Monday, September 29, 2008

How much do you love someone?

Lana stayed with me Saturday night.  We spent the day at the Pretzel Festival in Germantown with my son, his wife and my other granddaughter, Claire. 


Also, there were my sister, Donna, and her husband, Gary Sr,  son, Gary Jr, and grandson, Peter.  It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun walking through the booths, eating festival food, and listening to the music.

Lana and Peter Dancing to the music while Donna keeps an eye on them.

 Lana enjoyed the park swings and slides.

Afterward, Lana went home with me.  We stopped at an apple orchard and bought cider and picked up a bundle of wood.  We then went to Wallyworld and picked up hot dogs, buns and marshmellows.  We sat around a fire and Lana was so happy to eat a hot dog -- well maybe more to put her stick in the fire.  We looked at the stars.  She said, "Nana, do you know how much I love you?"  We went back and forth about how much we loved each other each answer topping the other.

Sunday morning when we got up she said again, "Nana, do you know how much I love you?" and again, we tried to top each other's answers.  I said I loved her more because I had known her all her life and loved her even before she was born.  She said, "I loved you twenty years before I was born when I was with the tooth fairy and the angels and we picked you to be my Nana."  I couldn't top that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

James "Jim" Mullins 1787 - 1875

James "Jim" Mullins was the son of Booker and Sarah Mullins.  He was the oldest child.  He had twelve siblings:  Sherwood "Sherd", William L. "Lame Hand", Joshua, David, John, Pleasant, Thomas, Anne "Annie", Ambrose, Isham, Booker and Solomon.

In 1812 when James was 25 he married Agnes Little who was 20.  Agnes was the daugther of Isaac and Winnie Roberts Little.  Agne's sister married Jame's brother, Marshall. I am really confused as to whether James and Agnes had any children.  I was told that they raised two daughters of his brother, Booker, who went to Texas.  What I had first heard was that this Booker's wife died and he went to Texas to set up his home before taking the girls.  The older daughter married in Kentucky.

In 1850 Old Booker was lving in James and Agnes' household.

Nancy Alice Hall Bentley 1899 1975

My whole interest in family history is due to my grandmother, Nancy Alice Hall Bentley. She seemed to know everything and everyone in our family. I just didn't know enough questions to ask.

She was born on March 5, 1899 in Millstone, Letcher County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph Leonard Hall and Lettie Craft.

Joseph Hall & Lettie Craft

Lettie died when Granny was about six years old. Her father married again right away, but I have always heard that she was taken in by Stallard relatives. Another verison that I have heard was she lived with Joe and his third wife, Druscilla Craft who was Lettie's first cousin and the widow of Miles Mayo Adams. I was told that she was worked very hard in a boarding house doing cooking, laundry and such.

I asked Aunt Hazel if her father had ever owned a boarding house. She said not that she knew of. I wondered if it could have been something Siller owned.

Nancy Alice and Otho Bentley

Granny married young. When Otho Bentley lost his wife, Sadie Collier, he was left with six children, one of them the baby born a week before Sadie died. After Otho, who we called Poppy, died in 1965, she sometimes spent time in her children's homes.

At one point she was staying with Aunt Wilma. Cousin Nancy, Wilma's daughter, wrote me this about how Otho and Nancy came to be married:
"When Granny was staying with Mother at Charlestown, I came up to visit for a while. Granny was sitting on the commode, with the lid down, and we were talking as I bathed her. She said she had been working for Sadie and Poppy, helping with the children and the house. She said that when Sadie died, her Mother made her come back home because it wasn't "fitting" for a young girl to be staying alone in the same house with a grown man.

Granny said that one day Poppy came riding to her house over the hill on a mule. She said he was all dressed up in his best clothes. He wanted to talk to Granny's parents. He talked to them and told them he wanted to marry Granny. Her Mother told him that they had no objection but that the final decision had to be left up to Granny.

I asked her why in the world a sixteen year old married a 32 year old man with children. She said that she prayed over the situation and that God told her that those children needed a mother and that he knew that she would be good to them.

I know the above story is true because she told it to me."

I don't know if the person who is referred to as her mother was Druscilla or Dianah Webb. Joe Hall married Dianah twice, the first time May 20 of 1916 and the second, August 19, 1919. The reason I say this is because they had a daugther, Atta May in 1914. She died when she was about four years old in 1918. Druscilla outlived Joe, and had no children with him. I don't know when they separated and when Dianah came into the picture.

Granny and Poppy married on April 1, 1915.

1952 Nettie (her step daughter), Otho, Nancy, Stella (her step daughter) and Willie (her step son) at Nettie's husband's funeral.
Sadie Collier, Otho's first wife, had died on February 8, 1915. We grew up thinking that little Mary, who was born on February 3rd, died at birth after Sadie's labor started when she was kicked in the stomach by a cow. She did not die. Granny took on a two month old as well as Stella age 11, Willie age 9, Nettie age 7, Atha age 5 and 3 year old Laura Jane.

Three months later, Mary died. Nancy was pregnant and had her first child, Lettie, on January 12, of 1916, a little more than nine months after the marriage. They went on to have the following children:

• Sabrina, February 13, 1918
• Lake Erie (first called Georgia on the census of 1920 and Baby on her birth certificate which she legally changed later) on December 21, 1919.
• Opal, December 8, 1921
• Cora, January 12, 1924
• Wilma Imogene, June 12, 1926
• James Martin "Joe", August 22, 1926
On October 20, 1928 she was told her father, Joe Hall, had committed suicide. She always thought that someone else had shot him, but the official record was suicide. I always heard her say that she cleaned up the blood from the clothes and floors.

• Daniel Van "D. V.", November 10, 1930
• Anna Sue, January 17, 1932
• John Vint, November 15, 1934
In August of 1936 Opal died of Septicemia.

• Otho Jr, May 25, 1937
• Can Morgan, June 20, 1939, twin
• James Martin "Jimmy", June 30, 1939, twin
• Freddy, July 12, 1941
• Jerry Wayne, May 28, 1943.
I didn't make a mistake. She had two sons named James Martin. Nancy wrote me what Granny said about that, too:

"While visiting Mother while Granny was staying there, we would sit around the kitchen table at night and talk. So I don't know which one told me what.

Your telling me about our Uncles and Aunts having different names than what they thought started my memory working. Granny said that Dr. Can Bentley would do the delivery of the baby and she would tell him the name. When he got to his office to file the birth certificate, he would name them what he wanted to or he might have forgotten what she told him the baby's name was.

Granny said that every time she would have a boy, he would want her to name him James Martin Bentley. So when the twins were born Granny told him that he could name one of them. So he named Jimmy "James Martin Bentley." Please verify this next part with Uncle Joe. When Uncle Joe was getting ready to go to the service he got a copy of his birth certificate. His real name was James Martin Bentley. So Granny had two children with the same name. I don't know if he had his changed or not."
Notice, too, that John was John Vint, not Vent. All the old John Vints were VINT. John was written that way in the family Bible and on his birth certificate. He never knew that until he was retiring. He had his name legally changed to the VENT spelling.

Aunt Sue told me her original name was Rachel Virginia. She said a neighbor came over and said she did not look like a Rachel that she was Anna Sue. Most of her life we called her Aunt Sue. She told me she now prefers to be called Anna which I try to remember.

I always loved it at Granny's. You can go back to my very first blog and read about the memories I have of staying at her home.

I never heard her say an unkind thing about anyone. Even when Poppy got sick from his strokes and was hard to manage, she took it all in stride. She was one of the strongest women that I ever knew. I thought my mother was just like her.

Poppy was sick for quite a few years before he died. She took care of him. He died in 1965 a month after my cousin, Yvonne, died. It was a terribly sad time in the family.

Granny traveled a bit after that, visiting her sons and daughters. She seemed to blossom.

In 1969 her son, Otho, died in Japan while preparing to go to VietNam. His body was not shipped home for about a week. I went down and stayed that week with her. It seemed like losing another child broke something in her. She said you should not outlive your children.

She had bone cancer. For a while it went into remission and the doctors were amazed. They wanted to do tests to try to figure out why. I have no scientific proof, but I always thought that their poking and proding around caused it to become active again. She lived with Uncle Freddy for a while. Then she was in a nursing home in Englewood, Ohio. She hated it. She thought their food was poisoned or had no taste. My mom would make her meals and take them up to her every day. All she wanted to do was go home to Kentucky.

