December 31, 2015

Year end, look back, blah, blah, blah

I admit it. I've been a terrible blogger this year. I've neglected my blog and my promise to myself to be a consistent blogger. 

But if that's my worst mistake in 2015 (and believe me, it's not) then I would be in pretty good shape here on December 31, 2015.

Just 'cause I haven't been blogging doesn't mean I haven't been up to my eyeballs in genealogy.

Genealogy accomplishments in 2015

- I've become very active in the Wake County Genealogical Society. President-in-Training, VP Communications, Volunteer Coordinator. I need to seriously coordinate us into some more volunteers!  I helped get a new web site online. Check it out!

- Invested in a new genealogy database since my beloved FTM is going away. I'm incorporating my move to RootsMagic with a do-over. It's a monumental task. 

- I've really gotten into Find-a-Grave this year. Taken lots of photographs, beefing up bio info and pics on memorials I own, finding graves for all those I can.

- Totally organized all my digital files on Dropbox. I'm proud of me!

- Organized all my paper documentation, made sure I had digital copies, and put all the paper in binders organized by family name.

- Started taking apart photo albums that do not adhere to best practices, scan pics, organize pics. Need to decide if I want to hand scrapbook them or do a digital scrapbook.

- I downloaded all my digital documentation from Ancestry and made sure I had back up copies on Dropbox. Also made sure I attached them to the right person in FTM, which will soon become a duplicated effort when I put them in RootsMagic. Sigh.

- Volunteered for Ancestry Day at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC. Spent day 1 at the NC Archives and day 2 at the event itself helping folks get registered and find their way. Very cool.

- Spent an afternoon at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford, NC poking through the Hays Collection. Also spent a day at the Johnston County Heritage Center in Smithfield, NC. And several days at the NC State Archives in Raleigh, NC. 

- Throughout it all, I made serious hay on and all the many other databases I like to dig through. I even managed to post here a few times.

Whew!  Looking back, that's a LOT. 

But it's gonna be even better in 2016!  Bring it on. After all, some of my best friends are dead people.

December 17, 2015

Favorite Family Recipes: Mama's Fudge

Ann Gladys Allen Stancil
and her new cocker spaniel puppy.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Mama made this fudge at Thanksgiving and again at Christmas. It was one of her most requested recipes!

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (margarine just isn't the same!)
  • 1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk. Don't use sweetened condensed milk!
  • 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow crème
  • I cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (not the fake stuff!)







Putting it all together...
  1. Measure all your ingredients before starting. Once you get started, you'll need to work fast.
  2. Line a 9-in square pan with foil leaving extra over the side to use as handles.
  3. Bring sugar, butter, and evaporated milk to a full rolling boil in a 3 qt. saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly, it will stick to the bottom and burn in a skinny minute!
  4. Cook for about 4 minutes until a candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F.
  5. Remove from heat and add chips and marshmallow crème.  Stir like crazy until all is melted. Mama often had Daddy standing by to put some real muscle into the stir!
  6. Add nuts and vanilla.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and spread to cover bottom of pan.
  8. Cool completely. Use foil handled to lift fudge from pan before cutting into small squares.
Has 0 calories if consumed during the holidays!



December 14, 2015

What's all the fuss?

Unless you live under a rock, you've heard that is saying bye bye to Family Tree Maker. 

I'll admit, I was a bit surprised by the announcement, but after thinking about it from a business perspective,  I got it. 

I've worked for software companies most of my career. Still do. Software as a Service (SAAS) became a thing about 10 years ago. Then, along came all the hoopla around the "cloud". It makes perfect sense that Ancestry would eventually choose not to invest any more $$$ in development of an old-fashioned software program. That's so last century. 

So they're doing away with FTM and moving everyone to maintaining their tree on their web site, which by the way charges nearly $400 a year to maintain all the resources. See, it's all about the money. 

That's not as offensive as it may sound, all about the money. Without income, they won't have the resources to continue to build the empire. Or pay people to scan and index records. Or maintain their site. Or look good to their stockholders. 

So, I get it. 

Still, it's a bummer.  We'll lose features now in FTM but not available in the online trees on Ancestry. Well, shoot. Stuff happens. 

The world hasn't ended. The world still turns. We all woke up this morning. It's all gonna be ok with or without Family Tree Maker. 

I promise.

