Friday, August 28, 2009

Small Beginnings in a Mammoth Surrounding: An Ozark County Family Journey

This is the story of how the Anderson family migrated to the Ozarks.

I must also give a small warning; this story can be a little confusing due the replicating of names in the 1800’s. There were a lot of Williams, Garlands, & Billy/Bills…such as “Long Billy” & “Short Billy.” Also, a big thanks is also due to my dad, J. R., for taking a summer Tennessee trip with me to the small town of Gainesboro, Tennessee, in the county of Jackson, nestled in the Cumberland Mountains. There are other stories to be told of Virginia & Scotland, but we will touch on Tennessee for the moment.

Armed with a thumbnail sketch of Gainesboro, Tennessee, dad and I took off to journey back the 500 miles and the 134 years that had separated a family. To do this, we must also cover some earlier genealogy and history. The destination was Gainesboro, Tennessee, in Jackson County...Just north of Cookville on Interstate 40.

About 208 Years Ago
In 1801, Thomas Shirley Anderson and his five brothers, Garland, Joel Blanton, Paul Thomas, Silas Caleb, William James (Long Billy), emigrated from Virginia to Tennessee after the Revolutionary War looking for a fresh start. Virginia was offering Warranty Bounty Land Grants as payment for services in the war. In addition, the beckon call for young settlers to move west was given. Others, such as the Anderson brothers, were going for cheap land. Why was the land cheap? This was also in the heart of disputed Shawnee & Cherokee Territory. The trek was made down the Cumberland Road. (Yes…it’s OK to let your mind to wander to Daniel Boone & Davy Crockett days.) The fight and bartering for land was on.

Thomas Shirley Anderson Thomas Shirley Anderson was born on Feb. 8, 1779, in Cumberland County, Virginia and died on Oct. 8, 1858 in Jackson County, Tennessee. He married Judith Anne Robinson in 1807 in Jackson County, Tennessee. Judith Anne was the daughter of Edward Robinson, Jr. and Anna Elizabeth Meador. Judith was born on May 9, 1785, also in Cumberland County, Virginia.

Thomas & Judith had 10 children.
  • William James "Short Billy" Anderson
  • Anna "Annie" Anderson
  • Garland "Gallant" Anderson
  • Fannie Anderson
  • Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Edward "Ned" Anderson
  • Katherine Anderson
  • Silas Caleb Anderson
  • Francis Marion Anderson
  • Thomas Shirley Anderson, Jr.

    Here is the tombstone of my Great, Great, Great Grandfather & Mother at the Anderson-Allen Cemetery at Blackburn's Fork in Jackson County near Gainesboro, Tennessee.

This was once the family homestead where crops of corn, cotton, and tobacco were raised.
Thomas & Judith’s eldest son was William James "Short Billy" Anderson, my great, great, grandfather, was born on Feb. 12, 1808 in Jackson County, Tennessee, and died in 1890 in Blackburn's Fork, Gainesboro, Tennessee. "Short Billy” married Mary "Polly" Lynn. "Polly" was the daughter of Asa Lynn, Sr. and Elizabeth Hawkins. She was born in 1808 in Jackson County, Tennessee, and died in 1854 in Jackson County, Tennessee.Thomas Shirley Anderson also had a brother named William Garland “Long Billy” Anderson. From these two brothers, a line of Andersons moved to Mammoth, Ozark County, Missouri.

William James “Short Billy” Anderson
William James "Short Billy" Anderson was born on Feb. 12, 1808 in Jackson County, Tennessee and died in 1890 in Blackburn's Fork, Gainesboro, Tennessee. He married Mary "Polly" Lynn. Mary "Polly", daughter of Asa Lynn, Sr. and Elizabeth Hawkins, was born in 1808 in Jackson County,Tennessee and died in 1854 in Jackson County, Tennessee.

“Short Billy” & “Polly” Anderson had 9 children.

