Tuesday, October 28, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 43; Jeremiah Smith in SC & MS

This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small. She suggests we write once a week about a specific ancestor. I began with my grandparents and am working my way back in time through the generations of my direct ancestors.


Jeremiah Smith
23 December 1773 SC – 1843 MS
My 4x great grandfather

Jeremiah Smith was the son of Jeremiah Smith Sr. & Jemimah Hollis. His siblings were: George, Daniel & Mary. In 1790 the family was in Greenville Co., SC.[1]

On 16 December 1798 in SC, he married Joanna Dillon, daughter of Richard Dillon & Anne Lawrence.[2], [3] They were the parents of 13 children.[4]

“Jeremiah Smith came from Lancaster District, South Carolina, in 1808.  He moved in a cart, and settled on a place near Dillontown … He was the father of Eli' Edwin and Wyatt Smith. He was one of the finest mechanics of his time.  He died in 1843 at the age of sixty-one.”[5]

A handful of records give evidences of the family in MS. “Jeremiah Smith is listed on the 1813 tax list for Lawrence County (which appears to have included Marion County that year as an administrative glitch) as having: 320 acres, 4th class, 2nd quality, Bogue Chitto River, 1 pole, 3 slaves, $2.16 Over the next 20 years, his holdings grew substantially. Jeremiah Smith is listed on the 1835 Tax List of Pike County, Mississippi with 880 acres on the Bogue Chitto River, valued at SI,760. It is presumed that his home at this time was not far from that of his brothers-in-law on Bogue Chitto River and Magee's Creek (which runs into Bogue Chitto just south of Lexie).”[6] Jeremiah Smith is shown in the 1841 MS State Census.[7]


1 Jeremiah Smith b: 23 Dec 1773 SC, d: 1843 in Pike, MS
... + Joanna Dillon b: 22 Aug 1778 Bertie, NC, m: 16 Dec 1798 SC, d: Aft. 30 Apr 1821 Pike, MS

......2 Hollander Smith b: 08 Jul 1800 Pike, MS, d: Unknown
...... + Benjamin Morris Jr. b: Abt. 1792 SC, d: Aft. 1870
......2 Martha P. Smith b: 25 Mar 1802 SC, d: 08 Aug 1861 Pike, MS
...... + Edwin Barksdale Alford b: 25 Nov 1792 NC, m: 20 Dec 1818 Pike, MS, d: 10 Mar 1878  Pike, MS
......2 Eli Smith b: 21 Jan 1804 SC, d: 02 Aug 1838 in Pike, MS
...... + Orpha Roberts
......2 Jane Smith b: 9 Oct 1805, d: 1846
...... + Thomas Coulter Warner m: 25 Dec 1825
......2 Edwin Smith b: 3 Jun 1807 Pike, MS, d: Unknown
......2 Wyatt Smith b: 31 Aug 1809 LA, d: 16 Feb 1894 Pike, MS
...... + Euseba Fortenberry b: 3 Dec 1809 SC, d: 13 Oct 1878 MS
......2 Eliza Smith b: 14 Feb 1811 Pike, MS, d: 6 Apr 1837
......2 Calvin Smith b: 22 Sep 1812 Pike, MS, d: 22 Jan 1843 Pike, MS
...... + Sarah Brumfield b: 09 Apr 1824 Washington, LA, m: 1843, d: Unknown
......2 Lidda Smith b: 06 Apr 1816 in Pike, MS, d: Unknown
...... + Harris Harvey
......2 Mehala Smith b: 15 Jul 1816 Pike, MS, d: Unknown
......2 Milevey Smith b: 13 Apr 1818 Pike, MS, d: Unknown
...... + Don Harvey
......2 Joanna Smith b: 05 Oct 1819 Pike, MS, d: Unknown
......2 Jeremiah Smith b: 30 Apr 1821 Pike, MS, d: 31 May 1894 MS
...... + Pernecia Smith b: 26 Sep 1820, m: 15 Jul 1841, d: 4 Apr 1887





