Monday, February 22, 2021

MyHeritage offers Free Access to DNA tools with DNA Upload Feb 21-28

I received this message from Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage yesterday and wanted to pass it on to anyone who has taken an autosomal DNA test at AncestryDNA, 23&me or FTDNA.

His message reads....

"For a limited time only, between February 21–28, 2021, we are waiving the unlock fee.You can now upload your DNA data to MyHeritage and get access to your Ethnicity Estimate, Genetic Groups, and other advanced DNA tools such as the Chromosome Browser, AutoClusters, and Theory of Family Relativity™ — absolutely free! These features will remain free forever for the DNA kits you upload to MyHeritage during this week."

Check out MyHeritage's Blog for more info on this.

My Potential Playlist for RootsTech Connect 2021

RootsTech 2021 runs February 25th–27th this year and since they have released the listing of sessions I've finally found time to make a must view list.  I'm so thankful it is free this year.  I consider myself an Advanced Genealogist having researched for 30+ years. I strive to produce professional level research but I have no desire to become  an Accredited or  a Certified Genealogist.  Your list may vary depending on your interest & experience level.  The entire list can be downloaded at the web page along with additional information about the event.

  1. Airtable: Organizing Your Research with a Relational Database Cheri Daniels
  2. An Introduction to FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries Samantha Sulser
  3. Analyzing Probate Records: Finding Our Ancestor’s Stories Cheri Hudson Passey
  4. AncestryDNA® 102: AncestryDNA® Matches for Family History Discoveries Kelly Becker
  5. AncestryDNA® 103: ThruLines™ and Custom Groups Randon Morford
  6. Beyond the FAN Approach: Inclusive Research Strategies Cheri Daniels
  7. Connect to Living Relatives with Ancestry Trees
  8. Crowdsourcing Your Brick Walls Drew Smith
  9. DNA Triangulation: What, Why, and How Roberta J. Estes
  10. Discovering Slave Owners in the Family Tree—From Reaction to Action Cheri Hudson Passey
  11. Discovering the Records of the Enslaved Cheri Hudson Passey; Sharon Batiste Gillins
  12. Droplets of Time: Using Timelines to Enhance Your Research Skills Shelley Viola Murphy
  13. Finding Ancestors through DNA Camille Andrus, AG; Lauren Vasylyev
  14. Finding Ancestral Homelands through DNA RHETT DABLING
  15. Finding Ancestral Homelands Using Your Surname Gregg Richardson; Anna Auger; Charlotte Noelle Champenois; Kelsey Richardson
  16. Finding the Elusive Maiden Name Ann G. Lawthers
  17. Genetic Genealogy Meets CSI Debbie Kennett
  18. How to Map Creeks, Roads, and More with Custom Google MyMaps Nicole Dyer
  19. Introduction to Ancestor DNA Reconstruction: Why, How, and Tools Amy Williams
  20. Managing Scanned and Digital Photos Jenny Joyce
  21. Map Connections Brittany Beattie
  22. Peeling Back the Layers: Citing Sources from Online Materials Diana Elder
  23. Report Writing for Clients Kari Meyer
  24. Ruling Out Instead of Ruling In: DNA & the GPS in Action Karen Stanbary, CG
  25. Secrets and Surprises: Uncovering Family History Mysteries through DNA Debbie Kennett
  26. Source Citations Are Easy Shannon Combs-Bennett
  27. Successful Remote Research Strategies Cheri Daniels
  28. The Case for DNA: A Three-Part Series Renate Yarborough Sanders
  29. The Genealogy Research Process: The WANDER Method Amy Johnson Crow
  30. The SCREEN Method—a DNA Match Note System That Really Helps! Alison Wilde
  31. The Search for Masonic Records Robert B. Hamilton
  32. Using DNA in a Client Research Project to Solve a Family Mystery Diana Elder
  33. Using DNA to Find Unknown Relatives Beth Taylor
  34. What Genealogists Should Know about the Laws of Slavery Amy Tanner Thiriot
  35. When Your Tree Is a Banyan: Untangling Endogamy Leah Larkin
  36. Where’s the Proof? Organizing and Writing Genealogical Findings Lisa Stokes
  37. African American Genealogical Research: Tracing Zachariah Embry, a Georgia Slave Jeanette K.B. Daniels 
  38. African American Genealogy—Getting Past the 1870 Brick Wall Janice Gilyard 
  39. African American Genealogy Challenges: What You Need to Know Shelley Viola Murphy
  40. Examining Runaway Slave Ads Bernice Alexander Bennett 
  41. Go Tell It on the Mountain: The Life of Rev. W.J. Hightower James R. Morgan III
  42. Go West! American Migration 1783 to 1900 Ann G. Lawthers 
  43. Healing from the Legacy of Slavery Sharon Leslie Morgan 
  44. Helping African Americans Trace to Slaveholding Ancestors Using DNA Andre Kearns 
  45. Hidden Genealogical Gems: Cultural Resources and Land Records of USDOI Daniel Fleming 
  46. Introduction to U.S. Land Records Jamie Lee McManus Mayhew 
  47. Military Service Records: Official Military Personnel Files Michael L. Strauss, AG 
  48. No Vital Records? No Problem! Document Vital Events David Joshua Taylor 
  49. Once Enslaved, Once Slaveholder—Forging a Forever Family Bond Rhonda Roederer; Beverly Bevel 
  50. Research in the Southern States Nicole Dyer 
  51. Research Strategies for Early Colonial Ancestors Shannon Combs-Bennett 
  52. Research Strategies in the Southern United States Julie Merrill 
  53. Researching the Enslaved in the U.S. Just Got Easier Nicka Sewell-Smith
  54. Researching the Freedmen’s Bureau Nicka Sewell-Smith 
  55. The Big Five: Researching the Five Largest Tribes Judy Muhn 
  56. Unlocking the Shoebox: Digitizing, Organizing, and Identifying Family Photos Maureen Taylor; Christopher Desmond; Nancy Desmond 
  57. USCT Pension Files: A Rich Resource for African American Genealogy Bernice Alexander Bennett; Toni Carrier 
  58. Using DNA to Find Ancestors Lost in Slavery Sherman McRae 
  59. Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Prove Unrecorded Events Thomas Wright Jones 
  60. Welcome to the New Tennessee State Library and Archives Chuck Sherrill
  61. What Does That Really Say? Records Analysis: State-Land State Deed Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL 
I'm not sure when they will be letting us build our playlist on the site.  I'd like to have it done a few days before so I can begin sessions as soon as they open them.  There really is something for everyone at every level.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

