Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Johnson News

Johnson Brothers Visit

The article below was found in The Walnut Grove Tribune (Walnut Grove, Missouri) printed May 05, 1915, Wednesday page 5.
It tells of how Josiah Johnson (my second great grandfather) came from Oklahoma to visit his brother Jap (Jasper) Johnson and other friends and relatives.  Joe (Josiah) and Jap were both sons of Williamson Johnson and Elizabeth (Betsy) Perryman Johnson, my third great grandparents.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Jump genealogy : an American family from colonial times

Jump Genealogy

The title of this post is also the title of a genealogy book written about my Jump line.  It also mentions other Jump lines that we may or may not be related to.

I have a copy of this book and have included a copy of the Table of Contents of the book here. 

I used this book to help me prove my lineage to John Jump who served in the Revolutionary War. 

If anyone believes they are descended from the Jump line and if you have any questions, I would be happy to look the information up for you.  Obtaining a copy of this book is not easy.  I was able to get a copy from a member of the Polk County Genealogical Society in Bolivar, Missouri.  I am very grateful to Carolyn for helping me out!

Thank you to Janet Pease and others who worked so hard researching the Jump Surname.

Please feel free to send me an email or contact me through this blog.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ellen Jane Johnson Simao

My Aunt Ellen


Aunt Ellen was my Dad's sister. She was next to the youngest in a family of five children and the only girl.  I remember when I was little and we would visit, she loved to pat my legs and tell me that she loved my fat little legs. 

When I was little I didn't understand why she loved my fat little legs so much.  I hadn't given too much thought to my legs at that time.  It was later that I realized why she liked my fat little legs so much.  Aunt Ellen was tall, about 5' 5" (taller than my Mom), and thin.  She was built up like my Dad.  Both of them were tall and thin with thin legs.  Of course, I thought her leg were fine.  See the photos below of Aunt Ellen in her youth wearing summer clothes and a bathing suit.

Ellen Jane Johnson with unknown sailor
I don't know how old Aunt Ellen was in the above photo, but she looks to be in her teens.

Ellen Jane Johnson

Now check out those legs!  I used to wish I had legs like Aunt Ellen!

Aunt Ellen was one of the most generous people ever born. She was always helping someone out, especially her family, friends, friends of friends, and friends of her children. She would give the shirt off her back to someone even if she didn't have another one.  If someone got into trouble, they went to Ellen. If someone needed money, they went to Ellen.  If someone needed someplace to live, they went to Ellen.  She had a huge heart. Of course she and her family were taken advantage of several times, but that didn't stop her from helping people.  Her daughter, Patricia Simao Nicolia is just like her in that respect...always helping people.  They were born with the helping gene.

I loved my Aunt Ellen very much and loved staying at her house.  This is one of the aunts that I was named after.  Her name was Ellen Jane and my name is Helen Jane.  She was a real character....she was funny and kooky.  She had red hair and wore her lipstick like Lucille Ball.

Aunt Ellen had my cousin Margaret Ellen at a young age.  She is shown in the photo below with my cousin Margaret (Marge), and my Grandma Cora Lee Meek Johnson Sinclair.

Ellen Jane, Margaret Ellen, Cora Lee Meek Johnson
In the photo above, I am guessing that Aunt Ellen was about nineteen or twenty.  Marge looks to be about three or four.  Grandma Cora would have been about forty two or forty three. 

When Aunt Ellen was about thirty six, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  The docs performed surgery, but they couldn't get all of the cancer.  She was terminal.  It hit everyone in the family hard. Her oldest daughter was grown and out of the house. Her son was about thirteen and her youngest daughter was about eleven.

She lived for about four years after the diagnosis.  She had treatment for the cancer, of course.  She became paralyzed on one side and wasn't able to walk unless someone supported her.  It was painful for us all to see her decline and very scary for her young children.

Aunt Ellen and my Dad, Lawrence, aka John, were very close. Daddy was about two years younger than her.  He was devastated by her illness and spent a lot of time with her. 

In the photo below, my Dad is laying on the bed with her.  Back in those days, everyone smoked in the house.  In this photo, Aunt Ellen is about 39 and my Dad is not quite 37. 

Ellen Jane Johnson Simao and Lawrence Gerald Johnson, Jr., aka John or Johnny
Aunt Ellen was born January 9, 1933 which happened to be her big brother Charles Paul Johnson's birthday.  My wonderful aunt succumbed to cancer on September 21, 1974.  She was 41 years old. Like a Johnson, she fought hard. Like a Johnson, she kept living long after the docs said she should have died.  The docs would give her so many weeks, or so many months, more than once and she just kept going. Like a Johnson, she didn't know how to give up because that wasn't in her nature.  But, God saw his child was weary, that her little body was worn out, and he called her home.

