Sunday, September 29, 2013

Finally Finding the Jacocks Family Cemetery

Video of the Jacocks Family Cemetery

Since I transcribed and uploaded this letter (and then this letter) from John Hill Jacocks that I found on my 50th Birthday Genealogy Road Trip, I've been looking for the Haywood County, Tenn. cemetery in which he was buried.

It was supposed to be on Brantley Road but I couldn't find it. Thanks to my cousin Betsy's detective work, I discovered the part of Brantley Road where the cemetery is located was changed to Marbury Road and Betsy knew right where the cemetery was. She even cleared it with the current owner for me to check it out when I was back in Tennessee last weekend for the Lovelace Family Reunion.

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The Jacocks Family Cemetery

Although there are most likely many more individuals buried in the cemetery, below are photos of the headstones that can be found there now. A big shout out to the Hooper Family who have taken care of the cemetery and made sure it wasn't destroyed by loggers like many in the area.

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John Hill Jaocks Headstone

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 and was very proud of his family and heritage. John's father, Jonathan Jacocks, followed his uncle, Colonel Richard Nixon, to Haywood County in 1823 and became one of the original founders. John farmed the same land his father settled.

As you can tell from his letters, John had taken the time to educate himself more than many others in his community and was able to read and write very well. From 1882 - 1894 he was also a Justice of the Peace. 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 Katie A. (11 Mar 1870 and died 27 Sept 1873).

John died 21 Dec 1902 and was buried there on his property. Two years later, his wife Sarah would be buried there as well.

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Richard Alfonso Jacocks; his wife, Mildred Watridge Jacocks;
their infant; and son, Carey H. Jacocks 

Richard Alfonso Jacocks was one of the sons of John Hill Jacocks. He was born 27 Aug 1861 in Haywood County. He married Mildrid Watridge on 18 Jan 1887 and they had several children together. First, they had an infant who was likely born dead in 1889. Then they had a son, Carey H. Jacocks, on 16 Oct 1891 but he died when he was two on 4 Jul 1893. They then had two daughters, Mildred who was born in 1895 and Lucille who was born in 1897. 

Mildred Watridge Jacocks died 22 Feb 1902 when she was just 34 leaving Richard a widower with two young daughters: a seven-year-old and five-year-old.

Richard himself died six years later on 11 Mar 1908 when he was just 46. He was buried along side his wife and two children in the cemetery.

Mildred was 13 and Lucille was 11. After their father died they went to live with the family of his brother, Joseph Thomas "Joe" Jacocks and Joe's wife, Myra L. Moody Jacocks and their three young sons: Arthur W., Robert T., and Floyd W.

Arthur was the father of my great uncle, J.T. Jacocks.

Joe and Myra are buried at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Haywood County.

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Katie A. Jacocks

Katie A. Jacocks was an infant daughter of John Hill Jacocks and his wife Sarah. She was born 11 Mar 1870 and died 27 Sept 1873.

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James Clyde Jacocks and Marrie L. Jacocks

James Clyde and Marrie L. were was John Hill Jacocks grandchildren by his son, Joe and daughter-in-law, Myra.  James was born 8 Oct 1901 and died almost a year later on 27 Sept 1901. Marie was born on 1 Apr 1904 and died when she was two in 1906.

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Mattie Olivia Jacocks

Mattie Olivia was a daughter of "J.T. and M.S. Jacocks." Although her father could have been Joseph Theodore, the "M.S." on the headstone is confusing because the name of Joe's wife was Myra L. Moody.

Standing there in that cemetery, I was reminded of words John Hill Jacocks so eloquently wrote in his letter back in 1898:
"Ever and again the full destroyer death claimed as its victims some of our loved ones – a father, mother, brother, sister or some schoolmate or associate. Just then our gladness changed to sorrow, grief and sadness. 'Time files' and with it its light. 
We too pass, as have many of our loved ones, to the grave and but for the hope we have on meeting them on God’s blissful shore where we will live with them forever more, our heart of hearts would join and grieve us, our tears forever flow in sorrow and sadness."
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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Billy Tripp's Mindfield in Haywood County

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

My blog posts are usually about genealogy but during last weekend's trip to Haywood County, I had a few extra minutes to grab some photos of a very unusual folk art display right in the middle of Brownsville, Tenn. My wife is into outsider art so she would do a better job of explaining it but I did want to share my photos.

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

Located right next door to the grocery store where my grandmother won $500 at the "Let's go to the Races" promotion, according to Wikipedia, the Minefield is the largest outdoor sculpture in Tennessee and reaches over 125 feet tall.

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

Sculpted by Billy Tripp, who is from Jackson, Tenn., the Mindfield has to be experienced. I've driven by it hundreds of times, but on this morning I was able to take the time to walk around and really look at it. The fact that it sits right in the middle of Brownsville makes it even more interesting.

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

Tripp began his sculpture in 1989 and he says he will continue to work on it until he dies and then it will become the place he is buried. The sculpture is intended to represent various events in his life including the death of his father, Rev. Charles Tripp. 

Ah ha...once you find out he was a preacher's kid, that explains a lot.

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

The Mindfield is made from steel girders, scrap metal, and lots of other materials thrown in for good measure...including a bathtub, Incredible Hulk doll, water tower and...well you get the idea.

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

You can check out more photos from my personal Mindfield experience here but if you're really wanting a dose of outsider art and Billy Tripp's Mindfield (along with music by Joe Cocker)you could watch the video below. Then, the next time you are driving down I-40, take Exit 56 and visit it for yourself. 

One last tip: when you've worked up an appetite, head over to Helen's Barbecue and have lunch.

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, September 15, 2013

Jacocks' Letter Reveals Details About 1800s Haywood County Culture

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To me, the most fun part of genealogy research is not the names, dates and locations of my ancestors, but those moments when you actually find details about the lives they lived. I love it when I uncover a real glimpse into the past.

Jonathan Hill Jacocks' letters offer such a look into the culture of my Haywood County, Tenn. ancestors who were his friends and relatives from the time of his birth on Nov. 24, 1831 until his death on Dec. 21, 1902. He lived among the Lovelaces, Cobbs, Brantleys, Marburys, Castalaws and others that appear in my family line.

I found a file full of Jacocks' letters during a visit to The Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Back in June I posted an eight-page letter that included his thoughts on such topics as his pride in his heritage, early history of Haywood County and memories of visits during his childhood by distant relatives from Bertie County, N.C.

Tonight, I finished transcribing a 12-page letter, written Oct. 16, 1898, that really offers some interesting insight into several different aspects of his life and that of my ancestors who were his contemporaries.

In case you don't have time to read all 12 pages, below are a few of my favorite passages:

Jacocks on the relatives he had not yet met:
"Well, I have lived quite a lifetime with but little knowledge of them. If they have lived right, done well and others are blessed and made comfortable, contented and happy, I am glad and proud to know we were akin.

Otherwise I am sorry."
Jacocks on hard work in Haywood County as a young man:
"In the day of my youth I labored under many disadvantages, as did many other reared in this section of the country. Circumstances in life by which many were surrounded, compelled the youths, most of them of my day to labor on the farm to help their parents, support the families.

True, all did not work for a living.

There were many slave owners whose children had an easy time, reared in affluence and ease, were educated and refined but the middle class slave owners who taught their children to work with their slaves – cultivate or till the soil with their own hands – many of them up to manhood receiving but little education, many of them are groveling in ignorance today whilst some few have educated themselves and rose to eminence." 
Jacocks on "charming charmers:"
"I am also proud of the girls – schoolmates of my boyhood days.
I have nothing to say derogatory to their department in life – Some of them were pretty and lovely and in after years when their cheeks were all aglow with radiance and sweet womanhood – they possessed charms of admiration; and with these and other adorning, fascinating, alluring and other assent also in her noble refined, dignified - yes their morals and virtues all right – they became charming charmers and charmed some of the boys and actually married them.
Most of them made kind and affectionate wives – and loving mothers. Some of them are great-grandmothers."
Jacocks on a preacher he knew:
I well remember our pioneer preacher circuit rider whose name was Arthur Davis. Speaking of him, I am reminded of what was told me when a small boy – and the same was told to me not long ago by an old citizen who seems to be ignorant of the fact as occurred.

This man Davis, when a boy, was very wicked and daring. He feared, so said, neither God, the boys with whom he associated nor the devil. Was full of mischief - a digression but will return to the intended narrative after a while after giving you some idea of the character of Davis – something connected with his mischief led to his conviction and conversion that occurred as I have been told in this way –
He was in the road and a boy came along in a cart and Davis said to him he wanted to ride a piece – and the boy in the cart told him to get in – and after a little, Davis asked the boy if he was a possessor of religion – where upon he answered no – then said Davis – without religion you are lost and damned forever, told him he was a preacher – he would preach to him and pray for him – so saying he began his sermon pleaded with the boy to bow and pray to God, have faith in Christ and grace was with him he sins would be forgiven. The boy was converted and Davis too.

They shouted together on the road."
Jacocks on that same preacher:
" I return to him as the Pioneer Preacher of West Tennessee. He sent out appointments by travelers with him he chanced to meet at different places – sent one to a place in Madison County adjourning Haywood on the East to a place called Denmark.

He went to his appointment. A few good people were present – some not so good - Davis was invited by one Major Merriweather to leave another appointment – he did so - and some of the reckless characters got up a horse race - gambling crew and swore if that man came to preach they would whip him.  
Davis was warned of the threat, he was small of stature but was a man of courage – fearless. On the day of his appointment, he went, found the posse of scoundrels, blacklegs and gamblers – some playing cards, etc. – he associates in a lively way with the crowd, good humor really cracked jokes – told anecdotes and in the meantime, some of them spoke of this preacher and spoke of what they intended doing with him.
The time of preaching arrived – He arose and said to the crowd that if they had no objections he would preach to them. 
Believing him to be one of their kind, they agreed he should do so. He told them that he was the Methodist circuit rider that had proposed to whip – now says he, ‘I profess to be a man of God -- if you are determined to whip me – give me a fair showing. Come at me one at a time. I am ready for you. I came here to preach. Please be quiet and preach I will.’

He did so and the leader of the flock was convicted under his sermon asked him to his house and leave another appointment. The result was the conversion of the posse and organization of a church.  
Guess things often happen mysteriously you know." 
Jacocks on parties from his youth:
"All these were friends of my youth. With them, I had no quarrels; with us all was peace and harmony; and after awhile we had our social gatherings – invited guests and by the way it not infrequently happened that we had storm parties and let me tell you the girls and boys were passing into young man and lovely womenhood at most all our gatherings. We were warmly greeted and courteously treated. It mattered not whether invitations were written or verbal or whether if  given of liberty was taken by any to go whether invited or not. All were or most of them were kindly treated by proprietors of the house and sumptuously fed on the best."
Jacocks on dancing:
"We often had music violin, flute and guitar. Seldom any dancing. We had plays of various kinds – among them one called Justification. Some of the older people after seeing the movements in this game denominated it dancing.

Quite a number of church members were betrayed into it whose rules and religion forbade dancing – and the funny part about that game was they could not play it without music.  
I had no taste for the plays but was delighted with the music and much more so with the charming charmers – the fascinating young ladies of course – and now that I think about it, will say one of our violinists is a prominent minister in the Methodist Church. A very zealous worker in his charge in sermon, song and prayers – has done much good – won many souls to Christ and I warmly hope may live to win many more."
Jacocks on death:

"Ever and again the full destroyer death claimed as its victims some of our loved ones – a father, mother, brother, sister or some schoolmate or associate. Just then our fog and gladness changed to sorrow, grief and sadness. 'Time files' and with it is light.
 We too pass, as have many of our loved ones, to the grave and but for the hope we have on meeting them on God’s blissful shore where we will live with them forever more, our heart of hearts would join and grieve us, our tears forever flow in sorrow and sadness. 
We shed for our friends the sympathetic tear, especially those whom we in youth loved so dear. That is but natural with us you know. But when we take into consideration the immortality of the soul, in the resurrection morn when the graves shall be opened, our loved ones consigned these so long will come fourth and in judgment together we shall meet loved ones and abide the sentence of God – as to merit – just or unjust; if the former the full fountain awaits us and all our blessed dead who die in the Lord."
Jacocks on being fussy:
"I would be pleased to hear from any and all of them like to correspond with them – write to that effect for me – as ever, your old fussy cousin, Jonathon H. Jacocks.
P.S. You may be curious to know why it is that I apply the word old fussy – because so called by my step mother-in-law – a woman that I love and one too who thinks much of me and my wife, her step daughter, She simply chides me for my drollery.

