Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hazel Hall Hughes - Happy Birthday

Hazel Hall Hughes, September 2007

Hazel Hall was born on May 28, 1919. She is the daughter of Joe Hall and Martha Newsome, a half sister to Nancy Alice Hall Bentley.

I met Aunt Hazel last year when I visited Uncle John Vent and his daughters, Robin, Nancy Ellen and Lisa. After they called and arranged for me to meet her, Aunt Ernestene, Candy and I went over. Hazel is a delight. What she told me about her dad and her mom make up most of what I know about Joe Hall and Martha Newsome.

Today, on Hazel's birthday, I want to talk about her remembrances as a child. I took notes as fast as I could and tried to take down Hazel's words just as she said them. The following written in first person is what I took away from that first meeting.

Mary Bates had a store. She was getting older and needed help. Mom moved to a one room feed house. We lived there on Millstone. I walked to school. There were three schools at Millstone: Lower, Midde and Upper Millstone. I went to Middle Millstone. My teacher was A. C. Sergent. He also taught my son, Arthur. the school was just two rooms. One ahd up to third grade and the ohter went to the 8th grade. There were three schools: Millsone, Lower Millstone at the Forks and Upper Millstone. It used to be Craft, Kentucky.

Daddy was a postmaster. Daddy never wrote overalls. When he married Mommy he tried a pair on, but he didn't like them. He always had to wear dress pants. Daddy owned a department store. It was at the mouth of Thornton. He was a postmaster. The office moved to the mouth of Millstone. I walked to school at the middle of Millstone. At lunch I would go to the post office. At that time you had to stamp the letters going out and coming in. I would go to the post offic and there would be a pack of letters and I would stamp them.

My first gift my Dad gave to me and Lettie (her sister) was a paperback songbook. Oh how I wish I had that songbook today, but I was little and I didn't know how much I would want it later on. The second gift was got from Dad was a little gold compact with powder. The third gift we got was a child's umbrella.

At Christmas when I was five years old (1924) Dad gave me a little rocking chair. It was made by John Bentley. (Hazel still has this chair and Myrtle brought it out for us to see.) It got broken when we moved. Our things were on a wagon pulled by horses. The chair fell off and boke. The tops of the back to the chair and one of the runners broke off. It was repaired, but it was not the same. The seat was very unusual. It was made of bark. Dad paid Mr. Bentley five dollars to have it made. The back used to look like the arms do now.

She told us she had a picture of her son, Arnold, sitting in the chair. This is the picture.

There was a hat that I wanted that cost 49 cents. I wanted it so bad. I worked and worked for Uncle Jarvey Johnson hoeing to earn it. We had to go across the creek to get to Jarvey's field so we needed to cross it again to get back. Aunt Myrtle went across the creek going there, but she did not want to cross it on the way back. I carried her on my back. She was three years older than me. She was about the age of my sister, Josephine. They were the same age. My hat fell off into the creek. Mom whipped me for that. (We asked if she dropped Myrtle. She said no. We agreed we would have put her in the creek after losing that hat and Hazel just laughed.)

I had a cousin Marthy. She was older. We always got along unless she made Lettie cry. One day she did make her cry, and we got into it. There was a willow tree and mom made me go get a switch. I got a big one and she whipped Marthy. After she whipped Marthy she whipped me with the same switch. I was always so mad at Mommy for using the same switch.

Hazel married Elzie Hughes. They were married for 43 years. They were married at the home of Martha Smith. They moved from Millstone in 1953.

This is Elizie Hughes sitting on the bridge at Millstone.

Hazel lives in Cleveland with her son and his wife, William Arnold and Myrtle Johnson Hughes.

We lived next to Ish Everidge. Mommy asked if she could name my child. Mommy said the Everidges were so good. They had a son named Ben Arnold. She named my baby, William Arnold. Ben did not turn out well.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Martha Tackett

Martha Tacket was born April 27. 1897 to Wilson and Rhoda Hampton Tackett. I wrote a brief Tackett history of our direct connections in the Tackett line and Wilson's. In

Memorial Day: Viola Ivanell Wright

I remember going to Kentucky every weekend when I was very little. I don't remember when that became more of a summer vacation trip.
Another weekend that I always remember going to Kentucky was Memorial Day weekend. We always went to my grandparents, James aned Cora Wright Mullins graves. It was the only time I remember that that is why we drove down rather than visiting Granny and Poppy. Oh I know that we would have stayed at Granny's but I don't remember going to any Bentley graves or even any of the time we would have spent with them. Those weekend memories are strictly going to Ma and Pa's graves. I don't remember when we stopped that.

My memory was driving until we came to a big white house that was on the corner beside a single lane dirt road that went up a holler to the graveyard. We would turn in there and drive up a bit and the graveyard was on the left. It was open and beautiful, but there were a few homes here and there so it seemed open but not alone

I never knew either of my grandparents. Everyone a few years older than me at that time was "old" so it did not seem out of order for me that my grandparents had died. What always struck me on those trips was a little grave that was covered by what I always thought of as a little house. Inside was a grave of a little girl named Viola Ivanell Wright. She was born July 31, 1933. She died on January 21, 1940. This little grave protected by that gleaming white structure seemed to me to be someone who must have been very loved and greatly missed by her parents.

Viola Ivanell Wright 1933 -1940

Since she was a Wright I would ask who she was and if she were related to us. I was told she might be, but probably it was another set of Wrights. I would look at the other graves and the nearest to her were Ben and Laura Jane Webb. Down from her grave were more Wrights, Joel Martin and Jane R. Wright, but their birthdates seemed wrong for parents of this child. I always thought her parents must have been alive around this time because her little building was always pristine.

At some point we stopped making those trips for memorial day weekend and we would stay home and have a barbecue. Years later when I was visiting I was driving with my cousin, Kris. I can't remember where we were going, but suddenly I saw that white house on the corner which signaled Ma and Pa's graves. We turned in what was now a paved single lane road and went up the holler and found the graveyard. A trailer was sitting up above the graves. Another was beside it. A drive was on the left beside it with no tresspassing signs posted. The worst was the little white structure over Viola's grave was greatly in need of paint and the roof was leaking. Neighbors to the graves had their chickens roosting on her grave under the leaking roof. I looked to see if there were new graves that might have been her parents, but I found none.

I didn't go back for several years. When I did someone had erected a chain link fence around the graves and put a metal roof on the little structure. I was glad that it was not taken down as it could have been from the disrepair I saw that last visit. The graves seemed tended, but looked out of place among so many trailers and houses. It didn't look anything like it did on those visits as a child.

Last November I went to visit again and I passed the graveyard before I realized where it was. There were so many buildings and trailers around that I totally missed it til I was by it. I turned in a driveway and came back. There isn't any legal place to park. If you park on the road, you block someone from coming or going. The land in front of the graves has a deep gully so you couldn't park there. I remembered that there was a gate to the graveyard at the top of the hill so I went thru the no tresspassing sign and parked at the top. Once I was inside I could see another gate at the bottom of the hill near the road, but it wasn't something I wanted to walk thru from the road because it was overgrown and such.

The graveyard was so different this time. The area above Jesse Wright's grave which had always been so empty was now full of graves, mostly Andersons. I didn't know any of them. I felt like they were interlopers.

I have seen this graveyard referred to as the Broas Wright cemetery, but I didn't know where that came from. I figured I would at least try to find Viola's family. I hated the thought that she was buried there alone.

I did a search and found a death certificate for her. She died of congenital heart disease when she was six years old. Her parents were listed as R. Broas Wright and Minnie Webb.

I started searching for an R. Broas Wright and found one in the WWI draft registration. He was listed as full name Richard Broas Wright. He was single at age 30. He was described as medium build, medium height with blue eyes and dark hair. I saved his record, but decided that he was probably not the one I was looking for since he was single. I did, however, decide to pursue Richard Broas as a name. I found a 1910 census where it said his parents were John and Jane Wright. I started to pass it by since I had no couple like that in my work, but I did have Joel and Jane, so I decided to look at the original record. It was Joel and Jane and Richard B. was listed as one of their children. I looked at the next census in 1920 and he was still single and living with his parents at age 33. Again, I thought there must be another one and I figured I would at least rule him out by checking the 1930 census. Instead I found Broas and Mennie Wright. He was 45, the right age, and it said he first married at age 34. His wife was 29. They were living next door to Ben M. and Laura Jane Webb.

