Howdy Neighbor

This morning our distant cousin Kenneth Burton sent me photo copies from a couple of pages in a book on the Jacob Burton family of Chambers County, Alabama.  Kenneth has done  a lot of work on this line and is sharing has been invaluable.  It is through his work we know of our furthest back African American ancestor, Harry Burton born about 1796.

As that sinks in to me, we can confidently make the following inference.  As the 1848 document is similar to the 1864 version (full analysis is pending) we know that Harry and Rosa were associated with the family well before the 1840 census, accounting for Jacob’s knowledge of the families, spouses and children, of those he enslaved.  A quick look at the 1840 census and the information about those held as slaves we see the following:

Slaves – Males – Under 10: 6
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 4
Slaves – Males – 36 thru 54: 1
Slaves – Females – Under 10: 8
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 5
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35: 3

Harry was listed as being 54 years old in 1848. That would correlate as being 46 years old in 1840. The one male 36 – 54 is therefore Harry. Our understanding is that Rosa was born about 1805, and she would be one of the females aged 24-35 in 1840.  We can state with confidence, nearly 25 years before the news of emancipation reached them, we *know* where Harry and Rosa were.

That’s sinking in, I can tell my grandkids of their ancestors on this line going back 8 generations – themselves, their dad, Poppa, Big Grandma, her mother Ruth, “Grandma Carrie” as referred to by their great grandmother, Carrie’s mother Harriet, to her father Jeff Burton, to his parents Harry and Rosa, residents of Chambers County, Alabama in 1840.

From the 1848 version of the will we know the family they were surrounded by, including the kin that didn’t share their bloodlines.

Jacob Burton 1848 WillJacob Burton 1848 Will page 2

But it hit me this morning, we know more about the relationships they were forming outside of those enslaved by Jacob Burton.  I hadn’t realized before this morning, on the 1850 Federal Census, in consecutively numbered households, we have Thomas B Erwin and Jacob Burton.  We know Thomas as brother of Hezikiah F Erwin, and wife Elizabeth Owen as daughter of Robert Owen.  We know these families were neighbors and by implication those they enslaved were living nearby as neighbors.

Thomas B Erwin 1850Jacob Burton 1850

As of 1850, how many people were enslaved by these families, at the Chambers County, Alabama location? How many of our DNA cousins, at this late date, can be tracked back to these sets of families?

I reviewed the 1850 “Slave Census” for Chambers County.  In 1850 we see Thomas B Erwin is associated with 45 people held as slaves.  For Jacob Burton we see 36 people were held as slaves (appearing just below Thomas B Erwin).

What more can we learn of the lives of our kin in the 1850’s, 1840’s and earlier?

Seeing Some of the Puzzle Pieces in the 1870 Census


I’ve been working this puzzle for awhile now, trying to figure out what family paths lead to a set of cousins sharing DNA on Chromosome 14.  I’m not quite sure I’ve got that figured out, but I’m finding a pattern that various DNA matches over and over again lead us back to a certain grouping of families.  Note, those matches from AncestryDNA that have not yet uploaded to GEDmatch, can not be tied to any particular chromosome, but can be tied to each other through the AncestryDNA tools.

Excuse a moment of geek speak here.  It’ll help me to remember what I was thinking when I come back and read this months from now.

My purpose here is to record how some of these pieces are falling together by tying together some neighbors on a Troup County, Georgia 1870 Census, and a group of DNA matches.  GROUP OF DNA MATCHES… in the process of writing this I’ve come to the realization that the knowledge of the web of families that I’m discussing here is Holistic…it’s the knowledge I’ve gained from researching the set of DNA matches for the set of cousins we have DNA kits for.   At times the relationships I’ll discuss below will apply to only one kit, and is not triangulated.  Other times it’s a cluster of inter-related DNA matches…but to write about these families, I have to use a 10,000 ft view, not writing about any one cousin, or any one DNA segment…but using the picture in my head that’s been painted by researching these folks as a set of cousins all belonging on one very interwoven tree.  I know I did not say that well, like life and families, this is complex.

Here goes.

I got to this particular page of the Census by following up on DNA match “R.W.”  The tester involved is old enough to know the family history of her grandfather who was born before the Civil War.  Her grandmother, Margarett Winston, was an enslaved woman of African Ancestry, and her step-grandfather Hope Winston, was of similar background, but her biological grandfather was European.  Both the grandmother and step-grandfather carried the Winston surname before marriage suggesting they were both enslaved by the Winston family, and a Winston, or a close associate, was the likely DNA contributor.  Margarett aka Millie is seen as a ten year old as part of a family headed by Aleck Winston.

1870 Aleck Winston

Family 205 is Aleck Winston’s Household (B).

Family 206 is headed James Winston (B)

Family 208 is headed by Daniel Ward (B) – Ward is a surname that had been relevant in recent work on the chromosome 14 mystery.  Just below is a Bell family.  Bell had come recently as a surname of interest…perhaps it would turn out to be relevant that on a Winston branch of our tree we have a John Bell Williams (per a Williams-Winston marriage in that line).  It was time to see who else was in the neighborhood.

