My New Blog is at….

My New Blog is at….

Everyone Has a Family Story to Tell


Reenactment of the funeral of Berrian Clark Bryan

I’ve been seeing many new followers on this 52 Week Ancestor Challenge Blog that I wrote for the year 2014 after accepting a challenge of writing a family history story every week; I kept it as a separate blog. My blog that I continue to write on is posted above, and I’d love to have you check it out as well.

While I continually have new comments left here on my stories, which I love finding, no new stories will appear here, but I’m now writing family stories, along with many other stories, at my blog above… so hope you’ll stop by and check out all my categories and drop me a line!

My family research lines are Bryan, McKinley, Sharp, Askew, Hilsman/Hillsman, Gooch, Wilson, Little, Turner, Cain, Free, Fortner, Grizzle, Beaty/Beatty and many more I’ve forgotten to add.

One of the surnames I didn’t add above was “Drew”… and I’ll keep that one a secret as to why I research it… let me know if you figure it out!


Click for more … Everyone Has a Family Story to Tell

© 2018, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Thank You To My Readers

thank you note

 “Thank You”

Throughout the year I have read many wonderful, funny and heartfelt comments you’ve left on my blog. I began this blog on January 13th and can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for over one year and celebrating my 1st “Blogiversary”!


“Thank You” so much for taking the time to read and comment during the past year and for a Final Post of my 2014 – 52 Week 52 Ancestor Stories, I’ve chosen to highlight many of those heartfelt comments you posted to me.



Week 1 – 52 Ancestors 52 Week Blog: Ola Askew McKinley

Lyn SmithWonderful story, Jeanne. It just so happens, your grandmother, Ola Askew McKinley was my great aunt, being the wife of Edgar Thomas McKinley, half-brother to my grandfather, Charlie Earle McKinley; both born in Hancock County, Georgia. That is only one way our families are entwined.

You mention the way our grandparents spent their time and how hard they worked. Papa Earle and Uncle Edgar were raised on a farm, from what I gather it was mostly cotton and all the children worked in the fields when they were old enough. I recall a story Papa used to tell about there being a ghostly experience at the house one day when they were all out in the fields.

Papa mentioned his four siblings and he was in his teen years, so I’m presuming Papa was about 15 years old. Possibly Uncle Edgar was out of the house by this time but Papa said it was not the only time they had this experience. Did something like that happen while Uncle Edgar was still at home? Papa said they moved from this house a few years later and another family moved in and later the house was destroyed by fire. Papa had that story told to the local paper some years back and I still have the copy.

Times were hard in those days and all families did what they could to help each other. Papa did many things in his lifetime, from running a store in Jones County, Georgia to making a living as a carpenter. He eventually began installing storm windows as part of his work. Papa married Grace Marchman, and they had six children, the oldest was my mother – Margret Grace McKinley.

I don’t recall when Mama and Papa moved to this house on Forsyth Street in Macon, Georgia but I do remember the house and the good times we all had there. The kitchen was separated from the ‘family’ room with this divided window, which had bi-fold doors. I call it a family room because it had a dining table, and eventually a TV. There was one big ‘ole comfortable chair for Papa, a counter and a couple of bar stools. The windows were open when family was there so Mama could be be in her kitchen and visit at the same time. This was not a small kitchen like you see in most houses today, it was huge. Mama cooked from scratch and no one walked away hungry. She used a pinch of this and a pinch of that, using her favorite wooden spoons and spatulas. In making her biscuits, she had a little metal cookie cutter. but usually used a glass when she wasn’t rolling them in her hand.

Upstairs in our house was a huge room between the bedrooms, that is where her sewing machine was and a table large enough to spread the biggest sheet of material to be cut. Mama was the best seamstress I knew; I learned my sewing skills from her. I don’t believe she ever knitted or crocheted, as I have no memory of it.

One summer when Uncle Charlie sent his girls down from North Georgia to stay with Mama. Mama took them shopping for patterns and material to make school clothes for the upcoming year. One of the girls voiced that she preferred store bought clothes, while one made her clothes that summer, with Mama’s help, of course – she had the most clothes! A lesson well learned! Store bought is nice but often more expensive; the same holds true today.

I have a small quilt Mama made one year but hadn’t decided what she would do with it, so she put it away until someone needed it. It just happened that the heater in our truck went out one day and we were on our way to North Alabama for Christmas. Needlessly to say, I was freezing! Mama gave me the quilt and four paper grocery bags and told me to put two bags together, put my feet in and then put the quilt over my lap. I was warmer than when the heater worked. The things we learn from the older generation – if we would but listen!

Jeanne Bryan InsalacoEvelyn thanks for all the family memories – too bad we never knew each other in growing up, but we share our love of family history and we know our McKinley family history will be preserved.

 Week 2 – 52 Ancestors 52 Week Blog: Berrian Clark Bryan

Nancy BunchI loved reading about my 3rd great grandfather! My grandmother never talked about him maybe it made her sad. Your stories have sparked a desire in my sons and grandsons to know more about their ancestors! My cousin, Judy is reconnecting my husband and my dad’s fathers’ family. We were very surprised to find we are related to famous people! The best treasures I’ve ever been given ! All my new found Bryan / Bryant cousins we are going to see as soon as weather and illness permits! Now Judy is reaching my husband’s family! It’s like Christmas everyday! Jeannie we are going to go on the same walk as you did in one of your stories and go to the church and grave-sites!! Cannot wait ! Love you, cousin Nancy.

Jeanne Bryan InsalacoNancy that is so exciting!!! I would love to make that walk again, when are you going? I plan on coming to Georgia in April and October this year, maybe I could meet you for that walk if one of those times would be convenient for you. It would be so exciting to all go together and lunch afterward at The Smith House!

Week 3 – 52 Ancestors 52 Week Blog: Joseph Thomas Sharp

Cathy Garner Royer That was so interesting. I love reading about your family.

Evelyn Smallwood Smith: I found this post several years ago but for some reason cannot locate it today. I wonder if it was removed as an error in post or for some other reason? It stated Joseph T Sharp was buried Powelton Cemetery b. 1835 d. abt 1906 marr. Narcissa Meadow(s) b 1838 d b/f 1870? Daughter Rosie L McKinley buried in Powelton Cemetery. Lived w/ daughter b/f her death continued living w/daughter’s husband, Edgar L McKinley. Site now says – this cemetery may be either destroyed or an error on the DOT map; The area has been logged and the earth has been severely disturbed. (Source:

A search of Georgia Virtual Vault shows only the Pension record. Unfortunately, it is not yet known what records were archived at the Hancock County Courthouse prior to the devastating fire a few weeks ago.

Jeanne Bryan InsalacoI contacted the site owner of the Friends of Cemeteries in Hancock Co. I was told that they had taken down that page as there wasn’t any responses. That may well be where my Joseph was buried, but unfortunately it is all lost now. At first I never understood why he wasn’t buried next to his daughter. I’ve since discovered, that Joseph didn’t die right after his daughter Rosie did, but instead went to live with his son Edwin L. Sharp in Augusta, Ga. I found him in the 1910 census, living in his household, but I did not find him in the 1920 census. So Joseph T. Sharp died between 1910 – 1920. I searched in Augusta, thinking his son buried him locally, but I have not found a grave listed. Maybe he was buried next to his wife Narcissa Meadows Sharp, but that’s a mystery also – maybe one day we will discover where they both were buried.

Lyn SmithThe marriage of James S Sharp and Elizabeth Lancaster is listed in the Hancock County, Georgia Marriage Book 1808-1879 on page 33, line 14. I, too, have heard very little about James and Elizabeth Sharp. All I know of them is what I have found in my research, which is pretty much what you have found. It’s really funny how our lines mixed together. I mean Narcissa Meadows was born in 1838 to William (1778) and Serena Kettrell Meadows, who were married 1823 in Warren County, Georgia. Narcissa Meadows daughter, Rosie Sharp was my great grandfather, Edgar Lawson McKinley’s first wife, making her children my aunts and uncles, thus my relationship to Edgar Thomas McKinley.

William Meadows was married before he married Serena Kettrell, to whom has never been discover, but his son, Wiley Meadows (1807) was the half-brother to Narcissa. Wiley Meadows is my gggg-grandfather, as his son, William D Meadows (1831) was the father of my great-great-grandfather, William Green Meadows who married Susan Rosalia Brantley, whose daughter Annie Lee Meadows (1892) was my grandmother’s mother. My grandmother, Grace Marchman married Charlie Earle McKinley, who was half-brother to Jeanne’s grandfather, Edgar Thomas McKinley. This gives us links to the Meadows line both through our Sharp line and McKinley line, making us linked to the Meadows line twice. That is not the only line we have more than one link to.

Annie Lee Meadows was born in February 1892. There were 5 girls born to William Green Meadows and Susan Rosalia Brantley. It took me a while to locate my great-great-grandfather because my mother had always referred to him as Green Meadows. With some help from another Meadows researcher, Michal Farmer, I was able to learn who my great-great-grandfather was but neither of us has been able to determine when or where Green Meadows died but we believe it to be either Taliaferro or Richmond County, Georgia. He died before 1900, as Annie Lee Meadows and three of her sisters, Susie, Allie and Willie are found in the 1900 Census in the Augusta Orphan Asylum in Richmond County, Georgia. I found Susan Rosalia Brantley Meadows and her daughter Minnie (Minerva) working in a Cotton Factory in Greensboro County, Georgia. I believe that Susan had a difficult time taking care of five children after Green died and therefore, kept the oldest, while putting the other four in the Orphanage. Why it is called an Asylum is a mystery. I also do not know if Susan ever took her girls out of the Orphanage but she shows up in the 1910 Census with her second husband, Thomas Brake and his three children from a previous marriage.

Annie Lee Meadows married at the age of 17 to James Thomas Marchman III 22 August 1909 in Greene County, Georgia and my grandmother Grace Marchman was born 18 May 1910. There were two other children born to this union; Daisy Marchman and Raymond Thomas Marchman. My grandmother remained in Georgia, while Aunt Daisy and Uncle Raymond ended up in Maryland.

Papa Marchman had a stroke in the mid 1920’s, which left him paralyzed and Grandma Annie Lee had to find work. How she found work in Greystone Hospital in New Jersey is still a mystery. At any rate, Papa Marchman moved in with his son Howard Marchman, who lived in Hardwick; operating a store with a Post Office, located near the gates to the State Hospital. Howard was born to Mildred Hilsman, first wife of James Thomas Marchman III; the Hilsman line is another story.

Along with Papa Marchman moving in with Howard, so did Mama Grace and her sister, Daisy. Raymond Marchman decided to live with the McKinley family down the road, which would turned out to be my grandfather’s family, Edgar Lawson McKinley and his second wife, Nancy Josephine Askew. By this time, Edgar Thomas McKinley, Papa McKinley’s half-brother, was married and starting his own family.

Grace Marchman married Charlie Earle McKinley in Greene County, Georgia on 5 February 1930. They had six children, the oldest being Margret Grace McKinley, my mother born 23 May 1931. Papa operated stores in Greene County and Jones County before moving to Macon and becoming one of the best known carpenters in Middle Georgia. Everyone around these parts knew my grandpa and admired his works. Later, he added the installation of those insulated windows. I remember Papa taking his green lunch box and a big orange thermos filled with water to work every day. Mama Grace would fix his lunch every morning while making his breakfast. He took a thermos of coffee and sweet ice tea. Never did he ‘waste’ his money on takeout food, even when it became available. When Papa ran his store in Jones County, he had this huge three compartment freezer, which he kept even when he sold the store. They used that freezer till the time of his death in 1997. Papa also built a lot of the furniture they had. I remember when they lived on Forsyth Street in Macon, he built two Secretary Desks in each of the front rooms, and one was the formal dining room and the other the formal living room. Both were built in and could not be taken with them when they moved. Oh how I wish I had one of those desks. Papa also built each of us girls a baby cradle, mine was blue and he also built several children’s rocking chairs and a square table with stools for my older sibling;. the table and stools are still at my mother’s house.

Jeanne Bryan InsalacoLyn, what lovely stories you’ve written to me. I hope you’ve preserved them offline for your family history as well. We need to get you a blog set up, I think you’d enjoy writing. Thanks for adding your history!

Week 4 – 52 Ancestors 52 Week Blog: Ila Stargel Sewell Jones

Nancy Bunch: I am B.C. Bryan ‘s great -great granddaughter .. My grandmother was Carrie Hudson .. Her sister were Ollie, Mary Anne and brothers John, and James. I too remember many stories like the doodle bug, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Granny married Emory Murrell my grandfather and they moved to Alabama. I love old pictures – I feel like I’m back in time with them. I Enjoy reading your stories. My dad was Clarence Allen Morrell – he changed it because Morrell sounded better in the Army. The rest of the family remained Murrell.

Steve InsalacoI remember meeting Ila when we went on that hike into the woods. It was really neat to actually see where B.C’s cabin once stood.

Week 5 – 52 Ancestors 52 Week Blog: Heirloom Recipes…

Frank: Great story!

pen4hireOh yum! I have to try your recipe. You’re like me– haunted by ancestors in the kitchen. I wish I had paid more attention to my grandma’s food prep. I was too busy just eating! I try to catch a bit of my memory at Ancestors in Aprons.

Evelyn Smallwood Smith: I, too, wish I had spent more time paying attention to my grandmother’s methods, instead of just being in there with her. Try as I might, I cannot duplicate her biscuits. Grandmother Grace McKinley made the thinnest, flakiest, biscuits I’ve ever tasted. She never used a rolling pin but managed to smush that dough pretty thin, then used a glass to cut out the biscuits. Then she placed each on the baking sheet and pressed bacon grease atop each one. Once they were done, she would butter each one as she placed them in the basket, which she had placed a towel to cover them. I don’t recall my grandmother ever using a timer either. She just knew!

We also spent many a day snapping, shelling and shucking. Mama, as I called her, kept little chunks of potato in her mashed potatoes and fatback in her beans. To my knowledge, there are no recipes from my grandmother’s kitchen.

One of the funniest stories I can remember is a home economics class of mine in junior high. We had to prepare a meal with adult supervision and the adult was to write a report for my teacher. Mama decided to make hotcakes using what I called her fancy mixer. It was a stand mixer with glass bowls. She told me to be careful and not hit the beaters with the wooden spoon. Yes, I did hit the beaters and we had a big mess to clean up! No, she did not yell or scold me, she just said that was the reason. She then taught me how to pour the batter in the skillet and know when was the time to turn them. That was a fun day and I don’t recall any complaints about my hotcakes.

Such wonderful memories that should have been written down but so many of us didn’t think about that while we were growing up.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Thanks for your cooking memories Evelyn. I wish I had more cooking times in the kitchen with my mother and grandmothers, but I wasn’t interested at that time, like most kids.

Week 6 – 52 Ancestors 52 week Blog: Searching for Family…

Lyn Smith: I’ve had the research bug for many years, as well. I began back in the early to mid-1990’s. Every opportunity I had was spent at the afternoon of my local library. They have this wonderful genealogy department and I would write down all the information that appeared related to my search. My hands would get tired of the writing, so I began making copies of the information. Sometimes I did not want to leave the library, I was so engrossed in my findings.

All of a sudden I picked up this book entitled ‘The Genealogy of the Marchman Family in the Southern States’ by Dennis Marchman. I found my grandmother, Grace Marchman McKinley’s name among those pages. I took that book to the copier and copied every page. I kept looking and found a couple of other books on this family. I didn’t see anything in those, so I took my copied pages to my grandmother and she helped me piece some of it together. I made notes throughout the pages and thus began a project I have not been able to turn loose of since.

As my search progressed, I began to notice how the Marchman, McKinley, Meadows, Askew and Hil(l)man families intertwine. It was amazing to me. I even laughed, saying didn’t these folks realize there was a world outside Greene and Hancock counties?’ Of course, they knew, they were simply small town folks who enjoyed the small town communities in which they were living.

Our family has branched out all across the United States and some have been preachers and lawmen. I remember being told that there are five tribes of Indian in my family but have yet to find much proof of that. The problem, I believe, being no one remembers, or the people who could have told me have passed on. My mother told me that her grandmother comes from Cherokee stock and even shared pictures with me of Grandma McKinley’s grandparents. This was Nancy Josephine Askew, mother of Charlie Earle McKinley, who is half-brother to Edgar Lawson McKinley.

My Indian heritage is still an on-going project. Around 2004, I was introduced to internet research and not long into this type of searching, I discovered a tree that was put together by Jeanne Insalaco. This was my family, so I contacted the creator of this tree and discovered she was my cousin, Jeanne Bryan Insalaco, the author of this blog. We have since traded information.

Jeanne and I have the same research but she is much better at putting information into story form and her mother has more family history than I could gather from my end of the family. It is possible that had I began earlier, I could have gathered more first-hand information but it is too late for me to worry about that.

I did receive a wealth of information from my grandfather’s brother, J.W. McKinley, who happens to be Jeanne’s great uncle as her father, Edgar Thomas McKinley was my grandfather’s half-brother, also being half-brother to Uncle J.W. as well. I do remember my grandfather, Charlie Earle McKinley, adamantly stating that we were not Scot-Irish. Unfortunately, my research had not gone that far during his lifetime. When I put the information together, I took a copy of what I had to Uncle J.W. He was thrilled! I asked him about the Scot-Irish connection and Papa’s always saying we were not Scot. Uncle J.W. said he didn’t know why Papa wouldn’t accept the Scot line but he always had a feeling it was there. Going back to the McKinley beginnings is still on-going. There were many spellings of the name and at one time, they were known as Clan’s (Clan MacKinlay and so on).

But the bug has not left me and I will continue my search into the McKinley line as well as my other lines. Sometimes I get so involved in my search that I don’t want to turn loose. I will work late into the night when I find something unique in my line. It is a lifetime project and I do believe a disease.

Week 7 – 52 Ancestors 52 week Blog: The Shoe hits the Wall

Schalene Dagutis: It always pays to look at the actual image of the record when one is available. Good job!

Week 8 – 52 Ancestors 52 week Blog: Edgar Thomas McKinley

Frank: This was really beautiful. I enjoyed it.

Week 13 – 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Edgar Leroy McKinley

Melissa Insalaco-Gillon: I am proud to have given my first daughter the name McKinley Lee. She will carry the family name and one day she will understand why it is important to remember and know family “roots”.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: McKinley Lee has some tall shoes to fill carrying that name and definitely see McKinley traits in her disposition! McKinley’s are very strong willed and stubborn!

Week 14 – 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Siloam Hauntings on the McKinley farm

Evelyn Smallwood SmithI didn’t realize you had a copy of Papa’s ‘Ghost Story’. I use to keep that clipping tacked on my icebox. It’s in my genealogy folder now.

Week 20: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Dear Bryan and McKinley Ancestors

Lyn SmithIf I believed in séances, I can think of many of my ancestors I’d call back for a ‘sit-down’. So many interesting tales they could tell of how they came to America from wherever their line originated. The struggles made to settle down and start a new life. Most of my family doesn’t understand my passion for this kind of research but it doesn’t matter, I continue on.

I would talk to my great-great grandmother, Cicily Evans Askew about our Cherokee heritage. I know her grandmother was full-bloodied Cherokee but was her mother? I’ve still not discovered the names of Grandma Cicily’s parents and only a guess at the name of her grandmother, whom I have a picture of. Are we related to President McKinley? That would be something. Of course, it would be cousin or uncle but it really would be something. I’ve heard that we are but no proof has surfaced.

I would also talk to my father, Javan Smallwood about his service in the Navy. He never really talked about any of it but I have discovered from my research that Daddy was on more than one Destroyer during World War II. Were any of those Destroyers engaged in fighting and where? I also know Daddy crossed the Equator; I have the Certificate given him. I’d like to know about that experience.

I’d also like to talk to his parents about the heritage they left behind. Grandpa J. Van Smallwood died just a month before I was born and I never thought to ask any of these questions of Grandma Stella, who died in 1971, the year before my graduation. Though I loved history in those days, family history and heritage weren’t on my list. I’ve also learned of some of the exploits of many of my ancestors. For example, on my Smallwood line we are related to William Barrett Travis, who died defending the Alamo. Oh, how I would love to talk to him about his short life.

As Jeanne says, do you think us crazy when we visit the cemeteries, taking pictures, writing dates, cleaning stones so we can read them more clearly? Have you thought about sitting beside us and relating your life to us? Oh yes, there are many ancestors I would love to write to, or talk to. Research is fun, frustrating and addictive but the stories we could learn from those gone before us. What an adventure that would be.

Week 25: 52 Week Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Edgar Lawson McKinley

Lyn Smith: Edgar Lawson McKinley was my great grandfather, whom I never knew. He died ten years before I was born but I did know my great grandmother, Nancy Josephine Askew McKinley. I’m not sure why my mother called her Miss Minnie but I do remember Papa calling her Miss Bay. Mother said he never knew the reason for the Miss Minnie name but Grandma hated that name – maybe that is why she was called Miss Bay? I wonder if Uncle J.W. could answer that question?

I remember one of the last times I visited Grandma. It was 1969 when my mother and I went to see her and Aunt Aretta, the youngest sister to both my grandfather and Jeanne’s. Aunt Aretta never married and I remember Mother telling me that something was wrong with her eyes and no one could figure out what it was. Mother said Aunt Aretta could read very little and did not go to school. I loved Aunt Aretta and would sit with her going through pictures and talking about each one. Aunt Aretta died a few years ago and I will always miss her.

I remember Papa and Uncle J.W. had running water put into that house Grandma lived in but Grandma would always wash dishes in a dish pan and toss the water out the back door. That is what she had always done and she couldn’t get out of the habit.

Aunt Ola’s great grandfather, William Milton Askew was Nancy Josephine Askew’s grandfather. William Milton Askew was married twice and from his first marriage to Mary Gerald, was James Brittain Askew, Ola’s grandfather. From William Milton Askew’s second marriage to Ann Green Reid was Charlie Morton Askew, my grandmother, Nancy Josephine’s father. As of this date, only one of Grandma Josephine’s children are living, Uncle J.W., James William McKinley.

Another possible mass of stories could have come from Grandma Josephine but, again, I never thought to ask her. I loved spending time with her but I spent more time with Aunt Aretta. My sister, Mary, spent times with both Grandma and Aunt Aretta as well. When her first son was born, she took him to meet his great-great grandmother. Many pictures were taken and she sent me a few copies. I think the one I treasure the most is of Grandma, Papa, my sister and her son, Richard.

Looking at the second picture Jeanne has posted of the family above, it is amazing to me how much like Aunt Aretta, I looked at that age. A compliment even if I so say so myself.

Family history, the way our elders spent their time when not working include many wonderful stories. My Papa loved baseball and water. I remember as children that Papa would take us on trips to Jekyll Island, Okefenokee Swamp and Indian Springs here in Georgia. All of these places have bodies of water and whenever possible, Papa would take us into the water. I have a picture of Papa, me and my siblings in the ocean. Quite possibly, that is where my love of beaches comes into play. I love walking the beach and hearing the ocean.

I remember one trip we took to Indian Springs on a picnic. They had these water crafts you could rent for fun on the lake. Several of these crafts were rented and Uncle Carroll (my mother’s brother) took me out in the water with him. Uncle Russell, another of Mother’s brothers, took another craft out but I can’t remember who he took with him. We had such fun playing bumper cars with those crafts. I can’t recall what they were called but you had to pedal them, they did not have a motor as those of today. Uncle Russell was the family prankster. A lot of fun was had at every family gathering. My uncles always had a good joke or story to tell, this includes Uncle Charlie. There were four boys and two girls in my mother’s family, mother being the oldest and Uncle Charlie being the next. Of the six siblings, only two remain, Uncle Charlie and the youngest sister, Evelyn.

I loved hearing the stories of them growing up and wish I could remember more. I do remember Mother saying she got her love of baseball from her father and brothers. Mother loved her brothers and often bragged of what she learned from them.

Week 26: 52 Week Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Evelyn Irene Little Bryan

sharon whitmanShe sounded a lot like my grandfathers wife my grandmother as far as her cooking. Sounds like you grew up the same way I did with my grandmothers cooking all she did. she loved garden food too.

Week 29: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: James and Elizabeth (Cain) Bryan

Wendy Walker BloomeThank you so much for your hard work!! Truly a treasure.

Week 30: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: A Family Search, an Old Church and Ghosts….

sharon whitmanLove, love, love the stories! And if you look real close at the bench in one of the pics I swear it looks like an arm leaning on the pew, gave me chill bumps. Thank you for sharing. I may never get to go to where these stories are wrote about but I feel I have been able to just by reading the stories.

Week 31: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: The Tale of the Two Nancy Bryan’s….

Margie von MarenholtzVERY, VERY NICE! Great Job! I had never found a spouse for John Bryan, Jr. I’m sure all the records we need were in some burned out courthouse – LOL. Thanks for all the great digging 🙂

Week 33: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Louise Alma Wilson Little-Gossett

Paulette Bryan Huffman: Love reading your blogs. I do remember him coming to Grandmama and Grandaddy’s for Christmas. We thought he was rich because he brought the best Christmas presents for us as we were usually visiting during that time.

Week 34: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Narcissa C. Meadows Sharp

Cathy Meder-DempseyIsn’t it wonderful how we discover new things about our ancestor as we prepare to write about them? Thank you for an interesting read.

jinsalaco2013I’ve enjoyed breaking through old brick walls and looking through to more. Thanks for stopping by….

Evelyn Smallwood Smith: Will put this on my Favorites bar. Thanks for putting this together, Jeanne. Took a lot of work and time and I thought the effort you put into the tree you posted on Rootsweb was super.

