Documenting my family's past for future generations. My family tree includes the Smith/Mansell families of Alabama and Oklahoma, the Castle/Day families of Kentucky and Oklahoma, the Wheat/Ming families of Texas and Oklahoma, and the Bell/Roberts families of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Kith and Kin

When the Days and Castles first came to Oklahoma, they lived between Davenport and Chandler. I think it was in the early 1980's that we took my grandmother back there to visit one Sunday. We drove around roads that she remembered from 70 years before. We learned that many of the same families still lived on these farms, and how did we know that? Because my grandmother would point out the home of a family she remembered, and sure enough, the name on the mailbox would be the one she said. 

In my last post I shared a map my grandmother drew in her 80's showing the homes of families she remembered from her early years in Kentucky. The summer after she turned 10 she and her family moved to Oklahoma, and she never returned. She drew that map 75 years after she left Kentucky in 1907. Now, I could probably draw a map of the neighborhoods I lived in before I was 10, but I have lived here ever since, so I have 60 years worth of memories to draw on. If I had left Red Fork at the age of 10, I wonder how much I would remember now.

I thought it might be fun to find these Kentucky families on the 1900 census and try to determine where they lived and what connection they might have had to the Castle family. Why did my grandmother remember them? And just for curiosity's sake, was her map correct?

It complicates things a little that the names of the communities around West Liberty seem to have changed. Some of them have disappeared altogether. The communities that I remember my grandmother talking about were Caney, Cannel City, Stacy Fork, and of course, the town of West Liberty. On my grandmother's application for a delayed birth certificate from Kentucky, she said that she was born near Caney. The one-room school she attended was in Stacy Fork. Since he was postmaster, for a time the area around Grandpa Castle's house was known as Castle, KY. The name I never heard was Panama, the area around the little G.D. Castle family cemetery. It must have been a usage that came about after my grandmother left Kentucky.

G.D. Castle postmaster appointment showing p.o. name as Castle, KY

Starting with the cluster around Stacy Fork in the left-hand corner of the map:

I know how my grandmother knew the Ratliffs. Dora Castle, daughter of James H. and Elizabeth Nickell Castle, was married to Wheeler Ratliff. They first appear in the 1910 census in Walnut Grove, Morgan County, also known as Precinct 7, Caney. They are buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Stacy Fork. No wonder this is so confusing! 

How about the Webbs? This was a hard one, but I figured it out. Geneva Haney Alexander was a friend of the Castles who lived in Tulsa but had moved there in her teens from Morgan County. Geneva was born in 1902 in Stacy Fork. Her parents were Jariel D. and Martha Lou Webb Haney. Jariel and Martha are enumerated on the 1900 census in Caney. Geneva, her husband Jess, her parents, and her brother Cecil are all buried at Memorial Park in Tulsa.

Geneva Haney (seated) with my grandmother

Lykins was and is a very popular name in Morgan County. On the 1900 census there are over 35 heads of households with the last name Lykins, just in Morgan County. According to Ancestry, in 1880 and 1920 more people with the surname Lykins lived in Kentucky than in any other state. Eliza, daughter of William and Nancy Wells Castle, married Clay Lykins, but I can't determine from which of these families he comes.

Haney is another popular name in Morgan County. My grandmother listed four different Haney families on her map. My grandmother apparently knew some of these Haney families as relatives and perhaps others as the families of classmates. There were several Haneys in the photograph I have of her classmates at Stacy Fork School. The Castles were also related to the Haneys through marriage. Rachel Sargent Castle's father, John Sargent, died very young. His wife, Rachel's mother, Anna Bays Sargent, remarried to James Haney in 1841. Of the seven children that lived with her on various censuses, she was the mother of at least three: Miriam, Elizabeth, and George Washington Haney. 

Stacy Fork School, about 1902

I found the Gulletts, Quicksells, Nickells, Combses, and Whiteakers all listed on the 1900 census in Morgan County, River, District 0074. Starting on page 26 of that enumeration are the Castles and Gulletts. Heads of households on that page are John Gullett, Mason Gullett, George T. Castle, and Goldman D. Castle. Mason Gullett's son, Asa, married Lutie Day, the first cousin of my grandmother's mother, Sarah Florida Day Castle. 

