Archive for March, 2019

The Last Will and Testament of Walter Franklin Lenoir, 1878

March 31, 2019

A few posts prior to this one had a link to viewing untranscribed records. I poked around a bit in the Loudon County, Tennessee, records and found W. F. Lenoir. He is of the founding family of what was first called Lenoirs, or Lenoirs Station after a railroad stop. Lenoir City proper was formed at a later date.

The Lenoir family was instrumental in the founding of my home church Trinity Methodist Church, later known as Trinity United Methodist Church. I’ve written about this before, and you could have a look at more details by using the “search” bar.

Last Will and Testament of W. F. Lenoir

I W. F. Lenoir, of Loudon County, State of Tennessee, being of sound mind and proper conditions, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.

1st  I will and bequeath to my wife Hattie L. Lenoir, three (3) beds and bedsteads and all necessary covering and appurtenances, 1 Sewing Machine, two (2) lounges, three (3) rocking chairs, one and one half (1 1/2) dozen chairs, one (1) large table, three (3) Small tables, one lady’s work table, two (2) wash stands, one (1) bureau, one (1) piano, all my Silver ware, all the dining room and kitchen ware and utensils that she may desire or choose to retain, including the table linen, towels and all the jeans and cloth about the house not made up, the family bible and any other books that she may select to the amount in value of one fifth of the library, all the engravings and paintings or pictures that she may wish to keep, two (2) milk cows, two (2) young cattle suitable for beef, one (1) lady’s Saddle, horse one (1) buggy and harness, one (1) lady’s Saddle, one (1) Small plow, all the garden tools and utensils, a sufficient amount of provisions and grain to supply the family for twelve months, and one hundred dollars ($100.00) in cash, also fifty dollars ($50.00) to be used by her in putting up tomb Stones at the graves of her three children and a plain tomb Stone at my grave.

2nd  I will and bequeath to my son Walter Thomas Lenoir forty acres of land, more or less, within the present corporation limits of the city of Humbolt Tennessee, being the balance of a seventy eight acres tract bought of J. M. Mitchell, the other thirty eight acres having heretofore been conveyed to the said Walter Thomas Lenoir. Also Six acres, more or less, within the corporate limits of the city of Humbolt Tennessee being the balance of a nine acres tract bought of John Osborne, the other portion of said tract having been heretofore conveyed to the said Walter Thomas Lenoir. Also my one half of Block No 26 and any and all other lots that I may have in the city of Humbolt Tennessee. Also ten (10) shares of the Stock of the Lenoir Manufacturing Company of Loudon County Tennessee, and it is my will that he shall not account for any money or other property that I have heretofore advanced to him, and that the foregoing shall be in full of his interest in my estate, except two hundred dollars in cash.

3rd  I will and bequeath to my Son Henry L. Lenoir, the house and lot now occupied by my son William G. Lenoir, said lot to be enlarged as herein after provided. Beginning at the north east corner of the Parsonage lot, running thence across the road to the South east corner of said lot now occupied by my Son William G. Lenoir, thence 134 feet in a north easterly direction with a plank fence along the road heading from Philadelphia to Loudon, thence Sweetwater Creek running parallel with the two between said lot and the Parsonage and Dr. Duncan’s lot; thence with the Creek in a Southwesterly direction to the original quarter Section line; thence across the road to the northwest corner of Dr. Duncan’t lot; thence with Dr. Duncan’s line and the line of the Parsonage lot to the beginning; Also all my carpenter’s tools and the small tools notions etc contained in the little upper press in my bed room; said tools, notions etc to remain for the use of the farm so long as said farm is occupied or cultivated for the use and benefit of any of my family or until said farm is disposed of by my executors.

4th  I will and bequeath to my Son Thornton P. Lenoir my gold watch; also two beds and bedsteads with the necessary covering and appurtenances; also 1/2 Doz chairs.

5th  It is y will that my Son William G. Lenoir, be paid four hundred dollars ($400.00) for his services rendered on the farm during the time that he has been attending to my farming operations, in addition to what he has heretofore received in family supplies etc.

6th  It is my will that all the remainder of my estate, both real and personal, be disposed of or sold by my executors as soon as practicable, either at public or private sale, as in their judgment may be for the best interest of the estate; and my executors are hereby empowered to make all necessary deeds and conveyances to carry out the provisions of this will, and to perfect all titles to property heretofore disposed of or sold by me; and it is my will that the proceeds of the property referred to in this (6th) item, after paying all just debts against my estate and after complying with the provisions heretofore mentioned in this will, requiring the payment of money, shall be equally divided between my wife Hattie O. Lenoir, William G. Lenoir, Thornton P. Lenoir, and Henry L. Lenoir.

I hereby appoint my Son W. G. Lenoir and nephew J. A. Reagan the executors of this my last will and testament. Witness my hand and Seal this the 17th day of August 1878.

W. F. Lenoir (Seal)


Newton Bogart

B. B. Lenoir

J. W. Duncan

August 27th 1878.

Codicil.  It is my will that Steve Six be so charged as to admit Library what is not disposed of hereunto divided equally between my four children and I also donate ten dollars for each of the purposes named below, making cross fences in parsonage lots painting & plastering parsonage, and to Bill formerly my Servant twenty five dollars.

W. F. Lenoir

B. B. Lenoir, J. W. Duncan

State of Tennessee

Loudon County

County Court September Term 1878.

Then was the last will and testament of W. F. Lenoir produced in open Court and its execution and declaration duly proved in open Court by the oaths of B. B. Lenoir and J. W. Duncan the Subscribing witnesses thereto and adjudged by the


Court to be the last will and testament of said Testator, and admitted to record and ordered to be certified and recorded.

Witness my hand at office in Loudon this 3rd day of September 1878.

M. L. Mourfield, Clerk

There is a mention of a parsonage, but I don’t know where or what that parsonage is. There is also a mention of other family members and other locations like Sweetwater and Philadelphia. One of the Lenoirs was the founder of Sweetwater, and Philadelphia was a local community and does not refer to Pennsylvania although both are cities of “brotherly love”.

Now, to buy a new laptop and transcribe this…

(Edited on 4/1/19 – new laptop purchased – not an April Fool’s joke.)

Is This Your Dog?

March 26, 2019

Stray dogs end up at my gate. This means they get a free meal and a free ride to the shelter.

Last year a mother and her 3 big pups showed up. I was on the way to work, or they would have gotten in my car. One detail is that they were not completely catchable.

The 3rd pup panicked and ran off to the underbrush. I was glad that I hadn’t taken the others away. Imagine the terror of being separated from your family.

There was also the boxer, which finally had a happy ending.

There was this guy who showed up on December morning when I was hustling out to meet Leslie for an appointment.

He was there when I returned that evening, and again the next morning, and he and I and Leslie took the scenic route to the shelter.

Every time we drop off a dog or a cat, Leslie gives a donation.

This past weekend we were sitting on his yard enjoying the spring day, when one of his cats stared across the yard, her head swiveling on her shoulders like an owl. We saw nothing out of the ordinary. Another of his cats perked up and stared in the same direction.

We looked again and saw a dog peeking in his yard between the gate and gatepost.

We didn’t know this hungry boy. Leslie got a bowl of food and a leash and the keys to the van.

He finished the bowl and was enticed into the van with the promise of a treat.

Oh, that sweet face.

The tricky part for a poor county is that the shelter is usually full of animals and short on resources. Recently our county shelter had a shortfall when expected donations were not available, and they appealed to the county council for emergency funds to finish out the fiscal year. That is scary to see the bottom of the barrel. The county awarded the funds after the shelter proved that they had exhausted all sources of revenue.

Nevertheless, we took the dog to the shelter and they made room for him. I asked if they needed food. They said they were low, and were waiting on a shipment. I gave a donation and said that we would be back the next day with food.

And we did return with cat and dog food.

This guy. Leading by example.

Uncle Pete and Aunt Nancy

March 24, 2019

Back to the newspapers…

Uncle Pete was my mother’s brother. He and his family lived far away in Florida, and we saw them once a year when they visited Grandma, who was Pete’s mother.

Pete and his older brother Jim were college-educated, unlike the two girls in the family. He spoke over our heads. Perhaps it was on purpose.

These images are from GenealogyBank.

The engagement was announced in the Knoxville News-Sentinel on February 1, 1953.


