Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jess Baldwin and Dyslexia

Jess Baldwin and Dyslexia

Jess and Mabel Baldwin were the parents of fourteen children and grandparents of 46 (50 including step-grandchildren) and great-grandparents of about 89.  Those of us who are older are fortunate enough to remember Grandpa Jess.  Ask any of the cousins and some of their favorite childhood memories are of spending time with Grandpa Jess.  We all remember helping Grandpa feed and milk the cows and how he would tell us to look up to see the star and then squirt us in the face with milk.  Grandpa loved to tell stories and always had a willing audience when grandchildren were around.  He loved the holidays and always tried to make them special for his children and grandchildren - especially Christmas.  And, we could all say without a doubt that we knew grandpa loved us.

Several years ago, my mother told me that her father, Grandpa Jess, could not read or write - with the exception of writing his name.  Supposedly, when Grandpa Jess was young boy still living in Texas, his 5th grade his teacher sent him home from school and told his parents to just keep him at home because it was a waste of time to send him to school when he could not learn. 

Mom remembers when she was a young girl watching her mom trying to teach her dad to read.  Grandpa would bring a newspaper home and ask grandma to help him read it.  While waiting for grandma to come and sit next to him at the kitchen table, grandpa would take the newspaper and look at it then turn it sideways then turn it again trying to make sense of the letters and words.  Grandma would patiently try to teach grandpa to read but he could never learn, no matter how hard he tried.

Grandpa had to depend on grandma to read everything for him - letters, documents, contracts, newspapers, etc.  Grandpa made a living by buying and selling livestock.  He was good with sales and business, but Grandma would have to read to him all the contracts before he could sign them.  One of the cousins can remember grandma reading the newspaper to grandpa every night while they were laying in bed just before going to sleep.   Learning these stories of grandma and of her tender love for grandpa has increased my appreciation and love for both of them.

Recently I tested my DNA with, which offered health results according to one's DNA.  I was interested to see that I carried a higher than average risk for Developmental Dyslexia.  My sister, my mom, and my aunt (maternal) also tested at with the same results - DNA markers indicating higher than average odds of dyslexia.  This information from our DNA health results confirms our suspicions that grandpa was dyslexic.

Also, there have been a few grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jess Baldwin who have been professionally diagnosed with dyslexia.  Descendants need to be aware that this runs in the Baldwin family.  During grandpa's lifetime (1898-1972), Developmental Dyslexia was not commonly known.  Grandpa Jess went though out his life thinking it was his fault he could not read and write.  I am thankful that with the information from the DNA health reports from, the family now has a greater understanding of Grandpa Jess and the challenges he had to face throughout his lifetime.

Below is a copy of Jess's signature from his World War I draft registration. He was 20 years old at the time.  Mom said that Grandpa could not write with the exception of writing his name.  On the draft registration, he wrote his given name as "Jeese" instead of "Jesse."   He appears to have had a hard time writing his name.  Some of the characteristics of dyslexia are repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and  reversals in letters.  These problems are clearly shown in this 1918 signature.
World War I Draft Registration; 1918; Kiowa County, Oklahoma;
The following signature is from Jess's 1970 driver's license.  His name on the driver's license was Jess William Baldwin.  By 1970, his signature was much more legible.
Colorado Operator's License, issued 19 Mar 1970
The Developmental Dyslexia was probably passed down through grandpa's Baldwin/Sadler side of the family.  I have copies of letters written by his Stewart/Medlin grandparents, so they appear to have been able to read and write.  A lot of our early ancestors could not read or write, but not because they couldn't - they merely hadn't had the opportunity to learn.  Read the story here of our 4th great-grandmother, Sally Carr Brown, learning to read when she was 76 years old!

Recently there has been negative news concerning the FDA and the health results offered at  The FDA has ordered to stop offering DNA health results reports as of Nov 22.   My main purpose when I originally tested with was to find genetic relatives, but the health results report has become an important and necessary part of my health maintenance program.  Hopefully, the FDA will allow to continue to offer the health reports in the future.  Not only does the health report give us information to help us manage our own health, but it also brings a greater understanding of our ancestors and the health challenges they may have faced.

Other posts about Jess Baldwin:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sarah Ann West and Her Husbands

Sarah Ann West was a 1st cousin to our great-grandpa, Charles Edgar Leffel.

Sarah Ann West and her Husbands:
Calvin S. Dale, N. Houston Holt, George W. Mead

Sarah Ann West, daughter of John W. West and Barbara Harmon, was born on 13 May 1836 in Springfield, Clark, Illinois.  She moved to Texas with her parents when she was young. The family first lived in Red River County, Texas, where her father had a blacksmith shop.  Below is an 1848 newspaper article that mentions her father.

Saturday, September 2, 1848;   Newspaper: Standard (Clarksville, TX) Page: 2
Sarah's family later moved to Grayson County, Texas where her grandfather, Michael West, and her father's siblings had also moved.  Her father died in July 1861.  Sarah's mother, Barbara, died on October 10, 1875 in Grayson County and was buried in the Rockport Cemetery.  Below is a photo of her mother's headstone.  Some of the broken pieces of headstone may belong to Sarah's father.
Headstone for Barbara West
Sarah married Calvin S. Dale on 7 Jan 1853 in Red River County, Texas. The marriage was announced in "The Standard" newspaper of Clarksville, Texas on 8 Jan 1853.  Sarah's father is referred to as "Capt. John W West".

