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Wize Ole Owl

Belfry, KY

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#1
Jul 21, 2009
 
If you have questions or if you know about the foundation families of this region and wish to talk about those things then we can do that, but I do not want to play silly games. I am going to post this in the Lenore and Williamson area as well. The Ootens are from the founders of Williamson.
Record Keeper

Belfry, KY

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#2
Jul 21, 2009
 
Wize Ole Owl wrote:
If you have questions or if you know about the foundation families of this region and wish to talk about those things then we can do that, but I do not want to play silly games. I am going to post this in the Lenore and Williamson area as well. The Ootens are from the founders of Williamson.
I am sure your family is my family, But if we can get this thing going let's do it.
well now

Logan, WV

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#3
Jul 21, 2009
 
thanks owl do you know how the ootens may their way to duncan fork or any of the familes from there. i got as far back as John Sammons the father to the Sammons boys that live there now and Wib and Vesta Ooten that have children and maybe grandchildren in the area. do you know who was the first in any of these families. thank you.
JustWonderin

Belfry, KY

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#4
Jul 21, 2009
 
Hey what can you tell me about the Newsome's from Riffe Branch? Thats my family, just wondering what you could tell me.
Wize Ole Owl

Belfry, KY

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#5
Jul 21, 2009
 
well now wrote:
thanks owl do you know how the ootens may their way to duncan fork or any of the familes from there. i got as far back as John Sammons the father to the Sammons boys that live there now and Wib and Vesta Ooten that have children and maybe grandchildren in the area. do you know who was the first in any of these families. thank you.
In the early 20's John Sammons came from Wayne County which is all I really know. He was married to Aunt Parlee Dempsey and had Pearley and Dalphine. Then Parlee died. He raised his children and after Dalphine had graduated from school and married Virgil "Butch" Estepp who happened to be a cousin to Vesta Estepp Ooten then he started dating Virgina "Jenny" Newsome whose Mother was known as "one eyed" Mary for obvious reasons. Jenny had a real bad speach impediment and had never been to school so she actually learned to read and talk more clearly as she worked with her own children. John and Jenny had a couple of their children before they were married. John made corn liquer and a steel blew up on him that damaged his eyes and back. I have been told that at one time he was a very good looking man. John and Jenny had a big age difference and after he got too old to hunt down his really large sons they took advantage of that and each one went through a rebellious stage. It seemed that they all landed at "Little" Dow Ooten and Joyce's house. It seemed like Uncle Dow and Aunt Joyce took in all strays. I've heard both Mac and Jerry say that they were both just like second parents to them. John was a Trustee at Duncanfork United Baptist Church and Jenny was a faithful member till John died. She was only 42 years old or so at that time and did not want to be bossed by her adult children so she allowed Paul to move in with Vesta and Virgil at Aunt Joyce's house. I am fairly sure that John ED did too while Mikey was in college. So that is why all the Sammons children and grandchildren had a Granny Joyce and that is the big connection in the Ooten's and Sammons family besides the marriages between Vesta and Virgil and Paul and Cammy.

The ancestory of the Ootens is too extensive to answer in this way. So I will start a new box.
Wize Ole Owl

Belfry, KY

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#6
Jul 21, 2009
 
The Williamsons were first established in the Big Creek area of KY. One of the girls moved to Trace Creek in the early 1800's and married Silas Ooten whose name is inscribed on George Washington's sword. One of their sons was William "Billy" Ooten the father of Alexander Ooten who was Pappy Dow's father. Pappy Dow was Rev. WB's (Pa Wib)Dad. He lived to be 101 years old.
The earliest progenator that we know of at this time on the Estepp side (Ma Ooten) Vesta Estepp, is her grandfather, Rev. Johnathan Estepp. He came from Ireland around 1800 and moved into the area about the time as Lewis and Clark, Damiel Boone, and Davy Crocket. WV was not a State and the land companies had not even come west. He was land granted large portions of what is now Trace Creek. He fought in the Civil War as a confederat Soldier. He had 3 different wives and is buried at the forks of the holler. He has a Civil War Monument. One of his sons was a college educated doctor. Another son Preacher WB Estepp was the founder of Duncanfork United Baptist Church and America United Baptist Church in Delbarton. He and WB Ooten was on the first Boards of Education. They built the first schools like Myrtle Grade and Delbarton Grade and the first School buses. Prior to that every little holler nook and crevis had a one room school with teachers who worked with an 8Th Grade education teaching on permits.
well now

