Saturday, December 24, 2016

Baldwin Family Christmas

Baldwin Family Christmas 

Jess and Mabel Baldwin were the parents of fourteen children.  They raised their family during the depths of the Great Depression in Oklahoma.  Hoping to find better work opportunities to care for their growing family, the Baldwin's moved to Arizona.  After spending a few years in Arizona, they finally settled in southwestern Colorado.  Money was always tight for the large Baldwin family, but they never went without food and shelter.

Grandpa Baldwin especially loved Christmas and tried to make it a special time for his children.  On Christmas Eve after the chores were done, the family would gather for dinner.  Grandma was a wonderful cook and Christmas Eve dinner was always a feast.  After dinner and while all the kids were helping Grandma clean up and do dishes in the kitchen, Grandpa would sneak presents around the tree in the living room.  He would then slip outside, put on a beard and red hat, and peek into the window so that the kids could see “Santa.”  They would look out the window into the night to see Santa as he turned to leave and would always hear Santa call out “Ho, Ho, Ho" as he left.  Afterwards the family gathered around the Christmas tree to find the presents underneath that had been secretly left by Santa.  Or sometimes Santa left the big bag of presents at the front door instead of bringing them in and leaving them under the tree.  The Christmas tree was always a "real" tree covered with shinny silver tinsel and a few treasured glass ornaments.
Some years Grandpa enlisted the help of a friend or older family member.  Then Grandpa could be with the family when they saw Santa at the window and heard him call out “Ho, Ho, Ho” after leaving a bag of presents at the front door.
The presents left under the Christmas tree or in the bag at the front door consisted of a small brown paper sack for each child with an orange, apple, and hard Christmas candies.  Santa would also leave one present for each child which consisted of some small toy or gift.

This was the only time of the year that the
children in the Baldwin family received
an orange.  The smell of an orange always
reminded them of Christmas.

Even though the Baldwin family had little in the way of money, Grandpa and “Santa” always made Christmas special and fun for the family.

Grandpa Baldwin may have loved Christmas so much because it was on Christmas Day in 1917 that he married Grandma!

Merry Christmas to All

Monday, November 14, 2016

Baldwin Family 1947

Jess and Mabel Baldwin Family
Jess and Mabel with their three youngest children.
Montrose, Colorado

Jess and Mabel (Leffel) Baldwin

Jess and Mabel (Leffel) Baldwin
Taken at Lions Park, Montrose, Colorado
Family Reunion

Mabel and Jess Baldwin

Monday, October 31, 2016

Whistle While You Work

Robert H "Babe" Cowley
Whistled While He Worked

Cowley's Ferry was on the Cumberland River 15 miles above Nashville, located at the mouth of Stones River.  The ferry was started in the 1850's by John B Cowley.  The early ferry was pulled by oars.  After John retired, his son, Robert H "Babe" Cowley operated the ferry.
In 1948, when Babe Cowley turned 85 years old, his daughter-in-law submitted the following tribute to the "Top O'the Mornin' " section of the Nashville Tennessean Newspaper. 
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 19, 1948 

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 19, 1948, page 8
Abstract of above article:
"From Mrs. Lee Cowley, Old Hickory, Tenn... I want to tell you about R H (Uncle Babe) Cowley who is celebrating his 85th birthday.  Many readers will recall Uncle Babe.  He operated the old horse boat at the mouth of Stones river.  Later the gasoline ferry, which was known as the Stone's Ferry.
Thousands have crossed with Uncle Babe.  He whistled while he worked and it never got too hot, too cold or the water too high for him to work -- or whistle.  He owned the first radio in his neighborhood and on Saturday night folks would come from miles away to listen to the Grand Ole Opry programs.  Back then only Judge Hay and Uncle Jimmy Thompson were the cast.
Uncle Babe is my father-in-law -- and though retired, still whistles."

Robert Howell "Babe" Cowley Obituary
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 11, 1949
Robert H Cowley is related to us through through our Stewart and Medlin families.

Murder in the Family

Murder mysteries seem to be very popular on TV and in books, but finding a murder within the family is a little scary!
Murder of Fred Kibbe
Fred Kibbe, along with Albert Hilpot, was found murdered on September 17, 1910 at an abandoned stage station on the Fort Apache road.  Kibbe, 22 years old, was a businessman from Globe, Arizona, where he owned a grocery store.  He had married in 1908 to Martha Whalley and they had a year old baby daughter.
On Monday September 12, Kibbie and Hilpot left Globe on a deer hunting trip into the White Mountains.  They found shelter at Montano, a stage station which had recently been abandoned on the Fort Apache road.  On September 17, their bodies were found by a teamster hauling passengers from Fort Apache to Rice.  Kibbe and Hilpot had been shot in the head and robbed of all their possessions, including their horses.
Arizona Republic, Saturday, 17 Sep 1910, page 1.
Two ex-cavalry men, James Steele (whose real name was John Goodwin) and William Steward, from Fort Apache were suspected. The fugitives were pursued by Globe Sheriff Thompson, several deputies, hounds, and Indian trackers.  After a six-day chase and many miles from the scene of the killing, Steele and Steward were apprehended.

