Covering genealogy, family history, historical events and places, and anything else related!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: John G. Gatlin

Nashville American, 1 September 1897, page 3

John J. Gatlin, a well-known brickmason, died last night at the residence of his sister, Mrs. N. L. Page, 95 Wharf avenue. He was 56 years old and had lived the greater part of his life in this city. He leaves a wife.

John G. Gatlin was born on 15 August 1841 in Tennessee. He was the son of my 4th-great-grandparents John McNairy Gatlin and Margaret "Peggy" Gower. He served in the Confedederate Army as a private in the 10th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry, Company D, and was held at Rock Island Barracks as a prisoner of war. He married Martha Ann Gower on 20 December 1865 in Davidson County, Tennessee. In 1874, John and Martha adopted a two-year-old girl, Minnie (formerly Tennessee Reed). John died on 31 August 1897 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee and was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Superstorm Sandy

Four years ago today, Superstorm Sandy slammed into the United States. The storm made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey on 29 October 2012, as a post-tropical cyclone. The storm's winds reached 90 mph near Staten Island, New York. It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of 2012, and the second most costly hurricane in United States history.

More than two million households in New Jersey lost power. 37 people were killed, and 346,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. The Jersey Shore suffered the most damage. Much of the state experienced flooding.

Before the storm hit, I was very worried about flooding, because much of the town I live in is in a flood zone. Although I did not live in the flood zone, I would still be affected by flooding, because the roads that I would need to take to get to the highways would be closed, and it would be difficult for me to get to work.

My power went out on the night of 29 October 2012. The next day, I was amazed to find out that there was no flooding in my town, but there were many downed trees. Because the whole area had no power, the college where I worked was closed. I had no heat. Thankfully, I at least had hot water. I slept on the couch because I thought it would help to conserve heat if I huddled in a smaller space. My cats Jewel and Harmony stayed close to me. The town community center had a generator, and I went there during the day to keep warm and to charge my cell phone.

I was without power or heat for nearly eleven days. Some areas had their power restored earlier. I went shopping and bought wool socks and long underwear. After the college library where I worked reopened, I stayed at work late, until closing time. I went to the back room after my work day was over, and I used the computer and heated up canned food in the microwave. On my last night without power, there were snow flurries. When I got home from work the next day, I found that my power had finally been restored.

Blake, Eric S; Kimberlain, Todd B; Berg, Robert J; Cangialosi, John P; and Beven, John L. Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Sandy (AL 182012) 22-29 October 2 012. National Hurricane Center.
Effects of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey 
Hurricane Sandy

Friday, October 28, 2016

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri is the world's tallest arch and the tallest man-made monument in the Western hemisphere. It is 630 feet tall. Its facade is made of stainless steel. From the top of the arch, it is possible to see up to thirty miles in each direction.

In 1933, civic leader Luther Ely Smith came up with the idea to build a memorial on the Mississippi River riverfront in St. Louis. As a result, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association was created. In 1945, a design competition for the memorial was announced. The contest opened on 30 May 1947, and the winning design, by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, was chosen on 18 February 1948.

The monument's construction began on 12 February 1963. It was completed on 28 October 1965.

About the Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch 
History of the Gateway Arch

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Vaughn's Gap, Davidson County, Tennessee

Vaughn's Gap is located in southwestern Davidson County, Tennessee, near the Williamson County border. Edwin Warner Park is located in this area.

Excerpt from Foster, Wilbur F. Map of Davidson County Tennessee, from actual surveys made by order of the county court of Davidson County, 1871. New York : G.W. & C.B. Colton & Col., 1871. Available from Library of Congress.

James Sawyer (or Sawyers), who I believe to be my 4th-great-grandfather, purchased land at Vaughn's Gap on 9 November 1871.

