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Thursday, March 18, 2010

1841 :: Our Kinfolk in the Sterne Diary

On this date in our extended family history . . . the 18th day of March . . . in the year 1841 . . . Felix Grundy Roberts (1818-1901) visits in the home of Nicholas Adolphus Sterne (ca. 1801 - 1852) in Nacogdoches, Texas . . . this Felix is the younger brother of our Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885) . . . who is a 3rd great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

Thursday the 18th March [1841] very fine weather saw Mr J. S. Roberts, nothing new from Galvezton many goods no monay to pay for them ! confirms the report of the total wreck of the San Jacinto, saw Mr True, who went to Douglass on Business, returned in the Evening, heard from the Comrs who are dividing the Loco Land, intend to finish the Survey to day, (if it is so, ails right) Felix Grundy Roberts a Son of Elisha Roberts stopped with me this Evening, he is returning from the Trinity, knew him as a little Boy— Major George A. Nixon in Town to day with Mr Tom Garner, tried to get a negro, who Nixon claims as his own, but who has been for the last year in possession of J. S. Mayfield Esqr negro run away Garner after him but no go— no Catch em— 

From September 28, 1840, to November 18, 1851, Nicholas Adolphus Sterne kept a diary of his daily activities, which is a valuable source of information on the period of the republic . . . the names of some of our kith 'n kin are scattered through these pages . . . see Volume 031, Number 3, Southwestern Historical Quarterly Online . . .

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On this date . . . the 16th day of March

FYI . . . each link opens in a new window

On this date in our family history . . . the 16th day of March . . . in the year 1559 . . . Sir Anthony St. Leger dies . . . and on the same date . . . in the year 1583 . . . Daniel Horsmanden is baptized in England . . . and on the same date . . . in the year 1655 . . . Nathaniel Merrill dies in Essex County, Massachusetts . . . each of these gentlemen is currently believed to be a great-grandpa of the Keeper of this family history blog . . . and each of them individually was featured in a separate blogpost on the 16th day of March . . . in the year 2008 . . . the day this blog went live . . . most of the blogposts from the first year consisted of excerpts from various publications available for viewing online at Google Books . . . which were posted on the anniversaries of a variety of significant dates in the lives of our kith 'n kin . . .

  • Almost exactly one year later . . . on the 10th day of March . . . in the year 2009 . . . They Were There for Each Other was compiled and posted as my very first entry for footnoteMaven's Smile for the Camera . . .
  • A few days later . . . on the 13th day of March 2009 . . . Ripples in the Pool of Life became my Tribute to Women for my first entry in Jasia's Carnival of Genealogy . . .
  • After almost one year of blogging here at benotforgot . . . on the 14th day of March 2009 . . . I decided to set up another blog . . . . . . where I began posting a daily listing of all of the births (deceased only) and deaths and wedding anniversaries of all of the people hanging out in my family tree . . .
  • On the 16th day of March 2009 . . . the 1st blogiversary of benotforgot . . . I blogged about my first year of blogging . . .
  • On the 18th day of March 2009 . . . a very young version of my Uncle Bob . . . running on the beach in Lynn, Massachusetts . . . was highlighted in my very first Wordless Wednesday post . . .
  • On the 24th day of March 2009 . . . Texas wildflowers in a country cemetery were featured in my very first Tombstone Tuesday post . . .
  • On the 18th day of April 2009 . . . I ventured into the world of Randy Seaver's weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with a quickly composed poem entitled Begotten & Never Forgotten . . . as it turns out, Randy is a distant cousin . . . Randy's 8th great-grandparents, Aquila Chase and Anne Wheeler, are also my 10th great-grandparents . . . and they are the 7th great-grandparents of the poet, e.e. Cummings . . . and the 6th great-grandparents of 1st Lady, Mrs. Grover (Frances) Cleveland . . .
  • On the 24th day of April 2009 . . . I posted my first entry for Marie Reed's Postcard Friendship Friday . . .
  • And then on the 20th day of May 2009 I composed an entry for the very first Postcard Festival . . . hosted by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault at her Canadian Family blog . . .
  • On the 5th day of November 2009 . . . the premier issue of Shades the Magazine hit the digital stands . . . artfully conceived and compiled by the infamous footnoteMaven . . . and included was my very first Captured Moments column . . .
  • On the 16th day of January . . . in the year 2010 . . . another benotforgot blog went live . . . . . . highlighting the daily entries from a 150 year old journal that talks for almost seven years about an assortment of the kith 'n kin from our family tree . . .
  • On the 17th day of January 2010 . . . I made my first Sentimetal Sunday post . . . about Missing My Dad . . .
  • On the 22nd day of February 2010 . . . I was humbled and honored when notified that benotforgot had made the final cut for Family Tree Magazine's Top 40 Genealogy Blogs . . .
  • On the 12th day of March 2010 . . . I submitted my entry for the very first Carnival of African American Genealogy . . . and . . .
  • Also on the 12th day of March 2010 . . . I drove to Austin and my Mom and our cousin, Grace, and myself spent several hours with the real live original of the Journal (referenced on the 16th of January) at the Center for American History . . . and then we sat outdoors under the trees at Central Market . . . and we dined on apricot chicken salad sandwiches with a pile of fresh fruit on the side . . . and we drank peach mint tea . . . and we people-watched . . . and listened to the birds . . . and we chatted . . . and I made the comment that, "If I didn't have all these ancestors, I wouldn't have anything to blog about." . . . and Mom quipped right back with, "If you didn't have all these ancestors, you wouldn't be here!" . . . cute, Mom!!!

