About Me

My photo
Just to tell you a little about myself, my name is Vickie and I was born and raised in Kentucky. The majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a courthouse and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Mother the Motivator

First off I want to think my new found cousin, Patti Waldron Cline, for letting me post these memories she wrote about her mother.  I really enjoyed how her mother would tell an ancestor story to get across a point, give a moral to a story or just to let her, Patti, know she came from someone special and she could do anything she wanted.  Patti's mom sounds like she was a wonderful lady.

One of the reasons I wanted to add Patti's story memories is because of the story she told about the Underground Railroad.  Since I have been writing stories this year about slavery and my ancestors, I thought a story about the Underground Railroad would fit right in.

The following is the story that Patti wrote.

"My mother was a fascinating, animated, walking talking history book and encyclopedia all wrapped into one.  She was an avid genealogist and proud Daughter of the American Revolution. She was so proud of her Quaker heritage and her Scots-Irish “industrious stand up for yourself open minded” way of thinking.

I was always hearing of one ancestor or another depending on how that ancestor’s story and situation in life related to my life at that moment.  My mother had a charming ability to make everything relevant and come to life.

When I was in my creative arts and globe building mind set I heard about my GG grandfather William Conrad Herider who held two patents.  One invention was on an “Improved Farm Gate” with a turnbuckle built in for straightening, granted: June 20th 1863, and the other is a “Blackboard and map case”. Patent number: 40035. Date granted: 9/22/1863.

I heard on Lincoln’s birthday how President Lincoln’s great-grandma was a STOUT, my 4th great grandma’s sister.

When I had writing assignments and lamented that I couldn’t do it,  I was introduced to my 4th great grandfather, Daniel Isgrigg who wrote three books; Hierglophic 1834, The Hoosier 1836, and his Biography in 1838. His hand written manuscript is in the Indiana Manuscript library.  Daniel was a friend of Thomas Jefferson’s and they wrote letters to one another discussing astronomy, religion, politics and other various topics. By God if he could write to President Jefferson and write books, then surely I could write a simple essay.

Rachel Stout Allen, my 4th great grandma was brought up as an example when I went to college and majored in Vocational Agriculture and Plant Science. In the North Carolina State Archives is Rachael’s herbal medical book with her recipes for remedies. She was an herbal doctor known as ‘the medicine woman” with so much knowledge of the value of plants for people and livestock. Everything that happened had some sort of historical family story that reinforced the point she was making.

I remember the school day when we learned about the Civil War, or War Between the States, depending on which side one supported. This was my mother’s “seize the moment” opportunity to share another story.

My mother’s people were all Quakers so they didn’t bare arms. My GG grandpa, Nathaniel Lynn Isgrigg served in the war so to speak, not with a rifle, but with his medical knowledge.  He was a doctor and cared for anyone who needed help.  His daughter Delcene Anne, (for whom I’m named) was 12 years old when the war broke out.  Grandma Del lived with my mother’s family when she was a little girl and this is what Grandma Del told my mother: “When I was 12 years old out doing chores I noticed a black man hiding in the wood shed. I was so frightened.  I ran right away to tell pa about the stranger hiding. Pa confided in me that we helped slaves escape.  I was to tell NO ONE.  Our people, the Friends, do not believe in owning people.  Helping escaped slaves was a death sentence if caught at that time so it was a big secret.”  My mother was always so impressed with the fact that a 12-year child old could be trusted with a life and death secret, and she was proud that her grandma shared this amazing story.  Of course we know today this is what’s known as the Underground Railroad.

My mom was always quick to point out that things are not one sided.  I was asked if the teacher that day also told about how General Sherman marched through the countryside and towns leaving a wake of death and destruction. Grandma Del remembered seeing Sherman’s men march through taking all the livestock and food and burning the barns.  I was reminded that the north had child labor and indentured servants living and working in filthy fire traps no better than slave labor, and to take what the teacher said with a huge grain of salt; A lesson in open minded thinking and not jumping to being too judgmental in life.

One day I decided to walk in the Lung Association fundraiser.  It was 18 miles.  I was wondering how I was going to make it as I wasn’t much into walking, but I did want to support the cause. Before I left that morning mom had this story for me. Your 3rd great grandmother Phebe Allen born in 1789 and lost her husband in 1826. She decided to migrate with the other Quakers who were leaving for Indiana.  She packed what she could manage, and rode side saddle carrying her new born infant who is your GG grandpa.  Her 11 other children walked all the way from Cane Creek, North Carolina to Indianapolis, Indiana.  The 468 miles took several days to get there. If those kids could walk 468 miles, you can manage 18 miles.

