Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Double Wedding of the Sisters Kennerly, 1891

You are invited to attend the marriage of Helen Kennerly to A.B. McCans, and Maude Kennerly to J.D. Tanner, Wednesday morning, April twenty-ninth at half past ten o'clock, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, at the residence of S.J. Kennerly, Cottonwood Street, Gainesville, Texas.

This wedding invitation was found in the attic of Moran Place among the papers of Fannie Moran.

It's not certain at this time if there is a familial relationship between these families and the Morans but I would not rule it out.

Helen and Maude Kennerly were the daughters of William W. and Martha (Mattie) McGehee Kennerly. Based on research and perusing family trees William Kennerly was born in 1833 in Franklin County, Tennessee.  He died Feb. 20 1881 in Smithville, Georgia.  He married Martha McGehee about 1867 based on the fact that in the 1880 Census their daughter Helen was 12 years old. William died Feb 20 1881 in Georgia but was interred in Featherston Cemetery in Franklin County, Tennessee.  Mattie was born Oct 22 1844 in Griffin, Georgia. On her death certificate her name is listed as Mattie F.C. Kennerly.  I found a tree on ancestry that listed her full name as Martha Frank Oliver McGehee. Her parents were James Andrew McGehee and Sarah "Sally" Hamilton Harper both of South Carolina. The informant was W.H. Beaty, the second husband of Helen Kennerly McCans Beaty.  Mattie died on august 20 1919 in what was then known as Polytechnic, Texas but is now a part of Fort Worth.  She was interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.  Helen Kennerly was born Dec. 9 1868 in Georgia while Maude was born Feb 29 1872, also in Georgia.

William was the son of Samuel and Helen Kennerly.  Here is the makeup of the Kennerly home as it appeared in the 1850 Census for Franklin, Tennessee:
Samuel Jackson Kennerly, age 47, merchant, Real Estate valued at $2000, Birthplace Tennessee
Helen (Taylor) Kennerly, age 36, Tennessee
William W. Kennerly, age 16, Tennessee
Leathy J. Kennerly, age 14, female, Tennessee
George T. Kennerly, age 7, Tennessee
and his twin brother
John P. Kennerly, age 7, Tennessee
James H. Kennerly, age 5, Tennessee
Archy Jordan, age 22, Physician, Tennessee
George R. Kennerly, age 46, Farmer, Tennessee
In addition to those named above Samuel and Helen Kennerly had another son named Samuel Jackson Kennerly born in Jun 1849, but not listed in the 1850 Census. He moved to Gainesville, Texas by 1881.

Martha appears in the 1850 census  for Pike, Georgia with her family:
J.A. McGehee, age 41, physician, real estate valued at $80, born in South Carolina
S.H. McGehee, age 38, South Carolina
Maude R. McGehee, age 15, Georgia
Jane H. McGehee, age 12, Georgia
Stephan G. McGehee, age 9, Georgia
Martha F.C. McGehee, age 7, Georgia
Sarah C. McGehee, age 5, Georgia
Charlotte E. McGehee, age 3, Georgia
Susan L. McGehee, age 1, Georgia

William appears in the 1860 Census for Marion, Buena Vista, Georgia, in the household of John Matthews.  His occupation was school teacher. He was 27 years old.

1860 Census for Martha McGehee not located at this time.

1870 Census for W.W. Kennerly not located at this time.

1880 Census Lee, Smithville Georgia
William W. Kennerly, age 47, School Teacher
Martha Kennerly, age 35, wife, Georgia
Helen Kennerly, age 12, daughter, Georgia
Maude Kennerly, age 9, daughter, Georgia

After the death of her husband William Kennerly, Martha moved to Texas with their daughters Helen and Maude.

In a double wedding ceremony April 29, 1891, Helen married Alexander Bailey McCans and her sister Maude married James Donnell Tanner at the home of their uncle Samuel Jackson Kennerly.

Helen and her first husband A.B. McCans had six children: Alexander B. Jr, Josephine, Maude L, Lindsey Harper McCans, Helen and an unamed infant that died in 1899.  The family lived in Gainesville, Texas, a place I've written about before.  Most likely the McCans knew J.T. Edwards and his wife Josie Gardner who were from Weakley County, TN and had moved to Gainesville.  Another Moran and Weakley County connection would be Rufus Franklin Scott who married the sister of John Williamson Moran, Martha Helen Moran.  They moved to Gainesville in 1858 and were prominent citizens as were the Gardners.  Helen and A.B. named one of their daughters Josephine Gardner McCans.  I find it interesting that Alexander B. McCans Jr became a banker and the Moran family helped found the Dresden Bank.

A.B. McCans died in 1898 and was interred at Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville.  After his death, Helen became a dressmaker and  in the 1900 Census Alexander Jr, Maude and Josephine were living in the Masonic Orphans and Widows Home at Justice, Texas.  Helen married William Herbert Beaty on Dec. 25 1903 in Bryan, Texas.  They had three children: Jennie, Samuel and William H. Jr.  Helen Kennerly McCans Beaty died in 1941 and is interred in Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park Cemetery at Fort Worth as is her second husband W.H. Beaty.

Maude Kennerly and her husband James Donnell Tanner appear in the 1910 Census for Pontotoc, Oklahoma.  James is 52 years old, born in Alabama and was a bookkeeper.  Maude is 38 years old and had 6 births and 6 living children: Val (son) age 17 TX, James D. age 14 TX, Martha age 10 OK, Willie W. age 7 OK, Hellen P. age 4 OK and Robert W. age 2 OK.  Maude Kennerly Tanner died May 5 1956 and is interred at Highland Cemetery in Pawnee Oklahoma.  Her husband, James Donnell Tanner died October 30 1910 and is interred at Mannsville Cemetery in Mannsville Oklahoma.

As always, the research is subject to corrections.  If there are descendants of Helen and Maude still surviving we hope this information proves useful to them and that they will enjoy seeing the wedding invitation of the sisters Kennerly.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Mary Kay Killebrew Conaway, The Dresden Connection

We think it's possible that the Confederate Officer is Thomas Leroy Killebrew and the man on the right could be his
son William Thomas Killebrew

These pictures did not come out of Moran Place in Dresden but from an estate sale in Memphis. However they do have a Dresden, TN, connection and now reside in our home, Moran Place Redux. :)  We hope you enjoy this discovery as much as we do and one we are still researching.

In case you hadn't noticed, Kent and I like history and genealogy.  A lot.  That means we frequent estate sales almost every weekend. Sometimes, just like the people in Northwest Tennessee who visited the estate sale at Moran Place we go just to see the interior of homes we would never have the opportunity to see.  We always go looking for bargains just like everyone else and sometimes we find them, sometimes we don't.   But we always go with an eye toward historical items and on random occasions serendipity occurs.

Yesterday, such a "fortunate happenstance" came into play when we visited 440 S. Greer St. in Memphis.  I noticed a drawer with pictures and some empty frames.  I sat down on the floor and pulled the drawer out hoping to find something of interest.  My first find was a tintype of a baby and it was annotated on the back "Bill Killebrew" with the following information: "Connie Lodice, P.O. Box 2563, W. Helena, AR. 3 Print to Prints from orig."   The Killebrew name piqued my interest.  I came across three other pictures of interest: 1) a framed copy of a Confederate Officer in uniform, two stars at his collar and carrying a sword, 2) a loose copy of a post-civil war man, possibly the same man who is in uniform and 3) a framed picture of an unidentified man ca 1880-1900.

We know this is "Bill Killebrew" but which "Bill Killebrew?"  We think this baby picture is of the man in the red
oval frame.  We think he might be William Thomas Killebrew.

I asked how much for the pictures and was told "we don't usually sell pictures, we sell frames."  Um, yes you do sell pictures, we attend estate sales all the time by this company so we know they do sell pictures.  But I wasn't going to argue so I said how much for the frames??  He didn't know which made me laugh.  We wandered down to ask the check out person and was told he could go $8, I said how about $5?  He said no but then promptly knocked off $2 on another item we bought.  Go figure.

Could this be William Thomas Killebrew, son of Thomas Leroy Killebrew and grandfather of Kay Killebrew Conaway?

A quick search of property records told me that Lawrence S. Conaway owned the bungalow style home built in 1920.  My next search was marriage records for Shelby County which told me that Lawrence Stephen Conaway married Kay Killebrew (bingo!) on March 10 1967, the service was performed by Loyal O. Hartman, Jr.   A google search for Kay Killebrew Conaway led me to the obituary of her brother, William Kenneth Killebrew Sr who was born January 4, 1938 in Dresden, TN!!    According to his obituary, their parents were William Thomas "Captain Bill" Killebrew and Marie Buckley Killebrew of Memphis.  This branch of Killebrews moved to Memphis in 1943.  Kay was born June 17 1941 and passed on November 20, 1005 per the SSDI.

Is the perhaps the Confederate Officer in a post-war picture? 

Kay Killebrew's grandparents were William Thomas Killebrew (1869-1943) and Alice Ruth Moore (1877-1862), both interred at Sunset Cemetery in Dresden.  We believe that the "Bill Killebrew" in the baby picture might just be Kay's grandfather, William Thomas Killebrew, and to us, the baby picture bears a resemblance to the man in the red oval frame.  Kay's great-grandfather was Thomas Leroy Killebrew (1839-1907).  He married Martha Ann Kennedy (1841-1928).  They are also interred at Sunset Cemetery.

We believe there is a strong possibility that the Confederate Officer is Thomas Leroy Killebrew. There are two stars on the officer's collar which indicates he was a lieutenant.  Thomas Leroy Killebrew served in Co. H, 33 Reg. Tennessee Infantry. He was promoted from Brevet Lieutenant May 8 1862, to 1st Lieutenant.   Killebrew tendered his resignation January 12 1863 however he appears on a roster for Jan and Feb 1864 as a a private and teamster with Co. H 33rd Infantry. Oddly enough, in May 1864 he appears on a register of patients at Ocmulgee Hospital at Macon Georgia with chronic diarrhea  His rank was Captain at that time.

Initial research leads us to think this just might be Thomas Leroy Killebrew, Co. H 33rd TN Infantry

A search for person named on the back of Bill Killebrew's baby picture, Connie Lodice of West Helena Arkansas turned up the following information.  She is the daughter of Peggy Craig and Raymond Eugene Tucker.  She married Thomas Joseph Lodice.  Connie's sister, Pamela Jo Tucker married Stephen M. Conaway who, if I'm correct, is the son of Lawrence and Kay Killebrew Conaway.   I am still researching the Conaway family

If I've mangled any of the family information let me know and if anyone can confirm our suppositions regarding the identity of the men in the photographs we'd like to hear from you.