I started going through earlier census records for Ben and Laura and found that they did have a daughter, Minnie. So all this was the right family.

Little Viola is in the grave with her maternal grandparents, Ben & Laura Spangler Webb to her side and her paternal grandparents, Joel Martin and Jane R. Venters Wright at her feet. Above her is her first cousin once removed, Cora Wright Mullins and her great uncle, William Jesse Wright.

Richard Broas and Minnie Webb had five other children before Viola: Paul W., Laura J., Mable D., Raymond S. , and Daniel V. They may have had more after Viola. Mable was born January 12, 1924, but she was not listed in the 1930 census, so she must have died before that time -- maybe at birth since she is not buried near her sister, Viola.

I kept searching and found that Paul was a corporal in the army who earned the Good Conduct medal and three battle stars. He attended Fleming High School and was listed as a Baptist. I found a birth certificate for the same date as Paul's with Minnie Webb listed as the mother, but the name on the certificate was Bennie Wright. I am thinking this was for Ben Webb, his grandfather, but was not the final name they settled on for the child. Paul died in June of 1973 in
Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia.
Paul W. Wright

Searching for the other sons, I found Raymond and Daniel both died in Jackson County, Ohio.
Raymond had gone to school through the 10th grade. He had served in the Army Air Corps. He was a millwright. He died on June 10, 1998. Daniel V. attended school through the 8th grade. He was a farmer. He died at home in Wellston, Jackson County, Ohio.

Now I switched my search for Broas and Minnie to Ohio death certificates. Richard Broas Wright died at his home in Wellston, Jackson County, Ohio on January 30, 1963. Minnie ended up in a long term care facility in Gallia County, Ohio where she died on March 18th, 1977.

I am not sure why these Wrights moved to Jackson County, but other family may have drawn them there. There was another Minnie Wright in the area a few years older than this Minnie Webb Wright. She never married and died at age 75. There may be other family connections which I will find later in my work.

But now I know although Viola's parents and two brothers are buried in Ohio and one brother in Georgia, she sleeps with both sets of grandparents near her.

Viola was my second cousin once removed. She is also a grandchild of the Webbs, Crafts, and Adams family making her related to me through Granny, also.

5/26 7 pm update: Aunt Vera and Uncle Glenn came over. I told her about this article and she said the house that I used as a marker at the main road was where Broas (pronounced Brose) Wright and his wife Minnie lived. She didn't remember what all land he owned, but he had at least that part where the big house was and the land where the cemetery was. So all along I was looking at Broas and Minnie's home as my guide.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Otho Bentley, Jr. 1937 - 1969

Otho Bentley, Jr. was born on May 25, 1937, the 17th of Otho Bentley and 11th of Nancy Alice Hall Bentley's children.

His earliest pictures that I have found are part of the blog "Boys Will Be Boys" on April 22. This is another early shot of Otho:

Jimmy, Can, Otho and Anna Sue Bentley.

Otho Bentley, Tyrone Bentley, Junior Tomar, Billy R. Smith, Bobby Cook, Ray Murphy, Carl Swanger, Norwood Lemaster, Jim Ables, Jonny Wise, George Able, Lawrence Kool and Harold Browning after football practice 1954.

Taken about 1955: Row 1 Otho, Fred and Jerry Bentley Row 2 Jimmy, John Vent & Can.

Otho Bentley on the road in front of the house at Millstone.

Otho and his buddies on leave.

Alan, Otho and Jerry Bentley. Alan and Jerry are Aunt Anna Sue's twins.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

1965 Wedding Anniversary

Others are concurring with me that these pictures must have been at Granny and Poppy's 50th wedding anniversary party. Their anniversary was April 1, 1965. That was a Wednesday, so I am guessing the party was probably the following weekend, about April 4th or 5th. My guess is that these pictures were taken by Otho Holcomb's family.

Left front, woman with hands on her hips: Alma Henrickson Bentley. On the other side of the table, standing holding the baby is Ralph Green holding his daughter, Sherry. Beside Ralph on the left, is his wife, Joy. Directly in front of Joy is their son, Mark. Again, on the other side of the table at the end on the right is Poppy (Otho Bentley), next to him going left is Willie Bentley, then Edna Bentley. Next to Edna is Greg Meade.
On the left in pink is Billie McKinney. In the middle, Alma Henrickson Bentley. On the right in the dark dress is Lake Bentley Pass. Next to Lake on the right is Poppy. The lady standing on the other side of the table in green is Joy Meade Greene.

The lady with her back to us on the far left is Alma Bentley talking to Lake Bentley Pass. Beside them facing us is Billie McKinney.

These are old pictures taken with some of the first color film. They have faded a lot. This gathering looks more formal than other gatherings I remember taking place.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Kilgours

The oldest Kilgour I have researched is James Kilgour who was married to Isabelle Steele. He was born in Balbeggie, Fife, Scotland. They had at least two sons, James and William.

James used the spelling Kilgore. He was born in Donagheady, Down, Ireland. He married Margaret Low. They had at least one son, John Kilgore.

John Kilgore was also born in Donadheady, Ireland. He was married to Elpeth Howeson. They were married on July 9, 1713 in Fife, Scotland. John and Elpeth came to America. John died May 7, 1731 in Chester, Pennsylvania. They had at least two children: Robert & Jonathan.

Robert Kilgore was born in 1715 in Ireland. He married Margaret Spencer. He died in North Carolina. They had at least three children: Robert, Elizabeth and William.

Robert married Winifred "Milly Clayton. He fought in the Revolutionary War and was at the battle of King's Mountain. Robert died on December 31st, 1782 and died as a result of an Indian attack in Wise County, Virginia. Robert and Winny had at least five sons: Ralph, Robert "Robin", Hiram, Charles and William.

Ralph married Nancy Gray in Russell County, Virginia. They had at least three children: Ralph "Rafe", Sarah and John.

Rafe married Amelia "Milly" Wheatley. They had 10 children: Nancy Ann, Elizabeth, Sena, Nelson, Susannah, Esther Jane, Johnston, George, Mary "Polly", and Ira H.

Nancy Ann Kilgore married William "Billy" Addington. They had 14 children: Sarah, Mary, Amelia, Thomas, Margaret, Elizabeth, Josephine, Malinda, Harriet, Franklin, Millard, Eliza Jane, Laura and James.

Malinda Addington married John Martin Bentley. They were the parents of Otho Bentley.

Now remember back to John Kilgore who married Elpeth Howeson. They had at least two sons, my direct grandfather Robert and his brother, Jonathan Kilgore.

Jonathan married Elizabeth Jack. They had a son named Samuel Kilgore.

Samuel was born in Greenville, South Carolina. He married Elizabeth Scott. They moved to Mississippi. They had at least one son, James.

James moved from Mississippi to Hardin County, Texas. He married Elizabeth Sims. They had three daughters: Mary, Lydia and Francis.

Mary married William T Castle. They had two sons, George B. and Orville Frank.

George married a Georgia. They had 8 children: Rosa Lee, Carl, Qual Frank, James, Elizabeth, Sarah, Thomas and Charles.

Rosa Lee Castle married Lester Clarence Ryland. They moved from Texas to Arkansas. They had a daughter named, Betty Jo. They moved to Ohio.

Betty married Ivan R. Ely. They had a son named Eric.

Eric married Barbara Peters. They had a daughter named Erika Ely. She married Jason Douglas Mullins.

And that is how my son married his eighth cousin one time removed.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thomas Bentley Runaway Slave

I told you in the blog about Thomas and Hannah Bentley that there had been an ad placed in Ben Franklin's Philadelphia newspaper about a runaway named Thomas Bentley. I am not saying that this is our Thomas. However, I did find another such listing for a different plantation so there were multiple Thomas Bentley's who shall we say, "left their former employment without notice". I did find the original wording on the ad that appeared in Virginia and I thought that you might enjoy reading it.

