Monday, November 21, 2011

Tipton Family Reunion Part 1

This is part one of a movie that I made of some of the photos that were taken at the annual Tipton Family Reunion held October 9th, 2011 at the East Brandywine Community Park near Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

The reunion is held each year in October.  We are the descendants of Fieldon and Hester Tipton.  All Tipton descendants and their family and friends are welcome!

A little narrative as to who is in this movie:

The movie open with me (in the green hat) and my "baby" brother Isaac, Jr. (in the orange pullover) arriving first at the pavilion to set up the tables and place the Tipton Reunion Banner.

First to arrive were our cousins Darlene Tipton Ford and Rita Tipton Buxbaum, daughters of my uncle Luther Raymond "Dude" Tipton.  Darlene's son David Ford arrived with them.

They all signed the guest book.

Next to arrive was my cousin Bob Tipton and his wife Marie and daughter Sharon who traveled all the way from Marietta, Georgia.  Cousin Bob brought along his chihuahua dog Brutus.  Cousin Bob is the son of my uncle Erby Erwin Tipton.

Next in the picture is 11 year old Hunter Tipton, on crutches.  Hunter has a twin brother named Tanner Tipton.  Hunter and Tanner are the sons of Paul and Linda Tipton.  Paul is the grandson of my uncle Erby Tipton.  Hunter injured his leg playing football.

Next to arrive is my cousin Tom Tipton, Jr along with his wife Kathleen.  Tom is also the grandson of Erby Tipton.  Tom is also on crutches.  He severely injured his leg in a motorcycle accident.  Thank goodness he is healing nicely although he does have an ugly Frankenstein scar on his leg.

Next to arrive is cousin Louis Tipton White with her daughter Debbie Fincke and her son Aaron Fincke.  Louis is the daughter of my uncle Erby Tipton.  Louise's husband Fred White also arrive.  He is in the red shirt shaking my hand at the end of this movie.  

There, I hope I didn't confuse the reader too much.  If you're of the Tipton family, you know the players.  If not, oh well.  

Part Two will show more Tiptons arriving.  My father had ten brothers.  They all had families.  The largest contingent, that of uncle Ray's line didn't show up.  Hopefully they will come next year.  

I plan on having an annual Tipton Family reunion every year as long as I'm able to do it.  My thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Mark H. for the fabulous photos.  Thanks Mark!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why I Have a Yankee Accent

My grandmother, father and nine of my 10 Tipton uncles at my grandfather's funeral 1939

I first began researching my Tipton family roots in 1994.  I was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1941 to Isaac Walter Tipton and Betty Louise Hadfield.  My Mother’s family history was from Pennsylvania Quakers.  All I knew about my father’s history was that he came up to Pennsylvania when he was ten years old, with eight of his brothers (no sisters) and without shoes to work on his Uncle Don Byrd’s farm near Unionville, Pennsylvania, country about 45 miles west of Philadelphia.  I did know that my father was a ‘hillbilly’ and that fact distressed me greatly when I was growing.  Little did I know that my father and his brothers came from those hearty, brave and hardworking families of Appalachia that made up the backbone of America. 

My Uncle John Henry Tipton and his team of mules used to haul lumber
for his father's (my grandfather) saw mill in the western mountains of
North Carolina about 1924
 Back in 1994 was when I first began researching my family history.  I made my first trip to the mountains of western North Carolina where my father grew up as a small boy and visited one of my father’s distant Tipton cousins.  His name was Horace Tipton and he was about the same age as my father.  During my visit ‘Uncle Horace’ stopped me and said:

“Ye a damn Yankee ain’t ye?  Ye talk funny!” 

'Uncle Horace's home in Micaville, North Carolina 1994
At first I was stunned because he thought I talked funny?  I could hardly understand him, his Appalachian accent was that thick.  Then I saw the humor in the situation and continued my visit with ‘Uncle Horace.’  However during our visit (I was there with my brother John and his wife Barbara Tipton), ‘Uncle Horace’ did maintain a certain distance.  Don’t want to get TOO friendly with a (damn) Yankee you know. 

