Friday, September 23, 2011

Standridge, Bowen, and Stover Families

   The Standridges are said to have migrated from Virginia to North Carolina to South Carolina and to Georgia before a branch of them came to Arkansas.  The Bowens were in Maryland before migrating to Georgia.  The Stovers were in Virginia before following a similar path to Georgia.  All three of these families lived in the Habersham Co., Georgia area that later became White County in 1857.  Some of the Standridges also lived in Lumpkin Co., Georgia as did some Stovers.  Some Stovers were also in Gilmer Co.

   About 1855 the James Standridge family are said to have left Georgia and moved to the west end of Montgomery Co., Arkansas near Big Fork.  After the Civil War, Newton Standridge moved near his brother, James, in Montgomery Co.  Newton's third wife was Millicent Lucretia Goss Jeffrey, daughter of Elijah Benson Goss.  She was first married to John Jeffrey.
   James Standridge also had a daughter, Nancy Standridge who married John Rider.  They had a daughter, Dicey Rider who married Thomas Jefferson Bates, possibly about 1833 in Georgia.  He was a brother to Margaret (Abernathy), George V. and William Fleming Bates.  He and Dicey came with them to Big Fork in 1852. 
   Temperance Mary Ann Standridge, daughter of James Standridge, married Frances M. Bowen in 1853 in White Co., Georgia.   They had a daughter, Nancy Ann Elizabeth Bowen, that married Nathaniel Benson Goss, son of Elijah Benson Goss.   Later Nancy Ann's second husband was Abram Royal Bates, son of George V. Bates.  

   With Nancy Ann and her mother, Temperance, we can get into quite a family tangle.  Nancy Ann E. Bowen and Nathaniel B. Goss had a daughter, Elizabeth Lucretia Goss, who married Joshua Abernathy, son of James A. Abernathy and Mary P. Vandevier, daughter of Enoch Vandevier and Nancy Bates.   Another daughter of Nancy Ann Bowen and Nathaniel B. Goss was E. Frances Goss who married William N. Edwards, son of  Thomas Jefferson Edwards and Mary E. Bates, daughter of William Fleming Bates.   Are you confused yet?  It gets more complicated if we consider that in 1879, Elijah B. Goss' daughter, Martha E.Goss, married Phillip Abernathy.  Phillip was first married to Margaret Bates, sister of George V. Bates.  Martha Goss was Phillip's third wife.  She had been married first to Kimsey P. Standridge in 1855, who was a brother to Temperance M. A. Standridge Bowen.  Martha and Kimsey's children were James M. and Will Standridge.  Their son, James M. Standridge, married Minervah Abernathy in 1873; she was the daughter of Phillip and Margaret (Bates) Abernathy.  This means that Minervah's step-mother was also her mother-in-law and Phillip's step-son was his son-in-law.  Phillip and Martha had a daughter, Spicey Abernathy, who married Samuel Standridge, parents unknown to me.  

   Now back to Temperance M. A. Standridge Bowen:  after her husband, Frances M. Bowen, died, she married Abraham Walker, brother to Hortense Mansina Walker Bates, wife of George V. Bates.  Abraham Walker's daughter, Harriet, by his first wife, Mary, married Frank E. Standridge who was also a brother to Temperance Standridge Bowen Walker.  So this means that Harriet's step-mother, Temperance, was also her sister-in-law.  Abraham's son-in-law, Abram R. Bates, became his brother-in-law.   And Temperance M. A. Standridge Bowen Walker was not only Abram Royal Bates' mother-in-law, but she also became his aunt.   See what I mean by a family tangle?

   Elisha Sanders Stover married Elizabeth Sarah Ann Bowen, daughter of Isaac Bowen, in 1872 and moved to Arkansas sometime around 1874.   On the deed of what was my grandparents farm, about one mile north of Big Fork on County Road 67,  Elisha Stover bought some land, in 1880, from Melton A. and Sarah O'Barr.  In 1878 he bought another piece of land from Marion A. and Mary O'Barr.  The O'Barrs were related to the Goss family.  In 1885 Elisha sold to James Washington Dilbeck.   Then in 1886, Dilbeck sold to J.C. Standridge. 

Abram Royal Bates with 2nd wife: Nancy Ann Elizabeth Bowen


Friday, September 16, 2011

Early Migration

   The early migration pattern of  many families that ended up in Big Fork fascinated me.   The primary ones that I researched were the Bates, Goss, Edwards, Abernathy, Vandivier, Turner, and Smith families   And it's very possible that the same migration pattern applies to many other Big Fork families.

   Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were places of early colonies and they border each other.  People from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. started their new life in America in these states.   Many of our Big Fork families started in  Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania before moving into the Carolinas and on to Georgia or Tennessee.   Here are a few:
      John Bates immgrated from England and came to Virginia in 1623.  
      John Goss was born in Virginia in 1628 and he and his son, William, are thought to be the beginning of the Goss family.  
      Alfred E. Edward was born in 1791 in Virginia.  His father is thought to be Richard Edwards.
      Robert Abernathy II, born in 1656 in Virginia is thought to be the progenitor of the Abernathy family. 
      Isaac Dilbeck, from the Netherlands, is thought to be the first progenitor of Dilbecks in America and came in 1683 to Pennsylvania. 
      William Turner was born about 1724 in Maryland and his descendants would later marry into the Goss and Smith families of Big Fork.
       James Standridge, born in Maryland, had a descendant who married into the Goss family.  This Standridge family also lived in South Carolina and Georgia. 

   From Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, a huge number of people moved south to North Carolina and South Carolina.  Others went to Tennessee, sometimes after being in South Carolina first.   The flow of settlers going from Virginia to the Carolinas and on to Georgia is the one I wanted to primarily write about here.  Several Big Fork families were in this huge stream of settlers and lived fairly close to each other during this migration but did they meet each other before coming to Big Fork?  I mentioned this a little in the post "From Whence They Came" but would make a good subject for a future post.

   Thomas Goss moved out of Virginia to North Carolina.  In 1790, he moved into the far western part of South Carolina on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains called Pendleton District.  Around 1800, William Bates left Virginia and also settled in Pendleton District.  Many people migrated through this far western corner of South Carolina before moving on.  The Vandiviers, who married into the Bates family, also lived in Pendleton District. 

   Next to Pendleton District was Spartanburg District where the Turners and Walkers lived.  A John Dilbeck is listed in the 1790 census of Spartanburg District. 

   In 1808 the Abernathys were in Lincoln Co., North Carolina, about 100 miles northeast of where the Bates and Goss families lived.  In 1844, they moved to Cass Co., Georgia.  Dilbecks lived in Rutherford Co., North Carolina which was not far from Lincoln Co. on the west.  Both counties were are the west side of North Carolina.

   The Edwards family were in Chesterfield Co., South Carolina by 1814 or before.  In 1825 they moved to Cobb or Cherokee Co.,Georgia.  About 1834, the Stephen Bates family moved from Pendleton District, South Carolina to Cherokee Co., Georgia.

   Looking through some of the Big Fork census records, here are a few surnames of those born in North Carolina:  Whehunt, Aber (Abair) Cabler, Cox, Crawford, Lawrence, Masters, Walker and Abernathy.  Here are those born in South Carolina:  Rankin, Garmon, Dilbeck, Goss, Reed, Vandivier, Shedd, Abernathy, Bates, Crawford, Turner, Edwards, Hendrix, Bowen, Standridge and Liles.   These are just a few that help us to see the general migration pattern of many early Big Fork families. 

   Below is a map showing the basic migration path that five families took, roughly between 1790 and 1866.   The Bates family started in York Co., VA and moved to Halifax Co., VA before going to SC; the Dilbecks started from Germantown, PA. and it's thought that some may have lived in the Shenandoah Valley of VA before moving on to NC.  The Goss family's original home is uncertain but Gosses were in Pennsylvania and Maryland before living in Virginia; it's interesting that a Goss had land next to a Bates family in Kent Co., VA in 1704.  Gosses are found in more than one county in NC but I show them in just one which was Bertie Co.  Our Gosses were also in Granville Co., NC before moving to Pendleton Dist.  The Abernathys are said to have started somewhere in Maryland before moving to NC.  The Edwards are said to have been somewhere in Virginia; I show a purple line for them also going to Elmore Co., Alabama because Alfred E. Edward, the progenitor of Big Fork Edwards, moved there and lived until he died in 1873.  His son, Charles lived and died in Cherokee Co., GA; after he died in 1865, his family moved to Big Fork. 

Click on the map for a larger view

Monday, September 12, 2011

From Whence They Came

    Where did the early settlers of Big Fork come from before moving to Arkansas?  After 1820, a large westward expansion brought settlers to Arkansas.    The Ouachita Mountains attracted many people from Northern Georgia.  Land in western Arkansas was fairly easy to obtain.  Sometimes a settler didn't have to pay taxes for five years on land he bought so that was an incentive.
     Before moving to Arkansas, many of the Big Fork families lived in Georgia in the counties of Lumpkin, Habersham, White, Hall, Gilmer, Fannin, Cobb, Cass and Cherokee.  When the Goss family first moved to Georgia about 1810, they settled in what was then Cherokee land in the north.  They lived in what later became, in 1818, Hall and Habersham Counties.  Other families such as the Dilbecks, Edwards, Turners, and Walkers came to Georgia probably sometime between 1819 and 1825.  The Dilbecks lived in Gilmer Co. where they knew the Benjamin Goss family and the Turner family by at least 1834.   The Bates family moved to Georgia into Cherokee Co. in 1834.  The Abernathy family moved to Cass Co. (Bartow Co. today) by 1844.   

    Other Big Fork people from Georgia included the Head, Cox, Jeffery, Stover, Standridge, Bowen, Garmon, Putman, O'Barr, Smith, Rider, Vandevier, Abair. Shedd. Wehunt, Crawford, Fowler, Hendrix, Ellison, Fountain, Masters and Hooper families, and more.  Most, if not all, of these people lived in more than one county of the northern part.  Several of these families knew each other in Georgia before moving to Big Fork.
    The south end of the Blue Ridge Mountains extended into northeast Georgia.  Here the Cherokee Indians wanted to make this area their permanent home but to their dismay settlers, seeking new, fertile farm land, kept pouring in.   To add impetus to the trouble, gold was discovered in 1829.  There was no way to stop the intrusion and the gold rush.  To settle the problem, a land and gold mine lottery was held by the state government in 1832 which required certain qualifications to register for the draw.   Thomas Goss, the father of Benjamin Goss,  was one to receive a 40 acre certificate, probably for gold, which was signed by the governor in 1843.  However he died in 1833 and the certifcate of this 40 acres was also granted to his heirs but what happened to it is unknown to me.   History does tell us that  many settlers in northern Georgia mined gold to supplement their farming. 
    I received a letter from a Dilbeck relative in Dawson Co., Georgia.  In her research, she said she found five Dilbecks that came to Georgia about the same time.  One of these,David Dilbeck, father of John W. Dilbeck of Big Fork, born about 1788 in South Carolina, had land that was located near Amicalola Falls, located in what is now Dawson Co. but was once part of Gilmer Co.   This beautiful falls is 729 feet and located in the Amicalola Falls State Park. 
   The Bates family moved to Georgia in 1834 and settled in Cherokee County, just west of Lumpkin Co. and south of Gilmer Co.   Stephen Bates bought a farm here in 1835.  Here they eventually met the Edwards, Ellisons, and Walkers.  They also knew the Abernathy family who lived just over the line in Cass Co.
    Some early families of Big Fork also came from Tennessee.   Here are a few surnames of these:  Cabler, Gann, Heath, Cheny Huddleston, Scott, North, Dempsey and more.   A few other families came from Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina, and Mississippi. And some came from the north, such as the Fried family from Indiana.  In the 1880 census, there was a William Baker,  born in Ohio; a William Hosler, in the 1860 census, was born in England and had the occupation of miller.   This is all just a small sample of the people who once lived in or near Big Fork and where they came from.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Big Fork Hotel and Post Office Visited by Professor and Geologist, Samuel Calvin

About 1880, a professor of Natural Science at the University of Iowa and geologist, Samuel Calvin came to Polk County to photograph the rock formations.  His gallery includes photos taken east of Mena which are mostly of geological formations in the woods.  Fortunately for us who are interested in Big Fork,  he took this photo of the early hotel and post office that served the community at that time.   As of yet, I haven't been able to identify the three people on the porch. 

Samuel Calvin was born in 1840 in Scotland and died while teaching at the University of Iowa in 1911.  You can read his biography and see his photos at:
Go to "Calvin's Scrapbook" and look under "Buildings".  Scroll down and Voila!

If you want to see the geological images he took east of Mena, go to "Calvin's Image Database".  Under "Geology of U.S. and Canada-Place of Interest" select "Arkansas" from the drop down menu and click "Go".  There you will see seven photos of rock formations and a waterfall characteristic of Polk County.

The Smith Family from Georgia

Malinda Jane (Turner) Smith

About 1866, the William Riley Smith family arrived in Big Fork.   They were from Lumpkin County, Georgia.  William Riley Smith married Malinda Jane Turner about 1848 in Georgia.  She was a younger sister to Lucretia E. (Turner) Goss, wife of Elijah B. Goss of Big Fork.   After leaving Georgia, Riley and Malinda went to Izzard County, Arkansas to visit Riley's brother.  The 1880 Izzard County Census showed a Jasper Smith and family.  Some in the Smith family think Riley's father's name was Jasper.  In Riley's granddaughter's Bible are the names: Jasper Smith and Sarah, Jasper, William Riley, Green, Mary and Artemissie.

Sometime between 1866 and 1870.  Riley and Jane M. Smith are listed with four children in the 1870 Polk County, Arkansas, Big Fork Township Census.    The four children were:  Washington, Frances M., Berriman J. and Sarah E.    Their close neighbors were the William and Sam Crawford families and the William and John Heath families.  Other neighbors included the Benson Goss family,  Stephen C. and Sarah Bates family, Thompson Shed family,  and the Thomas and Mary Edwards family.

In 1894, Riley Smith died.  Malinda later lived with her son, Washington H.  and his wife, Sarah (Bates) Smith. 
Sarah Jane (Bates) and Washington H. Smith

During the Civil War, in Georgia, Wash burned his arm while fighting fires.  So his parents sent him to school to get a little more education so he could make a living without depending entirely on his physical abilities.    About 1872 he married Sarah Jane Bates, the daughter of George V. and Tenny Bates.    They had ten children:
   1.  Amanda Elizabeth "Mandy" Smith, born 1873; married James B. Liles
   2.  Melinda Lucretia Smith,  born 1875.  She never married; ran the Post Office for awhile.
   3.  Luvina Smith who died at six weeks old.
   4.  Mary Artemissia "Artie" Smith, born 1879; married Moses Benjamin Fried
   5.  Alice Safronia Smith, born 1881; married Robert "Bob" Putman
   6.  Nancy Louella Bathsheba "Nan" Smith, born 1883; married Aaron Boston Michigan   
           "Boss" Dilbeck
   7.  Rhoda Florence Smith, born 1885;  married James Maddox
   8.  Susie Ovie Smith, born 1888, married George Hooper
   9.  Nina Varina Smith, born 1891; married Freeman Edwards
  10. Orland Jefferson Smith, born 1893; married Bessie Lee White

Four generations of the Smith Family

In this photo, left to right, front row, Jim and Mandy Liles with Elfie and Elsie;  Ovie Smith;
grandmother Malinda J. (Turner) Smith; Wash and Sally Smith with Orland Smith and Nina Smith.
Left to right, on the porch, Nan Smith, Artie Smith, Alice Smith, Florence Smith, Lucretia Smith.

Malinda Jane used to tell these grandchildren her "Old Georgia Tales" about the time when she and Riley lived in Georgia during the Civil War.   One of these that was told to me by her great-granddaughter included the account of when Riley was injured in the War and was laid up in South Carolina.   Malinda was determined to go get him and bring him home.   She put hay in the bed of the wagon and took the youngest child with her.   The other children were left for Wash, the oldest, to care for.   She drove to the Savannah River but had to stop because the water was up.   People there told her that she could not cross it.  But she drove her wagon into the river, the horses swam and she made it to the other side.   Riley's leg was injured and he always limped after that.   They experienced some hard times during the war and perhaps that was the reason they wanted to leave for Arkansas after it was over.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Martha Ann Cox Shed Goss Rodgers

Martha Cox was born June 4, 1836 in Georgia.  She is said to be the daughter of George Rufus Cox and Malinda Findley who migrated from Georgia to the head the Caddo River in Montgomery County, Arkansas in 1848.  Martha married John R. Shed in 1857 at the age of 21.  They had a daughter: Alsie Jane Shed, who later married Berryman Jasper Smith, son of Washington H. Smith and Malinda Jane (Turner). Another daughter was Martha R. Shed.

After John Shed died, Martha married Elijah Benson Goss and they had one son, Elijah Bethel Goss.

Later Martha married S. Rodgers who was her junior by eleven years.  They had no children.

Martha died on January 17, 1909 on the head of the Caddo River.  She and her parents are buried in the Cox-
Head Cemetery located near Sulphur Springs in Montgomery County, Arkansas.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

James Abernathy and Mary P. Vandiver

These two photos are of James Alexander Abernathy and his wife, Mary (Vandevier or Vandiver) Abernathy.   Mary  was the daughter of Enoch Vandiver and Nancy Bates.  Mary was born in 1826 in Pickens County, South Carolina.  She married James Alexander
Abernathy, born 1821.  Mary died in 1897 and James died in 1905.  They're both buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery at Big Fork.   They had eleven children:
1. Sarah Ann  born 1847
2. Laura M. born 1850  married William J. Scott
3. Nancy Louisa born 1852  married Asbury Leonard
4. Margaret Lucretia  born 1854  married George Scott
     and second: Mr Darymore; and third "Doc" Long;
     and fourth, Marion F. Roberts; fifth Mr. Whitehead
5. Rufus Jefferson Abernathy  born 1856
6. Phillip Abernathy  born about 1858
7. Darius "Lit" Abernathy born 1860
8. Cyntha  born 1863
9. James Alexander Abernathy, Jr.  born 1865
10. Mary Parasina  born 1867
11. Joshua Abernathy  born 1870