Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Those Places Thursday: Stinking Creek, Tennessee

I've noticed a number of my ancestors from Campbell County, Tennessee lived in an area called "Stinking Creek."  Not a very appealing name in an area in the Cumberland Mountains that is incredibly beautiful.  I was curious as to how it earned this name; the Campbell County GenWeb page says that during a particularly cold winter in 1789-80, much of the wildlife in the area then called Sugar Creek, perished in the cold.  Their remains laid there until spring when the snow and ice melted, and -- you get the picture.  The Native Americans in the area began calling it Stinking Creek and the name remains -- without the stink.

If you're traveling on I-75 in northern Tennessee, you'll find Stinking Creek off of exit 144.  Don't let the name put you off.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Louisa Smith Baird, 1836 - 1898

Louisa Baird -- the death angel came on the 25th day of December, A.D., 1898, to the home of Elder Jesse Baird and wafted the spirit of his precious wife, Louisa, to that beautiful city not made with hands eternally in the heavens there to join, as we believe, one son and one daughter with all the ransomed throng sing that glad new song of Moses and the Lamb.

(The reason for this obituary coming in at this late hour, it was overlooked at our first association after her decease, and there seemed to be some dissatisfaction about it and the church now presents the obituary to this association.)

Louisa, the subject of this obituary, was the daughter of John and Helen Smith, born in Tennessee, Nov. the 9th, 1836, and in her 17th year, Aug. the 6th, she became the wife of Jesse Baird and they settled down at Elk Valley, Tenn. and unto them were born nine sons and four daughters, one son and one daughter preceded their mother to the eternal home, the other eleven with their father and great number of grandchildren with other friends and relatives are  left to mourn their loss.  She lived with her husband, Elder Jesse Baird, about 45 years at his present home in Elk Valley, Tenn.  She professed faith in Christ in her early womanhood and lived a pious member of Elk Fork United Baptist church until her death.  In her sickness she seemed to have no fears about her eternal felicity, but offered to her Heavenly Father strong prayers for her children and friends whom she was leaving behind.  Doubtless she is now waiting in happy anticipation of the resurrection morn when all the bloodwashed billions that inaumerable throng will engage in singing that glad immortal song.  May it be that all her children and friends will emulate her in this life and dwell with her above.  By order of the church. 

                                                                                       Jesse Baird, Moderator

J. J. Duncan, Clerk

 Presumably, this obituary was issued at the Elk Fork United Baptist Church after Louisa's death. 

Louisa Smith Baird's grave at the Baird Cemetery in Elk Valley, Campbell, Tennessee

Thursday, November 20, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: William Henderson Shoemake and Cyrena Allen Shoemake

William Henderson Shoemake, born 1824 in Crowton, Jackson, Alabama.  William was of Cherokee and white descent, born on the reservation possessed by his grandmother, Annie Bone Thorn, a Cherokee.   In 1883, William and his brother, John Wesley, moved to Porum, Oklahoma, and petitioned to be recognized as Cherokee in to gain land being distributed to the Cherokee at that time.  The court initially would not grant them recognition as Cherokee, however, they reversed their decision the following day.  In 1908, their claim was once again in dispute; testimony by one witness given at that time indicates the Shoemake brothers may have paid someone to have their earlier claim recognized.  His Dawes file is very large; some testimony indicates that he was actually on the white side during the Cherokee removal.  In spite of that, the Shoemakes were recognized by the Dawes Commission as Cherokee by blood.

William and some other family members had left Alabama and moved to Cass (then Davis) County, Texas in the 1840's.  He married Margaret Collins there and they had two sons; William Christopher Columbus, and George (who was born and died in 1860).  During the Civil War, William volunteered for the Confederate Army and worked as a sort of border patrol guard (at four times the normal pay rate!),  traveling along the Red River looking out for Union troops, while Margaret and their son William lived with her relatives in Davis County.  Around this time, William heard that an old friend, Will Cadell, had been killed in the war, and his widow, Cyrena (Allen), was alone on the prairie with two children.   William took it upon himself to "look after" Cyrena and married her, moving his new family to Arkansas, despite the fact that he already had a wife.  He later claimed in his Dawes testimony that Margaret had died; Margaret was actually declared "insane" and died in April 1870.  By then William and Cyrena had three sons, with seven more children to be born in the next 14 years.  They were living in Sebastian, Arkansas in 1880, along with her children from her first marriage, James and Rosetta, and their own seven children.  In 1900, they were living in Indian Territory (Oklahoma), where they remained for the rest of their lives. 

Wiliam and Cyrena continued to live in Muskcogee County, Oklahoma, until he died in 1908.  Cyrena lived in 1934.  They are buried at Fields Cemetery in Porum, Oklahoma.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Jellico Cemetery, Jellico, Campbell, Tennessee

Jellico Cemetery is in the little town of Jellico, Tennessee, just south of the Kentucky state line.  A number of my ancestors are buried here; many Stanfills, Perkins, Lays and Bairds were laid to rest here, including the unfortunate Squire Perkins, who was murdered by bushwackers during the Civil War for being a Union sympathizer.

Squire is buried next to Simon Snyder, his brother-in-law, who was also killed that day.  Squire's mother, Cintha Stanfill, and her husband William Perkins, are buried next to Squire.  Their stones are propped up against a tree next to his grave; presumably they had fallen and were left there. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Military Monday: Jesse Asbury Duncan, Prisoner of War

Jesse Duncan was born in Henry, Georgia in 1830.  He married Caroline Kirkpatrick in Newton, Georgia in 1855; they eventually became parents to five children.  The family moved to Randolph, Georgia, near the Alabama state line, just prior to Civil War.  In 1862, Jesse volunteered with the 55th Georgia Regiment Infantry. 

The Battle of Cumberland Gap was fought in September 1863 as Union forces tried to make their way down into Knoxville, Tennessee.  The 55th Georgia Infantry was among those fighting here and Jesse was captured and sent to Camp Douglas in Chicago.  Camp Douglas was one of the largest prisoner of war camps in the Union, holding more than 26,000 prisoners at one time.   Conditions were bad, with no working sewage system when the camp opened, one hydrant to provide water for all prisoners and low-lying ground that flooded (and then froze in winter) with every rain.  More than 4,000 Confederate prisoners eventually died before the prison was closed at the end of the war.

Jesse was fortunate to survive and return home to Georgia after he was discharged in May 1865.  He and Caroline remained in Randolph county with their children through 1870, then joined most of her family in moving to Cass, Texas before 1880.   They raised their family (with the exception of one daughter who died at age 2) there until his death in 1900.  Caroline survived to the age of 91, dying in Gray, Texas, in 1931.  She had by then outlived all but one of her children, John, who had become one of the city of Pampa, Texas' most prominent citizens.

Jesse is buried at O'Farrell Cemetery in Cass, Texas, near his son George, who had passed away in 1899.  Caroline is buried in Gray, Texas.

Jesse A. Duncan, 1830 - 1900

Friday, November 14, 2014

Family Recipe Friday: Cleo Clemmon's Custard Pie

Since Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and that means pie, here is another recipe from Grandma Berry's cookbook.  I believe Cleo was a friend of hers. 

Cleo Clemmons’ Custard Pie

Make a pastry for a one crust pie, build up high fluted edge.

Filling for 9” Pie:

4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
½ teasoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 2/3 cups milk, scalded*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs slightly, then beat in the sugar, salt, nutmeg, milk and vanilla extract.  Pour into pie crust.  Bake for 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes more or until done.

Check for doneness by inserting a metal knife 1 inch from the side of the crust.  If the knife cones out clean, pie is done.  The center may still be a bit soft, but will set later.  Baking too long makes the custard watery.

*You can use half milk and half cream to make the custard richer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Lay Family Cemetery, Elk Valley, Campbell, Tennessee

The Lay Family Cemetery is on Red Cut Road in Elk Valley, a beautiful, winding road with a spectacular view of the Cumberland Mountains.  It's a small cemetery, near what I presume is where the family farms once were.  It is the resting place of many of my Lay, Perkins, Stanfill and Baird ancestors.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Military Monday: Baird Brothers, Co. A, 1st Tennessee Infantry Volunteers, Union

The five Baird brothers; Lewis Millard (Jr.), Samuel Crittendon, Zebedee, Andrew and Pryor Perkins (my great-great-grand uncles), were raised in Whitley County, Kentucky and Campbell County, Tennessee, a portion of the south that had many Union sympathizers.  When the Civil War began, the four brothers all enlisted together; the regiment was formed in Garrard County, Kentucky in the late summer of 1861.  Some time after their enlistment, word got to the bushwackers in their home counties that they had joined the Union and their father, Lewis Millard, was taken prisoner and sent to a confederate prison at Salisbury, North Carolina, where he later died.  (

Four of the brothers survived the war and returned home.  Andrew was killed by an accidental discharge of a pistol at camp in Pulaski, Kentucky on December 30, 1861. 

Below is a picture of Pryor Perkins, the baby of the family, proudly standing by an American flag during a Veteran's Day celebration.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Take care of her for my baby is all of my study...

Sampson Lafayette Stanfill, one of the multitude of Sampson Lafayette Stanfill/Stanfield's in my maternal tree, was born in Campbell, Tennessee in 1836.   This particular Sampson moved south to Walker County, Georgia, where he married a young woman named Mary Bridgeman in 1858.  They had a daughter named Mary Jane the following year, and one named Hannah in 1861.  Mary died in 1862 and no record or mention of Mary Jane can be found after her birth, leading me to believe she had also passed away.  Sampson returned to Tennessee after the Civil War began (I'm not sure if it was before or after his wife's death), joining the 12th Tennessee Cavalry, Union.   Among the documents found in his pension files are the two following letters written by him; one to Miller Butler and his wife Mary in 1864; and one written in 1863 to a cousin, Mary Rusel (Russell?), who seems to have been caring for Hannah at the time.

March 15, 1863. Camp comming ner Mobeil, Ala. and confeds

Der couzen mary, I for the first time in life im brace the present opertunity of droping you a few lines to let you no that I am well at present and hope when these few lines may come to hand and find you enjoying the same state of helth. I have nothing of im portended to right to you at present only that wee have harde times her at present but that is a thing of nothing after evrey body gits to it. Wee are well fixed for our camps am wee don't have to stand gard her when it is raining an wee don't have to be in evrey of the bad wether. That is a fine thing on our side.

I want you to knit for Hannah C. Stanfill a pare of stockings for sumer if you plese an if I ... ever get home I will pay you for it an I want you to help Lizy to take car of her for my baby is all of my study. I don't never go to slepe of a night a thought thinking of her an how she loved to lye of a night with her litle armes a round my neck it filles my hart with pain to think my der child an to think that I am compeled to stay so fare from her but I trust to the lord that he will spare our lives til we will meat a gane in this world. So you must excuse my short an bad leter.  So I must bring my leter to a close. Some more at present only now yours cozen until deth you miss.

Sampson L. Stanfill
Mary Rusel

Right to me as soon as you got this leter and give me the news if you plese. It is hot wether here now. We have to go in our shirt sleeves  people was planting corn.

Pulaski, Tenn. July the 14/64

I set my self to drop you a few lines to let you no that I am well at present and I truly hope that these few lines will come safe to hand and find you all well. I have got nothing new to rite to you only crops is fine in this country. I have sene a good deal of Tenn. since I started to travel over it.  We had a litle fite with the bush whackers they kild my Capt and woonded one man and we kild forty nine of them but our hole ridgement was after them they could not run evey way with out they run into our men and they as quick as they se a bush whacker they fire at them and we shoote to hit. We have bin her two weeks that is the longest that we have stade eney wher since the first march. We have bin riding study. I think I will be a goode hand to ride a ganst.  My three years is out if I have till then.  I am in hop that I will live to see this cruel war over.  I wood love to come home and stay vary much but I am willing to fite for our goverment for I am a full blooded yankey.  I rote a letter and sent it by Spangler to you. You never sent me any anser. He sede he sent the leter to you and I sent some money to you and I wanted to no whether you got it or not. I droed some more money I could send you if I had the chance to send to you.  I droed $30 dolers to day.  I would love to see Hanner and all of the children vary much but if I live till fall or Chrismass I will come and see al of you if I live till then. I want you to rite to me with out fail as soon as you get this leter.  Direct to Nashville, Tenn. 12 Cavaldry.  So no more at present.

Sampson L. Stanfill
To M.C. and Mary Butler

Robert Jones, plese send this to Creed Butler as soon as posibel.

Robert, I wish you will rite to me and I will rite to you.  Spangler got back safe.

According to testimony by one of Sampson's fellow soldiers, he died on August 14,1864 at Pulaski, Tennesee, of "brain fever."  The above letter is dated July 14, 1864; perhaps he was actually not in the good health he claimed when he wrote Miller and Mary Butler.  And sadly, he probably never made it home to see Hannah again.

Miller Butler became Hannah's guardian and she is shown on census records living in his home in 1870.  She later married and had a family in Catoosa, Georgia, where she died in 1921.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Stanfield Cemetery

Last week I was finally able to make the trip from Atlanta to Campbell County, Tennessee, where much of my maternal grandfather's family came from.  Campbell is in upper east Tennessee, just a few miles from the Kentucky state line in the Cumberland Mountains.  We drove over a mountain road near Lafollette, Tennessee and wound our way around to Elk Valley.  I was unprepared for how truly beautiful this place is.  A lovely, green valley surrounded by mountains (luckily, at the height of the fall colors).  A perfect time to walk the (many) cemeteries on our list and find those family members I've been researching and reading about for so long.  I can't be the only one who begins to feel like I really know these people, can I? 

I found my third great-grandfather, Sampson Stanfill (the spelling of the family seems to have changed mid-1800s) beside my third great-grandmother, Rhoda Ellison, in what was clearly the oldest part of the cemetery.  Sampson  moved to Knox, Kentucky (now Whitley)  from Anson, North Carolina with his family before 1810.  He met Rhoda, whose family had moved from Virginia,  and they married in 1822 and became the parents of ten children; my great-great grandfather, Milton, was their eldest child.  Sampson worked as a surveyor and a farmer in the area while raising his family.  His son James donated the land the cemetery is on (as well as the Stanfield United Baptist Church); his son Lewis's wife, Ellen Faulkner, was the first person buried in the cemetery in 1868. 

Sampson is buried between his two wives; Rhoda Ellison and his second wife, Celia Carroll.  

Sampson Lafayette Stanfill 1800 -  1887

Rhoda (Rhody) Rachel Ellison Stanfill 1806 - 1867
Celia Carroll Stanfill 1806 - 1879

Many of the stones are now unreadable and weathered down to just small bits sticking up from the ground.  No doubt there are more of my ancestors in these plots, but I don't think we'll ever be able to know who they are.

Ellen Faulkner Stanfill 1841 - 1868

Lewis  J. Stanfill 1832 - 1897

Lewis J. Stanfill
James Stanfill 1828 - 1903
 Some time in the late 1800's, my great-great grandfather's widow and most of their children moved to Madison, Arkansas.  I have to wonder what would take them away from the beauty of this place where they had made their home.  To do:  look up whether or not they were giving away land in Arkansas!

I'm already planning a return trip in the spring; the four days we had just wasn't enough to go to every cemetery and repository I need to visit.  Can't wait to go back!