Thursday, October 30, 2014

In Memory of Walter Davis

Walter B. Davis, Shenandoah, Virginia
Walter Beriah Davis
12 Sep 1867 - 30 Oct 1934

Poem by Sallie Clift
Inside the back cover

On the last page of the photo album belonging to my great grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis is this poem written on the occasion of my great-grandfather Walter Davis’s death 80 years ago today. 

The poem was written by Mary Frances’s sister Sallie Catherine Clift. 

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Gone to the Dogs #16

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.

Mascot of the USCGC Eastwind 1946-47
Mascot on the USCGC Eastwind 

This is Skunk.  He was a much-loved mascot on the USCGC Eastwind when my dad was in the Coast Guard 1946-47.  I wrote about Skunk HERE.

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

52 Ancestors: #43 - Edward HERNDON

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.

My 5X great-grandfather Edward Herndon (1738-1831) was the son of William HERNDON and Ann DRYSDALE.  In 1762 he married Mary Ann GAINES and together they raised at least twelve children in Culpeper County, Virginia.

Doing the math suggests Edward was just the right age to take up arms along with the militia against the British in the fight for independence in 1776.  Clearly Edward must have been a patriot.  But how much of a patriot was he?  The answer to that question might depend on whom you trust:  the DAR, the SAR, or

Findagrave shows a tombstone for one Edward Herndon buried in Elbert County, Georgia.  Engraved on the stone are his dates:  1768-1827.  A patriot marker rests at the base of the stone.   Another mathematical calculation reveals that THIS Edward was only 7 when the war began and 15 at its conclusion.  So it’s entirely possible that Edward had served briefly; however, THIS Edward was not the same Edward whose service records were presented as evidence for any descendants’ entry into the DAR or SAR.  In fact, THIS Edward was one of the sons of my 5X great-grandfather Edward Herndon.

Will of Edward Herndon, Madison County, Virginia dated 1822
Will of Edward Herndon dated 1822
Madison County, Virginia

Edward’s descendants are aided in their quest to prove their lineage by his will which named all twelve children.  It was dated 1822 and then probated in Madison County, Virginia in 1838, seven years following his death. has quite a few images of applications for membership into the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), all of which seem to lead logically to this Edward; however, proof of Edward’s service has been verified by documents for a different Edward Herndon. 

Will of Edward Herndon, Madison Co, Virginia dated 1822
Edward gave 1 / 12 to each child.
Sons-in-law were to have no rights to his estate.

Fold3 has documents that point to three Edward Herndons, none of which are MY 5X great-grandfather, let alone the ancestor of any of the SAR applicants.  In one case, Reuben Herndon of Kentucky, administrator for the estate of his grandfather Edward Herndon, petitioned for Edward’s pension allowance for the grandchildren.  This Edward, who died in Spotsylvania County, Virginia in November 1837, had only two children, however.  Not MY Edward, the patriot.

Another Edward Herndon died in Spotsylvania County in 1799. Not MY Edward.

The other Edward was a resident of Campbell County although at the time of the Revolutionary War, he resided in Goochland, not far from Culpeper or Madison.  In 1844 he petitioned on his own behalf for the full pay owed him as an officer who had served the duration of the war.  In his application he provided amazing detail of service with corroborating evidence from soldiers who served with him.  Stories of his rise through the ranks and his capture by the British are echoed in numerous applications for membership in the SAR.  But this is not MY Edward Herndon.  How do I know?  Because this one said he left NO wife and NO children.   Yet application after application presents the lineage that can be traced only to my Edward.

On the DAR website the patriot lines look most like mine.  However, even MY Edward’s line has been flagged.  That means a problem has been found in at least one previously verified paper.  If I’m reading the site correctly, it appears someone may have assigned a descendant to the wrong parents.  That doesn’t mean Edward wasn’t a patriot.  According to the DAR, he served in the Culpeper Militia and supplied beef to the Army.  More specific evidence of his service is not available online. 

Fortunately Edward’s son William served too, and his record seems to have stayed out of the melee.

