Sunday, May 27, 2012

Exit 56 Blues Fest and Pre-Memorial Day Roadtrip

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Enjoying the blues at the Exit 56 BluesFest

We took a road trip to Haywood County, TN yesterday to check out the Exit 56 Blues Fest and to celebrate Memorial Day a little early. We needed some mood music for the trip from Memphis so we popped in an old CD that came from a past music issue of "The Oxford American." I love that magazine and it doesn't hurt that my good friend, Tom Martin at Tom Martin Design, is the art director. I always read my "Oxford Americans" cover to cover and real slow so they last as long as possible.

All the music at the Exit 56 Blues Fest is performed on the front porch of what was "Sleepy" John Estes' house. It now sits behind the Welcome Center so visitors from around the world can check it out when they are headed down I-40.

Sleepy John, along with Hammie Nixon and Yank Rachell are three legends of the Blues who are from Brownsville. They played together for more than 50 years.

Here's a great clip of Estes and Nixon in 1976:

Very soon, Sleepy John's house will have a new next-door neighbor. In the 1940s, Tina Turner attended the Flagg Grove School, located in the Nutbush community of Haywood County. Plans are underway for the school to be moved, restored and placed permanently next door to the home of Sleepy John at the Welcome Center.

The center will add new exhibits about African-American education as well as a Tina Turner exhibit. Under the leadership of Sonia Outlaw-Clark (also a distant Outlaw cousin through our mutual ancestor Elizabeth Temperance Outlaw), that welcome center is rockin'!

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Spending a little cash
In addition to the great blues and barbeque, there was some great art for sale at the Blues Festival. We bought a print from a local artist named John Jarrett who painted this from a photograph of his family at St. Peter CME Church in Brownsville. If someone out there is looking to discover a folk artist, you might want to check him out. Here is a closer look at our print:

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St. Peter Church by John Jarrett

Monday is Memorial Day so we stopped by the grave of my second great grandfather, Thomas Jefferson "T. J." Castellaw and placed a flag.

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Me at the headstone of Nancy and T. J. Castellaw
T. J. joined the Confederate Army and fought in The Civil War as part of 7 Duckworths Tennessee Calvary. I'm not certain exactly when he joined the army but it is known this unit was organized in Jackson, Grand Junction and Trenton in August of 1862. 

In the Battle of Shilo, April 6 - 7, 1862, most of the regiment, under Lieutenant Colonel Kelley, was assigned to the duty of escorting the Federal prisoners from General B. M. Prentiss' Division. At the end of the Civil War, his were the last Confederate forces east of the Mississippi to surrender. I also don't know exactly when the war ended for T. J.  but the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Cavalry Regiment was surrendered and paroled at Gainesville, Alabama in May 1865.

T. J. didn't marry Nancy, my third great grandmother, until August of 1865 so its possible he was paroled, returned to Haywood County and then married.

I recently read a great book on this unit called "Coming Like Hell!" which I just noticed you can read online for free.

On the way home, we stopped by the Zion Baptist Church Cemetery and it was nice to see all the flags on the grave sites of the veterans for Memorial Day.

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Zion Baptist Church Cemetery

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

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Possibly Found Lost Colony May Have Haywood County Connections

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Characters from a production of Paul Green's "The Lost Colony"
and Arnold Palmer

Researchers at the British Museum of London announced this week they have uncovered clues that indicate a colony of English settlers who disappeared from North Carolina’s Roanoke Island in 1587 may have actually settled in the area of Bertie County, NC on a spot that is now an Arnold Palmer Golf Course.

The Haywood County Connection? In the 1830s hundreds of families left Bertie County, NC via wagon trains and settled in Haywood and Crockett County.

If the current research is proven to be correct, it’s possible some of the settlers were ancestors of that lost colony.

According to John Cowand, a genealogy researcher, my fourth great grandfather, John Dawson Castellaw, was instrumental in leading many of those settlers to Tennessee.
"Many of the families in Bertie County, NC lived between Ross Baptist Church and Capeharts Baptist Church and all were usually kin in one way or another. They mostly went either to Humphreys County, TN or to Haywood County, TN,” says Cowand. “John Dawson Castellaw was said to be the wagon master and he led numerous wagon trains to Tennessee in the 1830s. It is said he would lead a group out there, then come back and lead another group.”
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John Dawson Castellaw's descendant, Elizabeth Castellaw Williams,
about to depart on a trek of her own in my 1974 Volkswagon Thing.

Finally, Castellaw led one last wagon train West and stayed in Haywood County, TN where he lived until his death on February 15, 1859. He was the father of Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Sr. who was the father of Thomas Jefferson "T. J" Castellaw Jr. who was the father of Bob Castellaw who was the father of my paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Castellaw Williams, pictured above in the late 1980s.

