Tag Archives: Martin

52 Ancestors: #1 Ben Martin

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

First up in my challenge is Ben Martin.  My 4th great-grandfather.  Many years ago, my grandfather, Earl Higginbotham sold the house he and my grandmother were living in. The house is no longer there but it sat right where the gas station is in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Texarkana, Arkansas.  The house was moved down the road and is now a restaurant.  As they were cleaning out the barn behind the house, cousin Nedra saved a few things, one of which was a letter because her husband Jerry saved stamps at the time.  Lucky me, because when I started doing genealogy she gave me this letter.

Ben Martin Inquiry Letter

The letter, dated 1913 and signed by my great-grandmother, Dona Higginbotham, inquired to the Adjutant General about whether or not Ben Martin served during the War of 1812.

At first, I was wondering who Ben Martin was, but then on the inside of the letter, was a written out a lineage history of her sister, for my great-aunt Minnie Williams Hooks, Dona’s sister.  Here it is:

Ben Martin Descendants

The crazy thing is, Charles Augustus Hooks, Minnie’s husband is a 1st cousin 4x removed on my mother’s side of the family.

So I decided to see what I could locate on Ben Martin in War of 1812 records.  Nada on Fold3.com but I haven’t looked anywhere else.

Then I decided to look and see if I could come up with anything on Minnie.  Maybe she had found Ben’s record and was a member of the DAR or some other organization.  Since I was already in Texarkana when Nedra gave me the letter I decided to look for Minnie and Charles’ grave.  I found them at Hillcrest Cemetery, and what do I find on Minnie’s headstone?

Minnie W Hooks Headstone

A Daughter of the American Revolution symbol.  This is good news because maybe she has submitted lineage and proof!

So I headed over to the DAR database, promptly found her application, paid for it and downloaded it.

Ben Martin was her Revolutionary Soldier, and was apparently not in the War of 1812!

This is what I found out from her application.

Minnie Hooks DAR Info

So, Ben Martin, married 2nd Melissa Highnot.  I’ve tried at the time to locate some information on either of these two people and came up empty.

Then in August last year I went to DC and went to the DAR headquarters and was able to look in the file for Ben Martin so I could see all the paperwork that Minnie submitted with her application, and guess what?  There was not a single piece of proof submitted with her application.  I guess since she was a charter member of the Texarkana chapter, at a time when the application was good enough and no proof was needed so she didn’t submit any documentation.  She did write on the application that she had heard stories of his battles throughout her life.  What I wouldn’t give to hear one of those stories.

I’ll keep digging up information on them.  Maybe one day I will get to go to North Carolina and see what I can find in Hyde county, or maybe I’ll take a trip to Butler County, Alabama and find something on them.

Here’s my relationship to Ben Martin and Melissa Highnot, and I all I have for proof is the paper written up above by Dona and Minnie.  In fact up past Rev. Williams and Mildred Martin Wiliams, all my evidence is what you’d call shady!  :)

Ben Martin to Me

If you have any Martin’s or Highnot’s in your ancestry, I would love to hear from you!

I think I’m going to like this challenge!

Who Do You Think You Are? – Kookie’s Review

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For months I have anticipated the return of one of my favorite shows, “Who Do You Think You Are”.  Even if I don’t know much about the featured celebrity, I hopefully will discover a new source for searching or find a hint that will lead me in a new direction.  Last night “Who Do You Think You Are?” made its 2013 season debut and left me with mixed reviews. 

For starters, searching for ancestors just doesn’t fall into place as it is portrayed on the show.  As someone who has done research in libraries, cemeteries and personal interviews over a period of more than thirty years, I can tell you that you may search months, years or decades to locate one document much less the entire life story of your ancestor. Sometimes you come up totally empty handed.

Personally I love Ancestry, the sponsor of the show.  In fact I have three family trees on their site and praise it as my “go to sight” for research.  However, I believe the illusion of how easy it is to discover your past, who you are, and your family’s place in history on “Who Do You Think You Are?” is just that…… an illusion.  The average beginning genealogist, I’m afraid, will get a false sense of tracing one’s tree.  And when disappointment sets in, some will lose interest and their tree will never branch with limbs and twigs.

Sure, if you are a celebrity and have money to travel, it would make the process easier.  If you are one of the fortunate ones that can hire a professional genealogist to do the research for you, oh well, you have just missed the personal satisfaction of a history lesson in places, events and your heritage.  To me, documents from a professional would merely become a piece of paper with names on it.  I wouldn’t have the pleasure of that “ah ha” moment!  There is no greater reward in genealogy than to discover a document or photo and have the feeling of accomplishment in your pursuit.

Kelly and Rachel  Brown, Kookie Stanley Hemperley and Mamie Stanley-4 generations

        Kelly and Rachel Brown, Kookie Stanley Hemperley and Mamie Stanley                     4 generations

Through the generations: Mother, Mamie Martin Stanley and I located cemeteries, interviewed family members, gathered photos and old documents.  My daughter Kelly Hemperley Brown and her husband Scott and I enjoy locating cemeteries off the beaten path documenting headstones as we go.  Rachel, who is about a year old in this photo, is all grown up now and currently is a Deputy Clerk in Caddo Parish Clerk’s Office. She has researched local court records for me and often accompanies me to different libraries searching old newspapers, microfilms and military histories.  In short, my research has included four generations sharing our family’s history and having that “ah ha” moment together.

While I find the celebrities heritage enjoyable at times, if I had my druthers, every once in a while I would prefer Ancestry send in a John Doe…… you know; ordinary researchers like you and me; the people who have brick walls and do not have the luxury of hiring the pros to do the work for us or to travel extensively.  Every person who has walked the face of this earth is deserving of having their story told regardless of their social status.

Another suggestion I would make to the producers of the show is that they allow the person with the most gathered information on the ancestor be allowed to travel on the discovery journey regardless of whether the featured person is a celebrity or a descendant of John Doe. Had it not been for the encouragement of and the companionship of my mother pointing me in the right direction when I began we would have not had the benefit of sharing what we discovered.  She didn’t have to wait until I arrived home with new information; she experienced it right along with me.

In conclusion when the celebrity located the grave-site of her relative of generations past and greeted it with “what’s up”, I thought how irreverent!  The first words from her mouth should have been that she would have loved to have known him and thank him for his contribution to the war, politics and her family.

Kookie

Military Monday-All Gave Some, Some Gave All in World War II

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World War II began in Europe in September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. The United States was not involved until December 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. That day, our president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the statement that this was “a date that will live in infamy”. The following day, December 8, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan and Germany.

In order to give you a better understanding of the impact this war had on my families, I will tell you that my great-grandfather, Benjamin Noel Bain, and his sister Sara Bain Stout, my great grand-aunt, both moved to Ida, Louisiana in the early 1880s. They were pillars of the community and raised their families there. During the 1940’s times were difficult. Jobs were scarce and many young men went into the Civilian Conservation Corp that operated from 1933-1942. The CCC was for unemployed single men, ages 18-25, to relieve families who had difficulties finding jobs during the Great Depression. They were provided shelter, clothing, food and wages of $30.00 per month of which $25.00 had to be sent home to their families. There was gas rationing and no tires. Many products that could be used in the war were difficult to find much less afford. Families took care of each other. Women worked as never before and became Rosie the Riveters. My aunt, Anna Martin Dodd worked at the Army Ammunition Depot. Some men were either drafted or enlisted, not only to support The United States, but their families as well. All Gave Some. All were forced to give or give up something.

I do not know the population of Ida during the 1940s; however I do know that there were 150 young men and women that served in World War II. Of those 150, at least 18, (or 12%), were direct descendants of these two individuals. Some parents had four or five family members involved in the conflict. I can’t even begin to imagine the worry, love and concern these parents felt. I would like to share some of my Martin and Bain heroes that were involved in that conflict, which was supposedly “the war to end all wars”. The one where Some Gave All.

Children of JOHN HENRY AND MAMIE ALMEDIA WYNN BAIN:

Chris BainMina Chrystal Bain Bond served as a Pvt. in the WAC as a photographer and worked at the Navy Hospital in Hot Springs, AR.

 

 

 

 

Rex BainRex was a 1C Petty Officer in the Navy Stationed in the Hawaiian Islands where Admiral Chester Nimitz was the Commander of the Pacific Ocean Areas. He was stationed on the northern side of Oahu at Makalapa when he received a call from his brother, Max (see below). Rex went to see him at Pearl Harbor, however Max was in Honolulu. Through some sweet talking, pulling strings and knowing higher officers, he was able to get Max transferred from the boat to shore duty; therefore Max was not in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. Max was able to finish his enlistment in the Navy on shore on Oahu. A brother takes care of a brother!!

Max BainMax was a Seaman 2 C in the Navy and served in the Pacific and was at Pearl Harbor.

 

 

 

 

Roy BainRoy enlisted in the Navy. From the book Ida 2000 by James Allison of Ida: “Roy in 1944 was a pipefitter at the plant in Oak Ridge, TN., that built the first nuclear reactor later used to build the first atomic bomb. After Roy left Oak Ridge, he joined the Navy and had basic training at San Diego. He was on a ship headed for the war zone in the Pacific when word came that the Japanese had surrendered.

Charles (Jackie) WestbrookCharles Jackie Westbrook was also in the Navy and was married to Ludie, daughter of John Henry and Mamie.

 

 

 

William Hinkle Stroud, JrT Sgt. William Hinkle Stroud, Jr. was in the Army and was married to Ludie.

 

 

 

 

 

Children of ED BAIN AND BUENA MARTIN BAIN:

Laurice BainLaurice was with the Ordinance Ammunition Company in Okinawa and served as a Sgt. in the Army.

 

 

 

 

J. T. BainJ. T. was a Master Sgt. in the Air Force serving in India as a mechanic with a P38 fighter squadron.

 

 

 

 

Marvin BainMarvin was a Staff Sgt. who served in England as a shipping and receiving clerk with the 8th Air Force.

 

 

 

 

 

Justine BainJustine became a 2nd Lt. in the Army Nurse Corp and was stationed at Camp Robinson, AR.

 

 

 

 

Houston BainJames Houston was stationed in Germany with a tank destroyer unit. He was a Tec 5 in the Army.

 

 

 

 

 

CHILDREN OF WALTER HOUSTON MARTIN AND EMMA PEARL BAIN MARTIN:

Ray MartinRay Houston served in the Army’s 60th Infantry whose commander was Gen. George Patton. He was a Pvt. and served in Tunisia. He had also been in the CCC prior to his enlistment. Ray was killed in Tunisia on March 29, 1943 however his body was not returned and buried until July 7, 1948. As a child I remember the family gathering at my grandmother’s home place where Ray’s flag draped casket was placed in the dining room until the day of the burial. Family members sat up all night with it until burial the next day. Children were allowed in the room but must be quiet at all times. At the time of his death, he was engaged to Mary Craft of Leesville, LA. In my genealogy research I have written for his service records only to find out the repository had burned and the only record I was able to attain was his last pay record from Tunisia.

Roy MartinRoy Ernest served in the CCC prior to his enlistment in the Army.

 

 

 

Claude Norris (Buster) GinglesClaude Gingles, married to Gladys Martin, daughter of Walter and Pearl, served in both the Army in the infantry and the Air Force as a fireman. He retired as a Staff Sgt. and had served in Germany, Panama, and the Philippines.

 

 

 

James HansonJames Hanson, son of Gladys, enlisted under aged in the Navy and was returned home.

 

 

 

GRANDSON OF SARA BAIN STOUT:

Fletcher's CablegramFletcher Adams served as an AF Captain. He was an Ace P51 Mustang Fighter Pilot of the airplane “The Southern Belle.” In Europe in the 357th Fighter Group, also known as “The Yoxford Boys”. He had married Mary Yancey and when he left for Europe, she was expecting their first child. The Southern Belle was shot down over Germany on May 30, 1944. Fletcher was able to bail out safely however he was found and killed by Nazis. Fletcher never saw his son Jerry but did receive a cablegram announcing his birth as shown in this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

Another announcement regarding Fletcher’s son’s birth is listed below.

Fletcher's son's birth

On July 24, 2010 the former one room post office that serviced Ida for many years was renamed and dedicated as the Fletcher E. Adams, USAF 357th Fighter Group Museum. The dedication included the following dignitaries: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jendal, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, as well as some pilots of the 357th Fighter Group. Those in attendance included pilots Gen. Frank Gailer, Jesse Frey, Joe Shea and General Chuck Yeager, crew chief Pasquale Buzzes and widows of pilots Lt. Arval “Robie” Roberson and John Sublet. Joey Maddox, son of Ida’s Mayor “Smokie” Maddox has written a book entitled Bleeding Sky, the Story of Capt. Fletcher E. Adams and the 357th Fighter Group. Much of the content of the book is based on Fletcher’s personal diary.

A lot has changed through the years since Benjamin Noel Bain and his sister moved to Ida. The drug store has long been gone as well as the dance hall, saloons, train depot, sawmill, grocery stores, plantations, hotel and the iceman. Much remains the same like the community that is dedicated to each other, the preservation of the history of its first settlers and the American Spirit.

In conclusion I would say should your travels take you through Ida, be sure to turn at the red light and visit the Fletcher E. Adams USAF 357th Fighter Group Museum. Cross the street and see the beautiful marker that lists the thirteen (13) service men out of the 150 from Ida who died in World War II. The Ida Community Center also serves as a repository for documents and miscellany of all Ida soldiers who have fought in various wars.

RayMartin's name on Monument in Ida

All Gave Some

Some Gave All

Kookie

Military Monday – Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. – My Uncle Son

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Today I would like to honor the memory of my great-uncle Sam H. Ball, Jr.  I’ve posted about my Uncle Son’s heroic time in WWII before and if you missed it click here to read more about him.

I was very privileged recently to visit with my cousin Karen Ball Cowan, Sam’s daughter and she graciously shared these photos with me and gave me permission to post them here.

Capt. Sam H. Ball enlisted in the Army on 31 May 1940.  He served until 5 Jan 1946 in Company “A” 146 th Engineer Combat Battalion when he was Honorably Discharged.  He remained in the inactive reserve until 16 Aug 1953.  He was also a member of the draft board.

After the war, Sam was a salesman for KTFS Radio Station in Texarkana for 35 years.

Please enjoy the pictures.

Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr.Officers from Company “A” 146th Engineers:

Officers of Company A 146th Engineers

Here is the back of this photo:

Officers of Company A 146th Engineers

The gentlemen in this photo are not identified, but I recognize Sam standing in the middle.

146th Engineer Combat Battalion Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr.

These are some postcards that he had:

Engineer Replacement Training Center, Ft. Belvoir, VA

Company Barracks, Ft. Belvoir, VA

Engineers constructing a heavy bridge, Ft. Belvoir, VA

Here is a picture of them constructing a bridge, I have no idea where this is.

Constructing a bridge 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Mess tent the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Mess tent the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Taking a rest - the146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Taking a rest – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

WWII Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. others unknown

WWII Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. in the middle,  others unknown

In a bunker maybe?  - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

In a bunker maybe? – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

In a bunker maybe?  - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

In a bunker maybe? – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Sparing - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Sparing – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Marching - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Marching – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Tents of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Tents of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Russian Lt. and Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. with pistols WWII

Russian Lt. and Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. with pistols WWII

Destruction. Vossenack, Germany.

Destruction in Vossenack,  Germany

Destruction in Vossenack, Germany

Destruction in Vossenack,  Germany

Destruction in Vossenack, Germany

Destruction in Vossenack,  Germany

Destruction in Vossenack, Germany

Wow! Is all I can say about these maps.

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

Liberation!! These are some postcards that he had:

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

More recognition for a job well done:

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr news article

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr news article

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr

Reunions:

Normandy Reunion

Normandy Reunion

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984 40th anniversary

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984 40th anniversary

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984

Omaha Beach Reunion article

Omaha Beach Reunion article

Remembering the War:

Remembering the War Sam Ball Jr

Remembering the War Sam Ball Jr

Sam Ball Jr Remembers Omaha Beach article 1988

Sam Ball Jr Remembers Omaha Beach article 1988

It’s overwhelming and humbling to look through his collections of photos from this time in his life and realize the magnitude of what he went through, and to know what a good man he was after the war.

If he ever had any problems that bothered him from his time in the war, I never heard him complain and neither did my grandmother, Mary Parks, his sister.  That’s just the kind of guy he was and I am so proud to have known him, if only I could have heard some of the stories!

Susie

Kookie’s 2012 Recap

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Today, I received a really great email from Kookie Hemperley, my cousin who makes guest posts here on occasion and I would like to share this with you:

Letter from Kookie Hemperley, my 3rd cousin 1x removed:

I really hate to see 2012 come to an end!  It has been such an amazing year in that through genealogy I have made new friends, found new cousins and made a few discoveries about myself.  Allow me to share some of it with you.

In December 2011 I connected with Susie Higginbotham Reynolds, descendent of Sarah Mildred Martin Williams, daughter of my great great-grandfather, Henry Washington Martin.  Early in January, Susie drove from her home in Mt. Vernon, Arkansas to my home on a quest to compare notes and share photos and stories on our Martin relatives.  From the moment she stepped out of her car, I knew she was my type of gal!!!  She was warm, friendly, and looked like a real go-getter.  Not only did she come bearing tons of photos, letters, etc., she also brought along another cousin, Gary Higginbotham and his wife Bessie.  I also invited Cheri Payton Atkins, a relative through Henry Washington Martin’s wife, Sarah Courtney (who remarried George Pill following Henry’s death).  We had a great day and have all become great friends besides being third cousins one time removed!

Kookie, Gary, Bessie, Cheri, and Susie

Kookie Hemperley, Gary and Bessie Higginbotham, Cheri Payton Atkins, and Susie Reynolds

Susie and I have spent countless hours on the computer emailing back and forth, texting, talking on the phone and sharing any hint of information that might lead to more discoveries about our ancestors. Sometimes we pull “all nighters” but together we have located her illusive Francis Hereford Williams and the history of his being the founder of the Highland Baptist Church in Texarkana along with another ancestor, Stephen Boullemet a native of Saint Domingue who settled in New Orleans. She’s also been back to visit several times during 2012.  How would I describe Susie?  She’s like a pugnacious little bulldog that just doesn’t give up!  Cheri and I have tromped around graveyards, visited cousins and made numerous trips to libraries and become “best buds”.

On the Stanley family tree, I was contacted by Michelle McBride during May.  Her great-grandmother and my grandfather were brothers and sisters.  Our Stanley relatives were also related to Pattillo’s and our genealogy searches have resulted in some results that one might not want to include in one’s history.  It seems my great-grandmother (a Pattillo) had a brother who shot and killed his father!  How could that be?  Well, after much research it seems the father had shot first and the son, who was charged with murder, was found not guilty of any charges at the trial.   Michelle and I agreed that it was a part of our family’s story and should be told and included in our trees.  While she and I have not had a face to face meeting, we have talked on the phone and are hoping a visit will be in store for 2013.  Michelle is also planning a visit with some of her older Stanley relatives shortly to gather more information and hopefully photos and family stories.

Then in November 2012 I was contacted by Kenneth Whitehead regarding the Hemperley family tree.  Ken is the curator of the East Point Historical Society. East Point was the area of Georgia many of the Hemperley’s lived during the 1800s.  Some of their ancestors remain in the area today.  In fact, the funeral home, which began in the early 1900s, is still offering service and comfort to those of the community.  More importantly the Hemperley’s left foot prints on the history of the area.

Ken has been most gracious in sharing documents, newspaper clippings, death certificates, etc. with me.  In fact, Lillie Ruth Hemperley has been written about in “Lil, In Celebration of Lillie Ruth Hemperley Stewart’s 99th Birthday on February 16, 2004”.  It was written by Regina Stewart.  One of Lil’s sisters, Ina Hemperley Short also wrote “As I Remember It” in celebration of her 90th birthday in October 1987. Ken has taken the time to scan over 600 documents, put them in a DVD and give it to me and other Hemperley relatives!!!  The DVD arrived a few days after Christmas and I thought, “What a wonderful belated Christmas gift”. How lucky can you be and wouldn’t it be wonderful if just one person in every family tree would save the treasures of their families and share with others.

Ken and I have also been doing a little research, via email, on members of the clan that he had not “fit” into the puzzle. Luckily, I found some information as well as did Ken.  Should you have relatives in that area of Georgia, I’m sure the East Point Historical Society would be willing to share information.  By all appearances, they have a great working society.  You can check them out on Face Book or check them out when you are in the area.

Ken Whitehead, Charles Chambers,  and Lee Barrett at the EPHS

Ken Whitehead, Charles Chambers, and Lee Barrett at the East Point Historical Society

East Point Historical Society

East Point Historical Society at 1685 Norman Berry Avenue, East Point, Georgia

While checking out the East Point Historical Society you might also want to visit Susie’s website at http://ourfamiliesuntoldstories.com.  Not only does she post genealogy there, she also is documenting her family’s day to day lives in the hills of Arkansas.

The persons mentioned here were contacts made through Ancestry.com.  Should you be contacted by someone through Ancestry, please take time to reply as you may never know what you are missing.  Don’t take everything you see on Ancestry as gospel for we all make mistakes.  And finally if you copy a photo or document from someone else’s tree, please give credit to the person who has spent endless hours collecting, proving and sharing with you.

As a reminder to those who search regularly for information on family members, I would urge you to make a New Year’s Resolution to (1) document each person in your family prior to adding them to your tree; (2) to label your photos; (3) to preserve your documents and (4) to share openly.

As sad as I am about 2012 ending, I am also happy for all the new contacts made and look forward to adding more “cousins” in the coming year.  To each of you I wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year with lots of “green leaves”.

Kookie

Thank you Kookie, for sending me this letter and thank you for singing my praises.  I am so glad to have found you and all the other cousins that I found in 2012 and I look forward to 2013 as well so that I might know my family better and continue to share the stories here on this blog.

Susie

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