The marriage ended in divorce prior to 1860.
Calvin Dalewas born on 9 May 1829 in Tennessee. He died on 3 Nov 1899 in Texas. He was buried in 1899 in Akers Cemetery, Grayson, Texas.  Below is his obituary.
Sarah and Calvin had one son, John Felix Dale, who was born about 1856. He died in 1898.

Calvin Dale Obituary - Dallas Morning News 6 Nov 1899
Sarah married N. Houston Holt, son of James D. Holt and Anna D. on 18 Mar 1863 in Grayson County, Texas.  The marriage ended in divorce about 1882 while Hous was in prison.  N. Houston Holt, called "Hous", was born about 1837 in Gibson, Tennessee. Hous Holt was convicted of murder in 1880 and sentenced to life and 5 years.  Hous was pardoned by Governor Hogg in 1894.  He died on 20 Apr 1915 in Denton County, Texas. He was buried on 21 Apr 1915 in Cooper Creek Cemetery, Denton, Texas.
Sarah and Hous had two children:
1. James F. S. Holt was born on 1 May 1863. He died on 15 Feb 1908.
2. Nina B. Holt was born on 13 Jun 1865. She died on 21 Oct 1886.

Sarah married a third time to a widower,  George W. Mead on 6 Sep 1887 in Vermilion, Illinois. George was born on 20 Mar 1827 in Union, Ohio. He died on 8 Feb 1922 in Vermilion, Illinois.

Sarah Ann West Dale Holt Mead died on 27 Dec 1919 in Fithian, Vermilion, Illinois. She was buried on 29 Dec 1919 in McFarland Cemetery, Vermilion, Illinois.
Sarah A Mead

Sarah Ann's children and grandchildren:

1. John Felix Dale (son of Calvin Dale and Sarah Ann West) was born about 1856 in Sherman, Grayson, Texas. He died in 1898 in Texas. He was buried in 1898 in West Hill Cemetery, Grayson, Texas.
According to the obituary of his father, Calvin S. Dale, John F. Dale was a portrait painter in New York City.  The obituary states the following: "His (Calvin S. Dale) body was laid away in Akers church yard by the side of his son, John Dale, who after acquiring fame in New York City as a portrait painter, came home to die of a lung trouble contracted in the north, his widow resides on South walnut street with her two little children."
Another obituary for his father, Calvin, in a Dallas paper states: "An only son went to New York, became a well known portrait painter, but the northern climate undermined his constitution and he come home, dying shortly afterward..."
John married Elizabeth Maiden "Bessie, Bettie" daughter of Samuel Landis Maiden and Nancy Harriet Doran on 10 May 1881 in Washington, Virginia. Elizabeth was born on 20 Apr 1859 in Shortsville,Virginia. She died on 9 Nov 1949 in Travis, Texas. She was buried in 1949 in West Hill Cemetery, Grayson, Texas.
John and Elizabeth had the following children:
i. Maiden Dale 50 was born on 18 Jul 1883 in , Denton, Texas. She died on 20 Jun 1969 in Houston, Texas. She was buried in 1969.
ii. Nineal Dale was born in 1885 in Abingdon, Washington, Virginia. She died in 1896 in Virginia. She was buried in Maiden-Foster Cemetery, Washington, Virginia.
iii. Bonnie Dale was born on 30 Jun 1896 in Manhattan, New York, New York. She died on 10 Dec 1980 in San Antonio, Bexas, Texas.

2. James F. S. Holt "Jim" (son of Hous Holt and Sarah Ann West) was born on 1 May 1863 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas. He died on 15 Feb 1908 in , Denton, Texas. He was buried on 16 Feb 1908 in IOOF Cemetery, Denton, Texas.
James married Sophia Black "Sophie" on 22 Oct 1885 in Denton, Denton, Texas. Sophia was born in Apr 1865 in Texas. She died on 18 Apr 1942 in Grayson, Texas. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Dennison, Grayson, Texas.
They had the following children:
i. James Houston Holt "Huse" was born on 27 Sep 1886 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas. He died on 14 Jul 1942 in Texas. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Dennison, Grayson, Texas.
ii. Nina Mae Holt was born on 10 Mar 1888 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas.
iii. Fred Holt was born on 19 Feb 1890 in , Denton, Texas. He died on 20 Nov 1957 in Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona.
iv. William Grady Holt was born on 10 Jun 1891 in , Denton, Texas. He died on 23 Dec 1963 in Denison, Grayson, Texas. He was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Grayson, Texas.
v. Pearl Holt was born on 17 Sep 1896 in Denton, Texas. She died on 4 Dec 1944 in Texas. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Dennison, Grayson, Texas.
vi. James Dewey Holt was born in 1898 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas. He died on 27 Jul 1899 in , Denton, Texas. He was buried in Ioof Cemetery, Denton, Texas.
vii. Joseph Bailey Holt was born on 6 Oct 1900 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas, United States. He died on 24 Dec 1922 in Denison, Grayson, Texas, United States. He was buried in International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery, Milam, Texas, United States.
 viii. Julia Louise Holt was born on 20 Jun 1902 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas,
United States. She died on 29 Apr 1973 in California, United States.
ix. J. R. Holt was born on 31 Mar 1904 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas. He died on 25 May 1904 in Denton, Texas. He was buried in Ioof Cemetery, Denton, Texas.

