Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Guilty or Innocent?

As promised in my last blog, I wanted to share the information on who the town thought murdered my Great, Great Grandmother. But before that, if you will recall from my blog called "Occupations in the Census", I wasn't sure which plant my Grandfather Garrison, the silk weaver, worked for. I was so surprised when I found his Military Registration Card this week and confirmed that it was Stehli and Company.
Found on FamilySearch.org.

They are putting more and more of these cards online, which have some very valuable information on them. It says that my Grandfather had black hair and gray eyes. That is so cool because when I knew my grandfather he was already white-haired. A beautiful head of white hair. This form also tells where he was born. If anyone has a question about their heir, as to their birth location and physical characteristics, this form would be very helpful.

Now, onto the death of my Great, Great Grandmother, Nancy Martindale Welch. After she left her daughters and didn't show up at her home place, people began searching for her. She would probably have had a regular route back, so people started looking for her there. It had begun snowing, which made the search time sensitive, too. They found her body, around 9:00 p.m., very close to the road she had been on. With her throat cut and a handkerchief stuffed in her mouth, they knew they were looking at a murder.

According to a 1959 article in the Goldsboro News Argus, this area was known "As a place and time where death seldom struck due to a small population..." "Caucasian farmers, small-grain growers, friendly and avid conversationalists."(1) So why Nancy Welch?

I may never know for sure why or for that matter who did this, but the citizens thought they knew who. It seems that a member of the community saw Nancy go by his house and a few moments later, a black man by the name of Hen Jones was seen passing the same way. It is important to remember that at the time of the murder there were no witnesses. Only speculations.

However, when word got out that Hen Jones had been in the area at the same time as Nancy, a group of men went in search of him. As the Goldsboro article stated, "this was a time of 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'" mentality.

I don't know much about Hen Jones. A Greensboro Record article stated that "a six foot negro whose age was estimated only as 'in his forties.' Little is remembered of his life except that he did not live with his wife and was continually looking for a meal or money."(2)

Mr. Jones was found in a home near Harpers Crossroads, the intersection of State Highway 902 and Siler City/Glendon Road. The Chatham Citizen wrote that he was "a colored man of bad character" and "he was found and arrested, having blood on his clothes and a bloody razor concealed in his coat. He confessed the crime."(3) An article in the Durham Morning Herald said when, "dragged from the house and faced with the mob, Hen “owned up to the killing.”(4) In the early morning hours of January 11, 1898, "he was tied to old Doc Street's two-horse buggy and drug clear from the crossroads," to the local hanging tree. Here the search party mob, which had grown to "a crowd of some 40 or 50 men"(3), lynched him.

In a paper titled "Without Due Process: Lynching in North Carolina 1880-1900", by Sarah Burke, East Carolina University, she wrote, "Between 1880 and 1900, North Carolina recorded fifty-eight lynchings." "Many North Carolinians were not only skeptical of the state's legal system, but also deeply vested in the ideas of self-governance, honor and communal justice."(5)

The Chatham Citizen said that "lynching of course is to be deplored, but in such cases as this it is to be deplored most because of the crime which caused the men of that community to take the law into their own hands - a crime too atrocious and horrible not to arouse the indignation and passions of any civilized people."(3)

A January 19, 1899, article in The Chatham Record, stated "So shocked was everybody by the brutality of the murderer that no one (white or black) would furnish a coffin in which to bury him."(6)  So I don't know what happened to Hen Jones when he was taken down from the tree, but I do know what happened to my Great Great Grandmother. She was laid to rest in a little cemetery, with only 14 graves, and a tombstone that read "Nancy Martindale, wife of James Welch. Born Jan. 28, 1841, died Jan 10, 1898. A light from our household is gone."(1)

_______________________________________________________________

(1) Goldsboro News-Argus, Thursday, November 26, 1959, "Age-Old Story of 'Hanging Tree' Near Durham Almost A Legend"
(2) Greensboro Record, Greensboro, NC, Thursday, November 26, 1959, Page 12
(3) Chatham Citizen (Pittsboro, North Carolina), Wednesday, 18 Jan 1899, Page 4
(4) Durham Morning Herald, 1959
(5) "Without Due Process: Lynching in North Carolina 1880-1900", Sarah Burke, East Carolina University, accessed online at http://uncw.edu/csurf/Explorations/documents/withoutdueprocess.pdf

(6)  "Horrible Crime", The Chatham Record, Thursday, January 19, 1899, Page 3

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Murder in Bear Creek Township, North Carolina, 1898

It has been a whirlwind six weeks, filled with lots of fun trips to visit with family!  And I have loved every minute.  My family is a high priority and when asked what makes me happiest, I would have to say anytime I can spend with them.  However, I promised more on the family history of my Great, Great Grandparents, in a previous blog, way back in January, so I thought I better get with it!

