Friday, February 25, 2011

I am 25 Years Late for Clean Up Day at the Cobb Family Cemetery

Whenever I find photos of the ancestors I have been researching, it’s like a tiny window opens up and I get a glimpse of what they looked like during a period of time in the past.

A distant family member and someone who was nice enough to spend some time with me on the phone recently, Joyce Cobb Maness, shared with me some photos that opened one of those windows.

The pictures were from a place that has for some time been fascinating to me, the Cobb Family Cemetery in Haywood County, TN. The entrance is right across the road from my second great grandfather’s (Preston Brantley) home and several of my Cobb and Brantley ancestors are buried there.

Many times I have read the document that was created by a small group of Cobb ancestors on August 21, 1986. In addition to cleaning up the old family cemetery, they created a committee and a fund that would assure the cemetery was maintained long into the future.

I have been grateful to that group each time I have visited the cemetery. In the document that Joyce Cobb Maness created back in 1986, the last line was, “Pictures were taken of those who attended this meeting to be passed to future committees.”

Thank you Joyce for sharing those pictures with me so I can post them here.

Lawrence Amherst Cobb and William McKinley Cobb
at the tombstone of their father, Simeon Amherst Cobb.
Back row, l to r: Nancy Helen Cobb, Lawrence Amherst
Cobb and Joyce Maness Cobb
Front row, l to r: Guy Brantley,
William McKenly Cobb & William Cobb.

Guy Brantley in front of the headstone of his parents.
Preston and Mary Etta Cobb Brantley,
my second great grandparents.

Lawrence Amherst Cobb and William McKenly Cobb
Joyce Cobb Maness and her father,
Lawrence Amherst Cobb
William McKenly Cobb, Guy Brantley and
Willam's son, Billy.
For more information about the Cobb Family Cemetery, its history and who is buried there, click here.  For more about the Cobb family click here and for more about the Brantley family click here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

William Walton Stamps

William Walton Stamps
Reverend Thomas Joyner (June 18, 1802 – October 7, 1882), my fourth great grand Uncle was the brother of my fourth great grandfather, Littleton Bunn Joyner.

Although Reverend Joyner and his wife Elizabeth had a grandson, William Walton Stamps, with a very interesting legacy, I can find very little information on him online so I thought it was worth including what I could find here.

I stumbled across him in "The Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi, Volume 4" by The Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History. Not a book many people probably spend much time reading but a great source if anyone from your family happens to be included.

William Walton Stamps of Collierville, Tennessee, Representative from Marshall County, son of George Washington Stamps and Martha Mildred Joyner Stamps, was born at Marshall Institute in Marshall County, Mississippi, December 4, 1871…In 1859 he established at Iuka a boarding school for young ladies. Although this school was broken up by the Civil War it was re-opened after the war was over. During the war the young professor served in the secret service under General Forrest. Some time after the war, he removed to Marshall County, where he still resides. The mother of the subject of our sketch was the daughter of Reverend Thomas Joyner and Elizabeth McGehee Joyner of he Marshall Institute.

Reverend Joyner was for sixty years a Methodist minister in the Tennessee conference, his home being just across the line in Mississippi. The Joyners are of English descent; their ancestors settled first in North Carolina, but migrated to Tennessee early in the 18th century…

Representative Stamps obtained his early education in the free schools of Mississippi; he spent one term at the High School of Augusta, Arkansas and another at Belleview College, Collierville, Tennessee. In 1896 he opened a small country store in Marshall County, and has since remained there…

In 1915 he was nominated to the State Legislature and elected to serve in that body from 1916 to 1920. Mr. Stamps is a man of sterling worth and is deeply regardful of the State’s welfare…

Mr. Stamps is a Democrat, a Mason, a Woodman of the World, and a Columbian Woodman. On December 25, 1901, at Somerville, Tennessee, he was married to Ollie Earl Polk, daughter of Edward H. and Anna Belle (Applewhite) Polk of Mt. Pleasant, Mississippi. Her family belong to the same line of descent as did that of Ex-President, James K. Polk. Mr. and Mrs. Stamps have three children: John Edward, Frances Anna Louis, and Nina Vivan.

A quick search online yields no more information on my distant cousin nor can I find anything else about his ancestors.

You can ready more about others in the Joyner family on

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Don’t Drink the Toddy

Albert Bunn Joyner and Family
 Sometimes, when I have been researching a family for a while, I start to get a creepy feeling that all these people are in the room with me. The Joyner family was an interesting group of ancestors to hang out with since it includes an English inn keeper, the lawyer of Pocahontas’ English husband, a Colonial activist involved in Bacon’s Rebellion, two very young brothers who were killed by Union soldiers, and lots of other interesting individuals.

It also presented a surprise when I discovered my 4th great grandfather, Littleton Bunn Joyner was very likely adopted by the man I thought was his father, my 5th great grandfather, Thomas Littleton Joyner. He was actually the son of Thomas’ sister, Ann Joyner, and her husband so the Joyner connection is still valid and Thomas is still my 5th great grandfather. Were that not the case I would be very frustrated that I spent months researching this family.

Littleton would go on to served as a private in the War of 1812 in Captain Henry Hamilton’s Company of Infantry, 3rd Raulston’s West Tennessee Militia. His service began Nov. 13, 1814 and ended May 13, 1815.

He became one of the earliest settlers of Haywood County, TN when in 1827, he moved there from Wilson County, TN. He attempted to run a store for a number of years, but failed. After his failure, he bounced back and was elected county clerk of Haywood County, a position he held for twenty-two years.
His son, Alfred Bunn Joyner, was the recipient of one of the longest and most interesting obituaries I have come across. According to his obit written on July 20, 1899, “…his strong temperance sentiments were conspicuous in life, and in the hour of death, when his physician gave him, toddy, he said, “I want pure water to drink.”

So while hanging out with the Joyner family, I made sure not to offer my 3rd great grandfather anything stronger than water.

You can read Alfred's obit and lots more about the Joyner family on