Samuel Rankin (abt. 1734 – abt. 1816) m. Eleanor Alexander — new post to replace two old ones

In August and September 2016, I posted a two-part article about the possible family of origin of Samuel Rankin (“Sam Sr.”) of Rowan, Mecklenburg and Lincoln counties, North Carolina whose wife was Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander. Having just reread the two posts, I found them tedious, overlong, and packed with trivial information that is unlikely to be of any interest whatsoever to anyone. I apparently have an unattractive propensity to beat dead horses from time to time. Moreover, new Y-DNA information on the issue has come to light which moots a substantial part of the argument in one of the posts.

I am going to delete both posts from this website as soon as I figure out how to do that. Here is their replacement, which just cuts to the chase re: old theories of Sam Sr.’s possible parents. It also provides a brief description of the Y-DNA evidence to date.

Rankin researchers have had two main theories about the identity of Sam Sr.’s father:

Theory #1 — Sam Sr.’s father was Joseph Rankin of White Clay Creek Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware (1704-1764). Let’s call him “Joseph of Delaware.” Two of Joseph’s proved sons who belonged to the same generation as Sam Jr. moved to Guilford County, NC. The primary source of Theory #1 is Rev. S. M. Rankin’s 1931 book, The Rankin and Wharton Families and Their Genealogy.[1]

Theory #2 — Sam Sr.’s parents were Robert and Rebecca Rankin of Guilford County, NC. Call them “R&R.” Before migrating to North Carolina in the mid-1750s, Robert appeared on the 1753 tax list for West Nottingham Township, Chester County, PA.

Here’s the bottom line. First, there is no evidence whatsoever that I can find in the actual records of Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina or any other colony to support either Theory #1 or Theory #2. Second, Y-DNA tests conclusively prove that both theories are dead wrong.

Here is a bit about the DNA evidence.

The Y-DNA evidence re: Theory #1

There is a Rankin DNA Project which provides (anonymously, if desired) Y-DNA results online.[2] One member, Doug Rankin, has a solid paper genealogical trail proving he is descended from Joseph of Delaware. I located another proved descendant of Joseph of Delaware by conventional paper research – let’s call him “Mr. X.” Doug convinced Mr. X to test. Turns out that the two men are 37-marker matches with one mismatching marker, which genetic genealogists call a “37-marker match with a genetic distance of one” (or “GD=1”). That is a darn good match. Furthermore, the two men descend from different sons of Joseph of Delaware (John and William, both of Guilford Co., NC), so their close DNA match isn’t a function of a recent common ancestor: Joseph of Delaware is their common Rankin ancestor.

With two closely matching Y-DNA samples and two very solid paper trails, there is a high degree of confidence that Doug and Mr. X provide a good picture of the Y-DNA of descendants of Joseph of Delaware – as well as those who aren’t his descendants.

The Rankin DNA project has two other members (call them Mr. A and Mr. B) whose paper trails prove them to be descendants of Samuel and Eleanor Alexander Rankin. Neither of them is a match – not even remotely close – to Doug Rankin and Mr. X. Based on the tests from Mr. A, Mr. B, Mr. X. and Doug Rankin, the Y-DNA evidence proves conclusively that Sam Sr. cannot be a son of Joseph of Delaware.

The Y-DNA Evidence re: Theory #2

The Rankin DNA Project now has two participants whose genealogical paper trail shows they are descended from R&R – Robert and Rebecca Rankin of Guilford.

The first is Mr. R, whose paper trail conclusively proves that he is descended from R&R’s great-granddaughter Isabel Rankin (her maiden name) and her husband Robert Rankin. Robert’s parents are not conclusively proved. The obvious problem is that Mr. R inherited his Y-DNA from Robert, not Isabel. So the question is: who are Robert’s parents? I believe the circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly establishes that Isabel’s husband Robert was her second cousin, a proved son of George (1767 Guilford, NC -1851 McNairy, TN) and Nancy Gillespie Rankin. George, in turn, is a proved son of Robert Rankin of Guilford County, who is, in turn, a proved son of R&R. Consequently, Mr. R. is almost certainly (at least in my opinion) a descendant of R&R.

The second relevant Rankin DNA Project participant is Mr. M, whose paper trail leaves no doubt that he is descended from R&R through their great-grandson John D. Rankin, a son of George and Nancy Gillespie Rankin.

Mr. R and Mr. M are a 37-marker match with a GD = 2, a darn good match. For those of you who actually know something about the science of genealogical DNA, the two mismatched markers are at DYS 458 and CDY. My cousins Roger Alexander or Roberta Estes could undoubtedly appraise the quality of the match better than I can. I think it’s a good one.

Whatever. Neither Mr. R nor Mr. M – descendants of R&R – is a match with Mr. A or Mr. B, descendants of Sam Sr. and Eleanor Alexander Rankin. Their Y-DNA profiles are not even close. Sam Sr. is not, therefore, a son of Robert and Rebecca of Guilford.

Case closed. I’m guessing we are going to have to find a Rankin on the other side of the Atlantic to have a clue about Sam Sr.’s family of origin.

[1] Rev. S. M. Rankin, The Rankin and Wharton Families and Their Genealogy (Greensboro, NC: J. J. Stone & Co., printers and binders, 1931, reprint by Higginson Book Co., Salem, MA).

[2] http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/rankin/. This website has links to Y-DNA results (incomprehensible if you aren’t both a Rankin and Y-DNA expert) and to a “patriarch page” with lots of Rankin descendancy charts. For the most part, all participants provide their own ancestry and get to say from whom they are descended. Occasionally, they seem a bit farfetched. When two different people whose Y-DNA does NOT match claim descent from the same Rankin ancestor, the editors of the patriarch chart intervene to either make corrections or at least file disclaimers.

Alexander Family History: a “Must-Read”

If you follow this blog, you know that Gary and I do not cite compiled family histories as sources. Alexander Family History by John Alexander  will be an exception. It has many things to commend it, beginning with excellent, easy-to-read writing and meticulous research. It is an absolute “must-read” if you are from the line of James and Ann Alexander of Amelia County, Virginia and Anson/Rowan, North Carolina.

Before we get into the book itself, you can order it by contacting John Alexander at this email address:

jfalex37@comcast.net

The book is also available as an html version at this link. Make a note of that link, because John will continue to add to and correct the html version. John strongly encourages other Alexanders to add to the accumulated knowledge of this family via your own research. He is also happy to hear differences of opinion, provided they are backed up with citations to records.

Alternatively, John says he will send you a copy of the pdf file of the current book, and you can print away to your heart’s content. For those of us who are addicted to highlighting, this is clearly a good option.

Despite these nice alternatives, I strongly recommend that you order a bound copy of the book from John – even if you aren’t connected to this Alexander line – and donate it to your local library. Such donations are deductible. John says about $20 will cover the cost of the book plus postage.

For some information about the book, let’s just have it tell you about itself. The cover page, a good place to start, says this:

“James and Ann [Alexander], born around 1700 or shortly after, may be original American colonists or may have been born in the colonies. The story follows four of their sons, James, John, David, and Robert, and their only daughter, Eleanor, from the earliest-discovered records several generations toward the present.”

Here is some very brief information about these children that might help you determine whether any of these lines are of special interest to you …

  • James Alexander, son of James and Ann, was probably born about 1730 in the colonies. He appeared in the Anson, Rowan and Tryon records, and ultimately lived in Spartanburg County, SC. His wife was named Mary, MNU. He had four children of whom John is fairly certain, perhaps more. John identifies the four as James Jr., Matthew, William and Thomas. Matthew and William went to Logan County, KY, while most of the family remained in Spartanburg.
  • John Alexander, son of James and Ann, also born circa 1730, married Rachel Davidson and moved to the area that became Buncombe County, NC. Their four proved children were James, Ann, Mary and Thomas.
  • David Alexander, son of James and Ann, was born about 1736-37. He married Margaret Davidson (also spelled Davison) in Rowan County in 1762. They lived in Pendleton District, SC. David’s 1795 will (proved 1795, Anderson Co., SC, filed in Will Book c: 77) named his children Anne Gotcher, Jane Moore, David Alexander, Margaret Davis, Catherine Brown, Ellenor Read, James Alexander, Elizabeth Woods, John Alexander, William Morrison Alexander, and Ruth Alexander. 
  • Eleanor Alexander, the only daughter of James and Ann, married Samuel Rankin in Rowan County about 1760. The Rankins and their children lived in Lincoln (later Gaston) and Mecklenburg counties, North Carolina. Four of their ten children migrated to Rutherford County, TN and Shelby County, IL.
  • Robert Alexander, the youngest child of James and Ann, appeared in Rowan, Tryon, and Lincoln county records. He served in the Revolutionary War and was a Justice of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in Lincoln County, where he died. His first wife was Mary Jack; his will names his wife Margaret, MNU. His children (not necessarily in birth order) were Lilly, Ann, Robert J., Polly, Margaret, Elisa, Evalina and Charity Amanda

For the record, James and Ann had a fifth son, their eldest, William Alexander. Unfortunately, there are apparently no records that can be attributed to him with any degree of confidence after the 1750s.

The book also includes copies of many original records, photographs, and a discussion of Y-DNA analysis. Again, the best thing to do is to let the book tell you about itself. Here is the table of contents:

Preface and Dedication

Chapter 1: What They Knew

Chapter 2: The Genealogical Digging

Chapter 3: James (died 1753) Alexander and Ann

Chapter 4: James Alexander of Spartanburg County, SC

Chapter 5: The Alexander Family in Western Kentucky

Chapter 6: Henry County and Beyond

Chapter 7: James C.’s Fayette County Branch

Chapter 8: James Alexander Jr. and the East Tennessee Branch

Chapter 9: Thomas Alexander and Mary

Chapter 10: Other Alexander Kin, Parentage Not Certain

Chapter 11: Family of John and Rachel Davidson

Chapter 12: Family of David and Margaret Davidson

Chapter 13: Family of Eleanor and Samuel Rankin

Chapter 14: Family of Robert and Mary Jack

Appendix A: Pension Applications Of Matthew And Eleanor

Appendix B: Documents from Amy Riggs, Born Amy Gore

Appendix C: South Carolina Deeds, James of Spartanburg

Appendix D: Records Relating to James (died 1753) and Ann

Appendix E: Legal Documents Relating to the Death of William McMillin

Appendix F: Siddle Documents and the Alexanders in Robertson County

Appendix G: Descendants of James (d. 1753) and Ann

Appendix H: 19th Century Marriages in Western KY and Western TN

Appendix I: Deeds of Trust, William and James C. Alexander, 1847

Appendix J: SC Documents Relating to Thomas Alexander

Appendix K: Documents from James Alexander and Rhoda Cunningham

Appendix L: Documents Relating to Ann (Alexander) Craig

Appendix M: Wills of Samuel, Alexander and James Rankin

Appendix N: Published Histories that May Be Difficult fo Find

Appendix Y: YDNA and YDNA Testing

I plan to sit down with this book, one chapter at a time, and make sure that my own family history software reflects John’s information. If it doesn’t, then I have some work to do.

Enjoy!
Robin

Samuel and Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin: a Few Corrections to the Record

Here we are, tilting at windmills again, just for the fun of it. The idea is to correct some frequent errors about Samuel and Eleanor Alexander Rankin, who appeared in the records of Rowan, Tryon, Mecklenburg, and Lincoln Counties. A cousin has asked why I write these “correction” articles. That’s an easy one. Thanks to the the ease of “copy and paste” and importing other peoples’ family trees in a few clicks, online genealogy errors have multiplied exponentially, like the Tribbles in the original Star Trek. Anything that has appeared in print is taken as gospel. While it is a truism that every family history contains errors, I assume that most people prefer to eliminate them when possible. Thus, cousin, I’m providing a Tribble extermination service here, even though some of these errors are minor. <grin>

So let’s turn again to Samuel and his wife Eleanor. Two previous articles on this website dealt with erroneous theories about Samuel’s parents. The first article dealt with the persistent notion that he was a son of Joseph Rankin of New Castle County, Delaware. The second article addresses speculation that Samuel was a son of Robert and Rebecca Rankin of Guilford County, North Carolina. Y-DNA testing has conclusively disproved both possibilities. So far as I have found, there is no evidence on this side of the Atlantic as to the identity of Samuel’s parents.

And now, on to new territory. Here are the positions I’m taking with regard to some of the conventional wisdom on Samuel and Eleanor:

  • Samuel was probably born in 1734 (not 1732) and he probably died in 1816 (not 1814).
  • There is no reason to believe that Samuel was born in New Castle County, Delaware. There is no evidence where he was born, so far as I know.
  • He and Eleanor married in Rowan County, North Carolina, and not in Pennsylvania.
  • Samuel had arrived in North Carolina by no later than April 1760.
  • His wife’s given name was Eleanor. “Ellen,” the name on her tombstone, was a nickname.
  • Eleanor was born in 1740, not 1743.
  • Eleanor’s father was not the David Alexander who sold Samuel a 320-acre tract on James Cathey’s Mill Creek aka Kerr Creek. David was her brother. Her parents were James and Ann Alexander.

Let’s start at the top.

What were Samuel’s dates of birth and death?

Samuel’s birth: many Rankin researchers, including a “findagrave” website for the Goshen Presbyterian Cemetery in Belmont where Samuel was buried, say that he was born in 1732.[1] His tombstone has disappeared, or at least my husband and I couldn’t find it when we visited the cemetery in August 2001. I haven’t seen any evidence that he was born in 1732, although that doesn’t mean there isn’t any. So far as I have found, the only evidence of his birth date is on a film titled “Pre-1914 Cemetery Inscription Survey, Gaston Co., prepared by the Historical Records Survey Service Division, Works Progress Administration.”[2] That survey, taken during the Great Depression when the tombstone was obviously still extant, says that Samuel Rankin was born in 1734. Of course, even in the 1930s, the stone was already more than a century old and could easily have been misread. Or Samuel’s children might not have known his actual date of birth – and Samuel wasn’t around to correct them. However, the WPA survey is apparently the only available evidence.

Samuel’s death: findagrave and many online family trees give Samuel’s date of death as December 16, 1814. That is the date that Samuel executed his will, and the probability that he died on the same day is slim to none.[3] In fact, the actual probability is zero, because he appeared in the Lincoln County records in 1816. On July 26 of that year, he conveyed to his son James a tract on Stanleys Creek adjacent James’ brothers William and Alexander (and Thomas Rhyne, see my article about Samuel’s grandson Sam, son of Richard).[4] That is the last entry I found for Samuel in the Lincoln records until his will was proved in 1826.[5] The WPA cemetery survey says Samuel died in 1816.

Where was Samuel born?

Many Rankin researchers claim Samuel was born in New Castle County, Delaware. That is probably a holdover from when many believed he was a son of Joseph Rankin of New Castle. Since that has been disproved, there is no logic for placing Samuel’s birth where Joseph lived. In fact, I found no evidence of a Rankin named Samuel in New Castle County in the relevant time frame, although there are many records concerning Joseph’s proved sons (Thomas, Joseph Jr., John and William) and possible sons (Robert and James). There seems to be no evidence for any place of birth for Samuel, or even any evidence that he was born in the colonies rather than on the other side of the Atlantic.

Where did Samuel and Eleanor marry, and who were her parents?

The couple undoubtedly married in North Carolina, not Pennsylvania, despite the view of Minnie Puett, who wrote a history of Gaston County. Eleanor’s family – her parents James (not David) and Ann and her brothers William, James, John, David and Robert – were in that part of Anson County that became Rowan by at least March 1752, when there was a Granville grant to James Alexander “of Anson Co., Gent.”[6] Eleanor Alexander was the grantee in a gift deed of livestock from her father James on January 12, 1753, when she was not quite thirteen. Before they came to North Carolina, the Alexander family was in Amelia County, Virginia. Here is an article about Eleanor’s family.

 When did Samuel come to North Carolina, and from where?

It is possible that Samuel came to North Carolina from Pennsylvania, as many Rankin researchers think. So did many other Scots-Irish settlers of the Piedmont Plateau. If you had to guess, you would probably say that Samuel came to NC from either Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, or Virginia. The only evidence I have found for a man who might be the same man as Samuel Rankin prior to his arrival in NC is in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Some Samuel Rankin is listed as a freeman (i.e., age 21 or over and single) on the 1753 tax list for Sadsbury Township of Chester County.[7] There are no other Rankins on that list, although there are a number of other Scots-Irish whose names will be familiar to Lincoln/Rowan County researchers. There were several Moores, Beatys and Campbells, as well as a McCleary, Erwin and Kerr. The Samuel Rankin taxed as a freeman in 1753 was born by at least 1732, which might be why some researchers have deduced that date for his birth.

Wherever he came from, the evidence establishes that Samuel was in North Carolina earlier than some researchers believe, including Minnie Puett. His first land acquisition was a purchase from David Alexander in a deed dated July 14, 1760.[8] The tract was on James Cathey’s Mill Creek (also known as Kerr Creek), and not on Kuykendahl/Dutchman’s Creek, where the family eventually settled. The Revolutionary War Pension application of Samuel’s son William says that William was born in January 1761 in Rowan County, which puts Samuel in NC no later than April 1760.[9] Assuming he took more than a few months to court Eleanor and that William was their eldest child, one would conclude Samuel was in NC by no later than 1759.

Samuel’s wife was named Eleanor and she was born in 1740, not 1743

Her Goshen Presbyterian Cemetery tombstone, which was still intact (although barely legible) when we visited in 2001, calls her “Ellen.” So did the Rev. Samuel Meek Rankin in his book about the Rankin and Wharton families, probably based on that tombstone.[10] Her family and friends undoubtedly called her Ellen. Almost all Rankin researchers do the same, and I have been corrected more than once for calling her Eleanor. Nevertheless, I persist. <grin> The records establish that her given name was Eleanor. Period. Her father called her “Elener” [sic] in a gift deed.[11] A Rowan County court called her “Elinor.”[12] At least three deeds (one with her signature as “Elender”) do the same.[13] She and Samuel had a daughter and at least five granddaughters, all named Eleanor rather than Ellen.[14] Those facts surely establish that her given name was Eleanor, or I will eat my hat. If I owned one. Her nickname was Ellen.

Eleanor was almost certainly born in 1740, not 1743. The Rowan County court allowed her to choose her own guardian in 1755.[15] Doing so required her to be at least fourteen, so she must have been born by at least 1741. Two tombstone surveys say the date of birth on her tombstone was 16 April 1740.[16] The date is now so eroded, however, that it could reasonably be read as 1743 – although that date is foreclosed by the court record.

… and that’s it for now. I’m not done with this family, though: there is more to come.

[1] The findagrave website contains several errors about Samuel and Eleanor, mostly minor, some not so minor. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Rankin&GSiman=1&GScid=1192379&GRid=127500305&

[2] Family History Library Microfilm No. 0,882,938, item 2.

[3] North Carolina State Archives, File Box C.R.060.801.21, will of Samuel Rankin of Lincoln County dated 16 Dec 1814, proved April 1826. Recorded in Lincoln County Will Book 1: 37.

[4] Lincoln County Deed Book 27: 561, conveyance from Samuel Rankin to James Rankin witnessed by William Rankin and Benjamin Hartgrove. The grantor is not Sam Jr., who owned land in Mecklenburg, not Lincoln and had already sold his Mecklenburg tracts before 1816.

[5] There was no hurry to probate Samuel’s will because he left each of his surviving children $1, except for James, to whom he left the rest of his estate. With nobody anxious for their payout, there was no reason to rush to the courthouse.

[6] Rowan County Deed Book 3: 547, Granville grant of 25 Mar 1752 to James Alexander, 640 acres in Anson adjacent Andrew Kerr. James gifted half of that tract to his son David Alexander, and David sold it to Samuel Rankin in 1760. See Anson County Deed Book B: 314 et seq. for charming gift deeds of land and livestock from James Alexander and his wife Ann to five of their six children, including Eleanor.

[7] J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), reproduction facsimile by Chester County Historical Society (Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, Inc. 1996).

[8] Rowan County Deed Book 5: 272, deed dated 14 Jul 1760 from David Alexander to Samuel Rankin, 320 acres both sides of James Cathey’s Mill Cr. (AKA Kerr’s Cr.).

[9] Virgil D. White, Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Volume III: N-Z (Waynesboro, TN: The National Historical Publishing Co., 1992).

[10] Rev. S. M. Rankin, The Rankin and Wharton Families and Their Genealogy (Greensboro, NC: J. J. Stone & Co, 1931).

[11] Personal copy of Rowan County Deed Book B: 315 (obtained by mail from the clerk of court), gift deed from James Alexander to his daughter Elener.

[12] Jo White Linn, Abstracts of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1762 (Salisbury, NC: 1977), abstract of Order Book 2: 90, entry of 22 Oct 1755, David and Elinor Alexander (spelling per abstractor) came into court and chose their mother Ann Alexander as their guardian.

[13] Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. II. 1762 – 1772 Abstracts of Books 5, 6, 7 (Salisbury, NC: 1972), abstract of Deed Book 6: 225, deed dated 31 Aug 1765 from Samuel Rankin and wife Eleanor (spelling per the abstractor) to John McNeeley, 320 acres on James Cathey’s Mill Creek; original of Lincoln Co. Deed Book 1: 703 (viewed by me at the courthouse), deed of 26 Jan 1773 from Samuel Rankin of Tryon to Philip Alston, 150 acres on Kuykendall Creek signed by Samuel Rankin and Elender Rankin.

[14] At least five of Samuel and Eleanor Rankin’s children named a daughter “Eleanor” (not “Ellen”), including Samuel Rankin Jr., Jean Rankin Hartgrove, Robert Rankin, David Rankin, and Eleanor (“Nellie”) Rankin Dickson. See, e.g., an image of the tombstone of Eleanor, wife of Joseph Dickson, Ellis Cemetery, Shelby Co., Ill., died 4 Apr 1848, age 62, at www.findagrave.com.

[15] Linn, Abstracts of the Minutes, abstract of Order Book 2: 90, 22 Oct 1755, David and Elinor Alexander came into court and chose their mother Ann Alexander as their guardian; the court appointed Ann guardian for Robert, about age 12, son of James Alexander, dec’d.

[16] Family History Library Microfilm No. 0,882,938, item 2. See also Microfilm at Clayton Genealogical library titled “North Carolina Tombstone Records, Vols. 1, 2 and 3,” compiled by the Alexander Martin and J. S. Wellborn chapters of the DAR; transcribed lists were filmed 1935 by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Tombstone of Ellen Rankin, b. 16 April 1740, d. 26 Jan 1802.

More on the Line of Samuel and Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin: Richard Rankin’s son Samuel

This article is about a Samuel Rankin – just call him “Sam” – who last appeared on this website playing a minor supporting role as the spouse of Mary F. Estes Rankin. She was a daughter of Lyddal Bacon Estes and “Nancy” Ann Allen Winn Estes, whose nine children shared the spotlight in my most recent Estes article. The only mention of Sam in that article was a brief description of him as an “incorrigible character.”

Sam earned that characterization fair and square. First, his year of birth varied so wildly in the census that he must have fibbed about his age for the fun of it. Second, he named a son Napoleon Bonaparte Rankin. What kind of merry prankster lays that on a newborn? Third, I had the very devil of a time trying to identify his parents: it seemed he was being deliberately evasive. I spent months poring over North Carolina records in the library, back when there were virtually no records available online. Fourth, there is evidence that Sam may have been an unmanageable child, but that’s getting ahead of the story.

There isn’t much information in the records about Sam’s adult life. He was a farmer in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, and then he was a farmer in Jefferson County, Arkansas. He and his wife Mary married about 1836 in Tishomingo, moved to Arkansas about 1849, and had ten children who reached adulthood. Sam died in 1861 or early 1862, when his youngest child was on the way. One branch of the family thinks he died in the War, but that is highly unlikely. He was too old to be conscript fodder, four of his sons enlisted, his wife was pregnant, and the National Archives has no record of him.

Let’s begin at the beginning of the search for Sam’s family of origin. A researcher typically starts with two basic questions in the search for an ancestor’s parents: where and when was he/she born? Here are the facts about Sam. Federal censuses prove that he was born in North Carolina.[1] Unfortunately, his birth year is elusive. The 1837 Mississippi state census and the 1840 federal census suggest Sam was born between 1792 and 1820.[2] The 1850 census gives his age as sixty-two, or born about 1788.[3] In the 1860 census, Sam was sixty-one.[4] Thus, during the decade of the 1850s, Sam managed to get a year younger, a skill I wish I could master. If one had to pick a sort of median value, one might guess Sam was born circa 1800.

Mississippi records reveal one other thing: Sam almost certainly had a brother. A William Rankin was listed near Sam in the 1837 state census in Tishomingo County, Mississippi.[5] William did not own any land, but Sam had ten acres under cultivation.[6] Neither man owned any slaves, and they were the only two Rankin heads of household in Tishomingo in 1837 and 1840. William was born between 1800 and 1810, so that he and Sam were probably from the same generation.[7] Finally, William married Rachel Swain, and the JP who performed the ceremony was Sam’s father-in-law Lyddal Bacon Estes.[8] Sam’s wife Mary Estes Rankin had a sister who also married a Swain.[9]

On those facts, it is likely that Sam and William Rankin were brothers and that they were farming Sam’s tract together. If that is correct, then I was looking for a Rankin family having sons named Samuel and William who were born about the turn of the century in North Carolina.

Big whoop. If you have spent any time among the many North Carolina Rankin families, you know the above information is a wretchedly slender reed upon which to hang an ancestor’s identity. I therefore left the records and turned to oral family history. It led me to conclude that Sam’s parents were Richard Rankin and Susanna (“Susy”) Doherty, who were married in 1793 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.[10] There is no doubt about the identity of their parents. Richard was a son of Samuel Rankin (“Sam Sr.”) and his wife Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin.[11] Susy Doherty Rankin was a daughter of John Doherty and his wife Agnes, maiden name unknown.[12]

I found the key oral family history in a biography of Claude Allen Rankin, a grandson of Sam and Mary Estes Rankin. Claude reported that his grandfather Sam Rankin “reached manhood in Lincoln County, North Carolina,” and then “removed to Murfreesboro, Tennessee,” which is in Rutherford County.[13]

My instinct told me to accept those facts as the gospel truth. For one thing, the specific locations convey a bulletproof certainty. Moreover, there is no reason on God’s green earth that Claude would have invented those locations out of thin air. Consider the odds: Lincoln is one county out of one hundred in North Carolina; Rutherford is one county out of ninety-five in Tennessee. The odds are therefore 9,500 to one that Claude would have identified both of those counties as places his grandfather Sam had lived in just those two particular states. Claude no doubt heard those locations from his father Elisha Thompson Rankin, who, in turn, learned them from his father Sam.

