Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weogufkee/Muddy Water Cemetery Survey

It has been almost a year since my last post, but I have not neglected my genealogy research, only my genealogy blog.

This month, I surveyed my first cemetery. I photographed every stone and marker and then indexed the information from them into an index. I could find very little online about the Weogufkee Cemetery near Hanna in McIntosh County, Oklahoma. My family believed that 4-5 of our family members were buried there. After surveying the cemetery and learning about it, I firmly believe this to be a falsity. I believe it was a story made up or possibly even genuinely believed by those that wanted to further perpetuate the myth that my family descended from Native Americans, but it is completely untrue. Nine DNA tests have now been done on descendants of the ancestress who was supposedly half-Cherokee; not one of the 9 descendants, including one great grandchild, showed one drop of Native DNA.

This ancestress was Mary Ann Francis Mooney, who married James Henry Waller. She was born in Lowndes County, Alabama and grew up in Leake County, Mississippi. She later moved to Arkansas. Family lore states that her father was full-blood Cherokee (and a Chief, no less). Supposedly a lock of long dark hair taped to a page of a family bible belonged to this supposedly Cherokee ancestor, Reuben Mooney of Leake County, Mississippi. It was believed that she followed her daughters Leona and Mary Waller who married brothers John and Thomas Vaughan, respectively, to Oklahoma in the area of modern-day Indianola and Hanna, Oklahoma. It was believed she and James died there, and were buried at Weogufkee Cemetery. This was passed down for generations, despite Mooney family records indicating both Mary and James were buried at other cemetery grounds back in Arkansas.

The family wanted so badly to tie our family to Native American heritage that they began to assert that the Wallers were buried at Weogufkee, along with Thomas Vaughan and a son of his and Mary's named Frank Vaughan. This was believed to have been supported by a single field-stone among two field-stones bearing the initials "F. V.". This was supposed to have been Frank Vaughan. And this was supposed to prove that our Mooneys were Cherokee Indian.

Well...it turns out all of the people buried in Weogufkee are Creek Indians. There are no Cherokees buried there. So there goes that portion of it. No doubt some cousins will say, "Well, we must be Creek then." But I'll point to the DNA, which conclusively shows that none of 9 descendants, 6 from Leona and 3 from Mary, have any Native American DNA.

The Mooneys were actually of German descent. Reuben Mooney's father was actually a captain of a North Carolina militia in the American Revolutionary War. He and his father were white. So was his wife, Matilda. That can also be backed up by the numerous census records from 1850 and beyond 1900 which show the race of the Mooney and Davis (Matilda Davis was the wife of Reuben Mooney) to be conclusively W. W for White. Not one single I for Indian. Not one aunt, uncle, cousin, or even 2nd cousin in this entirely family all the way through the 1940 Census (the most recent census we have access to) shows a single Davis or Mooney descendant to be Indian. So unless ALL of those people LIED and ALL of the dozens and dozens of census recorders who met these people and recorded this information were accessories to this LIE and all LIED on government documents for DECADES...the logical conclusion is that the Mooneys were not Indian. Nor were the Davises. Nor were the Wallers.

So any future descendants of the Mooney-Davis clan seeking proof of Native American heritage...you won't find it. Because it doesn't exist. Your grandmother having a dark complexion or your uncle having high cheek bones does not mean they were native. In the Mooneys case, you may be seeing remnants of Black Dutch heritage, or eastern European heritage. As I have not traced the lineage beyond Captain William Mooney, I do not know from where in Europe he came. But you'll also find there were no Native American Captains that commanded white troops in the Revolutionary War. Documentation proves we descend from William Mooney, a white man. This proves conclusively that Reuben Mooney, and therefore his daughter Mary was not Native. There is no argument against it. The lie is officially dead.

Back to Weogufkee Cemetery. Despite my ancestors not being buried there, it is still a very interesting cemetery with a lot of history. Since very little of that history has been shared online, I took it upon myself to share as much as I can. Find A Grave had less than 30 graves recorded from Weogufkee, also called Muddy Water Cemeter. Oklahoma Cemeteries (okcemeteries.net) had the same, and appears to have lifted what information it does have directly from Find A Grave. I know because I created one of the two memorials showing James and Mary Ann Waller to have been buried there, and my information had been indexed on OK Cemeteries. I have removed James Waller's memorial from Weogufkee, and have requested that Mary Ann's be removed as well.

I indexed the entire cemetery after photographing all that had names. There were many field stones that did not. I did come across one survey conducted in the late 90s or early 00s by a Melva Best, but it had not been archived on Find A Grave, and was incomplete. Mine was also incomplete, based on Mrs. Bests's survey. I had found several graves and markers she hadn't, and vice versa. Some of the ones she had were Funeral Home Markers that since she recorded them have been damaged or lost. I came across the remains of many funeral home markers where the information had been removed or was now illegible.

I have alphabetized all of the records I collected. I then noted which graves Mrs. Best had found that I did not during my visit in April, 2016. I also checked recent obituaries online and found a couple more that I did find markers for. Lastly, I checked indexed digitized newspaper records online, and found mention of a couple of other Weogufkee burials that I had not found during my survey. I am now putting them all together into one list in two parts. It is the most complete survey of Weogufkee I have found. I have uploaded all of the headstone photos I took to Find A Grave. I made memorials for the more than 100 people who were not already indexed there, and uploaded photos for the memorials that had already been recorded. Only two graves were photographed before I uploaded the pictures I took. Now there are pictures for about 80% of the recorded graves. The only missing ones are the ones Mrs. Best found that I did not, and the aforementioned others I have recorded.

Here is my Weogufkee Cemetery Survey. If you copy this information to another website, I request that my name be attached to it as a source. If I find the information indexed elsewhere with no proper credit being given, I will request its removal and be able to cite this dated blog post as well as the dated photos from Find A Grave as proof that the information was taken from me and improperly cited. 

Format: Name - Parentage if noted - Date or year of birth - Date or year of death. Inscriptions are in (parenthesis) and "quotations", additional notes are in [brackets].

