Pankey’s in the News – Judith Pankey Dies

Howell Research
Howell-Pankey Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.In the News” is my reporting of discovered newspaper articles and advertising regarding ancestors I am researching. Judith (Ligon) Pankey is the first wife of my wife’s third great uncle, Thomas Armstrong Pankey. She and Thomas were married on 27 January 1825, and Judith died on 14 January 1826, less than a year later. Her death was clearly a blow to the family.

This week from the Enquirer  (Richmond, VA) dated Tuesday, 7 February 1826, (Vol: XXII, Issue: 88) Page 3, “Mortuary Notice.”

DIED] — on the 14th instant, in the 17th year of her age, Mrs. Judith S, wife of Thomas Pankey, jr. of Cumberland. In the death of Mrs. P. the heart of every friend must mourn the loss of one, in whom are united in no ordinary degree all those virtues which adorn the female character, which rendes her name to the memory of those whom she has left. There are indeed but few, who have carried with them through life and borne with them to the tomb, a greater share of those attractions which bind together human hearts, and lay the foundation of all that deserves the name of friendship. As a daughter, wife, and friend, she was all that is implied in those endearing relations. Deep and painful is that bereavement which is felt by all to whom she was connected; but while they mourn over the memory of one so much endeared to their hearts, they do not mourn “as those who have no hope.” They cannot but find sweet consolation when they bring to recollection the many indubitable assurances which were given in the closing scene of life, that “for” her “to die were gain.” Her trust was in her Saviour—to him as her Redeemer, she has resigned her immortal interests, and in all the triumph of Faith and Hope she left the world with the assurance that he would “kee that which she had committed to his hands.” Those who stood around her dying bed, could not but realise, that
     “The chamber where the Christian meets his end
     “is privileg’d beyond the common walks of life.”

“Instant” in obituaries means the present or current month. In this case, the newspaper published the notice on 7 February, so “14th instant” must be referring to January. I suspect the obituary was written late in January and didn’t make the paper in January, and the “instant” was not changed to “ultimo” (the previous month).

If Judith was 17 when she died in 1826, she was born in 1808 or 1809. If she were in the 17th year of her life, she would have been born in 1809 or 1810. Because I am not entirely sure what was meant by “17th year of her age,” I’ve decided to identify her birth as between 1808 and 1810.

Find a Grave & the Cobb County Cemetery Book.

Find a Grave & the Cobb County Cemetery Book.

I regularly volunteer to fulfill requests with Find A Grave. I love them and what they are doing. They are a great resource for unofficial death records.  They provide a great place to remember people who have past, and, most importantly, they are a source for photos of the markers of your ancestors.  If there is not a photo there, you can request one and a volunteer, like me, will go to the cemetery, take a photo of the marker, and upload it to the website. 
Some time ago I volunteered to photograph a marker.  I walked the entire cemetery and couldn’t find it.  I put it back into the queue figuring someone else would find it. Another person tried and marked the memorial that he couldn’t find it either.  Every time I went onto the Find A Grave site looking for markers that people want photos of there it was, staring at me.  Then I had an idea….
The Smyrna Historical and Genelogical Society has a small research library filled with books of genealogical interest.  Among the many books and magazines I found a book on Cobb County Cemeteries. Back in the 1980s, surveys were taken of the various cemeteries in Cobb County. This individual died in 1922 so she should have been listed.  She was listed as being in plot 12.  I also found that the other people in plot 12 were N.C. Meadows and Mattie Meadows.  Also in the plot were Catherine Loveless and Lula West. It is not a huge cemetery, but it isn’t that small either.  I wondered where plot 1 was so I could find plot 12 easily. 
From the book I wrote down…

1 – Pinson
2 – Byers
3 – Hanson
6 – Rakestraw
9 – Brown
12 – Meadows

I figured that with that information, I could find any of them and figure out the numbering scheme. 
I went up to the cemetery, drove slowly through the cemetery and didn’t see any of the names. I figured that meant that the numbering didn’t go horizontally across but rather from one corner away from the road. I parked the car near one of the corners and started to head to the corner. On the way I saw the Rakestraw marker and made a beeline to it. Yup. It looked about six plots away from the road. Three more markers up the hill was a Brown plot, I was getting close.  There they were, N.C. Meadows, Mattie Meadows, and a small unreadable marker.  Getting close to it I could just make out “AT REST”.  It was knocked partially over (down to about 30 degrees). I gently reached behind it and could feel lettering.  I carefully lifted the marker upright and could see it was the marker I was looking for.  I photographed it and set the marker back to vertical. It still faces out of the cemetery.  I figure that is what the family originally wanted. So, little infant Pauline remains “at rest” but a photo of her marker is now on Find A Grave.
Smyrna Museum
The Cobb County Cemeteries Book at the Smyrna Museum is one of many books that that can be of great assistance to your genealogical and volunteer activities.  Stop by during normal hours of operations and someone can assist you in the reference room. Stop by on a Tuesday morning (when I volunteer) and I’ll give you a brief tour.