Wilson Family Genealogy

Wilson Family Genealogy

The Wilson family research has been challenging, mainly because the family name Wilson is relatively common. What has been helpful is that not many of the Wilson men are named Abner. As that name runs through this branch continually, it has been helpful when attempting to locate the right line.

Travel Buddy’s grandfather was Abner Edwin Wilson, born in Fannin County, Texas in 1869. He met and married Luci Whitehead in 1897 in Brown County, Texas, where he was a lawyer and later, County Judge. He died in Brown County in 1949.

The first Wilson in the generational search is Abner Zaconius Taylor Wilson. He was born in 1848 in Henry County, Kentucky. He went by Abner, AT, Cam, Can, and Ab at last count. But most often, he can be found under Abner. Many boys of his generation were named after President Zachary Taylor, but Zaconius is an unusual version of that naming! Abner met and married Anna Isabella McCleary in 1868 in Fannin County, Texas. He was a Baptist preacher, along with a couple of his brothers, and found it necessary on at least one occasion to preach with a rifle leaning against the pulpit. Abner died in 1915 and Anna died in 1930, both in Brown County.

Abner’s parents were Abner Moses Wilson and Sarah Caleb Doyle. Sarah was born in Shelby County, Kentucky in 1805 to Farmer Doyle and Rebecca Cole. Abner was born in Fayette County, Kentucky in 1791. They married in Clark County, Kentucky in 1832. They moved to Fannin County, Texas in the 1850s, and Abner died there in 1858. Sarah died in Brown County many years later, in 1890.

Abner’s parents were Abner Wilson and Lydia Garner. Abner was born about 1760 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. It is not known where Lydia was born. We don’t know when or where they married, either. But both died in Fayette County, Kentucky, Abner in 1833. Abner was a soldier in the Revolution according to the DAR website.

This is as far back as we have the Wilsons. If you are related to this line, shoot me a comment and I’ll connect you with Travel Buddy.

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Whitehead Family Genealogy

Whitehead Family Genealogy

Luci Evelyn Whitehead was born in 1876 in Denton County, Texas. She married Abner Wilson in 1897 in Brown County, Texas. She was a member of DAR and a Real Daughter of UDC. She died in 1972 at the age of 96.

Luci’s parents were William Franklin Whitehead and Mary Evelyn Burleson. The Burlesons are covered in an earlier post. William was born in Crawford County, Arkansas in 1835. Mary was born in Marion County, Alabama in 1843. During the war, William fought for the Confederacy for Arkansas. Later, he moved to Texas and met Mary. They married in 1868 in Denton County, Texas. William was a Freemason, and a prominent citizen of both Denton and Brown counties in Texas. He served with Terry’s Texas Rangers and helped hunt for the outlaw, Sam Bass. Once when he was out on the search, Sam, who knew Captain Whitehead was looking for him, snuck back to the house, and pulled a gun on Mary, demanding some food. She prepared it for him, and he ate it, keeping a gun trained on her the whole time. Then, leaving a $10 bill on the table, he left. Hours later, when Captain Whitehead returned, Mary told him what had happened, but emphasized that Sam Bass had paid her for the meal. Mary died in 1910 and William died in 1916, both in Brown County, Texas.

William’s parents were William Whitehead and Meren or Marion Moberly. William was born in 1812 and Meren/Marion was born in 1811, both in Kentucky. They married in 1833, though we don’t know where. Supposedly, William died in 1877 and Meren/Marion died in 1878, both in Denton County, Texas, but we have yet to find any proof of this. We have looked extensively through graveyards and researched online, but so far, nothing. I do need to go back and check the tax records, at least. I cannot find them on the 1870 census at all, either. Maybe they ended up some place else.

This is as far back as our knowledge of the Whiteheads goes.

We don’t know much about the Whiteheads, and are eager to learn more. If you are connected with this line, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with this Whitehead cousin.

Pennsylvania Travel Pics

These are pics from the Raystown Lake area in Pennsylvania. The campgrounds there were outstanding. Here is a view of the lake and mountain from the campground we stayed in the longest:
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This is the same view from later in the day:
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The views were amazing, and the grounds themselves were very well maintained. Paths were well defined, which made it easier to see the local flora in a new light:
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Down by the marina was a creepy area, though. You could buy fish food and hand feed the huge specimens that not only swam right up to you, but swam right over top of one another in their haste to get a bit of food. Overall, we decided not to buy the food…the whole feeding frenzy process was just too creepy. But the following pics will give you a sense of what I have described, here:
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All in all a wonderful stay…except for the creepy fish, anyway.

Definitely recommend this camping location!

Stanley Family Genealogy

Stanley Family Genealogy

My Stanley line begins with Anna Rose Stanley, who was born Lew Anna Stanley in 1869, Siskiyou County, California. She married John Perry in 1886 in Lake County, Oregon. They moved around a great deal in California, Oregon, and ultimately settled in Washoe County, Nevada, where they built the homestead. John was gone a great deal, off mining in Mexico and other places, and they divorced. Anna raised the family and improved on the place, eventually expanding into the Butcher Flat area. She married again, but after John’s death in 1942, she chose to be buried next to him in Yerington, Nevada. Anna died in 1953.

Anna’s parents were Oliver Halsey Stanley and Nancy Hatfield. The Hatfields are covered in an earlier post. O.H. was born in 1833 in Warren County, Tennessee. He married Nancy Hatfield in Iowa in 1851. Both the Hatfields and Stanleys were in Tennessee, migrated to Iowa, and then O.H. and Nancy moved to Oregon. They had property on Birch Creek in Umatilla County, Oregon, near Pilot Rock. Pilot Rock was so named because it had a rock used as a navigational tool as the wagon trains poured into Oregon. O.H. had skills as a blacksmith, and developed a thriving business. In 1874, Nancy died. In 1885, O.H. died.

When I was interviewing my great-great Aunt Tess (my great-grandfather’s sister) about the family, I was trying to ask her about her father’s side, but she kept talking about her mother’s. At one point she interrupted me to ask, had she told me he was murdered? In confusion, I asked, your father? “No,” she said. “My mother’s father. It was a drive-by shooting. By…oh! The Ku Klux Klan.” Well, I just stared at her. I knew he had died in the 1880’s, and of course there couldn’t be a drive-by…unless it was an out-of-control horse-drawn wagon. And I was sure the Klan was not active in Oregon at any time. So this was a mystery. I basically chalked the story up to a muddled confusion of facts, and let it go. Years later, when I was able to visit the Pilot Rock area, I did some research at the library in the nearby city of Pendleton. What a surprise!

What I discovered was that O.H. and some other local men had long been suspected of horse thievery. Though there was no hard evidence, the men were brought to court and tried. Much to the anger of the theft victims, due to the absence of proof, the accused men were let go. However, they were warned to leave town and the state, immediately (Pilot Rock is very near the Oregon-Washington border). All the men left as instructed, with the exception of O.H., who went home to say good-bye to his motherless children. The furious townsmen formed a posse, rode directly to his house, and shot him to death in his front yard.

So. No drive-by. No Klan. But in retrospect, it’s easy to see why Aunt Tess told the story the way she did. This has been an invaluable lesson for me when researching any branch of the family: even if the story I hear or read seems too outlandish to possibly be true, every single one has had a grain of truth to it. Thus, I save any and all details regarding oral histories…you never know what gems you will ferret out of them, later.

O.H.’s parents were Alfred Muir Stanley and Margaret Heather. Alfred was born in Surry County, North Carolina in 1809. Margaret was born in Washington County, Kentucky in 1810. They married in Claiborne County, Tennessee in 1827. Later, they moved to Iowa, where Margaret died in 1857. Alfred moved on to Missouri and then Oregon, where he died in Lake County in 1881.

Travels through Pennsylvania, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Gettysburg. The 150th anniversary of the famous battle made our visit that much more special.

We had visited the town and battle site before, but things were really ratcheted up for this year’s celebration. One of our most enjoyable experiences was the free shuttle ride to and tour of a property that was used as a hospital during the Civil War. The Gettysburg Battlefield NHS now owns this property, and is in the process of restoring the barn, kitchen, house, and other areas. Folks in costume told us visitors all about the people who had lived on the property, and one portrayed a doctor of the times as he displayed his gruesome tools of the time period.

I haven’t spoken much about the campsites we have visited throughout our travels, but a special mention goes to Raystown Lake, an Army Corps of Engineers campground that is in incredibly beautiful surroundings for the low cost per site. We stayed a full week, enjoying the gorgeous views for greatly affordable rates.

We finally, after several attempts, managed to visit Lancaster County on a day other than a Sunday! We were searching out McDowells, McLearys, and Demuths, but only found information on the Demuth family. This was a good find, though, linking Heinrich and Anna Demuth to each of their four sons through baptismal records.

Quaker sightings were at a minimum, though we did see a few.

We’ll have to return to Pennsylvania in the future, as we have research to do on the Wilsons of Washington County, and the Beesons and Mendenhalls of Chester County, but we definitely had a great visit this time!