John R. that would explain why he hasn't been found in the 1880 census anywhere.

On 12 Dec 1886, Mary V. Petty married William Hall in Whitfield County. Even though the middle initial is V. instead of C. this surely has to be Mary Bohannan Petty. There were only four Pettys listed in Whitfield County in the 1880 census - old John, Mary Bohannan Petty and her sons, Charley and Benjamin. Thomas Bohannan's daughter was listed as Polly V. in 1860 and Mary in 1870. There is little doubt that Mary Petty living with Thomas Bohannan in 1880 is Mary V. "Polly" Bohannan.

The second marriage record is for John Petty and Elizabeth Innman on 15 Feb 1881. Census records show William and Elizabeth Innman living in Whitfield County in 1870. Elizabeth was also in Whitfield County in 1880 listed as a widow, age 65. John R. Petty was born about 1836 so he would have been almost 20 years younger than Elizabeth. That seems to leave the older John to be the one who married Elizabeth Innman (plus John R. apparently died before 1880).

There is currently nothing to absolutely prove that the John R. Petty who married Mary Bohannan in 1878 and then apparently died before 1880 was my John R. But let's say that old John was my John R.'s father and Martha Martin, Angeline Long and Mary Cooper were his sisters - wouldn't it make sense that he returned to Whitfield County, Georgia where they were all living after the death of his wife?

So what have I accomplished with all of this research into old John Petty and his family? Well, I know a lot more about old John and his definite children but I'm still missing anything more than circumstantial evidence that my John R. belongs to this family. Granted it is a lot of circumstantial evidence but it just still feels incomplete to me.

I think my brain needs a rest from the Petty family for a while.


Other recent posts related to Petty research:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Surname Saturday - Taylor

William Taylor and Martha Ramsey

William Taylor was born between 1798 and 1805 in either Virginia or North Carolina. William's parents are undetermined. If you check on-line trees, you will probably find dozens that list his parents as William Taylor and Jean Guffey of Rockbridge County, Virginia and later Rockcastle County, Kentucky but I've yet to see any actual proof of that. The elder William certainly lived in Rockcastle County so it is possible he was William’s father. It is also possible that William’s parents lived in Garrard County since that is where he first married and there were Taylors living there at that time. Census records show William was born in Virginia but when he married the second time in 1854, his birthplace was listed as North Carolina. 

Martha "Patsy" Ramsey was born about 1799 in Virginia, the daughter of Thomas Ramsey, Sr. and Martha (maiden name unproven but possibly Goldman/Gouldman). By 1810 the Ramsey family was living in Garrard County, Kentucky.

William and Patsy were married on 2 Jun 1825 in Garrard County. They were listed in Garrard County in the 1830 and 1840 census. In 1830 they had one son, Robert, and by 1840 they had two more children, James and Elizabeth. Between 1840 and 1850 they moved to neighboring Rockcastle County. Patsy died on 13 Feb 1852 in Rockcastle County and was buried there in the Ramsey-Hiatt Cemetery at Renfro Valley.

William married Mary G. Ramsey, daughter of Daniel F. Ramsey and Mary Danoho, on 27 Aug 1854 in Rockcastle County. They had one son and Mary apparently died before 1860. At least, their young son was living with William and his daughter, Elizabeth.

William married for a third and last time on 23 Apr 1862 in Rockcastle County. His 3rd wife was Delilah Cox, daughter of Ambrose Cox. They had 10 children together and Deliliah also had a son, George, prior to their marriage.

William died between 1880 and 1886 in Rockcastle. His burial place is unknown.

William and Patsy's Children:
Robert was born on 18 Feb 1827 in Garrard County. He married Mary Margaret Parsons and they had six children. Rob died on 18 Sep 1906 in Rockcastle County and was buried there in Providence Cemetery.

James Francis was born on 8 Jul 1830 in Garrard County. He married Margaret E. Ramsey on 11 Oct 1855 in Rockcastle County and they had 11 children. Jim died on 10 Jun 1894 in Rockcastle County and was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery at Renfro Valley.

Elizabeth was born in 1837 in Garrard County. She married Madison Ramsey between 1860 and 1866 and they had four children. Lizzie died on 23 Dec 1900 in Rockcastle County and was buried in the Ramsey-Taylor Cemetery.


William and Patsy were my 3rd great-grandparents through their son, James Francis. Click on the links above for sources and additional information, including William's other 11 children. If you have a connection to this family, leave a comment or e-mail me.