Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thomas Billingsley 1782-1850's #52Ancestors #39

It's possible I'm barking up the wrong Billingsley tree. The Billingsleys were quite fond of the name Thomas (and William, James, and Samuel). I do know that Nancy Billingsley married John Yielding November 23, 1819 in Blount County, Alabama. Thomas Billingsley is found in the 1850 census with them, so it's a good bet that he is her father. Nancy was born about 1802 in Tennessee from all her census records.

So who was Thomas Billingsley? My main suspect for Nancy's father:
Thomas Billingsley was born December 30, 1872 in Onslow, North Carolina. He was the son of Revolutionary War Soldier Samuel Billingsley and his wife Mary Griffin.

The family moved to Sullivan County, Tennessee at some point. Thomas supposedly married Nancy Courtney Allen there in May, 1801.

Thomas and family moved around east Tennessee, and for a while lived in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Before 1822 they moved to Blount County, Alabama. November 30, 1825 Thomas purchased land in Blount County, Alabama.


The 1800 census for Tennessee was burned by the British in the War of 1812.
The 1810 and 1820 Tennessee census records I need were lost, as well as 1820 Blount, Alabama, so I have no census records to confirm the above, although the birthplaces of most of their children are in Tennessee, with one in Kentucky, and the youngest in Alabama.

Children were:

Nancy, was born February 1802 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Samuel was born September 21, 1803 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
James was born September 21, 1803 in Sullivan County, Tennessee. (twins)
Thomas was born 1805 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Edward Council was born April 4, 1811 in Cumberland County, Kentucky. (have also seen Jan 1809)
Sarah was born 1812 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Mary Eliza was born 1813 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Barton was born May 1815 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Elizabeth was born August 1816 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Catherine was born 1818 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Rebecca Courtney was born March 1820 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
William G was born April 19, 1822 in Blount County, Alabama.

Much of this info comes from the book The Billingsley Family in America.

There were four Thomas Billingsleys found in the 1830 Blount Alabama census. There were three Thomas Jrs, all born 1800-1810. The Thomas I was looking for was found on page 13A, line 7:


Billingsley Thomas (age 50-60) 1770-1780
1 male 15-20, 1 male 20-30, 1 male 56-60, 2 females 5-10, 2 females 10-15, 1 female 15-20, 1 female 40-50, 1 female 80-90. I'm curious if this was Thomas' mother living in the household. It is said that she died in 1838. The ages of the children are puzzling. Perhaps William G was enumerated as a girl? The four oldest children were already married. It's possible that some of the others were visiting them. 
There are also a Samuel (age 20-30) and William (age 40-50)

In 1840 Thomas had moved to Morgan County, Alabama.

Billingsly, Ths. 010110001 000  (age 60-70, no females in household)
1 male 5-10
1 male 15-20
1 male 20-30
1 male 60-70
I assume his wife had died before the 1840 census, unless she is staying with one of their children. She is not found in their son James' household nearby.

In The Billingsley Family in America, Nancy died in 1843 in Morgan County, and Thomas was said to have moved to Pontotoc County, Mississippi with his son William, and died there in 1849.  I found a Thomas Billingsley in 1850 living with Nancy Billingsley Yielding and family in Blount County, Alabama.



In the above record, found on familysearch here, the place of birth is indexed as Virginia, although it may be something else, possibly Georgia? I have not found another Thomas Billingsley born in either state born between 1760 and 1775.

In Pontotoc, Mississippi in 1850 there are LOTS of Billingsleys, and three that were easy to pick out from the list of children above.

Page 115    Line 40 BILLINGSLY COUNSEL 40 KY
Page 115B Line 10 BILLINGSLY JAMES 46 TN
Page 107    Line  3 BILLINGSLY WILLIAM 28 AL


So am I barking up the Wrong Billingsley tree? If he's not the Thomas born in Onslow, NC, then who is he? I'm still not sure yet. I'd love to hear what you think.





Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nancy Courtney Allen Billingsley 1783-1843 #52Ancestors #38

I recently ordered a DNA test for myself from AncestryDNA's flash sale. While awaiting the results I figured I had best get my direct maternal line in order.

I've always had a problem with Nancy Courtney Allen. I have found no documentation for her whatsoever. I've seen her on the internet and in books, but none have sources.
This is a press photograph from the National Photo Company Collection at the Library of Congress. According to the library, there are no known restrictions on the use of these photos.

Per these few resources, I'll share what I've found, but please keep in mind, none of it is verified.

Nancy Courtney Allen was born about 1783 in North Carolina to unknown parents.
She married Thomas Billingsley May 1801 in Sullivan County,  Tennessee.

Their oldest child, Nancy, was born February 1802 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Samuel was born September 21, 1803 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
James was born September 21, 1803 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Thomas was born 1805 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Edward Council was born April 4, 1811 in Cumberland County, Kentucky. (have also seen Jan 1809)
Sarah was born 1812 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Mary Eliza was born 1813 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Barton was born May 1815 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Elizabeth was born August 1816 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Catherine was born 1818 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Rebecca Courtney was born March 1820 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
William G was born April 19, 1822 in Blount County, Alabama.

The family moved to Morgan County, Alabama at some point, where Nancy supposedly died in 1843.

From the book The Billingsley Family in America by Harry Alexander Davis (1936)
{Thomas Billingsley} Born in ­Onslow County; North Carolina 30 December 1782, moved to Sullivan County, Tennessee with his parents. He married in May 1801 Nancy Courtney Allen, born in North Carolina in 1783. They resided in East Tennessee to about 1807 then moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky where they resided to 1811 then returned to Tennessee. In 1821‑22 they moved to Blount County, Alabama. He was granted 80, 12/100 acres of land on 30 November 1825, certificate No. 1868. Resided in Blount County to about 1837 then moved to Morgan County, Alabama where Nancy died in 1843. He survived her a few years, moved to Pontotoc County, Mississippi with his son, William, and died in 1849.
Unfortunately, the book is unsourced.

