Q is for Questions






is for Questions.


In genealogy do we ever have all the answers.  That’s easy enough.  Not even close to it!  Here’s just a few of mine:

  1. Where did John “Jacky” Morris come from?
  2. Who was his father?
  3. What was Red Kirby?
  4. Who was Allen Thomas’ father?
  5. Who did Alfred Elder kill and what were the circumstances?
  6. Where did Martha Lewis Morris go after her divorce?


Six Ancestors Ago–Alfred Elder (52 Ancestors)

This post is a part of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by Amy Johnson Crow at www.nostorytoosmall.com.

I haven’t proven most of this myself, so take it with a grain of salt.  However, it does all make sense to me, when looking at names, ages, etc.  I do plan on taking a trip this summer to see what I can dig up.

I believe Alfred Elder is my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather via:

  • his son, John
  • his son, Edd
  • his daughter, Annie
  • his son

The facts..as I know them:

  • Born:  about 1806 in Virginia
  • Married: 13 Jan 1831 in Campbell County, Virginia
  • Died:  after 1880

If census data is correct and I’m attributing it to the correct Alfred Elder, he and Elizabeth had fourth son born between 1835 and 1840 who was dead (or at least not living with Elizabeth) by 1850.

In 1850, Alfred Elder is living in the Richmond Penitentiary having been convicted of manslaughter.  By 1860, he’s served his time and living back with his family.  He’s listed on the census as a “convict.”

In September of 1864, Alfred appeared in Campbell County, Virginia inquiring about his son, Alfred C’s wages.  Alfred Jr was a private in the CSA was killed at Chancellorsville by a horse on or about 3 May, 1863.  He wished to be paid what was left owed to Alfred Jr (approx. $100) as he left neither wife or child.

In 1880, he’s divorced but still living in Campbell County.

I’ve searched Chronicling America for newspaper articles that explain what he did, why he was convicted, but have found nothing so far.  Hopefully, my trip will be fruitful and proving!

M is for Murder






is for Murder.


Two folks, that I know of, in our family tree have been tied up in stories of the taking of another person’s life.

Mean Johnny Bolt’s story is one of outright murder.  Alfred Elder’s story is largely unknown.  All I know is that I believe he was in prison in Richmond, Virginia for manslaughter.  I’ve been unable to find any information about the details.

Five Ancestors Ago–John William Elder (abt 1835 – aft 1910) (52 Ancestors #4)

Various people have listed John William Elder as being the son of Elizabeth and Alfred. I haven’t made the trip to Charlotte County to investigate the Elder clan yet, but I have done a fair amount of research via census data. John William Elder was born about 1835.

By 1910, John W Elder is widowed and living with a cook and hired hand (Puse Adams and Julius Walker) amongst other Elders (Charles & Edward) and Ramseys (Elizah). He’s a survivor of the war.

In 1900, John is living with Mattie D and his mother-in-law in Madison, Charlotte County, Virginia. He’s 63 and a carpenter. He can read and write, and owns his farm, albeit mortgaged. Nearby live Robert, Joseph, Luther Elder. His wife Mattie D has 7 living children of 9 total. His mother-in-law has one of one. John and Mattie have been married 42 years.

In 1880, John is living in Madison, Charlotte County, Virginia with his wife and 6 sons. He and Mattie are 43 and residing with them are: Cabel, 20; John S, 14; Joseph W, 12; Leslie, 9; Luther, 7; Edward, 2. John is a Farmer.

In 1870, John, 34, is living with Martha, 33, Richard, 11, William, 9, John, 4, Joseph, 1. John is a Farmer with a total value of $300. Living next door is Elizah and Elizabeth Ramsey.

In 1850, there is a John aged 12 years living with Elizabeth Elder in Campbell County, Virginia. Also in the home are Elizabeth, 45, Alfred, 19, Carpenter, Burwell, 14, John 12, Lucy A, 10, Martha J. 8, Mary E. 6, and Richard 4. It is generally believed that this is John, his mother, and sibling. Names and ages fit.

This leads me to question where is John’s father and where were they all in 1860? Well, in 1860, we have Alfred and Elizabeth Elder living in Campbell County, Virginia. Also living with them are Joseph, 26, Catherine, 24, Martha 18, Mary 15, and Richard O 12. Alfred is a 55 year old laborer on a farm with a personal estate value of $50. He’s also noted to be a convict. Heading back to 1850, where Elizabeth is living alone in Campbell County? At the same time, there is an A. Elder in Richmond in jail for manslaughter. I haven’t found who he killed, but he’s served less than 10 years (or right at it)

Tracing forward again, I find an Elizabeth Elder living with Alexander and Mary E Little in 1880. At this time, Elizabeth is 76 and divorced. Also, in 1870, I find an Alfred Elder living with a black Pugh family in Charlotte, County, Virginia and in 1880 a divorced 75 year old Alfred Elder living alone in Campbell County, Virginia.

A trip to Charlotte County for some Elder research is definitely in the plan!

John William Elder is my husbands third great grandfather.

After the fact, I’ve added this to my 52 Ancestors challenge.  Just because I can.