A note to my cousins, September, 2004:

Dear friends and family:

Again, I am simply filling space on a page to reserve it. I hope to make this into an index page at some point. But right now, I want to give you an introduction to our Reding family and show you a photo of our ancestor's grave stone.

First, how do we spell our name? As any long-time genealogist knows, the spelling of a name can change through the years. Early surnames did not have a standard way to be spelled. A man's surname might be spelled three or four ways in his own will.

Having said that, I will now tell you that our Reding family usually has spelled the name with one d through the years. You will find exceptions, of course, where a particular branch used the double d. But in general, if a Reding family has a single d in its surname, it belongs to us.

For many years I researched my Reding family. My research collaborator was Cousin Mitch Vetuski, who at the time lived in Houston. We met only once, but worked in tandem, exchanged letters and documents, and had many phone conversations.

Our digging and research was greatly rewarded, and we both have a gold mine of documents and information on this family line.

I wonder if it will ever be available to other researchers; I sincerely hope so.

Briefly, our ancestor, Iredell Reding, was born 7 October 1791 in Randolph County, N. C., the son of Robert Reding and Ann Needham.

He may have been married when he was in his early 20s, and the marriage may have taken place in Illinois. No marriage has been found, but a supposed daughter of this marriage is known to exist.

He was then married to Martha (Patsy) Hallum (16 March 1799 - 11 October 1826). She was born in Davidson County, Tenn., and died in Fayette County, Tenn. She was the daughter of James Hallum and Anne Baker.

They had four children that we know of.

As most of you cousins know, Iredell's father, Robert Reding, married as a second wife, Patsy's mother, Anne Baker Hallum. So, we have a mine, yours, and ours situation.

The day that I figured out this strange state of affairs was one of the highlights of my genealogy career, so to speak. Once I got the picture, all the records seemed to fall into place.

Now, after Patsy's death in Fayette County, Iredell married Mrs. Nancy Brooks Mayfield and had two more children.

They immigrated to what was then Nacogdoches County, Texas, where Iredell became the first signer on a petition to create Houston County from Nacogdoches. A few years later, they moved to the area of Danville, Montgomery County. He was on the Montgomery County tax list in 1846.

They are buried in the Shepherd Hill Cemetery at the old townsite of Danville, which ceased to exist in the 1870s or 1880s.

I recently visited the cemetery for the first time since 1976, and I photographed Iredell's marker.

Since the letters were hard to read, I asked Cemetery Association Director Karen Lawless to re-photograph it for me. I am grateful for her help. Thanks, Karen.

You may see more photos and view her website here: Danville Cemetery

Or, you may read the biographical sketch of Iredell Reding, which is now on the Danville Cemetery website.

© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2004

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Karen McCann Hett

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