Monday, November 11, 2013

Military Monday: Jacob Isaac Osman

On this Veterans Day 2013, is it fate, coincidence or just plain ironic that I learned about a patriot ancestor that I knew nothing of before?  Another veteran in my family tree for which to be thankful.

I have a "new" cousin to thank for this information.  Ted actually sent me the info two or more years ago, but I just now sat down and took a good look at it today.  I know, shame on me.  So again, I ask you, was it fate or coincidence?  I tend to not believe in coincidence.

Jacob Isaac Osman was my 5th great-grandfather.  He was born in 1732 in Southold, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.   (I did not know I had roots in New York either!)  Isaac was a Private in the Revolutionary War.  

Forts Montgomery and Clinton were located just south of West Point, New York on the Hudson River and were built for the defense of the Hudson Highlands.   Isaac Osman and his family lived in Smith's Clove, New York, which was in the Town of New Cornwall on the other side of Long Hill west of Fort Montgomery.  

On the afternoon of October 6, 1777, approximately 3,000 Loyalists, Hessians, and British regulars attacked both forts simultaneously.  The forts were largely garrisoned by the local militia.  This militia of the district, about 600 in number, had been hastily called in the day before.  One of the regiments there that day was Col. Jesse Woodhull's regiment from Cornwall, of which both Isaac and his brother, Israel, also a private, were members.  In addition, Isaac and Israel's younger brother, John, a sergeant, was a member of Lamb's Artillery, and was also at the fort that day. 

After a few hours of intense fighting, Lieutenant Colonel Mungo Campbell and several British regulars approach Fort Montgomery waving a "white flag of truce."  The American forces, lead by Brigadier General George Clinton, sent out Lieutenant Colonel William Livingston to meet the enemy.  The British officers demand the rebels surrender and promise that "no harm will come to them."  Livingston refuses their offer of surrender and likewise invites Campbell to surender and promises him and his men "good treatment."  Outraged by Livingston's remarks, the British resume the battle.

The British closed in on all sides of the twin forts.  Lt. Colonel Campbell is killed in a violent attack on the north side of Fort Montgomery.  It is here that the British and Loyalist Troops overwhelm Clinton and the Orange County Militia, who are defending Fort Montgomery.  After a fierce resistance lasting until nightfall, the British overrun the Americans and gain control of Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton, and lead the courageous Militiamen from the fort at the point of their bayonets.  The American Patriots who were not killed in battle or did not escape were shipped off to the Sugar House Prison in New York City.  Among those were Isaac and Israel Osman. 

Now I am not very schooled in the Revolutionary War.  I had never heard of these Sugar House Prisons.  So of course I checked Wikipedia and found that during the 18th century, a large part of commerce in New York City was trade with the British West Indies.  Destined for refineries, sugar and molasses were imported and stored in warehouses built by merchant families.  Three of these large structures - Livingston's, Rhinelander's, and Van Cortlandt's sugar houses in Manhattan - were known for being used by the British Army to house prisoners of war during their occupation of New York City.  They also housed prisoners in British ships anchored in New York Harbor.

The Livingston sugar house (on the left) on Liberty Street in Manhattan, circa 1830.

 The treatment of these prisoners were horrific.  The fledgling American government or the prisoners' families were expected to furnish food and supplies.  However, it was discovered that the Provost Marshal of the Prison, William Cunningham, had been selling the food and supplies that were sent for the prisoners.  In addition, conditions were not sanitary due to overcrowding, etc.  During the occupation of New York City by the British, it is estimated that 17,500 prisoners perished on the ships and in the prisons from starvation, smallpox, dysentery, typhus, and yellow fever, more than double that of casualties from battle. 

Both Isaac and his brother, Israel, died in the Sugar House Prison.  They were buried in unmarked graves somewhere in New York City, possibly in the Trinity Churchyard. 

In Lower Manhatten at the corner of Broadway and Wall Streets in the Trinity Churchyard, there is a memorial where Patriots of the American Revolution are remembered.  This monument was erected by church leaders in 1852.  It honors not only my ancestors, Isaac and Israel Osman, but all of the unknown American soldiers and sailors of the Revolutionary War who were imprisoned, died, and buried in unmarked graves.  

            Monument to Revolutionary War prisoners at Trinity Church, Manhattan. Photograph by Joshua Ruff.
 And what became of their younger brother, John, you may ask?  When I started writing this post, I did not know.  During the course of my research, I found his name on a list of 8,000 men who were prisoners on board "The Old Jersey," or the "Hell," as she was called, a prison ship anchored in the East River.  Often more than a thousand prisoners at a time were confined in her, and they endured terrible suffering.  Her nickname came from its inhumane conditions and the obscenely high death rate of its prisoners.  

John was one of the fortunate few who survived that experience.  I do not know how, but he did.  He lived to be 71.  

So three brothers went to war and fought for the new country they believed in.  Only one came back.  I am sure he was not the same man who left.  

