Monday, November 24, 2014

Mam-ma was a Tomboy

Mam-ma was a tomboy.
1930s One of Mam-mas dresses she made
A dress she made

You wouldn’t know it by the fact she was also a lover of clothes. When she was young, she sewed her own clothes. She also loved shopping for new clothes and she loved looking nice. For many years, turquoise was her favorite color, but in later life pinks and purples also became part of her color palette.

But she told me she was really a tomboy. She was named Pansy Louise but she hated her name, feeling it sounded too sissy. She liked sports and played softball as a young woman. But as the only girl in a household of boys and her mother being ill with Parkinson’s disease, she had to do a lot of housework and taking care of her younger brothers. So she learned to cook, clean, and sew.

Clothes Horse box
One of the stores where she worked.
This is an old box from the store.

She married at 19 and had my mother at 20. She worked as a seamstress, mending and altering men’s clothing and as a saleslady in women’s and men’s clothing stores. She worked at Goldman’s and for many years at The Clothes Horse, working at both the Walnut Creek and Concord stores. The Concord store was first at Sun Valley Mall and later moved to the Willows Shopping Center.

1979-03_Fat Farm-Tecote Mex - Mam-ma with tennis racket-crop
Mam-ma with her racket at a resort
After the death of Tom-Tom, she became active with sports again. She played tennis first. Not only playing tennis with her best friend, Eveline, but also going to pro tennis tournaments and watching matches on television. I played against Mam-ma once and my sister, Renee said they played together once, too.

At Dublin Bowl

When she couldn’t play tennis anymore, she took up bowling and continued to play into her nineties. She won tournaments and was proud to reach 90 and receive free games.

Bowling in Dublin, Calif.

She especially enjoyed bowling with her grandchildren and great-grandkids. It was always great fun. The youngsters would have a lane with the bumpers set up and us grownup would then have two adjacent lanes. Afterwards, we would all go out to lunch in a local Pleasanton restaurant. It was always such great fun!

Finally back pain prevented her from playing anymore. Instead, we had get-togethers in other ways from visits to her house to outings in restaurants.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) – Grandfather’s Birthdate

Randy Seaver’s SNGF this week is to pick one of my grandfathers, find out the date of birth, day of week, what famous events happened on that day in history, and what famous people were born on that day.  Here are my answers.

1. My maternal grandfather, Tom J. Johnston, was born 7 Oct 1912.  This was a Monday.

2. Important events on that day (from Wikipedia)

3. Famous people born on 7 October:
Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Monday, August 18, 2014

Matrilineal Monday : Marriages of Melissa Ann Welch

Matrilineal Monday is a blogging theme to celebrate or share something of your mother’s line.

This week I have been cleaning up files from my to-do list and found some COOR, WELCH, and KETHLEY marriages from Copiah County, Mississippi. I had the dates of these marriages from marriage indexes but not the images of the actual marriage record page from the county clerk. I found these records from films at the Family History Library.

Today I’ll share the two marriage records for my third great-grandmother, Melissa Ann Welch. Melissa was born 8 May 1840 to Dempsey Welch and Elizabeth Rebecca Young.[1] She married first to J. T. Pittman on 31 Oct 1855 in Copiah County, Mississippi.[2]

Marriage for J.T. Pittman & Melissa Ann Welch in 1855

There is not much information given in these marriage records and lots of blanks spaces left blank. So would have been nice if the clerk had filled in the parent’s names! The bondsman, Thomas G. Welch was her brother, Thomas Griffin Welch (1831-1875). They were married by the Justice of the Peace, John Terry. Although there were no ages given, from cemetery records, her birthdate of 8 May 1840 would have made her 15 years old at the time of the marriage.

I know nothing else about Mr. Pittman. All I know is he either left her or died. She was found again marrying my third great-grandfather, James Madison Coor on 9 Oct 1856, barely a year after her first marriage.[3]

Marriage of Mellisa Ann Pittman to James Madison Coor in 1856

Again, most of the blanks were not filled in. The bondsman, D.P. Welch was probably her brother, Dempsey Perry Welch (1822-1902). They were married by the Judge of Probate Court, J. Millsaps.

Melissa and James had 10 known children, but their life together lasted just 20 years. Melissa died 20 Sep 1876 in Copiah County and she was buried at the Coor Cemetery near Crystal Springs.[4] There were two children under the age of five in the household. James never remarried and later moved to Erath County, Texas.

