Tracking Thomas, and more

This blog will include reminiscences, photos, musings, observations, research tips, data extractions and links to websites having to do primarily with our ancestors in the deep south states Georgia and Alabama, and may also include information and photos gathered during research of our family's lines in other states.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well. It's Saturday night and time once again over at Randy Seaver'sGenea-Musings blog for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This one's calledUGG, or Ultimate Genealogy Goal:

Here is your assignment if you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1) Answer these questions:

* What is your UGG - your "Ultimate Genealogy Goal" for the genealogy research that you wish to leave to your heirs, descendants and the genealogy community?

Hmmm. Well, my goal is to leave more info on all the family lines I am researching than future generations would have had, if I had not worked on them. My research includes my lines, Cappy's lines, my ex-husband's lines, my ex-husband's ex-wife's lines, my ex-husband's ex-wife's ex-husband's primary (surname) line, my daughter-in-law's lines, and my grandson and granddaughter-in-law's lines.

* How long do you think you have have left to fulfill this ultimate goal? If Cappy and my kids can also, and we can be healthy and alert, I would like to live as long as my paternal grandmother did - she was 102 when she died, and was active until the last year of her life - I took her to a local mall to shop for her 100th birthday present - she wanted a red dress. My ancestors tended to live long lives, so maybe I will - but they did not have to deal with carcinogenic stuff, as we do today, so who knows.

* Are you prioritizing your time adequately in order to achieve this goal? There is no way. Cappy, Tom and I are caregivers for my beloved 92yo mother.

* If not, what should you do to achieve the goal? I do what I can online, and plan to visit the archives (which is only a mile or so away from our home) - but I have no ancestors from Mississippi and the only ones I need to research there are granddaughter-in-law's - though do need to do some lookups there for friends. After Mother passes, we plan to travel some, and will do some much needed research in GA, where my three g2gparent brick walls were.

* Will you do what you need to do? I will continue to try.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your 16 Great-Grands

Randy at Genea-Musings gave this assignment:

Here is your SNGF assignment for the evening (if you choose to accept it - this is not stump the genealogist or even Mission Impossible):

1) List your 16 great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 - 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don't know all 16 of your great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

16. *John Samuel Carwile, born 25 Jan 1815 in Level Land, Abbeville Co, SC; died 28 Feb 1896 in Clay Co, AL.
17. *Easter Bowen, born 08 Feb 1814 in Level Land, Abbeville Co, SC; died 20 Jun 1897 in Clay Co, AL.
18. *Andrew Jackson Jordan, born 20 Jul 1830 in South Carolina; died 12 Aug 1901 in Clay county, Alabama.
19. *Nancy DeVaughn, born 18 Jun 1829 in Georgia; died 13 Jul 1888 in Clay county, Alabama.
20. **Thomas S. Jordan, born 03 Jan 1832 in Macon, Bibb Co, GA; died 06 May 1894 in Ashland, Clay Co, AL.
21. *Mary Creel, born 27 Feb 1838 in Carroll Co, GA; died 10 Sep 1921 in Ashland, Clay county, AL.
22. **Wiley Jackson Cannon, born 18 Feb 1817 in NC or SC; died 1891 in Ashland, Clay county, AL.
23. **Harriet Elizabeth Browning, born 1828 in GA; died 30 May 1878 in Jackson's Gap, Tallapoosa county, AL..
24. Col. *Nathaniel Bozeman, born 29 Jan 1812 in Jones county, GA; died 1864 in Burnsville, AL.
25. *Mary Susan Garrett, born 1827 in Lowndes County, AL; died 1878 in Burnsville, AL.
26. *Joseph Bell, born 11 Feb 1809 in Camden, South Carolina; died 13 Jun 1861 in Autauga County, Alabama.
27. *Ellen Serena Poole, born 1833 in Camden, South Carolina; died 1865 in Autauga County, Alabama.
28. **Benjamin B. King, born 10 Aug 1802 in SC; died 1866 in Americus, Sumter County, GA.
29. *Elinor S. Wood, born 20 Nov 1805 in GA; died 1870 in Americus, Sumter County, GA.
30. Rev (Elder) *Thomas King Pursley, born 26 Jun 1810; died May 1883 Andersonville, Sumter Co, GA.
31. *Elizabeth Kemper Morgan, born 23 Sep 1823 in SC; died 25 Nov 1892 Andersonville, Sumter Co, GA.

