The above is an from the Harward Family Bible. Until this week, I never knew the real identity of this individual. I was not able to decipher the first name. I was not even sure if this person was a male or a female. The general consensus of my Harward (Howard) family line thought this might be a daughter named Utilda.
Now I know her real name.
Utiley J Haward.
Daughter of George and Elizabeth (Sugg) Harward of Moore County, NC.
Sister to my GGG grandfather Caswell Suggs Harward.
Learning Utiley’s identity opened up a whole new branch on this family tree.
Utiley Jane Harward (b. 10 Nov 1825) married James Bridges in 1852 in Chatham County, NC where they made their home. Utiley and James had six children: Malinda, James Paschal, Robert Davis, John Yates, Sandy Wilson, and Amos Caswell. Utiley died 7 Aug 1888. She is buried in the Gum Springs Baptist Church cemetery in Chatham County, NC.
I discovered Utiley’s identity quite by accident. The same researcher who provided the delightful oral history on George Harward is a descendant of Utiley and James Bridges. He is graciously sharing his knowledge of this side of the family.
Don’t you just love it when you stumble across a bit of family history when you are not even looking for it?
Signing onto Ancestry.com to do a quick look up, I noticed another researcher had downloaded a photograph of Caswell and MaryAdline Harward – my GGG grandparents from Moore County, NC now Lee County, NC.
Caswell and Mary A. Harward (Howard)
Curious how this researcher and I might be related I clicked over to their family tree. Looking at the various Harwards on the tree I found interesting oral history regarding my GGGG grandfather George Harward. I contacted the owner of the tree who graciously pointed me in the direction of the gentleman who originally posted the information. Turns out this gentleman descends from George’s daughter and Caswell’s sister Utiley Harward. With his permission, I have posted this newly found information on George Harward.
He was married twice. All of his children were by his first wife, Elizabeth Sugg, who died in 1854 and was buried at Juniper Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in what is now the Broadway township of Lee County. George was also a member of Juniper Springs Church having served in 1857 as a delegate to an Association meeting that led to the church becoming part of the Sandy Creek Association of Baptist churches. George’s son, Caswell Suggs Harward, was superintendant of Sunday school at the church and, later, served as its pastor.
During the illness of his first wife, Margaret Oliver was hired to work in the home and help care for Mrs. Harward. After his wife died, George vowed that he would marry a young wife the second time and he did so when he married Margaret Oliver who was 30 years his junior. Both wives were known as good housekeepers.
George Harward died about 1871 and it was his wish to be buried on his farm under his favorite apple tree next to his second wife who evidently died shortly before he did. The exact location of these graves is not known. The farm eventually came to be owned by a Thomas family.
How fun is that!
(I have long since forgotten what my “quick look-up” was about.)
Back in January I started the application process to join the DAR. I gathered the necessary paperwork on my Revolutionary War ancestor James Harward from Wake County, NC.
Look what came in the mail recently.….
My DAR New Member Information
James is in the DAR database under the spelling Harwood. As with many names during the 1700′s and 1800′s, names were often spelled (?misspelled) a variety of ways. Harwood is the predominant spelling in the Revolutionary War pension records, yet Harward is the predominant spelling in other traditional genealogy records – censuses, tax lists, deeds, etc.
We headed to Canada for vacation this summer. We enjoyed a nice visit with friends and seeing the sights of Niagara Falls – from both the Canadian and the American sides. Of course a trip up close and personal to the Canadian Falls on the Maid of the Mist was a must. I think my shoes have finally dried out!
Which Way Do We Go?
Niagara Falls – Simply Amazing!
There was not an ancestor in sight and that was just fine.
I have been making “family history memories” with my own family and that’s just as it should be.
I checked in at the front desk where a very nice worker inquired if I had done research at the courthouse before. When I informed her that I had, she said, “Help yourself.” I proceeded into the record room where floor to ceiling records awaited me. And yes, I did help myself. I also had extra help this trip- thanks, Mom and Dad!
This trip to the Halifax County courthouse was focused on Elliott family research. While my ancestor King Elliott (~1792-1838) lived in Mecklenburg County, VA, his presumed brother Augustine Elliott was found in Halifax County for a brief time. There were also many Elliotts living in Halifax County in the early 1800′s. They lived in the Aaron’s Creek area where the creek serves as the county line between Halifax and Mecklenburg Counties. When my previous trip to the Mecklenburg County courthouse turned up very little on my Elliotts, Halifax County was the logical next step in the research plan.
Negative evidence was in abundance for my research plan as well as a few clues:
Many Elliotts were found, but King and Augustine Elliott did not appear to associate with the Halifax County Elliotts – at least not in the legal system.
In the 1830′s Augustine Elliott was found in debt to Robert Y Overby of Mecklenburg County.
The Elliott, King and Overby families lived close together and associated with each other.
Mr Martin – the genealogy researcher (expert!) at the courthouse on Thursdays and Fridays – told me many Halifax County surnames are found in Person and Caswell Counties, NC. Don’t forget those North Carolina border counties!
This week I am sifting through the information I gathered at the courthouse and generating new research plans for the King Elliottline.
Note: If you plan on researching at the Halifax County courthouse, be sure and go on a Thursday or Friday when their genealogy rearcher Mr Martin is there. Also, the chancery records for Halifax County, VA are currently in Richmond being digitized. I look forward to being able to search these records online!
I love getting away from my computer to research genealogy! While I love researching with my computer, it’s nice to get away and talk to real people.
Last week I headed up to Danville, VA. In the Danville public library the Virginia-North Carolina Piedmont Genealogical Society has its research room. Their resources include books and records pertaining to the southern Virginia and neighboring NC counties. I wasn’t after “official” records on this trip, I was after something a little different.
I was particularly interested in the society’s vertical files and family histories. Vertical files can contain just about anything:
Earlier researchers notes
bits of oral history
Histories of small communities and/or churches
You see, I am at the point in my research on both the Haley and Elliott lines where I have hit brick walls. (Surely one of these will crumble soon – I hope.) I was hoping to find clues in the vertical files to generate my next research plan for one or both of these family lines.
Was I successful?
Yes and no.
No new information came to light on my Haley family. (Sigh…)
I found a lot of information on the Elliott family of Halifax County, VA. The Virginia Elliotts are a popular family with researchers. Not as much information was found on the NC Elliotts even though the families are geographically not that far apart. In all likelihood , they are related on some level. The Halifax County background information was particularly helpful when I later placed it alongside the “official” Elliott records. Unfortunately,I did not find anything on my King Elliott line. (Another sigh….)
While from a research viewpoint, the trip was only mildly successful, getting to know another repository and its available resources was a valuable experience.
Thanks to an Elliott cousin one of the unknown photographs has been identified. (Thanks, Cynthia!)
Mary Elizabeth “Bettie” Scott
Mary Elizabeth “Bettie” Scott was the daughter of Robert Moore Scott and Susan Watkins Edwards of Clarksville, Virginia. She was born 12 Jan 1834 and died 05 Jan 1912. Mary Elizabeth married Campbell Barnett (1827-1907) of Roxboro, North Carolina.
I have no direct relationship to Bettie Scott Barnett. However, my great great grandmother Hattie Elliott’s sister Cynthia Elliott married a Sam Barnett of the Barnett family.
Fellow researchers,pass this along to other southern Virginia researchers and/or Scott family researchers. It just may help in someone get past a genealogical brick wall.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post the difficulty I sometimes have in transcribing my ancestors’ correspondence. Much of the writing I transcribe is from the early 1900′s, and many of my ancestors were had just the basic education. Deciphering the men’s handwriting and spellings has been particularly difficult at times. Just as I have gotten to know my ancestors and their friends through their writing, I have also gotten to know their handwriting. That is the point where transcription moves from frustrating to fun!
I thought I would share some of the more unusual spellings I have come across so far in my project.
bin = been
youal = you all
heare = here or hear
amagun = imagine
feal = feel
thank = think
ant = ain’t
chirch = church
As you can see, the words make perfect sense when pronounced phonetically. I hope this gives you a new way of looking at your ancestor’s handwriting!
Old letters and postcards in my ancestor’s handwriting are enough to keep this genealogist happy for a long time!
1912 Postcard from Howard Roberts To Esther Richardson
I am progressing well toward my goal of transcribing my great grandmother’s correspondence. There is a lot of it and I admit to feeling a little cross eyed after spending too much time reading the 100 year old handwriting. Most of the letters are written in pencil and fading. That is one of the reasons I feel an urgency to transcribe the correspondence. Of course, I want to glean as much information from them as I can.
Transcription is not always easy. Faded writing, poor handwriting and misspellings all tend to slow down the process.
What is the one thing I do that helps me the most?
I read the letter out loud – as many times as necessary.
Here’s an example:
The word “youal” appears frequently in the writings of my southern Virginia ancestors. In some cases the “y” resembles a “z”. For the longest time I was not sure what it meant. Reading the letters out loud I realized the word should be pronounced “you all”. My ancestors spelled phonetically if not always correctly.
Another thing that helped me in the case of my southern Virginia ancestors is that I am familiar with the accent of that area. It is not that different from the NC accent.
So, whether transcribing a lot of personal correspondence or a sinlge document, read it out loud. I think you’ll find this helps!
This spring I set a goal for myself. I planned to finish transcribing Esther Richardson Talbott’s correspondence. It is a daunting task to be sure. There is a lot of it.
But wow! The things I have learned! The impressions of people I’ve formed. This is not information found in the official records genealogists usually research. (After reading Esther’s letters, who needs reality TV?!)
It was June of 1914 and Boss Talbott was nervous. Boss was in love. In a letter dated May 18, 1914 he had declared his love for Esther Richardson of News Ferry, Va. Three weeks later in this excerpt Boss’s June 10th letter, more is revealed:
you just cant amagun [imagine]
how I feal about what
I asked you and you
said you could not
tell me. Well it feals
to me like my heart
is broken now
Well if you never
due concent and tell
me all ways rember
this I all ways wanted you
to make a change
in life and you never
would with me.
(Hint: When reading Boss’s letter, think phonetics. Boss spelled many words phonetically, but not necessarily correctly.)
It would appear that Boss asked Esther a “big” question. Did he ask her to be his girl? Did he propose? In an effort to keep himself in her mind, Boss included the above photograph of himself.
Boss’s letter does not provide us with his question – only Esther’s answer. Well, lack of answer.
Esther left Boss with a broken heart and waiting for an answer.
As I work my way through transcribing Boss’s letters, it has become clear that Boss would wait many months for the answer to his question.