Monthly Archives: January 2014

Cops For Cats

This is not about genealogy but about another passion of mine!

It’s very cold in Chicago and it’s going to get colder before it warms up. This is a plea to my Police friends, I’m not going to bore you with details of the number of cats that are out there homeless and unloved, just know that there are a bunch!

Over the summer I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful woman, Georgia. This woman devotes an enormous amount of her time, gas and money to help feral and stray cats and kittens all over the city! What she and I do is called TNR, that’s Trap, Neuter, and Release. Cats form colonies and if there is a “feeder” (one who feeds them) then George (she prefers that name) traps them, gets them “fixed” and returns them to their colony.

She has made it possible for a number of areas to be targeted for this service, Englewood is one, as well as Pilsen. This is all done for FREE! What doing this means is females can’t have anymore kittens and males don’t spray 🙂 So the population remains stable.

Here is just a little information about feral cats,

I’m reaching out because the Chicago Cops I know are some of the most compassionate people ever under all that blue! I’m asking for a couple of things…OK maybe more than a couple, but I promise it’s not much! LOL

1. Build or buy a Winter Cat Shelter, here are instructions for building one. or you can buy a couple from To save even more money what I’ve done is taken cardboard boxes, put Styrofoam insulation inside, lined the bottom with heat reflecting sheets that you can pick up in sporting goods stores, put in some batting I had laying around and then put in some straw. Then I put the whole thing in one of those heavy duty contractor bags and taped it up!IMG_3350 IMG_3351

Is it pretty? Nope, but it does the job!

2. Reach out to George on Facebook, she has a page called Chicago TNR Ask her what you can do to help or just hit me up!

See, I told you it wasn’t much! And please share this with any and everyone you know who might be willing to help. Don’t make me call a 10-1! LOL

Thanks guys!

Donna, Ms Beat 735

The Browns’, Simmons’, Stith’s and Wimp’s Of Meade County, Kentucky And Corydon, Indiana

This blog is dedicated to my Aunt, Barbara E. Shannon, 1931-1992, who began the search for her mother’s ancestors so many years ago. She complied an enormous amount of material, which included, but is not limited to, copies of wills of my great great grandmothers owners, land records and newspaper clippings. She intended to publish her research in the form of a book titled Parables.

This is from her book;  Author’s Note

“For the most part, the historical events depicted in this book are based on true occurrences and can be documented. Further, in most instances, the real names of those who participated in the events portrayed have also been used. Of course, some fictionalization of details was necessary in order to add clarity and substance to the story line.” copyright; Parables by Barbara E Shannon 1984.

I would love to transcribe her stories for you, they are fascinating! But until I can determine who her copyright belongs to since she had no children, I’ll just have to present what I have based on her research in my own manner.

As to documentation, some I have been able to locate on my own and some came from copies she obtained. I am currently seeking the documents I am missing that would substantiate the information.

Alford Brown, 1828 Kentucky -1982 Corydon, Indiana and Emeline Wimp, 1837 Meade, Kentucky-1919 Corydon, Indiana were my great great grandparents. And here is a small portion of their lives.

Emeline was born in either Jan. or Feb. 1837 in Meade County, Kentucky she was born a slave,  on the farm of Jonathan Simmons. Her father’s name was George Stith, he came from Virgina with his family, Jack and Annie Stith and their owners, the Stith’s. Milley, Emeline’s mother was born in Kentucky and may have been a slave on the Simmons farm since that’s where George and Milley met.

George and Milley had ten children, Mahaley (died at age 12), Henry, Deliah, America (may have been Milley’s mother’s name), Malinda, Mary, George Jr., Sanders (called Sandy), Moses and Emeline.

April 21 1824 Jonathan Simmons died, four months after his death the Meade County Courts appointed three people to administer his estate. William Wimp was one of the administers. Now Milley had been bought and sold several times but was kept in the Simmons family, this time she was sold to Joseph Simmons but her husband, George went to Jonathan Simmons Jr. Jonathan Simmons Inventory pp 26-28

From the Bullitt County, Kentucky Will Book B 1823-1838 GEORGE   1824 estate sale for estate of Jonathan Simmons left in Meade Co. – Jonathan Simmons Jr. purchases “A Negroe George” for $355.00

Simmons InventorySimmons Inventory pg 7Simmons Inventory pg 8Simmons Inventory pg 10

Joesph Simmons died three years after buying Milley..and she gets sold again, only this time to John Wimp Jr.

It’s 1836 and Milley has three children, Henry, Mahaley and Malinda. In the twelve years since Milley and George were separated and sold they each were sold two more times. Eventually they both wound up in the Wimp family, they were back together again after twelve years!

Sometime in September of 1836, Mahaley died of consumption and Milley was pregnant with Emeline. Owner, John Wimp was the father.

1830 Slave Schedule John Wimp
1830 Slave Schedule John Wimp

Perhaps as George and Milley walked away from the grave of their daughter my grandmother, Emeline kicked, kicked to let her mother know that the darkest hours are just before dawn and that dawn was coming!

This is just the beginning of life for Emeline Wimp Brown, there is so much more!

Keeping up with The Jones’ of Bossier and Caddo Louisiana

Because I had so much trouble tracking my grandmother, Eunice Sarah Franklin, I decided to see if I could locate any of her mother’s family and perhaps I could track back.

My great-grandmother, Julia Ann Smith was said to have had four sisters. To date I’ve only found three. One of the sisters, Rosa Smith, was born July, 1887 in (possibly) Shreveport, Louisiana, died October 1975 in Shreveport.  She married Ulysses Jones Sr. and this is where the Jones journey begins!

Ulysses was born June 28, 1886 in Homer, Louisiana which is a town in the Parish of Claiborne. He married Rosa Smith November 24, 1906. On a trip to Shreveport I was able to obtain a copy of a deposition/affidavit that was was given in 1954 by Rosa’s aunt, Lula Jackson attesting to the marriage.

Affidavit of Marriage Rosa Smith Ulysses Jones Sr

This union bore nine children, Sarah, Aretha, (which was spelled Ireca in the 1930 census), Buelha, Ulysses, Douglas, Malcolm, Sam, Harvey and Evelyn. That’s a lot of Jones’ to keep up with!

The 1900 census shows Ulysses Sr. 18 years old living with his mother Rosa Jones, (yes, another Rosa) and siblings. In this census his name is spelled “Vlis” (had fun time with that one!) It also shows his birth information as December 1886. But his World War I Draft Registration card shows D.O.B. as June 28, 1884 – presumably filled out by him, which is why I chose to use that information.

Draft Card for Ulysses Jones

I noticed that Ulysses stated that his present occupation was farming and that his employer was Neyoh/Neaoh Smith. Could this be “Noah” and could this person be related to his wife’s family? Another mystery to investigate!

I was unable to locate Ulysses or Rosa in the 1920 census but I did find them in U.S. City Directory, 1821-1989 living at 1307 Royal St. On my trip to Shreveport, I found that their home was no longer there.

Moving into 1930, we find Ulysses and Rosa living at 1305 Royal St with all of their children. His occupation is listed as Watchman for a Cotton Mill. For the question of Age At First Marriage there’s 24 for him and 14 for her! Doing the math I think there’s some ‘splaning to do!

In the 1900 census Ulysses is listed as 13, D.O.B. December 1886.

In the 1900 census Rosa is listed as 12, D.O.B. July 1887.

Ulysses and Rosa married in November 1906.

Daughter Sarah was born in 1906/1907.

In the 1910 census Ulysses is 26, Rosa is 24. It’s magic – now 2 years apart!

In 1918 Ulysses filled out a Draft Card stating he was 33 D.O.B. June 28, 1884.

No 1920 census.

In 1930 Ulysses is 48, Rosa is 38. More magic, 10 years apart!

In 1940 Ulysses is 48, Rosa is 44. He hasn’t aged one single day! But she, on the other hand, has by 6 years! Sarah is now 31..Mmm..

On the death certificate dated June 3, 1954 for Ulysses, his age is listed as 67, D.O.B. June 28, 1886, Rosa is listed as 64!

Are you keeping up with the Jones’?

I will probably never know the reason for the discrepancies. Were the date of births different because they really were unsure what year they were born? But you would think that Ulysses’ mother would know if he was born when it was cold, December or warm, June! Was the marriage date fudged a little to account for a child, Sarah, born out of wedlock? Did the census taker talk to someone other than the family? The information for the Death Certificate was more than likely provided by someone other than Rosa. These and other questions may never have answers but it’s kinda fun trying to keep up with the Jones’ of Bossier and Caddo Louisiana!

And just think, I have nine other Jones’ to track down!

A Conversation, A Tip and a Clue, A Visit to Kansas

My Mom called me yesterday to wish me a Happy New Year, we had already exchanged text messages the night before. I still can’t get over her learning how to send text messages, go head Momma!

She asked me what I was doing and before I could get it out she said, “looking for dead people, I bet.” Of course she was right…Once again I complained how I couldn’t find her mother, Eunice Franklin before 1930 and that I wasn’t sure if the Eunice Franklin in the 1930 census from Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri was even her!

I started reading the names to her of the other household members, John White, Elizabeth White, Virginia White, Orange White, Samuel White, Rosemary White, Ednamay White, Elizabeth White, Florence White, Artelia Jones and Lucy Brown. She said, very calmly I might add, “Oh, those are Mother Dear’s (that’s what her daughters called their mother) cousins, I don’t know who that Jones woman is or Lucy Brown.” I’m like, “WHAT?” “Yeah, I remember Mother Dear talking about Orange, I think I even met him once.” “Maaa..!” “What?” “You never mentioned any of those names!” “You never mentioned them to me either and when you read them I remembered.” “You’re right, I shoulda asked. Thanks Ma, but now I gotta go, I gotta go find me some more dead people! With a name like Orange White I should be able to find a bunch more information! Love you, talk to you later.”

Just for kicks, I searched and found five males with the name of Orange White for 1900, 1920 and 1930! But I put him to the side to investigate later. I wanted to know if Elizabeth White was my great grandmothers sister. Several hours later I had my answer and more questions!

Why did I have to track Elizabeth? I come from a family of women, my great great grandmother had five girls, I’ve only found four, my great grandmother had two girls, my grandmother had three girls, my mother had three girls, her sister had two girls and her younger sister had one girl. That’s a lot of women!

Yes Elizabeth was my great grandmother’s sister and now I have her married name! I have no idea who “Artelia” Jones might be, I suspect the name may be something else but I can’t decipher the handwriting. And I don’t know who Lucy Brown is..but I will find out!

I STILL can’t find Grandma Eunice before 1930 but now I know she went to Kansas City for a visit.

I’m hunting and untangling.