The Journal of the Lawrence County

(Tennessee) Genealogical Society

Vol. 9 No. 1 Fall 2005

Table of Contents

compiled by Lila Gobbell


From the Editor

Kathy is recovery from eye surgery, but it is a slow process. She is back to work on a limited basis. Donna, Kathy’s daughter, has married and moved to Texas. We will miss her at the Archives. Rita Preslar is the new employee replacing Donna Niedergeses. The editor encourages society members to attend quarterly meetings, and would like input for programs. He reminds everyone of the "First Families of Lawrence County". Since the family history fair was cancelled for this year, let us know what you think about this activity for the future.

History of Lawrence County Schools: 1817-1996 – Part I by Kathy Niedergeses

Editor’s Notes: I have taken Kathy’s work and prepared it to be used in a series over the next several journals. As a native of Lawrence County and as a former educator, I was very interested in this research. Since this is an unfinished manuscript, Kathy requests that you do not publish the material except for small excerpts. In this first part, I will list all the schools we know. Then, I will treat several of the schools separately. [ In the listing of the schools, there is approximately 240]. Only a small amount of the information on each school is listed in this table of contents.

Alabama School/New Liberty, Antioch School (1), Antioch School (2), Belew/Long Branch School, Long Branch/Belew School, Bethel School (Old), Bethel School (New), Blue/Belew Spring School, Center Point School (1), Center Point School (2), Fairview School (1), Fairview School (2), Gums Springs School, Henryville School, Intercession School, Pickney School   
                                                                  (To be continued in the Winter 2005 issue of the Journal)

Burris – Part I compiled by Dorris D. Hendrickson – submitted by Leona M. Milbourn

The progenitor of the Burris family in Pope County, Arkansas, was William Burris, b. bet. 1780-90. The area of Lawrence County, Tennessee, where William Burris lived was near the Crowson Fork Road, just west of Lawrenceburg. Several court records are mentioned in this article. William was on the 1840 census of Lawrence County with his age given as 50-60. Most of the family left Tennessee about 1830. William Carroll Burris, son of William Burris is on the 1840 census close to his father. There are no Burris’ listed in the 1850 Lawrence County, TN Census.

The children of William Burris are believed to number between nine and twelve. Nine are well identified. 1) John, 2) Richard C., 3) William Carroll, 4) James Littleton, 5) Matilda, 6) Lucinda, 7) Nancy, 8) Franklin Marion, 9) Jonathan. A list of William’s grandchildren was supplied by Mrs. Corrie Rankin Womack and prepared by her mother, Mrs. Mary Jane Jones Rankin, a great-granddaughter of William. (To be continued in the Winter 2005 issue of the Journal)

Lawrence County Court Clerk Wills – January 1829 to October 1847 (continued from Summer 2005) abstracted by Wallace Palmore

October Term 1845 through February Term 1846

Keith (widow), Years sustenance; James H. Wasson, Guardian Settlement; Daniel May, Guardian Settlement; Nathaniel Christian, Guardian Settlement; E. N. Lindsey, Years Sustenance; E. N. Lindsey, Sale of Property; W.W. Matthews, Guardian Report; Wm. W. Matthews, Administrator Settlement.

Mystery Families and Photographs

These pictures are from a group given to the editor by Druscilla Beuerlein. Left top is not one of this group. It is an older gentleman donated by Mrs. Evelyn Crouch. Right top is of a little girl. On the back: Devenport The Photographer, Waxahachie, Texas. Bottom left is of a young woman and small girl, and bottom right is of probably two young boys.

Obituaries and Death Announcements From Local Newspapers – Part IV (continued from Summer 2005) compiled by Donna Niedergeses Davis [below is a list of some of the names in the obituaries and an abstract of the info that each contains. For a copy of the actual obituary, contact the Lawrence Co. Archives at the same address and phone number as the society or by email ]

Elizabeth Howard

Nehemiah Howard

W. H. Howard

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Huggins

Annie Ophelia Johnson

Mrs. M. A. Johnson

Joseph Jones

Baby Frank

John B. Kitchens

John Lacroix

Nenie Lambeth

Cornelia Sue Lambeth

Edwin Lewis Lester

Mr. John Lincoln

Dr. Abner Lewis Logan

Mrs. Eska Mann

Elisha Martin

Dr. R. A. Massey

Major Frank Matthews

Col. Thomas J. Matthews

Miss Mamie A. Matthews

Benjamin Franklin Matthews

Maria Theresia Meser

Felix Zollicoffer Metcalfe

About Our Front Cover – Bonnertown School by Kathy Niedergeses

The school was built around 1909-10. Located in southeast Lawrence County close to the Alabama line at the crossing of Rabbit Trail Road and Pulaski-Florence Turnpike. Around 1913, a new frame school was built which was also used as a church. As the town grew, a new 4 room, two story wood school was built on the same site where a brick building was built later in 1941. In 1922, there were 189 students. In 1923 and 1924, a Junior High was added. A Cafeteria was completed in 1948 and in 1962, a vacant room was remodeled into bathrooms and a library. The Bonnertown school was consolidated in 1972 at which time the students were sent to Five Points. The building still stands today.