November 8, 2015

Ancestry Day in Raleigh, NC

Yesterday was the long awaited Ancestry Day event in Raleigh, NC. It was preceded on Friday with an event at the NC Archives that included informative sessions, vendors, and time in the search room. 

I volunteered both days -- what a rewarding experience!

On Friday, I worked at the registration desk in the lobby area of the NC Archives. I made a number of new friends, checked in folks for the events, and even got to spend a couple of hours in the search room roaming around, with no real agenda or research purpose. How fun!

On Saturday, Ancestry Day was held at the McKimmon Center on the campus of NC State University. What a beautiful facility!  Again I helped register people and was a door monitor. Not only did I make even MORE new friends, but I got to sit in on a couple of sessions and heard Crista Cowan (Ancestry's Barefoot Genealogist) speak on how to more effectively use She's a great speaker and even more engaging in person (as opposed to her You Tube videos).

All in all, it was a really wonderful experience and I'm glad I did it, although I must admit getting up at 5am on a rainy Saturday morning to be at the event by 6:30am was a bit of a chore!

A couple of upcoming events to be aware of:

National Genealogy Society's annual conference will be held in RALEIGH May 10-13, 2017!  WooHoo!  Right in my own backyard!

Treasures of Carolina exhibit at the NC Museum of History, running through June 19, 2016. You can see NC's copy of the Bill of Rights, the original 11th admemdment to the US Constitution, the Carolina CHarter of 1663, and document signed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and more!  Learn more here

Have fun!

October 11, 2015

Bud Allen: Moonshiner and Farmer

My great grandfather, Eugene Narron ALLEN, has always been an enigma to me. His nickname was Bud and I've seen his middle name as Nebron and Newman. From all accounts, he was a rough fellow from a dirt poor family. He surely fit right in with his peers.

Bud was born 03 May 1880 in Wake County, NC. He was the fourth child of parents Henry J ALLEN and Armeda HUSKETH, who have proven to be as much of a mystery as their son.

He was definitely a bad boy, having served time in the joint for making moonshine. By that time, he'd been married to Elizabeth "Sissy" Ray for nearly 23 years and had 7 children. Bud and Sissy must have had quite the farewell just before he reported for 6 months on the road crew in November of 1927, because their last child Marvin was born 18 April 1928. Sadly, Sissy died a day after giving birth to Marvin, her 8th child. Bud must have been out of prison by then because he was the informant on her death certificate. 

He lived another 11 years and did not remarry. He was living with his daughter Mamie in Raleigh, NC when he passed away from pneumonia  and heart disease. 

Bud shows up on the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census. He was also a registered voter, per the 1902, 1904 and 1906 voter registration records, Wake County, NC. He registered for the draft in 1918 listing Sissy as his next of kin. He was 38 years old at the time of his registration. I cannot find any evidence he was called to serve.

He lists a variety of occupations along the way; farmer, dairyman, laborer.

Bud was buried on 05 Mar 1939 in the cemetery of New Light Baptist Church in New Light, NC in extreme northern Wake County, next to Sissy.

October 2, 2015

Davis Family Reunion

My Davis family reunion is tomorrow and I'm really excited about seeing the family. Unfortunately, the weather here on the east coast is very very wet and may impact attendance. For those hardy souls who are willing to venture out in the torrential rains, we'll have the requisite BBQ and tables of food.

I like to think of family reunions as more than just an opportunity for us to eat and chat. Reunions should honor those who came before us and give us an opportunity to learn more of our family history.

Sadly, many are just not interested in those who came before us or just want to see the pictures. I love sharing the pictures, but what is a picture if you don't know anything about the person? Or the circumstances that caused the picture to be taken? 

For example, what was going on in the picture below? Was this a family reunion? A church event? Or just Sunday dinner? Wish I knew!

I think heavily each year about how I can provide info on the family history without boring people to death. I'm not sure I ever hit the mark, but every once in a while someone will email asking about family history and that makes me very happy.

Ummm....this would be me.

