Parrott ~ Blanton ~ Wesson ~ Ellis ~


Amberson Ancestors angels Annie Neil Anthony Sarratt Atlanta Constitution Barber Barrett Beersheba Bessie Maude Parrott Beth Shiloh Bethany ARP Bethel Blanton Broad River Buffalo Baptist Church Camps Creek Baptist Carrie Parrott Catherine Hoyle Catherine Mull cemeteries Census Charles Heberton Ellis Christmas Christopher McCarter Civil War Cleveland County Clover Cocker Machine Cookies Craton Craton Rone Blanton Dallas David McSwain David Ross Ellis DNA Ebenezer Presbyterian Church Edith "Edy" Jane Sarratt Edward McKinley Parrott Elijah Turner Ellis Ellis/Turner Cemetery Ethel Blanton Parrott Family Fannie Fannie Crouch Blanton Ferry Fewell Gaffney Gaston County Gastonia George Barber George Huffstetler George Washington Blanton Georgia Grandma Grandpa Hannah McCarter Happy New Year Harvey L. Barber Hattie Parrott Helms Henry Weidner Hero Quitman Blanton Hollywood Cemetery Horses Isaac Whitman Blanton Jackson Jesse Parrott John Barber John Fewell John S. Hager Johnny Parrott Judith Moore Greene Letitia Ellis Sarratt Lizzie Ellis Lost Souls Lynn Mabel Hager Reynolds MacArthur Margaret Ann McCarter Margaret Dellinger Mary Barber mary elizabeth greene Mary Nichols Matthew Nichols McAdenville McCarter McCurry Memoriam Memories Michael Hoyle Minor McCarter Mountain Rest Cemetery Nancy Turner Nannie Barber Parrott NC Nichols Noah Tyre Parrott Nobel John Sarratt North Carolina Old Timey Parrott Peter Hoyle Rachel Gaston Blanton Reuben Blanton Rhyne Richard Perrott roadside scenes Robert Samuel Parrott Sarah Parrott Sarratt Searching Sentimental Saturday Sentimental Sunday Shelby Snow South Carolina Summer Thanksgiving The Search Thoughtful Thursday Turner Unknown Ancestor Valentines Wesson Why? Wilburn Larry Parrott William Barber William J. Parrott William McSwain Woodside Cemetery York County

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Anthony and Letitia Ellis Sarratt ~

See this fascinating account of Noble Sarratt's book.

I had read some time ago, that there was a couple of old family cemeteries, located not far from the Old Ellis Ferry. The idea that more family was buried in that very vicinity, and that I had not located them yet, was just not acceptable..grin.

I just could not resist.

I do love a good challenge!

Letitia’s parents are buried there behind the Ellis Ferry Station house, along the Broad River.

James and Margaret "Peggy" Hopper Ellis.

Their son, Benjamin J. Ellis, was a brother to Letitia, (my 4rd great grandfather).

There was just little over a year's difference in their ages, so I would imagine they were close to one another. She was born in August of 1781 and he was born in September of 1782.

Letitia married Anthony Sarratt.

Letitia was my 4th Great Grand Aunt. Her marriage to Anthony Sarratt made him my 4th GGrand Uncle.

Letitia was apparently buried alongside her husband.

On the property once owned by the Sarratt Family.

We waited for a ‘not so miserably’ cold day and we struck out in the ol’ 48. It actually turned out to be a great day.

After a few wrong turns and a nice, long, country ride in the sunshine, we found it!

Just up the road from the Old Ellis Ferry site.

The cemetery is located on a secluded parcel of land, out behind a lady’s house.

We stopped in, introduced ourselves and chatted for awhile before heading out over the pasture to the location.

There are huge trees towering over the markers.

The markers for Letitia and her husband are quite impressive and could be seen across the pasture.

~ Letitia Ellis Sarratt

Anthony Sarratt ~

Looking a little further, I found that Noble John Surratt, the son of Letitia and Anthony had written a biography of his family some time back, in the 1800's. Matter of fact, there has been a lot of documentation done on this family.

Noble John Sarratt ~ May 20, 1809 - January 03, 1897

There also exists documentation of a gift that Anthony Sarratt bestowed upon the community:

A Gift of Land by Anthony Sarratt

(age 55) to Eustatia Seminary.

