Tuesday, October 6, 2015

William B. Flatt

In yesterday's post, I had lost track of William B. Flatt after the 1860 US Census in Overton County, Tennessee. The 1866 Jackson County chancery case for the estate of Reamus and William Flatt's great-grandfather Thomas Brown seemed to indicate the Flatt boys were in Kentucky after the Civil War. Thanks to a pointer from helpful researcher Linda, William B. Flatt appears in the Kentucky Marriage records in Adair County, Kentucky in 1872.
Source: FamilySearch, image 266 of 1087.

The marriage record is a great find, as it shows William was living in Metcalfe County and it lists his birth place as Jackson County, Tennessee. With this information I was able to find William and Margaret in the 1880 US Census, living in Adair County with their three children.

This gives me some hope that I might find William's half-sister Nancy Jane in the 1880 US Census.

William "Billy" Flatt is buried in Rowetown Cemetery in Toria, Adair County, Kentucky. His headstone is mislabeled with year of birth as 1844. Billy Flatt died in 1897. His wife Margaret "Peggy" Coomer Flatt is buried in the same cemetery, she lived to 1930.
Source: Findagrave, photo by kygenes8080.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pleasant and Lucinda

Back in July, I wrote about finding the name of my third great-grandmother, Nancy Jane Flatt, and identifying her father, Pleasant Flatt, in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 US Census. In my post from 25 July, I hinted there was more to the story of Pleasant Flatt, my 4th great-grandfather. This post sheds some light on a difficult story, and perhaps provides insight into the household that Nancy Jane grew up in before she moved to Kentucky.

Jackson County, Tennessee Court records provide a marriage date for Pleasant Flatt and his first wife Lucinda McCormack. They were married on 20 January 1845. In the 1850 US Census, Pleasant, Lucinda, and their two sons Remus F. Flatt and William B. Flatt were living next door to Lucinda's parents, Johnson and Mercilla McCormack. Also living in the household was Pleasant's nephew, Benjamin Flatt, age 13.
1850 US Census, via Ancestry.
In 1851, Pleasant and Lucinda added another member of the family, a daughter named Sarah E. Flatt. Sadly things went downhill for the family during this year. Court documents in the loose papers of Jackson County show that Johnson McCormack and Pleasant Flatt had a fight, and Pleasant forbade Lucinda from visiting her parents. It is unclear what triggered the fight, but the transcribed documents show Pleasant to have been a harsh husband. Lucinda later separated from Pleasant, moved in with her parents and filed for divorce, citing "cruel and inhumane treatment."

By 1 August 1851, the Sheriff of Jackson County intervened to take Remus (also spelled Reamus) and William from Pleasant and deliver them to Lucinda. The text below comes from the TNGenweb, Jackson County Court loose papers reel 72, which has a transcription of the divorce case filed by Lucinda and a separate case filed by Pleasant Flatt against Johnson McCormack.

"Pleasant Flatt v John McCormack, Chancery, 1852

Bill of Complaint: Pleasant Flatt against Lucinda Flatt and Johnson McCormack. Complainant is father of Reams F. Flatt, William B. Flatt and Sarah E. Flatt. That about nine months ago, defendant, who is the legal wife of Complainant, without fault on his part, left Orator carrying his children above named to the home of defendant Johnson McCormack...he and Lucinda have since detained said children. Orator as father is entitled to possession and custody...is suitable...that said children or at least the two oldest, Reams Flatt who is age 5 and William B. who is age 3 be attached and delivered to Orator. 20 March 1852. Pleasant [his X mark] Flatt.

Order: To Clerk and Master, you are commanded to order the Sheriff of Jackson County, Tennessee on a writ of habeas corpus...take possession of Reams Flatt and William Flatt, children of Pleasant Flatt and deliver to Complainant. She, the Defendant and her father McCormick will make bond...20 March 1852.

Answer: Johnson McCormack, respondent, to Bill of Complaint. It is true that Lucinda Flatt came to this house at the time mentioned. Lucinda Flat, who is a daughter of respondent had for a long time a desire to visit her parents...absolutely forbidden by said Plaintiff Flatt. She proposed to do so, and said Flatt told her never suffer to return to his house again. Lucinda did come, which caused them to disagree and separate.

Complainant said she could only return by swearing to put her hand on the bible and swear she would never visit nor speak to any of her father's family again, whereupon Lucinda filed a petition for divorce, procured attachment and had the two children Complainant had in his possession delivered to her.

Since filing said bill, Lucinda Flatt has departed this life and her youngest child Sarah E. has also died. Said Pleasant Flatt has got into his possession the above mentioned children Reamus F. Flatt and William B. Flatt.

When Lucinda came to his house she did not bring Reamus and William with her as stated. Respondent denies he prevented Plaintiff from seeing his children, and states that as soon as after the death of defendant Lucinda as he ascertained that Defendant Pleasant Flatt wanted the children, he let him have them. 5 August 1852. s/s Johnson McCormack

Bond: $1000 to Pleasant Flatt, 28 April 1852
s/s Johnson McCormack; Lucinda [X] Flatt; s/s James Draper; s/s James M. Richmond

Depositions: 4 February 1854

George Stout, age 28. Went with Flatt at his request on Sunday morning to get the children to come out and visit their father. McCormack said that he did not allow Flatt to come about the house. Lucinda, Flatt's wife, objected...thought he would take them off...that they had heard threats. George [his X mark] Stout

Adam S. Huffines age 33. As Sheriff of Jackson County, I took the children out of Complainant's possession and delivered them to his wife. Was about the 1st of August 1851. If I did request McCormack to bring Complainant's wife to Complainant's house to get the children, I don't recollect. S/s Adam S. Huffines.

Depositions: 3 February 1854

James M. Richmond age about 33. Lucinda Flatt said Flatt and her father fell out, and Flatt would not allow her to see her folk and that it was hard to not see her parents, and that it was hard for her children to be taken away from her.

I was at a trial between McCormack and Pleasant Flatt on a warrant against him for his good behavior.

After Lucinda died, McCormack told me to tell Flatt he could come and get his children. I met Flatt next morning at McCormack's and he took the two largest...think it was the second day after his wife was buried. Reams and Bur was the names of the two children he got. s/s James M. Richmond

Margaret L. Richmond age 36. Heard a conversation between Pleas and Lucinda. Mr. Flatt said if she was to live with him, she could never speak to one of her folks again. She said she would go with him if he would treat her right. This was at the Vitetoes. She spent the night with us that night. It was before she signed the bill for divorce.

I am the wife of Esq. Richmond. There was a trial there that day before Esq. Richmond. Mr. McCormack was prosecuting Mr. Flatt. Mrs. McCormack said she wanted to talk to Mr. Flatt, but Mr. Flatt would not let her. Mrs. McCormack was waiting in the slave house, and said she did not want Mr. Flatt to know she was there, because he would make Lucinda and the baby [Sarah E.] sit out in the hot sun all day. s/s Margaret L. Richmond.

Affidavit: Above depositions taken at my own house 3 February 1854, and answers are in my own handwriting. S/s Henry Richmond, J. P.

Petition: Pleasant Flatt states wife Lucinda filed petition for divorce. Her father lives not far from Petitioner, and he has become maliciously inclined toward Petitioner, believes if she does not see her father, she will be more agreeable. He and Lucinda have lived together six years in harmony. Reamus F. Flatt age 5 and Wm Burr Flatt about 3, two of the children mentioned, are boys. 15 October 1851. Pleasant [X] Flatt

Bill of Complaint: Lucinda Flatt against Pleasant Flatt. Married in Jackson County 20 January 1845. Alleges cruel and inhuman treatment. Has three children, one an infant at the breast and the other two very small. He has threatened to take the two oldest children which are in his possession and leave the country. Asks they be returned to her pending divorce. Lucinda [her mark X] Flatt

Deposition: Allen Manear, about age 47. Known Flatt about 15 years. Live about one-half mile.

Question: State if you have not heard some charges against his morals in the case of one of his nephews, Benj Flatt's son.

Answer: I think I have heard since this matter took place that he whipped a child of Ben Flatts that was living with him right severely. I have understood that he was prosecuted for being the cause of the child's death before a justice of the peace and that he was acquitted. 27 December 1851 s/s Allen Minnear.

Answer & Crossbill: Complainant and Defendant were happy until the later part of 1850. About that time, Johnson McCormic, Complainant's father and McCormic's wife went to Defendant's house and whiped [sic] him in his own house after which Defendant removed from McCormic's land where he then lived. Pleasant [X] Flatt

It is tough to think about the children dealing with this situation, young Reamus and William Flatt. Losing their mother at a young age, a baby sister, being taken away from their grandparents, and moved out of Jackson County to neighboring Overton County, Tennessee by 1860. From the records, it appears Pleasant Flatt had remarried sometime between 1853 and 1855, as Nancy Jane was born about 1855 and the family appears in Overton County in the 1860 US Census.

Reamus and "Fagan" Flatt are referenced in an 1866 chancery case from Jackson County, Tennessee, as guardians of the state of Kentucky. The case involved the estate of Thomas Brown, father of Mercilla Brown McCormack (mother of Lucinda McCormack), and the Flatt children were listed as survivors under the estate, among other descendants of Thomas Brown. It is not clear from this webpage whether the Flatt children received a disbursement from the estate. I think "Fagan" Flatt is supposed to be William B. Flatt, but it is not clear whether the appointed guardian had the names wrong. I have not been able to find William B. Flatt in the records after the 1860 US Census, and he does not appear to be living in the household of Pleasant Flatt and family in Kentucky in 1870.

Reamus does appear in Civil War records as enlisting in Overton County, Tennessee at a very early age. I think he later changed his name or perhaps Reamus was a nickname and his true given name was something else. If this assumption is correct, there is more to his story for an upcoming post.        

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Photo - Street Art Istanbul Karaköy

Photo by Patrick Jones. Istanbul, 4 Sep 2015
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Punch, 4 Sep 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Punch. Karaköy, Istanbul.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural in Karaköy.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Istanbul, 4 Sep 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Istanbul, 4 Sep 2015.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Go with the flow

Plans for posting stories related to Jamestown and early Virginia ancestors have not moved along as quickly as I had hoped. Our daughter loved Jamestown during last week's class visit and I think the bits of facts on our family connections to early Virginia helped put the history into context for her. Other family activities and work obligations have taken over available time. I am hoping to return to the early Virginia stories in October, but with international travel coming up, these posts might be delayed.

One item to highlight related to October's travel, the Library of Trinity College Dublin has announced that the Book of Kells is now free to view online. The Library also has a digital collection worth checking for researchers interested in Ireland. By DNA I'm 8% Irish, so I'm looking forward to this first visit to the country of my O'Brien ancestors.

I am also watching the weather to see if Hurricane Joaquin is going to put a damper on my quest to run a half marathon under 2 hours. I am entered in the Wilson Bridge Half for Sunday, so we'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Another story from Boone County days

Tomorrow would have been my Gumpy's 95th birthday. While he passed in 2013, his stories live on. This is another extract from his collection of stories completed in 2000, titled "That's Life...and then some". The story below describes a visit by my Gumpy to the home of his Aunt Edna Florence Jones Hendrickson (twin sister of my great-grandfather Edgar Lawrence Jones) in Thorntown on a summer weekend in 1930. Gumpy was almost 10 years old at the time.

Chapter 5: Say Something Nice to the Ladies (1930)
Dedicated to my Aunt Edna

"If the reader had lived during the depression days on a Midwest farm with no electricity and no inside plumbling, then you would know the excitement and anticipation that I had when I got the opportunity to go to town and visit my uncles, aunts and cousins. Well, just such a day had arrived. It was mid-August and I was going to spend three days with my cousin Toad and he had a younger sister that I loved to tease."

"Going to Aunt Edna and Uncle Lee's house was great, nothing could be finer. They had electric lights, a radio so you could listen to Jack Armstrong, Kate Smith or Amos and Andy, and what a thrill it was to fill the huge bathtub with water and lay back and just soak. They even had a place where you could go to the toilet without going outside. Most of the streets in Thorntown were paved and they even had sidewalks.

That was what I enjoyed the most, being able to play with my cousin and so many new friends. They all had scooters, bikes, roller skates and all kinds of big city sidewalk toys. It sure was an improvement over our place in the country, where I only had dirt to play in, or play with my brother Bob and his stick horses.

The day was going along great. I could not wish for anymore. The sidewalk was full of kids and I had picked up some new playmates that I had not met before. One of my new friends was a boy that was a little older than I. He was such a nice guy and what impressed me was his ability to use big city words like I had not heard before. Each word he used was more impressive and I only wished to be able to speak with such authority and emphasis as my new friend did. The afternoon continued and I had to take a break to get a drink and also use that inside toilet that I told you about.

My Aunt Edna was entertaining a Ladies Aid church group on their large front porch. She had little tables all set up with flowers and her best tea set, and the ladies were setting in groups having cookies, tea or lemonade. What a pretty sight in the cool of the large front porch...Just as I was starting into the house my Aunt Edna stopped me and introduced me to the ladies as her nephew from the country. They smiled, and my Aunt said, "Keith, say something nice to the ladies."

I paused for a moment and then I thought this would be a perfect place to use some of those new words that my new friend was using so well. Without further adieu I said, "Hello you bastards," and ran on into the house.

My Aunt Edna was hot on my heels and without stopping she said, "Where did you get such language? You must have been playing with that bucktowner kid. Why, I declare, your mouth should be washed with soap. Now you get out there and apologize to those nice ladies at one and don't ever let me catch you playing with bucktowners again."

I hardly knew what had hit me, up till a few minutes ago everything was just fine. I dropped me head and went back out to the porch. They had just started to regain their composure. At my last sight of them, Ronald Leonard's wife was froze in shock with her mouth open as if she had a seizure of some kind. Aunt Emily choked on a cookie and was gasping for her breath. Dr. Spivey's wife coughed so hard that she busted a stave in her corset, and the Reverend Heimburger's wife was eating a cookie and drinking lemonade at the same time, she sputtered, inhaled, coughed and shot cookie and lemonade clear across the porch. She more resembled a John Deere tractor that had backfired while trying to start.

The party soon broke up and I was sent to bed, without supper or that hot bath I had looked forward to.

The next day was Sunday, I was not the most popular person and was not looking forward to my folks picking me up, nor was I looking forward to staying with my Aunt Edna. Such a dilemma.

As we got ready for Sunday School I was reminded to pay close attention to the lesson as it was going to be about Jesus when he was a little boy about my age.

I tried hard to concentrate on the Sunday School lesson, but all I could think about was "Say something nice to the ladies".

Aunt Edna "I am truly sorry".