Monday, January 23, 2012

Jasper Bailey

I’ve always been curious about my great grandmother’s grandfather, Jasper Bailey.   Her mother died a few months after she was born, so my great grandmother never knew her mother – but she must have known her grandfather and I suspect that she was fond of him, since she named her oldest son after him!

Jasper L. Bailey was born on 25 May 1842 probably in Ohio and died 1 Jan 1928 in Denton’s Valley, Washington Co., VA.  I first find Jasper in the 1870 census in North Fork Twp, Ashe Co., NC with his two oldest children, Georgianna Caroline Bailey b. abt 1864 and George Columbus Bailey b. abt 1866, his second wife Margaret and their oldest child, Colorado Bailey b. Jan 1870.  I later discover that he was married to Martha Ellen Church b. abt 1843 and d. bef 1868.  Based on the age of the oldest known child, he probably married Martha abt 1863.  Martha was the daughter of Noah Howard Church and Jencie McCall.  She probably grew up near what is now Watauga Co., NC – I suspect somewhere around Cove Creek.  By 1868, she has died and Jasper has married Margaret.  I have no real idea what Margaret’s surname was nor her parent’s names – at a guess, I suspect that her surname might be Dozier – but I have nothing to confirm that.  This second marriage produces the aforementioned Colorado b. Jan 1870, Buena Vista b. abt Apr 1872 and Jonathan W. b. abt 1874.  Margaret probably dies in childbirth with Jonathan in 1874.  Jasper then marries a widow, Rachel McBride in 1876 and they are the parents of Ninevah Frank b. 1876, Joanna A. b. 16 Nov 1879, Arrinda E. b. 20 Mar 1882, and Luther Jasper b. 29 Feb 1884.  All of this third family were born in Johnson Co., TN.    Rachel McBride was the daughter of Barzilla McBride and Elizabeth “Betsy” Eggers.  She was first married at 13 to George Washington Hilliard, who probably died in the Civil War. She then married Noah Howard Church (the brother of Jasper’s first wife, Martha Ellen Church) in 1865 and after his death around 1875, she marries Jasper.

Jasper Bailey - taken around 1900
These are the facts that I know of Jasper’s life…which has taken about 15 years to ascertain from research.  I know from census records that he was born in Ohio and that he lived in North Fork Twp, Ashe Co., NC in 1870, Dist. 1, Johnson Co., TN in 1880, Neva & Vought’s Gap, Johnson Co., TN in 1891 according to the Veteran’s schedule and is in Washington Co., VA by 1900 and lives there until his death in 1928.  I’ve tried to locate a death record for him and have been unsuccessful as well as marriage records which I am not sure they exist any longer.   Jasper served in the 3rd NC Infantry, Co B in the Union army and was injured at the skirmish at the Red Banks of the Chucky River.  He served from August of 1864 to August of 1865 and the copy I have of his pension is the best documentation that I have of him and his life.
Several years ago, I met his granddaughter in law who I believe is still alive and in her 90’s.  She told me at that point that Jasper was in pretty bad shape by the time he passed away.  The injury that he had received in the war had permanently damaged his leg and by the time he died he was pretty crippled.  I know from other family stories that Jasper helped support his family by hunting bear and also as a farmer.  I suspect that he was well beloved by his family.  My great grandmother was raised by her paternal grandfather, Alexander Monroe Dollar and his second wife, Lulu Pearce.  When she married and had her first child, she named him Jasper James Friddle.  The Jasper was obviously for her grandfather and the James was for her husband’s brother.  (Interesting enough, Jack never liked the name Jasper and changed it legally when he graduated from high school.)  For Mom Friddle (my great grandmother) to name her son after her grandfather I think that I can make two conclusions – one that she saw him fairly often and that she was quite fond of him.  She was an excellent judge of character so I suspect that he was well loved by her.

Bailey Home Place in Denton Valley, Washington Co., VA
Jasper Bailey & Rachel McBride's grave at Montgomery Cemetery, Washington Co., VA.
During that first trip back to TN/VA in 2001 – I was fortunate to be shown where Jasper was buried which showed his birth and death dates and the location of his home place in Denton Valley.  I’ve also met via email a few other descendants of his who have shared stories and photos of Jasper and his family.  I am still frustrated that there is so much still undiscovered about him.  His second wife, Margaret is particularly frustrating.  She is my great great great grandmother and all I know about her is her first name and a general idea of the dates she was born and died.  I suspect that her surname might have been Dozier, but I have never discovered anything to back up that theory.  Mom Friddle had a sister named Bessie Margaret Elizabeth Dozier Dollar.  She was obviously named for her two grandmothers (Elizabeth Pennington was the wife of Alexander Monroe Dollar and mother of John Dula Dollar and Margaret was the mother of Buena Vista Bailey)…but I still wonder where that Dozier came from.  Perhaps someday someone will be able to assist me in finding something new about Jasper and Margaret…in the meantime, I will keep searching and trying to unravel the puzzle further!