Saturday, December 31, 2050

My research for James Madison Bruce and Jane Jenkins

This has been an interesting situation. I'm not good at researching. I never completed a research paper in school. It was too difficult and confusing for me. Now that I'm 65 years old, I'm having to learn research techniques I would know if I had just done my homework. But working on this puzzle is keeping my brain active.

I started this in the early 1990s when no one I saw researching this line on the Internet even knew the last name of James' wife. I interviewed my aunt in 1994 and my cousin Susie let me copy the notes Auntie Do had made on a brown paper bag. Auntie Do opened a large grocery bag and wrote all of her memories of the family genealogy on the inside of the bag. That is my first source, Auntie Do's brown paper bag.

There, as plain as day, was Jane's last name, Jenkins, on the bag as James Madison Bruce's wife. I posted that online. I wonder if I might have been the first one to discover her last name. Anyway, that is all I've found for sure.

I have found her living next door to a Shepherd Jenkins in the 1850 US Census. So I think she has some relationship to that family. And I have noticed that Shepherd Jenkins is found near other Bruce's in previous Census'. I am tempted to decide that Shepherd is her father, but there is only a relationship suggested at this point.

Some people online have listed a Lewis Jenkins as her father. This Lewis Jenkins moved from Georgia to Alabama at some point. He did have a daughter named Jane, but she died in Alabama. My Jane died in Missouri. I have a pretty good source for that. I have her obituary, stating that she died in Prosperity Missouri and was buried in Cherryvale Kansas. Several of her children were named, so I think this is a pretty good source. If Lewis is her father, there is some mistake about where their Jane is buried. I'll have to look into that.

Then there is James Madison Bruce, Jane's husband. I can't seem to find original sources for his father and mother. There are several ideas about who his father is on various family history sites. But so far, I have not seen any sources. Now that I took that class on research, I'm crazy for sources.

I would prefer that other people do this research and just give me the information, but no! No one has sources just now. So, here I am doing actual research. I hate it. However, it is pretty satisfying to find a relative in an original source. And I'm becoming less stressed with the difficulty. At first when I went to the LDS Family History Library I had to take chocolate and my Ipod and could only spend a little time there. Well, It's huge and imposing and who knows which book/film my family names are in. Certainly they are not in the books/films I have looked in so far!

I have a new approach. After 5 visits, looking in loads of books and a few films, I have determined that I need to narrow my research and look in the actual place where they were possibly born. Who would have thought of that! So, I have a list which I have organized using the FHL card catalogue, which may be film of original records for the Old Pendleton District of South Carolina, which is where they seem, by other sources, to be from. We shall see. I'm planning on going down there on Saturday. Merlin is going with me. He is always a big help.

Merlin is the one who found all the graves when we went to Missouri on a family history hunt a few years ago. We went to the Webb City Genealogy Library and found cemetaries listed with my names in them, so we'd go to a cemetary and begin to walk around, looking for my ancestors. We would walk for a few minutes, seperating so that we could cover more territory, when he would call out that he had found my ancestor's grave. He always was the one to find them! He felt pretty smug.

Anyway, that is where I am now with my James Madison Bruce and Jane Jenkins. Come Saturday, I'm hoping that I have something great to report.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lewis Jenkins Family in Alabama

I recieved this record/source of the Jenkins graveyard in Alabama from my cousin Jana. Lewis Jenkins is likely an uncle to our Jane Jenkins Bruce. This is the record of Lewis Jenkins' family in Alabama.

"The Jenkins Graveyard"
Cemetery Location: Southwest of Pea Ridge (S29-T15S-R10W)
Inscribed on his tombstone is: Pvt. AUSTIN's Regt. S.C. Militia - War of 1812 - born November 15, 1786 and died January 27, 1863.
"The Jenkins Graveyard"
by Carrie Deavours
a special to the Broadcaster

In the deep woods, almost hidden away from the world, is a graveyard of distinguished people who left their mark on Fayette County History but whose living descendants are few in number.

This is the resting place of Lewis and Mary A. JENKINS and a few of their offspring. Inscribed on his tombstone is: Pvt. AUSTIN's Regt. S.C. Militia - War of 1812 - born November 15, 1786 and died January 27, 1863. His wife Mary A. [SANDERS] JENKINS born abt 1786; died August 30, 1855. Her grave is the oldest one marked.
General L.W. JENKINS, evidently their son, was born September 16, 1822 and died January 20, 1863 thus dying seven days before his father. His wife was born May 15, 1825 and died August 14, 1890. They had at least five sons and two daughters. [L.W. Jenkins was a son of Lewis Jenkins, and several of his children were buried here according to Greenberry Jenkins' book.]

The son Verris ["Buck" JENKINS was] born February 02, 1867, died September 30, 1933, married Susanna FOWLER, born 1867, died in 1958. She is buried in the Berry Cemetery.

One daughter, M. [Mathelda] Alice JENKINS, born February 18, 1851, died August 02, 1888, married George Washington DEAVOURS. They had triplet sons, but only one Lucian lived to maturity.

The other daughter Maggie M. [JENKINS] wife of C.A. WHEELER, M.D., died December 08, 1893. Dr. WHEELER was well known in the North River beat and married Siney KIMBRELL after Maggy's death. They had one son Kelcy. The doctor is buried at Musgrove Chapel.

The JENKINS men were a unique class. They nicknamed most all their acquaintances, both male and female, and not just ordinary names. I made a collection of many of them from my dear father-in-law, the late H.V. DEAVOURS.
They called my father, Bedford SAWYER, the Whangadoodle. In about 1913 he helped "put up" a phone line and it was called the "Whangadoodle Line." Once at a writers conclave, I asked the guest speaker, a Poet Laureate of South Carolina, Dr. Archibald RUTLEDGE, what the word meant, as I had seen a reference to it on a visit to Hepsidam, Winston County. He thought it was a mystical creature of undefined characteristics, a human usage.
Uncle John SAWYER was the Gander, Uncle Henry was Duggan, cousins Austin and Verris, Dobber and Rufe. John SMITH was Sidehar (side harrow), Isaac DEAVOURS, the Gabbet, and William SMITH, Diadapper.
But they also named each other. Verris [JENKINS] was called Buck, Sidney P. [JENKINS], buried at Mt. Zion Methodist Cemetery, was Thacker, Alvin Sumner [JENKINS], buried at Studdards Crossroads, was Dude. I can't recall those given to Freeman S. and William P. (other than Bill) but some of the relatives may know. Mrs. Eula HAMMACK told me her husband Bill was called Bogs, [but] he didn't exactly cherish the assignment. My mother Margaret SAWYER, was the Goose, Mrs. Florentine BROWN was the Cultivator.
Once Mr. Jim ELLIS "rung up" Mr. FREEMAN to inquire of his wife, Sis, who had been "under the weather," to which he replied, "Oh, she's complainin' of feelin' better this mornin'." Another time he called to ask about some sick and aged, very sick man: "Oh, he went west last night" (died).

My husband and I cleared off this old burial ground on a recent Saturday. It was badly overgrown. I got the feeling of stepping back into history, viewing the unusual care used in committing these loved ones to their last resting places. First a large skillfully hewn stone about seven feet by five feet was laid, then another, about six feet by four feet laid on top of this, then the marker. A hewn rock wall encircled it. A cedar tree and a thick stone were placed in each corner. A four-strand wire fence rusting away, enclosed it. One small grave, not a Jenkins, read Earnest HYDE, son of J.M. and S.E. HYDE, born October 31, 1902 and died August 04, 1903.

These people were honest, moral and skillful. They lived better than most. All had large orchards, bees and vegetable gardens. Mr. FREEMAN had a Cider Mill. They were also rock masons, and a few chimneys still stand, attesting to their art. Well curbs their were their specialty, knowing how to cut a perfectly round or square hole to accommodate the old oaken bucket. They lived near each other and had few children. Lewis JENKINS likely had land granted to him for war service.

Any relative reading this might want to revisit this quiet and lovely spot. If so, you will have to wind your dusty way through and around mounds of dirt and rock, for Mr. PEABODY's coal trucks have hauled their broad acres away!

Source: Undated, loose newspaper clipping on file at the Jasper, AL, library. Information within brackets [ ] was added by the submitter.
The grave's of Lewis and Mary Jenkins, they are the parents of Jane Jenkins Frost.
Mary died on August 30, 1855, her grave is the oldest one marked, and Lewis died on January 27, 1863
from small pox 7 days after his son died.
Jenkins Cemetery
Fayette County
Alabama, USA

End Quote

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Need some inspiration for James and Jane

I haven't heard back from my DNA postings.  Probably no one wants to have their DNA tested.  I don't feel like doing this research just now.  I don't know why. Perhaps I just need a break, or perhaps I need a break through. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

James and Janes move to IL

Becki, my grandaughter, helped one day at the FHL downtown.  We found some land records which have helped place James and Jane in a geographical area.  And then Jana and I recorded some collateral information that has proved helpful in tracing the movements of the Bruces and Jenkins in SC and Georgia.  We three found some land lotteries from 1832 in Cherokee Georgia that helped find census sources for James and Jane Bruce. 

Then I was reminded of the story my Grandmother told.  She was daughter of Mary Elizabeth Bruce Radley and William Radley.  Mary Elizabeth Bruce is daughter of James and Jane Bruce. Here is the story.
James Madison Bruce and Jane Jenkins married in 1839 in Lumpkin CO, GA. By the 1850 Census they had $250 of real property in Cherokee CO GA. And they were living next door to Shepherd Jenkins, a possible relative to Jane. By the 1860 Census in GA, Cherokee, Cross Roads, they had $2000 of real property and $1930 of personal property (possibly some of that in slaves?).

Then we see them again in the 1870 Census, 600 miles away in Neoga, IL with only $100 in real property.

So why the move to IL and why did they end up with much less property and wealth?

My Grandma Byler, Mary Elizabeth Bruce Radley's daughter, told the story of how her parents, the James Madison Bruce family, had their cotton picked in one night, in the dark, with only lanterns for light, worried someone would find out what they were doing. They had it loaded on the train and they all got on the train  and moved 600 miles away to Neoga IL. They left the land and the slaves. (I'm still trying to sort that out with land and probate records. So far nothing.)

This makes some sense when we understand that in 1863 Sherman's march from Chattanooga TN to the Georgia coast went right through Atlanta (Remember Gone With The Wind?) Sherman and his army burned, pillaged and ruined the country-side in a 50-90 mile wide swathe, with his 90-100 thousand man army.
So, I'm thinking that since our Bruce's were just south east of Atlanta, they probably heard of Sherman's army coming in 1863, and packed up and left for IL.   
It appears form records of the Civil War soldiers, that James Madison Bruce and his brother, Hugh Callaway Bruce,  may have been in the Confederate Army from Georgia. 
As far as I know, the land was lost to James Madison Bruce and family.  There is some indication that he gave some inheritance to another Bruce family which remained in Georgia.  More research needs to be done on this.   
I am thankful for all the help on this family.  Anitra

Bruce Family DNA Project

I'm getting desperate.  Cousin Jana and I have searched so many books and film for records of James' and Jane's parents, finding essentially nothing.  Well, not entirely true.  We have found collateral information about the Bruces and Jenkins.  We are waiting for the two pieces of information, their parents', to move forward.  We don't want to assume the collateral information is correct until we find the parents. 

I went away for 5 days, on Merlin's last drive for Cargill Meats.  We went to ID, MT, WA, OR, ID and back home.  I didn't take my laptop because I thought I needed a break from all the cerebral activities with research.  Then I had nightmares, thinking I had found ancestors and couldn't document them because I didn't have my laptop.  Boy, I really did need a break.  We had so much fun. Merlin is retired now.  I'm so glad.

Before I left, it came to me to see if there were any male Bruces' from James' and Jane's descendents and see if they would get have their DNA tested, if I paid.  Jana thought this was a good idea and offered to help pay.  So, I've been posting notes online, here and there, trying to find a male Bruce from their line.  Here's hoping. I have wondered if people might think it was an intrusion into their privacy to ask for their DNA.  That is a real possibility.  But I still think it's worth a try.  I found out about the DNA testing for the Bruce line at: .  Looks promising to me.  Women can't be tested for identifying which Bruce we come from as I understand it. 

That is my report. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Queries about James and Jane on GenForum

Last night I posted many queries about our James and Jane on Bruce sites, Jenkins sites, Pendleton and Anderson County sites, South Carolina and Georgia sites and so on.  Today I got a message from a J Bruce.  I asked if he knew where I could find sources.  I was so excited to get a response from someone.  He said he was researching James I, James II and James III and would get back to me.  I thanked him and then I sent our information about James Bruce Sr.'s will and James Bruce's (born about 1718)  marriage and asked if it might be a possibility he was married before.  I found online another possible marriage before Margaret McMahan, to a Margaret Weir or Wier.  Possibly Margaret Weir died in Scotland and perhaps their first-born was James Bruce Sr born about 1741.  The place of his birth is in question in the family histories online.  Some think it was in VA and some wonder if it was in Scotland.  If he had a different mother that might explain the vagueness surrounding his birth. 

My cousin Jana sent me photos of Frank Carter Bruce and George S Bruce.  I am going to post them on the blog. 
Have a good day everyone. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hunting for Jane Jenkins' father.

Jana and I went to the FHL in SLC and looked up Bruce and Jenkins in millions of books.  We found one book that might prove helpful in finding Jane Jenkins' father; Greenberry Jenkins of Cherokee County TX, compiled by Colonel Jack S Jenkins, USAF Ret.  Did I mention before that several people think that a Lewis Jenkins is Jane Jenkins' father.  This theory is one of the things I am researching.

According to this book,  one Lewis Jenkins had 8 children. One of them was Jane, born between 1815 and 1820. Col Jenkins found a Jane in the 1830 US Census of Mrogan CO, Alabama. It is said that she married a man named Jenkins first then in married a Ned Frost 22 Feb 1838.  Col Jenkins goes on to list Jane and Ned's children.  On a Jane Jenkins is listed as Lewis Jenkins' daughter, born between 1815 and 1819 in Pendleton, South Carolina. Married to Ned Frost. This ancestry family tree notes that Jane died in 1890 in Walker, Alabama, United States.  There are no sources on this ancestry family tree for her birth or death.  But it doesn't really matter.  Our Jane Jenkins was born about the same time in SC or TN, according to several census.  But I have in my possession our Jane Jenkins' obituary I acquired while visiting the Webb City Missouri Genealogy Library in 2006.  It states that our Jane Jenkins was born in Tennessee, died in Prosperity Missouri and was buried in Cherryvale Kansas.  The information was given by her daughter in law, with whom she was living.  

So I am 99% sure that Lewis Jenkins is not our Jane Jenkins' father.  Then the Greenberry book also states that a Richard Jenkins is Lewis' father and cites family tradition and the 1810 US Census for SC Pendleton as a source.  We find in that census that on, page 42, a Richard Jenkins 45 or older and a Lewis Jenkins 26-44 years of age. Col Jenkins speculates that Richard is the father of this Lewis Jenkins.  I can agree with the theory. Also we find on page 11 of same census another Richard Jenkins 45 or older and a Shepherd Jenkins also 45 and older.  Is this Richard 45 or older and this Shepherd 45 or older on page 11 brothers, cousins, related? And how are they related to the Richard Jenkins next door to Lewis Jenkins on page 42?  Still, I think I have proved that our Jane Jenkins is not Lewis Jenkins' daughter.  Now to figure out the rest of the story.

I have looked at all of the pages for the 1810 US Census for South Carolina, Pendleton pages 1-50 and I find that besides the Jenkins that Col Jenkins mentioned there is also a Jepe (or Jese) Jenkins 15-25 years old, on page 11. Families immigrated together.  I'm thinking the Jenkins on pages 11, 14 and 42 are probably related. 

More later.