Thursday, November 19, 2015

Will of Thomas Tart--Sampson Co NC Will Book 1 pg 369-371

Information from the Will of Thomas Tart
Sampson Co NC  Will Book 1 pg 369-371 
Written 26th Dec 1848
Proven May Term 1850

  • Eldest Daughter, Sarrah Hanes of TN $400
  • 4 Grandchildren(Children of daughter Patsy) $50 each  Named: John Westbrook, Sarah Byrd, Mary Piles?, Wm. Westbrook Jr.
  • John Tart Land $200
  • Thomas Tart Land $200
  • Nathan Tart Land $200
  • James Tart Land and owes not to this estate for $150
  • Nancy Denning  Money and Property $40
  • Pharrabe McLamb Money and Property $40
  • Elizabeth McLamb Money and Property $40

Later in the will it also mentions daughter Patsy again and 4 grandchildren which are her children
and says "by John Ward Sr"   he leaves them $25 each.  So it seems like Patsy had 8 children in all
4 by John Ward Sr and 4 by Wm. Westbrook Sr..
Any additional monies left over after debts are paid and the executor has paid off the above legacies should be divided equal among the youngest 7 children

Sarah Tart
T. J?  Bennet
Wm. Gregory

Additional Info not given in will:  
Thomas Tart is the father of Sarrah Tart Haynes who married Abraham Haynes. Sarrah & Abraham are buried in Rutherford Co TN. and lived in the Williamson and Rutherford Co TN area.

I became interested in this will as some of my DNA matches are descendants of Abraham  & Sarah but I have no known connection to any of the other relatives in their tree that I can see thus far which would lead me to believe our connection is some time prior to that couple.  These were the only persons in that matches tree that were in the "right" area that I could tell.  It is also possible that our connection is a separate still unknown to either or both of us at this point ancestor.  I did have fun reading over this will so if nothing else it had entertainment value.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Will of John Cook--Orange Co. NC Feb Term 1811---written March 9, 1798

Will Book written page # 278 & 279

In the Name of God Amen the ninth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred ninety eight.  I John Cook of the county of Orange & state of North Carolina being sick and weak of body but sound and perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God for the same do make this my last will & testament in manner & form following.

First, I give & bequeath to my beloved son Archibald Cook the land & plantation whereon he now lives containing seventy acres as has been already surveyed.  I give & bequeath unto my beloved son David Cook the land & plantation whereon he now lives with all the land on the South side of the road. I give & bequeath unto my beloved son Robert Cook the use of one bay mare to raise a colt on which she is with foal now & after the colt can be raised off he is to have the colt and return the mare to my estate again.  I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Sarah Cook the use of all my lands & plantation with all the stock of all kinds with household furniture & all my estate of what kind so ever during her natural life and after her decease my Will and desire is that all my lands stock of all kinds and of what kind so ever be equally divided between all my children & I do hereby appoint my beloved son David Cook & friend Hardy Hurdle my executor of this my last will & Testament and I do hereby renounce all other wills but this alone.
In Witness whereof I have here unto set my hand & seal

Orange Co Feb. Term 1811
The executor of the foregoing last will & testament of John Cook Dec'd was duly proved in open court by the oath of Hardy Hurdle one of the subscribing witnesses there to & ordered to be recorded

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 
Wills, Vol [A]-D 1752-1822
Source Information North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts
Images 605 & 606  of 782

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Paternal DNA matches with some of the Nowlin descendants.

In the process of sorting thru my DNA matches and looking at their trees in order to identify our common ancestors I noticed that I had a good many matches who were descendants of Bryan Ward Nowlin and wife Lucy Wade.  Their Great Grandson Bryan Ward Nowlin (son of Jabus Swanson Nowlin) died in 1861.  I located his will in Marshall Co TN Probate records on and learned that he was a doctor.  He and Rebecca Ewing Niell had 10 children only 5 of which lived beyond the age of 7.  That must have been heartbreaking.  He lists the surviving children in his will. a snippet of which is shown below.  B. W. Nowlin himself was only 41 when he died.

