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Will the Real Frank Miller Please Stand Up?

When researching an ancestor with a common surname such as Jones, or Smith or Miller it often quickly becomes a tangled and confusing mess. If you combine that common surname with a common first name such as Joe or Bob or Frank – it can be enough to make you want to pull your hair out! And so it has been with our Frank Miller, son of Elijah Spencer Miller and Harriet Curbow. Basically, when performing family history research you will run across clues about your ancestry – you will dig a little deeper – and if all goes well you find some answers to your family mysteries.

Frank Miller was one of those mysteries. In the beginning, the only thing that we knew for certain about Frank Miller was information provided by the 1880 census where we find him living in McLennan County, Texas with his father Elijah Spencer Miller (age 31 born in Mississippi) and mother Harriet Curbow (age 26 born in Mississippi). “Our” Frank was about 6 years old having been born in Texas in 1874. Also in the home is Frank’s grandfather, Tilman P. Curbow, who is 55 years old and who is a widower. Frank has three siblings: Thomas, Jesse and Minnie.

Fast forward to the turn of the century – 1910 to be precise –and we find Elijah Spencer Miller living in Akers, Carter County, Oklahoma. Harriet has died – Elijah has remarried – and Frank is nowhere to be found – or so I thought.

While researching the children of Elijah and Harriet, I met Tom Hedges, a great-grandson of Elijah Miller and wife Harriet (through their daughter Lou Ida Belle Miller) – and we’ve been trading information on the Miller/Curbow family ever since. Tom advised that he believed our Frank ended up out in California. With this lead, Tom and I started tracing a gentleman named Frank Miller who was born in Texas in July of 1873 and whose parents were both born in Mississippi (locations and date matched!). Over the ensuing months (years??!) – I had further contact with the descendants of the “California Frank” Miller. These family members indicated that he was from Nocana, Montague County, Texas, and that his family was from Indian Territory and had come from Mississippi. (Again – basic facts matched!) We learned that he had married Frances Mary Mehn and had two sons, one of whom was still living. We happily exchanged family photos, stories and documents. Tom and I felt certain that we had the right Frank Miller family. But not so fast!

I made contact with “California Frank” Miller’s grandson, who is also named Frank Miller (you see how confusing this could get?!). Mr. Miller told me that his father had no recollection of the surname Curbow. Further, his grandfather’s death certificate (which I have seen) indicates that his mother was Sarah Jane Clinton – not Harriet Curbow. Further, in the 1910 census he is not yet in California – rather living in Montague County, Texas with his mother. So basically – the way it looks – we have three Frank Millers – one in Oklahoma (ours); one in Texas; and one in California!  I was deflated – time to take down all the lovely photographs and records from the website – which belonged to a Frank Miller that was not ours. So now we’re back to square one when it comes to Frank Miller.

Fast forward to February of 2014 when I received an email from Tom Hedges outlining his recent work on the Miller family. The death of a cousin – Alta Faye Miller Porterfield – prompted Tom to take another look at his Miller family genealogy. Tom found Alta’s memorial on Find-a-Grave which confirmed that she was the daughter of “Monk” Miller. Tom knew that “Monk” was a son of “Our Frank” Miller. After I made contact with the creator of the memorials, David Miller, we all felt like we had made a connection. David subsequently ordered “Frank” Miller’s death certificate, and it is confirmed that he is the son of Elijah Spencer Miller.

“Our Frank” Miller is William Franklin Miller who was born in Texas on 17 Sept 1874. He left Texas and went to Oklahoma with his parents and lived his entire life in Carter County, Oklahoma. On 4 Dec 1904 he married Rachel Bondurant in Carter County. This is the same day that Elijah Spencer Miller married his second wife, Rosa. Frank and Rachel had six children that I am aware of: Tulle (1906); Jesse Eugene (1911); Roy Franklin (1914); William Columbus (1916); Cleva Bell (1921); and Annie Belle (1923). These names are also very prevalent in the Curbow family genealogy. It appears that Frank was a farmer all of his life. He died 2 Apr 1948 in Milo, Carter County, Oklahoma, and is laid to rest in the Milo Cemetery.

The search for “the real” Frank Miller has been an invaluable lesson to me not to jump to any hasty conclusions. I am glad that the correction has been made – and a big thank you to Tom Hedges and David Miller for untangling this Miller web!
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Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Miller

 

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2013 – The Year in Review – and Catching Up!

