Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Myth Bites the Dust....part 2

Please meet my Great, Great Grandmother Fredonia Bradford Gamblin (nee Green). She was not nor will she ever be Cherokee, according to Twila who was researching her for me.
This is what she said:

"I have been looking and don't find anything on this family that would begin to suggest they have any connection to the historical Cherokee Nation. Fredonia's parents were born in Kentucky and Illinois. The Cherokees never lived in either of these places.

I know people often claim to be from Cherokees in Kentucky, but this does not "jive" with historically known facts. The Cherokees used Kentucky as hunting grounds along with many other tribes, but they never lived there. For the time frame we are looking at for Fredonia's parents, Cherokees would have been born in Georgia, Tennessee or North Carolina. I have never found a Cherokee from the time frame we are talking about born anywhere other than these places.

There are a lot of other reasons I could list that would strongly suggest that Fredonia is not Cherokee, but it would take me hours to list all the reasons. The one above is pretty strong on its own. The fact that the Cherokees were NEVER in Illinois rules out the idea that Fredonia's mother could be Cherokee. And, like I said, they never lived in Kentucky, so that pretty much takes care of her father as well.I hope this helps.

It is nearly impossible to prove a "negative" in genealogy. The best we can do is know the history of the group of people we are talking about and then evaluate the story to see if it matches with that history. In this case, it does not. I know a lot of people will argue and say there were Cherokees in Kentucky, but I don't deal in what "people" say. I deal with what I can find as factual, historical information.

Let me know if I can be of further help.Twila"

I think the stories passed on by our parent, grandparents were just that, stories. In reality I find that kind of sad, it would have been fun to find that she was Cherokee, but no.
I have come to the conclusion that our family is boring, just plain boring. No murders (well....maybe one), no bigamy, no royalty, no great statesman. Just farmers and regular church going folk.
Then again, they were the ones who opened up the west, fought the Indian, fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War and numerous other skirmishes along the way. They were soldiers, farmers, miners, doctors, teachers and many other professions we may never know about. Some loved their wives and stayed true to them long after they were parted by death, some....maybe not so much!
All in all I think we all have a name of which to be proud, I know I am.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Myth Bites the Dust!

I have an acquaintances who does research on the Cherokee and Choctaw nations. She herself is Cherokee and has quite a large data base of information. On the Dawes Rolls is a John Gamblin who I believe is descended from Sion Gamblin (Sion being the youngest son of William and Susannah).
Sion moved to Georgia in about 1820, had a son named Joseph W who in turn had a son named John Henry. I believe it is this John and his siblings who tried to say they were Choctaw Indians, although I have no proof of this......yet, I can find no other family members who fit into this scenario. Below is what Twila has found about the Gamblins on the Dawes Rolls.

"From what we can tell, the Gamblins were ONLY listed on one previous roll of the Choctaw Nation and that roll was an unapproved roll for basis as enrollment on Dawes. We will continue to look at this case, which involves a lot of people, but for now, our determination is that the Gamblins were not able to offer any proof of Indian blood other than that unapproved roll (which was taken after everyone in the country realized they would be giving out Indian land and people rushed into Indian territory claiming to be Indian).

It is always a good idea to be skeptical of people that "suddenly" became Indian when there was land or money at stake.As it stands, without an ancestor with an actual roll number (the Gamblins did not get roll numbers, only were listed on a census card with a number), none of their descendants would be able to register with the Choctaw Nation today.Also, I don't think it can be determined that the Gamblins actually had Indian blood which would make them Choctaw descendants rather than actually Choctaw since nationality is based on citizenship.

Evidence needs to be found somewhere other than just those Dawes applications before they can be said to have actually had Indian blood. Some questions to ask are -Why weren't they always living in Choctaw Nation with the rest of the main body of the nation after the Choctaw removal if they were really Choctaw?Did they only claim to be Choctaw AFTER they learned of the allotments that were going to take place?

How were they listed on all the US Censuses taken between the Choctaw removal (1833, I think) and 1900? My guess is they were always listed as white because that is what they most likely were.

I am sorry I could not be of more help or offer something that says they had Indian blood, but at this time, I just can't say they did. If you have any other evidence, I would be glad to read over it and see how it would figure into this whole question about the Gamblins."

So, basically she says what I've believed all along, there is NO Choctaw blood in this family.

