Thursday, March 8, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Where There’s a Will: the Will of James Loveless of Greenville Co, SC

I am 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’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

I do not have many wills for my direct lines on my mother’s side of the family. I have some cases where the estate was probated intestate. Here is one will for my 4x-great-grandfather, James Loveless of Greenville County, South Carolina, who died in 1846.[1] 

I had previously written about James' will in 2013 but I have not done more with this research. Looking at this again is a very good idea and when I visit the Family History Library next month, this would be a good subject to work on. 

James Loveless (1771-1846) died sometime in between 28 Aug 1845 when he signed the will and 13 Jul 1846 when the will was recorded. He was my fourth great-grandfather on my maternal grandmother’s side.

Here is the transcription:
[p 215]
James Loveless Will
SOUTH CAROLINA       }                              
GREENVILLE DISTRICT  }                In the name of God Amen           
     I James Loveless Senr. Being of sound and
disposing memory but weak in body and
calling to mind the uncertainty of life
and being desirous to dispose of all such
worldly estate as it hath pleased God to
bless me with do make and ordain this
[p 216]
my last will and testament in manner fol=
        First) I desire my executors herein
named to pay all my just debts and funeral
       I give unto my wife Linna Loveless Senr.
my home tract of land whereon I now live con=
taining two hundred acres more or less during
her life and at her death to go to my son
James T. Loveless by his paying my three
daughters that is Mary Loveless Ruth
Loveless and Linna Loveless Jr one hundred
dollars each.
     I also give my wife Linna Loveless Senr.
a negro boy named Ben and at her death
she has the liberty to dispose of him as she
may think proper. __ I also give her two
nags my black mare ?ol [Sol?] and my black
horse Dunk our cow and calf  two beds and
furniture a trunk and small chest and the
small cupboard one table the wheels and cards
the chairs and Kitchens furniture I also give
her my stock of hogs and my sheep my wag-
gon & gear and plantation tools.
     I also give unto my wife Linna Loveless
a Negro woman named Charlott during
her life and at her death for said negro
and her futer [future] increase to be equally
divided between my son James T Love=
=less and my three daughters Mary
Loveless Ruth Loveless and Linna Love=
=less Jr.  _____    I desire that my executors
hereafter named sell the whole of the re
==sidue of my property consisting of a tract
of land containing two hundred and fifty
acres more or less and six negroes

p 217
named Jim, Abby, Bob Mary Martha and
Rachel and the whole of the balance of my
personal estate that is not heretofore dis-
posed of and that the proceeds be equally
divided between my sons William Loveless
Levi Loveless Thomas Loveless Hazle Love
less Allen Loveless and Jesse Loveless and
my daughter Elizabeth Crawford and
John Loveless’s children to come in for his
equal share in the above dividend. ----
     To each of my daughters Mary Ruth
and Linna  I have given a cow and calf a
bed and furniture I have also given
them bills of sale to a negro each and
they have some household furniture
consisting of bedsteads bed clothing a
table and crockery ware which they have
bought themselves & which is not included
above as I have no clam to them.  ----
     I also wish that the crop that's
growing on the land at my decease or
if it is gathered to belong to my wife
and that it be not sold.  ---------------------
      And lastly I do constitute and ap
point James T Loveless my son and Ira
Arnold, Executor of this my last will
and testament in testimony whereof
I have set my hand and seal this twenty
eighth August 1845 -- Signed sealed and
acknowledged in the presence of
George Gambell        }
Archibald Johnson    }                 James Loveless Senr. (L.S.)
Mason N Gambell     }

p 218
James T. Loveless &           }  Greenville dist. S. Carolina
Ira Arnold Exts           }
Of James Loveless’ will      }
vs.                  }  Probate of will in
The heirs of said         }  solemn form
James Loveless dec’d         }  in the court of ordinary

   Personally appeared Archibald Johnson
and Mason N. Gambrell and after bring
duly sworn saith on said oath that the
said James Loveless late of said district
deceased sign the annexed writing an?? [in binding]
and heard him declare the same to be
his last will and testament.  The said
deponents further state, that at the time
the said testator signed and declared the
above stated he was to the best of their
knowledge and belief of said deponents
of a sound mind memory and un
=derstanding and that the said de
=ponents with George Gambrell did
at the request and in the presence of
said testator and in the presence of each other
sign the said will as witnesses. – Sworn
13th day of July 1846.
Jno Watson                      Mason N. Gambrell
O.G.D.                                 Archibald Johnson

The above is all the testimony offered in the above
case none of the parties appeared to contest the
will. – It appearing that all the parties in
this state were duly cited and notified
and that those out of the state were
notified by advertisement in the Greenville
Mountaineer paper for three months
Previous to this day none of them ap
pearing to object their consent is then for

p 219
taken as confest [I think that is the word]. Ordered and decreed
that the ??m said will stand proven in solemn
form and that the same with the above pro-
ceedings be recorded --- July 13th 1846
                                    Jno Watson
                                    O. G. D.

