Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 4

And the winner today is...Nathaniel Riggs (1796-1869). Nathaniel was Stephen Riggs' father, and Lucretia Jane "Jenny" Rigg's grandfather. Jenny Riggs was my grandfather Joseph Agnes Helm's mother. Does that clear it up? So he was my great-great-great grandfather. Anyways, there's plenty of info on him. Here's what I dug up:

Nathaniel Riggs was born in 1798 in Kentucky. Nathaniel's father, Bethuel Riggs, served in the American Revolution and became a famous Baptist preacher. He preached in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Bethuel Riggs' wife was Nancy Lee and her father, James Lee, was also a Baptist preacher. Bethuel, after preaching in North Carolina and Georgia, crossed the mountains into Kentucky (Indian country, and quite dangerous at the time), and settled across from Cincinnati, where Nathaniel was born. {Peggy, this is close to where you live, right?}  Nathaniel married Rachel Weldon in about 1818 in Kentucky. They had 7 children together (including Stephen, my great-great grandfather).
From {gen 035 in the Riggs folder}

Nathaniel Riggs joined the Mormon (LDS) Church or Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1831, around the time that his fifth child was born. He was baptised by Joseph Smith. He left with the first Mormon wagon train for Salt Lake with Brigham Young. He was a High Priest in the Mormon Church and died in Provo, Utah. He was also on the Zion March. Before leaving for Salt Lake, he publicly stated that he was leaving with the Mormons for California and was never coming back. His first wife, Rachel Weldon Riggs, and her children including Stephen Riggs, never became Mormons. After Nathaniel left, Rachel Weldon Riggs filed for divorce in Monroe County, Missouri. The divorce was granted.

From the divorce petition {gen 040}: 1846

Your Oratrix [Rachel] represents that she and her said husband [Nathaniel] had accumulated and become possessed of comfortable property and were prospering, when some 13 years since her said husband joined the Mormons, since which time he has spent much of his time with said church and people and away from his family, and has lavished much of his property and means upon them, to the inconvenience of his family and your Oratrix. Your Oratrix represents that after spending the time her said husband has been identified with the Mormons she has been in great apprehension for her family and herself, and her said husband about the first of this month gathered together a part of their provisions and other moveable property and left for the Mormon city of Nauvoo, and perhaps from there to California, or wherever the heads of the church may order or direct. ...
Your Oratrix now expressly charges that under the repeated soliciting of some of the apostles and leading men of the Mormon connection and the delusions of your Oratrix's said husband, he had been and is induced thus to abandon your Oratrix and his helpless children and has neglected to maintain and provide for her without any good cause whatever, for she avers that since her said intermarriage as aforesaid, she has always endeavored to perform and she avers that she has ever reasonably performed her various duties, to her said husband as wife and mother, all which acting out the part of your Oratrix's said husband ...


These documents are a little difficult to muddle through, but still fascinating. The divorce was granted, and Stephen (Nathaniel and Rachel's son) went on to marry Lucretia Jane Sparks. Her namesake, Lucretia Jane Riggs (Jenny), married James Guinn Helm, II, and had many children, among them my grandfather, Joseph Agnes Helm. Here's the tree that shows this line:

I always knew that we had ancestors that were Mormon pioneers that came over pushing handcarts. But, that was from Grandma Helm's line. Did you also know that Nathaniel, a direct ancestor from Grandpa Joe's line, crossed the plains and migrated to SLC with Brigham Young himself, after being baptized by Joseph Smith? Very interesting, isn't it? After a little bit of research, and just in case there's any question, here's the link that shows Nathaniel Riggs' name on the roster of the Allen Taylor Company, which departed 5-6 July, 1849, and arrived 10-20 October, 1849. Also on the roster is the name of Nathaniel's second wife, Hannah Parsons Riggs, who brought her nine-year-old daughter Elizabeth Jane Page with her. Hannah and Nathaniel were married in about 1838. Nathaniel and Hannah were divorced, and in 1852 Nathaniel was sealed to Anna Reynolds in the Salt Lake Temple. However, the church webpage does clear up one issue. According to the webpage, the Allen Taylor Company was not the "first wagon train" with Brigham Young- the Brigham Young Pioneer Company departed on 14 April 1847 and arrived in SLC on 21-24 July 1847. I am unsure of whether the baptism by JS was also accurate, or if he was baptized by someone else. It is possible.

