Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lane Cake- A Southern Christmas Tradition

My grandmother, Flora Carter Tidwell, was an excellent cook. She often made Lane Cake for the holidays. It was one of my mother's favorites.
Flora Jane Carter Tidwell

Tradition has it that Emma Rylander Lane, of Clayton, Alabama, won first prize with her cake at the county fair in Columbus, Georgia. She published a cookbook, Some Good Things To Eat, in 1898, and she included the recipe as "Prize Cake".

Lane Cake was mentioned several times in To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout Finch said, “Miss Maudie Atkinson baked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight.” (Shinny is slang for liquor.)

Ready to get some bowls and pans dirty? (Really, it takes a ridiculous amount!) I honestly can't even fathom making this without an electric mixer as Miss Emma and contemporaries did. I have even seen some versions of the recipe calling for 16 layers!

Here's my version:


- CAKE –
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 egg whites*
1 cup milk

*Separate eggs, placing 6 whites in a large mixing bowl, 2 whites in a small bowl and all the yolks in a saucepan (yolks will be used for the filling, the 2 remaining in the frosting)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl of mixer beat 6 egg whites and salt until foamy; gradually add add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream the butter, remaining sugar and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with the milk. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the egg white mixture gently but thoroughly.

The choice of pans are yours. The original recipe was baked in pie tins. You want to end up with at least 3 layers. You can use a bundt pan (my personal choice), or 8 or 9 inch round pans. You can cut the layers after baking into additional layers. Divide the batter between 2 or 3 or 4 pans if using round pans. Grease and flour whichever pans you choose.

Bake in a 350-degree oven until edges shrink slightly from sides of pans and tops spring back when gently pressed with finger, or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean — about 20 minutes depending on which size pans you choose. (The thinner the layers the faster it cooks). Place pans on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes.

Turn out on wire racks; turn right side up; cool completely.


8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained (reserve a few cherries for the top)
1 cup raisins, finely chopped
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 – 3 cups bourbon or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan pieces

In a large saucepan, combine egg yolks, sugar, coconut, cherries, raisins and butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until very thick. and mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon. Remove from heat; stir in bourbon, pecans, and vanilla. Cool slightly.


Depending on which size pan you chose, slice bundt or layers diagonally to make 3 or four layers. A bread knife works well for this. The filling is placed between layers, not on the top or sides. Filled cake can be stored 1 week ahead if stored airtight in a cool place. If refrigerated, allow to stand at room temperature for half a day before serving because the texture is best when cake is not served chilled. Frost top and sides with boiled white frosting. I like to decorate the top of mine with a few maraschino cherries and pecan halves.


1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup hot water
2 egg whites

Beat egg whites in a large bowl of mixer until stiff.

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and water in a saucepan. Cook rapidly without stirring to soft-ball stage (240 degrees on a candy thermometer), 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. With the mixer on, pour hot syrup in a thin stream into egg whites, beating constantly at high speed until frosting is shiny and smooth and will hold stiff peaks.
Put layers together (on a cake plate) with Lane Cake Filling, stacking carefully; do not spread filling over top. Cover top and sides with Boiled White Frosting. The frosting is thick enough to make beautiful swirls.
Before you go running from the kitchen, I have also successfully cheated by using a white cake mix for the cake, and then assembled using the filling and frosting. The filling and frosting are what really makes the cake!

I would love to see some links to your traditional recipes!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mary Gray Danforth Wheat-A Pair of Mules Back a Wagon Off a Bridge -The Result

I introduced Mary Gray Danforth Wheat in the post Augustus Walter Wheat-The One-eyed Merchant of Marthasville.  This post tells the story of her death.

