Monday, November 26, 2012

Blessed Connections

Yesterday was an extremely fruitful day genealogy-wise. You would not think that a Sunday would be so, as no county offices are open, or library history rooms. But I met a couple of amazing cousins with tons of information.

I first got a message from the blog of someone knowing who the father of my great-grandfather was. I had posted concerning Carolina Hudson, my grandmother's grandmother. She had been orphaned by the Civil War and had became an unwed teenaged mother. Her son bore her maiden name and no one on this side of the family ever knew who his father was.

Enter my cousin Julian. He is a knowledgeable young man, a virtual walking encyclopedia of local history, who is a descendant of my great-great grandmothers' legitimate family. She married at age 26 and he and his mother hail from one of her daughters. His family had been told my a niece of the biological father of J. R. Hudson that her grandfather's brother was the father of  Caroline's oldest child. I am looking into that now, but it seems obvious, as she name her son after his father, both are James Robert's, with different surnames.

James Robert Hudson died in 1949 and 62 years later, we find out from a living descendant of his father's brother who his father was. Amazing.

But that was not the only thing I learned from this distant cousin. His family still lives on the property that belonged to Caroline's maternal grandfather, Calvin Lee. I did not have any of the information on him that they were able to provide. There is an old graveyard on a hill in the woods near their place, where the Lee family is buried, along with family of Calvin's first wife. A Revolutionary War Veteran, James Duke, is buried there, Calvin's first father-in-law, who was a founding member of Cedar Grove Church in Southern Stanly County. 

It will take some time to digest all of this new information and get it into an organized form. I was able to tour the old graveyard, littered with leaves and some of the gravestones barely legible in the fading light, but we were able to read them thanks to the amazing eyes of young cousin Wesley, about 10 years old. The house was one where my  great, great, grandmother resided during the 1870's and 1880's. The remains of an old well are in the front yard.

It is always great to meet new cousins, and we are related down multiple lines, so it's not easy to calculate the number of 'cousin' they are down which ever line. Suffice to just know that this family is my cousins down at least the Hudson, Lee and Mauldin lines.

Thankyou so much Cousin Julian, Wesley and Deborah! I had a great evening and learned so much. But learning who my great-grandfather's father was is just mind-bogglingly amazing.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Five Little Lambs

Dulins Grove Advent Christian Church is located right on Hwy 24/27 on the Albemarle Road, just barely inside the Mecklenburg County line. It is closest to the Cabarrus county community of Midland and part of the historical Mecklenburg county community of Clearwater Creek. The small church was established in the 1890's by the Dulin family, in an extinct town called Allen . I have been researching the Hooks family of my great, great grandmother Sarah Hooks Hill. The Dulins Grove cemetery reflects the names of the earliest settlers in that part of Mecklenburg where it meets Cabarrus and Union and is within spitting distance of Stanly. Hartsells from Midland, Biggers from Cabarrus, Helms from Union, Simpson from Stanly, are buried here with the Dulins, the Allens, the Flowes and the Haglars, and more than a few Hooks.

 While searching for the graves of John E Hooks and his wife Isabelle, I discovered this sad row of 5 little lambs, all Hooks children. Four of the graves were the children of Mr. & Mrs. Fred Hooks and the other their granddaughter. Fred was a son of John E and Isabelle. John E Hooks was the son of Emmaline Hooks, my GG Grandmother's sister and John E Barbee, while his wife Isabelle was the niece of another one of my Great, Great Grandmother's, Julina Aldridge Davis, as Izzy was the daughter of her older brother Hamp. So, I am related to this family frpm both sides. Also buried in this cemetery is Lilla Jane Hooks Allen, daughter of John and Isabelle, her daughter Ruth, who also died as an infant, and her husband, his second wife and one of their sons. Lilla Jane's husband, Walter A. Allen, was a member of the Dulin family, as his mother was Carrie Dulin who married Thomas W. Allen. Even in the early years of the twentieth century, when childhood diseases were still running rampant and influenza epidemics could wipe out a community, this was a lot of children from one family, so I was curious and decided to look into it closer.

Fred Hooks  was born 20 Jan 1897 and died 11 Mar 1964. He married Mary Jane Hatley 1901-1964.

This is the list of Fred and Mary Jane's children:

Zila b 7 May 1921 in Mecklenburg County  d 5 June 1999 in Midland, Cabarrus County. Married Tom Adam Johnson.

Janeva or Geneva b 2 Sept 1922 in Mecklenburg, d 18 Nov 1983 in Mt. Pleasant, Cabarrus. Married Berry Richard "Pete" Hatley

Infant Son Hooks b & d on 29 April 1923

Unknown Hooks b & d April 1924

Maggie Hooks b 5 May 1925 d 26 April 1983. Married William "Tom" Hatley, brother of above Berry R Pete Hatley

On May 4, 1928, the couple had a set of Triplett Girls: Ada Sheldy, Lola Richard and Ida

Ada Sheldy died first on July 14, 1928, her sister Lola Richard died 2 days later on July 16, 1928

Ida survived past infancy. She grew up and married Houston George Thomas and raised her two children in the Midland community of Cabarrus County. As of this writing, she is still alive.

