Johann Ludwig and Elizabeth Maria Maurer Kammerer

In 2007, Patte Patterson Wood, a fellow Kemmerer/Camerer researcher, shared information about our mutual family line. Included was a copy of Part One of Everett R. Irwin’s book, The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin. Using some data from his book along with information gleaned from Ancestry.com, the following is a brief biographical sketch of Johann Ludwig and Elizabeth Kammerer.

Johann Ludwig Kammerer (commonly known as Ludwig) was the son of Hans Martin and Anna Maria Hoch Kammerer. He was born December 16, 1715, most likely in the Worms, Rhineland Palatinate, Germany.

Note: The surname is found spelled several ways – Kemmerer, Kammerer, Cammarrar, Cammarrar and Camerer (the most common spelling).

Records indicate that he immigrated to America, arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1736 on the ship “Harle of London. They came from Rotterdam via Cowes (Pennsylvania German Pioneers, pp. 154,158, 161).

In his colorful and well researched book, The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, Everett R. Irwin gives a possible reason for Germans immigrating to America.

Ludwig was in a flood of miserable humanity that washed across the Atlantic from Germany to the British colonies in the half century before the Revolutionary War. The tide was unleashed by decades of wars that seesawed back and forth across the Rhineland. Soldier-marauders overran and desolated the land, leaving poverty and starvation. Invading princes and kings impressed reluctant male inhabitants into their armies. The Palatines fled overseas in search of a land of peace – Penn’s colony. Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke, writing in Pennsylvania German Pioneers, estimate that more than 65,000 German aliens landed at Philadelphia, the chief port of entry, during the 1727-1776 period.

 Sometime before 1743, Ludwig met and married Elizabeth Maria Maurer (her surname has not been documented). Following their marriage, they moved south to Monocacy, Maryland. According to Everett R. Irwin, this was the first permanent settlement of Pennsylvania Germans in Maryland. Not long after their arrival, Elizabeth gave birth to twin sons, Johannes and Adam, born August 17, 1743. (Note: John’s gravestone gives his birth date as August 29, 1742, differing from the baptismal record.)

Between the year 1744 and 1764, Ludwig and Elizabeth’s family grew by leaps and bounds. They had eleven more children – Elizabeth, Margaret, Johann Ludwig, Jr., Susannah, Johann Adam, Hannah, Daniel, Catherine, Peter, Dorothy and Henry.

Before 1745, Ludwig and his family moved northwest to Maryland’s Conococheague district about 10 miles north of Hagerstown, Maryland, and a mile west of State Line, Pennsylvania. Evidently, the Kammerer family settled and lived in this area for many years.

On September 21, 1764, “Kamerer, Ludwig of Frederick County, German, a member Lutheran, Frederick Town” was naturalized as a citizen. (Maryland Hall of Records, Naturalizations, Vol. DD-6285, p. 264)

LUDWIG’S OLD STONE HOUSE

One thing that Ludwig Kammerer wanted to do was to build a home for his family. Irwin gives the following description of how the house was built.

Ludwig had yet another dream to fashion into reality-a stone fortress home to grace Buck Spring Farm and stand off any further Indian attacks. He set to work gathering limestone for its foundation and walls. He cut down massive trees and shaped them with broad axe and adz into 6-by-16 inch timbers for the sub flooring. He built one centrally placed chimney raising the 1 ½ story height of the house above a 9-foot-wide fireplace in the basement kitchen. The fireplace was crowned by a 2 ½ foot thick arched timber chosen to withstand flame. A second basement room had its own supply of running water from a nearby spring. Ludwig Kammerer’s 18th Century home stands sturdy and still occupied a stone’s throw from a rising 20th Century data processing center…In the gable of the east wall Ludwig placed a stone plaque in which he chiseled his initials, L.K., and the date – 1774.

 A fellow Kammerer researcher shared another description of the house on Ancestry.com. It was written by Dave Cottingham and is entitled “Kamerer’s Old Stone Fortress Survives.”Ludwig Kammerer house DESPITE WIND (click link)

Ludwig’s Old Stone House

Note: There was a question whether or not the house remains standing. An article was written by Matthew Bieniek for the Hagerstown Herald News, August 8, 1998, which indicates the Kammerer house may be relocated or destroyed. Kemmerer house (click link)

However, the old stone house was destroyed as described in an article was written by John Kemmerer Ivey and posted in the Rootsweb archive,  Kemmerer – L.

This stone house was still standing as of March 03, 1999, on a half acre lot in the Airport Business Park owned by Hagerstown/Washington County Industrial Foundation, Inc., also known as CHIEF. Citicorp; has a large facility in the business park and was the intended buyer of the property. Under pressure from the local historical, the press and numerous Kemmerer descendants, the company finally agreed to assist with moving the historic home to another site about ½ mile away, but at the last minute they pulled the plug on the entire project and destroyed the house.

LUDWIG KAMMERER’S PART IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

As we know, the American Revolutionary War occurred from 1775-1783. Undoubtedly, the Kammerer family felt the brunt of this conflict. In his book, Everett R. Irwin does not mention Ludwig’s involvement in the war, but an ancestor, Patte Wood, found information which she used in making application for DAR membership. Though the name given was “Ludwick Cameron,” it was accepted as our Kammerer ancestor. His services are listed in Revolutionary Patriots of Washington County, Maryland, 1776-1783 by Henry C. Peden, Jr.

Cameron, Ludwick. Private, Militia, 4th Class, Capt. John Cellars’ Company, 1776/1777 [Fef: A-1146, M-246]. One of several patriots appointed by the Committee of Observation on December 30, 1776 ‘to form the county into companies (after the militia had marched) for the purpose of relieving the distressed inhabitants of said county and also to compel the Dunkards and Mennonists to give their assistance.’ [Ref: Q-345. which listed the name as ‘Ludwick Cammerer’].

Cameron, Ludwig. Rendered patriotic service by supplying wheat for the use of the military on February 7, 1780 and on April 13, 1780 for hauling wheat to the mill [Ref:W-1190, HH-72, which latter source is the original record and the named looked like ‘Ludwig Camerer’ or possibly ‘Ludwig Cameren’]Took Oath of Allegiance before the Hon. Henry Schnebley in 1778 [Ref: O-50, J-14].

Everett R. Irwin states that Elizabeth Kammerer apparently died between 1790 and 1800. In the early 1800s, Ludwig moved to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Records indicate he sold his house and the Buck Spring Farm in 1805 (Washington County Courthouse, Deed Book S, p. 160). He died January 21, 1808 at the age of 92 and was buried in the Brush Creek Cemetery in Westmoreland County.

Sources

Ancestry.com. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. Web: Pennsylvania, Find A Grave Index, 1681-2011. [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Ancestry.com. “All Public Member Photos & Scanned Documents Results for Kemmerer,” http://search.ancestry.com.

Bieniek, Matthew, “Kemmerer house’s fate sealed,” Herald News, Hagerstown, MD, August 8, 1998. . http://articles.herald-mail.com/1998-08-08news/25136340_1_citicorp-washington-county-historical-society-society-representatives

DAR Patriot Index, Volume II, G-O, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Gateway Press, Inc, Baltimore, MD.

Irwin, Everett R., The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, 1992.

Peden, Henry C., Jr., Revolutionary Patriots of Washington County, Maryland, 1776-1783, Family Line Publications, Westminster, Maryland, 1998.

Rootsweb.Ancestry.com. Archives Kemmerer-L. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/KEMMERER/2006-04/1144266793

Strassburger, Ralph B. and William J. Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD, 1966.

Johann Ludwig Kammerer Family Group Sheet (click link) Johann Ludwig Kammerer FGS

 

 

 

 

 

Johannes “John” and Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach Kemmerer

In 2007, Patte Patterson Wood, a fellow Kemmerer/Camerer researcher, shared information about our mutual family line. Included was a copy of Part One of Everett R. Irwin’s book, The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin. Using some quotes and data from his well researched book, the following is a brief biographical sketch of the lives of Johannes “John” and Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach Kemmerer.

Note: The surname is found spelled several ways – Kemmerer, Kammerer, Cammarrar, Cammarrar and Camerer (the most common spelling).

Being the son of German immigrants, Johannes Ludwig and Elizabeth Maurer Kemmerer, Johannes “John” was a first generation American. Irwin writes: “The name of Ludvig Kummerer was inscribed in German script in the church’s baptismal records as the father of twins born Aug. 17, 1743, and christened Oct. 17, 1743. The twins were listed as ‘son Johannes: godparents George Arnhold and frau Anna Maria’ and ‘a son Adam: godparents Georg Adam Wedel and frau Anna Maria.’  (John’s gravestone gives his birth date as Aug. 29, 1742). The twins’ mother was not identified in the baptismal record; the pastor apparently felt her role was not worthy of recognition.” (Irwin, p. 3) The twins were the first of the very large Kemmerer family which consisted of thirteen children.

Note: Evidently, the first son Adam died as a young child and a second son born on December 8, 1753 was named Adam.

When John and his twin brother, Adam, were born, Johannes Ludwig and Elizabeth lived in Monocacy, Frederick, Maryland. Monocacy was the first permanent settlement of Pennsylvania Germans in Maryland. It was located in the western part of the state  and was a small village consisting of a trading post, mill, blacksmith shop, tavern, a few log cabins and a tiny combination Lutheran church-schoolhouse. (Irwin, p.3)

By 1745, the Kemmerer family was living 30 miles northwest of Monocacy in Maryland’s Conococheague district across the Catoctin and Blue Ridge mountains. The family stayed in the area to raise their growing family. Irwin writes: “Most of their sons and daughters apparently were married in the Conococheague district – among them the twin named Johannes, who wed a girl named Margaretta (Margaretha).” (Irwin, p. 3)

Note: I do not have a marriage record for John and Margaretha but they probably married before 1766.

Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach was born in Borkenbach, Germany, and was the daughter of Johannes and Maria Elizabeth Brumbach.

Note: At this time, I have not found a date of immigration.

“When William Penn opened western Pennsylvania to settlement in 1769, Ludwig’s older, married sons and daughters headed for the new frontier.” (Irwin, p. 6) John and Margaret joined his brothers and sisters in moving from Maryland to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Irwin points out that it is likely all the brother and their wives did not make the mountain crossing in one party. A John Camara was listed in the 1783 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Census. According to a patent record, 1425 acres of land was granted to John by the state of Pennsylvania in 1786 in Westmoreland County. He and his brothers Ludwig and Adam also were on the county tax list of 1786. (Irwin, p. 7)

Between the years of 1766 and 1793, John and Margaret had eleven children – John, Adam, Susan, Daniel, Anna Maria “Mary”, Margaret, Ludwig “Lewis”, Jacob, Catherine, Elizabeth and Esther. All are mentioned in John’s will signed March 24, 1829.

