Showing posts with label Rainwater Joshua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rainwater Joshua. Show all posts

Friday, July 15, 2016

Foto Friday-John Rainwater's headstone



This photo was taken by a cousin on my Rainwater side. Thank you Trudy! John Rainwater was my second great-granduncle. I descend through his sister, Olivia Rainwater.

John was born in Cedartown, Polk County, Georgia on the 19th June 1832 but he and his wife Bargilla Moore moved to Texas. John died 14 June 1890 in Hamilton, Upshur, Texas and is buried in the Rock House Cemetery.








Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Winter Rainwater Wedding - Part 1

It was a chilly winter day in Polk County, Georgia (1)   when nineteen year old Frances Rainwater, daughter of Joshua Rainwater and Polly Peterson, married eighteen year old Reuben Ayers, son of Martin Ayers and Sarah Simmons.
Mary (Polly) Peterson
Polly Peterson Rainwater
Frances' mother
Photo shared by: Trudy Capps

I wonder, who was there to witness their marriage?  Did Frances have a special dress?  Did family and friends gather afterwards to celebrate her special day?

Frances was the youngest of the three Rainwater daughters and the baby in a family of six children.  Her family lived along the beautiful winding Tallapoosa River in Haralson County, Georgia. Their father, Joshua, supported their family by farming. Their family was among the early members of the Bethany Baptist Church (2)  located on the outskirts of the current town of Tallapoosa.  If Frances was like other girls of her time, she grew up helping her mother, Polly, with cooking, sewing and caring for their small farm animals.

Bethany Baptist Church, Haralson County, GA
Bethany Baptist Church
Haralson County, GA
(original location but newer building)
Photo shared by: David Rawlings

By the time Frances married Reuben on January 24, 1856, her older siblings Mariah, Abner and Olivia, were married and living nearby with their spouses and children. Siblings Matilda and John were still at home and would not marry for several more years.


In October of 1857, Reuben and Frances welcomed a baby girl to their home. They named her Mary Ann,  but called her Molly.  By the1860 US Census (3), they were living just across the Georgia/Alabama border in the rolling hills of Calhoun County, Alabama and Reuben provided for the family by farming.  Frances' sister, Olivia, and her husband, John Ganus,  and their three sons Frank, John and James R. were living nearby. As a farmer's wife and the mother of a little girl,  Frances settled into life, with her older sister Olivia nearby for friendship and support.


Near Calhoun Alabama  Wikimpedia Public domain
Overlooking Calhoun, Alabama
Wikipedia Commons

By August of 1861, Reuben, Frances, and Molly returned to Haralson county, Georgia where Reuben enlisted with Company A,  35th Georgia Infantry. Although Frances' mother, Polly, had passed away, Frances's father,  Joshua, and several of her siblings lived close enough to be a help and support while Reuben was away at war. Typically soldiers' wives had to care for their farms and their families while they anxiously awaited for any news about their husbands and their regiments.  I am sure Frances was no exception.




Joshua Rainwater Family

Joshua RAINWATER  (b. 13 Nov 1791 SC d. 15 August 1878 Upshur TX) & Mary PETERSON  (b. abt 1794 SC  d. bef 1860 GA
  • Matilda RAINWATER b. 10 Aug 1821 Pendleton Dist, SC - 16 Sep 1904 Haralson Co, GA 
  • Mariah RAINWATER  b. 1826  d 1903 SC - 1903 Talledega, AL
  • Abner RAINWATER b. 1827 d. 1908  b. 16 Apr 1827 SC - 23 Sep 1908 Hamilton, TX
  • Olivia RAINWATER b. 20 Feb 1831 Hall Co., GA  - 12 Sep 1902 Okmulgee, OK 
  • John RAINWATER b. 19 Jun 1832  GA - 14 Jun 1890 Upshur, TX
  • Frances RAINWATER b. Jul 1837 GA  - 1913 Polk Co., GA
1.  Marriage  Reuben Ayers to Frances Rainwater 24 January 1856, "Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-25515-21526-85?cc=1927197 : accessed 16 Oct 2014), 0419307 (005191034) > image 94 of 415.
2. Lois Owens Newman and Carroll County Genealogical Society, Haralson County A History (Carrollton, GA: Carroll County Genealogical Society, 1994), 93.
3. 1860 U.S. census, Calhoun, Alabama, population schedule, Oaklevel PO, p. 42 (penned), dwelling 302, family 302, Ruben Ayres; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 23 October 2014); from Family History Library Film: 803004. 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Thought I Knew


