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The Oklahoma Scott Family Reunion 2015

The first Sunday in June is the time, and the park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma is the place of the Oklahoma Scott family reunion. We heard about it just in time to go. Wynnewood was the home of William Charlie Scott, my great great grandpa, and for years dozens of descendants of his ten kids would gather for the day.

Family of William Charlie Scott

The family of William Charlie Scott taken on the day of his funeral. He died April 20, 1933. His wife, Judia Isabelle Lard Scott is front left. Nancy Scott, his daughter with Nancy Qualls is next, then his oldest sons Jesse Andrew and Avery Albert. Apart from Mamie, I’m at a loss as to who’s who  on the back row. Any cousins out there who can help?

When I was a kid we filled the park. Food covered all the picnic tables in the pavilion and we spread out across the park on lawn chairs and picnic blankets. The food was all homemade, except a couple of loaves of the mandatory Rainbow bread. White bread and butter went with every meal. There was fried chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, cole slaw and tons of other stuff. Banana pudding was a mandatory dessert, sometimes several versions, cakes in all flavors, and lots of pie. Apple pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, peach cobbler, blueberry cobbler, and there was probably a pan of brownies.

Someone brought a set of horseshoes and after selecting the biggest shady spot they could find, the stakes were measured off and pounded into the ground where the men would congregate, most of them smokers. The clank of horseshoes and smell of the air, stopping only long enough for one of the eldest attendees to say grace before the meal. Well the clanking paused for a minute or two, the smoke was continuous. The women folk—that’s old-timey talk for moms and grandmas—set up lawn chairs and spread pallets—usually handmade quilts—under the shade of a different tree. Every patch of that shade was covered with a picnic blanket, usually anchored by a picnic basket or thermos to keep them from blowing away in the Oklahoma wind.

Us kids were left to fend for ourselves so we made use of a few swings, a couple of wooden teeter-totters, and one of those old merry-go-rounds you have to get a dad to push to go really fast, and if you don’t hang on you’ll slide to the edge and get slung to the ground, Probably why most parks have taken them out in recent years. I always sat  in the middle and squeezed my eyes tight to keep from getting sick.

There might be seventy or eighty kin gathered for the day. And that didn’t include the kids. But times have changed. This year there were maybe thirty or so adults at the park. There were just a few smokers (all the old-timers died of smoking related causes, mostly heart attacks) and no one brought horseshoes. Much of the food was store-bought. We even picked up chicken at Homeland on our way down. And after the food  was spread out (there was plenty!) there was still room for all of us to sit and eat at a picnic table in the shade of the pavilion. No need for lawn chairs or pallets on the ground. Alas.

As far as I know there were only two of Charlie’s ten kids were represented at the reunion with descendants of Jesse and Avery in attendance.

Jesse Andrew Scott, the oldest, born in 1886, had lived in Wynnewood near his folks and some of his kids and grandkids still live in the area. It’s that bunch that organizes the reunion and keeps it going. Some of them came up from Texas just for the reunion. The second son, Avery Albert, born in 1889, was my great grandpa. There were four of us there. Mom, one of her cousins, Kay Scott Talley, her husband Lester, and me.

I printed the ancestry.com person pages for each of William Charlies kids and took it to use as a reference point for introductions. It was very helpful. I wrote the barest bit of family history I could put on a half-a-sheet of paper for those who might not know where we came from. I overheard someone say “They came from Alabama?” so the history was also helpful.  Here’s what I wrote.

A Brief Scott Family History

John Scott was born in 1800 in Buncombe County, North Carolina in the vicinity of present day Ashville. About 1820 he moved to Alabama (opened for settlement in 1818) by way of Tennessee where his two brothers settled. John and his sister Isabelle Scott Lambert settled in Lauderdale County in the far northwest corner of the state. John was single when he obtained his land, but in 1823 he married and started a family. He had ten kids when his wife died so he remarried and had four more kids. All 14 of his kids were born along Bumpass Creek near Waterloo, Alabama in Lauderdale County.

John donated some of his land for the Bumpass Creek Free Will Baptist Church, which still has an active congregation. My mom, Darlene Miller painted a picture of the church from a photo taken during a visit to the area. I photographed the painting and have made some postcards of the church.

Jeremiah Franklin was born in 1834, one of John’s of the first ten kids. “Frank” married Mary Harriett Serelda Steely and they started a family in Lauderdale County.  They would have 13 kids, all born in Alabama.

William Charlie, born in 1860, was Frank’s 2nd son. Charlie married Nancy Qualls and after they had a daughter Nancy died. Charlie then married Judia Isabelle Lard (Laird) and they had nine kids, eight sons and one daughter.