From The Atlanta Constitution, Oct. 5, 1886 -- page 11 Column 2


A Pair of Mules Back a Wagon Off a Bridge -The Result.
By Late grandfather of JGKlein, inherited by father of JGKlein, used with permission [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A horrible accident occurred at Pope's bridge on the Chattahoochee river, ten miles from Atlanta, Wednesday morning, in which Mrs. Augusta Wheat lost her life, and her nephew was hurt, and narrowly escaped death too.
Mrs. Wheat lived about fifteen miles from Atlanta, and at the time she was killed was coming to Atlanta. Early Wednesday morning, Mrs. Wheat, accompanied by her nephew, a young man named Danforth, left their home in a two horse wagon, drawn by two mules. The day was a pleasant one, the roads were good, and as the mules trotted over the road, Mrs. Wheat, nor her nephew had no thought of the terrible calamity which awaited them. In reaching Atlanta it was necessary for them to cross the Chattahoochee river. Their most direct route was by the Pope bridge, and at that bridge the accident happened. A portion of the bridge is covered, and on either side of the roofed portion the sides of the bridge are protected by guards. When the team reached the bridge, the mules hesitated in stepping upon it. Young Danforth pushed them with the whip and they finally stepped upon the bridge, but advanced jumping, prancing, and shieing. Finally they came to the covered part of the bridge and stopped. The young man tried to force them on, but they refused to move forward and began backing. The young man sprang out, and grabbing one of the mules by the bridle, attempted to lead them over the bridge. He succeeded in stopping them in their backward moving and started them through the bridge but after they had advanced a short distance they again stopped and again commenced backing. The young man lost all control of the mules, and in a second they pushed the rear end of the wagon against the guard, which gave way. The instant the guard gave way the rear wheels of the wagon dropped over the edge of the bridge, and in another second the wagon was hanging in the air and the mules were on the bridge. The mules made a desperate effort to hold their own, but were quickly drawn over the edge of the bridge, and together Mrs. Wheat, the wagon, mules, and the young man, dropped into the river, a distance of eighteen feet. The water was not deep, and the instant the young man could regain his feet he began a search for his aunt. The search resulted in finding the lady dead. He carried her to the land, and then secured help from some one near by. The body was removed to a residence, and then several persons joined in recovering the mules and wagon. Both mules were badly hurt, and one of them died soon after he was taken from the water. The wagon was almost completely demolished. Mr. Danforth was considerably bruised by the fall.

There is also a handwritten account as follows:
Mrs. Augusta Wheat D 9/29
Res 15 miles from Atlanta beyond the Chattahoochee River was driving to Atlanta with her nephew F.W. Danforth in a two mule wagon. The team started accross Pope's Bridge on the river but balked and started to back up. The wagon was pushed against a guard post. Danforth having lost control of the team the guard post broke and wagon, mules, Mrs. Wheat and Danforth dropped into the river 18 feet below. Mrs. Wheat was instantly killed. One of the mules was fatally hurt and Danforth was uninjured. He is 50 years old and a well to do farmer of Cobb County. Note: was Mrs. Wheat related to Augustus W. Wheat?

The answer to that is yes. She is actually Mrs. Augustus Wheat. How do I know? Her nephew is Mr. Danforth.

I have searched for quite some time for the location of Pope's Bridge. I finally reached out to a facebook page covering Douglas County, GA entitled Every Now and Then I was delighted that +Lisa Cooper put a great effort into checking out the location for me. Jeff Champion of Champs Clocks was contacted. He is considered an expert about the stretch of the river in question. He started out by finding a map with the names of people living in the area:
Note the Pope families near the river
  • From +Lisa Cooper : He is guessing that Pope’s Bridge is at the Highway 78 bridge crossing…the Bankhead Highway crossing. Look at the map he provided me. There were two Pope homes just west on Turner Ferry Road which is Bankhead/78. Turners Ferry was the crossing through the Civil War. I’m told the map was drawn in 1895 and represented folks in the area at that time.
The Georgia Genealogy page on Facebook where I had posted a query jumped into action, finding this article from The American Engineer, Vols 19-20 January 29, 1890:

Thank you to Shanna O'wen and Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt for finding this article!

I forwarded the article to Jeff Champion. Here is the reply:

"I attached a new map. The Howell Green ferry became Queen's ferry and joined with old Gordon Road near Charley Brown Airport. Near to where Six Flags is on the river. Proposed bridge would have been maybe where hwy 139 crosses now. That makes it look more like Green and Pope's bridge WAS in fact hwy 78 bridge location."

