Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two Mules, One Horse, Eight Farmers, a Big House and a Dog

(Note: Information on this blog entry was updated in a new blog entry on Nov. 25, 2013.)

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The Tate Gunter Family

A while back, I saved this photo on my computer because I liked it so much I planned to try and figure out who these people were. I forgot all about it until I ran across it recently and once again, it captured my imagination. Why did the one lady stay on the porch? Everyone is dressed up but the boy has no shoes. The husband and wife look like they stepped out of a Hollywood casting office. Is that Robert Downey Jr. and Alicia Silverstone?

I originally got the photo from my cousin, Janet Marbury who helped me with some key information about the Marbury line of my ancestry. She wasn't certain who all the people in the photo were but written on the back was "MS Tate Gunter's."

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Clayborn and Martha Gunter

Written on the back of this photo above, also in Janet's collection of photos, is "Great Grandpa (Claiborne Gunter) Great Grandma (Martha Gunter - Reared Papa (Andrew Francis Marbury) until he was 4 years old." The common denominator between the two photos is, the guy in the center of the top photo is on the back row, second from the right on the bottom photo. Is his name Tate Gunter?

Janet remembers her Aunt Allie (Alice Cobb), who was very much into genealogy, stating that the mother of Janet's grandfather died when he was very young. Her grandfather, Andrew Frances Marbury, went to live with his mother's family in Arkansas until his father remarried.

I already knew Andrew Francis Marbury was born 5 May 1883 to Rush Marbury who was the son of my fourth great grandfather, Robert Green Marbury and a brother of my third great grandfather, Ben Franklin Marbury. I guess this would make Rush my third great uncle.

From the records I have, it appears Rush married Delilah J. Mann 17 Oct 1888 in Haywood County and Emma L. Smith in 1900. So the only way any of this makes sense is if there was a first wife who is currently unaccounted for.

Checking the census of 1880, three years before Andrew was born, Rush is single, 26 and living in district five of Haywood County, TN with his parents, Robert Green and Harriet D. Marbury. He is still three years away from Andrew's birth and has not yet married.

In 1883, Andrew was born to Rush and a girl whose last name was obviously Gunter and she was from Arkansas. I wonder where Rush from Haywood County, met a girl from Arkansas?

In 1889, Robert Green Marbury's brother, W. C. Marbury, wrote in a letter, "I see Rush is married again. Well I hope he and his dear companion will live a long and peaceful and happy life and be prosperous and kind to each other."

Of course the fact that he included "again" meant that his 1888 marriage to Delilah was a second one and, when the marriage occurred, Andrew would have been around five so that jives with what Aunt Allie remembered.

The 1890 census records were destroyed in a fire so no help there.

In 1900, Rush is once again living with his parents in a household that now also includes his 17-year-old son, Andrew Francis Marbury. He lists both his and the birthplace of his mother as Arkansas.

Using the names from the back of the photos, I searched the Arkansas census and found, in the 1900 census, a "Clayborn" and Martha Gunter living in Cypress, Arkansas in Faulkner County. She was born in Jan 1836 while he was born in Jan 1827. They were married in 1850 so in the census of 1900, they had been married for 50 years. Both were born in Tennessee.

Another search further back found a "Chris" and Martha Gunter living in the same county in Arkansas in 1880. All the dates and locations matched so this had to be the same couple. Living with them were the following sons and daughters: Lafayette (age 21), Oliver (age 19), Alice (age 16), Ellen (age 14), John Wesley (age 12), Robert Joshua (age 10), Birt (age 8) and Jeannetta (age 1).

Since Rush had not married yet in 1880, I believe his future wife was Alice Gunter, the daughter who was 16 in 1880.

With this much info, I was able to use ancestry.com and really track down a great deal of information about the family.  Martha was originally Martha G. Dallas. She and Claiborne were married on 23 Aug 1850. Ten years later, in 1860, they were living in Conway, Arkansas and by 1880 had moved to Cypress, AR. Claiborne died in Vilonia, a town also in Faulkner Co., AR, on 23 Aug 1903 and Martha died 15 May 1913. Both are buried in the Cypress Valley Cemetery which is filled with Gunters. (While searching, I found this story about the cemetery being vandalized by a couple of boys).

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Photo Credit: MarthaLaurie, Ancestry.com

Headstones of Claiborne and Martha G. Dallas Gunter

A reference on one of the files has "Tate" as the nickname for Lafayette so I can confirm the guy in the photo I was curious about is indeed Tate Gunter and from the records and ancestry.com, I know he was born 26 Feb 1858.

The grandson who lived with the Gunters for the first few years of his life returned to Haywood County and eventually became a mail carrier and a "substantial citizen." He died 5 July 1955 and was buried in the Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.  I don't know if he stayed in touch with the Gunters or even ever visited again.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or the Haywood County Line Genealogy Page.

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