Posts Tagged ‘Gamble’

The Family Bible of Thomas Elisha & Jane Susan Starr Basinger: Intermission

January 22, 2014

I photographed the Bible last week, and when I loaded the photos onto the computer, I found that the images were unclear when I attempted to enlarge them. The spidery handwriting fragmented so much upon enlargement that it became illegible. Is that an 8? Or a 3? Numbers are important in genealogy.

I knew I’d have to photograph them again, this time much closer and in sections.

This particular Bible also has the Apocrypha, just like the Family Bible of Stephen Lawton. I’m fascinated with the concept of this section of the Bible that has been removed from modern day Bibles. That seems like a whole new area of study of me, and I flipped through some of the sections.


I have a 5th great-grandfather named Josias Gamble. He was a Revolutionary Era patriot, and I was able to join the Daughters of the American Revolution using him as my patriot ancestor. When I was filling out the application forms, more than one person asked me, “You sure that’s right? Josias? Not Josiah? Did you spell it wrong?” I do a little foot-stampy thing right about here, and insist that it is right. He had descendants that were also named Josias, and their headstones say “Josias”. So there. He was already a recognized patriot in the DAR files, but us local folks had never heard it, and to be fair, everything on the DAR application needs to be right and correct, and I do understand that, and I appreciate everyone’s diligence in that matter.

Insert surprised expression here upon viewing the Apocrypha.


From the book of Ecclesiasticus:
Chapter XLIX
1 The praise of Josias, 4 of David and Ezekias, 6 of Jeremy, 8 of
zekiel, 11 Zorobabel, 12 Jesus the son of Josedec: 13 of Nee-
mias, Enoch, Seth, Sem, and Adam.
THE remembrance of a Josias is like the composi-
tion of the perfume that is made by the art of
the apothecary: it is sweet as honey in all mouths,
and as music at a banquet of wine.
2 He behaved himself uprightly in the conversion
of the people, and took away the abominations of
3 He directed his heart unto the Lord, and b in the
time of the ungodly he established the worship of God.
4 All, except David, and Ezekias, and Josias, were
defective: for they forsook the law of the Most High,
even the kings of Juda failed.
5 Therefore he gave their power unto others, and
their glory to a strange nation.

February 27, 1881 – Letter from Andrew Jackson Rhea to son William F. “Dock” Rhea

November 4, 2011

Here’s the second, and last letter, that I have from A. J. Rhea to his son William F. “Dock” Rhea.  The letter is written from A. J.’s home in Ellejoy, Blount Count, Tennessee, to Arkansas.  When I first received these letters, I thought that they were written by the mother, Rebecca Johnson Rhea.  I was surprised to see that they were written by the father A. J. Rhea, because they seemed so full of melancholy and affection, and I did not attribute those emotions to him, although I know nothing of him except these letters and what I have found on

You can enlarge any photo or image on this blog by left clicking once, then once again if you prefer.

The transcription of the letter follows the images.

Ellejoy, E. Tenn.

February 27, 1881

Dear Son and Dauter, it is with plasure that I seat my Self to ancer your kind letter that came to han safe and was gladly reseved  I was vere glad to here that you was all well this leves us all in moderate helth  accept Ma, her helth is not good  Well Dock I have nothing of much intrust to write you  Wee air not dooing vere much towards fairming Me and Jack has soaed 1200 casks of oats and wee air goind to Sow Clover one thee same our wheat looks fine  I am going to sow a fue more oats next Weak  I have got all fo that peace of groun between the barn and the lane cleared ok and I going to pit it in corn this yeare I cleared it my Self and it is fine  Wee have not mad ene garden yet.  Well Dock the recurnt A arued Jonc Sone of Willoum Johonson is marred to Jane Davis Crafes dautter  they air living at oll biler’s home  harmon is debt Sherf Magis Ben Cuningham is County Court Clerk  Well I would like very well to bee over there to helpe you and van (Dock’s son) kill them deere and turkey  I dont think that I would lose my cap (next word off the page) that is just as good a prufe as I want that you had the buck eager  Jack sais fo me to ask you if you new when you pulled the triger and if you air serten that you had the gun towords the deer  he wonts to no is you did not shake Jack wants you to know that Hettie had a Nother boy.

Mr. Jo Gambell Mats father has bin verer sick but is better  the relation on both sides is Well as far as I now  Huse Pickens is not well yet  Well Dock I have got frank yet holt has ofered me 115 dolers for his but he nor no othere man gets him for les than 125

Well Dock I ont you to Write mo and tell me how you air getting along and What kind of a boy you have got and What kind of Stock you have  pleas give me all the news that you can for it is A hepe of plasure for me to here from you  I got a letter from Jo he is Still working with Clark  he was well and semed to bee do verer well  his ofese is McKinney Colens Co Tex  Ma sas kiss thim childeren for her and me and dont let them forget us  Ma has a bout 20 henes and the have not laed nerey egg this winter  Wee have 18 hed of shepe and 35 lams  Wee have not mad ene garden yet  Wee have not brok a furo for corn yet  Jack sas write to him and he will kill you a bird  John Bolen tal Jo that you were offoing him 20 cts and he payed it and Jack sais that it was for them suspenders that he made you a presents of  Well I mus close for this tim  ples write some an dont delay  Your father and Mother / A. J. Rhea an Rebeca Rhea to W. F. Rhea an Mattie


Martha “Mattie” Gamble Rhea’s father was Josias Gamble, the sick person referred to as “Mr. Jo Gambell”.  He was my g-g-g-grandfather, and he died not long after this letter was written.

Jack is Andrew Jackson Rhea’s next-youngest son, Jackson B. Rhea.  The youngest son was Joseph W. Rhea, so I’ll have to do some research on him in Texas.

Now y’all go call your mother.

Andrew Jackson Rhea and Rebeca Johnson Rhea

November 3, 2011

From the RV archives comes an old letter written by Andrew Jackson (A. J.) Rhea to his son William “Dock” Rhea.  This copy comes to me from cousin Diana McDonald of Mexia, Texas.  She sent many old letters written to Dock and his wife Martha “Mattie” Gamble Rhea.

A transcription of the letter follows the images of the letter.  For better viewing of any image or photo on this blog, left-click once, then once again to enlarge.

Comments, corrections, and questions welcome.

Pages 1 and 2 of a 4 page letter.

Ellejoy E Tenn Blount Co

May 5th 1880

Dour Son and douter it is with plasure that I rite you afue lines to let you no that wee air all well at pres hoping that this may fin you Aall injouningthe same good blesing I have had a very bad spell With my head tho I am Well and gone to Work a gane  I have No newes of much interist to rite you  Wee have hade a grate deal of rain this spring with wind and hal  on the last Satterday in March ther was  a Wind Storm thruu here bloed A tree don in and Kill that young givens (?) that worked with Hue Colt all so here horse and cripped tounsls Sliotey  it blod Claks Saw mill Shed don at Knoxvill and Kill him in it edd Clark Wheat is no promising by no moro (?) it has the rust  Son Wel air bee hind With oir crop this Spring tho I have a very good garden  I have potato sprouts large a nuf to put out the pech peair plum crop air all killed the canidates air All well primed and redding fur just to cock and shoot and Wee have loded More rule with A rifel charge  John Amprester is a canidat for constibell I beleve that is all the strang nuise that I have the relation on both sides air all Well as far as I no  Your Mothers helth is not very good tho she is stil going  Jack and Hettie has moved