While pondering my genealogy goals and “to do list” for 2014, I contemplated writing a Year in Review blog post – and then I was completely caught off guard and stunned to realize that I had not written one single blog posting since July of 2012.  What a slug!  And – the excuses start right now – I’m still working a full-time job (and probably will until some attorney annoys me into a heart attack and early death) – and so I can’t ever squeeze in all of the things that I have to do much less the things I want to do.  I will endeavor to do a better job in 2014!

All was not lost though – given the fact that I’ve not posted anything new this year – we still received 54,852 hits on the blog!  I’ve been consistently busy behind the scenes – and below are a few highlights of the year.

My family history website (curbowfamily.com) is now fully documented and sourced as it pertains to my son’s Curbow line all the way through to his gggg-grandfather Tilman P. Curbow.  While we didn’t have any major breakthroughs, and many questions still exist – I did add an obituary here and a death certificate there and these small details continue to flesh out the specifics of who these people were.  In 2014, I plan to broaden the Curbow base by concentrating my research on the next generation (Henry B. Curbow).  Henry interests me because I believe him to by my son’s fifth great-grandfather, a Texas pioneer, who was present in the Republic of Texas by 1846.

Last July I made another trip to Waco, Texas – where Tilman settled “east of the Brazos River” after the Civil War.  My Curbow research partner, Jan S., met me there.  Jan and I had been corresponding for several years via email, and as such, it was so special to meet her in person.  On a previous trip to Waco, I had met John K., a retired McLennan County surveyor.  John was our tour guide for the day.  He loves genealogy, history, and he knows McLennan County like the back of his hand.  The day was amazing and inspiring.  John, through old maps, plats and surveys, took us to the land that Doss Bedwell used to own – and the land that Tilman P. Curbow leased, farmed and ranched.  While viewing the general area we also drove past the Storey Ranch and the land once owned by Elijah Miller’s father.  It was so beneficial to see where the families lived in proximity to each other.  While we didn’t find the Bedwell Cemetery, as we had hoped, it was nonetheless so remarkable to see the land that our ancestors lived and toiled on.  We also visited the historic First Street Cemetery and several others, all the while reaping the benefit of John’s unending knowledge of historic Waco.  We also had the opportunity to spend some time at the McLennan County Courthouse, where Jan and I were just astonished that we were given free rein to hold and handle wills and estate papers that were 125+ years old.  While there I joined the Central Texas Genealogy Association.  I have enjoyed their quarterly newsletters – and hope to be a contributor at some point.  We topped the day off by eating fried chicken in a parking lot in sweltering Texas summer heat.  I wouldn’t have it any other way !

When you marry a man from the South – you are going to find Confederate veterans in the family tree – and I have found lots of them!  This year my son, Ryan, was inducted into the Descendants of Confederate Veterans – a Texas Confederate Historical Society – based on the service of his gggg-grandfather, Tilman P. Curbow.  His wife’s uncle serves as the president of the Austin Chapter.  I was invited to attend the November meeting to tell the story of Tilman and his Civil War service.  I was super nervous. Genealogy is my passion – and I can talk a lot about it – but I am not a public speaker !!!  However, it was such a welcoming and receptive group that I got over myself pretty quickly and thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to tell Tilman’s story.  In 2014, we will start working on Ryan’s membership in the Sons of the American Revolution through his gggggg-grandfather Leonard Miles (1760-1835) who served out of the Fairfield District of South Carolina.

In 2014, I will shift some of the focus off of the Curbow family lines and focus on my Montoya/Spencer family lines.  These families are each unique and fascinating, and I am very excited to dig in a little deeper.  My father always told me that his great-grandfather emigrated from Barcelona Spain.  This oral family history story is partially true; however, we now know that the Montoya family came to New Mexico many generations prior to that.  Our emigrating ancestor was more than likely Bartolomé’ de Montoya – a Spanish conquistador  who was born in about 1572 in Cantillana (province of Andalucía) Spain.  He emigrated to Mexico City where he met and married María de Zamora.  This couple with their children and servants later traveled to New Mexico with the Onate Expedition.  Thus the Montoya surname is firmly established as one of New Mexico’s first families.  Most people who carry the Montoya surname today are descended from Bartolomé’s son Diego de Montoya.  Here is an article on the Montoya surname in New Mexico written by Jose Antonio Esquibel.