[1] 1790 US Census. Greenville County, South Carolina. Roll M637.  Page 108. Jeremiah Smith family.
[2] The Jeremiah Smith, Sr. Bible, c. 1800 - 1917, Bible in possession of Mrs. W. C. Uhlman, Rte. 6, Tylertown, Mississippi. Copy given to author by Pat (Brock) Smith. Holbrook and Fressenden’s Stereotype Edition of the Holy Bible, Brattleboro, VT, 1825. Original owner: Jeremiah Smith Sr. of Pike Co., MS. Copied by Texana Carter, 27 August 1854.
[3] Conerly, Luke Ward, SOURCE RECORDS FROM PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI 1798-1910; 1798-1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989.
[4] Pedigree Chart for Roy Brown; 1700's to 1948; Compiled by Zelda Marie Alford Fortenberry.
[5] Conerly, L. W. (2008). Pike County, Mississippi, 1798-1876: pioneer families and Confederate soldiers, reconstruction and redemption,. Madison, Georgia: Southern Lion Books. (Original work published 1909)
[6] Creel, Bevin J. A Patriot's Legacy: The Family of Richard Dillon and Ann Lawrence From Bertie County, North Carolina To Southern Mississippi and Louisiana. Franklinton, Louisiana: Privately Printed, 2002.
[7] Ancestry.com

Sunday, October 26, 2014

CT Research Trip: Pine Grove Cemetery

During our first day of researching our Brady family roots in Ct my cousin & I stayed indoors. It was a rainy autumn day and we limited ourselves to uncovering facts in the Ansonia Library, the Derby Historical Society & the Ansonia City Hall. The second day was dry and we headed to cemeteries.

Pine Grove Cemetery
15 Church Street, Ansonia CT



We found two members of the family of Owen Brady & Mary McGovern. Their daughter, Agnes V Brady Renker, was buried with her husband. Their grandson, Eugene W Brady, and his wife were there also.  




RENKER
Husband: George P.; 1898 – 1970
Wife: Agnes V.; 1899 – 1978



BRADY
Eugene W. Sr.; 1 September 1923 – 15 November 1981
Ruth B.; 8 January 1928 – 27 August 2009



We found Agnes & George first. My cousin had called ahead and knew which plot to look in. We did not know where to find Eugene & Ruth and the office was closed. However, we were able to find the supervisor of the cemetery and he took us right to the tombstone we needed. It was a beautifully tended cemetery.


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Saturday, October 25, 2014

CT Research Trip: Ansonia City Hall


253 Main Street
Ansonia, CT 203- 736- 5980

My third cousin, Pat Brady, and I were recently in CT to find more information about William Brady, Owen Brady & Anna Brady Kilday, three of the children of Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney. Our first stop was at the Ansonia Public Library. Our second stop was Ansonia City Hall.

We had prepared a list of birth, marriage and death certificates that we wanted to read and copy. Armed with the list, clipboard, notes and pencils we stepped through the rain and into the large building. The city clerk’s office was on the first floor in the back of the old building.

We were asked for our IDs and our genealogists’ cards. We looked at each other, unsure of what kind of card the clerk wanted. We wondered if there was a card that professional genealogists carried but we doubted it. When asked a second time I pulled out my membership card for the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. A smile from the clerk confirmed that was the card she wanted to see. We were told we could not use cameras and that copies were $20 each.

We stepped into a room full of volumes of records. Soon Pat was checking the index and I was pulling volumes to find the correct certificates. We found these:

·         The Birth Record for Eugene Brady, 16 January 1893; son of Owen Brady & Mary McGovern at 102 Factory Street, Ansonia.
·         Marriage License for Agnes V Brady & George P. Renker, 18 September 1929. Agnes was the daughter of Owen Brady & Mary McGovern of Ansonia.
·         Marriage License for Catherine Brady & Daniel J Corcoran, 9 June 1904. Catherine was the daughter of Owen Brady & Mary McGovern of Ansonia.
·         Certificate of Death for Mary Brady, 20 August 1927. Mary was the wife of Owen Brady.
·         Certificate of Death for Bridget Brady, 2 August 1914. Bridget was the wife of William Brady.

The only reason we were able to find May McGovern Brady was because of our research in the library earlier that day. We had not known when she died but when I was looking through the City DIrecrtories I found her death date. The 1928 City Directory for Ansonia said “Brady. Mary Mrs died Aug 20 1927 age 67.” That led us to her certificate.