That’s all."
I've been planning on finding Jonathan Hill Jacocks' grave during my upcoming trip back home and reading his letter tonight made me want to do so even more. If I find it, I'll post photos here.

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, September 8, 2013

My Fourth Great-grandfather's Stuff on Ebay

I've spent the last few months trying to uncover as much as I could about my Forrest family line and finally get the "Forrest" page of my website uploaded.

One ancestor from that line who really captured my imagination is Samuel W. Forrest. I originally thought he was my fourth great-grandfather but he may actually be the uncle of my third great-grandfather.

No matter the exact connection, there are enough echoes left from Sam's life that exploring him has been especially rewarding. Also, his Last Will and Testament really offers some great insight into the lifestyle of those ancestors who were among the earliest settlers of Haywood County.

Sam Forrest was born Nov. 25, 1794 in Wayne County, N.C. to George Forrest and Winifred Joiner Forrest. The year Sam was born, George Washington was the president of the United States.

In 1826, Samuel migrated from Pitt County, N.C. to Haywood County, Tenn. with his brother, Thomas Joiner Forrest, and the family of Thomas' wife, Charlotte Brown. A one-mile square tract of land (640 acres) had been given to Charlotte's father, Samuel Brown, for service in the Revolutionary War but he died before he was able to actually migrate west.

According to the Brown family Bible, they “left North Carolina on Thursday March 16, 1826. Their journey ended ‘in the Forkodeer Hinterland 11 May which was 8 weeks on the road.’ The family traveled with a number of other families in covered wagons to their new home in the Tennessee counties of Madison and Haywood. Included in the group were the Dickinsons, Forrests, and Musgraves.” Source

Samuel Forrest's 1859 Will 

By the time Sam wrote his will on Aug. 19, 1859, he was successful enough that he had acquired a great deal of household items, supplies and farming equipment.

Like most of the farmers of large amounts of land in that area, he was also a slave owner. According to the slave schedule of 1860, he had two slaves who were ages 12 to 50 but we know from his will that he actually owned six slaves, so five of them must have been 11 or younger.  In his will, he lists his slaves as, "one woman by the name of Wineford, two boys: Reuben and Moses and three girls: Melisa, M? and Violet."

When the census of 1860 was taken, the value of Sam's real estate was $2,640 and the value of his personal estate was $10,660, which in 1860 had roughly the same buying power as $295,000 today. Source 

Sam died Dec. 30, 1860. After his death, his widow Zilpha moved in with Ann and Samuel where she lived for another 10 years.

Sam left most of his property and belongings to his widow Zilpha and his nephew Samuel.

By looking at the items he left in his will, you can get a good idea as to what he considered most valuable.

Since all Sam's stuff is long gone, I decided to do a quick Ebay search to see what a few of these items could have looked like.

His will included:

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Bed stands & furniture...
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One folding leaf table and all of "my" sitting chairs...
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She is to keep all "her" table wear, knives,
forks, spoons, earthenware, and crockery...
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Two chests...
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One clock...
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Three pair of fire irons...
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All my books...
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One shot gun...
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One loom...
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Two spinning wheels...
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One sythe and cradle...
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As much of my stock as she may need,
consisting of horses, mules, cattle, hogs,
one yoke of oxen, one cart and wheels,
and oxen of all kinds...
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A sufficient quantity of corn, fodder,
wheat, oats, and plenty of coffee...

Where Samuel Forrest's plantation used to sit is now a cotton field and even his and his wife's graves were forgotten and plowed over. Fortunately, Bill King, a friend, and Denmark, Tenn. historian was able to rescue Samuel and Zilpha's headstones and move them to a Forrest Family Cemetery in the same area.

The next chance I get, I plan to visit and photograph the cemetery.

For lots more about the Forrest family, you can visit their page or you can check out Samuel Forrest's entire will.

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.