A few weeks passed, and I got an email from Jeff Champion:
"Pope's Bridge mystery solved, for real this time
Turners ferry is hwy 78, Howells ferry is at I-20 and Green and Pope's Bridge was old Gordon Road altered slightly when Charley Brown airport went in.
See the circa 1887 map. Sorry my estimate was off. OLD GORDON RD is the answer we were looking for."

Starting at the top, Turner's Ferry is the vicinity of the Current Hwy 78 Bridge. Then see Green & Pope's Bridge which is at or near the Old Gordon Road Bridge. Then see Howell's Ferry which would have been just North of current I-20.

Old Gordon Road doesn't go all the way to the river anymore. The roads were changed when the airport was built. The current location would be on 139, the bridge crossing Mableton Parkway SE and Martin Luther King Jr Drive SW.
This makes sense because if the wagon left Mary's home heading to Atlanta, it would have been in the area. Mary is shown as living in District 1273 in the 1880 Census.

For reference, the location of the bridge would be about one mile upriver from Six Flags Over Georgia.

Mary was the daughter of William and unknown. Her stepmother Mary Egerton Danforth. She was born about 1825, probably in Old Campbell County, Georgia. Her siblings were James, Alziria, Albert, John C, and William M. Her burial place is unknown, but probably in Douglas County, Georgia.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Augustus Walter Wheat- the One-eyed Merchant of Marthasville-Atlanta

Augustus Walter Wheat was born about 1821 in Georgia. He was the son of Wesley and Frances Walton Wheat. The oldest record I have found for him would be in the 895th District, 1840 Census for Cobb, Georgia. In 1845 he married Mary Gray Danforth, daughter of William and Mary Egerton Danforth.

Per an article in the Atlanta Constitution Sunday,March 17,1912, Atlanta,Georgia: Wheat street, which was changed to Auburn Avenue (in 1893), was named for Gus Wheat, who was known as the "one-eyed merchant of Marthasville." I haven't found any other references to "one-eye", but still looking. Wheat Street (now Auburn Avenue) is the historic district for Martin Luther King, Jr., and the location of Wheat Street Baptist Church. Atlanta was known as Marthasville until 1845.

Augustus owned a large grocery, warehouse, and livery business in downtown Atlanta/Marthasville. From an advertisement in Atlanta and Environs Vol 1:

December 4, 1847
A. W. Wheat
Grocer, Warehouse and Commission Merchant, Atlanta, Georgia

Has on hand, and is receiving, a large assortment of Groceries, consisting of Bagging, Rope and Twine, Coffe, Sugar, Salt, Molasses, Rice, Iron &c., which he will sell LOW FOR CASH, or exchange for country produce.

His large and commodius WAREHOUSE is ready for the reception of 2000 bales of cotton, at charges 20 per cent less than the usual warehouse rates of Augusta and Macon; he has also plenty of room in his Storehouses for Bacon, Flour &c., on consignment.

Gus is mentioned in the book Pioneer Citizens' History of Atlanta, 1833-1902 (free Google Book):

The first building erected as a house of worship in early times was Wesley Chapel, on what is now North Pryor and the junction of Peachtree street. But previous to that a small log house was built by private subscription, which was used for union services. This was in 1843, A day school was taught there also. Before this event, however, services were occasionally held in the roundhouse of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, situated on Loyd.street, about the southwest corner of the present union passenger depot. Following this services were held in the Wheat warehouse, which was situated on the southeast corner of what is now North Pryor street and Auburn avenue. 
The store address is square in the middle of Underground there is a Subway and Footlocker  shoe store along with a host of junk tourist cousin Doug Justice checked with one of the curators of  Underground and they confirmed the original location as underground as the top is now a viaduct overpass. The location of the cotton warehouse would be about where the SunTrust HQ is located, North Pryor and Auburn Avenue.
By Atlantajpegs (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In the section by John C. Hendrix: My first visit to Atlanta was in 1847. I was a boy twelve years old. My father and brothers had a wagon each, loaded with things from our farm in Lumpkin county. We sold some corn to Jonathan Norcross, at the old Norcross corner, at 50 cents a bushel. We sold some potatoes to a man named Prater, who had a little planked up store on Loyd street near the Southwest corner of Alabama street. There was a branch running across (now) Alabama street, near Pryor. So we could not go that way, owing to the mud and water. Norcross had a big, plain plank store house fronting on Marietta, the street being paved with pine slabs put down the round side up. About where the First Methodist Church now stands (Peachtree and Pryor streets) they were cutting cord wood. A little school house stood about the junction of Peachtree and Houston streets (which were then old country roads).
A man named Gus Wheat, from my old county, (Lumpkin County, Georgia) had a store somewhere, as I remember going there to see him. It did not look to me then that Atlanta would ever be a city. I came here several times each year until 1859, when I moved here.

