Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Took a Wrong Turn on the Stroud Road

I recently - finally - had my DNA testing done through, hoping to connect to other cousins researching our families.  This testing led me to discover that my Stroud research had taken a wrong turn.  An ancestor named John Stroud in South Carolina, mid 1700s, no wife, father of Joshua, who I (incorrectly, I now know) connected to a Stroud family of Irish immigrants in Chester, South Carolina. 

Fortunately, the genealogy community is always so ready to help guide you back on track, and a couple of connections I made through DNA testing have put me on the right road to my Stroud ancestors.  Still in South Carolina, but in Spartanburg.  Descendants of British immigrants to Virginia in the 1600's, who moved into the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Georgia (as did the other Strouds). 

I'm still wading through the DNA information and trying to understand exactly what to do with it all, but it's good to know that you are looking at the right people and the right information in putting together your story. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Faces From the Past

William M. Sartin (seated, 2nd to left), Elizabeth Gilbert Sartin, Eliza Jane Sartin Shavers (holding baby Agnes), Jackson, AL 1916

Somehow, this photograph was buried under a stack of videos (yes, VCR-style videos) that we finally got around to cleaning up.  And here was this treasure, a photograph of my late mother-in-law's family taken around 1916.  She's the infant being held in her mother's lap in the center.  Her grandparents are to her left, and I am assuming the other people are their children, with their spouses and children.  I've been able to contact a couple of the other descendants of this family to help identify everyone.

I should clean more often.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Those Places Thursday: CCC Camp at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia

Kennesaw Mountain, a national park north of Atlanta, has a number of walking trails that are used today by hikers.  During the 1930's, the park was the site of Camp Brumby, a Civilian Conservation Corps. camp.  The camp was home to about 200 men who created the trails we use today.

The remains of Camp Brumby are on one of the trails that is at the base of the mountain.

Foundation of the tool house

Entry to the education building. 

Unknown structure

Foundation of the bath house

Unknown structure near the mess hall/food storage area

Foundation of the Mess Hall

Foundation of Food Pantry
Four barracks were set in a field that was surrounded by the other structures. 

The men in the CCC were put to work planting trees, grass and creating roads and trails in national parks.  They were paid $30 a month, $25 of which had to go home to their families.  They had the opportunity to learn a trade, to continue their education and were trained in a quasi-military organization that helped prepare them for the coming war.

The CCC disbanded when the U.S. entered World War II and many of the "CCC boys" entered the military.  This park, like so many others around the country, was made possible in great part to the work they did then.

Monday, February 8, 2016

52 Ancestors: Nancy Florence "Nannie" Stanfill 1861 - 1956

Nannie Stanfill was the eldest child of Lewis Stanfill and Ellen Faulkner, born in Campbell County, Tennessee in December of 1861.  Nannie began grammar school, but shortly after, her mother died, leaving her to care for her three younger siblings and ending her formal education.  Her two younger brothers and younger sister were able to attend school, while Nannie stayed home and cared for the house.  And while Nannie had virtually no formal education, she was bright and curious and she continued to read and learn and teach herself the things she wanted to know.  As an adult, she was described as "a woman of culture, fine tastes and high ideals."

At 16, Nannie married Thomas Evan Breckenridge Siler in Whitley, Kentucky.  He was only 20, but Thomas was ambitious; he bought some land from his father and began farming, as well as working in real estate and lumber in southern Kentucky.  He helped form the Birds Eye Coal Company in the 1880's and advocated for railroad expansion in the area.  The financial panic in 1893 resulted in the collapse of the company, putting Thomas some $30,000 in debt (close to $800,000 today).  He and Nannie vowed to repay his debts, and in 1900 he sold his farm and moved the family to LaFollette, Tennessee, where he worked in real estate and insurance.  Nannie seems to have played an active role in her husband's business affairs and was often consulted about decisions he made in business.  They repaid their debts and Thomas became successful in his businesses, eventually moving the family to Charleston, West Virginia, where he formed several coal companies and became very financially successful. 