I thought I knew history.  After all, I had certainly taken my share of history classes over the years.  As a child, I listened in school, attended the assemblies and dutifully completed my history assignments.   High School required yet more history and in college I took 5 history courses as part of my graduation requirements.  I hate to admit that through it all, I never really learned to like or appreciate history.

It really wasn't until I began to research my own ancestors and discovered their lives intertwined with historical events that I suddenly found history interesting and relevant to me.  When I learned that I had ancestors in America very early on and that my fourth great grandfather, David Gurganus, participated in the Revolutionary War and that my third great grandfather,  Joshua Rainwater, fought in the War of 1812, the details of those events suddenly became fascinating and the events and dates began to fall neatly into order.  I have even found myself actually reading history books on my own, without the urgings of a teacher or the fear of failing a test, and I have liked it!


Visiting Virginia this past May took history to an entirely new
level.  As I've said before, it's one thing to read about history, it is another thing to visit the sites where those events actually took place, to feel the emotion of those places and to ponder how those events impacted not only my ancestors' lives, but my own.  As we visited the various historical sites in Virginia,  I found myself looking at many of the events in an entirely different light.  Much of what we saw there pertained to the Civil War, but we visited many other significant historical sites there as well.


When we visited St John's church in Richmond, we were able to see the exact spot where Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech declaring "Give me liberty or give me death."  As our guide shared with us the riveting details leading up to that event, she helped us to feel his passion and to better understand the significance of his speech.  I wondered what kind of commitment to liberty my ancestors had felt.



Of the many places we visited, Colonial Williamsburg was without a doubt one of my favorites.  There I learned about elements of our nation's beginning that I had never before internalized.

As we walked around the park, we listened to the murmuring of actors dressed in period clothing, portraying discontented and concerned citizens and imagined what it felt like to live in a time of such uncertainty.  While typically so much of our study focuses on the main characters of history, this helped me to consider the sacrifice, commitment and courage required by even the common citizen as steps were taken to establish our country as an independent nation.  I realized that not everything significant occurred in a meeting behind closed doors or on the battlefield.   What type of discussions had gone on among my ancestors, their families and friends?  What was the talk around the family dinner table or over the fence with the neighbors?  With each step taken towards independence, what had been my ancestor's understanding of the situation and had they wrestled within their own minds with their allegiance?

In the park, women in long cotton dresses, bonnets and crisp white aprons, represented mothers and wives of the time. They gathered in clusters as neighbors and friends and anxiously shared their concerns and fears for their sons and their husbands, discussing the rumors of pending rebellion.  It helped me to see and think about issues that I had not considered before.  Living in a new land, citizens had serious concerns about not only the unknown consequences of separating themselves from their mother country, but also about their ability to exist alone in a new world. For the women, losing their husband would mean facing life in a new colony alone.  How had my female ancestors felt as the rumors of rebellion and war began, knowing that it would take their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers and leave them alone?

We listened as a man portraying George Washington shared his views and experiences, allowing members of the crowd to ask him questions.  I wondered how my ancestors felt about many of the issues he presented.

Towards the end of the afternoon, we heard the fife and drum procession long before we saw it and I felt excitement as they rounded the square and moved onto the field.   Following their spirited performance,  the minutemen stepped forward, then loaded and fired their muskets and I felt chills down my spine.  They had done an excellent job in transporting us back in time and I felt a renewed gratitude for the courage shown by those willing to forge a new life in America and for the steps they took in establishing a free country.

