Monday, September 26, 2022

Did Plans Fall Through?

One of the items I found the other night while reviewing search results at was an announcement in the local social news of the Iola Register concerning  George Solifelt and Tennie.  Her name is listed incorrectly as Jennie.  Still not yet able to prove the uncle / niece relationship but feel confident that this mention is the George & Tennie I've been researching.

This was during a time period for which I didn't have much information for George and Tennie other than a deed from them to Arthur T Cundy Lot 6 Harmons Sub-division an Add to Iola $1020(deed transfer from the Iola Register) Did they not go?  If they did, they were back in Iola by the time of the 1930 Census.  What happened?  They lived at 616 N 1st at the time of the 1920 Census.  Tennie is not listed in the 1929 City Directories of Iola but George is listed with a residence of 711 S. Jefferson Ave.  I wasn't able to find an Iola directory for 1928. A search for Fort Dodge or Ford County directories for the years in question didn't turn up any online.  Need to contact the library for that area to see if any directories for those years exist.  So now I'm wondering what was going on in Fort Dodge that made them want to move there about 1927.


 “Locals,” The Iola Register, 6 Oct 1927, p. 3, col. 2; digital images, ( : accessed 24 Sep 2022).

Polk's Iola(Kansas) City Directory 1929, R.L. Polk & Co Publishers Kansas City, MO; imaged in "U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995," database, ( : accessed 26 Sep 2022), Kansas > Iola > 1929 > Polk´s Iola City Directory, 1929.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Union Soldier's Letter Home from Danville(Va.)

Gathering information on George Solifelt and found a few new items. One item is a letter home that was published in the Lewistown, PA paper. The letter was written by Union soldier, Joseph Tice who was captured during the Civil War and held at Danville.  The majority of the guys he mentions are part of Co E 20th PA Cavalry.  The only soldier I found by the name of Samuel Wasson for PA was from the 9th PA Infantry.

Danville, C.S.M. Prison

February 2, 1865
Dear Mother:-- This is the first opportuni
ty I have had to write to you since I am a
prisoner, and I hope these few lines will
reach you.  I was captured on the 19th of
July, at Ashby's Gap, along with Geo. Soli-
felt, Larry Brought, John Crawford, James
Summers and Harrison Cupples, from Free
dom Forge.

We are all well and in good spirits, and
expect to be exchanged soon.  Lewis Briner
and John Miller are well also. Samuel Was
son, from Mt. Union, died on the 8th of Nov
1864; please inform his relatives. We all
send much love and expect to hear from you
as soon as you receive this.  Your son,
                            Joseph Tice
P.S. Please inform the boys' friends of 
their welfare.
Direct:--  C.S.M. Prison, No. 1, 
                    Danville, Va.
Care Lt. Col. R.C. Smith


Lewistown Gazette(Lewistown, Pennsylvania) 1st March 1865 Page 3 Col 1 (at 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Researching Tennie-- including a few To-Do items

I've always loved census records because they provide me with so much information along with a time and place framework for finding more documents and more information. After all, pretty much every document you find will lead you to another document.   I'm currently studying a "shirttail relative."  Tennie was the step daughter of my paternal Grandfather's paternal uncle. 😀  The following update on my research detailing the census records that led me to wills, marriage records, newspaper articles, pension files and a number of other records will give you an idea of what can be found if you know where to look.  With the advances in indexing. finding our folks when they are in an unexpected location is so much easier than it used to be.  If you are interested in seeing the sources I mention in this post, they can be found in my tree at Ancestry.  If you don't have an Ancestry subscription, try accessing it thru your local library. 

Tennessee "Tennie" Ferguson's Census entries
  • Two entries(1870 & 1880) find her in Bedford Co TN as a Cook(her step Dad's surname)
  • One entry(1900) finds her in Sebastian Co AR as Tennie Hill with 2nd husband, Henry F Hill
  • Four entries(1910, 1920, 1930 & 1940) find her in Allen Co. KS with George H. Solifelt. She is listed as his Niece.  That relationship remains unproven.
  • I also have her in one state census(1925) and a city census(1943)
  • The 1900 census is the only census where there is evidence that Tennie had children.  She is listed as Mother of 1 child 0 children living.  I don't know if that was from her marriage to Henry or from her 1st marriage which I can't seem to find much about other than enough info to prove I have the correct Tennie.
  • Never enumerated under her actual maiden name.
  • Never enumerated under her 1st married name.
Henry F Hill's Census Entries
  • Three census(1850, 1860 & 1870) records with parents in Washington Co, Morgan Co and Perry Co of Ohio.
  • One entry(his final in 1900) w/ wife Tennie in Sebastian Co AR(They married in 1886 in Franklin Co Ark)
  • Not Census Related but worth mentioning:  Henry was a US Pension Agent and a US Civil War Vet.  I've ordered his pension and also a file which contains information on a fraudulent practices investigation against him during his time as a pension agent.  Can hardly wait to see what new info those provide.

George H Solifelt Census Entries
  • Census entries with Tennie(1910, 1920 & 1930) in Iola Allen Co KS and their State Census from 1925
  • 1900 US Federal Census Mifflin Co PA where he is known to have been
George is a complicated character.  
  • He has a paper trail laid out in his obit(likely written by Tennie)which doesn't exactly match the one I've finding in records. 
  • He is also a veteran who was a POW and was in the Pennsylvania Eastern State Penitentiary in August of 1870.
  • His surname has a variety of spellings:  Solifelt, Solifell, Solifeld, Sollifield etc. and then he has two aliases George Sullivan and Theodore Sullivan which are listed on his pension index card.  
  • He was in TX when he filed for his pension in 1886.  I have the Application and the Certificate #s and need to get a copy of his pension papers as well.
Tennie did file for a widow's pension and I also need to get copies of those files.  I'm hoping to find more info about Tennie's first husband, Hugh Clawson as well.  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Bigham of Bell Buckle Tennessee

Periodically I search for surnames or locations at the Hathitrust site just to see what is out there or has been added since my last search. A search on my paternal grandmother's place of birth(Bell Buckle, TN) pulled up a number of the American Jack Stock Stud Books.  There was a gentleman who lived in Bell Buckle who owned some of the livestock that was listed. His name was Robert Lingo Bigham(sometimes spelled Bingham). I wonder if my Grandmother or her parents knew him.  It seems likely as her family had raised horses and other livestock in Bell Buckle around the same time period that he and his family lived there.  He is listed as a Trader in Livestock for the 1910 and the 1920 Census.  He passed in April 1st 1925 at the age of 56 and is buried in the Hazel Cemetery in Bedford Co TN.

If you are lucky enough to have your family listed as an owner or breeder that gives you additional details about their life.  

  • "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 June 2017), Tennessee > Bedford > Civil District 4 > ED 5 > image 3 of 30; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: NARA, n.d.).
  • "United States Census, 1920", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 3 February 2021), Robert L Bingham, 1920.
  • American jack stock stud book; Vol. 8, 1909. Nashville: American breeders Association of Jacks and Jennets. digitized by Google
  • "Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 1 March 2021), R. L. Bingham in entry for Irene Bingham, 6 Apr 1920; Death, Bell Buckle, Bedford, Tennessee, United States, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 18 September 2022), memorial page for Robert Lingo Bingham (14 Feb 1869–1 Apr 1925), Find a Grave Memorial ID 113380480, citing Hazel Cemetery, Bell Buckle, Bedford County, Tennessee, USA; Maintained by Sleepy Hill (contributor 47177870).

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Receipt from Dr. Andrew Hollabaugh, M.D.

 Two of the items in the Cooke/Jakes Family Archives binder are receipts from where my grandmother was a patient of Dr. Andrew Hollabaugh.  This particular one is from 23rd of August 1962.  There is another one dated 14th March 1963.  Dr. Hollabaugh suffered a fatal heart attack on the 7th of April 1963.

A few interesting items about Dr. Hollabaugh: 

  • Medical Degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine(1926)
  • Post Graduate Work at Nashville General & New York Poly Clinic Hospital.
  • Eye, Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist(1929)
  • He had also been an instructor at Vanderbilt Medical School in addition to being a member of the Nashville Academy of Medicine, Davidson County Medical Association and American Medical Association.
  • Member of Phi Beta Pi fraternity
  • Member of St. George's Episcopal Church
  • Buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville(which is also where my grandmother is buried)
If you are interested in knowing more about my Cooke/Jakes Family Archives binder you can read more about it in my post from 4 years ago entitled "Just a Small Portion of a Family's Paper Trail."


Cooke/Jakes Family Archive Binder, Receipt from the office of Dr. Andrew Hollabaugh dated 1962 Aug 23; binder is currently held by Marie Cooke Beckman.

“Hollabaugh Dies at 60,” The Tennessean, 08 Apr 1963, p. 19, col. 3; digital images, ( : accessed 17 Sep 2022).

Comparison of 4C Descendants of Jabel Putman


Last month I posted a chart which compared the amount of shared DNA between 3 of my siblings and myself to a set of 4 siblings which are 4th cousins to us.  They were all descendants of William Putman, son of Jabel Putman. My siblings and I descend thru Jabel's daughter Elizabeth Putman Cook.  I thought it might also be interesting to see a chart of the other 4th cousins who also descend thru Jabel Putman compared to my siblings and myself.  I didn't include one of my brothers in this comparison because he isn't tested at all the sites which I used to collect the matches. There is representation from all but 2 of Jabel's children who had children.  I wasn't able to include descendants of their branches because I couldn't find tested descendants thru them who were 4th Cousins to us.  It seems we have an abundance of 4C1R from Jabel.  As I did in my previous chart I also included a 3C1R's amount(shown in green) so there would be a point of reference for a generation closer to the Most Recent Common Ancestor(MRCA).

Nothing really conclusive to tell if Wm Putman's descendants are Double 4C with us.  It's believed that Wm Putman's wife was the sister of Elizabeth Putman Cook's husband, Wm C Cook but we have no definite proof as we have not located Wm & Anna's marriage nor do we have definite proof of the parents of Wm C Cook.  

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Probate Records of William McCoy, Williamson Co TN Dist 25 resident

I found mention of a William Cook which is likely my 2nd Great Grandfather, William C Cook in the Williamson County Minute Books, Vol 9,  page 173.  The case is that of Samuel B Robinson  admin & c vs Ann McCoy & als (sic) and begins at the bottom of page 172.  My access to the records was via the microfilmed books which were filmed by the TN State Library and Archives in 1966 in a 19 reel set and digitized by FamilySearch which has made them available at their website   Volume 9 of the Williamson Co TN Minute books can be found FamilySearch on the reel which contains v. 9-11 1837-1845(Film # 008150669).   The image is 109 of 833.

You can find records available to view online from home for Williamson Co TN and other areas by using the FamilySearch catalog.  Enter Place of interest and select availability online.  See my blog post on how to browse the unindexed records from a few years ago.

Samuel B Robinson was appointed the administrator of Wm McCoy's estate.  Wm McCoy died in 1836(Estate Sale Records date is 28th Sept 1836) however he is listed in years 1836,1837, and 1838 on the Williamson Co TN Tax list. Usually it will say "heirs of" on a tax list but it may be because his estate wasn't yet settled.  His probate is recorded in Williamson Co TN Will Book 7 pg 530 on Ancestry.  It appears that Wm died with more debt than he had the ability to cover without selling land which he owned.  Samuel was advised that it can be best settled by selling the land McCoy owned as one large lot rather than individual lots and he is petitioning the court to ask them to let him do this so he can settle the estate.

Reasons I believe this is my William Clifford Cook
  • Two of William's brother-in-laws are listed among those who(like William) are owed money by William McCoy.
  • Samuel B Robinson & William McCoy were residents of District 25 of Williamson Co TN.  
  • District 25 is the area in which Wm C Cook is known to have lived 
  • Joseph S Cook(over whose estate Wm C Cook was appointed admin) also lived in District 25 and is somehow related to Wm C Cook though their exact relationship has not yet been proven. Jos. S. Cook's probate documents put Wm C Cook in Williamson Co TN in Oct 1838.
  • Jos S Cook and Wm C Cook are the only persons with the Cook surname that I have found within Dist 25 of Williamson Co TN during the time period covered.
  • There are 4 others listed who are also Williamson Co TN Dist 25 residents:  Jackson, Hill, Patterson, and Ransom.
The case records provide me with more information to add to my page about residents of Williamson Co TN Dist 25.  I hope to also locate the notice from the newspaper about the sale mention within the case record.  I was able to find some additional records on William McCoy.  Below is the information I was able to gather from reading the Williamson Co TN court minutes of 26th July 1838. 

Samuel B Robinson admin &c


Ann McCoy & als

Be it remembered that this cause cam on to be again heard on the bill former order and report of the clerk which is in the words and figures following  The undersigned clerk & C to whom this cause stands referred by an interlocutory decree made  ___ at the present term of this civil reports that he has certain proof upon affidavit which is here with filed as to whether the land mentioned in the Pleadings? would sell for more in lots or whether it would sell for more or a better price if sold all together from which proof he is inclined to believe it would sell for a better price if sold all together as in one lot.  As to that part of said interlocutory decree which requires him to take an account with respect to the administration of the estate b the complainant as administrator aforesaid  he reports that he has on ???? the settlement of said administrator so  ? made with the  clerk of the county court of Williamson County in pursuance of an act of assembly in such case made and provided from which settlement it appears that there is due said administrator the sum of Twenty one dollars and ninety one cents

(page break --pg 173)

and that the personal estate is exhausted--and that there is still due and owing from said estate the following debts to wit:

To Thomas Black $25
To William Cook $12
To Nathan Jackson $5
To Benjamin Ransom $5
To Wm Putman $5
To Carson Patterson $10
To David McCoy $5
To Wm Hill $7
To I. Ransom $22
To James M Simpson $7
To S Mayfield $2.50
To Hiram Putman $35
amounting in total to $114.50(This total listed here is less than the one I arrived at when I did a total from this list.  I did double check the amount owed each person and believe I have all of those correct.  Not sure about his math but this appears to be what is written in the book)

and he further reports that from the best information and proof so to the probable value of land mentioned in the complainants bill that said land is worth from three to four dollars per acre all which is respectfully submitted   Jno W Allen From which being read & heard & not being excepted to is in all things confirmed and it appearing to the court that the personal estate of William McCoy dec'd has been exhausted by the administrating in the payment of bona fide debts of the --- --- estate pf said estate and that there still remain bona fide debts against said estate unpaid and it further appearing that it is necessary that the whole of said tract of land be sold for the purpose of paying said unpaid debts and that it is to the interest of the defendants & the creditors that the whole of said tract of land be sold in one lot.  It is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed by the court that the complainant Samuel B Robinson administrator as aforesaid sell the tract of land described in this bill at pulick sale to the highest bidder at Versailles in Williamson County giving forty days notice upon a credit of six and eighteen months and that he takes the bonds of the purchasers with two good freehold sureties for the payment of the purchase money and also ?  a lien on the land for the payment of the purchase money.  It is also ordered that the complainants advertise the time, place and terms of said sale in some publick news papers printed in the town of Franklin and that said Robinson make report to the next term of this court until when when(sic) all other matters are resolved??


Friday, September 09, 2022

Taking advantage of Webtember at Legacy Family Tree Webinars


My paternal grandfather, Thomas D. Cooke was born in the area which was Fruit Valley, TN.  I've written about that several times in blog posts here and how that Post Office no longer exist.  This is the announcement of that in the Post Office Daily Bulletin.  I went looking for this after attending a presentation entitled "Delivering the Mail: Records of the United States Post Office" by Michael L. Strauss, AG.  This webinar was part of the Legacy Family Tree Webinars that are being offered as part of  "Webtember,"  If you aren't catching these live, you still have an opportunity to view them.  See Webtember:  All Genealogy.  All September Long!  I also really enjoyed the webinar "What’s Next When You Are Told Those Records Were 'Burnt up' ” by  J. Mark Lowe. FUGA.

“Post Offices Discontinued,” Daily Bulletin of Orders Affecting The Post Office, 10 Aug 1905, Vol 26 Issue 7756. Sheet 1, col 2; digital images, THE DIGITIZED US POSTAL BULLETINS and PL&Rs 1880 - 2013 ( accessed: 9 Aug 2022). 

Friday, September 02, 2022

NARA Catalog Search Reveals Additional Records

While I was thinking of things I need to do and items I need to order, I pulled(at Ancestry) the US Civil War Pension Index Card for Henry F Hill and his wife Tennie(Ferguson) Hill, step-daughter of James Polk Cook. I need to order copies of Henry's pension file and his widow's file. I'd also like to see the service files for Henry. He was a US Pension agent in the Ozark Arkansas area. On a whim I searched the NARA catalog and found a case file containing an investigation about him.

"These records are part of subseries 1. This file contains the oath of allegiance of Henry F. Hill of Huntsville and Ozark, Arkansas, that was required for admission to practice before the Bureau of Pensions, as well as investigative reports and correspondence about procedural matters and misconduct by Mr. Hill in his capacity as a notary public." I need to get copies of the pension files of Henry and Tennie and also THIS!!

While I'm at it, it would also be a good idea to get a copy of the service records of George H Solifelt. For those who haven't read my previous blog posts about Tennie, this was the man who Tennie(about 5 yrs after Henry's death) moved from Arkansas to Iola Kansas with and lived with him as his niece. I've yet to find any connection to confirm that she was his niece. I've checked George's family which is sketchy at best and I'm pretty familiar with her parents and step-dad's families. So now I'm looking to see if the niece relationship is thru her marriage to Henry. Henry was born in OH but his parents were from Maryland and Vermont. George on the other hand, was from Pennsylvania and served some time in prison. I have little hope that the Niece/Uncle story is valid but I am checking everywhere.