Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pennington Surprise in Clay Co., KY

My great grandmother was born in Clay Co., KY and was the daughter of Melvina Robertson and John Ward Kelley.  We had the information of where Sarah Rachel Kelley was born, so I began doing a bit of wandering through census records to see if I could find some further information on the family.  It turns out that the Kelleys lived in Sexton Creek, Clay Co., KY.  Once I began looking at census records, I came across a very familiar name…one that I have a “passing” interest in…Pennington.

One of the families that I was looking at was the Robinson/Robertson family.  Sarah Kelley’s mother was Melvina Robertson who was the daughter of Charles Robinson and Catherine Shelton.  Now…the Robertson/Robinson surname is usually one variation or the other and they are the same family.  There were nine children and Melvina was the youngest of the family.  Her father died just a few years after she was born, and her mother remarried a Julius Spivey.  Melvina had an older sister named Elizabeth who was born 20 Oct 1838 in Clay Co., KY and died on 9 April 1921 also in Clay Co., KY.  She was married to a John Brummett on 31 Jul 1856 in Clay Co., KY.  They had two daughters, Lucinda Jane born 1857 and Mary Elizabeth born 29 Jul 1859.  It turns out that the Pennington I found up on Sexton Creek was the husband of Mary Elizabeth Brummett.  John W. “Curly” Pennington and Mary Elizabeth Brummett were married 13 Jan 1875 in Clay Co., KY and they were the family that I had located in the census. 

So now I had to figure out where John W. “Curly” Pennington fit into the Pennington puzzle.  John W. Pennington was born in Harlan Co., KY on 20 May 1855.  His parents were James Pennington and Mary “Polly” Lewis.  Of course when I find him in the census in 1860 with his parents, he is living in Clay Co., KY and they are in the household of Ephraim Pennington and Matilda.   (Clay Co., KY, Pg 58 #367 – Flat Creek PO) It is obvious that James is the son of Ephraim and Matilda…it is not so obvious which group that they fit in.  Just prior to Ephraim, I see another Pennington name so I go to the previous page and locate a Levi Pennington on line 365.  This is the older brother of Ephraim and there is an older woman who is most likely a mother-in-law by the name of Polly Lewis.
Clip from the 1860 census showing the James Pennington family.

So, now I have something to take to my own Pennington contacts.  One of those is a descendant of Group 31 – who are labeled as the descendants of Aaron Pennington and Ann Coldiron.  It turns out that the two brothers that I have found living near my Clay Co., KY relatives were actually the sons of Aaron Pennington and Ann Coldiron and were mostly likely born in Ashe Co., NC which is where a large chunk of my family comes from.  So, the John W. Pennington that married Mary Elizabeth Brummett was the son of James Pennington and Mary “Polly” Lewis and the grandson of Ephraim Pennington and Matilda Fields.  It turns out the Ephraim’s full name is Ephraim Aaron Pennington and he is the third son of Aaron Pennington and Ann Coldiron. 

I am the group leader for Group 7 of the Pennington Research Association.  During my research, I’ve had to look at a lot of Levi’s and Ephraim’s and the surname of Lewis has come up more than once.  Since I have been a member of the PRA, there has been a lot of DNA testing and we have pretty much established that several of these groups that we have identified actually have a DNA connection even though we have never found a documentary connection.  I can’t tell you how much time that I have spent untangling Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC – it was almost a bit disappointing to come across them in Clay Co., KY as well while researching a whole other family line.  If it hadn’t been for my PRA buddy sending me in the right direction, it might have taken a lot longer to figure out.

So while the Group 31 Penningtons are not directly related to me in anything that may resemble a close connection, the children of John W. “Curly” Pennington and Mary Elizabeth Brummett are a bit of a closer connection.  After all, Mary’s mother Elizabeth, was the elder sister of my great great grandmother and in genealogical terms…that is pretty close. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two Brothers - James & Silas

I have a fascination with knowing why someone decides to move from one place to another.  What makes someone leave a place where their extended family lives and go somewhere else?  My 3rd great grandfather made that move…from New York to Nebraska. 