I was always amazed at how much my mother knew about her ancestors, and how her story telling timing was impeccable.  Feeling sorry for ones self or whining was unacceptable and not tolerated.

I recall right after we moved to Orange, I was given the choice to go to Orange High School or Villa Park High school. Orange High was an older school with an FHA Agriculture and plant science program which I loved.  Villa Park High was a new school with an excellent art program which I also loved.  Decisions.  I asked my mother for guidance. Here is the guidance I got.

She said, “In September of 1918 when your grandpa Orla Edmond Frazier had to register for the WWI draft he had an excruciating decision to make. Being Quaker, going to war bearing arms was against the teachings. He also was taught to be faithful and patriotic to his country. The world was at war and his country needed him. But fighting was against everything he was ever taught.” Mom continued,” My dad went to his father (your great-grandpa) Oliver Aaron Frazier (who also had to register that same month for the draft) for advice, his father told him this: “You have to make your own choices in life and make your own path. No one can choose for you, no one but you knows what is in your heart and what your can live with. Only you know. I will support whatever choice you make because you will make the right choice for yourself.”

Probably the most impressive ancestral story that my mother loved to tell, and I even use today to motivate myself is that of Penelope Van Price, b ~ 1622, my 8th great grandmother.   Whenever I was apprehensive, unbrave or unconfident in any endeavor, my mother the motivator got this powerful story out of her “bag of tricks”.

Penelope and her new husband and several Dutch settlers set sail for New Amsterdam about 1640. The ship hit a heavy storm, went off course, wrecked, and ran aground at Sandy Hook, what is now Monmouth County, NJ.   Everyone survived. All the passengers and crew set off for New Amsterdam on foot, abandoning Penelope on the beach with her very ill husband. The Indians found them on the beach, killed the husband and thought they had killed Penelope. The Indians had hacked her in the abdomen leaving her intestines hanging out and fractured her skull. She crawled to a hollow tree where hid until a few days later two Indians returned to check the dead white people.

The elder Indian had a small dog that found Penelope. The younger Indian wanted to kill her; however, the elder Indian disagreed and said that if she didn’t die the first time it was wrong to kill her now. The elder Indian took her back to the camp where his wife nursed Penelope back to health. She stayed with the Indians working, learning their language and their ways. They were very kind to her. Most accounts say she was with the Indians for a couple years. After a long time, some of her shipmates returned looking for her and asked the elder Indian for her return.  He said that it was her choice to stay with them or go back. She decided to return to her people and the old Indian took her back.  She met Richard Stout, was married and had ten children. She became the first liaison between the white settlers and the Navesink tribe of Leni Lenapi.

Penelope outlived Richard by twenty-seven years, dying in 1732, at the 110. By the time of her death, it is said that she was proud to be the multi great grandmother of five hundred, and two descendants.  It was told of her that she had always to wear a cap because of her scalp scar, and that she had no use of her left arm. Her knowledge of the Indian language, and the fact that she was a friend of the Indian who mended her wounds, no doubt was a great help to the little New Jersey settlement.

Every Stout descendant in America can thank their ancestor Penelope for her bravery, confidence and endurance. It is said that she told her family that she was never afraid of anything ever again.

These are some of her favorite stories to use as motivational material... there are so many more… but they will wait for phase two of my memories.

At the end of mom’s favorite motivational story, she always added, “If Penelope could make it through all that, then you can do what you need to do!” "

Since this is the Memorial Day weekend coming up I also wanted to include the story Patti tells about her father, Ed Waldron, who was a Pearl Harbor survivor in this video which a friend of hers did and placed on YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekpvbNtNS8k

Mr. Waldron, thank you so much for your service and for the others who gave their lives for our freedom.  Patti’s father passed away in Fresno on April, 1, 2016 at the age of 96.

Thanks Patti for sharing some of your Mom's stories and thanks for letting me post them here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Knowles Family


Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas & Texas

The first Knowles related to me that I had ever run across was my 5th great-grandmother, Abigail Knowles who married my 5th great-grandfather, John Crow, on March 10, 1827 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.  For a long time, I did not know who Abigail’s parents were or who any of her siblings might have been.  It wasn’t until January of 2007, when I received an email from a lady who told me about Richard Knowles and Elizabeth Coombs, that I was finally able to put some of the pieces together for this family.  Since that time I have found quite a bit on the family and my DNA is matching up with other Knowles that came from this family as well.

