Thursday, November 30, 2006

Grundy and Grandma Nell Keeling

My Great Grandparents (The Keelings)

My father's mother's parents were Nellie Leora "Nell" and W. E. "Grundy" Keeling. They lived their married lives in and near Pope and Yell Counties in Arkansas. Grundy died when I was young, but I have a few memories of him. He died of Leukemia and was bedridden in all of my memories. Grandma Nell lived a good while longer than him. I was in my mid twenties when she died of natural causes. Her last few years of life were spent in the care of my grandmother. Here are some pictures of them in the later years of their lives as I remember them...

Grandma Nell and Grundy

Grundy and Grandma Nell with their friend, Louise Hicks
Grundy, Carl Bryant, Cleveland (grandsons) and Leonard (Grundy's son) Keeling

Grundy and one of his brothers (Ab Keeling)

Grandma Nell was an avid gardener

Monday, October 02, 2006

Daughters of the American Revolution

I just received word that my application for Daughters of the American Revolution has been approved. :) I am officially a member! The application process was very involved and required a good bit of research and paperwork, but thanks to Cornelia Daniels and Carol Cochran, I managed to wade through it all. I am very appreciative to both Cornelia and Carol for their patience with me and for generously giving of their time, $ for postage and copies and energy. I'm looking forward to being an active member.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

True Grit- The Ross Family

I recently discovered that Mattie Ross (of the movie True Grit with John Wayne) was my grandfather's grandfather's sister. She's the young girl that went into Indian Territory to avenge her father's death. Very interesting. They're from Yell County, AR. I'm doing what I can to gather more information about this.

If there's anyone with more information and willing to share, please email me at


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mary Mays

I went to visit some of my Keeling relatives in Centerville, AR and learned a bit more about my family history last night.

My great grandmother (Nell Terrell Keeling) was from Searcy County. Her mother was Mary Mays Terrell and her father was John "Boy" Terrell. I knew that both Mary and John died before my great grandmother left home. I found out more details last night.

We think that John "Boy" Terrell had TB and probably died of it. Many people who lived around the Buffalo River had short lives due to TB and other diseases. Many of the springs/wells are contaminated with toxins, I think.

After he died, I believe that my grandmother, her remaining siblings and her mother went to Pope County, AR to work in the cotton fields. On the way home, Mary Mays Terrell got sick and died. They buried her on the way. My great grandmother has since gone back to try to find the graveyard where she was buried, but was unsuccessful in finding her. She did not have a tombstone, so it's likely that we will not ever find her final resting place. Her husband is buried in the Osborne Cemetery in St. Joe, AR.

Genealogical Mysteries to Solve

The following are areas upon which I am focusing my current genealogical research:

- Keeling Family: I have things traced back to Reuben Keeling of KY around 1867. Would like to trace the Keeling family back to England (or whereever they're from)...

- Cherokee Indian: I know that there is Cherokee blood on my paternal grandmother's side of the family. My great grandfather was William Ernest Keeling. His mother was Willie Bell Ivy (1874-1934)of Purdy (?), TN. I believe her father was Richard Ivy and I believe her mother's last name was Clendennan. Either the Ivys or the Clendennans were Cherokee Indians. I'm not sure which, but I suspect it's the Clendennans. I need to track this down.

- Johnston Family: I've traced things on my father's side back to Cecil County, MD in 1814. I am trying to trace things further back.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I learned so much from my last couple of trips to AR to do research that I haven't taken the time to update my computer...

Once I get a little more organized, I'll post what I've got...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Terrell Family History (Daddy's side)

My great grandmother was Nellie Leora Terrill.

Her father was John W. "Boyd" Terrill (1863-1913). He was married to Mary Mays.

His father was William H. "Bill" Terrell (1826-1904), born in Gibson, TN, Married in Madison, TN to Sarach E. Scott (her father was John W. Scott), born in Jackson, Madison County, TN(1837-1910), died in St. Joe, Searcy County, AR. William Terrell died in St. Joe, Searcy County, AR and is buried there at the Osborne Cemetery. He was a farmer. They had 10 children.

His father was Achilles C. Terrill of Madison, KY (born about 1798) and married to Elizabeth Osborn (1806-1886). He faught in the Indian Wars and was a farmer. Elizabeth died in Hubbard Hill, TX. They had 12 children.