We were very happy to find more puzzle pieces to complete the picture of our Brady families in CT.


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Friday, October 24, 2014

CT Research Trip: Derby Historical Society



37 Elm Street
Ansonia, CT  203- 735- 1908



Before traveling to CT to research our Brady family I visited the website for the Derby Historical Society in Ansonia. It looked like there were lots of possibilities to uncover historical facts. As advised by the website, I emailed in advance of our visit. The response was not encouraging:

Thank you for your e-mail. We have very limited information here at the Society office. I have a few listings from the city directories that list the addresses of where some of your relatives lived. I have scanned those in for you to review. We do not have birth, death, or cemetery records. You may want to check with the Ansonia & Derby City Halls and libraries. I have provided some contact information below.
When my cousin, Pat, and I arrived we found a tiny building with a friendly woman who offered us a couple folding chairs. She had photocopied two pages from city directories. We had already found extensive city directory entries for our family at the Ansonia Library but we smiled and thanked her for the copies.

Then she gave us a binder with Headstone Inscriptions from Mt St Peter’s Cemetery. We quickly found three Brady entries:




Eugene H Brady; b 13 Mar 1888; d 21 June 1930 {flag)

· Bridget H Brady; wife of William; b 8 Apr 1855; d 2 Aug 1914

· William Brady; b 1 Oct 1848; d 4 Oct 1926



We were happy to find these listings and the next day we found the cemetery and the stones.

I was hoping to find more historical records. There was a second small room in the building with people in there spreading out maps and looking through books. Our helper was looking at the clock because of an upcoming meeting she had to attend and we were not offered any other records. We gave our thanks and headed back out into the rain.


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

CT Research Trip: The Ansonia Library


Ansonia Library
53 Cliff Street
Ansonia, CT 203- 734- 6275


The Ansonia Library was the first stop in my recent research trip in Connecticut to find the children of Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney. When I parked near the large stone building I had no idea what I might find inside. The website did not reveal their genealogy & history holdings. I gathered my notes and my iPad and quickly walked through the rain and into the library. 


Construction of the building began in April, 1891. It was dedicated June 9, 1892, and became a library in 1896... The library started with a collection of 1,515 books, and a circulation the first year of 31,512.
         from:  Molloy, Leo T. Tercentenary Pictorial and History of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.      Ansonia, Connecticut: Press of the Emerson Bros., Inc., 1933. 


After speaking to the librarians I was given a key and directed up a narrow wooden staircase to the history room.



In the center of the room are large wooden tables. I set down all my things and hung my rain jacket over the back of a wooden chair. Then I walked around the room to discover just what was there. First I found books on the history of the state, neighboring states, counties in CT, and towns in those counties. I like to learn what was happening in the area where my ancestors lived so I gathered a few to look through.



Most of the history books there are best for families who were in the area early. Our Irish Bradys did not arrive till the late 1800s. A  book  by Leo T. Molloy gave me information on the area with brief histories of the towns, the local newspaper, industries, churches & etc. It even gave a history of the library I was in.

Molloy, Leo T. Tercentenary Pictorial and History of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Ansonia, Connecticut: Press of the Emerson Bros., Inc., 1933. 





A collection of City Directories was my next useful discovery. I found our family in those volumes for a period of over a hundred years.

Ansonia, Birmingham, Derby, Shelton, Seymour Directory. New Haven, Connecticut: Price, Lee & Co., Publishers.

By the time I was deep into taking notes from the directories my cousin arrived from NJ. She made her way up to the history room. We greeted each other with big hugs and then Pat had her turn to explore the room.






During the weekend we headed off in other directions: the Derby Historical Society, Ansonia City Hall & cemeteries in the area. However, we kept returning to the library. After uncovering tombstones we had death dates in hand and we returned to the library to use the microfilms of the Ansonia Evening Sentinel and found many obituaries. We could have worked twice as fast if we each could have used a machine. However we had a nice pile of obituaries [and only 10 cents a copy] when we finished.

