Saturday, January 5, 2019

Sarah Ann (Duncan) Knight

© Kathy Duncan, 2019

This is a long overdue post about one photograph and two women, who are strangers to each other, but who both had the same generous impulse.

Several years ago I came across a photograph of Sarah Ann (Duncan) Knight on Findagrave. Sarah was my great-grandfather, Richard E. Duncan's elder half-sister. Born 7 January 1859 in Arkansas, she was the daughter of Isaac and Martha (Sales) Duncan. On 22 January 1880, she married Joseph Oliver Knight in Sebastian County, Arkansas.

Immediately, I contacted LaDonna McKelvy who had posted the photograph to Joseph Oliver Knight's memorial. I made the false assumption that she must be a family member. She told me that she had seen the photograph in an antique shop while on vacation. She was tempted to buy it because there was enough identification on it that she thought she could track down the family of Sarah and Joseph Oliver Knight. Instead, she asked the owner if she could photograph it, and then she did the research when she got home. She found the memorials for Sarah Duncan and Joseph Oliver Knight on Findagrave and added the photograph. She thought that the photograph was in shop somewhere in Oregon.

Well, that was both exciting and disappointing. There was another photograph of Sarah Duncan out there somewhere. But where? I couldn't help but wonder what other Duncan/Knight goodies might be in that shop. Where ever it was. But I had to let it go...

Recently, the same photograph surfaced on I figured it was the same photograph, copied from Findagrave. Then I thought it could be a duplicate, and the contributor just might be a family member. Boy, was I wrong. The contributor was Rebecca Hammond. She told me that she bought the photograph in an antique shop in Cresent City, California, which is very near the Oregon border. There was enough identifying information on it that she thought she could research the couple. When she saw the photograph of Sarah (Duncan) Knight that I had contributed to FamilySearch, she realized that it was the same woman. Rebecca's ultimate goal was to return the photograph to Sarah and Joseph's family. I gave her the address of a descendant so that the photograph could make its way home.

Thank you, LaDonna and Rebecca, for recognizing that this photograph might have some family who would value it and for taking the time and making the effort to share it.

My best guess is that since several of Sarah and Joseph's grandchildren have died in California in recent years, one of them had the photograph. When their possessions were disposed of, it ended up in an antique shop. I can't help but wonder if Sarah had other pictures of her siblings and her father. Are they languishing in the same shop? Perhaps they are and lack identification.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Matilda E. (Mason) Roberts

© Kathy Duncan, 2019

Matilda E. (Mason) Roberts is my best candidate for the daughter of Ann (Kenney) and Wesley Randolph Mason.

In 1860, she appears on the census as Emma Mason:

4 July 1860, Williamson Co., TX, P.O.: Georgetown, p. 28:

W.R. Mason    31 M    Brickmason b. AL
Ann --- 21 F b.TX
Ema --- 5 F b. TX
Catherine --- 2 F b. TX

In 1870 she again appears as Emma Mason with her father, Wesley Randolph Mason, and her step-mother, Mary (McCullough) Harrison

13 July 1870, Beat No. 3, Bell Co., TX, P.O. Belton:

148 - 148
Mason, W.R. 39 M W Farmer b. TN
--- Martha 37 F W Keeps house $600 - $3,000 b. AL
--- Emma 15 F W b. TX
--- Jenny 6 F W b. TX
Groves, Mary  20 F W b. TX
Harrison, A.E.  14 F W b. TX
---Martha 9 F W b. TX
Mason, Georgia 2 F W b. TX
--- Nancy 1 F W b. TX
Harrison, T. 23 F B Servant b. TX
--- Hettie 3 F B b. TX

--- Liddie 1 F  B b. TX

Seven years later  “Matilda E. Mason” of Bell Co., TX  married G.S. Roberts on 7 Apr 1877 in Bell Co., Texas. 

[Source: Bell County, Texas Marriage Records 1850- 1882 by Linda B. Allie and Weldon I. Hudson]

It is not unreasonable to think that Wesley Randolph Mason named his daughter Matilda after his mother Matilda (Lewis) Mason.

