Monday, March 19, 2018

Who Was Franky's Father? Part 2: Another Will

In my last post, I shared how a Princess Anne County, Virginia, 1791 marriage record provided evidence that Willoughby Randolph's wife, Franky, was likely the daughter of William Thornton. Another document I've discovered is the 1794 will of William Thornton of the same county. It lists his "daughter Franke Randolph" along with other children. This will provides additional evidence that William Thornton was Franky's father.

Lee County, Virginia, "Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983," "Will Book, Vol. 2,
1795-1807," will of William Thornton,  signed 18 December 1794, page 3 [page numbering inconsistant];
database,  image 307, ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 March 2018).

Family members listed in William Thornton's will:

  • daughter Franke Randolph
  • daughter Betty
  • daughter Polley Spier
  • son William
  • son Freddrick
  • wife Salley Thornton
  • daughter Cloye [Chloe?]
Sadly, four slaves were also mentioned:
  • negro woman called Fan
  • negro woman Dinea
  • negro girl called Hanner [Hannah?]
  • negro boy Charles
Lee County, Virginia, "Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983," "Will Book, Vol. 2,
1795-1807," will of William Thornton,  signed 18 December 1794, page 3 [page numbering inconsistant];
database,  image 308, ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 March 2018).

Land mentioned:
  • "to my son William Fifty acors Land that I bought of Berry"
  • "to my son Freddrick Fifty achors of land that I bought of Kinner Collens"
Interestingly, two of the three witness were females:
  • Tho[ma]s Holstead
  • Betty Coath [her mark]
  • Keziah Chappel [her mark]
All of these people and pieces of land need to be further researched. And, I'm making progress on my Virginia research!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Who Was Franky's Father? Part 1: A Marriage Record

Virginian Willoughby Randolph (1765-1822) mentions his wife, Franky, twice in his will. On many Ancestry trees, Franky's maiden name is listed as Thornton and her father's name as William Thornton. But, I have not found anyone who documents these relationships.

Willoughby and Franky's first child, William Randolph (my 4th great grandfather), was born on 4 November 1792 in Virginia. Willoughby and Franky were likely married around 1792.

Ancestry.com > Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983 > Princess
Anne County > Index to Wills and Marriages, 1754-1799 > image 2192,
1791 marriage of Willoughby Randolph and Frankey Cummings.

I found this card stating that Willoughby Randolph and Frankey Cummings had married on 28 December 1791 in Princess Anne, Virginia. Based on date and place, this appears to be the correct couple. But, Frankey's surname says Cummings, not Thornton. If the other trees are correct, was Frankey previously married?

Wingo, Elizabeth B., Marriages of Princess Anne County, Virginia : [1749-1821]
(Norfolk, Virginia: E. B. Wingo publisher, 1961, 84; digital image, Internet
Archive
(https://www.archive.org : accessed 16 Marcy 2018).

Last night I came across another record. This is a marriage index, so I will try to get the original. But, it quite clearly states that Frankey Cummings was the daughter of William Thornton "who consents for her." Apparently this was Frankey's second marriage. Martin Cummings, listed as a surety for the marriage, was likely a relative of Frankey's previous husband.

There is only one Willoughby Randolph listed in the 1800 U.S. census. This "Willobough" Randoph was enumerated in Surry County, North Carolina, which is very close to Lee County, Virginia where Willoughby is living a few years later. Therefore, I conclude that Willoughby Randolph's wife, Frankey, was the daughter of William Thornton.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Patch On His Lapel

I have written a lot about one of my immigrant ancestors, Joachim Peters. He and his wife, Henriette, left "Germany" in 1859 with their six children and emigrated to America. My dad recently noticed that Joachim, shown in the photo below, had a patch on his lapel. As he studied the photo of his great, great grandfather, Joachim became a "real person" in his eyes. Look into his eyes. Do you see the man who left behind everyone but his wife and children to find a better life in America? 

Photo of Joachim Peters (1815-1894) 

Here's what my dad wrote:

Did you every happen to notice that Joachim has a patch on his lapel? Makes you think how much he gave up. How much effort and expense did it really take him to get to America? 

I wonder how much the trip aged him; aged all of them. His eyes are almost hollow sockets, but his eyes have a piercing stare and his jaw is set with determination. Did he always look this way?

