Monday, December 27, 2010

James Macklin Gentry 1916 - 2004

James Macklin Gentry was born July 13th, 1916 to Noah Macklin and Luzeny Elizabeth Gentry in Abingdon Virginia.  He had 5 sisters: Cora, Sarah Elizabeth, Hattie L., Rose Ellen and Mary Emmaline Gentry. He went by Jim Gentry. Jim went to school until the 6th grade and spent the rest of his childhood helping his father with the farm in Abingdon, VA.

 Jim is on the left.  Not sure which cousin is on the right.

Around 1939 Jim decided to move to Kannapolis, NC to seek a higher paying job at Cannon Mills.  While in Kannapolis he boarded in a house right down the road from  Ruby Hamilton.  They met one day as she was  being photographed in her yard. A short time later they started dating.  In 1941 Jim decided to join the Army Air Corps.  He sold his car to the woman that owned his boarding house.  Jim wasn't required  to serve in the Air Corps due to being the only male in his family.  He broke off his relationship with Ruby Hamilton not knowing if he would make it back from the war.

Jim joined the Army Air Corps on the 30th of  May 1941 with the 66th Bomber Squadron.   They deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO), being assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England during the summer of 1942. Source (  His duty when he joined was to pull planes in and out of the hangers and re-fuel the planes.  He had PT (physical training) every morning.

 Jim is on the far left.

Jim didn't really care for the PT so when he discovered that cooks didn't have to do PT every morning he  made the switch to Squadron A, 211 BU.  He made the rank to Sergeant and became the head cook.  He was the only person with the key to the ice cream.  Jim was Honorably Discharge on the 7th of  October 1945. He received several medals ; the Good Conduct Medal 1943, American Defense Service Medal, European African Middle-eastern Service Ribbon, Distinguished Unit Badge GO 78, 5th of  Nov 1943 and the Distinguished Unit Badge GO 56 the 12th of July 1944.

 Jim is on the right.

Upon being discharged he met and was engaged to a woman from Abingdon, VA. Once back in Kannapolis, NC, he ran back into  Ruby Hamilton and broke off the engagement he had to the other woman.  One year after their reconnection they decided to get married.

 Jim's picture taken with Ruby's neighbor.

Rather than having  a traditional wedding, Jim and Ruby decided to marry without telling anyone right away.  Ruby told her father she was going to Abingdon,VA to visit Jim's parents but instead they snuck off to York, SC to get married.

In 1948 there first son Mike was born in Abingdon, VA. The family spent the first couple months of  Mike's life in Abingdon, VA.

 Jim, Ruby and Mike.

Around 1951 Jim went to a watch makers school in Spencer, NC and a jewelry school in Charlotte, NC.  From 1953 until 1956 he was a Kannapolis Transit Bus Driver.

Kannapolis, NC Transit paper article with Jim Gentry in the picture.

In 1954 their second child ( my father) Stephen was born and In 1959 their third and final child (my aunt) Debbie was born.

In 1956 Jim got a job at the Hefner VA Medical Center as a nursing assistant.  On his daily drive to the VA hospital from Kannapolis, NC he noticed a house for sale in China Grove,N.C and in 1960 Jim and Ruby bought the house.

 Jim Gentry 1965.

Jim worked for the next 25 years at the Hefner VA Medical Center and retired from their April 4, 1982.   He spent his retirement raising gardens and tinkering with anything that had a motor. Lawnmowers, go karts,etc.

After a brief illness James Macklin Gentry died May 15th, 2004 at Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC.  Jim is laid to rest at West Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum, China Grove, NC.

My memories of my grandpa:

 Jim Gentry and Randy Gentry (me).

I use to spend many weekends and summers at my Grandparent's house.  When I was around the age of  6 or 7 my grandpa taught me to ride a bike. I remember helping in the garden, husking corn to store for winter and getting the green beans ready to bottle.  I would cut the grass with the riding lawn mower while my grandpa would use the weed-eater.  There were many days we would enjoy eating watermelon outside during the summer months.  At dusk when I was younger Grandma, Grandpa and I would sit outside in the back yard in lawn chairs watching  lightning bugs light up the sky as the sun set.

On the weekends we would watch the race together.  His favorite driver was Bill Elliot.

One time he fixed up two riding lawn mowers for me and my brother to ride and built a small track in the field behind the house to race them on.

 Jim, Randy (me) and Darren Gentry (my brother).

