Monday, May 31, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Flowery Obituary of Mary Elizabeth Darling Runyan

John Newmark, who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog started a Monday Blog Theme called "Amanuensis Monday". John defines "amanuensis" as "a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

Mary Elizabeth Darling, my mother's paternal grandmother, married Robert Noah Runyan 14 Mar 1880 in Henry Co., Indiana. Their children were: Jesse Claude, Cory Alice (died in infancy), Bessie Beulah, Grace Anna and my grandfather, Lawrence Everette. When my grandfather was 3 years old, Mary Elizabeth divorced Robert and raised her children alone. Mary Elizabeth died 10, Sept 1922. The rather flowery obituary below was written by Isabelle Johnson Sullivan, mother of Louisa May who married Samuel Claude Darling, Mary Elizabeth's nephew.

Obituary by Belle Sullivan for Mary Runyan

" 'And desire shall fail, because man goeth to his long home,  and the mourners go about the streets; or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it'. We all look upon death with dread and try to shrink from it yet it is the divine plan of God; and as we follow the lifeless form of our beloved ones to the grave with bleeding hearts and weeping eyes, and it seems as though our very lives are crushed, no doubt if we could lift the veil and see into the great beyond that we would say thy will be done. Thy subject of this sketch, Mary Elizabeth Darling Runyan, was one of twelve children who came to brighten the home of her parents, Samuel and Beulah Darling on the 23 of May 1859 and departed this life at the home of her son Lawrence in Indianapolis on the tenth day of September, 1922, at the age of 63 years, 3 months and 17 days. The greater part of her life was spent in the state of Indiana and the last few years she had made her home with her daughter Mrs. Oral Crim and family of New Castle. She was united in marriage to Robert Runyan in the year 1879 and to this union were born five children one of whom the pale faced messenger claimed as his own at the tender age of five months and bore her spirit to the home where Christ's flowers never fade. She was a devoted mother, and a kindly neighbor, always willing and glad to sacrifice self if necessary of the comfort and pleasure of her loved ones. Death is only a brief separation from our loved ones just going away to another country and as you are mourning the loss of another just think,-------she is still your own. Her love flows the same and the separation is only a mystery through which we pass as through an open gate, with glad surprise at the things that shall be made plain to us over there. She is survived by four children, Jesse Runyan of near Knightstown, Mrs. Bessie Spears, of Danville, Ill., Mrs. Grace Crim of New Castle and Lawrence Runyan of Indianapolis One sister Mrs. Misha Lutholtz of Kennard, one Brother Quincy Darling of Spiceland, eleven grandchildren and a number of other relatives and friends. Weep not for the loving mother, whose bright wings have cleft the air; They have left a shining pathway, that may lead a loved one there."  

Image courtesy

MEMORIAL DAY - Forney J. Davis - Civil War

In remembrance of all who died protecting our freedom

and to remember today by special mention, Forney J. Davis, my third great grandfather, paternal grandfather of Sarah Davis Wallen. Forney served in the Civil War in the 12th Kentucky Infantry which was organized in October, 1861, at Camp Clio, Pulaski County, Kentucky, under Col. William A. Hoskins. This regiment engaged in the battles at Stone River, Chickamauga, and all the battles of the Atlanta campaign. It was also engaged in what became known as the "Affair at Travisville", the first military combat incident of the Civil War in Tennessee

A little bit about the Affair at Travisville

Until the events of this day transpired, people locally had assured themselves that they were too far off the beaten paths to see any fighting. The event of that particular Sunday, one hundred and forty one years ago, represents the first military action in Tennessee during the Civil War. Only in the past several years has Travisville been acknowledged as the official beginning of the conflict and the struggle for control in Tennessee.

From the Tennessee Civil War Sourcebook....

Report of Col. William A. Hoskins, Twelfth Kentucky Infantry.
Camp at Albany, September 29, 1861.

This morning I received information that the Confederate forces were forming another encampment at Travisville, distant from us 13 miles. Accordingly I ordered Capt. Morrison to take the effective force under his command and proceed to that point, and after reconnoitering sufficiently to satisfy himself that the number was not too great to justify an attack, to take them by surprise, order a surrender, which, should they refuse, to fire upon them. In obedience to my orders he proceeded to that point as directed. In about two hours after Capt. Morrison left camp Lieut. Adams joined us, as also the Home Guards of Hustonville Cavalry. I ordered a detail of 15 men from the company under command of Lieut. Adams and 30 from the Hustonville Home Guards, which were placed under command of Maj. Brunets, and he ordered to proceed to Travisville, to support Capt. Morrison in the event he was repulsed; but before reaching that point Capt. Morrison had surprised the camp, finding about 100 troops, which, being ordered to surrender, fled, when they were fired upon and 4 killed, the balance effecting their escape by fleeing to the hills. They also took 4 prisoners, 2 of whom, as also 2 horses, were captured by Thomas Huddleston, a private in Capt. Morrison's company; after accomplishing which, to use his own expression, "He looked for more, but they had all fled." Among the officers with Capt. Morrison were Lieut. Miller, Sergeants Hay, Carr, Chilton, Smith, and Howard. The prisoners were brought this side the line, when, after taking a solemn obligation to prove faithful to the United States Government, they were released. But for our timely arrival the Confederate troops, I have no doubt, would now have been in possession of this place, as they were to move in this direction on yesterday.

The following letter dated Oct. 1, 1861 from W.A. Hoskins at the camp at Albany to Brigadier General Thomas indicates the Confederates did not stay dispersed for long....

I learn that the Confederate troops are rallying again at Travisville, with the intention of attacking us. From the best information, they cannot muster a force exceeding 1,150. Last night at 9 o'clock our picket guards were fired upon by a party of seven persons within 3 miles of the camp; they returned the fire, with what effect I have not ascertained. None of ours were injured that I know of, though one of the picket has not yet come up. I have ordered a detachment of fifty cavalry to scout the whole country in the neighborhood of the beat at which the pickets were stationed, as also that in which the absent picket was stationed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. Hoskins,
Commanding Post.

Brigadier General Thomas' reply dated October 29, 1861:

I learn that they have also a body of cavalry stationed at Travisville, numbering 1,200, which of course will join their main force at Albany, making in the aggregate 4,400. I have no fears from an attack should it come from the direction of the main road leading from Monticello, but apprehend that they may attempt to flank us by crossing lower down the river.

Respectfully, &c.,
Geo. H. Thomas, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Forney's last child was born a few months after he enlisted. He named that son Thomas HOSKINS Davis after Col. William A. Hoskins.

Forney J. Davis died November 30th, 1862 of disease contracted during his service. His burial place is unknown.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial: William Wallen - Overmountain Man - Battle of Kings Mountain

~Overmountain Men at the Battle of Kings Mountain~

The Battle of Kings Mountain

The battle of Kings Mountain, fought October 7th, 1780, was an important American victory during the Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major patriot victory to occur after the British invasion of Charleston, SC, in May 1780.

The Overmountain Men

The Overmountain Men were American frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains who took part in the American Revolutionary War. While they were also present at multiple engagements in the war's Southern Campaign, they are best known for their role in the American victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. The term "overmountain" refers to the fact that their settlements were west of, or "over," the Appalachians, the range being the primary geographical boundary dividing the 13 American colonies from the western frontier. The Overmountain Men hailed from parts of Virginia, North Carolina, and what is now Tennessee.

The efforts of the Overmountain Men helped to strengthen the existence of the fragile settlements in the Watauga, Nolichucky, and Holston river valleys. Many Overmountain Men went on to play important roles in the establishment of the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. The foothold they gained on the frontier helped open the door to mass westward migration in the following decades.