The Atlanta Masonic Lodge Number 59 was chartered in 1847. A. W. Wheat was listed as an Entered Apprentice.
The first library in Atlanta founded 1848, at the intersection of Peachtree, Pryor, and Houston streets. A W Wheat was among the subscribers.

1850 GA Dekalb Co., Atlanta, Roll M432_67, Pg 215, dwell 261, lines 5-12, Nov 11th
Wheat, Augustus, 35 (1815), Merchant, no value listed, GA
Wheat, Mary, 25, GA
Wheat, Frances M., 4, GA
Wheat, Henry C., 2, GA
Wheat, John C., 1, GA
Crayton, Garack, 40, GA
Danforth, James, 40 (1828), GA (Mary's brother)
Adduholt, Wm., 22, ?? B(aptist) Clergyman, GA (Aderhold, married Mary's sister Alzira)
1 slave a 22 year old female

Disaster struck April 15 1850. From Atlanta and Environs Vol 1:
The City of Atlanta was fortunate in that, until April 15, 1850, it experienced no serious conflagration, and while the fire of that date claimed no human lives, it did cause considerable property loss. It was also the primary reason for the removal from the city of one of it's useful pioneer citizens.
This first fire is what might be called a "planned fire", in that it was of incendiary origin, having been set by one or more robbers for the purpose of diverting attention while they cleaned out the money drawer in the office of the Georgia Railroad freight depot. Victim of the fire was Augustus W. Wheat, who lost his store, warehouse, livery stable, and several horses. These buildings were located on the south side of Alabama Street between Pryor and Loyd (Central Avenue). It is said that Mr. Wheat was insured in the Southern Mutual, at Athens, but for some reason the company refused to pay the loss until compelled by law to do so. At any rate the old familiar store sign
was seen in Atlanta no more, for shortly after the fire Gus Wheat moved to Old Campbell county where he devoted the remainder of his life to farming. He died late in the year 1868. His estate was appraised by John Watson, John McClure, Jackson Moates and Belford Luck, all well known citizens of old Campbell."
There was a lot more than farming going on from 1850 to 1868. I guess the insurance from the fire finally paid.

Atlanta Weekly Intelligencer, Nov. 25, 1858 lists A W Wheat, of Campbellton, as a stockholder of one share of the Bank of Fulton, valued at $100.

1860 Series: M653 Roll: 113 Page: 341 CAMPBELL CAMPBELLTON P O
Wheat, Augustus W 39 M W GA
Occupation Atty at Law Property 12000, Personal 7000
Mary G 35 F
Frances M 14 F
Henry C J 13 M
John C 11 M
Artemissa 6 F (Artemesia Elizabeth, known as Artie, married Thomas Kendrell Carter)
Harry W 2 M (Harvey, married Julia Morris)
3 slaves...a 45 year old female and two children, both 7 years old, male and female

June 17 1861, Augustus sold 15 Army tents to the CSA @$15.00 each for a total of $225.00
August 28 1861 Enlisted at Camp Walker, Campbellton by Captain Rhodes. On muster rolls for Company D, 1st Battallion Villepigue's.
February 20 1862 "furnished" 15 tents to Co A 15th GA Regiment @$15.00 each.
Aug 27 1863 sold 10 tents for $150.00.

Augustus served in 1st Confederate Infantry and 36th Regiment GA Infantry (Villepigue's)
Sherman's march to the sea came right through Campbellton in the summer of 1864. On July 27, Union cavalry commanded by General Edward McCook tried to cross the Chattahootchee river at Campbellton, but were pushed back by Confederate forces. Skirmishes broke out along the northern section of Campbellton Road between Confederate and Union cavalry as McCook went southeast to Palmetto to destroy the railroad. Union forces occupied some of the homes in Campbellton. Many of the buildings were destroyed in the fighting. Of the 200 men that formed the Campbellton Blues regiment, only 30 returned from the war.

