Saturday, September 19, 2020

52 Ancestors-Week 38: On the Map—Communities in Erath County, Texas Where My Ancestors Lived

This is my third year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

My daughters are still here visiting, so I have found a previously written blog post that fits this theme about maps and my ancestor’s communities.

https://mam-massouthernfamily.blogspot.com/2016/12/where-did-my-ancestors-live-communities.html



Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family, All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Did You or Your Children Know Their Great-Grandparents?


It's Saturday Night –

Time for more Genealogy Fun!


Our mission from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing is to:
1) Did you or your children know their great-grandparents?  
2) Tell us in your own blog post, or in comments to this post, or in comments on Facebook.  As always, please leave a link to your work in Comments.  

My response:
My daughters knew only one of my grandparents. My maternal grandmother, Pansy Louise (Lancaster) Johnston lived until just over a month short of 100 years. That really increased the chance of my children to have known her. I had both of my children at a later age (mid-thirties), while my grandmother had my mother at age 20 and my mother had me at age 20. If I had had a child at twenty and my daughter also at 20, we might have had five generations living at the same time.

I have a photo of four generations: my grandmother, my mother, myself, and my first daughter, taken on her baptism day. Unfortunately, my mother passed away shortly after my second child was born and a four-generation photo was never taken.


When my grandmother died in 2013, my two daughters were twenty-four and twenty-two, respectively. They visited her often, as she lived in the area.



My other three grandparents died before I married. I never met my paternal grandfather, William Cyril Hork, who died in 1967. My maternal grandfather, Tom J Johnston, died in 1973, and my paternal grandmother, Anne M (Sullivan) Hork, in 1979.


Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family, All rights reserved.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Why I’m Studying About African American Research



This past week I attended the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI for short) that was originally scheduled for three days of instruction at the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) but because of Covid-19, was scheduled online. This gave me the opportunity to attend. Check out their website for next year’s courses. Just $50 can reserve you spot!

I took Track IB: Methods & Strategies for Slavery Era Research, coordinated by Dr. Shelley Murphy. We had these wonderful instructors:

Nicka Sewell-Smith
  • “Systems to Track and Document Enslaved Populations.” Excel or Google Sheets is your friend in keeping track of all of the data about the enslaved and enslavers, plus keeping track of DNA matches.
  • “No Stone Unturned: Case Studies in Identifying the Last Slaveholder.” Surnames are not always an indicator of last enslaver. It was seeing her success stories.
  • “Case Studies in Gray: Identifying Shared Ancestries Thru DNA.” Lots more use of online DNA sites and spreadsheets.

Toni Carrier
  • “Reconstruction Era Records: the Key to Breaking Through the 1870 Brick Wall.” Lots of different types of records, some of which I was unaware of. I kept adding ideas to include in future talks I want to create, ensuring I include records that include people of color. I want to find sharecropping, tenant former, and crop lien records for both the formerly enslaved of my ancestors and for my own poor ancestors.
  • “Documenting Enslaved Ancestors: Working in Antebellum Records.” Estate Account books, marriage contracts, Equity court records, coroner’s reports, and insurance records were some I hadn’t thought of using. Many of these can be found on FamilySearch and if not, then check out local and state archives or the actually courthouse.

Angela Walton-Raji
  • “Slave Rebellions & Resistance.” She gave an excellent history of slave rebellion and the best sources to find out local resistance information is from local newspapers. Chronicling America has a great source for 19th Century newspapers.
  • “Slave Schedules – Use Them Properly.”  This source can only give you indirect evidence about enslaved people because there are no names, only age, sex, and complexion are given for each enslaved person. Unless you know for sure that the owner listed in the schedule is the enslaver of your enslaved person, it is only a tool. One can see who had enslaved people, the number of enslaved and the number of houses, get an idea of the size of the enslaver’s estate, and if there was any resistance. I discovered when using them for the previous night’s homework, that Ancestry has re-connected the slave schedules to the enslaver in the index when you search on a name. This is very important—descendants should be aware their ancestors were enslavers.

Judy Russell
  • “Slavery and the Law.” I had heard something similar before but it doesn’t hurt to hear about the law again.

Runaway! Fugitive Slave Ads in Newspapers | Headlines and Heroes
Bernice Bennett
We had three presentations from her on Thursday. 
  • “Slave Ship Manifests” 
  • “Southern Claims Commission” 
  • “Runaway Slave Ads”

After speaking about fifteen to twenty minutes on each topic, we were put loose to search in Ancestry or other sites to view and record data from these sources. Then we spent 30-plus minutes reporting on our finds. I loved this methodology and being able to dive right into the documents. I learn and remember better about the subject when we do something immediately.

