Friday, March 29, 2024

Pope Family Documents Name Granville Co. NC and Williamson Co. TN Enslaved

Osborn Pope, born before 1755 if we believe his age from the 1800 US Federal Census of Granville, wrote his will on 3 April 1811.  His will was recorded in Granville Co North Carolina in the February term of 1812. In the Index for Granville Records under Jane Nicholson's entry, it is listed as being recorded Feb 1818 however, the record itself shows that it was recorded in February Term of 1812--another reason to seek out earlier and original sources. Within the will are the names of some enslaved with details on what should happen  after his death. See will at the site listed in the citation below.

"Granville, North Carolina, United States records," Osborne Pope Will, Feb. Court 1812, Will book Vol 7, p 229;  images, FamilySearch ( : accessed Mar 29, 2024), image 245 of 710; IGN 007639740.

In addition to the will recorded in Granville County, North Carolina there was also a case filed in  Williamson Co Tennessee which focused on that probate file in the years 1825 & 1826.  If you have worked in Williamson Co TN Probate you know there was an attempt to index and contain files in folders with a listing on index cards which was meant to be somewhat of a summary of the folders contents.  While this was done with the best of intentions, it is still necessary to examine each document.  There are at least 2 cases I know of in my own research where persons of the same name have been combined into one folder without any notation which makes it appear that the documents were all for ONE person. I would caution researchers when they use this set to exam each document with this in mind.  I have contacted the archives clerk and asked them to include a notation when I found this had occurred once I sorted out which documents belonged to each of the same named persons.  That said, this Osborne Pope file is a full of information for anyone researching persons enslaved by the Granville Co NC Pope Family.  It mentions the names and ages of the children of the enslaved that have been born between the time period of 1812 and 1825.

"Tennessee Probate Court Files, 1795-1955," Probate Folder Osborne Pope(of Granville Co., NC), images, FamilySearch
( : accessed 29 March 2024), Williamson > County Court, Probate, divorce & family records > 1800-1899 > Pewitt, Joel - Potts, Mary Ann > image 2340 of 2960; IGN # 004727159.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Union Ridge Baptist Church--Bedford Co TN Deeds

Image I created using DALL-E3 To depict a rural church This is NOT Union Ridge Or Rover Baptist Church
Image created using DALL-E3

I discovered a deed on which W C Cook(my 2nd Gr Grpa) was a witness.  It had to do with lands for the Union Ridge Church.  Record loss for the period of 1850ish to the early 1860s makes that era difficult to research, so anytime I find something covering that time period it really helps.  There was an attempt made to record lost deeds in a notebook by the county clerk.  Another great help is a book published on that effort by Helen and Tim Marsh. 

Marsh, Helen C., and Tim R. Marsh. "The Burned Deed Index of Bedford County, Tennessee 1852-1861". Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1999. 

The deed book entry(Deed Book NNN pg 69) on which I found W C Cook as witness is written in very faint ink but it appears that it is an attempt to make sure that the original bargain of 1854 is on record.  I've listed notes below on the dates and persons mentioned.

Thomason & John Jordan  
Deacons of Union Ridge:
Wm Elmore and R A Gantt 

Original Bargained on 7 Oct 1854
Witnessed on 6 Nov 1854 by
William C Cook
D A Elmore 
William Floyd

W T Thomason
John Jordan

Noted on 7 Nov 1854 in Notebook #2 pg 32
Recorded the same day in Book VV pg 404-405
Act of 1865 Ch 28
Registered 28 April 1877
Recorded 30 April 1877

"Bedford, Tennessee, United States records," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed Mar 24, 2024), image 61 of 638; IGN 008567899; citing, Bedford Co. TN Deed Book NNN, p 69, Deed from W T Thomason & John Jordan to Wm Elmore  &  R. A Gantt-- Deacons of Union Ridge Baptist Church part of the Duck River Association


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Sarah Louise Cook Kester(1910-1981)


Sarah is a descendant of William Clifford & Elizabeth Putman Cook thru their son Jefferson Gideon Cook and his wife Martha Ann Hale.  There was an incredible amount of information contained in her obituaries.  

