Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Happened to Melissa A. Petty?

Everything I know about Melissa is from two census records.

In 1860 and 1870, she lived with John R. and Margaret (Thomas) Petty. There is no actual proof that she was their daughter but I do have proof that the other children living with them in those years were their children. Melissa was born the year following their marriage so it's likely she was their first child. 

John R. and Margaret were married on 20 September 1857 in Whitfield County, Georgia. They lived in McMinn County, Tennessee in 1860; two-year old Melissa and three-month-old Henry Milton lived with them. 

1860, McMinn County, TN
After living in Whitfield County, Georgia for several years during the 1860s, the family moved to Logan County, Kentucky. The 1870 census shows Melissa, Milton and four other children, Samantha, Mary, Daniel and Joseph, living with John R. and Margaret.
1870, Logan County, KY
Melissa's age was given as 2 in 1860 and 11 in 1870 so she was probably born in 1858. Both records list her birthplace as Tennessee. She could not read or write in 1870 and had not attended school during that year. That is everything.

After 1870, John R. and Margaret had four more sons, Oliver Perry, Nathaniel, John Franklin and W. O. The youngest one, W. O., was born in June 1876 in Hopkins County, Kentucky and died before he was a month old. Margaret died from complications of childbirth less than a month after W. O.'s death.  

By 1880, the six youngest surviving children lived in Forsyth County, Georgia (five with Margaret's sister and one with an unrelated family). Samantha and Milton remained in Hopkins County. They both appear there in the 1880 census. Melissa hasn't been found after that 1870 census record, specifically not in Hopkins County marriage records.

Samantha Petty was my great-grandmother. No one in my family seemed to know anything about Melissa. I've made contact with descendants from four of the other Petty children and none of them have any additional information about Melissa. That led me to speculate that Melissa might have died young.

While working on the Petty family last month, I re-read everything I have for them. One item was a newspaper article that John Franklin’s great-grandson shared with me several months ago. Another was the text of Samantha’s obituary.

The newspaper article is about brothers John Franklin and Oliver Perry Petty reuniting after 44 years apart. The date of the article isn’t known but it refers to Samantha and notes that she was 73 years old. She was born in 1861 so the publication date was probably sometime in 1934. That article is significant to this discussion about Melissa because of this sentence. “J. F. Petty went to Madisonville, Ky, 44 years ago from Atlanta, Ga., to live with his oldest sister, Mrs. S. A. Hankins, who is now 73 years of age.”  

Oldest sister? Melissa was the oldest sister, not Samantha. This seemed to fit with my theory that Melissa died young—young enough that late in life John considered Samantha to be his oldest sister.

Of course, it can’t be that easy.

I was still considering this as a clue to Melissa’s early death when I re-read Samantha’s obituary. Samantha died in 1944. I don’t have a copy of her obituary (yet), just a transcript that was given to me by another family member. These two sentences threw a wrench into my theory. “Mrs. Hankins was the last one of her immediate family. Three brothers and a sister have died in the last fifteen months.”

A sister died in the last fifteen months?

Samantha only had two sisters—Melissa and Mary. Mary died in 1891. No doubt about that. If Melissa died sometime in the fifteen months prior to Samantha’s death she certainly didn’t die young. She wasn't even deceased when that newspaper article was published. 

Is this information correct? I don’t know about a sister but brothers Oliver Perry, John Franklin and Nathaniel died during that time frame so the three brothers part is accurate.

Hmmm. Back to my original question. What happened to Melissa A. Petty? I have no idea but I'll keep looking.