From what I have been able to find so far, I believe Richard Knowles was the son of Zachariah Knowles and Anastasia Morris.   Some of the records I have been finding say they were from Sussex County, Delaware but I also find records that say they were in Virginia as well as South Carolina where in 1790 Anastasia was supposed to have died.  Zachariah supposedly did not die until about 1818 in Hancock County, Georgia.   Census records of Richard’s Knowles living children in 1880 state he was born in either Georgia, Maryland or Virginia, but Richard says in 1850 and 1860 that he was born in Virginia.   Also, there must have been some kind of eye problems in the family because in 1860, Richard is listed as blind and in 1880, his son Lemuel is listed as blind.

My ancestors, Abigail Knowles and John Crow, left Tuscaloosa County, Alabama sometime after their marriage in 1827 and were in Giles County, Tennessee on the 1830 census, then in Warren County, Tennessee by the 1840 census and by the 1850 census they were in Coffee County, Tennessee where John Crow died in 1855.  Sometime after John Crow’s death Abigail went with some of her daughters and their families to Texas living in Robertson County, Texas in 1860, but either during or shortly after the Civil War, Abigail and all of her family came back to Tennessee and settled back in Coffee County.  I know Abigail was still living in October of 1879 because the claim for her widow’s pension for John’s service during the War of 1812 was denied because no proof of his service could be found according to the pension board.  Abigail apparently died before the 1880 census was taken, as I have never found her with any of her children or by herself on that census.

The following are maps showing county outlines for the states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia with the counties circled in red where these families lived through the years.  For this story they, meaning Richard and Elizabeth, started off in Columbia County, Georgia where Richard Knowles and Elizabeth Coombs were married on November 26, 1794 and where the majority of their children were born, except for at least the last two.  They then left sometime around 1816 stopping off in Hancock County, Georgia where their son William Matthew Knowles was born in 1818 and by 1820 they had arrived in Alabama and the county of Tuscaloosa where their last son Richard J. Knowles was born in 1820.

I believe there may have been more children, but all of the children that I know of for Richard Knowles and Elizabeth Coombs were the following: Abigail Knowles, 1798-before 1880; Lemuel K. Knowles, 1800-1882; Martha Knowles, 1806-1865; Jonathan Knowles, 1810-after 1834; Matilda E. Knowles, 1812-1873; Patience Knowles, 1814-1896; Sarah Jane Knowles, 1816-after 1837; William Matthew Knowles, 1818-1898; and Richard J. Knowles, 1820-after 1860.

The majority of the family stayed in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama for quite a few years.   After Richard Knowles wife, Elizabeth, died in 1835, Richard continued to live in Tuscaloosa County, but by 1850 he had moved to Drew County, Arkansas with his two youngest sons, William and Richard and their families.  Richard lived there in Drew County until his death in 1866.  Elizabeth Coombs Knowles was buried in the Skelton Cemetery in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama and Richard Knowles was buried in the Sixteenth Section Cemetery in Drew County, Arkansas the following is a picture of his tombstone.  The tombstone says born in Ireland, but I don’t believe that was really true.  Richard said Virginia in 1850 and 1860 and his children said Georgia or Maryland in 1880.

However, Lemuel K. Knowles of whom I will be talking about the most, left Alabama sometime after he was taxed in 1837 in Tuscaloosa County and before the 1840 census was taken when he shows up in Winston County, Mississippi where he lives for the next 20 some odd years, before he moved next door to Neshoba County, Mississippi where he continued to live until his death in 1882.   The following are the tombstones for Lemuel, his last wife Dorothy and two of their children Abigail and Richard.  They are all buried at the Oak Grove Baptist Cemetery in Neshoba County, Mississippi.

The reason I am telling the Knowles story this year along with my slaves and indentured servant stories is because of DNA and family stories that have been passed down.   I have now been contacted by at least four different people, who all trace their lineage back to my Abigail’s brother, Lemuel K. Knowles.  Lemuel had at least three sons with at least one of his slaves, before he was ever married to the first of his two wives.  From what I have been told the descendants of Lemuel, through this slave or slaves, all knew that their ancestors had been fathered by a white man and they also knew his name and where he was from.   The name of the slave woman/mother which has been passed down is Callie Randall.   Primus Knowles descendants say that Callie Randall was his mother and for now we are assuming she was the mother of the other two boys as well.  Callie was born in about 1805 in South Carolina and was still living in 1870 in Chickasaw County, Mississippi at least according to the census records.