We missed one presentation from Janis Minor Forté on the “Digital Library on American Slavery” due to a technical issue with Zoom. It will be rescheduled in the future.

Why I Took the Class
I took the class to learn about how to conduct research for African Americans. I might need to help someone with their research while volunteering at the library. I also took it to help me document the enslaved people my ancestors enslaved. My mother’s entire line is from the south. I have found ancestors in every southern state. Many of the same tools to research African Americans will also help research southern white ancestors.

In our Monday evening homework assignment, I looked at the records of my mother’s southern family and chose the Coor family of Copiah County, Mississippi to investigate. In 1860, Ann Coor, a widow who was about 60 years, had a value of $6,000 in real estate and $33,000 in personal property. The majority of that value was due to the 24 enslaved people listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule. I had not paid attention to that information before.

I looked at the 1870 census to see if there were any African Americans living in the area named COOR. There were none. Either they did not take the name of Coor, they moved away, or both. There were many African American people living around her named BUTLER. Ann’s brother, Bryan Kethley, also lived nearby and he had married Sarah Butler in 1831. So perhaps, I need to add to my research the slave schedules for Bryan as well.

As I write the story of the Coors, Kethleys, and Butlers, I need to include the stories of their enslaved, for without them, their story would not be complete. These enslaved people are intertwined in the story. Actually, I think there would not be a story to tell if not for them and the work they did on their property.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks (2020) – Week 25: Unexpected—My Grandparents Marriage License Location

This is my third year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

Tom & Pansy - 1930s
My grandfather, Tom J. Johnston, Jr. was from Gustine in Comanche County, Texas. He met my grandmother, Pansy Louise Lancaster in her hometown of Stephenville in Erath County, Texas. My mother, Lela Nell, was born in Stephenville in 1934.

So, when were my grandparents married?

In my early days of doing genealogy, I never got the marriage date for my grandparents. I had their birth dates and places, but not their
marriage. They didn’t seem to celebrate their anniversary, at least not publicly, so I didn’t know it by that way either.

My sisters speculated that perhaps they had to get married, due to the upcoming birth of their child, Lela Nell. Perhaps that was why they didn’t advertise their marriage date.

Many years ago, I searched the microfilms of marriage records at the Family History Library and got no results for a Johnston-Lancaster marriage in either Comanche County nor Erath County. At that time, there was no state-wide Texas marriage index that was public.

Fast forward to present day and FamilySearch has digitized Texas marriage licenses and certificates from their microfilm. They have also been indexed, so now there is publicly a state-wide index for those records that are digitized. Searching the index brought up the Tom Johnston—Pansy Louise Lancaster marriage on 15 December 1933, just nine months before the birth of Lela Nell.[1]

However, when my grandmother went into an assisted living facility in the late 1990s, I got to bring home most of her paperwork. Included in this paperwork were various birth, marriage, and death certificates, property deeds, and insurance and medical records. There was a physical copy of their marriage record from Hood County, Texas.

The marriage took place in Comanche County by the Precinct No. 1 Justice of the Peace, R.B. Waldrop on 15 December.[2] The license had been taken out on 14 December. There is no separate application, only the certificate for the license, the marriage detail, and the return. This certificate my grandmother had in her papers was created for her on 22 Feb 1944.

Why was the license obtained from Hood County? Were they hiding the fact they were getting married? Some people don’t want the announcement of their taking out the license to be in the newspaper. If so, then why did they marry in Comanche County?

Another reason could be that Tom was working in Hood County on a construction job and he obtained the license while on lunch or after work.

There are no photos of the wedding in their collection. There is no notice of the marriage in these local newspapers: Comanche Chief, Dublin Progress, or the Stephenville Empire. I looked for a newspaper at the Portal to Texas History (where there are images of Texas newspapers) but there were none for Hood County. Hood County is to the east of Erath and Erath County is to the east of Comanche.


No answer to my question as to why the license came from Hood County or as to why there was no notice in the local newspapers. It shall probably remain a mystery as anyone who would know are long gone.



[1] I searched these two databases at FamilySearch: “Texas, County Marriage Records, 1837-1965” and “Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977.” The image was found on the first database.
[2] State of Texas, County of Hood, Certified Copy of Marriage License, Tom Johnston and Pansy Louise Lancaster, recorded in Vol I, p 161 Marriage License Records; certificate copy issued in 1944, Johnston Family Papers, privately held by Lisa S. Gorrell.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family, All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks (2020) – Week 22: Uncertain—What Was the Maiden Name of Rebecca Ro(d)gers?

