Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I miss you.
Until we meet again!
- author unknown
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Calhoun Line

It is difficult to know where to begin on the Calhoun line because the research on this surname is extensive. According to most sources the beginning goes something like this ...
"In the thirteenth century Maol Domhnaich, Earl of Lennox granted the lands of Colquhoun (pronounced ca-HOON), located in Dunbartonshire, to Humphry de Kilpatrick. Humphry’s son, Ingelram de Colquhoun, who lived in the reign of Alexander III, was the first person recorded as taking Colquhoun as a surname."

The 14th through the 17th centuries introduced Dumbarton Castle, numerous battles and accusations of witchcraft.

Somewhere along the line, Reverend Alexander Colhoun (74.2) was born in 1662 at the Crosh House in the county of Tyrone, Ireland. Also in Tyrone, his future wife, Lady Judith Hamilton (74.3) was born in 1662 at the Hamilton Manor. Both are buried in Ardstraw County, Tyrone, Ireland.

Crosh House Estate in current times.

Ardstraw Parish, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone

I am not sure if the Reverand and Lady Colhoun are buried at this cemetery or not ... but I can certainly justify a "road" trip to Ireland to find out!!!

I found these pictures of the Crosh House and Ardstraw Parish at this website ... hope they don't mind that I borrowed them.



In 1684 the two married and together they had 12 children. At the Crosh House, James Patrick Colhoun (10.8) was their fourth born, in 1688. He married Catherine Montgomery (10.9) and together they had five children: Mary Catherine (1714), James (1716) (10.4), Ezekiel (1720), William (1723) and Patrick (1727). In 1733 Catherine and James Patrick, boarded with their five children a boat to America. One source stated the reason for the move was due to failed crops and religious reasons. What I have read indicates that the main driving force of Irish immigrants to America was the potato famine of 1845, which was far later than when this Colhoun family made their move. Who knows, perhaps my history reserach is lacking, but I am moving on ...

It is told that the family arrived in New York, soon moved to Pensylvania. Around some time after James Patrick's death in 1748, Catherine moved her family to some new lands that were opening up in Augusta County, Virginia. In 1755 the Indians became more active and Catherine moved again to the Long Cane Creek area of Abbeville, South Carolina. They moved in the middle of winter and got there in February 1756. The group lived in what became known as Calhoun's Settlement, at the fork of two streams of that name, not far from where their waters empty into Little River. They were sixteen miles from the nearest Indian settlement and thought they would be safe there.

By this time, James Calhoun (10.4) had married Susanna Long (10.5) and together they had five children: Patrick (1737 PA), James (abt 1739 PA) (10.2) , Ezekiel (abt 1745 VA), Catherine (abt 1750 VA) and William (abt 1751 VA). As if these stories weren't difficult enough to tell, this fella had to name his five children exactly the same as his own siblings.
William Calhoun (1723), brother to James (10.4) married Susanna Long's sister Agnes. Again, brothers marrying sisters ... nothing to worry about.
I think this website describes best the tragedy that struck the Calhoun Family on February 1, 1760. I have pasted a portion of what he wrote below.

The morning of January 31, 1760 a messenger came through the little settlement and told them that the Indians were on the warpath and moving toward their area. The afternoon of January 31st and the morning of February 1st were spent loading wagons and getting provisions ready to move out. About noon on February 1st, some 200-250 settlers moved out for Augusta, Georgia, a larger town about 40 miles southeast of their location. They had only gone about 10 miles when in crossing the Long Canes Creek, several wagons got stuck. By the time they had all the wagons across the creek it was dark so they camped for the night. Soon after dark, they were attacked by a band of Cherokee Indians. Some of the settlers escaped by horseback, some on foot, but most of them scattered finding shelter in the trees or wherever they could hide. Mostly women and children were killed as 23 settlers were left dead at the site of the massacre. The Indians had burned all the wagons and nearly all the goods were stolen. In the group that was killed, Catherine Montgomery Calhoun was among them. She was 76 years old. A monument to the dead, including Catherine, was erected in the 1790's by Catherine's son, Patrick Calhoun. Two small girls, ages 3 and 5 of the Calhoun's were abducted by the Indians. One eventually returned, but the other was never heard from again.