Nashville Union and American, 10 November 1871, page 4

My 2nd-great-grandfather James William Tarkington lived with James Sawyer and his wife Louisa (McDowell) Sawyer. After James William Tarkington married my 2nd-great-grandmother Anna Malvina Binkley, the couple lived with the Sawyers in Vaughn's Gap in the 14th District of Davidson County. They later lived in Vaughn's Gap the 11th District of Davidson County with their children, including my great-grandmother Anna Gertrude Tarkington. Anna Malvina Binkley's brother James Rutherford Binkley and his wife Clementine Virginia "Jennie" (Leech) Binkley, and their children also lived in Vaughn's Gap. James and Jennie both served as postmasters. Jennie was also the ticket agent for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. The Binkley residence was in the same building as the post office and ticket office.

Members of my family are buried in the J. R. Binkley Cemetery, Vaughn's Gap.

I am working on a one-place study of Vaughn's Gap. It is a sub-project of the Davidson County, Tennessee One-Place-Study.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Katherine Elizabeth Gatlin

Katherine Elizabeth Gatlin was born in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee on 16 November 1909. She was the daughter of Clarence Bateman Gatlin and Ella Lee. She worked for AT&T for forty-one years. She died on 18 June 1994 in Kettering, Montgomery County, Ohio and was buried on 21 June 1994 in Calvary Cemetery, Nashville, section 16, lot 64, space 7.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mappy Monday: Bass Islands, Lake Erie

Map of the Bass Islands in Lake Erie. By NormanEinstein CC BY-SA 3.0 ( Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the location of the Bass Islands, which are in the western half of Lake Erie, and are part of Ottawa County, Ohio.

My 5th-great-grandfather Andrew Russell was a private in Tunstall Quarles' Company of Infantry, 2nd Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Militia during the War of 1812. His regiment formed on 1 September 1812. By mid-September, they reached General William Henry Harrison's headquarters in St. Marys, Ohio. They then proceeded north and began the construction of Fort Jennings. After the fort was completed, the regiment remained on garrison duty for a few months. They then headed north to Put-in-Bay, which is located on South Bass Island. The U.S. had suffered defeats in and near the western Lake Erie area at the beginning of the war. Andrew's regiment may have been sent north to help increase the U.S. military presence in the area. They were eventually sent back to Cincinnati because their term of service was coming to an end. I am not sure how much time Andrew spent in Put-in-Bay. South Bass Island has been called the "Key West of Lake Erie," but surely it did not seem that way to Andrew and the other men during the winter of 1813.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mother-in-Law Day

Since today is Mother-in-Law Day, I am posting a picture of my mother and her mother-in-law, my paternal grandmother Helen Martha Marie (Anderson) Gatlin.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sibling Saturday: Tarkington Siblings in Chancery Court

In October 1907 in Davidson County, Tennessee, Maggie Tarkington took her younger siblings Gertrude (my great-grandmother) and Robert Tarkington to chancery court in order to sell land that they had inherited from their father James William Tarkington, and to determine the division of the proceeds.

Nashville American, 17 October 1907, p.10

Davidson County, Tennessee Chancery Court Minutes, October Term 1907, 30 October 1907, p. 505. Metropolitan Government Archives, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, Tennessee.

A portion of the land had already been sold.

Davidson County, Tennessee Chancery Court Minutes, October Term 1907, November 1907, p. 14. Metropolitan Government Archives, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, Tennessee.

One year later, Gertrude and Robert received $364.00  .

Davidson County, Tennessee Chancery Court Minutes, October Term 1908, 13 October 1908, p. 359. Metropolitan Government Archives, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, Tennessee.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friend of Friends Friday: Slaves of James Neely, Williamson County, Tennessee

Western Weekly Review (Franklin, TN), 6 August 1852, page 2

Seven Likely Negroes For Sale.
ON TUESDAY, the 17th of August, I will sell as Agent for the heirs of James Neely dec,d on the premises of James A. Neely, seven miles South East of Franklin, the following Slaves, to wit:––Mariah, aged 40 years; Grandison, aged 32; Sam, 15; Mariah, 12; Sylla, 10; Louisa, 8; and Emily, 4.
   Terms:––Note payable in Bank 1st day of January 1853, with two good endorsers.
                                                                    THOS. W. BLAIR, Agent.
      August 6, 1852––2t

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Clover Bottom

Clover Bottom consists of 309 1/4 acres of land in Davidson County, Tennessee, including three acres on the north side of Stone's River.

Nashville Whig, 31 August 1813, page 3

Stone's River

The area was named "Clover Bottom" because of the amount of growth of white clover in the area. John Donelson was one of the settlers who came to the area in 1780.

"Col. John Donelson Was Leader Among Men." Nashville Tennesseean and Nashville American, 15 July 1917, page 25.

James Robertson and my Gower and Lucas ancestors were among the other settlers in the area. My 7th-great-grandfather Abel Gower, Sr., my 6th-great-grandfather Abel Gower, Jr., and James Robertson's brother John Robertson were killed at Clover Bottom in 1780, after they were attacked by Chickamaugas.

Haywood, John. The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee from its Earliest Settlement up to the Year 1796, Including the Boundaries of the State. Nashville,TN: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1891. Originally published in 1823 by W. H. Haywood. Page 128. Available from Internet Archive.

In 1858, Dr. James Hoggatt built a mansion at Clover Bottom. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Clara Louise Gatlin

My first cousin three times removed Clara Louise Gatlin was born in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee on 2 September 1902. She was the daughter of Clarence Bateman Gatlin and Ella Lee. She worked as a clerk for New York Life Insurance Co. in Nashville, Tennessee. She died on 31 January 1984 in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio and was buried on 4 February 1984 in Calvary Cemetery, Nashville, section 16, lot 64, space 3.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Amanuensis Monday: Andrew Russell Enters 100 Acres of Land on Pitmans Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky

Pulaski County, Kentucky. Court Orders, Vol. 1, 1799-1803. No. 171, Andrew Russell, 24 June 1801. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969. Microfilm 804646.

N. 171) On the motion of Andrew Russell Satisfactory proof was made to this Court that the said Russell is Intitled to one hundred acres of land by Virtue of his having Improved the same agreeably to an act of the General assembly Kentucky for Settling and Improving the Vacant lands of this Commonwealth and located as followeth (to wit) Andrew Russell, Enters 100 acres of land on the waters of Pitmans Creek adjoining A Mills Esq on the East & North Jeremiah Boon Esq on the South & to extend westwardly for quantity whis is Ordered to be Certified

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Black Sheep Sunday: Keeping a Disorderly House

In August 1869, my 3rd-great-grandmother Mary Dyer was charged with keeping a disorderly house.

Davidson County, Tennessee. Criminal Court minutes, 1869, p. 501. Metropolitan Government Archives, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, Tennessee.

A "disorderly house" typically meant a brothel. On the same page of the Davidson County, Tennessee criminal court minutes, others will charged with "keeping house of ill fame." I am not sure what the difference was. Maybe a "house of ill fame" had a larger number of prostitutes. Or perhaps in this case, "disorderly house" meant something else. According to Duhaime's Law Dictionary, a disorderly house could also mean a gambling house. However, no one was charged with gaming at the same time that Mary was charged.

"Dyer," who was also charged, must have been her husband Michael Dyer. Since his first name is not given, perhaps he was not present when Mary was charged, but was also charged because the house was his residence.

On 26 January 1870, the Attorney General for the State of Tennessee entered a Nolle prosequi ("be unwilling to pursue"/"do not prosecute"). Davidson County, Tennessee paid the costs of the prosecution.

Davidson County, Tennessee. Criminal Court minutes, 1870, p. 45.  Metropolitan Government Archives, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, Tennessee.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sibling Saturday: Finding a Previously Unknown Half-Brother

When I obtained the Civil War pension application of Samuel August Samuelson, the brother of my 3rd-great-grandmother Johanna Carolina Samuelson, I discovered a previously unknown family member.

Statement of C. J. Johnson. Samuel A. Samuelson (Pvt., Co. E, 73rd Ind. Inf., Civil War, pension application no. 283,424, certificate no. 217,996),Case Files of Approved Pension Applications..., 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

C. G. Johnson gave a statement, and was asked if he was in any was related to Samuel A. Samuelson. He answered, "I am what is called a half brother."

I knew that Johanna and Samuel had two older brothers, Johan Peter and Anders Fredrik, but I did not know that they had a half-brother. Their mother, Anna Lisa Torstensdotter, was thirteen years older than their father, Samuel Eriksson, so I wondered if C. G. Johnson was her son from a previous marriage.

