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REMEMBER: In North America, the month of September 1752 was exceptionally short, skipping 11 days, when the Gregorian Calendar was adapted from the old Julian one, which didn't have leap year days.

Friday, May 24, 2019

More about the Cannon family

My last post here talked mainly about 2 documents that seem to be primary...authentic records of Ann Cannon's 1769 marriage in Goochland Va, of Jo. Cannon (which I assume is John) and of Nancy Cannon, mother of Robert Cannon who wrote a will in 1830 and is buried near her son in TN.  Her will lists her children, but as her husband had predeceased her, he isn't mentioned.

I looked briefly at the documents that had been included on Ancestry under John Cannon (1744-1806.) I  didn't take very long to delete the one about a 1750s Edgecomb County NC militia...he would have been a bit too young I think. He may well have fought in the Revolutionary War with that militia a bit later.  And his family lived in Caswell County, NC, near the Virginia state border, and not that near to Edgecomb County.  I then looked at a source that required my flipping back through several pages, an enumeration in Knox County TN for 1806. Actually there are several Cannon men listed as being in "Captain Bond's Company." They are John, Zachariah, Robert and Bartlett Cannon on page 76.

I finally found the introduction in Tennessee, Early Tax List Records 1783-1895...which described the law creating this census to pay for a prison. And what the 4 columns of numbers meant. But it didn't tell what the Captains actually were...if they served in any war (1812?) or were just the census takers. The header on the page gives the document's title of The East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications.

When I scrolled back to the page 68, I found another title: Early East Tennessee Taxpayers, "compiled by Pollyanna Creekmore, III, Knox County, 1806." She refers to a book written in 1946, also published by the East Tennessee Historical Society, so the date 1806 refers just to the date the original list was made.  This tax list had different percentages of various enumerations to be the taxes due.  The 5 areas being taxed were: 1) number of acres, 2) free polls (which meant free males ages 21-50 years, 3) slaves, male and female 12-50 years of age, 4) (number of) lots of merchant, hawker or peddler, and 5) studs kept for covering mares.

The list incudes 1254 names, Ms. Creekmore says. Of all the extensive footnotes, only one is given for Bartlett Cannon. It says he was a "Hatter, living in Grassy Valley, Knoxville Gazette, Jan 26, 1803."

I will list their amounts under the 5 categories, just to compare their standings in the community.

John Cannon        100 acres, no males, 2 slaves, no lots, no studs
Zachariah Cannon  122 acres, 1 male, no slaves, no lots, no studs
Robert Cannon     no acres, 1 male, no slaves, no lots, no studs
Bartlett Cannon    84 acres, 1 male, 1 slave, no lots, no studs

I hope this record has since been digitized, and will be contacting the Historical Society to learn more!  There were many other ancestors living in this area in 1806. But I don't want to look for them in the 1254 names!

What do I surmise from this list? John didn't live there, but 2 slaves did, who were working his 100 acres.  Bartlett, who was mentioned in Nancy Cannon's will as her son-in-law, was a hatter, and had a small farm, and just one slave...we don't know about any white women or girls, or even young children on this list.  Robert, who was probably John and Nancy Cannon's son didn't own any land, but lived somewhere by himself...possibly on his father's land?  Or more likely, Robert lived in another county, but got counted for being in the county at the time.  I believe he (and later his mother) lived and died in Roane/later Loudon County, Tennessee.

John Cannon may have died in Oct. 1806, or 1810, or even 1812.  (more searching needed here!)

And we know how he ended up owning 100 acres in Tennessee...and that he did fight in the Revolutionary War, under John Ellis.

"To John Cannon, Assignee to John Ellis, late a soldier of the North Carolina line during the late war." Dated Oct 11, 1806.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Cannon family

I posted in one of my first genealogy posts on this blog, about Nancy Ann Whitlow Cannon...Here.
At that time I liked sharing some of the clothes that were being worn at the time.  But as far as Ancestry goes, I also posted about her marriage to John Cannon. Here's the post about John Cannon, with some corrections as to his descendant, Cyntha Cannon Rogers (Mrs. Micajah Clack Rogers.)

I'm reposting some of this information which I can verify by primary documents. And I'm discussing some of the information that is assumed by various members of Ancestry.

In 1770 there is a parish record of "Jo. Cannon" marrying "Ann Whitlow."  She is listed just as named Ann Whitlow, not Nancy Ann. It took place "29 Dec 1770, in St James Northam Parish, Goochland, Virginia."

Is Ann Cannon a different woman married to John Cannon, and Nancy Cannon was his second wife and mother of all his children?