From Confederate Pension Apps. of J G Cook & W H Osteen

From the Confederate Pension application of J G Cook(Jefferson Gideon Cook)
8th Confederate Regiment Company A
Commanders: Colonel Prather & Captain Wright

Statement from W H Osteen who tells how they got out of the Confederate Army.

I was in the army with Cook and know that he was an upright good soldier and an honorable man. The regiment to which we belonged was sent out to get cattle to feed the soldiers, and we were cut off from the rest of the army and surrounded by ten thousand Yankees. We started at dark going south, road all night and then found that we were right on ten thousand Yankee soldiers. We then had to turn back and the next evening about sundown got back into the place we started from the night before.

The colonel then told the captains to form the man in a circle and he made us a nice talk and told us that we had no ammunition there was nothing to do but try to get back home safely if we could. He told each of the captains to take their men as near home as they could and turn them loose to do the best they could. This was in January of 1865 this is how we got out of the army.

W H Osteen

Statement taken Dec 1927 at Unionville, TN Notarized by W.O. Stem

I'd wondered where J. G. Cook and W. H Osteen were at when this occurred. With that question I went looking for a pension application for W.H. Osteen. Not every Confederate soldier applied for a pension but I did manage to find his application. He was not in the 8th Regiment with J. G. Cook but was in the 21st(Carter's) Calvary and apparently their two regiments along with others were together when the Colonel cut them loose. Where were they at? Pulaski.

But which one? So I am reading further thru the application and I find a statement by W.G. Hight. This would be William Garrett Hight son of William Green Hight.

W.G. Hight's sworn statement

"On Hood's Advance into Tennessee W.H. Osteen was sworn to the the(sic) Confederate Army at Florence, Ala & he was with at Battle of Lawrenceburg, Berlin, Franklin & skirmished around Murfreesboro for about 1 week. Our command was ordered to Shelbyville, Tenn. and I was captured in Shelbyville and not said W H Osteen any more during the war." W G Hight(notarized statement given 7 March 1926) A letter written to the pension board by W H Osteen is also in the file and the handwritten letter does say they were in Pulaski, Tennessee. My question is answered but I want to finish reading thru this file. Next is a notarized statement by J.G. Cook in which it says that he first met W H Osteen in December 1864 at Shelbyville and tells of how they were disbanded. Also mentions Col Bob Withers whose name was marked thru on J. G. Cook's application and replaced with Col Prather.

W H. Osteen is buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Bedford Co TN along with a good number of his ancestors who had lived and died in the Bedford Co TN area.


"Tennessee, Confederate Pension Applications, Soldiers and Widows, 1891-1965," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 31 October 2018), Filed by Soldier (W H Osteen--S16031) > no 15905-16060 > images 1578-1593 of 2047; State Library and Archives, Nashville.
"Tennessee, Confederate Pension Applications, Soldiers and Widows, 1891-1965," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 31 October 2018), Filed by Soldier(J G Cook--S16314 > no 16264-16474 > image 524-539 of 2139; State Library and Archives, Nashville.

Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 21 February 2021), memorial page for William Henry Harrison Osteen (29 Oct 1847–31 Aug 1934), Find a Grave Memorial no. 29558168, citing Cedar Grove Cemetery, Bedford County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Patsy Paterson (contributor 46596020).

Friday, February 19, 2021

Jacob Crick entry--Williamson Co TN Road Book Vol. 2


Ordered that Jacob Crick oversee the clearing out and keeping in repair the road of the second class of which Noah Putman was late overseer beginning at the county line north east of Maj Abraham Byers and crossing the ridge where the old road crosses on until in sight of John Woods thence to the left of his plantation so as to strike the Columbia road north of David Lambs, thence with said road to the town of Versailles, thence north with the main street through said town thence a straight course to the forks of the roads between Thomas Lamb and Thomas Hendrix Senior, thence with the present road through Merriman Landrum's land thence with the general direction of said road to the county line near the Methodist meeting house and that the hands within the bounds of Captain John Webb's Militia Company so as not to interfere with the hands working on the roads Franklin or Columbia road work thence under his direction

Notes:  from surrounding entries the date appears to be Fall of 1834.


"Road books, 1834-1872"Williamson County Tennessee; browsable images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 February 2021), Vol. 2, pg. 192, Jacob Crick entry[bottom of page]; imaged by Tennessee State library and Archives (Nashville, TN) 1966. 

Wm C Cook entry -- Williamson Co TN Road Book Vol.2

Williamson Co TN Vol 2 Road Book--Index


Ordered that William C Cook oversee that part of the fishing ford road of which Jacob Crick was late overseer and that all the hands on the south side of the road  leading leading(sic) from Murfreesborough to Columbia and all the hands that worked under said Crick work therein under his direction and that they work said road from the Bedford County line to the Rutherford County line.

Notes:  There is no date given in the entry however looking at the surrounding entries it appears to be Fall of 1838.  Where is Volume 1 of the Road Books?  Does it no longer exist?  I looked for it on the digitized microfilmed images but looks like this roll of microfilm was of Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of the Williamson Co TN Road Books. Will see if I can locate the Jacob Crick entry and update if I do find it.


