Oh Children Let Us Think On Eternity!

This past weekend I was doing some research on various lines of my dad’s family. Monday we got a day off from school due to weather so I continued my search and focused on my SULLINS line. Specifically, I was looking at my paternal 6th great grandparents, Nathan and Winefred MAYS SULLINS. In order to give you some idea of how we fit into the SULLINS family, the line of ascent goes from my great grandpa Mark DRAKE to his dad Ervin to Ervin’s mom Hester MITCHELL to Hester’s dad Mordica to Mordica’s parents (John and Winnie SULLINS MITCHELL and Mordica’s grandparents Nathan and Winefred MAYS SULLINS.

During my search, I came across a website I want to share with you. The Cole Family website includes a page with a handwritten letter from Nathan and Rebecca MITCHELL SULLINS (Nathan was the son of Nathan and Winefred). I loved the letter and would like to share it with you here but I also encourage you to go look at the Cole Family website and see what you can find for yourself.

This particular photo is a screenshot of a portion of the Nathan and Rebecca MITCHELL SULLINS letter that I found on Ancestry. However, the entire original, handwritten letter is on The Cole Family website at the link above.

Here’s the transcription below. You can find more details about the letter and view the original handwritten letter at the link above.

Athens Tenn Apr. 19 1848

Dear Son & Daughter
I now send you a letter to let you know we are all alive. According to our age we enjoy as good health as could be expected. Morris got home
yesterday about 12 o’clock. We was glad to hear you was all well, but
sorry to hear you expected to go so far off. I once was young but now I
am old, by the help of providence we have raised 12 children, there is 11 yet alive so far as we know, they are now scattered in 4 states. My
children are near to me. When I was young and able to labor with and
for my children I then had pleasure. I now am not able to labor much
nor to travel and when I think of a child leaving me so far that I never
expect to see its face again in the flesh its as much as I want to bear. Mary has always been a good obedient child.
[page 2]
Oh children let us think on eternity that there is a God to serve and a
heaven to obtain that is more sacred to us than all this world’s goods.
We want you to write to us when you locate and tell us where you are
and where to direct our letters. Annis lives in Green Co. Mo. direct your
letters to Springfield to John Murray.
[page 3]
Family Record
(NOTE FROM LISA: On page 3 there is a list of names and dates, as if it
were copied from a family Bible to pass on to the receiver of the letter.
I won’t transcribe that here. You can find that information at the link

No more at present but remain your affectionate parents
Nathan and Rebecca Sullins

I love this letter so much. I can feel every pain of this momma’s heart as she worries about her children moving far away and never being able to see them again. I can imagine that she’s thinking about grandbabies she will never meet as well. If she’s anything like me, she’s thinking about all the bad that could happen and how much she would like to spare her children from experiencing the bad things. More than that, she’s worrying about their spiritual well-being. Oh how I can relate to this momma as she pours out her heart in a letter to her daughter!

I Once Was Young But Now I Am Old

Like Rebecca, I can remember being young once, too. I can remember when Bart and I decided to move to Idaho and I remember receiving a letter from my mom. A letter where she poured out her heart to me and wished me not to move so far away. Things sure do cycle back around, don’t they? And when we saw my son off to his eternal home, nothing was more important in that moment than his spiritual well-being and whether I would see him again in eternity or be separated from him forever.
Yes, I sure can relate to my 6th great aunt Rebecca as she poured out her heart to her daughter in a farewell letter.

So Fades the Summer Cloud Away

So fades the Summer cloud away;

So sinks the gale when storms are o’er;

So gently shuts the eye of day;

So dies the wave along the shore.

I want to leave you with one last thing about Rebecca – her obituary.

Obituary of Rebecca MITCHELL SULLINS. Found on Ancestry.

Sweet Rebecca. I hope you are spending eternity with your children whom you loved so much and so well.

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Quincy Bell, Civil War Hero or Political Thug?, Part 2

I hope you read part 1 because we’re jumping right into part 2, no introduction!


Transcription of the first newspaper article:

“From Texas County.

Still Another Spurious Delegate at Marshfield – A Fugitive from Justice turns up in a Representative Capacity.

Houston, Texas Co., Aug. 4.

To the Editor of the Daily Leader:

Springfield papers, containing an account of the Marshfield convention, have just been received here.  From them we learn that one Q. A. Bell was in that convention as a delegate from Texas County.  No Radical convention has been held in this county to appoint delegates to the Marshfield convention, nor for any other purpose.  Mr. Q. A. Bell got into a scrape here, and left the county to avoid being arrested by the officers of the law.  He ran away from Texas county- a fugitive from justice- went into Webster county and stayed with some relatives until the Marshfield convention came off.  He has just got back, and I understand he says he is ashamed of what he did, and would not have gone into the convention but that some of Havens’ friends at Marshfield “fixed up his papers,” and insisted that he act as a delegate – that they assured him “it was all right enough, and nobody would ever find it out.”