If Lincoln County, North Carolina and Rutherford County, Tennessee are places where Sam lived, then it is a virtual certainty that Sam was a grandson of Sam Sr. and Eleanor Rankin, who lived in Lincoln (Gaston) County, North Carolina. Three of their sons and one daughter moved to Rutherford County.[14] I have found no other Rankin family that was in both Lincoln and Rutherford counties for the relevant time period.

The search thus boiled down to identifying which of Sam Sr. and Eleanor’s sons could have been the father of Sam. Four of the couple’s sons – William,[15] David,[16] Alexander,[17] and James[18] – are eliminated by their locations and children. The three remaining sons – Robert, Sam Jr. and Richard – were possibilities to be Sam’s father.

I started with Richard Rankin and his wife Susy Doherty because Sam and Mary named their eldest son Richard, and the Anglo naming tradition dictates naming the first son for his paternal grandfather.[19] Richard and Susy lived on Long Creek in Mecklenburg County, just across the Catawba River from the home of Sam Sr. and Eleanor in Lincoln (now Gaston) County.[20] Richard’s brother Sam Jr. also lived in Mecklenburg with his first wife, Susy’s sister Mary (“Polly”) Doherty.[21] Richard Rankin and his sister-in-law Polly Doherty Rankin are buried at Hopewell Presbyterian Church on Beatties Ford Road, just northwest of Charlotte, alongside John Doherty, father of Susy Doherty Rankin and Polly Doherty Rankin.[22] Richard’s headstone is in the left foreground of the photograph below, which is the banner photo for this website. The headstones of Richard’s sister-in-law and father-in-law are in the right foreground.

Richard and Susy appeared in the 1800 census for Mecklenburg with three sons and a daughter, all born between 1794 and 1800.[23] The “family tree” of Sam Sr. and Eleanor (a somewhat mysterious source mentioned in Gregg Moore’s book about Sam Sr.’s family) indicates that Richard and Susy had five children, one of whom was born between 1800 and 1804.[24] Only four children survived until 1807, however. In April of that year, the Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions for Mecklenburg County appointed Richard’s brother Sam Jr. as guardian of Richard’s four children: Joseph, Samuel, Mary and William Rankin.[25]

When I found that record in a Clayton Library abstract, I sprang from my chair and did a little victory jig, earning some disapproving glares from a couple of blue-haired ladies at the next table. It was my first real break in the search for Sam’s family of origin. First, it eliminated Sam Jr. as a candidate to be my Sam’s father. Second, it put Richard and Susy at the very front of the pack, since they had sons named Sam and William. After tracking Richard’s brother Robert from Rutherford County, Tennessee to Shelby County, Illinois and identifying some of his children, I concluded that Richard was the only son of Sam Sr. and Eleanor who could have been the father of my great-great grandfather Sam.

I don’t know how Richard Rankin died, although the fact that he was only thirty-five and left no will indicates his death was probably sudden and unexpected. He was a sheriff, patroller, justice of the peace and tax collector, all public positions of trust and responsibility; he ran unsuccessfully for other county offices (coroner and high sheriff).[26] He had a hard time managing money in the course of performing his official duties, because the court had to haul him up short more than once.[27] Unfortunately, that was a harbinger of things to come.

Richard died up to his eyeballs in debt, although that wasn’t immediately apparent. Right after he died, Richard seemed to have been a reasonably well-to-do man. The estate administrator’s bond was either £1,000 or £2,000, neither of which was inconsequential.[28] The sale of his estate (excluding land) brought in £935.[29] The 1806 and 1807 Mecklenburg tax lists indicate that Richard’s estate owned 800 acres there.[30] The honorific “Esquire” with which he appeared in court records squares with the image of a prosperous and respected man.

Reality soon reared its ugly head in the form of lawsuits and  jugments against Richard’s estate. I quit taking notes on these suits, although there were many more, after the trend became painfully obvious.

October 1804, Andrew Alexander’s Administrator v. Richard Rankin’s Admr., verdict for plaintiffs, damages of £103.50.[31]

April 1805, William Blackwood’s Administrators v. Richard Rankin’s Admr., verdict for plaintiffs, damages of £38.18.1.[32]

April 1805, Robert Lowther v. Richard Rankin’s Admrs., verdict for Plaintiff, damages of £34.18.9.[33]

January 1806, Trustee Etc. v. Richard Rankin’s Admrs., verdict for Plaintiffs, damages of £18.9.0.[34]

October 1807, Richard Kerr v. Richard Rankin’s Admrs., judgment for Plaintiff for £7.15.9.[35]

Here is the most depressing court record of them all. Creditors finally had to go after Richard’s land because the estate had no more liquid assets with which to discharge judgments:

Oct 1807, John Little v. Richard Rankin’s Admrs, judgment and execution levied on land for £16, administrator pleads no assets. Ordered that the clerk issue scire facias against Samuel Rankin, guardian of the heirs, to show cause.[36]

The minute book abstract is silent regarding the purpose of the show cause hearing. In context, it is clear that Sam Jr. was to show cause, if any, why Richard’s land should not be sold to pay the judgment creditor. Sam Jr. made no such showing, because the Mecklenburg real property records contain a sheriff’s deed dated October 1807 reciting as follows:

“[B]y execution against the lands of Richard Rankin, dec’d … being divided by the administrator and Samuel Rankin off a tract of 500 acres held by Richard Rankin … [the tract sold] containing 200 acres including the old house, spring, meadow and bottom on both sides Long Creek.”[37]

Wherever Susy and her children were living, it was clearly not in the “old house.” Some of Richard’s land remained after this sale, but I did not attempt to track its inevitable and dreary disposition.

It eventually dawned on me that I was mucking about exclusively in the records of Mecklenburg County looking for evidence of Susy’s family. However, Claude Allen Rankin’s biography said that Sam “reached manhood” in Lincoln County, not Mecklenburg. I belatedly went to the Lincoln records looking for evidence regarding Susy’s whereabouts after Richard died.

Lo and behold: Susy was living in Lincoln County by at least 1808, when she was a defendant there in a lawsuit.[38] I did not find her listed as a head of household in the 1810 census, although she was alive until at least 1812.[39] The family was undoubtedly still residing in Lincoln County in October 1812, when the Lincoln court ordered that “Samuel Rankin, about thirteen years old, an orphan son of Richard Rankin, dec’d be bound to John Rhine until he arrive to the age of 21 years to learn the art and mistery [sic] of a tanner.”[40]

If the indentured Sam Rankin was the same man as my ancestor Sam Rankin, which is highly likely, then there is no doubt that Sam “reached manhood” in Lincoln County, as Claude said. That is where John Rhyne lived, and the indenture lasted until Sam reached legal age.[41]

Sam’s indentured servitude was not an unusual fate for a destitute child whose father had died. Five years before the indenture, it was abundantly clear that Richard Rankin’s estate was rapidly vanishing. None of Richard’s other three surviving children were indentured, however, which is puzzling. Why just Sam? And why wasn’t he indentured earlier?

Perhaps Sam had become incorrigible – the child who was designated to “act out” the Rankin children’s collective anger and grief at the loss of their father and economic status. It would certainly go a long way toward explaining a man who didn’t marry until his late thirties and who named a son Napoleon Bonaparte. Perhaps it would also explain why the prominent and wealthy Rankin family of Lincoln County did not prevent the indenture of a 13-year-old Rankin whose father died when he was five. Indentured grandsons/nephews don’t exactly enhance a family’s reputation in the community.

Nothing like a strict German master to straighten out a wild Scots-Irish teenage boy, I guess.

Whatever Sam’s temperament, or the reason his rich Rankin relatives consented sub silentio to his indenture, his mother Susy had been having an abjectly miserable time of it. In 1803, she lost her sister Mary Doherty Rankin, the wife of Richard’s brother Sam Jr.[42] In 1804, her husband Richard died, leaving her with minor children.[43] One of their children also died, because (according to the Rankin “family tree”) Richard and Susy had five children: the court appointed a guardian for only four in 1807.[44] Also in that year, Susy’s mother Agnes Doherty died[45] and a part of Richard’s land was sold to pay a judgment debt.[46] In 1809, Susy sold via a quitclaim deed her dower right to a life estate in one-third of Richard’s land.[47] Do you think she may have needed cash?

In the midst of those excruciating losses, Susy’s brother-in-law William Rankin (and former co-administrator of Richard’s estate) sued her.[48] In 1808, William obtained a judgment against Susy for £106.7.6, about half of which he collected by garnishing the funds of a man who owed Susy money.[49] William is enumerated in the 1810 census (immediately followed in the list by Thomas Rhyne, John Rhyne, and Samuel Rankin (Sr.), which indicates geographic proximity) with eleven slaves, so the suit against Susy was obviously not a matter of economic need. I trust that his orphaned nephews and niece were not going hungry. He was obviously a vengeful and greedy sonuvabitch, and I don’t like him one whit. Whatever Susy’s sins may have been, Richard’s children deserved better from his brother.

As for Susy, I haven’t found a worse record of persistent and pernicious emotional and financial calamity among any of my other ancestors. If she managed to remain moderately sane through all that, she must have had some backbone. However, she evidently couldn’t cope with her son Sam, about age thirteen.

It turns out that John Rhyne, to whom Sam was bound, was connected to the family of Sam Sr. and Eleanor Rankin. William Rankin (the mean SOB) and his son Richard Rankin both witnessed the will of John Rhyne’s father Thomas.[50] Thomas Rhyne was bondsman for William’s marriage bond to Mary Moore Campbell. The Rhynes lived on land adjacent to Samuel Sr. and Eleanor’s plantation on Kuykendall Creek (later renamed “Dutchman’s Creek”).[51] Susy’s son Sam Rankin therefore served about four years of his indenture within walking distance of his wealthy grandfather Sam Sr.[52] No wonder Sam declined to pass on his given name to any of his eight sons. Sam did, however, have children who shared the name of each of his three surviving siblings: Joseph, William and Mary.

Sam probably remained with his master John Rhyne through the 1820 census.[53] There was a male age 16-26 listed with Rhyne that year who was not the Rhynes’ child and who would most likely have been Sam, the indentured tanner, born about 1799.[54] The 1820 census for John Rhyne also indicates that one person in the household was engaged in manufacturing, and tanning was deemed a manufacturing business.

Meanwhile, some of the Lincoln/Mecklenburg Rankins had begun moving to Rutherford County, Tennessee in the early 1800s. Richard’s brother David and his wife Anne Moore Campbell may have been in Rutherford by August 1806, when David acquired a tract there.[55] In 1810, both David and his brother Robert Rankin appeared on the Rutherford County tax rolls.[56] By the 1820 census, David, Robert and their brother Sam Jr. were all listed as heads of households in Rutherford County.[57] Sam undoubtedly made a beeline for Tennessee the day he turned twenty-one: recall that his uncle Sam Jr. had been Sam’s guardian, and his siblings may have migrated with Sam Jr.

For various reasons, I vacillated for years as to whether my great-great grandfather Sam Rankin was, in fact, a son of Richard and Susy and grandson of Sam Sr. and Eleanor Alexander Rankin. At bottom, all I had were Claude’s oral family history, family migration from North Carolina to Rutherford County, a guardianship record, an indenture, and the name of Sam’s brother. Most disconcerting is the fact that Sam Rankin essentially disappeared from all records after that 1812 indenture until he showed up in Tishomingo County – a lapse of a quarter-century. That would make anyone uneasy. Fortunately, Y-DNA testing resolved my uncertainty. My first cousin Allen Rankin is a close match to proved descendants of Samuel Sr. and Eleanor.

MORAL: if you are a Rankin male (or have a Rankin male relative) and you/he have not done Y-DNA testing, please go to FTDNA.com ASAP, sign up for a 37-marker or 67-marker test, and join the Rankin DNA project. There are now enough participants in the project that you are almost certain to find a Rankin match, assuming there is no “non-paternal” event among your male Rankin line (e.g., an adoption or illegitimate birth). I would be thrilled to help you and to provide whatever information I have about your Rankins.

See you on down the road!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[1] 1850 federal census, Jefferson Co., AR, dwelling 426, Samuel Rankin, born NC; 1860 federal census, Jefferson Co., AR, dwelling 549, Samuel Rankin, born NC. Several of Sam’s children lived to be counted in the 1880 census, which asked where each person’s parents were born. Sam’s children fairly consistently identified their father’s state of birth as North Carolina. E.g., 1880 census, Dorsey (Cleveland) Co., AR, dwelling 99, Richard Rankin, 43, b. MS, father b. NC, mother b. AL.

[2] Laverne Stanford, Tishomingo County Mississippi 1837 State Census, 1845 State Census (Ripley, MS: Old Timer Press, 1981), Samuel Rankin, age 21 < 45, born 1792-1819; 1840 federal census, Tishomingo Co., MS, Samuel Rankin, age 20 < 30, born 1810-1820.

[3] See note 1, 1850 federal census, Samuel Rankin, age 62.

[4] See note 1, 1860 federal census, Samuel Rankin, age 61.

[5] Stanford, Tishomingo County Mississippi 1837 State Census, listing # 54 for William Rankins, age 21 < 45, a female > 16, no slaves, and no acreage under cultivation.

[6] Id., listing # 64 for Samuel Rankins, age 21 < 45, no slaves, 10 acres under cultivation.

[7] 1840 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, listing for William Rankin, 1 male 30 < 40 (born 1800-1810) and 1 female 60 < 70 (born 1770-1780). The woman with William in the 1837 and 1840 census, which were taken before William married in 1843, may have been his mother.

[8] Irene Barnes, Marriages of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi,Volume I 1837 – 1859 (Iuka, MS: 1978), marriage bond for William Rankin and Rachel Swain dated 7 Sep 1843, married by L. B. Estes, J.P., on 14 Sep 1843. Lyddal Bacon Estes was Sam Rankin’s father-in-law.

[9] Martha Ann Estes, Mary Estes Rankin’s sister, was married to Wilson Swain.

[10] Brent H. Holcomb, Marriages of Mecklenburg Co., NC, 1783-1868 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981).

[11] Richard was not named in his father Sam Sr.’s will because Richard predeceased Sam Sr., but other evidence is conclusive. First, William and Alexander Rankin, proved sons of Sam Sr. and Eleanor, were administrators of Richard’s estate along with Richard’s wife Susy. NC State Archives, C.R.065.508.210, Mecklenburg County Estates Records, 1762 – 1957, n.d. Queen – Rankin, file folder labeled “Rankin, Richard 1804,” original bond of Susy, William, and Alexander Rankin, administrators of the estate of Richard Rankin. Second, Samuel Rankin Jr. (another proved son of Sam Sr. and Eleanor) was the guardian for Richard’s children after Richard died. Herman W. Ferguson, Mecklenberg County, North Carolina Minutes of the Court of Pleas Volume 2, 1801-1820 (Rocky Mount, NC: 1995), abstract of Minute Book 4: 663, court order of April 1807 appointing Samuel Rankin guardian for the children of Richard Rankin.

[12] Herman W. Ferguson and Ralph B. Ferguson, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1791-1868, Books A-J, and Tax Lists, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1806, & 1807 (Rocky Mount, NC: 1993), abstract of Will Book C: 21, will of John Doherty of Mecklenburg dated 20 May 1786 naming wife Agnes, son James, and daughters Susanna and Mary; id., Will Book C: 34, will of Agnes Doherty of Mecklenburg dated June 19, 1807, proved Jan. 1808, naming daughter Susanna Rankin and granddaughters Violet and Nelly Rankin. The latter were children of Sam Rankin Jr. and his wife Polly Doherty, who died before her mother Agnes.

[13] D. Y. Thomas, Arkansas and Its People, A History, 1541 – 1930, Volume IV (New York: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1930), biography of Claude Allen Rankin at p. 574.

[14] Sam Sr. and Eleanor’s children who moved to Rutherford County were David, Robert, Samuel Jr., and Eleanor Rankin Dixon. Eleanor Rankin married Joseph Dixon; David Rankin married Jane Moore Campbell, a widow. Jean or Jane Rankin, another daughter of Sam Sr. and Eleanor, married James Rutledge. The Rutherford County records are full of entries in which the Rankins were associated with Dixons, Rutledges and Moores. E.g., WPA Tennessee Records Project, Records of Rutherford County, Tennessee Vol. C, Minutes 1808 – 1810 (Murfreesboro: 1936), abstract of Minute Book C: 197, entry of 1 Jan 1810 regarding a lawsuit styled William Dickson v. Robert Rankin, George Moore, Robert Rutledge and Joseph Dickson, Jr.

[15] William Rankin, the eldest son of Sam Sr. and Eleanor Rankin, remained in Lincoln County and did not have a son named Samuel. See A. Gregg Moore & Forney A. Rankin, The Rankins of North Carolina (Marietta, GA: A. G. Moore, 1997).

[16] Id. David Rankin and his family moved to Rutherford County. Their son Samuel King Rankin, born 1818, is not the same man as the Sam who married Mary F. Estes.

[17] Id. Alexander Rankin remained in Lincoln and had no son named Samuel.

[18] James Rankin had a son named Samuel, but he was born in 1819 and married Nancy Beattie. See also NC State Archives, CR.060.508.105, Lincoln County Estate Records, 1779 – 1925, Ramsour, George – Rankin, John, file folders for James Rankin labeled 1832 and 1842, naming the heirs of James Rankin as Robert, Rufus, Caroline, James, Louisa, Samuel, Richard, and Mary Rankin.

[19] Sam and Mary F. Estes Rankin’s children were, in order, Richard Bacon Rankin, William Henderson Rankin, Joseph Rankin, John Allen Rankin, Elisha (“Lish”) Thompson Rankin, James Darby Rankin, Mary Jane Rankin, Washington (“Wash”) Marion Rankin, Napoleon (“Pole”) Bonaparte Rankin, and Frances Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Rankin.

[20] Microfilm of Mecklenburg County Deed Book 18: 365, Sheriff’s deed dated Oct. 1807, execution against the lands of Richard Rankin, dec’d, 200 acres off a tract of 500 acres owned by Rankin crossing Long Creek, widow’s right of dower excepted.

                  [21] Holcomb, Marriages of Mecklenburg, Nov. 16, 1791 marriage bond of Samuel Rankin and Mary Doherty, bondsman Richard Rankin (Sam Jr.’s brother); 1800 federal census, Mecklenburg Co., NC, household of Samuel Rankin, 1 male age 26<45 (Sam Jr., born 1755-1774), 1 female same age, 3 males < 10, and 2 females < 10.

[22] Charles William Sommerville, The History of Hopewell Presbyterian Church (Charlotte, NC: 1939, 1981). This source incorrectly states that Richard Rankin was married to Mary (nicknamed “Polly”) Doherty Rankin because their graves are side-by-side. The records, however, are clear that Richard married Susy Doherty, Sam Jr. married Polly Doherty, and Richard’s surviving widow Susy was still alive after Polly died.

[23] 1800 federal census, Mecklenburg Co., NC, Richard Rankin, age 26 < 45, with four children under the age of ten, a female 26 < 45, and a female > 45, most likely Richard’s widowed mother-in-law Agnes Doherty.

[24] The Rankin “family tree” is referred to as a source in Moore and Rankin, The Rankins of North Carolina.

[25] Ferguson, Mecklenberg Court Minutes, abstract of Minute Book 4: 663, April 1807 order appointing Samuel Rankin guardian of Joseph, Mary, Samuel and William Rankin, orphans of Richard Rankin, dec’d. “Orphan” just meant fatherless. Susy, the children’s mother, was still alive in 1807.

[26] Id., Minute Book 4: 314, entry in Oct 1801 recording votes for the election of two coroners (John Patterson 11 votes, Robert Robison 8 votes, Richard Rankin 2 votes); Minute Book 4: 375, Oct 1802, Richard Rankin was appointed “Patroller” by the court, having authority to search for and recover runaway slaves; Minute Book 4:387, Jan 25 1803, Richard Rankin et al. “being commissioned by his excellency the Governor to act as Justice of the Peace in this county, appeared in open court and was duly qualified as by law accordingly;” Minute Book 4: 397, Jan 1803, records of the County Trustee indicated that Richard Rankin was sheriff, 1797-1798; Minute Book 4: 409, Apr 1803, Magistrates appointed to take tax returns included Richard Rankin; Minute Book 4: 421, Jul 1803 election for high sheriff (7 votes for Wm Beaty, 5 for Richard Rankin).

[27] Id., Mecklenburg Minute Book 4: 281, entry for Apr 1801, notice issued to Richard Rankin, former sheriff, to appear and show cause why he hasn’t satisfied a judgment; id., Minute Book 4: 300, entry of Jul 1801, motion of County Trustee, Richard Rankin ordered to appear and render to the trustee all money due him for county tax & stray money collected by Richard for 1797 and 1798. Richard confessed judgment for £104.12.2.

[28] Ferguson, Mecklenburg Court Minutes, abstract of Minute Book 4: 458, April 1804, ordered that Susannah Rankin, William Rankin and Alexander Rankin administer on the estate of Richard Rankin, Esquire, dec’d, bond of £2,000. Another record shows the bond as £1,000. See North Carolina Archives, C.R.060.801.21, copy of original bond.

[29] Ferguson, Mecklenburg Court Minutes, abstract of Minute Book 4: 478, Jul 1804 inventory and amount of sale of the estate of Richard Rankin returned by William Rankin, Alexander Rankin and Susy Rankin, £ 935.1.11.

[30] Ferguson and Ferguson, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Will Abstracts, abstract of the 1806 and 1807 tax lists, entry for Richard Rankin’s estate, adm. by Wm. B. Alexander, 800 acres.

[31] Ferguson, Mecklenburg Court Minutes, abstract of Minute Book 4: 501.

[32] Id., Minute Book 4: 530.

[33] Id., Minute Book 4: 531.

[34] Id., Minute Book 4: 592.

[35] Id., Minute Book 4: 704.

[36] Id., Minute Book 4: 706.

[37] FHL Film No. 484,186, Mecklenburg Deed Book 18: 365.

[38] Anne Williams McAllister & Kathy Gunter Sullilvan, Courts of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, Lincoln County, North Carolina, Apr 1805 – Oct 1808 (Lenoir, NC: 1988), William Rankin v. Susy Rankin, court case record for Jan 1808. The county court had no jurisdiction over a defendant who was not a resident of the county, so the fact that Susy was sued in Lincoln and the case was not dismissed for lack of jurisdiction proves that she lived there.

[39] Ferguson, Mecklenburg Court Minutes, abstract of Minute Book 5: 277, entry of Aug 1812, on petition of Susannah Rankin, widow of Richard Rankin, regarding her right of dower in the land of her deceased husband. Although a court did not have jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant, anyone could petition a county court for relief, whether a resident or not. The land in which Susy had a dower right was located in Mecklenburg. She therefore had to file in that county and nowhere else in order to assert her dower right.

[40] North Carolina State Archives CR.060.301.4, “Lincoln County, County Court Minutes Jan 1806 – Jan 1813” at p. 589.

[41] 1820 census, Lincoln Co., p. 224, listing for John Rhyne.

[42] Sommerville, History of Hopewell Presbyterian Church, tombstone of Mary (“Polly”) Doherty inscribed, “Here lies Polly Rankin, died Jan. 30, 1803 in her 33rd year. She left 5 motherless children and a discomfortable husband.”

[43] See notes 25 and 28.

[44] See note 25, appointment of guardian for four children of Richard Rankin; Gregg & Forney, Rankins of North Carolina, citing the Rankin “family tree.” None of Richard and Susy’s children were of age in 1807, since they were married in 1793. Thus, all of their living children would have required a guardian in 1807.

[45] Ferguson & Ferguson, Mecklenburg Will Abstracts, Will Book C: 34, will of Agnes Doherty dated June 19, 1807, proved Jan 1808, naming daughter Susanna Rankin.

[46] See note 37, sheriff’s deed for part of Richard Rankin’s land.

[47] FHL Film No. 484,186, Mecklenburg Deed Book 19: 606, quit claim deed dated 15 Apr 1809 from Susy Rankin, widow and relict of Richard Rankin of Mecklenburg, $200, to David Smith, her right of dower in all land which her late husband died owning.

[48] See note 38.

[49] Anne Williams McAllister and Kathy Gunter Sulliver, Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions Lincoln County, North Carolina April 1805 – October 1808 (1988), abstract of court minutes for January 1808, William Rankin v. Susy Rankin, jury awarded plaintiff damages of £106.7.6, of which judgment was rendered against Samuel Lowrie Esq. for £48.16.

[50] Miles S. Philbeck & Grace Turner, Lincoln County, North Carolina, Will Abstracts, 1779-1910 (Chapel Hill, NC: 1986), abstract of Lincoln Will Book 1: 405, will of Thomas Rhyne naming inter alia son John Rhyne, witnessed by William Rankin and Richard Rankin, 2 Jun 1834.

[51] E.g., microfilm of Lincoln Co. Deed Book 2: 543, deed of 19 Apr 1780 from James Coburn of Lincoln to Samuel Rankin, same, 180A on Kuykendall’s Cr. adjacent Thomas Rhine’s corner.

[52] NC State Archives, C.R.060.801.21, Lincoln County Wills, 1769 – 1926 Quickle – Reep, file folder labeled “Rankin, Samuel 1826,” original will of Samuel Rankin of Lincoln County dated 16 Dec 1814, proved April 1826, recorded in Will Book 1: 37. According to a transcription of Sam Sr.’s tombstone, now lost, he died in 1816.

[53] 1820 census, Lincoln Co., NC, p. 350, listing for John Rhyne, 26 < 45, 1 female 26 < 45, 1 male 16 < 26, 4 males < 10 and 2 females < 10; one person engaged in manufacturing.

[54] John Rhyne didn’t marry until 1808, so it is fairly certain that the male in the 16 < 26 age bracket listed with him in the 1820 was not John’s son. Frances T. Ingmire, Lincoln County North Carolina Marriage Records 1783-1866, Volume I, Males (Athens, GA: Iberian Publishing Co., 1993).

[55] Helen C. & Timothy R. Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy of Rutherford County, Tennessee, Vol. 1 (1804 – 1813) (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 2001), abstract of Deed Book A: 194.

[56] FHL Film No. 24,806, Item 3, Tax List, 1809-1849, Rutherford County, Tennessee.

[57] 1820 census, Rutherford Co., TN, listings for Robert Rankin (p. 109), David Rankins (p. 121), and two listings for Samuel Rankin (p. 94 and p. 116).