September 17, 2015

Wake County Genealogical Society presents JC Knowles and The Life and Times of Andrew Johnson

Please join us for the first Wake County Genealogical Society meeting since
our summer hiatus.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Place: Olivia Raney Local History Library
          4016 Carya Drive
          Raleigh, NC 27610

Speaker: J. C. Knowles

Topic: The Life and Times of Andrew Johnson

J. C. Knowles is a well-known speaker and teacher with an amazing resume. He
is the official Ambassador of Apex, North Carolina, and he was the 2007 Apex
Citizen of the Year. He is a publisher, writer, auctioneer for 44 years
(retired), North Carolina Historian, a member of the Apex Rotary Club, the
Swift Creek Exchange Club, and the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh. He served on the
Raleigh/Wake County School Board 15 years, the North Carolina Historical
Commission  for six years, and the President Andrew Johnson Commission for
10 years.

J. C. and his wife were married on July 21, 1954, on national television. He
was born in Wallace, North Carolina, on June 28, 1928, and raised at the
Oxford Orphanage 1930-1943. He served in the Merchant Marines and the U. S.
Army, and he taught North Carolina History to fourth graders for six years
as a volunteer.

Meetings are free and open to the public.  Guests are welcome. Bring a
friend!  Refreshments will be served during social time after the

August 16, 2015

Louisa Davis Allen, 1917 - 2015

Louisa Davis Allen
Louisa Davis Allen passed on July 19, 2015. She was 97 years old. My 1st cousin one time removed, "Liza" was the daughter of Ernest Davis and his wife Evie Allen. She was one of 10 children born in Granville County, NC.

When she was 19, she married Richard Lee Moore, Sr. They had two boys: Vance Julian and Richard, Jr. Vance passed in 2006, and some think he may have had a twin who did not live past birth, Ernest Davis Moore.  

Lisa married Paul Parker Allen when she was 36. I'm not sure what happened to Richard Sr, though he may have been killed in WWII, although I cannot find a death certificate for him. Paul Allen died in 1974.

Liza once showed me a gold wedding band she said belonged to my great great grandmother, Lucinda Davis. Granny Lucinda (Liza's great grandmother) died in a house fire in 1922. I have a grizzly image in my head about that ring on her finger, but aside from made me very happy to be able to see my great great grandmother's wedding ring.

Liza lived all her life in the Granville and Franklin County areas in central North Carolina. 

Edith Davis Gulley, Buss Davis,
Richard Moore, Jr.,
Charlie Davis, Louisa Davis Allen,
Mildred Davis Parrish
Edith, Vera, and Louisa Davis (sisters)

Liza was quite the pickle. She had the reputation for being very opinionated and didn't care who knew it or what they thought of her. 

She was one of a kind, for sure. 

July 12, 2015

Abandoned, Old and Interesting Places in North Carolina

Photos by the talented guys at Abandoned,
Old and Interesting Places
I've been wanting to give a shout out to the really talented photographers who maintain the FaceBook site "Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places."

Scott Garlock and Cye Gray use their talents to document disappearing Americana. I'm especially pleased the Americana they are taken with is my beloved North Carolina. 

All of the pictures to the left are from their FB pages and I can't tell you (or them!) how much I enjoy following their stores and photos. 

So be sure to give the page a visit, but only when you have time to linger and really appreciate the beauty of another time in North Carolina history.

June 24, 2015

Grimes Wills

If you've done research in North Carolina for any length of time, you are probably familiar with Grime's Abstract of North Carolina Wills.

I've referenced it many times at the NC Archives or in one library or another. But did you know that it's online now??  WooHoo!

Maybe it's been online for a long time and I'm just now seeing it. But it's new to it might be new to you, too!

It is on the Library of Congress site, as well as others, but the link I use most often is in the East Carolina University's Digital Collections

Just a bit of North Carolina trivia:

  • John Bryan Grimes was NC Secretary of State for 22 years.
  • His daddy was Confederate Major General Bryan Grimes.
  • His granddaddy was a Congressman.
  • Before he entered NC politics as a Democrat, he was a tobacco farmer. 
  • He grew up on his family's plantation in Pitt County.
Source: NCpedia

God bless Mr. Grimes. He sure left us researchers a true gem.

June 21, 2015 Is it time to part ways?

I love I know a lot of people gripe about them and I'm sure they have good reason. But my experience with Ancestry has always been a good one, ever since it was back in the dark ages when not everyone had a home computer. Like around 1989.

Ancestry has kept me entertained and utterly entranced for many a happy hour. And I like having my public tree on Ancestry. Not only does it serve as a sort of back up to my tree on Family Tree Maker (not the only back up, of course) but I've actually made friends and met family members via Ancestry. 