Lemuel K. Knowles was born September 2, 1800 in Columbia County, Georgia and by 1820 his family had left Georgia and moved to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama where Lemuel continued to live until at least 1837.  From 1820 until 1837 he had at least six children born to him there in Tuscaloosa County.  The first three children, Claiborne Knowles, 1820-1888, Primus Knowles, 1822-before June 1900, and Louis Knowles, 1824-after 1880, were born to him by a slave woman, possibly all three were children of Callie Randall.  Lemuel’s next three children were by his first wife a Miss. Gamble who he married in about 1825.  These three children by Miss. Gamble were: William R. Knowles, 1828-????, James Knowles, 1836-???? and Renilla Knowles, 1837-????.   By 1840 Lemuel had moved all of his family over to Winston County, Mississippi where he and Miss. Gamble had at least three more children, Melvina Knowles, 1840-????, Rebecca Knowles, 1842-????, and Louisa Knowles, 1846-????.  

On April 14, 1852 in Winston County, Mississippi Lemuel K. Knowles married Dorothy Ann Golden and they became the parents of at least four children, M. A. Knowles, 1856-????, Richard T. Knowles, 1859-1876, Sophronia Frances Knowles, 1862-????, and Abigail Dorothy Knowles, 1872-1903.  You will notice a lot of gaps between his children which makes me wonder if there weren’t some that died young, or maybe he was off somewhere, either way these are the ones I know about for now.

I haven’t found Lemuel on the 1850 slave schedules yet but I did find him on the 1860.  The 1860 slave schedules in Winston County, Mississippi shows Lemuel Knowls (surnamed spelled this way) with 16 slaves and 2 slave houses, all slaves are listed as black, none listed as mulatto.  There was 1 female age 40, 1 female age 26, 1 male age 33, 1 male age 34, 1 male age 20, 1 male age 17, 1 female age 16, 1 female age 14, 1 female age 10, 1 male age 8, 1 male age 6, 1 male age 4, 1 female age 2, 1 male age 1, 1 male age 3, 1 male age 2 (I listed these in the order they were given on the slave schedule, not sure if they are in family groups or not.)  The following is a picture of that slave schedule.

Lemuel’s father Richard Knowles was in Drew County, Arkansas in 1850 when I find him on the slave schedules with the following 10 slaves: 1 female age 60, 1 female age 26, 1 male age 25, 1 male age 22, 1 male age 20, 1 female age 17, 1 male age 13, 1 female age 10, 1 female age 2, 1 male age 8 months.  All the slaves are listed as black, except for the last two.  The following is a picture of that slave schedule.

The following three mulatto children were sons I believe of Lemuel Knowles. They could even possibly have been fathered by Lemuel’s father, Richard Knowles, as well.   The rest of Richard’s sons that I am aware of would have really been too young to have fathered these three boys.

1- Claiborne Knowles who was born in about 1820 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.   He died about 1888 in Attala County, Mississippi and I have found him listed as the father of at least three known children, Jack, Silas and Mary.  On Jack’s death certificate it states his mother’s name was Sallie Palmer.

2- Primus Knowles was born in about 1822 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.  He died before June of 1900 in Winston County, Mississippi.  Primus had at least 15 children with Betty Shields and one child with Peggy Humphries.  It is descendants of Primus Knowles that I have been in contact with about the Knowles family.

3- Lewis Knowles was born in about 1824 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.  He died after July 1880, but before 1900 probably in Clay County, Mississippi where he was last found.  I have found at least two daughters for Lewis, Mary and Ella and a grandson named Lewis T. Naugle, but not who his mother was, which would be another daughter to Lewis.  Lewis Knowles was on the same census page as Callie Randall in 1870, which makes me believe that she was his mother too.

I could probably go on for a few more pages, but I will stop for now until I can find more information about the ones I have written about so far.  If you are a descendant of one of these three men, I would love to hear from you and if you have had your DNA done, that would even be better.

To see all I have on the Knowles family along with all of my notes just go to my online tree at this link: The Ancestors of Vickie Beard Thompson & those others related by marriage!!!