Sunday’s Salute #45 ~ Benjamin Kimball ~ King Philips War

Seal of Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts Colony

Benjamin Kimball, my maternal 8th Great Uncle, was born in 1637 in Watertown, Middlesex County, Colonial Massachusetts, the youngest of 10 children born to immigrants, Richard Kimball (1595-1675) and Ursula Scott (1596-1661). He married Mercy Hazeltine (1642-1707) on April 16, 1661. On May 12, 1663, they moved to Rowley, Massachusetts, where they bought land. At this time Rowley included within its limits the present Bradford, Georgetown, and Groveland. His land was in what is now known as Bradford. On Nov. 23, 1667, he bought several tracts of land, among them was land that he gave to his older brother, Thomas Kimball. Thomas was killed by an Indian on May 3, 1676, during one of the raids on the town of Bradford during the King Philip’s War. His wife and 5 children were captured and taken prisoner, however, they were returned to the town on June 11, 1676. On Feb. 20, 1668, at the first town meeting in Bradford, Benjamin was chosen an overseer of the town. He served in this capacity until March 15, 1674. On Jan. 6, 1675, he and his wife Mercy, sold forty acres of land to the inhabitants of that town for the use of the minister.

Samuel Appleton

In 1668, Samuel Appleton was chosen to serve as a deputy to the Massachusetts General Court and received the title of Lieutenant. He served in the company of his brother, Captain John Appleton, from 1669 to 1671. He then served by himself from 1673 to 1675. In 1675, King Philip’s War broke out and Appleton was promoted to Captain. On September 24, 1675, Appleton received a commission to command a foot company of 100 men which included the two Kimball brothers. (Benjamin was “cornet” of troops and was known as “Cornet Kimball.”). He proceeded to the Connecticut River Valley, where Captain Thomas Lathrop’s Company had been destroyed on September 18.

On October 4, Major John Pynchon resigned as Commander-in-Chief of the militia headquarters in Hadley and Appleton was chosen to succeed him. Not knowing where the next attack would come from, Appleton divided his army among three towns. He stationed a force in Northampton under the command of Lieutenant Nathaniel Sealy. This group was supplemented by troops under the command of Robert Treat of Connecticut. A second group, under the command of Captains Jonathan Poole and Samuel Moseley, was stationed in Hatfield. Appleton himself commanded the third force, which was stationed in Hadley.

At noon on October 19, several fires were spotted north of Hadley. Captain Moseley sent out a scouting party of ten men who were ambushed two miles outside of the garrison. Six of the men were killed and three were captured. Moseley sent to Hadley and Northampton for reinforcements. Appleton and most of his men crossed the river and joined Moseley. Around 4 pm, a large band of Native American warriors charged the settlement. Appleton defended one side of the town, Captain Poole defended the other, and Captain Moseley defended the middle. Appleton’s sergeant was killed by his side and Appleton just missed getting shot as a bullet went through his hat. After two hours the warriors retreated in confusion. The battle at Hatfield was the Native Americans’ first real setback of the war and a turning point for the English colonists, as it proved that the Native Americans could be repelled if the militia was prepared.

In November 1675, the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England had evidence that the neutral Narragansett tribe was assisting Metacomet. They chose to launch a preemptive strike on the Narragansett. On December 8, 527 members of the Massachusetts militia, led by Appleton, gathered in Dedham, Massachusetts. Plymouth Colony gathered 159 men under the command of William Bradford and Connecticut moved 300 men under the command of Robert Treat, along with 150 Mohegan warriors. Governor Josiah Winslow of Plymouth Colony was named Commander-in-Chief. On December 19, 1675, the Narragansett fort was captured in the Great Swamp Fight. 110 of Appleton’s men were either killed or wounded in the battle. Afterwards, Appleton and his remaining men returned to Boston, and he retired from active service.

Benjamin returned home to Bradford, and he continued his life as a wheelwright, carpenter, and a farmer. They raised 6 children. In 1690, he built a large 3-story house for his family. The house still stands on the junction of Salem Street and Main in Bradford. Benjamin died on June 16, 1696, and he is buried in the Bradford Cemetery.

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.