One very exciting development as it pertains to our Montoya family is the development of a family group Facebook page.  Thank you Syndi Montoya Miller for this great idea – and for getting it implemented !!  It has been a lot of fun reconnecting, and in some instances, meeting new family for the first time.  (Yes….we are a very large family!!)  We have had a lot of fun exchanging stories, memories and photographs of our loved ones.  I’m especially pleased to learn more about my Uncle Pete - and his family.  My father always spoke fondly of Pete and David – his older half brothers.  Additionally, a picture of my grandmother Pearl Spencer was shared by Syndi that I had never seen – and it is such a treasure – because there aren’t many pictures of her.

Lastly, I was really thrilled to receive a phone call from my Aunt Margie out-of-the-blue one day earlier in the year inviting me to coffee “to meet a Montoya cousin.”  It was none other than Sam Montoya – who lives less than 10 minutes down the road from me.  We met at Starbucks, and I didn’t even have to look for him.  I spotted him as a Montoya right away!  There’s been a little bit of talk about a family reunion.  What crazy fun would that be?!

Here to more happy genealogy hunting in 2014 !

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Odds and Ends

 

And We Have a Winner !

Today we held the drawing for the ancestry.com prize package winner!  Congratulations to Jan Shaffer of Dallas, Texas!  Courtesy of ancestry.com, Jan will receive a 6-month U.S. membership and the 2012 version of Family Tree Maker.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter.

In her submission, Jan shared as follows:

One of my favorite pastimes is researching my family tree.  Being a history buff I have enjoyed finding exactly where my forefathers fit within history.  I first began when I had my first child and one had to write letters and spend hours in libraries looking at microfilm for information.  The forward movement was very slow and I made very little progress.  When my father died I connected with one of his (mine too I guess) cousins who was the keeper of the Smith family history.  She shared much of her written records with me.  Of course, we didn’t have a copy machine so there was a lot of hand scribbled notes during long distance phone calls from Dallas to Tucson. She has since died and her research I assume is with her children.  Next I purchased a little software package called Family Tree Maker that helped organize the information on my tree.  At this point I was on my way to something that could be passed down to my descendants.  This was when I got hooked; but, the big breakthrough was when Ancestry.com was launched.  I had data at my fingertips that I never knew existed.

My big brick wall was finding the parents of my maternal grandfather.  My grandfather Bedwell died when my mother was one year old.  As my grandmother had passed away my mother couldn’t even tell me her grandparent’s first names.  I found a hand full of pictures when my mother died but did not know who they were or to which side of the family they belonged. I connected with other researchers through Ancestry.com and by comparing pictures the other researchers owned, found I had a picture incorrectly identified resulting in having a young picture of my great-grandmother and a more mature picture shared by another researcher. Another researcher was able to provide the father, to who we now know is Belle, and she came alive for us.  Belle has been the fuel for my continued research and now I have over 2,000 people listed in my tree.

I have also learned from my fellow researchers how important documentation of your facts is for your research.  The experienced researchers are happy to guide one through the brambles of information and at the same time teach good habits of research.  As a result when someone contacts me for information I pass along the kindness and experience others have shown me.  I consider some of my Ancestry connections personal friends.

The latest Ancestry.com option I have taken advantage of is the DNA testing.  I never knew where my ancestors immigrated from and having grown up as a Smith I could have come from anywhere.  Now I can say I am mostly from Great Britain with a little Eastern and Southern European thrown in and as a result I am planning a trip to Great Britain this fall.

Jan Shaffer
Dallas, Texas

Congratulations to Jan !!

And to all of you:  HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY !!!!!!
 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Bedwell, Odds and Ends

 

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The Ancestry.com Contest – Win Prizes !

Some time ago I “liked” ancestry.com on my Facebook page.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts, blogs, articles, tips and announcements – along with reviewing the many user comments and feedback.  I am a longtime fan of ancestry.com and have had a paid subscription for the last five years.  I can’t imagine researching my family history without the help of ancestry.com.  They have become the obvious market leader.  I believe that their success stems from the fact that they understand the importance of (and our desire to know) “where we came from.” 