HOWEVER, I'm thinking maybe - just maybe - it's time for a break. And it breaks my heart to think I could no longer log on to Ancestry any old time I need an escape from my real life. But...there are reasons:

1. Ancestry made me fat and lazy. No kidding. I spent so much time on my rump flitting around Ancestry over the years that I've totally ignored the hundreds of documents in my files that scream to be transcribed. I have a blue ton of stuff that needs to be analyzed and sorted. 

2. Ancestry sucks me in to a degree that I ignore other sites that are probably rich in nuggets and information. Like,, and the digital files of the Southern Historical Collection at UNC. Ancestry has actually hampered my development as an amateur genealogist by making me not work for the information I need.

3. It's gotten SO EXPENSIVE!  There used to be a free section of Ancestry. No more. If I want access to the whole shebang, I'll need to fork over $400 a year. That's a LOT of money to me. Not to mention the amount of money I've already spent on YEARS and YEARS of ancestry subscription fees - before they got so darn expensive. 

Oh but it makes me sad to give up Ancestry. I haven't cut the cord yet, but if I find the courage, I'll let you know if it really did cure my lazy research habits and make me a better genealogist. 

June 7, 2015

The Flip Side of Genealogy: Writing About Yourself

Back in January, the Wake County Genealogical Society hosted Dr. David Kendall, author of "When Descendants Become Ancestors: The Flip Side of Genealogy." Not only was Dr. Kendall a great speaker, but I was lucky enough to have him as a house guest and got to know him a little better. How delightful!

I recently ran across some notes I took from his presentation and thought I'd share them here:

5 Reasons to Write Your Own Life Story

1. Continuity is part of your family's history. Continue the story with yourself.

2. Education of future generations. Help them understand by telling your own story and challenges.

3. Self examination. Consider it personal therapy.

4. Consider your own greatness and how you positively impacted the world.

5. Gratitude to our Creator for the opportunity to be the link between people, past and present.

What to Write About

1. Write about what you'd like to know about your ancestors.

2. What made you the person you are today?

3. What makes you similar and different from your ancestors?

4. Live events, a day in the life, your faith, regrets, achievements. 

5. What has mattered to you in your life?

Reasons We Don't Want to Write About Ourselves

1. I don't like to think about myself.

2. "Just a" syndrome. Just a wife, just a regular person, etc.

3. Time, also known as PROCRASTINATION.

4. Any other reason we can think of to NOT think about our personal past.


No one writes their story from scratch. There is already plenty of material, our personal past is our canvas. Everyone matters. Even you.

May 16, 2015

Lorilee Little Harrison, 1788 - 1850, Wake County, NC

My 5th great grandma, Lorilee LITTLE, was born about 1788 somewhere in North Carolina, probably Wake County where she died about 1850.

She must have been very (VERY) young when she married Lovell HARRISON, son of John Footman HARRISON and Mary RAY, on 07 Feb 1796 in Wake County, North Carolina.

They had the following children:

  1. Delia HARRISON was born in 1815 in Johnston County and died about 1865 in Wake County, North Carolina. She married William PERRY on 08 Sep 1830 in Wake County.
  2. Berry HARRISON.
  3. Willie HARRISON.

Marriage Bond Lovell Harrison and Lorilee Little


Feb 9, 1796

State of North Carolina Wake County. Know all men by these presents that we Lovell Harrison and Benja. Porter both of the State and County aforesaid are held & firmly bound unto Samuel Ashe Esq. Governor & his successors in office in the fun of five hundred pounds.

Executed in the presence of W. Rucker (?)

Lovell Harrison (his mark)
Benja. Porter (his mark)

9th of Feb 1796 Liley Little

Source: NC Archives

April 20, 2015

No Place for Hate

We all have family members we wish belonged to someone else's family. In this particular case, I have to admit I wish this person didn't belong to any family. What he did was so terribly awful, no branch of the family would want to claim him.

Every family has a black sheep. Mine has a bunch. From moonshiners to gamblers to alcoholics. All sorts. 

You've probably read the news accounts of the shooting at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, NC last week. Kenneth Morgan Stancil is accused of shooting a college employee. His motive? Hate.

According to news reports, Kenneth Stancil claims to have killed because a man was gay and "deserved to die". How appalling. He also claims to have killed others. 

