Sunday, December 01, 2019

James Reuben Frizzell's Will--Bedford Co TN--1912

This is my transcription of the will of James Reuben Frizzell, brother of my paternal great grandmother, Thelitha Annie Frizzell Jakes.  She is mentioned in the will as are three of her children(Ruby Jakes, Cora Jakes Gibson and John L. Jakes)

Will of J. R. Frizzell

I, J.R. Frizzell make and publish this as my last will and testament.

After my just debts are paid I will and devise to John L Jakes half of the farm upon which I live, and he is to have the eastern part.  The line to run by a large willow tree about 60 yards west of the house I live in, and the balance of the tract I will and devise to my sister Annie Jakes and her daughter, Ruby Jakes.

I will and bequeath to Cora Gibson my household goods and furniture.

The above farm is located in the 4th Civil District of Bedford Co. Tenn and consists of about 45 acres and John L Jakes is to have half this number of acres the line to run north and south or nearly so by the willow mentioned above.

I nominate and appoint J. T. Lynn, executor of this will and if necessary to pay debts, he is authorized to sell enough real estate for this purpose, and he will make the purchaser deed.

He can sell it if necessary in any manner he sees fit to the best advantage this Nov 9 1912.

At the request of testator we  witness this will this Nov 9 1912
Sewell Linch
J.B. Woodfin

I, P. C. Steele County Court Clerk of said county hereby certify that the above is a full, true and perfect copy of the last will and testament of J. R. Frizzell dec'd as proven by the testimony of Sewell Linch and J. B. Woodfin, the attesting witnesses thereto in the 25th day of Nov 1912 and ordered by the court to be recorded as such as in shown by the original will now on file in this office.

Witness my hand at office, this the 25th day of Nov 1912.
P.C. Steele, Clerk
by Jo D Steele, D. C. Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Bedford Co. TN  > Wills, Vol 1-2, 1861-1922 > image 668 of 832(Will of J. R. Frizzll)

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Browsing FamilySearch records that aren't indexed

I'm blogging about this because I've had people ask me how to find county records available online specifically those that aren't indexed and won't appear in a search. 

  • Visit FamilySearch
  • Log onto your free account(create one if you don't already have one)
  • Select Search
  • Select Catalog from the Search Menu
  • In the Place input box enter a location of interest(see below)
  • Select Online from Availability Section in Left menu
  • Click on Search Button

Search results for your location of choice should look similar to the ones below. Click on the + sign to the left of the Record Types to expand and show contents.  The number in parenthesis and to the right of the Record Type is how many different sets are available under that specific type.

Click on the name of one of the records sets to see any of the film listings that have been digitized.
I'm going to select the Deed books 1814-1896.

When I select the  Deed books 1814-1896. it expands to show me the listing of filmed records available from that category  If there is a camera under the Format column you will be able to view it online from any place you like.  Some digitized records can only be viewed from a Family History Center or have other limits on viewer access.  If there is limited viewer access there will be a key logo directly over the camera.  

I chose the first film on the list and it is shown in the screenshot below in grid layout.  I use the grid layout to help when trying to find an index on the digitized images. This reminds me of when I first started researching in 1990.  I would browse rolls of microfilm.  Technology has really made some advances.  This is a lot easier than that.  No need to rewind the roll of microfilm.  😁  

This film appears to have an index at the first part of the filmed book.  

I browsed to the "R" section of the index and found several Riddles mentioned there.  See highlighted sections in the image below.

I note the page number of each of the entries and "flip thru the book" image by image until I find the pages that were listed in the index.  This can be tricky sometimes but the more you do it the more you will get used to it.  After awhile it almost becomes second nature.  I hope you find this helpful.   FamilySearch is adding records pretty much on a weekly basis so you will want to check back often.  Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Qualified Electors of Madison Co AL 1930-- Acuffs & Lunas in Dallas 20-1 Dist

The April 15th 1930 edition of The Huntsville Times(Huntsville, AL) is included in the Website database and has a listing of qualified electors of Madison Co Alabama.
My Acuffs and Lunas are listed in the Dallas 20-1 District on page 13 in columns 3 & 4. 

Acuff, A.J.
Acuff, J.P.
Acuff, Ernest
Acuff, Albert
Acuff, W.E.

Luna, W.R.
Luna, Lee
Luna, D. E.

There are likely many folks from the counties of Dekalb, Van Buren, Warren & White Counties who came to work in the Cotton Mill in Huntsville during this time period.  I remember from having read the 1930 census for the Dallas Community of Madison Co. Alabama that there were many of the family names that I recognized from having researched in those areas

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Letter from Fruit Valley, TN on Ebay

While searching Ebay for items of interest, I found a listing for a letter sent from Fruit Valley, Tennessee.  The Fruit Valley Post Office existed from June 1877 to August 1905.  Fruit Valley is of particular interest to me because it is the place of birth of my paternal grandfather, Thomas DeWitt Cooke(1888-1971).  The sender, P.G. Lamb,  likely knew my Grandfather and my Great Grandparents(William Green Cook & Jane Bell King Cook).

The letter was addressed to Globe Printing Company in St. Louis Missouri.  A keyword search at found that the company had many ads in papers all over the United States.  Some ads were seeking agents to sell publications while others were advertising subscriptions to the Globe Democrat.  The seller didn't mention the contents other than to imply that it was from 1895 so I'm not really sure what the letter contained.  They did mention that the letter was opened.

With community names like Haunt Hollow, Lamb Bottoms and Fruit Valley, what's not to love. I've visited there several times and hope to again.  It really is beautiful country.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Middle TN Land Grant No 3793--Land Sold

Land Grant of a William C Cook in Bedford County Tennessee. My 2nd Great Grandfather W C Cook would have only been about 16 yrs old at the time of the sale so I do not believe it is him however it may be a relative.

North Carolina and Tennessee, Early Land Records, 1753-1931 (Ancestry)
Browse to Middle TN Land Grants:  Roll 100 Book 5  Image 126 of 474
(Original Grant to William C Cook)

Sale of that land to Samuel J Noblin in May 1827 by William C Cook
Deeds v. X-Y Apr 1827-Aug 1828  pg 144 of book (FamilySearch)
Image 90 of 477 (Sale recorded in Bedford Co Books)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

David Cook deed to Gabriel Blackwell--Bedford Co TN 1824

It was interesting to find an entry in the Bedford Co TN deed books between a Cook and a Blackwell given that the Granville Co NC Blackwells and Cooks intermarried.  Not sure of the connection to those if any but have made an attempt at a transcription below.

Bedford County, Tennessee deed books and index, 1808-1966 (Film 008150801)
Image 47 of 477
Deeds v. X-Y Apr 1827-Aug 1828  pg 58 and 59

Heading:  David Cook Deed to Gabriel Blackwell for 166 Acres
This Indenture made this twenty fourth December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty four between David Cook of the state of Tennessee and County of Bedford of one part and Gabriel Blackwell of the county and state aforesaid of the other part witnessith that the land David Cook for and in the consideration of the sum of eleven hundred and thirty seven dollars to me in hand paid by the aforementioned Gabriel Blackwell the receipt where of is hereby acknowledged hath bargained sold and conveyed to the said Gabriel Blackwell a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the county of Bedford and the state aforesaid on the waters of the East Fork of Rock Creek beginning at a Hickory on the West bank of Rock Creek running Forty Five Degrees West of North Eleven poles to a (Stake---marked thru) Black oak thence North twenty one poles to a stake thence west one hundred and thirty three poles to an Elm thence South one hundred and seventy pole to a Black Oak in Thomas Davidson's North boundary line thence East with said Davidson's and Coffey's line one hundred and forty two poles to a White Oak Hickory and Hornbeam thence north Ninety one poles to a stake there East with Dawdy's line forty nine poles to an Ironwood thence North with said Dawdy line forty nine pole to a stake thence west forty nine poles to the Beginning Containing one hundred and sixty six Acres be the same more or less to have and to hold the said land and premises to said Gabriel Blackwell his heirs and assigns for ever with all the hereditaments and appurtenance thereunto belongs and the said David Cook doth agree and to and with the said Blackwell that the above recited land once bargained premises will warrant and forever defend against all persons whatsoever lawfully claiming the Same? by Law or otherwise as witness my hand and seal the day and year above written signed sealed and delivered
In presence of us  ------------------------------------------------------------David Cook (Seal)
Test--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Acknowledged
Nathan Blackwell
A.H. Collens

Note:  There is a Nathan Blackwell listed on 1812 Tax List of Bedford Co TN and also in the 1820 Census of Bedford Co TN.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

John Lambert & Jemima Jackson--Order Books of Mecklenburg Co. VA

Records in the Order books of Mecklenburg Co. Virginia concerning my 5th Great Grandparents.  Not a huge revelation as this information had been passed down to those researching over the years.  I'm sure there are more records to be found but these were just the two that I found while researching another line there. They did eventually marry.  I descend thru their son, Mark Lambert Jackson(1765-1825).

Mecklenburg Co. VA Order books, v. 4-5, 1773-1784 Film # 008190598;  Img 161 of 563.
This is from the digital image of Mecklenburg Co Virginia Order Book 4, pg 274.
Available at

Mecklenburg Co. VA Order books, v. 4-5, 1773-1784 Film # 008190598; Img 285 of 563.
This is from the digital image of Mecklenburg Co Virginia Order Book 4 pg 522.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Googling Gilford--new clues

While I'd searched on the same terms before, I like to try again after a few months have passed.  Today I ran a Google search for "Gilford Cook" Tennessee and it returned a book listed as

Correspondence of James K. Polk: 1842-1843 (Vol 6)
By James Knox Polk, Wayne Cutler

Page 566 was part of the preview and particularly interesting because it gave me the following information

6th Jan 1840
Letter from H. J. Anderson
Autograph Letter Signed
TN State Library & Archives Governor's Papers
Recommends Commutation of the prison sentence of Gilford Cook.

I thought it odd that it contained information on letters which were outside the time frame that the title suggests.  I might have missed this if I were just pulling books to search within.

This gives me an additional person to add to Gilford's FAN club listing.  I've written about Gilford in several previous blog posts.  What sparks my interest in him?  I've got about 7+ matches to descendants of Garrison King among the DNA matches of me and my siblings.  Garrison's wife is believed to be a Cook(perhaps sister of Gilford).  Our YDNA(111 marker) testing indicates that our Cook(e) line closely matches that of Shem Cooke of Granville Co NC and the surrounding areas. Shem owned land in Franklin Co. NC which is where Gilford was listed as being from and where he married. From information in his State Penitentiary records I also learned that he lived in Wilson Co TN before moving to Dickson TN in 1833 along with the name of a neighbor in each of those locations.  I need to find more on Gilford's descendants to see if they too are among my paternal DNA matches. My paternal Grandfather and his siblings were the products of a Cook & King marriage so they could connect thru either side...maybe---Or an entirely different line although I know the connection is paternal thanks to them uploading to GEDmatch..  Now to find out who H.J. Anderson is and hopefully the full contents of the letter.  More clues!

Previous Posts mentioning Gilford Cook:

Gilford Cook --Dickson Co TN

Garrison King--Dickson Co TN--list of heirs

Friday, October 25, 2019

Notes: My Lewis family in pre-statehood Tennessee.

In page 6 of Pat Alderman's "Greasy Cove in Unicoi County: Authentic Folklore" there is a paragraph mentioning the William Lewis massacre of 1793 which gives the location of the Lewis family home.  According to the description it should be in the area I've noted on the map. 

I've read several articles that were written about the Indian raid on the Lewis family in my 29 years of research but this is the first one I've read that mentions that the Indians thought they were attacking John Sevier's family.  William Lewis was away at the time of the attack.  A son and daughter survived the attack.  The daughter was taken by the Indians and ransomed for a rifle.  That daughter is my 3rd Great Grandmother Mary Lewis who would later marry Canada/Kennedy Rigsby in Carter Co TN.  The marriage license/bond is dated 9th of February 1809.  Their bondsman was Benjamin Kelly.  I've included a screenshot of part of the document below.  Note that the governor at that time was none other than John Sevier.


Google Maps.  Temple Hill Tennessee 37650  accessed 25 October 2019

Alderman, P. (1975). Greasy Cove in Unicoi County: Authentic folklore. Johnson City, Tenn: Overmountain Press.

"Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 December 2016), Carter > Marriage licenses, 1796-1950, Wilson & Olliver-Zimmerman & Summers > image 699 of 933; citing Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville and county clerk offices from various counties.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Post Roads & Lists of Letters

A post road is a route which is used to deliver mail.  I love reading through old newspapers and finding information about the establishing and sometimes the discontinuing of post roads and post offices in the areas in which my families settled. 

Below is just a small section of a notice that was published in the Nashville newspaper about Congress' actions regarding the post roads in the Alabama territory shortly before statehood. There are many more states listed within the full article. 

National Banner and Nashville Whig (Nashville, Tennessee) 11 Sep 1819 pg 1 col 3  accessed 14 Oct, 2019.

I also enjoy reading the listings of letters remaining at post offices in the areas in which my ancestors lived.  I've published a few of the listings to this blog

They read something like...

A list of letters remaining in the Post Office in Nashville, on the 1st day of January 1819, which if not taken out within three months will be sent to the General Post Office as dead letters. This blurb is followed by a listing of the persons to whom the letters are addressed.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Surnames of Jacob Sutton's Descendants.

 Today I worked with my Thruline™ of Jacob Sutton.  I looked at the DNA matches and noted the names of the ones which had known Sutton cousins as Shared matches.  The purpose of the exercise was to become familiar with the surnames carried by Jacob's descendants.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in finding the common ancestor surnames that we forget that our DNA cousins surnames change when daughters marry etc. and these are names we might not recognize unless we study the entire family.  I've been acquainted with researchers who only study their direct ancestor.  That's something I've never understood because it really limits your research and causes you to miss out on so many opportunities for discovering other records. 

I could have collected the info and arranged it any number of ways:  a spreadsheet, notebook, index cards etc.  I chose to save it as an image file.  I used Awesome Screenshot extension in my Chrome browser to capture the list view and add surnames. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Shared Segment Analysis: When a Match is both Paternal & Maternal

I'm working in matches at FamilyTreeDNA this morning and was looking at my brother, Michael's autosomal matches. Each of us have about 5 or so matches that show as matching our paternal & our maternal side.  My Mom, my paternal aunt,  3 of my siblings, and myself have our tests at FTDNA. So I gathered the segment data for one of Michael's matches that I'll call P. Smith just to get an idea of what was happening.  I then checked the match lists of my Mom, my paternal aunt, my siblings, my own match list,  and also my daughter's match list.  I was interested in seeing the size of the segments, how many of us had both or none and which segments each of us had.   I also wanted to know if my Aunt also had the segment that my brother had received from Dad.  Because of visual phasing and overlapping/shared/ICW matches I have a pretty good idea of the family groups that these segments were from but to simplify things I've only identified which of my grandparents passed on these segments.  

My brother was the only one of us tested that got both segments.  My sister got the segment from dad that was passed to him by his mother.  My other brother, and I got the segment from Mom that was passed to her by her dad.   My paternal Aunt did in fact have the same segment that Brother 1 received.  I have passed the segment of my MGF on to my daughter as well.  

From looking at the matches tree and also at share/ICW matches it appears that the PGM segment goes back along the lines of my Morrow/Sutton on back to the Knox Craig lines.  Not 100% certain but that is currently my hypothesis.  That would mean this segment is back around the 5th Great Grandparent level for me.  (screen snip from my working tree shown below)

The segment which my Mom passed to us(from our MGF) appears to be from my Mom's PGM's lines and from a person/couple who was born in the mid 1700s.

As a big fan of DNAPainter for analysis of dna matches, my next step is adding the matching segments to the profiles for each of the tests.  This is a simple process for the tests that just have one segment but has a few extra steps when there are multiple lines involved.  What I could do would be to add both segments under one group and then move the other segment to the appropriate group but I prefer to do it a different way.  I add just the one segment and then click on the option to add additional segments.  For me it works better that way.

It's important to note when we share more than one segment with a match, we cannot assume that both segments are thru the same lines without further evidence.  This drives home the importance of testing as many siblings and aunt/uncles/grandparents as possible.  Also I'm very thankful that this match was on a site that has a chromosome browser and that I had a good mix of tests with which to compare.