Wednesday, March 14, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Strong Woman

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of March 5, 2018, is Strong Woman.

For every female ancestor I considered for this prompt, Strong Woman, I discovered I’d already written about her in previous posts, so I had a hard time coming up with someone unless I went even further back in the generations. And the further back I go, the less information I have and the harder the women are to research. 

Any of my female ancestors who survived long enough to give birth to a healthy child who became my ancestor was a strong woman indeed. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. In fact, any woman who survives to adulthood is a Strong Woman, whether she leaves behind children or not. 

So as I perused my family tree and looked up a few ladies, I settled on my maternal 6th great grandmother, Amy Goodwyn/Goodwin, for no other reason than I haven’t written about her before nor have I done any research. As soon as I began researching, I found that she’d been married twice and had children by each husband.

I don’t know if the dates of birth and death that I have for Amy are correct. I don’t even remember where I got them, probably from someone’s family tree on before I knew better than to just copy trees. She may have been born on August 31, 1732. A findagrave memorial says she married my 6th great grandfather, Thomas Mitchell, in 1747 and they had seven children: John, Henry, Thomas Goodwin (my 5th great grandfather), Tabitha, Winifred, James, and Richard. Amy’s first husband, Thomas, died about 1762 or maybe before, as she married her second husband, John Raines, that same year, on October 5, 1762. After marrying John, she gave birth to four more children: Thomas, Robert, Cadwallader, and Amy. 

Amy died February 14, 1773, in Sussex County, Virginia. 

Here’s my descent from Amy:

Amy Goodwyn/Goodwin and Thomas Mitchell (my 6th great grandparents)
Thomas Goodwin Mitchell and Ann Raines (my 5th great grandparents)
Susannah Mitchell and Littleton Wyche (my 4th great grandparents)
Thomas Clark Wyche and Catharine MacIntyre (my 3rd great grandparents)
Mary Barry Wyche and Remer Young (my 2nd great grandparents)
Catherine Young and John T. Roberts (my great grandparents)
Leona Roberts and William Redles (my grandparents)
Leona Redles and Albert Pendleton (my parents)

I also didn't find much online about Amy's first husband Thomas. Maybe one day I'll get back to this research.


Monday, March 5, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Where There's A Will

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of February 26, 2018, is Where There's A Will.

I came across a letter in my dad’s papers from my paternal great grandfather, Alexander Shaw Pendleton, written to his children and executors. The letter is dated August 11, 1923, about a year and a half before he died in 1925 in Valdosta, Georgia. The letter begins with the following:

I have this day signed my will. In addition, I now wish to give you some advise regarding the management of the Estate, and particularly regarding The A. S. Pendleton Company, the policies of which you will probably control.

The next several paragraphs talk about running the company, etc. While that was interesting, what I read in the first paragraph on page 2 of this letter, sent me to the Internet to research:

I want you to see to it that the old negro Benjamin Franklin, who has been with me many years and who was owned by my family before the War, is not allowed to suffer for the necessities of life in his old age. Let him have the house in which he now lives free of charge. This house is owned by The Pendleton Company [sic], but you can arrange that, probably by letting the Company have use of the lot on the home place.
Page 2 of the letter Alexander Pendleton wrote to his children (this paragraph transcribed above)

I wondered if Alexander was saying "give" the house to Benjamin outright or let him live there rent-free, so I began researching online. 

I found a Ben F. Franklin, age 68, in the 1920 census at 203 Fry St. in Valdosta. His wife was Laura Jane, age 45, and their daughter was Bula Mae, age 15. 

Ben F. Franklin at 203 Fry Street, Valdosta, Georgia, in
the 1920 U.S. Census.

I looked up this address in the online Lowndes County Georgia property tax records database. A. R. Pendleton (Alexis Runette, one of Alexender's sons) is listed as grantee. There’s no date noted and no grantor, but the online records give Deed Book/page 3-X 146. Since my great uncle Alexis is listed as grantee on this property, I believe this is the correct Benjamin Franklin in the 1920 census. If the house was given to Benjamin, I wondered if it had reverted back to the Pendleton family for some reason. Maybe Benjamin Franklin had passed away.

There's a death record for a Benjamin Franklin in Valdosta, Georgia, dated November 19, 1928, but I don't know if this is the correct person. He’s not listed in the online Sunset Hill Cemetery database records, so he must be buried elsewhere in the county. Benjamin was still living at least in 1925, as I found him in the Valdosta City Directory (on for that year at this same address. The notation beside his listing says “h,” which according to, means “house, householder (owns the house).” But the 1921 and 1923 city directories (on also say “h.” Benjamin wasn’t the owner at that time, because Alexander was still living. Maybe the “h” means “house” in this instance. I've not found Benjamin in the 1930 census.

I assume when Alexander wrote that Benjamin had been owned by his family, that he was referring to his father, Philip Coleman Pendleton, as the owner. There's an eight-year-old boy listed in the 1860 slave schedule for Philip, which indicates the child was born about 1852, the same year of birth indicated by the 1920 census for Ben F. Franklin (age 68 in 1920). 

The 1860 Ware County Georgia Slave Schedule for Philip Coleman Pendleton. Note the eight-year-old boy. (Click on the image for a larger view.) See Slaves of Philip Coleman Pendleton about my earlier search.

I wanted to go to the Lowndes County courthouse to look up the property records in person before I wrote this blog post, but the opportunity came with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge to go ahead and publish this information for the week's topic, Where There's A Will. Plus, with being the primary care-giver of my 92-year-old mother, it’s not easy for me to get away so I can research. But one day, I’ll get to the courthouse!


P.S. I plan to do a follow-up post about Benjamin F. Franklin as I continue my research about him.