My Ancestors Signature #42 ~ Morgan Blair

How many of you have searched for any kind of photo of an Ancestor and you weren’t able to find one? Especially for one who lived before photography was invented? Have you ever looked through documents like wills, or marriage licenses and you discover that your 3x Great Grandpa had signed it? This signature is a little piece of him that was left behind. By posting it online we can preserve it for future generations.

1st Cousin 6 times Removed

Morgan Blair
1812-1886
From Will Dated February 17, 1885

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

Thursday at the Cemetery #55 ~ Cedar Valley UMC Church Cemetery #3

This week I am honoring some of my paternal Hughes/Hayes family. There are several of my ancestors buried in this quaint cemetery located in Caldwell County, North Carolina.


I have spent the last couple of weeks writing a bio about each relative and posting it in a series of blogs. This is the final one.

Morgan Blair, my 1st cousin 6 times removed, was born on September 16, 1812, in Caldwell County, North Carolina. He was the son of John Colbert Blair (1764-1846) and Frances Hill (1768-1853). He was raised on his family’s farm near Cedar Valley. His family were pioneers in what was then Burke County, but is now Caldwell County. At a young age he learned the trade of a wagon maker. When he came of age he homesteaded his own farm, and he built a wagon shop on the property, and here he built and repaired wagons. He continued to acquire more land each year. In 1838, he married Elizabeth McLeod (1817-1877) the daughter of John McLeod and Elizabeth McRea. They had 10 children, 6 sons and 4 daughters. Morgan built his farm into a great plantation. In 1877, he became the postmaster in Cedar Valley where he served until his death on December 14, 1886, at the age of 74.

Elizabeth McLeod , wife of my 1st cousin 6 times removed, was born on May 26, 1817, in Caldwell County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of John McLeod and Elizabeth McRea. Her parents had immigrated to America in 1798 from Scotland. In 1838, she married Morgan Blair (1812-1886) the son of John Colbert Blair (1764-1846) and Frances Hill (1768-1853)). They had 10 children, 6 sons and 4 daughters. She died on September 29, 1877, at the age of 60.

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

Here’s Your Sign #27 ~ Henry Leonidas Stevens Jr.

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.

Henry L. Stevens Jr. 1896-1971 Veterans Leader. National Commander of American Legion, 1931-32; Superior Court Judge, 1939-62. He lived 2 blocks North.

Henry is my paternal 3rd cousin 2 times removed. He lived his entire life in  Clinton, Sampson County, North Carolina. He was very involved in his community, winning many awards for his extraordinary service.

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

Thursday at the Cemetery #53 ~ Cedar Valley UMC Church Cemetery ~ North Carolina

This week I am honoring some of my paternal Hughes/Hayes family. There are several of my ancestors buried in this quaint cemetery located in Caldwell County, North Carolina.

I will be spending the next couple of weeks writing a bio about each one relative and posting it in a series of blogs.

Colbert Blair, my 6th Great Grandfather, was born on April 8, 1729, in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of James Blair (1715-1776) and Mary Colbert (1705-1757). He moved with his family to Caldwell County, North Carolina, in 1740. His family were pioneers in what was then Burke County, but is now Caldwell County. In 1749, he married Sarah Morgan (1731-1827) the daughter of John Morgan (1696-1746) and Sarah Lloyd (1701-1747). They had 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Colbert fought in the 9th regiment of the North Carolina Militia in the Revolutionary War. He died in 1805 at the age of 76.

Sarah Morgan, my 6th Great Grandmother, was born on September 22, 1731, in Beverly, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of John Morgan (1696-1746) and Sarah Lloyd (1701-1747). He moved with her family to Caldwell County, North Carolina, in 1739. She was the first cousin of Daniel Boone through her mother. In 1749, she married Colbert Blair (1729-1805) the son of James Blair (1715-1776) and Mary Colbert (1705-1757). They had 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. She died in 1805 at the age of 96. No stone has been found found for her.

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

This Old House #4 ~ Captain Robert Cleveland

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!