I found Carl Gustaf Johnson's death certificate in's database Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011. He had died in Westchester, Porter County, Indiana on 30 July 1909. The death certificate gave his date of birth: 27 October 1823. His birthplace was listed as Vastra Harg, Sweden.

Indiana State Board of Health. Death certificate no. 109, Carl Gustaf Johnson, 1909. Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

I had already known that the family had come from Västra Harg, Östergötland, Sweden. I looked at the Swedish records on ArkivDigital, and found Carl Gustaf's birth and baptismal record. He was not a child from a previous marriage; he was an illegitimate child. The record did not name his father.

Västra Harg C:1 (1797-1840) Image 179 / page 341 (AID: v42201.b179.s341, NAD: SE/VALA/00446)

I found the family in the household examination records, after Anna Lisa Torstensdotter had married Samuel Eriksson. Carl Gustaf was listed with the patronymic Jaensson.

Västra Harg AI:11 (1835-1840) Image 88 / page 159 (AID: v27140.b88.s159, NAD: SE/VALA/00446)

Carl Gustaf Johnson married Matilda Sofia Johnson. According to the 1900 United States Census, Matilda had six children.

1900 United States census, Westchester, Porter County, Indiana, population schedule, enumeration district 94, page 3B. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

However, I have only discovered four of the children: Albertena Johnson (born 15 August 1868), Albert L. Johnson (born about 1874), Ida Johnson (born 24 March 1875 or 1876), and Gustaf Johnson (born 29 March 1883).

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friend of Friends Friday: James J. Sayers Sells Slave Daniel to Robert Caruthers

Williamson County Deed Book Q, page 489. Williamson County Archives, Franklin, Tennessee.

Robert Caruthers bill of sale for slave Daniel
executed by James J Sayers
registered 31st January 1842.

I James J. Sayers have this day bargained and sold and do hereby convey unto Robert Caruthers for four hundred and sixty dollars to me in hand paid a man slave named Daniel about twelve years of age I warrant the said slave to be sound, sensible, healthy and a slave for life, I also warrant the said slave to the said Robert Caruthers his heirs and assigns against the lawful claims of all persons, witness my hand and seal this 28th day of January 1842.
     Test                                                          James J Sayers      (seal)
               Jno B McEuen
               Freman W Jordan

State of Tennessee )
Williamson County  )

Personally appeared before me Samuel B McConnico Clerk of the County Court of Williamson County James J Sayers the foregoing bargainer with whom I am personally acquainted and who acknowledged that he executed the foregoing bill of sale for the purposes therein contained, witness my hand at office this 28th day of January Ad 1842.
                                                                    Samuel B McConnico

This bill of sale was received for registration 28th January 3 H. 30 M. P. M. 1842.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thriller Thursday: Jabez Owen Kills His Brother Richard Owen

Richard Owen and Jabez Owen, Jr. were the sons of Jabez Owen, a wealthy planter and physician in Williamson County, Tennessee.

1850 United States census, District 15, Williamson County, Tennessee, population schedule, page 295B, family 981. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.

Jabez Owen, Sr. purchased Forge Seat (also known as the Samuel Crockett House) from Samuel Crockett in the 1830s. The house is located in Brentwood, Williamson County, Tennessee.

Forge Seat, Brentwood, Tennessee. Photo by Concord715 (Own work) [CC1.0 public domain]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Richard had been jailed for murder in the 1840s. In 1849, his wife Mary (Temple) Owen sued him for divorce. She claimed that he drove her from their home and it was not safe for her to return. She also accused him of adultery. She asked for custody of their children.

On 4 August 1852, Richard and Jabez Jr. got into a fight. Jabez stabbed Richard with a knife. Richard died a few minutes later.  The Franklin, Tennessee newspaper Western Weekly Review reported that the incident took place at Owen's shop.

Western Weekly Review (Franklin, TN), 6 August 1852, page 2

Later sources report that Richard was killed in an upstairs room at Forge Seat. Perhaps the shop was located at the family's home.

