Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lydia Box McCollum

Lydia Box McCollum, daughter of Michael Box of Tippah County

I have written before about Lydia Box McCollum Lydia was the daughter of Michael and Mary (Fulcher) Box and the sister of our Grief Johnson Box.  Lydia Box married George McCollum about 1829/1830 in Alabama and they show up in the 1830 Census for Fayette County, Alabama.  The McCollum family moved to Tippah County, Mississippi by 1840.  Lydia's father and brothers also moved to Tippah County.  Lydia's father, Michael Box, died in 1841 in Tippah County.  In 1847, Lydia and her husband brought suit against her brother, Grief J. Box, over the mishandling of their father's estate.  The 1847 lawsuit is the last record I had of  Lydia and her husband, George McCollum.  They had been enumerated in the 1845 Mississippi State census for Tippah County, but could not be found in the 1850 census.   I could find no further records for Lydia and  George in Tippah County or anywhere else.  It seemed as if Lydia and George had completely disappeared, or so I thought. 

But, usually when someone mysteriously disappears from records, it's because I haven't looked for them in the right records.  That is exactly the case for Lydia Box and her husband, George McCollum.   Some months ago, I noticed FamilySearch.org had just placed some new probate records online for Texas.   The records were not indexed but only browsable page by page.  The original Henderson County Probate books had a two volume index for 1846-1936, so all I had to do was browse online through the index book.  I was looking for the BOX surname in Henderson County, Texas because I was originally searching for additional information on Thomas Box, Lydia's brother.  On the index page for the "B" surnames, I not only found Thomas Box but I also found a John Box connected to a Geo McColum probate!  And, the index listed lots of page numbers to the actual probate books --  I always like "lots of pages"!:) Then I searched the "M" index page for McCollum (shown below) and found both George and Lydia listed. 
Henderson County, Texas Probate Index 1846-1936 Vol 1-2, (image 42) FamilySearch.org
As it turns out, George and Lydia McCollum moved to Texas like so many of Lydia's family and extended family.  They settled in Henderson County, Texas, where Lydia's brother, Thomas Box, lived.  Since they cannot be found in the 1850 census, they might have been traveling to Texas while the census was taken.  The first record found in Henderson County was a reference in 1851 to the George McColum, operator of the Ferry at Cedar Creek and Buffalo.  On Apr 28th, 1852, George McCullum recorded a land patent in Henderson County for 640 acres.  And, a year later on March 7th, 1853, George registered his brand at the Henderson County Court House.  George apparently died in 1855, sometime before probate started in Dec 1855.  His wife, Lydia McCollum was named administrator of the George McCollum estate.   
George McCollum Probate, Vol B, Page 194, Feb 1856
George McCollum Probate, Vol. B, page 194, Feb 1856
 Lydia McCollum, Admix of Estate of George McCollum Deceased.   Ordered by the court that Lydia McCollum Widow of George McCollum deceased on written application filed be allowed the corn ____ and pork land corn appraised at 87 dollars, fodder eight dollars, pork 70 dollars and land 15 dollars which is hereby set apart for the allowance of said Lydia McCollum wife of  George McCollum Deceased.  And it is further ordered by the court.  (FamilySearch.org, Texas Probate Records, Henderson County, Minutes 1847-1883, Vol A-E, image 186)

Lydia Box McCollum would have died between Feb 1856, when she was administrator of her husband's estate, and 27 Sep 1856 when the Court ordered a guardian to be chosen for her children.  NO cemetery records have been found for either George or Lydia, or any of their children.  But, the land they owned in Henderson County, Texas is now covered by the Cedar Creek Reservoir.  If there was a family cemetery on their own land, it was covered over by the reservoir.

In the probate papers, five children are mentioned.  According to the 1840 Census, the George McCollum family was enumerated next to Michael Box, Lydia's father.  In 1840, the family consisted of 1 male 5-10 yrs (?), 1 male 30-40 yrs (George),  2 females under 5 (Martha & Mary), and 1 female 30-40 (Lydia).  The male 5-10 years old listed in the 1840 census is not accounted for in the probate papers.  The McCollum Family is not found in 1850 Census.

