Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moore Family Genealogy

The Moore Family
Jim Hall

Where did the fpc/mulatto Moores live before moving to Rockingham County, North Carolina, about 1778? That question has plagued me for decades and caused years of research. Unfortunately, I have not found a definitive answer because there is no reliable trail of deeds, wills, tax lists or other documents to point us in the right direction. I will attempt to answer that question by giving you my best guess based on the information I have collected to date. I freely admit that I cannot prove my theory with documents but it is my hope that the theory is someday proven or disproven, through research, newly found documents and DNA. In analyzing my “best guess” we will look at some of the available information and the surrounding circumstances and see if we can draw some reasonable inferences from that information.

The most well-known location where the people who came to be known as “Melungeons” lived is Hawkins and Hancock Counties in Tennessee. These two counties had a large population of mulatto/fpc people and many descendants of the original settlers still live in the area.

It is important at the outset to consider a couple of questions. Was it an historical and geographical accident that these people migrated to and lived in the same area of Tennessee? Was it just a coincidence? I think not. Several of the families moved into the area together, as a group. Some of the families or the ancestors of those families had been acquainted at some time and location prior to moving to Tennessee. Sometimes the group would split and go in different directions only to meet again at a new location. Sometimes, a family would drift off from the group and in a short time become “white” on documents and lose their connection to the group. Members of the group, and their ancestors, tended to intermarry within the group as the group slowly migrated westward. Continuous intermarriage within the group was the primary force that retained and preserved those characteristics in the individual which led to them being called “Melungeon” or listed as mulatto or fpc on documents.

Let’s begin our discussion of the Moore family in Rockingham County, North Carolina, with John Moore and try and establish some relationships. We know for a fact that John had five sons and I will suggest that he had a father, Charles, and probably three brothers, James, Andrew and Ephraim.

The most valuable document in researching these Moores, and the most well-known, is John Moore’s Revolutionary War pension application. The pension application was made by John in 1834 in Floyd County, Kentucky, and, after his death, by his wife, Sally. From that application we learn that John was born in May of 1758 in Orange County, North Carolina, that he married Sally Goodman in March of 1784, in Rockingham County, and, they had five sons, Joel, Andrew, Obadiah, Edmund and John Jr.

John would have been about 26 years of age at the time of his marriage and Sally, who was born about 1765, was about 19 years of age. We know John lived for most of his adult life in, first, Surry County, and then across the county line in the north-west corner of Rockingham County in an area which came to be known as Goinstown. The Moores lived along Hickory ander Buffalo Creeks of the Mayo River just south of the Virginia line.

Con't here

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway: Come along on America's favorite road trip

Special to The Miami Herald

Like countless other Blue Ridge Parkway motorists, I've peeked over Wildcat Rocks in North Carolina's Doughton Park to where a tiny cabin sits 1,500 feet below in a postage stamp meadow. It's the quintessential image of Appalachian isolation.

One glance down at Caudill Cabin is all you need to realize why many 1930s residents of Appalachia simply didn't believe that a modern road like the Parkway, about to begin construction, would ever penetrate their mountain empire. Mountain families like the ones that populated the cove around the cabin were still reaching their homes by steep, primitive rocky roads and trails when transportation was far easier throughout the rural South.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, arguably America's most scenic road, did find its way through eastern America's highest mountains, and in September, the Parkway celebrates the 75th anniversary of the start of construction at Cumberland Knob, half a mile south of the Virginia-North Carolina state line.

The road advanced in fits and starts with frequent stalls, the most enduring at Grandfather Mountain where the private landowner rebelled against a route high up on the mountain's fragile wilderness flank. A lower route was negotiated, and in 1987, two years after the 50th anniversary, the final ``missing link'' debuted. The Linn Cove viaduct span had spared that fragile mountainside.