Soooo . . . that's a blog in March of 2008 . . . and another blog in March of 2009 . . . and yet another blog in January of 2010 . . . wonder what else I can blog about?

2011 update . . . FYI . . . I did indeed find something else to blog about . . . started a photo-a-day blog in January of this year . . . with the first post appearing on the 7th day of January 2011 . . .

Oh yeah . . . I'm also now blogging about the history of the small town near Austin, Texas where I grew up . . . and where assorted kith 'n kin have resided since before Rockdale actually became Rockdale in 1874 . . .

See also . . . Blogging since 1999 . . .

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shades of the Departed

FYI . . . if you are unable to view Shades of the Departed while using Firefox (as is the case for the Keeper of this family history blog), please try viewing this page in Chrome . . .

Below you will find the Captured Moments column from the March 2010 issue of Shades the Magazine . . . celebratiing those women in our trees who . . . like my Aunt Laura . . . left this earth with no descendants of their own to remember their names . . .

because we care, because we can,
because we live, we speak their names . . .

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The 12th of March 2010 . . . and 1860 . . .

One hundred fifty years ago yesterday . . . on Monday, the 12th day of March . . . in the year 1860 . . . James Madison Hall (1819-1866) penned the following words in his daily journal . . .

To day I purchased in Crockett 2 hoes, 1 rake and some other articles which I sent home by Dick. In the evening I purchased my bay horse Mustapha at public out cry on a 12 months credit for the sum of $124.75 for which I executed my note with W.A. STEWART as my security payable to S.A. MILLER who sold the horse. At home still planting corn, with 2 plows running. I also gave my note to Isaac ADAIR for the sum of $120 for costs in sundry cases. Weather clear and pleasant.

. . . and yesterday morning . . . before hitting the road for a three-hour drive to Austin, Texas . . . I typed the above words and made a new blog post at The Journal . . . where I plan to continue posting on a daily basis (for the next seven years!) each and every one of the 150-year-old entries made by J.M. Hall during the entire time period from the 16th of January 1860 until two days before he died on the 12th day of September 1866.

Nothing especially significant about that journal entry . . . except for the fact that it was written exactly 150 years . . . to the day . . . before I first laid eyes . . . and hands . . . on the actual 150-year-old pages of that Journal . . . and held in my hands tax receipts from the 1840s that were written to my 3rd great-grandma, Mahala . . . that means that my hands were touching papers that were once touched by her hands . . .

My trip to Austin yesterday was an unplanned one . . . until I received a private message on Facebook Thursday night . . . from cousin Grace who was letting me know that she was in Austin . . . and planned a Friday visit to the Center for American History . . . for the express purpose of spending some quality time with the original of the James Madison Hall Journal!

I responded with an I wish I could be there with you . . . promptly followed by I'll probably see you in the morning! I sent her my phone number, and got her phone number, and called my Mom and told her I planned to be in Austin on Friday . . . and proceeded to stay awake all night long 'cause I was so excited about the pending trip (shh, Mom doesn't know I drove all the way to Austin and back after not sleeping all night!).

Cousin Grace is actually a half 3rd cousin once removed. We both descend from Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885) . . . me from Mahala's first marriage to the mysterious John M. Sharp . . . and Grace from Mahala's second marriage to Col. Joshua James Hall.

Mom met me in Round Rock, and then we stopped by Grace's hotel to meet her for the very first time (and felt like we had known each other forever) . . . and off we went to find the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History on the campus of the University of Texas.

Grace had called ahead to talk to the staff about what we were wanting to look at. Once inside, all three of us had to show a photo ID and fill out their required paperwork. We also had to fill out separate request slips for each box we wanted to see. We also were given a paper that had to be taken back out to the parking lot for display on the dashboard . . . something about it being the ONLY free parking lot in the area . . .

Lockers were available for anything we had with us that is NOT allowed in the Reading Room, e.g., purses, cameras, notepads and writing instruments . . . AND BASEBALL CAPS (and yes, I was wearing one . . . it was very windy in Austin yesterday . . . and no, I was not allowed to wear it in to the reading room!). They do provide their own paper and #2 pencils for taking notes.

They had multiple smaller tables, and one really big table, but if we all sat at it, we were only allowed one box at a time . . . one box per table . . . so we sat at three different tables . . . so we could have three different boxes at one time. When we were ready for a 4th box, one of our boxes was removed before the 4th box was brought out. And the request slip for each box had to actually be signed by the person sitting at that table.