3. Nina B. Holt (daughter of Hous Holt and Sarah Ann West)  was born on 13 Jun 1865 in Grayson, Texas. She died on 21 Oct 1886 in Denton, Texas. She was buried in Pilot Point Cemetery, Denton, Texas.
Nina married William H. Ellington on 20 Jan 1886 in Denton, Texas. William was born about 1851 in Mississippi.
They had the following child:
i. Nina Ray Ellington was born on 4 Oct 1886 in Denton, Texas. She died on 30 Oct 1886 in Denton, Texas. She was buried in Pilot Point Cemetery, Denton, Texas.

4. Piggie Holt (son of Hous Holt and Sarah Ann West) was born 9 Nov 1876 in Pilot Point, Denton, Texas and died a month later on 19 Dec 1876.  Buried in the Pilot Point Cemetery.

Sources and documents can be found on my Leffel Box Family Tree.

Gainesville, Texas "Great Hanging" Monument

Descendants of the Leffel family will be happy to know that their ancestor, David Miller Leffel, will finally get a memorial!  Yesterday, the Gainesville, Texas city council approved the placement of two monuments, which will tell the known facts of the Great Hanging of 1862 and list the 42 names of men who died in the Great Hanging.  David Miller Leffel was among the 42 men who died during the Great Hanging.

Click on image below for news clip from KXII News, Sherman, Texas.

GAINESVILLE, TX -- The Gainesville city council approved the placement of two monuments that some in the community say are long overdue.
In October 1862, nearly 150 men suspected of supporting the Union were arrested for treason against the Confederacy.
42 of them were hanged in Gainesville, just days later.
Now,151 years later, the city and community is making sure this historical event is not forgotten.
91-year-old L.D. Clark has waited decades to hear these words...
"The motion passes unanimously," Mayor Jim Goldsworthy announced to the council.
Tuesday night, the council approved construction of two 5 foot tall monuments to be built where The Great Hanging took place.
"Well, it makes me feel somewhat justified," Clark said.
Clark's great great grandfather, Nathaniel Clark, was one of the men accused of treason, and hanged on the land right off California Street in Gainesville.
Clark and other members of the Great Hanging Monument committee say this project is long overdue.
"As you grow up in this area, you hear about it. So, I felt like it was a story that was long overdue to be told to the general public," Nancy Brannon said.
Nancy Brannon says the current monument, which was erected in the 60s, is nearly unreadable. And Steve Gordon says the information on it is now outdated.
"That's the information available up to 1964. There's been a lot of research done since then," Gordon said.
Gordon and several other Gainesville residents, some whom have since passed away, have worked tirelessly to collect the facts of the historical event.
Mayor Jim Goldsworthy said their efforts helped push this motion through.
"Our concern at council is that we're historically correct. Beyond that, we would like us to remember history as it unfolded and learn from history," Goldsworthy said.
The monuments will tell the known facts, and list the 42 names of the men who died.
The group says this outcome is a victory for them, but specifically for Mr. Clark.
"There's been a great change of heart in Gainesville concerning this monument, and it's going to be a great, adequate one to fit the situation," Clark said.
Clark has written both a novel and screenplay on The Great Hanging. He says he hopes one day that screen play will be bought and shown in theaters across the country,
The group has spent their own money, and collected donations to pay for the monument.
If you'd like to help contact Steve Gordon at 940-372-8835.

Links to other posts about David Miller Leffel and the "Great Hanging at Gainesville":

Friday, November 22, 2013

Where were you 50 years ago today?

Where were you 50 years ago today?

All flags were at half mast today, 22 Nov 2013, as a Day of Remembrance for President John F. Kennedy.   Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago today in Dallas, Texas. 

Most people who were alive in 1963 can remember where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated.  I was at the junior high school in Cortez, Colorado, which at that time was in the old Calkins School building.  I remember standing in the hall with some friends between classes when a teacher came out of the classroom crying, "President Kennedy has been shot!"  More students and teachers gathered out in the hall, many were crying.

After I got home that day, the family was glued to the television as we watched the events that had happened that day in Texas. I remember feeling apprehensive about the future - very vulnerable.  It was probably the first time in my young life that I paid that much attention to the news and continued to do so over the next few days and weeks.

 November 22, 1963;

Register-Republic (Rockford, IL); pg


November 26, 1963; Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX);  Page: 21

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Michael West Land in Grayson County, Texas

Michael West is my 3rd great-grandfather on the Leffel Family line.

