•March 5, 2015 • Comments Off

(Left to Right:  Lawcie Idella Chipman, Beecher Edgar Chipman, Jewell Vester Chipman; ca. 1909.)

While going through my files, I found something of which I was unaware:  a copy of a letter from Lawcie Idella (Chipman) Mason to Beverly Ann Page, written ca. 1983.  It gives information on branches of the family on which I have nothing, so I transcribed part of it, with notes and corrections:

“Allie Oxley—James Edward Chipman

5 children were born

3 boys and two girls

Jewel [sic] Vester Chipman married Ruby Bohannon — 2 daughters (a) were born.  Ruby died and he married again.

(Jewell Vester Chipman, 2 Jul 1988, Paragould, AR.)

Beecher Edgar Chipman married Winfred Bailey — one son, Ralph (b).  Then he married Essie Hyde (c) and I don’t know much about how many children were born to them (d) — Beecher is deceased.

(Beecher Edgar Chipman, 1931.)

(Essie Lee Hyatt, ca. 1931.)

(Joyce Elaine Chipman, ca. 1948.)

(Dixie Lee Chipman, 1942.)

Winford Chipman (e) married Ada Hill and had to [sic] sons, Carl & David.  Ada is deceased too.

[Here’s a rare photo.  Left to Right:  Jewell Vester Chipman, Lawcie Idella (Chipman) Mason, Pauline Aquilla (Chipman) Page Moffitt, Winford William Chipman.  Pauline died in 1983, so this must date to the late 1970s or early 1980s.  Beecher was unavoidably detained elsewhere in the Cosmos.]

Lawcie Chipman married Arvil Mason and had seven children, one girl who died at age 16 months.

1.  James Lee Mason [&] Ester Boyd } 2 sons and 3 grandchildren

2.  Harold Mason [&] Jo Metheny } 3 children

3.  Paul Mason [&] Berneita Neely } 3 children and 3 grandchildren

4.  Don Mason — never married

5.  Virginia Nell Mason [&] Joe Mabry } 2 sons and 2 grandchildren

6.  Shirley Mason [&] Jake Manley — divorced about 17 or 18 years go — has 3 children and four grandchildren.

and then your Mother.” (f)

(a)  Jean and June.

(b)  Another son named Donald died in infancy.

(c)  Essie’s maiden name was actually Hyatt.

(d)  Two daughters:  Joyce and Dixie.

(e) This is one of the few photos I have of Winford William “Winnie” Chipman (1910–1999).  He m. Ada Hill on 1 Jan 1933 in Greene Co., AR.

(f)  Pauline Aquilla Chipman (1916–1983), m. (1) 20 Mar 1936 Carl Davis Page, b. 13 Apr 1905, d. 8 Aug 1963, two children:  Carl Victor Page, Beverly Ann Page; m. (2) 24 May 1968 James Moffitt, no issue.  (See article next.)



We begin this column with the marriage license of Carl Davis Page and Pauline Aquilla Chipman, of Flint, MI, solemnized on 21 Mar 1936—the grandparents of Google CEO Larry Page (Lawrence Edward Page).  The clerk who typed the license had a problem with the name of Carl’s mother, calling her “Drucilla Prucilo.”  The clerk may have thought Carl’s mother was Italian.  My grandfather Beecher Chipman was a witness.  At the time of her marriage, Pauline was living with Beecher on E. Foss Ave.  As the nuptials approached, the void her departure would create must have weighed upon Beecher.  Nonetheless, having (carefully) pointed out her many good qualities to Carl, when love bloomed, as a gentleman Beecher stepped aside and welcomed Carl into the family.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

(Pauline Aquilla Chipman on a cart in front of the family car, ca. 1917.  Viewing the roof line, it’s probably a Model T.)

(Resistance is futile:  Pauline Aquilla Chipman with creepy doll, ca. 1918.)

(Pauline Aquilla Chipman, ca. 1920.)

(Pauline Aquilla Chipman, ca. 1931.)


(Senath High School record, Pauline Aquilla Chipman.  Click on image to enlarge.)

[Detail from 1940 Flint, MI Federal Census, Ward 8, p. 7B, Carl Davis Page family.  Carl V. Page (Carl Victor Page) age 1 is the father of Larry Page.  Click on image to enlarge.]

The following series of R.L. Polk Flint city directory entries for Carl Davis Page give some insight into factory jobs in the auto industry.  The entries carry different job titles which appear to be lateral positions.

ScreenHunter_126 Feb. 14 13.12

(1937: 611 Atwood.  Inspector, Chevrolet.)

(1941:  719 Bryan Place.  Machine operator, Chevrolet.)

ScreenHunter_127 Feb. 14 13.13

(1942:  1024 W. Parkwood Ave.  Factory worker, Buick.)

Note that in 1937, 1941, and 1942 Carl Davis Page resided at different addresses.  Workers living in GM owned housing were shuffled from building to building.  Individuals known to be working for GM can be absent from city directories as sometimes families didn’t reside within Flint city limits.  Clio, a suburb of Flint, also attracted autoworkers.

“Flint grew like a mining camp, without design, without planning….  The incoming thousands overtaxed Flint’s limited housing supply, and some workers were compelled to live for a time in tar-paper shacks, tents, and even railroad cars.  The same lodging rooms were rented to night-shift workers for the day and to day-shift workers for the night.  GM felt constrained to enter the home construction business in 1919, and through the Modern Housing Corporation it had built thirty-two hundred homes for its Flint workers by 1933.

“[The] city ‘never provided’ enough personnel, funds, or services to meet its health problems.  Among twenty-two cities of from 100,000 to 250,000 population in 1934 Flint ranked nineteenth in the infant death rate and the death of children from diarrhea and enteritis, seventeenth in maternal deaths, in a tie for thirteenth and fourteenth place in typhoid-fever death rate, thirteenth in the diptheria death rate, and tenth in the tuberculosis death rate.

“A large proportion of the workers who were lured to the city by automobile jobs and the high wages that GM paid were from rural backgrounds, and many of them reacted unfavorably to the industrial discipline imposed by the factory.

“Of Flint’s 128,617 native-born whites in 1930, 64.8 percent (83,290) had been born in Michigan and only about 30 percent in Flint itself….  The overwhelming proportion of Flint’s Southerners were drawn from the Central South, from Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee:  about 10 percent (12,818) of Flint’s native-born white population derived from these four states, and sections of the city had come to be known as ‘Little Missouri.'”

[Fine (1969), pp. 102–103.]

My grandmother Jewel Winifred (Bailey) Chipman and her first son Donald both died in Flint in 1929.  The close proximity of families to one another facilitated the spread of disease.  The Baileys must have harbored some bitterness against my grandfather Beecher Edgar Chipman for taking her to such an inhospitable place.

(Delayed Birth Certificate of Carl Davis Page, listing his parents as Henry Horace Page and Drucilla Pardue.  Her name is also spelled “Perdue.”  I’ll use the spelling as found in the actual record.  Delayed Birth Certificates were filed so that those who were born prior to the legal requirement for Birth Certificates could register for Social Security.  Like many people in the South, Carl’s mother was known by her middle name, in this instance “Drucilla.”  Her first name was “Annie.”  Click on image to enlarge.)

[Parents of Henry Horace Page and his brothers John Benton Page and James H. Page:  detail above is from the 1880 Hickman Co., KY Federal Census, Moscow, District 5, p. 3, SD 1, ED 114.  J.D. (John) Page and wife Emily C. have been confused with their son John Benton Page and wife Emily Corilla Pardue.  John D. Page was a shoemaker whose parents were born in VA.  This is as far back as I’ll document this pedigree.]

(Marriage record dated 8 Jul 1872 in Obion Co., TN for John D. Page and Emily C. Sullivan.  Click on image to enlarge.)

 (Henry Horace Page and wife Annie Drucilla Pardue are buried at Cotton Grove Baptist church cemetery in Madison Co., TN.)