"Surry County, VA - Extracts from Records; William and Mar y College Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 2", Transcribed by Kathy Merrill for the USGenWeb Archives Special Collections Project
Surry County, Virginia Militia in 1687:

Thomas Bentley, Jr. is listed, serving under Col Phillip Ludwell, Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776 For Horse Heading: Militia in Surry County in 1687

Thomas Bentley, Jr. is listed, serving under Col Phillip Lu dwell
The eldest son of Thomas and Hannah, Ludwell Lee, Philip Ludwell (1727-1775) was carefully prepared to be the heir to his father's rapidly growing empire.

Philip Ludwell (LEE) had recruited an English coachman, Thomas Bentley, to serve him for four years. Bentley evidently found the position disagreeable and absconded before his term expired. He was a valuable enough employee that his irritated master went to the expense of not only advertising for his capture, but also offering a reward.

The Virginia Gazette, Purdie and Dixon, 16 August 1770.
Posted by: W. BENTLEY
Date: July 29, 2001 at 09:10:12
Message #2123

AUGUST 16, 1770



From the Bentley forum on
Posted by: Fran (ID *****4434)
Date: July 26, 2002 at 21:05:56
Message #2888

I also am a descendant of Thomas and Hannah Bentley. But, what I have to say isn't about Bentleys.

The unfortunate Thomas Bentley may have run away because he was overdue for release. It seems Phillip Ludwell Lee made a practice of refusing to release indentured servants at the end of their term of service. My husband's ancestor Richard Mynatt signed a four year contract in 1749 in London (I have a copy of the contract) at the end of his contrac t in 1754 he had to go to court to get released from Phillip Ludwell Lee's service. Many of Lee's indentured servant s did not have the education to represent themselves in cou rt.

Stratford Hall (The Lee Estate) Website

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hot Dogs on the Mountain Update

I got more identification on Hot Dogs on the Mountain. If you are interested, click on it to read the article with updates.

Nickotie Vanover Wright 1871 - 1952

The Vanover Family came from Holland. The oldest member I have found is Cornelys Van Hovg em who was born in Flanders about 1645 and died in 1691 in Flatbush, Kings County, New York. He was married to Maria Winterslick.

Their son, Cornelius Vanover was born in 1670 in Holland and died in 1720 in Raritan, Somerset County, New Jersey. He was married to Styntje Christina Hendricksen who was born in Flatbush and died in New Jersey.

Their son Cornelius Vanover was born in 1716 in Somerset, New Jersey. He married Maria Buys in 1738. He died in 1770 in New Jersey. Maria died in New Jersey in 1761.

Their son Cornelius was born in Raritan, Somerset County, New Jersey. He married Abigail Mattox in 1779. They moved to Wilkes County, North Carolina. Both died there.

Their son Cornelius was also born in New Jersey. He married Abby Easterd. They both died in Ashe County, North Carolina.

Their son Daniel Vanover was born in Ashe County, North Carolina. He married Nancy Collins. They moved to Jenkins, Letcher County Kentucky. Daniel died there in 1870.

Their son John was born in North Carolina. He migrated to Pike county, Kentucky and died there in 1900.

Their son, Daniel Vanover was born in 1840 in Pike County. He married Maza A. Vanover. They were second cousins. Her parents were Henry Vanover and Rhoda Long. Henry's parents were Cornelius Vanover and Sarah Cooley Hill. Cornelius's parents were Cornelius Vanover and Abby Easterd. This was their common ancester.

Daniel and Maza had 12 children. Nickotie was their sixth child. She married Jesse Wright when he was 39 and she was 21. This was his fourth marriage.

In 1900 they had been married seven years. Jesse was 47. Nickotie was 30 and had had two children both living. McKinley was 3 and Newton 1. Cora, age 13 was her step-daughter from Jesse's marriage to Maggie Perdue. Nickotie's sister, Sarah who married Thomas Benton Wright was living with them. Hobart Wright, Sarah's 3 year old son and McKinley her 3 month old, were living there, too.

In 1910 at Ford's Branch in Pike County, Kentucky, Jesse was 58, married 18 years, running a general farm. Nettie, as Nickotie was called at times, was 35. She had had 3 more children. Only 3 of her five children were alive. Living with them were Wilburn, age 8, Bettie A. (Alice) 4 and Gertrude, 2. McKinley and Newton had both died. Also, living with Jesse and Nickotie is her father, now 70, Daniel S. Vanover. I think Maza may have died, but I have not found a death certificate or found her in the 1910 census. Daniel does say he is married, not a widower.

On August 8th, 1912 Daniel dies of "cholera morbus (acute)". I looked this up and it said:

  • What would now be diagnosed as gastroenteritis may have instead been diagnosed more specifically as typhoid fever or "cholera morbus" in the 19th and early 20th century. It would occur in summer and autumn marked by severe cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

His death certificate also said his age was a contributing factor. He died in Pigeon, Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky. The undertaker was Jessie Wright as was the informant. He was buried at the Jessie Wright Cemetery in Pigeon.

In 1920 Jesse is 67, Nickotie 48. In their home is Ballard, 18, Alice 14 and Gertrude 12. They are living in Upper Elkhorn City, Pike County, Kentucky on a farm they own.

In 1930 Jesse and Nickotie are living with their daughter, Alice, and her husband, Columbus Mullins. Columbus is 30, Alice 24. They have children, Cletis 6, Blake 4 and Jewel 18 months. Jessie is 78, Nettie 59 and their daughter, Gertrude, is 22.

Jesse Wright died on April 17, 1935 of pneumonia. Nickotie lived until December 17, 1952 and died in Dorton, Pike County, Kentucky of hypertension and a cerebral hemmorage.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Abigail M. Pardue

That name not familiar to you? How about Maggie Perdue? Maggie Perdue was my great grandmother. She was my brick wall in genealogy for over 40 years. I didn't know her birthdate, her parents -- zilch. She was married to my great grandfather, William Jesse Wright. She was his third wife. They had two daughters, Eliza and Cora. They lived in Letcher County, Kentucky. When Cora was very small her mother walked away to Virginia to her family and Cora never saw her again. The only tidbits I had were that years later Cora had seen her half-sisters, Maude and Myrl. I was told Maggie had married an Adams. She had another child, James, a barber, but he had died when his head was crushed by a train. Later, they told me the family was in West Virginia. Now I had two states to look in.

At our Mullins family reunion in 2007 I asked my aunt and all she said was her mother told her she could remember watching Maggie walk up the mountain and she never saw her again. She repeated the same information from above.

I got an email from a cousin who said, isn't it too bad that all we know is that Maggie lived in Logan, West Virginia. News to me. So I started googling. Now over the years I have googled, searched and gone through everything I could to find a trace of Maggie. I had placed ads in the Letcher County Historical Society book and the East Kentuckian magazine asking for information. At my great aunt Gertrude's funeral I was talking to a cousin who also did family tree. When I asked about Maggie, he turned from me and I literally never saw him again. It was so frustrating with people who knew her and probably what happened and they wouldn't talk.

Google found me a site that said West Virginia births, deaths and marriages were now being put online. It would show you the actual document. I had used this a year or more before with no luck. I tried Maggie Perdue, Purdue, Pardue, Wright, Adams and came up zilch. Then I put in for a death record of Adams M* (meaning anyone whose name starts with an M) and up pops a Maggie (why it didn't come up when I put in Maggie, I don't know). This Maggie is a widow who died at age 59 on October 20, 1929. Her parents are listed as W H Pardue and Sarah Hines. Hmmmmm I thiink. The information for the death certificate is provided by a Samuel Pardue.

Next I go searching for WH and Sarah and hit a listing on one of the genforums that finds a couple, W H T and Sarah Pardue, in Indiana with three children John, Abigail M and Cora. Hmmm, my grandmother's name was Cora, maybe this is the family and maybe there is another daughter. It says he is a physician and served in the Confederacy in North Carolina and was born in Pennsylvania. So I write the person and ask if they have found information since they posted in 2001.

Next, I think, well, if Maggie were a widow, then maybe I can find her husband John Q's death certificate. I query and Bingo! I get one, but it's for a 26 year old John Q who died June 3, 1929 in a car accident where his skull was crushed. And he is a barber. And his parents names are John Q Adams and Maggie Perdue. I find his marriage record, but can't find a birth record.

Then I find Maggies marriage record. It says she is a widow and so is John Q.