I thought I knew history, but there is so much I didn't know.



As I look forward to the Fourth of July, my thoughts will be of the many men and women throughout history that courageously took a stand for what they believed, despite the cost to them personally. Thanks to them, we live in a land of many privileges and freedoms.  In addition, my prayers will be for the many men and women that continue in the fight to maintain that freedom.

God Bless the USA!

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Eye for an Eye and an Ear for an Ear?

We all knew kids that bit other children.  One of our own sweet children often resorted to biting and sometimes for no apparent reason.  It was humiliating to have a teacher bring her to me during church, indicating that she had bitten....again.  But thankfully, with some creative persuasion techniques and time, she did outgrow biting and she is a wonderful woman today with her own children.  The point is, she did outgrow it and found other ways to communicate her displeasure with other's behavior.

Apparently, that is not always the case for everyone. While researching my Rainwater family in Anderson County, South Carolina court records, I found the following:

State of South Carolina
Appeared personally Mishack Deale and David Heaton before me, A.J. Liddell one of the Justice of the peace in the District aforesaid and after being duly sworn on their oaths said that they were present at a fight that took place between Jesse Jolly and Solomon Rainwater some time in the month of June 1816 and in the affray the deponents saith that Jesse Jolly did bite the ear off said Rainwater or part of the right ear of said Rainwater.  Sworn and subscribed before me this 14 day of Nov 1817.

A.L. Liddell J.P.
Recorded 15th Nov. 1817

I really wish I knew the full story of what transpired both before Solomon had his ear partially bitten off and afterwards.  This appeared in court records in November, about five months following the June incident, so both Solomon Rainwater and Jesse Jolly had had time to think about the issue and apparently had not resolved it on their own.  I couldn't help but remember an incident in 1997 when heavyweight Mike Tyson bit off a portion of his opponent Holyfield's ear in the ring. But again, this was at least in the ring.  What would provoke a grown man to bite a chunk of another man's ear off out in public?

This Solomon Rainwater was born about 1799 in South Carolina and was the son of Solomon Rainwater and Ruth Felton, whom I've mentioned before.  He was also brother to Joshua Rainwater who is my third great grandfather. This younger Solomon  married Nancy Linn about nine years after this fight on 18 Dec. 1826 and they had 11 children, Leander, Amanda, Naomi, Cimantha, Nancy, Solomon, Charity, Cicero, Isabel, Virgil and Horace. By 1821, Solomon and Nancy were living in Hancock County, Georgia where Solomon passed away in 1858.

Solomon's older brother, Job, had married Didama Hembree in 1800 and her sister, Winnie Hembree, had married David Heaton in about 1813.  So, Job Rainwater and wife Didama nee Hembree, as well as  David Heaton  and Winnie nee Hembree were married at the time of the fight, although Solomon was an unmarried young man about 18 years old and still living in his father's household. So, whatever the circumstances were, Solomon had a connection with David Heaton and my guess is, likely at least knew Mishack Deale as well.

 Hopefully the issue was resolved and life resumed, although with a portion of his ear missing as a reminder, it's unlikely that the incident was ever totally forgotten.  While a bit tedious, I love researching in court records because you never know what you might find.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2012



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Extreme Old Age and Debility

Original Flag
 Smithsonian
See:Here

 On the 20th of January in 1814, as the War of 1812 continued to rage  on, 23 year old Joshua Rainwater joined the ranks of brave men willing to risk their lives in a battle for our country's freedom.  At the county courthouse in Pendleton, South Carolina, Joshua volunteered to serve in the South Carolina Militia.  As part of Captain Alexander Morehead's Company, Col Nash's Regiment, Joshua was enlisted from January 20th 1814 through July 28th of 1814.  In September of that year,  Francis Scott Key, inspired by the site of the American Flag raised at Baltimore's Fort McHenry wrote the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner." It was a time when many felt great patriotism and fierce loyalty to their country and Joshua was among those brave men willing to risk their life to prove it. 