[1] Mississippi Genealogical Society, editor, Cemetery & Bible Records Vol 1 (Mississippi: n.p., 1954.), 1.
[2] Copiah County, Mississippi Marriage License Record Bk C, p 382, Pittman-Welch, 1855, FHL film 904433.
[3] Copiah County, Mississippi Marriage License Record Bk C, p 444, Coor-Pittman, 1856, FHL film 904433.
[4] Mississippi Genealogical Society, editor, Cemetery & Bible Records Vol 1 (Mississippi: n.p., 1954.), 1.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Where Were They 100 Years Ago?

Our assignment this week from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings is:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 19 July 1914 - 100 years ago.

2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

I’ll start with my maternal line:
My great grandparents, Thomas Newton Johnston (1885-1951) and Nell L. Hutson (1888-1919) were living in Gustine, Comanche County, Texas. Their eldest son, my grandfather, Tom J. Johnston Jr, (1912-1973) was living with them.

Thomas Newton Johnston’s parents, Reuben Mack Johnston (1841-1924) and Olivia Jane Jones (1859-1914) were also living in Gustine, Comanche County, Texas. Olivia died later that year on 11 Dec.

Nell L. Hutson’s parents, Peter Hayden Hutson (1853-1930) and Sarah Helena “Sallie” Selman (1858-1916) were probably living in Gustine, Comanche County, Texas.

My great grandparents, George Warren Lancaster (1893-1964) and Lela Ann Loveless (1896-1951) were living in Erath County, Texas, probably not far from the county seat, Stephenville. Their daughter, my grandmother, Pansy Louise Lancaster (1913-2013) lived with them.

George Warren Lancaster’s parents, William Carl Lancaster (1873-1946) and Martha Jane “Doll” Coor (1873-1942) were living in Stephenville, Erath County, Texas.

William Carl Lancaster’s parents were George Wilson Lancaster (1839-1919) and Martha Jane “Mattie” Polly (1855-1932). George W. was probably living in Dublin, Erath County, Texas. Mattie had remarried Noah Park and was living in Imperial County, California.

Lela Ann Loveless’ father was A. Ebenezer “Ebbie” Loveless (1851-1929) and he lived in Erath County, Texas on a farm. Her mother had previously passed away.

I have no photos of the farm houses in Texas.

My paternal line:
My great grandmother, Julia Ann Sievert (1854-1928) lived in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana. My grandfather, William Cyril Hork (1899-1967) lived with her. They lived at 601 South 5th Street. Cyril’s father, John A. Hork had died in 1906. I have a photo.
601 South 5th, Hamilton, Montana
My great grandfather, John H. Sullivan (1854-1932) lived in Anaconda, Deer Lodge County, Montana, probably at 1016 East 3rd (the address from the 1915 city directory). His daughter, my grandmother, Anna Marie Sullivan (1892-1979) graduated from Montana State Normal College in June 1914 so might have stay there or moved back to Anaconda and lived with her father. Her mother, Anna Marie Gleeson died in 1912.

My great-great grandparents, John Gleeson (1835-1915) and Margaret Tierney (1835-1920) lived in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon at 410 Ross Street. There are tall city buildings there now but I have a photo of the house!
410 Ross Street, Portland, Oregon

So I had 21 direct line ancestors living on 19 July 1914!

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Random Search: William T Lancaster & Julia A Cannon

Here’s another great challenge from Randy Seaver of Genea-musing.  You can see his blog post here.
1) We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...
2) Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very first person on your list of C surnames is. Or the first person on your list of J surnames. Or P surnames. Or any other name you need to research. Your choice!
3) What do you know (or not know) about this person based on your research? It's OK to do more research if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!
4) How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?
5) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.
This seemed like fun. I tried picking some letters in my RootsMagic program but kept coming up with people who were still alive, which I don’t want to write about here.

Earlier today I was working on entering tax records for my Lancaster families in Kaufman County, Texas, and I realized I didn’t have death dates for William T. Lancaster and his wife, Julia A. Cannon. What a perfect pair to work on with this challenge.

William T. Lancaster was the third child of Ellis W. Lancaster and Elizabeth S. Neel, born about 1837 in Missouri. Sometime after 1850, the family moved to Kaufman County, Texas and the family was found in the 1860 census, taken on the 5th of July 1860, as abstracted here:[1]
Lancaster, E.W., 50, born in VA, a farmer, land worth $3000, personal property $830. 
      Elizabeth S., 58, female, white, b. KY
      Wm T, 22, male, white, farming, personal value 500, b. MO
      Geo W, 21, male, white, farming, personal value 500, b. MO
      Linace, 18, female, b. MO
      Catharine, 14, female, b. MO
      Martha J, 12, female, b. MO
      Hannah, 10, female, b. MO
Olds, Ben, 19 male, Mas Carpenter, personal value 750, b. MO
Boystone, R, 25, male, Mas Carpenter, b. KY
Neil, Wm, 17, male, farm laborer, personal value 4000, b. TN

Here you see William T as a 22 year-old male with personal wealth of $500. This personal wealth could be the ownership of horses, wagons, or cash.

A few months later, William married Julia A. Cannon on 25 Oct 1860.[2]  Julia’s family also lived in Kaufman County, not far from William. Julia was born about 1845-46 to Emberry and Minervia Cannon.
Kaufman Co, Texas Marriages Bk 1a, p 68, Lancaster-Cannon
By the 1870 census, William and Julia were living in Milam County, Texas.[3] William’s occupation was retail merchant with $2000 worth of real estate and $5000 worth of personal property. He lived with Raymond S. Porter, also a retail merchant, his wife, Julia, child Ella, and possibly sister-in-law, Callie Cannon. A Mullatto nine year-old male named Marion Graham also lived with them as a servant.
1870 Milam Co TX - William Lancaster in the Raymond S. Porter household
In transcribing the Kaufman County tax records, W.T. Lancaster appeared twice, 1872 and 1879. But was he in the Milam County tax rolls? I went to to search the “Texas, County Tax rolls, 1846-1910” database and images. Putting “Lancaster” and “Milam” in the search boxes came back with no records. Then I tested the database and entered only Milam for the county with no names and it came back with no records. So Milam County has not yet been indexed.

I could also browse though, so I selected Milam County and then 1870. There were 48 images and they were listed by rough alphabetical order. The “L” names would be a bit half way so I selected page 20 and then worked my way through the L names until I found W.T. Lancaster.[4] He had 1 town lot in Duvilla worth 400. That was all besides the poll tax that he paid tax on.

1871 tax list had the taxpayers listed by address and there were 80 pages. I decided not to look for W.T. I do have him in the 1872 Kaufman County and his tax basis was for two pieces of property totaling 85 acres and worth $1121.[5] He also had 2 wagons or carriages worth $50, 3 horses worth $150, 2 cattle worth $10, and a $100 worth of miscellaneous items for a total of $1381.  Now the discrepancy between the census value and the tax value could be that he didn’t have to report “everything” he owned, only those items requested. 

There was also an 1879 tax list in Rockwall County (Kaufman Co split into two and this part was now Rockwall Co) and his total worth for tax purposes was $1277.[6]

In 1880, the family was found in the census.[7] William and Julia were hotel keepers. They had four children. Here is the abstract without all of the boarders:
Lancaster, Wm, w, m, 44, mar, hotel keeper, Missouri, VA/KY
                Julia, w, f, 33, wife, mar, keeper hotel, Alabama, TN/AL
                Ella, w, f, 17, daughter, single, Divorced, TX, MO/AL
                Ollie, w, m, 7, son, single, at school, TX, MO/AL
                Mark, w, m, 3, son, single, TX, MO/AL
                Carl, w, m, 1, son, single, TX, MO/AL

Now the trail was cold and it is time to do some research. has Texas death certificates in a database and images called “Texas Deaths 1890-1976.” It was time to see if I could find William or Julia in the death records.

Well, I struck out there. No record came close to either William T or WT Lancaster, nor for Julia Lancaster. It was time to look for some hints. I went to the family trees in and poked around. Several trees had William T and Julia but the last record sourced was the 1880 census. Some trees listed death date for both as “bef 1900” indicating that they were not found in the 1900 census.

FamilySearch Family Tree has one William Thomas Lancaster, born 1837, son of Ellis Lancaster and Elizabeth Neel, husband of Julia A.Cannon.  He is LC5S-MRH. This is probably the right person but again, no hints to the death date or place.