William Walling (Wallen )

"Walling, William
b. c. 25 December 1759 (Old Style)
   While residing in Sullivan County, North Carolina (later Tennessee), William Walling volunteered during 1777 under Capt. Joseph Martin and was sent in September to the fort in Rye Cove, North Carolina, where he remained until February 1778. Soon after returning home he was ordered to a station at the mouth of Copper Creek on Clinch River in Virginia. During the spring of 1780 he served under Capt. Roger Topp at a fort near the mouth of Big Creek on the Holston frontier. Thereafter, he volunteered under Capt. James Elliot and Col. Isaac Shelby and was in the battle at Kings Mountain. He assisted in guarding the prisoners to Salem. Early in the spring of 1781 he was ordered out under Capt. Charles Morgan to guard the frontier and in September his unit was ordered to Yorktown, but somewhere in Virginia they received the news that Cornwallis had surrendered. He was allowed pension on his application executed 30 August 1832 while residing in Hawkins County, Tennessee."

Moss, Bobby Gilmer. The Patriots at Kings Mountain. Blacksburg, S.C.: Scotia-Hibernia, 1990. pg. 258. Print.

Pension Application Papers

State of Tennessee
Hawkins County

    On the 30th day of August 1832 personally appeared before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for said County of Hawkins and state aforesaid William Walling a resident of said County and State, aged seventy-three years next Christmas day, old style, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the Act of Congress the 7th day of June 1832. That he was a volunteer in the year 1777 under Genl. Joseph Martin that he was ordered to Carter's Station in the Rye Cove, then North Carolina in the month of September 1777 shortly after he was enrolled where he remained until the last of February 1778 and remained in service about six months or more after which service he returned home in Sullivan County, Tennessee, where he remained a short time, when he was again ordered to a station at the mouth of Copper Creek on Clinch River in the State of Virginia where he remained in service about three months. This declarant further states that in the spring of 1780 he served three months under the command of Captain Roger Topp at a fort near the mouth of Big Creek on the frontiers of the Holston Settlements and was discharged after which he enrolled as a volunteer under the command of Captain James Elliot in the summer of 1780 and marched under the command of Col. Isaac Shelby for Kings Mountain. The troops under the command of Col. Shelby were joined by Col. Sevier, Col. Campbell and others. The army arrived at Kings Mountain on or about the 7th of October 1780 at which time Col. Ferguson was defeated after the surrender of the British and Tories, the principal part of Captain Elliot's company were sent on with the prisoners to Sullivan County, North Carolina from which place he returned home after being in the service of the United States about five months. And this declarant further states that early in the spring of 1780 he was ordered out under Captain Charles Morgan to guard the frontiers and remained in the service six months ending about the last of September 1781 shortly after which time Captain Charles Morgan and his company was ordered to Yorktown, Virginia with which company he marched and on their march somewhere in Virginia received information of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and was ordered to return home during which time declarant was in service one month making altogether the time he was in service two years during the Revolutionary War and this declarant further states that after the Revolutionary War he served on the frontiers against the Indians from one year to eighteen months in addition.

    He hereby relinquishes every claim whatsoever to a pension or annuity except the present and he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any state.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid:
W. Mitchell, Clerk

William   X   Walling

State of Tennessee
Hawkins County

   I William Snodgrass of the county of Sullivan and State of Tennessee being duly sworn according to law states he has been acquainted with William Walling the applicant herein named since the commencement of the American revolutionary war and he knows he did reside on the frontiers during the whole time in the year 1780 himself and also that the said William Walling was there and belonged to the regiment commanded by Col. Isaac Shelby who then understood.  And this deponent further states that the said William Walling was one of the inhabitants of the frontier that all the inhabitants residing on the frontier that were able to bear arms were frequently called out the times herein stated by him and further he has no doubt that the facts stated by William Walling in his declaration are true.

W. B. Mitchell D Clk.
William Snodgrass

State of Tennessee
Hawkins County

   I Henry Blevins of the county of Hawkins and the State of Tennessee being duly sworn according to law states he has been acquainted with William Walling since his first recollection that he was himself a private in the company commanded by Captain James Elliot in Col. Shelby's regiment at the battle of Kings Mountain on the guard the day of the battle and that William Walling was also a soldier in the same company and was in the engagement and went with the prisoners to Salem in North Carolina where the said Walling left the troops and returned for home and this deponent further states that he lived a near neighbor to said Walling during the whole of the revolutionary war and he knew of his being in service at different times as stated in his declaration and from his knowledge of all the circumstances at that time that he did perform the duty in the service of the United States as stated by him.

W. B. Mitchell DClk

Henry   X    Blevins


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Tribute

~Remembering family who served~

Revolutionary War:
John MARTIN, SC - served under Brig. Gen. Francis Marion - aka "Swamp Fox" (Gen. Marion pictured at the right)
William WALLEN, TN - served at Kings Mountain and Indian Wars
David OWEN, PA - Capt. Humphrey's Co., 6th Pennsylvania Reg.
Jonas SUTTON, Sr., NJ - Private - Second Regiment, Monmouth; also Continental Army

War of 1812
Benjamin RUNYAN, Sr., OH - Capt Asa Morgan's Co., U.S. Dragoons and Capt James Neilson's Co., NJ mil.
James OWEN, OH - Capt. (Samuel) Spangler's Co., Fairfield Co., Ohio
Samuel GRUNDEN - Pvt. Captian Aston's Co. of Mounted Ohio Milita

Civil War
Forney J. DAVIS, KY - Union Sgt. - Co. B, of the 12th KY Infantry
James Alexander GRUNDEN, IN - 19th Indiana Reg. - Iron Brigade - out of 115 men he was one of ten who came home alive. (pictured here on the right)
Nathaniel L. R. MELVIN, KY - Sgt. Co. E, 37th Kentucky Infantry - Union
Michael B. RUNYAN - Pvt. Co. B - 139 Indiana Infantry
Silas Jefferson METCALF - Co. D - 37th Kentucky Infantry

World War I
<---Lawrence Everett RUNYAN, IN - Camp Custer, Michigan

World War II
Paul Eugene CRIM, Ross Dudley LIVESAY, Joseph Harvey LOGSDON (pictured bottom left), John Mitchell RABER, Robert Leroy WALLEN (pictured bottom right), Charles Homer WALLEN, Sr., James Hobart WALLEN, Thomas Miller WALLEN, Richard Stanton WALLEN, Richard Monroe WALLEN, Harold Melvin "Buddy" TOWNSEND.

Lastly I would like to recognize James Joseph RIZZARDI who served in both WWI and WWII. Even though he is considered an "illegitimate" ancestor, he is still a biological ancestor and some would not be here without him.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Fast Friday! Townsend Photo

~Great, great Grandpa and Grandma Townsend~

Ok, so I made up my own Friday theme today, but my daughter and grandchildren are on their way from Georgia for a long Memorial Day weekend visit and I have much to do before they arrive in just two hours! Therefore this post must be FAST, very fast!

Today I have this wonderful photo of my great, great grandparents Lewis and Mary Ann Patterson Townsend who were the subject of my Wordless Wednesday blog this week. This photo was sent to me some years ago from one of my very few actual first cousins (I have only two!) Sharon Messmore Gerth. Thank you Sharon, I will be eternally grateful for ALL the photos you have copied for me!

Lewis and Mary Ann lived most of their lives in Sefton Township and later, Otego Township in Fayette Co., Illinois.

