08 December 2011

Gholson and Arman

Today (and yesterday) in the bulging family history file:

07 Dec 1802: Gholson Stepp (or Stapp), my 4th great-grand uncle for anyone counting, dies in Lancaster, Kentucky, at the age of 44. He was born in 1758 in Culpeper, Virginia, and so exemplifies the extended family’s insistence on restlessly moving west, south or both. He was the son of Lucy Gholson and James Stapp (or Stepp), hence the unusual first name. I see a lot of that across generations. He spelled his last name differently on various legal documents, ensuring job security for OCD genealogists, bless his heart. Gholson was the brother of Celia Stepp (who seems to have made her mind up about how to spell her name), who married Elijah Harrison Keese and is thus my 4th great-grandmother at that end of the Keese line. She named one son for her brother, Gholson Stepp Keese, who does not seem to have perpetuated those names in his descendants.

08 Dec 1875: Arman O. Jackson dies in Augusta, Arkansas. Arman married one of my Honnoll relatives, the one I give the Best Name in the Family award to, Cinderella Lucinda Honnoll, my 3rd great-grand aunt, sister of Peter the beekeeper. Oddly, she is not the only 19th-century Cinderella I am related to. Arman was born in Tennessee in 1810 and married Cinderella Lucinda in Hardeman County, Tennessee.

(Let’s pause there for a Your Family Tree May Not Fork moment. Hardeman County was named for the Hardeman family to whom my father is related via those Keeses that keep cropping up. Six Hardeman boys married six Keese girls. You try straightening that out. All my ancestors from Hardeman County, though, are on my mother’s side. End of digression. I may yet prove that I am my own cousin three times over, which many would say accounts for a lot.)

Cinderella Lucinda died at the age of 30 after bearing 4 children to Arman, including a daughter named Permelia. I am collecting Names You Never See Any More with great glee, of course. Arman remarried to Hannah Tarbutton the same year that Cinderella died, 1845, and had another family. Very common for the time. There was nothing more dangerous for a woman then than childbirth and its complications, and many men had 2, 3 or 4 families. He married Hannah in Alabama and moved back to Tennessee. They both moved to Arkansas some time after 1860, where Hannah outlived him. A lot of people seem to have moved to Arkansas after the Civil War, keeping up the east-to-west movement. These were almost always one-way trips, total breaks with the home state and the friends and families left there.

There was no way back home.

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