Friday, June 16, 2017

Saved by Aunt Katie ~ Church Grows and Prospers

This is a pretty cool article about one of my 5th great grand aunts - Catherine Pierce-Furr aka Aunt Katie.

The second oldest Baptist church in Lincoln county established in 1818 -- escaped passing into oblivion a number of years ago when one of the first settlers in this region opposed closing down the historic church.

At a meeting to disband Little Bahala Baptist church, Catherine Pierce Furr, "Aunt Katie" as she was known to relatives and friends, stood up and asked that those present to leave the building standing so she could worship in it, First one person then another said if Aunt Katie was coming back to worship they would too. Before long the idea to preserve the old church snow balled and the plans to disband were dropped.

In 1950, many years after Aunt Katie had made her famous "stand" and died, the old church had grown in numbers and prosperity to where it was decided a new building was needed. The 200 members built a handsome brick structure that contains eight Sunday school rooms and an auditorium -- all of which was paid for before the building was dedicated. Today the church is served by a full-time minister, the Rev. J. A. Barnhill.

In the most conspicuous spot in the church directly behind the pulpit; hangs a picture of old Aunt Katie with her cane. As of 2001 the painting hangs in the foyer; when I visited.

"The picture looks just like her, except she doesn't have her pipe in her mouth," recalled Marion Furr, 80-year-old grandson of the doughty old lady, Mr. Furr said he remembered lighting her pipe for her. She smoked home-made tobacco, he added.

Out in the cemetery alongside the church stands a marker to Catherine Pierce Furr born in 1792, died in 1882 and wife of Christian Furr. Other names noted on the tombstones in the graveyard included Hoggatt, Smith, Hutson, White and a host of Furrs -- names still common to this area.

It was Christian Furr with his brothers Jacob and Henry who first settled the Little Bahala section in the early 1800s. The brothers came here from North Carolina by way of Georgia. A land grant deed issued to the brothers by the U.S. government is dated 1816. That was just 11 years after the Choctaw Cession, when the Choctaw Indians ceded vast tracts of land to the federal government and from which lands the counties of Lincoln, Lawrence, Pike, Walthall, Marion and others were formed.


-Emily Furr b. 23 Jun. 1813 m. Geo. W. Dunn
-George Washington Furr b. 22 Oct. 1815 m. Eliz. Case, #2 Ida Bird
-William Furr b. 15 Nov 1821
-Elizabeth Matilda Furr b. 5 Mar. 1824 m. Jesse Marion Smith
-Mary or Polly Furr b. 1825 m. Benjamin Wade Smith
-Joel Harvey Furr b. 1825 m. Malona Newton, #2 Rebecca Jane Davis
-Joseph W. Furr b. 08 Oct. 1828 d. 1830
-Nancy Jane Furr b. 08 Mar. 1830 m. Joseph Mullen
-Francis Marion Furr b 31 Oct 1832 m Adeliza Temple
-Randall Pierce Furr b. 8 Apr. 1833 m. Mary Ann Smith, #2 Emma Susan Wray
-Lott Furr b. 1 Dec. 1834 m. Martha Maxwell
-Christian LaFayette Furr b. 31 Jan. 1834 m. Amelia Melvina Smith
-James Monroe Furr b. 26 Nov. 1838 m. Nancy Maria Hoggatt

Copy of a newspaper article from a Brookhaven (MS) Newspaper of unknown date concerning Catherine (Pierce) Furr, titled SAVED BY AUNT KATIE ~ GROWS AND PROSPERS by JOHN CREWS ~ BROOKHAVEN --

This article was shared on her Find-A-Grace Memorial #50331874

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Recognize this guy? We do!

