05 September 2011

Tracing Stray Lines

Vanderpools in the Lone Star State
The marriage of Abraham Vanderpool to Cynthia E. Cantwell 11 June 1857 in Fannin County, Texas1 (that’s in northeast Texas up on the Red River) is still an unsolved genealogical mystery. Originally it was suspected that the bridegroom was the Abraham Vanderpool who appears in the 1850 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas census (age 27, born in North Carolina)2. However, that Abraham, based on his age and place of birth, more likely is the son of John Vanderpool (1794-1840) and Susannah (probably) Reese (1795-1850), who lived in Maries County, Missouri and the man who later married two Vineyard sisters ca 1860 and 1869 — in Missouri. Of course, he could have been married earlier to Miss Cantwell.

We are not sure what he was doing in Texas in 1850, but he might be the Private Abraham Vanderpool listed in McCulloch’s Co., Texas Mounted Vols., Indian Wars, 1817-1858 [see Pricia Paulkovich’s fine compilation of Vanderpools in various military units from the National Archives that were published in early Vanderpool Newsletters.] This Abraham appears in Vanderpool Newsletter III/2, (1976) p. 85].

More Abrahams show up
We also found a reference to a marriage for Sarah M. Winburn (or Milburn) and an Abraham Vanderpool dated 21 May 1861 in Cooke County, Texas.3 Is he the same one who married Cynthia Cantwell four years earlier in Fannin County or is this different man?

Then there is an Abraham Vanderpool who served in Texas’ Co. A, 16th Cavalry Regiment, CSA and is believed to be the one who died 7 February 1864 (during Civil War) in a hospital in Marksville, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. There is listing for an A. Vanderpool, Harrison County that is included in the online Texas Confederate Indigent Families Lists (1863-1865) 4 which may have a connection to the family of the soldier who died in Louisiana in 1864.

There are not that many Vanderpools in Texas in 1850 and 1860 censuses , so you’d think we could solve this. It has been suggested that the Abraham Vanderpool who served and died in the Confederate Army from Texas might have been a son (by first wife) of Sampson Vanderpool (ca 1797-1863) who removed to Texas ca 1848-1850 from Fayette County, Tennessee and lived in San Augustine County (1850) and in Kaufman County (1860). However, there is no son named Abraham with him in the 1850 or 1860 censuses. There is a (presumed) son John, born ca 1835, and a (presumed) son, Lafayette, born ca 1839 in the household of Sampson Vanderpool in 1850 — both of age to have participated in the Civil War, but we have nothing further on them. It is possible that one of these sons had a first given name of Abraham and is recorded by a middle name in the enumeration. Perhaps there’s a descendant out there who has information and will share.

Remember the Alamo!
Name Rank Enrolled Remarks
James Vanderpool, Pvt., joined by transfer from Allen’s Co., for duration of war; sick.
Given at Headquarters of Army, Camp Independence, Lavaca River, 31st December 1836.
Signed James C. Allen, Capt., Co. B.
Muster roll of Captain Allen’s Company "B" 1st Regiment Volunteer Army of Texas commanded by Colonel Joseph H. D. Rogers from the (blank) day of (blank) 1836 to the 31st day of December 1836 when first mustered, p. 189:
Texas Muster Rolls, 1825-1836: http://www.txgenweb.org/tx/muster.html
See The Handbook of Texas Online:

Based on preliminary searches in the Texas General Land Office records where one James Vanderpool received land for his military service in the Texas Republic army and whose widow, Emily [—?--], is mentioned in those records as late as 1881, this James probaby is one who appears in the 1870 census in Matagorda County, Texas. He was enumerated with a wife, Emily, two young Vanderpool children and four children with the surname of Bell, evidently children by Emily’s previous marriage. In 1880, Emily is enumerated in Matagorda County, Texas with two sons, John Vanderpool, 13, James Vanderpool, 8, a daughter, Frances Vanderpool, 4, and two other sons, John Bell, 23 and Peter Bell, 21.

According to the 1870 census, James Vanderpool is 52, so born ca 1818, in Kentucky. It’a suggested that he might be a son of John M. Vanderpool and Sarah Elizabeth Cummins, of Rockcastle County, Kentucky. However, that John M. Vanderpool, purportedly had a son named James (1813-1854) by his first wife and it is not likely that he would have named two sons James.

So far we have been unable to locate a James Vanderpool, born ca 1818 in Kentucky in
any 1850 or 1860 censuses. It would appear that he was in Texas by 1836. If you are researching the John M. Vanderpool (1783-1854) line, or know anything about this James Vanderpool who went to Texas in 1836 (or earlier), please share information — any additional evidence or new clues would be most helpful.