Original House

Restored House

Robert Cleveland was born on January 8, 1744, on his fathers Plantation in Orange County, Virginia. He, along with several of his siblings migrated to western North Carolina sometime around 1769 when he was 25 years old. He settled near the Yadkin River on a tract of land that had been granted to him. About 1779, Robert Cleveland built his house on the Parsonville Road in western Wilkes County. Here he farmed and made whiskey. He had 13 children by his first wife, Alice ‘Aley’ Mathis. He died April 26, 1812. Hundreds of descendants have visited the house of their ancestors. For many years the house stood vacant, slowly decaying, a refuge for an occasional stray animal. In 1987, the house was purchased by Old Wilkes, taken apart and brought downtown to Wilkesboro, where the task of reassembling began. The original logs were used with only a few having to be replaced, and the mountain rocks that mad the chimneys were washed, stacked and reused in the two large chimneys and fireplaces. All the original beams are exposed; however, the floors and rafters had to be replaced. The rafters were cut from the Cleveland land and are held together with wooden pegs, which was the way it was originally constructed. It is believed to be the oldest house in Wilkes County.

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.

Thursday at the Cemetery #48~ Cleveland Cemetery ~ Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina ~ Part 3

I just discovered this small cemetery that is the final resting place of some of my Cleveland ancestors. It only has 27 graves on it, the first one was in 1732 and the last one was in 1981. That means it was in use for 249 years! It appears to be located on private land. The grounds are overrun with tall grass but the wrought iron fence that surrounds it is in good condition.

19 graves in this cemetery belong to my ancestors so I will be spending the next few weeks honoring those who are buried here.


All 4 of the following graves do not have a Headstone

David Yates, my paternal 3rd cousin, 4 times removed, was born in 1805, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the fourth of nine children born to John Yates Jr (1780-1875) and Elizabeth Cleveland (1783-1850). He married Elizabeth Church (1816-1853) on January 5, 1847. They had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughters. David was a farmer whose main crop was tobacco. David died in March 1860, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes, North Carolina, at the age of 55. He committed suicide by hanging himself in the barn.

Elizabeth Church, wife of my paternal 3rd cousin, 4 times removed, was born on March 15, 1816, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of John Church and Sarah Billings. She married David Yates (1805-1860) on January 5, 1847. They had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughters. Elizabeth died on June 14, 1853, in Lewis Fork, Wilkes, North Carolina, at the age of 37. She died 2 weeks after giving birth to their fourth child from complications caused by the birth.

Presley Cleveland Yates, my paternal 4th cousin 3 times removed, was born on October 18, 1850, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the son of David Yates (1805-1860) and Elizabeth Cleveland (1816-1853). He married Sara McGlamery (1860-1930) in 1879 in Lewis Fork, Wilkes County, North Carolina. They had 7 children, 4 sons and 3 daughters. Presley was a farmer. He died on December 22, 1923, in Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina at the age of 73. It is not known when or where his wife died nor where she is buried.

Margaret Virginia Yates my paternal 3rd cousin 4 times removed, was born in 1852 to John Yates Jr (1780-1875) and his second wife, Fanny Lamira Laws (1823-1912). She was the oldest of their 3 daughters. She died from pneumonia in 1864 at the age of 11 years old.

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.

Picture Perfect Saturday #28 ~ Benjamin and Katherine (Latimer) Shirley

I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

This week I am showcasing my paternal 2nd cousin twice removed and his wife. Benjamin Emaziah Shirley was born in 1814 and his wife Katherine Caroline Latimer was born in 1824 in North Carolina. They were married in 1841. This photo was taken about 1880 in Reed Creek, Hart County, Georgia. Benjamin was 66 years old and Katherine was 56. They look like a very mild-mannered couple. I think he looks lie he knows a secret, and she appears to not enjoy her photo being taken. My only wish was that the photo was in better condition.

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.

The Overall Gang #3 ~ Charles McKay Blackwelder

A lot of time while writing about our ancestors, we focus on those who would be considered successful by current standards. After all, there is usually far more documentation and sources that we can draw from that makes developing the story of their lives much easier. Looking through photos I made a discovery! I have quite a few pictures of my ancestors wearing farmers overalls. The majority of my ancestors spent their whole lives making a home and raising a family on a farm. To them, wearing overalls was a sign of honor, and they were proud of what they did. So to honor these hard-working men I will highlight the life of one of the “overall gang” each week, including the photo and a brief biography of the legacy they left behind.

