52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #16 – George Alex Lineberry

Lineberry George AlexMy mother’s grandfather was George Alex Lineberry (making him my great-grandfather). He was the 6th child/3rd son of Jacob P. and Piety Thomas Smith Lineberry, born February 3, 1844 in Grayson County, Virginia. Although my mother and her brothers moved to Virginia in February of 1922, she didn’t get to meet her grandfather because he had died six years  before she arrived.

The 1850 census, though not a very clear image, does reveal something about families in that time period. His parents married in November 1833 and had their first child in February 1835 and over the next 15 years had another child every year or two. 1850 censusTo clarify, his siblings were Catherine, Elizabeth, Allen, Joseph, Mary, Wesley, Martha, and Jacob. Only one more child was added in the 1860 census – Piety, born in 1856.

By 1861 and 1862 the country was facing a looming war between the states and George enlisted in Company F of the Virginia 29th Infantry on April 3, 1862 in the small community of Saltville. Saltville was an important strategic area because of the railway lines and because of the salt mines that were crucial for supply provisions for the Confederate Army (1). Saltville was about 70 miles northwest of George’s Carroll County community through the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains. George’s cousin, Orin A. Lineberry, must have made the trip with him because he also enlisted at Saltville on April 3, 1862. His brother, Wesley, enlisted in the same unit, but in Carroll County, on February 13, 1863 and his cousin, Joseph (Orin’s brother), enlisted on February 21, 1863, also in Carroll County. The Virginia 29th engaged in many battles throughout the years of the war; a list of the battles can be seen at http://www.geni.com/projects/29th-Virginia-Infantry-CSA-US-Civil-War-Project/4334. On our trip to Virginia this past summer, Kay and I stopped at the Appomattox Courthouse, which was the location of the signing of the documents that ended the Civil War – one of the battles listed for the Virginia 29th was Appomattox Courthouse. Some of the stories told about George’s experiences during the war were related in an audio recording made by my Uncle Leonard and written up by my daughter on a blog she called “The Wool Overcoat & Trying Times.”

A couple of years after the war George married Rhoda Harmon on February 26, 1867 in Carroll County, Virginia. The 1870 census lists George and Rhoda and their first child, Leander Francis, who was eight months old at the time of that June 1, 1860 record. George was listed as a farmer on property valued at $120, although he likely also participated in the family’s iron forge business.

By the 1880 census, George and Rhoda had added several more children, including my grandfather, Jacob, and their daughter, Piety Catherine, who provided a home for my mother from 1922 until 1929, following the deaths of both my mother’s parents. George was still listed as a farmer.1880 census

George and Rhoda were enumerated as living next to George’s parents in the 1880 census. His mother died in 1885 and his father in 1887. According to letters written by my grandfather to his brother, Leander, from 1894 through the beginning of 1915, the George Lineberry household was not one of peace and tranquility. In those letters, we learn of the death of George’s wife, Rhoda, and of his subsequent marriage to the former Amanda Thompson. George was 52 and Amanda was 22. There is some indication in Jacob’s letters that Amanda may have been George’s son Alex’s girlfriend, which, along with George’s abusive words and behavior, caused a good bit of ongoing animosity between George and Alex.

George and Amanda began their own family and the 1900 census enumeration shows them: 1900 censusLillie and Alexander are Rhoda’s children. Although Amanda stated she was the mother of three children, all living, and three children are listed (Calla B., Robert and Burton), Calla was born in 1894 while Rhoda was still alive and three years before her marriage to George.

The 1910 census doesn’t shed much light on the question of Calla:1910 censusThere are five children listed: Robert E., Burton L., Rudy R., Benjamin G. and Roby P. Calla is not listed although she should only have been about 15. Amanda is listed as the mother of six children of which only five are still living. However, a marriage record for Callie stating she is the daughter of George Lineberry and Amanda Thompson was recorded in Carroll County in 1911 and she did not die until 1989. Since George and Rhoda already had a daughter named Callie born in 1881, it doesn’t seem likely they would name another daughter Calla/Callie born to them in 1894 while the original Callie was still living. The question then is, who were the parents of Calla Bell Lineberry and which child of George and Amanda died between 1900 and 1910? The 1920 census – taken four years after George’s death – lists one more child: Luria. That makes a grand total of 17 or 18 children for George.