Then I think, aha, I can find the girls Maude and Mryl so I query births by Adams M* and the only birth in Logan county is for a Dosky Roe Adams. Her father is listed as John Q Adams and her mother is Abigail M. Adams. The attending physician is W H T Pardue. I am thrilled. I was right about my hunch on the Indiana family only instead of Maggie being a possible sister she is one of the three children.

I start looking for census records. I find John Q and Maggie in 1900 with Maude M and Margie M. It says she has had 4 births and all 4 are living (Eliza, Cora, Maude & Mryl)

Then I go for 1910 and put in John Adams again and now he is 6 years old so I have junior again. Maggie is listed as the wife of Isaiah Nelson with his daughter, Ethel, and his son, Donaldson and his stepchildren Maude, Murl, and John. This shows Maggie has had seven births and two children have died. (Eliza, Cora, Maude, Myrl, Dosky and John -- and one I have to look more for) I did find another birth but it had the mother as Maggie S. Adams and no fathers listed, so that one I just set aside.

I search and find a marriage record for Josiah Nelson, widower, and Maggie Adams, widow.

Then I check the 1920 census and find Maggie alone with 16 year old John. It lists her as a widow. For grins I try Isaiah Nelson and find Osiah Nelson is living with his son Donnelson. I also find Maude married to a Belcher who is a musician in an orchestra and Myrl married to Kenner Reader with 2 children.

I find marriages and some births for the Belchers and Readers. In 1930 of course, Maggie is gone but I find the Readers have a third child.

Then I start going backward and go to the 1860 census and put in W H Pardue for Pennsylvania, but what comes up is WH in North Carolina. Bingo... WH age 52 with wife AR, daughter M E and sons, WHT, RLD and JMJ. WHT is 20.

Next I search 1870 for William Pardue Indiana and hit William 29, wife Sarah 25, son Samuel 4 and Abigal 2.

I get curious about WHT's father and find he is still in North Carolina all by himself enumerated with a Gwynn family living as a farm laborer. I think his children are all on their own maybe leaving North Carolina like WHT did and that his wife, Abigail must have died. That is until I started searching down the other children and found that Abigail, the mother, is living with her son, Robert Pardue in Virginia. In 1880 both William and Abigail are living with Robert Pardue in South Carolina. William is a preacher.

Now most things I have seen list Maggie Pardue's mother, Sarah Hinds, as dying in 1873 or 1878, but I find William and Sarah in Millstone, Letcher County, Kentucky in 1880 with 5 more children. He is now 39 and she is 32 (you know how ages vary from one census to another) Samuel is 14, Abagale 12 and Corey A 9, Mary E. 4, Florinda 3, Elizabeth 1 and Sarah 3 months. I guess William could have married another Sarah, but I tend to think this is the same Sarah unless someone could show me a death certificate or something. But I think she dies not long after this census because WHT marries Hulda Plumber in 1881. He has several children with her (most are born in Virginia) and I have them all listed. I can't find a death certificate for Sarah Hinds in Indiana, Kentucky or Virginia.

The Wrights settled in Fish Pond which is about a mile from the Virginia line. I never knew where it was til I went to a Wright reunion some years back. I felt less sorry for Maggie when I knew she only had to walk a mile and be in Virginia. In the census for WHT he has Wrights for neighbors so I assume that is how Maggie and Jesse met.

Now I go back and search the 1900 census and I find WHT with Hulda. I search a LOT of other ways and things and find Hulda and WHT's children. I see that brother Sam went to West Virginia, too, and trace down his marriage record, children etc. I try to find if any other of the girls married in Kentucky but I strike out. I now feel like this Samuel is the one who provided the information for Maggie's death certificate.

I did all that in one night after hearing Logan. The records were just put online, so I was lucky.

I am not sure how I feel about Maggie now that I have found her. I don't know why she made the decision that she did or if it were hard for her to not look back at Cora when she walked away. She lost those girls and then later at least two other children then months before her death John Jr is killed in that horrible accident.

I don't know how I feel about WHT. I am wondering if he encouraged her to leave Jesse. The Pardues were in Kentucky, then Virginia and then went to West Virginia. Maggie put herself down as a widow and I doubt there was a real divorce. I wondered with her putting widow again in 1920 and the Nelson guy still alive if that was just her way to play things the way she wanted and even if John Q Adams had really died or was also somewhere else with another family. I never found a death certificate for John Q. Sr.

It was a rough time in the mountains when Maggie and Jesse were married. Jesse was a brother to Bad John Wright. He was the "law" there after the Civil War, but I think a lot of the law and deputies were just men who didn't want to put their guns down after the Civil War. There was feuding.

I called my aunt after I found all this. The story about meeting Maude and Mryl took a little different flavor this time. She said my grandmother, her mother, Cora, was the one who drove to Logan. I don't know how they kept in touch or knew anything, but it kind of made me sad that Cora had to be the one to reach out. My aunt caught my dad's hand in the door as they got out, but she couldn't remember how old he was. Since it was his hand, I called him and he said he was about 6 or 7. That would put it at 1931, 1932 after Maggie had died. Aunt Vera did say that "Aunt Mryl" came to visit her when she was a newlywed and living in West Virginia for a short time. She called her aunt and that was the second and last time that they saw any of the family.

Overall, I was glad to get the brick wall down, and I almost feel like I have finished my family tree. I know I will fill in things and I am just inputting it all into the computer so I have years of input to do, but no big gaps anymore.

Happy Birthday, Maggie.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mary Brummitt

Mary Brummett was the second wife of William Jesse Wright. She is the one I found in the 1880 census with Jesse and their 8 month old daughter, Susan.

Mary Emaline Brumitt was born on November 14, 1861. She was the daughter of Alexander and Catherine Sabrina Masters Brummitt. They were from Wise County, Virginia. The Gladeville, Wise County, Virginia Census in 1870 says Alexander was 36, a farmer born in Tennessee and living with his wife, Sebrina age 35 born in North Carolina. Their children are Charles A. 14, Calvin W. 12, William P. 9, Mary E. 8, Nathan 6 and John A. 1 month.

On the net you will see all over the place that Jesse and Mary were married on December 17 1885. I have not seen the original record. The only transcribed record I can see of this marriage lists the groom as William M. Wright and Mary Brummitt. Mary was a very common name in the Brummett family. I think this must be for another William and Mary. It doesn't make sense in the timing of Jesse's third marriage to Maggie Perdue and the two daughters, Eliza and Cora's births .

I do know that Jesse and Mary are listed in the 1880 census. He is 25. She is 17 and their daughther, Susan, is 8 months old. Also living with them is his Aunt Mary H. Wright, age 62 and Lucinda Wright, age 22, his cousin.

In 1900 Jesse is listed with his fourth wife, Nickatie Vanover. He married Maggie Perdue in 1882. That tells me he and Mary didn't stay together very long.

Susan Wright married a Houston and lived a long life. She was known as "mother Houston". In her obituary it lists her parents as William Jesse Wright and Mary Venters. I knew her mother's name was Brummett, but I figured she had to have married a Venters and those who put the obituary together had never know Mary under any other name. I found a death certificate first for a Mary Meade Venters. The information had been supplied by a Roy Venters. I started searching there.

I found a John Venters who was married to Mary Jane Mullins. John was the son of James Venters and Emeline/Evelyn Slone. James' sister, Jane R. Venters married Joel Martin Wright, William Jesse Wright's brother, the son of Joel Ellis & Eliza Bates Wright. Mary Jane Mullins was the daughter of William & Sarah Ann "Saryan" Bates Mullins. Saryan was the daughter of John Wallis Bates, my great great great grandfather, and his first wife, Levina Light.

John and Mary Jane Mullins Venters had seven children: William "Willie", George Martin, James E., John, Booker, Roy L and Orval C. When Mary Jane died, John married Mary Brummitt in 1898.

In the 1900 census John Venters and Mary Brummett are in Letcher County, Kentucky with John age 49 married 2 years to wife Mary age 37 who has had 5 children, 4 living. Living with them are John and Mary Mullins children: James E. 24, Martin 20, Booker 15, Roy 7, and Orval 3. The last child is John & Mary Brummett's daughter, Piny M., who was born in April of 1898. Mary Mullins may have died when Orval was born in 1896--certainly between 1896 and 1898.