 Early in my research, my husband sent off for Joshua's War of 1812 file from the National Archives as a surprise for me (it was on my "to-do" list and he knew it).  It was so fun to receive the thick manila envelope with the National Archives stamp for the return address.  I was excited to read through each faded page and learn a little more about my third great grandfather.  I knew it was definitely MY ancestor when the cover letter  indicated that "The date and place of soldier's birth and names of his parents are not shown."  Of course they weren't. So often the details typically recorded in various documents are missing from my ancestor's documents and so I've almost come to expect it.

Included in Joshua's file is the following paper filed by his attorney.  Although apparently not humorous to J.W.D. Miller at the time, it does make me smile. This paper underscores the fact that fraudulent land claims were rampant during that period of time.

J.W.D. Miller, Iuka, Miss

Iuka, Miss
Feb 4, 1874 
Please say if he is entitled to the other 80 acres---I have no heart to buy blanks, fill, buy postage and find that every one in 30 cases perhaps has either drawn it, or some lying, thieving forger has.      J.W.D. Miller 
Joshua  filed for and received his pension when he was 82 and living in Upshur County, Texas.  I was thrilled to see his own signature on some of the documents, which is a bit unusual for one of my ancestors.  I loved seeing Joshua's signature and handling documents, albeit copies, knowing that he once held the originals in his hands.

Joshua Rainwater





Rock House Cemetery
Hamilton County, Texas
Used by permission
Findagrave entry here
                               
Joshua died the 15th of August 1878 and Abner, his son, applied for reimbursement of his father's burial expenses on 20th January 1879  According to the file, the expenses for his burial were as follows:

Coffin 7.75
Shrouding 23.85
Clothes in which dec'd was buried 3.45
For a total of 35.05

Papers filed following his death indicated that "decedent was not  affected with any particular malady but died of extreme old age & debility."  On another document it indicated that "dec'd had no particular affliction, but died from general exhaustion, and aging away of the system."  Joshua Rainwater was 87, had lived a long full life and had every reason to be tired.




Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's all in a name-Joshua Rainwater

Joshua Rainwater.  I've always loved his name.

I wish that we had named some of our children after our ancestors, but I wasn't doing family history then and at that time my ancestors were just names on a  pedigree chart kept by my grandmother.  Now they are real and I feel that I almost know many of them.  I have learned about them, thought about them and eagerly searched to find out more about them and in the process they truly feel like family .  Recently a grand-daughter was given the middle name of Olivia and I cried when our daughter told me that they had chosen that name.  To me it almost says, "Olivia made a difference, so emulate her strengths, honor her as you use her name."  I think that naming a child after an ancestor is just one more way to create a link with the past and to help children to feel connected to those that lived before.

Joshua's parents, Solomon Rainwater and Ruth (Felton), apparently gave some thought to the names they gave their children. In addition to naming their son Joshua, the names for their other children were also from the Bible and include Job, John, Delilah, Rebecca, Laodicea, Solomon, Rhoda, Abner, Rachel and Elisha.  Simply said, names mattered.  At that period of time, children were often named after family members, ancestors, political leaders, spiritual leaders or, as was the case for my Rainwaters, people in the Bible. I've read that the trend for 2012 is for children to once again be named "old fashioned" names after grandparents and other ancestors and I'm glad that that tradition is returning

While naming their children from the Bible implies that Solomon and Ruth had a certain familiarity with the Bible, to me it also implies that the Bible held value for them. But the names of Joshua's siblings are not the only indication that religion played a part in the Rainwater's life. The Rainwaters are often found among the rolls and lists kept by church congregations, a fact that appears to have continued down through the generations. Unfortunately, not everything recorded on the subject is of a completely positive nature.  In September 1999 on the Rainwater Rootsweb list, Kay Ohana shared a few entries from the minutes of The Yellow Creek Baptist Church in Hall County, Georgia.
December 15 1827  Rec'd by letter Joshua Rainwater
February 14 1831 Joshua Rainwaters gave satisfaction for drinking two much spirits
November 19 1831 granted Letters of Dismissions to Joshua and Polly Rainwaters.
  (To see her complete post, go here:  Partial Minutes from Yellow Creek Baptist Church)

On a positive note, this does show that they were members of a local congregation, although apparently they enjoyed their "spirits" a little too much.