A family reunion photo shows a small portion of what that kind of family looked like. As best as we can reconstruct, neither Amanda nor any of her children are in this photo. George is on the back row just to the right of center.georgesfamily

George died of pneumonia on January 18, 1916. He is buried at the Alex Lineberry Cemetery on the family farmlands just above Crooked Creek with headstones of both his wives nearby.


(1) http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Saltville_During_the_Civil_War. Included on that website is an image of an early drawing of the Saltville railroad and mines that first appeared in 1865 in Harper’s Weekly. A number of other Saltville articles and drawings can be seen at http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1865/january/saltville-virginia.htm


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #15 – John Jean

John Jean is my great-great-great-grandfather – my paternal grandmother’s grandmother’s father. He was born about 1796 in Stokes County, North Carolina to Rev. Edmund Jean and his second wife, Martha ‘Patty’ Beasley.

According to a private book written by Glenn Jean, an engineer from Boulder, Colorado, John’s father died about 1802. The family was still in Stokes County for the 1810 census but by the 1820 census, both John and his mother were in Lincoln County, Tennessee.

John married Ann Jane Shaw about 1817 and they began growing their family. They had at least nine children:  William Edmund (1820); Francis Marion (1821); unknown daughter (1823); Jessie L. (1825); my great-great-grandmother Martha Ann (1826); John Wesley (1828); my great-great-grandfather’s first wife Sarah (1830); David C. (between 1831 and 1833); Thomas Asbury (1836); Wiley H. (1837); and Elizabeth A. (1842).

There is a record of a loan from his father-in-law, William Shaw: “I, John Jean of Lincoln Co., TN being indebted to William Shaw, Senr, of same place in the sum of sixty five dollars advance to me before the execution of this conveyance and being anxious to secure the said show in the payment of said sum of money. I have this day sold and conveyed unto said Shaw the following personal property, to wit, one crib of corn, one sorrel horse, one sorrel colt, three cows, three small yearlings, three fattened hogs, three sows, and 23 pigs belonging to the same, one bed and furniture, 1-8 gallon pot, and one fodder stack. This 22nd Jan 1827.” (1)

John was widowed about 1845 when Ann died, and he married a second time on December 24, 1846 to a widow named Martha ‘Patsy’ Taylor who had at least four children.

John and Martha were enumerated in Lincoln County, Tennessee for the 1850 census. John and Martha were living in proximity to some of John’s children:

1) Dwelling 230 Family 230 age born
John Jean 54 1794 SC (Was NC)
Martha (Patsey) Taylor 47 1803
Four Taylor children 09 to 19

2) Dwelling 229, Family 228
Jesse L Jane 25 1825
Mary J 17 1833
Elizabeth A 5/12 1850

3) Dwelling 229, Family 229 age born
Asa L Sanford 29 1821
Martha A (Jean) 24, 1826
David C (Jean) 15 1835
Eliz A Jane 08, 1842

John (64) and Martha (57) were enumerated across the Alabama state line in Madison County, Alabama for the 1860 census. John’s occupation was listed as a Cooper. A cooper is a person who makes or repairs wooden barrels, casks or tubs. John had previously been listed as a farmer.

They were back in Lincoln County, Tennessee for the 1870 census. He was, once again, listed as a farmer with personal property of $500.

Sometime between 1870 and 1880, John’s second wife, Martha, died. By the 1880 census, John, 86, was enumerated with his son Wesley’s family.

John died about 1883. I have not yet found any burial information for John or either of his wives but the location is presumed to be in Lincoln County, Tennessee.


