Sunday, August 30, 2015

This Week On My Family History Calendar

Aug. 30-Sept. 5

Sept. 4~
 Philip Roberts, III (1798-1852), my 4th Great Grandfather died 163 years ago in Columbia, Richland, South Carolina. He is buried in St. Westbury High Hill Cemetery in Richland County.
Headstone of Philip Roberts
St. Westbury High Hill Cemetery
Richland County, South Carolina

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Friday, August 28, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 34: Non-Pop Schedules~Picturing Their Lives


     Non-Population Schedules and what they can tell you about your ancestors is the topic for Week 34 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks by Amy Johnson Crow.
  These special schedules were taken in addition to the regular federal or state census and were for specific purposes such as the 1890 Veteran's Census, Agricultural and Manufacturing Censuses. These were used by agencies for statistic purposes. For a genealogist, these unique snapshots of our ancestors lifestyles can help fill in details that we would otherwise not know.
   My paternal 3rd Great Grandfather, Benjamin Reese Gibson (1824-1907) was enumerated in two Agricultural and one Special Manufacturing Census.

1860  Paxville,Clarendon County, SC Agriculture Census
Benjamin Reese Gibson

 The 1860 Agricultural Census of Paxville, Clarendon County, SC shows that Benjamin Reese Gibson was the owner of a large piece of farm land. He owned 2, 500 acres-80 of which had been improved. He had $100 of farming machinery which he used to  grow wheat, Indian corn, rice, cotton, peas, beans and sweet potatoes. He also had an orchard and produced butter, clover seed and molasses. His farm animals included 3 horses, 7 milk and other cattle, and 20 swine.

1870 Manning, Clarendon County, SC Agricultural Census
Benjamin Reese Gibson

  Ten years later, after the Civil War, Benjamin reported the following to the census taker.  Although far less than before, he still had a large piece of land consisting of 175 acres of improved land with 525 acres of woods.
 The cash value of the farm was 2,800 with $50 in farm machinery. He had payed $250 in wages including board. His farm was producing Spring wheat, Indian corn, oats, rice, cotton, peas, beans, sweet potatoes and hay. His animals included 1 horse, 3 mules, 5 milk cows and 6 other cows. He also had 20 swine. Benjamin reported that he estimated the total worth of his farm production was $1,035.

1880 Sammy Swamp, Clarendon County, SC Manufacturers Census
Benjamin Reese Gibson
 A Special Schedule of Manufacturers was taken in 1880 and recorded Benjamin Reese Gibson as the owner of a Saw Mill in Sammy Swamp, Clarendon County, SC. The mill was run using the wood from his own land. Employees numbered 7-10 during the year. 
   One of those employees, Benjamin Thomas Thames (1854-1931) began work at the mill sometime after 1870. He met the owner's daughter, Margaret Francis Gibson (1854-1929), and were married about 1872. They were my Great Great Grandparents.
    Together, these special censuses help me to piece together the lives of my 3rd Great Grandfather and his family. Other records  indicated he farmed and owned a saw mill but the information on these records forms a picture of the properties. The types of crops, animals and size of the saw mill gives the imagination something to work with when trying to understand and connect with those of an earlier time.

 Have you checked the Non-Population Schedules for your family? 

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

This Week On My Family History Calendar

Aug. 23-Aug. 28

August 24~
  My maternal Grandfather, Gilbert Ernest Roberts (1920-1944) would have been 95 years old on this day. Gilbert was born in Columbia, Richland, South Carolina to William Treadford Roberts (1894-1959) and Beulah Mae (Price) Roberts (1897-1980). 

August 28~
  Emma Ruth (Baker) Early (1901-1993), my paternal Great Grandmother would have been 114 years old on this day. Ruth was born in Sumter County, South Carolina. She was the tenth child of Arthur Wellington Baker (1857-1940) and Martha Victoria (Bradford) Baker (1862-1947).

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 33-Defective Ancestors-The Dorritys

  Census records can be very informative records of our ancestors.
They can show family units, approximate birth dates, occupations and other information depending on the year.
 In 1880, a special census was taken. The Defective, Dependant, and Delinquent Census recorded those labeled in their communities as blind, deaf-mute, idiotic, homeless children, paupers, and prisoners.
 While some of these terms are not considered appropriate today, we can learn something about our ancestors physical and social conditions with this document.
 Week 33 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, by Amy Johnson Crow, asks if we have any family members listed in this unique census.
 Several years ago while researching my  Daughrity/Dorrity/Dority line from Sumter County, South Carolina, siblings Elizabeth, John and Arthur Dorrity were found on the 1880 Census for the Idiotic and Deaf-Mute. Carolina Department of History and Archives; Columbia, South Carolina; U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes; Year: 1880; Roll: 2. Sumter County, Springhill Township, pg.A, Dorrity

The Idiots portion asks these questions:

 Is this person self-supporting or partly so? 
Age at which idiocy occurred. 
Supposed cause of idiocy (if acquired)
 Size of head (large, small or natural) 
 Has this person ever been an inmate of a training school for idiots? If yes, name the said training school. 
What has been the total length of time spent by him (or her) during life in any such training school or training schools? 
 Date of discharge (year only) 
Is this person also insane?
Is he (or she) also blind? 
Is he (or she) also deaf? 
Is he (or she) also an epileptic?
 13) Is he (or she) paralyzed? And if yes, on which side? (right/left) 

All three of the Dorrity's had the same answers.
  They were not self-supporting, their condition was from birth, head sizes "appeared normal", and they had never been in an institution. Although all three appear on the Deaf-Mute list, only Elizabeth has a check mark by deaf on this census. : South Carolina Department of History and Archives; Columbia, South Carolina; U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes; Year: 1880; Roll: 2 ,Sumter County, Springhill Township, pg. B, Dorrity

The Deaf-Mute section asked for the following information:
Is he (or she) self-supporting or partly so? 
Age at which deafness occurred
 Supposed cause of deafness, if known. 
 Is this person semi-mute? 
Is he (or she) semi-deaf? 
  Has this person ever been an inmate of an institution for deaf-mutes? If yes, give the name of such institution.
What has been the total length of time spent by him (or her) in any such institution? 
 Date of his (or her) discharge (year only) 
 Is this person also insane? 
Is he (or she) also idiotic? 
 Is he (or she) also blind? 

Again, the answers for all three are the same.
They are not self-supporting, their conditions began at birth, the cause of their infirmity is not known, they were never in an institution and were also checked as idiotic.

   What was the cause of their condition? The census states that it was from birth. My Grandmother, Azile Juanita (Daughrity) Roberts Sullivan (1921-2009) said she heard the boys had come down with polio following a chill caught while swimming in the pond on the family property.  She wasn't aware of their older sister Elizabeth.
 She was incensed by seeing her paternal Uncles and Aunt listed as Idiotic. She remembered her Uncle Arthur singing and disputed the indication that he was a deaf-mute.
 John Dorrity (1874-1934) and Arthur Dorrity (1875-1935) are alluded to in the Sunter County, South Carolina Civil War Widow's Pension Application of their mother Mary Elizabeth (Stafford) Dority (1843-1930):

Widow Pension Application
Mary Elizabeth Dority
Sumter County, South Carolina
South Carolina Department of Archives and History

We, the undersigned County Pension Board of Sumter County have made a careful examination of the application of Mary Elizabeth Dority
We are of the opinion that the said applicant is entitled to a pension thereunder for the following reasons.
(1) That her husband Manning Dority was a bona fide Soldier in the late war between the States.
(2) That she is 74  years of age and was married prior to 1890
(3) That her income does not exceed $500.00-does not exceed $1,000.00 from all sources.
(Here state any other reasons which influenced the Board to grant or reject this position)
The applicant is in most needy circumstances there is in addition to her standing two(2) sons aged 44 and 46 who are helpless invalids who are not able to do for themselves.
County Pension Board 
These two sons are most likely John and Arthur. There is no mention of daughter Elizabeth Dorrity (1869-after 1880).

This pre -1932 picture in an album of my Grand Aunt lists
Mary Elizabeth Stafford Dorrity, along with sons Arthur, Asa, Charlie, and John. It is not clear which is which.
  Further research has not found what became of 11-year-old Elizabeth Dorrity after the1880 census. John and Arthur Dorrity lived with their mother until her death in 1930 and brother Asa until his death in 1932. Charlie Dorrity, another brother, took care of them until their deaths. John died in 1934 after succumbing to the flu, and Arthur passed away in 1935. Both are buried in the Sumter City Cemetery, Sumter, South Carolina.
 Childhood illness, or something hereditary? It is not known what caused three of seven children in the Dorrity family to be listed on the Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Census of 1880. Their inclusion gives insight into the lives they lead.
 Have you looked at this census record? Who, if anyone, did you find?

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Monday, August 17, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 31-Sharing Makes it Easier

 An Easy ancestor to research is the topic for week 31 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, created by Amy Johnson Crow. 

   There should be an easy ancestor to research right? One that lead a life that created an abundance of records. Well, I haven't been that lucky but I have had people that have helped me and made doing research on some of my lines easier.

    The first helper that lead me to several generations of my paternal Baker family was my Great Aunt, Kate (Baker) Ryan (1898-1987).
 A genealogist herself, Auntie Kate gave me a copy of the research she had done with dates, places and pictures and documents. 
She even had a copy of the Civil War record for my 3rd great Grandfather, Alpheus J. Baker (1824-1917) that she had transcribed.  
Alpheus J. Baker

  My paternal Thames line was easier to research due to the efforts of distant cousin and genealogist Jackie Thames Baker.
 Jackie was one of the first to respond to my letter queries in the early 1990's. Because of her generosity in sharing what she had worked so hard to find, my tree quickly expanded and reached back to the 1600's in Ireland.  

Benjamin Thomas Thames (1854-1931) Family

   Sharing. Realizing that we are all part of the same family and that we benefit by encouraging and helping others with their research. How grateful I am for those who made the beginning days of my genealogy journey 'easy'.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 32-George David Eargle

  It's week 32 of the blog prompt series by Amy Johnson Crow-52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks and 32 is the topic.
 Why 32? Because we all have 32  3rd Great Grandparents.
My chosen ancestor is George David Eargle (1827 -1886), my maternal 3rd Great Grandfather.
  David, as he was known, was born in the Edgefield District of South Carolina to Frederick Solomon Eagle (1788-1870) and Mary Ann (Huet) Eargle (born about 1793).

Eargle Cabin
Childhood home of George David Eargle
©Cheri Hudson Passey

   He and wife Elvira America (Booth) Eargle (1834-1898) were married in the late 1840's and were the parents of 9 children. They raised them on the family farm not far from the Edisto River.  The 1860 Agricultural Census of Edisto Hills, Edgefield District shows that David was growing potatoes, sweet potatoes, and grapes. He was producing honey, butter, and other homemade items. His livestock included cows and pigs.
 George David Eargle served in the Civil War as part of Company E 2nd South Carolina Artillery. 
 One of his daughter's,  Emma Janette (Eargle) Williamson (1866-1958), was interviewed several times by Aiken, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia newspapers.
 She tells of her father's service by saying that he had a small Testament that he took with him. He told her that he had read from it every day of the war. In it he had written that he left for war on 20 Nov. 1861 and returned 1 April 1864. She said that David had walked back home to South Carolina from Gettysburg.
  One newspaper article reported:
"She often tells of the time when her father, David Ergle, made all the foods and medicines. together with the clothes and shoes on the farm. The best-known iron tonic was anvil dust, gathered from the anvil in the blacksmith's shop and mixed with honey.
  The spring tonic was mostly sassafras. mullen and pip-sis-oway along with many other home remedies. Doctors were scarce and hard to find. and the usual broken bones and other injuries were taken care of by home folks and neighbors."

David died in about in June of 1886 and is buried in the Eargle-Sanders Cemetery in Aiken County, South Carolina.

George David Eargle. A very interesting part of my 32.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 30-The William J. Dority Challenge

Time to look at a challenging to research ancestor for Week 30 of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 Edition.
William J. Dority, my maternal 3rd great grandfather has been one of my challenges for several years.
 Born in about 1820 , most likely in the Sumter District area of South Carolina, William's parentage is still unknown to me.
 Several researchers have parents recorded for him, but none have been able to prove with any type of document why they feel that they have found his parents. One researcher felt that a certain person was William's father simply because he lived next to him in the census.
  The Dority name has been found spelled many different ways. Dorrity, Darity, and Darrity to list a few, as well as the modern Daughrity. This has lead to challenges in researching the family.
William married Martha Mathis (1820-1905) in about 1836 and together they had at least 12 children. He served during the civil war with his sons in the 20th South Carolina Infantry.
The 1880 Sumter County census reports that William had consumption and by 1897 Martha is listed as receiving a Widow's Pension in a Sumter County newspaper.
While wife Martha (Mathis) Dority's grave can be found in the St. John's Methodist Cemetery in Springhill, Lee, South Carolina, If Williams is buried near her, his grave is unmarked. 

Martha (Mathis) Dority
St. John's Methodist Cemetery
Springhill, Lee, South Carolina

 Land, probate and church records have not produced information leading to his death date or the names of his parents. Researching his children has not helped either. Currently, I am working on the FAN principle. Researching his friends, associates, and neighbors to see if those that he knew from his community can lead me to the answers.
   William J. Dority remains a challenge.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

This Week On My Family History Calendar

Aug. 2-Aug. 8

 Aug. 5~
  Samuel James Bradford II (1815-1875), my paternal 3rd Great Grandfather, died 140 years ago in Sumter County, South Carolina.

 Aug. 7~
  My paternal 4th Great Grandfather, John Milton Dargan (1799-1847), died in Sumter County, South Carolina 168 years ago. He was buried in the Dargan Cemetery in Sumter County. 

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
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