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Archive for the ‘surname Jordan’ Category

My first attempt at locating someone on the census was my maternal great-grandmother’s family, the Jordans. That was probably 1994 or 1995, back when a census check involved a microform reader and a pencil. I found her where I expected to find her, in Coryell county with the rest of her family in 1900. It was a memorable moment.

Here she is, Cora Southey Jordan, with her siblings: Thomas Taylor, Eula Lizzette,  Martha Elizabeth and Florence Easley.

I have used Ancestry.com in the past but have not subscribed in three or four years because I felt that it had ceased to be of much use. I picked all the low-hanging fruit as it were. Recently I subscribed again to go back over some old files in preparation for printing some reports and found her again in 1900, this time in Eastland county.

She boarded with a family in Cisco so that she could further her piano studies. This is where she met her future husband, R. G. Moody. They were married 23 Oct 1901 and settled in Cisco. All six of their children were born there.

Granny would have found this amusing. She had a marvelous dry wit and undoubtly would have responded with something to the effect of either being in two places at once or having a split personality. She passed away 15 Jan 1973 when I was 10 years old.

I have heard tales of such a thing happening but never actually saw an example. Has anyone else ever come across this?

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My musings about names and naming traditions have me thinking about a little mystery. Among Bull researchers there has been some debate about Rebecca H. Bull’s middle name. Some think her middle name was Hogan, some think her middle name was Ho(l)mes. While writing my post of Oct 30 about names, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe they both belong to her. There is a “four name” tradition in my branch of the family. Maybe it originated in the earlier generations.

As a child, I knew my great-grandmother as Cora Campbell Jordan, married name Moody. Turns out, and I didn’t know this until a few years ago, she was born Cora Southey Jordan. There was much debate about this in the family which was settled by consulting a great aunt who explained it all. She was named Southey after the English poet. Later in life she adopted the name Campbell, her father’s name, to honor her father. I briefly debated what I would do with this information and decided to acknowledge all of her names. I now list her as Cora Southey Campbell Jordan Moody. To shorten it for convenience would be bureaucratic and would not honor the story of her life.

Some years ago I came across information about her father’s family that included many second middle names that I had never heard. I doubted the information at first. Then I tracked down the cemetery where many of that family are buried and found evidence that at least some had indeed had a second middle name. For instance, Aunt Ann was Margaret Ann Jordan. She was listed on someone else’s family group sheet as Margaret Ann Augustus Jordan. Her gravestone reads “M. A. A. Jordon” supporting the idea that her middle name was both Ann and Augustus.  This still leaves the question of why her married name, Splawn, was left off (maybe they just ran out of room?). She died young, at the age of 37, and most likely the persons responsible for placing the original stone were her parents.

I always say, if unanswered questions drive you crazy, be careful about wishing for answers. Every answer inevitably leads to more questions. However, I know the answer to one question. “What’s in a name?”…the story.

So how am I going to prove or disprove my theory that maybe Rebecca is Rebecca Hogan Ho(l)mes Bull Scarborough Meek(s)?

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Mary Denson obituary, The Rosebud News, Rosebud, Texas, 8 December 1933.

Pioneer Woman Passes Away in City Tuesday

Mrs. Mary Jane Jordan Denson, mother of Mrs. D. V. Barry of this city, and one of the beloved pioneer women of Williamson county, passed away at the Lehman home in this city, Tuesday night after an illness of a few weeks’ duration.

For the past four years, Mrs. Denson has made her home in this city, coming to be near her daughter, Mrs. Lehman during her illness, and since the passing of this daughter, she remained with Mrs. Barry, and during her residence here she endeared herself to all, with whom she has come in contact. She was a lovable character and truly one of God’s noblewomen.

She was born September 28, 1845 in Alabama, and later moved to Arkansas where she was married to Mr. J. H. Denson in 1868. To this union nine children were born; six surviving, Mesdames W. E. Nix of Lawton, Oklahoma; Tell Nix of Plainview, P. E. Root of Granger, and Mr. W. B. Denson of Granger, J. J. Denson of Carlton, Oregon and Mrs. D. V. Barry of Rosebud.

Mrs. Denson united with the Baptist church at the age of fourteen and lived true to its precepts. Hers was truly a life of love and service, and she lived daily at the feet of her Master, never faltering; never shirking in doing his will. For many, many years her bible has been her constant companion, and she loved to read it, and meditate on its wonderful revelations. Mrs. Denson lived an unusual active life and was happiest in the loving administrations to others. During the war, her patriotism was brought to bear most forcibly, and she spent a great deal of her time in sewing and caring for the Confederate soldiers. Her home was ever the center for social gatherings and within the confines of the old family home in Granger, many hospitalities can be recalled, where her genial manner and courtly air bade welcome to friends and acquaintances.

The husband and companion passed away at the family home in Granger in 1916, where they were among the pioneers in that section of the state.

Brief funeral services were conducted by Rev. T. H. Vaughn at the Lehman home Wednesday morning and later taken to the old home in Granger, where the body was laid to rest beside her companion. Funeral services were held in the Baptist church in Granger, with Rev Blailock assisting.

Pall bearers were V. D. Nicholson, Van B. Harris, Joe Smilie, Tom Arnold, T. J. Hickersn, George Robertsn, Charlie Cllins and S. C. Souther.

To the bereaved the News and its readers extend deep sympathy.

Mary Denson obituary, Williamson County Sun, Georgetown, Texas, 8 December 1933.

Funeral Held for Mrs. J. H. Denson

Granger, Dec. 6 – Funeral services were conducted here Wednesday afternoon for Mrs. J. H. Denson, 88, who died Tuesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Vance Berry in Rosebud. Mrs. Denson made her home in Granger for more than half a century and was one of the earliest settlers of this section. Four years ago she went to Rosebud to make her home with her daughter.

Surviving Mrs. Denson are two sons, Jesse Denson of Portland, Ore., and W. R. Denson of Granger, and four daughters, Mrs. Walter Hicks of Oklahoma, Mrs. Vance Berry of Rosebud, Mrs. Tal Nicks of Granger. There are many grandchildren.

Macedonia Cemetery

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Martha Jordan obituary, Williamson County Sun, Georgetown, Texas, 1 April 1909.

Mrs. Martha Jordon

Granger, March 21. Mrs. Martha Jordon, better known as Grandma Jordon, died at the home of her son-in-law, J. H. Denson, on Saturday morning after a stroke of paralysis and three week’s illness. Mrs. Jordon was 86 years of age the day of her death. She was buried at the Macedonia cemetery this afternoon.

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Because I have been spending so much energy on this genealogy thing lately, I have not been attending to my studies as I should. I was sitting in pathophysiology class last night daydreaming about family history. We were discussing congenital and genetic disorders. The subject of the first part of the lecture was mendelian genetics and inheritance. (It was a review for me so I felt ok about daydreaming.)

 

<boredom alert> 

 

In a nutshell, each one of us has two chromosomes, one contributed by mom and one contributed by dad, for each trait we inherit. Some chromosomes are naturally dominate. Let’s consider eye color. Brown eyes are dominate, blue eyes are recessive. In order for you to have blue eyes, both parents have to carry the recessive chromosome and pass it along to you. (Gregor Mendel didn’t know about chromosomes and genes so he called them alleles or traits, same thing for our purposes.) Let B represent the trait for brown eyes and b represent the trait for blue eyes.

BB represents someone that inherited the brown-eyed trait from both parents. This person has brown eyes.

bb represents someone that inherited the blue-eyed trait from both parents. This person has blue eyes.

Bb represents someone that inherited both traits from their parents, one from each. This person has brown eyes (they’re dominant) but also carries the blue-eyed trait that can be passed along to their children (the grandchildren).