(1) Land Deed Genealogy of Lincoln Co., TN, 1818-1828, Vol 2, Compiled by: Helen C & Timothy R Marsh, Southern Historical Press, Inc, Greenville, SC 1996.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks # 14 – Jacob P. Lineberry

Jacob P. Lineberry was my great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. Jacob was actually the fifth known generation of sons named Jacob, although the original last name was Leyenberger. My great-grandfather’s name was George, but my grandfather also bore the name of Jacob Lineberry.

He was born in Grayson County, Virginia in about 1806 to Jacob Lineberry and Mary Elizabeth Fanning and married Piety Thomas Smith in Grayson County on November 4, 1833. There is a photocopy of their marriage bond attached to Jacob’s profile on FindAGrave.

Carroll County, Virginia was established from the eastern portion of Grayson County in 1842 and Jacob and Piety appear on the 1850 Carroll County census lists. That census page is very faint and difficult to read so I will provide a transcription:

Jacob Lineberry, 39, farmer, born in Virginia, can read and write
Piety Lineberry, 40, born in North Carolina, cannot write
Catherine Lineberry, 15, born in Virginia
Elizabeth Lineberry, 14, born in Virginia
Allen Lineberry, 11, born in Virginia
Joseph Lineberry, 9, born in Virginia
Mary Lineberry, 7, born in Virginia
George Lineberry, 5, born in Virginia
Wesley Lineberry, 3, born in Virginia
Martha Lineberry, 2, born in Virginia
Jacob Lineberry, 1, born in Virginia

The 1860 census adds one more child: Piety who was born in 1856. They also had a son named Isiah who was born about 1850 and died in infancy.1860Jacob is still listed as a farmer with property valued at $500 and personal property valued at $440.

The 1870 census lists Jacob not as a farmer, but as a hammerer of iron. The Lineberry family had been operating an iron forge for many years on Crooked Creek and this is the only census record that indicates that family occupation. 1870My daughter Kay has written about the Old Iron Forge, including a transcription of a tape of my Uncle Leonard talking about the forge. When we were in Galax this past summer we took photographs of the hammers that were found and placed in the Harmon Museum.IMG_0821By the time of the 1880 census, all Jacob and Piety’s children were married and raising their own families, all but Wesley and Elizabeth still living on the mountains they’d spent their lives on and Jacob was once again listed as a farmer.

Jacob was widowed in October 1885 and he died May 13, 1887. Jacob and Piety are buried at the Hebron Cemetery in Carroll County. Jacob Lineberry 1806-1887 FAG HS


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.


52 Ancestors #13 – Enoch Keithley

My great-great-grandfather on my mother’s maternal side was Enoch Keithley. Enoch was born April 5, 1831 in Missouri. My daughter and I have found five records specifically linked to Enoch: a marriage record, the 1850 and 1860 federal census records, an 1855 Wisconsin state census and records of his service with the Wisconsin 16th Infantry during the Civil War. 1850The 1850 census for Jo Daviess County, Illinois listed Enoch as 18, indicating a birth date of about 1832, and as being born in Missouri. Although he was not listed with an occupation, he was also not living with any known family member. David Matlock. whose family he was enumerated with, was a collier – someone who works in a coal mine. The head of household below was also a collier; it is probable that Enoch would soon be working for the mine as well.

My daughter, Kay, had quite a search in order to find the marriage record for Enoch and his wife, Amy Turner. It was eventually with the help of a records clerk that the oddly spelled record was located and on a 2008 trip to Illinois and Wisconsin we saw that marriage listing in the county record book. It was Enoch Ethley [the name obviously recorded based on hearing the two names elided together] and Emma Turner. They were married on August 29, 1852 in the small community of New Diggings, Wisconsin by a Justice of the Peace named Joseph Thompson. We drove through New Diggings on our trip; by 2008 it was mostly just a bend in the road with businesses on each corner surrounded by several homes. I took a photo of one of the buildings that may well have been a part of that community when Enoch and Amy were married. P5080087An 1855 Wisconsin state census listed Enoch Keithley [transcribed as Kershley or Thershley] enumerated the household of two males and one female in New Diggings. The family unit at that time would have been Enoch and Amy and their first child, Joseph Henry, born in 1853. 1855Enoch and his wife, Amy, and their three sons  were enumerated in the 1860 census for Schullsburg, Wisconsin [Lafayette County]. They were enumerated next to the George and Juditha Turner household; other research showed that George was Amy Keithley’s brother. Enoch was listed as a farmer who was 28 and born in Missouri.

1860By 1861, the United States was in a time of extreme turmoil over the issue of states rights. Ulysses S. Grant, who was a resident of Galena, Illinois just over the border from Wisconsin, was rallying support for the Union cause and many of the men of the area joined the fight. Enoch’s brother-in-law, George Turner, joined the Union cause on September 16, 1861, and Enoch followed suit on November 4, 1861; records indicated both of them were residing in Darlington, Wisconsin at the time of their enlistment. When the Wisconsin 16th Regiment Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin and mustering in completed on January 31, 1862, Enoch and George were a part of Company I.

Military records for the regiment state they departed by boat for St. Louis on March 13, 1862, arriving on the 15th. They embarked on transports from St. Louis on March 16 traveling the Tennessee River and disembarking at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee on March 20. They were assigned to the Sixth Division, which was a combining of regiments from several states. Their specific assignment was to occupy a position in the extreme front. They engaged in camp duties and drilling until the evening of Saturday, April 6th when they engaged in a skirmish with Confederate soldiers who were hidden behind a log fence. The Confederate soldiers opened with a volley directly in the faces of the Wisconsin 16th. Several men were killed or wounded and they fell back. April 7th was a full day of battle, beginning before breakfast and ending in the late afternoon – the Battle of Shiloh was one of the severest battles of the war; this deadly battle was the first conflict for these soldiers.

Following this battle, the unit remained in Pittsburg Landing until May 1st when they departed for Corinth, Mississippi, a few miles southwest of Shiloh, to seek an advantage by commanding the railway system in that community. The unit remained in Corinth until May 29th.

Records show Enoch died of disease in Pittsburg Landing on May 8, 1862. Because he died in Pittsburg Landing during the time his unit was in Corinth, I assume he had been too ill to travel and did not make the march to Corinth. The records of the Wisconsin 16th Regiment Infantry list 77 men who died in action, 64 who died of wounds, 267 who died of disease and 6 who died of accidents for a total of 303 men over the course of the Civil War.

Kay and I visited the Shiloh Battlegrounds and Cemetery in 2010 and stood at the site of their battle, at the location of the camp hospital, and at the burial site for those of the Wisconsin 16th who died during those days at Shiloh. Most of the men were buried in unmarked graves with just a small rectangular pillar to mark their graves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnoch Keithley is listed as being buried in one of those unmarked graves. At the time of his death, he was 31. He left a 26-year-old widow and three young sons – Joseph 8, Lewis 6 and Arthur 5.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

52 Ancestors #12 – Martha Ann Jean

Martha Ann Sanford nee Jean, who was my great-great-grandmother, was [according to the 1900 census] born in February 1826 in Tennessee, probably in Lincoln County.  According to chapter 4 of a reasonably well-researched book prepared by members of the Jean family, she was the fourth child of John Jean and Ann Shaw [other family trees list other sets of parents: Thomas Jefferson and Martha Larkin Jean or David Elroy and Grisella White Jean].

Martha’s story is one that illustrates that, even though we live in a time of easy divorce and ever-changing relationships with varying degrees of relationship stability, not all of our ancestors lived lives of marital constancy.

