Multiples ~ How Many Preachers Does it Take? ~ 52 Ancestors #9

In preparation for this week’s prompt, I had a lot of different “multiples” on my mind. There several sets of twins in my paternal side, one I wrote about for this prompt we had last year so I eliminated that one. My maternal Great Grandmother married 5 times, but I have also written about her! I decided to try to move in a different direction and I spent the morning scanning through my trees and voila!, there it was.

I noticed that there were a lot of ministers in my family. Not just on one side but on both sides. My paternal side had the most at 34, however my maternal side had the most in one family. Joseph Warder Sr. born in Charles, Maryland on December 5, 1752, was my 5th Great Grandfather. He had been raised as a Quaker, and his family faithfully attended services at the Third Haven Meetinghouse, also known as the Great Meetinghouse, in Easton, Maryland. It hosted one of the two annual Quaker meetings every year in the state of Maryland. It later became the site of all such meetings. It is the oldest church in Maryland, and one of the oldest churches in continuous use in the United States. On June 8, 1773, his father, William Warder died. 10 days later Joseph married Esther Ford (1755-1816). The newlywed couple immediately packed up and moved to Facquier County, Virginia.

Here Joseph felt the call of God on his life, but he shunned the religion of his father. He and Esther became Baptists, and were under the care of John Monroe, pastor of Thumb Run church. They raised six daughters and five sons. Joseph became a lay Pastor in the church, filling in for Reverend Monroe when he was out of town. His example touched 3 of his sons to also enter into the ministry, and they all 3 became Baptist Ministers. Two of his sons emigrated to Kentucky, so he followed them, with all the rest of his family, and settled in Barren county, about six miles from the present site of Glasgow, in the year 1807. Here he and those of his family who were professors of religion united with Dripping Spring Church.

John, the oldest son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia, on September 9, 1774. He united with Thumb Run church in his native county, and was baptized by the well-known William Mason. In early life he married Annie Elliot (1778) on December 24, 1794 , and they had eleven children. Their family moved to Kentucky in 1805. He was ordained a minister in 1811, and he took over as Pastor of Mount Pisgah Church. Annie died in June 1819, and John married Keziah Renick (1795-1870) and they also had 11 children! In 1825 he moved to Lafayette, Missouri, where he became pastor of Big Sni-a-Bar Church of “Regular Baptists.” In this position he was much loved and respected by his people, till he finished his earthly course, in great peace, November 16, 1857 at the age of 83. He lived a church member, without reproach, sixty-three years, and a preacher of the gospel forty-six years. His son Joseph became a respectable preacher, occupying the field left vacant by the death of his father.

William, the third son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia on January 8, 1786. In his 19th year, he came with his brother John to Barren County, Kentucky. A year later he gave his life to the Lord. He stayed there for about 2 years, then he returned to Virginia to help his parents and the remaining 9 children make the move to Kentucky. In 1809, he was licensed to preach by the church at the Mount Pisgah Church, and on March 24, 1811, he was ordained into the ministry. For about eight years after his ordination, he devoted himself to the work of an evangelist, with great zeal and activity, and he traveled and preached almost constantly, from Franklin, Tennessee, to Maysville, Kentucky. He preached in school houses, meeting houses, courthouses and, in warm weather, at “stages” erected in the woods, but even more common in the cabins of the settlers. He preached at all the principal towns in Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. In going from one of these to another, he would preach almost every day and night. Immense crowds often attended his services. In 1817, William Warder was sent as a messenger from the Kentucky Missionary Society, to the Baptist Triennial Convention, in Philadelphia. He made the journey on horse-back, in order that he might preach on the way. The distance was more than a thousand miles. In March 1820, he was called to the pastoral care of the Russellville Church, and soon afterwards accepted this same call to churches at Glasgow and Bowling Green. On December 25, 1821, he was married to Margaret A. Morehead. They had 2 sons. He now settled near Russellville, where he continued to devote himself to his holy calling. About 1830, William was thrown from a rig, and his ankle was so crushed that he had to preach, sitting on a chair, the remainder of his life. He died of a congestive chill, August 9, 1836, at the age of 50. His youngest son, Joseph continued his fathers ministry as an evangelist.

Walter, the fourth son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia, on December 13, 1787. He came with his father to Kentucky in his 20th year, where he began teaching school. His education was very limited, but while teaching it improved greatly. He and his brother William became Christians in the latter part of the winter, in 1807. They were both baptized the same day in April 1808. Walter came up out of the water a preacher. On December 7, 1808, he was married to Mary Maddox, and they had 1 son and 1 daughter. They joined the Mount Pisgah Church, where he was soon licensed to preach, and in 1811, he was ordained and became pastor of Dover Church, in Barren County. After preaching here and in the surrounding country for about three years, he accepted a call to Mays Lick Church, in Mason county. There is too much that is written and said about Walter to include it here. He is credited with stirring up a revival in Mays Lick where his church grew to over 800 people, an astounding amount for that time and location. In March of 1836, he made a trip to Missouri to visit his older brother John. While there he became ill with pneumonia and died on April 6, 1836, at the age of 48. He was buried in a Lafayette County cemetery. His congregation paid to have the body exhumed and it was brought back to Kentucky, and he is buried in the burial grounds in Mays Lick. His son also followed him into the ministry.

From this one family came multiple preachers. Each following generation up to our current time has had a descendant of Joseph Warder who became a minister.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

This Old House # 6 ~ Strother Meeting House

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors! I decided not to limit it to dwelling places, but to also include the occasional “house” of worship.

Strother’s Meeting House, the “cradle of the Methodist Church in the West”, was erected near Cottontown in Sumner County about 1800. The church held the distinction in 1802 of housing the first Middle Tennessee Methodist Conference. At that meeting Bishop Francis Asbury was in charge, and one of the most valuable relics in the church today is the chair in which the bishop presided. Also, there today is one of the rude log benches hewn by a Sumner county pioneer for the Methodist chapel.

The single candle that was the only illumination for the church is on display as well as a circuit rider’s trunk, rusty and worn, bears on it the explanation that “Bishop McKendree used this on his journeys through the undivided bounds of American Methodism. There are many other relics–pictures, Bibles, books and gavels–all telling the story of the early days of a denomination that now has millions on its membership rolls.

It must have been a very impressive meeting there, according to the accounts that have been handed down by several who attended. The membership reported for that year the Cumberland Circuit was 588 white and 39 Negro members. William McKendree, was the presiding elder and John Page and Thomas Wilkerson were the preachers on the circuit.

As Methodism grew in Sumner County the tiny one-room chapel was not large enough so another building was erected and it was dedicated in 1857 as Bethel Church. Prior to this, however, Strother’s Meeting House had been moved from its first location one mile away to Red River Pike.

When the Methodists began using their new church, the old meeting house, then located on the Hassell farm, was used for many years as a corn crib. The church remained as a crib under an eave of the barn on the farm, but one reason for the excellent condition of the logs was the fact that it was thus protected from the weather.

This small log cabin has often been referred to as the “Traveling Church” because it has been dismantled and moved numerous times. The church was finally moved to an honored place on the Scarritt Bennett Campus located in Nashville in 1931.

Monday’s for Me #47 ~ A Christmas Lesson

I remember the Christmas that I was almost 9 years old because it had a very profound effect on my life. It all began the last Sunday of November. During the church service the pastor announce that we were going to be collecting new and used toys and clothing to give to less fortunate children for Christmas. He gave the instructions concerning the time frame to get the items to the church. He also said that more information about this campaign would be given in a couple of weeks.

On the way home my mother gave my sister Mary and I a list of things to do when we got home. This week she added that we were to begin going through our clothes and toys so we could take them to the church the next week. Mary, who was 4 years older than I, immediately began to cry. She didn’t want to give away any of her belongings. As a matter of fact she frequently claimed anything that I received if it was something she liked. Because this is how it had always been, I really didn’t have feelings toward this either way.

My Dad brought two medium-sized boxes into our room and told us to put clothes in one and toys in the other. I decided to get it over with so I began to go through my things. Mary out weighed me by about 100 pounds so she could have cared less about the clothes I found. However, she kept saying “If you don’t want that, I will take it” to any toy or book I put in. By Saturday morning I had accomplished filling the clothes box half full, but there were only a few of the toys that Mary didn’t want in the bottom of the other one. She had not put in one item!

Over the next 2 weeks, each Sunday when we returned from church the same thing happened and my mother would yell at me for being selfish. I finally went to my Dad and told him what happened, and he confronted Mary, who immediately broke into tears and told him I was lying. My mother came running in and all heck broke out. I finally yelled for them to go check in the spare bedrooms closet! Mary ran to the door trying to keep them from leaving the room, but my Dad threatened her with a spanking. So, she reluctantly moved. My parents came back in the room with my 2 boxes of toys. My mother just left the room and said nothing, my Dad grounded my sister, and he gave me a hug! Nothing more was said about the “incident”.