Johannes “John” Kemmerer died February 26, 1833 at the age of 90 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was buried in the Brush Creek Cemetery. Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Kemmerer died February 18, 1841 at the age of 94 in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was buried with her husband in Brush Creek Cemetery. Note: The birth date on tombstone (August 29, 1742) of John Kemmerer conflicts with date on his baptismal record (August 17, 1743) of Monocacy, Maryland Lutheran Church.

Johannes “John” Kemmerer Grave Marker

Sources

Irwin, Everett R., The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, 1992.

John Kemmerer, Will Book no. 2, p. 279, Court House, Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (Transcription)

Marriage and Death Notices From Weekly Newspapers, 1818-1865, Westmoreland Pennsylvania, Volume 1. Presented to the Library of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution by The Queen Alliquippa Chapter, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 1962.

Weiser, Frederick, editor and translator, Maryland German Church Records, Volume 3, Baptismal records of the Monocacy Lutheran Congregation, and its successor, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, 1742-1779, Noodle Coosey Press, Manchester, Maryland.

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania 1783 Census, Family Lines Publications, Westminster, Maryland.

Johannes “John” Kemmerer Family Group Sheet (click link) Johannes John Kemmerer FGS

 

 

 

John and Charity Taylor May

Using information from two well researched books – Ann K. Blomquist’s Taylors and Tates of the South, and Jim W. Kuhlman’s The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch – here is a time line for John and Charity Taylor May.

1757

Charity Taylor, the oldest child of James and Ann Owen Taylor, was born June 6, 1757, in Cumberland, Virginia. (See notes below)

1760

John May, son of James Harvey and Elizabeth King May, was born November 1760 in Essex County, Virginia.

1777

John began his service in the Revolutionary War in April 1777, in Henry County, Virginia. His company served for 3 months in Christy’s Campaign against the Cherokee Indians.

1779

John May and Charity Taylor were married June 24, 1779 in Henry County, Virginia.

1779

Beginning in December of 1779, John was a “mounted gunman”and served for 12 months.

1781

John served the third time in the summer of 1781 as a substitute for Mile Jennings (military).

1780-1794

John and Charity had 9 children between 1780 & 1794 – Phalby, son, Isabelle, Leroy, son, William, son, son and Charity.

1782-1794

John May was listed in the tax records beginning in 1782. He did not own land at that time, but he owned and was taxed on 2 horses and 5 head of cattle. He continued to appear in the tax lists in 1786, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1793 and 1794. In 1787, his tax included slaves that he owned.

1783

In January 1783, John bought 119 acres of land on Marrowbone Creek from father-in-law, James Taylor.

1796-1803

John and Charity May had 5 more children between 1796 & 1803, son, Nellie, George, Mary and Peter.

1796-1807

John May sells Marrowbone Creek land and the May family “began moving as a pioneer family.” John May bought 120 acres on the south side of the Swannanoa River (Buncombe County, North Carolina) in October 1797. Later he added 50 more acres and then, in 1807, he sells all 170 acres to a James Wilson.

1807-1814

During 1807 & 1814, it is not known where the May family lived.“However, since a John May was listed in 1812 Franklin Co. TN voters list, and their son Leroy May made his home in Franklin Co. for many years, it seems reasonable to believe that the Mays lived in the Franklin Co. area.” (Blomquist)

1814-1816

In Grainger County, TN, John May bought a female slave name Silah from his father-in-law, James Taylor, for $400. In August 1816, he also purchased 359 ¾ acres in Blount County, TN from David Dearman. He later sold 249 acres of this tract to his wife’s kinsman, Daniel Taylor, son of Daniel Taylor and grandson of James Taylor.

1816

On September 3, 1816, Charity writes a letter to either Martha Pittman or Edward Adams. In it, she stated that she had 13 children, but 2 sons died in TN. She states that 2 sons and 3 daughters are married at that time, with one of girls, Nellie, married to a Cherokee Indian. Charity was 59 years old, an old age considering the times and conditions. (See notes below)

1830

John and Charity appear on the 1830 census of McMinn Co., TN.

1832

In 1832, both John May and his brother William May filed for pensions as Revolutionary War veterans.

1839

John May died December 28, 1839 in Polk Co., TN. In 1839, Polk Co. was formed from part of McMinn Co., so there is some question about where John and Charity were living when they died.

1840

Charity May was included in the 1840 United States Federal Census with the James Hawkins household (son-in-law & daughter, Mary).

1842

Charity May died December 27, 1842 in Polk Co., TN.

Sources

Adams, Lela C., Abstracts of Deed Books 5 & 6 of Henry County, Virginia, 1979.

Ancestry.com. 1800 United States Federal Census [database online], Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Ancestry.com. 1830 United States Federal Census [database online], Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Bell, George M., Genealogy of Old and New Cherokee Indian Families, 1972.

Blomquist, Ann K., Taylors and Tates of the South, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 1993.

Blount County, Tennessee, Deed Books 1 & 2, County Clerk’s Office, Maryville, Tennessee.

Bunscombe County, Deed Books 3 & 4, A & B, 10 & 14, County Clerk’s Office, Asheville, North Carolina.

Crozier, William Armstrong, editor, Virginia County Records, Volume II, Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1986.

Dodd, Virginia Anderton, Henry County, Virginia Marriage Bonds, 1778-1849.

“Franklin County, Tennessee Historical Review,” 1988.

Grainger County, Deed Book C, County Clerk’s Office, Rutledge, Tennessee.

Henry County, Deed Books 2 & 3, County Clerk’s Office, Martinsville, Virginia.

Henry County, marriage record, County Clerk’s Office, Martinsville, Virginia.

Henry County, Tax Records, 1782-1979, County Clerk’s Office, Martinsville, Virginia.

James Taylor, will, County Clerk’s Office, Rutledge, Tennessee.

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Sheffield, Ella, Grainger County, Tennessee Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions Record Book 3, 1812-1816, 1983.

Starr, Emmett, Old Cherokee Families, Baker Publishing Co., 1987.

Stewart, William C., Gone to Georgia, 1965.

White, Virgil D., Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Volume II: F-M, The National Historical Publishing Co., Waynesboro, Tennessee, 1991.

Notes

  1. Charity May was the first of the 9 children of James Taylor and Ann Owen. She was probably born in Cumberland Co., VA and spent her childhood there, but about 1770, her parents moved to the part of Pittsylvania Co., VA that later became Henry Co. Like all of the Taylor daughters, Charity was educated, so she could read and write. (Blomquist, p. 88)
  2. Current information also indicates that 3 of Charity’s children married Cherokee Indians. Nellie married William Rogers (1/16 Cherokee) who came from a prominent Cherokee family. Peter married Alzira (1/16 Cherokee), a daughter of Looney Price and Nannie Rogers. And George married Mary Jane Upton whose mother was a Cherokee. This is family lore and has not been documented. (Blomquist, p. 90)
  3. Charity May’s letter transciption. Charity-Mays-Letter.pdf (click link)

John May Family Group Sheet (click link) John May FGS

 

 

 

 

Ludwig “Lewis” Camerer

Ludwig “Lewis” Camerer was born June 25, 1786 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was the seventh child of Johannes “John” and Anna Margaretha Brumbach Kemmerer. Westmoreland County is located in the rolling, heavily wooded wilderness of southwestern Pennsylvania. “When William Penn opened western Pennsylvania to settlement in 1769, Ludwig’s (Lewis’ grandfather) older, married sons and daughters headed (from Maryland) for the new frontier.” (The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin by Everett R. Irwin)

Note: The surname is found spelled several ways – Kemmerer, Kammerer, Cammarrar, Cammarrar and Camerer (the most common spelling).

I have found no marriage record, but sometime before 1814, Lewis met, courted and married a woman named Catherine (surname undetermined). On June 6, 1814, their first child, Mary Ann, was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

Early in 1815 Lewis moved his family to Clermont County, Ohio. Land records give evidence that he purchased 142 ¾ acres of land on June 10, 1815. The Camerer family put down roots in this area and stayed for approximately fifteen years. Their family grew by leaps and bounds during that time. When the 1830 United States Federal Census was taken, they had ten children under the age of 20 years in the household. I have found the names of only nine – Mary Ann, Margaret, Daniel, Elizabeth, Rachel, Louisa, Nancy, Barbara and Lidia Catherine.

As we might expect, life in this Ohio rugged country was hard and fraught with dangers. Many of us have read true accounts of how difficult it was for settlers to build a new life while fighting the harsh elements of nature, wild animals and Indians.

On September 30, 1830, Lewis Camerer sold his Clermont County land. In mid October 1830, he purchased land in Brouilletts Creek Township, Edgar County, Illinois, and moved his family to the area.

Lewis and Catherine appear on the 1840 and 1850 United States Federal Censes. The 1840 census gives only the head of household with numbers for adults and children by ages. However, those named in the 1850 census are Lewis (64), Catherine (55), Mary A. (36), Catherine (16) and Mary E. (6). Mary E. may have been Lewis’ granddaughter but the census does not give this information. I believe Mary Ann may have been divorced and perhaps this is her daughter. As we might assume, Lewis was a farmer and the family was still located in Edgar County, Illinois.

Lewis Camerer died November 26, 1855 in Brouilletts Creek, Edgar County, Illinois. He was buried in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery aka Light Cemetery. Catherine died January 3, 1859 and was buried next to Lewis. Photographs of the grave markers were taken by Jay Kimmel, November 4, 2004. Calculation of birth dates for Lewis and Catherine was done from data on markers. Stones read: Lewis Camerer Died November 26, 1855 Aged 70 yrs 5 mos & 16 ds. Catherine Wife of L. Camerer Died Jan. 3, 1859 Aged 63 yrs 10 mos & 27 ds.

Lewis Camerer Grave Marker
Catherine Camerer Grave Marker

   Sources

Ancestry.com. 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by Family Search.

Ancestry.com. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by Family Search.

Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by Family Search.

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by Family Search.

Ancestry.com. Illinois, State Census Collection, 1825-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2008.

Ancestry.com. Web: Illinois, Find A Grave Index, 1809-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Irwin, Everett R., The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, 1986.

John Kemmerer, Will Book no. 2, p. 279, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (Transcription)

Ruff, Paul Miller, The German Church Records of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, 1772-1781, 1989.

State of Illinois. Illinois, Public Land Purchase Records, 1813-1909 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 1999.

 

Ludwig “Lewis” Camerer Family Group Sheet (click link) Ludwig Lewis Camerer FGS Document

 

 

 

 

Mary Jane Upton May

More than any other of our ancestors, Mary Jane Upton is the most elusive. We have more questions than answers about her life. Perhaps the primary reason for this is because family lore says she had Native American ancestry, and in the genealogical research world, this is a common claim. There is definitely something romantic about the idea, but it is often a “sticky wicket” to prove the claim. This is our dilemma!