If you have the answer or even a clue, please e-mail me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

David Gamble, War of 1812 Pension Application

State of Georgia
County of Heard

          On this 11th day of November A.D. one thous-
sand eight hundred and fifty personally appeared
before me a Justice of the Peace within and for the
County and State aforesaid David Gamble aged
sixty one years a resident of Heard County in the state of
Georgia, who being duly sworn according to
law, declares that he is the identical man who
was a second seargent in the company comanded
by captain N. T. Martin in the South Carolina
Regiment of Volunteers commanded by Col Nash
in the war with Great Britain declared by the
United States on the 18th day of June 1812 that he
volunteered at Lawrence District South Carolina
on or about the 20th day of August A.D. 1813 for
the time of six months and continued in actual
Service in said war for the term of six months
and was honorably discharged at Fort Hawkins
on the 1st day of August A.D. 1814, as will appear by
the muster Rolls of said company 
The certificate of discharge being lost or missing
He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtain-
ing the bounty land to which he may be entitled
under the act granting bounty land to certain
officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the
military service of the United States passed
September the 28th 1850

David Gamble

State of Georgia
Heard County

            On this the twenty eighth day of March
A. D. One thousand eight hundred and fifty five
Personall appeared before me a Justice of the Peace within and for the 
County and state aforesaid David Gamble age sixty five (65) years
a resident of County and State aforesaid who being duly sworn
according to Law declares that he is the identical David Gamble who
was a Second Sergeant in the Company commanded by Captain
N. T. Martin in the regiment of South Carolina Volunteers Commanded
by Col Nash in the War with Great Brittan declared by the United States
on the 18 day of June 1812 Volunteer for the time of Six Months and
continued in actual service in said War Six Months and that he has
heretofore made application for Bounty Land under the act of September
28 1850 and received a Land Warrant No not recollected for Eighty
acres which he has since legally disposed of and can not
now return.
            He makes this declaration for for the purpose of obtaining the
additional Bounty Land to which he may be entitled under the act
approved March 3rd 1855 he also declares that  that he has never
applied for nor received under this  or any other act of Congress
any Bounty Land Warrant except the one above mentioned
and he hereby appoints N. M. Harris of Houston Heard Co Ga to pros-
ecute his claim and receive his Land Warrant when issued

David Gamble

David received Bounty Land Warrants #20703 (act of 28 Sep 1850) and #17221 (act of 3 Mar 1855) for 80 acres each based on these applications.

Source: David Gamble, pension no. SC 16877 & 11011; War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D. C. 

Note: The full pension file consists of 31 pages.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This Week in the Family History: Jan. 27–Feb. 2

January 27
Isabella Jane Goodloe was born in 1838 in Hopkins County, Kentucky.

January 31
Orin Edward Taylor was killed in 1944 in Anzio, Italy.

February 1
Rebecca Mullins Owens died in 1875 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

February 2
William Thomas Taylor died in 1904 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Uncle Elvie's Story: Part 2

Continued from Uncle Elvie's Story: Part 1.

Jimmy, Elvie, & Perry
After the war, Elvie apparently returned home to Hopkins County for at least a visit. A photo of Elvie with brothers Perry and John places him there sometime after the war and before 1922 when Perry died. But Elvie again headed west to work for the railroad. 

By the time the 1920 census was taken on January 20th, Elvie lived in Elmore County, Idaho. He was a yardmaster for Oregon Short Line Railroad and lived on Idaho Avenue in Glenns Ferry in the home of Effie M. Mesinnell. Elvie and another railroad employee, Edward Masterson were lodgers in Mrs. Mesinnell’s home. 

On 24 Dec 1921, Elvie married Harriet E. Massey in Caldwell, Idaho. He lived in the Canyon County, Idaho town of Nampa at the time but still worked as yard master for Oregon Short Line railroad. Harriet also lived in Nampa and taught school. She was born in Illinois about 1890, the daughter of John R. and Mary Ellis. Harriet was a divorced mother of two daughters, Harriett Edna and Maryetta Massey. She’d married Charles F. Massey on 5 Oct 1911 in Jerome County, Idaho but they were divorced before 1920. 

Elvie and Harriet still lived in Nampa a year after their marriage and they made at least one trip together to Kentucky. According to the 22 Dec 1922 edition of the Idaho Statesman, they had stopped to visit Harriet’s parents “while en route from Kentucky to their home in Nampa.” 

Elvie and Harriet moved to Park County, Montana sometime after that. The 1930 census shows them living at 104 N. E. Street in Livingston City. Elvie had changed careers from railroad man to insurance salesman and Harriet was no longer teaching school. Her teenage daughters lived with them. 

