Query Followup: Taylor

Re: Isaac (Ike) Taylor from a query of Roby Ottwell, first published in the July 2009 newsletter. “Isaac (Ike) Taylor, Mr. Ottwell’s grandfather, …was killed in 1922 when a hired man killed Taylor and stole his money.”

Society researcher and previous newsletter editor Shirley Bates went back to the Winnsboro News office (following the July newsletter) and asked to look at back copies of the Winnsboro News, but they didn’t allow her to look because the newspaper is too old and fragile to handle. Then she went back to the library and tried again going through microfilm, this time from about July until December. Again, she didn’t find anything. Member Dorothy Harbin was still looking in the microfilm at Quitman Library and looked at a site called smalltownpapers.com and it stated that there was a reprint in July, 1956 but she could never find the article. She looked in the Wood County Democrat (as Bates had done earlier) and the Wood County Echo, and found nothing.
Harbin also talked to a man named Taylor, and he had heard the story and had seen the rope on the water tower where the hired man was supposed to have been hanged, but it was frayed and had been up there quite some time. He said he was no kin but there are two other Taylor families in the county and that she might try to contact them.

Bates and Harbin both looked at the microfilm of the Wood County Democrat and looked through society books at the Quitman Public Library. Bates went to the courthouse to check on a death certificate, but Isaac Taylor was not listed in Wood County. The County Clerk suggested that since Winnsboro is in different counties, Wood, Hopkins, and Franklin, it’s probably listed in one of their death index books.

According to Winnsboro News of Oct. 27, 1922, “killed on Sunday” in Sherman, one Maynard Taylor. Could this have been Ike, and he delivered to Sherman instead of in Wood County?

Bates wrote again to Ottwell Sept. 10, 2009 that Harbin had found “a discrepancy.”

Harbin has found an article in a 1944 newspaper with an obituary or an article about Grogan (his mother’s maiden name) Shoemaker. It stated that Grogan’s father was the man who was killed by a black man and then the black man was taken from the jail and hanged from the water tower in Quitman. Harbin contacted the Dallas library and they looked it up and said that it was listed as Jan. 1, 1944. She found an article about his being very sick in the Wood County Democrat on Dec. 30, 1943, but the next newspaper (Jan. 6, 1944) is unreadable on the microfilm. She found Mr. Shoemaker’s wife’s maiden name from the marriage book in the genealogy room at the Quitman Public Library, and she also found some Shoemakers in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses. The maiden name of his wife was Annie (Anniebell) Wallace Taylor and her father’s name was Wallace Taylor.

Bates wrote Ottwell , “It’s possible that whoever told you that Ike Taylor was killed in that way may have gotten him confused with Grogan Shoemaker. The Taylors lived next door to the Shoemakers. It’s unfortunate, but many of our genealogy stories result this way because they are repeated over the years without documentation and people get confused.” (Editor’s note: the previous information is taken from a letter written to Mr. Ottwell by Shirley Bates in August 2009.)

Free Database of Wood County Names

Mark Reid, Publications Fulfillment and Computer Database chairman and co-chairman and newsletter executive editor, has made an offer to members: a computer file copy of his almost 19,000 person Wood County database. The price is “FREE.” Details are in a comment over at the Wood County Coffee Klatch at Genealogywise. http://www.genealogywise.com/group/woodcotxgencoffeeklatch (a clickable link). If interested, you can email Mark at the society email address: woodco@suddenlink.net

Query: Womack

The following query was posted by Nancy Carter on the Wood County Genealogy Coffee Klatch on Genealogywise:
I have a mystery concerning Sally Womack that married Louis Young about 1870. They resided in Wood County until Sally died about 1900. Who were Josh and Nora Womack?

If you have a response, you can go to her post on Genealogywise at this address http://www.genealogywise.com/group/woodcotxgencoffeeklatch (<– clickable link) or reply with a comment here and we will pass it on to the Coffee Klatch.

From the WCGS Newsletter Archives

Regarding the Wood County Courthouse Fire December 11, 1878:

From Volume 1, Page 1, of the Civil Minutes of the District Court of Wood County, Texas:
January 27, 1879
“This is the first Minute Books used after the fire which occurred in the morning of the 11th of December, A. D. 1878, at about 2 o’clock in the night, and which resulted in Destruction of the Courthouse and all the papers and records contained therein, said house is supposed to have been set on fire by some incendiary, but no one has been able to trace it to the purpertrator (sic) up to this date. Great was the loss in said fire to both private individuals and the officers of this county. District Court was in session at the time.” (This was from a newsletter entry labeled “Miscellaneous Tidbits from the Late Ona Wood’s Notes”, 1994 Volume, July Issue, Newsletter No. 35, page 50.)

Good Turnout For Expo

A big turnout at the Winnsboro Business Expo on the first weekend of Autumn Trails Days resulted in lots of visitors to the Wood County Genealogical Society booth/table. Fifty-one people signed the booth register and many more stopped to inquire about our genealogy and to visit. Surname some of the visitors are researching include Wilcox, Davis, Newsome, Johnson, Dodgen, Porter, Lindsey, Bearden, Cox, Sutton, Michael, Ray, Mills, Robison, Sansom, Jones, McElyea, Coe, Gaines, Kennedy, Bumgardner, and Williams.
WCGS members meet guests at Expo
Working at the booth were (above) members Vice-president Dorothy Harbin (who set up the display on Friday and was there from start to finish on Saturday) and Deason Hunt, and (below) Mary Beth Ramage, Martha Hunt, and Harbin.

WCGS members work at booth at Winnsboro expo

The society received lots of publicity, and a number of booth visitors expressed an interest in getting started on their own family lines and some an interest in coming to our regular monthly meetings. Followups to try to take advantage of the interest were discussed during the day.

How Many Ancestors Do You Have?

Do you know how many ancestors you have? Of course not. Let’s simplify the question: How many ancestors do you have in the past four hundred years? Many people do not know the answer to that question. Care to guess? (The answer is given below but please don’t peek just yet.)

The number of ancestors is simple to calculate as it is a simple mathematical progression: every person has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on. The number doubles with each generation. As you go back in years, the numbers soon become very large.

Family Forest, the producers of a CD-ROM lineage-linked database that digitally connects people with each other, can be considered experts in this topic. They have an excellent chart that illustrates the numbers quite well. Take a look at: http://www.familyforest.com/resources.html

Answer to the earlier question: If we assume that there is a new generation every twenty-five years, someone born 400 years before you would be 16 generations removed from you. According to the Family Forest chart, you would have 65,535 unique ancestors born in the previous 16 generations, assuming no overlap (that is, none of your ancestors were cousins to other ancestors).

However, all families can find a few cousins somewhere in the limbs of the family tree, resulting in the same ancestor(s) showing up in multiple places in the pedigree charts. Ask anyone who has done French-Canadian genealogy or has researched any families that lived for generations in one small village almost anyplace on earth.

If you go back to the time of Charlemagne, roughly 40 to 50 generations ago, you discover that you theoretically have more than one trillion ancestors! Of course, that’s far more than the total number of people who ever lived on the face of the earth. Obviously, you and everyone else have cousin marriages in your ancestry, resulting in ancestors showing up in multiple places in your family tree.

This article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2002 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author.

Membership Fees Now Due

Membership fees for the 2009-2010 society year are now due. If you have not yet done so, you can mail them to Wood County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 832, Quitman, Texas 75783. Make checks to the society. Current membership dues are $15 per individual or $20 per family. Dues may also may be paid at the October meeting Oct. 19 at the Quitman Public Library.

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