Hometown Tuesday ~ Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi

hometown tuesdayFounded in 1716, Natchez is the oldest city on the Mississippi River. It was founded as Fort Rosalie by the French to protect the trading post which had been established two years earlier in the Natchez territory. Permanent French settlements and plantations were subsequently developed a dangerous distance from the fort and too near important native locales. The French inhabitants of the “Natchez colony” often came into conflict with the Natchez people over land use and resources. This was one of several Natchez settlements; others lay to the northeast. The Natchez tended to become increasingly split into pro-French and pro-English factions; those who were more distant had more relations with English traders, who came to the area from British colonies to the east.

After several smaller wars, the Natchez launched a war to eliminate the French in November 1729. It became known by the Europeans as the “Natchez War” or Natchez Rebellion. The Indians destroyed theHistoric Natchez Map French colony at Natchez and other settlements in the area. On November 29, 1729, the Natchez Indians killed a total of 229 French colonists: 138 men, 35 women, and 56 children (the largest death toll by an Indian attack in Mississippi’s history). They took most of the women and children as captives. The French with their Indian allies attacked the Natchez repeatedly over the next two years. After the surrender of the leader and several hundred Natchez in 1731, the French took some of their prisoners to New Orleans. Following the Seven Years’ War, in 1763 Fort Rosalie and the surrounding town was renamed for the defeated tribe, and it came under British rule.

The terrain around Natchez on the Mississippi side of the river is hilly. The city sits on a high bluff above the Mississippi River. In order to reach the riverbank, one must travel down a steep road to the landing called Silver Street, which is in marked contrast to the flat “delta” lowland found across the river surrounding the city of Vidalia, Louisiana. Its early planter elite built numerous antebellum mansions and estates. Many owned plantations in Louisiana but chose to locate their homes on the higher ground in Mississippi. Prior to the Civil War, Natchez had more millionaires than any other city in the United States.It was frequented by notables such as Aaron Burr, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Winfield Scott, and John James Audubon.

Culpeper_SealPeter Rucker, my 5th great-grandfather, was born in 1735 in Culpeper, Culpeper County, Virginia. He was the 8th of 13 children born to Thomas Sr and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Rucker. By the age of 20, he had accumulated 500 acres of land and was a proficient farmer. In 1759, he married Sarah Wisdom (1746-1808) and they had 4 sons and one daughter. Peter furnished supplies to the county militia of Culpeper in 1755. He also served under Captain Robert Slaughter in the French and Indian War. In 1775 Peter and Sarah sold their land to Michael Ehart, and they packed up their children and belongings and made the long trek to Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi.

Here Peter worked as an Indian Agent for the Spanish. During the American Revolution, the British surrendered the Natchez District to Spain. As an agent, he would relay messages back and forth between the Spanish and the Natchez Tribal leaders. He also attempted to keep the peace between all parties. He died in 1781.

Peter had owned a large plat of land in the town of Natchez and in Natchez Plat Rucker1822 his son Jonathan filed a claim for the land. Natchez was the starting point of the Natchez Trace overland route, a Native American trail that followed a path established by migrating animals, most likely buffalo, which ran from Natchez to Nashville through what are now Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Natchez became part of the United States in 1817 when Mississippi entered the Union as a state.

27 years ago, before I really began my Genealogy journey we lived in Mississippi, and we would frequently make the drive up the Natchez Trace to Nashville. I wish I knew then that my ancestors had lived here.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter

Here’s Your Sign #8 ~ Ruckersville

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Ruckersville Peter Rucker historicalmarker

 

John Rucker, my 6th great-uncle, named the town of Ruckersville in Greene County, Virginia, after his uncle with whom he shared the name, John. Captain John Rucker established the St. Marks Parish Church here in 1732. The Rucker family patriarch Peter Rucker immigrated to the colonies in 1666. He was a French Huguenot who came here for religious freedoms. He settled not far from the town and many of his descendants lived in the area for generations.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Multiple ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks #28

MultipleThis week’s prompt got me to thinking about what would I consider to be a multiple. At first, I thought of twins that run in my family, but I have already written about most of them. Then I thought about a number of ancestors that died in the same years. There were many multiples of them also. Eureka! It finally hit me, and here is my interpretation for multiple.

I have found several lines where I descend from two siblings. Here are 4 examples of that.

 

First Jonathan Brewster (1593-1661) from the Mayflower, is my 9th great-grandfather. I descend from 2 of is daughters making them both my 8th great-grandmothers.

Grace Brewster (1639-1684) married Captain Daniel Wetherell

Hannah Brewster (1641-1711) married Samuel Starr

So how does this make me a descendant of these multiple sisters?

Grace and Daniel had a daughter, Mary Wetherell who married George Dennison

Mary and George had a son named Daniel Dennison who married Rachel Starr

Hannah and Samuel had a son named Thomas Starr who married Mercy Morgan

Thomas and Mercy had a daughter named Rachel Starr who married Daniel Dennison

 

Second is my 4th great-grandfather Colby Rucker (1760-1781) I also descend from 2 of his daughters making them both my 3rd great-grandmothers.ConfusedEmoji

Sarah “Sally” Rucker (1791-1850) married Thomas Hayes (1780-1849)

Elizabeth Rucker (1787-1855) married John Coffey (1776-1845)

Here is where it gets complicated. Thomas is the son of George Hayes (1760-1839) who is the son of Thomas Hayes (1740-1829) who is the son of George Hayes (1714-1747). This George had a daughter named Molly “Polly” Hayes (1742-1829). She and Thomas (1740-1829) are siblings. Molly married Benjamin Coffey (1747-1834) and they had John Coffey (1776-1845).

So Thomas Hayes’ great-aunt is the mother of his brother-in-law!

 

Third is my 9th great-grandfather John Dodson (1571-1652) I descend from 2 of his sons.

Jesse Dodson (1623-1716) married Judith Hagger (1615-1655)

Benjamin Dodson (1624-1652) married Anne Simms (1624-1715)

Jesse and Judith had a son named Charles Dodson (1649-1716)

Benjamin and Anne had a daughter named Anne Dodson (1651-1715)

Charles and Anne got married making them first cousins and becoming my 7th great-grandparents.

 

Fourth, is my 7th great-grandfather William Bond (1674-1713) married Dorothy Dayne (1677-1720) wait for it….his brother Isaac Bond (1676-1719)  married Anna Holmes (1676-1715) is my 7th great-uncle.

 

cousin1William’s son William Bond (1701-1779) married the daughter of his Uncle Isaac, Clara Bond (1709-1789) making them both my 6th great-grandparents and my cousins.

 

I hope you are not as confused as I was several years ago when I discovered these multiple connections. I have actually found a few more but I have a headache just listing these!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Hometown Tuesday ~ 7 Oaks, Nelson County, Virginia

hometown tuesdayWith the establishment of the Virginia Colony in 1607, English emigrants arrived in North America by the thousands. By the late 17th century English explorers and traders had traveled up the James River to this area. Early trading posts were established between 1710 and 1720. By 1730, many families moved into the area currently known as Amherst County. They came because of the abundance of land and the good tobacco-growing soil.

Originally known as “The Oaks” and “Seven Oaks Villagethis town started as a stage station on the Charlottesville-Lynchburg road. In 1806 the county took its present proportions when Nelson County was formed from its northern half. The county seat was then moved to the village of Five Oaks, which was later renamed Amherst. The original courthouse was built in 1809 on two acres of land purchased “from a Mr. Coleman for ten shillings.” The original courthouse was torn down 1872 and the present courthouse was built “from the homemade brick of Amherst County clay.” All Amherst County records have been stored in the courthouse since 1761 when Amherst-Nelson counties were divided from Albemarle County. The county was named for Lord Amherst, known as the “Conqueror of Canada“, who commanded the British forces that successfully secured Canada from the French during the Seven Years’ War and had been named Governor of Virginia although he had never been there. 

When 7 Oaks Town’s name was changed to the Town of Amherst in 1807, it was also named after Sir Jeffery Amherst. By this time tobacco was the major crop grown as well as apples. The soil was rich and there were still plenty of lands to be had.

After the death of my 3rd Great Uncle, John Rucker (1680-1742) in January 1742, his wife Susannah (1684-1742) moved their 12 children (7 sons and 5 daughters) from Orange, Virginia to 7 Oaks. John Sr had purchased 5850 acres of land here in 1738. Unfortunately, she died in September of that same year. The Rucker’s were very prosperous making a good name for themselves and growing tobacco which they exported to England. Two of the sons, Anthony (1728-1821) and Benjamin (1726-1810) invented a new type of riverboat to transport the tobacco to Jamestown. These boats were also used to move supplies and munitions up and down the inland rivers during the Revolutionary War. Another son, John Jr. (1720-1780) was a dispatch rider for George Washington during the war.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Your Sign #3 ~ Revolutionary War James River Batteau Boats

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Ruckers James River Batteau historicalmarker2 2

My 1st cousins 7x removed, Anthony and Benjamin Rucker, invented these boats in 1774. The Batteau was used by the Continental Army. Batteau was used to move troops, munitions, and supplies on the shallow inland rivers during the Revolutionary War. They were a carefully built craft as they were often mentioned as being built by a boat builder or “ship’s carpenter.” This evidence infers that the crafts known as “James River Batteaus” were strong, shallow-drafted vessels. They were a valuable military asset and were considered a major loss if captured by the enemy. These boats were used until around 1850.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Trying To Get It All Straight

gene check listI have started going through my trees with a checklist of documents I have or need for each ancestor. It has helped me to fill in a lot of blanks. When I am working on the tree, I usually just work on one line at a time. If it is the Hughes line. I will look at my dad, his dad, then his dad, etc. I don’t change the order by looking into their spouses as well. I do this after I finish the male line.  Everyone does their research in their own way and this is mine. It usually works well until I make a mistake.

