Thursday, March 2, 2017

Found! The parents of James Bryant

James Bryant has been a brick wall for many years.  First, he does not appear in any census with his parents and secondly, he had real problems making up his mind how old he was.  The person who is probably him in 1880 is listed as age 10, in 1900 his birth month/year is July 1861 and he is 49.  In 1910 he is 37 (so born 1873), in 1920 he is 50 and in 1940 he is 68.  He's not been found yet in 1930.  His death certificate, with information provided by his son-in-law states he was born on 2 July 1873.  He does not appear in the SSDI and having died in 1942, I had always assumed he never had a social security card.  However, it turns out he is in the Social security claims index so I sent for his original SSDI, which gives his date of birth as 2 July 1868 and more importantly, gives his parents as Irving Bryant and Elizabeth Hamlin.

There is no Irving in the 1870 census, but there is I Bryant age 25 with his wife E age 24.  There is no marriage record for them in Crawford county so her surname cannot be confirmed.  They have 3 children, a daughter H.E., age 6, a son C age 7, and a daughter J age 2.  It would be better if names were on here.  There are several errors as to children's sex in this census, so this could be James despite the F.  In 1880, there are no female Bryants who were born about that year, but there are two males, one of whom is James.

In 1880, James is living with John and Sarah Stripling Sandefur.  I am pretty sure this is the correct James since Sarah had a relatively unusual name (Sarah Willie) and he named his oldest daughter that.  He also married John's youngest sister.

Irwin, who is also shown as Ruben Irwin on some family trees, and Elizabeth both disappear from the censuses after 1870, which increases the odds that the apparently orphaned James in 1880 is their child.  More work needs to be done but at least there appears to be a path forward now.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The children of Tilman Gooch

I know that people have figured out who Tilman Gooch's children were but there was still some variance over birthdates.  Recently I found a Bounty Land application where his youngest daughter applied.  It's rather odd because she claimed on the first document to be his only child - even though her sister Eliza Ann Sutton was one of the witnesses - but then clarified later to explain that she was his only minor child.  The claim could be made by any person who was a minor at the time the law went into effect on 1 Mar 1855, so Mary qualified even though she did not apply until 1883.  One page of the claim lists all the children as follows.  I have tried to keep it true to the original except for adding a line between the children for reading clarity.

Samuel Gooch the oldest child was born on 6th of July 1824.  and now resides at Nimberwill, Lumpkin County Georgia.  Dahlonega PO Add.  [Note in margin:  1st, over age].

Caroline. The second child was born in Rabun County Georgia October 10, 1826 and now resides at Dawson County, Georgia. [Note in margin:  2nd, over age.]

James.  The third child was born in the County of Rabun State of Georgia on the 10th February 1829 and now resides in Gaddistown, Union County Georgia. [Note in margin:  3rd, over age].

And Viney Adaline the 4th child Was born in Rabun County State of Georgia on the 21st of January 1831 and died on or about 1st of December 1864. [Margin note:  4th dead]

Eliza Jane [Second name is written over and may have originally been Anne or corrected to Anne] the 5th child was born in Rabun County State of Georgia Feb 9th 1833 and now resides in Hall County state of Georgia.  [Margin note:  5th over age]

Margaret was born in Rabun County State of Georgia on 18th day of October 1835 and died September 4th 1862.  [Margin note:  6th dead]

Mary the youngest and seventh child was born in Rabun County State of Georgia on the 6th of July 1837. [Margin note:  claimant].

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sarah Rowe Sandifer part 2

Back in February, I theorized about the death date of Sarah Rowe Sandifer, based on an estate being distributed to her grandchildren.  I finally made it to the Georgia archives to look up the file there and it sort of confirmed what I thought.  The estate was in fact hers, but she had died on 18 April 1914, so a little earlier than I had expected.  The estate was not completely settled until 1920.  Her son, John S. Sandifer was the administrator since she died without a will.  The main portion of her estate was the property, which was sold to H.C. and W.A. Belcher for $2250, a good sum in those days.

There was also an interesting document in the file showing that Sarah's guardian prior to her marriage was Elisha Mills.  In September 1849, he petitioned to be released from the guardianship on the grounds that Sarah was now married.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Nimrod Lewis's War of 1812 records

I had long ago seen that a Nimrod Lewis (and yes, there were more than one) had served with the Georgia Militia in the war of 1812.  Unfortunately, the only records remaining were muster rolls, which did not tell much about what the unit did nor was there anything to show that this was our Nimrod Lewis.

Recently the National Archives began a project with Fold 3 to index the War of 1812 land warrant applications and unlike some of the pensions, these were available to militia members as well.  The index is free and the record can then be ordered from the archives.  I looked at the Ls and there was a Nimrod Lewis from Georgia, so I ordered the record.  Unlike the militia roster, this record confirmed that it was the Crawford County man.

The records show that he actually enlisted twice.  He first enlisted at Waynesboro in Captain Roger Gamble's unit, in March 1814 and served with that unit until they were discharged in September of that year in Point Petre.  This is probably Fort Point Peter, near the Georgia-Florida border.  In January 1815, he volunteered for Capt Stephen Blount's unit, again enlisting in Waynesboro.  They were discharged in February 1815 at Savannah.

His application was made in 1851, when he was 63 years old.  In 1854 Nimrod was awarded 80 acres of land in Ohio but assigned his claim to Jesse Stone.  It is probable that he sold the claim to Stone rather than starting over at age 66. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The parents of Sidney Cornelia Jones

I have been looking for the mother of Sidney Cornelia Jones, wife of Agustus Kennon Ward, for several years but until today with no luck.  She married in Telfair County, Georgia and lived the rest of her life there.   She did not have a social security number, no obit has been found for her and her gravestone has nothing more than her name and dates.  And her name was Jones.

Knowing when she was born and when she married, there was only one census where she might have been in her parents' household and that was 1880.  Searching in there for Sidney or Cornelia brought me no hits, so I just started looking at all the white Jones girls born in 1872.  There were none in Telfair county that looked like it might be her, so I extended the search to the entire state.  There was a Sydie Jones of the right age with parents Sidney and Henrietta.  I was skeptical because they were in Putnam County which is quite a distance from Telfair, but started looking at them anyway.  I discovered the following:

- Sidney B. Jones died in April 1900 but I can't find a tombstone or obituary listing for him.  Putnam county records show no will and his estate does not list heirs beyond his one minor child.  Putnam marriage records indicate his wife was Henrietta Lewis.
- Henrietta Lewis Jones died in Telfair County.  According to her death certificate, she was born in Putnam County and her husband was Sidney B. Jones, making it probable she was the same Henrietta.  She is buried in the same cemetery as Agustus and Sidney Ward.  And her middle name is Cornelia.
- Hezekiah Jones, listed in the 1880 census as a son of Sidney and Henrietta, lived in the same town as the Wards and had married one of Agustus' cousins.  He was also buried in the same church cemetery.
-In 1875, when Sidney Jones was appointed administrator on his father's estate, one of the securities on his bond was Paschal Ward, who was Agustus Ward's grandfather, showing an earlier connection between the families.

This evidence makes it highly likely that the parents of Sidney Cornelia Jones were in fact Sidney B. Jones and Henrietta Cornelia Lewis.  

Saturday, May 7, 2016

1837 Bridge petition, Crawford County

Found in the loose records in the Georgia State archives, Morrow.

To the Honorable the Superior Court of Crawford County We the undersigned citizens of the county aforesaid humbly sheweth to your Honour that we labour und[er] a serious inconvenience for want of a Bridge across Spring Creek where the road leading from Knoxville to Travelersrest crosses said creek this is a road of great publick utility as well as to those living in the lower part of this county Your petitioners therefore humbly hope your honors will grant an order for building said Bridge and appoint commissioners for that purpose and your petitioners will ever pray.  Jany 31st 1837.

F. Buzbee                            Jacob Fudg Senr
Jesse Harper                        James Spires
R. H. ?Harper?                    John Spires
Jacob Slppy                        Henry Wells
David Wells                        Daniel Goodman
George Lowman                 Luke Goodman
William Grey                      Jacob Spizey
William A. Slappy              Wm W Whittiker
Henry Slppy                        Eml. W. Whittiker
Saml Clark                          Isaac Free
? Crouch                              Joseph Powel
Casper Parham                    W. B. Carr
James Gray                          F. Bacon
Thomas Gray                       N. Horne
Jonathan Ross                      Daniel Culpeper
Green Duke                         Jacob Weaver
Luke Johnson                      ?Micael? Welch
E.M. Dennis                        S. N. Slattery
? Walker                              S. W. Hicks
?I? McGarity                       L. B. Ogburn
William D. Tucker              John Tidwell
Ken Delland                       G.F. Matthews
Enoch Shivey                     John Andrews
J.S. Harman                        Alfred Coleman
Thos Livingstone               Luke Roberts
John Walpole

Friday, February 5, 2016

Always More Questions - and the Death of Sarah Jane Rowe Sandefur

According to her tombstone, Maxie Mozelle Bryant died on 22 May 1910 in Crawford County, Georgia.  As a woman in a poor rural family, she did not leave many records.  There was no newspaper obituary, no estate records, or even, as far as we know, a Bible record.   According to family members, the tombstone was added later so it is possible that that date is incorrect.  However, her last known child was born in 1909, when she was 29.  It is possible but not particularly likely that she lived past that point without having any further children.   More conclusive is the fact that her husband remarried in October 1910. 

So if she died in 1910, why does her husband James Bryant suddenly become the guardian of his children in 1916 as the orphans of Mrs. Mozelle Bryant nee Sandefur?  I had found one return from James Bryant in the Georgia Archives and decided to look on to see if further records were available.  Those records specified that he was appointed the guardian of Roy Bryant, Earl Bryant, Ola Bryant, Jamie Bryant, Kittie Bryant, and Henry Bryant.   The oldest daughter, Sarah Willie, was already of age and married.   The original appointment seems to have been made on 6 November 1916.

Adding to the story is that Mozelle's sister-in-law was on the same day appointed guardian for the estates of her children  Cleo Davison, Wilson Sandefur, Homer Sandefur, and Maud Sandefur, the orphan minors of James B. Sandefur, who had died in 1911.

From these two records together, it would appear that someone in the Sandefur family had died and that this reflected part of the distribution of the estate.  Looking at the family, all the children were still alive except Mozelle, James and John Perry.  Mozelle and James were married with children, so their estates would not have been distributed over the family.  Perry does not appear to have owned property and is listed in the 1900 census as a farm laborer on his brother-in-law's farm.   William R. Sandefur, their father, died in 1880.  However, we've never found a death date for his wife Sarah Jane Rowe Sandefur.  She is presumed to have died between 1910, when she is on the census, and 1920, when she is not.  She may be buried with her husband but she does not have a tombstone.  Based on the county tax records, she did own land in her own right since she regularly paid taxes on 260 acres in Crawford county.   This would have been enough to require a distribution of the estate if she died intestate - and no will has been found.

For now, I am tentatively assuming that Sarah died in 1915 or 1916 and that these guardian bonds reflect the distribution of her estate.  There is one document at the Georgia Archives that may reflect more information and of course the courthouse may have documents that are not available on line.  All these need to be checked as well.

As a postscript, James Bryant does not seem to have personally pocketed any of the money his children inherited.  His returns show no expenses claimed towards their upkeep.