This version of the Carnival of Genealogy asks which 4 ancestors I would invite for dinner, whether we would meet in my time or theirs, and what I would tell them. I can’t hope for my version to be as clever as The Genealogue’s conversation over pizza rolls, but I’ve chosen 4 of my ancestors that I have some questions for. We’ll meet in “my” time and it probably won’t be all that enjoyable an event for them as I plan to quiz them hard!
Jonathan Osborne (c 1771 NC-1826 NC) 3rd great-grandfather
Jonathan’s father Christopher is my brickwall–the family brickwall for over 50 years. I just want to know where he came from and why he didn’t leave deeper tracks. My theory is that if I talk to Jonathan rather than his father Christopher I can find out more about the succeeding generation as well as the preceding one–conservation of resources, don’t y’know? Christopher
I want to know if Jonathan’s brother Christopher had children in his first marriage. I want to know why this Christopher’s mother-in-law, Mary Stutts Furr, disinherited her daughter, Catherine, his wife–did it have anything to do with Christopher’s first marriage or that in 1818 he moved to Alabama with other families to start Valley Creek Presbyterian Church in Dallas County, Alabama?
I want to know if Jonathan and Christopher had another sibling born after their father’s death in 1789–their father says something in his will about his belief that his wife might be pregnant. I also want to know who all his sisters married–there are names like Brown and Smith and Polk among Jonathan’s brothers-in-law and I want to know first names, marriage dates, and where this tribe ended up. Not too much to ask, do you think?
Delilah Jackson Landrum (1780 SC-1870 TX)4th great-grandmother
I’ve written about Delilah before. I first wanted to know here when I read my great Aunt Marge’s memoirs. She was writing about going to a youth camp where there were racial tensions. She was very much for accepting everyone, regardless of color or creed. She was discussing this with her father and he tells her, “You are very much like my Grandmother Delilah.” I found that statement fascinating because as far as I knew, her father, born and reared in Texas, did not have contact with his Grandmother Delilah who lived in Tennessee. On the other hand, she did spend her later years in East Texas with her youngest daughter, so perhaps he did know her. I love her self-possession when she refused to join the frenzy at the revival as I wrote about here. I have lots of questions about her Jackson family back in South Carolina, and I particularly want to know about the “Dutch fan” that her father left her in his 1817 Union County, South Carolina, will.
William Green Ball (1806 NYC-1881 IA) 4th great-grandfather
Dr. Ball is chosen as another bridge between generations. I definitely want to know more about his father–even though he was a young boy when his father died, he must know about his origins, and those of his mother. His parents were married in Baltimore, I think, in 1797, and then his father was a shipwright in New York City. After the death of his father, his mother and family moved to Clark County, Indiana and then some went on to Delaware County, Ohio. His sisters married well–one married twice, first to the district attorney and state congressman, and then to another attorney who was a national congressman. What was the basis of these sorts of alliances? And I also want to know what kind of medical training Dr. Ball went through–I believe he did that while he was living in Indiana, but who was his mentor and how did he come to that profession?
What can Dr. Ball tell me about his wife’s family? Why did they move from Tennessee to Indiana? Who was the minister, John M. Dickey, who appeared on so many of their records? How did his being an abolitionist fit in with their own beliefs?
It was Dr. Ball and his wife who reared their granddaughter Martha Jane after her father was killed enroute to “the West” and then her mother died shortly thereafter. How did they learn of their sons’ deaths? What were the circumstances under which those two sons were moving? Did Dr.and Mrs. Ball plan to join them in the west?
And, finally, what was the impetus for this man to move from New York City to Indiana to Missouri to Iowa to Kansas to Arkansas and then back to Iowa?
Sarah Ann Davis Anderton (1841 AL-1915 OK) Great-great grandmother
I don’t know very much about my Anderton and Davis lines from Alabama. There were about a zillion Anderton families in Marshall County and most of them were named John or James. I believe I have the right line back to a James Anderton, b. Virginia about 1760. This is not work I’ve done myself, but I believe it’s probably correct.
I don’t even have all of Sarah Ann and her husband James’ children all documented. Some of the older daughters stayed in Alabama when they came to Oklahoma after the Civil War. I always have questions about what makes a family move that far to an area that must be unfamiliar to them, not to mention what would possess them to move to the Oklahoma panhandle, aka “No Man’s Land.” Their granddaughter, my grandmother, told me that they did logging back in Alabama–they floated the logs down the river. That kind of work was certainly not a big draw here in Oklahoma. I suppose it was the opening of the land that drew them. They were still in Alabama on the 1900 census, but by 1910, they had “proved up” on their land in Beaver County, Oklahoma. I have their homestead files and they worked hard.
I found this picture of them in a county history, she’s on the left and he’s on the right. One reason she is dear to me is that she doesn’t appear to be “dainty.” And doesn’t he look like the stereotypical Civil War vet?
Sarah Ann is buried out in Blue Mound Cemetery in Beaver County, Oklahoma.
My grandmother told me she really wanted to go back to Alabama but she died before that could happen. Her husband James got his Civil War pension here in Oklahoma– he’d served in the artillery back in Alabama. He was approved and apparently went back to Alabama. Years ago, I sent for his death certificate only to be told that it could not be located. Then a few years ago, I was at Samford Institute in Birmingham, Alabama with some friends. The husband of that group was going out to do some research and I told him if her ran across a tombstone for James Anderton, to be sure to let me know. Amazingly enough, he did. He’s been my genealogical hero ever since. James evidently died in March 1918 and he’s buried in Cochran Cemetery.
Anyway, I have lots of questions for Sarah. Her mother’s maiden name was Campbell–another name I haven’t pursued due to the overwhelming amount of info and my lack of familiarity with records in that part of the country. Her father left all of his 1868 estate, 1450 acres, to his youngest son, Joseph Montgomery Davis, with the proviso that he care for the oldest son, William B. Davis. What were the circumstances that required this sort of care? The will did not stand and the estate was eventually equally divided among the widow and 8 children, including Sarah.
So those are the folks I want to interview, two from the maternal and two from the paternal. I want them to know how much I’ve enjoyed learning more about them and how much I honor their lives and their sacrifices. It’s not surprising that I’ve already written about some of these folks–their lives and times are the targets of some of my greatest curiosity.
I don’t know yet what we’ll have to eat, but I’ll definitely cook. I’ll bet those grandmothers could use the rest.