My brother John and I at his home in Greenville, South Carolina
discussion our recent trip to the hills of North Carolina where
our father was born and left at ten years old for Pennsylvania

Below is the reason I have a ‘Yankee’ accent.

This is a history of how my branch of the Tipton family came to be in Pennsylvania. This information is an oral history from my late Aunt Peg Tipton, wife of my Uncle Henry Tipton.

In the 1920’s, life was rough for the folks who lived in the hollers of the Pisgah Mountains in western North Carolina, near the border of Johnson City, Tennessee.  One of those families who were near starvation was my paternal grandparents, Fieldon and Hester Lewis Tipton and their nine sons. 

Me during a visit to the mountains where my father was born - 1994

From 1909 to 1926 Fieldon and Hester had nine children, all boys. Fieldon was in the lumber business with other relatives in the close-knit mountain community. Leading up to the Great Depression, the sawmill business wasn’t producing enough food on the table to feed nine growing Tipton boys. Fieldon’s brother-in-law, Don Byrd (married to Hester Lewis’s sister, Essie Lewis) had a fruit and vegetable farm in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. He needed cheap farm labor. Fieldon and Hester and their nine growing boys needed food, a roof over their heads to protect them from the elements and heat to give them comfort during the cold winters.

My grandmother Hester Tipton with her two sons born in Pennsylvania, Bruce and Sam Tipton 1936

 Sometime in 1929 or 1930 (the exact date is uncertain) the Fieldon Tipton family made a life course change and decided to relocate to Pennsylvania and work on Don Byrd’s farm. The whole family moved into one of the tenant cabins called “The Baker Place” near present day Unionville, Pennsylvania. “Field” and his boys began the back-breaking work of picking fruits and vegetables in their Uncle Don’s farm. Two more sons were born to Fieldon and Hester Tipton in Pennsylvania. More farm labor.

My Uncle Sam, Bruce and Fieldon Tipton at the old 'Baker Place' where they
were farm laborers for their Uncle Don Byrd on his farm in exchange for free housing
The names of the Tipton boys were:

Raymond Luther Tipton (1909-1988)                           
John Henry Tipton   (1911-1993)                                 
Edward Walter Tipton (1914-1998)                              
Erby Erwin Tipton  (1917-1990)                                  
Isaac Walter Tipton Sr. (my father) (1920-2000)        
John Hannum Tipton (twin) (1922-1961)                          
Richard Berry Tipton (twin) (1922-1989)                 
Luther Raymond Tipton  (1925-2006)                         
Fieldon Jacob Tipton, Jr.  (1926-2006)                         
Bruce Tipton  (1931-1995)                                                                   
Samuel Park Tipton (1934-2001)                                   
Baby Tipton (twin of Samuel, died at birth)(1934-1934)

As the Tipton boys grew into adult most of them met and married the local women of southeastern Pennsylvania, their new home.  Out of those unions thirty-six legitimate children and four illegitimate children were born. I am one of those thirty-six legitimate children over a hundred children were born. 

My Mom (pregnant with me), my Uncle Dude and my grandmother Hester Tipton 1941

With the exception of Fieldon ‘s cousin Adgie Tipton, who also moved to southeastern Pennsylvania at the same time, all of the Tiptons who now live in an around the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania are descendents of my grandparents, Fieldon and Hester Tipton.  And this is the reason I am a Tipton with a Yankee accent.

March 26, 2011
Ronald Walter Tipton

Me ( tall, skinny  kid on the right) with my brothers and cousins showing our hillbilly roots 1955

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Charles Dawes Tipton

Charles Dawes Tipton,

As regular researchers of the Tipton family history know, Charles D. Tipton of Garland Texas was our preeminent Tipton family researcher.  

Charles died unexpectedly on January 2, 2009 in Garland, Texas during a domestic dispute with his step-daughter.

