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Thursday, January 19, 2017

On This Day - Birth of George Warren Lancaster - January 19, 1893

One hundred and twenty-three years ago, my maternal great-grandfather, George Warren Lancaster was born, 19 January 1893.[1] His parents were William Carlton Lancaster and Martha Jane Coor. George was the eldest of six children.

His delayed birth certificate, dated  6 July 1942 and signed by his father, William C Lancaster, stated he was born in Victor, Erath County, Texas. According to The Handbook of Texas, Victor was settled shortly after the Civil War and was located in western Erath County on Farm Road 2156 a mile south of Desdemona. During the 1890s there were general stores and a post office that was later discontinued in 1907.[2]

Here is a satellite map of the area today. All that is left is the Victor Cemetery which is located at the corner of roads 2156 and 357. As you can see, it is clearly farming country and George’s father, William was a farmer.

Victor was in the area of Roads 2156 & 357.


According to his World War I Draft card, he stated he was tall of medium build and had dark brown hair and eyes.[3] In fact, he still had dark brown hair when he died at the age of 71.[4]

He worked as a farmer in the early part of his life and later worked as an auto mechanic. My grandmother stated, “he was good with cars and would work on them on Sundays after church when big groups of people would come with food and their cars to be worked on.  He later worked with Ford Motor Co in Stephenville.”[5] His obituary stated he had been the shop foreman for the old Reid Sales Company.[6]


[1] Erath County, Texas, Births, Volume 11, p 250, delayed birth record for George Warren Lancaster, 1893; FHL film 1428139.
[2] “Victor, Texas,” The Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/htv05.
[3] "WW I Draft Registration," database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jul 2008), George Warren Lancaster.
[4] Letter from Pearl Weatherly to Pansy L. Johnston, 15 Nov 1964, describing how he looked at the viewing.
[5] Interview of Pansy L. Johnston, daughter of George Warren Lancaster, by Lisa S. Gorrell, 3 June 1995.
[6] “Warren Lancaster,” obituary, Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 13 Nov 1964, p 4.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy Blogiversary & Happy 100th Blog Post!

Today is a big milestone.




This is the 100th blog post I have written and the 6th anniversary of the beginning of this blog.

I began the blog on January 15, 2011, through a blog writing class I took at California Genealogical Society, taught by Craig Siulinski. It was something I wanted to do but wasn’t really sure what I would focus on. I finally settled on writing about my grandmother, Pansy Louise Lancaster’s family and this was my first post.

In the beginning it was hard to get started. I learned from the Geneabloggers website, that there were blogging memes I could use and I have done that off and on, especially at the beginning. But I finally learned that what worked best was to write about my discoveries as I researched my grandmother’s family.

So what have I written in six years?

I discovered I have only written four posts specifically about my grandmother:

She was included in other posts:
6 Generations of My Maternal Lineand many of the posts labeled “Johnston Family.”

I have written about many of her ancestors and collateral lines:
  • Coor Family
  • Welch Family
  • Lancaster Family
  • Nixon Family
  • Polly Family
  • Loveless Family
  • Rogers Family

Just click on the labels at the right to see these posts.

The Loveless and Lancaster families have the most posts, 51 for Lancaster and 25 for Loveless.
Of course this is all based on the labels I put when I wrote the posts. In the beginning it was difficult to determine what labels I wanted. I have worked through that, trying to label a post with as many subjects that I might like to sort later in time.

In the past year, since my grandmother died, I have focused more heavily on research and the discussion of what I have learned. I am currently working on Robert Lancaster’s estate in Shelby County, Kentucky and the Lancaster families who lived in Erath County, Texas from newspaper accounts. There will be a continuation of both series in the future.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Sunday, January 8, 2017

On This Day – Birth of Elizabeth Rebecca Young on 8 January 1804

Elizabeth Rebecca Young was born 8 Jan 1804[1] to unknown parents. According to the 1850 census in Copiah County, Mississippi, Elizabeth was born in Georgia.[2] She married Dempsey Welch on 21 January 1821 in Clarke County, Alabama.[3]  Their daughter, Melissa Ann Welch, was my fourth-great-grandmother, who married James Madison Coor.

