The Bess Family of Sycamore Mills

Lydia Meador and John Best My search for the parents of Elizabeth Bess, my fourth-great-grandmother, started years ago when I built my first family tree. I had zero to go on. Family trees online were no help either, as none of them listed her parents. I truly started from scratch. Bess is a unique last …

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James Dial of Lawrence County, Tennessee

I am currently researching my fifth-great-grandfather James Dial who was born around 1780 and died sometime between 1850 and 1860 in Lawrence County, Tennessee. I have created the below records timeline to help trace James and hopefully find new leads on his parents and family. Timeline for James Dial 1780 - James Dial's approximate birth …

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Oliver Windsor, the Civil War and the Harris Sisters

When I started building my family tree many years ago, my family had never heard of Oliver Windsor or Martha Patsy Harris. My dad helped me write out a paper family tree for my fifth-grade class project. I remember sitting in Nanny and Papaw's kitchen as they told us their family trees as far back as …

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Anecdotes of Centenarian William Bennett

William Bennett, of the Sycamore Mills area of Cheatham County, Tennessee, lived to be nearly 106 years old. We are lucky to have a few newspaper articles about his life that were written in the early 1900s when he was still alive. See 1) Wild Bill Bennett article and 2) Article transcriptions. If you carefully …

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Mal Boyd’s Account of Ancestors

In the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project, writers conducted interviews of more than 2,300 former slaves and their descendants. (Learn more about the project here.) On the morning of November 1, 1938, interviewer Bernice Bowden was walking down Miller Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas when she spotted Mal Boyd sitting on his …

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