The big surprise was the next Sunday after church we went into a classroom and all those who participated got to wrap the presents. We then loaded paper grocery store bags filled with the gifts into the back of the trucks and trunks of the cars and drove off. I can’t tell you how far we drove but it seemed to take forever to arrive at our destination. We pulled onto a long dirt road that had newly plowed fields on both sides. (We lived in Tucson and the farmers could plow in December). We pulled into a makeshift town of tents and wooden shacks. It was a migrant workers camp, just to the South of Tucson. I saw open fires with poorly dressed women cooking in big pots over the flames. I saw so many raggedly clothed kids, many with no shoes, playing and running around. A gentleman came over and spoke to the pastor, then he turned and with a loud bullhorn he spoke to the people in Spanish. The kids came running and the adults cautiously approached us. Then the pastor turned to us and told us to help hand out the wrapped gifts and for the adults to help give the food boxes to the grownups.

My Dad had dropped the tailgate of our truck, so I climbed in and started grabbing the gifts. They had been wrapped in red for girls and green for boys so it was easy to know who to give it to. I saw the kids excitedly open the gift and I saw a few of them crying with joy. Then I spotted one girl about my age open a doll I had given. She hugged it and kissed it as she had tears running down her cheeks. I, too, had tears leaking out of my eyes determined to run down my cheeks and land on my dress. My tears were from mixed feelings. I felt joy at seeing others so happy, but at the same time I felt sad that these kids were so happy to receive what I probably would have eventually just thrown away. I couldn’t wait to start a new box to give away the next year. This day taught me so many lessons during the short period of time we were at the camp, ones that I have carried with me and that I attempt to still adhere too for over 55 years.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Monday’s for Me ~ Isn’t That Special?

Me1Remember the Church Lady from the early days of “Saturday Night Live”? She definitely was a little strange. I do remember a couple of women at the church I grew up in resembling this character. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only strange thing about the church. As a young girl, I didn’t realize it. We had only attended this one, so it wasn’t until I was 19 and started going to a totally different style of church that I realized how different it was.

We started attending Park Ave Disciples of Christ Christian Church in Tucson, AZ right after my family moved there when I was 11 months old. Of course, I don’t remember much about it until I was about 5 years old. My first memory was sitting in the second-row pew with my parents and sister. The young kids had to wait until the singing, oldladys singing 2offering, and communion was completed before going off to our Sunday School class. On this day we had a “special music” time and two women in the congregation got up to sing. I have to be honest, as a kid, I thought the music and songs we sang were boring! I had high hopes that this would be different. The music began and it really wasn’t that bad. Then one of the ladies began to sing….she hit a high note that could break a glass and it was way off-key. By instinct, I threw my hands over my ears and my face cringed. My mother tried to pry them off, but I was determined that I would do anything to protect my ears from this noise. My mother was so embarrassed. I knew I was going to be in trouble, but I didn’t care. Those extreme high notes these women were singing literally hurt my ears.

The second memory was when I used to go with my Dad to the church on Saturdays. He did this for quite a while and as a 6-year-old I really didn’t care what he was doing, I just enjoyed being away from the house. I knew he was constructing a small building out of brick in the south parking lot, but I didn’t know the purpose of it. After a couple of Drive in churchmonths, we quit going on Saturdays. Each Sunday we would drive into the parking lot and see the little building just sitting there. We had been raised not to ask questions, so I never asked what it was for. One Sunday morning my mother woke us up early and said, “Go get in the car.” My sister asked her if we needed to change out of our pajamas and she told us no. My dad was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and my mother had on her housecoat and slippers. Bewildered, we just rode in the backseat watching for a sign as to where we were going. Imagine my surprise when we pulled into the church parking lot! We drove toward the little building and we saw that someone had installed polls with speakers on them, just like at the drive-in movies! We were going to church service in our car. When my dad placed the speaker in the car window I could hear the pastor talking through it. It was standing inside the building talking on a microphone. A man came around handing out hymnals and we sat in our car and sang to the music coming through the speakers. Then he came back around and took up the offering. We had a bag of coloring books and other things to keep us entertained in the back seat, so my sister and I pulled it out and began to play. I could hear the pastor talking but I didn’t pay attention. After he finished, they gathered up the hymnals and we drove home. We had been to the new Drive-in Church! From that day on we only went inside the church for services during our hot Arizona summers. The rest of the year we “went to the drive-in”. My parents loved it as they could smoke during service and I can tell you one thing, I got a lot of reading time in.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Should a Christian do Genealogy?