1821 Marriage of Dempsey Welch & Elizabeth Young, Clarke Co AL

I have thirteen children born to the couple with six of them dying as young children and seven living to adulthood. This information came from the book Welch Family compiled by Mary Helen Sims. As I review the page about Dempsey and Elizabeth, it does give the name of her mother as "Elizabeth Young, daughter of Col. James Welch, brother of A. Dempsey" Welch. The information might have come from a Family Bible.  

Elizabeth died 1 Jul 1852 in Copiah County, Mississippi and was buried at the Welch Plantation Cemetery. The tombstones were read and the information published in a book in 1954.[4] There are photos of her tombstone and Dempsey’s tombstone on the Welch Cemetery page of the MS GenWeb Project website.[5] Her birthdate and death date can be clearly read from the photo.

The Find a Grave memorial has the death date as Jan 21, 1862 but there are no photos of the tombstone at her memorial.[6] I can see from the photo at the MS GenWeb site that someone might interpret 1862 from the image. It looks like the stone had been broken once. Also, from the 1860 census I found Dempsey living only with a man named William Smith.[7]

It is obvious I need to add to my to-do list finding Elizabeth Rebecca Young’s parents. The first place might be to look for her where Dempsey Welch’s family lived in Georgia.  The second place would be FamilySearch Family Tree and Ancestry Member Trees to see if someone else has possible parents for her.



[1] Mississippi Genealogical Society, editor, Cemetery & Bible Records Vol 1 (Mississippi: n.p., 1954.), 44, Welch.
[2] 1850 U.S. census, Copiah County, Mississippi, pop. sched., p. 268b, dwelling 898, family 898, Dempsey Welch,  digital images, Ancestry.com  (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Mar 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration M432, roll 371.
[3] Alabama, Clarke County, Marriages, , "Marriage Record, Volume A, 1814-1834," p. 111, 1821, Welch-Young; FHL film 1290227.
[4] Mississippi Genealogical Society, editor, Cemetery & Bible Records Vol 1 (Mississippi: n.p., 1954.), 44, Welch.
[5] http://www.msgw.org/copiah/Photo_Album/Cemeteries/Untitled/Welch_Tombstones_I/welch_tombstones_i.html
[6] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : ), Memorial# 17312910, Welch Plantation Cemetery, Copiah Co MS, Elizabeth Rebecca Young Welch.
[7]1860 U.S. census, Copiah Co, Mississippi, pop. sched, p. 161 (933 in corner), dwelling 1121, family 1130, Dempsey Welch, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Mar 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration, M653, roll 580.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Friday, January 6, 2017

Robert Lancaster Estate Continued: Division of Robert Lancaster’s Land in Shelby County, Kentucky

In the January Term 1843 of Shelby County Court, the land of the Robert Lancaster estate was divided among the heirs of Robert Lancaster.[1] Robert’s estate was entered into probate on 12 October 1840 with Josiah Lancaster, John Lancaster, Creath Neel, Robert Myers, Wm Lancaster, and Wm Price as bondsmen. Josiah Lancaster was appointed administrator.[2]