Well if you are a fan of The Walking Dead or a Dish Network subscriber you probably do know who this guy is. His name is Norman Reedus (we call him cuz around here) and he plays Daryl Dixon in AMC's hit program The Walking Dead. His role (aka him in role) is also being used in the latest Dish Network commercials/promos on the satellite system. And as it turns out he is also a Redus family cousin (my 6th cousin to be exact).
For background here is the IMDb Mini Biography By El-Ray for Norman Reedus.
Norman Reedus was born in Hollywood, Florida, to Marianne (Yarber), a teacher, and Norman Reedus. He is of Italian (from his paternal grandmother), English, Scottish, and Irish descent.
Norman's first film was in 1997 the Guillermo del Toro horror thriller film Mimic, where he played the character Jeremy. He has also played roles in the films Floating, Six Ways to Sunday, Deuces Wild, Blade II, Gossip, 8mm, American Gangster, Hero Wanted and Moscow Chill. In 2005 he had a bit-part in the Christian Alvart German film Antibodies as a German Polizist (policeman). In 2008 he starred in the film Red Canyon.
Norman is perhaps best known for playing the role of Murphy MacManus in the 1999 movie The Boondock Saints opposite Sean Patrick Flanery and Willem Dafoe. He also starred opposite Flanery in the sequel 2009 The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Reedus at the 2012 Comic-Con in San Diego.
As of 2010 he stars as Daryl Dixon in the AMC television series The Walking Dead. The character was not originally in the comic book series of the same name, but was created specifically for Reedus after his audition for the character of Merle Dixon. The Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman has stated he feels "absolutely blessed [Reedus] has honored the show with his presence, and the way he has come in and taken over that role and defined Daryl Dixon. A lot of Norman's portrayal of the character in the first season inspired all the writers to do what we did with him in the second season. We love writing him and end up doing cool stuff with him."
His official website is at
So cousin Norman we welcome you to one of the finest American families around -- the Redus clan.
Ahnentafel of Norman Mark Reedus
--- First Generation ---
1.  Norman Mark Reedus married Helena Christensen.  He was born on 6 Jan 1969 at Hollywood, Broward County, Florida, United States.
--- 2nd Generation ---
2.  Ira Norman Reedus married Marianne Yarber. Ira was born on 24 Oct 1939.
3.  Marianne Yarber married Ira Norman Reedus, son of Private James David Redus and Helen Butera.

--- 3rd Generation ---
4.  Private James David Redus.  James was born on 12 Jul 1900 at Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas, United States.  He married Helen Butera (6229).
5.  Helen Butera married Private James David Redus.
--- 4th Generation ---
8.  Isaac Newton Redus.  Isaac was born on 18 Jan 1874 at Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas, United States.  He married Betheala Wreay on 6 Jun 1897 at Texas, United States.  He died on 18 Nov 1962 at Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States, at age 88.
9.  Betheala Wreay.  Betheala was born on 5 Oct 1879 at Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas, United States.  She married Isaac Newton Redus on 6 Jun 1897 at Texas, United States.  She died on 26 Nov 1955 at Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States, at age 76.
--- 5th Generation ---
16.  Private James Adams Redus.  James was born on 5 Apr 1845 at Alabama, United States.  He married Lundah Bailey in 1868.  James died on 21 Aug 1933 at Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas, United States, at age 88.
17.  Lundah Bailey was born in Jan 1838 at Coweta County, Georgia, United States.  She married John T. Hart.  She married Private James Adams Redus in 1868.  Lundah died on 17 Mar 1916 at Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas, United States, at age 78.
18.  D. M. Wray married [--?--] Myrick.  He was born at Alabama, United States.
19.  [--?--] Myrick married D. M. Wray.  She was born at Alabama, United States.
--- 6th Generation ---
32.  George Washington Redus was born on 30 May 1817 at Grainger County, Tennessee, United States.  He married Julia A. Hill circa 1842 at Alabama, United States.  George died on 1 Jun 1866 at age 49.
33.  Julia A. Hill.  Julia was born on 2 Sep 1820 at Alabama, United States.  She married George Washington Redus circa 1842 at Alabama, United States.  Julia died on 4 Oct 1865 at age 45.
34.  Ezekiel Bailey was born at Georgia, United States.
--- 7th Generation ---
64.  James Redus.  James was born on 6 Dec 1772 at Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, Colonial America.  He married Lydia Morgan on 8 Nov 1794 at Grainger County, Province of North Carolina, Colonial America.  James died on 1 Mar 1859 at Okolona, Monroe County, Mississippi, United States, at age 86.
65.  Lydia Morgan.  Lydia was born on 6 Jan 1779 at North Carolina, United States.  She married James Redus on 8 Nov 1794 at Grainger County, Province of North Carolina, Colonial America.  Lydia died on 26 Oct 1859 at age 80.
--- 8th Generation ---
128.  Private James Redus.  James was born on 1 Aug 1744 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  He married Martha Wilson in 1768 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  He married Sarah Chalfant in 1785 at Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, Colonial America.  James died on 5 Oct 1821 at Livonia, Washington County, Indiana, United States, at age 77.
129.  Martha Wilson.  Martha  was born in 1745 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  She married [--?--] Hutton.  She married Private James Redus in 1768 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  Martha died in 1780 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America, at age at an unknown age.
130.  [--?--] Morgan
--- 9th Generation ---
256.  James Readus.  James was born in 1710 at England, United Kingdom.  He married Catherine Parsons on 15 Dec 1741 at St. Stephens Presbyterian Church, North Sassafras Parish, Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  He died after 5 Oct 1751 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.
257.  Catherine Parsons.  Catherine was born in 1715 at North Sassafras Parish, Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  She married James Readus on 13 Dec 1741 at Saint Stephen's Anglican Church, Sassafras Parish, Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  Catherine died on 22 Jun 1754
--- 10th Generation ---
514.  William Parsons (4811) was born between 1664 and 1693 at Blandford, Dorset, England, United Kingdom.  He married Mary [--?--] (5329) before 1699 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  William (4811) died in Sep 1716 at Towne Point, Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America, at age at an unknown age.
515.  Mary [--?--] (5329).  Mary (5329) was born in 1695 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  She married William Parsons (4811) before 1699 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America.  Mary (5329) died on 13 Jan 1739 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America, at age at an unknown age.
Research by
Larry Van Horn
Brasstown, NC


