Posted in Roots and Relics, Smith


If you use a website like to put your genealogy out there, you are constantly going to be contacted by people asking you questions about your family. Most of these people are actually cousins or friends and cousins.

Because I get so many emails related to nothing but genealogy. I have a dedicated email address just for handling that. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I go for long stretches of time without answering some of these emails. I finally started digging through some emails this weekend and I had a few that were pretty interesting, but one in particular really stuck out to me. I got an email from a guy named Larry and this is what he said.

“Hi, I’m friends of Johnny D. Buff, his grandmother married a H. E. Smith in 1920. His father was Adolphus Smith. Mother, Sara. Bertha had two boys by H. E. Their names were Harley and Charlie Smith. The H. E. Smith is listed as 29 on the marriage certificate. Born 1891. It would’ve been easy for a man to have been married to two women at the same time back in the twenties. My own great grandfather they say would be gone for months at a time. If you could be of any assistance. I sure would appreciate it. Larry.”

It’s kind of interesting. Honestly I wasn’t exactly sure who H.E. Smith was at first, but I did recognize Adolphus Smith as one of my great, great, great grandfathers. When he said something about being married to two women at the same time, that kind of intrigued me. That’s an email with responding to. But first let’s take a look and see what I have in my genealogy.

OK. So my great grandmother is a lady named Annie Smith and her dad is Thomas Smith and his father is Henry Adolphus Smith. So let’s start there. Henry Adolphus “Dock” Smith as he was called, was born in 1848, died in 1916 in Swain County North Carolina. Here’s my great grandfather, Thomas Smith, and right down here is his brother who is six years younger than him named Henry Edward Smith. This must be the H.E. Smith in question.

So here’s my 3rd Great Uncle Henry Edward Smith, born 1884, died in 1962 in Weaverville in Buncombe County, North Carolina.

Henry Edward Smith

Now here’s the thing, Henry Edward Smith was married to a lady named Ernestine Honeycutt in 1902. They were married to each other the rest of their lives. In fact, they both died in the same year. 1962. They have three kids together, two daughters named Anna and Lola, although in the mountains they would pronounce that Annie and Lolie and then a son named William. My first thought to Larry was, “OK, dude, how about get your facts together first, do you actually have any proof that this happened?”

He sent this email to me in October of last year, by the way, so I’m responding to him literally seven months later.

“Sorry for taking so long to respond. So you were saying the H.E. Smith who was married to Ernestine Honeycutt had another wife named Bertha and had two boys with her. Do you have a marriage certificate for this H.E. Smith and Bertha and birth records and death certificates for their children?”

I did a super quick search on, so I wasn’t really able to find a whole lot of information so I wanted to see if he had this marriage certificates and if you could send it to me. Surprisingly this is what he had to say.

‘I do have one. I will try and get it for you. Hi Jonathan. Let me know what you think, Larry. “

OK, let’s take a look and see what this says. State of North Carolina Caldwell County office of register of deeds, August 5th, 1922 an ordained minister or any religious denomination or any justice of the peace of said County, H.E. Smith having applied to me for a license for the marriage of himself of Caldwell County, North Carolina. Age 29 years. Color White, the son of Adolphus Smith and Sarah Smith. The father now dead, the mother dead and Bertha of Caldwell county age 33 years old, white daughter of Malton Cline and Ellen Cline, the father living, the mother, living residence of Caldwell County, North Carolina.

Henry Edward Smith (1).jpg

And then further down the document it looks like they were married by a justice of the Peace.

I, J.A. Starnes, a justice of the Peace United to matrimony H.E. Smith and Bertha Buff. The parties licensed above on the 5th day of August, 1920 at Granite Falls, North Carolina and Love Lady Township of Said County according to law,

Love lady township. That’s really interesting. Lovely township is essentially Granite Falls, North Carolina, which is actually where I grew up and my family’s ancestral lands are in the present day Great Smoky Mountain National Park. So if Henry and Bertha were married in August of 1920. Let’s take a look at what the 1920 census says for where Henry was living at the time.

Henry Edward Smith (2)

So this is the 1920 census for Henry Edward Smith. He was living in Ocanalufty, Swain County North Carolina, which is now encompassed inside of the great smoky national forest. You can see right here, he’s living right next door to his brother, Thomas E Smith, who is my great, great grandfather in 1920. My great grandmother, Annie Smith who went on to marry a Medford was 16 years old at the time and you can see clearly, plain as day, Henry Edward Smith, married to Ernestine wife.

Henry Edward Smith (3)

There was quite a distance between North Carolina and lovelady township, about a 122 miles to be exact. I guess if you’re going to have a secret family, that’s not a bad idea. I’m still a little skeptical though.

Henry Edward Smith (4)

Now, I don’t have a photo of Henry Edward Smith, but his brother, Thomas Smith, my great, great grandfather lived right next door to them. Here’s a look at Thomas Smith House, which like I said, is now in present day great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Henry Edward Smith (5)

Here’s a picture from 1910 of Thomas Smith and his family. Thomas is right here towards the right and then my great grandmother Annie is right here in the middle.

