The Old Vannoy Homeplace, and Cave – 52 Ancestors #342

It’s superb what you uncover going by way of outdated, dusty, packing containers.

Joel Vannoy, my ancestor, was in all probability born in 1813 in Claiborne County, the portion that might turn out to be Hancock County some three a long time later. One document exhibits his delivery in North Carolina. Regardless, the household moved to Claiborne County about this time.

Joel’s father, Elijah Vannoy settled his household up in a holler, not too removed from the intersection of Mulberry Hole Highway and Little Sycamore Highway at the moment, on a small spring tributary of Mulberry Creek. I discovered the land grants and the land itself a number of years in the past now, however the outdated homeplace was lengthy gone and nobody residing knew precisely the place it stood.

Joel had a tough life, as did his father, Elijah, who homesteaded that land. By that point, the great, flat, land was already claimed. By 1834, Elijah was in financial trouble, the household had little, and Joel was making an attempt to assist preserve his father, and the household, afloat. Each males struggled to maintain their land.

Elijah died someday after 1850.

Joel married Phoebe Crumley in January of 1845 and commenced elevating a household.

Their first youngster, Sarah, arrived on the primary day of December, that very same 12 months, adopted by one other daughter, Elizabeth, generally known as Bettie, my great-great-grandmother, in June of 1847.

Like clockwork, each two years or so, one after the other, three extra youngsters had been added, one other daughter and a son earlier than James Hurvey Vannoy arrived in February of 1856.

One ultimate youngster, Nancy, joined the household in September of 1859. In fact, there’s a suspicious hole or two, suggesting that maybe a child or two was buried within the household cemetery.

The Previous Homeplace

The household lived on the outdated homeplace earlier than and through the Civil Conflict. The home was in all probability situated someplace on this clearing, close to the small stream the place the household would have drawn contemporary water. This land was something however flat, ascending up the aspect of the mountains.

Household legend tells of the household hiding, with the chickens, in a small cave someplace up the mountainside on their property.

As you possibly can see, a part of the mountainside that Elijah owned is wooded but at the moment, with plenty of craggy rock options. A cave could possibly be hidden anyplace – and fortunately so. In any other case, the household may effectively haven’t survived and, effectively, I wouldn’t be right here.

Joel informed the story about how they may hear the troopers ransacking their home and farm, trying to find meals, or just about something they may use. Clearly, the household wasn’t hidden removed from the home. They in all probability prayed that no youngster or animal made a noise.

The troopers, just like the mountain individuals, had been determined for meals. The armies and marauding troopers from either side frequented this space.

It was just a few years after the Civil Conflict when Joel moved his household from the land close to Mulberry Creek on down Little Sycamore Highway, into the portion of Claiborne County that might stay Claiborne when Hancock was cut up off. They in all probability didn’t wish to transfer, however Joel and Elijah had misplaced the land in Hancock County to debt.

Joel’s psychological well being points had in all probability already turn out to be obvious by this time as a result of though they moved, the deeding of the brand new property was “uncommon,” and ultimately, his spouse owned their land in her identify alone.

Joel, about 50 years of age, didn’t serve within the Civil Conflict, however lots of his neighbors did. Maybe the struggle exacerbated Joel’s points. We didn’t have both psychological well being care or medicine at the moment. Joel’s demons worsened with age and he ultimately grew to become institutionalized. In reality, proper after the State Hospital opened in Knoxville in 1886.

Sadly, we don’t have any images of both Joel or his spouse, Phebe, though Joel didn’t die till 1894 and Phebe didn’t cross away till 1900. Their grandson, William George Estes was a photographer, and the truth that we’ve got some pictures of their youngsters could be very seemingly the results of his occupation. Thanks Will, however why oh why did you NOT take an image of your grandparents, or your spouse’s dad and mom or grandparents for that matter. However I digress…

James Hurvey Vannoy

Sure, that’s Hurvey, not Harvey.

James was born to Joel Vannoy and Phebe Crumley in 1856, so he would have been a younger youngster through the Civil Conflict when the household was hiding within the cave up the mountain. I wager that’s one journey he by no means forgot.

He would have been about 14 or 15 once they moved right down to Little Sycamore.

James, who was ultimately generally known as “Previous Jimmy,” lived an extended life, to age 92, and married thrice.

He was additionally fairly photogenic.

On this portrait, Jimmy appears to be perhaps 40 years outdated. I don’t see any grey hair but. Possibly a contact in his mustache.

In 1876, Jimmy married Matilda Jane Venable and had 5 youngsters. She died in July of 1885, leaving him with 5 youngsters below age 8, together with a 3-week-old child.

In April 1888, Jimmy married Martha Ann Lewis. I’m shocked he didn’t marry sooner.  They’d 4 extra youngsters.