Lyn Smith: What I think is truly interesting is another link that intertwines our families. Narcissa Meadows, daughter of William Meadows and Serena Kettrell and wife of Joseph Thomas Sharp, was also half-sister to Wiley Meadows, both Narcissa and Wiley being children of William Meadows born 1778. It is unknown who William was first married to but it is known there were five children born to his first marriage, Wiley being the oldest. I presume William was first married about 1805, since Wiley was born in 1807.

Why do I bring this up? This connection brings the Sharp, Meadows and McKinley lines together. Narcissa was the mother of Rosie Sharp, and the first wife of Edgar Lawson McKinley. Edgar Lawson is my great grandfather as well as Jeanne Bryan Insalaco’s great grandfather. Her grandfather, Edgar Thomas McKinley was born to Rosie Sharp McKinley, while my grandfather, Charlie Earle McKinley was the oldest son born to Edgar Thomas McKinley and his second wife Nancy Josephine Askew.

William D Meadows,1831 was born to Wiley Meadows, half-brother to Narcissa Meadows. William D Meadows’ son, William Green Meadows married Susan Rosalia Brantley on 22 March 1886 in Taliaferro County, Georgia and their daughter, Annie Lee Meadows married James Thomas Marchman, III, on 22 August 1909, who is the father of my grandmother, Grace Marchman, who married Charlie Earle McKinley, oldest son of Edgar Lawson McKinley and Nancy Josephine Askew.It is so fascinating to me how our lines come together when we stop and pay attention to what we are entering into our histories.

The burial places of some of these ancestors’ remains a mystery that I hope can one day be resolved. I’m thinking that some graves are not marked because the families possibly did have the money to purchase stone markers and the wooden markers have deteriorated with time and descendants did not think to preserve those grave markers; sad but very possible.

What I also find is that many family entries were not kept in family Bibles, or some of those Bibles were not passed down through the generations; some descendants don’t think anything about this type of history.

Week 34: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Narcissa C. Meadows Sharp

Cathy Meder-DempseyIsn’t it wonderful how we discover new things about our ancestor as we prepare to write about them? Thank you for an interesting read.

jinsalaco2013I’ve enjoyed breaking through old brick walls and looking through to more. Thanks for stopping by.

Lyn Smith:What I think is truly interesting is another link that intertwines our families. Narcissa Meadows, daughter of William Meadows and Serena Kettrell and wife of Joseph Thomas Sharp, was also half-sister to Wiley Meadows, both Narcissa and Wiley being children of William Meadows born 1778. It is unknown who William was first married to but it is known there were five children born to his first marriage, Wiley being the oldest. I presume William was first married about 1805, since Wiley was born in 1807.

Why do I bring this up? This connection brings the Sharp, Meadows and McKinley lines together. Narcissa was the mother of Rosie Sharp, and the first wife of Edgar Lawson McKinley. Edgar Lawson is my great grandfather as well as Jeanne Bryan Insalaco’s great grandfather. Her grandfather, Edgar Thomas McKinley was born to Rosie Sharp McKinley, while my grandfather, Charlie Earle McKinley was the oldest son born to Edgar Thomas McKinley and his second wife Nancy Josephine Askew.

William D Meadows,1831 was born to Wiley Meadows, half-brother to Narcissa Meadows. William D Meadows’ son, William Green Meadows married Susan Rosalia Brantley on 22 March 1886 in Taliaferro County, Georgia and their daughter, Annie Lee Meadows married James Thomas Marchman, III, on 22 August 1909, who is the father of my grandmother, Grace Marchman, who married Charlie Earle McKinley, oldest son of Edgar Lawson McKinley and Nancy Josephine Askew. It is so fascinating to me how our lines come together when we stop and pay attention to what we are entering into our histories.

The burial places of some of these ancestors’ remains a mystery that I hope can one day be resolved. I’m thinking that some graves are not marked because the families possibly did have the money to purchase stone markers and the wooden markers have deteriorated with time and descendants did not think to preserve those grave markers; sad but very possible.

What I also find is that many family entries were not kept in family Bibles, or some of those Bibles were not passed down through the generations; some descendants don’t think anything about this type of history.

Week 36: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Dear Photograph – Thanks for the Memories

Helen HolshouserVery nice! I too love photographs, little stories all by themselves! But when used to illustrate the stories, like you just told us, its so much better! Thanks! I loved this!

jinsalaco2013: Thanks for stopping by Helen. We’re two southern women telling stories!

Frank: I haven’t offered many comments, but I loved this entry. So important to share the small details of your memories with your friends and children. So much information in those photos that you brought to life. Nice!

jinsalaco2013 :Thanks for stopping by. Funny how so many memories can be in just one photo!

Week 39: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Two Sisters Married Two Brothers…

Mulberrygrrl: Excellent storytelling! Thank you for sharing.

jinsalaco2013: Thanks for stopping by – glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Week 41: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Rosa L. Sharp McKinley (1869-1902)

Helen HolshouserVery interesting! You do such a great job of weaving your story and research together! I have a cousin with Sharps in her tree, from Virginia, wonder if you are related!

jinsalaco2013You never know! I’ll have to recheck what early lines I have on him.

Week 42: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: William Pinkney Turner and Laura A. Gooch

Cathy Meder-DempseyEnjoyed reading about Pink, what you’ve found and are still searching for. Good luck!

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Thanks for reading – I enjoyed learning about his life snd maybe one day I’ll find his parents!

Week 43: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Granddaddy was a Pack Rat…. Maybe not….

Cathy Meder-Dempsey: Jeanne, this was wonderful. Reminded me of all the things spread through the house – I need to photograph them and write the stories so that our children won’t throw them out. Thank you!

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Glad you enjoyed it…and there’s so many more that I didn’t write about. I foresee another story on Heirlooms in the future to preserve the items and memories. Yes do write your pack rat story – everyone is a pack rat!

Week 44: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: North Carolina McKinleys head into Georgia

Helen Holshouser: This is an amazingly well documented article and lengthy for someone also working full time and writing a novel! My gracious, I’m impressed! My husband grew up near Charlotte with his German ancestors settling there in the late 1700’s like you say when many were moving that way. This was a great read, and I am looking forward to comparing it to my husband’s family history. Thanks for a lot of history!

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Helen, Thank You for your kind words. Yes I’m like a dog always chasing my tail, between work, weekly stories, and now the 30 day novel! Thank Heavens for my husband, who is retired and takes over everything else do I have time to write! I honestly don’t know how I pulled this story off! I have much more but had to call a halt for another day!

Lyn Smith: Impressively good! Whenever I think of our Scottish/ Irish heritage, I remember how irate Papa CE would get. He always said we were not Scottish. Unfortunately, my research did not get to the proof until after he passed. I asked Uncle J.W. about it and he said he never could understand why Erle would get so upset at being Scottish. I still laugh about it.

I need to get with you on the children of William and Margaret’s children. You said they had 7 children, I credit them with 9? Of course, the Census records back then did not list anyone but head of house. I’ve also wondered why James and John died the same year. Ireland. I’ll look up the pages I printed. I’m like you; my information is never where I can lay my hands on it when I need it. James was only 14 but John was 21. Could it have been malaria- interesting? More research. That’s what we do. Thanks for the information that I didn’t already have or wasn’t aware of.

I have some information from another site; I believe you led me to it. I’ll have to look it up because I can’t remember it off the top of my head. It was about the McKinley’s from Scotland and Ireland. I’ll look up the pages I printed. I’m like you; my information is never where I can lay my hands on it when I need it.

Lyn Smith: By the way, that site is A History of the McKinley Family in Ireland.

Beverly McGowan Norman: Thank you so much for sharing this!

Helen HolshouserI thoroughly enjoyed it too! Now those treasures have been saved forever! Your children and grands forever will have family history in their hands via your story and pictures. Your grandparents live here and we know their personalities! Loved it!

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Beverly & Helen thanks for kind words! Glad you enjoyed. Don’t forget to go write your “pack rat” stories now 🙂

Week 45: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Just When I thought I knew it all…

Lyn Smith: Wonderful story! I think it’s so sad that so many historical places go by the wayside because not enough people realize the importance. They think these building don’t belong in our time. I get so angry when I pass an old place in such disarray because no one wants to care for it. I’ve witnessed the construction of new buildings for one business or another, only for the business to decide that spot is no longer suitable, and then that place just sits until someone else comes along to take it. Why are old schools being replaced because of asbestos and new ones being put up? Why can’t the old schools be cleaned up and continued to be used? Instead of modern decor, use pictures of the old days to show what these buildings were in the old days. Wow, what a conversation piece. We have history in our lives and in our country but choose not to utilize it. What is wrong with us?

Wonder what Mother could add to this story if she were still with us? She was also born in Siloam. I once asked her to write down all the stories she could remember but I don’t believe she ever got around to it because she never gave me any and we’ve not discovered any. Jeanne, have you ever talked to Uncle J.W.’s daughter, Peggy? I’ll bet she’s full of stories and you are so good at putting them into story form.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: I wish I knew if my grandfather knew about this? Knowing him, nothing got by him but if he was busy plowing in the field, he wasn’t going to leave work to go see that plane. He hated those planes flying over Mama told me, especially when they buzzed him in the field and upset the horse. My mother said she remember hearing nothing about this plane – guess she lived a very sheltered life on the farm.

Week 46: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: I Pack my Suitcase with…

Karen: I remember the game “I pack my suitcase” from my own childhood. I can’t remember that we ever stuffed plants in it, but cars or airplanes! Plants are definitely much better!

Helen Holshouser: I love this story! It tells me so much about your family I never knew before. I hadn’t even realized just how much a Southerner you are! I too have a beautiful Crinum lily! Did you know they can and often do live a hundred years!? And of course your Barbecue and Brunswick stew concerns — I’m right with you! There was a time we would only use Carolina Treat Barbeque Sauce! Nowadays, Max cooks the pork roast in the crock pot then shreds it and flavors it. I’ll send you the recipe!

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Helen I’d love your family recipe for sauce – thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your Southern food memories.

Lyn Smith: This one story brings back the memories when Mama Grace McKinley would pack Southern things to send to my sister, Mary, who had married a guy from Ohio. Certain foods we enjoy could not be found in Ohio. Actually, could not be found in several places north of Tennessee. I would go shopping with Mama and we’d buy extra bags of grits and packages of stricklin (fatback meat) and a couple of other things. Papa would get the packing materials so these items could be mailed to my sister in Ohio.

I went to visit my sister one year and Mama sent me with a load of all these foods for my sister. This was done for years until my sister moved back to Georgia. There is also another story about when our brother visited our sister and was astounded they didn’t serve grits, didn’t even know what they were.

Week 47: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: James Bryan – War of 1812

Cathy Meder-Dempsey: I can hardly wait for them to scan and make available the file of my Jordan N. PETERS who had a hard time getting his pension for the War of 1812 because his records burned up in his house during the Civil War. Good job Jeanne!

Week 48: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Rebecca Ann Mapp (1899-1906)

Helen Holshouser: I thought I’d left a reply earlier! Don’t’ know how It got lost! I loved this post, and admire the way you investigated and documented your investigation! Very interesting and well done!

Week 49: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: The Hilsman Family

Lyn Smith: Great job Jeanne! I knew a lot of this but you sure have enlightened me on a bunch. I spent months (a couple or three years ago) researching the Hil(l)sman line. I knew that Bennett and Micajah’s parents died when they were young and they sued their guardians, then came to Georgia but I didn’t know their parents were killed by Indians. I’m going to have to start printing these pages and attach them to all my other papers. This is really good stuff. Your McKinley line must have got all the story genes because mine sure missed out. Thanks for all the good work.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Thanks for reading. I’m sure you could write great stories – you just have to start!

Geri Crouch: What is known about the daughter of Bennett Hilsman named Mary that was married to Samuel Eley and William Baker. They were in Bute County, North Carolina when William Baker died in 1776. What is known about William Baker?

Paul A Lasseter: James Hilsman (1805-1854) is mentioned in the Autobiography of Col. Richard Malcolm Johnston by Richard Malcolm Johnston (pages 17-18). The book indicates he was a schoolteacher and that he was killed by his son-in-law.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Paul that is quite interesting to know – I will search out that book.  Are you related to James Hilsman?

Week 50: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Rolling on into my Meadows…

Cathy Meder-Dempsey: Wonderful title Jeanne. Can hardly believe we only have two more. Now I wonder how many words we wrote this year just for Amy!?

Mulberrygrrl: I have Meadows’ in my line too, Jeanne. My great grandmother was a Meadows from Rockingham Country, Virginia. I have it that our branch came to America in 1636, settling in Lancaster, VA, but have not proven out the whole line yet. That’s hard work! Enjoyed your post. Thank you!

Week 51: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, I found your parents!

Helen HolshouserI suspect this Rogers family will connect to ours and track back to Mayflower! The Hills are in this same area! Maybe we will find our kinship!

Week 52: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: It’s WEEK 52 – Reflections on My Year 2014 Stories…

Bernita Allen: What an impressive post! Your reflections were not only heartfelt but great stories. Thank you for sharing them. Happy New Year!