Chales D. Tipton with fellow Tipton family researchers
TFAA Reunion at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site
Johnson City, Tennessee
August 1994

I first met Charles in August of 1994 when I attended my first TFAA (Tipton Family Association of America) reunion in Johnson City, Tennessee in August of 1994.  Prior to meeting Charles, I had been in contact with him by e-mail and phone during my research of our mutual family tree.  

TFAA Reunion
Johnson City, Tennessee
August 1994

Charles was a gruff, curmudgeon 'Wilfred Brimley" character and an excellent genealogist.  As anyone who has dealt with him knows, Charles insisted on absolute accuracy in researching our Tipton family history.  Charles always dismissed the notion that we are descended from Anthony de Tipton of the year 1200 in England.  The same Anthony de Tipton who slew the mortal Welsh enemy of King Edward I on the battlefield thus enabling Edward to accede the throne of the united kingdoms of Wales and England in the 1200's. 

Charlie Tipton in a lighter moment

 Charles was the longtime editor of the TFAA newsletter.  Charles also wrote the definitive book on Tipton genealogy called "Tipton- The First Five Generations."  

I remember clearly when Charles son Lee called me at my job at the hotel where I work as a front desk clerk.  I had never spoken to Lee before.  He found my e-mail address on his father's computer and wanted to notify me of his father's untimely death.  Of course I was shocked.  Charles was such a large part of my genealogy research.  Many of us Tipton researchers went to Charles for the definitive answer to any genealogy questions we had about our Tipton family research.  I so appreciate Lee getting in touch with me and informing me of his father's passing.  

I was concerned with what would happened to all of Charles' research now that he was gone.  Lee didn't know what to do with it.  He said he was interested in it but only to read it.  Lee couldn't continue his father's research.

After several subsequent conversations with Lee I made arrangements with the Tipton-Haynes Historical Site in Johnson City, Tennessee to accept all of the documentation on the Tipton family that Charles had accumulated over the years.  Lee also agreed to send me the TFAA records, including the lineage sheets.  

Penny McLaughlin, director of Tipton-Haynes now has a project to copy all of Charles' research onto computers at the Tipton-Haynes Historic site.  I will record the lineage sheets that Charles painstakingly accrued over his years in stewardship as editor of the TFAA Newsletter.  I will enter this information into the Tipton family tree data base that I keep on  

The following is the obituary that appeared for Charles Tipton in the Garland Texas local newspaper:

Charles Dawes Tipton

TIPTON, CHARLES DAWES (CHARLIE), Born on March 10, 1925 in the Cross Timbers Region at Dublin, Texas, he died unexpectedly on January 29, 2008 in Garland, Texas. He leaves behind Louise, his wife of 39 years; daughters Bonnie, Beccye and Terry; sons Roger and Lee; granddaughters Stephanie, Vanessa, Jessica and Lauren; grandsons Ben, Shane, Tim, Zachary, and Tyler; great grandsons Steven, Charlie Wade and Will; great granddaughters, Kaila and Devin; daughters in-law, Jacci, Aimee and Kelley, and son in-law Bob. He was preceded in death by his parents, David Butler and Ora Lee of Dublin, Texas; brother, David Butler of Fort Worth, Texas and his son, Paul, of Garland, Texas. Charlie was recruited from Dublin High School to play football at Baylor in 1942. Soon convinced he was too small to play college football, he left Baylor in 1943 to serve his country in the U. S. Navy during WWII. After the war he studied at and graduated from UT Austin with an M. S. in Electrical Engineering and a job at the university. With a growing family he left the university in 1955 for a career in industry. Following intermediate service at Collins Radio and Temco Aircraft, he joined E-Systems and worked at Garland, Texas though retirement in 1988. He grew to be widely recognized and personally known and loved by so many at E-Systems; literally from the janitor to the CEO. Charlies professional career spanned the emergence and the death throes of what some early recognized as the Evil Empire. While at E-Systems he held many senior posts in science and technology developments of highly advanced reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence systems. A brilliant man of impeccable integrity, Charlies contributions to the nations security were well appreciated and recognized both by his family at E-Systems, and by his special customers. Charlies keen intellect, boundless curiosity, steel trap memory, and laser wit will be sorely missed by the family he loved so deeply, and no less by the great host of souls he counted as Friend. He loved his family and friends unconditionally, and he was all about exploring and sharing with those he so loved, the very breadth and the depth and the full richness that life has to offer until his very last moment. He was one of Gods truly exceptional sons and simply a gem of a man. A memorial service is planned for 1:00 pm, Thursday, February 7, 2008 at Restlands Memorial Chapel, located at Greenville and Walnut. Restland 972-238-7111

