Sunday, June 30, 2013

Colonial Parenting: Keeping the Brats in Good Humor

During last month's research trip to North Carolina, I was hoping a search through letters written by Penelope Johnston Dawson of Eden House would result in proof of a connection between her and my 5th great-grandmother, Margaret Dawson Castellaw.

In multiple places online I have found comments that John Castellaw "married a Dawson from Eden House." If I can find proof, this would connect those of us with John Dawson Castellaw ancestry to Gabriel Johnston, a defining figure in early American history.

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There are more than 20 archival boxes at the Wilson Library in which her letters are included and I only got through two of them.

Although I still haven't found what I'm looking for, the letters themselves were fascinating to read. It was a strange feeling to look at the handwriting and read the words written by Penelope Dawson before the Revolutionary War, nearly 230 years ago.

Amazingly, the wax from her seal was still attached to several of the letters.

The ones I was most interested in were written by Penelope to her cousin, Samuel Johnston.

I've posted lots about this family in the past few months but as a quick refresher: Penelope's grandfather, Gabriel Johnston was born in Scotland around 1699, and arrived in North Carolina in 1734 after being appointed royal governor to the colony. He married Penelope Golland, step-daughter of Governor Charles Eden and widow of William Maule, John Lovick, and George Phenney. Gabriel and Penelope had a daughter, also named Penelope, who in 1758 married John Dawson, son of the president of William and Mary College. They all lived, died and were buried at their plantation, Eden House.

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Painting of Colonel John Dawson from
the archives of The College of William and Mary

Gabriel Johnston's brother, Samuel Johnston moved to North Carolina in 1735 after having been appointed surveyor-general of the colony. Samuel's son, Samuel Johnston, the cousin to whom Penelope Johnston Dawson was writing, was a lawyer, politician, and planter, who came with his parents to North Carolina when he was two years old. This side of the family pretty much ended up at their Edenton, N.C. plantation, Hayes.

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Governor Samuel Johnston


I haven't taken the time to transcribe these letters but am sharing five of them here in case they are of interest to anyone researching any of these family lines.

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Penelope Dawson wrote the letter above to her cousin Samuel Johnston on 22 Dec 1768 from Eden House. The writing style and tone of all her letters have a Scarlett O'Harah feeling to them, but this one in particular conveys the personality of a wealthy, colonial socialite.

At the time, Samuel was 35 and unmarried. Penelope wrote, "It gave me unfeigned pleasure to hear of your return to Hayes in health as I had from Hallifax heard of your indisposition at Newbern however I am glad to find it was not so bad as to prevent your enjoying the pleasure of an agreeable society as that mentioned in your letter."

Samuel seems to have been hanging out with a Mrs. Heron.

"I am too well acquainted with your prudence and
good sense to think you should give way to
any sentiments but those of esteem and friendship for that lady."

Penelope continues, "I have before heard a very amiable character of Mrs. Heron and only wish she had been the single sister for your sake. If she is really possesed of those amiable qualifications you ascribe to her, as the case (appears) at present, I am too well acquainted with your prudence and good sense to think you should give way to any sentiments but those of esteem and friendship for that lady..."

I am not certain what this means but a little later in the letter, she writes, "...therefore shall infuse all you have said entirely to your great partiality and that you did not sufficiently consider the weakness of the sex too easy and indeed too willing to be imposed upon to their own advantage. However in this respect I am too conscious from daily experience of my own imperfection in that respect in particular to be in much danger, but let me hear no more of it."

I wonder if she talked that?

Penelope had married Colonel John Dawson in 1758 and they had four children that I can confirm: Mary, Penelope, William and Lucy.

Penelope mentions a few of her children in her letter. I wonder if Brat had the same meaning then as it has now?

"Bad weather as this requires double
diligence to keep the bratts all in good humor..." 

" such a spell of bad weather as this it requires double diligence to keep the bratts all in good humor when there is so little variety to divert the imagination being entirely confined to the house. Except Billy, who knows no law or order, they have every one got violent colds."

She also mentions her daughter, Lucy.

Penelope also adds something of a P.S. to the end of her letter.

"Pray excuse this for the bratts have been all in full cry in the room with me even since I begun."

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This letter above was written on a Thursday night in 1771. Penelope was then a 27-year-old widow whose husband had died in March of the previous year. It's possible this letter was sent along with "beef" because she apologizes it wasn't sent earlier. The Johnston family had obviously been ill as she hopes they will continue to improve. She mentions Mrs. Johnston and "the dear little stranger."

She explains her problems with the man who oversees her plantation and mentions problems with liquor.