Williamson Co TN Road Book Vol 2 pg 238 William C Cook; imaged by Tennessee State library and Archives (Nashville, TN) 1966, image online by at (accessed 19 Feb 2021)

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Dear Mother and all our brood

Today, while searching thru a compact disc holder I found a letter that I'd put away for safe keeping. I'd forgotten about it obviously as seems to be the case for most things I put away for safe keeping. I initially thought it was a letter written by one of Dad's older sisters because the writing looked similar to theirs. It was actually a letter from my paternal Grandfather. I did discover a few things and without doing a full transcription of the letter I'm listing them below  

  • He'd put the date at the top--11/9/66 and started off the letter--- Dear Mother and all our brood.
  • Not only was it Nov 9, 1966 but it was 11:25 a.m. when he began writing the letter and he'd just finished eating breakfast.  
  • It had been raining some the last few days.
  • He'd been to the store where he purchased 2 1bs of beans, some canned biscuits and one other item which I believe was eggs(writing was really faint)
  • Apparently my grandmother had given him a sample that she got of 44 cough and cold meds. I'm guess it is the Vicks 44 cough and cold lozenges because he describes putting one in his mouth and letting it melt which opened up his nose and helped him get the best rest that night.
  • He was sending Bill(my Dad) a note.--I don't know what happened to the note or its contents but looks like it may have been something about him needing help with his TV or radio because he says: "I wish he could just put a tube in the radio because it takes so much electric to run the TV.
  • He says he likes to hear the news on the radio and mentions that he and Magnus(his oldest daughter) used to listen to Herb Shriner("He sure is a funny man")
  • The notepad paper on which this letter was written is 5 1/2 inches by 9 inches and he had written on both front and back(and numbered the pages)
  • I also noticed that when he mentioned amounts he would include both the word and the numeral (example:  six 6)
This note along with another he wrote to Pearl in June of 1966 in included in the family archive binder which I started of Pearl's papers I inherited.  I have a catalog listing of the papers which are included in the binder.  A previous post about the binder can be found at Just a Small Portion of my Family's Paper Trail.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Sparta TN Post Office-- 30th June 1824

Remaining in the Post Office at Sparta, Tenn on the 30th of June, 1824, which if not taken out, before the first day of October next, will be sent to the General Post Office, as dead letters.

Hosea Arnold, George Anderson Esq., Robert Anderson.

Nathaniel Bramblett, Ephrim Berry, John Bussel, Lunsford Bagwell, Isham Bradley. Joshua Brown, Jesse Brewer, Wm J Bennet, Washington Burgess.

Robert Campbell, Lawson Cawthron, Mrs. Polly C Cook, Joseph Clark, Jesse Carter, Clerk of the Supreme court of Errors and Appeals, Joseph Crowover.

George Defreese, Amon L Davis, James Davis, Jesse Dotson, Patrick H. Darby.

John W Gleason, Robert Glenn, John W Gaugh, George W Gibbs, Uriah Gibbs, Mr. Garner, Wm Green, Hugh Gracey.

Benjamin Hunter(2), N. Haggard, Harrison Holland, Andrew Hynes, James T Holeman, Peter Howent, John Hoozly, Jacob Hyder, James W Hart,  James C Hays, John Heath, Mathias Hutson.

Mrs Sally Isham.

Graham Jackson.

Mr Lyons, J Lincoln, Wayman Leftwich(2), Henry Lyda(2), Thomas Lemons, Rhoda Ledbetter, Jacob Lane or A Dibrel, John Loller, James Lowey.

John Medley, John McElhany, Joseph Milrany, col. Wm Mitchell, Qeven McFarland, Wm May, Iredele Marsh, Geo W Miller, John McNabb, William Mackey, Alex'r McEwen(2) Jas. Moore, Thomas W marsh(2).