Most Cold-Blooded Murder in Eastern Arizona

Weekly Journal-Miner (Prescott, Arizona) - 28 Sep 1910 - Page 5

Steele and Steward confessed to the killing but said it was self-defense.  Later they blamed each other for the killing.  After years of court cases, both men were finally hanged for the murder of Kibbe and Hilpot.
Fred Kibbe was the son of William A Kibbe and Laura Jackman.  Laura Jackman was the daughter of W H Jackman and Sarah McNeil (sister of our ancestor, William S McNeil).

Murder of Fred H Baldwin
World War II Veteran
Fred Harmon Baldwin, born 26 September 1898 in Throckmorton, Texas, was the son of C. R. Baldwin and Della Choate.  When he was 27 years old, Fred married Geneva Estella Tyer.  She died the same year after giving birth to their daughter, Geneva Estella Baldwin.   Fred and his new baby daughter moved in with his parents.  Fred joined the Army Air Forces during WWII and after he was discharged in 1944, he got a job as a security guard at the South Plains Army Air Field in Lubbock County.  On December 15, 1946, Fred stopped at a steak house to get some dinner after leaving work.  He had a half-month's salary in his wallet, along with $50 his mother had given him.  After leaving the restaurant, Fred was attacked and robbed.  His death was caused by blunt force upon the head, and his empty wallet was found next to his body.
Lubbock Evening Journal, Monday, December 16, 1946
Fred H Baldwin was the son of C R Baldwin and the grandson of Francis Marion Baldwin.

Murder of Riley C Medlin
One night five days before Christmas 1932, two men entered a small grocery in Nashville owned by Riley C Medlin.  Medlin was in the back room off the grocery, eating with his family.  One of the men called him to come forward into the grocery.  Medlin picked up his shot gun and walked forward.  Upon seeing the shotgun, one of the men raised a pistol and shot Riley Medlin in the center of his forehead while his wife looked on.  The men who entered the grocery ran away. It is not known if they were ever apprehended and charged with the murder.
Riley C Medlin (1873-1932) was the son of Isaac Pinkney Medlin and Mary Evaline Leaver, and the grandson of Samuel Medlin and Rebecca Morgan.  He married Mamie Lillian Randalls and they were the parents of seven children.  The youngest two daughters, Pearl and Ruth, were at the back of the grocery when their father was murdered.
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Wednesday, December 21, 1932

Murder Strikes Again to the Medlin Family
45 years Later
Riley Medlin's son, Elliot Columbus Medlin,  owner of the Happy Grill in Nashville was killed by a shotgun blast to the back of his head during a robbery at the restaurant.  A Tennessee State Prison escapee and two other men were charged with the murder.

Murder of Willie Cowley
Sometimes murder is committed by a family member which makes it even more horrific.  And, sometimes murder can be self defense.  Willie Cowley died after being hit over the head with an axe by his brother-in-law, John Heflin.  John Heflin was arrested and charged with murder.  But Heflin's father-in-law (and the father of the victim) posted bond.  Apparently, Cowley and Heflin became engaged in an argument over the division of crop money.  Cowley made several lunges at Heflin with his fists and then pulled out his knife to attack, whereupon Heflin snatched an axe from the ground and struck out in self-defense.  Members of the family said that Cowley had been hauling his and Heflin's crops to Nasville, selling them and spending most of the money on drinking.  When Heflin insisted on a fair division of the money the argument followed which resulted in Cowley's death.
Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Thursday, October 22, 1931 - Page 1 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Joseph Stewart and Sarah Gilbert Family

The following story of the Joseph and Sarah Stewart Family was given to me by the author, JT Stewart of Watertown, Tennessee.  JT and I corresponded in 2001.  He had researched our Stewart family for years and knew more than anyone else about the early history of the Stewart family of Putnam County, Tennessee.  I originally posted this story in 2009 as part of the blog post entitled, Stewarts of Putnam County, Tennessee.  But, no one seemed to find it tucked away at the bottom of that post, so here it is again.:)