The following articles appeared in the South-Carolina Gazette:
"Yesterday se'night the whole of the Long-Cane Settlers, to the number of 150 souls, moved off with most of their effects in Waggons; to go towards Augusta in Georgia, and in a few hours after their setting off, were surprized and attacked by about 100 Cherkees on horseback, while they were getting their waggons out of a boggy place. They had amongst them 40 gunmen, who might have made a very good defence, but unfortunately their guns were in the waggons; the few that recovered theirs, fought the Indians half an hour, and were at last obliged to fly. In the action they lost 7 waggons, and 40 of their people killed or taken (including women and children) the rest got safe to Augusta whence and express arrived here with the same account on Tuesday morning."

"Canes, who were attacked by the Cherokees on the 1st Instant, as they were removing their wives, children and best effects, to August in George for safety, is just come to town and informs us, 'That the whole of those settlers might be about 250 souls, 55 or 60 of them fighting men; that their loss in that affair amounted to about 50 persons, chiefly women and children, with 13 loaded waggons and carts; that he had since been at the place where the action happened, in order to buy the dead, and found only 20 of their bodies, most inhumanly butchered; that the Indians had burnt the woods all around, but had left the waggons and carts there empty and unhurt; and that he believes all the fighting men would return to and fortify the Long-Cane Settlement, were part of the rangers so stationed as to give them some assistance and protection.'"

"We have no late advices from Fort Prince George, or any consequence from places in that route. But from Fort Moore, we learn, that a gang of about 18 Cherokees, divided into 8 or 4 parties, on the 15th instant, way-laid, killed and scalped Ulric Tobler, Esq.; a Captain of Militia in those parts, as he was riding from his father's to that fort; and shot Mr. William Calhoon, who was with him, in the hand; 3 other persons, who were in company escaped unhurt; the Indian who killed Captain Tobler, left a hatchet sticking in his neck, on which were 3 old notches, and 3 newly cut."

Along with his mother, James Calhoun (10.4) was one of those slain in the Long Canes Massacre.
From here we fast forward ten years when Patrick Calhoun (1727), youngest brother to James (10.4) married Martha Caldwell in 1770. Twelve years after their marriage, John Caldwell Calhoun was born. To me, John C was my first cousin, seven times removed ... to the country he was the second Vice President of the United States.

Back to the direct decendents ... James Calhoun (abt 1739 PA) (10.2), second son to James and Susanna Long Calhoun, married a gal named Rhoda Green (1730) (10.3). The next couple of generations require a bit more research. For certain, James and Rhoda had a son named John Calhoun (2.8) in December of 1774 in South Carolina. I think they may have had a daughter named Margaret (Peggy) who was born in 1760 as well. John married a young lady named Lurana Wall in 1799 and together they had at least one child named Ezekiel (1811 GA) (2.4). In 1832 Ezekiel married Linda Bazemore (2.5) in Jones County, Georgia and together they had at least one child, also named Ezekiel (1846 AL) (2.2). Ezekiel, Jr (later known as EZ) married Laura Chapman Stratford (2.3) in 1870 and together they had nine children. The third born was John Caldwell (1.8), my great grandfather, on August 19, 1877 in Alabama. He married Effie Virginia (or Corrine) Stoudenmire (1.9)and together they had seven children. The fourth born was Charles Haddon Calhoun (1.4) my grandfather. Charles Haddon married my grandmother, Alice Virginia Harvey and together they had two children, my father Charles Harvey and my aunt Marlise Eugenia.

That's a quick rundown of the line from top to bottom of the Calhoun line. I'll go into further details on another blog.