 Here’s my short list of what I love most:   

All the records are compiled in one convenient place.  I can sit at my computer in the comfort of my own home in my most worn out night-gown, drinking coffee and eating chocolate and still be accomplishing research tasks!  That’s not to say that I don’t venture out.  I’ve spent untold hours in libraries sifting through musty old books – in archives going cross-eyed while scanning microfilm – and have spent many a hot Texas day trudging through old cemeteries.  But for the beginner – or anyone for that matter – the records compiled at ancestry are a great resource.  I usually start with the “little hint leaf” but always browse the card catalog to see if there is a database available that my ancestor might be found in.  Yes, I agree, there are other databases online that offer this same information for free; however, I never have enough hours in a day, and I appreciate being able to go to one website that has all of the resources compiled in one place (including the images in most instances).   

Connecting with others:  By far, my greatest thrill has been connecting with other like-minded researchers and distant family members – people who are as crazy passionate as I am about their family history!  I receive numerous email inquiries every day via the “Members Connection” feature.  Alternatively, I check it almost daily to see if anything new or interesting has been posted pertaining to any of my ancestors.  I’ve had some major breakthroughs by connecting with people who are working on the same family lines that I am.  Additionally, I love browsing the message boards on ancestry.com.  I almost always get helpful responses whenever I post an inquiry.  In addition to all of this a user has the ability to search the family trees of countless other public members.  There is a fairly good chance that you’ll run across a connection somewhere.  (A word to the wise:  don’t take anyone else’s work as gospel.  Most family trees are not documented or sourced in any way – so you’ll have to do your own homework.  With that said – I’ve found many trees that offered a smidgen of information – I then used that as a springboard and ran with it – many, many times with great results.  Just be vigilant in double checking everything you glean from other family trees.) 

Original Documents/Census Records – A majority of the databases available at ancestry.com contain images of the original documents.  By way of example, the ones that have benefited me the most are the census schedules (U.S., state, agricultural and slave) and the World I Draft Registration Cards.  I have additionally been lucky enough to find a few passport applications for some of my ancestors along with some military records.  When working on a thorough study of your ancestry, I believe, it is critical to be able to view the actual documents rather than just viewing an index.   

So those are my top three reasons why I love ancestry.com.  And here comes the fun part.   Due to the fact that I am an ancestry.com member and because I have a blog and a family history website, ancestry.com has designated me as an “Ancestry Ace” and thus is allowing me to offer this give-away contest.  Ancestry.com is very graciously offering prizes to the contest winner as follows:

A 6-month U.S. Deluxe ancestry membership AND a copy of Family Tree Maker 2012 (PC or Mac version available)!!!!!

This is a very exciting prize!  Here’s what you need to do to enter:

*Entrants must email me at jlcurbow@att.net (with the subject line entitled:  “Ancestry Contest,” and provide me with your name, location and email address.  (Please also mention whether you require the software for a PC or for a MAC.)  In the email submission, please describe how ancestry.com HAS helped you break through a brick wall in your family history research.  Alternatively, if you are not yet a member, describe how ancestry.com COULD help you break through a brick wall. 

 *Entrants must go to Facebook and “like” ancestry.com OR sign up to follow them on Twitter.

*Entrants must “Share” this blog on Facebook OR share my family history website (http://www.curbowfamily.com). 

One contest entry per person please.

The winner will be selected from a random drawing conducted by me on July 4, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (central time)I will post the name of the lucky winner here at that time along with their submission.  The winner’s name and email address will be transmitted to Ancestry.com for awarding of the prizes by Ancestry.com.

Share this with all who would benefit from this membership package.  Thank you again to Ancestry.com for offering to provide this wonderful prize…and good luck to you all !

 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Odds and Ends

 

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Testimony of an American Patriot – Part 2

On 7 June 1822, under an Act of Congress, the United States made provisions for veterans to receive a pension for their service during the American Revolution.  William Kerby (or Curbo) was among those that filed an application for a pension.  His pension hearing was held in the Precinct Court on 16 Sept 1833 in Jackson County, Tennessee before the Honorable Abraham Caruthers, Circuit Judge for the Third Judicial Court in Jackson County as follows:

On the 16th day of September, 1833 personally appeared before the Honorable Abraham Caruthers, Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit for the State aforesaid, now presiding in the County of Jackson and State of Tennessee, William Kerby, or as it is sometimes written William Curbo, a resident of the county and state aforesaid, aged seventy-four years on the 6th of July last {this suggests a birth year of 1758} who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the pension made by the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1932.

