Friday, August 29, 2014

Blessed Home, a Very Old Song

There are many people all over the nation, and even eventually, all over the world, who have roots that lead back to our little area of North Carolina.
Edisto River
Our history was affected by several waves of migration that took place during the 19th Century for various reasons: land grants, wars, exhausted farmland, fortune, or the endless search for good bottom land. Many people, devastated by the after-effects of the Civil War went west to attempt a 'start-over', others moved south and west in order to escape debts, crimes, or bad memories. Others had hopes of something better, bigger, brighter. But from the beginning of the settling of the Americas by people from other lands, there has alway been those two groups. One sibling will head west, another will stay where they are. That is how the west was won, and also how the east remained populated.

Among the families that moved west off the Rocky River, from the linked counties of Stanly and Anson, were the related families of the Howells, Lisenbys' and Threadgills. Several of these relatives and neighbors would migrate together,imagine a wagon train, and would remain together after settlement, a fairly insular congregation for the first and second generations, leading to modern people who live there and have several, not just one, links back to the same area of North Carolina in their family tree.

DNA and genealogy have led me to meet several wonderful and interesting distant (in miles as well as family trees) cousins. One of these persons is my dear cousin Gene, with whom I communicate regularly. We are both Winfield descendants. While I am descended from Sarah Winfields second husband, Job Davis, Gene descends from her first husband Richard Howell.

One of her ancestors, Holden Stokes Lisenby, wrote the following hymn  during his migration to Alabama in 1857.

Blessed Home by Holden Stokes Lisenby


Blessed Home by Holden Stokes Lisenby

Holden Stokes Lisenby was born October 14, 1814 in Anson County.

He was the son of Thomas Lisenby and Rhoda Green Lisenby.

In 1837, he would marry Rebecca Threadgill, born March 13,1822, daughter of Randall Threadgill and Martha Lothrap Threadgill (or Lowthorp, etc. This name is spelled multiple ways and I also have a Lowthorp/Lathrop/etc. in my line).

This marriage would produce 8 offspring:

1838  William Fletcher Lisenby
1841  Martha Asbury Lisenby
1842  Elisha Green Lisenby
1843  Matilda J Lisenby
1847  Elizabeth Minerva Lisenby
1850  James Franklin Lisenby
1852  Winfield Scott Lisenby
1856  Mary Ann Lisenby

The family would migrate to Alabama in 1857. The 1860 census was the last census that Rebecca Threadgill Lisenby would appear in.

Name:H S Lisenbe
[H S Lisenby
Age in 1860:45
Birth Year:abt 1815
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Township 13 Range 4 East, Marengo, Alabama
Post Office:Hampden
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
H S Lisenbe45
Rebecca Lisenbe38
Martha A Lisenbe19
E G Lisenbe17
Elizabeth M Lisenbe14
James F Lisenbe10
Winfield S Lisenbe8
Mary A Lisenbe4
Thos Threadgill21

 In 1865, Holden Stokes Lisenby would marry Margaret R. Henley, who was born either in Georgia or Alabama. This marriage would produce 3 children:

1866 John E. Lisenby
1872 Adophus M. Lisenby
1873 Anna Jordan Lisenby

Name:Holden S. Lisenbe
Birth Year:abt 1815
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Pineville, Marengo, Alabama
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Margaret Lisenbe
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Neighbors:View others on page
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and Dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:
Household Members:
Holden S. Lisenbe65
Margaret Lisenbe46
John E. Lisenbe13
Adolph Lisenbe8
Anna S. Lisenbe7

Holden S. Lisenby would also survive his second wife. The 1900 census finds him living with son John.

Name:Holton S Lisenby
[Holton S Lisenbe
[Holton E Lisenby] 
Birth Date:Oct 1814
Home in 1900:Pineville, Marengo, Alabama
Relation to Head of House:Father
Marital Status:Married
Marriage Year:1864
Years Married:36
Father's Birthplace:Alabama
Mother's Birthplace:Alabama
Occupation:View on Image
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
John Lisenby33
Julia A Lisenby28
Jerre H Lisenby10
Ruth E Lisenby4
John B Lisenby2
Holton S Lisenby85
Adolphus M Lisenby29

Mr. H.S. Lisenby passed away on May 7, 1908 in Marengo, Alabama. His beautiful hymn, composed on the long trip from Anson County, NC to Marengo County, Alabama, survives him.

Holden Stokes Lisenby
His daughter Martha Asbury Lisenby would marry John Floyd Howell, another Anson County native who migrated West. John Floyd Howell was the son of Peter Howell and Elizabeth Floyd Howell, who farmed in the Cedar Hill area of Anson County, just south of Norwood and just across the Rocky River from Stanly County, near Concord Church.  Peter Howell was the oldest son of Sarah Winfield by her first husband Richard Howell and was the stepson of Job Davis. Elizabeth "Betsy" Floyd was the daughter of Josiah Floyd (III) and wife Mary Tillman Floyd, with whom Job Davis would migrate from the Mecklenburg / Brunswick County area of Virginia, to the Rocky River/ Yadkin /PeeDee area of Anson/Montgomery/Stanly County area of North Carolina in 1794.

My cousin Gene, an octogenarian, is the granddaughter of this couple. While her ancestors were among those who migrated West, mine are among the ones who stayed put.

With improvements and discoveries in DNA continuing, and research materials being continually made accessible online, the vast family connections across America will continue to be linked and distant family members able to find each other and share information.

And beautiful discoveries, like this heartfelt hymn by a devout traveler may yet come to light.

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