I haven’t discovered yet why they waited over two years to divide the land between the heirs. The division begins,
“On motion of John S. Lancaster, Ellis W. Lancaster, Josiah R. Lancaster and Wm T. Lancaster who filed their notice herein to Creath Neill and Lewis Mary Ann his wife, Robert N Myers and Elizabeth his wife and Creth Neill as Guardian to Eliza Jane Lancaster, heirs of Robert Lancaster decd which notice was proven in open court to have been executed on the parties. It is ordered that Wm A. Hamblin, Arthur Chambers, James Maguire & John Crawford or any three of them being first sworn do appraise the lands of which Robert Lancaster decd died seized & possessed between his heirs and legal representatives and that they make report thereof to the court.”
The children of Robert Lancaster listed here were sons John S., Ellis W., Josiah R, and William T, and daughters Lennis, Mary Elizabeth, and Eliza Jane. Two of the daughters, Lennis and Mary Elizabeth were married to Creath Neel and Robert N Myers. Creath Neel was also the guardian for Eliza Jane. He had been appointed guardian to Eliza Jane in the January 1843 term.[3]

So why was there a delay in appointing a guardian for Eliza Jane? Is it possible that Robert’s wife was still alive and had since died? There was no mention of a wife in Robert’s first probate papers. One of his sons was appointed administrator instead of a wife. According to a family tree, Robert’s third wife was Mary Taylor, but his second wife, Jane was the mother of Eliza Jane Lancaster, who was born about 1832.[4] There are no sources for the marriages in this tree.

Back to the division of the land. The plat was laid out at 100 poles to inch and drawn in the probate book. 

Division of the land of Robert Lancaster, decd in Shelby Co, Kentucky
The land was surveyed and divided on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of January 1843. My guess, there wasn’t much or any snow on the ground. It was done by Arthur Chambers, James Maguire, and John Crawford. This survey was done on land that was located on the waters of Bullskin and Floids fork. They began by describing the total land:
“Beginning at a stone at A corner to James Neal, Thence with his line S69W 41 poles to a stone at B corner to Charles Ellis, Thence with his line N20 ¼W 162½ poles to a stone corner to Wilson Maddox, Thence with his line N71½E 112¾ poles to a stone corner to said Maddox and the heirs of Samuel Ellis decd, Thence with their line N70E 117½ poles to a stone corner to Garland Williams, Thence with his line S20¼E 93½ poles to white oak corner to said Williams, Thence with his line S80¾E 6⅔ poles to a Hickory corner to said Williams, thence with his line S8E 63 poles to a Honey Locust corner to said Williams in Wm Williams line, Thence with his line S69¼W 78¼ poles to a Beech corner to Wm Williams, Thence with his line S19¾E 166¼ poles to a stone corner to said Williams in Allen Kinkeads line, thence with his & James Neals lines S68W 103 3/5 poles to a stone corner to James Neals, Thence with his line N19¼W 170½ poles to the Beginning containing three hundred & thirty eight acres and five poles.”
This describes the land as drawn but also gives clues to the neighbors of Robert Lancaster. Each time the line changed direction there is a “thence” which I have shown underlined. Each of the neighbors are listed above in blue. Next the names of the neighbors could be written in on the lines.