Toward the end of the letter she writes, "I scarcely know what I have written, my head is so extremely bad."

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This letter was written on a Saturday night at Eden House and was taken to Samuel by Sir Nathan who was headed to Newborn. She mentions someone named Hannah and writes she is "mended already."

She had just left Hannah after being on board a boat named The Dukinfield or something like that.

She wrote, "we spent the day together under full sail the whole time." She had planned to go with the group to someone's house but opted not to because she had "Mrs. Johnston" with her.

She ends the letter by letting him know, "the girls are to be here again on Sunday night and we expect to set out the next for Booth (?) where we shall soon have the pleasure of seeing you all."

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This one was was dated 16 Sept 1771. She thanks him for his two last "kind favors" and for sending sugar which they needed. It sounds like Samuel's whole family was sick including "dear little Pen." This was likely a reference to Samuel's daughter, Penelope.

She again mentions the boat named Dukinfield and notes that Mrs. Pearson (?) sent her canoe for her on Sunday.

A couple of people at her house are suffering from "the agree(?) and fever." Molly and Billy sound especially sick.

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It looks like she was at Hayes Plantation when Penelope wrote this letter in 1771. In this one she expresses a great deal of humility and gratitude for Samuel's friendship and mentions Anne, Hannah and Molly.

At the bottom of the letter is a sentence I can't figure out but it says something about a memorandum in which she had forgotten to mention a silk handkerchief from Barcelona which she wanted added.

Penelope's son "Billy" was William Johnston Dawson. He spent his early years at Eden House then was sent to England to school. When he returned to North Carolina, he became a politician, held several important positions, including Congressman. At the end of his term, he returned to Eden House where he died very young. He never married and was buried in the cemetery there on his mother's plantation. Source

Penelope's daughter Mary married Nathaniel Allen and her daughter Penelope married Tristram Lowther. Another daughter, Lucy, seems to have died young.

All this and still no "Margaret Dawson of Eden House." I'm beginning to get the feeling I am headed down a rabbit trail but it's a lot of fun exploring the early lives of these Bertie County, N.C. settlers so it's all worth it.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Long Letter from John Hill Jacocks

This 8-page letter from John Hill Jacocks includes his thoughts on such topics as his pride in his heritage,  early history of Haywood County, Tenn., memories of visits during his childhood by distant relatives from Bertie County, N.C. and more.

It can be found in the Jonathan Jacocks Papers in The Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Although Jonathan Hill Jacocks is not in my direct ancestry line, he was close to many of those who were. lists him as "the father-in-law of my great grand aunt."

Last week, I blogged about a letter that was written in 1854 by John's mother.

John's letter, which was written 26 Aug 1891, is packed with references to friends and family who were currently in his life as well as many of his known ancestors. This may be of interest to anyone researching Jacocks genealogy. Included were:
Thomas Jacocks of Bertie County, N.C.
Rev. James Jacocks of Hartford or New Haven, Connecticut
Grace, sister of Rev. Jacocks
Tom Jacocks, his cousin
Uncle Louis T. Bond, relative
Frank P. Bond, relative
Thomas E. Fanning
Colonel Richard Nixon, his great uncle and early leader in Haywood County
Nancy Jacocks, his great aunt
John and Jonathan Jacocks, his great uncles
Charles Jacocks his grandfather
Charles Worth Blount Jacocks, his brother
Jonathan Wyatt of Raleigh, N.C., gentleman to whom his father was apprenticed
Janet Young, paternal grandmother
Margaret Stevenson Clayton, his mother
Asher Clayton, his maternal grandfather
Mary Whidbee, his maternal grandmother
Janet Young, his paternal grandmother
James Leigh, second husband of his maternal grandmother, Mary
Rev. Hezikiah Leigh, son of James Leigh
Richard Leigh, son of James Leigh
Jonathan Jacocks, his brother
Augustus Jacocks, his brother
Hardy Jacocks, relative
Jas. T. Jacocks, nephew
Thomas Carter, his father-in-law
Sarah Catherine Carter, his wife
Jimmie Jacocks, his son
Ella Mae Jacocks, his granddaughter
According to "Descendants of Thomas Jacocks" by William Piccard Jacocks, John Hill Jacocks' grandfather, Charles Worth Jacocks III was born 16 Dec 1767. He married Janet Young on 13 Sept 1791. He had inherited "considerable property" and died 10 Dec 1803 at just 36 years old. His two children were placed under the guardianship of their uncle, Jonathan Jacocks III.