Martha’s younger sister, Sarah, married Asa Sanford in 1846. Sarah died within a short time and on December 24, 1850, Martha married her former brother-in-law.SANFORD Asa & JEAN Martha A. marriage cert  1850 30 May Lincoln County TennesseeThe 1850 census lists Martha and Asa living between her brother Jessie and his family and her father, John and his new wife Martha Taylor – with the last name spelled as Jane rather than Jean. I believe this proximity is an indicator of the family relationship between John Jean and Martha Jean Sanford. Her younger siblings, Elizabeth Jean and David Jean, were living with Martha and Asa. This record also adds the details that Asa was born in Alabama and his occupation was listed as hatter.1850 censusBy the 1860 census, Asa had moved his family back to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, near a small community known as Moore’s Bridge, which was where he was born and most of his extended family still lived; he also continued with his family’s business of being hatters. In the decade between 1850 and 1860, Martha and Asa  had five children: Sarah, William, Jacob, Mary (my great-grandmother) and John Wiley. Some records for William have an 1853 birth date and some have an 1847 birth date. If the 1847 date is accurate, it is possible that William was the child of Martha’s sister, Sarah, and Asa.1860 censusThe decade between 1860 and 1870 added two more children to the Sanford family: James and Jessie. There is another John Sanford enumerated with the family but since their son John Wiley was born in 1860, it is unlikely the John Sanford listed as born in 1868 was a child of Asa and Martha.1870 censusA few years back, I made contact with a Sanford researcher who was born and raised in the Moore’s Bridge community and returns home a couple of times a year for family reunions. He told me about Martha’s husband, Asa, maintaining a long-term relationship with another woman, Ruhama Oswalt who also lived in the Moores Bridge community, and with whom he had three children. When I questioned him about sources for such a relationship, he stated it was common knowledge within the community and descendants of that Oswalt/Sanford relationship still attend the Sanford reunion.

The 1870 census was mostly done with initials and was therefore inconclusive for Ruhama but I will put the 1880 censuses for both families one after another. Ruhama and her three children were still living with her parents and the next farm to Martha’s nephew, William Larkin Jean. Asa and Martha lived in the Moore’s Bridge community while the Oswalt family and William Jean family lived about 35 miles north in the Ridge Community of Fayette County, Alabama.1880 Sanford 1880 OswaltIt was helpful to me to see the births of the children of the two women side by side to gain a clearer insight into the family dynamics. Children

There were no census records from 1880 until 1900, so no information during that 20-year period. Cemetery records show Ruhama died in 1883 at the age of 46. No records indicate whether Asa and Martha ever separated during his years with Ruhama, however, in spite of his ongoing relationship with Ruhama, Asa and Martha were enumerated together in the 1900 census. Their daughter, Sarah, was still living at home and they were enumerated next to their son, John Wiley and his family. The 1900 census notes that Asa and Martha had been married for 51 years and she had borne eight children, seven of whom were still living. Since I only have a list of seven children, the deceased child was likely born during the years between one census and the next, having lived less than ten years.1900Asa died on April 24, 1907 leaving Martha a widow at 81. The 1910 census showed Martha living with her daughter-in-law and grandchildren after the death of her son, James, in 1903 . During the decade of 1900 to 1910, in addition to her becoming a widow, two more of her children died.1910Martha died October 20, 1911 and is buried next to her husband in the El Bethel Methodist Cemetery near where all the Sanford family had lived since the early 1800s [since there are other El Bethel cemeteries in the area, it is also known as Buncomb]. One of the Sanford descendants who came for a reunion a few years ao noted the headstone for Asa and Martha was either non-existent or in very poor condition; he ordered a replacement headstone, seen in the photo below. 2010 101 Asa & Martha Jean croppedAnd as you view the headstone, if you walk a few steps to the right, another tombstone marks the resting place of Ruhama Oswal apparently not far from Martha in life and still nearby in death.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

52 Ancestors #11 – Sarah A. Farquhar

Finding maiden names of female ancestors is oftentimes a challenge and for my great-great-grandmother, Sarah A. Farquhar, that was definitely true.

