Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Obediah Chavers & Manerva Sisk

Obediah Chavers was the ninth of Willis & Hettie's twelve children.  He was born about 1848 in Tennessee.  He married Manerva (or Minerva) "Nervy" Sisk on February9, 1878.  On the 1880 Census, they are living with his parents and siblings in Franklin County, Tennessee.  Obediah's occupation is listed as laborer.  Obediah is referred to as "Obe" in some records.  They had five children; Willis, David Henry "Dock," Benjamin Franklin, Frank, and Andrew Jackson.  (Obediah's brother, Andrew Jackson, also had a son named Andrew Jackson.)  Very little is known about Obediah's life.  There is a story about Obediah and other family members helping bail a relative out of jail in 1870:

When John Chavers lived in Tennessee (Round Cove) He make old Musket Guns and he served during the Civil War in the 17th Tennessee infantry...between 1900 and 1907 he moved his family to Knoxville Arkansas but by 1920 he was back in Jackson County Alabama,but was back in Knoxville Arkansas at the time of his death in 1932...he was charged and Jailed in 1870 for grand larceny with bail set at $1000.00,bond was made by Samual Evans,Willis Chavers,Obediah Chavers and Thomas N.Allison.at present time i am unable to to say if he was found guility or innocent of the charge. John and Elizabeth are buried in the knoxville cemetery in knoxville Arkansas on a hill along side the other Chavers that lived in Arkansas.after John Married Elizabeth he lived a good religious life. 

Obediah died on March 3, 1895 in Franklin County, Tennessee at age 47.  I have heard that he is buried on the what was the family farm in Round Cove, Franklin County, and in Old Baptist Cemetery in Jackson County, Alabama.  I've visited Old Baptist and did not find a grave for him there.  His widow Manerva's second husband is buried there, so there may be some confusion about his burial place.  If he is buried on the family farm, it's likely that his grave is unmarked.


Manerva Sisk was born on November 2, 1861 in Pisgah, Jackson County, Alabama.  I have found a number of families in Pisgah by the name of Sisk, but haven't managed to connect her to any of them.  There is a story that she was an orphan and was adopted by the Sisk family.  Manerva is listed on some census records as "mulatto," so she was probably of mixed white/native American ancestry.

In June of 1898, Manerva married William Manoah "Noah" Hall, a widower who had previously been married to Mary Shavers, a cousin to Obediah Shavers.  William had four children; Dora, Alice, Jim and Carrell Jackson.  His great-grandson, Rayburn Hall, wrote this about Noah:

According to census records, Great Grandfather William Manoah Hall was born to John Hosey Hall and Nancy Rickles in 1862 in Indiana. His Grandson Jasper "Coon" Hall told me the birthplace was in Fort Wayne. Noah followed in his Father’s footsteps and became a chimney builder. They say he once built a chimney that had 8 fireplaces in it. I've been told that several chimneys that he built are still in existence in Hollywood,Alabama and in Rounds Cove near Anderson Tennessee in Franklin County. His nephew, Troy Bellony identified one for me near Hollywood and I collected several bricks that had fallen from it during the past years. Noah’s first marriage was to Mary J (Chavis/Chavers/Shavers) on November 29 1883 in Franklin county Tennessee. Noah and Mary’s children were James "Jim", Dora, Alice and my Grandfather Carroll Jackson "Tubb" Hall. Noah’s second marriage was to Manerva Sisk (Shavers/Chavis/Chavers) widow of Obediah (Shavers/Chavis/Chavers). Noah and Nervy met when he went to her house in Round's Cove to build her a chimney. They were married in Franklin County Tennessee on January 21,1898 Noah's children tell me that he was a good God fearing man and raised his family in that manner. His son Uncle Coon said he predicted one morning to his wife Nervy that Uncle Coon would be a preacher. The prediction became true later but not before he died May 30 1912. He died about a half of mile east of Belfonte from pneumonia and was buried in the Old Baptist Graveyard in Hollywood,Alabama. Belfonte, Alabama was a former county seat of Jackson County and does not exist anymore. 

Manerva and  Noah had two more children together, Jasper W. "Coon," and Ludy.  They lived in the Hollywood area of Jackson County.


Noah Hall (top left) and his brothers, Elijah, Carroll and Solomon in 1912

Noah died on pneumonia on May 30, 1912 and is buried in the Old Baptist Cemetery in Jackson County, Alabama.
Manerva lived in Pisgah for the rest of her life, eventually living with her son Jasper "Coon" Hall.  She died on January 24, 1931, at the age of 69 and is buried at Friendship Church Cemetery in Jackson County, Alabama.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Willis Shavers & Hettie Easter Evans


Willis Shavers/Chavers was born about 1814, probably in Campbell County, Tennessee.  He was married to Hettie Easter Evans about 1829, in Campbell County.  Hettie was the daughter of Andrew Evans and  Mary "Polly" Shoemake.  The Evans and Shoemakes are also among the families that came from the Melungeon communities in North Carolina, and are also of mixed race.  In the early 20th century, the Evans, Shoemakes and Chavers all made claims for recognition on the Guion-Miller roll of the Eastern Cherokee.  A story about one of Hettie's cousins, Newton, follows:

In Newton Evans' Indian claim #24484, Newton stated that they couldn't vote or go to school before the Civil War because of their I ndian blood. he further stated his "his mother and grandparents lived around there there were both white people and Indians. When the Indians went from North Carolina, they came by where my mother and grandparents lived and recognized them as Indians and relations and wanted the men folks to go with them, but my grandparents and parents owned land and did not want to go away and leave the county and state. They made my grandparents and parents pay very heavy taxes for the property which they owned. In 1851 my mother and I lived in Jackson County. We were not enrolled at that time because we were poor people. In 1882 I was living in Jackson County. We were not enrolled at that time because the lawyer's fees was high and we were afraid that we could be sent to the Nation." He also stated that his great-grandmother, Nellie Evans was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. He said that after coming to Jackson County, Alabama the lived on Big Coon mountain in an area called "The Nation". In Newton Evans' Application for the Relief of Confederate Soldiers and Sailors he stated that he was a "detailed laborer in the niter befractment in Jackson County, Alabama in District No. 9 of said befractment under William Gabbot" and he began in April, 1982 in Stevenson, Alabama and was honorably discharged from such service on May 2, 1864. he stated that he woned 120 acres of mountain land in Jackson County, Alabama worth $100 and that he owned a horse and other cattle worth $75 and he had a pistol and two guns worth $12 and his household furniture was worth $50. All together he was worth $237 on July 12, 1909 when his schedule of property was filed with his application for pension. On July 10, 1914 he was rejected with a statement saying he worked in the saltpetre mines in Jackson County, Alabama but never enlisted in the Confederate army and detailed to that work.On July 9, 1914 Newton Evans made a deposition before JB Hackworth, Judge of Probate for Jackson County, that "when he was twelve years of age, he came to Jackson County, Alabama with his mother, his father being dead." He later stated that "in the latter part of 1862 or early part of 1863 he was engaged in making saltpetre for the Confederacy under Louis E. Metz who had charge of said business until the Yankees took possession of this county sometime in 1863. The Yankees arrested me and kept me in the stockade one day and turned me loose....and did not require me to take any oath." 
Guion-Miller index showing Chavers as applicants
Willis and Hettie had twelve children; Andrew Jackson (Andy), Henderson, Mary, Nathan, John, Samuel, Lucy, Obediah, Peter, Elizabeth, and Margaret.  The first census record I can find for Willis is in 1860 in Franklin County, Tennessee.  He is 66 and is working as a farmer.  It appears the children are still living with them, working on the farm.  Their race on this census is listed as mulatto.

Andrew Jackson "Andy" Shavers was born in March of 1830 in Campbell County.  He married Eliza Virtuous Prescott in 1859 and lived in Franklin County, where he was a farmer.  In 1861, he and his brothers Samuel and Nathan joined the 17th Regiment Tennessee Infantry, Confederacy.   Samuel died in December 1861 of disease in Knoxville.  Nathan and Andy continued in service until May 1, 1863, when they both deserted.



Andrew and his family lived in Jackson County, Alabama after the war.  An interview with some relatives about him:

Between 1860 and 1870 he moved from Sinking Cove in Franklin Co, TN., to Jackson County Alabama. He lived near the top of the mountain between Little Coon and Crow Creek on the Little Coon side of the Mountain near Popular Spring which is the name of a big spring not a town. This area might also have been called Chavers Town Because several Chavers' family lived there. He had a fine apple orchard. In the fall he would take a load of apples to Stevenson to sell. He went by my great-grandfathers's house. My grandmother was a young lady at the time but in her old age she told how they loved to see Andy Chavers coming and hoped he would give each an apple. She said they were the best apples she'd ever had.He served in the civil war in Company I of the 17th Tennessee Infantry under Col. Marks. He was in this company about a year and was discharged at Tullahoma, Tennessee. According to his pension claim he was discharged because of his color and supposed nationality. His skin was brown and he and his people claim to be mixed with the Cherokee Indians. He further stated that the correct spelling of his name was Chavers not Shavers. He filed his claim in March 1914 at the age of 84.From Jackson, County, Alabama Will book 6, dated 22 jan, 1907, is the following deposition made by Andy Chavers. He said "there in no African blood in him. his blood consist of Dutch and Indian.In his application #24484 to the Eastern Cherokee in 1907, He did not name his grandparents although he did state that he "understood that the name Chavers and Shoemake were both Indian names".He gave the names Chavers, Evans, and Shoemakes as the names of his parents and grandparents. In June 1908 in an affidavit he stated that his grandfathers name was Andrew Evans although this couldn't be true since Andrew Evans died in 1812 and Andy Chavers' mother was not born until 1814. He also stated that the John Shoemake who had an Indian Reservation on Crow Creek in Jackson County, Alabama was an uncle to his father and mother. I expect John Shoemake was an uncle to Andrews mother,Hetty (Evans) Chavers.Andy was living on Little Crow Creek in Jackson County, Alabama next to the Cumberland cemetery in an old two story ceder log house when he died. (interview in May 1997 with Newton Evans and his sister and her husband, Sallie Belle (Evans) and Willie Morris.) 
Andy Chavers
He died on August 13, 1917. 


