Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Alice Conerly Gatlin

Family Ties

The Conerly, Gatlin, Downs, Caston and Brumfield families are linked together by heredity and matrimony. From homestead records, the families lived in close geographical locations.  I have been unable to find the parents of Jack Gatlin.  I have however been able to find more information about Alice Conerly's family.

Alice Conerly was the wife of Jack Gatlin and the daughter of Jeremiah (Jerry) and Lethia "Neathie"  Conerly. I was able to obtain this information from the Jerry Conerly testimony for Jack Gatlin’s homestead application. Jerry Conerly states that Jack Gatlin is his son-in-law. It is my intent to try to identify Alice's family members. Alice is listed in the 1870 Pike County, Mississippi federal census with Jeremiah Conerly and other probable family members.  The 1870 census however does not designate familial relationships.

Source Citation

Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 2 Range 10, Pike, Mississippi; Roll: M593_745; Page: 153A; Family History Library Film: 552244
Transcribed portions
Name                       Age           Place of Birth
William Conerly     68              N. Carolina
Harriett Conerly     60                     "
Jeremiah Conerly   35              Mississippi  
Lethia S.                   27                      "
Alice                          12                      "
Moses                         9                      "
Roda                           7                      "
Issac                           6                      "
Richard                      5                      "
Eddy S                        1                      "

In the 1870, 1880, 1900 Federal Census, Alice is listed as 12, 21 and 44 years old respectively. These dates would make her year of birth 1858, 1859 or 1856.  I have been unable to locate any additional birth information. Because of her year of birth and geographic location,  at birth she  and her family were probably enslaved.  It is from the federal census and school records that the siblings of Alice Conerly were identified.   In the Pike County 1880 federal census, Jerry Conerly with identified family is listed. Alice is not listed with her parents in 188o but with her husband Jack Gatlin.

Source Citation

Year: 1880; Census Place: Pike, Mississippi; Roll: 662; Page: 348A; Enumeration District: 037

Name                 Age  
Jerry Conerly       42      
L.....          "             35         wife
Moses      "             19          son
Richard   "             14          son
Eddie       "             12          son
Jimmie    "             10          son
Ellen        "               8          daughter
Joe           "                5          son
Noah        "               3          son
Vica J.      "               2          daughter

In the 1885 Pike County school census, Jerry Conerly  is listed with  several  children. It is important to note that Jerry could possible be a guardian and not parent. His name appears on two locations on this list.

"Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-14208-41161-22?cc=1856425 : 18 September 2015), Pike > 1885 > image 7 of 178; Government Records, Jackson
Transcribed portiona
Name                        Age           Parent/Guardian
Conerly  Sarah          9                      Jerry Conerly
     "         Eddy         16                      Jerry   "
     "         James        14                                 "
    "          Ellen         12                                 "

Jerry Conerly is listed with his children in the Pike County 1890 school census. This record is especially important because most of the 1890 federal census was destroyed in a fire. Unfortunately, I did not record the citation for the 1890 and 1896 school census.  I obtained the information at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1890 Pike County, Mississippi School Census

Parent/Guardian                Name          Age
Jerry Conerly                 Jimmie        17
                                          Ellen             16
                                          Joe                14
                                          Cunnigin      12
                                           George          6

1896 Pike County, Mississippi School Census


Parent/Guardian                   Name of Children       Age
Jerry  Conerly                            Joe                               20
                                                      Cunnegan                   18
                                                      Vica                              14
                                                      Wash                            10
                                                      Lee                                 7

More information to follow.

---- The Tree Gardener

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jack Gatlin Part 5

Jack Gatlin and his wife Alice Conerly Gatlin were homesteaders of land in Pike County, Mississippi. Jack Gatlin made homestead entry number 103.23 on July 1, 1880.   The requirement to obtain a land homestead was the final proof. Jack failed to file his proof before the expiration of the seven years after homestead entry.  Written notice was given in the Pike County, Mississippi newspaper The Magnolia Gazette for six publications from June 3, 1887 to July 9, 1887.

The actual reason for his failure to file is not given.    The county clerk however states as I have transcribed ”....he  is a colored man and uneducated and has to depend on others to illegible him in such matters, that he has acted in good faith of his homestead and has complied with the law as far as he was able to understand same. The promises considered he prays the department of public lands to allow illegible his final proof to be received and final receipt & patent issue to him…”

He successfully received his homestead of eighty acres  October 10, 1887.

----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jack Gatlin Homesteader Part 4

Robert Brumfield Testimony

In the process of a homestead application, it was necessary to have at least two people to testify that the applicant had lived on the land.  Robert Brumfield was the second witness to verify that Jack Gatlin was a homesteader.  Jerry Conerly was the other witness. At the time of Robert Brumfield's testimony, he was a 51 year old farmer. His birth year would have been 1836. 

There were a series of testimony questions.  In question 3 Are you related to the claimant or in any way interested in the claim, or are you connected with him in business of any kind?   "I am not--- no way interested or connected with him. I am only a neighbor of his." 

 In questions 4 through 8,  Robert explains that he lives about a half mile away from Jack and he has lived on his property for 16 years which would have been in 1871. Two other neighbors are Tom Magee and Gail Brumfield live  further away.  He lives nearer to him than any one else. Robert can not give a description of the land. He has known Jack Gatlin for 17 years.