Part One - Marked Graves:

Bearhead, Gretchen – 7 Nov 1946 – 6 Jan 1947
Boney, James – 1891 – 1936 (“Daddy”)
Bowen, Dr. Adoniram Van, M. D. – 1 Jul 1944 – 29 Dec 1984
Brooks, Mr. – No dates – “Father of John Brooks”
Brooks, Mrs. – No dates – “Mother of John Brooks”
Bruner, Luella H. – 7 Nov 1916 – 1 Mar 1991
Bullett, Leah – 10 Mar 1908 – 10 Jun 1909 (“From mothers arms to the arms of Jesus”)
Bullett, Millie – 1863 – 1936 (“I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.”
Bullett, Soloman – 1872 – 30 Jun 1918 (“Aged 46 years – Gone Home”)
Bullett, Unknown – 31 Jan 1897 – 31 Jan 1914 (Stone damaged, first name illegible) (“Aged 17 Yrs.”)
Byrd, Annie Deere Smith – 10 Jul 1902 – 28 Oct 1975
Byrd, Rev. Coleman L. – 22 Oct 1895 – 7 Nov 1990
Byrd, Felix – 12 May 1879 – 12 Dec 1901 (“Aged 22 yrs., 7 mos.”)
Byrd, Joel A. – 3 May 1943 – 5 Nov 1997
Byrd, Judy – 1825 – 26 Jan 1930 (“Aged 105 Yrs.”) (“She was a kind mother and a Christian”)
Catch, Unknown – Stone has fallen over [Melva Best: Celia d. Nov 30, 1914; age 40 yrs]
Chisholm, Elizabeth – 25 Aug 1886 – 20 Jun 1952
Chisholm, George W. – 28 Jul 1880 – 24 Sep 1959
Chisholm, Jackson – 26 Jul 1884 – 6 Mar 1954
Chisholm, Mattie – (Beloved wife of Tom Chisholm) – 20 Jul 1862 – 23 Mar 1911
Chisholm, Ruby – 9 Jul 1907 – 27 Jun 1973
Chisholm, Tom – 22 Dec 1909 – 29 Oct 1975
Chisholm, Woxie – 24 Jul 1914 – 4 Aug 1942
Colbert, Mary Smith – 1923 – 1988
Davenport, Sammie L. – 9 Mar 1919 – 13 Mar 1919
Deo, Ada Simmons – 27 Jun 1906 – 17 Dec 1992
Deo, Amos – 17 Jun 1900 – 31 May 1991
Deo, George – 1913 – 1980
Deo, Samuel – 1908 – 1991
Depue, Ester Maree – Dates illegible [Find A Grave: 21 Apr 1905 – 6 May 1907]
Ditzler, Unknown – Name illegible – “Mother of Mary Viola Sims”
Dorsey, Emma – 1886 – 25 Jan 1904 (“Forever with the Lord”)
Fields, Estalene – 20 Jan 1941 – 7 Jun 1998 [Melva Best: Nee Chisholm]
Fisher, Bettie – Daughter of Willie and Lucy Fisher – 2 Jul 1902 – 26 Sep 1905 (“Gone so soon”)
Fisher, Susie – 28 Mar 1905 – 22 Sep 1969
Freeman, Betty Jane Smith – 3 Sep 1932 – 28 Nov 2009 (“Daughter – A Light Unto Our Pathway”)
Gaino, Harriott – 1831 – 17 Apr 1899 (“Aged 68 Yrs.”) (“Mother of S. W. Bullett”) (“Resting in hope of a glorious resurrection”)
Gambler, Wash. – Son of M. L. Gambler – 5 Dec 1924 – 28 Feb 1925 (“At Rest”)
Gatlin, Unknown (Stone has fallen over) [Melva Best: GATLIN, Lucile b. May 21, 1881; d. May 13, 1912]
George, Billey – No dates (“Aged 5 Years”)
Green, Cinda – 1869 – Aug 1896 (“Age 27 Yrs.”) (“She believed and sleeps in Jesus.”)
Green, Willie - 1873 – 19 Aug 1891
Hammontree, Freeland Dan – 6 Jul 1945 – 8 Nov 1992 (“In Loving Memory”)
Hammontree, Lorine – 11 Aug 1920 – 30 May 2008 (“Loving Mother and Grandmother”)
Hammontree, Marvin – 28 Sep 1917 – 2 Jul 1983
Harjo, Albert – 1881 – 1 Feb 1926 (Stone damaged – first name is guess) (“Age 45 Years – At Rest”)
Harjo, Jack – 1918 – 1982 – (“Pvt. U. S. Army – World War II”)
Harjo, Wanda Faye – 1938 – 2012 (Dates illegible) [Obit: Nee Lewis]
Harley, Helen – 4 Aug 1934 (McIntosh County, OK) – 14 Feb 2006 (Norman, OK)
Harley, Stella – 13 Jun 1901 – 14 Jan 1962 [Obit: Died in Talihina]
Herrod, Wilson E. – 7 Dec 1924 – 2 Apr 1989 (“U.S. Marine Corps – World War II”)
Hill, Hattie – 15 Jul 1891 – 30 Apr 1936
Hill, Houston – 16 May 1893 – 25 May 1935
James, Billie – 23 May 1892 – 5 Jun 1947 (“Oklahoma – Pvt. – 111 Ammo TN, 36 Div. – World War I”)
Jones, Solomon – 14 Aug 1915 – 21 Aug 1915 (“Budded on earth to bloom in heaven”)
Kelly, Rosa “Rose” M. – 18 Jan 1938 – 20 Feb 2005
Lasley, Jennie – Wife of Dick Lasley – 1866 – 16 Apr 1916 (“Age 50 Years”)
Lasley, Monroe – 3 Oct 1941 – 9 Mar 2015 (“A2C – U. S. Air Force – Vietnam”)
Lasley, Senora – 1914 – 21 Apr 1958 (“Aged 45 years, 7 months, 1 day”)
Lasley, Wisey – 1862 – 27 Dec 1930
Lewis, Tildy – Wife of Jackson Lewis – 1884 – Jan. 1911 (“Age 27 Years – My trust is in God”)
Lindsey, Alex Lewis – 1941 - 1992
Lindsey, Buddy – 1910 – 29 May 1957 (“Aged 47”)
McCombs, Rev. Dave – 22 Jul 1907 – 7 Feb 1996
McCombs, Sarah Ann – 18 Apr 1908 – 19 Mar 2005 (“Beloved Mother and Grandmother”) [Death Announcement: Nee Thomas]
McQueen, Jeannetta – 1883 – 6 Apr 1912 (Stone damaged)
McQueen, Kogee – 4 Jul 1893 – 6 Aug 1915 (Stone fallen over) 
Parkhill, Lu – Wife of C. W. Parkhill – 11 Mar 1867 – 6 Feb 1911
Pendley, Dollie J. – Wife of M. S. Pendley – 18 Feb 1873 – 5 Jan 1907
Pendley, Esther Tennessee Roland – No dates
Pendley, Laura E. – Wife of Larkin Pendley – 1881 – 1910
Pendley, Ruby – Inf. Son of Larkin and Laura Pendley – 1905 – 1905 (Two stones)
Pendley, Soloman (Two Headstones) – 21 Jan 1844 – 15 Dec 1905 (Serg., Co. H, 12 KY Cav., Civil War)
Pendley, Unnamed – Son of M. S. and Dollie J. Pendley – 8 Dec 1906 – 26 Feb 1907
Pendley, Unnamed – Son of M. S. and Dollie J. Pendley – 5 Aug 1905 – 12 Aug 1905
Proctor, Andy – 1910 - 1965
Proctor, Billy Gene – 26 Jul 1937 – 11 Nov 1990
Proctor, Judy Lasley – 19 Jul 1918 – 11 Nov 1993
Proctor, Luster I. – 31 May 1951 – 23 Sep 1997
Proctor, Snow – 1 Feb 1918 – 11 Apr 1945 (Oklahoma – PFC – 184 Infantry, 7 Infantry Division - World War II)
Ritterhoff, Abbie J. – 8 Mar 1910 – 18 Oct 1981 [Melva Best: Nee Chisholm]
Ritterhoff, Carney – 6 Jan 1909 – 22 Oct 1979 (“In Loving Memory”) (Two stones) (Second: Pvt. U.S. Army – World War II)
Rolland, Ella – No Dates – Wife of Everett
Scott, Frank – 15 Jul 1895 – 8 Oct 1918 (“[Illegible], Co. E, 142nd Infantry.”) (“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”)
Simmons, Dorsey – 1885 – 25 Feb 1909
Simmons, Emma – 4 Jun 1904 – 29 Aug 1907 (“Budded on earth to bloom in heaven”)
Simmons, George – 22 Nov 1907 – 12 Jul 1908
Simmons, Harley – 1912 – 24 Feb 1964
Simmons, Jacob – 2 May 1913 – 10 Oct 1914
Simmons, Lelar – Daughter of Walter Simmons – 5 Apr 1918 – 8 Jul 1920 (“At rest”)
Simmons, Lizzie – Wife of Samuel Simmons – 6 Feb 1898 – 1 May 1920 (“She believed and sleeps in Jesus”)
Simmons, Siah – Son of Walter and Chippie Simmons – 30 Mar 1910 – 30 May 1910
Simmons, Walter – Died 1 May 1921 (Writing on handmade stone illegible)
Smith, Alfred – 1929 – 1983
Smith, Betty Phillips – 21 Apr 1888 – 9 Feb 1964 (“A Woman That Feareth The Lord, She Shall Be Praised”)
Smith, Geneva – 1926 – Living? (Wife of Alfred)
Smith, Joe – Husband of Rose Smith – 1873 – 11 Jun 1919 (3 o’clock AM) (“Earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal”)
Smith, Marie – 28 Dec 1922 – 22 Mar 1963 (“Daughter”) [Obit: Died in Talihina]
Smith, Roland Carl – 23 Aug 1914 – 25 Aug 1924 (“His Memory Verse: The fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Smith)
Smith, Rev. William P. – 1 Oct 1890 – 15 Nov 1958 “He Whom We Thought Dead Is Only Gone Before Us”
Spaniard, Andre Cody – 1921 – 1995
Spaniard, Anna – 1925 – 1999
Spaniard, Simon – 14 Aug 1894 – 24 Oct 1963 (Oklahoma – PFC – U.S. Army - World War I) (Last name spelled Spainard)
Spaniard, Unknown – Funeral Home Marker damaged - 1896 – 1986 [Melva Best: Annie Ida Spaniard]
Spillers, Jessie H. – Son of J. E. and Parthenia Sellers – 10 Sep 1888 – 10 Nov 1909 (“Come Ye Blessed”)
Spillers, Parthenia – 16 Aug 1865 – 7 Feb 1917
Starr, Dolly Jean – 1 May 1924 – 8 May 1924
Starr, Walter – 28 Jul 1898 – 13 Nov 1924
Sulman, Robert – Son of Roly and Lucy Sulman – 1909 – Jul 1911 (“Age 2 years – Our loved one”)
Thomas, Mattie Jean – 1933 – 2006
Thomas, James C. – 17 Jul 1895 – 22 Mar 1970
Thomas, Lizzie Lou – 10 Sep 1899 – 18 Jan 1979 (“A Loving Sister”)
Thomas, Minnie F. – 14 Jun 1907 – 9 Jul 1982
Thompson, Unknown (Possibly E. T.) – No dates, possible initials illegible
Tiger, Annie Walker – 22 May 1917 – 14 Mar 2008 (“God took her home, It was his will, But in our hearts she liveth still”)
Tiger, George – 13 Sep 1933 – 11 Dec 1934
Tiger, George – No dates – (“Aged 8 Ys.”)
Timontruby, Dina – 1894 – 3 May 1906 (“Aged 12 Ys.”)
V., F. – No dates - Fieldstone