  • Age: 70
  • Died: 30 Mar 1981
  • Funeral: Wed 1 Apr 1981 Foglesong Funeral Home at 2p.m.
  • Memorial: Tues 31 Mar 1981 By Eastern Star at Funeral Home 7:30 p.m.
  • Cremated interment in Oak Lawn Cemetery
  • Born 15 Aug 1910 in Chicago
  • Resident of Sturgis MI since 1972
  • Former Resident of Riverdale IL
  • Married 10 March 1934
  • Husband: Clarence M Kester
  • Daughters:
Ms Doris Ann Fortier of Berwyn, Illinois
Mrs James (Ellen L) Grummell of Lakeville, Indiana
  • Son:
James Allen Kester of Sturgis
  • Six Grandchildren
  • Niece
Preceded in death by
  • Parents:   Jefferson G & Sarah L Seat Cook,
  • Two brothers
  • Retired in 1971
  • Employed with Brunswick Corp as Ins. agent for 10 yrs
  • First United Methodist Church where she was also involved with the Prayer Fellowship Group & Afternoon Friendship Circle
  • Olive Branch Chapter 2 Order of the Eastern Star
  • Past Matron of Olive Branch Chapter of Eastern Star in Chicago


“Mrs Sarah Louise Kester,” The South Bend Tribune, 31 March 1981, p. 10, col. 2; digital images, ( : accessed 12 March 2024).

“Kester,” Chicago Tribune, 2 April 1981, p. 47, col. 6; digital images, ( : accessed 12 March 2024).

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Callen and Hight Land-Bedford Co TN Deed Book LL pg 8-9

From Bedford Co TN Deed Book LL pg 8
Deed from Thomas Callen to West C Callen

The following is a transcription of a deed transferring land from Thomas Callen to West C Callen.  Immediately following this registration of deed is a transfer of the same exact land from West C Callen to Wm G Hight(#13).   Both are registered the same day--August 24 1841.

# 12    
I Thomas Callen have this day bargained & sold and do hereby transfer
and convey to West C Callen & his heirs for the consideration of six hundred dollars to me paid a tract of land in the state of Tennessee Bedford County in District No 9 lying between Amos West & W G Height containing by estimation one hundred acres & bounded as follows. Beginning at a post oak in the North E corner of a two hundred acre tract, granted by Newton Cannon to Thos Callen running South with Heights line supposed one hundred and thirty five poles to a stake in the Middleton Road thence West with said road to a stake making 95 / 2 poles thence North Cross the two hundred acre tract & a seventy four acre tract to a stake in the North Boundary of said tracts in all 235 poles so as to cut off one hundred acres off the two tracts thence east 32 /2 poles to a sweet gum and maple the NE Corner of the 74 acre tract thence south with J. Leather's line to the North Boundary line of a 25 acre tract belonging to W G Hight 32 poles thence west with said line to the Corner 3 poles thence South 68 poles to a stake in the North Boundary line of said two hundred acre tract thence East with said line to the beginning to have and to hold the same to the said W C Callen his heirs and assignees forever I do further covenant and bind myself my heirs and representatives to warrant and defend the title to the said land and every part thereof to the said W C Callen his heirs and assignees against the lawful claims of all persons whatever executed and delivered in our presence this the first day of May eighteen hundred forty one

Amos West
Jno Macgowen
Fletcher Taylor                               Signed Thomas Callen

Registered August 24 1841 by Andrew Vannoy Register B C 

See earlier post of land from Thomas Callen to Jackson Lile.


"Bedford County, Tennessee deed books and index, 1808-1966,"  deed, Thomas Callen to West C Callen, images, FamilySearch ( : accessed  10 March 2024) DGS # 008322880, image 26 of 739; citing Bedford County TN Deed Book LL page 7-8.

Friday, March 08, 2024

The Estate of William McCoy--Williamson Co TN

In September of 2022 I wrote an article about the estate of Wm McCoy of Williamson Co TN which you can find at  It had listed a William Cook and several other known associates and in-laws of my Wm C Cook.  Today I found the final probate papers for Wm McCoy's estate.and this particular listing shows him as William C Cook which is further evidence that it was my 2nd Great Grandfather.  It took over 10 years to settle this estate.  Below is a transcription and re-creation of the estate's balance sheet from the probate papers. 

DateThe Estate of William McCoy
1838 Feby 14To cash paid John W Miller1.681840 Mar 29By Cash recd for land sold320.00
1839 Apr 27To cash paid J Ransom J?52.30By Interest to 1 Jany 1849168.16
1839 Apr 29To cash paid Noah Putman13.12
1839 Jun 12To cash paid William C Cook14.07
1839 May 11To cash paid William Jackson8.66
1839 May 20To cash paid Hiram Putman12.00
1839 Jun 5To cash paid John Creek8.73
1839 May 20To cash paid Hiram Putman28.50
1839 Aug 30To cash paid John Landrum5.62
1840 Jun 17To cash paid W R Ransom8.14
1840 Feby 8To cash paid Blacky Thompson19.93
1841 July 18To cash paid Thomas Taylor3.75
1840 Sept 23To cash paid J. Ransome Jr.8.34
1840 Feby 8To cash paid James Thompson12.94
1840 Jany 8To cash paid W T. Baskett5.94
1839 Sept 23To cash paid Elizabeth Haynes1.00
1839 May 7To cash paid B C Ransom21.41
1839 Apr 10To cash paid John W Simpson8.00
1840 Apr 30To cash paid B C Ransom6.75
1848 Dec 8To cash paid M L Andrews24.25
1848 Dec 8To cash paid John Marshall25.00
To Balance due Adr. Settlement this day24.46
To interest upon Payment & balance159.94
To allowance to Administrator25.00
To Clerks Fees Making & Recording settlements2.50
Bal Due Estate 1 Jany 184995.13

I find a balance in the hands of Samuel B Robison as administrator of William McCoy
deceased on the first day of January instant of ninety five dollars and thirteen cents

Witness my hand at office this 18 day of January 1849 L B McCormick

"Minute Books(Civil & State) 1810-1965," Williamson Co TN Minute Book 1837-1845
v 9 p 172, imaged at FamilySearch( : accessed 8 March 2024), IGN 8150669. Image 109 of 833.

"Tennessee Probate Court Files, 1795-1955,"  Williamson Co TN Probate and family records 1800-1899 McConnica, Mary-McLaughlin Dick, loose documents, Settlement of Estate of William McCoy; imaged at FamilySearch( : accessed 8 March 2024), IGN 4750409, Image 310 of 2910.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Dekalb Co TN Deed--District 7--David Pitman, witness

Dist 7  Dekalb Co TN Deed Recorded--David Pitman & John Linton Witnesses

Starky Cotton deed to Two Hundred and one half acres of land in Civil District No. 7 Dekalb County TN to John P Titsworth proven by the oaths of John Linden and David Pitman 21st June 1860
                                                                                                M G Martin Clk

Dekalb County, Tennessee, deeds, Feb 1857-Feb 1872, p. 106, Deed, Starky Cotton to John P Titsworth, Witnesses John Linden & David Pitman, 21 June 1860, imaged at FamilySearch( : accessed 4 Mar 2024), IGN 004776221, image 343 of 540; citing Dekalb County Court Clerk, Smithville, Tennessee.                                                          

Monday, March 04, 2024

Mrs Sollifelt Has Birthday Party

The Fort Smith Public Library has made available for search several of their local newspapers.

I found this article on their site and have transcribed part of it here. The Mrs. Sollifelt mentioned is the Mary "Mollie" who is lasted as the wife of George H Solifelt in the 1900 census

Mrs Sollifelt Has Birthday Party

Although heavy hearted with the
weight of failing health Mrs Mollie
Sollifelt 1912 South Y Street was
made happy Friday afternoon when
a group of friends surprised her
in celebration of her fifty seventh
birthday anniversary.

Mrs Sollifelt was given a purse
containing funds which she used in
purchasing a cemetery lot since her
health is such now that she does
not expect to live much longer
friends said. She was presented with
many attractive gifts and ?delectable
eats? Mrs Henson and Miss Cleo
Woodruff planned the party.

(There is a listing of attendees but the text and font are in such a poor state that it is virtually impossible to read the names.)

"Mrs Sollifelt Has Birthday Party," The Southwest American(Fort Smith, Ark) 19 Aug 1923
Page 8  imaged, Fort Smith Library's History Archives ( accessed 4 March 2024)

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Bedford Co. TN Deed Found Using FamilySearch Full Text Search

This is not a full transcription but it contains the information that is more than a bit exciting to me that I found using FamilySearch's Full Text Search that they made available in FamilySearch Labs and announced during RootsTech 2024.

In the 1830 time period, my Wm C Cook was living in the same neighborhood as Zephaniah Anglin. Information found in the TN State Supreme court cause of Williams vs Putman places Anglin in that area with Cook near by and the tax records show Anglin continually in Dist 9 of Bedford Co TN during the 1830s.  There is an Elizabeth Cook who I believe to be Wm C Cook's mother as head of household in 1830 and have blogged about that including my belief that she is the Betsey Harrison that married Wm Pope Cook in  August of 1806 in Franklin Co. North Carolina.(Bond dated 13 Aug 1806)

The Thomas Callen and the Daniel Dwiggins are on the full page of the 1830 that is immediately before the page which contains Elizabeth Cook, the Harrisons and the McClains.


lying and being in the County and State aforesaid on the waters of Alexander Creek adjoining the land of Josiah McClain, Daniel Dwiggins a tract formerly owned by James Cooper, Elizabeth Cook and others Bounded as follows beginning at a Black Oak & Dogwood near South of the place old man Harrison lived & died - Beginning thence south Eighty nine degrees west crossing a large branch two hundred poles to a stake in the road and near a dogwood and Elm marked I.T.  thence south one degree east one hundred and sixty two poles to a cedar in a large cedar glade on flat thence north Eighty nine degrees east two hundred poles to a Dogwood & Cedar on Culverhouses line formerly Martin Comes line, thence north one degree west thirty six poles to a small dogwood & elm the said Culverhouses formerly Comes corner thence west ten poles to a hickory thence north one degree west, Eighty poles to a stake near an Elm & black Oak marked I.T. Thence east ten poles to a stake near a hickory thence north one degree west, forty nine poles to the beginning one hundred ninety seven and a half acres to have and to hold the aforesaid land with all singular the rights profits emoluments, hereditaments and appurtenances to the only use and behoof of the Jackson Lile his heirs and assigns forever and the said Thomas Callen for himself his heirs executors and administrators covenant & agree to and with the said Jackson Lile his heirs and assignees that the before described land and bargained premises that he will warrant and forever defend against the Right title interest or claim of all and every person or persons whatsoever lawfully claiming the same in witness whereof the said Thomas Callen hath hereunto set his seal and affixed his seal this 30th(the date is not finished in the writing)

Thomas Callens (seal)

Test                                                      Registered Feb 16, 1836
Jackson Lile Jun
Richard Bandy juret
C. S Dudley
Jas H. Lile Juret                           Thomas Davis  R B C 

[2nd Feb 1836 Richard Bundy & Jas H Lile appeared before Bedford Co TN clerk Mckisick as witnesses to the above deed transaction]


Still a lot of work to do with the FAN and finding any earlier deeds but what a find.
If you are interested in the FamilySearch Full Text Search see
Also Kimberly Powell wrote an excellent article about effective use of this search at


"Bedford, Tennessee, United States records, Aug 5, 2018," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed  2 March 2024), image 361 of 819; citing Bedford County TN Deed Book FF page 160.

"1830 US Federal Census, Bedford Co. Tennessee, pg 83, Entry for Elizabeth Cook; imaged, "United States Census, 1830," FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 March 2024).

"North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 28 November 2018), > image 1 of 1; North Carolina State Archives Division of Archives and History.

Williams vs. Putman, Tennessee State Supreme Court Case Middle District Ordered from TN State Library & Archives and delivered via 41 page PDF format thru email currently also available online at  [Location at TSLA Range: 33 Section: A Shelf: 2 Box Number: 375)--available online since 2019]

Saturday, March 02, 2024

RootsTech 2024 --Day 3 Online

Day 3--My Virtual Attendee Session Schedule
  • 9:00 AM You Can Do the DNA #4–See What DNA Success Looks Like: Real Case Studies--Diahan Southard
This was Part 4 of the "You can do the DNA series".  I love case studies and have attended a number of Diahan's lectures online.  She always has a wonderful syllabus.  Loved that she used DNAPainter's WATO + in the case study.  I love working with DNA matches at MyHeritage because you can see their relationship or how much DNA they share with your shared matches.
  • 10:30 AM Diseases our Ancestors Faced and How Those Illness Changed Our World--Gregory C. Gardner
This was an excellent and informative presentation.  Lots of statistics and he mentioned Wolfbane's International Classification of Diseases which is a site I use frequently when working to determine the cause of death listed on a death certificate.  
  • 2:30 PM Unexpected Treasures: Family History in the American State Papers--Judy G. Russell
As always a great presentation by Judy Russell.  Need to know the time period covered or type of records?  Where to find them?  That and more were covered in detail in the presentation and in the accompanying syllabus.

Favorite things from RootsTech 2024:

All the Great Presentations  (­čáłLink to Full Library)

Friday, March 01, 2024

RootsTech 2024 --Day 2 Online

Day 2 Highlights:  

RootsMagic 9 is on sale for $20 thru March 4th 2024.

MyHeritage highlights

New Profile Page with Hints
  • OldNews newspaper website(available as standalone subscription or as part of MyHeritage Omni subscription package.
  • Upcoming Features:  Ethnicity update and the ability to share results(which will get around the 2FA issue) 
  • Upload DNA thru March 4th and gain access to MyHeritage's DNA tools
American Ancestors Highlights

My Virtual Attendee Session Schedule
There were some technical difficulties at RootsTech across the board for the virtual attendees but this class was great.  What is not to love about using timelines and city directories to locate those hard to find folks in census records.  Also the Steve Morse site was mentioned and it is a must.   Great syllabus with additional resources!

Wonderful overview of Homestead Act of 1862 along with a resource list and break down of documents which are created during the entire process of obtaining the land.

49 Stories in 5 States are written about in the Black Homesteaders 
of the South covering the following states
    • Alabama
    • Arkansas
    • Florida
    • Louisiana
    • Mississippi
If you missed this one and have an interest in Homestead records you really need to check it out. The syllabus does an excellent job of detailing the documents that might be found for your homesteader.

Excellent Resource list and advice on creating a Locality Guide for an area you are researching.  Be sure to get the syllabus for this session. 

The goals of the project
  • Establish a document-based research repository
  • Amplify the voices of people who have been telling their family stories for centuries
  • Connect people and resources