For years, I have been researching the death of my Great, Great Grandmother, Nancy Martindale Welch. She lived during the height of the Civil War, in North Carolina.  I have never found anything or heard stories of what her family went through, but living anywhere in the south during that time, had to be hard.  Nancy was the daughter of Jonathan and Lydia Martindale.  She married James Welch in 1866, shortly after the Civil War ended.  James was a soldier in the war.  They lived in Bear Creek Township, about three miles outside Harpers Crossroads, in Chatham County, North Carolina.

James and Nancy Welch had, by some sources, five children, and others six.  According to a newspaper article in the Chatham Citizen, Pittsboro, North Carolina, on 18 Jan 1899(1), James died in 1882.  In another article in the Chatham County Herald, in 1980(2), it said that he died from a disease he caught while fighting in the Civil War.  Speculation was that the disease was tuberculosis.  Grandma Welch, on the other hand, died in a more tragic way.  She was murdered, on her way home from her daughter's home.  Her Findagrave file says she died on June 10, 1898, but all other accounts say January 10, 1898.   I saw a picture of her weathered gravestone and it looks like the same month as the one of her birth, which was January, which makes sense, because it was snowing.

The story goes that she was on her way home, after spending the day with her oldest daughter and grandchildren, butchering hogs.  Her grandkids said goodbye to her, as she left in the sleet and snow. It is interesting because the Chatham Citizen article was written in Jan of 1899 but states that it happened "last Tuesday evening."  That is very confusing to a researcher when everything else says she died in January of 1898.
One of the old buildings still standing in Harpers Crossroads.
Nancy Welch died a brutal death. According to a 1959 article in the Durham Morning Herald(3) , “She was dead. Her mouth was stuffed with a red handkerchief. Her throat was slashed from ear to ear.”  It also stated. “Nancy’s hands were chopped all to pieces where she had grabbed the knife and he pulled it loose.”  The Statesville Record and Landmark, on January 13, 1899(4) reported that she "was outraged and murdered", "the deed committed about 5:00 p.m." Reports say she may have been raped, as well. What a horrible way to die! How did this happen?  Who did it? Well, the local people had an idea who they thought it was....but I am not totally convinced.  Check in next week to find out who the local community accused of committing the crime.
______________________________________________________________________________
(1) Chatham Citizen (Pittsboro, North Carolina), Wednesday, 18 Jan 1899, page 4
(2) Chatham County Herald, Wednesday, Novermber 26, 1980
(3) Durham Morning Herald, 1959
(4) Statesville Record and Landmark, Friday, 13 Jan 1899, page 6

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Occupations in the Census

While doing some genealogy research, I happened upon a census form that contained my Grandfather Garrison. It was one of the years that listed the occupation of the head of household. This particular year, it stated that my grandfather had been a weaver in a silk mill. Really? I never knew that. It got me wondering about the name of the company. The census that year was in High Point Township, Guilford County, North Carolina. So, I decided to do a little digging to see if I could find out the name.

Well, that area of the country had a lot of industry, including cotton, hosiery and silk. The silk mill that is talked about a lot in that area is the Stehli & Co. Silk Mill. According to the High Point Historic Industrial Architecture Survey, "A departure from various types of cotton textiles came with the construction of the Stehli Silk Mill in 1906 on the block bounded by East Green Drive, East Russell Avenue, Cable Street, and Park Street. High Pointers had invited Swiss silk weaver Emil J. Stehli to come to High Point to establish a silk mill there. He had already established a successful silk mill in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1898. Initially the High Point silk mill was a throwing plant that converted raw silk imported from Japan into yarn, which was then sent to the Lancaster plant to be woven. In 1912, the company abandoned another plant in Paterson, New Jersey, and moved all its silk production machinery to High Point. This resulted in the Stehli Silk Mill in High Point becoming one of the largest plants in the world for the exclusive manufacture of broad silk. At that time the company had 600 employees who could produce six million yards of silk in one year. By 1918, the company had built four additions. The Stehli Silk Mill made a strong impression on the city of High Point not only by the silk it produced, but also as a model mill."(1)


I don't know for sure, but I would bet, based on the time, place and type of business that this was where Grandpa Garrison worked. He went on later to be a tobacco farmer in West End, NC. For a previous story on that subject, click here.

Finding this out about Grandpa G. made me curious about what some of my other ancestors did for a living. As I mentioned in a previous blog, my 7th Great Grandfather, George Haworth, worked on a plantation or farm at one time. He talked about what he got paid and the tools you needed to bring if you wanted to do that kind of work. In the next blog, he talked about becoming a weaver. His grandson, Micajah, built a mill on Abbott's Creek, NC and it stayed running for many years. Many of his descendants went on to be farmers in different areas of North Carolina.

My paternal Great Grandfather, Jacob Monroe Hatch and many of his children, worked on the golf links in Moore County, North Carolina, where Pinehurst is located. Unfortunately, I do not know which course they worked on. In 1930, my Grandfather Plinny, Jacob's son, at the age of 18 was a grocery store clerk and went on to manage grocery stores around North Carolina, including A & P.

According to the 1870 Census, my maternal great grandfather, William Franklin Garrison and maternal grandmother, Ida Welch, lived next door to each other. Their fathers were both farmers.

The 1910 Census for my Great-Great Grandpa Garrison showed he was a farmer, most of his life, but it also indicated that he served in the Confederate Army. That is so awesome that you can find out info like that from the census! That vital piece of information helps those looking to join one of the societies, such as United Daughters of the Confederacy.

So as you can see, there is lots of fun information to discover in the different census forms. I am still finding cool stuff, as I dig deeper into my family history. I'll share more as I find it.
_______________________________________________________________
(1) High Point Historic Industrial Architecture Survey, Prepared by Laura A. W. Phillips, Architectural Historian, 59 Park Boulevard ,Winston-Salem, NC 27127 336-727-1968, August 2014, lawp@bellsouth.net

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Family History and My DNA

A couple years ago I dove head first into the DNA pool.  I had no idea what I was doing and can honestly still say the whole thing confuses me, but I am slowly learning.  How did I think DNA would help me in my family history search?  I envisioned all these people matching up with my family genes and answering many of my questions.  Well, that has not happened but lots of other fun things have.  I have had two cool connections that recently came from my DNA results.

One was a young lady who was adopted.  She is trying to find out some of her family background.  Our match was one of the first hints about her ancestry.  Now, mind you, it is pretty far back in the line, but it was my MTDNA so we know it came from one of the women on my mother's side of the family.

Another connection was a young man who was looking for information on his mother's side of the family and we had a close match.  I was able to send him some information on my 3rd Great Grandmother. He was so appreciative for the information.  Little pieces of the proverbial jigsaw puzzle I talked about in a previous blog, Jigsaw Puzzles and Genealogy.  A piece here, a piece there and a picture starts to form.  It may not be clear right away, but another piece appears and you get a little closer look as to what it really looks like.

For Father's Day, a couple years ago, my brother's and I gave my dad a DNA test kit.  He has been one of my greatest cheerleaders when it comes to finding out more about our family history, so we thought this might be another way to help move the process along.  After getting his results, I signed him up in the Hatch DNA Project website.  Not much has come from that, in the way of finding a direct line, yet. More and more people are getting tested every day, so that could change.

This week, I stumbled upon a Moore County, North Carolina, family website, which also had a DNA project.  Knowing that some of my dad's family had lived in Moore County, I decided to join that project.  The administrator sent a link to his family history site and I was so surprised.  I had been on that very site, the day before, looking for family members.  As it turns out, we have common ancestors.  My dad's 2nd Great Grandfather, Nathaniel Green Smith Marley, was married to one of his relatives.  I only found this out because of the DNA test.  This website is really well done and you can tell a lot of research has gone into it.  Check it out here.  Catherine Hunsucker is the family name that connects us.  She was married to Nathaniel Marley.

After getting dad to do his test, I sent in mine and talked my brother into doing his too.  We are still looking for our elusive 3rd Great Grandfather on our mother's side.  We have joined the Garrison DNA project, in hopes that as time goes by, we will get some information on who he was.

DNA testing for genealogy is still catching on but as I mentioned earlier, more and more people are getting tested which will increase the odds of finding other family members.  If you are thinking of testing, I would check into Ancestry.com first.  Test with them and then you can transfer your results to other sites, such as Family Tree DNA, which will increase your possible matches.  I did not do that but wish I had.  I did encourage my brother to submit his through Ancestry first, which he did.

Every day I get emails about possible matches.  Most are so far out that they are hard to identify who the connection is, but every once in awhile, one will come in that is super close.  Those are the ones that will get your heart pumping.  If you have had your DNA tested, let me know what results you have found.  Who knows, we might find out we are related somehow!

Want a little better understanding of how DNA works?  Diahan Southard is the DNA Guide for Lisa Louise Cooke's website, Genealogy Gems.  She has many articles on DNA that you can find here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Working with the Census in Family History

One of my favorite sources, when researching my family history, is the United States Census. Each year, starting in 1790, stats have been compiled every 10 years, for the main purpose of finding out the number of people in each state so they could determine the amount of representation they would have in Congress. Other entities used the info to be able to collect taxes and put together demographics of their area.

There is a lot of information to be found in these documents if you know how and where to look. Many years the census takers acquired different kinds of information. Besides the obvious, name, address, age and whether married or not, other information such as birthplace, employment, whether attended school, could they read, write, etc. Some years asked if the person was a veteran and if so, which war.

In 1930, one of the questions asked was whether or not you had a radio set? What? That seemed strange to me so I looked up why they would put that on the form. I found an explanation on the Census History website taken from a book by Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity. "The 1930 census reflected the emerging values of early twentieth-century America, in particular the growing influence of consumerism and mass culture. The 1930 census included for the first time a question regarding a consumer item. Respondents were asked whether they owned a "Radio set," a luxury that had become increasingly common in the 1920s. As historian Roland Marchand has argued, in the early decades of the twentieth century, American business and political leaders viewed radio as a source of cultural "uplift" for the population as well as a valuable medium for advertisement of mass-produced goods. The inclusion of a question on radio ownership reflected this new interest in the possibilities of consumer items and methods of mass communication."
1

Even though the census started in 1790, it was not until 1850 that they listed all members of the family. Up to that point, just the head of the household was listed and then tick marks for the others living there, divided by male, female and age groups. I have found the 1850 to 1940 forms are the most helpful because it does list all the family members.

If you were born after the first half of 1940, you won't see your name listed on a census... yet. The 1940 census came out in April 2012. A census can not be released until 72 years after it was taken We won't see the 1950 until sometime in 2022. I won't be able to see my name on a form until 2032. Because they were only taken every 10 years, if someone was born in 1922 and died in 1926, you will not have a record of them in a census.

When you find a person from your family tree, in a census form, it makes their lives so much more real. You get to know a little bit more about them, what their life was like, where they came from, who their neighbors were, just to name a few. I find that in the older forms, the neighbors are typically other names you will find in your lineage. People tended to marry those that lived close by.

Some census forms can be very entertaining too. The census takers probably grew bored of asking the same things, over and over again. Some of their feelings about that come out in the comments on their listings. For example, on Lisa Louise Cook's website, a listener sent her information on an 1875 Kansas State Census (different than the US) where Frank Wilkeson, the census taker, wrote that one of the people he reported on was a "loafer". Another one was a "blow hard". He didn't think much of them, did he?

Another site, RootsChat, listed the mother as "in childbirth" at the time the census was taken. Yet another one listed the head of the household and then a woman's name with mistress after it, instead of the typical entry of wife. Each of the children were listed as the son or daughter of the mistress. Another listed the lady of the house as a concubine.

These are just a few of the interesting things you will find in the census records. Take some time and look for some of your relatives. You never know what little fun facts you might uncover.
_______________________________________________________________

1Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940 (1985), p. 171

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Things that Make Me "Me"

Today is the first anniversary of this blog. I can't believe that I started it a year ago! And as it turns out, this is also the 50th entry. It has been a fun experience and one that has allowed me to share a lot of my family history with my children and others. I hope to pull it all together in book form one day, to share with generations to come, but I still have tales to tell.  

Clara Jean Garrison Hatch, Feb 10, 1939-Aug 21, 1991

Today would have been my mom's 77th birthday.  I started this blog because she passed away at such a young age and there were so many questions I wish I had asked her about her family and her years growing up.  So I set out to make sure my kids, and theirs, would know about her and all the rest of their family.  The blog has been a great way to share all I have found.  Happy Birthday Mom!

I went to see my son and family this past weekend and when I travel to their home, I listen to a lot of podcasts from some of my favorite genealogy gurus. I was listening to Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems Podcast, and heard about a contest she had (it ended in December) that consisted of writing a poem about "Where I'm From." My mind immediately started racing and I knew I would have to take a few minutes and try this out for myself. 


The idea came from George Ella Lyon, the poet laureate of Kentucky, who was a guest on Lisa's show that day. George Ella wrote a poem on her own family identity, which has inspired people around the world to do the same.  Click here for her website and poem.  I thought it was a really fun idea and that I would take a stab at it. 


Where I’m From

I am from the shadows below Mount Rushmore
the sandhills of North Carolina
the big dunes of Michigan
the northern lights of Alaska
a one square mile base in Pakistan
the Show Me State of Missouri

and the home of the Alamo in Texas.

I am big sister to two brothers,
mom to Steph and Chip,
Mimi to my grandkids,
and wife to my wonderful husband, John.

I am from Grandma’s persimmon pudding and applesauce cake
and mom’s homemade enchiladas and pies.

I am from the Garrison, Hatch, Hayworth, and Marley bunch.
From coffee drank from saucers and applesauce in oatmeal.
From big family reunions and
games like Kick the Can and Capture the Flag.

I am from a family that came to America, from England, in 1699.
Who ran mills and farms and fought in wars.

I am from a family of golf, a grandfather who worked the courses 

and a mom who played them.

I am from snow and homemade igloos,
from Scotch-Guarded jeans and old skis,
bumpy ice rinks and ice hockey with brooms.
Zucchini that was grown during the summer in Alaska.

I am from earthquakes that shake,
volcanoes that blow, 
and veggies and flowers that grow huge,
thanks to the Midnight Sun. 

From campgrounds with tents and later a camper 
and walks through streams with our own pair of waders.

I’m from Jim who served his country around the world
and Jean who took care of us, through it all.

I am an Air Force brat, moving lots,
making new friends, leaving those friends.
Hard at the time, but grateful now.

I love playing in the dirt, watching things grow.
Working on my family tree,
creating things through cross stitch,
and seeing new places in the world.

I am blessed beyond measure and can’t wait to see 
what God has planned for my future.


That was fun!  I challenge each of you to come up with a little poem of "Where You Are From" and share it here in the comments!  It sure brought back a lot of wonderful memories for me.  Hope it does the same for you.  

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Goldston, Chatham County, North Carolina

My Grandmother Hatch (Ola Mae Marley Hatch) graduated from Goldston High School in 1925. While on our trip through North Carolina, we decided to try to find where the high school was located. We had no idea where it was, just that it was in Goldston. So when we arrived we decided we should probably ask someone for help directions. Goldston is not very big. Population, according to Wikipedia is only 268. The downtown area is quaint but small. We were limited on where to go to seek someone's help.  


We saw a little local diner and figured there might be people there that could help us. We went in and scoped out someone that looked like they might be a local who would know the area. There was a very nice lady sitting there, who looked like she was quite comfortable in the setting, so we walked up to her and asked if she knew the location of the high school. She was so nice and proceeded to tell us that she could give us directions to where the school used to be! What? It wasn't there anymore? Another one of those disappointing moments along the trek we have embarked upon.  The sad thing was, she seemed very disappointed that the school had been torn down.  She said the community was not happy about the teardown, but it was not in good enough shape to leave standing.  


Some of the old buildings in Goldston, NC.


When we arrived at the location she had given us, there was not a trace of the main building.  We had a picture which kind of gave us an idea of the setting and there was a big smokestack in the background that could serve as a landmark, but that was gone too.  


Goldston High School.
Picture from the 1948 Gold-Stone Yearbook. (1)
We drove around the block a couple times before we found the actual site and the way we found it was the rock retaining wall that ran along the road in front of the building, as seen in the picture to the right. We got out and walked around the property.   All we could find was where the cafeteria had been (next to the current fire station) and a path that led to it.  The skeleton of the awning that ran between the school and the cafeteria was still standing, giving us an idea of how it was laid out.  

Original retaining wall in front of
what was the old Goldson High School.








The sidewalk that led to the front of the building was still visible, which is sort of visible in the middle of this picture, above the road, behind the wall.    

At the time of the picture of the school, there were very few trees in the front but the area had grown up a lot.  The location was just outside the downtown area and sat at the crossroads of several towns.  It is a beautiful area.  There wasn't a lot out there either, which made it a great location for a school  

Before the high school was torn down, they converted it from a high school to an elementary school.  

The High School was changed into an elementary school
before being torn down.  You can see the
smokestack is still in the background.
We left Goldston with a slight sadness that the school was no longer there.  We were finding that many things are not as they were in the time our family lived in these small little towns.  But we weren't going to let that deter us. We headed off to find our next landmark, which was Bear Creek Primitive Baptist Cemetery and Harpers Crossroads, home of my Great Grandparents.  What would we find there?

_____________________________________________________________
(1) From the Gold-Stone High School Yearbook of 1948, The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, NC. From the Classmates.com website.