After the surveyors drew up the complete description of Robert’s land, they divided the land into lots. There are a total of 9 lots, even though there were only seven heirs. Each of the lots were also described in the same manner.
“Lot No 1 allotted to William Lancaster Beginning at a stake at near the stable, thence N20¼W 40 poles to a stake at 2, Thence S68W 40 poles to a stake at 3, thence S20¼E 40 poles to a stake at 4, Thence N68E 40 poles to the Beginning containing ten acres.”
As you can see with lot no. 1, it is a small square that has numbers written on the corners. This lot was drawn inside of lot no. 6. His total acreage was ten acres.
"Lot no. 2 and Lot no. 4 allotted to John S Lancaster. No.2  Beginning at a stone at A, thence N68E 47 poles to a stake at 5, thence S19¼E 170½ poles to a stake at 6, thence S68W 47 poles to a stone at L, thence N19¼W 170½ poles to Beginning Containing fifty acres & four poles, No. 4 Beginning at a stone at A thence S69W 41 5/6 poles to a stone at B, thence N20¼W 38 poles to a stake at 7, thence N69E 41 5/6 poles to a stake 8, thence S20¼E 38 poles to the Beginning containing nine acres one hundred and fifty two poles."
John S. received two lots (2 & 4) that totaled 59 acres and 156 poles, much more than William’s share.
“Lot no. 3 and Lot No. 5 allotted to Ellis Lancaster. No 3. Beginning at a stone at K, thence S68W 56 3/5 poles to a stake at 6 corner to Lot No. 2, Thence N19¼W 143 poles to stake at 10, thence N68E 55½ poles to a stake at 11, thence S19¾E 143 poles to the Beginning, containing fifty acres and 3 poles. No. 5 Beginning at a stake at 7 corner to lot No. 4, Thence N20¼W 38 poles to a stake at 9, thence N69E 41 5/6 poles to a stake at 3 corner to Lot no. 1, thence S20¼E 38 poles to a stake at 8 corner to lot no. 4, thence S69W 41 5/6 poles to the Beginning containing nine acres and one hundred and fifty two poles.”
Ellis received two lots (3 & 5) that totaled 59 acres and 155 poles.
“Lot no. 6 allotted to Lenis Ann Neal. Beginning at a stone at A corner to Lot No. 4, thence N20¼W 36 poles to a stake at 4 corner to lot No. 1, thence N68E 40 poles to a stake at 1 corner to lot no. 1, thence N20¼W 40 poles to a stake at 2 corner to Lot no. 1, thence S68W 81 5/6 poles to a stake at 9 corner to lot no. 5, thence N20¼W 86 ½ poles to a stake at 6 corner to Wilson Maddox, thence with his line N71½E 71 poles to a stake at 13 thence S20¼E 79½ poles to a stake at 12, thence N68E 18 poles to a stake at 18, thence S20¼E 80 poles to a stake at 5 corner to lot No. 2, thence S68W 47 poles to the Beginning containing fifty acres and forty five poles.”
Lenis Ann received one lot (6) that totaled 50 acres and 45 poles.
“Lot no. 7 except the graveyard allotted to Eliza Jane Lancaster, Beginning at a stake at 10 corner to Lot no. 3, thence N20¼W 107½ poles to a stake at 18 corner to Lot No. 6, thence S68W 18 poles to a stake at 12 corner to Lot no. 6, thence N20¼W 79½ poles to a stake at 13 corner to Lot no. 6, thence N71½E  41¾ poles to a stone at L, thence N70E 13 3/8 poles to a stake at 14, thence N20¼E 185 poles to a stake at 15 in a line of lot no. ?[hidden by book binding, but from map should be lot no.3], thence S68W 37½ poles to the beginning containing fifty two acres and 31 poles.
Eliza Jane Lancaster received one lot (7) that totaled 52 acres and 31 poles.
“Lot no. 8 allotted to Josiah Lancaster. Beginning at a Bech [Beech?] at J, thence S19¾E 23 Poles to a stake at 11 corner to Lot no. 3, thence S68W 18 poles to a stake at 10 corner to Lot no. 7, thence N20¼W 185 poles to a stake at 14, thence N70E 49 2/3 poles to a stake at 17, thence S20¼E 159½ poles to a stake at 16, thence S69¼ W31¼ poles to the Beginning containing fifty two acres and twenty eight poles.”
Josiah R. Lancaster received one lot (8) that totaled 52 acres and 28 poles.
“Lot no. 9 allotted to Mary Elizabeth Myers Beginning at a stake at 16 corner to Lot No. 5, thence N20¼W 159½ poles to a stake at 17 corner to Lot No. 8, thence N70E 53 6/10 poles to a stone at E, Thence S20¼E 92½ poles to a white oak at F, thence S80¾E 6 2/3 poles to a Hickory at G, thence S8E 63 poles to a Honey Locust at H, thence S69¼ W 47 poles to the Beginning containing fifty three acres and seventy poles.”
Mary Elizabeth Myers received one lot totaling 53 acres and 70 poles.

The surveyors’ report continued by saying:
“by the heirs drawing which they aid as follows: Lot no. 1 was drawn by William Lancaster which contains the dwelling house & Lot no. 2 and Lot No. 4 by John S Lancaster, Lot no. 3 and lot no. 5 by Ellis Lancaster, Lot no. 6 by Lennis Ann Lancaster, Lot No. 7 except the one fourth of an acre laid off so as to include the Graveyard by Eliza Jane Lancaster, Lot no. 9 was drawn by Mary Elizabeth Myers. The graveyard was reserved by the request of the heirs and the drawing was done by themselves, their husband, guardian, or agents according to which we allotted to each of them all of which we respectfully report to the Shelby County Court.”
In this last paragraph, we learn that the heirs were part of the allotment and drawing. Some were present, some might have had an agent because they lived elsewhere. By the time his father had passed away, Ellis W. Lancaster was living in Lewis County, Missouri.[5] I cannot tell from this document whether he was present at the division of the land.

We also learned that William Lancaster received the small piece but it had the dwelling house, and perhaps other outbuildings such as a barn and sheds. There was no mention if lots 4 or 5 had any buildings but the way they were cut from lot 6 and their proximity to lot 1 where the house was located, it was possible that other outbuildings were in no. 4 or 5.

Here is a summary of the division in table form where it is easier to see how the division played out for each heir. Also I have labeled the map with the allotments.

Division of the land of Robert Lancaster, deceased
NAME
LOT No.
Amount
Extra Info
William Lancaster
Lot No. 1
Ten acres
Dwelling house
John S. Lancaster
Lots Nos. 2 and 4
59 acres and 156 poles

Ellis Lancaster
Lots Nos. 3 and 5
59 acres and 155 poles

Lennis Ann Lancaster
Lot No. 6
50 acres and 45 poles

Eliza Jane Lancaster
Lot No. 7
52 acres and 31 poles

Josiah R Lancaster
Lot No. 8
52 acres and 28 poles

Mary Elizabeth Myers
Lot No. 9
53 acres and 70 poles
Less the acre graveyard

Division, labeled
Did they children sell the land or keep it and passed it down to their heirs? The next blog post will describe what happened to the shares.




[1] Shelby County, Kentucky Probate, Bk 15, p. 106-07, Robert Lancaster Division, FHL film 259257, digital image, FamilySearch (https//familysearch.org : accessed 24 Sep 2016).
[2] Shelby County, Kentucky Probate Records, Bonds, p. 171, Robert Lancaster estate, Josiah Lancaster administrator, FHL 259272, digital image, FamilySearch (https//familysearch.org : accessed 24 Sep 2016).
[3] Shelby County, Kentucky Probate Records, Order Book, p. 171, William C Price vs Creath Niell Gd to Eliza Jane Lancaster, heir of Robert Lancaster, decd, FHL film 259265, digital image, FamilySearch (https//familysearch.org : accessed 24 Sep 2016).
[4] Nancy Mathews, “Prince Edward Co., VA Lancaster’s,” 23 Mar 2002, Genealogy.com (http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/lancaster/2658/), Robert “Robin” Lancaster (1784-1840) entry.
[5] 1840 U.S. census, Lewis Co, Missouri, pop. sched., p. 186, Ellis Lancaster, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Jan 2011); citing NARA M704, roll 225.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Monday, December 19, 2016

More Tidbits in the Dublin Progress for Lancaster Families

I love newspapers, especially small town newspapers with lots of tidbits about local people and their doings. Recently I found The Dublin Progress a newspaper published in Dublin, Erath County. The count seat was Stephenville and there were newspapers published there, too. Dublin is a bit west of Stephenville and this newspaper covered all of the small farming communities around it, such as Hickey, Harbin, Howell Springs, and Purves.