OB6 Obituaries, Notices
Published in the Dallas Morning News on 2/3/2008.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tiptons in Eastern Kentucky

(Click on pictures to embiggen)
This was posted on Roots Web a few days ago.  A fellow researcher researching his Tipton line came across a bible with original entries in it.  As any experienced genealogy researcher know, these bible entries are very valuable because they are the raw source of the true information of families.  Many families, including my own grandmother faithfully recorded the births, marriages and deaths of members of the families.  

I am reproducing the scanned bible pages here for review by readers of this blog.  The only thing I know about these Tiptons are that this bible was from a Tipton family in Eastern Kentucky, Estill County.  I have forwarded copies of the bible pages to Paul Tipton of California.  Paul has the master records of all the Tiptons in the United States.  I'm sure he will come up with the definitive answer which I will share with readers of this blog.  

Below is the information provided by the finder of this bible which may help explain who these Tiptons are:

"I found an interesting list within a bible I just found. All the names are Tipton, birth, death, and marriages. The document is in excellent condition. I'm tracing my family tree and have Tipton's as relatives. If your interested in this please let me know.

Finally have the documents scanned. If you have any trouble reading the details, I could probably translate them for you if would like.

There are no geographical locations, but I'm pretty sure that the names on the list are from Eastern Kentucky, probably Estill County or the surrounding area.

I'm tracing my family tree and have come to a dead end on my grandmother's side. Her maiden name was Woosley, her father; William married a Tipton. Unfortunately this is where my trail stops. Any help would be greatly appreciated."

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Tipton Family Association of America Resurrected!

Folks, good news!  The Tipton Family Association of America has been resurrected!

John Parrish, a descendant of Colonel John Tipton (1730-1813) has taken up the reins as president of the Tipton Family Association of America.

John has issued his first TFAA newsletter.  I have reproduced it as below:

The Tipton Family Association of America
314 Oak Place, Asheville, North Carolina, 28803-1930

Winter 2010/2011 Newsletter

I am very proud and happy to be President of the Tipton Family Association of America.  I want to thank Robert Tipton Nave for nominating me for the office and the association members for their confidence in electing me at our October meeting.  I plan to devote time and energy to our family’s association providing the public with knowledge of the achievements of the Tiptons and helping descendants obtain the information they seek about our Tipton family.

I am a descendant of Colonel John Tipton (1730-1813) through his son, Captain Jacob Tipton (1765-1791) and his son, General Jacob Tipton (1790-1839).  My mother was born and raised in Covington, Tipton County, West Tennessee.

I have had the pleasure of association with many of our members visiting about questions of genealogy and history of the Tipton family.  I have met many of those family members through my website,  I would invite each of you to visit the site, make a comment in the blog and contact me to further our personal acquaintance.

I thank Tom Manning for his service as President of the TFAA.

It was pleasing to see a dozen or more Tiptons and Tipton descendants gather to learn about the family and their connections to it at the recent meeting in Elizabethton.  While the majority of those attending live within a hundred miles of Carter County, there were folks from as far away as Washington, DC; north central Kentucky and Chattanooga.

Robert Tipton Nave began the day’s program with his presentation:
Rambling with Robert Tipton Nave
An expert genealogist, archivist, librarian and historian of the Tipton family and the history of early East Tennessee, Robert told stories and answered questions.  He was informative and enjoyed by all.

