Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - A Mystery (Partially) Solved

 I am so far behind actually documenting 52 ancestors in 52 weeks, that it's a lost cause, but this is an interesting story of one ancestor. 

Growing up, my mother's stepfather and his upbringing were somewhat of a mystery.   Wes was part-Cherokee; he and his brother, Lee, had been brought up by their father after their parents divorced.  The father was apparently an abusive parent and the mother, Frances Blevins, seemingly just vanished.  She was half Cherokee, the daughter of a Cherokee father and white mother.  At just fifteen years old, she married a white man of 29 who was living in Indian Territory, had two sons and a daughter by age 19, and was divorced soon after.  I recall hearing that she remarried and had another child and that she had committed suicide.  But there was really no evidence to support any of the stories and Wes seems to have never spoken about her.   I also remember seeing a photograph of a young girl that was supposedly his mother, but nothing else.  So it's remained a mystery.

This week, I finally got around to perusing the Indian records on Fold3.  I knew that Frances and her children had been enrolled on the Dawes Roll in the early 1900s, however, I hadn't seen more than just a list until this week.  The packets that are available on Fold3 give a tremendous amount of information (on both Dawes and Guion Miller) and have solved the mystery of what became of Frances after her divorce.  Unfortunately, it also leads to more questions that must be answered!

Frances and Robert Berry married in October of 1896.  Their first son, Wesley, was born in 1897 and their son Lee in 1899.  A daughter named Maud was born in August 1902; Maud only lived a year, dying the day before her first birthday in August 1903.  I found a death record for her in the Dawes packet, but no cause of death is given.  According to statements given by Robert in the packet, he and Frances separated the same month their daughter died.  They were officially divorced in November 1903 and Frances married William F. Maberry in December.  On April 5, 1904, she died at the age of 22.  No cause of death is given on her death record in the packet. 

Now we take a turn into soap opera world.  After finding these records, I began researching Mr. Maberry.  It seems that he married Frances's sister, Araminta (Mintie) Blevins fairly soon after her death.  And twin girls named Hattie and Mattie were born in July 1904, just three months after Frances died.  Was William having a relationship with Mintie and expecting the babies while he was still married to Frances?  Mintie and William had three more children and were married until his death in 1962.   So far I've had no luck locating any kind of obituary or death record for Frances that lists her cause of death, but a young woman who had experienced the death of a child and then a husband and sister who were carrying on with each other might just be driven to a desperate act. 

And just to add to the soap element, it seems Frances's mother Louisa, after divorcing her father, married Robert Berry's brother and had four children with him.  I can't even begin to figure those relationships out. 

Part of Robert Berry's statement for enrollment on Dawes Roll 

Enrollment on Dawes Roll

Robert Berry's statement on the death of his ex-wife

So the mystery of what became of Frances is partially solved.  She was buried just about 30 miles away from where her two sons spent the rest of their lives, yet I never heard of them speaking of her or of visiting her grave. 

Frances Lavona Blevins Berry Maberry, 1881 - 1904, Dewey Cemetery, Dewey, Washington, OK

Friday, October 10, 2014

Family Recipe Friday - Mildred Watson's Baked Beans

For me, autumn is BBQ time and you have to have baked beans with BBQ.  Here's a recipe from grandma's cookbook:

Mildred Walton’s Baked Beans

1 large can of Pork & Beans
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
½ bottle of ketchup
½ cup brown sugar
5 strips of uncooked bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix ingredients together and pour into baking dish.  Lay strips of bacon across the top. 

Bake for 1 ½ hours. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Mrs. Mary Fuller Rose

 Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)
December 29, 1987

Mrs. Mary Fuller Rose, a native of Clarkesville, Georgia, died Saturday, December  26, 1987.  She had resided here since 1922 and was a member of the Hogan Baptist Church.  Survivors include 4 daughters, Louise R. Rowe, Mary Strickland, Grace West and Betty Williams; 3 sons, Robert, Carter and Harry Rose; neice, Anna Brooks, 15 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.  Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the George H. Hewell and Son  Northside Funeral Home, with interment to follow in Evergreen Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Funeral Home.

Mary Herndon Fuller Rose, 1896 - 1987

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Military Monday - William M. Lay, Teenage Revolutionary War Soldier

According to an article by Helen Lay Dalgleish, my fifth great-grandfather, William Marion Lay, spent many years later in life trying to get recognition from the government for his service in the United States Army during the Revolutionary War.  William and his brother Thomas served in the same unit during the war, and Thomas received recognition and a pension for his service.  William's application was denied because he was unable to produce anyone who could verify his service. 

William was born around 1860 in Halifax, Virginia (in his application, he stated that his father did not keep records on the births of his children, so he was unsure of his exact age).  He grew up in Wilkes, North Carolina, and said he enlisted in the "United States" army near Camden, South Carolina "after the taking of Charleston by the British."  He also said he had tried to enlist before under Col. Cleveland as a substitute for a Sam Tucker, but was rejected because of his age. 

In 1780, he enlisted as a substitute for draftee Benjamin Howard under Capt. Charles Gordon.  The regiment was marched to Salisbury, North Carolina, where they joined the Regiment of the North Carolina Infantry under Col. Joel Lewis.  They remained at Salisbury through the spring of 1781.  William recalled that he was assigned to guard Tory prisoners there.  The regiment was then marched to the Deep River, then the Haw River, where they spent the remainder of the twelve month enlistment period protecting that section of the country from the enemy.  During this period, William was among a group of soldiers who stumbled on the headquarters of Tory leader David Fanning and his men. 

Toward the end of the twelve month period, the regiment was marched back to Hillsboro, North Carolina, where they would be discharged.  William was taken ill "with fever and ague which was then prevalent in the county."  He became so ill he was given a furlough to return home; the rest of the regiment returned to Hillsboro and was discharged.  William's father went to collect his discharge papers, which William left in his care.  Unfortunately, he never saw them again.

After the war, William married Sarah Martha Duncan in Wilkes, North Carolina, then appears to have moved to Pendleton, South Carolina, back to North Carolina and then on to Wayne, Tennessee; his 1842 court appearance for recognition of his military service says he had lived there for 14 or 15 years.

Beginning in 1840, William made a series of court appearances to try to prove his service.  His brother Thomas had died by then and there were no living persons he knew of who could verify his service.  The discharge papers he left with his father had been lost or destroyed.  He said he retained two lawyers in 1841 to help him file the correct papers and the court said they returned them to him, but he apparently never received them.  His attorneys failed to show up for hearings and because he was illiterate, William had no one to help him read the papers that were sent to him. 

In the end, at about 83 years old, very feeble and nearly blind, he was still trying to obtain his pension from the government.  He was never able to prove his service and no pension was ever paid.  William died in May of 1843 and is probably buried somewhere near Collinswood, in Wayne County, Tennessee.  Martha had died three years earlier.