Friday, May 17, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: NATURE; Ireland

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is NATURE.

Clonmel. County Tipperary, Ireland

In 2012 my oldest daughter and I traveled to Ireland. We rented a car and drove around the island. We were both site seeing & researching our Irish roots. One of the first places we went was Clonmel, home of our Daniel Mullane family. 

    The Daniel Mullane family took picnics to Saint Patrick’s Well. Old black and white home movies show the place, easily recognizable by the stone cross. Family stories tell of the dog running away with Aunt Nell’s hat and when he was chased the hat ended up in the water. I was delighted to be be in the same place my ancestors had enjoyed. Now the ancient site is the setting for memories for another generation of our family.

 It was a beautiful. peaceful place. A good place to enjoy nature & think about our family.

St. Patrick has always had d special place in my heart because I was born on his Saint's Day, St. Patrick's Day. So his well near Clonmel is special in many ways.

 I hope you enjoy these NATURE photos from our memorable trip.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mary (Spurlock) Brown: Parents Found?

Mary ‘Polly’ (Spurlock) Brown is my 3rd great grandmother. She married Edward Stewart Brown. I know almost nothing about her early life. She appeals to me because she was born 1 January 1800 in Oglethorpe, Georgia. She was born with the new century. She lived 88 years; living through the War of 1812 and the Civil War. 

Unfortunately, I know nothing more about the Spurlock family.
That may have changed.

Ancestry DNA now has ‘ThruLines’ that suggest how you may be related to your DNA ancestors through common ancestors. If I click on ThruLines I am shown my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. When I scrolled down those names recently, I saw familiar names that I have spent many hours researching. Then I noticed a new name. 

Allen Spurlock (unproven)
Aug 1774 NC – 8 Aug 1864 Amite, MS

Is this Mary’s father? The name sends me to an Ancestry tree which is fully sourced. Allen Spurlock lived in Amite, MS from at least 1820 according to those sources. His wife was Frances (Traylor) Spurlock. 8 children are listed, including Mary. 

Now, how do I proceed? Maybe I should begin with the marriage of Mary & Edward. I do not have a marriage record. However, their oldest child, Allen Moses Brown, my 2nd great grandfather, was born 26 January 1836 in Amite, MS. Look at the name of this child. Edward’s father was Moses. Was Mary’s father Allen? Was their first son named for both of their fathers?

In order for Mary & Edward to marry they had to have met. Both families were certainly in Mississippi. The Ancestry tree for Allen Spurlock shows the family in Amite, MS in 1810, 1820, 1830, 1850 & on to Allen’s death. Edward’s father, Moses Brown, was in the Carolinas & then in Marion, MS circa 1812. He left MS for OH circa 1825. But Edward remained in MS. He married Mary in Amite c. 1835 & purchased land in Amite, MS in 1840. 

Timing & location appear to fit. Allen Spurlock, his daughter, Mary, and her future husband, Edward S. Brown were all in Amite MS at the same time. Could this be a family connection? 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mothers' Day!

Happy Mothers’ Day

In Memory of my Mother,
who taught us the value of family,
& All my Grandmothers.

This is a repost from last year.

Follow the links to learn more about these wonderful women.

My mother,

My Grandmothers:

My Great Grandmothers:

My 2x Great Grandmothers:
Netty (Grofs) Edelstein

My [known] 3x Great Grandmothers:
Mary (Grorisclauss) Gruissy
Ellen (Hogan) English

My [known] 4x Great Grandmothers:
Barbara (Straum) Gruissy
Esther Barbara (Shaffer) Wolf
Elizabeth (Mowrey) Heffelfinger
Anna Mariah Ritter
Catherine Fisher
Margaret (Kelly) Brumfield
Margaret (Jackson) Ott
Elizabeth (Bryant) Alford
Joanna (Dillon) Smith
Sarah (Robertson) Brown
Violette (Kennington) Fortenberry

My [known] 5x Great Grandmothers:

Mary (Durham) Kelly
Anne (Lawrence) Dillon
Jemimah (Hollis) Smith
Martha Kennington
Hannah (Eubanks) Faulkenberry
Mary Elizabeth Ott

My [known] 6x Great Grandmothers:
Margaret (Collough) Durham
Ann (Ashley) Lawrence
Rosannah (Hagan) Hollis
Mary Dillon
Margaret (Fitchner) Ott
Ann (Ashley) Lawrence 

My [known] 7x Great Grandmothers:
Elizabeth (Nichols) Lawrence
Lucretia Ann (Hicks) Ashley

And all those Names yet to be Uncovered!

Roses for all my grandmothers.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: NURTURE our Family Tree

 Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & now I am following the 2019 suggestions. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is NUTURE.

To NURTURE is to care for and encourage the growth or development of.
As genealogists, we NURTURE our Family Trees, helping them grow.
Here are some ways to nurture your family tree.