Sunday’s Salute #44 ~ John “Long John” Strother ~ Civil War & Murder

John R. Strother my 4th cousin 6 times removed, was born May 18, 1834, near Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia, into a wealthy family. He was the son of Richard Strother (1768-1838) and Mary Black (1801-1874). When John was only four years old, his father died. His mother raised John and his four siblings on the family plantation in Hancock County. After the sale of the plantation in the 1850s, the family members moved to Baldwin County. With the outbreak of the Civil War, John mustered in the Confederate forces on June 12, 1861, serving as a private in Company F, 9th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry.

He served under Captain George Hillyer and stayed in this regiment for the entirety of the war. This group of men participated in many battles including Price’s Farm, Virginia on June 27, 1861; Leesburg, Virginia on October 21, 1861; Rappahannock Bridge, Virginia on March 29, 1862; Yorktown, Virginia on April 19-25, 1862; and last but not least at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 2-6 1863.

After the war, John returned to Baldwin County and married Mary Price (1841-1871) on March 14, 1865. In January 1866 he was elected sheriff of Baldwin County. On March 24, 1866, following an unknown misunderstanding, John shot Mr. W. A. Robertson in the right thigh, who died a few days later. John resigned as sheriff and fled. On June 2, 1866, Georgia Governor Charles J. Jenkins issued a proclamation offering a $200 reward for John’s capture. While no details are available, John was later exonerated. He returned to Baldwin County, and in 1871 he married Sarah Kenan (1833-1872). However, on July 3, 1871, John shot and killed Lewis Holmes Kenan, a member of a prominent Baldwin County family and former state senator, on a main street in Milledgeville, Georgia. Again, John had to flee. Friends put him in a crate and loaded him on a train bound for Louisiana, where his first cousin, Berry Strother, could provide refuge.

John lived alone in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, near Kimmelton. He taught penmanship and dancing. Being a fugitive from the law, he carried a rifle everywhere he went. He had been raised as a southern gentleman, so felt superior to most people in the community. He was a ladies man, hated and feared by many. With Naluse Americe “Nettie” Johnson (1854-1889), he had a son, John William Strother, born February 5, 1887, at Hico, Lincoln Parish. He and Naluse never married.

In November 1888, John taunted his neighbor, Turner Bentley, saying Turner’s wife Mary was carrying his child. On a fall morning, 20 November 1888, John R “Long John” Strother left his home in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, on horseback. He had not gone far when three men, Turner Bentley, Anders Lloyd and Will King attacked him. John was shot from his horse, and, after he fell, was shot in the top of the head with buckshot. Neighbors said it was a most brutal murder. “Long John” was 54 years old. He is buried in Buckner Cemetery in Claiborne Parish.

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.

Sunday’s Salute #41 ~ Eli Coffey ~ Substitute Soldier Revolutionary War

I just wanted to place this disclaimer here: I understand that some of the events that is written about in this blog are disturbing. However, it is a part of history and it should not be covered up because of this. This blog does not glorify the events nor does it condone them. It is just stating the facts of the little known history of the Revolutionary War.

Eli Coffey, my 1st cousin 5 times removed, was born on March 1, 1763, in Blue Run, Orange County, Virginia. He was one of eleven children born to Reverend James Coffey (1729-1786) and Elizabeth Cleveland (1729-1826). He moved with his parents and siblings to Morgan, Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1778. Here is where he began an unusual stint in the Revolutionary War.

In December of 1780, Eli’s maternal Uncle Thomas Fields, was drafted into the regiment of Captain John Barton. Thomas had a large family and a sick wife, and he asked if he could be excused from serving. His request was denied, but he was told if he found a substitute he would be able to stay home. When Eli heard of his Uncle’s dilemma, he volunteered to be a scout in Thomas’ place. The length of service was only for 3 months. By 1779, George Washington had earned the famous moniker “Father of His Country.” However the Iroquois Indians of the time bestowed on Washington another, not-so-flattering title: Conotocarious, or the “Town Destroyer.” This lesser-known title also had its origins in 1779, when General Washington ordered what at the time was the largest-ever campaign against the Indians in North America. After suffering for nearly two years from Iroquois raids on the Colonies’ northern frontier, Washington and Congress decided to strike back.

