Thursday, January 31, 2013

What took you so long?

This is the new grave marker for my great uncle Stephen Fulford that arrived this week. He died 100 years ago today and was buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Bern, North Carolina. He outlived his two wives and had moved from his father's home and relatives on the Straits in Carteret County 50 years before, so his grave was never marked.

It will be installed Saturday with an assist from some good folks in the area.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Life of Crime

Cornelius Seay Black (1842-1905) was the son of Charity Wilson and Abraham Black. He was born and died in Pike County Alabama. We drive thru Troy, Alabama on our way to Florida and it's usually a gas stop. I never knew anything about Cornelius Black until a cousin asked me to research him. His father was a preacher for the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Pike County but his son must have slept during most of the sermons. The only records I've found on him are not good. A parole record when he was let out of prison early for murder and a newspaper account of his death, at the hands of his son.

Alabama Parole Record

His mother, Charity Wilson, was the daughter of Godwin Wilson and apparently the sister of my great great grandfather Moses Wilson. I am sure they were related but I'm not ready to say she was his sister. She could have been a first cousin. The census, land and other records along with recent dna testing prove a family connection, I just don't know in which generation.

On November 16, 1894 Cornelius Black was sent to prison for murder. I haven't found records about the crime yet but guess it wasn't thought of as too terrible because his sentence was only 20 years and he only served 3 1/2 years before being pardoned.

Montgomery Advertiser December 23, 1905 Page 10
On the 1900 census his wife Frances listed herself as a widow even though he was living in the same community with another woman. He had married the mother of his son's wife, Julia Pool. That didn't work out too good for him because five years later there was this newspaper article in the Montgomery, Alabama "Advertiser."

It tells of his son shooting him dead during a fight over custody of the son's children. The description of Cornelius says he "has a very unsavory reputation in the county, having been in all kinds of trouble at various times." I don't know if that went on his tombstone, I haven't found one for him yet. I would hope there were other redeeming qualities, but so far they have been elusive.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Checking Out the Competition

My great grandfather William August Lundy was pretty industrious. He farmed, owned orange groves, had a commercial boat landing on the Manatee River near Bradenton, Florida and was a real estate developer, selling lots for farms and houses. I recently found he also did ok investing in Texas oil land.
Tampa Tribune August 12, 1902, page 8

But his most interesting business was the warm spring adjacent to the Manatee River he called the lost Fountain of Youth and marketed as Ponce de Leon Mineral Springs.

He may have been even better at business than we thought. I found this newspaper article from 1902, just five months before he died that showed he wasn't averse to checking out the competition.
The article talks about the trip he, his oldest son and their wives made to see the Glenn Springs Resort in South Carolina. At the time it was a 75 year old resort and hotel built around a sulphur spring.

It had been marketed successfully as a cure for all kinds of ailments and even wounded troops from the Mexican War had been sent there to recover.

They also sold bottled water, just as William Lundy was doing with his spring in Florida.

According to an article written by the University of South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program, "Glenn Springs Water claimed to cure an impressive list of maladies, such as "general debility, torpor of the liver, dyspepsia, liver complaints, female complaints, malarial diseases, jaundice, hemorrhoids, and rheumatism."

I don't know if William Lundy was actually checking out the resort to see if he could copy some of their success back home or if he just needed a vacation.

Whatever his motive he didn't have time to make any changes to his Fountain of Youth venture. He died soon after getting back home and the land was sold to settle his estate.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Joseph Augustine Mora

Joseph Augustine Mora was one of the oldest fishermen in Cortez, Florida when he died in 1931. He was 84 and had lived in the fishing community for almost 50 years. Commercial fishing is a hard life and those that do it don't normally make it to four score, espicially in his generation. 

Tampa Tribune Wednesday, July 8, 1931

His obituary from the Tampa Tribune said he was born in the Canary Islands. On census records his place of birth varied from the Canary Islands in 1880, Cuba in 1900 and Spain in 1910 and later years. He was born March 17, 1847 and died July 6, 1931. He was buried in the Palma Sola Cemetery.

He probably considered himself Spanish. There were Spanish fisherman living in the Cortez area during the fall fishing seasons for at least a hundred years before anyone else settled there. They built shelters out of the palm tree branches and I guess they didn't worry if their homes were washed away during hurricane season. That may be the way to go with a beach house.  

Joseph Mora probably heard of Cortez from some of the descendants of these early Spanish mullet fishermen when he moved there around 1888. He had been fishing in the Key West area before heading north and was listed there on both the 1880 and 1885 census.

Spanish Rancho

He had a total of ten children with nine of them born to his second wife Mary "Minnie" Hazel who he married on July 11, 1891. Minnie died September 12, 1917 one week after the birth of their youngest daughter Sarah Louise Mora Fulford. Minnie was buried in the Palma Sola Cemetery also. There no markers for either her or Joseph in the cemetery. I found an old map of the Palma Sola cemetery lots and it shows he owned Plot 8 in Block C, next to the church building.      

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Emeline's Story

I wrote a story recently about Emeline Jamison Pigott, a distant relative who was a Confederate Spy.

I've since come across several old newspaper accounts of her arrest and thought I would share. This first one is from the Old North State newspaper which was published in Salisbury, NC and is dated February 18, 1865. The headline is "Beaufort Waiflets." Do you know what that means?


This second article, "A Blockade Runner in Petticoats" was in the Boston Herald, dated February 24, 1865.
Boston Herald, February 24, 1865 page 4

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Kingsessing Park

My daughter and her husband were visiting over Christmas and it reminded me of the trip my son in law and I took to Kingsessing Park the first weekend in November. My wife and I were in Philadelphia for a visit and I told him I wanted to see what was there, since it was the original homestead of one of her great grandfathers.  

I wrote earlier about her distant cousin, James Barton Longacre,who was the Engraver for the US Mint in Philadelphia during the mid 1800s and their common ancestor who had settled in the Kingsessing area, which is just a few blocks from where my daughter lives.

Peter Longacre, who was born November 16,1682, was the son of Andreas Peterson Longacre and Magdalena Cock. Peter's father was the first Longacre in the family.

According to the book "The 1693 Census of the Swedes on the Delaware River" by Peter Stebbins Craig, the Swedish families adopted surnames for the census as requested by William Penn, the Governor of Pennsylvania. Their custom had been to take a name from their father's first name rather than having a surname like their English neighbors. At this point the Swedes who had settled in the area first were not getting along too well with their English Governor but they complied with the order to start using surnames. Longacre is supposed to mean long field or maybe designate someone who owned a lot of land. That would have fit Andres Peterson when he added the name since he owned a large farm in Chester County.  

St. Paul's Episcopal Church marriage record
His son, Peter Longacre married Barbara Nilsdotter (Friend) at the St Paul´s Episcopal Church in Chester, Pennsylvania on November 16, 1705. 

Peter owned 200 acres in what is now southwest Philadelphia in a community called Kingsessing. This was the first area settled by Europeans in Philadelphia when they arrived in 1646. They had at least five children, including my wife's ancestor Andrew Longacre. Peter died on May 7, 1739. I found his death notice in the American Weekly Mercury newspaper from Philadelphia.

American Weekly Mercury 5/10/1739

Andrew Longacre moved from Philadelphia to Virginia. He was the first in four generations of Longacre men who moved from the State they were born in to another, before the family ended up in West Texas in the 1860s. They followed a migration like many after the Revolutionary war, to the South and then West as Indian Land was opened to settlement.

So anyway, we walked around Kingsessing Park and the neighborhood back in November. There wasn't much there of note but my wife would be proud that a branch of the Philadelphia "Free Library" is located there.