Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sartin Family: Spanish Flu Pandemic 1919

Arch Sartin (third from left, top), Lucy Stodsgill Sartin (far left, seated) and Ira Sartin (far right, seated) all perished in the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919

The photograph above, of William & Nancy (Gilbert) Sartin and their children, along with their spouses and grandchildren, was taken in Jackson, Alabama about 1916.  William Sartin would die a year later, crushed by a falling tree while cutting timber.  The little grandson he is holding, Robert, child of his son Bill, who was born an "invalid," died in January 1918. 

Two years after this photograph was taken, the Spanish flu pandemic would strike the United States and would take several members of the Sartin family.  Arch Sartin and his wife, Lucy Stodsgill, died a day apart in January 1919.  His brother Ira died six days later, just one month after his youngest son was born, leaving three young children.  The five children of Arch and Lucy Sartin (with the exception of the baby seated on Lucy's lap in the photo; she is not accounted for after 1916) went to live with their mother's brother and his family.  Ira Sartin's widow remarried just seven months after his death, to a widower with several children of his own.

The first wave of the flu struck Alabama in September 1918, with 25,000 cases appearing within a week.  Within two weeks, 37,000 cases were reported.  The first wave was not as deadly as the second, during which deaths spiked in January 1919.  A report sent to the U.S. Public Health Service during the pandemic said that "...[Doctors were] overwhelmed with work [and] were handicapped by inadequate transportation and two days behind in making calls; many patients . . . had been sick in bunk houses and tents for several days without nourishment, or medical and nursing attention, the sanitary conditions of the bunk houses were deplorable; the mess halls were grossly unsanitary and their operation much hampered by the lack of help; the existing hospitals were greatly overcrowded with patients; and patients were waiting in line several hours for dispensary treatment, and were greatly delayed in obtaining prescriptions at the pharmacy. The epidemic was so far progressed that the immediate isolation of all cases was impossible."  Another report said "We worked like dogs from about seven in the morning until the last patient of the day had been checked in or out-usually about 10 o'clock that night. The men died like flies, and several times we ran out of boxes to bury them in, and had to put their bodies in cold storage until more boxes were shipped in. It was horrible."

The Sartins were undoubtedly only one of the many Jackson County families struck by the pandemic.  Nancy Gilbert buried two sons and a daughter-in-law within a week of each other.

Friday, June 17, 2016

52 Ancestors: Capt. William Tucker 1589 - 1644

My newest genealoby project is researching my earliest ancestors in America; I was surprised to find that I have several who were among the earliest immigrants to this country and were among the settlers in Jamestown.

Capt. William Tucker was born in England in January 1589, the son of John Tucker, a clothworker,  and Alice Pelham.  William was a merchant, which would indicate he had risen several levels above his father socially.  He was an early investor in The Virginia Company and had kinsmen that made the trip to the Virginia colony before him.  The book Colonial Virginians and Their Maryland Relatives: A Genealogy of the Tucker Family (Norma Tucker, pub. 1994) says that William arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1610.  Another account says he came aboard the "Mary and Thomas" in 1610 with the fleet that brought Lord de la Ware to the colony.  Others show him arriving in 1618 and 1620, as the Captain of the "Mary and James."  If he immigrated in 1610, he would have arrived at the end of The Starving Time, when many of the Jamestown settlers died of starvation and Indian attacks.  I think it's more likely William arrived later; however, he may also have made trips back and forth during that time period.  He appears to have married Mary Thompson in 1618 in England and she followed him to Virginia in 1623, along with three of her brothers, on the "George."  William is also a member of the House of Burgesses (for Elizabeth City)  in 1619, so he was certainly in the colony before 1620.

After an Indian attack in 1622, William was placed in charge of Elizabeth City's inhabitants.  In May 1623 he led an expedition up the Potomac to rescue some male colonists the Indians had captured. He was given authorization by the Governor to board departing ships to detain debtors attempting to leave without paying their debts and to levee taxes on tobacco.  In 1624, William patented 150 acres on the James River in Elizabeth City, where he and his wife, their infant daughter Elizabeth, and 18 servants (including Mary Tucker's brothers) resided among three residences and a palisades.  William appears to have held a position of authority in Elizabeth City over the next few years, making a number of court appearances, settling debts and disputes.  He made several voyages between the colony and England over the next few years and was in England in 1639, where he said he had been detained for three years due to charges made by Sir John Harvey.  (Harvey was Governor of the Virginia Colony and appears to have charged several prominent people of overstepping their authority.)

Unfortunately, there are some less admirable incidents in the life of William Tucker.  He was involved in an infamous incident where natives who had come to sign a peace treaty were served poisoned wine.  At the end of negotiations, William proposed a toast with the wine poisoned by Dr. John Potts.  Two hundred Powhatan Indians died from the poison and 50 more were slaughtered, ending the threat from the Indians to the colonists.

William Tucker also has the (dubious) distinction of being the owner of the first black American born in the Virginia colony.   William came to Virginia with two African indentured servants, Antonie and Isabelle; their son William, born in 1624, was the first black child born in Virginia.   Antonie and Isabelle were among 22 African servants who were brought to Virginia with settlers.  

William and Mary had at least four children:  Elizabeth, William II, Mary and Thomas (some accounts list more children).  He made his will in London in 1642,  leaving his estate to his sons William and Thomas, and his daughter, Mary (no mention is made of Elizabeth, indicating she had probably died).  His will also names a wife named Frances; I have found no marriage record, but this would indicate that Mary Thompson was dead and William had remarried.  The will says that he is soon to sail for Ireland.  This is the last record for William.  His death is recorded as having been in Elizabeth City, with burial in the Tucker Family Cemetery, and also as being at sea off the coast of Ireland.  The Tucker Family Cemetery in Hampton City, Virginia does list William among those interred there. 

Family Recipe Friday: Four Bean Salad

Published in the July 18, 1980 Nowata (OK) Daily Star

This type of bean salad was a staple at summer covered dish suppers during my childhood.  This particular recipe was published in the Nowata Daily Star's annual recipe edition, when local cooks had their best recipes published.

Four Bean Salad

1 cup canned cut green beans, drained
1 cup canned cut yellow wax beans, drained
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 cup canned garbonzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

Combine the beans in a large bowl.  In a medium saucepan, mix together the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.  Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved; pour over the beans and stir to coat.  Add onions, mix lightly but thoroughly.  Refrigerate overnight.  Serves 10 - 12  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Coleman House, Tappahannock, Virginia

The Coleman's House in Tappahannock, Virginia was built in 1680 by Robert Coleman, my 8th great grandfather.  The will of his son Robert in 1760 calls this the "Scots Arm Tavern," a structure he inherited when his father died.  The house is the oldest in the town of Tappahannock and has been privately owned for over 100 years. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Workday Wednesday: John Tucker, Fuller

John Tucker, who I believe is my 10th great-grandfather, was born in England some time around 1560.  He was married to Alice Pelham in 1580 in London; they had five or six children, one of whom was Capt. William Tucker, an early immigrant to Jamestown.

According to the book Colonial Virginians and Their Maryland Relatives: A Genealogy of the Tucker Family by Norma Tucker (pub. 1994), John Tucker was a cloth worker, also called a fuller or tucker(it was also called waulking in Scotland).  The fuller's job was to take the wool from the loom, soaking it in urine for up to 8 hours, after which they would soap it and work it into the fulling (or tucking) machines until it was dry and thick enough; they then washed it thoroughly in water.  The thickening helped make the wool water-resistant.  John's occupation was a fairly dangerous one, as the timers that drew across the cloth acted with enough violence to pull a person into the machine should any of their clothing become caught.

The workers in these mills were called fullers, tuckers and walkers, all of which became common surnames. 

A fulling mill blocker