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Bernita Allen thank you for your wonderful words. Happy New Year to you also.

pen4hire: So glad to see you over at Ancestors in Aprons and be introduced to your blog through our participation in 52 Ancestors. Don’t we all have those regrets! The lesson I take away is that I will tell my children and grandchildren EVERYTHING, whether they seem to be paying attention or not. I will leave them written words, photos, videos and recordings. Some day they will treasure them.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Thanks for stopping by and reading. Yes our generation is the one to encourage the children that family history is important! I love your blog name as I do remember my grandmothers “always in aprons ‘I look forward to stopping there again.

Cathy Meder-Dempsey: Jeanne, it has been a wonderful year getting to know you through your ancestors. Love this final post! I’m sure you will figure out a way to entertain us in 2015 even if it isn’t once a week. Thank you for reminding me that I need to check how many words I wrote on my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Happy New Year!

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: It’s been a fun year connecting with you Cathy and all you’ve written as well – I’ve learned a lot from your stories as well as being entertained. And yes I thought of you also when I figured up my word count on the 52 stories! Happy New Year! Have fun writing!!!

Lyn Smith: What a fantastic year of memories. So glad you hooked me up with this blog of yours. I do wish certain members of the family were still alive to discover the things we’ve found out through our relenting research. Just like you, I will keep pushing and searching. To quote Bob Hope – Thanks for the memories.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Lyn I’m so glad we hooked up and I could share my blog with you. Yes I also so wish I could have shared my stories with some of our family that have passed. I wish I knew more of their stories! Thank you for being a dedicated reader of our family stories!

Helen Holshouser: Oh Jeannie, this is such a wonderful tribute to your family, but inadvertently to you as well! You deserve a special star in heaven for holding the family stories! Now you’ve shared, and will share, them for so many generations! What a gift! I wish we could be around to see our 5th great grandchildren at our age finding these stories, and saying “Wow! Look what my grandma Jeanne wrote!” all those 100 years or more ago! LOL I love it! By the way, are you sure you are not kin to President McKinley? Have you looked? researched his line? William McKinley, 1843-1901. You remind me of him sometimes, his forthrightness! Perhaps. Love you!

 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Helen “Thank You” for your kind words and spending time reading my stories this year. I”m so glad we have met on-line and maybe in the New Year of 2015 we might just discover a link to relate our lines together. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings us in discovery. Happy New Year!

Melissa Insalaco-Gillon: Mom, what an awesome feeling of accomplishment you should be feeling now. Looking back at all those memories makes me wonder if I will remember all my family stories one day. Unlike you, I am not a writer, but I am so proud of you for ensuring all these family stories and your memories are recorded for us to read and share with our kids one day. Great job! You excel at every challenge you tackle. I am proud to be your daughter. I love you.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco: Thank You Melissa for the sweet words to your mother. Remember the “Apple” doesn’t fall far from the tree. You inherited my craft genes, you just need the time to develop them. Right now your full attention is on raising McKinley and Grace – that’s a busy job!

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | 2 Comments

2014: My Year in Review

2014: My Year in Review

Happy New  Year in blogging 2014

Thank You “Word Press” for putting this together for me!!!

Happy New Year 2014 2

My first year Blogging….

Attractions 2014

19: McKinley and Bryan – Southern Family sayings…

21: Sander’s Mill and Bowden Pond

30: A Family Search, an old Church and Ghosts…

27: Tornado’s in Greene Co., Georgia

29: James and Elizabeth (Cain) Bryan

Who Were They blogging 2014

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Posting Patterns 2014


From where blogging 2014

WOW… Thanks to the internet I have friends all over the world!

Crunching numbers 2014

My Blog was viewed 2,700 times! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

I uploaded 508 pictures – Oh My!!!

My busiest day was October 5th with 85 views!!!

My Narcissa Meadows Sharp was my most popular post – week of Aug. 23rd!

Thank You so much for stopping by to visit my blog and read my stories….

34: Narcissa C. Meadows Sharp

Find you in blogging 2014

I hope to be on more blogs in 2015! Woot! Woot!

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | 1 Comment

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. This is quite exciting to see – gives me something to compare to Year 2015!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | 1 Comment

Week 52: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: It’s WEEK 52 – Reflections on My Year 2014 Stories…

Week 52: December 27, 2014

It’s WEEK 52! Reflections on My Year 2014 Stories…

polar-bears-reflecting-21Just like the show “Survivor” –  this final week had me “reflecting” and “reviewing” my past 51 weekly stories. Links to them can be found under “Story Index” at the top of my Home Blog page. Story Index:

I pondered for weeks, probably months on what my final story would be. Should it be a new story, a walk back through previous stories adding newly found information recently discovered, or just wishful rambling? Decisions, Decisions… How do I make this decision?

First, let me tell you how this family research obsession of mine really began? My first delve into family research actually began in the 90’s on my husband’s family. I became intrigued listening to their family stories when I came to Connecticut – and they had many stories to tell. Connecticut was far different from Georgia – they talked  funny here!

Map Ga to Ct 2

His family loved to tell tales of their life growing up on their farm and memories of a place here called Savin Rock; a place similar to Coney Island in New York. Being an only child, I was intrigued with these new family traditions, foods, stories and photographs. I soon became the keeper of their stories and many family pictures. I filed away all those stories, until one day when I began writing them down. The family often says, “if you want to know something about our family, go ask Jeanne – she knows more about our family than we do.”


It was quite an attraction in its “hey day” but unfortunately I arrived in Connecticut when most of it was gone – but I was able to experience it through all their stories and at times making me feel as if I had been there – right alongside them!

My husband’s grandmother, Domenica “Minnie” (DeTulio) Cambino was the matriarch of the family. Grandma Minnie was called at every holiday for the family recipes, “how many cups of flour, how long do I bake it?” I quickly took note – there were no written recipes for all their holiday foods – they relied on calling their mother. I took it upon myself to watch, measure, and write down recipes for all their holiday foods – and finally creating recipes for those special foods I’d come to love and enjoy. Eventually that led me to create two family cookbooks. The first one was more of my Southern foods, photos, and remembrances – and when they saw it they immediately asked, “where are our recipes,” which led to the second cookbook. Those cookbooks were my beginning.

And Today….

52ancestors (1)

52 Week 52 Stories


It seems like just yesterday when the weekly Ancestry email caught my eye – and I read the challenge by Amy Johnson Crow, author of the blog “No Story Too Small”. She was asking anyone to join her in this challenge to blog 52 weekly stories. “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

I was like a little fish there and I bit – hook, line and sinker!

Amy Johnson Crow’s Blog:

At this point, I hadn’t been active in genealogy research for a few years; only when the occasional email inquired about someone or I was sent new information would I gear back up for a few weeks. This was my chance to jump back in, write more stories and discover more history. As I stepped into the challenge a couple of weeks late, I quickly played catch-up to be on track; I was off and running to the tune of almost 90,000 written words and memories in 52 weeks.

This final week has me remembering how my mother said that from a young girl, I was inquisitive as to where I was from, but unfortunately I have no memory of that. If only I had pursued that earlier in life, just imagine what more I could have learned.

Just recently I’ve discovered more on my Uncle Leroy McKinley – my mother’s only sibling. I acquired a couple of new photos on him, one actually taken in Belgium; I’m assuming that’s where he landed before he was killed after the “Battle of Metz” in Germany. I’m working now on acquiring his records to see if he actually took part in that battle, which was a prominent one I’ve discovered.

Besides concentrating on ancestor stories, I also included stories on where they lived. One area being Bowden Pond, which I managed to learn quite a bit on after having an editorial published in the Greensboro, Georgia newspaper. I was contacted by a local woman who wrote me much information on the area and I even found two postcards on EBay of this pond. Who knew there were ever postcards? No one else seems to have known that either. Imagine the dam breaking around midnight and seeing all those fish flopping on the banks – and the neighbors knocking on your door – telling you to come quickly to gather the fish.

Just when I thought I’d heard all my mother’s stories – out she popped one evening with “did I ever tell you about the time I flew in a plane over Siloam during the war?” Um, No you didn’t! That led to another story of an almost forgotten local airfield used in teaching the army boys to fly.

My Ah Moment’s story had me writing about those pictures you receive in the mail – you know the ones that make you want to jump and down – then you realize everyone around will look at you like you’ve lost it. Receiving the picture of my father at age three was definitely one of those moments! I had always wished for one of my grandfather cooking his famous BBQ and out of the blue one day I received a letter from his brother, Gordon, with a note, “I thought you’d enjoy this photo.” It was a simple picture of my grandfather, alongside his brother, Clyde, and they were chopping BBQ. It’s priceless to me!

story whats yoursI wish I could have had that talk with my father to learn about his life in the Navy and what it was like at sea as he sailed on the ships. What did he think the first time he came face to face with the USS Blue Ridge in San Diego, California? Was he on deck as it sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge – what did that bridge look like as he sailed underneath? What were his thoughts when he experienced the atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll and what did he see? I know he jumped in the radioactive ocean there – what was he thinking? Or not! I missed out on so much not hearing it directly from him. If you’re reading this and your parents are still living – don’t put off having those talks.

I would have had more long talks with Granddaddy McKinley and Granddaddy Bryan – questioning them probably to the point when they would have called my mother…“take this child home so I can have some peace and quiet.” I was inquisitive as a child, but just not on the family stories. Oh, if only I knew then, what I know now! My inquisitiveness had me tramping through Granddaddy McKinley’s barn checking out gadgets like his corn sheller – and leaving kernels of corn all over the barn floor to feed the mice with; shooting at the farm bell with my BB gun – hearing the ping, ping, ping until yelled at to stop – or even worse, ringing the farm bell summoning the neighbors thinking something was wrong. Oh, how I wish I had that BB gun today, but I did save that farm bell. I can still see my grandfather Bryan on the ladder taking it down for me; I’m told it came from Mecklenburg Co., N.C.

I could have stood more closer to my grandmothers and watched them cook, taking in exactly how they prepared the foods – making me to not have to guess today. I could have had my Granddaddy Bryan’s secret BBQ sauce recipe. I could have asked more cooking questions on “how do you make that” – to learn first-hand. Lot of “could have’s” here in my wishful writing.

My grandmamma McKinley wasn’t really cooking when I grew up as she had Alzheimer’s, but I bet Granddaddy McKinley might have been able to tell me how she made her famous blackberry pies and jam and pear preserves – if only I had thought to ask. I do remember bringing blackberry jam home that she made when I was really young, but I was too small then to pay attention to her cooking. I could probably have watched granddaddy make a pan of biscuits though, as Mama said he made them whenever grandmamma was sick – although she laughs about them as she remembers them as really large biscuits. I would like to know how grandmamma made her vegetable soup I heard so much about. My father loved her soup and was almost in tears the day he dropped the jar in the sink and had to throw it all out. Granddaddy even built her a corner cupboard in the dining room, at the farm, just so she could store the jars in there for the winter – mama remembers it always being full.

open book

Everyone Has a Story…

I would love to have heard the story first-hand from Granddaddy McKinley about the time he caught the thief stealing from their root cellar. Granddaddy sent grandmamma, mama and Leroy to town while he crawled up in the root cellar with the shotgun. It wasn’t long after they left when he heard someone coming in – which he said hello to – with the barrel of his shotgun. It was the tenant on the farm who worked for him – needless to say he was sent packing. I bet that was a story he told later to the men that Saturday afternoon at the filling station while playing checkers.

If you haven’t had the chance to read my stories on what a strong woman my grandmother Ola Askew McKinley was, or my meeting cousin Ila Stargel Jones Sewell at age 93 (happy to report she’s still living), or how my father ran away at age fifteen with a fake ID to join the Navy. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and read away – and thanks for pulling up that chair to sit with me awhile these past 52 weeks.

Thank You Amy Johnson Crow for issuing that challenge and keeping me motivated during the year to write those stories. I’ve discovered much more on my family lines as well as meeting new bloggers in the challenge and making new friends. It’s been a long and fun ride and I’m sad to see it end with the posting of this week’s story. Amy has issued another challenge for 2015 and in as much as I want to, I don’t know if I can commit to another 52 stories but… I’m sure there will be something – a few stories here and there.  I will continue to write and share when I can. I look forward to compiling my stories in book form in the New Year.

happy-new-year-2015-greetings-wallpaperHappy New Year to everyone who took the time to read my stories and share yours with me. I’ve enjoyed meeting many new bloggers this year, making friends, and I look forward to their 2015 stories they will be sharing with me!



© 2014, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | 12 Comments

Week 51: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, I found your parents!

Week 51: December 20, 2014

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary – I found your parents!

In Week 49 I wrote on my Hilsman line in Virginia and discovered that Mary Rogers wasimages the wife of my James Hilsman – something about her tugged at my heartstrings; she was only a child herself when she married.