Achilles C. Terrill's father may have been George Terrill and his mother was probably Martha Patsy "Polly" Stinson/Stevenson?...

More Keeling Family History

The following is an excerpt from the book entitled History and Families, Wright County, Missouri Published in 1993 by Turner Publishing Company. You can find this information on page 393.

Keeling- The Keeling family came to Wright County from Fancy Farm, Graves County, Kentucky about 1869 in a wagon train bound for Oregon. They crossed the Mississipi River on a raft at Cape Girardeau and as they moved on into Missouri, they were caught up in post-Civil War activities, so decided not to go on to Oregon. They settled in Hart Township near Wolf Creek, one mile southeast of the Fagan School.

The family included Abram Keeling, his wife Angeline Gibson and four children: Thomas (1860), Elizabeth (1865), Reuben Warren (1868) and Abraham Seemore "Sieb" (1868)*. Abram's brothers, Joab and John, his mother, Rachel (a widow) and sister Orlena settled just north of them. Later John moved to his own homestead a short distance to the east.

Abram and Angeline raised horses and tobacco and also had three more children: Amanda (1871), James "Elmar" (1874), and John Tildon (1876). Elmar died of pneumonia at age 16.

In 1897 Abram and Angeline and sons John and Sieb and their families moved to Freeman Springs, AR (present day Pope County). In 1910 Angeline died and was buried there. Abram and Sieb moved back to Missouri where Abram died of pneumonia in 1916 after chasing a cow in the rain.

The passage goes on to talk about Abram's son, Reuben and his descendents.

* Abraham Seemore "Seib" is my great, great grandfather.

Keelings (Daddy's Side)

  • My grandmother's maiden name was Keeling.
  • Her father was William Ernest Keeling (1895-1980 in Yell County, AR). He married Nellie Leora Terrill of Searcy County, AR (b. 1903).
  • His father was Abraham "Seib" Keeling (b. 1871 at Fancy Farm, Graves County, KY, died in Pope or Yell County, AR). He married Willie Bell Ivy, born in Purda, TN (1874-1934). I suspect they met and married somewhere around Mansfield, Wright County, Missouri.
  • His father was Abraham F. Keeling (1836-1916) born in Fancy Farm, Graves County, KY and died in Mansfield, Wright County, MO. In Kentucky, he married Sarah Angeline Gibson.
  • His father was Rueben Keeling (b. about 1803) from VA. He was married to Rachel Catherine Dowdy (b. 1816) from TN.

A couple of weeks ago, Memaw, Daddy and I went to Marshall, AR (Searcy County) to an Ancestor Fair. We learned a lot about how to go about doing genealogy research and met many interesting people. Lots of them turned out to be related to us! I could type for days and not pass on all of the information I got that weekend, but I'll do my best to highlight some of the more important discoveries.

We were introduced to Betty Harris. Her maiden name is Keeling. There are many Keelings in the Arkansas Ozarks, so I assumed we must be related. Betty invited us to a family reunion and cemetery decoration that they were having that weekend. You couldn't find a nicer bunch of people. They were very welcoming to us and shared their genealogy research with me. Unfortunately, I don't think we're very closely related. If we are related at all (and surely we must be), it probably goes back to Virginia around Rueben Keeling's time. We suspect that my Rueben Keeling might be their Levi Keeling's brother or cousin. Time will tell. I'm working on making the connection.

Friday, June 02, 2006

St. Joe....Oh, My!

This post is regarding Memaw's family (Sallie Keeling's mother, Nell Terrill's familiy...) The Terrills, Mays, and Coopers...

Let me just say that I have found out A BUNCH of info on Memaw's family from St. Joe and Gilbert, AR. I will have to sit and type it all up, but it's a colorful history to say the least. ;)

Yesterday, I woke up at 5am and drove to Marshall, AR, which is about 5 1/2 hrs away from KC. Memaw and Daddy met me here and we spent about 3 hours in the courthouse (handling OLD documents...) and in the local library digging up the past. Then, we went to talk with Janis White, who owns and runs the St. Joe Mercantile and it turns out she's Daddy's 4th cousin! It's a small town, that's for sure. She has the most amazing memory and ability to tell stories that I've ever heard. She spouts out dates and locations and tells you how everyone's related and connected and it was all I could do to scribble down notes as she talked to us for about 4 hours... So much information... I am going to start typing it up, though and we'll see if I can't make it into a nice narrative story that will leave you (kind readers) spellbound and enthralled...