To say that I am proud of the sacrifices my ancestors made for this country would be an understatement.  I am humbled by their courage and perseverance.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Drake or not?

This picture was among my Grandmother's, Nealie Drake Tapley's, things.  Thus, I believe this gentlemen was a member of her family. Her father, perhaps?  An uncle?  Is that some sort of military uniform?  I wish I knew the answers to these questions. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday's Child: Johnny Lonzy Perdue

Johnny Lonzy Perdue

b 27 Sep 1904
d 11 Dec 1904

laid to rest at
Minton Chapel Advent Christian Church Cemetery
Johnson County, Georgia

child of
John J Perdue
Linnie Schwalls Perdue

Baby Johnny Perdue was  my 1st cousin, 2x removed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Silas Townsend

Silas Townsend 

Funeral services for Silas Townsend, 85, who died Saturday in a local hospital, will be held Tuesday at 2pm at the Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home by the Rev. Kermit Matthews, assisted by the Rev. Ralph Godwin. Burial will be in Cross Creek Cemetery.

For many years, Mr. Townsend operated a Bonnie Doone Grocery Store. He was a native of Johnson County, Ga. and lived here about 35 years.

Surviving are four daughters, Mrs. Novie Cochrane of Fayetteville, Mrs. Dewey Poole of Swainsboro, Ga., Mrs. Albert Lloyd of Macon, Ga., and Mrs. Frank Rogers of Kite, Ga.; three sons, Ernest Townsend of Tionesta, Pa., Benny Townsend of Macon, Ga., and Jake Townsend of Washington, DC.; and 18 grandchildren.

Active pallbearers will be George Masourias, Ernest Jackson, Lonnie Cumbee, Roy Ferrell, B. F. Harrill, Andrew Folk, Joe Knox, H. L. Williams Sr., Floyd Short, and Thomas Grooms.

Additional Comments:

Silas was born 19 Nov 1879 to James A. Townsend and Georgia Ann Tyson Townsend. North Carolina death certificate #4455 His first wife was Catherine "Cass" Tyson Townsend who is buried in Sardis Church Cemetery in Emanuel County, Georgia. 

Johnson-Emanuel County GaArchives Obituaries.....Townsend, Silas James February 27, 1965

The Fayetteville Observer 3-1-1965 Page 7B

File at:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Surname Saturday: Drake

The surname Drake comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "draca" which means a dragon or sea serpent.  Draca has its roots in the Latin terms "draco" or "drago."  As a nickname, they could apply to someone fierce in battle, or a standard bearer.  Draca was used in medieval England to mean a battle standard as well as dragon.  Soon after the Norman invasion in 1066, the name appeared in the Isle of Wight and Hampshire area in the south of England.  From Saxon times, the name was found at Musbury in Devon.  A John Drake was recorded as holding lands at Musbury as early as 1272.

Outside Devon, Drakes were found in Somerset, Dorset, Buckinghamshire, and East Anglia.

In the 17th century, Drakes came to America.  Richard Drake arrived in Virginia from Somerset in 1658.  His descendants were planters in Isle of Wight county.  The Drake name cropped up in North Carolina in the early 1700's, particularly in Nash County.  These are the Drakes I am descended from. 

I have information about 11 generations of my paternal Drake line:

- Richard Drake

My 9th great-grandfather.  Birth and date information unknown, except the assumption that he was born in England.  His spouse is unknown.  I know only about three children: 

John Drake
Mary Drake
Thomas Drake

- John Drake

My 8th great-grandfather.  He was born about 1647 in South Petherton, Somerset, England and died about 1690, presumably in Virginia.  He married about 1670 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Jemima Parnell, birth and death information unknown.  They had the following children (there were probably more):

   John Drake
  Thomas Drake
  Richard Drake

- John Drake

My 7th great-grandfather.  He was born about 1675 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia and died in 1753 in Southhampton County, Virginia.  His spouse is unknown, and I only have information about one of his children: 

- Barnaby Drake Sr

My 6th great-grandfather.  He was born about 1710 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia and died in 1797 in Southhampton County, Virginia.  He married Mary Scott, and I only have information about one of their children:

- Exum Drake Sr

My 5th great-grandfather.  He was born about 1745 in Southhampton County, Virginia and died after 1820 in Georgia.  He married Keziah MNU (maiden name and birth and date information unknown).  They had the following children:

  Richard Drake
  James Drake

  FNU Drake
  Exum Drake Jr
  Brittain Drake
- Richard Drake

My 4th great-grandfather.  He was born about 1775 in Southhampton County, Virginia and died 24 January 1857 in Emanuel County, Georgia.  He married 24 February 1803 in Southhampton County, Virginia, Pherabah Bryant, birth and death information unknown.  I only have information on one child:

- Francis Bryant Drake

My 3rd great-grandfather.  He was born 17 October 1806 in Nash County, North Carolina and died 27 December 1875 in Johnson County, Georgia.  He married 6 November 1828 in Washington County, Georgia, Selina King, born 21 July 1812 and died 27 May 1899.  They had the following children:

  James William Drake
  Pheribah Elizabeth Drake
  Bathsheba Winfred Drake
  Eliza Jane Drake
  Francis Milton Drake
  Richard Franklin Drake
  John Saffold Drake
  Thomas Lamar Drake

  Sarah Ann Selina Drake
  Robert Lemuel Drake
  Infant Drake
  Adra Ann Sarusha Drake

- James William Drake

My 2nd great-grandfather.  He was born 19 December 1829 in Washington County, Georgia and died 14 December 1908 in Emanuel County, Georgia.  He married 29 June 1856 in Washington County, Georgia, Mary Ann R. Brantley, born 19 December 1837 in Georgia and died 5 May 1891 in Emanuel County, Georgia.  They had the following children:

  William John Drake
  Francis Richard Drake
  James Thomas Drake

  Willie Elizabeth Drake
  Martha Loueazer Drake
  George Franklin Drake
  Mary Selina Drake
  Nancy Elizabeth Winfred Drake
  Lovick Pierce Drake 

- William John Drake

My great grandfather.  He was born 23 September 1857 in Emanuel County, Georgia, and died 19 August, 1927 in Emanuel County, Georgia.  He married (1) 24 July 1879 in Johnson County, Georgia, Willie Elizabeth Allen, born 23 January 1864 and died 21 January 1882.  They had one child:

  Samantha Augusta Drake

He married (2) 30 July 1883, Emma Vermell Harrell, born 4 September 1867 in Emanuel County, Georgia and died 19 October 1935 in Sandersville, Washington County, Georgia.  They had the following children:

  Hattie Lay Drake
  Kenneth Catherine Drake
  Willliam Lovick Drake

  Nealie Vermell Drake
  William Robert Drake
  James Weldon Drake
  Keland Lawton Drake
  Nancy Mary Ann Drake
  Martha Lou Drake

- Nealie Vermell Drake Tapley

My grandmother was born 29 January 1895 and died 4 July 1970 in Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia.  She married 5 April 1914 in Louisville, Jefferson County, Georgia, Lusion Keman Tapley, born 31 March 1870 in Johnson County, Georgia and died 3 July 1935 in Wadley, Jefferson County, Georgia.  They had the following children:

  William Lamar Tapley
  John Russell Tapley
  (Hugh) Dorsey Franklin Tapley
  Jack Dempsey Tapley
  Irene Tapley
  Gilbert Earl Tapley

- Gilbert Earl Tapley

My father was born 19 June 1928 in Johnson County, Georgia and died 15 December 2008 in Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia.  He married (1) Margaret E. Skipper, born 7 November 1927 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and died 27 May 1984 in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.  They had two children.  Gilbert married (2) Annie Eloise Lee, born 27 February 1910 and died 8 July 1988 in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.  They had no children.  (3) He and my mother had the following children:

  Michael Edward Tapley
- And ME


House of,,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Swimsuit season

My grandmother,
Nealie Drake Tapley,


my aunt,
Elizabeth Taylor Tapley,

in their swimsuits
circa 1960's
in Florida somewhere.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Mary Tapley Redman/Redmon

Photo courtesy of FindaGrave contributor Renae Burgess Lynn

Mary Elizabeth Tapley Redman

b abt 1755
d 1835

laid to rest at
Redman Family Cemetery
(on private property)
Iredell County, North Carolina
wife of
 Thomas Erastus Redman

daughter of
Hosea Tapley Jr
Sarah Green Tapley

Mary was my 1st cousin, 6x removed.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Maude Rawls Foskey

Maude Foskey

 Maude Foskey of 701 NW 30th Ave. died Saturday at her home. She was 84.
 A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Mrs. Foskey came to Gainesville from Lake Butler 36 years ago. She was a homemaker and a Methodist.

 Survivors include a daughter, Adolyen Hendricks of Gainesville; a son, Clifford C. Foskey of Columbus, Ga.; a sister, Nora Mosley of Wrightsville, Ga.; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Funeral Notice

Foskey, Mrs. Maude---Funeral services for Mrs. Foskey, age 84, Homemaker, will be held at 1:00PM on Monday, December 11, 1982 at Graveside with Brother Hollis Miller conducting the services. Burial will be in Crosby Lake Cemetery under the direction of Johnson-Hayes Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St., Gainesville, Mrs. Foskey, who lived at 701 NW 30th Ave. Gainesville, Fla., died Saturday, December 11, 1982 at her residence.
Johnson County GaArchives Obituaries.....Foskey, Maude Rawls  December 11, 1982

The Gainesville Sun 12-11-1982

File at:

Maude was married to my 1st cousin, 2x removed, Lester Ottis Foskey.