Around 1824, she married John Randle Howell and they made their homestead on Cedar Creek in the Poplar Springs area of "Center", just outside of present Norwood, North Carolina. John R. Howell was the nephew of her uncle by marriage, Richard Howell, who married Jemima's sister Sarah.
I explored her husband in my last post:
A Closer Look at John Randle Howell
In this post, I want to explore what happened to Betsy and her family after the death of her husband.
John R. Howell penned his will in August of 1860, in it, son Lemuel was still alive and daughter Margaret Abella Howell was still married to John Britt. He apparently did not live long afterward, in Betsy's first census after his death, in 1870, she had been a beleaguered widow for about 9 years.
|Age in 1870:||61|
|Birth Year:||abt 1809|
|Home in 1870:||Center, Stanly, North Carolina|
|Value of Real Estate:||View image|
In this census, one has to have knowledge of the family to know who is who, as much of what was recorded, or transcribed, was incorrect. Elizabeth is listed as a farmer with $200 in real estate and $300 in personal estate. Everyone else is listed as "at home". Alot has happened to the family in the past decade, not much of it good. Neighbors include Lees and Thompsons and C J Britt, the father of one of her son-in-laws and one of her daughter-in-laws. The first thing that happened after the 1860 census was probably the passing of oldest son Lemuel Howell in August of 1861 in Nansemond County, Virginia, not long after volunteering for the War. His widow, Mary Williams Howell, remarried and his child likely passed away.
Lemuel was not the only son to be lost in the War. Youngest son James W. Howell served in Company D. 1st Regiment NC Artillary. He enlisted March 1, 1862 in Stanly County at the age of 20. I can not find a record of his death, but he never returned.
Her daughters also suffered. Margaret Abella Howell, shown as 28 and second to her mother in the census listing, had married James W. Britt. James Britt also served in the Civil War, but records indicated he deserted. There are some interesting records concerning his service and desertion. Whether he made his way west, was killed or tried and executed, I have not been able to determine. There was some interaction with his brothers and I hope to explore his story in a later post, but by 1870, his wife considered herself a widow, and they had one son, John, whom I believe is the 10 year old listed in the above list.
Eliza, by age, and Samantha, listed third and fourth in the census list, were youngest daughters Turzy and Samantha "Mandy", although John R. Howell gave Turzy's middle initial as "W" in his will, it was obvious the family followed the old Virginia pattern of the Jones, Booths and other families by giving their children three first names, so she could have been "Thurza W. Eliza Howell".
The other children, William, Caroline, James and George D. in the list were also the grandchildren of Elizabeth and also not Howell's. The dead giveaway to who they were is in the place of birth of the youngest two, James and George D, "Georgia".
Fayetteville Weekly Observer
(Fayetteville, North Carolina)20 Nov 1854, Mon • Page 3
Middlemost daughter, Martha Catherine Howell had married teacher, James Asa Earnhardt on November 1, 1854. James Earnhardt was born in Davidson County, NC and had traveled quite a bit, teaching throughout the Carolinas.
In 1860, the family was living in Stanly County.
|Name:||Jas A Earnhardt|
|Birth Year:||abt 1835|
|Birth Place:||North Carolina|
|Home in 1860:||Stanly, North Carolina|
|Value of Real Estate:||View image|
Probably after the death of her father, James and Catherine moved their family to Thomas County, Georgia, as that is where James A. Earnhardt enlisted for duty in the Civil War.
James A. Earnhardt record on Fold3.com
Records for daughter Caroline Adellia Earnhardt Shelbourne have her being born on June 1, 1860 in Mecklengburg County, North Carolina. Younger brothers James and George, in Georgia.
There are two land records in Stanly County involving James A. Earnhardt. The first one involves his selling of property to W. H. Smith in 1861. As he had not purchased any, this seems to be what was inherited by Catherine from her father, John R. Howell. He must have kept part of it in trust, however.
Martha Catherine Howell Earnhardt passed away on April 2, 1866 in Georgia. Youngest son, George Derick Earnhardt was born on January 23, 1866, so he was only 3 and a half months old when his mother passed away, so she did not die in childbirth. Also, he was very fortunate to have survived in that time and era.
James Earnhardt apparently returned to North Carolina after the death of his wife, and place his children in the care of their grandmother. Son Adolphus passed away as a child, and Sarah A. was either the same child as Caroline Adellia, or she passed away as an infant.
|Woodville School, Ballard County, Kentucky circa 1897, submitted by Teresa, @KYkinfolk.com|
In the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 1, by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin, and G. C. Kniffin, and published in 1885 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company, is the following biography on James Asa Earnhardt.
James A. Earnhardt was born January 9, 1836 in Davidson County, N.C. where he grew to manhood, and in 1876 removed to Ballard County, Ky, where he has since resided. His father, William T. Earnhardt, a native of North Carolina, was born in 1815 and died in 1843. He was the son of George. William T. married Bithia Reid, of North Carolina, (born in 1815, died in 1878), and to them were born, subject, Lucy. E. G. (Huckibee) and Julia A. (Palmer). Subject's educational advantages were good, and for about ten years, he was engaged in teaching school in North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky. On November 9, 1855, he married Miss Catherine, daughter of John R. and Elizabeth (Nash) Howell, of North Carolina and from this union sprang William J., Adolphus (deceased), Carolina A. (Shelbourne), James A. and George D. About ten years after the death of his first wife Mr. Earnhardt married January 17, 1875, Miss Elvira, daugther of Alfred and Elvira (Reed) Shelby of Ballard County (born 1838). Mr. Earnhardt has for ten years been engaged in milling, both sawing and grinding, at which he has become sucessful. He also farms 120 acres of good land. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a Methodist and Democrat.
The last land record in Stanly County involving James A. Earnhardt was, " James A. Earnhardt to Whitson H. Smith This Indenture made the 9th of September, 1867............Stanly County, North Carolina...........$568.......on the waters of Jacob's Creek.....beginning at a planted stone on the Salisbury Road....adjoining William Simpson......a line of the Lawyer's Spring Tract.... L. A. Whitlocks line...
Witness: J. W. Smith J. A. Earnhardt (seal)
Probate Court 29 Sept 1869 Proved by J. M. Redwine J.P.C.
Another record in the history books for this family was that of
History and Families, McCracken County, Kentucky, 1824-1989By McCracken County Genealogical-Historical Society (McCracken County, Ky.)
This book examined the family of Catherine and James second to youngest son, James Jackson Earnhardt, who settled in McCracken County.
"James Jackson Earnhardt (Jim) son of James Asa and Martha Catherine (Howell) Earnhardt of Stanly County, North Carolina was born January 1, 1863, died January 25, 1926. James Asa moved his family to Kentucky in 1876 and settled on a farm in Hinkleville, Ballard County, where the father became engaged in milling, sawing and grinding, he also taught school as he had in North and South Carolina.
A college had been built in Blandville in 1876, and the Earnhardts were taking student boarders into their home who were to attend the college. They were the children of William and Mary Jane (Collier) Ballance of Graves County.
Jim and Rosetta attended school together, fell in love and were married Nov 15, 1883. Rosetta was born Sept. 6, 1863 and died June 12, 1947. Jim was a miller by trade when they married, having worked with his father at the mill, as well as on the farm, however, he chose not to follow his trade as a Miller, but to become a fulltime farmer. They settled on a farm near the Hardmoney community, where he farmed until his retirement. They were members of the Hardmoney Baptist Church of Graves County, where Rosetta was a charter member. The church was founded Sept. 20, 1903 by Rev. John Henry Ballance, Rosetta's older brother.
All of the Earnhardt children were born in McCracken County: Edgar Earl, George Asa, Mary Caroline, William Gaston, Henrietta, Ila Clark, Paul (died in infancy), Pauline and Halene (died within 4 days of each other at a very early age), Hal Johnson, Neil Joseph and Clara Louise.
Jim retired from farming, sold the farm and bought a house in Lone Oak in 1925, where he was living at the time of his death. Rosetta lived the remainder of her life in the house in Lone Oak. They are buried at Boaz Cemetery in Graves County."
In the Kentucky State Gazeteer and Business Directory, Volume 4, it lists Hinkleville as being in the northern part of Balllard County and 9 miles north of "Blandville", which was the county seat. It's nearest shipping point was Paducah, a 22 mile haul, a day's trip in horse and buggy terms. Hinkleville recieved its mail at this time three times a week, and had a stage coach route that traveled from Hinkelville to Paducah, Lovelaceville (that's a tongue twister) and Blandville. The population of this little metropolis where James A. Earnhardt chose to settle was 400. His flour mill was listed among Hinkleville's business operations, They also had a postmaster, justice of the peace, two physcians, a millwright, a Methodist minister, two general stores and a blacksmith.
James A. Earnhardt, being descended from the Davidson County German group, was likely not raised Methodist, but converted because of his wife Catherine Howell, as the Howell family were staunch Methodist Episcopals. By looking at the evidence, birth dates and places of the children, land transactions and available family histories, it appears that Jim and Catherine Earnhardt moved to Thomas County, Georgia in 1861, perhaps for a teaching job. There they remained during the war, where Jim served as a State Guard in the Georgia Infantry.
|Name||James A. Earnhardt|
|Regiment||Hansell's Company, Georgia Infantry (State Guards)|
There, Martha Catherine died in 1866, and by 1867, Jim and his children had moved back to Stanly County, where he placed them in the care of their Grandmother and Aunts. Not being found in the 1870 census, he was probably on the move in search of work, and discovered the college in Blandsville, Kentucky.
Having determined who the children were with Betsy in 1870, it is now time to look at her movements.
I will probably find a record for dower in the court records of the early 1860's, but her application for homestead was dated for January 9th of 1872.
"E. M. Howell's Homestead
North Carolina, Stanly County, January 9th 1872 Center Township, upon application of E. M. Howell to T. A. Lowder J. P. of said township, I have proceeded to lay of said E. M. Howell's homestead by qualifying names of Hardy Watkins + J. C. Blakeney, freeholders + find the valuation of the property as follows: 5 tracts of land lying on the waters of Cedar Creek adjoining Hardy Watkins, D K Thompson and others consisting of 400 acres more or less valued at $600, 1 wagon $40, 1 buggy $10, ? and furniture, $105, 1 heifer $15, balance of household and Kitchen furniture $15.
Given under the names and seals of: JC Blakney, H. Watkins, Willima Manes
T. A Lowder
There are no deeds of her selling the land or giving it to her remaining son, G. G. (George Griffin) Howell. Griffin, and oldest daughters, Mary Jane Thompson and Sarah A. J. McSwain, would remain in Center Township for the rest of their lives and raise their families there. Griffin being buried in Norwood and the sisters being buried at the old Poplar Springs cemetery, just outside of Norwood near Cedar Creek on property that likely once belonged to both their father, John Randle Howell and Grandfather, Jordan Howell, Sr.
But Betsy, who was approximately 63 years old when her homestead was declared, did not remain in Stanly County with her children. Accompanied by her three younger daughters, Margaret Abella Britt, Turzy and Samantha Howell, and grandson, John Britt, Betsy made her way to Mississippi, obviously via Tennesee.
|Name:||M. E. Howell|
|Birth Year:||abt 1815|
|Home in 1880:||Alcorn, Mississippi|
|Relation to Head of House:||Self (Head)|
|Father's Birthplace:||North Carolina|
|Mother's Birthplace:||North Carolina|
|Neighbors:||View others on page|
Deaf and Dumb:
Idiotic or insane:
In 1880, Betsy and family had made it all the way to Alcorn, Mississippi. Her youngest daughters Turzy and Mandy are shown as single. "Lobela Potts" is listed as a daughter and along with Betsy, checked in the "widowed or divorced" column. Lobela is actually Margaret Abella Howell Britt Potts, who married a Jesse Potts in Tennesee in 1874 and had a son, Edgar E. Potts in 1876. Why young son Edgar was not living with her in 1880 is unknown. He probably was with some of his father's people.
Also living with the ladies was young John Britt, Abella's oldest son.
Old Gaines Chapel Cemetery is located just outside of Corinth, Alcorn, Mississippi off of Norman Road. It is an abandoned cemetery, not well kept, but still visible from the road in winter, with many broken stones and missing markers. And there is the last resting place for Elizabeth M. Nash Howell.
|Name:||E. M. Howell|
|Birth Date:||3 Jan 1809|
|Death Date:||29 Feb 1894|
|Cemetery:||Old Gaines Chapel Cemetery|
|Burial or Cremation Place:||Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi, USA|
Mother, thou hast
from us flown
To the regions far
We to thee erect this
Consecrated by our
Who was left in the family, beside her children in North Carolina and Abella to erect this stone?
A roster of the interments of Old Gaines explains a bit of why Betsy went to Mississippi.
|Birth:||Sep. 9, 1796|
|Death:||Oct. 3, 1875|
SARAH W. AVETT
Sep. 9 1796
Oct. 3, 1875
Added by: Paula
As Sarah was the only Nash in the cemetery, John T. Britt, son of Abella and grandson of Betsy, was the only Britt.
He never married and died young, at the age of 39. His tombstone inscription says:
Oct. 26, 1859
Mar. 14, 1900
A light from our
household is gone
A voice we loved is
A place is vacant
in our hearts
That never can be
However, Betsy was not the only Howell. Youngest Howell daughter, Samantha, is also buried in this cemetery, along with her mother, and never married. She was only 40, and died the day before her mother.
I can only believe that the cause of death for the both of them was connected. Either they both contracted a deadly disease, such as thyphoid, at the same time, and passed away within a day of each other, or either, some accident or natural disaster befell them, and caused injury.
She's gone to
Where saints and
To realize our
And worship at
Mandy, too, was given a sweet inscription.
Another of Betsy Howell's grandchildren is buried at Old Gaines, a day old infant, child of Edgar E. Potts and wife, the second son of Margaret Abella Howell Britt Potts. Edgar E. Potts was the half-brother of John T. Britt.
E. E. & M. B. POTTS
Born & Died
Dec. 6, 1900
But the person to whom I believe Sarah Nash Avett and Betsy Nash Howell moved to Mississippi to be with, Sarah parting from her son Griffin Avett, who moved from Tennessee to Illinois and Betsy, who left her older children in North Carolina, and probably stopped in Tennessee with Sarah for awhile, as Margaret Abella remarried there.
Peter Winfield Nash, born in 1802 and older brother, Wilson Griffin Nash, born in 1791, had migrated, separately, westward, first to Tennessee, and then later to Mississippi.
Wilson had fought in the War of 1812 and migrated first, as Peter Winfield Nash is still shown in Anson County in 1830. Wilson died about 1858, but P. W. Nash lived until 1877 and spent his time, after leaving North Carolina between Tennessee and Mississippi.
He most certainly kept in touch with family, for his sisters to join him, but also, in 1870, living next to him is John Floyd Howell, son of his first cousin, Peter Howell. Peter W. Nash is listed in the censuses as a "Planter", which leads me to believe he held a considerable estate.
The Nash brothers deserve a post of their own, so I will not dwell on them, but this is why Betsy left her surviving son, Griffin Howell, and her older daughters, Mary Jane Howell Thompson and Sarah Howell McSwain, and left for Mississippi with her three youngest daughter and grandson.
Turzy Howell's fate remains a mystery. She is not buried with her family at Old Gaines, in a marked grave at least. She may have gotten married past 1880 as she was still young and her older sister Abella did. She may have moved on to another state. Or her tombstone may be one of the destroyed or illegible ones at Old Gaines. I am still on the lookout for Turzy.
Margaret Abella Howell Britt Potts had an interesting life and will my next subject. She lived longer and is not buried with the rest. The Mississippi river was a draw for the Howell family. Betsy felt that draw and wished to retire with her siblings west, than to reside with her established children.