We left multiple requests for copies . . . no copying was done while we were there. We were instructed to fill out a request form listing each box # and folder # and a brief description of the item . . . and to insert a START and a STOP paper (provided by them) inside each folder . . . which was to be returned to its box . . . and taken back to the desk when we were through with it. They will copy the requested items and mail them to us, along with an invoice. I believe they said that requests for a lot of copies require credit card information for prepayment, but I'm not sure . . . we did not have to do that. They said to expect to receive our copies within one or two weeks.

The J.M. Hall who penned the thousands of words that make up the 1860-1866 Hall Journal is a half great-grand-uncle to Cousin Grace . . . and he is only related to me because he is the stepson of my 3rd great-grandma, Mahala . . . as well as being her son-in-law . . . 'cause he married her daughter / his step-sister, Margaret Annot Hall Stewart nee Sharp (1840 - ca. 1878) in 1859, which was eight years after his father married the widowed Mahala.

But this 19th century gentleman personally knew some of my kith 'n kin . . . and interacted with them on a sometimes daily basis . . . and wrote about those people in his daily ramblings. He introduced me to those folk in a manner that would have never been possible if not for him and his Journal . . .

If I were to feel inclined to keep a daily journal that might possibly be useful as a book of reference and may hereafter be profitable to those who have an interest in my affairs (that's a quote from the Journal), the following is what I might record about yesterday's adventure . . .

Friday March 12th 2010. To day in the morning Grace, Roberta and myself went to Austin for the purpose of perusing old family papers. Studied Republic of Texas tax receipts for the widow Mahala L. Sharp before she married J.J. Hall. Confirmed the shooting of Sam Sharp on November 27th 1851. Laid my hands on the journal page containing the record of the marriage of the said Sam and Nellie on July 11th 1861. Dined outdoors on a meal of apricot chicken salad with fresh fruit. Drank ginger peach tea with ice. A good time was had by all. Returned home from Austin in time to watch Emmit Smith discover his roots on NBC. Traffic on the highway heavy and congested. Weather clear and pleasant with a brisk wind.

Hmmm . . . wonder what someone would think upon reading the above 150 years from now . . . FYI . . . Box #3S41 was not located while we were there . . . really curious about the photos . . . there is no known original likeness of James Madison Hall in existence . . . only a photocopy of a photo in a book . . . we suspect this listing is a typo because it is known that there IS a photo of Mahala and her second husband, Joshua James Hall . . . we await word from the staff on the status of the missing box . . . and its contents.

I would, of course, love to have a copy of every single piece of paper in those boxes . . . but I don't expect that will happen . . . would love to have digital images of some of them in particular . . . terrific collage subjects on their own . . . even without the family connection . . .

The following list of information from the folder containing the Center's finding aid was emailed to us by one of the staff members. There was more information in the folder but it was not available in the file on her computer, so she will include copies of those pages when the copies we requested are mailed to us in a week or so.

HALL (JAMES MADISON) FAMILY PAPERS, 1807, 1813, 1840-1980. (1 ft.) Unrestricted access. [AR 81-131; 84-22; 88-95]:

  • Box #2B78
    • Joshua James Hall:
      • Diary, 1848-1857
      • Financial records, 1850-1872, undated
    • Mahala L. Hall:
      • Financial records, 1844-1897
      • Legal records, land deeds, 1876-1881
    • A.M. [sic] Hall, financial records, 1868
    • James Madison Hall: Diaries: June-December 1862
  • Box #3S200a
    • 1860-1866 (with index) [FYI . . . this is the actual Journal]
  • Box #2B78
    • Financial records, 1840-1864
    • Military records, 1846
    • Nannie Burton Hall, autograph book, 1857-1888
    • Horace Oscar Hall:
      • Correspondence, 1887-1903, 1934, undated
      • Financial records:
        • 1876-1907
        • 1908-1934
  • Box #2.325/D1b
    • Oversized, 1865-1869, 1910, 1922-1925
  • Box #2B78
    • Legal records, land deeds, 1878-1924, undated
  • Box #2B109
    • J.F. Hall, legal and financial records, 1932-1933
    • Felix Roberts Hall:
      • Financial records, 1918, 1924
      • Military records, 1909-1922
    • Susie Loring Hall:
      • Correspondence, 1947, 1950
      • Financial records, 1926
      • Legal records, 1927, 1942, 1952
      • Clipping, 1961
    • Robert Loring Hall:
      • Correspondence, 1939-1947, 1978, 1980
      • Printed material, 1947
    • Callie MaGee Hall, financial records, 1921-1945
    • Sam Sharp and Florine Hall, account books [with some family history], 1869-1889
    • Florine Hall, correspondence, 1889
    • John Marshall Sharp and M.L. Hall, notebooks, undated
    • General correspondence, 1882-1899, undated
    • General financial records, 1869-1908
    • General Legal records, land deeds, 1807, 1813, 1923, undated
    • General printed material, 1975, undated
  • Box #3S41
    • Photographs:
      • Mahala L. (Roberts Sharp) Hall, undated
      • James Madison Hall, undated
  • Box #OD1273 Plat map, undated [Houston County?]