In addition to my comments regarding my research on the life of Colonel John Tipton and Bill Tipton’s narrative about his trip to West Tennessee to find out about the settlement of that area by our family.
Bob Tipton, Co-Administrator of the Tipton DNA Project gave the group an update on the activities of this project.  Anyone wanting more information can contact Bob at

            David W. Tipton, whose grandfather was Frank William Tipton born 13 Jul 1903 at Milligan College, Carter County, Tennessee, is looking for any information about his great-grandfather, Augustus T. (Gus) Tipton, who first married Margaret Evalen Bowman and second Polly Ann Barnett.  If you can help David, call him at (423) 538-4619 or (423) 968-1669.

Lastly, everyone present formed a group that shared information and fielded questions.

            As President, I am proposing two things to enhance the Tipton Family Association of America in the coming year.

First, have a meeting in one year with planning that can start now.  By having meetings over the Columbus Day weekend, Tiptons and descendants who want to attend can plan ahead and have a long weekend to make the trip to the gathering. 

David W. Tipton of Piney Flats suggested the next meeting be at Rocky Mount.  David is past president of the Rocky Mount Board of Directors and offered the location without fee for the next Tipton Family Association of America meeting.  If all fits in place, that meeting would be on October 8th, 2011.

Second, launch a website for the organization.  Prior to the meeting, I met with a website designer and established the parameters for a dynamic site designed to meet the needs of Tiptons and descendants no matter where they live; most importantly, the site would host a blog serving as a queries conversation so people can ask questions and get help from Tiptons everywhere.

The website would feature pictures of Tipton family and historic sites from throughout the United States and perhaps even from the village of Tipton, England.  The website would have a magazine section for contributed stories, a gift shop, research information and could archive newsletters, etc.  This website as envisioned would not be static; it would have interactive picture display and pop-ups to make it appealing to all who visited.  All of these features do contribute to a higher cost than one might spend to do a static website.  It would be professionally monitored on a regular basis.

To launch the website, at a cost of about $ 900.00, the TFAA will need donations to cover that cost.  Please send your donations to John Parrish, President, Tipton Family Association of America at 314 Oak Place, Asheville, North Carolina, 28803.  I don’t think our association has a dynamic future in this internet world without a website and we all need a place to make our genealogical/historical inquiries and get answers.  Several donations were made at the October meeting toward this website project.

Numerous research resources were available at the meeting and can be ordered now with the addition of postage and packaging cost.  For more information, contact John Parrish at or the source indicated.   

  • Dale Reed’s book John Tipton, John Sevier, and The State of Franklin     $ 17.00
  • John Parrish's book The Life of Colonel John Tipton                                  $   9.00
  • Teter Nave, Pioneer of East Tennessee by Robert Tipton Nave                 $ 30.00
  • History of the Iron Industry in Carter County, Tennessee  by Robert Tipton Nave       $ 20.00
  • Copy of Spoden Map, Courtesy Suycamore Shoal State Park                    $   1.00
  • Copy of Keesee Map                                                                                  $    2.00                                                 

The Watauga Land Purchases by Troy R. Keesee is available from the Sycamore Shoals State Park Bookstore.
History of East Tennessee 1740-1800 by George and Juanita Fox can be ordered from the authors at  Very informative.

There is a new book on the State of Franklin, the Lost State of Franklin by Kevin T. Barksdale which is available through bookstores.

Tiptons: The First Five Generations by Charles D. Tipton can be purchased on CD from the Tipton-Haynes Historic Site Bookstore.

The embroidered Tipton family crest shown in the pictures above is available to all if you wish to have something embroidered.  The set up fee has been paid so your cost would be the article you have embroidered and the charges from:

Doe Valley Printing, 1282 Riverview Drive, Elizabethton, Tennessee 37643.  You can place orders by mail or contact Anita Remme at  or call (423) 542-4616.  John Parrish is the shirt model above.

