The Black Sheep?

Many people would say that my GGGrandfather, James Berry Walker (JBW), is/was the Black Sheep of the family.  He has been labeled a scoundrel, a coward, a deserter and a bigamist.  Based on years of research by myself (I stem from the Ohio/TX side of the family) and a fellow Walker cousin (from the Georgia side of the family), I believe that the first two labels couldn’t be further from the truth but the latter two are technically correct!

Rather than launch into a lengthy narrative (which will be forthcoming), let me simply say that I believe JBW found himself having become a pawn in a terrible war that was separate from the North-South Civil War, and as a result, he was forced into having to make an unimaginably dreadful decision.  It was a life/death decision that would alienate him forever from his Georgia family and result in a new family in Texas.  It was a decision that only a man with strong stamina and conviction could possible make regardless of the fact that he must have known the burden he would carry for the remainder of his life!

(Note – The lengthy narrative mentioned above will be posted this year (2014) and the Walker Family Tree, which has been kept private thus far, will also be made public several places online.  In the meantime I would strongly encourage those hungry to know more about JBW’s Civil War dilemma to read A Separate Civil War: Communities in Conflict in the Mountain South written by Dr. Jonathan Dean Sarris in 2006 … the book is available in a Kindle edition by Amazon.com.)

OneWorldTree – Not A Source!

Every so often I write a rant about using valid sources.  Since it is the beginning of a new year I thought it would be a good time for another rant!

To sum it all up in one sentence, “THE ONEWORLDTREE IS NOT A VALID GENEALOGY RESEARCH SOURCE!”

OneWorldTree, owned by Ancestry.com, is simply a huge storehouse of various types of  data … some comes from actual primary sources but most (in my opinion) does not.  Instead, it comes from user-submitted trees and there was no attempt to verify this data before it was published.  This means that you might be copying MISINFORMATION that was submitted by: (a) a child who is writing their family tree based on hearsay and family myth, or (b) a well-meaning family member who is attempting to correct or cover embarrassing information, or (c) someone who is determined to prove that they are related to someone else even if it means fabricating data, or (d) someone like me who publishes information thought to be properly sourced which later proves to be wrong but it is too late to remove it from OneWorldTree …. and the list goes on and on ….

Even Ancestry.com has this to say about their OneWorldTree, “OneWorldTree can give you hints about your family history but not necessarily facts. There are a number of sources consolidated in OneWorldTree and it’s impossible to know if there were errors in member-submitted family trees.”

Please don’t misunderstand the intent of this rant.  OneWorldTree is okay to use as long as you recognize that IT CAN ONLY PROVIDE YOU WITH HINTS BUT NOT NECESSARILY FACTS!!!

 

The Children of Samuel & Margaret Parker

Margaret S Power and Samuel Parker were married 28 Jun 1872 in Clark Co. Arkansas (which borders Pike Co.).

In the 1900 census for Pike Co. Arkansas, the listing for Margaret S [Power] Parker indicates that she had 4 children and 2 are living.

In the 1880 census for Pike Co. Arkansas, two children are listed with their parents, Samuel & Margaret Parker: Larken C. Parker, age 6, and Della Parker, age 1 mo.

The existence of the son Larkin Calvin Parker is well sourced and proven. He is known to have died 18 Jul 1910 in Salem, Pike, Ark.

Several other Ancestry.com online trees list the family as having a son named Rayford Parker b. 20 Mar 1872 in Pike, Ark .. d. 18 Jul 1910 in Salem, Pike, Ark. Other trees list a Thomas Parker with the exact same b. & d. data. Unfortunately none of these trees offer any proof or valid sources about Rayford or Thomas Parker. Those which do list sources only cite other (unsourced) family trees or The One World Tree which is, by no means, a factual source.

If anyone has valid information about the other two children of Samuel & Margaret Parker, I’d very much like to hear from you….

Throgmortons and Taylors

The THROGMORTONs & TAYLORs of Jefferson County IL & Lawrence County AR

The name THROGMORTON is an obvious derivative of the name THROCKMORTON; the spelling variations are far too numerous to list. The most common include: THROGMORTEN, THROGMORTIN, THROGMARTIN, THOGMORTON, THOGMORTEN, THOGMARTIN, THRAGMARTEN, FROGMARTIN, TROGMORTEN, etc.

The association or connection of the THROGMORTONs and the TAYLORs is first documented in the 1850 census of Jefferson County, Illinois, which shows the families of William Trogmorten and Elizabeth (widow of Drury, Sr.) Taylor to be neighbors.

On October 22, 1853, William C. Taylor (son of Drury Sr.) purchased 40 acres of land near Elk Prairie in Jefferson County, IL. On April 5, 1855, William Thogmorten purchased the adjoining 50 acres of land.

Two of William Throgmorton’s daughters married two sons of Drury Taylor, Sr. Jefferson County, Illinois records indicate that Mathew William Taylor married Eliza J. Throgmorton on February 7, 1855, and, Drury M. Taylor married Mary E. Throgmorton on November 5, 1859.

In the late 1850’s (probably 1859) the family of Drury Taylor, Sr. moved to St. Genvieve County, Missouri, and the William Throgmorton family accompanied them as the 1860 census for that county shows dwelling numbers 889, 890, and 891 to be Taylors, and then number 892 is listed as the family of William Throgmorton.

Sometime after the beginning of the Civil War (probably 1862) the Taylors and the Throgmortons left Missouri and returned to Jefferson County, Illinois. Drury M. Taylor had died in early 1870 and his widow, Mary Throgmorton (along with Drury’s five children) is shown on the 1870 census living in Dodds Township with her parents, William and Lucy Throgmorton. Elizabeth, widow of Drury Sr., and most of her children and their families are shown living nearby in Blissville Township.

The 1870 census also finds a Taylor – Throgmorton connection in Missouri. The Washington Co. MO census shows William Taylor (Mathew William Taylor son of Drury Sr.), his wife, Eliza J. Throgmorton, and their family living next door to Eliza’s brother, Edward (actually Edmond G. Throgmorton) and his family.

The Taylors and the Throgmortons left Illinois and migrated to Lawrence County, Arkansas sometime between late 1870 and mid 1872. The 1872 membership list of the New Hope Baptist Church in Lawrence Co., AR includes William Throgmorton, his wife and two sons (and several other Throgmortons) and, Matthew M. (could be “W”) Taylor, Duain M. Taylor and Mary E. Taylor (perhaps Drury M.’s widow, Mary E. Throgmorton). On July 17, 1872, the widow of Drury M., Mary E. Throgmorton, married Greenberry Taylor in Lawrence Co., AR. Greenberry was a son of Godfrey Taylor, Drury M.’s older brother. The Throgmorton family was already represented in Lawrence County, Arkansas as one of Mary’s cousins, Robert Pinkney Throgmorton had married Elizabeth Foreman there on April 1, 1869. As early as the 1850’s and 60’s, several related Throgmorton lines had moved into Arkansas counties adjoining Lawrence.

Lawrence County Arkansas courthouse records indicate a great deal of official activity during the 1880’s and 90’s in which a Taylor or a Throgmorton was listed (oftentimes jointly).

The 1880 census for Lawrence Co., AR lists the following:
John L. D. Taylor, son of Drury Sr.
Sarah Jane Taylor (Wells), dau of William C. Taylor
Mary Throgmorton (Taylor), widow of Drury M. & Greenberry, along with her sons & dau
L.F. (Lucy) Throgmorton, widow of William Throgmorton & Mary’s mother
Duane Marion Taylor, son of Drury Sr.
Eliza Jane Taylor, widow of William C. Taylor
Martin William Wyatt, widower of Elizabeth A. Taylor (Drury Sr’s dau), along with two sons
Littleman L. Throgmortin, Mary Throgmorton Taylor’s bro & son of William
Isiah Minson, son of Sarah Jane Taylor (dau of Drury Sr.)
E. G. Throgmorton, Mary Throgmorton Taylor’s bro & son of William

The county marriage records include too many entries to list here, but five significant ‘joint’
listings are:
L.L. Throgmorton to Rosanna Taylor 11-20-1881 with J.M Wells as security
Isaiah Minson to Margaret Ward 4-2-1884 with L.L. Throgmorton as security
Jefferson D. Taylor to Sallie Bunch 7-11-1884 with E.G. Thogmartin as security
Leander Taylor to Patsy J. Bunch 8-1-1884 with E.G. Throgmartin as security
John Riley Taylor to Francis Freer 7-8-1893 with E.G. Throgmartin as security

After a mere half century the two families appear to have separated themselves from each other. Just before and during the turn of the century the Lawrence County AR Taylors and Throgmortons migrated again …. only this time they scattered throughout the region as individuals and small family units making them extremely difficult to track. Many of the Throgmortons moved into Craighead County AR where they live today (spelling their name Throgmartin); others may have moved back to Missouri. Many of the Taylors are believed to have died in Lawrence County. Some moved into Oregon County MO, some to Craighead County AR and further into southern Arkasas. By the 1910 and 1920 censuses, several of the original Lawrence County Taylors were in Oklahoma and Red River County, Texas.

Why did the two families leave Illinois … Why did they settle in Lawrence County Arkansas … What happened to separate and scatter them???? After more than a hundred years time which has eliminated any evidence that might have existed, here’s some speculative answers ….. The Civil War decimated many families and our Taylors and Throgmortons were no exception. The move from Illinois to Missouri and then back to Illinois was probably precipitated by the war and must have been extremely expensive for the families who’s meager funds were already stretched by the existing conditions. When the war ended, the families probably followed thousands of others searching for either free or inexpensive land and new opportunities in the southwestern United States. One of the primary migration routes from the northeast to the southwest was the Old Military Road that crossed right through Lawrence County Arkansas making it a typical ‘way station’ for weary travelers. Unfortunately, the Ozark foothills did not provide a very hospitable environment. A yellow fever epidemic killed hundreds during the period of 1897 though 1899 (followed by a meningitis epidemic in 1899). The harsh post-war reconstruction imposed on the southern states caused poverty to be even more epidemic; not one of our Taylors’ names is listed on the 1890 tax rolls of Lawrence County (although two Throgmortons do appear!). With this in mind, and having personally heard the sad stories of misfortune from my grandparents, I believe that disease and poverty finally caused the large family groups to break up (many must have died) and scatter as individuals.

Undesirable Genealogy Findings

Sometimes genealogy discoveries can be undesirable, embarrassing, and even repugnant. With that said, it almost sickens me to report that I just learned that I am related to Bonnie Parker of Bonnie & Clyde gangster infamy.

I would like to think that any normal person would regret a kinship to this despicable murderer but it is even a heavier burden for me …. You see, I am a retired Texas police officer and my father was a former Texas Highway Patrolman from the 1950’s. When he attended the patrol academy in 1953 the instructors still talked about the 1934 Barrow Gang killings of two Texas Highway Patrolmen near Grapevine Texas and how Bonnie personally is alleged to have “finished off” one of the young patrolmen. It was a crime so heinous that the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety immediately offered a $1,000 reward for “the dead bodies of the Grapevine slayers” — not their capture, just their bodies! Dad so despised the pair that I (still in high school) was forbidden to see the 1967 film, Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

At this particular point in time, I cannot specifically detail my relationship data to Bonnie Parker but I am informed that the proof has been verified with DNA evidence. When the family individual names are available, I will post them accordingly to my online tree.

Someone once said, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family!” How sadly true …………

PARKER Online Tree Resource

If your PARKER family has roots in the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and/or Texas, then there’s a fair chance that Wayne Parker’s online tree may be a valuable resource for you … it is located at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=REG&db=parker_2008&id=I16149 … Wayne is a very serious, very effective researcher … he updates his tree at least weekly. Wayne is part of the Parker Y-DNA Project Family Group #7 and utilizes DNA evidence in his tree. More about the Parker Y-DNA Project can be found at: http://web.utk.edu/~corn/parkerdna/

Andrew Calvin Parker

Andrew Calvin Parker (ACP) is believed to have been born 27 Apr 1824 in Fayette Co., Alabama. His father may have been Samuel Parker (1795-1865) and his mother’s given name may have been Eleanor (1802-1849).

ACP married Mary Elizabeth Mcknight abt 1848 and we find the couple living with her parents in the 1850 Choctaw Miss census.

ACP & Mary haven’t been found on the 1860 census. Although of age, no Civil War service record has been found for ACP. It is interesting to note that five of Samuel Parker’s sons (possibly ACPs bros) all fought for the 4th Ark Union Cavalry.

ACP & family are living in Antoine Twp, Pike Co., AR in both the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

According to censuses, ACP & Mary had eleven children: John (1848-1890), Ellender (1850-), Samuel (1853-1918), Malinda (1855-), James (1858-), Melvina (1860-), Francis(1861-1926), Mary J(1863-1929), Sevilla(1868-1903), Thomas(1872-1955), Julia A(1875-1906).