The Scotts had filled up most of their neck of the woods along Bumpass Creek in Lauderdale County and started moving west.  Jeremiah Franklin’s oldest son moved to Texas where he married and had three sons. Of the remaining nine kids, six came to Oklahoma—the others stayed in Alabama—Charlie was one of the six who came and brought his family.

Charlie and Judi had three sons, then between 1891 and 1894 they moved to Oklahoma, near Box in Cleveland County, and had six more kids.

Avery, Charlie’s 2nd son, was my great grandpa. “Aunt Lela” was my grandma. My mom is Darlene Rose Miller and I’m Jan Miller Stratton.

Scott-WmCharlieFam1901

The William Charlie Scott Family, circa 1900. On the front row from the left: Rayford Charley, 1900; William Charlie, 1860; Eldry, 1896; Judi Lard Scott, 1867; Ernal Mason, 1896. On the back row from the left: Jesse Andrew, 1886; Colbert, 1894; Stanley Luther, 1891; and Avery Albert, 1989

This is a picture we’ve had and apart from Charlie and Judi, we didn’t know who was who. But thanks to mom’s cousin Kay Scott Talley, we think we figured it out.  She knew for sure the one on the back right was Avery, her grandpa, and the one on the back row with the ruffled collar was Colbert. Based on that we made an educated guess and named the others.

Avery and Colbert would grow up to marry sisters, (Doan and Chub Crouch) so we were double cousins with Colbert’s kids and grandkids.. Colbert and Avery both lived in far southeast Cleveland County near the community of Box so we knew those cousins better than some of the others. Charlie and Judi first settled in Box when they came to Oklahoma, but after all the kids were born they moved south to eventually settle in Wynnewood.

That’s about the sum of it for this year. Colbert and Chub’s kids (there are just a couple of their eleven kids left), grandkids and great grandkids have a “Scott Cousins Reunion” is what  they call it. We’ve been invited to that  later this summer. There’s talk of a reunion in Waterloo, Alabama as well which I would love to turn into a family research trip if the timing works out for me to go.

Seems like there aren’t as many family reunions as there used to be. How about you? Got plans to see family this summer?

Jan

John Scott > Jeremiah Franklin Scott > William Charlie Scott > Avery Albert Scott > Lela Scott Rose > Darlene Rose Miller > Jan Miller Stratton

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Scott

 

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Agnes Laird, Her Widow’s Pension

Laird-Nat-30Nathaniel Laird, 1755–1832, my 5th great-grandfather, was also my Laird immigrant ancestor. I’m not sure if he came from Scotland or Ireland, but I hope to nail that down soon.

He was 20 when the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, just the right age to sign up to fight in the Revolution. He was a private in the 4th Regiment, Infantry, of the Pennsylvania Line in the Continental Army.

In 1781 he married Agnes Scott in Rowan County, North Carolina where they established a home after the war. In 1789 Iredell County was formed out of the western part of Rowan County and that is where Nathaniel and his family were counted in the 1790 US Census. His five children were all born in North Carolina, the youngest in 1802. Sometime after 1802 and before 1820 the family moved to middle Tennessee and settled in the Maury/Bedford County area.

It was confusing to find him in two different counties at different times on different records. I thought there must be another Nathaniel Laird until I looked at the historical county maps and then found this land record.

On June 21, 1828, Nathaniel Laird received a grant of 75 acres, at the rate of one cent per acre, signed by Sam Houston, governor of Tennessee. (Yes, the same Sam Houston that turned up in Texas.) It was paid into the office of “entry-taker of Maury & Bedford countys;…” Maury and Bedford county lie side-by-side with Maury to the east and Bedford to the west. The land description says: “lying in said county, on the waters of flat creek and bounded as follows to wit, beginning in Maury county, …”

Later records list Nathaniel in Bedford County. Seems the county line moved west, putting all 75 acres in that county. If I can find a more specific description of the location—…north 40 poles to a cedar the NW corner… 40 poles to a dogwood, then south 40 poles to a hickory in a field… while colorful, isn’t enough—I’ll match it to the county maps and see if that’s the case.

Nathaniel died Feb. 27, 1832 and subsequently his wife, Agnes (Scott) Laird applied for a Revolutionary War Widows Pension to continue the pension previously received by her husband. He’d been getting $8 per month since August 1826. Her application was accepted and she received $40 per year starting Dec. 1843, I don’t know if she got “back pay” from when her husband died eleven years earlier or not. But, I came across a simple note that reads:

Agnes Laird
Tennessee

Suspended
let 16 dec 39

Act of 7 July 1838

Evidently there was a LOT of fraud going on in the Revolutionary War Pension system so a couple of times Congress had to revise the program to get rid of the dead beats who shouldn’t be getting a pension. Pensioners reapplied and were accepted or rejected under the new requirements.