Thanks to the librarians who retrieved the boxes of microfilm for us, gave us some driving directions and were always friendly.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 42; William Jasper Fortenberry


This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small.I began with my grandparents and am working my way back in time through the generations of my direct ancestors. With this post I begin focusing on my 4x Great Grandparents.


William Jasper Fortenberry
c 1772 SC – 7 February 1842 MS
My 4x great grandfather

WilliamJasper Fortenberry was the second of six children of John Faulkenberry & Hannah Hubanks. His siblings were: Robert, Lee, Jacob, Israel & Nathaniel.[1]

The 1810 US Census for Lancaster Co., SC shows several Fortenberry families including William Fortenberry and his brothers, Israel and Jacob.[2]

About 1812 William married Violette Kennington, daughter of John & Martha Kennington.[3],[4] They “had a beautiful romance which never gave out. On their honeymoon, they traveled in an ox-wagon from Lancaster, South Carolina about 1812 to southern climes and found contentment in hard work and rearing a large family. From that union, our grand-sires emanated, 10 in actual count." 

This sounds romantic, however we get a different picture of this journey if we read Criminger’s book. This book tells us that Williams mother, Hannah, and six of their children traveled with the couple from Virginia to South Carolina. Two of Williams brothers also traveled with them. One brother froze to death in Alabama. This hardly sounds like a honeymoon.[5]

In October 1814, William Fortenberry enlisted in the South Carolina State Militia to fight the British. He served from 6 October 1814 to 8 January 1815, when he was discharged by enlistment in the service of the United States. The company was commanded to help defend the port at Charleston. His brother in law, John Kennington, and other family members also served in the same Regiment, led by Lieutenant Colonel Adam McWillie. The regiment stood ready to defend the port but they did not participate in any battles.[6]

“William Fortinberry came from Lancaster District, South Carolina, and settled in the southeastern portion of the county [Pike, MS] in 1819.”[7] He is listed in the 1820 Tax List for Pike County.  William and Violette are listed as early members of the New Zion Baptist Church in Pike County. They are shown in those records beginning 1823. William is also on the 1835 Tax List for the county.[8]

William “died in 1840, leaving six sons and four daughters. One of his sons, W. J. Fortinberry, was a Baptist minister and spent his life in that section of the county in the cause of the Church. Another son, G. C. Fortinberry, was a member of the 9th Mississippi Regiment of the United States Militia, under Col. Peter Quinn, in 1825 and 1827.”[9]

Violette Kennington Fortenberry


1 William Jasper Fortenberry b: Abt. 1772 in Lancaster, SC, d: 07 Feb 1842 MS
... + Violette Kennington b: 1786 in South Carolina, USA, m: Abt. 1812, d: 18 May 1858 MS

......2 Gasua Chapman Fortenberry b: 16 Jul 1805  Lancaster, SC, d: 21 Jun 1884 MS
...... + Sarah Brown b: 5 Feb 1810 Liberty, GA, m: 29 Sep 1832 Marion, MS d: 19 Jul 1883 MS
......2 Calvin Kennington Fortenberry b: 1806  Lancaster, SC, d: 18 Dec 1877
...... + Narcissa Simmons b: 11 Apr 1813 Simmonsville, Pike, MS, d: 05 Feb 1890 MS
......2 Euseba Fortenberry b: 3 Dec 1809 SC, d: 13 Oct 1878 MS
...... + Wyatt Smith b: 31 Aug 1809 LA, d: 16 Feb 1894 Pike, MS
......2 Isabella Fortenberry b: 23 Nov 1812 Lancaster, SC, d: 30 Sep 1886 Pike, MS
......2 William J. Fortenberry b: 09 Dec 1814 Lancaster, SC, d: 8 Jan 1896
...... + Elizabeth Martha Ann Cutrer b: 24 Jan 1827, m: 16 Mar 1848, d: 12 Oct 1909
......2 Olevia Fortenberry b: 22 Sep 1817 Lancaster, SC, d: 22 Jan 1881 in Pike, MS
......2 Burrell Taylor Fortenberry b: 1820 Pike, MS, d: 14 Sep 1863 MS
...... + Eliza Jane Ellzey b: 05 Sep 1830 MS, m: 15 Aug 1850, d: 04 Apr 1899
......2 Alfred Fortenberry b: 25 Jan 1823 Pike, MS, d: 27 Mar 1861
...... + Aderine Mary Faulk b: 07 Feb 1828, m: 24 Feb 1848, d: 4 Jan 1888
......2 Hollis Horton Fortenberry b: 12 Feb 1825 in Pike, MS, d: 24 Oct 1867
...... + Louisa Margany James b: 05 Dec 1828 LA, d: 9 Aug 1909
......2 Willis James Fortenberry b: 28 Nov 1829 Pike, MS, d: 1 Oct 1905
...... + Louisa Blackwell b: 17 Apr 1828 KY, m: 13 Oct 1912, d: 29 Feb 1912 MS



