Thursday, August 30, 2012

The significance of Wolf Pit.

The Significance of Wolf Pit Township and the Community of Cordova in Richmond County, North Carolina.

below: A 19th Century Wolf Pit.

While researching the Carpenter, Howell, Cox and other family histories, I found that in the late 1800's and early 1900's, many of them ended up in the Township of Wolf Pit in Richmond County, and specifically in the community of Cordova, which is located in Wolf Pit. I wondered what the significance of Wolf Pit was. An unusual sounding name, for certain, but why was it a draw to people from the surrounding counties of Anson, Stanly, Union, Montgomery in North Carolina and Marlboro and Chesterfield in South Carolina.

First, the name. Richmond is a county in which the topography of North Carolina changes. At the PeeDee River and the border of  Anson, and within its 'handle', much of it is rich farmland like Anson. Going east, Richmond becomes part of the Sandhills of North Carolina, the area between the Coastal region and the Piedmont. Richmond is a county wherein the Uwharrie dips her toes into the beach. Its 'ripples' are her foothills that later turn into a sandy soil.

According to Clark Cox, a writer for the Sandhills area news "The Pilot", the name of Wolf Pit comes from an old legend. The area near and around the PeeDee can be a bit swampy in places and according to legend, was one time overrun with wolves. An enterprising local farmer had dug a pit and covered it with brush in hopes of trapping one of these roving canines, as their hides carried a substantial bounty. The legend has it that he caught only one beast, his own mule. But the name for the area apparently stuck.

The draw to the area for the families I researched, however, could be summed up in one word: TEXTILES.
You can see the village of Cordova indicated on the map south of Rockingham and the proximity to the Anson county communities of Lilesville and PeeDee. For large families like that of Philmore Carpenter, or for the fatherless ones like that of Ann Howell, the burgeoning industry of textile mills was a source of income and survival. Prolific, but unindustrious Philmore, sent his bounty of children to work in the mills, which could supplement his alchohol addiction and lack of sucess as a farmer. Other families, like the Coxes, did not own enough land to provide a substatial living. To other families along the Yadkin and PeeDee rivers in Montgomery and further south, on into South Carolina, the building of the damns had flooded much of their property and especially their fertile bottomlands, laying their farms underwater, or the back up from the flooding causing an outbreak of malaria and other diseases. Many of these displaced families sought work in the factories, and many sought a healthier existence away from the water and mosquitoes.

On February 16, 1895, Robert Leak Steele and others obtained a charter for the development of a textile company. The first mill was built about 4 miles or so south of the town of Rockingham and was named Steele's Mills for the family. Many members of the Steele family became involved in the textile business. A village was created for workers around the mill, as was going on in several other towns in the Carolina Piedmont about the same time. The village was named Cordova, most likely for the Provence in Spain. Why, I do not know, nor can discover. From the names in the early population of this community, it does not appear any of them were from Spain. Maybe one of the members of the Steele family had visited Spain and liked the sound of the name. We'll never know.

The Act of Incorporation lists the following members of the Steele family as the corporate body: Robert L Steele, Robert L Steele, Jr., Thomas W Steele, Thomas W Steele, Jr., Walter F. L. Steele, William H Steele and Stephen W Steele. Robert Sr died in 1895, before the mill and the village were completed and Robert Jr became the President of the Company and completion of the Mill and production began in early 1898.

Cordova Village was built as many Mill Villages were, with houses of a few different styles, but all wooden cottages, surrounding the Mill within walking distance for the employees. Small businesses that would supply most of their needs sprang up around and within the village, wherein it became its own little town.

The Cordova Post Office was establishe in July of 1899 and Mrs Lula Register was the first Postmistress.

A company store was established ran by the Mckenzie family for many years.

Originally, the houses were rented to the employees for $1.50 to $1.75 per week, depending on the size. The rental was about 50 cents per room and water and electricity was provided free of charge. For the former farm families, this was a luxury, as most of them came from dwellings without running water or electricity.

Mills ran in shifts and often times parents and older siblings would work different shifts in order to switch off childcare of the younger ones. Child Labor had not yet been outlawed and children were put to work as young as 6 or 7 in some families, while others sent their children to school until about the fourth or fifth grades, and then pulled them out to work in the mills. Supervisors were known to carry canes in which to beat insolent children who tarried or played and did not keep their production up.

The Company Store sold a wide range of merchandise, everything the employees would need. Doctors set up offices in the village. Some of the earlier doctors in the Cordova village were Dr. W. R. McIntosh and Dr. William P. Stancill Webb.

The citizens of Cordova are closely knit. Many of them have lived there for three or more generations and have intermarried. Descendants of the people who migrated away from the farms in search of a better life.

Wages were low at times, but that was the conditions all around. During the depression, these families of the mill village still enjoyed employment, a roof over their heads and meals to eat.

Recreational activities were provided for the families of Cordova. The schools and churches were the centers of the community. There were two churches, Cordova Baptist Church and Cordova Methodist Church. Services in the old days were held on alternative Sundays and many of the workers would attend both churches. There were clubs, such as 4H and Scouting for the children and a Busy Bee Club and Home Demonstration Club for the ladies. Men participated in sporting events, like baseball teams.

In 1945, Steele Mills was bought by R. S. Dickson & Co. of Gastonia and later leased the property to Burlington Mills. In 1957, Burlington changed the name to Klopman Mills.

The families of Cordova eventually bought their own homes. Descendants of Mill workers went on to diverse occupations within the county of Richmond or on to other counties or states. The textile industry in the Carolinas is almost, but not entirely dead by now, most businesses either closed due to competition or relocated to other countries where the companies do not have to pay a minimum wage, adhere to safety and health standards, and where child labor is not yet outlawed.

The society of the Mill villages still have their effects on the people of today, who may have once worked in the Mills, or whose parents or grandparents came from this environment. While the people of the late 1800's and early 1900's were in transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy, the citizens of the late 1900's into the 2000's are in a transition from an industrial  economy to the suffering economy we are living in today. I don't know what is coming next, an economy of technology and service, or if we will become a third world country ourselves, but America has a history of movers and shakers and survivors. Let's hope these traits will get us through.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Second Meeting of the Stanly County Genealogical Society

I realize it is a bit odd to post notes on my second meeting before my first, but I haven't gotten one of those little red circles we wore around in a button in high school called a "Round Tuit". I want this blog to not only reflect the research I've done already, but to also reflect research I am currently working on, as well as chronicle historical places I am visiting and the things I am learning as I go along. I try to alternate between the two.