[Death Certificate filed in TN for Henry Horace Page.  Informant was Emily Corilla (Pardue) Page, sister-in-law of Henry Horace Page.  The 1920 and 1930 Federal Census for Madison Co., TN shows Henry Horace Page was renting a farm.  Here we have an odd situation, and it’s not the only one for the Page family:  according to his tombstone and Death Certificate, Henry Horace Page was b. in 1871, yet his parents wed on 8 Jul 1872.  On his Death Certificate his mother is listed as Emily Sullivan.  She was. b. May 1834.  Emily’s last child was James H. Page, b. Mar 1878, when Emily was aged 44.  Biologically there’s no problem with Emily as the mother of Henry Horace Page, John Benton Page, and James H. Page.  It seems John D. Page and Emily C. Sullivan dispensed with marriage until sometime after the birth of Henry Horace Page, but why?  My conclusion in this case, and that of John Benton Page and Emily Corilla Pardue (see below), being very poor they could not afford marriage until later in their relationship and may have been living apart when their first child was born.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Death Certificate filed in TN for Annie Drucilla (Perdue) Page.  Informant was Luther J. Page, brother of Carl Davis Page.  Annie Drucilla Page was b. 5 Dec 1876 at Madison Co., TN, d. 17 Feb 1948 at Jackson, Madison Co., TN.  Spouse listed as Henry Horace Page.  Parents are Jeff Perdue and Bettie Mccaig.  Henry Horace Page m. Drucilla Pardue on 10 Apr 1898 in Obion Co., TN.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Tombstone of Emily Corilla (Pardue) Page, twin sister of Annie Drucilla (Pardue) Page.  Emily is also buried at Cotton Grove Baptist church cemetery.  She m. John Benton Page, brother of Henry Horace Page, on 10 Dec 1898 in Obion Co., TN.  According to her death certificate filed in TN, Emily C. Page was b. 5 Dec 1876 at Madison Co., TN, d. 23 Dec 1948 at Nashville, Davidson Co. TN.  Parents are listed as J.F. Perdue and Elizabeth.  The family of J.D. (Jefferson Davis) Perdue (age 31) is found in the 1880 Madison Co., TN Federal Census on pp. 2–3, SD5, ED 98 with wife Mary E. (age 31), and children Otis R. (age 6), Bessie P. (age 5), Emily C. (age 4), Ann D. (age 4), and George (age 7 months).  Wife “Mary .E.” stands for “Mary Elizabeth.”  Entry is found on bottom of one page and top of next.  Carl Davis Page inherited his middle name from his maternal grandfather Jefferson Davis Perdue.]

(Marriage record dated 19 Dec 1872 in Madison Co., TN for Jefferson Davis Perdue and Mary E. “Bettie” McCaig.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Larry Page and legendary pin-up icon Bettie Page share common ancestors in Jefferson Davis Perdue and wife Betty McCaig, who were Larry Page’s 2nd great-grandparents and Bettie Page’s great-grandparents, making Larry Page and Bettie Page 2nd Cousins-Once Removed. They also share ancestors in John D. Page and wife Emily C. Sullivan, making them double 2nd Cousins-Once Removed.  Larry Page is a double 2nd Cousin-Once Removed with any of the grandchildren of John Benton Page and Emily Corilla Pardue.

[Detail of 1900 Obion Co., TN, Union City Federal Census, District 13, SD 9, ED 109, Sheet 10.  Family of John Benton Page with wife Emily Corilla Pardue and sons Walter and Aubon.  Living next door is Emily C. (Sullivan) Page, John’s mother, and his brother James.]

(WWI Draft Registration Card for John Benton Page.  On 12 Sep 1918 the Registrar reported that Page had blue eyes, light hair, and his right eye was out.  The birth date of 20 Sep is the same on the Registration Card and the death certificate, but the birth year is 1874 on the Registration Card and 1875 on the death certificate.)


 [According to his death certificate filed in TN, “Jno. Page” (John Benton Page) was b. 20 Sep 1875 in TN, and d. 23 Oct 1918 at Union City, Obion Co., TN. Parents listed as Jno. D. Page and Emily Sullivan.  John Benton Page’s occupation was “Painter & Paper Hanger.”  Informant was Henry Horace Page, then residing at Union City, TN, brother of John Benton Page.  John Benton Page survived a little over 5 weeks after he registered for the draft.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Death Certificate filed in TN for Emily Corilla (Perdue) Page.  Informant was Walter Roy Page.  Click on image to enlarge.]

(Tombstone of Walter Roy Page, 19 Apr 1896—20 Jan 1964, WWI veteran, located at Nashville National Cemetery in Nashville, Davidson Co., TN.)

My goal here is to situate Bettie Mae Page, known professionally as Bettie Page, within her family context.  Her father Walter Roy Page was the son of John Benton Page and wife Emily Corilla Pardue.  Walter Roy Page was b. on 19 Apr 1896, more than two years prior to the marriage of his parents, who, as noted above, were m. on 10 Dec 1898 in Obion Co., TN. In that era being born out of wedlock carried stigma, and his instability as an adult may be partly attributed to the circumstances of his birth. In the complete 1900 census record I viewed, John and Emily claimed to have been married for 5 years, Emily said she was the mother of 2 children, both living, and John said both Walter and Aubon were his sons. 

Walter Roy Page enlisted in the Army on 22 Jan 1917.  On 22 Jan 1920 he was a Private stationed at Camp Travis, Bexar Co., TX, and was released on 5 Jul 1920.  On 17 Oct 1920 in Madison Co., TN he m. Edna Pirtle.  Walter Roy Page’s stormy marriage to Edna Mae Pirtle was exacerbated by poverty which led to his incarceration in Georgia for the theft of a police car.  In the 1938 Nashville, TN city directory, Edna Page was living at 436 6th Ave N, and reported herself as the widow of Roy, who actually died in 1964.  The Social Security Death Index indicates at some point he was assigned SSN # 410-22-9956.

walter roy page

(Photo of Walter Roy Page, father of Bettie Page, probably dating to his Army days ca. 1917–1920.)

(To solve the mystery of Walter Roy Page, I consulted the 1910 Obion Co., TN Federal Census, Union City, 13th District, SD 9, ED 125, Sheet 9B. The two brothers Henry Horace Page and John Benton Page are living next door to one another.  Carl Davis Page is Henry and Drucilla’s third child.  Henry was working in a stable, taking care of horses parked there when their owners visited Union City.  John Benton Page and wife Corilla have changed their story: they now say they’ve been married 11 years, so the marriage date of 10 Dec 1898 is correct.  John and Corilla lied about having wed in 1895 to make it appear they were married when Walter Roy Page was born.  “Aubon” the son has become “Mary” the daughter.  Corilla stated she was the mother of 4 children, all of whom were living.  John said all of them are his.  But even if Walter Roy Page was not the son of John Benton Page, but only the son of Emily Corilla Pardue, Larry Page would still be a 2nd Cousin-Once Removed with Bettie Page.  However, I think the explanation for this discrepancy is poverty, rather than flaunting social mores, and Walter Roy Page was the son of both John Benton Page and Emily Corilla Pardue.)

[Snapshot of a celebrity:  detail above from the 1940 Nashville, Davidson Co., TN Federal Census, SD 5, ED 99–186, Sheet 10B.  “Betty Mai Page” is third from top, shown here with her mother Edna Mae (Pirtle) Page.  Click on image to enlarge.]

(Bettie Page early cheesecake photo.  Bettie Page posed for “Playboy” in the January 1955 issue.  And she could have taught Christian Grey a thing or two.  She remained soft-core, preferring to work clothed in her more “out there” films and photos.)

 (Although her personal life had its ups and downs, Bettie Page was very intelligent and earned a B.A. from George Peabody College (now Vanderbilt University) in 1944.  Her style remains influential today.  Bettie Page is tied with Steve McQueen at Number 9 on the Forbes 2014 Top Earning Dead Celebrities list.  She’s buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.  The pennies on her grave marker are left by visitors as tokens of remembrance and respect.)

Beverly Ann (Page) Budzynski sent me the following newspaper clipping.  Carl Victor Page [cot] and Beverly Ann Page [inset] were stricken with polio during a visit to Tennessee.   The children and their mother, Pauline Aquilla (Chipman) Page [R], were flown back to Flint, Michigan where they were met by their father, Carl Davis Page [L].  Carl Victor Page went on to be professor of Computer Science at Michigan State University, and by his (then) wife Gloria Weinstein was the father of Larry Page.  

(“The Flint Journal,” Flint, MI.)

(Obituary of Carl Davis Page, apparently from “The Jackson Sun” newspaper of Jackson, Madison Co., TN.  Since he died on Thursday 8 Aug 1963, the funeral was held on Monday 12 Aug 1963.  The obituary states he was an inspector at Chevrolet, probably a non-management Quality Control position.)

(Hollywood Cemetery, Jackson, TN.)

(Obituary of Carl Victor Page, “The State News,” Michigan State University newspaper.  The article notes that Carl Victor Page “was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college.”  This remark applies to the Page family, as Pauline did attend all four years of high school.  In the 1940 Federal Census for Carl D. Page cited above, under the column “Highest grade of school completed,” Carl Davis Page indicated the 8th grade.  Material was composed by the family of Carl Victor Page.  At this point Google didn’t exist.)

[Note from Jean (Chipman) Crom, daughter of Jewel Vester Chipman, re: funeral of Carl Victor Page.]

In this set of Emails beginning on 23 Oct 2006, I was contacted by an individual claiming to be Donald Gudehus, husband of Larry Page’s mother Gloria.  I found it odd because I had exchanged a number of letters with Larry Page’s aunt Beverly, and ordinarily she would have been the person to contact me, rather than a stranger.  Beverly must have a large photo collection.  The phrase: “I have been handling the genealogy of our various families for some time” sounds like:  “You have to go through me.”  I don’t have to go through anyone.  Perhaps it was merely inappropriate wording.  I did Email whoever it was a copy of a letter I had received from Carl Victor Page and one of Beverly’s letters.  I then let the exchange fizzle.  That proved to be a wise decision.

The following set of Emails I received in 2014 are from my first cousin David Alton Dodd, who lives in Tijuana, Mexico (Click on images to enlarge).