That he enlisted into the Army of the United States in the year 1775 {he would have been 17 years old} as he believes, but being wholly illiterate, in this he may be mistaken.  He will however proceed with the narration of such facts or will enable the department without any difficulty to ascertain the justice or injustice of his application.  He enlisted with Captain Thomas Harris, and served in the 4th Regiment of the North Carolina line, as he now understands it.

The regiment to which he belonged was commanded by Col. Thomas Polk, who was from the County of Mecklenburg, North Carolina.  The first Major of the Regiment was George Davidson – long after this period Major Davidson was killed at Beatty’s Ford on the Catouba {Catawba??} River in a skirmish with the British and this declarant is of opinion and his recollection is so that at the time of his death he held the rank of General, in the state troops of North Carolina.  James Fair was lieutenant in Capt. Harris’ Company.  James Costs was Ensign.  When he entered the guard he resided in Anson County, North Carolina near the town of Wadesborrough. 

Captain Harris’ company joined the Regiment at Wilmington, North Carolina.  The next day after reaching Wilmington, they set out on their march for Headley’s Point, near Charleston, South Carolina – where they remained in winter quarters until the following spring.  From Charleston, the troops returned to Wilmington, where they remained, he believes about a month.  From Wilmington, the troops marched to the town of Halifax, North Carolina.  There were then at that place according to his recollection, five Regiments – General Francis Nash had the chief command of what troops were there – they remained there something like a month.  From there they marched to Fredericksburg, Virginia where they only remained a few days and continued their march to the head of Elk in Pennsylvania, where they joined General Washington’s army.  {Yes – the General Washington – future President George Washington!}  From there they went to Philadelphia, by the way of what was called “the floating bridge” on the Schuylkill {River}.   

The Army remained some time in Philadelphia, how long he does not distinctly remember, but according to his recollection, he was in Philadelphia on the day that independence was declared.  {Did you just get the goosebumps?  I did – this is American history in action!}  He was in the Battle of Brandywine [September 11, 1777] where he received a wound in the right arm near the shoulder.  This wound was given by one of the British dragoons with a sword.  {When I first read this I thought that a “dragoon” was a type of weapon; however, I found out that it was actually a type of soldier known as a Dragoon Guard.  This designation was given to refer to a certain type of cavalry regiment in the British Army.}  The wound is now distinctly to be seen, or rather the scar which the found first ??? and will be visible while he lives.  At the same time and as he suppose from the same sword, he received a wound in the right hand, which in like manner has left an indelible mark.  After the Battle of Brandywine, he went with the main Army into winter quarters at Valley Forge, there a great many of the North Carolina troops died, and this declarant, with others, was transferred to the Company commanded by Captain John Somers of Somers.  The name of the Lieutenant was McGibboney.  The name of the Ensign was Blount Whitmil. 

He states that previously to going into winter quarters at Valley Forge, he was in the Battle of Germantown.  The winter of 1776 they occupied Valley Forge as winter quarters.  The following summer, and according to his recollection, on the 17th day of July 1777, he was in the Battle of Monmouth.  They remained, he says in Jersey, the winter of 1777.  The following year, the period of his enlistment which was for three years, expired, and he obtained a discharge, signed by General Washington{I wonder what that would be worth if we had that now??!}  His father’s house was burnt in Anson County, North Carolina, at which time his discharge was burnt.  This was during the war, and while this declarant was in the militia service.  He had gone out as a substitute for his brother Joseph Kerby or Curbo, and the discharge had been left with his father, John Kerby.  The whole period which he served his country was six years and three months; but, he was only three years in the regular or United States Army.  He experienced many privations and hardships while in the militia, and on one occasion, at the capture of Charleston, was taken prisoner.

After, reading and digesting William’s testimony, I was overwhelmed with the wealth of information it contained.  I wondered – was William Kerby just a fanciful story-teller?  Or did he really live out this very fascinating piece of our American history?  The oral family history insists that “William and Joseph were present when Cromwell surrendered to General Washington.”  At first I thought – sure – wishful thinking!  Now, I’m not so quick to disregard this family story.  I found out that he was in fact not a storyteller – all of his claims are historical fact.  (See my notes below regarding the people he mentions in his testimony.)  In the end, William’s testimony was credible and the Judge ruled favorably by stating,,,,,and the said Court does hereby declare their opinion that the above-named applicant was a revolutionary soldier and served as he states.  

Captain Thomas Harris, the Army officer that William claims to have enlisted with, did in fact exist.  He was a resident of Iredell County, North Carolina.  His pension hearing took place on 24 May 1821.  On his oath he declared that he joined the continental army in April 1776 as a captain in the Fourth North Carolina Regiment and served in that army for {page torn} years in which time he rose to the rank of Major.  He then on account of his health and other circumstances resigned his commission but afterwards went out in the Militia and acted as Aid to General Griffith Rutherford and was wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of Camdon  on 16 Aug 1780.

The following commanding officers – all served in the Revolution – actually existed – and are documented:

Thomas Polk – born abt 1732 in Pennsylvania – was one of the original settlers in the area now known as Charlotte, North Carolina.  During the 1750s, this area was located in Anson County, North Carolina.  In 1775, Thomas was one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.  He was a revolutionary war officer and rose to the rank of Brigadier General.  He died in June of 1794.

George Davidson – born abt 1738 in Ireland – was a Captain who commanded the First Regiment of the North Carolina Line from Sept. 1775 to Feb 1777.  He later rose to the rank of Colonel of the North Carolina Militia.  He died in Iredell County, North Carolina.

John Summers/Somers – He served in the North Carolina Regiment as Lieutenant and later as Captain.  He was taken prisoner at William’s Plantation in July of 1780.  He retired from military service in 1883.

Patrick McGibboney – was a Captain with the Fourth Regiment, North Carolina Continental Line.  He was born in Scotland about 1743 and died in Greensboro, Gilford County, North Carolina in February of 1804.

Thomas Blunt Whitmill – was known as Blunt.  His widow filed an application for his pension.  She stated that he was a Lieutenant in the North Carolina Continental line.  She states that her husband received a land grant for his service; that he participated in the Battle of Brandywine.  She stated that her husband died in September of 1798.

General Francis Nash – was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1742.  Early in his life his parents moved to North Carolina.  At a young age, General Nash became a merchant, attorney and Justice of the Peace.  In 1775, he was elected Lieutenant Col. of the First North Carolina Regiment, Continental Army.  He took part in the expedition to Charleston – and was in short order promoted to Brigadier General.  He received orders to march his troops north to join the Army of General George Washington.  While in the north, General Nash commanded a bridge at the Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania where on 4 Oct 1777 he was mortally wounded.  Further, when researching life in the City of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War, I found out that what is now known as Market Street Bridge is located where Market Street crosses the Schuylkill River.  Before the bridge was built, the citizens depended on ferry boats and a couple of crude floating bridges to cross the river.  While the British were in possession of Philadelphia during the war, there existed a pontoon bridge at this location and later a plank floor bridge of floating logs.  I suppose this could be the “floating bridge” of which William speaks in his testimony.

Stay tuned for Part 3 – brick walls – a contest – and a prize !!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Curbow, Times and Places

 

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Chasing the Curbow Brothers – Part One

Some days I get thoroughly disgusted with trying to track down my brick wall ancestors. Why don’t they make their presence known to me?! I am sure the answers to my unsolved mysteries are right under my nose – I just need to practice patience – not always one of my strong virtues.

My husband’s ggg-grandfather, Tilman P. Curbow was born around 1821 in Georgia. It is believed (but not yet conclusively proven) that he is the son of Henry B. Curbow. Henry was born sometime around 1770 in Anson County, North Carolina (probably near Wadesboro). Many children have been attributed to Henry so it seems likely that he had more than one wife over his lifespan. He spent most of his life in Georgia and then came west to Texas. He died in the spring of 1850 in Cass County, Texas (which was formed from Bowie County, Texas in 1846). Based on Bowie County Tax Rolls along with a claim filed with the Republic of Texas, we know that Henry was in Texas as early as 1846. Now – (and here is where my lack of patience kicks in!!) I know I shouldn’t jump ahead when there are still so many unanswered questions about Tilman and Henry – but I want to know!! Who are the parents of Henry B. Curbow?! According to the vast majority of trees on ancestry.com (which are in large part not documented or sourced) the parents of Henry B. Curbow were John Corbo (various spellings) and Ann Phillips (who married near Baltimore, Maryland).

So I decided to search the early census records – and I found no John Corbo. In fact, the first census (1790) only yielded one Curbow – and that was Henry Carboe who was living in Edgefield County, South Carolina.