This is my third year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

For the theme of “uncertain,” I decided to find a female with no maiden name, or at least an uncertain maiden name. This blog post will review what I know about Rebecca, wife of David Ro(d)gers and mother of Eliza Ro(d)gers, who married Ebenezer Loveless in 1871. Through the process, I will be creating a plan for future research. I will start with what I know about her daughter, Eliza. I am also going to standardize the spelling of the surname to RODGERS for simplicity.

Chattooga County, Georgia
I first wrote about Eliza in this blog post. At the time I was trying to verify her parents’ names.

Eliza Rodgers was born May 1854 in South Carolina.[1] She first appeared in the 1860 population census in Chattooga County, Georgia, with her proposed parents, David and Rebecca Rodgers.[2] This census does not give relationship, so it is possible that not all of the children belong to both parents. Others in the household were:

Rodgers, David, 42, Farmer b. SC, $450 in personal property
               Rebecca, 40
               Mary AC, 18
               Mark A, 17
               Perry K, 15
               Goliver (Toliver?), 13
               Martha, 11
               Amanda, 9
               Eliza, 7
               Emma L., 3
               George, 1

Everyone in the household were listed as born in South Carolina. If this is true, then the family moved to Chattooga County, Georgia within the previous year, as the youngest, George, was only one year old. David has no real estate values listed, so likely he did not own land.

He does appear in the agricultural census for the same year, and no acreage or value is listed for him, confirming the lack of real estate.[3] He had the value of $50 in farming equipment. He also had one horse, one mule, two milch cows, eleven other cattle, forty swine, with a total value of $345. He produced during the previous year 150 bushels of wheat, one thousand bushels of Indian corn, three bales (400 pounds each) of cotton. He may have produced peas and beans, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butter, as others in the county did, but the back page is not part of the Ancestry collection.

In 1870, Rebecca Rogers was still living in Chattooga County with three apparent children:[4]

Rogers, Rebecca, 52, f, w, keeping house, 160/200, SC
             Amanda, 18, f, w, no occupation, SC,
             Elsy, 16, f, w, no occupation, SC
             George, 12, m, w, at school, Georgia

These three children match three of the four youngest children from the 1860 census. Missing is David, who has possibly died. Here George is shown as being born in Georgia, so it is possible they came a year or so earlier than 1858-59.  Rebecca also shows real estate value of $160.

Deed records were searched. There was no listing for David purchasing land, but Rebecca purchased a forty acre lot from the James T. Tucker estate on 18 April 1868 for $161, nearly the same value she indicated on the census.[5] She was also shown in the agricultural census, showing thirty acres improved and sixteen unimproved, at the value of $160. She also had $50 worth of farming equipment. The value of her livestock was $150 (one horse, one milch cow, three cattle, seven sheep, and ten swine. She grew Indian corn, sweet and Irish potatoes, butter, and wool.[6]

A search of the probate records in Chattooga County revealed no record for David. He did not appear in any military units from Chattooga County, as it was possible he died during the Civil War. He did not appear in any court records.

Their daughter, Eliza, married A. Ebenezer Loveless on 19 March 1871 in Chattooga County, Georgia.[7] The marriage license and return gave no other information except the groom and bride’s names and the officiant, W. T. Russell M.G.

Rebecca was also listed on the 1871 tax list in Chattooga County. She had two children between 6 and 18, 40 acres of land Section 4, District 13, no. 10. Her land value was $161. The value of other property was $80. T.K. Rodgers was listed below her. He had one poll, two children between 6 and 18, but no land was listed.[8]


Faulkner County, Arkansas
The Loveless family moved to Faulkner County, Arkansas a couple of years later. Both Ebenezer Loveless and Rebecca Rodgers were found in a tax record in Faulkner County in 1874. She was adjacent to E. Loveless, likely her son-in-law. She occupied the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 36 in Township 7 north, Range 13 west. Ebenezer was in the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 36.[9]

This was the only tax list, where the taxpayers were listed by land location. The following years, the tax list was arranged by county townships and then in alpha order. In 1874, there was also a tax list for personal property. In Hardin Township, “Rodgers, R hrs” was the listing, which the term “hrs” meaning heirs, suggests that she had died.[10] Note: a comment from a colleague, that he things it is not hrs but rather Mrs. This changes my thinking that she has died. Now I have to wonder what became of her.

In the next tax book for personal tax recording in the years 1874-75, Rebecca Rodgers was not listed, however TK Rodgers was listed.[11] 

I searched all of the indexes to each of the probate-related books in Faulkner County that are digitized on FamilySearch. I also checked the first few pages of the actual book until I reached well past the date of her death, just in case the clerk forgot to record the record in the index. I did not any reference to Rebecca Rodgers or to any guardianship for minor children.

