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

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



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.