Henry Edward Smith (6)

Now here’s a photo that was taken right around 1920 of Thomas Smith and his family. Again, this is not Henry, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of what Henry’s life may have looked like and he probably looked pretty similar to his brother Thomas, my great, great grandfather.

So my next question is, who is Bertie? I decided to take a look at the 1920 census and see where Bernie was living at the time.

Henry Edward Smith (7)

Now Bertie was living as a widow with her mother and father in love, lady township and Caldwell County, North Carolina in 1920. She also had a 13 year old son named Henry and a 10 year old daughter named Johnsie.

The next question I want to ask is why was Henry in Caldwell county to begin with? There’s actually a logical explanation. Here’s some clues as to why Henry was in Caldwell County:

  1. His parents were from Caldwell County.
  2. They were married in Caldwell County.
  3. Henry was born there.
  4. He had lots of relatives still living there.
  5. He had aunts, uncles, and cousins that lived in Caldwell County.

Caldwell County is where my family moved after eminent domain, took their land from the Great Smoky Mountain National Forest. Having a secret family, a 122 miles away makes a lot of sense, but having a secret family where you have so many relatives, doesn’t really make a lot of sense!

Did Harley in Charlie Really Exist?

Henry Edward Smith (8)

So here’s the 1930 census for Birdie or Roberta. She’s living not too far away from Caldwell County, right next door in Catawba county in a city called Newton. And check this out. Her last name is Smith and there they are. Charlie and Harley. Both nine years old, Huh? I guess Charlie and Harley were probably twins, nine years old. And they have the classic twin rhyming names. Now what’s really interesting here is her marital status says married. Her last name is Smith, but what’s unusual is her husband is not listed as living in this household.

Wow. Maybe this Guy Larry is right. Let’s take a look at the 1940 census.

Henry Edward Smith (9)

OK. So in 1940 her name is not listed as Smith listed as both, but I still see it in here for married and there they are. Charlie and Harley sons. Eighteen and 18.

What kind of weird thing about the m, that is listed here, the M for married, has a line through it as if it’s marked out and then there’s a number seven. I’ve never seen that before in a this record. I wonder if that really means anything. Found it pretty cool explanation on Google.

Even when a marital status married was recorded, clerks were instructed to interline the M and replace it with seven. If no spouse was included in the household. If you find a seven and the marital status column or an M crossed out and a 7 penciled in, then look for the spouse in another household.

Interesting. The circumstantial evidence here is really, really convincing. Uh, everything seems to corroborate what Larry’s telling me. Let’s just take look at Henry situation as the 5th of August, 1920 when he married Bertha.

He’s 36 years old. He is three weeks shy of being married to Ernestine for 18 years. He has a daughter named Annie who was 17. He has a daughter named Lola who is six, and he has a son named William who was just two years old. He’s working as a blacksmith at a lumber company and he lives in Ocanalufty, North Carolina, in Swain county.

Perhaps the most astonishing part is nine months after they were married. Charlie and Harley, the twins were born.

This spawns. So many questions. Did Robertha ever ever know about Henry’s wife. Did Henry’s wife Ernestine ever know about Roberta? Did Henry and Ernestine children? Anna, Lola and William ever know about any of this.

So right here is a marriage certificate for Charlie Smith who was getting married August 27th, 1947 in Charlotte, North Carolina at 26 years old. So he’s listed as the son of H.E. Smith, and Bertha Smith, the father deceased. The mother living.

Did he list his father is deceased metaphorically because he may as well be? Or is he listing his father is deceased because he actually believes his father’s dead?

Another question I have is, do the descendants of these two families know that the other exists?

I’m going to get some answers for you guys. I’ve actually been able to track down some descendants of both sides, and so what I’m gonna do is I’m going to contact the families and approach them about the situation delicately and see what they had to say about it. Be on the lookout for a followup blog as we help solve this puzzle.

Posted in genealogy, Roots and Relics

Helping a Metal Detectorist Find The Family of a Lost Purple Heart!

I haven’t posted a blog since mid-2017, but I am bound and determined to continue onward with the John Logan Letters Project this year! I also have a new treat for you guys.

I am launching my own genealogy-inspired Youtube Channel for metal detecting called “Roots and Relics“. The following isn’t my first video on the channel, but it’s the first of many of its kind to come! Please check it out!

Roots and relics, genealogy inspired relic hunting. What does that mean? Well, I’ve been a genealogist for almost 18 years now. My freshman year at East Carolina University, I took a class called “Marriage and Family Relations and I had to do a genealogy project in that class and it got me hooked on genealogy ever since. The summer after my freshman year of college, I went back home and I did nothing but genealogy research that entire summer. When I decided to make a youtube channel for metal detecting, I wanted to come from it from a historical perspective and really try to mix in genealogy whenever I could. My photos are really my true treasures. I mean every single time I can put a face to a name of one of my ancestors. That is absolutely priceless to me. What’s up with all this? Talk about genealogy today. Well, that brings me to today’s video.