Agnes Laird’s application includes her husband’s original statement of his military service dated Dec. 12, 1825; dozen of letters, reports and witness statements documenting his service; statements indicating she was his wife and had not remarried since his death. As soon as I translate more of the colonial penmanship (everything from elaborate calligraphy to  scrawled cursive, many pages splattered and smeared with ink) we’ll get a glimpse of his life as a patriot soldier.

And as to Agnes Scott.  I wonder if she’s part of my grandmother’s Scott line which dead ends with John Scott born in 1800 in Buncombe County, NC. Agnes was born in Rowan County in 1761. Chronologically she could be an aunt, or maybe a cousin to my  4x great-grandfather, John Scott. I hope it’s a mystery I’ll solve.

Jan

Me > my Mom > Grandma Lela Scott Rose (1911, Pottawatome County, OK) > Avery Albert Scott (1887, Lauderdale County, AL) > Judia Isabell Lard Scott (1867, Lauderdale County, AL) > Jim Lard (1830, Hardin County, TN) > James Lard (1789, Rowan County, NC) > Nathaniel Laird (1755, Scotland or Ireland)

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Scott

 

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What’s Your Name?

So yesterday I posted a bit about the Lard/Laird branch of my family tree and coincidentally today the Genealogy Tip of the Day was about last names.  How fixed are they?  Turns out not very.

In certain regions of Europe last names changed from one generation to another or were tied to the property on which an ancestor lived…

Learn about your ancestor’s country of origin and determine what the common practices were in that region…

Even before I started researching my family tree I’d heard names sometimes changed from the old country to the new world. Different languages, different accents, unknown spellings all played a part in the names new Americans acquired upon arrival. The name Vito Corleone is recognized as the main character in the Godfather. However, in the Godfather II it’s a young Vito Andolini who arrives at Ellis Island from Corleone, Sicily. As the boy is registered to enter the United States there are language difficulties and Vito is given the last name Corleone, which is actually the name of his home town.

However, It also seems to have happened to our names as we moved from state to territory to new frontier areas as we settled the country. My research into my great-grandmother Bessie Jane Belew Rose turns up relatives and ancestors named Belue, Beleu, Ballew and even Ballou, as in Cat Ballou. Remember that movie with Lee Marvin playing the drunkest gunfighter in the west? Cat—as in Catherine—Ballou hires him to protect the family ranch and then avenge her father’s death. It was a comedy by the way, made in 1965. But back to our story… The name is pronounced “blue” like the color, and that’s how it’s spelled in some families along with a very French version of Ballieux, or something like that.

Turns out I have a branch of Blues, like the color, on a different part of my tree. And a great great grandmother, Catherine Blue—I wonder if she was called Cat. These Blues came from Scotland by way of Nova Scotia and as far as I can tell the name was always spelled Blue. This is the same family that begat Ronald Reagan and makes the former president one of our distant cousins on my Dad’s side.

Speaking of French—back to the Ballieux spelling—Phillippe Du Trieux arrived in New Amsterdam in 1624 with the first immigrants on the ship the New Netherland to settle on Manhattan Island. In a few generations Philippe, became Phillip, and du Trieux became Truax. One of the du Trieux boys married Sarah la Roux, They named a son Larue, and his last name became Truex, with an “e” and then later the name settled on the spelling of Truax, with an “a”. About the same time someone named VanderVinck arrived in the area and over a couple of generations his name evolved to become Wink, as in Sansom Wink, my great great grandfather.

Other family names that have evolved over the years are Beavins, Bevins or Bivens, and maybe before that it was originally ap Evans, which means “of Evan”, as in “son of Evan” in Ireland and Wales.

Then there were different spellings, Talmadge became Talmage, as in America’s first spies. Stillwell, was spelled Stilwell sometimes. In looking for information about my great great grandmother Nancy Qualls, I can’t overlook Quarles and Quails.

Some of my family names have seemed fixed through the years: Rose, Miller, McKay, Scott… although Scott was written Schott in a marriage record once, Rose can turn up as Ross in some families; Miller can be Millar; McKay might be McKee… It’s good to keep these things in mind when looking for specific documents that don’t seem to exist.

How about your family names?  What differences have turned up in your research?

Jan

Here’s how I’m related to some of these people.

Me > Dad > Kathryn McKay, she was called “Kat” > Olive Wink > Sansom Wink > Jacob Adam Wink > Adam Wink > Jacob Wink, Esq. b. 1733, Bedford, PA > Sebastian Wink b. 1705 in Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands, immigrated and returned to die in France > Isaac VanDerVinck

Me > Dad > Kathryn McKay > Olive Wink > Sansom Wink > Jacob Adam Wink > Adam Wink > Jacob Wink, Esq. who married Elizabeth Truax > Larue Jacob Truex > Phillip Truex > Jacob Du Trieux > Philippe Du Trieux > Philippe DuTrieux, b. 1586, Roubaix, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, arrived New Amsterdam, 1624.

Me > Dad > Kathryn McKay > Donald Graham McKay > Robert McKay who married Catherine Blue > Donald Daniel Blue (great great grandfather of Ronald Reagan) > Donald Neil Blue b. 1799 in Kilcalmonell, County, Argylshire Highlands of Scotland

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in McKay, Miller, Rose, Scott

 

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A Lard is a Lord

Did you know that the name Lard probably came about from a mispronunciation and then misspelling of the name Laird, which is Scottish for the title, lord.

My great great grandmother was a Lard. Judi—maybe Judith—Isabell Lard. Some family notes called her Bell. She was born just after the Civil War, 1867 to be exact, in Waterloo, Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Lauderdale County is the county in the upper left hand corner of the state of Alabama.  That’s the northwest corner. The southern border is the Tennessee River. Waterloo was one of the original town sites established when the county was created in 1818, just a year after Alabama Territory was established. Waterloo, on the bank of the river, flooded and moved a few times through the years but the little town is still there. Pickwick Landing Dam was built upstream from Waterloo and the Tennessee Valley Authority intentionally flooded the area to create Pickwick Lake.

Waterloo also has the dubious honor of being the starting point for the Trail of Tears where the Cherokee, one of the Five Civilized Tribes were forcibly marched from their native lands in the southeast to newly laid out Indian territory, now the state of Oklahoma. The Indian Removal Act was signed in 1830 by President Andrew Jackson and Indian removal started in 1831. The Cherokee were the last to be removed, leaving their native Alabama homes in 1838.

Lauderdale County is kind of “home base” for my Scott family heritage, and July 28, 1885 Judi Lard married into the Scott family, when she wed William Charlie Scott. William Charlie is the grandson of John Scott who was the first Scott to settle there. Charlie and Judi Scott had the first of their eleven children there, including my great grandpa, Avery Albert Scott.

But back to the Lards. Judi was the daughter of James S. Lard II and his wife Nancy Qualls. He was known as Jim, and he was born across the state line in Hardin County, Tennessee. The word is he, along with a couple of brothers, came “from the north” to Alabama to escape their father who was a mean man.

That “mean man” was James Swan Lard Sr. who was born in Rowan County, North Carolina just after the American Revolution. Sometime before 1809 the Lards, like the Scotts, moved west into Tennessee and January 14, 1809 James Lard Sr. married Elizabeth “Betsy” Shons in Davidson County, Tennessee. James and Betsy had a son, Nathaniel Washington in Bedford County, Tennessee in 1816. Another son, Richard, was born in Williamson County, Tennessee in 1825 and ten years later in 1835, James Swan Jr. was born in Hardin County, Tennessee.

James Swan Lard Sr. was born in 1789, the son of Nathaniel Swan Laird. Nathaniel is the immigrant ancestor of this line and he was born in 1755 in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. These islands are north of the far north east shore of Scotland. They are separated from the mainland by about six miles of seaway. The history of the islands goes back to ancient times and they were under Norwegian rule in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Vikings used the islands as a base of operations for their pirate raids into the Scottish mainland and Norway.

Sometime after 1755 Nathaniel Swan Laird came to America. I don’t yet know if he came alone as a young adult, or came as part of a family group with siblings and parents. He was, however, a patriot during the Revolutionary War. I don’t know where he would have landed, but he ended up in North Carolina and that is where is was married in Rowan County. He married Agnes Scott January 17, 1781, Since my Scott historical research only extends to Buncombe County, North Carolina where John Scott was born in 1800 I have no idea if Agnes Scott might be a part of my primary Scott line.

Charlie and Judi Lard Scott came to Oklahoma about 1900-ish and the last of their children were born here in 1902 and 1904. The rest of the Lard family remained in the vicinity of Lauderdale County/Hardin County along the Alabama/Tennessee state line but I’m sure many descendants have spread out to other areas since then.

There’s more to the story of the Lard/Laird family in the Orkney Island and here in America, but this will do for now. I’m writing this because I recently met a 6th cousin along this line.  He descends from Richard Lard, born in 1825, older brother of James Swan Lard Jr. Their father, James Swan Lard Sr., is our 4th great-grandfather. I wonder if he’s heard anything about James Sr being “mean.”

I’d love to hear from anyone out there who knows more about this line, these people and these events. My new-found cousin tells me Richard, his 3x great-grandfather fought for the Union in Tennessee for six months at the beginning of the Civil War. Then he deserted and later fought for the Confederates. Those are the kinds of stories that bring history alive for me.

Let me know if you have anything to add.

Jan

Nathaniel Swan Laird > James Swan Lard Sr. > James S, Lard Jr. > Judi Isabell Lard (Scott) > Avery Albert Scott > Lela Mae Scott (Rose) > mom > me.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Scott

 

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