We would go shopping together and my grandpa would always ask the cashier how old he looked.  They always guessed a younger (incorrect) age and he would giggle and tell them how old he really was.

Some weekends we would go to the flee market with my Great Uncle Rob (Hamilton).  Other times during the summer we would go to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and check out the classic cars with Rob. These day when I go, looking back ,I am amazed that they were able to walk around that track all day looking at cars.

Tuesdays and Thursdays were wrestling night on TV.  When I was around the age of 16, we would order  pay-per-view wrestling events on Dish Network.

Another thing my grandpa would do that a lot of people probably don't know is hum and make up silly songs.  It was kind of annoying at the time but it  is a great memory for me now.

He is responsible for my love of wearing hats.  He always wore a hat while outside and also most of the time when we went shopping.

At the age of 18 I owned a 1987 RX7 that didn't have working A/C.  My Grandpa and I went to Moorseville, NC to look at Chevrolet S10s.  We  test drove an S10 together,  I didn't think anything of it when he asked me if I liked the truck.  I said "I love it" and he said we should get it.  That was a major surprise considering I was just expecting to go look at trucks not actually buy one.  I was ecstatic when I got that truck and I still have It. I love my S10 to this day, probably mostly because it reminds me of my grandpa and intend to keep it for the rest of my days.

I'm glad my wife got to meet my grandpa. At the time we weren't married yet and my grandpa liked her long hair.  He said I should marry her.

About two weeks before he passed away, I told my grandpa that I was planning to join the Air Force. He didn't really like the idea of me joining, however, he was one of my inspirations to join.

I really miss my Grandpa and think about him often. He's one of the few people that were always proud of me, even though I hadn't accomplished much at the time.  I think he'd definitely be proud of me now.

Grandpa and I around the year 2000

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sidney Adolphus Fink

Faith, NC Centennial

Sidney Adolphus Fink
Born: 30 Jan 1894
Death: 25 Dec 1976
Relation: Great Grandfather
Link to tree.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

People I need Information On

Be sure to checkout the "People I Need Information On" tab on the link at the top of the site.  The following is what I have listed so far.

The following are people I need information on in no particular order. 

1. John Ramsey Euart  b. 20 Jul 1863  d. 11 Jun 1941 Link to tree
Trying to find any information on him prior to 1900.

2. William Hamilton b. Jan 1835 d. 19 Jan 1921 Link to tree
I can't find any information on his parents.

3. Maltida M. Doughtery and husband  b. abt. 1866  d. abt. 1958 Link to tree
I can't find any information on husband, correct death date...etc.  There were 2 different Maltida Doughtery's in the 1880 census.

4. Claude William Hamilton Jr b. 17 Oct 1925  d. 19 Feb 2000 Link to tree
Trying to find military information.  The only info I have is that he was on a wooden deck ship in the US Navy in WW2.

5. John Fink b. 25 Dec 1789 d. 21 Nov 1860 Link to tree
He born and died in Cabarrus County.  I need information on parents.

6. Gertie Mae Burris b. 19 Nov 1916 d. 12 Dec 1974 Link to tree
I need her marriage date to Robert Warren Hamilton.

7. Robert Warren Hamilton b. 02 Dec 1920 d. 23 Jan 2006 Link to tree
Trying to get in touch with his step-kids.  He was married to Gertie Mae Burris.

8. Mary Emmeline Gentry b. 02 Feb 1922 d. 31 Oct 2001 Link to tree
Trying to get in contact with her children.  She was married to Howard Rutter.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Tree Project

My family tree project will be on hold for a couple of months.  My laptop that I use for researching is getting the blue-screen.  I'll let you know as soon as I start it back up.  Feel free to post comments.


Randy Gentry

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Obituary: John Ramsey Euart Jr b.6-8-1935 d. 9-1-2010

John "Junior" Ramsey Euart, Jr., 75, passed away September 1, 2010 at Rowan Regional Medical Center. Born June 8, 1935 in Rowan County, he was the son of the late John Ramsey and Lottie Viola Smith Euart.

He was educated in Rowan County schools and was of the Baptist faith. John retired from Apec Paving after more than 20 years of service where he was a truck and equipment driver.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by brothers, Billy and David Euart; sister, Louise Yost; and daughter, Teresa Michelle Euart.

Those left to cherish his memory are daughter, Beverly Euart of Salisbury; son, John Mark Euart of Salisbury; brother, Carl Euart and wife Zula of Salisbury; sisters, Polly Webb and husband Charles of Salisbury, Elsie Lomax of Salisbury, Betty Truett of Salisbury; 5 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to donor's choice.