There is still a vast rippled realm of summits in the Southern Appalachians, but the Parkway, believe it or not, may just now be ready for its close-up. Only last year, the Parkway's official main visitor center opened near Asheville. One of the road's interpretive landmarks, the Blue Ridge Music Center, with stirring live concerts, is another recent addition.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/13/1671541/road-to-the-past-75-years-ago.html#ixzz0s5Ck7vZa

Friday, June 25, 2010

Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribe implements DNA testing for new applicants

by Janet Crain
This is a rather disturbing move on the part of the Cherokee Tribe. Note this does not say new enrollees must prove their genetic inheritance is Indian by DNA, rather it says they must prove their descent from someone on the Baker Roll.

That is most likely because many could not pass the DNA test as proven Native Americans. If neither father or mother go back to a Native American Indian then it is extremely hard to prove Native American by DNA. Circumstances where the original progenitor was a European Trader or the maternal line leads back to a captured European woman are among those which would result in a European finding even though the person was predominately Indian. It will be interesting to follow this new ruling.

Ancestry Testing/

A new enrollment ordinance passed by the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, now requires new applicants to undergo DNA testing to verify their parental lineage.

The Cherokee One Feather website cited the Ordinance as saying: "The results of a DNA test, from a lab acceptable to the Enrollment Committee, establishing the probability of paternity and/or maternity by the parents through whom lineage is claimed for an applicant," is required for an application to be processed.

Cont. here:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

U. of Tennessee Wins Grant to Digitize Newspapers

by Sophia Li

In two years, students, historians, and anyone else curious about nearly a century of history should have 100,000 pages of Tennessee newspapers at their fingertips. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize local newspapers from 1836 to 1922.

"This is telling what the people of the time experienced at the time they experienced it," says JoAnne Deeken, head of technical services and digital access at the university system's libraries. "We can relive it through their eyes."

The state's history during the period covered by the project includes the forced relocation of American Indians, known as the Trail of Tears, which began in Tennessee; the Battle of Shiloh, during the Civil War; and the state's ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women's suffrage the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. Tennessee is "a very important state during this time period," Ms. Deeken says.

The $325,165 grant is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a project to digitize historical newspapers from across the country. The pages from Tennessee's newspapers will be available on the Library of Congress's Chronicling America Web site and later on the university library's Web site.

Full Article Here:


Monday, June 21, 2010

More Pictures from Sneedville

For more pictures from the Second Annual MHS Conference: Click Here.

Pictures courtesy of MHS board member Elizabeth Bunch Smiddy. Shown at right: Presenter Dr. Richard Carlson and MHS board member Cleland Thorpe.

Pictures from the Second MHS Conference

The Second Annual MHS Conference was held this weekend and a good and informative time was had by all with many speakers presenting over the course of the two days. Pictured on the right are just two of the speakers: Dr. Richard Carlson and MHS President Jack Goins. To see these and many, many other pictures from the conference: Click Here.

The Melungeon Historical Society thanks all those who presented and all those who attended and all those who worked so hard to make this conference a success.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Map: Where Americans Are Moving

In 2008, more than 10 million people moved from one county to another in the U.S.

So, how many people moved in and out of any given county that year? A new tool will give you an idea of the number of people who moved, as well as where they came from, and where they went to.

The tool is an interactive map that uses information from the IRS. Just click on any county of interest and a whole bunch of lines will pop up leading to other counties where people moved to and from.

Black lines show people moving in, red lines show people moving out. The thicker the line, the bigger the migration.

To go to the map: Click Here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Genealogy Programs for Windows

Reviewed By Dick Eastman Writing In
Eastmans' Online Genealogy Newsletter

The following is a list of all the more popular genealogy programs that I know of that are actively being marketed for Windows users in North Americas. In fact, more than one hundred genealogy programs have been offered to Windows users over the years and a handful of them are still available for purchase today. However, not all of them are being actively developed and supported. For this list, I will focus only on the products that are current and still have developers writing updates, bug fixes, and new releases.

The following list is in alphabetical order:

To continue reading: Click Here.