Identifying the Children of Lyddal Bacon Estes and “Nancy” Ann Allen Winn: the “Follow the Land” Theory of Genealogy

©Robin Rankin Willis May 2017

First, a disclaimer. This is a very long article because (1) there are nine children to discuss, (2) there are some nice stories about the family, two pictures, and partial transcriptions of two 1888 letters, and (3) I have religiously provided evidence in a mind-boggling plethora of footnotes. The extensive proof is included because several people have told me they really like to see it, and we aim to please.

OK, you’ve been warned. On to the article …

My husband Gary calls our favorite family history research tool the “follow the land” theory of genealogy, since family relationships can often be identified in land transactions. Proving the children of Lyddal Bacon Estes (hereafter, “LBE”) and his wife “Nancy” Ann Allen Winn[1] is a case study in that approach. The identities of all but one of the children who survived LBE are conclusively proved by Tishomingo County, Mississippi deed records. And that lone holdout is Lyddal Bacon Estes (Jr.), about whom there can be little doubt.

As a bonus, the deed records also paint a charming picture of the Estes family.

LBE’s land is our starting point. Tishomingo probate and deed records identify the Estes tracts, about 800 acres in all, as follows:[2]

  • Northeast Quarter of Section 30, Township 2 South, Range 7 East;
  • Northwest Quarter of Section 13, Township 2 South, Range 6 East;
  • Southwest Quarter of Section 12, Township 2 South, Range 6 East;
  • Southeast Quarter of Section 12, Township 2 South, Range 6 East; and
  • Northeast Quarter of Section 12, Township 2 South, Range 6 East.[3]

LBE died intestate between January 1, 1845, when he performed a marriage as a Tishomingo J.P., and March 3, 1845, when his widow Nancy and Benjamin Henderson Estes obtained a bond as administrators of his estate.[4]

For almost a decade after he died, LBE’s 800 acres – which eventually sold for more than $4,000 – remained in the family, rather than being liquidated or partitioned. That is highly unusual. LBE had nine surviving children, including three married daughters. Any heir (or son-in-law) had the right to petition the court for either a sale of the estate’s land or a partition. As a result, the land of an intestate – i.e., someone who died without a will devising land to someone specific – was usually either sold or partitioned fairly promptly.

That didn’t happen in this family. Nancy and two of her sons, LBE Jr. (age 24), and Allen (18) were still living on family land in 1850, five years after LBE died.[5] That was apparently fine with the extended family, which seems downright loving. At minimum, it was generous. There is no right of usufruct in the English common law, so there was no legal requirement to let Nancy and the unmarried children remain in their home.

Moreover, in 1852, LBE Jr. married.[6] By 1854, the youngest son – Allen, who was born about 1832-33 – had just became an adult.[7] Also in 1854, Nancy and B. H. Estes petitioned the court for permission to sell the land in order to distribute the proceeds to the heirs.[8] The timing of that petition was surely not accidental. It suggests that the Estes family agreed after LBE died to keep the land together, with Nancy and minor children continuing to reside in the home place until all the children were grown.

The sweet family story doesn’t end there. At the 1854 public auction, LBE Jr. bought the entire 800 acres for $4,392, roughly $5.50/acre, a premium price.[9] Mind you, there is no way LBE Jr. had that much cash, or anticipated having that much cash in the immediate future. He was a farmer, and claimed only $1,400 in both real and personal property in 1860.[10]

A reasonable bet is that the family agreed LBE Jr. would bid on their behalf at the public auction, and then divide up the land later. For the cynical among us, the court records reveal that attendees at the auction included “several of the next of kin … as well as divers other persons.”[11] The court allowed the land to be sold on twelve months’ credit, so LBE Jr. didn’t have to fork over cash at the auction. Instead, he posted a bond, bought it on credit, and sold it in pieces to (1) Benjamin Henderson Estes (320 acres for $2,160 in August 1854, about $6.75/acre),[12] (2) Martha Swain (160 acres for $472 in August 1854, $2.95/acre),[13] (3) Riley Myers (160 acres for $1,400 in November 1856, $8.75/acre),[14] and (4) Nancy and Allen W. Estes (176 acres for $882 in January 1857, a bit over $5 per acre).[15]

Those deeds, of course, don’t prove that any of the parties were children of LBE and Nancy. For proof, we will have to look at each child. Here they are, in what I believe is birth order.

Benjamin Henderson Estes, b. Lunenburg, VA, 12 Dec 1815, d. 6 Jan 1897, buried in McLennan Co., TX.[16]

Benjamin H. Estes used his middle name in most records. Out of respect and affection, we will do the same. Henderson is proved as an heir of LBE and Nancy by a Tishomingo County quitclaim deed dated 15 Jun 1872. Henderson conveyed to Lyddal B. Estes (Jr.) any interest Henderson had in the northwest quarter of Section 13, Township 2, Range 6 East in Tishomingo, “which said claim and interest [Henderson] has by reason of being an heir and distributee of L. B. Estes, deceased, and Nancy A. Estes, deceased, the widow of said L. B. Estes.”[17] To be an heir at law of an intestate who had children, one had to be a child (or grandchild whose Estes parent had died). Since Henderson was too old to be LBE’s grandchild, he was necessarily a son.

Every census in which Henderson appeared from 1850 through 1880 identified him as having been born in Virginia, alone among LBE and Nancy’s children.[18] His birth in December 1815 in Virginia clearly marks him as the eldest child, since LBE and Nancy were married in March, 1814 in Lunenburg County, VA.[19] LBE made his last appearance in the Lunenburg records on March 22, 1816 on a personal property tax list as Lidwell [sic] B. Estes — so LBE and Nancy were still living in Lunenburg when Henderson was born.[20]

Henderson was involved in Tishomingo public life. He was a Justice of the Peace, a Constable, and a school board trustee.[21] He was apparently a family caretaker, serving as co-administrator of LBE’s estate and as sole administrator of a Winn cousin’s estate.[22] In October 1839, he married Mary A. Ducse, about whom I know nothing.[23]

Although he was 45 when war broke out, Henderson was a Captain in the 11th Mississippi Cavalry, Company A (aka Ham’s Cavalry).[24] LBE Jr. and Allen W. Estes were also officers in that unit, which I suspect (but cannot prove) Henderson helped organize. He was proud of his service, notwithstanding that he was on the wrong side of history and justice. And decency. His tombstone states his rank and unit.[25]

After the War, Henderson and his family moved to McLennan County, Texas, near Waco. He still identified himself as a farmer.[26] He didn’t own any land that I could find, so he must have been farming with family, probably his son Lyddal Bacon Estes (LBE the 3rd). In 1880, he and LBE 3rd were both listed in the Brown County census, several counties west of McLellan.[27]

Henderson returned to McLennan County one last time, as he and his wife Mary are both buried in the Robinson Cemetery there. The identity of their children is disputed. I identify them as follows from census records, their migration from Tishomingo to McLennan, and burial of Mary and Nancy in the Robinson Cemetery.

  1. Mary A. Rebecca Estes, b. 19 Oct 1849, Tishomingo, d. 12 Jul 1909, McLennan Co., TX. Married William Griffin 18 Sep 1871, McLennan Co.
  2. Lyddal Bacon (“Bake”) Estes, b. about 1855, Tishomingo, d. 22 Mar 1918, Grant Co., NM. Married Martha (“Mattie”) Brandon 15 Nov 1885, McLennan Co.
  3. Nancy California (“Callie”) Estes, b. 29 Oct 1856, Tishomingo, d. 12 Nov. 1937, McLennan Co. Husband Benjamin P. Hill.

Mary F. (undoubtedly Frances) Estes Rankin, b. AL 1817-18, d. after 1888, Cleveland Co., AR.

Mary is my ancestress, although I don’t know much about her. She was LBE and Nancy’s eldest daughter. Her year and state of birth vary in the censuses, but she was likely born in 1817-18[28] in Madison County, Alabama.[29] About 1836, she married Samuel Rankin in the area of the Chickasaw Nation that became Tishomingo County in the northeast corner of Mississippi. The Rankins moved to Jefferson County, Arkansas in late 1848 or 1849.[30]

Another quitclaim deed proves that Mary F. Rankin was a daughter of LBE and Nancy. It was dated 31 August 1872, from Mary Rankin as grantor to L. B. Estes (Jr.), grantee. The deed did not state that Mary’s claim to the land conveyed arose via heirship, as did Henderson’s. The description of the land is all the evidence we need, however. Specifically, Mary conveyed her right to land in the northwest quarter of Section 13, Township 2, Range 6.[31] The only way Mary had a claim to that tract was as an heir of LBE and Nancy. Like Henderson, she was too old to be a granddaughter.

I have a portrait of Mary with her grandson John Marvin Rankin by her side. My grandmother, John Marvin’s wife, identified them in writing on the back of the portrait as “JM” and “Mary,” so there isn’t any doubt about her identity. It was taken about 1878, when she was about sixty – but she looks 80 (although perhaps I am underestimating the benefits of sunscreen, moisturizers, good nutrition, and birth control). She is not attractive, to understate the matter wildly. She has large ears, accentuated by the fact that her hair is parted in the center and pulled back severely in a bun (two of my uncles had the misfortune to inherit those ears). It is difficult to imagine that she ever smiled, looking at her downturned mouth and the lines around it.

Here is the photo.

It’s easy to sympathize with Mary. Her husband Samuel was almost two decades her senior and an incorrigible character, although that’s another story. She had ten children who survived her; the first eight arrived less than two years apart like clockwork. There were still seven minors at home when Samuel died in 1861 or 1862, and her youngest child was born about the time he died or soon thereafter.[32] Mary couldn’t read or write, although her siblings for whom I could find that information were literate.[33] Four of her sons fought in the Civil War, two on each side. That’s another story, too. The family was apparently not poor, but they didn’t have much and the children didn’t inherit anything, judging from their subsequent economic situations. Mary undoubtedly worked from sunrise until past sunset all her life.

In short, Mary qualifies as what we Texans call “rode hard and put up wet,” and my heart goes out to her. Ten children survived her:

  1. Richard Bacon Rankin, b. May 1837, Tishomingo, d. Mar 1930, Cleveland Co., AR. Married three times. He has a military tombstone inscribed Co. H., 5 Kansas Cavalry, a Union unit.
  2. William Henderson Rankin, b. Nov 1839, Tishomingo, d. Sep 1910, Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR. Married Eliza Jane Law, 1858, Drew Co., AR. Private, Owen’s Battalion, Arkansas Light Artillery, CSA, enlisted at Monticello, Drew Co., in Feb 1862.
  3. Joseph S. Rankin, b. Aug 1841, Tishomingo, d. Arkansas? Married Nancy J. White.
  4. John Allen Rankin, my great-grandfather, b. Jul 1843, Tishomingo, d. Oct. 1888, Claiborne Par., LA. Married Amanda Adieanna Lindsey, July 1865, in Claiborne Parish. Private, 9th Arkansas Infantry, enlisted Jul 1861. Deserted October-November 1863, twenty-one months into his one year enlistment term after a disastrous battle for the CSA, a newly issued uniform, and several months’ back pay.
  5. Elisha Thompson Rankin, b. May 1845, Tishomingo, d. Apr 1911, Pike Co., AR. Married Martha Willie Daniel. Enlisted 1863, Private, 5th Kansas Cavalry, Union pension approved May 1898.
  6. James D. Rankin, b. Apr 1848, Tishomingo, d. Nov 1930, Drew Co., AR. Married Mary Allen “Mollie” Matthews, 1870.
  7. Mary Jane Rankin, b. 1850, Jefferson Co., AR, m. Nick Scott, 1875, Jefferson Co.
  8. Washington Marion Rankin (“Wash”), b. Mar 1852, Jefferson, AR, d. after 1920, probably Pulaski Co., AR. Married Victoria A. Hall; divorced.
  9. Napoleon Bonaparte Rankin (“Pole”), b. Jul 1855, Jefferson, AR, d. after 1928, probably Dallas Co., TX. Married #1 Ivy Lee Brooks, #2 Alice Austin.
  10. Frances Elizabeth Rankin (“Lizzie”), b. Feb 1862, Jefferson, AR, d. 1919, Grant Co., AR. Married Robert Bearden, Dec 1877, Cleveland Co., AR. Had 11 children; widowed at age 40.[34]

Martha Ann Estes Swain (b. Madison Co., AL, Sep. 1819 – d. 2 Mar 1905, McLennan Co., TX).

Martha was seemingly as sunny and upbeat as her sister Mary appeared to be dour. Martha was still describing herself as a farmer at age eighty.[35] I have copies of transcriptions of two letters Martha wrote to Mary in 1888, and they are charming, chatty, gossippy, kvetchy, and full of love for the extended family group she called “the connection.” (See excerpts below in the discussion of Lucretia Estes Derryberry).

Her 1905 obituary is worth quoting in full:[36] “Mrs. Martha Swain died on March 2, at the home of her son L. B. Swain, at Golinda, at the advanced age of 87 years. She died of pneumonia and was sick only a few days. She leaves two children, one son, L. B. Swain, of Golinda, and Mrs. J. N. Strahan, of the Hillside community. Also a large number of grand and great-grand children to mourn her demise. The entire community extends sympathy to the mourning relatives and friends and also feels the loss of a noble woman. We could write at length of the good deeds of this good woman, as it was our privilege to know her for over thirty years. –Eli Gib.”

She had nine children and outlived all but two of them, which strikes me as the worst thing that can befall a human being.[37] Nevertheless, she persisted. I found no marriage record for Martha and Wilson Swain, but other records suggest they were married by the mid-1830s.[38] Wilson died about 1849, because Martha was a head of household in 1850 with the youngest child in the family only one year old.[39]

Martha bought one of the Estes family tracts from her brother LBE Jr. in 1854, which she sold in two pieces in 1871.[40] Also in 1871, she executed a quitclaim deed to LBE Jr. for – you can undoubtedly guess this by now – the northwest quarter of Section 13, Township 2, Range 6 east.[41] By 1871, Martha was clearly about to move to Texas.

Four of Martha’s nine children apparently did not live long enough to be named in the 1850 census. She also had two children – Armistead and Josephine – about whom I found nothing in the records except census listings in 1850 and 1860. Her other three children moved to Texas with Martha, although only two of those outlived her. Here are the children who evidently survived to adulthood:

  1. Nancy J. Swain, b. 1837-38, Tishomingo. She married M. W. Oldham in McLennan Co., TX, 25 May 1882. She has a Robinson Cemetery joint tombstone with John Neil Strahan on which her date of birth is shown as “abt 1837” and her name as “Nancy Jane Swain Oldham,” death in May 1912.[42] John N. Strahan was obviously her second marriage, date unknown.
  2. Mary Ann Swain, b. about 1840, Tishomingo. She married J. N. Strahan in McLennan Co., 28 Feb 1872. I found no death or cemetery record, but she apparently died before May 1882, after which J. N. married her sister Nancy J. (who must by then have been the widow of M. W. Oldham).
  3. Lyddal Bacon (“Bud”) Swain, b. Dec. 1846, Tishomingo, d. Dec. 1923, McLennan Co. Confederate veteran. Wife Martha Ann Hill.

Martha Ann Estes Swain also features prominently in her sister Lucretia’s story, up next.

Lucretia Estes Derryberry (abt. 1822-23, Madison Co., AL, d. after 1888, probably in Little River, AR).

Lucretia (nicknamed “Cretia” or “Creasy,” as was her maternal grandmother, Lucretia Andrews Winn) and her husband Henderson D. B. Derryberry were married in January 1844 in Tishomingo.[43] In 1858, the couple executed a deed to her brother Henderson Estes, for $100, “all right, title, claim and interest” the Derryberrys had “as legatee of the estate of Lyddal B. Estes” in all of LBE’s land, described by section, township and range.[44]

Cretia and H.D.B. left Tishomingo shortly thereafter, moving first to Nacogdoches County, Texas, and then to Little River County, Arkansas. They appeared faithfully in the census records in 1850 (Tishomingo),[45] 1860 (Nacogdoches),[46] 1870, (Little River)[47] and 1880 (ditto).[48] I cannot find a death or cemetery record for Lucretia, but H.D.B. died in 1887 and is reportedly buried in the Campground Cemetery in Winthrop, Little River Co., AR.

Identifying their children is difficult because the names and years of birth vary from census to census, although I confess I haven’t looked at anything but census records. All of their children except for John were born in Tishomingo, and he was born in Arkansas. I’m confident about the names of only 5 children, although there were at least three more.

  1. Isaac Derryberry, b. 1844-45.
  2. Nancy Derryberry, b. 1846-48.
  3. Virginia Derryberry, b. 1848-49.
  4. Martha Caroline Derryberry, b. 1850-51.
  5. John Derryberry, b. 1858-59.

In between Martha and John were three sons born 1851-1857: Calvin, William and Gilbert (according to the 1860 census). Two of them had the middle (or first) name of Scott and Anderson, according to the 1870 census. I’m baffled, and haven’t sorted it out. If this is your line, please set me straight.

Here is some fun stuff: family gossip. By way of necessary background, Cretia and H.D.B. had a granddaughter Martha Derryberry, whose parents I have not identified. In 1880, Martha, age 9, was living with H.D.B. and Cretia. By 1887, H.D.B. was dead. Here, verbatim (including “xxx” where the transcriber couldn’t interpret the handwriting, as well as question marks) are excerpts from two 1888 letters Martha Estes Swain wrote to her sister Mary Estes Rankin. My comments/interpretations are in italics. Martha opens the first letter by demanding in no uncertain terms to know why the hell her sister hasn’t written, and then moves on to the gossip.

Excerpt from first letter, written to Mary when Martha was visiting Cretia in Little River

“April the 24 1888, Little River Co. Little River PO.

Well mi dear sister i will write you a few more lines to let you no how i am getting along i rote to you when i first came out here and i have not heard from you yet i would like to no what is the mater that you don’t rite we are all well at this time and i do hope that these few lines will find you all well and doing well   well i am going to start home tomorrow morning Cxxxx [Cretia] and isac? [Isaac, eldest son of HDB and Cretia] will go to Texar kana and then we will part I hate to leave Cxxxxx [Cretia] for she xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx run away and married and now Cxxxxx will bea left alone and that is mity bad because she is to old to bea left alone … and write to Cxxxxx she wants to hear from you all mity bad   well   i will bring mi letter to close me and Cxxxxx send our love to all so good by for this time

M A Swaine to Mrs M A [sic] Rankin”

Summary and excerpt from second letter, after Martha has returned home from Little River, June 16th [1888]

Martha begins by thanking Mary for her letter and complaining about her rheumatism. She says she hasn’t seen Mary and Henderson since she came home, talks about crops, asks about Mary’s lost cows, and mentions some family, noting who has written to her and who has not: Lizzie (Mary’s youngest child), Mr. Strahan (an in-law, who is moving to Wilbarger Co., TX), Minnie (Bearden, a granddaughter of Mary’s), John (several possibilities), Judge (a son of Richard Bacon Rankin), Pole (Mary’s son), Wash (ditto), Aunt Jane and Dulo (I have no idea), and Joe Estes (Allen W. Estes’s only child, a nephew of Martha and Mary’s). Then Martha gets down to the nitty gritty with obvious relish.

“well Mary I will tell you something about my trip home i stayed with sister Creby [sic, Creasy or Cretia] til the 25th of April her and isac come with me to Tex arcance i taken the train at 11 in the morning I got at Waco at 12 20 at night. bud [Lyddle Bacon Swain, Martha’s son] met me there and we came 9? miles at brother henderson I stayed there until saturday morning and started home saturday morning and got caught in a big rain before I got to brother tonys? [Martha’s brother LBE Jr.] I hant been well since I got home the first day of may i never hated to leave anybody as bad as i did Cxxxx [Cretia] Martha [the granddaughter, married 8 Apr 1888] she run away and murried and left Cxxxx a lone i think she could do as well without her as with her although she was left a lone she was mighty disobedient to her grandma i am afraid she has done bad business in murring I got a letter dated the 15th of may and she [Cretia] said she was still liveing a lone and she said they was all well write soon and often and give me all the news a bout all of the connection be sure and come if you can I will bring my few lines to a close your sister until death

Martha Swain”

On that note, let’s leave Cretia, Martha, and Mary with a smile, and go see about the next Estes sibling. I wish I had known those three women.

John B. Estes (b. Madison Co., AL 1822-24, d. between 1872-1880, Nacogdoches Co., TX)

John B. Estes is a mystery because the records reveal very little about him. He wasn’t listed in the 1850 census, so far as I can find. Perhaps he was on the move. He had clearly arrived in Nacogdoches County by August 1851, when he married Avy Ann Summers there.[49] She was a widow, née Parish,[50] and had three children. John B. Estes was listed in the 1854 school census as their guardian, and he gave Alabama as his state of birth.[51]

The couple executed a deed dated 19 August 1853 conveying to LBE Jr. for $200 all “right, title, claim they may have as legatees of the estate of Liddal [sic] B. Estes, dec’d, late of Tishomingo,” to LBE’s land. Like the Derryberry deed, it included a description of LBE’s tracts by section, township and range, leaving no doubt that John B. was LBE’s son.[52]

John B. owned several tracts in Nacogdoches County. I have not delved into the county probate records to see if there was an estate administration, although there must have been in light of his land ownership. The census records reveal only one child, a daughter Nancy A. Estes, born about 1861. Nancy was listed in the 1870 census with John B. and Avy Ann and in 1880 with her mother, who was widowed by then.[53] Ancestry.com trees give John’s middle name as “Byron,” without citing any sources except other online family trees. I would love to hear from anyone having actual evidence about that name.

Lyddal Bacon Estes Jr. (b. McNairy Co., TN? 20 Sep 1826, d. McLennan Co., TX, 18 Apr 1903).

Ironically, LBE Jr. didn’t execute a deed reciting heirship, although I can’t imagine there could be any reasonable doubt about his parentage. The entire record of his land transactions among family members, and his unusual name, and the fact that he appeared in Nancy A. Estes’s household in 1850, constitute sufficient circumstantial evidence to establish him as a son of LBE and Nancy.

LBE Jr. was a Confederate veteran, a First Lieutenant in the same cavalry unit in which his brothers Henderson and Allen W. Estes served.[54] A county history identifies him as “Toney” Estes, as does one of Martha Swain’s letters excerpted above. Interesting nickname for a family of solidly British Isles heritage on both sides.

In 1852, LBE Jr. married Elvira Caroline Derryberry, a sister of H.D.B. Derryberry, in Tishomingo.[55] LBE Jr. was apparently the last of LBE and Nancy’s children to remain in Tishomingo – or Alcorn County, by the time he left. He last appeared as a resident there acknowledging a deed dated November 1876.[56] By March 1879, he was in McLennan County, where he executed what appears to have been his last deed to Mississippi land.[57]

LBE Jr. was a landowner in McLennan County and left some helpful estate administration records, including one identifying his children.[58] His widow Caroline applied for letters of survivorship on August 5, 1903, reciting that her husband died intestate in McLennan in April 1903 and giving his children’s ages and residences.

  1. Louisa Russell, 50, Hill County, TX.
  2. Harriet Wood, who predeceased LBE Jr., leaving 2 surviving children in Jones Co.
  3. F. (Margaret Frances) Garner, age 46, residing in McLennan Co.
  4. Mark L. Estes, 44, Jones Co., TX.
  5. Mattie Coyel, age 42, also a resident of McLennan.
  6. Emma? Moore, 34, resident of Bosque Co., TX.
  7. Florence Cooksey, 32, McLennan.

LBE Jr. was also kind enough to leave a picture of himself and Caroline that is widely available in family trees online. Here it is. He was clearly a snappy dresser, which might account for his nickname.

Alsadora Estes Byers, b. abt. 1828?, McNairy Co., TN, d. ???

Alsadora was named for her mother Nancy A. Winn Estes’s youngest sister, Alsadora Abraham Winn Looney, and that is the only interesting thing I know about her. Alsadora married Edward Byers in Tishomingo on September 16, 1845. In 1850, she and Edward were listed in the Tishomingo census with three children.[59] That census gives her age as 20, but earlier census records for LBE’s family, and her brother William’s likely birth year, suggest she was born a year or two earlier.

There is, of course, the inevitable deed proving that Alsadora Estes Byers was a daughter of LBE and Nancy. On 14 March 1847, Edward and Alsadora conveyed to her brother Henderson all of the “right, title, claim and interest they have as a legatee of the estate of Lyddal B. Estes” in LBE’s land, all tracts described by section, township and range.[60] No doubt about that parentage. I would almost have deemed her proved just on the strength of that highly unusual given name and the fact that LBE’s was the only Estes family in Tishomingo in the mid-1800s.

William P. Estes, b. abt 1830, McNairy Co., TN?, d. unknown (San Francisco Co., CA?)

William P. was probably born about 1830, because he first appeared as a taxable on the Tishomingo tax rolls in 1848. He is listed on the tax rolls again in 1849, but he is not in the 1850 census in Tishomingo. I found only two other records for him. One was a general power of attorney he granted to Henderson in 1853 which identified him as a resident of San Francisco County, California.[61] Second, there was the 1872 deed reciting that William, Alsadora Byers, Lucretia Derryberry and Henderson Estes were heirs and legatees of LBE, from B. H. Estes of McLennan Co., TX to Lyddall B. Estes of Alcorn Co., Mississippi.[62] Specifically, Henderson quitclaimed for $100 any interest he had in the northwest Quarter of Section 13 Township 2 Range 6 East, “which … the party of the first part having previously bought and had conveyed to him the interest of Lucretia Derryberry of Elsidora Byers and of William P. Estes thereafter other heirs and distributees of the said L. B. Estes and Nancy A. Estes, dec’d.

Given the timing of his departure in about 1850 and his destination, one might speculate that William was bitten by the gold rush bug. Please let me know if you have any info on him.

Allen W. Estes, b. 1832, TN, d. 29 July 1864, CSA Hospital in Atlanta, GA

Allen W. (and my money is on Allen Winn), LBE and Nancy’s youngest child, died at the Battle of Ezra Church. In 1864, that was west of Atlanta. Now it is just off I-20 at MLK Boulevard, well inside the city limits. He was a Captain in his cavalry unit, the same one in which his brother LBE Jr. and Henderson served. They fought “dismounted” at Ezra’s church, meaning as infantry. They were commanded by an incompetent general who had his troops repeatedly charge a well-fortified position on higher ground against orders. The general was ordered to contain the Union troops, not advance.

The same foolish general – Steven Dill Lee, no relation to Robert E.– commanded my great-grandfather John Allen Rankin’s unit at the Battle of Champion Hill near Vicksburg with similar incompetence, so I have a real grudge against him. My husband and I wrote an article about the three Confederate Estes brothers in Ham’s Cavalry, which you can find here. Gary, a graduate of the Air Force Academy and an amateur military historian and tactician (and grizzled Vietnam vet), provided the battle information. There is also an article about John Allen’s war story on this website, with Gary again contributing military savvy.

I just hope Nancy had already died before she learned about Allen’s death. He was, I can guarantee, still her baby at 32.

The only other thing that stands out about Allen is the puzzle he created by failing to leave a deed proving his parents’ identity. Other records provide compelling circumstantial evidence, although not conclusive proof, that Allen W. was a son of LBE and Nancy. The deed records come through for us again, though. First, here are the census and marriage records, which also identify Allen’s only child:

  • Allen Estes, 18, was living with Nancy A. Estes in the 1850 census.
  • In 1859, Allen married Josephine Jobe, and Allen W. and Josephine Estes were living with Nancy in 1860.
  • In 1868, Josephine Estes married G. L. (Grimmage) Leggett.
  • In the 1880 census, Jos. Ester [sic] was listed in the household of Grim Leggette along with his wife Josephine. Joseph, 18, was identified as Leggette’s stepson, and thus a son of Allen W. and Josephine Jobe Estes Leggett.

Of course, that still isn’t conclusive proof that Allen W. was a son of LBE and Nancy: he could have been a nephew. We need the deed records. They get a bit esoteric …

Back in 1857, Allen W. and Nancy bought one of LBE’s tracts – and this one is key: the northwest quarter of Section 13, Township 2, Range 6 East, the only tract in Section 13. As a matter of law, Nancy (who was a single woman in 1857), could actually own property in her own name. Imagine that! She and Allen each owned an undivided interest in the tract. I never found a will or estate administration for either Nancy or Allen. Both probably died intestate.

Under the law of intestate descent and distribution, Nancy’s half of the tract would have descended to Nancy’s heirs — her surviving children, plus any children of a deceased child. Allen’s half of the tract would have descended to his sole heir, Joseph. By 1872, LBE Jr. owned all the children’s claims to that tract except for Allen’s: (1) LBE Jr. had purchased all of John B. Estes’s interest in LBE’s land; (2) Henderson had purchased all of William, Alsadora Byer’s, and Lucretia Derryberry’s interest in all of LBE’s land, which he quitclaimed to LBE Jr.; and (3) LBE had quitclaim deeds to that specific tract from Henderson, Martha and Mary.

In short, the only surviving heirs who had claims to any part of Allen and Nancy’s Section 13 tract were LBE Jr. and Joseph Estes. You’ve got to appreciate the English common law obsession with orderly land transfers and records. And being in a county that William Tecumseh Sherman missed.

LBE Jr. asked the court to partition the tract between him and Joseph Estes. A commission did just that, laying out 9/16ths of the tract to LBE Jr., and 7/16ths to Joseph. I have no idea how they came up with those fractions, except that one of the partitioned tracts must have had improvements that the other lacked.

And, my friends, that is it. Whew! I congratulate anyone who made it through this entire piece. The secret word is “footnotes.” Put it in a comment on this article and I will buy you a Starbucks coffee. Or send you a gift certificate for same.

[1] Either “Nancy” or “Ann” was a nickname, probably Nancy. She appeared in the Lunenburg Co., VA records as Ann Allen Winn (Lunenburg Will Book 6: 204, FHL Film 0,032,381, her father Benjamin Winn’s will), Nancy Allen Winn (Lunenburg Guardian Accounts 1798 – 1810, FHL Film 0,032,419, at p. 136), and Nancy A. Winn (Emma R. Matheny and Helen K. Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County Virginia 1746 – 1853 (Richmond: 1967, reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1979), Nancy’s marriage to LBE).

[2] Tishomingo Probate Records Vol. M: 484, court order of 14 Mar 1854 to sell the land of Lyddal B. Estes, identifying the tracts by section, township and range; id. at 438, court order regarding notice and citation; Tishomingo Deed Book R: 15, FHL Film 0,895,878, deed of 30 May 1854 conveying the land and identifying the tracts by section, township and range.

[3] There is a minor question about this tract. At least four Tishomingo court and deed records identify it as the northeast quarter. Online BLM records identify it as the northwest quarter.

[4] See Irene Barnes, Marriages of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi, Volume I, 1837 – 1859 (Iuka, MS: 1978), LBE presided as J.P. at a marriage on 1 January 1845; FHL Film 0,895,897, Tishomingo Probate Records Vol. C: 391, 3 Mar 1845 bond of Benjamin H. Estes and Nancy A. Estes as administrators of Lyddal B. Estes.

[5] 1850 U.S. census, Tishomingo, Nancy Estes, 62, b. VA, with Bacon Estes, 24, b. TN, and Allen Estes, 18, b. TN; see FHL Film 0,895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 15, deed of 30 May 1854 reciting that the 1854 auction of the land was held at LBE’s house.

[6] Thomas Proctor Hughes and Jewel B. Standefer, Tishomingo County, Mississippi Marriage Bonds and Ministers’ Returns, January 1842-February 1861 (1973), 11 Feb 1852 marriage of L. B. Esters [sic] & Emaline C. C. Derryberry.

[7] 1850 U.S. census, Tishomingo, Allen Estes, age 18 (born about 1832); 1860 U.S. census, Tishomingo, Allen W. Estes, age 27 (born about 1833). Allen was living in Nancy’s household in 1860 along with his wife Josephine (Jobe) Estes. See Hughes and Standefer, Tishomingo County, Mississippi Marriage Bonds, marriage of W. A. Estes [sic, should be A. W.] and Josephine Jobe, 13 Oct 1859.

[8] I could not find the administrators’ petition among the county records, but the court order to sell the land references it. Tishomingo Probate Records Vol. M: 484, court order of 14 Mar 1854.

[9] FHL Film 0,895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 15, deed of 30 May 1854 reciting inter alia the following: B. H. Estes and Nancy Estes, administrators of L. B. Estes, dec’d, to Lyddal B. Estes Jr. of Tishomingo … whereas the probate court on 2nd Monday in March 1854 ordered to sell on 12 months’ credit all the land of dec’d containing 800 acres … on a portion of said land L. B. Estes resided at his death and had thereon a dwelling house, stables and other appurtenances. Notice of the time and place of sale was given in a newspaper and by posting copies of the notice at public places. The sale was held between 12 noon and 5 p.m. at LBE’s residence on May 1, 1854. The highest bidder was Lyddal B. Estes Jr.: $4,392.

[10] 1860 U.S. census, Lyddal Estes, 33, farmer, $1000 realty, $400 personal property, b. TN, Caroline Estes, 23, b. TN, Louisa Estes, 6, b. MS, Harriet Estes, 3, b. MS, and Marcus Estes, 2, b. MS.

[11] Tishomingo Probate Book 5: 255–56 (original viewed at the chancery court in Iuka, MS, administrators’ report of the sale).

[12] FHL Film 0,895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 19, deed from L. B. Estes and wife to B. H. Estes.

[13] FHL Film 0,895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 18, deed from L. B. Estes and wife to Martha Swain.

[14] FHL Film 0,895,881, Tishomingo Deed Book U: 570, deed from L. B. Estes and wife to Riley Myers. I’m not sure what Riley’s relationship to the Estes family might have been, if any.

[15] FHL Film 0,895,881, Tishomingo Deed Book U: 155, deed from L. B. Estes and wife to A. W. Estes and Nancy A. Estes.

[16] Central Texas Genealogical Society, Inc., McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume II (Waco, TX: 1973), tombstone for B. H. Estes in the Robinson Cemetery.

[17] FHL Film 0,895,389, Tishomingo Deed Book 2: 590.

[18] 1850 U.S. census, Tishomingo, B. H. Estes, 35, farmer, b. VA, with Mary Estes, 32, b. TN, two children sometimes identified as Henderson and Mary’s, and their daughter Mary, age 1; 1860 U.S. census, Tishomingo, Benj. H. Estes, 43, farmer, b. VA, Mary Estes, 41, Mary Estes, 11, Siddle (sic, Lyddal) Estes, 5, and Nancy Estes, 3 (plus Thadeus Gossitt, 15, who was also listed in this family in 1850); 1870 U.S. census, McLennan Co., TX, Waco P.O., Benjamin Estes, 55, farmer, b. VA, Mary Estes, 51, Rebecca Estes, 21, MS, Bacon Estes, 15, MS, and California Estes, 14, MS; 1880 U.S. census, Brown Co., TX, Benjamin Estes, 64, b. VA, and wife Mary Estes, 60, TN.

[19]Henderson’s stated year of birth varies from 1815 to 1817 in the census records, but his tombstone says 1815. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=7096040&amp;ref=acom; see also Matheny and Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County, Virginia, Lyddal B. Estes of Lunenburg and Nancy A. Winn, married 10 March 1814.

[20] Clayton Library microfilm #239, Lunenburg County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Records, 1805 – 1835, 1816 personal property tax list, Upper District of Lunenburg, Lidwell [sic] B. Estes, one taxable poll, visited on 22 March 1816.

[21] Fan A. Cockran, History of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi Territory (Oklahoma City: Barnhart Letter Shop, 1969).

[22] Tishomingo Probate Records Vol. C: 606, FHL Film 0,895,897, petition of Benjamin Estes for administration of the estate of John Winn.

[23] Cockran, History of Old Tishomingo County.

[24] Id.

[25] See note 19, link to an image of his tombstone.

[26] See note 18.

[27] 1880 U.S. census, Brown Co., TX, Benjamin Estes, p. 443, dwelling. 90, age 64, b. VA, parents b. VA, Mary A. Estes, wife, age 60, b. TN, parents b. VA; adjacent listing in dwelling 91, Luddell [sic] Estes, 25, b. MS, father b. VA, mother b. TN, Rebecca Estes, wife, 19, and Newton B. Estes, b. Sep 1879, TX.

[28] 1850 U.S. census, Jefferson Co., AR, household of Samuel Rankin, Mary Rankin, 31, b. MS; 1860 U.S. census, Jefferson Co., household of Samuel Rankin, Mary F. Rankin, 42, b. AL; 1870 U.S. census, Jefferson Co., household of Mary F. Rankin, 50, b. AL; 1880 U.S. census, Dorsey Co., AR, household of Robbert Bearden, Mary F. Rankin, mother-in-law, 63, b. AL.

[29] I have not found LBE and Nancy in the Madison County records, but it is clear from the extended Winn family in McNairy Co., TN and Tishomingo that the couple migrated with Nancy Winn Estes’s family of origin. Nancy’s mother, Lucretia Andrews Winn, definitely migrated from Lunenburg to Madison Co., where she and several of her children appeared in the records.

[30] See 1860 U.S. census, Jefferson Co., AR, household of Samuel Rankin, indicating that James Rankin was born in Mississippi about 1848 and the next child, Mary Rankin, was born in Arkansas about 1850; Tishomingo Deed Book M: 219, FHL Film 0,895875, deed dated 18 Nov 1848, Samuel and Mary Rankin acknowledged it the same day. It was their last appearance in person in Tishomingo.

[31] Tishomingo Deed Book 2: 588, FHL Film 0,895,389.

[32] In the 1861 tax list for Jefferson Co., AR (which I viewed at the county courthouse in Rison, AR), Samuel Rankin was taxed on 280 acres. In 1862 and 1865, his son Joseph S. Rankin was taxed on that acreage, although there was no deed conveying it. Samuel and Mary’s youngest child, Frances Elizabeth (“Lizzie”), was born in Feb. 1862, see 1900 U.S. census, Cleveland Co., AR, household of Robbert Bearden.

[33] 1870 U.S. census, Jefferson Co., Mary F. Rankin, cannot read or write. Compare the 1870 the census for LBE Jr. (Alcorn Co., MS), Henderson Estes (McLennan Co., TX), John Esthers (sic, Nacogdoches Co., TX), Lucretia Derryberry (Little River Co., AR, where the census taker marked the literacy columns exactly backward); see also 1900 census, Martha Swain (McLennan Co.).

[34] https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=7127018&amp;ref=acom

[35] 1900 U.S. census, McLennan Co., TX, Martha Swain, b. Sep 1819, widow, age 80, farmer (!!!), has had nine children, 2 living.

[36] Waco Weekly Tribune, Waco, Texas, Saturday, March 11, 1905, p. 11.

[37] Id.; see also note 35.

[38] 1837 Mississippi State census, Tishomingo, Wilson Swain, listing #65 (next to Samuel Rankin), 1 male 18 < 21, 1 female > 16, and 2 females < 16; 1840 U.S. census, Tishomingo, household of Wilson Swain, 1 male, 20 < 30, 1 female, 15 < 20, and 2 females < 5; Tishomingo Deed Book S: 340, deed dated 1 Jan 1846 from Wilson Swain to Seaborn Jones signed by Wilson Swain and Martha Ann Swain.

[39] 1850 census, Tishomingo, household adjacent to Nancy A. Estes, Martha Swain, 30, b. AL, with Nancy Swain, 13, Mary Swain, 10, Bacon Swain, 4, Armistead Swain, 2, and Josephine Swain, 1, all children b. MS; 1860 census, Tishomingo, household adjacent to LBE Jr., Martha A. Swain, 42, farmer, b. TN, with Nancy J. Swain, 22, Mary A. Swain, 20, Bacon Swain, 14, Annista (sic, Armistead, male), 12, and Martha, 11, all children b. MS; 1870 census, Alcorn Co., Martha Swain, 50, farmer, b. TN, with Nancy Swain, 30, MS, Mary Swain, 27, MS, Lucius? Swain, should be Lyddal Bacon, 25, MS, Martha Swain, 25, MS, and Alice Swain, 4 (not Martha’s child).

[40] Tishomingo Deed Book R: 18, FHL Film 0,095,878, deed from L. B. Estes and wife Elvira C. C. Estes to Martha Swain, 160 acres for $472; Alcorn Deed Book AA: 563; Alcorn Deed Book 1: 176 and 184.

[41] Alcorn Co. Deed Book 2: 436, FHL Film 0,895,389, deed dated 11 Dec 1871, quitclaim for $1.

[42] https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=35256937&PIpi=16426853.

[43] Barnes, Marriages of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi or Tishomingo County Mississippi Marriage records 1837 – 1900 (Ripley, MS: Old Timer Press). I am not sure which abstract I used.

[44] Tishomingo Deed Book M: 188, FHL Film 0,895,875, deed dated 23 Sep 1858 from the Derryberrys to Henderson Estes conveying all their interest in LBE’s land.

[45] 1850 U.S. census, Tishomingo, H. B. Derryberry, 28, farmer, b. TN, Lucretia Derryberry, 29, b. AL, Isaac Derryberry, 6, Nancy Derryberry, 4, Virginia Derryberry, 2, and Martha Derryberry, 6 months, all children b. MS.

[46] 1860 U.S. census, Nacogdoches Co., TX, Henderson Derryberry, farmer, 37, $862, b. TN, Lucretia Derryberry, 38, b. TN, Isaac Derryberry, 14, Nancy Derryberry, 12, Virginia Derryberry, 11, Carolina Derryberry, 9, Calvin Derryberry, 7, William Derryberry 5, Gilbert Derryberry, 4, and John Derryberry, 1, all children b. MS except for John, b. Arkansas.

[47] 1870 U.S. census, Little River Co., AR, Henderson Derryberry, 45, b. TN, Lucretia Derryberry, 44, b. MS, Isaac Derryberry, 26, Catherine Derryberry, 24, Andelina Derryberry, 23, Caroline Derryberry, 20, Scott Derryberry, 19, Anderson Derryberry, 14, and John Derryberry, 12, all children b. MS except for John, b. AR.

[48] 1880 U.S. census, Little River, H. D. B. Derryberry, 58, b. TN, wife Lucresa Derryberry, 59, b. TN, and granddaughter Martha Derryberry, b. AR, father b. TN, mother b. MO.

[49] Pauline S. Murrie, Marriage Records of Nacogdoches County, Texas 1824-1881 (1968).

[50] Nacogdoches Co. Deed Book W: 505, FHL Film 1,003,601, deed dated 15 Apr 1872 from Ava Ann Estes to William Parish, all her right to a tract of land known as the estate of David Parish dec’d. Signed Ava Ann and John Estes.

[51] Carolyn Reeves Ericson, 1854 School Census of Nacogdoches County. The U.S. census records are inconsistent: the 1860 census says he was born in Alabama, the 1870 census says Mississippi.

[52] Tishomingo Deed Book Q: 305, FHL Film 0,895,878.

[53] 1870 U.S. census, Nacogdoches Co., TX, household of John Esthers, sic, 48, with Ann Estes, 50, Nancy Estes, 11, and William Somers, 20; 1880 U.S. census, household of her brother David Parrish, Avy Ann Esthes, [sic] 59, and Nancy A. Esthes, 19.

[54] Cockran, History of Old Tishomingo County, says that Henderson Estes was a Captain in the 11th MS Cavalry, Co. A, and that Toney Estes was 1st Lieut. That is consistent with their military records from the National Archives. Allen W. was originally a Sergeant, but had been promoted to Captain by the time he fought at the Battle of Ezra Church.

[55] Barnes, Marriages of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi.

[56] Alcorn Co., MS Deed Book 4: 473, original of deed book viewed at the county courthouse in Corinth.

[57] Alcorn Co., MS Deed Book 8: 29, original of deed book viewed at the county courthouse in Corinth.

[58] McLennan Co., TX Probate Packet #2757, original viewed at the county clerk’s office in Waco.

[59] 1850 U.S. census, Tishomingo Co., E. Byers, 24, farmer, b. AL, Alsadonia [sic, Alsadora] Byers, 20, b. MS, Mary Byers, 4, b. MS, Francis Byers, 2, b. MS, Joseph Byers, 2 months, b. MS.

[60] Tishomingo Deed Book H: 417, FHL Film 0,895,875.

[61] Tishomingo Deed Book Q: 307, FHL Film 0,895,878.

[62] Tishomingo Deed Book 2: 590, FHL Film 0,895,389.

Part Two: Expanded Chart for James Rankin, son of Samuel and Eleanor Alexander Rankin

This is “part two” of an outline of the family tree of James Rankin, one of the sons of Samuel and Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin. It is an expanded outline that includes notes containing census records and other information, all shown in italics. I initially included citations to specific records (e.g., death certificates), although the sources became so repetitive that I abandoned that effort.

For a list of the primary sources I used in preparing this chart, see Part One HERE.

And now, for anyone who is an absolute sucker for detail, is the lonnnngggg expanded chart …

1 Samuel Rankin (1734 – 1816) and Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin (1740 – 1802). Samuel’s will, dated 16 Dec 1814 and proved April 1826, names inter alia their son James. (1) These dates of birth and death disagree with those given by most Rankin researchers. They are from Goshen Grove Presbyterian Cemetery inscriptions transcribed on FHL Microfilm #882,938. The film contains a pre-1914 cemetery inscription survey; the Historical Records Survey Service Division of the WPA prepared the transcription. Samuel Rankin’s tombstone has long since disappeared, but his wife Eleanor’s was still standing in the late 1990s. (2) North Carolina State Archives File Box C.R.060.801.21, original will of Samuel Rankin. Recorded in Lincoln County Will Book 1: 37. Will names children William, Jean Hargrove/Hartgrove, Samuel, David, Robert, Alexander, Ann Rutledge, Eleanor Dickson and James. A tenth child, Richard Rankin, predeceased Samuel but is proved by strong circumstantial evidence.

2 James Rankin (b. 1775-1780, d. 1832-1833). Wife Mary (“Polly”) Johnson, marriage bond 26 Aug 1812, Lincoln Co. Will named wife Mary, youngest child Mary Ann, and sons Richard and Robert. Provided all property to be equally divided among his children, without naming them. However, his estate records identify eight children. (1) 1820 census, Lincoln Co., NC, p. 350, James Rankin, 30001-10011. Male 26 < 46, female > 45, female 26 < 45, 3 males < 10, 1 female < 10. James, the eldest male, was b. 1775-1794. (2) 1830 census, Lincoln Co., NC, p. 231, James Rankin, 12020011-101001, shows James in the age 50 < 60 bracket, b. 1770-1780. Combining the 1830 and 1820 census info, James was born 1775-1780. (3) North Carolina State Archives, File Box C.R.060.801.21, “Lincoln County Wills, 1769 – 1926 Quickle – Reep,” file folder labeled “James Rankin 1832.” Folder contains the original will of James Rankin dated 27 Nov 1832, proved Jan 1833. Recorded in Lincoln Co. Will Book 1: 273. (4) File folder labeled “James Rankin 1832” also contains a document showing the division of his estate in eight lots to his heirs Robert Rankin, Rufus Rankin, Caroline Rankin, James Rankin, Louisa Rankin, Samuel Rankin, Richard J. Rankin, and Mary Rankin.

3 Robert Rankin, b. abt 1815, Lincoln Co., NC, d. after 1880, Crawford Co., AR. He is probably the Robert Rankin who appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census in Gaston Co., NC and then in the 1870 and 1880 census in Crawford Co. AR. Wife Harriet D. Alexander. (1) 1850 census, p. 404, Gaston Co., NC, dwelling #193, Robert Rankin, 35, merchant, b. NC, Harriet D. Rankin, 21, b. NC. (2) 1860 census, Woodlawn PO, Gaston Co., NC, Robert Rankin, 46, farmer, b. Lincoln Co., NC, Harriet Rankin, 30, b. Mecklenburg Co., NC, Amzi Rankin (male), 7, Charles Rankin, 4, and Robert Rankin, 2. Listed adjacent to James Alexander. (3) In the 1870 census, this family appears in Crawford Co., AR, Richland Twp., Van Buren, PO, dwelling 98: Robert Rankin, 55, farm labor, b. NC, Hariet Rankin, 42, b. NC, Emsly? Rankin (male, most likely Amzi?), 19, b. NC, Charles Rankin, 13, b. NC, Mary Rankin, 10, b. NC, Alice Rankin, 8, b. NC, Ada Rankin, 6, b. NC, and Robert Rankin, 2, b. NC. (4) 1880 census, Alma, Crawford Co., AR, dwelling 35, Robert Rankins, 65, farmer, b. NC, parents b. NC; H. D. Rankin, wife, 51, Charles Rankin, 23, son, Alice W. Rankin, daughter, 17, Ada D.? Rankin, 15, daughter, Robert E. Rankin, 12, son, and Richard A. Rankin, 3, son. (5) 1900 census, Crawford Co., AR, Alma Twp., dwelling #48, Harriet D. Rankins, b. Apr 1920, age 71, widowed, has had 10 children, 6 living, b. NC, parents b. NC; son Amzi A. Rankin, b. Mar. 1853 in NC, age 47, single, saloon keeper. Same dwelling, family of Ada B. Cason, daughter (of Harriet Rankin), b. Sep 1863 NC, age 36, married 9 years, has had 5 children, 4 living, Thomas E. Cason, (Harriet’s) son-in-law, b. Jul 1860, MS, 39, married 9 years, chief of police; Robert W. Cason, grandson, b. Apr 1894 AR, age 6, Delia A. Cason, granddaughter, b. Apr 1894 AR, age 6, Edw. E. Cason, grandson, b. Dec 1895, AR, age 4, Caude Cason, grandson, b. Nov 1899, and Richard A. Rankin, son, b. May 1871, age 29, b AR.

4 Amzi Alexander Rankin, b. 14 Mar 1853, Woodlawn, Gaston Co., NC, d. 23 Jun 1914, Muskogee, Muskogee Co., OK. Findagrave website has obituary identifying Woodlawn as his birthplace. He apparently never married. Buried Greenlawn Cemetery, Checotah, McIntosh Co., OK. (1) 1910 census, Checotah, McIntosh Co., OK, West Gentry Ave: Amsie [sic] A. Rankin, 53, single, b. NC, parents b. NC, Mary D. Holt, sister, 49, widowed, and Boy [?] G. Holt, nephew, 25, b. AR, father b TX, mother b NC. (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=69677109&amp;ref=acom

4 Charles Rankin, b. abt 1856-57, Gaston Co., NC. Died before 1900.

4 Robert Rankin, b. abt 1858, Gaston Co., NC. Died before 1870.

4 Mary D. Rankin, b. abt 1860-61, Gaston Co., NC. Married a Mr. Holt, no marriage record found. According to her brother Amzi’s obituary, she lived in Checotah, McIntosh Co., OK as of 1914. She was listed there in the 1930 census with her brother Robert. (1) Listed in brother Amzi’s household in 1910 census, see above. (2) 1930 census, Checotah, McIntosh Co., OK, 703 W. Gantry St., D. Holt (female), 69, widowed, b. NC, parents b. NC, and brother R. E. Rankin, 63, widowed, b NC., parents b. NC.

4 Alice W. Rankin, b. 1863, Gaston Co., NC, d. 1945, McIntosh Co., OK. Husband William Thomas McNeely (1860-1914), married 23 Oct 1883 in Crawford Co., AR. Both are buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, Checotah, McIntosh Co., OK. (1) Alice’s tombstone: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=McNeely&GSiman=1&GScid=98551&GRid=79087030& (2) Tom’s tombstone: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=79608448&amp;ref=acom

4 Ada B. Rankin, b. Sep 1863, Gaston Co., NC. Husband Thomas E. Cason, married about 1891, Crawford Co., AR. See 1900 census with her mother Harriet Rankin, above.

4 Robert E. Rankin, b. Sep 1866, Gaston Co., NC. Appeared with sister Mary D. Rankin Holt in the 1930 census, Checotah, McIntosh Co., OK, widowed. Wife Rose Thursten/Thuston, m. 31 Dec 1891, Crawford Co., AR. (1) 1900 census, Indian Territory, Creek Nation, Checotah: Robert E. Rankin, b. Sep 1866, age 33, married 8 years, b. NC, parents b. NC, hardware salesman; wife Rose Rankin, b. Apr 1867, has had one child, b. AR, parents b. AR; Wiley E. Rankin, son, b. Dec 1896, Indian Territory, Creek Nation, father b. NC, mother b. AR. (2) 1910 census, Denver, CO, 2215 Clarkson St., Robert E. Rankin, 42, 1st marriage, b. NC, parents b. NC, salesman, furniture store; wife Rose, 43, b. AR, parents b. AR, son Wylie E., 13, b. OK, father b. NC, mother b. AR.

