I previously posted about my search for Mollie Pilkington Canaday Logan’s headstone in Pineville Cemetery in Pineville, Kentucky while on vacation this year.

After returning home, I transcribed Julious’ obituary and began to dig into his family (I have no idea why…it’s an addiction!). I sent his granddaughter in Illinois a message asking if she knew anything about him (i.e. siblings, parents, etc.). She thought she remembered he had a couple of brothers. The obituary mentioned four sisters and a brother. So, I started looking.

I knew Julious was born about 1880 in Alabama (from census records) and that he and Mollie married after the 1920 Census was taken (he is a boarder in the household of Mollie’s brother, who she is living with in 1920…her first husband died in 1919). So, I searched the 1910 Census for Julious and found nothing. I went to the 1900 Census and searched for him, adding a sibling name (Addie) from the obituary. Ta-da! There he was in 1900 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, in the household of his father & mother, along with NINE siblings!

Over the next week or so, I dug into his family, searching for death information, obituaries and burial places.

When I got to his brother, William (Willie T. Logan on the 1900 Census), I couldn’t find him. So, I did a search on findagrave.com for William T. or Willie T. Logan in Tuscaloosa County (most of the siblings are buried in that county). No matches. I broadened my search to include all of Alabama and at the bottom of the list that came up was a “Will Logan” and it was in dark print, meaning that it was a memorial that I, myself, had made and posted on findagrave. Hmmmm. I clicked on it and up pops a headstone and the information for a Will Logan buried in Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery in Pinson, Alabama….where tons of mine and my husband’s family are buried. Seems I had posted the memorial and the picture of the headstone, but had not researched who this man was. So, I looked up his death information (familysearch.org has some transcribed information from Alabama Death Certificates on its website) and it showed his father as William Logan and his mother as Rebecca Watts. This Will Logan was William T. Logan, brother to Julious Logan, and he was buried in amongst more of my family members.

Walter Lee Logan, another brother of Julious, died in Cullman County, Alabama and is buried in Bethsaidia Cemetery near Good Hope. My great-great-grandmother, Susan Goodwin, along with other family members is also buried in that cemetery.

I haven’t yet connected William or Walter to other lines in my tree, but I probably will eventually.

Genealogy creates a very small world.

In 2013, when I was asked to do a presentation on the Canaday line of my family tree, I worked for several months to find descendants in that line and fill in blanks. I was able to track the family of Elisha Canaday (brother to my great-grandmother) from Jefferson County, Alabama to Pineville, Kentucky and beyond.

Elisha died in Jefferson County prior to the birth of his last son in 1919. His wife, Mollie Pilkington Canaday, remarried and moved to Pineville with her four Canaday children. Mollie and her second husband, Julious Logan, had two more children. The daughter, Rebecca Neoma Logan, died at age three. The son, Charlie, married, had children, and ended up in Illinois.

Logan Family


While working on that branch in 2013, I was able to track down the widow and a daughter of Charlie and made contact with them. They were invited to the Canaday Reunion held in Johnston City, Illinois, and they came, along with a son and daughter-in-law of Charlie. Over the past four years, they have graciously shared information on Charlie and his Canaday siblings, along with photos, obituaries, and burial places.

When planning our vacation route this year, I planned a side trip to Pineville, Kentucky, where Mollie was buried. I wanted to see her headstone and photograph it for myself.

The day we arrived (Wednesday), it was raining. We located the cemetery and drove through looking for Logan stones. We saw a huge one near the middle of the cemetery and stopped in the drizzle to see if it was Mollie and family. It wasn’t. A man working in the cemetery asked if he could help and I told him who I was searching for. He had no idea where Mollie might be buried, but sent me to a funeral home in town. We located the funeral home and I went in to see if they could help me find the Logan plots. Although very helpful, they weren’t able to pinpoint the location for me. We drove back to the cemetery and I was going to start walking and looking, but about the time we arrived, it began to pour rain. Oh, well!

We left Pineville, headed north, for our vacation.

On Tuesday of the next week, on our way home, we made another detour through Pineville. The weather was beautiful, so we parked in the middle of the cemetery and started walking it…my husband on one side of a section and me on the other. We walked one whole section and started on the one below it. About four or five rows in on my side, I noticed a couple of stones over a row from where I was and thought, “I don’t remember seeing those on my way down the hill.” So, I stepped over to that row and glanced at the 5-6 stones that weren’t in an actual row and kept walking. I took about four steps up the hill and thought, “Did I just see a Logan?” I stepped back down the hill and there she was! There were no other Logan headstones around her and I almost missed her.

After taking a photo of Mollie’s headstone, we drove to the public library and I was able to find an obituary for Julious Logan. I wanted to see if his obituary told where he had been buried. It showed that he had been buried in the I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows) Cemetery. I had a phone number for the funeral home we had visited on the previous Wednesday, so I called to ask where that cemetery was located. Turns out the Pineville Cemetery and the I.O.O.F.  Cemetery are the same one…the name had been changed!

If Julious is buried next to Molllie, he doesn’t have a headstone. We didn’t have time that day to walk the entire cemetery, but maybe one day I’ll get to go back. One of the Canaday children is buried there, too. I would really like to find his headstone.



Looking at online trees makes me hyperventilate.

Genealogy has always been of interest to a select few in every family. But, since the internet made information more accessible and “Who Do You Think You Are” (and shows like it) made it THE thing to do, interest has sky-rocketed. Unfortunately, interest doesn’t equate with making sure the information is correct when newbies post an online tree. There are SO many trees posted online now that have incorrect information in them that I try my best NOT to have to look at them. Sending emails to the person who put incorrect information in their tree is (mostly) a waste of time. Either they don’t have a valid email address, they ignore your request to make a correction, or they insist they got the information for another online tree and therefore, it HAS to be correct. Getting information from another online tree is NOT a source!

A couple of researcher friends commented this past week that they found trees where the:

  1. Man’s death date is prior to his marriage date.
  2. All of the children were born before the father/mother’s marriage date.
  3. Civil War pension files are attached to a man who died 100 years before the Civil War.
  4. Children were born years after the death of parent(s).
  5. Marriages occurred when the bride or groom were under the age of 10.
  6. Children were born when the mother was in her 60’s, 70’s or 80’s.

These are just a few examples.

If you have an online tree or are thinking about putting your tree online, PLEASE don’t copy information from other trees until you check it yourself and make sure it’s correct. And please, put a source for your information….birth certificate/baptismal records, marriage license, death certificate, census records, military records, burial place/connection to online cemetery information such as headstone photos, etc.

I don’t have an online tree other than a direct line tree on FamilyTreeDNA where I had my DNA tested (as well as my husband, mother, brother and uncle). I have attached some cousins (who have had their DNA tested) to that tree, but it does not include all my research information and never will.

I try NOT to look at online trees. It just makes me hyperventilate.


I guess this is really not a genealogy post, but one of these days my children might be interested in all the places their mother lived.

For the first 17 years of my life, I lived on a little dirt road that didn’t even have a name. It branched off Goodwin Road (which didn’t have a name until I was in my teens), which branched off Happy Top Road. My parents bought 12 acres of land from my father’s uncle and aunt, Andrew and Stella Self Goodwin. They had the house framed up and then finished it themselves.

Happy Top Road

Happy Top Road

When I was 17 (a senior in high school), my parents separated and then divorced. I moved in with my mother, who had bought a mobile home in Fultondale.

I lived there from October, 1978 – August, 1979, when I moved to Boaz to attend college. I lived in the girl’s dormitory there for two years and then moved back in with my mother (in Fultondale).

In October, 1981, I bought a 12×40 mobile home (set up in a mobile home park near Jefferson State Community College) and lived there until August, 1984, when I had it moved to Morris.

I married in December and I moved to Auburn (where George was attending college). We lived in a rental trailer with his roommate from January to June, 1985. We bought our own mobile home , had it moved to the park we were living in already and were there until March, 1987.

Gentilly II

Gentilly II

My husband had accepted a job offer in Carrollton, Georgia and after the birth of our daughter on March 15, 1987, we moved on March 20th into an apartment in Carrollton. Three months later, we bought 3 acres of land with a mobile home on it in Ranburne, Alabama and lived there from June, 1987 to September, 1988.

We moved “home” and bought a mobile home (with the help of my grandparents) and rented a lot next to a cousin’s house from September, 1988 to August, 1995. Our son was born in November, 1988.

For three months (August-October, 1995), we lived with my mother and step-father in Hayden while we had a house built on Cato Road. We moved into our house on October 30, 1995 and were there until August, 2001.

Cato Road

Cato Road

My husband had transferred his employment to Russellville, Alabama, in July, 2001, so in August we moved into a rental house there (infested with fleas!) so the kids could begin the school year. We were in the rental house until September when we moved into a house we bought on Seminole Street.

Seminole Street

Seminole Street

Another employment change for my husband occurred in November, 2005. We sold the house in Russellville and moved to Kimberly, Alabama on December 22, 2005.

Chadwick Court

Chadwick Court

In September, 2009, my husband lost his job and spent 15 months unemployed. He received a job offer and began a new job in Guntersville, Alabama in December, 2010. The commute was too far to drive every day, so he rented a 1 bedroom house in Albertville for the two years it took us to sell our house in Kimberly.

In December, 2012, we moved into a house we bought in Albertville, Alabama.

Albertville, Alabama

Neyman Road

If I count all the times I’ve had to pack my belongings, I moved 6 times before I married (2 of those was to college & back home) and 12 since I married (2 of those include moving in with parents for a short time).

I hope I don’t have to move again, but if I do, there will be an edit to this blog post. (grin)


As I said in my last blog post, getting the Confederate and Union Civil War files for Daniel Cato, my great-great grandfather, has created more questions. Through the years, when I would find mention of Daniel in genealogy records, they stated that he was born in Houston County, Georgia. Several years ago, my mother and I traveled to the Georgia Archive in Morrow, Georgia and spent most of a day looking for any mention of Daniel Cato in the areas that would have been Houston County between 1825 and 1850. We found nothing. So, when I received his Union file and it shows he was born in Houston, Georgia, that got me to thinking…maybe he wasn’t born in Houston County, but in a town/area called Houston in another county. I posted the question on a Georgia Genealogy Facebook page and found that there is a Houston in Heard County and one in Jackson County in Georgia. I checked maps. Heard County is on the Georgia/Alabama line, which would make sense. Other family stories say he was in Coffee County, Alabama for a while and may have married there. Now I need to do some digging in the records for that area and see if I can find anything on a Daniel Cato that might lead me to his parent’s names. My next discovery in his Union file was that on February 20, 1865, he was sent on a “special service with Lt. Sanders beyond the Federal lines”. Hmmmm! A new name to track. Maybe I can find something on this Lt. Sanders that will lead me to more information on Daniel Cato. I did a search on the internet for “Lt. Sanders Co F 1st Florida Cavalry” and up pops an article on Joseph G. Sanders. Be careful what you wish for. Seems Joseph G. Sanders was somewhat of a rogue. Sanders, it seems, was also in the confederacy, but resigned his commission in January, 1864. He returned home, claiming ill health, but soon switched sides. He joined the 1st Florida Cavalry where he obtained a provisional commission as a Second Lieutenant in F Company of that regiment. AHA! The same company my Daniel was in! The article goes on to say that Sanders quickly established a reputation as a bushwhacker and wreaked havoc with local civilians. In early 1865 (this would coincide with Daniel Cato’s records which state he was sent out on February 20, 1865 with Lt. Sanders), he was sent on a recruiting mission and then disobeyed orders, spending four months in the Forks of the Creek Swamp near Campbellton, Florida. He emerged on March 14 to attack the southern Alabama town of Newton, along with 44 men (according to one story I found). The townspeople had been alerted to the attack and were able to ambush Sanders and his men, killing three and wounding five men. An investigation began in June, 1865, when Sanders returned to Pensacola after a four-month unauthorized absence with only eight of the twenty men who had been sent with him. (Daniel Cato’s Union file shows he returned to his company on June 5, 1865.) Sanders was not court-martialed and was allowed to resign on September 13, 1865. So…it seems my Daniel ran with some unsavory characters during his stint in the Union army. I can’t say I approve of his actions, but at least he lead an interesting life. Note: Information for this blog post came from articles found on Wikipedia: (1) Battle of Newton, (2) Joseph G. Sanders and on this website (3) http://www.battleofnewton.org/battlehistory.html I’ve also found that each year, a re-enactment of the battle is done in the town of Newton. I’m making plans to attend next year. (smile)