Matilda and George S. "Roberds" appear on the 1880 Bosque County, Texas census:

4 June 1880, Dist 9, Bosque Co., TX:

Roberds, George S. W M 31 Husband Farming b. MO
---Matilda E. W F 25 Wife b. TX
---Hettie W F 2 Dau b. TX fb. MO mb. TX
---Robert R. W M 3/12 Feb Son b. TX fb. MO mb. TX

This Matilda E. Roberds is the same age as Wesley R. Mason's daughter Emma Mason. Subsequent records indicate that this was G.S. and Matilda E. Roberts not Roberds. Although Wesley R. Mason has not been found in Bosque County, Texas in 1880, he filed for his pension from Bosque County in 1899. Matilda's son's full name was Robert Randolph Roberts, yet another indication that she was Wesley's daughter.

When George S. Roberts next appears on the census, it is with his second wife Ollie Sherman, who he had married in Hamilton County, Texas on 19 February 1888.

7th & 8th June 1900, West Part of Duke Twp., Geer Co., Oklahoma:

Roberts, George Head W M b. Sep 1847 52 M-2 b. OH fb. unk mb. unk farmer
---Ollie Wife W F b. Sep 1871 28 M-2 7-3 b. TX fb. MO mb. TX
---Hattie Dau W F b. Feb 1878 22 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX
---Madie Dau W F b. Jan 1782 18 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX
---George O. Son W M b. Dec 1889 10 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX
---Delia A. Dau W F  b. Feb 1894 6 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX
---Germy Son W M b. June 1899 1 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX

George O. Roberts, Delia Roberts, and Jeremiah Roberts are the children of Ollie Sherman since they were born after her marriage to George S. Roberts.

19 May 1910, Pct #1 Outside Portales, Roosevelt County, New Mexico:

Roberts, George Head W M 62 Wd b. OH fb. OH mb. Eng/Scot
---Hattie Dau W F 30 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX
---Adelia Dau W F 16 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX
---Jeremiah Son W M 10 S b. TX fb. OH. mb. TX
---O.K. Son W M 9 S b.OK fb. OH. mb. TX
---Addley B C Son W M 7 S b. OK fb. OH. mb. TX

Of the children of Matilda Emma (Mason) Roberts, Hattie Roberts married John Mathis Langston in Harmon County, Oklahoma on 2 July 1912 and moved to Texas eventually settling in Cleburne, Texas.

Robert Randolph Roberts died 29 July 1951 in Orange County, California. His death records indicate that his mother's maiden name was Mason. He was born 6 Feb 1880.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year, 2019

© Kathy Duncan, 2019

Happy New Year to you.

Last year I promised myself that I would keep better records on my blog's progress. Here are the numbers. This year's page views ended with 76, 943. There were 20,306 page views over the year. I wrote 58 new posts. 

The most popular blog posts in order of popularity:

Nathaniel Holcomb's Wife, Hannah?  This post was about searching for more information on my newly proven ancestor Nathaniel Holcomb who died in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri prior to 1817. That search turned up an indication that his wife may have named Hannah. Early Nathaniel Holcombs are associated with women named Hannah, so this seemed strangely coincidental.

Matilda (Lewis) Mason, Daughter of John Lewis  This post is really more about John Lewis than his daughter Matilda (Lewis) Mason. At long last, I found documentation that Matilda's father was John Lewis. This is the same John Lewis who purportedly married Susan Daniels and died in Hardin County, Tennessee. Documentation, however, reveals that he died in McNairy County, Tennessee and that he had a second wife. At this time, there is no documentation for Susan Daniels, but John Lewis and family have heavy interaction with the Daniels and DeSpain families. My feeling is John Lewis was not in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Will need to put my Lewis, DeSpain, and Daniels research together in the new year. In any event, this was a breakthrough in one of my major brick walls. Last year's big brick wall breakthrough was locating Matilda's father-in-law Joseph Mason.

Nathaniel Holcomb of Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri  This was my other major breakthrough of the year. I was able to successfully link my ancestor Azariah Holcomb to his father Nathaniel Holcomb. Nathaniel died prior to 1817, and Titus Strickland became the guardian of Nathaniel's younger children. Because Azariah's siblings were already successfully linked, I was able to connect the younger children to Nathaniel. Now the identity of their mother needs to be revealed. I suspect, but cannot prove, that Nathaniel Holcomb is Nathaniel VI, son of Nathaniel Holcomb V and wife Hannah Holcomb - a daughter of Deacon Azariah and Hannah (Loomis) Holcomb.