Oddly, family members have been scurrying around trying to figure out which line Kenneth Stancil hails from. Turns out to be my line. William Stancil and his wife Africa. His middle name, Morgan, is an old family name from my 3rd great grandmother Elizabeth Morgan who married William Young Stancil around 1835. I'm not sure if this is really the origin of his middle name, but it sure is a coincidence.

This is one black sheep I sure wish didn't belong to my family. Or anyone's family. 

There's just no place in the world for hate.

March 13, 2015

Searching for Ancestors in Ireland: Wake County Genealogical Society Meeting March 27

"Searching for Ancestors in Ireland"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 7 p 
Join us Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 7 p.m. at the Olivia Raney Local History Library, 4016 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC  27610

Come join us to hear from three Wake County Genealogical Society members (Judy Rysdon and Ann & John Myhre) who researched their ancestry in Ireland and Northern Ireland in the past year. Discussion will include the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin and several places in Northern Ireland: PRONI (Public Records Office of Northern Ireland), the Linen Reading Room in Belfast, St. Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry, and the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, as well as online resources for Ulster. One speaker will also tell about meeting his cousin and visiting the house where their mutual ancestors had lived.

All WCGS meetings are free and open to the public.  Bring a friend!  Refreshments will be served during  social time after the presentation.

Stancil gives program on finding family histories, March 19, 2015

From the Kenly News, March 11, 2015:

Those who missed the Historical Society program given by Vann Stancil last Thursday night can still learn about how to find family histories on Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in the second session.
Stancil will go over ways to find family information and the resources available, such as websites and cemeteries. There will also be a question and answer time.
For more information about the program to be held at the museum in downtown Kenly, call Betty Pope at the Kenly Library at 919-284-4217.

(Kenly is in Johnston County, NC.)

March 7, 2015

Macon McNair Stancil, 1924 - 1954

Montlawn Cemetery, Raleigh, NC
My paternal uncle, Macon McNair STANCIL, was born 16 Oct 1924 in Johnston County, NC as the second child of Jesse Bernard STANCIL and Ada Lou JOHNSON. 

His nickname was "Little Joe".

He had five siblings:  Jesse Roland, Eric Ray, Cecil Braxton, Edith Cavelle, and Carl Donald. 

Macon was employed as a N.C. State Prison Guard and he also worked at famed Cooper's BBQ in Raleigh, NC.

He was counted in the census in 1930 in Wake County, NC at age 5. He was also counted in the census in 1940 in Wake County, NC at age 15. 

When he was 18, Macon registered for the draft as required by law. However, he did not serve likely due to his health issues.

He died on 19 Dec 1954 in Wake County, NC from diabetes. He was buried on 21 Dec 1954 in Wake County, NC at Montlawn Cemetery in Raleigh.

February 28, 2015

Thomas Johnson and Ann Allen Marriage Bond, 1822

Thomas Johnson and Ann Allen were married October 11, 1822 in Johnston County, NC. 

Bondsman was Benjamin Bell.

February 10, 2015

Wake County Genealogical Society February Meeting: Genealogical Resources at the Olivia Raney Local History Library

"Genealogical Resources at the Olivia Raney Local History Library"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 7 p.m. at the Olivia Raney Public Library, 4016 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC  27610

Saundra R. Cropps, Library Manager at the Olivia Raney Local History Library, will give a presentation on the wealth of resources the library has to offer to those doing genealogical research.  The collection includes items relating to Wake County, to North Carolina, and much much more.  Come learn what you might have been missing, or where you can get started.

All Wake County Genealogical Society meetings are free and open to the public.  Bring a friend!  Refreshments will be served during  social time after the presentation.

February 1, 2015

Granville County Beaver Dam School Census (NC)

The Granville County Beaver Dam School Census is undated but probably from about 1840. Several of my direct ancestors appear on the census.

Beaver Dam was a rural farming district in very southern Granville County very near the Wake County line. It first came into use about 1778.

I've seen the document when researching at the NC Archives. Sure wish I'd made a copy of it! It's a real treasure to me because it lists three different families in my direct line:

  • Israel Dillard (my 3rd great grandfather) had three children enrolled:  Eliza (Elijah?), Narcissa, and Cornelia (my 2nd great grandmother).  
  • John Davis (my 3rd great grandfather) had three children enrolled: Sugar, Mary, Johnathan (my 2nd great grand father who married Cornelia, above), Sary, and Precilla
  • Nancy Allen (my 4th great grandmother) had two children enrolled: Joseph (my 3rd great grandfather) and Mary
  • Sherod Wilson (my 4th great grandfather) had 7 children enrolled: Nancy, Malissa, Sarah, William, John, Betsy, and Amanda. 
I'm pretty sure I can also draw a dotted line to many of the other families on the census.  But it's very cool to see FOUR of my direct lines on this one document.

