Saturday, August 29, 2009

SNGF: Ancestors I Have Met

For this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun brought to you by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings:

1) Write down which of your ancestors that you have met in person (yes, even if you were too young to remember them).

2) Tell us their names, where they lived, and their relationship to you in a blog post, or in comments to this post, or in comments on Facebook.

This is an easy and short list for me. (I won’t list aunts and uncles, because there were just too many.) Both of my grandfathers died before I was born.

1. My mother, Grace Madeline Moore (1917-1987). Born, grew up, and died in Baylor County, Texas. Also lived in various parts of Southern California, a few other locations in Texas, McKee’s Rocks, Pennsylvania, Palo Alto, California, and Renton, Washington.

2. My father, Junior Varnell Brinlee (1931-1972). Born in Telephone, Fannin County, Texas, died in Victorville, California. Also lived in other parts of Texas, McKee’s Rocks, Pennsylvania, Palo Alto, California, Renton, Washington, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

3. My paternal grandmother, Sallie Frances Norman (Brinlee) (1892-1984). Born in Talladega, Alabama, died in Ivanhoe, Fannin County, Texas, also lived in Hunt County, Texas.

4. My maternal grandmother, Eula Amanda Floyd (1883-1972), born in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas, died in Torrance, California, also lived in Baylor County, Texas.

Here’s the heart-breaker: I had one other direct ancestor who was alive during my lifetime: Susan Elizabeth Smith (Bonner Brinlee), (1868-1958). She is my great brick wall. I never met her. Although I was very young when she died and certainly wouldn’t have asked her anything about herself, I have memories of other relatives from those early years; had I met her, I know I would have remembered something about her: what she looked like, how she spoke.

SNGF Treasure Hunt Follow-Up: No Joy

Well, not much, anyway. Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge on Genea-Musings last Saturday was to go on a scavenger hunt – for our great-great-grandparents (or great-grandparents, etc.) in the census: that is, if there were censuses on which they should have appeared, find them and provide a citation. I had done this work for all of my known great-great grandparents except for the Brinlees, so I looked them up in the census. I forgot to note in my blog post that on the 1850 census Hiram Brinlee appeared as Herand Brendler (no correction had been made, yet), so of course I didn’t find him at first. I was pretty sure he was in Collin County at that time, so I just put in Collin County, born in Kentucky and then Tennessee (both states were reported for him as his state of birth, probably because he was born in the area that was only later clearly divided between the two states), born in 1807 plus or minus two years, and when Herand Brendler appeared on the resulting list of names, I was pretty sure that was him (and the list of names in the family confirmed it). Then I submitted name corrections.

The main ancestors I could not find were my Norman great-grandparents Jack and Sarah in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. I had forgotten that I had actually found Sarah Sisson Norman (as “Sallie Norman”) before on the 1920 census, shown with her son Thomas Frank Norman and his family. For some reason she was shown as his mother-in-law (although no different last name was given for her), but I know the name and dates of birth and death of Thomas Frank’s mother-in-law, and this definitely was not her. Jack Norman was still alive at that time (so why is Sarah shown as a widow?), and I believe Sarah was probably visiting Thomas Frank and his family. Perhaps Jack was, too, but was overlooked by the census-taker, or perhaps he was at home and just didn’t want to talk to the census-taker. Here is the census entry:

1920 US Federal Census, Precinct #3, Fannin, Texas, ED 42, p. 1, 2 Jan 1920

Gray and Orangeville Road Fm 11 14
Norman, Frank Head R M W 37 M Yes Yes AL AL AL Yes Farmer OA 4
Nola Wife F W 34 M Yes Yes TN TN TN Yes
Sallie Mother-in-law F W 64 Wd Yes Yes AL AL AL Yes
Ross Son M W 13 S No Yes Yes TX TN TN Yes
Grady Son M W 11 S No Yes Yes TX TN TN
Thomas Son M W 10 S No Yes Yes TX TN TN Yes
Morgan Son M W 6 S No No No TX TN TN
Geneva Daughter F W 4 S No No No TX TX TX
Oby Son M W 2 S No No No TX TX TX
Sarah Daughter F W 1/2 S No No No TX TX TX No

[Source: 1920 US Federal Census, Texas, Fannin County, Precinct #3, Leonard, 2 January 1920, Frank Norman family, dwelling number 11, family number 14, NARA roll T625_1802, p. 1B, ED 42, image 855, online database, viewed 25 August 2009.]

I have tried several tricks to find Jack and Sarah on the 1910 census, and even used a neat tool on a website recommended to me by Patti Brown of Consanguinity, The Name Thesaurus.

This leaves Angeline Matlock Floyd on the 1870 census and Lizzie Smith on all the censuses before 1900. Angeline was married to Charles Floyd by 1870 (their oldest child, Oscar, had been born in 1869), and her parents had died, so I cannot think of any other place she might have been (visiting friends?). I believe that the most likely possibility is that the census-taker overlooked her and Oscar.

As for Lizzie, I plan to start soon on pulling together all my information and materials on her for my genealogy society’s brick wall session. Part of this will be a “census survey” – a list of all Smith families in Tennessee with a daughter named Susan, Elizabeth, Lizzie or anything similar of approximately the right age on the 1870 and 1880 censuses in Tennessee (the latter census to include a young girl “working out” with another family; family stories indicate that Lizzie may have been orphaned by that time), with special attention to families in which the parents were born in North Carolina (or South Carolina, since the two were often confused).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Family Newsletter Friday: 28 August 2009


More wonderful pictures and information has come in from Norman cousins. I am still working on the Leatha Norman and Thomas Wiley Huff family, whom I now know to be connected to our Normans. I also compiled a list of Normans buried in Peak Cemetery, Garland County, Arkansas using Findagrave. Also, for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun I “rediscovered” Sarah Sisson Norman on the 1920 census (will post on that tomorrow), but where was Jack Norman for that census?


The final (?) set of obituaries on Moore family descendants and relatives came in. Hooray!


For the above-mentioned Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, I found Hiram Brinlee Sr. and Elizabeth Ann McKinney Brinlee on the 1850 through 1880 censuses, transcribed the information, and provided citations.


Well, this is the line that may pre-empt research on all of the above for a while. But, isn’t this my brick wall? Yes, it is: Sarah Elizabeth Smith (Bonner Brinlee). Sort of inspired by the same above-mentioned Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (Randy, are you a Svengali or Pied Piper?), I just sort of not-very-seriously did a little looking around for Lizzie Smith on Ancestry. And found a family on the 1880 census (and then on previous censuses) for Tennessee that I think is really, really interesting. I will also be writing about this later. However, since my genealogy society’s brick wall workshop is coming up in September, I need to be preparing all my material on Lizzie Smith Brinlee, so it is time to start putting together information on all my Tennessee Smith “candidate families.”


Favorite photo found on a blog this week: an unusual visitor to a bird feeder at Karen’s Genealogy Frame of Mind.

Favorite idea found on a blog this week: Keeping a hair book at Patti Browning’s Consanguinity. I even have cuttings of my own hair and my two daughters' hair to start it with. One of the cuttings from my older daughter consists of a plastic baggie with hair she hacked off into the kitchen trash can when she was four years old. Dad was not far away at the time, but was oblivious to what was going on. Mom walked in and was furious - at Dad.

Featured Family Friday: Elisha Berry Lewis Family

Elisha Berry Lewis
b. 1813, South Carolina
d. 23 Feb 1889, Anderson Co., South Carolina
& Martha M. Poole
b. 1815, South Carolina
d. bef 1865
m. 3 Feb 1835
|--James West Lewis
|----b. Nov 1835, South Carolina
|----d. 20 Mar 1904
|---& Sophia Adeline Milwee
|----b. 5 Mar 1839, Anderson District, South Carolina
|----d. 30 Dec 1926, Vernon, Willbarger, Texas
|----m. 28 Feb 1867
|--Margaret A. Lewis
|----b. 1839, South Carolina
|--Samuel D. Lewis
|----b. 1840
|----d. 14 Aug 1864, Fussell’s Mill, Virginia
|--Manning P. Lewis
|----b. 1843, Georgia
|----d. 25 Mar 1865
|--Mary R. Lewis
|----b. 1846, Georgia
|----d. 1850, Georgia
|--Martha E. “Mattie” Lewis
|----b. 8 Nov 1848, Franklin Co., Georgia
|----d. 22 Sep 1930, Plano, Collin Co., Texas
|---& Harlston Perrin Moore
|----b. 4 Dec 1845, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 12 Dec 1921, Lancaster, Dallas Co., TX
|----m. 3 Dec 1865, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|---William Henry Lewis
|-----b. 11 Mar 1851, Franklin Co., Georgia
|----d. 21 Feb 1946, Baylor Hospital, Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas
|---& Julia Mister
|----b. 12 Oct 1871, Grenada, Mississippi
|----d. 22 Sep 1945, Dallas County, TX
|----m. 1893
|--Leonora J. “Nora” Lewis
|----b. ca 1854
|--John Sloan Lewis
|----b. 12 May 1856, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 7 Jul 1940, Dallas County, TX
|---& Carrie Lanora Orr
|----b. 21 Nov 1858, South Carolina
|----d. 7 Jul 1934, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
|----m. 1875
|--Cora Lewis
|----b. 1859, South Carolina
|-----d. aft 1870

Elisha Berry Lewis
b. 1813, South Carolina
d. 23 Feb 1889, Anderson Co., South Carolina
& Frances Eleanor Campbell
b. May 1835, South Carolina
d. 29 Jul 1918, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--Julia M. Lewis
|----b. Sep 1866, South Carolina
|----d. 26 May 1947, San Diego, California
|--Lucy Lewis
|----b. 7 Feb 1868
|----d. 24 Nov 1967, Greenville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|---& Christopher C. Hindman
|----b. 20 May 1877, South Carolina
|----d. 18 Nov 1947, Greenville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|--Lillie May Lewis
|----b. 1871, South Carolina
|----d. 1896, South Carolina
|--Alfred P. Lewis
|----b. 1879, South Carolina

This is the family of my great-great grandfather Elisha Berry Lewis, son of Elisha Lewis and Rosannah Dalrymple, who was married first to Martha Poole (my great-great grandmother), daughter of Manning Poole and Mary Milwee, and second to Frances Eleanor Campbell, daughter of Daniel Campbell and Eleanor Sherrill (a family with several connections to the Lewises) who was first married to John Marion Bailey, Sr. (that family is shown at the bottom of this post).

This family and the Moore family are my top research priorities, mainly because they are the families for which I have been able to do the most original research. When a cousin told me that our great-grandfather Harlston Perrin Moore’s wife Martha was reputed to be a Lewis, I started looking for a Lewis family in Anderson County, South Carolina that was in Georgia around the time of the 1850 census, but was in Anderson County before and after that time period; Martha was born in Georgia in 1848 but her parents were born in South Carolina and she had to be back in Anderson County by the 1860s to meet and marry my great-grandfather . And, sure enough, I found the E. B. Lewis family in Anderson in 1840, in Franklin County, Georgia in 1850, and back in Anderson in 1860.

This large family has been a lot of fun to research, but there are obviously still some gaps. The big ones are several of the daughters: Margaret, Leanora “Nora,” and Cora. Nora shows up with brothers John Sloan and William Henry on the 1880 census in Dallas (John Sloan and Carrie Lewis, Harlston Perrin and Martha Lewis Moore, and Nora apparently moved to Dallas County, Texas in 1877, following brother William Henry, who made his way out there in 1873). William Henry served three terms (1886-1892) as sheriff of Dallas County and John Sloan served as a deputy sheriff. Brother James West Lewis also moved out to Texas in the late 1870s but settled in Wilbarger County. Brothers Manning and Samuel died in the Civil War, and two of James’ sons are named for them. I do not have a date of death for Alfred Lewis, but I do know from the obituary of one of his siblings that he lived in Kansas City, Missouri in later years.

If you are researching any of these people or any families related to them in any way, please, please, please contact me (using the button at the left of this blog). I have a lot of information to share.

Family of Frances Eleanor Campbell and John Marion Bailey, Sr.:

John Marion Bailey Sr.
b. ca 1822, Pendleton District, South Carolina
d. 1863
& Frances Eleanor Campbell
b. May 1835, South Carolina
d. 29 Jul 1918, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--Eliza Eleanor Bailey
|----b. 31 Dec 1856, South Carolina
|----d. 17 Nov 1942, San Diego, California
|---& Walter Quincy “Quince” Hammond
|----b. 8 Dec 1854, Florida
|----d. 7 Mar 1906, South Carolina
|--William Daniel Bailey
|----b. 20 Jan 1860, South Carolina
|----d. 31 Aug 1935, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|--John Marion Bailey Jr.
|----b. 13 Dec 1862, South Carolina
|----d. 24 Sep 1959
|---& Catherine Elizabeth “Lizzie” Maddox
|----b. 15 Mar 1867
|----d. 24 Dec 1959
|----m. 1889

An interesting note: John Marion Bailey, Senior, James West Lewis, and Samuel D. Lewis all served in the same unit in the Civil War, the 4th South Carolina (Palmetto Sharpshooters). I have a poster with tiny thumbnail pictures of all three of them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Memory Monday: The New Girl

I was not the only new student at Seymour High School in the fall of 1969. There were a few other kids who had moved to Baylor County, and of these there were even a couple of students who were not through-and-through Texans, so I was not the only kid who didn’t have a Texan accent.

Still, there was a sense of disconnection, unfamiliarity, and uncertainty on my first day in high school. I was the only sophomore who was just starting high school, because in California at that time high school started in the 10th grade, whereas in Texas it started in the 9th grade. My friends from Curtis Junior High School would also be starting high school now, without me. Curtis Junior High School was the school I had attended in 7th grade and I had known a few of those kids since elementary school. I still thought of San Bernardino as my home and felt that I should really be going to school there. But where would we have lived? We had lost our old house, which was sold off to pay debts. We could no longer afford to live there, especially since my mother was separated from my dad. We were living on her salary and tips, which was barely enough to get by on, even in a town as inexpensive to live in as Seymour was.

On the first day of school we all went to a big room where our class assignments were handed out. The school was located in a three-storey brick building and the top floor was occupied by the junior high school, so it was not too difficult to find my classrooms. School started at the end of August and it was still blazing hot. The air conditioners in the classrooms did not help much unless you were sitting near them, and then it was difficult to hear what the teacher was saying.

Going to class was not so intimidating, but lunch was another matter. There were about 70 students in each grade, so the handful of newbies must have stuck out. When I went to find a place in the lunchroom to sit down, there were a few greetings and inquiries that seemed friendly or at least innocuous, plus one that set off subtle alarms.

“You remind me of [so-and-so]. Do you know her?” I shook my head no. There was just the faintest hint of a smile of amusement on the faces of one or two of the girls sitting next to the girl who had asked the question and I had a feeling that her remark was not meant as a compliment. I quickly went through the process of memorizing and mentally filing away the faces of the coterie of girls sprawled at the table where my interlocutor sat, noting them all as possible future sources of harassment, to be avoided when possible and to be treated with caution when avoidance wasn’t possible. After five junior high schools this was a reflex reaction; only at the last school had I suffered from any form of harassment, but it was a useful trick that had developed naturally to deal with the need to continually navigate unfamiliar adolescent environments.

“Are you sure you’re not related to her?” I nodded, using a slight smile and ever so slightly prolonged eye contact to express a confidence I did not feel (and hoping that my quick-to-blush face was not betraying me).

This little “thrust and parry” dance would become familiar to me over the next few years, not as a tool for insulting people, but rather as a regular Texan social ritual for testing out new acquaintances and confirming “in jokes” with established friends. I later met “so-and-so,” and my suspicion that the remark had been meant as an insult was confirmed, even as I realized that there was a certain physical resemblance between “so-and-so” and me.

The girl who had asked the question did not pursue it on later occasions, nor did the other two “alpha females” with whom she tended to hang out. Oh, there were plenty of other testing jabs – with me and with everyone else with whom they came into contact. They did not become friends exactly, but they were friendly enough and I came to appreciate their sharp sense of humor. And I learned how to turn these jabs right back. The trick is not to let on that the arrow may have hit its target, that is, to give no sign of irritation or offense. A reply may be given, but it must be absolutely neutral in tone and expression and must give the impression that you are totally unaware of any malicious intent on the part of your interlocutor. But the most important thing is to look that person in the eye for just a second longer than usual and smile ever so slightly.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Great-Greats in the Census

Randy Seaver’s recent SNGFs over at Genea-Musings have had an eerie relevance to my genealogy research of late, particularly the listing of the 16 great-great grandparents, the ultimate genealogy goals, and now the census search for great-great grandparents.

Here are the guidelines for the Scavenger Hunt:

1) Is there someone on your list of 16-great-great-grandparents that you don't have a census record for, and for which one should be available? If you have all of your great-great-grands (or they are not on the census records), what about your great-grands, your grands, or your parents? What about siblings of your great-grands? What about your spouse's family lines? Go find at least one!

2) Tell us about it in your blog, comments to this post, or comments in Facebook. While you're at it, give us a source citation for your census finding too.

After spending my first year in genealogy, during which I just tried to establish what was “out there” on my family lines (though I did make a few new discoveries that I did not see elsewhere), I set out the method that I would use for genealogy research. It is recommended that a researcher stick with a particular family and not hop around from line to line, but I have adopted a generational approach: my parents and siblings, my grandparents and all their children and descendants, my great-grandparents with children and descendants, and so forth. I am now at the great-great grandparent level and am still more or less pursuing an “all known descendants approach”; for the ggg-grandparent level and beyond, I will only use that approach very selectively, although I will still research the siblings of my ancestors and their immediate families (useful for the “cluster” approach). I like the generational approach, because while I do end up “hopping” from family to family, the types of documents, resources, and information available tend to be similar due to the similar time frames.

I am also viewing my research at this point as the “first round” – I am doing the basics and a little more to get the main outlines of these families plus as many details as I can through online resources and resources for which I can send out (state archive and NARA materials, obituaries, books through library loan or at the Library of Congress, microfilm through the Family History Center, etc.). It’s not that I don’t plan on doing any onsite research, it’s just that onsite research probably has to wait until my daughters are both in college and my husband and I have the time and means to take these trips. By that time I hope to be equipped with as much information as I can obtain by other means so that I can devote all my “field” time to finding what I would not be able to find otherwise.

One of the first things I do for each new family in this “first round” of research is to look them up in the census, so I already have that information on most of my great-great-grandparents. I am now on my next-to-last set of great-great-grandparents, Joseph Madison Carroll Norman and Rebecca Monk (not counting the Smiths, because I do not know who they are). The only remaining family is that of Hiram Brinlee Sr. and Betsy Ann McKinney, so I will look them up in the census today to see what I can find. In addition, after I do that, I will take stock of which censuses are missing for my various great-great-grandparents and great-grandparents, give it another try, and list the results. I will also list the gaps that remain, and if any kind soul out there wants to take a stab at those, I will crown you King or Queen of Census Research.

Hiram Carroll Brinlee Sr. and Elizabeth Ann “Betsy” McKinney in the US Federal Census

1850 US Federal Census
, Collin County, Texas, pp. 4-5 of 44, 13 Nov 1850

Line 39 28 28

Hiram Brindlee 45 M Farmer $1836 Tennessee
E. A. Brindlee 37 F KY Over 20 cannot read or write
M. L. Brindlee 16 F TX Attended school
R. M. Brindlee 14 M TX Attended school
Geo. R. Brindlee 12 M TX Attended school
Sarah E. Brindlee 10 F TX Attended school
H.C. Brindlee 8 M TX Attended school
Davis F. Brindlee 6 M TX

[Source: 1850 United States Federal Census, Texas, Collin County, Hiram Brindlee family, dwelling number 28, family number 28, viewed 23 August 2009.]

1860 US Federal Census, Precinct No. 2 – Highland P.O., Collin County, Texas, 26 July 1860, p. 155

Line 9 972 1023

Hiram Brinley 52 M Farmer $10,000 $8000 KY
Betsy A. Brinley 45 F KY
George R. Brinley 20 M Farmer TX Attended school
Sarah B. Brinley 18 F TX Attended school
Hiram C. 16 M TX Attended school
David C. 12 M TX Attended school
William H. 10 M TX

[Source: 1860 United States Federal Census, Texas, Collin County, Precinct No. 2 – Highland P.O., p. 155, Hiram Brinley family, dwelling number 972, family number 1023, NARA roll M653_1291, page 46, image 97, online database, viewed 23 August 2009.]

1870 US Federal Census, Precinct No. 3 – Highland P.O., Collin County, Texas, p. 2, 25 July 1870

Line 2 6 6

Brinlee, Hiram 63 M W Farmer $4500 $1500 KY Male US citizen over 21
Brinlee, Ann 57 F W Keeping house KY Cannot write

[Source: 1870 United States Federal Census, Texas, Collin County, Precinct No. 3 – Highland P.O., p. 2, 25 July 1870, NARA Roll M593_1579, page 417, image 227, online database, viewed 23 August 2009.]

1880 US Federal Census, Justice Precinct No. 3, Collin County, Texas, p. 7, 3 June 1880

Line 42 44 53

Brinlee, S. H. W M 72 Married Farmer KY VA VA
Brinlee, Betsy A. W F 67 Wife Married Keeping house KY VA VA

[Source: 1880 United States Federal Census, Texas, Collin County Justice Precinct 3, p. 7, 3 June 1880, NARA Roll T9_1296, online database, viewed 23 August 2009.]

Great-grandparents and great-great grandparents still missing in action on some censuses (did not have time today to “give it another try,” but will attempt to do so this week and report the results):

Great-grandmother Susan Elizabeth Smith (Bonner Brinlee): all censuses from 1870 through 1900 – she should have appeared with husband Hiram C. Brinlee, Jr. on the 1900 census in Britton Township, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma Territory; I have not been able to find her listed separately and believe that Hiram may have just not provided any information other than whoever was outside working at the time (himself, his youngest son by his first wife, and a hired hand). I have not found her before 1900 because I do not know who her parents were.

Great-grandparents William Henry “Jack” Norman and Sara Jane Sisson (Norman) – 1910 and 1920 censuses; on the 1900 census they were in Grayson County, Texas and on the 1930 census they were in Fannin County, Texas.

Great-grandmother Angeline Elizabeth Matlock (Floyd) on the 1870 census – she should be shown with her husband Charles Augustus Floyd because they married in 1867; however, Charles is listed as living in the household of Angeline’s sister Martha and Martha’s husband Emory Gracy. Angeline is not listed in her parents’ household for that census.

And Randy, an extra big thanks to you – you have inspired me to formulate and put down in writing an outline of my research strategy for the coming years!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Family Newsletter Friday: 21 August 2009

This week’s Family Newsletter will be rather short, as most of my genealogy activities this week have been covered in two previous posts (right below this week’s Featured Family Friday), Cousins to the Rescue Again! and I Love GenWeb.


Research on the Thomas Wiley Huff-Leatha Norman family heated up this week when I found more online postings by descendants. When I finally sent out an e-mail to other Norman researchers, the results I got opened up the entire Joseph Madison Carroll family, as a reply from a descendant of Thomas and Leatha Huff contained an excellent Norman Family History by Inez E. Cline which does, in fact, confirm that this Leatha Norman was JMC Norman’s daughter. I will be using this history and the online posts in combination with the usual Ancestry/GenWeb/Rootsweb/Family Search, etc. sources to fill in as many blanks as possible. On the basis of descendant interviews, the Cline history actually lists the posited 27 children of JMC Norman, including children who died young. I have glanced at the Cline history enough to confirm much of what it has on my branch of the family, though there are a few details that can be added and altered based on what I know.

I have found an e-mail address for an additional Norman contact that was not on my list, so I plan to go through my notes again and send our more e-mails!


Again, this was covered in I Love GenWeb: I was startled to find on the Greenville GenWeb site that one of the prominent Greenville Moores, William Spencer Moore (nephew of my guy) had been a prisoner of war in Camp Douglas in Chicago. Since my great-grandfather Harlston Perrin Moore was a guard at the Confederate prison camp known as Camp Sorghum (and probably at its successor, Camp Asylum), I have bought a few books on Civil War prison camps and read some online articles; this will fuel my interest even more. My husband, who is a big Civil War history guy and has tons of books on all aspects of it, is also very interested in this research.

Some time within the next couple of weeks I will probably be getting the 20+ Greenville News obituaries I ordered. These should be the last ones! Maybe.

Featured Family Friday: William Warren Baldwin and Jeanetta M. T. Moore

William Warren Baldwin
b. ca 1835, South Carolina
d. bef 1870
& Jeanetta M. T. “Nettie” Moore
b. 14 Aug 1836
d. 20 Aug 1876
|--Martha Emma Baldwin
|----b. 6 Dec 1856, Greenville County, South Carolina
|----d. 21 Aug 1939, Greenville County, South Carolina
|---& Henry Martin Thompson
|----b. 7 Oct 1858, Oaklawn Township, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 2 May 1926, West Greenville, Greenville County, South Carolina
|----m. 17 Nov 1878
|--James Ervin Baldwin
|----b. 13 May 1858, South Carolina
|----d. 17 Feb 1941, Simpsonville, Greenville County, South Carolina
|---& Mary Ann Smith
|----b. 11 Sep 1860, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 3 Jan 1935, Greenville County, South Carolina
|----m. 1882
|--Eliza Baldwin
|----b. 1860, South Carolina
|--John Henry Baldwin
|----b. 7 Sep 1860, South Carolina
|----d. 29 Oct 1938, Standing Springs, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|---& Mary Jane Narcissus “Mollie” Forrester
|----b. 27 Feb 1867, Near Mauldin, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 10 Mar 1939, Standing Springs, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----m. 26 Feb 1881
|--William Spencer Baldwin
|----b. 11 Nov 1862, South Carolina
|----d. 4 Apr 1935, Mauldin, Greenville, South Carolina
|---& Harriet Elsie Forrester
|----b. May 1868, South Carolina
|----d. 30 May 1942, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----m. 1889

Jeanetta M. T. Moore was the youngest child of Bud Mathis Moore and Martha Brown Coulter. There are a couple of obvious gaps in this family: father William Warren Baldwin and daughter Eliza Baldwin. I have only been able to find William Warren Baldwin on one census so far (1860); by 1870, Jeanetta is a widow. According to the Bud Mathis Moore Family materials of J. Furman Moore, “William Baldwin fought with the Confederate Army the entire duration of the war, and died of Typhoid Fever in Greensboro, N.C. on the day that Lee surrendered. Rests at Greensboro, N.C.” I could put the date of Lee’s surrender as his date of death, but I would like to find further evidence for this date before I do so. This is about the sum total of what I know about William Warren Baldwin. I have seen online genealogies indicating that his parents were R. Berry and Permilla Baldwin, and I believe that he was a cousin of Mary Ann Elizabeth Baldwin, who married Jeanetta’s brother Samuel Alexander Moore. One of these genealogies indicates that he was born in 1833 in Mississippi. I have based Martha Emma Baldwin’s name on census information, but the online genealogies give her name as Emma Dora.

The following from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System may refer to William Warren Baldwin:

W. W. Baldwin, Confederate
2 South Carolina Infantry 2 Palmetto Regiment, Company B, Private-Private

Eliza is also still a mystery, one of numerous sisters in my Greenville County and Anderson County families who is hard to track down.

I would love to trade information on this family; you can contact me by clicking on the green “CONTACT” on the left side of this blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Love GenWeb

Under my "South Carolina Links" on the left side of this blog there is a new link: Greenville County South Carolina GenWeb. This link should have been there from the very beginning, but I only thought to add it today. I have found a tremendous amount of information at this GenWeb site, including annotated census listings, a number of historical maps of Greenville County, and some really useful links. One of these links is to the Sixteenth South Carolina, CSA. I originally went to the site to see which censuses show a certain Jordan Moore and who his neighbors are in that census (I have reason to believe he was related to my Samuel Moore and I want to know more, because a Jordan Moore might actually be much easier to trace than my Samuel and his probable brother John). While I was "wandering around" on the site, I found the link to the 16th, since I know that one of the Greenville Moores, William Spencer Moore (the nephew of my great-great grandfather William Spencer Moore) served in the Sixteenth during the Civil War. I found him on the roster as a First Sergeant in Company A and was shocked to read that after being wounded and captured at Nashville on 16 December 1864, he was sent to the notorious Camp Douglas in Chicago. Camp Douglas was known as the "Andersonville of the North" and is said to be the site of the largest known mass grave in the Western Hemisphere. It is alleged that at the time he was sent to Camp Douglas (December 1864), the prison camp held 12,000 prisoners.

I went to Ancestry to confirm this and found two records showing that he had been held at Louisville Prison after being captured on the 16th and was transferred from there to Camp Douglas on the 21st. I also wrote to a couple of cousins on the Moore side who are descended from him, and one of them wrote back with an item he had written on William Spencer Moore which mentioned that he had been imprisoned in Illinois.

This is not the first time that a GenWeb site has provided me with or pointed me to some very helpful information on my ancestors. My early research on the Moores was made possible by my discovery of a transcription of my great-grandfather Harlston Perrin Moore's death certificate on the Dallas GenWeb site. GenWeb sites vary greatly in content, but it is always worthwhile to check out the GenWeb site for any location where your ancestors have lived. Ancestry has a lot of great databases, but often the information on GenWeb sites will go well beyond that, especially in transcriptions and in the location-related arrangement of data and links. In this case, hats off to Mel Odom, the coordinator for the Greenville GenWeb website.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cousins to the Rescue Again!

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I am currently working on the family and descendants of my great-great grandfather Joseph Madison Carroll Norman and had planned to compile a list of Norman researchers I had found online and send out an e-mail to them to inquire about sharing information. It seems as though I have been writing down names and e-mail addresses with the intention of doing this forever, but only last weekend did I finally get around to it.

Needless to say, I should have done this sooner. Many of the addresses were outdated and starting earlier might have yielded one or two more active addresses. Still, the results were encouraging and even “happy dance” inducing. In addition to the many “Delivery Failure” messages I got back, I received four positive replies the very same day. All were positive about sharing information and one of them (thank you, Pat!) was so kind and generous as to send me scans of a photograph of J.M.C. Norman and the family history of the Normans written by Inez E. Cline. This is the first time I have seen a picture of J.M.C. Norman and the Norman family history is a real gem. It is obvious that much meticulous research and legwork and many family interviews went into this history. Compiling and chronicling the history of a family traced back to a man who had approximately 27 children by three wives is no small task, and like some of the fine research done by some of my other cousins on other family lines, the Norman family history will be very helpful.

If I have learned a lesson from this experience, it is to start the contact list as soon as I run across the names and addresses in my research and to have an introductory letter already written up that I can just copy and paste into an e-mail. I have some of these lists in the front of the my family name binders, but have not been careful to keep them all up to date.

More on the new information on the Normans in the next Family Newsletter Friday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Memory Monday: Welcome to Texas

When I came to Texas in the summer of 1969, my mother was living in an apartment on the second floor of my Aunt Rene’s house. It had a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen and was accessed by stairs on the outside of the house. I slept on the sofa in the living room; I remember watching the moon landing from that sofa. A bird family had built a nest in the bedroom window and I enjoyed checking on their progress.

We had very little of our own in the way of household furniture or appliances. Almost everything had to be acquired anew when we moved a couple of months later into an apartment in the Housing Complex. This was the utilitarian name of the public assistance housing; there was only one such complex in Seymour. Our address was Apartment 44, Housing Complex. It sounded bare-bones, but the apartment served our needs very well. Like all the other units in the complex, it was part of a duplex.

The setting was not so bad, either. Our back door opened out onto a grassy common area that had a few pecan trees; we would later spend hours on winter nights cracking the pecans we collected from the ground around these trees. Perhaps the presence of so many pecan trees is why novelty nutcrackers are such popular Christmas presents in that part of Texas – sort of the official Northeast Texas tchotchke. Beyond the grassy common area and across the road from the housing project was the city park, which was filled with scrubby trees and diseased and mistletoe-afflicted trees so common in that part of Texas. Still, it was a pleasant place to walk in.

Only one thing about the setting bothered me a little bit, and that was all the burrs and “stickers” in the grass. For some reason, I really missed being able to walk barefoot on the grass. It wasn’t as though I had walked around barefoot outside all the time in California. For one thing, having dogs put a definite limit on that kind of activity, at least in our back yard. Still, I remembered the freedom of being able to dash out into our front yard and feel the soft, cool grass under my feet. I guess you never know what you are going to miss until you have to do without it.

Other foods that we always had plenty of, in addition to pecans, were butter and cheese; that was because everyone who was on public assistance received these subsidized foods. Not great foods if you wanted to lose weight, but we learned to make varied use of them, especially in casseroles.

My mother got a job as a waitress. She worked from 3:00 to 11:00, so it was always late when she got home. She would bring home her tips and leftover slices of the cream pies served by the restaurant. It became our late-night ritual to count up her tips while eating a piece of pie.

Life was slower in Seymour, which was a bit hotter than San Bernardino and quite a bit plainer and more barren in look and feel. Despite the differences, my adjustment to my new surroundings was not too traumatic; perhaps my homesickness for California might have been keener had I not expected to move back there before too much time had passed. After all, I had moved so many times in the last three years; surely this was just temporary, too.

I soon found the library; like almost everything in town, it was not too far a walk from anything else in town. I had not yet met many people other than my relatives, and I still carried many ingrained biases regarding the South and Southerners, despite the fact that my parents were from Texas. The only thing I can say in my defense is that it would only take a few months to strip that nonsense from me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun at Genea-Musings for last week, which was to list the basic data for our 16 great-great grandparents and their estimated ethnic background, compelled many of us to confront our research gaps. This week’s challenge is another one requiring even more serious thought:

1) Answer these questions:

* What is your UGG - your "Ultimate Genealogy Goal" for the genealogy research that you wish to leave to your heirs, descendants and the genealogy community?

I would like to leave a body of well-organized, well-sourced, and thorough genealogy research that includes the following:

A. A solution to my greatest brick walls and/or pushing the line further back:

- Susan Elizabeth Smith (married a Mr. Bonner and Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr.), b. 4 April ca 1868 in Tennessee, d. 29 July 1958 in Collin Co., Texas.
- Emily Tarrant (married William Spencer Moore), b. ca 1813 in South Carolina, d. before 1880
- Samuel Moore, d. 1828 in Greenville County, South Carolina. Also want to learn who his wife was.
- John T. Brindley (and definitively establish his connection to Hiram and George Brinlee)
- George Floyd, b. 29 Sep 1807 in Vermont, d. 11 March 1880 in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas
- John Finley, reputed to have been born in South Carolina and may have died in 1849 in Greene/Jersey County, Illinois. Who was his wife and who were his other children (in addition to Nancy who married George Floyd)?
- Rebecca Monk (married Joseph Madison Carroll Norman, b. ca 1837, d. before 1864, probably in Alabama)
- Jerusha Elizabeth Neeley (married William T. Sisson), d. before 1858, probably in Alabama
- A few other female brick walls in various lines.
- On my husband’s side: The parents of Julius Henry Koehl, Josephine Lochner, Christine Fichtelmann, Benedict Davi, Maria Terzo, and Nicholas D’Arco; the maiden name and parents of Nicholas’ wife Jennie, and the European birthplaces of all of the original immigrant ancestors on his side.

