I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

19 April 2018

Coming soon: My Cemetery and Court records inventory

I'm currently creating inventories in Excel sheets and will put them as a page on my blog. I have two files I'm working on.
1) Cemeteries: I'm typing what's on the tombstone, where I found it and the picture number in my files.
2) Court records: which type and important notations such as wills or plats included in chancery cases. I'll also state where I posted genealogical summary extracts.

When I finish typing 100 entries for each file I will post these files to the blog, (about 3 weeks) then keep updating the files. Here's an example of the court records file:
More coming soon! -Julie

28 March 2018

1848 Jane Newman's will: Cemetery and Emancipating Slaves, Orange VA

Jane S. Hackney Newman writes about a Newman Cemetery in her will. She states that her husband is buried in this cemetery, and that it is being left to her executor Richard Stephens and his heirs, with the stipulation that future Newman family can be buried there. The 1860 and 1870 Census show a Richard Stephens (in Orange) born about 1818. His wife is Betty, with children: Thomas, Nanny, Mary, Henrietta, Robert and James Stephens. Jane's husband was Thomas Newman who died in 1847. Is this the same Newman Cemetery I found and visited? It's off Highway 20, near the town of Orange. Or is there another Newman Family Cemetery in Orange County? There was no Thomas Newman marked in the cemetery I visited, but there are several unmarked burials there. The oldest stone I saw was William Newman Jr who lived from 1777-1857, Jane's brother in law. I have not yet found a will for Richard Stephens, he is not in the Orange County will index book. So I will try to make a visit to the courthouse to look at deeds. I found Jane's will to be very interesting. Here are some highlights:

Jane's will does not list any children. She mentions that Reuben Newman is her brother in law, the son of William Newman. William Newman Sr raised 14 children and listed them all in his will which he wrote at age 98! Reuben would be Jane's brother in law in 2 ways. Reuben was the brother of her husband Thomas Newman. And Jane's sister Nancy Hackney married Reuben Newman. So two brothers married two sisters. Jane also mentions her sister is Mary Stephens, married to Joseph Stephens. Not sure yet how Joseph and Richard Stephens are related. Mary and Joseph's children listed are Livingston N. Stephens, Julia Ann Parrott, Eliza Jane Stephens, Wesley Stephens, Mary Stephens, and Joseph Stephens Jr. Jane also states that Priscilla Stephens is not provided for in her will because her husband Thomas Newman provided for her in his will the year before. 

Jane states she wants to emancipate her slaves and have her estate sold to give her slaves money. She also states that any future children Esther has after the date of this will are to be free. She also writes about a slave William that she wants to be free. It appears she is not sure if she legally owns him or not. If she doesn't own him, she asked for her executor to use the 200$ towards emancipating William. Jane mentions the following slaves and that she wants each slave to be paid 200$. There are no other slaves referenced in her will. She asks for her estate to be sold with the specified amounts going to her freed slaves, then the rest being divided between her sister Mary Stephens' family.

Slaves listed:
1. Jessie to receive $200
2. George to receive $200
3. Esther to receive $200
4. William to receive $200

Jane's husband Thomas Newman died in 1847, the year before Jane write her will. Jane's will was proved (and she was notated as deceased), 28 Aug 1854, in Orange County, Virginia. I am a descendant of Abner Newman the brother of Thomas Newman, and the brother in law of this Jane.

15 January 2018

Nannie Gray Kidd house and Frederick Jones cemetery -corrections

While working on my mapping project, I realized I made a big mistake in the history of the Nannie Gray Kidd house. I've been experimenting with drawing plats onto a current map, using Google "My Maps". John B. Kidd had two large properties. One was north of Nellie Jones Rd and one was south of Nellie Jones Road. When my friend and I placed the southern property on the map, I was very surprised to see the portion left to Bartlett Kidd's heirs was layered over top of where the Nanny Gray Kidd house and cemetery are. My friend helped me review what we know, and what neighboring plats and land records stated. I drew out several charts, looked at Lambert and Jones family relationship connections, and reviewed older notes I made from previous interviews and emails. I typed up my scribbles into a flow chart and included them in this post. (Can click on images in this post, for enlargement) I realized I had misunderstood two things: that Nannie and Jimmy Kidd actually owned two properties in 1895 and that the property with the cemetery also became part of the John B. Kidd estate. I do not have a plat for the John Gray home place. Just a description of neighbors in 1840 when John Gray bought it from Zachariah Jones and 1895 when Nannie and Jimmy bought the land.  Both records stated the property was 82 and a half acres. But the old Nellie Brooks Jones dower piece was 149 acres. John Gray's property bordered the John B. Kidd property north of Nellie Jones Rd. Nellie Jones Brooks dower property became part of the John B. Kidd estate south of the road.
Some Lambert -Jones connections (Bracey area)

Here is the plat for Frederick Jones in 1818. Note the upper piece, Nelly's dower piece.
Here is John B. Kidd's estate south of Nellie Jones Rd. Note the upper left piece, was for the heirs of Bartlett and that it is 143 acres. Arimenta's plat is highlighted because that was the first plat I found. It was in a chancery case which involved dividing her land after her death. Arimenta Kidd married my gr...grandfather Granderson Glover.  Jimmy Kidd's family told me that he went to work in the mill at Roanoke Rapids to get cash to purchase this estate. I wonder if  Jimmy worked to get cash so he could pay his siblings their portion of their inheritance? I'm also wondering if he bought this farm at the time he married Nannie and started a family? We do know he raised his family here, in a log cabin behind where the current house sits. The current house was built in 1903. Nannie's brother Alginon Gray was living with them at that time. Alginon was a carpenter, so it is possible he helped them build their house while he lived there. Unfortunately there isn't anyone to ask who would know for sure.  Lula was 10 years old when the current house was built, and her youngest sibling was 2 years old.
"Lower portion" of John B Kidd estate

Stephen Lambert and his brother Andrew Lambert (sons of Lula Kidd Lambert) placed the tombstones for Nelly Brooks and Frederick Jones.

18 December 2017

Old Estate Mapping Project to Share, Requesting Help

I have been mapping out estate records and plats that I've that been finding over the last 15 years. Any name I read about on estate records gets a pin, with an annotation. Example "1862 Zack Jones corner hickory". I uploaded plats that will pop up if you click on the outlined property. Annotations pop up as well, with notes I typed such as acreage amount, date, and neighbors listed on the record. This will be an ongoing project. If you know where I can add any pins, please let me know. Right now I'm mapping the far eastern part of Mecklenburg, between I-85 and the Brunswick County border, which is the area I research the most. Many of the plats and notation info I list, I found in various chancery records. Here is a sneak peak, with the example of John B Kidd's estate in 1862. There is also a "lower estate" below Nellie Jones Rd. This project will soon be a part of this blog. This project is being done with Google maps, under "My Maps". Here is a link with info about these newer mapping abilities, such as plotting, showing acreage and the measuring tool. GPS coordinates don't work on this, but this has what I really need to easily mark and share information.  https://www.google.com/maps/about/mymaps/

13 December 2017

Charles T Jones and his wife Louisa F. W. Cleaton

Charles Jones was the 5th of 15 children. I think it's so amazing that his mother Martha married at age 17, raised 15 children during the early to mid 1800's and lived to be 66 years old!

I'm currently trying to sort through and follow old land and estate papers of James B. Jones. I'm trying to find out exactly where he lived, to guess where his house and cemetery may be. James had two properties: 1) John Gray was his neighbor on the east boundary, on Nellie Jones Road. 2) Blackridge Rd was the east boundary. His property was a little south of Tolbert Rd, with Isaac Taylor his neighbor to the north.  It appears that Charles bought his father James' land, to pay off his father's debts. Charles' father James died in June of 1876, his mother Martha Newman died a year later in Aug 1877. Two and a half years later, Charles married at age 51. His wife Louisa was 42 and this was the first marriage for both of them. Charles and Louisa had been neighbors for most of their lives, possibly all their lives, according to various Census and land records. I don't believe Charles and Louisa had any children. Louisa marrying at 42 makes it less likely, but my conclusion is based on that I can't find any birth marriage or death records for them having a child. But more importantly,  Charles does not list any heirs in his will. Charles and Louisa had been married for 10 years and 3 months, at the time of Charles death.

Charles left a large portion of his estate to his youngest sibling James, with the understanding that James would provide and care for his wife. Charles had only 2 brothers survive him: John and James. John was caring for their sister Agnes and other family members, including children from his wife's first marriage. I have not yet found when Louisa died, or where she or her husband are buried.

Charles died in April 1890. The following siblings survived him:
1-Cissila Barker, died 1900
2-Sarah Gray, died 1891
3-John C. Jones, died 1911
4-Anna Ella Poythress, died 1915
5-James Jones, died 1932