5 Wiley Edward Rankin, b. 31 Dec 1890, Checotah, OK, d. 1945. Buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery, Wheat Ridge, Jefferson Co., CO. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=47089970&amp;ref=acom

4 Richard Arthur Rankin, b. May 1871, Crawford Co., AR. Lived in McIntosh Co., OK as of 1914; Muskogee, OK, in 1934; rural Muskogee Co., in 1940. Buried Sperry Rest Haven Cemetery, Osage Co., OK. Wife Bernice, LNU. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=15941441&amp;ref=acom

3 Caroline Rankin.

3 James Rankin, b. abt. 1829, Lincoln Co. He might be the James Alexander Rankin (25 Jun 1829 – 2 Aug 1881) buried in the Rankin Cemetery in Upton Co., TX. James Rankin, son of James and Mary Johnson, identified himself as a carpenter in both the 1850 Gaston Co. census (in the household of his brother Samuel Rankin) and the 1860 census in Bowie Co., TX in the household of Robert Beaty, probably his brother-in-law. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Rankin&GSfn=James&GSby=1829&GSbyrel=in&GSdy=1881&GSdyrel=in&GSst=46&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=55136923&df=all&

3 Louisa Rankin, b. abt 1827-28. She might be the L. R. Rankin (female), age 32, in the 1860 census for Bowie Co., TX along with J. A. (James Alexander?) Rankin, 31, carpenter, Robert Beaty, 32, carpenter, and M. A. Beaty (female, perhaps Louisa’s sister Mary?), 29. All were born in NC.

3 Samuel Rankin, b. abt. 1821. Identified his occupation as “miner” in the 1850 census. To my surprise, gold was mined in Gaston Co. (1) 1850 census, Gaston Co., NC. Listing for Samuel Rankin with his siblings Rufus, Louisa and James Rankin. Samuel Rankin, 29, “miner,” Rufus Rankin, 27, farmer, Louisa Rankin, 23, James Rankin, 20, carpenter. Rufus’ first wife, Mary, died in March 1850, and his three eldest children (William, 6, Laura, 4, and James, 4 months) are also enumerated in the household.

3 Richard J. Rankin.

3 Mary Rankin.

3 William Rufus Rankin, b. 7 Mar 1823, Gaston Co., d. 17 Nov 1883, Gaston Co. He is buried in Goshen Grove Cemetery, Belmont, Gaston Co., NC. Major, Confederate Army. Married twice: #1 Mary Ann (possibly Capps?, 23 Feb 1826 – 6 Mar 1850); #2 Sarah Elizabeth Stowe (8 Apr 1840 – 28 Aug 1892). (1) 1850 census, Gaston Co., NC. Listing for Samuel Rankin with his siblings Rufus Rankin, Louisa Rankin, James Rankin, and Rufus Rankin’s eldest three children. Rufus’ first wife, Mary, died in March 1850, and the census was taken in August 1850. The three children of Rufus and Mary are listed in the household: William, 6, Laura, 4, and James Rankin, 4 months. (2) 1860 census, Woodlawn PO, Gaston Co., NC, dwelling 979, Rufus Rankin, 37, farmer, $1500/$3078, Sarah Rankin, 20, NC, William Rankin, 16, NC, Laura Rankin, 14, NC, James Rankin, 10, NC, Whiten Rankin, 3, NC, Andrew Rankin, 2, NC, J. Pinkney Stowe, 25, and Eliza W.? Stowe, 51. (3) 1870 census, River Bend, Gaston Co., dwelling 192, Rufus Rankin, 48, farmer, $2000/$1000, b. NC, Sarah Rankin, 28, NC, Mack Rankin, 20, NC, Whiten Rankin, 13, NC, Andrew Rankin, 9, NC, Pinckney Rankin, 7, NC, Robert Rankin, 5, NC, Mary Rankin, 3, NC, Larkin Rankin, 2 months, NC. (4) 1880 census, South Point, Gaston Co., William R. Rankin, 57, b. NC, parents b. NC. Wife Sarah Rankin, 40, son Andrew Rankin, 21, son Pinkney Rankin, 18, son Robert Rankin, 14, daughter Mary Rankin, 12, son Larkin Rankin, 10, daughter Jane Rankin, 8, son Albert Rankin, 6, son Price Rankin, 4, and mother-in-law Eliza A. Stowe, 71. (5) Adjacent tombstones in Goshen grove for William Rufus Rankin, CSA, Mary A. Rankin, wife of W. R. Rankin, and Sarah E. Rankin, wife of W. R. Rankin. “Wife of” is inscribed on the tombstones of both Mary and Sarah. Goshen Grove Presbyterian Church is located at 380 Woodlawn Avenue, Belmont, NC. The cemetery is past the church on the right, just before you get to the railroad tracks. William Rufus Rankin’s tombstone gives his dates of birth and death and has a “CSA” inscription. Military marker indicates that he was a Major in the 37th NC Infantry Regiment. See image at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=66750474William Rufus Rankin’s first three children (William Gamewell, Laura and James) were children of his first wife Mary Ann. The remaining 9 children (Whiten through Price) were children of his second wife, Sarah Elizabeth Stowe.

4 William Gamewell Rankin, 9 Mar 1844 – 12 Feb 1900. Wife Elvira A. Leeper (16 May 1840-11 Feb 1916). Buried New Hope Presbyterian Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) 1870 census, River Bend, Gaston Co., William Rankin, 26, b. NC, Elvira Rankin, 29, NC, Sallie Rankin, 6, NC, Wiley Rankin, 2, NC and Mary Rankin, 1, NC. (2) 1880 census, Gaston Co., William Rankin, 36, farmer, b. NC, parents b. NC, wife Elvira A. Rankin, 40, son Wiley T. Rankin, 12, NC, daughter Mary A. Rankin, 9, NC, son Edward J. Rankin, 7, NC, and daughters Laura B. Rankin, 4, NC, and Emma F. Rankin, 1, NC. (3) 1900 census, Gaston Co., NC, Elvira A. Rankin, 60, Leona L. Rankin (Laura?), 24, Emma F. Rankin, 21, John R. Rankin, 18, and Rufus A. Rankin, 17. (4) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=44671755 (5) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=44672427

5 Sallie Rankin, b. abt 1864, Gaston Co.

5 Wiley Theodore Rankin, 24 Sep 1867 – 18 Dec 1929. All children were by first wife, Lula Ford. Second wife Lillie Johnston, married 24 Sep 1902, Gaston Co. Wiley and Lillie died in Ft. Lauderdale, Broward Co., FL, but are buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) 1910 census, 501 W. Main, Gastonia, Wiley T. Rankin, 42, 2nd marriage, President, Insurance and Realty, wife Lillie J. Rankin, 35, first marriage, married 8  years, has had no children, daughter Mildred, 16, daughter Elener, 13, son Wiley [sic] T., 11, daughter Lula, 9. (2) 1920 census, 501 W. Main St., Gastonia, Wylie T. Rankin, 53, b. NC, parents b. NC, President, Cotton Mills, wife Lillie Rankin, 44, son Theodore Rankin, 21 (President, Cotton Mill), daughter Lula Rankin, 19, and sister Emma Rankin, 42. (3) 1927 Gastonia city directory, Wiley T. Rankin (wife Jillie [sic] J.), mayor and councilman, City of Gastonia, Pres. Gastonia Insurance and Realty Co., and Pres-Treas Osceola Mills (Inc), residence 501 W. Main Ave. (4) 1934 Gastonia city directory, Lillie J. Rankin, widow of Wiley T., residence 501 W. Main Ave. (5) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=83290875&amp;ref=acom (6) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Rankin&GSiman=1&GScid=48278&GRid=83290874&

6 Mildred Rankin, b. 17 Jun 1893, Gaston Co., d. 2 Feb 1941, Gastonia, NC. Husband Haddon Spurgeon Mackie (1891-1970). http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=84273713&amp;ref=acom

7 Wiley Theodore Mackie, b. 13 Jul 1920 – 11 Sep 1943. Annapolis. Lt., U.S. Navy, WW II. Served on the U.S.S. Rowan, torpedoed off the coast of Italy.

7 Mary Lou Mackie, a. abt. 1922, m. Alton F. Bryant, 19 Nov 1946, Gaston.

6 Elma or Emma? Rankin, b. 24 Sep 1896, Gastonia. Husband John D. Kennedy, married 1930 in Brevard Co., FL. (1) 1940 census, Ft. Lauderdale, Broward Co., FL, John D. Kennedy, 35, lawyer, b. FL, wife Elma R., 37 (?), b. NC.

6 William Theodore Rankin, b. 24 Nov 1898, Gastonia, d. 4 Apr 1952, Gastonia. Wife Mary Payne, m. Gastonia 25 Apr 1929. (1) 1927 Gastonia city directory listing for Wiley [sic] T. Rankin Jr., VP-Supt. Osceola Mills Inc., residence at 501 W. Main Ave. (2) 1930 census, Gastonia, 609 South Street, William T. Rankin, 30, President, Cotton Mill, Mary P. Rankin, wife, 24. (3) 1940 census, Gastonia suburbs, T. Rankin, 41, b. NC, salesman, completed 4 years college, wife Mary Rankin, 34, b. NC, and son Wiley, 9, b. NC. (4) Death certificate lists his occupation as “V.P. Textiles, Inc.,” usual address at 1305 York Road, Gastonia. (5) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=83290871&amp;ref=acom

7 Wiley Theodore Rankin, 7 Oct 1930 – 14 Dec 1999. Wife #1 Jeanette Adams; wife #2 Hally Lee. (1) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=13044757&amp;ref=acom (2) College yearbook picture: http://search.ancestry.com//cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=YearbooksIndex&h=252573731&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=twY46&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&rhSource=1265 (3) Obituary: GREENSBORO — Wiley Theodore Rankin III, 69, died Dec. 14, 1999. He was a native of Gastonia, son of the late William Theodore and Mary Payne Rankin, husband of the late Jeanette Adams Rankin, attended Gastonia High School, NCSU School of Textiles where he was a brother in the Sigma Chi fraternity, worked for Goodyear, America Enka for 27 years, retired from American Rayon, served in the Air Force where he was a cryptographer stationed in Germany, continued service locally as the vice president for the Greensboro Optimist Club, ran its junior golf outing the past two years, volunteered with Greensboro Safety Town run by the Greensboro Police Department. SURVIVORS: Wife, Hally Lee Rankin; sons and daughters-in-law, Dr. David Simel and Dr. Joanne Piscatelli, Durham, Bruce and Kristal Simel, New Bern, Dr. William T. Rankin III and Gena Rankin, Mebane; daughters and sons-in-law, Dr. Dana Simel and Michael Herrinton, Palo Alto, Calif., Mary Rankin Vowell and Capt. J.B. Vowell, Columbus, Ga.; grandchildren, Lauren, Michael, Raphael, Drew, Brian and Dylan Simel and Adam Vowell

6 Lula Rankin, 6 Nov 1900 – 2 Feb 1985, buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. Schoolteacher. (1) 1934 Gastonia city directory, Lula Rankin, teacher, West School, residence 501 W. Main Ave. (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=83290878&amp;ref=acom

5 Mary A. Rankin, 1870 – 22 Aug 1919. Married Charles Clyde Craig 19 Nov. 1895, Gaston. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=96744276&amp;ref=acom

5 Edward Jenkins Rankin, 26 Dec 1872 – 28 Aug 1950, buried Oakwood Cemetery. Wife Emma Mary or Mary Emma Stowe, married 1 Apr 1898. Owner and/or manager of a furniture store. (1) 1934 Gastonia city directory, “Rankin-Armstrong Co., Inc.,” Edward J. Rankin, President-Treasurer. Furniture, refrigerators, household goods, at 124-132 S. Marietta; wife Emma J., residence at 315 Highland. (2) Edward’s family has consistent census records from 1900 through 1940, inclusive. They lived at 605 South Main in 1900, 601 W. Airline I 1910 and 1920, and 315 N. Highland St. in 1930, 1940 at the time of his death in 1950. The census records prove 2 daughters.

6 Annie Lucille Rankin, 23 Feb 1900 – Nov 1992, Gastonia. Apparently never married. (1) 1936 Gastonia city directory, A. Lucille Rankin, steno, County Welfare Department, residence 315 N. Highland (her parents’ home from at least 1930 to 1950). (2) Profession given as “Steno, Welfare” and “Steno, Municipal” in the 1930 and 1940 census, respectively. (3) Delayed birth certificate gives her father’s middle name as Jenkins. (4) She was the informant on her father’s and her Aunt Emma’s death certificates, suggesting she was perhaps the family caretaker.

6 Margaret S. Rankin, b. 19 July 1909.

5 Laura Luna Rankin, 12 Dec 1875 – 17 Jan 1945. Married John Taylor Harrison, 10 Apr 1901, Gaston Co. Buried New Hope Presbyterian Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=34081310&amp;ref=acom (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=34081336

5 Emma F. Rankin, b. 6 Oct 1878, d. 22 Feb 1957, lived in Gastonia her entire life. Resided 702 S. Chester St. when she died. Buried at New Hope Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Gastonia. Sales clerk. (1) 1934 Gastonia city directory, Emma F. Rankin, saleswoman, Matthews-Belk Co., residence 702 S. Chester.

5 John Ralph Rankin, 6 May 1881 – 2 Oct 1920. Married Victoria May Grischy 24 May 1906. Buried in New Hope Presbyterian Church Cemetery. (1) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Rankin&GSiman=1&GScid=2155069&GRid=125401880& (2) 1910 census, Spokane, WA, John R Rankin, 28, married 4 years, b NC, parents b NC, salesman; wife Victoria M., 24, m. 4 years, has had two children. Sons James R., 3, and William, 2 months.

6 James Robert Rankin, b. 15 Apr 1907, Gastonia, d. Mar 1982, Gastonia. Wife Eugenia White, 1908 – 1996. Buried Gaston Memorial Park.

6 William Rankin, b. 1910.

5 Rufus Andrew Rankin (Sr.), b. 15 Oct 1882, Gaston, d. 11 Jan 1933. Wife Minnie Jane Armstrong, married 21 Mar 1906, Gaston Co. Buried at Hollywood Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) 1910 census, 507 South St., Gastonia, Rufus A. Rankin, 27, m. 4 years, proprietor of furniture store, wife Minnie J. Rankin, 22, daughters Evalyn, 3 and Mary R., 17 months. (2) 1920 census, same address, Rufus A. Rankin, 37, proprietor of a furniture store, Minnie J., wife, 32, daughters Evelyn, 12 and Mary R., 11, son Rufus A. (), 8, daughter Alice E., 6, & son Robert W., 2. (3) 1927 Gastonia city directory, Rufus A. Rankin, wife Minnie, President of Piedmont Oil Co., Inc., residence at 507 South St. (4) 1930 census, same address, Rufus A Rankin, 47, proprietor, “oil jobber,” son Rufus A. Jr., 18, daughter Alice E., 16, son Robert W., 12, daughter Helen F., 9, and son Samuel A. Rankin. (5) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=96744014&amp;ref=acom

6 Evelyn Rankin, 16 Jan 1907 – 30 Aug 1999. Married John Paul Stowe, Gaston Co., 29 Nov 1934. Registered nurse, 4 years of college. Buried Hillcrest Gardens Cemetery, Mt. Holly. (1) 1927 Gastonia city directory, Miss Evelyn Rankin, student, residence at 507 South St. (2) 1934 Gastonia city directory, Evelyn Rankin, secretary, County Health Dept., residence 315 N. Highland. (3) Find-a-grave website has her obituary identifying parents, siblings, children. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=13091819&amp;ref=acom

6 Mary Ruth Rankin, 6 Nov 1908 – 1 Jul 1977. Married Henry W. Jordan 3 Nov 1933 in Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC. Buried Pine Hill Cemetery, Burlington, Alamance Co., NC. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=13091819&amp;ref=acom

6 Rufus A. Rankin Jr., b. 1 Aug 1911, Gastonia, d. 6 Jan 1985, Kilmamock, Lancaster Co., VA. Wife Dorothea Edwards Higgins, married 15 Apr 1939, Richmond, Henrico Co., VA. Worked in the Credit Department at Exxon (previously Humble Oil., previously Standard Oil Co.). Buried in the Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Weems, Lancaster Co., VA. (1) 1927 Gastonia city directory, Rufus A. Rankin Jr., residence 507 South St. (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=76928863&amp;ref=acom

7 Rufus A. Rankin III, 25 Sep 1940 – 26 May 1994. Buried Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Weems, Lancaster Co., VA. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=76929098

7 Henry L. Rankin. Serving in U.S. Navy when his father died in 1985.

6 Alice Elvira Rankin, b. 16 Nov 1913, Gaston, d. 8 Feb 2003, Gastonia. Married Wilson Alexander Forbes 10 May 1938, Gaston. Both are buried at Olney Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Gastonia. (1) 1936 Gastonia city directory, Alice E. Rankin, schoolteacher, residence 507 S. South St. (her parents’ house). (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=24914716&amp;ref=acom

6 Robert Wray Rankin, 10 Sep 1917 – 22 Jul 1958. Wife Jane Elizabeth Boren, married 18 Oct 1941. Military service, WW II, PFC. Buried Hollywood Cemetery, Gastonia. In 1947, he was the Gastonia City Tax Collector. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=96744131&amp;ref=acom

6 Helen Franklin Rankin, b. about 1921. B.S., Secretarial Administration, Womens College, UNC. Married Harry Tracy Westcott, 21 Mar 1942, in Randolph Co., NC.

6 Samuel Armstrong Rankin, b. 12 Aug 1923, Gastonia, d. 29 Oct 1994. Married Cornelia Stevens Lowe, 23 Feb 1946 in Chester, Washington Co., VA. Buried in Sunset Knoll Cemetery, Ramseur, Randolph Co,. NC.

4 Laura Rankin, 29 Mar 1846 – 10 Jan 1906. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=132162139

4 James (“Mack”?) Rankin, b. Mar. 1850.

4 Whiten Robertus Rankin, b. 3 Feb 1857, d. 19 Jul 1946, South Point, Gaston Co. Wife Judith Elizabeth McKee, married 6 Nov 1879, Gaston Co. (1) 1910 census, South Point, Gaston Co., Whiten R. Rankin, 53, m. 30 years, b. NC, parents b. NC, wife Elizabeth, 53, and daughters Katie, 22, Georgia, 15, and Lydia, 11. (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=139473336

5 Thomas Pinkney Rankin, b. 19 Aug 1880 – 15 Feb 1963. Married Vivian Pearl Leonhardt 18 Mar 1903, Gaston. Buried Edgewood Cemetery, Lowell, Gaston Co. (1) 1910 census, South Point, Gaston, Thomas P. Rankin, 29, m. 7 years, merchant, wife Vivian, 27, daughter Roberta, 5. (2) 1930 census, Lowell, Gaston, Thomas P. Rankin, 49, m. 27 years, bank cashier, wife Pearl, 47, son Thomas, 19, daughter Vivian, 15, son Charles (?), 10. (3) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=155873762&amp;ref=acom

6 Roberta Rankin, 1904-1976, m. George Blakey Smith. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=126811468

6 Thomas Pinkney Rankin Jr., b. 25 Jun 1910, Lowell, Gaston Co., d. 18 Jun 1978. Buried Gaston Memorial Park, Gastonia. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=155873970

6 Bennie Vivian Rankin, b. 18 Mar 1918, Lowell, d. 28 Jan 1995, Malvern, Hot Springs Co., AR. Husband Glenn Baker. Buried Shadowlawn Cemetery, Malvern. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=155873970

6 Eugene Malcom Rankin, b. 17 Aug 1922, Lowell, d. 31 Jan 2016, Greenwich, Conn. Buried Edgewood Cemetery, Lowell. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=161485810

5 Zada Rankin, b. 17 Aug 1882, Gaston Co.

5 John Robert Rankin, b. 14 Mar 1885, Gaston Co., d. Feb 1970. Married Clara E. Sloan, 25 Nov 1913, Gaston. (1) 1920 census, Gastonia, 514 S. York St., John R. Rankin, 34, Gastonia postmaster, wife Clara S., 31, son James W., 5, daughter Sarah E., 3. (2) 1930 census, Gastonia, 304 W. 5th, John R. Rankin, 45, VP bank, wife Clara D., 42, son James W., 15, daughter Sarah E., 13, and son R. Sloan, 10.

6 James W. Rankin, b. 20 Oct 1914, Gastonia, d. Feb 1987, Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC. Married Susan Porter Calder 16 Jul 1938, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Duke University mid 1930s, Business Administration. (1) 1942 Gastonia city directory, James W. Rankin, VP-Sec, New Way Laundry and Asst Office Mgr, FCM. (2) By 1957 at the latest, living in Greensboro, NC, listed in city directories. 1957, James an accountant with Burlington Industries.

6 Sarah E. Rankin, b. abt 1917, Gastonia.

6 Robert Sloan Rankin, b. 23 Feb 1920, Gastonia, d. 14 Aug 1998, Hilton Head Island, SC. (1) 1940 census, Robert S. Rankin, midshipman, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, age 20, from Gastonia, NC.

5 Sarah Katie Rankin, b. 20 Dec 1887, Gaston Co.

5 Annie Minerva Rankin, b. 4 Feb 1891, Gaston Co.

5 Georgia May Rankin, b. 17 May 1894, Gaston Co.

5 Lyda Violet Rankin, b. 5 Dec 1898, Gaston Co.

4 Andrew Johnson Rankin, b. 21 Jan 1859, Gaston Co., d. 11 Nov. 1936, Gastonia. Lived at 414 W. 5th Avenue, Gastonia. Sec./Treas. Building & Loan at retirement; earlier, salesman, general merchandise store. Married Emily Ann Smith (7 May 1858-27 Dec 1937) on 13 Dec 1883 in Gaston Co. Buried Hollywood Cemetery along with wife and all three daughters. (1) 1900 census, South Point, Gaston Co., Andrew J. Rankin, b. Jan 1859, age 41, m. 16 years, b. NC, parents b. NC, salesman, general merchandise; wife Emma, b. Mar. 1858, age 42, m. 16 years, has had 3 children, all living; daughters Margaret E. Rankin, b. Nov 1884, age 15, Ida M. Rankin, b. Mar 1888, age 12, and Sarah E. Rankin, b. Jul 1889, age 10. (2) 1910 census, South Point, Gaston Co., Andy J. Rankin, 51, first marriage, 26 years, merchant, general store; Emily A. Rankin, wife, 52, has had 3 children, all living, and daughters Ida, 22, saleslady, general store, and Edna, 20, public school teacher. (3) 1920 census, Gastonia, 414 West 5th, Andrew J. Rankin, 60, Sec. & Treas., Building & Loan; wife Emily A., 61, daughter Sarah E. 30, teacher, grade school. (4) 1930 census, Gastonia, 314 West 5th, Andrew J. Rankin, 71, Sec/Treas, Building & Loan, wife Emily, 72, and daughter Edna, 45, steno, Building and Loan. (5) 1936 Gastonia city directory, Andrew J. Rankin (Edna, his daughter also living there; Emily has died), Secretary-Treasurer, Gastonia National Farm Loan Association, 414 W. 5th (6) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=96972792 – Andrew’s grave. (7) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Rankin&GSiman=1&GScid=47713&GRid=96972754& – Emily’s grave.

5 Margaret Elva Rankin, 29 Nov 1884 – 2 May 1981, Gastonia. Husband John Pinchback Chandler (1887-1929), married 21 Aug 1907, Gaston Co. Both buried Hollywood Cemetery, Gastonia. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=96972874&amp;ref=acom

5 Ida Myrtle Rankin, 24 Mar 1888 – 14 Feb 1981, Gastonia. Husband Samuel Sidney Shuford (1880-1957), married 1 Oct. 1914, Gaston Co. Both buried Hollywood Cemetery, Gastonia.

5 Sarah Edna Rankin, 6 Jul 1889 – 20 Jul 1987, never married. Edna was a public grade school teacher from at least age 20 until sometime before age 41. After that, she was a stenographer at a Building & Loan, presumably the same place where her father was Secretary-Treasurer. Informant on her father’s death certificate. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Rankin&GSiman=1&GScid=47713&GRid=97014253&

4 Rufus Pinkney Rankin, b. 16 Feb 1862, Belmont, Gaston Co., d. 1 Nov 1910, Gastonia. Wife Zoe Anna Hand (Mar 1867 – 24 Jan 1929), married in Gaston Co. 20 Oct 1887. Buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) 1900 census, Gastonia, P. Rankin, b. Feb 1862, age 38, m. 12 years, manufacturer; wife Zoe, b. Mar 1869, 31, m. 12 years, has had 4 children, all living; son Grady Rankin, b. Feb 1891, age 9, daughter Violet, b. Jun 1894, age 6, son Henry, b. Oct 1895, age 5, and son Laurence, b. Mar 1898, age 2. (2) 1910 census, Gastonia, 209 E. Long? Avenue, Rufus P. Rankin, 48, first marriage, 22 years, Pres., cotton mill and bank; wife Zoe A., 41, has had 5 children, all living, son Rufus G., 19, bookkeeper, bank, daughter Sarah V., 16, son Henry, 14, son Lawrence S., 12, and son Pink, 8. (3) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=17145813&amp;ref=acom – R.P.’s grave. (4) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=17145830&amp;ref=acom – Zoe’s grave

5 Rufus Grady Rankin Sr., b. 25 Feb 1891, Gastonia, d. 13 Jun 1976, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Married Ruth Boyce, 22 Jan 1913, Gaston Co. Quite an extraordinary career, starting as a bookkeeper in Gastonia National Bank at 18, became a Director 4 years later (see his father’s occupation), then President of Pinkney Cotton Mills (plus positions in many other cotton mills), eventually a director of Duke Power Co. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) 1920 census, Gastonia, Grady R. Rankin, 28, President, Cotton Mills; wife Ruth, 26, daughter Anna B., 6, and son Grady R. Rankin Jr., 1 ½. (2) 1930 census, Gastonia, 317? S. York St., Grady Rankin, 39, first marriage at age 21, President, Cotton Mills, wife Ruth, 37, first marriage age 20, daughter Anna B., 16, son R. Grady Jr., 11, son David, 7, and son George, 5 ½. (3) 1940 census, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, Eastover Road, Grady Rankin, 49, Executive, Public Utilities, Ruth B., wife, 47, and sons David H., 17, and George M., 15. (4) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17145854

6 Anna Boyce Rankin, b. 18 Jan 1914, Gastonia, d. 10 Feb 2011, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co.. Husband Joseph William Lineberger, married 30 July 1938 at Blowing Rock, Watauga, NC, where her father owned a home. Went to Hollins College 1932; belonged to the Riding Club. Buried at Lutheran Chapel Cemetery, Gastonia. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=120900848&amp;ref=acom

6 Rufus Grady Rankin Jr., b. 3 Jul 1918, Gastonia, d. 12 May 1997. Married Margore Louise Crist, 17 May 1941, in Caldwell Co., NC. Second marriage in Collier Co., FL, Nov 1967, name not given in marriage index. Died 12 May 1997, Lake Wales, Polk Co., FL, buried in Naples, Collier Co., FL, UCC Memorial Gardens. (1) WWII draft registration gives his address as 180 Prospect St., Lenoir, Caldwell Co., NC; employed by self, “commission agent,” Sinclair Refining. Person who would know his whereabouts: Mrs. R. G. Rankin, 322 Eastover Rd., Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC. (2) Went to UNC, late 1930s.

6 David Holland Rankin, b. 18 Jul 1922, Gastonia, d. 28 Dec 2013, Charlotte, NC. U.S Naval Academy, Annapolis. He was on the first ship into Tokyo Bay after the surrender to clear the harbor. Married Nancy Fidelia O’Herron, 26 Feb 1946. Retired as President and CEO of Eckerd Drugs. Captain of the golf team at Annapolis. There is a lengthy and detailed obituary at this link: http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=David-Rankin&lc=2734&pid=168779754&mid=5793005

7 David Holland Rankin Jr.

7 Betty Rankin, m. Richard Hecenbleikner.

7 Samuel Boyce Rankin, wife Susan.

7 Michael O’Herron Rankin, wife Kay.

6 George Mason Rankin, b. 18 May 1924, Gastonia, d. 12 Jun 1969, Asheville, Buncombe Co. Went to UNC at Chapel Hill, B.A. Spanish, Navy ROTC, Phi Beta Kappa; graduated in three years. Married Ann Rawley Long, 1 Apr 1950, Winston-Salem, Forsyth Co., NC. When he died, he resided at 14 Lynwood Road, Asheville, NC. President, Rankin Oil Co. Buried in Lewis Memorial Park, Asheville, Buncombe Co., NC. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=19804947&amp;ref=acom

5 Sarah Violet Rankin, b. 16 Jun 1893, d. 16 Jan 1969, Gastonia. Married George B. Mason, Gaston Co., 29 Oct. 1913. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=74261337&amp;ref=acom

5 Henry Rankin, b. 26 Oct 1895, Gaston Co., NC, d. 21 Oct 1964, Durham, Durham Co., NC. Married Mary Olive Reed abt 1918. College graduate. (1) 1920 census, Gastonia, Henry Rankin, 24, VP & Treasurer, cotton mill, wife Olive R. Rankin, 22, and son Henry, 15 months. (2) 1930 census, Gastonia, Henry Rankin, 34, first married at age 22, Sec. & Treas., cotton mill, wife Olive R., 31, son Henry Jr., 11, and daughter Preterssia [sic], 9. (3) 1940 census, Gastonia suburbs, Henry Rankin, 44, VP of Textiles Inc., cotton mill, wife Olive, 42, son Henry Jr., 21, and daughter Patricia, 19.

6 Henry Rankin, b. abt 1919, Gastonia.

6 Patricia Rankin, b. 21 Mar 1921, Gastonia.

5 Lawrence Samuel Rankin, b. 20 Mar 1898, Lowell, Gaston Co., d. 6 Feb 1978, Gastonia. Wife Sadie Love Thomson. Lived at 602 S. York St., Gastonia. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) 1934 Gastonia city directory, Lawrence S. Rankin, wife Sadie T., Vice President Gastonia Insurance Agency Inc. and Agent, Sinclair Refining Co., residence 408 W. 6th (2) 1940 census, Gastonia, Lawrence Rankin, 42, distributor, Sinclair Oil, wife Sadie, 39, son Lawrence Jr., 15, son James, 12, son Robert, 10, and mother-in-law Statia Thomson. (3) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17145779

6 Lawrence Rankin Jr., b. 3 Sep 1924, Gaston Co., d. 12 Jan 1998. Enlisted in the Army Air Corps Reserves 24 Feb 1943 in Miami, had one year of college.

6 James Thomson Rankin, 12 May 1927 – 29 Mar 1992. Spouse Barbara Grigg, 17 Jan 1930 – 13 Dec 2015. Both buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia.

6 Robert Hand Rankin, b. 12 May 1929, Gastonia, d. 18 Sep 1998, buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia.

5 Rufus Pinkney Rankin Jr., b. 23 Jan 1902, Gaston Co., d. 26 May 1992, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Married Jessie Gray Boggs, 27 Dec 1922. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. (1) 1930 census, Gastonia, Pinkney Rankin, 339 York Road, age 28, cotton broker, wife Jessie G., 28, son Pinkney Jr., 4. (2)http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=140642755&amp;ref=acom

4 Robert Franklin Rankin, b. 17 Jan 1866, Belmont, NC, d. 14 Dec 1960, Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC. Wife #1: Sarah Ella Jenkins (mother of Nellie, Campbell and Robert), m. 1889; wife #2, Anna Jane Wells, m. 27 Oct 1897 (mother of Sarah, Graham and Cecil); wife #3, Florence Rackley, who survived him (mother of Juanita, Charles, Pinkney Ray and Margaret Elizabeth). (1) Tombstone of Sarah Ella Jenkins, 31 Aug 1870 – 14 Apr 1894: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17108366 (2) Marriage certificate, Robert Franklin Rankin, son of Rufus and Sarah E. Rankin, married 27 Oct 1897, Gaston Co. to Annie Wells. She was b. 30 Jul 1877 – d. 11 Feb 1907, buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. Her tombstone is at this link: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=17121034&amp;ref=acom (3) 1900 census, Gastonia, F. Rankin, b. Jan 18__, age 34, m. 3 years, with Mrs. R. F. Rankin, wife, b. Jul 1877 (this is Anna Wells), age 22, married 3 years, has had one child, living; daughter Nellie, b. Mar 1890, age 10, son Campbell, b. Mar 1892, age 8, son Robert Jr.? b. Feb. 1894, age 6, and daughter Sarah, b. Aug 1898, age 1. (4) 1910 census, River Bend, Gaston Co., Robert F. Rankin, 43, 3rd marriage, married one year, contractor; wife Florence J., 29, has had one child, still living, son David Campbell, 19, son Robert R., 16, daughter Sarah E., 12, son Graham F., 7, son Cecil C., 5, and daughter Juanity V., 11 months. (5) 1920 census, River Bend, Gaston Co., Robert F. Rankin, 54, wife Florence J., 39, dau Sarah J., 21, son Graham, 17, son Cecil, 14,   daughter Juanity, 12, son P. Ray, 10, son Charles, 8, daughter Margaret, 6, daughter Ruth, 4, daughter Lillian, 2, and daughter Fannie, 2 months. (6) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=31574403

5 Nellie Rankin, b. Mar 1890, Gaston Co.

5 David Campbell Rankin, b. 17 Mar 1892 – d. 14 May 1962, buried Old St. Andrews Episcopal Church Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston Co., SC. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41839200

5 Robert Richard (or Richard Robert?) Rankin, b. 24 Feb 1894 – d. 28 Apr 1972, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Infantry Captain, WW I. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=69219678

5 Sarah E. Rankin, b. 10 Aug 1898 – d. 23 Nov 1985. Husband Ross Orr McConnell. Both buried Steel Creek Presbyterian Cemetery, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=32678368&amp;ref=acom

5 Graham Franklin Rankin, b. 23 Dec 1902, Mt. Holly, d. 5 Oct 1958, Staunton, Augusta Co., VA. Wife Margaret Dunn Rankin (6 Sep 1901 – 25 Dec 1991, married in Gaston Co. 20 Nov 1923. Census and death certificate identify him as an automobile salesman, real estate salesman, and life insurance salesman. He and wife are both buried in the Thornrose Cemetery, Staunton, Augusta Co., VA (1) 1930 census, Mt. Holly, River Bend Twp., Gaston Co., Graham Rankin, 27, salesman, auto co., wife Margaret, 28, and son Frank, 5. (2) 1940 census, River Bend Twp., Gaston Co., Graham F. Rankin, 37, real estate salesman, wife Margaret, 38, and son Robert F., 15. (3) Death certificate confirms that he was a son of Anna Wells, Robert Franklin Rankin’s 2nd (4) Margaret’s tombstone: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=148059779

6 Robert Frank Rankin, b. 8 Aug 1924, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC, d. 18 Jun 2015, Staunton, Augusta Co., VA. Buried Thornrose Cemetery, Staunton. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=148059779, obituary included.

5 Cecil Coke Rankin, b. 30 Jan 1905? Mt. Holly, Gaston Co., NC. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=17121108&amp;ref=acom

5 Juanita Victoria Rankin, b. 23 Apr 1909, Mt. Holly – d. 2 Apr 1994, Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC. Buried Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=65060486

5 Pinkney Ray Rankin, b. 20 Aug 1910, Mt. Holly, Gaston.

5 Charles Wesley Rankin, b. 10 Dec 1911, Mt. Holly, Gaston.

5 Margaret Elisabeth Rankin, b. 29 Mar 1913, Mt. Holly, Gaston.

4 Mary Eliza Rankin, 1868 – 1900. Husband Charles Hall Lineberger, 1858 – 1932. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=38891900

4 Larkin Edgar Rankin, b. 10 Feb 1870, d. 28 Aug 1935, Gastonia, Gaston Co., NC. Buried at Hollywood Cemetery, Gastonia. Wife Jennie Lineberger Hand, 13 Feb 1874 – 24 Apr 1953. Married 11 Jan 1893, Gaston Co. (1) Death certificate gives his name as “Lark E. Rankin” and identifies him as a son of William Rufus Rankin and Sarah Stowe, also names his wife. (2) 1900 census, South Point Twp., Gaston Co., Larkin E. Rankin, b. Feb. 1870 NC, parents b. NC, grocer; Jennie L. Rankin, wife, b. Feb 1894; William L. Rankin, son, b. Nov 1894; Sarah E. Rankin, daughter, b. Jul 1896; Larkin E. Rankin, son, b. Feb 1898; Thomas P. Rankin, nephew, b. Aug 1880. (3) 1910 census, South Point Twp., Gaston Co., dwelling 98, Larkin E. Rankin, 40, m. 17 years, merchant, general store; Jennie L. Rankin, wife, 26, has had 6 children, 5 living; Lamar? A. Rankin, son, 16; S. Rankin, 14, son (should be daughter); Ellis L. Rankin, son, 11; Lois Rankin, 6, daughter; Henry H. Rankin, son 1. (4) 1927 Gastonia city directory, L Ellis Rankin (wife Jennie H.), county auditor and clerk, County Board Commissioners, residence at 705 S York. (5) 1934 Gastonia city directory, Larkin E. Rankin, wife Jennie H., clerk, County commissioners. Residence 701 S. York. (6) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=167236477

5 William Lamar Rankin, b. 13 Dec 1893, Gaston Co., d. 3 Oct 1966, Shelby, Cleveland Co., NC, although he was a resident of Gastonia. Wife Tula Beard, married 14 Nov 1918. Textile salesman at the time of his death. Buried Oakwood cemetery. Findagrave incorrectly identifies his parents, which are named on his death certificate (Lark E. Rankin and Jennie Hand); son William Jr. was the informant. (1) 1930 census, Gastonia, Gaston Co., Lamar Rankin, 36, shipping clerk, cotton mill, wife Tula, 31, son Billie, 11, son Sammie, 8, daughter Dorothy, 5, and son Donald, 2 ½.

6 William Lamar Rankin, Jr., b. abt. 1919, Gaston Co. Resident of Salisbury, Rowan Co., in 1966.

6 Sam Rankin, b. abt. 1922, Gaston Co.

6 Dorothy Rankin, b. abt. 1925, Gaston Co.

6 Donald Rankin, b. abt. 1927, Gaston Co.

5 Sarah Erwin Rankin (or Erwin S., female), b. Jul 1896. (1) 1927 and 1936 Gastonia city directories, Miss Erwin Rankin, clerk Efird’s Department Store, residence 701 S. York.

5 Larkin Ellis Rankin, b. 29 Apr 1898, Gaston, d. May 1959, Highlands, Florida. Married Lucile Evelyn Trimble or Trumbly, 12 Dec 1927. May have been married previously. (1) 1930 census, Gastonia, Larkin Ellis Rankin, 704 Lee St., 31, Service Supt., oil refinery, wife Lucile K?, 30, son John D., 11 months (born 1929). (2) 1940 census, living in his mother’s household at 701 S. York St.: Jennie H. Rankin, 66, widowed, daughter Erwin S. Rankin, 44, son Larkin E. Rankin, 41, daughter-in-law Lucile P.?, 40, and granddaughter Jane C. Rankin, 7.

6 John Daniel Rankin, b. 27 Aug 1929, Gaston, apparently died before 1940.

6 Jane Cecile Rankin, b. 29 Mar 1933, Gastonia.

5 Lois Rankin, b. 12 May 1904, Gaston. Schoolteacher. 1927 Gastonia city directory, Miss Lois Rankin, teacher South School, residence 701 S. York.

5 Henry Hand Rankin, b. 6 Jan 1909, Lowell, NC, d. 29 Apr 1990, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co. Went to UNC, Chapel Hill. 1931 yearbook says his major was textile manufacturing; member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. Blonde hair, blue eyes, apparently. Married Helen Bell, 14 Oct. 1939, in Iredell Co., NC. Both are buried in the Greenwood Cemetery, Belmont. (1) 1927 Gastonia city directory, listing for Henry H. Rankin, student, residence 701 S. York. (2) Helen’s obituary (30 Dec 1917 – 17 Jul 2016) is on the Findagrave website. The website erroneously identifies one of her children as a Wm L. Rankin b. 1893. Clearly error. (3) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=167156386 (4) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=167236028

6 Richard Henry Rankin, 21 Feb 1948 – 7 Oct 2014. Apparently never married. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=137014633

4 Nancy Jane Rankin, b. abt 1872, Gaston Co., NC, d. 14 Nov. 1949, lived in rural South Point, Gaston Co. Husband Charles I. Armstrong, married in Gaston Co. 29 Jan 1891. (1) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=49951188 (2) Death certificate gives the name of her mother as Sarah Elizabeth Stowe, the only evidence I’ve found of Sarah’s middle name. Buried Goshen Cemetery, Belmont.

4 Albert Richard Rankin, b. 28 Mar 1874 – d. 30 Oct 1931, Gastonia. Wife Estella (“Stella”) Iola Jenkins. (1) 1910 census, Gastonia, Albert R. Rankin, 35, marriage #1, 12 years, Travelling Salesman, Wholesale Groceries, wife Stella J., 29, has had 7 children, 5 living, daughters Nancy A., 9, Annie S., 7, Mabel L., 4, Berta, 2, and son Albert R. Rankin Jr., 3 months (b. 1910). (2) 1920 census, Gastonia, 175 W. 4th, Albert R. Rankin, 46, broker, feed stuff, flour, wife Stella J., 38, daughters Nancy A., 19, Annie S., 17, Mabel L., 13, Alberta, 11, son Albert R., 9, and daughter Alice McN?, 6. (3) 1930 census, Gastonia, Albert R. Rankin, 55, first married at age 24, foodstuff salesman, wife Stella J., 49, first married age 18, son Albert R. Jr., 20, bookkeeper, and daughter Alice M., 16. (4) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17145533

5 Nancy Adele Rankin, 22 Nov 1900 – 30 Aug 1999, Gastonia. Married Theodore Page Morris. Buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. Obituary and tombstone at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13044810

5 Annie Sloan Rankin, 1 Aug 1902 – 25 Mar 1988. Husband Allen Harold Sims. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=15500512

5 Mabel Lee Rankin, 19 Feb 1906 – 21 Aug 1999, Gastonia. Husband Harry Lindley Rutter. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13044785

5 Alberta (“Berta”) R. Rankin, 3 Jan 1908 – 19 Oct 1979, Gastonia. Husband Carroll Jenkins Shelton. Buried Oakwood Cemetery. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13044785

5 Albert R. Rankin Jr., b. 12 Jan 1910, Gastonia, d. 24 Aug 1985. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gaston. Wife Bobbie Titman (21 May 1912 – 19 Nov 1983). (1) 1934 Gastonia city directory, Albert R. Rankin , assistant secretary-treasurer, Avon Bonded Wholesale Inc., residence at 701 S. Chester. (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=83290859&amp;ref=acom

5 Alice McNeill Rankin, b. 14 Jul 1913, Gastonia, d. 10 Dec 1993. Married Edward Smith Gordon, 9 Nov 1938, Gaston Co. (1) 1936 Gastonia city directory, Alice M. Rankin, clerk, Textiles, Inc., residence 701 S. Chester. (2) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&amp;GRid=83290862&amp;ref=acom

4 Emmett Price Rankin, 25 Sep 1876 – 10 Jun 1954. Died Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Buried in Gaston Memorial Park, Gastonia. (1) 1934 city directory, Gastonia, listing for E. Price Rankin (wife Lillian C., Rankin’s Cash Grocery), clerk in charge, Victory Station U.S. PO, York Road near Carolina Ave., South Gastonia. (2) Death certificate identifies him as a son of William Rufus Rankin and Sarah Stowe. (3) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=128657429

James and Ann Alexander of Anson – Rowan County, NC: someone please knock down this brick wall!

© Robin Rankin Willis June 2016

One of the things that surprised me about family history research is that I started liking some of my ancestors. Amazingly, one can learn a great deal about people who lived a couple of centuries ago, including their fundamental character and even specific personality traits. A fertile imagination helps, but is not essential. Even ostensibly dry county records are often revealing, and the occasional personal record can be a fabulous find. I love my great-great uncles Napoleon Bonaparte Rankin (“Pole,” a house painter) and Washington Marion Rankin (“Wash,” a “clever engineer”), who wrote each other letters in the 1880s. Their correspondence revealed a shared wicked sense of humor and considerable affection. Letters from one of their aunts, Martha Estes Swain, to their mother, Mary Estes Rankin, are full of family gossip – one can almost hear them tut-tutting. Concern for “the connection,” as they called their extended family, also comes through clear as a bell.

Other ancestors are patently obnoxious. I will save examples for another post.

Fortunately, likeable ancestors abound. My ancestors James and Ann Alexander of Rowan County are among them for two main reasons. First, they executed sweet gift deeds to five of their six children. Second, Ann Alexander bested William, their eldest son, on at least one legal issue. Eighteenth century women rarely appeared in county records, making it difficult to learn much about them. Courtroom victories by females were even less common. Ann, who appeared in several records, clearly had some mettle. I admire her determination, and imagine that having an adverse relationship with her son was not easy.

Moving on, this article contains: (1) links to some websites that provide a great deal of information about Alexanders; (2) a brief description of some major unknowns about James and Ann Alexander’s family; and (3) what the records do reveal about them.

Let’s start with the links, including two for the Alexander DNA project.

The first link summarizes Alexander family lineages for all y-DNA project participants. The line of James and Ann Alexander is designated the “Spartanburg Confused Family,” or “SpartCons” for short.[i] Find the SpartCons here:

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/alexander-y-dna/about/results

The next link tabulates the Alexander y-DNA project results. It also refers to the line of James and Ann as “Spartanburg Confused.”

https://www.familytreedna.com/public/ALEXANDER-Y-DNA?iframe=ycolorized

Finally, here is the website of my distant cousin and fellow SpartCon John F. Alexander. It has a wealth of information about the line of James and Ann. John asks me to add that it is a work in progress and that readers are welcome to send him comments, corrections and additions that are supported by evidence.

http://www.johnandval.org/genealogy/AlexFamHist.html

As for the major unknowns about James and Ann, I really hope that someone can fill in some of these blanks. The Alexanders qualify for me as what genealogists call a “brick wall,” meaning that my efforts to identify their parents have been unsuccesful. In fact, I don’t even know where or when James Alexander was born, much less who his parents were. Ditto for his wife Ann. They are both undoubtedly Scots-Irish, but … were they the original immigrants, or were they born here, and their parents were immigrants? I don’t know the answers to any of those questions, although it’s not for lack of trying.

I do think I know where James and Ann came from before they arrived in Anson/Rowan County. They most likely lived in Amelia County, Virginia in the 1740s. Admittedly, the only clue regarding their origin in the North Carolina records was that James had some Virginia currency among the assets of his estate.[ii] That’s pretty thin circumstantial evidence, but better than none. In any event, some James and Ann Alexander lived in Amelia County from about 1742 through 1749.[iii] The timing is perfect, since that is just before James and Ann appeared in Anson County, NC some time before 1752. James and Ann were the only Alexanders who appeared in the Amelia records during that time period, except for a William Alexander who witnessed one deed and who may have been their eldest son.[iv] The absence of other Alexanders raises the inference that James and Ann may have migrated with Ann’s family of origin rather than James’s.

James and Ann lived near several other Scots-Irish families in Amelia, including Ewings, Wallaces, Gillespies, and Cunninghams, and appeared in records with several of them.[v] James Ewing, one of their Scots-Irish neighbors, came from Cecil County, MD, where he owned land.[vi] James and Ann undoubtedly also came to Amelia from the area around Philadelphia/Wilmington, where many Scots-Irish arrived from the Ulster Plantation of northernmost Ireland during the eighteenth century. Their families most likely first lived in Chester or Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Cecil County, Maryland, or New Castle County, Delaware. I have no proof, although there are many Alexanders, Gillespies, Ewings and other Scots-Irish in the records of those counties in the 1700s.

The last entry for James and Ann in the Amelia County records was in September 1749, when they sold their tract on Fort Creek adjacent the Gillespies and Ewings.[vii] In 1750, James first appeared in the records of Anson County, North Carolina, in a land grant and a survey there.[viii] The family was clearly living in Anson County by 1752, when James received a Granville grant for the 640 acres on Kerr Creek (also known as James Cathey’s Mill Creek) that had been surveyed for him in 1750.[ix] The deed referred to him as “James Alexander, Gent., of Anson County.”

In early 1753, James and Ann executed deeds giving land and livestock to five of their six children (all except William).[x] James may have been getting his affairs in order, since he died later that year. All five deeds are dated January 7, 1753, and all of them recite love, goodwill and affection for each child as the consideration. Although there are similar recitations of consideration in many other colonial gift deeds from parent to child, it continues to strike me as a lovely thing to put in the permanent records. Also, Ann Alexander, although not named as a grantor in any of the deeds, signed at least four of them with her mark.[xi] As a married woman, she had no legal existence of her own and consequently no legal right to convey that land. Adding her signature simply put her stamp of approval on both the conveyance itself and the love and affection recited as consideration.

Each of the four deeds to their sons – gifts to James Jr., John, David and Robert – refers to the grantee as “planter.” This was a designation of one’s profession: e.g., planter, blacksmith, trader, or just “gentleman.” In January 1753, David was probably just teetering on the brink of adulthood. He was definitely not more than eighteen, and probably a year or two younger than that. Robert was about age ten. Their parents may have been taking pains to treat their younger sons as adults, and perhaps there was a twinkle in the parental eyes when they executed those deeds.

Eleanor, the only Alexander daughter, did not receive land, which isn’t unusual. A colonial female rarely owned a fee simple interest in land. If a woman owned any interest at all in real property, it was usually just a life estate in some or all of her deceased husband’s land. Instead of land, James and Ann gave Eleanor a “gray mair” [sic] and three “cow yearlings.” Her appearance in that deed is important for more than proof of her parents and siblings, because her name is a source of minor controversy among family history researchers. Most call her “Ellen,” which is the name on her tombstone and what she was probably called.[xii] They may be right, but I will just say this: a court record identified her given name as Eleanor;[xiii] at least three deeds (one with her signature as “Elender”) do the same;[xiv] and she had a daughter and at least five granddaughters, all named Eleanor rather than Ellen.[xv] Those facts surely establish that her given name was actually Eleanor. Her nickname was Ellen. For the record, Eleanor, daughter of James and Ann Alexander, married Samuel Rankin about 1759 – early 1760.[xvi] Eleanor’s brother David (not her father, as the author of one Rankin family history incorrectly speculated) sold Samuel his 320-acre tract on James Cathey’s Mill Creek in 1760.[xvii]

Back to James and Ann. A deed from William Alexander to his brother Robert states that James died on June 15, 1753.[xviii] Ann was appointed guardian for David, Eleanor and Robert on October 22, 1755, proving they were underage on that date.[xix] David and Eleanor were allowed to choose their own guardian, establishing that they were at least fourteen but not yet twenty-one. The court appointed Ann guardian for Robert, stating that he was then about age twelve.

The Rowan county deed and court records prove one more son, William. He wasn’t a grantee among the 1753 gift deeds, which may just mean that James and Ann had already provided for him in some fashion. In 1756, William executed confirmation deeds to his two minor brothers, David and Robert, for the land they had received as gifts.[xx] As the eldest, William was James’s heir under the North Carolina law of intestate descent and distribution, and would have been entitled to inherit James’s land had James owned any when he died (assuming, of course, that James had left no will: the rule of primogeniture only applied if a deceased did NOT leave a will). James, however, had given it all to his other four sons. Ann paid William something more than the standard gift deed price of five shillings (although still substantially less than the land was worth) to obtain those confirmation deeds. The “conveyances” insured that her sons had good title and that William would not dispute it.[xxi] I have seen a number of similar confirmation deeds, and the consideration recited was always “love, goodwill and affection.” William apparently preferred cash.

The records leave no doubt about the state of Ann’s relationship with William. In 1755, she had hauled him into court, asserting that he was withholding assets belonging to his father’s estate.[xxii] Ann’s attorney also charged (undoubtedly on her authority and behalf) that William was abusing an indentured servant. I don’t know how the claim regarding the estate assets turned out, but the court sided with Ann on the abuse issue and discharged the indentured servant.[xxiii]

The records suggest that the six Alexander children were born on approximately the dates shown below. The birth dates are estimates, except with respect to David, Eleanor and Robert, whose birth years are reasonably supported by various records: [xxiv]

– William, born by 1728

– James Jr., born about 1730

– John, born about 1732

– David, born about 1736

– Eleanor, born 1740

– Robert, born about 1743

I haven’t found any record of William Alexander’s family (if any) or his whereabouts after Rowan County. James Jr. lived in Spartanburg, SC; John Alexander married Rachel Davidson and went to Burke/Buncombe County, NC; David married Margaret Davidson in Rowan in 1762 and went to Pendleton District (now Anderson Co.), SC; and Robert married Mary Jack and remained in Lincoln County, where he was a justice of the county court.[xxv] Perhaps I can persuade some of the SpartCons to collaborate with me on an outline descendant chart for James and Ann which I can post on this site. I confess that I have not tracked any of James’s and Ann’s children except for Eleanor Alexander, wife of Samuel Rankin. Samuel and Eleanor are probably my ancestors, although an additional y-DNA test of one of Sam and Eleanor’s descendants is needed. Without DNA evidence, I can prove Samuel and Eleanor as ancestors only through a family legend and very strong circumstantial evidence. I will save that story for another day!

* * * * * * * * * * 

[i] The name ‘Spartanburg Confused’, or SpartCon, was assigned long ago, before discovering that James Jr., John, David and Robert were all sons of James and Ann. There are now so many references to SpartCons that changing the designation would be difficult, even though the family is not exclusively from Spartanburg (and the confusion has abated!).

[ii] Jo White Linn, Abstracts of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1762 (Salisbury, NC: 1977), Order Book 2: 92, entry of 25 Oct 1755, inventory of the estate of James Alexander, dec’d, included £52.11.2 Virginia money.

[iii] Gibson J. McConnaughey, Court Order Book 1, Amelia County, Virginia, 1735-1746 (Amelia, VA: Mid-South Publishing Co., 1985), abstract of Order Book 1: 281A, entry of 19 Aug 1742, James Alexander paid for attending court to testify in a lawsuit; Gibson J. McConnaughey, Deed Book 3 and Deed Book 4, Amelia County, Virginia Deeds 1747-1753 (Amelia, VA: Mid-South Publishing Co., 1988), abstract of Deed Book 3: 531, 30 Sep 1749 deed from James Alexander and wife Ann conveying a tract on Fort Creek.

[iv] McConnaughey, abstract of Deed Book 3: 278, 19 Jul 1749 deed witnessed by William Alexander. The grantor was a resident of Augusta County, and the witnesses may have lived there. If the witness was William, the eldest son of James and Ann, then he had probably arrived at legal age and was born by 1728.

[v] FHL Film #1,902,616, tax lists for 1744 through 1749 for the upper part of Amelia from Namozine Cr. to Cellar Cr. included James Alexander, several Cunninghams, Samuel Wallace, Samuel Ewing and Gillespies; 1744 deed to Robert Gillespie for land on Fort Creek adjacent to James Alexander (I have lost the deed book citation for that deed); McConnaughey, abstract of Amelia Deed Book 2: 315, 1746 deed from James Alexander to James Ewing, land on Fort Creek. Grantor’s wife Ann relinquished dower.

[vi] McConnaughey, abstract of Deed Book 3: 371, power of attorney from James Ewing of Amelia County to Joshua Ewing to sell a tract of land in Cecil Co., MD.

[vii] Id., abstract of Deed Book 3: 351, deed of 30 Sep 1749 from James Alexander to John Reed, 300 acres on the north side Fort Creek adjacent Robert Galaspye [sic, Gillespie], James Ewing, Samuel Ewing and James Parks, with all houses, etc., witnessed by John Cunningham et al.

[viii] NC Land Grants Vol. 4: 1040, grant dated 7 Apr 1750 to James Alexander, two tracts on both sides Rocky River; Patent Book 11: 1, survey dated 12 Nov 1750, 640 acres in Anson adjacent Andrew Kerr.

[ix] Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. I 1753 – 1762, Abstracts of Books 1 – 4 (Salisbury, NC), Deed Book 3: 547, Granville grant dated 25 Mar 1752 to James Alexander of Anson Co., Gent., 640 acres adjacent Andrew Kerr. Witnesses included William Alexander. Notation in the margin: “to his widow.” This tract was on Kerr/James Cathey’s Mill Creek.

[x] Copies of Anson County, NC Deed Book B: 314, deed from James Alexander (also signed by Ann) to James Jr., 320 acres on Cadle (sic, Coddle) Cr. and 250 acres on the Catawba River; id. at pp. 314-315, deed from James (also signed Ann) to son John, the other half of the two tracts given to James Jr.; id. at 315, James Sr. to son David, half of the tract where I live (the tract on James Cathey’s Mill Cr.) and livestock; id., deeds from James to daughter Elener and son Robert (the other half of the tract on James Cathey’s Mill Cr.). An abstract of Anson County deeds omits the second deed, a gift of land and livestock to John Alexander. See Brent Holcomb, Anson County, N. C. Deed Abstracts Volume 1: 1749-1757 (Clinton, SC: 1974). I have copies from the deed books, however, so am confident that John is a proved son of James and Ann Alexander.

[xi] The deed from James Alexander to their daughter “Elener” doesn’t mention Ann’s mark, although these deeds have been transcribed from the original deed books and are now typed.

[xii] Microfilm at Clayton Genealogical library titled “North Carolina Tombstone Records, Vols. 1, 2 and 3,” compiled by the Alexander Martin and J. S. Wellborn chapters of the DAR; transcribed lists filmed 1935 by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Tombstone of Ellen Rankin, b. 16 April 1740, d. 26 Jan 1802. Other researchers give the birth date on her tombstone as 1743, although that is not consistent with the court allowing her to cloose her own guardian in 1755. That required her to be at least fourteen.

[xiii] Linn, Abstracts of the Minutes, Order Book 2: 90, entry of 22 Oct 1755, David and Elinor Alexander (spelling per abstractor) came into court and chose their mother Ann Alexander as their guardian.

[xiv] Copy of Rowan County DB B: 315, gift deed from James Alexander to his daughter Elener; Linn, Rowan County Abstracts, Deed Book 6: 225, deed dated 31 Aug 1765 from Samuel Rankin and wife Eleanor (spelling per the abstractor) to John McNeeley, 320 acres on James Cathey’s Mill Creek; original of Lincoln Co. Deed Book 1: 703 (viewed by me at the courthouse, although my notes do not say whether it was Gaston or Lincoln County), deed of 26 Jan 1773 from Samuel Rankin of Tryon to Philip Alston, 150 acres on Kuykendall Creek signed by Samuel Rankin and Elender Rankin (two other deeds the same day, see DB 1: 702 et seq. were not signed by “Elender,” although she is identified in both as “Elen,” a grantor).

[xv] At least five of Samuel and Eleanor Rankin’s children named a daughter “Eleanor” (not “Ellen”), including Samuel Rankin Jr., Jean Rankin Hartgrove, Robert Rankin, David G. Rankin, and Eleanor Rankin Dickson. See, e.g., the tombstone of Eleanor, wife of Joseph Dickson, Ellis Cemetery, Shelby Co., Ill., died 4 Apr 1848, age 62, at www.findagrave.com.

[xvi] Virgil D. White, Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Volume III: N-Z (Waynesboro, TN: The National Historical Publishing Co., 1992). Abstract of the pension application of William Rankin, the eldest son of Samuel and Eleanor Alexander Rankin, states that he was born January 1761 in Rowan County.

[xvii] Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. II. 1762 – 1772 Abstracts of Books 5, 6, 7 (Salisbury, NC: 1972), Deed Book 5: 272, 14 July 1760 deed from David Alexander to Samuel Rankin, for £29 NC currency, 320 acres on both sides James Cathey’s Mill Creek.

[xviii] Jo White Linn, Rowan County North Carolina Deed Abstracts Vol. I 1753 – 1762, Abstracts of Books 1 – 4 (Salisbury, NC), abstract of Deed Book 3: 495, deed of 10 Jun 1756 from William Alexander, described as the eldest son and heir of James Alexander, to his brother Robert Alexander, reciting that James died intestate on 15 June 1753.

[xix] Linn, abstract of Rowan Order Book 2: 90, David and Elener Alexander chose their mother Ann as guardian and the court appointed Ann the guardian of Robert, about age 12.

[xx] Linn, abstract of Rowan Deed Book 3: 495, deed dated 10 Jun 1756 from Wiliam Alexander, eldest son and heir of James Alexander, to Robert Alexander, orphan of James, under 21 and brother of James (who died intestate 15 Jun 1753), for 75 shillings paid by the widow Anne Alexander, mother of Robert and William, 320 acres on both sides James Cathey’s Mill Cr.; Deed Book 3: 498, William Alexander to David Alexander, orphan of James Alexander, under 21 and brother of William, by Anne Alexander, for 7 shillings sterling, 320 acres both sides James Cathey’s Mill Cr.

[xxi] I don’t know why similar confirmation deeds were apparently not needed for the gifts to James Jr. and John, who were of legal age at the time of the gift in 1753. North Carolina law at that time apparently treated conveyances of realty to minors differently than conveyances to a grantee of legal age. Other Rowan County records establish that Ann Alexander had an attorney, see note 22, and it seems likely that she would have obtained advice about the ability of an heir to challenge a conveyance of land via deeds of gift.

[xxii] Id., abstract of Rowan Order Book 2: 77, entry of 16 Jul 1755, ordered on motion of Edward Underhill, Esq. (Ann Alexander’s attorney) that citation issue against William Alexander returnable immediately to give an account on oath what estate he has in his hands or had which were of James Alexander, dec’d, and account with Ann Alexander, administratrix for same.

[xxiii] Id., abstract of Order Book 2: 78, ordered on motion of Edward Underhill, Esq., that James Nicholas be discharged of his indenture to William Alexander due to ill usage. Discharged. The next day, the court ordered William to produce James Nicholas in court or else to “stand committed.” Order Book 2: 81. I don’t know what “stand committed” means, but suspect that it means held in contempt of court and committed to jail.

[xxiv] See note 12 (tombstone showing Eleanor’s birth year as 1740), note 19 (in 1755, Ann Alexander chosen as guardian by Eleanor and David and appointed as guardian of Robert, about age 12) and note 20 (1756 deed reciting that David Alexander was still a minor).

[xxv] https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/alexander-y-dna/about/results, see lineages for those members of the “Spartanburg Confused Family” who trace their line back to James and Ann.

Same Name Confusion: Sorting Out Three Men Named Lyddal Bacon Estes/Lyddal Estes

by Robin Rankin Willis

Occasionally, I despair. The amount of lousy information “out there” on the internet about my ancestors is distressing, especially considering that it is available for all the world to see for infinity (or until The Donald accidentally activates a nuclear attack while searching for a flattering picture of his coif on his desktop). I have talked to a couple of my favorite family history researchers about this – you know who you are, Jody and Roberta – and we share a certain undesirable trait of character: we take offense when people publish absolute crap about our ancestors. I don’t need my cousin Diane Rankin, a genuine psychiatrist, to tell me that this is a silly thing to get het up about. What difference can it possibly make that some people publish bad information on our ancestors?

I don’t know. None. All I know is that it incites me to publish articles to correct erroneous information. This is one of those posts.

The stuff one can find on the web about Lyddal Bacon Estes provides a great example of bad information. In this case, the errors are partly attributable to the understandable confusion caused by the fact that a number of men shared that name or a close variation, and three of them were alive at the same time. Throw in some incomplete research on top of that, and you’ve got the makings of a really funky family tree. I will resist the temptation to provide examples, including a couple of my own errors (blush). Instead, here is an updated version of an article I wrote that was originally published in June 2010 in Estes Trails, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2.

I doubt seriously that this post will change anyone’s mind who seriously believes that Doctor Lyddal Bacon Estes of Maury County, TN married Ann (nickname Nancy) Ann Allen Winn in Lunenburg, VA while simultaneously being married to Sally Alston Hunter in Maury, or that Dr. LBE and Sally Alston Hunter were the parents of Mary F. Estes Rankin (they were not). I can only hope that someone who is struggling with an ancestor who traces his or her Estes line back to that unusual name will find some help in here.

Here’s how I stumbled onto these three confusing Estes. Early in my family history research, I learned that Mary F. Estes Rankin, the wife of my ancestor Samuel Rankin, was a daughter of Lyddal Bacon Estes of Tishomingo County, Mississippi (hereafter, “LBE”). I was absolutely delighted to learn this. Having dealt with ancestors who recycled the same men’s given names ad nauseam – John, William, Thomas, Richard and Samuel – finding the parents of a man who had two unusual surnames for given and middle names looked to me like a potential research cakewalk.

I was dead wrong. There was nothing easy about identifying LBE’s parents. I immediately found myself entangled in a genealogical hazard called “same name confusion,” because there were three men alive in the early 1800s who shared the name Lyddal Estes or Lyddal Bacon Estes. Thus, my first task in finding LBE’s parents was to sort out these three men: (1) Doctor Lyddal Bacon Estes, who died in Maury County, Tennessee; (2) Lyddal Estes, who died in Troup County, Georgia; and (3) my proved ancestor LBE, who died in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. It soon became clear that these men have frequently been conflated by family history researchers. Let’s start untangling the confusion with a look at Doctor Estes, who is relatively (but not entirely) uncontroversial.

Dr. Lyddal Bacon Estes (1775 – 1814) of Lunenburg Co., VA, North Carolina, and Maury Co., TN.

Estes Trails has had several articles over the years mentioning Doctor Lyddal Bacon Estes (hereafter, “Doc Estes”). He is the man who married Sarah (“Sally”) Alston Hunter in Warren County, North Carolina in 1805.[1] He is identified in Charles Estes’s 1894 compiled history Estes Genealogies as a son of Benjamin Estes and his wife Frances Bacon Estes of Lunenburg County, Virginia.[2] So far as I can tell from my own research, that is 100% correct. Doc Estes was undoubtedly born and raised in Lunenburg, since Benjamin and Frances lived there from at least 1758 until 1811, when Benjamin last appeared on the Lunenburg tax lists.[3]

There is very little trace of Doc Estes in the Lunenburg records, except that he appeared on the personal property tax lists from 1798 through 1802 in the same district as his father Benjamin.[4] It is certain that the Lyddal Estes on those lists was not LBE of Tishomingo, who wasn’t born until the early 1790s (see discussion below). Further, this Lunenburg tithable was not the Lyddal Estes who died in Troup County, GA, because that man was already in the Carolinas by 1790 (also discussed below). In short, the man on the Lunenburg tax lists was Doc Estes, son of Benjamin and Frances Bacon Estes.

In 1805, Doc Estes appeared in Warren County, North Carolina long enough to marry Sally Hunter. He was in Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee by 1807.[5] He was appointed Columbia postmaster the same year. In 1809, he was a justice of the Maury County court. He owned three lots in the town of Columbia, two of which he mortgaged in 1813.[6] He died there in 1814 owing fairly substantial debts, although a host of people owed him money, as well. A list of the debts due his estate contains more than 150 names, including his brothers Chesley Estes and John H. Estes, first cousin and brother-in-law Bartlett Estes, and brothers-in-law John and Josiah Alderson.[7] The obituary for Doc Estes published in the Nov. 15, 1814 issue of The Tennessee State Gazette of Nashville says simply that “Estes, Dr. L. B. of Columbia, departed this life Sunday last on ‘the day he completed his 39th year of his age.’ Husband … father … public officer.”[8]

Doc Estes has not escaped the “same name confusion” problem. Several GEDCOMs on Ancestry.com and family trees posted on the web confuse him with LBE of Tishomingo County by asserting — incorrectly that Doc Estes also married Nancy/Ann Allen Winn of Lunenburg. However, Doc Estes was still married to Sarah Hunter, his wife since 1805, when he died in 1814. She appeared in the Maury County records as Sarah or Sally Estes, clearly identified as his widow in November 1814 (when she received her widow’s provision and was appointed administrator of his estate) and in March 1815 (appearing as Doc Estes’s administrator in a lawsuit).[9] The other LBE married Nancy A. Winn in Lunenburg in March 1814. Because that was during the time when Doc Estes was married to Sarah, it follows that Doc Estes of Maury County was definitely not Nancy Winn’s husband.[10]

Doc Estes and Sarah’s children, all identified in Estes Genealogies, were (1) Edwin Chesley Estes (1806 – 1886), (2) Alston Bacon Estes (1808 – 1888), (3) Ludwell Hunter Estes (1810 – 1887), (4) William Isaac Addison Estes (1812-1893), and (5) Martha Louise or Louisa Estes (1814 – 1878). After Doc Estes died, Sarah married Buford Turner, also of Maury County, and had several more children.[11]

Lyddal Estes (1763 – 1850) of Amelia and Henry Co., VA, Stokes Co., NC, Chester Co., SC and Troup County, GA (1763 – 1850).

An “Editor’s Note” in the September 2001 issue of Estes Trails briefly mentioned the second Lyddal Estes, a man who died in 1850 in Troup County, Georgia. This Lyddal’s application to the state of Virginia for a Revolutionary War pension (reproduced in a 1984 issue of Estes Trails) provides some good information about him.[12] He was born in Amelia County, Virginia in 1763 and enlisted in Henry County, Virginia in 1780, at about age seventeen. After the war, he lived in Henry County, in North and South Carolina, and in Troup County, Georgia. He applied for a pension from Troup County in 1843. According to the Editor’s Note in Estes Trails, Lyddal married Martha Thomason on 7 April 1789 in Henry County, Virginia.[13]

Census and other records flesh out the information in Lyddal’s pension application, which was rejected for failure to serve the requisite six months. He was enumerated as “Lyddle Estes” in the 1790 census for Stokes County, North Carolina.[14] He was taxed as a free white poll owning no land in the Stokes County tax lists for 1791, 1792 and 1796, in the same district as his father-in-law John Thomason.[15] Since Lyddal was the only Estes included in either the tax lists or the 1790 census for Stokes County, he apparently migrated initially with his Thomason in-laws rather than with his family of origin. The 1826 Stokes County will of John Thomason named his daughter Patsy (a nickname for Martha) “Easty,” per the abstractor.[16]

Lyddal was not listed in either North or South Carolina as a head of household in 1800. He may have been living in the household of his father, William Estes, in Chester County, South Carolina.[17] By 1810, Lyddal was definitely in Chester County, where he was listed in the census adjacent his mother Elizabeth.[18] The Chester County will of William Estes Sr., dated August 11, 1807, names Lyddal as one of his sons.[19] Lyddal was still in Chester County in 1820, and is probably the man listed as “L. Estes,” born in the 1760s, in the 1830 Chester County census.[20]

Lyddal’s pension application says that he moved to Troup County, Georgia in about 1838, and he was enumerated there in the 1840 census.[21] His widow Martha, age eighty and born in Virginia, was listed as a head of household in the 1850 Troup County census.[22] I have not found any probate records identifying their heirs, but information at my library for Troup County is limited. The census records suggest seven children, probably including daughters named Elizabeth and Mary.[23]

Some researchers believe that LBE of Tishomingo was a son of Lyddal Estes of Troup County. That is highly unlikely, if not totally impossible. Lyddal Estes was living in Stokes County, North Carolina by the 1790 census and was there through at least 1796. LBE of Tishomingo, on the other hand, was unquestionably born in Virginia during 1790-94 (see discussion below). Moreover, Lyddal was in Chester County, South Carolina by no later than 1810 and was still there twenty years later. The other LBE, however, was a resident of Lunenburg, Virginia when he married there in 1814.

Lyddal Bacon Estes (“LBE”) (b. 1790-94, d. 1845) of Lunenburg, VA, Madison Co., ALA?, McNairy Co., TN and Tishomingo Co., MS

Estes Trails has provided considerable information about LBE’s family. He is the man who married Ann Allen Winn (nicknamed “Nancy,” the name she was known by) in Lunenburg in 1814. The marriage bond – which gave their names as “Lyddal B. Estes” and “Nancy A. Winn” – described him as “of Lunenburg.”[24] The evidence establishes that the LBE who lived in Tishomingo County, Mississippi was the same man as the LBE who married Nancy in Lunenburg. LBE appeared as “Lyddal B. Estes” in the Tishomingo probate records in 1845, and his widow is identified as “Nancy A. Estes.”[25] The names of their children, which include some distinctive Winn family names, and the family cluster with which LBE and Nancy migrated (including some Winn families), help confirm that they are the same couple who married in Lunenburg in 1814.[26]

After marrying Nancy, LBE appeared on the Lunenburg personal property tax lists in 1815 and 1816 as “Lidwell B. Estes,” one of many variants of the spelling of his given name. Their first son, Benjamin Henderson Estes, was born in Virginia in 1815.[27] After 1816, LBE and Nancy disappeared from the Lunenburg records. They probably moved initially to Madison County, Alabama, along with Nancy’s mother Lucretia Andrews Winn and Nancy’s siblings.[28] However, I have not found LBE or Nancy in the Madison County records, although three of their children were most likely born in Alabama.[29]

By at least 1826, LBE and Nancy had arrived in McNairy County, Tennessee, because he obtained two McNairy land grants in January 1826 and their son LBE (Jr.) was born in Tennessee in September of that year.[30] LBE and his family were enumerated in the 1830 McNairy County census near Gideon B. Winn, one of Nancy’s brothers.[31] LBE began appearing in the records in Tishomingo County in 1836, the year the county was created.[32] He died there in 1845, and Nancy died some time after 1860, when she last appeared in the census.[33]

There is at least one Tishomingo record which expressly gives LBE’s middle name as Bacon.[34] Interestingly, he was a hog farmer: his estate inventory listed over 300 head of hogs.[35] My husband Gary, who is occasionally irreverent about our ancestors (among other things), has dubbed LBE “Little Sizzler.” For my part, I admire the fact that the man managed to survive and prosper in a business that, unlike cotton and tobacco growing, did not require slaves. He owned no slaves when he died.

He did own several tracts in the northeastern corner of Tishomingo (now Alcorn) County totaling 800 acres.[36] The land remained in the estate until Nancy and Benjamin petitioned the court in 1854 for permission to sell it to make distribution to the heirs.[37] LBE (Jr.) bought the entire acreage for $4,392 on twelve months credit.[38] He then resold parts of it to family members, including his sister Martha Estes Swain, his brother Benjamin Henderson Estes, his mother Nancy and brother Allen W. Estes, and Riley Myers, a relative of Nancy’s youngest sister Alsadora Winn Looney.[39] My husband and I visited the area in late 2006. Nancy and LBE are probably buried somewhere on their acreage, although the landowner wasn’t aware of any cemetery on the property. Their tombstones, if any, have undoubtedly long since disappeared.

LBE and Nancy’s children, most of whom are conclusively proved by Tishomingo deeds, were (1) Benjamin Henderson Estes (1815 – 1897), (2) Mary F. (Frances?) Estes Rankin (abt 1818 – after 1888), (3) Martha Ann Estes Swain (1819 – 1905), (4) Lucretia Estes Derryberry (abt. 1822 – after 1888), (5) John B. Estes (abt. 1823 – ??), (6) Lyddal Bacon Estes (Jr.) (1826 – 1903), (7) Alsadora Estes Byers (abt. 1829 – ??), (8) William P. Estes (abt. 1830 – ??), and (9) Allen W. Estes (1832 -1864).[40]

And that’s that, except for one piece of unfinished business … who were LBE’s parents? That’s up next.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

[1] Frances T. Ingmire, Warren County North Carolina Marriage Records 1780-1867 (Athens, GA: Iberian Publishing Co. reprint, 1993).

[2] Charles Estes, Estes Genealogies 1097 – 1893 (Salem, MA: Eben Putnam, 1894), reprint available from Higginson Book Company, Salem, MA. Charles incorrectly stated that Benjamin Estes and Frances Bacon were married in Maury Co., TN, which is not possible since they were married by at least 1758 (see following note), before the state of Tennessee was created.

[3] Benjamin and Frances Bacon Estes were married before October 1758, when her father John Bacon named them both in his will, see Lunenburg Will Book 1: 258. Benjamin appeared regularly on the Lunenburg land and personal property tax lists through 1811. He and Frances sold their Lunenburg tract in 1810, Lunenburg Deed Book 22: 134. They reportedly moved to Maury Co., TN, where some of their children lived, including Doc Estes.

[4] Clayton Library Film Nos. 180, 181, 238 and 239, microfilm of Lunenburg County, Virginia Land Tax Records and Personal Property Tax Records for various years beginning in 1782.

[5] D. P. Robbins, Century Review of Maury County, Tennessee, 1805-1905 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press 1980).

[6] Virginia Wood Alexander, Maury Co., Tennessee Deed Abstracts Books D, E, and F (Columbia, TN: 1972), abstracts of Deed Book C: 10, 13 and Deed Book E: 229.

[7] Jill Knight Garrett & Marise Parrish Lightfoot, Maury County, Tennessee Will Books A, B, C-1, D and E, 1807-1832 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1984), abstract of Will Book A-1: 220, list of debts due the estate of L. B. Estes. Bartlett Estes was a son of George Estes, a brother of Doc’s father Benjamin Estes. Bartlett married Susannah Estes, a sister of Doc Estes. Sarah Estes, another sister, married John S. Alderson in Lunenburg, bond dated 15 Jan 1801. Doc Estes’s sister Alla or Alley (probably Alsadora) Estes married Josiah Alderson, also in Lunenburg, bond of 12 Jul 1803. Emma R. Matheny and Helen K. Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County Virginia 1746-1853 (Richmond: Clearfield Company, 1967). Charles Estes’s book Estes Genealogies incorrectly identified Sarah Estes Alderson’s husband as Mr. Turner, see note 11.

[8] Marise P. Lightfoot and Evelyn B. Shackleford, They Passed This Way, Maury County, Tennessee Death Records, Volume II (Mt. Pleasant, TN: 1970).

[9] Garrett & Lightfoot, abstract of Will Book B: 84; Katharine Curtice, Records of Maury County, Tennessee, Minute Book, Volume A 1810 – 1815 (Houston: Ann Poage Chapter of the DAR, 1991), abstract of Minute Book A: 225, 266.

[10] Matheny and Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County.

[11] Estes Genealogies states that the Sarah Estes who married a Turner was Sarah, daughter of Benjamin and Frances Bacon Estes. However, Maury Co. records prove that Buford Turner married Doc Estes’s widow Sarah rather than Doc Estes’s sister Sarah. Maury Co. Minute Book A: 24, lawsuit styled William Bradshaw v. Wade v. Admrs of L. B. Estes, dec’d, Buford Turner admr in wright [sic] of his wife Sara A. Turner in estate of Lydville B. Estes, dec’d. See also Estes Trails, Vol. XIX No. 3, Sept. 2001 at p. 3.

[12] John Frederick Dorman, Virginia Revolutionary Pension Applications, Volume Thirty-Four (Washington, D.C.: 1980).

[13] The marriage bond abstract for Henry County available at my library does not include any record for Lyddal and Martha. Virginia Anderton Dodd, Henry County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds, 1778 – 1849 (Baltimore: Clearfield Company reprint, 1989; originally published Richmond: 1953). There is little doubt, however, that Lyddal’s wife was Martha Thomason, a fact established by her father’s Stokes Co., NC will.

[14] 1790 census, Stokes Co., Salisbury Dist., NC, p. 552, listing for Lyddle Estes, 1 male > 16 and 2 females.

[15] Iris Moseley Harvey, Stokes County, North Carolina Tax List 1791 (Raleigh: 1998). Ms. Moseley has also abstracted the tax lists for 1792 through 1797. She abstracts Lyddal Estes’s name as “Suddle Eastus” (1791), “Suddle Eustus” (1792), and “Lydwell Estees” (1796).

[16] Mrs. W. O. Absher, Stokes County, North Carolina Wills Volumes I- IV 1790 – 1864 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1985), abstract of Stokes Co., NC Will Book 3: 162.

[17] 1800 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 77, listing for William Estes, 30111-32211.