This I do know, Thomas Billingsley's wife (Nancy or not) died before the 1850 census, as Thomas is found with his daughter Nancy's family in the 1850 census in Blount County, Alabama, and not dead in Mississippi as stated in the above book.


Name: Thos Billingsly
Event Type: Census
Event Year: 1850
Event Place: Blout county, Blount, Alabama, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 78
Race: White
Race (Original):
Birth Year (Estimated): 1772
Birthplace: Virginia
Household ID: 133
House Number: 132
Line Number: 4
Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Affiliate Publication Number: M432
Affiliate Film Number: 2
GS Film Number: 2344
Digital Folder Number: 004187292
Image Number: 00265

Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
John Yielding  M 57 North Carolina
Nancy Yielding  F 48 Louisiana (transcribed incorrectly, shows Ten)
Joseph Yielding  M 17 Alabama
Mary Zielding  F 15 Alabama
Samuel Yielding  M 14 Alabama
Nancy Yielding  F 8 Alabama
Thos Billingsly  M 78 Virginia?


Citing this Record:
"United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MHPR-R5K : accessed 19 Oct 2014), Thos Billingsly in household of John Yielding, Blout county, Blount, Alabama, United States; citing family 133, NARA microfilm publication M432.

In 1840, Thomas is found in Morgan County, Alabama, but there are no females in the household. James lives close by, but the only female is his wife, age 30-40.
I think Nancy died before 1840.

One of the other mistakes I've found in the above book also says this about daughter Nancy:
Nancy: b Feb. 1802. She m Henry C. Jones, b S. C. 1800, both were living in 1870, resided Blount Co., Ala. No children.

I am unable to find a Henry Jones residing in Blount County, Alabama in 1870, and no record of a Nancy Billingsley marrying a Henry Jones.

I haven't given up searching for Nancy Courtney Allen. If you have any information to share, I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Daniel McNamara 1836-1902 #52Ancestors #37

Daniel McNamara was born June 13, 1836 in Ireland. He was the son of Morton (or Martin) and Kate McNamara. I first found his name on his daughter Lizzie's death certificate.

He also consented to Lizzie's marriage.

This also gave me a location of Penn Township, Pennsylvania in 1888. This was important because I had never been able to find Lizzie in a census record before she was married. It also matches the location of his wife Jane McKinzie McNamara in the 1920 census. I have not found a marriage record for Dan and Jane, and I'm not sure if they married in Ireland or the USA.

Daniel was apparently a master of disguise, because I was unable to find him in any Pennsylvania census records with certainty. No Dan or Daniel with wife Jane or daughter Elizabeth or Lizzie.

I was able to locate a few other records for children. So far all are daughters born in Pennsylvania:
Lizzie born 1864, married Patrick Henry McGowan
Mary born 1872, married John Rogers, Sr.
Rose born 1878, married John W Hogan
Anna born 1890

I turned to the city directories to see if Dan could be found. Finally some info!
Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1888
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1888
McNamara Danl, lab, rr 6359 Penn av

I worked my way backward and found something interesting. He ran a saloon.

Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1887
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1887
McNamara Danl, saloon, 6365 Penn av


Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1886
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1886

McNamara D, 6365 Penn av 


Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1884
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1884

McNamara Danl, saloon, 6365 Penn av 


Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1883
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1883

McNamara Danl, saloon, Penn av, n Station 


Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1882
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1882

McNamara D, lab, Penn av, n Station ay


Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1881
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1881

McNamara Dani, saloon, Penn av, n Station


Title: Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1880
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa.]: G.H. Thurston, 1880
McNamara Dal, saloon, Penn av, n Station,e e Ninth and Liberty, h 2S5 Penn av 

Title: Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1878
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa.]: G.H. Thurston, 1878

McNamara Daniel, saloon, Penn av, ab Sta- 21st wd tion, e e 


Two Daniels were found in several years previous.

Title: Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1876-1877
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa.]: G.H. Thurston, 1876

McNamara Daniel, lab, Penn av, opp Dennison av, 21st wd, e e

 McNamara Daniel, coal miner, n Lincoln av, city line, 21st wd, e e

Title: Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1874
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa.]: G.H. Thurston, 1874

McNamara Daniel, lab, r Liberty hall, Penn av, 20th ward 

McNamara Daniel, miner, Sable coal works, A V R R, 21st ward

Title: Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1870
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa.]: G.H. Thurston, 1870

McNamara Daniel, lab, 21st ward


I tried moving forward from 1888 and found daughters? at the same address.

Title: J.F. Diffenbacher's directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1889
Author: Diffenbacher, J. F.
Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa: Diffenbacher & Thurston, 1881-189-., 1889
McNamara Danl, lab, rr 6359 Penn av

McNamara Mary, dress mkr, rr 6359 Penn av 
McNamara Maggie, dress mkr, rr 6359 Penn av


was also able to find a death certificate for Daniel



At the time of his death, he was a gas inspector living at 6389 Penn Ave. Still no location in Ireland for his birth, but it did list parents and the cemetery.
I googled all the addresses above. The locations are now a huge shopping center called The Village of Eastside, but I did stumble on a great image on Flickr of the Stone House Gas Station.

Stone House Gas Station, Pittsburgh
Photo used by the kind permission of Karen Majewski

How awesome is that! The exact address where Daniel was living in 1902. It's quite possible the house itself was converted into a gas station.

If you have any info on the people mentioned in this blog, it would be great to hear from you!