Ordered by the court of Campbell County, GA to make whiskey for "medicine purposes"

February 7, 1865 Agreed and ordered by the court A. W. Wheat, a citizen of said county, but a refugee in Meriwether Co. Ga, make and distill 300 gallons of good proof whisky in Meriwether County to be distributed in Campbellton for medicinal purposes at $10 per gallon.
Augustus W Wheat took oath as judge of the county court of Campbell County, GA signed June 5, 1866. I've got to wonder if the whiskey had anything to do with that.
Old Campbell Courthouse from Library of Congress

The following I have mixed feelings it a way to get around owning slaves? Are they his former slaves with no other recourse? Did Augustus take them in out of kindness?
For answers to these questions I turned to +Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist. She responded on her blog post The apprenticesApprenticing freed children .

Campbell Bond Book B p247
2 of 7
State of Georgia
Campbell County

This Indenture made and entered into this the 6th day of November 1866 between Reuben C Beavers Ordinary of said County & Augustus W Wheat of the same place of the other part witnesseth that the said R C Beavers Ordinary as aforesaid binds as apprentices unto the said A W Wheat the following minor orphan Children Freedmen having no parents living that are known & having property. Viz. Thompson Wheat boy twelve years old Mary Wheat a girl seven years old Edwin Wheat a boy five years old and Nancy Wheat – a girl three years old. All of said children to be & remain apprentices to the said A W Wheat according to the Laws of the State of Georgia until they each arrive to the age of twenty one years. And the said A. W. Wheat master as aforesaid binds himself to teach the said apprentices the businesses of house service husbandry and farming shall furnish them with sufficient wholesome food suitable clothing and necessary medicine and medical attention shall teach them habits of industry honesty & morality & shall cause them to be taught to read English & shall govern them with humanity using only the same degree of force to compel obedience as a father may use with his minor children.

Signed Sealed & Delivered
in Presents of
W. P. Strickland
J. H. Alexander J. P.

Augustus W. Wheat J. P.
R. C. Beavers (Seal) Ordy
and another:
Campbell GA Estate Bond Book B pg 256-257
State of Georgia
Campbell County

This Indenture made & Entered into this 15th day of April 1867 between Reuben C. Beavers Ordinary of Said county of the one part and Augustus W. Wheat of the same place of the other part. Witnesseth that the said R. C. Beavers ordinary as aforesaid binds as an apprentice unto the Said A. W. Wheat – Augustus Wheat (colored) having no parents living in the county, or state that are known & having no property (The Said Boy having Chosen and Selected the Said A. W. Wheat for his Master) The boy aged fifteen years & to be & remain apprentice unto the said A. W. Wheat according to the laws of Georgia until he is twenty one years of old. And the Said A. W. Wheat master as aforesaid
binds himself to teach the said apprentice the business of farming, Shall furnish him with sufficient wholesome food, suitable clothing, and necessary medicine & medical attention shall teach him habits of industry honesty and morality & shall cause him to be taught to read English & shall govern him with humanity only using the same degree of force to compel obedience as a father may use with his minor children agreeable to an act of the Legislature past March 17th 1866

Signed Sealed & Delivered into the presence of
John N?. Austin
Wm. NM. Bastlett JH

R. C. Beavers as Ord (seal)
A. W. Wheat (seal)

Augustus Wheat died sometime between September and December 1868. He would have been about 47.
He requested "to be buried in a common coffin & in my common or every day cloths"
Will probated Campbell Co 1868. Wife Mary Gray Wheat.