Washington, Martha – 27 May 1925 – 27 May 1925 (“At Rest”)


This next section will list graves I have found record of in obituaries or from Melva Best's surveys, but that I did not locate markers for during my survey of the cemetery. They are likely some of the damaged and illegible marks, as there many of them. In [brackets] I have written my source.

Part Two - Unmarked Graves:

Bullett, Silas Stephen - 13 Mar 1937 - 22 Jun 1999 [Melva Best]
Chisholm, Buster – Died Apr 1939 [Obit - Indian Journal]
Deo, Billy - 8 Dec 1910 - 15 Sep 1993 [Melva Best]
Hicks, Edmond - 11 Mar 1913 - 31 Jan 1999 [Melva Best]
Hicks, Leo L - 1941 - 1998 [Melva Best]
Hughey, Floy – 5 Dec 1912 – 4 Apr 1942 [Find A Grave - No Source]
Kano, Eldon Lewis – 28 Nov 1935 – 16 Sep 2001 [Obit - Online]
Lasley, Gilbert - Died Apr 1970 [Melva Best]
Lasley, Sam - Died 31 Jan 1964 [Melva Best]
Lasley, Wesley - 1912 - 27 Dec 1980 [Melva Best]
Pigeon, Lena - 1922 - 19 Dec 1980 [Melva Best]
Proctor, Kelly - Died 2 Sep 1970 [Melva Best]
Simmons, Charley - Died 21 Feb 1965 [Melva Best]
Simmons, Chippie - Died Nov 1952 [Melva Best]
Smith, Sam – Buried 6 May 1936 [Newspaper Mention - Indian Journal]
Thomas, Timmie F. - 1907 - 1982 [Melva Best]
West, Aaron - 1914 - 1987 [Melva Best]


Lastly, I submitted a historical sketch of the cemetery and some pictures to the Find A Grave page for the cemetery. This is the sketch and the non-headstone pictures I shared, along with some additional photos I like but may not be necessary for the Find A Grave page.

"Weogufkee is Creek Indian for "Muddy Water", and the Weogufkee Indian Baptist Church and cemetery grounds have been used by Creek Indians in the area of modern-day Hanna, Oklahoma in McIntosh County since about 1858, according to a large commemorative marker. The earliest marked burial that has been located is dated 1891. The Pendley family has a separate fenced plot a few yards from the main collective of graves, but are still considered to be a part of the "Muddy Water" Cemetery. Soldiers from every major American conflict since the Civil War are interred here among members of the earliest Creek families that lived in the vicinity.