This week, so far, and yesterday in particular has been jampacked with discoveries and information. Sunday, we visited a historic street in Salisbury, NC that was magical and only 30 minutes away. Yesterday in the mail, I recieved two important documents of high importance in my research and last night, I attended my second meeting of the Stanly County Genealogical Society. Again, I was among the youngest there. There may have been one younger, although I am a grandmother. However, the combined knowledge in that room, and the wealth of imformation, was astounding. The combined years of research between all those researchers make me feel like a first grader having just finished my first Dick and Jane reader.

The presentation on "The Great Wagon Road" was fascinating. But it was things I learned afterwards, about my family, that I did not know, that was the real treasure, and from a distant member in it. If we all would just listen to our elders, what treasure we would own.

The presenter was a descendant of Martin Pfifer, one of the earliest settlers in the Cabarrus County area, named Bill Hallman.

The following is the tombstone of  Martin Pfifer, Jr. He was the youngest of the three sons of Martin, Sr and his wife Margaret Blackwelder.
Capt Martin Phifer, Jr
The Cross Creek to Salisbury Road intersected with the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road at Martin Pfiefer, Sr.'s Inn. Cross Creek was modern day Fayetteville, North Carolina and the Great Wagon Road led many a settler from the Northern States of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts down into Virginia and the Carolinas.

Martin Pfiffer was Swiss and from a wealthy mining family. He was born about 1720 and arrived in Philadelphia about 1737 in his latter teens. By the 1740's, he had made his way into Virginia and in 1744 he married a girl named Margaret Blackwelder. The Blackwelders were a German family, the name originally being Schwarzwalder, or "People of the Black Forest", meaning they originated in the Black Forest area of Germany.

Martin and Margaret's two oldest sons, John and Caleb were born in Virginia. At this time Martin owned 755 acres and an Ordinary. On record in Virginia are the permits for him to build the Ordinary and also, a sizable road to his Ordinary. On February 4, 1755, Martin Pfiffer sells his property in Virginia and later this year he is first found in Anson County, which encompassed most of this part of the Piedmont in that year.
He came down the Trading Path to Salem, the Moravian settlement which is now part of present day Winston-Salem in Forsyth County. His first deed has him listed as an Innkeeper and a Planter. He purchased 455 acres.

Arthur Dobbs, who was an Irish member of Parliment who became a land proprietor in North Carolina and was later appointed Colonial Governor of North Carolina. Along with Colonel John Selwyn, Dobbs bought a land grant of about 400,000 acres in what is now Cabbarus and Mecklenburg Counties. They advertised in foreign countries for settlement in this area, and also many families from Virginia and the North would relocate to what they believed to be safer grounds due to the French and Indian War.

In July of 1755, Govenor Dobbs would visit his lands in North Carolina. In his travel journals he writes that he meets a Swiss miner who had just came to the area. It is believed that the Swiss miner was Martin Pfiffer.

In March of 1756, Martin Pfiffer writes to England, to the Governors of Rowan and Anson for permission to build a road 'convenient to provence', through Cold Water, the area of Cabarrus County where his Inn was located, to the Granville line from Salisbury. The public road was laid out from Salisbury to Cold Water.

It was also stated that Martin Pfiffer was who sold High Shoals to John Fulenwider, who built the High Shoals Iron Works, in Gaston County, North Carolina, one of the first producers of pig iron by the charcoal process.

Traces of the The Great Wagon Road near the location of the old Pfiffer Inn can be seen in spots and on GIS images. One such trace can be located near the intersection of Winecoff Road and Hwy 73, from the street, it looks like an old driveway heading back into the woods. Another trace can be seen near the Intersection of Lucky Drive and  Eva Drive. Follow Eva drive down and you can see the road pick back up crossing Poplar Tent near Rock Hill Church Drive. At Old Stagecoach Road, you can see the trace going down through the woods, and Old Stagecoach Road, was indeed the Old Stagecoach Road. At the old Moss-Morris house near Weddington School Road, near the AME Zion Church on Coddle Creek, the road passes.

Near the present day Speedway on Morehead road, there are two abandoned houses. Near there is a large outcropping. This outcropping  was the line marker between Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties. The Wagon road ran between the rock and current Hwy 29 and on to Charlottesburg, present day Charlotte, North Carolina. Into Charlotte, the path of the old road becomes Tryon Street, named for later Governor Tryon. The Fayetteville road that intersected with the Wagon road at Pfiffers Inn ran east through present day Kannapolis.

Mr. Hallman stated dated during these early days of Cabarrus County, that there was a bridge across Dutch Buffalo Creek. He believes near that bridge was a Fort. On July 18, 1756, Martin Pfiffer was reimbursed for a road. Dobbs had asked for this road in March and for a Fort to be built for the Catawbas to trade with the immigrants. In 1767, 12 years later, Willilam Tryon, then Govenor, during a tour, noted that he 'saw the remains' of the Fort built by the inhabitants of Buffalo Creek.

Martin Pfiffer had 3 sons. The oldest, John, was a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Indepence and died of the elements on a trip to visit his brother. Caleb was a Revolutionary War Colonel. Martin Jr, was a courier during the war. Most of the descendants of the Pfiffer family today are descended from Martin Jr, who was the most prolific.

The presentation was most informative and interesting. We could have gone on and on, but the time in our meeting room was limited.

Afterwards, a distant relative and I had a conversation about our family. His deceased aunt, Maudie Scarborough, had known my great-great grandparents, Hawk and Julina Davis. Julina had numerous children before her marriage to Hawk in 1891. He said that Hawk had once told Maudie that he knew half of those children (of Julina's) were not his, but he loved them just the same. We know that Mollie Aldrige/Davis Boone was the daughter of Ephraim Whitley as his name is on her marriage license. Jesse Filmore Aldridge listed Benjamin Whitley as his ancestor on the Permanent Voters list of Stanly County. Benjamin Whitley was the father of Ephraim Whitley, but Filmore was rumoured to be the son of Filmore Whitley, who was a cousin of Ephraim,not a brother. One of Ephraims younger brothers, George Whitley, did later marry Rosetta Elizabeth Aldridge, Julina's one year older sister. Hearing that these were words that came from my Great-great grandfather, who died 50 years before my birth, really touched my heart and gave me an insight into his personality.

