Saturday, September 13, 2014

Where my research is housed.

I have pretty much sent all of my research - including books, family histories, photos, correspondence,  (I didn't keep hardly anything at all) to the Greenbrier Historical Society in Lewisburg, West Virginia.  I wanted it to be at a site where people would have access and besides, Lewisburg is such a lovely place to visit.  On my trip there next weekend I will be able to visit Union, Monroe County for the first time.  I hope to stop at the Neff Orchard Road Cemetery / Sinks Grove Cemetery where my grandfather and great-grandfather are buried.  I also plan to visit the Greenbrier Hotel for the first time.  And I will at least sit on the steps of the lawyers office which was once the Lewisburg Hotel (owned/operated by my great-grandfather Harry Suthcliff Cooper).  And I may well try to see if the Caucasian Presbyterian Church has a photo of him. 

The below 36 photos are from the Dunsmore home in Brushy Ridge

Greenbrier County, WV and they were kindly shared with me by Elaine.  Elaine and I are both descended from Martha Payne Haynes.  Martha was "married" to Burton Payne in ? Fayette during her enslavement.  He was sold to Virginia where it appears that he married another Martha.  His first Martha - my great-great-grandmother - married Solomon Haynes on July 4, 1865.  They lived around Second Creek, Monroe County.  Martha had a child - not sure who the father was -child was born during her enslavement - named Socrates & Elaine is descended from him.  Another child was Elizabeth - who was also born during her enslavement.  I am descended from Elizabeth (who is my great-grandmother).  Elizabeth married George Washington Haynes and they moved to Brushy Ridge, Greenbrier County.  

from Elaine's photo box
- Dunsmore household

Exhibit in Lewisburg - 9/20/2014

On Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a photographic exhibit at the Cooper Gallery in Lewisburg, West Virginia.  This exhibit will be put on by Janice Cooley and will feature approximately 80 photographs reflecting the African American history of the area.  I am fortunate to be able to attend this event.  In preparation for the event, I am scanning a number of photos which I need to return to the proper owner "Elaine". 

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

William O. "Bill" Lindsey

Genealogy has a way of getting away from you - as do genealogy buddies.  I realized that I hadn't spoken with one of my buddies for a while but  last week I found out that he passed in 2006.  For those of us who suffered through Hurricane Katrina, the past six years have gone by in a blink.  Still it is no excuse for not keeping up with people.  I was so sad to hear that this dear researcher of African American residents in Pocahontas County had transitioned.  His work is available through the Allegheney Historical Research Center. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 -Subscription Renewal - Beware

Sad to say that I will probably never subscribe to again.  I hadn't used it for over a year but a charge popped up on my credit card.  When I called them to say I didn't want to renew they essentially said too bad - you are now stuck with it for a year - but we won't bill you next year (and then they gave me a confirmation number).  Be careful when hitting the "terms and conditions" button.  They certainly weren't a customer friendly company in my phone call with them.  I will go to the library and use their subscription if I need to in the future. I am sure there are a lot of seniors who get caught up in this situation. 

They indicated that they send a subscription renewal alert but that oftentimes it will go to the SPAM folder.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baby in Pram from Dunsmore Box

This baby is unidentified.  However, the photo comes from the O. Dunsmore home on Brushy Ridge, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.   On the back of the photo it says "To Aunt Jennett".  (Janet Haynes Dunsmore, daughter of Socrates Haynes). 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Randolph Kelly, Mary Alice Lee Kelly, Mary Alice Spriggs Kelly Knight

Standing:  Randolph Kelly.
Seated:  In dark hat, Mary Alice Lee Kelly, In light hat Mary Alice Spriggs Kelly Knight (my paternal greatgrandmother).

