Ancestor Biography – Martha Cannon (1764-?)

Howell-Darling-2017 Research

Cannon/Pankey/Howell Line

By Don Taylor

Getting to know female ancestors who lived before 1840 is always a challenge. Researching Martha Cannon, the wife of Thomas Armstrong Pankey, is no exception.

Certainly, her family relationships are somewhat confusing. In Pollock vs Pollock[1], it states several times that Martha is the ½ sister of Sarah Pollock. That clearly indicates that Martha’s family is complex. On page 36 of the suit, Adam Calhoon says he married “Henrietta Pankey, Daughter of Thomas Pankey and Martha Cannon sister of William Liggon.”  There is also a reference in the Enquirer regarding Roderick Payne and Thomas Ligon who appear to also have a familial relationship with Martha.

Clearly, I need to research Sarah Pollock and her ancestry.  Likewise, I need to learn the relationship with William Liggon, is he a full brother or a half-brother.  If he is a full brother, how did Martha acquire the surname of Cannon? Was there a first marriage for Martha or was Cannon a name adopted because of the surname of a stepfather?  There are many possibilities and I need to zero in on a likely scenario.

Howell/Darling – Ancestor #35

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: James Dallas Howell
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Peter Fletcher Howell
  • 2nd Great-grandmother: Caroline M. A. Pankey
  • 3rd Great-grandmother: Martha Cannon

Martha Cannon (1764-?)


Martha was probably born in Virginia about 1764.[2]  Some researchers indicate that her mother was Caroline Rolfe, although I have not been able to confirm that.


Certainly, Martha grew up during interesting times. The Declaration of Independence was signed when she was 12-years-old. The Revolutionary war ended in 1783, when she was 19 years old. Certainly, she would have known many young men who served in the war.


Martha Cannon married Thomas Armstrong Pankey in Goochland County Virginia on 1 November 1785.

Martha Cannon married Thomas Armstrong Pankey in Goochland County Virginia on 1 November 1785.[3], [4] Both Thomas and Martha were probably about 21 years old.


Book Cover - Marriages of Goochland County Virginia 1733-1815

1792 – It is very odd, but it appears that Thomas and Martha may have gone seven years before the birth of their first child, Mary Pankey, who was born between 1792 and 1796. This seems to be just way too long, so I’m sure I need to further research the family.

1796 – Their second child Nancy Branch Pankey was born.

1799 – Their first son, Thomas Armstrong Pankey [Junior] was born.

1805 – Daughter Elizabeth K. Pankey was born.

1807 – Son Francis Pankey was born.

1811 – Daughter Caroline M. A. Pankey was born.

Thomas and Martha had another child, Henrietta, whose birthdate I do not know.

We know that Thomas Pankey died in January 1829, however, we do not know if Martha preceded or succeeded him in death nor do we know where either is buried.

There is so much more research that needs to be done with this family line.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research Sarah Pollock and her ancestry.
  • Research William Liggon and his relationship with Martha Cannon.
  • Research Martha’s potential mother, Caroline Rolfe.
  • Research Martha’s life period between marriage (1785) and 1st child (1792).
  • Further research Thomas Pankey’s death and burial.
  • Further research Martha Cannon’s death and burial.

————- Disclaimer ————-
Family Tree DNA - Family Finder & Population Finder


[1] Virginia, Powhatan, Chancery Causes, 1782-1938. No. 1831-015; Page 02 of 109.

[2] My Heritage Names, My Heritage, Nancy Branch Pankey, 1797-1865.

[3] Bentley, Elizabeth Petty, indexer., Virginia, Marriage Records, 1700-1850 (Baltimore, Tyler’s Quarterly, MD), Ancestry.Com, Page 202 – Thomas Pankey – Martha Cannon -. Accessed 14 Dec 2015.

[4] Dodd, Jordan, Virginia, Compiled Marriages, 1660-1800, Ancestry.Com, Thomas Pankey – Martha Cannon. Goochland County, Virginia – 1 Nov 1785. Accessed 14 December 2016.

