Eliza Catherine Stackpole 1864-1951

Earliest known picture of Eliza we have in our family collection.

I am afraid that this generation of our family tree starts the ‘tradition’ of knowing very little about the ancestresses, and Eliza is no exception.

Eliza Catherine Stackpole was born on June 7, 1864, probably in Pine Grove, Wetzel County, West Virginia1 (which had become a state all its own almost exactly a year earlier.) She wasn’t alone on this birthing day either, she arrived with a twin brother, William Jackson. [William has a different date of birth in online trees, and the census of 1880 stated their age as 15, the one in 1870 said they were 7, so still not 100% sure.]

Her parents were Thomas R. Stackpole and Lydia Lemasters, both natives of Virginia. The twins ended up being about the middle children of 13 total born to her parents. Two of their siblings were to die young: Elihu/er, who died of scarlet fever at about 1, and Lucy, the youngest, who died at about 4 years of age.

It was a few short weeks after Eliza and William were born that their parents purchased their first property in Wetzel County and according to the deed, they were of Wetzel County at the time. The date on the deed was June 20, 18642.

I believe the property purchased by the Stackpole parents was located somewhere in the red circle. The ‘North Fork’ and head of ‘Wilson Run’ is located in the deed description, see red circled area. Pine Grove is not too far away.

If Eliza was born in 1864, then she arrived while the Civil War was still raging in the country. But her father Thomas, does not appear to have been involved in any of the fighting. (I can find no record of service for him, on either side.) Whether or not Thomas participated in the war in another capacity, I have no idea. There is no evidence that there were battles or fighting going on in their neck of the woods either, so their family had not been personally affected while living in Wetzel County. Although the situation in and of itself would have created great anxiety in the family and their surrounding relatives.

Eliza, in the 1880 census, is noted as ‘attended school’, and in later censuses we know her education, at the least, taught her how to read and write, because they said she could. This education was most likely acquired at the same school her daughter, Rachel, attended when she was growing up, Pine Grove/Free School.

Pine Grove Schools– …Early settlers’ last names were Morgan, Jolliffe, Stone, Long, Lantz, Allen, Stackpole, Borby, Headley, McAlister, Hayes, Willey, Holbert, Wallace, Renner, Pizarro, Brookfields, Roome, Garvy, McCuskey, Lowe.

First reported school was ran by Ms. Hostutler in her father’s kitchen, year unknown.  The first school was built below Wilson Run, called the Free School…

https://www.wetzelcountyschools.com/Page/14390 –related surnames, to us, were bolded in the quote by me.
Interior of Pine Grove School date unknown. Also from: https://www.wetzelcountyschools.com/Page/14390

The above interior picture probably looks pretty much the same as when Eliza went to school here. It’s location, on the map above, is around the blue pin.

At the age of 21 Eliza decided it was time to leave the nest and start her own family. The lucky man was Ausburne,( or Ausborn, or Osburn) Hays, (or Hayes) (I am afraid that documents are inconsistent regarding the spelling of Ausburn, or Hays). Maybe she was attracted to the mystery of how to spell his name. The date for their exchange of vows was December 24, 18853. A happy day all around, with the bonus of it happening on Christmas Eve Day. It would certainly make it much easier to remember when one was married too. (That’s why I married on Valentine’s Day, so I would remember it much easier 50 years from then. Now the year — that is a different matter.)

Ausburn and Eliza do not seem to have owned property during their time together, census records from 1900-1920 list them as being renters, (although, at the time of this writing I have been unable to view deeds of relative’s estates that might have left them property, other than the property left to her by her father’s estate in 1899, that land was sold by her and all her sibling.) In all the census records found for them they were living amidst GEORGEs and HAYSs, in fact you couldn’t turn around without smacking into a cousin, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. My grandfather remembers that Ausburn and his only other sibling, his brother Edmund, lived next door to each other, and census records concur. For all appearances it seems they spend their whole life in the same spot. Eliza and her husband likely rented part of one of their relatives property. Maybe they used a barter system instead of money, or a bit of both.

Eleven months after Eliza’s marriage she had the first of what would be 10 children during their marriage. Ausburn supported this large brood by working timber, and the family also did a little farming to help supplement the table. The land in this area would have been hard to farm, it was very hilly, so lumbering sounds like a good way to have made a living.

Being so close to all that family would have been a boon in hard times — or weird times as seen in this article from the ‘Fairmont West Virginian’ newspaper of July 13, 1918:

WORM INVASION!

A huge mass of large yellow worms—said to be not less than three miles long and 100-yards wide—is crawling toward Littleton in Wetzel County, W.Va.

The Fairmont newspapers inform that on Sunday morning, June 31, Milliard McDougal, a well-known county farmer, woke to find millions of worms heaped high against the side of his house. Since then, the worms have hidden many buildings from view simply by crawling over them.

Jim Fox, another Wetzel County farmer, was forced to stop plowing when he and his horses were attacked by the worms. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people from Littleton and elsewhere have been traveling on foot, on horseback, by teams and buggies and wagons, and in automobiles, to see the weird worms as they wiggle and stretch and creep and crawl westward across Wetzel County.

One newspaper report is to the effect that it requires three days and two nights for the worms to wiggle past a given point. The mass is at some places a foot thick. It covers completely the hills and hollows and level sections over which it moves. So far, though—and thank the Lord for it!—the worms have done no visible damage. They seem not to eat anything, and some observers believe they are crawling to commit suicide and will pile themselves up and die.

Stock will not eat any grass the worms have crawled across, and chickens will not eat the worms. It is the deepest mystery that ever occurred in this country. The worms are about two inches long and one-eighth of an inch in diameter. They are a bright, brownish-yellow, in color, and they have hundreds of legs, it seems.

Where did the weird worms come from? Where are they going? Will they eventually destroy Wetzel County, as some observers believe?

Prof. Peairs, a university entomologist, does not know why the weird worms march. He has visited Wetzel County for a first-hand look and says:

“Ordinarily, this type of worm does not venture into open country. It does not feed on any food that people eat but subsists entirely on decayed vegetation, rotting logs, and stumps, leaves, etc. It lives in shady, damp places, and will soon perish without abundant moisture.”

The professor says he never heard of the worms appearing in such great numbers and is at a loss to understand how such a thing could happen. He states that, indeed, the march of the weird worms is phenomenal and unique, and that nothing like it has ever been known before in his experience.

The march, however, has finally stopped, and most of them along the way are dead and lying in heaps along the railroad. Prof. Peairs says there is very little recorded information about these worms. Their scientific name is, the professor says, “polydesmus.” [Polydesmus is a genus of millipedes in the family Polydesmidae]

Fairmont-West Virginian, July 13, 1918.

All I gotta say is ICCKKKKK! I am not fond of any worm that has a large amount of legs wriggling about and to see them in such a large number would have had me running, screaming, to the next state over. I would imagine that there were some pretty interesting conversations at the dinner table when this was going on.

Four months after this crazy incident appeared in the newspaper, a matter of a more personal nature could be found in the columns:

WELL KNOWN CITIZEN CALLED BY DEATH

Ausburn Hays, a widely known resident of Grand district, died at his home near Jacksonburg, Tuesday, October 8, of heart trouble in the 53rd year of his age.

The deceased was a son of Ezra Hays, and a member of one of the oldest Wetzel county families.

He was a member of the Church of Christ for many years, and a well known and honored citizen who has many friends who will be grieved to lear of his death.

Funeral services were held from his late home Thursday, October 10, Rev. David Maine officiating and interment was at the Lyon cemetery on Indian Creek, in Tyler county, Harry Palmer, undertaker, of Pine Grove, being in charge.

The deceased is survived by his widow, five sons and five daughters, his father and one brother.

—————————-

CARD OF THANKS

We wish to thank the many friends and relatives for their kindness during the sickness and death of our loving husband and father; also Rev. David Main for his consoling words; and Palmer and Fair, undertakers for their efficient services.

Mrs. Ausburn Hays, Sons and Daughters

According to my grandfather, Ausburn was in the middle of carving a new yoke for the oxen he used to haul timber out of the woods when he became ill. It was never finished.

After Ausburn’s death4 Eliza continued running the farm, likely with the help of her sons and their families. I found her noted as being on the 1920 agriculture census, but, the actual record no longer exists, so I don’t know what crops or livestock she was farming. Eliza and her sons together continued to work the land until she was in her 60s at which time she decided it was time to retire:

Eliza C., Hayes,  mother,  female, white, 75, wid. did not attend school, highest grade 0, born in West Virginia, resided in same place in 1935, did not work and no income [her son Leslie was supporting her at this time.]

Details of 1940 Census  Jacksonburg (Unincorporated) Grant District, Wetzel County, West Virginia:
p12B (ancestry.com image 24 of 32), 16 Apr, ED 52-10, 191, line 42

NOTE: The census regarding her education is possibly correct in that she didn’t finish a particular grade, we don’t know how long she attended school. It could have been only long enough to get some reading and writing in. Earlier census records do indicate she was attending school sometime when she was younger.

In the photo above, Eliza looks like a pretty strong woman. She had to have been to raise all those children. She survived her husband by 33 years. On May 26, 1951 she passed away at a home in Marion, Ohio.

Mrs. Eliza Hayes

Pine Grove, May 26 – Mrs. Eliza Hayes, 87, of Pine Grove, one of the oldest twins in West Virginia, died at 1:30 p.m. Friday at a convalescent home in Marion, Ohio, after a short illness. She was the sister of Jackson Stackpole, of Pine Grove.

Born June 7, 1863, in Wetzel County, she was a daughter of Thomas and Lydia Lemasters Stackpole. Her husband was Osburn Hayes, who died nearly thirty years ago. Until three years ago, Mrs. Hayes had spent her life in this section. She had visited among her ten children since that time.

Her children are Mrs. Vada Edgell, of Smithburg [? Jacksonburg or Smithfield]; Mrs. Rachel Shepherd of Westerville, Ohio; Mrs. Lydia Williams, of Fairport, Ohio; Ellis, of Jacksonburg; Leslie, of Pine Grove; Mrs. Essie Morris, of Jacksonburg; Harvey, of Fairview, Ohio [?]; Simon, of Smithfield; John, of Reader, and Mrs. Bessie Johnson, of Ashley, [Delaware Co., Ohio].

She also leaves her twin, Jackson, of Pine Grove, and a second brother, Tommy, of Pine Grove. Mrs. Ruth George, of Ravenna, Ohio, and Mrs. Amanda Fluharty, of Jacksonburg, are sisters. There are thirty-seven grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren. The body will be returned to Pine Grove.

Transcribed from a clipping in Arlene Cozart’s Obit collection, publ. in Wetzel Co. Gen. Soc. newsletter.
Photo from family collection. Headstone located in Lyons Cemetery, Tyler County, West Virginia.

If you don’t know where Eliza is in our family tree then visit my website and find out.


SOURCES:
1. There is no birth record for the twins. The date of birth is found on her headstone, so is not a primary source. If the birth date on Eliza’s headstone is correct, Lydia, her mother, being so close to giving birth, would have been in no mood to be making a major family move to a different county, which is why I believe she would have been born in Wetzel County–if the birthdate is correct.
2. Thomas Stackpole deed v9 p235-236, Wetzel County, West Virginia Deeds, 1845-1902; deed index, 1845-1970; Clerk of the County Court; Deeds, v. 8-9 1870-1872 – Digital Film #8285414 – image 436-437 of 505, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. This deed was dated a couple of weeks after the birth of the children using 7 Jun 1864 date, and indicated that they (Thomas and Lydia Stackpole) were of Wetzel County.
3. Thomas R. Stackpole and Lydia Lemaster marriage, Tyler County Marriage book, book 1, p. 99, returns of Jacob Yeater, Tyler County, West Virginia. April 1, 2003.

4. A. B. Hayes certificate of death, register no. 136, October 18, 1918, Wetzel County, Grant District, Jacksonburg; West Virginia State department of Health. Online digital image from http://www.wvculture.org.

Lantz farm nature preserve

My mother and I took a trip out to Jacksonburg, West Virginia…lets see…well quite a few years ago now. The main reason for the visit was to attend a Hays family reunion, the secondary reason was to see what details we could find out about the Hays and related families. It was also nice to actually see where these ancestors had lived, worked and spent their lives.

No one at the reunion was really much help in filling out blank spots in my research, but we did meet up with one of our Stackpole cousins who gladly showed us around to a few of the cemeteries we would have been hard pressed to find on our own. (It is very hilly and hidden country out there.)

One of the places we were able to visit was the cemetery where my 5x great grandparents, Alexander and Margret (Minor) Lantz, are resting in peace. This quiet, restful, cemetery is at the top of a hill with lots of open space, and looks onto the Stackpole land that is on the next hill over. The view of the surrounding country was excellent.

I know very little about these grandparents, except that Alexander and Margret were always buying property. Many of these purchases were for land in the 100s of acres. Sometimes this property was purchased through auctions, the current owners not being able to pay their mortgages, so they were able to get incredible deals. This penchant for owning property has paid off in a great way for everyone, for it has made it possible for a lasting legacy of great value to be created.

I have come to learn that in 2006 the Lantz family farm, which consisted of 555 acres, was “gift deeded” to the Wheeling Jesuit University by Lantz family descendants, so that the land and farm would be preserved, and the area could be enjoyed by the public. The DNR has joined in a cooperative agreement with the WJU to co-manage the property:

…for its wildlife resources and to maximize public outdoor recreational opportunites including hunting, fishing, and hiking on the interpretive natural trails.1

lantzlandpic

The Field Trip article (below) gives a short history of the property, what you can see when you visit, and also talks about projects in the works. But first, here is the ‘Wyatt patent’ deed as mentioned in the article:

1826 Sep 30 Tyler County, West Virginia —
Jasper A Wyatt and wife and Augustus B. Wyatt, Tyler County
to
Alexander Lantz, of Wayne Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania

… in consideration of $600 of lawful money of the Commonwealth …land containing 177 acres situate in the county of Tyler on the South Fork of Fishing Creek and bounded as follows to wit:

beginning at a white walnut & two sugar trees on the bank of the creek thence
S E 46 poles to a white walnut at the mouth of Buffalo Run thence
S 15 W 70 poles to sugartree thence
S 27 W120 poles to a red oak thence
N 70 W 32 poles to chestnut oak and ironwood thence
N 20 W 60 poles to two beeches on a hill side thence
N 62 W 92 poles to an ash and sugar tree on the creek bank thence
N 20 E 44 poles to a white oak thence
N 40 E 20 poles to a small white walnut thence
S 75 E 60 poles to two hickories on the top of the hill and thence
S 86 E 165 poles to the beginning 

…together with all the singular houses, barns, buildings, stables, yards, gardens, orchards, lands, tenements, meadows, pastures, feeding commons, woods, underwoods, ways, waters, watercourses, fishing privileges…

Jasper Wyatt
Catherine [herXmark] Wyatt
Augustus [hisXmark] B. Wyatt2

LantzFarm copy
Lantz Farm article

While the property was certainly there, the preserve was barely a glimmer in the eye at the time we were visiting, and now I want to go back and see this wonderful place. Knowing that this property was a part of our family history kinda makes it feel even more special. If Alex and Margret did nothing else with their lives, they made it possible for a little part of world to be preserved.

 


Source:
1. [picture and quote pulled from the following article: http://www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/magazine/Archive/07Fall/Providing%20a%20Better%20Tomorrow.pdf]
2. Land Deed [v2p190  image 1336-1337]; 
Deeds, 1815-1902; Tyler County (West Virginia) County Clerk; Deeds, v. 1-3 1815-1829  –  FHL film #855954

More information can be found at the following sites, there is also a facebook page:
http://wju.edu/mission/lantzfarm.html
https://wvexplorer.com/attractions/wildlife-management-areas/lantz-farm-nature-preserve-wma/

Burglars Thwarted!

I found this article doing a newspaper search recently on Alexander Lantz in West Virginia papers. I have to admit I have had very little luck finding newspapers with any of my West Virginia ancestors in them, so imagine my surprise when I hit pay dirt.

When Alexander and Margret Lantz were first married they spent about 15 or so years living in Greene County, Pennsylvania near their parents. Possibly because their own children were old enough to marry and move on, the two left for Tyler County, West Virginia, for a short time, before they eventually settled in Wetzel County, West Virginia, about 1841. They are both buried in the Jacksonburg area.

I believe that the article below is about my Alex because he would have been ‘an old man’ at the time of this incident, and from what I can surmise he was also the only Alexander Lantz living in the area, at least according to census records.

newspaper_lantzalex_1875 copy

This incident. which looks like it happened in 1871, was being reported in the newspaper in 1875 (Alex was dead in January of 1873), which does make me leery in claiming that this is my 5x great grandfather in regards to this case. However, possibly because the case was criminal in nature, even if the intended victim had died after the fact, they would still continue to try the perpetrators of the crime. This one appears to have gone on for several years before the men were finally acquited.

I have to say this article is a little confusing regarding why they let the men off. They were caught in the act, by multiple people. But at least no one was hurt.


Source:
1. The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, newspaper, Ohio County, West Virginia, Sat morning, April 24, 1875, page 3 column 2.

Land records and slavery

I have in my family tree an ancestor by the name of Alexander Clegg. He was possibly born around the 1750s, (using his first child’s birth), and was married to Margaret Farmer or Palmer (online trees are not really in agreement regarding her surname). Their daughter Susannah married Samuel Minor, whose daughter Margret married Alexander Lantz (the Lance mentioned below). This Lantz family is found on the Hays side of the family with Susannah Lantz marrying Edmund Hays. So now you have the background tree.

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 10.55.34 AM
The Clegg and Lantz families lived on the border of Pennsylvania and West Virginia at this time, so owned land in both states. Sometimes the same piece of property was also in both states.

Last year’s research at the Family History Library included the goal of finding land records for the Lantz and Clegg families in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Which I did. And recently I began transcribing them.

Here was an interesting entry:

Know all men by these presents that I Alexander Clegg [<–my 7x great grandparent] of Monongalia County, [Virginia at the time, later West Virginia], for and in consideration of the sum of money that I am due and owing Alexander Lance and Margaret his wife [<–my 5x great grandparents] and for the further consideration of one Dollar lawful money of Virginia to me in hand paid the Receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, I have freely given, granted, bargained, sold and Delivered unto them the said Alexander Lance and Margaret his wife, all the following property to wit:

one negro woman named (Susanna) and
her two Daughters Ann
and Malin[d]a them and their after increase

upwards of two hundred acres of Land in Monongalia County on Dunkard Creek being the whole tract of Land whereon I now live called Stradlers Town [now known as Pentress],
four head of horses,
eight head of cattle,
and six feather beds and beding
said furniture to the said Beds belonging 

all the aforesaid property to the said Alexander Lance and his wife Margaret for and during their natural lives or the life of the survivor of them, and at the decease of both of them then to go to the children of the said Margaret that she now has or may hereafter have. To have and to Hold all the aforesaid property forever. In witness whereof the said Alexander Clegg doth hereunto set his hand and seal this 29th day of May in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred and Twenty Six.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered in the presence of us
Wm Thomas  Jacob Lantz  Peter [hisXmark] Yager                                                                               

Alexander Clegg  [SEAL]1

It appears that Alexander Clegg was in debt to his granddaughter Margret and her husband, and figured the best way to pay it off was to give them property, which included three slaves. He must have owed them a lot of money. Or a dowry? Or, maybe he was just giving away part of the estate they would inherit anyway.

Two of the above mentioned African American ladies are later found mentioned in the estate inventory of Alexander Clegg from 1829:

Than is in the said bill charged two Negro girls [Anne & Malinda] amt $230 – not sold at the public vand..[??] but has been since sold by said Lantz to John Brookover for $280 as I have been informed…

So, here is clear evidence that the Shepard side of the family was owning slaves as late as the 1820s. I have to say this was a surprising find.

But, here is something else interesting — in the 1830 federal census for Greene County, Pennsylvania we find Alex and Margaret Lantz living with one FREE female African American child who was less than 10 years old. Was she the daughter of one of the two girls they earlier sold to John Brookover? Or a daughter of the older woman Susanna? I haven’t found out what happened to Susanna, maybe she had died.

Looking further into the land records regarding the Lantz family, in 1812 Alexander Lantz’s brother*, George Lantz, freed three slaves: Esther, who was 26, Jacob, a mulatto child of 11, and Nancy (also called Ann), a mulatto child of 8. Did he free them because they were his children?

Well George’s probate2 clears that up, I think:

probate_lantzgeo_1818PA copy

Jacob is listed in his will as “my yellow boy” which seems to mean his son, who had a half sister Nancy. Jacob was 17 or 18 when he inherited George’s estate. Jacob’s mother is not named, but the probate states she was living with a George Ridge; who we find was a freed slave according to the 1820 federal census for Greene County, Pennsylvania. And, in 1840 an Esther Ridge was living single, with one young child, (George having died/left), both freed slaves. Esther herself probably died about 1844 as there is an estate entry for her in Pennsylvania probate, but no details regarding a will.

George Lantz doesn’t appear to have married or had any legitimate children so was leaving all his property to Jacob whom he appears to accept as his son, or at least his heir. Nancy isn’t acknowledged to be his daughter, which possibly means she wasn’t. There is no reason to believe that he would acknowledge one and not the other. Either way, he must have had some affection for her, because she was to receive some money from the estate when she reached 18.

See the interesting things you can learn from land records.

*George is believed to be Alexander Lantz’s brother because he is the only George Lantz found online who died at the same time as the one in my post, so it is speculation at this time, but, there are a few sources that give it some credibility.  Alex’s Uncle George died at a later date and was married, with lots of kids.


Sources:
1. Land deeds, 1826 Monongalia County, West Virginia, FHL Film #840576; Digital: 8219285vOS10 p350.

2. George Lantz probate, 1818; Will Books, 1796-1918, Green County, Pennsylvania. Online digital images 129-130 – Ancestry.com.

3. Ancestry.com 1820 and 1840 Federal Census records Greene County, Pennsylvania.

The Mobley connection…

3105196464_8b1aa0edd3_b
This is most likely a picture of William Buchanan and Margaret Mobley.

A while back in my research I was investigating the parents of Jane Buchanan, because while much research was done on the Buchanan line and I could fill it out pretty well, I didn’t have much on her mother’s side in my files. Even my grandfather’s research records gave her short shrift, all I could find in his records was her first name Margaret.

Through time and much effort I have been able to flesh out Margaret’s origins. Origins of which bring a more prominent role of Quakers into the family and, as I knew would happen sooner or later, slavery.

When I started my research on Margaret I did have a good starting point because her birth name is found on her daughter Jane’s death registration. Using that information as a guide I found Margaret’s death registration, along with her husband’s on the same page, in the records. Thankfully her parent’s names were also recorded in the death record, which doesn’t happened all the time. They were listed as William and Sarah Mabley, (which should have been Mobley).

The search for William and Sarah Mobley led me to Monroe County, Ohio where a marriage registration is found for William Mobley and Sarah Millison in 1825. This record seemed the most likely and fits in with the approximated 1833 birth year for Margaret. I was pretty confident that this line runs true and so continued my research following this trail’s bread crumbs.

As I ventured further and further down the rabbit hole of the Mobley line I eventually ended up in Maryland. It was at this point that I immediately knew I wasn’t going to like what I was going to find. You see once your research takes you certain parts of the country in certain periods of time, slavery is going to rear it’s ugly head, and it did.

There are a few publications and websites dedicated to the Mobley surname to be found out in the world, so I have been able to fill in lots of blanks pretty well regarding the first few generations in America. Some sources are still suspect, which is to be expected. (An unfortunate habit of many early genealogy surname history books is their tendency to spend several chapters talking about the family crest, or how the surname is somehow of ‘upper crust’ descent. All very silly and pretentious, and these Mobley histories are no exception.)

It is believed that the earliest Mobley documented with confidence is John Mobley, jr. who was most likely born in England and emigrated in the latter part of the 1600s to America, settling in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The surname in England was generally known as Moberly or various other iterations.

John was born about 1658, possibly in Cheshire, England. When he was about 30 years old he married Ann Biggers on the 21st of Oct 1686, in Maryland. Together they had five boys. The youngest boy, Thomas, was our ancestor. He was born on 18 Jan 1698  in All Hallow’s Parish, as were all the other children.

John was a planter, and living in Maryland his main crop was tobacco. Not surprisingly his main labor force was slaves and possibly indentured servants, although we have no record of such. Besides, indenture was so 1600s, enslaving Africans was all the rage now.

In the early days of Africans being involuntarily brought to Maryland, they could actually work off their indenture and become free. Apparently this annoyed the rich white folks to no end, so in 1664 an act was passed in the Maryland Assembly that once a slave always a slave, and any child of a slave automatically became a slave when born, and could expect the same treatment. To make matters even more depressing, in 1753 they passed another assinine law, this one forbade owners from manumitting their slaves at all. So even if they wanted to free a slave they couldn’t.

Several years before Thomas died he had made out a deed of gift for his younger children.

deed_moblythos_slavestochildren
The boxes area in the image says “One Negro boy named Ben to my beloved son Levin Mobberly”, Levin is our ancestor, who had William, who had Margaret.

Here is a transcription of the relevant parts of the document:

.”..hereby grant unto my beloved children, Dorcus Mobberly, Levin Mobberly, Mary Mobberly and William Mobberly, at the day of their marriage, or at my death. Viz. one negro girl named Dinah, and her increase to my beloved daughter Dorcus Mobberly, one negro boy named Ben to my beloved son Levin Mobberly. One negro girl named Hagar and her increase to my beloved daughter Mary Mobberly and one negro girl named Jane and her increase to my beloved son William Mobberly. If in case either of the said negroes die before received, I then give the boy Jack to make good the loss if either of these my children die before they receive the said negroes, the whole to be equally divided amongst them remaining and if all die to one, then my son John Mobberly to have half the negroes if more then one living. To have and to hold the said negroes, unto the above children their heirs and assigned to his and her and their own proper use for ever…”

I made a promise to myself that when I did run into the issue of slavery in our family, which I knew I would, there would be no glossing over the issue, and in the best way I know how  I will try to give voice to those persons whom my ancestors owned like cattle. So here I give their names: Dinah, Ben, Hagar, Jane and Jack.

Thomas’s son Levin moved his family to Ohio between 1810 and 1820 at which time they can be found living in Belmont County. One good thing I can say about Levin is that in the 1800 census there is no notation that his family owned slaves, so either he sold them to family or others, or freed them, and whether his lack of slaves in the census is due to economics or personal belief I do not know. I am just glad that at this point on, in our Moberly line, the owning of slaves has ceased.

A note of interest regarding Thomas Mobley/Mobberly, you can see that he left his mark of a pretty capital “T” as his signature on the deed of gift document. This indicates that he was not a formally educated man. He could probably read, but most likely didn’t write.

The family doesn’t appear to have invented any wondrous devices, written any novels, or left any big impact on history. They were tobacco farmers, owned slaves, were born, had children, died. When the country was opening up the next generation started to spread out heading south and west. Where we find Margaret, first in Ohio and then finally settling in West Virginia. It is here that she left her legacy to her four children: Jane, Rebecca, Ebenezer, and Sarah Buchanan.
moblytree

 

Elizabeth George lost sister no more…

This is the second time that land records have helped me finesse my family tree.

Sometime last year as I was transcribing GEORGE family land records into my database, I ran across a very interesting one:

Catharine Booker
Int in 78 acres – Sancho to
William C. Ash

This Indenture made this 23rd day of June in the year 1868 between Catharine Booker of the County of Wetzel in the State of West Virginia of the first part and William C. Ash of the County of Tyler & State aforesaid of the Second part. Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of fifteen dollars the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, the said party of the first part, as an heir at Law of William George deceased in and to a tract of land lying and being in the County of Tyler aforesaid, situated on the waters of Sancho creek and being principally in the occupancy of the said party of the second part and being the same land heretofore charged to the estate of the said William George deceased on the commissioners land books of said county of Tyler as 78 acres the interest of said party of the first part which is intended to be hereby conveyed being the undivided one twenty eight part of said tract of seventy acres which said party of the first part derived as one of the children and heirs of Elizabeth Booker deceased, who was one of the children and heirs of the said William George died, and the Said party of the first part doth hereby covenant that she will warrant generally the property hereby conveyed. Witness the following signature and seal

Catharine [herXmark] Booker [seal] 

So in June of 1868, Catherine Booker, a child/heir of Elizabeth Booker, is selling land she inherited from Elizabeth, deceased, who was a child/heir of William George, deceased.

All of the online trees I have seen in my GEORGE family research have no mention of a daughter Elizabeth. Which tells me that these folks have not done their research properly. And because they hadn’t done their land record research, look what they missed!

So, Catherine is a previously unknown grandchild of William and Margaret George. It is doubtful that when William died he was giving land to nieces and nephews, he had at least 4 children and 4 times as many grandchildren that were around to inherit.

Elizabeth, the child of William and Margaret, appears to have married a man named Booker, (possibly a Henry) and she died sometime before her father, William George. Because of the date of birth of Catherine, which is speculated to be about 1820, from a Wetzel County, 1870 census record (although, admittedly, it is not confirmed that this census record is the correct Catherine; it seems likely as she is the only one living in Wetzel County close to the place and time of the land deed record, dated 1868) the date of birth of Elizabeth has to be 1805 or earlier. As the birth years for the children of William and Margaret are all in the very latter part of the 1700s, Elizabeth’s probable birth estimation would fit the time period.

So far the only record I have of the existence of Elizabeth is this land record. A sad state of affairs for many of my female relatives of old.

 

Source:
Land deed filed in Tyler County, West Virginia,  V2P371 [FHL film 855,954].

More fun with land records…

On my several trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in the last few years, the collections that I seem to spend a lot of time going through are the land records. Most deeds are pretty run of the mill, but sometimes you find a few gems.

I have posted a few examples of great land records from various surname searches in previous posts, and today I thought I would share another one.

This particular deed regards Thomas Stockpole’s estate. When Thomas died in 1886 in Wetzel County, West Virginia he left a wife and at least 13 adult children to divide his property. Because of the nature of metes and bounds, boundary lines are usually all crazy-wonky, this very wonkiness made it necessary, in this case, for the land agents to redraw the property so everyone could have a better idea of the layout, and to better define Lydia’s dower property (property given by law by a deceased husband to his widow, for her lifetime).

What makes this deed particularly interesting for me, is that this is the only one I have found where the property is drawn out. I still don’t know its exact location on a map, but at least I have a better idea of what the property looked like. What is also cool is that the stables and homestead are marked on the deed.

Boundaries drawn out on deed to determine Lydia's dower property location.
Boundaries drawn out on deed to determine Lydia’s dower property location.