I also learned from Mr. Aldridge, my distant relative, that Oussia Stewart Hill, who I have been researching, had a deformed hand, with little stubs for fingers. He also said there was something in her background that the old folks would not talk about. It may have been the fact that her parents were divorced, and that her father had abandoned them and ran off with her mother's teenaged cousin. Or there could have been another reason for the abandonment, or another scandal in Ouisa's past. I'd love to know...and maybe one day I will.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My DNA Test

My DNA kit arrived from Ancestry yesterday. I am so excited. The instructions are simple, the packaging exact and the results....anticipation.

The ancestry kit is only $99 for members, which is amazingly cheap. Not much more than a dog dna test of which I've ordered several.

A few years ago, we adopted two little Australian Shepherd/unknown puppies from two different counties. Well, we actually started out fostering them, fell in love. We kept the tri-color male, who was a natural bobtail and an old soul. A more intelligent dog I've never seen. His spirit is that of some relaxed genius reincarnated into a little dog soul, just kicking back and enjoying the ride. We named him Scout. The female, Piper, is a blue merle with one blue eye. If she is anyone's incarnation, she was a beat era speed freak hellbent on high intensity, and not unintelligent, but nowhere near the measure of our Scoutie. My mother-in-law adopted her, as her 19 year old Spitz Penny had passed away short of a year prior and she needed another pup to spoil and overfeed into morbid obesity. Penny likely lived the last 10 years of  her life on sheer meaness. She was the most cantankerous mutt I've ever met. She liked no one on earth, save Helen, and prevented Helen from being very much of a grandmother to her only grandchild. But that is another story.

Dog people can be a bit uppity. I've been in dog sports a long time and while they will applaud you openly for rescue, in among their little groups with their breeder bought pedigreed pooches, they taut the lines, certifications, kennels and health testing of their dogs like race drivers brag on their cars.

Scout grew into a beautiful young dog with a stance like a king. But, to anyone in the agility circuit, since he was a rescue, he was a mutt. It did not matter if he looked purebred. Now, Piper, with her coat and blue-eyed, people thought to be a purebred, but she and Scout were so different, not so much in looks, but in actions. They run different. She is a crawler and that said one thing loud an clear to me.

I had them both DNA tested and the results were not surprising. Scout is an Australian Shepherd. Nothing else. While the test does not pronounce any dog a purebred, it simply states that anything else in the mix is in too little of quantities to pick up, which could fully mean that nothing else is there.

Piper results came back with Australian Shepherd and Border Collie. While BC's are the smartest breed there is, a mix of the two, somehow did not make the mark on brainiac dogs.

Then there was Boog, who I ran into on my way to work one day....literallly. I top a hill in the mountainous territory I live in and there he was in the middle of the road eating carrion. For a second, I thought he was a bear, but when he looked up at me, I saw he was a dog. I tried my best to miss him, but I couldn't entirely. There was only one house anywhere close with a long dirt driveway going up past it. They did not know the dog and pointed up the red dirt drive and said there neighbors had a beagle. This was no beagle, like I said, he looked like a bear, as big as one and black, with long hair matted into dreads from lack of care.

But he was a sweet one, licked my hand when I got out to check on him. There was nothing more to do than take him to a vet, run an ad in the paper and wait. He had no broken bones, but a horrendous ear infection, that he would be fighting with continuously, and we treated that, along with having a mast cell growth in his ear removed. No one ever stepped forward to claim him, so we named him.

He became Boog, after a cartoon bear, and I became anxious to solve the mystery of what combo this big, ponysized sweetheart was. His muzzle was a little elongated like our German Shepherds, but stopped a bit short. He was huge and black and long-haired, with a little dash of white on his chest. His ears could not make up their mind what they wanted to do, they usually stuck out at odd angles and I believe this contributed to his ear infections. His feet were strange, round anomalies, that I had not observed before. And all that hair, tons of it, but after he was trimmed and groomed, he was a very handsome fellow, and we discovered there was actually more hair than dog, and he wasn't really much larger than a German Shepherd,   just hairer. He had deep-set eyes that reminded me of some breed I had seen before, and I had my suspicions, it was possible he was 8 or more different breeds that results in this odd dog, so a DNA test was in order.

Come to find out, Boog was not an 8 or more combo, but a first generation mutt, the results of the mixing of two different breeds. The first didn't surprise me at all. Newfoundland. I had been researching and found out those funny webbed feet of his was trait of this breed, as was his deep-set eyes. His temperament was more like that of a Newfie, and his coloration. Newfoundlands and Labrador Retrievers were both bred down from an extinct breed called Saint John's, the last one of which died in the early 1980's, a Canadian water dog. This dog was black with a white chest patch and this coloration and the white patch can pop up in any dog descended from this breed. The other breed was a surpise indeed. German Shepherd. The GSD parent had blended with the Newf parent to cause confusion in his ears, affected a bit of his skeletal structure and had elongated his muzzle. It had not much to do with his personality as he was just a laid back soul.

Boog went to live with my Dad far out in the Uwharries with a house on a hill and a very long driveway. Some months ago, my Dad decided to trust him and give him more freedom and started letting him sleep on the porch instead of living inside a fence. He wanted a guard for his guineas, which kept disappearing. When I was young, there were never things in these woods like there are now. But turkeys have made a comeback, wild boar have returned and most dangerously, coyotes (who are not native to this area), have crept in. I still hope Boog will reappear, but nothing yet. We have notices at all of the surrounding county animal controls, but my Dad feels like the coyotes got him, because the vet said his ear infections were causing him to go deaf. That is a thought I do not even want in my head. My Dad does not think of dogs on the same level I do. To me, they are a part of my family and greatly loved. To my Dad, they are just another form of livestock, like a goat or a chicken.

I started out talking about the Ancestry DNA test, and ended up on my dogs. But they are similar. What breed am I?