Although unsourced, some trees state that ACP died 10 Sep 1896 in Pike Co., AR. (Mary is listed as a widow in 1900).

Can anyone help by providing sourced information about Andrew Calvin Parker? Especially: (1) Date of birth & location, (2) date of death & location, (3) Civil War record, and last and most important (4) confirmation of his parentage.

Smithen: The End Of The Line

If tracing the SMITHEN line from present-day backwards, Ed Smithen may be the END OF THE LINE!

When I began researching the SMITHEN line back in the late 1970s, many of Edd’s children were still living and I was able to interview most of them. Other than anecdotal stories about Ed, NOT ONE of his offspring could tell me anything about his parents or siblings nor were they aware that any even existed.

Family legend has it that Ed Smithen was an orphan in Maury County Tennessee and was raised by the FITZGERALD family until he was old enough to make it on his own. In the 1880 census for Maury Co. TN there is a 12 year old Ed Smithson listed as a servant living with a family of FITZGERALDs that includes two unmarried sisters, Lizzie (age 40) and Louiza (age 35).

In my research investigation I kept hearing hints that Edd Smithen had had a mysterious benefactor named Louiza Fitzgerald who would occasionally visit him in Corsicana and bring gifts to the family. Several brave souls even shared with me the rumor that he might be the illegitimate son of Louiza’s. Then the rumor even got racier when I was told that his father was probably a Native American Indian. (This actually makes a little sense when one studies the bone structure of the Smithen males … i.e. the high pronounced cheek bones and the barrel chest … and the few photos show Ed to have dark skin.)

One lady researcher (who was the spouse of a distant cousin) very curtly told me that proper people did not discuss such matters (as illegitimate parentage) and I was never to phone her again … she passed away several years later. Several other SMITHEN researchers at the time told me that a lady named Florence Hogg, living in Claude, TX knew all the facts about the Ed Smithen family story. I wrote Ms. Hogg several times in 1979 and finally received a response postmarked 4 Dec 1979. Here is what she wrote,

“One of my cousins worked on the family history & I have it wrote down here so will send it to you. I knew Uncle Ed but I never knew any of his family. It seems that he was an orphan and was raised by a family. We came here in 1903 so I was kinda small & cant remember. If its convenient for you to come visit us in the spring when the weather gets better we could talk a lot. One of the Breedlove boys lives here in Claude. I just have a daughter that lives here. I have a few pictures but supposed that the folks had them too. I have been so busy I didn’t write much and my hand is kinda crippled.”

Unfortunately, with it being about a 6-hour drive halfway across Texas, I never made that visit to Claude. I did try to telephone Ms. Hogg several times only to find that phone conversation was almost impossible because she was almost deaf and she basically refused to let her daughter be the go-between communicator on the sensitive topic of Ed’s parentage when I tried to breach the subject.

According to the Social Security Death Index, Ms. Hogg died in 1986 in Claude, TX, so that possibly first-hand information source is gone. I will try to trace and contact her daughter (whose name I don’t know) and possibly someone from the Breedlove family. But, at this point in time, it is pretty unlikely that I will find anyone who has the closely guarded, missing information piece to a puzzle that is more than 140 years old!

Pritchett’s In The Civil War

Muster roll for Company F. 60th. Regiment, Gordons Army of Northern Virginia C. S. A. Gilmer and Whitfield Counties, Georgia, Gilmer volunteers:

James M. Pritchett Pvt. Sept. 19 1861, captured and paroled at Fredricksburg, Virgina Dec. 13 1862, Captured at Spotsylvania Virginia, May 20 1864, Paroled at Point Lookout, Md. and transferred for exchange March 15, 1865. He was son of Lewis Pritchett and father of John Robert Pritchett. He married Delilah Spears. .
J. N. Prichett, Pvt. April 25, 1862, Captured at Gettysburg, Pa. July 3 1863. Exchanged at Point Lookout, Md. Feb. 18, 1865. He is Jasper Newton Pritchett son of Lewis Pritchett.

M. R. Pritchett, Pvt. Sept. 19, 1861. Surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, April 9, 1865. He is the son of Jasper and Barbary Pritchett Sr. born in Gilmer County, 1838.