I don’t quite know what to say about this.  Thanks to Larry Page, every author on the planet wants to sue Google.

Pauline Aquilla (Chipman) Page Moffitt was a farmer’s daughter.  She was also a descendant of one of the most important monarchs in English history, as revered in the UK as Washington and Lincoln are in the United States.  Some people are timeless—and Alfred the Great is one of those very few.  And among her ancestors were Mayflower passengers and soldiers and patriots of the Revolutionary War.

Of Carl Davis Page we can say his ethnic composition was primarily Scots-Irish.  The Scots-Irish were a very important genetic stream in the United States well into the Civil War era.  Carl didn’t pursue an education beyond the 8th grade because he was expected to work and help support his family.  He left Jackson, TN lured by reports of the good wages paid by GM in Flint, MI.  There he became friends with my grandfather Beecher Chipman, who introduced him to his eventual wife Pauline.  Carl was an unsung hero among unsung heroes, who endured the grime and squalor of Flint to build a better life for his family—and he succeeded.  The story of Carl Davis Page and others like him faded when GM left Flint, but they shouldn’t be forgotten.  The struggle to unionize GM was a pivotal episode in American labor history.

In summation:  Regardless of the actual paternity of Henry Horace Page and Walter Roy Page—and I have no reason to doubt they were biological sons of their reputed fathers—uterine relationships exist between Google CEO Larry Page and pin-up icon Bettie Page, making them 2nd Cousins-Once Removed.  A True Hollywood Story.

Benjamin Standifer’s Revolutionary War pension application

•November 25, 2014 • Comments Off

         Files of pensions awarded for service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War can be treasure troves of family information.  At one time these records had to be ordered from the National Archives And Records Administration (NARA), a cumbersome process taking months to complete.  Pension files can consist of a dozen or more records, so published abstracts aren’t going to furnish details like the soldier’s area of operations during the conflict.

Now it’s possible to find many pension records online.  Benjamin Standifer’s pension file is available from HeritageQuest Online, offered through my local library.  This letter is part of his file. I’ve transcribed this letter, but the original is elsewhere in this blog. You can obtain a copy of the original from HeritageQuest Online’s images of NARA pension files.

Even if no pension was awarded (usually due to death of the soldier before the enabling Act), applications for Bounty Land Warrants often contain similar information.

Benjamin Standifer’s daughter Milly (Mildred) married William Chipman.  William and Milly (Standifer) Chipman’s descendants in Lauderdale County, Tennessee and elsewhere are eligible for SAR and DAR membership based upon Benjamin Standifer’s service.



State(s): NC

Series: M805  Roll: 765  Image: 427

File: W822/BLWT21803-160-55 


Rev. and 1812

Wars Section

W. 822

Benjamin Standefer

Old War Invalid File

No. 20377

Howell Harton                       March 1, 1930 


Hon. William E. Brock

United States Senate

Washington, D.C.


My dear Senator Brock:

In response to your letter of February 25, 1930, I have the honor to advise you that you are herewith furnished the information desired by Mrs. Zella Armstrong of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

From the papers in the Revolutionary War pension claim W. 822, it appears that Benjamin Standefer or Standifer was born May 17, 1764 in Maryland.

While a resident of Orange County, North Carolina, he enlisted and served as a mounted rifleman with the North Carolina troops as follows:

From May 1780 or 1781 three months as orderly sergeant in Capt. Douglas’ company in Colonel Dudley’s Regiment; in 1781 three months as orderly sergeant in Captain Abraham Allen’s Company in Colonel Mcbane’s Regiment, and was in the battle of Lindley’s Mill.  He then served various short tours amounting to six months in all, as a private in Captain Davis Grisham’s Company.

He was allowed pension on his application executed August 15, 1832, at which time he was a resident of Bledsoe County, Tennessee.

He died March 13, 1839 in Bledsoe County, Tennessee.

The soldier married in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, December 29, 1802, Nancy Echols.

She was allowed pension on her application executed May 5, 1853, at which time she was a resident of Hamilton County, Tennessee, and was seventy-three years of age.

She died in Hamilton County, Tennessee, February 28, 1864.

She was survived by the following children:


Sarah Howard

Milly Chipman


A grandson, William Standefer, was living in Hamilton County, Tennessee in 1870, at which time he stated he was thirty-three years of age.

Remainder of this letter in care of Howell Harton O.W. Inv. File 20377

From the papers on file in this bureau it appears that Howell Harton served under Colonel Thomas Eaton and was transferred from the Invalid pension roll of North Carolina to the East Tennessee roll, upon his application executed February 28, 1824.

The dates of his enlistment and discharge, length of service, war in which service was rendered and the nature of his disability are not matters of record; the only reference to his service being, that he was “under Colonel Thomas Eaton.”

On March 16, 1825 he applied for a new pension certificate, stating that the original had been destroyed by his children about sixteen years previously, near Warrenton, North Carolina.  The names of his children are not stated, nor is there any other reference to his family.

There are no papers on file for the above claim prior to 1824 for the reason that the pension papers filed prior to 1814 were destroyed when the British burned Washington in that year.

It is proper to add that the list of Invalid pensioners of Hamilton County, Tennessee, reported by the Secretary of War in 1835, shows that Howell Harton was pensioned as a private, at $57.60 per annum, and died May 20, 1832.

Very truly yours,

Earl D. Church



The preceding is a transcription of the entire letter, although not all of it refers to Benjamin Standifer.  Evidently Mrs. Zella Armstrong of Chattanooga, TN, wrote Senator Brock to ask for assistance in getting information regarding her ancestors, probably for the purpose of joining DAR.

This letter illustrates why southern genealogy can be so frustrating:  Benjamin Standifer was born in Maryland, served during the Revolutionary War in North Carolina, married Nancy Echols (his 2nd wife) in Georgia, and died in Tennessee.  Those four events chronicle the travels of one man.  At any point relatives might remain in one place, or split off for another destination altogether, and again wind up together in the same spot, more by accident than design.

The lure was cheap or free land, the appetite for it whetted by reports that must have been largely fantasy.  Scandanavians considering settling in the upper Midwest of the USA probably had more accurate information about their proposed destination than had Benjamin Standifer.  East Tennessee is justly celebrated for its beauty, but the land itself can be tough and only arable in the valleys.

Somewhere in the Bledsoe County section of Sequatchie Valley, Benjamin Standifer breathed his last, and I think with satisfaction recalled that though he had been born in the Colony of Maryland, he died in the United States of America.

tombstone blues (riddle hill is leveled but gets back on its feet)

•November 24, 2014 • Comments Off

This is a story with a happy ending.  The following is the text of a memorial plaque placed at Riddle Hill Cemetery:




Veryl Riddle collected the surviving Riddle Hill Cemetery tombstones, cleaned them, and erected them within an iron fence enclosure.  There were nine surviving tombstones: James A. Riddle, Joellan (Beckwith) Riddle, John Riddle, Joseph F. Riddle, Luther Riddle, Press Riddle, Robert R. Riddle, Sophronia Jane (Tompkins) Riddle, and Dixie (Snedacor) Riddle.  

All descendants of this Riddle family are deeply indebted to Veryl Riddle.


The remainder of this column describes the conditions at (Old) Riddle Hill Cemetery as my parents found them:

This tombstone belongs to Joellan (Beckwith) Riddle, wife of John Franklin Riddle.  Joellan was the daughter of Joseph and Eliza J. (Creath) Beckwith of Stoddard Co., MO, and grandmother of Allie May (Oxley) Chipman, wife of James Edward Chipman.

These photos were taken by Ralph Vernon Chipman at Riddle Hill Cemetary in northern Dunklin Co., MO.  Joellan (Beckwith) Riddle’s tombstone was found in a thicket.  Evidently a developer had bulldozed the tombstones off the graves, and they were tossed into a wooded area.

The next tombstone is that of Robert R. Riddle, son of John Franklin Riddle and Joellan Beckwith.  Robert R. Riddle married Safronia Jane Tomkins.  Ralph Vernon Chipman read Robert R. Riddle’s death date as “April 6, 1895,” but my notes indicate he died on 6 Apr 1896.  However, it does appear that the tombstone says “1895.”

This tombstone belongs to Luther Riddle, a grandson of John Franklin Riddle and Joellan Beckwith.  Luther Riddle’s father was George R. Riddle, who married a woman with the initials “M.C.,” but I know nothing further of her.  Luther Riddle’s tombstone is quite ornate.  He was 9 years old when he died.

I can’t comprehend how someone could desecrate a cemetary.  Scattered around the property there must have been more tombstones of John Franklin Riddle and Joellan Beckwith’s children and grandchildren and various spouses.  We are fortunate to have preserved these three tombstones in photographs.  Considering the difficult conditions, the photos are remarkably clear.