This newspaper can be found in digital form on The Portal to Texas History website where they have many newspapers available in the Texas digital Newspaper Program Collection. I can search the papers by name and I have found many hits on the names Lancaster, Coor, Loveless, and Welch. These are some of the family names who lived in Erath County, Texas in the early part of the 1900s.

Here is an example of a hit I received. This clipping is from the community of Hickey in the 13 November 1914 newspaper.[1] There are four different references to Lancaster family members and a Loveless family.

13 Nov 1914, The Dublin Progress

“R. L. Smallwood and Grandpa Lancaster went to Highland last Sunday.” This Grandpa Lancaster was likely George Wilson Lancaster, father to William Carlton  “W.C.” 
Lancaster. He was seventy-five years old in 1914. Often this paper referred to the older gentlemen as “grandpa.” R.L. Smallwood was a Baptist minister.

“Singing at W.C. Lancaster Saturday night was enjoyed by all present.” 
W.C. Lancaster was William Carlton, sometimes referred to in the paper as Carl. There have been many notations of singing by W.C. or at W.C.’s home.

“Mr. and Mrs. Rob Loveless of Stephenville visited Warren Lancaster and family Sunday.”  
Here Warren Lancaster was George Warren Lancaster, son of W.C. Lancaster. Rob Loveless was the brother of W.C.’s wife, Lela Loveless Lancaster. Rob’s wife was Lillie Moon.

“Warren Lancaster, Huts Loveless and Jesse Butler left Sunday night for the west to pick cotton.” 
Again, Warren was the son of W.C. Lancaster. Huts Loveless was William Hutson Loveless, the brother of Warren’s wife, Lela Loveless Lancaster. Huts had married Warren’s sister, Josephine, often called Jodie in the newspaper.

So these newspapers give clues. Clues to where they lived. Clues to their activities. Clues to other relationships and friendships. From the first tidbit, I could learn with more research that the family was Baptist. From the second, I learned that W.C. Lancaster liked to sing or was involved in singing. From the third, I learned that Rob Loveless and his wife lived in Stephenville and confirmed a relationship between the Loveless and Lancaster families. From the fourth, I can research about raising cotton in the area and migrant cotton picking.

Soon the Stephenville Tribune and Stephenville Empire newspapers will be online. I’m sure I’ll find more articles about Lancaster, Loveless, and Coor families.


[1] “Hickey,” The Dublin Progress, 13 Nov 1914, p. 7, col. 1, Lancaster & Loveless mentions, digital image, The Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ : accessed 26 Nov 2016).


Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Bargain, Land for Sale by G.W. Lancaster

Here's another story from a news item from The Dublin Progress.

An ad was found in 1905, where G.W. Lancaster was offering land for sale, described as an 174 acre farm on Alarm Creek, six miles southwest of Stephenville.[1]

21 Jul 1905 The Dublin Progress

This G.W. Lancaster could be George Wilson Lancaster, my third-great-grandfather, who married Martha Jane Polly. Their oldest son was William Carl Lancaster, whom I’ve written about earlier.

The ad gave some detail but not the land description. It had ninety acres in cultivation and the balance was in timber and grass. He had peaches, blackberries, grapes, and some young apples. The house on the property had four rooms. There were also outhouses, two good wells, and a windmill. It also said it was a bargain. Did that mean he was selling it for less than it's value? Or were other properties without such anemities? 

Earlier in the 1880's, G.W. and his wife were living in Maricopa County, Arizona, near where Phoenix is today. He had purchased forty acres of land from the federal government.[2] He and his wife later sold the land for two thousand dollars in 1889.[3]  So sometime between 1889 and 1905, GW Lancaster moved back to Erath County. 

I checked the deed indexes which are located at FamilySearch.org. There are indexes online up to 1896. The Family History Library has on microfilm indexes up to 1902 and deeds up to 1901. I checked the indexes that were online and found the following:[4]

Item 2, Deed Index Vol 4, 1887-1892,
·         Nothing in the Grantor section
·         G.W. Lancaster, from I. Pipes & wife, Deed, Sep 20 1890, filed 23 Sep 1890, BK 29, p 606

Item 3, Deed Index, Vol 5, 1890-1893
·         Nothing in the Grantor section
·         G.W. Lancaster, from Isaac Pipes, Release, Dec 3, 1891, filed Dec 3, 1891, Bk 37, p. 127-8

Item 4, Deed Index, Vol 6, 1893-1896
·         Nothing in Grantor section
·         Nothing in Grantee section

This piece of land that was listed in the index in volumes 4 and 5 may be the one that G.W. was trying to sell in 1905. In order to be sure, I need to check the later Grantor indexes.

Because the Family History Library does not have further indexes, I’ll have to write to the County Clerk in Erath County. First I’ll ask for the two references above and then ask them to check the index for the sale of the property sometime after July 1905 by G.W. Lancaster.

These still won't answer the question of why he was selling the land with a good house and fruit trees. He was sixty-six, so perhaps he was finally ready to retire. By 1910, he was living with his son, William C. Lancaster.[5]



[1] “Miscellaneous Advertisements,” The Dublin Progress, 21 Jul 1905, p. 4, G.W. Lancaster For Sale; digital image, The Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu : accessed 27 Nov 2016).
[2] Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office, database & digital images, http://www.glorecords.blm.gov, AZAZAA 014321, Serial Patent, Cash Sale, George W. Lancaster, 1890.
[3] Territory of Arizona, Maricopa County, Land Deeds, Bk 21, p 32, 1889, Lancaster-Coulson; FHL film 2196859.
[4] Family History Library, Film 1428484 Items 2-4
[5] 1910 U.S. census, Erath Co, Texas, pop. sched, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: ), T624, Stephenville, enumeration district (ED) 19, sheet 225, William C. Lancaster.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Sunday, December 11, 2016

One for the Dallas Fair: 12-Pound Sweet Potato

In The Dublin Progress, which I have been reading for mention of my Texas family names, I found an article in the October 27, 1897 issue about Dempsey Perry Coor, son of my g-g-great-grandfather, James Madison Coor. His farm was located outside of Dublin and he had brought in a very large sweet potato, of the Southern Queen variety, that weighed over twelve pounds.[1]



I love sweet potatoes, so I wondered what the Southern Queen variety is. According to Mother Earth News article, the Southern Queen matures in about 105 days. It produces “long, narrow tubers with white skin and white flesh. The original strain was introduced from South America in 1870.”[2]  Some people refer to these white sweet potatoes as yams (my father did) but they are not related to true yams at all.



It seems that sweet potatoes grow well in the south because they thrive in “warm, sunny climate and prefers loose, well-drained soil”[3] and have a long growing season. I also learned that southerners tended to like the sweeter varieties and northerners preferred the drier and mealy varieties.

I looked for a result of his sweet potato at the Dallas fair but didn’t find any other mention. However in the next issue the following week, there was another large sweet potato brought into town by E.P. Purvis that weighed fifteen pounds.[4] His certainly topped Dempsey’s sweet potato.

And even though Dempsey was not my direct ancestor, his growing of sweet potatoes was still a clue that my great-great-grandfather, W.C. Lancaster, who married Dempsey’s sister, Martha Jane “Doll” Coor, probably grew sweet potatoes, too.



[1] “Local Items,” 29 Oct 1897, The Dublin Progress, p 5, col 2, D.P. Coor, digital image, The Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu : accessed 27 Nov 2016).
[2] “A Brief History of Heirloom Seet Potato Varieties,” by William Woys Weaver, Mother Earth News (http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/heirloom-sweet-potato-varieties-zewz1310zpit : accessed 11 Dec 2016).
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Local Items,” 5 Nov 1897, The Dublin Progress, p 5, col 3, E.P. Purvis, digital image, The Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu : accessed 27 Nov 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family