A large stone marker next to the church reads: "Weogufkee Indian Missionary Baptist Church - The church was finally whereon the stone stand and began its missionary work in about 1858. This stone was erected to be a memorial to departed faithful servants of our savior Lord Jesus Christ." It is dated in May of 1935.

It is still in use today by current and former members of the Weogufkee Indian Baptist Church. The dirt road leading to the church is marked with Weogufkee Indian Baptist Church sign, and can be found by taking the Dustin/Highway 9 exit off of the Indian Nation Turnpike, and heading east on Highway 9. Follow that to Highway 52 going south toward Hanna. Go through Hanna on Highway 52, which becomes Main Street, and turn west on Countryside Road, which becomes E1250 Rd., when you reach the intersection with the Post Office. Follow Countryside Road to the Weogufkee Indian Baptist Church sign, which will appear on your left if you are going west and will be just before you reach the bridge taking you back over the Indian Nation Turnpike. Take the dirt road back about 1/2 mile, at which point you'll arrive at the gate to the cemetery and church."




The sign for the Weogufkee Baptist Church off of Countryside Road coming from Hanna. 


The pond which can be viewed as you turn down the road toward the church and cemetery.


The road to the Weogufkee Church and cemetery.


The entrance to the Weogufkee/Muddy Water Cemetery.


A view from within the cemetery.


Another view from within the cemetery.


Another view from within the cemetery.


This is the Pendley Family Plot, which is fenced off and a few yards from the main body of the cemetery.


Weogufkee Indian Baptist Church, April, 2016.


Memorial erected in 1935 commemorating the cemetery and church.


The sign, found a few yards from the church and memorial, naming the cemetery. 

Please feel free to write me or comment with any questions or additional information.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

William H. Sain of Newton County, Arkansas

Sometimes when doing research, you come across a relative whose information has been mixed with a person of the same name. It happens. I’ve addressed this occurrence in previous blogposts. Today, I’m going to address this issue with a new relative in hopes that both current and future researchers will update their records with the most accurate information available.

My focus on this post is on an uncle of mine named William H. Sain. He is also referred to as William Houston Sain. I am going to start with the source of information that I believe is at least partially the root of the terrible horrible, really-bad information that has been shared online about William, on platforms from Ancestry.com and FindAGrave.com to personal genealogy websites and message boards.

Sometime after the year 2000 (the most recent year mentioned in the document), a genealogy titled “Sain Clan of Middle Tennessee – Selected Descendants of Daniel Sain and his father Casper (Zurn) Sain” was published by Charles H. Sain of Birmingham, Alabama (which can be read in its entirety here: http://grundycountyhistory.org/04_Coll/Sain%20Clan%20of%20Middle%20TN.pdf). While much of the information is solid, there is information on my particular branch of the Sain tree that is not accurate, and has led to a plethora of misinformation being spread around the internet. Whether or not this source is the original source for the bad information or if Mr. Sain simply absorbed it from other bad sources, it is not clear.

The first red flag raised in this genealogy is that it perpetuates what I call the “Sain Harlot theory”. To summarize, there are four Sain brothers found to have been raised by Daniel Sain and Mary Martha Davis. Appropriately, it has been concluded that this pair were too old to have been the parents of these four brothers. From there, a number of theories have popped up, the most prominent of which is the “Harlot” theory. This has two variations. One is that a daughter of Daniel and Mary had four boys out of wedlock, subsequently naming each child after their biological fathers, who were all members of the family’s church congregation. The second variation is similar, except that the mother is either a sister of Mary Davis, or her daughter from a previous marriage.

Both theories postulate that this woman had children with Elisha Reynolds, Samuel Austin, and a man named Thomas, and named each child accordingly: Elisha Reynolds Sain, Samuel Austin Sain, and Thomas Sain. There is also a fourth child, Noah Webster Sain, who apparently “must have” been the only child that broke the above pattern of naming the children after their fathers, and instead the mother opted for naming the child after theTennessee pioneer. This theory never sat well with me, as it would indicate a striking amount of ignorance among the population of this small, sparsely-populated area that everyone would ignore that a woman was running around town and giving birth to children of all the various men in the area. It’s really quite dumbfounding how anyone ever found this theory plausible, but apparently people have. “Sain Clan of Middle Tennessee” essentially repeats this theory by naming a “Betsey Sain”, a supposed daughter of Daniel and Mary, as the mother of the four boys.

A more plausible theory is the George Sain/Patsey Davis theory. George Sain is known to have existed (unlike the theoretical harlot), as there are primary sources that give his name. He is found in the same church records as Daniel Sain, Elisha Reynolds, and Samuel Austin at the Blue Springs Baptist Church of Christ near Viola, Tennessee. The last entry naming George was in 1830, and an entry in 1831 indicated his wife, Patsey, was deceased. Now whether or not this Patsey was a Davis is still up for debate; I have found no primary sources that indicate she was.

Regardless, it appears this couple died at approximately the same time that Daniel took guardianship of the children (they appear to be the four young men/boys in his household in 1840). It therefore follows that Daniel took in the four orphaned boys of George Sain. Daniel’s and George’s precise relationship is not clear, but it is believed that George was a nephew of Daniel, as a probable son of Daniel’s brother Joseph.

I am not setting about to prove or disprove Patsey’s relationship to the Davis family or George Sain’s relationship to Daniel at this point today. But I would like to point out  that George and Patsey Sain (known to have existed) naming 3 of their four children after their friends/neighbors Elisha Reynolds, Samuel Austin, and possibly Thomas Stroud, a deacon of their church, is much more likely than the “harlot” (a woman who may or may not have existed) theory. Further, as recently as May 2015 I found people online discussing the “harlot” theory and believing it to be true, and theorized that the four boys may not have been biological Sains at all. However, my own DNA and the DNA of my grandmother’s brother (a grandson of Olive Sain, daughter of Samuel, son of Elisha Reynolds Sain) has matched to numerous Sains outside of the descendants of the four brothers, which should soundly quash those rumors.

I want to point out this issue because “Sain Clan of Middle Tennessee” further perpetuates this myth, which in my opinion, immediately calls into question the validity of its information as a reliable source.

“Sain Clan of Middle Tennessee” states correctly that brothers Elisha Reynolds Sain and Noah Webster Sain each had sons named William H. Sain, born very closely to one another. Beyond that, the rest of the information presented on the two men is questionable. It is written that William H. Sain, son of Elisha, was born 31 Dec 1842 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and married a “Molly Salter”.  No source is given for this date of birth, nor the dates of birth for Elisha’s other children. Given the precise dates, it can plausibly be assumed that the dates came from a bible (I have read online of two family bibles; one owned by Zela Sain McBride, my great grandfather’s 1st cousin, and one that belonged Samuel Austin Sain, Elisha’s brother. Neither has been transcribed online, and I have not found either’s current location.), but without citations, it is not known where this date comes from.
The book goes on to name a “William Houston Sain” as a son of Noah Webster Sain. It states that he was born “circa 1843”, married a Molly Moore, and died in Newton County, Arkansas.

