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Old Settlers
Sunday, 12 June 2005
Thomas W. Cross 1826-1897
Thomas W. Cross was born February 1, 1826, in Louden County, Virginia. His father--Mr. Lee (first name unknown), came to America from England and settled in Louden County, Virginia, where he became a plantation owner. His mother, Ms. Cross (first name unknown) was a servant on the Lee Plantation. In 1851 at the age of 25, Thomas moved to Hocking County, Ohio. It was said, that his father took him there to give him his freedom.

On October 7, 1852, Thomas was united in marriage to Catherine Harper. Catherine and Thomas had 12 children, eight born in Ohio and the youngest in Michigan. Their names were: Elizabeth, John, Joseph, Mary, Elsworth, Thomas, Edward, Catherine Jane, Amos, Ida, Priscilla and James W. On June 22, 1863, at the age of 37, Thomas enlisted into the Army, in Athens, Ohio. He spent three years with the Wagner Co. C5 Reg. United States Colored Infantry of the Civil War, serving with the Ambulance Detail in Virginia and the Carolina's. He, as a Negro, received one-half the pay rate of a White solider. Thomas was mustered out of the Army on September 20, 1865. He returned to Ohio.

Thomas bought a farm in 1869 two miles north of Remus, MI. Because it was inexpensive to buy land he was able to purchase 40 acres for a price of a horse. He owned a total of 160 acres. Their son Amos was born in 1870. Amos married Mary Mumford in 1893. To this union six children were born: Homer, Arthur, Anna, Roscoe, Evelyn and Clifford. They stayed on the family farm. Amos Cross died in 1957 at the age of 87 and Mary died in 1960 at the age of 84.
courtesy of the Old Settlers website.

Posted by bneson at 1:06 AM EDT
Saturday, 11 June 2005
Earl Melvin Guy Obituary 1879-1948
Earl Melvin Guy, 69, (colored) resident of 200 Monroe street, died today at 2:10 a.m.(Nov 30, 1948) in Newark Hospital where he had been a patient
since Sunday. He was taken ill last Thursday.
A former resident of Zanesville, he had been employed here as a janitor in local business houses.
Born Sept. 17, 1879 in Zanesville, he was the son of Charles A. and Samantha (Tate) Guy.
Survivors include a brother, Jay Guy of Cleveland, and two sisters, Mrs. Maggie Stewart of New York City and Mrs Anna Woodson of Findlay.
The body is at the Bounds Van Wey Funeral Home. Funeral arrangements have not been made.

Probably a Licking County, Ohio newspaper.
Obituary courtesy of the Licking County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society Library

Posted by bneson at 6:13 PM EDT
Tuesday, 7 June 2005
Benita's memories of German friends and small town growing up
More about one of the "Homecoming" memories that often come to mind. What I am about to recount, may or may not have happened at the time we went to see my Grandmother when Aunt Etta brought her home to visit the farm.
At a certain "Homecoming," I remember a relative-in-law who had come from Chicago. He kept saying repeatedly, "I came to see what a small town is like on a Saturday night." In fact, he said it too much; so, we were very happy when evening began to fall and we were, finally, headed for Mecosta "to see what a small town is like on a Saturday night." OKAY?!? (Laughing)
Well, it was going to be a big night! A movie was going to be shown in the outdoor theater. Guess what the theater consisted of? A street curb to sit on and the side of a white corner building that acted as a screen for the projected film. I kid you not! I can't remember a thing about the movie itself, but I have a vague recollection of going to a drugstore to have treats from the soda fountain. However, I remember the ride back to Grandma's house, vividly, because the relative-in-law, began repeating, "Now, I know what it's like on a Saturday night in a small town." That became our theme song until "Homecoming" was over, the next day, and then our farewell song.
Lansing, MI had a large German population when I was growing up there. Many of our friends were German, so I learned the taste of goat's cheese and goat's milk -- ugh!!! -- and we ate sauerkraut and weiners. I loved the latter! In fact, we ate sauerkraut and weiners in our home, so regularly, that I didn't know it was considered German food. I was so disappointed to learn that I didn't like the product of the goat, because I had loved the book Heidi, and I had licked my lips in anticipation of enjoying Heidi's and her grandfather's favorite evening meal of goat's cheese on bread along with goat's milk. What a disappointment!!!
We lived in a trailer on the farm of German friends of ours, one summer, when I was a young girl. The mother and her daughter were musically gifted. The mother played the harp, and the daughter played the piano. They taught us how to sing every song in our hymn book. Some days, we would take a picnic lunch, and do our ministry work in a rural area. During lunch times, we'd park the car on the side of a quiet, country road, and we would sing together, the mother and daughter adding harmony. It was a beautiful and memorable experience.