Family 209 is headed by Moriah Bell (B)

Family 212 is headed by R. Clemmons ( W ) – Perhaps it’s only coincidence that one of my knowledgeable contacts on the Hope Winston extended family carries the Clemmons surname…and may have come to it by marriage, but what else could be seen by looking back a page or two, and looking forward a page or two.

Family 179 Marshal Hill (B) – We have Hill  intersections at various places in our tree.

Family 182 Aleck Griggs (B) – As I had learned from correspondence with my Clemmons contact, descendants of a cluster related to Owens/Winston (that of Hope Winston) and other families,  there is a marriage in to a Griggs family.

Family 183 Linda Reid (B) – Reid/Reed is in a cluster of families of DNA matches.  In our family there was “Uncle Buck”, Robert Whitaker who married Henrietta Burton. Robert was the grandson of Agnes Winston and Frank Whitaker AKA Huguley.  In 1910 Robert had a niece Mattie Lou Reed living in his household. (Her biological parents are an open question.)

Family 184 Tom Thornton (B)

1870 Mariah Winston

Family 185 Mariah Winston (B) – My knowledge of where Mariah Winston fits come from the puzzle pieces from a couple of different matches (Writeli and Maryalice).  The screen shot below is likely difficult to read, but it illustrates the path where we have Mariah Winston who was the mother of Nancy Winston who was united with Joseph Davidson.  Together they had a number of children which included a son Robert Lee Davidson who went on to marry a woman whose maiden name was also Davidson.  His wife being Lucilla Davidson.

Mariah Winston

But we had already met Lucilla Davidson in another context.  DNA cousin writeli is a descendant of Burrell Prince Davidson and Artimesia Heard.  (Artimesia is a descendant of Robert Kent Heard and an enslaved woman.  Robert Kent Heard is a descendant of the same family that gave us Governor Stephen Heard that I’ve written about previously.  Governor Stephen Heard’s grandson was the neighbor of our Wess Heard in the 1870 census of Dooley County, Georgia.)  It’s interesting that Lucilla is a child of Artimesia Heard and Burrell Prince Davidson.

Burrell Prince Davidson

Family 188 W. B. Johnson ( W ) – We have various Johnson intersections in the trees of our matches.

Family 189 (M) – Jane Ward

Family 193 ( W ) – William Collins – It is unclear if this William Collins is related to another Collins I have written of – Terry Collins.  On an 1850 slave schedule his name was written with reference to three Erwin children.

Family 199 ( W ) – Thomas Winston Erwin – Son of Hezekiah F Erwin and Mary Johnson Winston.

Hope Winston 1870

Family 200 (B) – Bardary Winston

I wrote extensively about the family connections related to this family in May of 2016.  Note the child Hope Winston in this family is the Step-Grandfather referred to earlier in the first few paragraphs of this discussion of the 1870 census.  Here’s a link to the May of 2016 blog.

There are other Winstons and Erwins on this page, but this looks like a nice bookend to close this discussion.

Besides, I have breaking news on another front.  I sent a text to granddaughter Trin, “I just found another 40 pound Hershey bar.”  Are you curious?


In Search of Susan Bailey Pt 4

Dan Bailey and Harriet Burton

To recap just a touch, my son’s grandmother knew her grandma Carrie Bailey, and Carrie was the daughter of Dan Bailey and Harriet Burton pictured above.  We knew they had lived, and were buried in Chambers County, Alabama.  Early on we figured out Dan was the son of Major Bailey, and his wife Susan.  At first all we had was Susan Bailey from the census records.  It took a bit longer, but through a daughter’s marriage record, and the kindness of shared research with distant cousins we were able to identify her as Susan Jackson.

It has only been less days than I can count on my fingers that we have had any solid leads as to the source of the Jackson surname.  If you go back and read parts 1 -3 you can see how those leads have been developing.

It seems likely Susan Jackson was associated with Cookshay Plantation, in Chambers County, Alabama.  This plantation was once owned by Dr Henry Jackson, and upon his death it passed jointly to his widow Martha Rootes Cobb Jackson, and their daughters Martha Jackson and Sarah Jackson.

The daughter Martha Jackson married Hezekiah Erwin, and had a daughter Sarah M Erwin.  Daughter Martha died shortly there after leaving Hezekiah Erwin a widower with a small daughter. Below are the transcribed summaries of the 1850 census records for Martha Jackson (mother in law to Hezekiah), Hezekiah’s household including his young daughter who was sharing time in her grandmother’s household, and the household of Robert Owen.  In 1850 the man we came to know as Major Bailey was enslaved by Robert Owen as documented in Robert’s estate papers.  In 1850 son Thomas Owen (to whom Major was to pass per the estate papers) is in this household, Abel Erwin younger brother of Hezekiah is in the Owen household, and Robert’s daughter Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is designated as an heiress in Robert’s estate papers, but by that time she had become Elizabeth Erwin, wife of Abel and Hezekiah’s brother John B Erwin.

1850 Households Susan Jackson Related

I point this out as they were all residents of District 19, Chambers County, Alabama. It would seem this proximity would have allowed Susan and Major to have conceived children together in this era.  The 1870 census suggests Major was born about 1810 and Susan 1820, but I suspect Susan was older.  She would have to be older for Jordan to be her child, though it is possible Jordan was only a half brother to our Dan Bailey.

Children of Major and Susan

Martha Jackson passed away in 1853, and her estate was settled in Washington County, Georgia.  Included below is a portion of her will, including those signing as witnesses.

Martha Jackson Will - Witnesses

I certainly wonder if there was any relationship between William Bailey on this will and Allen L Bailey of Chambers County.  Even if there was no relationship there, we have established other paths to a connection between the Erwins, Owens and Baileys.  We know in the text of Martha’s will and in other writings available on the family they held as a priority respecting the family units among those that they enslaved.  We know they supported “marriages abroad”, which was a reference to spouses living in nearby plantations that were granted traveling passes to spend time together.

With all this discussion of possibilities, it begs the question is there anything that supports showing Susan Jackson among those enslaved by the Jacksons.  There are some females who could be of Susan’s age or slightly older in the 1850 Slave Schedule for Martha Jackson – a part of which is shown below.

Martha Jackson 1850 Partial Slave Schedule

The writing of this census taker is at times hard to read, the ages are not always clear, and whether there is a B for Black or M for Mulatto is not always clear.  But what is clear is that check mark next to one of the names that appears to be a male designated as mulatto.  That check mark is in a column labeled “fugitive of the state”.  You have to wonder what was his story? Did Susan know him well?  Perhaps a brother or half-brother, or just kin by the sense of community that evolved on a plantation.  Did he make it, did he obtain his freedom and keep it prior to emancipation?

In Search of Susan Bailey Pt 3

So at this point I have some names of plantation owners possibly associated with our Susan Jackson.  We have the widowed Martha Jacquelin Rootes Cobb Jackson, her daughter Martha Jackson, and the younger Martha’s husband Hezekiah Erwin.  Henry Jackson had passed away in 1840 and we had the appraisal of his estate in Athens, Clarke County, Georgia.  Add to this the knowledge that in Athens, Clarke County Georgia he owned Halscot Plantation and in Cusseta, Chambers County, Alabama he owned Cookshay Plantation.  This is an explosion of knowledge compared to a few days earlier, but what more could we learn?  I’ll share what was in the estate folder from Athens County.

HJ Estate_3QS7-99QW-RDW9HJ Estate_3QS7-99QW-RDWM



HJ Estate_3QS7-99QW-RDXJ

I was a bit perplexed, that this was a full and complete inventory, yet it didn’t appear to address his holdings in Alabama.  We know the family had not disposed of the property between it’s purchase and Henry Jackson’s death in 1840.   Let me share more of what we know in regard to Cookshay Plantation.

My source here is Sold Down the River: Slavery in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley of Alabama and Georgia, Anthony Gene Carey, Historic Chattahoochee Commission, University of Alabama Press, Aug 31, 2011.  I’ll quote a brief passage on pages 172 – 173.  It discussed when Cookshay was sold and also gives details of some of the enslaved people on the plantation.

“The slaves at Cookshay numbered forty-six in 1847, of which twenty-five were working hands. They tended around four hundred acres of crops; a little over half the acres were in cotton. The community was the product of growth over generations. There were half a dozen or so family groupings, as well as a handful of single slaves.  Eight slaves had been born in the eighteenth century. Sarah and Prince, a couple, were simply listed on the plantation roster as old.

Martha Jackson, who herself was born in 1786, probably did not know their exact ages.  Frank and Juno, another couple, had been born in 1773 and 1786, respectively.  Joshua and Fanny, and Louis and Patty, two more couples, were relative youngsters; the four were born between 1788 and 1794.  Several of these slaves were the parents of slaves who were having children of their own by the mid-nineteenth century.  For example, Frank and Juno’s daughter, Hester, had two children of her own; one of Louis and Patsy’s daughters, Lucy had three.  The fecundity of some Cookshay couples was notable even by nineteenth century standards.  John was nine years older than his wife Daphne, who had their first child in 1833, when she was fifteen years old. By 1851 they had eleven children, seven of them girls.  Peggy was several years younger than her husband James, and they had ten children between 1833 and 1850, including twin boys, James and Lewis.  In sharp contrast, Billy and Matilda, born in 1803 and 1805, respectively, were still childless in the late 1840s, although they must have been a married couple for many, many, years by then.  William Hooker was Silla’s husband and they had seven children. William Hart, though, either remained unmarried into his thirties or had a wife abroad…

Martha Jackson endeavored to keep slave families together despite estate issues, absenteeism, and a couple of long distance moves, one from Athens to Cookshay, then from Cookshay to Washington County, Georgia when Martha Jackson sold Cookshay to her son-in-law Hezekiah F. Erwin in 1850.  (Erwin was by then the widower of the younger Martha Jackson, whose early death had left a child behind.)…”

The potential to make a breakthrough here is pretty amazing.  I’m corresponding with the author Kirsten who has offered to share anything in her research that might help us find Susan.  Hopefully she has the will, and inventory having to do with Henry’s passing.  I wonder what we can find on Cookshay in the years between when Hezekiah Erwin became owner and emancipation?





In Search of Susan Bailey Pt 2

In Search of Susan Bailey

So what could we find out about Martha Jackson, wife of Hezekiah Erwin, and her family?  Any one reading this, that hasn’t yet read part 1, I encourage you to go back to meet some of the folks I’m talking about and why they have the potential to be important in our search for Susan Jackson.

Martha Jackson, wife of Hezekiah Erwin, was the daughter of Martha Jacquelin (formerly Rootes) Jackson.  I was excited to find out so much about her.  I’ve even contacted the author of one of the books where she is prominently featured, and thanked her for publishing her research.  She’s offered to share her notes with me, as they may pertain to my search for Susan Jackson.  Let’s focus on Martha Jacquelin (Roote)s Jackson for a moment. (There will be a bit of name dropping here, but it’s important in noticing the same pattern in the trees of our DNA matches.)  This quotes from an attachment I’m creating for my family tree.


The following two books provide more information on Martha Rootes Cobb Jackson:


Masterful Women: Slaveholding Widows from the American Revolution through the Civil War, Kirsten E Wood,Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004

Sold Down the River: Slavery in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley of Alabama and Georgia, Anthony Gene Carey, Historic Chattahoochee Commission,University of Alabama Press, Aug 31, 2011


Martha Rootes was the daughter of Thomas Reade Rootes and Sarah Battaile. Her first marriage was to Howell Cobb who died in 1818 and was buried at their Cherry Hill Plantation, in Jefferson County, Georgia. Those he enslaved were to pass to his wife during her widowhood, and then on to his brother if she remarried.  In 1819 she remarried to Henry Jackson.  They owned land in Athens County, Georgia, as well as Cookshay Plantation(purchased in 1836), located in Cussetta, Chambers County, Alabama.  She was again widowed in 1840 while they were residents of Athens County, Georgia.

In the work of Kirsten E Wood, she documents the political positions held by various relatives including Martha’s husband, older brother, various Cobb relatives, and her son Henry Rootes Jackson.  Among the supporters of Henry Rootes Jackson was Wilson Lumpkin (a surname important in our lines).


The subject of the political biographies of Martha’s husband Henry Jackson and various family members of this couple is elaborated on in this passage from, REMINISCENCES OF FAMOUS GEORGIANS (LUCIAN LAMAR KNIGHT, M. A., Atlanta Georgia, FRANKLIN=TURNER COMPANY 1907), beginning at the bottom of page 507. In this passage there is a transition from a discussion of Henry Jackson’s older brother who served as Govenor of Georgia:

Some time after the Revolution Governor Jackson was joined in Savannah by a brother several years younger than himself, Dr. Henry Jackson, an eminent scientific scholar, who was called to a professorship in the State University in 1811.

Two years later Dr.Jackson was given a leave of absence for the purpose of accompanying Ambassador William H. Crawford to thecourt of Napoleon; and he remained in Paris until after the famous return from Elba.


Mr. A. L. Hull, in his “Sketch of the University of Georgia,” narrates an incident which fits into this immediate connection.Says he: “While passing through Washington on his way abroad, Dr. Jackson met a lady to whom he was singularly attracted, but the fact of her husband being very much alive was an insuperable objection to his making it known to her. On his return from Europe he heard that she was a widow, and so soon as propriety permitted, he paid her his addresses and was married to her. The lady was the widow of Howell Lewis Cobb, Congressman from Georgia and uncle to Governor Howell Cobb.”


If Dr. Jackson was not twice married the lady who became his wife according to the incident above narrated, was originally Miss Rootes, daughter of Thomas Reade Rootes, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and sister of Sarah, who married Howell Lewis Cobb’s other brother, John A. Cobb. Dr. Jackson was long connected with the State University; and, after withdrawing from active service, he retired to his home place near Athens, which he called “Halscot,” probably coined from “Henry’s Cottage.” His distinguished son, General Henry Rootes Jackson, was one of Georgia’s greatest men. He was lawyer, orator, poet, diplomat and soldier. It was during his boyhood days around Athens that he caught his inspiration for “The Red Old Hills of Georgia.” He served with distinction in two wars, represented the United States government at Vienna and Mexico, declined the chancellorship of the State University, and earned one of the largest professional incomes in Georgia.


Captain Henry Jackson, one of the most prominent lawyers of this State, was the son of General Henry R. Jackson. He was rapidly advancing to still higher honors when death prematurely checked his brilliant career. Captain Jackson married Miss Cobb, of Athens, daughter of General Thomas R. R. Cobb.


It will be seen from the matrimonial data of this brief outline sketch that the Cobbs and the Jacksons, like the Cobbs and the Lamars, have frequently intermarried; and the determination of precise kinship between some of the members of the family connection resolves itself into an interesting problem of genealogical entanglement which has to be solved by higher mathematics.


(Perhaps the reference to Halscot Plantation can be a research lead to more data on the enslaved population associated with this family.)

Another source with similar information: Dr. Henry Jackson was born at Moreton, Devonshire, England in 1778, the younger brother of Governor James Jackson of Georgia. He came to Savannah at the age of 12 and graduated from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1802. He was professor of mathematics at the University of Georgia from 1811-1813 and 1818-1828. Jackson was the Secretary of the American Legation at Paris, 1813-1818, under William H. Crawford. He married Martha Jacquelin Rootes Cobb in 1818. They had one son, Henry Rootes Jackson, of Savannah and two daughters, Sarah Jackson (Prince) and Martha Jackson (Erwin). Henry Jackson died at Athens, Georgia in 1840 and is buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery.

From the description of Henry Jackson papers, 1800-1840. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 462090352

(The above information on his medical college explains the reference to his as Dr Henry Jackson.)

Again referencing the work of Kirsten E Wood, in reference to the politics of various family members she makes mention of Hezekiah F Erwin coming to court her daughter.  As mentioned, Martha was widowed in 1840 and was running their property in Athens, Georgia as well as Cookshay plantation in Chambers County, Alabama.

The other book mentioned, Sold Down the River: Slavery in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley of Alabama …By Anthony Gene Carey, Historic Chattahoochee also provides details, to quote from that source, ” In addition to a plantation near Athens, the Jacksons owned a plantation called Cookshay near Cusseta in Chambers County, Alabama, which Martha Jackson managed through the 1840’s, with the help of overseers, her son Henry R Jackson, and her adolescent daughters.  Martha Jackson was mostly an absentee owner, staying in Athens and Savannah, her son was an attorney in the later city.  She lived at the plantation for considerable periods, however, especially in the late 1840’s, and when absent received regular reports on matters at Cookshay.  By the provisions of Henry Jackson’s will the plantation and slaves were held jointly and in trust among Martha and her daughters, and her son served along side her as executor of the estate.”

When reading from these two works and realizing the close association with other folks already documented in our tree I got excited.  Would a closer reading of the entire book lend more information?  But the leads are enormous compared to what I though i had on Susan Jackson.  Could I find any estate records with names of some of the people who were enslaved by this family.

One of my first stops was at (after all my normal searches at ancestry), to look for the esate paper for Henry Jackson who died in Athens, Clarke County, Georgia.  Could I find the will?  Could I find a list of those who were enslaved?  Though I didn’t find our Susan Jackson in the Georgia records I did find some names.

People named in the inventory of Henry Jackson

I didn’t find the will among the set of records that included the inventory in Georgia.  But there was still lots more to glean from the records of Cookshay Plantation in Cusseta.  I’ll write more about that in part 3.  Would you like to come along?



In Search of Susan Bailey Pt 1

In Search of Susan Bailey

There’s a lot more i’s to dot and t’s to cross, but I wanted to go ahead and start sharing what has me so excited.  I realize that graphic above is hard to read, but let me do a little explaining.  Basically i’m showing to the left a set of parents, Joseph Erwin and Catherine Cowan, and they go down to two sons I’d like to focus on in the next generation, Hezekiah Erwin and Thomas B Erwin.  The next couple on the top row to the right is Robert E Owen with Mary Polly Kinnebrew, they were married after she had become the widow of William Hicks.

It’s the next row that has energized my research in to Susan Jackson.  As we know, as pictured to the far right in the second row is a grouping that includes Thomas E Owens. We previously followed our Major Bailey through the estate papers of Robert Owen, his son Thomas Owens, and on to Allen L Bailey.  In the middle of the second row we see another child of Robert Owen, daughter Elizabeth Owen, with her husband the aforementioned Thomas B Erwin.  Then working our way left in the second row is Hezekiah Erwin and his wife Martha Jackson.  It is noting this sister in law relationship between Elizabeth and Martha Jackson that has kicked the research in to high gear.  A working theory had been, for Susan and Major to have children together through the late 1850’s and early 1860’s Susan had to be in close proximity, though not on the same plantation as inferred from not seeing her in the same estate papers.

We now had an area to focus on…the Jackson family associated with Hezekiah Erwin through his wife Martha Jackson and her family.

(Before leaving the picture above, let me make note of one other relationship. Hezekiah’s 2nd and 3rd wife (Martha Jackson / Mary Willis Cobb) were granddaughters of Thomas Reade Rootes (1759 – abt. 1812), and therefore cousins.)

Martha’s mother had first married Howell Cobb, and after being widowed married Henry Jackson.

One interesting google brought me to some matters that were brought to the state supreme court regarding the estate of Hezekiah Erwin.  In what I focused in reading the case history, was not be the points that were of interest to the legal scholars, but the people named and their relationships.

Wyche S. Jackson, administrator of Hezekiah F. Erwin, was the son-in-law of George Huguley and brother in law to W. H. Huguley and Reuben Jones. They were at the time of signing the bond all men of wealth.

The condensed version of the matter was the Hezekiah Erwin had an estate that upon a preliminary estimate was valued at $75,000.  It was custom, required by law, for the executor to post a bond of twice that amount, therefore $150,000.  Somehow the original signed bond was for $150.  The question at hand boiled down to was the judge within his powers to amend the bond that was obviously a clerical error, or were the signers not bound by it after this “fix”.

FOR US, the important points were, that was a big estate, and look at all these folks associated with one another, especially the Hughley names that appear to be those we have associated with our Frank Hughley AKA Frank Whitaker, husband of Agnes Winston and father of our Stonewall Whitaker.  It turned out for our genealogical purposes, that Wyche S Jackson could not be directly connected to the wife of Hezikiah, that being Martha Jackson.  But it does establish these folks all had an association and lived in the same community in the same era.  Perhaps we should note Hezekiah’s first wife was Mary Winston with a possible association Stonewall Winston, but that had been covered in a previous blog.

Next, on to examining who exactly were the family associated with Martha Jackson, wife of Hezekiah Erwin?





A Look at the Will of Howell Cobb

In May of 2016 I created an entry I titled, “All my findings are making my head spin”.  I ended that entry with the following words:

A lot of my leads are coming from this set of research:
It’s weird and I can’t explain it…within the first few minutes of beginning to read that page of research, I started crying, I just emotionally knew it was a big find, and I hadn’t even scratched the surface of what it was telling me.
It had gone in to the relationships of the slave-holding families of Chambers County, including Robert Owen, in whose estate papers we found documentation of our Major Bailey.  Among the tangle of families was the Erwin family, and Hezekiah Erwin was listed.  I’m on the verge of what looks to be a BIG breakthrough for our Susan Jackson, and the path that took me there was google searches on Hezekiah Erwin.  I’ll save the BIG news for tomorrow, after I tidy up some of my research, but let me leave a few tidbits here.  Hezekiah Erwin had three wives, first Mary J Winston who passed away in 1844.  He next married Martha Jackson who died soon after the birth of their daughter in 1848.  His third wife was Mary Willis Cobb, a cousin of Martha Jackson as the shared Thomas Reade Rootes as a grandfather.  Martha’s mother was Martha Jaquelin Rootes.  Martha was a widow when she married Henry Jackson.  She had first been married to Howell Cobb.  Let me share a copy of his will.Howell Cobb Will
As I said, I’m working on a BIG find that has to do with this grouping of families.  I was trying to share my enthusiasm with my son earlier.  He’s just not in to genealogy.  Here’s what I shared with some research buddies.
Oh wow! I think I just figured out Susan Jackson in our line. I love my granddaughter, and she gets me. When trying to help her dad appreciate my enthusiasm, she told him, “She just found a 40 pound Hershey Bar!”
For those of you who do share my enthusiasm for this hobby, would you like to come back and share some of my Hershey Bar?

Points to Ponder – A Story and a Question

Let’s begin in the middle with the marriage of Robert Bailey Lumpkin and Mariah Hicks, she being the widow of Thomas Owen.

I’d been working on Tinsleys lately and seeing how they bring in various surnames such as Austin, Erwin, Cowan, Hendree, Winston, and Owen. I re-read an old post from May where I had pointed out that Abel A Erwin (of the Tinsley connection), was living in 1850 with the family of Robert Owen and his son Thomas Owen.  This was the same Thomas Owen who would go on to marry Mariah Hicks, and in whose estate papers we see documentation of our ancestor Major Bailey.  (The surname was acquired per a later transaction between the estate of Thomas E Owen and Allen Bailey.)

By 1880 Mariah had remarried to Robert Bailey Lumpkin and we can see them in the 1880 Census for Chambers County, Alabama.

1880 Census Mariah Hicks

Above is image 18 of the set for this census.  Next,  I’ll show images 23 and 24 from a few pages later.  The images will be followed by a re-introduction of these folks by paraphrasing some old correspondence with cousin Reggie.  Our common ancestor with Reggie is Major Bailey Sr.  My son’s grandmother descends from Dan Bailey, son of Major. Reggie descends from Major Jr.  Major Jr had children by Bythaann (Reggie’s ancestor) and Judy.  The complicated family structure is being sorted out in some of our early correspondence.

1880 Census Major Bailey Sr and Jr

1880 Census Louiza Sherrill

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

I’m trying to construct a scenario where these pieces fit. Please let me know your thoughts.

The 1870 census was the first post Civil War census. Perhaps it can be inferred that black folks were putting their families together the best they could after the turmoil that preceded 1865. Most likely the surnames seen will correlate with the family they were providing forced labor for prior to the Civil War.

The construct of the family as shown in the 1870 census (see below) might infer the family had been laboring for a Fedrick (perhaps Frederick) family prior to 1865, Penny at the head of the household perhaps can be inferred to be the mother of Louisa, and grandmother to the others shown in the household. But later records cause us to question this.

In later years, there is the citing of Hicks as the maiden name (on death records) for the woman who later became wife of Major Bailey Jr.  This perhaps was a mis-remembered reference to the Fedricks name used in 1870, or perhaps the Hicks surname was incorrectly taken down as Fedricks on the census. This may never be known at this late date, but there is another record to consider when puzzling through this.

Lem Hicks” in a 1930 death record was reported to have been born in 1847, and had a mother’s name recorded as “Lou Ida Sherrill”. It can be supposed that the children of Lem Hicks and Georgia Carslile were referencing a grandmother they knew as “Louisa aka Lou Ida” Sherrill, as she was recorded in 1880.

(Given the circumstances prior to 1865 where African American marriages were not always recognized, among the possibilities to consider are that the children of Louisa may not have all had the same father, and perhaps Tobitha and Judy were half siblings.)

Between 1870 and 1880 Louisa bore three more children. In the 1880 census she reported the surname of Sherrill, whether we will later find a marriage record, or if this was a common-law marriage circumstance is not known. It would appear the children born prior to 1880 were recorded as Sherrill in error, or perhaps this was recognition of an informal adoption by the father of the 3 youngest children, though he appears to no longer be in Louisa’s life at the time of the census, and her marital status is recorded as widow. Another alternate scenario is that Sherill was a maiden name that was returned to, but there are problems “making that fit” with the conception that Penny with the surname of Fedricks of the 1870 census was her mother.


Your tree for Louisa’s family:

Spouse and Children

No Spouse ? – ?

Lem Hicks abt 1847 – 17 May 1930

Tabitha “Bythaann” Sherrell May 1862 – 1916

Samuel Sherrell abt 1866 – ?

Duck Sherrell abt 1868 – ?

Wesley Sherrell abt 1869 – ?

Beatrice Lumpkin abt 1872 – 15 Sep 1922

William Sherrell abt 1876 – ?

1870 Census

Penny Fedrick 45

Louisa Fedrick 28

Sam Fedrick 12

Judy Fedrick 10

Tobitha Fedrick 8

Dock Fedrick 6

Duck Fedrick 4

West Fedrick 1

1880 Census

Louiza Sherrill 35

Bythaann Sherrill 17

Samuel Sherrill 14

Duck Sherrill 12

Wesley Sherrill 10

William Sherrill 4

Augusta Sherrill 3

Duzabee Sherrill 6m

Interesting record:

Lem Hicks

in the Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974

Name:Lem Hicks

Birth Date:abt 1847

Death Date:17 May 1930

Death Place:Fairfax, Chambers, Alabama

Burial Date:19 May 1930

Burial Place:Hall Chapple

Death Age:83

Marital Status:Married


Father Name:Joe Hicks

Mother Name:Lou Ida Sherrill

Spouse Name:Georgia Carslile

FHL Film Number:1908478

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

That’s a lot to absorb.  But at the time we were trying to think through scenarios that would explain the surname variations between Sherrill, Fredericks, Hicks etc.  Back then we hadn’t yet absorbed the record showing “possession” of our ancestor Major Bailey going from T.E. Owen to Allen L. Bailey.  Nor had we known that T. E. Owen was the son of Robert Owen, that Major would pass from the estate of Robert Owen to the Estate of Thomas E Owen and that the wife of Thomas, Mariah Hicks, would take “possession” of Major in the interim before “ownership” was passed on to Allen Bailey.  Nor did we know that Mariah would go on to marry Robert Bailey Lumpkin.  All those surnames take on new relevance when I now look at this person in my tree.

Mariah Louise Hicks

Was there more history here than first met our eyes?  And what of all this other history I’ve learned.  If the Bailey surname did not become associated with our family before the mid 1800’s would our DNA match be likey to be found among the Owens or the families associated with them?  Is there a clue in the records to be found long before the 1850 record that told us, “Abel A Erwin (of the Tinsley connection), was living in 1850 with the family of Robert Owen and his son Thomas Owen” ?

Peter Tinsley

I posted this story to a Genetic Genealogy group I am a part of on Facebook.  I decided to post it here as well:

I’ll tell a story some of you may appreciate. For the most part my genealogy efforts are divided in to two main parts, (1) my Allman Family, and though the surname of my father is used, I disproportionately spend more time on my mothers side, (2) my son’s paternal lines, and disproportionately his grandmother’s lines going back to Chambers County, Alabama. And as fate would have it, these two lines cross about 7 generations back.

Of course both of my son’s grandmothers have been DNA tested. On my mom’s side an interesting line goes back to Henrico County, Virginia. I have early Colonial records of my Breazeale line, as well as records of my Griffin, Bolling, Stith, Worsham, Kennon and other lines. One cool source of records is the Bristol Parish Vestry Book. There are interesting colonial stories over on that side with Thomas Jefferson being among the in-laws of the cousins of direct ancestors, as well as one of my directs after being widowed marrying in to the Epps family.

Now over on my son’s paternal grandmother’s lines there are many interesting stories as well. This side is predominantly African American, and we have the stories we can trace through estate records, and sharecropping agreements and artifacts handed down through the family. We can trace our lines directly back to Agnes Winston born about 1848, daughter of Anthony Winston who’s lifespan was about 1824 to 1910.

As you might imagine, records of this early generation are hard to come by. We have many DNA cousins that lead us back to a set of Winston families. We have close cousins that are DNA tested that can get back to Winston through two paths- our shared path though their grandfather back to Agnes, and a separate path through their grandmother who goes back to a General Winston. General is a contemporary of Anthony Winston but at this point we can’t prove linkage. Other’s who have studied General Winston make the case that he is the son of the white “Slaveholder” Peter Tinsley. This is bolstered by the fact that someone in the family has an old Sword with “Tinsley” engraved on it that was said to have been taken from the Tinsley household.

So I’m following all my DNA leads, and working on these converging Winston families. One researcher even has an attached findagrave memorial for Peter Tinsley. Census records of some of our kin reflect they were born in Virginia in the days of slavery. So this is all plausible, but I’m still looking for solid proof. So I google and find a book about old homes in Richmond Virginia. Wow, this book mentions so many names I’m familiar with from my mom’s lines, the contemporaries of Thomas Jefferson. Many of the brief biographies of these owners of the early homes end with a statement that they are buried in nearby Shockoe Hill Cemetery. I’m kind of freaking out that the book has several references to Peter Tinsley, the findagrave info indicates he lived in Richmond Virginia, and was buried in Shockoe Hill Cemetery. Am I narrowing in on the cross-over between the two family lines?




I have kind of a cool update. In my story above I mentioned a slave holding Tinsley family apparently related to my son’s paternal kin; another mention was the Bolling family on my son’s maternal side, many generations back from me and my mother’s side. I focused in on Peter Tinsley of Richmond, Virginia. Today’s googles lead me to a relative of his, John Tinsley. He had an “Inn” or “ordinary” that has made it on to the national register of historic places. The location had also been refered to as Tinsleyville. Here’s a quote from the application submitted, “The building known as Tinsley Tavern has long been known as a drover’s tavern. It is situated along the major road through Goochland County over which herds of cattle and sheep were driven in the 1800s. The 1820 John Wood map of Goochland County shows three taverns along the Charlottesville to Richmond stage road, now River Road. ” A google for Tinsleyville lead me to this photo of something that had been offered on Ebay. It seems likely the Tinsley and Bolling families knew each other.

Karen Allman's photo.


The Ever Present Winstons Continued

Let me add a little more to the Winston to Davidson lines, and then take a little detour over to Wortham/Worsham and Kennon.

Writeli maternal pedigree

As illustrated above, Lucilla Davidson, daughter of Burell Davidson and Artimesia Heard marries Robert Lee Davidson, son of Joseph Davidson and Nancy/Nanny Winston.

We have confirmation of Nancy as the wife of Joseph Davidson through the obituary of their daughter Fannie B Davidson (sister of Robert Lee).

Obituary Fannie B Davidson

While adding the 1880 census for Joseph Davidson and family, I did the standard practice of looking a few pages up and a few pages back.

1880 Census Joseph Davidson

In household 400 we see Joseph and his 2 month old son Robert L Davidson.  There is a servant Addie Winston who is perhaps a relative of Nancy.  Joe and Nancy will go on to have a daughter Mamie, who by 1920 is shown as a divorced woman Mamie Worthham, who is living in her father’s household.  I found the following to be an interesting household when paging forward in the census.

1880 Census Green Wortham

In household 417 is Green Wortham.  Could either of the sons shown, Thomas and Hiram, be the husband of Mamie Davidson?  But remember the Wortham name for that detour we’ll take in a moment.

Now going one page back from Joseph in household 400, we see Burrell Davidson in household 389.

1880 Census Burrell Davidson

Burell and Artimesia (shown as Misha here) will go on to have daughter Lucilla Davidson who will marry Robert Lee Davison the young son in household 400.

Permit me a detour here.  I’ll quote from an email I sent this morning to WriteLi, owner of the tree snippet shown at the top here.


Li Li,
I just experienced a very interesting coincidence that I can’t help but comment on.  As you may remember from our correspondence the match I’m working on with you is from my son’s paternal relatives.  Below is an email I sent yesterday, after being contacted by one of my own personal matches, through my mother Donna Campbell.  Note the names Kennon and Worsham, and then see my note below.
You sent me your pedigree which goes back to Thomas Stovall and Elizabeth Owen.  I’m ccing Shannon Christmas on this as there’s a chance he may be a DNA match to you (Shannon, her 23andme kit is under Danya Parr).
As you and I discussed, my pedigree goes back to Bolling, Stith, Kennon, and Worsham.
My Elizabeth Worsham was married to Richard Kennon; Bartholomew Stovall was an employee of theirs.  I’m attaching information I extracted from an historical novel written by a Bartholomew Stovall descendant.  The book is fiction, with made up conversations etc., but it is based upon real people and places and some proveable facts.
I do not descend from Bartholomew Stovall.  But, I do have an interest in him as his descendants have been a source of information on my Kennon-Worsham branch.
On the link above you’ll find that at least one researcher associates your Thomas Stovall and Elizabeth Owen with Bartholomew and his wife Ann Burton. (Shannon descends from Thomas and Ann).
Remember I mentioned the mystery intersection of my son’s maternal and paternal relatives?  Both the Burton name and the Owen name are important in those lines.  I’ll poke around with your Elizabeth Owen to see if there’s any connection I can find.
Worsham is sometimes shown as Wortham, but same root family in the records of Henrico County, Virginia.  As you know I’m working on where your lines intersect with the lines in my son’s paternal tree.  We have Winstons that go back to Davidsons.  I was pulling in your information on Alex Davidson, shown as mulatto in 1870, and a tax record that shows he was an employee of Elias Davidson.  When looking at the census record and seeing how far apart the two households were (2 pages) I noted one of the names in-between was Jack Kennon.  Interesting coincidence.  I’m continuing on with the Robert Lee Davidson in your tree, who you show as son of Joe Davidson. Joe’s mother was born in Virginia, and both of his wife’s parents were born in Virginia. Joe has a daughter Mamie, by 1920 she’s a divorced woman living with her father by the name of Mamie Wortham.  How interesting to come across these folks after just writing about my connections this weekend.
I expanded on this further in some correspondence to Janeen who knows much of the background and other coincidences in my personal lines and the paternal lines of my son.
Breazeale Kennon Worsham Stith
So I’m continuing on, updating Joseph Davidson, and noticing he had a daughter Agnes. And I think, what an interesting coincidence, I have my Agnes Bolling.  Of course the thought of possible name sakes goes through your mind.  Then my mind explodes with the realization that my Heards go back to Aggie/Agnes Winston, and I think, no frickin’ way.
What do you think, could I be on the trail of that cross over between the lines of my son’s maternal and paternal grandmothers?