Today, I will outline how these two cousins had their information merged. There is no documentation that either man’s middle name was Houston, though William son of Elisha appeared to have a son whose middle name was Houston. Beyond that, I have concluded that Elisha’s son William is the one who married Molly Moore, not Molly Salter, and is the one that died in Newton County, Arkansas. I am going to trace the lives of each men in order to illustrate how I reached these conclusions.

Both men can be found in the homes of their respective fathers in the 1850 Census. Elisha Sain’s household in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama shows a son William Sain, approximately age 7 and born in Alabama. Noah Sain’s household in Cannon County, Tennessee shows a son William H. Sain, approximately age 8, born in Tennessee. From this point forward, I will refer to Elisha’s son as William of Alabama, and Noah’s son as William of Tennessee.

By the 1860 Census, Noah had passed, but William of Tennessee can be found in his mother Nancy’s household Coffee County, Tennessee. William of Alabama is still in his father’s household, which is now located in Lowndes County, Mississippi. It should be noted at this point that the capitals of Coffee and Lowndes counties are Manchester, TN and Columbus, MS, respectively. These cities are 250 miles apart.

On September 29th, 1864, William H. Sain married Mary E. Moore in Lowndes County, Missippi. Why on Earth researchers have assumed that William of Tennessee moved 250 miles to Mississippi in the middle of the Civil War to get married, instead of realizing that there was already a William Sain in Lowndes County who obviously must be the one who got married there, I will never know. It is obvious that William of Alabama is the William who married Mary E. Moore. I don’t know who “Molly Salter” was; I have found no information about her. I have not found if she was the wife of William of Tennessee, or perhaps a 2nd spouse to William of Alabama, but there are no records indicating either.

I do not currently have a subscription to Fold3.com in order to look at the original copies of Civil War service records, but in this case they are not necessary. I did not find any William Sains who fit the age, geographic locale, and/or middle initial for William H. Sain of Tennessee in any Civil War service records for Tennessee. A William H. Sain (or W. H. Sain) in Mississippi enrolled in two military units during the Civil War: Company H of the 6th Mississippi Cavalry, and Company F of the 43rd Mississippi. Information from the FamilySearch.org page for the 6th Cavalry indicates that the majority of the members of Company H of the 6th Mississippi Cavalry were from Lowndes County, Mississippi (https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/6th_Regiment,_Mississippi_Cavalry&hl=en&gl=us&strip=1&vwsrc=0). The Wikipedia page for the 43rd Mississippi Infantry indicates that the majority of soldiers in Company F were from Lowndes County. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/43rd_Mississippi_Infantry)

Also enrolling in the 6th Mississippi Cavalry was the younger brother of William H. Sain of Alabama, Elisha Thomas Sain, who was in the same company with other Lowndes County men. So despite numerous researchers stating that William of Tennessee served in the Civil War in the 6th MS Cavalry (which he would have had to travel 250 miles to enroll in, mind you), this is incorrect. The man who served in the 6th Cavalry and 43rd Infantry was William H. Sain, son of Elisha Reynolds Sain, not the son of Noah Webster Sain.

I want to take this moment to dispute two online message board posts relating to the Civil War service of William of Alabama and his father, Elisha. It’s important to do so, in my opinion, because undoubtedly future researchers who are Google-searching William and Elisha will come across these posts, and I do not want those researchers to believe the information is accurate. The first was posted in 2005, here: http://boards.ancestry.co.uk/surnames.sain/148/mb.ashx. It states that William “Houston” Sain who married Molly Moore served in Josey’s Arkansas 15th Infantry, Company A.

In actuality, the William Sain who served in the AR 15th was a 3rd, unrelated William Sain. The Wikipedia page for this unit indicates that the majority of men from that unit in Company A were from Monroe County. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15th_Arkansas_Infantry_Regiment_(Josey%27s) It should be noted at this point that as I’ve stated above, these lists indicate where the MAJORITY of men from each company were from. Sometimes, companies were made up of condensed companies, and therefore had men from more than one area. Other times, men opted to serve in another Company because a relative or relatives were in that company, and they wished to serve under them. Other times, if they live on the border of a certain county, it’s possible that the capital city of the neighboring county is closer (sometimes significantly closer) to their home than the capital of their own county, so they would then travel there to enlist.

In this William Sain’s case, I do not know which scenario led to his being in Company A. But Company E of his unit did include men from Desha County, Arkansas. And wouldn’t you know it? There is a 26-year old William Sain living in Desha County in the 1860 Census: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8WM-NVH. I am forced to conclude that not only for this reason, but because William of Alabama was living in Mississippi and enrolled in a unit there, and because there is also no indication that William of Tennessee ever ventured to south-central Arkansas, that the William Sain of Josey’s Arkansas 15th Infantry is neither William of Alabama, nor William of Tennessee.

There is also this story floating around, which I have already seen pasted onto other genealogy blogs and onto Ancestry.com trees: http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/sain/225/. Not only does this post perpetuate the likely-myth of the “Harlot mother”, it also states, in part: “At the outbreak of the Civil War, the family was moving in a caravan from Tuscaloosa to Arkansas. When they reached Jackson, MS all the able-bodied men were enlisted.” The rest of the post regarding service is true. Elisha did serve under General Nathan Bedford Forrest as an engineer in the (Mississippi) First State Infantry, and William H. (of Alabama) did serve in the 6th Cavalry. But it’s this little additional story I shared with which I take issue.

The 1860 Census clearly indicates the family was residing in Mississippi. This story would have you believe that the family was en route from Alabama to Arkansas, and then they were forced to stop in Mississippi and coerced into joining the Confederacy there. It’s true that Mississippi enacted a law requiring all able-bodied males to enlist to fight with the Confederacy, something most other Confederate states did not require. But to me, this seems like a “saving face” story for the family; it is as if they are saying, “Elisha and William did not want to fight for the Confederacy, but they were stopped in Mississippi and forced to!” instead of just admitting, “Elisha and William served in the Confederacy, either because they wanted to volunteer or because they were residents of Mississippi and therefore obliged by the law to serve”. There is nothing wrong with the latter sentence; it is the truth. But to imply the former statement is to try and cover up that yes, the Sains were Southern people, raised in Southern states, and likely sympathized with Southern beliefs and causes.

It is what it is. But it’s silly to cover up their Confederate sympathies by pretending they weren’t actually residents of Mississippi and were simply conscripted to fight for the South. It does a disservice to their memories and legacies, regardless of your feelings about the Confederate cause. Elisha and William were fully fledged residents of Mississippi, as proven by the Census, and they were not simply “passing through” on their way from Alabama to Arkansas.