Family_TreeA few years ago, a Pastor friend of ours told me I shouldn’t be working on my genealogy because the Bible speaks against it. He quoted a few scriptures that “proved” his statement. At this point in my life, I had been a Christian for 42 years and I had been a Genealogist for over 20 years. I never felt the two were in conflict with each other. Even so, his words bothered me.

I went home and got out my Bible and sure enough, that is basically what those scriptures stated. They inferred that taking on Genealogy endeavors were “unprofitable and vain”. Being a researcher at heart and having been misguided by others in the past because they pulled one verse out of an entire book in the Bible to prove their point, I did my own research on what those scriptures meant.

Here is what I discovered. Throughout the Old Testament being able to “prove” your lineage is what gave you a position in society and/or in the Temple. If you were from, let’s say, the line of Aaron who was the high priest of the wilderness tabernacle, then each high priest that came after him had to be from his line. This line assured their importance and position. Fast forward to the New Testament. Things had not changed. Each group of people fits into society according to their lineage. When Jesus began His ministry, He did not follow the “rules”.  He called some fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, a zealot, and several tradesmen to be His disciples.


When the 2 verses (see verse references below) that had been quoted to me made the statement about “vain genealogies” it was referring to those who use their ancestors to put themself above others or who believes this makes them better than others. The bottom line is…..God created us all and we are equally valuable. I can comfortably reconcile my love of genealogy with my faith in Jesus!

SIDE NOTE: I have found through my research that there is a rich Religious Heritage that has been passed down through the generations to me. This comes from many different faiths and beliefs and I am thankful for this foundation.


Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9


cropped-blog-pic.jpgI am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.











Judith Vassall White – Now That Took Courage

silenceIf you have been researching your family history for any length of time you know how hard it is to find anything, other than a few documents, for those Ancestors who were born before 1800. That is unless they are famous for some reason. Even harder is to find personal information on a female Ancestor since they usually aren’t even mentioned by name. Imagine my surprise when I actually found an exciting account of a risky confrontation that my 9 times Great Grandmother had.

Judith Vassall was born in 1619 in Cold Norton, Maldon District, Essex, England to William and Ann ships_to_america_large(King) Vassall. Her family were prominent merchants and devout Puritans. Because of the persecution of this religion in England, the Vassall’s along with dozens of other believers boarded the ship “Blessing” headed to the Colonies. They arrived in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1635 when Judith was 16 years old. In 1640 she married Resolved White who had come to Plymouth aboard the Mayflower with his parents William and Susanna (Fuller) White.

Judith’s father William, was considered a troublemaker among those who lived in Plymouth. The Puritans were intolerant of those of other religions. They would persecute them and run them out of town. Many were beaten beforehand. William was considered too liberal in his religious views and he would stand up for the Quakers and this caused quite a stir. He was even beaten at one point. As a result, William and his family moved to Scituate Massachusetts. He eventually left the Colony and moved to Barbados.

pilrim womanThis is what was written about Judith in 1660: “She was a mother and woman worthy of her times; like Wycliffe, she could see, hear and act. When the Quakers were persecuted in court she could not sit still and listen to them denounced with persecutions and death, but (woman as she was, who had been taught to sit in silence in Church) arose and sternly rebuked the complainer for his unchristian like talk and behavior; and to her bravery, and influence over her husbands half-brother, Gov, Josiah Winslow, he refused his signature to the circular sent by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and that no worse persecutions are found written on the Old Colony records, she is entitled to the grateful remembrance of the pilgrim daughters. Green as Green Harbor be her memory.”

At this time in history, women had very little rights, especially in Puritan society. She literally risked her life to stand up and publicly speak to “the complainer”. She apparently was well thought of to have any influence over her brother-in-law causing him to refuse to sign the circular. Also, her statements must have convicted those who heard it for them to cease their unjust treatment of the Quakers. She was indeed a woman of great faith and courage!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

9 Ways to Discover Your Religious Heritage and Passing Yours on to the Next Generation.

Park Ave Chirstian Church - Drive in Church
Park Ave Christian Church – Drive-in Church

Growing up I went to Church every Sunday morning. My family attended Park Avenue Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tucson AZ, the one my parents joined shortly after moving to Arizona when I was 11 months old. It wasn’t until I started school that I learned that there were other churches and religions in the world and that there were even some people who didn’t believe in God at all. It was also the time I discovered that our Church was a little unique. We had one of the two Drive-in Churches in the entire United States. In 1956 our pastor made a trip to Florida and saw a Church that had built one the previous year and he decided that he wanted one. So my Dad, along with a couple of other members built the small enclosed red brick building where the pastor would deliver his sermons each Sunday. They installed the poles and speakers and it was “open for business”. My parents loved going to the Drive-in Church because they didn’t have to get dressed up and they could smoke in the car during the service. My sister and I liked it because we could wear our pajamas and read or play in the back seat. I thought this was normal.

Now as an adult I attend a totally different denominational Church. I began to wonder how our family became the religion that we were. What religion or denomination did my Ancestors choose and why? I wondered if any of them had been Atheists. Did any of them flee to America so they could practice their faith, free from persecution?  I wanted to search for this information but I wasn’t certain of where to begin. I started looking through the documents I had acquired for my Ancestors and as a result I was able to piece together a pretty good description of what religions my family had practiced.

Here are 9 of the places and document types where I found my “Religious Heritage”.


  1. Church records. This is one of those “duh” moments. Where else would you look? A lot of the older churches kept very precise records. Not of just who attended their church but of many different events. These records can have a person’s date of birth, the date they were baptized, their marriage and death date and place of burial. They also can list family names, their participation in church activities, and a confession of their “sins” and in some cases their testimony as to why they became Christians. If an Ancestor was a minister it would also include a list of the previous churches he had pastored and the places where he had preached. These records can be a treasure trove of information.


  1. Wills. You may find which religion a person was by reading through their Will. In some cases an Ancestor will leave a possession, money or land to a church. You can then conclude that this church was associated with their religion. Most Will’s begin with a Statement of Faith and by reading this you could possibly determine what they believed.



  1. Marriage Records. Listed on the marriage certificate is the name of the person who conducted the ceremony. If it was
    Marriage Record stating name of Church and the Ministers name.
    Marriage Record stating name of Church and the Ministers name.
    a priest or pastor you can do a search of that name to find out which religion they were associated with. In some cases, especially in the 1800’s they even listed the name of the church on the certificate. You can also check your Ancestors childrens marriage certificates as they may have this information on them, especially if you can’t find a marriage certificate for the parents.


  1. Death Certificates. In newer Death Certificates there is a place where you can state which religion a person is. This information is given by an informant and may not be correct but it is at least a place to start your search.



Obituary stating name of Church Rosa attended.
Obituary stating name of Church Rosa attended.

  1. Obituaries. Obituaries are an excellent place to look. Sometimes they even list the name of the church they were a member of or the name of the minister and I have found a few that give a short testimony of when a person decided to attend this church or convert to this religion.


65th Wedding Anniversary clipping states Church.

  1. Newspapers. Newspaper clippings celebrating special events in a persons’ life can give you additional information. In an article covering one of my cousins 65th Wedding Anniversary it states the name of the Church they attended. I was able to contact the Church and found records of other Ancestors who also attended this Church



  1. Cemetery. This one sounds strange but you can sometimes determine religion by their place of burial. A non-Catholic would not be buried in a Catholic Cemetery. The same goes for the Jewish faith. Also a lot of cemeteries are attached to Churches and you can assume that if your Ancestor was buried there then they may have been members. At least it would be a place to start further research.


John Page Church Plaque
John Page Church Plaque

  1. Histories. If your Ancestor was a pioneer in an area they could be included in the History of that place. I have found several relatives who were founders of town or counties so a lot is written about them, including which church they attended. You can also find the names of Churches in the area that your Ancestor lived and then do a search of Church Records in those specific Churches for their names. You never know what you may find!



  1. Family Bibles. If you are lucky enough to have in your possession an old family Bible then it may shed some light on what your Ancestor believed and what religion they were. Hopefully it also includes a list of family members, births, marriages, deaths, baptisms etc. This indeed would be a treasure.


This is not an exhaustive list of places to look but it is a start. Unfortunately, unless your Ancestor was famous you may never know why they chose the Religion or beliefs that they held.  It has been interesting to see the progression of my “Religious Heritage” beginning with my Ancestors being Catholic, to becoming Quakers, to converting to Presbyterian, then to Methodists, Baptist and ending with my parents being Disciples of Christ.

This is actually a 2 part endeavor. The first part is finding what religion if any, that your Ancestors practiced. The second part would be passing on your beliefs to the next generations. We have an opportunity to explain to our Great-Great Grandchildren what religion we are and why we chose this certain path. If you do not believe in God, this is the chance you have to let them know your reasoning for that. You can include your traditions, activities, favorite scripture or quote, give a testimony, or whatever you feel is the most important things you would want them to know.

How I wish my Ancestors would have left something in writing explaining to me the how’s and why’s of their choices when it came to religion.  So I will write the story of how I came to believe as I believe so my future family will not have to guess at it.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.