A few weeks ago I was on the Nugget Noggin facebook page and a lady named Amanda Johnson posted a really, really interesting find that she made. She found a purple heart from a World War II soldier named Edward F Deerey Jr. She was asking Nugget Noggin, what’s the best way to research and find the family of this person.

In her message, she said, “hey, nugget, check out our find from today at an old school house site on our family’s property. My Dad and I found a purple heart medal. The poor guy lost his life in World War II at the age of 19. We have no idea how it ended up here unless one of his distant relatives took it to school with them back in the 40s and lost it. We’re trying to find his family so we can give it to them and he suggested on fast tracking the search for this family. This is a first for us. Thanks.”

This interested me right away. I wanted to try to help do my part, put my genealogy skills to the test and see if I could help track down a close relative of Edward Deerey’s,

So I messaged to her, “Did you have any luck finding his family? I may be able to help. I do genealogy work”.

There’s a really popular website called, and so I was able to pretty quickly pull up a grave of a WWII soldier named Edward F Deerey, Jr..

The cemetery that he’s buried at is St. Mary’s Cemetery in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. He’s born January 9, 1925 and died October 29th, 1944. So my first message to Amanda was, “where did you find this? I know that Edward was from and is buried in Salem, Massachusetts.” And Amanda said, “Jonathan we found that metal detecting on a farm here in Cumberland County, Tennessee.”

Wow. Obviously Edward is from Massachusetts. He was buried in MMassachusetts. So how did this purple heart wind up on a farm in Cumberland County, Tennessee so I responded to Amanda. “Wow. I will do some more genealogical digging and let you know what I find.”

I was able to find Edward’s senior year, a yearbook from 1942 from Salem high school in Salem, Massachusetts. The yearbook is kind of fun list nickname. So Edwards nickname is obviously junior because he’s the son of Edward Deerey, um, which we already know. He was listed as a junior in the purple heart. His chief companion, “the old’s” favorite saying, “hey, take it away”, hang out “wherever he hangs his hat”. And his ambition is “fair Harvard”. Now Salem, Massachusetts is not very far from Cambridge, Massachusetts where Harvard is. So I was really curious, his ambition is to go to Harvard. Did he actually fulfill that? I found one clue to kind of help us answer that. Here is an army enlistment record from 1938 to 1946. So we had Edward F Deerey Jr. Born 1925 native of Massachusetts county Essex. He enlisted in the city of Boston, Massachusetts on 17th of November, 1943 under education status. It’s listed as one year of college. That’s a little bit of a clue that maybe he did get to Harvard.

I found out that on the campus of Harvard University, there’s a monument dedicated to those alumni who died in WWII. Edward F Deerey Jr is listed under the class of 1946. The next record I was able to find about Edward was actually an application for a military headstone. This application was applied for by his mother, Madge B. Deerey on April 2nd, 1950, and it was verified on January 19th, 1953 and ordered on July 21st, 1953. The next document is a roster of WWII dead 1939 to 1945 right here at the top is Deerey, Edward F Jr private. There are no other Edward F Deerey Jrs listed on here, so we know that the purple heart belongs to the one and only Edward F Deerey Jr who died in WWII.

The next thing I was interested in doing was piecing together what Edward’s life was like and also finding out if he has any relatives that may still be living.

When I look at the 1940 us census, it’s kind of sad. Edward F Deerey Jr is the only male in the household. Apparently his father had already passed away when he was 15 years old in 1940. His mom, Madge was 44 years old and she’s listed as widowed and the only other person living in the household is a maid. Who’s from Ireland. The curious thing, when I looked at this page, there are several houses that had hired maids who were all born in Ireland. Kind of interesting.

Now when I look at the 1930 Census, his father’s living. His father was 43 years old and his mom was listed as being 34 years old and Edward was just five. Also living in the household was someone named Anne who is a cook and she was born in Ireland and also someone named Mary who is listed as a practical nurse. Another interesting part of the 1930 census was Edward’s, dad, Edward Sr was listed as a manufacturer and he actually owned a leather factory. When I took a look at the 1920 census, Edwards sr was 31 years old and he was actually living with his mother Catherine, who was 70 and widowed at the time. His mother is listed as being born in Ireland. When you look at the occupation for him, he was in the leather business at another factory, so he had always worked in this factory apparently.

I decided to do some digging on leather factories in salem, Massachusetts to see what I could find. What I found was pretty interesting. There was a Deerey brothers leather manufacturer in Salem, Massachusetts. One of my favorite tips for genealogy is you don’t have to have a subscription to to find some really cool stuff. Google books is a treasure trove of genealogical data. Here’s the entry and a google book that I found to enlarge factory Deerey Brothers. Manufacturers of shoes stock have plans for an additional 50 by 100 feet, three stories high to their factory at good huge street, salem, which they recently purchased from the american hide and leather company. Their leather factory was known for making good year welts.