Butler’s Rangers

On the afternoon of November 11, 1778, Captain Benjamin Warren had led a group of soldiers out of the small fort at Cherry Valley, New York, and straight into a scene from hell. As the Patriot soldiers walked through the once-thriving farming community, they saw nothing but carnage: a man weeping over the mutilated and scalped bodies of his wife and four children; other corpses with their heads crushed by tomahawks and rifle butts; charred human remains in the smoking ruins of cabins and barns. It was, Warren later wrote, “a shocking sight my eyes never beheld before of savage and brutal barbarity.” The savagery had begun early that morning, when a hundreds-strong force of Loyalist militiamen, Seneca Indians and a few British soldiers had appeared out of the fog and rain. The town and its small garrison were taken completely by surprise, and the raiders—led by Tory Captain Walter Butler and Mohawk war chief Joseph Brant—launched into an orgy of death and destruction. The fort managed to hold out, but the town and its people were defenseless. By the time the attackers withdrew, more than 30 civilians—mostly women and children—and 16 soldiers were dead and nearly 200 people left homeless. The assault soon became known as the “Cherry Valley Massacre,” and it would help convince General George Washington to launch a massive, no-holds-barred retaliatory expedition.

Captain John Barton led one of the regiments that retaliated against the British and their Indian allies. Eli’s job was to scout the countryside for the villages where these Indians were living. It is not known if he ever participated in the fighting between the two factions, or if he only pointed the way to the villages. The Indians who stood with the British generally fought alongside American and Canadian Loyalists. The most infamous band of Loyalists to utilize Indian allies was Butler’s Rangers—a partisan regiment formed in 1777 under Lt. Col. John Butler, a Tory from the Mohawk Valley. While focusing their activities on the New York and Pennsylvania settlements, Butler’s irregulars ranged as far out as Virginia and Michigan. They were extremely effective and, at times, brutal. The 1778 Wyoming and Cherry Valley massacres—the bloodiest of many border fights—were largely the work of Butler’s Rangers, together with “Cornplanter”, a Dutch-Seneca war chief and Brant’s Mohawks and Indians from other tribes. Again, it is not known if Eli actually participated in any of these events or if he just scouted out the targets of them.

Eli completed his service and returned home to North Carolina. Within a few months his older brother Ambrose was drafted to go against the Cherokees, but he was severely near-sighted. Once again Eli volunteered to serve, this time for his brother. He enlisted as a horseman. He entered the service in Wilkes County, North Carolina under Lieutenant Isbell of Wilkes. Colonel Miller of Rutherford, Colonel Joseph McDowell and General Charles McDowell of Burke rendezvoused with Isbell at Pleasant Garden, Burke County, North Carolina. They crossed the Mountain at the head of Swannanoa River, and marched forward crossing the French Broad River, the Big and Little Pigeon Rivers, and Tuckaseegee entering an Indian town called Tuckaseegee and they took the town. They then crossed the Tennessee River and headwaters of the Hiwassee River, passing through the various parts of the Cherokee Nation. They burnt down other Indian villages along the way including the Overhill Towns, the Valley towns and the Shoemake Towns and then returned home and the entire regiment was discharged at the expiration of the three months, the term for which he had entered.

Eli married Hannah Allen (1765-1845) in 1790, and they had 3 sons. Eli bought 50 acres of land in Burke County and began farming. They moved to Wayne County, Kentucky, about 1815 where he then purchased 21 acres. In 1828, they once again moved, this time to Mc Minn County, Tennessee, near his older brother Rice’s farm. Eli died on September 5, 1847, at the age of 84.

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.

Sunday’s Salute #36 ~ Bacon’s Rebellion ~ Thomas Hayes

Bacon’s Rebellion was an armed rebellion by Virginia settlers that took place in 1676. It was led by Nathaniel Bacon against Governor William Berkeley.

Starting in the 1650s, as English colonists began to settle the Northern Neck frontier of Virginia the Chicacoan, some Doeg, Patawomeck and Rappahannock Indians began moving into the region and joined then local tribes in disputing the settlers’ claims to land and resources. In July 1666, the colonists declared war on them. By 1669, colonists had patented the land on the west of the Potomac as far north as My Lord’s Island. By 1670, they had driven most of the Doeg out of the Virginia colony and into Maryland.

Thousands of Virginians from all classes, including those in indentured servitude and races rose up in arms against Governor Berkeley because of his lack of leadership. They chased him from Jamestown, Virginia, and ultimately torching the capital. The rebellion was first suppressed by a few armed merchant ships from London whose captains sided with Berkeley and the loyalists. Government forces from England arrived soon after and spent several years defeating pockets of resistance and reforming the colonial government to be once more under direct royal control.

