Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ancestor #19

Oooh, I’m especially excited to participate in this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings blog as it highlights a part of the tree I have seldom focused on in my blog. Forgive me, but I’m going to give a more complete story than the original intent of telling three facts about the person I came up with using the “roulette” number…
My paternal grandfather, Cephas Bryant (C.B.) Watts, was born in 1899. When I divide that number by 100 and round it off I get the “roulette” number of 19.
Using that number on my ancestral name list brings me to C.B.’s maternal grandmother, Mary E.M. Brizendine. Interestingly enough, it was Mary’s maternal grandfather, Oliver Bryant McCraw, for whom C.B. was named. Apparently he was a man worth remembering for it is also probably whom C.B.’s mother, Ollie Spencer, was named for as well.
My grandfather always told me that his mother Ollie was an orphan. When I began researching, I thought I’d never be able to get far on this line. It turned out finding the names of Ollie’s parents was fairly easy. Ollie died in 1925 of tuberculosis. Her death certificate listed her parents as Thomas Hutchinson Spencer and Mary Brizendine. Easy enough, although it has never been an easy line from there.
Thomas Hutchinson Spencer, 1831/1834-25 Oct 1875 Trigg Co, KY

Thomas Hutchinson “Hutch” Spencer proved to be a fairly elusive gentleman to pin down. He apparently had a hearing impediment, for on several records he is listed as deaf and dumb. Whatever his disability, he did manage to marry and have children. He was born in Kentucky and lived during the time of the Civil War. The photo we have of him is reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln himself. I always sent a copy of the photo to school with my children in honor of President’s Day in years past. He is what my kids call our “Lincoln ancestor.” (Pardon my continued digression, but isn’t it ironic that I’m writing this so close to President’s Day this year?)
And now back to Mary. She died fairly young so there are not many records on her. She was born in Charlotte Co, VA around the year 1841, the daughter of Cyrus Brizendine and his wife Mary L. McCraw. Her parents migrated from Virginia to Kentucky along with her McCraw grandparents. Her grandfather, Oliver Bryant McCraw, died in the year 1848 in Christian Co, KY. Mary was listed with the middle initial of "M" in the 1850 U. S. Census and with the middle initial of "E" in the 1860 U. S. Census in Christian County, Kentucky.
The marriage between Mary and Hutch was recorded in Christian Co, KY. On the 13 April of 1865, the two were married at her father’s home according to Cordelia C. Gary’s 1970 book Christian Co, KY Marriage Records 1851-1900 (pp. 19 & 261). This was just four days after General Lee’s surrender which officially ended the American Civil War.
Their daughter Ollie Spencer was born there on 19 October 1866. It appears they had another child, Mary L. Spencer, born between 1867 and 1871. The only evidence for this child appears in the 1879 tax list of Trigg County, Kentucky when Ollie Spencer and Mary L. Spencer were listed as children between the ages of 6-20. Their father remarried in October of 1871 but died in 1875, indeed leaving Ollie an orphan as my grandfather had told me.
That is about all I know about “Ancestor #19.” Thanks for the challenge, Randy!

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