Children of Lydia Box and George McCollum, according to the George McCollum Probate:

1. Martha McCollum, born about 1836 in Mississippi.  Mentioned by her aunt Clarkey Box in Mormon church records.  Died about 1857 in Texas.

2. Mary McCollum, born about 1838 in Alabama.  In Oct 1856, Mary McCollum, minor heir of George McCollum and over 14 yrs, chose John Box as guardian.  Married Hubert Ezell (1828-1869) about 1857 in Henderson County, Texas.  In Sep 1858, Mary Ezell was appointed guardian for her brother, George.   In 1860 census, 25 year old, Mary Ezell is in Henderson County, Texas.  In 1870, Mary Ezell, age 32 born Mississippi, is a single head of household with a 10 year old daughter named California.  Mary died about 1875 in Texas.  Children: Daughter, Matilda California "Callie" Ezell Sanders (1859-1949) and son, Hubert T. Ezell (1867-1869).

3. Melissa McCollum, born about 1841 in Mississippi.  Melissa married B F Carpenter (1835-?) about 1860 in Texas.  Died before 1880 in Henderson County, Texas. Son, Enoch Carpenter (1861-?), and daughter, Mary Carpenter (1866-?).  Is husband, B F Carpenter, related to Clarkey Carpenter Box, the wife of Thomas Box?

4. William McCollum, born about 1846 in Mississippi.  Last mentioned in 1861 probate, when "William, minor over the age of 14 yrs, petitions court to change his guardian to Wm. K. Payne."  Wm. K. Payne became a Captain in the Confederate Army for the 13th Texas Calvary in Burnett's Regiment.  William was enlisted by Capt. Payne on Feb 15, 1862 at Athens for a period of 12 months.  On July 16, 1862, William was discharged for being too young - under the age of 18 years old.    Nothing more is known at this time.

5. George Washington McCollum, born about 1850 in Mississippi.  In Oct 1856, the Court appointed John W. Box, nearest kin, as guardian for George Washington McCollum, a minor heir of George McCollum.  In Sep 1858, Mary Ezell (sister) became guardian for George McCollum instead of John Box.  In 1860, George is living with his sister, Mary Ezell.  There is a G W McCollum married to S M McCollum living in Henderson County in 1880 but that is the last record found.



Who was John Box who was appointed guardian to the children of George McCollum?
The John Box, who was appointed guardian for the children, appears to be the son of Rolen Box and Mary Nancy Hallmark.  John Box was married to Caroline Ezell, the sister of Hubert Ezell, who married the above Mary McCollum, daughter of Lydia and George.  In the probate paper, John Box was said to have been the "nearest of kin."  Thomas Box, brother to Lydia Box McCollum, who had been living in Henderson County, had moved away and in 1856 was living in Ellis County, Texas.  The Thomas Box family moved to Utah in 1857. 



The George McCollum probate can be found on FamilySearch.org.  From main page, go to Search>Records>United States>Texas>Texas, Probate Records, 1800-1990


The following is an abstract of the George McCollum probate proceedings:

George McCollum Probate,  Henderson County, Texas Probate Records 


Vol B, page 161, Dec 1855
Ordered by the Court that the Bond filed by Mrs. Lidia McCollum Administrator of the Estate of George McCollum Dec'd be approved.
Ordered that Letters of Administration be granted to Lidia McCollum Adm't of the Estate of George McCollum Dec'd
Ordered that appraisers be appointed to appraise the Estate of George McCollum Dec'd to wit  Thos Box,  Edwin Guther, H. L. Gilmore, Joseph Rhodes,  John Box

Vol B, Page 182, 31 Jan 1856
Lydia McColum Administrator of the Estate of George McColum deceased.  Ordered and decreed by the Court that an inventory returned in the clerks office of said Court of the said Estate of the Est__ be and the same is hereby recorded.  Ordered and decreed that the inventory described in the above order be recorded in the records of said court.

Vol. B, page 194, Feb 1856
Lydia McCollum, Admix of Estate of George McCollum Deceased.   Ordered by the court that Lydia McCollum Widow of George McCollum deceased on written application filed be allowed the corn ____ and pork land corn appraised at 87 dollars, fodder eight dollars, pork 70 dollars and land 15 dollars which is hereby set apart for the allowance of said Lydia McCollum wife of  George McCollum Deceased.  And it is further ordered by the court
 [**Lydia Box McCollum would have died between Feb 1856, when she was Administrator of her husband's estate, and 27 Sep 1856 when the Court ordered a guardian to be chosen for her children.]

Vol. B, page 226, 27 Sep 1856
Ordered and decreed by the Court that citation issue to Mary, Martha and Malissa, minor heirs of George McCollum deceased, to be and appear at the next term of this Court and choose their guardian.

Vol. B page 236, October Term1856
Now at this term of the Court comes John Box who has heretofore made application for letters of Administration de bonis non to issue to him upon the Estate of George McColum deceased and it appearing to the Court that due Notice has been give of Said Application and that Said Applicant said applicant is entitled under the statues to letters upon said estate.
It is therefore ordered and decreed that John Box be and he is hereby appointed administrator de bonis non of the Estate George McColum deceased.
 And be it further ordered that the said John Box have twenty days to file his bond.
An be it further ordered that Letters issued to said Box upon said McCollum's Estate as soon as said bond be approved of according to Law.
[ DE BONIS NON , Latin for "of goods not administered," is a legal term for assets remaining in an estate after the death or removal of the estate administrator.  The second administrator is called the administrator de bonis non and distributes the remaining assets. ]

Vol. B page 237, October Term 1856
Now at this term of the court comes into open court in obedience to a citation to her issued, Mary McCollum, minor heir of George McCollum deceased and over fourteen years of age, who being called on by the court now in session to choose a guardian of her property declared her preference to be John Box.
It is therefore ordered and decreed by the court that John box be and he is hereby appointed the lawful guardian of the Estate and property of Mary McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased all in accordance with the declared wish of said Mary McCollum.

Vol. B page 238, October Term 1856
Ordered that John Box have 20 days from this term of the court to file his bond as guardian of the property of Mary McCollum as set forth in the foregoing order.
Ordered and decreed by the Court that the clerk of the County Court be required to issue Letters of Guardianship to John box upon the Estate of Mary McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased upon the approval and filling of his bond.
 Now at this term of the court comes Martha McCollum, minor heir of George McCollum deceased in obedience to a citation to her directed (being over the age of fourteen years) to appear in open court at this term and choose a guardian of her property and estate and being called on by the court to make choice of Guardian proceeded to choose John Box the Lawful Guardian of her Estate and the court being satisfied with the said minors choice.
Therefore ordered and decreed by the court that John Box be and he is hereby appointed the lawful guardian of the Estate and property of Martha McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased.

Vol. B page 239, October Term 1856
And further ordered by the Court that John Box (appointed Guardian of the Estate of Martha McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased) have twenty days to file his Bond, as Guardian of said Martha McCollum.
Ordered and decreed by the Court that the clerk of the County Court be required to issue Letters of Guardianship to John box upon the Estate of Martha McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased upon the approval and filing of his bond.
 Now at this term of the Court comes into open Court comes into open Court Malissa McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased being over the age of fourteen years.  And being called upon by the Court to choose a Guardian of her property and Estate, declared her choice to be John Box and the Court being satisfied with said choice.
Therefore ordered and decreed by the Court that John Box be appointed Guardian of the Estate and property of Malissa Box minor heir of George McCollum deceased.
And be it further ordered by the Court that said John Box be allowed 20 days to execute and file his Bond.