Logan, WV

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#7
Jul 21, 2009
 
Wize Ole Owl wrote:
The Williamsons were first established in the Big Creek area of KY. One of the girls moved to Trace Creek in the early 1800's and married Silas Ooten whose name is inscribed on George Washington's sword. One of their sons was William "Billy" Ooten the father of Alexander Ooten who was Pappy Dow's father. Pappy Dow was Rev. WB's (Pa Wib)Dad. He lived to be 101 years old.
The earliest progenator that we know of at this time on the Estepp side (Ma Ooten) Vesta Estepp, is her grandfather, Rev. Johnathan Estepp. He came from Ireland around 1800 and moved into the area about the time as Lewis and Clark, Damiel Boone, and Davy Crocket. WV was not a State and the land companies had not even come west. He was land granted large portions of what is now Trace Creek. He fought in the Civil War as a confederat Soldier. He had 3 different wives and is buried at the forks of the holler. He has a Civil War Monument. One of his sons was a college educated doctor. Another son Preacher WB Estepp was the founder of Duncanfork United Baptist Church and America United Baptist Church in Delbarton. He and WB Ooten was on the first Boards of Education. They built the first schools like Myrtle Grade and Delbarton Grade and the first School buses. Prior to that every little holler nook and crevis had a one room school with teachers who worked with an 8Th Grade education teaching on permits.
do you know where the one room school house was located on duncan fork if they had one.
Gosh I love this

Norcross, GA

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#8
Jul 21, 2009
 
I love reading about and hearing the history of our area...Im not related, but know pple from trace creek area, some of the names in Wise Ole Owl's stories I recognize from hearing my grandmother speak of them...keep going please!!
Gosh I love this

Norcross, GA

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#9
Jul 21, 2009
 
What do you know of the old Island Creek coal mines that is up Riffe branch...I hear that the houses on the left fork is built over tunnels and that one of the miners died from fright (heart attack) in it long ago
Record Keeper

Belfry, KY

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#10
Jul 21, 2009
 
Just for the record......
My information comes from The Alden Williamson Geneology of Mingo, Logan, Lincoln, Cable, and Wayne Counties. It was published in 1962 by Cooks Publishing Company from Prichard, WV. If anyone has a copy of it I would love to copy the entire book. I only have notes from an Aunt who lives out of this region.
Elizabeth Williamson Ooten was the 5Th daughter of Benjamin and Lucretia Scott Williamson. She moved to Trace Creek in 1807 from Rock House Fork of Big Creek in 1807 and married Silas Ooten. They had a son named William "Billy" Ooten before Silas died. Apparently they also had another son named Benjamin because she married a second time a man by the name of John Sandredge but they could not live together and so she went to live with her son Benjamen till she was married for the 3Rd time to Abraham Millard and they had 4 more sons of which I do not have records.
William, Great Great Great Great Grandfather Billy married Polly Runyon the daughter of Albert and Sarah who I have not researched.
But Billy and Polly had sons Alexander "Alex" Silas, Riley "Rile, and others.
Our family came from Alex Ooten who married Polly Varney. They had 11 children that reached maturity. However, He left Great Geat Grandmother to raise her family alone and used the Runyon name to re-marry and have another family that is undocumented. Before he died he came back to Pappy Dow's but due to his advanced health he went to stay with another one of his children who happens to be related to other people in our family.
Alex and Polly had the following children:
1. MaHallia "Haley" who married William Hall
2. Victoria "Vic" married James Deskins
3. Nickatie "Nick" married Henry Evans
4. Henry married Sarah Sheppard
5. William married Rosine Estepp sister to WB
6. Yanice Jane married John Runyon
7. Cleve married Cordellia "Cordy" Ooten cousin Joe's daughter
8. Rhodes married Victoria Estepp WB Estepp's sister
9. Dow married Minnie Sheppard
10. Columbia married Will Hurley
11. Rosie married Barb Deskins

I can provide the children of each pair if anyone needs them and and I can probably tell you how and where you fit into this big tree which is a large strong Oak family tree that has stood the test of time and not a telephone pole just for the record!
A cousin too

Williamson, WV

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#11
Jul 21, 2009
 
I am family and i own one of the old home places, well the oldest home place still standing on duncan fork, i know of all the family they are speaking about and i have pics of most of them too that was in my house when i moved in.
Proud Family Member

Belfry, KY

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#12
Jul 21, 2009
 
I too have census that can back most of this up. A Family that has been there for most of the people of the area for years. A good family that believes in helping people in times of need.
Proud Family Member

Belfry, KY

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#13
Jul 21, 2009
 
Johnathan Estepp was from Letcher County KY.
Wize Ole Owl

Belfry, KY

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#14
Jul 21, 2009
 
Gosh I love this wrote:
What do you know of the old Island Creek coal mines that is up Riffe branch...I hear that the houses on the left fork is built over tunnels and that one of the miners died from fright (heart attack) in it long ago
That is the old #27 Coal mine. It actually had it's original opening at 27 holler which is now marked the Right Hand Fork of Trace on 119. Some of the earlier people called it Scarlet Road which is just one of the lables that people stick on things. When I was a girl going to school at Myrtle Grade School, Riffe Branch was called Rice Branch and no one except Granny Nan Watts ever bothered to correct you. Granny Nan was one of Uncle Dave Runyons daughters and she had come up poor because her mother had died. She made a teacher and had taught in a one room school. I'm not sure if she ever got a degree or if she taught on a permit, but she substituted well into her ninties. The only reason I mention her is she was one of the true Appalachians of this area who was gifted in the area of story telling and she knew everything and everybody and their grandpas and uncles who ever grew up on Trace Creek. So if you want the real stories you may have to consult some of the silver foxes up these hollers or Record Keeper because I garuntee you he knows more than I do.
But it was in the mid 60's when they put the shaft down into 27 mines so the miners could ride an elevator of sorts deep into the mines instead of a man trip which was like a big flat buggy that they road in up 27. Up there they actually had to lie down as they road miles back into that mines. As far as houses being built over the mines and tunnels, I am sure there is not one house anywhere on Trace Creek that is not sitting on top of a coal mines.
As far as a miner who died going into the mines from frieght. That is one I never heard, but it was not uncommon for miners to die in those days. The funnoiest story that ever came out of 27 concerning a dead miner was when Audrey Pacific was Mine Superintendieent. In those days, Rev. Cecil Murphy, and Walker were about the only people of color who worked in this area and both were really respected by the other men. Rev. Murphy is still a legand among all the churches in this area where he held many revivals. But once there was a black man who worked there for a short time and he got into the high powered electric lines that hung draped from the top and was electricuted. Pacific and a couple of the men with whom he worked drove over to Cora which was a nice community in the day toteill his wife. They said when they arrived at her home with his boots in their hands that she ask them inside. She and her children were eating breakfast and she sat back down and began to eat on a great big pork chop. Then she ask if they wanted to eat. After a few minutes she looked up at them and said, "You, white men don't think I knows why you're here but I do. And just as soon as me and my babys gets done eaten these pok chops youse goina see some carryen on." Just the way it was worded was funny, but when you think about it she wanted her children to finish eating because she knew their little lives were about to be torn all to pieces and that she would have to acknowledege that she had lost the man she loved. So she had done well to hold it together.
Proud Ooten

Glasgow, KY

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#15
Jul 21, 2009
 
My Grand Parents lived up 27. I have wonderful memorise from there.
Wize Ole Owl

Belfry, KY

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#16
Jul 21, 2009
 
I am the daughter of one of Uncle (old man) Dow's sisters. But you all have a right to be proud of your family. I am sure that you all and Record Keeper do have things documented more closely than I do. What I do know is that Uncle Wib and Aunt Vesta fed half of Trace Creek and that Uncle Wib was more peoples Santa than anyone will ever know. Uncle Dow and Aunt Joyce, Myrtle, Ollie, Mary Ann, and Helen Ruth have done the exact same thing. So none of you ever have a reason to be ashamed of your family. If it had not been for the Ooten's Duncanfork Church would have closed it's doors a long long time ago. Wib Ooten and Harmon Hunt put a lot of blood sweat and tears into that church. Between them and Dunk Hall's family, they were the Church. But it sure looks different now. And I am not talking about the building.
Record Keeper

Belfry, KY

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#17
Jul 21, 2009
 
Proud Family Member wrote:
Johnathan Estepp was from Letcher County KY.
What exactly do you have about him? Is it a census report where he was living prior to moving here?
Proud Family Member

Belfry, KY

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#18
Jul 21, 2009
 
Yes it was prior to moving here with WB and family. And also Wise Ole Owl the Cjurch was alot different.
Proud Family Member

Belfry, KY

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#19
Jul 21, 2009
 
Are you saying Wise Ole Owl that you are pappy Dows niece?
Record Keeper

Belfry, KY

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#20
Jul 21, 2009
 
I would really like to hear more about Johnathan Estepp. I only have family stories and the documented evidence of his grave marker which is currently in the wrong place on our cemetary. Pieces of the original one is still at his grave.
My Mother is also a decendant of Alex through one of his daughters. Yes, I am inbred. There I have said it. But untill a couple of years ago, I had her other grandfather's complete genealogy all the way back to the beginning of the US. I have a cousin In OH that can provide it for me again. I must get her a letter. Some of the Ooten stuff may be included.
But I have almost nothing on the Estepps, Whites, Varneys, and Runyons. Eldean Wellman who was the Principal at Myrtle Grade is trying to get all the 1800 cencus on line in Logan County. We really need to make a group effort in getting this done. I have been trying to get our family from my parents out. I do not know all of my cousins children and their children since the family has grown and moved away. So I am still getting dates and names for all the current people. It is easy to loose track of them.

I do have one really beautiful story about Great Grand dad Johnathan. As far as I know he or one of his fathers brought with them from Ireland am hierloom rose. It is a rambling rose that has dark burgandy buds that are really fragrant. It is so hardy that it was used along fences to keep cattle out of gardens since the garden was fenced instead of the cattle. But around 1960, the rose died due to a blight that hit this region much like the one that destroyed all the chestnut trees. It and another rose that belonged to Ollie Pridemore's husband Offery were among all the roses that died. But for this story I am only concerned with those 2. I was a young boy when Offery was trying to find and then reestablish his red rose. He did so in 1966 when one of his nephew brought him a start from out of this region. It bloomed the Spring of 1967 and Offery died that summer the day before School started. Ollie and Truda always took a pint Mason Jar and filled it with water and those roses and placed them on his grave every Memorial Day after that. Little Jack still does that now. Wib and Vesta's son Dow died in Sept. 1978. Myrtle and one Dow's son was cleaning on the cemetary for Memorial day the following year and they had gotten around to the other side where the Estepps were buried. Not 10 feet where Johnathan had been buried for over 100 years, Myrtle stopped and pointed out a few little leaves and said it was a rose buch. Of course, they were tired and Dow's son thought she was over taken by the heat and said she had seen some poisen vine. But she insisted that he dig it up. So with the shovel he dipped up those 3 little leaves and she set it out on her bank. Recall that this is well over 30 years since the Johnathan rose had been struck by blight and gone from this region. But the little rose grew. And... Yes, 100 years after his death and 30 years after becoming extinct a rose grew from a dead mans grave that he had brought from a distant land. The Johnathan rose grows in all of our yards, and it's fragrance is remarkable and it's beauty is matched by the spirit that grows inside of us. God has blessed our family, and given us so many blessing throughout the years that we can never repay him. It is such a bleesing to know that as long as we live, Christ is with us, but when we die, we get to go t be with him and all of those who have gone before us. And that is for the record!

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