A while back, someone asked me about the estate records of Benjamin Odell. I’ve made partial indexes of many of the early probate books for Rabun County, so I was able to quickly go to the right pages in two of those books to find information recorded on Benjamin’s estate. I’m not going to post the entire estate proceedings here (that would take a lot of room), but I did want to point out a few interesting items that could be used to answer the questions many researchers might have about this family.
I woke up this morning and decided it was time to put the call out for a book I would like to write in the next two to five years about Samuel and Sarah (McKinney) Hopper, their parents, and their children. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and decided now’s the time to start getting my ducks in a row.
What I hope to do is to compile enough information on Samuel and Sarah to definitively connect them with their parents and possibly to their grandparents. John M. Dillard has done some research on the McKinneys in connection with his Dillard research, and has linked Sarah to her father Charles McKinney of Buncombe Co., NC. I would like to do much more than that by tracking Charles from his origin points to his death, including determining the true identity of Sarah’s mother, and identifying all of Sarah’s siblings, if possible.
There are several different versions of Samuel’s parents in print and on the Internet, none with good documentation. I believe Samuel may have been connected to the Charles Hopper family of Burke Co., NC, and later Tennessee and other parts west. Proving or disproving that hypothesis will occupy a good deal of time.
So the first part of this hoped-for volume will deal with Samuel, Sarah, and their immediate ancestors. In the next section, I would like to do small biographical sketches of Samuel and Sarah’s children, including the names of their grandchildren. This is the part where I really, really would like help from the descendents of this couple. I would very much like to include pictures of Samuel and Sarah’s children, where they are available. I know a portrait exists for Thomas, my direct ancestor, who died in the Late Troubles. I do not have pictures for any of the other children. Two of the daughters died before the War and I have little hope of finding pictures for them, but for the remainder of the children, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
Samuel’s cabin is, I believe, still standing as part of the Hambidge Center property. I would like to include a picture of that, as well as maps and a few select other documents, like estate records and so forth. I would also love to include copies of Bible records, letters, and other important family documents, if such exist. Anyone who is willing to contribute will be gratefully acknowledged.
The scope of the potential volume will be very limited. I do not intend to make this an every-descendant kind of book. Instead, I would like to focus on the individuals named: Samuel, Sarah, their parents (and possibly grandparents), their children and, briefly, their grandchildren. I do not know how long it will take, nor what the final form might be. In this day and age, a printed copy for select libraries and digital copies to interested family members might be the way to go. Who knows?
I would very much like to hear from other family members about this project. Please contact me if you have any information or if you would like to help.
Born Apr. 23, 1844
Died May 6, 1936
Albert Cragg was the son of Ellis and Margaret (–?–) Cragg (sometimes Craig), who were both born in Burke Co., NC. Albert and several of his older siblings were born in Caldwell Co., NC, which was formed in 1841 from Burke and Wilkes Counties, NC. The family migrated to Rabun Co., GA in the mid- to late-1850s; many descendants of this family still reside within the county, some on land bought by Ellis and Margaret after their move here.
Born Apr. 14, 1848
Died Jan. 2, 1914
Sarah Shook and Albert Cragg were married October 5, 1865 by William E. Philyaw, Minister of the Gospel, in Rabun County.
Notice the hands holding one another on the top of each stone. One hand probably represented the deceased, while the other represented Jesus reaching down to lift the departed into Heaven.
Albert and Sarah were buried in Powell Gap Cemetery, which is off of Bridge Creek Road in Rabun Co., GA.
I recently bought several back issues of the NGS NewsMagazine from a fellow researcher, and have been diligently combing through them for research and record tips. I’ve run across some really good finds, too, but the topic of today’s post comes from the article “Charting Your Priorities” by Susan Zacharias (January/February/March 2007, pp. 54 – 56). In short, Zacharias offers a method of prioritizing research by listing end-of-lines (that is, the earliest known generation in every direct line) in various fonts according to their place on the pedigree chart. Your largest font size (Zacharias recommends 18 point) would correspond to your most recent (chronologically) dead end, with each step down in fonts corresponding to one generation further back in time.