Memories of Nanny Tom

Memories from Margaret Hall Calhoun, of her grandmother:
Nanny Tom used to come to our house for 3-4 weeks (sometimes longer) in the summer. She loved the nursery and would stick cuttings in the greenhouse. Daddy would get the clippings for her and she would make the cuttings and fill the mist beds. I used to think it wasn't much of a vacation for her having to work (in the summer time in the greenhouse, of all places) while she visited us, but she seemed to like it really well. Maybe she just didn't like staying around the house.
She always wore dresses and had a handerchief in her pocket.
The thing I remember most about Nanny Tom were her sugar cookies. My sisters mentioned them also so I imagine that was one of our fondest memories of her. She would make a batch the very day she arrived for the summer. It took so long for them to chill in the refrigerator... I just didn't think I could wait. The last thing she did before returning to Orlando was make a last batch of cookies. Her macaroni and cheese was the best I have ever tasted, and I have never been able to reproduce it even though I watched her make it many times.
Nanny Tom moved to Florida from Mississippi around the same time Nanny Newton (Mama's mother) died. She slipped into the "grandmother" role as naturally as could be.
I absolutely loved to go to Orlando to visit with Nanny Tom and Aunt Mim and Uncle "Possum"before he died. They went to Sanibel and collected shells. They had tons of really beautiful ones.That is where the three of us got our love for shelling.
Memories from Andrea Hall Jerger, of her grandmother:
I remember, that when Nanny Tom came to stay with us, she would stay up late with me..(No one else would) to watch scary TV shows. I think the actual show's name was "Thriller"..this was long before Michael Jackson. I don't know if she liked them, too...or if she knew that I needed a watching partner!! I was around 8, 9 10...somewhere in there. During those visits, she would also make her fabulous sugar cookies...She would alway leave a "chunk" of cookie dough for each one of us, Margaret, Miriam, and me. I do not eat a sugar cookie, today that I don't remember how good HER cookies were, and how especially good the dough was!! I have never tasted a sugar cookie, since that was as good as hers...Have no idea where that recipe is, either.

When I was around 5...I had sneaked out in the orange grove behind our house, and was smoking one of Mama's or Daddy's cigarettes. She caught me...Didn't punish me, but said "Your Daddy will be so disappointed in you." That was all that was necessary...never "lit up" again!!


Memories from Miriam Hall Gottfried of her grandmother:
I thought I was going to be 5'10" because of Nanny Tom...I just knew I would inherit her height...wrong!!!

She made the best salmon croquettes in the whole wide world...Daddy and I always planned visits around lunch time...and oh, her sugar cookies...they were the best, too! She'd let us kids sneak the dough while it was "chilling."

When her health was failing and she was in Orlando Regional (old name), Mama and I would take turns going to help...they had her on a lot pain killers, so the visits were always quite "entertaining." One day Mama was trying to coax her into eating her carrots and Nanny Tom ever so politely told Mama, "Frances, if they look so damn good, YOU eat them." (Keep in mind Nanny Tom never my knowledge) Then there was the time when I walked in and she called me over in a frantic voice that she didn't want me to visit that day because "that woman (her roommate) had a MAN with her." Well, it turned out to be a priest and he was making his last visit. Oh, and let's not forget when Rev. Brackman (our preacher at the time) stopped by and Nanny Tom kept staring and staring until she finally told him to "get that feather off your nose, young man!" (Of course there was no feather) Many times during my visits, I would be one of her sons and we would talk of the old days when "I" (Uncle Charlie or Uncle Alan) was a youngster. I think my favorite though was when Mama walked in and Nanny Tom was putting together this invisible ball of stuff...when Mama asked her what she was doing, she replied, "I'm gathering all these things y'all keep telling me I don't see, and then I'm going to ram them down your throat!"

Our Nanny Tom worked in the nursery...mainly with the orchids...until she could no longer walk. She always had a smile and kind word of encouragement for us. She loved us...and we knew it.

Her favorite place to eat was Morrison's Cafeteria...mine, too when we were with her!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

W L Hall and E V Austin

This is the story of my great grandparents Hall and Austin...
(see Calhoun Pedigree Chart #1)

William "Willie" Leighton Hall was born on February 13, 1881 in Marion County, Florida to James Edward Beaumont Hall and Elizabeth Jane "Janie" Martin. William was the younger brother to Dora Ann, John Eason Allen, Henry Thomas, Charles Clinton, Joel Emanuel and James Harmon and the older brother to James Edward Beaumont.