One of those children was John Hill Jacock's father, Jonathan Thomas Jacocks. He was born 10 Feb 1799 and married Margaret Stevenson Clayton. Jonathan followed his uncle, Colonel Richard Nixon, to Haywood County, Tenn. in 1823.

John Hill Jacocks was born 25 Nov 1831 in Haywood County. He married Sarah Catherine Carter on 14 April 1858. He was primarily a farmer. From 1882 - 1894 he was Justice of the Peace. He died 21 Dec 1902. He and his wife had five children: William Thomas (1 Feb 1860 - 1938), Richard Alfonso (27 Aug 1861 - 11 Mar 1908), James Alonzo (22 Mar 1864 - 11 Aug 1941), Joseph Theodore (11 Oct 1867 - 23 Mar 1928) and Catherine who died very young.

John Hill Jacocks is buried in the Jacocks Family Cemetery along with his wife and other relatives.

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John Hill Jacock's son and daughter-in-law, James Alonzo Jacocks
and Mary Jennie Castellaw with children around 1894.

Mary Jennie was the sister of my great-grandfather, Bob Castellaw.

Source: cwjacocks on

The 1890 US Census was destroyed in a fire but we can jump ahead a decade and see what the John Hill Jacocks family was up to in the 1900 census.

John was 68, Sarah was 66. Living with them was their son, Joseph Theodore. (age 32), Myra Lou Moody (age 31) and their sons: Arthur Wayland (age 9), Robert T. (age 3), and Floyd Wilkes. (8 months). Also living with the family was John's widowed sister, Mary Janet Jacocks Shaw who was 73.

Arthur Wayland Jacocks, who was nine in 1900, was the father of my great uncle, J.T. Jacocks. Uncle J.T. and Aunt Cordelia lived next door to Arthur and Myra when I was very young and I have a very fuzzy memory of being in their kitchen with my cousin, Jesse Jacocks.

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John Hill and Sarah Jacocks inclusion in the 1890 US Census

In the 1900 census, the John Hill Jacocks family was living just two farms away from the homestead of Charles Buchanan and Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace, my second great-grandparents. My great-grandfather, James Luther Lovelace was 14 and living in the house with eight siblings.

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Charles B. and Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace

Below is John Hill Jacock's letter and then a transcription. I corrected some of the spelling and grammar while transcribing to allow for better comprehension of his meaning.

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Brownsville, Tennessee 8-26-91

Mr. J.J. Jacocks,

Dear Sir,

Before me lies a postal on which I see your name. A name as near and dear to me as to you. Yes as dear to me as life – I love it – and must entertain the kindest and best of feelings toward any and all of lineal descent who bear it.

I reverence it because my ancestors bore it. Because my father loved it, my brothers and lastly, my children bear it. And I am proud to say if any of them ones did anything to blot or tarnish it, I have never heard of it.

I have reverence to my father’s family, which is the only one in this state.

My father was visited once by one cousin Thomas Jacocks of your county. He was a noble-looking gentleman; one that I admired. I was small but I remember him well. He said his weight was 207 lbs.

Another cousin paid my father a visit whose name was James Jacocks. He was an Episcopal minister. I remember he had a sister whose name was Grace.

They lived in Hartford or Newhaven Connecticut. I disremember which.

One thing that occurred however while he was here - at least in Jackson, Tennessee. The evening after he left Father’s, Father sent him by my house goes brother to that point – Soon after supper said my brother some 15 or 20 people congregated at the private house of the family with whom cousin Jimmie stopped and, after a while, they had family prayers and whilst engaged in prayer after a short ceremony, all present responded, Amen. At that moment, brother got up, looking around, seeing all still kneeling, he bowed again – presently said he, they cried out, Amen. Again he arose but took position as before and thought, I would watch while they prayed.

 "Daddy, what kind of folks are these Episcopalians?"

On his return home he related the circumstances to father and family. Said he, Daddy, what kind of folks are these Episcopalians? All the denominations around here, when they say amen rise – but cousin Jimmi’s folks didn’t do that. They said amen and continued until they had said had amen 3 or 4 times.

I have never heard from him since he left Jackson. Neither have heard from cousin Tom. Only through Mr. Lewis T. Bond and Thomas E. Fanning who moved out here before the war from your county. Uncle Lewis use to tell me that I ought to write to my relatives in N.C. That they were much more clever than these Jacocks here.

I would always tell him he did not know how clever we were – that if you all were more clever than we were, I was glad of it.

I have heard our distinguished Frank P. Bond speak of the Jacocks family there and he too, I am proud to say, speaks in praise of the family. And having said I love the name, I love it the more because all who have borne it, as far as my knowledge extends, were people of respectability. Some of them of note and occupied responsible and honored positions with credit to themselves and honor to their country.

And if that be true, why not be proud of the name?

My father came to this county in the year 1823, boarded at Colonel Richard Nixon’s who married his Aunt Nancy Jacocks who as well as I remember father said was the only sister his father had. My recollection is that there were three brothers: John, Jonathan and Charles. The latter being my grandfather. John I think was the father of Rev. James Jacocks of Connecticut. As to Jonathan, I think perhaps he remained there and doubtless you are his son as you being the father of eight children, I think too old to be his grandson.

Well as above stated, my father moved to this county in 1823. Col. Nixon who married to his aunt had a big tract of land out here of 3,840 acres and was in debt to father and prevailed on him to move out west, where he could live on game and raise children. He came, stayed at Uncle Nixon’s a few months and whilst there, my second brother (whose name was Charles Worth Blount after grandfather) was born.

Father took a lease on Uncle’s land, built a double rail pen and moved us in it. Made beadstead of forks and poles. The year 1821, he bought 500 acres of land from his uncle, built a log cabin and moved there and lived until his death which sad event occurred on the 9th of June 1863.

My father was a coachmaker by trade. Served as an apprentice 7 years under one Jonathan Wyatt in Raleigh, N.C. He married my mother, whose maiden name was Clayton – Margaret Stevenson Clayton. Her father’s name was Asher Clayton and her mother’s maiden name was Whidbee – Mary.

My parents were both orphan children at the age of seven years. My grandmother on Father’s side whose maiden name was (Janet) Young, never married after the death of Grandfather. My Grandmother Clayton married a gentleman named James Leigh. Said James Leigh had one son that was a noted minister Hezekiah G. Leigh (Methodist) and another whose name was Richard who moved to Georgia – died during the war.

My mother died 14th Aug 1874. Youngest brother Jonathan died after passing through the war 15th Jan 1879. My eldest brother who was born there passed through the war and died 10 July 1887.

Brother Augustus said he either met with or saw one Hardy Jacocks in Memphis, Tennessee during the war or he heard of him there. I have heard Jeface (?) – was told he went to Florida and proposed getting rich by raising oranges – have heard nothing since save that in your postal to my nephew, Jas. T. (?)

Was he not a brother of big Cousin Tom or were there 2 Jefesers? You said you had eight children.

I see that I have filled this sheet. Now if tired, you can rest. Rub your eyes and look at over what follows. If old like myself, you can read when plainly written better or easier than you can write.

You well know I can’t stop yet. If so, what would the fond loving mother of all those eight children think? She would say, “Strange Jacocks that write four pages of fool scrap paper to my husband and saying nothing of me.”

Well just tell her for me, I love her and all her children whether old or young, girls or boys – that I love them because of their name; and because they are descended out of good and honorable sires. Tell her I love because I think as your name was Jacocks, you were a man of sense and taste and such, you would never have loved her and sought her as a life companion unless she had been worthy – For all I know, she may be your superior in point of intellect. If so we will have no quarrel about that – how about affoter smiles? That makes a big difference.

Yes, tell her I love her because she is the mother of children who bear my name – yes, tell her I regard her as a good woman and will say to you if she has the qualities such as sought by me in mine you may set it down as a fact, you have a good wife. She may have others – but to my mind there is none more commendable – as I used to say – than industry, economy and good sense combined. Was the style of a wife I wished to find.

As regards, my wife will say I have no cause to or right to complain.

Had I the pick and choice of the fair ones of earth, I could never have found one more congenial – better fitted in every sense of the word than she for a life companion.

She is somewhat like her father. She has never approved of kissing though fashionable with many ladies – is one she abhors. Her father, whose name was Thomas Carter, was born and raised in Wake County, N.C. (He) moved to this county in 1831, the year I was born. (He) was never known to kiss but one of his children and that was when it was a corpse.

She says there is more deception in a kiss than anything – says our savior was betrayed by a kiss.

"...not as pretty to be sure, but other
qualities characteristic of beauty is still there." 

Well you and yours can believe it or let it alone – she is lovely and as loving now as when we first married – not as pretty to be sure, but other qualities characteristic of beauty is still there.