CENTER FOR AMERICAN HISTORY Archives and Manuscripts Separation Sheet Accession no. 88-95 Collection title: HALL (JAMES MADISON) FAMILY PAPERS To be routed to: Center for American History Unit 2.325/D1b The following items have been routed to the above unit for more appropriate disposition: Hall, Horace Oscar Financial documents, 1865-1869, 1910, 1922, 1925

Friday, March 12, 2010

CoAAG - Restore My Name

19 March 2010 ... UPDATE ...The 1st CoAAG has been posted ... click here to read!

The 19th-century hand-written page featured in this collage is from a Bible thought to have belonged to the family of Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899). The column on the left has a hand-written heading -- Negroes Births. 

On another website, I have posted what information I have accumulated that may pertain to this page of names and dates of birth. Included on that website is information from the 1850 and 1860 slave schedules that pertains to the 19th Century family members known to be connected in some way to the names mentioned in this Bible. 

While I have posted information about this list on various websites in the past, it never hurts to mention it one more time, just in case it might help somebody make a connection with their own past. This list was first made available online back in October of 1998 on the DAVIS-L Rootsweb List. Since that time, it has also become viewable at --
And just an FYI . . . I have not yet (after more than 11 years) received a single query generated by the availability of these records. 

The copies I have are photocopies of Bible pages that are said to come from a Davis family Bible. I have never seen that Bible, or the actual Bible pages, but the copies I have were given to me by a cousin, Georgia Faye Kaseberg nee Henry (1925-2001), probably 25 or 30 years ago. It is believed that Georgia probably acquired the photocopies from another cousin and family genealogist, Miss Laura Hamilton (1898-1987).

 This post was prepared for the very 1st edition of a Carnival of African-American Genealogy, enthusiastically hosted by Top 40 Geneablogger, Luckie Daniels, at

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Give Their Face a Place

Hello to the 21st Century! We were found in a 19th century photo album in Rockdale, Texas. The album belonged to Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp (1873-1955). Nothing is written on the back of our photos. We may be from Milam or Houston Co. Related surnames may be Sharp or Halyard or Hall. Who are we? [pssttt . . . if you click on our collage you will be able to view an enlarged version of us in a new window . . . ]

The lovely ladies pictured above are looking for their identities. They once lived in a late 19th-century photo album that belonged to my great-grandma, but I never met them until many years after she was gone [I was four when she died]. If the granddaughter who was the last keeper of this album ever knew who they were, she had forgotten by the time she shared these images with me shortly before her death. Most of the photos in the album are family members who are identified on the back of each image, but there are several that have absolutely nothing written on them. 

The photo in the upper left shows it was taken by a Traveling Photographer by the name of J.A. Morris. I do not know if this is the same man, but a Google search turned up the following newsclipping from Oklahoma --

James Morris

Will Disinter Body

The Choctaw Herald January 26, 1911
transcribed by Ron Henson

Friday afternoon a dead stranger was found in the bed of Dumpling creek south of Antlers by Garney Polk who reported his find to the county officers at Antlers. An examination of the man was made and it is believed that the stranger was James Morris, as an envelope bearing that name was found in his coat pocket.

Monday afternoon two men giving the name of Morris came up from Hugo, to investigate and they gave such an accurate description of the man that it is believed he was a brother of theirs. They stated Morris was a traveling photographer and usually carried several letters for identification, a pocketbook and his camera and was always well dressed. The body when found was poorly dressed and had no means of identification other than the envelope. Sometime about Christmas Morris was put off the night southbound train at Hamden, south of Antlers, and at that time had no camera and was dressed as he was when found. He bought a box of ginger snaps at Hamden the next day and left town. That was the last time he was seen alive.

The parties from Hugo will disinter the body and move it to Hugo where it will be reburied. – Antlers American.

The other photo has the words Texas Photo Company below the image. I have found no information on this photographer.

In celebration of Women's History Month, the theme for the March 2010 version of footnoteMaven's Smile For The Camera is Give Their Face A Place. For this 21st Edition, we were asked to picture women back into history . . . the unknown, known and unsung women who are often the foundation of our family history.

FYI . . . the "prim" background for this collage is actually a free blogger background from Daisy Gray Design . . .

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A Tribute to Our Mahala for the CoG

On the 22nd day of March . . . in the year 1838 . . . in San Augustine County, Texas . . . 21-year-old Mahala Lee Roberts becomes the bride of John M. Sharp. John and Mahala will become the parents of a son and a daughter whose exact birth dates are still unknown . . . and then, before 1850, John's existence will simply slip away . . . into an oblivion still hidden from this branch of his descendants.

