Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Family Resemblance

My mom

My grandmother, Ethel Irene Ranney Tapley

My great-grandmother, Bessie Alice Carter Ranney

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Robert Alexander Weatherup

Robert "Bob" Alexander Weatherup

b 19 Dec 1916
New York
d 06 Dec 2003
Portola Valley, San Mateo County, Caliornia

laid to rest at
Hillside Memorial Park
Redlands, San Bernardino County, California

Husband of 
Kathryn Crites Hesser Weatherup

Son of
Garfield E and Pearl Rose Weatherup

Bob was married to my (half) 2nd cousin, 2x removed.
(Please see Sunday's Obituary post for relationship chart.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: William Drake Indenture

"This Indenture made this Twenty first day of March in the year of our Lord Anno Domini Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Between William Drake Trustee of the State of NoCarolina and County of Nash of the one part & Lawrence Battle of the same State and County of the other Witnesseth that whereas John Arrington Jnr of the same State and County as aforesaid executed a Deed in trust to one the aforesaid William Drake for Certain purposes therein Named on the fourteenth day of September eighteen Hundred and Nineteen which Said Deed was duly proven and Registered as the Law Directs & then agreeable thereto I the aforesaid William Drake did legally impose to the highest Bidder as the property of the aforesaid John Arrington Jnr at this Court House Door Four Hundred And Twenty acres of Land adjoining Benj a Atkins & Atkins on [?] Called the Burgh Land for which Lawrence Battle gave One Hundred And Six Dollars and five Cents he being the highest bidder Also at the Same time & plan all the aforesaid John Arrington Jnr sight title Interest [?] [?] Tract of Land known by the Name of the Alston Land supposed To Contain four thousand acres  - And on Peach tree break Adjoining George Bodder & others & the [?] on [?] adjoining Jayms O. Atkins for which Lawrence Battle gave Two hundred & Sixty Dollars he being the highest bidder all of which Lands was publickly and fairly Sold Therefor then for and income collection of the Sum of Three Hundred and Sixty Six Dollars and five Cents To me In hand paid by the aforesaid Lawrence Battle before the Sealing and Delivering of these persons I the aforesaid William Drake trustee do hereby bind myself, my Heirs & to him the said Lawrence Battle his Heirs & forever to Defend the Right title Interest benefit and behoof to him The Said Lawrence Battle his heirs and assigns forever of all the aforesaid Lands Interest benefits & so far as my official authority Extends in the same In testimony thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the Day and Date first above written.

Wm Drake Trustee {Seal]

Signed Sealed and Delivered
In the presence of us}
James Avent}
James Allann}
Benj [?] Blunt}

Nash County/Feby Session 1821

the within Deed was In Open Court Duly proven by the Oath of James Avent and an motion ordered to be registered.

And is registered by [?] Ellis PR"

Nash County (NC) Deeds, Vol. 10, 1818-23 p. 212-213
 At this time, I do not know how this particular William Drake fits into my Drake family.  He appears as a witness to several Drake deeds in both Virginia and North Carolina, which leads me to believe that he is a close relative.

Can anyone explain to me exactly what this indenture is?  My interpretation is that William Drake was entrusted to sell others' land.  I suspect it was more complex than that.  I would appreciate any help.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Robert Alexander Weatherup

"Robert A. Weatherup
Retired aerospace engineer

Robert Alexander Weatherup, who worked as an aerospace engineer after a long career as a U.S. Naval officer, died in his Portola Valley home on December 6, two weeks before his 87th birthday.

Born in rural New York state, Mr. Weatherup graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1940, and later earned graduate degrees from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and the California Institute of Technology.

He served in World War II -- his recognitions for that service included a Purple Heart -- and the Korean War. He also was professor of naval science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Weatherup married Kathryn Hesser in 1943, and the couple and their family lived in Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Washington, Missouri and several California cities, including San Jose.

After retirement from the Navy in 1961, Mr. Weatherup worked as an aerospace engineer for Douglas Aircraft Co., McDonnell Douglas Co., and Lockheed.

In recent years, Mr. Weatherup lived in Portola Valley with his daughter, Ann W. Gage, and her husband, Stanley. Mr. Weatherup was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn.

In addition to Ann and Stanley Gage, Mr. Weatherup is survived by two sons, Roy of Northridge, California, and John of Lincoln, California; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, January 10, at 11 a.m. at Evergreen Valley United Methodist Church, 3520 San Felipe Road, San Jose.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that memorial donations be made to the Evergreen Valley Church or to the Peninsula Volunteers Meals on Wheels program in Menlo Park, where Mr. Weatherup volunteered for the past two years."  

Source:  The Almanac Online, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside (CA), Publication Date: Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Bob Weatherup was married to my (half) 2nd cousin, 2 times removed.

Mary Elizabeth Tapley
Linda Irene Tapley
My mother
Ethel Irene Ranney
My grandmother
Luther Boardman Ranney
My great-grandfather
Mary Margaret Hesser
My 2nd great-grandmother
James Warren Hesser
My 3rd great-grandfather
Jonathan Elisha Hesser
James Warren’s son;  Mary Margaret’s (half) brother; and my (half) 2nd great grand uncle
Otho Elwood Hesser
Jonathan’s son and my (half) 1st cousin, 3x removed
Kathryn Crites Hesser
Otho’s daughter and my (half) 2nd cousin, 2x removed
Robert Alexander Weatherup
Kathryn’s husband

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The "Other You"

Dear genealogists everywhere, it's Saturday Night!  Time for some Genealogy FUN.  

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

 * Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.  Be mindful of your family's privacy, though!

* Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or write a Facebook status post or a Google+ Stream post.

Here's mine:

I think my life IS genealogy and family history research... when I'm not working 8am-5pm or doing chores or walking the dog.  LOL.  OK, I do have other interests... they just seem to take a back seat to my genealogy.  But anyway, here they are:

* Scrapbooking.  I've gotten away from it the last couple of years, but I have more than enough supplies and plenty of pictures to keep me busy for many years to come.  I have a few friends who I scrapbook with so that has motivated me to do more of it.

* Traveling and seeing new places.  I don't get to travel much anymore, but I love to visit anywhere new, whether it is a history museum, a Civil War site, a zoo, an aquarium, the beach, or just a nearby park.  

* Reading.  I have gotten back to my reading and I now read two books at once... a traditional bound book at home and a Kindle book on my lunch hour at work.  I am finally getting to read books that I've had around for years just waiting for me to pick them up!  My favorite genre is mystery by far - I love James Patterson, John Grisham, and Dean Koontz - but I also enjoy history books and most anything except science fiction.

 * Movies and TV.  I don't watch a ton of TV, especially since I don't have TV service at home.  I watch TV online and not everything is available so I just have a few favorites, i.e., Covert Affairs, Rizzoli and Isles, Burn Notice, Revenge, The Vampire Diaries, 20/20, Jon Stewart (if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't get any news! LOL), Law and Order:  SVU, and House Hunters.  I do enjoy going to the movies and watching movies at home.  My favorites are romantic comedies.  I want to escape when I read a book or watch a movie, so I HATE sad endings.  I get enough of those in real life!  I want them to live happily ever after.  

* Going out with friends.  I am still in the process of establishing new friendships here in North Carolina, but I have met enough people that I usually have at least one place to go on the weekends.  Tonight is an early Mardi Gras party at a friend's house, where I will participate in another one of my favorite activities:

* Dancing.  I love to dance.  I don't care how I look or who's looking cause it is tremendous fun, freeing, and good exercise.  I am told that I am a good dancer, but I do it for the fun of it.

* Walking.  Usually with my dog cause she loves to go for a walk.  The weather and getting dark so early has not been conducive lately, but I do get out with her on the weekends.  I enjoy hiking... especially if there is a waterfall at the end of the trail!  I am not into 8 mile hikes, but I'm good for 2-3.  

Not very exciting, maybe, but it's my life.  I guess I do have some life outside of genealogy.   Surprising, isn't it?  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bessie Carter Ranney's 1929 Diary - Week 4, January 20-26

(To read entries from my maternal great-grandmother's 1929 diary, please click on the tab "Posts by Topic" and then go to the topic "California." All posts are listed there.)
The Players:

The writer is Bessie Carter Ranney, my great-grandmother.
Her husband:
Luther Boardman Ranney, my great-grandfather
 Her children:
Ethel, my grandmother
Viella Crites Hesser, wife of Luther's first cousin, Otho Hesser

Jonathan Elisha "Uncle Jon't" Hesser & his wife, Sarah Catherine "Aunt Kate" Hall Hesser, Luther's uncle and aunt and Otho's parents.
   Sunday, January 20, 1929:  "The girls and I went to Sun. S. but didn't stay to Church.  Had early dinner & went to Viella's in P.M.  She has had tonsilitis and is just getting around.  It snowed hard while we were there.  Came home and went to Vespers.  Had lunch and went to Church in the evening.  Rained."

  Monday, January 21, 1929:  "Real cold but has stopped raining.  Washed and cleaned up house in the forenoon.  Went up town when Luther went after the girls.  Too wet for L. to work so he cut wood.  Stayed at Woessner's in the evening.  Ironed after I came home from town."

  Tuesday, January 22, 1929:  "Ironed & went over to Woesnner's at noon and stayed until 4.  Alice and I went up town and to the library after supper.  Then stayed at Woessner's until midnight."

  Wednesday, January 23, 1929:  "Cleaned cupboard and baked some.  Went over to Woessner's at 12:15 and stayed until 4:30.  Alice went to S.S. supper served by Mr. Perry."

  Thursday, January 24, 1929:  "Cleaned up sink & did house worked.  Went over to Mrs. Woessner's & worked for 1 1/2 hrs.  Did some sewing & fixing in the afternoon.  Called on Mrs. Grigsby.  Alice & I went to Mission Study class in the evening.  A fine lecture with pictures on the Mexicans."

  Friday, January 25, 1929:  "Went over & helped Mrs. Woessner clean up her house for company & went back after dinner & washed her dishes.  Had Ed, Willard & Dale Espy here for supper.  The folks all went to the Passion play & church & I went & washed W's supper dishes then ours.  The folks came home & played cards awhile & K. popped corn.  Arthur W. called about 11 P.M. to borrow some comforters."

  Saturday, January 26, 1929:  "Ethel went up to Forest Home on milk wagon with Maurice while Alice & I did the work.  Got home about two.  Girls went to town in the afternoon.  I washed W's dinner dishes.  Maurice was here for supper & he & Ethel went to the show in the evening."

December 1929, horse-drawn milk wagon.
Image courtesy of

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Those Places Thursday: Johnson County, Georgia

 What can I say about Johnson County?  It is the cradle of my family.  It was home to my father and 3-4 generations before him.  It is my heritage.  It is where I come from.  It is where all the funny, sad, and poignant family stories start.  As a matter of fact, there really aren't many conversations about the Tapley family that do not include some mention of Johnson County, Georgia.

Johnson County was created by the Georgia legislature December 11, 1858 from parts of Emanuel, Laurens and Washington counties. It was the 129th county formed in Georgia.  Johnson County was named for Georgia governor, senator, and unsuccessful U.S. vice-presidential candidate Herschel Vespasian Johnson.  The county seat is Wrightsville.  The county also has the towns of Kite and Adrian (which is actually partly in Johnson and partly in Emanuel County). 

County Courthouse, 1923
County Courthouse, 2010
My second great-grand uncle, James M. Tapley, was one of the founders of Johnson County, helped pick the location of the county seat, and was a representative in the Georgia Legislature when the county was first formed, 1859-1860.  Most of the family were farmers, but many of them took time out to serve the county.  My second great-grandfather, George Washington Tapley, was a Magistrate and Justice of the Peace.  Another second great-grandfather, George Schwalls, served as the county's coroner.  My grand uncle, Jim Tapley, was a deputy sheriff with the county.  Several members of the family served on juries.  My great-grand uncle, Francis Tapley, my great-grandfather Jim Tapley, and my great-grandfather, George Schwalls all represented the county as CSA soldiers in the Johnson County Battleground Guards, 48th Regiment. 

Most of my ancestors are buried in Johnson County.  My great-grandparents and many other family members are buried at Oaky Grove.  Other great-grandparents are buried at Minton's Chapel.  My Drake ancestors are buried at Popular Springs.  One set of grandparents and uncles are buried at Powell's Chapel.  My other grandparents and my father are buried at Gumlog.  Other various family members are buried at several different cemeteries throughout the county.  

I still have family members living in Johnson County.  My cousin, Bennett Wesley Tapley, Jr., who is my go-to person for Tapley family history, still lives there, and I try to visit him whenever I'm there. 

It is a relatively small county with a population of less than 10,000 people.  There is not much industry there - most folks are farmers - so the population has gone down due to the lack of jobs, I imagine. 

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 2,919
1870 2,964
1880 4,800
1890 6,129
1900 11,409
1910 12,897
1920 13,546
1930 12,681
1940 12,953
1950 9,893
1960 8,048
1970 7,727
1980 8,660
1990 8,329
2000 8,560
2010 9,980

However, if someone was looking for country, quiet, peaceful living, Johnson County, Georgia would be a good place to go!  Maybe that's why the population increased between 2000 and 2010!

I will continue to go back there... to visit my family and learn about my roots. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Luther Boardman Ranney

Luther Boardman Ranney
b 11 Mar 1870
Chapin, Saginaw County, Michigan
d 09 Oct 1943
San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California

laid to rest at
 Mountain View Cemetery (Memorial Park)
San Bernardino, California

husband of
Bessie Alice Carter Ranney

son of
Comfort Ranney
Mary Margaret Hesser Ranney

 Luther was my great-grandfather.

Mary Elizabeth Tapley
Linda Irene Tapley
My mother
Ethel Irene Ranney
My grandmother
Luther Boardman Ranney
My great-grandfather