Until we are all together again...

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

My Cousin Booger

Adventures with Booger

My maternal grandparents had over 30 grand kids.  My cousin, Booger was one of those grand kids and one of my many playmates when I was young.  I'm not sure exactly how he got the nickname of Booger, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was our Grandpa Smith that gave it to him.  I will refrain from saying what his given name is here, but those in the family will know who I am talking about.

Booger was an active kid and was blessed with red hair, freckles, and blue eyes.  He is about two and a half years older than me, and I remember that even as a child he had definite ideas of what he did and didn't like.  He is still like that to some extent.

I remember he and I were sitting next to each other one morning at Grandma and Grandpa's house having our breakfast.  Booger was quite active to the left of me, giving a lot of attention to the food on his plate.  I asked, "Whatcha doing, Booger"?  He said, "I'm mixing my egg (fried), gravy, and potatoes (fried) together".  I asked, "Why"?  Booger said, "Cause its good"?    I thought it looked like a big mess to me, but since my big cousin, Booger said it was so good, I thought I would give it a try.  I proceeded to try and create the same kind of mess on my plate as Booger had on his.  I ate some of it, but that was the last time I ever tried out one of Booger's recipes!  I wasn't as impressed with it as Booger was.  Lol

I remember my Grandpa telling about another Booger adventure as I was growing up.  Grandpa liked to tell how Booger was expelled from Kindergarten and then he would laugh and laugh about it.  Back then, if a boy stood up for himself, it was a good thing.  I could be wrong, but I don't think Booger was expelled.  I think he might have been suspended for a couple of days.  I don't know what he did, to be kicked out of school for a couple of days, but most likely he was just being active or maybe had a skirmish with another kid.  Remember, Booger always was a little stubborn, knew what he did and didn't like.  I think it goes with the red hair. 

None of us had very many toys, but I remember one time, I had gotten a doll for Christmas and I believe it was Booger had gotten a gun.  It might have been one of his brothers, but I think it was Booger.  I wanted to play with the toy rifle.  I always thought that boy's toys were so much better.

Booger is a good guy, who is highly intelligent, has a great sense of humor, was a good Husband, is a good Father, and is a good Grandfather.  He always has loved his family.

I always looked forward to visits with Booger and his family.  I am so blessed to have had so many cousins, playmates, and friends in one family. 

Booger definitely left an impression on me!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Smith's House

A Smith Family Thanksgiving

One of my happiest memories as a child was spending Thanksgiving day at my Grandma and Grandpa Smith's house in Poplar, CA.  Although, I spent almost every day at their house, Thanksgiving was even more special because there would be so many Aunts, Uncles, and cousins visiting. 

Grandma would stuff and cook the turkey early in her stand alone electric oven so it would be ready to eat by noon.

Grandma's stuffing recipe:

white store bought bread or stale biscuits
chopped celery
chopped onion
minced garlic (optional)

couple of boiled eggs
couple of raw eggs

salt and pepper to taste
Boil giblets until done.  Let cool, and chop liver, heart, and gizard meat.  Remove meat from neck and chop. 
Crumble cornbread, and tear bread into small pieces.  Mix in large bowl with chopped meat, chopped boiled eggs, celery, chopped onion, water from giblets, seasoning, milk, until the right consistency and taste.  Add a couple of raw eggs to help hold stuffing together before stuffing bird and putting remainder of stuffing in pan to be cooked. 

I still make my stuffing like this but sometimes add spinach to it.

We would always have mashed potatoes, gravy, sometimes green beans and corn or some other vegetable.  We would always have pumpkin pie, always have banana pudding and sometimes we would have a cake.

Sometimes the Clay cousins (family of 9 kids), and the McKay cousins (family of 7 kids) might be there at the same time.  Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill Smith had 2 kids.  Aunt Betty and Uncle Don Smith had 4 kids.  Aunt Pat and Uncle Junior Smith had 5 kids, and my Mom and Dad had 2 kids. Grandma and Grandpa had six kids and thirty one grand kids.  The house was only two rooms, but I don't remember it being crowded at all when there was a lot of people.  Of course, I spent a lot of time outside playing with my cousins. 

Grandpa later added two bedrooms and an indoor bathroom.

We didn't have many toys, but we would play Red Rover, Red Rover, Dog Pile, Jump rope, Chinese jump rope, marbles, etc. 

It was so much fun with so many of my cousins there and the food was so good!

I am very Thankful to God for blessing me with my Grandma and Grandpa Smith, my Mom and Dad, my sister, my children, my grandchildren, my aunts and uncles, and all of my cousins that I grew up with.  I'm also Thankful for good health and all of my other cousins that I have.  I have so much to be Thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Transgressions of Charity and John Hollon/Holland


Before I start filling you in on Charity Brewer and John Holland, my 4th Great Grandparents, I would like to remind you about my background and upbringing.

My Grandmother was Stella Holland Smith.  Grandma was very strict with the girls.  She didn't want our hair cut, we weren't allowed to wear shorts, and we weren't supposed to notice if a woman was pregnant and if we did, we weren't supposed to mention it or even know what it meant.  Grandma wouldn't even wear a dress with any red in it, when I was growing up, because only women of the night wore red.  She relaxed a little later in life and started wearing more colorful clothing.

Grandma came from a large family.  Two of her sisters had their own churches.  Aunt Rosie had a church in Stockton, CA, and Aunt Nellie had a church in Poplar, CA, (my home town). 

I attended Baptist and Pentecostal Churches.  My Grandpa Smith's family were mostly Baptist, but Grandpa didn't go to Church.  My Grandma's family were Pentecostal.  I was raised more in the Pentecostal faith.   Although, if you ask me, I can't see a big difference.  But then again, I'm not a religious scholar. 

Anyway, we weren't supposed to do anything that was fun, like going to dances, movies, etc.  Women weren't supposed to wear pants or makeup.  Women weren't supposed to do anything that might make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex either. 

I think you all might be getting the picture.   But, I had a little Mama, that liked to break the rules, so she didn't enforce any of that.  I guess you could say, Rosie Mae Smith Johnson was a little Hell Raisin' Holy Roller.

Even with being brought up in such a rigid religious environment, I still have a very strong faith that has helped me through many bad situations throughout my life.

I also must tell you that I had the best Grandparents ever.  They gave my sister and me so much love, I don't know where I would be today if I had not had them in my life.

Speaking of Hell Raisers.  Since John and Charity were my 4th Great Grandparents, they were my Mom's 3rd Great Grandparents.   Oh and here is the good part!  They were my Grandma Stella Holland Smith's, Aunt (Reverend) Rosille Holland Snow's, and Aunt (Reverend) Nellie Holland Snow Ozner's 2nd Great Grandparents.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Their other sister, Argie Alice Holland Simpson Robinson, used to tell me all the time when I was growing up, that the devil was going to get me.  I don't know why she would tell me that.  I might be playing outside or going around in circles getting dizzy, and all of a sudden, Aunt Argie would be telling me that the devil was going to get me. She may be right about that since I can't help but enjoy the story I'm about to tell you.

Below are two photos.  The first photo is of Aunt Nellie and my Grandma.  I did think that the other person was Aunt Argie but it isn't. I think the other woman is their sister in law. 
Nellie Holland, Stella Holland, and Sister in law, I think.

The next photo is of my Grandmother, her Father, John Wesley Holland who is sitting in the middle, and her siblings. 

Back row, left to right.  Rosie, Argie, Nellie, Stella.  Sitting in the middle is John Wesley Holland, their Father.
In the front are the brothers.  One of them is probably Clift and she had another brother named Claud Orville.  I'm not sure who the extra guy is.  To the left in the background, it looks like it is either Jr. or Don.  One of my Grandma's sons.

The photo above was taken after they came to California from Arkansas and Oklahoma, I think.

S  C A  N  D  A L 

There are many tales, and family legend surrounding Charity Brewer and John Hollon.  If you google their names, you will come up with tons of info.  Not all of it is true, however, some of it is.  Several book articles and newspapers articles have been written about them.

Lets get started.  First let me tell you a little about John Hollon and Charity Brewer each.

John's surname is found on records spelled as Holland, Hollon, and Hollin. John Hollon, my 4th Great Grandpa, was born April 24, 1777 in Montgomery County, VA.  That part of the county is now Grayson. 

There are several different versions, according to family legend, John was betrothed to Charity Brewer, who was born September 26, 1777, in what is now Ashe County, North Carolina.  It is just across the border from Grayson County. 

It is believed that Charity was the daughter of Ambrose Brewer, (she named a son Ambrose, so I believe this to be true) who was the brother of Lewis Brewer of Grayson County.  John Holland's aunt Agatha married Lewis Brewer.  There is a good chance that John and Charity knew one another as children.

John ordered a survey of land in Grayson County in October, 1799, on Middle Fork Creek, but withdrew the survey.  Instead, he went to the Kentucky wilderness to stake a claim.  He planned to return and marry Charity. 

When John did not return at the appointed time, family convinced Charity that he was dead.  She married another man, with the surname of Maynard.  They were married long enough for Charity to give birth to a child.  When John Hollon returned alive and well, she left her child and husband behind to go to Kentucky with him.

Their home site was in present day Wolfe County, Kentucky.  Charity gave birth to the first white child in the region about 1804.  One of the family legends says that Rebecca was born in the cave on Holly Creek, since their cabin was not finished yet.  Please see photo of the Cave below.

Cave where John and Charity lived while cabin was being built and where their first child was born

John and Charity had 9 children and over 100 grandchildren. Their children were Rebecca, William, Fannie, Ambrose, Lucinda, Phoebe, Andrew Jackson "Jack" (my 3rd great grandpa), Hiram and John Jr.  Many of their descendants hold reunions each year in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Texas.  At one point, over 3,000 descendants had been identified.  I don't know what the count is up to now.  I'm sure Timothy J Barron has a better idea than I do what it is.  He is a distance cousin of mine from the Holland line.  He is also the source for much of the information in this article.  

Here is the Scandalous Part


A marriage record from Floyd County, Kentucky, shows that John Hollon and Charity Mains (should have been Maynard) were married May 21, 1820, by Daniel Williams.  This means that their first eight children were born out of wedlock.  Charity may have still been married to her first husband.  Furthermore, she was about seven months pregnant with their ninth child, John Jr., at the time of their marriage.  

John and Charity are honored as the founders of Wolfe County in the County Historical Society in Campton, Wolfe County, Kentucky.

    John and Charity are buried together in the Hollon Cemetery on top of a hill in Hollonville, Wolfe County, Kentucky.  They are buried in cairns which is an unusual design in Kentucky. 


Story about Charity's First Child

Timothy J Barron proved that the legend of Charity having another child that she left behind is true.  His DNA matched with a descendant of Mahalia Maynard Brewer, Charity's first born that she had with her first husband, Shadrack Maynard. My DNA also matched with a descendant of Mahalia's at a later time.

The articles written to date....

1958 Book article about John Hollon & Charity:  "Hollon and Related Families in Wolfe County" written by Clay Hollon, appeared in "Early and Modern History of Wolfe County" pages 115-116

1958 Book article about John Hollon & Charity:  "The First Hollon to Settle in Wolfe County" written by Capt. James I. Hollon, appeared in "Early and Modern History of Wolfe County", page 128

1961 Book article about John Hollon & Charity: written by Clay Hollon, appeared in "Fragments of Knowlege from Around the Globe"

1967 Newspaper Article about John Hollon & Charity: "Cave House on Holly Creek Birthplace of First white Child Born in Wolfe County" written by Steve Swango, appeared in unconfirmed newspaper.

1979 Book article about John Hollon & Charity:  appeared in "The Pence Genealogy: Early Pioneers of Wolfe County, Kentucky including Pences, Hollons, Brewers, Banks, Tomlinsons and many others and who was who," by Sally Singleton page 15

1989 Newspaper article about John Hollon & Charity: "The Saga of Charity Brewer"  written by Athelene (Jackie) Genge of Spooner, Wisconsin appeared on March 3, 1989 in the Wolfe County News from Wolfe County, Kentucky. 

1995 Book article about John Hollon & Charity:  "John Hollon and Charity Brewer" written by Sandra Lake Lassen, appeared in "Bicentennial Heritage Grayson County, Virginia" page 246

So there you have it.  Charity and John created quite a stir, and were a scandalous couple.  I'm not exactly sure when the Hollands got religion.  Maybe John and Charity had religion but I haven't read anything about it, if they did.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This is Part of Mine and my Daddy's History

Daddy And I Both Loved Elvis

Since this is a family history blog, I would like to share a song and a video by Tom Jones about Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll.  Tom and Elvis were very good friends. 

Here is another one, where Elvis is introducing Tom in Las Vegas, then Tom talks and sings a new song for Elvis " I was thinking about Elvis......watch till the end......

I was fortunate enough to be able to see both of them perform in person.

Hope you enjoy.