Monday, April 21, 2008

Finding Joshua Mullins

Many years ago I found that my great grandfather was buried at Millstone. It surprised me because it was a Mullins, not a Bentley relative. In those early days I thought all the Bentleys were at Millstone and the Mullins were at Fleming-Neon.

Ten or twelve years ago I asked for some help in finding this cemetery. Uncle D. V. said he could find it. We set out and ended up at Steve Bentley's home, the old Elbert Bentley homeplace, where we got some more directions. We turned around and went back past Lucky Fulton's place and ended up at a cemetery where Meades, Bakers, my Great Aunts Nan and Rebecca Coette, and other family members were, but not Grandpa Joshua. We went back to Lucky's and he told Uncle D V a few more twists and turns to follow, and we went back. We parked at the cemetery we had just left. Lucky had said the one we wanted was up above that one.

Uncle D V stayed at the car and I started walking up. I was in weeds that were waist high. He kept calling to me to make sure I was all right. I was about to give up when I saw a kind of a break in the weeds going off to the left and hollered down that I was going to follow it and then quit. I went up that break and was about to turn and go back down when I saw a chain link fence top. I went toward it and found a large cemetery which was totally immaculate. I hollered down that I had found it and was going to take some pictures.

On the way back down I was picking my way down carefully afraid of snakes when suddenly something moved and I froze. About 200 butterflies surrounded me. I was so shocked I didn't even think to try to take a picture. They were beautiful. When I did move, they disappeared. I have never seen anything like that before.

I had put all my family tree things away for years. When I was living and working in St. Louis and Cleveland, I worked on it a touch, but most of the time my work was just boxed up and stored in a closet with me. When my sister, Kay, died and then my mom, I just couldn't stand to work on it. Last year around August my uncle Jerry started talking to me about some family history. A Bentley cousin in Greenup was trying to gather some information about John Vint and William Bentley. He sent me a picture of them and said it was the youngest ones they had of the twin brothers of Otho Bentley. I looked at it and said, no, I have one where I think they may be about 20 or 21. I had to start digging through the closets, but I had been good about keeping pictures on the main floor away from the dampness of a basement or heat of a second floor. I sent him the picture and from that I got back into working on the family tree.

Jerry and I talked about who might have other pictures or information that we hadn't tapped already like any of Poppy's brother or sisters' families or who he might know on my Mullins side. I planned a trip down, and Jerry and I worked for a week on the family tree. We visited all the cemeteries we could find and took pictures of the graves. We met Lucky ourselves because Aunt Ernestene had told me to talk to Lucky's wife, Gaynelle, to find out about my grandmother, Cora Wright Mullins. Gaynelle's mother had stayed with my grandmother for several years. Jerry thought about the postmaster at Millstone who might know some contacts. He took me to her home. She was Patty Craft McHone, the granddaughter of A. C. Craft and great grandchild of Chunk & Polly Craft. She was wonderful to meet. She let me borrow pictures to copy and a book her grandfather had put together on the family. She also showed me a story that had been written by her aunt Drusilla Craft. Things I found out from Patty are a story to themselves. We talked to Bengy Franklin who lives at the site of the old Craft homeplace. This is the trip where Uncle Joe gave me the pictures from Uncle Willie's mines. It was a wonderful trip.

With my new successes with the digital camera I thought I would like to take new pictures of the cemetery where Joshua Mullins was buried. I told Jerry that I thought the cemetery was out past Lucky Fulton's house. I had told him that I had taken pictures of Uncle Elbert's grave that day. He said he thought it was blocked off the road at Steve Bentley's home. We made a bet for dinner about which direction it was in. We started driving and found a small cemetery on the left. We pulled off and walked up. Next, we came to the cemetery where Aunt Nan was. There was a gravel road which went up the mountain, but not in the direction that I remembered walking.

We drove on back and went to Steve Bentley's place. There was Uncle Elbert all right, but it wasn't the cemetery I was talking about. I knew it was one near Aunt Nan's grave. We visited with Steve and I showed a few pictures of Uncle Elbert and Aunt Sabrina that he had not seen. I promised to make copies for him. He told us the gravel road we had seen went up to the cemetery and was in good shape.

Pardon me while I laugh. It hurts right now because I have a cold and am congested.
We went back and started up that hill. I could see that there was a full 90 degree turn coming that I did not think my van would take. I stopped. And we sank. Couldn't go forward. Just made ruts. Jerry pushed so hard the whole imprint of his body was on the back of my van. We decided that gravity would let us go backwards. Oh man. Me going backwards and thinking I was going to go over the hill on the other side almost put the van into the mountain on the driver's side. I finally decided that I wasn't going to get anywhere. Jerry got in and we backed it inch by inch down to the other cemetery.

I was so relieved when we got down. We decided that we would need a four wheel drive to go up. We did that the next day and barely made that turn which had scared me in the first place. Barely made it to the top, too. It was so steep. I do NOT remember it being that steep when I walked it nor do I see how I found the path I did.

We entered the cemetery through the same gate I had found with Uncle D V. The cemetery basically looked the same, a few more graves, but immaculate. Here is some of what I took.

I know that it looks like you are looking down, but this is the gate at the bottom of the cemetery where you enter.

See the very green tree at the top of the picture? That is the same tree at the bottom in the picture above.

Joshua Mullins was born in 1869. He first married Annie Houston. Their son, James Mullins, is my grandfather.

Annie died and Joshua married twice more. The second time he married Susan Wright, the sister of William Jesse Wright.

Jesse Wright was the father of Cora Wright, my grandmother, who married James Mullins.

When Susan died Joshua married Rosa B. Adams Fulton. I don't know where Annie or Susan are buried. Jesse died in 1946 and is buried here by Grandma Rosie.

Joshua was the son of James Mullins and Rebecca Hayes. James was 72 and Rebecca 19 when they married. Joshua was their fourth child. James died at the age of 88. They were married for sixteen years. Rebecca was a widow for eight years.

This is a picture of Joshua and Rosie. It is on Rosie's marker.

This is Rosie B. Adams Fulton Mullins grave.

She was the daughter of Jesse Adams and Margaret Jenkins. When Margaret died, Jesse married Rebecca Hayes Mullins.

You worry about marrying cousins when you live in Letcher county, and here Rosie and Joshua were step brother and sister. No blood kin, though, but the in-laws were married before they were.

Rosie first married Johnny Fulton. He was working in the mines. He started working over in Virginia, and got to spending a bit too much time there. He and Rosie divorced when he "had him a woman" over there. She took care of the farm herself until she remarried. Johnny lived down the road with his new wife. They were all neighbors.

They are neighbors here, too. This is Johnny Fulton's grave. He, too, was born in 1869 and died in 1946. He and his third wife, Verdie, are buried here.

This is the grave of S/Sgt Fernoy Profitt who was born in 1924 and died in World War II on November 22, 1944. He was my 4th cousin twice removed thru: his father Joseph Profitt to his father Jesse Edward Profitt, to his father John Profitt, to his father Jeremiah Profitt, to his father Sylvester Profitt who is my G-G-G-G-G Grandfather. He is also my 9th cousin once removed thru Sylvester's daughter Mary who married William Turner Hampton, to his son Joseph Hampton, to his daughter Nancy Hampton who married Enoch Mahlon Hall, to Joseph Leonard Hall, to Nancy Alice Hall who married Otho Bentley to Cora Bentley who married J. D. Mullins to me.

I haven't put in many of my Profitt relatives yet. It is one of the books still in storage boxes. I did a bit of searching and found that Fernoy enlisted in the army in Newport, Kentucky at Ft. Thomas on the ninth of March 1943. He was 19 years old. He had been an automobile serviceman. He stated he was a widower with no children. He went in as a private. He was a Staff Sergent at his death November 22, 1944.

This is a closeup of the picture that is on S/Sgt. Profitt's tombstone.

These are Fernoy's parents: Joseph & Rebecca Profitt. I didn't find Rebecca's family on a quick look so she may be related by blood some way, too. Joseph was a coal miner. His parents died when he was young and he lived with his older brother, John. He died at the age of 95 in Cleveland, Ohio.

This is Jessie Fulton, the son of Johnny Fulton and his Virginia wife, Laura.

This is a beautiful, serene cemetery unlike some others I have seen, but that is another story.

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