I have not reseved but the one letter from you sense the card you rote me beefore you got to you joerney end and that dated New Years day  I have bin so anches that I have went to the ofes every mail and I cant tell what is up that you doo not rite and let me no how you air pleas and if you and your famly air well or not by you not riting makes me oneasy granma to the children love (sp?) you and minie must rite to me and rite often Dock I think often A bout you and your family  I would lik so well to see you all but I cant see you Kiss them littel children for me and tell them that I have not forgot them and never will  Dock don’t bee so long riting to us for wee wont to here from you  Jack saw your M(??) mair it mairvill (Maryville) the other day  She is in fine order  he did not see the colt  Granma Joncen is here and sais she would lik to see you all and tried to get to your house beefour you lef but coulnot  So I will close by asking you a gain to not fail in riting to us  We send our love to you and family take car of your helth and trust your sol in car of the blesed Savore

So we no at present your father and mother A. J. and Rebeca Rhea to W. F. Rhea

I forgot John Hedrick is out of the penetenture and (??) Nell Cuningham cals here babe rebeca Lue.


There are a lot of records available on about A. J.Rhea.  He was in the Civil War, having been born about 1815, and lived to at least 1891 when a Tennessee census shows him to be about 76 years old.  After his son Dock moved west to Arkansas, then Oklahoma, A. J. and Rebeca most probably never saw those children again.  If there was a reunion, I have no proof of it.

Old Letter from L.B. Gamble to his sister Martha Rhea, March 22, 1904

May 4, 2011

Corley Ark           March 22, 1904

Dear Sister          This leaves us up as well as common and hope will find you the same.  I got a letter from Sister Ruth today.  She wrote me that Sister Sallie Johnson died suddenly at 12:30 March the 9th.  She had been complaining some and had got dinner and washed her dishes and went across the street to Mollie’s at 12 o’clock and at 12:30 fell over dead.  Ruth said she had dropsy & heart trouble and weighed 238 lbs the last time she was weighed.   Ruth was in Atlanta when she died and came home in time to see her buried in Woodlawn Cemetery and that she was staying with Dave and Charlie for the present at 310 East Cumberland St., Knoxville, Tenn, and for you to write to her at that no.  I had a letter from Jim Gamble from Texas yesterday he said they was all well.  Also one from Nettie Gamble, Will Gamble’s girl at Newport Ark.  She said they was all well.  Hope to hear from you soon.  I will close for this time with our love to all.

                Your Brother

                L. B. Gamble

                Box 28

                Corley Ark



My great-great-grandmother was Ruth Gamble Collins, the sister of Larkin Boling Gamble, who is mentioned in this letter.  The woman that died was another sister, Sarah “Sallie” Johnson, the wife of Dave Johnson.  This Gamble family had a large number of siblings, a good many of whom moved westward.  Larkin Boling Gamble moved from Arkansas to Oregon.  Those letters are yet to come!

Old Letter From Lark Gamble to His Sister Martha “Matt” Gamble Rhea, April 29, 1904

May 2, 2011

Corley Ark April 29th 04

Dear Sister & family        Yours came to hand yesterday.  Glad to hear that you were all alive and reasonably well.  We are only sorter.  I have had a hard time this winter taken the Lagrippe in Dec and was hardly able to be up when Annie (his wife) was taken with pneumonia and then for over 3 weeks I was at her bedside from 16 to 20 hours out of 24.  Have had awful rheumatism all winter and since I wrote to you I have been so bad I could not turn over in  bed.  I am some better now but have had a stomach and bowel trouble for over a week but am a little better of that.  Had a letter from Ruth a few days ago.  She was back at her colledge farm boarding house and said Birdie had gone back to Atlanta Georgia and was to be married in a day or two and then go to Portsmouth to live.  She married a Mr. Jackson.  Mag Gamble writes me that her (illegible) was still alive but was weak not able to be up most of the time.

                Ruth wrote me that Jim Cochran was dead and that Minnie & Mary were both married and lived in Memphis Tennessee and that Minnie had been to Knoxville this winter on a visit.  Ruth said Jim was sick and had a hard chill taken a dose of medicine went to bed and was dead in a short time.  Have had no letters from Andy’s folks for some weeks they was all well at that time.  Em Rodgers and Tish Rhea Hute’s girls at or near the same place where Andy lives Mexia, Limestone Co. Texas and not over 80 or 100 miles from Cleburn where Oscar is.  I got letters from Nettie Gamble and L. B. Gamble from Newport Ark they are Will Gamble’s children.  Andy’s 2nd son Willie (?) wrote me that Pleasant H. Boling Uncle Pleas youngest son before and said that his wife had died a few days before and that he was coming to visit Will but had not come yet. 

     Well we have a nice garden considering the cold backward weather we have had mustard, lettuce, radishes for 3 weeks or we have had several messes of mustard greens.  The fruit prospect is not very good not many peaches, pears or plums.  Apples scattering some trees full others none and some scattering most of the corn is planted and cotton is being planted right along but the weather is still cool and cloud most of the time.

     I have had 3 swarms of bees but it is so cool they can do nothing.  I have 78 hives and am depending on the honey crop for a living to some extent but if it soon don’t get warm so the bees can work think the honey crop will be slim but hope for the best any way.  There is 12 acres of corn planted and 10 is all ready to plant in cotton.  On our place this year I keep some land for buckwheat for the pastor’s truck patches orchard vineyard is 5 or 6 acres in all.  Annie & some neighbor girls have gone fishing to day and fear they will catch more cold than fish as the wind is chilly.

We have 100 or more young chickens.  And not one of them but what is full blooded barred Plymouth Rock.  We keep no other and have not for 3 or 4 years.  So every chicken we have is as much alike as peas out of the same hull.  Well I will close.  Don’t wait so long about writing and come and see us when you can.  We are poor fokes but as clever as we can be and you mout like us after you got acquainted with us.  We have a few nice flowers but the yard is open to dogs, chickens and every thing else so flowers has a hard time to exist.

Well Dock play the old Blue Eagle and think of me.

                Your brother Lark

Box 28   Corley   Ark

Letter to Martha “Matt” Gamble Rhea from Johnnie Coker Maas, 1933

April 28, 2011


Every family has mysteries, old mysteries of whispered tales overheard by children, secrets hidden by time, family legend passed down through the years.

When I started genealogy over ten years ago, I remember that my mother had been interested in family history also.  I overheard a conversation between her and a family friend, when I was a child, and the friend told my mother not to look back into family history, because you could find something bad, very bad, that could change your life and you would never be the same.  Some of the old South families found that they were mixed race.  Some of the black families found that THEY were mixed race.  One black friend told me years later that the saddest day of her life was when she found the white people.  I suppose your reaction just depends on your perspective.  Whatever the reason for your genealogy search, I found that we are the sum of all our parts, and all these little parts, good and bad, are what they are, and we just need to deal with it.

One of my great-great-grandmothers was Ruth Gamble Collins.  I found her on the 1880 Blount County, Tennessee, census on June 9, 1880, listed as a widow.  Later, through the magic of the internet and the genealogy message boards, my BigBroBob found a man in Mobile, Alabama, who claimed that his grandmother was Ivy Collins Coker, one of Ruth’s children.  But Ivy reported that she was born on March 14, 1881, and indeed she is not listed on the 1880 census.  Ivy also reported that her father was Deadrick Collins, who indeed was married to Ruth Gamble.  I suppose it is possible that Ruth was pregnant with Ivy and that Deadrick became deceased right before the census was taken.  There is no record of his death, and the man in Mobile said that one of his uncles told of whispered stories that he overheard when he was a small boy.  An uncle from the west was visiting, and the family was wondering if he would be recognized even though he’d been gone so long,  and could his visit remain a secret, for there was talk that he had been in trouble with the law, which was why he’d left to go west in the first place.  When I heard this part of the story, I became confused.  Was Deadrick in trouble also, like his son, and they’d both had to leave?  We’ll probably never know.