Silas Gallup was the second child of Ebenezer Gallup and Susan Harden.   The story goes that he was a school teacher who fell in love with his fifteen year old student and they married and rang the school bell to announce the marriage.  Since no one paid attention, they kept the marriage secret until the end of the term.  Silas and Phebe had a sizable family, their oldest being daughter Edith – my great great grandmother.  They farmed in New York, but I suspect that they were never prosperous.  Silas didn’t enjoy good health in New York.  I wonder if it was weak lungs or perhaps he suffered from tuberculosis and the humidity caused issues.  I don’t really know.
The oldest son of Ebenezer Gallup and Susan Harden was James Gallup.  James was married and out of the house by the time he was twenty years old and married to Ellen “Nellie” Schoonmaker.  During the next twenty years, James & Nellie had eight children, all born in New York State.  Nellie died in 1872 and on 15 Mar 1873, James married Elmira Saddlemire, and in a short period of time, James took his family to La Salle Co., IL and most likely moved to Lyons, Burt Co., NE in the early 1880’s.  Evidently, James liked what he saw and wrote back and encouraged his younger brother to bring his family to Nebraska as the weather was much more “healthful!”

So, on Thanksgiving Day in 1887, Silas Gallup and his wife Phebe and many of their children boarded a train and left for Lyons, Burt Co., NE.  They joined Silas’ brother James in Lyons, NE and bought land and had their own place.   Silas and Phoebe had eleven children.  Three of the four oldest stayed behind in New York because they were already married and had families of their own.  The eight other children traveled with their parents to Nebraska with only the youngest returning to New York to live.
So after Silas went to Nebraska, I have no idea if his health improved.  He made that move from New York when he was fifty six years old.  His youngest child, Hugh, was only a year old.  After 10 years had passed, Silas died of throat cancer (13 Sep 1897), leaving Phoebe to hold the family together.  Their son, Everett Henry Gallup took care of the farm with his brother, George, and son Albert worked as a teacher to help out with expenses until he married and had his own family.

All that I really know of Silas Gallup are bits and pieces that I have gleaned through the years.  My great grandfather never knew his grandfather because he had left New York before he was born and died before Granddad came west.  I know that Silas Gallup was a school teacher and a farmer.  Family legend has it that he and his brother made the “famous” Gallup Salve that they had learned from their father, Ebenezer.  I know that it existed because my grandmother remembered using it.  She said that it had a gummy consistence and worked wonderfully getting slivers out of the hand.  I wonder what kind of ill health plagued him and suspect that it might have been tuberculosis.   His wife Phebe out lived him by thirty years, dying in 1927.  I’m not sure that my great grandfather had terribly affectionate feelings for his grandmother.  When they came west after the death of his parents, Granddad immediately found outside work and never lived with her.  His younger siblings lived and worked hard for her and their uncle at the farm.  Aunt Phebe cared for her grandmother her entire life and only married after she had died.  My uncle has an amusing memory of his great grandmother.  He remembered going to see her and she was bedridden by that point.  She would always reach under the bed…and he wasn’t sure if it was the bed pan or the cookie tin. 
James and his second wife, Elmira had one child, John Silas Gallup.  James did not outlive his younger brother by much…and died on 11 Apr 1901 at the age of 72.  His wife, Elmira, lived another eleven years and died on 23 Mar 1912.  John Silas Gallup married Lucy Emmet Everett and stayed near the Burt Co., NE area for most of his life. 

Dad and I visited Lyons, NE last fall.  As we walked around the cemetery, I saw a lot of familiar names.  Silas and Phebe are buried by each other with their son Everett Gallup.  I don’t remember if I found them all, but of the eleven children of Silas and Phebe – eight are buried at Lyons, NE.  Two of Edith’s children are buried there as well…so they have descendants of nine children buried in that cemetery.    James and Elmira are also there along with their son John Silas Gallup and his family.   Within that cemetery alone, there are over thirty six Gallups…all descended from two brothers who had moved from New York to Nebraska.

Left to Right - Back Row - Irena, Hugh, Alice, George, Everett
Left to Right - Front Row - Elizabeth, Albert, Phebe, & Fanny
Not pictured - Edith d. 1908, Helen, Susan d. 1919, & Allen
It is possible that I have Alice and Susan mixed up...but I don't think so!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Goodbye My Sweet Cousin!

Last week, I lost one of my genealogy buddies.  I first “met” Loretta as I have many of my other genealogy friends…through email.  Some correspondence is limited and finite…but other contacts grow to be something a whole lot more…and Loretta was one of those.