Randolph Kelly - Randolph Kelly was the son of Droa Spriggs Kelly (my paternal great great grandmother) and William Kelly.  He was the half-brother of Tom Spriggs (Kelly), Mary Alice Spriggs (Kelly), and Samuel Spriggs (Kelly), who were all the step-children of William Kelly and the biological children of Dora.  Randolph was born on 6/2/1892 in Williamsburg, West Virginia (however his death certificate states that his death is 6/6/1892).  He appears on the 1900 Census in Greenbrier County, Williamsburg District as a Black Male, 7, cousin of Elvira Huse (here it says he was born in December).  He appears on the 1910 Census in GC, Lewisburg District as a mulatto male, age 18, borther in law of the head of household, William Knight.  (His sister Mary Alice had married William Knight).  On January 19, 1919 he married Mary Alice Lee "Aunt Sis" (so he was married to a Mary Alice and had a sister named Mary Alice).  He appears in the 1920 Census at Lewisburg as a Black Male, age 27, with Alice (21), William Edward (infant) and Ed Jackson (10).  He appears ont e 1930 Census, in Lewisburg, as a Black Male, Laborer at a flour mill, with his wife, M. Alice Kelley (33) and his children William E. (10), Randolph K. (5), Mary V. (2), and Roy P. (infant).  His World War II Draft Registration Card indicates that he lived in Lewisburg, WV, was born on 6/2/1892 at Trout Valley, laborer at Peoples Supply Company of Lewisburg, medium height and build, brown eyes, dark hair.  In an interview with his granddaughter, Elizabeth, she indicated that there was another daughter, Mary Alice, who died young.  Randolph died on February 10 or 12, 1933 of pneumonia.  His occupation was cemetery caretaker.  He appears on WV Death Certificate #4793 & his own certificate WV Death Certificate #1803 which states that he died on 2/12/1933 at 40y, the maiden name of his mother was Dora Kelly, the informant was S.H. Kelly (his brother)  (Note - this is Samuel Kelly) buried in Lewisburg at the Lewisburg Cemetery. 


Mahala Early - See Larry Shuck's Greenbrier County Court Records, p. 1999 in which he lists the " ...examination and trial of Mahala Early, a free woman of color who was charged with the crime of murder".  She was found to be not guilty.   In 1860, Mahala appears on the Greenbrier County Census as a mulatto female, age 54, a FREE INHABITANT, with James (14), Julia (25), and Wyatt (8 months). 

William Early - Husband of Elizabeth Kenny Early who he married on 9/25/1856 at Lewisburg.  She was the daughter of Thomas and Dolly Kenny.  He appears on the 1860 ensus in GC, Black Male, age 40, free inhabitant, laborer, with Elizabeth (19), Margaret (2 months), Mary (3), and Jincey Tate (15). 

Myles Early - Appears on the 1870 Census in Greenbrier County, Fort Spring District, Black Male, 35, farm hand, born in Va., with Sarah (32), Henderson (15), Richard (8), Nicholas (6), James (3 or 4), Lucy (2), and Jennetta (born 10/1860). 


Sally Early - Gravesite at the Old Colored Cemetery - Lewisburg, West Virginia

This is the grave of Sally Early at the Old Colored Cemetery (sometimes referred to as the Dick Pointer Cemetery) in Lewisburg, West Virginia.  The cemetery is behind Carnegie Hall, down the road from the Greenbrier Historical Society and across the street from the Caucasian cemetery.

Sally Early (1837 - 1911) can be found on the 1880 Census in Greenbrier County, White Sulphur Springs District at age 38, mulatto female, married (but her husband is not shown as she is enumerated with Benjamin Webb, a Caucasian hotel Superintendent, age 66).  She can be found in the 1920 Census in GC, Lewisburg District, Black Female, age 72, born in 1837, Widowed. 

She is listed in the Greenbrier County Cemetery Book (2 entries). 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Index - 2012

12/04/12 - Clara "Belle" Pack Wells
                  William "Hubert" Haynes
12/05/12 - Nola and Edna Haynes
                  Unidentified Boy
                  Unidentified Girl
                  Index 10/10/06 - end of 2006
                  Nola Haynes
                  Gilbert Haynes and Girl
                  Mary R. Bernice Haynes (Later Dr. Bernice Brown)
12/06/12    Janet Haynes Dunsmore and her daughter Ola Dunsmore Wood
                  James  Chambers
                  Lillian Rose Johnson Barnes Brooks, Virginia Braddock Hornaday, & Celestine Curtis
                  Index -2011 Posts
                  Index - 2010 Posts
                  Index - 2009 Posts
                  Index - 2007 Posts
                  Mattie Haynes
12/07/12    Index - 2011 Posts
                  Child on farm from Dunsmore box
                  Unidentified Photo from Dunsmore box
                  Front side of "back of photo" previous entry
                  Back of photo that will be posted above
                  Walter Haynes
                  Ethel Celina Haynes Johnson Barnes
12/09/12    William Peter Dunsmore, Thomas Dunsmore, and Mary "Polly" Carr Dunsmore
                  Child in Bonnet on Rocker
                  Unidentified Children - Dunsmore box
                  Unidentified adult female
                  Unidentified young ment
                  Unidentified photo
12/10/12    References:  Books, magazines, journals that mention Black Life in GC, SC, MC, PC

References: Books, magazines, journals that mentioned Black Life in Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, or Pocahontas Counties, W.V.

1.  History of Monroe County, W.V. by Oren F. Morton - "The appearance of the Negro in Virginia was promptly followed by the appearance of the mulatto" ... (see pages 75, 168 - 172, 185, 186).  And there is a chapter about (Caucasian) Rev. Samuel R. Houston which has excerpts from his diary.  It would be instructive to find and read the actual diary.

2.  History of Greenbrier County by Otis Rice - "The first black Methodist Congregation to establish a church in Greenbrier ... was at Lewisburg ....".  (Many references to Black life in this book). 

3.  Come Walk With Me Through The Streets of Historic Lewisburg - by Dr. John F. Montgomery.  "I can still envision the old iron pump and its two iron dippers, one for each race". 

4.  Dr. John F. Montgomery's Papers - (These can be found at the Greenbrier Historical Society).  "Blind Mary was a fortune teller in Lewisburg". 

5.  Greenbrier County Pioneers and Their Homes - by Ruth Dayton Woods.  "The county court ... had the power to try slaves for various crimes". 

6.  Journals of the Greenbrier Historical Society (some of the old copies are available for sale from the GHS). 
Vol. 4, # 1, 1981, p. 10 - "Slaves trained and skillful were owned in small numbers by many inhabitants of the area" & p. 17 "Many freed men who needed and wanted work ....." & p. 24 "John Wesley Methodist Church ...  " & p. 25 "there were slaves skilled in preparing bricks and sawing and shaping wood ..."   & p. 29 "the Negro Baptists of Lewisburg ....." 
Vol. 4, # 1, 1981, p. 33 - "... on the edge of what was once a solid Negro neighborhood ...". 
Vol 4, # 1, 1981, p. 78-79 - The Great Lewisburg Fire by Kenneth D. Swope.  "Great credit should be given to the colored people of the town for the  ... splendid work ...."

7.  Larry Shuck's books - specifically Greenbrier County Court Records - indicted ... "Catherine Deem for harboring a slave". 

8.  The Lewisburg Historic District by C.E. Turley (pages 9 & 12)  - "labor of slaves was available" ... "some of the local slaves had been trained in brick making ... Virginia". 

9.  Historic Lewisburg's Original 64 Lots - by James E. Talbert (available from the GHS) - "a burial place for the Africans or Blacks" ... "public school for African American students ...".  (James Talbert has been a major contact and support for me in doing my work.  He is always appreciative of my efforts and often points me in the right direction). 

10.  Freedom is a Constant Struggle - pamphlet - May 2002 - Lewisburg - "One segment of the event was the reading of the names of Greenbrier County slaves and Free Blacks that ran from 9 a.m. to after midnight".  Also see West Virginia Life by Rusty Mays, p. 10, 5/19/2002.

11.  12/10/1931 - ?  what publication this came from but headline read THE STATE UPHOLDS ANTI LYNCHING LAW - (Look for the court case - might be helpful to add the word Legg to the query).

12.  Civil War In Greenbrier County by Tim McKinney - Numerous mentions of Black Life in this area.  A must read. 

13.  The Reverend James Haynes - Presbyterian Evangelist in Appalachia - 1862 - 1900 - A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School, Pacific University - in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree - Master of Arts - by Gladys Lowder Haynes, May 1970.    (Ms. Gladys Haynes was a very dear woman.  Although I never met her she, as an elderly woman, went up into her attic to find her father in laws papers regarding the Blacks in the area over whose weddings he had officiated.  She then transcribed the information and sent it to me.  I feel that she went far beyond the call of duty in helping me in this way.  So many people have contributed to this quest of mine.  Further, after Hurricane Katrina she called me until she finally was able to catch up with me (about 7 weeks after the storm) and ascertain that I was o.k.). 