Edward HERNDON ( 16 Jul 1738 Campbell Co, VA – 11 May 1831 Madison Co, VA) & Mary Ann GAINES (May 1742 Orange, VA – 15 Jun 1829 Madison Co, VA)  30 Nov 1762 Culpeper Co, VA

1. James Gaines HERNDON ( 1764 Culpeper Co, VA –  After 1822 Elbert, GA) & Sara THORNTON

2. William Pendleton HERNDON ( 29 Feb 1764 Culpeper Co, VA – 12 Aug 1847 Greene Co, VA ) & Mary RUCKER  (23 Mar 1763 Culpeper Co, VA – 26 Feb 1835 Orange, VA)  28 Nov 1785 Virginia
  • Edward HERNDON ( 13 May 1787 Orange Co, VA – May 1866 Orange, VA ) & Mary BRADLEY  19 Oct 1822  Orange, VA
  • James HERNDON ( 23 Jan 1789 Orange Co, VA – 07 Dec 1857 Madison Co, VA ) & Esther FERNEYHOUGH (1803 – 1892 Madison Co, VA )    30 Dec 1823 Madison Co, VA
  • Ezekial HERNDON ( 07 Dec 1790 Orange Co, VA – 12 Aug 1847 Rockingham Co, VA ) & Sarah JONES (1794 Virginia – Jul 1869 Oskaloosa, IO)  19 Jan 1821 Orange County, VA
  • Elizabeth HERNDON ( 06 Jun 1792 Orange Co, VA – After 1850 ) & Benjamin CASON  17 Dec 1818  Madison Co, VA
  • Mary Pendleton HERNDON ( 02 May 1794 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Abner HERNDON ( 22 Jan 1796 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Rachel HERNDON ( 25 Aug 1797 Orange Co, VA – )
  • William HERNDON ( 29 Jun 1799 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Henry HERNDON ( 09 Sep 1800 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Manson HERNDON (29 Jun 1802 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Joel HERNDON ( 27 Jul 1804 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Thomas HERNDON ( 29 Jun 1807 Orange Co, VA – )

3. Benjamin HERNDON ( 09 May 1765 Culpeper Co, VA – 12 Apr 1805 Elbert, GA ) & Susannah AHART ( 1769 Culpeper Co, VA – 1835 Elbert, GA )

4. Rachel HERNDON ( 1767 Culpeper Co, VA – ) & m1) Jeremiah WHITE ; & m2) Unknown HAWKINS

5. Edward HERNDON ( 06 May 1768 Culpeper Co, VA – 12 Sep 1827 Elbert, GA ) & Nancy Ann RUCKER (1768 Culpeper Co, VA – 1845 Elbert, GA )   18 Aug 1791 Culpeper Co, VA

6. John HERNDON ( 1771 Culpeper Co, VA – 1823 Madison, KY ) & Elizabeth WOOD ( 1775 Orange Co, VA – 1841 Monroe, MO )

7. Elizabeth HERNDON ( 17 Mar 1772 Culpeper Co, VA – 11 Sep 1836 Wilson, TN ) & Richard JARRELL JR. ( 1771 Culpeper Co, VA – 1836 Wilson, TN )

8. Mary HERNDON ( 1774 Culpeper Co, VA – 1828 Madison Co, VA ) & John JACKSON ( 1780 – 1850 Madison Co, VA )

9. George HERNDON ( 12 Apr 1779 Culpeper Co, VA – 10 Dec 1874 Cooper, MO ) & Elizabeth Franky ZACHERY ( 1778 Madison Co, VA – 1847 Cooper, MO )

10. Nancy HERNDON (1780 Culpeper Co, VA – ) & Unknown JORDAN

11. Joel HERNDON ( 1782 Culpeper Co, VA – 03 Jun 1854 Greene Co, VA ) & Lucy QUINN ( 1780 Madison Co, VA – 1865 Madison Co, VA )

12. Henry HERNDON ( 1782 Culpeper Co, VA – 1831 Madison Co, VA ) & Lucinda WOOD (1785 Virginia –  1860 Randolph Co, MO )

© 2014. Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

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.