This week I am highlighting my paternal 3rd cousin, Charles McKay Blackwelder. He was born on October 24, 1915 and was the oldest of the 2 children born to Whitson Blackwelder (1854-1930) and Beatrice Carter (1887-1922). Although he was raised in the town of Old Fort, McDowell County, North Carolina, he spent a lot of his childhood on the nearby farms of his Grandparents and several uncles. His father had become a blacksmith, so being on the farms was a treat for him.

In 1948, he married Blanche Hawley (1920-2004) and they moved out of town near his farming family and rented a farm. They had 2 children, 1 son, and 1 daughter. He tried his hand at farming but found he didn’t enjoy it , nor was he successful with it. At least he tried. He then got a job working on the railroad, and he worked for them until he retired. He died on April 1, 1993, at the age of 77.

I wanted to do this tribute because as I stated above, his love of the farm as a child prompted him to try farming, even though it didn’t work out. Also, I think the photo of him in his little overalls at the age of 2 was just too adorable not to share!

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 ~ Tryon, Polk County, North Carolina

hometown tuesdayIn 1540, some 47 years after Columbus discovered the New World, Hernando DeSoto had arrived in the mountain country where he found the Cherokee Tribe already in an advanced state of civilization. He also found the Indians living in log houses. Though accomplished hunters, they subsisted chiefly by their knowledge of agriculture. They raised corn, pumpkins, and beans.

In the earliest periods of settlement, the British and Cherokee enjoyedhearths-orange-county peaceful relations. A treaty signed in 1730 resulted in a greater influx of white traders and settlers. An early home, Seven Hearths was built in 1740 and is reputedly the oldest clapboard house in the county, which was moved to its present location in Orange County, North Carolina, in 1934.

The area was a fine place in which to live, as the settlers quickly learned. Several decades before the Revolution a sprinkling of families had set down their roots in the mountain coves in the midst of the Cherokee hunting lands. By 1768 traders were already traveling up the old Blackstock Road from Charleston to bargain for furs and hides.

nc_1740The proximity of the two civilizations resulted in many clashes and much bloodshed. The North Carolina General Assembly in 1767 advised the English Colonial Governor William Tryon to meet Cherokee chiefs in the hope of setting a boundary line between the frontier of the Province of North Carolina and the Cherokee hunting grounds thus preventing disputes. The survey, resulting from the meeting, was undertaken on June 4, 1767. The treaty line extended from Reedy River to Tryon Mountain.

Determination of the boundary, however, failed to ensure safety for the pioneers to the east or for Indians to the west. Many vicious raids continued despite the establishment of forts. The French and Indian War forever ended the peace that existed between the Cherokee and the English settlers, bringing to an end a relatively peaceful period. The French, who were allied with the Creeks, attempted to ally themselves with the Cherokee (who had been loyal to the British) and encouraged the Shawnees to raid settlements of the English.

It was here that the citizens of Tryon in North Carolina in the earlytryon resolves days of the American Revolution signed the Tryon Resolves. In the Resolves, the entire county vowed resistance to coercive actions by the government of Great Britain against its North American colonies. The document was signed on August 14, 1775. In the Resolves it was stated that:

The residents refer to “the painful necessity of having recourse to arms in defense of our National freedom and constitutional rights, against all invasions.” ’They vowed to take up arms and risk our lives and our fortunes in maintaining the freedom of our country. They also declared that they will continue to follow the Continental Congress or Provincial Conventions in defiance of British declarations that these were illegal. Finally, the signers warned that force will be met with force until such time as a “reconciliation” can be made between the colonies and Britain.