My connection to Mahala and John is as a great-granddaughter of their granddaughter, Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp (1873-1955) . . . who is a daughter of their son, Samuel Houston Sharp . . . which makes John and Mahala my 3rd great-grandparents. Click on the following link to view a . . .
(click above)

Our family had rather vague tidbits of information about Sam for many years, but Mahala's very existence was completely unknown to us . . . other than being the anonymous (faceless and nameless) mother of our Sam . . . until a little over eleven years ago.

Being a person who has been sort of doing genealogy for most of her life (me), the relatively recent introduction to our Mahala came as a complete surprise. How, you may ask, did we finally connect after so many years of never meeting each other? Well, it went kinda like this. . . .

In January of 1895 in Crockett, Houston County, Texas, the above mentioned Berta Mary (my great-grandma) became the bride of Edgar Henry (1872-1950) of Milam County, Texas. This Edgar is a son of William Paschal Henry (1836-1912) and Josephine Wingfield Davis (1842-1899), my 2nd great-grandparents. . . .

A little over a century later . . . in September of 1998 . . . descendants of Josephine and William were receiving a newsletter containing final details for a Henry Family Reunion to be held in October. Among those descendants was one of their great-grandsons, Stuart Arlington Leaverton (1908-2001) of Oklahoma, who was kind enough to call me upon receipt of the newsletter, expressing his regret in not being able to attend.

FYI . . . Stuart's maternal grandparents were both siblings to my maternal great-grandparents, i.e. . . . his grandma, Emma Sharp nee Henry (1872-1944), was a twin sister to my great-grandpa, Edgar Henry . . . and his grandpa, Samuel Houston Sharp, Jr. (1867-1921), was an older brother of my great-grandma (and Edgar's wife), Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp.

Stuart's mother, Alice Alexandria Leaverton Reynolds Campbell nee Sharp (1889-1966), was a daughter of Emma and Sam, and was actually a double first cousin to my maternal grandpa, Robert E. Henry (1905-1976) . . . which made Stuart my double 2nd cousin once removed. Anyway . . .
In the course of our telephone conversation, Stuart asked me if I knew about a 1962 legal document that actually contained answers to some of the questions I had posed in the newsletter. I did not! We hung up with him agreeing to put a copy in the mail.

The anxiously awaited packet arrived on Thursday, October 8th, 1998 . . . containing, among other items, a copy of a 1962 Deposition of Ida Mae Halyard nee Sharp (1871-1964), an older sister of Berta Mary . . . and thus began my introduction to our Mahala and her extended family.

Not long after receiving that packet of information, I posted the entire deposition on a genealogy message board for Houston County, Texas. More than six months later, I received a response from a lady in Lake Jackson, Texas, letting me know that we were kinfolk. We struck up a correspondence, and in January of 2000 arrangements were made for me to visit her in her home. Besides meeting a perfectly delightful and generous and knowledgeable half 2nd cousin twice removed, I was also introduced to the photo you see here of our Mahala, as well as a mid-19th century journal which frequently mentions our kith 'n kin. And I now know that . . .

Mahala Lee Roberts was born on the 3rd of November 1816 in Washington Parish, Louisiana. Her father was Elisha Roberts, born ca. 1774 at Watauga Settlement in Hawkins County, Tennessee. Her mother, Martha Gill aka Patsy, was born ca. 1781 in Bedford County, Virginia. Elisha and Patsy married in Green County, Kentucky in 1800, and were in Washington Parish, Louisiana before the birth of their son, Noel, in 1813. This family was living in the Redlands of East Texas by 1826 . . .

We now have an amazing amount of detail on the lives of this family unknown to us before the autumn of 1998. A detailed timeline of the decades of Mahala's life is posted > HERE <. Directly below, you will find links to previous blogposts about Mahala, arranged in chronological order.

FYI . . . all links will open in a new window . . .

  • 1816 -- November 3rd -- Happy Birthday, Mahala
  • 1836 -- July 4th -- Sam Houston in the Republic of Texas
  • 1838 -- March 22nd -- Mahala marries John M. Sharp
  • 1842 -- August 2nd -- Mahala most likely did not attend the Kentucky wedding of her brother, Felix Grundy Roberts, when he married Elizabeth K. Layton
  • 1846 -- February 19th -- Mahala is living in San Augustine when the flag of the Republic of Texas is lowered, and the flag of the United States is raised in Austin.
  • 1850 -- Mahala is enumerated in San Augustine . . . click the link to see the house next door to where she is living.
  • 1850 -- July 30th -- wonder what our Mahala thought about her older sister, Matilda, giving away 120 acres of prime Texas real estate?
  • 1861 -- January 29th -- Mahala is living in Houston County when Texas votes to secede from the Union
  • 1861 -- July 11th -- Mahala's son, Samuel Houston Sharp, marries Mary Alexandrien "Nellie" Lemaire
  • 1862 -- December 24th -- Mahala enjoys Christmas Eve
  • 1863 & 1864 - January 1st -- Mahala enjoys New Year's Day
  • 1863 - January 25th -- Mahala is present at the birth of her grandson, James Hall "Major" Sharp
  • 1863 -- December 15th -- Mahala is present at the birth of her granddaughter, Josephine Martha Hall
  • 1863 & 1864 -- December 25th -- Mahala enjoys Christmas Day
  • 1863 -- December 31st -- Mahala enjoys New Year's Eve
  • 1866 -- July 16th -- Mahala is not mentioned as being present at the death of her two-year-old granddaughter, Josephine Martha Hall
  • 1873 -- November 10th -- Mahala is most likely present at the birth of her granddaughter, Berta Mary Sharp [my great-grandma]
  • 1876 -- October 10th -- Mahala is most likely present at the death of her daughter-in-law, Nellie Sharp [my 2nd great-grandma]
  • 1885 -- June 27th -- Mahala dies at the Hall Plantation and is buried in the Hall Cemetery