The ninth child was Dora Vermelle Hooks b 29 July 1929 d 9 Dec 2011. Married Lewis Edgar Dorton

10) Richard Leo Hooks b 15 Nov 1931 d 22 Feb 2003
11) Wilson Harvey Hooks b 24 Jan 1934 d 9 May 2003
12)  Son Hooks b & d 18 Nov 1934
13) Infant Hooks b 21 Nov 1935

Thirteen Children. Six dying in infancy.

Peggy Jane Hatley was the daughter of Janeva Hooks and Berry Richard Hatley, making her a niece of the other babies buried in this row. Not in the row, but a first cousin to these babies, was little Ruth E. Allen, daughter of Fred's sister Lilla Jane Hooks Allen.

I noticed the prevalence of the Hatley name in the family tree and wondered about the connections.

Mary Jane Hatley was the daughter of  Lilly Richard Hatley and Margaret Lou "Maggie" Harwood.

Lilly Richard Hatley was the son of John F Hatley and Minta Julia Ann Sides..
His wife Maggie was the daughter of Paul A Harwood and Rhoda L HATLEY.

John F Hatley was the son of Hardy Hatley and Sarah Rebecca Mitchell.
His wife Mintie was the daughter of Alexander "Sandy" Sides and Barbara Ann HATLEY.

Paul A Harwood was the son of Redding Howard Harwood and Elizabeth HATLEY (daughter of Simeon Hatley and Annie Rogers)

Paul's wife Rhoda was the daughter of Edmond Lee HATLEY and Sarah  Leah Springer.
   Edmond Hatley was the son of Hardin HATLEY and Bathsheba HARWOOD.

That's a lot to keep up with, but it breaks down to this, among Mary Jane's 8 great-grandparents, 4 were Hatleys and 2 were Harwoods. Three of the 4 Hatleys who would become her great-grandparents were siblings.

As two of the Hooks sisters, Maggie and Jeneva, married Hatley brothers, I wanted to find the family connection there. Pete and Tom were the sons of Luther Haston "Coot" Hatley and his wife Mary Frances Page, Coot was the son of John Hastin Hatley and Martha Jane Herrin Hatley. John was the son of Hastin Hatley and Bathsheba Harwood, a brother of the Edmond Hatley mentioned above. Making the Hooks sisters second cousins with the Hatley brothers.

Every being carries an indifferent number of defective genes, that cause no problems unless mated to a carrier of the identical defective gene, and even then, it will not effect every offspring. One quarter will be born with the malady, half will be carriers and one quarter will be born free of the gene. I can't help but think that the preponderance of Hatley's and Harwoods in the family tree of Mary Jane had something to do with the death of nearly half of her children. And with two of her daughters marrying back into the family, little Peggy Jane may not have had a chance.

Communities were smaller in those days and transportation was not as available as it is now. Candidates for marriage were not as plentiful or varied. Cousins often married, without the knowledge of what that meant genetically.

Five little lambs. Victims of disease or their family tree?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wednesday's Child: Ruth E. Allen

Ruth E. AllenLittle Ruth E. Allen was born on the 9th of June in 1917. She was the only child born to Walter Ambrose Allen and his young wife Lilla Jane Hooks. Lilla Jane was the niece of my great-great grandmother, Sarah Jane Hooks Hill.

Ruth died of bronchial pneumonia at 8 months and 7 days old. There was a horrific influenza empidemic that went through the area of Stanly, Anson, Union and surrounding counties between 1916 and 1918. Her mother Lilla, would die the following year of bronchial pneumonia following influenza at the tender age of 19 years, 8 months and 20 days.

The family had moved to Carthage, in Moore County, just north of Montgomery, but were brought back to Dulin's grove to be buried. Walter Ambrose Allen, Ruth's father, was a member of the Dulin family, his mother Carrie, being born a Dulin. W. A. Allen would fight in WWI, remarry a girl from the coast of North Carolina, Betty Clark, and father 3 little boys, 2 of whom lived and 1 who also died as an infant. W. A. Allen would not live to be an old man, either. But that is another story. Ruth's grandmother, Rebecca Isabell Aldridge, was the daughter of Caleb Hampton Aldridge, whose sister Francis Julina Aldridge, is also one of my great, great grandmothers.
Lillie J. Allen
Monument of Lilla Jane Hooks Allen at Dulin's Grove. 
Walter A Allen

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Methodist Man: The Estate of Job Davis

Corn now growing on the former Davis farm
Job Davis was my great-grandfathers great-grandfather and the cause of my dive into genealogy. I grew up hearing stories of Job and his 4 sons and knew the location of his property along the Rocky River. He was born on April 10, 1773 and died in the old Davis Community along the Rocky River in southern Stanly County, North Carolina.

The graveyard, where Job, his wife Sarah Winfield Howell Davis and several other family members are buried, is just off of Old Davis Road there. What I did not know was his origins prior.