James M. Spears, Pvt. Feb. 25 1862. Sent to hospital in 1863. Died in Burton’s Hospital at Lynchburg, Virginia Feb. 1 1863. Buried there in the Confederate Cemetery, No. 10, 4th, line lot 189. He is the son of Friend Spears, who married Mary Caroline Pritchett Gilmer County, May 2, 1860. Mary Caroline is the daughter of John Wylie Pritchett, the brother of Lewis. Some researchers have this Mary Caroline as the daughter of Lewis this is in error\\

D. F. Spears, Pvt. Sept. 19 1861, surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, April 9, 1865. This is David son of Friend Spears.

W. B. Spears Pvt. March 4, 1862, wounded at Cold Harbor, Virginia June 27, 1862, surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia April 9 1865. This is William son of Friend Spears. He married Louisa somebody cannot make out the last name in Gilmer County, Aug. 21, 1851.

Muster Roll of Company D. 11th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia, C. S. A. Gilmer County, Georgia, known as the “Gilmer Boys”.

Francis Marion Pritchett, Pvt. March 3, 1862, died of Disease at Richmond, Virginia Jan. 20, 1862. He is the son of William Pritchett.

Major L. Pritchett, Pvt. July 3 1861. Wounded at Gettysburg, Pa. July 2 1863. Surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia April 9, 1865. He is the son of William Pritchett.

William Messer Pritchett, Pvt. July 3, 1861 wounded at Malvern Hill, Virginia July 1, 1862 Killed at Gettysburg, Pa. July 2, 1863. Also Williams son.

Muster Roll of Company A. 65th, Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry Army of Tennessee, C S. A. Gilmer and Pickens Counties, Georgia. “Gilmer Light Guards”.

Henry Pritchett, Enlisted in the Inf. Battn. Smith’s Legion, Georgia Vols, May 15, 1862. Appointed 2nd, Corporal. Transferred to Co. A. 65th Reg. Georgia, Inf. March 1863. Wounded in battle of Chickamauga and reported missing. Sent to hospital Feb. 22, 1864. Paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865 with rank of 4th Corporal. He was also Williams son.

Major Pritchett and William Messer Pritchett Joined same day, July 3, 1861.

James M. Pritchett, M. R. Pritchett and D. F. Spears all joined Sept 19th, 1861.

William Messer Pritchett killed at Gettysburg July 2 , 1863.

Major Pritchett wounded at Gettysburg July 2, 1863.

J. N. Pritchett was captured at Gettysburg July 3, 1863.

Miles W. Lewis family researcher Gloria Davis has a lengthy report on this man in the Davis family tree] Was wounded in the groin at Gettysburg July 2, 1863 and died in the hospital at Gettysburg July 22, 1863 from his wounds.\

M. R. Pritchett, Major Pritchett, D. F. Spears and W. B. Spears all surrendered at Appomattox April 9, 1865.

There is a Major Pritchett that was wounded July 2, 1863 in Gettysburg and surrendered at Appomattox. He and his wife Aleva show up on the Gilmer County Census for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Both are buried in Turnip Town Baptist Church Cemetery in Gilmer County. Also on the same census is Henry W. Pritchett and his wife Sarah also buried in Turnip Town.
This is a good place to state how this family was involved in the Civil war and suffered from it. Three brothers and a brother-in-law were in the same company for the South. There were other brothers-in-laws that died while in other companies. Jasper Jr., and his brother-in-law Thomas J. Wells, James Marion and Jasper Jr… Jasper Jr. his uncle James and Jasper Newton all were part of Company “F” of the 60th Confederate Army were captured and sent to Federal prison and released, different times.

SOURCE OF THIS STORY:

The Steve A. Pritchett — Skinner Web Site/Page — Genealogy
The Descendants of Jasper Pritchett
http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/p/r/i/Steve-A-Pritchett/BOOK-0001/0 002-0005.html#IND1429REF47

Ed Smithen Cemetery Error

To add to the confusion & mystery which seems to surround Ed Smithen, I have now found a major piece of misinformation that will throw researchers off if they don’t catch it. Almost every cemetery index I have been able to find for Laflin Creek Cemetery in Grady County Oklahoma lists Ed Smithen’s year of death as 1971. The correct year of his death is 1936 which is clearly stated on his death certificate and engraved on his headstone.

I now manage the FindAGrave.com memorial page for Ed Smithen; it is #22480735. Hopefully, since many folks use FindAGrave.com informationto feed their online indexes, this correct information will show up in the future … unfortunately, most existing online cemetery indexes are rarely corrected and/or updated so the incorrect year of death will be there to confuse unwary researchers for a long, long time……