The Heirs of John Kelly of Kershaw County, SC  This research revealed a previously unknown daughter of John Kelly which led to information about a new set of grandchildren. I think that this will enable me to strengthen the link between John Kelly and his father John Kelly Sr. of Fairfield District, South Carolina. This unknown daughter was a huge surprise. This side of my family has the strongest oral tradition, but no information about this particular daughter was passed down in the family.

May the new year lead to breakthroughs in your brick walls!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Turie (Laine) Stephenson's Letter

© Kathy Duncan, 2018

This letter, written by Turie Lea (Lain) Stephenson, is especially difficult to read because she recycled the paper from another letter. Apparently, she wrote a letter To Rev. Albert Warnken, inquiring about her Barber relatives, was given the address of Chester Barber Jr., and then used the response letter to write to Chester Barber Jr. Her letter begins midway down the first page below the original letter, continues on to the next page (probably the back of the paper) with what looks like a postscript of some sort at the top of the first page. It is the tacked on information at the top that reveals when and where my great-great-great grandfather Joseph Barber died and where he is buried.

My notes are added in red.

Page 1: 

Page 2: 


Original Letter:

October 10,1960

Dear Friend:

The First Baptist Pastor asked me to check on the card that you sent him inquiring about your relatives who used to live at Ravenna. The best I can find out George Barber Jr. and Ida are both dead. However I did not get to talk with Mr. Chester Barber, Route 1, Ravenna, Texas; and I understand that he might know more about it. If you care to you might write him and ask him about them.

 I am sorry that I didn't get more information for you.

Sincerely yours,
Rev. Albert Warnken

Turie's letter to Chester Barber:

Oct 10, 11, 1960

Mr. Chester Barber Jr: - I wrote a card to this Pastor & here is all the information He could get for Mr. C. My mother was was Mary Emma Barber & came from Alabama to Tex. she married my father L.W. Lain of Mt. Pleasant. She had two boys & one live here & one in Spur, Texa, & my self I was the oldest of we three Morris & Jewel. Morris lives in Houston. [It seems odd that she does not acknowledge any of her elder Brown half-siblings or that her mother Mary Emma Barber was previously married to John C. Brown] she She had there were 3 girls Sarah [married Levi Blakey] & she lived at Atlanta, Tex & had several but the girls that I know Alabama, lives on a ????? c. there were Ed. George Robert & William Barber of Ala. [These are all siblings not children of Mary Emma Barber.] He [Will Barber] Died & left no Heirs & had run a Gele store since the war was over & that was fer & years ago. He Died in Ala. their may be money coming to us all C. I have forgot if He lived in Troy I think. I'll trace it some time. Cousin [she means uncle, not cousin] Will Barber never failed as long as He lived to come to see us ever summer & spend the Summer He had a big mare [continues on next page] named Bess she was a picture He lived on the Farm then & your Dad & Mother come & Ida too & George Jr. C. but I lost all track of you folks & I wrote a card as you can C. the reason I'm using this paper to help you understand more clearly. I had four two boys two girls all live in Houston but my youngest girl & she come to see me last Saturday night her Husband Travels. I taught school at Mt. P. [Mt. Pleasant, TX] & my oldest girl Madge Taught fur yrs there & two here C. she don't teach any more I live with here & my two boys live on Allston St Woodie is a Capt on the police dept has his own private office & sec. He works colored police under He has two girls Beverly & Bettye Jo. Beverly is in Huntsville S.H.S.J. College, & grad from Regan High Bettye Jo will go in Sep. Beverly is 18 yr old 7 She & her Sister are real musician they can swing low sweet chariot they play all over Texas they are the 2 B. They play the accordian & can they play any where they are invited that  ??? all the place they can major in music except oklahoma City & that is a far piece my oldest son has three girls no boy & He is a Depty Sheriff no boy, so the Stephenson name play out C No Boy to hand it down my girl I live with has a boy named Johnson & one girl She is a teacher in Calif She has two girls she married very Rich Bobby Jo. Richmond, He graduated from Baylor U & is ordained Baptist minister He makes about $1000 per mo & she make $500 per mo the yr a round She is a Sister to the boy but her Dad Died & Madge married a Johnson & Bob has several oil wells & His Dad has only two Sons & four grans Jerry has two girls & the other one a son & Daughter they have Large Peanut plantation & oil Wells they are Rich but we are not but it is nice to have a gran girl Rich Jerry finished it E.J.B.C. at Marshall, Tex She went to Baylor 1 yr but said She could not hire a  Butler to Carry in her evening Dance C Well enough of that Capt Noodie don't remember His Dad. He was so very young, but He had a Law Course & Graduated & made the biggest exam in F.B.I. traning. We are very poor but Christian & all Baptist Son your folk's were thin, If ever you are in the City Come to see us & we will shore show you how poor folks live Woodies phone no is no. 4-9590. & Madges is W.N. 9.3916 hers is not listed but J.T. is on Alleton st. less you & trace uncles Williams property C. Well If you are kin to my maw Id love you Aunt Emma [her mother and Chester's aunt] was red Hair & mine is blond C. Write me & lets scrape up Barber Kind Lovingly your Cos haha Turie Lea Lain Stephenson