We have been told that Mary Jane’s mother was a Cherokee woman who married a British soldier by the name of Upton. Even though none of the information has been documented, most family members believe there is truth to the story, myself included. Here is the story as related by Jim W. Kuhlman in his book, The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch.

It has been handed down, although there are no records, that George May married Mary Jane Upton on February 18, 1825. Another piece of history that has been handed down through the family was that Mary Upton was born on March 22, 1806, at old Fort Lewis, an army post near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mary’s mother was a Cherokee maiden who married a U.S. Army officer. Although a marriage of this type might seem unusual, interracial marriages between the Indians and white Americans were fairly common even in those days…

When Mary’s mother’s tribe decided to leave the area near Chattanooga for the West, her mother decided to go along, so the father took Mary. According to a speech given by W. R. Smothers, son of Elsie Smothers, on June 9, 1973, at the dedication of a marker in memory of George and Mary Upton May, he said, ‘It is believed that her father was an Upton and he gave Mary to be raised by a foster mother that was either a sister or the mother of the young army officer.’ Her parents sent her to a Presbyterian Mission School for her formal education.

(Editorial Comment: It appears, but no accurate records are available, that her father was Isaac Upton. In the 1820 Census of Tennessee it lists a Samuel Upton family and a James Upton family in Franklin County, which is just west of Chattanooga, that had a girl in their family who met Mary’s age.)

In a letter written to me by Elsie Smothers in June of 1994, she writes: The father of Mary Upton was Upton (last name) and he was a British Army Officer. He and a group of soldiers were about to leave the area there in Tennessee, when Upton said to the men, ‘Before I leave, I want to go and get my daughter who is half Cherokee and take her to my sister where she will be able to get a good education.’

There are several different interpretations of the Army Officer and the Indian maiden and how the daughter Mary Upton was taken and raised. The mystery of who Mary Jane Upton’s parents really were, probably will never be completely solved, but it really makes quite a unique and passionate story. The move of the Indians and her family possibly took place in February of 1818, when Chief John Jolly (Ooleteka) and some three hundred thirty-one members of the Cherokee tribe left Tennessee for Arkansas. ‘John Jolly’ was described in ‘A History of Hamilton County (Tennessee)’ as ‘being half Indian, and dressed as a white man, I should scarcely have distinguished him from an American, except by his language. He was very plain, prudent, and unassuming in his dress and manners; a Franklin amongst his countrymen and affectionately called the ‘beloved father.

There is some speculation, although no proof, that Mary Upton May’s mother was a daughter of Chief John Jolly (Ooleteka). (Kuhlman, 24-26)

DNA TESTS DONE TO FIND PROOF OF  CHEROKEE ANCESTRY

In an effort to find proof of Mary Jane Upton’s Native American ancestry, *Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing was done in 2008 on two female descendants, Jean Langley Casey and Joy Ann Lapham Wright. Testing was done by Family Tree DNA, Houston, Texas. Jean’s line of descent is – Mary Upton May, Charity Melvina May Nance, Sarah Viola Nance Pipkin, Willie Eugenia Pipkin Langley, and Jean Langley Casey. Joy’s line is – Mary Upton May, Sarah Arkansas May Clark, Charity Fedonia Clark Crabb, Mary Lorena Crabb Lapham, and Joy Ann Lapham Wright. In both cases the DNA HVR1 Haplogroup was found to be L3b. This haplogroup is found in Africa and is not one in which Native American ancestry is indicated. Of course, family researchers were disappointed to find no DNA proof in Mary Jane’s Native American ancestry in her maternal line. At this point, we definitely feel that we are up against an insurmountable “brick wall.”

Family researchers believe that Mary Jane Upton’s father may have been English or Irish and there is no indication that he had NA ancestry. Therefore, if she had NA ancestry, it is possible it was in her maternal grandfather’s line. From circumstantial evidence, some think her maternal grandfather was John Jolly (Ooleteka) and that his daughter Sarah or Sallie was Mary Jane’s mother. However, no documented information has been found that proves John Jolly had a daughter named Sarah or Sallie who married Samuel Isaac Upton.

When reading history of this era in America you realize very quickly how difficult it is to get verified information on an ancestor – unless they were a renowned historical figure. The research gives you a whole new appreciation of the work of historians, sociologists, and anthropologists. The convergence of people from various nationalities and ethnic groups, each with their own customs, religion, and world view, living in situations complicated by politics, war, and expansion, makes it quite challenging to find records to verify oral tradition and family lore.

WAS OLD FORT LEWIS  MARY JANE’S PLACE OF BIRTH?

As mentioned, Mary Jane Upton may have been born at old Fort Lewis near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here is a bit of information about this area found in two books, The Cherokees and Their Chiefs in the Wake of Empire by Stanley W. Hoig, and How to Research a Little Bit of Indian by Afton Reintjes.

Governors Glen (South Carolina) and Dinwiddie (Virginia) had different intentions regarding the Cherokees. Glen saw them as a protection against attack on South Carolina; Dinwiddie wished to use them in an offensive campaign to drive the French from the Ohio country. The two governors also quarreled over the building of a fort among the Overhills. Dinwiddie responded with only one thousand of the seven thousand pounds requested by Glen as Virginia’s share of the fort construction.

In the spring of 1754, as Glen had promised, South Carolina constructed Fort Prince George among the Lower Cherokees near Keowee…In 1756 he ordered a complete rebuilding of the fort and dispatched an agent to Chota to reassure the Overhill Cherokees that a second fort would soon be built there.

Taking personal charge of assembling and outfitting a three-hundred-man expedition, Glen was preparing to march in early June when he was succeeded as governor by thirty-four year old William Henry Lyttelton. In the meantime, Dinwiddie had learned of Glen’s plans. Not wanting to miss the opportunity of getting fighting help from the Cherokees, he hurriedly sent Maj. Andrew Lewis with sixty men, most of them laborers, with orders to build a fort near Chota under the terms agreed to the year before.

Lewis and his men were welcomed by Old Hop and his chiefs, but dissension soon arose. Some of the chiefs demanded two forts – one to guard them from enemies by land and another from those by water. There were others who were convinced that a fort in their country would lead to British domination, persuaded by the French agents that the British meant to enslave them. With the French and Indian War underway, the support of the various tribes had become a matter of fierce competition.

Not waiting for the arrival of the South Carolinians, the Virginians constructed a log fort on the north bank of the Little Tennessee a mile above Chota. When it was completed in August, Lewis found the chiefs reluctant to send the warrior help that Dinwiddie was expecting. Lewis could get only seven men and three women to accompany him back to Virginia. He recommended to Dinwiddie that a military expedition be sent to crush the Cherokees into submission. (Hoig, 28-29)

The fort built Aug 1756 by Virginia (Maj. Andrew Lewis) on the north bank of the Little Tennessee River, near Echota, Tennessee was never garrisoned. (Reintjes, 81)

MARY JANE UPTON MARRIES GEORGE MAY

As we see, there is much speculation about Mary Jane’s birth, ancestry, and early life. Nevertheless, from information on census records, we are reasonably sure she was born in Tennessee about 1806. At this time she and her family were on the edge of civilization. Evidently, after she completed some schooling, she met and married George May. Family records say that Mary Jane married George May February 18, 1825, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. On September 15 of that same year, Mary Jane gave birth to their first son, James A. Sanders.

Like countless other courageous folks of that time, the Mayes had a desire to move west. It certainly makes me wonder what inspired their bravery to venture into unknown territory. What was the source of their pioneer spirit? Could it have been their Native American connection?

George and Mary May came to Texas around 1830. She was the only woman to make the trip to Texas with a group of men, riding all the way on horseback, with pack horses carrying all their belongings, along with a young son approximately four to five years of age. Can you imagine a youngster making this long arduous trip across the hills and valleys? There is some indication that they were at Fort Gibson in Oklahoma territory in 1829. Sam Houston was there that same year. (Kuhlman, 27)

 MARY JANE AND GEORGE MAY ARRIVE IN TEXAS

By 1830 George and Mary Jane May are in Texas, settling first in Nacogdoches. At one time this area was considered the “east gateway to the Texas territory.” About the time the May family arrived, they were among many immigrants from the United States coming into this Mexican province. Among this stream of people were various Indian groups which had been driven out of the Old South. There is evidence they stayed there for about five to six years, and we know those were tumultuous times as the “clouds of revolution” gathered. When the Texas Revolution began in 1836, Nacogdoches was a “seat of unrest and supplied the revolutionary cause with men and money.” (Handbook of Texas Online)

During these unsettled times, life went on for George and Mary Jane. On February 19, 1833, she gave birth to a daughter, Malinda Josephine. According to the Census Report of Williams Settlement, April 21 1835 (Nacogdoches Archives), the May family was continuing to live in the area. Listed are George May, 37 years old; Mary May, 29 years old; James Sanders, 8 years old; and Josephine M. May, 2 years old. It was only a few days later that they had another child. A son was born on April 30, 1835, and he was named after George and Mary Jane’s friend, Sam Houston.

Sometime in the late 1830’s George and Mary Jane moved to Marshall, a small village in Harrison County, Texas. It is believed they were living here when on January 11, 1838, Mary Jane gave birth to a son, Isaac Upton. It is possible he was named for Mary Jane’s father, but there are no records verifying information about her father. Unfortunately, the boy had a very short life, dying less than a year later on January 3, 1839. Even though it seems unbelievable, Mary Jane gave birth to another son, John F., on October 25, 1839, proving she was a woman of remarkable strength!

It is likely the May family stayed in Marshall for about 10 years. During that time, George May was commissioned as the first sheriff of Harrison County, and the May family continued to grow. A daughter was born on April 11, 1844, and named Mary Jane after her mother. Twin daughters, Sarah Arkansas and Charity Melvina, were born October 28, 1846.

Kuhlman states that the May family was living in Victoria County in 1849. It was there that George May wrote and recorded his last will and testament. By 1850 they had moved to Lavaca County and can be found on the U.S. Federal Census. The name is misspelled as “Mays.” George Mays (52) is listed along with Mary Mays (45), Josephine Mays (18), Samuel H. Mays (12), John Mays (10), Mary Jane Mays (8), Sarah Valani Mays (6) and Cherela V. Valani Mays (6). (Note the misspelled names of the twins.)

Regrettably the following year George May died, leaving Mary Jane a widow with a house full of children living in the small town of Hallettsville, Texas. Perhaps this felt like civilization to her after all she had endured traveling across the country and settling in some very primitive areas. Nevertheless, it seems to me she had some challenging times ahead of her. If the stories are true, I imagine she was up to the task.

MARY JANE UPTON MAY – TRUE PIONEER WOMAN

There are countless records, books, and stories about the brave people who moved into and settled the dangerous and primitive territory that became known as Texas. George and Mary Jane can be counted among its first citizens.