The Silers had 11 children in the 22 years after their marriage; two died shortly after birth and another at age 2.  A son named Sampson Lafayette died at the age of 19.  The other children were educated at least through high school, and some, including the girls, attended college.  While Nannie had virtually no formal education and Thomas only through about the 8th grade, they must have made their own children's educations a priority. 

Thomas and Nannie were devoutly religious members of the Congregational Church and were passionate about the cause of prohibition.  Thomas helped make Tennessee a dry state while presiding over the Campbell County Civil Association, and Nannie was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union.  Before his death, their son Sampson had been the Secretary of the Prohibition League at the American University at Harriman, an institution that allowed no alcoholic beverages.

Several of the Siler children and sons-in-law worked for Thomas in his various businesses.  Thomas died in January 1930.  Nannie died in July 1956 at the age of 94.  They are both buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston, West Virginia.

Thomas Siler and Nancy Stanfill Siler with children:  (back, l-r): John, Josephine, Sampson, Ella & her husband George Smith, Edward (on his father's lap), Thomas, Mary and Arvid.  Taken between 1901 - 1905

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sentimental Sunday: Mary & Mattie Huddleston and Dolls

Sweet photo of sisters Mary Edith (b. 1902) and Mattie Sue (b. 1904) Huddleston of Campbell County, Tennessee.   Judging by the ages they appear to be, this was probably taken about 1906-07. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

There's an Indian Princess in our Family Tree

How many people have heard the story of the long ago Indian Princess that exists in their family tree?  I actually never heard that story in my own family, and while I do have Native Americans in my family, they are not biologically connected (my mother's stepfather).  Few of these stories seem to be true. 

Recently, I've returned to do more research on family  I know arrived in this country in the early 1600's and were among the inhabitants of Jamestown.  Col. Thomas Pettus, born in Norwich, England in 1598, came to Virginia as the commander of 40 soldiers, brought over to help the colonists fight the natives.  He was from a very prominent family in England and would have likely had a fairly comfortable life there, but he made the decision to stay in Virginia and help establish the new colony.  He became a prominent member of the Jamestown community in the 1640's - a large landowner and vestryman of a local parish.  He has a land grant documented in 1643 for 886 acres, in part by marriage to Elizabeth Durant, widow of Richard Durant, who originally patented it in 1636.  He also purchased land called "little town," whose owner had died. 

Thomas's first marriage is not well-documented; he may have married Elizabeth Durant in England or in Virginia.  There are several children listed for him that were born prior to his second marriage.  In 1645 he married "Elizabeth Mourning," aka Ka-Okee Patamwomeck, purported daughter of Pocohantas and her first marriage to Kacoum!  We don't just have any old Indian Princess, we have Pocahontas!

I admit that most of my knowledge of Pocahontas and Kocoum comes from the Disney movie, and I was unaware of any marriage she made prior to the one with John Rolfe.   The National Park Service's Historic Jamestown biography of Pocahontas says she married Kocoum in 1610 when she was 15.  Ka-Okee was supposedly born about 1615, but Pocahontas had been kidnapped in1613 and married John Rolfe in 1614, so that birthdate could not be correct if she was the daughter of Pocahontas and Kocoum.  In fact, Pocahontas gave birth to Rolfe's son, Thomas, in 1615.  The NPS biography says that the couple had a son after moving to his home village following their marriage.  Kocoum is said to have died during her kidnapping, but their son was spared because he was with another woman in the village. 

The Potowomecks today believe that Pocahontas and Kocoum did have a daughter named Ka-Okee, who was raised by the tribe after her father's death and mother's abduction.  Encyclopedia Virginia states that she married Kocoum in 1610, but there are no records of children from this marriage.

Whether or not Ka-Okee was the daughter of Pocahontas and Kocoum, or whether or not she is actually "Elizabeth Mourning," wife of Thomas Pettus, is still not clear to me.  I'll have to do some further investigating before I can really claim to be a descendant of Pocahontas, but it's a fun story to tell.  Who knows?

Powhatean woman 1600's