Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dickson Co TN Probate Records--A. N. Balthrop--proved March 31, 1949 in Rutherford Co TN

On days when the weather isn't that great I enjoy reading through old land and probate records. Today was one of those days.  I found a will that I thought was amusing and spent most of the day researching the family.  No...I have no connection to the family outside of the will being brought before the judge in Dickson Co TN where I grew up.  It was the will of Alvin Nixon Balthrop and included many details. I spent a good part of the day looking over census records, obituaries, cemetery records and family files concerning the family.  I learned that Alvin was called Nick and that he had one son and 3 daughters with his first wife.
The children are listed in his will as follows:
Bobby Balthrop
Roberta(Mrs. H. L. Arnold Jr.)
Bettie(Mrs. Harold T. Shehann)
Becky(Mrs Windle Bates)

Nick's will was written Feb. 21 1948 and proved  Mar 31 1949, just a little bit over a year later in Rutherford Co TN where Nick and his 2nd wife Ruth Caskey Balthrop were living.   He was employed by Consolidated Products of Danville Illinois.  There was a statement from Rutherford Co. dated 1952 with the copy of the will stating the date it was proved in Rutherford Co TN. (see below) and I believe his will is on file with the Dickson Co. Court because it was needed in order to prove ownership of lands or inheritance.

It appears that the Balthrop family was in Virginia as early as late 1600s.  They were in the Westmoreland Virginia area and by 1750s were in Warren Co NC. William Balthrop, GG Grandfather of Alvin Nixon Balthrop was the head of the family that came to Dickson TN.  I see where there are many descendants researching this family and  they seem to be plagued by use of the same names over and over again each generation just like I am in my research.  I am including several of the snippets from the will of Alvin Nixon Balthop.  The full will can be seen at Family Search.

"Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," images, FamilySearch-- Dickson > Wills, 1800-1950 > image 1999 of 2261; county courthouses, Tennessee.

Nick owned the following properties which were mentioned in his will
Properties in
Dickson Co TN Yellow Creek 11th Civil District.(1/3 share)
Jefferson Co KY Louisville
Rutherford Co TN property(left to 2nd wife Ruth Caskey Balthrop)

Nick is shown here at age 10 in the 1910 Census(see original census record for more detail)
1910 Dickson Co TN Civil Dist 11 Sheet 4A
Lee Balthrop Head M 44 Tennessee
Rebecka A Balthrop Wife F 30 Tennessee
David L Balthrop Son M 13 Tennessee (Loy)
Alvin N Balthrop Son M 10 Tennessee (Nick)
Mary Balthrop Daughter F 8 Tennessee
Eliner Balthrop Daughter F 5 Tennessee
Armock Balthrop Son M 3 Tennessee (This is Carmack)
Panthea Balthrop Sister F 55 Tennessee

Both Bettye and Roberta passed in August of 2014.

Nick was buried in Lone Oak Cemetery in Lewisburg(Marshall Co.) TN.  I found several of the family members on FindAGrave and suggested edits to link them to one another.

Monday, March 23, 2015

J. H. Hale TN Confederate Pension Application--It's almost a book(66 images)

I intended to read through a few of the TN Confederate Pension applications today.  I checked the TN State Library & Archives Confederate Pension Index and found one for a J. H. Hale(S2278) who applied in White Co Tennessee(a county near the area where my Hales lived)  Logged onto and selected the TN Confederate Pension Applications---Applications by Soldiers and then the link for Pensions by Soldiers covering 2242-2292.  This section had 686 images typed in 500 and ended up right in the middle of pension S2278.  Talk about luck...or was it.  A check soon told me the pension files contained 66 images(images 462-528 of 686).  I read through the documents. This application process started in 1899 and goes on for 12+ years.He states that he lives in Putman Co TN but his Post Office is in White Co.  He had enlisted underage as a member of Co K 25th TN Conf. and served for a year and then was released in 1862.  J. H. Hale was born in Jackson Co TN in Aug 1844.  Apparently after being released he still wanted to fight so he followed Dibrell and fought "bearing my own expenses".  He had numerous people who offered sworn affidavits about his character --neighbors and those who served with him.   They can't seem to find his records.  Then it appears they find one that shows him serving but doesn't show his release.  He tells of his wife and invalid daughter in the files. Over the course of the correspondence there is some mix up with his pension and it appears they start noting 5911 as his pension number(I checked this one and it is a J. H. Hale of Rhea Co TN who applies in 1908)   There are obvious differences in these soldiers identities ...different household sizes, counties of residence and application dates as well as dates of service.  The White Co. J. H. Hale's application is Rejected after letter upon letter to the pension board from people in the community who have known him for many years and know his circumstances.  The Rhea Co J. H. Hale's pension is approved.  It is a good read and lets you see the human condition.