Erna Virginia Austin was born on January 19, 1893 in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama to Robert Austin and Margaret "Maggie" Ann Houk Jones Austin. She had two step siblings, Ethel and Alex, from her mother's previous marriage, and a sister, Nellie.


His World War I Draft Card places Joel Emanuel Hall, William Leighton's older brother, in Lauderdale County, Mississippi between 1917-1918 and also states that his nearest relative is Octavia Sarah Hall.

I am unsure when Willie moved to Mississippi. The thorn in my side of this genealogy quest is that the majority of the 1890 United States Census records burned. It is sometimes hard enough with a ten year span, but with a twenty year gap, it is easy to lose the track you're on with some folks.

At age 19, in the year 1900 Willie married Alice Virginia "Virgie" Coker (I presume in Mississippi). Virgie, a Mississippi native, was the younger sister of Octavia Sarah Coker who was married to Joel Emanuel Hall. To avoid panic and confusion, this means two Hall brothers married two Coker sisters.

Together Willie and Virgie had two sons. The first, who was his father's namesake, was born on February 22, 1904 and died less than four months later on June 14, 1904. The second was born on February 6, 1908 and was named James "Jimmie" Thomas Hall.

On April 19, 1910 Willie, Virgie and James shared a home down the street from Joel Emanuel, Octavia Sarah Hall and their children, Janie M, Marrie, Sarah O and Maggie J Barter, their adopted child. At the time, Willie worked as a nursery salesman while Joel worked as a farmer, both in Beat 5, Lauderdale County, Mississippi.

1910 United States Census (April 19) - Lauderdale County, Mississippi

Just six months after this census was taken, October 18, 1910 Virgie died in Mississippi. She and her infant son William "Willie" Leighton Hall, Jr. were buried at Coker's Chapel United Methodist Cemetery in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Also buried there are Joel Emanuel and Octavia Coker Hall as well as other members of their family.

Young Jimmie was less than two years old when his mother passed away. The story, as grandpa tells it, is that Erna Virginia Austin was hired by Willie to be the nurse maid to young Jimmie. Apparently love was in the air because on June 19, 1913 the two were married.

Erna, Jimmie and Bill Hall

By 1916 Willie's work as a salesman of fruit trees, shrubs and bibles compelled the threesome to move to Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Here they "lived in tents with the Seminole Indians," according to grandpa, and on March 6, 1916 Erna gave birth to their first daughter, Miriam Erna.

Jimmie and Miriam Hall

Before 1918 the family moved to Orlando, Florida where on June 30, 1918 William Andrews Hall was born. The couple chose the name Andrews after the doctor who assisted in the birth.

According to the 1920 United States Census, dated January 27, the family lived on Piedmont in Orlando, Orange County, Florida where Willie worked as a nurseryman. The home they lived in was owned outright and had a value of $5,000. Neither Willie nor Erna had attended school, but both could read and write. The day after the census was taken, on January 28, the family welcomed another son, Charles "Charlie" Alexander.

1920 United States Census (January 27) - Orlando, Orange County, Florida

Charlie, Miriam and Bill Hall

William Leighton, Charlie, Bill and Miriam Hall

Everyone in our family knows that if they receive a card or letter from my grandpa, it will always be signed, "Your Friend, Bill Hall." The origin of this is from his father who sent out these post cards as a nurseryman.

Willie and Erna had two more children, Robert "Bobby" Edward born on December 6, 1922 and Alan Lincoln on September 27, 1924.

Miriam, Bill, Charlie and Bobby Hall

The 1930 United States Census, dated April 21, shows all eight members of the family still living on Piedmont Street. At the time, Willie worked as a Real Estate broker and Jimmy a Real Estate agent. By this time Jimmy had attended school and was able to read and write.