Suffrage Radical”

It was alright enough.  You ever told yourself that about something?  Maybe next time, just say no!  I wish I could tell you that I understand everything that happened but I don’t.  I’ve sat on this story for about a year, maybe a little longer, because I was trying to figure out the whole story.  I’m not going to hold out any longer.  In trying to figure it all out there is another article we need to read but it is in such poor shape that it’s nearly impossible to read.  I’ve transcribed as much of the article as possible, and as well as possible, below.


“Daily Leader

Thursday, August 11, 1870

Was the nomination of the ten dollar, hundred day ??? by the Marshfield convention a cut-and-dried affair or was it not? Was the convention which made the nomination a body representative of the real contingent of the Radical party in the district, or did it represent only that ??? “ring” in that party?  It now appears that the two individuals admitted to the convention as delegates authorized to ??? the vote of Ozark county, were not only spurious and self-constituted, but in no manner reflected the sentiment or wishes of the majority of the party in that ???.  One of them, in fact, had not been in the county or the State three months, and was not therefore a qualified voter.  It appears that McDonald county, which no primary convention was held and no exp??? whatever of ??? as to candidates was had, was in like manner misrepresented in the person of W. H. Goody ????.  And now it further appears that Texas county, failing to send a delegation found herself honored in the convention by being accredited in that body with a fugitive from justice, Q. A. Bell, who was picked up in the streets of Marshfield and clothed with representative honors by an ??? of the Havens clique.  Here, ???, we have three ??? casting their votes at Marshfield for a candidate and the representative of principles notoriously ignored by a large majority of the party whose views they assumed to represent.  Add to these Christian county, in which the friends of the amendment ??? align two to one, and also add Greene, ????? not the question become one worth the ??? of the party whether they have not been imposed on, their real sentiments misrepresented, and their wishes overridden in the action of the Marshfield meeting! Does it not become even a more serious question whether they will abide by and submit to the usurpations of a mere clique, bent upon carrying out the will and the wishes, not of the majority, but the barest minority of the party?”

That’s where the article ends.  I can hardly make heads or tails of it other than Quincy wasn’t alone in this mess and there was a clique known as the Havens clique that was a minority in the Radical Party of 1870.  So I Googled it, of course!  Apparently, in the five years following the Civil War, Missouri was deeply divided.  The conservatives had split into several factions over a variety of issues and they couldn’t seem to agree on anything.  In this void rose up the Radical Union Party.  They wanted to get rid of slavery as well as Missouri’s reputation of being a state overcome with guerilla warfare.  The party was progressive in their thinking.  You can learn more here.

Suffice it to say, Quincy got sucked into all this- whether willingly or through cajoling- and it didn’t end well for him.  I really can’t tell you much more than that right now but there is at least one more article I need to transcribe.  Unfortunately, it’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would.  So, over the next week or two I’m going to be transcribing and reporting to you about the Marshfield Convention and the craziness that went on there and maybe when I’m done we’ll have this all figured out.

So enjoy your stay right here in the middle of a big old political, legal mess for Quincy.  I’ll catch up with you soon with the rest of the story.

Until then,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Clippings are from Newspapers.com

Quincy Bell, Civil War Hero or Political Thug?, Part 1

We can all be different people at different times.  No one is static.  So can someone be both a hero and a thug in different circumstances?  I’m going to explore that question today in the life of my paternal 3rd great-grandfather, Quincy Adam BELL.  He was married to Elizabeth Emoline STEPHENSON (possibly spelled STEVESON, STEPHESON or STEVENSON).  The line of descent is from Quincy through his daughter Eliza, and Eliza’s son Ralph LARKIN who was my great-grandfather.  Quincy was born on this date (13 March) in 1825.  I have not written about Quincy before.  Normally I would take the time to introduce him to you but today I have a story to tell you that my sister-in-law has been asking me to tell for over a year.  (By the way, you should visit her blog over at Down in the Root Cellar.)  I will give you an abbreviated introduction but mostly I want to get right into his story.

Quincy was born in Tennessee but he lived the majority of his life in Missouri.  He came to Missouri with his parents and siblings sometime around 1836.  I want to skip ahead though, to Quincy at age 36.  The year was 1861 and America was barreling toward a civil war.  Quincy volunteered to serve for the Union.  On 28 August 1861, Quincy enrolled as a Private in Captain Coleman’s Company, Missouri Infantry for a period of 6 months.  One of his fellow Privates was John Smith PHELPS who had served both in the Missouri House of Representatives and in Congress (including serving on the House Ways and Means Committee) since 1840.  (I think it was this connection with PHELPS that caused Quincy to end up in a situation that got him in trouble later in his life.)  They fought in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek after which the company retreated to Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri (which was named after John Smith Phelps when it was created).  It was during this time that, in a special arrangement with President Abraham LINCOLN, John Smith PHELPS organized an infantry regiment – Phelps’ Infantry Regiment.  By November of 1861, Quincy had enrolled as a Private in Company A, Phelps’ Infantry Regiment in Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri.  They spent most of the winter of 1861-1862 at Fort Wyman in Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri.  In March of 1862, the Company fought a fierce battle at Pea Ridge, Benton County, Arkansas.  The battle lasted two days.