  • James Ozro Nowlin
  • Thomas Light Nowlin
  • Milton Gross Nowlin
  • Harriet Elizabeth Nowlin
  • Rebecca Lavona Nowlin
These DNA matches are on my Paternal side and the Bedford, Marshall, Rutherford and Williamson Co TN area is where m Dad's lines lived.

B W Nowlin Probate Date 13 July 1861 Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts. Marshall Co TN Wills, Vol A-C, 1835-1912  pg 422

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Total cM Comparisons over Known Relationships

Below is the chart showing the Total cM Comparisons over Known Relationships for my Daughter.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

For those interested in seeing more comparisons and averages check out The Shared cM Project at The Genetic Genealogist's website.  Also there are several charts at the ISOGG wiki.

Paternal Segments Representation

Paternal Segments Representation

To date I have identified segments from my paternal side on the following chromosomes in my DNA (in no particular order)

Chr   Couple

2:  Putman/Tyler, King/Upshaw
3:  Frizzell/Manley
4:  Morrow/Sutton, Putman/Prince
5:  Deason
6:  Manley/Frizzell, King/Upshaw
7:  King/Manire, Putman/Tyler
10:  Frizzell/Manley
11:  Manley/Wilson, Deason
12:  Manire/Jackson, Putman/Tyler
14:  Frizzell/Manley, Upshaw/Bradley
15:  King/Manire
17:  Frizzell/Manley
21:  Manire/Jackson
X:  Knox/Craig, Deason

Couple= Most Recent Common ancestor with others who match that segment

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Revisiting the New River Notes website

I remember looking over the New River Notes website in the late 90s when Jeff Weaver created it. It was great then but it is even better now.  I have 17 more years experience researching and a better idea of where my ancestors lived.   There has also been a great deal added to the website over those years.  I need to take a day and read through it.  If you have ancestors in the counties it covers or in the surrounding counties it really is worth your time to check it out.

Upper New River Valley covers the following counties

  • North Carolina   
    • Alleghany
    • Ashe
    • Surry
    • Watauga 
    • Wilkes 
    • Yadkin
  • Virginia:  
    • Bland
    • Carroll
    • Floyd
    • Giles 
    • Grayson
    • Montgomery
    • Patrick
    • Pulaski 
    • Smyth
    • Tazewell
    • Washington
    • Wythe

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AncestryDNA finally has a tab that lets you see In Common With for your matches

So excited to see this tool!!  Now you don't have to convince people to send a share DNA link.  They have also added filters for parents if you have had either of your parents tested you can filter by matches in common with either of them.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

PLEASE pay attention when saving files to your Ancestry Tree

This post was written to make people aware of the issues within this database and its description ---NOT to discourage people from using all the resources possible to find information on their ancestors.

Tennessee Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965

I have a love hate relationship with this database.  While I love that the information is online and available to view at home with an Ancestry subscription, I hate that the index is so misleading.  Yes, the vast majority of the records are divorce records however,  there are other types within this database.  The description says that only Divorce records are indexed and searchable but that is not the case.  I could provide several examples within the set of the Williamson Co TN record section as I have Putmans and Cooks from that area in the 1830s.  The examples below show how the index could cause problems within my Putman research.

Note the description of the Williamson Co TN record set as well as the statement on what is indexed and searchable.

This search result would be fine if it was a is not

Add caption

As a researcher I am aware that you should check and double check records even if you feel there might not be anything within the database that would pertain to your research.  Because the records which aren't divorces ARE indexed(at least the ones I've found in Williamson Co TN) when you try and add the document to your tree at Ancestry it is tagged a Divorce record source and doesn't allow you to change that field.

This only happens when you try to add the first image or two to  a person in your online tree.  It doesn't happen if you try to add the pages after the index card.  Once you get past that point you will get an error on the additional pages which as it should prevents adding.  Sure there is a work around but how many will add the first page of the document without doing that and then have it listed as a Divorce and thus pass on this error.  Most people would notice in this example it is obviously impossible for a divorce to happen in 1837 or 1838 when one party has died in 1835.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

More Frizzell & Manley segments identified.

Haven't posted much in a month with school being out.  I have been enjoying the last high school summer as this coming year is my daughter's Senior Year in High School.  Rest assured I have been tinkering in genealogy almost every day just haven't had extra time to write about it.  Today I wanted to make a point to post though.  I have been frustrated by lack of responses from DNA matches I have tried contacting from all of the sites where I manage kits...Ancestry, FTDNA and Gedmatch.  I keep telling myself I need to make a form letter...but I never have though I do have the lists of GGGG Grandparents for both sides that I can copy and paste into an email.  I generally find whatever my last letter was and adapt it each time.  I guess this will help especially at Ancestry not to get caught in their spammer filter.  At any rate the other night I was writing a few of my matches....actually it was one person who was over all the I wrote to her and I kept it pretty simple.  Basically I match 3 of your kits and would like to know the connection and briefly mentioned the Gedmatch site and that it was free with some neat tools.  Just got a message a bit ago and all the kits are now at GEDmatch!!!  I am thrilled as I have identified a large segment on two chromosomes.  So don't give up!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Will of John Cathey--March 1837 Session--Lincoln Co NC

Read over some of the Lincoln Co. North Carolina probate records and found the will of John Cathey which was proved at the March 1837 Session of the Lincoln Co Court.  John listed all his children but apparently did not approve one of his daughter's choice of a husband.

4th I give and bequeath to my second daughter Jinny Mauney --one dollar

Later in the will he makes the following stipulation.  

also all my other property bequeathed to my wife at her decease to be equally divided among all of my children except my daughter Jenny Mauney.  it is my desire that she do not heir any of my estate until after the death of her husband Livingston Mauney.
You can find the complete will of John Cathey at the link below.

Will of John Cathey--March 1837 Session--Lincoln Co NC
"North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970," images, FamilySearch (,170758801 : accessed 27 May 2015), Lincoln > Wills, 1824-1838, Vol. 01 > image 466 of 489; county courthouses, North Carolina

Livingston Mauney and Abram Houser took out a marriage bond on August 21 1829 in Lincoln County, North Carolina for Livingston Mauney to marry Jane Cathey.

Livingston Mauney and Jane Cathey 21 August 1829 Lincoln Co NC  Abram Houser. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Original data: North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

All records I could find showed the marriage as the same day as the bond.  While I am not sure that is accurate John Cathey's will proves that they must have married at least by the time of his writing the will and he was apparently not very fond of Livingston.  Livingston is thought to be the son of Dr. George Mauney Sr. even though he is not mentioned in George's will of 1840.  A check of the files at Ancestry and Rootsweb have Livingston's date of death as 16th November 1849 though I never found a source for that.  There are a lot of unanswered questions.  What caused John Cathey to not like Livingston?   What was the cause of death for Livingston?  Forties is fairly young to die..even back then.  What became of Jane "Jenny" Cathey Mauney?  Did she also die around that time?  Did she get her inheritance when her husband died if she was still living?  Now if I can just find info concerning one of my ancestors.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Few Probate Packets of South Carolina Cook families

A hot topic of the Cook/Putman researchers lately has been trying to determine if the Cook and Putman families knew each other prior to their arrival in Williamson Co. TN.  The Putmans were in Union Co. SC.  With the rain just made sense to use the time to see what Cook families I could find in the Union Co SC area.  I didn't find any obvious connection to my Cooks but I really enjoyed reading over them..

Several of these Cook families were Quaker Families.  The estate inventories provide a great deal of information about the deceased as well as listing the names of those who purchased items.  I enjoyed the beautiful writing on some of the pages.  If these don't interest you, go to the main FamilySearch site and find a state in which your ancestors lived and see what is available for the counties in which your families lived.