Shavers Family


The Shavers, who have also been called Chavers, Chavous and Chavious, have an interesting history.  The name Chavers is among those identified with the Melungeons, tri-racial people (European, mostly Portugese and Spanish, Native American and African) who lived in isolated communities in North Carolina and into the Cumberland Gap area.  It's also identified with the PeeDee Indians.  The census records for our Chavers family identifies their race as "mulatto" until the 20th century.  The first Chavers I find is William Chavers, born in Granville County, North Carolina about 1745.  He had at least one child, William, about 1770.  The second William was married to Dicey Chavis (I don't know if Chavis was her maiden name or a variation on her married name, Chavers).  I can't trace William past the 1800 census in North Carolina, however, Dicey is living in Cumberland County, Tennessee in 1850 at age 80, with Sarah Ivey, and in 1860, age 90, with Nancey, Amanda and Sarah Romins.  She is listed as an "inmate" on the 1860 census.    The second oldest of their children, born in 1910, was born in Cumberland County, so I can assume they moved there before that time. The childrens' names also alternate between Chavers and Chavis, so it's possible the name was being spelled Chavis at the time.   Eventually, they Chavers moved from upper East Tennessee southwest into Franklin County in middle Tennessee, on the Alabama state line.  They seem to have moved back and forth between Franklin County and Jackson County, Alabama.

William and Dicey had six children; William, Jesse, Willis, Sarah Jane,  Susan Belle and John. 

In researching I ran across a court case from 1857 in Brunswick, North Carolina, where a man named William Chavers was being tried for carrying a firearm, which was illegal for a free person of color.  While I doubt this is "my" William Chavers, he does come from the same area and may be part of the same community that our Chavers family came from.  Mr. Chavers defense was that he was white and his attorneys challenged the definition of what a negro was and how a person was judged to be white or black.  Mr. Chavers lost the case.

 State vs. William Chavers

1. It was held not to be error in a judge to instruct the jury that, according to Rev. Code, ch. 107, sec. 79, a person must have in his veins less than one-sixteenth part of negro blood before he will cease to be a free negro, no matter how far back you had to go to find a pure negro ancestor.
2. An indictment charging the defendant, as a "free person of color," with carrying arms, cannot be sustained; for the act (Rev. Code, ch. 107, sec. 66) is confined to "free negroes."
Indictment, tried before Person, J., Spring Term, 1857, of Brunswick.
The defendant was charged, as a free person of color, with carrying a shot-gun. It was proved that the defendant carried a shot-gun as charged in the indictment.
A witness proved that the defendant's father was a man of dark color and had kinky hair; that he was a shade darker than the defendant himself, and his hair was about as much kinked.(p.12)
A Mr. Green proved that he and the defendant, with others, came to this court upon a steamboat from Wilmington, and that the price of a passage for white persons was one dollar; that while on the way the defendant handed him one dollar, and requested him to pay the fare of himself and his brother with that sum, saying he understood that the fare of white persons was one dollar and colored persons half price, and that he and his brother were colored persons, and that the witness accordingly paid the fare of both of them with one dollar.
The defendant's counsel insisted, in his argument, that his client was a white man, and called upon the jury to inspect him and judge for themselves.
The Court charged the jury "that every person who had one-sixteenth of negro blood in his veins was a free negro. That the descendants of negro ancestors became free white persons, not by being removed in generation only, but by that, coupled with purification of blood, for if it was not so, then persons of half negro blood might, and would become free white persons by law." "Take," said his Honor, "two families, the father of one family a white person and the mother a negro, and the father of the other family a negro and the mother a white woman; the members of these families are of the half-blood, and in the first generation from a negro, let them intermarry, and their descendants intermarry, until by generation, they are removed beyond the fourth generation from the pure negro ancestors, the father of the one and the mother of the other, from whom they are descended, are they any the less free negroes in the fifth than they were in the first generation from their negro ancestors? They still have half negro blood in their veins, and that is all they had in the first generation. In the fourth generation they were unquestionably free negroes, but they certainly had no more negro blood than their children."
"Can it be then," continued his Honor, "that a remove by one generation has the effect, in law, of turning a half negro into a free white man in spite of the color of his skin or the kinking of his hair? It seems to me both unreasonable (p.13)and absurd, and therefore I cannot put such a construction upon the 79th section of the 107th chapter of the Act of Assembly (Revised Code), declaring who shall be deemed free negroes. My construction of the statute is that no person in the fifth generation from a negro ancestor becomes a free white person unless one ancestor in each generation was a white person; that is to say, unless there shall be such a purification of negro blood by the admixture of white blood as will reduce the quantity below the one-sixteenth part; and unless there is such purification it makes no difference how many generations you should have to go back to find a pure negro ancestor; even though it should be a hundred, still the person is a free negro."
His Honor, therefore, instructed the jury, "if from inspection of the defendant, the evidence as to the color of his father, and his own declarations made upon the steamboat, taken all together, they should find that he had as much as one-sixteenth of negro blood in him, he was a free negro, and they should so find."
The defendant's counsel excepted to the charge.
The verdict was against the defendant. Judgment and appeal.
Attorney-General, for the State.
Shepherd and Baker, for the defendant.
Battle, J. The defendant was indicted as a "free person of color," for carrying about his person a shot-gun, contrary to sec. 66, chap. 107, Rev. Code. Section 79 of same chapter declares: "That all free persons descended from negro ancestors to the fourth generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person, shall be deemed free negroes and persons of mixed blood." The defendant was convicted and moved for a new trial upon two grounds: First. Because there was no evidence that he was a free negro. Secondly. Because the Judge erred in his instructions to the jury upon the meaning of the statute (p.14)which prescribes who shall be considered such a person.
The counsel for the defendant insists upon both grounds in his argument before us, but relies mainly on the last.
1. We think there was testimony sufficient to be left to the jury, tending to prove that the defendant was a free negro. The evidence introduced to show the color of his father--the kind of hair which he and his father both had, was competent, and that, together with his confessions, and his own color, which his own counsel called upon the jury to inspect, was sufficient for the consideration of the jury upon the question submitted to them. Upon its weight and its sufficiency to establish the fact of his being a free negro, it was for them alone to decide.
2. The main objection to the charge of the Judge is that he, instead of following the rule laid down by the 79th section of the statute, to determine who should be regarded as a free negro within the meaning of the 66th section, misled the jury by making the quantity of the negro blood the test by which to ascertain the fact. Taking the charge altogether, we think that it is not obnoxious to censure, and that it lays down the rule correctly according to the statute. By that, as we understand it, no person can cease to be a free negro, unless he has reached the fifth generation from his African ancestor, with a white father or mother in each of the first, second, or third and fourth generations. In that case a simple arithmetical calculation will show that he will not have a sixteenth part of African blood in his veins.
That part of his charge which speaks of the marriage of persons belonging to two families, both of which have a mixture of white and negro blood, was intended solely to guard the jury against being misled by any other rule than that to which we have already adverted, to-wit, that there must be a white father or mother in each generation from the African ancestor down to the fifth, to exclude the descendant from the operation of the statute. With a view to that rule, the Judge was right, for it is a mathematical truth, in saying (p.15)that the person in the fourth generation would necessarily have a sixteenth part of negro blood in him.
The motion for a new trial being denied him, the defendant, through his counsel, moves here in arrest of the judgment, because he is charged, in the indictment, as "a free person of color," whereas the section of the act, under which he is indicted, makes it penal for any "free negro" to carry arms about his person. The counsel contends that, although the terms "free negro" and "free person of color" are often used in chapter 107, Rev. Code, as synonymous, yet it is not always the case, and that therefore the indictment, upon the section in question cannot be sustained in substituting the latter description of the person for the former.
There can be no doubt that the two terms are sometimes used in the act to which the counsel refers, as synonymous; as, for instance in sections 11 and 13, which prohibit free negroes from working in certain swamps without a certificate; and we also think, with the counsel, that there is at least one instance (and one is sufficient for his purpose), in which the terms cannot be so regarded. The 44th section declares that "any slave or free negro, or free person of color convicted by due course of law, of an assault with intent to commit a rape upon the body of a white female, shall suffer death." Here, three classes of persons seem to be included, to-wit, slaves, free negroes, and free persons of color. The last section of the act to which we referred in giving our opinion upon the motion for a new trial, defines who shall be deemed free negroes and persons of mixed blood, but does not declare who shall be embraced under the term "free persons of color." The amendment to the Constitution of the State, Art. 1, sec. 3, chap. 3, to which the counsel for the State has referred us, does not remove the difficulty, because the terms there used are "free negro, free mulatto, or free person of mixed blood," with a similar definition to that given in the section of the act above specified. Free persons of color may be, then, for all we can see, persons colored by Indian blood, or persons descended from negro ancestors beyond the fourth degree. The indictment then, in the present case, may embrace a person who is not a free negro (p.16)within the meaning of the act, and for that reason it cannot be sustained.
Per Curiam. Judgment arrested.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The mystery of Thelma


In an earlier post about my grandparents, Robert Rose and Mary Fuller, I included a little bit of a family mystery about a girl named Thelma.  Thelma's photographs were found among those among those of Maude Fuller, adopted sister of my grandmother Mary.  Maude's granddaughter had many of the documents and photos, and there were three photos among these of a girl identified as both Thelma Everett (Maude's biological family's name) and Thelma Fuller.  This week, I received a message from the family member I've been in touch with saying that some documentation had been located that showed the Fullers as having adopted three girls, not two, and Thelma was their adopted daughter.  Neither Maude nor Mary ever spoke of another sister.  My searches for a Thelma Fuller or Thelma Everett have not turned up any information.  It could be that Thelma was one of the Everett children who was placed for adoption, but the name Thelma is not in the letter to Maude from her biological sister, Mollie.  One clue to this might be in the 1910 census, where Spann Fuller is listed as being married, however, only daughters Maude and Mary are shown as living in his household.  It could be that he and Mamie were living apart and Thelma was with her. 
Thelma Fuller, photo taken in Clarkesville, Georgia
Thelma & Mamie
Thelma - writing on back says that her friend made her laugh
The last picture, which looks to have been taken a few years after the other two, is at a photographer in Carrollton, Georgia.  Clarkesville is in northeast Georgia, close to the South Carolina state line.  Carrollton is southwest of there, on the Alabama state line.  Possibly they were visiting, but also possible that she was living in Carrollton at that time. 

I hope I can find out more about this soon.

Mack McGee Kirkpatrick & Agnes Ardella Shavers


Mack and Agnes were my husband's parents.  Agnes's family is a whole book in itself and I want to write about it in a separate post(s).  There's a lot to tell.

