Monday, February 19, 2018

Dorothy Bird Lord

I have thought about doing some blog posts on my favorite female ancestors since so much research is centered on the men.  While that is not the point of this post, if it were, Dorothy would definitely be on the list.  She is surprisingly well documented for someone who lived at her time - or at least surprising when most of your family is in the South.   She could not have had an easy life, immigrating to the early colonies, but she survived.

Dorothy was born about 1588 in England, baptised on May 25th of that year in the St. Laurence church, Towcester, Northhamptonshire.  Her parents were Robert Bird and Amy Hill.

In February 1610/11, she married Thomas Lord in the same place.  Between 1612 and 1629, they had at least 8 children, including our probable ancestor John.  In 1635, their oldest son Richard, then about 22, went to the new world.   Thomas, Dorothy, and their younger children left from London in April 1635, aboard the ship "Elizabeth and Ann".  At this point, Dorothy was 46, which was not elderly but unusually old still to leave everything behind for such an uncertain adventure and to risk her own life and those of her family on the North Atlantic voyage.   The trip back then averaged 60 days. 

The family joined son Richard in Newtown, now Cambridge, Massachusetts, but they did not stay there long.  In 1637 they joined a group of approximately 100 men, women, and children, lead by Puritan minister Thomas Hooker and marched overland to the present-day site of Hartford, Connecticut.  This was yet another strenuous journey for a woman who was approaching 50.  

Dorothy died in 1676 at the age of 87, having survived numerous childbirths, an Atlantic crossing, a trek through the wilderness, and the general hardship of setting up a brand new community.  Her husband and at least two of her children predeceased her.  Her will survives and shows that she had considerable property as well as personal goods worth about $187. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Laura and Grace

At one point I looked at the estate of Thomas Cates, the possible father-in-law of Nimrod Lewis, and noted that the two slaves he owned were not accounted for in the estate settlement.   In the 7 March 1843 Macon Messenger, there is a notice that the young girls Larey (Laura), age 9, and Grace, age 7, had been levied on as the property of Thomas Cates to satisfy several Fi Fas issued by the court in favor of H. B. Troutman. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Grandma and Pa Mathews

This is a photograph discovered a while back by a cousin in a box left at his father's house by our grandmother.  It is labeled as "Grandma and Pa Mathews", indicating that it is probably Thomas Franklin (T.F.) Mathews and his wife Susan Katherine (Kate) Peterman.   T.F. lived from 1841 to 1922, while Kate was 1849 to 1933.  Considering her dress and the fact that they are older but not old, I would make a preliminary guess that this was taken around 1900, but that's speculation at this point.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Nimrod Lewis property tax lists

The published property tax lists of Crawford County list Nimrod Lewis six times.

In 1840 he is in Captain Hortman's district.  He payed one poll, and payed taxes on two lots.  One, in district 2, Crawford county was 101.5 acres.  The other, lot 46, District 16, section 2 in Habersham County, was 125 acres.  He had no luxury items listed.  This tax form is not alphabetized, from which it can be inferred that the lots are listed in at least partial neighborhood order, although the lot numbers are not sequential.  Those closest to him, therefore, were probably Jeremiah Hatcher, William Dickson, Joseph Wilder, Robert Martin, William Causey, James M. Sanders and Turner Cates on one side and David Worsham, Simpson Walker, Simon Johnson, Thomas Barran, and Martin Cloud on the other.  Thomas Cates also appears on the same page, though further down.  Thomas also paid taxes on land in Habersham although the lot and district nr were not listed on his property to compare their locations.

In 1845, Nimrod was in Capt Jones district and paid one poll and owned 2 slaves.  He claimed 101 acres in Crawford county and 125 in Habersham.  For this he paid $1.56 in state tax, 19.5 cents in poor tax, and 39.25 cents to the Poor school.  This is the only tax list that breaks out the payments. 

In 1851, Nimrod was listed as being in district 497, Osent's district.   This tax list is semi-alphabetical in that the names beginning with the same letter are grouped together.  Nimrod did not pay a poll, presumably too old, but his son Thomas did.   Nimrod is listed as having 2 slaves, 50 acres of 3rd quality oak and hickory upland, 101.5 acres of pine land in Crawford County, and 125 acres of the same in Habersham County.  All told he paid $1.08 in taxes plus Thomas' .25 poll tax.

In 1854, he is in still in district 497, now Castlebury's area.   He again is not responsible for a poll tax but Thomas is.   He does claim to have two children between the ages of 8 and 14.  This would have been Marsena and Almira.  This time he asserts 125 acres of 2nd quality land and 150 acres of 3rd quality for a total value of $700.   He has two slaves valued at $800 and other personal property valued at 106, for a total taxable amount of $1606.