Ralph Vernon Chipman’s account of the circumstances under which the above photos were taken, from a letter dated 4 Jul 1988:

On June 29, 1988 we were fortunate to have assistance in locating  the gravestones of the Riddle family.  The graveyard is obliterated.  The gravestones are at the rear of a vacant lot:  the lot is immediately east of the brick residence of George Hampton Sr., RFD 2, Malden [Dunklin Co.], Mo.  telephone [*].  It is on blacktop road J about 4 miles west of Malden.  The vacant lot is overgrown with grass and weeds some two foot high, and the lot is about 200 X 200 foot in size.  The stones are at the top of a ravine, or hill, at the rear (north side) of the lot, back among thorn trees, vines, poison ivy/oak, brush, and evidently copperhead snakes (poisonous variety).  It is not known when the stones were moved from the gravesites, or who moved them.  There are approximately 6–7 stones, and bases, piled into a heap, that I saw at the top of the ravine, and of these only three inscriptions could be read.  The others weighed 200–400 pounds each so they were too heavy for one sixty year old, and a boy, to lift or roll over.  Also, it was raining steadily at the time making everything wet, slick and muddy, including George Hampton Jr. (a young fellow 16–17 years old who guided me to the stones, or I would never have found them), and me.  George Jr. thought there were additional stones at the ravine bottom, under brush, grass, and weeds, but we did not attempt to find them.  The inscriptions I copied carefully, and photographed, were:

1.  “Joellan, wife of John Riddle, born Nov. 20, 1831, died Aug. 6, 1896″  It was translucent marble, obelisk, some 4 feet high, plus base, with perfect cut letters, not weathered at all.

2.  “Robert Riddle, born July 28, 1855, died April 6, 1895″

3.  “Luther, son of G.R. & M.C. Riddle, born Feb. 25, 1894, died Jan. 8, 1904″

* Telephone number has been omitted.

will of Edward Dale (d. 2 Feb 1695/6) / a spectral inventory / an anomalous clause / how “femes covert” and children may serve as executors of a will / Dale and Carter’s matching deed & the principle of ownership in colonial VA

•November 23, 2014 • Comments Off


“In the Name of God Amen the twenty fourth day of Augt 1694 I Edward Dale of the County of Lancastr in Rappk River in Virga Gente being of sound & p’fect memory God bee praised doe make and ordaine this my last Will & Testamt in manner & forme following ffirst I commend my soule into the hands of Almighty God my Creator and Reedeemer my body to the Earth from whence it Came to bee decently interred without any wine drinking as for such worldly Estate as it is pleased God to blesse mee wth I dispose of in manner and forme following , Imps if it shall soe please God that my now wife shall happen to overlive me I give unto her for her maintenance dureing her life the whole pffit of my Estate whatsoever some respect being alwaies had to her as an honest woman a Gentle woman many years my wife and after her decease I give the plantacon wheron I now live to my two Grand Children Peter and Joseph Carter to have and to holde to them and their heirs and assignes forever to bee equally divided betweene them and in Case of the mortality of either of them before they come to the age of one and twenty years then the whole to the survivor and in Case of the mortality of both of them then to my Grand Son Jno Carter  Item I give unto my two Grand sons Peter and Joseph Carter all my instrumts of husbandry upon or belonging to the sd plantacon  Item I give unto my Grand daughter Elizabeth Carter my best bed and the trunck  Item I give unto my two Grandsons Peter and Joseph Carter and to my two grand daughters Elizabeth and Katherine Carter all my P’sonall Estate whatsoever to bee equally devided betweene them and in Case either of the Girls happen to dpart this life before their day of marriage or eighteene years of age I give her part to the survivor  Item I give to my Grandson Peter Carter my Negro boy James & to my Grandson Joseph Carter my molatto boy Robin  Item I give unto my daughter Elizabeth now wife of William Rogers twelve pence in full of all claimes whatsoever  [*] Item It is my desire for the better improveing of my Estate for the uses aforesaide that my Estate bee continued together upon the saide plantacon and after my wife bee supplied with necessaries and the plantacon likewise yearly I give unto my daughter Katherine Carter and my Granddaughter Elizabeth Carter during her life the p’ffit of all the Estate whatsoever.  Item I doe nominate and appoint my Grandsone Edward Carter and my daughter Katherine Carter and my Grandaughter Elizabeth Carter when she arrives to the age of sixteene yeares of age to bee my Executors  In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seale Dated the day and yeare above written.  Edward Dale ye seale

Signed sealed and published in the presence of

John Chilton p sigr    Tho: Carter junr    Henery Carter

The above will was proved in in the County Court of Lancaster the 11th day March 1695 by oaths of John Chilton, Thomas Carter, Junior and Henry Carter, witnesses in court. Recorded the 17th day following by John Stretchley, Clerk of the Court.”

[*] This is the only clause in Edward Dale’s will without a qualifying phrasel.  “Twelve pence” was  a common token amount in the colonial era.

It was legal for “femes covert” (like Katherine Carter) and children (like Elizabeth Carter) to serve as executors of a will (Blackstone Book II, Ch. 32 Sub 669).

Price (1992) gives a transcription of Edward Dale’s will found in Lancaster County, VA Inventory and Wills Book 8-C, pp. 55B-56 1690-1709, with inventory following on pp. 57-58.  The inventory was taken 30 Mar  1696 (which doesn’t fall into the double-dating parameter).  When I first saw this inventory, I thought it must be a final inventory exhibited a year after probate.

But it is the inventory ordered by the Lancaster Co. court on 11 Mar 1695/6, as follows:

Inventory of the estate of Edward Dale,
Lancaster Co., VA Inventory and Wills Book No. 8-C, pp. 57-58:

Inventory of the Estate of Major Edward
Dale dec’d as they were appraised by us the Subscribers March the
30th Ao.Dom. 1696/

One Cow

One Steere

One Steere

One three yeare bull

three younge Cattle

One Cow

Two three yeare old Steers

One yearling

ffoure Shoats

three Shoates

A Prcell of old planck

One Cart & wheeles

One old Grindstone …

One old Cart Sallde tree Coffer …

One sett of harrow teeth and other things belonging to the harrow

One paire of Tongs silver

A prcell of Glass

2 Silver dram Cups w’thout handles

A p’cell of old bookes, 3 pictures

one Deske one small table & one small box

A p’cell of old pewter

A Pcell of plates

three old trayes

three old Leather Chaires

One Pr of small stilliards

One brass Kettle

One old ffeatherbed boulster two pillowes Rugg and blankets

Two bed Cords

One old ffeatherbed bolster 2 pillowes & Covering

One old hatt

A pcell of old Linnen

One old Serge gowne & petticoate

One old saddle

One old trunck

Sixty three P’od of old Iron

plow Chaines

One pestle

two paire of old sheep sheares

A pcell of old wrought Iron

One old Shovell Spade and hand Saw

One old rope and two tubbs

One old Steck Lock and old bagg

One peece of eight

Seven barrells of Indian Corne

Seven bushells of wheate

tobacco left in house

Tobacco due from Edward White

three hides

One forty gallon caske

ffive tobacco hogshds.

Sum tot   10607 [pounds of tobacco]

Thomas Buckley

John M ll (?)

Jno. Chilton p sig

John Davis p Sig

Katherine Carter p Sig

Exhibitm. Cur Com Lancastr octave die
Aprilis Ao. Dm. 1696 p Sacrm.

Katherine Carter Jur. In Cur.

John Stretcheley Cl Cur

Record decimo Quarto die Seguen

p dem Johem Stretchley

(The only items of value remaining were livestock, Indian corn, wheat, a small amount of tobacco.  Livestock accounted for more than 40% of the value of the estate.)

To put this figure of 10,607 lbs. of tobacco into perspective, on November 12, 1691, Joseph Harrison, son of Daniel Harrison, stated he received 19,486 lbs. of tobacco as his share of the estate.  Daniel Harrison died intestate, and there were 3 Harrison children, so as a crude estimate we can place the worth of Daniel Harrison’s estate at some 80,000 lbs. of tobacco, the widow and 3 children dividing the estate equally.  Harrison’s estate would have consisted of more than just personal property, which is what’s listed in the Dale inventory.  (Sparacio, Court Orders 1691-1695, p. 3.)

Clearly, Edward Dale’s estate had been pillaged before the inventory–illegal but convenient–and there was nothing left worth fighting over.  Property that “doesn’t exist” can’t be disputed.  The remaining cattle were probably leaning at a 45 degree angle.  In 1696, a widow couldn’t reject the will and sue for her dower, so even though stripping the estate and submitting a phony inventory was illegal, as a practical matter Diana Dale had no recourse.  Compare this garage sale with the inventory of the wealthy Edward Blackmore, returned 8 Sep 1738 in Lancaster County, and you’ll see my point. 

In the 17th century, everyone had a very big musket, and possession was 9/10s of the law.  Law enforcement consisted of the Sheriff, and in emergencies. the militia.  “Heirs” could slug it out in court for up to a decade, the defendants employing every delaying tactic known to litigants of the day.  In the end, the courts invariably ordered the property delivered to the rightful owner–that is, if the rightful owner was still living (if not, it went to their heirs), and the property was still in existence.