I hope you enjoyed this latest installment of Know Your Ancestor. Stay tuned for more info on where you came from! I'm taking requests for ancestors...let me know who you want to know more about! ~Pam

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 3

That's right, folks. Now is the time for William T. Donoho, whom I'm sure you've just been dying to meet. Remember, William is the son of James Donoho {starting to fill in the gaps}. William was born May 9, 1790 in Tennessee. He married Millie Meador {his first wife} in April 1811. Around 1827, William and his family moved from Sumner County, Tennessee to Jefferson/Marion County, Illinois. His home was a meeting place for all kinds of gatherings, and he ran the sawmill as well as a gristmill. He may have owned some type of inn, as well. William had 11 children with his first wife, Millie, including Susannah Donoho, who married John Nelson Helm. William went on to have 6 more children with his second wife, Elizabeth Hatchett, who he married several months after his first wife died late in 1834.  William T. Donoho also participated in the War of 1812, enlisting in the Tennessee Volunteers from September 1813 to December 1813. He was a member of Captain Adam Bledsoe's Company of Riflemen, 1 Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. After serving 3 months and 5 days, he was entitled to pay in the sum of $28.02. {And I thought we were paid little for OUR service :}

Here's the documents showing his discharge paperwork, as well as his enlistment muster and final paycheck amount. Pretty neat! His discharge says he served honorably under the command of Major General Andrew Jackson. I guess that means Jackson was the one in charge of ALL of them, but still pretty cool.

Pretty neat, huh? I guess William T. did pretty well for himself: war service,17 children,prominent citizen of Jefferson and Marion Counties, Illinois. As one of the founding pioneers of the area, William's legacy lives on in the prairie named for him: Donoho Prairie. William died in December 1849, and since he did not leave a will, there was a long court battle between Elizabeth and her step children over William's estate.

Here's the connection from William to me; notice that William falls under James Donoho:

Next up: Who knows? Any suggestions or requests?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 2

And today's lucky ancestor is....James Donoho.

James Donoho was born in 1767 and died in 1820. Married twice, first to Elizabeth Lowry (who gave birth to my ancestor William T. Donoho), and second to Susannah. 

James Donoho appears on a list of the Revolutionary War which he marched with Captain Adam Clemente from Bedford County, Virginia, to the assistance of Colonel Green in South Carolina, May 1st 1781.

James, in addition to being a plantation owner in Tennessee, was also a slave owner. This is evidenced by his Last Will & Testament, bequeathing his estate to his son William (my ancestor) upon the death of his wife Susannah, as well as two named slaves: Lisn (or Lian) and Betty. Lisn was to go to Nancy and Job Meador upon the death of Susannah.  Betty, Lisn's mother, was to go to William Donoho and Yancy Turner. And here's the chilling part: the language describes the transaction as follows, "the remaining part of my estate, my negros excepted, I desire that it may be equally divided after the death of my said wife as be named, between William Donoho, Yancy Turner, and Nancy Meador, wife of Job Meador observing that a certain negro girl by the name of Lisn, I in special manner give and bequeath to my said daughter Nancy Meador to be delivered to her by my Executors after the death of my wife. And my negro woman Betty, mother of said described girl I give and bequeath unto my son William Donoho and Yancy Turner to be delivered by my Executors after the death of my wife and her increase, not more than two, and if more than two children, all the increase from said negro Betty over two that she may have before the death of my said wife is to be equally divided between William Donoho, Yancy Turner, and Nancy Meador.

{view this document online here }

~So, you see, a hero ancestor who served in the American Revolution, fighting for freedom, denied others the same right. Contradictions abound....

Here's my tree, from James Donoho to me:

Next up: William T. Donoho, son of James Donoho and member of Captain Abram Bledsoe's Company of Riflemen, 1 Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Infantry during the War of 1812.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 1

Ok, this is the first installment of what I want to call: Know Your Ancestor. See, my Uncle John was kind enough to send me some genealogy stuff in my Christmas card this year. It came on a disk, and there's so much info, I spent a lot of time last night reading about my ancestors. So, I decided to share a little with you all, whether you are interested or not :)

Ancestor number 1: Joseph Helm (and no, not my father)

This Joseph Helm, or rather the Reverend Joseph Helm, was a farmer and also a Methodist preacher of the "shouting order." He traveled in a caravan from Kentucky/Tennessee to Marion County, Illinois, in 1827, along with a William T. Donoho (this is important later). Although uneducated, Joseph had mental capabilities and oratorical skills that surpassed most men of his surroundings. Joseph would travel around and hold revivalist meetings, within a 40-mile radius of Xenia, Illinois. Joseph had many children, among them James Guinn Helm, Sr. (who my dad was named after) and John Nelson Helm (of whom I am descended).

This information was contributed by B.J. Lawrence, of Amarillo, TX. The original document, as scanned in, is below. After that is a (very crude) depiction of my family tree, at least the direct line that leads to Joseph. :) Thanks for reading, and I hope to add many more installments. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Final Grades

Are in! And guess what? (OK, I know it isn't a hard guess, since I already told you, but...) I PASSED! I'm not surprised, but here's the proof.

I mean, seriously, how cool is that? That means I really WILL be graduating on Saturday. Oops! I forgot! I was going to go pick up my tickets for graduation. Let me check...Yep, I can still go out and pick them up. Guess I should go do that now, huh?

Oh, and I took my CBEST test today. That's the California Basic Educational Skills Test. They allotted 4 hours for the test; I was done in a little over 2. I took 3 sections: Reading, Math, and Writing. I got "unofficial" scores back for two sections: reading and math. In order to pass, I needed a scaled score of 41 or better. I got a 75 in reading, and a 70 in math. The writing will be graded later. All I need to get is a 37 in writing to pass the whole darn thing. Boy am I glad to be done with that!

On a different note, Matt and I got up this morning to do workout number 4 in our newest workout program: Insanity. I've decided to make my Insanity blog public, so if ya'll want to read it and keep me accountable, feel free. It isn't terribly exciting, but the link is on the left-hand side of my blog, under "Health". I'll make sure to update the link to "Winter Insanity Challenge" or something like that. Have I mentioned how sore I am right now? Those workouts are intense!

Anyways, speaking of that, I should update that blog right now while I'm at it, huh?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

On Moving

or not moving....

So, here's the deal. Many of you know that we might move in January. Or March. Or April. But we are DEFINITELY moving sometime in the year 2010! Right now, there is so much up in the air. Matt has requested to get out of the navy early. He is supposed to get out in April/March time-frame. His request is slowly making its way up to the captain. In the meantime, he has applied to school and been accepted to a school in California. He also has some really good job prospects there, so it would be perfect. But, so much is unknown. Also, what do we do with our house? Put it on the (falling) market? Or put it up for rent? What property manager do we go with? So many unknowns.

But here are the knowns:
We had a great visit with Mom and Aunt Stormy. We're sad to see them go.
I finished student teaching on Friday.
I completed my Master's Degree and have Commencement on Saturday.
Matt will (eventually) get out of the Navy, and we'll be DONE with all that.
We will be moving west.
I'll be getting a job (maybe teaching, maybe anything I can get)

Ugh. I wish life was more simple. But today, I'm going to be cleaning up the house, doing laundry, and packing up the utility room. Let me tell you, by the time we eventually leave, everything WILL be packed up by then. If I have anything to do with it.

Now that I'm done with student teaching, and I passed, by the way (YEAH!), I don't have a lot to do during the day. I have to prepare for a test on Wednesday, pick up my tickets for Commencement sometime next week, and spend time with Kate and her kids. Besides that, I'll be fixing up the house and packing it all up. I'm making lists and setting goals for getting stuff done. Soon (hopefully tomorrow) Matt and I will get back into working out. I think my injury has healed enough (I hope). And then, LOOK OUT! Those workouts are INSANE! :)

Anyways, that's about it. Since I have a lot of time on my hands, I appreciate phone calls (hint, hint). I can put on my bluetooth and pack away while talking, I promise :)

Happy Holidays, all. It is hard to get into the spirit when I don't even have a tree up, but I still like this time of year. Especially when everyone ELSE has their lights up.