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Bev Gillihan Confederate Grave Yard found in Campbell County
Two women’s efforts lead to discovery of burial ground
Submitted by Trulene H. Nash
Reprinted with permission from "The Campbell Countian"


For some forgotten soldiers in Campbell County, it took the chance meeting of two women to uncover a treasure trove of history.

Alice Coker knew the cemetery was there and that Bob Delay and several others kept it in excellent shape until the 1960s. Coker used to visit the cemetery and always wondered why there were so many sunken graves and who was buried in them. Bob Delay told her he had heard that there was a Civil War encampment at the foot of Pine Mountain near a big spring and that many of the soldiers had sickened and died.

Coker says, “I always thought I’d find time to do some research but I never did.”

Some 40 years later the second piece of the puzzle dropped into her lap. In December 2002 a woman by the name of Leda Cornett from North Carolina walked into the Campbell County Historical Museum and said she believed that her grandfather was buried in Delap Cemetery. Sara Chaniott was on duty that day and was one of the few people who knew about the old neglected cemetery. Sara called Alice and Alice said “Please send the lady to my house as soon as possible.”

From the visitor Coker learned that records showed members of the 58th Regiment of the Confederate Army of North Carolina [1] were buried at Delap. From these bits of information an image began to swirl into focus.

“The winter of 1862-1863 at Delay was a very harsh winter,” Coker found after doing more research. “Over 1000 men came from Cumberland Gap, where two Tennesseans had joined the troops [2] . (The regiment was formed at Camp Martin in Mitchell County, NC.). The regiment was assigned to guard Big Creek Gap. [3] ”

Records show that a total of 50 men died while camped in the Jacksboro area.

Recently, county prisoners, under the supervision of Environmental Officer Glennis Monday, began the slow arduous process of clearing the ground. Eighty loads of brush have been removed from the cemetery. The needs for preserving this cemetery, however, are still many: including chemicals to kill the roots of plants that have been cut down, road work, fill dirt, and a fence with a strong gate. Bob Andreas, County Veterans’ Service Officer, made arrangements for the fifty military headstones which have already been delivered.

This Memorial Day these once “lost” soldiers can rest in peace. Although they were never completely forgotten, their remains will soon be marked with tombstones after more than 140 years. Now, their families have a place to come and honor their ancestors thanks to two determined women who never forgot.

A fund has been set up at Peoples Nation Bank, Civil War- Delay, 2300 Jacksboro Pike, P.O. Box 1221, Lafollette, TN 37766.

The following list is the fifty men from the North Carolina 58th Regiment (Confederate) who are believed to have died and are buried in Delay Cemetery, Campbell County, TN.

BAIRD, John H. Private (Company D)
Enlisted in Watauga County on June 7, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN prior to March 2, 1863. Date and cause of death not reported.

BAKER, Newton A., Private (Company B)
Born in Yancey County and enlisted in Mitchell County at age 25, May 17, 1862. Mustered in as Private. Reported present in January-February 1863. Promoted to Corporal prior to March 1, 1863. Reduced in rank on an unspecified date. Died at Jacksboro, TN March 24, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

BROWN, William L, Private (Company H)
Resided in Watauga County where he enlisted on August 5, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died in hospital at Jacksboro, TN March 18, 1863, of “brain fever”.

BURLESON, Jason E., Private, (Company K, Previously Company E)
Previously served as Private in Company E of this regiment. Transferred to this company on or about July 29, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, February 5, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

CRAWFORD, James M, Private (Company C)
Born in Yancey County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Yancey County on July 12, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, January 21, 1863 of disease. Was 25 years of age at the time of his death.

COFFEY, Elbert, Private (Company E)
Born in Caldwell County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Caldwell County at age 25, July 5 1862. Reported present in January – April 1863. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, May 15, 1863 of disease.

COFFEY, Jesse F., Private (Company E)
Born in Caldwell County where he resided as a farmer prior to enlisting in Caldwell County at the age of 20, July 25, 1862. Reported present in January – February 1863. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, March 7, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

EGGERS, Adam, Corporal (Company D)
Born on July 23, 1831. Resided in Watauga County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Watauga County at age 30, July 7, 1862. Promotion record not reported. Died at Jacksboro, TN, January 2, 1863 of “fever”.

FRANKLIN, Samuel D., Private (Company A)
Enlisted on December 30, 1861. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, prior to March 20, 1863. Date and cause of death not reported.

GARLAND, Hodge R., Private (Company B)
Born in Burke County and resided in Mitchell or Yancey County where he was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Mitchell County at age 52, May 17, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, January 30, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

GLENN, Dudley G., Private (Company D)
Resided in Watauga County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Watauga County at age 21, June 27, 1862. Died in Tennessee in October, 1862 of “sickness”.

GREEN, Larkin, Private (Company E)
Previously served as Private in Company D of this regiment. Transferred to this company on or about July 29, 1862. Died at Cumberland Gap, TN or Big Creek Gap, TN on or about November 18, 1862. Cause of death not reported.

GRIFFIN, Stephen R., Private (Company G)
Born in Stanly County and resided in Caldwell County where he was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Caldwell County on July 16, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died in hospital at Jacksboro, TN, April 1, 1863. Cause of death not reported. Was 25 years of age at the time of his death.

GRUBB, Phillip H., Private (Company D)
Enlisted in Watauga County on November 7, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at “Jackson” (probably Jacksboro) TN, February 27, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

HARTLEY, Nathan, Private (Company E)
Resided in Caldwell County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting at “Alexander” at age 28, July 5, 1862. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN on an unspecified date (probably in the autumn of 1862). Cause of death not reported.

HAYES, Jacob S., Private (Company D)
Born in Watauga County where he enlisted on July 7, 1862. Died in Tennessee prior to February 4, 1863. Date and cause of death not reported.

HICKS, Harmon, Private (Company D)
Born in Watauga County where he enlisted on June 27, 1862. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN prior to March 2, 1863. Date and cause of death not reported.

HORN, Hilliard, Private (Company B)
Resided in Mitchell or Yancey County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Mitchell County at the age of 36. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Jacksboro, TN, March 11, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

HUNTER, John W., Private (Company C)
Born in Burke County and resided in Yancey County where he was by occupation a carpenter or farmer prior to enlisting in Yancey County at age 18, May 29, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, January 4, 1863 of “fever”.

JANES, Losen M., Private (Company F)
Enlisted at Cumberland Gap, TN, September 30, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, February 27, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

JEMERSON, John, Private (Company F)
Born in McDowell County where he resided as a farmer prior to enlisting in McDowell County at age 24, July 14, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, February 11, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

JOHNSON, Jacob, Sr., Private (Company D)
Enlisted in Watauga County on June 27, 1862. Transferred to Company I of this regiment on or about July 24, 1862. Transferred back to this company prior to December 22, 1862. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN prior to March 11, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

JOHNSON, Madison, Private (Company D)
Resided in Watauga County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Watauga County at age 44, June 27, 1862. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN prior to March 2, 1863. Date and cause of death not reported.

JONES, Larkin G., Private (Company M)
Enlisted in Watauga County on September 26, 1862. Died in hospital at Jacksboro, TN, March 31, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

JONES, William, Musician (Company C)
Born in Wilkes County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Yancey County at age 32, May 29, 1862. Mustered in as Musician (Drummer). Appointed Musician (Fifer) on an unspecified date. Died at Jacksboro, TN, January 14, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

MASSEY, J.H., Private (Company F)
Enlisted at Cumberland Gap, TN, October 1, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Jacksboro, TN, March 17, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

McINTOSH, William M., Private (Company C)
Enlisted in Yancey County on July 12, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, January 5, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

McKINNEY, Thomas, Private (Company A)
Resided in Mitchell or McDowell County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Mitchell county at age 28, July 16, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN in March 1863 of “fever”.

McVAY, John, Private (Company B)
Born in Yancey County and enlisted in Mitchell County at age 21, May 17, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died in hospital at Jacksboro, TN, March 24, 1863, of “measles”.

MICHAEL, John, Private (Company I)
Enlisted in Watauga County on August 5, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died in hospital at Jacksboro, TN, March 31, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

MILLER, David D., Private (Company I)
Resided in Watauga County and was by occupation a “domestic” prior to enlisting in Watauga County at age 18, July 15, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died in camp at Big Creek Gap, TN, March 7, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

NICHOLS, William A., Private (Company F)
Enlisted in Yancey County on July 12, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Jacksboro, TN, March 15, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

NORRIS, John, Private (Company I)
Resided in Watauga County and was by occupation a “domestic” prior to enlisting in Watauga County at age 18, July 15, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Jacksboro, TN, March 3, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

OWENSBY, Aaron Whitenton, Private (Company F)
Born in McDowell County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in McDowell County at age 26, July 14, 1862. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, January 6, 1863, of disease.

PHILLIPS, John W., Private (Company C)
Born in Yancey County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Yancey County at age 20, May 29, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, February 20, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

PHIPPS, Conarah D., Private (Company C)
Born in Yancey County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Yancey County at age 27, May 29, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, January 2, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

PRESNELL, David., Private (Company C)
Born in Yancey County and enlisted in July 1862. Died at Big Creek Gap December 1, 1862 of pneumonia and measles. (Addition to original list submitted by Lowell Presnell, October 2004)

PROFFITT, Jesse, Private (Company I)
Enlisted in Watauga County at age 19, July 15, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, March 29, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

SHEPHERD, Grandison, Private (Company C)
Born in Yancey County where he resided as a farmer prior to enlisting in Yancey County at age 35, June 16, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, November 20, 1862 of “measles”.

SMITH, James A., Private (Company I)
Enlisted in Watauga County on August 5, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, March 19, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

STEWARD, Joseph, Private (Company A)
Enlisted in Mitchell County on July 18, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Jacksboro, TN, March 31, 1863, of “fever”.

TOWERY, Edward, Private. (Company F)
Born in McDowell County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in McDowell County at age 32, July 14, 1862. Died in TN on November 15, 1862 of “measles”.

TREADWAY, William, Private (Company L)
Resided in Ashe County where he enlisted on July 20, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, March 19, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

WATSON, Alfred, Private (Company M)
Enlisted in Watauga County on September 26, 1862. Died at Big Creek Gap, TN, February 19, 1863, of “brain fever”.

WILSON, Edward M., Private (Company C)
Enlisted in Yancey County on May 29, 1862. Died at Jacksboro, TN, February 7, 1863. Cause of death not reported.

The following soldiers died about the same time but does not state place of death:

BAIRD, William J., Sergeant (Company E)
Enlisted in Caldwell County on July 5, 1862. Promotion record not reported. Died prior to January 13, 1863. Place, date, and cause of death not reported.

MILLER, George M., Private (Company I)
Previously served as Private in Company D of this regiment. Transferred to this company on or about August 5, 1862. Died on January 8, 1863. Place and cause of death not reported.

MOODY, Robert, Private (Company E)
Born in Caldwell County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Caldwell County at age 18, July 5, 1862. Reported present in January-February 1863. Died on March 1, 1863. Place and cause of death not reported.

SEATS, Robert E., Private (Company I)
Resided in Ashe County and was by occupation a day laborer prior to enlisting at age 25, on or about July 24, 1862. Died on an unspecified date (probably in the summer or autumn of 1862). Place and cause of death not reported.

SPARKS, John, Private (Company F)
Born in Burke County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in McDowell County at age 29, July 14, 1862. Died prior to April 25, 1863. Place, date, and cause of death not reported.

WHITE, William, Private (Company F)
Born in McDowell County where he enlisted at age 34, July 14, 1862. Died on an unspecified date (probably in the summer or fall of 1862). Place and cause of death not reported.

Note from U.S. Thompson: Recently discovered intact was : James Thompson(jr), The Spanish American War,Co. M , 4th Unit. This was found when the grave yard was cleared in 2004.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aug 23, 2005 · Reply
Bev Gillihan DEAR ANCESTOR
Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiselled out
On polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.
Author Unknown
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"God grant me the serenity to accept the ancestors I cannot find, the courage to find the ones I can, and the wisdom to document thoroughly."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Aug 23, 2005 · Reply
Bev Gillihan The Alton prison opened in 1833 as the first Illinois State Penitentiary and was closed in 1860, when the last prisoners were moved to a new facility at Joliet. By late in 1861 an urgent need arose to relieve the overcrowding at 2 St. Louis prisons. On December 31, 1861, Major General Henry Halleck, Commander of the Department of the Missouri, ordered Lieutenant-Colonel James B. McPherson to Alton for an inspection of the closed penitentiary. Colonel McPherson reported that the prison could be made into a military prison and house up to 1,750 prisoners with improvements estimated to cost $2,415.
The first prisoners arrived at the Alton Federal Military Prison on February 9, 1862 and members of the 13 th U.S. Infantry were assigned as guards, with Colonel Sidney Burbank commanding.

During the next three years over 11,764 Confederate prisoners would pass through the gates of the Alton Prison. Of the four different classes of prisoners housed at Alton, Confederate soldiers made up most of the population. Citizens, including several women, were imprisoned here for treasonable actions, making anti-Union statements, aiding an escaped Confederate, etc. Others, classified as bushwhackers or guerillas, were imprisoned for acts against the government such as bridge burning and railroad vandalism.

Conditions in the prison were harsh and the mortality rate was above average for a Union prison. Hot, humid summers and cold Midwestern winters took a heavy toll on prisoners already weakened by poor nourishment and inadequate clothing. The prison was overcrowded much of the time and sanitary facilities were inadequate. Pneumonia and dysentery were common killers but contagious diseases such as smallpox and rubella were the most feared. When smallpox infection became alarmingly high in the winter of 1862 and spring of 1863, a quarantine hospital was located on an island across the Mississippi River from the prison.
Up to 300 prisoners and soldiers died and are buried on the island, now under water. A cemetery in North Alton that belonged to the State of Illinois was used for most that died. A monument there lists 1,534 names of Confederate soldiers that are known to have died. An additional number of civilians and Union soldiers were victims of disease and illness.
During the war several different units were assigned to serve as guards at Alton. The Thirteenth U.S. Infantry was followed by the Seventy-seventh Ohio Infantry, the Thirty-seventh Iowa Infantry, the Tenth Kansas Infantry and the One Hundred Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry. Formed at Alton specifically to serve as prison guards, the Illinois 144th was almost completely made up of Alton area residents.
The prison closed July 7, 1865 when the last prisoners were released or sent to St. Louis. The buildings were torn down over the next decades and the land was eventually used by the city as a park named after the Joel Chandler Harris character, "Uncle Remus," from Song of the South. Stone from the prison buildings is found in walls and other structures all over the Alton area.
Sep 11, 2005 · Reply
Bev Gillihan GOOD RULES TO REMEMBER:

1. A man who receives by a will cannot be a witness to it.

2. A nun-cupative will can dispose only of personal property {not land

3. A married woman could not make a will without her husband's consent and
even so, could dispose only of personal property unless there had been a
pre-nuptial agreement.

4. Title to land could be conveyed either by inheritance or deed or marriage.

5. If a man sells land and there is no record in the Deed Book that he
purchased that land, then he inherited it or his wife inherited the land
and a record of that is in the probate files. Knowing this will help to
discover the identity of the wives.

6. A man did not have to be 21 to buy land, but he did have to be 21 to
sell it. He did not have to own property to vote, but he did have to be a
free man. He had to be 21 to serve on a jury, but he did not have to own
property or to be naturalized.

7. A woman was never a taxable or tithe. If her name appears on a tax list,
it is because she is a widow; she has a male of taxable age in her
household or a slave of taxable age.

8. Quakers used numerical dating and did not take oaths and were not
married in a civil service. A Quaker's last will does not begin with: "In
the name of God, Amen," and there are no marriage bonds for Quakers.

9. There are excellent indexed records for Moravians and Quakers; many
records of both Lutheran and Reformed churches and ministers that have been
translated.

10. All males and females enumerated in the census records prior to 1850
are not necessarily members of the immediate family; they are merely
members of the household and may not even be related.

11. "Junior" did not necessarily mean "son of," but was a designation for a
younger man of the same name in the same area. A man could be a "junior"
at one period and "senior" at a later period.

12. "Infant" did not mean a babe in arms but someone under legal age.

13. An "orphan" was someone under 21 who had lost his or her father; the
mother might well be living.

14. An illegitimate child almost invariably took the surname of the mother.

15. If a man died in Rowan County, NC and devised his land in Davidson
County to his son, there will not be a record in Davidson County to show
the transmittal of that property.

16. In intestacy, the Court appointed as administrator(s) the widow &
relict [who may have already remarried and may have a different name]
and/or sons(s) who are of legal age. If they relinquish, the largest
creditor is appointed.

17. A posthumous child, even if not mentioned in the will, will share
equally with the other children.

18. Not just anyone can file a caveat to a will - only a person who stands
to inherit from the estate, and only then if he would receive more by the
laws of intestate succession than from the provisions of the will.

19. If no executor is named in the will, the Court appoints an
administrator "cum testamento annexo" to carry out the provisions of the will.

20. According to the laws of intestate succession, the widow receives 1/3rd
of all property, and the remainder goes to the children.

21. The law of primogeniture was legally abolished in 1784 and had to do
ONLY with the estate of an intestate.

22. Normally, the widows of intestates were allotted a year's provision.

23. Until 1868, a husband had a life estate in all real property owned by
his wife at the time of their marriage; this is known as curtesy.

24. Dower rights pertained to the belonging of the husband, whether he
owned it before the marriage or acquired it afterward. Husbands did have
identical rights to property owned by their wives, but when referring to
those rights they are called curtsy rather than dower.

25. Curtesy or Courtesy, Scotch Law. A life-rent given by law to the
surviving husband, of all his wife's heritage of which she died in feft, if
there was a child of the marriage born alive. The child born of the
marriage must be the mother's heir. If she had a child by a former
marriage, who is to succeed to her estate, the husband has no right to the
curtsy while such child is alive; so that the curtesy is due to the husband
rather as father to the heir than as husband to an heiress, comfortable to
the Roman law, which gives to the father the use of what the child succeeds
to by the mother.

26. If an estate was debt-ridden, the personal property was disposed of
first. The widow's 1/3rd was protected and usually 1/3rd for the children
against any claims for debt.

27. An "orphan" over the age of 14 could select his own guardian [as it is
now]; if he were younger, the Court appointed the guardian. If an orphan
were left little estate, he was often apprenticed by the Court to learn a
trade.

28. Watch for a man disposing of more land than you can find him buying.
Did land come to him by death? Did his wife inherit property that he is
selling?

29. Taxable age for white men during the colonial period was 16; during the
Revolutionary War it varied from county to county; after 1784, it was 21.

30. Be very careful about accepting any information on a death certificate
other than the date of death, as the information was given under stress by
someone who may not have a full knowledge of the facts. The same holds true
for obituary notices.

31. Phonetic spelling can be tricky. The clerk wrote down what he HEARD,
i.e., Anne Eliza or Annie Liza, Synderalugh or Cinderella.

32. Watch for occupations being Capitalized as identification following a
name, without a coma. Very few people had three names. John Williams
Carpenter in 1785 was probably John Williams, carpenter. John Henry Taylor
may well have been John Henry, tailor.

33. Many times there are no commas separating a list of names of children
in a will and you may have either ten daughters with single names or five
daughters with double names or a mixture.

34. If a man left underage children, you should expect to find a guardian
being appointed and the children being referred to as "orphans" although
their mother may still be living and be appointed their guardian. If she
has remarried, her new husband is often appointed guardian of the minor
children.

35. Spelling can be very confusing, i.e., "hairs purchaced waggins at
Estate sail."

36. When checking an index, say the surname and envision every possible
spelling. a friend eventually identified her ancestor Lewis Redwine as
having been Ludwig Rheitweil

37. Some names were shortened through usage. Mr. Reed Pickler had
difficulty with his line until he realized the surname of the immigrant
ancestor was Blankenpickler.

38. In examining a Bible record, see if the handwriting is all the
same. If it is, all entries were probably made at the time of the latest
entry; if entries were made at the time the event occurred, they are more
apt to be accurate.

39. In NC, the marriage act of 1741 forbade "the abominable mixture"
between white men and women and Indians, Negroes, Mustees and Mulattoes or
any person of mixed blood.

40. Words denoting relationship, such as "in-law" and "step," often had
different meanings from what they have today. "Nephew" sometimes meant
grandson or grandchild, such as "to my nephew Rebecca Hayes." "Brother"
could be also brother-in-law or brother in Christ or a minister.

41. Non-jurors or non-swearers were people who refused or failed to take
the oath of allegiance, i.e., Loyalists or Tories. Many when faced with
the possible confiscation of their property, embraced the Revolutionary
cause, and some became super patriots.

42. Inventories and estate sales reveal much about the occupation and
status of the deceased and often suggest other records that might be searched.

43. Analyze the naming patterns in the generations you have constructed as
a possible clue for a given name of an earlier male or the maiden name of a
wife. For example, the widow Hartwell Drake almost certainly had a mother
whose maiden name was Hartwell.

44. Often a later child was given the same name as one who had died earlier.

45. If there is no marriage bond for a 2nd marriage, look for an age-gap
between children to try to determine when the first wife died,

46. Livery and Seizen was a practice between the seller and buyer of a
piece of land. They met on the property and in the presence of witnesses
declare the contents on which livery is to be made. This was a ceremonial
act by which the seller delivers (livery) a clod, or twig or some other
piece of turf or branch from some plant growing on the property and this
transfer is accompanied with words much like the following: "I deliver
these to you in the name of seizen of all the lands and tenements contained
in this deed."
It was a formalized ritual probably called for by the purchaser who may
have had something to gain by having several witnesses to the event. These
matters concern a vocabulary no longer used, and made manifest that which
is now reduced to words on paper.
Sep 19, 2005 · Reply
Bev Gillihan Have you ever wondered what happened to those men who signed the Declaration of Independence? Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags. Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward. Vandals or soldiers or both looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge and Middleton.

At the Battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis, had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. The owner quietly urged General George Washington to open fire, which was done. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt. Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home after the war to find his wife dead, his children vanished.
A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. They were not wild-eyed rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Province, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor".

Source: Illiana Genealogist (The Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society, Vermilion Co., IL) Vol. 29:3, p. 57
Sep 29, 2005 · Reply
Bev Gillihan ANCESTRAL TAPESTRY
By Zella Londigan

Upon the wall it hangs, a panorama of the past

Threadbare and worn, but vivid still, it's colors yet are cast,

Portraying those who went before, but left to me a part of

blood and gene and courage.........they beat within my heart


Pioneer with trudging step you move across the warp,

patience in your weary feet, your eye still keen and sharp

You shouldered your rifle, headed west, with trust in God

for keep leaving home and family ties......dry tears you never weep


A soldier there!.......in blue or gray, it matters little now

You fought because the call came loud, no choice of when or how. My lady

in her billowing skirts, lily-white of hand and face

You grace the home with charms so fair; in muslin and in lace


A hundred years! They are not dim. I see the faces dear!

Grandparents, uncles, aunts......unknown, but oh, so dear!

Dates and names mean little still, but each one ties a knot

That makes my tapestry complete.....except for one blank spot

There must be room left at the edge, for one day

I will be a part of someone's old and faded.............

Ancestral Tapestry
Oct 01, 2005 · Reply
Bev Gillihan At over 110 years old, Willard is the oldest public library building in the state. The library, housed in a beautiful Victorian Gothic building, is nestled gloriously near the downtown area of this southwestern Indiana city of 130,000 people, providing a sharp contrast with the modern high-rises and six-lane freeways.
The first reported incident happened sixty years ago to a library employee who trekked through the snowy cold for his nightly duty. Since then, countless other employees and patrons have reported seeing this apparition, each giving an eerily similar description.
According to reports from visitors, some of the most frequent encounters with the legendary Lady in Gray have occurred in the children's reading room in the basement of Willard Library.
Oct 05, 2005 · Reply