Plant the Seeds 
[Seeds of interest so others will want to learn more about the family]

·     Display family heirlooms at family gatherings & tell who they once belonged to.
·     Share family recipes & include a biography of the person who once cooked the dish.
·     Have a Family Scavenger Hunt. Find someone who was once in the military; someone who has lived in 3 different states; someone who can build a log cabin…

Fertilize the Young Tree 
[Once you have their interest find ways to get others involved]

·     Make a Family Calendar that includes as many family birthdays & anniversaries, past & present as possible to make everyone feel a part of the bigger tree.
·     Write a blog or a website family members can read & learn.
·     Ask family members for their stories; everyone should be included.
·     Share family photos on a private FaceBook page.

Water the Growing Tree
[Continue your research]

·     Find out new information to keep the tree growing. 
·     Edit your work. Rethink your conclusions. Be sure of your facts.
·     Start an Ancestry Tree & include sources.

Protect the Tree

·     Preserve old photos.
·     Back up your computer records.
·     Find someone in the next generation to carry on your work.

Sit under the tree & enjoy its beauty

·     Write a children’s version for the youngsters.

·     Whenever the family gathers, tell the stories you have learned.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: ON THE ROAD: Abbottstown, PA

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is OUT OF PLACE.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: ON THE ROAD: Abbottstown, PA

This is a repost from 2014. At that time I was traveling to a genealogy convention and made a stop to find the home of my 4th great grandfather.

Before taking the trip I looked at Find A Grave where I found Frederick Wolf and photographs of his historic home in Abbottstown, PA! Checking Google maps I discovered this home was just a short distance from my route to Virginia!

Home of
John Frederick Wolf 1779 PA - 1872 PA
29 East King Street, Abbottstown PA

I was meant to stop there on my drive & I did. I had been in the area before looking at cemeteries. In fact, I was only a block away from my last visit. I parked & snapped photographs of the home of my distant grandfather. 

Back to Google, I put in the address & found a real estate website with this information:

The Frederick Wolf House was built in c.1753 and is the second-oldest house in Abbottstown. It predates the founding of Gettysburg (1780) by 30 years. The house was built by the Abbott family, who also built the Abbott House, the borough's oldest structure. The Wolf Family lived in the house from 1820's to the 1890's and built several additions to the original log cabin. This house was the recipient of the Historic Gettysburg-Adams County Inc., 2004 Historic Preservation Award. The house was built circa 1753. The museum quality restorations were performed by T.L. Sanders, Historic Building Preservation Specialist.

When I am ON THE ROAD I never know what I will uncover.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Local History, Newspapers & Accuracy is a great place to search for family history. I was searching for my Ott family in Louisiana & Mississippi and came across the Golden Jubilee Edition of the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. It was filled with the history of the area. The following article includes the names of several family branches including the Cutrers, Simmons & Tates. 

The Ott family is mentioned in some detail. However much of the early Ott family details do not match the research I have been doing on the family. Of course, the newspaper does not include sources so I must ask myself: In 1938, did they know more about the Ott family, probably from talking to residents, than I do today, from court and census records and local histories, or did they know less?

Either way, this article paints picture of the area where the Otts settled & tells me who their neighbors were.

Osyka Was Popular As a Campground in Days of the Indian

Osyka, Pike county’s southernmost city, previous to the coming of the white man was a popular camping ground for Choctaw Indians of the territory, the spot being given the name for the Eagle. When the railroad entered Pike county, the Indians moved over into Louisiana, giving way to pioneer white settlers of heterogeneous origins.

The town was founded on land owned by the John Carter and Redmond families in 1854 when the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railway was built from New Orleans to that point. It was the terminus for two years. Among the pioneer settlers were Redmonds, Cutrers, Varnados, Otts, Harrells, Ricks, Simmons, Carters, Spears, Tates, Addisons, Thompsons, Quillmans, Mexons and Davidsons.

Jessie Redmond, born in Barnwell district of South Carolina, April 4, 1791, served in the War of 1812 under Andrew Jackson. He married Elizabeth Carter, of the same district, April 17, 1825, and located in Osyka as a planter. His son, D. M. Redmond, oldest of ten children, married Bridget Joyce of New Orleans, in 1885, his oldest daughter, Mrs. M. E. Triche, now lives in McComb. 

The Varnado family, one of the oldest in the county, is of Spanish origin, and first settled in South Carolina. George moved to Georgia, and two of his sons, Leonard and Sam, moved to Mississippi, locating two miles east of Osyka. Their descendants are those now living in and around Osyka and Magnolia. Leonard’s sons are Parham, Hugh, Lewis, Robert, Ellis, John Iley, and Virgil. They served during the entire four years of the War Between the States, Isam and his sons, Leander, James, Felix, Ellis, Rollie, and Pinkney, and three sons-in-law fought in the War Between the States; Rollie and James were killed; Leander and Felix were wounded. Leander Varnado was for many years county assessor; Isley county supervisor; Parham, justice of the peace. 

