Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday—Susan Dasher Parramore (Update)

Susan Parramore1
My paternal great grandmother Susan Dasher Parramore (1861-1938), wife of Alexander Shaw Pendleton

Well, not a completely wordless Wednesday…I thought I should probably add a caption so folks wouldn’t wonder who she is.

*Update: I added the extra “r” in Parramore (correction from a family member).


I've had to turn off comments on this post because of all the spam--22 spam comments in one day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Historical County Boundaries (Update)

For Saturday night’s genealogy fun (i.e., fun learning experience), Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings proposed visiting Randy Majors’ Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps page ( and looking up a place of interest to see how the jurisdiction of that place changed over time.  I chose the city of Valdosta in Lowndes County, Georgia, since that’s where some of my ancestors (Pendleton and Roberts families, and others) ended up, and it’s where I grew up and lived most of my life.  I know that Valdosta has always been part of Lowndes County,* but I wanted to at least see how the boundaries of Lowndes changed over time as some of my research takes me to what are now the neighboring counties that were formed from Lowndes County.  Not all of the boundary changes for Lowndes County are noted on the website, so I filled in some of the information from the History of Lowndes County, Georgia 1825-1941 [1].  The southern boundary of Lowndes County has always been the Georgia-Florida border.  The maps below are from

*Update:  I forgot to note that Valdosta wasn’t established until several decades after Lowndes County was created.  Valdosta was incorporated in 1860 (

1790: This was a non-county area.
1810: This was a non-county area.
1818:  Irwin County created from the non-county area on December 15.


Irwin County in 1820

1825:  Lowndes County was created from Irwin County on December 23 [2].
1826: Lowndes County lost some area to Thomas County (to the west) on December.


1830 Lowndes County boundaries.

1850: Lowndes County lost some area to Clinch County (to the east) on February 14 [3].
1856: Lowndes County lost some area to Berrien County (to the north) and Colquitt County (to the east) on February 25 [4].
1858: Lowndes County lost some area to Brooks County (to the west) on December 11 and to Echols County (to the southeast) on December 13 [5].
1859: Lowndes County gained some area from Brooks County on November 11.


Lowndes County in 1860.

1866:  Lowndes County gained some area from Echols County on December 21.
1877:  Lowndes County gained more area from Echols County on February 19. 
1920:  Lowndes County lost some area to Lanier County (to the northeast) on November 2.


Lowndes County in 1930.

1952:  Lowndes County lost some area to Echols County on December 31.


Lowndes County in 1990.  Looks pretty much the same as the 1930 map, so I don’t know what was lost to Echols County in 1952.  Maybe just a smidge of land.

The purpose of this exercise is to remind us to make sure we are researching in the correct counties for a given time period.  Boundaries change.  A place that is part of one county could end up being under the jurisdiction of an entirely different county as new counties are formed.  This is something worth remembering!  The maps on Randy Majors’ website were very helpful.  Nothing like visuals to drive the point home, and I’m a visual type…I need to see pictures/maps/graphics.  These maps will help with places that I’m less familiar with.  Thanks to Randy Seaver for the fun learning exercise and to Randy Majors for the maps!

[1] History of Lowndes County, Georgia 1825-1941 (General James Jackson Chapter, D.A.R., Valdosta, Georgia, reprinted 1995).
[2] See footnote 1 above.
[3] See footnote 1 above.
[4] See footnote 1 above.
[5] See footnote 1 above.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shall I Pour You A Cup Of Rye?