The next "Indian" family lore tale she is looking into is that my Great great Grandmother Fredonia Gamblin nee Green was half Cherokee! There might be some truth to this rumour.....I will update as I get it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Mothers Hand

We have a small cemetery here that I am working on transcribing, There less than 100 graves, but it was started nearly 100 years ago. There are probably 30- 35 older graves that are not marked and the only record of who is there, is in the Burial Registry book.

I contacted the lady who has the book the other day and she invited me over to get the names to add to Find A Grave. While I was there she mentioned that she had 2 books, an old one and one she had rewritten for herself. She asked if I wanted the old one because if anything happened to her or her house all records would be lost - I jumped at the chance to have it!

I was going through it tonight and saw that my mother had been the "recorder" for many years, something I knew but had forgotten. Some of the entries by others were hard to read, the lot and block not recorded, the dates left blank, but my mothers was neat and every i dotted and every t crossed, just like she was in real life. Sadly I noted she recorded her parents burials as well as those of her son, her granddaughter and her husband. How sad that must have been.

This is why so many of our ancestors graves have been lost, only one set of records held in one place, that place is destroyed and all is gone. If there are no headstones in the grave yard to remind us and families move, within a generation or two no one remembers. The fog of time can obliterate all traces of your past.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Package

I received a package today, a package of genealogy stuff - the best kind of package to receive!

In 1995 a man named Albert Smith along with his wife (I believe), wrote a book called THE GAMBLIN FAMILY HISTORY Mid and Southern America. I've been on the lookout for the book for a couple of years now, but have been told it was only printed in a limited addition and is no longer available.
Lo and behold a couple of months ago whilst perusing genealogy websites, I came across a man named Dennis West who was offering to do look-ups from his copy of the book. I was so excited I emailed him and asked where I could get a copy - he said nope, no can do, I have the last copy that was printed. But, he offered to photocopy any info that was of the Gamblins (there are a few other families in the book that are the authors direct relatives) and mail it to me.
Today I received the photocopies.

There is really not a lot that I learned from it, most of the info I have already found from a dozen different sources, but it is co-ordinated. However, there are some glaring mistakes too, such as my 5x great grandfather James is listed as being the son of James Gamblin of Tennessee, he is not he is the son of Joshua of North Carolina/Kentucky. It also says he moved to Texas with his second wife and children - I don't think so. I believe he is buried in Graves Co. Kentucky with his first wife and that his 2nd wife is buried in Ripley Co. Missouri.

The really interesting part is the last few pages he photocopied for me, they are my own family research from 1981! He does mention my name as well as the name of a cousin up here and a woman named Lucille Owings. I sent Lucille a copy of the chart years ago, she must have passed it on to Albert.

Anyway I am going to photocopy the entire package and mail it on to my cousin Debbie in Chicago!

Monday, September 7, 2009


This is Jesse Gough Gamblin, he was born in 1871 in Gamburg, Ripley Co. Missosuri. He was the youngest son of Milo Gamblin and his second wife Margaret Gough, and was named (I would imagine after her brother Jesse Gough. I have to admit we do have some good looking men in our family!
His life has been on my mind lately - he got married at the age of 39 in April of 1910 to Margaret Crowley who was 23 years old and he was dead a year later on June 6, 1911.
He was killed in a Railway accident in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, I haven't been able to find any information on the particulars....yet! Considering it was not written up in any detail in any local newspapers, I am beginning to think it was an accident in the yard rather than on the line. He was an engineer and was supposedly scalded to death by the steam of the engine, a horrific way to die.
He didn't have any children that I know of but in a coincidence almost exactly 24 years later - July of 1935 Jessie Gamblin (a girl) was hurt in a railway accident in Poplar Bluff, Missouri! I haven't figured out who she was yet, but was probably his neice and maybe named after him. I have contact with some of the decendents of Milo's family I hope that one of them can fill in the missing pieces.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Milo's Family

I received some photos today from Susie Patton, a cousin in Washington. They are Milo's children. The first one is Francis Caroline Gamblin Allen (1850 - 1935), she is about 10 years old here. Next is her sister Emily Alice Gamblin Slayton (1860 - 1934) on the left and Francis Caroline on the right. I'm guessing this is taken in the late 1890's.

Last Emily on the left Asher King (1862 - 1939) their brother and Francis Caroline, this must have been in the late 1920's or early 30's in Poplar Bluff, Ripley Co., Mo.
They were all born in Graves County, Ky., but moved to Ripley Co., Mo. when the children were young.
Francis had a daughter - Eve Nina, who's daughter Lucille got me really interested in my family genealogy. It was Lucille who sent me a letter 30 years ago and urged me to get in touch with Susie, as she had lots of family information. Sadly she didn't tell me how to get in touch with her and eventually I gave up trying. Because of the internet Susie saw a message from me and contacted me a couple of months ago!

Friday, July 24, 2009

More musings

I have gone through all the info I have on both Sion's oldest son who is listed as Joshua (born 1808) on his marriage certificate in 1832 and Josiah, who is James' son (born 1828) and brother to my 5x great grandfather.

I think that Sion also had a son named Josiah in abt. 1827/8 but he is not listed on the 1850 census because he was on the way to California or already there somewhere. Although he was able to write maybe he didn't or if he did it was sporadic and he eventually lost contact with the family and through the passing of generations he was forgotten and therefore not listed on any family trees. Forgotten except as "somebody" who went to California and didn't return, lore passed down through the generations.

A letter from a cousin in Illinois I received 30 years ago says that James had a brother "Young" that went to California and was never heard of again. James' brother "Young" was Joshua Younger and his life is well documented. The letter also says that James died early in life as the result of lifting a heavy log at a barn raising - not true James lived until he was in his late 60's early 70's and had a couple of wives and numerous kids. As most things were passed down by word of mouth and an occasional note in the family bible, I think it was "Young" who's name was Josiah (possibly), who died as a result of lifting the log and he was not James's brother but rather his son.
In 1848 James had another son with his second wife and he was also named Josiah, I have often wondered if James fell out with his two eldest sons after the death of their mother, so he just named another kid Josiah. Then again information on census records can be and is transcribed wrong. If the first Josiah did die from the accident, he would have died sometime between 1850 and 1860 in Graves Co. KY. - another grave to look for!

Ewwwww! Crit just asked to be let in and brought me a present - a dead mouse - got to love those kitties and their gifts! Anyway back to my musings.

As that generation were all first and second cousins and some of them probably could write, they may have passed information on to each other. Somehow with the passage of time, Sion's son Josiah and James's son Josiah have become confused. A hundred and fifty years later, I'm confused!

I think I've obsessed about this man long enough, time I turned my attention to the rest of James' children and what happened to them after his death.

I Got It! I Got It!

I received the package from California on Josiah Gamblin. Sadly I don't know any more now than I did! In fact I now have more questions. It is 84 pages of court documents about the sale of his property which was a quartz mine, but there is his obituary. It's really hard to read so I'll write it out rather than scan and post a copy.


The Death of honest Josiah Gamblin

Josiah Gamblin died on Saturday January 14th at his home at Fairplay, aged 62 years. The subject of the notice was born in Georgia and became a miner at a very early age. He came to California in 1850 and engaged in mining near Forest Hills, Placer County. About 30 years ago he lost the use of his left arm by injuries created by a mine caving in on him. He came to El Dorado county 25 years ago and had an interest in the Crystal mine and failed owing a large sum. He went to Calayerus county and there had better luck and sent back $3500.00 to pay his debts, although they were all outlawed. His debts ranged form 25 cents up to large amounts, but he knew just how much each account against him was and paid all. He was a member of the I.O.O.F. of Fairplay, the members of which gave him every attention necessary during his illness. Mr Gamblin could have drawn benefits for the past 30 years from the Lodge, but refused to accept any and kept to work with one hand until he paid all his debts. He owned a quartz mill and mine at Fairplay which he willed to the Lodge. Joshia Gamblin was an honest man and his death is sincerely mourned by a large circle of acquaintances, and particularly by the Odd Fellows. His funeral was on Monday.


There is a hand written note on one of the sheets that says he never married and that he came to California in 1852 not 1850.

My questions are:
If he was born in Georgia was he Sion's son? I have Sion with a son named Josiah, but he was born earlier and he was married and had lots of kids. It is possible that that son's name was Joshua and maybe later he did have a son named Josiah.

Or... did James and Nelly (my direct ancestors) move to Georgia for a time and that's where their son Josiah was born? This is the one that family lore says went to California and was never heard from again.

Were there 2 Josiahs who moved to California? Maybe one died early and the other went on to drive me to distraction!

Who ever he was I am proud to be related and I'm got giving up till I find all the answers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Relatives!

Please meet Myrtle Ann Whitaker Gamblin (1886 - 1977)

Edmon Gamblin (1883 - 1955)

I created two memorials on Find A Grave a couple of weeks ago for Edmon Gamblin (my grandfathers brother) and his wife Myrtle Ann. I went back to check on them and found two lovely pictures some one named Liz had posted on the memorial. I checked on who the contributor was and found she was Elizabeth Bowers , checked my family tree and found she was their granddaughter! Her mother and my dad would have been cousins.

I contacted her via email and we had a good chat, seems when my parents and I were in Missouri in 1979, we stayed with her mother for a night. I just love it when I connect with family.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Milo was the oldest son of Joshua Younger Gamblin and his second wife Mary (Polly). He was born in 1818 in South Carolina and died in 1871 in Ripley Co. Missouri.
He first married Judith Edna Gough in 1842 and they had 2 children Naomi (born 1842) and Joshua (born 1843 - died 1881). Judith died soon after the birth of Joshua and he then married her niece Margaret Ellen or Edna Gough and they went on to have 9 children. This is an excerpt from a Gamblin book:
From the "Gamblin Family History" by Albert Smith and Jane Smith
In the 1850 Federal Census for Graves Co. Ky. Rhoda Gough was in the household of her son Wm. R. Gough - age 76. Rhoda Gough was furious when her granddaughter margaret Edna Gough married Milo Gamblin who had been married to Margaret's Aunt Judith Gough. Judith died a short time after the birth of her son Joshua in about 1844. Margaret was only 14 years of age when she married Milo. Margaret's fathr Jesse was not happy either. Rhoda simply ignored Margaret and her children for as long as she lived.

This is the marker for Milo and his family in Arnold Cemetery, Ripley Co. MO. , sadly they are buried with several of their children who died young. Eudora and Josephine twins - Josephine died at birth or shortly thereafter and Eudora only lived for 2 years. They also lost their daughter Pauline who died at the age of 8, she is not shown on the cemetery map and may have died in Grave Co. KY, before they moved to MO.
Maybe one day I will find Milo's parents Joshua and Polly. And Easter, who was a slave of Polly's, but was was considered one of the family - so the folk lore says.
And if the gods are really smiling down on me I might find Joshua's first wife Annie Grey who would be my direct ancestor.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Great Grandpa

This is one of the few pictures I have of my Great Grandfather Mattie, Great Grandmother Nancy, their son Roy and Roy's two oldest girls Arlene and Clarice.
Mattie (James Madison) was born in 1855 in Graves Co. Ky. and died in 1929 in Dent Co. Mo.
His father was William Henry and his father was Joshua brother of the elusive Josiah buried in California. Both Joshua and Josiah were the sons of James Gamblin and Nelly (Noel), James being the son of Joshua Younger son of William and Susannah.
Nancy was Nancy Minerva Norris born in 1848 and died in 1930 in Dent Co. Missouri. Roy was their youngest son and brother to my grandfather Bradford. His first daughter Arlene was born in 1922 so I'm guessing she was about 5 or 6 in the picture which means it was taken shortly before Mattie died.
I have a wonderful story about Nancy and her family during the civil war - I'll post it one day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm So Cotton Picken.......

excited!!! While browsing through a website for El Dorado, CA, looking for any info on Josiah, I came across a "look up" address. I e-mailed them, expecting nothing, but instead someone got back to me to say they have over 50 pages of probate records from his estate when he died.
They said he only had $44.00 dollars to his name but had a gold mine claim just outside Fair Play, CA.
There may not be much info about his family in the records, but one never knows. I've sent for the records and will keep you updated.
Doesn't take much to make me excited does!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I have a million questions. They are becoming an obsession.
Who is this man? Is he the missing brother who left to go to the California Gold rush and was never heard of again? Or was that just family folklore.

If he is the missing one, why does it say "A Native of Georgia" he was born in Graves County, Kentucky - wasn't he?

Did he move to Georgia because of a family fight before he moved to California and decided to say he was from Georgia?

Did he marry? Did he have children? In the 1860 census he is shown as living with a family of Chinese folk, who were they?

So many questions, so few answers.