The Ott family, another outstanding one of the county, is of German descent, Jacob Ott I, and wife Gretchen Schmitts, came from Germany to New York, and later, with his son, Jacob II, father of Edward and Jacob III, moved to South Carolina. Jacob IIIa captain under General Francis [Marion] during the Revolutionary war, married [Margaret] Jackson, an aunt of Andrew Jackson; to them were born seven children; Charles, Jesse, Jacob IV, Samuel, Charlotte, Naomi, and Sarah. The latter married Sam Evans; Charlotte married Nat Brumfield; Naomi remained single.

In 1790 they moved to Louisiana, where Jacob IVmarried Margaret Addison. Their four children William Minter, John Jacob, Alexander (Eckle), and Samuel Adolphus, with an uncle, Edward Ott came to Osyka. They were largely millwrights and mechanics from their forefathers to the present generation, highly respected citizens looking ever to the betterment of the country, being especially interested in religious and educational affairs.

The population of Osyka at this time was largely made up of Germans and German Jews who came from New Orleans. Many were skilled mechanics, having learned their trade in their native country. The names: Seipple, Schulteise, Adis, Goss, Borne, Ricks, Leib, Peterman, Rehorst, Weiss, and others are familiar. They built the first schoolhouse. Adis operated the first confectionary and bakery, and Seipple the second; Leman and Leopold German-Jewish brothers, ran the first butcher sop, and used the famous Cutrer bell to notify the public that fresh meat was on sale that day. First barber shop was conducted by John Rehorst, the first newspaper, Osyka Herald, was published by Max Herman.

The Jewish families, also from New Orleans, originally came from Prussia, Germany, Bavaria and France. These were Wolfe, Keiffer, Cerf, Dreyer, Hart, Cohn, Myer, Heuman and others. There were two English families, Moore and Fordiche; both were successful brick masons, and were interested in church and school affairs, especially. The descendants of these pioneers have scattered throughout the county and the United States some attaining great wealth and fame.

The first lawyer of the community was George Applewhite, a very brilliant man; first dentist Dr. Meredith Varnado; first physicians were Drs. Jones, Ford, Mc Gehee, and Thomson; first station agent, Charles Allen. The first mercantile firms were: Wolfe and Cerf, S. Wolfe, I. W. Cutrer, I. W. Varnado, and James Lea; first sawmill Edward Ott; first horse gin and watermill were operated by Louis Varnado in 1840.

The Cerf Hotel, located where Aleus Williams now lives, was the first one in the county, and people come from New Orleans, Jackson and elsewhere to spend week-ends, as Mrs. Cerf served such delicious and bountiful meals. Her husband died with yellow fever. Miss Josie, the only child, is now senior project supervisor, Survey of Federal Archives, with office in the Canal Bank building in New Orleans.

Source: Osyka Was Popular As a Campground in Days of the Indian (McComb, MS: Enterprise-Journal, 30 Dec. 1938) 17; digital image, accessed February 2019. Golden Jubilee Edition.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: AT WORSHIP

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is At WORSHIP.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: AT WORSHIP

2012 Photo taken in Ireland

My family has worshipped in many different ways over the years & the generations. There are many whose religious beliefs are unknown to me. These are a few that I do know. I’m sure our family encompasses even more beliefs than those listed.

Follow the links to learn more about these family members.


·     William M. Fortenberry, 1799 SC – 1867
·     Jasper Pascal Brown, 1865 MS – 1950 MS
·     Jessie Alexander Brumfield, 1838 LA – 1914 MS


·     Patrick Coyle, 1841 Ireland – 1925 CT
·     Margaret (Brady) Coyle, c 1855 Ireland – 1934 CT
·     Helen (Coyle) Gardner, 1897 NY – 1965 NY
·     Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown, 1928 NY – 1992 NY
·     Daniel Mullane, 1838 Ireland – 1930 Ireland
·     Brigid (English) Mullane, 1848 Ireland – 1920 Ireland


·     Adolph Edelstein, b c 1830
·     Leopold Gartner, 1860 Poland – 1948 NY
·     Nathaniel Gardner, 1882 NY – 1944 NY


·     Needham Judge Alford, 1789 NC – 1869 TX
·     Seaborn John Alford, 1807 LA – 1884 MS
·     Edwin Barksdale Alford, 1792 NC – 1878 MS
·     Rev. Joseph Martin Alford, 1870 LA – 1962
·     Rev. Jason Abraham Alford, 1877 MS - 1974
·     Thomas K. Mark, 1879 OH – 1975 OH


·    Edward Brown, c 1730 – c 1797 NC

·     Moses Brown, 1777 NC – 1838 OH