Knowing that by 1840 Joshua and his family had moved to the Haralson/Carroll County area, I once again turned to "Haralson County, Georgia, A History," by Lois Owens Newman and found a church sketch and list of members for Bethany Baptist Church before 1851.  The list on pages 92 and 93 includes Abner Rainwater, John Rainwater, Mary Rainwater, Frances Rainwater, and Louisa Rainwater (Abner's wife),  Mariah  (Rainwater) Barnwell, Olivia Gaines (I believe this to be a transcription error and to actually be Olivia Ganus nee Rainwater).  Matilda Rainwater married Josiah Goggans and listed is a Josiah Goggans  along with a Mary Goggans, so I wonder if perhaps Matilda's name was incorrectly listed.  If so, this list would include all of Joshua's children.  Joshua is absent from the list, although wife, Mary (Polly) is included.  Because I  don't have access to the original list to view it myself, I do consider the possibility that Joshua was omitted in the transcribing process. The author indicated that the list is a compilation, with some actually joining after 1851 and some well into the 1860's.

Bethany Baptist Church, Haralson County, Georgia
Bethany Baptist Church
Haralson County, GA
Some remodeling has occurred,
but has remained in the same location
(used by permission)








 Religion played an important role in people's lives back then and the people that they associated with and interacted with were often members of the same congregation.  Further research shows that religion continued to play an important role for some of Joshua and Polly's children as well as grandchildren and that has continued down through the generations for many of their families.  I wonder if just maybe that was what Solomon and Ruth had hoped for when they chose their children's names?





Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rainwater Ford? --I wanna go there!


 Joshua Rainwater was my third great grandfather. Born the 13th of November 1791 in South Carolina, Joshua was the seventh child of eleven born to Solomon Rainwater and Ruth Felton. I have enjoyed learning about Joshua and have appreciated the fact that he has been a little easier to research than some ancestors. He apparently had some money and appears to have been at least a little more educated than some and that has made all the difference. I am going to take a couple of posts to share some of what I have learned about him.  While technically I should probably start at the beginning,  I've decided instead to share something fun about him, just because.

On page 222 in  "Haralson County, A History" by Lois Owens Newman I found an interesting write up about Joshua. Included in the article about him is the following information :
 "The Rainwater property, lot 157 lies along the Tallapoosa River and it is on this lot that the well known Rainwater Ford is located.  The Ford is still in use. (1990.)" 

I was able to locate a deed that confirmed that Land Lot 157 did indeed belong to Joshua. In 1832, he purchased Land Lot #157 in the 8th District from Abner Carter for $100.00.  Joshua's property consisted of 202 1/2 acres and was then located in Carroll County, but due to county line changes, that property is now in Haralson County.

What a fun discovery!  I was able to locate the Rainwater Ford on the following map on the University of Texas Libraries website, "Perry-Casteneda Library Map Collection"   found under "Georgia Historical Topographic Maps." (map in public domain)

Rainwater Ford
Rainwater Ford
Published by the U.S. Geological Survey 

This landmark still bears the Rainwater name today and I was able to find a satellite view of the ford on the following website:   Rainwater Ford (The location of the ford is marked by the pin.)

Sometimes my ancestors almost seem mythical, like they existed only as a story, so I love it when I can find something absolute that truly says, " I really lived and I was here."  It's so fun to have physical evidence of their existence.  In addition, I now have another place to add to my "What to see when I go to Georgia" list.