When we first started corresponding we were excited because neither one of us had had many Dollar cousins to correspond with.  It was great relationship where we traded information back and forth as well correcting the inevitable mistakes one makes when entering genealogical data.  Soon, we started talking on the telephone.  Not sure those first few conversations were completely comprehensible by either one of us.  I’m from Lewiston, ID and feel that I speak quite clearly and am easily understood.  To my ears, Loretta spoke very differently and used words and phrases that I had only occasionally heard out of my mother’s mouth.  There was a southern lingo that my mother had learned from her grandmother…and Loretta was from the same region as my great grandmother.  It always took me a short period of time to get a full understanding…but what fun to learn about another region of the country…and place that my family had come from not all that long ago.  Soon after a few telephone conversations, Loretta invited me to come down to Tennessee and stay with her.  She had such plans for the two of us and convinced me that it would be a wonderful adventure.  I wasn’t sure about going across the country and staying with someone that I had never met…but I went with my gut and next thing I know – I was on a plane heading towards Tennessee.
As soon as I came off the plane and found Loretta and her husband waiting for me…I felt as if I was with family and someone who would be a lifelong friend.  All along the two hour drive back to her house, we couldn’t stop talking…Loretta’s husband was very patient with both of us and just let us rattle on.  As soon as we got to her house, we figured that we had so much more to talk about and talked late into the evening.   The next morning we took off on our grand adventure.  We headed over to the mountain to Shady with Loretta pointing various places out along the way.  It is strange, but I have always felt that Tennessee reminds me of my own Idaho.  As we headed over mountain into Shady and then over to North Carolina…some points along the way looked for familiar.  Loretta and I went over to West Jefferson, NC and visited a cousin of mine.  Soon after we started visiting, Loretta patiently waited as I scanned old family photographs and was just as excited to see them as I was.  When we left, Loretta and my cousin traded addresses and phone numbers and promised to stay in touch.  The next few days – Loretta took me to see some of the sites in Elizabethton, TN like the old covered bridge and the court house.  We spent time exploring the library and the courthouse documents and helping each other search for new information.  We went over to the Andrew Johnson National Historic site because Loretta knew it was something I badly wanted to see….and during that trip she took me to a part of the county she didn’t know very much about, just so I could go visit an old cemetery.  We didn’t just visit one…but several and she was my partner in crime as we explored the land that my family had lived on over 150 years before.  We made yet another trip over to Laurel Bloomery to meet up with another cousin, so I could show him the house that my great grandmother was born in and his father had been born in.  Some of my most wonderful memories of my genealogy trips involved that 6 days that I spent with Loretta in Tennessee.
Loretta and I had never lost touch.  We always emailed fairly frequently and talked on the phone.  I called her when we lost my mother to cancer…and she called me when she lost her mother to old age.  We told each other our family news both good and bad. After staying with her, I knew about the deep  devotion that both she and her husband felt about the “Vols” or University of Tennessee football team.  I enjoyed watching them watch the game on TV.  I can’t say enjoy…because it was too intense for the two of them.  That Christmas, I sent Loretta an orange and white crocheted Christmas tree.  She was delighted and put it up on Vol’s shrine.   Last year, I noticed that my sweet cousin hadn’t emailed for a while and hadn’t posted on our Dollar Facebook group…so I gave her a call.  I was so sad to learn that Loretta was battling breast cancer…but she assured me that she had a good prognosis.  A few months later, she was a little more low and battling tiredness – but she told me that she had plans to go over to Shady and check out a few gravestones and she was so excited that her husband was retiring and they would be able to spend more time together.  I urged her to think about visiting me out here in Idaho.  I wanted to show her the same hospitality that she had shown me. 

When I called Loretta about six weeks ago, she told me that she was tired but was doing ok.  If I had lived closer and had been able to see her with my own two eyes, I would have known that she was not doing ok.  Loretta worried more about my feelings than her own and didn’t want me to feel bad for her.  I learned last week that Loretta had died of breast cancer and while I knew that she would be deeply missed as a wife, mother and grandmother – I was mourning the friend and cousin that had meant so much to me during the past ten years.  I think that the best compliment that I could give Loretta was that she was the epitome of southern hospitality.  As my sister pointed out to me…Loretta now has the chance to find the answers to all the questions that we had about our family.  I will miss my cousin…but more importantly, my friend.  Rest in Peace!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Gallup Puzzle (in Nebraska)

When I first started piecing my own Gallup family together, I found an “odd” Gallup that I couldn’t put within my own Gallup line.  My grandmother used to talk a lot about her Aunt Lila.  My grandmother never knew her natural grandmother…but she did know her step grandmother very well….and her step grandmother’s relatives became my grandmother’s relatives. (Tamsey Perry m. George Christian Shawver and became my great grandmother’s step mother) So…I understood how Aunt Lila fit (she was Tamsey Perry Shawver’s sister, but how did her husband, Albert Gallup?

Lila Corine Perry was born 7 Jun 1878 in Bridgewater, Adair Co., IA.  She was the daughter of Joseph Henry Perry and Sara Ada Drake and was the fourth oldest in a family of seven.  Lila married Albert George Gallup on 19 Dec 1896 in Monona Co., IA.  By 1910, Lila was living in Burt Co., NE with her growing family.  There were a multitude of Gallup’s living in Burt Co., NE and I am sure that Albert knew the family.  I assumed that he was connected to my Gallup branch either through Silas Gallup and Phoebe Montanye or James Ebenezer Gallup and wife Ella Bacon.  To my surprise he was not connected to either family…at least not closely.
One thing that the search for Albert Gallup did for me, was force me to fill in the blanks as much as possible.  This assured me that Albert was not a close connection, so now it was time to approach him as I would any other genealogical mystery.  My first step was to check the census records.  I located Albert in Fairbank, Buchanan Co., IA in 1870 as a two year old with his parents Weldon Porter Gallup and mother Mary.  I found that Weldon Porter Gallup was born in Italy, Yates Co., NY.  As a young man, he moved to Mercer Co., PA and married Mary Ann McGranahan on 30 Mar 1863.  Unfortunately, this bit of information did not immediate connect me back further into the Gallup line.  I have Gallup’s dating back to my ancestor, John Gallop b. 1591 in Mosterdon, Dorset, England who was married to Christobel Bruschett.  John Gallop arrived in Boston on the Mary and John in 1630.  I am descended through his son, John Gallup (m. Hannah Lake) who moved to Connecticut.  My Gallup’s moved from Connecticut to New York in 1796 and my Gallup branch left New York in 1887 for Nebraska.  Weldon Porter Gallup didn’t fit in with the descendants of John Gallup and Hannah Lake.  In the nine generations from John Gallup to myself, Weldon Porter Gallup didn’t fit.  He was part of my Connecticut branch, nor New York and certainly not Nebraska.  So, it was time to see if I could take him back a bit further.  My 1987 Gallup genealogy only took him back one further generation – but that was the important key.

Back in 1997, I was unemployed and bored, so I input all of the 1966 Gallup genealogy into my database.  Since that point, I have communicated with a lot of researchers and the majority of them are descended through the John Gallup (m. Hannah Lake) line.  When I referred to the 1987 Gallup genealogy, I found an entry for Weldon Porter Gallup and his father William Weldon Gallup but nothing further.  I found an entry in my database of a William Weldon Gallup.  William Weldon Gallup was also born in New York, traveled to Pennsylvania and was buried in the same county in Iowa that Weldon Porter Gallup married his wife.  After connecting with other researchers, I had finally connected Albert George Gallup to his Nebraska distant cousins…and it stretches back many generations before they meet: 

Here is Albert’s line:

  • Albert George Gallup m. Lila Corine Perry
  • Weldon Porter Gallup m. Mary A. McGranahan
  • William Weldon Gallup m. Minerva Mary Holcomb
  • Joseph Gallop m. Jerusha Treat
  • William Gallop m. Hannah
  • Benjamin Gallup m. Theoda Parke
  • John Gallup III m. Elizabeth Harris
  • John Gallup m. Hannah Lake

My nearest direct Gallup ancestor (with that last name) is Edith Phoebe Gallup my great great grandmother who was married to Orlando Gage.  Here is her line:

  • Edith Phoebe Gallup m. Orlando Gage
  • Silas Gallup m. Phoebe Montanye
  • Ebenezer Gallup m. Susan Harden
  • Silas Gallup m. Sarah Gallup
  • Nathaniel Gallup m. Hannah Gore (Silas’ parents)
  • Nathan Gallup m. Sarah Giddings (Sarah’s parents)
  • Nathaniel Gallup m. Margaret Gallup (Nathaniel’s parents)
  • Benadam Gallup , Jr. m. Eunice Cobb (Nathan’s parents)
  • John Gallup III m. Elizabeth Harris (Nathaniel Sr’s parents)
  • Benadam Gallup m. Esther Prentice (Margaret Gallup’s parents)
  • Benadam Gallup m. Esther Prentice (Benadam Gallup, Jr’s parents)
  • John Gallup III and Bendam Gallup are both the sons of John Gallup m. Hannah Lake