I keep on noticing in many pension applications, people wrote using paper with informative letterheads.  All of these were from the J. H. Hale application  I have snipped a few of these with the dates below as it shows occupations and dates.  I have also included the 1900 & 1910 Census Records for J. H. Hale of Putnam Co TN.  Click on the images for larger views.

Source Citation

Year: 1900; Census Place: Civil District 4, Putnam, Tennessee; Roll: 1592; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1241592
Source Information 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

Source Citation
Year: 1910; Census Place: Civil District 4, Putnam, Tennessee; Roll: T624_1516; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0082; FHL microfilm: 1375529
Source Information 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

O.K. Holladay Cookeville  

Senator for counties of Clay, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam

Senate of Tennessee--Nashville    3/16/1911

J. T. Pointer--Trustee--Putnam County  
Cookeville Tennessee 
Oct 2nd 1905

E, L Ferrell, Cookeville
Superintendent of Public Roads
March 21 1912  Putnam Co Tennessee

Tennessee Central Railroad Company
H. B. Chamberlain, W. K, McAlister, Receivers
Office of the General Agent
Rutledge Smith General Agent--Cookeville Tenn.
Nashville Tenn, April 27 1916

Pennock-Walter Manufacturing Co.
Manufacturers of White Oak & Hickory Wagon Spokes
Algood, Tenn.
J. A. Efferson President
J. L. Efferson, Vice- President
C. B. Rickman, Secretary
T. J. Clark, Treasurer
April 11 1914 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21, 1891--Birthday of Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke

Today is the birthday of my Paternal Grandmother, Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke.  She was born on this day in 1891 in Bell Buckle, a town in Bedford County, Tennessee to James Jakes and Thelitha Ann Frizzell Jakes.  She married Thomas DeWitt Cooke in Shelbyville, TN in 1912 and they lived around Christiana(Rutherford Co. TN) until they moved to Old Hickory in the mid 1920s when Tom went to work for Dupont.  They lived on Clarke Street in Old Hickory for the first few years and that is the residence they were living at when her only son(at that time), Tomie D.  died with Scarlet & Rheumatic Fever in 1927.  That loss stuck with her as it would any mother but I think it played a huge part in her being over protective of her children.  At the time that Tomie died my grandmother was pregnant and 2 months later she delivered another son, my Uncle Morris.  The picture shows Tomie D. Olive June, and Pearl not long before Tomie came down with the illness which swept through the community.  At the time Old Hickory, TN was pretty much a company town with the vast majority of the residents employed at the Dupont Plant.  After Tomie's death they purchased plots at Mt. Olivet Cemetery where he is buried along with my Grandparents and several of their children.  They must have moved to 911 Dodson Street not too long after Tomie's death because they are on Dodson Street by time the 1930 Census rolls around.  It was the year that my Dad was born but he would not arrive until October so he was not enumerated on that census.  Daddy also came down with Rheumatic Fever and was bedridden for a great length of time.  I'm sure this must have been tough on not only my Dad who was in Elementary School, but also on Pearl who I can only imagine was fearing that he too would die.  He didn't though...not til many years later.  Daddy joined the service during the Korean War and Pearl insisted that they were not going to move from the house on Dodson St as long as he was away.  When Dad returned home he worked at Dupont for several years.  Pearl was in her late 70s when I was born..Dad was their youngest son and my parents didn't start a family until my Dad was 38. By the time I was old enough to have memories of Pearl she was in her 80s. She was stern...but she had seen a lot in her lifetime.  The loss of a son...disease outbreak,  wars...the transition from buggies and horses to automobiles.  She and Tom had 3 sons and 4 daughters.  My Grandfather retired from Dupont and in 1970 they along with my parents moved to Dickson TN.  My Grandpa was dying from Lung Cancer. and Emphysema  He passed in 1971 another loss for Pearl and our family.  During the biggest part of my childhood my Grandmother lived in the same neighborhood that my parents and I did--Spanish Oaks in the Pomona Community of Dickson Co. TN.  The things I remember most about my Grandmother.  Before moving to Pomona she used to make Kraut in a crock on the large shaded porch of the house where she lived on North Charlotte a child I was fascinated by the bright green flies.  Kids are weird and I was no different.  She loved flowers.  She planted them everywhere.  She made good homemade wine...and if you coughed while you were visiting her...she would give you some of the wine for your throat.  We coughed a lot.  She also thought that a shot of whiskey could ward off a cold.   After she hit her 90s, her present day memory failed but she could remember things from her childhood.  I always loved to hear her stories.  She had good and bad days...she could bless your heart in one breath...and tell you where to go in the next..they called it hardening of the arteries but I guess it was dementia.  She would hide money....and she had a small pistol which we were always taking away from her so she wouldn't hurt herself and she was always finding.  The first curse words I ever heard were said by her.  I remember her getting a self propelled lawnmower.  She was in her 90s...she would put it on "rabbit speed" and hold on for dear life.  I always wondered why she didn't pick the slower speed.  She must have been doing something right though because she lived to be 102 years old.  Happy Birthday, Granny Cooke!!