Final Reminder: The Second Annual MHS Conference is tomorrow and Sunday. For more information: Click Here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

South Carolina Genealogical Society Workshop

South Carolina Genealogical Society
40th Annual Summer Workshop – July 9 & 10
SC Archives and History Center
Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, July 9, 2010

8:45 – until Registration- Vendor Setup

9:00 - 10:00 ( ) Search Room Hands-on Tour #1 (Steve Tuttle) Meet in Archives Search Room

10:00 – 11:00 ( ) Search Room Hands-on Tour #2 (Steve Tuttle) Meet in Archives Search Room

9:15 - 11:00 ( ) Which Program is the best? There will be a Set up of five major Genealogy programs in the Wachovia room so you can check them out for yourself. Someone will be available to answer questions [Programs available: PAF, Reunion, Legacy, Brothers Keeper and Family Tree Maker].

11:30 –12:45 Lunch (On Your Own)

1:00 – 1:30 Welcome & Announcements in the Auditorium

Indicate Choice
1:30 – 2:30
( ) Auditorium Charles Andrews: Dueling in South Carolina
( ) Wachovia 1 John Smith: Research at the University of Virginia: A Must for Southern Families
( ) Wachovia 2 Connie McNeill: Genealogy 101 - How to get Started.
( ) Wachovia 3 Paul Graham: Barkers of the Blue Ridge: Establishing Paternity Using Indirect Evidence

Indicate Choice
2:45 – 3:45
( ) Auditorium Scott Wilds: Using Probate and Equity Court Records in Tracing African-American Slave Ancestry
( ) Wachovia 1 Carol Hardy Bryan: Not Just Names, Dates and Places.
( ) Wachovia 2 Debbie Bloom: Tweeting, Blogging, Posting: How does social networking help genealogists.
( ) Wachovia 3 Harris Bailey: Richard Kemp and the Magical Mystery Tour

5:00 – 7:00 Supper (on your own)

7:00 – 8:00 ( ) Speakers’ Reception Marriott Courtyard (Lite Refreshments only)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

8:30 – 9:30 Registration, Coffee and Doughnuts – Displays open

9:30 – 10:00 Welcome & Announcements: Dr. Connie McNeill, President SCGS, Mrs. Marguerite Bishop, 1st Vice Pres. Dr. W. Eric Emerson, Director, SCAH

10:00 – 11:00 Auditorium General Session: Gene B. Linxwiler, USN (Ret.) Director, Fort Jackson National Cemetery, National Cemeteries and Genealogy

11:15 – 12:15
Indicate Choice:
( ) Auditorium Paul Graham: Bones and Hobos - Researching Your Criminal Ancestors
( ) Wachovia 1 Greg Crane: Ask Granny, A Genealogical Outreach Program
( ) Wachovia 2 Scott Wilds: Intermediate Genealogy

12:15 – 2:00 Lunch – Catered - SCGS Board Meeting during lunch. Displays Open

Indicate Choice
2:00 – 3:00
( ) Auditorium Dean Hunt: Sherman’s March Through Lexington County
( ) Wachovia 1 Charles Andrews: Bloody Bill Cunningham and the Cloud’s Creek Massacre
( ) Wachovia 2 Bernice Bennett: “Using Land Records as a Resource in Genealogical Research”
( ) Wachovia 3 John Smith: A Method to The Madness - Exploring the Migration of Southside Virginia Methodists into North & South Carolina after the Revolution

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The South Carolina Genealogical Society

The South Carolina Genealogical Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization. The aims of the Society are to raise the standards of genealogical research and to promote the preservation of records of the Colony and State of South Carolina.

Welcome to the official web page of the South Carolina Genealogical Society. We are here to provide you with helpful information on the SCGS, as well as provide you with links to information on our individual chapters, other genealogical web sites, research, histories, publications, and much more. If you wish to contribute genealogical information to our site, with family trees, bible records, diaries, cemetery surveys, county histories, or general information on research in the State of South Carolina, please, feel free to do so. All information made available to our site will belong to the submitter and will be marked copyright in the submitter's name. We hope you enjoy our site and find our information useful. Please come back and visit often as we are constantly trying to improve and add new pages often.

To visit the SCGS web site: Click Here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Federation of Genealogical Societies

The Federation of Genealogical Societies links the genealogical community by:

* serving the needs of its member societies
* providing products and services needed by member societies
* marshaling the resources of its member organizations

FGS was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies.

FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow. To do this, FGS publishes FORUM magazine, filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news. FGS also publishes an extensive series of Society Strategy Papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society.

FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics.

To visit the FGS web site: Click Here.

This year's FGS conference is in Knoxville, Tennessee, August 18-21. For more information: Click Here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reminder: The 2nd Annual MHS Conference is this Saturday and Sunday

Melungeon Historical Society
2nd Annual Conference
Saturday June 19th & Sunday June 20, 2010
Hancock County High School
2700 Main St. Sneedville, Tn.

9:30 am: Registration welcome committee. No admission charge, donations.

9:50 am Jack Goins MHS President Introductions.
9:55 am: Mayor Greg Marion will welcome everyone to Sneedville.

10:00 am: Dr. Scott Collins-Foremost Melungeon researcher who has shared his research with others for over 40 years. Sharing some thoughts today.

11:00 am: Katherine Tucker James, MELUNGEONS: Who will tell their story? Using dna with traditional and reverse genealogy to tell the Gibson and Collins Story.

Noon-lunch break.

1:30 pm: Dr Richard A. Carlson Jr.,Senior Associates. Anthropology/Humanities, “Who’s your People.” Questions and answer session following presentation.

3:30 pm: Roberta Estes, "DNA Testing: Everything You Need to Know", which includes an introductory overview to DNA testing, the new Family Finder test, the current status of the Melungeon project and what we need to move forward. (Time may vary + or – 30 minutes.)

Vice-president Penny Ferguson and MHS Board Member Elizabeth Bunch Smiddy will have a table set up to answer any questions on the various DNA tests, kits from FTDNA will be available. We do not charge or receive money from DNA testing. Our purpose in using DNA with family genealogy is to locate ones kinfolks and common ancestors.

Sunday June 20, conference schedule.

10:00 am: Registration welcome committee. No admission charge, donations.

10:15- John Zachary, Old campaign card display, campaign cards of people running for various offices in Hancock County, The oldest one is 1929, they cover about all Melungeon names, including Goins, Collins, Gibson, Mullins.

10: 40 am: A panel discussion, questions from audience on everything arranging from genealogy to DNA. MHS members and board members who are present may volunteer to sit on this panel. Our present MHS board members are; Becky Nelson, Beverly Walker, Roberta Estes, Dennis Maggard, Janet Crain, Dr. Jill Florence Lackey, Jack Goins, Joy King, Tamara Hogshead, Kathy James, Kevin Mullins, Penny Ferguson, Elizabeth Bunch Smiddy, Tari Adams, Cleland Thorpe, Wayne Winkler, Connie Barber and Dave Gibson.

11:00 am: Jack Goins A few words about the latest Stony Creek Church minute books 1,2 and 3, which will be shown.

11:15 am: Bob Davis will set up his display depicting his Melungeon Grandparents and give a presentation on them.

Noon- Lunch Break

1:30 pm: Kevin Mullins a descendant of the Newman Ridge Mullins family gives a presentation on the legendary Mahala Mullins.

2:30 pm: Summing it all up. Also, some previous speakers may wish to add final thoughts to their presentations.

Disclaimer: All presentations, or opinions expressed at this conference are not necessarily the views of the Melungeon Historical Society, or its members.

Speakers' Vitae:

Dr. Scott Collins Educational Doctorate in "Educational Leadership" from ETSU. Served as a Court Administrator for 32 years here at the Hancock Courthouse. Now serving as Vice-President and Branch Manager for The Citizens Bank of East Tennessee here in Sneedville. Actively involved in the Chamber and Community Partners. Has shared with others his heritage and Melungeon Research for over 40 years.

Katherine Tucker James of Spartanburg, SC. is author of family histories, church histories, technical books and material. She is an avid genealogist, researching Hawkins and Hancock families for over 40 years (particularly Gibson, Collins, Sexton, Roberts, Mullins, Bunch, Bells, etc.)She is Vice-Regent and chair of the Genealogy Committee of the Kate Barry D.A.R. Chapter in Spartanburg, is one of the founding board members of the Melungeon Historical Society, and a member of many historical and genealogical societies. She has a B. S. Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, from Limestone College and is a retired Senior Human Resource Manager with Milliken & Co. She has recently published a book “From Newman Ridge to the Carolina Foothills.”

Richard Allen Carlson Jr. Ph.D.,Senior Associates. B.S. Anthropology/ Humanities, University of Maryland. M.A. Cultural Anthropology/ Ethnohistory, Michigan State University. Dr Carlson is author of several legal reports and journal articles, as well as author of “Who’s Your People?:Cumulative Identity Among Salyersville Indian Population of Kentucky’s Appalachia and the Midfield Muckfields, 1677-2000.(2003, Ann Arbor, Mi:Proquest Information-UMI Press).Since 1994, Dr. Carlson has worked as the primary researcher in support of expert witness testimony for Aurora Associates, Inc.,led by renowned ethnohistorian Dr. Charles Cleland (Professor Emeritus). Working for both Aurorora Associates, as well as leading CARLSON & ASSOCIATES, Dr. Carlson has worked on behalf of over a dozen federally recognized tribes in the United States and Canada pursuing treaty rights in court. Contact at: CARLSON & ASSOCIATES 1015 Braman Street, Lancing, Mi 48910.

Roberta Estes founded and owns DNAeXplain, a company providing individual analysis of DNA results and genealogical assistance (www.dnaexplain.com). She produces the Personalized DNA Reports for Family Tree DNA. Roberta is a founding board member of the Melungeon Historical Society and DNA advisor of the Core-Melungeon DNA program. In addition, she is the founder of the Cumberland Gap and Lost Colony DNA Projects, along with others. Her specialty is early colonial, southern and mixed-race research.

Johnnie Rhea . A native and current resident of Hancock County. She has assisted many researchers with genealogical and other information. She is the author of two books “The Alexander Goins Family of Newman Ridge.” and co-author with Dorothy Cameron of “Our Stories from The Depression Years.”

Bob Davis a resident of Hamblen County, Tennessee is a descendant of Newman Ridge Collins and Biggs family. He holds a BS degree from Carson Newman College and attended graduate school at the University of Tennessee. Bob is now retired after teaching in the Hamblen County school system for 30 years.

Kevin Mullins is a descendant of the Newmans Ridge Mullins family, and has been researching Melungeon families for well over a decade. Employed by the Knoxville News-Sentinel for 25 years. And a founding MHS board member.

Jack Goins is president of the Melungeon Historical Society and founding board member. Author of two books “Melungeons And Other Pioneer Families.” and “Melungeon, Footprints From the Past” As the Hawkins County Archivist, he initiated the restoration of the county records and the formation of the Hawkins County Archives. Coordinator of the Core Melungeon, Goins and Minor DNA projects with Family Tree DNA. These projects are listed on his website http://www.jgoins.com and on Family Tree DNA public sites.

Registration Welcome Committee:

MHS board members Penny Ferguson, Tamara Hogshead, Elizabeth Bunch Smiddy, and Tari Adams. A table will be set up for book sales. MHS Board member Johnnie Rhea will oversee the book sales.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

19th-Century Grave Rests in the Middle of the Road

On a quaint country road in Johnson County, just outside of Indianapolis, travelers can find something quite peculiar: a gravestone in the middle of the road.

The grave of Nancy Barnett sits smack in the middle of Hill's Camp Road, a country road about 20 miles south of Indianapolis.