1930 United States Census (April 21) - Orlando, Orange County, Florida

William Leigton Hall lost his mother, Janie Martin Hall on June 1, 1931 and at age 50, just four months later he died on October 8, 1931 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Orlando, Orange County, Florida. My grandpa, William Andrews Hall, was 13 years old when his grandmother and father died. He remembers that his cousin, Leighton Hall, was the one who told him the news of his father. Also, many years later, a lady named MacDonald went to Hall's Nursery to tell him that his daddy had worked at her house in Mount Dora the day before he died. Willie died of chronic myocarditis. Myocarditis is inflamation or degeneration of the heart muscle. He was attended by the doctor for eight days before his death at 3pm on the 8th.

Erna Virginia Austin Hall was now 38 years old raising children who were ages 7, 9, 13 and 15. The loss of her husband was only the first of the tragic times in her life. On April 25, 1938 her 16 year old son Charlie was murdered in Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia. I have heard grandpa's sadness and grief when he tells this story of his little brother, but I can not begin to imagine the heart ache that his mother must have felt.

Erna did experience the joys of being a grandmother and great-grandmother numerous times and at some point she even remarried, a gentleman named O C Thomas. Her happiness was interrupted again by the unimaginable some time around 1960 when her youngest son died around age 36. My great-grandma lived another 17 years after burying her second child. What a strong woman she was must have been to have endured such tragedies in life.

Nanny Tom with Adam Jerger and Karen Calhoun (me) her great-grandchildren

1 Corithians 10:13 of the King James Bible reads:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I am not sure if my great-grandma was a spiritual person, but I can only imagine that at some point in her life she must have turned to the Lord for comfort. I am not sure how you could push through such difficult times without faith.
"Nanny Tom" as she was referred to by her grandchildren (from her new last name, Thomas) lived until December 28, 1977, just 22 days shy of her 85th birthday. She died from terminal multiple myeloma or cancer of the plasma cells.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hall and Allen families

Our next story is of the Hall’s and Allen’s, which eventually leads down to William Leighton Hall, my great-grandfather (1.12).
(see Calhoun Pedigree Chart #6)

The setting of this journey begins in Jones County, Georgia with a westward shift to Pike County, Alabama, and finally settling in central Florida, Marion County.

The Allen line goes quite a long way back to the patriarch Benjamin Allen in Wales. According to some sources, he migrated to Spotsylvania County, Virginia in 1735. A couple of generations later, John Earl Allen (6.10) was born in Georgia on the 4th of March, 1805. In Jones County, Georgia on November 23, 1824 he married Lucy Thomas Anderson (6.11) and exactly nine months later on August 22, 1825, Andaline Susan Thomas Allen (6.5) was born. Some time between the birth of their new baby girl and 1827, the family moved to Lucy’s hometown of Pike County, Alabama. It was here that John and Lucy had six additional children in this order: Eason William (1827), Permilla H L (1829), Mary Ann (1832), Early Alexander (1830/5), Loduskie (1837) and Fadria Amanda (1841).

Our research of the Hall line only brings us back to the early 1800’s when Joel Hall (6.8) was likely born. He He and his wife had probably had seven children: William, Richard, James, Joel, John, Sally and another son. Their son Joel Thomas Hall (6.4) was born on November 15, 1811 in South Carolina. At some point Joel Thomas moved to Pike County, Alabama where he met and married Andaline "Ann" Susan Thomas Allen (6.5) on the 18th of July, 1843. Prior to their move to the Sunshine State around 1846, the couple had their first son in 1845 who they named William Harris.

I'm sure the thought did not even cross their minds, but their move to the land of citrus trees made Marion County, Florida a home to generations of Hall’s for over 100 years.

November 4, 1850, the Hall family of Joel & Ann has increased to include two additional boys, James Edward Beaumont (23 Apr 1847) (6.2) and Charles (1849). This census also shows that Susan's father and some of her siblings made the journey as well. As Lucy Allen is not listed on this census, it could be assumed that she passed away prior to 1850. I also wonder if Lucy made the trip at all and could she possibly be buried in Pike County, Alabama since that was her hometown?