Mack McGee was the oldest son of Ocie and Lula Kirkpatrick.  He was born on March 11, 1914 in Shelby County, Alabama.  I don't know much about his growing up; I don't believe he had a complete education and was certainly working on the family farm when he was quite young, possibly taking over responsibility for the family when his father left the family (don't know this story too well).
Mack McGee Kirkpatrick, probably early 1940s
Mack was one of the young men who joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. in the  1930s.  He was assigned to Desoto State Park, near Ft. Payne, Alabama.  I don't know the exact date he joined, however, he is in the CCC Yearbook for Desoto in 1938.   The CCC Boys built a lodge at the park, as well as a road and other buildings.  Desoto State Park is in the process of creating a museum about the CCC Boys that should be open some time this fall.   You can find information on it here at this website http://civilianconservationcorpsindsp.blogspot.com/, as well as on their facebook page.  They have many photos of the men and the work they did at the park. 
CCC Camp, Desoto State Park, Alabama

Page from 1938 CCC Yearbook - Mack is second from right on bottom row
Agnes Shavers grew up in Ft. Payne, so I imagine that they met when Mack was in the CCC there.  Agnes was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Shavers and Eliza Jane Sartin.  She was born on April 28, 1915 in Jackson County, Alabama.  They married before 1939 and then lived in Summerville, Georgia, just across the state line.  Mack was working in a hoisery mill there and their oldest child, Betty, was an infant.  Mack and Agnes had two more children in the next few years:  Macky in 1941 and Marily in 1946.
Agnes Shavers Kirkpatrick, probably early 1940s
Mack served in the Navy in World War II until March of 1945.  The family settled in the Chattanooga area, where I believe he had a dairy farm at one point, and also a hoisery mill.
Mack (right) & fishing buddies
Mack & Agnes, late 1980s or early 1990s

Mack and Agnes divorced late in life and she went to live in Ft. Payne near her brother.  Mack died on January 23, 1997.  Agnes died on December 4, 2008.

Ocie Samuel Kirkpatrick & Lula Amber McGee


Ocie Kirkpatrick and his twin, Odie, were born on February 16, 1882 in Helena, Shelby County, Alabama.  Ocie was married to Lula Amber McGee on December 16, 1908 in Coosa County, Alabama.  Lula was born on November 18, 1881 in Alabama, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin McGee and his second wife, Martha Jane Heaslet.

Lula Amber McGee
Ocie Samuel Kirkpatrick
Lula & Ocie and unidentified child
Benjamin Franklin McGee was born on March 6, 1830, the son of Davis McGee and Mary Sarah McGee (they were first cousins).  His father was a successful planter who relocated his family from Georgia to Perry County, Alabama by 1840.  An 1850 slave schedule shows Davis McGee owning more than 50 slaves.  The 1850 census shows the value of his property to be $13,750.  He also owned a stagecoach inn in Plantersville where travelers could stop for food and lodging, and where horse traders from Tennessee would congregate to sell or swap their stock.
Davis McGee's grave in Perry County, Alabama
Benjamin Franklin was first married to Virginia Oden before 1862.  They had two children, Joshua Davis and Sarah, before her death in 1873.  On February 3, 1876, he married Martha Jane Heaslet, who was called Mat.  She was the daughter of Benjamin Clark Heaslet, Jr. and his first wife, Eleanor Keys Rogers.  Benjamin Heaslet was a farmer in Talladega County, Alabama and served as a Corporal in the 10th Alabama Infantry during the Civil War.  His son, Hugh, was also in the 10th Alabama Infantry and was killed in Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862, at the Battle of
Antietam. 
Document listing Hugh Heaslet as deceased, B.C. Heaslet as father
Company Muster Roll showing B.C. Heaslet as having been wounded
I have a copy of a document after Hugh Heaslet's death, where his father is named as his heir, as Hugh was unmarried and had no children.  Benjamin died on January 21, 1895 and is buried in Fayetteville Cemetery in Fayetteville, Alabama.
Martha and Benjamin had seven children; James Benjamin, Mabel Lee, Henry Cason, Lula Amber, Robert Allen, Willie Driskell, and George Heaslet.  We believe that this is a picture of her with her children.  A family member wrote this about Benjamin:

"Then there was Uncle Benjamin Franklin McGee, caled Uncle Doc. He was studing veterinary medicine in Mobile when the Civil War came. He was not able to finish, but practiced in a modest way for many years. He lived in or near Talladega and came to visit us several times. He was not a bit like Grandpa. Grandpa was tall and very thin with the bluest, blue eyes, keen as a sword. He was a wonderful Judge of character and of beauty in a woman.. we children learned much from him. I learned to judge character. After he was almost blind if an ugly woman came to visit, we'd say, "Grandpa, it is such a pity that you can't see that pretty woman. "All He'd say- "hump" Uncle Doc was as blond as a "baby" with soft fine hair the color of gold and he was very childish.

Back row: Lula Amber, Martha, Mabel.  Front row: George Heaslet, Robert Allen, James Benjamin, Henry Cason & Willie Driskell
Martha died on July 13, 1913.  She is buried in the Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery in Fayetteville, Alabama.  The inscription on her tombstone reads: "Sleep mother dear, and take thy rest, God called thee home, He thought it best."
Grave of Martha Heaslet McGee, Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery, Fayetteville, Alabama

Benjamin moved to Monroe, Louisiana some time after her death.  In the 1920 census, he is living with his son Joshua Davis, and his family. 

The Big  House, Monroe, Louisiana
B. F. McGee & grandchildren at The Big House in Monroe




Benjamin died on September 26, 1920 at the age of 90.  He is buried at Hasley Cemetery in Monroe, Louisiana.
Grave of B.F. McGee, Hasley Cemetery, Monroe, Louisiana
Lula and Ocie had five children; Ophelia, Norma, Mack McGee, Connie Jurell "Jerry" (a female) and Guy Thomas.   Ocie was mainly employed as a farmer and they lived in Pelham, Shelby County, Alabama.  Lula died on November 24, 1935.  Ocie died on January 15, 1961.  They are buried in Helena Cemetery in Helena, Alabama.
Lula & Ocie Kirkpatrick, Helena Cemetery, Helena, Alabama
Ophelia Kirkpatrick was born on December 14, 1910 in Shelby County, Alabama.  She was married to Floyd Roy, with whom she had three children; Bonnie, Floyd Jackson and Jasper.  The Roys were divorced before 1940.  The census shows Ophelia and her children living in Helena, along with her brother, Guy Thomas.
Ophelia Elaine Kirkpatrick Roy
Ophelia died on November 7, 1969.  She is buried at Helena Cemetry in Helena, Alabama.

Norma Kirkpatrick was born on March 23, 1911.  Doing the math, I think either Ophelia or Norma's birthdate is wrong, however, these dates are on their graves.  Norma married William Exton Lowery in June of 1942.  They had no children.  I have not located Exton or Norma on the 1940 census; they were not yet married, so they would not be together.  The 1930 census shows Exton living with his in-laws and working as a laborer on a farm.
Norma Kirkpatrick Lowery
Norma and Ophelia with their father, Ocie
Norma died on December 12, 1945 and is buried in Helena Cemetery.

Connie Jurell (or Jurcell), called Jerry, was born on August 16, 1918.   I don't know much about her life; I believe that she never married.  Her maiden name is on her grave.  She died October 26, 2000 and is buried in Helena Cemetery.
Jerry Kirkpatrick
Guy Thomas was the youngest child, born in 1921.  He was married to Elsie Wade in 1947, and had two children, Jan and Guy Phillip, who died when he was 20.  The 1940 census has him living with his sister Ophelia, working as a miner in the coal mine.  He served in the Army in World War II.  He died August 8, 1995 and is buried in Helena Cemetery.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

William Kirkpatrick & Sarah Carter



William Kirkpatrick, who was called Billy,  was the oldest son of John and Lydia Kirkpatrick.  He was born on April 11, 1842 in Newton County, Georgia.  He married Sarah "Sallie" Carter on May 5, 1870 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.  Billy and Sallie had eleven children; William Green, Era Elizabeth, Joseph Tillman, David King, twins Ocie and Odie, Arthur, Effie, Ophelia, Jesse and Connie (a male).   Billy was primarily a farmer, although one census record does list him as being a mail carrier.  The family lived in Shelby County, Alabama.  Billy served in the  Confederate Army in the 30th Alabama Regiment, enlisting at Bainbridge, Georgia April, 1862 until May 7, 1865.  Between May 1862 and May 1865, he was in Abell's Artillery, officially known as Company B of the Florida Milton Light Artillery.   He was wounded at the battle of Ocean  Pond.  

The Kirkpatricks are listed on the 1870 census in Dadeville, Tallapoosa County (their last name is listed as Patrick).  On January 17, 1871, William Kirkpatrick is listed as being indebted for $128 - promissory note due and payable on November 15, 1871.  "Money advanced bonafide to enable me to make my crop for the present year and without which it would be impossible for me to make land crop, and being desirous to secure the said M.A. Howles -- sold 1 bay mare, about 7 years old, 1 sorrel mare mule about 10 years old, 1 sorrel horse 3 years old, one two horse wagon and my entire crop to be raised by me."  On January 28, 1971, William pays $60 to Sarah Stone for a mule and horse.   On April 11, 1885, William and Sarah sell to Moore, Moore and Handly 40 acres SW 1/3 of the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 section 17 Township 10 Range 4 East for $250.  William signed his name and Sarah made her mark.

On April 7, 1897, Stephen and Ada McGuire sold William and Sarah Kirkpatrick 56 acres on the northwest side of Cahaba Valley Road Section 31 Township 19 South Range 2 West for $1000.  By December of that same year, William and Sarah are in court.  The land had been resold by the McGuires to Frank Miller at public auction.  The Kirkpatricks sued the McGuires and the Millers.  They were in and out of court until at least 1901; I don't know the outcome of the case.

 In 1911, Billy applied for a pension claiming as personal property 1 horse and buggy worth $100, 1 calf worth $25, furniture worth $25 and farming tools worth $5.



Muster Rolls for William Kirkpatrick, Civil War

Sallie Carter was the daughter of William K. Carter and Martha Colwell.  She was born in Monroe County, Georgia on September 27, 1852.  Her family was living in Tallapoosa, Alabama by 1860. 
 I have not found much information on the Carter family prior to Sallie.   Her father and mother farmed.  A William K. Carter is listed on muster rolls for 6th Alabama Infantry in 1863.  He died about 1865, but I have not located a grave for him or his wife.  

William Green Kirkpatrick, Billy and Sallie's oldest child,  was born on  March 13, 1871 in Marshall County, Alabama.  He married Emma Edna Bush before 1896.  They had nine children; Lola Pearl, William Erwin, Cecil Lewis, Earnest Laney, Ruby Lee, Jessie Mae, Thurman Terrell, Hubert, and Emogene.  William was a farmer and they lived in the Shelby and Jefferson County areas throughout their lives. 
William Green Kirkpatrick

William died on November 11, 1956.  He is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Leeds, Alabama.  Emma died on October 11, 1939 and is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

November 12, 1956 - Birmingham News
William Kirkpatrick resident of Leeds
Funeral services for William Green Kirkpatrick 86, of Leeds will be held at 2PM Tuesday from Ridouts Valley Chapel, Homewood.
Burial will be in Cedar Grove Cemetery.
The Rev. W. L. Barber will officiate and nephews will serve as pallbearers.
Kirkpatrick died Sunday afternoon at his residence. He is survived by four daughters and five sons. The daughters are Mrs Jack Lawley, and Mrs Ruby Whitmire of Leeds, Mrs E. S. Kingsley of Birmingham, and Mrs Bruce Richards of Oxford, Ala.
The sons are W. E. Kirkpatrick of Montevallo, C. L. Kirkpatrick of Fairfield, T. T. Kirkpatrick of Adamsville,, E. L. Kirkpatrick, US Merchant Marine and Hubert Kirkpatrick of Detroit, Mich.
Other surviviors are three brothers, two sisters, 15 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. 



10/11/1939 B'Ham Newspaper
Funeral Services for Emma E. Kirkpatrick, 63, of Montevallo, who died this morning at a local hospital, will be held at 2pm tomorrow at the Cedar Grove Methodist Church in Leeds, ALA., with the Rev. Fred Maxey officiating. Burial will be in adjoining cemetery with Luquire in charge. Surviving is the husband, W. G. Kirkpatrick; five sons, W. E. of Montevallo; C. L., T. T. and Hubert of B'Ham, and E. L. of Gadsden, and four daughters, Mrs J. B. Lawley and Mrs H. D. Whitmire of Leeds; Mrs E. J. Kingsley, of B'Ham, and Mrs Bruce Richards of Anniston. 

Era Elizabeth Kirkpatrick was Billy and Sallie's oldest daughter and second child.  She was born on September 27, 1872 in Clay County, Alabama.  Era married Rhye Albert Payton on December 8, 1892 in Shelby County, Alabama.  They had eight children; Lessie Elizabeth, Beulah, Braxton William, Albert, Ocie, Pearl Elizabeth, Samuel Houston, and Rhye Albert.  Albert Payton was a farmer in Shelby County throughout his life.  Era died at the age of 91 on December 25, 1963 and is buried in Pelham Cemetry in Shelby County, Alabama.  Albert Payton died in 1926 and is also buried in Pelham Cemetery.
Era Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Payton
12/26/1963 Birmingham News
Funeral Services for Mrs. Era Elizabeth Payton, 91 of Leeds, who died Wednesday in a local hospital will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Pelham Methodist Church.
Mrs. Payton is survived by two sons, Samuel H. Payton, Birmingham and R. A. Payton, Leeds; a daughter, Mrs. H. D. Higginbotham, Birmingham; a brother, O. C. Kirkpatrick, Helena; a sister, Mrs. Effie Purcell, Fort Wayne, Ind., and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was the daughter of William and Sarah Carter Kirkpatrick. Married Rhye Albert Payton,Sr 12/8/1892 in Shelby Co., AL.


Joseph Tillman Kirkpatrick was born on November 17, 1876 in Clay County, Alabama.  He was married to Avery Bodecia "Bo" O'Barr on November 15, 1906 in Jefferson County, Alabama.  They had nine children;  William Clayton "Butch," Arthur, Lexie, Joseph Richard "Tige," Lessie, Mary Grace, Clifford Preston "Fuzzy," Sarah Willie and Julia Mae.
Joe Kirkpatrick
Avery "Bo" O'Barr
Joe & Bo Kirkpatrick
Joe and Bo figure prominently in a story about the death of Billy in 1913.  I have heard from a great-grandchild of theirs that they didn't have a happy marriage and "stayed in a fight," choosing to live apart for part of their marriage.  I've been fortunate to find a number of pictures of their children later on in life.
Bo Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick brothers:  Arthur, Clifford, William & Joseph, at Cahaba Valley Methodist Cemetery in Leeds, Alabama, Memorial Day 1970

William Clayton "Butch" Kirkpatrick
Lexie Kirkpatrick
Joseph Richard "Tige" Kirkpatrick

Lessie Kirkpatrick

Mary Grace Kirkpatrick
Clifford Preston "Fuzzy" Kirkpatrick
Sarah Willie Kirkpatrick


Joe Kirkpatrick died on June 17, 1959 and is buried in Cahaba Methodist Church Cemetery in Leeds, Alabama.  Bo died on January 6, 1954 and is buried next to Joe.
Mr Joe Kirkpatrick, age 84, of 2205 Ave. T Ensley, passed away Sunday am at a local hospital. He is survived by 4 sons, Arthur, W. C., C. P., and J. R.; 5 daughters, Mrs Lexie Riddle, Mrs Lessie Schmidtke, Mrs Grace Buchanan, Mrs Sarah Buchanan, and Mrs Julia Mae Jackson; 1 brother, Ocie Kirkpatrick,; 2 sisters, Mrs Era Payton, Mrs Effie Purcell. 24 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, 3pm from Cahaba Methodist Church, interment adjoining cemetery. Nephews will serve as active pallbearers. Remains to lie in state from 2 until 3pm. Brown Service Norwood directing.

Ocie and Odie Kirkpatrick were born on February 16, 1882 in Shelby County, Alabama.  Odie married Iona McGuire on January 12, 1907 in Shelby County.  They had two daughters, Frances Elizabeth and Edith Margaret.
Odie and Ocie Kirkpatrick
Iona McGuire Kirkpatrick
Frances Elizabeth Kirkpatrick and her husband, Grady Franklin
Odie was divorced from his wife before 1920 (although he lists himself as a widower on the census); he is living with Ocie and his family and working as a laborer on their farm, along with his brother, Jessie.  In 1940, Jessie and Odie are still living together, working in Calera; Jessie as a farm laborer and Odie as a laborer at Oak Mountain.  Odie died on August 24, 1957.  He did not remarry.

David King Kirkpatrick was born in February 1878.  He was married to Lenora McLaughlin before 1904.  They had three children; Bessie Mae, Robert Andrew (Jack), and Elizabeth Louise (Biddie).  He died some time in 1940.  I haven't been able to locate much information on him.

Arthur Kirkpatrick was born in March 1883.  It's possible that he died as a young man; I have found nothing beyond the 1900 census, when he was 17 years old.

Effie Kirkpatrick was born April 17, 1887 in Clay County, Alabama.  She was first married to Charles Rowley Cross on September 16, 1911.  Mr. Cross was a widower with four children.  They were divorced and she married Edward Purcell and had four children; Beulah, Edward, Opal and Jane.
Effie Kirkpatrick Purcell (r), Edward Purcell (c) & a daughter and grandchild
Effie died in November of 1973 and is buried in Olive Branch Cemetery in Lawrence County, Illinois.
Effie Purcell's obituary
Ophelia Kirkpatrick was born in 1885 in Clay County, Alabama.  She married Samuel Payne before 1906; they had twin sons, William H. and Samuel Lester.  Samuel Payne died in 1907.  Ophelia married Charles Acton on May 23, 1909.  She and Charles had three children; Charles, Rufus and Clara.  They lived in Shelby County for most of their lives.  Ophelia was then married to H. Everette Ney; since Charles Acton did not die until 1967, I assume that they divorced.  Ophelia died on December 15, 1954.  She is buried at Pelham Cemetery in Shelby County.

8/13/1954 Birmingham News
Mrs Ophelia Kirkpatrick Ney age 65 of 108 1/2 So. 18th St. passed away
Thursday morning at a local hospital. Survived by the husband H. Everette Ney;
4 sons William and Lester Payne, Rufus and Charles Acton; 1 daughter Mrs Clara
Acton; 4 brothers, Joe, Will, Oce and Ode Kirkpatrick; 2 sisters Mrs Ryer
Payton and Mrs Effie Purcell; 11 grandchildren. Funeral services will be held
Saturday at 2p.m. from Pelham Methodist Church, interment Pelham Cemetery.
Remains to lie in state at the church from 1 until 2 p.m.
Brown Service, Norwood directing.

Additional Comments:
Note: Her grave is unmarked. Buried next to her son Lester Payne. At the time
of her death she was hospitilazed in Tuscaloosa Co., AL for TB.
Ophelia was b. 2/1885 Shelby Co., AL the daughter of William and Sarah Carter
Kirkpatrick.


Jesse Kirkpatrick was born in August of 1888.  He was married to Mary Baird and had at least one son, Jesse, born in 1929I have no record of the marriage or a divorce or Mary's death; I do know that in 1920 Jesse was living with his brother, Ocie and in 1930 he and Mary are living with their son and her three children.  In 1940, Jesse and Odie are living together in a boarding house and working as laborers. Jesse died on June 14, 1940.  His death record states that he is married.  I don't know why he was not living with his wife at the time; possibly, he had moved to find work.

Connie Kirkpatrick (a male) was born in April 1893.  Connie is a mystery after about 1913.  I don't know if he was ever married or had children or when or where he died.   Jesse, Connie and Joe all figure in the death of their father, Billy, on September 29, 1913.

The family story says that Connie and his brother, Jesse, were arguing over their cotton allotment.  The argument escalated to the point that Jesse went home to get his gun and Connie went to a neighbor and got one (surprising - your neighbor shows up at the door requesting a gun to shoot his brother and you give it to him?).  They both returned and were about to or were shooting when their father stepped in to try to stop the fight and was accidentally struck by the bullet from Jesse's gun.  The story goes that Joe and Bo Kirkpatrick tried to hide the guns from the police in the floor of their house.  Billy died several hours later.  An inquest was held and the death was ruled an accident, but Connie had apparently left town for Texas before that.  He later returned to Alabama to try to ask forgiveness from his brothers, even offering Joe money, but Joe refused to forgive him.  I am not sure what became of Connie at that point, although we do have a Wanted poster from 1914 in Shelby County for assault with intent to murder, so it's possible he continued to get into trouble with the law.
This is a full year after his father's death.  My next road trip is to Shelby County to try to find records in the courthouse about Connie.  I like the description of him:  fairly dressed, good hobo, drinks some and shoots pool.  That probably summed him up.
Montgomery Advertiser, September 30, 1913

William was buried in Pelham Cemetery in Shelby County, in an unmarked grave.  Sallie died on February 21, 1928 and is buried in Pelham Cemetery in an unmarked grave.  Sadly, there are no photos of them.