The original members of the lost colony were led by John White and arrived in the area of Roanoke Island with the goal of establishing the first permanent English colony in the New World.

After dropping the colonists off, White returned to England in 1587 for supplies but, because of the war with Spain, was unable to return for three years. When he finally did, there was no one left, though the word “Croatoan” had been carved into a post at the abandoned fort.

The mystery of the vanishing colonists has inspired books, movies, poems, plays and even “the longest running outdoor drama in American history,” “The Lost Colony” which was first performed in 1937 on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and is still performed throughout the summer today.

Another thing to add to my bucket list.

A symbol hidden for centuries under an old map, along with pottery fragments and other clues indicate the lost colony may have settled in Bertie County in an area that is today a golf course.

In addition to John Dawson Castellaw, other ancestors of mine who made the journey from Bertie to Haywood include John Hardy Cobb, John Bembery “Bem” and Penelope White, Bem’s brother Charlton White, William and Millie Thompson Watridge, Dempsey and Elizabeth Rawls Nowell, George Solomon Williams, Edward Brantley, Thomas “T.A” and Unity Shirley Lovelace, George Forrest, and William and Ann Capehart Steel.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Booth Family and Jones Station

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Map of Jones Station Community in Haywood County, TN
Drawn by Jim Booth and included in the book "Journey Into Yesteryears" by Martha Jones

I finally got all my Booth family research added to my site after working on it for more than six months.

It was an interesting family line on which to work but took a lot of time going through census records to track the migration of the family from Virginia, to South Carolina, to Tennessee and then finally to Haywood County. My third great grandmother, Sarah Evelena "Lena" Booth lived her entire life in Haywood County as did her children and grandchildren.

Her father was W. G. "Billy" Booth who I believe was the son of James Booth who was the son of Stephen S. Booth who was the son of John Booth (not the famous assassin) who was the son of Thomas Booth who was born around 1705 in Virginia. That is as far back as I have gotten.

Jones Station
Much of the Booth family in the early 1900s lived in a community called Jones Station. It was located next to the Holly Grove Community on the north end of Dr. Hess Rd.

Railroad tracks going from Brownsville to Bells were laid through the area long before the Civil War.

A man with the last name of Jones allowed four acres of his land to be used as a train stop and suddenly many small businesses began to spring up around the train station. As more potential customers began to pass through the area, the small community began to develop and grow.

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Vernon Booth, delivering mail via bike

In 1903 the first rural route in Haywood County began at Jones Station with my third great grandmother Lena's nephew, Vernon Booth, delivering mail in the area on a bicycle.

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Photo from Betsy Sullivan Waddell

James Bemberry Booth and Eldorado Thomas Booth and family

According to Martha Jones, Vernon and his father, James Bemberry Booth, one of Lena's brothers, built a store which included a warehouse in which church services were held on Sundays.

James' third wife, Eldorado Thomas Booth, is said to have helped supervise a mission house that was in converted pool hall after it was closed in 1919 by Rev. G. B. Davis.

This site, which includes some information about the community, states that the first cotton gin was owned by Roe Booth in 1903 and was there until the end of WWI. Roe Booth was the grandfather of one of my Dad's childhood friends, Milton Booth. Milton also owns the property where my second great grandfather, George Williams is buried.

The community of Jones Station also included several sawmills and shops that came and went through the years.

My Dad remembers my grandfather, Bo Williams once told him that, when he was younger, he played baseball on a team for Jones Station. 

Today, the Jones community is a few houses and cotton fields along the side of the highway between Brownsville and Bells.

In recent blogs I wrote about about a Booth ancestor who was an influential colonist and others who were Revolutionary War soldiers, a president and a victim in the first national tragedy but there are also other interesting people hanging off the Booth branch of my family tree:

Agnes Booth Clardy
Agness Clardy was the daughter of John and Mary Booth, my fifth great grandparents. She was raised in Amelia County in Virginia. She married Benjamin Clardy on 25 June 1771 and along with the family of her brother, my fourth great grandfather, migrated and helped settle Pendleton District, SC.

Her obituary includes the following:
"Those who read this may see that she was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church better than 70 years; and I can say, truly a very acceptable one. I could write much in her praise but I forbear. The day after her death, at the interment bro. Joseph Smith, whom she chose before her death to preach her funeral, attended and delivered a very feeling and appropriate address.

Her remains were surrounded by some of her children, grandchildren and great grand children and other friends, and though the weather was very inclement they stood patiently and deeply affected during the address. - The feelings of my own soul were deep and my tears were moved when I looked upon her cold remains and remember her address in the last love-feast which she ever attended where she arose and, leaning upon her staff, observed, 'Nearly seventy years I have been a dear lover and close attendant of class meetings and love-feasts, and expecting this to be the last I shall ever attend, I want to say that I am still bound to serve God till death; I want you all to pray God to assist me and meet me yourselves in heaven.'