They were still in Livingston in 1935 but moved again before 1940 to Spokane, Washington. Elvie and Harriet lived in an apartment building at 2216 W. 1st Street and paid $45 a month rent. Elvie was a supervisor for Health and Accident Insurance Company. Harriet’s daughters, now in their twenties, were not living with them.

It isn't known if Harriet died or they divorced after 1940 but Elvie married Ethel May Powers on 1 August 1948 in Spokane. Ethel was the daughter of Frank Alvord and Katherine Kleckner, was born in 1895 in Washington and grew up in Montana. She married James Powers before 1920, probably in Montana. By 1940, they were divorced and Ethel was living alone in Spokane working as a saleslady in a dress shop. She died on 30 Dec 1948 in Spokane. Her parents and a sister, Mrs. Frankie Shindle of Whitefish, Montana and Elvie were mentioned in her obituary but no children. Ethel was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Spokane. 

Elvie made a trip to Kentucky about 1950 to visit relatives in Hopkins and Muhlenberg Counties. The photo below was taken in Greenville at the home of his niece, Elizabeth McCauley Carver. 
Dick & Rhea Hankins, Garah (Dick's daughter), Lois, Elvie, Kathryn, Vashti, Gladys & Liz
Lois, Kathryn, Vashti, Gladys & Liz were daughters of Elvie & Dick's sister, Verda
Family lore said that Elvie was married seven times. I don’t know if that is true but he was definitely married four times and Bernice Jackson Gamble was his last wife. Elvie and Bernice were married on 1 July 1951 in Spokane. She was the widow of Vernon W. Gamble and the mother of two sons. Bernice and Vernon were married on 27 Aug 1914 in Spokane and he died in Tacoma on 10 Jan 1940. 

Bernice was the daughter of James Jackson and Fannie Sturtevant, born on 28 Feb 1897 in Jewell County, Kansas. She was a music teacher for most of her life and traveled in the summers studying music and languages in France, Italy and Greece. She taught French and Italian classes at the local YMCA. 

At the time of their marriage, Elvie was living in the Palmerston Hotel in Spokane. Bernice lived at E. 3408 17th Street and that is where they lived during their marriage. 

Elvie died on 7 Jun 1959 of acute pulmonary edema and heart disease in El Paso, Texas while Bernice was traveling in Europe. He was 76 years old and still working as an insurance salesman. His obituary from the Spokane Daily Chronicle says he was on a trip but doesn't mention where he'd been other than El Paso. According to his death certificate, Elvie had been hospitalized at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso for three days before his death. His brother, Jimmy, was apparently with him as he provided the personal information for the death certificate. It isn’t known if Jimmy was traveling with Elvie or went to Texas from his home in California after Elvie became ill. 

Elvie was buried on 12 Jun 1959 in Pines Cemetery in Spokane. Bernice died on 20 February 1972 and was buried next to him.
Elvie, Dick & Jimmy Hankins; 1950s; Jimmy's home in Los Angeles area

[Photos courtesy of Sue Morgan London, Bettie Gamblin Hendricks and Faye McCauley.] 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Uncle Elvie's Story: Part 1

Uncle Elvie was sort of a mystery man in my family. He left Hopkins County, Kentucky as a young man and only occasionally returned. His Kentucky nieces and nephews knew very little about his life. When I became interested in the family history, I asked my four surviving aunts questions about my father’s side of the family (Elvie was their mother’s brother). 

Brothers: Jimmy, Elvie & Dick Hankins; 1950s
They didn’t know very much. I was told that Elvie lived in Idaho, worked as an insurance salesman and married several times, possibly as many as seven, but had no children. They knew the first name of one wife. Harriet. They said he had a heart attack on a plane while returning home to Idaho, maybe from a visit to Kentucky. The plane landed in Arizona and he died there. 

Some of that is true, some is not. I’ve found much more. 

This is Uncle Elvie’s story. 

Elvie was named for his paternal grandfather who died when his father was a young boy. His full name was Albert Elvie Hankins but everyone in the family called him Elvie or Ev. He was the second of Thomas Leander Hankins and Samantha Angeline Petty’s seven children, born on 16 October 1882 in Dalton in the western part of Hopkins County. 