Modern historians have suggested that the rebellion was a power play by Nathaniel Bacon against Berkeley and his favoritism towards certain members of the court. While Bacon was on the court, he was not within Berkeley’s inner circle of council members and disagreed with him on many issues.

Bacon’s followers used the rebellion as an effort to gain government recognition of the shared interests among all social classes of the colony in protecting the “commonality” and advancing its welfare.

Nathaniel Bacon

According to the Historic Jamestown National Park website, “For many years, historians considered the Virginia Rebellion of 1676 to be the first stirring of revolutionary sentiment in North America, which culminated in the American Revolution almost exactly one hundred years later. However, in the past few decades, based on findings from a more distant viewpoint, historians have come to understand Bacon’s Rebellion as a power struggle between two stubborn, selfish leaders rather than a glorious fight against tyranny.”

Thomas Hayes, my 7th Great Grandfather, was born in Ireland in 1645. He arrived in Surry County, Virginia in 1665. He married Prudence Flake (1657-1702), in Surry County in 1677. They had 6 children, 5 sons, and 1 daughter. As a witness in a lawsuit, he made a deposition stating that he was 23 years of age in 1668. He took part in Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676, and had to flee the James River valley after Bacon’s death. In vengeance, Governor Berkeley hunted down every known participant in that popular uprising. Thomas Hayes found refuge in Maryland and then in Northumberland County, VA where he dies in 1715 at the age of 70.

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.

Sunday’s Salute ~ William Darrell Vickrey ~ World War II

William Darrell Vickrey, my 1st cousin, was born on December 24, 1922, in Wheat Springs, Missouri. He was the firstborn of 10 children born to Hazel Clara Hughes (1901-1953) and Kenneth Carlton Vickrey (1894-1958). William went by the name Darrell his whole life. He was raised on the family farm in the rural Missouri Town of Sweet Springs. When Darrel was 10 years old his family bought a new farm in Otterville, Cooper County, Missouri .

At the age of 20 years old, Darrell enlisted in the Army. After boot camp, he became part of the 528th Engineer Light Pontoon Company, and he was sent to England. This regiment was a combat engineer unit organized and trained to transport and maintain its stream-crossing equipage, to construct floating bridges and rafts with this equipage, to guard and maintain completed bridges, to regulate traffic thereon, and to dismantle bridges and rafts. They were responsible for construction of floating bridges and rafts assisted by general engineer troops. Light pontoon companies would be attached to divisions engaged in stream-crossing operations in accordance with the tactical situation.

He made many trips to Germany where he helped to ferry infantry and special forces troops in this M2 assault boat. Within a year he was promoted to the rank of Sargent. He also served in England; France; Belgium; and the European Theater. He participated in the following Campaigns or Battles: Operation Overlord (D-Day Normandy Invasion) Utah Beach, Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal.

After the war he returned to the United States and completed his service in the Army. On December 3, 1945, Darrell was going to catch a train from the Union Station in Chicago to the Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. He was running late that morning and arrived at the ticket counter just in time to buy his ticket. He heard the engineer yell for the last boarding call, and he ran quickly through the Station and out to the platform. The train was just slowly pulling away from the platform so Darrel ran as fast as he could, and jumped towards the open train door. He didn’t make it, and he fell under the train and was killed. He was just 22 years old.
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.

Sunday’s Salute ~ Norman Miles Sims ~ Lost at Sea ~ World War II

Norman SimsNorman Miles Sims, my 3rd Cousin, was born on March 22, 1917, in Vancouver, Clark County, Washington. He is the youngest son of Melfred Carl Sims (1885-1922) and Dollie Irene Simcosky (1888-1970). Normans’ father died when he was 5 years old. Norman played football and basketball at R.A. Long High School in Longview Washington, having to prove himself for the following reason. He felt he had the shadow of 3 older brothers hanging over him.


After High School all three of his older brothers, Franklin, Vinton, and Sims boys USNMilfred “Swede” Jr all joined the Navy. Franklin was a First Class Seaman, Vinton was a Chief Petty Officer and Swede was a Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. In 1935, Norman wanted to follow his brothers into the Navy, however, despite him qualifying in all academic and physical fitness tests he was rejected. At 6 feet 4 inches tall, he was ½ inch too tall!