Amanda Johnson, who found this purple heart was really wanting to return the purple heart to the family of Edward Deerey. But one thing I found was Edward was an only child. So the thought of finding a relative who is related closely to him was starting to wain on me. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to find an uncle or a first cousin or anything like that. So what I needed to do was find Edward Sr’s family and see if maybe he had a brother or sister and follow that branch down the line.

So Edward Sr was the son of John Deerey and Catherine Brogen when neat little thing here I was able to find was a WWI draft registration card for Edward Francis Deerey Sr. He lived at Treemont street in Salem, Massachusetts. His date of birth was April 9th, 1887. His present occupation was leather manufacturing place that he was employed was the Deerey Brothers. He listed that he is responsible for the care of his mother. Do you claim exemptions from the draft business reasons to support mother as what he listed there, and he’s listed as being tall, medium, build blue eyes, light, hair color, and has the person lost arms, leg, hand, foot or both or eyes or otherwise disabled. Specify. He has a very serious condition known as “varicose veins”.

This is a picture of what the house on Treemont street looks like. I don’t know for sure if this is the exact same house, but judging by the looks of it, I think it might be.

Here’s a look at the tombstone of the Deerey’s. So they’re all buried together. Edward F Deerey, Born in 1887 died 1936. Madge born 1896 died in 1957. And then Edward F Deerey Jr died in 1944. So Edward Senior’s. Father is John H Deerey who’s born November 1845 in Ireland. John Deerey and Catherine had six children. So I had six different possibilities of people to be able to find a close relative so that Amanda could return this purple heart to the family.

Edward F Deerey Sr had one brother and four sisters since the purple heart had the name Deerey on it. I thought it’d be kinda cool to see if we could find a relative who’s last name is Deerey and make contact with them. So I decided to focus on Edward’s brother John Andrew to see if we could find a close relative.

So John Andrew was born 20th of January 1886 in Salem, Massachusetts. He married a lady named Elizabeth Furey and they had three girls and one boy. The one boy’s name was of course John Andrew Deerey Jr. They lived at 33 Loring Avenue. What a beautiful house that was and still is.

So John Andrew Deerey Jr. married a lady named Joanella. I’m hiding the last names of the women involved here for security purposes for the people that are still living. So John Andrew Deerey Jr died pretty recently and he had five children. John Andrew III. Tristram, Eliza, Desiree, Sean Deerey and Shawna Deerey. With all of this information in hand, it was time to give an update to Amanda on the situation. I told Amanda. “Ok, so unfortunately Edward Francis Deerey Jr was the only child of Edward F Deerey and Madge Bernadette Collins. His father passed away when he was only 11 years old and his mom passed away in 1957.

The closest family members would be his cousins through his father’s brother, John Andrew Deerey. Amanda wasted no time and got right on trying to contact the family.

“I’ve messaged 4 people whom I believe may be some of the cousins you’ve listed, including a copy of your post here showing your work and finding potential family members, a picture, and then a link to my original posting on another facebook page. I spoke to Andrew Deerey friday night who put me in touch with his cousin Charles Reardon. He called me today regarding the purple heart. We have confirmed that they are the family of Edward F Deerey Jr and I will be mailing the medal to Charles this week. He lIves in Colorado and is the second cousin to Edward F Deerey Jr. Every bit of the information you sent me was correct and I will also be crediting you in this journey to find the family. Thank you sir.”

Wow, that’s pretty cool. We’re actually able to connect the purple heart with the original family, which I think is pretty neat. The one thing that is still curious to me is how did this metal ended up in Tennessee? So I asked Amanda about that.

“That is so great. Did anyone in the family move to Tennessee or do you think this was auctioned away? Perhaps someone from this from his unit was from your area and was given the medal.”

Amanda said, “we’re still unsure, but I will be including in the mill some description of the area in which it was bound so that when Mr. Reardon continues to search for answers, then maybe he can make that connection.”

So what do you think it is? How did that medal end up in Tennessee? I can see a couple of different scenarios. There must have been an auction when the family passed away. With all the stuff in the household and no one to inherit it. I have to imagine that a lot of the stuff just went up to auction and maybe that purple heart made its way on the auction block and someone purchased it and it traveled somewhere and got sold at a store or someone bought it and then some kid to school and left it on the school yard. Maybe that’s a possibility. Another thing I think maybe is maybe there was a very special friend and his unit that was with him when he died and perhaps his mother gave that purple heart to one of his dear friends from his unit and maybe that friend was from Tennessee. And so maybe that’s how it ended up being there. I think there’s a lot of research to be done in that area.

We know what unit of the army that he was in. And I would like to take a look at the rosters and see if there’s anybody from that particular county in Tennessee where it was found. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. We’re kind of taking you through the process. If you’re a metal detectorist and you found something that maybe has a name associated with it or you’re just kind of curious about a piece or a cemetery or greater that you found and you’d like some help researching the geological history behind a piece… I’d be more than happy to help you out with that. Thanks for watching.