The family still lived in Dalton in 1900 and Elvie worked as a farm laborer. He worked for St. Bernard Coal Company when he married for the first time in 1901. Mary Ella Edmonds was born in Illinois but lived in Hopkins County with her sister, Clara (and Frank) Richardson, by 1900. She worked as a telephone operator in 1900 and was the bookkeeper for John M. Victory and Company at the time of their marriage. Elvie and Ella were married on 27 Jun 1901 at the Richardson’s home in Earlington. 

Little blurbs in the Earlington Bee newspaper over the next few years give a glimpse of Elvie’s life but also raise a few questions. Sometime between the wedding in June 1901 and March 1902, Elvie started working for the railroad and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. 

The 27 March 1902 edition of the Earlington Bee ran this notice:
“Furniture for Sale — As I am going to leave Earlington I will dispose of the furniture purchased two months ago, at reasonable figures. The furniture includes 1 iron bed, 1 wash stand, dining room chairs, 1 cook store, 1 spring cot, 1 kitchen table, and can be seen at J. M. Victory’s store. Mrs. Ella Hankins” 
More information followed the next week. 

3 April 1902, Earlington Bee: 
“Mrs. Ella Hankins, who for some time past has been bookkeeper for the firm of J. M. Victory & Co., has gone to join her husband in Kansas City, Mo., where he is employed in a power house. We trust they may be successful and contented in their new home.” 
It is not known how long Elvie was in Kansas City before Ella relocated to be with him. 

18 Jun 1903, Earlington Bee: 
“Mr. Elva Hankins formerly of this place, but now of Kansas City, Mo., is visiting friends and relatives here. “ 
23 Jul 1903, Earlington Bee: 
“Mr. Elva Hankins left Tuesday night for Kansas City, Mo.” 
It appears that Elvie was visiting for over a month (although that could have been multiple visits with only the start of one and the end of the other making the paper). But where was Ella in 1903? Seems like she would have been mentioned if she was traveling with Elvie. Did she die? Did they divorce? 

Between July 1903 and April 1904, Elvie moved to East St. Louis, Illinois but was still working for the railroad. 

7 Apr 1904, Earlington Bee: 
“Mr. A. E. Hankins has returned from East St. Louis, where he has been switching in the yards.” 
Less than a year later, Elvie resigned and returned to Hopkins County. The 30 March 1905 edition of the newspaper notes that he had resigned from the L & N Railroad. He was mentioned a couple of times after that (May and June, 1905) as living in Nortonville, a community in the southern part of Hopkins County, and conducting business in Earlington but the type of business was not given. 

Elvie went back to work for the railroad and left Hopkins County again. In 1910 he lived at 16 4th Avenue East in Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas. He was a roomer in Dick Garrison’s household. Dick was a conductor and Elvie a brakeman. Elvie’s marital status was single — not widowed or divorced. If Elvie resumed visiting his parents in Hopkins County about once a year like he’d done when he previously lived out of state, it didn't make the newspaper for the next ten years or so.

Nothing is known about Elvie’s life after the 1910 census until he joined the U.S. Army on 20 March 1918. He enlisted in Company B of the 62nd Regiment, 4th Railway Division at Spivey, Kansas and served in France and England during World War I. Elvie’s two youngest brothers, Perry and Jimmy were also in France during the war and they were somehow together, at least long enough for a photo. Elvie was discharged from the army on 11 July 1919.

Continued . . .

[Newspaper quotes are from The Earlington Bee at Chronicling America. Photos courtesy of Faye McCauley and Rick Thorpe.]

Sunday, January 20, 2013

This Week in the Family History: Jan. 20–26

January 20
Thomas Ramsey married Rhoda Ann Lavender in 1839 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. 

January 25
Sarah "Sallie" Owens was born in 1868 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

January 26
Howard Doctor "Doc" Hopkins was born in 1900 in Wallins Creek, Harlan County, Kentucky. 

Martha "Mattie" Bennett died in 1952 in Joppa, Morgan County, Alabama. 

Joseph Lee "Joe" McCauley was born in 1913 in Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

Friday, January 18, 2013

How Many Times Was Thomas Richard Hankins Married?