courtesy of Benita Porter.

Posted by bneson at 10:36 PM EDT
Sunday, 5 June 2005
Molly Welsh or Walsh (immigrated as indentured servant abt 1683)
SOURCE Benjamin Banneker book by Bedini: pg 7 "It was in this region that our story begins, with the arrival of an Englishwoman named Molly Welsh, at about the turn of the century. There is no certainty about the correct spelling of Molly`s last name inasmuch as no documents relating to her have survived. Both "Welsh" and "Walsh" have been used, but it is likely that the former is the correct version. Young Molly, a servant or milkmaid on a cattle farm, said to be in Wessex County, England, was doing her chores at milking time, when a cow knocked over a pail of milk. Her employer accused her of stealing the milk." pg 8 "The voyage from England to the New World was a terrible experience for anyone, but for the transported convicts it was almost unbearable." pg 9 "The great uncertainty about the length of the voyage invariably caused problems in providing sufficient food and water for passengers and crew. Since the food consisted chiefly of bread or ship biscuit, salt meat, peas, and cheese, the difficulty arose primarily from lack of space for storage. The passengers generally received the same rations as the sailors, consisting of a weekly allowance of seven pounds of bread, cheese and butter, and a weekly allotment of one half pound of pork, with peas on five days...Shipmasters disposed of the felons and indentured servants as their vessels moved up the Chesapeake Bay to the river landings, their planned arrival duly announced in the local newspapers...their contracts were sold, and they became indentured servants. Molly Welsh arrived in the provence of Maryland around 1683...which may have been Providence (later renamed Annapolis) or Londontown...Purchased by a tobacco planter with a plantation on the Patapsco River." pg 11 "Molly worked out the period of her indenture faithfully and without incident. She was reasonably well treated by her master, and she made use of her time by learning as much as she could about this new country, so different from her own...Finally, around 1690, Molly won her freedom...She had neither money nor other forms of legal tender...Her only prospect was to rent a small farm for a modest fee, to be paid annually in tobacco...Her new home was in the midst of wilderness...At first she worked alone...She had no friends...She was evidently very industrious, and became a successful farmer." Molly was against slavery but had no alternative. pg 13 "She finally selected two young male Negroes from those offered. One of them looked particularly healthy and strong, and she quickly visualized his usefulness on the farm. The other lacked those characteristics, but there were qualities about him that she could not identify but which appealed to her...Molly`s hopes were quickly realized in her first choice, and her fears were confirmed with the second...The strong slave, whose name has not survived, proved to be extremely energetic and willing to work...The other slave was otherwise inclined...he was not disposed to work willingly." pg 16 "After several years had passed, Molly Welsh gave her two slaves their freedom." pg 17 "Molly Welsh`s unnamed diligent slave joined the Christian faith, but Bannka held to the beliefs of his African ancestors, as well as his name, which eventually was changed by popular usage to "Banneky". Soon after Molly`s slaves became free, she married Banneky, probably in about 1696. She did so at considerable risk to her own freedom." They have 4 children and then Bannka dies at a young age. This leaves Molly with raising her 4 young children alone. pg 24 "According to the testimony of one of her grandsons, Molly Welsh was not only a white woman, but also had a very fair complexion and blonde hair. Yet every member of her family, including children and grandchildren, were of black complexion, some of the darkest hue."

Posted by bneson at 11:41 PM EDT
Molly Walsh Bannaky
a Review I had written for a children's book about Molly Walsh. It was written for The Legacy, the bi-annual journal of the LEETE Family.
Be lucky, Michael

My review of MOLLY BANNAKY by Alice McGill;
1999: Houghton Mifflin Co, Boston, MA.