14.  Earl Clay dissertation - 1946 - This dissertation (by a Black resident of Lewisburg) was entirely about Black Life in Lewisburg and the surrounding area.  (Will supplement with the name of the university in ? Virginia - I called them many years ago and they sent me a copy from their archives). 

15.  Lewisburg Landmarks - by Ruth Dayton Woods - "has its "slave house" still standing - best known as the Preston House". 

16.  APPALACHIAN SPRINGS - The Newsletter of the Greenbrier Historical Society, especially Vol. 10, Number 3, 3rd quarter, 2004, an article entitled Free People of Color by Larry Heffner & Vol 10, Number 4, 4th quarter, 2004 relative to Documents Found Among the Courthouse Papers by Jim Talbert. 

17.  Goldenseal Articles - West Virginia Division of Culture and History

(to be continued .....) 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

William Peter Dunsmore, Thomas Dunsmore & Mary "Polly" Carr Dunsmore

This photo was donated to this compiler by A. Payne Hewitt who indicated that it is circa 1903.
William "Pete" Dunsmore was the son of Thomas and Mary "Polly Carr Dunsmore.  He was the husband of Barbara Ann Curry Dunsmore. 
He appears on the 1870 Census at Monroe, 2nd Creek, 17y, mulatto, with his father, Thomas Dunsman (Peter Dunsman).  In 1874 he was the informant for the marriage of James Nickell and Eliza Susan Dunsmore.  In 1874 he married Barbara Ann Curry in Monroe.  He was 25, b. in Monroe, she was 20, b. in Monroe.  They were married at S.P. Hamilton's in Monroe.  The officiant was Rev. Samuel R. Houston (who also married members of my family who lived in this area in Monroe - see his book and diary).  He appears on the 1880 census in Monroe, 2nd Creek, mulatto, 30, b. 1850, works on farm with Barbara (26).  He is enumerated as William P. Dunsmore.  In 1885 he was the informant for the marriage of Lucy Jane Dunsmore and Lewis Nickell which took place on 12/30/1885.  He appears on the 1900 census in Monroe, 2nd Creek as a Black Male, 50y, b. 12/1849, farmer, married x 21 years to Barbara (46), with his son William C. (5) and his father Thomas (83) and his mother Polly (73).  He appears on the 1910 census, Monroe, 2nd Creek, with his wife Barbara and his son William and his mother Mary (88).  He appears on the 1920 Census, Monroe, 70y, with his wife Barbara (67). 

Thomas Dunsmore was the husband of Mary "Polly" Carr Dunsmore.  On the 1870 Census, MC, 2nd Creek he is 48y, a farm hand, with his wife Mary (37), and with his children Eliza (19), Peter (17), Margrett (12), Sarah (7), Lucy (4) & Agnes (2).  In this census they are enumerated as Dunsman.  In 1874 his daughter Eliza was married to James Nickell at his house.  In the 1880 census he is 60y  and is with Polly (54), Ida (9), Lewis (10), and Franklin (10).  In 1881 he is the father of the bride, Sally Dunsmore who married Cephalus "Fall" Moore (7/3/1881) in Monroe.  In 1889 he was the informant for the marriage of Albert Payne (my greatgrandmother Elizabeth's brother) and Ida Bell Dunsmore.  That marriage took place on 10/15/1889.  In 1892 he signed a permission slip for his son, John Lewis Dunsmore, to marry Lydia Erskine on 2/18/1892.  He appears in the 1900 census at age 83, living with his son William (Pete).  By this time he had been married to Mary "Polly" for 56 years. 
Note:  Polly seems to be the nickname for Mary - or at least seems to have been in this area.  He died on Jan/19/1910 and is buried in the Sinks Grove Cemetery (Mt. Zion/Neff Orchard Road Cem).  He is listed as the father of the decedent, John Lewis Dunsmore, who died in Greenbrier in 1945, WVDC # 10213. 

Mary "Polly" Carr Dunsmore was the daughter of Lemora/Lemoris Carr.  She died on 11/4/1921 of old age at Monroe, 2nd Creek.  She is buried at the "colored grave yard" - so Sinks Grove Cem.  Her son, Pete, was the informant for her death. 


Child in Bonnet on Rocker

Unidentified children - Dunsmore box

Again, thanks to E. Carter of Lewisburg (who is also descended from my great great grandmother Martha) for rescuing this box of photos.  These children must be Dunsmore children or related to or friends of the Dunsmore family of Brushy Ridge (as the photos came out of O.Dunsmore's home on the ridge).  See the below post on O. Dunsmore Wood and her mother Janet/Jennette. 

Unidentified adult female

Unidentified young men - Dunsmore box of photos


I have approx. 31 Swope/Swopes/Sopes entries in my compilation. 
The 1796 Personal Property Tax List for Greenbrier County, W.V. indicates that (Caucasian) Joseph Swope owned one Black person (over the age of 16). 
One of the earliest Swopes that I have is:
Hugh Swope, husband of Mary Ann Law Swope, son of Betsy Swope, b. 12/14/1858 in Monroe County, owned by John Swope.  On the 1870 census he appears in Monroe, SD, at age 12 , ?Hucan Sopes / ? Huey Sopes.  In 1880 he appears in Monroe, RSSD, at age 20, farm laborer, son of Betsy.  On 3/10/1885 when he was 24y he married Mary Ann Law.  She was 19 and also born in Monroe.  She was the daughter of Squire Law (who executed the permission to marry slip).  The informant was Edward Swope.  The officiant was Rev. Elijah P. Fleshman.  The wedding took place at the residence of Elizabeth Swope.  He can be found on the 1910 Census for Summer, Talcott at age 50. 

Samuel Swope appears on the Monroe County Death Records in 1856.  He died on 10/28/1856 at 9y of flux.  He was enslaved by John Swope. 

Others mentioned in the compilation are:  Alice Jane Swopes, Andrew Swope, Betsey/Betty/Elizabeth Swope, Bob Swope, Carrie Saide Swope Davis, Cora Luvenia Swope Freeman, Curtis Swopes, Ed. L. Swope, Edger Swope, Edward Swope, Emilene Swope, Emma Swope, Ester Sopes, Etta Swope, Floyd Swope, Henrietta Swope, Henry Swope, Hucan/Hugan Swope, Huey Swope, Hugh Swope, Husam Sopes, Mary Swope, Mariah Swopes, Rosa Mary Swope, Rosie L. Symns Swope, and Sarah Eddie Swope. 

Unidentified photo from the Dunsmore box

Hopefully someone will recognize this young man.  He had to be related to or a friend of the Dunsmore family of Brushy Ridge, particulary Janet and Frank Dunsmore. 


In my compilation, I have 18 entries for the surname Standard.  Most of these individuals seem to have lived in Summers County. 
George Standard married Ellen ?Donly in Summers on Jan/11/1874.  He was 24y, born in Monroe County, the son of Beverly and Malinda Standard.  She was 17, born in Pocahontas, the daughter of Lewis and Clara ?Donly.
Beverly Standard died on 9/23/1930 at 103y at Summers.  He was widowed, buried at Talcott, b. in 1827 The informant was Lena Jones of Talcott. 
William Standard was the husband of Cora Standard.  They can be found in the 1910 Census, Summers, Talcott, he is 39 y, a fireman, with  Cora (23), and Vietta (1), William (1), Gilbert (12) and Lenora (10). 
William Standard appears on the WV Death Record of Herbert Standard (#14073), who died in  Raleigh in 1941. 
Herbert Standard was the husband of Ollie Mae Standard.  He was the son of William and Cora Standard.  He was b. Jan/29/1909 at Talcott, he was a brakeman in the coal mines, cause of death was homicide (gunshot wound).  Buried at Talcott.  The informant was Gilbert Standard of Terry, W.V.
William N. Standard was the son of Beverly and Isabelle Standard.  On 2/4/1892 he married Mary E. Crockett.  He was 20, b. in Giles.  She was 16, b. in Summers and the daughter of Frank and Kate Crockett. 
For Elen also see Elen Donly Standard Harris/Elen Donly Standard Hains.