You can tell a great deal about an individual by the possessions they acquired and kept. Tools can betray a trade, books can impart an interest, collections can reveal a lifestyle.

The estate of Job Davis was settled in the May Session of the Court of Stanly County in 1853. His will had already been probated and his assets were being inventoried. Other parts of Stanly County had been settled by Scotch-Irish coming down the Philadelphia Wagon Trail or Germans coming in from Cabarrus and Rowan down the Salisbury-Fayetteville Market Road. Several Virginians had settled into the Granville Grants in the early days of the area and a few Welsh Methodists had set up plantations along the Rocky and PeeDee Rivers. Job's land was just north of a settlement along the PeeDee in South Carolina known as the "Welsh Neck".

The Davis family were both Virginians and Welsh Methodists. Several family members still today are Wesleyan Methodists and Job's belongings verify that he was as well and it was passed down to his descendants.

Job was a member of the small plantation community that had grown up near the "Forks", the fertile area where the Rocky River flows into the Yadkin/PeeDee. His estate records reflect his time and place in history as the owner of large tracts of land and a gentleman of the era. It is not meant to be insulting to any one or group, it is simply a listing of what was in that time and place.

A view of the Rocky River from the Old Ford

An inventory of the property on Job Davis deceased which came into the hands of E. W. Davis his administrator with the will annexed.
Cash on hand             $87.50  ( A chart states that $25.00 in 1852 is worth $4000 today, so considering that fact $87.50 was about $14000.00

One not on Caleb Aldridge (Caleb Aldridges grand daughter would marry Job's grandson and become my great, great grandparents, so Caleb is also an ancestor)

One note on Henry Davis due Jany (sic) 1 1844
 "         "       Lewis Brown   "  Feby 16th 1852
 "         "       Benjamine Hudson  Oct 22  1852
 "        "       Alexander Foreman for Cr by Cash 95 cts due Jany 1853
 "        "       Kimbrell Cooper due Jany 1852
 "         "      Jeremiah B. Broadaway  Due 1 Jany 1852 (Jeremiah Broadway married Clarissa, daughter of Job's stepson Jordan Howell, son of Sarah Winfield Howell and first husband Richard Howell).
 "         "     George Kimra     due 1  Jany 1852
  "      "      Celia Easley   due 1st Jany  1852
  "       "      Edmund Coley due 1st Jany  1852 (aka Edmund Murray, another apple in the family tree. Caleb Aldridge's son Garner would marry Priscilla Murray. Edmund was the illegitimate son of her brother Benjamin Murray. He is shown simultaneously in records as both Murray and Coley, as is his children. Some of his grandchildren chose to remain Murrays, others became Coley's.)
  " Josiah  Aldridge (son of Caleb and brother of Garner. Josiah's son Pink's daughter Judy was the mother of my Grandmother Thompson).

7 bedsteads and furniture, 4 head of horses, 2 two year old colts, 1 mare and colt, 12 head of grown cattle, 2 yearlings and 3 calves.  5 Head old sheep and 6 lambs, 45 Head of Hogs, 380 lbs pork, 8 split bottom chairs, 2 stool chairs, 1 arm chair,  2 blue painted chest pine, 1 walnut desk, 1 blue painted Slabboard, 1 large looking glass, 2 small sizes looking glasses, 1 large pine table, 1 pine painted red cupboard, 2 small sized ine table, 1 folding leaf walnut table, 2 walnut Bureaus,  1 Clock, 1 clock reel, 1 old pine cupboard, 1 large poplar chest, one old pine trunk, 1 cot, 1 cot frame, 1 LARGE FAMILY BIBLE (I wonder what happened to this or whom might have it now) 2 volumes Wesley Notes, 1 Methodist conferences, 1 vol J  Wesleys Journal, 1 vol Potters Justice, 1 vol life Garrison, 1 Watson's Wesley, 1 family adviser, 1 life Benjamin Abbott, 1 experience of Methodist preachers, 1 Methodist discipline, 2 Wesley sermons, 1 Watkins dictionary, 1 small Hymn book, 1 large Hymn Book, 1 Testament.

I'm going to pause here and analyze what this collection is telling me. First, as I know, he was obviously a farmer. He also seems well read,  devoutly Wesleyan Methodist, and maybe even liked to sing. Job was a tall, lean bearded man with deep set eyes, handsome into his old age. I've seen examples of his handwriting, he was well spoken and obviously educated. My grandpa and his siblings also liked to sing. I can imagine Job sounding much like his great-grandson, my Papa Davis.  