1859 Grayson County, Texas Plat Map 

Land grants were offered by the Peters Colony to help colonize North Texas. Michael West arrived in Texas (Peter's Colony) prior to July 1848 and was recorded as a widower with two daughters and one son. He obtained 640 acres in Grayson County, Texas. His son, Michael Perry West, obtained 320 acres in Grayson County, Texas.

Connor, Seymour V., Peters Colony of Texas,  page 426
Michael West, a widower, land patent for Grayson County, Texas 
This 1859 plat map of Grayson County, Texas shows the land belonging to Michael West (red), son Michael P. West (green), and son-in-law, Jesse F. Thomas (blue). Just to the left of Michael West is Page Stanley. Son, Michael Perry West, married the daughter of Page Stanley.
1859 Grayson County, Texas Plat Map
Last time I posted a highlighted plat map, I had several requests for a map without the highlights.  So, here is an unmarked copy without the highlights:)

1859 Grayson County, Texas Plat Map

Posts about the West Family:
Michael West Family
Mysterious Death of Michael Perry West
Elizabeth West Boyles
Susan West Leffel
Rebecca West Haning

Information on Michael West's son-in-law, Jesse F. Thomas, who also owned land in Grayson County, Texas.  Jesse Thomas, his wife, Louise West Thomas, and their children disappear after the 1860's.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Witch in the Family

Alice Lake is my 10th great-grandmother on the Wilson-Hatfield family line, through the Cole family.  In 1651, Alice Lake was convicted of being a witch and executed by hanging in Dorchester Massachusetts. 

Alice Lake Hanged
Alice's Story

Alice Lake was born in England, and immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony at some point, and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She was the mother of at least five children, all presumably fathered by her only known husband, Henry Lake. In 1651, those children would have been a girl about ten, a boy about seven, a boy about five, a child about three who likely was a boy, and an infant.

In 1651, Alice Lake's baby died. Later, she told people that she saw the baby. Maybe she did. Or, maybe she grieved so much that her mind allowed her to imagine that she saw her baby to ease her grief. As painful as the death of a loved one is, a mother's loss of a child is the most difficult.

The Puritan belief was that the devil was coming to her in the form of her deceased child, and because of that, she was accused of being a witch and brought to trial. Like most of the women accused of witchcraft, Alice was poor. And like most of the accused, she denied being a witch. The records of her trial are lost, but she was apparently found guilty of witchcraft.

A book entitled A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, written in 1702 by John Hale, makes the following reference to the Lake incident:
"Another [Alice Lake] that suffered on that account some time after, was a Dorchester woman. And upon the day of her execution Mr. Thompson minister at Braintree, and J.P. Her former master took pains with her to bring her to repentance. And she utterly denied her guilt of witchcraft; yet justified God for bringing her to that punishment: for she had when a single woman played the harlot, and being with child used means to destroy the fruit of her body to conceal her sin and shame, and although she did not effect it, yet she was a murderer in the sight of God for her endeavors, and showed great penitency for that sin; but owned nothing of the crime laid to her charge."

As indicated in the above 1702 account, Alice was given the opportunity to recant her story on the day of her execution, which might have saved her life. Instead, she said that God was punishing her because she had engaged in premarital sex, had become pregnant, and had attempted an abortion. She had apparently carried the Puritanical guilt for trying to cause the death of her oldest child throughout her life.

Alice faced death, and still she insisted that she had seen her dead baby. Perhaps admitting her child had died was more than she could bear, though her only hope of living was to admit that she knew her baby was dead.

Alice Lake was hanged in 1651 in Dorchester Massachusetts.

Salem Witch Hangings
From Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, 1982, Oxford University Press:
Alice LAKE, convicted and executed at Dorchester in about 1650. Her husband Henry moved away at once; his name appears regularly in the records of Portsmouth, RI, beginning in April 1651.  Meanwhile the four LAKE children, all less than ten years old, remained in Dorchester.  One, probably the youngest, was 'bound out' by the town meeting to a local family for a 'consideration' of 26 pounds--and was dead within two years. The other three were also placed in separate Dorchester households. At this point their trail becomes badly obscured.  One was living as a servant to an uncle--still in Dorchester--in 1659.  Later, having reached adulthood, the same three were found in Rhode Island--and then in Plymouth Colony, where their father had removed by 1673.  It appears, therefore, that the family was eventually reunited, some two decades after the event that had broken it apart.

Alice Lake is an approved ancestor for National Society of THE ASSOCIATED DAUGHTERS OF EARLY AMERICAN WITCHES.  If you are interested in joining, contact me - I have good sources and documentation up to her descendant and our ancestor, Nathan Cole 1760-1826.  Website for THE ASSOCIATED DAUGHTERS OF EARLY AMERICAN WITCHES:

Note: The above images and stories are easily found online by doing a Google search.  Also, one can actually purchase T-shirts online with the image at the top of the blog post.:)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Married 70 Years

Robert L. Baldwin was the uncle of grandpa Jess Baldwin and the brother of  great-grandpa Allen Baldwin.  R. L. Baldwin's parents were Francis Marion Baldwin and Mary Sadler of Eliasville, Young County, Texas.  On 12 Dec 1897, Robert Baldwin married Martha (Mattie) Clara London at her father's home in Throckmorton County, Texas.  In 1967, Mattie Baldwin was interviewed for the Sunday Edition of the Wichita Falls Times newspaper.  Great interview and story about pioneer life in Oklahoma Territory.  (Transcript below)

Wichita Falls Times, 17 Dec 1967, pg 38
Couple Married 70 Years Recall Life in Oklahoma Territory 
Any woman who has been married for 70 years deserves to be interviewed in her own parlor, with her feet on a velvet cushion.
But, it was more in keeping with the simplicity that has characterized Mrs. R. L. Baldwin that she should be interviewed in a modern laundromat while she waited for her clothes to be dried.
Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin, who lives on Route 1, Randlett, Okla., celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Dec. 12 following their usual daily routine.  A small family dinner had been held on Dec. 4, when their three surviving children could be at home with them, and during that afternoon many of their neighbors called to express their good wishes.

Robert and Martha London Baldwin were married in her father's home in Throckmorton County, Texas, in 1897.   Although their family farms were only about 10 miles about 10 miles apart, they did not meet until about a year before they were married.  Of the witnesses to that long ago ceremony, only three remain, her sister, Mrs. Emma Hale, her sister-in-law, Mrs. Bennie London, and a niece, Mrs. Osee Parks.

Like many Texans in the early years of 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin were on the lookout for greater opportunities, better land to farm and a better life for their children.  So, they loaded their two children and belongings on a wagon and moved north.  They stopped at a camping ground at Charlie and heard a man named Nowlen had a farm to rent over the river in Oklahoma territory. 

The new frontier sounded good to them and Nowlen proved to be a good landlord and a good friend.  Friendship was important in 1903, for neighbors were scattered, one to each 160 acre tract.

The importance of friendship was soon to be very apparent to the Baldwins, for their third child chose to arrive during a February storm that left about three feet of snow on the ground.  There was no doctor, but with the help of the nearest woman neighbor, the baby was delivered safely, Mrs. Baldwin remembers that the weather continued to be so severe that the snow stayed on the ground for over a month and that her kind neighbor made daily trips to check on the welfare of the little newcomer.

Friendship was important in other ways, too.  The farms grew wheat, cotton, feed, garden stuff, just about anything a family would think to plant, but some items of family use had to be purchased in stores.  For quite a few years after the Baldwins moved to Oklahoma there were no towns, except Wichita Falls and Temple.  The neighbors took turns hitching up their teams and plodding to down to get the  mail and shop for the whole neighborhood.

 Before moving to their present home near Randlett 43 years ago, the Baldwins lived in the Rabbit Creek community.  They were charter members in the Rabbit Creek Baptist church and their six children attended the Rabbit Creek school and turned out to be pretty good students.  [unreadable]  ...there was about 60 students in school and only one teacher. 
Baldwin was one of those who bid for land when the Big Pasture was opened, but he was not successful, later buying his present farm.  Like most wives of her generation, Mrs. Baldwin made her home the center of her affections and interest, so that the discovery of oil in Burkburnett and the many tall tales which accompanied the boom are just legends to her.

Now, at 92 years of age, Mrs. Baldwin's life still centers around her home, which she maintains with the help of a part time housekeeper, Mrs. Gertie Green.  The weekly trip to the supermarket and the laundromat are a regular ritual; so regular that the laundromat attendant could say with conviction, "If this is Wednesday, Mrs. Baldwin will be here"  Mr. Baldwin, going on 96 years of age seldom leaves the home place.

Mrs. Baldwin thinks that modern washing facilities are just great, remarking that they really beat the old tin washtub she had to put on the wood stove and the washboard on which she has scrubbed  hundreds of items. 

She jokingly declared that about the only inconvenient modern utility was the dial telephone, which took all the joy and neighborliness out of the rural party line.

Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin have three children, Mrs. W. R. Carswell of Burkburnett, Frank Baldwin of Ingleside, Tex., and Wilbert (Bud) Baldwin of Randlett.

by Marjorie Kauer, Burkburnett, Tex; Wichita Falls Times (newspaper), Wichita Falls, Texas, 17 Dec 1967, Sunday, pg 38

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Gypsy? Who me??

Mitochondrial DNA and Me

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is given to us by our mothers.   Mothers pass mtDNA to all of their children - both male and female, so we all have mitochondrial DNA.  But, only females can  pass it down.  That means our mtDNA came from our mother, who got it from her mother, who in turn got it from her mother, and so on, back to the beginning of time.

My mother gave me my mtDNA, which she in turn got it from her mother, Mabel Leffel.  Grandma Mabel got her mtDNA from her mother, Caldona Jane Box Leffel, who got her mtDNA from her mother, Roenna Johnson Box.  Roenna received her mtDNA from her mother, Anna Hellums Johnson, who got her mtDNA from her mother, Mary (unknown) Hellums.  Mary is our "brick wall" on our maternal line.

