Bush Family Research
Clifton W. Bush
Joyce & Collins Biography
The first Joyce that can be found in this family line
is Alexander Joyce, born Abt. 1715. It is speculated
that Alexander, and his brother Thomas born in Ireland, and immigrated to
America in the early 1700’s.
They both bought land in Rockingham County North Carolina on the Mayo River, many of they’re descendants moved to Stokes County. Alexander had four sons, James, Elijah, John and Elisha. Thomas had at least two sons John and George. Thomas died around 1780 and Alexander died March 05,1778, both brothers leaving land to their sons John.
Since there were now two John Joyce’s living in the same area, in order to differentiate between these two first cousins, we find in the court minutes that one was identified as John Joyce (Coon), and one as John Joyce (Possum). The Joyce Cemetery in Rockingham County is referred to as the Possum, Joyce Cemetery. One stone has the birth and death dates that correspond with family records of John Joyce, son of Alexander. From this we can conclude that John (Possum) was the son of Alexander, and John (Coon) was the son of Thomas.
Alexander was married twice, first to Sarah Austin in 1739, then to Jane (Jean) Hamilton May 19, 1758 in Prince Edwards County, Virginia.
Alexander and Sarah’s son Elijah assisted in the establishment of America independence during the war of the Revolution by serving as a private in the Guilford County Militia under captain Alexander Hunter, Lieutenant John Davis, and Ensign Samuel Hunter in Colonel James Martin’s regiment in the 2nd. Expedition to Cross Creek in February 1776. Married Elizabeth Allen prior to 1778 in Guilford County North Carolina having a son William Koon.
William married Celia Poor around 1815 having a son John C. who married a Louisa Waddle, which brings us to the writer’s great-great grandfather John Rufus Joyce son of John C. and Louisa Joyce.
John Rufus Joyce born on 16 October 1847, A big rough red-faced man, with a violent tempers (nickname John Ruf). A head full of reddish brown hair. He was known to be the best timber cutter, as well as a farmer and a family man. He used a double blade ax, and could fall a large tree in less time than any man in that part of the country. It was said on one occasion his ax hit a knot glanced off and split his knee through to the bone. He sent someone to his house to fetch him a sewing needle and thread, sat on a stump, sewed up his knee himself, warped his knee in a burlap sack soaked in gum oil finished his days work, never saw a doctor (did not believe in them).
He walked with a limp and carried a big stick; he had a large farm on Smith Ridge in Tazwell County Virginia, built two cabins on either end of the land for his two wives, Nancy Jane Smith and Mary Jane (Molly) Houchins. He fathered children by both women. He was only married to the one Mollie Houchins.
The only description we can get of Molly was when she was around 100 years old. At the time she was a small skinny woman with a large hump on her back, her hair was thin and white, (could see her scalp). Large blue veins on her hand, her eyes red and teary. She had a loud shrill voice, probably couldn’t hear, she screamed at you, couldn’t walk alone but sat with a big crude cane. This does not do justice to Molly as any doubt in her younger days she was an attractive, small, hard working woman that could keep up with the best of them.
Nancy Jane Smith was never married to John Ruf and her children by him kept her last name of Smith. The other family used the name Joyce. The two women were friends, mid wife for each other, helped each other can up the fruits and vegetables for winter, was friends to the end, so were the children until they grew up then the Smith children resented the Joyce’s.
The description we got of Nancy was when she was in her 90’s. She was a little lady; white hair wore a long dress with button shoes, an apron with pockets, where she kept her corncob pipe, and tobacco. When she smoked her pipe her nose and chin would almost touch. She laughed and talked all the time, she never stopped whether any one was listening or not. She loved music and dancing, when the banjo was played she would lift her dress above her ankles, and shuffle her feet, it would tickle her so.
John’s great grand daughter Etta Faye Joyce gave the description we have of Molly, Mary Jane and John Ruf.
John fathered ten children with Mary Houchins, one being James William, born 06 May 1872. Information on the other children can be found in the genealogy section. James married a Sarah Smith daughter of Caleb Smith and Delilah White.
James was medium height, very slim white hair. A rude selfish demanding man, treated his wife like a slave, when he spoke you jumped, his word was law. A KKK Clan member (so was his wife Sarah). James always wore a suit, and was involved in Politics (Democrat Party).
He lived in Richlands Virginia, Tazwell County. At one time there was a glass factory in town. In order to provide housing for their employees, they built several houses in a row they called the street Glass Row. After the factory moved out of town the houses were sold and James bought one, there they lived until they lost their health, then sold the house to their son Daniel Clifton Joyce.