To begin with, all I had to go on was the name of my paternal grandmother’s father, William Thomas Welch, who was born in January 1860. I had only been able to find him in censuses after he married in 1879. All searches prior to that netted nothing definitive and only one I thought was possible: Wm T. Welch, four months old. The parents of this Wm. T. Welch were Robert and Sarah Welch and he had three older siblings: Bashuba J. (10), James A. (8), and Mary E (4). Unfortunately, none of those people showed up in any census after the 1860 census except for William Thomas.1850 censusIn the 1850 census, Sarah was listed with the middle initial of ‘A.’, was 26 years old, born about 1834 in Alabama and could not read or write, as was the case for Robert. Due to the ages of the members of the household, it is assumed they are a husband, wife and four children; the 1850 through 1870 censuses did not record the relationships of people in a household. The ‘Do’ (stands for ditto) in the column beside Robert indicates he was a farmer and the numbers next to it list their monetary value at $600 property value and $500 personal property value.

Some states began maintaining birth, death and marriage records at an early time while others either started later or do not make them available outside of paying for an official copy of such records. Other states’ records suffered a huge toll when courthouses were burned during the Civil War. Alabama is one of those states affected by Civil War destruction; the Fayette County courthouse has been burned twice. No records of the marriage of Robert and Sarah Welch has been found; if it had been available, my search for Sarah’s maiden name would have been relatively simple.

With no census records showing up after that 1860 one, the probability was that Robert Welch had died between 1860 and 1870 with the Civil War a possible cause; however, I did not find Civil War records for him. I kept searching but found nothing additional for either Robert or Sarah Welch or any of the Welch children. I knew it was likely that Sarah had remarried but without finding a marriage record I didn’t have a surname to search for and Sarah is way too common a given name to search. To compound the problem, even the children didn’t show up, although Bashuba or some spelling variation should have been findable even if James, Mary and William or Thomas were also very common given names.

When Kay and I made a trip to Fayette County, Alabama in 2010, we found an estate file for a Robert Welch who had, in fact, died prior to December 1861; since it listed his wife as Sarah, and their four children: Jane (10), James Alexander (8), Mary Isabell (4) and William Thomas (2), I was pretty confident I had found that Robert Welch. The administrator for the estate was a James Farquhar. With the youngest child of the 1850 census, Wm T., now being identified in the estate papers as William Thomas, I was reasonably confident I had found the correct family for my great-grandfather. Yet that confidence level didn’t iinclude a maiden name for Sarah.

Then one day I was looking at the before and after census pages for an ancestor and saw an entry with the given name of Basheba. It was an 1880 census for Basheba Farquhar and her husband, James [I had forgotten the name of the above-mentioned administrator and this did not trigger any memory recall]. The name Basheba seemed too much of a coincidence to not follow the trail to see if there might be a connection. The first step was to see if I could find James and Basheba in the 1850 census, prior to Sarah’s marriage, and to learn if they might have had a daughter of appropriate age whose name was Sarah. I found their 1850 census and they did have a daughter named Sarah who was 17 in 1850 compared to Sarah Welch who was 26 in 1860.

I then found James and Basheba in the 1860 and 1870 censuses and in looking at the families surrounding the Farquhar family in the 1870 census, I noted the family next to them was James Jackson and his wife Sarah Jackson (35 or born about 1835) and their four children, named Jane Jackson (18), James Jackson (16), Isabel Jackson (12) and Thomas Jackson (10). There were my answers: Sarah had married James Jackson sometime between 1862 and 1870 and the census enumerator had used the Jackson surname for the whole family, which explained why I had been unable to find either my great-grandfather or any of his siblings [Bashuba was using her middle name of Jane now]. 1870 censusWith the Jackson surname, I was able to search for Sarah in 1880 and found her easily. This time Sarah was listed as 45 and once again was widowed [the tick mark just to the left of her occupation of 'Keeping house.' She was still listed as being unable to read or write, was again listed as being born in Alabama. Her father was born in North Carolina and her mother in Alabama. Living in the household with her was her daughter, Bell Jackson 22, and her son, James 27. The tick marks indicate Bell was single and James was widowed. She also had a grandchild  named William (5) living in the household. The listing of William directly below Bell might indicate he was her child. It would have been more logical if James had been the boy's father to have listed William below James' name.1880 censusI didn't find a census record for Sarah in 1900, which might indicate she had died or that she had remarried. A marriage record didn't immediately surface, nor did a death record or a burial record.