I decided to look at for any memorials for this family. The only ones I found were for one of their children: Ollie Edgar Lancaster (1871-1947).[8]

Back to and I found census records for Ollie, his wife, Bessie, and son, Cohn for 1910, 1920, 1930, and for Ollie and his son in 1940. I will download these and enter them into the database.

So I have extended the family a bit but still no death date or place for William T. and Julia A. Lancaster. Newspapers would be a good place to search but will have to be done by microfilm as there are few Texas papers online. There are also other children to search besides Ollie and maybe their obituaries might give some clues.

More for another day!

[1] Texas, Kaufman, 1860 U.S. census, pop. sched., Kaufman, p. 41, dwelling 338, family 340, E. W. Lancaster household, digital images,  ( accessed 20 Jan 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), M653.
[2] Kaufman Co, Texas, Marriage Bk 1a: 68, Lancaster-Cannon; FHL microfilm 1302500.
[3] Texas, Miram, 1870 U.S. census, pop sched, Devilla, p. 304A (stamped), dwelling 1535, family 1543, Raymond S Porter, digital images,  ( accessed 7 Mar 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., M593, roll 1598.
[4] “Texas, County Tax rolls, 1846-1910,”Milam Co, 1871, p 22, W.T. Lancaster.
[5] Ibid, Kaufman Co, 1872, p 34, W.T. Lancaster.
[6] Ibid, Rockwall Co, 1879, p 13, W.T. Lancaster.
[7] Texas, Kaufman, 1880 U.S. census, pop. sched., Terrill, enumeration district (ED) 38, p. 114 C & D (stamped), dwelling 66, family 67, Wm Lancaster; digital images  ( accessed 7 Mar 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., T9, roll 1315.
[8] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave (, Memorial# 57268107, Mission Burial Park South, San Antonio TX, Ollie Edgar Lancaster.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, July 5, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 18: Ellis W. Lancaster (1808-1866)

This is week 18 of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge” by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.  I am a bit behind but intend to catch up.

This week I’m writing about Ellis W. Lancaster, who was my maternal fourth great-grandfather.

In his lifetime, he lived in four states: Virginia, where he was born on 7 Jul 1808; Shelby Co, Kentucky where he was married on 10 Jun 1831 to Elizabeth S. Neel; Missouri, where his eight children were all born; and Kaufman Co, Texas, where he died shortly before 13 Sep 1866.[1]

Ellis was most likely named after the maiden name of his mother, Sarah Ellis. Ellis’ father was Robert Lancaster.

As stated above, Ellis married Elizabeth S. Neel in Shelby Co, Kentucky and they moved to Missouri shortly after that, as evidence by their first born child, Sarah A. Lancaster, was born 11 April 1832 in Missouri.[2]  The following children were:
  • James R. Lancaster, born Sep 1835, death unknown
  • William T Lancaster, born 1837, death unknown
  • George Wilson Lancaster, born 3 Apr 1839, died 14 Jan 1919[3]
  • Lenir A. Lancaster, born 1843, death unknown
  • Catharine Susan Lancaster, born 1847, died 1871
  • Martha J. Lancaster, born 1848/49, death unknown
  • Hannah Lancaster, born 1850, death unknown

Almost the complete family in 1850 Lewis Co, MO census. Hanna, the youngest was born after the census was taken.
From the list of birth and death dates, I need to do more research on the extended family. I do know that the first seven were married as I have the names of their spouses.

He also owned slaves and here is the 1850 slave schedule for Lewis Co, Missouri. Interesting that his slaves were all young females. Perhaps they worked in the house or yard garden.
1850 Lewis Co, MO slave schedule
Ellis and family moved to Texas sometime before 1860. He purchased his first piece of land from Mary Standifer and Samuel H. McHenry in Kaufman Co, Texas on 12 Feb 1858.[4] There were more transactions but I haven't had a chance to analyze them yet.

In 1860, Ellis stated his land was worth $3000 and his personal property worth $830. This was before the Civil War.  From the agricultural schedule, he had 160 acres of improved land and 160 acres unimproved. He also had $175 worth of machinery.  Livestock included 2 horses, 6 milk cows, 4 other types of cattle, 24 swine for a value of $459.  He also produced 200 bushels of Indian corn and 250 bushels of oats.

Here is Ellis Lancaster on the 1860 Agricultural Schedule
Ellis died sometime before 13 Sep 1866, when his wife, Elizabeth and son, William T. appeared in court concerning the estate of E.W. Lancaster.[5] Elizabeth was appointed executrix and William T. Lancaster and J.O. Monday as sureties. 
Kaufman County Probate, 1866, p 342
In October of the same year, Elizabeth returned to the court with the inventory of the estate. It was divided in two parts: E.W.’s property valued at $405 and separate property claimed by his wife, totaled at $1397. 
Kaufman County Probate, 1866, p 361
It is interesting that she had separate property claimed by her. How did she obtain this property? From an inheritance? Had she brought property into the marriage? More research is needed! The other interesting this was the short list. Other probates had lists that ran 1-2 pages long. Where were the kitchen items and other furniture besides beds?  The appraisers stated this was the complete list of items "pointed out" to them by the administrator.

I didn't find any other reports about this estate. No other pages were listed in the index and I checked page by page until the June 1867 session. I will keep looking in case I missed any more records.

[1] For birth & parentage: see Robert “Robin” Lancaster, “Lancaster Family Genealogy Forum: Shelby Co,” posted by Nancy Mathews,,Lancaster::lancaster::2599.html : accessed 4 Jul 2014; for marriage: Shelby County, Kentucky Marriages, 1792-1851,compiled by Annie Walker Burns Bell, p 49, Lancaster-Neel, FHL film 851648, i4; for children’s birth: 1850 & 1860 census records, 1850 Lewis Co MO, p 707 (355 stamped), dwelling 355, family 415, Ellis W. Lancaster and 1860 Kaufman Co TX, p. 41, dwelling 338, family 340, E. W. Lancaster; and for death: Kaufman Co, Texas, Probate records 1858-1870, p 342, FHL film 1451663 Item 5
[2] Birthplace from census records 1850-1900; birthdate from memorial 51036012, Sara A. Bourn, Campground Cemetery, Terrell, Kaufman Co, TX.
[3] I’m descend through George W.
[4] Rockwall County, Texas, Deeds, bk I, p 360, # 270, Standifer & McHenry to Lancaster, FHL film 1289128. Note, this portion of Kaufman county became Rockwall County in 1873.
[5] "Texas Probate Records, 1800-1990," Kaufman County Probate 1858-1870, digital images, : accessed 4 Jul 2014, 1866, p 342-43 & 360-61, E.W. Lancaster.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- What Happened on Your Mother's Birthdate?

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has a fun exercise he asks others to do along with him on Saturday nights. Tonight's fun is to write about what happened on the day our mother was born. We are to answer these questions:
  • What day of the week was your Mother born? Tell us how you found out.
  • What has happened in recorded history on your Mother's birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.
  • What famous people have been born on your Mother's birth date? Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.
  • Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook or Google+.
My mother, Lela Nell Johnston, was born on 21 August 1934. That was a Tuesday. I found it on a website called "What Day of the Week?"

Historical events that happened on that date in history []:
Famous people born on this day:
Here is my post.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Monday, May 12, 2014

6 Generations of My Maternal Line

I saw a posting on Google+ from my friend Sheri Fenley where she posted a 6 generation maternal line and she said she got the idea from Lorine McGinnis at the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog, 6 generations of her maternal line.

My first thought was I don't have photos of six generations on my maternal side, but then upon checking, I decided that I do, as long as I include my two daughters.

6 generation maternal line
Eliza Rogers, Lela Ann Loveless, Pansy Louise Lancaster,
Lela Nell Johnston, me, my two daughters
Eliza A Rogers was born May 1854 in South Carolina. She married Ebenezer Loveless 19 Mar 1871 in Chattooga Co, Georgia.

Lela Ann Loveless was born 2 Apr 1896 in Faulkner Co, Arkansas. She married George Warren Lancaster 15 Dec 1912 in Erath Co, Texas.

Pansy Louise Lancaster was born 19 Nov 1913 in Erath Co, Texas. She married Tom J. Johnston 15 Dec 1933 in Comanche Co, Texas.

Lela Nell Johnston was born 21 Aug 1934 in Erath Co, Texas. She married William J Hork 19 Apr 1953 in Concord, Contra Costa Co, California.

I was born of this marriage. And my two children born of the marriage with my husband.  So that makes 6 generations!