John Venters died before the 1910 census.

Albert Mead was born April 9, 1845. He was the son of Thomas Kronis Mead and Mary "Polly" Hall. He first married Elizabeth Estep. They had nine children: Josephine, Rebecca, Mary, Thomas S., Albert, Artie, John M., Rachel H., and Catherine. Elizabeth died on the 17th of July in 1909.

On April 19, 1910 when the Census was taken, Albert Meade is listed as 65, in his second marriage of 0 years (meaning it has been less than one year since the marriage occurred) with wife, Mary E. age 47. It says she has had 5 children and 4 are living. It is her second marriage. (maybe she forgot about Grandpa Jesse). Living with them are a stepson Roy Venters who is 18 and also in the first year of his marriage, stepson Orville age 13 and step daughter Piney May age 12. Lula Quillen age 12 and Etta Quillen age 10 are granddaughters living with them. John Carlson is a farm laborer who is from Finland who came to America in 1906 and is working for them as a farm hand.

On March 8, 1913 Albert died from paralysis after a second stroke. He is listed as a widower on his death certificate. I don't if that means he and Mary had separated by that time or not. The informant was John L. Bentley of Dean who was also the undertaker. He just may have been wrong in the information he put down.

In 1920 in the census Mary Mead is listed as 59, a widow, and the head of her household. living wth her is Roy Meade son 28, Owl (Orville) Mead son 23, John Mead, grandson age 7 and Gernie C 1 year 10 months, Grandson. Gernie was the son of Piney May.

Mary is still a bit of a mystery to me. I cannot find her in the 1930 census as a Brumeet, Venters or Meade. I can't find Roy. I can't find Piney Mae. I did find a Gernie in West Virginia living with his mother, Elizabeth, a widow and other children with other last names. I don't know if this is the same Gernia or not. I did find his death certificate later in Letcher County listing Piney Mae as his mother. I am going through the census records line by line trying to find one or both of them.

At some pont Roy and Mary both take back the Venters name. Even on her death certificate she is listed as Mary Mead Venters even though Mead was her last husband (that I know about). Roy Venters was the one who supplied the information. I haven't found his death certificate yet.

It's possible that she married again and was under another name in 1930 which may be why I am having such a hard time finding her, but I remember talking to my mom about her. She said she was alone when she knew her. She said she lived near Ma and Pa. She sold vegetables from her home.

I will keep looking for her in 1930 and do an update if I find her.

Mary Emaline Brummett Wright Venters Meade died on June 5, 1946 in Neon of nephritis. The information supplied on the death certificate which is under the name Mary Meade Venters was supplied by Roy Venters.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Elizabeth Moore

William Jesse Wright is my great grandfather. He was the son of Joel Ellis & Elizabeth Agnes "Eliza" Bates Wright. Jesse was married four times. Elizabeth Moore was Jesse Wright's first wife.

Elizabeth Moore was born on the 15th of July in 1852 in Letcher county, Kentucky. She was the ninth of fourteen children. Her father was Isaac "Little Ike" Moore. Her mother was Mary "Polly" Clevinger.

Jesse, as he was called, and Elizabeth married on the 11th day of April in 1875 when Jesse was 21 and Elizabeth 22. I continually find that they had a daughter, Florence Belle Wright who was born about 1878. However, I cannot find Florence in the 1880 census. I do find her in 1900. She is a newlywed living with her husband at her in-laws. The husband is George W. Hall the son of Enoch Mahlon & Nancy Hampton Hall. Mahlon and Nancy are the parents of Joe Hall who married Lettie Craft. On Florence's death certificate her date of birth is blank, but her parents are listed as William Wright and Elizabeth Wright. I thought perhaps she was living with a relative since she is not with Jesse or Elizabeth. I just wish I could find her.

What I do find in 1880 is Jesse is listed with his second wife, Mary Brummett, and their new child, Susan Wright, age 8 months. Over in Isaac and Mary Clevenger Moore's household is listed their daughter, Elizabeth Wright, age 23, divorced with her six month old son, William J. Wright.

My grandmother is the daughter of William Jesse and his third wife, Maggie Perdue. Maggie literally walked away from the family and was never seen again by them. Jesse kept my grandmother, Cora, and her sister Eliza, also Maggie's daughter.

My first thought when I saw 6 month old William J. Wright with Elizabeth and Jesse with 8 month old Susan was I had found another family secret. But knowing the above about Jesse keeping his children, I thought maybe this was a case where Elizabeth had had a child with someone else. That's how I started searching for what happened to Florence and to Elizabeth. I have to wait 20 years to find out because the 1890 census was destroyed. How states didn't keep copies of reports they sent to Washington I will never understand.

Elizabeth married William Kelly about 1896. She was 39 and he was 23.

In the 1900 census William and Elizabeth are listed as having been married for four years. Elizabeth says she has had five children and 3 are alive. Listed with them are Willie Kelly, age 20 born in November of 1879, Virgie Kelly age 4 born in 1896, Charley Kelly born in December 1889 and Dicey Kelly age 45, mother of William Kelly. By this Willie (William J.), Virgie and Charley would be the three living children. I don't know who the other two were. I don't know if she might really have been the mother of Florence and counted her as dead since she might not have raised her or if she had two other children after she and Jesse divorced. William and Elizabeth Kelly were living in Pike County, Kentucky.

In 1910 I found the Kellys listed as William Kelly, head, married 12 years in his first marriage . Elizabeth is shown as being in her 2nd marriage and again, having had 5 children, 3 alive. Virgie is now 14 and Charley is 10. Willie is now listed as Willie Absure, age 27, and is shown as a step-son.

In the 1920 Census there is William Kelly age 48, Elizabeth 62, Willie 38 and Charley 20. So Willie is again listed with the Kelly name. Virgie is probably married and in her own household. I haven't traced her down yet.

In 1926 Charley Kelly married Jane Bryant.

On May 18, 1928 Elizabeth Moore Wright Kelly died of tuberculosis.

In 1930 Charley Kelly is listed as the head of household, a coal miner, who is 30. He married at age 26. His wife, Jane is 22. She was 18 when they married. Living with them is their son, Freeman age 4. Also in the household is William Kelly, Charley's father, age 44, a widower with no occupation and Willie Kelly, age 50, his brother. Alec Bryant, Jane's father, age 58, is retired and living with them, too.

I haven't found a death certificate for William as Absure, Wright or Kelly. I do not believe that he was Jesse Wright's son.

That is what I found about Elizabeth Moore.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

William Jesse Wright

I have never heard anything but kind things said about Jesse Wright. His daughter, Gertrude, said that he was soft spoken and very kind to them. She didn't always get to live with him. Her mother was Jesse's fourth wife, Nickotie Vanover. Gertrude said her mother would chase him away until she needed something and then she would let him come home. She would cry when he left and beg her mother to "let Daddy come home".

I only have one picture of Jesse which I posted with the story on J. D. Mullins birthday on April 28th. In it he is standing with Cora and her family, James Mullins and their children Jesse, J.D. and Vera.

Jesse was the son of Joel Ellis Wright and Elizabeth Agnes "Eliza" Bates. He was married four times. I will cover each wife individually in the next four blogs. Jesse was the brother of Bad John Wright. My Aunt Vera recalls Uncle John visiting their home once and staying overnight. She said that she ended up sharing her bed with him. What she remembered was that he wore scratchy wool socks. Dad remembered the visit, too, and said that he was afraid of him and his mother made him sit in his lap and give him a kiss. Neither of them remembers how old they were to try to date the visit.

Jesse was the fifth of seven children.

The first son was Solomon "Sol" Wright who was murdered during the Civil War. I don't know the details as to why this was considered a murder rather than just a casualty of war, but I have never seen his death spoken of in any other terms than murdered.

Bad John was the next son.

Sarah "Sally" Wright married Abraham Potter after the death of his first wife, Margaret "Peggy" Newsome.

Susan was the next daughter. I have an entire blog for her in another series, so I don't want to give away her story.

Jesse was next.

The sixth child was Joel Martin Wright. He married Jane Venters. Joel and Jane are buried in the same cemetery as Jesse. This is where James and Cora Wright Mullins are buried, too. Jesse is buried alone. None of his wives are with him.

