Kinsearching December 10, 2006




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     If any of your ancestors were early pioneers in the Volunteer State, you may be interested in the reprint of WHITE COUNTY, TENNESSEE OLDEST MARRIAGE BOOK, 1809 - 1859 copied by Mary Fancher Mitchell and arranged by Sharon Johnson Doliante. Originally, White County encompassed all of what is now Warren County and parts of the counties of Cannon, Coffee, De Kalb, Franklin, Grundy, Putnam, and Van Buren.

     The introduction by Doliante furnishes an in-depth discussion of the formation of White County, the debate over whether it was named for John WHITE or James WHITE, and the history of the material's compilation and eventual publication. As expected, the information provides the names of the couple and the minister or the justice of the peace, the date, and page number of the marriage book. If the license was not returned, the compilers note that fact. In addition, some records contain miscellaneous facts, such as names of parents, which were supplied by descendants of the couple or other researchers.

     Although most of the approximately 2,000 marriages concern whites, two are clearly labeled "F. M. C" (meaning free man of color) and "F. W. C." (which stands for free woman of color). Although many people believe the term "colored" refers to blacks, genealogists should be aware that the term may have sometimes been applied to persons of mixed blood or Indians. WHITE COUNTY, TENNESSEE OLDEST MARRIAGE BOOK, 1809 - 1859 makes a welcome addition to genealogical collections about the Volunteer State.

     The 102-page paperback contains some photographs. Names of the grooms are arranged alphabetically while names of the brides are indexed. A separate index gives the names of all other persons mentioned in the records; under the names of several of the ministers is detailed information about them, such as denomination to which they belonged and name of their spouse.

     To the book's price of $16.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. (For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book). The volume (item order #9064) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 is seeking information about the daughters of Frank DAVENPORT and his first wife, whose name is unknown. Although the girls were born in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), the family lived in Wise Co., TX, in 1900. Myrtle DAVENPORT, born in April 1893, married Charlie L. LOCKE in 1907 in Wise County. Charlie was born on 7 Nov 1886 in TX and died on 23 April 1966 in Sonoma Co., CA. They had a daughter GOLDIE, who married A. J. TATE.

     Myrtle's sister Mattie DAVENPORT, b. in August 1897, was living in the LOCKE household on the 1910 census of Wise County. What happened to her? Another sister was Agnes DAVENPORT, born in February 1895. Nothing is known about her after 1900. Any help will be appreciated.

     If you are searching for information about the deaths of Methodist ancestors in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, you may want to check out the genealogical abstracts on the website at You can view data about deceased church members found in The Nashville Christian Advocate for the years 1900-1901. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the periodical was the official general publication of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. To facilitate finding individuals in the records, the material is indexed.