It's been there since 1831 when she was originally buried. To give Mrs. Barnett some credit, the area used to be a full-blown cemetery, so it wasn't always such a strange location.

According to historical information at the grave site, Barnett picked the spot out herself and told her children that was exactly where she wanted her final resting place to be. This, of course, was before any road plans were ever made.

So when the county decided to lay a new road right over the cemetery in the early 1900s, her family refused. As the other bodies were relocated to a nearby area, Barnett's burial plot stood its ground.

"The family guarded the grave site and would not let anyone move the grave to make room for the new road," explains Rocky Stultz, the assistant superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

First Legal Tennessee Moonshine

First legal Tennessee Moonshine distillery opening in Gatlinburg

6 News Reporter

GATLINBURG (WATE) - The process of making moonshine in Tennessee is now legal. Laws changed last summer and one company is banking on a booming business.

The first legal moonshine producing company in Tennessee will be located in the Ole Smoke Holler at 903 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

The owners hope to change the stereotype here in East Tennessee of folks hiding in the hills making their brew.

The new distillery has not opened yet, but gave us a sneak peak on what is in store.

The process of making Tennessee Moonshine is simple.

"It starts out in the cooker," says Trevor Lulich, the master distiller at Old Smoky Distillery. "It's where you cook your corn."

It is then put in the distiller, where the alcohol is separated.

"Start to finish, you have a half day on your cooking, roughly three days on fermenting process, and about a half day to distill off the batch," Lulich says.

When the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery opens in July, it will be the first place in East Tennessee where you can buy moonshine legally.

In the past it wasn't something a lot of people talked about, but many people made and drank it.

For the rest of the story: Click Here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rare Photo of Slave Children Found

Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 10, 11:50 pm ET

RALEIGH, N.C. – A haunting 150-year-old photo found in a North Carolina attic shows a young black child named John, barefoot and wearing ragged clothes, perched on a barrel next to another unidentified young boy.

Art historians believe it's an extremely rare Civil War-era photograph of children who were either slaves at the time or recently emancipated.

The photo, which may have been taken in the early 1860s, was a testament to a dark part of American history, said Will Stapp, a photographic historian and founding curator of the National Portrait Gallery's photographs department at the Smithsonian Institution.

"It's a very difficult and poignant piece of American history," he said. "What you are looking at when you look at this photo are two boys who were victims of that history."

In April, the photo was found at a moving sale in Charlotte, accompanied by a document detailing the sale of John for $1,150, not a small sum in 1854.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Footnote.com Civil War Collection Open Free to Public through June.

Announcement from Footnote.com

The Civil War forever changed the United States and left a wide range of valuable records for historians, genealogists and other researchers. Footnote has millions of documents, photos and maps relating to the Civil War and for the month of June you can access all of them for free.

We have just launched a new Civil War area of the site that makes it easier to view, search and browse our Civil War collection. Come see what you can find and discover the Civil War through the eyes of those who lived it. Visit our new Civil War website today.

What's New?

We have also been updating our collections and adding new Civil War titles to the site:

* New - Civil War Maps - 1,600 maps from the Library of Congress
* New - Civil War Subversion Investigations:
--Case files relating to the arrest, parole, and release of suspects
* Updated - Union Soldier Service Records:
--TN, DE, NC, MD, WV, LA, US Colored Troops
* Updated - Civil War Pension Files

To visit Footnote.com: Click Here.

Note: The term "US Colored Troops" was the official US Government designation for the all-black units (with white officers) in which the 185,000 African American soldiers who enlisted in the Union Army served.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Union County History and Genealogy

Union County is one of Tennessee’s later counties, being first authorized in 1850, however, the final organization of the county offices was not completed until 1854. Maynardville is the county seat. When Union County was erected, its various parts were taken from these counties; Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, and Knox.

Genealogists whose Union County family connections may extend back in time before Union County’s erection should examine the early records of the surrounding counties. It is said that Union County was so named because of the pro union (federal) sympathies of its citizens during the pre-Civil War period.

