Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Anniversary of the End of the Civil War

Last Thursday marked the 150th anniversary of the day Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Ulysses Grant and finally brought an end to the Civil War.  Virtually every branch of my and my husband's families were touched by the war, with many having family members who served in both the Confederate and Union armies.  We have several families who were slave owners, with two or three owning large plantations and well over 50 slaves.  The war certainly changed the fortunes of these families, going from wealthy planters to average farmers.  The southerners who had been family farmers before the war returned home to face the hardships of poverty during Reconstruction.

We also have family who were living in the south, but loyal to the Union cause.  Many of these men were pioneers in East Tennessee and Arkansas.  In some cases, they were at odds with their own families and their communities.  Alexander Bowden Dorsey of Madison, Arkansas, fought for the Union while all his brothers were Confederate soldiers.  Lewis Millard Baird of Campbell, Tennessee was an elderly man with four sons in the Union Army when bushwackers arrested him and took him to the prison at Salisbury, North Caroline, where he died before the end of the war.  Sampson L. Stanfield was a young widower who had lost not only his wife, but eldest daughter before he joined the Union army, leaving his surviving daughter Hannah, with relatives.  He wrote letters home begging his daughter's guardians to care for her.  He despaired of ever seeing her again and asked that they "take care of her for my baby is all of my study."  He died of illness at Pulaski, Tennessee without ever making it home to his daughter. 

The four Chavers brothers - Andrew, Henderson, Samuel and Nathan - who enlisted in the 17th Tennessee Infantry, CSA soon after the war began.  Nineteen year old Samuel died just months later at Knoxville of disease.  Hugh Heaslet was the son of a slave-owning planter in Alabama; he died at the Battle of Antietam in 1862 at age 23.  Jesse Duncan, a member of the 55th Georgia Infantry, captured at Cumberland Gap and sent to Camp Douglas in Illinois for the remainder of the war. 

The men who survived and returned home were almost all left with physical, and no doubt emotional, injuries that stayed with them for the rest of their lives.  Reading their pension records, you see the scars that left them struggling in old age to earn a living and keep their families in a home.  Several of them left the southeast and moved to Texas or Indian Territory to start new lives. 

Our ancestors surely saw their lives changed in unexpected ways as a result of the war and I suppose those changes continue to affect us in some ways today.  I am amazed at how resilient many of them were in forging ahead after the war took everything they had, in losing fathers and sons, and having to live with the scars the war undoubtedly left. 

Alexander Bowden Dorsey

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sepia Saturday - William Bunch and family

I ran across the photograph of William "Buck" Bunch, his wife Rosa (Frederick), their daughter Jay Elizabeth, her husband, Arthur Moore, and their son, Willie.  The picture is supposed to have been taken about 1910.

What's interesting to me is that instead of the usual stiff, formal poses we normally see in photographs from that era, the two younger adults are relaxed and Arthur is not even looking at the camera.  Was this done purposely by the photographer or did he just capture a moment when the pose fell apart?  Jay Elizabeth is smiling slightly - maybe the person taking the picture was someone they knew or a family member who decided to have a little fun with it. 

The lack of formality in this picture makes it so special.   I wish I knew the story behind it.

Friday's Faces From the Past - Anna Coffman Bard Wacamer

Anna Coffman was born in Grainger, Tennessee in 1820 to Rev. David Coffman and Susan Bunch.  Her family moved to Newton, Missouri.  She married Fleming Bard in 1842; they had seven children together before Fleming's death in 1862.  He and Anna were abolitionists who refused to support the southern cause; Fleming was ambushed and killed by bushwackers near Seneca and Anna forced to retrieve his body, dig his grave, and bury him in a slave cemetery, intended as an insult by the killers.  Fleming's burial place is unmarked, but believed to be somewhere in Seneca Cemetery.

Anna became the third wife of John Wacaser in 1888, when she was 68 years old.  They lived together until his death six years later.  Anna's last record is the 1900 census, when she is 80 and still living in her own home by herself.  She died some time after 1900 and her burial place is not known.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Sarah Wade Ray Bunch 1793 - 1878

Sarah Wade Ray Bunch

Sarah Wade Ray and Nathaniel Bunch are my 4th great-grandparents.  They were pioneers in Arkansas, moving there from Virginia in the 1840's.  Two generations later, their descendants moved to Kansas . They are the 5th great-grandparents of President Barack Obama.  Sarah and Nathaniel are buried in Liberty Cemetery in Newton County, Arkansas.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sibling Saturday - Sarah, Mary and Myrtle Sparks

The above picture is of my great-grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Sparks Stroud (center), with two of her sisters, Mary Talitha (left) and Myrtle Caroline (right).  This photo was probably taken in the 1930s. 