Posted in African American, genealogy, Logan, Uncategorized

Grave Hunting in Rutherfordton

I had a business meeting in Columbus, NC this morning which gave me my first opportunity to swing by Rutherfordton. Since this trip was for business and not for pleasure, I didn’t take the time to properly research what relatives were buried where. I knew that my wife’s GG Grandfather George W. Logan was buried at an episcopal church in town. I found St. Francis Episcopal Church and stopped there to take a look.

It was an absolutely beautiful stone church with many old graves. I did not have a great deal of time to peruse and I never did for G.W. Logan’s grave, but I verified this evening that he is indeed buried there. Also, my wife’s Great Grandfather James Andrew Logan is buried there as well.

There was one old tombstone that drew me in. I had to take a picture of it to read later. I honestly had no idea what it said at the time.


Here is the best that I could do for an inscription:

To the memory of
my faithful and lamented
servant Enoch

who departed this life
June 14th 1862 in the
9th year of his age

Take heed that ye despise not 
one of these little ones. 
Mat, Chap. 18 ver 10

And they shall be mine, saith
the LORD of hosts, in that day
when I make up my jewels
Malachi Chap 3 ver 17

Ida S. Duffy
Rutherfordton, NC

I don’t know this for sure, but it seems as if this is a tombstone for a young slave boy named Enoch. On my way home I listened to the Extreme Genealogy Podcast. Part of the episode had a discussion about the rarity of finding tombstone’s for slaves.


I hope to find out more about Enoch and Ida S. Duffy, and can’t wait to visit this cemetery again!

Posted in Carson

Deputy Sheriff J.W. Carson Receipt


Rec’d of John Logan Esqr his tax in full for the year 1835 = $28.08 cts

J.W. Carson DShff

 I previously wrote about another receipt from a Sheriff named William CarsonJames W. Carson is the nephew of the Sheriff William Carson. James will eventually go on to become the Sheriff of Rutherford County from October 1838 to October 1842.  James was born December 23, 1789 in Rutherford Co., NC. He was the son of General John G. Carson and Mary Withrow. He married Catherine Canselor (1791-1867)in Rutherford Co., NC on February 15, 1814. James died October 24, 1846. (source Lela Whisnant).

Posted in Medford

Who are the Parents of Logan M. Medford and Thomas Naylor Medford?

[Don’t miss the comment by Jonathan Byers at the end of this post. He clarifies the mystery!]

I married a Logan who’s family is originally from Rutherford County, NC. While researching her family, I came across a man named Logan M. Medford who lived in Logan’s Store, NC in Rutherford County. Most of the Medfords in Western North Carolina lived in either Haywood County or McDowell County. The Haywood County Medfords are usually the descendants of Jonas Medford and the McDowell County Medfords the descendants of Israel Medford (my 5th Great Grandfather). So seeing a Medford, during the 1800s, living in Rutherford County was rather peculiar. Seeing the name “Logan Medford” made me wonder if there was a connection between the two families. How bizarre would that be?

Photo circa 1915. L-R: Bob Medford, Logan Medford, Edgar Medford, Daisy Medford, Emma Lee Beheler, Sudie Mae Medford Beheler holding Glen Roy Beheler. ksisk94 originally shared this on 25 Dec 2013 on
Photo circa 1915. L-R: Bob Medford, Logan Medford, Edgar Medford, Daisy Medford, Emma Lee Beheler, Sudie Mae Medford Beheler holding Glen Roy Beheler.
ksisk94 originally shared this on 25 Dec 2013 on

Logan wasn’t the only Medford in Rutherford County at the time. There was also a Thomas Naylor Medford living in Cool Springs, NC. Before living in Cool Springs, he spent some time living in Polkville in Cleveland County. I really wanted to know who the parents were of these two Medfords. They HAD to be the grandchildren of either Jonas or Israel. Jonas and Israel are assumed to be brothers as they are close in age and one of them takes the serious financial responsibility of signing the other’s marriage bond.

Logan and Thomas were born in 1859 and 1860 respectively, so I was hoping that they lived long enough to have their death certificates in the North Carolina Death Certificate database, which contains records from 1909 onward. I was in luck!


Logan Medford lived to be over 90 years old! He was born in McDowell County, NC on 15 Feb 1859, but the death certificate says 1849, which has to be an error according to many other records. His death certificate lists his wife as Celia Ann Mitchell, his father as Israel Medford and his mother as Adeline Medford. I have no doubt that Logan Medford is the son of Adeline Medford, but Adeline is the daughter of Israel. In order to save the deceased’s family potential embarrassment, I believe that the informant gave the name of Israel Medford as the father. Celia Ann Mitchell was 1st married about 1873 to John Godfrey. After he died in 1880, she married Logan almost a year later in 1881.