I most want to verify the results of my own research that place me greatly in Kent, England within about 50% of my ancestry. I believe around 10% will be a bit exotic, as I know I have Lumbee inheritance, and the Lumbees, though a Native American tribe, are considered a tri-racial isolate, meaning this remnant Southeastern tribe intermarried with both Causcasians and Africans around them over time. I had participated in a Lumbee study, but it explored only my straight maternal line, my mother's mother's family, wherein the Lumbee was located.

My father believes his paternal straight line to lead back to France. This has not been verified.

My mother's fathers line, the Davis, Floyds, Allens, etc, were Welsh Methodists. Then there are the Murray's, my mother's fathers, fathers, mothers line. If they are connected to the families my research has lead me to believe they are (when you find a name in another county or state, that is the same name as an ancestor, there can not be a 100% certainty that this John or James or Jesse is the same one that is your progenitor), this DNA test may confirm this, or not.

I am also excited to the possibilities of being connected to distant cousins that can tell me where some of the siblings of the 'goers' went. Many, many families started in the Southeast and migrated south or west or both.  Most of my ancestors originated in Virginia before migrating to North Carolina. While my direct ancestors, of course, stayed here, because here we are, there were many more who seemed to have migrated to South Carolina, Georgia, Fayette County Tennessee, Perry County Alabama, and many parts of Arkansas, Pope, Pike and Grand Prairie Counties in particular, and the Red River Valley of Texas. Some even to Mississippi and Missouri. It would be a blessing to connect to someone, say in Texas or Colorado, who has not made the connection of their ancestors back to the east coast.

I expect to have my results back by Christmas, but hope to have them back by Halloween. The Dog Breed DNA tests took about 2 months on the good one, and forever on the one I was beginning to believe I was not going to get any information back on at all, because they were so backlogged.

Ancestry is so backlogged that you have to apply for a test and then wait on an email that says, ok, now you can order, and you have a 7 days window of opportunity to order in. But the pricetag for this service is amazing. One third of what my last test was. My last test said I was basically 74% Western European, 12.5 % Native American (Eastern Seaboard) and 8.5% West African and 5% Central European. Of course, that is simply my straight shot maternal line, not my mother's paternal line, or my father's line at all.

One sad thing is that it will not show my Daddy's line at all, the one who raised me, only my biological father's line, which is fine. But I research both lines equally and consider them both my family. I also research the lines of both of my husbands, for my children. My first husband and I had 3 children. He died a young man, tragically. I eventually remarried and had one child, the only grandchild on this side of the family.

If the results of this test are exciting as I believe them to be, I will probably order another for my husband and then another for one of my older children. There lines are even more diverse than mine and on my husband's side, our daughter is the first member of the family to be born in America. Her father was born in Guam, his mother in Canada, his grandparent in the Ukraine and another line in Poland.

So now...the game is called Anticipation.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Kron and Delamothe Families

Tombstone of George Kron. The cemetary was vandalized in the early part of  the 20th century by treasure hunters. 

The Kron and Delamothe Families of Stanly and Montgomery Counties, North Carolina.

One of only two of these ancient chestnut trees left in the South east, it was part of the Kron  orchard. 
On August 19, 2012, I attended a program at Morrow Mountain State Park on Dr Frances Kron. Dr. Kron was a very influential person in the early years of our area and his homesite is a restored property within the confines of the State Park. Dr. Kron was born in Prussia and later moved to France. It is said he was the first formally educated doctor in the area. He married a Parisian girl, Mary Catherine Delamothe. Her uncle, Henry Delamothe, was one of the earliest settlers on the Montgomery County side of the river, and he came over during the North Carolina Gold Rush in search of treasure. He persuaded the Krons to come to America, by promising to make Mary Catherine and her family his heirs, as he had none at the time.

Garden Marker
Dr Kron left an extensive paper trail, including ledgers, journals, botanical drawings, scientific studies, family history, and genealogical information on the Kron slaves. Kron was a horticulturalist, a physician and a botanist.
He originally bought his log cabin and property from an early Scotch settler in the area,Rev.  Willliam McGregor. While pursuing his medical practice, Kron also became involved in local politics and helped petition for the division of Stanly from Montgomery County in 1841, due to the danger in crossing the Yadkin River to get to the Courthouse. The Kron property was located near the  small community of Tindallsville, which once served as the County Seat of Montgomery County, until a typhoid outbreak caused most of the townspeople who survived to relocate. Other Courthouses and County Seats were located on the East side of the PeeDee River. It was also located near Lowder's Ferry and Inn, along the Salisbury to Fayetteville Road. This ferry was located on the river, where the Uwharrie runs into the Yadkin to form the PeeDee.  According to the presentation on Sunday, Dr. Kron was a member of the First Court of Common Pleas, was one of 9 men appointed as a Superintendant of Common Schools, directed to set up an education system in the county and was on the Commision to build the new Stanly County Courthouse.  He referred to his home as Attaway Hill. He and his wife Mary Catherine had two daughters, Elizabeth and Adeline. The girls never married as Dr. Kron did not feel that the Americans were good enough for his daughters. They were educated by their parents and attended St. Mary's Episcopal school for Girls in Raleigh, North Carolina. Although the Krons do not have any descendants, their materials and journals were important for the records they kept on local families and the contributions they made to the community.

Dr. Kron prided himself on the many varieties of trees, flowers and vegetable he grew. He had an orchard, a vineyard and a greenhouse. He cultivated 13 varieties of grapes prior to 1859 and in 1859 he ordered 107 varieties from the Luxemborg Gardens. He experimented with grafting and some trees from his experiments exist, or descendants from the original trees.

The Kron House before the Restoration
There were Krons existing in the early records who have descendants. These are descendants from the slaves of Dr. Kron and his family. They were very close knit and the descendants of the Kron slaves remained with the daughters until their deaths. Adeline, the last of the Krons, attempted to leave her estate to Saul Kron, a son of George and Julia, who had worked for her father. However, she was so in debt to the Morrow Brothers and Heath company in Albemarle, that they confiscated her estate instead and her will was  disavowed.

Henry Delamothe was the cantankerous uncle of Mrs Kron, Mary Catherine Delamothe Kron. His relationship with the Krons was tenuous at best. Although he had drawn his neice and her husband over with promises of a legacy and prosperity, late in life, he made the decision to create his own heirs. He married the daughter of a local farmer at the age of 70, his bride Bethany Bailey was only 18.
Dr. Krons Medical Office

Vineyard and Greenhouse
View of Cabin coming up Attaway Hill
Two daughters would be born during the marriage of Henry Delamothe and Bethany Bailey, Nancy and Elizabeth. It was said that old Henry had brought a 'stranger' into the fold in order to orchestrate an heir. Nancy Delamothe arrived according to plan. Elizabeth, later known as Lizzie, appeared to be quite a surprise. It is said that Dr. Kron thought this was very amusing, and went around the community laughing and making light of it. Statements made in Henry Delamothe's will verify these rumours and remarks. On December 1, 1835, Frances Augustus Delamothe arrived, per Henry's bidding. Augustus was the younger brother of Henry and refered to as 'The Nice Uncle'. Frances Kron recorded this arrival shortly after the following entry in his diary. "In the evening I went to Lawrenceville. According to reports Mrs. Delamothe was delivered of a stranger on Friday 28th November, a little girl made to inherit the old cuckhold's property. Will that nefarious scheme be crowned with success? " Henry died in 1838 after making his will. The will bears the date September 10, 1838, so he passed in the fall. The will was probated on January 9, 1839 in Lawrenceville, Montgomery County. Among the pronouncements within were these stipulations: "To wife Beneathy (Bethany) Delamothe one third of the estate and personal property and a tract of land. For her years provisions 125 bushels of corn, 10 bushels of wheat, 25 lb weight of coffee, 50 lb of sugar, 500 weight of pork and $50 cash." For the legacy of his children "I give my daughters Nancy and Elizabeth (so called) 50 cents each and no more. The reason for it can be easily guessed at. And should my wife Beneathy get any more children before my death or after my decrease whom the law would entitle to be heirs of mine I give each of them the same sum of 50 cents and no more. To my brother Augustus, was given some small specific legacies, the sum of $1000 and an annuity of $150 per annum during the remainder of his life. To Mary Catherine Kron - legacy of $1000 and an annuity of $100 for the remainder of her life." Each Kron daughter recieved $1000 when she attained the age of 21 from their cantankerous, convivng great-uncle Henry. The remainder of the estate was held in trust by the executer for the benefit of his sister Quenet's children and grandchildren," by the name of Forestier, who might apply for the same within two years, it being obligatory upon them to pay $100 annually to their grandmother during her lifetime and following her death, to their mother." Henry's memory of this family was hazy, and indeed, he may never have met his sisters grandchildren. It seems a little course that Henry would provide so well for his wife, considering, but so little for her two daughters bearing his name, after all, they were innocents and the fruit of his own plotting. Rather rapidly after Henry's death, the young Widow Delamothe married Willis Morgan from Montgomery County, but not before drawing up a prenuptual agreement. Nancy Delamothe would die young, but Lizzie would be known as 'Morgan' from thence on, suggesting Willis Morgan was the hired surrogate to produce a Delamothe heir. The Morgans would leave this state and relocate South to Alabama. Lizzie, after marriage, would relocate to Texas. Bethany and Willis would bring several more children into the world too.

Six grandchildren of Quenet named Forestier applied for the inheritance within the prescribed time. There would be several lawsuits dealing with Henry's massive plantation. The courts finally ruled that neither Augustus, the Forestiers or Mary Catherine Kron could inherit the property, due to not being American citizens. Mary Catherine had applied for citizenship, but not yet recieved it. In December, 1841, the Kron daughters, both natural born citizens, came into the possession of 6090 acres of land lying across the PeeDee river from their home. Elizabeth, called Lizzie Kron, was the oldest and blonde, while Adelaide or Adele was called Addie Kron and was a brunette. Both girls were well educated and artistic. They even grew silkworms on the Mulberry trees. The girls were said to have kind hearts and in 1858, they bought George Kron's wife Delia and four children, who lived on a neighboring farm so the children could be together. In 1910, with the passing of Addie, the Kron family was no more, but they left a mark. The county of Stanly and local individuals funded the restoration of the Kron house and other structures to preserve the memory and contributions of Dr. Frances Kron. The cabin was originally built by Rev. McGregor, a Scotchman who preached in the Baptist church in Tindallsville known as the Mouth of The Uwharrie Baptist Church. A marker to him is located in the woods past the cemetary. Descendants of George Kron and Israel Delamothe still carry on the legacy of the Kron an Delamothe names. These men were of African and European ancestry of what origin we do not know, and were born into slavery, but remained near the family for the rest of their lives. Thanks to the care of the State Park system, Dr. Krons knowledge and contributions to Stanly County will be known to generations to come.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's Child: Skylar Brantley

Not all people in your family tree are older than you. Today's tribute is to the daughter of a nephew who was only with us for 8 months. RIP little Skylar. You will be forever missed.

Born August 19th, 2005, she died of SIDS 8 months later. If this dread disearse or syndrome hadn't taken her, she would be 7 years old today. She has a 3 year old brother Rylan.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The 5 Wives of Philmore Carpenter

Marry me was a phrase Philmore Carpenter had no trouble saying. No tellings how many times he asked the question, but we know he obtained 5 yes'es over the course of his long life.

Sarah Elizabeth "Sallie" Gaddy was his first victim.

Sarah Catherine Gaddy was born March 3, 1858. She was the Dawson "Dorsey" Gaddy and Martha "Patsey" Pilcher in Anson County, North Carolina. She was known by her nickname "Sallie". Sallie Gaddy was the first wife of Gilliam Philmore Carpenter, a character of Anson County fame, from north of the river, in Stanly County, son of  John and Louisa Hooks Carpenter, and he was her first husband. They were married on March 25, 1876. Philmore was 27 years old and Sallie just 18. It began his preference for younger women. Philmore and Sallie would bring 12 children into the world in the course of 20 years. But there were signs that things were souring far before those 20 years  were up. The children born in this marriage were sons first, and then a trail of daughters. A son named  Philmore was born first, but died young.  John Dorsey Carpenter, known as "Doss" and named for his maternal grandfather was born in 1878 and would become the oldest son of the family, closely followed by Alfred Pinkston Carpenter, known as "Bung" in 1879. The daughters would come in a regular sucession: Rosa Ann "Rose" in 1882, Martha Louisa "Lula or Lou" in 1884, Margaret Ella "Ella" in 1885, Arrie Elizabeth "Lizzie" in 1888 and Emma Eugenia "Jean" in 1889. Another son, Gilliam Philmore Carpenter, Jr, would be born in 1891 and the youngest daughter, Lucy Maybell in 1893. A stillborn infant had been born between Doss and Bung.