Cato, Daniel

Daniel Cato – 1865

The Cato line has been a hard one to trace for me. The most distant ancestor I have been able to prove is Daniel Cato, father of David Aught Cato, father of Ralph Tobie Cato (my grandfather).

I have, in the past couple of months, begun to pursue membership in the United Daughters of the Confederacy. While I planned all along to join under another ancestor who served in the Confederate army during the Civil War, I do have some paperwork showing that Daniel Cato served in the confederacy and had planned to file a supplemental form under him. However, the papers I have give very little information so I decided to order his Confederate military file from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

While I was awaiting the information from his file, a cousin forwarded some information that someone else had sent to him about Daniel Cato. My cousin wanted to know if I had seen the information before. Some of it, I had; some I hadn’t. What he shared was apparently written by a great-grandchild of Daniel and Nancy Gilbert Cato and stated that Daniel “had served the South in the Civil War but was so disillusioned from the slavery that he had witnessed on the South Alabama plantations, he later joined the North as a Scout”. Aha! Maybe that’s why I have found very little on his Confederate service!

I finally received the Confederate service file. It contained a cover page and three Muster Rolls. I already had that. He enlisted on February 25, 1863 at Camp Lee by transfer; was a Private in Company I of the 29 Alabama Infantry Regiment; was present for muster (roll call) March through August, 1863. Each Muster Roll is for two months. That’s it. Nothing else.

So, I sent off for his Union file. It took longer to receive, but it contained 14 pages of information and although some of it repeats, it still gives me some interesting information.

On July 6, 1864, Lt. Rowley enlisted Daniel in the Army of the United States (Union) at East Pass, Florida for a term of three (3) years. He was 40 years old, born in Houston, Georgia and was a farmer. His physical description states that he was 5’6″ tall, had blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion. He was mustered into Company F of the 1st Florida Cavalry as a Private by Major Allen on August 3, 1864 at Barrancas, Florida.

Daniel was present for Muster August 23 – December, 1864. On the Muster Roll for January & February, 1865, it states he was absent and in “Remarks” that he was “our scout since February 25, 1865”. On a Company Muster Roll for February 28 – June 30, 1865 in “Remarks”, it states “_____ & brush – wiper, 1 cone w 1 watering br., 1 Sabre belt complete $3.49”.  On a Company Muster Roll for July & August, 1865, in states in “Remarks”: Deserted from Camp Barrancas, Florida August 4, 1865 taking with him 1 carbine & accessories, 1 Sabre & accessories, 1 pistol & accessories, 1 ____ Saddle & equipment, 1 Shelter tent”. A “Returns” document in the file is broken down into three sections and some of it is un-decipherable to me, but what I can make out is this: “Feb ’65 – Absent ____ Scout since Feb. 25-’65 by Special Order 39, Headquarter District West Florida” and “March ’65 and May ’65: Absent _____ on Special Service with Lt. Sanders beyond the Federal lines since Feb. 20-’65”. Then, on a “Company Descriptive Book” column, it includes (along with a repeat of some of the above information), “Absent on special Service by Special Order No. 39 – 1865 since Feby 25/65, returned to the Regt. June 5/65. Deserted from Barrancas, Florida Aug. 4/65”.

The final page is a “Notation” column that says: The Military Secretary’s Office, War Department, Washington, May 26, 1904. The charge of desertion of August 4, 1865 against this man is removed and he is discharged to date August 4, 1865, under the provisions of the act of Congress, approved March 2, 1889. Discharge certificate furnished by War Department May 26, 1904.

So, now I know more facts about Daniel’s service, but the records just create more questions.

Note: If I was unable to figure out what a word was in the file, I put a blank (underlined areas).

I love trees (drawings, photos, old ones in the middle of a field…you get the idea) and I love genealogy (in case you haven’t already figured that out). When I was young and didn’t have any responsibilities (in the good, old days), I loved poetry. I read it and I wrote a little. These days, the only poetry I read or hear is in music lyrics or on facebook.

Around the time I was 13 or 14 years old, I ran across a poem that I loved and although I never memorized it, the line “In trees and men good timbers grow” stuck with me through the years. Last year I searched for it on the internet and found the entire poem and author’s name. I thought I would share it with you. Hope you like it, too.

Good Timber

The tree that never had to fight

For sun and sky and air and light,

But stood out in the open plain

And always got its share of rain,

Never became a forest king

But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil

To gain and farm his patch of soil,

Who never had to win his share

Of sun and sky and light and air,

Never became a manly man

But lived and died as he began.

The stronger wind, the stronger trees;

The further sky, the greater length;

The more the storm, the more the strength.

By sun and cold, by rain and snow,

In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,

We find the patriarchs of both.

And they hold counsel with the stars

Whose broken branches show the scars

Of many winds and much of strife.

This is the common law of life.

by Douglas Malloch


Several years ago, when I began trying to trace my Brasher line, I ran into a mystery that I have yet to solve.

My line back through the Brasher family begins with my grandmother, Velma Lucile Brasher (married Alfred Levi Self). She was the daughter of Manual Alexander Brasher and Sarah Ellen Curry. Manual was the son of William Fate Brasher & Lebeth Goodwin. William was the son of James N. Brasher & Aphra K. H. Graves.

I can’t find any trace of James N. Brasher except in the Blount County, Alabama probate/will records of Aphra’s father, Alexander Graves. In the probate records of her father, she is referred to as Afrey Basher, widow of James Basher and on her headstone, it shows she was the “Wife of J.N. Brasher”.

Aphra married, on July 30, 1854 in Blount County, Alabama, a man named James N. Bicknell (name from marriage license). I don’t know what happened to him either.

I have never been able to find a marriage license for Aphra and James N. Brasher or find them in any census record.

In the 1880 Census for Cullman County, Alabama, Aphra has no husband in the household, but has seven children, all shown as born in Alabama. The 1910 Census shows she had a total of nine children and only five were living in 1910.

To further muddy the waters, William (her son) is shown in the 1900 & 1920 Census as born in Tennessee and in 1930 and on his death certificate, he is shown as born in Georgia. Another son, Benjamin, is shown in the 1900 – 1930 census’ as being born in Tennessee.

With the similarities in the names and the date of the marriage, I have wondered if maybe James N. Bicknell and James N. Brasher were the same person and at some point, for some reason, he changed his last name. The oldest child of Aphra was born about 1855, but died before 1910 and I haven’t been able to find any records on her.

My grandmother, Velma, told me at one time that her grandmother, Aphra, was from Rising Fawn, Georgia. Research into Aphra’s family proved that wrong. Her family came from North Carolina and settled in Blount County, Alabama. I have found no trace of this family in Georgia or Tennessee.

Were James N. Bicknell and James N. Brasher the same person? What happened to him? Were the children born in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia? Looks like I have some more digging to do!

When I married a Hughes in 1984, of course I began to research his families. For a long time, the Hughes line was one of my dead-ends, but I had a break-through in 2003 when I “met” another researcher via the internet. He shared with me that he had a small book he had gotten from his mother, written by Alice Hughes, his second cousin 2x removed. The book confirmed what we had believed for several years…that Jesse was a son of George Hughes and Rhoda Garrett of Laurens County, South Carolina.

Alice mentions in the book that, about 1871, her family traveled from Flowery Branch, Georgia by wagon and settled in Jefferson County, Alabama near her father’s great uncle, Jesse. Alice’s father, John Taylor Hughes, was the son of Matthew Martin Hughes. Matthew’s father was John Hughes, the oldest son of George Hughes & Rhoda Garrett. So that would make John Hughes and Jesse Hughes brothers.

According to records that I have found, it seems that Jesse and his family had come to Alabama and on September 20, 1839, he purchased 80+ acres of land in Township 15, Range 2 West of Jefferson County. In 1857 & 1858, he bought additional land totaling 321.10 acres in Township 14, Range 2 West.

He and his wife, Mary Powell Hughes, raised 11 children to adulthood. They were:
Ary E. (1836-1897)
James Miles (1839-1928)
William Moses (1842-1930)
Rhoda Jane (1843-1917)
George Powell (1845-1929)
Rebecca Laura (1848 – aft. 1920)
John (1850-1946)
Nancy Lou (1852-1926)
Jesse Columbus (1857-1921)
Mary Alice (1857-1917)
Christopher K. (1861-1937)

All census records show Jesse was a farmer and all but one show him as born in South Carolina.

One of his sons, James Miles, ended up in Morgan County, Alabama.
William Moses, John and Jesse Columbus ended up in Texas.
Rebecca Laura probably died in Oklahoma after 1920.
George Powell died in a home for Confederate Veterans in Chilton County, Alabama.
All the other children are buried within five miles of where Jesse and Mary are buried at Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Jefferson County, Alabama.

Jesse Hughes

Jesse Hughes

As I mentioned in a previous post, the parentage of my great-great-grandmother, Mamie Ellison (or Allison) Farley Key, has been a dead-end in my research efforts. Supposedly, her mother’s name was Catherine Gallagher Ellison or Allison and she was Black Dutch. I have a photo of her (Catherine). She weighed about 300 lbs. in the photo and I was told by my grandmother, Gladys, that Catherine died in Cedartown, Georgia. I can find no trace of her in Cedartown.

I had to make a trip “home” to Jefferson County today and after a conversation with my mother last night about Mamie, I decided to run down a lead while in the area.

Sometimes you have to work on a collateral line to get to where you want to go. Mamie had one sister that I have been able to track a little. Her name was Josephine “Josie” Ellison (or Allison) Crawford. Through the information gleaned several years ago from another of Josie’s descendants, I was able to find a granddaughter of Josie’s who is still living. I looked up her address and my mother and I drove to Empire this afternoon looking for the woman. (I had tried calling her phone number in the past, but never got an answer.)

We found the house (finally) and I got out of the car and went to knock on the door by myself. My mother waited in the car. The lady was on the telephone when I first knocked…I could hear her talking through the wall. She didn’t come to the door. I knocked again and I heard her get off the telephone. She came to the back door, where I had knocked, and asked who it was (through the door). I told her my name and she said, “I don’t think I know you.” I said, “No ma’am, we’ve never met, but my great-great-grandmother and your grandmother were sisters.” She said, “Oh, I don’t know anything about that.” So I asked if I could talk to her for a few minutes (still talking through the door, because she hadn’t opened it). She said, “Well, I don’t open my door for people I don’t know.” So, I said, “Okay, I understand. I just wanted to talk to you about Josie and see if you could tell me anything about her.” Her reply was that she doesn’t know anything about Josie and that her son doesn’t want her opening the door for people she doesn’t know. So, I thanked her for talking to me, told her I understood and to have a good day.

I walked back to my car just shaking my head. Another dead-end in my search for information on Josie & Mamie and their parentage, but definitely a memorable search. (grin)