Norman Miles Sims WWII newspaper 3This did not deter Norman, and he decided to ask assistance with his enlistment goals. He wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt pleading his case. President Roosevelt asked the Navy to give him a special dispensation and let Norman join his 3 brothers in the service of our nation. In 1935, he joined Swede and Franklin on the U.S.S. West Virginia.


On December 31, 1941, a few weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Norman Miles Sims WWII letterDecember 7, 1941, Norman was assigned to the U.S.S. Pillsbury. The Pillsbury was sent to the Java Sea. This area was crucial to both sides of the fight and there were many battles that were fought for the territory. On March 1, 1942, during a battle near the Island of Java in the South Pacific, the U.S.S. Pillsbury was fired upon by 4 Japanese battleships. The ship was badly damaged and it sank. Norman and the rest of the crew went down with the ship. The Navy officially declared him dead on November 25, 1945.


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.

Sunday’s Salute ~ Mathew Arvin Register ~ Civil War

Mathew A. RegisterMathew Arvin Register, my 2nd great-grandfather, was born in February of 1832 in Bladen County, North Carolina, the oldest child of Francis and Sarah (Johnson) Register. Sometime before 1850 the Register’s packed up their belongings, loaded them in covered wagons pulled by oxen, and headed for Missouri. It took several months of traveling, but they finally reached the St. Joseph area.

In 1850, at the age of 18, Mathew met and married Elisia Jane White, and over the next 11 years, they had 5 children. By 1855 they moved to Kansas along with Mathew’s 2 younger brothers. 6 years later the CivilNathaniel Lyon 2 War broke out. Mathew and his brothers, Owen and Simon joined the Union Army in July 1861. They mustered into the Army of the West (2nd Kansas Infantry) which was led by Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. Almost immediately they found themselves at Wilson’s Creek located south of Springfield, Missouri along with about 6,000 Union soldiers. The Missouri State Guard was located 75 miles southwest of Lyon and under the command of Maj. Gen. Sterling Price met with troops under Brig. Gen. Benjamin McCulloch near the end of July. The combined Confederate forces numbered about 12,000, and they formed plans to attack Springfield and marched northeast on July 31.

The armies met at dawn a few miles southwest of Springfield on the morning of August 10 in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. Lyon was wounded twice during the fighting. He was shot in the head and in the leg and then his horse was shot out from under him. He returned to the Union lines and commandeered a bay horse ridden by Maj. E.L. McElhaney of the Missouri Infantry. Lyon, badly outnumbered by Confederate forces, then dramatically led a counter charge of the 2nd Kansas Infantry on Bloody Hill, where he was shot in the heart at about 9:30 am. Although the Union Army was defeated at Wilson’s Creek, Lyon’s quick action neutralized the effectiveness of pro-Southern forces in Missouri, allowing Union forces to secure the state. Owen was captured by the Confederates during this battle. The rebels sometimes made their prisoners fight with them. Because of this Mathew and Simon were always afraid of accidentally shooting Owen during one of the skirmishes.

The brothers continued in this regiment until it mustered out of service and changed to the 2nd Kansas Cavalry on October 31, 1861, under Colonel Robert Byington Mitchell. In the new company, they continued to participate in many skirmishes all over Kansas and Missouri.

Mathew and Owen PayrollOctober 9, 1864, they enlisted in Company E, 19th Regiment Kansas Militia Infantry. It was commanded by Maj. Gen. James Blunt. In this troop, they participated in the Battles of Byram’s Ford and Westport. Mathew and Simon mustered out on October 28, 1864, when the unit disbanded, and they returned home. At the end of the war, Owen was released. Thankfully all three of the brothers had survived the war. While he was a prisoner of the Confederates, Owens’ fingers froze and all of his fingers and thumbs had to be amputated at the first joint.


Owen had married Minerva White, the sister of Mathews’ wife Elisia and they had 7 children. The family continued to live in Kansas and he died in 1892 at the age of 57.

Simon never married, and he died in 1901 in Leavenworth, Kansas at the age of 55.

Matthew moved his family which had grown to 12 children, to Dover, Lafayette County, Missouri. He died on 23 June 1913 at the age of 80.


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.

Sunday Salute ~ Major Paul Eaves Divine ~ Spanish American War

Paul E Divine military PicPaul Eaves Divine, my maternal 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born on May 20, 1871, in Tazewell, Claiborne County, Tennessee. He is the second of five children born to Dr. John Washington (1836-1903) and Mary Adalaide (Newlee) Divine (1835-1915). Paul graduated from High School in 1889 and attended the Cumberland School of Law, receiving his degree in 1896.

In 1898 with the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Paul joined Paul E Divine Spanih Am Warthe service as a Major in the 6th US Volunteer Infantry. He came from a long line of Divine’s who had fought in Country’s previous wars, and he felt it was his duty to do the same. This particular war was probably one of the shortest wars our country has been involved in.

The Spanish–American War broke out in late April 1898. The American strategy was to seize Spanish colonies in the Atlantic, Puerto Rico and Cuba, and their possessions in the Pacific, the Philippines, and Guam. On May 10, Spanish forces at Fort San Cristóbal under the command of Capt. Ángel Rivero Méndez in San Juan exchanged fire with the USS Yale under the command of Capt. William C. Wise. Two days later, on May 12, a squadron of 12 US ships commanded by Rear Admiral William T. Sampson bombarded installations at San Juan. On June 25, the USS Yosemite blocked San Juan harbor. On July 18, General Nelson A. Miles, commander of US forces, received orders to sail for Puerto Rico and to land his troops. On July 21, a convoy with nine modes of transport, and 3,300 soldiers, escorted by USS Massachusetts, sailed for Puerto Rico from Guantánamo. General Nelson Miles landed unopposed at Guánica, located on the southern coast of the island, on July 25, 1898, with the first contingent of American troops. The opposition was met in the southern and central regions of the island but by the end of August, the island was under the United States control.

On August 12, peace protocols were signed in Washington and Spanish Commissions met in San Juan on September 9 to discuss the details of the withdrawal of Spanish troops and the cession of the island to the United States. On October 1, an initial meeting was held in Paris to draft the Peace Treaty and on December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed (ratified by the US Senate February 6, 1899). Spain Paul Eaves Divine Military 4renounced all claim to Cuba, ceded Guam and Puerto Rico and its dependent islets to the United States, and transferred sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States and in turn, was paid $20,000,000 by the U.S. In August of 1898, Paul was appointed Post Commander of Puerto Rico Guayama. He received his commission from the military Judge Advocate. He held this post until early 1905. He returned home and immediately moved to Johnson City, Tennessee.

Paul Eaves Divine Military5

From July 1, 1905, through 1908, he was appointed the Treasurer for Mountain Branch for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Johnson City. He also started his own law practice with a fellow Cumberland graduate David Guinn.

He married Lulu Belle Milburn in 1907, and they had 3 daughters, Josephine, Ada, and Florence.


Paul died on April 17, 1935, at the age of 63. His obituary includes the following: “Paul is considered a highly respected citizen of this town as well as an honest lawyer and Political leader with the Republican Party.”


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.

Sunday Salute ~ John “Blackbearded” Parrott III ~ Mosby’s Ranger’s

Parrottsville mapJohn Parrott III, my 1st cousin 3 times removed, was born on September 30, 1800, in Parrottville, Cocke County, Tennessee. He is the 4th of 9 children born to John Parrott Jr. and Elizabeth Hall. He moved with his family to Fayette County, Ohio in 1814 but returned to Parrottsville in 1820. Here he met and married Mary Nancy Copeland in 1825. They quickly moved back to Fayette County and had 2 children, a son, and a daughter. Mary died on March 8, 1850.

John then married Rachel Whitcomb in 1852. They had no children. John Parrott III photoWhen the Civil War broke out, John signed up with the 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, also known as Mosby’s Rangers. It was a battalion of partisan cavalry in the Confederate army during the Civil War. They were known for their lightning strike raids on Union targets and their ability to consistently elude pursuit, the Rangers disrupted Union communications and supply lines.

Col John S. Mosby

The 43rd Battalion was formed on June 10, 1863, at Rector’s Cross Roads, near Rectortown, Virginia, when John S. Mosby formed Company A of the battalion. Mosby was acting under the authority of General Robert E. Lee, who had granted him permission to raise a company in January 1863 under the Partisan Ranger Act of 1862, in which the Confederate Congress authorized the formation of such units. By the summer of 1864, the battalion had grown to six cavalry companies and one artillery company, comprising about 400 men. After February 1864, the Confederate Congress revoked the authority of all-partisan units, except for two, one of which was the 43rd Battalion. The battalion never formally surrendered but was disbanded on April 21, 1865, after Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House to Ulysses S. Grant, but not before attempting to negotiate a surrender with Major General Winfield S. Hancock in Millwood, Virginia.

What to call the Confederate 43rd Battalion was a matter of contention during the war. The members of the battalion were referred to as soldiers, partisans, rangers, and guerillas. The Union viewed them as a loose band of roving thieves. Northern newspapers and Unionists referred to them as guerrillas, a term of disgrace at the time. One of Mosby’s men stated in his memoirs published after the war that “the term guerrilla was not applied to us in the South in any general way until after the war, when we had made the name glorious, and in time we became as indifferent to it as the whole South to the word Rebel.” Mosby himself avoided overtly militaristic words like “troops” or “soldiers” or “battalion” in favor of the more familial “Mosby’s Men” or “Mosby’s command”

After the war, John returned to Fayette County, Ohio and it appears he Obitwas able to put aside his actions during the war and live a respectable life. In his obituary, it states that “Mr. Parrott was highly respected by all who knew him. He was a kind husband and father, and a zealous and consistent church member.” John died on June 26, 1873. I have never discovered why he had the nickname “Blackbearded”.






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.





Sunday Salute ~ The First Woman Soldier I Have Found In My Family

Ada Millburn Divine PhotoI feel very honored to be able to write this blog about my maternal 3rd cousin, Ada Milburn Divine. Since I started this weekly blog I always thought it would be great to find a female who served in the Military, but after months of searching I almost gave up. I do have a habit of searching my paternal line first, then my maternal one is always an after-thought. I am so glad I strayed from the norm!

Ada Milburn Divine was born on January 6, 1909, in Johnson City, Washington InkedYearbook Ada Divine_LICounty, Tennessee. She was the second of three daughters born to Paul Eaves (1871-1935) and Lula nee Milburn (1881-1955) Divine. Growing up, Ada was known as “Sis”. She had many interests while attending school. She was an accomplished artist (painting) and writer. After graduating High School she attended East Tennessee State Teacher’s College in 1927, where she was a member of the Pi Sigma Literary Society. She attended college for 4 years graduating with a degree in science in 1931. She taught school in Johnson City for a few years, then she moved to New York City to pursue her painting career.

Here she met Reginald Randall (1901-1938) and they got married on January 22, 1937, in Manhattan. Reggie was a veteran of WWI and he had been deeply affected by what had happened during his time overseas, and the things he saw and did in combat. He and his bride moved to Johnson City to be near Ada’s family. However, the move did not keep the memories away. On July 21, 1938, Reggie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. This impacted Ada so much that she never remarried, nor had any children. For some unknown reason, she began to go by her middle name Milburn, and people called her “Millie”.

Ada Millburn Divine WWII PhotoMillie began working as a purchasing agent and buyer for the N.E.C.Company. In the 1940 census, we find her living with her mother Lula, and both women are listed as widowed. When WWII started on December 8, 1941, Millie wanted to join the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp but she discovered that all the women did was paperwork, laundry for the troops, and miscellaneous cleaning. This didn’t appeal to a college graduate with a degree. In July 1943 the organization was renamed the Women’s Army Corps when it was authorized as a branch of the US Army rather than an auxiliary group. The WAC’s received the same rank insignia and pay as men later that September and received the same pay allowances and deductions as men in late October. They were also the first women officers in the army allowed to wear an officer’s insignia. Millie enlisted in the WAC’s on November 13,1943.

Although women were prohibited from being in combat zones, some women who WAC_Air_Controller_by_Dan_V._Smithshowed a good knowledge of the technical field could be sent to England to help assist the troop in a non-combat fashion. Because of her degree in science, Millie was trained as one of the first women air traffic controllers. She spent the next two years in England directing the pilots as they flew their missions.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn November 13,1945, Millie returned home to Johnson City. She began painting again and teaching art to the local children. However, she missed the control tower. In 1944, she started working as an air traffic controller at the Nashville International Airport, She continued working there until she retired in 1970. Ada “Millie” Divine Randall died on February 4, 2001, in Johnson City, and she is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, located in Greenville, Greene County Tennessee.


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