Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I mentioned a few days ago the documentation of my Mother's family history. I got a copy of the genealogy tracing her Mother's side of it today. here are the details:

Edward Rackley was born on an unknown date in England. He arrived in America in 1639, and Died in 1663 in Essex County, Virginia, leaving one known son:
John Rackley I, who was born about 1650 in Essex County, and Died in 1698 in the same, leaving one known son;
John Rackley II, born around 1670 in Essex County, and died in Henrico County, VA in 1738, he left two sons: Anthony, and John III.

Anthony Rackley was born around 1700 in Essex County, Died after 1765 in Sampson County, NC. He left one son: Joshua
John Rackley III was born about 1695 in Essex County, Died in 1769 in Franklin Bute County, NC. He had one Daughter: Setevias

Joshua Rackley, birthdate unknown (died in 1813), married his cousin Setevias, birthdate also unknown, and they had eleven children including my ancestor, John Micajah.
so at this point my family became inbred. it's curious that the cousins that married both have left no birth records

John Micajah Rackley, born about 1758. Served in The Revolutionary War.
Moved to the Middle Tennessee area sometime between 1813 and 1818. Fathered 11 children by three wives. Died in White County,TN, May 27, 1839. My ancestor, Calvin, was born to John and his second wife, Elizabeth Stallings, around 1815 in either North Carolina or Tennessee.

Calvin Rackley, according to evidence, married Martha Fultz and had a daughter, Mary J. Rackley. In 1844 he reportedly sold his share of his father's inheritance to his brother, Ruffan, and left for the Indian territory, never to be heard from again. According to 1850 census data, John Micajah's widow, Mary Meggerson Rackley, had a Granddaughter, Mary J. Rackley living with her. It is believed that Martha died in childbirth, and Calvin left his daughter to be raised by his stepmother.

Mary J. Rackley , born in 1836, died Feb 25, 1917 in DeKalb County, TN. Married Green Berry Ford on Dec 2, 1852 in DeKalb County. Green Berry Ford enlisted in the Confederate Army in September of 1861, and was wounded at the battle of Fishing Creek, Kentucky, and returned home. The two had eight children. The fourth, Joseph Berry Ford, was my Great-Grandfather.

Joseph Berry Ford, born Dec 1, 1862 in DeKalb County, and died Nov 20, 1934 in the same. He married Emily Isabell Miller in 1889, and had 7 children, the youngest was my Grandmother, Zora Emily. My mother claims that her Grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee. while "Emily Isabell" does not sound like an Indian name, it's believed she took an English sounding name to avoid persecution living off the reservation.

Zora Emily Ford League Avaritt Shiflett, born Aug 20, 1904 in DeKalb County. Died in 1971 in DeKalb County. Had seven children by her first Husband, Asbury Edmund League. My Mother, Reba Jeanne, was the youngest child of this marriage. Zora remarried after Asbury's death, to William Avaritt, and had two more sons. She separated from Mr. Avaritt in the 1950s, and married Fred Shiflett . This is who was "GrandPa Fred" to me. Bill Avaritt survived into the 1980s and lived nearby me in Hanover, PA. He was known to us kids as "Uncle Bill".

Reba Jeanne (League, Miller) Steckler born Sep 5, 1933, in DeKalb County.
Married Morey Darrell Miller on Oct 16, 1955 in Bowling Green, OH, while employed at U.S. Rubber in Detroit. Had 3 children with Mr. Miller, Darrell Leslie (born May 15, 1956 in Detroit), Twila Jean (born May 17, 1959 in Parkersburg, WV), and Tamara Jane (Born Aug 20, 1960 in Parkersburg). Reba divorced Morey in 1961 and moved to York, PA to stay with her Sister, Edith. George Sanders Steckler was a young Sergeant, recently divorced, in the reserve unit of Edith's husband, Capt. Adrian L. Shaffer.
George and Reba (who goes by Jeanne) were introduced, and got married on Sept 28, 1962. George adopted Darrell, Twila and Tamara, giving them the surname Steckler. At 2:15 a.m. on July 10, 1963, Reba Jeanne gave birth to a 9lb, 13 oz, baby boy named Benjamin Tyrone Steckler. George got a vasectomy soon afterward.

So. I am Excited to find proof that an ancestor fought for the right side in The Revolutionary War.
So is my sister Tammy, whose daughter, Jennifer Lauren Krebs, graduates from High School this year.
I told her she should try for one of the many scholarships offered by the D.A.R.

I am also proud to note that now I know I have ancestors that fought on both sides of the Civil War.

I learned today that The first few generations of Rackleys, being Virginia Landowners, were slaveowners, but the largest number recorded was on the 1800 census, and it showed that Joshua owned only 12 slaves. All the Rackleys had freed or divested themselves of Slaves before the Civil war, according to the document i got today. I think the family caught "abolitionism" in the 1840s.

I have to check the documentation on the League ancestry. I'm told that the Leagues were staunch Methodists, and were strongly against slaveholding.

The Stecklers, on the other hand, were German Barons until the late 1800s, when my ancestor fled the Kaiser and came to America. They might not have had slaves, but I'm sure that there were serfs somewhere in that family history. I've sent a query to my oldest known relative on the Steckler side, to see if he has any info that Dad doesn't know.

No comments: