Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Elizabeth Bashaba Cook

Elizabeth Bashaba Cook was my third great grandmother on my father's side and Aaron Brown's wife (see Aaron Brown Part 1 and Part 2).  Her age on the 1850 Sumter County Georgia census looks like it says "41" which would make her birth year 1809 and make her about 10 years old when her first child was born (see Aaron Brown, Part 1) [1].  It more likely says "46" which would be more in line with what the 1860 Sumter County Georgia census and the 1870 Covington County Alabama census records indicate--around 1803 [2] [3].  The 1850 and 1860 Sumter County Georgia and 1880 Covington County Alabama census records say she was born in Georgia.  The 1870 Covington County Alabama census record has ditto marks under the "SC" for Aaron as her place of birth.

Several family trees on have Nathaniel Cook and Elizabeth Jordan as Elizabeth's parents, but so far, I haven't found anything to substantiate this.  I wrote a letter last year to the Elbert County Historical Society in Elberton, Georgia, asking for information about Nathaniel Cook and Aaron Brown.  The historical society forwarded my letter to the Elbert County Public Library.  Among the information that the library sent me were copies of a couple of pages from a book titled Grandma Where Are You: Cook/Cooke Cousins of the South by Marie Kellogg Taylor.  On page 461, Nathaniel Cook's wife is listed as Elizabeth, but no maiden name is given.  Their children are Daniel, Joseph, James, John, Jordan, Jethy, Elizabeth, Unity, and Sarah.  Jordan is the only child for whom wives (he had 3) and children are listed.  Was Jordan the maiden name of Nathaniel's wife Elizabeth?  Even if Nathaniel Cook turns out to not be Elizabeth Cook's father, I believe that there is certainly a close tie between the two families.  Aaron Brown and Elizabeth Cook named one of their sons Jordan (see the list of their 15 children in Aaron Brown, Part 1), and as I mentioned in Aaron Brown, Part 2, their second son had the middle name of Nathaniel.

Elizabeth was about 16 years old when she married Aaron Brown on March 21, 1819, in Elbert County Georgia [4].  They were living near Nathaniel Cook in the 1820 Elbert County census, and it appears that they were living in Monroe County by 1830, as was Nathaniel (see Aaron Brown, Part 1).  Jordan Cook, a child of Nathaniel, is listed in the 1840 Monroe County census on the previous page (his name is spelled Jourdan) [5].  Daniel Cook is on the same 1840 Macon County census page as Aaron Brown [6].  Could this be the Daniel Cook noted above as a child of Nathaniel Cook?  Jordan Cook is in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Sumter County census records [7, 8, 9].  This is the same county where Elizabeth and Aaron Brown were living as of the 1850 and 1860 censuses.  By the 1870 census, Elizabeth and Aaron had moved to Covington County Alabama where their oldest son William was living [10].  They may have been in Alabama earlier.  A transcription of the Goodhope Primitive Baptist Church records on an Alabama genealogy website notes that on June 8, 1867, "Bersheba Brown" was received by letter (  This could be our Elizabeth Bashaba Cook Brown.  The location of the church is given as County Highway 63, Section 1, Township 6N, Range 16E.  The township and range are the same as that given in the 1870 Covington County census for Aaron and Elizabeth's location; however, the Section is not recorded.  Below is a Google Earth image of the church and cemetery on County Highway 63 in northeastern Covington County.

Goodhope Primitive Baptist Church and cemetery in Covington County Alabama on County Highway 63 where Elizabeth Bashaba Cook Brown may have been a member at one time (image from Google Earth).

After Aaron died in 1872, Elizabeth and their adult daughter Caroline moved in with son William and his family; they are listed with him in the 1880 Covington County Alabama census [11].  Elizabeth died on July 12, 1886.  I found a listing of the graves in the Goodhope cemetery (, but no Browns are listed.  The website notes that there are 71 unmarked graves.  If Elizabeth was still living with William when she died, perhaps she is buried in a cemetery closer to where William lived.  There are several churches near the land William owned in the middle of Covington County.  The website has a list of several of the cemeteries in Covington County and a list of the people buried in them.  I haven't found Elizabeth or Aaron.  There are several Brown family members listed as buried in the Salem Baptist Church cemetery.

I thought I might see if I could get a copy of a death record for Elizabeth and/or Aaron.  According to the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) website ( death (and birth) certificates were not required by Alabama law until 1908.  Before that time, some vital records were kept at the county level beginning around 1880, although some record keeping began before and after 1880.  On their Local Government Records Microfilm database you can look up a given county to see what records are available.  This is for ordering entire microfilm rolls (which I don't want).  They do have some Covington County wills from 1882 to 1895.  (They have land records, too.)  Also on the database page is a link to a map that shows where and when courthouse fires have occurred across the state, thus the chance that all of the vital records for a given county up until the fire have been destroyed.  Well, the courthouse in Covington County burned in 1895, but apparently there are some records for Covington per the ADAH website.

I'd like to find a birth record for Elizabeth, and I'd like to find death records for both Elizabeth and Aaron and find out where they're buried.  I'd also like to know what drew them from Elbert, to Monroe, to Macon, and to Sumter counties in Georgia.  I presume they moved to Covington County Alabama because their son William was already there.  I have more digging to do where Elizabeth and Aaron are concerned. I'm not done with their story.


[1] Year: 1850; Census Place: District 17, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: M432_82; Page: 175A; Image: 356.
[2] Year: 1860; Census Place: District 17, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: M653_136; Page: 475; Image: 486; Family History Library Film: 803136.
[3] Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 6 Range 16, Covington, Alabama; Roll: M593_11; Page: 484A; Image: 392; Family History Library Film: 545510.
[4] Georgia Marriages, 1699-1944 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
[5]  Year: 1840; Census Place: District 634, Monroe, Georgia; Roll: 47; Page: 157; Image: 903; Family History Library Film: 0007045.
[6]  Year: 1840; Census Place:  , Macon, Georgia; Roll: 46; Page: 15; Image: 613; Family History Library Film: 0007045.
[7]  Year: 1850; Census Place: District 26, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: M432_82; Page: 145A; Image: 296. [8]  Year: 1860; Census Place: Districts 26 and 27, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: M653_136; Page: 509; Image: 520; Family History Library Film: 803136.
[9]  Year: 1870; Census Place: Militia District 884, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: M593_174; Page: 327B; Image: 659; Family History Library Film: 545673.
[10]  See footnote 3 above.
[11]  Year: 1880; Census Place: Fairfield, Newberrys, Harts and Red Level, Covington, Alabama; Roll: 9; Family History Film: 1254009; Page: 302D; Enumeration District: 52; Image: 0611.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Aaron Brown, Part 2

In Aaron Brown, Part 1, I wrote about my research into my third great grandfather on my father's side, Aaron Brown.  In that post, I noted that two census records (1850 and 1860 Sumter County Georgia) say he was born in North Carolina, while one record (1870 Covington County Alabama) says South Carolina.  (I'm leaning toward North Carolina, but I could be wrong.)  I want to know where Aaron came from, who his parents were, and whether or not he had any siblings (or any relatives for that matter).  So far I haven't found the answer to my questions.  I also wonder if he has a connection to Nathaniel Cook, i.e., is Aaron's wife Elizabeth Nathaniel's daughter?  Is that why both families ended up in Monroe County by 1830?  Is that even "our" Aaron Brown in that census.

Having read somewhere (I forget where) that families tended to move together (or move to places where they had relatives), I browsed the 1820 Elbert County census on and made a list of all of the Browns.  I felt that maybe at least one of them is related to Aaron, and they may have come to Elbert County together from North Carolina, or maybe Aaron or his family knew someone already living there (could even have been someone who wasn't a Brown).  There are 13 heads of household with the last name of Brown (not counting Aaron).  However, Aaron is the only Brown in Captain Oliver's District in Elbert County.  He could be living in that district because that's where his wife Elizabeth Cook's family is living.  There are several Cooks on the same census page as Aaron.

I read somewhere that the Genealogy Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files was a good place to look for information on veterans of that war [1].  These abstracts list birth and death dates, parents, spouses, children, and sometimes other relatives of the pensioners as well as places where the pensioners lived.  I thought it was possible that Aaron's father may have served in the war and had later moved his family to Elbert County from North Carolina.  There are over 30 pension abstracts for soldiers with the last name of Brown spread over 36 pages (in small typeface that hurt my old eyes to read), so I concentrated only on the Browns who enlisted in North Carolina.  I actually found an Aaron Brown, but none of his children were named Aaron (recall from Part 1 that the 1840 Macon County census listed Aaron as "Jr.").  I found a Benjamin Brown who enlisted in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and had moved to Elbert County after the war, but I haven't been able to tie him into our Aaron.  I plan to go back to the library one of these days and look for Browns from South Carolina in the abstracts just in case.

The Georgia census records for 1790 (when the Federal census first began) to 1810 no longer exist [2].  On top of that, there are no 1790 records for Elbert County, because it wasn't formed from neighboring Wilkes County until after the census was taken that year [3].  I looked through the Reconstructed 1790 Census of Georgia on which does have a section for Elbert County; the people listed are actually those living in Wilkes County before Elbert was formed [4].  I jotted down all of the Browns for future reference.  I searched the Georgia Tax Index 1789-1799 on, but nothing for Elbert County came up [5].  I did make a note of any Browns in Wilkes County, though.  I didn't see any reconstructed census records or tax records for Georgia for 1800-1810 or anything else up to the 1820 Elbert County census.  It's also possible that Aaron and his parents lived in a different county, maybe a neighboring one, until he married in 1819 and moved to Elbert County. That might be unlikely; how else would he have met Elizabeth if they weren't close neighbors already?

One set of records that I haven't looked through are the Georgia land lotteries (except for finding Aaron in the 1827 lottery.  See Part 1.).  Aaron and his parents may have ended up in Georgia as a result of the first (1805) or second (1807) land lotteries (which were for land in other counties) and then eventually made their way to Elbert County.  Another land lottery wasn't held until 1820 (for information on Georgia land lotteries see

I've looked at naming patterns.  Is Aaron and Elizabeth's first son William named after Aaron's father or a brother?  His second son has the middle name of Nathaniel, the name of Elizabeth's probable father Nathaniel Cook.  Their first daughter was named Elizabeth, maybe after Aaron's wife Elizabeth or Elizabeth's probable mother who is also named Elizabeth (wife of Nathaniel).  Aaron didn't name a son after himself until later (see the list of his children in Part 1).  Their son William could simply be named after someone who was famous back then.  For example, they named one of their sons Thomas Jefferson.  There are three William Browns in the 1820 Elbert County census:  in the Talom District, Terrill District, and Whites District. However, none of them are old enough to be Aaron's maybe (all are in the age range 16-26).  The William Brown in the Talom District is "William U. Brown."  I found him on a family tree on  It says he was born in North Carolina in 1801.  No sibling named Aaron is listed on the tree, but that doesn't necessarily mean there wasn't one.  Sometimes people (myself included) just follow their direct line in their family tree; however, I've learned that it helps to add the siblings.

One more thing before I close.  One of my first cousins with whom I've worked quite a bit researching our mutual ancestors was told by another family researcher that Aaron's son William was 3/4 Cherokee.  Well, that started a whole other direction of research (or rather, a new obsession for me).  I emailed this person, but I have to say, the response I received was rather confusing to me and he/she didn't respond to my further questions for a reference as to where this information was found.  Maybe he/she got distracted and busy.  That happens to me, too.  I'll write about this research later.  Does this mean that Aaron was Cherokee or had Cherokee ancestry?  Or his wife Elizabeth?  So far I haven't found anything to substantiate this.  I've asked several family researchers of other branches of this Brown tree if they have ever heard this.  All except one have said yes, but no one had any record of it.  Rats!


[1]  Genealogy Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files. Vol. I.  Abstracted by Virgil D. White. (The National Historical Publishing Company, Waynesboro, Tennessee, 1990).
[2]  Marie de Lamar and Elizabeth Rothstein, compilers.  Reconstructed 1790 Census of Georgia: Substitutes for Georgia's Lost 1790 Census. (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore 1989).  Digital copy available on
[3]  See footnote 2 above.
[4]  See footnote 2 above.
[5]  Jeffery, Alice. Georgia Tax Index, 1789-1799 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1998.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aaron Brown, Part 1

Aaron Brown was my third great grandfather on my father's side.   (I mentioned him in a previous post, Common Names in My Family.)  Here's the lineage:

Aaron Brown (b.1800-1803, d.1872)
William Jackson Brown (b. 1818 or 1819, d. 1890)
(son of Aaron)
Henry Washington Brown (b. 1863, d. 1933)
(son of William)
Helen Larue (Brown) Thomas Pendleton (b. 1896, d. 1972)
(daughter of Henry)
Albert Sidney Pendleton, Jr. (b. 1925, d. 2006)
(son of Helen)
Catherine Leona Pendleton (me)
(daughter of Albert)

Aaron was born in the early 1800s.  The 1850, 1860, and 1870 census records indicate he was born around 1801, 1802, or 1803.  The 1850 and 1860 Sumter County, Georgia, census records note that he was born in North Carolina [1] [ 2].  The 1870 census says South Carolina [3].  Aaron married Elizabeth Bashaba Cook, in Elbert County, Georgia, on March 21, 1819 [4].  She may be the daughter of Nathaniel Cook of Elbert County; at least that's what the family trees say that I've found.   I haven't yet found any records that attest to this.  (I'll write about Elizabeth in a separate post.)  Aaron and Elizabeth's first child was my second great grandfather William Jackson Brown.  So far, I don't know who Aaron's parents were or where he came from in North Carolina (or South Carolina).  How did he end up in Elbert County?  He seems to just suddenly appear.

Aaron is listed in the 1820 Elbert County census, and his possible father-in-law Nathaniel Cook is listed 1 row down (there's a Mary Cook between them; see image below) [5].  In 1827, Aaron is still in Elbert County.  He drew land that year in the 1827 Georgia land lottery.  The land was located in Bells District in Troup County; his residence is listed as Elbert County [6].

A portion of the 1820 Elbert County Georgia census.  Aaron Brown is marked in red.  Nathaniel Cook is listed one row down from Aaron.  There are other Cook family members on this page.  I'll discuss them in a later post (click on the image to enlarge; from

By the 1830 census, I believe that he has moved with his family to Monroe County, Georgia; his name is spelled "Aron" in this census (see image below) [7].  (For folks that don't know, only the heads of household were listed in the U. S. census until the 1850 census, and the number of males and females were noted in age ranges.  Beginning with the 1850 census, all members of a household were listed separately by name, age, etc.)  Aaron's possible father-in-law Nathaniel Cook has moved to Monroe County as well [8].  The Brown and Cook families may have moved to Monroe County together, or it could just be a coincidence that there is an "Aron" Brown in the same county as Nathaniel Cook.  The age ranges of the children for "Aron" Brown in the census don't exactly match the ages of the children born before 1830 and still living at the time, but they're close (see the list of children below).

A portion of the 1830 Monroe County Georgia census showing "Aron Brown" marked in red (from  Nathaniel Cook is listed three pages earlier (on page 204) of this census.

By 1840, it appears that Aaron and his family have moved to Macon County, Georgia [9].  The age ranges of the children in this census are a closer match to the ages of the children born before 1840 and still living at the time of the census (see list of children below).  Interestingly, if this is "our" Aaron, he is listed as "Aron" Brown, Jr., in this census (see image below). 

A portion of the 1840 Macon County Georgia census.  Aaron Brown's name (marked in red) is listed as Aron Brown, Jr.  (click on the image to enlarge; from

As I noted above, in the 1850 and 1860 census records, the Browns are in Sumter County, Georgia [10].  (Their oldest child William has married by this time and is listed as a separate household in Sumter County in 1850.)  In 1850, Aaron's occupation is listed as "farmer."  In 1860, he is listed as a "farm laborer," with real estate valued at $1,000 and personal property of $263.  The Browns (including son William and his family) have moved to Covington County, Alabama, by the 1870 census [11].  Aaron's occupation is listed a "miller," and the only property value listed is personal property of $150.  Quite a change in property value from the 1860 census.  Aaron died in Covington County, Alabama, on September 15, 1872.
Here are the 15 children of Aaron and Elizabeth Brown.  I have not been able to verify all of the dates below thus far. 

William Jackson Brown (1818 or 1819-1890) (my second great grandfather)
Elizabeth H. Brown (1820-1826)
Jesse Nathaniel Brown (1822-1827)
Patsy Adleline Brown (1825-?)
Sarah Ann Susan Brown (1827-1858)
Mary Ann Brown (1828-1871)
Caroline E. P. Brown (1831-1899)
Thomas Jefferson Brown (1832-?)
James A. M. Brown (1834-?)
Jordan Davis Brown (1836-1908)
Bashaba Antinet Brown (1838-1910)
Aaron Pearson Brown (1841-1921)
John D. C. V. Brown (1842-1853)
Amanda M. Brown (1845-1921)
Alexander Taylor Brown (1848-1927)

Below is an 1863 map that I've labeled (and cropped some) to show the migration of the Browns through Georgia and over to Alabama. 

This is an 1863 Georgia-Alabama map that I've labeled with the counties and census years to show the migration of the Browns through Georgia and over to Alabama where they finally settled (click on map to enlarge; A. J. Johnson's map of Georgia and Alabama from

I think I'll stop here before this post gets too much longer!  In Aaron Brown, Part 2, I'll go over some more of the research that I've done.

[1] Year: 1850; Census Place: District 17, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: M432_82; Page: 175A; Image: 356.
[2] Year: 1860; Census Place: District 17, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: M653_136; Page: 475; Image: 486; Family History Library Film: 803136.
[3] Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 6 Range 16, Covington, Alabama; Roll: M593_11; Page: 484A; Image: 392; Family History Library Film: 545510.
[4] Georgia Marriages, 1699-1944 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
[5] 1820 U S Census: Capt Olivers District, Elbert, Georgia, Page: 192; NARA Roll: M33_8; Image: 137.
[6] Martha Lou Houston.  Reprint of the Official Register of the Land Lottery of Georgia 1827. Easeley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1986.
[7]  1830 U S Census:  Monroe, Georgia, Page: 207; NARA Roll: M19-19; Family History Film: 0007039.
[8] 1830 U S Census:  Monroe, Georgia, Page: 204; NARA Roll: M19-19; Family History Film: 0007039.
[9] Year: 1840; Census Place:  Macon, Georgia; Roll: 46; Page: 15; Image: 613; Family History Library Film: 0007045.
[10]  See footnotes 1 and 2 above.
[11]  See footnote 3 above.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Pendleton Family Curse

I mentioned in a previous post about my father telling me once that writing was referred to as the Pendleton family curse.  It was called the curse because no one in the family ever made much money writing, yet they were compelled to write.  I used to write episodes for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. back in the 1960s.  No, not really, but in junior high school, a couple of friends and I so loved that show that we each wrote up some of our own episodes and would exchange them with each other.  I loved writing those!  I had a crush on David McCallum.  Oh, back to the family curse...

My second great uncle Louis Beauregard Pendleton (one of my great grandfather Alexander Shaw Pendleton's younger brothers) was a late nineteenth-early twentieth century novelist.  The Who's Who in the World, 1910-1911 says he was a journalist, too[1].  His father was a newspaper editor and several of his brothers were journalists and/or newspaper editors (the curse was rampant in this family).

Louis Beauregard Pendleton

My father always referred to him as "Uncle Louis," so that's what I call him, too. Uncle Louis was born April 21, 1861, in Waycross (formerly Tebeauville), Ware County, Georgia.  He was one of ten children of Philip Coleman and Catherine Sarah Melissa (Tebeau) Pendleton and one of eight boys.  The family moved to a farm just outside of Valdosta in Lowndes County Georgia some time during the Civil War when Louis was a boy[2].  His given name is actually spelled Lewis, but he changed it to Louis; he was named after his mother's brother Lewis Tebeau.

In 1867, Louis's father started the newspaper in Valdosta, Georgia, then called The South Georgia Times (now The Valdosta Daily Times)[3]After his father Philip's untimely death in 1869,

 [S]ons Philip Pendleton, Jr., and W. F. Pendleton published the newspaper.  Philip, Jr. died in 1870, and W. F. and the youngest brother, [Nathaniel] Dandridge, moved to Pennsylvania where they ultimately became the first and second Bishops of the Swedenborgian Church in America.  Charles and Louis Pendleton, the last a writer of some note, published the paper as a bi-weekly, changing the name to The Valdosta Times.  In 1896, Charles and Louis moved to Macon after Charles purchased the majority interest in the Macon Telegraph[4].
The 1900 Vineville (Macon), Bibb County, Georgia, census shows Louis is living with his brother Charles and his family[5].  The census says he was employed as an editor.  By 1910, he is living in Moreland, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and his employment is listed as journalist[6].  His sisters Emily and Mary Zella and niece Philola (Charles's daughter) are living with him.  By 1930, he is living in Bryn Athyn, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the city where his brothers William Frederick and Nathaniel Dandridge Pendleton lived, and he was still working as a journalist[7].  Uncle Louis never married, and as far as I know, had no children.  He died in 1939 in Pennsylvania.

My father had been collecting Uncle Louis's books for years, and when he passed away, they came to me.  He actually put it in his will.  He knew I would want them.  I hate to admit that I don't know how many novels Uncle Louis wrote; I don't even know how many I own.  Most of them are still in Valdosta.  The ones I've read are the ones I have with me in Alaska:  Corona of the Nantahalas (1895), In the Okefenokee (1895), A Forest Drama (1904), and Echo of Drums (1938) When I go home to visit, I try to bring one of his novels back with me to read.

In the Okefenokee by Louis Pendleton was published in 1895. 

The first book of Uncle Louis's that I read was Echo of Drums.  As soon as my father told me that it was a "thinly veiled" novel about the Pendleton family, I just HAD to read it!  I wish I knew how much of the novel is true. The back flap of the book cover says, "Louis Beauregard Pendleton was born in Tebaudville [sic], Georgia, and much of the material in this book was still the subject of animated conversation among his elders when he was a boy"[8].

Several years ago, my father was looking for one of Uncle Louis's books that he didn't have and had asked me to help him by searching the internet.  I came across a published letter to Uncle Louis from Samuel L. Clemens (aka Mark Twain)!!  I failed to note the website where I found it at the time, but now the book can be downloaded for free from Google Books.  My father was very surprised when I told him about the letter.  He had never heard that Uncle Louis had sent a story to Mark Twain, much less had received a reply.  He wondered if anyone else in the family knew about this, and he dashed off to the library to look up this book himself.  The letter is in Mark Twain's Letters, Vol. II, page 497, and it is dated August 4, 1888, from Elmira, New York[9].  Below is an excerpt from Twain's letter,
As a rule, people don't send me books which I can thank them for, and so I say nothing--which looks uncourteous.  But I thank you.  Ariadne is a beautiful and satisfying story; and true, too--which is the best part of a story; or indeed or any other thing.  Even liars have to admit that, if they are intelligent liars...a man's private thought can never be a lie; what he thinks, is to him the truth, always; what he speaks--but these be platitudes.
If you want me to pick some flaws--very well--but I do it unwillingly.
Twain goes on in his letter to give Uncle Louis some advice about his story with his usual wit and then closes with, "I thank you again, Yours truly, S. L. Clemens" [10].

Uncle Louis was made an honorary member of the Societe Academique d'Histoire Internationale of Paris for his biography on Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens[11].  A 1908 article in The Valdosta Times quotes praise for the book from several sources[12].  I don't recall seeing this book in my collection; it's available for free on Google Books, so I downloaded it today.  Even though I've curtailed my book-buying for the most part, I think I'd rather have a hard copy of this book.  Several of Uncle Louis's books can still be purchased from used book sellers online.  The next time I visit Valdosta, I'll have to take inventory and see which books I'm missing!


[1]  Barghouti, Kim, comp. Who's Who in the World, 1910-1911 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.  Accessed on
[2] Constance Pendleton, ed., Confederate Memoirs: Early Life and Family History, William Frederick Pendleton and Mary Lawson Young Pendleton. (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania,1958).
[3] Albert Pendleton, The Times.
[4] See footnote 3 above.
[5]  Year: 1900; Census Place: Vineville, Bibb, Georgia; Roll: T623_180; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 19.
[6]  Year: 1910; Census Place: Moreland, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1378; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0107; Image: 579; FHL Number: 1375391.
[7]  Year: 1930; Census Place: Bryn Athyn, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2080; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 19; Image: 1117.0.
[8]  Louis Beauregard Pendleton.  Echo of Drums (Sovereign House, New York, 1938).
[9]  Mark Twain's Letters, Arranged with comment by Albert Bigelow Paine. (Harper Brothers Publishers, New York, 1917).
[10]  See footnote 9 above.
[11]  See footnote 8 above.
[12]  "The Life of Alex Stephens, Some Things the Papers Say of Louis Pendleton's Book."  (The Valdosta Times, 12 December 1908:3), accessed on South Georgia Historic Newspapers,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

South Georgia Newspaper Digital Archives

Just saw over on DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog the announcement that the South Georgia Newspaper Archive (a project of the the Digital Library of Georgia) has made available historic newspapers from Albany, Americus, Sumter, Thomasville, and Valdosta.  What fun!  I typed in my last name, chose Valdosta, and got over 200 hits.  The first page was a 1908 article about a book that my second great uncle Louis Pendleton wrote (I'm working on a blog post about him).  The second page had a 1911 ad for my great grandfather Alexander S. Pendleton's wholesale grocery business.  The third was about a party that my grandfather Albert Pendleton had given in 1909.  That's as far as I've gotten.  Wanted to stop and post this.

From the South Georgia Newspaper Archive website:
 The South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive spans the years 1845-1922 and includes the following titles:
Albany News, 1870-1883
Albany Patriot, 1845-1866
Americus Times Recorder, 1881-1921
Sumter Republican (Americus), 1870-1885
Thomasville Times Enterprise, 1873-1922
Valdosta Times, 1908-1912
For more information and to start searching, click here to go to the South Georgia Newspaper Archive.

Now, back to The Valdosta Times!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Search for Nobu Ina, Part 4

For previous posts about the search for Nobu Ina see:

The Search for Nobu Ina, Part 1
The Search for Nobu Ina, Part 2
The Search for Nobu Ina, Part 3

In Part 1 of the search for Nobu Ina, I wrote what we know about Nobu through her letters to my Grandfather William (Will) Liming Redles.  Part 2 was about my own research into her whereabouts in the U. S.  I learned from her alien registration form that her married name was Hatano.  In Part 3, I discussed finding her husband, Hisatane Hatano, and what I was able to find out about him.  I was hoping he would lead to more information about her, but he didn't.  Not in what I've found so far.  Below is the location on Google Earth and a Google Street View of where Nobu and her husband were living according to her alien registration form and his World War II draft registration (see Part 3).  I meant to put this in Part 3, so I thought I would show it here.

The yellow push pin marks the location of 328 E 61st Street where Nobu and Hisatane Hatano were living at least in the early 1940s (from Google Earth).
Google Street View of 328 E 61st St. in New York City (the building with the white street level facade).

Another avenue that I went down was researching the Sterling Pile family, the family for whom Nobu worked according to the 1930 New York census (see Part 2).  If you'll recall from Part 1, Nobu wrote to Will in 1925 while she was living in Los Angeles, asking him to find her a place to work in the east so that she could improve her English.  She writes, "Could you not find a suitable home work [sic] for me from about next year or so in the East" (emphasis in original).  Did Will know Sterling Pile or his family; did they have mutual friends?

I haven't found any letters from Nobu that mention going to New York. I also haven't come across the Pile name in any of Will's correspondence that I've had the chance to read.  I wondered if Sterling Pile could have been in Japan at the same time as Will and could have met him there.  Will was friends with an American businessman, Thomas M. Laffin, who was living in Japan.   Maybe Sterling had dealings with Thomas Laffin and that's how he came in contact with Will and Nobu.  I found a passenger record for Sterling returning to the U. S. from Hong Kong in 1914, and there are several other passenger records for him on but none to and from Japan.  One thing that might be purely a coincidence is that in one of my father's stories about Miki Koto (i.e., Nobu Ina; see Part 1), he uses the name "Colonel Sterling" for Will.  Had he seen this name in Will's correspondence and chosen it for his story?

I looked at several records online pertaining to Sterling Pile.  I found him in the 1910 and 1920 censuses, found his World War I and World War II draft records, and family trees on  Before I obtained a copy of Nobu's Alien Registration form, I recorded every address after 1930 that I saw for Sterling Pile, preparing myself for the release of the 1940 census (in 2012) in case Nobu was still with the Piles in 1940.  I looked at the names of his neighbors listed in the 1930 census to see if any were familiar.  Basically, I looked at anything that I could get my hands on to look for clues.  I even tried looking up his two older children who were 14 and 11 in 1930 when Nobu was living with them.  I thought they were old enough at the time for her to have perhaps made an impression and therefore might remember her, but they have passed away.

I found the 1930 Sterling Pile residence labeled on a 1931 Sanborn Fire Insurance map that I obtained through a colleague of mine.  Then, out of curiosity, I looked up the location in Google Earth (see image below).  (You'll notice the time slider at the top left of the Google Earth image.  You can choose a time period for a different/better view.  I chose 2007 when there doesn't seem to be so much foliage in the way as there is in the most current [2010] view.) There are (surprise, surprise) no Google Street Views of this area.  I spent some time comparing the property in the Nassau County property records with the 1931 Sanborn map.  (The house faces Tower Road which intersects with Red Spring Lane to the west.)  I'm fairly certain that I have the correct house marked below; the 1931 Sanborn map shows a house to the west of the Pile residence, but there is no house there now--just an empty lot.

Probable location of Sterling Pile residence on Long Island as labeled on 1931 Sanborn map (image from Google Earth).  His address is noted as Red Spring Lane in the 1930 Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York census.  See Part 2 for census image.

I searched for Thomas Laffin, too, just grasping at straws.  In some of the letters I've read, Thomas seems to be Will's confidante.  A message board entry on says Thomas died in Japan in 1931 (go to bottom of that page for the English translation).  I have wondered about making contact with a descendent of any of the people who were close to Will and who might have any information about him and his dealings in Japan in their family papers, but I haven't yet come across anyone with whom to correspond. 

In Part 2, I noted that my Aunt Catherine told me that in the late 1960s she found out that Nobu might be involved with the Methodist Church in New York City.  In a Google search, I came across the Japanese American United Church  in New York.  On their History page is a photograph of the congregation labeled "Japanese Methodist Church/Easter 1938" (click the church name above to go to their website to see this photo).  I wonder if Nobu is in that photograph.  I've thought about writing to the church, but I don't know what I hope to find out.  They wouldn't be able to tell me whether or not she was Will's daughter, but maybe they have a record of their congregation from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s and can help me add another piece to her story.

Once I found out Nobu's married name, I searched the Social Security Death Records again but found nothing.  However, if she didn't work outside the home (her alien registration form said she was a housewife), she might not have ever applied for a Social Security number, so there would be no death record.  I haven't yet found an obituary for her either.  In 2009, I posted on the message board for Aichi, Japan, where Nobu is from, but I've received no replies.

This will be the last part of the series of the Search for Nobu Ina for now.  This has been a good exercise for me; writing it all out has helped me "get my ducks in a row."  I don't want to give the impression that I think all genealogical research can be done online.  A lot of it can be found online through genealogical websites like and (and others, but these are the two that I use), historical society websites, or national and state digital archives, and many more.  For someone like me, living so far away from all of the places where the people that I research lived, these types of websites have helped get me started, and in some cases, I've had to look no further.  There are millions of historical and genealogical records online, but there are millions more that aren't, I'm sure.  Sometimes you need to do some "old fashioned" footwork and go to these places and visit the libraries, archives, courthouses, etc.  I've told my youngest sister that we should plan a research trip to New York to continue our search for Nobu...if only money grew on trees.