Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mystery Photo Identfied: Sharon Craft

I got an email from Gordon Hart. He identified the Craft Mystery picture 1621 as his niece, Sharon Faye Craft. Sharon was the daughter of Ira Comb Craft and Ruby Helen Hart. Ira was the son of Archelous Columbus “A. C.” Craft and Pricy Adkins. A C is the brother of my great grandmother, Lettie Craft Hall. A. C. and Lettie were the children of Enoch Arden “Chunk” Craft and Mary Ann “Polly Ann” Caudill.
A. C . and Pricy had 17 children:
Polly Ann married Maylon Brown. Polly had eight children. She died young. Maylon married a second time, Susie. All three of them are in the Chunk Craft Cemetery at Millstone.
Lily Mae Craft married Moses Webb.
Rachel Virginia “Virgie” Craft married Arlie Brown. They moved to Owensboro, Kentucky.
Enoch Arden Craft died at age 3. He is in the Chunk Craft Cemetery.
Mattie E. Craft married Johnny Hall. They raised their family in Kite, Knott County, Kentucky.
Ranie May Craft died the day after she was born. She is in the Chunk Craft Cemetery.
Sarah J. Craft married Lee Hall, a brother of Johnny Hall, sons of Thomas Hall and Martha Fouts. They also moved to Kite, Knott County, Kentucky to raise their family.
Benjamin J. “Bennie” Craft married Pebble Taylor.
Druscilla V. Craft married Ace Davidson. She is living in a nursing home in northern Kentucky.
Lewis Frank Craft married Hennie Ritter Hall, daughter of Joe Hall & Dianah Webb. They divorced and he married Myrtle Combs. Lewis and Hennie Ritter were the parents of Bill, Joella and Frankie Craft. Bill wrote the music about the Millstones at Millstone and has several CD’s out of music he has written and performs. Joella Craft Collier just passed away earlier this year. She wrote a history of the Craft family.
Daniel Morgan Craft married Louisa Matilda Baker. They made their home in Millstone.
Archelaus C. Craft, Jr. married Florence Meade.
Oma Sabrina Craft married Warren McClintock.
Ibby Victoria Craft was born in 1920 and only lived seven months.
Ira Comb Craft married Ruby Helen Hart.
John David Craft was born in 1923 and only lived seven months.
Watson Garrett Craft married Minerva Back. He lives in northern Kentucky.

Gordon wrote me the following:
I first met Ira when I was about 4 years old. He then, was a private in the Army, stationed at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Georgia. Ira was dating my sister, Ruby Helen Hart.

At the time, we were living in the small town of Junction City, located about 35 miles east of Columbus. How the two ever met is unknown to me, however, during this same time, Ira's double-first cousin John Wilburn Franklin, son of Ben and Sarah Craft Franklin, also of the Millstone, Kentucky area, was dating another of my sisters, Carolyn Frances Hart. I think that perhaps, they were all drawn together by yet another sister of mine, who was dating, and ultimately married another Ft. Benning soldier. This one was from our area and probably introduced his buddies to the rest of my sibling sisters. This was during the wartime era, most likely around 1941. Just remember that I was only about 4 years old at the time, so a lot of this is early memory, but I do know that they all three married my sisters in this time frame and left them in Junction City, to go to fight in Europe.

I also know that both Ira and John took part in the D-day invasion, John was in the Ranger battalion, and was wounded early in the war and I think, not too long later, Ira, who was an army medic, was also wounded. John was wounded with a bullet through his head, leaving him color blind, Ira had shrapnel wounds and carried a lot of shrapnel in his back and legs for the rest of his life. Both men were highly decorated for their action.

After the war, both men moved their families to Kentucky for a time, trying their hand at cold mining, which proved to be a failing proposition at that time. They finally moved back to Georgia. Ira worked as a machinist in the cotton mill in Manchester, I think John went to work as a fireman at Fort Benning.
Ira and Ruby had three children. Their only son is still living and working in the Talbot County area. They had two daughters, Sharon Faye Craft, who became ill in her late teens, which made her almost an invalid until her death in 1978 at the age of 31. She had just married and was on her honeymoon when the illness occurred, the illness and subsequent invalid status of Sharon, evidently was too much for the young couple to take, so the marriage was annulled. Ruby and Ira's other daughter, Deborah Kaye Craft, married, had two children of her own and passed away in 2009.

Ira was one of my favorite, of my many brothers-in-law. Being much younger than he, and without my father. who had died in my early childhood, Ira seemed to take me under his wing and helped me through some of the bad spots. Of course, one thing that I remember so well was his teaching me how to drive. My family had no cars, so he was always there to lend me one. I remember an old strip-down 36 Ford he had, which had no body attached, and only a seat and hood over the engine. This vehicle, he would let me use to ride the back-county roads around Junction City, I think even before I was old enough to have a license. I do remember that he fibbed to the license issuers about my age so that I was able to obtain my license at 15. Ira and Ruby were always there to help my mother, me and my older siblings whenever we needed. Every Sunday night we would all load up in his big 48 Chrysler and go to the movies in Butler, about 15 miles away, the nearest entertainment around. I will always be grateful to Ira, and also John, two of the finest men I have ever known, for always being there when we were growing up.
Sadly, in their later years, Ira and Ruby seemed to grow apart, which ended in divorce. A few years later, Ruby was killed in a fire which destroyed her home. Ira lived a few years longer and died in 1996 in Taylor County. Georgia.

Ruby and Sharon share a plot in Pine Level Cemetery in Taylor County, GA. Ira is buried a few miles away in Moore's Chapel Cemetery.

John and Carolyn had four children, the first two being twins who were born while John was overseas. Sadly, one of the twins died before his 2nd birthday. His twin sister, and two younger siblings, survive today. Carolyn died of leukemia in 1955 at the young age of 32. She was interred in Pine Level Cemetery.

John subsequently went on to remarry, living a long successful life as a fireman at Fort Benning before retiring. He died in 2008 and is buried with his second wife, Odessa Foster Franklin, in Junction City Cemetery.

I am sorry that I learned little from both men, of their families living in Kentucky. I just remember as a child, John and Carolyn once took me on a vacation trip there to visit with his parents, Ben and Sarah Franklin. This was perhaps one of the first times I had ever been away from home and I treasure the memory of the trip with them. I recall how wonderful the folks were there, how they welcomed me so. And those mountains around Millstone, to a young lad from the flatlands of Georgia, wow!

Here is the picture of Sharon:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Booker Mullins who went to Texas

I was thinking about James Mullins and his first wife, Agnes Little. I always heard that they never had any children, but raised two of the children of Booker Mullins, his brother. The story was always that Booker's wife, Martha Mullins, daughter of Ambrose James Mullins and Nancy Mullins, had died about 1840. Booker left his daughters, Sarah and Nancy, and went to Texas to make a new home.

What I rememered that I had found was Sarah, age 12, living in James and Agnes household in 1850. Old Booker Mullins, father of James and Booker F (who went to Texas) father. I thought I had found a census with Booker F and a daughter Sarah who was too young to have been the daughter of a new wife in a Texas census. So I set out to find those records and see what I could figure out on them. I couldn't find ANYTHING on Booker in Texas with a Sarah. So I started over.

James Mullins is in Perry County, Kentucky in 1850. Listed in his household is

James 64, farmer
Agnes 58
Sarah 12
Booker 88.

This is the start of the family legend I heard.

I found Booker Mullins, age 39, no occupation living in Titus County, Texas by himself.

After much searching around, I found that Booker had married Cynthia Clayton about 1847.

Cynthia was the daughter of Daniel Clayton and Lucy. Daniel was from North Carolina and was in Logan County, Kentucky at the time of his death. At some point this family was in Henry County, Tennessee. Cynthia married Bennett Caudle, son of James Caudle (or Caudill as it came down our side of the family) and Mary Pertis. James was a son of James Caudill and Mary Adams. This James was a brother to Stephen Caudill and Matthew Caudill (both my ggx grandfathers). James, Stephen and Matthew all went from North Carolina to Letcher Count, Kentucky.

The son, James Caudle, who married Mary Pertis, moved first to Henry County, Tennessee in the 1820s.

Bennett Caudle's brother, Marcus, married Cynthia Clayton's sister, Rebecca in Henry county. These two couples -- Bennett & Cynthia Clayton Caudle and Marcus & Rebecca Clayton Caudle -- along with other Caudle family members moved to Texas.

About 1846 Bennett Caudle died. They had seven children: William Hawkins, Mary Ann Elizabeth, Daniel Clayton, Sarah Francis, Mahala Jane, James Hatley and Bennett Harrison.

Cynthia married Booker Mullins. They had a daughter, Rebecca Louisa in 1848.

While Booker is listed alone in the Titus County Census, Cynthia is listed as head of household in a separate listing for Titus County. She uses the Mullins name and even uses it for the children who were fathered by Bennett Caudle. Their enumeration is:

Family 413
Mullens, Cynthia, 39, KY
William 21, laborer, KY
Daniel 15, TN
Sarah 13, TN
James 9, TN
Bennett 7, TX
Louisa 2, TX

I found Cynthia in the 1860 census. She is still living in Titus County, in Sparks township. She has taken back the name of Caudle and is listed as a widow.

Cordle, Cintha, 50, widow, KY
Bennett H. 17 TX
Rebecca L. 12 TX
John W. 6 TX
James H. 18, day laborer TN

So who is John W.? It appears that Cynthia is his mother. Would he also be a son of Booker?

I have Cynthia's date of death as March 29, 1895. I have not found her in the 1870 or 1880 census records. When I started this search I was told that there were no records for this part of the country because of Indian uprisings etc. I will just say I haven't found them yet.

About 1861 Booker married Susan S. Lynn from Kentucky. They have at least six children:

Martha J. born 1863
John Riley born 1865
Annie Agnes born 1866
Mary Etta born 1873

My first impression was that Susan had died leaving Booker a widower. And the first census I found sort of made that possible.

