Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

For Halloween and Día de los Muertos, some Latin-themed street art from Miami and a scary hammerhead shark:
Photo by Patrick Jones. Wynwood Walls, Miami.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Wynwood Walls, Miami. 16 Jun 2015.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Returning to the Flatt Family

Before departing for meetings in Ireland, I wrote about my 4th-great-grandfather Pleasant Flatt, and his family in Jackson County, Tennessee. Pleasant's sons, Reamus (later Robert) and William, made their own way after their difficult childhood in Tennessee and settled in Arkansas and Adair County, Kentucky. I skipped over the next part of the story involving Pleasant Flatt, referencing his appearance in the 1860 US Census without providing context. So here is the next part of the story.

Sometime after the death of Lucinda McCormick in 1852 and the end of the chancery case in February 1854, Pleasant Flatt relocated to neighboring Overton County, Tennessee. In the 1860 US Census, Pleasant appears with 25-year old Mary A. Flatt, sons Reamus and William, and the following children:
- Nancy J (age 5)
- Margaret (age 3)
- "Philapena" S. (age 2)
- Martha E. (5 months old)

I do not know yet what happened to Mary A. after the 1860 Census. From the 1870 Census, it looks like Mary had two more children (Cansada in Tennessee around 1862 and Mary F. Flatt in Kentucky about 1865). She may have died in Metcalfe County sometime between 1865 and 1869.

Pleasant next appears in a marriage bond to Nancy (Dowell) Hubbard in Metcalfe County, Kentucky on 1 February 1870. He is listed as 48 years old. They were married on 2 February 1870 by James H. Keen (witnesses Levi Copeland and William Hubbard). Keen was a neighbor in East Fork, Metcalfe County, a few houses down from the Flatt family. In the 1870 US Census, the Flatt family looked like this:
- Pleasant Flatt (47)
- Nancy D. (34)
- Margaret E. (12)
- Susanna P. (11)
- Martha E. (10)
- Cansada (7)
- Mary F. (5)
Children from Nancy's first marriage to James Whitfield Hubbard also in the household:
- Valotta Eugenia Hubbard (12)
- Joanna Hubbard (11)
- Sarah Elizabeth Hubbard (9)
- James E. Hubbard (7)
- Mary W. Hubbard (5)

My 3rd-great-grandmother Nancy Jane Flatt (age 15) appears three doors down in the household of John W. Rose and his wife Mary. At the time, she could not read or write.

Pleasant disappears after the 1870 US Census, as I cannot find him in the 1880 US Census. Third wife Nancy D. had changed her name back to Hubbard, and she appears as head-of-household in Lafayette, Metcalfe County, Kentucky with several of her own children. The Flatt children do not appear in the household with Nancy Hubbard.

The Flatt daughters look like they have scattered among other families in Metcalfe County by 1880. Susanna Flatt (listed as Sousan Flat) appears as a domestic servant (21 years old) in the household of William Thomas in Lafayette, Metcalfe County in the 1880 Census. Her younger sister Martha E. married Benjamin Jeffries around 1879, and they appear as living in Lafayette, Metcalfe County with a newborn daughter Mary F. Jeffries. Cansada Flatt appears in the 1880 Census as Kanzady Flatts, 16 years old, domestic servant, living in the household of John H. Hays in Lafayette, Metcalfe County, near her sister Martha.

I have not yet been able to find Nancy Jane Flatt and her youngest sister Mary F. Flatt in the 1880 US Census. Mary appears in the Kentucky marriage records on FamilySearch, marrying Henry T. Piper in Metcalfe County on 15 March 1883.

Cansada Flatt married Peter Floyd Tackett in Metcalfe County on 14 March 1888, and her family later moved to Illinois and Missouri.

