Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Fannie






Sarah Frances Falkner Turner was one of my sixteen Second Great Grandparents. I've been stuck, Stuck, STUCK on her father, John Falkner, for years. I believe I've discovered every record there was on him, which were few, as he was a simple man who lived a simple life. Only DNA research can take me any further now. 

There were two sets of Faulkners or Falkners in Anson County in the 1800's.  The other set were wealthy. I'm now convinced without a doubt that the two were related. Asa Sr., the head of the other family, and my John, were not brothers. That's clear, but very possibly first cousins, as DNA connections among descendants abound.

But to start a thorough investigation, I must start with the very first Falkner in my family tree growing upwards from myself, and that would be Fanny.

In the beginning, the children of John Falkner were nearly as difficult to investigate as he, himself. Fanny was one of his younger children, and at first, it was believed she was the youngest, until I found Ella, who was born after 1870, the last census both John, and his wife Susan Webster Falkner, show up in.

Sarah Frances Falkner shows up as just a wee lass in 1870. Her father is seen as 63 and her mother 43. Six of her older siblings were in the home, but there were others. Susan was John's second wife and several of Sarah Frances' older half-siblings were already out on their own, working, marrying, and starting families of their own.

The family lives on a farm in the Lanesboro area of Anson County, NC.


The census taker completely missed Susan and the children who still lived with her in 1880, but she was alive and well in 1880. The next time we find Fanny in a record is on her marriage license in 1887. 


John Falkner had been dead for about a decade and the groom, William Alexander Turner, knew he was dead, but could not recall his name to have it recorded on the license application. He did know Susan, however, who was still living in Lanesboro and the wedding was held at her home.




William A. Turner was the son of George Washington Turner, who was living, and Wincy Ann Morton Turner, who was not.  Will was the grandfather of my maternal grandfather, Lewis T. Davis, and I can see a resemblance between him and 'PaPaw'. The below photograph was passed down from one of Papaw's brothers family. I'm sure that was probably Fannie's elbow, yet we don't have the entire photo of her and I wonder why not. But she had a delicate hand in her younger years. 


William Alexander Turner




Will would move his family to the town of Albemarle, in neighboring Stanly County, though his home church remained Red Hill Baptist near Ansonville in Anson County. His father, George Washington Turner, was a founding member and his grandfather, the Rev. Samuel Parsons "Crying Sammy" Morton, had preached there.






The years immediately preceding and following the turn of the century were rough on the small farming communties of  the southern piedmont and more than crops were planted in the earth. Will and Fannie Turner started a family and the cemetery at Red Hill Baptist Church in upper Anson County would tell the tale of their many losses. Just in front of his fathers plot, William Alexander Turner had purchased a row of gravesites for his family. His own grave is on the right of the row, while Fannie, who outlived him is several graves down on the left, reason being, several of their children were in the middle. 

First born was little Luanna on January 15, 1888. She passed away on Febuary 8, 1888, only 3 weeks old.

The next two seedlings would take root and grow into adulthood, Annie May in 1889 and Penny Wayne in 1891, my great grandmother, so they are not buried here.

Next followed two more daughters; Viola was born on October 8, 1893. Her family enjoyed her angelic company for 5 years until the little girl expired of unknown reasons on December 1, 1898. Their sorrows were not limited to Viola in 1898. Mary, who was born in 1895, was only three when she died in 1898. Lastly, their only son, and no doubt Will's pride and joy, after 5 daughters, little Willie Turner, Jr., was born on August 29, 1898 and passed away on November 21, 1898, just days before his sisters.

CLIPPED FROM

The Messenger and Intelligencer

Wadesboro, North Carolina
03 Nov 1898, Thu  •  Page 3

It was reported in the local newspaper, in Novemeber of 1898, that a small child of Will and Fannie had died. This would have been Willie. There was so many childhood maladies that were fatal then, and not so much now, that the rate of death of small ones was incredibly high, sometimes half of the family, sometimes more. Other dangers were rampant as well, until parents learned over the next century how to keep their small ones safer. Many were burned in fireplaces or were scalded by boiling water, ran over by trains, bitten by poisonous snakes, or injured by other animals. One child in my family tree was kicked in the head by a cow while trying to milk her. The world was a dangerous place. 