Deep in the heart of Texas — well, actually on the coast
Meanwhile down on Texas coast in Galveston, there’s yet another family mystery. The story goes, that one L. Vanderpool enlisted 22 February 1862 in Charleston, South Carolina, served as private in Co. A. 2nd Battalion, South Carolina Sharpshooters, CSA, and went AWOL. He is believed to be the man who married Mary McEroy (Mcevoy) about 1855. She was born about 1830 in County Kildare, Ireland. In a letter to me, we learn:

“I am the great-great-granddaughter of Mary McEvoy Vanderpool. Understand that you were doing research on Lidstone-Vanderpool. According to family, her [Mary Mcevoy’s] husband was a Robert Vanderpool, Her granddaughter, Mary Jane Christensen, told me that her grandmother never talked about him.”
The story goes that he brought Mary and the three children to Galveston to her brother's house and went back North; he was either killed by Indians or he deserted them. The children were: Maria (Mary) Vanderpool who married William Joseph Lidstone, Robert John Vanderpool, who died when he was 35 years old. (June 26, 1891) and William H. Vanderpool, born 1860 South Carolina, who married April 17, 1883 in Galveston to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Barrett . . .”

Other descendants claim his given name might have been Simon or Lyman, but a search for a Vanderpool fitting this profile has not been found in the 1850 or 1860 U.S. censuses. The 1870 census for Galveston, Galveston County, Texas shows a Mary Vanderpool and three children — Robert, William and Maria.

i. Robert “Rob” Vanderpool was born ca 1856 in South Carolina. [He was witness to a
fight/murder of Sam Roach, age 16, on 9 December 1876 in Galveston.5]. He died 26 June 1891 in Galveston, Texas.

ii. William Henry Vanderpool was born 8 August 1860, South Carolina. He married
Elizabeth E. “Lizzie” Barrett, 16 April 1883 in Galveston, Texas. He was accidentally killed died there 17 April 1919.6

iii. Maria “Marie” Vanderpool was born ca 1865, South Carolina. She married William J. Lidstone 21 September 1886 in Galveston, Texas. The Lidstones are from England
and evidently an extensive pedigree of this family has been researched.

What happened to this Vanderpool and who are his ancestors? Might there be a connection to Sampson Vanderpool (born 1797 South Carolina-died ca 1863 in Texas) and perhaps an early unknown marriage?

About Vanderpool, Texas

The town of Vanderpool is on State Highway 187, 10 miles north of Utopia and 30 miles west of Bandera in western Bandera County. The land on which it is located was given as a headright certificate by the Republic of Texas to José Texaso and patented by John W. Smith, assignee of José Texaso, on August 18, 1849. Smith sold his patent to Victor P. Considerant, who in turn sold several tracts to Henry Taylor and Gideon Thompson. Eventually Taylor owned several thousand acres in the Vanderpool area, where he gave away and sold land for a school, churches, and a cemetery. The Sabinal valley, in which Vanderpool is located, was first settled in the 1850s but was temporarily abandoned in the late 1860s due to raids by Comanches. A post office was established in 1886, closed in 1889, and then reopened in 1902. The town was named for the first postmaster, L. B. Vanderpool [Littleberry, 1818-1886] who was the son of Josiah Vanderpool of Surry County, North Carolina. Originally the site was called Bugscuffle. [Thank goodness for the name change.]

1 Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002. Subscription database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Accessed 13 November 2009.

2 1850 U.S. census, Bexar County, Texas, population schedule, San Antonio, p. 271A (penned), dwelling 685, family number 685; Abraham Vanderpool; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com ( http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 February 2010); from National Archives microfilm M432, roll 908.

3 Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002. Subscription database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Accessed 13 November 2009.

4 Confederate Indigent Families Index (Surnames Q-Z). Texas State Library & Archives Commission Website. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/cif/qzname.html. Accessed 30 April 2010.

5 The Roach Killing Case,” Galveston News (Galveston, Texas). 26 March 1877.” p. 7, col. 8-9, digital image. Genealogy Bank (http://www.genealogybank.com/). Accessed 9 February 2010.

6 Texas Death Certificate No. 13028. Digital images, Collection: Texas Deaths, 1890-1976, FamilySearch.org, referencing Film No. 4023777; image numb

10 July 2011

52 Ancestors #3: Elizabeth "Betsy" Swift Hooper

52 Ancestors #3
Elizabeth "Betsy" Swift Hooper

Finding a Daughter for Amy

As many family historians do, in the initial research of the family of Abraham Vanderpool (1766-1831) and Phoebe Isaacs (ca 1770-1833) I had focused on my direct ancestry, who in this instance was their youngest child and a son. However, all of their children — two sons and five daughters — were identified in the probate records of their father, Abraham Vanderpool, who died 28 August 1831 in Marion County, Indiana 1831. [1]

Gradually as time permitted, I followed the other son and then I began to trace the five daughters in the family. One of those daughters was Amy Vanderpool who married a Thomas Swift. One day I received an e-mail from a researcher who wanted to know if I could identify an Elizabeth “Betsy” Swift, born ca 1812 in North Carolina, who in 1832 had married a Samuel Hooper in Marion County, Indiana. I checked my Vanderpool-Swift files and replied in the negative. Thomas Swift and Amy Vanderpool had only sons and my Amy Vanderpool (born ca 1799) was too young to have been a mother of a child born ca 1812.

However, curiosity — a disorder rampant among genealogists — forced me to take another look at this Elizabeth “Betsy” Swift Hooper. In 1850 she, her husband, and their family were living in Boone County, Indiana. [2] Boone County is an adjoining county of Marion County, where Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift had removed to from North Carolina in approximately 1831. It appeared to me that her age was 28 rather than 38, which would make her born about 1822, and if so, a possible fit into the Amy Vanderpool-Thomas Swift family.

A tight fit, as Amy and Thomas had a son born about 1822, but certainly possible. Several other genealogical flags waved at me from that enumeration.

• Elizabeth Swift Hooper was born in North Carolina
• Had named a daughter Amy
• Had named a son Thomas
• Had named a son Wilburn/Wilbourn

Those were certainly Swift names. Was the son Wilburn/Wilbourn named for Elizabeth’s maternal uncle or was it just a name they liked? It was the three given names of Amy, Thomas, and Wilburn together that showed a likelihood of more than just a coincidence in naming patterns. Could she be a daughter of Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift after all?

But, and it was a big one, if this Elizabeth Swift Hooper had married 13 September 1832 (and a quick online check confirmed that date,[3] she had to have been born prior to 1822, as an age of 28 in 1850 would indicate. If she was really 38 in 1850, then she was too old to be my Amy Vanderpool Swift’s daughter. A search in the 1860 census hopefully would more closely determine her age.

It didn’t. It only added another possibility, but it provided a tantalizing clue as to whom Elizabeth Swift Hooper might belong. In the 1860 census, she was found in Marion County, Indiana. [4] Her husband, Samuel Hooper, has aged 14 years since the 1850 enumeration; now shown as age 54, and Elizabeth’s age instead of being 48 or 38 was given as 43. So Elizabeth’s possible birth dates now were 1812, 1817 or 1822. However, it was the name of the last person listed in the Hooper household that made me gasp. It was a Geo. W. Swift, age 43, born North Carolina.

Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift had a son, George W. Swift, born in 1817 in North Carolina. He would be 43 in 1860. Was he Elizabeth Swift Hooper’s brother? His surname has been mangled as only enumerators can do, into Swigt, which is probably why he had not been found through previous searches in this census. Earlier I had found George W. Swift, a widowed schoolteacher, with his three daughters listed elsewhere in the 1860 Marion County, Indiana census.[5] I had not looked further for him. The two 1860 enumerations for this locality were taken a couple weeks apart and it is logical that George W. Swift might have been staying at his sister’s, perhaps helping with harvest. That would explain how he came to be enumerated twice in 1860 — not an uncommon happening in the Midwest.

However, if George W. Swift was a brother to Elizabeth Swift Hooper, according to this census, they were born the same year — 1817. Twins? George’s exact birth date (2 May 1817) had been determined from his tombstone listing (he died during the Civil War) and is buried or has a marker in the Swift Cemetery in Marion County, Indiana.[6] Without any reliable evidence of Elizabeth Swift Hooper’s birth date, it was difficult to determine if she was a child of Thomas Swift and Amy Vanderpool, and if so, exactly where she fit on the family tree.

Amy Vanderpool Swift died between 1850 and 1860 censuses and no probate, burial information or cemetery records for her have been found. Thomas Swift died in Marion County, Indiana 25 August 1864 and at the time of this research, his probate records had not been located or accessed. However, it was in the land records of this county that the proof that Elizabeth Swift Hooper was their daughter was discovered.

In a 25 November 1864 deed[7] Elizabeth and Samuel Hooper (her husband) of Marion County, Indiana conveyed and warranted to Wilbourn Swift, of Marion County, Indiana for the sum of $1,400 some real estate, a one undivided sixth part . . .

[it] Being the same and all the said Elizabeth Hooper inherited from her deceased father, Thomas Swift, late of Marion County, Indiana.

So now we had a daughter for Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift — but how had I missed her before?

In about 1815 Amy Vanderpool married Thomas Swift. She was young — only about 16 years old.[8] Swift was a neighbor in Ashe County, North Carolina. He went to the same church and had served with her brother, John Vanderpool, in the War of 1812.[9] With the exception of some entries in the Cove Creek (North Carolina) Baptist church records and the 1850 federal census, few records about her have been found and probably do not exist. Like many women of this time period she is hidden in the records under her father or husband’s names.

While some of the North Carolina marriage records for this locality and time period have survived none have been found for Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift.[10] The date of their marriage is estimated to be about 1815-1816. This date is derived from examining the Cove Creek Baptist church records[11] of what was then Ashe County, North Carolina, when in October 1814 Amy is referred to as a Vanderpool and in April 1818 when she is referenced as Amy Swift. Her son, George W. Swift was born in May of 1817. It was a tiny church in a small community and her given name was unique enough to identify her. No other Amy Vanderpool or Swift in this church was mentioned in the time frame of interest.

Cove Creek Baptist Church records—On October the third Saturday [15 October 1814] the church met, Brother Parsons being present we chose him moderator and proceeded to business.
• A door being opened we received Sister Ame [sic] Vanderpool by experience into fellowship. On Sunday night the church being together we received Brother Thomas Swift by experience into fellowship.
• In April the second Saturday 1818 [11 April 1818] … A report taken up by the church against two of the Sisters, Sary Davis and Elizabeth Curtis, concerning of their being taken up with the Methodist and running to hear them … The church chose the following Brethren and Sisters to site them, Abraham Vanderpool and Samuel Swift to site Sary Davis and Mary Ford and Amy Swift to site Elizabeth Curtis. [this is first instance of Amy/Ame listed as SWIFT instead of VANDERPOOL in the church minutes.]