 

A couple of days ago I was researching my 2x Great Grandpa George W. Hayes. As I was closing his page getting ready to go to the next Hayes in the line, I heard a loud thud and someone yelling! I told my husband it sounded like someone got hurt so we went outside. Our elderly neighbor had fallen so we helped her up and took her into her house and made sure she was okay. When I got back home, I was still a little frazzled by the incident so I thought I would just get back to filling in some missing pieces in the tree. I pulled up the tree and hit the button and then I pulled up the ancestor. When I looked at his wife’s name I was confused. It gave her name as Elizabeth Rucker. I could have sworn her name was supposed to be Sarah Rucker. When I took a second look at her husband’s name, I realized that I had hit Georges’ wife tree by mistake. When I looked at Georges’ parents his mom was listed as Sarah Rucker. If this was correct that made George and his wife, Elizabeth Coffey first cousins. So, the search was on!

 

 

 

The farther back I went the more confusing it got. It was confirmed that Sarah and Elizabeth’s father was Colby Rucker.  Sarah married John Coffey, the son of Benjamin cousin blocksCoffey. Elizabeth married Thomas Hayes whose mother was Mary “Polly” Hayes. Mary Hayes was married to Benjamin Coffey. If this isn’t confusing enough Benjamin Coffey’s brother Thomas married Elizabeth Smith. They had a daughter named Mary Coffey, who married William Coffey, who was the son of Benjamin Coffey!

headspin

OK, my head hurts from all this inter-marrying.  I am going to spend some time looking through the many, many children of the Hayes, Rucker and Coffey lines to see how many other cousins have married. I know this isn’t really that unusual, there are probably some like this in most trees. I know I have cousins in my mothers’ line who have married. However, not this many within 3 generations!

 

So, here is my dilemma. Actually 2 of them. First, what is the best way to make a chart linking all of these cousins together to get a better view of them and their relationships with each other? Second, what do you think about me putting the “extra” relationship in my trees so future generations don’t have to do what I have done?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up ~ Freaky Friday #2

J&J picSeveral years ago, my Son-in-law Jake, asked me to research his Genealogy and I quickly gathered all the information that he knew about his family and eagerly began. His paternal ancestors came from Missouri and places on the east coast.

 

During the research, I stumbled upon a very familiar last name…. Rucker. I know that Rucker is a very common German/Dutch name and that a lot of Rucker’s immigrated to America starting as far back as 1690. I was intrigued and began to dig deeper.

Following the line backward I discovered the name, John Rucker. John had been born thecousin quote FF2 oldest child of Peter Rucker and Elizabeth (Fielding) Rucker in 1680 in England. I became so excited I could hardly contain myself. Peter Rucker born in 1661 in Germany was my 7th times Great Grandfather! That meant he was my daughter’s 8th times Great Grandfather and he was also my son-in-laws 9th Great Grandfather. My daughter and son-in-law are 1st cousins 10 times removed! Jake descended from John Rucker and my daughter, Jerusha descended from Thomas Rucker the 2nd son of Peter and Elizabeth Rucker.

Oh, the fun I have had with this. I have relentlessly teased them about being kissing cousins.

Then it hit me. Jake was my 1st cousin 9 times removed. Sorry, but this kind of creeped me out. Then I felt the heat rush through my face and it dawned on me, if he is my cousin then so are my 2 grandsons!!! What do I do now, have the boys call me Grandma Cousin? This is truly Freaky.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Revolutionary War Bateau Boats Made By The Rucker’s

Anthony and Benjamin Rucker where the sons of John and Susannah (Phillips) Rucker of Rucker CrestOrange County Virginia. Benjamin born in 1726 became a lawyer, justice of the peace, a vestryman at St. Matthews Church, trustee of Warminster Academy, a member of the Amherst County Committee of Safety, and a Captain in the Revolutionary War. Anthony born in 1728 was also a Revolutionary War Captain, as well as Amherst’s Commissioner of Provision Law in 1781 and Tobacco Inspector in 1792. 

The fact that the Rucker’s were tobacco farmers prompted Benjamin and Anthony to try Batteau boatto figure an easier way to move the harvested tobacco down the James River to Richmond.  Sometime in 1774 the Rucker Brothers invented a flat-bottomed boat called a Bateau. It has not been proved as to whether it was just Anthony or if the two brothers worked together. The first Bateau was launched in April 1775. The earliest known reference to the Bateau comes from Thomas Jefferson’s account book, dated April 19, 1775. Jefferson made notes in his account book describing this new river boat in 1775: “Rucker’s bateau is 50 f. long 4 f. wide in the bottom & 6 f. wide at the top. she carries ll.hhds. & draws 13 ½ water.”

James River RuckersThe Bateaus where used by the Continental Army. Bateaus were used to move troops, munitions and supplies on the shallow inland rivers during the Revolutionary War. They were carefully built craft as they were often mentioned as being built by a boat builder or “ship’s carpenter.” This evidence infers that the crafts known as “James River Bateaus” were strong, shallow-drafted vessels. They were a valuable military asset and were considered a major loss if captured by the enemy. These boats were used until around 1850.

There is a James River Bateau Festival held every year in Lynchburg VA. They celebrate the Rucker’s and their contribution to the early Transport for the tobacco industry and the Revolutionary War. They launch replica Bateaus and travel down the James River to Maiden’s Landing.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.