May 27, 2014

Farewill to Sin and Sorrow: The story of Wealthy Jane Stancil and William Avera

Wealthy Jane Stancil and William Avera were apparently quite a pair. Family word has it that Wealthy had at least 4 illegitimate children with William, who was single, so the question is:  Why didn't they marry? 

The families lived on adjoining farms and a family rumor has it that they could not marry since one of them had Indian blood. I've found no evidence of Indian blood on the Stancil side. I've also found no evidence that they lived together.

According to the Bastardy Bond of September 1842, William was required to pay $25 to help support the child for his first year and then $10 annually. There would be three additional bastardy bonds to follow.

Poor Wealthy was even criminally charged with having a bastard child and hauled before a couple of JPs to answer the charge. Early in the process, Wealthy refused to name the father, but eventually the law caught up with him and he was required to pay child support. 

The story takes a sweeter turn when I learned that Wealthy treasured a Free Will Baptist Hymn Book that her mother apparently bought in 1833. Wealthy's mother was Edney Moore Stancil, my 4th great grandmother. Notes in the book indicate that one of Wealthy's sons was George Robert Stancil. Wealthy wrote her name in the front of the hymnal in 1837.

We all have our reasons for doing the things we do  - like not marrying in spite of having 4 illegitimate children at a time in history when such a thing was so hurtfully impactful to everyone concerned. I'd love to know more of Wealthy's story.  

May 26, 2014

William R. R. Husketh and wife Lincy Ellen Mariah Wilson - GGG Grandparents

After much research - and at long last - I'd love to introduce you to my great great great grandparents William R. R. HUSKETH and his lovely wife Lincy Ellen Mariah WILSON. 

William was born about 1817 in Granville County, NC as the first child of Archibald HUSKETH and his bride Claery BAILEY. He died some time after 1882 in Yancey County, NC. When he was 19, he married Lincy Ellen Mariah WILSON, beloved daughter of Sherwood WILSON and Stacy HUTSON, on 18 Nov 1836 in Granville County, NC.

William lived in the Beaver Dam and Cedar Creek areas of Granville County until he enrolled in the Confederate army on August 10, 1861. He served in Co. D of the 30th Infantry Regiment. He was likely a little older than most when he enlisted at the age of 44.

Once the war was over, he did not return home to his family in Granville County. The 1880 census finds him in Jacks Creek in Yancey County, NC married to Rhoda Mayfield. Rhoda was nearly half his age. I can't find any evidence of a divorce from his first wife, but need to do much more research. 

At the moment, it appears he left his first family when he enlisted and never returned to them, although a cousin has a letter indicating he was regretful about not seeing his children with Lincy. I've read that it's possible Lincy died around the time William entered the war, so there may a connection.

William and first wife Lincy had the following children:

  • Armeda HUSKETH was born about 1840 in Granville County and died about 1910. She married Henry ALLEN on 23 Aug 1870. These are my great great grandparents. 
  • John HUSKETH was born about 1840.
  • Arrilda HUSKETH was born about 1847.
  • Eugene Archibald Wilson HUSKETH was born on 07 Aug 1857 in Granville County and died on 01 May 1931 in Franklin Co. He is buried in the Lewis Augustus Wilson Cemetery in New Light,NC. He married Della HUSKETH on 07 Nov 1895.
  • Anterour T.

William and 2nd wife Rhoda MAYFIELD had the following children:

  • Lincy Ellen HUSKETH was born on 06 Dec 1866 and died on 29 Oct 1913 in Yancey County, NC. (Isn't it peculiar that William and 2nd wife named their first child after his 1st wife??)
  • Annis HUSKETH was born in May 1876 in North Carolina.
  • David HUSKETH was born in Sep 1882 in North Carolina.
I am sure there is way more to this story than I know currently, but stay tuned and I'll be sure to update you with any juicy details that may come my way!

May 23, 2014

ScanSnap: My new toy

Ok, so I shouldn't have. But I did. I finally broke down and bought myself a shiny new ScanSnap S1300I by Fujitsu. I've wanted one forever but resisted buying since it wasn't a "must have". But in a weak moment, I took a deep breath and bought one. I love it!

I rarely give into such impulses, but I have a pile of scanning about 2 feet high and my trusty old HP Office Jet just wasn't cutting it. I could take a nap in the time it takes the HP to scan a few pages. 

The ScanSnap is just the ticket for someone who does a lot of scanning. And it will serve me well in my quest for the paperless office. My goal is to get rid of my 4-drawer file cabinet and keep most documents digitally. 

Most of my scanning consists of wills, deeds, and old maps for my genealogy. I've been having a perfect blast today scanning my 3rd great grandfather Absolom Barber's War of 1812 service documentation and the mountain of claims by his 2nd wife Patience trying to get the government to let her have Ab's pension once he died.  

It seems little has changed since the War of 1812. It's still a significant hassle to get the government to live up to it's promises to veterans. Such a shame.

The ScanSnap was easy to set up and easy to use. And it's fast. I no longer have time to run downstairs for a Diet Coke before a page finishes scanning and rendering on my screen. 

Happy Day!

Fuller Land in Franklin and Granville County mid-1700s

May 21, 2014

This way not that way: Henry Allen and Armeda Husketh

Just when I thought I had a solid line of evidence supporting the Allen branch of my family tree, I learned I had it all wrong. Hate that!

For years I thought I had the right Henry Allen. I chased Henry's family tree and collected documentation only to learn I had the wrong Henry Allen of Granville County. It happens. Especially in a world where "Henry" and "Allen" are common names. Shucks.

The result was a fairly extensive and well-documented Allen family tree. Except it was someone else's Allen family tree. Not mine. 

But thanks to my genealogy cousins (literally, cousins somewhere down the line), I am now on the right path. And as often happens, the right path leads to some amazing discoveries. Those brick walls came crumbling down.

Oh, Henry Allen, I'm so glad I finally found you and your elusive wife of many names:  Armeda, Aemecia, Mezie. Huskey, Husketh, Husky. I've discovered it really helps to have the right name when researching! Duh!

Family has told me again and again and again that my great great grandmother was Mezie Huskey Allen. So naturally, I set in search of Grandma Mezie. Except her real name was Armeda Husketh. Not even close to "Mezie". Argh!

Such is the nature of genealogy. You have to be flexible and willing to consider alternatives, even after you've spent years barking up the wrong tree!

May 11, 2014

In Celebration of Mother's Day....

Mom's High School Yearbook Pic
I've written plenty about my mom on this blog, but since today is Mother's Day, I thought it fitting to pay tribute to her. 

Ann Gladys Allen Stancil was born on July 1, 1929 in rural Franklin County, NC to Atlas Allen and wife Ethel Davis. She was is the oldest of 3 daughters and by all accounts, the most, ummm...spirited. 

Gladys had a mind of her own. She had a sometimes difficult relationship with her mother. I get that, because Mom was not always the easiest person to live with. She was highly opinionated, extremely stubborn, and beyond determined. It was often her way or the highway. 

In spite of her personality "quirks", she had a heart of gold and enough love to fill the oceans. She was generous with what little she had and always ready to long as you were ready to hear what she had to say.

In mid-life, mom struggled with depression and alcoholism. She came by it honestly as she came from a very long line of alcoholics. She tried many times to stop drinking but there was just ONE thing that finally made her successful. That was her grandson, Cameron. She stopped drinking cold turkey when he was born. 

I did not realize when she passed in April of 1997 how much I would miss her every single day. I still hear her voice in my head and often I think I see her in a crowd.  Wishful thinking. I wish I could have just 10 more minutes with her to tell her how much I love her and to bring her up to date on how her beloved grandson is doing. 

But I suspect she already knows that. 

May 4, 2014

Books I Own

I've been a geek for a looonnnngggg time. I have the piles of files, hand-scribbed notes, and books to show for it. You can barely see the top of my desk. Or the carpet on the floor for that matter...I have stuff piled everywhere!

I didn't realize how many books I have until I started listing them on the new page for this blog entitled Books & References

I've considered selling many of these books on eBay or the like, but gosh..I so love them. I love holding them, flipping through them for the 1,389th time, and letting my mind (such as it is) drift from historical place to historical place. I've surely missed my calling in life. I really should have been a historian, librarian, or archivist. But then I would have SO geeked out that I would never have made time for a family, and that would have been a darn shame.

So here I am - in the middle of life - having a perfectly awesome time with all my books, notes, files...and oh yes - THIS BLOG!

Take a look at the list of books. I'd be thrilled to look something up for you. I may not find your answer but we'll certainly have a grand time trying!