[18] 1810 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 292, listing for Lydal Estes, 11001-30210.

[19] Brent H. Holcomb, Chester County, South Carolina Will Abstracts 1787-1838 [1776-1838] (Columbia, SC: 2006), abstract of the will of William Estes Sr. of Chester District naming wife Elizabeth, sons Liddal, Silvanus, William (Jr.) and John, and daughters Polly Carter, Peggy Gather, Betsy Lockart and Sally Walker; grandson William Clement. Will dated 11 August 1807.

[20] 1820 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 110, Lyddal Estes, 000101-11101; 1830 census, Chester Co., SC, p. 293, L. Estes, 010000001-111201001.

[21] 1840 census, Troup Co., GA, p. 362, listing for Lyddel Esters.

[22] 1850 census, Troup Co, GA, p. 102, household of Martha Easters, 80, b. VA.

[23] Martha’s household in the 1850 census (see prior note) included Mary Sanders, 23, and Elizabeth Hoyl, 20, both b. SC, with two children, M. K. Sanders and Martha E. Hoyl.

[24] Matheny and Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County.

[25] FHL Film 895,897, Tishomingo Co., MS Probate Record C: 391, administrators’ bond dated 3 Mar 1845, Benjamin H. Estes and Nancy A. Estes, administrators of Lyddal B. Estes, dec’d, securities Samuel Rankin and H. B. Derryberry.

[26] LBE and Nancy had a daughter named Lucretia (for Nancy’s mother, Lucretia Andrews Winn), a son named Allen (Nancy Winn’s middle name), and a daughter Alsadora (the name of Nancy’s youngest sister). Nancy’s sister Alsadora Winn Looney and brother Richard B. Winn also resided in Tishomingo, and Nancy’s brother Gideon B. Winn lived near LBE and Nancy in McNairy Co., TN in 1830.

[27] E.g., 1850 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 42, listing for B. H. Estes, b. VA; Robinson Cemetery, McLennan Co., TX, tombstone of “B. H. Estes, Dec. 12, 1815 – Jan. 6, 1897.” Central Texas Genealogical Society, Inc., McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume II (Waco, TX: 1973).

[28] Mary Chandler, who wrote an ET article about LBE and Nancy’s family, states that their marriage was also recorded in Madison County, AL with the same date as the Lunenburg marriage. Estes Trails, Vol. XIX, No. 3 (Sept. 2001), “More on Lyddal Bacon Estes,” p. 6.

[29] Although the census records are inconsistent, LBE and Nancy’s son John B. Estes, and their daughters Mary F. Estes Rankin and Martha Ann Estes Swain, were probably born in Alabama. See, e.g., 1870 census, Jefferson Co., AR, p. 575, Mary F. Rankin, b. AL; 1860 census, Nacodoches Co., TX, p. 122, John B. Estes, b. AL; 1850 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 40, Martha Swain, b. AL. Other census records give their states of birth as TN or MS. What is now Alabama was originally part of the Mississippi Territory, which is one possible source of confusion.

[30] http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/ (BLM land grants); 1860 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 87, listing for Lyddal Estes, b. TN; McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume II, tombstone of L. B. Estes giving birth date of Sept. 20, 1826, Fletcher Cemetery.

[31] 1830 census, McNairy Co., TN, p. 119, line 12 (Lyddal B. Estes) and line 15 (Jiddeon B. Winn). Nancy Allen Winn’s siblings are identified in the Lunenburg Guardian Accounts, FHL Film 895,897 at p. 136, account dated 1 Jan 1808 filed by the guardian of Nancy Allen, Elizabeth, Sally Washington, Susanna Moor, Banister, Richard Bland, Gideon Booker and Alsodora Abraham, orphans of Benjamin Winn; eight children.

[32] Fan A. Cockran, History of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi Territory (Oklahoma City: Barnhart Letter Shop,1969), Lyddal B. Estes was surety for the Tishomingo tax collector in May 1836.

[33] FHL Film 895,897, Tishomingo Co., MS Probate Record C: 391, 3 Mar 1845 bond of Benjamin H. Estes and Nancy A. Estes, administrators of the estate of Lyddal B. Estes; 1860 census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 87, listing for Nancy A. Estes, 71, b. VA.

[34] Original of Tishomingo Probate Book K: 4, viewed by the author at the Chancery Courthouse in Corinth, annual account of the estate of Lyddal Bacon Estes, dec’d, by B. H. Estes and Nancy Estes, Aug 1846.

[35] FHL Film 895,897, Tishomingo Probate Vol. C: 428, inventory of L. B. Estes, 27 March 1845.

[36] FHL Film 895,898, Tishomingo DB R: 15, 30 May 1854 deed from B. H. Estes and Nancy Estes, administrators of L. B. Estes, identifying LBE’s tracts by section, township and range.

[37] Original of Tishomingo Probate Book M: 484 viewed by the author at Corinth, MS, 14 Mar 1854 order for sale of land refers to the Administrators’ petition and finds sale is needed to divide the estate among the heirs.

[38] FHL Film 895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 15.

[39] FHL Film 895,878, Tishomingo Deed Book R: 18, 19; FHL Film 895,881, Deed Book U: 155, 531.

[40] Robin Rankin Willis, Estes Trails, Vol. XXIV, No. 1, March 2006, p. 5-7, “More About the Family of Lyddal Bacon Estes and Nancy A. Winn.”

Ancestor Charts for John Allen Rankin & Siblings

Here are two ancestor charts for John Allen Rankin. They have the same information, although in two different formats. I’m trying them on for size. Both show three generations of ancestors for John Allen Rankin; one chart also identifies his siblings. There isn’t much information on any individual. This is just a “big picture” of John Allen’s family tree.

The first tree is an unsophisticated chart that I drew using Word, at considerable cost to my sanity. I tried several times simply to paste the chart in this post, but could not make that work. Instead, I accidentally created a link to the chart. A potential problem here is that I am not sure I can duplicate the process … <grin>

Here is the link for that ancestor chart: Rankin chart 1

The second chart is one that Family Tree Maker drew for me with the click of a mouse. Much easier on the blood pressure, but not nearly as colorful. Ultimately, not very satisfying, either. Here is the link to the FTM tree chart:

JARankin Tree Chart

Here’s hoping that some of the innumerable people clinging to the mistaken belief that Mary F. Estes Rankin was the daughter of Lyddal Bacon Estes and Sally Alston Hunter see these charts and reconsider the error of their ways. Mary Estes Rankin’s mother was Ann Allen Winn, nickname “Nancy.” Sally Hunter was married to a different Lyddal Bacon Estes, a doctor who lived in Maury County, Tennessee. Next, I will publish an article describing the “same name confusion” error that surrounds Dr. Estes and his namesake, a nephew, who was actually Mary Estes Rankin’s father. Cheers!

Robin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Allen Rankin & Amanda Lindsey — Another Family Legend

by Robin Rankin Willis © June 2016

My ancestor John Allen Rankin and his wife Amanda Lindsey, daughter of Edward Buxton Lindsey, have a good story. (See http://digupdeadrelatives.com/category/articles/lindsey-articles/ for my article on the legend concerning Edward Buxton Lindsey.) From one vantage point, John Allen and Amanda’s story is a war story, pure and simple. It is also a love story. The love story and war story intersect in both my family’s legends and the verifiable facts.

My father’s “how to” genealogy book advised that the best place to start compiling one’s family history is by interviewing family members. A goodly part of the oral family history is invariably wrong, but even the misinformation contains clues aplenty, says the book. In my experience, the book is dead right.

As I noted in another article on this website about Edward Lindsey, my father promptly took that “how to” advice when he was “bitten by the genealogy bug.” He and his sister, my Aunt Louise, set out to talk to all their north Louisiana kin to see what they could learn about the Rankins et al. Here is what Daddy wrote to me in a 1969 letter – yes, we actually did once communicate via snail mail in writing — telling me the latest he had learned about his family. This qualifies as my favorite family legend, bar none:

“Dearest Robin Baby: ….Cousin Norene Sale Robinson at Homer told us that Grandma [Amanda Lindsey] was living in Monticello, Arkansas in 1863 when she met John Allen [Rankin]. He came to their door one night looking for a sister who lived there in town. Grandma said that she went to the door and ‘there stood the most handsomest soldier that she had ever seen and that she fell in love with him right there.’ They were married some time after that.”

There is a wealth of information in that legend. One of its chief virtues is that its essential objective elements – location, date, a soldier’s uniform, the people involved – are readily subject to verification among actual records. The legend also comes from an unimpeachable source, because Cousin Norene, who was twenty-eight when Amanda died in 1920 and had lived with Amanda for some time, had actually heard that story straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. This legend was not subject to the vagaries of multiple oral retellings.

When I starting digging around amongst my Rankin and Lindsey relatives, I set about trying to confirm the objective facts about that legend.

First, Amanda’s father, Edward B. Lindsey, was living in Monticello, Drew County, Arkansas in 1860.[1] During the war, he was a member of the Monticello “Home Guard,” so he was still in Monticello in 1863. So far, so good – Amanda’s family was right where the legend says they would be in 1863.

However, John Allen did not have a sister who was old enough to be married or living on her own when he was knocking on Monticello doors in (according to the legend) 1863.[2] John Allen did have a married older brother, William Henderson Rankin, living in Drew County.[3] William, I discovered as I looked at the 1860 census for Monticello, was listed just a few dwellings down from Amanda’s father Edward B. Lindsey.[4] However, William was still off fighting in the War in 1863.[5] Thus, John Allen was almost certainly looking for his sister-in-law rather than a sister. As legends go, that’s close enough.

It is also certain that John Allen was a soldier. My father’s 1969 letter to me continued with the war part of the family legend.

“Cousin Norene said that [John Allen’s] war record was never discussed by the family. It does seem funny that he was out of it in 1863. I have always thought that he was wounded in the war and that was one reason that he died at a fairly young age. It seems that was what we were told. So there could be a body hidden in the closet. Anyway we will find out for I am going to send off for his war record tomorrow, and if he did desert we will keep that out of the record.”

When I started writing short articles about my ancestors to preserve the history for our children, I looked for John Allen’s war records among my father’s materials. I couldn’t find them anywhere. Perhaps, I thought, the National Archives had lost John Allen’s records, and Daddy never received anything. Many records from the Civil War have just flat disappeared. However, I had a clear recollection about Daddy telling me about some of the information he learned from those war records.

Unable to find anything in his materials, I started sending off for records of my own. Amanda Lindsey Rankin’s Confederate pension application, a certifiable heartbreaker, arrived by mail first. She filed the application from Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana in April 1910.[6] She was living with her daughter, Anna Belle Rankin Sale (Cousin Norene’s mother), as of 1900.[7] I cannot find her in 1910, although she was obviously still alive. Amanda signed the application in the quavery handwriting of an old person although she was only sixty-five, which, at this point, doesn’t seem at all old to me. The rest of it, though, is filled out in a strong feminine hand.

Amanda swore in her application that she had no source of income whatsoever, no real property, and no personal property worth a spit. That is all unquestionably true, from what I know of my north Louisiana relatives: that didn’t change until my father’s generation. She certainly couldn’t get much help from her son John Marvin (“Daddy Jack,” my grandfather), who at that time was struggling to make ends meet with a wife and four children, a rented house, and a job driving a dray wagon.

Amanda stated further that John Allen volunteered to serve the Confederate Army in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on March 14, 1862 (turns out that was the wrong year), that Captain Henry was his company commander, and that he was in the 9th Arkansas Infantry. She also swore – under oath, mind you – that he was honorably discharged on April 10, 1865, which just happens to be one day after Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

Here we have an apparent disconnect between the legend and the pension application. The legend says that John Allen and Amanda met in 1863. Amanda swore that he was discharged two years later.

The Office of the Board of Pension Commissioners of the State of Louisiana sent Amanda’s application off to the War Department in Washington, D.C. The War Department had this to say in response.

“The records show that John A. Rankin, private, Captain Phillip G. Henry’s Company C, 9th Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States Army, enlisted July 25 (also shown August 9) 1861. On the muster roll covering the period from November 1 to December 31, 1863 (the last on which his name is borne), he is reported absent in arrest in Canton, Mississippi by order of the Provost Marshal. No later record of him has been found.”

With that information in hand, the Louisiana Pension Board Commissioners rejected Amanda’s application. “Absent in arrest” means “AWOL.”

I don’t think Amanda ever knew the truth about her husband John Allen’s service, unless she figured it out after her pension application was denied. What do you think?

I wonder who came up with a discharge date one day after Appomattox? In my imagination, which badly wants to give the destitute Amanda the benefit of the doubt, some nice female clerk was helping Amanda fill out the application (it is, I surmise, her handwriting on the forms, although it might have been Amanda’s daughter, Anna Belle Rankin Sale). The clerk asked when John Allen was discharged, to which Amanda responded truthfully that she did not know. The clerk, who knew her history, said, “well, everyone was discharged by April 10, 1865, why don’t we just use that date.”[8] Fine, said Amanda. The clerk naturally assumed that John Allen received a normal discharge, or why else would Amanda even bother to apply?

John Allen’s entire military record arrived in the mail shortly thereafter.[9] Here are the facts, along with some great images from records that are more than 150 years old. Ironically, when I retrieved these records from my own notebooks, I found my father’s copies stashed in the same clear plastic page cover. So I have a spare copy of these records, if anyone in the family needs one!

Amanda did have some of the facts about her husband’s war record down pat. John Allen Rankin did enlist in the Confederate army at Pine Bluff, Arkansas – near where his family farmed, in Jefferson (now Cleveland) County. He was a private, and is shown as having served in both C and K companies of the 9th Arkansas Infantry. He enlisted for a one-year term on July 25, 1861 and served under Captain Henry.

At the beginning of the Vicksburg Campaign, the brigade of which the 9th Arkansas Infantry was a part was located at Port Hudson, Louisiana. It was ordered to Tullahoma, Tennessee on or about 15 April 1863, but was recalled on 18 April 1863 and sent to what was called the Battle of Champion Hill on 16 May 1863.[10]  Here is a weird historical coincidence. I have looked at the Confederate military history of only two families among my ancestors: the Confederate Estes brothers and John Allen Rankin’s family (John Allen’s mother, Mary Estes Rankin, was a sister of the Confederate Estes crowd). John Allen was in a different unit than his three Estes uncles, who served in Ham’s Calvary, from Tishomingo Co., Mississippi.  The Estes brothers and John Allen were nonetheless commanded by the same incompetent Confederate general — at two different battles. Gen. Stephen Lee (no relation to Robert E.) was the commanding Confederate general at both Champion Hill and the Battle of Ezra Church, where Capt. Allen W. Estes was killed. See my article about the three Confederate Estes brothers here:

 http://digupdeadrelatives.com/category/articles/estes-articles/

At Champion Hill, about 4,300 Confederate soldiers and 2,500 Union soldiers were casualties. That battleground is just east of Vicksburg, where the main action took place. It was considered a Union victory and an important battle in the Vicksburg campaign. I find it difficult to grasp applying the term “victory” to that carnage.

On our way home from a trip to the Tennessee Archives in Nashville, Gary and I drove around the area of the battle of Champion Hill, a backwoods area east of Vicksburg. It has been almost entirely forgotten by history: no park, no historical markers, nothing except a decent-sized stone monument where Confederate Brigadier General Leonard Tilghman died.

On 19 May 1863 – near the end of the second year of his one-year enlistment – whatever was left of John Allen’s division after Champion Hill arrived at Jackson, Mississippi. He was in the 1st Mississippi CSA Hospital in Jackson from May 31 to June 13, 1863. Here is an image of the explanation for his hospital time that appeared in his military record:

 

Confed 2

The problem, in case you cannot read that record: “diarrhea, acute.” Can’t say that I am surprised. I’d have diarrhea, too, if someone had been shooting at me, and I was getting a pretty good fix on which side would win, and the Confederate general in charge at Champion Hill had — incredibly — marched my unit piecemeal straight into Sherman’s entrenched troops. However, the records certainly don’t provide any support to the “war wound” theory that somebody in the family concocted to explain John Allen’s reluctance to talk about The War.

On September 1, 1863, now in Selma, Alabama, the Army of the Confederacy issued John Allen a new pair of pants, a jacket and a shirt, all valued at $31.00. Good wool and cotton stuff, presumably. Probably the best suit of clothes John Allen ever had in his young life. Here is the record:

Confed 3

There is more. On October 14, 1863, the Confederate States of America paid John Allen $44 for the pay period from May 1 through August 31, 1863. I assume that he was paid in Confederate dollars. Whatever — he was paid in something. Here is the record of his last pay:

Confed 4

And that was the last the CSA saw of my great-grandfather John Allen Rankin, who evidently just walked away. His original enlistment for twelve months was long up. By November 1, 1863, he was listed as absent. They finally quit carrying his name on the muster roll after December 1863.

It probably wasn’t too long after he was paid in Selma in October 1863 that John Allen met his future wife at the front door of Edward B. Lindsey’s home in Monticello, Arkansas. That had to have been about the middle of November 1863, assuming he made about twenty miles per day on the 400-mile walk from Selma to Monticello.

With that, the legend turns happy. He was wearing an almost brand-spanking new uniform, he was the most handsome soldier Amanda had ever seen, and she fell in love with him on the spot.

Here are the last two records – “muster rolls,” a regular record of who showed up in a military unit at periodic intervals – for John Allen’s Confederate service.

Confed 1

The last record says “absent in arrest in Canton by order of Provost Marshall.” That means the equivalent of an arrest warrant was issued after he was declared AWOL. John Allen never did any time in the pokey, or there would be other records in his file. By the time that AWOL order was issued, he was undoubtedly already in Monticello, Drew County, Arkansas, making Amanda Addieanna Lindsey swoon.

I once had a huge Rankin portrait that hung in my grandmother Rankin’s house in Gibsland, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, where my father graduated from high school in 1925.[11] My cousin Ellis Leigh Jordan (son of Aunt Louise Theo Rankin Jordan) gave it to me in consideration of my promise to photograph or somehow reproduce it for all the Rankin cousins. The man in the photograph is definitely good looking – no big ears or nose like his son John Marvin. He did have the classic male Rankin receding hairline and “topknot” that is shared by the Lincoln County, NC Rankins. He had a fabulous mustache. My Rankin cousins were unanimous that our grandmother positively identified this man as a Rankin, but the cousins don’t know which Rankin he is. We all agreed that the picture cannot possibly be our grandfather John Marvin (“Daddy Jack”) Rankin. It follows that it must be John Allen or his father Samuel Rankin. However, it cannot conceivably be John Allen’s father Samuel, who died in 1861-62. The quality of the photograph was just too good, and Sam hadn’t been as young as the man in that picture since the 1840s.

Besides, it seems highly unlikely that our grandfather would display a huge portrait of his grandfather, rather than his father, in his parlor. That photograph must have been John Allen Rankin, probably in the early 1880s at about age forty, not long before he died. Unfortunately, that fabulous photograph was lost, which breaks my heart. I would pay a small ransom to have it back.

Back to the story. In 1870, John and Amanda were living in Homer, Claiborne Parish, with their two eldest children, Anna Belle Rankin, age three, and Samuel Edward Rankin, age one – the latter undoubtedly named for his two grandfathers, Samuel Rankin and Edward Buxton Lindsey.[12] John Allen and Amanda listed $400 in real property and $350 in personal property in the census enumeration, and John Allen identified himself as a farmer. They apparently owned some land, although I cannot find a deed of purchase or a land grant to John Allen. I do know, however, that he and Amanda sold nine acres in Claiborne Parish for $33 in August 1870.[13]

The sale of land is perhaps a clue that farming did not work out well. By 1880, John Allen and Amanda were living in Webster Parish.[14] John Allen, age 36, was Deputy Sheriff. By 1880, he and Amanda had six children, including my grandfather John Marvin “Daddy Jack” Rankin, who was born in 1875. Their seventh and last child, Mary Alice, was born in September 1880, too late to appear in that census.

The deputy sheriff job apparently did not work out well, either. A letter that was saved by the family of John Allen’s brother Elisha Rankin reported that John Allen and family went through Homer in October 1882 on their way to Blanchard Springs (north of Shreveport) to run a barber shop.[15] I don’t know what happened to the barber shop, but the Rankins wound up moving back to Claiborne Parish, where they stayed.

The next thing you know, John Allen was six feet under. According to Amanda’s pension application, John Allen died of “congestion of the brain,” an obsolete medical term. It most likely means that John Allen had a stroke. He was only forty-five years old. There were five children age fifteen and under still at home.

Amanda obviously did not have an easy time thereafter. She expressed her anguish in a letter she wrote to one of John Allen’s brothers, Elisha (nickname “Lish”) Rankin, and Elisha’s wife Martha, who lived in Arkansas. Amanda wrote the letter three months after John Allen died on Sunday, October 13, 1888. She was forty-four years old. Here is a transcription, with spelling and punctuation (or lack thereof) exactly as transcribed, and question marks where the language is uncertain or totally illegible.[16]

“Dear Brother and Sister, it is with pleasure tho a sad heart that I try to answer your kind letter I received some time ago   Would have written sooner but I was in so much trouble I could not write soon   We had to move   Dear brother you have no idea how glad I was to get a letter from you   I feel like one forsaken   My happiness on earth is for ever gone of course I know you grieve for the Dear (?) house (?) but oh what is the grief to be compared to misery when a woman loses her husband. How sad I feel today for the dear one was a corpse on sunday. how long seems the days and nights to me.

Brother Lish you wanted to know how we are getting along   We are in det over one hundred dollars and no hom. I have moved to Mr. Weeks to work on ????? Jimmy Burton my Nephew is going to ??? after the little boys and show them how to manage this year. Eddie [Amanda’s son, Samuel Edward] is at Harrisville [Haynesville?]. I could not depend on him to ?????? He is not settled yet. I will ???? ???? me and the children a longe time to pay our det. It was the oldest children that caused me to be so bad in det. If I was young and able to work I would feel like maybe in two or three years we wold get out of det. I will do all I can to help the boys make a crop. Joe [Amanda’s son, Joseph D. Rankin] is 16 but he don’t now how to work much. I have got a few hogs and cowes all I have got. Annie and Lula [her daughters Anna Belle and Lula, both of whom married men named Sale] married brothers. They have got good homes. They live 3 miles from me. They live in site of each other.

Brother Lish be sure to write as soon as you get this   it does me so much good to get a letter from any of you how proud I was to think you thought enough of me to inquire after my welfare tho it is quite different to what you thought it was   some times I all most give up and not try to work then I think of the poor little children and no father to provide for them   I try to pick up courage to work all I can for there was ????? she is no longer a pet we sent her to school last year   teach come to see me about the pay I told him I could not pay it. He said he would wait untill next fall or the next year untill I could pay it ?? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ????with me for it   if she had a ??? and out of det maybe we could make a living but in det and no home ???? and little childern no father oh lord father give me

Brother Lish I am a fraid you cant read this. It has been so long since I wrote a letter. Give Mother my love [presumably, “mother” refers to Mary Estes Rankin, the mother of John Allen and Elisha] and tell her to pray for me that I ???? ???? my children ???? I will have to be Father and Mother both. Give my love to all the connection and tell them to write. My love to Martha and the children write soon and often I remain ever ?????? ???? Sister.

Amanda Rankin”

Goodness gracious. Her anguish is overwhelming. Wouldn’t you like to see Elisha’s reply, if any? I wonder how he handled Amanda’s letter. Did he read it as a plea for funds? Or did he just see it as someone describing her feelings in the context of a desperate financial situation and emotional loss? No telling. May you rest in peace, Amanda and John Allen. Both are buried in the “Old Town” Haynesville Cemetery in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Be careful if you visit there – no matter where you step, I will guarantee you are treading on someone to whom I am related at least by marriage!

J A & Amanda Rankin 3

[1] See “Edward Buxton Lindsey: One of My Family Legends” on this website under “Lindsey Articles.”

[2] John Allen had two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Rankin. 1860 census for Jefferson Co., AR, p. 848, dwl. 549, listing for Samuel Rankin included Mary Rankin, age 10; 1870 census, Jefferson Co., AR, p. 575, dwl. 17, listing for Mary F. Rankin (Sam’s widow) included Elizabeth Rankin, 8. The elder daughter, Mary, would only have been about thirteen in 1863.

[3] Jennie Belle Lyle, Marriage Record Book B, Drew Co., Arkansas (Little Rock: Democrat Printing & Lithography Co., 1966), William H. Rankin, 20, married Eliza Jane Law, 21, July 1, 1858.

[4] 1860 census, Drew Co., AR, p. 101, dwelling 155, listing for William Rankin and p. 103, dwelling 167, E. B. Lindsey.

[5] William H. Rankin’s service record at the National Archives indicates that he enlisted from Monticello in the Confederate Army on 8 Feb 1862 for three years or the duration of the war. He was listed as present on his company’s muster roll through Oct. 31, 1864.

[6] Louisiana State Archives, “Widow’s Application for Pension” of Amanda A. Rankin, widow of John A. Rankin, P.O. Haynesville, LA, filed 4 Apr 1910.

[7] 1900 federal census, Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, LA, p. 55, household of A. C. sale with mother-in-law Amanda Rankin, wife Annie Sale, and children.

[8] That’s not accurate, of course. Some fighting continued after Lee’s surrender on April 9.

[9] National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., Civil War record for Rankin, John A., Companies C and K, Arkansas Infantry, Private.

[10] I will add a brief description of the Battle of Champion’s Hill at the end of this article. On second thought, I will write a separate article about that battle.

[11] Unfortunately, John Allen’s portrait is now lost, as is a portrait of his mother, Mary Estes Rankin, which was taken at the same time, in (probably) the early 1880s.

[12] 1870 census, Claiborne Parish, LA, Homer PO, p. 59, dwl #39, listing for John A. Rankin, 27, b. MS, Amanda Rankin, 25, b. MS, and the two children, both b. LA.

[13] LDS Film # 265,980, Claiborne Parish Deed Book J: 226.

[14] 1870 census, Webster Parish, LA, p. 219, dwl 255, J. A. Rankin, wife Amanda Rankin, and children Anna Belle, Edward, Lulu, Joseph, Marvin, and Melvin.

[15] Letter from Washington Marion Rankin (“Wash”), who lived in Homer, to his brother Napoleon Bonaparte (“Pole”) Rankin dated October 1882.

[16] I do not own, and have never seen, the original of this letter. I obtained a transcription from Megan Franks, a descendant of Elisha Rankin, John Allen’s brother. Another distant cousin reportedly owns the original of Amanda’s letter, as well as several other Rankin letters from the 1880s. I have called and written him (he lives here in Houston) but he never responded. That is a shame, because I could probably clarify some of the “X”ed material.