Friday, May 31, 2013

Charles A. Mitchell

Charles A. Mitchell is my great-grandfather. He was the son of William C. Mitchell and Martha Forrest, who was the daughter of Richard Albert Forrest and Sarah Matlock. Charles was born in DeKalb County, Alabama on October 4, 1858. He married Martha Ann Tate on December 28, 1880 in Warren County, Tennessee. They had one son, John Francis Mitchell. They adopted Maud Thompson after the death of her mother. Charles died August 29, 1927.

For whatever reason, Charles did not maintain contact with his siblings. From what I know for sure, he had a brother William F. Mitchell, and two sisters Martha Matilda Mitchell and Amanda Josephine Mitchell . . . more on them in a bit. If Census Records I've found are correct, he also had a brother named Samuel. 

The following comment was left on my post The Mitchell Line: 

I am a descendant of William C. Mitchell by his daughter Martha Matilda (Mattie) Mitchell Bunch. William C. Mitchell left Tennessee briefly in 1860 to live in Alabama and then returned to Warren County, Tennessee. Sometime between 1880 and 1883, he came to Texas to Blanco County... where Mattie Mitchell Bunch and her sister Amanda Josephine Mitchell Offill were married. William also remarried at that time to a Mrs. O. Hopper. Just two weeks ago I was in Blanco County to look up probate records for William C. Mitchell and Mrs. O Mitchell. Both were deemed in early 1900's to be unable to support themselves. Sadly William C. Mitchell at age of 90 was declared a lunatic and sent to Austin, Texas to the insane asylum. Mattie and her sister are in Grayson County, Texas married with children in 1900 and then on to Navarro County, Texas. William C. Mitchell did have a son named Charles A. Mitchell and somewhere I do have a picture of him upon which is written Mattie's brother, Charles A. Mitchell. I can also confirm his marriage to Martha Tate. 

If the person who made that comment could contact me at scott(dot)mitchell04(at)gmail(dot)com . . . I would absolutely love to get in touch with you about our family, and perhaps share pictures. Also, please see pictures below . . .

Charles A. Mitchell & Brother

Martha (Tate) & Charles A. Mitchell

Martha (Tate) & Charles A. Mitchell

It's been a banner week this week in actually verifying the siblings of my great-grandfather. When dancing with the ancestors, luck often pays the greatest part in finding more information. Okay, having a blog helps as well, because - as evidenced by the above comment - you just never know when a family member might stumble across your blog and leave the comment of a lifetime.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Martha Ann Lane

My paternal great grandmother was Martha Ann Lane, daughter of Hardin Smith Lane and Emmaline C. Halterman. She was born August 22, 1858 (the same year Minnesota, as the 32nd state, is admitted to the Union) in Warren County, Tennessee. She was the second of four children. Her father died in the Battle of Stones River on December 31, 1862 in Murfreesboro, TN during the Civil War. Her youngest brother - Hardin Smith Jr. - was born three months after the death of their father. Her mother Emmaline, unlike many woman of that time, did not remarry. In 1870, Emmaline and her children were living next door to her brother-in-law Richard Brooks Lane, his second wife Linda, and his children from his first marriage, and her mother-in-law Jane Campbell-Lane.

On the 1870 Census, Martha is living two doors down from . . . her future husband and his first wife! Yes, a wee bit odd, but that was life back in the day! And, little did he know it at the time, but John Leonard Smith was actually living next door to his future mother in law Jane Campbell-Lane.

At age 24, Martha Ann Lane married John Leonard Smith and became stepmother to his five children: Lucy, Mollie, Francis, Euphemia, and Herman. The children ranged in age from 2 to 12. Within a year, the youngest - Herman - would die.

Martha and John Leonard had six children - Olive Mae, Willie Octavia, Eunice Irene, Loveless L., Osie Lee (my grandmother), and Clara - two of which (Eunice and Loveless) would die before reaching the age of three. Of all her children, Octavia would live the longest, and outlive all her siblings. She died in 1984 at age 97.
Four Generations:
Mary Frances Mitchell (baby), Osie Lee Smith-Mitchell, Martha Ann Lane-Smith, Emmaline Halterman-Lane

In 1917, Martha's husband would die. In 1935, her oldest daughter. In 1945, Martha would pass from this life as well.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Elizabeth Hagan-Mattingly-Boone

Life isn't always easy when dancing with the ancestors. Those pesky brick walls just seem to build themselves up in a nanosecond. I mean, one minute, I'm searching along, discovery after discovery, and then in the next instant BAM - an Emeril moment at best - there's a brick wall blocking my path and towering high into the sky and, seemingly, deep into the ground.

Such is my dilemma with 4 x Great Grandma Elizabeth Hagan-Mattingly-Boone! 

Why? Oh, I'm so glad you asked that question. Okay, you probably didn't ask that question, but, it is an appropriate question.

The why of the situation is fairly simple: everything I've found out about her suggests that Benjamin Hagan, son of Thomas and Sarah (Mudd) Hagan is her father, and that Monica Blandford is her mother, but . . . other information suggests that a Randolph Hagan is her father.

Great! Fine! Dandy!

So, I had to take a step back from the situation and try and figure out Great-Great-Great-Great Grandma's parentage. It goes something like this . . .

Elizabeth Hagan - born about 1771 or between 1790 and 1800.
  • 1830 Census - lists her age between 50 - 59, which suggests a birth year between 1770 and 1780, which would correspond with the born about 1771 information that is predominant regarding her birth
  • 1840 Census - lists her age between 40 - 49, which suggests a birth year between 1790 and 1800. Okay, so, like many women before her, she lied about her age to the Census Taker! Okay, probably not, but, wrong birth dates on the Census Records are not uncommon. Still, this puts a different spin on her potential year of birth.
So, I had to look at things a bit differently. If Elizabeth was born in 1771 . . . 
  • she would have been 41 years old in 1812 when she married her first husband Joseph Mattingly
  • she would have been 43 years old in 1814 when she gave birth to her first child Joseph Mattingly II
  • she would have been 46 years old in 1817 when, after the death of her first husband, she married Walter Boone
  • she would have been 49 years old in 1820 when she gave birth to her second child, my 3 x great grandpa, William Henry Boone
Okay, I'm sorry, but giving birth at age 49 in the year 1820 was probably not going to happen and, even if it did, the chance of a) a healthy baby and b) the mother surviving the birth, were highly unlikely.

So, if looking at the 1840 Census Record, and giving her a birth year between 1790 and 1800 . . .
  • she would have been between 12 and 22 years old in 1812 when she married her first husband Joseph Mattingly. 
  • she would have been between 14 and 24 years old in 1814 when she gave birth to her first child Joseph Mattingly II
  • she would have been between 17 and 27 years old in 1817 when, after the death of her first husband, she married Walter Boone
  • she would have been between 20 - 30 years old in 1820 when she gave birth to her second child, my 3 x great grandpa, William Henry Boone
These age ranges make much more sense, especially if you consider she was born in 1795, which would make her ages . . .

  • 17 in 1812
  • 19 in 1814
  • 22 in 1817
  • 25 in 1820
These ages definitely make a lot more sense, than having her born in 1771 and popping out a second child, no complications or anything, in 1820.

Still, no proof one way or another, and her age doesn't answer the question of her parentage.

What does that leave me? Well, for now, looking at three potential parents: Benjamin and Monica (Blandford) Hagan, Benjaim (jr.) and Nancy Ann (Cissell) Hagan, and Randolph and Aliege (Hagan) Hagan

Benjamin and Monica (Blandford) Hagan
  • In 1771, would have been 50 and 47 respectively. It is doubtful Monica was having children at age 47 in the year 1771
  • In 1795, Benjamin and Monica would have been 74 and 71 respectively, so . . .
  • In 1810, in Nelson County, Kentucky, a document lists the heirs of Benjamin Hagan as: Nicholas, Edward, Wilfred, Elizabeth, Christopher, Rachel (Hagan) Beale, and Eleanor
  • In an indenture document from 1810, Nelson County, Kentucky, the same heirs are listed
  • A John C. Hagan (most likely John Christopher Hagan, son of Benjamin and Monica) signed the marriage bond between Elizabeth Hagan-Mattingly and Walter Boone. Since Benjamin and Monica were deceased by this time, and if they were Elizabeth's parents, it would fall on an older/younger brother to sign the marriage bond.
  • Determination: depending on 4 x great grandmama's actual date of birth, Benjamin and Monica (Blandford) Hagan might or might not be her parents. 
Benjamin II and Nancy Ann (Cissell) Hagan
  • They did not marry until 1804. If Elizabeth was their daughter, she would have been 7 at the oldest in 1812 when she married Joseph Mattingly.
  • Determination: Benjamin II and Nancy Ann (Cissell) Hagan cannot by 4 x great-grandmother Elizabeth Hagan's parents.
Randolph and Aliege (Hagan) Hagan
  • They were married in 1795. It is possible they could be Elizabeth's parents; however . . .
  • In Randolph's last will and testament, he names all of his children and . . . Elizabeth is not one of the listed children, nor are the married names of any of his daughters Boone
  • Determination: Randolph and Aliege (Hagan) Hagan cannot be 4 x great gran Elizabeth Hagan's parents
So, I'm back at that lovely brick well. 

The next step in the process is to figure out other potential Hagan parents - trust me, a lot to choose from, because the Hagan family took the biblical saying go forth, be fruitful and multiply quite seriously - for Elizabeth.

My next step was to look at the naming patterns. Trust me, this helps. Back in the day, the first born son was often named after the grandfather, and the second born after the son. So, I went to look at the naming of 4 x great grandpa Walter Boone's children by his first wife Mildred Edelen . . .

  • Mary - name of Walter's mother, so named after grandma
  • Charles - name of Walter's father, so named after grandpa
  • John - name of Walter's grandfather, so named after great-grandpa
  • Christopher - name of Mildred's father, so named after grandpa
  • Henrietta - Walter had a brother named Henry
  • Joseph - don't have a clue
As you can see, there is definitely a naming pattern here, so, at least to me, it made sense that perhaps there was a naming pattern with Walter and Elizabeth (Hagan-Mattingly) Boone's only child: William Henry Boone.

As I've already pointed out, Walter had a brother named Henry, but not one named William. Which . . .

. . . means my latest theory is that perhaps Elizabeth is the daughter of William Randolph Hagan. Now, I only have to figure out if a) there was a William Randolph Hagan, b) who his parents were and c) if he had a daughter Elizabeth. 

Oh, the joys of dancing with the ancestors and trying to solve the riddles left behind by, well, a bunch of dead people!!