Name:Wm A Turner
Age:31
Birth Date:Mar 1869
Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Home in 1900:Albemarle, Stanly, North Carolina
House Number:21
Sheet Number:14
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:181
Family Number:208
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Fannie Turner
Marriage Year:1887
Years Married:13
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Cotton Mill, Drawer
Months Not Employed:0
Can Read:No
Can Write:No
Can Speak English:Yes
House Owned or Rented:Rent
Farm or House:H
Neighbors:
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationship
Wm A Turner31Head
Fannie Turner31Wife
Annie M Turner11Daughter
Penny W Turner8Daughter
Ella Smith33Sister in Law (Sister-in-law)
Virgie M Smith1Niece

It may have been these grave losses that spurred the Turner families move north to Albemarle, in Stanly County, where they were found in the 1900 census. Will is renting a house in North Albemarle Township and working in a local Cotton Mill, which means the family was probably living on what was called . "The Mill Hill", as Albemarle is located on a number of rolling hills along Little Long Creek, Long Creek, Town Creek and many smaller, contributing branches. Living with them was Ella Turner Smith, Fannies younger sister, who was born after 1870 and was often omitted from family trees, as she was not listed on the last census her parents were in. Ella's small daughter, Virgie Mae, was also living with them and oldest daughter, Annie Mae Turner, only 11, was also working in the Cotton Mill. Child labor was alive and well. 

Fannie was expecting another daughter during this time, Bessie, who would be born on March 19, 1900.


The tragedy would not end. Will Turner, himself, passed away on January 2, 1902. He was only 35 years old. I'm not certain, but I believe he also died of pnuemonia. He passed away just before death certificates began to be issued. He was buried at Red Hill Baptist Church near Ansonville, NC, the Turner family church.

Name:William A. Turner
Gender:Male
Birth Date:21 Mar 1865
Birth Place:North Carolina, United States of America
Death Date:3 Jan 1902
Death Place:North Carolina, United States of America
Cemetery:Red Hill Baptist Church Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Ansonville, Anson County, North Carolina, United States of America
Has Bio?:N
Father:George Washington Turner
Mother:Elizabeth Wincy Turner
Spouse:Sarah Frances Turner
Children:Bessie Scarboro

Fannie was now a young widow with three young daughters, Bessie just a toddler. 



Fannie was still a young woman, so after a year of mourning, she began courting for a second time. 

Brantley Mack Thompson was an Albemarle man with Montgomery County roots. His family may have been displace by the building of the dams like several others were. The son of Nathan Thompson and wife Priscilla Coggins, Brantley was Fannie's age and a recent widower just as she was. He had first married Mary Bracey Fesperman and had a sturdy family of five children. Brantley and Fannie would marry on July 3, 1904, in Albemarle, by Magistrate John W. Bostian. The witnesses were J. H. Williams, J. E. Caspar and W. A. Wilson. 

Brantley reported to be 38 and a resident of New London. Fannie reported to be 35, and a resident of Anson County. She now reported that both of her parents were deceased, meaning Susan had died between 1900 and 1904, as her daughter Ella had reported her alive on her marriage license in 1900. 

Brantley and Fannie would have one child together, a son, named Bennett Lee Thompson, born on September 4, 1907. I remember it being told how well my Great Grandmother Penny had loved her little brother. She even named one of her sons, Bennett Davis, for her brother.



In 1910, the extended Thompson family were living on Salisbury Road in Albemarle. Brant was a carpenter and two of his older sons, Travis, 21, and George, 18, were still in the home. Travis worked for the Railroad and George was an Oiler in a Cottonmill. Little Bennitt was only two years old and two of Fannie's daughters also were still living at home. Mae (Annnie Mae) was 20, and working as a Winder at the Mill. Little Bessie was only 10, and a student. The family had taken in two boarders, Mamie Taylor and Will Vanderburg. This was common as single young people would move off of the farms an into the towns to make a new life and living for themselves. 

1910 seemed to be a family grouping of homes, as next to Brant lived next to a John Thompson, 22, his wife, Martha, and John's sister, Ida Fesperman. Yet, although John was a Thompson,  he was neither Brantley's son or brother. There may have been a Thompson connection up the line, but it wasn't close enough to concern me. Likewise, John's sister Ida had married a Fesperman, the maiden name of Brantley's first wife, Mary Bracey Fesperman, but no close connection there, either. Bracey's father was a John Martin Fesperman and Ida's father-in-law was a John Henry Fesperman. Again, those branches may have sprang from the same trunk and probably did, but not a close relation. 

However, on the other side of John Thompson, in House number 206,  was living Fannie's other daughter, "Wayne", (Penny Wayne), 18,  and her husband, Will Davis,19,  with their baby son, Claude, 13 months old.
These were my Great-Grandparents, both who lived to meet me. 

Beside the Davis's lived the family of Joe and Mattie Holt and their 18 month old son, James. Mattie was the sister of Will Davis.

Below is a fragment from a 1969 map of Wiscassett Mills Housing. While a long time after  1910, it does show clearly, this section of the Salisbury Road before several changes, like the Hwy 52 Bypass that was built in front of where the Service Station sat (and still does) in the upper left corner of this map portion, right before 518.
Now, a Harris Teeter shopping complex took out the first three houses on Leslie Street and the entire area of Sycamore Street, which I don't even remember existing, and an Eckerds/Right Aid now Walgreens took out the Shell Station between Salisbury Ave and Chestnut Street, and all of the houses on that side of Chestnut Street.

The addresses listed for Brantley Thompson, John Clark Thompson, Will Davis and Joe Holt in the 1910 census, houses 204,206, 208 and 210, were gone far before this map was drawn, but should have been located in that section of street between Salisbury Avenue and Leslie Street, or, perhaps Leslie Street may have been the original trajectory. It seems, though, that between the road labeled "US", which was the old Hwy 52 (and Second Street), where Salisbury Ave begins, and the one labeled just "ST.", which was first street, would have been the 100 block and the section between First Street and Depot Street, (where Chesnut ends), would be the 200  block. House number 518 is the first dwelling actually on Salisbury Avenue/ Road in this except, and still is. It began as a farm house and was adapted into the mill vilage built around it, as it was once occupied by my first husbands grandparents, as we had seen a picture of it, still somewhere in our family possessions, of the house with only fields around it, before the mill village was built, and not yet underpinned, crops climbing the hill instead of cottages. 



https://lib.digitalnc.org


When I was small, I remember my Great Grandparents living at 106 Chestnut Street. Those houses have also been demolished and the entire block is now a bank, with the bank itself having located where 710 stands and my Great Grandparents home being paved over for the ATM parking lot. 


Except from 1927 J. M. Furr Jr. map of Albemarle from digitalnc.org.




The above  except, from 1927, is much closer in time to 1910. This blowup shows Salisbury Avenue, at that time called Salisbury Street, between Second (which would become Hwy 52) and Depot Streets, crossing 1st Street. It shows W. Davis, or Will, living at 261 Salisbury St. Chestnut Street had not been built yet, but in a blow up, one could see Leslie Street existed at this time. Of note, J. Mauldin, or Jonah Mauldin, lived just across the street at 252 Salisbury Street. Jonah Mauldin is also my Great Grandfather. Here, in 1927, Will's son would be 15 and Jonah's daugther would be 18. A few years down the road they would marry.


1927 J. M. Furr Jr. map of Albemarle from digitalnc.org.



A larger view shows how Salisbury Street related to the rest of the neighborhood. It met with First on its eastern end and headed out of town to the northwest after crossing Little Long Creek on the west. Before its trek towards Salisbury, the city it was named for, it made a curve around the factory buildings and crossed before a massive pond, which is now an abandoned parking lot. Another, smaller pond, is seen located among the buildings on the left labeled 'Wiscassett Mills'. There are railroad tracks between First Street and the neighborhood to the east, which climbs a steep hill and contained roads named Cannon, McGill, Webb and East Streets. Horizontal to Salisbury lie Lefler to the north of Salisbury and Ludlow to the south and Glenn south of Ludlow.  Near the lower right corner of this portion one can see a building labeled Wiscassett Hosiery Mill and dead center, two blocks east of that, is a block labeled playground, with a building labeled 'Pavillion'. This is amazing to me. The park/playground is still there to this day. As I am a grandmother and take my grandchildren there to play, this means this playground and Pavillion entertained at least 5 generations of my family, My grandparents, my Mother and her siblings, myself, my children and my grandchildren. Across the street from the park, where the YMCA now stands as it did during my childhood, are a  School and the Wiscassett Nurses home nestled between two residences, John Fulton and W. A. Smith. There is also another school on the next corner adjacent to the School that became the YMCA, next to the Methodist Church, which also still stands. 



A view of the map in its entirety can be viewed Here .



Moving forward to the 1936 map, just about a decade into the future, the numbering is clear.
By now I've figured out that these two blocks of Salisbury Avenue on the map are Chestnut Street. That 106 Chestnut and 106 Salisbury Avenue we're the same house. From my earliest memories, Leslie Street had only one row of houses. The tiny strip of land between today's Salisbury Ave and Leslie St is barely wide enough for a dog house, let alone a human house of any size. That the 'S' curve around the pond that no longer exists is the short section of road in front of the old Wiscasset Dye House that created a little block only large enough for one building and is now a medical building. At some point, a new road came straight up, a four lane road, and wiped out all of houses on the south side of Leslie Street. This road became Salisbury Avenue, and the old part was named Chestnut. It was probably at the time the Dye House was built and the pond was filled in. Only four houses remain on Chestnut Street today. 






A broader view of the neighborhood verifies my theory. House number 106 Chestnut sat on a hill with a high bank and a basement with windows where flowers caught the sun. A wide porch overlooking the hill was much used to watch traffic that ran along First Street and the trains that ran the tracks behind the houses across the street. Webb Street climbed the hill from the valley called Happy Hollow where all those streets merge.

And the second block, the two hundred block, of Salisbury Avenue, now Chestnut Street, is where Fanny and her new family lived in 1910, in the block where what is now Walgreens sits.


The wider view shows how the mill village was built on the other side of the tracks, and how Ash Street extended into what would become Carolina Avenue by the time I came along, and was replaced by the current Hwy 52.



It was also interesting for me, to see the area that extended from the other side of the park. The Catholic Church is seen exactly where it sits today. I was shocked to see it was there in 1936. This County is not known for a population of Catholics. The older folks complained that they were brought in with the factories and referred to them as 'Carpet Baggers.'


The next decade would bring a great deal of tragedy and a small bit of happiness.
The Enterprise - 11 Aug 1910 - Page Page 3


The first tragedy would occur in August, just after the census was taken, when Fannies first grandchild, little William Clyde Davis, would pass away. 



Next was a happy event when oldest daughter Mae found love and married Lanny' T. McDowell in 1912.

Both married daughters would welcome children over the next few years, two more sons for Wayne and two daughters for Mae.

In the summer of 1915, youngest daughter, Bessie, would marry, to Joseph Scarborough, son of Charles and Delia. Both of them lived to the Registrar, and said they were 18 years old, when both were only 15. 

The Enterprise

Albemarle, North Carolina  Thursday, August 02, 1917



From there on was tragedy, Bessie would have a sons, William Clegg, who was born and died in 1917 at only three and a half months old. His cause of death was given as ' toxemia and indigestion from being overfed'. 

The next year, Bessie was again pregnant with a baby boy. She became deathly ill with influenza that would turn into pneumonia. Not only Bessie, but Fannie also was sick with 'The Spanish Flu' that developed into Bronchial pneumonia. 

Bessie went into early labor. Her premature son was born, and died, on October 18, 1918. Three days  later, Bessie would also pass away from her illness. She was only 18 years old, and cause of death was pneumonia with influenza and premature labor being contributing factors.  Bessie and both of her baby boys were buried at Prospect Baptist Church just outside of Albemarle, at the time. 

On October 22, 1918, the very same day as her youngest daughter Bessie, Sarah Frances Falkner Turner Thompson would pass away,  at age 51, of pneumonia. She was buried in the row of Turners with her husband William,  and their deceased small ones,  at Red Hill Baptist Church in Anson County.

Life is like a river that keeps flowing on. If any of the other members of the family caught the flu, they survived. 

Fannies widower, Brantley, would marry a third time, almost exactly a year after her death, to Daisy Tucker. They would have two children together, a son and a daughter. Brantley would live until 1935.


Oldest daughter, Annie Mae Turner McDowell would have four children and become a young widow in 1926, at the age of 37. She would live another 40 years and passed away in 1966. 
Penny Wayne Turner Davis had another eight children after losing her first, five sons and three daughters. She would pass away in 1965.

Fannies baby boy, Ben, would marry a lady named Nellie and have 2 sons and three daughters. He named one Wayne and one Mae.


























Friday, December 2, 2022

An Island Named Albemarle

Ancestry DNA has a new feature wherein they have the ability to separate your DNA matches into groups, by which of your two parents the individual is related to you through, Identified as Parent One and Parent Two.  There's another category I refer to as "The Bin", where people have taken DNA tests for unknown reasons, and didn't start a Family Tree, or did with only 3 people in it, so there's not enough information for the program to access a common thread running through them. Ancestry deems this category "Unassigned", as the algorithms don't have enough information to assign the match to one side or another. 


Then there's a fourth category named "Both Sides". These are individuals who are related to you more ways than one, and through both parents.

An historic aerial view of the town of Albemarle, NC from "The Stanly News and Press",  digitalnc.com.


The both sides situation can occur, explains ancestry, when the individuals, "come from a small population, (like on a island) that both parents belong to."  
My parents are not related to each other. I checked that jack out through a program on gedmatch.com. Fortunately, my mother grew up in Albemarle, but her roots were primarily from the south side of the county, on the Rocky River, and across the river into Anson County. My father grew up in Aquadale in the southern part of the county, but his roots are from the western part of it, and into Union, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties. 

According to ancestry, I have 42,728 matches through Parent One. The most common names that show up among the family trees of those matches are Burris, Lambert, Almond and Hatley. Parent One is without a doubt my father.

I have 56,727 matches on Parent Two's side, my mother. The most common names showing up in the family trees of those matches are Smith, Mauldin, Blalock and Brown. Mind you, Mauldin makes sense here, as my grandma was a Mauldin, but I only have one very distant Smith ancestor to my knowledge, one very distant Blalock line, and not one single Brown. However, several of my Aldridge ancestors intermarried with a Brown family down in Cottonville, so I'm not a Brown descendant, just a cousin by marriage.