1850 United States Census (Nov 4) - District 3, Marion County, Florida

Now, these folks obviously lived pretty close to each other as well, but my recent visit to this part of Florida certainly does not bring a Tara and Twelve Oaks plantation vision to mind. Though the impression is not of glorious parlors and neighborhood feasts (do I watch too many movies??), the families did own a lot of land, as this purchase of 40 acres by John Earl Allen on the 1st of May, 1855 proves.

By June of 1860, with a real estate value of $4,000 and additional property value of $3,000, Joel was doing well, providing for his family as a planter. Ann was taking care of her, now five children and a 22 year old female named LB Allen was also residing with them. I am guessing this was her younger sister Loduskie. Still no daughters to her name, her two new sons were named John Wesley "Jack" (1854) and Joel Thomas (1856).

1860 United States Census (June 9) - Marion County, Florida
At ages 57 and 43 the Hall's completed their family of ten children (eight boys and two girls) in the 1860's. There last five were Alice Eason (1861), Leonidus B "Lonnie" (1862), May L (1864), Robert L (1866) and Louis Jefferson (1868). In January 1867, 18 year old Charles died and a year later, baby Robert died at only 16 months old.

Charles "Charley" Hall (1849-1867) Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida

Robert L Hall (1866-1868) Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida

The addition of new children brought happiness to the family, but the loss young sons and brother must have been difficult. Not to mention the unsettling times of the Civil War were also upon them.

"In many respects, Florida remains the forgotten state of the Confederacy. Although the third state to secede, Florida’s small population (ranking last among the Confederate states with some 140,000 people) and meager industrial resources made the state of little strategic importance to either side. Indeed, one contemporary referred to the state as the “smallest tadpole in the dirty pool of secession."

Though Florida did not provide as much support to the Confederate defense as other states, of the 15,000 troops that risked their lives, two were the Allen brothers of Ann. On the same day in June of 1862, both Eason William, age 35, and Early Alexander, age 31, enlisted as Confederate soldiers in the 9th Infantry Regiment of Florida. On June 5, 1864, Eason William lost his life in Virginia while on duty in a picket. Early Alexander was shot in the chest, but recovered enough to be released from duty at the end of the war on April 9, 1865.

By 1870 Joel and Ann were grandparents and living near their grown sons James and William.

1870 United States Census - Camp Izard, Marion County, Florida

The second born son of Joel and Ann was James Edward Beaumont Hall (6.2), my great-great grandpa. He married Elizabeth Jane "Janie" Martin on March 4, 1867 and together they had eight children. The first six were born in the 1870's: Dora Ann (1868), John Eason Allen (1870), Henry Thomas (1871), Charles Clinton (1874), Joel Emmanuel (1876) and James Harmon (1878).

1880 United States Census (June 30) - Fort McCoy, Marion County, Florida

This 1880 Census was taken in the early summer, but in October of the same year, John Eason Allen died at age ten. William Leighton Hall, my great-grandfather, and James Edward Beaumont, Jr who were not born until 1881 and 1883 never met their older brother. When great-grandpa William Leighton was only 2 years old, his father died in a sawmill accident at age 36. Another tragedy to the Hall family was in 1886 when it is said that John Wesley E, or "Uncle Jack" to great-grandpa, died in a knife fight. Finally, on April 18, 1889, Joel Thomas Hall died. How tragic for this family to have lost four of their loved ones in a ten year period.

John Eason Allen Hall (1870-1880) Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida

James Edward Beaumont Hall (1847-1883) (6.2) Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida

John Wesley E "Jack" Hall (1854-1886) Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida

Joel Thomas Hall (1811-1889) (6.4) Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida

Many of the Hall's discussed in this blog are buried in the Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida. See blog dated May 14, 2008 for details.

Memories of Janie Martin:

My grandpa, William Andrews Hall remembers that his grandmother, Janie Martin, was a "short woman with a loud voice." He did not see her much that he recalls, but specifically remembers the time when he was very young (we estimate 4-5 years old) that she was "sitting on a throne" and all the grandchildren had to approach her one at a time and recite a poem. To this day, grandpa can recite the purple cow poem:

A Purple Cow
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.
by: Mr. Gelett Burgess

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Houk and Taylor families

The following is a timeline for the Houk and Taylor families. The location of this story is mainly Jackson County, Alabama which is located at the north east tip of the state, bordering Tennessee and Georgia.

