Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lemuel's FAN club

As a researcher you should be familiar with Cluster Genealogy as a method for finding out more about your ancestors.  You may also be familiar with the term Fan Club or Fan Club principle which was coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills to describe the group of individuals who were Family, Associates, and Neighbors of  an ancestor.  By examining the relationship of these persons to your ancestor,  you will gain a better insight into their lives and find more of their paper trail.  If you aren't familiar with this term please check out Mill's Historic Pathways site for more information on her excellent articles, books,  and presentations.

FAN club from Lemuel Manier's Probate Packet
  1. Susan E A. Manier (widow)
  2. John W. Manier(son)
  3. Stephen J. Manier(son)
  4. Eliza J. Manier King(daughter)
  5. Wm. B King(son-in-law)
  6. Minerva O. or A Hays(daughter--Widow of Robert Ralston)
  7. Ann Manier Floyd(daughter)
  8. John H. Floyd(son-in-law)
  9. Lemuel Manier(son)
  10. Leanne Manier Hill(daughter)
  11. William T. Hill(son-in-law)
  12. David C Manier(son)
  13. Anna W Manier(daughter)
  14. Amasa Manier(son)
  15. Drury Bennet(neighboring land owner married to Elizabeth Manier)
  16. James Carson(neighboring land owner)
  17. John Loney?(neighboring land owner)
  18. Wm. R. Nunn(neighboring land owner)
  19. Wm McKay(sold Lemuel land in R'ford Co Tn 16 Jan 1835)
  20. Solomon(negro)
  21. Mary(negro)
  22. Harriet(negro --child of Mary)
  23. Edmond(negro)
  24. Hardy(negro)
  25. Balam(negro)
  26. Chelsey William(executor)
  27. James D. Gillespie(witness)
  28. Christopher M Brooks(witness)
  29. Noah Scales(witness)
  30. Thomas Bullock(Deputy Court Clk)
  31. R. D. Morrison(witness)
  32. J P Calhoun(witness)
  33. John Bittle(witness)
  34. Robert Taylor(witness)
  35. R.C. Owen(witness)
  36. Stephen Bennett(witness)
  37. W.W. Floyd(witness)
  38. James T. Shurman(witness)
  39. Jacob(negro)
  40. Andy(negro)
  41. George(negro)
  42. James A. Hayes(son-in-law---2nd husband & eventually ex  husband of Minerva)
  43. Permelia Russell(widow of Daniel Russell)
  44. Daniel Russell(deceased trustee for Minerva)
  45. James S. Hamlett(Sheriff)
  46. William Ralston(son of Minerva who is her trustee)
  47. Wm S Fleming(Chancellor of Court 1874)
From the information in the Probate Pkt of 
David Lemuel Manier(Manire) 1792-1837  Williamson Co. TN

Image 2867-2984 of 2992

Source Citation
Probate, Divorce and Original Wills Records, 1800-1899; Author: Tennessee County Court (Williamson County); Probate Place: Williamson, Tennessee

Source Information
Ancestry.com. Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Info found in Probate File of my 3rd Great Grandfather

Things I found in a 118 image probate file(At Ancestry.com) of my 3rd Great Grandfather, Lemuel Manier(Manire) who died in the year 1837 in Williamson County, Tennessee.  You really have to take it in the context of the times--before emancipation and women's rights.  Not that that justifies not giving folks rights or limiting them based on the color of their skin, their gender ...or both.  Some of the pages were poorly written.  Thankfully, there were 2 or 3 copes for a number of the documents and at least one was legible.

Information in the probate packet:
  • Date on which will was written & residence
  • Date on which will was proven
  • Listing of children complete with married names of daughters
  • Name of widow
  • Death info of widow
  • Land description(residence)
  • Additional land description & who it was purchased from
  • Names of neighbors from land description
  • Relationship status of daughters(marriage/divorce/widowed)
  • Location/Proof of relationship status of daughters or widow
  • Name of County Sheriff
  • Subpoenas executed.
  • Proof of death of estate trustee 
  • Estate sale items
  • Slave names and ages
  • record of slave death including the cost of coffin
  • Hiring out of slaves
  • 47 persons to add to Lemuel Manire's Genealogy FAN club(term coined by Elisabeth Shown Mills which describes a research method of studying an ancestor's Family, Associates, and Neighbors--also called cluster research)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Crumbs from a Probate Packet and the makings of a citing nightmare...

My original intent in this post was to a small bit of information from the Lemuel Manier & heirs probate packet(ie. info on his daughter, Minerva's divorce).  Trying to cite it has me pulling my hair out as there are so many contradictions in the source listing.  The key, I feel, is to give directions on how to find that source again.

For what is is worth, Here is what Ancestry puts on the Record file as the source information & citation.

Source Citation
Probate, Divorce and Original Wills Records, 1800-1899; Author: Tennessee County Court (Williamson County); Probate Place: Williamson, Tennessee

Source Information
Ancestry.com. Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts.

When viewing the images themselves below is the header you see if you view from the TN Wills & Probate search results.


Image  2976 of 2992  contains the following information giving clues about divorce of Minerva O Hays.

This case was on the 20th day of Dec 1875 heard on the petition of Minerva O Hays and the proof in the case from which it appears to the satisfaction of the court that since the making of the decree in this cause and the appointment of William Ralston as Trustee for Minerva O Hays she has been divorced from her husband and is now a feme sole and there is no longer any necessity of retaining Wm Ralston in the office of Trustee and her estate in his hands as such trustee.  Thereupon the court decrees that William Ralston as trustee deliver up and surrender to Minerva O Hays all of her effects in his hands take her receipt therefore and produce a file of such receipt in this court and upon his so doing that he be discharged from the office of trustee and be relieved from all liability as such.  The court decrees that she pay the cost of this.

Proof of divorce is given under oath by statement from Chelsey Williams(18th Dec 1875)
Who answers that her family of sons stated that she was divorced from him in Columbia, Maury Co TN in 1874 or the first part of 1875. (Image 2951 of 2992)


Monday, June 05, 2017

In Praise of City Directories


This week got off to a great start with me finding the 118 page probate/estate packet of my 3rd Great Grandfather.  I began reading over it last night and there is just so much information included.  I haven't even gotten half way thru and I'm seeing the names of all of his children, land descriptions and as this was before emancipation I've also found information pertaining to slaves which were hired out.  It lists their names and ages.  One in particular was a rather odd given name.  Consulting a directory at Ancestry.com for the family I was able to find a gentleman by the same name with the last name of our family. Not sure that it is the one listed in the probate info but is likely a nephew or son.  I found additional census listings also that contained the names mentioned in the probate file. I had worked with directories in my research on another case which I blogged about this past year.  Each time I use them I find even more information or uses. These tidbits are things that you might not expect to find.  If you want to know how the Country, State, County or City was run--just look in the directory for the city in question.  Below is a listing in no particular order of the things that I have found in a city directory.

  • Tax Laws specific to the publication year and area covered.
  • Occupation--sometimes it also lists place of employment
  • Females listed as "widow of.."
  • Maps--a variety
  • Election schedules & Elected officials
  • Business Directory--gives you an idea of what is booming in that area at the time.
  • Index to Advertisers--businesses that paid to have an ad listed.  The earlier ones can be really interesting. (One advertisement for a Sanitarium located in Nashville said that they could cure any addition but that they only took refined patients.)
  • Streetcar/Railway schedules.
  • Any number of stats for larger cities as well as a history of the area
  • Religious & other Societies and Associations
  • Listing of Local Churches

Friend and fellow genealogist, Miriam Robbins has been addressing this point for a number of years.  In addition to her Online Historical Directories site and blog she has also started a Facebook group on the topic.  More information about all of these can be found in her post at her AnceStories blog.  In my opinion city directories are just as valuable to a researcher today as they were to area residents at their time of publication. Their value is illustrated in this warning printed inside the cover of one of the Nashville Directories.