 By J.T. Stewart, a descendant of Jesse Stewart 

Joseph Stewart left Jefferson County and arrived with his family in Overton County, Tn. then Jackson about 1800. This makes him one of the county’s earliest settlers. Joseph’s parents were Samuel Stewart and Lydia Harrison of Augusta County, VA where Joseph was probably born about 1740. Joseph’s father Samuel received a grant of 508 acres from Lord Granville in Rowan County, NC and the family moved from Virginia to North Carolina about 1758. Joseph Stewart is listed in the Rowan County Tax List of 1761 when he came of legal age. Joseph and Samuel are mentioned in the "Wachovia Diary" under date of 24 Aug 1761 in Stokes/Forsyth Co., NC this being a diary of the German Moravian sect which settled in Stokes, Forsyth and Surry Co., NC.
In 1779, Joseph Stewart sold the land he had received by inheritance from his father in what was then Surry Co., NC and traveled westward. Tax lists show he was in Washington Co., NC now Tennessee for the years 1780 through 1783. By 1784 Joseph Stewart was in Jefferson Co., and court records show he was there as late as Aug 1796. The earliest date Joseph shows up in Overton/Jackson Co. is 1801. He and Thomas McBride are listed on old church minutes, 25 July 1801, as messengers from Roaring River Baptist Church to the Green River Association of Baptists in Barren County, KY. On 23 Sep 1823 Joseph Stewart received a land grant from the state of Tennessee. On 14 Feb 1824 an Overton Co. deed from Jesse Stewart to John Lee, refers to the will of Joseph Stewart wherein Jesse Stewart received land by virtue of the will. Thus it would appear that Joseph Stewart died between 23 Sep 1823 and 14 Feb 1824.
Joseph Stewart married Sarah Gilbert and they had 12 children, all of whom came to Overton Co. with Joseph about 1800.

The children are listed as follows with a few lines of biographical data when known.
Lydia Stewart b. ab. 1762 m. to Abraham Howard. Abraham died in Jefferson Co. 1795. Lydia had 8 children and she and the children moved to Madison Co., Ill before 1820. The Howards are prominently mentioned in "History of Madison Co., Illinois" Saline Township as being some of the earliest settlers.
Joseph Stewart Jr. b. ab. 1764. He may have been married twice, 1st to Sarah Copeland as LDS records show and 2nd to Jane or Jennie Davis. He left Overton Co. and lived in wilderness area of Bledsoe Co. in the 1820’s on land he had surveyed. In Aug 1827 he bought 55 acres of land on Roaring River from Caleb Willis. In Apr 1828 he sold the 55 acres to James Dodson, his brother-in-law. About this time he reportedly went to Johnson Co., Ark. The names of his children are not known but David K. Stewart b. Overton Co. 1813 and William H. Stewart b. Overton Co. in 1823 may have been two of them.
Margaret (Patsy) b. ab. 1768 m. to James Dodson. Very little is known about James Dodson except he seems to have been fervently religious as the minutes of the old Spring Creek Baptist Church had this entry for Apr 1845: "Brother James Dodson liberated to sing, pray, and exhort when he feels like doing so in the bounds of the church." Names of the children are not known except John Larkin Dodson who m. Mary Ann Curtis may have been connected.
Benjamin Stewart b. ab. 1772 d. 1847 Overton Co. m. twice 1st Sarah Davis 2nd Polly ? not Polly Mayfield as some sources show. Benjamin Stewart was a farmer and Baptist preacher and is mentioned several times in minutes of the old Spring Creek Baptist Church. He lived in Bledsoe Co. for a while on land he had surveyed in the wilderness area. He had 12 children, 9 by his 1st wife. His will is recorded in Overton Co. deed K-333 July 1841 which was later proven in Nov 1847, he left all his property to his wife Polly, but deeds do not show how Polly disposed of the lands she received. None of the children were in the will, and to date their names are not known.
John Stewart, b. ab. 1772 d. 1846 Overton Co., m. 1st Elizabeth Norris 2nd Keziah ?. They had at least 4 children: John C.; Melinda m. Wm. K. Wyatt; Robert; and Margaret m. Benjamin Whitehead. All of John’s descendants appear to have left Overton Co. shortly after he died. A descendant of Benjamin and Margaret Whitehead has turned up in Vine, Cal.
Nancy Stewart, b. 1775 d. in Overton Co. after 1850, did not marry.
Elizabeth Stewart b. ab. 1778 m. 1798 to John Raney, a Rev. War veteran. Elizabeth was his second wife. There were 6 or so children. One son William b. 1812 was married to Elvira Gist a daughter of Russell and Nancy Isham Gist. The John Raney family went to Independence Co., Ark. where he died in Feb. 1847, age 92.
Sarah Stewart b. ab. 1780 m. 19 Dec 1802 James Matthews. James was in the War of 1812 and his military records show he was killed in the battle at Talledega, Ala. On 9 Nov 1813. Sarah applied for a pension and listed 7 children. The children were: John Matthews m. Sarah Shookman-Shoukman; Sarah m. William G. Roberts an early tax collector of Overton Co.; Cynthia d. young; Lawrence m. Agnes Poston; Elizabeth m. Peter Fite; Nancy m. Caleb Cooper; and Dorcas m. Hiram Pitts. Other sources list other children as James, William, and a son who accidentally shot himself, but Sarah made no mention of them in her pension application of 12 Feb 1817. A Richard Matthews, 59, b. NC appears on the 1850 Pulaski Co., Missouri census. He is probably the same Richard Matthews who on Overton deed F-208 Apr 1830, deeded 150 acres on Roaring River to David Stewart and expected "one square rod including the grave of my father." The father may have been Lawrence Matthews and James and Richard brothers sons of Lawrence.
Samuel Stewart b. 15 Mar 1781 d. Overton Co. ab. 1822, m. Polly Kitchner. Children were: Sarah J. b. 1802 m. Joshua Stapp; John Gilbert b. 1811 m. 3 times 1st Margaret Copeland, 2nd Sarah Ruth Allison and 3rd Amanda Tennison; and Samuel B. b. 1815 m. Elizabeth W. Matthews. There was also a Benjamin K. Stewart b. 1808 closely connected with this family who quite likely was a son of Samuel also.
David Stewart
William Stewart b. ab. 1786 died in Lee County, Iowa in 1837 m. 1st Elizabeth VanHooser and 2nd Rebecca Lewellyn. Children of first wife were: Squire, Riley, Levi, William Jackson, and Urban Van. This family went to Madison County, Illinois, where some of the children joined the Mormon movement in its earliest stages and went on to Utah. A great number of descendants are to be found in the western part of the country. Levi Stewart for instance had 28 children by 3 wives although his second wife, Margery, and five children perished in a fort fire at Kanab, Utah. Morris Udall former Senator from Arizona and one time presidential candidate was a descendant of Levi Stewart.
Jesse Stewart, youngest child of Joseph and Sarah Gilbert Stewart b. July 1790 died ab. 1862, m. to Jemima West daughter of Stephen and Mary Belk West. Jesse Stewart was an early Baptist preacher and was ordained to preach according to Rev. J.H. Grime Baptist Historian at the old Roaring River church also known as "Twelve Corners." Incidentally the name "Twelve Corners," according to Mr. Mark Copeland who was familiar with the old church before it was torn down came from the architectural shape of the church that being in the shape of a cross, which of course has twelve corners. Children of Jesse Stewart and Jemima West were as follows: Janey b. 26 Feb 1813; Preston Stewart b. 12 July 1815 d. 20 Mar 1875 bur. Stewart Cem. In Putnam Co., Tn m. 10 May 1835 Jane Brown; Harrison b. 7 May 1817 d. 1 Jan 1893 bur. Smellage Cem., Putnam Co., Tn m. Sarah Brown; Hirum b. 30 Mar 1819; Enon b. 6 May 1821 m. 4 Jan 1845 White Co. to Sarina Cordle; Ceburn b. 10 Feb 1823 d. 19 Mar 1879 m. Dorinda Brown; Asa b. 19 Feb 1825 m. 17 Oct 1855 Sarah Davis; Anthony D. b. 21 Jan 1827 m. Mary A. ?; Erviney b. 22 Oct 1829 m. T.A. Porter; Levashure b. 17 Oct 1831 m. 5 Oct 1853 Angeline Finley; Almarinda b. 14 Jan 1834; Jemima b. 19 Jan 1836 m. 9 Dec 1864 in Todd Co., KY Francis Marion Seger; Mary b. 21 Feb 1838 d. 10 Aug 1874 m. B.A.W. Davis; and Sarah b. 1839.