(see Calhoun Pedigree Chart #7)

Simeon Perry Houk (7.12) was born on May 15, 1818 in Jones Cove, Sevier County, Tennessee to Michael Preston Houk and Lydia Layman, both from Tennessee.

Tobitha Murray (7.13) was born, at my best estimate, in the early 1820’s. She was a native to Jackson County, Alabama, where she spent her entire life.

Simeon and Tobitha married, probably around 1835 and likely in Jackson County, Alabama. In 1838 they had their first child, a son whom they named George Washington. The 1850 United States Census shows the family had an additional five children, Lydia Ann (1842), James Marion (1843/4) (7.6), William Midas (1845), Bradford Perry (1848), Martha Caldonia (1849). At this time, the family lived in District 21 of Jackson County, Alabama. Simeon owned property amounting to $650. The Census records show Simeon was in the profession of farming, however other sources list him as one of the well and favorably know Baptist preachers in the Mud Creek Association.

1850 United States Census (Dec 12) - Jackson County, Alabama

Over the next ten years, Simeon and Tobitha added four more children to their family: Sarah Elizabeth (1851), Melvina Margaret (1854), John Michael (1855) and Mildred Melissa (1857).


Miles Taylor (7.14) was born in 1814 in South Carolina to parents who were both from Virginia. On August 19, 1838 he married a gal named Margaret Nugent in Franklin County, Tennessee. Margaret was born November 3, 1816 in Roark's Cove, Franklin, Tennessee to John and Elizabeth Neighbors Nugent. The 1840 United States Census shows Miles living in Franklin County, Tennessee with a female between the ages of 20 and 30 (his wife, Margaret) and a female under the age of 5 (his daughter, Rebecca A, born in that year). Their second child, William A was born in 1843 at Roark's Cove, Franklin, Tennessee.

Around 1844 the Taylor foursome moved to District 21, Jackson County, Alabama. They added two sons Benjamin (1845) and James E C (1858) and two daughters Sarah Elizabeth (1846) (7.7) and Manerva Jane (1849) to the family. Miles supported his family as a farmer.

1850 United States Census (Nov 23) - Jackson County, Alabama

According to the 1860 United States Census dated June 8, the eight family members, including the last born son, James E C (1859), lived in District 3, Jackson, Alabama.


The image of Gone with the Wind came to mind when I noticed on the 1860 census that the Murray, Taylor and Houk families all lived within a short distance from each other. At the time, Taylor, Michael Houk (father to Simeon) and Murray (probably a relative to Tobitha) were in the profession of farming and held real estate valued at $100, $400, and $700 respectively. My research indicates that Simeon was a reverend and I was surprised that the value of his real estate was $2,000 and he also had personal property valued at $1,800. These property values require me to think a little less glamorous than plantation living.

1860 United States Census (June 8) - Jackson County, Alabama

1860 United States Census (June 9) - Jackson County, Alabama

She may not have been the belle of the picnic at Twelve Oaks known as Scarlett O’Hara, but I still like to romanticize the story of Sarah E Taylor (7.7) and James Marion Houk (7.6). These two were old enough to be affected by the inevitable pride and unfortunate tragedy of the Civil War. I imagine young Sarah and James experienced the sorrow of losing family or friends, the devastation of poverty and destruction and the insecurity from invasion and occupation. Completed by 1854, the railway from Jackson County to Chattanooga, Tennessee is said to have made Jackson County an obvious pass through for the Northern invaders during the Civil War and for some time after. "No part of the South suffered more than the people in Jackson County."

"It was in this county that first one army and then the other passed, from the beginning of 1862 until the close of the war. If one army failed to get what you had the other one took it. And besides General Sherman's army wintered in this county, and it was his policy to cripple the enemy by taking his property to support the war."

An observation that strikes me as ironic is that almost 30 years earlier, "Congress passed a law in 1834, providing for the removal of the Cherokees in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, to the Indian Territory." The same settlers who participated in this invasion and forced removal of the Cherokee Indians were now experiencing the same unfair fate forced upon them by the Northerners.

