Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On the Tale of The Tidwell's

If you have read my previous blog... A Tale of the Tidwell's  recall, I discovered that my great grandfather Andrew Tidwell had acquired land.

Not the actual house model-only

By 1880, my great great grandfather Andrew Tidwell, and his wife Evaline had added a new addition to their growing family, six month old Columbus Tidwell. Sarah Tidwell now aged fourteen still lived at home, Franklin isn't accounted for any longer, but now there is a William born 1868, the same year as Franklin had been.

(what do you think maybe Franklin's full name was William Franklin or Franklin William...most likely?) 

Julie Ann, Jackson, Edgar, Marsellar (female), and Millard (my great grandfather). Andrew in this census was tic marked as being both ["insane and disabled"] and so was Sarah his fourteen year old daughter.  I couldn't find any information in the Freedmen's Bureau Hospital reports that confirmed this.

1880 Census Clay Bradley, Arkansas

 When I asked Uncle Oliver Tidwell grandson of Andrew Tidwell, was, Andrew insane and/or disabled he denies this. He says, he remembers his Aunt Sarah and from his recollection she wasn't insane. Sarah would later marry John H Rowell and Sarah and other family members would tell him about her father, his grandfather. None of the stories he recalls, includes that his grandfather was either insane or handicapped.  Several older family members confirm, and say, this allegation was probably just an error made by the census taker. I will continue to dig into this to see what more I learn. I don't know how he would have ever survived slavery without being a little crazy though....would you?

So how did Andrew Tidwell acquire the land during Reconstruction? He was born a slave in 1844. He was illiterate according to the census and could neither read nor write. He was also, allegedly "insane and handicapped". Like a lot of blacks after slavery he continued to live on the land of his former owner, and adopted the owners surname. You can find more about the direct male line of the Tidwell's in my blog  Harvest of the Helix: Our Tidwell Y-DNA.

Many former slaves starved to death after they were granted freedom, but Andrew Tidwell thrived. Insane or not, call him crazy if you want to. He took possession of the rudimentary bungalow that sat on the land and built a porch that wrapped around it for those cool springs days so his wife Evaline could sit outside and shell peas. Peas that he had grown in his own garden.  He applied for, and was granted this land for a nominal hundred dollar fee, by an act signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on 20 May 1862 called the Homestead Act which granted land to,

"Anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government (including freed slaves and women), was 21 years or older, or the head of a family, could file an application to claim a federal land grant."

The Homestead Act required three steps, 1) File an application 2) Improve the land 3) reside on the land for five years, show evidence of improvements then file for deed or title. By 1900, the land was his. Oh! And don't forget that Church!

117 Maul Rd, Camden, AR 71701
Bishop Chester L. Thompson Jr Sr. Pastor, TODAY

The Camden News Camden Arkansas 2 Oct 1948
Rev. J. E. Tidwell, Pastor, BACK THEN

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Tale of The Tidwell's

My dad worried that I would spend all of my vacation time in Salt Lake City Utah, at the Family History Library and not do anything else so I had to reassure him that I would do some sightseeing. Here are some of the sights I seen:

Okay, okay....

I did see some other sites:
The Fountain in Temple Square Salt Lake City

Mostly, though I spent my time at the Family History Library (hee hee hee). I met my great great paternal grandfather there in a book called Bradley Co. Arkansas 1890.  This book helped me close some of the 1890 sink hole for the Tidwell family. My dad's maternal great grandfather, Andrew Tidwell was born into slavery in 1844 Arkansas, and wasn't a free black, in 1860. Andrew was the father of my great grandfather Millard Tidwell born (1879-1925).  Millard, was the father of my dad's mother Neoma Tidwell (1912-1933).  According  to the 1880 census Andrew's parents were born in Alabama.  In 1870, Andrew owned real estate valued at one hundred dollars, and possessed one hundred seventy-five dollars of personal estate. 

1870 Census Clay, Bradley Arkansas
Year: 1870; Census Place: Clay, Bradley, Arkansas; Roll: M593_48; Page: 498B; Image: 203

He was called Andrew G. Tidwell on 23 March 1867 in Bradley, Arkansas when he registered to vote for the first time. In 1870 he was the head of household of eight others, which included his wife Evaline, and children Sallie, age five born 1865; Franklin, age two born 1868; and Julia age one born 1869, two other families, namely Ellis Marks age thirty born in 1840, and Ellis's wife Marzee Bragg born 1834, and their sons George Marks, age nine and William Marks age four born 1866, and also William Faulkner born 1820 and Agness born 1820 all lived under his roof.  Their neighbors were Sterling Bragg, born 1811,  George Bragg born 1840, Wm Cox 1843, George Rice 1831, Elizabeth Crowel 1831, and John Feazel 1841.  Each successive census year following 1870 a Bragg family lived in proximity to Andrew Tidwell and family. His property according to the book Bradley County Arkansas 1890 was located at Township 13 S, Range 11 W, Section 20, 5th PM purchased in 1877.

Property owned by Andrew Tidwell U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 

I can't fathom how my great great grandfather was able to purchase eighty acres of  land only twelve years after the end of slavery?  By 1890 he owned 160 acres. I've been searching for answers as to this question, such as where  did the money come from?  Could he have made this money from subsistence farming alone?  I  haven't found any answers yet. although, I do have some insight  as to who may have owned the land before him.  According to page 58 of the book Bradley County Arkansas 1890, Andrew Tidwell's property bordered George Tidwell and Sterling Tidwell both owning acreage on sec 29, Township 13, range 11, 160 acres to Sterling Tidwell and 80 acres  to George Tidwell issued 24 Apr 1890

Property owned by George Tidwell U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 

Property owned by Sterling Tidwell 
U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 

Sterling Tidwell born 1858 married Sallie Belin and George Tidwell born 1840 married Anjaline Calhoun, My great great grandfather Andrew married Evaline (possibly Faulkner) and I am told that the land he owned housed a church  that he built and a modest home with a wide wrap-around porch that looked like this:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Say their names....

When I got to my hotel in Salt Lake City Utah, my room wasn't ready and I had to wait over an hour for it to be prepared, the good thing though they promised me an upgrade, and I ended up with a very nice suite. While sitting in the lobby I looked at t.v. the news was on and the newscaster was talking about a massacre that had occurred the day prior in a Charleston Church.

1)Susie Jackson 87; 2)Myra Thompson, 59, 3)Depayne Middleton Doctor 49; 4)Ethel Lance70;
5)Rev.Daniel Simmons Sr 6)Sharonda Coleman 7)Tywanza Sanders 8)Cynthia Hurd 9)Rev Clementa Pinckney 41 State Senator

Police had apprehended the suspect who at first glance resembled a dark stoic twelve year old kid to me, as my mother would say, still wet behind the ears. I intentionally leave his name out of this blog post because their will be enough said about him. The nine people whose lives he ended though, with their bright smiling faces shining into the camera, precious lives stilled much too soon, had presence, character and light, reminding me just how short our walk really is, but just like Psalm 112:6 "Surely the righteous will never be shaken, they will be remembered forever." My heart goes out to their families.

This tragedy just let me know I can't continue to just walk through this world and act like I'm oblivious to the horrors within it. It made me think about how quickly I could become one of the ancestors in which I search.

My whole focus for this trip to Salt Lake City was to visit the Family History Library and find some of the information that I had created a list for namely:

  1. Marriage licenses for my great grandparents.
  2. Death Certificate for my great grandfather Peter Bass from Warren Arkansas.
  3. Property information for my great great grandfather Andrew Tidwell.
  4. Wills and Probate Records of the plantation owners from South Carolina.
  5. Any relevant information that would help my research.

I kept checking and re-checking that list because I would only have one week to find what I was looking for. As I sat there the receptionist called me over and told me my room was finally ready.

The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot Proverbs 10:7

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Salt Lake City Vacay

I haven't been blogging in awhile so allow me to catch up. I started this new blog months ago, but didn't quite know where I wanted to go with it. Since June, I have been staying informed about current events and the motivations that either drive or stagnate our society, and decided to dedicate this blog to what is going on in the world today.

 I went to Utah this year for vacation, it had been a bullet on my bucket list. I have now visited eighteen of the fifty States. Utah is a desert State in the Western United States. It's largest population is primarily Morman and members of the Church of Latter Day Saints LDS.  It's racial population as of 2010 is 87% white, 2% asian, 1.2% Native American  and 1% African American. I wish I could say that my experience there was overall  very pleasant, it is such a beautiful State and most of the people treated me with the utmost respect, don't get me wrong, but you know how one unpleasant experience can ruin your entire stay....well.

Mine happened in baggage claim where some rude white guy shoved me hard in my chest, "You can't be cutting in front of me he yelled. Mind you, there was no line just an aggregate of travelers mulling around.  He was a big guy, but I poked him back in his chest not hardly, as hard, and said, "I wasn't cutting in front of you. I was just finding a space to stand while I wait for my bags to come down." How rude! He had no right to put his hands on me! that I've vented, I didn't allow that one rude guy to ruin, my entire vacation!