What I find to be utterly weird about Edward Dale’s will is that he left his wife nothing.  Ordinarily, a husband would leave his wife a tract of land, a favorite horse, furniture, or during this period, a slave—as a token of affection.  And he didn’t give her anything requiring a conveyance before he died.  Seeing the Dale household through the lens of the documents we have, it’s obvious to me this couple had issues.  In my view, Edward Dale married Diana Skipwith for the political connections of her brother Grey, who was of the inner circle surrounding the governor, Sir William Berkeley.

There is, in connection with this will, a strange deed dated 7 Oct 1687 (Lancaster Co., VA Deeds & Wills 6, pp. 131-132), in which Edward Dale gave unto his daughter Katherine now wife of Thomas Carter two slaves:

a Negro boy called James (aged 7) and a Mollato boy called Robin (aged 5), reserving them to his use for his life, and then to Thomas and Katherine Carter, and after the deaths of Thomas and Katherine, Robin to go to Dale’s grandson Edward Carter, and James (if I make it out correctly) to the rest of Katherine’s children.  Dale sealed the gift by putting Thomas Carter possession of James in presence of witnesses, and by power of attorney to Richard Stephens had the deed recorded on 9 Nov 1687 with the Lancaster County clerk.

This was a difficult document to transcribe, and getting a better copy directly from the deed book would help.  I can find no fault with this deed.  James and Robin were born well after Edward Dale’s marriage to Diana Skipwith, and she would have had dower interest in them had Dale died intestate.  However, the law didn’t require wives to relinquish dower in personal property.  Husbands were known to dispose of personal property prior to their demise to avoid a wife gaining interest in it at his death.  For some reason, Dale willed James and Robin to his grandsons Peter and Joseph Carter–even though he’d earlier conveyed James and Robin to Thomas Carter on 7 Oct 1687:  

“To all those to whom this Present Writing shall come I Edward Dale of the County of Lancastr gent send greeting in our Lord God everlasting Know ye that I the said Edward Dale have for and in Consideracon of the Naturall love and affection which I have and owe unto Katherine my daughter Now wife of Mr Thomas Carter of the said County and her heirs & assigns for divers other Causes and Consideracons hereunto moving have given granted and by these presents do give and Confirm unto the aforsd Thomas Carter one Negro boy called James about Seven years old and one Molatto boy called Robin about five years old To have and to hold the said two Boys unto the said Thomas Carter his heirs Administrs and Assigns forever to ye sole intent and purposes hereafter mentioned and … that is to say to the use of me the said Edward Dale during my Naturall life and after my decease to the use of the said Thomas Carter & Katherine his wife and the life of the longest living of them and after Both shall decease said Mollotto Boy Robin to my grandson Edward Carter and the Negro Boy James to ye rest of my said Daughter Katherine her Children to all share ye Purpose whatsoever with warrant against all persons whatsoever that shall or may be By from or under me And I the said Edward Dale have hereby Put the sd Thomas Carter in possession of these two Boys by delivery of the said James in Witness Whereof I have hereunto Sett my hand and Seale Dated this Seventh day of October Ano. Dom 1687


Edward Dale his seal


Sealed and delivered and the sd boy James delivered to the said Thomas Carter in the presence of –


Edward White

John Gill

Ruth White


Recognitr in Cur Court Lanc Nonet die Novembr Ano Dom 1687 – Recordr un demino  …


Peter James Dep Clk


I do Authorize & Appoint Richard Stephens as my Lawfull Attorney to Acknowledge this deed for and on my behalf at … of Lancastr as Witness my hand this 9 day of November 1687


Edward Dale


Test Edward White

        Ruth White


Recorded in Cur Court Lanr. Nonet die November Ano Dom 1687


Peter James Deputy Clerk”

I’d like the reader to observe one thing about this deed:  Although the reason Edward Dale gifted these slaves was out of affection for his daughter Katherine, the actual conveyance was made to Thomas Carter, her husband.


If there was no problem with the conveyance, and Dale simply changed his mind, to avoid any cloud on the title there should be another document prior to the will nullifying this deed.  There isn’t.  Given the litigious nature of the colonists, it was quite an assumption that Edward Carter wouldn’t sue for possession of Robin.  Edward Dale mentioned no other slaves by name in his will, but they would have descended to Peter, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Katherine Carter.

You can learn much by leafing through court orders and deed books, and Lancaster Co., VA Deed Book 9, pp. 51-52 has the answer:  Edward Carter didn’t take it lying down–he had a valid deed, and Edward Dale couldn’t dispose of Edward Carter’s property in his own will.  This new deed, dated 24 Jun 1703, finds Thomas Carter (Jr.), Henery Carter, and John Carter–not the original legatees–acknowledging Edward Dale’s gift to Thomas Carter Sr. and Catherine his wife, and confirming ownership of  Robin to Edward Carter, citing the 7 Oct 1687 deed. 

A testator can’t dispose of property that has been previously legally conveyed.  Obviously there was a problem, but what happened?

This is the only anomaly in the transmission of Edward Dale’s estate.  Evidently Edward Dale thought it prudent to pull back the sale, and when he wrote his will he bequeathed James and Robin again.  That was illegal—and ultimately Edward Carter was confirmed in his possession of Robin, but he had to bind 3 of his brothers in a pact not to challenge his ownership.  But the original deed held up.

The simple explanation would be that Edward Dale was angry with Edward Carter—but he named Edward Carter as an executor.  So it’s a mystery.

Whatever the prior history of James and Robin, it may have been Diana Dale considered them hers.  James and Robin were separated by only two years and might have been siblings, and perhaps one reason for this deed was that their mother was dead.  Of course, this is a theory, but it’s clear William and Elizabeth Rogers had no direct interest in James and Robin.  Had they been part of a trust or separate estate for Elizabeth, Edward Dale would have had to address that when he made the conveyance to the Carters on 7 Oct 1687.  I  can’t see that Elizabeth Rogers’ “twelve pence” clause related to these slaves. 

In 1705, the Virgnia Assembly declared: 

“That from and after the passing of this act, all negro, mullato, and Indian slaves, in all courts of judicature, and other places, within this dominion, shall be held, taken, and adjudged, to be real estate (and not chattels;) and shall descend to the heirs and widows of persons departing this life, according to the manner and custom of land of inheritance, held in fee simple.

“That all such slaves shall be liable to the paiment of debts, and may be taken by execution, for that end, as other chattels or personal estate may be.

“That no person, selling or alienating any such slave, shall be obliged to cause such sale or alienation to be recorded, as is required by law to be done, upon the alienation of other real estate:  But that the said sale or alienation may be made in the same manner as might be done before the making of this act.

“That it shall and may be lawful, for any person, to sue for, and recover, any slave, or damage, for the detainer, trover, or conversion thereof, by action personal, as might have been done if this act had never been made.”

[Hening/pp. 3:333-334.]

The 1705 legislation meant that although slaves were henceforth considered real estate (and later reclassified as personal property again with some modification), the sale would still proceed as a sale of personal property, as was done before the act.


•November 22, 2014 • Comments Off

(1861).  Journal And Proceedings Of The Missouri State Convention Held At Jefferson City And St. Louis March, 1861.  St. Louis:  George Knapp & Co., Printers And Binders. 

Freemasons have a long and distinguished history in the United States.  My 3rd great-grandfather Thomas Scott Jr.  (1816–1897), son of Thomas and Sarah (Mahurin) Scott, and father-in-law of Wilson Milton Vaughan, was a player in Missouri politics.  Scott was a member of Flatwoods Baptist church, and a member of Miller Co., MO Masonic Lodges in Linn Creek (Nos. 66 & 152), Mt. Pleasant (No. 139), and Tuscumbia (Nos. 169 & 437).

Thomas Scott Jr. and America (Stillwell) Scott had migrated to Miller Co., MO from Dubois Co., IN.

(“Thomas Scott Jur” means Thomas Scott Jr.)

Thomas Scott Jr. was the son of Thomas Scott Sr. (“Thomas Scott Ser” means Thomas Scott Sr.) and wife Sarah Mahurin:

Miller County was in the 27th Senatorial District.  Thomas Scott Jr. served as a Resident State Senator from 1858 to 1862.  He was elected Justice of the Miller County Court on 2 Aug 1860, and also served as a Justice of the Peace for Equality Township.

In 1861 Scott was a representative to the Missouri State Convention and voted to keep Missouri in the Union.  He’s listed in the official roster of the Convention (p. 7) as born in Kentucky, age 44, Farmer, of Tuscumbia (county seat of Miller Co.).  In 1862 he was elected State Representative from Miller County and is listed in the Missouri House Journal.  

Scott studied law and he and Jacob Gantt had a law office in Tuscumbia.

[Thomas Scott Jr., (1816–1897).]

Scott supported the Liberal Republican Party which in 1872 unsuccessfully opposed the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant by nominating newspaperman Horace Greeley. Greeley, who is credited with coining the phrase “Go West, young man” (although he may not have used those exact words), died before the electoral votes were counted.