The last child was Sam J. "Kinky Haired Sam" Wright. He was married to Martha Jane Reynolds. Sam was killed in a gunfight with Alvin "Dabber" Bentley. He was a policeman for the city of Neon at the time of his death. He got involved in a dispute over an election and was in a shootout on the street with Dabber. Both men were mortally wounded. I haven't been able to place this "Alvin" yet although I do have five Alvins in my work. Two of them are without any dates of birth or death. What I find odd about this is I couldn't find a death certificate for either Sam or Alvin. A lot of times when someone died and the family buried the body in their home cemeteries there were no official records. In this circumstance you would think both would have had an official death certificate. So far, I haven't found them.

Jesse first married Elizabeth Moore. A daughter named Florence Belle is attributed to them. Florence was born on May 6, 1878, but I cannot find her in the 1880 census. I pick her up in the 1900 census when she is a new bride of George Washington Hall living with her inlaws, Enoch Mahlon and Nancy Hampton Hall. George was the brother of Joe Hall my great grandfather. On her death certificate her parents are listed as William Wright & Elizabeth Wright. I would almost be willing to discount her as their child except that my grandmother hated my name. She said everytime she heard Karen she would think of Kyarn and wanted my mom to name me Florence after her sister. She is a mystery I haven't solved yet. I have her in all the census records of her life except for 1880.

Next Jesse married Mary Brummett. They had a daughter named Susan. Susan married a Houston and was known as "Ma Houston" in Fleming. Susan has her own story, too.

Next Jesse married Maggie Perdue. She had two children with Jesse: Eliza and my grandmother, Cora. The story I grew up hearing was that one day Maggie left Kentucky and walked to Viriginia to her family leaving the two girls behind for Jesse to care for. I heard she married an Adams. Later, I heard there were three other half siblings, Myrl, Maude and James, who had been a barber but had died in a train accident where his head was nearly cut off before Maude & Meryl met their sister Cora. Still later I heard that Maggie was in West Virginia. I didn't know her parents names, where in Virginia or West Virginia the family was or anything else. She was my brick wall for over forty years.

Last, Jesse married Nickotie Vanover. They had at least six children: Calvin, Newton, McKinley, Wilburn Ballard, Elizabeth Alice and Gertrude. I still haven't pulled my notes from storage where Aunt Gertrude gave me all the details of their children. Eleven seems to stick in my mind. I grew up with mom having 20 siblings so at first thinking dad had only three his seemed quite a small family.

Jesse was listed in the census records as being a carpenter. I asked about this and Aunt Vera said that she remembered going into the woods with him to pick up wood. She said that he made chairs and things like that.

Jessie died of pneumonia in 1935. He is buried at Hemphill.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thomas & Hannah Bentley

Our oldest proven Bentley is Thomas and his wife, Hannah.

Some say that this Thomas was living in England and was near the court of royalty. Thomas shaved on a Sunday which was an offense that meant death. Because he was in the favor of the royals, he was given a choice of being beheaded or coming to the colonies. He chose to come to America. Thomas landed in North Carolina and that was the start of our family.

Now that's the story I always heard growing up. I have never found anything to it. In fact, some researchers believe that the Bentleys were in Maryland many years before and migrated down to North Carolina. These researchers say that Thomas was born in America.

Those researchers say that Thomas was the son of Thomas Bentley, who was born in 1690 in Virginia, and Mary Beasley, who was born in 1695 in North Carolina. I have about four other generations on the Beasleys, but so far it doesn't make sense to me datewise, so I am not presenting it here.

Thomas who was married to Mary Beasley is supposed to be the son of Thomas Bentley and Hannah Barnfield. This is the Thomas who was born in England and came to America according to their research.

I don't have proof of this genealogy, but I thought I would tell you what I have picked up from some other researchers.

Many who came to America came as indentured servants. They would work for someone or go into an apprenticeship for seven or more years. This would pay for their passage and give them a home until their obligation was fulfilled.

On February 27, 1834 an advertisement appeared in Ben Franklin's newspaper, The Philadelphia Gazette, making it known that there was a runaway from Henry Smith's plantation on the 12th. The servant's name was Thomas Bentley, age 18. Some have written that this would be our Thomas and he had served his indentured time and was not being released, so he ran away.

The earliest proven record I have found is that Thomas Bentley was an early settler of Rowan County, North Carolina (which is now Davis County). He and his son, Benjamin, are listed on the tax list of 1768 as one poll each.

In 1778 he is listed as Thomas Bentley, Jr. on the tax list.

On December 17, 1769 Thomas wrote a note giving permission for his son, Benjamin, to sign the bond for his daughter, Mary, to marry Aaron Freeman.

On August 8, 1771 Thomas Bentley registered his brand on his livestock as a "crop and a hole in the right ear & a crop of the left."

Thomas was a planter

On November 4, 1777 Thomas appeared in court and swore an oath of fidelity to the State of North Carolina.

On August 8, 1778 names appear on a list of those persons who "refused or neglected" to take the Oath of Allegiance to the State. Included in the list for Capt . Lyon's District is the name of Daniel Bentley, and the names of Bentley neighbors: Mesheck Davis, John Willcockson , Snr., Mark Whitacre, Adam Hall Snr., Samuel Willcoxson and Israel Willcoxson being also on the list. Evidently Daniel Bentley and his future brother-in-law, Meshack Davis, did not take the oath for they both would later apply for Revolutionary War pensions.

In December 1780 Thomas was considered a patriot by selling corn at a price of 75 cents per bushel.

A list dated November 3, 1782 details the names of men living in Capt. Pearson's Company who were summoned by William Butler, constable, to show why their property should not be confiscated. Included are the names of Anthony Pealor, John Wilcockson, Danul [Daniel] Lewis, and "Ric hard Whitaker Runaway." "Runaway" simply meant the individual was no longer in the area. This was Richard Whitaker's case as he moved with Thomas Bentley's family in 1782 to Lincoln County, North Carolina, having married Thomas Bentley' s daughter, Rachel Bentley."

Thomas, his wife Hannah, and some of the children moved to Lincoln County, North Carolina. His son, Benjamin, sold the land he owned in Rowan and moved to the Cedar Run - South Yadkin River area of Iredell (now Alexander) County while the other son, Daniel, moved to Lincoln County, North Carolina. Daniel Bentley married Nancy Lewis by bond in Rowan County North Carolina February 8, 1782 . As he and his parents were moving to Lincoln County, it appears he could not bear to leave his sweetheart behind.

On January 1, 1783 Thomas Bentley bought 100 acres for 30 pounds on both sides of Indian Creek in Lincoln County from Robert Armstrong and Hugh Beaty, executors

Thomas Bentley died in 1789 in North Carolina.

The house the Bentleys lived in was still standing until a few years ago when some high school boys broke into it and set it on fire. These are pictures that were taken before the fire happened.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Grandma Are You In Me~
Oh Grandma, when you look at me

What there do you see,

As you watch me come

Do I wake a memory.

Is it your eyes you watch

That blink so tenderly,

Or the way you walked

And skipped so playfully.

Is my hair all soft like yours

Shining in the sun,

My little button nose

Or the way I run for fun.

Do I have your eyebrows,

Your cheek bones or your lips,Tell me true, like you,Do they pucker for a kiss.If I tilt my head just so,Does that somehow make you glowIn the fond remembranceOf days you used to know.Have I your merry laughOr blush upon my cheek,Oh, I hope I have your faithGrandma, at least a little bitI want to have your JesusFrom within your heart so true,Will He come to live with meAnd hold my hand like you,I love you so, my Grandma,How happy I would beIf you thought that some of youShowed in the ways of me..
Soft Whispers for Grandma fromDerry's Heart Poems © From The Heart
And Grandma's love, is a love,that will last til' the end of time.I see a wonderful future,I see a house full of love.Your eyes, they twinkle like starlight.'cause God has kissed you from above~Quote from~MCS Music © 2004 - 2008

Mullins Pine Mountain PIcnic

The Mullins side of the family went to Pine Mountain for picnics, also. I found this set of pictures of one picnic which occurred in 1949.

The family make up is James & Cora Wright Mullins. Their children Jesse, Vera and J. D. Jesse married Nina Pratt. They have two daughters, Myrna and Carol Sue. Vera married Glenn Murphy. They have Emma Gaye and Vera is pregnant with Glenna in these pictures. J. D. is married to Cora Bentley. They have Linda Kay and Margaret Ann.

Also, at this picnic is Glenn's mother, Laura Mason Murphy known as "Ma" Murphy and Bill Schaefer, a man who lived with Ma and Pa (which is what we called Cora and James).
As far as dating this picture, Sue was born in April and Glenna in November of 1949, so the picnic occurs in the summer between those dates.

Here are the pictures from that day:

Nina holding Margaret, James, Cora, Glenn.

Nina sitting with James and Cora.

James and Cora by the car.

James holding Carol Sue.

Cora and James in front of the car.

Row 1: Emma, Myrna and Kay

Row 2: Nina holding Sue, Vera, and Cora holding Margaret

Cora Bentley Mullins with her back to us and Ma Murphy.

Bill, Jesse and James.

Kay in front. Cora holding Margaret. Nina beside her. Bill, Vera and Cora Wright Mullins, Ma Murphy in the back.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Floyd Wright

I am working on my Wright family tree trying to get as much together as I can so that I can share it with them at the Wright reunion this coming June. When I first started they were very helpful to me. I went to a reunion not knowing a soul by sight and only knowing the names of those no longer with us. When I mentioned that I was interested in the family tree, one of my cousins went straight to his car and got out a copy of a book he had handwritten and xeroxed of the Wright family tree. Considering that just my questions about how to organize my work on the Bentley side had been totally ignored, I was amazed at how generous and kind this cousin -- a stranger-- was to me. I want to take something back when I go this year.

I am able to look at the original copies of the census records. It makes all the difference in the world to research. Before we had to travel great distances, or buy transcripts etc. And then... geesh some of the transcriptions. It's bad enough when the folks who made the original records made mistakes or wrote down things to the best of their knowledge, but some of the transcribing is just atrocious. I have Hayes family down as Hays, Haze and Hase. But my grandpa Otho is very plainly written in as Otho but was transcribed as Otto, Orthum, Otum, anything but Otho. I think it was just because the name was not familiar to them. They just made up something and went to the next line. I had to look for the neighbors around my grandpa Joshua Mullins to find him in the 1930 census. They have him as Jashus. The writing was very clear, but you won't find him by searching Joshua.

Anyway, I wasn't writing about census records, but what I found in them on Floyd Wright. I was filling in the information as I could on each child of Joel Martin and Susannah Wright. They are the oldest proven Wrights we have in our line. There are two schools of thought about them. One is that they were living under another last name in North Carolina. Something happened and they left the area and took new names. Two people in the Sunderland Pioneer Recollections books made references to knowing Joel Wright and living near him in North Carolina, but that he was under another name which began with a C. I have tried all kinds of ways to follow the C name but so far nothing. The other is that that is trash and Joel is the son of Solomon & Rachel Pickering Wright. I don't have any proof that this is so, but I have gathered all I can on Solomon and Rachel just in case there is a link found in the future. So I suppose there is a third answer, which is we just don't know.

Joel and Susannah is where I start. I was working on their son, Andrew Jackson Wright, and his wife Harriett Adams. When I got to their son, Andrew Monroe Wright who was married to Eunice Hawkins I found Monroe in the 1900 census having been married for 12 years. They had had six children but only 3 were living. The oldest was named Floyd. He was 9 years old.
In 1910 he was 18 and single, living with his parents. In 1920 he was 26, divorced and living with his parents. In 1930 he was 36, single and living with his parents.

I went looking for him and found that in June, 1917 he registered for the draft for WWI. He was described as tall, stout, blue eyed and light haired. He listed his occupation as a miner, but said he was currently unemployed due to being in prison in the Boyd County Jail where he was filing out the registration document. So in 1920 he was living with his parents after serving time in jail. I kept searching and found he must have married a second time. He had a son Floyd who was a corporal in the marines and served in Korea. Floyd, Sr.'s death certificate says that he spent the last seven months of his life in a veteran's hospital. He had served from February 1918 through July of 1919 in the army.

It made me wonder what he did that put him in jail and what his time in the service did for him. I haven't figured out who his first wife was. It had to have been a very short marriage since he was in jail in 1917 then spent most of the next two years in service. In 1920 he was shown as divorced and living with his parents. His son was born in 1932. That makes me think that it was from a second marriage that this son came. His wife, Gladys Eloise Coleman, was divorced, too. Her parents were Mary Ratliff and David Coleman. She was born in 1911. Her mother died when she was two years old. I found her in the 1930 census living with her uncle Nelson. She was listed as divorced having married at age 17. It was shortly after 1930 when Floyd and Gladys had to have married and had Floyd Jr. I guess the 1940 census would tell if that marriage lasted or if the fact that he was married when he died meant he had had another marriage.

Things like this make me wonder, but that's another story.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tackett Lines

Our oldest known Tackett relative is Louis Tackett who was born about 1676 in France. He married Mary Sarah Spiller and died in 1744 in Cedar Run, Stafford County, Virginia. There were at least four children: John Moses, Lewis, William and Rachel.

John Moses Tackett born about 1712 in Virginia married a Rosannah. He died in 1774 in North Carolina. They had at least two chidren -- Phillip and Lewis.

Phillip Tackett was born in 1745 in North Carolina. He moved to Pike County, Kentucky. They had at least seven children: Thomas B., William "Preacher Billy", William Francis "Lyin' Frank", Sarah, Phillip, George W. and Leanah.

Elder William "Preacher Billy" Tackett was born on May 12, 1779 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He went to Pike county with his family. Billy married Anna/Amy Johnson about 1800 in Tennessee. They had at least five children: William "Bucky", Martha "Patsy", George Washington, Sarah and Rebecca Hannah.

Sarah Tackett married Richard Hall. They were the parents of Enoch Mahlon Hall who married Nancy Hampton. Their son was Joseph Hall who married Lettie Craft. Their daughter was Nancy Alice Hall who married Otho Bentley.

Sarah Tackett's brother, William "Bucky" Tackett was born in May 27, 1809. He married Sarah "Sally Caudill, daughter of Matthew and Sarah Webb Caudill. They married in Pike county on March 2, 1828. They had thirteen children: Martha, James, Abel, Elizabeth, George, Matthew, Rebecca, Abner, Enoch, Enos, Amy, Zilpha nd Mary.

George Tackett was born in 1837. He married Rachel Caudill. They had at least eleven children: Jesse, William, Abner, Wilson, Ellender, Sylvana, Enos, Jerry, Alamander, Elisabeth and Jarvey.

Wilson Tackett was born in 1863. He married Rhoda Hampton.

In the 1870 Census his family is listed as George 32, Rachel 21, Jesse 14, William 10, Abner 8, Wilson is 7, Nellie 6, Sylvania 5, Enos 3 and Jerry 1. They are in Millstone.

In 1880 they are still in Millstone: George 42, Rachel 40, Abner 18, Wilson 17, Elender 16, Sylvana 14, Enos 12, Jerry 11, Alamander 7 and Jarvey C. 1.

Wilson first married a Martha. In 1886 they have a daughter, Mary. Martha either passes away or they separate. On December 8, 1890 Wilson married Rhoda E. Hampton.

In 1900 Wilson is in still in Letcher County. In Wilson's household he is listed as 36 and reports that he has been married for ten years. Rhody is 25 and says she has had seven children four of whom are living. Polly (Mary from Wilson's first marriage) is 14. Rhoda and Wilson's children are Israel, 8, Rachel 6, Martha 2 and Savada 3 months.

Wilson's next door neighbor is Jesse & Rebecca Adams. Rebecca is my g-g grandmother Rebecca Hays who married James Mullins. Her son Joshua and his wife, Annie Houston, are near neighbor along with Susan Wright Venters (who will be the second Mrs. Joshua Mullins), Thaney & Betsy Houston, Archie & Pricey Craft, and Chunk and Polly Craft.

In 1910 Wilson is 46, Roda 44, Israel J. 16, Rachel 14, Martha 13, Lovada 9, Margie V. 7 and Morgan six months.

