52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #44 – John Keithley

Continuing with my maternal 3rd great-grandparents, my mother’s great-great-grandfather on her mother’s side was John Keithley. Once again, we know very little about him and that is mostly from documents about his children or grandchildren.

In the 1900 census for his grandson (my great-grandfather) Joseph Keithley, John’s oldest son, W. R. Keithley, was living

Note from Donna’s daughter, Kay Bauman:  My mom died on November 25.  The two of us were participating in the No Story Too Small challenge to have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  This is her unfinished 44th post for that challenge that she last edited on November 16, 2014.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Sarah Davis, neé McCane

Another of my maternal 3rd great-grandmothers was Sarah McCane Davis. I have very few documentary records for her life. None of them is sufficient alone to warrant giving her a name. Here are the records that lead to her name:

The marriage record of my 2nd great-grandmother, Delila or Delia Davis Harmon, has a document signed by Morris Davis giving permission for his daughter, Delilah Davis, to marry Thomas Harmon.

The Virginia death index for Delia Harmon lists her parents as Morris and Sarah Davis.(1)

A marriage bond image (2) was available through FamilySearch.org for Morris Davis and Sarah McCane on April 1 1812 in Surry County, Virginia, a county just across the border south of Grayson County, North Carolina, which provides the maiden name for Morris’ wife/Delilah’s mother. DAVIS Morris & McCANE Sarah Marriage Bond 1812 Surry County, North Carolina (2)The bond was jointly signed by Morris Davis and David McCane; the relationship between David McCane and Sarah is unknown. He could have been her father, her brother or perhaps an uncle.

Tax records and census records for Morris Davis indicate he and his wife and children lived in Grayson County, Virginia until the county boundaries changed in 1842 when the area where they lived was changed to Carroll County.

It was only in the 1850 census (3) that a name was once again given to Morris Davis’ wife: Sarah. The below clip of the census begins with their son, William and his wife, followed by Morris and Sarah and three of their younger children: Nancy, Jane and Morris.1850


Sarah and Morris were the parents of eight known children: David (1814), Elizabeth (1815), Delila (1818), Sarah (1820), Nancy (1825), William (1827), Jane (1835), and Morris (1838).


By the 1860 census, Morris was enumerated with his daughter and son-in-law in Clinton County, Ohio; Sarah was not enumerated and her death is assumed. It is not known if Sarah made the move to Clinton County and then died or if Morris made the move to Clinton County following the death of his wife. No records have, as yet, been located for either Morris or Sarah.


(1) “Virginia, Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5RV-LNY : accessed 16 Nov 2014), Delia Harman, 05 Nov 1888; citing Carroll, Virginia, reference p91c38; FHL microfilm 2056976.

(2) “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11664-134147-82?cc=1726957 : accessed 16 Nov 2014), 004364145 > image 75 of 686; county courthouses, North Carolina.

(3) Year: 1850; Census Place: District 11, Carroll, Virginia; Roll: M432_939; Page: 359B; Image: 277


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 #42 – Elizabeth Wilkes

Another of my 3rd great-grandmothers on the my mothers side was Elizabeth Wilkes Smith. Little is known of Elizabeth other than the unsubstantiated report that her maiden name was Wilkes and that she was the wife of Wyatt Tansel Smith. Some family historians have a marriage date for Elizabeth and Wyatt of February 14, 1807 in Granville County, North Carolina; however, none of them has listed or provided a source for that date and I have not yet found any documentation to support it.

An 1820 census record for Wiat Smith in Guilford County, North Carolina listed the family unit and one adult male, one adult female, two males under 10, five females under 10 and one female between 10 and 20. I am currently aware of the name of only one of the sons: Allen Journal Smith (1815). The names of the daughters were Gilly Ann (1807), Piety Thomas (my 2nd great-grandmother born about 1810), Prudence (1812), Martha (1815), Beda Elsy (1818) and Jacksy Jane (1819).

1820The 1830 census was for Grayson County, Virginia, which indicated they had moved from North Carolina sometime between 1820 and 1830, probably closer to the later date because tax lists didn’t include Wyatt until after 1830. Another son was born between 1825 and 1830 – Wyatt (1828). There were tick marks for seven females and the oldest, Gilly Ann, had married in 1827, which means two additional females were added. I do not currently know their identities.1830The 1840 census, still in Grayson County, indicated the older children had left the household and both Wyatt and a wife [not identified by name] were still living. The oldest and unidentified son had either died or established his own household and Piety Thomas and Martha married, accounting for the five daughters and two sons still at home.1840 The 1850 and 1860 census records can be seen on the blog about Wyatt, which do list Elizabeth by name and by that time none of the children were still residing at home.

No birth, marriage, death, burial, land or probate records have as yet been located for Elizabeth, so all that is known about her is her name and the names of some of her descendants.