I was hoping that by doing a mtDNA test, I could find a link to our maternal 5th great-grandmother's family and maiden name.  Not so easy.  Why, you say?  Well it appears that the mtDNA changes (mutates) very slowly and can be passed down almost unchanged for thousands of years.   My mtDNA may be identical to that of my very distant (meaning hundreds of years) direct maternal ancestors and all of their female descendants.
MtDNA profiles with similar characteristics can be grouped together in large branches of the mtDNA tree called haplogroups.  These families of mtDNA are named following a common pattern of alternating a letters and numbers, as follows: Each large haplogroup is assigned a letter of the alphabet (A, B, C, D, etc.) and the addition of more letters and numbers to the first capital letter provides names for sub-branches of the main branch of the tree.

My haplogroup is U3.  According to, Haplogroup U3 is found at low levels throughout Europe (about 1% of the population), the Near East (about 2.5% of the population), and Central Asia (1%). U3 is present at higher levels among populations in the Caucasus (about 6%) in Svan population from Svaneti region(Georgia, Caucasus) 4,2% and among Lithuanian Romani, Polish Romani, and Spanish Romani populations (36-56%).

So, who are the Romani (or Roma) populations?  Again, helps us out: "The Romani are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe and Americas.  Romani are widely known in the English-speaking world by the exonym "Gypsies" and also as Romany, Romanies, Romanis, Roma or Rom...  Since the 19th century, some Romani have also migrated to the Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United States." 

Gypsy Woman - English Lithograph 1826
Does that mean our 5th great-grandmother, Mary was Romani (Gypsy)?  Or, perhaps her mother or her grandmother? And, that all of us who are descendants of Mabel Leffel, Caldona Box, Roenna Johnson, and/or Anna Hellums are a little-bit Gypsy?  I don't know -- maybe or maybe not.  Though, it is kind of interesting to think about.

What is known about our 5th great-grandmother, Mary?  Very little. 
Mary (maiden name unknown) was born about 1763 in South Carolina.  Researchers think that Mary first married James Box and had at least one son, Michael Box (1780-1841).  James Box most likely died about 1780/1781, because Mary then married William Hellums.  Mary and William Hellums had three children: John Hellums (1782-1852), Mary Hellums, who married Grief  Johnson (1791-1863), and Anna Hellums, who married Luke Johnson (1803-1852).  William Hellums died sometime before 1815, when his will (written in 1808) was proven in Orphan's Court.  His will left the widow, Mary, all real and personal property until she died or remarried, after which the estate was divided into three parts (one for each of his three children).  Mary died about 1833 in Alabama. 

Several cousins who descend from the Roenna Johnson Box (daughter of Mary)  have tested their mtDNA, confirming the same result of Haplogroup U3a1c.

Perhaps the answers to "who Mary is" will come with Autosomal DNA.  I encourage all cousins (descendants - male & female) to test!   We now need to figure out which chromosomes and segments belong to the Box, Johnson, and/or Hellums families.  Right now I suggest testing with for autosomal DNA.  I like their tools for comparing and analyzing your DNA.  Or, you could test with  Help us solve this mystery!
Vincent van Gogh 1888

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New DNA Ethnicity Estimates

AncestryDNA has a limited preview of their "new" ethnicity estimates.  The new Ethnicity Estimate appears to be more accurate and able to detect smaller percentages of genetic ethnicity than the previous estimate showed.

Ethnicity results are not about recent ancestry, but instead shows where all your ancestors on both sides of your family came from far back in time - 500 years or maybe a thousand or more years ago.  My Danish husband was shocked and surprised to see that he was almost all British Isles.  Therefore, his ancestors must have immigrated to Denmark hundreds of years ago.  Or, it could be the result of those darn Vikings who were always sailing around plundering and kidnapping people to take back to Denmark with them.

Below is my previous ethnicity estimate.  When I first saw the results almost a year ago, I remember thinking that the Central European and British Isles had been reversed.  Since most of my lines are early Colonial lines, I always assumed I was mainly British Isles.  And, I remember being disappointed that I did not show any Native American in my ethnicity estimate to confirm the family legends.

AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimate Nov 2012
The new results shown below are much closer to what my research and paper trail seem to indicate.  And, maybe some of the family legends are true -- a small amount (trace) of Native American shows up!  Yea!! This new ethnicity estimate more closely resembles my sister's old ethnicity --  she had Scandinavia and Finnish/Northern Russia, whereas I previously did not have those areas show up in my estimates.  It will be interesting to see what my sister's new AncestryDNA estimates look like when they become available to her in the coming months.
AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimate Sep 2013

 As a comparison to AncestryDNA, I will also show below my ethnicity results from FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.  The first one shown below is from FamilyTreeDNA, which they call "Family Finder - Population Finder".  I'm about 94% Western European and 6% Middle Eastern.  It looks as if Western European includes the British Isles.
FamilyTreeDNA Population Finder 2013

This next one is from and is called "Ancestry Composition" on their site.  I like 23andMe because they give you several options to view your results.  Since both of my parents have tested with 23andMe, I have chosen the split view which shows both sides of my ancestry and where they came from.  I would have expected to see more German on my Dad's side, since his dad was German (with Parish records going back hundreds of years). 
23andMe Ancestry Composition Split View 2013

As more and more people and populations get tested, I am sure all of these "estimates" will improve.