Amy is identified as a daughter and probably the fourth child of Abraham Vanderpool (1766-1831) and Phoebe Isaacs (ca 1770-1833)[12] and the only one of their seven known children who was born in South Carolina. Her siblings were all born in North Carolina, most likely in the area that is now Watauga County, but was then Ashe County. Her birth year is estimated to be 1799 based on her age (51) given in 1850 Marion County, Indiana census[13] and the approximate place among her siblings, whose birth dates could be determined from other sources or estimated from census enumerations. Since she died between 1850 and 1860 censuses, this is the only enumeration in which her actual age is given.

Amy Vanderpool grew up in what was then Ashe County, North Carolina in the Cove Creek area (it is now Watauga County) and lived there until about 1831 when evidently the Indiana fever struck the family and her parents, along with her unmarried sister (Mary), her then two grown brothers (John and William) and their families left North Carolina and joined the throng who removed to Indiana from North Carolina during this time period.

In the 1840 Marion County, Indiana census,[14] Thomas Swift (whose surname was written and indexed as Wift) is listed with six white males and one white female (the latter is 40 to 50, which fits Amy’s age). The oldest male is 50 to 60, which fits Thomas’ age bracket, and it is known that Thomas and Amy had five sons. Elizabeth Swift married young (as did her mother). Her marriage license to Samuel Hooper dated 11 September 1832 notes that she was still a minor and had permission of her father. [15]

That would explain why Elizabeth Swift is not shown with her parents in the 1840 census. But she is probably with them in 1830 and 1820 enumerations and was overlooked. So it was necessary to go back to take a closer look at those records.

In 1830 Ashe County, North Carolina census[16] Thomas Swift has four males (one under 5; two 10-15; and one 15-20, and a female, 15-20, plus a female (age 30-40). The latter is probably his wife, Amy.
Elizabeth Swift Hooper is probably the female, in the 15 to 20 column, which may not have been correct. Knowing that Amy was only about 31 in 1830, this 15-20-year-old female listed here was dismissed initially as probably a relative or hired help. However, the 1820 enumeration[17] should have been examined more carefully. In the 1820 Ashe County, North Carolina census it shows Thomas Swift with both a free white male and a free white female under 10; an older male (probably Thomas) 16-26 and an older female, 16-26. The young people are probably George W. Swift and Elizabeth Swift.

Whether Elizabeth Swift Hooper is a twin to George W. Swift or is his older sister, she is now attached to the family tree and rightfully acknowledged as the daughter of Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift.

Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift had issue:

2 i. Elizabeth "Betsy" SWIFT, born about 1816, probably Ashe County, North Carolina; married Samuel HOOPER, on 13 Sep 1832, Marion County, Indiana;[18] died between 1864 and 1870, probably Marion County, Indiana.
3 ii. George W. SWIFT, born on 2 May 1817, Ashe County, North Carolina,.[19] married Emily BRADY, on 11 Mar 1844, Marion County, Indiana;[20] died on 9 Apr 1864, Marion County, Indiana.[21]
4 iii. Abraham SWIFT, [22]born about 1822, Ashe County, North Carolina[23].; married Sarah Jane HUFFMAN, on 21 Jun 1849, Marion County, Indiana[24]; married Rosanna S. REVENAUGH, on 27 Oct 1867, Edgar County, Illinois;[25] married Mary E. (ZION) LUCAS JAYNE, on 15 Jan 1887, Bates County, Missouri; [26]died after Jan 1887, probably Mount Pleasant, Bates County, Missouri.
5 iv. Wilborn "Willburn" SWIFT, born about 1825, Ashe County, North Carolina,[27] married Lydia Elma “Eleanor” ROBERTS, on 3 Jan 1850, Marion County, Indiana[28]; died between 1871 and 1880, probably Marion County, Indiana.
6 v. William SWIFT, born about 1828, Ashe County, North Carolina[29]; married Manerva L. HOWARD, on 24 May 1855, Marion County, Indiana[30]; died on 18 Jan 1871, Marion County, Indiana.[31]
7 vi. Elias B. SWIFT, born about 1833,[32] probably in Marion County, Indiana; married Mary A. TRESTER, on 16 Apr 1856, Marion County, Indiana[33]; died after 1900, probably Marion County, Indiana.

[1]Marion County, Indiana Probate Records. Probate Order Books, 1822-1854, September Term 1831, pp. 190, 196, 204. Family History Library (FHL) film No. 530,295. Also, Circuit Court Records. Execution Docket, 1822-1840, (records 1829-1846) FHL Film No. 520,298.

[2] Samuel Hooper household. 1850 U.S. Census. Boone County, Indiana, NARS M432, Roll 136, p. 179. The enumeration shows Samuel Hooper, 40, born Ohio; Betsy Hooper, 28 (or 38), born North Carolina; Mary J. Hooper, 17, born Indiana; Amy Hooper, 14, born Indiana; Mahala Hooper, 10, born Indiana; Thomas Hooper, 8, born Indiana; Wilburn, 4, born Indiana; and Samuel Hooper, 6/12, born Indiana.