She finally got to go home. At first the family tried having different children staying with her for a week or more at a time. Eventually, Uncle D. V. and Aunt Mary lived with her until her death on September 28, 1975.

She rested at the funeral home rather than the living room of her house where Otho Sr. and then Otho Jr had been. I know it is an old custom, but we would stay all night with the dead when they were at the home. A few of us did that at the funeral home, too. It was the last time I ever sat up with anyone all night.

She was buried at the Chunk Craft cemetery in Millstone. Chunk was her grandfather and had owned much of that land and more up the right fork of Millstone.

Granny holding Candy.

Granny was friends with Mable Kiser. Mable wrote a column for the Mountain Eagle. They went to church together. Granny and Poppy would sometimes bring the whole church home with them or they would have church there. I remember once when Mable was visiting Granny and we got to talking about earrings. Mable said she could never have her ears pierced. I didn't have mine either. I was maybe 15. Remember those little screw on types? I pulled mine off and Mable tried one on and so did Granny. They were just little balls one set was bright orange and the other lime green. They thought they were the neatest things and looked like they were pierced. I gave them to them, but I doubt if either one ever wore them. But it felt like three teenage girls talking the day we went through my earrings.

My favorite picture of Granny is one of her standing at the stove being caught on film and laughing at being caught. She was one of the best cooks I have ever known. She was always working and busy. Even when we sat on the porch her hands were busy breaking up beans or cutting apples or doing some work. There was no air conditioning, maybe a fan or two. Sitting on the porch was time to cool off and to do a little socializing. I loved to hear her laugh. When some things were said that were a bit outrageous to her, I remember her raising her hand up and saying "Law!" Now "law" was pronounced as a two syllable word.

She didn't wear red and didn't care for us wearing it. It was the color of the devil. She didn't want card playing in the house even crazy eights or old maid. Cards were from the devil, too.

It didn't matter how many people were in to visit, we would just sleep on the beds, the floor or the boys would go out the barn loft. She would tell me not to worry, if we ran out of floor space she would start hanging us from nails on the wall.

I miss my Granny and wish I could hear her voice. When she was in Dayton in the hospital before she went to the nursing home or got to return home, in fact, while she was still with Freddy, too, she would keep telling us that there was something she needed to tell us. She would start at the VERY beginning. If she got interupted, lost her train of thought or you asked a question, she would start again at the VERY beginning. I never heard the end of what she wanted to tell us. I know one night I stayed with her and the next day I was still there. So many in the family had come in and we were visiting. I ended up staying all day and the second night because they forgot I had been there the night before. I had stayed up with her the first night, but I couldn't do it the second night. I finally said, "Granny, please let me sleep a little then I will listen to you." She looked like I had struck her, but she was quiet for a while. I still wonder what that was that she wanted us to know. Others told me that it was just the medication. The doctors had overdosed her a bit on darvon, but I really think there was something she wanted us to know.

Nancy Alice Hall Bentley was wife, a step-mother, a mother, a grandmother over many times. I always felt like I was special to her, but I also always thought she made each of her grandchildren feel that way. She always remembered our names. I had a thing when I was young of NOT answering until you got my name right (ok maybe I finally stopped that after I turned 50). I found out that even though I only had one child that sometimes I called him the wrong name. Granny never called me the wrong name. She went to church all her life and lived the life she thought she should. She was an example to anyone who was around her. My Granny was the best grandmother a child could ever have.

Granny and her grandchildren: Eddie, Yvonne, Alan and Jerry

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Edna Bentley 1908 2008 A Century of Living

Edna Mae Bentley was born September 27, 1908 in Millstone, Kentucky.  Her parents were Sherman and Ada Sergent Bentley. 

Sherman and Ada Sergent Bentley with baby John

In the 1910 Census the family was at the left hand fork of Millstone.  Sherman and Ada had been married for 18 years.  He was a farmer.  They had had six children at this point, but only five of them were living.:  Maggie 16, Bertha 12, Ollie 8, Cinda 4, and Edna 2.  Their little brother Vince who was born in 1899 had died before this census.

Maggie, Bertha, Ollie, Cindy and Edna

On September 12 1918 Sherman registered for the draft for World War I.  He was described as medium height, stout build with brown eyes and gray hair. 


In  1920 the new census found Sherman 45, Ada 47, Sindy 13, and Edna 11.  There were two new members of the family since the last census: John 8 who was called Buster, and Arthur 1 who was known as Sonny.  Living with them was Archie Kates, age 44. 

Maggie had married John Mason and was living in her own household.  Bertha married Williard Hall.  Ollie had married Samuel Wright, son of Andrew J. and Nancy Bates Wright.

Sherman died on February 12, 1920 of lobor pneumonia.  Ada died in 1921.  The children were taken in and raised by Patrick and Amanda Bentley Bates.  Amanda was Sherman's sister.  Patrick was the grandson of John Wallis and Sarah Waltrip Bates.

Edna married Willie D. Bentley on October 21, 1925.  Together they had 9 children:  Leonard, Atha Delores, Lora Lou, Willie Mae, Sadie, Teddy, Janice, Walter Darrel, and Sharon.

Willie was the son of Otho and Sadie Collier Bentley.  He farmed.  He mined coal.  Together they ran a store and raised their family.

                  Sadie, Edna, Willie Mae, Lora, Delores and in the back Leonard
 Edna and Teddy in the snow.
                                           Atha Bentley Caudill (Willie's sister), Teddy and Edna   
Leonard, Edna and Willie          
Edna and Leonard
 Leonard, Edna & Willie
 Edna, Leonard and Sadie Stallard (Aunt Laura's daughter)
 Edna and Sharon
Willie in the straight backed chair leaning against the tree holding one of the children.  Edna standing by him.
1975 -- 50th Wedding Anniversary


In 1977 after 52 years of marriage, Edna lost her husband, Willie.

Willie and Edna's Children:

Sharon (insert) Leonard, Willie Mae, Sadie, Lora Lou, Delores, Janice and Teddy

Edna lived in an apartment in Indianapolis for many years.  Later she moved to the Masonic Home near Louisville, Kentucky.  If you are thinking she sat in a rocker and grew old, you would be very wrong. 
Edna had a very full life.  She had a great circle of friends. 

She took up pool and became quite a shark.

Edna also has a movie credit.  A movie on Assisted Living was made.  She had a bit part which was upped to a speaking part.  You can still order this movie on under the title "Assisted Livng".

When she was 97 she took a balloon ride.  What she said afterward was a piece of advice:  "Don't wear a skirt to take a balloon ride."

I was visiting Otho and Pat Holcomb last November.  The last time I had visited with  her she was living in her apartment in Indianapolis.  We were talking about her and the family. Otho picked up the phone and called her.  He handed it over.  I have called other members of the family after a long time and eventually they figure out who you are, but all I said was I was Karen, Cora's daughter, and she knew who I was and even talked about the last time I had visited.

When we were little and Edna's  family lived in the big stone house many times they would be sitting on the back porch snapping beans or doing some work.  A lot of times I would be walking with Kris.  We would always call out a hello.  Edna would raise her arm and say "Howdy".  Kris called her Howdy.  I didn't, I always called her Aunt Edna, but she laughed about that to me, too.

 Edna and Lora

Edna Bentley was a loving wife, a wonderful mother and led a Christian life.  She died on March 3 of this year.  She would have been 100 if she had lived to this date.  This is the last picture taken of Edna.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Willie Bates

These are my Bates cousins Brenda and Wendy.

If you are reading this and will write me at, I may have the connection we were looking for at the festival.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What would you do if you met a Queen?

I heard this story when I returned from Seville, Ohio.  It came from family back in the early 80's when Lois and her group were intereviewing family members.

We have all heard that Martin Bates and his wife, Anna, met and were favorites of Royalty.  We know that they had some special bond with Queen Victoria because of the giant sized watches that she gave the couple as gifts and because she provided the lace and silk used in Anna's wedding gown. 

When I think of someone being introduced to the Queen of England and it is in England, I think of the meeting being in Buckingham Palace.  I think of a palace having marble floors or being castle-ish and being made of stone.  I don't know where their first meeting was held. 