Visitation and Service: 10 - 11 AM Saturday at Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home, China Grove with the service to begin at 11 AM in the chapel of the funeral home. Interment to follow at City Memorial Park in Salisbury.

Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home, China Grove is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: John Ramsey Euart and Darcus Euart

John Ramsey Euart
Born: 20 Jul 1863
Death: 11 Jun 1941
Relation: 2nd Great Grandfather
Link to tree. 

Darcus Brigman Euart
Born: 08 Jun 1883
Death: 29 Jan 1960
Relation: 2nd Great Grandmother
Link to tree. 

Tombstone Tuesday: Wendel Miller

Wendel Miller
b. Abt. 1730 d.1805
Relation: 6th Great Grandfather
Link to tree
Buried in Organ (Zion) Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rowan County, NC

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John Ramsey Euart

John Ramsey Euart
b. Jul 20 1863 d. Jun 11 1941
Relation: 2nd Great Grandfather
Link to tree
Buried in Lower Stone Cemetary, Rowan County, NC

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Doctor Bingham Fink


Doctor Bingham Fink
b. Dec. 4 1855 d. July 25, 1928
Relation: 2nd Great Grandfather
Link to tree
Buried in Saint Pauls Lutheran Church in Faith, Rd., Faith, North Carolina.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday

Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday are one of a couple ways genealogist add content and information to their blog.  I'm going to start adding these to my blog so that I can get more information out there on the internet.  Hope you enjoy the new postings.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Email Updates Available

Email updates are now available.  Now you don't have to visit my page and wonder if I've updated something.  You can just sign up for email updates on the right hand side of the page in just three easy steps.

1. Enter your email address in the box as pictures below.

Once you enter your email address, another page will popup to verify it's you.

2. You'll have to enter the verification code.

3. Check your email and click on the link in your email. That's it.  Now you'll get email updates when I update the blog.  Remember to get more frequent updates, subscribe to my twitter. Enjoy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gentry Surname Migration Map

Here is an interesting map of the Gentry surname migration.  I know there are usually 3 sets of original Gentrys.  The first is from the Tennessee/Virginia area.  The second form Arkansas and the third form Texas.  My line of Gentrys are the ones from the Tennessee/Virginia area.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wendel Miller History 1704 - 1804

Wendel Miller (sometimes spelled Wendell) came from southwestern Germany near the Swiss border. He was a Lutheran and is said to have immigrated to escape religious persecution. Wendell arrived from Rotterdam in Philadelphia, PA, aboard the ship "Brothers" in 1754 at the age of 25. He was married and brought seven sons with him to America. They moved from Pennsylvania to Rowan County, NC, settling near Salisbury on the old Gold Hill Road where he purchased approximately 2400 acres. Wendell was a wealthy plantation owner.

Organ Church, Rowan, NC

Wendel originally worshiped at Old Hickory Church. Later, he was one of the founders and charter members of the Organ Church, first organized in 1773. Wendell is buried in the cemetery there, and his headstone indicates "Miller: Wendel Miller (1717-1805) served as a Lt. in the Rowan C." indicating his service during the American Revolution. Wendell Miller was a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War and was promoted to Captain, fighting against Tories and Indians. He is reported to have had seven sons, seven daughters and one adopted daughter Elizabeth. His second wife was Christina according to his Will, and it is uncertain which children were from the first or second wife.

Several researchers indicate that his second wife, name Unknown, had a child named Frederick who was the father of John Miller. A few researchers dispute this claim.

Individual Record FamilySearch® Ancestral File™ v4.19
Wendel MILLER (AFN: 1RNX-8J7)
Sex: M
Born: 1704, Germany
Died: 1804, Rowan Co, N C
Spouse: Christina (AFN: 1RNX-8KF)

Family Group Record FamilySearch® Ancestral File™ v4.19
Husband's Name
Wendell MILLER (AFN:1RNX-8J7)
Born: 1704, Germany
Died: 1804, Rowan Co, N C
Wife's Name
Christina (AFN:1RNX-8KF)
Born: 1691
Frederick MILLER (AFN:1FDB-P5)
Hans (John) MILLER (AFN:1RNW-H7F)
Elizabeth MILLER (AFN:1RNX-8QG)
Susannah MILLER (AFN:1RNX-8SV)
Catherine MILLER (AFN:1RNX-8XP)
Philipina MILLER (AFN:1RNX-8ZW)
Sarah MILLER (AFN:1RNX-903)
Christina MILLER (AFN:1RNX-919)
George MILLER (AFN:1RNX-92H)

Source:  Can't remember.  I believe it's the Wendel Miller Descendants book.  Above is what I had in my notes about Wendell Miller.