This photograph exhibits Jimmy and Martha Lewis, with 4 youngsters. This photograph appears to have been taken the identical day maybe as that portrait. In reality, the portrait could also be a cleaned-up, cropped model of this similar {photograph}.

Someday, perhaps across the flip of the century or barely after, Jimmy’s photograph was taken together with his two sisters.

Nancy Vannoy, born in 1856, who married James Nelson Venable, the brother of Jimmy’s first spouse, is on the left aspect of this photograph.

Elizabeth “Bettie” Vannoy, my ancestor, born in 1847 who married Lazarus Estes is standing on the proper aspect of the photograph, that means truly standing to Jimmy’s left.

We all know this photograph was taken earlier than October 1918 when she died.

I’d say that Elizabeth appears to be about 60, which might date this photograph to about 1907. That might make sense too, as a result of Will Estes was nonetheless in his heyday as a photographer earlier than the household moved North to Indiana a couple of years later. Jimmy can be about 50 and Nancy, 48.

Martha Lewis died in 1916, leaving Jimmy with youngsters ranging in age from 16-24 along with his youngsters from his first marriage.

We don’t know when this photograph was taken, however I’d wager it was one other 10 years later – perhaps 1916 or 1917. Jimmy appears to be in his 50s or early 60s.

In December of 1917, at age 61, Jimmy married Minnie Magnolia Saunders, pictured with him above. She was considerably youthful, 23, born in 1894. They’d have three youngsters, born from 1918-1927.

If that is their youngest son, George Dewey, at proper, born in 1927, James can be in his early 80s right here. The daughter would have been both 17 or 20.

It’s due to this third household who nonetheless lived within the northern a part of Claiborne County, close to Shawnee, within the Nineteen Eighties that we’ve got a lot of the details about this department of the Vannoy household. I keep in mind strolling out to see the backyard the place Jimmy had lived with Minnie and the backyard edge was lined with cannon balls from the Civil Conflict. They lived inside literal sight of Cumberland Hole the place so many battles had been fought.

Jimmy Visits the Residence of His Childhood

On both Easter or “Ornament Day” in 1929, Jimmy Vannoy and his sister, Nancy Vannoy Venable visited the outdated homeplace in Hancock County. Whereas troopers scavenged right here greater than 65 years earlier, in 1929, Jimmy drove one of many early vehicles again to go to his childhood house.

Fortunate for us, somebody with a digital camera took photos.

The custom within the south is to “beautify” the graves and clear up the cemetery on Memorial Day, therefore, the identify “Ornament Day.” Usually, households gathered within the cemeteries, had picnics, visited and shared tales and reminiscences as they maintained the graves. Generally one thing just a little stronger than candy tea was current too.

Given the flowers on this image, I’d guess that Jimmy, then 73, and his sister, Nancy, went to place flowers on the graves of their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They might have had siblings buried there too.

The bonus is that though the home is clearly overgrown and deserted, it’s the outdated homeplace. In all probability the one glimpse we’ll ever get of the house that sheltered three generations of this household for roughly half a century earlier than, throughout and after the Civil Conflict.

Years later, a second photograph surfaced, taken the identical day which confirms the age and placement.

On the again had been written the names of the individuals, confirming the oral data from the primary photograph. The ink is smeared, however nonetheless legible. It’s my writing from again within the 80s throughout considered one of my exploratory visits. (Sure, I do know NOW that I shouldn’t have used ink, however at the very least I did document the data.)

Pearlie Vannoy Bolton was Jimmy’s daughter together with his first spouse. She married Joseph Daniel Bolton and the 12 months will be confirmed based mostly on the delivery 12 months of the kid she is carrying.

There’s yet another photograph that appears to have been taken the identical day, based mostly on Nancy Vannoy Venable’s garments.

The angle of the cabin is barely totally different right here. There seems to be no door, and the cabin is clearly small. The space from the door to the top of the construction is about the identical as the peak of the door. If the cabin was 20 ft or 24 ft lengthy, that might have been thought-about a LARGE log cabin for that timeframe.

Simply assume, Elijah raised 10 youngsters right here, and Joel raised 6 or 7.

Only a Glimpse

I’m oh-so-grateful for these outdated photos. That household outing, fortuitously recorded for posterity on movie is the one go to to that outdated house place that we’ll ever be afforded.

Whereas we don’t know what Phebe Crumley and Joel Vannoy regarded like, we do have images of three of their youngsters.

Maybe Jimmy regarded like Joel. Possibly Betty and Nancy, who look very a lot alike, resemble Phebe. At the very least I’ve images of three of their youngsters.

It could be solely a glimpse, nevertheless it IS a glimpse again right into a long-ago time up on the ridge above Mulberry Creek.


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