Thursday, March 29, 2018

Prince Family

Dolly Cates and Vennie Watson (standing)
Searching for my grandmother's family has been my quest for 40 years---DNA has done more in the past few years than all of my years of microfilm reading, trips and research.  Her father died when she was small and her mother was in a mental institution so she was in foster care with the Cates family.

First, I found her mother's family (well, not  Mattie's  parents so much as her grandparents and further back).  We had been searching Silas but the name was Sollis.  At least I'd known Mattie's name and death date.  Her husband, Vennie's father, was more of a mystery.

G. W. Watson was all I knew of his name (mother thought it might have been George).  The only document I had was his marriage certificate to Mattie "Silas" in Malden Mo. He died when grandma was a baby from a horse riding accident. One of the problems was the name Watson---I was already a Watson on my grandfather's side.  Finally, through DNA,  I found a woman whose great grandmother was from the family of Arthur Watson and Minerva Prince.  It sounded very promising since her great grandmother's name was Vinnie which was similar to my grandmother Vennie.  Also, my aunt had told me that Grandma's name was Minerva Lou at one time.  So, Grandma maybe had a grandmother named Minerva and an aunt named Vinnie. They were from Dyersburg, TN which is where Mattie Sollis was also from. Sounded very promising.

From there, I decided to see if there were any Princes I was related to.  And, YES, I found a Prince family in Tennessee who had a Sirilda Minerva Prince!

While we believe Grandma's grandmother Minerva to be Sirilda Minerva's first cousin, we don't know who Minerva's parents were.  However we believe Thomas and Jonathan Prince to be uncles (based on DNA where we can tell what generation our common ancestors are)  This is from a book that Robert Layton wrote on the Prince family.  He has given me permission to re-print the stories and notes.

Thomas Prince and family moved to Pike Co., MO ca 1842 where he was  supposedly murdered ca 1847, after which Rebecca took the kids and went with her brother (J.C. Davis) and family to Oregon Terr. (1849). 
Thomas and JE’s  sister Eleanor Prince married Jonathon C. Davis (“C” for “Carson “), Rebecca’s brother.
Here are some notes from the book written in the ‘80’s :

  • ...our Prince roots go well beyond the second decade  of nineteenth century Tennessee.  Research has, however, been  complicated  by recurring erroneous recording of "Prince"  as  "Price",  by early clerks and census takers,  and by the lack  of  marriage records and wills for pre-1840 Tennessee.   As a  result,  the extensive work by the author,  Ina Layton  Lane,  Ivy  Whited Koher,  and others has thus far failed to turn up  more than the following series of coincidences:
  • ·  the PRINCE name does not appear on census or tax records for White County, Tennessee prior to 1835. both OUR Thomas Prince and a Jonathan E.  Prince turn up  in  the  same  year in the same tax  district  of  White County, Tennessee
  • ·  this Jonathan E. Prince married the daughter of Augustus Davis's neighbor, William Irwin.
  • ·  descendants  of  this Jonathan E.  Prince note that  his mother was born in Tennessee and his father in  Virginia ?? remember  that our Thomas and Eleanor Prince's mother was also born in Tennessee and their father also born in Tennessee.
  • ·  descendants  of  this Jonathan E.  Prince note  that  he "...had a brother by the name of Thomas who headed  West and  was  never heard from again.   They thought he  had gone  to join the Mormons"  letter dated  November  2, 1982 from Mr. Ralph Prince of Gladewater, Texas. 
  • His mother  was  born  in  TN,  father was born in VA according to  the  1850,  1860, 1870, and 1880 census for Ellis County, TX.
  • Referring to Jonathan E. Prince, Miller Prince wrote that "My  grandfather,  I  am told,  was either Holland Dutch or German  and was named Prinz.   He came to the U.S.  as a boy, grew to  manhood  in Virginia,  migrated to North  Central  Tennessee,  married  a half breed Cherokee Indian girl and came to  Texas  in 1837 or 1838.”
  • The following account by Amanda Prince was provided by Mrs. Marjorie Rogers. "Thomas was a cabinet builder, furniture maker and horse trader. About July 1846, when his daughter Rebecca Jane was two months old, he left home with a load of furniture and some horses. After he was gone for a while, two men came and told Rebecca, his wife that they had found Thomas Prince laying in a spring dying. He became conscious long enough to tell them who he was and to give them her address and sent her $75 for a horse he had sold. The money for the furniture was never heard of. They told her they had buried him and marked the grave so she could find it. She always thought he was murdered and the money and load of furniture taken. She never thought for one moment that these two men were guilty. They were explorers. She sent two men to investigate and the grave was found just as the strangers had told her. She knew it was true. This happened in Mexico." The Mexico referred to in this account was probably Mexico, Missouri  - - county seat of Audrain County, which borders Pike County on the southwest. It should also be noted that some historians claim that Thomas died while enroute to Oregon with his family in 1849.
  • NOTE:  I have remained somewhat skeptical of the account of Thomas's death in light of the fact that in 1850, a Thomas Prince shows up in Howard County, Missouri (dwelling 7, family 7, p. 142/283), age 38 (born Virgina) with wife Mary A. age 27  (born Missouri) and have speculated that Thomas may have simply left Rebecca and his "first family" for another.  -  RWL.   
  • "Thomas was a happy good natured man with blue eyes and brown hair."
  • In another account written by Amanda Prince, we are told, "Thomas Prince was English, a very large man, blue eyes, brown hair and of a very jolly disposition. Rebecca Davis was half English and half Irish, more of a serious disposition..."

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

McCarrell Bible

Dwight received a note from Margaret McCarrell who owned the Bible which helped us break through our brick wall of Margaret Carroll (Margaret McCarroll Graham).  Click here for information from that Bible.  Here are photos of that note and a transcription.

Hi Cousin

On 10/13/16 I donated the James McCarrell Bible to:  The E. Tenn. Historical Society located @ 601 Gay St. in downtown Knoxville---It's just blocks from Interstate 40. From I-40 follow Downtown/local traffic signs to downtown Knoxville---P.O. Box 1629 Knoxville, TN 37902 www.easttnhistorycenter.org 865-215-8824
[Steve Cotham accepted the Bible]

It's right across from the Tennessee Theater on Gay St.  They have the Bible Room in the basement.  In order to see it (along with all of the loose papers found in the Bible) call them before you arrive.  They are on the 3rd floor.  They will get the Bible, and it will be on the 3rd floor when you arrive.  I believe I did the right thing.  I took it out of the Bank's lock Box and carried it to the McClung Historical Collection on same day.

I copied those direction from I-40 from a pamphlet I read in 2009 " The East Tennessee History Center Bringing History to Life".  They have security at the door (When I got off the elevator on the 3rd floor--I have to put my pocketbook in a locked box---when you leave, you get your pocket book back)

They are open:  Mon Tues 9Am-8:30 PM   Wed-Fri 9 AM-5:30 PM  Sat. 9AM-5PM  Sun. 1-5PM

The first floor has a gift shop, the last street car that went down Gay St, Ellis and Ernest Drug Store that closed on Cumberland Ave. many years ago etc. 

Now, I don't worry about it. The front cover (made for me) reads:
McCarrell Bible
James McCarrell Sr. Bible
Edington: Printed by Mark and Charles Kerr. His Majesty's
Printers
MDCCLXXXIX (1789)
and loose papers from the Bible
The original Bible was donated to the McClung Historical Collection in 10/16. It is very fragile and the title page is missing pages with family entries and the loose pages were scanned.  A copy of all scans was placed in the McCarrell Genealogy vertical file in 2016.  Use these copies to make copies from.  (This is the front page to me)

Steve Cotham has been a friend a long time.  He had some info on the McCarrell Bible already on file.  And they copied all of the hand written minutes of our Mt. Olive Baptist Church.  I did alot of copying of records years ago for my brother Jack.  At that time, records were in the basement of our local library 4 or 5 blocks from Gay St.  This new building is attached to our Old Post Office Building.  TVA at one time was in this old Post Office Building.  This new building cost several millions in 2004.

Before they accepted the bible and made the above notes for me, Steve sad it was printed in 1782 in 10/9/16.  On 10/13/16 the notes say it is dated 1789. Steve said he couldn't believe the Bible still had the cover.

Margaret (over)

In 2009 I picked up this pamphlet "Bringing History to Live"  East Tennessee History Center (has no date).  I wish you had a copy and wonder if you could order one on the internet.  If not, I can make you a copy.  This center was founded in 1834.  This pamphlet has so much information----not very big----M




Thursday, August 17, 2017

Baker Brick Wall

In Genealogy, a "brick wall" is a line that you've searched and searched and the documents just aren't there or you can't find them.  DNA has helped with some of my brick walls.  Although the documentation may still be lacking, I know several lines through "leaps of faith".

One of those brick walls was my 3 great grandmother Susannah Baker who married Thomas Long in Kentucky 14 Dec. 1816. That was the only documentation I had for her.  I thought maybe she was related to Milton Baker in Jefferson Co. Mo (where they lived) and who attended church with my relatives:  Bethlehem Baptist Church. My g-g grandfather was even named Milton Long, but I couldn't find her in documentation or on anyone's family tree.  


So, I decided to look at the 1810 census in Warren Co. KY where the Longs were living.  The census that far back only has the head of the household named with a tally of how many lived with him (by age and gender).  Knowing how my family generally married people in the neighborhood that they went to church with, I was looking for a Baker living nearby who was Baptist.  I quickly found Elijah Baker with daughters the right age. He was on the page with many of the early Jefferson County residents or people who had married into my family:  Browns, Longs, Dinwiddys, Gambels, Mitchells, Mothershead, Pinson. 


I added Elijah Baker to my family tree with lots of ?????? indicating to anyone seeing my tree, that I'm unsure of the link. Well, that lead to his father Rev. Andrew Baker and BINGO---dna matches were appearing from others who were related to Rev. Andrew Baker.  Googling him I found that he was a Baptist preacher.  https://familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/8652620
  I felt like I was on the right track.