[1] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
[2] Small, O. B. (). 1810 Lancaster County, South Carolina census. Monroe, N.C.: O.B. Small.
[3] Fortinberry, G. K. Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family; 1795-1940's; Family History Center Microfilm #1036152.
[4] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
[5] Fortinberry, G. K. Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family. Privately Printed. 1942. Family History Center microfilm #1036152.
[6] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
[7] Conerly, L. W. (2008). Pike County, Mississippi, 1798-1876: pioneer families and Confederate soldiers, reconstruction and redemption,. Madison, Georgia: Southern Lion Books. (Original work published 1909)
[8] Conerly, L. W., & Williams, Jr., E. R. (1989). Resource records of Pike/Walthall Counties, Mississippi, 1798-1910: containing a complete reprint of Pike County, Mississippi, 1798-1876, pioneer families and Confederate soldiers, reconstruction and redemption. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press.
[9] Conerly, L. W. (2008). Pike County, Mississippi, 1798-1876: pioneer families and Confederate soldiers, reconstruction and redemption,. Madison, Georgia: Southern Lion Books. (Original work published 1909).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Connecticut Research Trip

Several years ago, through the wonder of connecting on the internet, I discovered that my mother had relatives. My mother had no siblings and, although her mother was the oldest of seven children, my mother had no known Irish first cousins. All my known cousins came from my father’s side of our family. However, after my mother’s death, I have discovered third cousins; Irish cousins living in the northeast.




Our little group has grown over the last several years. We try to assemble once a year and this year’s gathering is approaching. Two of us, Pat Brady & I, are the researchers. We uncover bits about our history to share with the rest of the group.

In preparation for the trip I am making an excel spreadsheet with a quick summary of what we know about the children of Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney. Thomas & Catherine spent most of their lives in Co Cavan, Ireland. Eight of their children came to the USA, settling in CT & NJ. The spread sheet will make it easy to see what facts we are missing, such as birth, immigration, marriage or death dates.

Last year we searched in Derby City Hall & the Derby Library. We found bits of our family puzzle in both locations. This year we plan to focus our research in these locations:

Ansonia City Hall
253 Main Street, Ansonia, CT. We are hoping to find a death certificate here. We have a range of years when we believe he died.

·         AnsoniaPublic Library
53 S Cliff St, Ansonia, CT. Our family lived in the area & I hope to find genealogies or histories or city directories. It is hard to get a feel for the library’s holdings from the website.
·         DerbyHistorical Society
37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT. The website looks very promising. They are only open 3 hours a day so I want to be there when the door is unlocked and they might need to boot us out at four o’clock!
·         EvergreenCemetery
New Haven, CT. Pat is lining up the cemetery research by contacting the offices in advance. We are hoping for maps, lot cards & opportunities to photograph the stones.
·         Mt.Saint Peter’s Cemetery
219 New Haven Ave., Derby, CT. We know that some of the main characters in our family’s story are buried here. Perhaps there are even more.
·         PineGrove Cemetery
15 Church Street, Ansonia, CT. The online search option shows two of our family members.

We will have two weekdays for our research. Then we will meet up with the cousins on Saturday for catching up, sharing our findings & just enjoying each other! Last time we gathered we had dinner at an Irish pub. Our ever increasing group gathered around a very large table for good food & laughter. Looking around the table at all the cousins from preschoolers to teens and on up to us seniors I thought of my mother and how much she would have loved to join in.

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