Charles & Caldona Box Leffel

See previous post about the photograph: Charles and Caldona Leffel Photo

Below is the before and after photo restoration.  Take your pick.

50 Years for Horse Theft

If you want to steal a horse - Don't do it in Texas!  In 1887, Joseph Counts was found guilty of horse theft and convicted to 50 years.  He was tried in the District Court in Grandbury, Hood County, Texas.
Fort Worth Daily Gazette. (Fort Worth, Tex.), Thursday, March 31, 1887
I'm not sure if the above court case is part of any earlier court case or not.  At the end of this post is a transcript of a case from the 1886 Court of Appeals of Texas concerning the same Joe Counts.

Joe Counts is listed in the Texas Conduct Registers on 12 May 1892.  He was in Rusk Penitentiary.  There is a note on the record to see "Reg No 2645."  In the bottom left hand corner, his cumulative sentence is given.
Texas Conduct Register, 12 May 1892

In the 1900 Census, Joseph Counts is enumerated in the Rusk Penitentiary in Cherokee County, Texas.  From the census, we learn that he was a 35 year old male born Jan 1865 in Texas.  His father was born in Missouri and his mother was born in Ohio.  Joseph gives is occupation as a cattle farmer.

1900 Census, Rusk Penitentiary, Cherokee, Texas, pg 4B

The last record found for Joseph Counts is another Texas Prison Conduct Register -- #2645 Prison Record for Joseph Counts.   Information on this record shows that Joseph was confined to Rusk Penitentiary on 10 April 1887 for 54 years (12 yrs + 8 yrs + 10 yrs + 10 yrs + 10 yrs + 4 yrs cumulative).  It appears that 4 years was added to the original 50 years. Joseph Counts has a whole list of behavior problems while in prison: misconduct, breaking line, and numerous gambling and fighting incidents.  Perhaps that is an additional 4 years were added to his original sentence.
But, on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1909,Joseph was pardoned by Governor T. M. Campbell.
Source Citation: Texas State Library and Archives Commission; Convict Number Range: 1919-3831; Volume Number: 1998/038-178.
Texas Conduct Register, #2645, Texas State Library and Archives

 It is not known what happened to Joseph Counts after his pardon on Christmas Eve 1909.

Just who was Joe Counts and how does he fit into the family?  

Joseph Counts was the son of  Sarah Ann Leffel and William S. Counts.  He was the grandson of David Miller Leffel and Susan Evaline West.  According to the 1900 Federal Census, Joe was born Jan 1865 in Texas.  His father died shortly afterwards or perhaps even before his birth.  His father served in the Civil War for the Confederate Army, where he was either killed or disabled.  The family is listed in 1864 and 1865 on the list for Indigent Families in Grayson County.  This was a list of  "families, widows, and dependents of soldiers currently serving in State or Confederate forces, or of soldiers killed or disabled in service."  His mother, Sarah, may have also died shortly afterward the father died.  
It appears that Joseph Counts grew up without the benefit of a caring family.  His father, mother, and grandparents were all deceased by about 1870.  None of the family can be found in the 1870 census.  In 1880, Joe is living with the John Watson family in Comanche County, Texas; working on their farm as a farm laborer.  On 3 April 1882, Anthony M. Leffel (brother to Joe's mom, Sarah Leffel) is given guardianship for Joseph Counts.  This guardianship document was found in the Anthony Leffel Probate File, Joe's great-grandfather.
Guardianship Record, Hood County, TX, 3 Apr 1882

It does not appear that Joe Counts ever married.  And no record has been found after the 1909 Christmas Eve Pardon by the Governor.

Would love more information on Joseph Counts or any of the Counts family.  Thanks!

Transcript of 1886 Court Case for Joseph Counts, referred to above:
Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Appeals of Texas - Page 451 by Texas Court of Appeals, Alexander M. Jackson - Criminal law - 1886  page 450-453 
[No. 1975.]
  1. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE —— CHARGR OF THE COURT.—— Failure to give in charge the law of circumstantial evidence, when the State relies solely upon that character of evidence for a conviction, is fundamental error; and, independent of the question whether or not the omission was calculated to affect the result of the trial, is cause for reversal.
2. PRACTICE.—— BILL OP EXCEPTIONS failing to show the materiality of testimony excluded, and to specify the objection which was made to such testimony, is insufficient to present, on appeal, the correctness of the ruling of the trial court on the question.  

APPEAL from 1 the District Court of Comanche. Tried below before the Hon. T. B. Wheeler.
The conviction in this case was for the theft of a horse, the property of W. L. Spraggins, in Comanche county, Texas, on or about the 17th day of April, 1884 The penalty assessed against the appellant was a term of ten years m the penitentiary. W. L. Spraggins was the first witness for the Slate. He testified that he knew the defendant, whom he pointed out in court.