Lewis Townsend 1837-1927, Mary Ann Patterson Townsend 1843-1936


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Somewhere In Wyoming: One Room School House 1921

~Morris Henry "Bud" Newby and students~

My maternal grandmother's brother Bud Newby, age 22.  He grew up in Knightstown, Henry Co., Indiana and was educated at Ball State Teacher's College at Indianapolis. He made the journey all the way to Wyoming for his very first teaching assignment. He only taught here one year but I'd sure like to know exactly where this was. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Townsend - Patterson Marriage License 1863

Marriage License
Lewis Townsend and Mary Ann Patterson
October 18, 1863 - Fayette Co., Illinois

Lewis Townsend was son of Joseph Ludlam and Christiana Wheaton Townsend. Mary Ann Patterson was the daughter of Robert and Mary Root Patterson. For more information on this lineage see the notes at the bottom of my blog 


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: William M. & Lou Ann Grimes Mattingly

St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, St. Mary, Marion Co., Kentucky

William M. Mattingly was the son of Joseph James Wilson Mattingly and Susan Melvina Tucker. Lou Ann was the daughter of Lorenzo Grimes and Nancy Jane Chapman. She died on January 28, 1950. William and Lou Ann's daughter, Rose Lee, married Joseph Leslie Logsdon. Children of Rose Lee and Joseph Leslie were: Joseph Harvey, Agnes Pauline Smith, Robert Adrian, and Minnie Iola Phelps. Their oldest child, Joseph Harvey Logsdon and his wife Florence Edna Moore were my children's paternal grandparents. 

William's actual year of death was 1933. Headstone says year of death is 1934. Death certificate shows 1933 as the year. In fact it has 1933 in five separate places. The 'date filed' looks like January 2, 1934. He was apparently known by the nickname "Bill Rock" which is found in the St. Charles Boromeo Catholic Cemetery List compiled by Thomas Gerald Thompson on p. 54 under Lou Ann (Grimes) Mattingly's listing.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Will of Joseph Logsdon

John Newmark, who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog started a Monday Blog Theme called "Amanuensis Monday". John defines "amanuensis" as "a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

For today's Amanuensis Monday I will transcribe the Will of Joseph (Blackhead) Logsdon. Joseph and Eleanor "Nellie" Hayden Logsdon were both born in Maryland and lived in Madison Co., Kentucky from the late 1700s until their deaths in the mid 1800s. They were the parents of William B. Logsdon (see my blog:  Who The Heck Is Alice?).

In the early tax records of Madison County there were two Joseph Logsdons.  In order to distinguish the two, they were listed in the tax records as Joseph Blackhead and Joseph Redhead. 

The following is the Will of Joseph Logsdon - naming his children and wife with the exception of Richard Logsdon who was likely deceased prior to the writing of his father's Will in 1839.


 [Book G, p508, 1841 Madison Co, KY]

In the name of God, Amen.  I JOSEPH LOGSDON of the County of Madison and State of Kentucky being old and considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind and memory do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in the manner and form following (To Wit):

I desire my son JAMES LOGSDON at my death to pay out of my estate unto my grand children four in number, which I here mention (to wit): NELLY, SALLY, ANN, DIANA, and NANCY BOGIE, five hundred and fifty dollars which is to be equally divided amongst the children and each receive its part at age of twenty one years.   It's my desire if any one, two or three of these my grand children should die before they come of age their part should be given to the one, two, or three living.   And should the four die before they come of age I desire the five hundred and fifty dollars revert back and be equally divided amongst my four children to wit: WILLIAM, LAWRENCE, JAMES and BASSEL LOGSDON.  For I have given my son in law ANDREW H. BOGIE two hundred and fifty dollars which is all I ever intend him of my estate.

I bequeath unto my son WILLIAM LOGSDON the plantation he now lives on and one hundred and thirty dollars out of my estate and I also bequeath unto my son LAWRENCE the farm he now lives on but he is to pay back to the estate one hundred dollars.
I also bequeath unto my son BASSEL LOGSDON the plantation on which he now lives but he also must pay one hundred dollars to the estate. It's my desire that my wife NELLY remain on the plantation I now live on unmolested with all the farming utensils, house hold and kitchen furniture and all the rest of the personal property until her death.  After her death I bequeath unto my son JAMES LOGSDON the plantation I now live on and all the household and kitchen furniture also all the farming utensils and all the personal property.

It's my wish that my sons JAMES LOGSDON and WILLIAM LOGSDON act as Executors of this my last Will and Testament.  I am now done with the things of this world.  I have divided my property in a manner as I think most just. I wish my children to act in a way that will be a pleasure to their Mother and not brinq her grey head with sorrow to the grave for she has spent her strength for their support.   But try to act as in this world that you may make a part of the family of God in the next.  I hope you will live so as we will meet in heaven.  For through grave I hope to reach that place of happiness, Amen.

I hearwith fix my hand and seal this 22nd day of August 1839. 
Jas R. Green                           mark
Squire Roberts                   JOSEPH  LOGSDON  seal
Daniel March   
Wm McClanihan  
T. M. Jones         
E. S. Shackelford 

Nov 19, 1839
Kentucky Madison County: I David Irvine, Clerk of the Court for the County aforesaid, do hereby certify that at a County Court held for said County on the 6th day of December 1841 this instrument of writing was produced in open Court and proven to be the last Will and Testament of JOSEPH LOGSDON, Dec'd.  By the oaths of William McClanahan and E. S. Shackelford, subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded, which has been done accordingly.

Attest, David Irvine, CMCC

Sunday, May 23, 2010

1920s Beeville, Texas: Shades of the Ku Klux Klan

1914 Beeville

My second great grandparents William M. and Serena Sutton Wallen were married in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky in 1869. My great grandfather Oliver was the oldest of their 9 children. Serena died in 1886, and in 1892 William married Sofa Thacker. Sofa had a young son named Brack from a previous "relationship". William and Sofa had 6 children together, the last being born about 1906. In August of 1908 Brack, now married, went and got himself shot and killed by John Calvin Graves and I believe that is why Sofa and William packed up their family and left for Texas.

They settled in Bee county and for a number of years William was a night watchman for the city of Beeville. He died February 14, 1922.

Ten years ago I wrote to the South Texas Genealogical Society for help in locating information on William. An obituary was found and a death record. He was buried in the Glenwood Cemetery but there was no stone. The Recording Secretary at the time, Kay Pacheco, went above and beyond the call of duty for me going through records and newspapers on microfilm and making trips to the library. Nothing else was found. She was copying the obituary from the "Beeville Picayune" when another article on the front page caught her eye. She e-mailed me right away to tell me about it and copied that page and included it in the package she sent me. For 10 years my dad's first cousin Charlie and I puzzled over that front page article...what did it mean? What did Sofa DO to "assist" the Klan?

Beeville Picayune for Thursday,
16 Feb 1922 Front page:

"Bereaved Widow Very Grateful to Klan for Donation - Writes Note"

The Picayune is in receipt of the following letter from the Ku Klux Klan organization, at the bottom of which the recipient of the latest donation from this organization pens her appreciation:

Beeville, Tex., Feb. 15, 1922
Mrs. W. M. Wallen

Dear Mrs. Wallen:

Enclosed you will find $25.00, which is a donation from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan for your assistance, as well as to show our respect for your deceased husband. We hope you will accept the same in the spirit in which it is given. If so, will you kindly acknowledge the receipt of same by handing this letter to one of the local papers for publication? 

Done by order of the Exalted Cyclops, Bee County Klan, No. 121, Realm of Texas. (SEAL)

Beeville Picayune
Beeville, Texas


I accepted the above well placed donation in the spirit in which I feel sure it was given, and shall ever feel grateful to the members of the klan. May the helpful work the klansmen of Bee county are doing continue successful.
Very respectfully,
Mrs. Wallen"

Naturally, I hope William was not involved in any way with the KKK, although I suppose it's entirely possible. ...but I'll think about THAT tomorrow!