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Friday, March 7, 2014

52 Ancestors -- Week 9: Melissa Ann Welch Coor

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has created a new theme called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I think it’s a great way to write about one person. This will help me see what I have and what I’m missing for additional research.
Melissa Ann Welch was born 8 May 1840 in Crystal Springs, Copiah County, Mississippi.[1] Her parents were Dempsey Welch and Elizabeth Rebecca Young. She was enumerated with her parents in 1850 in Copiah Co, Mississippi.[2] She was 10 years old with three older brothers, Jenkins, Thomas, and Augustus and one younger sister, Martha. Dempsey was a planter from Georgia and had $2400 in property value. All of the children had attended school in the past year.
Melissa Welch with family in Copiah Co, Mississippi, 1850
From this record it appeared that her father, Dempsey was well off. The 1852 tax list confirmed it, when it showed he had 37 slaves under the age of 60.[3] This was way more than the other men listed on the same page.

On 31 October 1855, Melissa and J.T. Pittman were married by the Justice of the Peace, John Terry.[4] But nothing else is known about J.T. Pittman.  Nearly a year later, Melissa married James Madison Coor on 9 Oct 1856 in Copiah Co, Mississippi. 
1856 Marriage between James Madison Coor & Melissa Ann Welch Pittman
Together, they had 10 children: Dempsey P, Sarah Gertrude, William O, Irma Anna, Isaac Henry, John Eugene, Mary E, James Rufus, Martha Jane, and Daniel K. Isaac and William died in childhood.
1870 Copiah Co Mississippi census for James & Melissa Coor
Melissa died about a year and a half after the birth of the youngest son, Daniel K, on 20 Sep 1876 and she was buried in the Coor Cemetery near Coor Springs.[5]  

It must have been hard for James with so many small children. Most likely the two oldest daughters helped out with the raising of the youngest children. After 1880, the Coor family moved to Erath County, Texas. James died 26 Mar 1890 and was buried in Lower Greens Creek Cemetery.

[1] Mississippi Genealogical Society, editor, Cemetery & Bible Records Vol 1 (Mississippi: n.p., 1954.), 1, Melissa A. Coor in Coor Cemetery.
[2] Mississippi, Copiah, 1850 U.S. census,, Digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), M432, roll 371, p. 268b, dwelling 898, family 898, Dempsey Welch, accessed 21 Mar 2011.
[3] Copiah Co, Mississippi Tax Rolls, 1852, p 33, Dempsey Welch, ( : 4 Mar 2014), citing database "Mississippi, State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951"
[4] Copiah County Marriages, Chancery Clerk, Copiah County, Mississippi, FHL film 904433, bk G, p 382, 1855, Pittman-Welch.
[5] Mississippi Genealogical Society, editor, Cemetery & Bible Records Vol 1 (Mississippi: n.p., 1954.), 1, Melissa A. Coor in Coor Cemetery.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, January 18, 2014

52 Ancestors – Week 3: Lydia Margaret ?? Polly (1828-1912)

Lydia is my fourth great-grandmother, the mother of Martha Jane Polly (1855-1932) who married George W. Lancaster (1839-1919).

She was also known as Liddy. I know Liddy’s birthdate of 24 Feb 1828 someplace in Kentucky and her death date of 27 Mar 1912 in Rockwall County, Texas. I know she married Nathan H.O. Polly sometime before 1850 where I first find her in a census record with two children (one born in Arkansas and the other in Texas).

But I don’t know her surname and I don’t know who her parents were.

So I need to first gather up what I do know and then make a research plan that I can try to work on while at the Family History Library later this month.

What I know about Lydia:
Let’s begin with her burial. She was buried in Rockwall Memorial Cemetery in Rockwall County, Texas.[1] There is also a photo of the tombstone posted to the Find-a-Grave memorial and the transcription is:

FEB 24, 1828
MAR 27, 1912
This trials ended
thy rest is won.
God  was thy
Ransom, thy
Guardian, thy

From this tombstone, I have a birth date of 24 Feb 1828 and a death date of 27 Mar 1912. The next step was to find the death certificate.

Death certificates are available in Texas for this time period, however one has not been found. I wrote to the Rockwall County Clerk in 2005 asking for a death record search and the reply was “no record found.” It is possible that she died in a different county from where she was buried, even though her home in the 1910 census indicated Rockwall County. However, the search in the three databases found on did not reveal any candidates close to Liddy.

I did find her in the following census records:
1910: 1st precinct of Rockwall County, Texas Liddy was listed as head of household, a widow age 82, with her daughter, Josephine Wilkerson and two grandsons.[2]  Stated she had 7 children, only 1 living.

1900: Dallas, Texas as wife of N.H.O. Polly, a minister.[3] This census indicates that they had been married 55 years. She was listed as Margaret, age 70, giving birth to 7 children, three of whom were living. She was born in Kentucky and her parents were born in Kentucky.

1880: Rockwall County, Texas as wife of Nathan Polly, farmer.[4]  Here she is listed as Rose. She was 51 years old, born in Kentucky, her father in Kentucky and mother in Tennessee. Four children, one daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren are living with them.

1870: Kaufman County, Texas as wife of NHO Polly, a Minister Gospel. [5] In this census she is listed as Lydda, age 39 and born in Kentucky. Five possible children were living with them.

1860: Montague County, Texas as wife of H.O. Polley.[6] She is listed as Lydia M., age 30, born in Kentucky. Six children lived with them.

1850: Dallas County, Texas with Baptist minister Nathan H.O. Polly and two children.[7]

First record I have found of Lydia: 1850 Dallas Co TX census

From these census records some theories can be made:
  • Lydia was born between 1828 and 1831 in Kentucky.
  • Lydia and Nathan were married about 1845 based on married 55 years in the 1900 census and the oldest child being born about 1847/48.  Were they married in Kentucky or Arkansas, where first child was born?

What I know about Nathan H.O. Polly:
Nathan H.O. Polly died 2 Nov 1902 and was buried in the Rockwall Memorial Cemetery.[8] Also from this record it was learned that he was born 27 Jan 1820.  All census records for him stated his birth was in Kentucky except the 1860 which said Maryland. He was a minister. The first place I have found Nathan Polly in Texas is in Dallas County (1850), then Montague County (1860), and Rockwall County (1870), Kaufman Co (1880), Dallas County (1900). Searching various land, court, and tax records in each of the above counties should be my strategy.

I have searched the database “Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910” on and found Nathan HO Polly in four years in Dallas County: 1851, 1853, 1854, 1855. This record set as of 17 Jan 2014, does not have Montague, Kaufman, or Rockwall county records in the index. However there are records one can browse.

So my search strategy will be to seek land, court, probate, and tax records for Dallas, Montagaue, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties.  This will help place Nathan Polly in time and place and perhaps indicate where he came from. It could be difficult as he was a traveling preacher and did not put down deep roots.

[1] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave  ( : accessed 9 Sep 2011), Memorial# 30073856, Rockwall Memorial Park, Rockwall TX, Lydia Margaret "Liddy" Rose Polly.

2] Texas, Rockwall Co, 1910 U.S. census,, Digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), T624, roll 1586, Rockwall City, enumeration district (ED) 178, sheet 4b & 5a, dwelling 90, family 92, Liddy M. Polly, accessed 22 Dec 2010.

[3] Texas, Dallas, 1900 U.S. census,, Digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), T623, roll 1626, Prec 7, enumeration district (ED) 143, sheet sht 2a, p. 179 (stamped), dwelling 32, family 32, N.H.O. Polly, accessed 21 Dec 2010.

[4] Texas, Rockwall, 1880 U.S. census,, Digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), T9, roll 1324, District 30, enumeration district (ED) 30, p. 600 (stamped), dwelling 183, family 184, Nathan Polly, accessed 21 Dec 2010.

[5] Texas, Kaufman Co, 1870 U.S. census,, Digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), M593, roll 1594, p. 31, dwelling 372, family 386, N.H.O. Polly, accessed 21 Dec 2010.

[6] Texas, Montague, 1860 U.S. census,, Digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), M653, roll 1301, p. 76b (stamped), dwelling 721, family 743, H. O. Polley, accessed 21 Dec 2010.

[7] Texas, Dallas, 1850 U.S. census,, Digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), M432, roll 910, p. 93 (stamped), dwelling 305, family 314, Nathan H. O. Polly, accessed 21 Dec 2010.

[8] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave ( : accessed 9 Sep 2011), Memorial# 30074063, Rockwall Memorial Park, Rockwall TX, Dr. Nathaneil H. Osborne Polly.

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