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 #41 – Wyatt Tansel Smith – Miller and Wheelwright

Another 3rd great-grandfather on my mother’s side [there are eight of them all total] was Wyatt Tansel Smith. Wyatt was born in North Carolina about 1788. An 1820 census record showed him living in Guilford County, North Carolina along with his wife, two sons and six daughters.

The overwhelming majority of my ancestors were farmers so any time I find another occupation listed, I am interested to learn more. The 1840 census had a breakdown of what the people in Wyatt’s household did and although there was only one adult male, their were tickmarks for both Agriculture and Manufacturing. The 1850 census listed his occupation as miller, which would have been considered a type of manufacturing, at least for census purposes. 1850 Miller

A grain or grist miller was someone who ground grain between stones, which would turn wheat or corn into flour or meal. A sawmill miller was one who worked with lumber. Since the 1860 census indicated Wyatt was a wheelwright – one who made wheels from wood – it may be more likely that Wyatt’s mill was a sawmill rather than a grist mill, although there is an online article about Mabry’s Mill along the Blue Ridge Parkway that was a combination grist or grain mill, sawmill and wheelwright business, so Wyatt could have also been a jack-of-all-trades. 1860 wheelwright

Articles about the wheelwright trade indicated the successful wheelwright required “strength, ingenuity, and the talents of both a carpenter and a blacksmith. Precise measuring skills are mandatory.”(1) Because wheel making could be a two or three person job, the wheelwright may have worked with a blacksmith or other assistant to get the job done. The wheelwright was a tradesman who built or repaired wheels for carts or wagons.(2) In the early years, he may have cut his own lumber, which meant he had to understand the qualities of the different types of wood because different parts of a wheel had to endure different types of stresses and would need a different type of wood to endure and be a quality wheel. Eventually, wheelwrights began purchasing the lumber they would use rather than to cut their own.

In making wheels, the wheelwright began at the center with the hub to which he would attach and hand carved spokes, which would then be attached to a perfectly crafted and perfectly round outer wooden rim.

Wyatt is thought to have been the son of John “Pepper” Smith and Mary “Millie” English. Since an 1870 census for him has not been found, it is assumed he died between 1860 and 1870. No birth or death dates or place of burial are currently known.


1. http://www.history.org/almanack/life/trades/tradewhe.cfm

2. http://tangledtrees.blogspot.com/2009/03/occupation-wheelwright.html


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 #40 – Jacob Lineberry (1770-1852)

My 3rd great-grandfather on my mother’s side was Jacob Lineberry II [or perhaps fourth if you count the two Jacob’s before him who spelled their last name as Leyenberger]. This Jacob was born in Guilford County, North Carolina in about 1770 in the area that would become Randolph County in 1779. While most of his relatives stayed in North Carolina, Jacob moved to what became Carroll County, Virginia, probably sometime between 1790 and 1800 – he was not listed in the 1799 tax rolls for Grayson County, Virginia but was listed for 1800 tax rolls [Carroll County wasn’t formed until 1842].

He married the former Mary Fanning about 1799. Most of the family historians list their marriage as occurring in Randolph County, North Carolina, perhaps due, in part, to the family history written by W.S. Lineberry where he stated “Jacob married and moved to Virginia …” However, land grant records would indicate Mary’s father was already living in Grayson County, Virginia by 1796, which leads me to suspect they may have married in Grayson County rather than Randolph County; no actual records have been located as yet.

The website, New River Notes, has a page with links to ‘Enumerations’ with a transcription of early Grayson County tax lists for a number of years. In 1800, Jacob was listed as Jacob Linbery with tax liability for one male over 21 and one horse. The 1805 land tax list showed Jacob’s tax liability as 154 acres with a value of $50 and a tax liability of 24 cents. The 1810 tax list for Jacob was for one white adult male, zero slaves and two horses. 1813 taxes were again for one white adult male, no slaves, but now four horses for a total liability of 64 cents. 1817 was for the same one adult and four horses with a tax liability of 72 cents. The 1824 assessment indicated Jacob and Mary’s oldest son, Francis, was living and taxed on his own with one horse, while Jacob’s assessment was for three adult white males and three horses – a total tax liability of 36 cents. By 1835, Jacob and all his sons were living in separate, taxable, households or taxed in Jacob’s household: two adult males and two horses for 12 cents.

The 1820 census lists tick marks for two adults plus five males and six females under 25. One of the six females [age between 16 and 25] is not accounted for in the known names of their children. Their known children were: Francis (1801), Catherine (1803), Jacob P. and George (about 1806), Joseph (1807), Elizabeth (1809), Martha ‘Patsy’ (1812), Mary (1814), Lurana Susany (1815), Jeremiah (1817) and Euphama (1820). 1820Each of the census records indicates Jacob and Mary were born in different decades. The 1830 census record lists a female child born between 1825 and 1830; if Mary were born nearer the 1780 year, it is possible this could be their daughter, although it is also possible she could be a granddaughter or even a neighbor or other relative. 1830The 1840 census has tick marks for Jacob and Mary and their youngest son, Jeremiah. Jeremiah married in 1845, but the 1850 census lists both Jacob and Jeremiah as widowed and, three-year-old Mary, one of Jeremiah’s daughters living in the household.

Jacob died in Carroll County, Virginia on January 17, 1852 and is buried in the Old Fanning Cemetery. LINEBERRY Jacob HS @ Fanning Frost Cemetery 1871-1852


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 #39 – Mary Fanning

My 3rd great-grandmother was Mary Fanning Lineberry, daughter of John Fanning, Sr. and Elizabeth Ann Lipps. She was born about 1771 in North Carolina and died about 1846 in Carroll County, Virginia.

Little is known of her other than her name and general years of her birth and death. This is quite typical of a woman’s life in the time period prior to the 1850 census when they could at least have their name written on a census but since she died about 1846 she was never recorded on a census.

She married Jacob Lineberry IV, probably in Grayson County, Virginia, about 1800. She and Jacob had at least eleven children: Francis (1801), Catherine (1803), Jacob P. [my 2nd great-grandfather] (1805), George (1806),  Joseph (1807), Elizabeth (1809), Martha ‘Patsy’ (1812), Mary ‘Polly’ (1814), Lurana (1815), Jeremiah (1817), and Euphamia (1820).

When her father died in about 1813, she inherited a share of her father’s land grant. The property was originally in Grayson County but was in the area that became Carroll County in 1842 when county borders were realigned. Jacob purchased the remainder of the land from her brothers and she and Jacob lived there from about 1813 for the rest of their lives. Both her father and her husband are buried on the land so it seems likely that she and her mother are buried there as well.



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 #38 – John Willis

My paternal 3rd great-grandfather was John Willis [1775-1835] of Spartanburg County, South Carolina. He was the oldest child of Richard and Drucilla Pearson Barnett Willis. I have not found basic vital records for John but the International Genealogical Index of the Church of the Latter Day Saints lists his birth date as September 18, 1775 and death date as October 1, 1835; unfortunately, although these dates are reasonable based on other records, I do not know what records they were based on.

Based on the same International Genealogical Index, John married Martha Patsy Smith on November 21, 1799 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. The clip from the 1800 census record in which John is enumerated a few rows from his father and listing just a male 16-25 and female 16-25 with no children would support that marriage date. 1800

The book, South Carolina Baptists (1), has a list of the members of the Friendship Baptist Church  of the Bethel Association of Spartanburg County for the years 1801 through 1803. The list includes John Willis, Martha Willis, Richard Willis, Sr., Richard Willis, Jr., Elizabeth Willis, and William Willis. Martha could have either been John’s wife or his sister; all the names listed are the older children of Richard and Drucilla Willis. Since Drucilla was not listed, it is feasible that married women may not have been listed and that concept makes it likely that Martha Willis was Richard’s daughter rather than John’s wife.

The 1810 census is one of particular interest because it lists one of my 3rd great-grandfathers, two of my 4th great-grandfathers and one of my 5th great-grandfathers: John Willis, Richard Willis, Arkilles Foster and William Blackstock, revealing they were all neighbors in South Carolina and each of my descendants of those family groups moved from South Carolina to Fayette County, Alabama. In this record, John and Martha have 4 sons under 10 and 2 daughters under 10. One of the males in the group of three would have been my great-great-grandfather, William Willis.1810Although John was not a slave holder, my other great-grandfathers were slave holders with Richard and William Blackstock each having five slaves and Arkilles Foster fourteen.

In the next decade, John and Martha ‘Patsy’ added a number of children: There were four sons and two daughters in 1810 and nine sons and two daughters in the 1820 census. Since there had been two daughters born between 1805 and 1810 and there was only one listed as born in that time frame for the 1820 census, it is presumed one of the daughters died during that decade. 1820In December 1820, John and Martha ‘Patsy’ were dismissed from Unity Baptist Church, presumably to attend another church closer to their residence. (2)

For the 1830 census, there were six sons and two daughters still at home.

1830In January 1835, John and his brother-in-law, Holman Rice Smith, entered into an agreement with John’s youngest brothers, Edward and Starling, to allow the younger boys to maintain the home for their parents making sure they were provided and cared for with the younger boys agreeing to a bond of $5,000 in favor of John and Holman Smith.

John died a short ten months later in October 1835, predeceasing his father by a little more than two years and his mother by a decade. I have not yet found burial information for John.


(1) Townsend, Leah. South Carolina Baptists 1670-1805, Baltimore, Maryland, Genealogical Publishing Co. (Reprint), 2003, pp 135-136.

(2) Church minutes of the Unity Baptist Church of Spartanburg County, South Carolina from 1818 to 1904. http://www.piedmont-historical-society.org/unityminutes.html


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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