Two? That's what the consensus seemed to be among family members. 

Dick Hankins married Bettie Smith on 1 March 1905 in Hopkins County, Kentucky. Bettie and their second child both died in 1909. 

Later he married Edith Rhea Jackson from Springfield, Tennessee. It appeared they were married before 16 May 1911 because this was published in The Earlington Bee (a Hopkins County newspaper) that day.
"Mrs. Dick Hankins of Nashville, is visiting friends here."
Except they didn't get married until more than a year later. 

A marriage license was issued to T. Richard Hankins and Rhea Jackson on 3 Oct 1912 in Davidson County, Tennessee. They were married the same day. 

Rhea was from Springfield which is about 30 miles north of Nashville (Davidson County). Dick was apparently living in Nashville in May 1911 but Rhea wasn't Mrs. Dick Hankins at that time. Maybe he was married to was someone from Hopkins County. After all, how would Rhea even have friends in Hopkins County to visit in 1911? She never lived there. 

Hopkins County marriage records are back on my to do list. 

Marriage records from Tennesse, County Marriages, 1790-1950 at

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Albert E. Hankins and Bernice Gamble

Albert E. Hankins married Bernice Gamble on 1 July 1951 in Spokane, Washington. 

I knew my grandmother's brother, Elvie (full name Albert Elvie Hankins), was an insurance salesman in Spokane, Washington. It seemed likely he was the Albert E. Hankins in this marriage certificate from Washington State Digital Archives. This couple was buried in Pines Cemetery in Spokane (according to and Albert's birth date was the right month but a year off Uncle Elvie's 1900 census record birth date. Probably him but I couldn't be sure. Until now.  

This marriage license application is another one of those interesting records I found a few weeks ago while browsing database titles at a few sites. It's from the Washington, County Records, 1856–2009 database at FamilySearch. 

And there's my answer. This Albert was an insurance salesman and he was born in Dalton, Kentucky. Dalton is the Hopkins County community where Uncle Elvie, my grandmother and most of their siblings were born.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This Week in the Family History: Jan. 13–19

January 13
John Waller married Mary Pomfrett in 1668/69 Walton, Buckinghamshire, England.

William Columbus Hopkins was born in 1860 in Mulberry Gap, Hancock County, Tennessee.

Thomas Jefferson Lanier married Theodocia Smith in 1897 in St. Clair County, Alabama.

January 15
Job Weeks died in 1841 in Pope County, Illinois.

John William McCauley, Jr. died in 1992 in Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky.

January 16
John Cook Taylor married Emma Jane Owens in 1900 at her parents home in Freedom, Rockcastle County, Kentucky,

Sarah S. Howard Brock died in 1958 at her home in Wallins Creek, Harlan County, Kentucky.

January 17
Elizabeth Barney was born in 1693/94 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

January 19
Emma Ewers Taylor Hopkins died in 1978 at Harlan Appalachian Hospital in Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Perry Hankins Has a Headstone!

For years I thought Perry Hankins did not have a headstone. I was wrong.

Perry died in Denver Colorado in 1922 and his body was returned to Hopkins County, Kentucky for burial. He was in Denver for treatment of Tuberculosis. According to his obituary, he was buried in "the Catholic Cemetery" but there is no cemetery known by that name in Hopkins County.

Perry was my paternal grandmother's brother. One of my aunts told me years ago that she thought her Uncle Perry was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Madisonville but he isn't listed there or in any other cemetery in the Hopkins County Cemetery Books. I figured my aunt knew what she was talking about and that Perry just did not have a headstone. 

Imagine my surprise when I found a record for Perry in's database U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963. Hmmm, if Perry has a headstone, where is it? Was he really buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery or somewhere else? Why isn't he listed in the Hopkins County Cemetery Books?

This application was completed on 26 May 1950 by Perry's son, William Perry Hankins. Almost 30 years after Perry died. And, in addition to the questions it raises about where Perry was buried, it contains information I did not have!

Most of the typed information on the form is checked in red ink but a few items are changed in that same red ink (apparently by the person processing the application). 