All of my ancestors (aside from the three brick wall ones who have no parents yet, #s 20, 23 and 28) had generations in the US before them - some since the early 1600s. The only ones so far definitely NOT from the UK were 4 of #31's (Eliz. Morgan's) 16 great-great grandparents, who were 1714 Germanna immigrants to Virginia. So far, apparently I am 90+ % UK. My maternal haplogroup is PreHV, according to

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lula Elizabeth, granddaughter of Thomas S. Jordan

Lula Elizabeth Jordan was born on February 22, 1887, the third of six children born in Ashland, Alabama, to J. W. and Elizabeth Jordan.

On February 12, 1905, Lula married John Respus Carwile, a Methodist minister. They were married 67years before his death in 1972.


Lula was an ideal "preacher's wife" who always kept a clean and well organized house and enough food for anyone who dropped by to share a meal. She died in 1989 at age 102. She was a wonderful grandmother, and I miss her.

Lula at age 90

Lula with her older sister, Florence Jones, ca 1950

Lula with her younger sister, Minnie Blackstock, ca 1960

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dr. Joseph Wiley Jordan, oldest son of Thomas S. Jordan

Dr. Joseph Wiley Jordan, my great-grandfather, was a "horse-and-buggy" country doctor in Clay County, Alabama in the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s.


His son Thomas was his driver/assistant. They originally used horse and buggy, then later, automobiles. The two men were on call 24/7.

Grampa Jordan was usually compensated only with whatever his patients and their families could spare from their farms - tomatoes, dairy products, etc. - "cash money" was scarce. Many times nothing to spare was available, but that did not influence the care his patients received. In those days, being a physician was a "calling", and country doctors were totally dedicated - they were very highly respected in the community because of their vocation, but they were not made wealthy by it.

Joseph Wiley Jordan's first wife was Elizabeth Jane Cannon, daughter of Wiley Jackson Cannon and Harriet Elizabeth Browning Cannon, who was, according to her granddaughter (my grandmother Lula) at least one-half Indian (Native American).
While I do believe that my grandmother would definitely know the ethnicity of her grandmother, I have yet to prove it. Since I cannot find parents for Harriet, I also cannot disprove it, of course, so will continue to believe my grandmother Lula.

Elizabeth died in 1891 at age 30 as a result of the birth of her sixth child, who survived only a few months.

This picture is from a newspaper around 1900. The man seated is Dr J W Jordan. The woman on his right is Augusta Wesley Jordan, his second wife, stepmother to my grandmother and her four siblings (the older children in this picture) and mother to the younger children. The older woman on his left is his mother, Mary Creel Jordan, widow of Thomas S. Jordan.

Grampa Jordan built this home in Ashland, AL in the early 1900s. I remember happy times on that huge porch, and wish the house were still standing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thomas S. Jordan

Thomas S. Jordan was born on 3 January, 1832 in Macon, Bibb county, GA (according to his obit). Both of his parents were born in GA (according to his census info).


In 1847, he began apprenticeship as a printer in "the Advertiser" office (this is from his newspaper obit in Ashland, AL - I am assuming that this means the "Advertiser" newspaper in Montgomery, AL, given that, according to that same obit, in 1852 he was foreman of the job office that printed the Code of Alabama - Brittan and DeWolf, State Printers, Montgomery, AL).

I can not find him anywhere on the 1850 census.

On the 10th of October, 1859, at Wedowee, Alabama, Thomas married Mary Creel, who was born in Carroll county, GA; she was the daughter of Jordan Creel and Mary (Polly) White, both of Carroll county.


(Note: Thomas S. Jordan is NOT one of the two Thomas Jordan/Jourdans in Carroll county, GA. (1)Thomas Jordan, son of Samuel and Martha, was born on the very same day as my Thomas S - but this Thomas married "Fannie" and died in 1911 in Haralson Co., GA. (2) Thomas A. Jordan, b. 1836, s/o William Tadford and Agnes Blair Jordan, married Sarah E..Dyer, and died in Carroll county after the 1920 census.)

The 1860 Randolph Co., AL, census, Wedowee, Dwelling 17, has:
T.G.W. Jourdan (28, male, printer, born in GA, married within the yr)
Mary Jourdan (22, female, HW, born in GA, married within the yr)
Cinthia Jourdan (38, female, HW, born in SC)

T.G.W. Jordan had married Cynthia Smith in Harris County, GA, July 14, 1853. Thomas S. Jordan and Mary Creel had married in 1859. Apparently, the man listed in the 1860 Randolph county census is Thomas S., not T.G.W. Where was T.G.W., and what relationship was he to Thomas S.? Cynthia died of some sort of fever shortly after this census was taken, and the only other mention anywhere of T.G.W. is on a muster of the Camp of Instruction in Talladega during the Civil War.

Thomas S. was a courier for the C. S. A. between West Point, GA and Talladega, AL during the Civil War. I can not find him on a muster roll, but am told couriers were often not listed on a muster.

On July 21, 1860, Thomas and Mary's first son, Joseph Wiley Jordan, was born. This son practiced medicine in Ashland, Clay county, Alabama until his death in 1951. He also was elected to serve in the state legislature in 1930s.

In 1862, a second son, William Dotson Jordan, was born to Thomas and Mary. As an adult, he owned a drug store in Ashland, Alabama.

In 1864, a daughter, Mary, was born.

After the war, Thomas farmed for a while near Opelika, AL, then worked as a printer until starting his own newspaper, The Opelika Reformer.

The 1870 census shows:
Girard Beat No. 1, County of Russell, AL, Post Office Columbus, GA, 27th day of June 1870
Jourden, Thomas 38 M W Farmer GA
Mary 32 F W KH GA
Joseph 10 M W GA
William 8 M W GA
Mary 6 F W AL

Little Mary died at age 7, and is buried in Girard.

Thomas and Mary later adopted Mary Dyson/Dison, b. 1876. Apparently they did not legally adopt her, since she kept the surname Dyson. She m. Robert L. Thurman in 1893 in Clay county, AL.

In 1876, Thomas moved from Opelika to Coosa county, AL, where he and his sons published The Coosa News. In 1878, he moved to Ashland, AL, in Clay county, where he began publishing another newspaper.

The 1880 census for Ashland, Clay Co AL; Stamped page 69; 03 Jun 1880; Asst Marshall J F Cole; Dwelling #58; Family #58:

JORDAN Thomas W M 48 married Printer GA GA GA
Mary W F 42 wife married KH GA GA GA
Joseph W. W M 20 son printer AL GA GA
Willis D W M 18 son printer AL GA GA
DISON Mary J W F 4 adopted AL AL AL

At 9:15 PM, 6 May, 1894. 62yo Thomas S. Jordan died in Ashland, AL, after a confrontation with a rooster which resulted in sepsis. He had been a Baptist, a Mason (he had a Mason's funeral), and he was active in local politics.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Beginning - part 2

In 1995, online genealogy research tools were few and far between. There were some BBS-type groups, but not much else. Then Larry Stephens started a few e-mail lists at - they were fantastic!

In mid-1996, Larry let members of his lists start their own surname lists at - my first, of course, was JORDAN, followed soon by KING, then CARWILE and BOZEMAN and other surnames - then a few "area" lists, and some "special interest" genealogy lists. These lists were very helpful - many people joined, and progress was made.

When a spammer destroyed the Maiser server at, in late April, 1997, Brian and Karen at RootsWeb generously offered a new home to those of us listowners who wanted to bring our lists and archives. By the end of May, 1997, my lists were up and running smoothly again, with the archives in place and searchable.

Those lists were my most helpful online research tool. RootsWeb already had other resources at that time also such as Roots-L. RootsWeb was and has been by far the most valuable website to me.

USGenWeb was organized for the states I research in the deep south in 1996. At that time, most of it was housed at RootsWeb also.

Most Productive Online Tools 1995-2008

In 1995 when my search began for the parents of Thomas S. Jordan and other missing ancestors, the need for some sort of genealogy software became apparent. Family Tree Maker had the features I needed and was very user-friendly for a newbie, so I entered data into it. Later versions permitted connecting with online resources, and I am still using a current version of that software.

In late 1995, there was not a whole lot available for genealogy research other than genealogy BBS type groups. Larry Stephens had started some e-mail lists at, and they were wonderful - I particularly liked Deep-South-Roots-L, because it specifically targeted my main area of initial research. That list survived at until August, 2008! In mid-1996, when Larry began letting us individually set up and manage e-mail lists, many of us eagerly set up surname lists for our major surnames - my first was JORDAN, of course, soon followed by KING, CARWILE, BOZEMAN and others. By the time Maiser was trashed by a spammer in April, 1997, many wonderful e-mail lists had been created, not only for surnames, but for counties and large cities and geographical areas and special genealogical interests. Brian and Karen at RootsWeb kindly offered us a new home for our lists. By the end of May, 1997, those of us who wanted to move there were settled in with our lists running smoothly and our list archives, which Larry had let us bring from Maiser, in place, continuing to save list posts. E-mail lists and their archives were, and continue to be, my single most valuable online research tool.

Then came the online censuses. The earliest source I remember for online access to census information was USGenWeb. Volunteers transcribed by hand from census film or census books, and for those of us fortunate enough to have a hardworking transcribing volunteers for the county censuses we needed to access, life was good - even if we had very limited free time, we could work on our lines at home. Problem was that there were a LOT of counties and years, and few volunteers willing and able to do so much work. When added the census to their offerings, online genealogy turned a new page - now it was actually possible to research anywhere in the US online.