The house that Philmore and Sallie was married at in 1876 was known as the James Bennett house. It is a beautiful historical site and very romantic. The house had a part in the Civil War, with the then owner being shot while on the porch by a Yankee soldier. It was built in 1835 and went through a series of owners after the Bennetts, Dunlaps, Hedricks, Huntleys and Oaks. It would have been owned by J.J. Dunlap, Sr. when Philmore and Sallie married there. It's main claim to fame was being used as a set in the movie "The Color Purple", in which several scenes were shot in Anson County.

For such a romantic start, the end of Sallie and Philmore marriage was anything but romantic. In 1896, Sallie was pregnant with her twelth child. Philmore not only had a mistress, he had moved that mistress, named Mollie Braswell, into the family home. I have looked into the identity of Mollie Braswell and found 3  ladies by this name in the general area during this time. Mary Ellen Braswell, daughter of John and Elvira Braswell was born in 1867 in Goose Creek in neighboring Union County, very close to Anson. However, in 1888, she was married to W. E. Simpson, so this would rule her out. Then there was Mary Elizabeth Braswell born to Hiram Brown and Mary Jane Boyette Braswell in 1868 in Anson County. She married an E. E. Myers in 1900 and lived and died in neighboring Montgomery County after that. Then there is Mary Braswell, of Wadesboro, wife of a Peter Braswell, who had a large household of children, with the first being born in 1893. Mary C Braswell, born in 1868 daughter of Church and Eve Braswell of Morningstar community in Mecklenburg County, was living with her parents in 1900. Mary Etta Braswell, daughter of John and Lucy Braswell of  Burnsville, in Anson was born in 1858 and she disappears after 1870. She may have married. I believe our mystery Mollie to either be the daughter of Hiram and Mary Jane or the daughter of John and Lucy. I intend to edit this post as I come across more information.

According to the 1896 article, in the April 4 edition of the Anson County Record, Philmore sold everything he could liquidate and loaded up the buckboard with his pregnant wife, 8 children and all they  could carry and relocated quickly to Danville, Virginia, where he put his children to work in the mill and after a time, sold the buckboard and the mules, took his two oldest boys, Doss and Bung and a 'lady of ill repute', and returned to Anson County, North Carolina, leaving Sallie and the 6 younger children stranded in Danville.

According to the Public Record and Family Recollections of  Ollie Deese Thomas, a granddaughter of the Carpenters, in the Anson County Heritage, Mollie Braswell had accompanied them on the trip to Danville. At some point along the way, they crossed a river by ferry. Mollie "stayed in the center of the ferry because she was afraid Alfred and Doss was planning to throw her overboard. Sallie had plans to poison Molly but never found the right time to do it."

The family arrived in Danville and rented a house and the girls went to work at the mill. It was on February 6, 1896 that Philmore again liquidated his assets and abandoned Sallie and the girls. According to both accounts, Mrs. Thomas and the Anson Record, some good Samaritans in Danville learned of Sallie's plight and raised the money to put her and the children on a train to Charlotte, North Carolina. In Charlotte, they were able to find transportation to Wadesboro.

After they arrived in Wadesboro, Sallie went to the home of Robert Carpenter, one of Philmore's brothers. Mrs. Thomas recounts, "She knocked and Philmore came to the door. Philmore told her they could not come in because everyone had the measles. Sallie's reply was 'measles or not, we're coming in.' There stood Mollie in the corner afraid to be seen. Philmore and Sallie argued all night."

That was the end of the marriage of Philmore and Sallie.

Sallie's sister Harriett Gaddy Talent was suffering from malaria and needed help taking care of her children. Sallie and her girls moved in with the Talents. Hattie Talent and her husband Will had 3 children, Carrie, William Dosiert Talent, Jr. and Robert Jesse Talent.

In 1896, Sallie gave birth to daughter Bessie Mae, her last child. I've seen Bessie Mae listed as a Talent and as a Carpenter. It seems pretty sure that she was a Carpenter, as Sallie was pregnant before the separation. At any rate, Bessie Mae died as an infant. Hattie Gaddy Talent also died, sometime between 1897 and 1898. The baby may have caught the malaria she was exposed to.

Sallie obtained her divorce from Philmore on November 5, 1898. On March 18, 1899 she married William Dosier Talent. It was purportedly from necessity and not from love. Sallie was needing to provide a roof over the heads of her children.

Sallie had jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. Bill Talent was an alcoholic and the Carpenter children did not like him. Mrs. Thomas tells the story of how the girls provided him with a drink after he woke up from a drunk once and they repeated this each time he regained consciousness, and he kept passing out. There may have been hopes of alcohol poisoning.

This marriage was short-lived. Sallie obtained her second divorce, during an era when divorce was rare, from William Dosier Talent on Oct 6, 1906. She was 48 years old. The following spring, along with most of her children, Sallie moved to Whitmire, South Carolina where she would spend the rest of her life.

She and her children would visit Anson county family as often as they could and all of the children would reunite for visits and reunions for the rest of their lives.

Philmore Carpenter was married for the second time on the 9th of February in 1899, three months after his divorce from Sallie and a month before Sallie married Bill Talent. This lady was 35 years old and her name was Martha Hunsucker and they were married in Wadesboro. She could only stay in his presence for about 2 months and then Martha left. Philmore would never admit to the reason and seemed to not understand it, according to his children. Martha never showed up in court to contest or approve the divorce, but one was granted to Philmore in October of 1903. I saw in accounts that Martha may have had a child by Philmore, at what point during the course of their relationship, I do not know. As I find out more about these ladies from records, I will be adding to this post.

While Philmore was waiting for his divorce, between 1899 and 1903, after Martha left, he was said to have been living in Richmond County, in the Spring Hill community. Spring Hill would later become part of Scotland County. At this time, it is reported that his youngest son Gilliam had chosen to live with his father. Possibly, it was because his stepfather, Bill Talent, was purported to be abusive. By the time of his divorce from Martha, Philmore and Gilliam had relocated back to Anson County. There, Philmore would meet his third wife, Hattie Privette.