Robert Brumfield's testimony agrees with that of Jerry Conerly. Jack Gatlin a farmer, has lived with his family on his land  since March, 1879. He has seen him working on the land.  "Saw him many times, too many to remember and every time I passed,  I saw him at work ... I saw him building his house there. He has lived there seven years and lives there now." 
 His description of improvements made on the homestead correspond to that given by Jerry Conerly. In question 23, Robert states "I think the land is worth $300.00 and has never offered for sale that I know of." The value of three hundred dollars in 2017 is $7468.05.  Robert Brumfield states in questions 26 through 28  Jack has planted crops for the season and "I think he intends to remain on the land after making final proof. 

Jack provided witnesses concerning his homestead yet almost failed to receive his homestead. More information to come.

----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jack Gatlin Homesteader Part 3

Jerry Conerly Testimony

In the process of a homestead application, it was necessary to have at least two people to testify that the applicant had lived on the land.  Jerry Conerly was one of the witnesses to verify that Jack Gatlin was a homesteader.  At the time of his testimony, he was a 50 year old farmer. His birth year would have been 1837. He states that Jack Gatlin was his son-in-law.   Jerry Conerly lived on his land for 12 years and Jack lived about a mile away. Tom Magee and Gail Brumfield are Jack Gatlin’s neighbors who live about a half a mile away. 
Jerry states that he has known Jack for about 18 years living in various places in Pike County.  Jack Gatlin was 34 years old in 1887 at the time of his testimony therefore Jerry Conerly knew him since he was 16 years old. 

Jerry Conerly states that Jack is a self-employed farmer with no boarding place on the land.  He describes the homestead as pine land, timber and farming.  The timber on the land has been used only for fencing and farming purposes. Jerry states that he has “been on the land a number of times too many to remember.” 

 In Question # 21 State in detail the character of the improvements; what they consist of, and when they were made; the value of each distinct improvement, fully describing the same; also weather they were made by the claimant or by some other person.
Jerry’s testimony gives a detailed description of Jack’s family house. The ”Dwelling house , a boxed house of one room with a gallery, with 3 doors and 2 windows, a dirt chimney, a kitchen”   On the homestead, there also was a “ log house with one door dirt chimney, a smoke house built with logs; a chicken house made of logs and split pickets; log corn crib with double slabs and a loft overhead; 3 log cotton houses; they were built at different times during the seven years by the claimant, but do not know when each house was built.  He has fences and cleared lands. They are valued as follows: Dwelling house worth about $35 ($871.21 in 2017), kitchen worth about 10 dollars ($248.94 in 2017), smoke house $10 ($248.94 in 2017), chicken house $5 ($124.97 in 2017), corn crib, stables worth about $30($746.81 in 2017) , cotton house about $30 ($746.81 in 2017)."    
In Question #23 and 24  inquires about the estimated value of the land and how long the claimant has lived on the land. Jack Gatlin and his family have occupied the land since March, 1879. “The land is worth $300 and never been offered for sale that I (Jerry) know of.”
Jerry states he believes that the family resides on the land and “by seeing him there and at work, and seeing his family there I know he has been living there.

Jerry Conerly signs his testimony with an X.

----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Jack Gatlin Homesteader Part 2

Jack Gatlin homestead testimony 

In the testimony of the homestead claimant, there are a series of questions. These records often have interviews of the homesteader and neighbors providing written oral history and  on a timeline. 

Jack Gatlin at the time of his homestead testimony was 34 years old in July 16, 1887. His post office address was Walker's Bridge. As a native born citizen, he never filed a prior homestead.  He describes the land as ordinary pine land with pine trees  and farming. 

 He made the homestead entry July 1, 1880 and he built a house in March, 1879.  He made improvements with about $100 which is the equivalent of $2,353.57 in 2017.  He states that he has lived nowhere else.
Question #19 Where have you voted since establishing residence on this land, and where did you last vote and how long have you voted there? Ans. I voted in Holmesville & have always voted there. He states that he was only absent from the land to attend church, visit neighbors and the town on business. His family at that time was a wife and six children. 

Jack was asked did he and his family live in the house during the winter after filing with a reply of they did
In questions # 28 to 30   he provided an account of all his material assets which included the house, furniture, farm implements and livestock.   He had a box house was 20 x 27 (540 square feet) with  another box house, several out houses,  smoke house, corn crib for a total value of $610.00 which is the equivalent of $15,185.04 in 2017.

Questions #33-35  Jack planted crops for seven seasons  consisting of corn, cotton and peas. During the first season, he cultivated 8 acres, 9 acres the second season and continued to increase until he had planted 40 acres. I suspect that this detailed inventory was made by the county clerk so they could levy taxes.  

In questions 38- 44  Jack states he pays his taxes in Magnolia, Mississippi and there are no other improvements for tax assessments and he alone made the homestead entry not to benefit  anyone else.   

  I really enjoy reading the homestead records from the Bureau of Land Management.  The testimony provide original account of the the life of the individual.  There is a discrepancy in Jack Gatlin birthday.  He was 34 years old in 1887 making his birth year 1853.  In the 1900 Pike county, Mississippi Federal Census his birth date is recorded as September, 1881. Jack Gatlin  was a productive farmer with a family who utilized his voting franchise and paid taxes. 

--- The Tree Gardener