In the 1800 census I found two Curbow families – both in South Carolina: (1) Joseph Carbon (Edgefield County) and Henry Kerbow (Barnwell County).  Operating on a gut instinct that there had to be some sort of a family connection, I started researching Joseph. I found out that Joseph was a Revolutionary War soldier who eventually settled in Gwinnet County, Georgia. I also noted that Joseph was born in Maryland. Once I obtained Joseph’s Revolutionary War Pension application, I discovered that Joseph had a brother named William Curbo who stepped in and fulfilled his enlistment when Joseph was injured. I had trouble locating William’s Revolutionary War service records because he is indexed as “William Kerby.” After reading, reviewing and digesting William’s Revolutionary War application for a pension, the pieces started to fall into place.

Based on the applications, these are the things we know for sure about the John Corbo/John Kerby family:

Father:  John Kerby (or Curbo) – lived in Anson County, North Carolina during the Revolutionary War period; his home was burned by the British during the War.  In the database entitled: North Carolina Heads of Families at the First Census of the U.S. Taken in the Year 1790 there appears among other Kerbys, a “John Kerby.”

Sons of John Kerby:

John Kerby (or Curbo) born abt 1768.  He appeared in Court in September of 1833 in Jackson County, Tennessee and testified on his brother William Kerby’s behalf confirming William’s Revolutionary War service.  He stated that he (John) was 65 years old in 1833.  (Could this be John Curbow whose wife was Abigail?)

William Kerby (or Curbo) born abt 1758; Enlisted in the Army at the age of about 17 in the year 1775 – served with Capt. Thomas Harris in the 4th Regiment of the North Carolina line; residing in Anson County, North Carolina near the town of Wadesborrough; He states in his affidavit that he is illiterate; He filed his application in Jackson County, Tennessee, with the judge making a notation: William Kerby, or as it is sometimes written, William Curbo, aged 74 years on the 6th of July;   Brother John Kerby (Curbo) states in his testimony that he was present when his brother William Kerby enlisted and joined the company….that his brother marched off in said company and did not return for three years….that he was aware of William’s ‘surcharge’ and had read it and that it ‘was burned in his father’s house.” 

James Kerby (or Curbo) – said to have also been a Revolutionary War soldier. Brother John Kerby (Curbo) states in his testimony about his brother James Kerby (Curbo), that James Kerby enlisted at the same time, marched at the same time in the same company, returned at the same time, and had always understood from James that they (James and William) had both served out their full term of three years.  He also stated in his testimony that James died many years ago.

Joseph Kerby (or Curbo) – born about 1755 in Maryland; Revolutionary War Soldier; application filed from Gwinett County, Georgia; Served: Capt Thomas Harris, Col. Polk, 4th Regiment; also resided in Anson County, North Carolina; married to Mary Corbin; DAR has “associated” applications for John Curbow and wife Abigail on file.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – I think you will agree, William’s pension affidavit reads like a chapter out of your American History book!

Let me know how you have been successful in breaking down those brick walls with your own ancestor search.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Curbow

 

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Honoring Our Veterans

Our combined family consists of dedicated veterans who have served, fought and died for our freedoms in every American conflict starting with the American Revolution all the way through to the present conflict in Afghanistan.  We have had family members who served proudly in every branch of service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines – and even the United States Coast Guard.  Some of our veterans suffered greatly as prisoners of war; some have received Purple Hearts; some just quietly served and never spoke of their experiences – many more served during peace time around the world.  I am proud and grateful for each and every single one of them.  The sacrifice to the veteran and his family cannot be measured.  Today we stand up and remember you – and we thank you for your sacrifice and service to our country.  Without you there would be no us.

Below is only a small sampling of our family members who have served our country valiantly.

American Patriots:  James Curbow; Joseph Curbow; William Curbow; Leonard Miles – American Revolution

Willis D. West – Texas Revolution; Siege of Bexar

James L. Atwood; Tilman P. Curbow; Wiseman Curbow; John Montgomery Ham –Civil War

William Henry Lytle; Nathaniel Sheridan Murry; Frank Edward Story – World War I

Roy Orville Curbow; David Alfonso Montoya; Leonard Lee Setliff; Milton Pete Zimmerle – World War II

Gene Oliver Curbow – Korea

Richard Ernest Montoya (my father); Roy Oliver Curbow, Jr. – Vietnam

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Odds and Ends, Times and Places

 

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