Mary still had children to raise. Here is the family in 1870:
1870 GA Campbell Co., Campbellton, PO Powder Springs, Roll M593_139, Pg 33, dwell 1101, lines 20-26, July 24th
Wheate, Mary, 56, keeping house, $1000, $200, GA, cannot read or write
Wheate, John, 21, farm labor, can read & write
Wheate, Olta?, 18, female, domestic servant, GA, cannot read or write (possibly Artie)
Wheate, Harvey?, 12, farm labor, GA
Wheate, Gilbert, 11, GA (Augustus Gilbert, actually 8, married Carzolia Lee 'Lela' Richardson)
Wheate, Anna, 8, GA (actually 11, married a Hammond, and then Joe Privett)
Wheate, Alza, 4, female, GA (married William Henry Bice)

I did find it interesting that after Augustus died, his wife Mary is listed in the 1880 census as having two black children. They appear to be the youngest two of the indentured servants:
1880 GA Douglas Co., District 1273,Roll T9_144; FHF 1254144, Pg 185.1000, ED50, dwell 127, lines 12-16, June ??
Wheate, Mary 56, widow, white, GA, GA, GA, keeping house, can read & write
Wheate, Gilbert, son, 18, white, GA, GA, GA, farm labor, can read & write
Wheate, Alzira, dau., 14, white, GA, GA, GA, at home, can read & write
Wheate, Edward, son,18, black, GA, GA, GA, farm labor, cannot read or write
Wheate, Nancy, dau., 15, black, GA, GA, GA, farm labor, cannot read or write
(The northwestern part of Campbell County became Douglas in 1870.)

I was able to "prove" Augustus Wheat's parents through DNA testing. There is some circumstantial evidence also. Wesley Wheat was in the area and had sons of Augustus' age. Augustus named one of his sons Wesley. He named a daughter Frances (his possible mother's name), and another Artemesia (who is his possible aunt). His wife Mary was in Campbell county in 1830 with her family, as was Wesley's. Wesley was in Hall county in 1820, which was one of the counties Lumpkin county was carved out of.

If you have any info on this family, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Genealogy T-Ball

Once again I am inspired by +James Tanner 's blog Genealogy's Star: Is Genealogy Inclusive or Exclusive

In the above, James makes the analogy of professional genealogists to doctors and lawyers: "Either it is a profession like law or medicine, highly regulated and exclusionary, or it is a broadly available pastime that invites anyone to participate."

I have a slightly different view...take America's pastime, baseball, for example. Sure, we've got the pros, but we also start toddlers off with T-ball. They progress to Little League, maybe some high school or college. It's up to the individual how far they want to go. Everyone should be able to participate at their own level.

My husband, 1964

All along the way, there are there are mentors, coaches. Thousands attend games to see the pros. Many pros take the time to encourage the younger players, all the way down to the T-ball level. There are also the sandlot games in the neighborhood. If you really want to get down to the basics, you can find games across the world using a board for a bat and a homemade ball.

I think genealogy can and should be that way too. Sure, there are the pros, but then again, there are the kids with heart, trying their best, and getting so much out of the game. A basic knowledge of the rules is gained with experience. If they stick with it, they get better. Maybe the rules are a bit tougher for the pros than they are for the T-ballers, but let's not suck all the fun out of what should be a fun learning experience!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sibling Saturday-William Neal "Bill" McGowan

My brother Bill was born August 4, 1966 in Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama. He was the son of John Raymond Jr. and Anna Tidwell McGowan. He passed away too soon November 8, 2001 at the age of 35 in San Diego, California. He died of pneumonia from a short illness he thought was a cold, but ended up being the flu.
Bill was the youngest child of three. Our dad died when Bill was about 13. Bill attended University of Alabama at Birmingham, and worked for USAA insurance in Tampa, FL. He moved to San Diego after he was recruited by The Hartford. He loved hiking in the desert & jogging.
Published in the USAA Newsletter

I was told by co-workers at The Hartford, that Bill encountered some Mexican boarder crossers in the desert while hiking. They were lost, hungry, thirsty, and had no shoes. Bill gave them directions, food, water, and the shoes off his feet.

The world needs more like Bill. I miss him dearly!

Monday, September 2, 2013

What did your people do? Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief...

Today it is Labor Day in the US. I was looking through some of the occupations in my family tree, and there are quite a variety of occupations...Butcher, Baker, no candlestick maker though.

Graves of Sehoy and Red Eagle
Telecommunications Consultant
Telephone Operator
Service Rep
Event Planner
House Painter
Photo Engraver
Copy Cutter
Coffee Roaster
Tire Retreader
Coal Miner
Fork Lift Operator
Call Center Manager
Night Watchman
Navy Officer
Tax Collector
Ray Norman
Post Office Clerk
Social Security Office
Laborer, Driving Team
Rope Manufacturer
Flax Scutcher
Livery Stable Owner
Flax Dresser
Engine Driver
Threshing Machinist
Sausage Worker
Sports Reporter
Door to Door Salesman
Music Teacher
Locomotive Fireman
Taxi Driver
Molder in Pipe Shop
Factory Girl
Oil Derrick Hand
Ferry Owner
Cabinet Maker
Cooper in Barrel Factory
John Norman
Pipe Fitter
Probation Officer
Truck Driver
Home Economics Teacher
Shot Firer
Kitchen Maid
School Principal
Radio Station General Manager
Oil Millionaire
Locomotive Engineer
Hoisting Engineer
Cameo Carver
Railroad Agent
Police Officer
Able Seaman
Munitions Worker
Paper Maker
Country Music Star and Actress
Restaurant Owner
Steer Roper
Rolling Mill Worker
Wilson Naval Store and Turpentine Still
Turpentine Distiller
Turpentine Laborer
Wood Chopper
Mail Carrier
Ship Carpenter
Steel Guitar Player
Deputy Sheriff
Well Digger
Merchant Marine
Saw Mill Worker
NASA Rocket Scientist
Tool Grinder
Sheep Herder
Creek Indian Chief
Princess of the Wind Clan
Justice of the Peace
Cement Worker
Sewing Machine Operator
Veterinary Surgeon
Thread Repairer
 image is in the public domain
Construction Worker
Coal Vendor
Cargo Checker
Saw Filer
Steam Fitter
Building Contractor
Cafeteria Worker
Oil Field Laborer
Railroad Brakeman
State Senator
Firewood Vendor

Some of these occupations are no longer in existence. I wonder if someone will be saying the same about our current occupations in another hundred years?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Baby Book of John Raymond McGowan, Jr.-West End Birmingham, Alabama 1932

..but is was a gift
Yes, it's pink..

You can click on pictures to enlarge

Top left is an invite to a party at 3:30 o'clock on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 2005 Jefferson Ave for Ann Eliz Sudd---ter

John Raymond McGowan, Jr. Age 8 months

Saturday, July 20, 2013

John Warnick of Alabama and Texas

I have two old photos of John Warnick. I love them both.
Uncle John Warnick and friend. Green 1 cent stamp on back

Washington stamp issued 1917-1919?

The second is a family photo

John Warnick and family
Corporal stripes? WWI?

There are two possibilities for Uncle John Warnick:
From family stories, John R. Warnick born 1892, son of George Washington Warnick and Flora Cargo Warnick, was "in trouble with the law". He left home sometime after the 1910 Hueytown, Jefferson County, Alabama census and never came back. I have been unable to locate him in any census after 1910.
John was not mentioned in his mother's obit in 1945, but was mentioned in his father's in 1949.

The second possibility is John Wesley Warnick, son of Caleb and Sophronia Holley Warnick, and brother of the above George. He was born 1874. I have more info on him, but have not been able to place him in Texas. He married Constance Belma Freeman. I also have only seen two sons in census records, and those two are mentioned in his obit.

Are these photos the same person? I'm thinking that they are.

Any clues you can provide would be most welcome, especially approximate dates for these photos.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

William Cornelius- Revolutionary War Patriot

Infantry: Continental Army, 1779-1783, IV from the Library of Congress
Updated June 20, 2015
William Cornelius was born between 1750 and 1760. He was the son of Moses Cornelius and Anne Dodson Cornelius. He married Lettice Cargile June 5, 1774. They had eleven children: Anne (1776-1849) married Cornelius Cargill; Jesse (1778-1850) married Sarah Biggs; Elizabeth (1781-1842) married Calvin Waid; Moses (1784-1847) married Cynthia Bynum; Aaron (1786-1852) married Ellender Fortner; William (1789-1864) married Elizabeth Bethel; Champion (1792-1824) married Jane Bailey; my great-great-grandfather Beverly (1794-1880) married Nancy Euphemia Smith; Lettice (1797-1829) married Alexander Cooke; Tabitha (1800-1852) married Reuben Hays; and Abner (1802-1860) married Susan McPherson.