Just SO cool!

January 29, 2015

Ancestry Family Trees

I read a lot of chatter on the various forums about family trees on Ancestry. Some folks love 'em, others hate 'em. 

I like having my tree available for a bunch of reasons, although I've noticed lots of folks using my photos and material without asking. 

On one hand, I don't really mind as I made my tree public so it - and my wealth of information - could be shared. I want to share. But on the other hand, I must say I hesitate when I see where someone has clearly cut and paste something I wrote without any acknowledgment. I even recently saw a family photo I own attached to someone not even in the family line. Sigh. 

We can't help what people do with our information. We can only hope they'll use it responsibly, do their own verification of the accuracy, and maybe somewhere down the road they will delight or inform a family member even if they don't correctly acknowledge how they obtained the information.

I love it when people email comments on my tree. Generally, it's to tell me I'm wrong about something, but even that has great value to me and I'm grateful for the time they took to make me rethink my facts. 

So...check out my tree and let me know what you think!  I sync it daily with Family Tree Maker so it's always up to date!

January 28, 2015

Joseph Stancil, 1840 - 1889, Johnston County, NC

Joseph STANCIL, my illustrious 3rd great uncle, was born in 1840 in Johnston County, NC as the fourth child of William Young STANCIL and Elizabeth Sallie MORGAN. 

He had eight siblings: Young Allen, Elizabeth, Seviah, Prudia, Moses, Edney, Aaron, and William. 

When he was 27, he married Sarah E GODWIN,daughter of Stevenson GODWIN and Elizabeth FLOWERS, on 15 Mar 1867 in Johnston County, NC.

Joseph STANCIL was counted in the census in...

  • 1850 in District 15, Johnston, North Carolina. 
  • 1860 in Neuse River, Johnston, North Carolina
  • 1870 in Elevation, Johnston, North Carolina
  • 1880 in Johnston County, North Carolina

Joseph served in the US Civil War in the NC 24th, Co. I. 

Once the war was over, Joseph and Sarah started a family:

  • L. Florence STANCIL, born on 12 Feb 1866 in Johnston County, NC (Elevation Township). She died on 22 Oct 1917 in Harnett County, NC.
  • Mary C. STANCIL, born in 1870 in Johnston County, NC (Elevation Township).
  • Orther M STANCIL, born in 1871 in Johnston County, NC (Elevation Township).
  • Arthur M. STANCIL, born about 1871. He married Lalan JOHNSON on 03 Feb 1892 in Johnston County, NC

Joseph died about Jul 1889 in Johnston County, NC. 

January 26, 2015

Alfred Turner Dent, 1828 - 1891

Alfred Turner Dent
Alfred Turner DENT, my 1st cousin 6 times removed, was born 10 May 1828 in Franklin County, North Carolina, as the first child of parents James Hutchison DENT and Lucy HORNSBY.  

Alfred first married Susan COOK. They moved to Tennessee about 1850 with his mother Lucy and various other family members. 

Alfred and Susan had no children. She apparently died as a young woman, possibly in Tennessee.

Alfred was back in Franklin County NC by 1862 when he enlisted in Co. I, 55th NC Reg, CSA. He was wounded July 1, 1863 at Gettsyburg, PA. He was a POW at David's Island NY.  Both his arm and leg were amputated. He was a farmer prior to the war, but became a teacher after the war.

When he was 40, Alfred married Ann Rebecca DUKE, daughter of Richard DUKE and Parthena DICKERSON, on 13 Jan 1869 in Granville County, North Carolina.

Alfred Turner DENT and Ann Rebecca DUKE had the following children:

  • Issac DENT was born in 1870.
  • James Rufus DENT was born 15 May 1873 and 19 Sep 1954 in Franklin County, NC.
  • Eugene W. DENT was born in 1876.
  • Charles T. DENT was born in 1881.

He died on 06 Jul 1891 and was buried in Vance County, North Carolina, in the Liles-Edward Cemetery, Henderson, NC.

January 25, 2015

Lois Jean Allen, 1911 - 1918

Lois Jean Allen Gravestone
Lois Jean ALLEN, my great aunt, was born on 27 Jan 1911 in the Brassfield area of Granville County, North Carolina. She was the third child of Eugene Narron ALLEN and Elizabeth RAY. 

Lois had seven siblings: Vada Atlas (my maternal grandmother), Mamie, Henrietta, Lacie, Elsie, John Benjamin, and Marvin Eugene. 

Lois was only 6 years old when she died of "exhaustion" brought on by Typhoid Fever on 05 Jan 1918 in Brassville Township.  She is buried at New Light Baptist Church the New Light area of extreme northern Wake County, NC. 

Lois Jean Allen Death Certificate

January 24, 2015

Tracking documentation

Eugene Narron Allen Death Certificate
Sometimes I get off on tangents and "special projects" that, while they have significant impact on my research, also feed my OCD. For example, I recently started filling in my collection of death certificates. I've said before that I love, love, love death certificates. They provide such rich information and insight. 

I especially like looking at cause of death and the informant to consider the circumstances that may have led up to the death. It's a huge part of the story.

The NC Archives has death certificates from about 1913 to 1979. I ran a FTM report and compiled a list of all family members with deaths in NC in that time frame. 

I had long ago scanned all of them, but they were scattered around my computer files, so I organized them into the proper folder and made sure they were attached as appropriate in Family Tree Maker.

For those that were missing, I first checked to see if I could snag them online. If that failed, I ordered it from the NC Archives via their online portal.

I tracked cause of death and place of burial. Also the funeral home who handled the deceased, although I've not had any luck getting funeral home records.

Added bonus, of sorts:  Many many of my folks died of heart disease. Guess I need to hit the gym more often so that doesn't happen to me!

Next up:  Marriage records.

January 7, 2015

Wake County Genealogical Society's January Meeting

Please join the Wake County Genealogical Society for our first presentation of the new year with Dr. David Kendall, author of “When Descendants Become Ancestors: The Flip Side of Genealogy.”  This highly thought-provoking book challenges us to write our life stories and perhaps will even change the way we view history. 

Dr. Kendall’s goal is to encourage people of all ages to examine their lives, write and preserve short stories about their own life experiences and to use their wisdom to enhance the lives of future generations. His web site can be found at and includes a weekly blog. Dr. Kendall will also have copies of his book available for purchase.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Olivia Raney Local History Library, 4016 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC  27610.  
Meetings are free and open to the public, and are for all levels of family historians and genealogists, whether or not you are researching in Wake County. Come share your stories and learn more about writing about your very own life experiences!

January 4, 2015

Emily Massengill Stancil, Johnston Co, NC, 1848-1884

Emily MASSENGILL, my 3rd great aunt, was born July 1848 in North Carolina as the second child of my 3rd great grandparents, Aaron MASSENGILL and Wilsie HARPER. She had two siblings, Mary Ann Rebecca and Bethena Hawkins.  

When she was 18, Emily married Moses STANCIL, my 3rd great uncle and also son of my 3rd great grandparents, William Young STANCIL and Elizabeth Sallie MORGAN, on 11 Dec 1866 in Johnston County, NC.

I descend from her sister, Mary Ann Rebecca, who married William Stancil, a brother of Moses. Two sisters married two brothers! AND...each of them are children of my 3rd great grandparents. How weird is THAT?

Moses served in the Confederate Army along with his two brothers Young Allen and Joseph Stancil. He helped build the Ironclad Abemarle and then fought on it in the battle at Plymouth, NC and until it was torpedoed. He served with Company B, 8th BN of NC. 

Emily was counted in the 1860 census in the Neuse River area of Johnston County, NC. She was also counted in 1880 the census in Smithfield, Johnston County, NC.

Moses and Emily had the following children prior to her death at age 36:

  1. F. L. Stancel was born about 1869 in NC.
  2. Bettie STANCIL was born about 1870 and died in 1891 in NC. 
  3. David H. STANCIL was born about 1871 in NC.
  4. William Aaron STANCIL was born about 1875 in NC.
  5. S. H. Stancel was born about 1878 in NC.
  6. Moses Luther STANCIL was born on 28 Dec 1879 in NC.
  7. Junius J. STANCIL was born in 1882.

Emily died of July 1884 in Johnston County, NC.