I must say that Albert George Gallup’s line is much easier to spell out than mine.  Edith’s parents are buried in Lyons, Burt Co., NE with many of their children also in the same cemetery.  Albert and his wife, Lila are buried about fifteen miles away in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Decatur, Burt Co., NE.  My genealogy programs tells me that my great great grandmother Edith and Albert Gallup were half 5th cousins.  I suspect that the Gallups in Burt Co., NE never knew what their family connection was with Albert Gallup.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cemetery Tales - D. O. Johnson Cemetery

When I went back to Tennessee back in 2003, I stayed with a Dollar cousin who lived in Stoney Creek, Carter Co., TN.  I thought she lived in Elizabethton...but I soon learned that there are different sections of the area and the area she lived was Stoney Creek.  It was an easy house to find one you got on the right road because there was a big orange T on the mailbox.  Before I met Loretta and her husband, I didn't understand the devotion of the Tennessee Vols fans.

Loretta was kind enough to run me all over the place in her little car.  We took the back road to Johnson Co., TN through Shady which was where she and her husband had grown up.  One day we took a trip to Hampton, TN which is where the Daniel O. Johnson road was.  We drove over to the little town of Hampton and proceeded to wander around a bit.  We hit a few cemeteries that were alongside the road, one of which was the Goodwin Cemetery.  I was very excited to find one of my 2nd great grandfather's cousins buried there.  There was also an absolutely fabulous view over to Watauga Lake.  After exploring that tiny cemetery for a short time, we continued down the road.  We finally came across the D. O. Johnson road.  I had read that there was a cemetery near that road.  So, Loretta and I started driving up the road in hopes of coming across the cemetery.  We reached a branch in the road where a manufactured home sat and a sign that proclaimed private road.  Being an Idahoan, I understand the concept of a private road.  This may be true in other parts of the country...but if you come across a private road, it is best to ask permission to travel along said road...or you could get shot.  Since the landscape was somewhat familiar to me (more like the fact I was in a rural area) Loretta and I decided to ask permission.  There was a young man who was standing on the road near the home.  I got out of the car and asked him if the D. O. Johnson cemetery was up this road and could we possibly go up there.  He looked at me with a surprised look on his face and said "D.O. Johnson was my Great Granddaddy...why do you want to go up there?"  I said that "D. O. Johnson was a cousin of my great great grandfather and I wanted to see if Moses Johnson was buried up there."  After that was said...he told me to wait there and he was going to get his father.  So, I waited by the car while he went in and got his father from the house.

View from the Cemetery
When I first met the young man's father, Buzz, it would have been easy to make an assumption.  He was a bit dirty because it was obvious that he had been out working.  He had probably just got home from work and was relaxing when we came by.  Except for the beard, he didn't look or walk a whole lot differently than my father did after working all day.  I told my story to Buzz and he told me that he recognized some of those names.  I got excited at that point and asked him if he knew anything about Moses Johnson.  Buzz replied that Moses was his grandfather's grandfather and that he wasn't buried up at that cemetery.  Instead he was buried across the road from the church in a small gravel patch.  He said that the land we were on was the original home-place that Moses had owned. After a discussion for a short time, Buzz told me to go ahead and go on up to the cemetery, but wanted to find a time when I could come back and we could talk a bit about the family genealogy.  I told him that I would love to do that...made a date for a few days later.  (That is another story).
D. O. Johnson Cemetery

Loretta and I and I drove up the road and reached a small clearing and found the D. O. Johnson cemetery.  There might have been about thirty graves there or possibly more.  I got out and photographed each grave stone and took some pictures of the surroundings.  This was quite exciting for me because this was a family cemetery with my last name associated with it.  This was only the second time that I had a chance to visit a family cemetery that was directly connected to my family.  It felt somehow significant to me.  As I looked over the view from the cemetery, it made me think that I was standing in the same place that generations of my family had stood.  For over 150 years, this land had been owned by the Johnson family.

Even though I didn't have any direct ancestors buried in that cemetery, everyone in there was related to me either by marriage or as a cousin.  I was able to identify each and every one of them...and I must say, it was an interesting research "project."
View of the Johnson property near Shook Branch, Hampton, Carter Co., TN.