[3] Dodd, Jordan. Indiana Marriages to 1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 1997. Original data: Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Indiana. http://www.ancestry.com/

[4] Samuel Hooper household. 1860 U.S. Census. Wayne Township, Marion County, Indiana, NARS M653, Roll 280, p. 678.
[5] George W. Swift household. 1860 U.S. Census. Washington Township, Marion County, Indiana. NARS M653, Roll 280, p. 993.

[6] Swift Cemetery, Wynnedale, Washington Township, Marion County, Indiana. Manuscript Gpf977.201. M341, No. 1(4). Indiana State Library (Genealogy Division). Also now online: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ingsmc/Pages/Marion_County_Data/Cemeteries/Swift_Cemetery.htm
It shows G. W. Swift (some have read or transcribed it as T. W. Swift), died 9 April 1864; 46y, 11m, 7d. Co. K, 3rd Indiana Cav.

[7] Marion County, Indiana Deeds, 1863-1865, item 2, Volume LL, pp.634-5, FHL No. 1,302,942. Samuel Hooper and Elizabeth Hooper to Wilborn Swift. 25 November 1864.

[8] Amy Vanderpool’s brothers were about 21 when they married; her sister, Elizabeth, about 24; her sister, Nancy, about 21, and her sister Phoebe, about 19. Her sister, Mary, recorded as an idiot in her father’s probate records, never married.

[9] Adjutant General. Muster Rolls of the Soldiers of the War of 1812, Detached from the Militia of North Carolina in 1812 and 1814. (North Carolina: Winston-Salem. Barber Printing Company, Inc., 1926; reprint, ed., Baltimore: Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1996), p. 118.

[10] In The North Carolinian: A Quarterly Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. VIII, No. 3, Number 27, September 1961, edited by William Perry Johnson, p. 848 notes that “the Marriage Register in the Ashe County courthouse does not begin until 1851. There are, however, 417 loose marriage bonds in file boxes in the courthouse, which bonds are unrecorded, and there is no listing of them in the Archives in Raleigh.” The marriage bond was the principal record of marriages in North Carolina from 1741 to 1868. The list of these 417 Ashe County bonds, which was published in the above journal, did not include one for Amy Vanderpool and Thomas Swift. This list of bonds was dated 1817 through 1850 and no marriage bonds for this county have been located for the years 1799 through 1816.

[11] Cove Creek (North Carolina) Baptist Church Minutes, 1799-1837. FHL film No. 984,361

[12] Marion County, Indiana Probate Records. Probate Order Books, 1822-1854, September Term 1831, pp. 190, 196, 204. Family History Library (FHL) Film No. 530,295. Circuit Court Records. Execution Docket, 1822-1840, (records 1829-1846) FHL Film No. 520,298.

[13] Thomas Swift household. 1850 Marion County, Indiana. Washington Township. NARS M432, Roll 159, p. 422 shows Thomas Swift 61, born North Carolina and Aime, 51, born South Carolina, Elias Swift, 17, born, Indiana; Rebecca Davis [relationship, if any, unknown] 23, b. Kentucky, and William Swift, 22, born North Carolina.

[14] Thomas Swift [written as Wift] household. 1840 U.S. census. Marion County, Indiana, NARS M704, Roll 88, p. 278.

[15] Marion County, Indiana Marriages, 1822-1895, Book 1, p. 180. FHL Film No. 1,323,322 (items 2-10). Be it known that on September 11th 1832, a marriage license issued to Samuel Hooper of lawful age and Elizabeth Swift, a minor, by consent of her father, personally given . . . both of Marion County, Indiana were joined in marriage 13 September 1832; signed by Edward Roberts, Justice of the Peace.

[16] Thomas Swift household. 1830 U.S. Census. Ashe County, North Carolina, NARS M19, Roll 118, p. 28.

[17] Thomas Swift household. 1820 U.S. Census. Ashe County, North Carolina, NARS M33, Roll 81, p. 16.

[18] Marion County, Indiana Marriages, 1822-1895, Book 1, p. 180. FHL Film No. 1,323,322 (items 2-10).

[19] Swift Cemetery, Wynnedale, Washington Township, Marion County, Indiana. Manuscript.Gpf977.201. M341, No. 1(4). Indiana State Library (Genealogy Division). Also now online at:
It shows G. W. Swift (some have read or transcribed it as T. W. Swift), died 9 April 1864; 46y, 11m, 7d. Co. K, 3rd Indiana Cav.

[20] Marion County, Indiana, Marriages, 1822-1895; FHL Film No. 1,323,322, items 2-10. Book 4, p. 75.

[21] Marion County, Indiana, Estate Index, No. 1617, FHL Film No. 382,747. Date of Death: 9 April 1864. Estate settled, 30 March 1868.

[22] Marion County, Indiana Deed Records, 1822-1875, FHL Film No. 130,2943, MM (October 1863-May 1866), p. 388. Abraham Swift to Wilbourn Swift. Indenture. Abraham Swift and Sarah J. Swift, his wife, of Edgar County, Illinois, release and quit claim to Wilbourn Swift of Marion County, Indiana for the sum of $1,100 the following real estate in Marion County, Indiana. The undivided sixth part of the south half of the NE quarter of Sec. 16 in TWS 16 North of Range 3 East. Also the North half of the same quarter section in the same township and range except 20 acres in the NW quarter of the last named tract of land, heretofore sold to William B. Bridgeford. 13 Day January 1865. Signed by Abraham Swift and Sarah J. Swift, with notation. State of Indiana. Vigo County, appeared Abraham Swift and Sarah J. Swift, his wife, and ack. execution of deed. This is the same description of the property that Elizabeth Swift Hooper inherited from her father, Thomas Swift.

[23] Abram Swift household. 1850 U.S. Census. Delaware, Hamilton County, Indiana, NARS M432, Roll 148, p. 45.

[24] Marion County, Indiana, Marriages, 1822-1895; FHL Film No. 1,323,322, items 2-10. Book 5, p. 116. (with consent of her father, Lewis Huffman).

[25] Dodd, Jordan and Liahona Research. Illinois Marriages, 1851-1900 [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005. Original data: Index compiled from county marriage records on microfilm located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah by Jordan Dodd of Liahona Research (P.O. Box 740, Orem, Utah 84059). Specific source information is listed with each entry. 27 October 1867, Edgar County, Illinois. http://www.ancestry.com/.

[26] E. Joyce Christiansen, compiler, Bates County, Missouri Marriage Records, Volume I, 1860-1877 (Overland Park, Kansas: Joan Kusek, January 1990). 977.843 v2c, p. 56 Abraham Swift married Mrs. Mary Jayne, 15 January 1887; recorded 15 January 1887. J. G. Burgess, M.G.

[27] Willburn Swift household. 1850 Washington Township, Marion County, Indiana. NARS M432, Roll 159, p. 422. He and his wife, “Eleanor,” are living next to his parents, Thomas and Amy Swift. His brother, George, and his three young daughters reside with Willburn and “Eleanor.”

[28] Marion County, Indiana, Marriages, 1822-1895; FHL Film No. 1,323,322, items 2-10. Book 5, p. 167 (with consent of her father, Daniel Roberts).

[29] Thomas Swift household.1850 Marion County, Indiana. Washington Township. NARS M432, Roll 159, p. 422 shows Thomas Swift 61, born North Carolina and Aime, 51, born South Carolina, Elias Swift, 17, born, Indiana; Rebecca Davis [relationship, if any, unknown] 23, b. Kentucky, and William Swift, 22, born North Carolina.

[30] Marion County, Indiana, Marriages, 1822-1895; FHL Film No. 1,323,322, items 2-10. Book 6, p. 231.

[31] Marion County, Indiana. Estate Index, 1823-1882. FHL Film No. 382,747. No. 2280. Died 18 January 1871;
settled: 1 April 1875

[32] Thomas Swift household. 1850 Marion County, Indiana. Washington Township. NARS M432, Roll 159, p. 422 shows Thomas Swift 61, born North Carolina and Aime, 51, born South Carolina, Elias Swift, 17, born, Indiana; Rebecca Davis [relationship, if any, unknown] 23, b. Kentucky, and William Swift, 22, born North Carolina.

[33] Marion County, Indiana, Marriages, 1822-1895; FHL Film No. 1,323,322, items 2-10. Book 6, p. 388.

03 February 2011

I Remember Papa

By Myra Vanderpool Gormley

Papa was a giant in my eyes — in more ways than one. Not only was he a large man in size (6-4; 245 pounds), but he remains a giant in my childhood memory.

Papa — Charles William Fricks (1873-1958) — was my maternal grandfather and I never called him grandpa or grandfather. He was always just “Papa” — that’s what his seven children called him and that’s what we grandkids called him. He is also one of my earliest memories. Perhaps because he was such a large man or perhaps it was because he doted on me and called me his “Papoose” that I still recall how his soft brown eyes lit up when I ran to greet him, yelling, “Papa! Papa!”

He always wore overalls with his “folding money” stashed in top front compartment with a large safety pin holding it securely. In another pocket he kept his “chawing tobacco.”

I spent my early childhood on a farm with my grandparents during World War II. For breakfast Papa had oatmeal with fresh milk, real butter, sugar and whatever fruit and bread leftovers were available. His oatmeal bowl was huge and he filled it to the brim. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting at the kitchen table with Papa, eating our oatmeal, watching the sun come up and listening to the birds chirp as they hunted for worms in the backyard.

When I was big enough he let me go to the barn and “help” him milk Old Horns (the cow). Then we’d go back to the house and Papa would set up the cream separator and put some water on the stove to heat because the separator had to be dismantled and washed after each use. My job was to dry the parts. I felt so important.

Next it would be time to go to the chicken house and collect eggs — not one of my favorite chores because of the snakes. They loved the chicken house and often curled up in the nests and ate eggs. In early spring we’d go to town and buy baby chicks at the feed store to raise for eating and some for eggs. The chicks were put in the brooding house, which was fenced off from the rest of the yard, and feeding and watering the chicks was my job and I loved it. I often named the chicks and had a few banties (bantam chickens) that were just pets.

Papa and I often went fishing with our cane poles and a can of worms or some grasshoppers. There was a small creek not far from Papa’s farm and we’d sit on the cool bank and hope the fish would bite. When they did, we’d catch them and carry them home to clean. Mama would roll them in cornmeal and fry them for supper. With a fresh salad from the garden, hot cornbread and cold buttermilk, it didn’t get any better as far as I was concerned.

Papa’s best friend was Bill Carter — an old crippled-up farmer, with some missing fingers, who lived about a mile away. We’d go to visit him, walking down the hot dusty road with Papa telling me tales about his childhood in northwest Georgia and coming to Indian Territory as a young man with his parents and siblings. I loved to go to Mr. Carter’s as he had a goat that I played with. The goat also rode in the back of the old panel van with us when Mr. Carter, Papa, and me would go riding around in the river bottom lands to look at the crops growing. Sometimes we went to the stockyards to check out cattle and to visit with the other farmers in the area.

It was a magic kingdom and time for me and my memories of Papa are filtered through golden warm sunlight of an Oklahoma childhood on the farm.

23 January 2011

Kansas Gunsmoke

From the early days of Newton Earp (older half-brother of Wyatt Earp), the city's first marshal in 1883 who had to deal with loose stock, potholes, collecting taxes, enforcing the dog ordinance, and watering the city's precious trees, to a bleak night in November of 1959 when the grisly murder of four members of the Clutter family took place, the Garden City Police Department protected people and property and along the way created a rich history.

16 January 2011

Lost Daughters

I hardly know what to think of my third-great-grandpa, William Vanderpool. He is an enigma. During his 76 years, he roamed from his birthplace in North Carolina to the Cherokee Nation, zigzagging back and forth and across Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas and Indian Territory. He married two women, sired at least 19 children but unforgivable — to a family historian — he lost two of his daughters along the way.

Yes, lost them. What kind of a father could lose two daughters?

Following the cookie trail of historical record crumbs William left in his dust (or wake, as the case may be, as I have no idea exactly how he travelled from the 1830s to 1880s) he appears to be fairly well educated (he could read and write and served in Missouri State Legislature), was a blacksmith, and a loyal American (he joined the Union Army at age of 54).

This does not appear to be a dysfunctional family — the children of the first marriage kept in touch with each other, during and after the Civil War, as they became adults, married and scattered across the country. Mary “Polly” Fuson, the mother of William’s oldest 10 children, died near Leon in Decatur County, Iowa 18 August 1849. William quickly remarried — much too quickly some descendants grouse — on 3 September 1849 and to a kinswoman, at that. But I find it difficult to judge him too harshly — what was a blacksmith in Iowa to do with 10 children, mostly sons, ranging in ages from 20 down to the baby in whose birth Polly had died?

The only female help William would have had to manage the household were his two daughters — Rachel, then 12 and Artemissa who was only 7 — as apparently the two others girls, Nancy and Elizabeth, had died. It would have been next to impossible for a man to make a living and run a household without lots of help. Food gathering and preparation alone would have been a full-time domestic chore to feed such a large family. Tedious research has failed to find any close relatives (William’s or Polly’s) nearby.

In 1850 William Vanderpool, with his second wife, is enumerated in the U.S. census twice – first in Dade County, Missouri and a few weeks later in Decatur County, Iowa. His daughters listed were Rachel, 15, and Artemissa, 8, in the Missouri census, but in the Iowa enumeration only Rachel, is shown. Evidently William “lost” his youngest daughter Artemissa in the autumn of 1850, somewhere between Missouri and Iowa. By April 1859 William and family are in Kansas Territory with no extant list of names of the household, only the number eight. Rachel Vanderpool may or may not be among them. She married Dr. Abijah Beach in October of 1860 in Geary County, Kansas Territory. However, neither Rachel nor Artemissa is enumerated with their father in the 1860 census, taken at Fort Riley, Davis County, Kansas Territory. Neither daughter has been found in any other household in 1860 either.

We know Artemissa survived because she married Christopher Columbus Pitts (1840-1926) after the Civil War, lived from 1870 to 1932 in Hickory County, Missouri, and had 10 children, but William does not mention her in his surviving early 1860s letters to Rachel.

All I can figure out is that William “lost” Artemissa somewhere in northern Missouri in 1850. Perhaps he left her with relatives or neighbors who “adopted” her. However, I wonder if Rachel fell out of the wagon on the way to Kansas and was rescued by some kind Westward-bound pioneers who found her and took her to her father at Fort Riley. Perhaps that is how she met her husband-to-be?

I know I’m grasping at straws, but how could a man lose two daughters?

09 January 2011

A Western Love Affair

By Myra Vanderpool Gormley

It was love at first sight. I was only 16, when I fell in love with the American West, but my passion for it has never diminished.