Hattie Privette was a young woman of 29, who had 3 children already, James Douglas Privette, Mary M Privette and Elijah I Privette. They were married on October 21, 1903. It appears that Hattie was not previously married and her three older children bore her maiden name. She and Philmore would add 7 sons to the Carpenter fold. When Bennett Franklin Carpenter arrived 11 months  after the wedding, he joined 10 year old Elijah, 14 year old Mary and 16 year old Doug. David Hampton Carpenter would arrive a year later in 1905, Robert Filmore in 1908, Lester Washington Carpenter in 1909, Ellison in 1911, Roman Joseph Carpenter in 1913, and the last son James Lockhart Carpenter in 1915.  Philmore was 67 when this last son was born. That made 19 children in all, with 16 living. Little Ellison would not live long, however. In January 1919, he was playing too close to a fire when his clothing caught fire. His brother were said to try to put it out, but Ellison died the next day, January 25, 1919 at the age of 8.

Hattie Privette Carpenter, who was said to be a small, industrious lady, died on November 22, 1923. She was buried in the Bethel cemetary.

Philmore had married Hattie immediately upon divorcing Martha. His fourth wife was married 3 months after the death of Hattie. He was apparently a man who didn't like to live alone and he wasted no time. He married Annie Bell Banks on the 13th of February in 1924 in Stewart County, Georgia. It is said that his stepson, Elijah had moved there after he got married and came across Miss Annie. She was a widow looking for a husband and Philmore was a widower looking for a wife. They maintained a long distance relationship for an obviously brief time, writing letters back and forth. Philmore proposed and Annie Bell, sight unseen, accepted.

Seventy-six year old Philmore again liquidated his assets. He sold his crops and animals and bought a car to drive to Georgia in. A brand new Model T from the Ford Company.

The agreement was for Philmore to live with Annie Bell in Georgia for one year, then the couple was to relocate to Wadesboro, North Carolina, where most of Philmore's family was. I do not know if Annie Bell had any children or not. I haven't been able to locate with any certainty, records of her family. I will update the post when I find out more about her.

Philmore held to his part of the deal, and a year later, in 1925, they hop in the Model T and move to Anson County.  Philmore was satified to be back on his home turf, but his wife became severely homesick. She did not like Anson and goes into a deep depression or either a fit of stubborness. It is said that she would not perform any wifely duties, she would not cook, clean or perform any household chores. She did not get along with Philmore's children. So Philmore drives her back to Georgia and leaves her there.

Granddaughter Dessie Carpenter Mullis reports that on his back from Georgia, Philmore stops in Whitmire, South Carolina to visit his first wife Sallie, who he has apparently not gotten over. He offers her a bribe of an entire five bucks to return to Anson with him. He thens reveals his motives. He needs help to finish raising the children he had late in life with Hattie. Sallie declines the offer, and lets him know in no uncertain terms that she had raised their children the best that she could in the circumstances he laid upon her and she was finished. She was not raising anymore children. He was on his own.

Philmore did not give up. He must have been blessed with a great deal of charm, because while still in South Carolina, he drove through Chesterfield County and met his fifth and final wife. Philmore married Miss Dollie Eddins on March 6, 1926. He was 76 years old and a bigamist. He had not yet divorced Annie Bell.

Like Martha and Annie Bell before her, Dollie was a woman who grew tired of Philmore's antics after a short period of time. The marriage was again short-lived and Dollie moved back home to South Carolina. Philmore was alone again. This time, an octogenarian, he gave up on love.

Philmore spent his last days in Rockingham, in Richmond County, North Carolina, living with his son Bung, or Alfred. He was finished with marrying, but not with living. At 99 years old, the man who had experienced the years of the Civil War in his early teens, lived through Reconstruction and both World Wars, took his first airplane ride. He enjoyed it so much, he celebrated again on his 100th birthday by enjoying another flight.

Philmore died in Rockingham on August 21, 1952. He was 104 years, 3 months and 5 days old. He joined his wife Hattie in the Bethel Cemetary in Anson County.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wednesday's Child: Levy Erkskine Hill

The tombstone for Levy Erkskine Hill reads; "There was an Angel Band in Heaven that was not quite complete, so God took our Darling Levy Erkskine to fill the vacant Seat".

Levy Erkskine Hill

April 27, 1925
October 29, 1926

He was the son of Fred Douglas Hill and Ouissa Stewart Hill and lived to be 18 months old. He was to be their only son and had 3 older sisters. I can imagine the little toddler, beginning to talk in small sentences and running around everywhere chasing Faye and Esther and Ethel.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Levy Erkskine Hill, another one I did not know was in my family tree until searching old cemetaries.

The Shuffling of Ouisa Stewart Hill

Ousia Stewart Hill
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Birth: Jan. 11, 1895
Death: Sep. 5, 1970
Cottonville Baptist Church Cemetery
Norwood (Stanly County)
Stanly County
North Carolina, USA

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Created by: William Poplin
Record added: Apr 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50733572
Ousia <i>Stewart</i> Hill

Waiting on records can take awhile and causes me to skip from one search to another. Yesterday, more records on the life of Ousia Stewart Hill arrived, the only daughter of Sarah Hortense Davis Stewart and Willaim R Stewart of Union County. I have not yet found much on Bill Stewart, except that he died in 1909, is buried in Monroe, NC, with his family, and that his brother Joe played professional baseball for the Boston BeanEaters. But that is something.

At first, I did not know of the existence of Ouisa, but was glad to find she lived a full life, until age 75, married and had 3 daughters, Esther, Ethel and Margaret Faye  and 1 son, Levy, who died as an infant.