This painting of Victoria is by Thomas Scully.
I am assumming that they met after a performance.  Queen Victoria was only 5 feet tall.  When the Queen met Martin she looked him up and down and then said, "What else can you do?"  He looked down at her and then stomped his foot, which went through the floor.
I don't make 'em up folks.  That's just the way it was passed down through family and had to have been from Martin himself.  Can you imagine Anna?  Or who knows, maybe Victoria said it so haughtily that it was the only correct response. 
Another story was that he was visiting with the Quillens and Mrs. Quillen was trying to fix breakfast.  In those times when anyone was at your home you fed them, too.  A crowd was forming to see Martin.  She expressed her concern that she did not have enough to feed such a crowd.  It would have been a terrible insult not to invite them.  Martin told her not to worry and just to fix the meal for them. He went out and talked to the crowd, answered their questions and then told them he knew they were there to see him.  He said he would answer their questions, but wanted them to leave when it was time to eat so that he could eat with his family.  The crowd followed this direction and no one's feelings were hurt.

John Bates Dead -- Wife Also Dies

Lois sent me this clipping after I attended the Bates Festival. Then I had to figure out which John Bates the clipping referred to.

John Wallis Bates was married twice. First to Lavina Light and second to Sarah Waldrup. He had 12 children with Sarah, the baby being Martin Van Buren Bates. This John W. Bates was referred to as Martin's nephew so I knew it had to be a son of John Wallis Jr, Jesse, James, Robert, Uriah, or Henderson.

John Wallis Jr., Jesse, Robert and Uriah had no children named John. That narrowed it down to James and Henderson. By luck I started with Henderson's John and already had in my work that he had died in Ohio in 1923.

This John W. Bates was born January 1854 in Virginia. He first married Mary Emily but I cannot find her maiden name. It wasn't in the obituary either unless she really was a Bates at birth, too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Margaret Bentley Yonts

Our best known of the Bentley line goes back to Thomas and Hannah Bentley who were the parents of Daniel Bentley who came to Letcher County.  Daniel was one of seven children:  Benjamin, Mary, Rachel, Lydia, Patience and Margaret were his siblings.

Margaret Bentley was born about 1775 in Rowan County, North Carolina.  She married William Yonts also of Rowan County.  William and Margaret were married on September 25, 1794 in Lincoln County, North Carolina.  They had four children:  Sarah, Mary, Solomon and William.

Sarah married Stephen Caudill, the son of Matthew S. Caudill and Sarah H. Webb.  Stephen was the brother of our g-g-g grandmother Susannah Caudill through Granny's side of the family.

Mary, who was known as Polly, married her first cousin  Solomon Bentley,  son of Daniel and Nancy Jane Lewis Bentley.

Solomon Yonts married Sarah Elliott.

William Yonts married Nancy F. Rhea.

Bentley Reunion 2008

Normally, at a reunion I try to take an individual picture of each person in attendance and then group shots throughout the days. I didn't take many this year. I was doing more talking and writing things down. Lisa and Nancy took a lot of pictures. They shared them with me and here they are:
Billy Salyers, Sarah Bentley & Fred Bentley
Bob Bentley, Eddie Bentley, Terry & Linda Bentley

Charlotte Bentley, Sherry & Gary Adkins, Kris Bentley

Bob Bentley, Jim Mullins, Ronnie Morgan

Several family members bring their RV's to the homeplace. This was Bob and Charlotte's.

L-R Terry Bentley, Gary Adkins, Bob Bentley, Charlotte (behind with her back to us), Lana, me and Sherry Bentley.

J. D. Mullins

Lettie Bentley & Kris Bentley

Bob Bentley, Karen Mullins & Kris Bentley

Peter Dursch

Lana Mullins

Peter and Gary Dursch, Jr.

Mary Evelyn Bentley

Morgan, Meghan & Gracie Bentley

Riley Morgan

Bob Bentley, Me, Kris Bentley

Peter & Gary Dursch, Sr.

Joe Bentley (son of Otho), Bob Bentley, Joe Bentley (Greenup County)

Lana Mullins, Gage Bentley, Riley Morgan

Lana Mullins

Gary Adkins, Kris Bentley

Fred Bentley

Pauline and her husband.

Doris Bentley & Lettie Bentley

Lana Mullins & Lisa Bentley

Kelly Holbrook & Lettie Bentley

Joe Bentley before he turned 80.

Stella's Clan

Eddie Bentley & Jerry Bentley

Alley Morgan

Jerry Bentley and his granddaughter. Notice her hand. He has candy in his pocket and he wanted to eat dinner first. She was telling him "I just want to hold it."