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Five years ago, I wrote that I hoped I was closing in on Molly Ann Tipps, my step-mom's great grandmother.

I thought I found the identity of her parents from her death certificate. The informant for her death certificate was her daughter-in-law, Ella (Haun) Coffman.

But George Tipps and his wife, Maggie, were not her parents. I found Molly's parents this morning.

And eleven of her siblings.
I had checked the 1860 census for Molly, born Margaret Anna Tipps in March 1858 in Tennessee. This morning, still under the impression I had the right set of parents, I decided to look again.

That's when I saw a little girl named Margaret in Franklin Co., TN in 1860. By the time I got through the preliminaries on continuing to track this family, I had found eleven siblings - Molly appears to have been the youngest child - one of whom had a heartbreaking end in the Loudon Co., TX poor farm.

Here's what I was able to figure out...

Molly's parents were John Franklin Tipps and Samira Hall. I found them in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 census. Their first three children were daughters, including Rachael M Tipps Neal, who died in the Loudon County poor farm.

A note on Racheal's death certificate said:
This woman was an inmate of the county poor house, and nothing is known of her parents. I made a correction to that record in Ancestry.
 photo page 1.jpg


John F Tipps and Samira Hall appear to have lived in Franklin Co., TN most, if not all, of their married lives, adding to their family with regularity.

One this page of the report, there are three more daughters, and three sons. Son George Larkin Tipps was a Methodist circuit riding preacher.
 photo page 2.jpg


Another son and another daughter were born before Molly.
 photo page 3.jpg


Since I didn't find either John or Samira Tipps after the 1860 census, I assume they may have died. I have more research to do on them. I haven't found a grave for either of them at Find a Grave, so I can't link Molly to them.

I've done the next best thing I can, and added hyperlinks to the known burials of some of Molly's siblings on her Find a Grave memorial.

Now, I'll keep on looking...
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The past week was a really good one for wrapping up loose ends on some of the ancestors, and getting a foothold on a couple more who have stubbornly refused to give up much detail at all in their sporadic paper trails.

In addition, I've found tantalizing little bits on a couple of people in other family trees I manage.


These are trees for some very special friends of mine, who having listened to me talk about discoveries in my family tree, have begun to reminisce about stories that came through their own families.

Usually, all it takes is for one of them to wonder aloud, I wonder if there was any truth to that... and I am ready to explain about how to start looking. These three didn't have the resources to start looking. They love the idea of having their trees online, and help me research by asking their families THOSE questions...did anyone ever mention so-and-so?

Because I'm just saying...I'll get as involved in your family history as you are.

So I have four family trees on Rootsweb that have no relationship to mine at all. Three of them are the aforementioned friends - one having a great-grandfather served with the US Colored Troops in the Civil War. Turns out his g-granddad had the same name as another man, almost exactly his age. Both men, named Orange Martin, had been slaves in Arkansas, and fought for their freedom.

It was so ironic to realize when I ripped open the envelope from NARA with Orange Martin's Civil War service record that I had the wrong one. Almost identical dates of birth, but served in different units, etc. And both lived in Arkansas.

It seemed like there was absolutely no one at all looking for the man I began to call The Other Orange Martin.

So I created that fourth tree. It has eight people in it - all of whom were identified in his military file. I keep hoping someone finds it and runs with it...and I hope they email me to say they want his records...


It may sound hokey, but when Todd Fox was preparing Nathaniel and Levi Callaway's gravesites to install their stones, and told me I could have the tops of the numbered concrete columns he took out to lay the markers...

Well...

I jumped on it.

Each was one was about 3 feet into the ground with the numbered top protruding about six inches. Nathaniel's was 102 and Levi's was 140.

Folks, that was a 125 year old concrete marker that was installed on the grave in 1886.

Photobucket


Right now they are on the front porch. I don't know if they will come inside (for protection from the weather in their 126th year) or stay outside.

I do know they are very heavy.


I hope I'm closing in on Margaret Ann Tipps (who married John Dillehay, then John Coffman and finally John Lockhead). If so, I'll probably be posting the saga of a woman who soldiered on against some pretty tough odds. They called her Molly.

Sounds like one of her kids kinda acted up, too. Wonder what it was like to deal with a teenager in the 1880's? At least you didn't have to worry about them wrecking the car.

And yeah, I'm wondering what was up with all Molly's Johns...


I've had my windows open for 4 days now. It has been very mild, and very humid.

And it's kind of weird to go out to my table on the porch with my laptop and not even need a sweater this time of year. But this is the south.

So I just cracked up when I finally figured something out.

I figured out why I had not been able to find the cemetery where Molly Tipps was buried. Everyone remembered being told she was buried in Blues Chapel Cemetery in White County.

Except there was no such cemetery, and I couldn't find anything that said in the olden days we called it that.

I went back and took a look at the 1930 census, when Molly was living with her son and his family in Grubbs, Jackson County, AR.

That's *real* close to White County. Molly died in 1937.

And guess what?

There's a Ballews Chapel Cemetery in Grubbs, right behind the Ballews Chapel Southern Baptist Church.

Bingo.

I love it when our Southern accents get in our way.

'Cause you can usually get around that.


The journey is good.

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Dee Burris Blakley

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