The topic for this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: A Tribute to Women! March is women's history month and a great time to honor the women on our family trees. This is the 4th annual edition on this topic so we're going to change it up just a bit to keep it fresh. Write a biography about a woman on your family tree starting with a timeline of their life. The timeline can be a separate post that you link to from your biography (which can itself be a series of articles) but please just submit one post to the COG. If you haven't written from a timeline before you may find it a great learning / research experience! Since this topic will likely require more research and writing time you'll have a full month till the deadline. There will be no March 1st edition of the COG. The deadline for submissions will be March 15th. Thirty submissions will be accepted. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and / or write a brief description / introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blog carnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. Thanks for the posters, fM!
The collage at the top of this post ... created in Picasa ... features a photo of our Mahala ... with a backdrop of a page from a 19th century issue of Godey's Lady's Book ... accented by vintage calendars for the years ... 1816 (when Mahala was born) ... 1838 (when Mahala married John) ... 1851 (when Mahala married Joshua) ... 1885 (when Mahala died).

(click above)

Our Mahala's Extensive Timeline for the CoG

This timeline was prepared for the March 2010 Carnival of Genealogy, focusing on Women's History. Click > HERE < to view the accompanying article (with photo) for this timeline about our Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885).

Mahala’s father, Elisha Roberts, is born at Watauga Settlement in Hawkins County.
Mahala’s mother, Martha Gill, is born in Bedford County.
Mahala’s parents, Elisha Roberts & Martha “Patsy” Gill, marry in Green County on February 9th.
Mahala’s parents relocate their family to Louisiana from Kentucky sometime after February.
Mahala’s father is recorded as the seller of Nancy, a 20-year-old black female, to Joseph Baham for $500 in St. Tammany Parish on October 1st.
Mahala’s father is recorded as the buyer of Betsy, a 17-year-old black female, and her 8-month-old daughter, Maryanne, for $500 from Gideon Rester in St. Tammany Parish on January 2nd . On June 5th, Elisha is recorded as the seller of Ben, a 30-year-old black male, for $500 to Daniel Edwards in St. Tammany Parish. On September 13th, he is recorded as the buyer of a 23-year-old black male known as Jim alias Sim (from Mississippi), for $450 from Craven P. Moffett (from Green County, Mississippi).
Mahala Lee Roberts is born on November 3rd, the 7th of 9 children born to Elisha & Patsy.
Mahala is just one year old when her 17-year-old sister, Anna Roberts, marries Bryant Daughtrey in St. Tammany Parish on January 25th. This is also when her father is recorded as the seller of Matilda, a 15-year-old black female, to Isaac Roberts for $525, in St. Tammany Parish on June 16th. Mahala’s baby brother, Felix Grundy Roberts, is born on August 23rd in Washington Parish.
Mahala is 3 years old when her parents are enumerated in Washington Parish. They are shown as having 18 slaves at that time.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is 4 years of age when the flag of Spain is lowered for the last time in Coahuila y Tejas on July 21st in San Antonio, and when Mexico gains independence from Spain on August 24th.
Mahala is 5 years of age when her baby sister, Margaret S. Roberts, is born in Washington Parish on February 22nd.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is about 6 years old when it is said that her father trades a slave for land and improvements located east of Ayish Bayou. This is the same year Stephen F. Austin would receive a grant on January 3rd from the Mexican government and begin colonization in the region of the Brazos River.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is about 7 years old when her 20-year-old sister, Elizabeth Roberts, marries William David Smith in San Augustine County, and when the Mexican Congress passes the colonization law on August 18th. She has just turned 8 when the “Department of Texas” is established as a subdivision of the state of Coahuila & Texas. The Constitution of 1824 gives Mexico a republican form of government. It fails, however, to define the rights of the states within the republic, including Texas.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is about 8 years of age when, in 1825, the people of Ayish Bayou begin to make rapid improvement, opening large farms and building cotton gins. This year Elisha Roberts, John A. Williams, and John Sprowl each will erect cotton gins on the main road, for at that time there was no one living either north or south of the old king's highway.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is about 9 years old when her parents leave Louisiana & move their family to the red lands of East Texas.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is 10 years of age when the Fredonian Rebels flee when approached by Mexican troops on January 31st, and when the Constitution of Coahuila & Tejas is adopted on March 11th.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is 12 years old when her 20-year-old sister, Esther Jane Roberts, marries Phillip Allen Sublett in San Augustine County in March.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is 13 years of age when her parents & assorted siblings are enumerated in San Augustine County. Relations between the Texans and Mexico reached a new low when, on April 6th, Mexico forbids further emigration into Texas by settlers from the United States. It was also around this time period when Mahala’s sister, Matilda Fair Roberts, marries John H. Connell (1st of 3 husbands).