Today, we got up and went to the Searcy County Library to listen to some lectures on genealogy from a man who runs the AR State Archives. His name was Baker. He was very interesting and gave me MANY ideas on how to go about my research and even offered to help if I send him emails asking for direction and help. Very nice. :)

More info to come... I need to get busy typing it all up...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Genealogy Trip to St. Joe, AR

Good news! I've been pretty frustrated with my father's mother's branch of my family tree because I am not getting very far with my research.

My paternal grandmother's (Memaw's) mother's name was Nell Terrell. Her father was John William Terrell and her mother was Mary Mays. Grandma Nell told me that her parents died before she was grown. They ran the St. Joe post office. Her big brother, Kinely raised her and her little sister, Estie. They had a very hard life and were very poor. Beyond that, I haven't had much information.

However, I wrote a letter to someone at the Searcy County Library with questions, hoping for a little direction on where to look and got a phone call this morning. Geraldine Littleton was the lady that called and she had all sorts of info:
  • John W. Terrell had lots of siblings.
  • His father was William Terrell and his mother was Sarah E. Terrell (don't know the maiden name yet)
  • John W. Terrill first married someone else, but she died a year later.
  • Next, John marreid Mary Mays and they had children together.
  • Mary had died by 1910. Grandma Nell would've been 7 in 1910 and I know of at least two younger sisters (Estie and Verlie).
  • From the 1910 census, we can see that John and his mother were living with his sister, Julie Steel and her husband, Louis Steel.

Apparently, I have oodles of relations still in the area. I was planning on going down there to do some genealogy research in a couple of weeks, but Geraldine said that they're having an Ancestral Fair this coming weekend on June 2 and 3. She proceeded to tell me that MANY of my relatives will be there and that it'd be a shame to not get to visit with them and learn more about our family history, so I've decided to move my trip up a few days to be able to attend this event.

Supposedly, they have a lot of family Bible records at the Searcy County Library.

Geraldine said that there are lots of Keelings in the area that I am related to, as well. Memaw's maiden name is Keeling. I've been stuck on the Keeling side, too! Maybe I can find out a lot more about both families on this trip.

Daddy and Memaw are going to meet me there and we'll camp somewhere near the Buffalo River. It's so peaceful there. I honestly think it's one of my favorite places to be.

I'll take plenty of pictures and notes and will report back what I've found. :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Battle of Stoney Point

Hardy Murfree was the brother of Patty Murfree (who was married to our Ben Banks, Rev. War Soldier). He was an officer and faught at the Battle of Stoney Point..

Click here to go on a virtual walking tour of the area where an important Revolutionary War battle took place.

Hertford County, NC

Old deeds indicate that settlers lived on the site of Murfreesboro as early as 1710. William Murfree, an Irish immigrant, established a King's Landing where exports and imports were inspected by a representative of the English Crown. The site was known as Murfree's Landing. In 1787 William Murfree donated 97 acres of land for the incorporation of the town, which was named for him; Murfreesborough.Murfreesboro was the port of call for 18th and early 19th century sailing vessels that brought New England, West Indian, and European goods in trade for the naval stores and agricultural products of eastern North Carolina.

This picture shows the Hertford Academy, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In the spring of 1811, this recently constructed building became the home of the Academy where Rev. Jonathan Otis Freeman taught reading, spelling, arithmetic, Latin, Greek, geography, English grammar, natural philosophy, logic, and the use of gloves.
Around 1825, Harriet Sketchley (Mrs. James Banks) purchased the building as a school for young ladies, and in 1848 it was acquired for the Chowan Female Institute which later became Chowan College. In 1855, Chowan sold it to Albert G. Jones, who remodeled it into a residence. In 1983, the Hertford academy was donated to the Murfreesboro Historical Association by the Murfreesboro Woman's Club.

Harriet Sketchley was married to James Banks. James Banks was the brother of my ancestor, Alexander M. Banks and the daughter-in-law of our Benjamin Banks, Revolutionary War Soldier.

Cottontown, TN

I don't know who this man is, but I found these pictures on this website and wanted to share it with you.

Thomas Cotton was born in 1748 and was a Revolutionary War Veteran and I am one of his descendants!

Rudimentary American Timeline

1607-1783 Colonial Era and Revolutionary War
1783-1860 Exploration and Expansion
1861-1865 Civil War
1865-1889 Reconstruction, Urbanization and Industrialization
1890-1913 Progressive Era
1914-1928 World War I and the Jazz Age
1929-1939 The Great Depresssion
1941-1945 World War II
1945-present The Modern Era

1830’s- Cherokee moved to OK
1861 KS Statehood
1836 AR Statehood

Some of my Older Ancestors:
John Bertie Cotton born 1638
William Junior II Murfree born after 1715
Benjamin W. Banks born 1760 (Rev War Veteran)

Joining Daughters of the American Revolution

Tomorrow, I'm going to our Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) meeting. I'm going to submit my application for membership! In order to join, I've had to prove my lineage to a Revolutionary War Soldier.

Many thanks to Cornelia Daniels, Betsy Snyder Harris, Carol Cochran, my cousin Butch George, my parents and grandparents for their help in gathering information and documents.

Once my membership is approved, I will be able to submit proof that I am descended from other Revolutionary War soldiers (I have found a total of 4 so far) and will add them to my list of soldiers.

This is all very interesting to me. I'm getting a much better idea of a historical timeline with regards to when different members of my family were alive and what was happening at those times.... My next post will be a timeline that I typed up to keep things in perspective.

Anyways, I am excited to be able to submit my application and am looking forward to joining this organization!


I have had absolutely no organization to the papers I have gathered since starting this hobby of genealogy... until today! I decided that I would make manilla file folders for each family name that I come across. I've sorted everything into folders and am feeling much more with it...

Here is a list of all of the surnames that I've got folders (and information) for... These are in no particular order...

Mom's side:


Daddy's Side:


Monday, April 24, 2006

Reedy, Dill and Lee family

My grandmother is Lucille Reedy.
Her father is Larastus Reedy.
His mother was Maude Dill.
Her father was Elias Dill.
His mother was Levida Lee.
Her father was Elias Lee.
His father was Sampson Lee.
His father was William Lee.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Interesting Document

In my research for my ancestors with the "Lee" surname, I came across a very interesting letter to General Robert E. Lee that I copied and thought I'd share with you. I am most likely not related to him, but this makes for interesting reading. It was found in the Lee family vertical file at the State Library of NC at Raleigh.

I think reading real letters and diaries from real people of this era really shines a new light on why it's important to study history and remember that these people had many similarities to us, that they endured hardships and that they made our freedom possible...

A Letter to General Robert E. Lee

From Dr. Aldert Smedes

St. Mary's (a college in Raleigh), May 22d, 1863

My Dear Sir,

Amid the toils and dangers to which you are exposed for your country's welfare, you are richly entitled to every drop of comfort, which it is possible to pour into your cup.

The term of your daughter's residence at this school is about to expire, and it affords me great pleasure to assure you that her diligence and proficiency as a pupil, and her conduct as a lady, have been worthy of her parentage. This is bestowing the highest praise upon her. She has been exemplary in her observance of the minutest rules of discipline, and has scarce allowed a moment to pass unemployed and unimproved.

She carries away with her the most cordial esteem and regard not only of all her teachers and young companions, but many of our community whom her father's name had attracted towards her. Her modesty is not the least of her recommendations; she never betrays by look, word or gesture the least consciousness that she is the daughter of the man whom the Nation delights to honor.

While you, General, have had a daughter under my tuition, I have had two sons fighting as lieutenants, under your banner. Both were at the battle of Chancellorsville; where one, the adjutant of the 7th NC fell mortally wounded. He was a noble, gallant and what is infinitely better, a Christian boy. This is my consolation in so grievous a bereavement. His brother went though the same battle unhurt. He is attached to the 5th Regt. N.C.J.

But I will not intrude upon time which belongs to the country.

I am, General, with the most sincere respect and esteem,

Dr. Aldert Smedes

More NC Research

I went to the NC Archives again on Saturday and had limited success. I've got several branches of my family that came from North Carolina...

My Mom's Side of the Family

  • Dill- In Mom's family, the earliest record of any Dills is Job Dill... He is the grandfather of Elias Arthur Dill, 1848 of GA. I found records of a John H. Dill, Jr. 1809-1863. I do not know if he's related or not. This information was found in Bible records. It also mentions that his mother might be Mary Ann Fischer.
  • Killingsworth- I couldn't tie it in to our family but in the vertical files, there is a record of a Shaw/Killingsworth Bible. It lists Nancy Ann Killingsworth who died 1833. I don't think they're related, but I'm not sure. I need to contact an aunt of mine who has more information.
  • Westbrook- Judith Westbrook, 1782-1843 was married to Elias Lee. She was born in Sampson County, NC. I found records of a Judith Lee Wesbrook, who was a sister of James Westbrook (d. 1817). She was mentioned in Sampson County NC Wills 1784-1895 by Cora Bass.
  • Lee- I know that the Lee family was from Sampson County, NC. I found a spot on an old map called Lee's Chapel. It was a Baptist church. Not positive if there is a connection, but I suspect my aunt will have more information for me.

My Dad's Side of the Family

  • Banks- On an old map of Hertford County, NC, I found a place called, "Banks Creek It is very near Murfreesboro and appears to drain into the Meherrin River.
  • Cottons- 1) John B. Cotton, 1778 was born in NC. I think he originated in Hertford County. I looked up the Cottons and found very little that I could link to this family, but there was a spot on an old map of Hertford County called, "Cotton Crossroads"... Settled about 1710 by John Cotton (possibly grandfather of our John Cotton?) of Virginia and was authorized to be laid out as County Seat in 1758; Later known as Old Barfields or Barfield and later as Tuscarora. 2) The earliest information I have on any Cottons was John Bertie Cotton (1658) born at Queens Creek, Isle of Wight, VA and his wife, Martha Godwin (1680) of Virginia. I have more than one family that was from Isle of Wight, VA. Next time I am here, I am going to look into that area and see what I can find because this archive has lots of information on North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. 3) Also, I found birth and marriage records for a Cotten Graveyard. A note on the bottom says that it's in Harnett County. It mentions a Joseph Cotten, his wife Mary Cotten (died 1898). I think these are probably descendants of our Cottons. 4) I found birth and marriage records that are labeled, "Cotton Records in the Bond Family" (I haven't come across the name Bond before)... Births: *Sir John Cotton of Limehouse Parish, England (and it says that tradition says he was the "Sir John Cotton" mentioned in Wheeler's History- whatever that is...), *James Cotton (married Sarah Luton 1748), son of Sir John Cotton, *Clara, Daughter of James Cotton (died unmarried), *Eliza, daughter of James and Sara Luton Cotton (Married Henry Bond 1807)... Since our cottons were around in 1680, I think it's unlikely that any of these Cottons are directly related to us.
  • Knight and Carter- Priscilla Knight (1748 of Halifax, NC) was married to Tom Cotton (1748 of Hertford County). Priscilla's father's name (I am not positive about any of this information) was Moore Knight. I do not know her father's name. Moore Knight's father's name was James Knight. James Knight was married to Priscilla Carter. Her father was Kindred Carter. In the archives, there was a vertical file for Knight. I didn't see anything that would directly tie them to my family except that there was mention of Sumner County, TN (which several family members in my research lived in before moving to AR). Also, the vertical file mentions ties to the Cain family. I know that there are Cains living in the Yell County area... It might not be too much of a stretch that the two families had ties. Many times, several families traveled together when they moved/homesteaded.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pictures from the Murfree Family Papers

The Murfree Family of NC around the Time of the Revolutionary War

Hardy Murfree (5 June 1752-6 Apr 1809) and his son William Hardy Murfree (2 Oct. 1781-9 Jan 1826

I've been doing some looking to find out more about our ancestors who lived around the time of the Revolutionary War. I found some GREAT information!

Turns out, around that time, our family was living in the area that became Hertford County, North Carolina. Until this morning, I wasn't quite sure how we were related to these two individuals (Hardy and William Hardy Murfree), but I knew that they were somewhat important in the history of the statehood of North Carolina and the Revolutionary War. Turns out, Hardy Murfree is our Patty Murfree's brother! William Hardy Murfree was our Patty Murfree's nephew...

You see, both men were patriots and were very involved in the government. The following information was found on pages 344 and 345 of the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography Volume 4 edited by William S. Powell and printed by the University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill and London) in 1991.... Read on...

Murfree, Hardy (5 June 1752-6 April 1809), Patriot and state official, was born at Murfree's Landing (now Murfreesboro), the son of William and Mary Moore Murfree. As an officer in the North Carolina Continentals during the Revolutionary War, Murfree won acclaim by leading a column of infantry in a successful attack on Stony Point, a British bastion on the Hudson River. Throughout the war, he was a valuable soldier, serving as major and then lieutenant colnel.

After the war, he was appointed state inspecor of revenue and commissioner of confiscated property in the Edenton District. His interest in internal improvements led to service with a commission to promote the opening of Nag's Head Inlet and to his efforts to have a canal cut from the Roanoke to the Meherrin River. In 1787 he sponsored a successful petition to have the state incorporate the town of Murfreesboro, which he laid off on the hands of his father. He was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati and a Federalist member of the convention of 1789, when North Carolina belatedly ratified the federal Constitution. An active Mason, he founded American George Lodge No. 17 at Murfreesboro in 1789.

His wife, Sally Bricknell, having died in 1802, murfree moved with his children in 1807 to Tennessee, where he had been granted large landholdings as compensation for his services in the war. He died suddenly at his unfinished home, Grantlands, and was eulogized in a Masonic funeral oration b y Felix Grundy. In 1811 the state of Tennessee named its new capital, Murfreesboro, in his honor. His son, William Hardy, was a North Carolina Congressman and his great grandchildren included the novelists Fannie Noailles Dickinson Murfree and Mary Noailles Murfree ("Charles Egbert Craddock") -Written by Thomas C. Parramore

Murphree, William Hardy (2 Oct 1781-9 Jan 1826), attorney and congressman, was born at Murfree's Ferry (now Murfreesboro), the son of Hardy and Sally Bricknell Murfree. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1801. After reading law for a year at Edenton, Murfree opened a law practice in Murfreesboro, where he was also a partner in a mercantile enterprise.

Murfree entered politics in 1805, when he was a sucessful candidate for the state House of Commons. He served a second term after his reelection in 1812. In the latter year, he also served as Democratic elector in the Edenton District for the Madison and Gerry ticket. In 1813 he was elected to the first of two terms in Congress, during which he "had the reputation of a true republican." Reviving the idea of his father for a series of canals to connect western agricultural regions with Atlantic ports, Murfree in 1814 introduced in Congress an extensive plan of internal improvements similar to that later championed by Archibald D. Murphey. His proect included the connection of the larger towns of North Carolina and South Carolina with Norfolk and Savannah. Nothing came of the proposal, though it created considerable interest in the South Atlantic states and won the endorsement of Nathaniel Macon.

By 1820 murfree had grown discouraged about the prospects for commercial development in eastern North Carolina. After arranging his affairs in the state, he followed his father's footsteps to Tennessee, settling in 1823 on lands inherited from Hardy Murfree. Like his father, however, Murfree survived the change of residence for only a short time. He died at him home in Nashville, leaving his wife of 18 years, Elizabeth Maney Murfree, and a son, William Law. -Written by Thomas C. Parramore

Murfree (NC and VA), Banks, Blackwell and Ross

So today I decided to go back to visit the state of North Carolina's Archives and Genealogy room. My mission was to try to prove that our Patty Murfree (wife of Revolutionary War Soldier, Benjamin W. Banks) was really related to William and William Hardy Murfree.

I found out that the name "Patty" is also often referred to as "Martha" or "Polly". This was news to me... I think I recall seeing Martha somewhere in the Murfree Family Papers at the University of NC in the stuff with the picture of Robert E. Lee.... I'm going to go back by there either tomorrow or Monday to check it... I'll make some copies and will post some excerpts on this blog soon... Stay tuned...