Relation to me:
Wendel Miller (6th Great Grandfather) Abt. 1730-1805
John Philip Miller (5th Great Grandfather)
John Peter Miller (4th Great Grandfather)
Milas M. Miller (3th Great Grandfather)
Minnie A. Miller (2rd Great Grandmother)
Maude Irene Johnson (Great Grandmother)
James Edward Ewart (Grandfather)
Becky Ewart (Mother)
Stephen Gentry Jr (Me)

Link to tree

Update: Found a copy of his will that was already transcribed.  Here is what it said:

I, Wendel Miller, of Rowan County and State of N. Carolina, being in sound mind and memory, but weak in body, and knowing that it is appointed unto all me once to die, have though proper to dispose of my worldly property, with which it was pleased God to bless me, in the following manner, Viz:
1. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife, Christina, one negro girl named Polly, to be her own property as long as my wife shall remain widow, further I give to my wife, Christina, one bed and furniture, one spinning wheel, one iron pot, one pewter dish, six plates and six spoons, the choice of one horse, saddle and bridle, the choice of one cow. It is also my will that my wife shall have one room in the house wherein I now live, for her own use. The above mentioned articles are to be delivered to my wife whenever my youngest son, David, becomes of age. It is further my will that from the time when my son David comes of age, my son George and Henry shall give unto my wife, Christina, yearly each of them, three bushels of wheat, five bushels of corn, fifty pounds of beef and twenty pounds of pork.
2. I give and bequeath to my son Peter, three hundred and sixty Spanish Milled Dollars.
3. I give and bequeath to my son David, the sum of three hundred and fifty Spanish Dollars.
4. I give and bequeath to my son George and Henry, my plantation whereon I now live, to be divided amongst them into equal shares, so as my son George shall have the lower part, and my son Henry the upper part with the improvements.
5. I give and bequeath to my daughters, Catharina, Anna Maria, Susana, Philippina, Elizabeth, Sara, Rachel, and Christina, to each and every one of them, the sum of one hundred Spanish Milled Dollars. But as my son-in-law, John Brown, has received from me sixty dollars, for which I have a receipt from under his hand, it is my will that these sixty dollars shall be deducted from the above mentioned sum willed to his wife, Catharina and she is only to get forty dollars more.
6. I give and bequeath unto my son, Frederick, the sum of twenty five Spanish Milled Dollars.
7. I give and bequeath unto my son, John, twenty Spanish Milled Dollars.
8. I give and bequeath to the Second Creek Congregation, the sum of fifty dollars. It is further my will, that the negro woman Patt, shall be hired out yearly for the benefit of my estate; and it is also my will that there shall be no vendue made until my son, David, becomes of age, all my property shall be sold, and the money arising from that sale shall be divided into equal shares amongst all my children, my step-daughter Elizabeth except, provided that before this distribution takes place the above mentioned sums are paid and also one hundred dollars to my wife, Christina.
     It is my will also, that my wife, Christina, shall have the power to furnish out of my estate those of my children which are yet unmarried at the time of their marriage with the same articles with which my married children have been furnished; and if at the time when the above distributions take place any of my children are single yet, they shall be provided for and furnished in the same manner
     It is further my will that if any building or repairs of buildings is necessary it shall be paid out of my estate.
I make, ordain and constitute my friend George Henry Berger, my wife, Christina, and my son Philip, Executors of this will, and empower them to make deeds to my son George and Henry for the land herein willed. Then I declare this to be my last will and testament and pronounce all others null and void.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 17th day of November, 1804.
                                                              Wendel Miller (Seal)

Here is an image with more information about him that I also just found.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little history on me

This will be a short history on me.  I'll just make it more of a time-line
  1. 1 Jan 1980 - Born Salisbury, NC.
  2. 1998 - Graduated Davie High School, Mocksville, NC.
  3. 1998 - Moved to Kannapolis to live with my dad and started going to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
  4. 2000 - Graduated from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and received my Associates in Applied Science in Electronic Engineering.
  5. 2003 - Moved to Anderson, SC and met my wife that same year.
  6. 2004 - Married Cynthia Ann Gentry.
  7. 2004 - Joined the US Air Force and started basic training.
  8. 2005 - Station at Minot AFB, ND.
  9. 2005 - My son, Nicolas Ethan Gentry was born.
  10. 2005 - Started working on the family tree.
  11. Sept. 2008 - Got out of the military and moved to Pilot Mountain, NC in my step-fathers basement.
  12. Dec. 2008 - Moved to Huntersville, NC.
  13. Sept. 2009 - Started full-time with Rubbermaid in Huntersville, NC
  14. Oct. 2009 - Bought a house and moved to Concord, NC

Picture of me right after I finished my Security Forces training 2005.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hamiltons buried at Mt. Mitchell Cemetery, Kannapolis, NC

I was amazed to find out how many Hamiltons that were buried at Mt. Mitchell Cemetery without headstones.  Or even any documentation at all.  We have 6 Hamiltons that I know of buried their.

Overhead view of Mt. Mitchell Cemetery, Kannapolis, NC

When I first started my family research I knew 2 Hamiltons that were buried there, my grandmother's (Ruby Gentry) father and grandfather.  My grandmother remembers going to her mother's (Oma Samathia Hamilton) funeral when she was 7 years old. Upon looking at the death certificates of Lola May Ritchie, Claudie and Jerwood Hamilton, I saw all three of them were buried there too.

A few months ago I decided I would try to contact someone at Mt. Mitchell Methodist Church to see if I could find any information on the location of the graves located their.  She couldn't find any information on the graves, but was able to find another Hamilton buried there I didn't know about.  She found Mary Francis Hamilton (Barnhardt) in a cemetery book by the Lore sisters. I wouldn't have ever found that out since death certificates didn't start until around 1915 in NC.

Document with Mary Francis Hamilton

The following is a list of the Hamiltons buried at Mt. Mitchell Cemetery.

1. Mary Francis Hamliton (Barnhardt) b. 20 Aug 1867 d. 31 Dec 1909
2. Lola May Hamilton (Ritchie) b. 1900 d. 27 Oct 1918
3. Jerwood Hamilton b. 26 Oct 1918 d. 27 Oct 1918
4. Claudie William Hamilton b. abt. Oct 17 d. 25 Oct 1918
5. Oma Samanthia Hamilton (Tilley) b. 18 Feb 1900 d. 18 Dec 1930
6. Charlie Heran Hamilton b. 22 Mar 1866 d. 8 Sep 1950

Reference to how each one is related to Claude Wilson Hamilton.
1. Mother
2. 1st Wife
3. Daughter
4. Son
5. 2nd Wife
6. Father

Claude Wilson Hamilton  b. 07 Oct 1891 d. 29 Jun 1979

I asked my contact at Mt. Mitchell Methodist Church if it would be possible to add all the Hamiltons that are buried their to their website.  She said she'd be happy too since I have proof that they're all buried there.  She said she will add them once she is caught up on the website.  So look for them on there in the future.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Added Twitter to the sidebar

As the subject says, I just added Twitter to the sidebar.  Here you will find up to date tweets about my research.  These are things that are too small to do a whole blog story about.  For example, what I'm currently searching for, things I just found and etc.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter if you have a Twitter account.

Update: Moved it to just above the blog since it gets updated more often.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Ewart Surname History

This interesting name is arguably at least English with some Scottish input. It has three possible origins. The first is locational from the village of Ewart in the parish of Doddington in Northumberland, England. This is recorded as Ewurthe in the Pipe Rolls of the county in 1218 and means "The enclosure by the river", from the pre 7th century word "ea", a river, and "worth", an enclosure. This is proven by the fact that Ewart is enclosed by the rivers Glen and Till. The first recording of the name, a shown below, is from this source. The second possible origin is from the Norman French form of the given name Edward, which was "Ewart or Ewert", and is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The name means "prosperity-guard", from elements "ead" and "weard". Finally it may be an occupational name for a shepherd, from the Middle English word "ewehirde". Examples of recordings include the marriage of John Ewart and Mabell Athey at Berwick upon Tweed, on June 19th 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Ewrth. This was dated 1242, in the "Fees Court Records of Northumberland", during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Connecting the Gentrys

When I first started family research in 2005 I didn't know anything about any Gentrys past my Grandfather's (James Macklin Gentry) father, Noah Macklin Gentry.  I wished I had asked a few more questions while my grandfather was living.

I slowly pieced together census records until getting back to William Gentry.  I then came across a Marriage letter that had been signed by William Gentry and a John Gentry.

The letter read as follows:
State of Tennessee Carter County

Know all men by these present that we William Gentry and John Gentry are held and firmly bound unto William Carrol Governor for the time being and his successor in office in the final sum of twelve hundred dollars and void on condition there be no lawful cause to obstruct the marriage of William Gentry to Mary Oliver other wise to pay all cost and damages that maybe recovered in consequence of said marriage being unlawful giver under our land and seals this 29 of June 1834.
                                                                      William Gentry   seal
                                                                       John Gentry      seal
Jesse Cole Justice of the peace
State of Tennessee Carter County
To any license minister of the gospel or any justice of the peace in and for said county we do Empower you or any of you to celebrate and perform the writes of marriage between William Gentry and Mary Oliver and them join together in the holy state of matrimony husband and wife give under my hand at office this 29 of June 1834.

William Gentry
Mary Oliver

I sent this letter to my other contact (Nancy Casteel) that does family research on the Gentrys and she emailed it to Bill Gentry, the editor of the Gentry Journal website.

Here is the email to Bill:
To Bill Gentry at 3:47pm 12/9/2008
Is it possible that John Gentry and Sarah Brown are the parents of my William Gentry b.abt 1816 in Carter County, Tennessee d.Sullivan County, Tennessee who married Mary Oliver (daughter of George R. Oliver and Susannah White)?  A John Gentry signed the marriage bond at the time of the marriage of William and Mary.  I'm assuming a father would do this rather than a brother or other male relative.  Below is the text of the marriage record for William Gentry and Mary Oliver.

Here is Bill Gentry's email response.
From Bill Gentry, Editor of the Gentry Journal:
I think your speculation is very probable. While William is not listed with John's family in the "History of Johnson Co., TN" (see also, he does not fit with the families of any of John's brothers, and time-wise he fits right between John's children Keziah (b. abt. 1813) and Elizabeth (b. abt. 1818). He is not listed in John's family in the first available TN census (1830 Carter Co.), but was probably the presumed grandson of Joseph and Winifred gentry in their census listing that year.  William is of course included in the 1840 Johnson Co. and 1850 Sullivan Co., TN census records.
Here is the way it breaks down from as far back as we have the Gentrys in order.

John Gentry  b.  1510  d. unknown
Simon Gentry  b. 1549  d. 16 Dec 1652
Samuel Gentry  b. 1585  d. 16 Dec 1562
Samuel Gentry  b. 16 Dec 1627  d. 22 Oct 1697

Nicholas Gentry  b. 1655  d. 1736
Joseph Gentry  b. 1685  d. 1766
Joseph Gentry  b. abt. 1712  d. 1788
Joseph Gentry  b. 15 Dec 1748  d. 22 Dec 1835
John Gentry  b. 1777  d. abt. 1860
William Gentry  b. abt. 1816  d. abt. 1876
Jesse James Gentry  b. 1849  d. abt. 1900
Noah Macklin Gentry  b. 8 June 1883  d. 29 Jan 1960
James Macklin Gentry (grandfather) b. 13 July 1916  d. 15 May 2004
Stephen Randall Gentry Sr (Living)
Stephen Randall Gentry Jr (me) b. 1980
Nicolas Ethan Gentry (my son) (Living)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The first Gentrys in the USA

Here is a little history about the first Gentrys in the United States of America.

Probably the most difficult task in establishing the genealogy of the Gentry family in America is determining the connections among the first three generations in America. These generations span the one hundred years between the arrival of the presumed brothers, Nicholas and Samuel, before 1684, and the American Revolution. The records for these first three generations are found with few exceptions in Virginia, since the migrations of the family to the states to the south and west occurred at the time of or after the Revolution. Unfortunately, the records for this period, and in particular for some of the counties in which the Gentry family settles, are sparse. Few of those which do exist establish definitive relationships among the Gentrys who are cited.

This period was the most difficult one for Richard Gentry in his path-breaking "The Gentry Family in America" (hereafter cited as GFA), which remains the point of departure for all genealogical research on the Gentry family on this side of the Atlantic. Except for the second Nicholas Gentry (hereafter, Nicholas-II to distinguish the son from the immigrant father, Nicholas-I), Richard Gentry was unable to make any other second and third generation connections. This is obvious in the second part of the book where the many Gentry family groups who cannot be connected to Nicholas-I or Nicholas-II Gentry are listed. In fact, "The Gentry Family in America" is really an account of the descendants of Nicholas-II Gentry with considerable information concerning what are assumed to be collateral branches of the family.

The present-day researcher has far more to work with than did Richard Gentry more than seventy years ago. In the intervening years, many more of the county records of colonial Virginia have been published and indexed, so that it is no longer as necessary for the researcher to proceed laboriously page by page through the original books looking for the occasional reference to a Gentry. A splendid example is the recent publication of the early Louisa County records by Rosalie Edith Davis. Many of the references which had been found by early researchers, and which are cited in GFA, can now be placed in context by more extensive documentation which permits a more complete and continuous picture of a particular individual.

Despite these advantages, the modern researcher is still not likely to be able to make the definitive connections that would satisfy good research standards. Although one can always hope that a document will turn up sooner or later that will permit definitive relationships to be established, it must be recognized that the state of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century records is such that few such documents can be anticipated. Instead, the delineation of relationships within the first three generations of Gentrys will have to proceed by means of inference based on what scraps of information are available. Such a procedure is not dissimilar to methods of scientific inquiry where laboratory experiment is not possible, notably with respect to social phenomena, and where statistical inference provides the rules for separating meaningful insight from intriguing speculation.

The present article is an attempt at applying this procedure to what is probably the irremediably incomplete documentation on the early Gentrys. It is an attempt at organizing the available data in a way that is eighty percent accurate where the present, and perhaps permanent, incompleteness of the data does not permit the drawing of definitive conclusions. In so doing, working hypotheses are developed to serve three purposes: 1) To organize the available data to tell a plausible and hopefully accurate story; 2) To guide further research for the definitive documentation which would prove or disprove the working hypotheses; and 3) To provide the stimulus for the piecing together of other scraps of information or for different readings of the circumstances prevailing at the time and place that will lead to the elaboration of alternative hypotheses that organize the extant data in a more meaningful fashion. 

Source and more information:

Gentry Surname History

As most of you know, I'm a Gentry. So far I have 76 Gentrys in my family tree.  Here is a little history on the Gentry surname.

This very unusual surname has long been a source of puzzlement to researchers, and it is not recorded in any of the usual dictionaries of surnames. It is almost certainly French in origin, like the surname 'Gentle' deriving from the old French 'gentil', a word introduced by the Normans after the 1066 invasion, and meaning 'high born'. It has been recorded at various times as Jentry, Jendry, Gentery, Gentry, Gentiry and Guntrey, and in France as Gentil, Gentreau, and Gentric, the latter being very close in both spelling and pronunciation to the English forms. Although unproven it may be that there are some 16th century Huguenot introductions. Early examples of the name suggest that it was descriptive and not a nickname, Nicholas and William 'Gentilman', who are so recorded in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Bedford, presumably being land owners or at least land holders, suggest that this is a correct description. John le Gentil recorded in the 1242 rolls of Warwick, was recorded for non payment of fines, so perhaps in his case it was a cynical nickname, or perhaps he was a 'gentle soul' who just forgot. As Gentry and Jentry the surname is well recorded in London from the mid 17th century. Whether this is a dialectal change applying initially only to London is uncertain. The church registers give examples which include Richard Jendry, who married Mary Hassaway (certainly a transposed spelling) at St James Church, Dukes Place, on April 16th 1666, John Gentry, a witness at St Peters Church, Cornhill, on February 29th 1684, and John Guntrey, a witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 15th 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert le Gentil, which was dated 1202 a.d., in the pipe rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hamiltons - 1918 Spanish Flue

Imagine the year is 1918. You have a young wife, a 1 years old, and one on the way. Somehow you avoid getting called to serve in WW1. Then all of a sudden your 1 year old gets the flue and dies. Then your wife gives birth. She and her son die the same day.

This was a reality for my great grandfather. For Claude Wilson Hamilton had to be the worst day of his life up to this point. That's just crazy to think he lost 3 family members within 5 days to the Spanish flue of 1918.

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Painting of Lola Ritchie on the left and Claudie Hamilton on the right.

Lola May Ritchie b. 1900 d. 27 Oct. 1918
Claudie Ritchie Hamilton b. abt. 1917 d. 25 Oct. 1918
Jerwood Hamilton b. 26 Oct. 1918 d. 27 Oct. 1918

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Death Certificates from left to right, Lola Ritchie, Jerwood Hamilton, Claudie Hamilton.

My grandmother said he would tell her that his first son was excited to see him when he arrived home from work. She said her father called his son Tootsie.

The up side is he met my great grandmother and they married a year later. If this wouldn't have ever happened, my tree line would not exist today. It's kind of weird to think of it that way.

The sad part is he did end up losing his second wife (Oma Samantha Tilley) in 1930. My grandmother (Ruby Gentry (Hamilton)) was just 7 years old. She still remember to this day what the funeral was like and says it was snowing on the day she was buried.

Oma Samathia Tilley b. 18 Feb. 1900 d. 18 Dec. 1930

Here is a little more history on the flue of 1918.
World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world's population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fink Concord Library Research

I took vacation last week so that I could go to the library and do some family research. My main focus for this week has been the Fink's. Here is a list of my line of Finks up from me.

Silvia Sydney Fink (my grandmother)
Sidney Adolphus Fink (my great grandfather) b. 30 Jan 1894 d. 25 Dec 1976
Doctor Bingham Fink (2nd great grandfather) b. 04 Dec 1855 d. 25 July 1928
George Allison Fink (third great grandfather) (had Levi Fink before) b. abt. 1826 d. 02 Oct 1862
John Fink (4th great grandfather) b. 25 Dec 1889 d. 21 Nov 1860

I found some great information at the library. First thing I found was the location of John Fink's headstone. It was located at Phaniels Church Cemetery near the Rowan-Cabarrus county line. I went to the cemetery and found the headstone. I almost passed it over because it was pretty hard to read, but I was able to make it out.

Originally I thought Levi Fink was Doctor Bingham Fink's father. Bingham Fink was on the 1870 Census as living with Levi Fink at the age of 16. Then I found Levi Fink's will and estate at the library. I didn't see a trace of Bingham Fink on it. That's when I started having my doubts. More on that later.

1st page of Levi Fink's will.

I then found another document (hand written) that had John Fink's land division which had a couple more Fink's that I didn't have in my tree. This was a great find.

Next I ran across a letter from Louise Bockman. It had some information that I didn't have including some birthdays and things from a baptismal record. This letter was from 1994. It seems like she had a little more information than me about the Finks. I tried to search on the internet for information on her and just found some old email addresses. I didn't think she would have the same phone number after all those years. As a shot in the dark I called the phone number on the letter. To my surprise she answered the phone. I told her who I was and what I was searching for and to my surprise she new my grandmother, Silvia Sydney Fink and my great grandfather, Sidney Adolphus Fink. This was great. We exchanged emails and she started sending information. I found out, her dad and my great grandfather had the same father. This was great.

Louise Bockman was able to give me some insight on who Bingham Fink's father was. He was George Allison Fink and died 10-2-62 in the Civil War of disease. She also gave me insight on other brother's of Bingham Fink.

Last Friday I went to my grandma Ewart's (Silvia Sydney Fink) and scanned some photos and documents. I had some really good finds there. While I was scanning pictures I came across an old picture that my grandma said was Bingham Fink. I took note but wasn't sure because this was just what she was told from her father. She had never met him.

The next day Louise Bockman emailed me a picture of Doctor Bingham Fink. I was able to compare the one that my grandma had given me and the one that Louise Bockman gave me. I was really excited about this find also.

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The one on the left is the one I scanned and the one on the right is from Louise Bockman.

All in all my family research this week went really well and I found a lot of good information.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Software I Use for my Family Tree

I use a piece of software called Family Tree Maker 2009. I like it because it's easy, yet sophisticated. It's great for making charts, organizing and adding photos, and facts. One of the best parts is how it integrates with and I can pull facts directly into my tree.

Here is a screenshot of my software.

Surnames I'm most interested in.

The following is a list of surnames I'm most interested in. Gentry, Fink, Davis, Hamilton, McDaniel, Bruce, Ewart, Euart, Greybeal, Miller, Tilley, Thompson, Wensil and a few others that I'm sure I'm missing. Be sure to go to to check out the list of surnames and given names. Email me at with any information you have on anyone.

My Family Tree Link

I have my tree posted on a couple of different websites including Tribal Pages and The easiest one to navigation would be the one at Tribal Pages. The URL is I have also included some photos on the Tribal Pages site and Tribal Pages is also the most up to date .

There is not an update option on, I sent them a message asking if there was but there isn't. Right now I have my original tree and one that says update on
You would think that being such a large website they would have an update option.

New Family Research Blog

I'm starting a new blog with my family research. I'll occasionally post different pictures and articles about family. Feel free to ask any questions that you have about family history,also feel free to share any of these articles with the share buttons below. If you don't want to post on here you can contact me at for any information.