Pea Ridge Battlefield maps found on Wikipedia.


Sketch of the Last Hour of the Battle of Pea Ridge found on Wikipedia.

Quincy’s muster-out date from Company A, Phelps’ Infantry was 11 April 1862.  He mustered out in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri and was given $26.62 for “clothing in kind or money advanced”.  He was marked as Present.  I don’t know the succession of events but I have found an index card showing that Quincy mustered in to Company M of the 16th Missouri Cavalry as a Private and before he mustered out he had been promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant.  A Quartermaster Sergeant is in charge of supplies, as I understand it.  I know that he was in this company in 1863 but that’s as close as I’ve gotten so far.

You can read a short couple of paragraphs about the 16th Missouri at NPS.gov.  One thing I know this company was doing in 1863 other than fighting in skirmishes was fighting Confederate Guerillas in the Springfield, Greene County, Missouri area.  You can read a short snippet about Phelps’ Regiment also at NPS.gov.

Other researchers have listed him as being in Berry’s Battalion Cavalry,  Cass County Home Guards Cavalry, Stewart’s Battalion Cavalry, and Van Horn’s Battalion Cavalry during 1863.  I have not found documentation to support these claims yet.

Now, I want to skip ahead a little.  The year is 1870 and very politically charged- much like the current political climate.  It’s 11 August in Missouri- hot, humid, nearly unbearable.  Quincy is 45 years old.  I’m going to leave you right here for the night and finish the story tomorrow.  Be sure you come back because this is where he runs into trouble!

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Sources: NPS.gov; Wikipedia; Fold3; Ancestry; https://www.civilwar.org/learn/civil-war/battles/pea-ridge (I like CivilWar.org’s battlefield photos better).  I encourage you to explore CivilWarTalk.com’s website as well.

John Bell and Sarah Hardin- Another Postmaster and His Wife

Today’s blog post is about my paternal 4th great grandparents, John BELL and Sarah HARDIN who were married in January of 1822.  I have never found a marriage certificate for them.  The date given is one I have received from other researchers.  I mentioned this couple in an earlier blog post.  As I was writing this week I realized that in recent posts I’ve forgotten to tell you which line leads me to each of these ancestors.  For John and Sarah, I descend through John and Sarah’s son Quincy, through Quincy’s daughter Eliza (whom I recently wrote about here), and Eliza’s daughter (and my great-grandmother) Bessie.  I’ll try to remember to include an ancestral line in future posts. 

John BELL was born about 1795 possibly in North Carolina or Kentucky.  I don’t know for sure who his parents were.  There is much about John that I haven’t been able to figure out.  I have yet to find a birth or marriage record.  His burial location is on private property and in the 1970’s the then-owners of that land destroyed the headstones and the Bell family cemetery.  This information comes from researcher Shirley Davis who visited with the people who owned the land at that time.

Sarah HARDIN was born about 1806 in Rutherford County, North Carolina to Hardy and Tabitha (ROBERTS) HARDIN.  Their last name is also commonly spelled HARDEN.  Sarah has been easier to research than John but there is still much about Sarah that I don’t know.  She is buried in the same location as John so there are the same difficulties with no one knowing exactly where that is.

John and Sarah lived in Sweetwater, McMinn County, Tennessee at the beginning of their marriage between 1820-1830.  In 1838 they moved to Greene County, Missouri with their children- Quincy, Calvin, Serena, Elvina, Catherine, Alexander, James, Sarah, and Hannah.  After the family moved there, Phebe and Mary were born.

John was the first Postmaster at the Dallas, Missouri, Post Office (Greene County).  The first Postmaster appointment I can find for him was at the Dallas (Missouri) Post Office on 19 December 1844.  He as there until 27 May 1846.  The following day John SMITH replaced him at Dallas Post Office.  On 15 January 1847, John was appointed Postmaster at the post office in St. Paul, Missouri.  Another researcher (Shirley Davis) has said that the St. Paul Post Office was on John’s property.  As I’ve said in previous blog posts, the postmaster often kept the post office in his own home.  John’s property was Southwest of Marshfield, Missouri, on the James River.  I believe it is that area that is known as Bell Ford, which you will see on several of the family records.  There is also a place called Bell Spring that was named after our Bell family.  Here is a map showing Bell Springs Road and Bell Ford Road.

