Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Andrew Jackson and Nathan Chavers

Andrew Jackson Chavers
Andrew Jackson and Nathan Chavers (or Shavers, Chavis or Chavious, depending on what record you are looking at) were two of the sons of Willis Chavis, born in Campbell, Tennessee in 1830 and 1839.  The family moved southwest to Bledsoe, then Franklin, Tennessee by 1860.  When the Civil War broke out, Andy and his brothers Nathan and Samuel enlisted in the 17th Tennessee Infantry (organized in Campbell), Co. I,  at Anderson Station, Tennessee in April of 1861.  Samuel died in camp at Knoxville of disease in December of that year, at the age of 20.  Andy and Nathan remained in the 17th, fighting in the Battle of Stone's River at Murfreesboro in December 1862 - January 1863, during which Nathan was wounded.

In July 1910, Nathan applied for and received a pension in Jackson, Alabama;  Andy applied for one two years later.  At that time, a controversy arose about the fact that records showed the brothers were deserters; company muster rolls show both as "absent without leave" after May 1863.  Nathan's pension was called for a review.  The brothers insisted that they had been sent home after their race and skin color was called into question.  They said they were "Black Dutch," white mixed with Indian and there was "no African blood" in them.  (The Chavers, along with their kin, the Evans and Shoemake families, had filed claims with the Eastern Cherokee in 1907; they are often listed as "mulatto" or "Indian" on census records.)  According to Andy, an officer sent them home and they left (probably gratefully) and remained there for the rest of the war.  Several members of their company gave affidavits that this was the story they had heard at the time; unfortunately, there didn't appear to be any official record to support the claim.

from Nathan Chaver's pension file

From what I can tell, neither brother was able to collect a pension after this.   They remained in Jackson County for the remainder of their lives.  Andy lived in a two story cedar house near the top of a mountain between Little Coon and Crow Creek in Jackson, Alabama, where he had an apple orchard.   He died there in 1917 at the age of 87.   Nathan died in 1927 at age 89. 

Information about the Battle of Stone's River can be found at

Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Easie Mae Stroud

 The baby girl is Easie Mae Stroud, my maternal grandmother, born March 1904 in Madison, Arkansas.  She is with her parents, Farl and Sarah, and brother Earl.  Another daughter, Beulah, was born nine years later.  This photo was taken in 1905 in Arkansas.

Easie was married to George Stanfill in 1926 in Madison.  They spent some time farming in Kansas and Arkansas before moving to Nowata, Oklahoma and opening a grocery store and creamery. 

George and Easie had two children, Francis Eugene, born in 1929, and Joyce Sue, born in 1931. 

George Stanfill died in August 1941 at age 39 after contracting encephalitis.  Easie continued to operate the stores in Nowata, Chelsea and Vinita.  The store in Nowata burned just weeks after George's death and was rebuilt over the next few months.   This is a picture of the store in Nowata; Easie is behind the counter on the left; the little girl is Joyce Sue.

Easie remarried to Wes Berry in 1946.  She sold her stores and they continued to live in Nowata for the rest of their lives.  He died in 1981 and she passed away in November 1990 at age 86 (although she never admitted to being a day over 39). 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Benjamin Franklin McGee

Benjamin Franklin McGee, born the son of a wealthy planter and slaveholder in Alabama in 1830, Civil War veteran, father of fourteen children, outlived two wives, finally dying at the age of 90 in 1920. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Joshua Oden & Charlotte Funderburg Oden

Joshua Oden, 1796 - 1876

Charlotte Funderburg Oden, 1805 - 1878

Joshua and Charlotte Oden, buried at the Ft. Williams Cemetery in Talladega, Alabama.  The hands on the tombstones with an index finger pointing up, symbolize the hope of Heaven. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Lewis Millard Baird

Lewis M. Baird, my third great-grandfather, was born in Caswell, North Carolina in 1795, the son of Joseph Baird and Hannah Lay.  His father may have died about 1798, although there are stories that he actually deserted his family.  Hannah moved to the Whitley, Kentucky/Campbell, Tennessee area and may have married her distant cousin, Jesse Lay.  Goodspeed's History of Tennessee (p. 1126) says of Lewis:  "Lewis Millard, a native of North Carolina was of Irish origin and left fatherless when a child. He came to Kentucky soon after his father, Joseph's death. The wife of Lewis was a Virginian born of English parents. She bore 11 sons and 3 daughters.

