Leapfrogging: Should We Believe Our Elders? – 52 Ancestors #180

You might notice that weekends are normally when I publish my 52 ancestor stories – and this isn’t exactly a normal 52 Ancestors story – but it pertains. Trust me for a minute. Halt the Presses This is what happens … Continue reading

John Y. Estes (1818-1895), Civil War Soldier, Walked to Texas, Twice, 52 Ancestors #64

John Y. Estes, whose photo we believe is shown above, started out years ago with a question, one that is probably answered now, but every time we think we answer one question about him, another dozen take its place. Let’s start from the … Continue reading

Elizabeth Vannoy Estes (1847-1918), Cherokee?, 52 Ancestors #60

“You do know there were two of them don’t you???” “Huh?” “Yea, Elizabeth Estes and Elizabeth Estes, don’t get them confused.” “Huh?” “They were sisters, well, sisters-in-law anyway.” “HUH?” “Yea, they married brothers?” “WHAT???” “Actually there were three of them…” … Continue reading

William George Estes (1873-1971), You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive, 52 Ancestors #53

Bloody Harlan, it’s called, and aye, for a reason it is.  Yes, indeed, Harlan County, Kentucky is and was a place where justice is decided and meted out outside of the law as often as within the law.  Families often … Continue reading

Henry Bolton (c1759-1846), Kidnapped, Revolutionary War Veteran, 52 Ancestors #45

Henry Bolton is a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, we know a lot about him, especially after he settled in Botetourt County, Virginia.  We know something about him when he immigrated, and we know nothing, or almost nothing, … Continue reading

Joseph B. “Dode” Bolton (1853-1920), Who’s Your Mama?, 52 Ancestors #37

Looking down the Powell River from Cumberland Gap, we peer into the heart of the lands where the Boltons lived, near the border of Claiborne and Hancock Counties in Tennessee, just slightly south of Lee County, Virginia, along the meanders … Continue reading

Ollie Bolton Estes Robbins (1874-1955) and the Wrath of a Woman Scorned – 52 Ancestors #9

Ollie Bolton was born on May 5, 1874 in a neighborhood called Hoop Creek in Hancock County, Tennessee near the Claiborne/Hancock County line in 1874 to Joseph B. “Dode” Bolton and Margaret N. Claxton/Clarkson.  We don’t know the middle names of … Continue reading

William Sterling Estes – The Missing Years – 52 Ancestors #5

William Sterling Estes was my father.  He was commonly called Bill, and sometimes Sterl, by family members.  He was probably born in either 1902 or 1903, or maybe 1901, records vary, and he died, positively, in 1963.  That’s one of … Continue reading

Finding Ilo’s Son, Lee Devine – 52 Ancestors #3

Well, this certainly wasn’t at all what I intended to write about for week #3 of 52 Ancestors, but we’ll let synchronicity have a run here and go with the flow. This amazing mystery has turned from a search for the nameless son … Continue reading