Transcription follows:

"This South Carolina } Spartanburg District } July 02, 1832 -

Know all men by these presents that I Anthony SARRATT of the above State and District, for, and in consideration of the love I have for education, and the proper means for illuminating and expanding the juvenile intellect; To grant, alien, and convey to the present trustees of "Eustatia Seminary", viz. Elijah TURNER, Benjamin ELLIS, John ALLISON, John SARRATT, and Anthony SARRATT, the grantor hereof, and to their successors in office, one half (1/2) acre of land, whereon to build a comfortable house for the Academy, (and which house after it is erected, shall be free and accessible to any local or itinerant preacher, in which, to preach and proclaim the glad tidings of the everlasting Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.) Situate on the North side of Sarratt's Creek, along the edge of the "Post Road" leading from said Creek to Benjamin Ellis' Ferry on "Main Broad" River, & adjoining John Turner's land on said Road, and running parallel with the road, thence East eight (8) poles running parallel with the West line, and thence South ten(10) poles along the "Post Road" to the Stake at the beginning. With all and singular thereunto belonging, to the above mentioned Trustees, and their successors in office, to have and to hold from me, my heirs, and assigns, for academic and other instructive purposes of a public and neighborhood benefit; so long as the house may last, or is kept in repair for literary uses.
In witness hereof I set my hand and seal this 2nd day of July 1832 in presence of,
Wit: Gilbert Sarratt

John O'Neill

Signed by Anthony SARRATT { Seal }

Around the year of 1840, traveling preachers established a congregation at Sarratt’s School House, near Beulah Church, about 5 miles from north Gaffney Cross Roads.

Anthony Sarratt’s son Noble is buried beside his parents, alongside him, is Edwin Clatton Sarratt.

Edwin was the son of Gilbert Sarratt, grandson of Anthony and Letitia.

Edwin fought in the Civil War.

He was a Private in Company E, 4th SC Res. He died from wounds suffered in the war. His tombstone says that he died in the 4th Louisiana Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina.

He was only 17 years old.

I stood there and marveled at the intricate, impressive markers for these long gone people.

Out in a pasture, hidden away by time and an old barn. Time marches on.
There are only four still identifiable graves remaining. Others are marked with field stones or hidden from view.

Brambles and dead falls are scattered about.

Down the road, not very far are the remains of Anthony and Letitia's son Gilbert and his wife, Lucretia Irvine Sarratt.

The cemetery is very visible just across from the local V.F.D.

This cemetery is called Ellis Cemetery because it is located on Ellis Ferry Road.
It is also generally referred to as the Confederate Cemetery, by the locals.

Lucretia Irvine Sarratt ~

Gilbert Sarratt ~

Seeking the past and bringing it back into the “light” has become so near and dear to my heart.

Let us not forget these people and the mark they left, for us and for generations yet to come.

Rest in peace, Aunt Letitia.

May Angels keep you and your family.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Craton Rone Blanton & Lemon Crisp Cookies ~

My Great Grandfather ~ Craton Rone Blanton

My grandmother always had a shadow to pass briefly, over her face,
when she mentioned her father.

You could see it in her eyes.
She still felt that loss.

Craton Rone Blanton
Born ~ July 17, 1875
Died ~ September 25, 1915

He died tragically, and before his time. An accident claimed him while his family was still quite young.

Ethel was almost eleven at the time.
The impact that his passing had, was monumental on her, and her family. Her mother was suddenly alone with two children to raise. Times were hard. Grandma told me of the struggles that Lizzie faced as a young widow. She remarried after at time, to a man that had also been widowed with small children, John Hager. It was more of a marriage of convenience than a love affair.

Mabel Hager, daughter of John Hager. She became close like a sister to my grandmother.

It was not a pleasant life for poor Lizzie.
The family managed to survive through it all. Not the best of choices, but she did what she had to do to get by.

Craton Rone Blanton was riding on the back of a motorcyle driven by his brother, Hero Quitman "Quit" Blanton, five years younger than Craton.

They crashed head-on, onto a car. Craton was thrown over the handlebars of the motorcycle and killed instantly.

Newspaper article about the accident:

Quit Blanton suffered a broken leg. I am sure there was an huge invisible wound as well, one that was much harder to heal from, his heart. He surely felt responsible even if there was no blame to place.

Hero Quitman Blanton~

Quit married Fannie Victoria Crouch. 'Aunt Fannie' to me.

I would go on Sunday afternoons with my grandparents to visit her. This was long after the passing of Quit. She lived beside a bread bakery in Shelby, N.C. The area always smelled with the wonderful aroma of hot bread baking.

She was a beautiful lady with the smoothest skin. She must have been a real beauty in her day. She made the thinnest, crispy, lemon sugar cookies you have ever seen. They were excellent!

She would come smiling out the back of the house and down the steps with two of those cookies wrapped in a napkin, holding them aloft, like a prize. She was very sweet to me.

Those summer afternoons are very special memories for me.

I remember her front parlor in the house, full of beautiful pink glass items. Lots of potential for small hands to accidently knock something pretty and nice, over, breaking something. So outside was the best place to play for a kid.

After the visit she would stand at the door and wave goodbye.

I recently "found" Aunt Fannie once again.

Sunset Cemetery, Shelby, North Carolina

She is buried in Shelby. I saw her monument and half ran to it, full of memories of the sweet lady. I touched her stone and thanked her for those warm childhood memories and the sweet taste of those lemony cookies.

No one has etched the stone with her death date. I wondered about that.
Something that needs to be checked in to. She needs her stone to be complete.

Rest in peace, Dear Fannie.
Rest in peace, Great Grandfather.

You are remembered.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ellis Ferry ~ Where The Paved Road Ends...

Deep in the woods, running right alongside the Broad River, flows a part of our family history.

The Broad River flows between Shelby, North Carolina and Gaffney , South Carolina. About a quarter mile from the border of the two states , our Ellis ancestors operated a ferry service.

A large two-story white frame house, known as the Ellis House, built just across the river, and was used as a stop-over for river and stage coach travelers. The house is still standing and is on the historical register.

The history of the Ellis family in Cleveland County began in the middle 1700's, according to known records and deeds. Two sons of James Ellis settled on the South side of the Broad River near the Ellis Ferry, on land purchased from Edward Dickson in 1773. Mr. Dickson had owned the land since 1763 which he received from through a grant.

Ellis Ferry 1782
Source: Summer, 1981, Ellis Cousins Newsletter, p 15 - "THE ELLIS FERRY - The Ellis Ferry was located on the Broad River below Shelby, NC and at one time was the only way of crossing the river between Shelby and Gaffney, SC. This picture (shows 2 sets of horse & buggy on a ferry) and information on the Ferry were submitted by ECN members Maybelle Demay of Newberg, Oregon and Sam Ellis of Spartanburg, SC. Photo was taken around 1898 - 1900 by John N. Randall. Shown in the photo are O.Z. Randall in the front buggy, Rev. and Mrs. Ambrose Hopper are in the second buggy.

Source: Rutherford Co., NC minutes dated 15 Jan. 1828 - Contains a petition of Benjamin Ellis and Robert A. Allison to establish the ferry on Broad River at Irvinsville (long known by the name of Quinn's Ferry). A large imposing two story white frame home known as the Ellis House was built just across the river. The house (later known as the Gramling House is still standing and in use) was used in the early days as a stop-over for people crossing the river and was also used as the Stage Coach Station. Not far from the Ellis House is a family cemetery .

This is the Ferry House in 1950, before restoration.

The Ferry House, today.

SOURCE: Cleveland County Historical Society -- "Ellis Family History" Benjamin Ellis was the father of Charles and (John) Rick Ellis (and other sons to be mentioned later) who with the labor of scores of slaves first built a bridge across Big Broad River to furnish a trade route from Shelby to Gaffney, and then after the Civil War, when the bridge washed away, operated a ferry there for many years , “The Ellis Ferry."

Apparently, the need for an easy and convenient way of crossing of the river caused the brothers to purchase seventy or eighty slaves, in order to build a bridge across the river. Trade began across the river with the bridge being the most direct route between Shelby, North Carolina and Gaffney, South Carolina.