Hill, Laura. "Historical Resting Place." The Tennesseean, 11 Apr 1997, pp. 1W, 4W.
"Horrible Occurrence." Western Weekly Review, 6 Aug 1852, p. 2.
"Owen Man Killed By Brother." In Little, T. Vance. Murder on the Wilson Pike. Brentwood, TN: JM Productions, 1996, pp. 21-22.
"Williamson Bicentennial Moment: Forge Seat, 1502 Wilson Pike, Brentwood." The Tennesseean, 11 Feb 1999, p. 2W.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: George Washington Tarkington

Although I have featured George Washington Tarkington's gravestone before, this is a much better photo of it. The tombstone was erected by the Woodmen of the World, West End Camp, and is located in section 13, lot 75, Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Amanuensis Monday: Deed, James Robertson to Elisha Garland, 100 Acres on Big Harpeth

Davidson County, Tennessee Deed Book G, page 156

Elisha Garland                                            June 10th 1807
This indenture made upon the Eighth day of April one Thousand Seven hundred and ninety nine Between James Robertson of the State of Tennessee and County of Davidson of the one part & Elisha Garland of the State & County Aforesaid of the Other part Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of  Pounds Virginia Currency the Receipt thereof he doth hereby Acknowledge hath Granted Bargained Sold Alliened Enfeeof Convey and Confirm unto the said Elisha Garland his heirs and Assigns forever a Certain Tract or Parcel of Land lying and being in the State and County Aforesaid Containing one hundred Acres on the South side of Cumberland River Begining at a Birch on the North Bank of Harpeth Running Down the River North forty five Degrees to the West fifty four poles then North fifty five Degrees to the West one hundred and forty poles to a Sugartree and Red Oak under the foot of a Bluff then North fifty two poles to a Small Sugartree  and two Elms thence East one hundred and Twenty poles to a Hickory on the East boundery line of the Original Survey thence South with the same two hundred poles to the River Bank About two poles Above the Begining being part of six acres of land granted unto Ebennezer Alexander Assignee Originally of the heirs of William Mathews April 17th day 1793, To have and to hold the  Aforesaid Land and Premises to him the said Elisha Garland his heirs and Assigns forever with all and Singular the Rights Privilages or Emoluments belonging or in anywise Appertaining thereto And I the said James Robertson my heirs & do hereby Release and Relinquish all my Right in the said Tract & do Vest the Same to said Elisha Garland and for him to have hold Enjoy Possess and Occupy the Aforesaid Tract of Land And the said James Robertson do Covenant and Agree for myself my heirs Executors and Administrators with the said Garland to warrant and forever Defend the Aforesaid Land from all manner of Persons Claiming the Same through by or under me my heirs etc –– In testimony thereof the said James Robertson hath hereunto set his hand and Seal the year and Day first Above Written
Witness __ __ _ _____                           Jas Robertson         LS
State of Tennessee [ ] Best Remembered that on the 14th day of August one Thousand Seven hundred and ninety nine Personally Came James Robertson who has Subscribed the within Indenture before me Andrew Jackson one of the Judges of the Superior Courts of Law & Equity for the State Aforesaid and Acknowledged the Signing Sealing and Delivery of the written for Deed for the uses and Purposes therein Contained and mentioned and Requested that the same might be Registered
                                                                                         Andrew Jackson
Let the same be Registered upon the Legal fees being paid

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Leif Ericson Day

October 9 is Leif Ericson Day, in honor of the first European to land in North America. Leif Ericson arrived there 500 years before Christopher Columbus did, so he is the one that should be honored.

Statue of Leifur Eiríksson, Reykjavík, Iceland. By Ohlen (Ovn work) [Public domain]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

After the Great Chicago Fire: LaSalle Street South from Washington Street

LaSalle Street South from Washington Street. Alternate Title: Views in Chicago & Vicinity Before and After the Fire. Chicago, IL: P. B. Greene, 1871. Photo by Greene, P. B. -- Photographer [Public domain]. Located at New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs. Available from New York Public Library Digital Collections and Wikimedia Commons.

Today is the 145th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which affected my Winters and Walker ancestors, and probably also my Graham ancestors. This image shows some of the destruction that resulted from the fire.