This short address had a good influence on our love-feast, many felt it good to them. May God Almighty sanctify this short account of her life and death to the good of the living."

James Booth
James is the first Booth of my ancestors who moved to Haywood County. He was married to Nancy Ann Milligan and first shows up in the census of 1830. In the mid-1800s he was a school commissioner for the county and, in 1847, deeded one acre of land to the school commissioners with the purpose of building a schoolhouse. Booth made the transfer of real estate “for the good will that I entertain for the public school system.”

James and his family lived on the farm next door to the farm of another of my ancestors, Augustus and Martha White Brantley. 66 years later, in 1916, Augustus Brantley’s great grandson, "Willie" Brantley and James Booth’s great granddaughter, Allie Marbury would marry and one of their daughters was my maternal grandmother, Virginia Brantley Lovelace.

W. G. "Billy" Booth
Billy Booth, who moved to Haywood County as boy, along with his father James, was a close friend of Sim Cobb whose diary from whose 1875 diary is included in “Nicholas Cobb Descendants, Neighbors and Relatives." Billy is mentioned throughout Sim's entries and they really give a sense of what their lives were like.
19 Jan 1875 – Tuesday, fair and cold; cut and burned brush in the field; moved W. G. Booth’s fence; John F. White came over in the morning; J. C. W. Cobb and W. G. Booth was with me at night until bed time.

2 Feb 1875 – Tuesday, cloudy all day, rained during the day; split some wood and picked up trash in the new ground until dinner; after dinner, went to W. G. Booth and got my spade and worked on shelter by the smoke house.

15 Feb 1875 – Monday, cloudy and cold; burned logs and trash and hauled and put up rails; Pink (Harriett Outlaw) and Agatha ( Mrs. John Hardy Cobb) was here; Bet (his wife) went with them to W. G. Booth; J. E. Lott and W. G. Cobb came down at night to get some castor oil.

24 Feb 1875 – Wednesday, cloudy with some rain and warm; hauled manure in the garden and to the land for the Irish potatoes…caught a rabbit; Mrs. Booth (Eliza) and Lott were here; Ed came.

5 April 1875 – Monday; planted corn in the new ground next to W. G. Booth’s field.

2 May 1875 – Sunday, fair, went to Sunday School; D. W. Watridge and family was here and stayed until after supper; W. G. Booth, Willie (William L.) and J.B. (James Bembery) Booth and Mittie (probably Margaret) White was here and Roe Booth (Albert Cicero) also.

You can check out more of the entries from a blog I wrote a while back.

Missing Photo

Where is a photo of the W. G. "Billy" Booth Family?

Who has a photo of Billy Booth's Family?

The one thing I have not been able to get my hands on is a photo of the family of my third great grandmother, Lena. She is an old woman in the earliest photos I have of her which were taken in the 1940s. Her parents, Billy and Eliza White Booth were more influential than many of the relatives that I have who lived in the area and of whom photos do exist. So I know they had access and the finances to have family photos taken.

I assume that because Lena was the youngest child of many other children, when her widowed father died in 1892, the family photos ended up in the hands of one of her older siblings: James Bemberry Booth, Mary E. Booth Mann, Alphonso Booth or Ada P. Booth Stewart. I already know the family of Albert Cicero "Roe" Booth does not have any old photos.

If you happen to be a descendent of any of those families and have any old photos, please let me know!

For more about the Booth family, check out their page on my site. And if you find any errors or have more information, let me know. For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or the Haywood County Line Genealogy Page.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Even More Photos From Haywood County

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Photo credit:

l to r, front: Bob Castellaw, Zula Zera Watridge Castellaw,
Mai Castellaw, Irene Castellaw, and Winnie White Castellaw (wife of son Issac)

l to r, back: Elizabeth Castellaw, and Ruby Castellaw

The last few weeks I've received a lot of great photos of ancestors on both sides of my family from my friends and family members.

It's great to get as many of these individuals identified as we can because, once we're all gone, it will be even harder for the next generations to figure out who was who.

The photo above is of my great grandfather, Bob Castellaw with his family as they began building the house they would eventually live in for most of their lives. My grandmother, Elizabeth Castellaw Williams is on the back row with her hand on her head. This photo must have been taken around 1920.

Last winter, my dad, my nephew Caleb and I stood on the spot where that house had been. Of course, the house was long gone, as was the building that had been built on top of where the house had originally been.

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Bob Williams, Scott Williams and Caleb Durham at the
site of the former home of Bob Castellaw and family
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Photo Credit: Roland Reid

Updated photo from Providence Methodist Church
in Madison Co., TN

This has been a fun photo to play around with. My cousin Roland sent it to me with his family members identified. Several people emailed me with the names of others in the photo and, most recently, another distant cousin, Sonia Outlaw-Clark, was able to get some more of the people identified by Nita Taylor Warren who is from that area of Madison County.

These are members of the 1942 Sunday School class of Providence Methodist Church which the Williamson side of my family was instrumental in building. A large number of my ancestors are buried in the church's cemetery which I blogged about a while back.

Of course, I would really like to get all these people identified so if you recognize anyone, email me.

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Photo credit: Betsy Sullivan

Mary C. Wilkins Marbury with unidentified children

I blogged about Mary Wilkins a few months ago but didn't know what she looked like. Another cousin, Betsy Sullivan sent me a picture of her. She was Ben Franklin Marbury's second wife. They were married on 4 Mar 1884 and their witnesses were R. H. Marbury and W. G. Booth. I need to spend some time researching all this but, from a quick review of the records, it appears Ben and his first wife, Maggie Yelverton Marbury had Wylie, Hardy (my second great grandfather) Rush, Robert, John and Rosa and that Maggie died during childbirth or shortly after having Rosa.

Very quickly after that, Ben married Mary and then, according to family history, that same year he was killed by a train between Jones Station and Allen Station in Haywood County.

Mary must have raised his children because she was buried next to him when she died many years later on 9 Apr 1918 at the age of 70 and Ben's son, John Marbury was listed as a witness on her death certificate.

I am not certain where Maggie was buried.

Mary and Ben have one of my favorite headstones in Zion Baptist Church cemetery:

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Headstone of Benjamin Franklin and Mary Wilkins Marbury
in the Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Haywood County

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Photo credit: Shirley Lovelace Williams

background, l to r: Maxine Lovelace Stewart, Unknown, Unknown,
Carolyn Warf Lovelace, Unknown, Unknown and Unknown

foreground: my great grandfather, James Luther Lovelace

The Lovelace Family Reunion happens every every year. Last September, I blogged about the history of the reunion as told by my great aunt Marie Lovelace Carlton.

It could be assumed the photo above was taken at the reunion or possibly at another family gathering.

I really love the way this photo captures them all in movement. You really get a glimpse into their lives at that moment.

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Photo credit: Shirley Lovelace Williams

l to r: Elizabeth Williams, Virginia Lovelace,
Shirley Lovelace Williams, and Wilma Sullivan

There is a lot for me to like about this photo. First, it shows both my paternal and maternal grandmothers, Elizabeth Castellaw Williams and Virginia Brantley Lovelace and they are at a wedding shower given in honor of my parents. The lady to far right in the photo is Wilma Sullivan who was hosting the shower. She was my father's Sunday school teacher and Royal Ambassador leader (Boy Scouts for little Southern Baptists) for many years at Holly Grove Baptist Church. My mom told me she lived to be over 101 years old so I googled her and found her obituary.

Another great thing about the photo from the shower is that Wilma and her husband, Raymond, were renting the house from my great grandfather, Jim Lovelace, so its fun for me to see inside their house.

After his wife Ruby died, Jim lived with the families of several of his children and rented out his home which was next door to my grandparents house.

The house also had an small apartment that was rented out to people through the years. My cousin Elsie and her husband Bud Haynes lived in the apartment for a while. Many years ago the house burned down and a new house was built on the property which is still there today.

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Photo Credit: Joe Reid

Edward Levi Castellaw and Jessie Mae Reid Castellaw
in the 1940s

Although I never knew this couple, I am connected to both the husband and the wife through both my paternal grandparents. It's kind of hard to follow but Edward Castellaw was the son of Daniel and Maude Mullins Castellaw. Daniel was the brother of my grandmother, Elizabeth Williams Castellaw so Edward was her nephew. His wife, Jessie Reid Castellaw, pictured with him here, was a daughter of Jo and Willie Reid who was my grandfather, Bo Williams' aunt and uncle so Jessie and Daddy Bo were first cousins. So, my grandfather's first cousin married my grandmother's nephew.

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Photo Credit: Joe Reid

James Francis Castellaw and Iva Belch Castellaw with children Ann Castellaw Reid,
Betty Castellaw Ross, Jamie Castellaw and Don Castellaw in the 1930s

No doubt that the James F. Castellaw family knew how to dress for a photo. He was a son of John Frank Castellaw and Agnes Parlow. John Frank was one of the brothers of my great grandfather, Bob Castellaw.

James and Iva's daughter, Ann (left), married Lyle Reid, a son of Willie and Jo Williamson Reid who are pictured in the Providence Methodist Church photo above.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or the Haywood County Line Genealogy Page and, as always, if you have more photos, please email or mail them to me so I can include them in this blog.