Scott tried his hand at gold mining in CA.  There’s confusion as to when and where he located in CA.  “Scott, Thomas” age 63 and b. in KY is found in the 1880 Placer Co., CA Federal Census, p. 42, SD 42, ED 72, Butcher Ranch Precinct, Household 527/527, residing as a boarder in the house of William Bennett.  Placer Co. is in northern CA bordering NV.

I have the text of a letter Scott wrote from U.S. Ranch, Cal., to Wilson Milton and Rachel Jane (Scott) Vaughan, dated 11 Jan 1880, in which he said:

“We have had the hardest winter so far that has ever been known in the country.  Ice has frozen two inches thick something never known before.”

According to a letter of Scott’s grandson, Everett Vaughan, dated 2 May 1952:

“Grandfather Scott also went to California…. He apparently had some trouble with his family, especially the boys.  He deeded each of the boys a farm and left for California without telling anyone he was going.  I recall his return, about 1886.  He came to our place and stayed there for a few months.  He then moved to Uncle Newt’s, where he died.  Uncle Newt then lived on what later was known as the Fogleman place, where we lived for a while once.”

Since Scott’s wife, America (Stilwell) Scott was yet living, it’s inferred that the couple’s marriage had soured.  That may have been the motive for his sudden departure to CA. 

This symbol found on the $1.00 bill is a testament to the Founding Fathers’ association with Freemasonry.  The “Eye” symbol and motto “Annuit Coeptis” are loosely translated as “Providence Favors Our Undertakings.”  “Novus Ordo Seclorum” means “New Order of the Ages.”  The use of the mottos and symbol reflect the Founding Fathers’ confidence in the new United States. “MDCCLXXVI” are Roman Numerals for “1776.”


Some Christian groups are opposed to Freemasonry and apply sanctions on members who become Freemasons.

Handley Chipman’s Thanksgiving & The Chipman Family of Virginia / The Mayflower Compact & List of Mayflower Pilgrims who died the First Winter / Handley Chipman’s son Stephen writes a family history / John Howland’s first step / The search for the origins of Elder John Chipman

•November 21, 2014 • Comments Off


“[The Mayflower pilgrims] … saw them the vessel after the boat’s return came up to the place of their intended settlement and they all landed and prepared huts for to live in, but poor distressed souls they being disappointed of other vessels coming over to them for a great while to supply them with provisions and other necessities as expected

“Sundry of these poor distressed people died and all was in imanent danger of perishing, if it had not been for the Clams they found on the shores and dugg up at low tide, but it was especially from the Supp & turkeys obtained in quantities [from] the native Indians … which corn they ate and paid the Indians for the spring after as soon as they had gained acquaintance with them who had been very shy of them.

“My said Grandfather John Chipman born 1615 Married a Daughter of the aforesaid Mr. Howland and settled at Barnstable, the next Town but one which is Sandwich, to their Said Plimouth further on the Said Cape Cod, Plimouth being being at the head of the Bay.  he my Said Grandfather was an Elder in Minister Russels Congregational Church, in said Barnstable, and if I am not mistaken removed and lived in Said Sandwich the Latter part of his Day.  He died aged 88.  He had or left 10 children of which my honored father was the Youngest.  his children generally lived to grow up and Marry and from whom proceeded a very Numerous offspring.  As my Grandfather was the only one of the name of Chipman and my Grandmother Daughter of the only one of the name of Howland in New England or any of the now States of America, so the Chipmans are all on this Continent Related as well as the Howlands, and are all of them by reason of my Grandfather and grandmothers Marriage together Related to one another, and so near that Long Since my Remembrance my dear father and the Howlands used to call Cuzzens and the Howlands was often conversant at my house and my fathers house &c.

“My Dear and Honored Deceased father John Chipman, married one Capt. Skiffs daughter of said Sandwich, by whom he had 9 children that all Lived to grow up to the years of Men and Women, from whom has sprang a very large offspring.  Their names were Sons, James, Perez, John, Ebenezer and Stephen.  The Daughters names were Bethia and Mary, twins, as was also the Son Said Stephen with the next daughter Lidia, the others name was Deborah.  They had all entered into the Marriage State and had generally Large families of Children, Except said Stephen, who had no Children by his wife, Dying Master of a Vessel young in Nevis in the West Indies.  They were mostly of more than middling size.  James was a clothier by Trade, Perez was a Blacksmith as was also Ebenezer, John was a farmer and Stephen a cooper by trade.  They scattered much in their Settling in families.

“My dear fathers first wife dying at said Sandwich, Leaving said nine children, He some time after, it may be two years, married her that was my dear Mother, at Capt. Popes at Dartmouth, her first husband was his oldest Son, her second husband was one Capt. Russel, with whom I have been told She lived about 17 months, at Rhode Island or near there about….  She had no Child or Children that Lived by Either of these husbands.  by my dear father She had my Self, her son Handley, and my dear sister Rebecca.  Soon after her birth my dear Father removed from Sandwich to Martha Vineyard, where he lived it may be 7 years.

“Just about a year after my dear Mothers Death, my dear Father married the Said widow Case at Newport on Said Rhode Island.  She had had two husbands, one a Griffin, the other said Capt. Case.  by said Griffin She had a daughter who lived to grow up and Married my Said dear father Son Stephen, who died in Said West Indies Leaving no Child.  My Mother in Law’s maiden name was Mary Hoockey, and after my dear father had Lived with her 19 years She died also with the Consumption.  She was a Baptist.  My dear father soon after he thus Married at Rhode Island, sold his farm at the Vineyard, to one Mr. Norton for L1200, money then at s5/pr. ounce.  he removed then to Rhode Island and Let his money to Interest, but it depreciating fast, he called it in and went to shopkeeping.

“He was when he lived at Sandwich, Crowner or Coroner, a Capt. Lieutenant, and a Representative to the General Assembly at Boston, as I find, by his Commission Left.  While he lived on the Vineyard he was Justice of the Peace and one of the Judges of the Inferior Court, &c.

“After he removed to Rhode Island Government, he was for some time the first of the Governors Council, and was also Chief Judge of the Superior Court or court of Equity, as it was then called, and continued in said office until he was about 70 years old when he of choice flung up all offices by reason of his old age, and soon after my Mother in Law dying he Left off his Shopkeeping, broke up housekeeping, and went to live with my own Sister who had married a worthy person, a Capt. Moore.

“My dear and Honoured Father was born March 3d day, A.D. 1670.  He departed this Life at Newport on Rhode Island, January 4 th day, 1756, in my house, where he had lived some years, after he broke up housekeeping, he went and Lived at Capt. David Moors as aforesaid who married my own only Sister, but she dying in a few years after, he then came to Live with me.

“I would before I conclude the Pedigree of my dear fathers family just mention that I have divers times inquired after the family of the Chipmans coat of arms but never could get Intelligence of it.  And am lately informed that Ward Chipman, Esq. Solisiter General in our Neighboring Province of Brunswick Government, when he was in England a few years past, made very thorough Search after our family coat of arms, and finds we have none at all, &c.

“But the Chipmans in America are very Numerous indeed.  they are, we are, Sure all related, for they are all of them descended from my said Grandfather.  we find they are Spread even from Canso * Eastward to Virginia Westward, if not farther both ways.”

* A fishing village on the eastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia.

[“A Chipman Family History,” by Handley Chipman (1717-1799) of Newport, R.I., and Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, composed ca. 1790, in:

Roberts, Gary Boyd; ed.  (1985).  Genealogies of Mayflower Families From The New England Historical and Genealogical Register Volume I Adams-Fuller.  Baltimore:  Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.

Handley Chipman’s statement validates the Chipmans of Virginia as authentic descendants of John and Hope (Howland) Chipman, but supporting documentation still needs to be assembled.]

For Mayflower history & genealogy see:

Philbreck, Nathaniel.  (2006).  Mayflower A Story of Courage, Community, and War.   New York:  Viking Penguin Group.

Philbreck, Nathaniel; Philbreck, Thomas; eds.  (2007).  The Mayflower Papers Selected Writings of Colonial New England.  New York:  Penguin Group.

Roser, Susan E.  (1995).  Mayflower Increasings 2nd Edition.  Baltimore:  Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  (1986).  Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620-1691.  Salt Lake City:  Ancestry Publishing.

(The text of The Mayflower Compact, by which the Pilgrims intended to be ruled, signed by 41 of 50 male passengers shortly before landfall on 11 Nov 1620.)



John Allerton, Richard Britteridge, Robert Carter, James Chilton, Richard Clarke, John Crackstone Sr., Thomas English, Moses Fletcher, Edward Fuller, William Holbeck, John Langmore, Edmund Margesson, Christoper Martin, William Mullins, Degory Priest, John Rigsdale, Thomas Rogers, Elias Story, Edward Thompson, Edward Tilley, John Tilley, Thomas Tinker, John Turner, William White, Roger Wilder, Thomas Williams.


Mary (Norris) Allerton, Dorothy (May) Bradbury, the wife of James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, the wife of Edward Fuller, Mary (Prower) Martin, Alice Mullins, Alice Rigsdale, Rose Standish, Ann (Cooper) Tilley, Joan (Hurst) Tilley, the wife of Thomas Tinker, Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow.


William Butten, John Hooke (age 14), Ellen More (age 8), Jasper More (age 7), Mary More (age 6), Joseph Mullins, Solomon Prower, the son of Thomas Tinker, two sons of John Turner.

26 men, 13 women, and 10 children didn’t survive the first winter at Plymouth.  They came seeking freedom to practice their own religion, and being unprepared for the harsh New England winter, 49 of “these poor distressed people” died.  The given and maiden names for 3 of the married women are unknown, as are the given names of 3 of the children. Surviving the first winter didn’t mean the Pilgrims were out of danger: in the following spring of 1621, Governor John Carver died, and his wife Katherine that summer.

The First Amendment shouldn’t be taken for granted.  The motives of these 49 Martyrs who died at Plymouth were Spiritual rather than Temporal, unlike the earlier settlements at Jamestown and New Amsterdam.  The story of the Mayflower is one of incredible courage.  We honor the Pilgrims by maintaining religious freedom for all as a core American value.

The following map of the Cape Cod area is from:

Huiginn, E.J.V.  (1914.)  The Graves Of Myles Standish And Other Pilgrims Revised and Enlarged. Beverly, MA:  The Author.

Plymouth Rock II

The Chipman family has long had an interest in genealogy.  Between Handley Chipman’s manuscript of ca. 1790 and Richard Manning Chipman’s pioneering efforts in the second half of the 19 th century, there’s this item, sent to me by the late William G. Chipman of Greenville, MS.

Dated 1832, it’s in the collection of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, and was written by Handley Chipman’s son Stephen Chipman.  The following are extracts from this manuscript (call no. MG100 Vol. 120 #53a).  Stephen Chipman’s portion consists of 19 pages, with an additional 2 by other writers, and 2 photocopies of an old newspaper clipping concerning celebrations at Plymouth in honor of the Mayflower.


“Sketch of the History and Genealogy of the Chipman Family (particularly the branch who settled in Nova Scotia) descended from John Chipman The Pioneer.  Written by Stephen Chipman Annapolis, N.S.  1832 –

“The C.’s from my G.G. Father [John Chipman who m. Hope Howland] are spread into N.S. New Brunswick, the Northern States Virginia & Vermont &c.

“May they still be blessed as heretofore, still experience Gods peculiar Providence; and may we all at last join as one in the holy train of our dear Redeemer in singing his praises.

“I begin … with my GG Father John C. who came to New England when young, from Dorsetshire England In the reign of Charles first, married a daughter of Mr Howland who was the first settler who landed at Plymouth in 1620, being the first to spring from the boat belonging to the first ship that came to P[lymouth] with settlers, being driven from their native country, by the persecutions against liberty of Conscience in the exercise of their religion.

“The stone Mr. Howland landed on I have been informed has been removed to the third street of the town of P[lymouth] to keep in memory the immigration of their forefathers and the day is celebrated by public thanksgiving and rejoicing.

“In consequence of this marriage the opulent & honored family of the Howlands in New England are related to us – He had ten children … was an elder in Minister Russells church Barnstable Cape Cod, and died aged 88 years.”

[Material in brackets mine.]


The tale of John Howland stepping onto Plymouth Rock is dramatic, but is it true?

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln established the holiday of Thanksgiving, enshrining the Mayflower Pilgrims as our most recognizable national icons.  Everyone loves the Pilgrims because Thanksgiving kicks off a four day weekend.

The story of Plymouth Rock dates to 1741, about 120 years after the Pilgrims landed.  95 year old Thomas Faunce claimed he’d been told by his father, who’d immigrated to Plymouth in 1623, that the boulder now known as Plymouth Rock was where the Pilgrims had first landed.  So in 1774, the Sons of Liberty, led by Col. Theophilus Cotton, arrived in Plymouth and dug the Rock from beneath a pier.  While attempting to load it onto a waggon, it split in half.

They left half of it where it lay and deposited the other half in the town square beside a Liberty Pole.  In 1834, the piece of the Rock in the Plymouth town square, much abused by souvenir-seeking tourists, was moved to Pilgrim Hall.  In the process, the Rock fell to the ground and once again split in two.  Cemented back together, it was mounted in front of the Hall.

Just before the Civil War, the Pilgrim Society bought the wharf containing the other half of the Rock.  They didn’t want two competing Plymouth Rocks, so in 1880 the half ensconced at Pilgrim Hall was transported back to the waterfront and the halves were reunited.

As Nathaniel Philbrick puts it:  “Today Plymouth is a mixture of the sacred and the kitsch, a place of period houses and tourist traps, where the Mayflower II sits quietly beside the ornate granite edifice that now encloses the mangled remains of Plymouth Rock.”

John Howland was from Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, the son of Henry and Margaret Howland.  He took passage on the Mayflower as Gov. John Carver’s indentured servant.  As Fate would have it, his employers, the Carvers, died in the first spring and summer, and Howland had no masters—and perhaps received a portion of the Carver estate.

Howland is best known for being blown overboard during the Mayflower passage.  Though submerged, he held onto a halyard and was hauled to safety.  If anyone was going to step onto Plymouth Rock, Howland was a natural candidate, probably eager to feel terra firma beneath his feet.

The story isn’t mentioned in contemporary accounts.  While I’m certain Mayflower passengers did step onto the boulder (it was difficult to ignore), whether it was the first spot stepped onto at the landing may be more myth than history.


Chipman historians refer to our immigrant ancestor John Chipman as “apprenticed” to his cousin Richard Derby.  He was in fact Derby’s indentured servant, probably employed as a carpenter.  That may have endeared him to John Howland, who allowed Chipman to marry his daughter Hope.

John Chipman had two sisters, “Hannor” and “Tumsum,” of whom nothing is known.  It’s possible that some relations of his still exist in Britain.  The Chipman home was at Brinspittle about five miles from Dorchester in Dorsetshire.  John’s father Thomas owned property worth 40-50 pounds per year and held by entail in Whitechurch Canonicorum, a strange place where the church had a grope-hole to touch saintly relics.  Domesday Book, compiled 1086/7,  records the church at “Whitchurch Canonicorum” as held by the Church of Saint-Wandrille, so it was a place of some antiquity.   Of course Thomas managed to lose the property in an annuity or loan scheme, and so began the saga of the Chipmans in North America.

Without going into details gleaned from the meagre sources, suffice it to say Whitechurch Canonicorum was the actual home of the Chipman family, Brinspittle being merely the place Thomas Chipman was dumped after the loss of his property.  John Chipman’s mother (name unknown) was living when John set sail for the New World.

The Dorset History Centre has significant holdings relating to Whitechurch Canonicorum, and those records should be searched.  A check of the UK “a2a” database for the period of 1450-1650 shows no mention of a Chipman at Whitechurch Canonicorum.  Some of the parish of Whitechurch Canonicorum and the related manor of Marshwood Vale found its way into the hands of Queen Mary, who on 24 Oct 1553 made a grant to Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter.  The manor of Whitechurch Canonicorum can be traced in records dating well into the medieval period.

Several “a2a” entries show a Chapman family living in Whitechurch Canonicorum prior to the time John Chipman emigrated to Plymouth ca. 1637, and this item contains some family details:

A lease for 99 years dated 3 Oct 1638 between Thomas Chapman, aka William Chapman *, of Whitchurch, Dorset, yeoman, son of Thomas Chapman, son of Thomas Chapman late of Haydon, Dorset, and the estate of William Vinacombe the elder and the estate of William Love alias Megges; land located in Axminster, Devonshire; fine 10 pounds.

[* The name by which he was usually known.]

“Chipman” is a spelling variation of “Chapman,” so an alleged connection to a “de Chippenham” family living at the time of William the Conqueror is fantasy.  In English records even simple surnames have many variations—of the same person from record to record or within the same record.  The search for the truth about Thomas Chipman, father of John Chipman,  should focus on localities rather than the exact spelling of the surname.  Since our family was of yeoman rather than gentry stock, extending the known pedigree may prove difficult.

“Chipman” might just have been Elder John Chipman’s preferred spelling of his surname, his ancestors having been known as “Chapman” or “Chepman,” etc.  The tale of his father Thomas losing a substantial property in Whitechurch Canonicorum remains to be independently documented.  It first appears in a deposition given 2 Mar 1641/2 by Ann Hinde, wife of William Hoskins, at Plymouth, and is repeated and amplified in a statement of John Chipman dated 8 Feb 1657/8, also at Plymouth.  It’s an “emigration tale”—and many families have one.  What is not stated, but probably the truth, is that Thomas Chipman lost his property due to indebtedness.  It’s quite a coincidence to find a Thomas Chapman at Whitchurch in Dorset in the precise time when these alleged events transpired.  Is it possible that Thomas Chapman, who in 1638 took a 99 year lease on land in Devonshire, was John Chipman’s father?