This I do know:  I found another cousin in Texas who sent me a packet of old letters regarding some of the Gamble family that moved west out of East Tennessee.  They ended up in Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Oregon.  One of the letters was written by Johnnie B. Coker Maas (who married Charles Sidney Maas) to her aunt Martha “Matt” Gamble Rhea.  Johnnie B. turned out to be the sister of the small boy who heard the whispered stories, and remember that the story of the small boy came from a man in Mobile, Alabama.  Yet the letters came from Texas from someone who did not know about the man in Mobile.  Strange how life weaves us together.

So the man in Mobile copied the letter *written by his own aunt* almost 65 years prior and sent it to her brother, the last remaining sibling of that family, who was in a nursing home in the last years of his life, who just happened to be the same small boy who overheard the whispered stories. 

Mrs. Charles S. Maas

Demopolis, Ala.

Nov. 14, 1933

Dear Aunt Matt:-

                I know you will be surprised to hear from a neice (sic) you have never seen, but I want to get a little information concerning Uncle Hugh Gamble or the one of your brothers who was in the Confederate Army – I want to join the UDC and I understand I am eligible to join if I can prove that a great Uncle or Grandfather was in the Confederate Army.  Mama said she knew that two of the boys were in the Confederate Army and that you might be able to tell me more about it – who they were with, where they enlisted and anything else that might help me to prove my eligibility.  Maybe some of the other folks out there know some thing or do you know of any one back in Tenn. who might know I would certainly appreciate any information.

                We are all well again.  Guess some of the children wrote about Mama’s operation.  She was operated on in July for a tumor and stood the operation just fine.  She says she feels better than she has in years and very often threatens to make you all a visit.

So far our winter has been very mild, just a frost or two but with no rain.  Every thing is so dry.

                Hope all of you are well and I will certainly appreciate any information you might give me.

                With love to you all,

                Johnnie B Coker

                Box 13

                Demopolis, Ala

                (Mrs. C. S. Maas)


And the Confederate uncle that she was searching for??  It was Larkin Boling Gamble, who had moved to Arkansas, then Oregon, after serving in the Union Army.  It seems that East Tennessee was predominantly Union.  I wonder if Johnnie ever found out that she couldn’t get into the United Daughters of the Confederacy using that line.  What she couldn’t know was that her mother’s “father” was Deaderick A. Collins, a sergeant in the Confederate Army, but remember that her mother was born after her father was reported deceased. 

Indeed, when researching family history, you might just find out something you didn’t want to know.

Obituary of Ivy Collins Coker, 1881-1942

April 25, 2011

The following obituary comes to me from Cousin Harry Coker in Alabama.  Mrs. Doc (Ivy Collins) Coker was his grandmother.

Ivy Collins Coker and my great-grandmother Henrietta Collins Webb were sisters.  One of Henrietta’s daughters was Annie Webb who married Ed Porter.

Old Letter From Elizabeth “Libbie” Gamble Cochran to Her Sister Martha “Matt” Gamble Rhea, circa 1880

April 24, 2011

So many old letters, so little time…

Over ten years ago, I received in the mail an amazing gift from someone I have never met.  Cousin Diana McDonald had copies of old letters in her possession, and she made copies and sent to me.  This copy is so faint that it cannot be read, but someone had transcribed the letter, what there was of it, into a typewritten page. 


Knoxville Tenn

March 26

My Darling Sister

Your wellborn letter reached me last night.  I was glad to hear from you all once more for I had come to the conclusion that you had forgotten your poor old afflicted sister in Knoxville.  I am so sorry that you are chilling.  It is so bad.  Have you ever tried Greens August Flowers.  I believe it would cure you, it is a good medicine.  I feel anxious for you to try it, you can obtain it at the drug store at Salome if they have not got it just get them to order it for you and don’t fail to try it.  You can get a small bottle a trial bottle for 10 cents with several doses in it  you might try one of them first, the next size is 75 cents.

Well, I will try to tell you what I know about fathers last days.  Mother came in here in October and said he was in his usual (piece of paper missing and part of word I think it is Health) and we thought we could have him in here with us this last winter.  We was going to send some easy conveyance and bring him in but before we sent for him he had a stroke of parralasys on the 11th of November at Hughs.  He was sitting by the fire and one of the little grand children was there in the yard and found a glass out of a pair of specticles and Eveline took it and went to him and ask him if it was his and he did not make her any answer.  She looked at him and one side of his face was all drawn and he could neither speak or move.  She called Hugh to the house and put him to bed and watched over him through the night.  In the morning they took him up and sit him at the table and he appeared hungry but could not swallow anything  but coffee and he drank four cups of coffee.  Evaline said to him he had better not drink so much at one time and take it more gradual and he said he was taking one cup after another.  He lived 13 days and slept the most of the time, would sometimes wake up and just speak one or two words and then go back to sleep again.  Mother was here and Ruth wrote to her.  She went out – I was sick and could not go to see him.  I have not been out there since you left here.  I did not hear of him speaking of any of us during his illness.  He had all the (page torn – I think it read consideration) that was necessary and was decently buried in the grave yard at Ellijoy in the row with Hughs children.  He was buried in the shirt I made for him.  He always said it was to bury him in and Mr. Cochran bought him a coat about a year before he died, he never had soiled it and it was put on him.  I fully believe he’s in heaven today.  Then let us try to live here so as to have a home with him there.  Pray to our heavenly father to show us the way.  I have been reading his dear old testament, I do love to read it because he read it so much.  Mattie read yours (this was all the letter I had unless I find second half)

On top page of letter as in a sort of ps she wrote

“you must try to write mother soon”

“Mrs. Lord and Gracie is both dead and Manley Keeble is dead.”

“John Cummings and Charity Davis married”


I read the letters over and over until I had memorized a good part of them.  They were like pieces of a puzzle, and I rearranged the names mentioned in the letters until I could make sense of some of them.  Who were they all?  Every name had value. 

One fall day in 1999 my children and I went to see my father in the assisted living facility.  We lived about 2 1/2 hours away, and I managed to fit in a side trip to Blount County.  We found the church and the graveyard at Ellijoy.  When I opened the gate to the graveyard, the gravestone directly in front of me was Manley Keeble, and I greeted him like a friend, “Well, Manley Keeble, so there you are!”  I still have no idea who Manley Keeble is, but we did find the grave marker for my great-great-great-grandfather Josias Gamble, 1800-1881.  I took a side shot so that you can see the stones marking the graves of the children of his son Hugh mentioned in the letter.


Elizabeth “Libbie” Gamble Cochran wrote another letter that I posted earlier.  You can reading it by clicking here.

The Family Bible of Anne Gamwell & Josias Gamble

April 11, 2011

Over ten years ago, a friend who was in the Daughters of the American Revolution attempted to help me find some ancestral ties.  In short order, she produced some information that she received by email regarding Josias Gamble and his wife Anne Gamwell Gamble.  Later I wrote the library in Blount County, Tennessee, for records about these people, and I was rewarded with much information, the most remarkable being a copy of the family Bible.

I have not compressed the pictures for easier loading, for I want you to be able to left-click on them to enlarge them and enjoy the detail.  So, these images might take longer to load. 

It’s worth the wait.

Ann Gamble Book Given Her by Her Mother At their parting in Pensilvania Chester County, New london Township --

I suppose Ann/Anne never saw her mother again…

The Gamble Ancestry, September 25, 1909

April 7, 2011

A family reunion of the Gamble family was held on September 25, 1909, which resulted in a booklet that is available at the Blount County Library in Maryville, Tennessee, in the Family Records. A nice library volunteer lady copied this booklet and sent it to me over ten years ago.   To read more about my line, look on page 7 under Josias and his second wife, Betsy Boling.  (It was Elizabeth “Betsy” Boling Gamble who wrote a letter to her daughter Susan Jane Gamble Davis in a previous post.) I’m descended from their daughter Ruth who married Deaderick Collins.

So here I present to you the Gamble Ancestry.  Left-click on any image to enlarge it, then left-click once again to enlarge it once again.