Kinsearching October 2, 2005




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


      Well-known for her excellent books on this East Texas county, Ogreta W. Huttash has completed her latest publication, PROBATE RECORDS OF CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS, MINUTE BOOK 1, 1870 - 1881, AND DOCKET A AND DOCKET B, 1867 - 1887. This volume continues and/or supplements material found in her previous book, PROBATE RECORDS OF CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS, 1846 - CA. 1875.

     As she states in her introduction, the probate records of Cherokee County, TX, are "something of a puzzle until some time after 1880." The material is scattered and no "final" book exists. Filed in roughly alphabetical order, loose papers were sometimes lost or stolen. Most, however, were entered in the minute books available from the county clerk.

     Although a will may be referred to several times, it may not be in the probate records. In her previous volume, for instance, Huttash published the will of William S. BOX, which she copied from the loose papers. Although the will is mentioned at the beginning of the second probate book, it was never entered in the record.

     Since many estates, like that of BOX, were in probate for several years, the time frame covered in Huttash's newest publication overlaps a small portion of the period encompassed in her earlier work. For that reason, Huttash included the indexes to Dockets A and B. Since data in the probate books range from petitions for administrations, settlements of estates, and community property of decedents to guardianships for minors and cases regarding the mentally ill, the material often contains details not found anywhere else.

     Containing 124 pages and a full name index, PROBATE RECORDS OF CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS, MINUTE BOOK 1, 1870 - 1881, AND DOCKET A AND DOCKET B, 1867 - 1887 is priced at $16 plus $1.50 postage and sales tax (8.25% for Texans) where applicable. The soft cover book may be purchased from the author at 1502 South Jackson, Jacksonville, TX 75766-3026.

    In addition to her many works on Cherokee County, TX, Huttash has written family histories. Her latest is SOME OF THE DESCENDANTS OF MATHEW GASTON (1748 - 1799). As the title implies, the work concentrates on certain lines of descent from the immigrant ancestor, Mathew GASTON.

     Born in Ireland in 1748, Mathew married his first wife Ann SIMONTON about 1768 in Rowan County, NC. They moved to Greene County, GA. After Ann's death, he remarried in 1793 to Rebecca HARDIN in Greene County, where he died in 1799.

     Although the amount of information varies on each person, Huttash provides data on the eight children of Mathew and Ann GASTON:

           Robert, who married Abalene, maiden name unknown;
          Jane, who married George REID, Jr.;
          Alexander, who married Sarah GARNER;
          Thomas, who married Elizabeth REID;
          John, about whom little is known;
          Margaret, who married Thomas PERDUE;
          Mathew, who married (1) Mrs. Agnes CURRY, and (2) Sarah DELAMAR;
          and Ann, who married Amasa PALMER.

     Because Alexander and Sarah (GARNER) GASTON's son Mathew (born about 1806 and died in 1836 in Greene County, GA) and Mathew's son Dr. Mathew Alexander GASTON (born in 1832 in Greene County, GA, and died in 1883 in Alto, TX) married into the BROWN family, Huttash furnishes additional material on that family's background. Although a few Gaston kin eventually settled in such Texas counties as Smith and Upshur, the book focuses on the doctor's Cherokee County offspring down to the twenty-first century and offers lengthy biographical sketches on him as well as on several of his descendants. A photograph of the doctor and his wife is included.

     Besides a list of references and sources, Huttash presents documentation through the volume. Many items, such as wills and estate records, are verbatim inscriptions. Old letters and a family Bible are reproduced in full. In the text Huttash explores discrepancies when they appear and gives suggestions for further research where needed. Like all good family histories, the book has a full name index. Researchers with a GASTON connection will want to see what this interesting and well-researched work has to offer.

     Containing 60 pages, SOME OF THE DESCENDANTS OF MATHEW GASTON (1748 - 1799) costs $15 plus $1.50 postage and sales tax (8.25% for Texans) where applicable. The soft cover book may be purchased from the author at 1502 South Jackson, Jacksonville, TX 75766-3026.

     Due to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, the Ocean Springs Genealogical Society (OSGS) workshop scheduled for October 22, 2005, in Ocean Springs, MS, has been postponed. Plans are underway to reschedule the event sometime in the spring of 2006.

     OSGS member Linda D. Robinson reports some good news from the area--the Mary C. O'Keefe History and Genealogy Room in Ocean Springs "is unscathed."

     Although many genealogists know about the federal censuses taken every ten years, many family researchers are not aware that a few colonies and states took their own special enumerations at various times. Examples are the 1776 and 1778 schedules for Maryland. Counties covered by the 1776 enumeration are Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Prince George's, Queen Anne's, and Talbot. Only Caroline, Charles, and Queen Anne's counties are found for the 1778 schedule. Data from the index usually provide the individual's name, year of enumeration, race, name of county and hundred where resided, and source of the information at the archives. Indexes to these two "censuses" can be found on the Maryland State Archives website at

     Besides indexes to the two special enumerations, the website offers indexes to the 1870 federal schedule for the entire state and the 1880 federal schedule for Anne Arundel County only. Details furnished in the indexes to the federal schedules are the individual's name, year of census, age, sex, race, birthplace, county where resided, locality (such as enumeration district), and film number of the census.

     If you come across the term "natural" when referring to a child in old records, do not assume the child is illegitimate. It simply indicates there is a relationship by blood rather than by adoption or marriage.

     Bonnie Bright Johannes, 5594 North 10th, Apt. 103, Fresno, CA 93710-6586 (e-mail: would appreciate information on the REEDER family in England. Born in the 1560s, Joan REEDER married Matthew BORDEN. They had a son John BORDEN, born in 1607. He married Joanne (maiden name?), born about 1612, and they had a daughter Elizabeth BORDEN, born in 1632 in Kent, England.