The sisters were three of the ten children of James Milton Sparks and Nancy Orleana Jane Bunch, all born in Madison County, Arkansas; Sarah in 1874, Mary in 1876 and Myrtle in 1884.  Sarah was married at 18 to Marion Francis Chapman, who died just four years later.  A few years after that, she married my great-grandfather, William Farley Stroud (who was the brother-in-law of one of Sarah's brothers, Hiram), had three children, and lived in Madison for most of the rest of her life.  Mary was married to John Henry Disney when she was 29; they had two sons and lived in Oklahoma and Missouri.  Myrtle married George Derie at age 20, had four children and lived in Madison until her death.  Sarah died in 1949, Mary in 1966 and Myrtle in 1971.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Family Recipe Friday - Lula Merron's Congealed Salad

When I was growing up in the 1960's and 70's, no holiday meal was complete without some sort of congealed salad.  I don't know why they are called salads, there usually isn't anything resembling a vegetable or fruit in them (there is pineapple in this one).  As much as I hate to admit it, I love these salads.  They may not be as healthy as a real salad, but they are so good, so pretty and now we can just say we're being retro!  You can chill them in a mold so they have a cool shape.  You could make individual salads in cups or mason jars.  Add more Cool Whip and some nuts to the top - the possibilities are endless.  So here's a good one for Easter - introduce the children in your family to the joy of congealed salad!
Lula Merron's Congealed Salad

1 - 3 oz. box of lemon jello
2 - 3 oz. boxes red jello 
1 cup small marshmallows
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Cool Whip
1 - 16 oz. can crushed pineapple

Dissolve one box of the red jello in a 9x12" pan with 1/4 cup boiling water.  Refrigerate until completely set, then begin the rest of the recipe.

In a large bowl, dissolve the lemon jello in 1 cup of boiling water.  Add marshmallows and allow them to melt, then add cream cheese and whip until smooth.  After this begins to congeal, add the mayonnaise and mix well.  Add crushed pineapple and then fold in Cool Whip.  Stir until the mixture begins to thicken, then pour over the set red jello.  Put back into refrigerator until completely set.

In the meantime, dissolve the remaining box of red jello in a bowl with 1 1/4 cups of boiling water.  Let this cool completely, then pour over the other two layers of salad.  Refrigerate until completely set.

(A note on the recipe says, "this sounds lsike a lot of work, but it really isn't.  And it's real good.  You can also substitute orange jello for lemon if you wish.")


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

52 Ancestors #9 - Mourning Alabama "Allie" Heaslet

I chose Allie Heaslet for no other reason than she had what appears to be an unremarkable life (as well as an awesome name).  Allie was born in 1860 in Talladega, Alabama, the daughter of Benjamin Clark Heaslet, Jr. and his second wife, Sarah Emmeline Russell; she was one of 15 children from her father's two marriages.  Clark Heaslet was a prosperous farmer and even after the Civil War, when many southerners struggled to get by, he seems to have remained fairly prosperous.  Allie's father and several brothers were soldiers for the Confederacy, and her older brother Hugh died at the Battle of Antietam in 1862.  In 1870 and 1880, she is living in her father's home, just 19 in 1880, and surely expecting to marry and move into her own household soon.

In 1900 Allie is 40 and now living in her brother Woolsey's home, never having married.  Apart from marriage, the opportunities for women to live independently of a relative were slim.  I have run across records of some women who were single and worked as teachers or in factory jobs, but many of the single women (old maids in their time), remained with their parents.  Most of the ancestors in my tree from that time had little formal education and were probably not qualified for many kinds osf work.  I often wonder what they did with their time - there were none of the diversions we have now to consume our days and although just performing daily household chores was more time-consuming than it is now, surely there was a lot of time to fill.  I wonder why Allie didn't marry - was she not sought after or did she refuse suitors?  Was she caring for a relative who was ill?  Woolsey Heaslet was married and had a family, no indication he was in need of someone to take care of him.  It's likely that Allie, as a single woman, had nowhere else to go.

In 1909, 49 year old Allie finally married, to Mr W. Thomas Killebrew, a widower with five daughters.  Was this a love match or did Mr. Killebrew need help with his children and Allie saw this as the last chance to marry and set up her own household?  Whatever brought them together, the marriage only lasted about 10 years . Mr. Killebrew had passed away by 1919 and Allie was sharing a home with his daughter, Lula, who at 39 remained unmarried (she died in 1924).  In 1920, Lula and Allie are living together, neither with an occupation.

In 1930, Allie is living with her sister Naomi and her family.  She is now 69 years old and still living in the homes of relatives, with only what appears to be a brief period of time in her own home.  I have not found Allie in 1940, but when I do, I'm fairly certain she'll be living with a relative who provides a home for an aged woman.

Allie died in June of 1956 at age 96.  By then she would have seen the opportunities for women to have changed significantly.  I wonder if she ever wished she could have had a different life, one where she was able to make choices and live on her own without being dependent on a relative. 

Allie is buried at Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery in  Talladega, near her parents, several siblings and her husband.