Tag Archives: Short

52 Ancestors – #16 Howell Holley

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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.

This is week 16, and my sixteenth post in the challenge.  This week, I’m reporting on Howell Holley.  Howell is my 4th great-grandfather.  I didn’t even know about Howell until a couple of weeks ago, when cousin Harry Short (Hi Harry!) sent me an email telling me he had figured out the father of our 3rd great-grandmother, Jane Harriette (Holley) Higginbotham.  It wasn’t until last week that I had time to sit and search out Howell and Wowza!!!  What an interesting character this man is!!

Before I go into the fascinating stories about Howell that I have since found, I have to share with you how I think we blew a long believed family tale out of the water when cousin Harry found Howell.  MAYBE.

You see, I had always heard that my 3rd great-grandmother Jane was an Indian, and had been adopted by the Holley’s and raised as their own child.  I had found all the Dawes Packet’s from her granddaughter’s family trying to prove they had Indian blood, which was denied.

I decided to look through my DNA matches on Ancestry.com and see if I could find any matches to Holley.  I found a 4th cousin match to a sister of Jane’s.

This is what a DNA match looks like on Ancestry if you both have the shared ancestor in your tree.

DNA Match to faye6746 - Holley McCoy Ancestors

DNA Match to faye6746 – Holley McCoy Ancestors

So, if Jane was adopted how do I match her sister Mary Ann’s descendant? Cousin Harry said he had this same match, and some others. I didn’t look for any others yet as I ran out of time that day, but I imagine unless all of their children were adopted and had the same Indian parents, the story about Jane is just not true unless Howell or Elizabeth was an Indian and the story got distorted over time. Who knows!  I know my DNA results do not show any Native American ancestry in them.

Back to Howell. The first story I found on Ancestry.com was added by Linda Newbrough to her tree in 2011, she reported as such:

Howell Holly added here as son of Jacob Holly, per information kindly sent from Virginia Holly, stating that “Howell Holly was the Great Uncle to Hazael Holly”. In tracing the line back, Jacob Holly Sr. would be his father. Her information comes directly from the Family Bible of William Wirt Holly, her father’s grandfather.

Virginia states the following re: Howell Holly:

“Howell Holly, Great Uncle to Hazael Holly, was wealthy, owning 300 negro slaves. Served in the War of 1812. Was a lad of 10 or 12 during the Revolution. The Tories came for silverware owned by the family, which…they had hidden. After refusing to reveal the whereabouts of silver they cut his head in several places. Still refusing, they hung him up and left him, but his sister _______? (unable to read her name here) cut the rope and revived him.
She notes this for future reference Nov. 21, 1921. This is from the Bible of William Wirt Holly, my dad’s grandfather. Per Barron (this is Lovic “Barron” Holly, b. 1908), my dad’s dad, all data came from Joel and Hazael, in reference to this story. Joel wanted to make sure that this data wasn’t forgotten. Hazael must not have been told that his father, Ephraim Holly/Holley, was paid as a LOYALIST/Tory. But, his father Jacob Holley Sr., was “said” to have been hung as a Loyalist/Tory/Deserter in 1779. Please see documents that I sent (hopefully) showing Jacob Holley Sr. did get paid as did Jacob Jr. (Ephraim’s brother) and Jacob Sr. (his dad), but this was after the date that was given online by Jean Holley Day, as a “hanging date of Jan 1779, so I removed the data from Jean Holley Day, as she was not able to prove the hanging and the South Carolina Archives Department, May 2010, has been unable to locate said “hanging” of Jacob Sr.”

Poor Howell was cut up, hung up and left to die.  I wish I knew the name of the sister that breathed life into him.  If not for her, I wouldn’t be here!

I think I will contact Linda and see if she would share the documents that were sent to her and if she has a copy of the bible that was referred to.

The next interesting story I found was where Elizabeth had filed for a divorce from Howell in 1848.  Here is the abstract of the court documents:

In 1787, Elizabeth Holley married Howell Holley in Edgefield District, South Carolina. In 1827 or 1828, after forty years of marriage, Elizabeth charges that Howell began an illicit relationship with Nancy Hodge. She writes that it was then that he began to beat her “with various Instruments sometimes with his fists sometimes with a hickory at other times with a cowhide and very often threatened her life.” She claims that Howell left their domicile, taking Nancy with him to Georgia, and then to Alabama, and abandoning her and their nine children. Later, the couple reconciled, but in 1830 Howell again became violent and Elizabeth fled for her life. Elizabeth claims that Howell now lives with Nancy and their illegitimate offspring, six or seven in number. According to Elizabeth, Howell is old and senile; and he possesses a large estate, including a “valuable set of mills,” horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, “a large quantity of money,” and fifteen slaves, five men, four women, and six children. Elizabeth, too, is very old, and unable to support herself. She asks for a divorce and alimony. In his related answer, Howell denies all charges of violence against his wife and denies that Nancy Hodge lives in his house. He counter charges that Elizabeth was a difficult, dissatisfied, and jealous woman, who made his life unbearable.

This was reported by the Digital Library on American Slavery, which you can view here, Petition 20184802 Details.

What’s up with Howell?  Deserting his family, beating my great-grandmother Elizabeth, how dare he!  I think Elizabeth must have been very brave to bring the case against him in that day and time.

I’m not letting ole’ Nancy Hodge off the hook either, she has some explaining to do!

I’ve looked to see what Elizabeth’s maiden name is, and it’s different on every tree of course. I’ve seen McCoy, Hampton, Seaton, but I haven’t found a marriage record from 1787 in Edgefield, South Carolina for Elizabeth and Howell so that is on the ToDo List!

And, technically, I haven’t really found any definite piece of paper that says Jane is their daughter.  Just the DNA test, but it’s a good starting place. I think I will try to see about getting a copy of those court records from Tallapoosa, Alabama.  Maybe there are more details in there that might offer up some clues.  Wouldn’t it be great if it listed Howell and Elizabeth’s children by name!

I found Howell Holley listed on the 1850 Mortality Schedule in the Western Division of Chickasaw County, Mississippi.  He died in September 1849, after four months of consumption.  It states he was 84 years old, so that puts him being born around 1765.

1850 Mortality Sch Howell Holley

1850 Mortality Schedule Howell Holley

This is how I descend from Howell Holley:

susie to Howell Holley

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

In Memoriam – Wesley Lee Short

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The Higginbotham side of my family has lost a dear cousin.  While I never got to meet Wesley, I have had the pleasure to view some videos of him that his brother Harry has shared with me in the past and I’m truly sorry I never got to meet him.  I’m sure we would have gotten along famously.

Your memory is a keepsake

With which we will never part

God has you in His keeping

We have you in our hearts

Wesley Lee Short, age 74 of Rogers, Arkansas, passed away Friday, August 3, 2012 at the Circle of Life Legacy Village Hospice in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Wesley was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on February 17, 1938 to Jesse Lee Short and Jewell (Berry) Short.  Wesley served his country in the United States Marine Corps and received an honorable discharge. On July 1, 1994 he married Nita (Monson) in Rogers, Arkansas.  He worked as a heavy equipment operator for many years and enjoyed playing his guitar, fishing and boating, and spending time with his family and friends and he will be missed very much.

Preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Ronald Short; one sister, Carole Short; Wesley is survived by his wife Nita of the home; three sons, Wesley Short of California; Shane Short of Colorado; Cody Short of Little Rock, Arkansas; two daughters, Debbie Quintero of California; Jennifer Enlow of Fayetteville, Arkansas; one brother, Harry Short and wife Barb of Pea Ridge, Arkansas; two sisters, Sandra Gantt and husband Henry of Texas; Judy Short Denio of Georgia; his special uncle, Louie Short of Mayflower, Arkansas; numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Internmet services will be at the Fayetteville National Cemetery (700 Government Ave.) in Fayetteville, Arkansas with Marine Corps honors. Time and date of Services will be announced.

Online tributes to the family may be made at www.bentoncountymemorialpark.com

Arrangements are with Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home and Crematory of Rogers, Arkansas.

Here is Harry’s video of him and Wesley chatting it up about their first meeting.

This is why searching out one’s family is so important.  Time is precious and I’m so glad that Harry got to spend the time with Wesley that he did.

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Military Monday – Danny Gray

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I would like to share this video with you that my cousin Harry Short made about his cousin Danny Gray.

Harry and Danny grew up together in Fordyce, Arkansas.  Danny’s grandmother was Harry’s grandfather’s youngest sister.

Danny had many plans for his life, but he was drafted and went off to Vietnam.

He never came home.

This is his story….

A Heart Touched With Fire from Harry Short on Vimeo.

Thank you, Harry.  This is a very touching story and I’m very pleased to know the story behind Danny Gray, who is NOT just another name on the wall.

He’s a Hero.

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