Perry's birth date was typed on the form as 17 October 1898 but it was changed to 4 October 1897 so I still don't know exactly when Perry was born. All I had before was October 1898 from his 1900 census record. Was the date his son gave correct or the one from his military record? 

He died on 1 December 1922. His obituary doesn't give the date he died. The clipping I have was saved by family members and it doesn't include the name of the newspaper or the publication date. With this date, I can now check the two local newspapers and find that information—maybe even a second obituary in the other paper. 
Perry enlisted on 3 October 1916, had the rank of 1st Sgt in the 144th Infantry, Hq Company and was discharged on 31 July 1919. That information was typed the front of the form. He enlisted again on 5 Aug 1919, had the rank of Cpl in the 15th Recruitment Company and was discharged on 4 August 1920 (this information was written in red ink on the back of the form). The record from the Mountain Branch Home for Disabled Soldiers gave that original enlistment date and a discharge date of 5 August 1920 (one day off) but didn't indicate he was discharged earlier and re-enlisted.

This application didn't immediately help with the question of where Perry was buried. Earlington, Kentucky was typed in the "Name of Cemetery" box. Kentucky was marked out and "Cem" written in what appears to be pencil. (Definitely not the red ink used everywhere else.) A typed note on the back of the form states: "Note: This stone is to be place on a grave in a family plot." One thing is for sure—Odd Fellows Cemetery is in Madisonville, not Earlington. 

The answer was at Find A Grave, just waiting for me to look. Skimming through a search list of Hopkins County, Kentucky cemeteries, I found Earlington Cemetery, also known as Oakwood Cemetery. Google Maps shows the name as Calvary Oakwood Cemetery. A photo of the cemetery sign shows the name as Earlington Cemetery, Mt. Calvary/Oakwood and the photographer notes there are two sections of the cemetery. Mt. Calvary is the Catholic section and Oakwood is the Protestant section. 

A memorial for Perry Hankins was created on 4 April 2011 and a photo of the headstone made as a result of this application was just added on 22 October 2012!

But why isn't he in the Hopkins County Cemetery books? I found Oakwood Cemetery at Earlingon in volume III and there is one Hankins listed there. Henry not Perry. However, Henry's birth and death dates match the dates on Perry's headstone application and the photo at Find A Grave. And he is listed right next to George and Ollie Hill—parents of Perry's wife, Margaret. 

I've looked at that page several times before but just looked at the name and moved on. (After all, it wasn't even the right cemetery.) I didn't have a date of death until now but the October 1898 birth date and the Hills buried next to him should have rung a bell. If I'd paid closer attention, maybe I could have found Perry a long time ago.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Will of Titus Fox

The will of Titus Fox was proven in August 1825 in Hopkins County, Kentucky.

In the name of God amen I Titus Fox of the State of
Kentucky Hopkins County being weak of body but of sound
mind and memory calling to mind the mortality of my
body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once
to die I make this my last will & Testament in the
manner and form following First I give & recommend
my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave
it and my body to be buried in decent christal 

burial at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but
I shall receive the same in the morning of the reserrection
and as touching such worldly stuff as it hath pleased
God to bless me with in thie life I give and dispose of
in the following way viz, first I give and bequeath unto my
dearly beloved wife Elizabeth Fox all and every part or
particle of property whatever I now possess it is also to
be understood that she have the full weight and
possession of the land I now live upon during 

her natural life and at her death it is my wice
and wish that fifty acres of the land go to my son
Jesse Fox including the plantation and that the balance
of the land if any to my grand son Madison Fox
I do constitute & appoint Daniel Fox & Charles Bradley
my trusty friends executors of this my last will & Testament
In Testimony where of I have herunto set my hand
and seal this 16th day of Jun 1825.

Titus Fox [his mark]

Attest Saml Meredith
Malinda Fox [her mark]
Hopkins County Augt County Court 1825
The foregoing Instrument of writing was produced
in Court & proven to be the last will & Testament of
Titus Fox deceased by the oaths of Samuel Meredith
& Malinda Fox subscribing witnesses thereto & ordered to
be recorded

Att  Sam Woodson clk

Sunday, January 6, 2013

This Week in the Family History: Jan. 6–12

January 7
Samantha Angeline Petty Hankins died of pneumonia in 1944 at the Hopkins County Hospital in Madisonville, Kentucky.