Please share this newsletter with everyone you know that could be interested in our family’s history and association.  If you are receiving this newsletter by snail mail, please let me know your email address so you can get the newsletter electronically.  If you are receiving two emails, please let me know.  My email address is

Below is a picture of my mother, Mary Frances Parrish, at her birthday party.  Mother turned 101 on 27 Sept 2010.  A wonderful example of those good Tipton genes!  She is pictured with my sister, Laura, and her husband Ed Midgley.

Please remember to donate to the Tipton Family Association of America,
Tax Identification Number 61-1636584

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lovada "Lovey" Ray Bailey

Lovada "Lovey" Ray Bailey

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a Kay Pendergrass.  She had discovered this blog and was inquiring if we were cousins.  Her great-grandmother was Rutha Mae Tipton who married Ansel Bailey.  
Photo taken by Chad Bailey 2009

My answer to her was "Yes", we are cousins.  Her great-grandmother Rutha Mae Tipton was the sister of my great-great grandfather John Tipton.  My great-great grandfather John Tipton was married to Ansel Bailey's sister, Martha "Patty" Bailey.  As I have so often discovered, the families were sometimes very close up there in those Appalachian hills of western North Carolina in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Pictured above is my great-great-great grandmother, Lovada "Lovey" Ray Bailey.  "Lovey" was the mother of both Ansel Bailey and my great-great grandmother Martha "Patty" Bailey.  Kay Pendergrass was kind enough to provide me with the long ago picture of my great-great-great grandmother.  

I don't have a picture of my great-grandmother, Martha "Patty" Bailey but I do hear that one is in existence.  Someday I hope to get a copy of that picture.  There is no known picture of my great-grandfather John Tipton.

Martha "Patty" Bailey Death Certificate

Martha "Patty" Bailey was the wife of my great-great grandfather John Tipton who was killed in a Confederate ambush when he was recruiting for the Union Forces in the hills of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, near Johnson City, Tennessee.  

One of John and Martha "Patty" Bailey Tipton's sons was my great grandfather, Hiram Tipton.

Myra Warrick  1855-1930)and Hiram Tipton 1852-1933) 

One of Hiram and Myra Tipton's sons was my grandfather Fieldon Jacob Tipton, Sr.

Fieldon Jacob Tipton (1884-1939)  and Hester Lewis (1894-1944) 

One of Fieldon and Hester's eleven sons was my father, Isaac Walter Tipton, Sr.

Betty Hadfield (1923-2010) and Isaac "Ike" Tipton, Sr. (1920-2000)
 1941 -(my mom is pregnant with me in this picture)

My parents had three sons of which I am the oldest.  
Me at my great-grandparents grave at the Freewill Baptist Church in Limestone, Tennessee - 1994

This spring Bill and I are planning another trip down south to visit his hometown of Toccoa, Georgia.  I hope to also visit Cades Cove Tennessee, where many Tipton ancestors are buried.  I also hope to revisit Pigeon Roost, Tennessee, the area of the Pisgah Mountains near the border to Johnson City Tennessee where my farther was born.  Last year I visited that area with my brother John (who lives in Greenville, South Carolina.)  John and I are always reinvigorated when we visit our roots.  

I began researching my family roots back in 1994 (as the above picture attests) but since that time there have been long stretches where Life interfered and I haven't done as much research as I would have liked.  Unfortunately, during that time so many relatives have died, thus taking with them their history of the family.  

With my recent discovery of and the wealth of information available on that website, I have been able to rebuild my family tree.  That is my goal in life to record as much information as I have and then when I eventually pass on (which I will), some other family member will pick up where I left off.  That is my wish and desire.

In the meantime, I will share what information and pictures that I have on this website.  

Please contact me if any readers of this blog wish to contribute information about their family and/or photos or have any question about how they fit into the Tipton Family Tree. 

Remember, we're all descended from the original Jonathan Tipton who landed on these shores by way of Baltimore County, Maryland around 1692 from Jamaica. 

If can provide me with the name of your great grandfather I can probably find your link to the Tipton Family Tree record that I maintain and am constantly adding new information.

Have a very happy new year!