Mary Rogers married James Hilsman at the very young age of fourteen! Her first child was born at age fifteen, second child born at age eighteen, third child born at age nineteen and her fourth and last child born at age twenty. Mary was just a child herself when she married and before the age of twenty, she had given birth to four children, with three of them born in successive years. As I read through the years of her children’s close births and saw at what age she herself married, and then recorded her death at age twenty five, just five years later, I truly felt sorry for her, my great-great-great great grandmother and the life she lived – or did not live. Unfortunately there are no death certificates for that time of 1783, so I will never know why poor Mary died at age twenty-five years of age.

I had not found parents for Mary when I first wrote about her, but it wasn’t long afterward that I quickly discovered that my Mary wasn’t an orphan like I first thought. With the help of another family researcher and one of those shaking leaves on Ancestry – I found Mary!

Mary was the daughter of John and Martha Sarah (Hill) Rogers from Surrey Co., Virginia. Her father was born 1714, Surrey, Surrey Co., Virginia and her mother, Martha, was born 1715 also in Virginia; they married in 1741 in Surrey, Surrey Co., Virginia. Mary was one of nine children in this family and their youngest; she was born 1758 in Northhampton Co., N.C.

John Rogers will of 1779 / 1783 lists children James, John Jr., Josiah Hill, Marth Cheves, Mary Hillsman, Penelope, Priscilla, Rebecca and Sarah. Most of his estate went to the children as his wife Martha had died in 1775; to Marth and my Mary Rogers Hilsman, he left only ten dollars to each.

Bermuda Hundred

Mary Rogers mentioned in her father, John Rogers’ will – listed with her married name – Mary Hillsman.

John Rogers seems to have quite an extensive ancestry back to Roger’s Plantation in Surry, Virginia and even further, but time is not permitting me to follow through this week, but this will be a family I’ll pursue further in 2015. Wasn’t there a Rogers on the Mayflower? Could this be my link to the boat? But as Christmas is coming, I have presents to wrap, cookies to bake and family to spend time with.

I am happy to learn that my Mary wasn’t quite as contrary as I thought she once was. Merry Christmas Mary Rogers Hilsman – you have a granddaughter that is keeping you in her thoughts and keeping your history alive. Maybe you have a story to tell that I will discover in the new year.

For more on the Hilsman family  see Week. 49 –


© 2014, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | 2 Comments

Week 50: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Rolling on into my Meadows…

Week 50: December 13, 2014

Rolling on into my Meadows…

Week 50 – Wow where did the weeks go? I don’t know if I really believed I would go this far, but I’m still here with only two weeks left in this challenge. It has been a struggle this year, between work, weekly research and writing, and that NaNoWriMo November novel writing challenge that roped me in – which really stressed me, but I still managed to still stay on track.


Meadows is an English surname, coming from the Old English words – ‘maed’ and ‘maedwe’ which refers to a grassy area, a meadow. The spelling variations are many for Meadows – including Meadow, Meddows, Medows, Medors, Medowes, Medus, Medis, Meadowes, Meadus and Meddus. In England the earliest Meadows families lived in Suffolk and eventually spread over into all of England and parts of Wales. It has been noted that the areas with the greatest Meadows populations was the city of London, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and Lancashire. In Scotland the Orkney Islands to the east of the country also have many Meadows families living there. Within the United States the Meadows families seem to have originated in Virginia and spread out to Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Missouri and Kentucky. The Bermuda Hundred in Virginia is the earliest Virginia location I’ve found my Daniel Meadows mentioned.

As I began my Meadows research. I discovered much well documented information through the work of Michal M. Farmer: The site is quite extensive and many thanks go to Michal on her early research. I was able to follow my lines there to verify what I already knew and add in other information I discovered through Ancestry.

Daniel Meadows was born abt. 1685, possibly in Virginia and married Jane (unk); he died April 7, 1755 in Granville, County, North Carolina. It seems he was found lying dead several yards from his house; the coroner, James Paine, reported him dying of natural causes at the inquest which also included the names of Silvanus Stanton, Mary Medows, and Thos. Morris – their connection to Daniel is not known.

We can assume that Daniel moved to Prince George between 1704 – 1712 as there were noBermuda Hundred Meadows listed in the 1704 Rent Rolls; Daniel was the only Meadows listed in Prince George County, Virginia. Through the research of another family history, I found Daniel listed as a tailor in 1712 in the Bermuda Hundred; I have not proved that as of yet, but decided to include it here as speculation for more research at a later date.

The Bermuda Hundred was the first incorporated town in the English colony of Virginia; it was founded by Sir Thomas Dale in 1613, just six years after Jamestown. It was a port shipping town for many years but now instead a small community in the southeastern portion of Chesterfield, VA.


Can you imagine traveling like this? Great Wagon Road: Courtesy of the North Carolina Digital Archives.

Most of these migrants left to settle further westward of the Tidewater, finally following the Great Wagon Road in North Carolina, and the Wilderness Road which led them even further west.

The first deed recorded was when Daniel bought 50 acres in Prince George County, VA. in 1712; In 1717 he bought another 100 acres adjoining. This land was situated near Blackwater Swamp, about seven miles southeast of Petersburg, Virginia. Daniel and Jane began their  family in Virginia before moving back to  Granville County, N.C. about 1752.

We know he was in Bristol Parish, Prince George, VA. in 1740 as son, Isham Meadows, birth and baptism was recorded in the Parish books.

Children of Daniel and Jane Meadows:

  1. James Meadows, born circa 1730, died after 1812; married Ellenor Shearman.
  2. John Meadows married Hannah (unk); will made Nov. 10, 1773 Bute Co., N.C.


    Prince George, Virginia

  3. Daniel Meadows, was a sworn chain carrier in 1761 in Granville Co., N.C. Lived in same household as Isham when they paid taxes in 1762 in Baptist Dist., Granville Co., N.C.
  4. William Meadows born circa 1739/40 sold land in Granville by 1767 and moved to Caswell Co., N.C.
  5. Isham Meadows, born Feb. 16, 1740 and baptized on Jan. 3, 1741 in Bristol Parish, Prince George, VA. He died April 4, 1829 in Harris Co., GA. at age 89. (He became an orphan at age 15 years on Feb. 16, 1755 when his father died; he was bound to Colonel William Person to learn the cooper’s trade (barrel-maker) and to give him two years of schooling.) Did he go to N.C. with Colonel William Person – maybe that is why he married there, but eventually he found his way into Georgia.

    CLIP Isham baptized in VA of Daniel and Jane Meadows

    Isham Meadows Birth and Christening at Bristol Parish, Prince George, Virginia

granville co nc

Granville co., N.C.

Isham married first to possibly Frances Goode in Warren Co., N.C. in 1764; she was named daughter in will of a William Acree (1730-1796) in Wilkes Co., GA.; his second wife’s name has not been proven, but we believe his second wife was the daughter of a John Coggin, as his son Daniel Meadows named a son, John Coggin Meadows. Not knowing when he remarried, it is hard to tell which children went with what mother, but possibly Daniel was the son of the second wife and she may have been the daughter of a John Coggin – as I noted above. Isham was a sworn chain carrier with a John Coggin and also I found mention of a John Coggin Sr. paying taxes around same time of 1762 in Granville Co., N.C.

Children of Isham and (unk) Meadows:

  1. John Meadows (born between 1763 and 1770)
  2. Isham Meadows (born between 1763 and 1770)
  3. James Meadows (born between 1763 and 1770)
  4. William Meadows (born abt. 1778) Bute Co., N.C.
  5. Daniel Meadows born Mar. 1, 1779 Bute/Warren Co., N.C., died Dec. 28, 1875 Coweta Co., GA., marr. Ann Thompson (1782-1873) The obit of Daniel Meadows published in the Hawksinsville Dispatch, Sept. 7, 1876 “Another Veteran of the War of 1812 has fallen. He was 96 years, 10 months, and 28 days old. He lived in N.C. 19 years, Taliaferro Co., GA. 39 years and in Coweta Co., GA. 39 years. He died in the latter county. He never had a doctor visit him in his life, never owned a time piece, nor bought a box of matches; never was sued nor left a debt unpaid, but always tried to help the preacher and the poor.”
  6. Edward Meadows (abt. 1783) Warren Co., N.C., marr. Rebecca Thompson in 1815 Greene Co., GA. Edwards died 1869 Taliaferro Co., Ga.

When Isham Meadows moved from Warren Co., N.C. to Stephens Creek in Wilkes Co., Georgia in 1798, it was son William who moved with his father. William and Isham paid taxes in 1800 and 1801 in Wilkes Co., although he owned no land at that time. By 1802 county lines changed and the Meadows were now living in Greene Co., Georgia. (Warren Co. created in 1793)

CLIP 1820 Greene Co GA Meadows first came

1820 Greene Co., Georgia – William Meadows

Clip William Serena

William Meadows and Serena Kittrell/Kettrell – Nov. 30, 1823 Warren Co., GA.

William Meadows, born circa 1778 in Bute Co., North Carolina. He married first to wife unknown, married second to Serena Kittrell/Kettrell (b. S.C.) on November 30, 1823 in Warren Co., Georgia. Serena was born circa 1796 and died after April 24, 1873 in Taliaferro Co., Georgia. Her first name is also found listed with several variations from Serena to Cerena and Cyrene. I found her living with daughter Martha in 1870 census. (Marriage record found in Warren Co., Ga. marriage records; very hard to read the last name and along with others, we have concluded the spelling to be one or the other. I searched Warren Co., Georgia for families and found families using both the spelling of Kettrell and Kittrell – so at this point I’m hitting a brick wall on finding her parents or concluding the correct spelling; I do find more of the name spelling of Kittrell in South Carolina. Maybe one day I will find a written version of their marriage license to conclude the correct spelling, but as of now – it’s a coin toss.

Deed Book F., Taliaferro Co., Ga., pg. 367 lists Serene Meadows to daughter, Martha E. Meadows (Lunceford) all her estate. Wit: James B. Campbell, Silas M. Meadows (Silas M. Meadows lived next door to them and was Serena’s nephew, son of William’s brother Edward Meadows.)

taliaferro co gamilitiaIn 1805 William Meadows registered for the Georgia Land Lottery in Greene County. By 1825 William was paying taxes on 148 acres of land on Stephens Creek and once again county lines changed and the Meadows were now living on those same acres of land in Taliaferro County, Georgia. You may often think your ancestors are moving around, but it’s actually the county lines changing that places them in a new county. Taliaferro County was created in 1825 from Greene, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Warren and Wilkes County, Georgia.

William was in the 1840 Greene Co. census and later after marrying, he and Serena were listed in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census in Taliaferro Co., Georgia.

Children of William and Serena (unk) Meadows: I assume the first four children were by the first marriage.

  1. Wilie (Wiley) Meadows born circa 1807 Greene Co., GA., died bef. 1853; married Mary Allen on Jan. 22, 1828 Waliaferro Co., Ga.
  2. Elijah Meadows b. circa 1813 Greene Co., Ga; married Delilah Greeson Feb. 16, 1836.
  3. Susan Meadows b. circa 1818 Greene Co., GA. died after 1870 Taliaferro Co., GA.
  4. Lucinda Meadows b. circa 1820, marr. April 14, 1841 to James Saxon; Lucinda and her children lived with father William in 1850 census.
  5. James Meadows mar. July 19, 1829 to Elizabeth Allen; prob. Sister of Mary Allen.
  6. Edward L. Meadows, died bef. 1870; married Louisa Hodge Feb. 1851, Taliaferro Co. GA.
  7. William Meadows, b. circa 1828 Taliaferro Co., GA.; marr. Mary Baker; died 1860
  8. Calvert Meadows b. circa 1831 Taliaferro Co., GA.
  9. Martha A. Meadows b. circa 1834 Taliaferro Co., GA.
  10. Narcissa Meadows circa 1838, Taliaferro Co., GA.; married Joseph T. Sharp Dec. 9, 1858 in Taliaferro Co., GA; They lived in Taliaferro Co., Ga. in 1860

My Meadows line continues through Narcissa Meadows and Joseph T. Sharp, which I have written on previously in week stories posted below:

Week No. 34:   Narcissa Meadows – daughter of William and Serena Meadows:

Week No. 3:   Joseph T. Sharp – husband of Narcissa Meadows:

Week No. 41: Rosa L. Sharp – daughter of Narcissa Meadows Sharp:

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | 3 Comments

Week 49: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: The Hilsman Family

York Co., VA

York County, Virginia

Week 49: December 06, 2014

The Hilsman Family…

Last week I wrote on my Mapp line – this week continues with Rebecca Ann Mapp’s husband’s line  – The Ancestors of Jasper L. B. Hilsman.

John A. Hilsman

John A. Hilsman born circa 1649 in York, York Co., Virginia and died 1704, York co., VA. He is the earliest Hilsman found in York County, VA. by the use of court records; from a deposition made in York County, VA. in 1646. Several researchers have theories on whether our Hilsman line is of German or British origin. I am leaning more toward  British as York County was settled by English speaking people and the names associated with John A. Hilsman through deeds, wills, etc. were more of English origin.