I have 8922 Unassigned matches who will hopefully work on their trees one day and become assigned.

  There are 63 people who match on both sides of my family tree and their most common names are Smith, Almond, Cagle and Brooks. I believe this is just because of the sheer numbers of people with these surnames. I have no Brooks ancestors, either, that I have found. There must have been a large number of Brooks intermarrying with both my mothers and fathers ancestors.





If one were to have made a trip around the circumference of Stanly County in say, 1880, that traveler would have encountered the following family names. In the northernmost part, near the borders with Cabarrus and Rowan, one would have encountered those descended from the early pioneer German settlements, in those counties,  like Ritchies, Misenheimers, Barringers, Arey's, Ridenhours, Isenhours, Millers, and Fraleys. Heading down into the county near New London, which was then Bilesville, there would have been  Biles, Parkers, Moss, Crowells, Harrises. Following the river down the easternmost border would have been the land of the Kirks, the Penningtons, the Latons, the Calloways, the Nobles, the Shavers, the Meltons, the Palmers and several of the names more common to the other side of the river; Thompson, Coggins, Russell, Hall, Morris and Blalock. My Solomon and Marks ancestors lived in this area too, but were not great in number.



Ferry Crossing the Pee Dee River (possibly Lowders Ferry), courtesty of the Badin Museum.




Switching over toward the western end of the northern border, crossing just north of Albemarle,  one would travel through the land of the Carters, find more Palmers, Picklers, Kendalls,  Rogers, Eudys, Plylers, Manns, Holts, Culps, Sells, and Sides. 

A path directly south out of Albemarle towards the Rocky River down through what is now Aquadale and Cottonville, one would first encounter families of Mabrys and Mauldins, Rummages, Foremans, Tuckers, Coopers, Kimreys and Simpsons, Boysworths, Tuckers, and further south, Crump,  Carpenter,  Davis, Aldridge, Lee, Brown,  McIntyre, Murray and Floyd, McSwain,  Hathcock, Reap, Green, Ross, and lots of Smiths thrown in here too.

If one drove east from this area, known as Tyson, one would encounter the Swaringens, the Hudsons, The Dukes, more Lees, lots of Allens, Walls, Avetts, Tysons, and another group of Kendalls. So many Shankles inhabited the rich area of the forks of the Rocky and Pee Dee Rivers, that this area became known by that name. Heading up river from that, before meeting up with those who inhabited the northeastern border, there would be the area of the Randalls, the Thompsons, and the Forrests.





By Lewis Bramlett, for the Stanly News and Press









The southern border of Stanly County is at least thrice as wide as the north. If one had decided to head west out of Cottonville, instead of east,  towards Leo and Morgan Mills, into what was Big Lick, there en masse would be found patches of Efrids, Almonds, Morgans, Brooks,  Hartsells, Coleys, Hills, Mortons, Burris's, Lamberts, Cobles and lots and lots of Huneycutts and Honeycutts. The reason being, in the very earliest of records of settlement in this area of Stanly County, there was not one or two, but eight or nine, patriarchs of the Honeycutt (and Huneycutt) line. 

Further west still, even to the point where Stanly stops and follows the extensive border with Cabarrus County northwards, would be the land of the Furrs. This area was also firmly populated with many of the same families before mentioned in Big Lick, but also many Barbees, Brattains, Loves, Reeds, more Morgans, Mortons, Drys, Littles, Osbornes, and Stowes. Add a healthy dash of Cabarrus crossovers like Finks, Shues and Blackwelders and that's a hefty portion of the population. There was an additonal healthy population of Smiths in this area, too.

Sewing the final seam along the county line of Stanly County, we have the area in the middle of the border of Stanly and Cabarrus between the southwest and the northwest, traveling in towards the western side of Albemarle. This area took in the other side of Long Creek up to a portion of Bear Creek, a beautiful area of rolling hills. Leaving Albemarle and the other side of Lowder Mountain one would have found a grove of Burlesons. Here also would have been Whitleys and Underwoods, Bowers and Austins, Eudy's and Pages, Harwoods and Hatleys. A few smaller, but interesting families, like McClures, Herrins, Rices,  Cassels and Meggs, also lived in this area, but not in such numbers as the Burlesons and Bowers. 



A postcard of early Albemarle, from the Stanly County History Center collection







In the center of all these edges was located the town of Albemarle, the county seat. This was the home of the Hearnes, located on a plot of 50 square acres that had been part of the Hearne Plantation, in an area filled with creeks and where Little Long Creek made contact with Long Creek just after being fed by Town Creek, and shortly after joining with the Melchor Branch, Poplins Branch, Coleys Branch,  Rock Creek,and others. The movers and shakers from around the county had by then, 40 years past the founding of Stanly, moved into the newly former town of Albemarle, some, even, from the eastern side of the Pee Dee River, having abandoned the former county seat, when Stanly and Montgomery were one, called Lawrenceville. Among these were merchant Daniel Freeman, C. W. Wooley, S. J. Pemberton and others.

