Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Family Recipe Friday: Purefoy Hotel Creamed Corn

Someone asked me several months ago to post the recipe for The Purefoy Hotel's  (Talladega, Alabama) recipe for creamed corn.  Sorry so tardy.  Here it is.

Purefoy Creamed Corn

12 large ears corn
1/2 cup bacon drippings
2 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt

Cut corn very lightly, then scrape with a dull knife.  Put in a porcelain lined vessel with four cups of boiling water and 1/2 cup bacon drippings.  Cook until half done, add butter, sugar and salt.  Cook from 30 - 40 minutes over slow heat, stirring constantly to keep from burning.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

52 Ancestors: Rachel Baird Stanfill 1823 - 1910

Photo from the Madison County Genealogical & Historical Society.  Seated:  Rachel Baird Stanfill.  Back  row:  Doyle McCarver, Bruce McCarver, Louisa Stanfill McCarver, Onno McCarver, William Stanfill, Lassie McCarver, Otto McCarver, Lewis Stanfill, Sallie Stanfill, Martha McCarver
Rachel Baird Stanfill, my great-great grandmother, was born in December 1823 in Whitley, Kentucky.  At that time, northeastern Kentucky was still a frontier; Rachel's father, Lewis Millard Baird, had moved there from North Carolina before 1819, when he married her mother, Elizabeth Woosley, who had recently come from Virginia with her family.  Rachel grew up with 11 siblings in the Cumberland mountains of southeast Kentucky.

Rachel married Milton Stanfill in 1842, when they were just both 18.  Milton's father had also come to Kentucky from North Carolina, and had a farm in Campbell, Tennessee (which borders Whitley, Kentucky), where Milton spent his childhood.  In 1844, Rachel and Milton had the first of fourteen children, a daughter named Nancy.  Eight more daughters and five sons followed over the next 15 years.  Two daughters, Hannah and Rhoda, appear to have died in childhood.

Milton had a prosperous farm in Jacksboro, Tennessee for the next few years.   When the Civil War broke out, he joined the Union Army and served in Co. B, Tennessee National Guard.  Like many in Upper East Tennessee, the Stanfills and Bairds were Union sympathizers and their men served in the Union Army.  Rachel's brothers also fought for the Union; in October 1862, while they were away from home, Confederate guards arrested their father, Lewis, because it was well-known that his family were Union sympathizers.  He was taken to Salisbury Prison in North Carolina, where he remained until his death in May 1864, refusing to ever take an oath in support for the Confederacy.

After the war, Milton continued farming in Campbell County until his death in 1887 at the age of 64.  In the late 1880's, the farmland in this area was beginning to be less productive, and Arkansas was offering free land in exchange for a commitment to farm it for five years.  Many of the Stanfills chose to leave Tennessee for Madison, Arkansas, a community in the Ozark mountains in the northwestern part of the state.  Some of Rachel's children chose to make the move; others remained in Tennessee (son Lewis moved to Arkansas, but later returned to Tennessee).  Rachel chose to go to Arkansas and by 1900, she was living with her sons Lewis and William in Richland Township, where they had a farm.  It must have been a hard choice to leave the only place she had ever lived, as well as many of her children and grandchildren, at a relatively late stage of life.

Rachel was living with her daughter, Louisa Stanfill McCarver, a widow, and Louisa's children in April 1910, when the census was taken.  Her son Jesse (my great-grandfather) and his family lived next door.  She died later that year at the age of 87.  She is buried at Drake's Creek Cemetery in Madison, Arkansas.  Milton is buried at Jacksboro Cemetery in Campbell, Tennessee.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday's Child: The Eatman Children

We know that childhood mortality was much higher a century or two ago and that many families lost more than one child before they reached adulthood.  Today I found the Eatman family of Mountain Home, Arkansas, descendants of my Jordan line.  Clem Eatman and his wife, Jane Jordan, were the parents of nine children.  Five of these children died when they were still young children.  The Mountain Home Cemetery, where Clem and Jane are buried, also has the resting places of these children.

Ida C. Eatman, born February 1873, lies next to her baby brother Henry, born August 1877.  Both Ida and Henry died on September 23, 1877. 

Mattie E. Eatman, born in January 1878, died just 9 months later in October.

Robert N. Eatman, born November 1882, died July 1853, aged 9 months.

Another child, possibly James, born and died in 1870, is listed as "Infant Eatman" with no stone.

Monday, November 23, 2015

52 Ancestors: Nathaniel Bunch of Louisa, Virginia, 1767 - 1833

My 4th great-grandfather is named Nathaniel Bunch; he was born in 1791 in Louisa, Virginia, and died in 1859 in Newton, Arkansas.  From census records, I cannot find any indication that he was a slave owner. 

Nathaniel Bunch of Louisa, Virginia is a cousin to my Nathaniel.  In researching my family line, I found some interesting documents about this Nathaniel as it pertained to his slaves.  While I have found quite a few of my southern ancestors were slave owners, very few indicated any mixed feelings about slave ownership or asked that their slaves be freed.

In his will, Nathaniel specified that after the last crop on his plantation was harvested, 13 of his 14 slaves - Adam, Pleasant, John, Henry, Angelina, Ann, Maria, Milly, Elizabeth, Nancy, Billy, John Sharp, and Peter - were to be freed.  Only an 11 year old boy named Andrew was not freed; he was to remain a slave until he turned 21 for the use of Nathaniel's sister-in-law and nephew, and "was to be treated with that kindness of humanity that is due from the master to the slave."  Nathaniel's slaves were appraised at a value of $4,105 at his death.

"It is to be understood that my said negroes are to be employed in the cultivation of said crops and are to be treated as slaves during that time," his will specified.  Once the corn, tobacco, hemp, hay, oats and wheat had been harvested, his 627 acre plantation was to be sold and part of the proceeds used to pay the traveling expenses of the newly freed slaves to the African nation of Liberia, a new colony created for emancipated slaves.  If they did not wish to leave the country, he directed his executors to "remove them to some place in the United States where they can enjoy their freedom."  They were also to receive $30 to help them begin their new lives; that's over $800 in 2015.

How many of the slaves chose to go to Liberia, or where any of them relocated to, is not known.  A year later, Adam petitioned the Virginia legislature for permission to remain in the state to be near his wife and children (who were presumably enslaved on another plantation) "for whom he has the strongest regard and of whom he is unable to effect a purchase."  Adam indicated that he was "a blacksmith, in the prime of life, capable of supporting himself and rendering much service to this neighborhood."  The legislature denied his request.

Nathaniel may have experienced guilt over his slave ownership, but he didn't act on it until the end of his life when he knew he would not need their service any longer.   He never married, so whether or not his actions would have been different if he had a family is unknown.

Registration of Adam and Henry from Louisa County Free Black Registry Book

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

52 Ancestors: Rosa Blanche, John Wilson and Mary Dent McGee

 While researching the McGee branch of my husband's family, I came across some extraordinary stories and photos of the Georgia McGee's (our branch moved on to Alabama in the early 1800's).  These stories were originally shared by descendants of the Crawford County McGee's. 

Rosa Blanche, John Wilson, and Mary Dent McGee were three of the ten children of John Wilson McGee and Cynthia Ida Blanche Dent.  They were born in Crawford County, Georgia; Rosa in 1883, Johnny in 1901, and Mary (known as Mary D to her family) in 1903.  Mary D, Johnny and Rosa's stories remind me of the quote about Southerners and their eccentric relatives:  no one asks if you have crazy people in your family.  They just ask which side they're on.  

Rosa McGee (center) with sisters Varrye (left) and Winnie (right)

Rosa McGee was never married and lived in the McGee homeplace in Crawford County with her family all of her life.  After her parents' deaths, she stayed on with her brother and sister.  Rosa worked for the University of Georgia Extension Service and was an early proponent of soybeans in the 1930's - just the plain bean, not the products we have today.  No doubt during the Depression, many people were quite happy to consume plain soybeans.  She collected Indian artifacts, tended a beautiful home garden and cared for her brother, who was blind and suffered from epilepsy, and sister, who was mentally ill. Rosa was described as "mannish" (possibly a euphemism for gay).  A family story tells of her inviting a pretty young schoolteacher to dinner, using her nephew as bait.  Sadly for Rosa, the schoolteacher and nephew hit it off and later married, creating lasting tension between Rosa and her niece-in-law.  "Why Lucille, you wore plaid, you know I like you in stripes!"  "Lucille, you wore pastels, you know I like you in paisley."  The poor woman could never get her outfits right for a visit with Rosa. 

Mary Dent McGee

Mary D was a beautiful young woman who suffered from schizophrenia for much of her life.  Her illness seems to have begun when she was in her 20's, after she had attended college and begun teaching.   Mary D carried disinfectant and paper towels in her purse to sanitize any surface she might come into contact with, and the first order of business when she visited anyone was to take a bath.  She had a form of distorted body perception that caused her to wear excessive amounts of makeup.  She often behaved strangely because of her illness, but would try to model her behavior on her sister Rosa's in order to appear more normal.  Despite her challenges, Mary D was described as "charming and engaging," and was flamboyantly feminine.

Johnny McGee

Johnny McGee's disabilities could have caused him to be warehoused in an institution, but his family kept him at home, where he was an active member of the household.  In spite of his disabilities, he also had extraordinary abilities; he remembered every family birthday, event and wedding, even if he had not been present, and the weather on that day.  He collected and worked on clocks, helped his mother in the kitchen, and "pitched" the Sunday hymns.  (As Primitive Baptists, the McGee family did not use musical instruments.)

At one point in her life, Mary D disappeared for a long period of time.  This was not uncommon; it was assumed her absences were times when she was at the State Mental Hospital at Milledgeville. During this disappearance, however, the family was considering having her declared dead in order to have her father's estate probated after his death in 1936 (which had special provisions for Mary D and Johnny because of their special needs), but couldn't until both Mary D and Johnny had died.  Then in the late 1950's, Mary D reappeared with a Hungarian circus performer husband 16 years her junior.  Julius Mester appeared to be as mentally unstable as his wife, whom he supposedly met in the circus (or at Milledgeville).  Despite his own mental health issues, he became an important part of the household, taking over the catfish ponds at the McGee homeplace, a source of income, and becoming caregiver to Johnny when he was dying of cancer.  The McGee household must have seemed like something from a Southern Gothic novel:  a lesbian, a blind epileptic, a beautiful, fading schizophrenic, and a Hungarian circus performer. 

Unfortunately, mental illness caused more serious episodes in the McGee household.  Mary D tried to kill her young nephew with a butcher knife (despite the fact that she loved him).  When he died later in life, she and Julius concluded that his mother had killed him, causing a rift between them and his grieving mother that never mended.  Mary D and Julius built a home on the McGee property, which Mary D somehow blew up in a gas explosion.  She developed breast cancer and had a double mastectomy, which she thought was a good enough reason to go topless, asking, "don't I look like a little boy?"

Rosa McGee died in 1963 at the age of 80.  Johnny died in 1973 at 71.  Mary D died in October 1982 at the age of 75.  Julius died in 2004 at age 80.   All are buried at the Salem Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Crawford, Georgia.

McGee family (front row): Grady, Vari, Mary D, Ted, Gordon.  (back row): Johnny, John Wilson, Quinton, Ida, Rosa, Winnie, Davis

McGee plot at Salem Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Reunion of Farley Bee Stroud Family

Farley Bee Stroud and his wife Mary (Fowler) with children Annie, Chester, Laura, Felix, Charles, Rebecca, Edward, and John.  Photo taken at the old Stroud homeplace in Madison, Arkansas, 1930's.

 Remains of the Stroud homeplace in Madison, Arkansas. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Lizzie & Katie Fritts

Sisters Katie and Lizzie Fritts died within two days of each other in October 1892.   Lizzie was three when she died and Katie was two.  I have not discovered the cause of death of the two girls.  They were the daughters of Charles Fritts and Easter Jane Jones of Madison County, Arkansas.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Willie Cox

Monument for Willie Cox, died August 11, 1887 at the age of 3 years and 3 months.  One of the beautiful monuments at Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Moses Formwalt, 1820 - 1852

Moses Formwalt was the first mayor of the City of Atlanta.  He was born in Tennessee in 1820, moved to Decatur, Georgia about 1836, and opened a tin shop, where his bestselling product was stills.  He was elected the first mayor of Atlanta (formerly Marthasville) in January 1848, representing the Free & Rowdy Party.  The Rowdies were opposed by the Moral Party, which advocated temperance and chastity.  Many of the Rowdies were operators of brothels, bars and distilleries, lucrative businesses in what was then just a rough town on the railroad line. 

The city council met at Jonas Smith's store (in what is now Five Points) and during his term, roads were dug, a jail built and some form of law and order established.  He was just 28 when he was elected and served for a year.  Two years later, Formwalt was Deputy Sheriff of DeKalb County, when he was stabbed to death by a prisoner he was escorting to jail. 

He is buried at Oakland Cemetery in downtown Atlanta, where this monument was later erected to his memory.  There is also a Formwalt Street near the cemetery.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Easie Stanfill with Children

This is a photo of my grandmother, with my uncle and mother, taken in the late 1930's.  I love the composition of this photo, with the two children on either side of their mother.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Family Recipe Friday: Muscadine Pie

Muscadines (or Scuppernog) are grapes that are native to the southeastern United States; they begin showing up in the supermarket in August.   Usually we see them used in wine making and jellies, but I recently ran across a recipe for a Muscadine Pie in The Progressive Farmer's Southern Cookbook (pub. 1961).

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shopping Saturday - Stanfill Grocery & Market

This is a newspaper advertisement from the November 18 1943 Nowata Star for my grandmother's store, Stanfill Grocery & Market, in Nowata, Oklahoma.  How would we love to get 10 pounds of potatoes for 29 cents or pay 28 cents a pound for a pork roast?

The store was long gone before I was born, but I have a couple of pictures of the inside.  My mother is the little girl in the front; Grandma is the woman on the left.  My grandfather died in 1941 and the woman on the right, Velma, helped Grandma with the store and keeping the children and home while she worked.  Mom remembers Grandma working very long hours at the store and she and Velma would pack up a dinner to take to her at work.   

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

52 Ancestors - Lewis J. Stanfill 1832 - 1897

My 2nd great-grand uncle, Lewis J. Stanfill, was born in 1832 in Campbell, Tennessee, the son of Sampson and Rhoda (Ellison) Stanfill.  He was one of ten children that grew up in Elk Valley, in the Cumberland Mountains near the Kentucky state line. 

I recently found Lewis's will in the new collection of wills and probate records.  The Stanfill children all appear to have gone into farming, including Lewis.  According to Goodspeed's Biographical Sketches of the Residents of Campbell County, Tennessee, 1887:

L. J. Stanfill was born in Campbell County, August 22, 1832. He is the son of Samson and Rhoda (Ellison) Stanfill. The father is a native of North Carolina, and was born January 1, 1800. He is a very old and well respected citizen of Campbell County, and has served the county as one of its officials. His wife was a native of North Carolina, and was the mother of a family of nine children, seven sons and two daughters. Our subject is the fifth son, and was reared on the farm and educated in the country schools. He has devoted nearly all his life to farming, and recently suspended farming, and engaged in merchandising at Jellico. However he has been in the mercantile business for a number of years. November 19, 1860, he married Ellen Falkner. The marriage has been blessed by two sons and two daughters; their names are Nannie, William C., Mary Susan and Joshua F. August 18, 1868, the mother of these children died, and left the children to the care of the father, who has been a worthy father, a successful business man and an useful citizen. He commenced with capital and has been a financial success.

Lewis married Ellen Faulkner in 1860 and they had two sons and two daughters; Ellen died in 1880 when the three younger children were still at home.

Lewis's will indicates he had amassed a great deal of property in the Campbell, Tennessee and Whitley, Kentucky area; the will was drafted in 1892 and left the bulk of his estate to his three children Nancy, Mary Susan and William, and their children.  Joshua is left $50 as he has "already received an advancement of his portion of the estate."  Before his death, Lewis made a codicil to the will leaving $1,000 to Joshua's wife and children (who were not mentioned in the original will), with no mention of Joshua, who was still living at the time. 

Lewis died on June 1, 1897 and is buried next to his wife in the Stanfill Cemetery in Elk Valley. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - William Minor Sartin & Nancy Elizabeth Gilbert Sartin

William M. Sartin, born 1860 in DeKalb, Alabama, died 1917 in Jackson, Alabama.  Married Nancy E. Gilbert in 1879.  She was born 1856 in DeKalb, Alabama, died 1932 in Jackson, Alabama.  They were the parents of five sons and four daughters.  Buried at Friendship Cemetery in Jackson, Alabama.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sentimental Sunday - Ocie & Lula Kirkpatrick with grandchild

The above photograph is Ocie & Lula (McGee) Kirkpatrick with an unnamed grandchild.  Because Lula passed away in 1935, this photograph is probably with one of their eldest daughter Ophelia's children.  This photo would have been taken in the early 1930's. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Family Recipe Friday - Canning

These recipes were published in a community cookbook in Nowata, Oklahoma; not sure of the date, as the book is missing the cover and first few pages, but I'm guessing some time in the 1940's.  Summertime is canning time, so these recipes could come in handy right now.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Military Monday - Carter Elbert Rose, U.S.S. Wisconsin

While searching a new collection at for U.S. Navy Cruise Books 1918 - 2009, I was fortunate to find a photograph of my uncle, Carter Rose, aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin.  The photo was taken some time between 1952 - 1954.  This is the first photo I've ever seen of him as a young man; he would have been in his mid-twenties at this time.  Some time in the next few years, he was invited to leave the military and spent much of his life as a transient.  He died in 2002 at the age of 74 in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Family Recipe Friday - Rhubarb Salad

I noticed there was fresh rhubarb in the grocery store this week.  It appears infrequently, so if you like it,  you grab it when you can.  This recipe is from Grandma's cookbook; it's one of those 70's style "congealed" salads.  But really good.

Rhubarb Salad

2 3 ounce packages raspberry jello
2 cups cooked rhubarb, with juice*
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped pecans

Heat rhubarb, dissolve jello into it and cool.

Mix other ingredients in a seperate bowl, then add to slightly thickened jello mixture.

Chill until firm.

*To cook rhubarb, trim away leaves.  Wash and remove fiberous strands on outside of rhubarb if necessary.  Slice stalks into one-inch chunks.  To cook, bring 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil.  Add rhubarb, bring back to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.  Let cool and store in refrigerator until ready to use.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Small Town Saturday - The Nowata Star

While searching through Google Newspaper Archives  I came across several issues of the Nowata Star published in the fall of 1943.  I was looking for information about my mother's family.  I found several ads for the grocery store my grandmother, Easie Stanfill, operated at the time.  She had been widowed just a couple of years earlier and had to take over operating the three grocery stores she and my grandfather had started in the 1930's.

 Looking at these newspapers gave a really glimpse into life in a small town at the time.  This was during WWII, so there were headlines about the war on the front page every day.

News about the draft was prominent.

The upcoming high school football game also made the front page.

The freshman class assembly (with my uncle, Eugene Stanfill, on flag salute) made the paper.

A Halloween party my grandmother gave was in the Society column!

Ration calendars were published periodically.

The calendar for church services were published weekly.

You could check to see what movie was playing at the town theater.

Eugene, Easie & Joyce Sue Stanfill, 1940's

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day 2015

George Newton Stanfill with wife Easie Stroud & children Joyce Sue & Eugene - Oklahoma late 1930's

William "Buck" Stroud with wife Caroline Forrester, children and grandchildren - Arkansas 1905

Jesse Carl Stanfill with wife Drusie Dorsey & children - Arkansas 1904

Elbert Gunn Rose with wife Sarah Anna Sanders, children and grandchildren - Alabama 1911
Robert V. Rose, Sr. & son Harry - Florida 1950's