1 and a half gallon spice jar,  6 case bottles, 1 shot gun, 1 set cup & saucers, 2 doz plates, 1 large red flowered bowl, 1/2 doz pint bowls, 1 1/2 gallon pitchers, 2 Do quart pitchers, 1 cream pot, 2 sugar bowls, 1 glass butter plate, 1 do earthern (sic) butter plates, 1 coffee canister, 4 blk chunk bottles, 1 shoe hammer, 3 chamber mugs, 1/2 doz glass tumbers, 2 tin trunks large, 1 small Do, 1 Iron hooped keg, 4 jugs large, 2 sides thin sole leather, 1 flax wheel, 1 straw basket, , 1 do small size, 1 slate, 2 reap hooks, 1 small iron hooped keg, 1 pr balances, 1 wagon saddle, 1 Riding saddle, 1 side saddle, 1 lard stand, 24 lb weights, 3 barrel stands, 2 pails, 2 coffee pots, 100 barrels corn, 2 half B measures, 2 large pine box, 1 pr. Cart wheels, 1 old sulkey, 1 road wagon and harness, 1 sett old hind wheels wagon, 1 Fan mill , 10 bushels peas, 25 bushels wheat, 2 large grain boxes, 2 pea stand, 1 cotton gin, 1 threshing machine, 1 small pr. steelyards, 1 large pr Do, 3 sythes & cradles, 100 lb spinning cotton, 1 pr hand mill stones, 1 log chain 3 steel weeding hoes, 6 Iron weeding hoes small, 1 cross cut saw, 1 hand saw, 1 tenant saw, 2 cutting knives & boxes, 9 stacks fodder, 15 bushels oats, 4 setts plow gear, 2 dung shovels, 2 dung forks, 1 ditching spade, 4 spinning wheels, 3 cook pots, 2 ovens, 2 wash pots, 2 friars, 2 frying pans, 2 kitchen pail, 2 piggins, 1 churn, 3 pr pot hooks, 1 tea kettle, 2 washing tubs, 2 bread trays, 1 grind stone, 1 brier blade, 2 grass sythes (sic), 1 salt gum, 2 salt boxes, 3 bee stands, 5 half shovel plow hoes, 1 foot adz, 1 old gig axle iron, 8 plow hoes, 1 set blacksmith tools, 6 setts singletree & clevices, 5 sprouting hoes & mattocks, 5 axes, 2 pr andirons, 1 pr shovel & tongs, 3 brass candle sticks and snuffery, 2 pr sheep shears, 8 head geese, 1 pr hand bellows, 4 bells, 1 pr Tailors sheers, 1 set knives & forks, 1 sett tea spoons, 3 large dishes, 1/2 doz milk crocs, 30 lb lard, 2 smoothing irons, 1 square, 2 raw hides, 1 drawing knife.

( The next part of the list is troubling, however, the year was 1852 and he was a man with considerable real estate and of his time. The Davis plantation included, a ford, a gold mine, a school, a cemetery with a 'Meeting House' or church, a store ran by his third son Neddy or Edward Winfield Davis, and several families lived on the property besides the Davis's, employees, slaves, sharecroppers and even squatters whom they took to court several times.)

The following are the negros belonging to the Estate of the said Job Davis to wit.
Perry, Dennis, Jim, Green, Lucy, Charlotte & child, Columbus, Jack, Mary, Ben, Anna, Austin, John, Dockery, Wiley, Daniel, Liz, Fanny & child, Nancy and child, Martha, Bob, Charles, Harriet, Clarissa, John, Bettie, Maria & Frank.  The foregoing personal property was left to the widow of Job Davis by his last will and the above negros named Dennis, Jim, Jack, Nancy & child, Harriet and Betty were also given to her. The other negroes to be divided  as his will directs.  Returned to May Cty Court 1853 by me,
E. W. Davis Admr.  With the will annexd. R Harris clrk.

Remains of the old road leading from Davis Ford to Allenton

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marrying Miss Abbie

Abigail D Furr was the daughter of  Frederick Furr and Cristine "Crissy" Miriam Furr of Cabarrus County, North Carolina. She was born in August of 1844, one of those privileged young ladies to have experienced life on a large farm in the rolling hills of Carolina prior to the Civil War. She was the oldest girl and had 5 younger sisters, Mandy, Elizabeth, Martha Jane, Rosa and Bebie Loudemie and two younger brothers, Paul and Charles.

At the age of 20, she married John C Starnes who lived near present day Locust, North Carolina, just across the county line in Stanly County. She had grown up along the border of Stanly and Cabarrus. Some years later her little sister Elizabeth would marry John's younger brother Nathan Monroe Starnes. 

In John's estate papers, a child is mentioned, but never shows up in any other records, so if Abbie ever bore a child, he or she did not live long. Later census records would record her as never having had a child.

John C Starnes died in May of 1894. His cousin F. F. Starnes purchased many of the items at auction. His wife Mary had passed in March, just two month prior and just two months later, F. F. and Abby would be married. 

F. F. Starnes had been taxed for 4 large parcels of land in Cabarrus county, one being his father's old homestead, and for Machinery in a mill he operated in another township in lower Cabarrus County. Soon, he would begin to sell off certain parcels and business interests and relocate to the growing city of Charlotte in Mecklenburg County, where he would purchase 4 homes, 2 on Sunnyside Drive and 2 on Arlington Avenue.

After F. F. Starnes died, Abby, who was 18 years younger, would move closer to the trolley on Arlington and remained a widow for two years before marrying again in her 60's, a slightly younger gentleman, Marion Harrison Misenheimer, who was also from her section of Cabarrus County. They would remain in Charlotte.

Abbie outlived her third husband as Marion died in 1923 and Abbie not until 1925. She left her property to her surving sisters, nieces, nephews and a few caring neighbors.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Buffalo Avenue

One of the treasures I found on my trip to the Lore Room in the Cabarrus County Library was a book by Timothy W Auten titled "Buffalo Cotton Mill  1908 Employees compiled from the 1908 Concord City Directory".  I was flipping through the pages and came across a familiar name: Davis,  Wm (Maude) emp Buffalo Mills  H 3 same. In reading the preview, I knew that meant House number 3 on the street of the same name, Buffalo, which is now called Buffalo Avenue. Buffalo Avenue is now shorter than it once was, and old homes have been replaced by new ones or businesses, however some of the old housed remain and have been maintained. I few pages later I found this page.

Maude Lemmonds had married a William Davis and was living in House 3, her mother Leavy, widow of Robert, was living in house 13, as was her brother Fred and his wife Loula (spelled Leila in the book), her sister Miss Minnie Lemmonds, and brother Samuel. Brother Harvey and his wife Lottie, my great-grandparents, were living next door in House 14. 

House on Buffalo Street typical of Mill Village homes. 

When I left, it was dark, and I did not attempt to drive down Buffalo Ave, but rest assured, my next trip to Concord, I will find out how to get, how to get to Buffalo Street. 
Two story house on Buffalo Street, probably a Supervisors home. 
Another house on Buffalo Avenue, once Buffalo Street, Concord, NC.

The Thrill of the Chase

In her lovely book "Precious Bane," Mary Webb writes: "To conjure even for a moment, the wistfulness which is the past is like trying to gather in one's arms the hyacinthine colour of the distance. But, if it be once achieved, what sweetness!--like the gentle, fugitive fragrance of spring flowers dried with bergamot and bay. How the tears will spring in the reading of some old parchment---' to my dear child, my tablets and my ring'---or the yellow letters with the love still fresh and fair in them though the ink is faded---' and so, good-night, my dearest heart, and God send you happy'. That vivid present of theirs, how faint it grows! The past is only the present grown invisible and mute; its memoried glances and its murmurs are infinitely precious. We are tomorrow's past. Even now we slip away like those pictures painted on the moving dials of antique clocks--a ship, a cottage, sun and moon, a nosegay. The dial turns, the ship rides up and sinks again; the yellow painted sun has set, and we that were the new thing gather magic as we go. The whir of the spinning-wheels has ceased in our parlors, and we hear no more the treadles of the loom, the swift silken noise of the flung shuttle, the intermittent thud of the batten. But the imagination hears them, and theirs is the melody of romance.What beautiful sentiments.

There are days when I have so much new information I want to put in a blog, documents that arrive in the mail, a new discovery, a new place I've visited, but the hunt engages all of my free time. When I have a day off, I sometimes spend party of it in the Heritage Room of a County within driving distance or in the Register of Deeds, or Clerk of Courts office, or trudging about old graveyards. A teenaged me would keel over dead hearing this, but the thrill of the chase has its own rewards.

Today was a particularly fruitful day. I went to the Cabarrus County Courthouse for about the 4th time, and found new records. These ancestors of mine have me going back and forth like a ping-pong ball between counties, as they could not settle in just one, or had to straddle county lines. I dropped by the Public Library where some lovely sisters had set up a history room. There were many treasures, research on family lines, books on Concord and Cabarrus history. I had to go, but I must return. It was a treasure trove.

I do not mean to neglect my blog, I just have so much fun in doing research. And I love it when things come together. I will be sharing my discoveries soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Bitter Pill: Harvey Layfatte Lemmons

He was only 28 years old and in love. What deep pain led him to this dire and grievous decision, we can only ponder. A choice of product available and an unbearable pain lie before him and on a summer night in June of 1915, Harvey Layfatte Lemmons took his own life. 

Harvey Layfette Lemmonds or Lemmons was born on August 6, 1886  in Cabarrus County, North Carolina to Robert Lemmons, known as Bob and Margaret Olivia Starnes Lemmons known as Leavy. The Lemmons name was spelled multiple ways and in previous generations contained a 'd' at the end, but as it evolved into 'Lemmons', that is how I will record Harvey's name. 

Harvey was one of my Great-grandfathers. My grandmother never knew him and this is the sad tale of why she did not. 
He was born to a farming family, as most were in those days. Judging from his father's estate papers, the family raised cotton and hogs, for the most part, near the Rocky River area of Cabarrus County. Harvey was their very middle child. He had an older brother and an older sister, a younger brother and a younger sister, Maude, Fred, Sam and Minnie. His middle name was likely supposed to have been Lafayette, but it was spelled incorrectly in documents. His mother had a brother, Frederick Layfette Starnes, known as Layfette or "Fate"  so Harvey was likely his namesake. 

Bob Starnes died in 1898 of a lingering illness, judging from a statement by his father-in-law Frederick Fincher Starnes, when Harvey was but 11 years old. Bob owed a substantial sum of money to a merchant named Mr. Oglesby, and Finch Starnes, who was a man of wealth and property, came to the rescue and negotiated with Mr. Oglesby to keep his daughter and her 5 children on their property. Eventually, Finch Starnes and his second wife Abbie, would move from Rocky River to the growing metropolis of Charlotte, where Finch owned 3 or four homes in the Elizabeth and Piedmont Park area. Several of his children would follow, including Frederick Layfette and Leavy Lemmons. Leavy and her children lived in a less glamorous neighborhood in Charlotte called Phifer Hill. It was a village of cottages set up on the former farm of a Mr. William Phifer where most residents were employed by the Louise Cotton Mill.

Harvey went to work there at 12 and his education ceased at that point. He did attempt some self education and was an avid reader and joined the local YMCA. 

Finch Starnes died in 1913, and soon after that, Leavy relocated her family back to Cabarrus County, but to the city of Concord, where Cannon Mills ruled and textile plants abounded. The family lived off of the Old Charlotte Road. Many young widows, even with a bevy of children, remarried in those days, but not Leavy. She had been gored by an angry cow sometime after her marriage, and the horn had hooked her mouth and she had been left with an angry scar, as her mouth ripped and tore across her cheek. The once attractive lady had became reclusive and clung to her family. She remained, for the most part, with her oldest daughter, Maude, after the younger children were grown. 

After the move to Concord, sometime around 1904 to 1905, Harvy fell in love with a beautiful girl named Lottie. They may have known each other previously as children, as Lottie's father ran a grist mill near the Rocky River, very near the one Harvey's grandfather had ran on Caldwell Creek. As it is impossible to determine the exact location at this time, it may have been the very same one. Mathew Hill may have purchased the Mill from the estate of F. F. Starnes. The 1890 Tax List had all of them listed in Township 1 of Cabarrus County, near Harrisburg and on Caldwell Creek, near the Rocky River. F.F Starnes also was taxed for some machinery he owned in Township 10, which included the present Midland area. This may have been machinery at the Mill he had owned and operated. 
Lottie Hill's life gives the impression that she was what we might call in these days a party girl. She liked going out, and her second marriage was to a much married and divorced man, whose other wives listed in divorce papers his weakness for drink, women, song and disappearance. Duncan Burris had no problem in finding wives and girlfriends, so he must  have been a bit of a charmer. 
But back to 1910, the last census that Harvey Layfette or Lafayette Lemmons would be counted in, he was in Charlotte with his young family, working in textiles, after his father raised cotton. His grandfather was enjoying the fruit of his labors in an exclusive neighborhood in Charlotte, with business giants as neighbors, and his widowed mother having moved from Charlotte back to Cabarrus County, living in the Poplar Tent section of the county, Southwest of Concord, likely working at the Gibson Mill in that area, and with her youngest daughter Minnie, her youngest son Sam and his bride May in her household and very near her married older daughter Maude Lemmons Davis. 

On a lovely day in May, the 12th in 1906, two 19 year olds, Harvey Layfette Lemmonds and Lottie Hill were married at the home of her parents in Cabarrus County. Fifteen months later, on August 6, 1907, they would welcome their first child, a daughter named Lula. She may have been named for her cousin Lula Mae Davis, as Harvey's sister Maude Lemmonds Davis, had given birth to Lula Mae in 1903. It would be another 5 years before the second child would come along. 
From all indications, it was not a happy marriage. Lottie liked being in town, after having been a farm girl all of her life, and was not easily kept. She liked the nightlife and did not want to be tied down too much with children. Nature would take its course, however and on November 15, 1912, Elder Edgar Lemmonds was born. There are no hints of where that name came from. It has Irish origins that mean "Older". The choice was an unusual one. Lula was 5 and a half when her brother came along, a modern spacing, but rare for the era. 
Three years later, 8 year old Lula and 3 year old Elder would experience something horrific in their lives. It is not known where the children were staying that night, perhaps with neighbors or relatives, but the story that was passed down to my father by my grandmother and her siblings was this. Lottie had gone out dancing. It was the era of WWI. Maybe Harvey was afraid of being drafted, or perhaps he already had been. Lottie apparently was not one to let bad news, a war, two young children or being 6 months pregnant with her third child, my grandmother, stop her from hitting the honky-tonks. 
Whether Lottie had been  taken by the shy red-head, or just simply wanted out of the large family of mostly girls, in which she was also an 'invisible' middle child, is unknown.  Harvey's grandfather, Finch, was living in Charlotte, Ward 6, at this time, in the Piedmont Park section, across the street from Independence Park, named as such for the Mecklenburg County Declaration of Independence, a document in which 3 ancestors of Harvey had signed, John Query, Hezekiah Alexander and John Foard. His great, great grandfather William Marr Lemmond had been a surgeon during the Revolutionary War and William Marr Lemmonds son, John, one less great preceding the 'grandfather', had signed up as an ensign and later been promoted to Lieutenant.  What a grand heritage had preceded young Harvey Lafayette Lemmons, patriots and his Grandfathers business men farmers and a farming lawyer whose words had spurred North Carolina to succeed from the Union. 

Harvey Layfette Lemmonds worked in the Cotton Mills. At age 28, he had been working there for 16 years. A young man worn weary of tedious work, long hours and a lovely bride who could not be kept at home. He may have wondered if the child she carried was even his. He would never know that she was. DNA tests have linked me, his great-grandchild, to cousins linked to me only by his family tree, Starnes and Lemmonds, Walkers, Whites, Query's and Means and Alexanders. 

Carbolic Acid is a sweet-smelling clear liquid that is added to many different products. It is used in the production of textiles in many different forms.  Harvey's death certificate states that he was a cotton mill 'hand', as employees were referred to as, and that he 'ran speeders' as a living, a job records indicate paid $4.50 a week at that time. 

It also said that he lived in Township 11, which is the southern part of the City of Concord, probably along or just off of the Charlotte Road, which led to the Rocky River and Cabarrus communities in which his family had lived. 

On the evening of June 12, 1915, Lottie Hill Lemmonds had gone out dancing and partying. She was to give birth to her third child in September. Her husband was at work in the cotton mills of Concord, NC, employed there as a laborer who ran spinners. He was jealous and he was depressed. He could take no more. This was not the life the young 28 year old man had imagined for himself. He died of 'Acute Carbolic Acid Poisoning' and his death was ruled a suicide. He was found and his death reported by his younger brother, Samuel Grier Lemmonds of  2nd Buffalo Street in Concord, North Carolina. It is noted that he was Male, White and Married. His birthdate was given as August 6, 1886. His father Robert Lemmons, born in Union County, North Carolina and his mother, Margaret Leavy Starnes born in South Carolina. He was 28 years, 10 months and 6 days old. He attended Common School and was born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. J E Buchanon was the Coroner and signed the certificate on June 13, 1915 in Concord, NC. 
The body was given to undertakers Bell and Harris and he was buried at Rocky Ridge Cemetery on the 13th of  June, the day after he died.

Rocky Ridge Presbyterian Church is were the family of Lottie Hill is buried. She had her husband interred, not with his own family, but with her parents, William Mathew Hill and Sarah Jane Hooks, her sisters who died young and other members of the Hooks and Hill families. The Church stands next to Stonewall Jackson Training School, a formidable place with huge brick buildings in disrepair and covered in Ivy. The Juvenile Prison, as it was opened in 1907 and would have been in operation when the church bells chimed and Harvey L. Lemmonds body was laid to its final rest. 

When did Lottie discover her husbands end? Did she see the damage that drinking the acid caused his body? What did she feel concerning the pain her wayward ways had caused him? Was he unreasonably jealous or had she given him good reason to be beyond her party girl ways? 

What is definitively known is that on September 8, 1915, Bertha Virginia Lemmons would be born, my grandmother, and she would never know her father. Lottie would quickly remarry Duncan Burris, who lived in Cabarrus, but had Stanly County origins and they would move their family back to Stanly County and their first child, Dorothy, would be born the very next year. Lottie's story is another blog, but she and Duncan would have a slew of children, many who died as infants, in rapid succession. Dunk, was a recorded alchoholic, abuser of women and children, disapearing spouse and womanizer. A lout, a scoundrel and a good-looking charmer all rolled into one. Lottie's penchant for fun and attraction to bad boys had caused her red-haired husband unbearable grief and a horrific death, but she did not stop in her tracks. Music and dance, wine and song would continue in her life. Poor Harvey had borne a heavy and arduous burden and died a horrific death. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Abbie's Will: Abigail A D Furr Starnes Starnes Misenheimer.

Abigail D Furr Starnes Starnes Misenheimer was born in August of 1844 to Frederick Furr and Crissie Little Furr of the Rocky River section of  Cabarrus County.  At the age of 20, on August 7 of 1864, she would marry John C Starnes in Stanly County, just across the county line. He lived near the area  now referred to as Locust, North Carolina, on the westernmost border of Stanly County with Cabarrus. John was a Civil War soldier and they were married just a month before Sherman burned Atlanta. The circumstances of John's ability to return home and marry his bride are unknown. Perhaps he was severely injured. 
John and Abbie are never shown listed in a census with any children of their own. In the 1870 census, they are shown with 14 year old Adam Shoe in their home, an aparent orphan. Adam was the son of Tobias Shoe, a Civil War Soldier who died during the war. Perhaps he was hired to assist a wounded John. 
In the 1880, a 17 year old Daniel Starnes is shown in their home with the relationship 'servant'. He was most likely a relative, a nephew or cousin, hired to give assistance to John. John died on May 2, 1894 and Abbie married his cousin, Frederick Fincher Starnes on  June 2, 1894, exactly two months later. That may have been exact protocol for a grieving widow. 

In John's estate papers, a 'widow and one child' are mentioned. Nowhere else does a child of John and Abbie show up. By 1894, Abbie is 49 years old. As there was no 1890 census, it was mostly destroyed by fire, the child would have had to be born after the 1880 census, and could have been a young teenager by 1894. As of yet, I have not found a grave for a young Starnes buried near any of the other family members that could be the child of John and Abby. The two young girls buried near Abby, John and F. F. Starnes and his brother N. M. Starnes are the daughters of Nathan Monroe Starnes and his wife Elizabeth, who was Abbie's younger sister. In the 1900 and 1910 censuses, which lists the number of children a woman has had and also the number of those children still living, Abbie is listed as 0 and 0. None born. None Living. 

Frederick Fincher Starnes and Abbie had moved to Charlotte, NC to retire, and living first in the Piedmont Park section, near the Elizabeth community, and then she later moved to some property closer to the trolley system, on Arlington in Ward 6, that F. F. had purchased at some point. So, her will was probated in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on March 13, 1925.  It had been recorded on October 17, 1924. After the death of F. F. Starnes in 1913, Abigail remained single for 3 years, then later married someone she may have known from her childhood in Cabarrus County, Marion Harrison Misenheimer, whose family had lived close to the Furrs. Although Marion Misenheimer was 9 years her junior, she would outlive him by two years and in 1923, Abigail became a widow for the third and final time. 

Most of Abbie's property, she left to nieces and nephews. Some she left to neighbors. 

The Will reads: I, Abbigail D. Misenheimer, of the aforesaid county and state, being of sound mind, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existance (er), do make and declare this my last will and testament:
My Executor, hereinafter named shall give my body a decent burial, suitable to the wishes of my friends and relatives and pay all funeral expenses, together with all my just debts our of the first moneys which may come into his hands belonging to my estate. 
I give and devise to Old Meadow Creek Baptist Church $100.00 (note: this Church was known as 'old' at this point in time). 
I give and devise to Sallie Cruse, wife of Walter Cruse, $50.00 (note: The Cruse's were next door neighbors of F.F. and Abbie on Sunnyside Drive in Charlotte. Sallie must have been a dear friend.)
I give and devise to George W. Dry my Iron Safe. (George was her nephew and executor)
I give and devise to Missouri Dry, wife of Pink Dry, my Kitchen Cabinet. (Pink was another nephew and brother of  George). 
I give and devise to Arthur Starnes my big yellow bedstead and sufficient bedding for same. (Note: Arthur Beachum Starnes was the son of N. M. Starnes, her first husbands brother and his wife Elizabeth, Abbie's sister. So he was her double-nephew. )
I give and devise to Silas Starnes my big Rocking Chair (a grandson of second husband F. F. Starnes)
I give and devise to Ely Starnes, son of my deceased sister Elizabeth, the sum of  $1.00. (Eli Starnes)
I give and devise to Vick Dry, the son of my deceased sister Rosa Ann Dry, the sum of $1.00 (D. Victor Dry)
My Will and desire is that after paying the above specific legacies my Executor, hereinafter named, shall sell all my real estate, consisting of a house and lot in Charlotte, N.C. a either public or private sale, as to him may seem best, but that my said executor shall not sell said house and lot for less than the sum of $3000.00; that my said Executor shall also sell all the remainder of my household and kitchen furniture and other personal property at either public or private sale, as to him shall seem best. 
It is my will and desire that my Executor after paying the specific legacies, hereinbefore devised, and after selling my real and personal property, as hereinbefore directed, shall divide the funds remaining in his hands into equal shares. 
I will and devise to my sister, Deemie Cauble, wife of Horace Cauble, one share of my estate for the term of her natural life and at her death to go to her children surviving her.  It is my will and desire that my Executor, hereinafter named, shall  invest the share of my sister, Deemie Cauble, (Bebie Loudemie Furr Cauble) in some safe and sound security and pay over the interest or dividends to my sister, Deemie Cauble, for the rest of her natural life and at her death, the principle is to go to her children, as herein  directed, and the same is to be treated as real estate in the hands of my said exectutor. 
I will and devise to Etta Starnes and Nora Starnes, children of my deceased sister, Elizabeth Starnes, one share of my estate to be divided equally between them. 
I will and devise to Charlie Rhinehardt, Titus Rhinehardt, Lottie Rhinehardt, , George Rhinehardt, Victor Rhinehardt, and Berry Rinehardt, children of my deceased sister, Mandy Rhinehardt, one share of my estate to be divided equally among them. 
I will and devise  to Cora Honeycutt, Pierce Rhinehardt, Paul Rhinehardt, and Fronie Rhinehardt, children of my deceased sister, Martha Rhinehardt, one share of my estate to be divided equally among them. 
I hereby appoint George W. Dry of Cabarrus County, NC my lawful Executor to all intents and purposes to execute this, my last Will and Testament according to the true intent and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof-- hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other testaments by me heretofore made. 
In witness hereof, I, the said Abbigail D Misenheimer, do here-unto set my hand and seal this the 17th day of October, 1924

signed Abbigail D Misenheimer

witnesses: M. L. Eudy
Rubye Misenheimer.