Monday, September 18, 2017

H2 Morrison family

This is actually the second part to the post that I wrote last night that is just below this post on the blog (scroll down and read that post first). I am trying to get in my head where each of the families lived during the Revolution or just before or after that time period.  In the below blog post I established where Patrick Morrison and William Witcher were living thanks to information from Ed Griffith and Travis Morrison.

Ed and I looked at the following book yesterday:

Property Lines from the Old Survey Books Pittsylvania County, Virginia 1746 to 1840.  (I looked this morning and this book is available from the Va-NC Piedmont Genealogical Society website):

We believe that the plat shown on page 12 I of that book is land that is said to belong to William Witcher and is the land William Witcher mentions in his will when he leaves it to his daughter, Rachel and mentions Rachel's husband by name as William Morrison and says that "it is the land on which they now live".  Why do we believe this to be the land?   Several other deeds mention that Harmon Kook/Cook's land is bounded by Morrison.  And on this plat, Harmon Kook is next door neighbor.   Ed and I believe that there is another deed as well in which Morrison is named as neighbor.  But if I look for those deeds tonight, I won't finish this post.

Ed found a land grant (on Library of Virginia website) from the Commonwealth of Virginia dated 1782 in which William Witcher is being granted land that is 115 acres and is on the Pigg River and Harping Creek.  This plat of land is 115 acres.  The land is described in the land grant as adjoining William Witcher's own land.  My best guess of where this land is located is shown on the map below Somewhere on the map bounded in part by Harpen Creek and also bounded by the Pigg River.  I'll reread Ed's land grant document to see if I can be more specific:


I believe that Harping Creek is most likely Harpen Creek on this map.  The other marker that makes me think this is the right place is that Sandy Level is found on the map in the right spot to be Sandy Level on this map....slightly northwest from the land that was granted to William Witcher and that William and Rachel Witcher Morrison were living on at William Witcher's death.

Ok, now that we have this land's general proximity, let me show you a map that compares where each of the three families were living:

The red marker isn't perfect for the land on which William and Rachel Witcher Morrison were living on.  But it is close enough to get the idea.  Rachel's parents lived at about the place where the rectangle with 635 on it is located.  If William was the son of Patrick Morrison his parents were living or had recently moved (need to look that up) about the spot where the 794 rectangle is located.  I definitely call this pretty close proximity.  I think that this is evidence that stacks up to swing the scales toward the opinion that William Morrison who married Rachel Witcher is the same man as William Morrison who is the son of Patrick Morrison.  I have a bit of mulling and pondering to do still, but this is a very good first step!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

H2 Morrison

This weekend was a homecoming event with a small part of our H2 DNA group.  We met at Smith Mountain Lake to do research on this family's Morrison group who lived in Pittsylvania County, Virginia during the Revolutionary War.  Luan explained to me that the family only lived in this area for about 10 years before, during and after the Revolution.  I think that the consensus of opinion this weekend was that they were in Amherst County before moving to Pittsylvania.  Then many of the family members had moved out of the area by the late 1700s and early 1800s on to what is now TN and WV.

There is some evidence pointing to the possibility that my 4-gr-grandmother,  Elizabeth Hensley connected to this family line.  The old researchers in Cabell County said that Elizabeth had maiden name Morrison.  And definitely she and her husband, Solomon, were in Pittsylvania County when their first son was born c.1810.

It was a great weekend with lots of research done by everyone in the group!  But more importantly it gave us a lot of time to talk and share ideas of theories of how our group fits together.  We know through DNA that our Morrison lines are matches who have a common ancestor somewhere in time.  My own DNA participant who carries the surname Morrison and matches the H2 lines is a man who now lives in Cabell County, WV where I live now.

Luan shared a theory with me that make the two of us connect through William Morrison who married Rachel Witcher.  With her theory, Luan descends from William and his first wife who remains unknown at this time.  This William Morrison is Ed Griffith's ancestor ( this William Morrison is the ancestor of the Morrison family lines in Cabell County, WV).  According to Luan's theory, he  possibly also has descendants in Tennessee as well.

So on this last day of the homecoming, Luan and I sat out to find the grave of William Witcher, the father of Rachel Witcher and the father-in-law of William Morrison.  Unfortunately I wasn't smart enough to have asked Ed Griffith how to locate this grave ahead of time.  Nor was I smart enough to have Ed's phone number handy.  All we knew for sure were the coordinates and the fact that the findagrave information wasn't right.  So I put the coordinates into Google maps and found a general location.  And we headed out.  After a few wrong turns, we ended up beginning to ask people standing in their driveways.  Finally one man became very excited and told us that we were on William Witcher's land, but that he didn't have a clue about his grave.  We decided that it was enough to be standing on his land.  The location was beautiful!  This area is wonderful!

To get back to the area, one follows route 40 (Gretna Road) west from mid Pittsylvania County until 635 turns to the left.  I certainly took Luan a much harder way to get to the area using my map.  It is only a short distance (perhaps a mile but less than two miles) from the intersection of 40 and 635 shown on the map below.

Luan and I were on the road labelled 635 on the above map when we talked to the man who said that the land that we were on had been Witcher land.  I would guess that we were pretty close to the box with the 635 in it.  The land was lovely.  

Travis drove us on Friday to the area on which Patrick Morrison lived. This land is on the south side of 40 on the map below (40 and Gretna Road are two names for the same road....this happens a lot in Pittsylvania County).   When we followed Travis, we were driving west on 40 (W. Gretna Rd.).  We crossed Fryingpan Creek and then turned into the land on the left side of the road.  Travis had a man locate Patrick's land on a modern day map and it was bordered by Fryingpan Creek and Highway 40.  So it sits right in that corner on the south side of 40 and the west side of Fryingpan Creek.

The below map is to show the proximity of the land of Patrick Morrison with the land of William Witcher.  

So if I have this correct, the lands of Patrick Morrison and William Witcher would have been about where the 635 is on the map below for William Witcher and just west of where the 794 is on the south side of 40 for Patrick Morrison.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

One more story about spending time with my mother-in-law

I explained in a previous post that my mother-in-law has a bit of dementia.  However I spent last Saturday and Sunday afternoons with her and she was very well.  I had lots of fun hearing some of her stories.  I started pulling up photos and asking her to identify the people in the photo.  One of the photos that I pulled up is above.   I have since had another genealogy buddy, Josie Bishop,  identify the ladies in the photo.  

I asked my mother-in-law who they were.  She wasn't sure....not surprising since it turned out that they were Moses women (her husband was a Moses and she may have only met some of these women once or twice if at all). And definitely she would never have met them when they were this young as it is possible that her husband had not even been born at the time of the photo.   After a minute she said: "well the one on the right is Sarah!"  I looked and then looked again and then said:  "You are right!  That is Sarah!"  It turns out that the lady on the far right is Lida Fitzgerald Moses (the wife of A.L. Moses) who was my husband's grandmother.  I never knew her as an young woman.  But I am telling you that my middle daughter, Sarah, is her spittin' image!  And the small child in the front of the photo is a dead ringer for my niece, Meredith!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tunnel between Twin Branch and Davey in the coal fields of WV

I had been chatting with Patty Ament about her mother's memory of having walked through the tunnel from Twin Branch to school.  It struck a chord with me because I remember hearing my mother-in-law's story about the same thing.  Yesterday my mother-in-law had a very good day and we spent the afternoon talking about her years in the coal fields.  I asked her about the tunnel.  She said that there was a tunnel between Twin Branch and Davey.  It was a long way to go around the mountain to get from one town to the other.  The tunnel made the walk MUCH shorter!  So she would put her ear down to the train tracks to listen for a train, and if she didn't hear one, she would walk through the tunnel.  Here is what I wrote yesterday after chatting with Sue about the tunnel:
So I asked her about the tunnel today while I sat with her.  She was very lucid, so I believe that her memory on this is OK.  She said that there were two tunnels.  One was between Twin Branch and Davey.  The other was between Twin Branch and Maryville.  She used the tunnel between Twin Branch and Davey quite often.  She said that when she was growing up, the mine that was owned by Fordson Coal Company was called the Twin Branch Mine.  It was good work….plenty of work and the miners prospered.  They would go to Davey to spend their money and there was a row of stores in Davey including several women’s ready wear stores.  So Davey was the “big town” while Twin Branch was more of a place where people lived and worked.  She thought that perhaps Davey had 5000 people….we can probably look that up.  Sue’s family lived in Twin Branch.  Her grandmother whom she loved very much lived in Davey right along the railroad tracks.  Sue said that there was a road along the tracks and then houses all along the road across the road from the tracks.
Sue used the tunnel to visit her grandmother.  She also said that she used the tunnel on the way home from her afterschool job.  She was a babysitter and cook at a very early age for a man who was an electrician in the mine.  She would go home with his kids and watch them until he got home from work and have dinner on the table when he arrived.  
Sue said that sometime in her teenage years the union went on strike at the Twin Branch Mine.  The owners just shut the mine down permanently and the work was gone as well as the money.  I will try to blog this this week…..if you have anything to add, I am happy to add your remembrances.  I will look for a map and photos to add to the post.  marsha

Rucci Grocery store in Welch WV

My mother-in-law has a bit of dementia.  I am sitting with her today.  Yesterday we spent the afternoon looking at old photos so that she could identify some of the people in the photos for me.  So when I walked in today, her brain was reminded of her life in the coal fields in the early to mid 1900s.  Her first comment after we made small talk and had some Colonel Sanders was:  "I don't know why I got this notion in my head.  But I was thinking that Mrs. Rucci is closing her store.  I always get a lot of what I need from this store. " After quizzing her a bit, I figured out that she was talking about Welch WV.  She said that her mother bought a lot from the store as well.  So, of course, I googled the Rucci store and she agreed that that was definitely the place!

I found the photo of Mr. Rucci in his store on-line.  Someone had posted it on Ancestry.  Sue said that the store was close to where she lived and was in a large building of some sort.  Sue said that she he liked most of all to sell authentic Italian food that he bought from special dealers.

Later in the day, Sue added that her mother went in one day for a piece of pie.  Apparently they also served food in the store.  She said that two of the waiters were arguing and one of the waiters through a pie right into the face of the other waiter.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Painted Caves in France

I am listening to a book called Before the Dawn tonight that is about DNA and the earliest beginnings of man.  I like the book.  I am listening to a chapter that mentions the painted caves in France and I wanted to make a note.  The earliest caves that have been discovered are:

The earliest known European figurative cave paintings are those of Chauvet Cave in France. These paintings date to earlier than 30,000 BCE (Upper Paleolithic) according to radiocarbon dating.

The cave has been sealed off to the public since 1994. Access is severely restricted owing to the experience with decorated caves such as Lascaux found in the 20th century, where the admission of visitors on a large scale led to the growth of mold on the walls that damaged the art in places. In 2000 the archaeologist and expert on cave paintings Dominique Baffier was appointed to oversee conservation and management of the cave. She was followed in 2014 by Marie Bardisa.
Caverne du Pont-d'Arc, a facsimile of Chauvet Cave on the model of the so-called "Faux Lascaux", was opened to the general public on 25 April 2015.[26] It is the largest cave replica ever built worldwide, ten times bigger than the Lascaux facsimile. The art is reproduced full-size in a condensed replica of the underground environment, in a circular building above ground, a few kilometres from the actual cave.[27] Visitors’ senses are stimulated by the same sensations of silence, darkness, temperature, humidity and acoustics, carefully reproduced.[28]

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Scotch-Irish and Clendenin

I found this map on-line one day and it has sat on my desk top.  I wanted to file it so that I could find it again.  But couldn't decide where that would here it is on my blog.

With the research that I have done on the Clendenin family, I find that

One of the versions of the Clendenin massacre begins with this information: Archibald Clendenin lived in this valley (Calf Pasture) before moving to the lower Cowpasture where he died in 1749.  Archibald Jr was the most conspicuous victim in the Greenbrier massacre of 1763.  Charles, another son, gave his name to the capital of WV.  Morton “Rockbridge Co. VA. p. 89”  (don’t know if this is true or not.  Needs some research “someday”.  
 Archibald, Jr. a son by the first wife, moved to Greenbrier and was murdered by Indians in 1763.  His wife was a Ewing.  Five of his six children were also killed, but the wife escaped to the Cowpasture.  George and Charles seem to have been other sons.  The latter gave his name to the capital of West Virginia.