Ancestor Biography – Allen William Adair (1881-1963)

Adair Project 2017 – Ancestor #8

By Don Taylor

Allen William Adair was a sharecropper in Paulding County Georgia. The oldest son of a sharecropper he lived a simple life, farming other people’s land, raising children, and being ever close to the church and finally being buried in the church cemetery.

Allen William Adair (1881-1963)


Allen William Adair was born 22 July 1881[1] in Paulding County, Georgia, the first of eight children of Robert Hutcheson and Mary Jane (Parsons) Adair. Again, birth records are confusing and conflicting so a table will help explain why I settled on 22 July 1881 as his birth date.

Source Statement Comment
1900 Census July 1881 Accurate
1910 Census Age 28 (1881-82) Accurate
1918 WWI Draft Registration Age 40 22 July 1878 3 years added reduced his likelihood of being drafted.[2]
1930 Census Age 50 (1879-80) 1 year closer to actual.
1961 SS Claim Index 22 July 1881 Accurate
1963 Marker 1879 Same as 1930

The record that I have that is closest to his birth is the 1900 census. His Social Security Claim is consistent with that date.  I believe that his marker and other records are incorrect.

His name changed over the years. Early census records indicate his name was William Allen Adair. Later, he used Allen William Adair. In later he may have used Alan William Adair as Alan is the name used on his grave marker. He may have possibly used Bill Adair, also.” I have settled on Allen William Adair as my preferred name to use for him.

Document Name used
1900 Census William A Adair
1910 Census Allen Adair
1918 WWI Draft Regis Allen William Adair
1930 Census Allen Adair
1961 Social Security Claim Allen W. Adair
1963 Georgia Death Index Allen W. Adair
1963 Cemetery Marker Alan Adair
Internet Photo[3] Bill Adair


The 1880s were extremely difficult times in Paulding County.

In June of 1883, his brother Joseph C. was born and the local news reported a jump in deaths due to consumption (TB) and typhoid fever in Paulding County.[4]

Family Tree DNA - Family Finder & Population FinderIn 1883-4 there was an outbreak of measles. In 1884, there was one of the most destructive storms to hit Paulding County as well as flooding, which took out mills and bridges in the county.

In 1885, his sister Minnie was born.

In 1887, Measles were again reported in Dallas and meningitis was raging in some parts of Paulding County.[5]  I believe another sibling was born during 1887 who died the same year.[6] With so many tragedies occurring the family moved from Paulding County, Georgia to Alabama.

In Alabama, four more children were born, Foster in May 1889, Maggie in Apr 1892, Celie in May 1894, and Pearl in April 1897.

By the 1900 Census[7], the family had moved back to Georgia and settled in the Weddington District 941, Humphrey, Paulding County, Georgia.  His is listed as William A. Adair in the 1900 Census. He was living with his parents and six siblings. He is identified as being able to read but not write; He is working as a farm laborer.


On 18 April 1904, Allen married Elle E. Mitchell in a ceremony performed by B. H. Owen, a Justice of the Peace in Paulding County.[8]


The 1910 Census finds the young family consisting of Allen, Ella, and son Floyd Adair living in Humphrey, Paulding County. Allen is a share-cropper. Ella had had a second child that had died by then.[9]

In 1918, Allen registered for the draft; he was married and had three living children (one had died)[10].

Search as I might, I have not found Allen in the 1920 Census.

The 1930 Census finds the couple living along Villa Ricca Road in Dallas, Paulding County, Georgia. Allen is still a farmer, renting his farm, and cannot read nor write.  Their seventeen-year-old son, Elmer, is living with them as is their son, Paul E, and their daughter, Mary L.[11]

Allen’s wife, Ella E. (Mitchell) Adair died in 1936.

I have not found Allen in the 1940 Census.

Allen’s son Floyd M Adair died in 1943.

In 1961 Alan filed for a Life Claim with the Social Security Administration.[12]


Marker - Allen William Adair
Marker – Allen William Adair

Allen William Adair died in Fulton County, Georgia on 26 August 1963.[13] He was 82 years old.  He was buried as “Alan W. Adair” in Bethany Christian Church Cemetery, in Paulding County, Georgia.[14]

His son, Paul E. Adair succeeded him.  Two of his other children may have succeeded him as well. Mary Lee, and Lola Adair may have been alive at the time of his death.  I have not been able to find their status yet.

List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: Elmer Dewey Adair
  • 1st Great: Allen William Adair
  • 2nd Great: Robert Hutcheson Adair
  • 3rd Great: William Adair

————- Disclaimer ————-

Family Tree DNA - Family Finder & Population Finder

[1] U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, Allen W Adair.

[2] Several other researchers accept the 1878 birth years from his Draft Registration; however, I prefer the 1881 birth year.

[3] On Ancestry.Com another researcher is indicating they have a photo of “Bill Adair” who is identified as being Allen William Adair.  I have contact the source person of the photo and have inquired about the photo, receiving a higher quality image of the image and receiving the source for identification of the image.

[4] USGenWeb – Paulding County – History of Paulding County, Georgia – A timeline from select newspapers of events in Paulding County.

[5] Ibid.

[6] The 1900 Census indicates that Mary Jane Parsons had eight children, seven of whom were living.  1881, 1883, 1885, 1889, 1892, 1894, and 1897. The only four-year gap between children is in between 1885 and 1889.

[7] 1900 Census (NARA), Family Search, Robert H Adair – Weddington District 942, Humphrey, Paulding, Georgia – ED 75, Sheet 17B, Line 51.

[8] Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950, Family Search, Allen Adair – Ella Mitchell.

[9] 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, Allen Adair – Humphrey, Paulding, Georgia ED 121, Page 10B, Line 75.

[10] United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (NARA), Family Search, Allen William Adair – Georgia Paulding County; A-Z.

[11] 1930 Census, Family Search, Allen Adair – Dallas, Paulding, Georgia, ED 8, Sheet 3A, Line 3.

[12] U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, Allen W Adair.

[13] Georgia Death Index, 1933-1998 (Atlanta, Georgia Health Dept.), Family Search, Allen W. Adair – Fulton, Georgia, certificate number 24152.

[14] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Alan W. Adair – Memorial # 45685516.

We’re Related – My Possible Relatives – Stephen King, Walt Disney, Britney Spears

Review by Don Taylor
Famous Friday

Certainly, one of the fun, new apps from Ancestry is their app, “We’re Related.”  I’ve seen several genealogy friends talk about the app and thought I’d see who I’m related to. Randy Seaver, in his blog Genea-Musings, speaks about his connections in the sense of likely, possible, and unlikely. I thought it might be fun to see who I’m related to that I don’t know about.  I also thought it might, just might provide some areas of new research. Setup was easy. Download the app from the app store, connect the app to your Ancestry.Com account.  Select a tree to use and select yourself from within that tree. Easy-peasy. Next, just look at the possible relationships. Select one and see a tree indicating the relationship. Here I go with some of my results.

Stephen King

The first match I looked at was with Stephen King.

Oh well.  Not a likely match at all. We’re Related’s  path to 7th cousin, once removed Stephen King went through my mother, her mother Madonna Montran, and her father, Max Fisher.  Oops.  Max Fisher was her step-father, not her biological father.  Not even worth further research.  I understand that Ancestry wants to provide all the famous matches that it can, but a fourth cousin of my grandmother’s step-father isn’t a relationship I have an interest spending any research time investigating or confirming. It might be that someone else has a tree that doesn’t define Max as a step-father. So, I’ve hidden this unlikely relationship.

Walt Disney

Next came Walt Disney, a 10th cousin 2x removed.

Walt Disney - 8th CousinA quick look at the ancestral path matched my Roberts Line.

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts
  • Essie Pansy Barnes
  • Joel Clinton Barns
  • Mercy Eliza Taft

Then Joel Cruff Taft and six other ancestors I am not familiar with. Ancestry’s adding seven ancestors to my tree to get to a common ancestor with Walt Disney is disconcerting, but entertaining.  It does provide areas for further research and will pursue it as a part of my standard ancestor research. I’d call my relationship with Walt Disney as a possible Relationship.

Britney Spears

The third famous individual I matched was 8th cousin, 1x removed, Britney Spears.

This line followed my mother, her father, Richard Earl Brown, his mother, Mary Elizabeth Mannin[i], and her mother “Sarah J. Garvin.”  Who?  My research indicates that Mary Elizabeth Manning’s mother was Eliza Jane Fannin.  I never heard of Sarah J. Gavin. So, I’m probably not related to Britney Spears. But the suggestion by “We’re Related” does give me pause to double check my sources for Mary Manning’s mother, but I’m pretty confident this is an unlikely relationship.

Randy Seavers

Based on my Facebook friends, “We’re Related” suggests that I’m related to several friends.  Most interesting is possible 9th cousin Randy Seaver. Yes, the same Randy Seaver whose blog, Genea-Musings, I follow and recommend. Following my tree up towards our shared ancestor, I see, my mother, her father, Richard Earl Brown, his father Arthur Durwood Brown, and his father, Henry Mack Brown.  Oops.  I’ve run into this relationship in several other trees and have investigated it.  I am confident that William Henry Brown was Arthur Durwood Brown’s father and not Henry Mack Brown. I wrote about that relationship in, “W. Henry Brown (1843-c.1895). So, I believe this is an unlikely relationship, and certainly not through Henry Mack Brown.


Famous Person Relationship Comments
Walt Disney Possible Research Ancestors of Mercy Eliza Taft
Stephen King Unlikely Not through Max Fisher
Randy Seaver Unlikely Not through Henry Mack Brown
Britney Spears Unlikely Not through Sarah J. Gavin

“We’re Related” is fun to look at the possibilities. It makes me think about key relationships in my tree and has the potential of providing clues into further research.  It will be interesting to see what it shows when I look at my wife’s family tree using this app.  I know of her relation with a couple of famous Swayze individuals. Will the app show those relationships? We will see….


[i] Mannin and Manning are used interchangeably.  I tend to use whichever one that is used in the source that the information comes from.

Ancestor Biography – Annie Evelyn Chase (1908-1976)

52 Ancestors – 52 Weeks
Utterstrom – Chase Line

Blanchard Project 2017 – Ancestor #7
Annie Evelyn Chase (1908-1976)


Annie Evelyn Chase was born 24 May 1908 in Patten, Penobscot, Maine.[i] She was the second of six children of Albert and Sadie (Waters) Chase.  Annie was born a “blue” baby and was, according to oral family history, put into the warming oven above the wood stove to keep her warm in the winter.


Certainly, her two sisters, Hilda, two years older, and Leita, one year younger, would have been important influences in her childhood.  After Leita, Albert and Sadie had three sons, Fred, Floyd, and Franklin, four, six, and seven years younger respectively.

All six children were born in Patten, and the children grew up there on Happy Corner Road.[ii] Albert was a farmer and owned the farm.[iii]

Annie completed three years of college.[iv]  By the 1930 Census, Annie was working as a nurse in Portland, Maine, and was living at 18 Casco Street. Rent was $32 per month.[v]


On 1 October 1930, Annie Evelyn Chase married Albert Thomas Utterstrom in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Maxwell Ganter, a clergyman in Portsmouth, performed tThe ceremony.[vi]


Albert and Annie had two children, both of whom are living.

They established their home at 52 Wellwood Road in Portland, ME, by 1935 as they lived in the same house during the 1940 Census. Annie was keeping house.[vii]

During the 1940s, Annie’s husband Albert was deeply involved in various Masonic organizations including the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine.  Annie was involved with St. Gabriel’s Guild of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and was a regular bridge player.[viii]

Annie’s final residence before her death was in Falmouth, Cumberland County, Maine.[ix]


Annie died in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine on 12 January 1976 following her husband Albert, who died two and a half years earlier.[x] She is buried with Albert in Pine Grove Cemetery, Falmouth, Cumberland County, Maine.[xi]

List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: Annie Evelyn Chase
  • 1st Great: Albert Chase



[i] Social Security Death Index (SSA), Family Search, Annie Utterstrom.

[ii] 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, 1910 Census – Albert B Chase – Patten, Penobscot, Maine, ED 183.

[iii] 1920 Census (NARA), Family Search, Albert Chase – Patten, Penobscot, Maine, ED 115, Sheet 2A.

[iv] 1940 Census (NARA ), Family Search, Albert T Utterstrom – Maine, Cumberland, Portland, Ward 9, ED 3-113, Sheet 9B.

[v] 1930 Census (NARA), Family Search, Annie Chase – Portland, Cumberland, Maine, ED 3-49, Sheet 7B, Line 78.

[vi] New Hampshire Marriage Records, 1637-1947, Family Search, Albert T. Utterstrom – Annie E. Chase.

[vii] 1940 Census (NARA ), Family Search, Albert T Utterstrom – Maine, Cumberland, Portland, Ward 9, ED 3-113, Sheet 9B.

[viii] Various Portland Press Herald newspapers (Portland Maine) via
– – 1949-01-11, Page 06. Guild Elects Mrs. C. L. Wheeler
– – 1949-04-03, Page 44, column 4 (top right).
– – 1949-04-03, Page 48. Mrs. C. J. Tarpinian Chairman For Supper | Mrs. Albert T. Utterstrom.
– – 1949-04-17, Page 39. Pathfinders Coffee-Bridge To Have 60 Tables In Play | Mrs. Albert Utterstrom

[ix] Social Security Death Index (SSA), Family Search, Annie Utterstrom.

[x] Maine Death Index, 1960-1996, Family Search, Annie E Utterstrom.

[xi] Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Annie Evelyn Chase Utterstrom – Memorial# 146450682.

Pension record – Patience A Roberts – Arrears of Widows Pension

Amanuensis Monday

Extract by Don Taylor – 9 Jan 2017

It is always really nice when you find a document that confirms key vital facts.  The “Arrears of Widow’s Pension” used to determine the payment provides birthdates and a confirmation date indicating the date one day before the individual’s 16th birthday.  Great confirmation of the information to assure I’m not reading a birthdate incorrectly.


ACT OF JUNE 7, 1888

Pensioner: Patience A Roberts -Soldier: Asa Roberts

P.O. Benton –  Rank Pvt Co. “I.”

County Franklin, State Ills  –  Regiment 31st Ills, Vol. Inf.

Allow arrears of pensions at the rate of $12- per munch from Oct 9, 1889, and ending Oct 30, 1887….

and two dollars a month additional for each child, as follows:

  • Charles W Born Jul 5, 1873, Sixteen July 4, 1889
  • Rosa D. Born May 26, 1875, Sixteen, May 25, 1891
  • Florence E Born Jan 21, 1880, Sixteen, Jan 20, 1896
  • Hugh E Born July 2, 1884, Sixteen, Jul 1, 1900

Was pensioned May 29, 1899, at $12 per month from Oct 31, 1887, and $2 for each child stated above.

Submitted for Allowance Nov. 12, 1888

W L. White

Approved Nov 15, 1888, Approved Nov. 17, 1888

Broadus Curtis

Legal reviewerRe-Reviewer

Facts identified.

  • Asa was a private in Company I, 31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry
  • Patrice A. Roberts was living in Benton, Franklin County, Illinois in November 1888.
  • Charles W. [Roberts] was born on July 5, 1873, and was living in November 1888.
  • Rosa D. [Roberts] was born on May 26, 1875, and was living in November 1888.
  • Florence E. [Roberts] was born on Jan 21, 1880, and was living in November 1888.
  • Hugh E [Roberts] was born on July 2, 1884, and was living in November 1888.

Pension record - Patience A Roberts - Arrears of Widows Pension
Pension record – Patience A Roberts – Arrears of Widows Pension