I searched the deed books. There was no listing for Rebecca Rodgers purchasing land in Faulkner County, nor in Conway County. Faulkner County was formed from part of Conway and Pulaski counties in 1873, so the deed books for Faulkner County begin in 1873. I also searched the deed indexes for Conway County, and she was not found.

Eliza and Ebenezer Loveless continued to live in Faulkner County, raising nine children to adulthood. Eliza died 27 Aug 1907 and is buried at Spring Hill Cemetery.[12] There were no recording of deaths in Arkansas until 1914, so I don’t have a death certificate for her that might have named her parents.[13]

Online Trees Pointing to Parents of Eliza Rodgers
On Ancestry, Eliza Rodgers appears in several trees. On some trees, her mother was Rebecca Waddell. On other trees she was listed as Rebecca Rollins. So which is correct, if either?

For maiden name Rollins points to the Rebecca Rollins and David Rodgers marriage on 8 Nov 1855 in Halifax County, South Carolina.[14] If this were to be correct, then this would be David’s second marriage. According to the 1860 census, they had at least seven children born before this date. It is a possibility.

For the maiden name Waddell, most people have no sources and even link to the above marriage in Halifax County. They also show her death in 1879 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.[15] This is likely the result of finding only records found online and then copying information from other trees.

At FamilySearch Family Tree, there is Eliza Eley Rodgers (GML5-2k4) who has parents as David Rodgers and Rebecca Rollins. The only source is the 1860 Chattooga County, Georgia census. Then there is Eliza Rogers (K6SC-YVB) with no parents.

On searching for David Rodgers born about 1818 in South Carolina and spouse Rebecca, there is one David Rodgers (GML5-565) married to Rebecca Rollins (GML5-J5Z). The only credible source for this man is the 1860 census in Chattooga County, Georgia. His death was claimed to be 1882 with no source.

Conclusion
As of this writing, there is no conclusion, just more questions. There are two main areas to do additional research.
  • Follow through on all of David and Rebecca’s children, hoping one of them lived long enough to reveal Rebecca’s maiden name in a document.
  • Broaden the search around the FAN club (friends, associates, & neighbors) of David and Rebecca in the 1860 census to see if the location in South Carolina can be found. Unfortunately, it is difficult to do research in South Carolina without knowing the location. There are no state-wide marriage indexes because recording marriages were not required. He wasn’t a land owner in Georgia, it is quite possible he wasn’t one in South Carolina either.

I am left with the uncertainty that Rebecca was a Waddell. I had gotten this surname from an online tree at Genealogy.com many, many years ago. Online trees point to David’s parents. Verifying that might discover Rebecca’s parents as well.




[1] 1900 U.S. census, Faulkner Co, Arkansas, pop. Sched., East Fork Twp, ED 29, sht 12b, dwelling 201, family 204, A. Ebonezer Loveless, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), citing NARA T623, roll 58.
[2] 1860 U.S. census, Chattooga Co, Georgia, Pop. Sched., Chattooga Valley Twp, p 565b (stamped), dwl 265, fam 265, David Rodgers, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), citing NARA M653, roll 116.
[3] 1860 U.S. census, Chattooga Co, Georgia, agriculture schedule, not stated, line 13, D. Rodgers, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), citing NARA T1137, roll 4.
[4] 1870 U.S. census, Chattooga Co, Georgia, Broom Town P.O., p 166 (penned), dwl 231, fam 231, Rebecca Rogers, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), citing NARA M593, roll 142.
[5] Chattooga Co, Georgia, Deeds, Bk E, p 488, John Baker, Admr James T Tucker dec to Rebecca Rodgers, 18 Apr 1868, FHL film 337236.
[6] 1870 U.S. census, Chattooga Co, Georgia, agriculture schedule, 968 District, p 21, line 29, Rebecca Rodgers, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), citing NARA T1137, roll 7.
[7] Chattooga County Marriages, Georgia's Virtual Vault, cdm.sos.state.ga.us, digital images, Georgia State Archives, Bk 1a, 1861-1880, p 156, Ebby Loveless & E.A. Rodgers, 1871.
[8] Georgia Tax Digests, Chattooga County, 1871, Georgia Military District no. 927, Rebecca Rodgers; digital image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2020), “Georgia, Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892” > Chattooga > 1871 > image 46-47.
[9] Faulkner County, Arkansas, County Clerk, Tax records, 1874, Township 7N, Range 13W, Sec 36; digital film, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/008339756 : 30 May 2020); citing digital film 8339756, image 381.
[10] Faulkner County, Arkansas, County Clerk, Tax records, 1874, Personal Property, Hardin Township, R. Rodgers Hrs, digital film, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/008339756 : accessed 30 May 2020), image 431.
[11] Faulkner County, Arkansas, County Clerk, Tax records, 1874-75, Personal Property, Hardin Township, TK Rodgers, digital film, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/008339756 : accessed 30 May 2020)), image 482.
[12] Desmond Walls Allen, Pence Funeral Home Conway, Arkansas 1904-1926 Vol II (Rapid Rabbit Copy Co, Conway, AR), p 51, Eliza Loveless.
[13]How to Find Arkansas Death Records,” FamilySearch Wiki (https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/How_to_Find_Arkansas_Death_Records).
[14] One example, see “Maddock/Lewis Family” tree, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com), viewed 30 May 2020.
[15] One example, see “milda brasfield family” tree, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com), viewed 30 May 2020.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