Tomie D. Cooke Jr., Olive June Cooke Brannon & Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Roane Co. TN --Will of John Rice--April Session of 1815

Reading through some of the Roane County Tennessee court records.  While this John Rice is not in my direct Rice line(to my knowledge) I felt like the information contained within this was post worthy.

Will of John Rice ---Rice attached his seal 22nd September of 1812 & it was declared his last will & testament in the court's April Session in 1815

  • Gives his wife Susannah $200 in cash which is to be applied by her to purchase whatever household good and furniture she would like.  He also gives to her one bed and furniture.  
  • To William Rice, son of his first wife he leaves $1. 
  • His personal and real estate to be equally divided among his children.  
  • Leaves to Milly Bartlett a young Negroe whose value will be deducted out of her proportional part of his estate.  
  • Betsy & Esau Rice(his grandchildren and heirs of his son John Rice) shall have one equal share between them.  
  • Desires that his two old Negroes Jack & Jenny shall not be parted or separated but shall be permitted to live together in the same family.

  • Appoints his son Isaac Rice as sole executor
  • Witnesses were:  John C. Haley, Henry Matlock & John Williams

"Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," images, FamilySearch (,179950601 : accessed 12 March 2015), Roane > Settlements, Wills, 1802-1824, Vol. A > image 46 & 47 of 136; county courthouses, Tennessee.(orig. book pgs 60 & 61.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Don't Discount the Double Check

Today I was reminded of why you should always double check things.  I have been working with several other researchers on a Chromosome 20 puzzle .  We have 5 people who match along a given segment(with slight variations in the length) and who all match each other.    I had been waiting on my mother's results so that I could at least narrow down the lines over which I needed to search.  Those results came in Friday afternoon and late Saturday I ran a check on three of them against my Mom's results and neither matched.  This told me that the segment match was along my father's lines.  I noted this without writing it down and planned to email the researchers Sunday morning to let them know that we could narrow it down to Dad's lines.  Sunday morning came and I sat down to write the email and always one to double check...I checked again.  I input the numbers of the only kit that I hadn't run a one to one on with my Mom's kit....The only reason I had not ran this kit against hers was that this tester was a known closer cousin of one of the others and I thought that running just one was enough.  Was I ever puzzled when they had a match....Not on Chromosome 20...but on Chromosome 21.   It was a smaller match than the ones we were working on.  So I checked my notes and ran each of the remaining test against my Mom's.  None of them matched her accept this kit. I ran a One to One on mine and his and I had a match with him on Chromosome 21 also but it was smaller than the segment that he and Mom shared and that was why it was not showing in my Genome Mate.  So now, in addition to my Chromosome 20 puzzle...I have a Chromosome 21 puzzle.  One puzzle at a time....

Friday, March 06, 2015

Improvements at HeritageQuest Online site

This is a follow up to my post from several weeks ago March 4, 2015 --- HeritageQuest Online to be powered by Ancestry .  If you have access to HeritageQuest Online through your library or a society membership your luck just increased in leaps and bounds.  No more missing the elusive ancestor in the census records because the indexed name doesn't match your spelling of the name.  No more having to search on varied spellings.  The new search capability alone is one I'd been hoping to see here every since I began using the site many years back.

In addition to the 1790-1940 US Federal Census Schedules which are now all indexed you also get

  • 1850 & 1860 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedules
  • 1890 Veterans Schedules
  • Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880
  • U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes
  • U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885
  • U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895
  • U.S., Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940

You will also find improvements on search capabilities in the other sections of the site which includes Books & Directories, Revolutionary War Pension Files, Freedman's Bank,  PERSI and  US Serial Set.  Also be sure to check out the Research Aids and Maps sections.

If you don't currently have access to HeritageQuest Online, check with your local library or state library.  Many of libraries offer access to cardholders.  It is also one of the sites that doesn't require that you be at the library in order to access.