It takes hardy stock to make pioneers. He did not just take the risk on his own, but put his whole family in jeopardy betting years of hardships so that one day they would all have a good future. Not only Joachim and his wife and children, but also for us, his descendants. 

I guess we all owe a debt of gratitude to him and all our other fathers' fathers and their fathers as well. So here is to patches on your lapel, dear Pa Pa. Sleep tight and watch over all of us, your children.

I'm glad I noticed the patch. And now, probably for the first time, I see Joachim as a real person, this earthly father of ours. Someone who would get down on his knees in the middle of the ocean and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for his love and, with the hope that He would see him and his family safely home to America. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

An 1822 Will Opens New Doors (Part 2)

A few days ago I shared the cover and first page of the 1822 will of Willoughby Randolph of Lee County, Virginia. Here are the second and third pages, along with a transcription, which include additional names and places for me to research.

[Note: In my transcription, I have put the names of people and relationships in bold print.]

Lee County, Virginia, "Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983," "Will Book, Vol. 3,
1800-1832," will of Willoughby Randolph, signed 16 February 1822, unpaged, second page;
database,  image 74, ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 March 2018). 
Lee County, Virginia, "Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983," "Will Book, Vol. 3,
1800-1832," will of Willoughby Randolph, signed 16 February 1822, unpaged, third page;
database,  image 74, ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 March 2018).

[page 2]
I leave all the Remainder of My lands from Joseph
Brooks line south of Walling Ridge to my line and
Henry Friets in the hickery Valley by the name of the long
Field to be Equely divided a mong my three sons the
Tilable land with the untilable Equally and in full
Proportion so as for my Son Willoughby Randolph to
have the East end of the tract of land whare on I now
live with the springs of water to him and his heirs forever
also two Clay banks Coalts & one saddle and bridle and
Rifle gun to him and his heirs for ever --------------------------
Itom I give and bequeath unto my son James Randolph
one spring of water at the head of the long bottom whare
James Southern Now lives with his Equeal proportion of the
above mentioned lands to him and his heirs forever-----------
also one bay filley to him and his heirs forever ------------------
Itom I give and bequeath unto my son Brooks Randolph
the [?]owing spring of water and the spring of water at
the head of the low gap of walling Ridg by the Road side
leading to Mulberry gap with his full Proportion of the above
mentioned land tillable and untillable to him and his heirs
forever ----- also the Chance of one Coalt that the blase Mare
is Now with fold with I also give and bequeath unto
my wife Franky Randolph the above mentioned blase Mare
to her and her heirs forever ----------------------------
and my will and desire is that if Either of the three boys
should depart this life before they come to lawfull age
or has a lawfull heir for thair part of the land to be
Equeally divided between the other two boys and their
Heirs forever --------------------------------------------

[page 3]
Itom I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Salley Fitts
two hundred dollars out of the price of the tract of land
whare on she now lives to her and her heirs forever ---------
I lieve all the Remainer of my Estate to be sold and all
my jest debts to be paid and all that is owen to me
carefully collected in and the money Equeally divided
Between my two daughters Lovey Muncey and Polley
Fletcher and if their should be any over two hundered
dollars a piece the balance to be Equally divided among
my three Daughters Lovey Muncey Polley Fletcher and
Salley Fitts and their heirs forever -----------------------
Constitute nominate and appoint William
Randolph and William Weaver to be my whole and sole
Executors of this my last will and testament utterly
Disanuling and Revokeing all other Wills and testaments
By one made Ratifying and Confirming this to be my last
Will and testament by me made and to the truth I
have hereunto set my hand and fixed my seal
this 16 Day of February in the year of our lord
1822                                                                       Willoughby Randolph
signed sealed and Pronounced                  [signature and seal]
to be my last Will and testament             
in the presents of ---
test
James Gilbert [signature?]
test
James Southern [signature?]
Thornton (his mark) Randolph

Friday, March 9, 2018

Sharing Coppenbarger Photos with Cousins

I've recently reached out to several fairly close DNA matches on Ancestry. One turned out to be a second cousin once removed. Our common ancestors are Josiah Randolph Coppenbarger (1844-1934) and Elizabeth (Bennett) Coppenbarger (1849-1914) who are my great, great grandparents and his great grandparents.

We've been exchanging photos so both his family and mine have seen new Coppenbarger photos. I'm sharing the photos on my blog so other family members might discover them, too.

Please get in touch with me if you're related! You can leave a comment or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net !

PHOTOS FROM MY FAMILY (I also pointed him to my blog.)

Our common ancestor, Josiah, with his grandson, Vernon Coppenbarger.

PHOTOS FROM MY NEW COUSIN (posted with permission)

1937 "Quitting the Farm" flyer
for Edward Bennett  Coppenbarger (1886-1940)
1928 image of Vernon, Edna, and Tempa (sisters, but not sure which is which) with their parents Winnie (Stout)
and Edward Coppenbager, a son of Josiah Randolph Coppenbarger

Thursday, March 8, 2018

An 1822 Will Opens New Doors (Part 1)

When my Great Aunt Beulah first introduced me to genealogy twenty years ago, I was an eager student. While researching our Randolph family, I quickly discovered a tree which took our family back several generations. I excitedly showed her my work...and she explained that was NOT the right way to do genealogy. She taught me I couldn't just accept unsourced information from other people's trees. Instead, I needed to rely on actual documents.

Lee County, Virginia, "Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983," "Will Book, Vol. 3,
1800-1832,"  will of Willoughby Randolph, signed 16 February 1822, unpaged, cover;
database, image 73, ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 March 2018).

I quickly "trimmed" those people from my tree, and I am thankful she taught me that lesson so early in my genealogy pursuit. However, I've also pretty much avoided researching my Randolph family.

A few days ago, though, I found an image of my 5x great grandfather's 1822 Lee County, Virginia, will on Ancestry. It provided me with wonderful information including a child I did not have on my tree. The beautifully "misspelled" words, though spelling wasn't standardized at that time, and seeing his wife's name, "Franky," really touched me. And, now I have many other records I need to pursue and people I need to research.

Lee County, Virginia, "Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983," "Will Book, Vol. 3,
1800-1832," will of Willoughby Randolph, signed 16 February 1822, unpaged, first page;
database,  image 74, ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 March 2018).

I'm going to share this three-page will, one page at a time, along with my transcription. I will put the names of any people and relationships who are mentioned in bold print.

If you are related to the Randolph family or anyone listed in this document, or if you have any corrections or information which might be useful to me, please contact me so we can talk! You can leave a comment or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net


In the name of god Aman I Willoughby Rando
-lph of the State of Virginia and County of Lee being
weak in body and sick and of disposing mind &
Memory and in perfect sences thanks be to god for
the same I do here in Make and ordain this to be
My last Will and testament --------------------------------
I tom I give and bequeath unto my wife Franky
Randolph a childs part of all my moveable
Estat to her and her heirs for ever also all the
Corn pork and bacon and fat for this Insewing year
I tom I give and bequeath unto my son William Randolph
one hundred & ten acres of land being on the south
side of Wallings Ridge it being the land and plantation where
James Muncey & Jeremiah [C or B]en? now lives to him and his heirs
forever also one hundred acres of land settled by head
write in panted [painted?] Valey state of tenesee haukens County
to him and his [heirs inserted] forever ---------------------------------
I tom I give and bequeath unto my son Thornton
Randolph the west End of the tract of land whare on
he now lives from Joseph Brooks line south of wallings
Ridge Comeing down the Road and branch lead to James
Burtons sink[?] of branch and leaveing out that spring of water
at the head of the low gap[?] going to Mulberry and when the
line comes down said branch untell it gets to a sugar Camt[?] hollow
to leave said Road to the west so as to take in the house and
lot with the little orchard and two springs by the house and
along the foot of the stoney hill in the paster to my line
and James Burtons to him and his heirs forever -------------------

Note: Hawkins County, Tennessee and Lee County, Virginia shared part of a border.

Monday, March 5, 2018

My First Genealogy Presentation!!!

After many hours of preparation, I gave my first genealogy presentation on Friday! It was to my (wonderful) local genealogy group. We are usually in a bigger room and can hold more attendees, but we were in the computer lab since early voting was taking place. It was a GREAT first experience!


The presentation, titled "Tracing German Families Using Online Records," highlighted my search for my Peters family which I shared "live" on my blog. Besides this case study, I often shared tips for researching German families in Germany.

Who Was Franky's Father? Part 2: Another Will

In my last post , I shared how a Princess Anne County, Virginia, 1791 marriage record provided evidence that Willoughby Randolph's wife,...