On This Day in 1836

On This Day in 1836 my 3rd great grandmother Sarah Ann Elvira Dollar was born.

Don’t you find the name “Dollar” to be a little strange? Well, her father was Ambrose Dollar, her grandfather was Reuben Dollar who came to America from Wales and fought in the Revolution, and her great grandfather was Edward Dolier – probably French Doh-lee-AY or Irish D’Olier. Either one of those makes more sense than Dollar.

Sarah Ann’s mother was Jemima Clearman, whose father was Jacob Van Clearman, whose father was John William Clearman from Germany.

Well, that’s just a crazy European mix, isn’t it?

Let’s go back to her dad’s side for just a moment. This is the transcription of the sworn statement of Dr. J.M. Dollar, the great grandson of Reuben Dollar.

betsy-ross-flag-usa-united-states-of-america-americaGause Texas, August 4th 1913
This is to certify that my great grandfather Reuben Dollar told me of fighting in the Revolutionary War when I was a boy. He came from Wales and fought in the war. He returned to Wales and was disinherited by his father for having fought against the British Crown. After which he returned to America and settled in Edgefield S.C. He died in Miss. in 1858 at the age of 113 years.
Signed J.M Dollar
State of Texas:
County Of Milam:
subscribed and sworn to before me this August 4th. 1913
J.R. Fraim, Notary Public, Milam co. Texas

I find these old records fascinating!!

Anyway, back to Sarah Ann…

pickensShe was the 6th born of 8 children, half boys, half girls. She was born March 11, 1836 in Pickens County, Alabama. Pickens County is right on the Mississippi border, and at some point between 1840 and 1850, the family moved west to Mississippi. At the age of 17, on October 6, 1853, she married William Lafayette Brown, Jr. in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Keep in mind, the above Patriot grandfather was still alive until 1858 and died in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, so he might have been living with them. If not living with Sarah Ann and her husband, at least with a nearby family member.

Sarah Ann gave birth to her first child at the age of 18, James Floyd Brown in 1854. He was followed by John Ambus Brown in 1857, Angeline Brown in 1859, William Harrison Brown in 1860,  Sarah Elizabeth “Bettie” Brown in 1862, Warren Brown in 1865, Franklin Carlton Brown in 1867, Charles Berry Brown in 1871, Pinkney Earlie Brown in 1874, and Martha Catherine Brown in 1877.

Do you notice anything strange about those birth dates?

Page 1When the Civil War broke out in 1861, her husband was about 25 years old. Yes, he went to fight for the Confederacy. As a matter of fact, he was a sniper who guarded Mississippi bridges in the area. At one point, he was captured by the Union. He escaped. He went back and allowed himself to be captured again to help others escape, which he/they did. After that, he had a bounty on his head for the rest of the war.

It doesn’t look like the war or the captures between 1861 and 1865 stopped him from visiting home at least a few times. Obviously he stopped by the house long enough for some hanky panky. The girl born in 1862 was my second great grandmother. Her birthday is the same day as mine, November 19.

One thing for sure, these people didn’t back down from a challenge! I look forward to doing more research on the Dollars and Clearmans very soon.

Sarah Ann died in Mississippi July 18, 1915 at the age of 79.

Happy birthday, Grandma Sarah Ann!!

brown william L and Sarah A at goodwater cemetery

This post brought to you by “On This Day,” a perpetual calendar for family genealogy.

52 Ancestors – #27 Joseph B Culpepper, Patriot


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small and this week’s theme is Independent.


I guess there is no better example of Independent than one of my grandfathers who fought for American independence in the American Revolution.

Page 2Joseph B. Culpepper Jr. was a fourth generation American and the third Joseph in the line of fathers and sons. His 3rd great grandfather, John Culpepper, immigrated to America from Kent, England following the English civil war in 1650, though the man was a merchant between Virginia and England and had been to the country countless times before.

The information I have of Joseph shows him born in Anson, North Carolina around 1760-1765, and even though I’m sure that is slightly off, he was still just a kid when he enlisted in the 3rd South Carolina Regiment 03 Aug 1776. His parents were Joseph Culpepper and Piety Gibson. The records I have say that Piety died around 1764, so you can see how the dates are a little off. I bet his father must have been beside himself with worry as Joseph’s brother Benjamin Culpepper also signed up. Benjamin served as Lieutenant under Capt. Peter Burns, Col. Wade Hampton and Gen. Sumter. AA 1683A: M228, DAR SC Roster pg 223. I assume Joseph wasn’t far away, perhaps serving under the same captain. I belong to the DAR under his patriotic service. A028466.

What I find amazing about the history is that my great, great grandfather Joel B Culpepper fought in the American civil war. Joel’s great grandfather was Joseph, our patriot named above. Joseph’s great grandfather was Robert Culpepper, who is the five year old in my latest book, John Culpepper Esquire. Even though the story I wrote, taking place in the 1600s, seem so many generations away, they are really so much closer than we imagine.

Joseph died 05 May 1816. He left behind his father, his wife Nancy Pickett, four sons, and three daughters.

Rest well, soldier.


52 Ancestors #21 Sharpshooters and Soldiers


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small,

and this week’s challenge is “Military.”


I can’t only honor one of my ancestors. I need to honor all of them.

My grandfathers who served in the United States military

An * denotes he died in service.

