Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Elusive "Miss Edwards"

I would have liked to have known William F Duncan (b. 1842 d. 1925). He would be my maternal great-great-grandfather. Everything I know about him comes from his pension files that I have. His handwriting is clear and concise. His spelling is good and it seems that I read into his sentences a sense of humor. It is not to say he wrote with humor but in the way he filled out the application, I feel he might have had a good sense of humor. He was a sickly man. He was pensioned from the service as he had a lot of physical problems and I believe this all happened after being kicked by a horse. However he still managed to have a lot of children.. haha. Eight to be exact.

He was born in North Carolina and died in Tennessee and I wonder if he was in touch with his family or estranged. His first wife died of tuberculosis leaving him with a small son, my great-grandfather David Washington Duncan. He left for Georgia with his second wife and family then onward to Tennessee. I am having a hard time working through his parents but I am saying that I am gaining some experience because I did finally find a census for his mother today proving her name is Jane. In his pension application, he was so formal that he listed his mother as "Miss Edwards".

Miss Edwards has turned out to be Jane Edwards. I stumbled upon her gravestone listing and that gave me her birth and death dates and so far I have found her on the 1870 and 1900 Census. On both she was living with her son Thomas (b. 1849) so George W Duncan, her husband, died before that yet. They had 7 children per her 1900 Census information.

Jane E. Duncan
born September 4, 1817
died April 20, 1912
A Tender Mother - A faithful friend

Friday, September 26, 2008

Duncan - Hensley - Briggs

In starting on proving that Robert Bruce line, that takes me to a branch of my tree I am not that familiar with. I grew up talking about Duncan's, Baldwin's, and Cowden's and I am familiar with some of that family history but now I crawl up the Hensley line and that brings me to North Carolina records. I have a good idea about the geography I am working with in Tennessee and this past summer I learned the counties of Virginia I needed to be familiar with. Now I venture into North Carolina territory and find the Hensley's a bit more elusive. I have birth date information on them but finding the proof is the work I am doing now. I have been trying to find cemeteries and census records and after a complete day of working on these surnames, finally I found a 1840 census record for Bannister Hensley. On this record he is "Banister" so this weekend I will work on trying a variety of spellings for him as I am sure this was probably an oft misspelled name. So anyway there was one find today.

Bannister Hensley born 1811, married Jane Briggs, Yancey County, NC.
Their daughter Martha Jane married William F Duncan.
Bannister's parents were Henry Halen Hensley and Barbara Angel.

This will take me back to searching all of those cemetery listings, I remember seeing a lot of Angel's. I suppose it helps to have a chart laying in front of you when you are knee deep in research.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Yowza and is this getting out of control! The good thing about it is that you can find people doing your branch of the family tree. The bad thing is, if one person has accidentally put in the wrong information, a lot of people can pick it up and the error spreads like wild fire. It is a great tool.. I found one of my lines to be rumored to land at the doorstep of Robert the Bruce. YAY!!! I mean, this is so cool! I remember my mothers cousin, Patsy, said that she thought we were a descendant of his but she had not proven it herself. Recently with finding Ancestry and matching up family trees I mentioned to my mother that maybe she meant on her paternal tree which we are not related to so I sort of gave up on that idea.

So here I sat pulling in what follows up my ancestry tree and I see two different spellings of Stuart..Stewart and Stuart, and I think.. hmmm... House of Stuart? Nah... can't be!!! And onward up the tree I go and suddenly there is.. Marjorie Bruce.. blinkety blink.. so, I climbed a bit faster!!! Then there are a line of Robert Bruce's.... And then... King David?? NOOOOOooo.. there is no way this can be true!

So we will see. While seeing there are 8 ancestry charts with the same (or close) information, still, I am going to work on proving that line for myself. It is kind of neat though. My grandfathers mother has been the line that qualifies my family tree to the DAR, Colonial Dames and now Scottish Royalty. Who knows what else I will find. I just love the Scottish roots, I have grown up loving everything about our Scottish roots and loving the history and hating the hardship. I feel like I know this land very personally and I have not been there yet. My grandmother on my maternal side came from Scotland when she was a teenager.

So while American, my blood is very Scots... I hope this family tree can be proven!

Time to slow down, I am going to upload this tree into MagicRoots and start from scratch to work out this tree, this alone could be my life's work!