Anyways, today I went back to the archives in Raleigh and had some MAJOR success!!! I found out who Patty Murfree's father and grandfather were! Before I explain further, let me review how these people are related to me...

My father is John Johnston.
His father is Harold Johnston.
His father was Harold Banks Johnston.
His mother was Mary Cabell Banks.
Her father was Hardy Murfree Banks (1831).
His father was Alexander M. Banks (1786).
His father was Benjamin W. Banks (1760- Rev. War Soldier) and his wife was Patty Murfree (1745?).

New Information: Patty Murfree's father was William Murfree II Junior (or in other words, he was William Murfree IV) born after 1715 and her mother was Mary Moore. He moved from the Isle of Wight/Nansemond area of Virginia to Northampton County, North Carolina, where he bought land in 1746.

Their children were (let me know if you'd like more information about these people's children/grandchildren because I have some additional information):
  1. William Murfree, born 1739
  2. James Murfree, born 1741
  3. Sarah Murfree, born 1743
  4. Patty Murfree, born 1745 (I am descended from Patty Murfree)
  5. Betty Murfree, born 1747
  6. Nancy Murfree, born 1749
  7. Col. Hardy Murfree, born 1752
The parents of the above William Murfree IV were William Murfery I and Sarah Holladay. *Note- There were children named William Murfree II and William Murfree III... I will include more information on these people below...

William Murfrey was married three times and first appeared in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia in the latter part of the 1600's.

William Murfrey I's Wives
  1. Margaret Perkins, daugter of Edward Perkins
  2. Frances ___?___
  3. Sarah Holladay, daughter of Anthony Holladay and Mrs. Ann Brewer.
Children by the First Two Wives (again, I have more info on the children of these people):
  1. William Murfrey II born before 1686 (his son was William Murffrey III)
  2. Margarett Murfrey born before Aug 1686
  3. Micaell Murfrey born before 1686
  4. John Murfrey
  5. Elizabeth Murfrey
  6. Elinor Murfrey
  7. Sarah Murfrey

Children of the Third Wife, Sarah Holladay:

  1. William Murfrey IV born 1715
  2. Katherine Murfrey
  3. Ann Murfrey
**New Information comes from the book The Murfree Ancestry of Bill R. Linder of Kenedy, Karnes County, Texas by Bill R. Linder, copyright 1998. From what I understand, he once worked in the National Archives. This book was found at the State of North Carolina Genealogy Room at 109 East Jones in Raleigh, NC.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Genealogy Trip to North Carolina

I took advantage of going with Patrick on a business trip to the Raleigh/Durham area and have been doing some research on my family tree.

I have things traced back to the American Revolution so far. On my grandfather's side, I know that Benjamin Banks was a Revolutionary War soldier. He was married to Patty Murfree. They were both from Hertford County, North Carolina. Benjamin Banks was born in 1760 and died in 1852. Patty Murfree was born before 1756. I'm not sure exactly when, though.

I'm trying to find more information about Patty Murfree's family in the hopes that I can find more Revolutionary Soldiers in my ancestry.

Yesterday, I went to the State of North Carolina's Archives and found some great information on William Hardy Murfree and Hardy Murfree (more details on them to come in a later post)... I am relatively certain that they are related to my Patty Murfree, but I am not sure how they're related just yet. Both men were active leaders in the establishment of the state of North Carolina.

This morning, I made a trip to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to look in the archives in the Southern Historical Collection. They have a collection of Murfree Family Papers. These included diaries, news clippings, deeds, records of indentures, bills, receipts and a few pictures. Would you believe that there was a signed picture of Robert E. Lee? Here is a picture:

There were very interesting letters and receipts in the collection. I may go back on Monday or Tuesday to make some copies. Everything is on microfilm.

I didn't have as much luck as I'd hoped I might in finding proof that Patty Murfree was related to these Murfrees....

Tomorrow I'm planning on going back to Raleigh to do a little more digging in the archives and genealogy departments. Maybe there I can dig back a bit.

I'll keep you posted!

Nikki, the Historian

I've recently started doing research on my family tree. I think it's probably a good idea to document what I have been doing, how I'm doing it and what my findings are, so I'm starting this new blog.

This family research business is pretty new to me, but I'm learning quickly.

Check back often to see how things are progressing!