James wife Sarah Smith (nick named Sally) was a big woman, red hair (wore it piled high on her head), wore her dresses to the floor, always with a clean white apron. She was a mean talking woman, never smiled, very strict, not a good cook, she never let any thing brown or get done, always in a hurry. She had bad headaches, wore a wide white band tied around her head, would slap you down if you got in her way, Never showed any love or affection to any of her family.
James and Sarah had eight children one being Daniel Clifton born 27 August 1895. Daniel Clifton went by the nickname of Cliff, he married 1st Lillie May Collins 2nd Eva Overstreat 3rd Hattie May Helbert .
At this point it is best to revert to Lillie May Collins and her family. William Henderson Collins, father of Lillie May is the only known ancestor as of this writing, which we have any information. William Henderson Collins was originally a Cranwell, based on information given by his daughter Lillie May.
William Cranwell and his mother was forced out of their home by his stepfather after he had gained control of their farm. After Williams’s mother died he slipped into the house and cut his stepfather’s throat with a straight razor while he slept. William ran away, he hid-out for several years, during which time he changed his name to Collins and moved to Tennessee. It was in Tennessee that he was ordained a Baptist minister. He pastured a church called Sulfer Spring Free Baptist Church. When he felt safe and believed enough time had passed since killing his stepfather, he gave up preaching and moved to Kentucky, becoming a peddler, it was while traveling that the met his wife Mary Ann Lucas. Mary Ann was 14 years old when William stole her, as her father would not allow the marriage; she was an only child. They moved from farm to farm sleeping under the stars. Mary Ann contracted tuberculosis that left her weak and weighing only ninety pounds when she died given birth, sadly the child died with her, three girls and a boy were left behind, Bertha, Sarah Ann, Willie Lucus and Lillie May.
Lillie May Collins was born 03 September 1899 in Letcher County Kentucky, the wife of Daniel Clifton Joyce. Lillie May is the one who has given us an account of her parents and brother and sisters, to her daughter Etta Faye Joyce. Lillie May had reddish brown hair. She was plump, short and small boned in her later years. She seemed always sad and filled with bitterness from a life that was hard. It left her unable to love or express affection. She lost trust for life, the people around her including her children. Much of the mistrust came from the hardships as a child and years of a bad marriage filled with trouble, and eventually divorce.
Cliff Joyce, had dark black hair, when he smiled you could see two gold crowns on his eyeteeth. Every one was afraid of him, always carried a pistol and a flask of whiskey. Killed at least two men in his time one being the sheriff of that area. Cliff fathered 5 children with Lillie May, which were as following, Joseph Edgar, English Earl, Ella May, Etta Faye and James Perry.
The cause of Cliff Joyce’s death has been explained by a couple of stories, but the one most often repeated is as following. Cliff was making moonshine, Edd who was helping him had left to get more grain, and a seed had gotten stuck in the steel coil and blew up. Every one had gotten out of the house safe however; Cliff was fighting the fire with a water hose, and was burned in the process. Hattie (Cliff’s third wife) remembered some money they had hidden in a coffee can in the kitchen, she went back to get the money, which she did but her dress caught on fire and she was burned badly. Cliff’s burn wounds would not have been fatal, except he was a diabetic, and his wounds would not heel.
This brings us to the writers mother, Etta Faye Joyce, who has provided so much information in a book she put together called Plight Of Three Sisters, which is the story of her mothers life, as told by her mother Lillie May Collins. It is only fitting that the high lights of the story be told as they illustrate the life style and hard ships of that era.
We will begin after the death of Lillie May’s mother Mary Ann. Her father William being a peddler, not having a permanent home took his three daughters, and dropped them off in three separate locations some where in Kentucky. The family names were Wilson, Freeman, and Profit. Profit being a widow and midwife (a doctor of sort) took in Bertha and William and in time married William. She had a child by her late husband by the name of Errie she was 13 years old at the time. During the two years William and Bertha had lived with her and her daughter, she was never told of the other children. After William married her he told her about the other children, she immediately demanded he go back for them, which he did. Williams’s children called her Ma Profit. William was himself, laying around not working and getting restless. Ma Profit would go off frequently to deliver a baby or help someone sick. On one occasion she came back unexpectedly and found her daughter Errie and William in the barn making love. She beat both Errie and William with a horsewhip and ran William off. A few days later William came back had a big argument with Ma Profit striking her in the head and killed her. Loading up supplies, the children and Errie (she was pregnant) he left fearful of the law catching him for what he had done. They ended up in Richlands Virginia, again he gave his children away, but this time in an area where they were close enough they could see each other. Errie had a boy child she named William, they lived and worked up West Fork Hollow, running a boarding house for loggers. Soon after William came back for his older two girls Bertha, and May to help cook, clean and run the boarding house, since Errie was pregnant again. Soon after Errie miscarried, which didn’t change anything as for as her working was concerned. She and William fought a lot. She (Errie) started going off with loggers and having affaires. At this time Bertha was 14 and May 13, and very mature, and pretty girls. Two boys started flirting and seeing the girls on the sly, as William would kill them if he found out. The boys talked the girls in running away with them, and getting married.
The boys were Jim Allen Smith (married Bertha Collins) and Daniel Clifton Joyce (married Lillie May Collins). After their marriage in Lexington, West Virginia, they moved back to Jewell Ridge Virginia, where they rented houses one mile apart on Smith Ridge. Before long William found them, the boys carried guns and let William know they were not afraid of him, and they would kill him if he bothered them as Bertha and May was their wives, and he had no claim on then now. He went away angry and making threats, but never returned to bother them.
There are other interesting details and descriptions of various family members, and relations, which is told in the genealogy section.
of William Henderson Collins
Generation No. 1
1. WILLIAM HENDERSON1 COLLINS was born Abt. 1862 in North Carolina. He married (1) MARY ANN LUCAS Abt. 1894, daughter of WILL LUCAS andSUSIE. She was born Abt. 1880 in Letcher County Kentucky, and died Abt. 1907. He married (2) MA PROFIT Abt. 1908. He married (3) ERRIE PROFFET Abt. 1909, daughter of ? PROFIT and MA PROFIT. She was born Abt. 1886.
for WILLIAM HENDERSON COLLINS:
William and his mother was forced out of their home by his stepfather after he had gained control of their farm. After Williams mother died he slipped into the house and cut his stepfather's throat with a straight razor while he slept. William ran away, he hid-out for several years, during which time he changed his name to Collins and moved to Tennessee. It was in Tennessee that he was ordained a Baptist minister. He pastured a church called Sulfer Spring Free Baptist Church. When he felt safe and believed enough time had passed since killing his stepfather, he gave up preaching and moved to Kentucky, becoming a Pedler, it was while traveling that he met Mary Ann Lucas. Mary Ann was14 years old when William stole her moving from farm to farm sleeping under the stars. William ended up having 4 children with Mary Ann
The description of William as given by his daughter Lillie May was as
following. Short very small, with hands and feet to match, gray eyes,
brown curly hair, a fair complexion and though he chewed tobacco, he had
beautiful white teeth. He was quiet, spoke little and had a violent
temper that matched his cold piercing eyes. He was a cruel harsh man, who
seemed to lack compassion or any outward display of love and affection.
Although never drunk, he drank regularly. He had problems handling
responsibility and thus became a peddler and drifter by trade. He never
was a family man and certainly had few, if any friends.
It was told by his son Archie, that his mother Errie and a man she lived with killed William and buried him under the house, this was never confirmed and how he actually died is not known.
About WILLIAM HENDERSON COLLINS:
Fact: CHANGED NAME FROM CRANWELL TO COLLINS.
Residence: North Carolina,Ky.,West Virginia,Tennesee, & Virginia
for MARY ANN LUCAS:
Mary was a Christian lady who was kind, loving , and joyful. Short and plump, she had blue eyes and on her head carried thick black hair. She was an only child to her parents. She had tuberculoses that left her weak and weighing only ninety pounds when she died giving birth. Sadly the child died with her. three girls and a boy were left behind.
Note: this account of Mary Lucas was given by her daughter May Collins to May's daughter Faye Joyce.
for MA PROFIT:
Ma Profit was the name she was called by William Henderson Collins children. Her maiden name is not known neither is her husband's name other than Profit. Ma Profit was a Midwife and a Doctor of sort, although she was not a Doctor, that is what she was called, in that she knew medicine and helped heal people.
It is told she was killed by William Collins in a argument a few days after he was caught in the barn making love to his stepdaughter Errie.
for ERRIE PROFFET:
Marriage to William not documented, however was pregnant by him when she was around 14, the child she had was a boy named Archie Collins. The other children showing the last name of Collins are not necessarily William's children.
of WILLIAM COLLINS and MARY LUCAS are:
i. WILLIE LUCUS2 COLLINS, b. Abt. 1896; m. ELIZBETH PENDLETON.
for WILLIE LUCUS COLLINS:
When Willie was eight, his mother's father grandpa Lucus died. The grandmother was in bad health. Collins took Willie to live with her and work the farm. Willie never saw his mother or father again. His grandmother was wicked and a bitter old woman. She hated Willie because his father had taken her daughter, Mary Ann away. For this she would never forgive him. She beat Willie daily with a horse whip or her cane. She worked the boy like an animal. Each night Willie prayed to God to let him go back home to his mother. When his grandmother died she left him the farm, he was 18 years old. He never did go to school, all he knew was what his mother had taught him. He could hardly write his name, eventually some cheating, smooth talking fellows took his farm. With little else left he searched for his mother. He found his mother had died and his sisters and papa had gone away. Going by the name Willie Lucas, he became a horse trader in Kentucky and became a wealthy man.