There are a few more leads to follow for the Flatt family, and I will have these in another post.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


On Sunday we received the news of the passing of Allison's grandfather, Alfred "Fritz" Stephen Freyling Jr, in Evansville, Indiana. This is a copy of his obituary from the Evansville Courier Press:

Alfred Stephen Freyling Jr., 89, of Evansville, Indiana, passed away Sunday, October 25, 2015, at Good Samaritan Nursing Home.
Fritz was born in Warrick County, Indiana, on December 11, 1925, to Alfred and Norma (Kuester) Freyling. He graduated in 1943, from Central High School. Fritz retired from the U.S. Postal Service and served in the U.S. Army. He was a member of Bethlehem United Church of Christ and the VFW Post #1114. Fritz had a knack for fixing things and enjoyed gardening.
Fritz is survived by his wife of 68 years, Marilyn (Halter) Freyling of Evansville, Ind.; daughters, Deborah Havens and Barbara Dizney, both of Evansville, Ind.; son, Stephen R. (Heidi Keller) Freyling, of Calif.; sister-in-law, Bernice Halter, of Aurora, Colo.; grandchildren, Kristen (William) Thomason, Allison (Patrick) Jones, Eric (Sarah) Dizney, Brian (Lauren) Havens and Kamalia Freyling; great-grandchildren, Abigial, Brooke and Alexander Thomason, Sophia and Silas Jones, Gavin and Olivia Dizney and Riley Leach. Many nieces and nephews also survive. Fritz is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Irma, Irene, Helen and Lillian.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, October 29, 2015, at Bethlehem United Church of Christ, 6400 Oak Hill Rd, Evansville, IN 47725, with Pastor Mark Sirnic officiating. Burial will be held at the church cemetery.
Friends may visit from 6 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at Browning Funeral Home, 738 E. Diamond Ave. Memorial contributions may be made to Bethlehem United Church of Christ. Condolences may be made online at

Published in Courier Press on Oct. 27, 2015.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


On Monday evening I was fortunate to attend a private event at the historic Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The Storehouse was originally the fermentation plant for the St. James' Gate Brewery and today is the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 19 Oct 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Guinness Storehouse, 19 Oct 2015.

The Storehouse contains the history and archives of Arthur Guinness' brewery, including some of its famous advertising and artwork. The photo below shows a 2-ton carved wood pint of Guinness. There is a short video showing how they made the sculpture on Vimeo.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Guinness pint sculpture
Photo by Patrick Jones. Fish on a Bicycle, Guinness Storehouse.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Entrance at St. James' Gate.
After the Guinness event, our group joined the rest of the meeting attendees at the conference gala on Dame Lane. The photo below gives a sense of the fun, with around 2,000 people packed into the alley and pubs on Dame Lane.
Photo by Patrick Jones. That Night in Dublin.
This post covers the end of my photos from Dublin, and I will be making a return to my family history research and writing.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Street Art Dublin Part 2

This is another set of street art photos from wandering around Dublin. The first shot is a fitting one for family history.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Temple Bar District, 14 Oct 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Temple Bar District, 14 Oct 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Temple Bar District, 14 Oct 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Alley in Temple Bar District.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Dublin, 14 Oct 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 17 Oct 2015.
I spotted some well known artists but did not have an opportunity to take more pictures of street art. French artist Fin DAC still has a long mural next to The Gibson hotel in Dublin's Docklands. Hopefully I'll be back in Dublin soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More scenes from Dublin

Here are a few more photos from the week in Dublin. I had to unexpectedly return home, so further exploration of Ireland will have to wait for a future visit.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Dublin Castle.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Garda Memorial Garden.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Dublin Castle.
In Dublin's Docklands, near the Santiago Calatrava-designed Samuel Beckett Bridge, is the Famine Memorial. These haunting statues show those who suffered during the Great Potato Famine. The statues are near the tall ship Jeanie Johnston, which lead Irish emigrants to America during these years.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Famine Memorial, Dublin.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Samuel Beckett Bridge & the CCD.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Street Art Dublin Part 1

Photo by Patrick Jones. Dublin, near Convention Centre. 14 Oct 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mosaic & tiles, near Trinity College.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Blooms Hotel, Temple Bar.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Blooms Hotel.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Maser, Temple Bar.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

First shots from Dublin

I'm now in Dublin, Ireland for meetings. As much as I have traveled around the world, this is my first visit to this country, the home of my 3rd-great-grandfather, John O'Brien. Here are a few initial photos. It is only fitting that the pub closest to our hotel is O'Brien's.
Photo by Patrick Jones. O'Brien's Pub, Dublin.
After checking our venue, I walked to nearby Trinity College, for a quick visit to the Old Library and the Book of Kells. The Long Library is impressive.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Trinity College Library, Dublin.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Trinity College Library, Dublin.
After Trinity College was a obligatory walk through the Temple Bar area of Dublin. I walked through Temple Bar itself, and chose to eat at the older Norseman pub down the street. The Norseman claims it was founded in 1696, making it the oldest pub in Temple Bar. The food was great and so was the live music. I plan to go back.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Temple Bar, Dublin. 14 Oct 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 14 Oct 2015.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bringing Robert's story to a close

This week I have been following the story Robert Foster Flatt, half-brother of my 3rd-great-grandmother Nancy Jane Flatt. Today's post brings his story to a close. Robert died on 16 February 1905. His passing was noted in the Springdale News on 24 February 1905:

Henrietta Flatt filed a widow's pension application in July 1928 for Robert's service in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. A digital copy of the application is available through FamilySearch in the Arkansas Confederate Pensions database:
FamilySearch, image 1277.

The application was granted.

Robert was buried in Fairmount Cemetery in Gentry, Benton County, Arkansas. The photo below comes from Robert's Findagrave entry:
Source: Findagrave, photo by Wilma Fields.
Henrietta Flatt died on 2 June 1933 and is also buried in Fairmount Cemetery.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Postmaster

For this post I am continuing with the story of Robert Foster Flatt, older half-brother of my 3rd-great-grandmother Nancy Jane Flatt. After his marriage with Henrietta Pearce in 1869, the young family settled in Marrs Hill Township, Washington County, Arkansas, where they appear in the 1870 US Census. By the 1880 US Census, the family had grown by 4 children. The family settled in tiny Wedington, a train stop on the border with neighboring Benton County. Robert was appointed as the Postmaster of Wedington on 29 August 1882. A map showing the post routes for Arkansas and Oklahoma shows the territory he might have covered while serving as postmaster in Washington and later, Benton County.
Source: Boston Public Library. Map dated 1 Dec 1897.

Robert was appointed as the Postmaster in Gallatin, Benton County, Arkansas in September 1894. He served in that role through September 1901, if not longer.

Robert and Henrietta had at least the following children:
1. Lula Alice Flatt (1870-1950)
2. Joseph P. Flatt (1872-1926)
3. William Thomas Flatt (1874-1930)
4. Robert Hancock Flatt (1880-1881)
5. Clyde Foster Flatt (1883-1956)
6. Fred Cleveland Flatt (1885-1929)
7. Sidney Lester Flatt (1887-1976)
8. Orlena Flatt (1889-1962)
9. Nola Flatt (1891-?)

In the 1880 US Census, Robert was a merchant of dry goods in Illinois Township, Washington County, Arkansas. The family had three boarders in their household: George Karr, who worked as a clerk in the store, and two artists: William Bailey and William Reynolds.

By the 1900 US Census, Robert and family appear in Logan Township (Gallatin) in neighboring Benton County. His occupation is not listed as postmaster, but as distiller and farmer.

Robert must have had a side-occupation, as he shows up in the Pre-Prohibition Distillers Database in Benton County between 1898-1904. According to the database, Flatt stored his spirits in a warehouse and paid taxes with the IRS when they were withdrawn from the warehouse. It isn't clear from these limited records how large or small the distillery was. But he definitely operated the distillery while serving as the postmaster in Gallatin. Flatt likely made whisky, and given his appearance on government records, it probably was not a small operation.
IRS, 1895. Source: Google Books.
It has been interesting to follow Flatt's life as he survived the difficult childhood in Jackson County, Tennessee, joined the Confederate Army at the age of 15, and fell into the company of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody in Kansas and Missouri after the Civil War. He lived an adventurous life, even after settling down in Northwestern Arkansas. I have one more post tomorrow on Robert Foster Flatt, focusing on the Confederate pension filed by Henrietta.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Settling in the West

When Reamus Foster Flatt, later known as Robert Foster Flatt, was discharged from the 2nd U.S. Volunteers in November 1865, he would have found himself in Kansas during a time of great expansion and transition from the "Wild West". According to a news clipping that appeared after his death in Northwestern Arkansas in 1905, Flatt "had the charge of a wagon train across the plains" in 1866. The same article mentions that he was a companion of Buffalo Bill (William F.) Cody and was a guest at his wedding.