Bell Hardin post - bell springs map

Here is a zoomed-out map of the same area.  #1 is Marshfield, Missouri.  #2 is Fordland, Missouri.  #3 is Seymour, Missouri.

bell hardin post zoomed out bell spring map.jpg

This map will give you a better idea of location.  Within this triangle of Marshfield-Fordland-Seymour is where John and Sarah HARDIN BELL lived and where Bell Springs and Bell Ford are located.  My guess is they lived closest to where #4- High Prairie- is.  When I looked for St. Paul (the name of the post office John ran out of his home) the Geographic Names Information System indicated that St. Paul Cemetery is located in a place now called High Prairie.  So this is my best guess as to where they lived.  St. Paul Post Office didn’t exist for very long and there is no longer a place in Webster or Greene County, Missouri going by the name St. Paul.  The area shown in the map would, of course, also be the general area where the Bell family cemetery is located.  These maps were found at Any Place America’s website.

I’ve read that John ran the St. Paul Post Office until his death.  Government records show that he was Postmaster there until 30 November 1848.   However, the will transcription given by Shirley Davis shows that John died “on or about” 7 September 1848.  The Postmaster records for this time period are difficult to read so it is very possible that John had no gap in employment as a Postmaster.  In addition to being difficult to read, the records aren’t indexed.  At this time though, these are the only records I’ve found of his employment as Postmaster.  The census records for his era do not list types of employment so this may be all we ever learn of what John did for a living.  

After John’s death in 1848, Sarah remained in Greene County, Missouri.  In 1855, Webster County, Missouri was created from part of Greene County, Missouri.  This area included the place where Sarah BELL lived.  As far as I can tell, Sarah remained there until her death.  Her adult daughters lived with her for much of her life.  At least one of the daughters never married.  Sarah and John, along with some of their children and grandchildren, were buried in the Bell family cemetery which is on private property.  (See above discussion.) 

Here is a teaser for the next time I post about Sarah.  She had two little girls living with her in the 1870 census- Sarah C. DeSHZER and Cynthia A. BELL.  I don’t know who these girls are but I suspect they are grandchildren.  Notice that living close to Sarah was her daughter Elvina BELL JACK.  I believe the woman living in between Sarah and Elvina was one of Sarah’s other daughters but I haven’t been able to prove or disprove that theory.  Here is a screenshot of that census:

bell hardin census image

(Screenshot from Ancestry.com)

There is so much more to know about this family but I’m going to stop here for now.  I plan to return to this family later in the year to finish their story.


Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

It’s a Wrap! Weekend Wrap-up

On Saturdays, rather than posting photos like I’ve been doing on days when I have no blog posts scheduled, I think I’m going to do updates. Becky often supplies me with lots of follow-up information that I didn’t find and I often will find more information after I’ve posted. Another thing that happens is that people will read the story and then afterward provide lots of information that could have been included in the story. So Saturdays will be for updates on past blog posts (ones I’ve done in previous years as well as ones I’ve done the week of the update). I’m hoping this is the final format change for this year. I think it will be a good one.


There is something that I didn’t think to make clear at the start of this year and I need to go back now and clear it up. There are some ancestors for whom I only have a month and year for birth or death dates. Rather than leave them out I decided to include them on weeks where I felt there weren’t many blog posts scheduled. So for instance, Nancy Chambers Hubbard whom I blogged about on the 5th here at this link is one for whom I only had a month and year so I chose to post her blog on the 5th as that was a week when I had fewer blog posts scheduled than other weeks during January. So to be clear, all I know about Nancy’s birthdate is that she was born in January of 1845. I will try to be up front in the future when I do this again. It will happen later in January with David Elick CAWYER and August SCHNEIDENBACH (Bart’s paternal 2nd great grandfater and his maternal 3rd great grandfather respectively).

In addition, Becky sent over this little tidbit of information. She believes this may be where John and Nancy CHAMBERS HUBBARD are buried. Although it was called Patterson Cemetery at the time of the printing of this article it has since been renamed as Dogwood Cemetery. I have not had time to research any of this. Hopefully some of you will have some time to look into it.

One last tidbit of information that I found but did not include in the blog post about Nancy was that in 1860 she seems to have been censused at both her parents’ home in Bodega, Sonoma County, California as well as at her ALLEN grandparents’ home in Washington Township, Harrison County, Missouri. Where she was really at is anyone’s guess. It sure does intrigue me, though! If you want to take on this research project and see if you can discover why she was shown as living in both homes, be my guest! Figure it out and get back to us with the scoop!

I hope you have a great weekend. Remember tomorrow is Sunday so the weekly blog schedule will be posted. I haven’t had great internet service recently so no guarantee that it will be there at 7:00 a.m. but I’ll do my best.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives