Thursday, January 18, 2018

Traveling Church

After all of the many hours that I spent looking at the John and Mary (notlong) Hawkins family line and the Traveling Church, I am surprised that I don't find something about this event on my blog.  I suppose that the research done on this event was before my blogging days.  It is now looking as if I will eventually have to give all of these people up as possible ancestors or related lines as it is looking as if Family Group #2 of the Hawkins DNA project may be the connected family group.  However, I haven't yet absolutely for sure made that connection.   It is the daughter of this couple, Mary, who married Tolliver (Taliaferro) Craig and was the mother of the Craig children many of whom were a part of the Traveling Church.
I was looking something up today and much to my surprise couldn't find a link on my blog.  So this post is a place to organize my links and my information.  Below is part of what I have written in my data base for Lewis Craig (son of Tolliver and Mary Hawkins Craig).  I have taken this from the Franklin County, Kentucky website (see link):

Lewis Craig was born in Orange County, Va about the year 1737.  He was raised on a farm, receiving very limited education, and, in early life, was married to Betsy Landers.  He was first awakened to a sense of his guilt and condemnation about the year 1765 under the preaching of Samuel Harris.....there are several pages of information on his preaching in Orange....During a revival in Upper Spotsylvania, in  1776, over one hundred were added to its membership (referring to Dover Association) This church prospered as long as Mr. Craig remained with it in its first location....He was now in the vigor and strength of manhood--a little under 45 years of age.  He had been fourteen years in the ministry, had enjoyed extraordinary success, and had had a wider and more varied experience than most men have in a life-time.  
    Mr. Craig continued to serve Upper Spottsylvania church as pastor, til 1781 when he moved to Kentucky.  So strongly was the church attached to him, that most of its members came with him.  At exactly what time in the fall they started has not been ascertained.  But Mr. Craig was on the Holsten river on the road leading from his former home, by way of Cumberland Gap, to his destination in Kentucky on the 28th of September, 1781, for on that day, he aided in constituting a church at that point, then the extreme western settlement in Virginia.  

    Dr. S H. Ford, in the Christian Repository of March, 1856 says of Craig and his traveling charge: “about the 1st of December, they passed the Cumberland Gap....and on the second Lord’s day in December 1781, they had arrived in Lincoln (now Garrard Co.) and met as a Baptist CHurch of Christ at Gilberts Creek.  Old William Marshall preached to them, with their pastor, the first Sunday after their arrival.” ....there is more good information on Lewis Craig in this book.    

 I am looking for lists of what surnames were represented among the group that formed the Traveling Church and found other links that I don't want to loose.

I actually bought a copy of Mr. Ranck's book via amazon just now so it should be in my library.  However, it is available on-line at the URL above.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jack's yDNA: Clark?

This past week, I had a bit of time to look at some DNA information.  Much to my surprise, I had missed the fact that Jack had a new 111 marker match!  This participant's surname is Clark.  And more exciting is the fact that his paper trail seems to connect him back to a Clark male in the 1700s.  So often these kinds of exciting new information end up connecting to an orphan or someone with no paper trail at all.  So I requested that Fay who is the administrator of the Clark yDNA project for FTDNA join Jack to the Clark project.  And the good luck of the New Year let me ask just as a new match to Jack had results that were just released.  And, oh WOW!, we are now a legitimate group in the Clark DNA project.

We are haplogroup R1b- Lineage 01 Water Oak.    The Water Oak title seems to be an arbitrary title assigned by the administrator.   So this morning I took a look at Jack's 11 closest matches at 67 markers and of those 5 carry surname Clark.  I plan to contact each of them and ask them to join the Clark project if they are not already members.  And begin to chat about their ancestry.  This may be a false lead, but it also might  a real step forward.  Only time and chipping away will tell!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Grandma Lou

My mother-in-law has always told warm and fond stories about Grandma Lou.  Grandma Lou was Louise Frances Woodson Harris who married Samuel Sterling Harris in 1882 at Allen's Creek in Nelson County, Virginia.  In 1971, I interviewed Grandma Lou's son, Hewitt Samuel Harris, at his home in Huntington, WV.  Here is what my husband's grandfather said about his mother:

  Pop Harris (Hewitt Samuel Harris) said that Louise raised 4 step-children, 9 of her own, and 4 grandchildren and had all of the family for Sunday dinner every Sunday.  He said that she was great. 
Samuel Sterling was in bed for five years at the end of his life and she waited on him.

   Louise Frances’s great aunts died and she went to stay with the Harris family and help when the first wife died and after that Samuel Sterling married her. Samuel Sterling's first wife was Eliza Jenning. She died 7 Nov 1881 and is called Eliza in the census of 1880.

 I found Samuel Sterling's death certificate and it has the word senility on it, so my guess is that Grandma Lou had her hands full before he died.

The family story was that Louise had lived with two maiden aunts after the death of her parents.  The two maiden aunts were so mean to her and made her get them dressed every Sunday for church that she never set foot in a Baptist Church the rest of her life.  She became a methodist.

I asked Fran about which Baptist Church the Routon women were likely to have attended and her answer was:

"Chestnut Grove Baptist, built in 1823.  I was there on Christmas Eve.  It is the church the Routon's belonged too."


4639 Francisco Road
Appomattox,  VA  24522

More than 10 years ago, I came into possession of Bible pages that had belonged to Samuel W. Harris and his wife Nancy Apperson.  I wrote a blog post about these pages that you can read at:

Buckingham County is a burned county, so the Bible pages are very important in establishing relationships between some of these Buckingham County families.  At the time Gregg Bonner was putting the pages and their explanation on the internet, Fran and I became buddies.  The pages established a link between her Harris family and the Harris family that I look at (my mother-in-law's).  Fran and I have chatted for many years.  I want to put down some of the thoughts that she has shared with me.  

Fran has told me that: 

Louise's father, James died of typhoid fever in 1862, the year she was born.  Her Mother Martha died in 1869.  

1870 census shows children in homes of the following Uncles:
Uncle James H. Routon caring for Richard and Louisa Woodson
Uncle George D. Woodson caring for George E. & Lucy Virginia Woodson in Appomattox Co.
Uncle Peter H. Routon caring for Samuel Woodson in Bedford Co

In the 1870 census Frances Louise is living in household of James Routon who is 50 years old.  Also in the household are Lucy Routon who is 76 (likely to be mother of James),  Eliza Routon who is 40, Finnetta G. Routon who is 30 and female, Richard Woodson who is 10 and Louisa who is 8.  This would have been right after Louisa’s mother died.  This is located in Francisco in Buckingham County, Virginia.  

Because of this census entry, Fran and I began to guess that the women Louisa had considered to be so mean were her  two old maid aunts, Eliza Routon and Finnet Routon.  Eliza was 40 in 1870 and Finnet was 30.

From Fran:  Marsha - I found a note where you and I corresponded and there was a note that Louise Frances went to live with the Harris family after the death of the aunts but that could not be true because she is not on the 1880 census for Samuel Sterling.  Her grandmother Lucy died in 1883, Eliza in 1895, and Finetta in 1928.  Louise married Samuel in 1882....  Thanks, Fran

 So I will change the story just a bit to say that Louise took advantage of the chance to get out of the household in which she was living sometime after 1880 to work in the home of Samuel Sterling Harris to care for his orphan children.  Soon after she and Samuel Sterling married.

I am rereading an older post while I work on this....take a look to see if I leave anything out:

Ok the big reason that I started a new post is that Fran sent me a map to show me where the Routon home was when Louise lived there.  It turns out that it is directly across the street from where Fran now owns property in Buckingham.  You can see on the map the xx is where Fran's property is located and the other side of the road is where the Routon home was located (only one x).  The dotted line is the path of Lee's retreat at the end of the Civil War.  April 9, 1865 would have been the date of the surrender.  So Louise (born 1862) would not have have been living in the house when the army made it's retreat.  Unless her mother moved back in with her own mother after her husband's death....But this would have been where she was living after her mother's death in 1869.  There is some family folklore that Louise was in the kitchen when the Yankees came through.  I might follow up on this story to see if the Yankees used the same road that Lee's army used in retreat.

Fran was kind enough to also send me a photo of the site on which the Routon home would have sat as it faced the road during the retreat of Lee's troops.  The site is shown on the previous map.

Alsace Lorraine ancestors and x match to mom

I am cleaning out my downloads today and found a chart that I had done for my mother.  It is about x-matches to her family finder autosomal DNA test on FTDNA.  Once I file this chart, I may never think of it again.  So I wanted to do a blog post to remember what I was thinking when I did this chart.

Mom would have received one x chromosome from both her father and her mother.  So some of her x-matches will come from her father's mother side of the family which are mostly families living in Eastern Kentucky or what would have then been southeastern Virginia (now WV).in the early 1800s.  But the ancestors that I am focusing on today are those who lived in the Alsace Lorraine are (sometimes in Germany and sometimes in France) until the late 1800s.   Through wonderful researchers who are on the Alsace Lorraine mail list, I have expanded what I know about these families in the last few years.

As a reminder, a male only receives an x from his mother.  He receives a y from his father and that is what makes him male.  So the blank boxes in the chart are ancestors who could not have given my mother an x.


the area directly from Alsace Lorraine. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Harris family in Buckingham/Nelson/Amherst

It seems that every year I look at the Harris family one more time about this time of year.  I have to almost start from scratch as I seem to forget everything that I used to know .....but I do enjoy the search.  This year Fran shared a document that I find of great interest.  The document is from

Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters

This is a wonderful resource for information about the Revolutionary war.  Here is the document that she shared:

 Pension Application of William Harris S6956Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris. Revised 8 Sep 2011.At a Court of Monthly Session held for Nelson County at the Courthouse on the 22nd  day ofOctober 1832.State of Virginia }County of Nelson } SS.On this 22nd day of October in the year 1832 personally appeared in open Court before theJustices of the Court of Nelson County now sitting William Harris a resident of the County of Nelson inthe State of Virginia, aged eighty four years who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oathmake the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as hereinstated. He entered the service some time in the month of September in the year as well as he recollects1776 and served four months as a volunteer under the command of Coln’l Joseph Cabell, CaptainNicholas Cabell [pension application R1577] and Lieutenant Nathan Crawford he was first marched toRichmond and from thence to Williamsburg where he was discharged. he was not in any battle duringthat tour. That he was drafted some time in the month of April 1777 and served a tour of three monthsunder the command of a Colon’l Lindsey [sic: Reuben Lindsay], Captain Christian [possibly JohnChristian] and Lieutenant James Higginbotham, was stationed at the Mobbin Hills [sic: Malvern Hill 15mi SE of Richmond] where he was discharged, was in no battle during that tour. He was again draftedsome time in the year 1780 and served a tour of three months under the command of a Coln’l Richerson[sic: Holt Richardson], Captain James Pamplin, Lieutenant Joseph Staples and Ensign Thomas Smith hewas stationed near the same Morbin Hills and was there discharged. he was drafted a third time andserved a fourth tour of three months under the command of Capt. John Loving and Lieutenant AbrahamSeay in the year 1781 and was discharged at Yorktown shortly after the seige. he was present at the siege,but the Corpse to which he was attached was not actually engaged. he received regular and honorabledischarges at the end of each tower, but has lost them. he resided during the time aforesaid in the thenCounty of Amherst, now Nelson, where he has ever since and still resides. he marched direct from thesaid County to Richmond during each tour and from thence to the place where he was discharged. herecollects the number of only one regiment to which he was attached and that was the second Regimentof Virginia Militia. He has no particular acquaintance with any of the Officers of the regular army, butfrequently saw Generals Washington, Lafayette, [Anthony] Wayne and [Daniel] Morgan. he saw LordCornwallis surrender his sword after the surrender of Yorktown [sic: see endnote]. That he has nodocumentary evidence and knows of no person who can testify to the whole service herein stated, butthat a certain Joseph Matthews [S7179] can testify to his services of one tour.He hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his namein not on the pension roll of the agency of any State. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaidWilliam HarrisThe following Interrogatories were propounded by the Court to the said William Harris the applicant towhich the answers thereto annexed were given.1 Where and in what year were you born?Answer. I was born in the County of Goochland in Virginia on the 13th day of July 1748.2 Have you any record of your age, and if so, where is it?Answer. I have an old Bible which is at home3 Where were you living when called into service, where have you lived since the revolutionarywar, and where do you now live?Answer. I lived in the County of Amherst which is now the County of Nelson and have lived there eversince.4 How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you asubstitute; and if a substitute, for whom?Answer. The first tour I volunteered. the three last I was drafted.5 State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where you served;such Continental and militia regiments as you can recollect and the general circumstances ofyour service?Answer. General Washington, General Lafayette, General Morgan and General Wayne were incommand of the troops where I served. I have no recollection of the number of any regimentexcept the 2nd Regiment of Virginia Militia. There are no particular circumstances that Irecollect attending my service except my being within hearing of the firing when GeneralWayne made an unsuccessful attack upon the British army near James River, with greatdisparity of force.6 Did you ever receive a discharge from the service; and if so by whom was it given and what hasbecome of it?Answer. I received a discharge at the end of each tour, first from Captain Nicholas Cabell 2d fromCaptain Christian. 3d from Captain James Pamplin & 4th from Captain John Loving all ofwhich I have lost.7 State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighbourhood, and whocan testify as to your character for veracity, and their belief of your services as a soldier.Answer. William Allen & Joseph Matthews and many others.State of Virginia & }County of Nelson } towit:On this the fourth day of October one thousand eight hundred & thirty two Nathan Crawfordpersonally appeared before me James Woods Jr a Justice of the Peace for the aforesaid County and afterbeing first duly sworn sayes that himself and William Harris marched together from the County ofAmherst in the State of Virginia in the time of the revolutionary war and went below Richmond to theTown of Williamsburg where they served a short tower of duty as volunteers two companies of Militiahaving been regularly ordered out from the said County of Amherst the place which companies we filledand farther this affiant saith not. Sworn and subscribed to the day and year above affixed.Nathan CrawfordNOTE: Cornwallis, being indisposed, was not present at the surrender at Yorktown on 19 Oct 1781. Hedelegated the task to his second-in-command, Gen. Charles O’Hara

Fran suggested that this William Harris might have been our William who married Lurita Harris and was the father of Fran's William C. Harris and my children's Samuel W. Harris.  And my gut feeling is that she is right.  Why?  

First of all Fran had told me before that:

    * Information that I have on the parents of William C. Harris came from an interview with Monroe Anderson Harris when he visited his grandson in Missouri in the summer of 1898.   He gave the following information:

----- said the early Harris home was on a high bluff overlooking James River called Stony Point

Does the James River run through Nelson County?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 474 square miles (1,230 km2), of which 471 square miles (1,220 km2) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) (0.7%) is water.[9] The Blue Ridge Mountains form the northwest boundary of the county; the James River forms the boundary to the southeast. Internally, Nelson consists of the RockfishTye and Piney rivers, along with many known creeks.  

So yes that entire boundary between Nelson county and Buckingham County is the James River.  

Have we looked for William Harris and wife Lurita Harris in Amherst County?  Nelson County wasn't carved out of Amherst County until about 1809 (doing that from memory now)

And in my blog post  

I explain that Samuel Sterling Harris married his second wife Louisa Frances Woodson at Allen's Creek in 1882 and where Allen's Creek would have been located.  Of course, Allen's Creek could have been where the Woodson family lived.  But also it could have been located close to where the old Harris home was located.

And it does look as if there are a few hills around this area overlooking the James.  What do you think? 

After I wrote this blog post yesterday, Fran told me that she had information that her William C. Harris, Jr.  was buried on Sycamore Island.  I had trouble finding the location of Sycamore Island.  However, finally I googled Sycamore Island in Nelson County and found the following: 


It turns out that Sycamore Island and Allen's Creek are not at all close to one another.  If you look at the above map Sycamore Creek is where the red marker is pointing.  Allen's Creek is not on the map.  It is located west of Gladstone which can just be barely seen in the left, bottom corner.

So that theory is proven to be only wistful......

Monday, October 23, 2017

Signature of Uncle Benjamin

I took a photo of the document that Sandi Vaught and I found in Orange County, Virginia in September to share with Elaine.  It is a copy of the marriage bond that Uncle Benjamin signed when he was about to marry Mary/Polly Bickers.  I decided to put the copy on this blog just to make it easy to find.  

Benjamin is very special to my research as he seems to have acted as a father to my 3-gr-grandfather in their lifetimes.  Benjamin's will leaves much of what he has to his NEPHEW Thomas R. Hawkins.  Benjamin and Mary/Polly Bickers Hawkins did not have children of their own.  When Polly's father Nicholas Bickers died he left her only $1.  Not because he didn't love her.  But because she had no children of her own and she was rich while his other children were poor.  I love Nicholas for having left that will!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cabell County Morrison and Hensley family

I wrote on this map while reading Carey Eldridge's annotated Census of Cabell County for 1850.  Patrick Henry Sr., John Hensley, Samuel Hensley, and James Morrison who married Frances Thacker as well as Ralph Smith who married Viola Morrison were all living in this same area.  This area of land is just south of Barboursville and quite close to Martha.  However, it the farms go south towards Salt Rock from Martha.  By 1850 the land on which Solomon Hensley lived fell into Wayne County (formed from Cabell in 1842.  Bird Hensley's land was just a bit farther south from this area shown on this map after he moved back from Illinois with his family just before the census of 1850.

Dennis Hensley who descends from Samuel Hensley (Oldest male in Solomon's home in the census of 1850) told me that ....hmmmm can not find that information this morning.  I'll try to give Dennis a call to find out what he told me.