1865 not only marked the end of the Civil War, but introduced a happier time as Sarah E Taylor (my great-great-great grandmother) married James Marion Houk (my great-great-great grandfather) on August 12 in the city of Woodville, Jackson County, Alabama. As James’ father was a reverend it could be a likely assumption that he performed their wedding ceremony. The twenty-something couple began to build their family in 1866 when they introduced their first child, a daughter they named Margaret Ann Houk (7.3). They continued to build their brood with an additional seven children in this order: Francis J (1869), Benjamin B (1871), Miles Simeon (1872), Elizabeth Ernie (1874), Eliha (1876), James Paul (1877) and John A (1879), all of whom were born in the city of Limrock in Jackson County, Alabama.

At age 61, Simeon Houk died in Jackson County, Alabama on January 4, 1879, 33 years before his wife Tobitha who passed away on July 12, 1912. Both are buried at Peter's Cove Cemetery.

The last census I could find Miles Taylor was in 1880 where he was 66 years old. His wife was not on this census, so I assume she passed away between 1870 and 1880.

James Marion Houk died in 1899. My assumption is that both he and wife, Sarah E died in Jackson County, Alabama.

Margaret Ann Houk (7.3) was my great-great grandmother and has been a challenge to trace. She first married a gentleman named John Lewis Jones on August 19, 1883 in Jackson County and went by the name Maggie Jones according to the Census records. With John, she had three children, Nellie, Ethel (1885) and Alex. Not sure if they divorced or if he died, but Maggie remarried on January 20, 1892 to Robert Edward Austin in Jackson County, Alabama. Great-great grandpa Austin is the one I am really interested in tracing back, as it is told he somewhere connects to Stephen Fuller Austin, the famous Texan, but I’m having a really hard time getting a solid start on his history.

Almost a year to the date after they were married, Erna Virginia Austin was born on January 19 in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama. Erna, later known as “Nanny Tom,” was my great grandmother. I’ll continue with her story in another blog. Margaret “Maggie” Ann Houk Jones Austin died on June 20, 1901.

Quotes were from this souce:

Note: the Houk name is also spelled Houck, Hawk and Howk, and I am not 100% certain of the correct spelling, but I found Houk the most often, so that’s what I’m going with.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fort McCoy Cemetery, Marion County, Florida

The Graveyard Girls (and grandpa) took their first official road trip to Fort McCoy in Marion County, Florida on January 26, 2008. On the hunt for everything "Hall," we located and took pictures of many gravestones. We pumped grandpa for information on the way home and learned that we missed a relative while we were there. After some additional research, I learned that "Aunt Dora" is in the nearby Citra cemetery. Another road trip, I guess. A pdf version of directions to the cemetery is listed below.
I've included pictures of the direct decendents we found, but have tons of pictures of all the siblings, grandkids, etc as well. A spreadsheet showing the plot layout and all the Hall's we found is linked below too. There were Geiger and Martin plots closer to the entrance, but I wasn't prepared enough to be sure if they're any of our direct line. I'm guessing there may be some Allen's in this area as well, unless they all moved to Crystal River.
(see Calhoun Pedigree Chart #6)

Joel Thomas Hall (6.4)

Andaline Susan Thomas Allen Hall (6.5)

James Edward Beaumont Hall (6.2)

Elizabeth Jane "Janie" Hall (6.3)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Boston Cemetery, Thomas County, Georgia

On November 24, 2007, my mom and I went to Boston, Georgia to visit Boston Cemetery and the old Hardware Store that was owned by John Glover Burney, my great-granduncle.

According to Herring, a former cook, the store was inherited by his son John 'Jack' Glover Burney, Jr and run by him for 10 years. Ed Cook then bought it and tripled the space by adding on and incorporating another building.

There are only two direct decendents buried in this cemetery, but other branches from the tree are here too. I've included pictures of the direct decendents.

William James Burney (9.2)

Rachel Foreman Burney (9.3)