Jane Gibson Hardin HSJane Gibson, my 4th great-grandmother, was born in Tryon in 1742, She was the daughter of Walter and Margaret (Jordan) Gibson. Jane married Joseph Hardin in 1761, and they had 15 children, 9 sons, and 6 daughters. Joseph Hardin and his father Benjamin were 2 of the signers of the Tryon Resolves. Jane died on March 25, 1817, in Hardin Valley, Knox County, Tennessee at the age of 75.

 

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.

Sunday Salute ~ Colonel Richard Allen ~ Revolutionary War

An image of the american revolution

Richard Allen, my 5th great-grandfather, was born on November 26, 1741, in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the son of John (1717-1767) and Ann (1722-1746), Rhodes Allen. His family moved to Rowan County, North Carolina in 1743 and his mother died there in 1746. By 1759 we find him living in Fredrick County, Virginia. Richard was the youngest of nine children born to John and Ann and the family was considered to be poor. When he and Miss Lindsey fell in love, her father, who was wealthy, opposed the marriage. The young lovers persisted, and he married Nancy Ann Lindsey in 1763 in Virginia, and they had 8 known children, 5 sons, and 3 daughters. After the birth of their first child, Thomas (my 4th great-grandfather) in September of 1770, they again moved, this time back to North Carolina to avoid the ill will of her family.

In the month of October 1775, he entered the service of the Patriots as a volunteer for six months in Capt. Jesse Walton’s Company of minute men. It was the first company ever raised in the county of Wilkes. He was appointed First Sergeant. Immediately after the company was raised and organized they marched to Salisbury, where they remained about sixteen days engaged in training and exercising the men, after which they were discharged and returned home, where they arrived a few days before Christmas.

On the 13th day of February 1776, they set out upon their march forPatriot pic Cross Creek because they had heard that the Scotch Tories were committing great devastation in the country there. On their way, they were joined by Col. Martin Armstrong with the Surry militia at a place called old Richmond. After joining Col. Armstrong they continued their march until they reached Randolph County, where they were joined by Col. Alexander Martin of the Continental line with a small body of troops under his command. They engaged the Tories that were in this area.

Not long after the expiration of his first term Richard was chosen an ensign in the company of militia commanded by Capt. Benjamin Cleveland and they received orders from Col. Armstrong to go against the Indians who were committing acts of destruction upon the frontier of the Western part of North Carolina. In this expedition, they served about two weeks scouring the frontier settlements for any problems.

Benjamin Cleveland StatueEarly in the year 1778, Captain Benjamin Cleveland was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel and Richard was appointed to succeed him as Captain of the company which commission he held until the close of the war. In the latter part of the year 1779, a call was made for troops to march to the defense of Charleston. A draft was made from the militia in Wilkes for the company and a draft also made from the Captains of Companies for a Captain to command that company. The lot fell upon Richard, and he rendezvoused with the company on January 13, 1780. As soon as they could organize and make the necessary preparations they marched directly to Charleston, S. C., where they joined the third regiment of North Carolina militia, commanded by Col. Andrew Hampton.

Newspaper Richard's PlaceGen. Lincoln ordered all the troops into the city where they remained until the term of service of Richard and his men expired. They were then discharged and returned home, Richard arrived home sometime in the month of April 1780. In the month of September 1780, information was received by Col. Benjamin Cleveland that Major Ferguson of the British army was advancing from South Carolina with a large body of British and Tories, upon which Col. Cleveland immediately issued orders for all the Troops within the County of Wilkes to rendezvous at the Court House. Richard along with what men he could gather together immediately set out on their march to join the fight. At this time he was promoted to Colonel. They continued their march as quickly as possible in the direction of King’s mountain but was not able to reach it in time to engage in the battle. After this, Richard and his men again returned home to Rowan (now called Wilkes), County.

Richard Allen hsIn 1778, Richard was a member of the Constitutional Convention in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Richard was also appointed the First Sheriff of Wilkes County after the end of the War. In 1785 he served as a justice in the county. In 1793, he was a Representative in the General Assembly as well as serving a term in the House of Commons. Beginning in 1798 through 1804, Richard was once again made Sheriff of Wilkes County. He then served as the clerk for the Baptist Association until his death on October 10, 1832, in Edwards Township, Wilkes Co, North Carolina at the age of 90.

 

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.