Thomas Naylor Medford was born 13 Mar 1860 and died 29 Mar 1940 in Rutherford Co, NC. His death certificate says that he is married to Florence Mode, but the father is listed as unknown and mother is listed as Cail Godfrey, an obvious reference to Celia Ann Godfrey. Why would the informant give the name of Thomas’ sister-in-law as his mother? More on this in a minute.

Before I move on, I should state why I started assuming that Logan and Thomas were brothers. They are both listed as living with each other in the same household with Adeline Medford in McDowell County during both the 1870 and 1880 census records. During the 1860 census, Logan is listed as living Adeline alone.

If we break down this timeline of events, we notice something very interesting:

  • Logan is born 15 Feb 1859 [source: death certificate]
  • Thomas is born 13 Mar 1860 [source: death certificate]
  • 1860 Census collected 18 Jun 1860

If Thomas was born before the census worker came to the house, then why was he not listed on the census? Perhaps his death certificate is true. Perhaps he was the illegitimate son of Celia Ann Mitchell instead of Adeline Medford. We need to find Celia in the 1860 census and see if she is with a son named Thomas with her. I am unable to find either of them.

Celia’s death certificate (her husband Logan as informer), says that her age is 70, which would put her date of birth at 1853. If this is true, then there is no way she fathered Thomas at 7 years old. The 1880 census lists her at 35 years old, which would put her being born in 1845. Her giving birth to Thomas at 15, is much more believable. Her death certificate goes beyond saying that HER father is unknown, it says that she was illegitimate.

I am still not ruling out the possibility that Adeline Medford is the actual mother of Thomas. Perhaps the informant did not want the embarrassment of listing Adeline Medford as his mother as a dead giveaway that Thomas was born illegitimate.

There is also the marriage certificates of both Logan Medford and Thomas Medford. They both list their father’s as unknown. Thomas lists his mother as D. A. Medford (Adeline) and says that she is still living and living in Cleveland County, NC. Logan lists his mother as Adeline.


I am absolutely fascinated with Logan and Thomas. Their male descendants each have the Medford surname, but under different circumstances, their surnames would be entirely different. My hope is that we can one day convince one of these descendants to take a YDNA test. Based on the results of this test, we should be able to determine a surname that they match with. This may lead to clues to the real identity of their fathers.

Posted in John Logan Digital Archives

Amount of Tax for the Year 1835


Building to for the year 1832 on Land [?] property & [?] Is to the amount of $1482.61

Tax for Court House 1833 $2124.22

do  1834     $2017.47

do  1835     $2023.98

We know that John Logan was Rutherford County’s Treasurer of Public Buildings from as early as 1822. There are several Google Books references to this fact as well as references in an earlier receipt called Jail Tax Receipt January 27, 1822 and the receipt Robert McAfee Receipt for putting steps to the Court House December 14, 1822. It appears that John Logan was still in this role through at least 1835.

If you have any ideas about improving this rough transcription, please share in the comments below. 

About the Logan Project: I possess a box of 170 documents passed down 6 generations in the Logan family that originate from John Logan (1775-1841) of Rutherford County, NC. These documents are mainly receipts that show the various business and legal dealings of many different families from Rutherford County, NC. I will be posting these documents on this blog in chronological order. The scanned images of these documents are the copyright of Jonathan Medford. You are welcome to download them for personal use. Do not redistribute these documents for the purpose of commercial gain without his expressed written permission. If you would like to start reading them from the first document, you can start here.

Posted in Michal

Daniel Michal Receipt for the Estate of Jacob Michal



 Re’d from John Logan Eleven dollars 12 ½ cts in full of his a/c with Jacob Michal dc’d

 8 November 1834              Daniel Michal administrator

John Logan was paying what he owed the estate of the deceased Jacob Michal. As soon as I saw the name Michal, I immediately thought that this was a name of German descent. Something I’m familiar with, being from Caldwell County. According to a biography on Jacob’s son George Washington Michal, Jacob was born in Pennsylvania. His tombstone at the Rutherfordton City Cemetery indicates that he was born 23 Jul 1792. Marriage records in Rutherford County prove that he married Catharine Ramsour on 10 May 1815. Jacob was a man of considerable wealth. There are numerous land transactions in his name. In the 1830 census, he owned six young slaves (3 under 10, the rest 10-23). He died June 27, 1834 at just 44 years old. Records about his estate spanned over 100 pages in order to list all of the purchasers and items.

I had a hard time finding out information on who Daniel Michal was in relation to Jacob. He was living in his own household during the 1830 census in Rutherford County, NC. He could be a son, nephew or brother. Anyone know?