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala’s father, Elisha, is elected as Alcalde of Ayish Bahou.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is 15 years of age when the Battle of Velasco occurs on June 26th. This battle results in the first casualties in Texas' relations with Mexico. After several days of fighting, the Mexicans under Domingo de Ugartechea are forced to surrender for lack of ammunition. The Convention of 1832 gathers on October 1st at San Felipe de Austin, with the Ayish Bayou district represented by Mahala’s brother-in-law, Philip Sublett, as well as Donald McDonald, the future father-in-law of her little sister, Margaret. Also attending was John Connell, another of Mahala’s brothers-in-law, representing Mill Creek.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is 16 years old when her father, Elisha Roberts, is a delegate to the Convention of 1833 held at San Felipe de Austin in April. This is a gathering of 56 men, including family friends, Samuel Houston and Adolphus Sterne, as well as present and future family members, Philip Sublett and Donald McDonald. Also present was Bartlett McClure, who is portrayed in the movie, True Women, which was made for TV from a historical novel written by Janice Woods Windle. 12th of November. The Night the Stars Fell.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is about 17 years of age when her brother-in-law, John H. Connell, dies at Viesca in Milam County.
Coahuila y Tejas
Mahala is about 18 years of age when her widowed sister, Matilda Fair Connell nee Roberts, marries Samuel Tabor Allen, and when her brother, Noel Gill Roberts, marries Mariah Thomas. Mahala is 19 years old when the Consultation declares Texas a separate state in November. at San Felipe
Republic of Texas
Mahala is 19 years of age when the Runaway Scrape occurs in February, and when the Texas Declaration of Independence is signed on March 2nd, and at the time of the Battle of the Alamo on March 6th, and, and when the Goliad Massacre occurs on March 27th, and at the time of the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21st, and when a wounded Sam Houston is recuperating in July at the home of her sister, Esther Sublett, and when her brother-in-law, Phillip Sublett, nominates Sam Houston for President of the Republic of Texas on August 15th.
Republic of Texas
Mahala Lee Roberts is 21 years old when she marries John M. Sharp in San Augustine County on March 22nd, and when her brother-in-law, Samuel Tabor Allen, is killed in Navarro County on October 8th when a band of Kickapoo Indians attack the surveying team he is working with.
Republic of Texas
Mahala is about 22 years old when her 1st child, Samuel Houston Sharp, is born, probably in San Augustine County.
Republic of Texas
Mahala is about 23 years old when her 2nd child, Margaret Annot Sharp, is born, probably in San Augustine County.
Republic of Texas
Mahala is 25 years old when General Sam Houston writes to his wife in Alabama that he will not be attending the wedding of Mahala’s sister, Margaret S. Roberts, who marries Alexander McDonald in Harris County on June 15th, and when her brother, Felix Grundy Roberts, marries Elizabeth Keyser Layton on August 2nd.
Republic of Texas
Mahala is 27 years old when her father, Elisha Roberts, signs his Last Will & Testament on May 8th in San Augustine, and when her father dies on October 3rd in San Augustine County. His burial spot is later marked by a Texas Historical Marker (as of 1936, Texas Centennial).
Republic of Texas
Mahala is 28 years old when her sister, Elizabeth Smith nee Roberts, dies in San Augustine County on May 2nd. It is possible this sister was buried beside their father. A few months later, Mahala had just turned 29 when her mother, Martha “Patsy” Roberts nee Gill, dies in San Augustine County on December 18th, and when Texas is annexed by the United States as the 28th state on December 29th. Patsy is buried beside her husband. Their home place is also marked by a Texas Historical Marker as of 1936 (Texas Centennial).
Mahala is 29 years old when she is listed on the Tax List for San Augustine County. There is no mention of her husband, John M. Sharp, and no record of him has been found since the date they married.
Mahala is 30 years of age when her sister, Anna Daughtrey nee Roberts, dies on March 12th in Austin County, and is buried at the Starr Hill Cemetery. It is about this time period when Mahala’s twice-widowed sister, Matilda Fair Connell Allen nee Roberts marries Thomas Johnson Allen, the brother of her deceased 2nd husband.