 

I’m still daydreaming but now I’m watching the professor drawing on the whiteboard.

 

When calculating the probability of producing a brown-eyed child or a blue-eyed child, it starts to look like this.

 

BB   +   BB   =>   BB   BB   BB   BB

Both parents have brown eyes with no recessive trait for blue eyes: 100% of their offspring will have brown eyes, none are able to pass along blue eyes to their children.

 

bb   +   bb   =>   bb   bb   bb   bb

Both parents have blue eyes with no dominate trait for brown eyes: 100% of their offspring will have blue eyes, none are able to pass along brown eyes to their children.

 

Bb   +   BB   =>   BB   BB   Bb   Bb

Both parents have brown eyes, one carries the recessive trait, one does not: 100% of their children will have brown eyes with 50% inheriting the recessive trait for blue eyes.

 

Bb   +   Bb   =>   BB   Bb   Bb   bb

Both parents have brown eyes, both carry the recessive trait: 25% of their children will have brown eyes with no recessive trait, 50% of their children will have brown eyes with the recessive trait, 25% will have blue eyes.

 

Bb   +   bb   =>   Bb   Bb   bb   bb

One parent has brown eyes and carries the recessive trait, one parent has blue eyes: 50% of their children will have brown eyes with the recessive trait, 50% will have blue eyes. (Here are the light Jordans and the dark Jordans, 50/50.)

 

Here’s where I actually become engaged in the lecture.

 

James Jordan, according to the family oral history, was fair, red-haired and blue-eyed. Martha was darker, raven-haired and brown-eyed. Some in the family say Martha was native american indian. If she was 100% indian, the children would have all looked like her because she wouldn’t have carried the recessive traits for blue eyes and red hair.

A few years ago, another researcher provided some info on Martha’s family. Supposedly, (I say supposedly because I have no evidence as yet. I’m still stuck in Arkansas and Texas.) her father was Robert Bull, a physician of English descent. Her mother was Susannah Sullivan, the daughter of a man named Sullivan and a Creek mother. This makes sense and validates Aunt Jip’s claim that the Bulls were English. It also validates the story that Martha was indian.

I’m taking notes now. This is strictly speculation.

 

                               Sullivan father          Creek mother

                most likely Bb or bb          +          BB   (Is Sullivan Irish?)

                                                         ~

                   Robert Bull         Susannah Sullivan

   most likely Bb or bb      +       BB or Bb   (Most likely Bb if dad was bb.)

                                        ~

James Jordan          Martha Bull

         bb            +            Bb       

                         ~

9 children – roughly half resembling Jim and half resembling Martha

 

The big question is, did Martha have siblings with blue eyes or were they all brown-eyed? This is where my esteemed professor, while still lecturing, wandered to the back of the room and glanced over at my notes. Was I the only one writing furiously? <nervous grin>

I think I’m ready for the exam now.

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James Anderson Jordan was born in Georgia sometime between 1812 and 1815. Martha Bull was born in Jasper County, Georgia 20 Mar 1823. They married in Pike County, Georgia 19 Sep 1837. Pike County was the home of Martha’s family.

James and Martha had 9 children: Margaret Ann Augustus born 12 Dec 1838, John Robert born 19 Oct 1841, James Holmes born 05 Aug 1843, Mary Jane Jutson born 28 Sep 1845, Campbell Ambrose Bull born 07 Jan 1848, Mary Susan Dorcas born 29 Oct 1850, Thomas Daniel Clinton born 02 May 1852, Rebecca Adline born 11 Mar 1855 and William Daniel born 29 Oct 1857.

By 1850 much of the Bull/Jordan extended family had relocated to Ashley County, Arkansas. Martha’s brother William S. Bull and his family had moved to Bradley County. By 1860 Jim and Martha moved to Bradley County as well. William’s wife, Mary Ann, died sometime after the birth of their last child, about 1856, and before the 1860 census. I believe that Martha moved her family so as to be of assistance to her widowed brother and his 8 children.

It was in Bradley County that the family weathered the civil war. The two oldest boys served in the army. Bob enlisted in the 9th Arkansas Infantry at Pine Bluff 25 Jul 1861. He was killed at the Battle of Shiloh at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee 06 Apr 1862. Jim enlisted in 20th Arkansas Infantry at Warren 28 Feb 1862. He died at Corinth, Mississippi 13 May 1862. Family tradition says he died of the measles. I think that after the death of the two oldest sons and considering the hardships endured in Arkansas in 1862, Jim and Martha most likely sent 14 year old Campbell to visit relatives out of state to keep him out of  harm’s way. As of yet, I have little to support the story of his time spent away.

After the war, Campbell married Alice Martha Taylor in Bradley County 02 Dec 1869. Their first two children were born in Arkansas: James Nicholas born 23 Oct 1870 and Emma Rebecca born 26 May 1872. They moved to Williamson County, Texas in 1874. They had 9 more children in Texas.

It was about this time that Cam’s parents, Jim and Martha, and his younger siblings moved to Williamson County, Texas as well. His sister Mary had married James Harvey Denson, a Texan and a veteran that had served in the Texas cavalry in Arkansas, in 1868 and moved to Williamson County. There were also Bull cousins who lived in Circleville. But more about all that later.

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Campbell Ambrose JordanI’ve heard it said that Granny’s father, Campbell Ambrose Jordan (pronounced Jurden), was a mountain man, resourceful and a hard worker. As a young man he went to live with his mother’s family for a time, possibly in the vicinity of present day Kansas. There is a tantalizing note in a spiral notebook left by my grandmother, “per Cam’s memoirs.” If I had one wish, it would be to find someone with a copy of such memoirs.

Cam’s father was James Jordan from Georgia. He was the product of unknown parentage, a foundling, the soul survivor of an Indian attack on a wagon train. The little red headed, blue eyed infant was adopted. It is not known if Jordan was his birth name or if it was the name of his adopted family.

Cam’s mother, Martha Bull, was Indian. The little spiral notebook notes, “She  must have been born about 1820 because she remembered when the stars fell (November 10-12, 1833). She had dark hair, dark eyes and might have had an accent, reportedly calling her husband “Jeem.” The children remembered her telling them to be proud of their native ancestry because they were kin to the great chief Sitting Bull. Some believed that she was not Indian but French. To further complicate matters, Aunt Jip returned from a trip back east and told everyone she had visited the Bull plantation. She said they were descended from the English Bulls. This seemed even less likely.

Jim and Martha’s children were a mixed bag of his fair complexion and her dark complexion. Even today, older family members refer to the “dark Jordans” and the “light Jordans.” The two oldest boys, Jim and Bob, died while serving in the Confederate Army. Cam returned from his stay with Martha’s family with the intention of enlisting but the war had ended. After Cam, there were two younger brothers, Tom and Dan. There were four girls: Ann, Mary, Susie and Rebecca.

After returning to Arkansas, Cam courted and wed Alice Martha Taylor and they settled on a farm. He built a nice little log cabin with a puncheon floor, a luxury in those days. Their first two children, Nick and Emma, were native born Arkansans. After a few years, Cam got the idea to move to Texas. Their land in Arkansas was wooded and hilly and the men wore themselves out clearing it for farming. The word was Texas had lots of good, clear farmland available. So preparations were made to move the family to Texas. As the time to leave neared, Alice did not want to leave her home. She sat on the porch in her rocking chair as the wagon was loaded. Cam left her a horse and wagon and told her that when she was ready, she could come on. Then Cam, the kids and all their belongings drove away. She sat for awhile absorbing every last detail of her home. After a bit, she put the rocking chair in the back of the wagon and took off after her family heading to Texas. 

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