In January 1918 Martha Tackett married Joseph Leonard Hall. This was his fifth marriage and her first.

Joseph and Martha will be the subject of several articles that are coming up.

John "Chunk" Mullins - A Prisoner of War

I often wonder where the nickname "Chunk" comes from. I know it doesn't always refer to size because some who wore that name are very slender of build. I have seen it used in several lines. While I was putting things together for my G-G-G-G Grandpa Joshua, I came across his brother, John, who carried the Chunk name.

In his case, it was because of his size. He was born about 1858. According to an article in "The Mountain Magazine" of April 1930, "John entered the army in his father's stead when he was age 14 'being large for his age'." He entered the army in 1779. He was at the Battle of Stony Point, at the siege of Charleson, South Carolina which occurred about the 23rd or 24th of April 1780. The American Troops from Virginia and the Carolinas tried a halfhearted night attack using bayonets against the first line of the British. They were stopped and pushed back at the second line of the British. At the surrender of Charlestown on May 12, 1780, the British captured about 5,000 men, 400 guns, 6000 muskets and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

A friend of Chunk, John Kelley, was captured, too. After five months of being held prisoner, Kelley escaped and continued to serve in the army. Chunk was taken to England. In his pension application, John stated that he "was at the Battle of the siege of Charlestown taken prisoner of war by the British and was by the British taken prisoner of war to England and there kept until peace was made." And "that he never had it in his power to return to America for 11 years." "The Mountain Magazine" article reported that he was gone for fourteen years and that "long given up for dead, he caused his mother to faint when he returned home."

On June 7, 1792 John married Nancy Gentry, the daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth Stringer Gentry. Together they had seven children:

Joseph Gentry Mullins was born in Tennessee in 1794. He married Susannah Hammond.

Mary "Polly" Mullins was born in Tennessee in 1796. She married Thomas Kelley.

Daniel Mullins was born in 1799 in Tennessee and married Nancy DeMartin.

Rachel Mullins was born in 1802 in Virginia. She did not marry, but had three children by James Walker Baker. Mr. Baker is a whole other story.

John Mullins was born in 1808 and married Matilda Amburgey.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Mullins was born in 1811 in Perry County. She married John Michjah Adams, the son of John Hobbs Adams and Lettie Simpson (my G-G-G-G-G Grandparents on the Bentley side) and sister of Jane "Jennie" Adams who married Benjamin Webb (my G-G-G-G Grandparents again on the Bentley side).

Joshua Mullins was born in Floyd County, Kentucky in 1817. He married Mary "Polly" Everage.

Chunk received a pension on May 18, 1818 at about age 60 while living in Floyd County, Kentucky. John Kelley signed an affidavit for Chunk's pension.

He died in 1838 in Perry (now Knott) county.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Stella Elizabeth Bentley

Stella Elizabeth Bentley was born on January 14, 1904 in Letcher County, Kentucky to Otho Bentley and Sadie Collier.

Joshua Mullins 1756 - 1851


Joshua Mullins is my Great-great-great-great Grandfather. He was born May 10, 1756 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia to William and Mary Mullins. He was the great-grandson of William and Katherine Smith Mullins and the grandson of John H. and Susan Bly Morton Mullins.

Joshua served in the Revolutionary War for about 18 months. He served under General Nathaniel Greene during his southern campaign against Lord Earl Cornwallis.

Joshua married Bess Turley in 1786. There is a marriage bond for fifty pounds made by Joshua and his brother, James to Patrick Henry, Joshua and James Turley on March 7, 1786. He was friends with Edward Polly. They both migrated to Tennessee about the same time.

Betsy and Joshua had at least one child, William Mullins. Betsy died not long after they moved to Tennessee.

About 1798 Joshua married Annie Robinson, the daughter of John and Lydia Cole Robinson at the home of her parents.

By 1810 the family had moved to Floyd County, Kentucky. Next they were in Harlan County.

Joshua Mullins, Polly Mullins, Athaliah "Athy" Mullins Hayes, Jonathan Hayes and Freelove Mullins Bolling were all members of the Oven Fork Church, Oven Fork, Harlan County, Kentucky which was constituted into a church on October 21, 1820. Harlan county was formed from Knox County in 1819.

In 1828 Joshua applied for a pension application. He was 72 years old. He stated his wife was 44 and they had 12 children. Nine of them were living and 7 were still in his household. He said the oldest was 18 or 19 and was able to support himself and the youngest was 4 months old.

Their children were:

Mary was born 1799

Rachel was born in 1802.

Joshua Muriel Mullins, Jr. was born November 18, 1809 in Oven Fork, Kentucky. He married Mary B. Caudill.

Lydia Mullins was born about 1811 and died in 1926 in Oven Fork.

Twins Caleb and Joab Mullins were born in 1815. Caleb married Elizabeth "Betsy" Caudill, again .
Joab died in Indiana.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Mullins was born in 1819 and died in 1870. She married James W. "Limber Jim" Caudill.

Athalia Druscilla Mullins was born about 1820 and married John Hayes. These are my Great Great Great Grandparents. Athalia died on September 27, 1877 in Letcher County, Kentucky. They were the parents of Rebecca Hayes who married James Mullins.
Freelove Mullins was born in 1820. She married Jonathan Bowling. She died in Wise County, Virginia in 1892.

Nancy Mullins was born in 1823. She married Fleming T. Hodge. She died in Laurel County, Kentucky.

Uranea "Rana" (also listed as Louraney) on January 27, 1826 in Letcher County, Kentucky. She married Edward Ned Hodge. She died in November 1887 in Laurel County, Kentucky.

The four month old baby mentioned in the pension application was Sarah Mullins. She first married Stephen Teague, then Hugh Sturgill. She died January 6, 1898 in Laruel County, Kentucky.
Betsy, Joshua Jr., and Caleb married brother and sisters, James, Mary and Elizabeth Caudill who were children of William and Nancy Craft Caudill. So again, my Dad's side of the family was marrying into my mom's side a hundred and fifty years ago.

In the 1840 census Joshua was 82 and in Knox County.

In the 1850 census Joshua was listed as 90, born in Virginia with no occupation, a pauper. Anna was 68. Neither could read or write. They were living next door to their son, Caleb.

Joshua Mullins and his wife, Anna Robinson Mullins, are buried on a hillside at Lynn Camp Baptist Church in Corbin, Kentucky.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wayne Lee Greene 1935 - 2008

Aunt Mary Evelyn called me today to say that my cousin, Wayne Lee Greene had passed away. He was the son of Stella Bentley (the oldest child of Otho and Sadie Collier Bentley) and Glenn Walter Greene. He was born on September 22, 1935 in Letcher County, Kentucky. He died on May 8, 2008.

I went to the funeral home website, which is: and found the following details:

  • The visitation will be on Monday, May 12 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Elden A. Good Funeral Home (2620 Erie Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208 513 871-3433). The service will be held on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 1:00 PM at Landmark Church

  • Greene, Wayne Lee, beloved husband of Patricia Faye Mahaffey Greene for 51 1/2 years, loving father of Rosemary Lee Brock, Linda Susan (Larry) Shaughnessy of Germantown, MD, Steven Jay (Cathleen) Mahaffey, Jennifer Lee Pairan, brother of Walter and Ray Greene, Bill Salyers, Mildred Robinson, Carole Arn, and Paula Wilson, survived by 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, father-in-law of the late Tom Pairan. Thursday, May 8, 2008. Friends may call at the Elden A. Good Funeral Home, 2620 Erie Ave., west of Hyde Park Sq. on Monday from 5-8 PM. Funeral service at Landmark Church on Tuesday at 1 PM. Memorials may be directed to The ALS Association or Hospice of Cincinnati.

There is a link on the website where you can leave the family a note if you wish.

I found two Landmark Baptist churches in the area and I don't know which is the correct one. I will give you an update when I know that address.

Vera Edith Mullins Murphy - Happy Birthday

Vera Edith Mullins was born on May 9, 1923 to James & Cora Wright Mullins. Other pictures of her as a child are on the blog I wrote for Dad's eighty-third birthday on April 28, 2008. This is the youngest picture I have seen of AuntVera. Her kids sure looked like her baby picture.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Vera!