Then again, one day as I was looking at a 1910 census record and noted a Sanford surname [another ancestor - one connected to William Thomas' wife] at the top of the page. I flipped back a page to see which family he belonged to and I saw he was living with Jahue and Isabel Maddox. I wondered about the relationship between the Sanford and the Maddox families and decided to search to see if Isabel might be a Sanford; additionally, I did have a missing Isabel Welch. When I found the 1900 census for Jahue and Isabel, Jahue’s mother-in-law was living with them; her name was Sara. This time the surname was Edmondson. 1900 censusFurther support to determine that Sara A. Edmondson was the same as Sarah A. Farquhar, Sarah Welch and Sarah Jackson and that Mary Isabella Welch was the same person as Bell Jackson, Isabell Maddox and Mary I. Maddox. This time I was able to find a marriage record for Sarah Jackson to David Edmonson that took place on April 8, 1884, and one for a J.A. Maddox and Mary T. Welch that took place November 12, 1882. In the 1800s, all documents were handwritten and T’s, I’s, and J’s look a great deal alike, which is why the marriage record was transcribed as Mary T. With those combined records, I am confident I have, once again, found a record that lets me know something of the name, age, and relationships of my great-great-grandmother. This record gives her birth as September 1832, her age as 67 and as widowed for the third time.

The 1900 census also adds a new piece of information – she was the mother of five children, four of whom were still living in June 1900. None of the previous records listed a fifth child. With the ages of her children listed in 1860 of 8, 6, 2 and 4 months [with those age relationships remaining consistent in each of the census records], it is probable that her child who had died was one born between 1855 and 1857 who should have filled that missing age spot of 4 at the time of the 1860 census. It would, of course, also be possible she had a child with James Jackson who only lived a short time.

I have not found any other records for Sarah after the 1900 census. She was only 67 in the 1900 census so it is possible another marriage and surname could be responsible for not finding her. It is also possible she died between 1900 and 1910. No marriage record for a Sarah Edmondson has surfaced and no death record in that name has yet been found.

Her parents, grandparents, first husband and several siblings are buried in the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery in Fayette County. This cemetery is located adjacent to her family homestead. She is likely buried there but no headstone is visible and no cemetery transcription has listed anyone with the name of Sarah.

I have no family stories, no pictures of her and no specific birth date, death date or burial location. All I know, in summary – my great-great-grandmother, Sarah A. Farquhar, was born in September 1832 to James and Basheba McGuire Farquhar, was married three times [Robert Welch, James Jackson and David Edmondson] and widowed three times. She had five children, four of whom lived to adulthood – Basheba Jane Welch Anderson, James Alexander Welch, Mary Isabella Welch Maddox and William Thomas Welch. She was a grandmother to 18  grandchildren.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

52 Ancestors #10 – John Buckner

John Buckner was my second great-grandfather – my father’s paternal grandmother’s father. My daddy would have known three out of four of his grandparents, but his paternal grandmother died about twenty years before he was born and her father had died when she was about 6. What that means is we don’t have any knowledge of him other than the brief paper trail he left.

That brief paper trail to date only includes a marriage record, an 1850 and 1860 census record and a few Civil War muster cards. Not a lot to go on, including no middle name or initial. Although he was apparently John Buckner, Jr., no record for either father or son lists a middle name or initial. I don’t know if that means there was none or just that no surviving paper trail lists it.

The 1850 census page for John Buckner in what is presumably the household of his parents and siblings in Blount County, Alabama; it only lists his name and an approximate time and place of his birth. 1850 censusJohn is in the center of the family unit. His age of 18 would approximate his birth year as 1832 and, according to the ditto marks from above, in Tennessee. Although relationships are not noted, it is assumed there is a relationship and that his father’s name was also John who was born in Tennessee and his mother was Rachel who was born in North Carolina. It would also appear his family had moved from Tennessee between 1834 when his brother Thomas was born and 1836 when his sister Angeline was born. His mother and three older siblings could not read or write. Since the census instructions only asked for that information about those who were 20 or older, no determination about John’s ability to read or write can be made.

We found a bound index of marriages at the Blount County, Alabama courthouse when we visited there in 2010. Here is a photo clip of the page in the index book that shows the marriage of John Buckner, Jr. to Nancy M. Foster on February 1, 1855: MarriageIt is unclear whether the bond was signed by John Buckner, Jr. or John Buckner, Sr. Pliney Wilemon who also signed the bond was the husband of Nancy Buckner Wilemon, one of his older sisters.

The 1860 census for Fayette County, Alabama lists John and Nancy Buckner and three children:  1860 census

The family make up is consistent with an 1855 marriage – the first child was born in 1856 and would have been my great-grandmother, Mary Jane Buckner Willis. Again John was listed as born in Tennessee, although this record would place his birth around 1834 rather than 1832. Their real property was valued at $600 and their personal property value was $400. Both John and Nancy could read and write. In their five years of marriage they had three children: Mary, William and Sarah.

I looked for records of Civil War service and a possible death of John during that time frame because I didn’t find John in an 1870 census and because I found Mrs. Nancy Buckner as a head of household in the 1866 Alabama State Census, a marriage record for Nancy Buckner to Joshua Watson in 1868, followed by an 1870 census for Joshua and Nancy Buckner Watson with four Buckner children [M.J., Rufus, Sarah and Nedora - later and combined research for the children would show their names to be Mary Jane, William Rufus, Sarah/Sallie and Medora].

I found a few records at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Further search found some muster cards that indicated he  had enlisted at the age of 30 in the Alabama 41st Infantry, Company I, under Capt. Thomas I. Abernathy on May 3, 1862. Reading about the 41st Alabama indicated a number of soldiers in that regiment died while they were still in their first few days in Tuscaloosa – apparently illnesses such as dysentery and measles took a heavy toll.  One of those early deaths was his brother, Jesse Wilson Buckner [evidenced by a claim filed by his father John Buckner].

By September 18, 1862, the muster cards state John had died of disease in Charleston, Tennessee. I have used the record below because is is the clearest of the records (the others are quite faint) even though this date states September 12 for his death; two other records state the date was the 18th of September. We have not found other records in order to provide a definitive source.John Buckner CSA clipBecause there were other John Buckners, I wanted further substantiation of his death in addition to his absence from the 1866 and 1870 censuses; I found a card at the Alabama Department of Archives and History showing his widow, Nancy M. Buckner [residing in Fayette County], filed a widow’s claim. John buckner CSA widow filingAlthough the claim was apparently rejected, her documentation and support for the claim should have contained some valuable pieces of information about their marriage, children’s birth dates, affidavits from others who knew him and of his service. Unfortunately, the copy was mailed to the Fayette County Courthouse, which was burned during the Civil War. If Nancy had a copy of it, I have not yet located a descendant who might have it.

Although the two census records we have for him indicate he was born in Tennessee, we do not know what county or town. A brief obituary for his oldest sister, EmmaLisa, stated she was born in Sevier County, Tennessee. She was born about 1818, or 14 years before John, but that provides a clue for additional searches for information. We have also found no record of his burial, which means we do not know if he was buried in Charleston, Tennessee or if his remains were returned to Fayette County.

We occasionally hear or read about our lives being what happens between the dashes [1832 -1862]. In summary, for my great-great-grandfather, John Buckner, all we know of his “between the dashes” is:

Between the Dashes

This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.


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