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Curbow Family in America – Overview – Part 1

Many years ago, when I initially began to delve into the history of my husband’s Curbow family, I was told by immediate family members that three Curbow brothers came to America from Ireland – while still other researchers stated that the Curbow’s were French Huguenots who fled France to escape religious persecution. In addition to this oral history, I ran across a 1949 newspaper article published in the Southwestern Times (a Houston, Texas publication) entitled, Local Couple to Join Six Varieties of Kerbow at Cooper.  The article goes on to detail a Kerbow family reunion which was to include all spellings of the surname – Kerbo; Kerbow; Kirbo; Curbo; Curbow and Kuehrbeaux.  The article claimed that the family (no matter the spelling) is descended from a Joseph Kerbo of Edgefield County, South Carolina, and in particular, is descended from one of the 45 French Huguenot families which settled just south of the Santee River at old James Town, South Carolina in 1680.  To date, I have found no real sources to substantiate any of these family stories.

southwesterntimeshouston-vol5-no46-ed1-thursday-august-4-1949

Published Southwestern Times Houston on Thursday, August 4, 1949, Vol. 5, No. 46, Ed. 1

 

To be sure, we do have a Joseph Curbow in our line. He was a North Carolina revolutionary war soldier, who did live for a period of time in the Edgefield District of South Carolina but later settled in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  Joseph is believed to be one of our Curbow ancestors – we just don’t have the information yet on how he ties into our family line.  I believe that the French Huguenot ancestor being described in the Southwestern Times news article is Jean Carrieŕe who did in fact settle in Old James Town, South Carolina on the Santee River.  Old James Town was located about forty miles north of Charleston and was settled by French Huguenots who established the first Huguenot Church there (The French Santee St. James).  In Jean Carrieŕe’s naturalization record, he was described as a cooper and a planter.  He was born to Jean and Elizabeth Carrieŕe in Normandy, France.  According to relevant parish records, he did marry and he did have a son named John.  A Jean Carrieŕe (possibly the father of this immigrant) was denizened in England in 1700.  A land warrant was issued in South Carolina on 3 Jan 1701 for the survey of 200 acres for a “John Careau.”  I believe that we can disprove – or at least cast heavy doubt on the theory – that this Jean Carrieŕe is our Curbow ancestor.  The timeline is much earlier than what we know about our Curbow ancestors and this information does not fit our Curbow family migration pattern (Pennsylvania to Maryland to North Carolina to South Carolina to Georgia and then into Texas).

The Curbow surname does appear to be of French origin. As used in America, it may be an Anglicized form of the French surname Courbou(x) or Courboules. In that instance, Curbow is derived from the village named Courbou(x), in the Lat and Haute-Saone region of eastern France. Alternatively, it could be an Anglicized form of Courbeu(x) or Corbault. In that case, the name derives from the French word corbeau – which translates raven.

In genealogy, your family history research must begin with the known facts about your ancestors and work itself to the unknown.  After almost ten years of researching, I have hit a major brick wall with my husband’s 3x great grandfather, Tilman P. Curbow, and so I have decided to do something that any professional genealogist would warn you against.  I have skipped forward by several generations of known Curbows – and have started working my way down the family tree.  By doing this I hope to get a clearer picture of the Curbow family as a whole and possibly glean some answers as to who Tilman Curbow’s parents were.

Have any of you ever researched “down the family tree”?  What are your strategies in breaking down brick walls?

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Jean Corbeau – the immigrating ancestor –

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Posted by on September 18, 2016 in Curbow

 

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Hitting the Lotto – Family History Style

Over the last several years, I have reconnected with many of my Montoya uncles, aunts and many cousins.  Most of them I barely know – some of them I have never met – most live in Utah and California.  One of my younger cousins (everyone is younger than me these days), Syndi, set up a family group page for us on Facebook.  There we have shared our lives with each other – told family stories – and exchanged family pictures.  We are all the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jose Celestino Montoya – and we share his common ancestry.  In this family line there is a real interest in learning about our family heritage – I wish it were so easy with every family line!  I am planning a trip to Utah next year where we are hoping to organize a family reunion.  Really looking forward to that.

This brings me to the point of this short little entry – you just never know when a brick wall will fall, when you find a new document or story, or when a new and spectacular photograph of your ancestors will surface.  While cleaning and sorting through some things at her mother’s house, my cousin, Melissa, found this old photograph tucked away in the pocket of an old jacket.  Thinking perhaps that the younger man was our grandfather, Joe C. Montoya, she posted it on the family page on Facebook for identification.  I immediately recognized the woman as being Juana Martinez Montoya, my great-grandmother.  Sure enough – according to the writing on the back of the photo the people in the photo are:  Juana Martinez Montoya and Maximiano de Herrera Montoya (my great-grandparents) and their youngest son, Raymundo Montoya.  Raymundo died in 1939 at the age of 20 years – which dates the photo prior to 1939 (probably taken in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico).