Comments and speculation welcomed!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Ancestor Approved!

I am delighted this morning to have become a recipient of this award which was initiated by Leslie Ann Ballou of  Ancestors Live Here  in order to show appreciation for those who write the blogs we read and enjoy. Thank you Bob and Marilyn Lord of Lord And Lady  for treating me to this award!

The rules of this award specify to list ten things I've learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened me.  As the recipient I am to pass the award along to ten other genealogy bloggers that I feel are also deserving of it!


*When I got so busy with less exciting things in my life,  I took a break from serious research for almost 2 years. When I forced those encumbrances aside and came back  to what I love to do most I was surprised stunned to find the Internet had exploded with a gazillion new databases and I was overwhelmed with all the new sources of information  and new clues for me to follow!

*A woman I'd never met, shipped me a package of genealogy on her great grandfather who I strongly suspected was connected to my lineage in some way. I nearly peed my pants when I opened the package and a photo of him slid out! The photo was identical to one in my family's collection! It was of a Civil War soldier, unmarked and unknown. We kept it because we knew he was family but didn't know who he was. This woman's great grandfather was my great, great grandmother's brother!

*I'm surprised that blogging has opened up so many new avenues...very surprised! I thought I was just creating a place for family to come someday (if they EVER get curious about their ancestors...sigh!) and read stories about their kin...see photos and documents. I just wanted to leave something that would make their ancestors REAL.....real people, with real lives....and something more interesting than a hard to understand, boring, dry genealogy report!

*I have been surprised many times when someone has contacted me from a query I put on the Internet 10 years ago...or more!

*I was surprised to find that now when I read all those BEGATS in the Bible, they are actually interesting! I used to skip over that part!


*Humbled when my sister-in-law Rose entrusted all the family photos and documents from her side of the family to my safe keeping.

*Humbled when my great half-aunt Myrtle, at my timid request, shipped me the huge stack of her mother's letters (my great grandmother!), that were written during the depression years, for me to photo copy.

*Humbled at the generosity of genealogists everywhere who love to help and give their time. Humbled to have received this award from my peers!

*Especially humbled when once I had just a few minutes to search an older section of cemetery for my 4th great grandfather and I knew I'd never find his grave in the short time I had. So many rows of stones!  I got to the middle of the third row and I suddenly stopped and I said a small prayer...."Lord, you know who I'm looking for and you know how much time I have, please guide me!".  I opened my eyes and I looked over my shoulder....about two dozen stones back and about four or maybe five rows over, my eyes fixed on a stone. I couldn't possibly read it from that far but I pivoted and walked all the way to that stone without taking my eyes off of it, and there  was my ancestor and his wife next to him!! THAT is humbling! THAT is a miracle!


*Every day that I read the blogs of others I am enlightened about something. I am inspired as well. I read of a database I didn't know of, a source for clues I'd overlooked, always something!

Passing it on...

Cornelia's Genealogy Blog - Cornelia
Black And Red Journal - Terry
Detour Through History - Palms RV
Life From The Roots - Barbara
Stephen's History And Genealogy - Stephen
The Vintage Vignettes - Carole
Where I Come From - Robin
Tennessee Memories - Judy
Random Relatives - Diana
The Genealogy Genie  - Jeannie


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #20 - Gov. Land Office Records

Evans Land Records in Vandalia, Fayette Co., Illinois

I've used the Bureau of Land Management - Government Land Office  web site to search for Federal land records of my ancestors for many years so I felt up to this week's Challenge #52 to do some further exploring and play around some with the search engines there. The first thing I noticed is they have more records added than when I last visited which gave me new places to check out.

I ended up back with some of the records I was already familiar with and those were the records of my early Evans ancestors. Jeremiah Evans and at least three of his sons, John, Aikens and Simeon (my ancestor), bought land in Vandalia, Fayette Co. Illinois back in the early 1800s. What I failed to notice before was the date on Simeon's record was over 6 months after his death. Since these purchases were prepaid I suppose it's fairly safe to assume the land remained in his wife's possession. However, she and her minor children returned to their home state of Virginia not long after Simeon's death. It would be interesting to know who ended up with the land. Did she sell it to his father or one of his brothers?  

