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Friday, May 27, 2016

Friend of Friends Friday: Scrub, Runaway Slave of Richard Benneham of Orange County, North Carolina

North Carolina Gazette or Impartial Intelligencer, 29 July 1784, page 6

Thirty Dollars Reward. 
Ran-away from the subscriber, the 15th day of May last,
A Likely Negro Fellow, named SCRUB, about twenty-five years old, well made, a good countenance, has scarcely any beard, rather of a black complexion, very flexible, strong and active ; he is a pretty good groom, having taken care of a stud horse for several years past : He carried with him a good deal of cloathing, mostly home-spun, and I believe about fifteen or twenty pounds hard money. I have owned him for 13 years past, and always found him remarkable honest and of good behavior ; he is a tolerable good gardner and waggoner, and will probably endeavor to be employed as the latter, or as a hostler : I expect he will attempt to go to Norfolk (where he was raised), and pass as a free man by the name of Charles Thompson, or Charles Fry; and as he has great notions of freedom it is very probable he will try to make his escape by sea. All persons are cautioned from taking him out of the country. The above reward will be given and reasonable expences to any person who will bring him to me, or fifteen dollars to have him secured in any goal in this state or Virginia, so that I get him again.
                                                                   RICHARD BENNEHAM.
  Orange County, August, 1784.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thriller Thursday: Huge Rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake in north-central Pennsylvania. Photo by Rkillcrazy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

G. W. Murphy, a farmer in Vaughn's Gap, Davidson County, Tennessee, went to look at the stock in his field on 4 September 1873. He spotted a giant rattlesnake in the field. It was 4 1/2 feet long and had sixteen rattles. That must have been one scary snake!

Nashville Union and American, 6 September 1873, page 4

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: John Harvey Sawyer

Photo by Linda Moore Mora - Find A Grave Contributor

John Harvey Sawyer was born on 10 January 1866 in Williamson County, Tennessee. He was the son of Lemuel Sawyer and Charlotte Carrington. He married Alice Taylor on 6 March 1889. They had six children: William Leslie Sawyer (born 14 February 1890), John Allen Sawyer (born 20 January 1892), Jane Sawyer (born March 1894), James Henry Sawyer (born 15 February 1896), Etta Sawyer (born about 1904), and Alice Sawyer (born about 1908).

John worked as a farmer. He was the sheriff of Williamson County in 1920, and possibly longer (either before or after 1920).

John's wife Alice died on 27 October 1923. On 1 June 1942, John married Emma Beech. John died on 6 July 1943 in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Franklin.

John was my second cousin 4 times removed. Charlotte Carrington's mother was Malvira Russell, the sister of my 4th-great-grandmother Sobrina Russell. Charlotte's sister Sophronia Carrington married Lemuel Sawyer's brother William D. Sawyer on 1 January 1852. Lemuel and Charlotte married on 26 December 1854. Malvira (Russell) Carrington, the widow of William or Wiley Carrington, married Lemuel and William D.'s father, William Sawyer, on 30 November 1859. I suspect that William was the brother of James Sawyer, who I believe was the father of my 3rd-great-grandmother Amanda Russell. So John may be my double second cousin 4 times removed.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mappy Monday: Skåne Län Before 1997

Old provinces of Skåne. By Lunnen2009 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Skåne län [county], the southernmost county in Sweden, was created in 1997. Two counties, Kristianstad and Malmöhus, were merged.

My 2nd-great-grandfather Andreas Troedsson/Andrew T. Anderson and his ancestors were from Grevie, which is part of the municipality of Båstad. It was located in Kristianstads län and is now in Skåne län.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Eleventh Birthday Slumber Party

In honor of my birthday, I am posting this photo from my eleventh birthday slumber party, with my friends Gunda, Debbie, Patricia, and Suzanne. I'm on the bottom right.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Surname Saturday: Leÿ

The surname Leÿ is one of my ancestral surnames. The German language used to include the letter ÿ, but it is no longer used. According to Dictionary of German Names, 2nd ed., by Hans Bahlow (Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002), the surname Ley (or Leyh) is an Upper German name that is frequently found in the Rhineland area. It comes from Eley, a variant of Eloy, which is another name for Saint Eligius. Saint Eligius was the patron saint of goldsmiths and horses.

Absolute distribution (Ley)

©Christoph Stöpel. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DE (

Relative distribution (Ley)

©Christoph Stöpel. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DE (

My known Leÿ ancestors are:

4th-great-grandmother: Christina Leÿ
born about 1779
married Peter Nagel 13 April 1814, Hürth, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
died 18 March 1858, Hermülheim, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

5th-great-grandfather: Christian Leÿ
born about 1740, Hermülheim, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
married Catharina Wirtz
died 21 June 1803, Hermülheim, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

6th-great-grandfather: Johan Leÿ
married Apolonia