Joel Bluett Culpepper – Confederate Army

William Thomas Fisher – Confederate Army

William Lafayette Brown Jr – Confederate Army

Rev. Joseph M Culpepper – Confederate Army *

Rice Benjamin Carpenter – Confederate Army *

George Washington Spencer – Confederate Army

James C Howington – Confederate Army

William Henry Blanks III – Confederate Army

Hays Rodgers – War of 1812

William Henry Blanks I – American Revolution

Joseph Culpepper Jr – American Revolution

Thomas Young – American Revolution

John B Rice – American Revolution

James Rodgers Sr – American Revolution

Captain Jacob Prickett – American Revolution

My uncles who served in the United States military

George M Graham – Confederate Army

Timothy Rodgers – Confederate Army *

Wilson Rodgers – Confederate Army *

Hays Rodgers Jr – Confederate Army

John W Rodgers – Confederate Army *

Howell Joel “Hobby” Wedgeworth – Confederate Army

Benjamin M Culpepper – Confederate Army

Hilliard Carpenter – Confederate Army *

James Monroe Chatham – Confederate Army *

Rev. James Lafayette Blanks – Confederate Army

Richard Lane Blanks – Confederate Army

John Henry Brown – Confederate Army

Absolom Rodgers – War of 1812

…and so very many more. Sleep well, soldiers. Your job is done.

52 Ancestors #17 John B Rice


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small, and this week’s theme is “Prosper.”

downloadMy 5th great grandpa was John B. Rice. I’m sure the B is for Benjamin as that was one of his son’s names. John was born in 1755 in Red Bud Creek, Bute County, North Carolina. In 1779 Bute County was divided into Franklin and Warren Counties and ceased to exist. John was born to Jared Rice and Lettie Potts. (My 2nd great grandmother’s name was Martha Lettie Carpenter. I always wondered where Lettie came from. Turns out it was her great grandmother’s name.) John signed up to serve in the American Revolution in 1776 at the age of 21 as a private and sergeant, and received a pension according to the North Carolinians list of pensioners as reported by the Secretary of State to Congress in 1835. He married Elizabeth Hopkins a year into the war and they had a total of eight children. By age 27, the family had moved to Nash County, NC, where John lived a long life and died on 29 April 1836, at the age of eighty-one.

last-will-and-testamentJohn’s will contains info as follows:

Probated August 1837. Page 443, Will Book I. Nash Co, NC. It names wife Elizabeth and son John. Daughter Nancy and her husband Benjamin Carpenter (my 4th great grandparents). Daughter Elizabeth and her husband William Richardson. Son Hopkins Rice. Two people I can’t place Reden Richardson and William Earppe. Grandson: Richardson Rice, son of William Rice. Children of son Benjamin Rice: John B. Rice, Nicholson Rice, Boykin Rice, heirs of Jincy Strickland. Legatee: John Leonard. Exec: Benjamin Merritt, John Rice. Witnesses: William M.B. Anndell, Boykin Denton.

The above named daughter Nancy Rice Carpenter was my fourth great-grandmother who married Benjamin Carpenter. They moved to Lauderdale County, Mississippi in 1821 when Indian land was being sold by the U.S. Gov’t for cheap. She lived as a pioneer woman, raising ten children in near squalor. After reading the following story, I’m under the impression she either must have been rebelling against her family or she really, really loved Benjamin Carpenter. But I found in John Rice’s will that he left items to Benjamin and Nancy and their children, so if she did rebel, they must have made up before John’s death.

I found the following somewhere on line:


Nash County, North Carolina 1787.

A black woman by the name of Chaney was born. Little is known about her background, but it is believed she was the daughter of an African. She and her sister were slaves of the Hopkins Family.

Peter Hopkins, born in 1730, was the first in his family to move to Edgecombe County, North Carolina. He married Wilmoth Fowler who was born in Wake County, North Carolina in 1747 to Joseph and Anne Fowler. The couple had the following children:

  1. William Hopkins
  2. John Hopkins
  3. David Hopkins
  4. Elizabeth Hopkins-Rice (the above wife of John Rice)
  5. Susannah Hopkins-Russell

Elizabeth married a Revolutionary War Hero named John Rice. The two purchased about 800 acres of land on Lee’s Creek. They had eight children as follows:

  1. John Rice Jr
  2. William Rice
  3. Elizabeth Rice-Richardson
  4. Nancy Rice-Carpenter (my 4th great-grandmother)
  5. Mary Rice-Marriott
  6. James M. Rice
  7. Benjamin Rice
  8. Hopkins Rice

Chaney was brought to this 800 acre plantation of John Rice and Elizabeth Hopkins Rice. Most of her children were born here. She had at least five children. In the early 1800’s, John Rice deeded Chaney and her children to his youngest son Hopkins Rice and his wife Jane.

In the early 1820’s Hopkins Rice and his family migrated to Greene County, Alabama and in 1828, they purchased land in the Clinton and Pleasant Ridge areas. Over the years, some of the slaves were sold to various plantations in the area. One of Chaney’s sons, Anderson, was sold to Eldred Pippen. Jesse was sold to Gaston Wilder of Pickens County, Alabama. Richard was sold to William Gilmore of Mantua. The last son, whose name is unknown, was sold to a Mr. Harkness. Her grandsons were also sold.


Nancy Rice-Carpenter is my 4th great-grandmother. Her parents, Elizabeth and John Rice are my 5th great-grandparents. Elizabeth’s parents Peter and Wilmoth Hopkins are my 6th. Though Nancy, being a girl, probably didn’t stand to inherit much of the family’s wealth, I still think it strange that she moved away from her obviously prosperous family.