Willie Norman, Richard Nelson(4),

John Patton, Mrs Elizabeth Peek, James Presser.

Alex'r Reed, John Rutledge, Humphrey Roberts, James Randals, Mrs Jane Reed, Randale Ramsy, Thomas Reeder(2), Jacob Robinson, Thomas Riddles, capt Charles Reeves.

Thomas Shirley, Wm Sarrells, Berry Stewart, John Sowell, Samuel Spollox, James Smith, Wm Simpson, Wm Stamps, Charles Smith, Hicks Shropshire, Mrs Margaret Shirly, Eli Sims & Neighbors, Mrs Elizabeth Smith, Junior Sanders, John Scoggin Sen.

Benjamin Thomas, Abraham Taylor(2) Geo Thomas, Robert Templeton.

John Weaver, Thomas Walling, Geo Welch, Thos Williams, Rosanah Wilson, Abner Wood, Samuel Wilson(2), Henry Williams, Elisha Webb, Tom Waltons,  

124 Letters

Wm H Smith Post Master

June 7th.


The Sparta Review (Sparta, Tennessee) 14 Jul 1824, Wed  Page 3 Col 4 & 5. Imaged at

Additional Notes:  Two corrections were made to group the names in the appropriate group and one where the list name and surname was obviously transposed.  As always consult original.  Numbers were listed after the names when there was more than one letter being held at the P.O.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Bedford Co TN Deed--Holt to Jakes(1913)

Transcription of Land Sale /Deed Record. from Holt to Jakes. 
Filed Date & Time"  Dec 1st, 1913 at 1:20 o'clock P.M.

For the consideration of the sum of $750 to us paid and to be paid by Annie Jakes and James Jakes, we have this day bargained and sold, and do by these presents sell, transfer, and convey unto Annie Jakes, her heirs and assigns forever all the right, title, claim and interest which we have in and to the following described tract of land lying and being in the 6th Civil District of Bedford County state of Tennessee and bounded on the North by the lands of E T Mallard and B. K. Arnold and on the east by the lands of_____  Easton(note:  the blank is in the record); on the south by the land of I. N. Stafford, and on the west by the land of S.M. Hill containing 70 Acres be the same more or less being the same land purchased by us from JW Wilkerson by deed dated November 5th 1910 and registered in the register's office for Bedford County Tennessee in deed book 17 Page 442 & 443 to which deed reference is here made for full particulars as to the metes and bounds $350 cash paid,  the receipt of which we hereby acknowledge and the reminder in two equal payments of $200 each evidence by notes bearing a lien and the legal rate of interest due and payable in one and two years respectively from October 1st 1913 and to secure their payment and all accrued interest a lien is herein retained on the land hearin conveyed. The interest on said notes to be paid annually.  To have and to hold the same to her the said Annie Jakes her heirs and assigns forever.  And we do covenant  with the said Annie Jakes, that we are lawfully seized and possessed  of said land, have a good right to convey it, and the same is unencumbered. 
We further covenant  and bind ourselves,  our heirs and assigns against the lawful claims  of all persons whomsoever. 
It is agreed, and a part of the consideration entering into this sale, that if suit is brought for collection of the deferred payments  set out, or to enforce the vendor's lien that the bargainee herein waives the right of redemption or other equities in law that would defer the collection  of said notes and interest.  This September 23, 1913.  
R.M. Holt
Irene Holt

State of Oklahoma
Oklahoma County
Personally appeared before me Henry O Sitler's a notary public in and for said county and state the within named R M Holt and wife Irene Holt the bargainers with whom I am personally acquainted,  and who acknowledge that they executed the within deed instrument for the purposes therein contained. And Irene Holt wife of the said R M Holt having personally appeared before me privately and apart from her husband the said Irene Holt acknowledged the execution of the said deed to have been done by her freely voluntarily and understandingly without compulsion or constraint from said husband and for the purposes therein expressed. 
Witness my hand and official seal at Oklahoma City Oklahoma the 7th day of October 1913.

