A Royal Heritage

A young friend of mine recently spoke to the congregation about his genealogy.  He mentioned that his mother was descended from a King.  I thought he forgot that her genealogy is his genealogy and that HE is descended from a King as well!

Coat of Arms with Cherubs

It’s a good thing to feel special about yourself when learning that your ancestors were somehow special.   The surname BRUCE appears in the line of Max Augustus LINN as his great grandmother.  BRUCE may be related to royalty of the Scottish.  More research is in order before we claim Robert the BRUCE.

Finding a noble ancestor in the kindred tree can give a feeling of worth that helps us know how important we are.  The word ‘noble’ has two meanings:

1. someone belonging to a family line of high social or political status

2. someone who has fine personal qualities associated with words like virtuous, honorable, upright, decent, ethical, and reputable.

The latter definition seems to be a more desirable and important heritage than the former aristocratic one.  The truth about ancestors is that they have had their turn on earth and we cannot change who they are or what they did.  We simply cannot choose who our kindred are.  Some may have been noble, some may not have been.  We can only learn from their examples and make good choices for our selves.  It’s hard to imagine, but we too, will leave a legacy to those who come after us.  Will it somehow reflect nobleness?

Donald Lawrence, a gospel singer, sings about our potential to find our own nobility, or royalty with this lyric:

You come from royalty .  An aristocratic dynasty. . .
There’s power when you speak.   Be mindful of words you release. . . 
There is a King in you . . . 

Watch two ministering mimes perform their interpretation of Donald Lawrence’s song “There is a King in You”:


“Willie” and WWI

William Washington BARKER born in 1898, was in World War I, also known as “The War to End All Wars”.  Here is his service record card:

WWI Service Record of William Washington BARKER

He joined the U.S. army at age 19 on 5 June 1917.  He served for about 20 months with only three months service overseas after the war was over.  This information along with a good health record during his service indicates that he may have never seen battle.

“Willie” brought back this little leather shoe as a souvenir.  It measures 7.5 inches in length and has a wooden sole with the marking of “Galoche Nationale” on it.  Perhaps he served in France.  Future research might reveal where his company actually served.

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William Washington BARKER was the father of Evelyn Roberta BARKER.

Mary ‘Mollie’ Jane COKER

Mary 'Mollie' J. COKER

Mary COKER was born the 4th of April 1857* in Henry County, GA.  She was a child during the Civil War and evidence indicates that her family was needy during those years.   At the age of 22 she married Elsberry B. JACKSON on Christmas day 1879.  Together they had 4 children:

1. Manson 2. Alma Josephine 3. William Grady 4. Lillian

Marriage certificate of Mary "Mollie" J. COKER and Elsberry B. JACKSON

She died within the year of Lillian’s birth in 1891 or 1892.  She was young.

Daughter Alma Josephine was mother to Eula Mae HOLDER

*The 1900 U.S. Census of Henry County GA records Mary’s birth as Mar 1870 but a family bible records her birth as 4 April 1857.

Mariah SHELNUT’S Big Family

Mariah SHELNUT, the daughter of John G SHELNUT and Elizabeth WHITE was child number 5 in her big family.  The first six children appear to be born in Surry County, North Carolina.  They are:

1. Thomas Pinkney SHELNUT   born 1822

2. Eatha Malinda SHELNUT       born 1824

3. Harriet SHELNUT                     born abt 1825

4. Joseph David SHELNUT         born 1826

5. Mariah SHELNUT                born 1828

6. John Junior SHELNUT            born 1830

The family then moved to Georgia where the pitter patter of more little feet were heard:

7. Amanda C SHELLNUT             born 1835

8. Lavina  SHELLNUT                   born 1835 (appear to be twins)

9. Susan E SHELNUT                    born 1838

10. Nancy Jane SHELLNUT        born 1840

BUT WAIT!!  THERE’S MORE . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dear Elizabeth White SHELNUT died in 1840, the same year that her little baby girl Nancy Jane was born.  John remarried the next year to Edna (MILLER) COCHRAN in Campbell County (now Fulton), GA.  Edna had been married twice before with at least one son, John MILLER from the first marriage.

1830 Map of Campbell County, GA

1830 map of Campbell County, GA

One historian states that John G.  had another wife even before Elizabeth.  Speculation on their circumstances point to the conclusion that these people saw plenty of death, tragedy, and heartache in their young lives.  Yet, they had children to take care of and life moved forward.

Together, John and Edna had several more children.  One report states that they had 5 together, another says 3.  Edna’s son John MILLER lived with the family as a young farmer, age 20 in the 1850 census.  Here are the names of the three known children they had together:

1. James H SHELNUT                    born 1841

2. Mary “Dolly” SHELNUT          born 1843

3. Rebecca S. SHELNUT               born 1844

It would seem that Edna or Edney was a kind and influential person in the lives of all the SHELNUT children because at least one granddaughter was named ‘Edna’.