Top of the first page:

my Bap Pastor out to eat Chicken He Barbecued Well if I had any more paper I might tell you some more tin type C. My Gran Dad Barber Died in our Home & I was not quite 2 yrs old. He Died the 8th of Jan & I would been two the 13. He come to live with Mother & was burried at Old Marshall Springs My husband at Mr. Pleasant Tex in the Mason Cemetry. ??? & had better say be sure & waste 4 cts on me & tll me if you are my Rich Kin C. If you ever come to Houston We Will go to Galveston & Drowned you in the Bay haha Woodie has three ars & j.T. three & Mde 1 guess We could take you for a Buggie ride We  ???? had only an ox wagon& no Car when I lived on the Farm thin a big tassle Surry & then a spoke back buggie I went on my Honeymoon in a two horse buggy you never heard of such poverty haha hope you ??? sick Coz I never owned a car in my life but all my inlaws & outlaws Dont walk around the block C. Well I am 79 yrs young Jan. 13 on Friday ha ha

Turie Lea (Lain) Stephenson would have turned 79 on 13 January 1961. Based on that date Turie would have turned two, Joseph J. Barber died on 8 January 1884 at his daughter Mary Emma (Barber) Brown Laine's home in Titus County, Texas, and he was buried in the Old Marshall Springs Cemetery. There is no known tombstone for him. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

John Lewis, Tishomingo Co., Mississippi Probate Court

© Kathy Duncan, 2018

And of course, there is this reference that I forgot I had found already. This is Joel D. Lewis and brother Henry Lewis's action in the probate court of Tishomingo County, Mississippi on 13 March 1844 stating that they would render an accurate accounting of John Lewis's estate to the Orphan's Court of Tishomingo. This indicates that there are minor heirs of John Lewis's living in Tishomingo. They are probably grandchildren. Orphan's Court is the next place to look!

Tishomingo, Mississippi Probate Court 1836-44 Bk C, p. 300

John Lewis, Reference to McNairy Co., TN Estate in Tishomingo Co., MS

© Kathy Duncan, 2018

This morning I found a reference to John Lewis's estate in the Tishomingo County, Mississippi probate courts. John Lewis died in McNairy County, Tennessee in March of 1842. However, he had heirs living in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, and this was an attempt by his son Joel D. Lewis to settle the estate. It's value is that it points me to the Probate Court's March Term of 1844, maybe specifically 13 March 1844, for more research.

The notice was printed on 27 April 1844 in the Ripley Advertiser of Ripley, Mississippi in Tippah County, which does not even border Tishomingo County. It was to run for three weeks, but I only found one copy of it. Was the Ripley Advertiser one of several papers it was to run in? Were there no newspapers in Tishomingo County? Was it likely that the heirs in Tishomingo would read this??

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Chokecherry Jelly for Christmas

© Kathy Duncan, 2018

This year my little granddaughter was old enough to want to select Christmas gifts for her recipients herself, with a little help from her mother. For her grandfather she chose a jar of chokecherry jelly. That's not the most common flavor.

When he opened his present, my husband's face lit up. He told me that when he was about 12 or 13 years old, his grandmother, Beulah (Galt) Graham Kinsey, would have him pick chokecherries along the banks of the Chama River with his brother and sister. Since chokecherries are very sour, there was no temptation to eat them before they were delivered to his "Little Grandma." She used the berries to make jelly.

Thank you, MacKenzie, for the jelly and the sweet memory for your grandfather.