52 Ancestors (2020) – Week 17: Land—Tom & Pansy Johnston Purchase a House in 1949

This is my third year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

 My grandparents, Tom J. Johnston and Pansy Louise (Lancaster) Johnston, purchased a house in Pleasant Hill, California, in a housing tract called “Gregory Gardens.” I am not sure, but this may have been their first property purchased in California.

307 Nancy Lane, my grandfather & his jeep
A copy of the deed and title insurance papers were stuffed in a 1950’s County Recorder envelope with a 3 cent stamp. The deed was from the Contra Costa County Title Company with filing stamps and original signatures on it. They purchased the house from the Hergan, Inc. as joint tenants and the property was described as:

Lot 22, as designated on the map entitled, “Gregory Gardens, Unit No. 1, Contra Costa County, California,” which map was filed in the office of the Recorder of the County of Contra Costa, State of California, on June 21, 1949 in Volume 37 of Maps, at page 46.

The deed was witnessed and signed on 14 December 1949.[1]


From the Title Company, it appears that the property was purchased for $7800. Liens and encumbrances attached to the property were taxes levied by the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, a utility right-of-way reserved by Hergan, Inc, Restrictions continuing until January 1, 1973 by declaration of Hergan Inc, a pipeline right of way to Coast Counties Gas and Electric Co, Deed of Trust made by Tom J Johnston and Pansy L Johnston to Bank of America National Trust and Savings (promissory note of $7100), and a Deed of Trust to Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association (promissory note of $700).[2]

Included in the policy was a map of the area showing the streets and lots, along with easements.



Inside the deed was another set of papers titled Declaration of Restrictions, which were made by the Hergan Inc, dated 27 June 1949 and recorded 14 July 1949. These were thirteen rules that residents of the area had to abide by, such as no building structures were allowed on the lot except the single-family dwelling which could not exceed two stories. Other restrictions included no noxious or offensive trade or activity or kennels; no trailer, tent, shack could be erected and used as temporary residence; no tight fences, though other fences could be no taller than 4 feet and none built in the front yard; no breeding of animals or fowl; never occupied used or resided by any person not of white or caucasian race except in the capacity as a servant or domestic employed.[3] That last rule would not be allowed today, thank goodness.

The copy of the Deed of Trust was not among the papers, however I got a copy from the County Recorder’s office. At the time of their purchase, they were living in Walnut Creek, in a rural area, as their address was Route 1, Box 49. They signed the deed of trust in front of a notary. Tom signed the document twice, as Tom J. Johnston and as Tom Johnston, Jr. His wife, Pansy L. Johnston, also signed the documents.[4]

Another document found was a receipt from Phil Heraty, a builder and Realtor. This receipt was written 22 September 1949 and they paid him $25. They were to get an FHA and GI loan. The balance of $225 was to be paid in ten days. A note initialed by TG that it was paid on 26 September.[5] However, it doesn’t appear that they got either type of loan.

On 24 November 1971, a full conveyance was filed and both Deed of Trusts were fully paid off.[6] Tom would die eighteen months later on 11 July 1973.[7] That was probably a blessing to my grandmother to know her house was fully paid off.

During the time they lived in the house, Tom did some remodeling. He was a carpenter and converted their garage into a family room, a larger kitchen, a walk-in pantry, and an enclosed back porch. Early in time, their front porch was covered in ivy. Their front yard had a large sycamore tree that grandchildren loved to climb and a magnolia tree with beautiful blooms. He also made furniture and their house was full of his pieces from coffee tables to lamps to a portable bar set-up.
 