So, this little exercise brought some new questions to be answered, another challenge to take on! 

Note: For those in my family who might not be sure who our Evan's kin were, I will explain. Hopefully most of you know of my great grandfather, Oliver Morton Wallen who wrote "the Diary" (see my blog: "In The Beginning..."). His wife was Sarah Frances Davis. Sarah's father was John Miller Davis, John's mother was Mary Ann Evans. Mary Ann's father was Simeon Evans, Simeon's father was Jeremiah. Clear as mud, right?


Monday, May 17, 2010

An Original 1827 Ohio Wolf Bounty Claim

Original 1827 Wolf Bounty Claim of my 3rd great granduncle 
Humphrey Wheaton b. 1778

Here's something you don't see everyday!

"State of Ohio, Pike County; Before me Hallam Hempstead Clk of the Court of common pleas for the county aforesaid this day personally come Humphrey Wheaton and after being duly sworn deposeth and saith that the seven scalps now produced by him are the scalps of wolves that were taken and killed within this county by him within twenty days last past and that he verily believes that six of the same are under the age of six months and one over the age of six months and that he has not spared the life of any she wolf within his power to kill with a design to increase the breed and further saith not. Sworn to and subscribed before me May 19th 1827. H. Hempstead. Humphrey Wheaton."

This item was an accidental find while googling "Humphrey Wheaton" on the Internet. A man was selling some things from his grandmother's collection. He did not know why she had it or any story on it other than his grandmother like to collect such things. We quickly haggled price and came to one we could both agree lucky day!

Note: For those in my family who do not know how we connect to the father, Robert Leroy Wallen's mother was Iva Illinois Townsend. Her father was Andrew Melvin Townsend, his father was Lewis Townsend. Lewis's mother was Christiana Wheaton. Christiana's brother was Humphrey, the subject of this blog.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Exploring Kyles Ford Along The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine - Part I

Part I - Kyles Ford, Hancock Co., Tennessee: Home of my Wallen ancestors, photos I love!

Kyles Ford is located at the base of Clinch Mountain along the Upper Clinch River approximately two miles from the Tennessee/Virginia border on Highway 70, which is also known as the "Trail of the Lonesome Pine", an auto trail from Detroit to Florida. The 1908 novel by John Fox, Jr. was named for this Trail and was a romance novel based on the struggles of the Applachian mountain folk.

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine begins at the Tennessee state line in the valley formed by Blackwater Creek. It follows that creek past Blackwater, but soon leaves it to ascend Powell Mountain, which it crosses at Hunter Gap. The Trail then comes down off that mountain and rises once again, crossing Wallen Ridge before descending again and crossing the Powell River on Sewell Bridge. From there it heads north across a relatively flat area, ending at U. S. Route 58 in the eastern part of Jonesville.

In 1998 my husband Mike and daughter Hallie and I took nearly two weeks to explore parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Kyles Ford was our first main stop and where my Wallen roots run deep. My father's family lived there for several generations. Our Revolutionary War ancestor was born there in 1760 when it was still a part of the state of North Carolina. In 1852 Dad's great, great grandfather finally packed his family up and left for Kentucky and most of the family ended up settling there for a time.

These are just a few photos of why I love Kyles Ford. They were taken in and around the area as we blindly followed every little road back into the hills, much of the time singing the little commercial advertisement "Like a Rock!" referring to our fairly new Chevy Astro Van that got us out of every sticky situation and took us over rocky paths and steep inclines.

 I love these old buildings. I hope some still remain. It's been a dozen years and I'm afraid a few may be gone now.  Do click on the pictures to enlarge them!

To be continued.....