About WILLIE LUCUS COLLINS:
Fact 1: married four times and had 7 children
Fact 2: Willie took his grandparents name Lucas
Ocupation: Farmer & Horse Trader
ii. BERTHA COLLINS, b. Abt. 1898; m. JIM ALLEN SMITH.
for BERTHA COLLINS:
Bertha had long black thick hair and blue eyes. Her stature was short and round and was jolly by nature. She was known for her kindness and friendly personality. as a good Christian lady, she was loved seemingly by everyone. As a young child she was sickly but by the age of 10 that fell behind her . She married a man named Jim Allen Smith. She was fourteen when they wed. Early in her forties she became pregnant with twins. Soon afterwards she miscarried. an infection began followed by blood poisoning and soon afterwards died.
for JIM ALLEN SMITH:
HAD ONE MORE DAUGHTER NAME NOT KNOWN.
iii. LILLIE MAY COLLINS, b. 03 September 1899, LETCHER CO. KY.; d. 16 February 1978, ABINGTON VA. BURIED RICHLANDS VA. HANKINS CEMT.; m. (1) DANIEL CLIFTON JOYCE (Source: Birth Record Etta Faye Joyce April 14, 1922, Confirms surnames of parents Daniel Joyce and Lillie Collins.Ages Daniel 26 and Lillie 23Residence Coaldon Virginia.), 22 March 1912; b. 27 August 1895; d. 12 August 1944, RICHLANDS VA. Buried in Hankens Cemetary.; m. (2) EDWARD JACK WELCH, 1937; b. 02 March 1898, WASHINGTON VA.; d. 15 December 1962, RICHLANDS VA. HANKENS CEMETARY.
for LILLIE MAY COLLINS:
Lillie May is the one who has given us a account of her parents and brother and sisters, to her daughter Etta Faye Joyce. Lillie May had reddish brown hair. She was plump, short and small boned. She seemed always sad and filled with a bitterness from a life that was hard. It left her unable to love or express affection. She lost trust for life, the people around her including her children. Much of the mistrust came from the hardships as a child and years of a marriage to William Clifton Joyce, a marriage filled with trouble, and eventually divorce.
for DANIEL CLIFTON JOYCE:
He had black curley dark hair, when he smiled you could see two gold crowns on his eye teeth. Every one was afraid of him, always carried a pistol and a flask of whiskey. Killed at least two men in his time one being the sheriff of that area, Chap Osborne.
The cause of Cliff's death has been explained by various stories, but the one
that has repeated most often is as following. Cliff was making moonshine, who ever was helping him had left to get more grain; a seed had gotten stuck in the steels coil and blew up. Every one had gotten out of the house safe however, Cliff was fighting the fire with a water hose, and was burned in the process. Hattie remembered some money they had hidden in a coffee can in the kitchen, she went back to get the money, which she did but her dress caught on fire and was burned badly. Cliff's burn wounds would not have been fatal, except he was a diabetic, and his wounds would not heel.
About DANIEL CLIFTON JOYCE:
Occupation: COLE MINER
Notes for LILLIE COLLINS and DANIEL JOYCE:
DIVORCED DEC. 8 1930
iv. SARAH ANN COLLINS, b. Abt. 1903; m. FINLEY LIGHT.
for SARAH ANN COLLINS:
Sara had beautiful fair skin with blue eyes and short, shinny blond curly hair. Until age of three she was a happy child. At age three she was given away. After leaving her home and family, she became bitter, angry, rebellious and her temper became difficult to control. By her thirteenth birthday she was out of control. Twice she became pregnant and twice both infants died. She lived a life as a harlot until she was twenty years old. She married Finely Light, They moved to St. Paul Virginia. There she had a daughter. Her life was shortened by tuberculosis some tines during her thirties, no further account is known of her or her family..
of WILLIAM COLLINS and ERRIE PROFFET are:
v. AUTHOR GILLIE2 COLLINS.
vi. HENRY BOND BARNETTE COLLINS.
vii. MARY ELIZBETH COLLINS.
viii. ARCH COLLINS, b. 12 March 1907; d. 25 July 1964.
for ARCH COLLINS:
BURIED FAMILY PLOT WHITESBURG KY. EVERGREEN CEMETERY.
PALL BEARERS WERE SANDERS COLLINS, BILL COLLINS, DR R DOW COLLINS & ARTHUR LUCAS..
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