From this will, I extracted the following information:
--James Loveless wrote his will and it was witnessed on 28 Aug 1845
--James Loveless' will was proven in court on 13 Jul 1846
--His wife was Linna Loveless Senr.
--His sons who were living were: William, Levy, Thomas, Hazle [Hazel], Allen, Jesse, James T.
--His son who had died: John. His unnamed children were also to receive a share
--His daughters living were: Ruth, Mary, Linna Junr. & Elizabeth Crawford
--8 slaves were mentioned: Ben and Charlott, Jim, Abby, Bob, Mary, Martha, and Rachel
--Son James T. Loveless and Ira Arnold were executors.
--He gave wife: tract of land where she lived, slave named Ben, slave named Charlott, two nags, a black mare, horse named Dank, cow & calf, two beds and furniture a trunk and small chest and the small cupboard, wheels and cards, one table, chairs, kitchen furniture, stock of hogs and sheep, wagon, and plantation gear and tools.
--land from mother was to go to James T. Loveless upon her death
--$100 each to be given to daughters Ruth, Linna Junr, & Mary Loveless paid by James T. Loveless after death of mother
--He desired the rest to be sold (250 acres land, 6 slaves, personal estate) to be divided equally among sons, daughter Elizabeth Crawford, and children of John Loveless.
--Crop on land now was to be given to wife
--James Loveless and Ira Arnold brought will in to ordinary court to be filed
--The notice of the will was listed in the Greenville Mountaineer for three months
--No one contested the will so there were no further records.

Further work with I should do with this document is to follow the slaves by checking the slave schedule in 1850 and by checking land records for possible sales. His wife was given two of the slaves and the other six were probably sold to distribute the money to the children. Keeping track of these slaves might help African Americans who are researching their ancestors.

[1] “South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977,” digital images, FamilySearch ( : 22 Dec 2013), Greenville District South Carolina, Wills book 1840-1852, vol. C,  p 215-218, James Loveless.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Relatives With Facial Hair

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  This week we're going to look for men's facial hair in our photograph collections.

2)  Find one or more photographs of men in your ancestral families that have facial hair - a mustache and/or a beard. 

3)  Show the photograph if you have it and tell us a bit about the person shown.   If you don't have a digital photograph, please describe the man and his facial hair the best you can.

4)  Write your own blog post, or a comment to this blog post, or a comment on Facebook or Google+.

I have a photograph of my grandfather, Tom J. Johnston (1912-1973), sporting a beard. Supposedly, he grew it out for a beard growing contest for the Walnut Festival, a four-day event in late September held in Walnut Creek, California. This probably was in the last 1940s or early 1950s.

I have never seen my grandfather in a beard at all, so this was really a special event for him. No word if he won any part of the contest. However, he looks like a lumberjack in the photo. He was actually a carpenter, who worked on houses, and later worked in the maintenance department at the local junior college. He also liked to make his own furniture and our family owns several of the pieces he made.

He died in 1973 when I was nineteen. He hadn’t even retired yet. My grandmother went on to live another forty years.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 5: Census

I am 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’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

In 1840, Ellis W. Lancaster was heading his own household in Lewis County, Missouri.[1] He had three young sons under five years old, one daughter over five but under ten, and his wife, Elizabeth who was between twenty and thirty.

1840 Lewis Co, Missouri, p. 186
These children would have been:
  • Sarah A. Lancaster, born 11 Apr 1832, so she was about 8.
  • James R. Lancaster, born Sep 1835, so he was about 5.
  • William T. Lancaster, born 1 Sep 1837, so he was about 3.
  • George Wilson Lancaster, born 3 Apr 1839, so he was about 1.

This census also shows neighbors. Above Ellis, we can see Joseph Bourne. His son, Reuben Bourne would marry Ellis’ daughter, Sarah sometime before 1850. He was born 24 Jun 1827 and was about thirteen. You can see his tick mark in the third column designating the over 10 but under 15.

Below Ellis was George Neal. This is likely George H. Neal who was the brother of Ellis’ wife, Elizabeth.

There was an additional page, showing the slaves. Ellis had either two females under 15 or one female under 10. The total number in the household was seven, so the six Lancasters and on slave would be 7 total. Since the digit one looks darker, perhaps he tried to scratch it out.

Ellis' line is the one with the total in the household as 7
The family would live in Lewis County another ten years or so before moving to Kaufman County, Texas.

[1] 1840 U.S. census, Lewis Co, Missouri, pop. sched., p. 186, Ellis Lancaster, digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 20 Jan 2011), citing NARA M704, roll 225.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 4: Invite to Dinner

I am 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’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

This week I’m writing about an ancestor I’d like to invite to dinner. I actually have quite a few ideas. I would love to have dinner with my grandmother, Anna Hork and her sister, Loretta Patterson, and recreate the meals we had together back in 1969 when we visited. They told such fantastic stories about their childhood. Of course, I wasn’t a genealogist then. We didn’t have access to recording devices either. I don’t remember much about their stories except they made me laugh every evening!

But to invite one person to dinner!

That would be my 3X-great-grandfather, Samuel Johnston. I would love to know about his life in South Carolina where he was born, his life in Alabama where most of his children were born, in Mississippi where his youngest was born, and in Texas where he moved and died.