From letters and interviews with descendants, Jim Kuhlman and family members have gathered some interesting information and lore that shed light on our ancestor, Mary Jane Upton May. He tells about her ability to adapt to the pioneer way of life because she had been trained in the “Indian ways.” With her husband and children she traveled by horseback or wagon through unfamiliar and unfriendly territory, undoubtedly encountering a myriad of obstacles. Other written accounts of wagon train journeys tell of pioneers who, like George and Mary Jane, were faced with unfriendly Indians, swollen rivers, wild animals, the lack of food and water for the livestock, and the necessity of gathering firewood along the way to use for the campfires. Mary Jane gave birth to children when living on the edge of civilization and suffered the loss of their baby son. Like other pioneer women, she cooked over campfire and learned how to dress buckskin to make garments for her family. Because of her supposed Cherokee background, some say she may have assisted her husband in dealing with the Indians when he served as an Indian scout for Sam Houston.

In light of the information that Sam Houston was a friend of George and Mary Jane, Kuhlman shares an interesting story. Evidently one family member (descendant of Mary Jane) possessed a letter from Sam Houston thanking Mary Upton May for making the wedding dress and bonnet for his second wife, and Indian bride, Diana (Tiana) Rogers Gentry. Kuhlman adds that Mary Jane and Diana might have known each other when (and if) they attended the same missionary school in Tennessee and perhaps were even related. Of course, this is a speculation since there are no records available.

The years following her husband’s death must have been extremely hard for Mary Jane May. Being left a widow with six children, she faced difficulties that are unimaginable to most of us. I believe she was a woman of tremendous strength and courage. As a single mother she had to provide economic security for her family under very tough circumstances. With the help of her children, she managed by farming her land. This might have been too much for some women, but Mary Jane and her children were survivors.

Mary Jane May with grandson, Columbus Turk.

In 1860 Mary May was continuing to live in Hallettsville, Texas with four of her children, John, Mary, Charity, and Sarah. Information on the 1860 U.S. Federal Census tells us that she was a farmer and that her son, John, was a farm laborer.

By 1870 Mary was still in Hallettsville but was living with her daughter Mary Jane Turk and her husband, William Harvey Turk. We know that she also lived for a time with her widowed daughter, Charity. Kuhlman shares this story given to him by Bennett Allen Nance.

Grandma May (as she was called by his father George Edward) ran the house with an iron hand. She smoked a corn cob pipe and trained my father in economics and some of the social ways of the Indians. She trained my father to be boss and the girls did the labor. She made the girls wait on my father and he was very spoiled. What success my father had as a good stockman, land trader and being very frugal was because of Grandma May’s training. (Kuhlman, 37-38)

Mary Jane Upton May died February 19, 1890, in Hallettsville, Texas and was buried beside her husband in the Hallettsville Graveyard. On June 9, 1973, descendants of George and Mary Upton May dedicated a memorial marker placed at the gravesite of their ancestors. The inscription on the back of the marker states:

George, son of John and Charity Taylor May, married Mary Upton on February 18, 1825, daughter of Cherokee Maiden and English Army officer. Surveyor, sheriff and soldier of the Republic of Texas. Personal friend of Sam Houston, James Bowie and Pres. Mirabou B. Lamar.

Grave Marker for George and Mary Jane Upton May.

Many of us believe there must be some truth in the family stories passed down through the years that Mary Jane Upton had Native American ancestry – even without the mtDNA proof. Years ago people would not admit to their Indian ancestry and kept it under wraps. Because of this, it is not surprising that her children kept no records. We live in a vastly different world where people are proud to discover and prove Native American ancestry.

It goes without saying that we still have many unanswered questions. Where and when did the African ancestry enter the picture? How many hundreds of years ago did that occur? Who was Mary Jane’s maternal grandfather? If her father was Samuel Isaac Upton, who was he and where did his family originate?

Without a doubt, our ancestor Mary Jane Upton May was an amazing woman of pioneer stock. She faced challenges unimaginable to most of us living today and dealt with them courageously.

*Mitochondrial DNA: This mtDNA tracks the straight maternal line, mother to daughter. Y-DNA tracks the male line, father to son. A son may receive mtDNA from his mother but cannot pass it on. Both mtDNA and Y-DNA determine the ancestral origin and “haplogroup” of the person tested. Haplogroups are genetic population groups that identify where in the mtDNA tree of humanity you fit in. Haplogroups are what allow us to identify how large groups of people migrated starting from Africa over 60,000 years ago to different parts of the world. Lineages that historically remained in Africa include haplogroups L1, L2, L3, and M1.

In the case of the two descendants of Mary Jane Upton May, their haplogroup assignment was L3b. Part of the L cluster of haplogroups which has been concretely characterized as representing the original human mitochondrial lineage, haplogroup L3b is found in Africa. This haplogroup dates to approximately 20,000 years ago, and is detected in highest frequency in north and west Africa. Future work will further document the historical distribution of this haplogroup and closely related haplogroups of the L cluster.   (infor@familytreedna.com)

Sources

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Family Tree DNA Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd., Houston, TX 77008,  www.familytreedna.com

Handbook of Texas Online, “Nacogdoches County,” www.tshaonline.org/handook/online

Hoig, Stanley W., The Cherokees and Their Chiefs: In the Wake of Empire, The University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 1998.

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Massy, Sara R. editor, Texas Women on the Cattle Trails, Texas A & M University, College Station, 2006.

Reintjes, Afton, How to Research a Little Bit of Indian, Family History World, 1989.

Tise, Sammy, Texas County Sheriffs, Oakwood Printing, Albuquerque, NM, 1989.

USGenWeb, Census Report of Williams Settlement, http://files.usgwarchives.net/tx/census/1835/1835ws.txt

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011

 

George May

George May was born September 13, 1798 in what is now McMinn County, Tennessee. At that time, this beautiful country was a part of North Carolina and Indian Territory. In fact, the territory currently included in McMinn County in southeastern Tennessee formed a part of the Hiwassee River District which the Cherokee Indians ceded to the United States by a treaty. In researching George May, I found that Native American people played a big role in his life – a colorful life destined for adventure in unknown territories.

George was the twelfth child of John and Charity Taylor May. Even though it is unimaginable to most of us today, at that time large families were not uncommon. Family information indicates that perhaps as many as five of the May children may have died at birth or shortly thereafter. The strength of these rugged men and women living in primitive country in unsettling times is amazing to me.

George was 26 years old when he married Mary Jane Upton on February 18, 1825. Like one of his siblings (Nellie), he married a Cherokee. This is the family lore that has been handed down through the years. Jim W. Kuhlman wrote the book, The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, and has a great deal of information about the May family. Here is what he has to say about George and Mary Jane’s marriage.

 

It has been handed down, although there are no records, that George May married Mary Jane Upton on February 18, 1825. Another piece of history that has been handed down through the family was that Mary Upton was born on March 22, 1806, at old Fort Lewis, an army post near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mary’s mother was a Cherokee maiden who married a U.S. Army officer. Although a marriage of this type might seem unusual, interracial marriages between the Indians and white Americans were fairly common even in those days. (Kuhlman, 24)

 

GEORGE MAY AND FAMILY JOURNEY WEST

The Mayes were like countless other courageous folks of that time who had a desire to move west. Even though the stories of our pioneer ancestors answering the call to “go west, young man, go west” sound adventurous to us, I doubt that adventure was their driving force. Perhaps the source of their pioneer spirit was the promise of the land or more freedom. Both George and Mary Jane had a connection with the Indians, and I wonder if that was a major influence on them.

Several years after they married, George and Mary Jane struck out on their journey west. During those years, they started a family. Family records say James Sanders was born September 15, 1825.

 

George and Mary May came to Texas around 1830. She was the only woman to make the trip to Texas with a group of men, riding all the way on horseback, with pack horses carrying all their belongings, along with a young son approximately four to five years of age. Can you imagine a youngster making this long arduous trip across the hills and valleys? There is some indication that they were at Fort Gibson in Oklahoma territory in 1829. Sam Houston was there that same year. (Kuhlman, 27)

 

By 1830 George and Mary Jane May were in Texas, settling first in Nacogdoches. At one time this area was considered the “east gateway to the Texas territory.” About the time the May family arrived, they were among many immigrants from the United States coming into this Mexican province. Among this stream of people were various Indian groups which had been driven out of the Old South. There is evidence they stayed there for about five to six years, and we know those were tumultuous times as the “clouds of revolution” gathered. When the Texas Revolution began in 1836, Nacogdoches was a “seat of unrest and supplied the revolutionary cause with men and money.” (Handbook of Texas Online)

During these unsettled times, life went on for George and Mary Jane. On February 19, 1833, she gave birth to a daughter, Malinda Josephine. According to the Census Report of Williams Settlement, April 21 1835 (Nacogdoches Archives) the May family was continuing to live in the area. Listed are George May, 37 years old; Mary May, 29 years old; James Sanders, 8 years old; and Josephine M. May, 2 years old. It was only a few days later that they had another child. A son was born on April 30, 1835, and he was named after George and Mary Jane’s friend, Sam Houston.

Sometime in the late 1830’s George and Mary Jane moved to Marshall, a small village in Harrison County, Texas. It is believed they were living here when on January 11, 1838, Mary Jane gave birth to a son, Isaac Upton. It is possible he was named for Mary Jane’s father, but there are no records verifying information about her father. Unfortunately, the boy had a very short life, dying less than a year later on January 3, 1839. Even though it seems unbelievable, Mary Jane gave birth to another son, John, on October 25, 1839, proving she was a woman of remarkable strength!

GEORGE MAY AND TEXAS WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE

These were tumultuous times with War for Texas Independence raging. In his research of records and letters, Jim Kuhlman found valuable information about George May’s involvement. He was a surveyor for Jim Bowie (of the Battle of the Alamo fame) and an Indian scout for Sam Houston. Records indicate that he was given four land grants for his services. (Kuhlman sources include “James Bowie Correspondence” and Writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863, Volume II, July 16, 1814-March 31, 1842, edited by Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker)

 

At one time George was an Indian Scout for Sam Houston in the Republic of Texas Revolution. He was chosen for this job because of his wife Mary’s knowing and understanding of the Indians. It was important for Sam Houston to have the Indians on his side rather than the side of Mexico’s Santa Anna. (Kuhlman, 28)

 

It is likely the May family stayed in Marshall for about 10 years. On February 12, 1840, George was commissioned as the first sheriff of Harrison County and he served until February 1, 1841. The May family continued to grow. A daughter was born April 11, 1844 and was named Mary Jane after her mother. Twin daughters, Sarah Arkansas and Charity Melvina, were born October 28, 1846.

There is a record that indicates the May family was living in Victoria County in 1849. It was there that George May wrote and recorded his last will and testament. (Kuhlman, 30)

 

Know all Men, by there presents, that I, George May, of the State of Texas, and County of Victoria, being of a feeble state of health, but of sound mind, do, in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, make this, my last and only Will and Testament, in the following form and manner.

I give, will, and bequeath unto my lawful wife Mary May, during her natural life, for her use and benefit, all of my property, both real and personal, in the State of Texas, as well as money due me, from my share of my deceased Father’s Estate, in the state of Tennessee, and county of McMinn. And after the decease of my said wife, Mary May, to be equally divided among our children: James May, Malinda Josephine May, Samuel Houston May, Mary Jane May, John May, and the twins, Sarah Arkansas May and Charity Melvina May.

Witness my hand and Seal this 9th February, 1849.

George May

Witnessed by: P. Harper, E. Trevhlz and William Williamsen

 

By 1850 they had moved to Lavaca County and can be found on the U.S. Federal Census. The name is misspelled as “Mays.” George Mays (52) is listed along with Mary Mays (45), Josephine Mays (18), Samuel H. Mays (12), John Mays (10), Mary Jane Mays (8), Sarah Valani Mays (6) and Cherela V. Valani Mays (6). (Note the misspelled names of the twins.)

It was only one year later in 1851 that George May died in Lavaca County. He was buried in the old Hallettsville Graveyard. On June 9, 1973 the descendants of George and Mary Upton May dedicated a memorial marker which was placed at the gravesite. The inscription is as follows:

 

George, son of John and Charity Taylor May, married Mary Upton on February 18, 1825, daughter of Cherokee Maiden and English Army officer. Surveyor, sheriff and soldier of the Republic of Texas. Personal friend of Sam Houston, James Bowie and

Pres. Mirabou B. Lamar.

 

Sources

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

The Handbook of Texas Online, “Nacogdoches County,”  www.tshaonline.org/handook/online

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Tise, Sammy, Texas County Sheriffs, Oakwood Printing, Albuquerque, NM, 1989.

USGenWeb, Census Report of Williams Settlement, http://files.usgwarchives.net/tx/census/1835/1835ws.txt

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011

George May Pedigree Chart (click link) George May Pedigree Chart

George May Family Group Sheet (click link) George May FGS – Document

Richard Jordan Anderson and Anna Montgomery Anderson

Richard Jordan Anderson and Anna Montgomery Anderson married November 15, 1838, in the Parish of St. Landry, Louisiana. I have limited information on each of them and most begins at this point in time. This short narrative will be a combination of the data collected on these two ancestors.

Both Richard and Anna are included on three United States Federal Census records, but varying birth places are given. However, using the census records along with information gleaned from other researchers on the internet, I am led to believe that Richard’s birth date was about 1802 in Virginia and Anna’s about 1810 in Georgia. However, I would like to add that this information is definitely not “written in stone.”

Prior to meeting and marrying Richard, Anna was previously married twice, first to Dr. Wilson Keller and then to Richard Fenner. She had one child with each husband, a daughter, Mary Ann Keller, and a son, Edward Fenner.

Richard and Anna lived in the Parish of St. Landry, Louisiana. This area had been part of the territory known as the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Until that time the population makeup had been French, Spaniards, French and Spanish Creoles, Africans and Appalousa (and other Indian tribes). The Andersons were among the many Americans from the South and other parts of the United States who migrated to the area, “marking the arrival of the first large English-speaking population and the introduction of the need for more general use of English.”

There is an online record originally from the Bureau of Land Management, “Louisiana Pre-1908 Homestead and Cash Entry Patents” indicating that Richard Anderson purchased 114 acres of land in Opelousas, Louisiana on October 1, 1845. Opelousas has been the seat of government for the St. Landry Parish since its formation. It is likely the Andersons farmed this land. On the 1850 United States Federal Census, Richard gives his occupation as “planter.”

During the years that the Andersons lived in the Parish of St. Landry, they possibly had six children – Susanne (1839) Milton Victor (1841) Albert Berkley (1843) Mary Adelia (1846) James Newton (1848) and Richard Jordan (1850). Evidently their last son was born after the 1850 United States Federal Census was conducted because he was not recorded that year.

Note: It is interesting to note that there is a Susanne Anderson, age 11, listed on the 1850 United States Federal Census. I have not been able to document that she was, in fact, a daughter of John and Anna.

By the time of the 1860 United States Federal Census the Anderson family had moved to Lavaca County, Texas, where Richard was farming. All of their children except Susanne were living with them and working on the farm. This was the year before the onset of the Civil War so perhaps the community was beginning to hear rumblings of discontent. Undoubtedly, Richard was too old to enlist in the Confederate Army, but there is information that his son Albert was enlisted.

When the 1870 United States Federal Census is taken Richard and Anna Anderson are still living in Lavaca County. Richard’s occupation is shown as “School teacher.” In his book The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch Jim Kuhlman points out that the census record reveals the Anderson’s real estate and property values had dropped considerably since the 1860 census. He felt this was due to the effects of the Civil War, and it is likely Richard had to supplement his income by teaching school. (Kuhlman, 60)

Unfortunately, this is where my information about Richard and Anna ends. Some family researchers think Richard died about 1892, and a few sources give Anna’s date of death as May 17, 1889. In both cases, this is undocumented information. I could not find either of them on the 1880 census records and the 1890 census is not available. Obviously these two ancestors will require further research.

Sources

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Chambers, Patricia McMahan, ” Family Files of Patricia McMahan Chambers,”, Ancestry.com. 2007.

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

State of Louisiana, Parish of St. Landry, marriage license no.122.

United States, Bureau of Land Management, Louisiana Land Records [database online], Provo, UT, USA; The Generations Network, Inc. 1997.

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, “Calcasieu Parish,”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcasieu_Parish,_Louisiana

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, “St. Landry Parish.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Landry_Parish,_Louisiana

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011

Richard J. Anderson Pedigree Chart (click link) richard-j-anderson-pedigree-chart

Richard J. Anderson Family Group Sheet (click link) Richard J. Anderson FGS – Document

 

 

Lucinda Ann Hinch Woodward

woodward-lucinda-3-gravesite

Lucinda Ann Hinch is an ancestor who has been a challenge to research. Other than on census records, I have found very little information that sheds light on her life. She is listed on three United States Federal censes, two of which record her birthplace as Missouri and one records Tennessee. Since I do have a Howard County, Missouri marriage record for her parents, Michael Hinch and Polly Grant, I feel fairly safe in stating that Lucinda was born in Missouri. It is likely she was born in that same county. Her tombstone gives her birth date as January 17, 1820. While living in Missouri, Michael and Polly Hinch had another child, John Wesley, born April 19, 1822.

Jacob and Lucinda Hinch were certainly pioneer folk. Like many other brave souls of their day, they struck out to unknown territories, perhaps looking for “greener pastures.” Howard County, Missouri was definitely a place that offered rich land. According to the Missouri GenWeb site, “Its fertile soil promised, with little labor, the most abundant harvest. Its forests were filled with every variety of game, and its streams with all kinds of fish.” Living in this unsettled country also brought innumerable dangers, primarily from the Indians who lived in great numbers around them. Living here definitely was a risky existence for the Hinch family.

By 1825 the Hinch family was living in Georgia, first Pike County (1825) and then in Randolph County (1830). Lucinda’s father, Michael, was chosen and commissioned by the State as Sheriff of Randolph County, 1830-1831, and later, Sheriff of Stewart County. We know from census records that two more children were born in Georgia, Elizabeth C. in 1825 and Mary Jane in 1828.

Though I have not yet found a marriage record for Jacob Woodward and Lucinda Ann Hinch, I think they may have met and married in Georgia sometime between 1830 and 1835. By 1836, they are living in Tuskegee, Alabama, where their first two children were born, Mary Jane (1836) and Bernice (1838).

THE WOODWARD FAMILY MOVES TO THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

In December 1839, Jacob Woodward, Lucinda and their two daughters arrived in the Republic of Texas, possibly settling first in Washington County and then moving on to Lavaca County. As one of his many descendants and a native Texan, I am proud to say Jacob is counted among those first citizens of the Republic of Texas and is listed in the book Texas First Families Lineages, Volume 2 published by the Texas State Genealogical Society.

Like other pioneers the Woodward family must have been drawn to this primitive country seeking land and opportunity. However, they could not have arrived at a more turbulent time since these early Texans were engaged in war with Mexico. According to the Handbook of Texas Online, this area was a center of revolutionary activity. In addition, Indian raids, particularly by the Comanche and Tonkawa, continued until the late 1830’s. Jacob and his family were among the courageous, determined folk dealing with unbelievable conditions.

Moving and getting settled in a new territory was undoubtedly rift with challenges, but more so since the country was involved in war. Some battles were waged against the Mexicans and others against hostile Indians. Jacob Woodward served in the Republic of Texas citizen’s army which meant Lucinda was left to care for the household, farm, and the children.

Not long after their arrival in the Republic of Texas, Lucinda gave birth to their third child, Georgia Ann. There is some indication she was born in Washington County on April 5, 1840. Jacob and Lucinda’s family continued to grow. Thomas was born on December 26, 1841 and John Southern was born in January 13. 1844, both in Colorado County (became Lavaca April 6, 1846).

The first time we find Lucinda on a United States Federal Census is in 1850. She is listed with her husband and eight children. Yes, twins, Lucian LeCamp and Virginia C., arrived on April 5, 1850. On the 1860 census we find that Jacob and Lucinda had three more children. Clarence Grant was born in March 13, 1852; Keron “Kettie” was born on January 7, 1855; and Henry was born in January 19, 1857. The Woodward family was large by any standard! They had ten children, and from my viewpoint, they were all born under arduous circumstances, particularly the firstborn children. Lucinda did what she had to do to endure and build a good life; I view her as a woman of incredible strength. .

Being first citizens of the Republic of Texas, Jacob and Lucinda certainly were a part of the settling and building of the country in and around Lavaca County. Even the Texas Revolution did not bridle their efforts to build a life of their own. Jacob was both a farmer and cattleman, and it is likely Lucinda did her share of hard work both inside the house and outside on the farm. Her daily activities would have included growing and cooking the food; sewing the family’s clothes; tending sick children; and helping with the farm animals. And this would probably be considered a short list of her activities! Like other women of that day, she led a life of hard work and little leisure. At the same time, the children would have been expected to work along side of their parents. Land and census records give us some indication that Jacob Woodward must have provided fairly well for his family. Hopefully Lucinda benefited from his success.

Information on the 1870 United States Federal Census indicates that the Woodward household was beginning to change shape with only the four youngest children listed. It is interesting to note, however, that a seven year old grandson was living with them – Richard Breeden. He was the son of their daughter Bernice and her husband, Richard Thomas Breeden.

After a life that must have been filled with privations and hardship, Lucinda Hinch Woodward died on January 23, 1877. As a very young woman she traveled with her husband to an unsettled part of the country during a time of war and unrest, set up a household, and gave birth to ten children. Hopefully, in her later years she was able to find some comfort in her existence. Though we have no written accounts of Lucinda’s personal experience, I have tried to gain a better understanding by reading true stories about women in Texas during the mid to late 1800’s. It is unbelievable to read about the obstacles they faced and the inexhaustible physical resources required to survive on a day to day basis. Lucinda was buried in the Hallettsville Graveyard in Lavaca County, Texas. Her old broken tombstone stands by that of her husband, Jacob Woodward.

Sources

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.

Howard County Missouri, “The Mother of Counties,” http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mohoward/history.html

Kuhlman, Jim, W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Texas State Historical Association, Handbook of Texas Online,  http://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcl05,

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011

Lucinda Ann Hinch Pedigree Chart (click link) lucinda-hinch-pedigree-chart

 

Jacob T. Woodward

A crumbling old tombstone in the Hallettsville Graveyard (Texas) tells us that Jacob Woodward was born February 14, 1808, and died January 9, 1884. During those 76 years he would travel from his birthplace of South Carolina and eventually join numerous other early settlers to the area of the United States that would become the state of Texas.

At this time, the only information we have about Jacob’s parents is that both were born in Virginia (1880 U.S. Census). We have no given names for his parents or siblings and know nothing about his childhood. Census records for Jacob give his birthplace as South Carolina.

As a young man, Jacob left South Carolina and headed west. At some point in his travels he met his wife, Lucinda Hinch. She was born January 17, 1820 in Missouri but by 1830 her family was in Randolph County in southwest Georgia. I think there is a good chance Jacob met Lucinda in Georgia. We do not have a marriage record, but it was sometime before 1836. The couple then left Georgia and traveled to Tuskegee, Alabama where their first two children, Mary Jane (1836) and Bernice (1838), were born.

JACOB WOODWARD AND FAMILY MOVE TO REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

In December 1839, Jacob Woodward, Lucinda and their two daughters arrived in the Republic of Texas, possibly settling first in Washington County and then moving on to the area that later became Lavaca County. As one of his many descendants and a native Texan, I am proud to say he can be counted among those first citizens of the Republic of Texas and is listed in the book Texas First Families Lineages, Volume 2 published by the Texas State Genealogical Society.

During the days of the Republic of Texas, immigration was encouraged by the issuing of land grants. In his book, The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, Jim Kuhlman gives the following information about Jacob Woodward receiving a land grant.

 Early records indicate that the Woodward’s arrived in the area that later became Lavaca County in late 1839. From a letter of November 8, 1955, from the General Land Office in Austin, Texas, it was found that ‘By Certificate No. 10, dated November 2, 1846, Jacob Woodward is issued a grant of 640 acres of land by the Board of Land Commissioners in Lavaca County. The land was located in Taylor County and patented July 18, 1853. The certificate states that he was a married man and had been a resident citizen in this state since December 1839.

This would have been a Class 3 Land Grant. Class 3 land grants were given to arrivals in Texas after October 1, 1837, but before January 1, 1840. They were based on a conditional certificate which requires three years of responsible citizenship before an unconditional certificate could be issued that might lead to a patent. The land could not be sold in the meantime. (Kuhlman, 53)

 There is a Jacob Woodward listed in the book 1840 Citizens of Texas, Volume 1, Land Grants by Gifford White, but some of the information differs from that of Kuhlman making me wonder if this may have been a different person.

Like other pioneers, the Woodward family must have been drawn to this primitive country seeking land and opportunity. However, they could not have arrived at a more turbulent time since these early Texans were engaged in war with Mexico. According to the Handbook of Texas Online, this area was a center of revolutionary activity. In addition, Indian raids, particularly by the Comanche and Tonkawa, continued until the late 1830’s. Jacob and his family were among the courageous, determined folk dealing with unbelievable conditions.

We know that Jacob Woodward served in the Republic of Texas citizen’s army. Jim Kuhlman quotes from the book On the Headwaters of the Lavaca and the Navidad by Paul Boethel.

 In March 1842 when General Vasquez with his Mexican forces captured San Antonio, (John Himes) Livergood was one of the first to join the citizen’s army that mobilized at San Antonio, drove the invaders out of Texas, and then disbanded. Livergood, Jacob Woodward, Mason B. Foley, Beverly C. Greenwood, Isaac Zumwalt, Moses Moore, D.H. Lyons, Henry Bridger, John Wesley Hinch (brother of Lucinda Ann Hinch Woodward), Hutson Greenwood, W. Hudgeons and Hiriam S. Foley, all settlers from the Lavaca, remained in the Service of Captain John C. ‘Jack’ Hay’s Spy Company on the Medina River, where they maintained a watch for the Mexican invaders. After six weeks of duty, they were all furloughed and sent home until they received certain intelligence that the enemy has invaded the country. (Kuhlman, 54)

The Texas State Library & Archives Commission has a record of the Republic Claims submitted by Jacob Woodward. The certification is dated September 1, 1851. “The Republic Claims series of Comptroller’s records includes claims for payment, reimbursement, or restitution submitted by citizens to the Republic of Texas government from 1835 through 1846. It also includes records relating to Republic pensions and claims against the Republic submitted as public debt claims after 1846…The records comprise four groups of payments made for services rendered during the period 1835-1846; Audited Claims, Republic Pensions, Public Debt Claims and Unpaid Claims.”

Woodward’s record indicates he submitted a Public Debt Claim which would have been for services or goods provided between 1835 and 1846 that could not be paid before Annexation in 1845 and were eventually paid mainly from the 1850 Boundary Compromise money awarded Texas in exchange for the territory it lost.

The Republic of Texas remained a country for almost ten years, but after much political haggling and struggle, Texas was officially recognized by the United States Congress as a state on December 29, 1845.

During the first years after his arrival in the Republic of Texas we have evidence that Jacob Woodward received a land grant and was a citizen soldier but know little about his family life. Fortunately, we get our first clues on the 1850 United States Federal Census where he is listed as “J. F.” Woodard, age 38, occupation farmer, and birthplace S.C. owning real estate valued at $375.” Jacob and Lucinda now have seven children – Mary Jane, Bernice, Georgia Anne, Thomas J., John S., Virginia C. and Lucian. (Note: The census taker misspelled most of their names, so using my records, I have made corrections.) It is evident that a lot had been going on in their family during these difficult times. In the midst of war, Jacob and Lucinda established a household in this rugged country, began farming, and had five more children.

JACOB WOODWARD PIONEER IN TEXAS CATTLE INDUSTRY

Besides farming, Jacob also raised cattle. In his book, Jim Kuhlman mentions that a record can be found in the Lavaca County Courthouse which indicates Woodward registered the cattle brand JW on January 31, 1849, making him one of the early settlers to reserve a brand in the county. In the Handbook of Texas Online it mentions ranching was a dominant occupation in this area of Texas. In 1846 tax rolls listed 3581 cattle in Lavaca County; two stockmen had more than 200, seven had herds ranging from 100 to 150, and fifteen had 50 to 100. By 1851 the total number of cattle had risen to 12,505, and seventeen ranchers were listed with more than 200 head. Jacob was definitely a part of the growing cattle industry in the early days of Texas.

It is interesting to note that Lavaca County was named after the Lavaca River located in the area. “La Vaca” is Spanish for “the cow” which seems a very suitable name for this part of Texas where cattle ranching was a primary industry for many years.

During the next years Jacob and Lucinda settled into their Texas homestead. By the time of the 1860 United States Federal Census, their family has grown even larger with the births of Clarence, Karon or “Kittie,” and Henry. Jacob gives his occupation as “farmer” and it is quite likely he could have also called himself a “stockman.” Information on the census says he had real estate valued at $1000 and personal property valued at $6200. In his book, Jim Kuhlman states that it was likely that most of the personal property would have been cattle.

The information on the 1870 United States Federal Census indicates that the Woodward household is beginning to change shape with only the four youngest children listed. It is interesting to note, however, that a seven year old grandson was living with them – Richard Breeden. He was the son of their daughter Bernice and her husband, Richard Thomas Breeden. Could this mean that his parents were deceased? Jacob now gives his occupation as “stock raiser,” and has real estate valued at $3725 and personal property valued at $6000.

After a life that must have been filled with privations and hardship, Jacob’s wife, Lucinda, died on January 23, 1877. As a very young woman she traveled with her husband to an unsettled part of the country during a time of war and unrest, set up a household, and gave birth to ten children. Hopefully, in her later years she was able to find some comfort in her existence. Though we have no written accounts of Lucinda’s personal experience, I have tried to gain a better understanding by reading true stories about women in Texas during the mid to late 1800’s. It is unbelievable to read about the obstacles they faced and what strength it required to survive on a day to day basis. Lucinda was buried in the Hallettsville Graveyard in Lavaca County. Her old broken tombstone stands by that of her husband, Jacob Woodward.

On the 1880 United States Federal Census we find that the widower Jacob Woodward was continuing to farm in Lavaca County. His three youngest sons, Lucian, Grant and Henry, were living with him along with Lucian’s wife, E. Maggie, and his daughter, M. Lucy Woodward. All the men were working on the farm. Jacob’s parents’ birthplaces are recorded on this census and we discover that both were born in Virginia.

From his tombstone in the Hallettsville Graveyard, we read that Jacob Woodward died January 9, 1884. Like many other men of his time, he braved countless dangers and hardships traveling by wagon to new, unsettled territory. With courage he fought to bring about a better existence for his family and lay groundwork for a new community and state. In the state of Texas known for its cowboys and Indians, he was the “real McCoy.” I like this tribute to the Woodward’s written by Jim Kuhlman.

The Woodward’s, Jacob, his son, John, and their families were some of the early Texans to pioneer cattle raising as a serious business and were quite successful ranchers in Lavaca County in the 1870’s and 1880’s. Their love…knowledge, and experiences in the cattle industry were passed on to members of the family for several generations, including George Edison Nance, a grandson and great grandson of the Woodward’s. (Kuhlman, 70)

Sources

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Donaldson, Wanda Lamberth, compiler, Texas First Families, Lineages, Volume 2, Texas State Genealogical Society, 2004.

Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association.  http://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcl05.

Kuhlman, Jim, W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission, “About the Republic Claims,” http://tsl.state.tx.us/arc/repclaims/repintro.html

White, Gifford, 1840 Citizens of Texas, Volume 1, Land Grants.1983.

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011

Jacob T. Woodward Family Group Sheet (click link) jacob-t-woodward-fgs-document

 

Mary Adelia “Della” Anderson Woodward

Mary Adelia, daughter of Richard and Anna Anderson, was born April 29, 1846, in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana (created from St. Landry Parish in 1840). This area was a part of the territory known as the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Until that time, the population makeup had been French, Spaniards, French and Spanish Creoles, Africans and Appalousa (and other Indian tribes). The Andersons were among the many Americans from the South and other parts of the United States who migrated to the area, “marking the arrival of the first large English-speaking population and the introduction of the need for more general use of English.”

Mary Adelia was her parents’ fourth child and all were born in Louisiana. Her siblings were Susanne (Abt. 1839), Milton Victor (Abt. 1841) and Albert Berkley (March 31, 1843). She first appears on the 1850 United States Federal Census as “Adela.” Her father Richard gives his occupation as “Planter.” By 1850 there are two more sons – James Newton who was born May 30, 1847 and Richard, Jr. born in 1850. Only James appears on the census which means Richard was born after the census date.

Note: It is interesting to note that a Susanne Anderson is recorded on this census. I have not been able to document if she was, in fact, a child of John and Mary Adelia.

By the time of the 1860 United States Federal Census the Anderson family had moved to Lavaca County, Texas, where Richard was farming. All of their children except Susanne were living with them and working on the farm. This was the year before the onset of the Civil War so perhaps the community was beginning to hear rumblings of discontent. It is likely Adelia’s father was too old to enlist in the Confederate Army, but there is information that at least one brother, Albert, was enlisted.

ADELIA MARRIES JOHN WOODWARD

Sometime in the early part of the 1860’s, Adelia (called Della) met John Southern Woodward. In such a small community their families were probably well acquainted. Even though John enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862, he courted Della. We do not know the duration of the courtship, but they married June 29, 1864. Della was only 15 years old, but it seems that life demanded her to grow up quickly.

Marriage record for John Woodward and Mary A. Anderson.
Marriage record for John Woodward and Mary A. Anderson.

Della’s husband, John, was a farmer and cattleman, and I feel sure she was well acquainted with the duties of a farmer’s wife. Along with establishing a household, the young couple decided to start a family very early on. By the time of the 1870 United States Federal Census, the Woodward’s had two children, William “Willie” Oscar (January 1, 1866) and Kittie Blanche (1868). There is some indication that a child named Betty was born in 1869. However, since she is not on the 1880 census, she must have died.

In his book, The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, Jim Kuhlman points out that information on the 1870 census shows that Della’s parents, Richard and Annie Anderson, live next to them. Richard’s occupation is shown as “School teacher.” The census record reveals that the Anderson’s real estate and property values had dropped considerably since the 1860 census. He felt this was due to the effects of the Civil War, and it is likely Richard had to supplement his income by teaching school. (Kuhlman, 60)

Another interesting note – Della’s brother, James Newton, married John Woodward’s sister, Karon, and they had eight children. In doing genealogy research I have found it was not uncommon in those days for brothers of one family to marry sisters of another family. This may have been more so in smaller communities where there were fewer “pickins.”

By the time the 1880 United States Federal Census was taken, John and Della had four more children – Lucinda “Lucy” Ann (December 13, 1869), Beulah (1872), John Southern, Jr. (1875) and Mary Della (1878). We know that another son named Albert Tally was born in late 1880 or 1881. Like his father, John had a large family.

Even though we have no record, family information indicates that Della died sometime in 1882 leaving John to raise several young children. We are not certain about the location of her burial. Her life ended too soon which gives us a hint of how difficult life was for women of that time. Medical care was limited so that even the most common illnesses or conditions could be deadly.

As with other women in my family history, there is little information about Mary Adelia except on census records. Unfortunately, she left no diaries or letters that give insight into her daily life. I have tried to get a better understanding by reading well researched accounts of women of that era, and from those stories I am led to believe that Della’s daily life was difficult. She married while still a child and had to grow up quickly. Her husband may have done fairly well in the cattle business but was often away on cattle drives. Also, if you read between the lines of family lore, he may have had a drinking problem. She was called on to care for the farm, household, and children whether John was at home or away. It was a “hard scrabble” existence. Her body gave out at an early age, but I imagine her to be a person of unflagging spirit. For that wonderful quality Della holds my sincere admiration.

Sources

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Ancestry.com. Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2005.

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, “Calcasieu Parish,”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcasieu_Parish,_Louisiana

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, “St. Landry Parish,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Landry_Parish,_Louisiana

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011

Mary A. Anderson Pedigree Chart (click link) mary-a-anderson-pedigree-chart-scan0001

 

John Southern or Sidney Woodward

John Southern or Sidney was the fifth child of Jacob and Lucinda Woodward and was born January 13, 1844, in Hallettsville, Colorado, Texas. The family had been living in Colorado County (became Lavaca April 6, 1846) about four years, and Jacob was farming and raising cattle. As it turned out, John would follow in the footsteps of his father and become a cattleman.

Note: Family researchers give John’s second name as Southern or Sommerville, but in a pension application made by his second wife and widow, Sarah Ann Woodward, she gave his name as John Sidney Woodward. The application was filed December 15, 1916. We are not certain which name is correct.

During the years following John’s birth, the Woodward family continued to grow. By 1850 the Woodward’s had seven children – Mary Jane (1836), Bernice (1838), Georgia Anne (April 5, 1840), Thomas (December 26, 1841), John (January 13, 1844), Lucian and Virginia (April 5, 1850). By 1860 three more children were born – Clarence Grant (March 13, 1852), Keron “Kittie” (January 7, 1855), and Henry (January 19, 1857). Having a large family was not that unusual in those days because in most cases, the children were needed to help with all the chores of the household. Even at young ages, children were expected to work along with their parents doing farm labor and helping in the home. Most likely that was the case in the Woodward household.

John was only 17 years old when the American Civil War began in 1861. Texas gave its allegiance to the Confederacy. This was a tumultuous time in our country and like other young men, John enlisted in the army. He was 18 years old. In his book, The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, Jim W. Kuhlman gives the following information about John Woodward’s service.

John served in the Civil War with Company C, 13th Texas Infantry of the Confederate States Army. According to the records in the National Archives, Washington D.C., he was enlisted by J.R. Love at Petersburg, Texas, north Lavaca County, on July 6, 1862 for a period of three years or until the Civil War was over. He became a Private in the (2nd) Company C., Bates’ Regiment Texas Volunteers…Available records indicate he was on the Company Muster Roll of Company C, 13 Regiment, Texas Infantry his entire time of service from July of 1862 to April of 1865. (Kuhlman, 58-59)

JOHN MARRIES MARY ADELIA ANDERSON

 At some point during the years John was serving his stint in the army, he met Mary Adelia “Della” Anderson. We do not know how long the courtship lasted, but they married June 29, 1864. She was only 15 years old. Jim Kuhlman points out that the Justice of Peace who performed their rites of matrimony was V.F. Wroe, the same person who married Lewis and Charity Nance in 1862.

Following the Civil War, John and Della began their life on a farm, and he began raising cattle very early on. As we might expect, they also started a family. By the time of the 1870 United States Federal Census, the Woodward’s had two children, William “Willie” Oscar (January 1, 1866) and Kittie Blanche (1868). There is some indication that a child named Betty was born in 1869. However, since she is not on the 1880 census, she must have died.

Information on the 1870 census record tells us that John listed his occupation as “Beef Speculator.” As early as May 9, 1874, he had recorded a new livestock brand, D+ with a mark on the end of the left ear. Family lore is that he was also a part of the early cattle drives. Jim Kuhlman shares a story given him by Bennett Nance who was John Woodward’s grandson.

 My mother’s father, John Southern Woodward, was a cattleman and had small herds. He would add his small herd to the larger herds being driven to Kansas during the large trail driving days. I am told he went with the herd on the large drives several times. I was told he took his pay in gold coins and put them in nail kegs. It was told he came home once under the influence with his gold coins spilled in the back of his buggy, and another time no coins. They say he liked to nip the bottle and was not very responsible when doing so. Even then, people had their weaknesses. (Kuhlman, 61)

THE CHISHOLM TRAIL

Jim Kuhlman quotes several excellent sources in describing the early cattle drives out of Texas. One of the primary routes for the cattle drives was the “Chisholm Trail.” A brochure from the Chisholm Trail Museum of Kingfisher, Oklahoma gives this information.

In 1866 Jesse Chisholm, half breed Cherokee Indian trader, drove a wagon through Oklahoma Indian Territory to his trading post near Wichita, Kansas. Cattle drivers who followed his wagon ruts to Abilene gave the trail its name. (Kuhlman, 62)

As mentioned in the Chisholm Trail brochure, it was the historic cattle drives after the Civil War and during the Reconstruction period that saved the state of Texas financially. The people with money in Texas in those times were the owners of cattle. (Kuhlman, 67)

Also during this period after the Civil War and the trailing of cattle north from Texas, the roots of the present day western rodeos were born. Many horses needed to be broken for all the trail riders, and cattle had to be sorted and cut out of the large groups grazing in Texas and often needed to be roped and worked for branding and other things. Thus began the bronco riding, the steer wrestling and the calf roping which grew into fun competitions among the cowboys to avoid boredom and loneliness on ranches and wilderness cattle drives. It also was a way to wager one’s pay and prove manliness. Later the suspenseful bull riding and other competitive activities became a part of the rodeo scene. (Kuhlman, 67)

bY THE TIME THE 1880 United States Federal Census was taken, John and Della had four children – Lucinda “Lucy” Ann (December 13, 1869), Beulah (1872), John Southern (Sidney), Jr. (1875) and Mary Della (1878). We know that another son named Albert Tally was born in late 1880 or 1881. Like his father, John had a large family.

Even though we have no record, family information indicates that John’s wife, Della, died sometime in 1882 leaving him to raise several young children. Her life ended too soon which gives us a hint of how difficult life was for women of that time. Medical care was limited so that even the most common illnesses or conditions could be deadly.

In 1887 John remarried a woman by the name of Sally Moore. Jim Kuhlman writes that she may have been the sister-in-law of Clarence Grant Woodward (John’s younger brother).Clarence was married to Julia Ann Moore. On September 29, 1891, John and Sally had a son whom they named Jacob Clinton.

John Woodward was recorded on the 1910 United States Federal Census in the household of his daughter Kittie Grimes and her family. Both John and his daughter were widowed. She had seven children from the ages of 3 to 20.

It is believed that John S. Woodward died October 16, 1916. He was buried in the Providence or Provident Cemetery in Lavaca County, Texas. There are no dates on the tombstone. The inscription reads: Co C, 12 TX Inf, CSA..

John lived during a colorful but challenging era in Texas. As a young man he was involved one of the worst conflicts in United States history, the Civil War. Like his father before him, John was among the pioneers of the cattle industry in Texas. I believe we could say he was a cowboy in the real sense of the word. His life was truly one that some have tried to portray in movies. In my opinion the actor Robert Duvall would be great in the role of John Southern Woodward! Of course, one has to read only a few historical accounts to realize life was not all that glamorous or romantic. Those early days in Texas were rough and gritty, but the men and women who endured them did what they had to do to both survive and thrive. In many ways they laid the foundations for the good lives we are free to enjoy today.

Sources

Ancestry.com. Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online] Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.

Ancestry.com. Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2005.

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Lavaca County Cemeteries, “Providence Cemetery,”  http://www.txgenweb2.org/txlavaca/cemeteries_n_r.htm

National Park Service, U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry .com Operations, Inc., 2007.

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011

John S. Woodward Pedigree Chart (click link) john-s-woodward-pedigree-chart-scan0001

John S. Woodward Family Group Sheet (click link) john-s-woodward-fgs-document

 

 

 

 

Margaret Camerer Nance

Nance family history researchers believe that our ancestor Margaret Camerer was born about 1815 in either Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania or Clermont County, Ohio. Records indicate that her family moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio around the time of her birth, so it is difficult to determine the exact place. She was the second child of Lewis and Catherine Camerer. The surname is found spelled several ways – Kemmerer, Kammerer. Cammarrar, and Camerer (the most common spelling).

During the early 1800’s, the heavily wooded wilderness of Pennsylvania became home for numerous immigrant settlers and the German Kammerer family was among them. As one area became more “crowded,” people moved on west to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. We see this pattern in the migration of Margaret Camerer’s family.

Early in 1815 Lewis moved his family to Clermont County, Ohio. Land records give evidence that Lewis purchased 142-¾ acres of land on June 10. As it turned out the Camerer family put down roots in this area and stayed for approximately fifteen years. Their family grew by leaps and bounds during that time. When the 1830 United States Federal Census was taken, they had ten children under the age of 20 years old.

Life in this Ohio rugged country was hard and fraught with dangers. All of us have read true accounts of how difficult it was for settlers trying to build a new life while fighting the harsh elements of nature, wild animals, and Indians. In the Camerer family of ten children I think it was a given that the oldest began to help in the house and on the farm very early on. More than likely Margaret and her older sister Mary Ann had to assume many household responsibilities at very young ages. Certainly all the children grew up very quickly.

On September 30, 1830, Margaret’s father, Lewis Camerer, sold his Clermont County land. In mid October 1830, he purchased land in Brouilletts Creek Township, Edgar County, Illinois, and moved his family to the area. Margaret would have been about 15 years old. A young man by the name of Edward H. Nance lived in the county and in the early 1830’s, he and Margaret met. They married October 31, 1834.

Marriage record for Edward H. Nance and Margaret Camerer
Marriage record for Edward H. Nance and Margaret Camerer

After their marriage, they continued living in Edgar County for about five or six more years. During that time Edward and Margaret started a family. A daughter, Catherine, was born in 1836. They also had a son but there is no information giving his name or birth date.

Edward Nance is found on the 1840 United States Federal Census in Clinton County, Missouri. At this time, the census recorded only the head of household and his family consisted of a male and a female, ages 20 to 30; and a male and a female both under the age of 5. The census also records one person employed in agriculture. While living in Clinton County, Edward and Margaret’s family continued to grow. A son, Lewis C., was born in 1841, and a daughter, Margaret A., was born in 1843.

Sometime before 1846 the Nance family moved back to Edgar County, Illinois. The 1850 United States Federal Census lists Edward and Margaret and their four children. A fourth child, Edward Y. Nance, was born November 4, 1846, in Illinois. Other children listed are Catherine, Lewis, and Margaret A. Note that the son born between 1834 and 1840 is not included on this census. We do not know what happened to this son. Jim Kuhlman does mention some information that might be a possible clue.

Also listed living in District Nineteen of Edgar County, Illinois in 1850 was Hugh Nance. He was eighteen years old, born in Owen County, Indiana and was working as a farm laborer for Robert Faris, an eighty-five year old farmer. Owen County, less than fifty miles east of Edgar County, also was a coal mining area. Could Hugh have been the son listed in the 1840 Census of Clinton County, Missouri? (Kuhlman, 9)

Margaret’s father, Lewis Camerer, died on November 26, 1855, and was buried at the Mt. Carmel Cemeter, also known as Carmel-Light Cemetery, in Edgar County, Illinois. Margaret inherited a 1/9 share of the estate and subsequently sold the property to her brother, Daniel Camerer, as did five of her seven sisters. The deed was executed on February 11, 1858, and a justice of peace noted that both Edward and Margaret Nance personally appeared and were delivered the deed. (Wood, 4)

The Nance family lived in Edgar County, Illinois, until after 1855 because information in later census records shows that two more daughters were born there. A daughter, Clara, was born in 1853, and another daughter, Dovey Viola, was born in 1855.

EDWARD, MARGARET AND FAMILY MOVE TO TEXAS

At some point between the birth of Viola in 1855 and the July 5, 1860 Lavaca County Census, the Edward Nance family pulled up stakes in Illinois and moved to Lavaca County, Texas. Lavaca County lies some sixty miles southeast of Austin and (is) approximately eighty miles west of Houston, Texas.

As the crow flies, the distance between Edgar County, Illinois and Lavaca County, Texas is approximately 900 miles. That’s quite a challenge to undertake with a large family and all of ones belongings. Travel most likely was by covered wagon and oxen. If they made two miles an hour they were really doing well. A hundred miles in a week was a good goal. One can only wonder why a family would move that great a distance and endure the hardships one would entail along the way. One possibility was that land was very cheap and easy to obtain in those days. (Kuhlman, 9)

Note: In light of the fact that Edward and Margaret personally appeared and were delivered the deed of sale of her inherited property on February 11, 1848, they must have moved after that time. Patte Wood commented in a private email communication that she wondered if perhaps the money from the sale of the property helped finance the Nance family move to Texas. That certainly seems likely to me.

There is an interesting occurrence that lends to more questions than answers about the Edward Nance family. Their oldest daughter Catherine M. Nance died on December 28, 1858, in Collin County, Texas. Catherine was owed $68.25 by Joseph Setter in Edgar County, Illinois. Margaret Camerer Nance’s brother, Daniel Camerer, was named administrator of Catherine’s estate on May 3, 1859. The heirs, all who were believed to be residing in Texas according to Daniel Camerer, were named as: Father: E.H. Nance. Brothers and sisters: Margaret A. Scaggs, Edward Y. Nance, Clara E. Nance, Dovey V. Nance, and Lewis C. Nance. (Wood, 4-5)

This makes me wonder why Catherine was located in a different place than her parents. Were there relatives in Collin County?

By the time of the 1860 United States Federal Census the Nance family is in Lavaca County, Texas. Edward and Margaret Nance are listed along with their five children. The names, ages, occupation, and birth places are as follows.

Edward Nance, age 50, farmer, birth place Virginia.

Margaret Nance, age 45, housewife, birth place Ohio.

Margaret Nance, age 17, spinster, birth place Missouri.

Lewis, age 16, farm laborer, birth place Missouri.

Edward, age 13, birth place Illinois.

Clara, age 7, birth place Illinois.

Viola, age 5, birth place Illinois.

As we know, the United States was engaged in the Civil War between 1861 and 1865. Even though Margaret’s husband Edward would have been too old to enlist, there are records indicating that their sons, Lewis C. and Edward Y., were enlisted. This was a tumultuous time in the United States. Along with all people in Texas, life for the Nance family must have been affected on many levels.

Other than census records there is little information during the next years that sheds light on Margaret’s life. Her husband Edward is not found on any more census records. However, Patte Wood found that he registered to vote in Dallas County on September 23, 1867. She also found him on 1868 tax rolls in that same county. These two bits of information about Edward indicate that sometime after 1860 he left Lavaca County and moved to Dallas County without his family. It certainly makes me ask the questions – “Why did he leave?” and “Why did Margaret stay in Lavaca County?” Did they have relatives in that area? Was there a financial reason?

When the 1870 United States Federal Census was taken, Margaret was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Thomas and Margaret Scaggs. Margaret’s children, Edward Nance and Dovey Nance, are also listed in this household.

By the time of the 1880 census, Margaret was living with her son Edward and his wife, Mary Jane. After this census, the only records found about Margaret were located by Patte Wood in the Waco Directories at the Waco City Library, Waco, Texas. Margaret was found in the residence of Joseph and Dovey Willings (son-in-law and daughter) in the following years: 1888-1889; 1890-1891; 1898-1899; 1900-1901 and 1902-1903. It is curious that she was not found living in the Willings household in the 1900 United States Federal Census. (Wood, 8-9)

Patte Wood gives this additional information about her research on Margaret Nance.

Joseph Willings was an Assistant Sexton at the Greenwood Cemetery, located directly across the road from his residence on Earle. He and his wife, Dovey Viola Nance Willings, are buried at this cemetery.

Margaret Nance was not located in the Greenwood Cemetery Association’s records. According to the Waco City Secretary’s Office, record keeping of the association was “sketchy” when the City Secretary assumed recording responsibility. Neither is Margaret listed in the Index to Early McLennan County Deaths, compiled by John M. Usry, copy in the Waco, Texas McLennan County Public Library.

There is an unknown Nance buried in the China Springs Cemetery. On 17 August 2007 I contacted the China Springs Cemetery Association. Early records recorded only the purchaser of the plot which is about 24 feet X 30 feet. There is no record of a Nance or Willings buying a plot. The association stressed that this did not preclude a Nance or Willings being buried in the cemetery. (Wood, 9)

Margaret Camerer Nance’s final years along with her date of death and burial are a mystery to us. It seems that her husband moved away leaving her in the care of her children. Considering that during some of those years the country was in the midst of war and two of her sons were enlisted in the Confederate Armay, it must have been a very difficult time for her. Undoubtedly, her family needed her help and strength as their lives were impacted by the circumstances.

I envision Margaret being a woman of strength and endurance who “played the cards as they were dealt.” At least in her last years she was surrounded by those who meant the most to her and was able to be an integral part of their lives. As she had cared for them in their early years, they in turn took care of her.

Sources

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.

Clermont County, Ohio, http://www.genealogytrails.com/ohio/clermont

Edgar County, Illinois, Office of Circuit Clerk, Estate Packet for Catherine Nance.

Heritage Quest Online, 1880 United States Federal Census [database online].

Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD), 600 Lincoln Ave., Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, marriage record.

Kimmel, M. Jay, compiler, “Descendants of Johann Ludwig Kemmerer,” February 16, 2006.

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Wood, Patte Patterson, “Descendants of Edward H. Nance,” 2007, patteatlakeway@aol.com

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011.

Margaret Camerer Nance Pedigree Chart (click link) margaret-camerer-nance-pedigree-chart-scan0001