The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

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Here is an excellent example of why our children need to…

be taught cursive writing in school. Lt Levi Casey issuing orders to troops during the Revolutionary War. This document is the actual handwriting and signature of Lt Levi Casey issuing an order to his soldiers during the Revolutionary War. It is dated 7 Aug 1782. Levi Casey rose in rank from Colonel to Lieutenant to Brigadier General during his tenure in the Revolutionary War. He was one of the reknown OverMountain men as was David Crockett.

Br General Levi Casey served terms as a House of Representative and then had been re-elected Senator but did not get to serve his last elected term because he had a massive heart attack and died Feb 1807. He was first interred at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC and in circa 1832 he was re-interred in the Congressional Cemetery.

His widow, along with her Duckett nephew came to Alabama before 1820 and settled in Lauderdale County, Alabama in the community of Rawhide. She, some of her children, and other relatives are buried in the Casey Family Cemetery on what used to be her property.

I desire you will draft or other ways order one third of your company to hold themselves in readiness to march by the fifteenth of this instant to the Cherikees you are to provide flower/flour for sixty days provisions for each man and two good beef cattle and as pack horses a[re] not to be had would recommend that each man take horse and that one half carry forward and the other half act as horsemen and change as they can agree or be ordered and any that have not any horses of their own you are to impress in the bounds of your own company you are to collect all the swords you can and put them into the hands of the men.

August [symbols] 7th 1782                                                                                                                Cap [symbols] Saxon

I am ____and hum [symbols]
(take this to mean your humble servant)
Lt Levi Casey

Official Orders 7 Aug 1782

Official Orders 7 Aug 1782

Vandivers of Colbert County…

James Henry Vandiver and Nancy Emma Pennington Vandiver
  • James Henry Vandiver and his wife Nancy Emma Pennington
    James Henry Vandiver born 20 Sep 1869, died 15 Oct 1952 Colbert County, Alabama. His wife, Emma Pennington Vandiver born 23 Oct 1875 and died 5 Nov 1967. They are buried at Vandiver Hollow Cemetery in Colbert County, Alabama.

Another tidbit of history from our Peebles line…

and is quite unexpected.  Adelaide Xantippe Abernathy was born 16 March 1848 and died 24 June 1912 in Giles County, Tennessee. Her parents were Colston Coalson Abernathy 1808-1899 and Annabelle Bass Abernathy 1814-1896. Her known siblings were: Mary Jane Abernathy Cardin 1831-1909;Martha Ann Abernathy 1833-1833; Eliza James Abernathy McCormick 1834-1916; Narcissa Richardson Abernathy 1837-1842; Malissa Farington Abernathy 1838-1850;   Sarah Frances Abernathy 1840-1850; Richard Farington Abernathy 1842-1850; Sgt. Thomas Clayton “Cape” Abernathy 1844-1923; Nancy Elizabeth Abernathy Elder 1846-1915; and John Wesley Abernathy 1851-1905; and Augusta Ann Abernathy Cox 1853-1924.

Adelaide Xantippe Abernathy Birdsong is relevant to our family. She is from a large family of children and one of her brothers was  Thomas Clayton “Cape” Abernathy who was born 26 July 1844 at Indian Creek in Giles County, Tennessee; and he died 22 Dec 1923 also in Giles County. Cape Abernathy was married among his wives two Upshaw sisters: Sarah Elizabeth “Bettie” Upshae 1854 – 1880 and Lucinda Octavia “Arkie” Upshaw 1852 – 1895. The parents of the two Upshaw sisters were: Lewis Green Upshaw and Priscilla (Mc)Laughlin Upshaw. Lewis Green Upshaw was born 1785 in Essex County, Viriginia and died 1860 in Giles County, Tennessee. Prescilla M Laughlin was born ca 1811 in Giles County, Tennessee; date of death is unknown but she as a widow was on the 1870 census for Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee. In her household were her children Louis Upshaw 22, Octavia Upshaw 18, Bettie Upshaw 16 and her mother Lucinda Octavia Menefee Laughlin who is aged 87.

She married Thomas Logan Birdsong 1845-1911 and he had died the preceding year. Logan and Adelaide Abernathy Birdsong had the following known children: John Thomas Birdsong 1866-1953; Clarence Birdsong 1868-1892; Tully Birdsong 1871-1815; and Neil Cowan Birdsong 1873-1959. The Pulaski Citizen ran an article about Adelaide Abernathy Birdsong’s death.