His birth date is calculated from this deed: (York Co. Deeds, Wills, No. 7, pg. 41, 42: 1684-1687) The deposition of John Hilsman, aged thirty and five years or thereabouts, sayeth, “That the boat that John Smith let John Seaborne have to the best of my knowledge was not worth five shillings and further, sayth not.” Signed John A. Hilsman   February 21, 1684/5.

Hilsman was another line I left hanging for years, thinking I would never find anything on this line – well I was soon proved wrong! I quickly discovered a Hilsman Family History book written in 1977 by Thomas Wingo Hil(l)sman and Naomi  B. Hil(l)sman; later revised in 1997. Through reading many excerpts in their book, research on Ancestry and my own research of following the lines – I have pulled together my Hilsman family line.

John A. Hilsman marries (unk) Clarke by 1670; John dies 1704 in York Co., Va. and as no wife is named in the will, I can only assume she died between 1678 and 1704. (Marriage record found Ancestry: U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900)


  • John Hilsman Jr. b. 1670 in York Co., VA., died 1703 York Co., VA. (no marriage/no children)
  • Elizabeth Hilsman b. ?
  • William Hilsman b. 1672, York Co., VA., d. 1726; mar. Dianah? Bennett?
  • Mary Hilsman, b. 1674, York Co., VA. mar. William Garro(w) -2 children
  • Nicholas Hilsman, b. 1678, York Co., VA. moved to Amelia Co., Va. after father’s death; d. 1726 (4 children)




York County, Va. Records No. 12, Deeds, Orders, Wills 1702-1706, p. 288

In the name of God, Amen the 16th day of November in the year of our Lord God 1704, and the third year of the reign of our Governing Lady the Queen Ann…I, John Hilsman being of perfect sense and memory, make this my last will and testament, in manner and form following; in which I give and bequeath unto Nichloss Hilsman one feather bed and furniture, three mares and one horse;…to be equally divided to William Hilsman, Mary Garro, and Nichloss Hilsman…if it pleases God that either of the three should decease then to be returned to the survivor;…and also I desire that Mary Garro be the Executrix to this estate and that she get ten shillings.  I too give unto Elizabeth Clarkstone to by her a ring.

Witnesses:                                                his
William Garro                             John Hilsman     X
Sarah Foreman                                      mark


 There was an actual inventory of John A. Hilsman’s estate and a few of the things listed that interested me were 1 box iron and heaters – now what was this – cast iron heater? 4 iron pots – well as my husband and I collect cast iron cookware, this would interest me highly, and probably a Griswold pot might have been there; 1 old frying pan and 1 earthen mug – did they actually list every piece they owned in these inventories – hope that was a cast iron frying pan? Then there was a list of “things disposed of before the appraisement – 1 pr of shoes, 1 coarse sheet old, a pr of yarn stokings, a pr of worn stokings; I wonder who the recipient of these valuables were? I had to laugh at the spellings on them – Please don’t send the spelling police after me!

My line continues with William Hilsman marrying (1) Dianah? Bennett? There is much speculation on her name with many researchers believing her last name to be Bennett due to naming first son Bennett and a daughter Dianah. I leave her with that name and question marks to keep the speculation present and documented. William married (2) Elizabeth (unk) Henderson – (widow of a Mathias Henderson).

  • Bennett Hilsman abt. 1711, marr. Frances ( Hinde?) before 1740.
  • Dianah Hilsman b. abt. 1713. No marriage found; in father’s will
  • Elizabeth Hilsman b. abt. 1715. No marriage found; in fathers will

Bennett Hilsman (son of William and Dianah Hilsman) born abt. 1711 was William’s only son and specified in his will (1726) that he be “bound out for some trade.” I have not found any record of whether he learned a trade or was even actually bound out. Bennett married Frances Hinde? Most researchers believe this to be her last name, but no actual proof has been found, only speculation. The next record found of him is the christening of his three oldest children in the Charles Parish Church, York Co., VA. I have found no death date but it would have to be after 1784 and before 1799 when his will was probated in Franklin Co., N.C.; Bennett Hilsman was found in a record of claim in 1755 for taking up a run-a-way servant. In 1767 Bennett is found listed as a planter of Bute Co., N.C. when he bought 271 acres of land for 80 pounds. He made his own will in 1784 in Franklin Co., N.C.; Bute Co. was divided into the counties of Franklin and Warren in 1779. The final probate of Bennett Hilsman’s will was in the year of 1799, so we can only assume that was at his death.


  • William Hilsman b. Dec. 20, 1740, York Co., VA. no marriage found
  • Mary Hilsman b. Oct. 15, 1742, York Co., VA. married (1) Samuel Eley, (2) William Baker
  • Hinde Hilsman b. Jan. 25, 1744, York Co., VA. married Martha Reddick?
  • James Hilsman abt. 1746, York Co., VA. married (1) Mary Rogers, (2) Charity Rich
  • Hannah Hilsman b. abt. 1748, York Co., VA. not married by date of fathers will

Benett Hilsman WILL 1

Benett Hilsman WILL 2

James Hilsman (son of Bennett and Francis (unk) Hilsman) born abt. 1746 in York Co., VA.; at some point he seems to have gone to North Carolina with his father Bennett. James married (1) Mary Rogers on March 19, 1772 in Wake Co., N.C. They had four children.  James wife, Mary, died before 1783 – he married (2) Charity Rich on Aug. 9, 1783 in Wake Co., N.C., two years later James died in 1785 in Wake Co. N.C. (I found James listed in a couple of records as James Bennett Hilsman) From Ancestry I found mention of him serving as a Captain in the N.C. Rev. Army and paid for apprehending three deserters in 1779. I cannot document that as a fact as of yet, but chose to list it as a speculation, pending further research. (On in Rev. War Pensions I found a James Hilsman for Pike Co., GA in a document of a clerk of the Interior County, State of Ga. certifying that he qualified as a pensioner.)

Mary Rogers, his first wife, married James Hilsman at the very young age of fourteen! Her first child was born at age fifteen, second child born at age eighteen, third child born at age nineteen and her fourth and last child born at age twenty. Mary was just a child herself when she married and before the age of twenty, she had four children with three of them born in successive years. As I read through the years of her children’s close births and saw at what age she herself married, and then recorded her death at age twenty five, just five years later, I truly feel sorry for her, my great-great-great grandmother and the life she lived – or did not live. I have found no parents for this young girl, who herself was a child when James married her – why was she married at such an early age, was she an orphan?

Source: James Hilsman birth source: Charles Parish, York Co., VA. – VA, Birth and Christenings 1853-1917

Source: (Hilsman/Rogers: Marriage source; N.C. Marriage Bonds 1741-1768)

Source: (Hilsman/Rich: Marriage source; Marriage Index Wake Co., N.C., 1741-2004)

Source: N.C. Estate Files 1663-1979 lists will of James Hilsman

James Hillsman Estate Sale 1785

James Hillsman Estate Sale 1785

Children Of: James Hilsman and Mary Rogers

  • Martha Hilsman b. May 12, 1773, Wake Co., N.C. mar. Michael Eley; moved to GA.
  • Bennett Hilsman Apr. 30, 1776, Wake Co., N.C.
  • James Hilsman b. abt. 1777, d. in 1791 in N.C.
  • Micajah Hilsman b. end of 1778. He was most likely age 21 in 1799, the year the final probate was made of his grandfather Bennett Hilsman’s will, which he was one of the beneficiaries. He along with his brother Bennett went to Georgia together.

Bennett Hilsman (son of James and Mary Rogers), born April 30, 1776 in Wake Co., N.C.  His father and mother both died while he was a small child. From the N.C. court minutes, at least two guardians served for him and his brother Micajah. Bennett and Micajah sued their guardian’s estate for damages, about 1800 and won; the case was appealed but the results are not known – was this the reason for leaving the state completely and going to Georgia? (I have not found the entire court case on this, but hope to in the future)

From book – Georgia, comprising sketches of counties, towns, event, institutions and persons, vol III, pg. 440… Bennett Hilsman’s parents were massacred by Indians when he was about thirteen. Later, with younger brother Micajeh and older sister Patsy, they came to Georgia and settled in White Plains, GA. Micajeh later settled in Morgan Co., GA. (I have not found a sister of Bennett’s so-called “Patsy” – so possibly it was Martha called by the name of Patsy, as she was their first and oldest child)

By 1804, Bennett Hilsman married Mary Harvey in Hancock Co., Ga. on Oct. 30, 1804; she was the daughter of an affluent Georgia family, the daughter of James Harvey, a Rev. War Veteran who served in South Carolina; receiving large grants of land for his service. Mary was born Mar. 3, 1787 and died Oct. 9, 1854 with twelve children born to them. Both Bennett and Mary (Harvey) Hilsman are buried in the family cemetery in Hancock, Co., GA; all their children were born in Hancock Co., Georgia.

The Bennett Hilsman tombstone is located in the Hilsman-Lary family cemetery in Hancock Co: Reads on headstone; Born April 30, 1776 – died April 4, 1855: “Sacred to the memory of Bennet H., son of James Sr. Hilsman; On same 10-foot high headstone is name of wife, Mary Harvey Hilsman; born March 3, 1787, died Oct. 9, 1854.  The inscription on gravestone reads – “Sacred to the memory of Bennet Hilsman, son of James Hilsman, Sr. Sun and moon and stars decay, Time shall soon this earth remove. Rise my soul and hasten away to seats prepared above.”

On the same 10 foot high headstone: Mary Harvey Hilsman “I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me write From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, Even so saith the spirit for they rest from their labors.”

  • James Hilsman b. Nov. 12, 1805, mar. (1) Emeline Hudson (mar. 1828), (2) Amanda J. Battle (mar. 1832).
  • Irene Hilsman b. July 9, 1807 and d. Oct. 29, 1809
  • John R. Hilsman b. Dec. 21,1809 and d. June 20, 1883
  • Jeffrey Hilsman b. June 28, 1813, mar. (1) Martha L. A. Alexander in 1841 and (2) to Ann Haseltine Stokes in 1847. Jeffrey died Sept. 13, 1851, buried in family cem., Hancock Co., Ga. cemetery. First wife bur.White Plains, GA.
  • Josiah Hilsman b. May 19, 1816 married Josephine Gray on Mar. 14, 1843. Josiah graduated from the University of PA. School of Medicine in 1841. Josiah d. June 3, 1872.
  • Jeremiah Hilsman b. Aprl 2 5, 1818, mar. Martha Ann Eliza Janes on May 28, 1844.Jeremiah graduated from the University of PA. School of Medicine in 1842 and practiced in GA. until his death on Oct. 24, 1868 in Albany, Ga.
  • Judge Hilsman b. May 29, 1820, married Burmah Howell in 1857; he died Sept. 1899.
  • Mary Hilsman b. May 30, 1822, Leonidas B. Mercer in 1850 and died Mar. 25, 1865.
  • Martha Hilsman b. Sept. 27, 1824, mar. J. W. Andrews in 1841 and died Apr. 23, 1884.
  • Maria Hilsman b. Apr. 26, 1826, mar. Sterling Evans in 1861 and died Sept., 7, 1869
  • Jasper Hilsman Apr. 20, 1828, mar. Rebecca Ann Mapp on Feb. 19, 1853; d. Aug. 31, 1888.
  • Minerva Hilsman b.Nov. 23, 1830, mar. James H. Nelms; died Feb. 23, 1830; no children
Hilsman Graduates of 1841 1842 PA Univ

Jeremiah and Josiah Hilsman listed in the Univ. of Penn. Graduate Class of 1841-1842 as Doctors. A total of 358 Graduates were in their class.

Every son in this family begins with the letter “J”.  All the daughters, except for Irene, begins with the letter “M” – poor Irene, why did they exclude her in the naming pattern? My Jasper Hilsman continued that in his own family of naming girls with the letter “M” – his son, John Robert, he seemed to continue with the “J” as his parents did.

Two of Bennett’s sons, Josiah and Jeremiah went on to become Doctor’s – both graduated from the University of Pennsylvania; Josiah graduated in 1841 and Jeremiah graduated in 1942; both sons were in school at the same time. Bennett must have been well off to have two children in school at the same time becoming doctors. What was the price of college at that time? The University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1765 and is the oldest and one of the finest medical schools in the United States. (I contacted the Univ. of Penn. and they graciously sent me links to their archives. It seems the pricing was $25.00 dollars a quarter in 1841-1842. Tuition and fees for the 2014-15 academic year today for the Univ. of Penn. are $47,668, room and board fees total $13,464. Quite the difference!

Jasper Hilsman, the eleventh of twelve children of Bennett and Mary (Harvey) Hilsman was born on April 20, 1828 in Hancock Co., GA. and married Rebecca Ann Mapp, (1829 – 1906) daughter of Robert Howson Mapp, (born South Carolina 1772-1855) and Martha Barnes (1785-1850).

CLIP Hilsman Map Marriage Record

Jasper L. B. Hilsman to Rebecca A. Mapp


  1. Martha “Mattie” Ida Hilsman 1853 – 1890
  2. Mary Eulah Hilsman 1855 – 1916
  3. Maria Burt Hilsman 1857 –
  4. Mildred Hilsman 1859 – 1899 (twin)
  5. Minerva Hilsman 1859 – 1925 (twin) mar. Asa Marchman
  6. Myrtice Hilsman 1861 – 1898
  7. Maude Eliza Hilsman 1864 – 1947
  8. Margaret “Maggie” Hilsman 1869 – 1927
  9. John Robert Hilsman 1871 – 1932 mar. abt. 1903 to Lizzie L. (unk)

Their last child John Robert Hilsman was at last – a boy; Jasper must have been elated to finally have a son to carry on the Hilsman name – maybe that’s why the large family – always hoping for the boy! John grew up and learned the trade of blacksmith and worked at a local carriage shop in White Plains (1920 Census); in the 1930 census he’s found working in a blacksmith shop.

On the death certificate of daughter Minerva, who died in 1925, her son J. C. Marchman was the informant. Her father, Jasper Hilsman, was listed, but mother was listed as “unknown.” I find that very sad, that her son never knew who his mother’s mother was, there were still two of Minerva’s siblings living – why would you not ask and have the information correct – but very sad that this young man never even knew his own grandmother’s name. Did they not realize that genealogist look to these death certificates to piece together families? Good thing I knew who Minera’s mother was, as he certainly was of no help to me!

Most of my Hilsman’s ended up in the area of White Plains, Greene Co., Ga. which was incorporated about 1834; first known as Fort Neil. Due to the growth of cotton and the invention of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, there was much slavery during the years of 1840 – 1850; by 1840 there were over 7000 slaves in Greene Co. In Rice’s “History of Greene County” Hilsman was listed as one of a group of prominent businessmen in 1897; It appears John R Hillsman married when he was older, abt. 1903; maybe that’s what helped him to build his wealth.

I believe my Jasper Hilsman’s son, John Robert Hilsman, is the one they have referred to as often a Robert Hilsman, businessman. John R Hillsman employed his brother, Jasper Hillsman, on one of his two farms to look after that property with its slaves.

The 1860 Taliafarro Co., Census listed Jasper L. B. Hilsman Real Estate value at $3,085 and Personal Estate at $21,509. Many personal estates were also high around him, as I questioned the figures.

Clip 1860 HIlsman Taliaferro Co

1860 Taliaferro Co., GA. Census – J. L. B. Hilsman

The 1870 Taliafarro Co. Census listed Jasper L. B. Hilsman Real Estate value much lower at $1400 and Personal Estate at $370 – quite a difference from just ten years ago. I possibly attribute that large difference from the Civil War. It would have been nice to have an agricultural census for 1870 to compare with the 1860 I found.

The 1860 Agricultural Census gave me much insight into what Jasper farmed on his 200 acres of land, with another 617 acres of un-improved land. The cash value of his farm was shown at $3085 dollars and there was a $600 dollar value placed on his farming implements and machinery. Jasper owned 3 horses, 6 asses and mules, 12 milch cows (cows kept only for milk), 6 working oxen and 6 other cattle. He also owned 54 sheep, 90 swine’s (hogs), cash value of his livestock was listed at $1225 dollars. Also listed in his inventory was 35 wheat bushels, 800 Indian corn bushels, 30 ginned cotton bales – of 400 lb. each, and 83 wool pounds. Also listed was 75 bushels of sweet potatoes, five dollars listed for orchard products, 150 pounds of butter, $35 dollar value on homemade manufacturing and $165 dollars listed for animals slaughtered. It seems he had quite a productive plantation of land and livestock.

Jasper Hilsman Agriculture Census 2

Jasper Hilsman 1860 Agriculture Census

My direct line ends with Jasper’s wife – Margaret “Maggie” Hilsman Askew – for further stories on Maggie and her mother Rebecca Ann Mapp, who I featured in Week 48 see links below.

Weekly stories that also tie into this line:

Margaret “Maggie” Hilsman: See Week. No. 7 for her story

Rebecca Ann Mapp Hilsman –  Margaret “Maggie” Hilsman’s mother:   See Week No. 48

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | 20 Comments

Week 48: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: Rebecca Ann Mapp (1899-1906)

Week 48: November 29, 2014

Rebecca Ann Mapp (1889 – 1906)

Rebecca Ann Mapp was born on April 15, 1889 in Georgia to parents Robert Howson Mapp, (born South Carolina 1772-1855) and Martha Barnes (1785-1850). Rebecca was the youngest of six children, two being half-brothers; she died on April 02, 1906 in Greene County, Georgia.

My mother has the middle name of Rebecca and I’ve always wondered from where it came. Upon discovering that my grandmother had a sister named Rebecca I thought she was named for her, but now I’ve discovered that my grandmother’s sister was so named for her grandmother, so it leads me to believe that my mother’s name of Rebecca actually came from her great grandmother, Rebecca Ann Mapp Hilsman.

Rebecca must have been a loving woman for her daughter Margarette (Maggie) Hilsman Askew to name her own daughter Rebecca, after her mother and sister. But we still haven’t figured out how my grandmother came to name my mother’s first name of Helen. But it seems she liked it more than Rebecca, putting it first – another mystery.

My earliest Mapp in the United States is Rebecca’s Great Great Grandfather, John Mapp.

Let me backtrack to the beginning Mapp!

shipBy 1618 Virginia had adopted the headright, which gave fifty acres of land for each settler brought to Virginia; most of Virginia’s white immigrants came as either indentured servants or convicts. England’s unskilled and unemployed laborers had no money to pay the ship’s passage; it was paid for them if they signed an indenture or contract to become a servant for four to seven years. The fifty acres went to the sponser who actually paid their passage, not to the immigrants themselves. They, themselves, came with few possessions, were examined like livestock, and worked under grueling conditions. Was this how my John Mapp arrived in VA?

John Mapp Sr. was born circa 1625 in Shropeshire, England and died circa 1671/72 in Northampton County, VA. He married Mary (Union?) born 1620 Kent, England, and married abt. 1643 – we believe in Wilsonia Neck, Virginia. Mary died abt. 1663 Northampton Co., VA. (I found a researcher listing Robins as a possible middle name for John Mapp Sr.  John Mapp II later named a daughter Robins Mapp, so this is a strong possibility of where the name came from)

John Mapp Early Immigrant listing

John Mapp shown on ship manafest

John Mapp arrived 1654, passage paid by Richard Allen and he in return received land in Northampton Co., Va. for payment of passage. (Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 (from book published 1912 by George Cabell Greer, now copyright-free)

Map Union

John Mapp shown on land deed

Son of John Mapp Sr.: John Mapp II was born in February 1667 at Northampton Co, VA., son of John Mapp Sr. and Mary (Union). He was named an heir in the father’s will on March 7, 1681 at Northampton Co, VA. Also named was wife Mary, son’s Bartholomew Mapp, John Mapp and daughter Elizabeth Mapp in this will. John Mapp II married Esther Matthews, born circa 1675 in Northampton Co., VA. and d. Jan. 1733 in Northampton Co., VA. (Ester’s parents are Henry Walter Mathews b. 1640 England and Sarah Custis 1645-1720 in Netherlands). They were married circa 1695 and speculated to have lived in the Wilsonia Neck, Northampton County, VA. area.

On Feb. 28, 1687/8 the court was petitioned by John Mapp II., with consent of his mother Mary – it was the judgment of the court that as he is of age to now enjoy the benefits of his labor and also to receive such estate as she shall make justly appear to belong to him. (He seems to evidently now be of age 21.) On this same day John Mapp Jr. petitioned the court for a hand mill and what belongs to it, to be delivered by his mother; it apparently was by her acknowledgment and the attention of Capt. Stringer that he heard Thomas Collins in his lifetime declare that the said mill was given him by his deceased father John Mapp Sr.: This might imply that Thomas Collins to be the husband of John’s sister Ann Mapp.)


Northampton County, VA.

John witnessed a will on 16 September 1691 at Northampton Co, VA. It was on this date that John Map & Benjamin Nottingham witnessed the will of Charles Price, who also named friends John Mapp and Benjamin Nottingham to oversee his wife Mary as extrx. John was living in 1692 at Northampton Co, VA. It was in this year that John Mapp II was living in Old Town Neck on the south-side of Mattawaman Creek. He owned part of the land where he lived and part was leased. In 1712 he bought the leased land.

John Mapp’s (II) wife Esther Mathews, daughter of Walter and Sarah Mathews was named in Co. William Kendall’s will; who married Ester’s mother Sarah Mathews after Walter died. Ester was left 700 acres in Accomack Co. along with siblings, Mary and Elizabeth Mathews. In 1703 John (II) and Esther Mapp sold the entire 700 acres to Samuel Taylor.

John Mapp purchased 300 acres of land in Northhampton Co., where he was shown as “John Mapp, Planter.” In 1724 he deeded 150 acres of the original 300 acres to son Samuel Mapp.

John Mapp (II) lived in Wilsonia Neck, west of Machipongo, on a 100 acre farm, which he leased first and then in 1712 bought from the heirs of Col. Argoll Yeardley. In 1721 Mapp bought 150 acres nearby from John West.

John II Mapp made his will on October 27, 1725 at Northampton Co, VA. To my son Howsen (under 21) horse bought of Jacob Ginder [sic] and 3,000 pounds of tobacco to build him a house and 20 shillings to buy him a ring. To my son John. To son Samuel. To my daughter Mary Mapp Negro man Harry. To my son John the 100 acres I now live on, but for want of his heirs to my daughter Mary Mapp. My loving wife Esther residual legatee and extr. Witt: Argoll Yardly West, Thorogood [X] West & Samuel Benard. He signed his will John (an unknown value) Mapp, with his “M” mark.. John died in November 1725 at age 58. John’s will was probated on December 14, 1725 at Northampton Co, VA.

Virginia County Records, IX – Northampton County Wills. John Mapp II. 27 October, 1725, proven: 14 December, 1725: Sons Howson , John III, and Samuel ; daughters Mary and Robins Mapp . Extx. wife Esther (Matthews?), Wit: Argoll Yardley West, Thorogood West , Samuel Bernard.

Children of John Mapp (II) and Esther Matthews
* John Mapp (III) b. c 1696, d. Mar 1737
* Samuel Mapp b. c 1698, d. Mar 1744
* Howson Mapp (I) b. c 1700, d. Nov 1757
* Mary Mapp b. c 1702
* Robins Mapp b. c 1704

Son of John Mapp II: Howson Mapp born circa 1707 Northampton, died Sept. 26, 1757 in Northhampton, Virginia and married Leah Nottingham (1713-1786). Howson’s will, made Sept. 26, 1757, proved Dec. 13, 1757, named wife Leah and son Littleton – pg. 316. (Will of a Robert Nottingham, Jan. 27, 1744, proven April 9, 1745 names daughter Leah Mapp.) Source: James Handley Marshall, Abstracts of the Wills and Administrations of Northampton Co., Va., 1632–1802 (Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1994)

Son of Howson Mapp: Littleton Mapp, born 1733, Northampton, VA. married first Elizabeth (Unk 1737-1777) on March 1757 in Northampton, Virginia. He married second, circa 1780 Mary (Foster posb. last name), who was named in his will. Littleton had moved to Granville Co., N.C. where he lived in 1774 and 1775; he then moved to South Carolina during the Rev. War. and served in the militia in 1782; serving in the 96th District 6.

Will of LIttleton Mapp wife Mary Foster His son is Robert Howson Mapp

Littleton Mapp Will

Source of Mary Foster: Zae Hargett Gwynn, Abstracts of the Wills & Estate Records of Granville Co., N.C., 1746–1808 (Rocky Mount, N.C., 1973), pg. 43, 52., July 30, 1774, Isham Caudle & Littleton Mapp witnessed gift from Richard Foster to his dau., Mary Foster. 4 Feb. 1777)

Littleton Mapp is shown witnessing a deed in Union County, S.C. on Oct. 27, 1785. Littleton Mapp and wife Mary sold land in Spartanburg Co., S.C. to William Lipscomb on Dec. 27, 1791 – 326 acres on both sides of Thickety Creek. They they moved from Spartanburg Co., S.C. to Greene Co., Ga. in 1792.

In Greene County, November 13, 1792, a John Swepson sold to Littleton Mapp, both of Greene County, 300 acres near the head of South Fork of Powell’s Creek on head of Jackson’s Fork of Shoulderbone Creek, adjoining northwest by Wall, northeast by Cain, southeast by Williamson. This land was put into Hancock County, Georgia, when it was created in 1793.

Littleton Mapp made his will 20 January 1803, Hancock County, Georgia: Weak in body but of sound mind. To wife Mary (Foster) Mapp plantation where I live and negroes James, Jill, Dick, Bristol, Will, Tawny, Jack (bought from estate of William Mapp, decd.), Randol, Tom, Ransom, Lucy, Jinny, Big James, Hannah, Violet, Fanny, Lillie, Tamer, Sarah, and Doll during her life or widowhood. After her death or marriage the property to be disposed of as follows. To son Jeremiah Mapp slaves. To son James Mapp land where I now live and three negroes Tom, Jack, & Doll, feather bed, corner cupboard, walnut oval table, 6 chairs, chest, looking glass, saddle and bridle, and foal. If son James dies without lawful issue then plantation to be given to my son Jeremiah and balance of his portion to be equally divided among my sons and daughters. To my daughter Nancy Mapp, negroes Jack and Sarah, bed, colt named Mark. If she dies without issue to be divided among rest of my children. The plantation where I now live to be kept in good repair until my son James arrives to age of 21 years. To my beloved daughter Elizabeth Smith a negro girl Fanny. To my daughter Polly Smith a negro Bristol. To daughter Susannah Asten, a negro girl Young Tamer. To daughter Sarah Jackson a negro woman Violet. After death or marriage of my wife Mary negroes not already willed to be equally divided among my sons John Mapp, Littleton Mapp Jr., and Robert Howson Mapp with stock. Money equally divided among my children John Mapp, Littleton Mapp, Robert H. Mapp, Jeremiah Mapp, James Mapp, Elizabeth Smith, Polly Smith, Susannah Asten, Sarah Jackson, and Nancy Mapp. Executors: wife Mary and sons John Mapp and Robert H. Mapp.
(signed) Littleton Mapp, Senr. The will was proved 15 December 1804.

Children of LIttleton Mapp from will: Jeremiah Mapp, James Mapp, Nancy Mapp, Elizabeth Mapp Smith, Polly Mapp Smith, Susannah Mapp Asten, Sarah Mapp Jackson, John Mapp, Littleton Mapp Jr., Robert Howson Mapp.

Son of Littleton Mapp: (Rebecca’s father) Robert Howson Mapp (born N.C.) first married Hannah Jackson (1768-1814) on September 27, 1794 in Greene Co., Ga. They had two boys, Isaac Jackson Mapp (1795-1828) and Moore Mapp (1800-1860). Hannah died in 1814 and Robert quickly remarried the following year on September 25, 1815 to Martha Barnes in Hancock Co., Georgia, daughter of Lemon Barnes. Makes you wonder what kind of marriage the first one was for Robert to remarry so quickly, the following year?

Robert and Martha (Barnes) Mapp began their family of four children three years later.
Robert Howson Mapp Jr. (1818-1862)
Elizabeth Mapp (1824-1863)
William Jasper Mapp (1827-1870)
Rebecca Ann Mapp (1829-1906)

Rebecca Ann Mapp married twice; she first married her 1st cousin William L. Mapp at age 15! Wow! I can’t imagine marrying at that age, but my grandmother also married around that same age, but marrying your first cousin – I’m wondering why? Rebecca and William were married on December 12, 1844 in Hancock Co., Georgia, but by the time the 1850 census was taken they had moved to Taliaferro County, Georgia.

William L. Mapp was the son of James and Clara (Wooten) Mapp. James was born circa 1786 and married Clara in Hancock County, Georgia on October 30, 1817. William’s father, James Mapp (husband of Clara Wooten) died 1849 in Greene Co., Ga.  Rebecca’s husband William L. Mapp died in 1851 in Taliaferro County, Georgia. (James Mapp’s death found on the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule 1850-1885).

On May 3, 1852 in Taliaferro County, Mary Mapp and Green Moore, administrators of James Mapp, deceased of Greene Co., sold land to Rebecca A. Mapp of Taliaferro County, Ga. (I have not verified exactly who the Mary Mapp and Green Moore are yet; James had one daughter named Mary but she died in 1839.) I have not found wife Clara Mapp, so I’m assuming she previously died. Why did Rebecca buy her father-in-law’s land? Was she living on land next to him when he died and was adding more surrounding property to her own land; by the time of this land purchase she had not remarried. There were no children in her first marriage.

Rebecca remarried on February 17, 1853 in Hancock Co., Georgia to Jasper L. B. Hilsman. (I often find the spelling as Hilsman on older documents) Jasper was born on April 20, 1828 in Hancock Co., Georgia and died August 31, 1888 in Greene County, Georgia. By year 1860 they were in Taliafarro County, Georgia.

clip Mapp Hilsman marriage record

Rebecca A. Mapp to Jasper L. B. Hilsman

Rebecca and Jasper L. B. Hilsman had nine children, all girls except for the last child – finally a boy: Mildred and Minerva Hilsman were twins and all the girls names began with the letter “M” – how odd; now why didn’t the son have a “M” name?

By 1860 Jasper and Rebecca were in Taliaferro County and seemed to be quite well off. I find him on the Slave Schedule of 1860 owning twenty eight slaves, from the ages of two to eighty; several children are listed. The value of his real estate was $3,085 dollars with personal estate value at $21,504. Was this really to be 21,504? Many surrounding families also had high personal estate values that year. There were now five children by 1860 in this family. (I have not found a schedule showing what crops he grew; if he had all these slaves, how big was his plantation?)

Clip 1860 HIlsman Taliaferro Co

1860 Taliaferro Co. Ga. Census

The 1870 Crawfordville, Taliaferro County, Ga census finds them with a family of eight children. The value of his real estate was now only 1400 dollars and the value of his personal estate was 370 dollars. This was a large difference of real estate and personal value from 1860 – was this due to the Civil War?)

The 1880 Taliaferro County, Ga. census finds Rebecca and Jasper living there with a family of eight; Jasper was listed as the enumerator on the census. Being he was the enumerator I didn’t expect to find any name or incorrect dates on his family. No real estate or personal value was given.

My line continues with their eighth daughter, Margarette (Margaret/Maggie) Hilsman (Hillsman) who married Samuel S. Askew (born. Sept. 1863 – died April 1919). I searched both Greene and Hancock for their marriage record and came up empty, but in trying Taliaferro County, GA. I found an E. S. Askew marrying Maggie Hillsman Feb. 25, 1885. Those three counties seem to be the ones all the families travelled around to – or either the county lines changed and made it seem that way. I haven’t seen my Samuel Askew use an initial before but? Their first child was born in 1889 in Hancock Co., Ga. (I believe the middle initial of S. I had been given years ago was incorrect, I do believe the marriage record of E. S. Askew is correct)

Askew Hillsman marriage records pg 174

E. S. Askew to Maggie Hillsman Marriage Record

See Week. No. 7 on Margaret Hilsman Askew:

Hillsman Askew marriage record

Marriage record of Samuel Askew and Margaret (Maggie) Hillsman
(Marriage record found at

Children of  E. Samuel Askew and Margaret (Maggie) Hillsman

Clip Rebecca and Jasper children

My Mapp line continues on with my grandmother Ola Askew McKinley who I wrote about in Week. no. 1

It took me years to begin researching my Grandmother Ola’s parents of Maggie Hilsman and Samuel Askew; I recently pursued it again in looking for a clue to my mother’s middle name of Rebecca – and it led me to discover her great grandmother – Rebecca Ann Mapp.

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Week 47: 52 Ancestor 52 Week Blog: James Bryan – War of 1812

Week 47: November 22, 2014

 James Bryan – War of 1812

James Bryan, my fourth great grandfather was born in 1791 on Indian Lands, although the obit I recently discovered listed Sumter County, but it was not in existence at that time of his birth.

For more information on James Bryan see Week No. 29

The United States declared war with Great Britain on June 18, 1812, partly from issues unresolved from the American Revolutionary War; trade restrictions were the biggest issue. This was a war fought both on land and at sea when America took on the greatest naval power in the world, Great Britain.

James Bryan was twenty one years of age when war broke out again with Great Britain. Our country was probably just recovering from the Revolutionary War, which had ended in 1783 – a short twenty three years previous.

My James Bryan was still single at this time, and I assume still living with his parents John and Nancy Bryan when he enlisted in Captain Benjamin Cleveland’s Company, 1st Regiment, GA. Militia. August 24, 1813 in Franklin Co., Georgia. Rate of pay was listed at eight dollars monthly – makes me wonder how far that actually took a person in those times?

James Bryan War of 1812 Record

James Bryan War of 1812 enlistment record

There are “bounty land” lots listed on his pension record, but I’m not sure if he was ever able to claim or claimed Bounty Land (16759– 80 – 50)  and (49357 – 80 – 55). Land lots were offered to entice the men to sign up, and the promise of land after the war was a big draw for many men. I have not researched those bounty land lots, but have read that if the soldier never claimed them and heirs claimed later that there could be much genealogical information on them; I would be interested to know if you have researched bounty lands and can offer me any information on what you found and how to.

Also from this original enlistment record is where I’ve documented the marriage to his wife Elizabeth Cain on October 1, 1818. If the government accepted it on his pension records – then who knew better at that time, then he did, of who and where he married. I have never located an actual marriage listing for them in the Franklin County records as of yet, or has any other Bryan researcher at this time – and we have all looked; another lost record!

Page 16

This document dated December 4, 1850 seems to possibly be where James might be trying to apply for his bounty land as he makes a declaration here under the “Act granting bounty lands to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military services of the United States.” Also listed on document – Passed September 28, 1850. (Was this the beginning of when they could begin to apply for their land – why did it take so long?)

Page 18

Even government bureaucracy of “I don’t have your documents” went on in those times also. This letter, six months later, is telling James that every application for Land Bounty, under the Act of September 28, 1850, requires the original certificate of discharge to be presented and filed with the claimant’s declaration of disability… and your discharge not having been received, nor its absence satisfactorily accounted for your declaration, filed by yourself – is suspended until the regulations are complied with.

I can just imagine James when he read that letter and the words that probably flowed out of his mouth….  and on September 29, 1851 a letter was written back to the government pension office by Notary Public Wm. Vancouver (sp). It so stated that James Bryan personally appeared before him, duty sworn according to law, and so stated that Capt. Benjamin Cleveland, and Col. Samuel Groves never gave him any written discharge and that he was honorably discharged at Fort Hawkins, GA. on February 1814, after serving six months.

In looking through the files I did not see anything else in correspondence on this until the letter below in 1870. Did he drop his case and try again later?

Page 30

Again, James Bryan is making a declaration, it seems, for bounty land. There are no case no.’s so I don’t know if it’s for the original one or the second one that was on his enlistment record.

Page 2

Survivor Pension Record – As I read through the records I found on, I noticed that the Bounty lot 49357 – 80 – 55 was written on the bottom on this document. Did he finally receive the land from that land bounty and now applying for a survivor’s pension through that?

Page 22

Again it continues on March 14, 1871 with James declaring he was a soldier to obtain his pension. He states that he enlisted in Captain Benjamin Cleveland’s Co., Ga. Militia in Carnesville, Franklin Co., Ga. on or about the 5th of September 1813 and was honorably discharged on March 5, 1814 at Milledgeville, GA.; which is where Fort Hawkins was located. He also states he was a fourth sergeant soldier and in a fight at Collebee (Calebee) Swamp where he drew two land lots and that his discharge was deposited in Washington where he drew two land Warrants containing forty acres each on said discharge, or for the services, as stated above, that he served the full term of six months. (I searched for information on a fight at Collebee Swamp, but found nothing.)

The Battle of Calebee Creek (also spelled Calabee, Callabee) took place on January 27, 1814, during the Creek War, in Macon County, Alabama. There were over 1200 Georgia volunteers involved in this battle.

Could this have been the one he wrote about? I have found it written that he also fought in the Creek War; this might have been it. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Through the help of Facebook friends, I was directed to this. Could this be the battle he mentioned? I will have to research this further to see if his unit was one of the Georgia volunteers involved.

Page 8

Claim filed March 21, 1871

This claim continues for a survivor’s pension stating service from August 24, 1813 until March 3, 1814; service 192 days. James claimed that he is not a pensioner under any previous act or on any other pension list. There is also a loyalty assessment and testimony from W. F. Johnson and Frederick D. Boatfield – and their credibility was certified by Aaron W. Woody, Postmaster of GA. This claim was admitted on Sept. 2, 1871 and James Bryan received a pension of eight dollars per month. Even in 1871, how far did that go in those times? (Was this the first time they could begin to claim a pension?)

I’m assuming that James eventually collected his pension, but I’m not so sure about the land bounty until I research more, as I can not determine from all the records if it was ever granted to him.

Page 20

This letter from the Department of the Interior Pension Office, Special Examiner Browning (Nov. 1885?) is requesting whether the pensioner James Bryan War of 1812 is living or dead – last known address was of March 1885.

Page 21

Letter from Gainesville, GA.Postmaster (Dec. 1, 1885) informing Special Examiner Browning that James Brian (Bryan) is dead; dying on March 12, 1885 at the home of his daughter Mrs. J. D. Ray, six miles from Gainesville, Hall Co., GA.

James Bryan obit2

Obit of James Bryan in The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) · Tue, Mar 24, 1885 · Page 713

My Bryan ancestors lived through hard times and wars and still continued to live long lives. Here is James living to the age of 94 and his son Berrian C. Bryan lived almost to 100 years of age. Makes you wonder what they did to live such long lives?


© 2014, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Posted in 52 Ancestor Stories | Tagged , | 4 Comments