Mahala is 33 years old when she and her two children are enumerated in San Augustine County, and when her sister, Matilda Connell Allen Allen nee Roberts, donates 120 acres of land for the Town of Belton from the Connell Estate.
Mahala Lee Sharp nee Roberts is 34 years of age when she marries Col. Joshua James Hall on February 12th in San Augustine County, and when Nicholas Sterne stops by to visit them in their home on June 15th (as recorded in the Sterne diary).
Mahala is 35 years old when her 3rd child, Roberta Hall, is born on May 25th in Houston County.
Mahala is 37 years old when her 4th child, Horace Oscar Hall, is born on September 22nd in Houston County.
Mahala is 42 years of age when her oldest daughter, Margaret Annot Sharp, marries James Madison Hall on July 14th. Hall is Mahala’s stepson.
Mahala is 43 years old when she & her family are enumerated on August 3rd in Houston County -- head of household is J.J. Hall; post office is Elk Hart. Her 1st grandchild, Florence Mahala Hall, is born on October 19th
Mahala is 44 years old when her oldest son, Samuel Houston Sharp, marries Mary Alexandrien “Nellie” Lemaire in Liberty County on July 11th. This is also the year when Texas secedes from the Union, and joins the Confederacy.
Mahala is 45 years old when her 1st grandson, James Wrigley Hall, is born in Houston County on October 8th. He is a son of J.M. Hall & Mahala’s daughter, Margaret.
Mahala is 46 years of age when her grandson, James Hall “Major” Sharp, is born to Sam & Nellie on January 25th in Houston County. She is 47 when her granddaughter, Josephine Martha Hall, is born on December 15th in Houston County. Josephine’s parents are J.M. & Margaret Hall.
Mahala is 47 years old when Sam & Nellie lose a baby thru a miscarriage on January 16th while Sam is in jail on charge of being liable for conscription. It was also about this time when Mahala’s brother, Noel Roberts, dies in San Augustine.
Mahala is 49 years of age when her granddaughter, Josephine Martha Hall (daughter of J.M. & Margaret) dies on July 16th, and is buried in Liberty. Just a few months later, Mahala’s stepson / son-in-law, James Madison Hall, dies in Liberty County. She has just celebrated her 50th birthday when her grandson, Madison Hall, is born on November 11th.
Mahala is 50 when her grandson, James Wrigley Hall (son of J.M. & Margaret), dies on October 11th, and she has just turned 51 when her grandson, Samuel Houston Sharp, Jr., is born to Sam and Nellie in Liberty County on November 8th.
Mahala is celebrating her own 53rd birthday when her granddaughter, Margaret Elizabeth Sharp, is born on November 3rd in Liberty County to Sam & Nellie.
Mahala is 54 years of age when she is enumerated with her family on December 2nd in Houston County. Head of household is her 2nd husband, J.J. Hall, and their post office is listed as Crockett. Within the next year or so after this census, Col. J.J. Hall dies, and is buried in the Hall family cemetery in Houston County. Also enumerated in Houston County on December 2nd are Mahala’s daughter, Margaret, and her 2nd husband, Frank Stewart. Margaret’s youngest son with J.M. Hall, Madison Hall, dies (or disappears from the records) sometime after this census is taken.
Mahala is celebrating her own 55th birthday on November 3rd when her granddaughter, Ida Mae Sharp, is born in Houston County to Sam & Nellie.
Mahala is about 55 years of age when her grandson, Edward F. Stewart, is born in Texas, to Margaret & Frank Stewart.
Mahala is about 56 years old when her grandson, Louis O. Stewart, is born to Margaret & Frank Stewart. Mahala had just celebrated her 57th birthday when her granddaughter, Berta Mary Sharp, is born on November 10th in Houston County to Sam & Nellie.
Mahala is 59 years of age when her grandson, Sam S. Stewart, is born on September 24th in Texas, to her daughter, Margaret. Less than a month later, Mahala’s daughter-in-law, Mary Alexandrien “Nellie” Sharp nee Lemaire, dies in Houston County on October 10th, shortly after giving birth to a baby girl known as Willie Sharp. Nellie is buried in the Hall family cemetery. A Texas Historical Marker at that cemetery identifies Nellie’s grave as the earliest marked grave. In November of that year, possibly after Mahala’s 60th birthday, Margaret’s new baby boy, Sam, dies, and Margaret dies sometime after that (before 1880).
Mahala is 62 when her sister, Matilda Connell Allen Allen nee Roberts, dies in Georgetown in April.
Mahala is 63 when she is enumerated in Houston County as a widowed head of household. Those enumerated with her include her widowed son, Sam, and his surviving children, also a servant named Fannie Bass [who would give birth to a son named Andy Sharp in 1881]. Mahala’s daughter, Florence, is enumerated in the household of Mahala’s widowed son-in-law, Frank Stewart.
Mahala is 65 when her father Elisha Roberts’ will is recorded in San Augustine County
Mahala is 67 years old when she dies on June 27th in Houston County, with burial in the Hall Cemetery. It is supposedly about this same time when Mahala’s son, Sam, and his youngest daughter, Willie, die and are buried in the same cemetery.

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