Lewis married Elizabeth Jane Woosley in 1816 and they settled on a homestead in the Upper Elk Valley in Campbell, Tennessee.  It was there in October 1862, at age 67, that Lewis was arrested by Confederate soldiers.  His support of the Union cause was well-known; four of his eleven sons were serving in the Union Army.  Lewis was taken to the prison at Salisbury, North Carolina and told that he would be released if he swore allegiance to the Confederacy.  It is said that Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, called on him to urge him to take the oath, but Lewis refused. 

A letter dated April 29, 1864, from Thomas Cayton, a prisoner at Salisbury, was sent to the Hon. S.C. Baird of Campbell County, Tennessee.

To the sons of Lewis M. Baird:

I, as comrade of your father in prison, deem it my duty to write to you at this time to let you know his present condition. He is in the hospital and to all human appearance must soon be numbered with those who have been taken from the evils of this world. There is no particular disease apparent but old age and confinement have done the work. Having become acquainted with him soon after his arrest, and have been with him ever since, he now seems like a father to me. I can truly sympathize, We have slept together and I have been able to obtain many little necessaries from him. He has stood it very well until lately. I have often heard him say that he would like to know how you all were and let you all know how he was but he never got to hear from any of you at home.

I have talked to the old man upon the subject of religion. He always expressed himself. as being prepared, which is a great consolation. I assure you that all that is possible for me to do shall be done for your father. Pray that God in his great mercies may spare him yet to return home. He wishes for me to say if he does not live to see you in this world; that you will strive to so live as to meet him above where parting will be no more.

 Very truly yours, Thomas Cayton

Lewis died at Salisbury Prison on May 11, 1864.  His son, Samuel, to whom the above letter was sent, visited the prison in 1898 to try to find his father's burial place, but was unable to identify his grave in the row of the cemetery.  At the head of the row, a monument stood with this inscription:  " REST ON EMBALMED SAINTS DEEDS DEAR AS THE BLOOD YE GAVE NO IMPIOUS FOOTSTEPS SHALL TREAD THE HERBAGE OF YOUR GRAVES".

Saturday, January 4, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - William Hampton Stroud, Jr.

Amy at No Story Too Small has come up with a challenge called 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  One ancestor story, picture, document every week.  

I'm beginning with William Hampton Stroud, Jr., my 6th great-grandfather and the immigrant ancestor of my Stroud family line.  He was born in Antrim, Ireland about 1731, the son of William Hampton, Sr. and Elizabeth Farmer.  The Strouds were Protestant Scots-Irish living in what is now Northern Ireland at a time when the Protestants were facing hardship from the Church of England.  William appears to have immigrated first as an indentured servant, leaving his wife Sally (Pickett) and six children behind in Ireland.  He served in the French and Indian War, receiving payment in 1762 for his service, returned to Ireland, and in 1767 came back with his family to America, settling in Rockey Creek, South Carolina, a community of Protestant Irish settlers lead by Rev. William Martin.  Another son was born on the voyage to South Carolina aboard the ship Snow Betty Gregg.  William had a royal land grant for property in Craven (later Camden) County, which he later sold and on which the Catholic Presbyterian Church was built.  

Catholic Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Chester County, SC

William and several of his sons served in the American Revolution; there is a story of him standing in church, answering Rev. Martin's call to fight:  … .as the minister quitted the stand, William Stroud stepped up to him. This man, with his sons was noted for strength and bravery. They were so tall in stature, that like Saul, they overlooked the rest of the congregation. He doubted not he said, that had heard of his “whipping the pets”. “ I rather think” he continued “that some people will be a little  on their guard how they go to Rocky Mount for their ‘tection papers! Yesterday I was down at old deaf Lot’s still-house; who do you think was there? John and Dick Featherstone! John said he had been to Rocky Mount to see the fine fellows, and they were so good to him to give him ‘tection. Do John, tell me what that is , I asked. He said it was a paper, and whoever had one was safe; Not a horse , cow or hog would the British take from him  without paying two prices  for it.  So. John says I, I now know who told the British about large stock of cows which they drove off yesterday, knocking down Mrs. Stinson for putting up old Brindle in the horse stable, so as to keep one cow to give milk to the children! Now, John, since you have British ‘tection I will give you Whig ‘tection! With that I knocked him down; Dick came running up; I just gave him a kick in the front; he doubled up; John got up and ran for it; and Dick begged liked a whipped boy. I told him he might carry the news that ‘tection paper men should be whipped and have their cows taken from them to pay James Stinson for his. I think this is what you call the law of Moses! And as for these Britishers, if I don’t make old Nelly ring in their ears and be dad to them! Excuse me for swearing this time , if you please.
Mr.  Minister,  here is old Bill- that is two;  then here is young Will, Tom, Jack, Hamp, Erby, Ransom and Hardy, ;there are some girls, you know, and the baby, little Anzel. I have  heard you say that children are the crown to old men who sit at the gate .” .........
(pages 127-128, "Women of the American Revolution" by Elizabeth Fries Ellet, pub. 1856)

William drove a munitions wagon for the patriots; he was wounded by a musket ball in the shoulder, which migrated to his hip and had to be surgically removed.  His son William, who was said to have killed more of the enemy than any other man in South Carolina, was captured by the British after two months, and hung for treason, his body left hanging from a tree by the side of a road as a warning to others.  After three weeks, his mother, sister and a Capt. Lacy cut it down and buried it beneath the tree.  Another son, Hampton, was captured, threatened with hanging and kept on a ship off the coast of South Carolina.  

After the end of the war, William remained in South Carolina, while some of his children migrated across the south to Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana.  One son, Yerby, settled in Henry County, Georgia; I was fortunate enough to be able to visit his grave in the Stroud Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in the county.  

Yerby Stroud grave, Stroud Cemetery, Henry County, GA

William applied for a pension in 1811 at about the age of 80.  His pension stated:

That your petitioner was a friend to his country and faithfully served the same both in the regular and militia service of the State during the struggles of the Revolutionary War. That he was wounded at the Congaree Fort, under the command of Gen. Sumpter when going the tour of duty called the rounds, by a musket ball from the British, which entered near the point of his left shoulder Blades, and ranged down the oin of his back and loged and was cut out with considerable difficulty and great pain. but your petitioner being then a man of a robust constitution who considerably advanced in life, did not find so much advantage therefrom, untill that his is now arriving at an old age of above 80 years, he has for a considerable length of time felt the serious effects thereof, so that his left arm the side on which he was wounded has become very much enfeebled from the effects thereof, and which unfits him for almost any kind of labour to support himself, and being entirely destitute of property, and no means of support but from the goodwill of others, he therefore throws himself upon the bounty of the country, and hopes that an honorable leglislature will grant him the benefit of that public relief for time to come which is usually extended to the War worn soldier in such cases. With such a sum for bakc arrears that he might have been justly entitled had he but made sooner application. And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray. William (His Mark) Stroud, 9 Nov 1811.

Pension application

William died December 10, 1812.  He is buried in the cemetery at the Catholic Presbyterian Church in Chester, South Carolina.  His name, along with some of his sons, appears on a plaque dedicated to the American Patriots of Chester County.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Past - George & Easie Stanfill 1925

This photograph was taken about 1925, shortly after my grandparents were married, probably in Kansas.  The children in the photo are George's brother Lincoln's children.  The writing on the back of the photo says, "The horses is George's team."