Posts tagged ‘Macon County North Carolina’

October 31, 2011

North Carolina County Records Guide

One of my favorite resources for North Carolina research is the Guide to County Records in the North Carolina State Archives published by the North Carolina Office of Archives and History. The current edition was published in 2009 and constitutes a major update to the previous edition.

After a short introduction, the Guide goes on to describe both original records, bound and loose, and microfilmed records held at the Archives for each of North Carolina’s 100 existing and four defunct counties. The whole is rounded off by a Glossary where one can find short explanations for the various terms used.

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May 30, 2011

Finding Parents for Ethel (Penland) Ritchie

Brick walls in our ancestry can come in many forms, but they usually boil down to the inability to extend a lineage. Often, a thorough search of extant records can help break down this barrier. Sometimes, however, the solution can be much less arduous. Such is the case with Ethel Lee (Penland) Ritchie.

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May 16, 2011

Eli Pickett, Bartow Co., GA

The following item was published in the 8 August 1889 issue of the The Franklin Press of Franklin, Macon Co., NC (Volume 4, Number 21, 2nd page, 1st column):

Eli Pickett, of Bartow county, Ga., a negro Confederate soldier who was severely wounded in the Georgia campaigns, has appealed to the State of Georgia for a pension. He was free-born and fought bravely for the Confederacy.

January 20, 2011

Margaret (McConnell) Carpenter’s Date of Death

I’ve been working on an application to the Daughters of the American Revolution for several years now. The service of this particular patriot ancestor, Phillip McConnell, has already been proven (to the extent that the DAR requires such proof), as has his connection to his only son, William McConnell, as have the connections between William and most of his children.

I had already gathered most of the other evidence necessary to prove the lineage from myself to Margaret (McConnell) Carpenter, one of William’s children, lacking only a copy of my father’s birth certificate, which has gone mysteriously missing. While waiting for my father to locate that document, I happened across a petition for sale of the lands of William Carpenter, Margaret’s husband.1 In it, William’s surviving sons and the heirs of his deceased sons petitioned the court to sell William’s lands so that the monies could be divided amongst all the heirs. In particular, I was delighted to find this:

[The petitioners] respectfully showeth unto your Honor that William Carpenter died many years since leaving a will which was duly admitted to probate and that in said will he devised the hereinafter described lands to his wife Margarett Carpenter for and during her actual life and at her death to his six sons in fee simple equally to be divided between them as tenants in common and that Margarett Carpenter died some time during the year 1866 […]

Margaret’s tombstone has not survived the ravages of time (if one was ever placed), and so this may be the only extant evidence of her date of death.

One thing to note is that William wrote his will in January 1836.2 He was deceased by the time the 1840 US census was taken in Macon Co., NC.3 Yet his estate was not completely settled until the death of his wife in 1866, some 30 years later. This example amply illustrates the need to search for records related or pertaining to an ancestor for a time period well after he or she was deceased.

* * * * *

1. Petition for sale of lands for partition, 1867; William Carpenter, 1868, file folder; Record of Macon County Estates, 1831 – 1920; North Carolina State Archives micropublication G.061.2317261.

2. Last will and testament of William Carpenter, 1836; Will Book 1 Macon County: 14 – 16; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.

3. William was not enumerated in the 1840 US census, while Margaret was. It is presumed, therefore, that William was deceased before that time. Margaret Carpenter household, 1840 US census, Macon County, North Carolina, page 152, line 22; NARA micropublication M704, roll 152.

December 30, 2010

The Estate of James M. Peek, Macon Co., NC

I have recently had the privilege of sorting through the loose estate records for Macon County, as held by the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, for an indexing project sponsored by the North Carolina Genealogical Society. Along the way, I’ve found several interesting items on my own family that I hope to share here over the coming months with other area researchers.

One of my more recent finds was located in the file folder for James M. Peek. According to Elizabeth Peek Crutchfield in the article “David Peek”, James was the son of David Peek and Mary Henderson.1 They had the following children, including James:

  1. Eda Peek, born about 1880 [sic] in Laurens Co., SC, married John Jackson Ammons
  2. Phoebe Peek, born about 1804 in Laurens County, married James Holland
  3. William M. Peek, born 12 January 1809 in Laurens County, married Polly Avaline Mull
  4. James Peek, born before 1820 in Laurens County, “[…] with wife unknown. He migrated to Alabama.”
  5. Ruth Peek, born in 1815 in Laurens County, married Milton Moss
  6. Judy Elizabeth Peek, born in 1819 in Laurens County, married Milton McCoy
  7. Jane Caroline Peek, born 10 February 1820 in Macon Co., NC, married Andrew Madison Bryson
  8. Mary “Polly” Peek, born in 1821 in Macon County, married Martin McCoy
  9. Louisa, born in 1822 in Macon County, never married
  10. David Lee Peek, born in 1828, married Jane Moss

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February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: James Wesley Ledford

James Wesley Ledford, ca late 1930s

See also: Tombstone Tuesday: James Wesley Ledford, 1847 – 1940

February 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: James Wesley Ledford, 1847 – 1940

James Wesley Ledford
May 6, 1847
May 3, 1940
We will meet again

James Wesley Ledford was my mother’s great-grandfather. He was buried in Coweeta Baptist Church Cemetery, Macon Co., NC, near his wife, Martha (Carpenter) Ledford, and her parents.

February 20, 2010

The East Tennessee Historical Society

In August, I will be attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies‘ annual conference, held this year in Knoxville, TN. While I am looking forward to this event in general, I am especially excited about visiting the East Tennessee Historical Society, home to the McClung Historical Collection, a virtual cornucopia of manuscript collections, rare books, city directories, newspapers, and microfilm. The primary focus of the collection is, of course, the eastern Tennessee counties, but other areas of Tennessee and other states are also represented.

I am currently compiling a list of my eastern Tennessee families so that I can plan my on-site research. Included will be:

  • Mansfield and Harriet (Black) Anderson, who moved from Blount and Sevier Counties (TN) into Macon Co., NC
  • Miranda (Fletcher) Curtis and several of her children, who moved from Macon Co., NC, to Monroe Co., TN
  • Samuel Hopper, who possibly lived for a short time in Claiborne and Giles Counties, TN
  • Various children of William Morgan, who died in 1809 in Jackson Co., GA

The FGS 2010 Conference theme is “Rediscovering America’s First Frontier.” The conference runs from August 18 to August 21. For more information, see the FGS conference web site.

October 21, 2009

Linda Ledford Watson, 1948 – 2009

On Saturday, October 10, 2009, Linda Ledford Watson, 61, of Rabun Gap, GA, died quietly in her sleep of complications from Crohn’s disease. She was born June 25, 1948 in Macon Co., NC, to the late Lake Randolph and Ruth Virginia Anderson Ledford. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Johnny Ledford; and a cousin who was raised by Linda’s parents, Virginia Anderson Thompson Stevenson.

Linda was a woman of few flaws and many virtues. Her heart was open to anyone in need, and her home often overflowed with family and friends alike. She was active in her church and in the community, and heavily involved in the lives of her large, extended family.

She was an accomplished seamstress and quilter. She often sewed clothing for her family, especially in the early years when her children were young. Over the years, many a young bride came to Linda for help with her wedding dress, and often for help managing the wedding itself. Linda also completed several quilts for her family and others. Her latest projects included sewing wall hangings for the youngest of her parents’ great-grandchildren. She was also working on a memory quilt for her eldest grandchild.

Linda loved the holidays, but she also had a way of making each day into a special occasion. Some days might be marked by an arrangement of freshly cut flowers straight from her yard, and others by a favorite family meal, but each day was precious to her, no matter how it was passed.

To her husband, she was wife, companion, and partner, having worked with him for many years at the Rabun County Farm Bureau. They were active in Valley Fun and Recreation (both being avid card players), and travelled together to many memorable locations.

To her children, she was SuperMom. She was the Mom who baked goodies or picked up a child when another parent was running late. She was the Mom who was always willing to volunteer, whether for chaperoning a bus or sewing costumes. In fact, many of those costumes were ones she made and wore herself, just to make an event memorable for her children and their friends. During her children’s school days, she was active in the Band Boosters, the Athletic Boosters, and the PTA. She was the score keeper, and the team mascot, and the loudest one cheering on every child, no matter which side they played for. She never turned down an opportunity to pitch in if she could help it.

To her grandchildren, she was Me-Mom. When PBJs were needed for a bus ride to a football game, she delivered them to the school freshly made, and then followed the bus to the game just to cheer the team on. She never missed an event in her grandchildren’s lives, nor did she ever miss an opportunity to spend time with them.

She was a stalwart friend and a devoted sister. Two weeks before her death, she helped cook a special meal for the senior members of her church. The week before her death, she spent much time consoling the family of her two nieces, whose father, Linda’s former brother-in-law, had just been killed. She spent many days making the family rounds, or helping others in whatever way she could.

Many other platitudes could be expressed about Linda, but the final one should be this, that she was quietly devout in everything she did. She held a firm, unwavering belief in God, and there is no doubt that she has joined Him in a better place.

Linda is survived by her husband of 41 years, Varney Watson, of the home; daughter Dawn Watson and son David Watson, both of Rabun Gap; daughter Dee Dillard and son-in-law Claude Dillard, of Dillard, GA; grandchildren Bryce and Bailey Dillard, of Dillard, and Caleb Watson, of Rabun Gap; sisters Jean Ledford VanHook, Liz Ledford Ledford, and Debi Ledford Watts Nylund, all of Franklin, NC; sister Sylvia Ledford Spell of Aiken, SC; sister Bonnie Ledford Shirley of Clayton, GA; brothers Wayne Ledford, Jim Ledford, Benny Ledford, David Ledford, and Joey Ledford, all of Franklin; Timothy Thompson of Rabun Gap; Kieva Stevenson of Clayton, GA; and many beloved brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Visitation was held Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Beck’s Funeral Home in Clayton, GA. A memorial service was held Monday, October 12, 2009 at the Head of Tennessee Baptist Church in Dillard, GA, officiated by the Reverand Doug Porter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

September 11, 2009

Barbara McRae and Teresita Press

I am a huge fan of working with original rather than derivative versions of records, but every once in a while, a published work comes along that is of such a caliber as to make it not only a necessary addition to the home library, but a highly functional one.

Such is the case with Macon County, NC in the 1850 Census: A Snapshot in Time compiled by Barbara McRae and published by Teresita Press, a small, private press founded by McRae that specializes in the publication of genealogical and historical information, particularly in record transcriptions.

A Snapshot in Time includes a transcription of not only the free population schedule from the 1850 US Census, but also includes transcriptions of each of the other schedules for this census, including mortality, agriculture, industry, and slave. The free population and agriculture production schedules are intermingled so that on each page one may find the household as it was enumerated in the free population schedule at the top of the page, and running along the bottom (on that page or within a few pages), one could see the same household’s farming output, if any were made for that household. The whole is fully indexed and bound in a tight spiral binding.

The best part of A Snapshot in Time isn’t its completeness or the well-organized index; the best part of this work is in its accuracy. Inevitably, in any derivation, errors creep in, most notably due to misreading the scribe’s handwriting. This work is no exception; however, the errors are so minimal as to be overlooked. When one compares this book to microfilmed versions of the 1850 US Census for Macon County, one will inevitably find the names transcribed correctly, and when one thumbs through the index, one can be reasonably certain of its completeness.

Such accuracy is the hallmark of a professional of McRae’s caliber. A long-time editor of The Franklin Press, Macon County’s paper of record, McRae also writes a long-standing column for the paper called Know Your County, which focuses on the area’s historicity. McRae cut her genealogical teeth with the column, and moved on to Records of Old Macon County, North Carolina, 1829-1850, a wonderful abstract of Macon County’s earliest deed books that has been reprinted by Clearfield Company, a division of Genealogical Publishing Company.

McRae has, alone and with the help of others, compiled derivations of other important early records for Macon County, many available through Teresita Press. Researchers of the old Macon County area are fortunate to have such resources to use as a supplement to the original official records.