Well next to the name of Jacocks, Carter stands second with me. Why? Because it was the name of the one I loved in my palony (?) days the name of one who loved and still loves me. If she had left me – just so we had a few words Monday morning last and parted. Were I better acquainted, I would write you as I did this morning to my sister-in-law. 
I wrote as though Mama, as I call my wife, and myself had separated – the children was the cause of it, etc. Explained by telling that Mama was at my son Jimmie’s nursing Jimmie, his wife, Ella May his little 20-month old girl and another unknown to her. By me called Sallie. Just so, the children separate us sometimes – that hours is agreeable as should be.

The fond mother loves the children she bears and it is a rare thing for her to forsake them. In times of trouble, she is ever ready and willing to lend the helping hand and encourage them by words of kindness, gentleness, love and her presence.

Mother’s blessed name – more precious than gold. Like that of Jesus in heaven. The best to mortals given.

Fathers as well as mother dear we should ever love as well as fear. This it was with me. I loved my parents, they loved me. They were members of the Methodist church. My father held family prayer morning and night to his God first, then blessings. I have often heard my mother pray around the hearthstone of my old home – peace to the ashes of our beloved dead – and let us hope yea fondly hope their immortal spirits have winged their flight to that God who gave them. 

"I live in hope of meeting our loved
ones beyond the starry sky where
we shall live and never die."

When I retrospect the days of my youth the moments of childhood, mirth and glee, the pleasures of my life so made by fond loving parents, kind brothers as fond and loving sisters. I thought long this time from childhood to manhood just so with all children we know this apparently a long step from infancy to man and womanhood thence the grave Oh: how short Time flies and with it we away to that town from whence we ever returns. I live in hope of meeting our loved ones beyond the starry sky where we shall live and never die.

I hope my dear cousin if such I may call you, you will pardon me for having written such a lengthy communication which may or may not interest you. Otherwise, I shall expect nothing.

I don’t write often and even then tis short. But elated at the idea of hearing of you and seeing your postal and name so familiar and feeling interested in those who bore it. I have taken the ? of writing more than I would have ? to write to any one bearing any other name.

I see the space below is growing less and there are questions about the family I wish to ask – the name of your father, mother, your wife and children by way in short biographical sketch of the whole family of Jacocks.

Would like to know who they are, where they are and what they are doing. If there be any of them where they should not be for God’s sake keep it to yourself.

"We are poor but came by our poverty honest..."

I will say, as to those of my Father’s family here who are sure from the old block, we are a chip from the same. We are poor but came by our poverty honest and we don’t think honest poverty a disgrace and though poor we bear up under it.

Look and hope we may never beg bread will say we have never done it and God help us we won’t.

Answer and you will, if I am living, you will hear more from one John Hill Jacocks.
For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Trouble Comes Not Single-handed

This is my first blog post to include one of the many letters found during a recent genealogy road trip to Chapel Hill, N.C. to the University of North Carolina Southern Historical Collection.

This letter was in the "Jonathan Jacocks Papers, 1732-1908" collection. Included are letters to members of the Jacocks family in Bertie County, N.C. from their relatives in Haywood County, Tenn.

Because this particular two-page letter was never completed and doesn't include a name in the greeting, it was difficult to determine the author.

I transcribed it below but note that I corrected some of the punctuation and spelling to allow for better comprehension of her meaning.

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November 16, 1854
Haywood County, Tenn.

Dear Brother,

We received your letter some few weeks since. I feel truly thankful to learn you are all in good health, and from the tone and way of jesting, you must have been in fine spirits. A cheerful heart; what a blessing. Ah, that your sister could once more feel cheerful.

For several months, I mourned with a sad, aching heart, in a strait between hope and fear. Trouble comes not single-handed. The fears and uneasiness of mind that I experienced, none but an affectionate and loving sister and mother can form any idea. While watching my poor afflicted child, I was fearful that you were sore afflicted or gone to your long home. Daily I prayed if you still lived that you might be restored to health.

Our heavenly father required a sacrifice of the twaine. Elder brother was taken, we are yet in a gospel land. O let us improve the golden moments.

The 3rd of last November, Charles Blount was taken with a chill. On the 15 he came home. On his way home, his horse fell and threw him on the abutment of a bridge. He told me he lay a considerable time. He thought (he was) nearly killed.

Three times the horse fell with him on his way home owing to the stepping on the heel of the fore shoulder. He was much plagued with night sweats, (and) the return of chills and cough.
He inquired several times if I had received a letter from any of your family. Learning we had not, he was much concerned and said he was fearful something serious had taken place.

No doubt he thought you dead.

About the 24th or 25th of November, we were sitting alone after the family retired to bed. I am much afflicted with the rheumatism in my left hand and am frequently rubbing and elevating it for relief. He was sitting near me and commenced to rubbing his right thumb and said it appeared like a thousand needles was sticking in it. He began to run his fingers (and) remarked that the same was running up his arm, rubbing with the left hand to the shoulder. (He) clapped his hand on the right jaw and said it appeared like ringing out his teeth.

