Friday, October 24, 2014

Sepia Saturday: We're No Duck Dynasty

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt suggests any number of alliterative possibilities including brushes, bellies, British bobbies, bums, and beards.  Unfortunately – or not – I come from a long line of clean-shaven men.  But there are a few memorable beards.

There is a DISTINGUISHED beard:

Billy Long of Shenandoah, Virginia
Billy Long, the father of neighbors
of my great grandparents in Shenandoah, VA

Some GOAT beards:

James Franklin Jollett 1836-1930
My 2X great-grandfather
James Franklin Jollett
John Wesley Jollett 1832-1916
2X great granduncle
John Wesley Jollett

Some GRIZZLEY beards:

Unknown possibly Mitchell Davis
Unknown -- I suspect he is a Davis,
maybe my 2X great grandfather Mitchell Davis

Family of Daniel and Lydia Kohne, Hardy County, West Virginia
Family of Daniel and Lydia Kohne

Family of Adam and Caroline Kohne Hardy County, West Virginia
Family of Adam and Caroline Kohne
my husband's great grandparents
(the littlest girl is his grandmother)

And even some FAKE beards:

I don’t know where I had been – grocery store probably, but this is the scene I came home to in August of 1993. 

Mathias girls and friends
Left to right:  Kim age 10, Jordan age 12
Meghan age 13, Zoe age 10

Masking tape beards and rolled paper cigarettes always make a game of cards more fun.  (And for the record, the beer was NOT opened, thank-goodness.)   

Whether the idea sprang from boredom or mischief, those girls set the bar high on creativity. 

For more beards and maybe some bellies and bobbies, get your bum over to Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

FGS Ambassador: Do As I Say

The Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City will be THE place to be February 11-14, 2015.  The Federation of Genealogical Societies and RootsTech are planning a special event:  2 conferences in 1.  It promises to be the Mac-Daddy of conferences combining methodology and technology for both amateur and professional genealogists.

And I’m going to miss it. 

Chalk it up to poor timing.

Here’s what I’ll be missing:

A chance to Connect
·         With bloggers – It’ll be a regular homecoming, a family reunion of “best friends” who have never met except online; they’ll be wearing their blogger beads, taking selfies, congratulating each other on creating such interesting blogs.  But without me!
·         With societies – Historical and genealogical societies will be sharing exciting projects and programs to inspire the next generation of family historians. 

A chance to Explore
·         New topics – Missionaries and Settlers; Ethnic Groups in the West; Wagon Trains and Railroads.  These are just 3 of the tracks and frankly, I can’t think of one of my ancestors for whom any of these apply but I KNOW from past experience that the strategies or techniques the speakers bring to such topics can be applied to my research too.  Besides, they just sound interesting in their own right.
·         New technology – I always feel at least two steps behind when it comes to technology, so a conference is the perfect place to see what’s new and to see it in practice.
·         Vendors – Book sellers, publishers, genealogy jewelry, genealogy gifts, tombstone cleaner, data backup services, you name it and they will be in the exhibition hall.  It’s the family historian’s candy store!
·         Education opportunities – I have no ambitions to become a professional genealogist, but I do want to improve my skills.  I imagine there will be SOMEONE there promoting SLIG, NIGR, and IGHR.  But what else? 

A chance to Refresh
·         I’ve been to ONE genealogy conference, and even then I missed the first two days.  Yet with the few sessions I attended, I already feel like a better researcher and a more focused blogger.  That’s the power of attending a conference.  Moments of self-doubt, thoughts of “why am I doing this research when my family doesn’t care,” and frustration with the whole genealogy thing magically vanish.  The enthusiasm of like-minded people is truly contagious.

So I hope you’ll “Do as I say, not as I do” and make plans to be in Utah in February for FGS and RootsTech.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Gone to the Dogs #15

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Fred Slade
My granddaddy Fred Slade
with the Moores' dog

My granddaddy Fred Slade kept a kennel of beagles at his sister and brother-in-law's property on Jolliff Road in Chesapeake, not far from where I live now.  When I was just a baby, George and Margaret Moore owned that German Shepherd.  It was not a particularly nice dog, but it liked me.  In fact, it stood guard when my parents put me down for a nap and wouldn't let anyone near me.  

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 - Darby QUINN

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

Darby QUINN – is that not the cutest name to find in one’s ancestral tree?  Being very Irish on my father’s side of the family, I was surprised to discover this bit of Irish goodness on my mother’s side.  But just “how Irish” is questionable.  A quick look through other people’s research on reveals that most believe the parents of my 7X great-grandfather came from England even though some say Darby himself was born in Ireland. 

One researcher even reported a family legend about Darby’s GRANDSON:  that the grandson had been kidnapped in Ireland and brought to America as a child and that based on his fine clothing he must have come from wealth.  However, this story is unlikely to be true since Darby Quinn had been in America since a teenager in 1712.

Darby died in Culpeper County, Virginia.  He held deeds in Orange County, but it is likely his home in Culpeper had at one time been part of Orange since so many counties were carved out of Orange.

Brumfield/Bromfield Parish where his will was recorded straddled the line between present-day Culpeper and Madison counties.  In a number of deeds, Darby’s land is described as being on the Rapidan River.

Little is known of his life other than a few records left behind including a will, some deeds, and his name as witness on a number of neighbors’ deeds.

Deed Bk. 3-4 1738-1741
Mar. 22, 1738 David and Mary Phillips of St. Mark's Parish in Orange Co. to Darby
Quin of Drysdale Parish of King and Queen Co., 20 pounds current money, 200 acres
in the fork of the Rapidann River...on a branch of Beautiful Run corner to Nicholas
Christopher...on Michael's Branch ... in the fork of a branch of Beautiful Run..
Witnesses: Robert Cave, John Mackdaniel, and Joseph Amons

Deed Book 10 pp. 517-518 July 23, 1747
Deed of Gift to Elizabeth Quinn Bruce

Know all men by these presents that I, Darby Quinn of Orange County, do by these presents for several good Causes and consideration and for the love and goodwill me thereunto moving Give Grant bargain make over and confirm unto my well Beloved Daughter Elizabeth Bruce all and singular the parts and parcels of my Estate as follows: (viz) Negro Robin and Negro Jane and all the time of service hereby indenture of a ... woman named Catherine McCoy, nine head of cattle, one mare, one horse, four head of sheep, sixteen hogs one featherbed and furniture two iron pots one small chest one table and pewter dish one pewter basin two pewter plates two chairs one washing tub two pails one Great Bible two  … axes one candlestick ten pewter spoons one raw hide one side of tanned leather one large bottle two Earthen Muggs seven mislings of bason, sixteen hundred pounds of Tobacco twelve barrens of Indian corn two geese one handsome great augre one spinning wheel ten pounds of cotton unspon one iron pestle one iron ... one grubing hoe, two weeding hoes two hilling hoes one frying pan one fine wheat sive one coarse sive one plough hoe one iron chair one pint bottle one iron form one brick band three case knives and forks one cotton and Haymes one rendering [?] tub, four bushels of rye, four wooden noggins, one pepper box, which said above Negroes, good and chattels, I give to my daughter Elizabeth Quinn with all the increase for the future of the said negroes same with all the future increase of the above said cattle and all the future increase of the said mare to have and to hold the said Given and Granted Negroes, Good and Chattels to her by said Daughter Elizabeth Bruce her heirs and assigns.

To have and to hold the same forever from me the aforesaid Darby Quinn my certain attorney or assigns forever.

In witness whereof I have hereunto sit my hand and seal this 31st day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-seven.

Darby Quinn

Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of us
Robert Sharman
Lucy Sharman

Will Book A, 1749-1770  pp. 137-138
Darby Quinn, Brumfield Parish, Culpeper Co, VA (1754)

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I Darby Quinn of Brumfield Parish in Culpeper County, planter, being very sick and weak in body but in perfect health of mind and memory, thanks be to almighty God for the same, but calling to mind the certainty of death and that all men must die and as touching all such worldly estate that it hath pleased God to bless me with, do make this my last will and testament revoking, disallowing and disannulling all other Wills and Testaments heretofore made and given by me allowing this only this to be my last will and testament. Imprimiss: I give and bequeath my soul to God that gave it me and my body to the earth to be buried in a christian like manner.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Quinn all that tract of land containing by Patent four hundred acres lying in Frederick County which said land I took up and the Patent is in my own name and I give the same to my son Richard and his heirs lawfully begotten.
Item: I will and desire that the writing formerly made by me shall be and remain as it is.
Item: I will and desire that what other of my personal estate that is not mentioned and given in the above said writing shall be equally divided between my two children, viz: Richard Quinn and Elizabeth Bruce and in case either of them should die before such division be made that then the heir of either of them that shall die shall have the part of the dec'd part of my estate.
Item: I constitute, ordain and appoint my son Richard Quinn my sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament. IN TESTIMONY whereof I have this twenty first day of December one thousand seven hundred fifty four set my hand and seal.
Darb X Quinn  his mark
Signed, seal'd, published and pronounced in the presence of Robert Sharman William Alexander Ann Sharman
At a Court held for the County of Culpeper Thursday, the 16th day of September 1756.


DARBY QUINN (1696 Ireland or England – 16 Sep 1756 Culpeper Co, Va) & Mary ASHWORTH ( 1698 Virginia – 21 Dec 1754 Culpeper Co, VA )  1718 Culpeper Co, VA

1. Elizabeth QUINN ( 1719 Culpeper Co, VA – 1793 Bland, VA) & George G. BRUCE ( 1713 Augusta Co, VA – 1787 Bland, VA)   1738 Culpeper Co, VA
  • George BRUCE ( 1739 Augusta Co, VA – 1808 Lexington, Fayette, KY)
  • Martha BRUCE ( 1741 Augusta Co, VA – 1786 )
  • Elizabeth BRUCE ( 1743 Augusta Co, VA – 1803 )
  • Charles Austin BRUCE ( 30 Oct 1745 Culpeper Co, VA – 31 Jul 1833 Greer, Greenville, SC)  &  Margaret Hannah RAMSEY (1741 Culpeper Co, VA – 1822 Spartanburg, SC )
  • Benjamin BRUCE ( 1750 Culpeper Co, VA – 31 Dec 1809 Clark Co, JY ) & Mildred Millie WATTS ( 1753 Albemarle Co, VA – 1842 Clark  Co, KY )  26 Mar 1773 Albemarle Co, VA
  • William BRUCE (1752 Orange, VA – 1814 Giles Co, VA ) & Anne Nancy BALLARD ( 1755 Albemarle Co, VA – 1811 Giles Co, VA )  1775 Albemarle Co, VA
  • Richard BRUCE ( 1754 Albemarle Co, VA – 1813 Loudoun, VA ) & Catherine Caty WHITE (1744 Virginia – 1784 Virginia )  1773 Albemarle Co, VA

2. Richard QUINN ( 1724 Culpeper Co, VA – 18 Oct 1790 Culpeper Co, VA ) & Elizabeth MANN (1724 – 1793)  1738 Culpeper Co, VA

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Portraits on Glass

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features a hand-colorized photograph of a street artisan.  The process of applying watercolors, pastels, or other paints and dyes to a black and white photo was very popular before the invention of color-photography.  My great-grandparents certainly kept up with the trends by making sure their children sat for a special photo that then was colorized. 

Josy Davis (1901-1903) and Orvin Davis (1899-1963)
Josy Davis and Orvin Davis
probably 1903

This portrait of my maternal grandfather Orvin Davis and his younger sister Josy held a spot on my grandparents’ fireplace mantel for years.  The picture is on a 3”x4” piece of white glass.  I have been unable to determine if such glass portraits had a special name, but the hand-colorizing is obvious since I also have the corresponding sepia photo.

Josy Davis (1901-1903) and Orvin Davis (1899-1963)

Violetta Davis (1904-1989) and Velma Davis (1908-1968)
Left:  Violetta Davis Ryan
Right:  Velma Davis Woodring

Portraits of my grandfather’s other sisters have found their way into my possession too.  I used to imagine that my great-grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis had organized a big day at the photography studio with her children, but it dawned on me that the children all seem to be the same age.  Perhaps Walter and Mary Frances decided “Age 2” (or thereabouts) was the perfect age for a special portrait session.  It also looks like the three girls are wearing the same dress. 

When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, another special portrait emerged from the closet.

Josy Davis (1901-1903)

This 16”x20” portrait of Josy looks almost like the small glass portrait but with my grandfather “photoshopped” out, to use a modern term.  It appears never to have been framed. 

Why was the portrait in a manila envelope rather than a frame?  Why are there no similar portraits of the other children?  I think I know the answer.  Josy probably died shortly after this portrait was made.  Maybe Mary Frances and Walter meant the large portrait to be a tribute but chose not to be reminded of such a sad time by displaying it. 

Tombstone of Josy Davis and Kenneth Davis
Josy and another child Kenneth share a tombstone
at Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, Virginia.
Kenneth did not live long enough for a portrait.

Please visit the colorful artisans of the blogosphere at Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Gone to the Dogs #14

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

My granddaddy Fred Slade had a kennel of hunting dogs that he kept at his sister's property in nearby Nansemond County.  But these are not hunting dogs.  I wonder who adopted whom.

Slade dogs on Tanner Place, Portsmouth, VA 1940s
Family dogs at my grandparents' home 1940s
Fred and Julia Slade
Tanner Place, Portsmouth, Virginia

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41 - Anthony Jacob HENCKEL / HINKLE

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

When my 4X great-grandparents Mary Elizabeth HINKLE and her husband Jacob Foland migrated from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to eastern Tennessee in the early to mid-1800s, they were imbued with the same spirit of optimism that drove generations before them to leave the old country and board ships sailing for a new life in the colonies across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Did Mary Elizabeth’s father George HINKLE tell her the story of his great-grandfather’s journey to America?  Did he inspire her to feel pride in her Hinkle roots?

The progenitor of the Hinkles and Henkels in America today is my 8X great-grandfather Anthony Jacob HENCKEL (1668-1728), son of Georg Henckel (1635-1678) and Anna Eulalia Dentzer (1640-1700).  He was born in Mehrenberg, Germany in 1668.  Anthony Jacob studied at University of Giessen, a Lutheran college and one of the oldest schools of higher education in Europe.  It was the same school where his father Georg had studied to become a schoolmaster. 

Anthony Jacob was ordained a Lutheran minister on February 28, 1692.  He served in various parishes around Heidelberg, Germany for twenty-five years.   So what made Henckel decide to accept William Penn’s invitation to help settle his new colony in America? 

One theory is that Reverend Henckel had found himself in some legal trouble that he was not likely to win.  A Catholic priest had requested permission for his congregation to share Henckel’s church, which he refused to do.  The priest broke into the church with an axe and the two fought.  Henckel complained to the patron of the church who did not give him much support. 

In a second case, Henckel complained that the patron of the church was using lands belonging to the church and keeping the tithes.  Not surprisingly the patron not only denied the charges but also slandered Henckel’s good character.  Who needs such grief?  

So at almost 50 years old, Anthony Jacob, his wife Maria Elizabeth and their 7 adult children arrived in Philadelphia in September 1717.  In fact, he and his son-in-law Valentine Geiger were leaders of a large group of Lutherans who arrived on three ships. 

The next year, Henckel purchased 250 acres in New Hanover and remained there the rest of his life.  He continued his calling as a minister throughout the area and even started several Lutheran churches.  In 1721 he founded St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Germantown which continues today.  

St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Germantown, Pennsylvania
St. Michael's Lutheran Church
Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel died in August 1728 from injuries sustained in a fall from his horse.  He was returning to his home in New Hanover following a visit with an ill parishioner in Germantown.  Evidently he knew the end was near and so delivered his will orally before witnesses.  First, to his wife he left his estate, both real and personal, provided she did not marry again.  If she were to marry, she would retain her third according to law.  Second, he willed his 250-acre plantation in New Hanover to his two youngest sons who would take ownership upon the death or remarriage of their mother.  They were instructed to pay each of the other five children 100 pounds in Pennsylvania currency.  Finally, he gave an extra five shillings to his eldest son beyond the 100 pounds his brothers would pay him.

Tombstone of Anthony Jacob and Maria Elizabeth Henckel
Tombstone of Reverend Henckel and his wife
photo courtesy Dean Roth

Anthony Jacob Henckel and his wife Maria Elizabeth are buried in the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Anthony Jacob Henkel
Founder & First Pastor
St. Michael's Church
Born 1668   Died 1728

Maria Elizabeth Henkel
His wife
Born 1671   Died 1741

SOURCES:  The Henckel Genealogy, 1500-1960: Ancestry and Descendants of Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel, 1668-1728, Pioneer Evangelical Lutheran Minister, Emigrant from the German Palatinate to America in 1717 [database on-line].  Provo, UT:  The Generations Network, Inc. 2005. Original data:  Junkin, William Sumner.  The Henckel Genealogy, 1500-1960: Ancestry and Descendants of Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel, 1668-1728, Pioneer Evangelical Lutheran Minister, Emigrant from the German Palatinate to America in 1717. Spokane, WA: Henckel Family Association, 1964.

“Henckel-Elsworth Families.” My West Virginia Pioneer Families. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

“History: Generations of Henckels.”  The Henckel Family National Association. The Henckel Family National Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

“Our History.”  St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.  Web.  07 Oct. 2014.  <>.

Weis, Frederick Lewis. The Colonial Clergy of the Middle Colonies: New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, 1628-1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1978. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.