March 18, 1862 - Page 2 cropped
Whenever I see a historic newspaper archive website, I type in the name Pendleton for the heck of it since it’s not a very common name.  On the website American Civil War Newspapers, compiled by the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, I found the letter shown over on the left.  (It appears that the only newspaper thus far on this website is the Macon Daily Telegraph.)  The letter was written by Edmund Munroe Pendleton, my 3rd great uncle (brother to Philip Coleman Pendleton), to the editor of the Chronicle & Sentinel (maybe the Augusta Daily Chronicle & Sentinel?) about rye coffee.  It was reprinted in the March 18, 1862, Macon Daily Telegraph  There was a debate going in the newspapers about whether or not drinking rye coffee was good for you or bad for you.  Uncle Edmund was perturbed about some things that a Dr. Roberts had said about the dangers of drinking rye coffee, and he wanted to set the record straight.  Below is a transcription of Uncle Edmund’s letter.
Rye Coffee
To the Editor of the Chronicle & Sentinel:
An extract in your daily of Tuesday, signed L. J. Roberts, M. D., taken from the LaGrange Reporter, contains two such grave errors, that we cannot refrain from correcting them, particularly as many persons who use rye as a substitute for coffee, might be frightened out of an innocent beverage.
50196_rye_grass_smThe extract says:  “The grain when burnt, contains fifty per cent of phosphoric acid.”  Now, unscientific people would suppose this to mean when parched.  We suppose the Doctor intended the ash of the grain.  What is the true analysis of rye according to the best authorities?  1,000 pounds produces only 10-1/2 pounds of ash; and of this 10-1/2 pounds only 0.46 of a pound is phosphoric acid; not quite half a pound to 1000 pounds of the grain, and not quite 5 per cent of the ash instead of upwards of 50 per cent; being not quite the one-fifth of one per cent of the solid grain.  Besides, the Dr. forgets that not one particle of the earthy salts is probably held in solution by a common weak decoction of the rye; and if the whole grain was swallowed there would only be the medium amount of phosphoric acid contained in wheat and other cereals, must about enough to make bone instead of destroying it.
The effects of rye or the phosphoric acid in it, on utero-gestation, is equally fallacious, and quite as grave an error.  It is the ergot of rye that produces abortion, not the common, healthy grain used for coffee.  It is a long, black, stinking grain, easily distinguished from the other, and only occurring under unfavorable circumstances.  The common rye is quite as innocent as wheat or coffee in this respect.
Will the papers (we have seen it in several) which published the extract, give this an insertion?
E. M. Pendleton, M. D.
Sparta, Ga., March 12th, 1862.
ChicoryNow, this got me wondering…people really drank that stuff?  Apparently, yes.  It was used as a coffee substitute during the Civil War, and so were corn, sweet potatoes, cotton and okra seeds, peas, and beans.  Folks tried a lot of things including chicory[1].  A friend introduced me to chicory a few years ago.  I drank half coffee and half chicory for a while when I was trying to cut back on caffeine.  It’s quite tasty.  It seems to give coffee sort of a richer flavor.  I’ve also had just chicory.  Not bad.  At the time, I was thinking of buying chicory by the case from the company in Louisiana who sold the brand that I was buying, because it isn’t easy to find here.  I never did, though, and I went back to straight coffee and caffeine jolt.  I can thank my lucky stars that I haven’t had to live through a coffee shortage!


*Rye clipart is from
Chicory plant clipart is from
[1]  Confederate Coffee Substitutes, Articles from Civil War Newspapers.  Electronic document,, accessed November 18, 2011.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Slaves of Philip Coleman Pendleton (Update)

When I was researching census records for my 2nd great grandfather Philip Coleman Pendleton on a while ago, I came across an 1860 Ware County Georgia Slave Schedule with his name on it [1].  After his name, it says "as employee for."  I’m not sure what that means.  At first I thought it meant that Philip was an employee of the woman whose name is listed a few rows below his, but it didn't really make sense to list him as the owner if he wasn't.  Plus, since he had his own farm in Ware County, I didn’t think he’d be working on someone else’s farm, too.  Does this mean the people listed as his slaves were owned by someone else but worked for Philip?  It seems I read somewhere that sometimes slaves were hired out by their owners, but if these people in the 1860 slave schedule were owned by someone else, wouldn't they be included with that owner?

Below is a portion of the 1860 Ware County Georgia Slave Schedule.  There are three people listed as slaves for Philip Pendleton: one 50 year old female, one 25 year old female, one 6 or 8 year old male (the age isn't very legible).  There is one slave house.

1860 slave schedule cropped labeled

The other day, I was reading through Confederate Memoirs looking for information for one of my blog posts.  On page 18, my second great uncle William Frederick Pendleton (Philip's son) says that when he was a baby (he was born in 1845), the Pendletons moved from Savannah to a farm in Effingham County Georgia that was owned by his maternal grandfather Frederick Edmund Tebeau (my third great grandfather); they lived there until 1851 when they moved to Hancock County Georgia [2].  (Hancock County was where Philip’s younger brother Edmund Pendleton had a plantation.) 

While on the Tebeau farm in Effingham County, Philip was employed as a teacher for the neighborhood children.  William mentions that they had one slave named Violet who had been given to his mother (Catherine Sarah Melissa Tebeau) by her uncle Alexander Shaw.  William says that Violet stayed with the Pendleton family "the rest of her life, even after she was emancipated" [3].  He doesn’t say when Violet was given to his mother, and he doesn't give any clues about her. I didn't find a slave schedule for Philip in 1850, so that makes me wonder if Violet was given to Catherine after 1850, maybe when they moved in 1851. If she is the 25-year-old female in the 1860 slave schedule, then she was probably very young in 1851, about 15 or 16.* I looked up the 1850 Chatham County Georgia slave schedule for Alexander Shaw [4]. There are two 16-year-old females on the 1850 schedule who would be about the right age to be one of the females listed in the 1860 schedule.

*Update:  I got a little ahead of myself here.  Please see paragraph below about “old Aunt Lizzie.” This is why I thought Violet might be the 25-year-old in the 1860 schedule.

1850 Slave Schedule cropped
1850 Slave Schedule2 cropped

On page 52, William describes coming home to Lowndes County Georgia on furlough in 1864 during the Civil War and was greeted in the yard by "old 'Aunt' Lizzie."  In Echo of Drums, Uncle Louis notes that it was a Southern custom for children to address older servants with the "handle" of Aunt or Uncle [5].  So, we have names of at least two people who were their slaves, Violet and Lizzie.  I haven't come across a name for the young boy that is listed in the 1860 slave schedule.  Since William referred to Lizzie as "old," I wonder if she's the 50 year old female in the 1860 slave schedule.  She would have been about 54 in 1864 when William was on furlough!  I guess that would be considered old to a young man; he was about 19. 
Constance Pendleton, the editor of Confederate Memoirs and the daughter of William, notes on page 84 that Philip didn't have many slaves, and the ones that he did have were "mostly house servants" that remained with the family after the war [6]. There are no servants or any other workers listed with the Pendletons in the 1870 or 1880 Lowndes County census, and there aren't any people living nearby in a separate household in either census named Lizzy or Violet. 

Philip died in 1869 after being thrown from a buggy.  The family struggled financially afterwards.  The four older boys had to run the farm and the newspaper business to support their mother and five younger siblings [7].  Maybe they had to let their servants go for financial reasons, but William says that Violet stayed with them the rest of her life.  It's possible that their servants lived somewhere else in the county but continued to work for them.  Maybe Violet died before the 1870 census.   The only Violet that I found in the index for the 1870 Lowndes County census on who was black is Violet Hodge [8].  She is 40 years old which would make her year of birth about 1830.  She is living on a farm, and her occupation is listed as "keeping house," meaning housewife and not a domestic.  Below is a copy of part of the census page that shows Violet Hodge and other members of the Hodge household.

1870 Lowndes Co Violet Hodge cropped

I found only one Violet in the 1880 Lowndes County census.  Below is the page for Violet Crumady and two daughters.  Her age is 50 which would make her birth year about 1830.  Her occupation is listed as a laborer [9]. 

1880 Lowndes Co Violet Crumady cropped

I found several women named Lizzie in 1870 in a search of the census index on  All but one were born after 1860, not the right age to be the Lizzie with the Pendletons during the Civil War.  The only one that I found who was born before 1860 would have been about 24 in 1864...too young to be called "old" by a 19-year-old William.  I found the same thing in the 1880 census.  Several women named Lizzie are in that census, but most were born after 1870, and the few that were born earlier weren’t old enough to be called "old" in 1864.

I’d like to see if I can get a copy of Philip’s and Catherine’s wills (both died after the Civil War) to see if they possibly left anything to a servant whose name might be noted in their wills.  I would like to find out where Lizzie came from as well as the young boy listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule…Hancock or Ware County?

[1]  1860 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedule Record, Ware County Georgia, for Philip Pendleton.
[2]  Constance Pendleton, ed., Confederate Memoirs: Early Life and Family History, William Frederick Pendleton and Mary Lawson Young Pendleton. (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania,1958).
[3]  See footnote 2 above.
[4]  1850 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedule Record, Chatham County Georgia, District 13, for Alexander Shaw.
[5]  Louis Beauregard Pendleton.  Echo of Drums (Sovereign House, New York, 1938).
[6]  See footnote 2 above.
[7]  See footnote 2 above.
[8]  1870 United States Federal Census. Lowndes, Georgia; Roll: M593_163; Page: 393B; Image: 171; Family History Library Film: 545662.
[9]  1880 United Stated Federal Census. Valdosta, Lowndes, Georgia; Roll: 155; Family History Film: 1254155; Page: 200A; Enumeration District: 72; Image: 0755.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Wounded World War II Vet: Pfc. Albert S. Pendleton, Jr. (1925-2006)

Albert S Pendleton Jr WWII
My, how young he looks in this photo…all of 19 years old.  A few years ago, I typed up my dad’s chapter about his service in World War II titled, “The Camp Gruber Blues and Other Travels” for his unpublished memoir, Growing Up South Georgian  (n.d.).  My youngest sister scanned and emailed photos for me to include, and I added some documents that I found on the internet and a copy of his discharge paper.  I made copies of the chapter and sent them to my mom and my brothers and sisters for Memorial Day that year.  

My dad never talked about the war much with us.  It was too painful.  He had a daily reminder however…his physical wounds.  I remember only once wishing that he could run and play with me outside.  It had never occurred to me before that my dad couldn’t run until I saw my friend’s dad running around outside with her.  I don’t know why that struck me.  He could do other things…dance, garden, swim, drive a car, and get me out of trees when I was too afraid to climb down.  He even climbed a ladder once to get in my bedroom window when I accidentally locked myself in and couldn’t unlock the door (I was 3 or 4.  I giggled when he came in through the window, but he was not amused).

Camp Gruger, where my dad went for basic training, was in Oklahoma outside of the town of Braggs.  In his memoir, Dad said he was sent to Headquarters Company of the Anti-Tank Platoon of the 333 Infantry Battalion of the 42nd Rainbow Division.   I think he has a typo…I haven’t been able to find anything about the 333 Infantry Battalion.  According to Wikipedia, the Rainbow Division had the 222, 232, and 242 Infantry. 
Camp Gruber google
Aerial view of Camp Gruber.  Braggs is to the southwest (aerial from Google Earth).

He said he learned to cuss and drink lots and lots of beer while stationed at Camp Gruber, and he was terribly homesick.  It wasn’t too long before he got word that he and several others were being shipped out to Europe as replacements.  They stayed two weeks at Fort Meade in Maryland before boarding a ship to England.  About ten days later, they landed in Glasgow, Scotland, and then took the train into England.  Dad says they went from camp to camp.  One camp was at a little village called Petty Pool or near a golf course called Petty Pool.  I tried finding this place.  There is a Pettypool Hall in Cheshire, England, that served as a command post for the U. S. Army during World War II (  See map below for location.

Europe map
The places that my Dad went during World War II that he mentions by name are marked with the blue balloons (aerial from Google Earth).

They had “tea and tidbits,” watched movies, went to a local music concert, and complained about the weak British cigarettes.  Dad and his fellow soldiers eventually made it to the English Channel, boarded a ship, and landed at or near Omaha Beach (marked above on the map).  By this time, he says, the fighting was far inland.  They were loaded onto trucks, and they rode for miles.  He remembered passing St. Lo, a town in France that he had heard about in the news.  It was nearly leveled during the fighting, and it “looked bleak indeed.” 

Saint Lo WWII
St. Lo, France, after the bombing in 1944
(from Wikipedia Commons

Dad ended up at another camp; he doesn’t say where in France it was located.  One night while guarding an ammo dump and feeling low because he was on guard duty while everyone else was away from camp, he suddenly heard Dinah Shore in person over a loud speaker in the distance singing to some G.I.s.  He felt like she was singing especially to him!  While at this camp, the soldiers had to go through basic training again, “firing, crawling, studying hedgerow fighting on maps, and as much about survival as they could impart to us at that late date.”  They were sent to several more camps and then were told one day that they were going to the front.  They were loaded onto trucks (again!), and they rode for days standing up and hanging onto their gear and guns.  They stopped at a small town and ran up and down the street buying bread and alcohol before boarding a train.  They noticed a man bent over doing something by one of the train cars, dressed scruffily but looking too fit to be a railroad worker.  They didn’t think much about it and joked about sabotage.  Later, their train car turned over, and soldiers fell everywhere; two soldiers were killed when the door flew open.  He says, “We were fatigued and quite destroyed for that night.”  Dad doesn’t say what caused the wreck; I wonder if it was a saboteur.

When the soldiers got to their destination, they were divided up into different infantry divisions.  Dad was sent to the 80th Infantry Division, 317 Battalion, Company I.  Once he was told which division he was to join, he followed the “company runner” past dead German soldiers, up and down hills, across rough terrain, through some woods, and up the hill where his squad was fighting some Germans who were on another hill.  Suddenly shelling began and bullets were whistling past, and he and another new soldier tried to hug the ground.  They couldn’t dig a foxhole like they were trained to do because they were on bedrock!

317Replacements_16SEP44-1 copy2
The above is a List of Replacements for the 317th Regiment, dated September 16, 1944. I cleaned up a bit around my dad’s name, etc. in Photoshop (from

Later, my dad’s unit was on the move again.  He mentions going to a town where they were told to watch for land mines.  They watched the tanks roll through, then a jeep came through and hit a mine, throwing the soldiers and the jeep up in the air; they fell “like fiddlesticks.”  He mentions that one of his lieutenants, “fresh from Lieutenant School and his mother’s arms” was suspected of shooting himself in the arm so he would be sent home.  There was more fighting against Germans, more crouching in foxholes, more walking and marching, more “going around in circles,” and just generally feeling “very tired and sick at heart.”

They reached Pont-a-Mousson (marked on map above) on the Mozelle River for a few days of rest away from the front, and best of all, they could shower with soap and get some clean clothes.  They left for the front after six days.  The day they left, my dad was very ill (probably food poisoning).  As they marched, he dropped out by the wayside, saying he would catch up.  He lay on the ground and went to sleep (he must have been really sick to do this!).  When he awoke a while later, he hurried to catch up with his unit.  The next night, they were told to tote some pontoon boats “somewhere” which took them several hours.  They had to leave their guns and ammo behind.  Soon, they were caught “in the middle” of the Americans firing on the Germans in the push for the Rhine.  They hit the ground and waited nearly an hour.  Then they turned to go back to where they’d left the boats.  They ran into their own outfit and “plenty of guns.”

They walked slowly, on guard, toward a stream or river.  He remembers “a small, dark sign that said, ‘Morville-sur-Seille’” (see map above).  To their horror, there were their pontoon boats positioned across the river, “our bridge to more war.”  As soon as they crossed the river, the Germans “sent a barrage down on us and the radio man was hit.”  Dad took up the radio since he’d had walkie-talkie training at Fort Gruber.  As they got up the bank, they were hit with another barrage from the Germans, and “shrapnel flew into my leggings, barely scratching the skin of my legs.”  My dad describes what happened next: 

We crept forward a little at the time on flat ground in an open field. An airplane strafed us but was way off target. Slowly, we inched forward and were very close to a very small town. The company of men stretched out for yards and yards while we sat or lay down to rest. Then it happened. My whole world blew up.

Dad didn’t know it at the time, but he was severely wounded.  Below is the Morning Report for the 317 Infantry, Company I, dated November 15, 1944.  The bottom of the page records him being wounded on November 9, 1944.  This is a digital copy of a microfilm copy, and as with the document above, I cleaned it up a bit in Photoshop. “Fr dy to SWA” stands for “From Duty to Seriously Wounded in Action” (believed life-threatening). “Lost to Hosp” means he was sent to a hospital, “Hosp. unknown” (from

MR317I_NOV44 25 hi litedb copy

Below is a page from Headquarters 80th Infantry Division General Order 86, dated November 23, 1944.  Dad’s name is in the list of soldiers who were awarded the Purple Heart “for wounds received as a result of enemy action in France on dates indicated” (from

Friday, June 05, 2009 (27).max

Purple heart2 cropped

Dad’s Purple Heart (my sister took a photo for me with her smart phone).

Albert 1945 hospital

Dad during his hospital stay in England (with Nurse “Mike” who drew him out of a deep depression kicking and screaming).

Discharge Paper

Honorable Discharge

The next chapter in my dad’s memoirs is called “Walking Papers.”  It won first prize in 1968 at Oxford Collect, near Covington, Georgia, at a meeting-workshop with the Georgia Writers Association, and again that fall at the annual meeting in Atlanta, in the category for unpublished writers.  It’s a flashback to the war while waiting in the veterans’ orthopedic clinic for amputees in Atlanta.  He had to go there every so often to get a new prosthesis.  He writes about the explosion that wounded him and about the medic giving him two shots of morphine in his neck and a compress on a wound in his back after telling him he couldn’t do anything about my dad’s legs.  He woke up in the operating room and passed out again, and then later woke up with a cast from the waist down.  The hospital had not told my dad they had amputated his right foot.  So when the Colonel came by for an inspection and the doctor pulled back the covers on my dad’s legs and said “amputation,” my dad went berserk and sank into a deep depression.  Also, the bones in his left foot were shattered; he was told that they would eventually fuse together.  (I remember that he always walked with a sight limp and that he was often in pain.)  He was worried that he would never walk again.  But he did, and he danced, and he swam, and he drove a car, and he mowed the grass, and he lived a fairly normal life (if such can be had with five kids)!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Will the Parents of Kate and Hattie Please Stand Up

Yep.  A genealogical brick wall.  Hattie Josephine Finney (1869-1931) was my paternal great grandmother, and Catherine Florence Finney (Kate, 1863-1922) was her sister.  Until two or three years ago, I knew nothing about Hattie except that my father called her Mama Gangie, she was married to Papa Gangie (Henry Brown), she lived in Pensacola, Florida, and she was the mother of my grandmother Helen Brown

When I started working on this branch of my tree, I contacted one of my first cousins to see what he knew.  As we started working though this branch, he made contact with a descendent of Kate Finney who has done a phenomenal about of research into the parentage of these two sisters.  He shared his research with us, and we have all continued to look for and share information about this elusive family.

I just want to kick myself for not getting interested in this branch before my father died!  What did he know about this family?  I don’t think he knew a whole lot about who came before Hattie and Henry or he would have told me.  A couple of years ago, I was looking for clues in the infamous paper piles in his office during one of my annual visits home.  I found a 1986 note that his sister Frances and written to their sister Clyde that included some names of possible fathers of Hattie.  This note told me that my dad and his sisters were looking for clues themselves two decades ago.  They were going on the assumption that Finney was the father’s name.   However, it appears that Finney is the maiden of their mother who was one of several sisters.  But which one?  It’s also interesting that other children of some of these sisters also went by the name Finney.  And that’s not the only crazy-making feature of this family.  Just delving even a little into the Finneys makes my head hurt. 

We know that the maternal grandparents of Kate and Hattie were Harriet B. Jones and John Finney from Laurens County Georgia (Harriet was probably born in Jones County Georgia but moved to Laurens as a child).  They had five daughters and one son: Irene (b. 1841), Sarah (b. 1843), Eliza or Elizabeth (b. 1845), William (b. 1848), Rebecca (b. 1850), and Virginia (b. 1853).  Sometime before 1850, the Finneys moved to Washington County Florida.  The 1850 census lists all of the children except for Virginia who was born after the census was taken [1].  This census also includes Harriett’s stepmother Sarah Jones and her half sister, also named Sarah Jones.

1850 Washington County Finney
1850 Washington County Finney

John died, and Harriett married Ira Shine Williams sometime before 1857.  They had son George Williams before 1860.  This marriage was brief as Ira isn’t listed with Harriett in the 1860 Washington County census (See image below.  Notice son George with last name of Finney; maybe a mistake by the census enumerator) [2].  Ira Williams is in Texas by 1860 with his children by his first wife [3].  Also, Harriett’s children Eliza and William disappear after the 1850 census.  Irene is in Thomas County in 1860 with the Thomas S. Jones family.  She is listed as Irene Huson with Isaiah Huson and son Jasper [4].

1860 Washington County Finney
1860 Washington County Finney

In the 1870 Walton County Florida census, Kate and Hattie appear on the scene.  They are with their grandmother Harriett and her son George Williams and daughters Sarah, Rebecca, and Virginia Finney (misspelled as Frunetz) [5].  Kate is six years old and Hattie is only eight months old [6].  Their last name is listed as Williams.  This may have been an assumption made by the enumerator, or maybe that’s what he was told, or maybe that was really their last name.  Next door is Harriett’s daughter Irene (Finney) Huson and Irene’s son Jasper Finney (see what I mean about the maiden name).   Below are pages from the 1870 Walton County Florida census.  Harriett, Sarah, Rebecca, and Virginia are at the bottom of page 57, and George, Kate, Hattie, and Irene and Jasper are at the top of the following page 58.

1870 Walton County Finney1
1870 Walton County Finney1
1870 Walton County Finney2

Below is the 1880 Santa Rosa County census listing Kate and Hattie as granddaughters of Harriett and with the last name of Finney [7]. 

1880 Santa Rosa County Finney
1880 Santa Rosa County Finney

Kate married Orin Martin Merritt in 1882, and Hattie married Henry Washington Brown in 1886 [8, 9].  Both the Merritts and the Browns ended up in Escambia County Florida where they lived out their lives [10, 11].

There is way more to the Finney story than what I’ve written here and way more research that has been done (using both direct and indirect evidence) by my Finney cousin than just the census records that I present above.  From what I understand in reading my Finney cousin’s research, he’s narrowed down the mother of Kate and Hattie to possibly Sarah, but so far he hasn’t been able to confirm this.  I don’t even want to get started discussing the possible fathers (I’ve mentioned one here).

I’m sending this into cyberspace in the hope that information about the parentage of Kate and Hattie is out there somewhere in someone’s family history…Please get in touch!

[1]  1850 United States Federal Census.  Division 3, Washington, Florida; Roll: M432_59; Page: 302B; Image: 582, for John and Harriett Finney.
[2]  1860 United States Federal Census.  Washington, Florida; Roll: M653_109; Page: 1033; Image: 505; Family History Library Film: 803109, for Harriett Finney.
[3]  1860 United States Federal Census.  Seven Leagues, Smith, Texas; Roll: M653_1305; Page: 65; Image: 133; Family History Library Film: 805305, for Ira S. Williams.
[4]  1860 United States Federal Census.  Thomas, Georgia; Roll: M653_138; Page: 71; Image: 71; Family History Library Film: 803138.
[5]  1870 United States Federal Census.  Uchee Anna, Walton, Florida; Roll: M593_133; Page: 814A; Image: 765; Family History Library Film: 545632, for Harriet Williams.
[6]  1870 United States Federal Census.  Uchee Anna, Walton, Florida; Roll: M593_133; Page: 814B; Image: 766; Family History Library Film: 545632, for Kate and Hattie.
[7] and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census.  Precinct 1, Santa Rosa, Florida; Roll: 132; Family History Film: 1254132; Page: 190D; Enumeration District: 136; Image: 0076, for Harriett, Kate, and Hattie.
[8]  1900 United States Federal Census.  Muscopel, Escambia, Florida; Roll: T623_168; Page: 27A; Enumeration District: 15., for marriage year of Kate Merritt.
[9] Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006, for Hattie Finney and Henry Brown.
[10] Florida State Census, 1867-1945.  Florida State Census of 1885; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M845, 13 Rolls); Record Group 29, for Kate Merritt.
[11] Florida State Census, 1885.  (National Archives Microfilm Publication M845, 13 Rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, for Hattie Brown.