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year 2016

Thank you to all the blog readers throughout this year. Here's wishing you the very best for 2016, and I hope you break all those genealogy brick walls down !!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The McLemore Girls Picture

Family history is a wonderful thing. This picture is nearly priceless. I had a request from one of my cousin's wife (Cindy Wehner Fronczek) to post a picture of the McLemore sisters. Always willing to share with my cousins.

Without further ado, the McLemore sisters.

Standing (L-R) Laura McLemore Burnett, Annie Kie McLemore Redus
Siting (L-R) Sallie McLemore Redus, Nancy McLemore DeBerry, Mary McLemore Burrows

Monday, August 24, 2015

What is wrong with all these pictures?

First, let me say I have over the years discovered trees at that have some darn good stuff -- well put together and well sourced. Then there are . . . well let me illustrate.

This is a test. What is wrong with the screen capture below? Unfortunately over half of the trees at Ancestry for the family below had this configuration.

Unfortunately, IMHO opinion, trees are even worse. In the case of FamilySearch not only are the participants doing this type of stuff, but the computers at FamilySearch make these types of changes all on their own, no prompting, they just do it.

At least at Ancestry, I have the option to ignore this insanity and I control my own tree. At FamilySearch, not only do some of the "genealogists" think they are smarter than me and my research, the computer thinks it is smarter than all of us and just makes changes even after I put correct sourced information into "MY TREE."

For the folks at FamilySearch, that is why I refuse to spend even one more millisecond messing around within your trees, and I refuse to teach my genealogy students your tree system.

And when you approach these people in Salt Lake about these issues, they say they do not have a problem or when confronted with evidence they ignore you and will not answer queries. I get an airdale salute (you Navy guys know what that is)!

This new trees system is every bit the mess you had with the Ancestral File and other tree ventures you have tried in the past. When is someone at FS going to figure out that the computer can't be trusted to take control and link up people in these online trees.

But enough of my ramblings I just pulled just three examples from my "tree" at FamilySearch. There are many, many more I assure you.

In each of these examples these are entries to "MY TREE" I did not even make. I do not have the time to sit here and go through their convoluted menu system to get this stuff out. Even if I did have then, it still continues to come back unannounced anyway.

In this first case, when the computer inserted Mary Mason I took her out of my tree as it has been positive proven she was not Elizabeth Dancy's mother (child birth at age 9) and the computer came back and inserted her back in again this time without a date of her birth. (click on image to enlarge).

In the screen shot below, I put none of these people in my tree. Didn't ask for them to be put in there. In fact, I have not even gotten that far out in the tree. Again the computer decided what was best for my tree, not me. (click on image to enlarge)

In another random act of genealogy this third example shows why this system is no better than the trees at Ancestry (at least I have control over that one).

Please notice the families on the far left and compare then closely with the rest of the chart. Again I wasn't this far out in building the tree, didn't enter these people and the computer system at FS has messed this tree up entirely.

I could keep this up for the rest of the day but to what point? They won't listen to legitimate concerns out at Salt Lake and I don't have time to keep correcting the record only to have some computer system come back and make more changes I did not ask for or want.

Genealogy trees you either love'em or hate them. But I would suggest a third alternative and you can do what I do. Nothing goes to my online tree unless the preponderance of the evidence says I am right. You can use trees but verify the information.