I did not find him in 1860 or 1870, but in 1880 Booker Mullins is the head of household in Palo Pinto County, Texas. The census reads:

Mullins, Booker F, head, 70, laborer, KY TN SC
Smith, Martha, daughter, 17, keeping house, TX KY KY
Smith, William A, son-in-law, 27, works on railroad, TX FL FL

So here is Booker, alone, with his daughter and her husband.

Then I started following the other children.

John Riley Mullins, son of Booker and Susan, married Bertha Irene Thompson from Illinois. In the 1900 census for Little River, Cleveland County, Oklahoma it shows:

Mullins, John R. 35, head, Feb 1865, married 11 years, TX WV KY farmer
Bertha I. 28, wife, Oct 1871, had 4 children, 4 living, IL IL KY
Cordelia, 8, daughter, Aug 1891, Indian Territory TX IL
Jessie G. 6, daughter, Oct 1873, TX TX IL
Minnie F. 4, daughter, Dec 1895, Indian Territory TX IL
Lonnie L. 1, son, Oct 1898, Indian Territory TX IL

Bertha Thompson Mullins died on June 30, 1903.

John Riley Mullins married Organ Peary in 1908 in Oklahoma.

In 1910 they are in the Holdenville, Hughes County, Oklahoma census as follows:

Mullins John R, 44, head, marriage 2, 2 years, TX WV KY
Mullins, Organ, wife, marriage 1, AK AK AK
Mullins, Cordelia, 18, daughter, OK TX IL
Robertson, Jessie, 16, daughter, widowed, TX TX IL
Mullins, Minnie, 14, daughter, OK TX IL
Mullins, Royal, 6, son OK TX IL
Mullins, Susan, mother, widowed, had 7 children 6 living, KY KY KY.

Susan was alive in 1880 when Booker was living without a spouse in his household in Titus County Texas. I have not found her in 1880 or 1900, but I am still looking.

So basically, Booker's first wife, Martha died. He left his two daughters (some say there is a third, Rhoda) with his brother, James, and left for Texas. In Texas he married a widow, Cynthia Clayton Caudle, with seven children and had one (Rebecca Louisa) or two (John W. Mullins) children with her. They did not live together in the 1850 census. In the 1860 census Cynthia has taken back her Caudle name. In 1861 Booker married Susan Lynn and had about seven children with her. In the 1880 census he is alone in a household with his oldest daughter and her new husband. I can't find Susan in 1880 or 1900, but in 1910, she is living with her and Booker's son, John Riley Mullins. So many holes to fill in.

I have all the census records which I listed plus others for other members of the family. I have a few pictures of some in this line. If Booker's line and what happened to him is of interest to you, or if you other information to share, please write to me at karenchat@aol.com and I will share what I have with you. I will share with members of the family. I don't want to even talk to you if you have all this information and can't or won't tell who you are and how you are connected to the family. I have had a few of those on other articles and they were nothing but a pain and totally useless.

I will still keep looking for that census that I thought I found listing the other Sarah, and will update if I come across more.

Update 1

I was following Booker and Susan's daughter, Annie Agnes Mullins. She was born in 1866 in Texas. She married Berry Crittendon Wilkin. In 1880 they were living in Cooke County, Texas in the Wilhight family home as boarders.

Wilkins, Berry, 21, laborer, TX MS TN
Anna, 13, TX MS TN

They had a child, Berry Crittendon Wilkins in May of 1883. Wilkins Sr. either died or they separated.

In 1894 Annie married Edward Mushany who was born in Missouri. His parents were from Baden, Germany.

In the 1900 census Annie and Edward are:

Mushaney Edward, head, Jan 1840, 60, married 6 years, MO Germany Germany farmer
Mushaney, Anna, wife, May 1866, 34, had 2 children, 2 living, TX IA KY
Mushaney, Walter, son, Mar 1896, 4 TX MO TX
Mushaney, John E. son, Aug 1898 1 TX MO TX
Wilkins, Crittendon, stepson, Mar 1883 17, TX TX TX, farm laborer

I have seen some family trees on ancestry where they have changed the name to McShaney and claim that Edward was Irish, but when I followed the family back to Missouri, his father was listed there as a widower with the Mushaney name and said he was from Germany. The writing looked clear to me on both census records, so I believe the name was Mushaney not McShaney.

Apparently Edward died or they separated (too many times they go separate ways and the woman will tell the census taker she is a widow) because in the 1910 census it shows:

Family 9
Mashiney, Annie, head, 43, widow, had 4 children 4 living, TX KY KY washerwoman, public
Mashiney, Walter, son 14, TX TX KY
Mashiney, John E. son 11, TX TX KY
Mashiney, Robert L. son, 9 TX TX KY
Mashiney, Freddie, son 4, OK TX KY
Mullins, Susan, mother, 73, widowed, had 6 children 5 living KY TX KS

So here on the same page of the census a brother and sister are both claiming that their mother, Susan is living with them. Regardless, it shows Susan Lynn Mullins was still alive in 1910.