B. Learn more about the following families:

- Elisha Berry Lewis and Martha Poole: I have found out a lot about this family, but I want to know more, especially about some of the daughters. I would like to write a biography about their son (my great-great uncle) William Henry Lewis, who was Sheriff of Dallas County Texas from 1886 to 1892. I also want to find out more about Elisha Berry’s children with his second wife, Frances Campbell.

- Elisha Lewis (Elisha Berry’s father) and Rosannah Dalrymple. As far as I have been able to learn so far, their only child who had children was Elisha Berry. Martha was apparently a spinster all her life, Sarah was handicapped, there was another son named J. Newton Lewis who may have been handicapped (he only shows up on one census, 1880, but was already a grown man), and Mary seems to have married too late to have children and then divorced (and her husband was a Smith; if he was related to the Smith family that married into another Lewis branch, that would be interesting). I have seen sons Samuel and Pinkney also mentioned (based on a clergyman's diary, apparently) but have no evidence of their existence.

- William Lewis and Mary John – All of their sons have been pretty well researched (my Elisha was the last one to join when I started researching him) and some capable researchers are looking into William’s background, but I would like to find out what happened to their three daughters. There are also some other possible interesting Lewis connections (through Williams’s brothers, perhaps?).

- The siblings and parents of Camila Clark (m. Rial Matlock): Her father was Bolin Clark and her mother was a Dyer, but I’m not sure which one, so I also need to find out more about the Dyer family into which Camila’s mother is said to have been born. I have leads on 3 possible brothers for Camila, but some researchers say there were 12 children in this family.

I would like to have all of this research recorded in a variety of ways that would ensure that it would not be lost. I would like at least one copy to be passed down to my daughters and it would be wonderful if at least one of them (or perhaps their children?) would become intrigued by what is there and “take up the torch.”

I also want to pass down as much of my own story and family pictures as possible and I would like to put together everything that my Uncle Bill has told me about the Brinlees, the Normans, and his own life. It would be fantastic if my cousins on my mother’s side and I could get together, record our family memories, and put together as much history and genealogical information as possible on our parents and the whole “Bomarton Bunch.”

It would be nice to publish some of the above, but at the very least I need to have it in coherent, presentable form, with all associated documents, pictures, etc. properly identified and attached to the relevant set of research.

* How long do you think you have left to fulfill this ultimate goal? I hope 30-35 years.

* Are you prioritizing your time adequately in order to achieve this goal? Probably not.

* If not, what should you do to achieve the goal? Research that will require “road trips” needs to be carefully organized so that I can do the maximum amount at the most distant locations: Texas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Illinois, and possibly a few other states. I may need to take classes in certain types of research (land and court records come to mind) in order to get the most out it.

* Will you do what you need to do? If it were only left up to me, I would say yes, but some of this will mean that a lot of our future vacation time will be spent on research trips. My husband will be very supportive and gung-ho to do this, but family and work demands could still cut down on the amount of time I will have.

2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, or in comments to this post or on Facebook. Done.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Forgot My Blogoversary

It was five days ago, on August 9th. Pathetic. I may have forgotten it because I tend to remember 1 September instead, the day in 2005 when I started genealogy.

On the other hand, I can take comfort in the fact that, once again, thanks to Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers, I managed to do something at least semi-technical: putting the contact button thingy on my blog. (See left center.)

Family Newsletter Friday: 14 August 2009

Not a lot of “organized” genealogy has gotten done this week. The culprit is not Facebooking or blog reading, but rather household and business chores. And I did actually have some time to do genealogy, but I used it to take advantage of three days of free access to World Vital Records.

World Vital Records

Most of the available records that provided hits on the names I entered seemed to be records that I can access for free elsewhere. One possible exception are some of the images of family genealogies and family group sheets. Some of these are sources I have seen cited for the families I am researching, so it is useful to be able to refer to them. World Vital Records has extended the free access period, and I will probably input a few more names, but I don’t know that there is much more for me to find. Here are some of the families on which I found information:

Dobbins and Skiles (Rosannah Dobbins and Henry Skiles) – from Some Dobbins Skiles Lines from Pennsylvania to North Carolina Also With Additional Lines, Coker, Cowan, Dailey, Graham, Hess, Palmer, Barekman – J. B. Barekman

Dalrymple and Lewis – Samuel Dalrymple, Ellinor Lewis, Rosannah Dalrymple Lewis – from South Carolinians in the Revolution

Highsmith – Daniel Highsmith and Lucretia Parker family

Clark – Christopher and Penelope Clark family, plus some will abstracts from Surry County, NC

Sisson – Obediah and William T. Sisson land patents in Alabama

Matlock – Moore Matlock and Jane Powell family

Matlock and Clark – some records from Warren County, Kentucky, Marriages 1797-1851

Brinlee – miscellaneous items, mostly referring to Brinlee branches which I have not yet researched


One of the ancestor charts I found through World Vital Records contained information on Joseph Madison Carroll Norman’s daughter with Mary Frances Karr, Margaret D. Norman, and her husband Joel Weston.

I did some more work on the Thomas Wiley Huff – Leatha Norman family. In addition to the two genealogies I mentioned last week, I found another reference to this family on GenForum. It lists their children and Thomas’ parents, but does not include Leatha’s parents. I will include the person who wrote these posts in my e-mail to Norman family researchers. I still believe they are part of "my" Norman family, but there are some confusing bits of information and some discrepancies.


I am glad to see that Laura of Root Seek is settled in her new home and back to blogging. Also new posts from Cindy at Everything’s Relative – Researching Your Family History and Deb at Deb’s Genealogy Room.

Featured Family Friday: William Spencer Moore and Frances Emmaline Henderson

William Spencer Moore
b. 5 Jun 1834
d. 16 Mar 1919
& Frances Emmaline “Emma” Henderson
b. 1 Dec 1841, Simpsonville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
d. 15 Feb 1925
m. 1 Dec 1865
|--Lillie Talulah “Lula” Moore
|----b. 30 Sep 1864, South Carolina
|----d. 15 Oct 1926
|--& Franklin Lafayette “Fate” Huff
|----b. 11 May 1856, South Carolina
|----d. 15 Mar 1914
|----m. 1 Feb 1882
|--Mary Frances “Fannie” Moore
|----b. 4 May 1869, Greenville County, South Carolina
|----d. 16 Oct 1935, Greenville County, South Carolina
|--& Seaborn Varius Parks
|----b. 1868
|----d. 28 May 1951, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----m. 19 Nov 1891
|--Charles Alexander Moore
|----b. 25 Sep 1870, South Carolina
|----d. 19 Nov 1947, Fountain Inn, Greenville, South Carolina
|--& Flora Lee Parks
|----b. 1 Jun 1874, South Carolina
|----d. 9 Nov 1957, Spartanburg, South Carolina
|----m. 3 Jan 1895
|--Henry Mathis Moore
|----b. 12 Jul 1872
|----d. 7 Aug 1945, Simpsonville, Austin Twp., Greenville, SC
|--& Frances Lillie Jones
|----b. 26 May 1875
|----d. 7 Oct 1962, Reedy Fork, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----m. 14 Nov 1893
|--William Breaker Moore
|----b. 25 Apr 1874
|----d. 4 Sep 1940, Greenville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|--& Olivia Alice “Leavy” Austin
|----b. 10 Nov 1872
|----d. 24 May 1959
|----m. 1895
|--Percy Williams Moore
|----b. 31 Jan 1876, Standing Springs, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 19 Apr 1943, Greeneville, Tennessee
|--& Vannie Hunt
|----b. Nov 1884, Towaliga, Georgia
|----d. Maryville, Tennessee
|----m. 24 Oct 1906, Milner, Church, GA
|--James Furman Moore
|----b. 17 Jan 1878
|----d. 1 Jul 1942, Greenville City, Greenville, SC
|--& Eunice Elvira Peeler
|----b. 1 Nov 1878, Cherokee County, South Carolina
|----d. 27 Jun 1970
|--Milton Donaldson Moore
|----b. 17 Sep 1879, Simpsonville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 10 Mar 1943
|--& Margaret VanVleck
|----b. 27 Jul 1883, Washington, D.C.
|----d. 7 Aug 1957, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|----m. 27 Mar 1903, Simpsonville, Austin Twp., Greenville, SC
|--Minnie Virginia Moore
|----b. 13 Jul 1882
|----d. 10 Nov 1959
|--Martha Brown Moore
|----b. 21 May 1888, Greenville County, South Carolina
|----d. 4 Oct 1977, Simpsonville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|--& Robert Lee “Bob” Chiles
|----b. 28 Aug 1889, Greenville County, South Carolina
|----d. 4 Apr 1944, Austin, Greenville, South Carolina
|----m. 17 Dec 1913

This is the large family of William Spencer Moore, son of Bud Mathis Moore and Martha Brown Coulter, and Frances Emmaline Henderson, daughter of the Rev. Henry Langford Henderson and Rebecca Adeline Cox. This William Spencer Moore was the nephew of my great-great grandfather William Spencer Moore and was named for him, and there are at least a couple of later William Spencers in the family who were named for him.

So far all of the “research cousins” I correspond with from the Bud Mathis Moore branch of the Samuel Moore family are descended from this family. It was Mary (descended from Charles Alexander Moore), one of these cousins, who kindly provided me with the Furman Moore history of the Bud Mathis Moore family that is the starting place for research on this branch; Furman was the son of this William Spencer Moore. Some of the descendants of this branch still live in the Greenville, South Carolina area.

This branch has fewer gaps in information than other branches of the Bud Mathis Moore family, but I would still love to exchange information with any descendants of this branch who may stumble on this article. You never know when we might put together some critical information that would help us to find Samuel Moore’s wife or parents.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Finding a New Family and Alice Floyd Ezell Bibb (Repost)

I am way behind in posting on the 52 genealogy blogging prompts provided by Amy of We Tree, but one of the recent prompts (last week's?) that I particularly wanted to respond to had to do with reposting an old article. I am going to combine two articles I posted in October 2008, Finding a New Family and Alice Floyd Ezell Bibb, 26 Jan 1882-17 Oct 1918. Alice's story is a tragic and touching one, and actually would have been ideal for the recent "Disasters" Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Miriam Midkiff Robbins over at Ancestories, because the influenza epidemic of 1918-1920 plays a large role.

Finding a New Family

The “new family” mentioned in the title above does not refer to a set of direct ancestors, i.e., the parents of a “brick wall” ancestor, but is located in a “collateral line,” in this case, the family of one of the brothers of my great-grandfather Charles Augustus Floyd. The brother in question is Caswell B. Floyd, who was born in 1845 in Illinois, married Mary Miller, and died in 1890 in Kleberg, Dallas County, Texas. The Floyds were one of the first families on whom I had any information, thanks to some outstanding Floyd family researchers, Eunice Sandling and the Jim and Pat Dodd family. It often seemed that there was very little I could add by way of research to what they had already done. They already had a family group for Caswell and Mary Floyd, which included five sons – George Albert, William Henry, Joseph Ira, Ollie B., and Charles Alford. However, Caswell ‘s death in 1890 opened up the possibility that there were additional children born between the 1880 census and Caswell’s death in 1890.

The 1900 census showed an Alvin C. Long, born ca 1888, living with a Charles and Mary Long in Precinct 4, Dallas County, Texas, and I suspected that Mary Long was Caswell’s widow. I eventually got in touch with a descendant of Cletus Caswell Floyd, Alvin Cletus Floyd’s son, and the name Caswell and the descendant’s claim that the family was from Kleberg, Texas, made me positive that my guess was correct. However, this still is not the family referred to in this article.

When I did the census work for Charles and Mary Long, I found that in the 1910 census, Mary was shown as having given birth to 10 children, of whom 8 were still living. That meant it should be possible to find eight living children at that point in time, but at this point I knew only of Caswell and Mary’s six sons plus another son, Emmet, born to Mary and Charles Long. Emmet was born in 1893, at which time Mary was already about 45 years old, and in the 1900 census Mary was mistakenly shown as having had only one child, i.e., Emmet, so I guessed that the child not accounted for must have been Caswell’s child. After eliminating Floyd males from the Charles August Floyd and Alfred Byrum Floyd (Charles’ and Caswell’s youngest brother) families, there did not seem to be any additional male Floyds born in the early 1880s living on their own in the Dallas area. That left one possibility, a phenomenon known to many family researchers dealing with this period in history – 1880 to 1900 – who understand that one of the consequences of the loss of almost the entire 1890 census is the “lost daughter” phenomenon – a daughter born in the early 1880s (so she does not appear on the 1880 census) who by 1900 has already married and no longer lives with her family (so she cannot be found under her maiden name in the 1900 census).

My next step was to look for a young (less than 20 years old) married woman in the Kleberg area. There were several candidates, and for at least two of these it was indicated that one or both parents had been born in Illinois (the only reliable “distinguishing feature” I could use to narrow down the field), but I was actually able to find their maiden names with a little hunting, and none of them was the missing daughter. That was several months ago. About a week ago I was taking care of one of the more mundane genealogy chores, recopying quickly scribbled notes to put in the proper family binders. Probably about a year or so earlier (before I was very familiar with the Caswell Floyd family), I had hastily jotted down some information from Jim Wheat’s Dallas County Texas Archives (another plug for one of my favorite websites) – the transcript of the death certificate for a young woman named Alice Bibb who had died in the great influenza epidemic in 1918. Listed as her parents were C. B. Floyd and Mary Mills. At the time it piqued my curiosity, but I was not familiar enough with the family to be certain that this was Caswell and Mary. Seeing my notes a second time, however, gave me that jolt and then the rush familiar to so many genealogy buffs – this was the daughter I had been searching for! This was followed by embarrassment at my “senior moment” – forgetting that I had already “found” the daughter. I then remembered that her death fell within the right time frame to be covered by the Texas death certificates on the Family Search pilot site (another favorite website). A glance at the image of the original death certificate showed that Mary Mills was indeed actually Mary Miller, and Alice Bibb was Alice Floyd, the missing daughter.

Alice Floyd Ezell Bibb, 26 Jan 1882-17 Oct 1918

One of the first things I learned about Alice Floyd Bibb was that she died of influenza and pneumonia on 17 October 1918. The date in itself is eloquent - these were the early days of the Great Influenza Epidemic. Now the task that confronted me was to work backward from her death and find out whom she had married, what children she had, if any, and everything else I could find out about her life. I started with her death certificate. Originally I had a transcription, but now I could get an image at the Family Search pilot site. Alice died in Kleberg, Dallas County, Texas. This was the area where members of the Caswell Floyd family lived. The other two brothers who survived Caswell, Charles Augustus and Alfred Byrum, had lived in the Hutchins/Lancaster area of Dallas County. The informant on her death certificate was Ira Floyd, her brother. The undertaker who signed the certificate was E. O. Prewitt, the husband of Alice's niece Cheba Floyd. Cheba herself would die within four years after complications from an operation. The registrar who signed the document was W. S. Skiles, a distant relative by marriage through Charles Floyd's wife Angeline Matlock Floyd.

My next step was to find out precisely who Mr. Bibb was; at this point I assumed that he was the man that Alice had married by the 1900 census, making her an "invisible" Floyd. A simple search did not reveal the couple on the 1910 census, so I took another piece of information from the death certificate, Lee Cemetery, to see if I could find someone there. Through a bit of googling, I found a site which listed a number of graves in Lee Cemetery and even had pictures of the tombstones. One of the tombstones was for a T. H. Bibb, 1868-1818. This looked promising. I could find no Bibb family with that spelling in the Dallas area on the 1900 or 1910 census, but the 1880 census for nearby Kaufman, Texas showed a widower named Thomas H. Bibb with his children, and the oldest child was also named Thomas, age 12. The younger Thomas must be the T.H. Bibb in Lee Cemetery (and the older Thomas Bibb is also buried in Lee Cemetery), but was he also Alice's husband? With a little creativity I found a Tom Bib on the 1900 census, born November 1868, with his wife Nancy, born February 1877, and daughters Lora and Mabel. It appeared that he was not Alice's husband. However, I went back to the Lee Cemetery records, and the 1918 date of death for Tom was very suggestive. Then I found an important piece of information - one of the other Bibbs In Lee Cemetery was a Nancy Bibb, born 1873 and died in 1904. It struck me that perhaps Alice was Tom's second wife and, given no Alice Floyd on the 1900 census, Tom may very well have been Alice's second husband.

To find this couple (I hoped) on the 1910 census, I decided to work on finding Lora or Mabel, without the last name. That worked - this time the family members were listed as Thomas and Allice Bibbs, Thomas' daughters Lora and Mabel, and, what gave me the final clue I needed to find Alice with her first husband on the 1900 census, listed as Thomas' stepson (therefore Alice's son from her first marriage), James Ezell. Looking for an Ezell family on the 1900 census in Dallas County was fairly straightforward and produced Tom Ezell, wife Allice, and son Oran T. James Ezell was born after 1900, so Oran must have died by 1910. Oran's death, the early deaths of Tom Ezell and Nancy Woody Bibb, and Alice's early death were the first chapters I found in the tragedy-marked life of this family. I returned to Lee Cemetery to find out how the other Bibbs were related, and quickly found two daughters who died quite young, Elizabeth (1912-1913) and Frances (1913-1914). Their death certificates, which were also online, showed that they were Thomas and Alice's children and showed that Elizabeth had died of bronchial pneumonia and Frances of dysentery. Thomas Bibb's death certificate confirmed what his tombstone hinted at, that he had died in the influenza epidemic, and in fact showed that he died on the very same day as Alice.

A search on Ancestry turned up a third daughter of Thomas Bibb and Alice Floyd, but no name was given. Further census work showed that she survived (her name was Billie) and was brought up by Lora Bibb who, at the young age of 22, had been the informant on her father's death certificate. The 1920 census with Lora and Billie shows them with Lora's husband Arthur Glenn and their son Martin. The 1930 census shows Lora as a widow, a younger son Phillip K. Glenn, and Billie. At first I thought this was the continuation of the numerous tragedies suffered by this family, but Ancestry searches for Arthur and Martin to find death dates led me to believe that the tragedy that befell this family may have been one of separation, not death. I found evidence that a Charles Arthur Glenn from the same area of Dallas County as the Caswell Floyd family was the "right" Arthur Glenn, and this Arthur Glenn, his son Martin (both of the right ages), a new wife Anna, and Anna's daughters Lorean and Caroline Ray living in Cameron County, Texas on the 1930 census. Arthur's stepdaughters were of the right age for him to have still been married to Lora when youngest son Phillip was born. The interesting thing was that each parent had taken a son.

Lora Bibb Glenn did not completely escape further tragedy, however. On 30 June 1951, her younger son Phillip Keith Glenn died at age 26 in a prison camp in Korea. The following information is provided for him in the Korean War Casualty listings:

"First Lieutenant Glenn was a member of the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy near Kunu-ri, North Korea on November 30, 1950 and died while a prisoner on June 30, 1951. First Lieutenant Glenn was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal." I believe that he may have married a woman named Millie Etta Reed and had a daughter named Donna; perhaps this was some consolation to his mother. I believe Arthur Glenn died 23 July 1943, but I do not know what happened to Martin Glenn. Lora Bibb died on 22 March 1969; the informant on her death certificate was Billie (Bibb) Kay, her younger half-sister.

The other Bibb sister, Mabel Bibb, died at age 37 on 8 December 1934, about three weeks after the birth of her seventh child, Nancy Mabel Walton, apparently from an infection that set in after the birth.

I have not been able to find out anything further about James Ezell.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

14 of my 16 Great-Greats

The latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 - 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don't know all 16 of your great-great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

1. Hiram Carroll Brinlee Sr.
b. 25 Dec 1808, Kentucky or Tennessee (I have death dates somewhere for Hiram and his wife, but have not yet entered them in my genealogy program because they will be the last set of great-great-grandparents I will be working on until and unless I learn who my Smith great-great-grandparents were).

2. Elizabeth Ann McKinney, b. 23 Feb 1823, Kentucky

3 and 4. The parents of my great brick wall, Susan Elizabeth Smith, whoever they were.

5. Joseph Madison Carroll Norman, b. 8 Jun 1833, Alabama, d. 1 Apr 1901, Arkansas

6. Rebecca Monk, b. 1837, Alabama, d. bef 1864 Alabama

7. William T. Sisson, b. ca 1826, Georgia, d. 12 Feb 1894, Alabama

8. Jerusha Elizabeth Neeley, d. bef 1858

9. William Spencer Moore, b. 1813, South Carolina, d. 31 Oct 1871, South Carolina

10. Emily Tarrant, b. 1813, South Carolina, d. bef 1880, South Carolina

11. Elisha Berry Lewis, b. 1813, South Carolina, d. 23 Feb 1889, South Carolina

12. Martha Poole, b. 1815, South Carolina, d. bef 1865, South Carolina

13. George Floyd, b. 29 Sep 1807, Vermont, d. 11 Mar 1880, Texas

14. Nancy Finley, b. ca 1816, Illinois, d. 5 Feb 1864, Texas

15. Absalom C. Matlock, b. 21 Mar 1825, Kentucky, d. 1865, Texas

16. Nancy Malvina Harris, b. b. 28 Apr 1827, Kentucky, d. 11 Aug 1862, Texas

I cannot give the precise ethnic breakdown for these ancestors; for the most part it is a combination of Scots-Irish and English, with some Welsh (Lewis and Floyd), a bit of German and Dutch through the McKinneys, and possibly a bit of French through the Normans.

Please Keep These Things: Mom’s and Grandma’s Jewelry

The word prompt for the 16th Edition of Smile For The Camera (hosted by Shades of the Departed) is "Bling, ancestor Bling." I am always drawn to the beautiful jewelry worn by our ancestors in old photographs. The locket that was your Great Grandmother's treasure, the pocket watch proudly displayed by a male ancestor, the beautiful crosses of old, and the children with their tiny bracelets. While not many of our ancestors were wealthy enough to own multiple pieces of jewelry, there was the one good piece that held sentimental value. Some of us have been fortunate enough to inherit those treasures. Show us a photograph of your ancestor wearing their "Bling," or photographs of the pieces you have inherited. Admission is free with every photograph!

This edition of “Please Keep These Things” is devoted to the items of jewelry that I have inherited from my mother and grandmother. There are not many, because when my mother died I picked out the pieces of jewelry that I remembered from my childhood and gave the rest of my mother’s jewelry to my Aunt Rene (who did not ask for them but did graciously accept them from me) because she had helped my mother so much through the years. My mother gave the two rings she inherited from my grandmother to me several years before she died.

This “Whispering Leaves” earring and bracelet set was my mother’s favorite set of costume jewelry.

I am pretty sure the jewelry that Mom was wearing in this picture is the Whispering Leaves set. It was taken in Palo Alto, California. We were packing up and getting ready to move up to Renton, Washington to join my father and decided to play Fashion Show. Pierre thought he should be in the show, too, since he was so handsome and photogenic.

Here are the other two pictures I have from our Fashion Show. I do not know what happened to the pearl set in the top picture or the gold chain that can be faintly seen in the bottom picture; they may have been lost in one of our many moves or may have been among the jewelry I gave to Aunt Rene.

This was my mother’s watch; she had this watch when I was a little girl and it is the only watch I remember her having.

These are the two rings my mother inherited from her mother. They are both supposedly emerald rings, but since I have not had them examined, yet, I cannot vouch for that. The one at the top is missing a stone, and the one at the bottom has one stone that is not the same size as the others – I am pretty certain that the smaller stone is original and the two larger ones are replacements. I used to wear the ring, anyway, and that is why there is yarn on it.

Grandma Eula did not collect many possessions, but she did like pretty jewelry, so that is what her children often gave her for Christmas and for her birthday.

This was my mother’s wedding ring set from her marriage to my father.

This was a pin that I picked out to give my mother for Christmas when I was about 8 years old. It is rather gaudy, which I guess reflects an 8-year-old’s taste. My mother always told me how beautiful she thought it was.

To my daughters: I am not sure what instructions I should give to you on keeping or disposing of my own jewelry. I will try to photograph and catalog all items that are especially important to me. If you remember giving it to me, or persuading me to buy it, or you know that your father bought it for me, it is important to me, so please keep it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Family Newsletter Friday: 7 August 2009


Good news: I finished transcribing the 196 obituaries plus 3 death certificates from The Greenville News. Bad news: I’m ordering 21 more. But that should just about wrap up that part of my Descendants of Samuel Moore of Greenville County, SC (d. 1828).


So it’s back to the Norman family, trying to find out where I was when I stopped to work on the Moore and Lewis obituaries. I had to do some backtracking to figure out that I had been working on the family of James Alford Norman (married Tennie Moody), son of J. J. (James Joseph) Norman, son of Joseph Madison Carroll Norman.

The family of JMC Norman is huge, and it is very difficult to keep people straight, especially for those with names that appear so many times – James/Joseph/Jode/J.J./Joel, and so forth, Thomas, Carroll (man’s name), and others.

I’m not sure if there is anyone out there who will be following my Norman research on my blog, whereas I know there are people who occasionally check in on Moore/Floyd/Brinlee research. I am trying to straighten out and compile my list of contacts for the Norman family so that I can send out an e-mail this week. One is a gentleman who contacted me last May. I believe the part of the family tree he has belongs to a cousin by marriage (now deceased) who was active in the Hot Springs, Arkansas genealogical society. His tree contains information on families for two of my great-grandfather William Henry “Jack” Norman’s children by Rebecca Monk – Leatha Norman (m. Thomas Wiley Huff) and Thomas F. Norman – on whom I had no information.

I haven’t had much luck with most of the daughters of J. J. Norman, JMC Norman’s second son by Rebecca Monk, though I do have information on Mary Cordelia and Letha Christian. (The other daughters are Emma, Rebecca, Sallie/Dolley, Ola, and Betsey.)

Someone named Patty has an online genealogy for Leatha Norman (not the daughter of J. J., but the sister of my great-grandfather William Henry Norman – see what I mean?) which contains some information that does not line up with what I (and some other researchers) have, but it does have Leatha married to Thomas Wiley Huff and she has the full name (William Henry “Jack”) for my great-grandfather. Meanwhile, I have sent a note to someone on Ancestry who corrected an 1870 census entry for Thomas Huff, to make sure that these are the right people. They do live near my great-grandfather in the 1900 census for Grayson County, Texas, they are from Alabama, and Leatha is the right age. From the states of birth and ages of their children, it appears that they came to Texas well before my great-grandfather did (1882 compared to 1892-1895 timeframe); that may be why the Jack Norman family came to Grayson County.

Next week I should mostly be working on the families of Jack Norman’s siblings Leatha and Thomas.

Experiences with research resources this week: Accidentally got kicked into New Search on Ancestry. Hated it. Checked out Genealogy Bank to see what resources they have in the areas I am interested in and what kind of hits I would get for certain family names. They mostly do not have newspapers from the counties I am really interested in, with the exception of the Dallas Morning News, and I already subscribed to the Dallas Morning News Archives and downloaded about 700 articles at one point, so I don't know how much more I could find. Wish there were online archives for the Dallas Times Herald. However, I got a lot of tantalizing hits on the Brinlees, so I will probably subscribe at some point. I did a few searches on Google Books and found an interesting mention of my great-great uncle William Henry Lewis (the one who was a sheriff of Dallas County).

Featured Family Friday: Franklin Blakely and Susan Amanda Moore Family

Franklin Blakely
d. bef 1860
& Susan Amanda Moore
b. 14 Feb 1832, Georgia
d. 9 Apr 1923
m. 2 Oct 1851
|--James Moore Blakely
|----b. 31 May 1855, Alabama
|----d. 19 Apr 1943, Piedmont, Grove, Greenville, South Carolina
|--& Sarah Richardson
|----b. 6 Oct 1853, South Carolina
|----d. 17 Sep 1937, Grove, Greenville, South Carolina
|----m. 1876
|--Mariah Blakely
|----b. 1857, Alabama

Susan Amanda Moore was the fourth child of Bud Mathis Moore and Martha Brown Coulter. The “mystery” family members here are her husband, Franklin Blakely, and her daughter, Mariah Blakely. Franklin is mentioned in the Furman Moore history of the Bud Mathis Moore family, but no other information is provided for him, probably because he died so early. On the 1860 census Susan is shown living with her widowed mother, Martha Brown Coulter Moore, her sister Sarah Ann, brother William Spencer, and her two children (the right ages, but the names don’t match). So far I have not found Mariah on the 1880 census but will try again and also try to find her in the marriage records for Greenville County. Franklin and Susan must have lived in Alabama for a while in the 1850s since both children were born there, so there may be some additional records there.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Memory Monday: Going to Texas

The first time I went to Texas was when I was a baby and my father, who was in the Air Force at the time, was transferred there from Pennsylvania. We lived there for about a year before he was transferred to Norton Air Force Base in California.

The second time we went to Texas was for Christmas in the early 1960s to visit Grandma Brinlee on her farm (Visiting with Grandma Brinlee); I was about 7 or 8 years old.

The third time we – that is, my mother and I – moved there. I was 15 years old and had just completed the 9th grade at a junior high school in Wilmington, California, where I had been living for the second time with my Uncle Howard and Aunt Joy Moore. The first time I had lived with them was the summer after 7th grade, when my mother’s brothers and sisters in Southern California decided that it would be best for me to stay with one of their families while my parents sorted out their problems.

I agreed. My three junior high school hears were no picnic. Financial problems compelled us to move several times, so that I ended up attending five different junior high schools. The only one that I attended for a full year, and the only one I remember the name of, was Curtis Junior High School in San Bernardino. I had friends there and have fond memories of most of my teachers: Mr. (Morgan) O’Dell (social studies), Mr. Christofferson (science), Mr. (Christopher) Maple (math), and Miss Booth (art).

The next junior high school was somewhere near my relatives (mom and I were living in an apartment), so it could have been in Compton, Torrance, or Wilmington. Classes were divided up into ability-based “lanes” and I like that; I also liked French class, my first real language class. Midway through the year, however, Mom and I moved up to Palo Alto, where Dad was working. We lived in a small house with a yard filled with rosebushes near the Stanford University campus. The school I attended there for the second half of 8th grade, which included many students whose parents worked for the University, was also divided into lanes and the gifted lane was fabulous, providing the equivalent of a private school or magnet school education. French class was much farther along, so I had to catch up, but it was worth it. The physical facility was also outstanding and included a pool for the swimming section of P.E. That pool was where I arrived at the humbling realization that I would never be able to master the crawl, but at least there was the folk dancing section of P.E. to take comfort in.

Unfortunately, by the next fall, my family and I had moved again, up to Renton, Washington, where our rented house was far less picturesque than the previous one. There was a lot of rain and the skies were overcast more often than not. My new junior high school focused on quantity of homework rather than stimulating content of classes. There were no language classes. We had to take Home Ec., where I baked a passable cherry pie and French bread and sewed a somewhat less successful gym bag and A-line skirt. My favorite hangout was the local library, which was partially perched over a fast-moving stream that could be seen through a transparent portion of either the floor in the library or the area right around the library, I can’t remember which.

Two or three months into the school year, I was on a plane headed back to Southern California to live with my aunt and uncle again. It was a relief to return to the stability and comfort of Uncle Howard and Aunt Joy’s house, although the school I attended there was not so outstanding. Even so, I had a couple of friends, was learning some homemaking skills from Aunt Joy, and taking violin lessons. Meanwhile, my father had gone back to Texas to find construction work near his family home, and he was soon joined by my mother. After what turned out to be their final split, my mother moved back to her home town in Texas and into the upstairs apartment of my Aunt Rene’s house. In June I learned that I was to join her there shortly.

I didn’t want to go. Stability was better than constant movement and I was tired of moving and having to catch up every time we moved. However, I felt it would be “mooching” to ask to stay, so I went.

I took the plane to Dallas and may have caught the connector to Wichita Falls. The farther out from the city we drove, the more desolate the scenery became. I was accustomed to the desert landscape of Southern California, but the scrubbiness of the vegetation in North Texas and the hardscrabble life written on the faces of both abandoned and still lived-in buildings along our route had an unsettling effect, a feeling that we had moved backwards in time and jumped across some invisible boundary that divided two different cultures.

The biggest bugs I had ever seen scuttled across the hot highway and flipped up onto our windshield, and at one point I remember passing by an abandoned café and seeing a gigantic tarantula clinging to the outside of one of its dark and broken windows. My heart sank.

I assumed that this move would be like the others, of short duration, not even long enough for me to make it beyond the fish-out-of-water phase, and I accepted the move the way an obedient, dispirited child accepts a dose of bitter medicine.

Those three years in Texas were some of the best medicine I ever took.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

SNGF: Genealogical Threes

Three words: Fun, fun, fun! The latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun proposed by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings involves a little bit of stock-taking and a little bit of daydreaming.

1) Tell us your three responses to the questions:
2) Post your responses as comments to this blog post, in your own blog, or in a Facebook comment.

* Three genealogical libraries I frequent:
1. McLean Family History Center, McLean, Virginia
2. Fairfax County Library Main Branch in Fairfax City, Virginia (excellent genealogy resources, both local and regional, long history of working with Fairfax Genealogical Society, of which some employees are members)
3. Library of Congress (OK, so I’ve only been there a couple of times)

* Three places I've visited on genealogy trips:
None. I have visited several local repositories with my genealogical society, but have not yet made any road trips to do research, although I desperately want to (South Carolina, Texas, and Illinois probably being my first three choices for road trips). These trips will take time and money and my kids are still at a stage where I don’t have enough of either, yet.

* Three genealogy societies I belong to (or want to):
1. Fairfax Genealogical Society
2. National Genealogical Society (want to)
3. Collin County Texas Genealogical Society (want to - hard to choose among the local ones, but this one has fabulous resources, works closely with the local library, and has helped me with research in return for modest contributions to the library)

* Three websites that help my research
(Another difficult one to narrow down to three):
2. Family Search Record Search
3. Greenville County SC Historical Records Search (so close on this one with Greenville County Library System and South Carolina Department of Archives and History)

* Three ancestral graves that I've visited:
None. See excuse for “genealogy trips.”

* Three ancestral places I want to visit:
1. The Upcountry of South Carolina
2. Four corners area of Texas (Collin, Fannin, Grayson, and Hunt counties, and oh, Dallas is right next to them)
3. Greene and Jersey counties in Illinois (I’m counting this as one because my ancestors were actually in the Jersey County part but it was Greene County when they lived there)

* Three brickwall ancestors I want to research more:
1. Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee
2. Samuel Moore of Greenville County, South Carolina, d. 1828
3. John T. Brindley of Kentucky, d. 1823 in Caldwell County – probably the father of Hiram and George Brinlee, the brothers from whom all known Brinlees are descended.

Thanks, Randy!