Vol. B page 240, October Term 1856
Ordered and decreed by the Court that the clerk of the County Court be required to issue Letters of Guardianship of the Estate of Malissa McCollum minor heir upon the filing and approval of said bond.
Ordered and decreed by the Court that H.L. Gilmore, James Shuttleworth and  Dr. William Gardner be and they are hereby appointed appraisers of the Estate and property of Martha McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased.
Ordered and decreed by the Court that H.L. Gilmore, James Shuttleworth and  Dr. James Gardner be and they are hereby appointed appraisers of the Estate and property of Martha McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased
Ordered and decreed by the Court that H.L. Gilmore and James Shuttleworth and  James Gardner be and they are hereby appointed appraisers of the Estate and property of Malissa McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased.

Vol. B page 241, October Term 1856
Now at this term of the court -- It appearing to the satisfaction of the court that William McCollum minor him under the age of fourteen years of George McCollum deceased is without any lawful Guardian and that said minors Estate is liable to waste, and application have been made to the court that John Box should be appointed guardian of the person and property of said minor and the court being satisfied that said Box was the nearest of kin to said minor.
Therefore be it ordered and decreed that John Box be and he is hereby appointed guardian of the person and property of William McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased.
Ordered and decreed that John Box appointed Guardian of the minor William McCollum have 20 days to execute and file his bond.

Vol. B page 242, October Term 1856
And be it furthered ordered that the clerk of this Court be required to issue to John Box Letters of Guardianship of William McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased when his bond may be approved and filed in this office.
Now at this term of the court -- It appearing to the satisfaction of the court that George Washington McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased under the age of fourteen years; is without any lawful Guardian and that said minors Estate is liable to waste, and that application having been made to the court that John Box should be appointed guardian of the person and property of said minor and the court being satisfied that said Box was the nearest of kin to said minor.
Therefore be it ordered and decreed that John Box be and he is hereby appointed guardian of the person and property of George Washington McCollum minor heir of George McCollum deceased.

Ordered and decreed by the Court that John Box be allowed 20 days to execute and file his bond as Guardian of the person and property of  George Washington McCollum.

[Note: The McCollum surname is somewhat difficult to research because it is spelled so many different ways in the records: McCollum, McCullom, McColum, McCollom, McCullum, McCallum, etc.]

Any additional information about Lydia Box McCollum and her family would be greatly appreciated!   Except for daughter Mary, not much is known about the other children.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Where is the Headstone?

Where is the Headstone?

The answer to the question above is, "Not where it is suppose to be!"

Most headstones indicate the place where a person is buried and are usually placed at the head of the burial plot of the person buried in a particular plot in a cemetery.  But, not so for the headstone for our 3rd great-grandma, Martha Jay Hatfield.
Martha Hatfield Headstone
Martha Jay Hatfield, was born September 25, 1830 in Randolph County, Indiana.  She was the daughter of William Jay and Labitha Hockett and came from Quaker roots.

Martha married John Martin Hatfield on September 6th, 1849 in Henry County, Iowa.  Martha and John Hatfield had seven sons.  Their fifth son, Martin Monroe Hatfield, is our ancestor.  To see the family record of the John Martin Hatfield family, click here.

Martha died on March 5th, 1863 in Taylor County, Iowa and was buried in Helm Cemetery.  Her name was on the list of burials for Helm Cemetery but no headstone could ever be found.  I always felt sad that she did not have a headstone marking her grave.

Helm Cemetery, Taylor County, Iowa
The story does not end there.  Several months ago one of our cousins, Walter Hatfield, located Martha Jay Hatfield's headstone.  But, it was not in the Helm Cemetery in Iowa where Martha Hatfield is buried;  it was in a museum in Nebraska!  Walter was able to track the headstone down in a different state, even though our grandma, Martha Jay Hatfield, is buried in Helm Cemetery in Iowa.  This is his story:


Walter has spent years working on the Hatfield Family History.  Many thanks goes out to Walter for tracking down the the headstone for our Martha Jay Hatfield.  Martha's headstone is located at the STUHR MUSEUM of the PRAIRIE PIONEER in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Perhaps, this is the best place for the headstone.  It is being cared for and Martha was a pioneer.  