By 1870, Elisha Reynolds Sain is now living in Independence County, Arkansas in the vicinity of a number of his in-laws, the Lawrence family. The Census will show that just a couple households from his was the household of his son, Elisha Thomas Sain. If you flip one page over, you will find the household of…you guessed it: William H. Sain. Please note that he states he was born in Alabama, not Tennessee. Please note that his wife’s name is Mary E. Sain, strongly indicating she is the Mary E. Moore who married William H. Sain six years prior in Lowndes County, MS. And by this time, they also have a child named Titus.

Any reasonable researcher, in my opinion, would conclude that if Elisha Reynolds Sain had a son named William H. Sain the same age as the William H. Sain in the 1870 Census of Independence County, Arkansas, and they were a mere single page apart (just a handful of households between them), that this William was clearly Elisha’s son. Well, apparently some researchers need the obvious pointed out to them. So let’s completely throw that point out the window, and consult the 1870 Census in Coffee County, Tennessee. There you will find—shocker!!!—William Sain, born about 1843 in Tennessee, living with his mother, Nancy, the widow of Noah Webster Sain.

Despite this fact, researchers still want to believe that the William who is in Independence County in 1870, and who is the father of Titus, is the William of Tennessee who is the son of Noah Webster Sain. The 1870 Census destroys that theory beyond a reasonable doubt, even without the rest of the aforementioned evidence. BUT WAIT—THERE’S MORE!

William of Tennessee is not found again after the 1870 Census. I have not found him in any other records. This is the William, son of Noah Webster Sain. William of Alabama can be found in Johnson County, Arkansas in 1880. He is found again in Logan County, Arkansas in 1900. The 1880 Census shows he is the father of Titus, a unique enough name that we can be sure he is the same William who is in Independence County in 1870. The 1900 Census shows that he married his wife Mary in 1864. But wait, isn’t that the same year William H. Sain married Mary E. Moore in Lowndes County, Mississippi?! You got it.

William also filed for a Confederate Pension while in Arkansas. This was for his service in Mississippi. The file does not give an extraordinary amount of genealogy information, but it does give some. It proves he served in the 6th Mississippi Cavalry. It gives his date of death as February 18th, 1902 (“at home”, according to his widow) [“Near Summit, Newton County, Arkansas”]. And it gives his wife’s middle named as Elizabeth. It states he was hit by shrapnel that went through both of his hands during the war. Multiple comrades attested to his service and his injuries. Further, on a handwritten portion of the application for widows’ pension after William had died, it gives Mary’s maiden name as “More” (spelled this way once) or “Moore” (spelled this way later). (Can be viewed here: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16102-55851-51?cc=1837922&wc=M617-P38:164385201).

This portion of the application states that their family bible gives their date of marriage as September 29th, 1864. That matches the above-referenced marriage record in Mississippi.

If for some reason the above-stated facts aren’t enough, let’s theorize as to the circumstances that would need to occur in order for Noah’s son William of Tennessee to be the William of Lowndes County, MS, and Independence, Johnson, Logan, and Newton counties, AR and have that NOT be Elisha’s son William of Alabama.

Noah’s son William of Tennessee would have had to travel 250 miles from his parents and siblings to live near his uncle and cousins in Mississippi. He would have then migrated to Arkansas with them, all the while claiming he had been born in Alabama like his cousin William H. Sain, instead of claiming his actual birthplace, Tennessee. And all of this would have had to have happened while his cousin William H. fell of the face of the planet, never to be located again. It all seems rather ridiculous to think anyone would combine these two persons like this, but researchers have, and will continue to until they recognize their errors.

If you sense some recurring sarcasm and frustration in this article, it’s because I am quite frustrated with all of this and sarcasm seems to be the only way for me to clarify what should be a simple realization. These facts as-stated make it obvious who is who when it comes to William H. vs. William H., but for some reason multiple researchers over multiple decades have failed to properly analyze the facts and come to a logical conclusion. I am hopeful that future researchers of either William H. Sain will come across this article and ensure their information is correct.

Additionally, it should be noted that while reviewing all of the primary sources we have for William H. Sain of Alabama, that none of these sources indicated his middle name is Houston. So even though a descendant ordered a Confederate headstone and put the middle name Houston on it, it doesn’t make it true. It might be, but there have been no primary sources identified that I have found that prove this. As previously noted, his son had the middle name Houston, but that does not mean that he did. His Confederate headstone should not be taken seriously regardless; it has his year of death as 1909, even though his pension and original headstone quite clearly say 1902.


Lastly, it should be noted that as I stated above, it appears that the birthdates for Elisha Reynolds Sain’s children came from a bible that I have not identified or located. If that is the case, then the date of birth listed there does not match the date of birth on William’s headstone. The above “Sain Clans of Middle Tennessee” gives his date of birth as December 31, while his headstone says November 30. It is likely that one of the following circumstances occurred: either the (potentially fictional) bible record was started years after William’s birth and his date was not recorded correctly, or his family members simply got it wrong when he died, which would not be the first time that has happened. In the 1900 Census, William gives his own month of birth as November, so I believe that date is the one to be trusted.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Genealogy Road Trip: A Journey to the Ozarks

For a long time now, I've wanted to do two things: 1) Introduce my 4-year-old son to the fun of camping, and 2) Visit the "homeland" of sorts of my great grandpa, Tom Martin. He grew up in Baxter County, Arkansas before coming to Oklahoma as a young man. His people were pioneers of the region, and I've always wanted to go there to visit landmarks I've read about, look through local history resources for mentions of my relatives, and meet with distant cousins. So I planned a weekend trip where I would meet with several cousins (some distant, some quite close biologically-speaking), visit my ancestors' old stomping grounds, and camp out with my son while I'm there. I was very fortunate that all of this came together with very few hitches. It was a wonderful trip where I learned a lot, gained some priceless family knowledge, and got to bond with my son. Below is a summary of mine and my son Elliott's adventures.

Day 1


On Friday, most of our afternoon and evening was dedicated to driving to Mountain View, Arkansas. We got to drive through the gorgeous Ozark mountains, and drove across many rivers and streams. It's not difficult to see why these mountains were so appealing to my forebears; there's endless lush scenery, beautiful mountains and large hills, and many animals I'm not accustomed to seeing around Tulsa where I live. Finally, we arrived at the Sylamore Creek Camp, where we set up camp right next to the beautiful river. I've read all about the Sylamore Creek and its surrounding areas in "Life in the Leatherwoods" by my cousin John Quincy Wolf. (A wonderful biography of his incredible life can be read here: http://web.lyon.edu/wolfcollection/lankfordbio.htm)



Our campsite was perched just across the river from a large cliff. We found turtles and frogs; fish jumped out of the water, and large birds were flying low over the water early in the morning when we broke camp.

