Saturday, July 6, 2019

Ambrose L Babb et al

©  Kathy Duncan, 2019

In 1878, Sarah E (Berry) Babb took the precaution of having herself named as the guardian of her own children. She took this measure because they were the heirs of their deceased father's estate, and she wanted to take control of their legal interests. Normally, we don't think of parents being named guardians of their own children, but this practice was not uncommon. This frequently happens when the deceased parent is the heir of another estate. In this case, Ambrose L. Babb and Johnie Ann Babb were the heirs of their grandmother Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb, the daughter of John D. Lewis of McNairy County, Tennessee. In 1872, thirty years after the death of John D. Lewis, the children of Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb were suing their step-mother and her children over land bought on Elizabeth's behalf with the money she inherited from her father. That land happened to be land owned by her father John Lewis. Bryant v. Fitzpatrick names the children, grandchildren, and siblings of Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb. Among those named are Lafayette A. Babb and Johnie A. Babb and "their next friend S.E. Babb." Evidently, in 1878, Sarah E. Babb is still expecting her children to collect their father's share.

The guardianship was filed in Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas under Ambrose L. Babb's name rather his guardian's name.

One of the key documents of the guardianship names S.E. Babb as the mother of Johnann Babb and Ambrose Lafayette Babb. It further states that they were entitled to a small estate in Tennessee. Unfortunately, it does not name their father, their grandmother, their great-grandfather, or the location of the estate in Tennessee. However, it does tie together these three individuals to an inheritance in Tennessee and suggests that S.E. Babb's husband was deceased before 1878.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Sarah E (Berry) Babb Pension

©  Kathy Duncan, 2019

It turns out that Sarah E (Berry) Babb did apply for a Texas Confederate Widows Pension based on the service of her husband John M. Babb. This is the only document that I've found for her, and this is Sarah's death record. Missing are the documents concerning her husband's military service and their marriage. Without those documents, it is still difficult to pinpoint exactly which John M. Babb, who died during the war, was her husband.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sarah E. (Berry) Babb, wife of John M. Babb

©  Kathy Duncan, 2019

Lafayette A. and Johnnie A. Babb, minors under the age of twenty-one, were represented by "their next friend," Sarah E. Babb in the1871 lawsuit of Bryant v. Fitzpatrick. That suit involved the children of Green and Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb against their step-mother Mary Jane (Broom) Babb, their half-siblings, and Mary Jane' second husband John Fitzpatrick.

Green and Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb seem to have three sons who died during the Civil War: Kibble T. Babb, William Babb, and John Babb. Sarah E. apparently married one of them and had two surviving children by him. The question was to figure out which one. The following documents indicate that the son was John Babb.

In 1860, eighteen-year-old Sarah E. Babb, born in Alabama, was in the same household as twenty-three-year-old John W Babb, who was born in Mississippi. This John is the same age as the son of Green and Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb's son John. It is interesting to note that they live next door to another John Babb.

Next, S. E. Babb and children Ambrose and Johnie A Babb appear on the 1880 Ellis County, Texas census. Next door is a boarder named James Berry, who later documents revealed to be Sarah's brother.

The next reference is to the tragic death of Ambrose Babb. He was struck by a train near Greenville County, Texas on 1 September 1890. The initial report confused him with J. G. Babb, a long time resident of Hunt County. J. G. Babb was John Green Babb, who was a first cousin to Ambrose Babb and near to him in age. John Green Babb was the son of Ambrose's uncle Joel Milton Babb, another participant in the Bryant v. Fitzpatrick suit.

In addition to reinterring Ambrose Babb in East Mount Cemetery in Greenville, Texas, his mother purchased a tombstone for him which revealed his name to be Ambrose L. Babb. Therefore his name would have been Ambrose Lafayette Babb.

The following November, Sarah E. Babb decided to file a lawsuit against the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas railway for wrongful death.

In July of 1899, The Dallas Morning News indicated that Sarah E. Babb was among the widows and veterans applying for a pension based on the service of her husband John M. Babb. So far, I have not found that application.

Almost exactly three years later, Sarah E. Babb joined with her mother Emaline (Brookshire) Berry Conn, her sisters, and her many nieces and nephews to seek citizenship in the Mississippi Choctaw based on the notion that her grandfather James Brookshire was part Choctaw. Their applications were denied, but their family connections were revealed.

Sarah E. Babb stated that she was born in Marshall County, Alabama then moved to Tishomingo County, Mississippi, then moved to McNairy County, Tennessee, then back to Mississippi and back to Tennessee again before removing to Texas. She would have crossed paths with Green and Elizabeth (Lewis) Babb's son in either McNairy County, TN or Tishomingo County, MS. Her statements in this application clarified that her husband was John M. Babb and that her one surviving child was daughter Johnie Ann (Babb) Cox of Ferris, Texas. Her parents were Martin H. Berry and Emaline Brookshire.

Sarah E. (Berry) Babb died on 4 July 1923 at the home of her daughter Johnie Ann (Babb) Cox in Ferris, Ellis County, Texas. In her later years, Sarah lived sometimes in Dallas and sometimes in the home of her daughter. She was buried in the Grove Hill Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

G. D. Nevill, Maryland News Item

©  Kathy Duncan, 2019

Genealogy happens in tidbits, and it often flows in dribbles.

This newspaper item about G. D. Nevill being arrested for the murder of L. C. West in Arkansas in 1879 is not necessarily new information. It is interesting that the news item made it as far as the Cumberland Times of Cumberland, Maryland paper.

What is most interesting is the information that someone tried to burn the jail down a few days before Grandison D. "Granville" Nevill was in it!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Holcombs in Newton County, Missouri

©  Kathy Duncan, 2019

There's nothing quite like opening an online book and finding the usual suspects. In this case, it is the assemblage of the Holcomb brothers Enoch, Nathaniel, and Azariah with their brother-in-law James Skaggs and probably their half-brother James Brown. There is an outside chance that brother-in-law Robert Jamison, who died in Jasper County, Missouri in 1848 is also included. All of this information comes from NewtonCounty, Missouri Records, Vol. 1 by Mrs. John Vineyard, which can be found among the books on FamilySearch.

On the surface, this information is about as interesting as watching paint dry, but it indicates that at least Azariah Holcomb and brother Enoch Holcomb were reasonably settled in Newton County, Missouri from 1840 until at least 1848. By 1850, Azariah Holcomb was in McDonald County, Missouri, Enoch Holcomb was in Navarro County, Texas; and brother Nathaniel Holcomb had probably lit out for California. What happened between  1848 and 1850 that prompted them all to leave?

Newton County, Missouri:

1840, February Term, 2nd day, p. 49:

Committee to view road to Sennaca Mills by Whitaker Crabtree’s: Azariah Holcomb; James Skaggs and Isaac H. Hatlman.

February 10, 1840, p. 41:

Petition by citizens that road from Grand Falls on Shoal Creek to South West Corner of State be marked out. Court appointed Alfred Oliver, Nathaniel Holcomb, and Andrew Sparlin to view route and report.

May Term, 1840, p. 53:

Report of group appointed to lay out road to Senneca Mills names Whitaker Crabtree’s land, farms of James G. Crabtree, Simon Price, Campbell Price, James Beamond, A. Holcome, James Brown, D. Adams, Moses Crow.

p. 55 Simon Price made road overseer near Sennaca Mills; Azariah Holcome, a Justice of the Peace of Elk River Township, “to allot to said overseer the hands subject to work on said road.”

May Term, 1840, p. 56:

Azariah Holcomb, Esq., a Justice of the Peace, allowed $14.00 for holding inquest on body of an (un-named) Indian.

Court Session, February 8, 1841, p. 79:

Nathaniel Holcomb and Andrew Sparlin, appointed viewers for road from Grand Falls on Shoal Creek to southwest corner of the State, made report which mentions Vanslyke, A. Holcomb, N. Holcomb, John F. Wheeler, Matthew Blevins near Cowskin River. Report made by James Keel, John Mayfield, Ishom H. Harris on road from Neosho to Wallace’s Mill.

August Term 1841:

Pursuant to order of Court made by the Court in August 1841…road from H.G. Joplin’s farm, Wm. Sherer’s house, Andrew Sparlin’s, Noakes’ Tanyard, Plummer’s cabin on Swan’s Prairie, Squire Holcomb’s on Buffalo Creek, to A. Oliver’s Mill on Patterson Creek, to the Cowskin River at Matthew Blevin’s field, Thomas Neil’s, McGee’s, across Honey Creek…to southwest corner of the county.

August Term 1841:

Road viewers “down Buffalo Creek by Jas. Scaggs’ farm” to be Geo. W. Nutting, James Beamans, Andrew J. Grant.

John M. Richardson and James Nichols (appointed to survey Newton – Jasper County line) – made report: “Line crosses Jenkins Creek near Samuel Spence’s dwelling, leaving said house in Jasper Co…on by Jones Creek, Daniel Spences’s house (in Newton Co.), Mr. Johnson’s (Turkey Creek), Mr. Hickman’s (a citizen of Blytheville), Clisby Roberson’s by the southeast corner of his kitchen leaving his dwelling in Newton Co. by 10 – 12 feel, by Mr. Scott’s, Mr. Jamison, Bachealon’s prairie, Mr. Fullbright’s, Harris G. Joplin’s, Mr. Cornelius and Mr. Smith.”

November Term of Court – 1841, p. 124:

Andrew J. Grant, George W. Nutting, and James Bean appointed to view the road, beginning near Bean’s on Buffalo…a small black jack tree near James Beaman’s, down by house of Daniel Stockton…house of Isaac Hatman…near James Scaggs’, to be opened and repaired to a width of 20 feet…

May 10, 1842, p. 141:

Nathaniel Holcomb made overseer to Seneca line.

November Term – 1842 p. 156:

Overseers appointed [for roadwork]: - Wm. Severs, Alfred Oliver, Azariah Holcomb

May 1846 – Court Session:

Oliver M. Hickcox made magistrate of Shoal Creek District; Azariah Holcomb appointed J. P. in place of Wm. Bradford

April Term of Court – 1847:

Enumerators of school-aged children –
8. Azariah Holcomb – Elk River Twp.

Court Session – February 1848, p. 318:

Road viewers: John Stafford, Rob’t Pucket
Accounts allowed: Enoch Holcomb, Thos. Skaggs, Wm. Pickerd

June Session – 1848

Account of Enoch Holcomb accepted, for burying Amelia Lea, insane poor person.

Hugh Sprague, Son of Esther Minerva (Pool) Sprague

©  Kathy Duncan, 2019

Hugh Sprague's story begins with his mother, Minerva Esther Pool, who was a daughter of Phebe (Holcomb) and James Pool, the blacksmith.

Esther Minerva "Minnie" (Pool) Sprague

In 1850 Minnie Pool was living in the McDonald County, Missouri household of her first cousin (and my great-great-great-grandmother) Hannah Holcomb, wife of John C Walker. Minnie was sixteen years old, and her sister Sarah was also living with the Walkers. At that time their mother Phebe was deceased and their father James Pool was in Santa Fe, New Mexico along with their brother Andrew Jackson Pool.

Esther Minerva Pool married Oliver Robert Sprague in Jackson County, Missouri on 1 April 1853.

By 1857 they were in living in Mississippi. Specifically, by 1860, they were in Warren County, Mississippi with three little boys: Hugh, age 5; Bartlett, age 3; and Morris, age 1. Oliver R. Sprague served in the Civil War and died in 1870.

On the 1870 census, Esther Minerva Sprague, widowed, was in Washington County, Mississippi with five children. Bartlett is missing from the household and may be deceased, but three children were added after 1860: Esther I., age 8; Joseph, age 4; and Della/Delilah, age 2.

Perhaps feeling overwhelmed with five children to raise, Esther Minerva Sprague decided to go to California where she had a brother - "Jack" Pool. A descendant of hers told me that Esther and the children were taking the train to California in 1873 when Esther became sick and died in Parsons, Kansas. The children were stranded, so their grandmother Leah Sprague came and got them and took them to live with her in Bourbon County, Kansas for a few years. Eventually, the three Sprague daughters and their brother, James Maurice Sprague, made it to California. The whereabouts of Hugh and Joseph are still in question.

It is evident from the census records that by 1870, Leah (Smith) Sprague was no longer maintaining her own household. Therefore, the orphaned Sprague children would have been dependent on the extended Sprague family. Additionally, I have not found a record of Leah being in Bourbon County, Kansas although she may have been there at some point.

In 1865, Leah (Smith) Sprague was living in her son Columbus Sprague's household in Douglas County, Kansas.

In 1870, she is head of household, living in Douglas County, Kansas with sons Perry and John.

In 1875, Leah Sprague was still in Douglas County, Kansas, but living in her son Perry Sprague's household along with her granddaughter Delilah Sprague, daughter of Esther M. Pool. The other children of Oliver R. and Esther Minerva (Pool) Sprague are not in the household.

Clearly, not all of the Sprague children were living with their grandmother Leah, and their whereabouts have not been determined.

Leah Sprague supposedly died in 1881, she but has not yet been found on the 1880 census. In 1880 Leah and her orphaned grandchildren are not in the household of her son Columbus, who was in Bourbon County, Kansas; or her son Perry, who was in Allen County, Kansas; or her son John C. Sprague, who was in Multnomah County, Oregon. It is possible that Leah was in the household of her son Guilford, or on her own, which seems doubtful since she has been living with her various children since 1865.

By 1880, some of the orphans or Oliver Sprague and Ester Minerva Pool were fending for themselves. Esther Ione Sprague was in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas in the Silas Piersoll household.

Joseph Sprague was in the household of Thomas F Blair in Marion, Bourbon County, Kansas.

James Maurice Sprague and Della/Delilah Sprague turn up later in California, so they were still living in 1880.

What happened to Hugh Sprague? He does not appear on any census after 1870. This newspaper clipping indicates that Hugh Sprague died in Oswego, Labette County, Kansas in 1873 and is likely buried there in an unmarked grave.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Denver & Rio Grande Western Train Engine, Iley Selph Sr.

©  Kathy Duncan, 2019

This a photograph that a good friend of mine took during her trip to Chama and posted on her facebook page.

It is an engine from the Denver & Rio Grande railroad for which my husband's grandfather Iley Nunn Selph Sr. worked in the early 1900s. He was a station agent for them between roughly 1912 and 1920, left them for a few months in 1920 and returned to work for them, possibly in La Madera village in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. This railroad ran between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado. Later the railroad was reorganized and named the Denver & Rio Grande Western, which would have required the engines to be repainted.

Steam Engine, Denver & Rio Grande Western

(Thank you, Dana.)

This morning's Google search also pulled up this article, published TODAY in the Taos News, about the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad as it passed through La Madera!!! This new tidbit of information: the Denver & Rio Grande built a spur to La Madera in 1914 to service a temporary logging boom. That narrows down the time period when Iley Selph and family lived there.

You can read the Taos News article here.

Today, La Madera, New Mexico is barely a crossroads.

La Madera, New Mexico