52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #24 – Delila Davis Harmon

One of my four second great-grandmothers on my mother’s side was Delila Davis Harmon. Delila was one of eight known children of Morris and Sarah McCane Davis born about 1820 in Grayson County Virginia. She married Thomas Benjamin Harmon in Grayson County on August 23, 1838. It’s oftentimes difficult to determine maiden names of women this early in our country’s history but Martha Fontaine Patterson uploaded on Delila’s FindAGrave memorial a copy of the permission to marry signed by her father [I provided a link to the page with the permission and marriage bond in my blog for Thomas].Davis PermissionI have spelled her name in this blog as Delila but there is often no consistency in early records in the way a name was spelled. Many of the people who recorded events listed names as they heard them; additionally, people often went by nicknames and used them in official documents. Her name in the marriage permission document above is Delila but the 1850 census listed her as Lila while the 1870 census spelled her name Delilah and the 1880 census spelled it Delila. The 1860 census has not yet been found. The 1850 ‘Lila’ was apparently what she was called; in fact, with the propensity for people in the South to pronounce the ending ‘a’ with a ‘y’ sound, she may have been called Liley (with a long I sound) or perhaps Lillie.

Delila and Thomas had eleven known children [censuses were recorded every ten years and provide one of the best listings of the children in a family; however, birth records were scanty and children may well have been born and died during the decade between censuses and consequently missed]. My great-grandmother, Rhoda Harmon Lineberry, appears to have been their 5th child. Because I named the children in the blog about her husband, I won’t list them again.

Delila died at about 68 years of age on November 5, 1888 in Hillsville, Virginia. The listed cause of death was dropsy, an old term for edema, which could have been a symptom of several health issues, including heart failure. She was buried in the Melton Cemetery in the Mount Zion Community of Carroll County; there is a FindAGrave memorial for her with some details and a photo of her headstone as well as the marriage permission and bond.

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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 #23 – Patrick Harmon

Patrick Harmon was my great-grandmother’s grandfather or my third great-grandfather. The further back in time I go the less documentation is available and what I know and am likely to learn grows scant.

It is believed that Patrick, who was born in Maryland in about 1790, was the son of Joseph Harmon; the name of his mother is not known. In my blog about his son, Thomas Benjamin Harmon, I postulated he married sometime before 1818 to a woman who died sometime before 1822. He was listed in 1813, when he was about 23, on the Grayson County, Virginia tax lists as having 1 horse on which he paid a tax of $.16 in addition to his tithe [tax]. The other Harmons who were listed on the tax list [meaning they were over 21] were Joseph and John, Sr. John had 3 horses and paid $.48 cents in addition to his tithe while Joseph had no horses and paid no tax, which likely meant he was beyond the age where he was required to pay taxes.

There is an 1820 census for Joseph Harmon that appears to have two families living together: an older couple [over 45] and a younger couple [26 to 44] and a male child under 5. I suspect these were Joseph and his wife and Patrick, his first wife, and Thomas Benjamin.

Patrick married Mary “Polly” Melton in Grayson County sometime between September 16, 1822 when a marriage bond was posted and December 26, 1822 when the marriage certificate was returned. Patrick’s 1822 marriage is an indication his first wife died, perhaps in childbirth at the birth of Joseph in 1821 or 1822.

The 1830 census for Grayson County for Patrick’s household suggests a family of a husband and wife, four sons and one daughter. Because it is a tic mark census, the only information is the age and gender of the people living together. Patrick’s oldest son Thomas married in 1838 so for the 1840 census,the tic marks reflected a family of a husband, wife, five sons and three daughters.

Dates on a fairly recent headstone indicate Patrick was widowed a second time when Polly died in 1849. Her death is supported by the 1850 Carroll County census that has no mature female adult in the household. The change of county from Grayson to Carroll County reflects the creation of Carroll County out of a part of Grayson County in 1842. Patrick (60) was listed as a farmer with property valued at $500; six of his children still living at home were enumerated: Elizabeth (25), William (21), Rebecca (14), Nancy (10), Wilson (7) and Polly (5). Thomas, Joseph and James had married and established homes of their own.1850Patrick died in 1857 and is buried in the Melton Cemetery in the Mount Zion Community of Carroll County. Someone in recent times has placed a double headstone there for Patrick and Mary; a photo of the headstone was uploaded to their FindAGrave memorials by Donna Sutphin Armentrout. HARMON Patrick & Mary Polly MELTON FAG HS

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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 #22 – Thomas Benjamin Harmon

As is often the case with ancestors, I have more questions than I have answers with regard to my great-great-grandfather Thomas Benjamin Harmon. Here’s what I know and how I know it:

1. He was my great-grandmother Rhoda Harmon Lineberry’s father. The 1850 census lists Rhoda in that family. Additionally, a Virginia marriage index for Rhoda lists her parents as T. and D. Harmon [Thomas and Delilah].

2. He was born in Virginia, probably in Grayson County. Censuses for 1850, 1870 and 1880 all confirm his Virginia birth. His father’s records beginning in 1822 reference Grayson County.

2. He married Delilah Davis August 23, 1838 in Grayson County, Virginia. Although marriage indexes list these details, Martha Fontaine Patterson uploaded a digital photocopy of the marriage license dated August 15, 1838 in which Thomas and his father posted a marriage bond.

3. His father was Patrick Harmon. Patrick was the name of the co-signer on the above-mentioned marriage license. Although that document does not provide evidence that Patrick was his father, Thomas’ second marriage application reinforces that interpretation by naming Patrick Harmon as his father.

4. Based on the 1850 and 1870 census, it would appear Thomas and Delilah had at least eleven children: Sarah, Mary “Polly”, Elizabeth, Nancy, Rhoda [my great-grandmother], Alexander, Joseph, Daniel, Henry Coulson, Thomas J., and Joseph Clark.

5. Thomas probably served as a private in the 51st Virginia Infantry, Company K, of the Confederate Army. Although I have not found his name listed in the CSA soldier record cards or roster lists, his widow [Margaret Mabe Harmon] applied to the War Department for and received a CSA headstone to place on his grave. HARMON Thomas Benjamin CSA Headstone App Melton Cemetery6. In November 1888 when Thomas was about 70, he was widowed when his wife Delilah died. The Virginia Death and Burials Index as well as Delilah’s tombstone provide support for this information.

7. He married Margaret Mabe on November 24, 1890 when he was about 72 years old; this marriage is reported in the Virginia Marriage Index.

8. Thomas and Margaret had three children: William Early, George Benjamin and Laura Louvenia.

9. Thomas died October 17, 1898, as listed in the headstone application above.

10. He lived most of his life in the same general area of Grayson, Carroll and Wythe Counties in Virginia based on census records from 1840, 1850, 1870, 1880 as well as burial records. The missing 1860 census, of course, could be an indication he was away from the area during some of those years. His father-in-law and at least one brother-in-law moved to Ohio for a few years but I have not found records of Thomas having joined in that adventure.

The records above cover a basic framework for Thomas’ life but two important details remain evasive – his birth date and the name of his mother. The evidence available for interpretation would be the 1850 census, which listed him as 32 [1818]; the 1870 census, which listed him as 51 [1819]; the 1880 census, which listed him as 60 [1820]; and the 1890 marriage license, which listed his birth year as 1822. Based on the census records, his birth year was most likely sometime around 1819. The date reported on the marriage license might be explained by a slightly prideful deception – his new wife was approximately 30 years his junior. During these years of our country’s history, births were not required or recorded unless in church minutes or family Bibles, or perhaps in wills or pension applications, so an actual date will not likely be uncovered.

Even though the license for Thomas’ marriage to Margaret listed his mother as Polly Harmon, the range of date possibilities for his birth leaves in question the full name of his mother. Thomas’ father, Patrick Harmon, married Mary “Polly” Melton on December 26, 1822. If Thomas were born in 1818, 1819 or 1820, Polly Melton Harmon was not likely his mother. On the other hand, if he were born in 1822 as listed on his second marriage record, he might perhaps have been the son of Patrick and Polly [albeit an early birth based on the marriage date].

The consistency of birth dates over the period from 1850 through 1880 lends credence to the earlier date for his birth, which would indicate Patrick had been married before his marriage to Polly Melton. At the time of the 1822 marriage, Patrick was about 32 and Polly 30, which would lend support for there being time for an earlier marriage. Unfortunately, thus far I have not found any records to support a name or date for such a marriage.

So, for now, I have his mother listed as an unknown woman who married Patrick Harmon prior to 1818 and died prior to 1822.

Thomas was buried in the Melton Cemetery as was Delilah [the photo below was uploaded to FindAGrave by Donna Sutphin Armentrout]. HARMON Thomas B. FAG HS

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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 #20 – Piety Thomas Smith

Piety Thomas Smith was my maternal 2nd great-grandmother. Piety was born December 9, 1810 in North Carolina. She married Jacob P. Lineberry in Grayson County, Virginia sometime after her marriage bond was recorded on November 4, 1833. Although many researchers list her parents as Wyatt Tansel Smith and Elizabeth Wilkes, Jacob’s marriage bond listed her as the daughter of P. Thomas Smith, although I suppose this could be an erroneous reiteration of her name rather than including the name of her father.

The 1840 Grayson County census for Jacob Lineberry listed one adult male between the ages of 20 and 29 and one adult female between the ages of 30 and 39 plus two male and two female children five years of age – Catherine (1835), Elizabeth (1837), Allen Journal (1838) and Joseph (1840). It is assumed the census enumerator erred in marking the age for Jacob since he was born in 1806 and would have been 34 at the time of the 1840 census, while Piety would have been 30.

The 1850 census lists another five children born to Jacob and Piety during the decade from 1840 to 1850 – Mary (1841), George [my great-grandfather] (1843), Wesley Bird (1845), Jacob (1846) and Martha (1847). Although the specific birth dates we have for Jacob and Martha are as above, the census enumerations for both 1850 and 1860 list Jacob and Martha reversed in age, which means Jacob’s recorded birth date is likely incorrect. 1850 M432_939 Page 378A Jacob & Piety Lineberry (2)The 1860 census adds one more daughter during the decade between 1850 and 1860 – Piety (1856). They also had a son Isiah born in 1850 who died in 1851. Daughters Catherine and Elizabeth both married about 1855 and by the 1860 census, Piety and Jacob were grandparents to four grandsons.

During the Civil War, two of their sons, George and Wesley served in the 29th Virginia Infantry for the duration while Allen Journal served ten days in the Virginia Militia as a part of the Confederate Army. All three sons survived the war.

By the 1870 census, only the youngest daughter, Piety, still lived at home. All the other children were married and raising families. Piety married in 1873. By the 1880 census, Piety and Jacob were enumerated as a couple.

By the time Piety died on October 25, 1885, she and Jacob had 80 grandchildren. Another 20 were born after her death for a total of 100 grandchildren.

IMG_0952 - Piety Thomas Smith Lineberry's HSShe was buried at the Hebron Cemetery in Carroll County, Virginia. Her hand-carved tombstone lists her birth and death dates as well as an inscription, likely carved by Jacob [a close-up photo of the text was posted by Beth Robinette on the FindAGrave memorial]:

As you pass by remember me
As you are now
So once was I
As I am now
You soon will be
Prepare for death and follow me – See more at: http://kbaumantreehouse.name/getperson.php?personID=I296&tree=keithandkay#sthash.yVf4oDnm.dpuf

 As you pass by remember me
As you are now
So once was I
As I am now
You soon will be
Prepare for death and follow

As you pass by remember me
As you are now
So once was I
As I am now
You soon will be
Prepare for death and follow me – See more at: http://kbaumantreehouse.name/getperson.php?personID=I296&tree=keithandkay#sthash.yVf4oDnm.dpuf

 

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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

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