He was so sensitive that I flattered myself it was only sympathy for me and told him he felt too much for me. Ah little did I think what would follow. The same feelings came on the next night (and) the evening after.

Then (he had) from three to six spells. In a few days, his speech was much altered. (He) could scarcely raise his right hand or foot. A few days before, his speech failed. He saw shedding tears (and) looked at me so inquiringly. I told him I could not help weeping to see him suffer…
The letter was never completed.

From some of the facts included in the letter, I am fairly certain it's from Margaret Stevenson Clayton Jacocks of Haywood County, Tenn. to a brother back in Windsor, Bertie County, N.C., the birthplace of both she and her husband.

Margaret was the wife of Jonathan Thomas Jacocks, who was a son of Charles Worth Jacocks (16 Dec 1767 – 10 Dec 1803) of Bertie County.

Jonathan was a coachmaker who was persuaded by his uncle, Colonel Richard Nixon, one of the earliest settlers of Haywood County, Tenn. to move his family to West Tennessee in 1823. Richard Nixon was the husband of Jonathan’s late aunt, Ann Jacocks Nixon. This is not my first introduction to this Jacocks who I included in a blog post last month.

Jonathan and Margaret had six children, one of which was Charles Worth Blount Jacocks who died at the age of 29 on 4 Jan 1854 in Haywood County.

In the 1850 Haywood County census, Jonathan Jacocks is 54 and Margaret is 52. Living with them is Charles B. who is 26, Mary who is 22, Joseph who is 20, John who is 19, and Jonathan who is 15.

The author of the letter refers to her son as “Charles Blount.”

She also refereed to him in the letter as "elder brother" which further corroborates this theory because Charles B. Jacocks is the next to oldest brother in the family of Jonathan and Margaret Jacocks.

The Jacocks and Blount families united when an earlier Jonathan Jacocks (1686 – 1735) married Mary Blount (1696 – 1735) in Bertie County. These were Jonathan Thomas Jacocks’ grandparents so it’s also reasonable to assume one of his sons would have “Blount” included in his name.

The Charles Blount in the letter received a head injury on 15 Nov 1853 and began having symptoms of a stroke by 24 or 25 of November 1853.

According to records, Charles Worth Blount Jacocks died 4 Jan 1854, shortly after the date of the accident of the Charles Blount in the letter.

All the facts seem to confirm Margaret wrote the letter about the death of her son, Charles Jacocks. However, it appears she was an only child and her husband had no brothers so I am stumped regarding the "brother" to whom she was writing the letter.

I have a couple of connections to this Jacocks family in my family tree.

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l to r: Robert Edward "Bob" Castellaw, Zula Zera Watridge Castellaw,
John Hilburn, Nora Castellaw Hilburn, Zach Fletcher Castellaw,
James Alonzo Jacocks and Mary Jennie Castellaw Jacocks.

Another of Jonathan and Margaret’s six children was John Hill Jacocks (24 Nov 1831 – 21 Dec 1902). He had a son named James Alonzo Jacocks (abt. 1865 – 11 Aug 1941). James was married to Mary Jennie Castellaw (19 Aug 1866 – 23 Jan 1946) who was a sister to my great-grandfather, Bob Castellaw (24 Dec 1868 – 15 Aug 1954). I included them in a blog entry last year.

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Guy Lovelace and J.T. Jacocks around 1939

Another of John Hill Jacocks’ sons was Joseph Theodore Jacocks (11 Oct 1867 – 23 Mar 1920) who was the father of Arthur Wayland Jacocks (22 Apr 1891 – Jul 1979). He was the father of Jessie Theodore “J.T.” Jacocks (7 Oct 1920 – 19 Jan 1988), who was my great-uncle. Uncle J.T. was married to my maternal grandmother, Virginia Brantley Lovelace’s sister, Cordelia Brantley Jacocks (06 Oct 1919 – 16 Jun 2005).

Uncle J.T and my maternal grandfather, Guy Lovelace were partners in a construction business. I rode home from Uncle J.T.’s funeral with my grandfather and, when we got in the car, he shook his head and said, “I buried my best friend today.”

Thankfully, when Margaret Jacocks was grieving for her son Charles, she wrote down enough information that nearly 160 years later, we would be able to figure out his identity and remember him more that just a name and a date on a chart.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

50th Birthday Genealogy Road Trip

My 50th birthday last week was a great excuse to check out a few places I've read about for several years but never actually visited. I gathered content that I'll be posting in my blog for months to come but for now I wanted to post a quick overview and share some photos.

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Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Our first stop was the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill so I could check out the Southern Historical Collection on the 4th floor of the Wilson Library. From their website:
"The Southern Historical Collection is a vast collection of distinct archival collections. These collections are comprised of unique primary documents, such as diaries, journals, letters, correspondence, photographs, maps, drawings, ledgers, oral histories, moving images, albums, scrapbooks, and literary manuscripts."
The two collections I wanted to explore were letters to family members in Haywood County in the Jonathan Jacocks collection and letters from Penelope Johnston to her cousin Samuel Johnston in the Hayes Collection.

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Letters from family in Haywood County, Tenn.
to Jonathan Jacocks of Bertie County, N.C.

I only had four hours before we needed to check out of the hotel, so I photographed what I found faster than I could read it. I still don't exactly what content is in all these letters but it will be fun sorting them out and posting the names and dates in coming months.

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Letter from Penelope Johnston to her brother
written on 26 Jun 1758

I am still trying to connect John Dawson Castellaw's mother, Margaret Dawson, to Penelope Johnston Dawson beyond any doubt and I am hopeful her letters may provide some clues. I was able to get through two of more than 20 archival boxes and took photos of many letters and documents. I will be going through those in coming months and sharing those contents here on my blog also.

In multiple places online I have found comments that John Castellaw "married a Dawson from Eden House." If I can find proof, this would connect those of us with John Dawson Castellaw ancestry with Gabriel Johnston, a defining figure in early American history.

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Reproduction of early 19th-century library from Hayes Plantation

I found a library inside the library.

The possible family connection with Gabriel Johnston made this discover even more exciting.

Johnston and his brother, Samuel Johnston, who he brought to America from Scotland, both loved to collect books. Gabriel began the collection with books originally owned by Charles Eden, the first Royal Governor of North Carolina. Johnston was married to Eden's step-daughter, Penelope. Later generations continued the collection at Hayes Plantation in Edenton, N.C. and in 1999 it was donated to the Wilson Library by Gilliam and Annette Wood, the present owner of Hayes.

You can check out more pictures I took inside the library inside the library here.

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Meeting the Indian Chief Pemisapan who later in the evening
would be beheaded by the English. That's show business...

That night, after dropping off our things at our beach house on Nag's Head, we headed to catch a performance of "The Lost Colony" which is, according to their website, "America's longest running outdoor drama." It was a great experience all of us in my family would highly recommend. I was especially surprised by the level of quality in the production. I would suggest you take advantage of the behind-the-scenes tour that takes place before the show begins.

That's where you learn a lot more of the history of the actual colony that was lost and discover some interesting trivia about show itself. For example, what television actor got his start playing Sir Walter Raleigh in "The Lost Colony" in the early 1950s? Answer

You can check out a few of my pictures from the production here.

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Video from St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Edenton, N.C.

We began the next morning in Edenton, N.C. with a visit to St.  Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery. The early service was just ending so I got a quick video of the cemetery with music provided by the congregation.

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Charles Eden, is that you?

Charles Eden, Gabriel Johnston, Penelope Golland Johnston and other likely ancestors are buried in the cemetery but their headstones have worn away and I couldn't identify any of them.

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Wooden bridge to Hayes Plantation

Because I had seen the old library at UNC, I wanted to check out Hayes Plantation but you have to drive over a wooden bridge and down a driveway that is clearly marked, "Do not drive down our driveway." This was as close as I got but you can check out photos of the house here and here.

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"Salmon Creek and Eden House, Seedbed of the Colony"

On the way to Bertie County, we stopped by Eden House. Nothing remains but this historic marker. Erected in June 2001, the large marker replaced four older markers, all of which were scrapped when construction began on the US 17 bridge we used to drive across the Chowan River.

The text from the marker:
"Along the banks of the Chowan River and Salmon Creek, the seeds were planted for the colony and state of North Carolina. From these roots in the 1600s emerged the refined plantation life of the ruling colonial gentry in the 1700s, made possible by the displacement of Indians and with slave labor. The earliest settlers in this region, largely natives of the British Isles, transplanted their folkways, building techniques, agricultural methods, and adventurous spirit to these shores.