LCGS Membership Update compiled by Kathy Niedergeses

New Members: Charles LaCroix, researching Johnson, LaCroix, May Sutton; Mary Lindsey, researching Bennett, Gamble Prince Pugh; Myra Piland, researching Cross, Curry, Green, Moss; Nellie Rosendale, researching Abbott, Bennett, Gamble, Gilley Pugh; Elsie Tyler, researching Tyler. There are also several changes in e-mail addresses and addresses.

The Spears and McGee Connection by Lila McGee Gobbell

Joseph Spears b. ca 1758 d. before Aug. 5, 1844, was in Giles County by 1812. He filed for Rev. War Pension in 1818 in Lawrence County, TN. Joseph’s oldest son, Hasten Spears married Mary (Polly) McGee in Maury County, TN on August 20, 1817. This was before Lawrence County was established. The youngest son of Joseph Spears, John R. Spears, married Sarah (Sallie) McGee, the youngest child of Henry McGee II and Mary Kilburn, and sister to Mary. Hasten Spears died before 1870 and in land disposal – land deeds from Hasten Spears’ estate - the estate settlement listed six children, Sarah, Mary, Eveline, and the heirs of three son, Levi, Joseph, and Barnett. In the 1850 Lawrence County Census, the children of John R. and Sarah Spears are Nicholas, Calvin, Hasten, John W., America, and Malissa. Mary McGee Spears died sometime after 1870. Sallie and John R. Spears made property over to their son, John W. Spears on October 12, 1887. John R. Spears died at his home on June 22, 1889. Contact the society or the Lawrence County Archives for additional information.

The Book Nook reviews by Kathy Niedergeses and Lila Gobbell

Obituaries of Lawrence County, TN 1900-1919; 2005, Obituaries of Lawrence County, TN 1920-1929; 2005 and Obituaries of Lawrence County, TN 1930-1939; by Nancy Crowder; 2005. These are the latest in the series of obituary books compiled by Mrs. Crowder. All of Mrs. Crowder’s books starting in 1900 and going forward by ten year periods through 1994 can be purchased by contacting the Lawrence County Archives, 218 N. Military Ave., Suite B-1, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464.

The Story of Two Tennessee Families; Edwards – Hyder, by Ernestine Ratchiffe Edwards; c1997. The marriage of David Samuel Edward of Unicoi, TN, and Ida Fairfield Hyder of Carter County, TN, in 1911 brought together these remarkable families.

Pleasant Grove Cemetery: Monuments, Names and Dates with Cemetery History, by ???, 2005.

A plat has been drawn showing the location of all known graves. A person can easily be found by using name or reference numbers.

Walking with the Past: The Bryant Family History, by Lillian Vernie Bryant Glasco, edited by Norma Glasco McKeever, her daughter. This is an updated and chronological version of an earlier manuscript The Bryant Family that was reviewed in the September 1998 issue of the Journal.

Growing Up Between The Plow Handles, by Jimmy Thomas. The author relates his memories in a series of short stories. He begins with a short family tree starting with his father, Walter Claude Thomas, b. Jan. 26, 1883, son of Columbus Lafayette Thomas and Dovey Mariah Ioway White.

Four other books have been donated recently by Gerald K. Moore.

1860 Census of Wayne County, TN by Edgar Byler; compiled for computer by Gerald K. Moore

Slave Owners In the 1860 Census Of Wayne County, TN, by Judy Myrick Miller

1897-1903 Prices At The Helton Drugstore Waynesboro, TN

1930 Wayne County, TN Census, by Gerald K. Moore

Index Volume 9, Number 1 (Fall, 2005)

Welch and Drake Reunion – Saturday, October 8, 2005 –Descendant of James and Lucy Asenith Welch, George W. and Elitia J. Drake Welch, and Joel B. and Ellitia Myra Benthall Drake.

Last Updated February 13, 2008                Return to Society's Main Page