Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sorting Saturday: Civil War Pensions

My current project is collecting Civil War Pension records for some of my ancestors.  Fortunately, Alabama and Texas, where many of them lived, have digitized many of the records and they are a wonderful source of information.

The Chavers brothers of Franklin, Tennessee and Jackson, Alabama; Andrew, Samuel, John and Nathan, were all members of the 17th Tennessee Infantry, CSA, enlisting in 1861.  Samuel died in December of that year of disease at Knoxville.  Nathan and Andrew continued in service until the battle at Tullahoma, Tennessee in the summer of 1863.  They are recorded as being absent without leave after this battle.  In their old age, both applied for a pension; Andrew's was questioned based on being absent without leave.  Nathan's was initially approved, but later was he was summoned for a hearing about his apparent desertion at Tullahoma.  Both brothers maintained that they were dismissed, sent home because of the brown color of their skin.  They said that they were of part Native American ancestry, rather than African American, but their unit commander sent them home and they never returned.  I haven't found any records to indicate if Nathan was allowed to continue to receive a pension or if he was permanently dropped from the pension rolls.  John's widow applied for and received a pension after his death in Arkansas. 
Andrew Jackson Chavers
John Chavers

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fearless Females: Mammy Kate

Ceremony to honor patriotic Georgia slave woman

In 1779, colonial Georgia was under siege and a future governor was set to be executed by the British. But the world's most powerful army at the time was no match for a shrewd and spirited slave woman.
Stephen Heard was wounded and jailed in Augusta for fighting against the Tories in a Valentine's Day skirmish called Kettle Creek, just outside what's now Elbert County. When the woman known as "Mammy Kate" learned of Heard's capture, she rode 50 miles by horse to Augusta to help her owner. She devised a plan to wash clothes for the Tories which ultimately won Kate their trust, according to oral accounts of  the incident which took place over a couple of months. Shortly before Heard's scheduled hanging, she asked soldiers if she could wash Heard's clothes so he wouldn't die in dirty clothes. They agreed. The six-foot-tall woman toted the diminutive Heard out of the prison in a laundry basket full of clothes. She and her husband, Daddy Jack, then carried him to safety. The couple's daring escapade saved Heard who was later appointed governor of Georgia. (Heard offered Kate her freedom but she preferred to stay with the Heard family)
That simple but ingenious act more than 230 years ago is now being recognized for its patriotism by the state and national societies of the Sons of the American Revolution as well as the Daughters of the American Revolution.
"Absolutely. She is considered a patriot," said Elberton resident James Larry Wilson, president of the SAR Samuel Elbert chapter, host of the event.
A bronze SAR medallion will be placed Saturday on the graves of the slave couple  - as well as four other patriots, including Heard -- in Elbert County, about 100 miles east of Atlanta. The 10:30 a.m. patriotic grave markings at the Heardmont cemetery will be attended by five SAR chapters and 150 to 2oo people. The slave couple is buried near Heard.
Kate is believed to be the first woman of color below the Mason-Dixon line to receive the medallion, which is awarded to people who perform feats of heroism or fought in the American Revolution.  "The Forgotten Patriots -- African American and American Indian Patriots of the Revolutionary War," a book published in 2008 by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, identified and compiled some 6,600 names. Thirty-two were from Georgia.  "Mammy Kate" is the only woman on the Georgia list. So far, no descendants of  the slave couple have been found.
The couple's patriotism would have remained a postcript in Georgia history had it not been for Sugar Hill resident Michael Henderson, a history-lover who himself made history last year by becoming the first black person inducted into the state Sons of the American Revolution. Henderson was admitted to the organization after  tracing his lineage to an ancestor Mathieu de Vaux dit Platillo, a French national who fought under the command of the Spanish colonial governor-general Bernardo de Galvez during the American Revolution.
Earlier this year,  Henderson participated in a similar ceremony for Austin Dabney, the first black man in Georgia designated an American Revolutionary patriot due to his Kettle Creek participation. While there, Henderson saw Heard's grave and learned about the slave couple.
"I started thinking, ‘why had these two people not been recognized for their patriotism?’ I took it on as a personal challenge to honor these two patriots," said Henderson, a retired Naval officer and vice president of SAR's Button Gwinnett Chapter. The 25-year genealogist was featured last year in the PBS television series "History Detectives" for his work in tracing his lineage to people who fought in the American Revolution.
"What we all have to really appreciate is the historical narrative," said Henderson, a descendant of a slave who gained her freedom. "A lot of these individuals who participated (in the revolutionary war) may not have gotten their stories told because they were slaves. We have a chance to honor them. This is not generally done. It is symbolic. I owe it to my ancestors to honor people who came before." (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 2011)

I am descended from Stephen Heard, the man that Kate saved from execution by the British.  Last summer, we visited the family cemetery in Elberton and saw her grave, and that of her husband, in the family cemetery. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A new name - Phaup

My second great-grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Jordan, has always been shown to be daughter of William Baxter Jordan and his wife Martha Gammill.  Recently, I found an excerpt from a book called  Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, pub. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894. that contained some surprising information.  William had a previous marriage and Sarah was actually his daughter from that marriage to Mary G. Phaup.  I've never seen the name Phaup before, in our tree or anywhere else.  The only information I can find on Mary is her marriage record to William in Cumberland, Virginia in 1829.  They had two daughters, Sarah and Mary, and moved to Greene, Alabama, where Mary died prior to 1838 (when he married Martha).  She would have only been in her mid-20's at her death.  So far, I've been unsuccessful in finding a death record for her. 