Day 2


We broke camp about 7 a.m. the next morning, and this was our view first thing. I really don't have the words to describe the beauty of this place.

We then headed into Mountain View, where we had an 8 a.m. appointment with Lynda Swafford at the Stone County Historical Society's Museum and Library. Lynda was extremely helpful, having gathered numerous materials for me related to my Rorie family and some of their related families. I was able to copy quite a bit of information I didn't have previously, and I couldn't be more grateful to Mrs. Swafford for he assistance. The library itself was very impressively organized, with many of the area's most prominent families having their own folders or files filled with materials directly related to them. The area's obituaries were collected in several binders, and were indexed and very easy to sift through. The museum was very fun and interesting, while the building itself is attached to Mountain View's first school building. Elliott had a great time looking at the exhibits. Thank you again to Lynda and the Stone County Historical Society for going out of your way to meet us at 8 a.m. on a busy day (the annual Folk Festival was taking place that weekend, with a parade that included a float for the historical society). 



We then headed north toward Norfork in Baxter County. We soon crossed the White River as we reached Calico Rock, Arkansas. We stopped here to admire the scenery of the White River, which was a cornerstone of pioneer life in this part of Arkansas. My Wolf, Hutcheson, and Martin families relied on this river much of their lives, and the beauty of it cannot be overstated. 




We also enjoyed a short tour of the Calico Rock Museum, where we encountered courteous, knowledgeable staff, and a fantastic restroom with awesome pictures of historic outhouses from across the nation hanging on the walls, which I found very entertaining.


Soon after, we made it to Norfork, Arkansas, the town whose surrounding areas my family called home for decades. Our first stop was the historic Jacob Wolf House. Norfork Mayor Jim Reeves was kind enough to unlock the house so that we could take a look inside the house. My understanding is that Norfork used to own the house, but it is now owned by Baxter County. At one time, it was filled with historic period furniture, and locals would dress in period garb and walk around there, but since the county has taken over, the atmosphere at the home is a more subdued. 







Regardless, the grounds are gorgeous, the house is fascinating, and you can really feel the history as you walk through. Jacob Wolf was my 4th great grand uncle. The house is one of the oldest standing structures in Arkansas, and at one point acted as the Baxter County courthouse. Multiple generations of my family lived in, visited, and stayed at this home, and walking through it really made me feel connected to them. 

Also on the grounds of the Wolf House are the old Wolf Blacksmith shop, and the cabin of Reverend John Wolf, Jacob's brother.




The spot where the house is is incredibly scenic; my videos and pictures really don't do it justice.

Our next visit was to our distant Martin family cousin, Don Blair, at his store, Riverview Emporium. It was full of really cool, unique items; I bought a couple of books and a Wolf House souvenir. Don was very knowledgeable about the family, and had lots of stories. He was able to draw me a handy map to get to Martin Springs and the other area landmarks I was looking for. 



So with Don's map in hand, we made our way to Martin Springs, the home stomping grounds where my great grandfather Tom Martin grew up. We stopped first at the Martin Cemetery, where three of my direct ancestors are buried; namely Richard C. "Dick" Martin, and his parents, Thomas D. and Susan (nee Hutcheson) Martin. Numerous other uncles, aunts, and cousins are also buried there. It is a beautiful area, that luckily wasn't heavily damaged in the severe floods that hit the area a few years ago. Please note that in the below video, I erred in labeling Annie Martin a sister of my great great grandfather, Dick Martin. She was actually Dick's sister-in-law, as she was the wife of John "Lige" Martin. I apologize for the mistake.










Next we trekked down Martin Springs Road to where my Martin ancestors once resided. Joe Boyd, another distant Martin cousin, and his son-in-law own most of the land around the area I was looking around in, including the Martin Springs and the Martin Springs schoolhouse. He wasn't home at first, but I walked around a bit and waited for him. He eventually came home, and he and I discussed the family and his various memories of the Martin family. He told me where my Martin family's home, called the "Mollie Martin Place" or the "Dick Martin Place" once stood. He also said he was a pallbearer at my uncle Wilson's funeral; Wilson was a brother of my great grandpa, Tom. He said he'd heard a story that as children, the Martin brothers and their friends would pull back large trees and let them go like a catapult. Once, they talked Wilson, who was the youngest, into climbing onto the tree and being slung through the air. He says Wilson went nearly 50 feet and really banged up his backside. 

He allowed me free range to explore the area around the springs. The school house is where my great grandfather attended school as a boy. It is still in great condition, and a pie supper is held there each year to raise money to take care of the Martin Cemetery. There are two old houses nearby; one belonged to a cousin named Randolph Martin, who descend from Joel C. Martin, the brother of my 3rd great grandfather Thomas D. Martin. The other old house belonged to my great great grandfather Richard C. "Dick" Martin's brother, "Bully" Joe Martin, and sister, Maggie Martin, late in their lives. Joe said that Maggie's was the first dead body he saw as a child, and he could remember her funeral. He said that "Bully" Joe had another house before this one, that was a few hundred yards behind the current one. It burned down, but parts of the chimneys and foundation are still intact. 







The Martin Spring school outhouse.

Elliott found a turtle!

Joe Boyd

Rudolph Martin home

"Bully" Joe Martin home

The Martin Spring

The above spot is where the below home used to stand; this was the home my great grandfather grew up in, and is known both as the "Mollie Martin Place" and the "Dick Martin Place".


Next, we headed to the Hutcheson Cemetery, which is a couple more miles up Martin Springs Road; we had to cross over the river twice, but luckily the waters weren't too high that day. This cemetery apparently was only re-discovered relatively recently, in just the last few years. It was very overgrown and had been completely forgotten and neglected. Luckily, once it was found, people got together and cleaned it up. There are more than 20, maybe as many as 40 field stones, but only three legible headstones. It is likely that my 3rd great grandparents, Richard C. and Nancy Wolf Hutcheson, who were parents of Susan who married Thomas D. Martin, are buried there.






At this point, we headed for Mountain Home to set up our camp for that night. We camped out at Cranfield Park, a beautiful Federal park, and set up camp right next to the lake.








Day 3

The next day, we headed for Flippin in Marion County to meet with couple more cousins. We started with Kathryn Hodges Busch. She is my great grandfather's half-1st cousin, so biologically speaking she is a close cousin as my 1st cousin 3 times removed. Her mother was Beviah "Bevie" Rorie Hodges, the half-sister of my great great grandmother, Mollie Rorie Martin. She and her husband Ernie graciously agreed to meet us in the morning, and we went over Kathryn's vast collection of photographs. She had pictures of several relatives that I had never seen before, and a good deal more of relatives that are unknown. She has a lot of "tin type" photos that are unidentified. They belonged to her mother Bevie, so they could be Rories or Normans. 