This is a book is a delight. The illustrations (by Chris K Soentpiet) are lovely, and very evocative of primitive Colonial life in the early eighteenth century, and the story of Molly Bannaky is simply and beautifully told by Alice McGill.

Molly Walsh was a serving girl in England who was convicted of stealing a pail of milk for which the penalty was death on the gallows. Because she could read, she ‘called for the book’ and invoked a provision that had its origins in the days of Henry II, grandson of William the Conqueror. Initially, the idea had been that the secular Courts would send members of the Clergy accused of a felony to the Ecclesiastical Courts to see what their verdict should be. By degrees this ‘benefit of clergy’ was extended to all those who could read the Bible (usually Psalm 51 in which the first verse, appropriately, is ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.’) but, also by degrees, the Judges substituted a form of exile as their sentence.

Accordingly, Molly Walsh was transported to Maryland as an indentured servant for a period of seven years. She is thought to have arrived there in the year 1683.

The rest of the book, which may be read aloud to children in little more than ten minutes, tells how she survived the seven years of servitude, acquired land of her own and married a slave that she had bought to help her grow tobacco. His name in Africa had been something like Bannaka and he may have been of a royal family in Senegal, where a period of upheaval and war had filled the holds of the slave ships with all sorts and conditions of its people.

Molly and Bannaka had four daughters and the only son of Mary, who may have been the oldest daughter, was Benjamin Banneker, perhaps the most famous Afro-American of all time. A man of most extraordinary achievements in his day: he carved himself a wooden clock; he assisted in the survey of the ten mile square of Washington DC (a seat of government conceived to accommodate fifty States when there were but thirteen) and he compiled an annual Almanac with the principal purpose of enabling people in remote areas to set their clocks.

In 1980, the US Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp depicting Benjamin Banneker.

If I had to offer any criticism at all, it would be that it is obvious that Alice McGill has never milked a cow in her life.

Posted by bneson at 11:33 PM EDT
Moses C Guy-Isabella County Deaths 1914
Isabella County Deaths
-----------------------------------------------------Rec No. Date of Death Full Name Sex/Color Single/Married Years Months Days Place of Death Cause of Death Place of Birth Occupation Names of Parents Residence Date of Record

33 Apr 25, 1913 Moses C Guy Male/Black Widow 84 10 8 Rolland twp Bright's Disease Ohio Farmer Loyd Guy Not Given May 26, 1914


Posted by bneson at 10:39 PM EDT
Lett- Civil War enlisted men
A Few More LETT enlisted men Civil War
Posted by: Mel Lett Date: November 13, 1999
In Reply to: Re: CIVIL WAR-yesterday and today! by mel lett of 2015

http://www.ancestry.com/dailynews/militaryDBs.htm >>
From: ttellem

LETT Soldiers;
American Civil War Research Soldiers based on the compilers figures,
Name State ServedEnlist Date Enlist Rank Enlist
AgeEnlist PlaceArmy-------birth dates approx.(ages)
Eli Lett Massachusetts-06 June 1863 Priv28 Union b 1835
Aquilla Lett Michigan 01 September 1864 Priv 35 Lafayette Union b.1829
Enamuel Lett Michigan 16 February 1864 Priv 29 Waverly Union b.1835
George W LettMichigan 05 October 1864 Priv 26 Union
John Lett Michigan 10 October 1863 Priv 29 Detroit, MI Union b.1834
John Lett Michigan 10 October 1863 Corp l23 Sodus Union b.1840
Jonathan Lett Michigan 02 November 1863 Priv 22 Sodus Union b.1841
Joseph Lett Michigan 11 January 1864 Priv 17 Kalamazoo, MI Union b.1847
Samuel Lett Michigan 31 August 1864 Priv 26 Grand Rapids, MI Union b.1838
Samuel Lett Michigan 05 October 1864 Priv 22 Union
William Lett Michigan 20 August 1864 Priv 43 Detroit, MI Union b.1821
Zachariah Lett Michigan 14 December 1863 Corp l43 Vandalia Union b.1820
James Lett Ohio 10 October 1862 Priv 32 Union b.1830
Alfred S Lett Ohio 19 August 1862 Priv 21 Union b.1841
DeWitt C Lett Ohio 15 August 1862 Priv 22 Union b.1840
William Lett Ohio 08 December 1863 Priv 25 Union b.1838
William H Lett United States Colored Troops 10 September 1863 Priv 18 Union b.1845
Samuel Lett United States Colored Troops 10 September 1863 Priv 24 Union b.1839
Daniel Lett United States Colored Troops 22 June 1863 Priv 23 Union b.1840
Clarkson Lett United States Colored Troops 31 August 1863 Priv 21 Union b.1842
Milton Lett United States Colored Troops 24 September 1863 Priv 18 Union b.1845
Alvin Lett United States Colored Troops 09 January 1864 Priv 19 Union b.1845
James Lett Ohio 29 September 1864 Priv 34 Union b.1830
John W Lett Illinois 06 August 1862 Priv Union b. ?
James H Lett Illinois 04 August 1862 Priv Union b.?
Thomas C Lett Vermont 28 July 1864 Priv Union b.?
Othias Lett United States Colored Troops 03 September 1864 Priv Union b.?
John S Lett Ohio 12 January 1864 Priv 18 Union b.1846
Malin Lett United States Colored Troops 16 July 1863 Priv Union b.?
Thomas J Lett Illinois 05 September 1861 Bugler Cicero, IL Union b.?
Sherrod Lett Illinois 12 February 1862 Priv Union b.?
Hannibal G Lett United States Colored Troops 28 September 1864 Priv Union b.?
Henry Lett New York 14 December 1863 Priv 23 Buffalo, NY Union b.1840
Jesse T Lett New York 02 September 1864 Priv 39 Avon, NY Union b.1825
Henry Lett New York 14 December 1863 Priv 23 Buffalo, NY Union b.1840
John Lett Iowa 21 September 1861 Priv 19 Union b.1842
Andrew J Let Iowa 27 June 1862 Priv 21 Union b.1841
John Lett New York 01 December 1862 Priv 28 Buffalo, NY Union b.1834
William D Lett North Carolina 14 March 1862 Priv 24 Moore Co., NC Confederacy b.1838
Green H Lett North Carolina 31 October 1864 Priv Raleigh, NC Confederacy b.?
John W Lett North Carolina Priv Confederacy b.?
G W Lett North Carolina 22 August 1862 Priv 30 Wilkes County Confederacy b.1832
William Lett North Carolina 22 August 1862 Priv 28 Wilkes County Confederacy b.1834

Posted by bneson at 10:30 PM EDT
George Washington Lett Biography b 1837
Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1893.

George W. Lett, a successful general agriculturist of Sodus Township, Berrien County, Mich., has with efficiency discharged the duties of office, and as Deputy Sheriff of the county for two years gained a wide acquaintance and the high respect of all with whom he came in contact. Mr. Lett was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, November 5, 1837. His parents, James and Margaret Lett, were thrifty and industrious people, and trained their family to habits of sturdy self-reliance. Our subject, the eldest child, early began the struggle of life, and enjoyed but little opportunity for regular schooling, his education being gained mostly from the private instruction of his father. Remaining at home until he had attained his majority, George Lett then decided to try the farther West, and journeyed to Michigan, remaining a short time in Berrien County, but soon returning to Ohio, where he then engaged in farming upon his own account. About five years after, he again came to Michigan, and here enlisted in the service of the Government, in 1864 joining Company I, On Hundred and Second Michigan Infantry, under the command of Col. Chipman.

The regiment went from Detroit to Beaufort, S. C., and from there afterward proceeded to Gray's Island, relieving another regiment placed in charge. At the end of eight months, the One Hundred and Second Michigan Infantry was ordered to march, and made their way to Savannah, Ga., guarding that point until the regiment took part in the Georgetown raid. Their next movement was to Charleston, S. C., then to Orangeburgh, S. C. and from the latter point to Columbia. Finally the regiment went into camp in North Carolina, but was again ordered to Charleston, where the troops disbanded, and the soldiers of each regiment were honorably discharged. Our subject had passed through many perilous scenes without suffering a wound or imprisonment, but on his way to New York encountered an unexpected danger, which, however, terminated without serious disaster to him. Upon the way to New York the vessel became disabled, and the troops were cast adrift in Delaware Bay, but by keeping close to the shore Mr. Lett and a number of others were saved from imminent death.