Bottom line, once that genie is out of the bottle, if it isn't right, good luck getting it back in the bottle.

To bad I can't get some of these Ancestry tree people, including the FamilySearch tree people in Salt Lake in some of my classes. We would have to spend some time realigning their thinking. ;-)

I'm posting this piece to my main genealogy blog as well, maybe this will get some attention, especially out at FamilySearch. Are you folks listening or will this fall on deaf ears like everything relating to this computerized tree system. Only time will tell.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Family Group Monday - Aaron Redus-Lucy Ann Oglesby

It's Family Group Monday and time to meet a Redus Family Group.

One of the more fascinating Redus families I have had a chance to study has been Aaron Redus and Lucy Ann Oglesby and their children. One of my public projects is to find and link their children to Aaron and Lucy's memorials at Find A Grave. So here are the FAG Memorial numbers and some additional information on this family.

Father: Aaron Redus 31022653 (tombstone picture)
Mother: Lucy Ann Oglesby-Redus 31022565 (tombstone picture)

Elizabeth Oglesby Redus-Hine 41372358 (tombstone picture)
Sarah Chaffin Redus-Tanner 29256757 (individual and tombstone picture)
Mary Louise Redus-Crawford 74217124 (individual picture only)

Augustus Franklin Redus 100310342 (tombstone picture)
Have sent request to memorial owner to link him to his parents. Been looking for his final resting place for quite some time.

Silbernia Redus-Coats 74219025 (individual and tombstone picture)
Caroline Minervia Redus 32046719 (tombstone picture)
Have sent a FAG request to Rheba Dec Currier to link her to the parents.

James Ware Redus Sr. 5059585 (tombstone picture) My third great grandfather

Luther Warren Redus
I have discovered no proof to date that he was buried in the Blackland Cemetery in MS. From Anne Glidewell at FAG: Two of us searched the entire cemetery and could no find this tombstone, a few were broken beyond reading and there were some graves marked with stones though. So Luther's final resting place remains a mystery.

Thomas Jefferson Redus. Another mystery where his is buried for this family.
Thomas Jefferson Redus left home in Aberdeen, Mississippi when he was about 18 years old and moved to Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. The 1850 Federal Census shows him living in Caddo Parish with Roscoe Cole Oglesby in household No. 166. (Lucy Ann Oglesby's brother). R.C. Oglesby was Tom's protege and business adviser, as he had signed notes for some of Tom's business ventures, and was named a conservator of his estate after his death. No doubt Tom was developing into a prominent business man. He was owner of a two story brick building facing the corner of Texas and Commerce Street (Lot 9, Block 50 and Lot 9, Block 60). He also owned 162 acres of land in DeSoto Parish near Mansfield, Louisiana. Thomas Jefferson Redus died October 16, 1854 of Yellow Fever (according to a letter from a first cousin). It is possible TB may have caused his death as it was widespread throughout his family. In any event, he died without a will so the Judge of the 18th Judicial District in Caddo County, Louisiana appointed Roscoe Oglesby the Curator of Tom's estate. His brother, Luther Warren Redus, who lived across the Louisiana border in east Texas, appeared in Court in Caddo County, Louisiana and furnished the names of Tom's heirs. The property was sold for a little over $17,000 and the proceeds after court cost were given to the heirs. Included in the settlement was a portrait of Thomas valued at $100 which was given to his father Aaron. This very large and beautiful portrait was given to Aaron Redus, and was in turn passed down to Mary Louise Redus Crawford (Tom's sister). A relative of Mary Louise wrote a letter in 1955 in which she remembered her grandmother having a large picture of uncle Thomas Redus. She said that Thomas was never married. I have unable to find were he was buried. The untimely death of Thomas ended a promising career. His estate valued at $17,000 in the mid-1850's was considerable for a young man his age (23 years old at the time of his death).

Martha Redus 32046843 (tombstone picture)
Some have a middle initial of A, but I have no records including the tombstone that show a middle initial. Have sent a FAG request to Rheba Dec Currier to link her to the parents.

John Redus 15339860 (tombstone, his picture and a picture of him and Sallie)
William Redus 61091286 (tombstone and individual picture)
George Redus 61744271
Another Redus with a middle name of Washington, but which I can not find a record to support that. (tombstone picture)

As some of you know I am a picture junkie. If anyone has a picture of any of Aaron and Lucy's kids, spouses or descendants, would love to see them and it would be neat to post them here. So there you have it folks. You can see what has been publicly posted on this family on their FAG memorials. If you have anything to add you can post it here or email me at familyhistorian at frontier dot com. Cousin Larry.

Monday, April 20, 2015

John Hurt-Ester Brick Wall Update

As some of you may know who attend my genealogy classes at Tri-County Community College in Peachtree, NC, I recently solved a long standing brick wall using Ancestry DNA newest tool -- "New Ancestor Discoveries."

After many years I finally nailed down my 4th great grandfather's wife as Ester daughter of Margaret McCarter born in South Carolina. Of that I had no doubt last week. (see previous post on this blog and on the Family Roots and Branches blog)

Even after uncovering my newest 5th great grandmother - Margaret McCarter - I still wasn't convinced who Ester Hurt's father was. You see Margaret McCarter had three husbands and children by all three. I almost immediately ruled out her first husband William Motley. The timeline I had established for John Hurt and Ester just didn't work for him to be the baby daddy.

Since the Ancestry DNA tool picked up on John Lynch Jr and his wife Elinor Henson, I thought I had maybe a path directly to John Lynch Jr's -- John Lynch Sr who was Margaret's second husband. But since he died in supposedly in 1781, I just wasn't feeling right with him either in the timeline. Besides according to one message I read, there is suppose to be a family bible that indicates there were only two sons by that short marriage. I also wasn't getting even a nibble or even a brown leaf (my term for a researched DNA match) on the Lynch family via any of my Ancestry autosomal DNA tests.

Once I made up my mind that husband #1 or #2 weren't going to work, that left husband #3, the best of the three -- Jesse Neville. I purposely stayed away from him until I could rule the other two out since he was the better genealogically and historically 5th great grandfather and father of Ester Hurt.

I used my private tree over the weekend to test my theory and relinked my test to that private tree (a method I like to use often).

I can now say with excellent certainly based on my strong circumstantial paper trail (mostly indirect evidence), and our Ancestry autosomal DNA testing (me and my father) that Jesse Neville (who is buried with Margaret in Walhalla, SC) born-5 Jul 1759 in Fauquier County, Colonial Virginia, and died on 4 Mar 1842 in Walhalla,  Oconee County, South Carolina, is the father of Ester, who is the wife of John Hurt -- my 4th great grandparents.

Grandfather Jesse served during the Ref War. From the DAR GRS database:

NEVILLE, JESSE  DAR Ancestor #: A082513
Birth:  7-5-1759    FAUQUIER CO VIRGINIA
Pension Number: *S21899
Service Source: *S21899
Service Description:

If you want to read a great testimony to service during the Rev War (short of wintering over at Valley Forge with my cousin George Washington), check out Jesse's Rev War pension abstract at the Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements website (
Jesse's father Captain William Neville (my 6th great grandfather) is also a patriot listed in the DAR GRS.

William Neville apparently saw service in two wars. He is shown as an ensign in the Fauquier Co., VA Militia in 1762 at which time we were engaged in the French and Indian War. He was also a captain in the Revolutionary War stationed on the frontiers of Rutherford and Tryon Counties, NC. William never received a pension but references to his service can be found in a pay voucher at the NC State Archives and also in the pension records of his son, Yelverton (S4614), and in the pension of Thomas R. Musick (S16897).
NEVILLE, WILLIAM  Ancestor #: A082528
Birth: 1740    VIRGINIA
Service Source:


Service Description:
Some of his service is documented in the pension of a man who served under him -- Thomas R. Musick ( as follows:

"The said Thomas R. Musick further on his oath states that in the beginning of the year 1778, he went to Rutherford County in the State of North Carolina and volunteered as a private in a light horse company under the command of Captain William Neville and served in that company one year (being the period of his engagement) that after the expiration of this period of service in the [year] 1779, he the applicant took the place of one Hardin and again served as a private in the same company under the same commander for a further period of 3 months -- That the company commanded by Captain Neville was employed during the whole period of the applicants service as aforesaid in the protection of the frontier against the inroads of the Indians."

And now you can see why I was reluctant to jump first on Jesse until I had disproved the other two potential fathers.

Oh BTW - I am now part of the Jesse Neville Ancestry DNA circle, my 13th DNA circle. I will have more on Jesse and the Neville family soon. In the meantime, I need to get an American flag and Gayle and I have to make a road trip over to Walhalla. Wonder if he has a DAR marker?