Records and Biographies

The subject of this sketch was born in Rutherfordton, N. C., October 19, 1825, and died in Hickory, N. C., January 11, 1892. His father, Jacob Michal, who came to North Carolina from Pennsylvania, and his mother, Catharine Ramsour of Lincoln county, were both of German extraction. They were married 10 May 1815. In his early youth, he decided upon medicine as his chosen profession and entered the Medical College at Charleston, South Carolina, but later went to the University of Pennsylvania where he was graduated at the age of twenty-one. Commencing to practice in Marion, N. C., he continued there until 1861 when he became Surgeon of the Sixteenth North Carolina Regiment. While thus employed, he was elected to the Convention from Rutherford county to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Jason H. Carson, taking his seat January 21, 1862. In 1865, he removed from Marion to Newton and here practiced his profession for eight years when failing health forced him to abandon it for other pursuits. Dr. Michal was always a conservative in politics and deplored secession even when he recognized it as the last resort for the State. In his early life, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, but later embraced the views of the Episcopal Communion.

Bulletin of the Genealogical Society of Old Tryon, vol. 26, pp. 85 and 87. Notes of Thomas McHann due 1831 and 1833 in the estate inventory of Jacob Michal, October 1834. [source]

Deed Book 32, p.226, 17 June 1818, George Walton Bradley of RCNC to John Hoke and Jacob Michal of the same, 350 dollars, tract in Rutherfordton on the northeast square and part of lot no. 1 joining Noah Hampton, Main St., and Jacob Michal, being part of a lot sold by Genl. James Miller to Joseph Alexander. Wit. James Walker, John Logan. #185, 17 May 1820. (BGSOTC, May 2007, p.88)

Deed Book 33, p.527, 22 March 1821, James Humphreys, one of the constables of Rutherford County, to Adam Hampton, highest bidder on 22 February 1821 at 631 dollars, five negroes, Eve an old lame woman (six dollars), Tom (105 dollars), Beckey and her child Cinda (100 dollars), and Cinda and Squire (420 dollars), by virtue of sundry executions: (1) Moses Logan, J. P. 27 January 1821 against Jonathan Hampton for $68.51 to satisfy a judgment of Adam Hampton against Jonathan, (2) by Moses Logan, J. P., 27 January 1821, against Jonathan Hampton for $55.25 to satisfy a judgment of Adam Hampton against Jonathan, (3) a judgment by Wm. Edwards, J. P. 2 February 1821 against Jonathan Hampton for 60 dollars recovered by Adam Hampton against Jonathan Hampton, (4) a judgment by William Edwards J. P. 2 February 1821 for $59.60 recovered by Adam Hampton against Jonathan Hampton, (5) a judgment by Jacob Michals J. P. 6 February 1821 for $18.18 recoverd by Adam Hampton against Jonathan Hampton. Wit. George S. Williams. #227, 8 September 1821. (BGSOTC, November 2009, p.188)

Deed Book 34, p.179, 3 June 1823, Robert Mcafee, Andrew Miller, and Peter Mooney to Francis Alexander, all of RCNC to Jacob Michael of the same, 99 dollars, 99 acres part of patent 3144 24 November 1819 joining Andrew Miller, Morris, and Terrell. Wit. Benjn. F. Logan, Jos. Bowen. #267, 20 August 1823. (BGSOTC, May 2012, p.78)

Deed Book 34, p.191, 6 December 1822, John L. Love and Noah Hampton to Reinhardt & Bowen & Co., all of RCNC, 50 dollars, 50 acres granted to Thomas Hunter and James Love, joining David Miller, Taylor’s Mill Creek, Sarah Hamilton, Ledbetter, and Rowland. Wit. Jacob Michael, Ben’n. T Logan. #290, 27 August 1823. (BGSOTC, May 2012, p.78)

1835 – 12 January , a Sarah Queen and an Alfred Queen were among the purchasers of items from the (very large) estate of Jacob Michal, deceased, in Rutherford Co., NC.[105]  Over 100 pages of this record book were required to list all the purchasers and items.

1830 Census Jacob Michal
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Rutherford, North Carolina
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1
Slaves – Males – Under 10: 2
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1
Slaves – Females – Under 10: 1
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 6
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total Slaves: 6
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 15


If you have any additional information about Jacob or Daniel Michal, please share in the comments below. 

About the Logan Project: I possess a box of 170 documents passed down 6 generations in the Logan family that originate from John Logan (1775-1841) of Rutherford County, NC. These documents are mainly receipts that show the various business and legal dealings of many different families from Rutherford County, NC. I will be posting these documents on this blog in chronological order. The scanned images of these documents are the copyright of Jonathan Medford. You are welcome to download them for personal use. Do not redistribute these documents for the purpose of commercial gain without his expressed written permission. If you would like to start reading them from the first document, you can start here.

Posted in Melton

Lindsey F. Melton Receipt


October 23rd 1833 Received of John Logan two dollars in ful of all Demands

Lindsey F. Melton

Lindsey F. Melton was born in Rutherford County, NC on the 22 Nov 1803 to parents Cornelius Melton (b: 15 SEP 1768 in Albemarle County, Virginia) and Dicey Marinda Green (b: ABT 1768 in Virginia). He married Sarah May Fortune on 3 Mar 1826. The bondsman for the marriage was Williamson Fortune, suspected brother or father of Sarah.