The places where he lived, specifically Yalobusha County, Mississippi, and Titus County, Texas, had courthouse files and many of the records were destroyed. Records, such as land deeds, that would help me flesh out his life. Records that might tell me where he lived in Alabama. Records that might tell me where he was born in South Carolina. Records that might tell me when he married Elizabeth “Betsy” McCormack.

What I know about him is this: Samuel Johnston was born about 1816 in South Carolina (no county known). He married Elizabeth McCormack sometime before 1840. She was also born in South Carolina, so maybe that’s where they married. They lived in Yalabusha County, Mississippi in 1850 and 1860 but moved to Titus County, Texas perhaps at the beginning of the Civil War. He was in the tax records in 1862 but by 1870, his wife is a widow.

They had the following children:
  • Isabella (b. 1840) who married Paris C. Broadstreet
  • Reuben Mack (b. 1841) who married Catherine Skull and Olivia Jane Jones
  • Luvina J (b. 1842)
  • Washington J (b. 1844) who married Willie Rachel Price & Julie
  • Marion J (b. 1846)
  • David Newton (b. 1850)
  • Sarah A (b. 1854) who married James E. McDonald

Now I should consider what I’d serve. I’d want him to feel comfortable and willing to talk about his life. Good southern food would be certainly the ticket: fried chicken, black-eyed peas, corn, and biscuits. These are the dishes I remember my grandmother making.

At dinner, I would ask all of these questions, but I would especially ask, “Who were your parents? And "Where in South Carolina were you born?”
Because he is one of my biggest brick walls.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Week 3: Longevity

What did my grandmother, Pansy Louise (Lancaster) Johnston have in common with her uncle, William Hutson “Hutts” Loveless?

Living long lives.

Hutts lived 104 years.[1] Pansy lived to just one month short of 100 years.[2]

A party was hosted by Hutts’ daughter, Dorothy on his 100th birthday in Seminole, Texas.[3] Shortly before his death, the Seminole Sentinel had another article about Hutts. From the interview, we learned he drove until a year before, read the bible daily, loved writing poems and songs, and eating pizza and Mexican food.[4]

My Mam-ma, Pansy, tried really hard to live to 100. We were planning a 100th Birthday Party and [5] even had a congratulatory letter from the President. But just a month and a half short of her birthday, her kidneys started failing and she went on hospice, passing away a couple of weeks later.

At the home where she lived, Pansy enjoyed playing bingo, handing out candy to fellow residents and staff, and embroidering designs on T-shirts, visits from her grandchildren. In her 60s and 70s, she had enjoyed playing tennis, playing cards with friends, and traveling. She bowled well into her 90s.

I will be pleased if I live as long!

[1] “Hutts Loveless,” Lubbock Online,, 25 May 1998.  
[2] California Department of Health Services, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Standard Certificate of Death, 001026075, Pansy Louise Johnston, Contra Costa Co, 2013.
[3] “W.H. Loveless Celebrates His 100th Birthday,” Seminole (Texas) Sentinel, 6 Mar 1994.
[4] “Still Running,” Seminole (Texas) Sentinel
[5] Pansy Louise "Joni" Johnston, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, California, 15 October 2013.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy 7th Blogiversary!

It has been seven years since I started this blog on January, 2011. I had just retired and was looking for an outlet for my free time.

I have not written many posts on this blog. It's because this blog is very focused on only the ancestors of my grandmother, Pansy Louise Lancaster Johnston: Lancaster, Loveless, Coor, Kethley, Welch, Rodgers, Polly, Neel, Young, Hughes, Nixon, & Medlock, to name the known surnames of my 4X-great-grandparents.

However, this year I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I plan to write some of the posts on this blog as well as my other blog, My Trails Into The Past.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- How Many Degrees of Separation

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Find an ancestral line that stretches back to the time of the US Revolutionary War (1775-1783), about 240 years. Define your person-to-person connection (the person actually met the next person on the list) back to a historical figure from that time (doesn't have to be famous).

2) Tell us about it on your blog, in a note or comment on Facebook, or in a comment on this post.

My mother’s side of the family are the only ones who were here at the time of the American Revolution. Let’s follow up the Lancaster line from my grandmother, Pansy Louise Lancaster Johnston (Mam-ma).

She was born in 1913, and so would have known her great-grandfather, George Wilson Lancaster, who lived died in the same community in which she lived in 1919.  Pansy > George Warren > William Carl > George Wilson.

George Wilson Lancaster was born in 1839 in Missouri, so would have only known his father, Ellis Wilson Lancaster. His grandfather, Robert Lancaster died in 1840, but in Kentucky. George Wilson Lancaster > Ellis Wilson Lancaster

Ellis Lancaster was born in 1808 in Virginia and would have known his father, Robert, and possibly his grandfather, Nathaniel, who died in 1808 (as much as an infant would know their grandparent). Ellis > Robert > Nathaniel

Robert Lancaster was born 1784 and would have known his father, Nathaniel Lancaster, who did live in Virginia during the American Revolution. Robert > Nathaniel

I wonder if he had anything to do with the American Revolution and could I enter DAR using his service?  Something to check out!

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family