(Seal)  Henry O. Setler  Notary Public

Filed for record December 1st, 1913 at 1:20 o'clock P.M.

The ______Easton is actually Eaton and most likely Abe Eaton who within the next year or so buys the property from Annie and James Jakes.(see earlier post)

Bedford Co TN Deed Book 20 pg 578 & 579
Imaged at Film # 008567915  Image 661 of 702

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

A few pre-1820s Deeds--Hights in Franklin Co NC

I've previously blogged about the Hight family specifically John Hight of Franklin Co NC. You can see those posts at the following links.

Will of John Hight--Franklin(1796)Co NC(1795) Purchasers from the Estate Sale of John Hight--Franklin Co NC(1796)

Looking at the elements of the deeds along with the two previous blog post about John Hight you can see surnames repeating.

Hights in the index of Deeds of Franklin Co NC in the earlier years(not all inclusive)

Franklin Co NC--John Hight Sr.  to Francis Taylor Franklin Co. NC Deed Book 8  pg 23  (1796)

Amount of Land: 100 acres

Purchase Price:  60 pounds current money of Virginia

Bargain made:  14 Oct 1795

Recorded:  Sept Court 1796

Witnesses: Harbird Hight & Daniel Edwards

Direct Link

Franklin Co NC-- Francis A.Hight to Goodman Smith Franklin Co NC Deed Book 17 pg 201

Amount of Land: 92 acres

Purchase Price:  56 pounds

Bargain made:  11 March 1808

Recorded:  March sessions 1817

Witnesses:  Harbird Hight and Cliff Finch

Others mentioned in Land Description:  Gracy T Hight,  Reuban Huff, and _______ Power

The signature at the end of the deed reads Francis Ann Hight

Direct Link  


Franklin Co NC--Harbird Hight to John Fuller Franklin Co NC Deed Book 15 pg 113 (1810)

Amount of Land: 2 acres

Purchase Price:  3 pounds

Bargain made:  17 Dec 1808

Recorded:  June Session 1810

Witnesses: Cliff Finch and James H Hight

Direct Link

Franklin Co NC-- James H.Hight to Goodman Smith Franklin Co NC Deed Book 17 pg 191

Amount of Land:  92 acres

Purchase Price:  $207

Bargain made:  28 Oct 1812

Recorded:  March Session 1817

Witnesses: John Y Jones, John Young

Direct Link

Monday, February 01, 2021

Another David T W Cook sighting

Went looking thru the land deeds for Franklin Co NC at FamilySearch.  I focused on the ones covering 1800-1825 for the most part.  Found more of David T W Cook's paper trail 
(you will want to log in to FamilySearch before clicking on links--it's free)

Franklin Co NC Deeds

Cook indexed Entries start at

David TW Cook to John Person deed identifies the land as land which David TW Cook bought from John Davis of South Carolina. (Description included in entry)
Amount of Land: 150 acres
Purchase Price: $310
Bargain made: Oct 12 1802
Recorded: Sept 1804 session
Witnesses: Francis Taylor and Joseph Cook

Direct links to images 461 & 462 (Franklin Co NC Deed Book 3 pg 259 & 260)

Joseph Cook Deed to John McLeroy Jr.(Franklin Co NC Deed Book 15 pg 5)
Amount of Land: 156 acres
Purchase Price: $936
Bargain Made: 17 Jan 1809
Recorded: June Session 1809
Witnesses: Richard Jones and J Person

Direct link to image 592 (Book 15 pg 5)

In Franklin Co NC Deed Book 16 pg 211 there is an entry which is indexed as David Cook and Joseph Cook and their wives to Benj L Rainey. Looking at the document you can see it contains corrections using editing marks that show the surnames as Crook. The wives names are Rebecca and Eliza which doesn't come remotely close to being the names of either Joseph or David's wives(which were Tamor and Lydia.)
Direct link to the entry: