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Although genealogy can be used to justify privilege, it can also be used to impart values.  While in certain eras it has appeared to be the preserver of society’s elites, its universal application bespeaks the importance of origins for all humanity.  It can be used to divide, yet the myriad relationships it uncovers imply the interconnectedness of the human race.

– David Thackery, “Editor’s Note” [Communities of Kinship Antebellum Families and the Settlement of the Cotton Frontier by Carolyn Earle Billingsley]

My ancestor, Susan Elizabeth “Susie” Glenn with her sisters (Mary Ellen, Ethel Mae, and Emma Jane) when they attended Cherokee Female Seminary at Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

They were the daughters of Jesse Edward Glenn (1848 – 1902) and Margaret Leann Cowan (1851-1895) and granddaughters of Henry Glenn (ca 1805 – before 1880) and Jennie Foreman (1816 – 1881).

Jennie Foreman’s Cherokee ancestor was Richard Bark “OO-YA-LU-GI ”  Foreman (ca 1779 – after 1843) and Julia Talley (died approximately 1816).

Register of Persons Who Wish Reservations under the Treaty of July 8, 1817

July 1817

#11 – Bark Forman – two in family – on the road from McNairs to Knoxville
No. of Reservation:  12

Richard Bark Foreman’s mother was Susie Gourd “Kah-tah-yah” /Gourd (Rattling-gourd), a full-blood Cherokee of the Paint Clan.  His father was John Anthony Foreman, a Scotsman (perhaps born in Scotland . . . and perhaps in Pennsylvania), who was a trader among the Indians.

11th March 1797


My instructions from the Honorable the Secretary of War require that I report to you the names of all persons residing in the Cherokee country not natives of the land.

For this purpose I have collected the following Schedule of their names & employments which I am induced to believe is tolerable accurate.

[Listed are names, nation, employments; among those include John Anthony Foreman.]

Anthony Foreman (no nationality listed), “Trader & idler”

The blanks in the “Nation” column are either Americans or unknown.  Those whose characters are noted in the third column I have represented according to the best information I have been able to receive.

I am very respectfully, Sir, . . .
Silas Dinsmoor

To His Excellency Governor Sevier

“[Human beings] look separate because you see them walking about separately.  But then, we are so made that we can see only the present moment.  If we could see the past, then of course it would look different.  For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well, and when they were part of his grandparents.  If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, would look . . . like one single growing thing–rather like a very complicated tree.  Every individual would appear connected with every other.”

– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Darling Belk – my 4th great-grandfather

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Darling Belk - "aged about 72 years" d June 30, 1835

My fourth great-grandfather, Darling Belk, is buried in the Old Antioch Cemetery in Union County, North Carolina.  This cemetery is also referred to as the “Belk Cemetery.”

Narcissus (“Nicey” in some census records) Belk was the daughter of Darling Belk and Agnes Nelson.  Narcissus was born December 29, 1793 in North Carolina.  She married Alfred  Brown.  The Brown family settled in Benton County, Arkansas where they are buried.

Alfred and Narcissus had a son named for his father and this Alfred (Alford) Brown (1826-1865) married Louisa Jane Centers and their daughter Martha Letitia Brown was my great-grandmother.

The Darling name was passed down through several generations of Belks and Browns and was generally shorted to “Darl.”

Alfred (Alford) Brown and his older brother Darling Brown are buried in Spring Creek Cemetery (as are other members of the Brown family) with the inscription on their tombstones:

“Killed in War March 14, 1865”

The Belk family was of English or Welsh lineage.  Darling Belk’s father John Belk was born about 1718 in England.

John Belk’s tombstone reads:
Born in England
1710 – 1788

John Belk is buried at the old cemetery of Antioch Church on the Trinity Road in Buford Township, Union County (formerly Mecklenburg County), North Carolina.

“We are the children of many sires, and every drop of blood in us in its turn … betrays its ancestor.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Will of Matthew Wynne

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My Sammon family is related to just about everyone in Greenville County, South Carolina – I think!

My ancestor, John Sammon, Sr., [ son of William Sammon] had a sister – Susannah “Sucky” who married Matthew Wynne.  His will below:



In the name of God Amen, I Matthew Wynne of the State and Dist. afores’d being in my perfect Health and of a sound mind & memory and calling to mind the Mortality of my body & that it’s appointed for all men to die. for the better Settling of my Temporal affairs, Revoking & Disannulling all other Will or Wills before made by me I do make this my Last Will & Testament in the maner & form following Viz —

Item — I lend to my loving Wife Susanna Wynne during her life the land and Plantation whereon I now live together with Stock of every kind household & Kitchen furniture & plantation utensils, also four negroes Dick Silla, Jane & Ann, and after her death the above mentioned Negroes & increase if any to be divided between my five children follows–Sucky, Franky, Patsy and Minor Wynne and Robert Wynne to them their heirs and assigns forever and the land mentioned at my wifes death to be sold and the money arising from the sale thereof divided between all my children viz, William Wynne, John Wynne, Thos. Wynne, Polly Todd, Matthew Wynne, Betsy-Ana Smith, Richard Wynne, Sloman Wynne, Clemons Wynne, Sucky Wynne, Frankie Wynne, Patsy Wynne, Minor Wynne, & Robert Wynne, equally.

Item – I give to my son William Wynne one negro boy named Charles, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son John Wynne one negro boy named Daniel to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my Daughter Polly Todd, one negro girl named Lucy to her her heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Matthew Wynne one negro boy named Balais to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my daughter Betsy A. Smith one negro girl named Judy to her her heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Richard Wynne one negro girl named Harriot to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Sloman Wynne one negro boy named William to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Clemons Wynne one negro man named Pleasant to him his heirs and assigns forever.

Item- my will is the above mentioned Robert Wynne come in Co. Heir with the above Sucky, Frankie, Patsy, and Miner, if it should not be well understood by the above interlined, Rob’t & five, I desire that my debts be paid by the profits of my estate and lastly I nominate and appoint my Wife and two Sons John Wynne and Thos. Wynne to execute this my last Will and Testament in witness whereof I hereto set my hand and Seal this 8th day of July 1810.
Signed Sealed and Acknowledged in presence of: Test
Matthew Wynne (l.S.)

J. H. Joyce
Nimrod Underwood
Tho. B. Williams
E. B. Benson

Recorded in Will Book A – page 203
Apt. 8 – File No. 504

Probated December 3, 1810
D. Goodlett, O.G.D.

Who do you think you are?

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Who do you think you are?

Genealogy research is interesting (at least for me) and one finds out some very surprising things.  NBC is helping with genealogy research for several well-known personalities and I’m sure that this series will pique some interest in searching for one’s roots.  Think of Roots by Alex Haley . . .

As Sarah Jessica Parker learns about her family from various genealogical researchers, she exclaims “WOW!” more times than I could count.  That is how anyone who is researching their heritage feels when a new and surprising fact is unearthed.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s Elwell ancestors (Samuel Elwell and Esther Dutch) were living in Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials.  It was amazing all the information professionals dug up about Parker’s ancestors.

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts (a brief account about Parker’s ancestor Osmond Dutch):

“Anthony Day, aged about forty years, deposed that he heard John Meagus threaten Osmond Dutch that if he came into the stage any more to fetch cods more than his own share, he would make his heels fly higher than his head, and would throw him over the stage head.  Sworn Sept. 26 , 1664, before Samuel Symonds.”