Robert Bolling
But it wasn't until I discovered a Bolling that I felt certain enough to put it all in writing.  For several years I'd noticed a lot of people in my DNA matches who were Bollings (my daughter's mother-in-law's maiden name).  I also knew that some Bollings descended from Pocahontas.  Well, we are not THOSE Bollings but we do share the same father with THOSE Bollings.  Robert Bolling was first married to Jane Rolfe (Pocahontas' granddaughter).  His second wife was Ann Stith with whom he had 9 more children, one of whom was Rev. Andrew Baker's mother Mary.  Click here for more information.

So here is the ??? lineage, starting with my grandfather:

Roy Long grandfather
Thomas Henry Long
Milton Long
Susannah Baker
Elijah Baker
Rev. Andrew Baker
Mary Molly Bolling
Robert Bolling 7 great grandfather


Saturday, August 13, 2016

When Genealogy Worlds Collide

Sometime last winter someone sent me this story. Several interesting things about the story involved the people:  Henry Franklin alias Harry Long and Mary Curtis. Henry Franklin/Long has causes a lot of problems in that he was a Long who changed his name to Franklin, causing all sorts of problems when DNA found that his descendants only matched Longs. Click here for more information on him.

The other issue is Mary Curtis, my husband's ancestress who was 11 years old! (Dave's 6 g-grandmother on the Fry side)


The court case is on page 8.4 Spotsylvania Co. March 1737/38

Spotsylvania County Court March 1737/8In the action of Trespass between Mary Curtis, an infant by Rice Curtis, Jr., Gent., her next friend, against Henry Franklyn alias Harry Long Deft. for 10 pounds sterling damage, issue being joyned and a jury sworn by name Edward Herndon, Jr and who having heard the evidences and arguments on behalf of each party retired and after some time returned the following verdict.  We find the day and yr aforesaid at the parish and county aforesaid the sd deft did ride ye gelding aforesaid and that he then and there knew him to be the Plts (plantiffs) and borrowed him of one John King to ride as aforesaid.  And if the law be for the Plt. we find for him 15 shillings current money damage; other wise we find for the deft.(defendant) Edward Herndon, Jr. foreman, which verdict is admitted to record and the matter of law arising therefrom is referred to the next court for argument.
Rice Curtis, Jr, Gent. (House of Burgess) came into court and accepted of the commissions of the peach and took the oaths and signed the Test and as the law directs which oaths were administered to him by John Taliaferro and Henry Goodloe Gentlemen.

Spotsylvania County Court 6th of December 1737In the action of trespass between Mary Curtis, an infant by Rice Curtis, Jr, Gent, her next friend, Plt agst. (against) Henry Franklin Alias Harry Long, Deft for 10 pounds sterling damage at the motion of the deft an imparlance is granted him.

As far as we know Henry Franklin was the only Henry Franklin in Spotsylvania in 1737.  We have records which track him in Orange and Amherst and he uses Henry Franklin, Sr. in Amherst Co., VA on March 4, 1771 as a witness.  

So, my relative stole the horse of an 11 year old neighbor who is my husband's ancestor.  Who said genealogy is dry and boring?


Thanks to Sherry Cruise and Leigh Taylor for helping me with this story.

Friday, August 5, 2016

DNA Ethnicities

Mary(Polly) Sollis Reasons
Mary Ann Sollis Dickerson


As some of you know Jim and I have had our DNA sliced and diced several different ways. We have achieved our goals for the most part---we know where our Long family is from in Virginia (Culpeper), we located Grandma Vennie Wicker's mother's family (Sollis not Silas), we matched with the Wicker family I always felt we were related to  (There was a political writer Tom Wicker that I thought looked like Grandpa Wes).

My latest quest was to find out if we were part Indian which is what my grandmother and mother always said.  At first we didn't find anything (but we did find 1% African---definitely slave from 1700's---so I thought, "someone was dark, didn't want to admit African so called it Indian"?) 

I had received a photo of the SISTER of one of our ancestors (see photo) Mary Ann Sollis (b. 1834). Her descendants have no African but when examined on GEDmatch, they did show American Indian.   

I also saw a note someone left on Ancestry.com
 "I have been looking into the link that my father maintains is fact, that we have Cherokee blood in our family line. I found that Mary (Polly) Sollis,wife of John Rhodes Reasons (see photo ablove) was half Cherokee, her father, Abraham Sollis married into the Cherokee tribe and renamed his Indian wife Martha. This backs up my father's claim and puts the Indian question to rest. 

So, I put Jim's DNA and mine on GEDmatch to see if we could find that American Indian DNA.  On the Eurogenes K-13 test, we found it.  Jim has 1.1% and I have .51%.  Yes that is a very small amount.  Click here if you want to find out more about American Indian DNA and why Jim and I have differing amounts.

So, yes, we probably do have American Indian in addition to the African, but both are probably back in the 1700's.  We are primarily  North Atlantic (English, Scottish, French, Irish,  German) with around 50%.  Then, another 25% is Viking (they settled in Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Germany).  That leaves about 25% Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Red Seas, African, American Indian.  If you want to know more about the Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Red Seas, Click here to learn about our very unusual J2 on the Williams line. To get a refresher course on my DNA journey, click here.