And there are the details of a will written by Nancy Cannon (no Ann as part of her name.) She is clearly the mother of several Cannon children.  Her will mentions Jane "Janie" Cannon her daughter. And then Nancy's son-in-law Bartlett considering who shall receive Nancy's slave, Hage. If both Janie and Bartlett should die, then Hage will be given to granddaughters "Patsy Ray and Betsey Cannon."  Having a son-in-law by the name of Cannon gave me a pause, but it is quite possible her own daughter married a cousin, because Bartlett was not Nancy's son. He is not even that closely related (that I can discover today) to her husband John Cannon.

Her other 6 slaves were to be sold, and the proceeds divided between her 5 children (not mentioning Janie here) "my son William Cannon, my daughter  Betsey Gamble, my son John Cannon, my son Robert Cannon, and my daughter Patsy Nelson.  My three beds and my furniture I give to my three grand daughters, namely Nancy Sue Rupell, Patsy Ray, and Eveline Cannon, to be made as near equal as possible.  And lastly I appoint my son Robert Cannon my executor."  She signed her will by a mark, and the scribe who recorded the whole thing wrote excellent penmanship.

The grand daughters:

Nancy Sue Rupell was the daughter of Elizabeth Cannon Gamble.  Nancy Sue was really Nancy Ann Gamble, who married Simon Russell.  It's quite likely that she had been named after her grandmother.  Who knows why her middle name is changed to Sue.  But Russell may have been confused the way "s" were written in those days. After all this was dictated by a woman who signed with a mark "X."

Patsy Ray was the daughter of Janey and Bartlett Cannon, listed as Patsy Jo, who married James Roy, so was then Patsy Roy (close to Patsy Ray.)

Robert Cannon's daughter was Eveline Cannon.

I'll leave you there, having delved into 2 primary documents. Not necessarily solving the Nancy/Ann Cannon conundrum!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Making new trees

A friend came over for dinner last night, with the promise that we'd look into her family history. I'm no professional genealogist, but enjoy delving into the documents that are available on Ancestry sites.

So we plugged in her data about her parents, knowing where and when they were born and died.  And then the little "hint leaves" started appearing.  That meant that Ancestry had found their data from some available data source.  The best information came from census reports.

Early census data just counted how many people were what age ranges

We saw such wonderful detail of family members that had lived in the early 20th century.  The census reports are available up until 1940. We wondered when 1950 would be this a limitation from the federal government? Well, for now, the 1920 and 30 census data was great.

And just in case you didn't know, the data is not just a list of who lived in a household.  We got to see the actual census reports, hand written by the census takers on the date listed on the form.  It was like reading the interview with these ancestors.

My friend's family data from 1920 is somewhere on this census!

We learned how long they had been married, where they were born, what language they spoke, where their parents were born and the languages they spoke, and what their occupation was, and perhaps who they worked for.  And we learned about a person living in the household who was listed as a lodger, but turned out to be really the grandparent of the wife...but since she wasn't head of household, the census taker didn't have that category to use.  Thus this grandfather had an age given, which gave us his birthyear within a 2 year possibility based on whether he'd had his birthday for that year at the time of the census.

And then we got to see the actual draft registration cards for several of the men for WW I and WW II.  These told us how tall they were, their physical attributes like bald, color of hair and eyes, and general shape (slight, medium or stout).

So it was much better than looking at old scrapbooks.  In an hour we had looked at original documents that verified where her ancestors lived. We also were able to screen out people with same names and birth years who came from the wrong area of the country, or married the wrong name person.  That was the advantage of having my friend sitting there with me. If she hadn't been, I could have added a lot of data that was misleading.  She did have a few relatives with unusual names, and then one with a more common one.

So that was an entertaining evening, and I have her family tree started for her. It was like meeting Uncle Joseph and Aunt something-or-another at a family reunion, but we didn't have to smile and balance a plate of cake with a cup of coffee at the same time we shook hands!

Who says genealogy can't be fun!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Big change in my tree!

Another descendant of what I thought to be my ancestors, wrote a note saying that he knew nothing about the Cannon family, but knew a lot about the Kennon family. And he (I'm not sure if it is a he actually) stressed that my ancestor was not a child of the Kennons who decided to change the spelling.

That will change my genealogy quite a bit.  So for now I'll leave the rest of the tree as it stands...and wait to see if there are any "hints" from ancestry which fill in the new blanks.

John Cannon of South Carolina and Tennessee apparently was not a Kennon of Virginia.

So among all the other things I'm engaged in this summer, I'll have this on the back burner, waiting for my attention!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Standing on the shoulders of our mothers!

Because of their strength, we are here today. And I'm not just talking about the mothers - but all the women who raised/nurtured/mothered us!

Their strength got us through childhood, but first through birth. What wonders our mothers had...pushing us into the world after we had been snuggled under their hearts so long.

That strength got us through young adulthood, when we discovered our own minds, our own sexuality, our own paths that would start us going toward where we are today.  For many of us the strength of our mother was shown when we defied her, and then she had the wisdom to let go.

This Mother's Day I share the strong shoulders who lifted me up so many time when I fell, who embraced me while I cried, and who fed me and gave me life.

 My mother in the years before me!

 My parents,  Mataley Mozelle Webb Munhall Rogers (1917-2003) and George Rogers in their elder years...

My mother during her productive working years in St. Louis, MO. She worked so that my sister and I could attend a private school.
My mother on right about the time she married in 1936. On left is my father's mother, Ada Swasey Rogers (1886-1964).  She became a guiding force for my parents for quite a while as young adults.

 Dad's mother, Ada Rogers, in her elder years.

Ada Rogers as a young girl.

 My mother's mother, Mozelle Booth Munhall (1897-1960) in her younger years.

Mozelle Munhall in her elder years

My great grandmother Eugenia Almeda Booth Miller (1873-1936, mother of Mozelle) in her elder years.

This photo below is dated '25, where Eugenia B. Miller stood next to my mother, Mataley, as a child with 2 of her friends, at her home in San Antonio TX. I was named Barbara Booth after my great grandmother! In 1925 my great grandmother would have been 52, and my mother would have been 8.

The Booth family home, built in 1855, Hillsborough TX (photo from the 1970s)

And I'll give a bit of my genealogy of the Booth mothers in my ancestry.

Eugenia Booth Miller's mother was
Eugenia Almeda Witty Booth (1852-1875) who lived in the Booth home in Hillsborough TX.

Her mother was
Susan Elizabeth Hoke Witty (1817-1895) who first moved from Alabama to Hill County TX.

Her mother was
Elizabeth Hunt Hoke (about 1793-1846) who may have been born in South Carolina or Alabama.

Her mother was unknown.

I have a few thousand grandmothers, but many of them don't have their mothers' names.  So when I look back 12 generations or so, these mothers were usually through their sons in my records.  But this post is just about the mothers of mothers.  I would not qualify since I only had 3 sons.

I'm sharing with Sepia Saturday this week, though my focus is a bit different than theirs. This week's theme has some strange looking couples. I guess you could use the one of my parents from above when they were caught candidly out of focus on a train at DisneyWorld.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Not too sure about anything

When the genealogical records don't agree, we descendants are left wondering.
So I posted a few days ago what I had read in various source documents about the Dunster family.

Then I started reading more about the wife of Benanuel Bowers, who seemed to be either Mary or Elizabeth, and either married to one man or another, and either the daughter of one man or another.

I have lately been reading a document which was published more recently, but describes going back to parish records in England and having them re-examined for more details.  And these details turn things upside down in a lot of ways.

So now I'm going to research which of the documents were published when, so as to find out which might rely upon more "primary source" information.

Yes, I'll be posting about them here soon. Until then, I added a note to my last post about the Dunsters.

And until then I don't have time to commemorate other birthdays of other ancestors.  But I'll catch up eventually. Or if I don't, many of them have already been listed here in prior years.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Uncle Henry Dunster Sr., First President of Harvard University

Another anniversary left over from April...the birth of Henry Dunster Sr, April 30, 1580. He died in 1646.  I'll give a bit of my own thoughts, and how I believe I'm related to him through his sister.

My 7 times great grandparents were Elizabeth Dunster Bowers and Benanuel Bowers.

UPDATE May 10, 2019 - EDITOR's NOTE: President (of Harvard College) Henry Dunster may still be an Uncle, or maybe a cousin. I've discovered more in-depth work on early parish records that suggest Elizabeth Dunster was maybe someone else, and perhaps that Marie Dunster was Mrs. Benanuel Bowers

Here's my repost from Sept 17, 2014...

The births of the Benanuel Bowers' children of Charlestown, MA were recorded (all eight of them) in detail, by a clerk.  On that page he gives credit that the usual person who kept these records had died.

The clerk who was gracious enough to record these names made one very big mistake.

At least that's the best I can figure out at this time.  I'll gladly write different results if and when I find them.

Benanuell and Marie Bowers are given as the parents.
But Benanuell was married to Elizabeth Dunster.  Records attest to that fact.  They married Dec. 9, 1653.  

So who's this Marie?  I think clerk Edward Burtt made up a name.

From 1653-1673 there are 8 children listed, and at the bottom of the handwritten sheet (all the same handwriting) it says

"Record of all births, deaths, and marriages, that have been in Charlestown since the death of Mr. Thomas Harre (first letter is unclear) who departed this life the twentisixth day of the eighth month, 1658.  Per mee: Edward Burtt, Clerk

So apparently since 1658, good records hadn't been kept...and since the last entry is 1673, it's likely that records were not kept for those 15 years, and were being attempted to be reconstructed.  Remember there are not complete records, but just a few scraps available.

What difference does it make whether Benanuell's wife was named Marie or Elizabeth Dunster?

A big difference to her.  And probably to my descendents.

I'll tell you more about who she was, in relation to a rather important person, tomorrow.  For now I've added a middle name of "Marie" to Elizabeth Dunster Bowers.


Repost from: Thursday, September 18, 2014

Elizabeth Dunster Bowers

Her husband, "Benanuel Bowers was a militant Quaker sympathizer and suffered much for his religion by fine, whip and prison. Some letters and doggerel lines of his are yet preserved in the Middlesex County Court, one addressed to Thomas Danforth the magistrate, date March 3, 1677. (not yet transcribed)

"The following excerpts from "The Letters of Mrs. Robert Clay" are not completely accurate.
"My Grandfather, Benanuel Bowers was born in England of honest Parents, but his father, being a man of stern temper, and a rigid Oliverian, obliged my Grandfather (who out of a pious zeal, turned to the religion of the Quakers) to flee for succour into New England." The Letters of Mrs. Robert Clay.(Ann Curtis Clay Bolton)
"He purchased a farm near Boston and then married. Both were Quakers. The Zealots of the (Presbyterian party) sic. ousted them. They escaped with their lives, though not without whippings, and imprisonments, and the loss of a great part of their worldly substance.
"History of Cambridge, MA 1630-1877, preface, p 37. Baxter, Joseph, H. C. 1693, witness to will of Benanuel Bowers.
The above quote is an attachment to Benanuell Bowers on Ancestry DOT com. I have no way to verify it.  But I know that Cambridge and Harvard in the 1600's were not ruled by Presbyterians, but by Puritans.

Benanuel married Elizabeth Dunster on Dec 9, 1653.

He had been born in  1627 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts.  His father George Bowers had been born in1590 in Manly, Lincolnshire, England.  Ancestry (members) haven't bothered to check that this place even exists, or ever did.  But some place like Manby, Manley, or some other such spelling must have at one time.

Elizabeth Dunster was born however, on 15 Jul 1632 in Bury, Lancashire, England, which isn't near Lincolnshire.  So it was a good thing that she immigrated to America also.

Elizabeth Dunster had a much older brother, Henry Dunster, born 16 Nov, 1609.  He not only studied at Cambridge, England, but when he immigrated to Charlestown, MA, he became the first President of the newly formed Harvard College.

Dunster, Henry 1609-1659 First Harvard U. Pres. 

Dunster House, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

 The Harvard Charter which he developed, says:

Transcription of text in document

WHEREAS, through the good hand of God, many well devoted persons have been, and daily are moved, and stirred up, to give and bestow, sundry gifts, legacies, lands, and revenues for the advancement of all good literature, arts, and sciences in Harvard College, in Cambridge in the County of Middlesex, and to the maintenance of the President and Fellows, and for all accommodations of buildings, and all other necessary provisions, that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country, in knowledge and godliness: It is therefore ordered, and enacted by this Court, and the authority thereof, that for the furthering of so good a work and for the purposes aforesaid, from henceforth that the said College, in Cambridge in Middlesex, in New England, shall be a Corporation, consisting of seven persons, to wit, a President, five Fellows, and a Treasurer or Bursar: and that Henry Dunster shall be the first President, Samuel Mather, Samuel Danforth, Masters of Arts, Jonathan Mitchell, Comfort Starr, and Samuel Eaton, Bachelors of Arts, shall be the five Fellows, and Thomas Danforth to be present Treasurer, all of them being inhabitants in the Bay, and shall be the first seven persons of which the said Corporation shall consist: and that the said seven persons, or the greater number of them, procuring the presence of the Overseers of the College, and by their counsel and consent, shall have power, and are hereby authorized, at any time or times, to elect a new President, Fellows, or Treasurer, so oft, and from time to time, as any of the said person or persons shall die, or be removed, which said President and Fellows, for the time being, shall for ever hereafter, in name and fact, be one body politic and corporate in law, to all intents and purposes; and shall have perpetual succession; and shall be called by the name of President and Fellows of Harvard College, and shall, from time to time, be eligible as aforesaid. And by that name they, and their successors, shall and may purchase and acquire t...

Henry Dunster, Harvard

The above quote doesn't have a source, but Ancestry does give a photo of this book on Henry Dunster..

Henry Dunster's gravesite 
 This is Henry Dunster's gravesite in the Old Burying Yard ("God's Acre") just a stone's throw from Harvard Yard. After his voluntary exile in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, it was Dunster's express wish in his will that he be buried close to the College he loved after his death.

So Harvard changed the original covenant which Henry Dunster began, and he had some difficulties with other members of the administration. (See Editor's note below)

But I am glad great Uncle Henry (time many greats) had a younger sister who is my direct ancestress.

Henry Dunster 1609-1659 marker bench

(Editor's note: One source refers to Henry Dunster having decided against baptisms, thus not in accord with the Harvard leader's beliefs.)