Upon the death of her mother, Ousia was raised by her grandmother Rebecca Hathcock Davis Crump, the widow of Edward Winfield Davis who had remarried JT Crump. When Rebecca died, JT Crump assumed custody of Ouisa, right gladly, as she was heiress to a considerable tract of land and he became inspired to rip her off such, that by the time she was an adult, he had all of her money and she none. The following documents are pages from some of these, I left out repetetive things and descriptions of all of the tracts of lands to space.
Ouisa Stewart listed in the settlement of her grandmother, Rebecca Hathcock Davis Crump's  Estate.  T. A Davis and John Teeter Davis are Rebecca's son by Edward W. Davis and Travis and Lavinia Crump are Rebecca's children by JT Crump.
Rebecca Crump given guardianship of Ouissa Stewart
JT Crump given custody of Ouissa Stewart
JT Crump petitioning to sell Ouisa's lands. Jobe Davis mentioned is her great-grandfather's property. E. W Davis mentioned was her Grandfather. 
Page 3 of the above Petition. JT and TA Davis are her uncles, John Teeter Davis, and Thomas Ashe Davis. 
JT Crump petitioning to buy Ouisa an organ and her mother's tombstone out of her inheritance. 
Purchases allowed
Case against Paris Hyatt, stealing a $150 watch from Ouisa.
Paris Hyatt arrested in Anson County.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Philandering Philmore

Gilliam Philmore or Filmore Carpenter supposedly lived to be 104 years old. His tombstone says that he was born May 16, 1848 and died August 21, 1952.

Philmore Carpenter is buried in the Bethel Methodist Church Cemetary, along with many other members of this family.

After reading the newspaper article from the April 4, 1896 edition of the Anson Record, I wanted to find out more about this family. After learning that Gilliam Philmore Carpenter was born in Stanly County, I was certain that he must be related to the Stanly County Carpenter family that become very entwined in my family tree.
Sarah Catherine <i>Gaddy</i> CarpenterAnd he was. Gilliam Philmore (or Filmore) Carpenter was the son of Williamson Carpenter and Sarah B McIntyre. Williamson Carpenter was the son of John Ludwell Carpenter and Obedience Broadway. John Ludwell Carpenter was the son of John Carpenter and Elizabeth Upchurch. These families show up in my family tree many times over. Ludwells sister Obedience was the mother of one of Edmund Murray's son's John Carpenter, illegitimate, but treated as an equal to the legitimate children in the will, because Edmund, himself, had been illegitimate. Then there was their brother Allen Carpenter, who was Hawk Davis's best friend. They were both Civil War Veterans and one of Allens daughters married into the family. Brother Thomas Carpenter's daughte Caroline also married into the family, I could go on. The Broadaways as well. Clarrisa Howell, daughter of Job Davis's stepson Jordan Howell married Jeremiah Broadaway. The grandfather of my Great-Grandmother, George Turner, married a Broadaway. The McIntyre's came in several times as well, marrying Davis sisters and Elizabeth Murray, Priscilla's sister married Stokes McIntyre. Phillmore was a rotten apple that fell from the family tree.
This is a photo of Sarah Catherine Gaddy Carpenter, better known as Sallie, the first wife of Gilliam Philmores 5 wives and the mother of his oldest children. There seemed to be a different number of children given, depending on whom was asked. The number ranged from 8 to 14. And this was only from the first marriage.
 Some of the antics recorded and remembered of Philandering Philmore was the story in the Anson Record of him taking his family to Danville, Virginia and abandoning them, but it was more complicated than the newspaper article let on.  The story from his descendents embellishes the story a little bit.

Sarah Catherine Gaddy Carpenter
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Birth: Mar. 3, 1862
Anson County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Apr. 28, 1937
Newberry County
South Carolina, USA

She was the daughter of Dawson D Gaddy and Patsy Pitcher/pilcher, the wife of Philmore Carpenter. Children were: Philmore, John Dorsey `Doss', Alfred Pinkton `Bung', Rosa Ann, Martha Louisa`Lula', Margaret Ellen`Ella', Arrie Elizabeth`Lizzie', Emma Eugenia`Jean', Gilliam Philmore jr, Lucy Maybell, Bessie Mae.

Note: The headstone has the wrong name for husband should be Philmore
Whitmire Cemetery
Newberry County
South Carolina, USA

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Created by: Sylvia Watkins

Record added: Sep 10, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9444238
Philmore Carpenter was in danger of going to jail, when one day he came home and told his family to pack up, that they were heading north. At this time, his family consisted of his first wife Sally, 8 children and one on the way and his mistress, Mollie Braswell. Of course, Sallie and her children did not like Mollie and Mollie was in fear for her life. When they arrived in Danville, Phillmore rented a two-story house and while Sallie and the children lived downstairs, Philmore and Mollie lived upstairs. Philmore put his children, even the smallest ones, to work in the Danville silk mills. At some point, Philmore decided it was safe to move back to Anson County, North Carolina, but did not inform his wife. He sold everything he could to liquify his assets, took his two oldest sons and his mistress Mollie, and returned to North Carolina, leaving pregnant Sallie and the younger 6 children stranded in Danville, Virginia. And as the article states, with the help of good Samaritans in Danville and in Charlotte, NC, they made their way back home.

Philmore was married 5 times, divorced twice, became a widower once and married the fifth time without divorcing the fourth wife, committing bigamy. He was quite the character. I've heard sometimes of people and dogs surviving a long time on sheer meaness. This seems to be the case for Philmore as he lived a long life of 104 years. 

Other stories of Phimore's antics are his arrests, but he must have been a likable character as he served little or no time. Judges must have found him a hoot and he had no problem finding wives. 

In November of 1893, he was accused of assault, but found not guilty. Five months later, in April of 1894, he is accused of trespassing, and again, found not guilty. The year 1893 seems to be when he developed a problem with alchohol because he had no issues up until then. Maybe the stress of having to support such a large family drove him to drink. 

In January of 1896, he went on a moonshine binge and ended up pulling a Lady Godiva by riding into town in his birthday suit. He takes his jug of moonshine along for the ride, drinking all along the way. After arriving at the square, he is said to have stood straight up in the saddle and taking a swig for all to see. This time, he was arrested and put in jail with a $200 bond, which was a large sum for the day. On January 8, 1896, he was found guilty and sentenced to 3 months on the chain gang. As winter time in North Carolina can be pretty cold, the moonshine must have been keeping the naked Philmore warm. 

Philandering Philmore was known for liking the company of wayward women and there may have been numerous other little Philmores running around out there than his legitimate lots by Sallie and Hattie, his third wife. It was said there was also one by his second wife, although their marriage was a very short one. 

Gilliam Philmore Carpenter died on August 21, 1952. He had seen a great deal of change in his life from his boyhood during the years preceding the Civil War, being born in 1848, through the war and reconstruction, living through both World Wars and into the age of planes, automobiles, telephones and televisions. He left a legacy, both in his longetivity, legend, and many descendants.