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.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Bedford County Tennessee--District line changes

I've mentioned several of these district line changes on forums and in chats but wanted to blog about this.  There seem to be a number of district boundary line changes in court in the later part of the 1850s in Bedford Co TN.  

From the Minute books of the Bedford Co. TN Court.(1848-1860)

1855 Feb Term pg. 413(page 119 of Marsh book)
On petition of John Jackson, William G Hight, William C. Cook, Thomas Davis, Jno W Manier, William King and Jno Boyce, it was ordered by the court that the line of Civil District #11 be changed as follows, to wit, commencing at Weakley's Creek and running with the public road by Hight's to as to include the lands of the petitioners from District #9 to #10.  21 justices voting in the affirmative.

Also on page 413 there is a petition by Robert Allison which can be seen at FamilySearch(log on required but access is free with registration)

1858 July Term pg. 195(page 142 of Marsh book)
This day ordered by the Court that the District line between District #9 and #10 be so changed that where said line shall reach the land of W. C. Cook &c.

Marsh, H. C., & Marsh, T. R. (1985). Earliest county court records of Bedford County, Tennessee. Shelbyville, Tenn: Southern Historical Press.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

George W. Gibson's will written April 2nd 1887

George W. Gibson was a resident of Rutherford County's 25th District but his will was recorded in the Bedford Co TN Will books.  I think this happens more than we realize for an assortment of reasons.  The following is my attempt at transcribing the will.  Several of the male descendants of George W Gibson marry cousins from my Jakes/Frizzell and Jakes/Morrow lines.

George W Gibson's Will
In the name of God amen.
I George W Gibson of the 25th District of Rutherford County Tenn. being of sound mind and knowing the uncertainty of life, do make this my last will and testament.
1st I will and desire that all of my just debts be paid
2nd I desire and will that my executors who will hereafter be named, at my death will take possession of all my property that I may be seized and possessed of and that they sell all my property real estate and all other kinds for cash or on a credit publicly or privately as they may think best and I hereby empower my executor to deed away and convey my real estate to the purchase or purchasers as I would myself were I living.  I will that one half of an acre of ground including and around the grave yard be set apart and keep as a family grave yard and that it is reserved out of the sale of my land.  I will that out of the proceeds of the sale of my real estate and other property that I may have at my death that my executors pay to the heirs of my daughter Rachel Shelton dec'd, wife of Harvey Shelton and to the heirs of my son John Gibson and to the heirs of my daughter Manerva Gibson, wife of Wm F Gibson and to the heirs of my daughter Parmelia Crosslin dec'd wife of Andy Crosslin, the sum of one dollar and I will that the heirs of the above named children receive no more of my property than the one dollar.  And I will that the remainder of my estate be equally divided between my children here named and now living or to their heirs and that they share and share alike.   Henry Gibson, Joe F Gibson, Ed T. Gibson, Mary Eaton, wife of Harvey Eaton, Nancy Thornberry, wife of Steven Thornberry and Jennie Hoover, wife of John H Hoover and Jessie Eaton wife of James Eaton and I will that each of the above named children shall share alike.  I hereby appoint and nominate Henry & Ed T Gibson as executors of this my last will
this April 2nd 1887
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  G W Gibson
Jno H. White
S. J. Mankin
J.D. Ensey

Attest--A true copy---Wm L. Fierson Deputy Clerk

Source: Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Bedford Wills, Vol 1-2, 1861-1922  img 344 of 832 (vol pg 622)

Friday, August 02, 2019

I'm fishing in the 23andme pond

I purchased a 23&me Ancestry test from for a little over $50(after tax) which included the lab processing fee.  This was during a sale they had which coincided with Amazon Prime Day.  My test sample went out in the mail on July 18th and I had the results by July 27th.  That's amazingly fast!!  A few days ago, I posted a comparison of the ethnicity results of my test on 23&me's latest chip with the results of the AncestryDNA test uploaded during their Discover23 promo on DNA day of 2018.

Now I am "fishing" in all of the big ponds for DNA matches and can give my observations on this test..  I knew that several of my paternal Cook cousins(in the 2nd cousin range) had tested there and not uploaded to GEDmatch yet so I was able to get that segment data for my DNApainter chromosome painting.  Also I found a known maternal 1st cousin & a known 1st Cousin once removed among those in my match list.  Neither of those had uploaded to GEDmatch.

I was also anxious to see what 23&me would come up with for my mtDNA haplogroup.  As I've mentioned in previous blog post, my daughter took the FULL mtDNA test and is H3-T152C!. This backwards mutation is also present in descendants of my 4th Great Grandmother mother's sister so we know it happened prior to 1797.  I think 23&me did pretty well.  They show me as H3.

I have never liked the 23& me interface but they do seem to have made some improvements.  I've used it over the years with some of my daughter's paternal lines who have tested there so I did have something to compare it to as they were earlier testers at the site.

The improvements over the last few years:  
  • Ability to assign relationships for each match 
  • Relationship chart 
  • Notes Sections which is really essential on any site(wish it was at the top but I'll take it)
  • Ability to include a link to tree
  • I really like the option to download the segment data so I can paint my matches at DNA painter.  I believe this may have been here before but wasn't so obvious.  
It's a bit unclear with the list of shared matches what they mean.  Some you have to request to share to see.  Going to have to read more on that to figure out what it does and doesn't mean.  I'd recommend testing here if you are looking for cousins.  I do feel you are missing out if you don't. If it's not in your budget at the regular price maybe you too can catch it on sale.  


Thursday, August 01, 2019

FamilyTreeDNA Summer Sale thru August 31st

FamilyTreeDNA is having their summer sale from now thru August 31st.  There are some great deals.  Also look for sale prices on upgrades by viewing the shopping cart for any test you have there.