The book Genealogy of the Bynum Family: Bynum, Murphree, Cornelius, Allgood by Mary Lou Boazman Howard written in 1958 has William's parents as William C. Cornelius and Anne Phillips of North Carolina. No sources are given for this information in the book. New evidence, discovered in 2003, points to Moses Cornelius of Virginia as being William's father.

This research was conducted by Robert C. Johnston, President of the FourFamilies Reunion and published in the September 2003 issue of the Cornelius newsletter.
Here are some highlights of that research:

The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County,
Virginia: A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants - Volume One has references to the family of Fortunatus Dodson and his wife Alice Goad, both of Richmond County, VA. Fortunatus and Alice had a daughter named Ann, whom the authors claim was married first to a Moses Cornelius and second to a George Phillips, and that she lived in Pittsylvania County. She had a son by Moses Cornelius and he fought in the Revolutionary War.

Robert C. Johnston went through the court records in  Pittsylvania County, VA and found the following:
September Court of 1773 Pittsylvania County Virginia (Deed Book 2,
Page 246)
ORDERED that the Church wardens of the Parish of Camden in this County do bind out Moses and Jepheth Cornelius Orphans of Moses Cornelius deceased in such manner as the law directs.

On September 1, 1780, Ann Cornelius of Pittsylvania County, VA was granted by the State of Virginia, 202 acres of land on both sides of Buck Branch on Frying Pan Creek in northern Pittsylvania County (Land Office Patents "E", 1775-1776, 1780-1781, page 786).

On January 30, 1790, the above mentioned 202 acres on Buck Branch of Frying
Pan Creek, was sold by Ann Cornelius and two of her sons WILLIAM CORNELIUS
and JEPTHA CORNELIUS. This deed was recorded in Pittsylvania County, Virginia Deed Book 8, pages 526-527.

Anna Phillips was living near William in 1800. She was living alone and over the age of 45. There is a record of an Ann Cornelius marrying George Phillips February 9, 1768 in Lunenburg, Virginia.

I should also point out that my DNA testing seems to bear this out. I have many DNA cousins from the Goad and Dodson lines.

William served in the Continental Line of Washington's Army during the Revolutionary War in Capt. Kingsbury's Artillery, under Colonel John Lamb. William enlisted in this North Carolina Artillery Company as a Matross on July 15, 1776.

Matross was a soldier of artillery, who ranked next below a gunner. The duty of a matross was to assist the gunners in loading, firing and sponging the guns. They were provided with firelocks, and marched with the store-wagons, acting as guards. In the American army a matross ranked as a private of artillery. --Wikipedia

He served in this artillery unit until he was wounded in June, 1778.

From DAR records:
Ancestor #: A026122
1754    PENNSYLVANIA (actually Pittsylvania County,Virginia)
7-27-1842     BLOUNT CO ALABAMA
Service Source: 
Service Description: 

William Cornelius was already living in the old 96th District of South Carolina (now Greenville County) on March 6, 1786 when he was granted 500 acres on Checheroc River "including the improvements wherein he now liveth" (SC State Grants Vol. 9, Page 157). In the 1790 Census for Greenville County, South Carolina, William was shown as having four sons and three daughters. In the 1800 Greenville County, South Carolina Census, William Cornelius is listed with three sons under the age of 10, two between 10 and 15 years of age, two daughters under 10 with William being over the age of 45 and Lettice being between 26 and 44 years old.

In 1818 William and his family moved to Blount County, Alabama. They settled south of Oneonta in the vicinity of Chepultepec. This Cornelius family is known as one of the "Four Families" that founded Blount County. Many descendants still live there today.

William died July 22, 1842 in Blount County, Alabama. Pictures of the family cemetery can be seen here:

The DAR marker:

Many thanks to +Robert Johnston and Eugene Cornelius who provided much of my information!

If you are connected to any of these families, I would love to hear from you.