MR. and MRS. JAMES A. FRANKLIN of Fort Myers, Fla., announce the engagement of their daughter, Nancy Jean, to Cecil P. Packett, son of Mrs. James A. Packett of Lenoir City.

The bride-to-be was graduated in December from U-T, where she was a member of Kappa Delta sorority.

Mr. Packett served three years with the Navy and will receive his degree in journalism from U-T in March. He is a staff member of the Orange and White, student newspaper, and a member of the Publications Council, All Students Council and Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.

The wedding will take place at 7 p.m. March 27, at First Baptist Church of Fort Myers.

Leslie pointed out that Uncle Pete was in the Navy and probably went to college on the GI Bill. Interesting to think that he earned the right to go to college, and the girls could not.

They were married on March 27, 1953. They honeymooned in Havana, Cuba, back when Americans could go to Cuba.

‘OLD GRADS’ GET TOGETHER — Mr. an Mrs. Cecil Paul Packett, who were married March 27 at Fort Myers, Fla., are pictured at Hotel Nacional, Havana, Cuba, where they are spending their honeymoon. The bride was Miss Nancy Franklin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James A. Franklin of Fort Myers. She and Mr. Packett met during student days at U-T, where both were graduated. Mr. Packett, son of Mrs. James A. Packett of Lenoir City, will take his bride to Paris, Tenn., to live. He is with The Paris Post-Intelligence.


I lost track of Uncle Pete and Aunt Nancy after Grandma died. I saw them one more time at Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary in 1992. They have both since passed away.

Good night, friends. We are thinking of you.

The 1962 Graduating Class

March 24, 2019

I didn’t go to kindergarten. My mother said that she would never send another child to kindergarten after the fiasco of sending my BigBroBob. I thought this was a good thing because, after all, my hometown didn’t have a kindergarten at the public school.

Imagine my shock and horror that I was out of the loop when a friend posted her kindergarten graduation program. The kindergarten was at a local church. I knew most of the kids on the list.

There’s Steven Stafford, my first true love. And Walter Hines that I have decided was my first “friend” since we were in the infant class at church. It was his mother Mary Ellen in the beautiful wedding dress that I posted recently.

So friends, there WAS a kindergarten in my hometown. No wonder all those kids were so advanced.


March 24, 2019

WordPress tell me that I have written 1337 posts. Is this a thing? I guess it is.

In Search of Nortons at Bonaventure

March 23, 2019

A few years ago Leslie and I took a cemetery tour at Bonaventure hosted by the Bonaventure Historical Society. During the tour he spotted a Norton plot across from the Baldwin angel.

Lately, after looking at all the Norton info, he wanted to go back and view that plot again.

Did you see how one man was named Dr. George Mosse Norton? That’s a clear clue how these Nortons are from the group of Mosses and Nortons buried in Robertville, SC.

However, Leslie is looking for Walter Norton. Walter’s widow had a correspondence with Leslie’s uncle Edward Lawton years ago. Walter is not buried in this plot.

I used the iPhone and searched the city of Savannah’s cemetery database and found the correct plot across the cemetery. We walked in search of it and on the way, we saw this:

Catherine Maner Lawton is a daughter of John Goldwire Lawton of Upper St. Peter’s Parish. More South Carolina Lawtons popping up in unexpected places.

We walked around and around looking for the correct plot. Just when we thought we were getting close, the row would end and we couldn’t find where the numbers would restart. Bonaventure is a complicated layout with a park-like setting and rambling lanes, not a grid layout.

We gave up and went back to the car so that we could drive around. It looked like we were going to have to go farther afield, and I had left my Bonaventure Illustrated Cemetery map at home.

Finally! I’m driving along a lane that was lacking a lot of markers, and Leslie spotted a name that looked familiar to him, but meant nothing to me.


And here they are.

My netbook has died completely. I need to get a new laptop so that I can properly transcribe these. I can do a lot on an iPhone, but even I have my limits. So much writing to do; so little time.

Good-night, Norton people. We’re thinking of you.

Friend with Chickens = Feed Bags

March 23, 2019

I have a new work friend who has chickens. When I found out that she is a chicken aficionado, I grabbed up one of my tote bags, showed her, and asked her if she bought chickenfeed in bags made of the same plastic weave.

OMYHEARTBESTILL! She does! She has chickenfeed bags!