There remained, surrounding Albemarle, those who had also settled near where the Long Creeks merged,  and the larger Long Creek rippled on; the he Melchors,  Marshalls, Fespermans, Penningtons, a few Lillys, and Iveys, and yet more Smiths, Russells and Meltons.

From the square of  Albemarle looking westward, one can see to this day, Lowder Mountain. That is where a burgeoning tribe of Lowders had taken root, and their related families of Poplins and Cagles.



Lowder Mountain as seen looking west from the square of Albemarle around the turn of the century. Used previously on this blog with the permission of Lewis Bramlett in conjunction with the History Center.




Albemarle is an island. Semi-isolated and insular farming communities throughout the county had intermarried amongst themselves, a handful of families each, with a rare and occasional dash of fresh blood coming in from outside the county, and outside the state, for generations. As the industrial revolution came to the south, railroads allowed for further and faster travel, and the merchant class expanded, many left the farming communities and settled in towns. This was further impacted by the daming of the Yadkin/ Pee Dee River, with High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows, Falls, and the Norwood dams, displacing many families who had settled along the river. Many moved to town seeking work and a future. They brought with them their often intermingled and crossed-over genetics,and here, in Albemarle, began a new life in a small town, a 'small population', that both parents belonged to. The result is the 63 people that relate to me on both sides. 






Thursday, December 1, 2022

Seventy Dollars and a Horse

A wide variety of professions are found among the branches of my family tree, with farming being the most common, which I believe speaks for most searchers of ancestors past. Second place in my case I find a little odd. There were a large number of men if the cloth in my lineage, one, I've not made much mention of, the Reverend William Fincher.








I may never have found out about Rev. Fincher had it not been for a distant cousin who found him first. This distant kin is a walking, talking Encyclopedia Britannica of history, and family history within its realm, to beat.

I had found out quite a bit of information on my second Great Grandfather, Frederick Fincher Starnes, including his roots back to Germany and his many business ventures and land purchases over 6 counties in two states, North and South Carolina. Yet, I could never figure out why he claimed to have been born in Georgia.

It was clear who his father was, as he actually lived with Finch in his older days and beside him in younger. I knew his mother's name, as he named her in his marriage license, though she was long dead before 1850. I knew his younger half siblings were the offspring of his father, Fred Jr.'s, second marriage to Elizabeth Thompson, so the origins of Finches mother, Sarah, was a mystery, until this distant cousin, who should write a book, broke down the wall. 

Sarah Fincher, daughter of Rev. William Fincher, had married Frederick Starnes, son of Frederick Starnes, son of John Starnes, son of, you guessed it, another Frederick Starnes. One, possibly two, sons, were born of this union. 

Below is the obituary for Rev. William Fincher, and explains exactly why Frederick Fincher Starnes was born in Georgia. 

                                  From The Southern Christian Advocate


In 1824, Rev. Fincher visited Monticella, Georgia, which was not his first trip to the land of Peaches. It appears most, if not all, of his large family accompanied him on the journey, including his married daughter, Sallie and son-in-law, Frederick Starnes. There was born Frederick Fincher Starnes, my third Great Grandfather, and this is why he always claimed to be born in Georgia. Finch grew up in what is now Union County, and as a young man in the 1850's, purchased land along the old Rocky River Road in the northernmost part of Lancaster County, South Carolina. His wife, Martha Louise Byram, grew up on the Union County side of the state line and they would live in Union before moving to Cabarrus County, where he would run a mill and own several large tracts of land, some of which crossed into Stanly County near Mission. They would join the old Rocky River Church and Martha and several of  their children are buried there. He would soon after marry the widow of his cousin John Starnes, son of Nathan T. Starnes, a lady named Abigail, who was anxious to join turn-of-the century Charlotte society, so they moved to Mecklenburg County in the Elizabeth section of Charlotte, where Finch would spend his last days. Finch had many business adventures, including investments in Albemarle, in Stanly County, and others, in conjunction with cousins in Asheville, NC, although he never lived there.

He was buried in Meadow Creek Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery near Locust, in Stanly County, NC, on one side of his second wife, Abby, while her third husband, a Misenheimer, is buried on her other side and her first husband, John Starnes, is buried a row in front of her. Abby had no children by any of her marriages.