Business went on for a time, but obstacles arrived before very long. President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation and freed the slaves. With the slaves gone, so was the ready source of labor. In addition to this, rain fell in abundance that year. The Broad River grew to twice its normal size, and the Ellis Bridge, built by the slaves, was completely washed away, so definitely, something had to be done.

A ferry boat was instituted over the river, by Charles Ellis on the south side of the river.

The remains of Charles Ellis' Home, in 1990. Only a pile of rubble remains today.

Trading commenced once again.

“A Negro operated the ferry, and charged the sum of 25 cents for horse-drawn wagons, carriages and ox-carts, 10 cents for a horseback rider, and 5 cents for those choosing to walk. "Set me across" people would yell to the old Negro on the other side. Old persons in this community recall seeing great caravans of wagons at the ferry landing some filled with apples, others with cabbages and produce.”

According to the 1860 NC Agricultural Census. The Benjamin Ellis page is dated 2 August 1860. He owned 853 acres of land valued at $8600.

He had 453 in improved land (farming it) and 400 acres in unimproved land (woods, etc.). He owned 5 horses, 2 mules, 10 Mulch cows (milk cows), 20 other cattle, 15 sheep, and 30 swine. The value of his livestock was $670. He produced 200 bushels of wheat, 1000 bushels of corn, 25 pounds of wool, 75 bushels of peas or beans, 20 bushels of Irish potatoes, 100 bushels of sweet potatoes, 200 pounds of butter, 5 pounds of beeswax, 120 pounds of honey,, produced $50 in home manufacture, and slaughtered $170 in animals. Sounds like he was quite a successful farmer.

On the 1857 Cleveland County, North Carolina Tax Roll - Benjamin J. Ellis was taxed on 410 acres. By this time a lot of his land had been passed on to his children.

Benjamin J. Ellis and his wife Mary "Polly" Hopper are both buried at the James Ellis Cemetery located on the land surrounding the old Ellis Ferry site. Their remains lie on the banks of the Broad River, on the land that they once owned.

We drove to the end of the road at the state line, where the paved road ends.

We parked and walked in , past the locked gate. The land where the ferry was is now owned by three men. They use the house and the area as a hunting lodge in season. The walk down the dirt road conjured images of what it must have been like, back in it’s bustling hey-day.

Now all is quiet among the tall trees. An occasional scampering sound of some animal nearby and a hawk screeching over head. We had invaded their territory now.

We trudged further onto the property and into a wooded area, and there it was .

The Ellis Family Cemetery.

My Fourth Great Grandparents~

Third Great Grand Uncle ~ John Rickman Ellis. Son of Benjamin.

Only fieldstones mark the graves of James Ellis and his wife, Margaret H. Ellis.

Nevertheless, their memory lives on in the hearts of their descendants.

My 5th Great Grandparents.

These souls that are buried in the quiet woods, are not disturbed very often these days.
Gone is the noise of a busy ferry house and steady stream of traffic on horseback and wagons.

Quiet seemed to close in from every direction on this sacred spot of ground. I am always struck upon entering an old burying ground.

Hallowed ground. My mind hears this phrase echoed often in my thoughts.

My past came a bit closer to me, today as I stood among those markers. I felt welcome.

I was among my family. Grandma would have been right there beside me if she could have. This day would have been very special “banner” day to her, our family’s ‘Keeper of the Past‘.

Maybe she was right there beside me all along .

I would like to think that she was.

Big grin.

David Ellis, my 3rd Great Grandfather also was involved in the Ellis Ferry.

Cleveland County Court record we find a petition dated February 12, 1852.
Know all men by these present that we, Benjamin Ellis & J Gibbons, Charles Ellis, and D Ellis are held sworn unto the State of North Carolina in the sum of one thousand dollars, good & current money of said state the payment well and truly to be made. We bind ourselves and our heirs, estates & sums -- dated this 12 Feb 1852.
The condition of the above obligation is such, that where as the above bonded, Benj. Ellis -- has this day exhibited by petition into this court -- setting out of the rate of toll at a ferry on Broad River owned by the said Ellis, and the court has granted the said petition. If the said Ellis will keep the said ferry in good, passable condition, hereafter, then the above obligation shall be void otherwise to remain in full force and effect.

