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.

23 February 2009

David T. Rideout plat & John C. Jones, his brother-in-law

(Update Aug 2014, I can confirm New Rd was Tolbert Rd, I visited this property.)
I am trying to confirm that this "New Road" at the top of this plat, is Tolbert Rd. I believe it is, but can't completely prove it. I believe that the northeast corner of this plat is the intersection of Tolbert and Blackridge roads, and that Hall Store is about where that outbuilding is in the upper right corner of this plat. I got this plat from a chancery case, where DT Rideout died and the land is being divided. The case told which piece of land each child was getting, so I wrote notes on this page. If you click on this picture of the plat (or any other picture within postings), you can see it full screen. I am trying to find out where this plat would exist today, because the John C. Jones, written on the left of this plat is the brother of my gr. grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Jones. And I believe John inherited the land from his parents. We have yet to find any burials for the James B. Jones family, (of which John C. Jones and Sarah Jones Gray are a part of) and this plat is the best clue I have yet.
I believe this plat is land inherited from Isaac Taylor. On the 1860's Gilmore map, Taylor is marked there on the map. And on that map, it looks like Tolbert Rd. DT Rideout married Mary E. Taylor, and John C. Jones married the sister, Sarah Taylor, the same day. A double wedding on 14 Dec 1865. And they lived next door on each Census. So sisters living next door, and the DT Rideout chancery stating it was Mary Taylor's estate, suggests this land used to belong to their father, Isaac Taylor.

John Gray from Ireland

In honor of St. Patrick's Day coming soon, I wanted to write about my Irish grandpa, John Gray. John Gray immigrated 27 July 1838. My friend Hobson is also a descendant of John Gray and found this record. In Ancestry.com's index, John is listed as Gery, rather than Gray. My friend found John, by searching for Nicholas Purdy. And it turns out that John Gray & Nicholas Purdy traveled together (with their wife and children) from Ireland, and remained neighbors the rest of their lives. It also turns out that Ancesty's immigration index goofed, with a slight typo. Hobson went to the National Archives and found John Gray spelled correctly on the record. My friend was also able to visit Ireland last year and went to search more for our John Gray gr...grandpa. Unfortunately he discovered that records pre-1840 are scarce there, even in the archives. The immigration record said John Gray was from Queen's county Ireland and that he was a weaver. But Hobson was told that doesn't necessarily mean John was really from Queen's county. Because a lot of people moved to Queen's county to save up money for their passage. The immigration record only stated where they last lived. John was listed as age 35, his wife Ann was 30, and their daughter Elizabeth was 3 years old. Ann died soon after arriving to America, and settling in Mecklenburg, VA. Later, John Gray married his next door farm neighbor, Sarah Elizabeth Jones. One of John Gray and Sarah Jones youngest children, Alginon Gray, is the father of Fannie Gray pictured on this blog page.

We are still searching for Anne's maiden name. And we're also searching for a connection between Nicholas Purdy and John Gray besides being friends and neighbors for decades. Because in this time and place, neighbors married each other.

21 February 2009

Trying to be remembered-The Taylors

I wanted to find the Taylor Cemetery. In Munsey Moore's cemetery book he described where it was. So I drove there with a friend to take pictures, in Oct 2008. Sadly the lady in the house had not lived there very long, and the cemetery was very overgrown when she bought the house. And it's technically not on her property, the cemetery part was sold before she bought the house. She helped me clear things out to take pictures. She was very interested in her house and it's history. She was told her house was called the Finch House. This house was not in the WPA books, but a family Bible was listed in Family Records book (Family Bibles) compiled & edited by Sheppard & Corker. (pg 46) The Taylor Cemetery and Finch cemetery adjoin each other. I hope to attach a slide show here of the pictures I took there. (Still have to read more on how to do that) Frances Clark later told me she had pictures of a few more tombstones that weren't there anymore when I took pictures. She had taken pictures about 10 years earlier than I had. This Cemetery is located on the corner of 655 & 657. I do have some chanceries for these Taylors. And descendants moved to the Bracey area.
What was really cool about this visit, was that the owner asked if she could give me a tour of her house. I LOVED her house! There was the narrowest winding staircase I think I've ever seen, and I loved all the old trim and wood floors. Lots of great character in that house. She showed me an above ground cellar, where names and dates were carved into the wall. Like a family Bible carved into the foundation of their house!!!
In Fredericksburg, VA, soldiers wrote in their journals that their greatest fear was to die unknown. So they'd carve their names and unit to try to be remembered. This wall made me think about how many people have been forgotten. And how many people were buried without tombstones, so carving your name in a stone foundation would ensure you weren't forgotten. I just loved this cool old house!!
More on the cemetery and about the people buried there in a coming soon post...

20 February 2009

John R. Cole family

This is a group of people I've been trying to find land and a family cemetery for. They intermarried with my family & owned land next to several of my families. I don't know where this intersection is. But the Coles did live in Bracey. They may have moved later, because in abt 1870, John R. Cole was also attending Kingswood Church. John was the leader, (possibly pastor?) at Rehoboth church off Blackridge Rd for many years, probably 2o years. Munsey Adams Moore found this cemetery info, and gave a copy to a lady who gave a copy to me Dec 29, 2008. Munsey has done some amazing things locating all the old hidden family cemeteries! I seriously appreciate his efforts! I do hope to locate and photograph this cemetery as soon as I can find out where it is.
Here's from my friend:
I worked on the Cole family a little yesterday and I found where some of the Coles are buried. There is a cemetery located on the left side of Hwy 847 4/10 mile from Hwy. 623 intersection. The cemetery is in an open field behind a trailer. I haven't been to the cemetery, but I have a listing of the tombstones. They are as follows:

Clarence W. Cole - 13 July 1930 - 10 Jan. 1981
Betty I. Cole - 31 July 1934 - 24 Feb. 1982 (both on same stone)
Bella Jones Cole - w/o John R. Cole - 18 July 1844 - 5 Feb. 1929
John Zeb Cole - Daddy - 20 Aug. 1885 - 25 Nov. 1964
Susan Johnson Cole - Mama - 24 Oct. 1893 - 8 Apr. 1965 (both on same stone)
Vernon C. Cole - 16 Aug. 1924 - 5 Feb. 1982
Evelyn H. Cole - 4 Nov. 1928 -
Ella E. "Lizzie" Cole - Aunt
Lillian Cole Case - 3 May 1909 - 31 May 1977
Martin Marion Case - 3 Oct. 1881 - 10 Nov. 1963 (both on same stone)
Ella H. Cole - 1875 - 1918
William I. Cole - 1878 - 1942
Maggie K. Cole - 1889 - 1942 (all on same stone)
Other graves marked with field rocks.

I don't know where any of the other Coles are buried.

18 February 2009

blog goal

My grandmother and many others who have seen my posted trees have asked me to try to start a website, to show all the preservation I've tried to do over the years. I collect records and photograph things with the intent to share, but there's only so much I can share without posting on a site. So I will try to post pictures and info here. I love to interview people and learn what life was like in the good old days. I'm also trying to take my digital cemetery pictures and label them in Adobe slide shows. I've never tried anything like a blog before, so I hope it doesn't take me too long to figure things out.