Below is the catalog entry for the headstone.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Riley Medlin - Confederate Veteran & Fisherman

Riley Medlin was the brother of our great-grandma, Bettie Medlin Stewart.

William Riley Medlin, the son of Samuel Medlin and Rebecca Morgan, was born on March 14, 1843 in Wilson county, Tennessee.  In 1850, Riley was living with his parents and siblings in Wilson County, Tennessee.  

1850 Federal Census, Wilson County, TN, family #207

In the summer of 1854, an outbreak of cholera hit the area around Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee where the Medlin family was living.  Many people around Lebanon left their homes temporarily when they heard of cholera in the area, but the Medlin family remained.  Riley's mother, Rebecca, came down with cholera and died in July 1854.  After Rebecca's death, some of the Medlin children were sent to live with extended relatives and others were old enough to be on their own.  Riley would have been about eleven years old at the time his mother died.  Riley's father remarried in 1855, but it appears none of the children stayed with him.  Riley has not been found in the 1860 census.  But, he was probably living in the Nashville area, because a year later while living in Nashville, he enlisted in the Confederate Army.

In 1861, Riley enlisted in the Confederate Army - 20th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.  Company I, of the Twentieth Volunteer Infantry, C.S.A., was raised at and near the Hermitage, in the Fourth Civil District of Davidson County and was called the Hermitage Guards. Company I was mustered into State service for one year from June1,1861, on Front Street, near Broad, in the city of Nashville, and was put on the cars of the L&N Railroad and carried to Camp Trousdale, and there was incorporate in the Twentieth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment as Company 1, and known as the boys from the home of Old Hickory.  William Riley Medlin is not listed in the roster of this Company.  But, his pension application is witnessed and signed by John Hays & R.T. Moore, who were included on the roster.(http://www.tngenweb.org/civilwar/crosters/inf/inf20/coi.html)  
While serving in the Confederate army, Riley engaged in the Wildcat and Fishing Creek battles.  In April of 1863, Riley was captured by Union forces while on retreat from the Fishing Creek battle.   He gave his Oath of Allegiance to the United State Government to keep out of prison.





On 17 Jan 1865, Riley married Kate Reed, sister of his brother-in-law, John Reed.  Catherine Reed (called Kate) was born on March 9th, 1843 in Tennessee.  Her parents were Joel and Elizabeth Reed.

After their marriage, Riley and Kate continued to live in Nashville.  Riley made a living by fishing.  In most census records and on the pension application, Riley's occupation is listed as a fisherman.   He stated in his pension application that he was a fisherman and made a scant living.  Below is an 1880 map of Davidson County, Tennessee.  The Cumberland River is where Riley would have spent his time fishing for a living.




In the 1880 Federal Census, Riley is enumerated on the same page as brother, Pink Medlin, and his sister, Mandy (Amanda) Reed and several other extended relatives.  Riley stated his occupation was a fisherman. 

1880 Federal Census, Dist 19, Davidson, TN, pg 305

Riley and Kate never had their own children, but  raised their niece's son, Bealey Samuel Cowley.  In the 1900 Federal Census, Bealey is listed as their adopted son.  In 1900, both Riley and Bealey list their occupations as Teamsters.
1900 Federal Census, Nashville Ward 14, Davidson, TN
Riley died 5 Jul 1923 at the age of  80 years.  He is buried in the Donelson Church of Christ Cemetery in Davidson County, Tennessee.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Died of Cholera

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Tennessee.  One of my stops in Nashville was the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  The Library has onsite access to a historic Nashville Newspaper database:  The Nashville Tennessean (1812-1922).