  • Garland "Garllante" Anderson
  • Miles Wesley Anderson, Sr.
  • Andrew "Andy" Thomas Anderson
  • Bailey Payton "Pate" Anderson
  • Asa Lynn Anderson
  • Sarah "Sary " Ann Anderson
  • James William "Blue Jim" Anderson
  • Edward A. "Ned" Anderson
  • William Roberson Anderson.

Here are the tombstones of my Great, Great Grandfather, William James “Short Billy” Anderson & Great, Great Grandmother Mary “Polly” Lynn Anderson at the Anderson-Allen Cemetery at Blackburn's Fork in Jackson County near Gainesboro, Tennessee.

Garland "Garllante" Anderson
Garland "Gallant" Anderson, age about 17, married a young lady named Louisiana "Lucy" Ann Hawkins, age about 17, in 1850 in Gainesboro, Jackson County, Tennessee.

Garland & "Lucy" had 7 children.

  • Crawford Anderson
  • Andy Thomas Anderson
  • Martha J. Anderson
  • Alexander Anderson
  • Polley J. Anderson
  • William W. Anderson
  • Sampson Anderson
Here, in this small town, Gainesboro, Tennessee,a family had apparently grown to the point that greener pastures were needed. After the Civil War, the Ozarks was considered a great place to make a start with land in abundance and relatively cheap. In addition, Jackson County records arefull of law suits. Yes, with the Anderson name duly recorded all over the court documents. We had neighbor’s cows eating off our apple trees and property lines being moved. Neighbors were suing neighbors, and family members were suing family members. There were …and still are familiar family names that encompass Jackson County that have traversed county record books for the past 110 years that we are still kin to such as: Allen, Apple, Hawkins, Kirkpatrick, Loftis, and Lynn.

Gainesboro, Tennessee
Road Trip
As dad and I drove into Jackson County, and Gainesboro, I have to honestly admit it kind of felt like home. It looked like home, and the people we met were very friendly. The first day we were there, dad and I started driving down the county roads looking for Blackburn’s Fork…and found it. How? A gentleman stopped while we were looking around and took us to the old family cemetery. It turns out…he was a distant cousin.

Here are a few pictures on our excursion towards Blackburn’s Road to find the Anderson-Allen Cemetery.

We made it!
The Anderson-Allen Cemetery
Great, Great Uncle Miles Wesley Anderson...Confederate Veteran
Going down town into Gainesboro, Tennessee.

Then, we then went to Jackson County Historical Society & Museum to do some research.
Here are a few pictures from there.

Jackson County Courthouse…Downtown in Gainesboro.
We briefly found family and touch bases in exchange of name and the promise of future correspondence. Pictured here are Jimmy Dale & Linda (Flatt) Anderson. They own the Upper Cumberland - Anderson Funeral Home in Gainesboro, Tennessee.

Jimmy Dale & Linda (Flatt) Anderson
Thanks Jimmy & Linda for your cordial hospitality.

Garland Anderson & My Line of Andersons
Garland & Lucy (Hawkins) Anderson with their son and daughter-in-law, decided to follow trek in pursuit of land and headed for the Ozarks. Crawford Anderson married a young lady named Julie “Dula” Sims. Guess what…this is a bit of a unique twist. They were cousins…3rd cousins. Grandma Dula’s mother was named Martha Emeline Anderson who married Thomas Paris Sims. The Sims were people of considerable substance. According to county records, Dula’s father, Thomas Paris Sims and grandfather, Otis Sims, were doctors in the Jackson County and possibly in the Civil War. Dula’s mother was Martha Emeline Anderson’s father & grandfather was William Garland "Long Billy" Anderson and wife Sarah Loveall. William Garland "Long Billy" Anderson was a wealthy man by the standards for that time. In 1850, he owned 6 slaves. By the looking over the U.S. Census, a fair exodus took place about this time from Jackson County & extended family members, such as Sims, & Hawkins headed this way. They also came and moved to Ozark County & Howell County, Missouri and Baxter & Marion County, Arkansas, in the rugged hills of the Ozarks.

About 1875, Garland & Crawford's family all moved to the Mammoth, Ozark County, Missouri, area on Little Creek and started a homestead land. This stretch of land can be found today close to Uncle Jerel Mack & Aunt Velma’s house that burnt and Palmer & Delpha’s home on T Highway.

The Mystery ???
The mystery to me is why only Garland, Lucy, Crawford, and Dula Anderson went to Missouri and left the other Andersons in Tennessee. Garland and Lucy were getting up in years. They left all family…fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. But, Dula's family, the Sims, also made the journey to the Ozarks.

While I was in the Jackson County Courthouse, in the Recorders Office, I found the deed of sale Garland made to his brother, Bailey, in the amount of $400 for 50 acres of prime farmland.

Also, how did they know about the Ozarks?
How did they know about Gainesville, Missouri?
Isn’t it odd they left Gainesboro and moved to a Gainesville?
By records in Tennessee, the sale of land was in November, 1875. Crawford& Dula’s first child was born in April, 1876…in Mammoth, Missouri. That means…after the harvest & sale of land, they traveled 500 miles in the winter on a wagon train. That’s remarkable…that’s almost crazy.

Here is a list of Crawford & Dula’s children who were all born in Mammoth, Missouri.
  • Angeline “Liney” Anderson
  • Lucy E Anderson
  • Mary Anderson
  • Abby G Anderson
  • Mack Anderson
  • Robert Crawford,
  • Orlena Anderson
  • Elmer Anderson
  • Cloves Anderson
  • Ethel Anderson
  • James “Jimmy” Franklin Anderson.
Here is a family photograph from 1925 of Anderson siblings.
Pictured are Angeline "Liney," Ethel, Elmer, Mack, Lucy, and Abby.

Here is another old family photograph starting with the back row from left to right:
Willie Dye holding Sue McGinnis, Eunice & Mack Anderson, Lucy Dye, Eual McGinnis holding Joni, Lucy Dye, Velma McGinnis, Myrtle & Elmer Anderson, Abby Foster, Jimmy Anderson, Ben Foster. Front Row: little boy Billy Anderson, Ethel Holmes, Ivy Holmes.

My Grandfather & Grandmother: Mack & Eunice Anderson
Mack Crawford Anderson was born on Feb. 24, 1890, in Mammoth, Ozark County, Missouri, and died on May 5, 1962, in Mammoth, Ozark County, Missouri. He married Eunice McNeil on Mar. 12, 1926, in Three Brothers, Baxter County, Arkansas. Eunice, daughter of William Frank McNeil and Mollie Mary Gerkin, was born on Feb. 23, 1906, in Baxter County, Arkansas and died on Sep. 30, 1990, in Bull Shoals, Arkansas. They are both buried at the Mammoth Cemetery. To view their tombstone, please click this link:

Mack & Eunice Anderson had 4 children.
  • Berman Anderson
  • Frank Anderson
  • Jerel Mack Anderson
  • Phyllis Anderson
  • James Ralph "J. R." Anderson
Frank, Jerel Mack, Phyllis, James Ralph "J. R."
(I will get a picture of Uncle Berman posted soon.)

The Excursion
In addition to our family genealogy exploration, dad and I decided to take a small excursion to Bee Rock in Monterey, Tennessee. This was a last moment idea but well worth the time. We were directed to go to The Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast Let me say here also, this is a beautiful bed & breakfast with gracious hospitality. We parked our car and inquired of the proprietor, Mike Kopec, for permission to take look at the view from his property. It turned out to be after normal visiting hours; nevertheless, he graciously consented and gave instructions on accessing trail that only took about 5 minutes. We walked to the end of the trail and found the view breathtaking. The view overlooks Calfkiller Valley & Stamps Hollow below. Apparently to local lore, it was called Bee Rock due to Native Americans scaling over its precipice to retrieve precious honeycomb. Hence the name, “Bee Rock.”

Journey's End

Before I leave this post, I would like to thank Martha at the Jackson County Historical Society your all her help. Also, research help from the Jackson County Archivist, Jackson County Clerk, Belinda Ward,
and Jackson County Recorder, Kim Barham. The last picture that I leave this post with is a view of the Roaring River in Gainesboro, Tennessee.