My grandparents in the backyard of their new house



[1] Grant Deed, Contra Costa County, California, Hergan, Inc. to Tom J. Johnston & Pansy L. Johnston, 1949, no. 48488, v. 1483, p. 371; original copy in Johnston Family Papers, privately held by Lisa S. Gorrell, [address for private use], Martinez, California.
[2] Policy of Title Insurance, Contra Costa County Title Company, Martinez, California, no. 106855, to insure Tom J. Johnston and Pansy L. Johnston, original copy in Johnston Family Papers.
[3] Declaration of Restrictions, Hergan, Inc., Photostat, Johnston Family Papers.
[4] Deed of Trust, Tom J Johnston and Pansy L Johnston to Corporation of America, Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association, Contra Costa County, California, Recorders Office, Book 1483, p 372-75.
[5] Receipt, dated 22 September 1949, from Phil Heraty, a builder and Realtor, Johnston Family Papers.
[6] Full Conveyance, no. 101220, Contra Costa County, California, filed 26 Nov 1971, Bk 6528, p. 381. Also ibid, no. 101221, Bk 6528, p. 382. Both were filed at the request of Tom J. Johnston. Originals in Johnston Family Papers.
[7] State of California, Department of Health Services, Death Certificate of Tom J. Johnston Jr (73-087531), Contra Costa County, Tom J Johnston Jr, 1973.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family, All rights reserved.

Monday, March 30, 2020

52 Ancestors (2020) – Week 14: Water: Daniel Coor’s Land on the Little Coharee in Sampson County, North Carolina

This is my third year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

Land Grants
I found that Daniel Coor of Sampson County, North Carolina, obtained a land grant on 10 July 1788.[1] He had entered on the 10 May 1787 and it was surveyed on 20 May 1787. This piece of land was located on the east side of Little Cohara. The land description of the fifty-seven acres is as follows:

“Beginning at his own corner, a Maple and runs along his line S75E 124 poles to his other corner, a pine, thence his other line S15W 127 poles to his corner a white oak, thence S75E 26 poles to a white oake, thence N15E 167 poles to a pine, thence N 75 W 153 poles to a pine, thence to the beginning.”

To learn more about the land grant process, see “North Carolina land grant procedure 1777-1800.”[2]


This description does not give any solid reference point nor lists a neighbor. However, the land grant documentation included a drawing of the piece of property. Enoch Herring was the surveyor and William Hair and Richard Bass were the chain bearers. Chain bearers were usually men who knew the purchaser or were perhaps the neighbor.

Daniel received another land grant that had been previously entered on 5 April 1785 by John Wigs, and Daniel was issued the grant on 16 Nov 1790. This one hundred acre plot was located on both sides of Little Cohara near the bridge.[3] This plot was surveyed by E. Herring for Daniel. Below I believe is Daniel’s signature:


The description of this 100 acre plot is as follows. I have highlighted neighbor names in red for easy reference:

“Surveyed for Daniel Coor 100 acres of land in Sampson County lying on both sides of Little Cohary. Near the Bridge beginning at a Hickory near William Owens’ corner and Runs So 60 W 155 pole to a sweet gum in the Marsh of Cohary thence No 30 W 80 pol to a Red Oak on the Bank of Little Cohary thence So 75 W 19 pole to a Red Oak near Southy Fiskers line thence South 35 E 26 pole to a pine near Fiskers corner So 51 W 56 pole to two small pines thence So 30 E 35 [?] pole to a white oak thence E 218 pole to a stake on Barnabas Halls line thence to the Beginning.”

The chain bearers were Lazarus Hall and William Hair. William Hair had been a chain bearer for the earlier grant. This land description has more identifiers and neighbors listed. Here is the map of the property:




Now, I can’t seem to see how these two properties connect, and maybe they don’t. But I now have neighbors. William Owens corner is the beginning. Southy Fiskers near the creek. And Barnabas Hall. I have labeled them on the map below.


These were the only two land grants found for Daniel. Next I searched the Sampson County deed records for additional purchases and sales. I want to compare them against each other. Sometimes men bought and later sold the same piece of property. Sometimes they bought additional land adjoining their own property. I found six transactions before he died in 1807. I also found transactions made by his sons, John and Raiford, long after Daniel’s death.

Land Purchases
In February 1791, he purchased land from John Butler.[4] This deed described the purchase as three separate tracts, perhaps because they were not connected, or perhaps to keep the original land grant description isolated. This first piece of land of 100 acres was on the east side of Little Cohary and described as:

"beginning at a white oak a little above Joseph Bryants upper line about twenty poles from the Cronk [Creek?] and runs North 15 East 127 poles to a pine Thence North 75 west 124 poles to a maple at the Run in gum branch, thence down the said Branch South 70 West Sixty six poles to the mouth Thence down the Creek as its meander to the Beginning Containing [dark spot] acres of land being a patent granted to John Hair bearing the date of 5 Feb 1768"

John Hair’s land, surveyed by Wm Dickson and chain bearers of Wm Hair and Wm Deere was granted in Duplin County.[5] Sampson County was created from the western part of Duplin county in 1784.[6] The image of the survey is here:


The second piece of one hundred acres on the east side of the Little Cahary and on the Black branch was described as:

"Beginning at a bay in little Cahary at the mouth of Juniper branch and runs South 85 East 107 poles to a maple in a pond Thence South 5 west 107 poles to a stake in John Butler’s line Thence North 85 west along Butlers line 127 poles to a Gum in Cahary, Thence up little Cahary to the beginning,"

This land was granted to Needham Dees on 4 Feb 1783.  The land was surveyed by Danl Williams, and chain bearers were Charles Butler and Samson Dees.[7] Below is the image of the survey. The bottom line is Butler's line:



Then the third tract of land on the east side of Little Cahary and on both sides of Black branch was described as:

“At a maple in a pond Needhams Dees corner and runs South 85 East 127 poles to a pine, thence South 5 West 127 poles to a pine in John Butlers line, thence North 85 West along Butlers line 127 poles to a stake Needham Dees corner, thence along his line to the beginning, being a patent granted to Hardy Dees 4 Feb 1783, containing 100 acres.”


Hardy Dees land was surveyed by Danl Williams, and the chain bearers the same as Needham Dee’s survey.[8] The image of that survey is below:


These last two deeds line up side-by-side, with the bottom line being Butler’s line. Imagine the two spots where the red circles are being connected.



On 14 May 1793, Daniel sold two tracts to Thomas Holland.[9] William Honeycutt and William Fowler were the witnesses. This land was on the east side of Little Caharee and the Black branch. It is described as:

“Beginning at a maple in a pond Needham Dees Corner and Runs South 85 East 127 poles to a maple in a pond, thence South 5 West 127 poles to a stake in John Butler’s line thence No 85 west along Butler’s line 127 poles to a gum in Caharee thence up Little Caharee to the beginning containing 100 acres. 

Also another tract on the east side of Little Cahara and west side of the Black branch,

“beginning at a maple in a pond Needham Des corner and runs south 85 East 90 poles to a gum in the Black branch, thence down the Black branch to a gum in Little Caharee and thence up Little Caharee to a bay tree in Needham Dees line and beginning, containing 50 acres.

The first tract is a repeat of the land that was the Needham Dees original grant. The second tract appears to be the west half of the Hardy Dees grant.

On 23 January 1794, Daniel sold a 100 acre tract of land to Southey Fisher that was located on both sides of Little Cahara:

“beginning at a hickory near William Owens corner and runs south 60 west 155 to a sweet gum in the marsh of Little Cahara thence North 30 West 80 poles to a Red Oak  on the bank of Little Cahara thence South 75 West 19 poles to a Red Oak near Southey Fishers line thence south 35 East 26 poles to a pine near Fishers Corner thence south 57 west 56 poles to two small pines thence south 30 East 45 poles to a white oak thence East 280 poles to a stake in Barnabas halls line and thence to the beginning”

Charles Butler and William Owens were the witnesses. This tract is identical to the second land grant he received.

Daniel purchased land on 19 December 1805 from Robert Charles Johnston, a resident of New York City, who sold the land through his attorney, John Dickson.[10] It was located on the back of said Cooks new Survey between Little Cohara and Rye swamp and described as:

"Beginning at a pine in the fork of the Black Branch and runs N 53 Et crossing of said branch 160 pole to a black jack thence So 37 East 92 pole to a stake on Felix Hairs line then with his line and past his corner So 27 west 180 poles to a stake on said Coors own line thence with his line passing his corner to the Beginning containing 133 acres, being part of a patent granted to Roger Aldon for 11950 acres in 1796 and by said Alden conveyed to Robert Charles Johnston by deed..”

Witnessed by John Ray and W. Trapeal.

Death of Daniel Coor
This was the last deed transaction of Daniel Coor. He died sometime before November 1807, when his wife, Jemima, and son, John, began the administration of Daniel’s estate. They entered into bond of one thousand dollars and were made administratrix and administrator. They were ordered to sell perishable property of the deceased. In February 1808 they returned to court with an inventory and account of sales of her husband’s estate.[11]

However, there were no deed transactions for the land Daniel still owned. In 1811, John moved to Mississippi territory with his mother and younger siblings.[12]

Fast forward many years, after looking at all deed transactions by Coor men in Sampson County, there was a transaction between two Coor men (John Coor and Raiford Coor) and William C. Butler on 2 November 1833.[13] John was of Copiah County, Mississippi and Raiford of Sampson County. They sold for $400 paid in hand four tracts of land in Sampson County located east of Little Cohara containing 390 acres. The witnesses were Evan Crumpler and Soloman S Lessums.

First:
“beginning at pine in a fork of the Black branch & runs N56 E crossing of said branch 160 poles to a black jack, thence S37E 92 poles to a stake on Felix Hairs line, thence with his line & past his corner S 27W 180 poles to a stake on Coor own line, thence with their line passing their corner to the beginning (133 acres).”

Note: this is the same tract sold to Daniel from Robert Charles Johnston in 1805.

Second:
“on the east of Little Cohara beginning at a white oak a little above Joseph Bryan's upper line about 20 poles from the creek & runs N15E 127 poles to a pine, thence N 75 W 124 poles to a maple at the run in Gum branch, thence down the said branch S70 W 66 poles to the mouth thence down the creek as it meanders to the beginning (100 acres).”

Note: this is the first tract that John Butler sold to Daniel in 1791.

Third:
“on the east side of Little Cohara and both sides of Black branch at a maple in a pond Needham Dees corner & runs S85 E 127 poles to a pine, thence S5W 127 poles to a pine in John Butler's line, thence N85W along Butlers line 127 poles to a stake Needham Dees, thence along his line to the Beginning (100 acres).”

Note: this is the third tract that John Butler sold to Daniel in 1791.

Fourth:
“lying on the east side of little Cohara beginning at his own corner a maple & runs along their line S75E 124 poles to their other corner a pine, thence their other line S15W 127 poles to their corner a white oak, thence S75E 26 poles to a white oak, thence N15E 167 poles to a pine, thence N75W 153 poles to a pine, thence to the beginning (57 acres).”

Note: This is the first land grant he received in 1788.

This accounts all of the land that Daniel purchased and either he sold or his sons sold. I kept tract of all of the deeds by placing the transactions into a table and color-coding the transactions. This helps see the buying and selling transactions of the same piece of land and helps keep track. I found a sale Daniel made that I have not found the purchase.

Here is the first page of the table. The complete table is located here. As I find a match, I color-code the pair.
What I should to do next is to find the other tract original grants located on Little Cohara and then I should plat each of the deeds on paper and see if I can connect them in some way. A start would be the names listed in the descriptions of the various deeds.

I did find a map that sort of shows where this land may have been. The map shows water courses but not the small ones mention in these deeds. One deed mentioned Rye swamp, so maybe that helps determine where the land was.








[1] “North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960,” index & images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Mar 2020), Sampson > 1-315 > image no. 1092 of 1420, Daniel Core, shuck no. 246; original data North Carolina Land Grants, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.
[2] “North Carolina land grant procedure 1777-1800,” Carolina Books (http://abpruitt.tripod.com/id6.htm : accessed 30 March 2020).
[3] “North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960,” index & images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Mar 2020), Sampson > 316-610 > image no. 73 of 1454, Daniel Coor, shuck no. 330; original data North Carolina Land Grants, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.
[4] Sampson County, North Carolina, Deeds, v. 8, p. 413, Daniel Coor to John Butler, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), citing FHL film 553540.
[5] “North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960,” index & images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Mar 2020), Duplin > 928-1534 > image no. 338 of 1392, John Hair, shuck no. 1119; original data North Carolina Land Grants, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.
[6] “Duplin County History,” https://www.duplincountync.com/duplin-county-history/.
[7] “North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960,” index & images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Mar 2020), Duplin > 2737-3001 > image no. 933 of 1324, Needham Dees, shuck no. 2928; original data North Carolina Land Grants, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.
[8] “North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960,” index & images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Mar 2020), Duplin > 2737-3001 > image no. 963 of 1324, Hardy Dees, shuck no. 2934; original data North Carolina Land Grants, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.
[9] Sampson Co, North Carolina, Deeds, v. 9, p. 310, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), citing FHL film 553541.
[10] Sampson Co, North Carolina, Deeds, v. 14, p. 407, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), citing FHL film 553543.
[11] Sampson County, North Carolina, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Minutes, 1794-1824, Daniel Coore Estate, Nov. 1807; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), citing FHL film 19940, dig. film 8139513, images 328 & 330.
[12] Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770–1823, Indian, Spanish and other Land Passports for Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Dorothy Williams Potter, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., p. 294. [microfilmed at FHL 361879 and visible at FamilySearch, dig film 7900778.
[13] Sampson Co, North Carolina, Deeds, v. 23, p. 409, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), citing FHL film 19930.

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