The name Phaup appears to be Scottish, which makes sense in this branch of the family, as many of them are of Scottish ancestry.  The name also seems to be found mostly in Virginia, although possibly the spelling changed as people moved into other areas of the country.  So I now have yet another new branch to investigate and another great-great-great grandmother to learn about.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Family Recipe Friday - Vinegar Pie

Vinegar pie is a dish that originated before fruit was readily available year round.  The pie is supposed to taste somewhat like a lemon pie.  It sort of does, but not exactly.  It was fun to try it, but I don't think I'll be making it again.  This recipe was handed down from my great-grandmother.

Vinegar Pie
(Grandmother Stroud’s recipe)
1 pie crust, blind baked
2 eggs
6 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Mix ingredients together in a saucepan and cook until thickened.  Pour into baked pie crust and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Those Places Thursday - CCC at Desoto State Park, Alabama

Lodge at Desoto State Park
DeSoto State Park is in the Appalachian foothills of northeastern Alabama.  It was one of the places the Civilian Conservation Corps. built in the 1930's; they constructed a lodge, roads, bridges and cabins for the park.  My late father-in-law was one of the CCC boys there in 1938.  He's the "biggest goldbrick" at the bottom right of this yearbook picture:
The park has been constructing a museum to house the memorabilia from the time the CCC was there and it's due to open later this month.  Fortunately, we are just a few hours from DeSoto and are anxious to visit and see more of what they have been able to put together. 
A link to the blog about the construction of the museum is here:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fearless Females - Marth Burch Heard Tucker

March 11 - Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances?  Describe and how did this affect the family?

Martha Burch Heard was the daughter of Stephen Heard, an early Georgia governor and Revolutionary War hero.  Martha, my third great-grandmother, was his eldest daughter, born in December of 1788 in Elbert, Georgia.  The Heard family were prominent citizens of Elbert County, building a home there called Heardmont.  Her father served briefly as governor during the Revolution, maintaining the state in spite of the fact that it was largely controlled by the British, and later was a state representative.  In 1806, Martha married Bartlett Tucker, the son of another war hero, Godfrey Tucker, and they had nine children.  In 1823-24, a scarlet fever epidemic broke out along the Savannah River Valley, and Martha and four of her children became ill.  They all died within a few months of each other and are buried side by side in the family cemetery, on the site where Heardmont once stood.  Martha was 36 at the time of her death.  Unfortunately, we don't really know how her death affected the family.  Her husband and five surviving children moved to Abbeville, South Carolina, and Bartlett remarried in 1830, to Nancy Boles, and had five more children with her.  He owned a farm in Abbeville, where he died in 1861.  Bartlett and Martha's youngest daughter, Sarah, was my great-great grandmother.

Martha B. Tucker

George Tucker, age 14

John Tucker, age 12
John Tucker, age 9

Biddie Tucker, age 6

In honor of Women's History month, blogging prompts from Lisa Alzo at

Fearless Females - Working Girl

Easie Stanfill (right back) at Stanfill Grocery, Nowata, OK 1930s

March 12 - Working girl:  Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home?  What did she do?  Describe her occupation.

In the 1930's my grandparents moved from Arkansas to Oklahoma and opened a grocery store and creamery in the town of Nowata; they also had stores in nearby Vinita and Chelsea.  In August of 1941, my grandfather became ill with encephalitis and died shortly after at the age of 37.  This left the business to be run by my grandmother.  Within a month of his death, a fire burned the Nowata store, destroying it completely.  Newly widowed, she had to finish building a home that was in the process of being built when her husband died, run the business and rebuild the store that burned, as well as raise two young children.  The woman at the far right of the picture is Velma, who worked at the store and helped care for the children when my grandmother was working.  Grandma continued to run the stores until she remarried several years later.  Velma married and moved back to Arkansas.

I can't imagine successfully facing such obstacles, particularly during a time of grieving, and actually making it through.  I think our female ancestors may have been far tougher women than we are now.

In honor of Women's History Month, blogging prompts from Liza Alzo's blog

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday - First Family History

I've been working hard to put together a binder of the history of my mother's family in time to give it to her as a birthday gift later this month.   Going through all the records and stories and photographs I've managed to accumulate over the past couple of years, I'm amazed at the easy access we now have to so much history.  Putting this information together gives you a real sense of the lives your ancestors lived, along with the history of the country itself.  I've connected to distant relatives who have shared information, traced the migration of the families from England and Ireland to the U.S., and then from their initial homes in the Carolinas, west to Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas.  I've found military records and stories showing my Irish immigrant ancestors fought passionately for the American side in the Revolutionary War, and some of my southern ancestors were on the Union side in the Civil War.  I've also found slave owners and a couple of shady characters on the wrong side of the law.  I'm still trying to make it through a few brick walls, but I'm thankful for what I have been able to put together so far, and hope that we can continue to use this information in the future to continue piecing together the story of our family.  Now on to the next branch!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fearless Females - Avery Bodecia O'Barr

 March 2:  Post a photo of one of your female ancestors.  Who is in the photo?  When was it taken?  Why did you select this photo?

"Bo" O'Barr Kirkpatrick is a great-aunt to my husband.  The stories we've heard about her make her sound like a pretty tough old girl.  She was the wife of a tenant farmer in Alabama, and when the law was once headed to her house after her two brothers-in-law were involved in a gunfight that accidentally killed their father, she tried to hide the guns in the floorboards of the house.  She was the mother of nine children, This picture was taken in 1905, a year before her marriage, so she would have been about 21 years old.  The photograph is surprisingly natural for that time period, and she seems to enjoy posing for the camera.

This picture was taken about 15 years later, with her husband Joe Kirkpatrick, in Cahaba Valley, Alabama.  Her great-granddaughter says that the two of them "stayed in a fight" and ended up living with different children in their later years.  I believe she died of breast cancer in 1954 at the age of 69.

In honor of Women's  History Month, blogging prompts from Lisa Alzo's blog,