January 8
Nancy Lair Taylor Harrison died in 1959 at her home in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

January 9
Matilda Pauline Howard was born in 1848 in Harlan County, Kentucky.

Henry Madison Hopkins was born in 1889 in Harlan County, Kentucky at his parents home at Wallins Creek.

Jacob B. Howard died in 1933 in Pineville, Bell County, Kentucky.

January 10
Wesley Alfred Owens died in 1934 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

January 11
Thomas Richard Hankins died in 1965 at St. Vincent Hospital in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Two Brothers Had TB, One Survived, One Didn't

The U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 database at probably isn't used very much but you might find something unexpected there. I certainly did. 

According to Perry Hankins' obituary he died in Denver, Colorado where he was being treated for Tuberculous. I knew from a letter he wrote to his young niece in February 1922 that he was also hospitalized in Oteen, North Carolina before being sent to Denver. So when I first saw that database, I immediately thought I might find something more about Perry. And I did. But I didn't expect to find a record for his younger brother and learn that he was also treated for TB.

I had hoped to find records for Perry's hospitalization in Oteen and Denver but those records are not in this database. Maybe neither of those facilities were "homes for disabled soldiers." This record is for a prior hospital stay at Mountain Branch in Johnson City, Tennessee. He entered that facility on 26 Apr 1921 for treatment of Pulmonary Tuberculosis—just 14 days after he married Margaret Hill in Hopkins County, Kentucky. He was discharged 27 Jul 1921 and probably returned home for a few months before going to Oteen and then later on to Denver where he died.
Before I found this record for James Hankins, I had no idea that Perry's younger brother also suffered from TB. There is no doubt this is the same James Hankins—his mother was Samantha Angeline and the family lived at Earlington, Kentucky.

Jimmy spent just over a year (16 Mar 1923-20 Mar 1924) at the Pacific Branch in Sawtelle near Los Angeles, California. And he recovered. He lived in the Los Angeles area for many years after that and died in Carlsbad, California in 1974.

Perry and Jimmy were sons of Thomas Leander Hankins and Samantha Angeline Petty and the two youngest brothers of my grandmother, Verda Waller Hankins McCauley. (Wednesday's post was Jimmy's marriage record from 1929.)

These records have much more than just hospital information. They have military information—date and location of enlistment, company, regiment and rank, date and location of discharge. And they have personal information—age, physical description, religion, occupation, marital status, name and address of nearest relative.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: James Bailey Hankins and Rachel Lesh

A few days before Christmas I was piddling around online and somehow ended up browsing database titles at I wasn't expecting to really accomplish anything but that little exercise paid off very well. This California marriage record for James Bailey Hankins and Rachel Lesh is just one of the interesting records I found that day.

I knew Uncle Jimmy (my paternal grandmother's brother, so technically great-uncle) married Rachel but I didn't know when or exactly where. I didn't even know her maiden name. Those questions are answered and then some.

This marriage license was issued to James Bailey Hankins and Rachel Lesh on 26 March 1927 in Los Angeles County and they were married the same day in Glendale by W. R. Thornton. Mrs. W. R. Thornton and John W. Thornton were witnesses. 

Rachel's age of 23 matches her birth date from her death record but Jimmy's age of 27 is off. He was born 27 March 1901 so he wasn't 27 but instead turned 26 the day after their wedding. 

Jimmy lived at 112 S. Olive Street in Los Angeles and worked as a studio electrician. [He was an electrician for Warner Brothers for many years so that is probably where he worked at this time.] The record shows he was born in Kentucky to parents Lee Hankins and Manthas [Samantha] Petty [not new information but confirms this is the right James Bailey Hankins]. 

Rachel lived at 515 S. Middleton in Huntington Park and worked as a bookkeeper for an elec. contractor. She was born in Washington. Her parents were James R. Lesh (born in Pennsylvania) and Gay Reagan (born in Oklahoma). 

Rev. Thornton recorded their marriage on 29 March 1927. 

Don't you wish all marriage records contained this much information?

Source: California County Marriage Records, 1850-1952 at