Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fannie Gallup Robinson Montanye Tabor

My great great grandmother Edith Gallup Gage
and her younger sister, Fannie!
Once in a while you come across a rather close relative that you find intriguing.  Not because they did anything special…but because they seem so different than the rest of their family members…at least on paper.  My 3rd great aunt is one of those people.

Fannie E. Gallup was born on 20 Jul 1872 in Duanesburg, Schenectady Co., NY, the sixth of eleven children.  She moved west with her parents in 1888.  In about 1890, she married Theodore Robinson.  They had one son, Frank b. 1892 and they must have divorced soon after.  Theodore Robinson marries again and in 1896, so does Fannie.

The second marriage was really interesting.   If her son, Frank was born in Nebraska in 1892 and she was divorced soon after that, what prompts her to go back to New York?  Perhaps there was some sort of scandal or stigma attached to her divorce…or perhaps she felt closer to her older siblings who were still in New York.  It can’t have been easy to have been a young woman with a child and divorced.  (I must admit, that I am assuming she was divorced – I have no proof)  Perhaps she is in New York a few months or a few years – but she marries her cousin Cyrus M. Montanye sometime around 1896.

Cyrus M. Montanye was the son of William C. Montanye and Rachel Rockwell.  William C. Montanye was the younger brother of Abram C. Montanye who was also Phoebe Montanye’s father and therefore Fannie Gallup’s grandfather.  So, Fannie married her mother’s 1st cousin and therefore her 1st cousin, once removed.  He was quite a few years older than she as well.  Cyrus was born 31 Jul 1833 in Esperance, Schoharie Co., NY.  He married Martha Hemstreet in 1853 and they were the parents of perhaps as many 14 children, and all but the youngest three were older than Fannie.  Martha Hemstreet dies on 15 Apr 1895.  Sometime in either in late 1895 or 1896, Cyrus and Fannie marry.  I wonder how Cyrus Montanye’s children felt about him marrying a much younger woman…or if they didn’t like the fact that she was a cousin or a divorced woman.  I don’t know what they thought, but in the late 1890’s, I am sure those thoughts probably entered their minds.  Then a short time thereafter, Cyrus and Fannie had a daughter named Katherine V. Montanye, who I always heard referred to as “Katie”.  Cyrus dies on 5 Dec 1906 in Esperance and his buried with his first wife at Esperance Cemetery. 

So, Fannie is a divorced woman in her first marriage and now a widow in her second marriage and she appears in the 1910 census as a 38 years old woman with a 18 year old son (Frank E. Robinson) and a 13 year old daughter (Katie V. Montanye).  If you take a quick look at that census page there are Rockwells and a Conover – all who could be cousins to Fannie.

Fannie doesn’t stay a widow for very long, she marries a Henry C. Taber sometime after 1910.  Once again, he is an older widower some 26 years older than she.  He lives until 1925 when he is killed by a passing train. Perhaps at this point, Fannie gives up on marriage. 

Fannie must have traveled back and forth between her mother and family living in Nebraska and family in New York.  It must have been during one of her visits that her daughter Katie met and decided to marry Osean Carl Swanson, so Katie stayed in Nebraska, while Fannie returned to New York.
I have had a hard time locating Fannie in the 1930 or 1940 census, although I did find a listing with her living in Albany as a domestic in 1933 and 1934.  Until fall of 2012, I had no idea as to when Fannie passed away or where she spent the last years of her life.  There wasn't much I could document after her third husband’s death in 1925. 

In September of 2012, my cousins, father and I were walking around Lyons Cemetery, Burt Co., NE.  (Probably one of my favorite cemeteries that I have visited)  There were so many familiar names of family members who were buried in that cemetery.  In one section, my great grandfather’s sister was buried, a short ways away, my great grandmother’s sister was located.  There were a number of my great grandfather’s relatives in a small area which included his grandparents and a few aunts and uncles.  While I was wondering about a section over, I came across the Swanson surname.  I glanced down to look closer and noticed that it and C. Osean Swanson and next his name was that of his wife, Kathryn V.  – Which I knew was the Katie Montanye that I had always heard about.  There were a few children’s graves next to theirs at the end was a gravestone that I never expected to find, Fannie E. Tabor. 

You might wonder what I found so intriguing about Fannie.  It seemed to me that her siblings lived fairly normal lives.  They married and spent their lifetimes in one place with one spouse.  Some stayed in New York, but most were in Nebraska.  I know they gathered on at least one occasion because it is a family photo that is my best picture of most of the Gallup siblings with their mother.  It always seemed to me that Fannie was hard to pin down.  Up until I found her gravestone, I had never been able to figure out exactly when she died or where she died.  I don’t have any exact dates for any of her marriages nor do I really have much detail about her life.  So the most intriguing thing about her is what I don’t know.  Everyone once in a while, another detail emerges and clears up some of the confusion.  I suppose that I will always find her interesting because she was so different than her siblings.
Back Row:  Irena Gallup (m. Frank King), Hugh Gallup, Alice Gallup (m. Win Grenier), George Gallup, Everett Henry Gallup

Front Row:   Elizabeth Gallup (m. John Hanson), Albert Burlingame Gallup, Phoebe Montanye Gallup, and Fannie Gallup (m. Theodore Robinson, Cyrus Montanye, & Henry Tabor)

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Irish Ancestor - John Lyons

According to my DNA results, I am 12% Irish…which essentially means to me that the my Irish heritage is several generations back in my lineage.  The only line that I am absolutely sure of that is of Irish heritage is my Lyons family.

John Nathan Lyons would have been my 4th great grandfather and he was born in 1790 in Ireland.  He probably immigrated around 1810 and according to a later record, his parents were Timothy Lyons and Honora.  I got his name when I ordered my 3rd great grandfather’s death record several years ago.  It listed on the record that his parents names were John N. Lyons and Mary W. French.  I found out later that they married on 4 Sep 1817 in Randolph, Norfolk Co., MA.  At that point, I was only sure of one of their children, my 3rd great grandfather, John Nathan Lyons, Jr.  Howver, something remarkable has happened in the past few years.  More and more records have been published and are searchable and I was able to find under the New Hampshire birth records that listed  Mary French and John Lyons as parents as well as census records that gave me additional information.  So this is my working list of their children
  • Sarah Ann Lyons b. 8 Aug 1818 d. 3 Nov 1910 m. George C. Leonard
  • John Nathan Lyons, Jr b. 23 Apr 1820 d. 7 Apr 1911 m. Mary Elizabeth Reed m. Elizabeth Snow
  • Bridget Lyons b. abt 1820
  • Charles E. Lyons b. Mar 1831 d. aft 1800 m. Wate Holmes
  • James D. Farnsworth Lyons b. 1834 d. 15 Mar 1887 m. Harriet M. Getchell
  • Myra L. Lyons b. 17 Jun 1836 d. 8 Aug 1895 m. Edward Everett Lothrop
  • Mary E. Lyons b. abt 1841

As you can see this is still a working list and one that I hope to make much more progress on.  I believe that John Lyons died 11 Dec 1880  which would have made around 90 years old.  There is a New Hampshire Death and Burial record that lists that date and his parents as Timothy Lyons and Honora.  I think that Mary French died sometime before 1860, because she disappears from the census records.

So while I know that I have several other Irish ancestors, this might be the only one that I have record that lists his place of birth as Ireland. 
Here is my lineage to him:
John Nathan Lyons m. Mary French
John Nathan Lyons m. Mary Elizabeth Reed
Nancy Ann Marie Lyons m. Winslow Lonsdale Pope
Shirlie Louisa Pope m. Ulpian Grey Johnson
Frank Stewart Johnson m. Helen Marian Gage
Eugene Johnson m. Betty Tannahill

 Happy St. Patrick's day 4th Great Grandpa!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ashe Co., NC Pennington's Part 2

In Ashe Co. NC Pennington’s Part 1 – I discussed two of the major lineages as I saw them that either came out of through Ashe Co., NC.  The first group was that of Micajah Pennington b. 1743 which was the first group that I spent a lot of time on because I thought I was descended from Micajah.  I later found out that my ancestry did not come through Micajah Pennington but rather Ephraim Pennington and so that was the second group that I discussed.  The rest of them start to become a bit more complicated.
Group 30 are the descendants of Abram Pennington.  I haven’t seen a whole lot that convinces me that Abram is the progenitor of this group…put I can’t argue on who is included.  If Abram is the progenitor, the descendants include:
  • Elizabeth b. 9 Apr 1798 d. 13 Dec 1868 m.  Wells Blevins
  • Andrew b. 11 Oct 1809 d.11 Oct 1882 m. Hester Ann Blevins
  • Artemecia b. abt 1810 d. 27 Feb 1897 m. James Blevins Jr
  • James b. abt 1810 d. aft 1880 m. Catherine Sexton
  • Lorenzo Dow b. abt 1817 d. aft 1880 m. Nancy Pope

This family is made even more complicated with the fact that three Pennington siblings married three Blevins descendants (Children of James Blevins and Lydia Sizemore).  The inter-connectivity of these families makes it difficult sometimes to figure out who belongs to who.  Elizabeth’s descendants for the most part lived in Grayson Co., VA.  To put in perspective…Grayson Co., VA as a neighboring county to Ashe Co., NC means that you never quite know where a Blevins a few generations down connects. 

I think that largest chunk of Group 30 descendants and probably the best documented are those of Andrew Pennington b. 1809.  He has in particular presented a quite a problem for me personally.  It is quite easy to confuse Andrew Pennington b. 1809 – son of Abram Pennington with Andrew Pennington b. 1813 – son of Ephraim Pennington.  So, I have spent a lot of time differentiating between the two.  Andrew Pennington b. 1809 married Hester Ann Blevins and left Ashe Co. NC sometime between 1850 and 1860.  Most of the family went to Washington Co., VA – but some descendants stayed behind in Ashe Co., NC.  With a family of eleven children, the descendants of this family are numerous.  For the most part – the descendants of Penningtons living in Smyth Co., VA or Washington Co., VA are most likely to be descended from Andrew.
I think that it is possible that Artremecia and James Pennington are twins (which is a guess on my part) and both of these families stayed primarily in the Ashe Co., NC area.  The Blevins family is so interconnected with the Penningtons that it is fairly easy to assume that a Blevins probably has a Pennington in their ancestry.  Like her brother, Andrew – Artremecia had a large family of eleven children.  I must admit that this family is one area that I need a lot of assistance on…because they are so numerous and there are so many intermarriages that I continuously find cousins who have married each other which makes tracing the family very confusing.

If the Pennington lives in Ashe Co., NC today and isn't a descendant of Ephraim Pennington – one of my most likely families to look at is that of James Pennington and Catherine Sexton.  They had a family of eight.  There is still a lot of information that I don’t have on this family.  One of the James’ daughters also provided a bit more confusion as she had four sons out of wedlock.  Those sons also produced their share of descendants that also causes some confusion.

The youngest of the family is Lorenzo Dow Pennington.  For many years, Dow Pennington was almost what you would call an orphan Pennington.  There was a lot of theories as to where he might belong.  Thanks to the hard work and persistence of some of his descendants, this is no longer the case.  Like his siblings, Dow was born in Ashe Co., NC but he seemed to move back and forth between Washington Co., VA and Ashe Co., NC…at least for two censuses.  Some of his descendants lived in the Virginia area…and some stayed in Ashe Co. NC.  This is another family that I don’t have a lot of confidence in what I have – I recognize that there is still a lot more work that needs to be done on this family on my part.

Here are some of the blogs that I have written about the Group 30 Pennigton's

The next group of Penningtons is those of Group 12.  These are the descendants of Samuel Pennington and Elizabeth Anderson.  There were eight children in this family and their descendants mostly are in Grayson Co., VA – but they still show up in Ashe Co.  Samuel is one of those ancestors who is a bit of an orphan.  His father’s name is unknown and legend has it that he was a stowaway on a ship or some such story.  Recent developments in DNA testing suggests that he might be a close relative of the Ephraim Pennington group.  So, that opens up a whole new can of worms as far as theories go.  We know that he was born around 1795 probably in Virginia.  However, as far as I am concerned – much of the information concerning his birth and ancestry are suspect because theories are all that it is based on.  His wife, Elizabeth Anderson’s family is from Grayson Co., VA which suggests to me that Samuel is probably from either Grayson Co., VA or at least near its border. Supposedly Samuel left the area after his wife’s death in 1848 and died in TN in 1862.  Since I find no mention of him in the census records in either 1850 or 1860, I have my doubts about this story.  Two of his sons died in Civil War prison camps and another one of his sons was confused for many years to be a possible son of Levi Pennington and Elizabeth Henson.  There is also anecdotal evidence this confused son of Samuel (Elisha Pennington) was a close relative of the Levi Pennington descendants.  So, one of my theories is that Samuel was possibly as son of Ephraim Pennington.  Whatever my point of view, there is no doubt that Samuel’s ancestry is mysterious as well as his death.

Here are a few blogs from that line:

While researching Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC, when I used to run into an unfamiliar name, I would add them to my database and continue looking until I could connect them.  I have been able to identify the ancestry of almost all of these unconnected names.  The only one that I have yet to connect is that of Douglas Pennington  Douglas was born about 1820 and died in 1888 in Ashe Co., NC.  He was married to Kesiah Sullens and had nine children with her until her death in 1860.  Douglas then married the widow of Isham Blevins, Ann Edmonson and had three more daughters. This is still a family that requires a lot more research on my part.  However, I am sure he fits in with one of the Ashe Co., NC families…I am just not sure of where.

The other families that must be mentioned are those of Group 32 of Wells Pennington.  That family left Ashe Co., NC before 1820 but is likely connected with the larger group.  Another group is that of Group 31, which are the descendants of Aaron Pennington and they also left early in the 19th century for Kentucky.  DNA has proven that Group 7 (descendants of Micajah Pennington and Ephraim Pennington) Group 30 (descendants of Abram Pennington) Group 12 (descendants of Samuel Pennington), Group 31 and Group 32 have common ancestors as well as those of Group 4 (descendants of Ephraim b. 1734).  We may never know how they fit together because of the lack of documentary evidence that has either been destroyed by the vagaries of time, fire, flood, or war, but we do know that based on DNA research that these families are all connected.  As a researcher, I have tried to identify where each of these Penningtons belong and have developed a pretty good database of Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC, Johnson Co., TN, Washington Co., VA, Smyth Co., VA and Grayson Co., VA.  You never know when someone or something else will provide an important bit of information that makes yet another connection in these Pennington groups.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ashe Co Penningtons - Part 1

This is probably near the original homeplace of Andrew Pennington, son of Ephraim Pennington.  The land was sold to Levi Pennington's grandson,  Isaac around 1852, before Andrew moved to Johnson Co., TN.
I have been researching the Pennington family for over 15 years and during that time, I have had to widen my focus.  So, you might wonder what I mean when I call someone an Ashe Co., NC Pennington.  I use that term for any Pennington who has come through Ashe Co. NC or the immediate counties surrounding Ashe County such as Grayson Co., VA, Johnson Co., TN, Washington Co., VA, Smyth Co., VA and Watauga Co., NC.  To someone looking at this from the outside – it might seem like a wide scope of an area, but it really isn't.  It is a small corner between Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia where there is pretty close borders and people traveled often around these areas.  Besides the geographic area that I have outlined, there are also specific families that I include in my definition.  I believe that these families are all genetically related as has been shown by DNA – we just don’t have documentary proof as to who the common ancestors are. 

The first family group that I started researching was the descendants of Micajah Pennington.  Micajah was born in 1743 probably around Rowan Co., NC.  It is believed that is father was Benajah Pennington and mother was named Elizabeth….however we have no proof of that.  Ashe Co., NC didn’t exist until it was incorporated in 1799.  Having said that, Micajah was probably one of the earliest citizens.  We know that Micajah paid taxes on land in 1800 and that he probably lived in that same area for many years preceding 1800.  He was married to Rachel Jones on 28 Jan 1761 probably in Wilkes Co., NC.  We can guess that he lived in that general area for several decades.  Two of his daughters are listed on Bible record as being born in hollow of the Yadkin River on the east side of the Blue Ridge and New River in Wilkes Co., NC in 1765.  Since Ashe Co., NC was carved out of Wilkes Co., NC – it is most likely in modern day Ashe Co., NC.  If someone knows the exact location and I am wrong…please let me know.  Micajah and Rachel were the parents of ten children including:
  • ·         Elijah b. 1761 d. ?
  • ·         Micajah, Jr b. 1763 d. aft 1850
  • ·         Mary b. 1765 d. 1842 m. Jesse Bowling
  • ·         Levi b. 1767 d. abt 1815
  • ·         Edward “Neddy” b. 1769 d. 1860 m. Martha Flanary
  • ·         Rachel b. 1771 d. ?
  • ·         Elizabeth b. 1774 d. 1857 m. John Barton
  • ·         Sarah b. 1776 d. 1817 m. Dr. Samuel Johnston
  • ·         Johanna b. 1776 d. 1860 m. Douglas Dickson
  • ·         Benajah b. 1782 d. ?

Of these Pennington children we know only that the descendants of Johanna stayed in Ashe Co., NC and Elizabeth Pennington Barton’s family generally lived nearby in Grayson Co., VA.  The rest of the family moved to Lee Co., VA or Kentucky. 

Here are a few blogs that I have written about the Micajah Pennington branch of the Ashe Co Penningtons.

When I first started researching the Pennington family and was concentrating on the descendants of Micajah, I believed that I was descended from Levi Pennington.  My ancestor, Levi was born 1794 and d. abt 1887.  Other researchers originally believed that Levi was the son of Levi Pennington and  grandson of Micajah Pennington.  This was a a theory that I originally believed but after several years of research with several other Penningtons, we came to the conclusion that my Levi b. 1794 was not the son of Levi but rather, Ephraim Pennington b. 1769.  This has been a topic that I have written often about – probably because it is a reminder that one should always look at information closely and be open to new interpretations.  I would say that many of the Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC today are most likely descended from Ephraim Pennington through his son, Levi Pennington.  We know of three children who definitely connected with Ephraim – Levi whose family stayed in the Ashe Co., NC area for the most part, Daniel – whose family traveled to Claiborne Co., TN and Andrew whose family lived in Johnson Co., TN.  My particular branch lived in Ashe Co., NC until the 1880’s and then moved to Johnson Co., TN.  My great grandmother left Tennessee in 1910 for Oregon and later Idaho which is where I live.

 Here are more blogs that I have written about the Levi Pennington branch
In Ashe Co., Penningtons - Part 2 - I will talk about the Group 30 Penningtons and the Group 12 Penningtons.