Cody was a year older than Flatt, and was discharged from the Union Army in Kansas about a month before Flatt in 1865. Perhaps they met while in the Army, or shortly afterward working on wagon trains. They must have gone to St. Louis, as Cody met and married Louisa Frederici in St. Louis, Missouri on 6 March 1866. Below are photos of William and Louisa, likely taken around the wedding in 1866 (via the Buffalo Bill Center of the West).
William F. Cody, 1866, (Buffalo Bill Center of the West)
Louisa Frederici, 1866
It is interesting to think about what kinds of experiences Flatt may have had with Cody on the wagon roads in Kansas, Missouri and other parts of the west. He may have shot at buffalo and encountered Indian tribes. Certainly he helped deliver goods and passengers traveling from the east to the west or places in between. A news clipping from the 16 September 1865 New York Times shows one such line operating from Leavenworth, Kansas. Perhaps Flatt worked for this line in 1866.
New York Times, via

In 1867, Flatt came to Fort Smith, Arkansas with one of the wagon trains. On 15 September 1869, he married Henrietta Bernice Pearce in Washington County, Arkansas. The marriage record shows Flatt was going by the name of Robert, so perhaps he dropped the name Reamus in order to have a fresh start in the west. Henrietta was 16 years old, the daughter of Thomas and Celia Pearce.

Robert and Henrietta settled in Washington County, Arkansas and raised a large family of at least nine children. They later moved a few miles north to Benton County and settled in the Siloam Springs area, on the Oklahoma-Arkansas border. Robert had a fascinating life, working as a farmer, distiller and later Postmaster in Washington and Benton Counties. I was also able to find a digital copy of Henrietta's request for a widow's Confederate pension for Robert's service during the Civil War (via FamilySearch).

I have a few more posts on Flatt, before shifting attention back to his half-siblings in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

In the Army

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Reamus F. Flatt enlisted in the Confederate Army in Overton County, Tennessee. He joined Company G, 25th Tennessee Infantry on 25 September 1862. Reamus was just 15 years old. The service record shows two names - Reams Flatt and Foster Flatt. Another service record card shows "R F Flatt and R. Foster Flatt."
Source: Fold3.

Flatt was present on the muster roll for November-December 1862, and January through April 1863. It looks like he deserted in Jackson County, Tennessee by 30 May 1863. At some point after June 1863, Flatt must have rejoined the company. He appears on a roll of prisoners of war forwarded from Louisville Military Prison to Rock Island POW camp in January 1864. The card shows he was captured in Adair County, Kentucky on Christmas, 25 December 1863.

Flatt was moved from the military prison on 6 January 1864 and sent to Rock Island by 29 January 1864. He appears on a roll of prisoners received at Rock Island on 1 February 1864. Flatt next appears on a roll of prisoners who enlisted in the US Army for frontier service on 6 October 1864.

On a card for prisoners of war who desire to take the oath of allegiance, dated 18 March 1864, the remarks note that Flatt was "only 15 years old". I take this to mean only 15 when he enlisted, as he would have been nearly 17 at the time.

Flatt next appears in the service rolls for the 2nd US Volunteers. The card confirms he was born in Jackson County, Tennessee and provides some physical characteristics. Flatt was 5 foot 7, with grey eyes and dark hair. The file also includes his volunteer enlistment paper.

While serving in the 2nd US Volunteers, Flatt would have been at Fort Dodge, Kansas and protected the mail routes between Fort Lyon, Colorado and Arkansas. Flatt mustered out of service on 7 November 1865 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Flatt's time in Kansas enabled him to cross paths with a famous American, William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill Cody. I'll save the description of Flatt's post-Army life for the next post.

The Arkansas History Commission has a six-page file on "Robert Foster Flatt", which was submitted on behalf of Flatt's widow as a Confederate pension. I have ordered a copy of the file, and I am hoping it arrives early next week. It appears the boy who began as Reamus (or Rames) Flatt, enlisted in the Confederate Army as a kid barely 15, later went by the name Robert Foster Flatt. It is good to see he was able to leave behind his difficult home life and start fresh on the frontier. More to follow.