Union County is divided by the waters of the Clinch River. In the late 1930s, the United States government through its Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dammed the Clinch just downriver from Union County. Before the waters backed up into Union County, people were forced to evacuate the low lands and grave yards were relocate. A rural county from the start, it has gone through that period of disruption only to become a major recreation area for the Knoxville urbanites. Beautiful Norris Lake attracts water loving visitors by the thousands. Country music greats, Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, and Carl Smith were born in Union County.

To visit Union County's USGenWeb site: Click Here.

To visit the Union County Historical Society: Click Here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference

August 18-21 at Knoxville, Tennessee

The Federation of Genealogical Societies will host its annual conference August 18-21, 2010 at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. This year’s theme is “Rediscovering America’s First Frontier.” Co-Sponsors for the event are the East Tennessee Historical Society and Kentucky Historical Society.

Speakers from across the United States will present lectures and workshops on topics of interest to genealogists and family historians. Regardless of one’s level of experience, learning opportunities abound for those seeking to improve their research. Topics include Tennessee & Kentucky research, research in other Southern States, researching ethnic groups including African Americans, Native Americans, and the Scots-Irish, methodology, resources, technology, DNA, land platting, and much more. Wednesday’s workshops are part of the “Focus on Societies” day which ends with focus groups for different areas of society leadership.

Meals are available for an additional cost. Different organizations sponsor luncheons each day and attendees often select the one to attend based on the speaker or sponsoring group. This year’s banquet will be held at the Museum of Appalachia in nearby Norris. The fee includes bus transportation, the meal, and museum admission. You do not need to be registered for the conference to purchase meal tickets.

The exhibit hall will be filled with booths displaying print and electronic publications, software, membership opportunities, and services. Among the more popular items are books (new, used, and rare), magazines, journals, CDs, DVDs, maps, charts, databases, software, preservation supplies, and gift items. The exhibit hall opens Thursday morning following the keynote address. Extended hours are available Friday evening. The exhibit hall is open to those who are not registered for the conference.

Complete information on the conference and secure online registration is available at the conference web site, http://www.fgs.org/2010conference/index.php. Be sure to check the conference blog (http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org/) for regular updates. The blog includes many things to make your stay in Knoxville more enjoyable, including information on area attractions, research facilities, and much more.

Be sure to take advantage of the early bird discount by registering before June 21, 2010.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Family Tree DNA Announces Special Prices

The following was sent to Family Tree DNA group administrators:

Dear Family Tree DNA Group Administrator

Last summer we offered a pricing special that was the most successful offering of its type in our company history. Project administrators got behind the recruitment efforts and for those that did, their projects grew and our database grew, so we'd like to offer a summer special again.

Here are the details:
Bullet Y-DNA37 for $119 (Regular price would be $149)
Bullet Y-DNA67 for $199 (Regular price would be $239)
Bullet Y-DNA37+mtDNA for $159 (Combined test would cost $238)

Bypass the Y-DNA12 and Y-DNA25, and get the best Genealogy tests on the market!

The promotion will start June 5 and will end June 25. Kits need to be paid for by June 30, 2010.

As, always, thank you for your continued support.

Max Blankfeld
Vice-President, Operations and Marketing

To visit Family Tree DNA's web site: Click Here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Knoxville's Old Gray Cemetery

The entrance to Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville, Tenn.
The historical marker reads: “Old Gray Cemetery, incorporated in 1850, is the resting place of William G. Brownlow, Tennessee Governor and U.S. Senator, as well as two other U.S. Senators, eight U.S. Congressmen, 26 mayors of Knoxville, and numerous ambassadors, judges, editors, artists, authors, educators, military leaders, physicians and industrialists.”

Any history buff just has to get a kick out of Knoxville, Tenn. Its past is much like the rest of southern Appalachia: Rich, weird and elusive, which of course makes it all incredibly interesting. Many of the characters that created that history now lie in a hilly, craggy old graveyard that sits just north of downtown called Old Gray Cemetery.

To continue reading and see many pictures of Old Gray Cemetery: Click Here.

Note: Earlier in his life, Governor Brownlow was the editor of a political newspaper in Jonesborough, Tennessee called the Whig (sometimes referred to as Brownlow's Whig), which featured one of the earliest published references to Melungeons.

For more on this: Click Here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Claiborne County: White Lightning Festival

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Known for its historic significance and natural beauty, Cumberland Gap will be the site of this unique festival that celebrates the history and heritage of communities along the new Discover Tennessee White Lightning Trail.

From the Civil War to modern day America, The White Lightning Festival will tell the story of those rugged, self-reliant people that made this area the topic of movies and gave birth to one of America’s fastest growing sports – stock car racing. The White Lightning Trail, which begins in Knoxville, TN travels through nine counties including Anderson, Union, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, Jefferson, Hamblen and Cocke. These communities share a rich heritage and that will be on display in the form of demonstrations, food, antique cars and a variety of music.

For more information contact: Gena Bowen; 865-585-7386; gbowen@claibornecounty.com

For more on the White Lightening Trail: Click Here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Burial Ceremonies

"In the older days or a few years ago the Melungeons used to build a floorless house over a grave and put most of the persons personal belongings inside the house. The ground were carefully kept. They mourned their dead for years, and they would follow the body to the grave, sometimes for miles a foot and in single file."

This note is unsigned note is attributed to the 19th century but its provenance is unclear to say the least. It is presented here strictly for what it is worth.

To see an image of the original note: Click Here.

Note: Although the claim is made by some authors, perhaps based on this note, the grave houses described above were definitely not peculiar to the Melungeons but are found throughout the South.

For an MHS Blog entry on grave houses: Click Here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Brief Revised History of Vardy Community

By William P. Grohse
June 1, 1965

Located in a small narrow valley nestled between Newmans Ridge and Powell Mountain, on Blackwater Creek, in Hancock County, Tennessee.
Before creation of Hancock County in 1844 (organized 1846), Vardy was part of Hawkins County. Before creation of Hawkins County (1796) its area was embraced by the State of Franklin County of Spencer. Prior to 1785 it was part of the Washington District of N/ Carolina. At one time it was also considered part of Virginia, and, also part of Kentucky.
Dr. Thomas Walker and his exploring party are believed to have passed through or nearby this area, as early as 1748. In the fall of 1762 - Elisha Wallen and his party actually hunted in the Blackwater Creek area.
Settled permanently about the same time that Capt. William Bean settled Bean Station in 1769. The first settlers are believed to have been Navarrh Collins and Shepard Gibson who thought they were still in Virginia.

To continue reading: Click Here. (PDF reader required)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

African American Legislators in 19th Century Tennessee

This Honorable Body
African American Legislators in 19th Century Tennessee

An Online Exhibit By
The Tennessee State Library and Archives

Two and a half years after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, in November 1872, Tennessee voters elected their first African American representative to the General Assembly. The achievements of the fourteen black men, some of them former slaves, who served as Tennessee legislators before 1900 represent an important part of state history. However, after the end of the 45th General Assembly in March of 1887, Tennessee would not seat another African American in its legislature until 1965. It is imperative that readers remain aware of the generations of racial violence, supported by the legislative enactment of restrictive “Black Codes,” which silenced the political voices of millions of black Americans for decades. It took further civil strife in the 1950s and 1960s to restore those important voices to the national dialogue.

To visit the exhibit: Click Here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Using the US Federal Census Mortality Schedules

Almost all experienced genealogists have used the census records to find ancestors. However, how many of us have used the Census Mortality Schedules? In fact, I have to wonder how many of us even know what the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules are? And why would we find them to be valuable?

In 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, and 1900, the U.S. census enumerators were required to collect all the normal census information plus even more: information about all persons dying within the 12 months preceding the census taking. These lists are known as the "Mortality Schedules."

Mortality data can prove very useful in your research.

To continue reading: Click Here.