Note:  There was a John Stewart family in Overton Co. living on Ashburn Creek in the early 1800’s but no relation to Joseph Stewart. This John Stewart’s children were: Josiah; Gibson; Fleming; Levina m. John McDonald; Nancy m. Obadiah Hickey; Lucinda also m. Obadiah Hickey when Nancy died; Penelope m. William Payne; and Jane .m Benjamin R. Harrison.

Note: This sketch does not include David Stewart who is listed on the family group sheet prepared by JT.

Related Posts: 
Jesse Stewart, Baptist Preacher
Jesse Stewart, Baptist Preacher - part 2
Stewarts of Putnam County, Tennessee
Henry Stewart - Civil War Veteran

This Day In Our Family History

October 19

I always get a sad feeling on October 19.  It was on this day in 1862, that our 2nd great-grandfather, David Miller Leffel, was hanged by a confederate mob. 
The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862
David was one of forty Union sympathizing citizens of North Texas who were charged with disloyalty and treason against the Confederacy by a "Citizens Court" in Gainesville, Texas in October 1862, and then hanged in the Great Hanging at Gainesville.

Four other extended members of our family were also killed by the Confederates as a result of the Great Hangings in Gainesville. They were Richard N Martin, Barnibus Burch, William Boyles, and John Mansil Crisp.  To see how they are related to the family, click here.

It is not known exactly what happened to David's body after he was hanged.  For 152 years there had been no known headstone or memorial marker for David Miller Leffel and most of the men who died in the Hangings.  That changed in October 2014 when a memorial marker was placed in Gainesville for the men who lost their lives in the Great Hanging.  To see photos of the memorial, click here.

To learn more about the Great Hanging, go to the Great Hanging Blog called: 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Anthony Chamness - Indentured Servant

Anthony Chamness  - Indentured Servant

Anthony Chamness is my seventh great-grandfather on my Minnie Pearl Hatfield line (Hatfield-Jay-Hockett-Reynolds).
A history of indentured servitude in the American Colonies given at end of this post.

Our ancestor, Anthony Chamness, came to America in 1724 as an Indentured Servant.  While some family legends can be found online stating that Anthony was lured, kidnapped, or stowed-away to the American Colonies, it appears that Anthony instead came as an indentured servant.   

Anthony Chamness, son of John Chamness and Ann Weary, was born on February 17, 1713.  Anthony was baptized when he was 18 days old at St. John’s Church of Wapping.  (Wapping is a district of London situated on the north bank of the River Thames.) 
Anthony Chamness Baptism Certificate
A record of Anthony’s indenture gives the following information.  On February 9, 1724 he was indentured to John Cooke of London as a bond servant for 7 years. His home is listed as White Chapel in Middlesex County, which lies just east of Wapping. His destination was Maryland. The indenture lists his age as 15, but according to his birth date he was just turning 11 or 12 -- depending on whether the Julian or Georgian Calendar was used.
Below is a copy of the Anthony Chamness indenture.
Indenture for Anthony Chamness 1724
Transcription of above indenture:

"London the Ninth day of February One Thousand, Seven Hundred and 24
"Memorandum, That Anthony Chamness of White Chapel in County of Middlesex did by indenture bearing like date herewith, agree to serve John Cooke of London Vichular or his assigns seven years, in Maryland (his Majesty's Plantation in America) and did thereby declare himself to be of the age of fifteen years, a single person, and no covenant or contracted servant to any other person or persons. And the said master did thereby covenant at his own cost, to send his said servant to the said plantation; and at the like costs to find him all necessary clothes, meat, drink, washing, and lodging, as other servants in such cases are usually provided for, and allowed."
Jurat 9 Feb. 1724 Coran (?)
The Mark of Anthony Chamness (circle with dot in the middle)

Since the indenture presumably began in 1724 when he arrived in America, Anthony would have completed his 7 years indenture and become a free man in about 1731 when he was about 18 years old.  Sometime in the next few years, Anthony met Sarah Cole.  They married on Thursday, November 24, 1735, in St. Paul's Parish, Baltimore County, Maryland. 

Sarah was the daughter of Joseph and Susanna Cole. Her father, Joseph had died in 1720, leaving land to Sarah in Baltimore County.  One family legend states that all Anthony and Sarah had to start out their marriage was a broken wooden bowl in which she could mix her bread, and a wooden spoon Anthony made. These two articles comprised their kitchen equipment.  
Below is a photo of a broken wooden bowl that may look similar to the one our Sarah Chamness used.  The bowl pictured is circa 1710 and is from the National Park Service website of the Saratoga National Historical Park.  
Photo of broken wooden bowl circa 1710 -  National Park Service 

Early in their marriage, Anthony and Sarah converted to the Society of Friends – more commonly known as Quakers.  The Chamness family records can be found in the Monthly Meetings of Gunpowder (Baltimore County), Monocacy (Frederick County, Maryland), Fairfax (Virginia), and Cane Creek (Orange County, North Carolina).

Anthony and Sarah moved their family to North Carolina when he received a land grant of 490 acres lying on Cane Creek on June 24, 1751.  The area of Cane Creek was originally in Orange County but eventually became Alamance County.
Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Record
Anthony and Sarah were the parents of the following children: Elizabeth, Susanna, Joseph, Sarah, Mary, Martha, John, Anthony, Rachel, Ann, Lydia, Joshua, Stephanus.

One biographer of Anthony and Sarah stated the following:
"For many years in the early history of Cane Creek Monthly Meeting, the name of Anthony Chamness may frequently be found on committees. This shows that he was regarded as a man of integrity and good judgment and worthy to be entrusted with the work of the church. He was industrious and frugal, sociable, and given to much hospitality. He and his sons worked hard, cleared out a large farm, and put it in a good state of cultivation; and Sarah, the good wife and mother, taught her daughters to spin and weave and to many kinds of work now done only in factories."

Anthony's wife, Sarah died in about 1765.  Anthony married a widow, Rachel Haworth, in 1766.  After Rachel died in 1775, Anthony married Margaret Williams, a widow aged 56. 
Anthony died on September 20, 1777. 
Anthony and Sarah were buried at the Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Cemetery, Snow Camp, North Carolina.