Statement of the case.
Witness owned a certain mare about three years old, which he missed from her range in Comanche county, on or about April 17, 1884.
He subsequently found the animal in the possession of T. J. Box, and, upon proof of ownership, recovered her from the said Box.  The mare was taken from the possession of the witness without his knowledge or consent.  Cross-examined, the witness denied that he had ever agreed to pay the defendant the sum of $50, or any other sum, to leave the country, or that he had given the mare to the defendant for that purpose. The defendant broke the animal to the saddle, and knew her to belong to the witness. Defendant lived at witness's house about two months at one time, leaving that house some three or four months prior to the theft of the mare. He broke the animal during his residence at the witness's house. Witness saw the mare on her range the day before she was missed, and recovered her from Box about two months afterwards. Box lived in Comanche county about thirty miles from witness's house. Witness found defendant at the house of his uncle, about three-quarters of a mile distant from Box's, and had him arrested for the theft of the mare. T. J. Box was the next witness for the State. He testified that on or about April 17, 1884, he purchased a certain mare from the defendant, which mare was some time afterwards claimed and proved by W. L. Spraggins. Defendant at that time lived at the house of his uncle near witness's house. He had been living there about three months when he sold the mare to the witness. 

J. W. Cunningham testified, for the State, that when he went to arrest the defendant at the house of his uncle, the defendant fled, and was afterwards found lying down in the wheat field, about two hundred yards from his uncle's house. On cross-examination, this witness testified that, when arrested, the defendant stated that he was avoiding arrest in a pistol case which was pending against him, as he had no money with which to discharge the fine.
R. F. Hester testified, for the State, that he lived near the house of John Leffel, the defendant's uncle, in April, 1884. On or about the 17th day of that month, the defendant passed his house horseback, going in the direction of W. L. Spraggins's house. He passed back about noon of the next day, leading the mare which he subsequently sold to Box. The State closed.

Defendant' s first witness was his uncle, John Leffel.  He testified that the defendant lived at his house in April, 1884. He left witness's house one evening during that month, and returned either the next or the second evening thereafter, bringing with him the mare which he subsequently sold to Box. Defendant kept the mare on the prairie until he sold her, and on one occasion loaned her to his son to ride to church. Defendant was arrested on witness's place.
Bob Brewer testified, for the defense, that, about two weeks before defendant's arrest, he told defendant that he, defendant, was going to be arrested about the mare he sold to Box. Defendant replied that he did not mean to leave the country, as he had done nothing wrong in connection with the mare. Cross-examined, the witness testified that he saw defendant on or about the day of , 1884, going towards Spraggins's house.
The motion for new trial raised the questions discussed.
Jenkins & Lindsey, for the appellant. J. H.
Burts, Assistant Attorney-General, for the State.
WILSON, JUDGE. Th at this conviction is fully sustained by the evidence there can be no question. But the evidence is entirely circumstantial, and the court omitted to instruct the jury in the rules of law governing this character of evidence. Under repeated decisions this omission was fundamental error, and requires a reversal of the judgment. We presume the trial judge did not regard the evidence as circumstantial, or he would not have omitted the required instruction. But in our opinion there can be no question that the evidence is entirely circumstantial.
Defendant was seen in possession of the stolen animal about the time the same was missed from its range, but the place where he was seen in possession of it was twenty-five miles distant from its range. No one saw him take the animal from its range, nor did he confess to any one that he had taken it. His possession of the same, and his conduct in relation thereto, and all the other facts in the case, sufficiently and cogently establish his guilt of the theft, but still all this evidence is circumstantial. None of it is direct and positive. We have no idea that the required instruction, which the court failed to give the jury, would have affected the result of the trial had it been given, but the law required that such instruction should be given, and we have no discretion in the matter. (Black v. The State, IS Texas Ct. App.124, Vaughn v. The State, 17 Texas Ct. App., 562; Dupree v. The mate, id., 591; Murphy v. The State, id., 645.)
Defendant's bill of exception to the ruling of the/court, rejecting the proposed testimony of the witness Leffel, fails to show when the defendant made said declarations, and hence fails to show the materiality or relevancy of such declarations to the issue in this case. Said bill also fails to specify the objection which was made to the testimony. We are unable, therefore, to determine whether or not the ruling of the court was erroneous. If .the proposed testimony was pertinent and material, we think it would be competent upon the ground that it was part of the res gestos of the defendant's act of leaving Leffel's house. (Brunei v. The State, 12 Texas Ct. App., 521.)
Because the court erred in omitting to charge the law in regard to circumstantial evidence, the judgment is reversed and the cause is remanded.
Reversed and remanded. [Opinion delivered November 28, 1885.] 

Box-Hellums-Johnson Relationship Chart

Trying to figure out the relationships between the Box-Hellums-Johnson families always seemed a little confusing - to say the least.  So, I made a relationship chart to help me know who was married to who and how they were all related.

Posts about some of the above families:
Michael and Mary (Fulcher) BOX
Thomas and Clarkey (Carpenter) BOX
Roenna JOHNSON BOX Headstone
Lydia BOX McCollum

If there are any corrections or additions to the chart, please leave a comment

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 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)
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.  (, 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.

6. George and Lydia probably an older unknown son, who died by the time the family moved to Texas or perhaps during the move to Texas. There is male child 5-10 years old listed in the 1840 census who is not accounted for in the probate papers.

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  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.