The text of that article follows:

BIRDSONG, Adelaide Xantippe Abernathy The Pulaski Citizen 04 Jul 1912
Mrs. Logan Birdsong, a prominent citizen of Giles County, was found dead in a barrel of water, at her home on Monday afternoon, June 24. For some weeks, Mrs. Birdsong had been in poor health, and in a very despondent mood, but was up and able to be about. Some of her children or relatives had been staying with her and her son had just left her. The cook, who lives on the place, went up to be with her and found her in the barrel, head foremost. The alarm was given at once and neighbors came to the rescue, but she was dead when taken out.
Mrs. Birdsong was the widow of Logan Birdsong and leaves several children, two of whom are Messrs. Neal (Neil) and Tully Birdsong of Pulaski. She was a good woman, highly respected by all who knew her. Services were conducted at the home and the burial took place in the family burying ground.

Have you heard words in the south pronounced…

differently? For instance, heered, skeered, kivers and such. And words you heard older  generations speak like much obliged, pshaw and the like? Well, it just could be that the modern world bypassed all us Appalachians and Ozarkians. Below is a reprint of an article from White River Valley Historical Magazine that just above kivers it all:

Volume 1, Number 11 – Spring 1964

By Steve McDonald

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, after her victories over Spain, England was becoming greatly overcrowded. With returning soldiers and the hard times of the working classes, people began to look for opportunities elsewhere. So there began a big migration to the new world. At this time, there was very little communication between England and her colonies, and the conditions in the colonies for literary development were very poor. They fell behind in the growth of the English language. One critic reported that the Harvard college library in 1723 had “nothing of Addison, Steele, Bolingbroke, Dryden, Pope, and Swift” and had only recently obtained copies of Milton and Shakespeare.

Therefore, although the English language was changing rapidly during this time, very little of it affected the American usage. By the end of the eighteenth century it was already being pointed out that many Americanisms were just survivals of old or provincial English. Since that time, how ever, American English has started more or less imitating the current English spoken and, as the western states followed the eastern, English began to catch up everywhere.

But when the great tides of immigration swept westward, the backhills section of the Ozarks was passed by. Here there was no melting pot. The people retained their original purity, and remained that way for some time before the outside world began to influence this part of the country.

It is not surprising, then, that people from the cities are often struck by the frequent uses of archaic words and phrases used by the hill folk. Many enthusiasts have called the Ozarks speech “Chaucerian”, and made references to “Shakespeare’s America” and “our contemporary ancestors.” I am inclined to think that this is a bit of an exaggeration. Thomas Hart Benton once said, “The Ozarks people do use a lot of Elizabethan expressions, but the general effect is not Elizabethan because their speech is mixed with modern slang and wisecracks.” This, too, may not tell the whole story. The old usages have drifted out, but there is no denying that the pure Ozark dialect is a survival of older English usage–what basically was once the common country and village speech of old England.

So many of the archaic words and phra-


ses, as well as many of the tall tales and folklore and even folksongs, are the same as those used and heard in England that it is quite surprising.

Living instances keep pouring in. Many Ozarkers still tarry awhile to spend an opinion as Hamlet did. Our common word varmint, for example, is derived from vermin, and preserves an older English pronunciation. Surely the hillman’s pronunciation of wrestle—he makes it sound like wrastle– is very near Chaucer’s wrastelying and wrasteleth in his Canterbury Tales. The word dare, often pronounced dar is standard in England and also was used in the Canterbury Tales spelled dar.

The word et, which is considered bad English but which is often heard in Ozark speech, is a pronunciation still common among Englishmen, and is defended by the Oxford Dictionary, which gives the pronunciation as et. In the hillsman’s speech, one almost always hears the participle et instead of eaten, and it has been in good use for centuries as found in the literature of Shakespeare, Pope, Dickens, Tennyson, and many others.

Chew is almost always chaw to the Ozarker as it was to seventeenth century England; poor is pore as it was to old England; slick was used for sleek by Beaumont and Fletcher as it is used in the Ozarks today. Both heerd and deef are common pronunciations today as they were, and still are, in some county dialects in Eng land.

The words boil and join are often pronounced bile and jine as Shakespeare used them, and the same vowel substitution occurs in point–p’int and disapp’int; also in poison which was commonly p’ison in old England. And it is said that English noblemen almost always pronounced yellow as yaller.

The Ozarker will often use an “l” sound instead of the “n” in chimney so that it sounds likechimley or chimbley. This is an old pronunciation, for Sir Walter Scott in Rob Roy refers to a “kirk with a chimley in it.”

The noun gal, replacing girl, is still used in some parts of England. Where most Americans use “anyway”, an Ozarker uses the adverbial genitive anyways, and is soundly condemned by many grammar books. Yet the Book of Common Prayer published in England in 1560 has: “All those who are anyways afflicted… in body, mind, or estate.”

The Ozarker has a tendency to use weak verbs rather than strong ones, and from this comes such words as beared, ketched, drinked, throwed, and many others. The same thing can be seen in the Canterbury Tales with growed; in Wyclif’s Office of Curates with costed; in Caxton’s Sons of Aymon with hurted; in The Tempest with


shaked, becomed, blowed; and in Milton’s Paradise Lost with catched.

In Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, we find: “Let your highness lay a more noble thought upon mine honor, than for to think I would leave it here.” In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: “…the holy blissful martir for to seek”, and “. . .well loved he for to drink strong wyn.” And in the Bible in Luke 7:24, we read, “What went ye out…for to see?” Often we hear this use by the hillsman, as in “Why for did you come?”

The Ozarks verb doesn’t always agree with its subject in number, but a like disagreement is often found in Elizabethan English. Spenser said in Faerie Queene, referring to people “…whose names is hard to read.” In Shakespeare we find such sentences as “…here comes the townsmen”, “…his tears runs down his beard”, and “… my old bones aches”.

Other uses of words can be found in Shakespeare’s writings which are often used by Ozarkians. Mind in the sense of intend, misdoubt and disremember; the use of ruinate for ruin; and the word which is often given as ary is the pronunciation of e’er a as in “Has the old man e’er a son?” So it is with nary, a corruption of ne’er a.

Shakespeare’s works are full of such adjective forms as worser, more hotter, more unkindest, more worst, certainer, as well as others which are common with the Ozarker.

And so one can go on for several volumes of likenesses between the speech of the Ozarks and old England. You can find in the Ozark hills, among its true natives, some of the most beautiful and most true-to-life tales and stories to be heard. It has been said that the true Ozark storyteller puts across his tale with a song of words which have the quality of oaths at times, and at other times the quality of tears.


“Ozarkers Speak English” by Nancy Clemens, Esquire, April 1937; John S. Kenyon’s American Pronunciation 1942; The American Spirit in Literature by Perry Bliss, 1918; Randolph Vance’s The Devil’s Pretty Daughter, 1955; Down in the Holler by Randolph Vane and George P. Wilson, 1953; A History of the United States, Vol. 1, by R. G. Thwaiter and C. N. Kendall, 1922; Charles Morrow Wilson’s The Bodacious Ozarks, 1959.



Ever wonder what others from family lines looked like?

The following is a pdf file with an article from the White River Valley Historical Quartlery in the issued dated Spring 1964. It traces our Abner Casey’s lineage from the Tyrone County, Ireland to Taney County, Missouri. Some photos are included of those lines. Enjoy. Click on the hyperlink below to access the article.

Caseys from Tyrone County Ireland to Taney County Missouri article from White River Valley Histroical qtrly

You can search and search…

for information on your family history. And you may not find what or who  you are looking for currently, but sometimes you find something else of equal importance. Take for instance I was researching for an article I am in the process of writing on one of my female Peebles ancestors in Lincoln County, Tennessee when I came across this piece of information that I thought might never have been found.  This was verification of the death of my fourth great-grandmother on my Peebles side of the family.

Luncinda Menefee was born circa 1788 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. She was a daughter of William Menefee and Elizabeth Vardeman Menefee. I penned an article on Wiliam Menefee some time back. Her death was indicated on the Giles County, Tennessee Mortality  Schedule for the year ending 31 May 1880. In the first column her family number is given, looks like 293, but I could be wrong because it is hard to decipher.

Her  name is given as Lucinda Laughlin. Her age at death was 101  and she died in August of 1879. She had lived in the county for seventy years which meant she came to the county in 1809. That would make her and her father’s family one of the first settlers.  She was aged 101 years at her death and had been under the care of a Dr Sumpter. She died from pneumonia.  She had lived with her daughter after her husband died, The daughter was Priscilla M Peebles Upshaw who had married Louis Green Upshaw. The Upshaw family seemed to be a family of means as their income on census records indicates such.

Below is the mortality schedule that shows her death.

Luncinda Menefee Laughlin death record

Luncinda Menefee Laughlin death record

Game over…

he and his partner have already won. Everybody else can go home now.

Noah Galloway and his partner Sharna Burgess have won this season’s Dancing With the Stars. If there was any remaining doubt, tonight’s performance puts that doubt to rest. Noah is an Alabama boy, a handsome and brave Alabama boy, who lost both limbs on his right side during the current wars. He is brave beyond belief and he gives an account of his story in this episode of DWTS.

Why the judges only gave scores of 8 is mindblowing to me, other than to maybe give the other contestants a little morale boost. They deserved scores of 20, at least. If you are an Alabamian, if you are an American,if you are a veteran, if you know a veteran, if you love veteran,  if you are a patriot, if you have had a wound to your body or a wound to your soul, if you applaud this soldier’s determination and willpower, if you applaud his partner Sharna Burgess’ ability to work around his disabilities,  if you have half a heart, then you will support this patriot with your vote on DWTS. Nothing less will suffice. They have already won….they just need your votes to make them the final winner on this show and for America.

Stand up, Alabama.

Stand up, America.

Testify with  your vote.

And share his story with your kids, as they can conquer their fears and hard knocks just like this real southern born and cornbread fed Alabama boy has…and with aplomb.

An idea that maybe we will take up…

Old Photograph Contest. I am working on the details as we speak.

This is a photograph submitted for consideration in an old photograph contest by a newspaper. It is an outstanding photo of an annual reunion of the Peebles Family. Unfortunately, this Peebles family descends from Robert Peebles of Ulster, Ireland. That Robert Peebles was of Scot descent, but many Scots were remanded or left for Ireland and left their Scotland home behind; these are the some of the Scot-Irish that would come to America. The Ulster Peebles are not kindred of Captain David Peebles, or so well respected researchers  state. Nonetheless, it is a piece of history and should be valued.

Peebles family reunion newspaper clipping

So many Peebleses and so little time…

Photo of Wiliam Henry Peebles and great grandchildren

William Henry Peebles and some of his grand and great-grandchildren: Kenneth and Jimmy Jinks; and Tootsie and Betty Peebles children of his son Houston Coleman “Buddy” Peebles.

to document them all, but I try. William Henry Peebles 1871-1947, son of George Henry Peebles and Catherine “Kate” Rebecca Jane Terry Peebles and brother to our Robert Duncan Peebles, was married twice. His wives were Sally C Alexander and Eliza Holland Graham.

By his first wife William Henry Peebles  had two known children: Maggie Peebles and Katie Peebles. Maggie Peebles married Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Terry and had a large number of children that included: Leonard R Terry born 1910, Clarence Terry born 1915, Bessie Terry 1919-1924, Cleveland Henry Terry 1922-1992, William Terry born 1923, and Bruce M Terry born 1928. They were all born in Lawrence County, Alabama. Daughter Katie Peebles married Isaac “Ike” Terry 1887-1963 as his first wife. They had three children: Willie L Terry 1911-1988,  Katie F Terry 28 April 1913-19 Dec 1987, and John Henry Terry 1 Aug 1915-19 Feb 1992. John Henry Terry owned Terry’s grocery store in Decatur; and had worked as a carpenter helper in his younger years. Isaac “Ike” Terry was the son of George Washington Terry, Jr and  Sarah V “Sallie” Watson, his third wife. Ike Terry had eighteen known children by his three wives.

William Henry Peebles married a second time to Eliza Holland Graham 1880-1939. They had the following known children: Ida Peebles born 1896, James Walter “Jim” Peebles 1898-1927, Lura Segalia Peebles 1899-1973, Nan Marie Peebles Maness 1903-1976, Velma Eren Peebles 1904-1990, Fannie Lavenia Peebles 1906-1971, William Henry “Will” Peebles 1908-1966, Elbert Lee Peebles 1910-1961, Buford May (Cook )Peebles 1912-1926, Robert McKinely Peebles 1914-1986, Houston Coleman “Buddy” Peebles 1919-1969. There are interesting histories with all but especially for Eliza Graham Peebles and Lura Segalia Peebles.

Elibert Lee Peebles married Naomi Lee Jinks born 9 January 1908 in Haskell County, Texas and died 14 December 1989 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Her parents were Allen Jinks and Lockie V A V Edwards. Elbert Lee Peebles was born 29 September 1910 in Lawrence County, Alabama and died 3 February 1961 in Morgan County, Alabama. Their children are: Annie Ruth Peebles who married an Evans, then an Adkins, Peggy Peebles who married a Chapman, Mildred Peebles 1938-2011 who married George L  Madison, Pfc Elbert Lee Peebles 24 January 1929- 27 December 1949, James Alford Peebles 16 February 1931-22 August 1994, FREDrick Eugene Peebles 19 February 1933- 5 November 2010, Mildred Peebles 1938-2011, Wendell Houston Peebles 10 Mar 1941- 2 December 2002 (died in Georgia), Carl PRESTON Peebles 25 February 1943- 5 January 2011, Charles Russell Peebles and Shirley Jane Peebles 1948-1991 who married Jerry DeWayne Skipworth Jr. Shirley Peebles Skipworth’s eulogy was presented by Rev Houston Peebles; her middle name in her obituary states June, but is likely Jane.

Charles Russell Peebles, son of Elbert and Naomi Jinks Peebles, married Linda Christine Parker. He worked at Otasco and was lauded as a top salesman. They have two children: Angie Peebles Watson and Amanda Peebles.

Photo of Charles Russell Peebles