On page 28 are three families that I know my grandmother knew. First on the page was Massoline Nickell with her six children. She was the widow of Kelsey Nickell, who was the brother of George Turner Castle's first wife, Frances. Halfway down on the page was the family of William H. and Nancy Wells Castle (my grandmother listed all their names on her map; see below). Two houses down from the Castles was Napoleon "Uncle Boney" Haney. He was married to Miriam Haney, daughter of James Haney and Anna Bays.

On page 29 were Combs and Quicksell families, and on page 31 was the family of Alex Whiteaker. Under his name my grandmother listed three of his children. The first name, which looks like Bob, has to be some nickname for his oldest daughter, Mary Belle. Then comes J.D. (James) and Myrtle. James Whiteaker really did go by J.D.; as such he signed as informant on his father's death certificate.

William and Nancy Wells Castle family

On the right of my grandmother's map at the end of Castle Branch she lists all the children of William and Nancy Castle. Again, it's neat to know that they were known as Will and Nan. John Seymour Castle, who apparently went by Seymour, married Rosa Katherine (Kate) Oney. My grandmother listed their two children, (John) Boyd and Edna. Elizabeth (Elizie on the 1880 census) married first in 1892 to G.W. Lee, and then in 1906 to Alonzo Daugherty. She was already married and living on her own before my grandmother was born, which is probably why she is missing from my grandmother's list of Will and Kate's children. The next two children were Eliza, who married Clay Lykins, and (Goldman) Davidson, named for his grandfather, who died by age 25. (George) Barnes Castle married "Lula" Oney, and apparently set up housekeeping very close to his mother and dad. The two youngest were (Rachel) Florida and Effie. Florida's son, Mearl McGuire, and Effie both corresponded with my grandmother in her later years. 

I'm not sure Malone was called Malone when my grandmother lived in Kentucky. It is another small community lying outside of West Liberty. The census does not call it Malone until 1940, and only about 15 families were enumerated in that district in that year. Since my grandmother corresponded with Mearl McGuire, who lived in Malone, she may have used that name on her map because it corresponded to the area where the McGuires had lived when she was young. She lists five families there: the Walshes, DeBords, McGuires, Wells, and Bays.

In 1900 the John Debord family was enumerated in the same district with the families above: Morgan County, River, District 0074. John Debord (spelled in various censuses as Deborde, DeBorde, Deboard, Debard, etc.) was married to Calah Wells. Calah was the sister of Nancy Wells, who was married to William H. Castle (Nan and Will), but that is not her only connection to my grandmother's family. The father and mother of Nancy and Calah were James Wells and his wife Carrie Ann Day. Carrie Ann was the sister of Andrew Jackson Day who was the grandfather of my great-grandmother, Sarah Florida Day, wife of George Turner Castle. Whew! Is that convoluted enough for you??

I haven't figured out how or if the Walshes were related to the Castles, but they did live in the same area as the Debord and Wells families. In fact, according to Findagrave, John Walsh and his wife Mary, James Wells and his wife Carrie Ann Day, and John DeBorde and his wife Calah Wells are all buried in the DeBorde Cemetery in (wait for it) Malone

The Bays families in Malone were no doubt descended from the brothers of Anna Bays Sargent Haney. My grandmother would probably have known the degree of relationship, but the Bays families in 1900 were too far downstream for me to determine how they were related to Anna.

Caney, Stacy Fork, and Malone are all described by Wikipedia as lying along Highway 191 south of West Liberty, so if you want to read my grandmother's map oriented properly, West Liberty would be rotated to the top of the map.

If you compare my grandmother's map to this 1999 map of Morgan County, it might not match perfectly, but you can sure get an idea of these little communities in relation to each other. Traveling south on 191 from West Liberty, you might first see these little "branches," DeBoard Branch, Castle Branch, and Haney Branch. Just before DeBoard Branch to the east is the community of Malone. Look west between the Castle and Haney Branches and you will see Panama. Just south of Haney Branch on Hwy. 844 you will see Stacy Fork. To the east of Stacy Fork is the Walnut Grove Church. Further south on 191 are Caney and Cannel City.

Some of these families had known each other forever. On this one page of the 1870 census, long before my grandmother was born in 1897, I found these names on Page 1 of the Morgan County, Caney, enumeration: Anna (Bays) Haney, Goldman Castle (and wife Rachel, daughter of Anna), Alex Whiteaker, and John Haney (father of Jerial, grandfather of Geneva Haney Alexander). No wonder they stayed in my grandmother's thoughts for 80 years.

1870 Morgan County Census

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