I have a little brick wall because I am seeking to understand who Patience Marshall’s father is. Sometimes, you need to jump over a wall and work on it from the other side to bust it down.
My process is to:
Understand what I think I know.
Postulate a reasonable hypothesis.
Prove or disprove the hypothesis.
The 1850 Census tells us that six-year-old Patience was living with her mother, Jane, in the household of Thomas Lawson. The 21-year-old Thomas is unknown, but with the same surname as Jane, I suspect that Thomas is Jane’s brother. The census reports Jane as being born in Tennessee about 1819-1820.
Other Records suggest that Jane’s father was Jacob Lawson. Patience was born in Tennessee, so it is likely that Jane and Jane’s father were married in Tennessee between 1840 and 1844. So, I wondered if I could find the Jacob Lawson family in Tennessee. If so, might a Marshall live in the same county that could be Patience’s father?
There was only one Jacob Lawson identified in Tennessee during the 1840 Census.
Most marriages at this time took place between people in the same county. So, I questioned, are there any Marshall families in the same county that could be Jane’s husband.
In 1840, there were three Marshall families in McMinn County, Tennessee.
0 0 1 1 0 0 1 // 1 1 2 1 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 1 // 1 0 0 0 1
0 // 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1
< 5 0
15-20 1 – Candidate
40-50 1 (William?)
< 5 1
40-50 1 (William’s wife?)
< 5 0
15-20 0 – No Candidates
< 5 1
20-30 1 (John’s wife?)
No Males – No Candidates
< 5 0
60-70 1 (Milley?)
Note: Immediately beneath William Marshall.
I still don’t know who Patience Marshall’s father was. However, I hypothesize that William Marshall of McMinn County, Tennessee, is likely Patience Marshall’s grandfather. So next, I will research the William Marshall family of McMinn County, Tennessee. That research might give me the answer.
I’ve made notes that I’ve made two leaps of faith.
Jane’s father is Jacob Lawson (of McMinn County).
Jane’s husband was a Marshall also from McMinn County.
I think both are reasonable assertions, but both require further research to prove or disprove my hypothesis. Sometimes, that can be easier said than done, but the process provides me with a new direction for research.
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-18
By Don Taylor
I recently saw a bumper sticker that said, “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.” With that in mind Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts must have been extremely “well behaved.” All of the records I have found only refer to Elizabeth, none of them are about Elizabeth. She was born in Western North Carolina, moved during the pioneer days to Tennessee as a child. She married in Tennessee and had sixteen children. She lived a full life dying at the age of 70.
3rd Great-grandmother: Elizabeth Blackwell (1796-1867)
4th Great-grandfather: David Blackwell (1757-1842)
When Elizabeth Blackwell was born, on 10 Sept 1796, George Washington was in his second term. She was born in Surry County, North Carolina, the fifth of nine children of David and Sarah (Harris) Blackwell.
The siblings of Elizabeth included:
Nancy Blackwell was born in 1779. She died before 1848 (Possibly in 1840.).
William Blackwell was born in 1781. He died in 1826.
Patsy Blackwell was born in 1783. She died before 1848 (Possibly 1840).
Richard Blackwell was born in 1783. He died in 1832.
Armestead Blackwell was born in 1794. He died before 1848.
Hugh Blackwell was born in 1803. He probably died before 1848
Dicy Blackwell was born in 1804. She died in 1880.
George W. Birth unknown; he died on 02 May 1840 in Tennessee, USA.
Nothing is known of Elizabeth’s childhood. We know that her family moved from Surry County, North Carolina, to Roane County, Tennessee sometime before April 1816, when the twenty-year-old Elizabeth married twenty-one-year-old John Calvin Roberts in Poplar Creek, Roane County, Tennessee. John had served in Captain Chiles company of the Tennessee Militia during the war of 1812 and returned home after he mustered out on 1 May 1815. Fresh back from the war, the young couple settled down and started a family.
John and Elizabeth had sixteen children together, all of whom were born in Roane County, Tenn. (Death dates are either approximate or unconfirmed.)
Children of John Calvin and Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts
Calvin Roberts (b. 25 Dec 1816 – d. 1848).
Elias R. “Robbie” Roberts (b. 27 Oct 1818 – d. 1902).
David R. Roberts (b. 24 April 1820 -d. 1848).
Elijah Josiah Roberts (b. 10 Feb 1823 – d. 12 Nov 1868).
Elizabeth Roberts (b. 17 Nov 1823 – d. 1848.
George W. Roberts (b. 22 Nov 1824 – d, 1848.
Francis Marion “Jack” Roberts (b. 03 Dec – d. 1863).
Roberts, S. E., Roberts families of Roane County, Tennessee, 1794-1969, Copy, John C. Roberts – Page 226 thru Page 229. Roberts, Snyder. E. (1968). Roberts families of Roane County, Tennessee, 1794-1969. Oliver Springs? Tenn.
Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002, Ancestry.Com, John Roberts & Elizabeth Blackwel. Accessed 13 Feb 2017.
Tennessee, Compiled Marriages, 1784-1825, Ancestry.Com No Image – John Roberts & Elizabeth Blackwell – Marriage Date: 3 March 1816. Accessed 13 Feb 2017.
 Attributed to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, See: Chicago Now – http://www.chicagonow.com/listing-beyond-forty/2015/07/who-said-well-behaved-women-seldom-make-history/
 I will write more about Elizabeth’s share in her father’s will when I write about David Blackwell (1757-1842)
 There were three male children that should have been 11 to 14 years of age that do not seem to appear in the 1840 Census Record. John, Age 12 and Philip, Age 11, both died before 1848; from this census it appears they died before 1840.
 There were three male children born that would have been 20 to 29 during this census-Calvin (23), Elias (21), and David (20). Any one of them could have moved out or could have died before 1840. Both Calvin and David are believed to have died before 1848 so it is very possible one of them died before the 1840 Census.
 It is not clear who Elizabeth Nelson was. Elizabeth’s daughter Elizabeth was born in 1823, which would make her 26 years-old during the 1850 Census, so I don’t believe it was her, but it could be.
Willie Hayes Shoemake was born, grew up, married three times, and died – all in Putnam County, Tennessee. He was too young to have been drafted into World War I and too old (and married with children) to have served in World War II, so it is possible he never left the county.
Rittenberry 2018 – Ancestor #RS-06
List of Grandparents
Grandfather: Willie Hayes Shoemake
1st Great-grandfather: James “Jim” M. Shoemake Sr.
Willie Hayes Shoemake (1905-1962)
Willie Shoemake was born 15 March 1905 in Putnam County, Tennessee, probably near Cookeville, which is about 80 miles east of Nashville, to James “Jim” and Mary Fannie Shoemake. He was in the middle of 11 children.
His siblings included:
Homer Blain Shoemake 1891
Maggie Shoemake 1894
Oscar Bell Shoemake 1898
Haskell Shoemake c. 1900
Marshel M Shoemake c. 1902
Willie Hayes Shoemake 1905
Andrew W Shoemake c. 1907
Ethel Madelia Shoemake c. 1909
The 1910 Census finds a family of James & Fannie, with seven of their children, Homer, Oscar, Haskell, Marshel, Willie, Andrew, and Madelia, renting a house along Cookeville and Smithville Road. Willie’s father, James, is a “sawer” at a lumber mill; older brothers Oscar and “Haskie” are laborers at a lumber mill. “Haskie” and Oscar are only 11 and 13 respectively, neither are attending school, and neither could read and write. Willie’s oldest brother, Homer, is a laborer doing odd jobs. Besides appearing like a family in poverty, the 1910 Census also tells the story of great loss. It reports that “Fannie” had 11 children and only nine were living in 1910. So, two children were born and died before 1910. There is also one more child of James and Fannie whose name I’m not confident about.
The next census, 1920, shows the family as James and Fannie with five of their children still at home. “Osker,” Haskell, Marshell, Willie, and Ethel. None of the children are attending school. However, all are reported as being able to read and write. Willie and Ethel are still home, but Oscar, Haskel, and Marshell are farm laborers “working out.”
In 1923, Willie married Berchie A Bryant. Willie was 18 and Berchie was 15 years old.
The 1930 Census finds the young family of Willie, Berchie with 4-year-old Gladys Rosalee and baby James Cecil (8 months old). Willie owns his home and is a truck driver for a planning factory.
Birchie died on 12 March 1932 at the age of 24.
Willie married Ruby Foster Wilmoth in 1933. The 1940 Census finds Willie’s family consisting of him and Ruby. With them is 10-year-old James plus two young children, five-year-old Ruby J and a newborn, Robert. Willie is a painter and decorator. Fifteen-year-old Gladys does not appear with them in the 1940 Census. Further research will be needed to determine where Gladys went.
On 18 March 1943 Ruby gave birth to another son, Willie Paul Shoemake. Willie Paul died eight months later on 28 November 1943.
Willie and Ruby separated sometime between 1943 and 1958. (Ruby passed in 1966.)
Willie married Rosa Burris in 1958. In 1958 Rosa was 50-years-old, so Willie and Rosa had no children.
Death & Burial
Willie died on 25 April 1962 at the age of 57 at Cookeville General Hospital. He was buried at the Judd Church Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee. His wife Rosa joined him in death 13 years later and was buried with him.
Further Actions / Follow-up
None – Research of James and Fannie should fill in several of the known holes in the tree.
1940 Census (FS), Family Search, Willie Shoemake – Putnam, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4ZJ-BXM. accessed 8 March 2018), Willie Shoemake, Civil District 1, Putnam, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 71-5, sheet 1A, line 19, family 5, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3928.
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 11 March 2018), memorial page for Willie Hayes Shoemake (15 Mar 1905–25 Apr 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 58511255, citing Judd Church Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Papa Randy (contributor 46864588) .
Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1963, Family Search, Willie Hayes Shoemake – Death 25 Apr1962. “Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963”, database with images, FamilySearch 24 October 2016), Willie Hayes Shoemake, 1962.
“Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NSTM-N43 : 25 May 2014), Willie Paul Shoemake, 28 Nov 1943; citing Judd Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam, Tennessee, 24298, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 2,137,340.
John Calvin Roberts was the first Roberts ancestor I was pretty sure was an ancestor. Years ago, when I did a Y-DNA test to try to determine who my biological father was, the five genetically closest individuals to me were all surnamed. Of them, I was able to follow three of their trees back to a common ancestor, John Calvin Roberts. Although we could have all shared an ancestor of John’s, in that my branch could have split off before John, he became a pivotal person in my research and I hypothesized that he was a common ancestor. It turned out that I was correct.
3rd Great-grandfather: John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873)
4th Great-grandfather: Elias Roberts (1769-1806)
John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873)
John Calvin Roberts was born 03 Mar 1795 in Southwest Territory. He was the fifth child of the nine (known) children of Ellis and Rebecca (Brashears) Roberts. He was the only child born in the Southwest Territory. His four older siblings were all born in South Carolina and his three younger siblings were born after the Southwest Territory became a state, Tennessee, on June 1st, 1796.
John was six years old when Roane County was formed in 1801. It is even more likely that he experienced the excitement of seeing the United States nearly doubling in size with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The War of 1812 began when John was 17. Several researchers have indicated that John served in the War of 1812. I have been unable to confirm that service.[i] In any event, having the British in Tennessee would have made for exciting times.
John’s eight known siblings are:
Edward C Roberts 1787-1841
Robert Samuel Roberts 1789-1873
Rachael Roberts 1791-1856
Phillip Roberts 1794-1874
Bazzel Roberts 1797-1860
Elizabeth Roberts 1799-1855
Elijah Roberts 1801-1850
Mary “Polly” Roberts 1804-1823
John married Elizabeth Blackwell on his 21st birthday, 3 March 1816 in Roane County, Tennessee. [ii] Elizabeth had 16 children over the next 27 years. Their first child, Calvin, was born nine months and a few weeks after their marriage.
Their children included:
Calvin Roberts 1816-(before 1848)
Elias R. “Robbie” Roberts 1818-1902
David R Roberts 1820-(before 1848)
Elijah Josiah Roberts 1822-1868
Elizabeth Roberts 1823-1848
George W Roberts 1824-1848
Francis Marion “Jack” Roberts 1825-1863
John F Roberts 1827-1848
Phillip Roberts 1829-(before 1848)
Amanda Roberts 1831-1849
Hugh Roberts 1833-1916
Asa Ellis Roberts 1835-1916
Robert Samuel Roberts 1837-1910
Bazzel Roberts 1839-1877
Rebecca Roberts 1841-1870
William Roberts 1843-1850
Sadly, the 1820 Census has been lost.[iii] One researcher suggests John and family were working the farm with his brother, Edward.
The 1830 Census finds John as the head of household consisting of 10 people, him, his wife, and eight children:
Two males under five – Presumably Philip and John F.
Two males 5 thru 9 – Presumably Jack and George
Thee males 10 thru 14 – Presumably Elijah and Elias and either David or Calvin.
One female 5 thru 9 – Presumably Elizabeth
From that, it appears that either David or Calvin died before the 1830 Census as it seems unlikely that either left home before the age of 14.
The 1840 Census finds John as the head of a household consisting of 13 people.
Three males under five – Presumably Asa, Robert, and Bazzel.
One male 5 thru 9 – Presumably Hughy
One male 10 thru 14 – Presumably John F.
Two males 15 thru 19 – Presumably Jack and George
Two males 20 thru 29 – presumably Elijah and Elias
One female 5 thru 9 – Presumably Rebecca
One female 15 thru 19 – Presumably Elizabeth.
He appears in the census next to Robert S. Roberts, presumably, that is his brother Robert Samuel Roberts.
The 1850 Census is the first census that provides the names of people besides the head of the household. The census reports John’s household consists of the following:
John Roberts 55
Elizabeth Roberts 53
Hughy Roberts 17
Acy Roberts 15
Robert S Roberts 13
Bazel Roberts 11
Rebecca Roberts 10
William Roberts 9
Elizabeth Nelson 23
All were born in Tennessee except for John’s wife Elizabeth who was born in North Carolina. It is not clear who Elizabeth Nelson was. John’s daughter Elizabeth was born in 1823 and would be 26 years old during the 1850 Census, so I don’t believe it was her.