I copied many of her Rorie pictures, and several of her Normans as well. I am not a Norman myself, but I am a fan of interesting old photographs. Plus I thought some other Norman descendants might be interested in some of the photos she had. Mary Mahala Norman was the second wife of my 3rd great grandfather, William Josiah "Bill" Rorie, and the mother of my great great grandmother Mollie's four half-siblings. So Mary, or "B" as she was called, would be my step-grandmother, and her relatives my step-relatives. She sent me copies of the unidentified tin types too, and I hope to work on getting those identified. Below are the pictures that Kathryn shared with me. 

Robert Arthur Rorie Sr. - "Uncle Arthur" - Son of William Josiah Rorie and Louisa Lauvice Selph


Unknown, un-labelled picture. Most likely Norman cousins. I always enjoy old photographs featuring musicians. 


Martin Springs School


Mary Mahala "B" Norman Rorie and her daughter Beviah Rorie Hodges


Morgan Alexander Norman and Hannah Roxanne Lawson Norman, parents of Mary Mahala Norman Rorie


Morgan Alexander Norman and Hannah Roxanne Lawson Norman, parents of Mary Mahala Norman Rorie. Very similar to the picture above it, but the hand placements prove it is a different photo.


Robert "Bob" Arthur Rorie Jr. and Jean Earley Rorie, sons of Robert Arthur Rorie Sr. 


Rorie sisters. Mollie [Martin], Effie [Cox], Pearle [Clay], and Ada [Canada]. All daughters of William Josiah "Bill" Rorie.


Beviah Rorie Hodges with her nephew and niece, Gay and Ruth Rorie, children of Allie Forrest Rorie.


William Josiah "Bill" Rorie


Bill Rorie and his friend, Frank Tanner.


Bill Rorie


Frank Norman and family. Frank was an uncle of Mary Mahala Norman Rorie.


Green and Elisa Norman, grandparents of Mary Mahala Norman Rorie.


Beviah Rorie Hodges on right, with friend Iva White on the left.


Robert Arthur Jr. and Jean Early Rorie, sons of Arthur Rorie.


Kathryn Hodges Busch, daughter of Beviah Rorie Hodges, with her newborn, Kathy. I neglected to get a picture of Kathryn during our visit, though I meant to. She sent me this.


This is an extremely intriguing photo labelled "Grandma Wolf" on the back. I am Wolf from my Martin side of the family, but I was unaware of a connection to either to Norman or Rorie families. I am determined to figure out who this might be.

Kathryn and Ernie were extremely nice, and put up well with Elliott's hyperactivity. I hope to visit them again in the future.

My next visit was still in Flippin. I met with A.J. Rorie  and his wife Gayla, and at the home of his sister, Ruth Rorie Jones. A.J. and Ruth are children of my uncle Allie Forrest Rorie, half-brother of Mollie Rorie Martin, making them my 1st cousins three times removed. They were also very kind and wonderful hosts, keeping Elliott entertained while we exchanging stories, information, and pictures. A.J. had more amazing pictures to share, which are below.


Absalom and Mary Snellgrove Rorie, my 4th great grandparents, parents of William Josiah "Bill" Rorie.


Ada Rorie Canada, daughter of Bill Rorie.


Ada Rorie Canada, daughter of Bill Rorie.


Allie Forrest Rorie, son of Bill Rorie.


This is an intriguing tin type photo. The two men in the front row to the right are Henry and John Rorie, two of the three "Blind Rorie Brothers" who are well known in the area. They are sons of the above Absalom and Mary Snellgrove Rorie. It is not known who the other four persons are. In my opinion, this appears to be a formal portrait. I know of no reason these four persons would be grouped together as such, unless they were siblings. I think it is possible that the other two men and two women are their brothers and sisters, but which I cannot say. It is also possible that the women are their sisters and the men are their husbands, or the men are their brothers and the women are their wives. It's difficult to say. Neither of the two men appear to be Bill Rorie as best I can tell, and neither appears to be Buddy Rorie, the eldest blind brother. They could be Hezekiah, Hugh Alec, Thomas, or Scott. I do not have pictures of those four brothers for comparison. Likewise, the women could be Martha, Becky, or Julie, but without photos to compare I cannot say definitively. Regardless, this is a fantastic photo, and it's great to have more than one of the Blind Rorie brothers.


In the middle holding the broomstick is Henry Rorie, and to the right (his left) I believe is his blind brother Buddy Rorie. I do not know who the other men are. They could be other Rorie men, but without pictures for comparison I cannot say definitively. 


Arthur Rorie, son of Bill Rorie, with his mother-in-law, Gay Earley.


Allie Forrest Rorie, taken not long before he died.


Allie Forrest Rorie


Morgan Alexander and Hannah Roxane Lawson Norman, parents of Mary Mahala Norman Rorie


An old physician's ledger owned by A.J. Rorie.


In the ledger is a bill for William Josiah Rorie, showing the expenses he paid for the birth of his son, Allie Forrest Rorie.


Opal Clay, daughter of Stacie Pearle Rorie Clay, daughter of Bill Rorie.


Stacey Pearle Rorie Clay, daughter of Bill Rorie and Louisa Selph.


Orestus Rorie, son of Bill Rorie and Mary Mahala Norman Rorie. The story goes that his father Bill was bad-tempered and forced him to ride into town for supplies on horseback in the pouring rain. Orestus became gravely ill with pneumonia. But then Bill forced him to go out and work in the yard digging, even though he was sick. After a while, he collapsed and died shortly after. He was 25 years old.

I also heard other stories about Bill Rorie's bad temper. One was that he insisted on Bevie having a cold drink of water ready for him each day when he returned from working. One time she forgot, and he abused her badly. Bill was apparently taken advantage of by his Norman in-laws. They had him co-sign on a number of loans for them, and then when the market crashed they stopped payments and Bill lost everything.

While these stories may not be flattering, I think they're interesting to note and remember regardless. They flesh out the personalities of the people who came before us, the same as pictures do, making them feel like more than just a name and some dates on our family tree.

The last stop on my trip was to see Juanita Rorie Tilton in Fayetteville. Her dad was Oscar Rorie, who was a son of Hugh Alec Rorie. While she did not have any pictures of her grandfather, she was full of interesting stories about her childhood, including when her grand uncle "Buddy" Rorie came to live with her grandfather. He was one of the three blind Rorie brothers, and she remembers wanting to follow him around and see what he did as he went throughout his day. She was very sweet, and promised that if she came up with any pictures of her grandfather she would send me one. She also gave me a couple more leads to pursue for finding pictures, so if I find any pictures of her grandfather, I'll be sure to send her some. She was really a delight to get to talk to.

This was really a wonderful trip. Meeting Don, Joe, Kathryn, A.J., and Ruth was very enlightening and interesting, and they were all such great, smart, nice people. I hope I get to see them all again, and I hope I get to take another trip like this again soon.