Explorers venturing south from Virginia included John Pory who in 1622 visited the Chowan River area, reporting the natives friendly and prospects for settlement good. Among the first permanent European settlers was Nathaniel Batts, a trader in animal pelts. In 1655 he hired a carpenter to build a house about three miles south near the mouth of Salmon Creek. By the time Charles II of England granted a charter to the Lords Proprietors in 1663, a small but growing community was in place along this river. The area was designated one of three official ports of entry in 1676.

While the proprietors legally headed the government, power rested in the hands of the governor and the council. Six colonial governors lived nearby during the proprietary (1663-1729) and royal (1729-1776) periods:

*     Samuel Stephens, the first of the leaders to settle on Salmon Creek, encountered dissension and despair among the colonists during his term, 1667-1670.
*     Seth Sothel in 1678 acquired 4,000 acres where Batts and Stephens had lived. As governor beginning in 1682, Sothel incurred charges of oppression, tyranny, extortion, and bribery, leading to his conviction and banishment in 1689.
*     Edward Hyde also served a stormy tenure as governor, 1711-1712, witnessing the outbreak of the Tuscarora War that devastated the colony. Hyde, who took up residence on Salmon Creek in 1710, was the first governor of the separate colony of North Carolina, the division of Carolina taking place in 1712.
*     Thomas Pollock, who had been jailed by Sothel, served as acting governor, 1712-1714 and again in 1722. His plantation house, “Balgra,” was two miles south on the north side of Salmon Creek. There he and Hyde withstood a small naval attack in 1711 during Cary’s Rebellion.
*     Charles Eden, governor from 1714 to 1722, purchased the property in this immediate vicinity in 1719 and constructed “Eden House” a few yards north. His home in time became an elegant center of social life for the Albemarle aristocracy. Following his death in 1722, the “Town on Queen Anne’s Creek” was renamed Edenton and soon supplanted this area as the social and political center.
*     Gabriel Johnston, who served as royal governor from 1734 to 1752, married Eden’s stepdaughter Penelope Golland around 1740 and lived at Eden House. By the close of his term North Carolina was undergoing tremendous growth and settlement had extended to the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.
Over time the colonial estates along the Chowan River and Salmon Creek have been lost to shoreline erosion, fire, or decay. The area south of Salmon Creek, owned through most of the 1700s by three generations of the Duckenfield family, was acquired by the Capeheart family in 1829 and afterwards known as “Avoca.” Pollock’s grave at “Balgra” and those at Eden House were moved to Edenton around 1890. In 1996, prior to construction of the improved US 17 bridge, archaeologists excavated an area a short distance southeast uncovering remnants of two houses constructed in the late 1600s and later owned by the Eden family."

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Photo of Eden House approximately where it originally sat.

Although Eden House is no longer there, an interesting archaeological project came about as the result of a highway project designed to widen US 17 and replace the bridge over the Chowan River.
"After taking measures to avoid a cemetery and other parts of the site, NCDOT funded a major excavation at the Eden House site. Archaeologists from Coastal Carolina Research of Tarboro, North Carolina worked at the site during the summer and fall of 1996. There they uncovered the remains of one of the oldest settlements in the Albemarle region. Traces of two houses, a barn, a well, trash pits, fence lines, a privy (outdoor bathroom), and thousands of artifacts thrown away by those living at the site through the years."


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Capeharts Baptist Church,

I've been reading about this church since I first became interested in genealogy. Located in Merry Hill, N.C. in Bertie County, Capeharts Baptist Church first began 10 Dec 1824. My fifth great grandparents, John Dawson Castellaw (possibly the son of Penelope Dawson, the granddaughter of Gabriel and Penelope Golland Johnston) and his wife, Zilpha Spruill Castellaw helped begin this church.

Other family names of original members who are also in my line include Cobb, Williams, Butterton, Demspey, and Hardy. Many of these families loaded up 10 years later and followed John Dawson Castellaw to Haywood County, Tenn. where they helped settle the area.

You can check out other photos, including the inside of the church, here.

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Colerain Baptist Church

Beginning as Wiccacon Baptist in 1757, Colerain Baptist Church was established as a mission of Cashie Baptist, Windsor. A few of my ancestors left this church to help start Capeharts Baptist Church.

Some of these same church members started Zion Baptist Church when they arrived in Haywood County and then later, Holly Grove Baptist Church.

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Sage growing in a field in Bertie County, N.C.

One thing I will always remember about this trip is sage. There was sage growing in nearly every field we passed and I had never even seen sage before. We had to google it just to figure out what it was. Bertie has to be the sage capital of the world. That, combined with all the old wood houses with tin roofs, created some amazing photo opportunities.

You can see more photos of sage, cemeteries and churches from our trip here.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to Haywood County Line Genealogy Page.