Finches Grandfather, William Finchers, was born on March 30, 1865, in Rowan County, North Carolina. Some sources give his birthplace as Orange County, NC, and his family certainly did land there after arriving as many did, from Pennsylvania. However, I will go with Rowan as his obituary is the closest thing we have to a birth (and death) record for him and Rowan was pretty expansive in his day, and included present day Davidson County. 

Rev. Fincher recieved a land grant of 100 acres, entered March 8, 1792 and issued December 13, 1798, on Carraway Creek in Randolph County, NC, Book 99, Page 177.

Around 1780, he married Mary Jane Grace, from Everleigh, Wiltshire, England, who had migrated from the UK to Pennsylvania at about 15. She was the daughter of  John Grace and wife Sarah Deare Grace. The marriage recorded in 'Hillsborough, Randolph County'. Their first son, Rev. John Finche, was born in 1784. Mary Jane Grace was Sarah Fincher Starnes' mother and my fifth Great Grandmother.

William Fincher first appears in census records in 1800, in Salisbury, Mecklenburg, and by this time has already aquired a large family with his young bride. It records a household of 11 people, and only 2 over 25. That was a large group of children. 



Name:Wm Fincher
Residence Date:6 Aug 1810
Residence Place:Capt Hoods, Mecklenburg, North Carolina, USA
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:3
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 15:1
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44:1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:2
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15:1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:1
Number of Household Members Under 16:7
Number of Household Members Over 25:2
Number of Household Members:11

By 1810, Rev. Fincher is listed in Captain Hoods section of Mecklenburg County and his family is again, a total of 11 people, with one man and one woman between 25 and 44, some of his older children have moved on and there are 5, 3 boys and 2 girls, under 10.

The 1820 and 1830 census records both found Rev. William Fincher in Mecklenburg County. 

The Fincher family has been very well traced and while Williams grandparents are fairly acertained, the matter of which of two brothers was his father seems to be a bit of a conumdrum. I  will be looking into that further, but he was definately of the line of a Jonathan Fincher, born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, who died in Orange County, North Carolina around 1757. Although Rev. William Fincher was a Methodist Minister, his family origins were Quaker. 

"Francis Fincher, a Quaker from England, arrived at Philladelphia, PA on July 28, 1683 aboard the ship, 'Bristol Comfort' accompanied by his wife Mary (Achelley) Fincher, his small children and servants."  from: "A History and Genealogy of the Miller Family and Allied Families", by Thelma Kay Miller, 1989.

One of those small children of Francis Fincher was named John, who married a Martha Taylor. John's will is found in Chester County, PA. John and Martha Taylor Fincher had a son named Jonathan, who married Deborah Dix, or Dicks. He was the one who migrated to North Carolina and his will is found in Orange County. 

Among Jonathans eight children are found a Jonathan II and a Benjamin. These are the two sons wherein there is a controversy. Jonathan II is found in the 1790 census of Mecklenburg County, NC, while Benjamin settled in Randolph County. Both had sons named William. Some mix them up and claim our Rev. William the son of Benjamin, because he married Mary Jane Grace in Randolph County. However, I am of the belief that our William is the son of Jonathan Jr. There's about a 9 year age difference in the cousin Williams, with my William being born in 1765 and the other William being born in 1774. One is found in the 1800 census of  'Salisbury, Mecklenburg' and the other in Randolph County. As mine was born in Salisbury, it makes more sense to me that he is not the Randolph one. Cousin William moved to Ohio with his brother, Lemuel and died in Indiana in 1841. My thoughts lean towards my Rev. William Fincher being the son of Jonathan II and wife Shirley Wilcox.


Free Image from Pixaby




Rev. Fincher, as a minister, was known to have travled often. Sometimes his family joined him, other times they did not, or a combination of both, some stayed and some traveled.  I believe this may have been what occurred when it was reported that Mrs William Fincher, (Mary Jane Grace Fincher), had passed away in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1825, in her 62nd year of life. (Upstate Death Notices in The Charleston Courier, Vol 17 No 1. PHSQ, Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History). 




On November 28, 1840, Rev. William Fincher would marry his second wife, Nancy Skipper, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. She would become his widow in 1845. Nancy had been born a Henson or Hinson in 1810, in Anson County, North Carolina, so considerably younger than William. She was the daughter of Charles King Hinson III and wife Frances Stewart or Steward. She had married first to a Hiram Skipper and had a number of children with him. She was a widow when she married Rev. Fincher. One known child was born to this union, a son,  Wilson, who is shown with her as a small child in the 1850 census, and who does not appear to have made it to adulthood. Nancy Hinson Skipper Fincher passed away in 1890.

Nancy Hinson Skipper Fincher from Find-A-Grave. 




The Southern Christian Advocate had given Rev. William Fincher a glowing obituary, naming many of the churches he ministered to, and some he helped found, throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. Among these was the church at Monticello, Georgia, where he was given in payment, seventy dollars and a horse. Here was where his grandson, Frederick Fincher Starnes was born. 