The 1860 Census finds John as the head of the household with wife Elizabeth and daughter Rebecca.
John’s wife Elizabeth died on 5 July 1867. She is buried in the Roberts Cemetery, in Roane County, Tennessee.
The 1870 Census finds John and his daughter Rebecca living in District 14 (post office Kingston), Roane County Tennessee.
Death & Burial
John Calvin Roberts died in April 1873 in Roane County, Tennessee. He is believed to be buried in the Roberts Cemetery. However, his marker has not been found and is presumed lost or to have never been erected.
1830 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1830 Census – John Roberts – Roane, Tennesee (A). 1830; Census Place: Roane, Tennessee; Series: M19; Roll: 180; Page: 55; Family History Library Film: 0024538.
1840 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1840 Census – John Roberts – Roane, Tennessee (A). 1840; Census Place: Roane, Tennessee; Roll: 535; Page: 70; Image: 1022; Family History Library Film: 0024549.
Find a Grave, Find a Grave, John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873) [No Image]. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 23 February 2018), memorial page for John Calvin Roberts (3 Mar 1795–Apr 1873), Find A Grave Memorial no. 147852303, citing Roberts Cemetery, Roane County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Ralph Martin (contributor 47724249) . https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/147852303/john-calvin-roberts.
[i] One document often cited by other researchers indicates that John Calvin Roberts served in the War of 1812 also shows that John’s Wife Elizabeth has a Widow’s pension number. Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts, the wife of John Calvin Roberts preceded John in death and would not have been a widow and should not have had a widow’s number.
[ii] His Marriage Bond was dated 2 March 1816 and is occasionally cited as his marriage date by some researchers in error.
Today, I look at the Rittenberry family and the life of Dora Effie Jane Chism Rittenberry Johnson of Tennessee.
Rittenberry Project 2017 – Ancestor #5
List of Grandparents
Grandmother: Dora Effie Jane Chism [Rittenberry] [Johnson]
1st Great-grandfather: John Wesley Chism
Dora Effie Jane Chism Rittenberry Johnson (1888-1946)
Dora Effie Jane Chism was one of the ten children of John Wesley and Charlotte (Clark) Chism. She was born 12 May 1888 in Putnam County, Tennessee and was the youngest of the three children of Charlotte living in 1900. Her older known living siblings were Amey and John Chism. The 1900 census reported that Charlotte had ten children only 3 of which were alive in 1900. The Chism surname is spelled in many different ways, Chism, Chisam, Chisem, and Chisholm in various documents. We also know that one of her sisters married an (unknown) Kinnaird and had two children, Kilmer and Clarence. She died before 1900, and her children are the grandchildren living with John Wesley and Charlotte in the 1900 Census.
In 1902, when Effie, as she came to be known, was only 14 years old, she married 20-year-old, William Dee Rittenberry. They had eight children. All of their children have since passed.
William Dee and Effie (Chism) Rittenberry’s Eight Children
Ethel Lee Rittenberry [Webb]
Evelyn Maybell Rittenberry [Stone]
Cecil Rose Rittenberry [Willoughby]
John D Rittenberry
T J Rittenberry
L B Rittenberry
William D Rittenberry, Jr.
Marguerite Lucile Rittenberry [Lindsey]
Through the years, the Rittenberry’s show up together in various locations in the area. In 1910 they were in Cookeville, Putnam County, in 1920 in Crawford, Overton County (about 30 miles away) and in 1930, back to Cookeville. Sometime in the 1920s, they lived in Algood, TN (about 5 miles from Cookeville).
On 9 August 1931, Effie was shot by her husband in the abdomen with a 32-caliber handgun. A newspaper article indicated that she was in critical condition and might die from the wound. Effie shot Dee as well in the chest, just missing his heart. Dee ran but was captured by the sheriff shortly after the double shooting. The Sherriff’s department said it was a domestic disturbance base upon jealousy. Both of them lived through
I have been unable to find the divorce record between Dee and Effie, but the gunfire exchange was probably reasonable grounds. I presume the divorce occurred sometime between August 1931 and March of 1940 because on 17 March 1940, Effie married Mike Johnson.
Dora Effie Jane Chism Rittenberry Johnson died on 14 June 1946 in Nashville, TN. She was buried in Shipley Cemetery in Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee
The Tennessean (Nashville, TN, ), Newspapers.com, 1931-08-10 Tennessean (Nashville, TN) Page 1. “Putnam Wife May Die; Husband Shot In Jealous Quarrel.”
Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963, Family Search, Cecil Rose Rittenberry. “Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963,” database with images, FamilySearch; citing Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam, Tennessee, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 2,137,360. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NS7C-X5B.