They were living in Rutherford County during the 1830 North Carolina census. He was listed as age 20-30, with wife of same age. A second male in the household of this age. One son age 0-5 and another female of age 10-15.

He was declared a “bankrupt” on 19 Sep 1842 according to an article in the Highland Messenger (Asheville, NC).

Highland Messenger (Asheville, NC) 2 Sep 1842
Highland Messenger (Asheville, NC) 2 Sep 1842

By 1850, he was living in Cain Creek in Rutherford County with Sara h 45, Lucy 17, D.M. 15, Sarah 12, Claranda 10, Susan 8, Drusilla 6, Julious 3, Robert Twitty 8/12, and Franklin Dornbus h 14; all born in North Carolina.

In 1860 his household consisted of  L.F. Melton 56, with Sarah 54, Clarinda 22, Susan 20, Jane 18, Mary 16, Julius 14, and Robert 10.

He was living in the Logan Store Township in Rutherford County in 1870 with the following household: Linzy H. Melton 67, with Sarah 64, Amanda 34, and Robert 5.



If you have any additional information about Lindsey F. Melton, please share in the comments below. 

About the Logan Project: I possess a box of 170 documents passed down 6 generations in the Logan family that originate from John Logan (1775-1841) of Rutherford County, NC. These documents are mainly receipts that show the various business and legal dealings of many different families from Rutherford County, NC. I will be posting these documents on this blog in chronological order. The scanned images of these documents are the copyright of Jonathan Medford. You are welcome to download them for personal use. Do not redistribute these documents for the purpose of commercial gain without his expressed written permission. If you would like to start reading them from the first document, you can start here.


Posted in Freeman

Joel T. Freeman Receipt for Beef



Received of John Logan eight Dollars seventy five cents in full of all demands as effects his beef account
Oct 27th 1832  I [levy?] By Mr. Joel T. Freeman

attest W.W. Logan

One of my most recent blog posts on one of John Logan‘s receipts was for the the purchase of beef. The last receipt was dated on October 29th, 1831 and this receipt is dated October 27th, 1832. They are almost exactly a year apart. The last receipt was written to David Williams, who appears to have left Rutherford County sometime during the 1830s. The fact that John Logan is buying beef from a different source may indicate that David Williams left sometime between October 1831 and October 1832.


Photo of Joel T. Freeman sourced from
Photo of Joel T. Freeman sourced from

At first, I mistranscribed the name in this document as Jack P. Freeman, but thankfully John Logan‘s neat handwriting when he labels his receipts always comes through for me in the clutch. This receipt was written by Joel T. Freeman.


I believe this is Joel Terrell Freeman, born on July 27, 1812, in Rutherford, North Carolina. The collective thoughts on the internet appear to mark him as the child of Nathaniel Robertson Freeman and Catherine Seward.

I’m not exactly sure what documentation backs this up, but I would like to point out that there is a Joel Freeman living in Rutherford county during the 1820 census when this Joel T. Freeman was just eight years old. He married Isabel Minerva Porter on September 16, 1834. He died on August 29, 1889, in Gerton, North Carolina, and was buried in Henderson, North Carolina [source].

Joel would have been about 20 years old at the time of this receipt.

The W. W. Logan appears to be the same person from the P.J. Parker’s Receipt blog post. I’m still not sure who this is.



Resources for Joel T. Freeman

If you have any additional information about Joel Terrell Freeman or W. W. Logan, please share in the comments below. 

About the Logan Project: I possess a box of 170 documents passed down 6 generations in the Logan family that originate from John Logan (1775-1841) of Rutherford County, NC. These documents are mainly receipts that show the various business and legal dealings of many different families from Rutherford County, NC. I will be posting these documents on this blog in chronological order. The scanned images of these documents are the copyright of Jonathan Medford. You are welcome to download them for personal use. Do not redistribute these documents for the purpose of commercial gain without his expressed written permission. If you would like to start reading them from the first document, you can start here.

Posted in Williams

John J. Williams Receipt


Received of John Logan seven Dollars in ful of all accounts with me Sept. 21st 1832

John J. Williams

You may recall a recent blog post, David Williams Receipt for Beef, which featured another Williams. David Williams shows up briefly in Rutherford County records before disappearing in the 1830s, likely headed west. The good news is it is easy to find records on John Williams. The bad news, is there are no less than four John Williams listed in the 1830 census. I am hoping that a Rutherford County Williams research can help us identify the right John. Perhaps the middle initial of J will be of some use!

If you can find any additional information about John J. Williams, please share in the comments below. 

About the Logan Project: I possess a box of 170 documents passed down 6 generations in the Logan family that originate from John Logan (1775-1841) of Rutherford County, NC. These documents are mainly receipts that show the various business and legal dealings of many different families from Rutherford County, NC. I will be posting these documents on this blog in chronological order. The scanned images of these documents are the copyright of Jonathan Medford. You are welcome to download them for personal use. Do not redistribute these documents for the purpose of commercial gain without his expressed written permission. If you would like to start reading them from the first document, you can start here.