Given under my hand & seal. Day & dates above written. HDK Cabiness
(Signed) Benjamin Ellis, Jacob Gibbons (his mark) Charles Ellis, and David Ellis.

James Ellis married Margaret "Peggy" Hopper ~ Fifth Great Grandparents
This couple had a son ~ Benjamin J. Ellis
Benjamin J. Ellis married Mary "Polly" Hopper ~ Fourth Great Grandparents
This couple had a son ~ David Ross Ellis
David Ross Ellis married Sarah A. "Sally" Turner ~ Third Great Grandparents
This couple had son Charles Heberton Ellis.
Charles Heberton Ellis married Nancy M. "Nannie" Wesson ~ Second Great Grandparents.
Nannie Wesson was daughter of Luke Wesson.
This couple had a daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Leigh Ellis.
Lizzie Leigh Ellis married Craton Rone Blanton.
Their daughter was Ethel Leigh Blanton, wife of Wilburn Larry Parrott.
My grandparents.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Under the Lone Tree ~ Luke Wesson

On the outskirts of Shelby, North Carolina lies the land that once belonged to a man of Irish blood, named Luke Wesson.

Along the side of the highway heading outside of Shelby, there is a lone tree.

At the base of that lone tree lies the remains of my 3rd Great Grandfather.

If you did not know he was there, you would simply pass right past without a second glance.

No hint of a cemetery can be seen from the road.

Only recent attempts at construction on his former property brought the cemetery back from certain devastation. Engineers, working on the property found the cemetery and realized what was about to happen to it.

Their kind hearts have certainly saved our Luke. For that I am grateful.

The lone tree that was described to me, seemed out of place in that cleared field. That was the only thing that was visible from the road. We parked across the road and went over winter grasses that grew in huge clumps. I went over the slight rising of earth, alongside the highway and down into the field, and there he was.

It is not known if Nancy McCurry Wesson is buried beside him in that cemetery or not.
The earth seems to want to reclaim everything, especially stone markers. Once they fall onto the ground, the earth seems intent on swallowing them up. If a marker is there, it has yet to be discovered.

His marker is currently lying on the ground, broken, but not for long.

Rest in peace, Great Grandfather. You will not be forgotten.


Luke Wesson married his second wife, Nancy McCurry in 1841. Nancy was the daughter of William McCurry and Elizabeth Ledford McCurry. He remarried for a third time, after the death of Nancy McCurry, to the wife mentioned in the will.

Luke and Nancy had a daughter, Nancy M. "Nannie" Wesson in 1844.

Nancy Wesson married Charles Heberton Ellis and together they had eight children. One of these was Elizabeth "Lizzie" Leigh Ellis, my great grandmother.

Lizzie Ellis married Craton Rone Blanton and they had a son named Jesse and a daughter named Ethel. They also had a baby son named Craton, he died in infancy.

Craton Rone Blanton, Lizzie Ellis Blanton, Jesse Blanton.

Ethel married Wilburn Larry Parrott. My Grandparents.


May the 29th 1882

(Transcribed from the original)

I Luke Wesson of the County of Cleaveland & State of North Carolina being of
sound mind and memory but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence
do make and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner and form
following: that is to say I here by give to my beloved Daughter Caroline Allen
the lot of land on which I now live being one acre with all improvements and
appurtanances thus unto belonging. I reserve to for my wife Arleavie Wesson
the above described property as a home for Her During Her life or widowhood to be in full force and effect if she continues to reside there otherwise this reserve to be of no effect and void. I further provide that my executors hereinafter named Shall provide one years sustenance for my wife Arleavie Wesson out of my estate. I hereby Name Elbert Allen and his wife Caroline Allen as the executors of this my last will and Testament. I hereby convey to them for collection my notes Mortgages and accounts and after paying my burial and funeral expenses they are to pay to my son James Wesson one hundred dollars (J. 100) The remainder of my entire effects to be equally divided between my three children Caroline Allen, Nancy Ellis, and James Wesson. All of the above is written at my request and signed by me this the 29th day
of May A.D. 1882.
Luke X Wesson {Seal}

Signed & sealed and declared by Luke Wesson to be His last Will and Testament
in the presence of us who at His request in His presence and in the presence
of each other do subscribe our names as witnesses hereto.
J.B. Byers