The SC Probate files at FamilySearch  aren't searchable however I found an index and then used that to navigate to the Cook images.  

Union Co SC

York Co SC 

While reading over the estate inventories, you might find tools with which you are unfamiliar.  There were several that I didn't recognize and too some that I just wanted to see.  There are several books at Google Books that will help identify tools.  I found The Illustrated Sheffield List to be very helpful and it is available free.  Most of the items that I was unfamiliar with had to do with horses.  In the inventory of Isaac Cook's estate there was a copy of Barkley's Apology as well as a Bible.

There are many State probate documents available at FamilySearch.  Most of the ones I have found aren't searchable but are browsable.  A great deal of these records have a  scanned index and once you find that you can use that to find the surnames of interests within the browsable probate documents.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Two Henry Cook Revolutionary War Applicants

While I do have experience researching pensions most of that research has been with Confederate Pension files.  I wrote a blog post in 2014 looking at how many ancestors I had that fought in the Revolutionary War which gave me an idea of how many different options I had for joining Daughters of the American Revolution. I'm not considering doing that but it impressed  me when I found 11 lines which descendants had used to gain membership.  In retrospect, this really should not have been surprising as most of my ancestors were in America prior to 1770s.   With Confederate Pensions I had always loved the widow's applications because you can find copies of marriage records there and lists of children's names and ages.  You can find that in some of the soldiers but they don't always remember the children like the mother's do.   The women always seemed to give a lot more detail with the exception of the details for the battles in which the soldier had participated.  The Revolutionary Pension files for the soldiers seem to tell much more than that of the Confederate files that I have read over.  I accessed the Revolutionary War Applications through HeritageQuest.  I am lucky to have a library which provides this access to its patrons and allows them to research from the comfort of their own home.  My Cook line is one of my major brick-walls so I decided to find a few of the Cook men who applied.  The two I selected were both named Henry Cook and were in TN at the time they applied.  They both had been in areas where my Cook line was known to have been but do not appear to be kin to me at this time.

Henry Cook 21947  S2460 (the #s listed through out his file)
Applied while living in Carroll Co TN (in 1833)
born March 12 1752 at Thompson's Creek Virginia
Family moved to Orange Co NC near Butler's Fort.(when claimant was a "stout boy")
That was where he lived during the time of the American Revolution.  He remained in Orange Co NC until 1796 when he moved to Woodfin Co KY at which place he lived for about a year.  He then moved to Columbia Kentucky(Adair Co KY) and remained there about 8 years.  Around 1807 he moved to Bedford Co TN and the next year on to Franklin Co TN where he lived for abt eight years.  In 1823 he moved to Carroll Co TN where he was living at the time of filing for the pension.  There is more detail in the application about the battles in which he participated but I was focused more on his life after he made his way to TN.  He doesn't mention a wife or children but the 1830 Federal Census for Carroll Co TN lists a Henry Cook(pg 189) who is between 70 & 80 yrs of age.  In the same household there is a white female between the age of 60 & 70 and a white female between the ages of 15 & 20

Henry Cook  11970  S3181(the #s listed though out his file)
Applied while living in Williamson Co TN (in 1833)
born May 15 1760 in Lunenburg Co Virginia
He states that he served 3 tours(one as a sub. for this father John Cook) He has a brother who also fought named John.
Lived in the Lunenburg Co area for awhile.  Moved to Halifax Co VA in 1801. then on to Williamson Co TN.  There is a a great deal of information about the battles in both of the Henry Cooks' pension applications.  I would recommend picking a few applicants who either have names you are researching or who live in the area in which you have ancestors and reading through their files.  If you are lucky you might find a connection to your own lines.

Several other sites(both free & subscription sites) besides HeritageQuest have American Revolutionary War Records.  Fold3, Ancestry and FamilySearch are among those that come to mind.

Surname Range : Cook, Elizabeth - Cook, Jacob
Source Information U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C.