As soon as mustered out, our subject returned to Sodus Township and entered upon the land purchased for him by his father when he was twenty-one years old. The acres were all in a wild state, and without loss of time Mr. Lett began clearing and cultivating the fertile soil, which has since yielded so abundantly. Sixty acres, finely improved and containing a comfortable house, barns and other buildings, attest the industry and energy of their owner. In the month of March, 1864, George W. Lett and Miss Diley Ann West, daughter of Henry West, or Kentucky, were untied in marriage. Five children have blessed the union. James W. is at home; Martha Ann married Isaac Reed, and lives in Berrien Centre; Franklin is with his father on the home farm; Cora married Herman Holiday and resides in Sodus Township; and Letha married John Goans and lives on the old homestead. Our subject is a member of the Christian Church, and also holds the official position of Deacon, and has ever been a liberal supporter of the cause of religion and especially interested in the extension and influence of its good work. Politically a Republican, Mr. Lett is well posted on the issues of the day, local and national, and is as loyal and true a citizen as when, so many years ago, he gave himself to the service of his country. He has for many years been a prominent factor in the progressive enterprise of his locality, and is ever ready to do his part in all matters pertaining to the public good.

Posted by bneson at 10:06 PM EDT
Eddie L. Lett Obit 1956
Eddie L. Lett:
Eddie L. Lett, a trucker, died of pneumonia yesterday at his home, 515 S. 22nd, at the age of 54. He had lived in Parsons the past 17 years. His parents, Manervia Lett and James B. Lett, both of Kansas City, Kas. survive. He also leaves three sons, Benny, Ronnie and Jimmy Lett, all of Parsons; a daughter, Carol Lett, Kansas City, Mo.; four sisters, Leona Claggett, of the home; Stella Dixon, Buffalo, New York; Beatrice Lasker, Oakland Calif., and Elizabeth Grove, Manitou Springs, Colo.; a brother, Elmo Lett, Kansas City, and two nieces and two nephews. He belonged to a Methodist Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. Funeral arrangements will be in charge of the Frey Funeral Home. They have not been completed.

Posted by bneson at 10:03 PM EDT
Hocking County 1840 Census-Grandison Norman
Census Records Hocking County 1840 Census

This early census record does not list the individual members of the household. Only the head of the household is listed with hash marks in various columns indicating the age range of people in the household. Question marks indicate unsure spelling of names. Unless otherwise indicated, these people are listed as “free colored persons”

Green Township

Head of Household Occupation Neighbors Ages of Household Members
Under 10 10 to 24 24 to 36 36 to 55 Over 100 Gender
Elizabeth Worrick Manufactures and Trades Peter Hoodlit and George Skivers (both are white) 1 2 Male
2 1 1 Female
Grandison Norman Agriculture Grandison Norman and Joseph D. Clark (white) 2 3 1 1 Male
1 1 1 Female
Grandison Norman (dif) Agriculture Jesse Norman 1 1 Male
1 1 Female
Jesse Norman Agriculture Leverst? Fulford (white) 1 Male
1 Female
Michael Stevens Agriculture (white) Wm Cokely and Elijah Lett 1 2 1 Male
1 1 1 Female
Eijah Lett Manufactures and Trades Michael Stevens 2 1 Male
1 1 Female
Frederick Stevens Agriculture Obediah MFarlin 2 1 Male
2 1 Female

Ward Township

Head of Household Occupation Neighbors Ages of Household Members
Under 10 10 to 24 24 to 36 36 to 55 Over 100 Gender
Alfred Hickson Agriculture Jollife and Williams 1 1 Male
1 1 Female
George Norman Agriculture Elias Cook and W.T. Arnold ( both are white) 3 1 Male
1 Female

Posted by bneson at 9:26 PM EDT

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