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. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Year of Genealogy

Ok, let's start the year out with some goals.  Here's where I intend to put my emphasis in 2016.

A.  Trees for other people

1.  Finish updating Aaron's tree and send it to him.  This will of course remain a work in progress but I need to get preliminary info to him.

2.  Finish the work for Ann, print and collate, send it to her.  This will end that project.

3.  Work on Jenni's tree and get her at least preliminary information.

4.  Shelton tree, as time permits

B.  My tree:

  1. Continue efforts to source all old information.  Create a list of info for which you no longer have the source and make that a concentration for research.

  2.  Brick Walls:

   -Nancy Whitaker, her land and her parents.  Maybe talk to someone at Georgia Archives?
   -Nathan Horne
   -Jacob Garner
   -Nimrod Lewis
   -Thomas Cates and wife Nancy
   -Sally Taylor Grizzle.  Really need DNA. 

 1.  Go through results and contact matches, starting with those where you see a connection, then working out.
 2.  Sign up for GRIP DNA course
 3.  Use ISOGG resources to improve knowledge and understanding.

E.  Conferences and classes

Start attending Wake County meetings
Definitely - NGS conference in Florida
Maybe - FGS conference in Springfield
Probably - GRIP DNA
Hopefully - GRIP Judy Russell
Maybe - IGHR

Get to courthouses and archives!!!!
Blog.   Monthly at a minimum but hopefully weekly.

Monday, August 3, 2015

William D. Fountain bigamy claim

On 17 January 1842, William D. Fountain married Francis Dies in Crawford County, Georgia.  However, on 6 August of that same year, John Dies, presumably Francis' father or brother, brought charges against Fountain claiming that he committed bigamy.   This record was found in the Crawford county loose records at the Georgia archives.  More work needs to be done to determine what happened next.

Wilkinson County]  Be it remembered that on the sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & forty two John Dies of Crawford County & State aforesaid by his lawful attorny and Sam Beall ..... [gap in original] personally came before me Saml J. Bush a justice of the peace and acknowledged themselves to owe to his Excellency the governor of said State and his successors in office the sum of five hundred dollars, current money of the said state, to be levied of their goods & chattels, lands & tenements to the use of the said State, if he the said John Dies shall fail in the condition underwritten.
         //signed// S.J. Bush J.P.                                    //signed// John Dies  //seal//
The condition of the above written recognizance is such, whereas one William D. Fountain was this present day brought before the justice within mentioned at the instance of the above bounden John Dies and was by him charged with commiting the offence of bigamy knowingly and wilfully on the seventeenth day of January last past, in the county of Crawford & state aforesaid, and thereupon was bound in a bond on recognizance for his personal appearance at the next Superior Court to be held for the County of Crawford & State aforesaid //insert// on the third monday in the present month August.  If therefore the said John Dies shall & do at the next Inferior Court to be held for the county of Crawford on the third monday in the present month August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fortytwo, prepare or cause to be prepared one bill of indictment of the said felony, against the said William D. Fountain, & shall then also give evidence there concerning the same, as well to the jurors that shall their inquire of the said felony, as also to them that shall pass upon the trial of the said William D. Fountain; that there the said recognizance to be void or else to remain in full force for the said State.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Deed of Trust from Abselia Morris to John Perry

Experimenting with ArchiveGrid, I found a document in the Alabama archives where Apselia (Abselia) Morris, widow of Benjamin Morris, executed a deed of trust to John Perry, trustee of her grandson Michael W. Rabun.   While not proof of anything, it does add to my speculation that there is some sort of connection between Perry and Abselia or her husband.  Names have been spelled as they appear.  Interestingly, Absela Morris also included Ned in her will to go to Michael.  However, since her will was written in 1848 but not executed until 1865, that of course did not happen. The witness Columbus Perry is John Perry's son. 

The original deed can be seen on the Alabama State Archives website. 

Georgia, Crawford County}}  Know all men by these presents that I Absela Morris for and in consideration of the sum of five dollars cash in hand paid by John Perry of said county as well as the love and affection which I have for my grandson Michael Rabun of Alabama, have bargained sold & delivered and by these presents do bargain sell and deliver unto the said John Perry a negro man by the name of Ned about twenty eight years, forever in fee simple. To have and to hold upon the following uses & trusts that I, the said Absela am to have the use control hire and benefit of the labor of the said Ned during my life, then the said trustee, the said John Perry is to convey and deliver the said negro man to the said Michael W. Rabun his heirs and assigns forever in fee simple.  In testimony whereof I have set my hand and affixed my seal this the twenty seventh day of January eighteen hundred & fifty five.

                                     Apselia X Morris
                                             her mark

In presence of
G C Hancock
Columbus Perry
G C Culverhouse J.J.C.

I hereby acknowledge the delivery and reception of the within bill of sale and the property therein conveyed & accept the trust therein ?confided? to me.  January 27th 1855.  John Perry

Recorded the 8th day of February 1855  James I Ray, clerk

Sunday, April 26, 2015

James Larkin Hendricks will

Oconee County, Georgia, Wills 1875-1966, p 193, available online at  James was the brother of Warren David Hendricks and the son of George Washington Hendricks and Jane Keith.  He died of cancer on 11 June 1921.

Georgia, Oconee County}}  Last Will and Testament of Jas. L. Hendrix

I Jas L Hendrix of said state and county, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and annulling all others, by me heretofore by me made.

Item 1st) I desire and direct that my body be buried in a decent and Christianlike manner suitable to my circumstances and condition in life.

Item 2)  I desire and direct that all my just debts be paid as soon as practicable by my executor hereinafter named and appointed.

Item 3)  I give, bequeath, and devise to my beloved wife, Elizabeth Hendrix, for and during her natural life, my tract of land in Statham Barrow County Georgia containing twenty nine and three tenths acres (29.3) the same being the same tract of land which was deeded to me and Pool W. Hendrix jointly and later Pool Hendrix deeded his one half undivided interest to me, said tract bounded on north by Day, East by a public road, South by Thrasher, West by ?Afrin? and being about one half mile west of present site of S. A. L. Ry depot in said town of Statham.   At her death said land is to go to and be divided between my estate and my son Oscar Hendrix upon said Oscar paying over to my estate the sum of three hundred ($300) Dollars before coming into his half interest in said land. The half coming into my estate as well as the three hundred dollars to be paid by Oscar to be disposed of as hereinafter directed.

Item 4)  I have delivered to my sons Pool W. Hendrix and Carl W. Hendrix possession and controll of my place near Eastville, Ga Oconee County together with certain personal property for running said farm and they have agreed to assume an indebtedness against said land, and it is my will and it is my will and desire and I hereby give, bequeath and devise to my said sons Pool W. and Carl W. Hendrix my said tract of land in Oconee County, about one mile north of the town of Eastville, eighty two (82) acres more or less, bounded on north by Breedlove, East by Thomas, South by R. L. Malcom, and west by a public road leading from said town of Eastville, and lands of Hardy Breedlove. This land to go to and become the property of my said sons Pool W. and Carl W. Hendrix upon their paying of the loan which is on the property or whatever part thereof remains unpaid at my death and upon their paying over [[end of page]]

[[start of page 2, reads like clerk may have left out a few words]] and grandchildren the sum of three hundred ($300.00) dollars each.  My Grand Children are to receive the share that would have been coming to their father or mother if in life,  in other words my children Arvie Jane Graham, Fulton Hendrix, Vercy Hendrix, Candie Hendrix are to receive the sum of three hundred dollars each, or their children if I should survive them shall receive the respective share of their father or mother, and the children of my deceased son Warren Hendrix, to wit Fred, Carrie, Dottie, Willie and David Hendrix are to receive their father's part or the sum of three hundred ($300) dollars to be equally divided between them .

The payments of said sums being a charge upon my estate and upon the land.

Item 5) I give and bequeath to my son Oscar Hendrix one mule to be selected by him after my death.

Item 6) I give and bequeath to my wife Elizabeth Hendrix one milk cow to be selected by her after my death.

Item 7) I give and bequeath to daughter Mrs. Georgia Ann Palmer five ($5.00) dollars and no more, she having heretofore received from me her share of my property real and personal.

Item 8)  My son Archie Hendrix who enlisted in the U.S Navy during the war with Germany and who was on board a U.S. steamship Cyclops which disappeared and was never heard from is supposed to be dead but in case he is in life and shows up at any time he is to receive the sum of three hundred ($300) dollars to be paid as the other items in item fourth of this will, except, however this item shall not be a charge upon the lands.  

Item 9)  All the rest of my property real and personal shall shall [sic] be sold by my executor hereinafter named and appointed, at public or private sale, with or without advertisement and without any order of court.  And the proceeds thereof shall be applied to the payment of debts which I owe and the obligations outstanding which are a charge or lien upon the lands herein described if there is a residue after the legacies hereinbefore specified are satisfied, the remainder if any shall be equally divided between my children, share and share alike, except Grand Children shall receive the share of their parent to be equally divided between them.

Item 10) I hereby constitute and appoint my wife Elizabeth Hendrix sole executrix of this my last will and testament and expressly confer upon her power, as such, to administer my estate, excusing her [[end of page]]

[[start of page 3]] from giving any bonds or making any returns to the ordinary, and I expressly confer upon her full authority and power to sell any part of my estate which is not hereinbefore specifically devised, at public or private sale, with or without notice, as she may deem best, and without any order of court, making good and sufficient conveyances to the purchases and holding the proceeds of said sale to the same uses and trusts as hereinbefore declared in the several items of this will
And I further expressly confer upon her full power and authority and power to borrow money for the use of my estate, in any instance where she may deem necessary and proper, and to secure the same by lien, security deed, trust deed, or other form of security to or on any part of my estate not herein specifically devised, all this she may do without any order of court and without making any returns to the Court of Ordinary.  This the 21st day of May 1921.
  [[ss]] J. L. Hendrix

Signed, sealed, declared, and published by Jas L Hendrix as his last will and testament, in the presence of us, the undersigned who subscribe our names hereto, in the presence of said testator, after he had signed his name thereto, and at his special instance and request, and in the presence of each other.  This the 21st day of May 1921.

 [[ss]] F. S. Dooley
 [[ss]] John F. Ridgeway
 [[ss]] F. A. Gillen

Probated Jan 2, 1922
Recorded Feb 10 1922

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year and a fresh start for Sally Turner Powers.

Well, I was doing ok there for a while but the fall got away from me.  Did some useful research but need to get some posts up.  To try to make sure I get at least one post a week this year, I plan to join along with the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks blogging prompt, with the slight change that mine will all be people I am researching but not necessarily an ancestor (I love collateral lines).  I also want to try to put a little more emphasis this year on the women in the family. 

The first prompt of the year (a fresh start) pertains to so many ancestors, leaving behind home and family to travel into the unknown.  For me, one of the most interesting was Sarah (Sally) Turner Powers.   Born in the late 1700s in Marion County, SC, she married John Powers on 4 January 1813.  It was not a happy marriage.  Sally was from a comfortable background, certainly not rich but she did bring some money and land into the marriage.  John, on the other hand, was considered pretty shiftless.  After 10 years (and 4 children), they separated, reportedly because Sally kicked him out.  They never divorced and Sally never remarried.  John did marry again bigamously and raised a second family in Darlington County, SC.   A few years after Sally and John split up, she moved with the children to  Alabama and then eventually to Georgia.  Interestingly, the move to Alabama was as part of a group - not unusual - which included some of John's relatives.   After a few years, Sally moved first to Crawford county, then Houston County, GA, where she lived out her life living with her daughter Margaret Powers Moore. 

The whole story of Sally and John deserves more time and space than I've given it today, but I admire the fact that she would not only kick out an abusive husband, but actually take the family to distant and at the time rather remote locations, to give the children a better chance.  Her oldest daughter, Veronica, ended up in Tennessee and at present little is known of her later life.  Her other two daughters lived their married lives in Houston County, GA, living next door to each other.  Son Charlie stayed in Georgia as well, but not near his sisters.  Later records show that the children did inherit some of Mom's spunk, when they fought their half-siblings in a bitter battle for their share of their father's estate, in 1868. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Morris and Sessions connection

On a recent trip to the Wilcox County Courthouse, I found this deed which definitely seems to link the Sessions and Morris families. 

(page) 161

The State of Alabama, Wilcox County} This indenture witnesseth that I Daniel J. Morris of the state and county aforesaid for the love and affection I have and bear for John Sidney Sessions and for the better support livelihood & maintenance of the said John Sidney Sessions do give grant and confirm and by these presents do give grant and confirm the following Cattle viz two cows and calves one barron cow, one two year old heifer and one two year old steer marked with a poplar leaf in the right Ear Crop and split in the left ear and I Daniel J. Morris for the love and affection I have for William James Henry Sessions and for the better support livelihood and maintenance of the said William James Henry do give grant and confirm and by these presents do give grant and confirm to the said William James Henry Sessions the following Cattle viz one cow and calf, one cow and yearling, one three years old heifer, two three years old steers and one year old heifer Marked with a poplar leaf in the right Ear Crop and split in the left ear the said John Sidney Sessions and William James Henry Sessions to have and to hold the above mentioned cattle and their increase forever and I the said Daniel J. Morris do warrant and forever defend said cattle to the said John Sidney Sessions and William James Henry Sessions theirs heirs executors administrators and assigns or against any person or persons who may or shall [one word] claim the same

Given from under my hand and seal this April 19th AD 1834 and of the Independence of the United States the fifty eighth year.

                                                    Daniel J. Morris //Seal//

Sealed signed and delivered in the presence of
  William G W Sessions
   Stephen Morris

The State of Alabama, Wilcox County} Personally appeared before me Duncan C. Smith Clerk of the County Court of said County Stephen Morris one of the subscribing witnesses to the within deed who being duly sworn upon Oath saith that he saw Daniel J. Morris sign seal and deliver the within deed on the day and year therein mentioned and for the purposes and considerations therein named to John Sidney Sessions and William James Henry Sessions, that he signed his name as a witness and that he saw William G. W. Sessions his name as a witness to the same
sworn & subscribed the 21st April 1834             //Signed// Stephen Morris
  //signed// DC Smith Clerk

Recorded the 22nd April 1834