Anthony Chamness Will - transcription below

Anthony Chamness Will
Transcription of will:
November 24, 1776
This twenty fourth day of the eleventh month, commonly called November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred seventy and six; Being in health of body and of perfect mind and memory blessed by God, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, I do make and ordain this my last will and testament, and as touching our worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with. In this I give devise and dispose of in manner following:
First, I ordain and constitute my eldest son Joseph Chamness to be my only and soal executor of this my last will and testament: I allow my charges and just debts to be first paid out of my estate: Also I give and devise to my son, John Chamness, all the parcel of land whereon he now lives. Beginning at Betty Mayners south east corner running thence south to Richard Kemps corner thence west along Kemps line to the petition fence; thence of strait course to Betty Mayners line containing less or more to be freely possessed and enjoyed by him his heirs or asigns forever...
Also, I give to my son Joshua Chamness the remainder part of my land that I now live on to be freely possessed and enjoyed by him his heirs or asigns forever. But if my son Joshua should decease without an heir lawfully begotton of his body then his share of land to be sold and the money to be equally divided between my sons Joseph and Anthony. I also give to my son Joshua one feather bed furniture and bedstead the waggon and all the geers and the three dark creatures with all the plantation tools as two plows and an iron toothed harrow axes mattocks and hoes and as the working tools belonging to the plantation with chears table and chest and his and yearling the puter tankard fire tongs and shovel and the largest pot and hooks and rack.
I also give and devise to my daughters Ann Chamness the feather bead furniture and bedstead that was called Elizabeths and the cow bell story and her from this time with three puter basons and four puter plates and one puter dish. I also give and devise to my daughter Rachel Under three puter plates and two puter basons...I give to my daughter Susannah Reynolds five shillings. I also give to my daughter Sarah Vestal five shillings...I also give to my daughter Mary Davis five shillings...I also give to my daughter Martha Hussey five shillings. I also give to my son Anthony Chamness my worsted suite and best hat and tea kettle...I also allow the rest of my cattle to be equally devided between my two sons Joseph and Joshua...I a-lso allow my sheep to be equally devided between my son Joshua and his step mother and the gees and the rest of the fowls with the hogs after they have been killed their winters meat all to be equally devided...I also allow her to have the half of the grain that is raised on the plantation until my son Joshua comes to age and after he comes to age if she pleases to live with him and to do for him and he pleases to let her then she may have the third of what is raised the flax also to be devided he is to it and she to make it ready for wearing. I also allow her all the goods and chattles that she brought here that was her former husbands to be her own and my children to have no flame there....I also give to my daughter Lydia Ward the case of drawer the puter quart and fine flacks. I allow Sarah Wheeler to have the one black cow unmarked or puter dish the coffy pot and cannaster and a tin spin box and a large puter bason all that was called her grandmothers.
In witness and testamony I Anthony Chamness do hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written. Signed and sealed in the pressence of his
William Marshill
Joseph Cloud
Jacob Marshill

His Mark Anthony X Chamness

Indentured servitude in the American Colonies
From History Detectives
Indentured servants first arrived in America in the decade following the settlement of Jamestown by the Virginia Company in 1607.  The idea of indentured servitude was born of a need for cheap labor. The earliest settlers soon realized that they had lots of land to care for, but no one to care for it. With passage to the Colonies expensive for all but the wealthy, the Virginia Company developed the system of indentured servitude to attract workers. Indentured servants became vital to the colonial economy.
The timing of the Virginia colony was ideal. The Thirty Year's War had left Europe's economy depressed, and many skilled and unskilled laborers were without work. A new life in the New World offered a glimmer of hope; this explains how one-half to two-thirds of the immigrants who came to the American colonies arrived as indentured servants.
Servants typically worked four to seven years in exchange for passage, room, board, lodging and freedom dues. While the life of an indentured servant was harsh and restrictive, it wasn't slavery. There were laws that protected some of their rights. But their life was not an easy one, and the punishments meted out to people who wronged were harsher than those for non-servants. An indentured servant's contract could be extended as punishment for breaking a law, such as running away, or in the case of female servants, becoming pregnant.
For those that survived the work and received their freedom package, many historians argue that they were better off than those new immigrants who came freely to the country. Their contract may have included at least 25 acres of land, a year's worth of corn, arms, a cow and new clothes. Some servants did rise to become part of the colonial elite, but for the majority of indentured servants that survived the treacherous journey by sea and the harsh conditions of life in the New World, satisfaction was a modest life as a freeman in a burgeoning colonial economy.

An update for our Alamo Defender - Jonathan Lindley

Recently I found some new documents while browsing through the records on the Texas General Land Office website. (Yes - that's what I do for fun!)

I have also updated the original post on Jonathan Lindley to include these documents, which can be seen by clicking here.

There are three documents in particular that I would like to share; the first being a letter of recommendation from 1834, and the other two bounty land grants awarded posthumously to Jonathan Lindley for bravely defending the Alamo with his life.

The first document shown is a letter of recommendation written on 31st of October 1834 stating that Jonathan was an "honest industrious man and and a good Citizen."  The Mexican government required letters of recommendation from reliable citizens before a man could enter Texas and obtain land.  Since Jonathan was already in Texas in October 1834, this was probably a requirement in obtaining a land grant.  Jonathan's father, Samuel W Lindley, received a letter of recommendation before entering Texas, which can be seen here.  His brother-in-law, John Sadler, also received a letter of recommendation which is shown on the John Sadler post.

Jonathan Lindley letter of recommendation
This second document is a bounty land certificate dated May 14, 1839, Houston, Texas.  Jonathan Lindley was awarded 1280 acres of land situated in Panola County, ten and one-half miles south, twenty degrees west from Carthage, Texas. It was patented March 9, 1860.  This document clearly states that Jonathan Lindley was "killed at the Alamo."
Jonathan Lindley Bounty Land Certificate 1280 acres
This third document is a bounty land certificate for 640 acres and states, "That Jonathan Lindley having been killed at the Alamo 6th March 1836 is entitled to six hundred and forty acres of Donation land..."
Jonathan Lindley Bounty Land Certificate 640 acres
These documents and other land records for Jonathan Lindley were found on The Texas General Land Office website.  In the past, I have spent many hours and many dollars at the Texas General Land Office in Austin searching for records and then having copies made.  Now the records can be found online -- for free:).  And, the resolution of the copies are much better than the xerox copies I had made.   From the home page of the Texas GLO (, click on the History tab, then the Land Grant Search tab.  The Research Links tab also has many useful links.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

Remember our Revolutionary War Ancestors

Click here to see a list of our ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War or helped the cause of Freedom.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mary Jane Stewart Baldwin

Mary Jane Stewart Baldwin is my 2nd great-grandmother.  She was born October 3rd, 1872 in Nashville, Tennessee, the oldest daughter of Henry Stewart and Bettie Medlin.  The Stewart family eventually moved to Texas.  While living in Young County, Texas, Mary met a young man named Allen Baldwin.  They fell in love and were married in Graham, Young County, Texas on 22 Aug 1893.   Mary and Allen lived in Eliasville, probably near the Baldwin family, until about 1899.  Then after living in Throckmorton, Texas for a few years, Mary and Allen moved to Kiowa County, Oklahoma in 1904 and lived near the Mary's family - the Stewarts.  Allen died on June 5, 1931 in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma.  Mary moved back to Kiowa County and lived in Mountain Park with her widowed daughter Etta Barker.  Mary died in 1959.

Family Photo and information about the Allen and Mary Jane Stewart family can be found here.

Mary Jane Baldwin's Obituary was found in the Lawton Constitution (Newspaper), Lawton, Oklahoma, 22 Nov 1959.

Mrs. Mary Baldwin
Snyder (Special)
Services for Mrs. Mary J. Stewart Baldwin, 77, Kiowa county pioneer, were held at the Mt. Park Baptist church Saturday. Rev. John Matthieson officiated.
Burial was in Mt. Park Cemetery with Preston-Leckie funeral home in charge.
Born Oct. 3, 1872, in Nashville, she moved to Graham, Tex., as a child. She was married in Graham to Allen H. Baldwin. They moved to Oklahoma in 1904 and settled on a farm in Richland community. She was a member of the Baptist church.
Survivors include four daughters, Mrs. Etta Barker and Mrs. Maudie Killian, both of Mt. Park; Mrs. Betty Miller, Lancaster, Calif., and Mrs. Mattie Mitchell, Stratmore, Calif; four sons, Jessie, Cortez, Colo.; Charlie, Corcoran, Calif.; Clyde, Lancaster, Calif., and Tom, Lodi, Calif. Other survivors include 55 grandchildren, 88 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren.

Mary was buried in Mountain Park Cemetery in Kiowa County, Oklahoma.
Mary Jane Baldwin Headstone
Find-A-Grave Memorial Page
To view Mary's Find-A-Grave Memorial Page, click here.

Weldon Baldwin 1919-1953

Weldon A. Baldwin
Army Air Corps

Father - Husband - Son - Brother

Weldon Baldwin as a youth
Weldon Baldwin was my mom's oldest brother.  Since Weldon died when I was young, I have no specific memories of him. But, I have heard many stories of him over the years -- it seems that everyone loved Weldon.  His sister Esther adored him.  His brother-in-laws trusted him and liked being around him.  Weldon was a friend to all who knew him.

Weldon Albert Baldwin was born January 30, 1919 in Mountain Park, Kiowa County, Oklahoma. He was the oldest of fourteen children born to Jesse and Mabel (Leffel) Baldwin.  Weldon spent the first fifteen years of life living in Oklahoma.  

Weldon started school in 1925 in Fort Cobb, Caddo County, Oklahoma.  Below are two of his school enrollment cards.  Weldon was enrolled in school by his middle name of Albert in 1925.  In 1929, he was still enrolled on the school records as Albert, but in 1930 he was listed was Weldon Baldwin.
Albert Baldwin
1925 School Enrollment, Fort Cobb, Caddo, Oklahoma
Weldon Baldwin
1930 School Enrollment, Fort Cobb, Caddo, Oklahoma
While the family lived in Mountain Park, Weldon’s great-grandmother Betty Medlin Stewart lived with them, and a lot of extended family members lived close by -- aunts and uncles from both sides of the family.  
Baldwin Family 1928 Oklahoma (Weldon on far left)
The Great Depression was taking a toll on Weldon's family in Oklahoma. It was hard for his father Jesse to feed and care for the growing Baldwin family.  In addition, Jesse did not like living with the threat of tornadoes.  Jesse’s uncle, Charley Stewart, talked Jesse into moving to Gilbert, Arizona.  Charles Stewart had citrus groves and cotton fields and needed help. So Jess and Mabel sold their home in Oklahoma and moved to Arizona right after their daughter, Verna, was born in 1934.  Once they were living in Arizona, Weldon was old enough to help his family by working in the orange groves and cotton fields.

The Baldwin family lived in Arizona several years, before moving to Summit Point, San Juan County, Utah. Summit Point was located on the Utah–Colorado border.  Grandma Baldwin's brother, Lane Leffel, who had previously homesteaded in Southwestern Colorado, encouraged them to move into the area.

Below are photos of Weldon and his friend, Crock, when they were teenagers living at Summit Point.  Arthur "Crock" Cressler was Weldon's neighbor and friend.  Crock said of Weldon: "I never met a man as upstanding and true to his word as Weldon."  
Weldon's sisters said he had a pair of pants that looked looked like sailor pants and he would wear them all the time.  It looks as if Weldon had his "sailor pants" on when the below photos were taken.  Cute:)
Weldon (right) and friend, Crock.

Weldon (left) playing accordion, Crock playing guitar
Weldon goofing off on horse

Weldon was musically gifted.  He could sing and play an accordion, guitar, saxophone, and piano.  In a photo above, he's playing his accordion.   
While living at Summit Point, Weldon was mentioned several times in the Monticello, Utah newspaper -- The San Juan Record.  Below is an article that mentioned some car trouble he had while returning home from a dance with his friends.  

San Juan Record, 8 Sep 1938

Marriages and Military
After living in Summit Point for several years, Weldon's family moved to Montrose, Colorado.  It was there that Weldon met Louise Hotchkiss.   Their marriage record is found in Clark County, Washington for the 6th of July 1942.  Two children were born to Weldon and Louise.  Weldon moved his family to Yamhill County, Oregon.  On 7 Oct 1942, he enlisted in the Army and soon left for basic training.  After Weldon was gone, Louise did not like being tied down with their children.  One day she took the children and left them on the steps of the court house.  When Weldon returned home on leave, he found his children were in foster care.  Weldon divorced Louise and with the help of his sister, Esther, he got his children back.  But, since this was during WWII, Weldon had to return to his military duty.  Esther eventually adopted the children.  

After joining the Army, Weldon was sent to basic training in San Antonio.  He was trained to be a pilot for the Army Air Corps.  After he completed his training as a navigator for B17's,  he was made an instructor for pilots.  According to different family members, Weldon was an instructor at Fort Hood and also at a military base at Sioux City, Iowa.

The US Army Air Corps was the military aviation arm of the US Army during WWII and was the forerunner of the US Air Force.

After the war, Weldon returned home.  His sister Esther introduced him to one of her friends named Nancy Jane Tingstrom, a native of California.  In about 1948, Weldon married Nancy in California. They had one daughter.
Weldon and Nancy - Wedding Day
Weldon and family
Weldon continued to fly airplanes after the war ended and he returned home to civilian life.  He and a friend, Alan Thomas, started flying supplies into Alaska. In September 1948 while flying an empty cargo plane back to Portland, they had a plane crash. His co-pilot died and Weldon almost froze to death before he was rescued.
28 Sep 1948; Oregonian newspaper
In another business venture, Weldon is said to have invented a fork-lift and obtained a patent for the fork-lift.  But, I have not been able to find a patent in his name.  After Weldon died, his brother Joe sold the fork-lift business.

Weldon and a friend started a business to investigate airplane failures and crashes for the military and insurance companies.  Below are photos of Weldon transporting airplanes.

Died in a Flaming Truck Crash
In 1953, Weldon was hauling airplane parts on a flat-bed trailer behind his truck when he was hit head-on by a car trying to pass a logging truck.  Weldon's truck exploded during the crash and he was burned over 80% of his body.  Six days later on July 31, 1953, Weldon died in a Eugene hospital from injuries and burns caused by the accident.
Weldon's truck after the crash
Newspaper articles about the crash

The Oregon Statesman (Salem, Oregon) 26 July 1953

Eugene Guard newspaper, 31 July 1953
Weldon was only thirty-four years old at the time of his death.  
He had lived an extraordinary life in a short time

Eugene Guard (Eugene, Oregon) 1 Aug 1953

Funeral program for Weldon
Army Air Corps
Father - Husband - Son - Brother

To view Weldon's Find-A-Grave Memorial Page, click here.