It was a hot July day when I viewed the Grand Canyon for the first time and it grabbed me and wrapped me in its spell. I was awe-struck and that was just the beginning of the marvels that I saw on my first trip to the West Coast. I saw the deserts, the snow-capped mountains and the Pacific Ocean. I was dazzled by the huge fir, pine, cedar and redwood trees reaching toward heaven and the palm trees, orange trees, and the many fruit and nut trees of the San Joaquin Valley.

I etched the beauty of Yosemite National Park into my mind’s eye and vowed to return someday. The car ride over the nearly 10,000-foot high Tioga Pass took my breath away and I vowed never to take that route again.

I discovered beauty in Nevada near Elko where the Ruby Mountains sparkled in the sunrise and then marveled at the Great Salt Desert in Utah. But it was Yellowstone Park that contained the most magnificent sights my young eyes had ever seen. I knew someday I’d be back to see it all again and spend time at the rustic lodge and camp by the Yellowstone Lake and explore gorgeous Jackson Hole.

From Wyoming we went to Colorado Springs and Pike Peak and then to my home in western Kansas. I was exhausted and my diary was crammed with notes and thoughts.
It would be nine years before I saw the West again — this time via my little red Volkswagen that I drove from Texas to Seattle with stops in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Montana along the way.

On a crisp October dusk more than 89 years after the Battle of the Little Big Horn was fought I spent the night at a motel on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana and saw the battlefield of Custer’s Last Stand. There, with a brisk western wind dancing through the tall grasses of the undulating prairie, history came vividly alive to me. I wandered among the 220 markers with the names of those who perished there, wondering if any of my family members had participated in that conflict. It was an evening that would affect me for the rest of my life — it was then I became an aficionado of American Western history and also a genealogist with a passion to learn more about and see the West and to discover more about my family’s journey across it.

In the years to come I would explore the Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark’s trip from Saint Louis, Missouri to Washington and Oregon in 1804-1806 and hundreds of localities in the Western states.

Whether at a famous tourist sight, such as Crescent Lake in Oregon, Mount Rainier in Washington, or in the obscure Nevada town of Tonopah where Wyatt Earp and his wife, Josie, spent some of their latter years, the thrill of seeing and learning about this incredible land never ceases.

Sometimes the history and wonder is so real to me that I can hear the hooves of the fast ponies of young fearless riders as they gallop across Nevada on the loneliest road in America on the Pony Express trail.

Next time you visit the area between Austin and Eureka, Nevada, take time to listen for the ponies. You may hear them, too.

04 January 2011

Creating More Than a Genealogy

By Myra Vanderpool Gormley

I want to create more than a genealogy — something other than hatched, matched and dispatched facts and genealogical charts. I want to create a family history that incorporates some of the genealogy along with stories, photographs and I want to include some historical facts and settings. After all it was being aware that one of my great-grandmothers (Elizabeth Connally) was a teenager living near Atlanta when General William Tecumseh Sherman took the city and then made his famous march to the sea in 1864 which launched me on the genealogical trail to learn about my ancestors and see if I could sort facts from family lore.

Is it possible to do so without creating a monster-size tome that will never be read or valued by my family? I’m not sure of my organizational abilities to create such a work and at this point I do not have a master plan for such a creation — just an idea. My goal this winter of 2011 is to write some more memoirs about those I actually knew and to write about some of the characters in my family tree and see where this all leads.

A good story almost always starts with an interesting character and I certainly have uncovered a few during my research. Let’s start with one of my 2-great-grandfathers — Randle Hensley.

Randle Hensley went to the courthouse that warm spring morning in Alabama in 1875, but his heart was heavy. He was going to mortgage his 40 acres in order to post the $500 federal bond to get his son Francis Marion out of jail.

Times were tough in northeast Alabama. But he and his wife, Clementine, had survived tough times before. They had been married 45 years. Randle was 68 years of age and ten of their 15 children were still living. However, their son Francis Marion had had one trouble after another, it seemed. He served in the Confederate cavalry and survived the Civil War as well as time as a prisoner of war in Maryland. He had walked home from North Carolina after the war ended — looking like a skeleton when he showed up on their Georgia farm.

Francis Marion’s first marriage to a neighbor gal ended when his wife (Nancy Catherine Pruitt) and their second son died out on the prairie in Kansas where he had gone to find some free land to homestead, but it turned out the land was only for Union veterans. So Francis Marion and his young son, Lee, had removed to Etowah County, Alabama where Randle was farming, having given up on their devastated land in Cherokee County, Georgia.

Just three years ago Francis Marion had fallen in love with and married the dark and feisty Araminta Awtrey. Now Francis Marion was in trouble again arrested on the Coosa River while tending a still — for his father-in-law.

02 January 2011

Wading into a new world in 2011

I've resisted blogging for a number of reasons -- primarily because I wasn't sure it would serve a useful purpose worthy of my valuable (retired) time. But I'm adventuresome, if nothing else, so here goes. I haven't a clue to what I'll blog about -- other than it probably will have a genealogical slant since that is my hobby and passion. Perhaps I'll share some of my writings as I'm taking a class in memoir writing. Perhaps I'll find some cousins out there in BlogLand who will share information and pictures with me.
So here goes . . .