I searched "Nashville Tennessean" newspaper database using only the "Medlin" family surname, which resulted in 7 or so pages with 20 hits on each page.  After going through a couple of pages, I was beginning to think that I would not find anything of great value.  Then I clicked open an 1854 article titled, "Health of Lebanon."  Lebanon is the county seat for Wilson County, Tennessee.  In 1850, our Samuel Medlin family lived in Wilson County.  The article was about an outbreak of cholera and listed some of the residents who had died of the disease.  One of the persons mentioned who had died of the disease was my 3rd great-grandmother, "Mrs. Sam'l Medlin" (Rebecca Morgan Medlin.)  Rebecca was the mother of my 2nd great-grandmother, Bettie Medlin Stewart.  Grandma Bettie had always referred to herself as an orphan, because her mother, Rebecca, had died when she was an infant.  Since Bettie did not even know her own date of birth, I had to guess at Bettie's birth date from the few times she gave her age to the census taker.  So, that meant I also had to guess at an "about death date" of 1852-1855 for her mother, Rebecca, who supposedly died when Bettie was an infant.  Rebecca's widowed husband, Samuel Medlin, remarried on 26 Dec 1855, so I knew that Rebecca had died before that date.

Below is a copy of the newspaper article reporting the death of Rebecca Morgan Medlin:



After reading the newspaper article, I just sat there a little stunned and a lot sad.  Poor Rebecca.  Did others in her family also suffer from the disease and recover?  Perhaps Rebecca wore herself out caring for others in the family and then succumbed to the disease herself?  We will probably never know the complete story. Several of the older daughters in the family - Caroline, Nancy, Eliza - also disappear from records after the 1850 census.  Did they also get the disease during this 1854 cholera outbreak in Wilson County, Tennessee?  Or, did they die from another disease?

In Memory of Our 3rd Great-Grandmother
May you never be forgotten

Rebecca Morgan Medlin
Born about 1817 in Tennessee
Died July 1854 in Wilson County, Tennessee



Other posts mentioning Rebecca:
Maiden name of Rebecca, wife of Samuel Medlin
Meet for Lunch?
Bettie Medlin - Little Orphan Girl


Thursday, August 1, 2013

DNA and me


This past winter, I decided to delve into Genetic Genealogy.  One of the reasons I wanted to begin testing was to prove or disprove stories in our family about Native American roots.  See blog posts about RebeccaMorgan and Martha Ann Wilson.  

First, I hired a genetic genealogy consultant to pull my results from a DNA test I had taken years ago when the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF.org) was collecting DNA samples.  After the Genetic Genealogy Consultant obtained my mtDNA results, they prepared a very thorough and easy to understand report.  That spurred my interest and soon I found myself having DNA tests with all three of the major DNA testing companies:  23andme.com, FamilytreeDNA.com and dna.Ancestry.com.  You could say I've become a genetic genealogy testing junkie!

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation website has some great animations to help the beginner (like me) understand DNA basics.

Here are several blogs that I have found helpful:
The Legal Genealogist click DNA link on right side of blog

The above Your Genetic Genealogist blog has some informative articles about Getting Started in DNA testing for Genealogy.  Scroll down on right side of blog until you see the Getting Started section, with links to articles on Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal DNA.  I printed off each article and read through them several times.

Another great site for an introduction into genetic genealogy is found on the Wheaton Surname Resources blog.  Kelly Wheaton  has written an excellent "BEGINNERS GUIDE TO GENETIC GENEALOGY."  There are 15 lessons that will help you understand the basics of genetic genealogy.

Hopefully, more cousins will participate in DNA testing.  It is easy and painless, and does NOT require needles or blood.   Depending on the company, DNA testing requires spitting into a collection tube or using a cheek swab to rub inside your cheek.  After collection, the sample is simply mailed back to the company.  Easy and fast.  Autosomal testing at the companies mentioned above have dropped to $99.  The Legal Genealogist has a great blog post comparing the three major companies.  

I've already met new cousins across the country.  And hopefully, as more cousins test, our genealogy brick walls will come tumbling down.:)  But, I still don't have the answer to the Native American question? :(

More to come....

***New DNA Blog posts:
New DNA Ethnicity Estimates
A Gypsy? Who Me??