I’ve outlined in “Page f.” the descent of Mary Minor, wife of James Chipman (grandson of John and Hope) from Aethelred II, King of England.  The connection with the Giffards through whom the descent passes had some standing with the Chipman family.  After the death of Hope (Howland) Chipman, John Chipman married Ruth (Sargent) Winslow Bourne, daughter of Rev. William Sargent.  Sargent’s 3rd great-grandparents were John Giffard and Agnes Winslow, an ancestry shared with Alice Freeman, Mary (Minor) Chipman’s 2nd great-grandmother.

John Chipman had no children by Ruth, but following his death on 8 Apr 1708 she had him interred in the Bourne cemetary plot in the Sandwich Old Burying Ground.

His first wife Hope (Howland) Chipman is buried in Lothrop Hill Cemetary in Barnstable.  Her grave marker is the second oldest grave marker on Cape Cod.

Hope Chipman tombstone


•November 20, 2014 • Comments Off

Schwieder, Dorothy.  (1996).  Iowa The Middle Land.  Ames, Iowa:  Iowa State University Press.

These records pertain to the Black family of Champaign Co., OH, and Henry Co., IA; ancestors of my grandfather Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff.  Samuel Black Jr. served in the Civil War in the 37th (“Greybeard”) Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H, where he lasted less than two months. Although only three soldiers were killed, 145 died of disease. The Black family, like those below, was of German descent.

[Tombstone of Samuel Black Sr. (1775–1846) at Black Cemetery, Woodstock, Champaign Co., OH; father of Samuel Black of Henry Co., IA.]


Samuel Black Sr. was the son of Peter Black of Washington Co., PA.  Peter Black was a soldier in the Revolutionary War:

This NEXT cluster of families also belongs to my grandfather Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff. It’s a new cluster stemming from his grandmother Catherine (Stafford) Jeffery.  I discovered the maiden name of Catherine’s mother Susan by taking another look at the cemetery records at Lower Richwoods Cemetery in Jefferson Co., IA, which show Susan’s maiden name as Hanawalt.  I was then able to identify Susan’s family in Mifflin County, PA.

I still haven’t determined the parents of Susan’s husband James Stafford, who was born 8 Jul 1792 in England.  James Stafford must have married Susan (or Susannah) Hanawalt in Mifflin Co., PA. Unfortunately there are no recorded marriages there until 1885, and this marriage took place ca. 1831.

James Stafford’s tombstone at Lower Richwoods Cemetery is still standing.  Also buried at Lower Richwoods Cemetery is George Hanawalt (23 Apr 1795–22 Jul 1867), brother of Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford.


In the 1850 Jefferson Co., IA census (p. 41), Susanna Stafford is living in Walnut Township, as follows:

Susanna Stafford aged 43 b. PA; Mary Stafford aged 17 b. PA; Henry Stafford aged 15 b. PA; Annette Stafford aged 11 b. PA; Catharine Stafford aged 9 b. PA; Nelson Stafford aged 7 b. PA (Nelson’s full name was Admiral Nelson Stafford)

By the 1860 Jefferson Co., IA census (pp. 136-147), the family is still in Walnut Township, but things have changed a bit:

Household 978:  Oliver Frazier aged 23 b. NY; Catharine Frazier aged 19 b. PA  (Catherine Stafford and her first husband, Oliver Frazier, living next door to Catherine’s mother, before the Civil War)

Household 979:  Susan Stafford aged 52 b. PA; Henry Stafford aged 24 b. PA; Athena Stafford aged 21 b. PA; Nelson Stafford aged 17 b. PA; John Stafford aged 10 months b. IA

In the 1870 Henry Co., IA census (p. 247), Catherine Stafford is residing in Jefferson Township, Mt. Pleasant P.O. with her new husband:

Francis A. [sic] Jeffery aged 31 b. OH; Catherine E. Jeffery aged 28 b. PA; James P. Frasher [sic] aged 9 b. IA; Eva Jane Jeffery aged 4 b. IA; William Jeffery aged 2 b. IA; Thomas Jeffery aged 7 months b. IA; Garret I. Jeffery aged 66 b. NJ

The 1880 Henry Co., IA census (p. 194), Jefferson Township, shows that Francis I. Jeffery had adopted James P. Frazier, Catherine Jeffery’s son by her first husband.  This census also documents the relationships in the household.  “Jeffery” has been corrupted to “Jeffries”:

F.I. Jeffries [sic] aged 42 b. OH; Catharine Jeffries (wife) aged 39 b. PA; James P. Jeffries (son) aged 19 b. IA; Wm. Jeffries (son) aged 11 b. IA; Thomas S. Jeffries (son) aged 10 b. IA; John L. Jeffries (son) aged 8 b. IA; Garit Jeffries (father) aged 76 b. NJ

By the 1900 Henry Co., IA census (SD 74 ED 33 Sheet 9), Jefferson Township, Catherine Jeffery is once again a widow:

Catherine Jeffry [sic] (widow, head of household) b. Nov 1844 PA; Wm. L. Jeffry (son) b. Jul 1876 IA; Alonzo Jeffry (son) b. – 1879 IA; Earnest Jeffry (son) b. Feb 1881 (Earnest Ervin Jeffery was the father of my grandfather Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff)

And finally, in the 1910 Henry Co., IA census (SD 1 ED 40 Sheet 11B), my grandfather is living with his aunt Emma and her husband John Scarff:

John H. Scarff (head) aged 45 b. IA; Emma A. (wife) aged 40 b. IA; Jesse Otto Jeffery (nephew) aged 6 b. IA (Jesse was Emma’s nephew, not John’s)


Although it is known that Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford is buried at Lower Richwoods Cemetery, she doesn’t have a grave marker and her exact date of death is unknown. However, the 1870 Jefferson Co., IA census (p. 225), P.O. Lockridge, taken on 7 Jun 1870, shows Susan aged 64 living with her son Henry Stafford.

On 1 Mar 1846, the United States of America issued land grant No. 11397 for 40 acres to James Stafford of Jefferson Co., Territory of Iowa.  Earlier, on 30 Nov 1844, for the sum of $500.00, Hugh Johnston and Leah his wife sold to James Stafford 160 acres in Jefferson Co.  William Kimberly and George Hanawalt were witnesses to the deed.

James and Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford were real Iowa pioneers.

Mifflin Co. is in the central section of PA.  These individuals are of German descent and considered “Pennsylvania Dutch” (“deutsch”).  Any descendant of James and Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford is eligible for DAR on three lines, as discussed below.  All lines have been used for DAR membership.

  1. Johannes Rothrock, b. 1684 in Leiselheim, Germany (in the Rhineland near Worms); m. 1712 Anna Margaretha (maiden name unknown), b. 1688, liv. 1730; Johannes Rothrock said to be son of Michel Rothrock


  2. Johann Georg Rothrock, b. 1721 in Germany, d. 1806 in Northampton Co., PA; m. Elizabeth Roemig, d. 1798; Johann Georg Rothrock (George Rothrock) signed an Oath of Allegiance to the United States on 29 May 1778, NSDAR qualified (Ancestor No. A098781); according to NSDAR wife was Elizabeth Roemig, parents unknown


  3. George Rothrock, b. 1747 in Bucks Co., PA, d. 1 May 1826 in Derry Township, Mifflin Co., PA; m. Elizabeth (Myers or Meyers?), b. 1751, d. Jul 1827, Mifflin Co, PA; George Rothrock served in Battalion 8 Cumberland Co., PA militia during the Revolutionary War, NSDAR qualified (Ancestor No. A098782); NSDAR doesn’t give a maiden name for wife


  4. Mary Rothrock, twin of Susanna Rothrock, b. 24 Dec 1773 in Cumberland Co., PA, d. 1840 in Mifflin Co., PA; m. ca. 1793 in Mifflin Co., PA, John Laman Hanawalt, b. 1773 at or near McVeytown, Mifflin Co., PA, d. 22 Feb 1829 in McVeytown, Mifflin Co., PA; John Laman Hanawalt was the son of Henry George Hanawalt and Catherine Elizabeth Laman (or Lehman); Henry [George] Hanawalt, ca. 1731–1794, is NSDAR qualified (Ancestor No. A050781) for rendering Patriotic Service (paid Supply Tax 1779–1782) 


  5. Susan (or Sussanah) Hanawalt, b. 1807, d. after 7 Jun 1870 in Jefferson Co., IA; m. ca. 1831 in Mifflin Co., PA, James Stafford, b. 8 Jul 1792 in England, d. 8 July 1847 in Jefferson Co, IA; James and Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford are buried in Lower Richwoods Cemetery in Jefferson Co., IA; Susan has no marker


  6. Catherine E. Stafford (middle name probably “Elizabeth”), b. November 1842 in Pennsylvania, d. 23 Oct 1902 in Henry Co., IA; m. (2) 12 Apr 1866 as his second wife, Francis I. Jeffery (middle name probably “Irons”), b. 21 Aug 1838 in Marion Co., OH, d. 2 Jun 1898 in Henry Co., IA, Union Civil War veteran, buried Green Mound Cemetery near Trenton, IA, son of Garrett Irons Jeffery and Ann McCray; Catherine’s first husband Oliver E. Frazier was killed in the Civil War, and by him she had one son, James P. Frazier 


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