The known children I have for Rev. William Fincher and his first wife, Mary Jane Grace Fincher are:

1) Rev. John Fincher born 28 Jan 1782 Mecklenburg County, NC, died 4 Oct. 1844 Union County, NC.
    Married first Catherine Eller, second Lydia McCullough. Five children: Eliza, Silas A. James E., Lydia M.,          Permelia.

2) Mary Grace (sometimes seen as Mary Jane) Fincher (1784 Meck. N.C. - 1840 Georgia).
    Married cousin, Josiah Fincher, son of James (1761-1835) Fincher and Diodema McClendon Fincer.
    Nine children: Joshua, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Joel, Harriett, Sarah, Jemima, Mary, Frances J.

3) Elijah or Elisha Fincher (1785 - 1805 birthyears given, death - between 1870 and 1880) Died in Union County, NC. Married Melinda (Meloney) Paxton. Eight children: Elizabeth Jane, David Robert, Samuel Newton, Margaret, Nancy, Anna, Susan, William Thomas (aka Sonny).

4) Unknown daughter

5) Benjamin (1790 - 1855 Mecklenburg County, NC) Married Elizabeth McRaven or McCraven.
    Nine children: Eliza, Milas Robinson, Nancy C., James Alva, John N., Benjamin F., William P.,. Janie Adaline, Joseph C..

6) Jane (1792-1875 Union County, NC) Never married.

7) Unknown son (b abt 1795 - d bef 1830) Left widow, Nancy (possibly Winchester) b 1795, who is alone with small children in the 1830 and 1840 census and remarries to Henry Wolfe of Pennsylvania in 1841. At least 3 possible children shown in early census records for Nancy.

8) Levi Nelson (1798-1858) Levi Nelson Fincher had the wanderlust. He ventured through Tennesee, Kansas and out to California before settleing in Missouri, where he died in 1858. Married to Mary Wilson, 9 children:
McCamy, Nancy M., Isabelle, Elizabeth, Phoebe, Martha, Susan, Levi N. III, William H. 

9) Unknown daughter

10) William Jr. (1804 - 1879) Died in Georgia. Married Elizabeth . Five childreh: Bethiah Abney, William C. C., Thomas A. C., daughter A.L. W. , Nancy J. Married Cynthia, son Henry Hawes.

11) Sarah "Sallie" Fincher (1805-1834) Married Frederick Starnes (Jr. or IV) son of Frederick Sr., son of  Captain John Starnes. Five children: John Grace Starnes, William Wilkens Starnes, Mary Grace Starnes, Frederick Fincher Starnes, Turza Shirley "Turzy" Starnes.

12) Rev. Silas Jordan Fincher (1812 Mecklenburg - August 29, 1880 Chesterfield, South Carolina.
      Married 1st: S. B. Starnes (perhaps a sister of Frederick Starnes who married Sarah) 1809-1850.
      Nine children: Ellen Howard, Levi Jordan, William S., Mary Polly, Martha Jane, Julia Elizabeth, Silas Alva, Alpheus.
    Married 2nd: Elizabeth Blount. One child: Margaret Eugenia.
    Married 3rd:  Margaret Ellen Barnes: Eight children: John T., Hugh Mc., Sarah Ann, James Elias, Susan Rebecca, Charles Coppage, Fannie, Lillian Cornelia, Henrietta.

13) Hillard Judge ( 1815- 1869 Sumter County, Alabama) Married Ruth Elmira Steele, 4 children:
       Hiram Steele, Nancy C., Elijah, Lucinda Jane.

14) Leroy Burton (1823-1897 Buford, Union County, NC) Married 3 times.
      Married 1st: Polly Starnes  Three sons: John Milburn, James Andrew, Leroy Burton II.
      Married 2nd: Martha Starnes: Five children: Sarah Estelle, Terza Kassandra, Rachel, Martha J., Lloyd L. 
      Married 3rd" Clarissa Richardson. Seven children: Silas Alfred, Mary Caroline,  Julius Green, Tirzah Broom, Loid, Infant Son and Lee. 
       Any relationship between Polly Starnes and Martha Starnes is unknown to me thus far. There was a considerable age difference between the two. Martha may have been a widow. Any relationship between them and Frederick Starnes unknown, relationship of some kind not only possible, but probable. 

15) Only child by Nancy Skipper son, Wilson b 1845 died unknown, before 1860 possibly.

Thrulines connects me genetically to many descendants of Mary, John, Benjamin, Silas Jordan, Levi Nelson, Leroy Burton and Hilliard Judge Fincher. Still waiting on connections to William Jr., Elijah and Nancy (widow of unknown) and looking for missing sisters of my Sarah.