Now she has a chickenfeed tote.

I made this one out of a 50# bag. It’s a brand called Pen Pals, which means nothing to me because I don’t travel in chickenfeed circles. I have finally learned that you don’t have to use the entire bag for a tote. Use some restraint, ruthrawls. Nobody wants a tote dragging the ground. This one is about 14.5″ tall and 3-4″ deep, and it’s as wide as a 50# chickenfeed bag, whatever that is.

After I met her, I met 2 other chicken people. I am shocked. I didn’t know that chicken people were a thing.

She must have given me at least 6 empty bags. Y’all have been warned. I am in feedbag heaven.

Leslie found out that I was ecstatic about these chickenfeed bags, and he gave me 2 birdseed bags. He has been using them for gigantic trash and recycling bags. I think he was a bit jealous that I am involved with other people who can supply my needs, and he needed to know that he is still my #1 petfood bag guy.

Whatever the reason, I am flush with raw materials. This might be how hoarders start. Y’all want a tote bag? Let me know. Save me from myself.

Food for Thought

March 20, 2019

Sometimes I go to the grocery store when I am hungry. I don’t buy a week’s worth of food, only some staples and some bits and bobs to handle my immediate hunger. We’ve all heard that maxim that food shopping while hungry will cause you to buy more food and spend more money.

If shopping while hungry has a cause and effect, what happens when you shop while thirsty?

Apparently this.

Hidden in Plain Sight

March 19, 2019

Not everything is on the internet. Hard to believe, but true.

Take, for instance, this example. Stacks and stack of old records in rural and/or underserved areas are not scanned and saved and posted. Perhaps they haven’t even been microfilmed or microfiched. If they have been posted on the internet, why can’t we find them?

Because they are not transcribed and digitized.

Do you have some time on your hands? Can you cram some more joy into your day? Take a look at these instructions to browse, which is different from “search”, and have a look at these old records.

Click HERE.

You’ll go to Legacy Tree. Follow the directions to read old records in the county of your choice.

I don’t know anything about my 2x great-grandparents Isaac Rawls and Mary H. M. Foster.

W. C. Newberry



W. J. Foster

Et als

To the Worshipful county court of Weakly County presiding at Dresden for Weakly County

The petitioners of W. C. Newberry, a citizen of Weakly County, Tennessee


Wm. J. Foster a citizen of Hickman County Kentucky

M. C. Foster a citizen of Rutherford County, Tenn

Mary Jane Stockay and George T. Stackasce, citizens of Weakly County Tenn.

Mary H. M. Rawls and Isaiah W. Rawls, citizens of Weakly Co, Tenn

Coletus Martin Foster, Almus Jenkins Foster, Josephus Foster (the last three of whom are minors without regular guardian, citizens of Weakly County Tennessee

Susan Smith (formerly Susan Foster and her husband Bennett Smith citizens of Weakly County Tennessee and

Mrs. Foster widow of John H. Foster a citizen of Weakly County Tennessee.

Your petitioners respectfully represents to the court that on the — day of 186- John H. Foster died a citizen of Weakly County and that his estate has been fully administered on and finally settled.

The Said John H. Foster died the owner of a tract of land in Weakly county, Civil District No 6 Bounded as follows: Bounded on the East by the lands of W. C. Newberry on the South by the lands of William Bragg, on the West by the lands of William Bragg and W. C. Whitworth on the North by the lands of H. G. Chand and F. B. Dunlap, containing by estimation one hundred and one acres by the same more or less and being

the same on which Said J. H. Foster residents at the time of his death. John H. Foster left as his widow Mrs. Foster the defendant said dower has not been as (illegible) to his out of 6 (illegible) lands. The said John H. Foster died leaving his widow Eliza who afterwards married Pleas Tomlinson and as his heir at law the following named parties viz.

His sons M. E. Foster, Wm J. Foster, Syloman Foster, Simpson Foster, H. L. Foster, J. L. Foster, Leander Foster and Thomas H. Foster.

His daughter Frances M. who married Granvill Johnson, Malinda C. who married Simson P. Murphy, Mary H. M. Rawls who married Isiah W. Rawls and his daughter Jane who married C. R. Parham, and died leaving only one child a daughter Mary Jane who marry the defendant G. T. Stockard.

The said Leander J. Foster died on the — day of Agst 1866 unmarried intestate and without children

W. W. Allman is his administrator duly appointed by the court and his heirs at law are the parties name above.

The said Thomas H. Foster died on the — day of 1886- intestate leaving his widow Susan who has since married Bennett Smith and leaving the following named children as his heirs at Law by Colitas Martin Foster, Almus Jenkins Foster & Josephus Foster. All of said children are minors within regular guardians. And Joseph Ezzell is the admin of the estate of said Thomas H. Foster.

The said John Foster died intestate and the aforesaid have descended to his heirs at law as stated above and petitioners have preserved the interest of the widow of John H. Foster and a number of his heirs in said land and hold deed of conveyance of the same as follows:

The said Mary H. M. Rawls and Isaiah W. Rawls sold their interest in said lands to petitioner of deed dated Dec 24 1866. The said Wm. J. Foster sold his interest to petitioner by deed date Oct 26, 1867. The said Malinda C. Murphy and S. P. Murphy sold his interest to petitioners by deed of Dec 9, 1868.

The said Eliza Tomlinson and Elias Tomlinson sold his dower interest to petitioners by deed dated Dec 15, 1871.

The said Eliza (illegible) to wit Dec 8, 1866 bought the said interest of M. C. Foster and conveyed the same to petitioners by deed dated Dec 15, 1871.

The said Simpson Foster sold his interest is said lands to petitioners in said lands by deed dated Dec 15, 1871.

The said Syloman Foster sold his interest to petitioners by deed dated May 12, 1873.

On the — day of 186- H. L. Foster, J. A. Foster and Granvill and Frances M. Johnson conveyed by deed all their interest in said lands to T. J. Parham who sold the same to petitioners by deed dated Feb 22, 1869.

The court will then see that petitioner is the owner of the whole of said lands except the part of the shares of the descendant heirs Leandus J. and Thomas H. Foster which have descended to their heirs and have not since been sold by them to petitioners. Some of the said deeds to Petitioners being dated before, and some since the death of Leandus and Thoms H. Foster, the same have been them monthly set forth above that the court may (illegible) at the respective shares or interests of each party  copy of said deeds or the deeds themselfs will be filed on or before the hearing if necessary. The object of this bill is to have said lands sold for division as it is impracticable to divide the same among the various heirs parties interested and is to the interest of all of said parties that it should be sold for division. The premises (illegible) the petitioners pray the court that all the parties named defendants be made such: that (illegible) and (illegible) issue for the residents and publication be made for the non-residents. That guardians ad litum be appointed for the minors htat all proper orders be made and proof taken and then on final hearing said lands be sold for division subjecgt to the dower interest of said widow of J. H. Foster in said land, that it is sold on a credid of (illegible) months and waiving the right of redemption requiring only cash enough to cover cost of said grant petitions such as the relief as may be put equitable and proper.

S. B. Ayers Sol’r for petitioner


These records are from Weakley County, Tennessee, and mentions my people! It appears that Mary’s father is John H. Foster.

You will need to be able to read cursive. You old-timers are finally useful.

So get out your transcription hats and sally forth. There are places and internet sites that will accept your transcriptions. Post them on your ancestry tree. Save them to your database. Submit them to a genealogy society or a library. Me, I take the easy route and share them here on Ye Olde Blog and Cat Inventory.

You have been called. Go forth and transcribe cursive before it becomes a lost art.

The 1747 Chapel and Hardy Rawls

March 18, 2019

It occurred to me that since my 3rd great-grandfather has a name that is Biblical, then he must be associated with a Christian family. And if he is associated with a Christian family, shouldn’t I be looking for a church in what was Nansemond County, Virginia?

His name was Theophilus, and according to Wikipedia: “Theophilus is the name or honorary title of the person to whom the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles are addressed. It is thought that both the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles were written by the same author, and often argued that the two books were originally a single unified work.

I found a reference to a church called Holy Neck Christian Church which started as a chapel built in 1747 on land obtained from Hardy Rawls.

Y’all? If Hardy Rawls was there selling or donating land by 1747, I’m wasting my time looking at British records after that time frame.

Now, who was Hardy Rawls?

I’ll be right back…