1856 is still Castlebury's district.  Nimrod's son Jeremiah is now old enough to pay the poll tax as well as son Thomas.  Neither son shows property of their own.   Nimrod has 227 acres of pine land, in Crawford only, worth $700.   He now has 1 slave worth $400, $250 worth of other personal property, so $1350 worth of taxable property in total. 

In 1857, still in Castlebury's, his land is again split by county with 100 acres in Crawford ($600) and 125 in Habersham ($200).   He does not list any children between 6 and 18 although Marsena definitely qualified and Almira possibly did.  Son Thomas lists one child in that range although his oldest known child Feraby was only 4.  It is possible that their two entries were confused.  Nimrod still had one slave, worth  $500, and personal property worth $175.  Interestingly, Jeremiah is shown as having cash or solvent debts of $110. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

I am going to try out Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to see if I can't get myself back on track blogging.  Since we are obviously already in the 3rd week of the year, I'll have to do some backtracking. 

The first prompt - Start

This got me to thinking about where I started doing genealogy which is surprisingly easy.  I was in Georgia for my 16th birthday and my grandmother (who had shown no previous interest in the subject) had received an answer to a query she had sent someone about her ancestor Washington William Buchanan Horne and his confederate service.  The answer showed that he had fought at Vicksburg, was wounded at some point, and had died in the State mental asylum.  This turned out to be a great learning experience for me because almost at once the family started 'remembering' that their ancestor, his daughter, was not really his.  Since they obviously couldn't have an ancestor in the Asylum. 

Years of research have shown that he was in fact paroled at Vicksburg but this was not where he was wounded.  He was exchanged and went back into the service and was wounded (lost an arm) later while fighting in Georgia.  His full name - not on the records - has been determined.  The Asylum records and reminiscences of his grandson showed that he was probably suffering from what today would be called PTSD.  And both paper research and DNA have fairly conclusively proven that he was the father of Carrie Horne.  There are still members of the family who are 'sure' that Carrie's father was a mailman (didn't exist at that time in rural areas) named Campbell (of whom there were none in that county.) 

The other and to me more interesting document in the file was the Confederate pension application for his wife Mary Ann Morris Horne.  I talked my grandmother into giving me that and it was the starting point for much of my research on her family.  Without it, I would never have known or guessed that she was born in Wilcox County, Alabama which turned out to be key to finding her father's family.  I was also fascinated by her description of her goods (nothing but what she could earn working in the fields). 

So I started off with a family tale that was not true - and even at the time I was pretty sure they were making it up - and with a pension application that may have occasionally fudged the truth but gave me a lot of good useful information.  Both of these hooked me on finding out more about these people, something I've been working on ever since.   My grandmother, on the other hand, never again showed an interest in the topic.  I think that asylum was just too much for her. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nimrod Lewis in the Confederate Citizens files

Nimrod Lewis appears twice in the Confederate Citizen files, having assisted two families with claims.

In July 1862, he appeared as a confirmatory witness to Louisa Wright's claim for the final pay due her husband Joseph Henry Wright.  Henry Wright had served in the Jackson Guards, in the 57th GA regiment, and had died in May 1862 while serving in Virginia.  The other witness was Joseph Henry's father Elias Wright.   As a result of this claim, Louisa Wright was paid $47.  In the 1860 census, Nimrod is household 54 in Castleberry's district.  Louisa and Joseph Wright were in Knoxville, living next door to his father Elias.  Louisa's maiden name was Gray.

In December 1862, Nimrod Lewis attested to the truth of Charity Mills claim that she was the only heir of her son Andrew J. Mills, who had left "neither wife, child, nor father".  Andrew had served in the 6th GA regt.  He had been killed at Seven Pines on May 31st of that year and according to the Army was due back pay, his bonus payment, and his clothing allotment.  The only Charity Mills in the county was Nimrod's next-door neighbor.   She and her husband Alexander had married in 1856, so Andrew could not be a son of that marriage but she had previously been married to  Green Mills and had a son A.J. with him.   Charity was a Bateman by birth and married Green Mills in Houston County.

Nimrod might have just been being a good neighbor, but putting these two here to keep in mind.  Friends, family and associates.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nimrod Lewis and H.W. Sullivan

Augusta Chronicle, July 28, 1815, p. 4, accessed at the Georgia Historic Newspapers, Digital Library of Georgia,

Will be sold by the subscribers, to the highest bidder, on the first Tuesday in August next at the court-house in the town of Waynesborough, (if not previously disposed of), 450 acres LAND, (more or less), of an excellent quality in the county of Burke on the Walnut Branch, within four miles of the Court-house.  80 or 90 acres are cleared and under good fence.  Condition 1000 dollars paid down and the balance in one and two years, to be secured by a mortgage on the premises, or approved personal security. 

H.W. Sullivan
Nimrod Lewis

July 6


H.W. Sullivan appears to be as much of a ghost as Nimrod himself at this period, but this does give me something new to work on.  Jointly possessing the land, so brothers in law perhaps, disposing of an inheritance?