I love this photo so much because it is only the second photograph that I have seen of my great-grandparents.  As my father aged, he looked just like Max does in this photo. (I inherited those great big giant ears too.)  When I look at the face of my son – I see these men in him.  After receiving the photograph – I walked around with a giddy grin on my face for days.

A huge thank you to my family – and especially Melissa – for your willingness to share what you know and what you have.  Together we are weaving our family story.

MaxJuanaReymundoMontoya

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Montoya

 

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~ Husbands Coming out of the Woodworks ~

One of the lessons that I’m learning in my family research is that you never really know everything there is to know about an ancestor – and you cannot make assumptions! And just when you think you know it all – a new record collection pops up on line to shed new light on the life of someone that you’re researching.

Sallye Emeline Curbow – photo perhaps taken at Sanatorium

And so it was recently with my husband’s great aunt, Sallye Emeline Curbow.   Sallye is the daughter of Charles Franklin Curbow and Ida Bell Howard. She was born in Denton County, Texas in September of 1913. Once her parents divorced, she can be found with her father Charles working at the Texas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Tom Green County, Texas.   I was unable to locate a Sallye Curbow in the 1940 census – but suspected that she would be near her father Charles – who was still in Sanatorium during that time period. Going through the census for Tom Green County, line-by-line, I did find a Salle E. Ivie employed at Sanatorium. She is 26 born 1914 in Texas; she is married to John H. Ivie; living in Dorm 2 of State Tuberculosis Sanatorium. I had long suspected this was Sallye Emeline Curbow; however, I had no proof of it.

Enter the new collection on ancestry.com:   U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 which provides information filed with the Social Security Administration through the application process and sometimes provides valuable details for researchers.   In Sallye’s application, I hit the jackpot because when she applied for a Social Security card in August of 1943 – she did so as Sallye Emilline Ivie. Bingo! By June of 1953 her name had been changed to Sallye Emilline Lawson.

Once the marriage to John Henry Ivie had been established, I began scouring the newly updated Texas, County Marriages Records database on FamilySearch.org and lo and behold, I found not one marriage record – but two marriages for Sallye Curbow prior to her marriage to Frank Floyd Lawson (the only known husband to date).

  • Sallye Curbow was 17 years old when she married 23 year old Sam Barton Collier on 11 Sept 1930 in Tom Green County, Texas. Since she was a minor, her father C. F. Curbow gave permission for the marriage to take place.   This couple did divorce – and Sam B. Collier married his second wife, Mary Velma Lewis, on 2 Sept 1936 in Tom Green County, Texas – so the divorce took place prior to that date – and probably in Tom Green County, Texas. Mr. Collier was also present at Sanatorium and working as a painter during the 1930 census period, and this is presumably where he met Sallye. Mr. Collier was born to William Christopher Collier (1859-1932) and Virginia Lee (b. 1871) on 16 Jul 1907. He died 23 Aug 1968 in Dallas County, Texas. Sallye and Sam had no children.

Marriage Certificate: Sallye Emeline Curbow x Samuel Barton Collier

 

  • Sallye Curbow was about 26 years old when she married 18 year old John Henry Ivie on 18 Jan 1940 in Tom Green County, Texas. Likewise, this couple also divorced. When Sallye applied for a Social Security card in Aug of 1943, she did so as Sallye Emeline Ivie. John Henry Ivie marries his second wife, Dortha B. White on 2 Apr 1945 – so the divorce would have taken place prior to this date – probably in Tom Green County, Texas. Mr. Ivie was also present at Sanatorium during the 1940 census period, working as a waiter, and again, this is presumably where he met Sallye. Mr. Ivie was born to Knox Bell Ivie (1894-1978) and Mary Cammie Conner (b. 1897) on 14 Oct 1919 in Angelina County, Texas. He died 18 March 1985 in Tom Green County, Texas. Sallye and John had no children.

Marriage Certificate: Sallye Emeline Curbow x John Henry Ivie

 

The photo comes from researcher Ronald James Rodgers. He states that John Henry Ivie was his uncle. His family told him that the photo is John with a “girlfriend” named Lola (last name not known). I strongly believe the woman in the photograph is Sallye Emeline Curbow. What do you think?!

SallyeCurbowandFrankLawson

This picture (though not great quality) was originally thought to be Sallye with her husband Frank Lawson. Now I feel like it’s probably young Mr. Ivie. What do you think?

  • Sometime prior to June of 1953, Sallye married her third (and final) husband, Frank Floyd Lawson. The date of marriage is only an ESTIMATE – based on Sallye’s U.S. Social Security application where in Jun of 1953 her name is listed as Sallye Emilline Lawson. When Mary Curbow interviewed Bob and Evelyn Horton Stone (close friends of Sallye’s) some years ago, they stated that Sallye and Frank married right after World War II. On Frank Lawson’s U.S. Army enlistment papers – dated 6 Mar 1942 – he lists himself as “married,” this however, could be referring to his first wife, Josephine.  The location of the marriage is not known – no record has been located.  If the marriage took place in Tom Green County, Texas then it is not appearing in the database with the other two marriages.  The more likely scenario is that they met and married in Pecos, Reeves County, Texas – where Sallye is living at the time of her father’s death in August of 1955.   Mr. Lawson is the only husband that is not located in Sanatorium, Texas – which also leads me to believe she did not meet him there. Mr. Lawson was born to Frank Isaac Lawson (1888-1973) and Annie Josephine Drake (1895-1982) on 24 Mar 1915 in Bell County, Texas. He died 22 Nov 1980 in Temple, Bell County, Texas. Sallye and Frank had no children.
SallyCurbowandFrankLawsonandDonCurbow

Sallye Emeline Curbow with third husband Frank Floyd Lawson and nephew

Kudos to ancestry.com and familysearch.org for all the work they do for the genealogy community!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Curbow

 

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Legends and Myths

Do you remember playing the childhood game called “telephone” – the game where the first person in line whispers a phrase into the second person’s ear, and the phrase is then repeated down the line? When finally at the end of the line, the phrase almost always ended up being vastly different than what it was at the outset. And so it goes with family stories – sometimes they are true, but many more times, they are simply family legends and myths.

I receive weekly contacts and inquiries from other genealogy enthusiasts who are hunting the same family lines that I am. Nearly everyone has a story to tell – a story that has been handed down through the generations about their ancestors. Some of the family stories that I hear most often include:

Our family has Native American ancestry. Our great-grandma was a Cherokee Indian Princess.” This story never varies – it’s always a Cherokee – never another tribe – and it’s always a female princess – never a male king, prince or chief. 🙂  The majority of the Curbow researchers that have contacted me have made this same assertion. I have done extensive research on several Curbow lines and have never found proof of Native American lineage and there has been no Cherokee Indian Princess lurking among the ancestors! From the Cherokee Museum: The Cherokee never had princesses. This is a concept based on European folktales and has no reality in Cherokee history and culture.19041452

Our family is related to Jessie James, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, Kit Carson, Daniel Boone , etc., etc., etc.” Of course, it’s only human nature, to want to lay claim to one of these American legends and place them in our family tree. It is also true that not everyone with the surname James can be traced back to Jessie James – and not everyone named Boone can trace their roots back to Daniel Boone. Such a relationship can only be proven by diligent research and proper sourcing.

Our first American ancestors were three brothers who came to America…..” I ponder the fact that it’s never five brothers or six sisters – always three brothers!!! I hear this family story very often and so it was with our Curbow family. When I first seriously began researching the family all I had heard was: “Three brothers came to America from Ireland.” None of this proved to be even close to the truth. Do your research!

I’ll share a few of our own family stories that l have been researching:

Brothers, Joseph Curbow (1755-1850) and William Curbow (1757-?) were both Revolutionary War soldiers. The family story states that both Joseph and William were present at the British surrender in Yorktown in 1781. Fact or fiction?

Lieutenant-Colonel John West was said to have committed adultery against his wife and left her to live with Cockacoeske – Queen of the Pamunkey – and purportedly a cousin to Pocahontas. Fact or fiction?

One of the “Curbo girls” married into the John Wesley Hardin family. The “Curbo boys” ran with the gang and are responsible for burning down the Courthouse in Hill County, Texas in the late 1870s. Fact or fiction?

With all this said, I do believe that most family stories begin with a smidgen of truth. In other words, where there is smoke there might be a fire. Take it all with a grain of salt and do your own research being careful to source every fact.  The family story that has been passed down to you may be a starting point that leads you to breaking through a brick wall and compiling a very successful and interesting family tree.

Happy Hunting !

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Odds and Ends

 

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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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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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