Saturday, July 7, 2012

Randall Louis Tipton

Randall Louis Tipton

Occasionally I receive a comment through this blog for help in researching someone's connection to the Tipton family tree.  If given enough information I can almost always make the connection.  Such was the case with a recent comment I received from a Randy Tipton.

As is usually the case, the first go round not enough information is supplied by the person requesting the information so I respond by asking for the names of at least a grandfather and great grandfather and date and place of birth.

After several exchanges of e-mails Randy was able to supply me with the name and date of birth of his father, grandfather and great grandfather.  With the information I started to dig in my family tree as well as public information on my account.  After several hours of research I was able to establish Randy's connection to the Tipton family tree. (Double click chart to make bigger).

Randy Tipton Family Tree

Randy is my sixth cousin, twice removed.  What that means is that our five times great grandfather's were brothers.  In Randy's case, his 5X grandfather Edward Tipton (1728-1795) was the brother of my 5X grandfather Jonathan ("Major) Tipton (1750-1833).

Twice removed means that we are two generations removed.  In other words I am of the same generation as Randy's grandfather Alvin Clayton Tipton (1914-1972).  Of course this makes me feel VERY OLD.

I was so glad that I was able to find the information to fit Randy's line into the Tipton Family Tree.  I'm always willing to help anyone who reads this blog and is interested in finding out more about their connection to the Tipton family tree.  If you provide me with that basic information that I stated earlier in this blog, I can almost always make the connection.

Here is a little bit more information about Randy.  Randy is a twenty year veteran of the Army.  He served in the Special Forces. Ironically, Randy lost one of his legs not in the Army but in a motorcycle accident.  Below is a video of the new, revolutionary prosthetic device that Randy uses now.

Thank you very much Randy for giving me permission to share your story on my "Tipton Tales and Trails" blog.  This is what I love about this blog, exploring and discovering the great and wonderful history of the Tipton family in the United State of America.  Especially wonderful men like Randall Louis Tipton.

Thank you so much for your service to our country Randy!

Randy Tipton in Afghanistan

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rules of Engagement

Ronald Walter Tipton, June 29, 2012 - Delaware Beach

The past few weeks I've received two requests from Tipton descendants for help with researching their family tree.  I'm always glad to help a fellow Tipton descendent.  I was able to help both of these individuals because they provided me with sufficient information that I was able to research and make the link to our common Tipton family tree.  I always feel a wonderful sense of satisfaction what I can help someone find their roots plus add to my family tree records.

On the heels of these recent successes I feel I should restate the "rules of engagement" when requesting my help.  The reason I do this is because quite often in the past I've been asked to help folks who don't provide me with any information much more than the first name of their father.  No dates of birth or death, no names of grandfathers or great grandfathers.  I cannot help those people with such little information.

I also often receive requests from folks (usually women) who want information so they can join the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution).  First of all, the information required to join the DAR is quite rigorous and I am but an amateur genealogist, even though I have been working at this game for almost twenty years now.  Secondly, I have no interest in helping anyone join the DAR.  Not that there is anything wrong with the DAR, it's just that my time is limited.  I am seventy years old, have a part-time job, not in good health and very busy with other activities in addition to researching my family tree.  My primary goal is filling out as many branches of my family tree that I can before I go to the Great Beyond and meet my Tipton ancestors in person.  So for all you DAR folks, you'll have to look elsewhere for your proof to join the DAR.

Now that I've stated my "rules of engagement", I hope to hear from my distant Tipton relatives.  As I said before, I am glad to help you find your connection to the first Tipton, Jonathan who came to this country in the late 1600's from Port Royale, Jamaica.  But in exchange I would like information from you too as to dates of birth and death and old photos.  I love old photos!

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Ron Tipton with fellow genealogist Larry Meredith - June 29, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Visit to the Homeland

Me at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery with the beautiful North Carolina Mountains behind me. May 14, 2012

Last month Bill and I took our annual visit to the South.  Bill is originally from Toccoa, Georgia.  He is 83 years old now and enjoys visiting the haunts of his youth.  I also take the opportunity to visit the birthplace of my father, Isaac Walter Tipton.  He was born in one of the hollers of the western North Carolina Mountains of the Pisgah Forest.  He always said he was born in Pigeon Roost but I have since found out that probably wasn't the exact place of his birth.  One thing is for sure, he was born in one of those hollers that go up the mountains but not through.

Glenn Renfro with his wife Wanda Byrd who I found is my second cousin at their house on Upper Pigeon Roost Road, Green Mountain, NC - Glen and Wanda live in the old Ike Lewis house.  Ike Lewis was my great-grandfather.

This is the third year Bill and I made our swing south to visit his hometown of Toccoa, Georgia.  I also visit my brother John Tipton who lives in Greenville, South Carolina with his wife Barbara.  John is the care paster of the Calvary Baptist Church in Grenville.  He is only two and a half hours away from where our father was born.  John and his wife often take the trip up through Asheville to the Pigeon Roost area when he wants to get away from it all.  That area of the North Carolina Mountains that border Erwin and Johnson City, Tennessee has a ethereal beauty that is unmatched anywhere in this country.  To tell you the truth I would have retired in those mountains instead of Sussex County, Delaware if I wasn't gay.  Being gay I wouldn't be too welcomed in those insular communities of the mountains.  I can visit though.

The Tipton Hill School in Tipton Hill, NC which I understand will be closed

This time around I wanted to visit as many family cemeteries in those hills that I could find to take pictures of the graves and post them to my Find a account.  You can see a link to that account on this website.  Feel free to use it to look up a loved one of anyone else you're interested in seeing their final resting place.

NC 197 - turn to the right and this is Upper Pigeon Roost Road, Green Mountain, NC - home of my father

The first three days we went cemetery hunting it rained.  That didn't stop us me though.  I was determined to visit as many cemeteries as I could find.  And I was very successful.  I contacted Glen Renfro, who was my original contact when I first began researching my Tipton family history way back in 1994.  Oh my, how time flies.  Glen was still there and still very friendly and helpful.  Coincidentally his wife is my second cousin.  Her grandmother Pansy Tipton was the older sister of my grandfather Fieldon Tipton.  This is indeed a small world, especially in those mountains.

We always heard about Pigeon Roost but we didn't believe it existed.  Here is proof.

This isn't going to be a long post but I do want to get in the habit of making regular postings to this blog.  As I said earlier time does fly and before I know it I won't be around any longer.  Hopefully all the information I've gathered about my family tree won't be lost when I go.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TFAA Spring 2012 Newsletter

Hello folks.  I just received an e-mail copy of the Tipton Family Association of America Spring 2012 newsletter.  I will post it to this blog now.

I apologize for being remiss in keeping this blog up to date.  I will resolve to try and keep it more up to date this year.  Thank you for your patience!

John Parrish's newsletter follows: (click to embiggin - make bigger)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

John Tipton, Union Recruit

My great-great grandfather was John Tipton (1830-1863).  John died while recruiting for the Union forces during the civil war in the mountains that border  western North Carolina (where he lived with his family) and eastern Tennessee where he was stationed.

The following is an accounting of his death when he was ambushed by a Confederate Calvary led by Confederate Colonel Wichter.

Colonel Vincent Addison Witcher
Commander 34th Virginia Cavalry
The man responsible for the death of my great-grandfather John Tipton in 1863

I have taken this information out of the book "Toe River Valley Heritage - North Carolina, Vol. X" which was compiled by Professor Lloyd Richard Bailey of Duke University.  Professor Bailey is a relative of John Tipton's wife, my great-great grandmother Martha "Patty" Bailey Tipton.  Professor Bailey has given me permission to put this information on my blog.

If anyone seeks more information about this subject or wishes to contact Professor Bailey his address follows:

Lloyd Bailey
4122 Deep Wood Circle
Durham, NC 27707

John Tipton, Union Recruit
Death of a Union Soldier in the Appalachian Mountains

John Tipton, (ca. 1828/1830-11/18/1863) was the son of Joseph Tipton (whose wife may have been named Sarah) who lived in the vicinity of Bee Branch, near Relief in Yancey County, North Carolina.

Martha E. "Patty" Bailey Tipton Cooper - my great-great grandmother and widow of John Tipton, my great-great grandfather who died in the Civil War fighting for the Union Cause

He married Martha E. ("Patty") Bailey (9/22/1830-12/22/1915), daughter of John ("Yellow Jacket") Bailey.  They were married on October 19, 1848, at the home of her brother, Ansel Bailey (who soon thereafter moved to Fannin County, Georgia).  John and "Patty" lived in the vicinity of the village of Relief, North Carolina in the mountains bordering Tennessee.

Green Mountain Road, the area near Bee Branch Road where my great-grandparents lived in 1863
Photo taken last spring when Bill and I visited the area 2011

John joined the Union Army about September 15, 1863, by going across the mountains into Tennessee to the 8th Tennessee Regiment (Company M) that was then located near Greenville, Tennessee.  Soon thereafter he was furloughed and sent back to his home area to see if he could recruit other volunteers to the Union Cause.  Those who were willing to do so "hid out" (from the Confederate Home Guard?) until it was time to leave for the Regiment, some of them staying at John Tipton's house during the night before departure.  His wife cooked "thin rations: for them and they set out on the morning of the 18th.

The North Carolina - Tennessee state line - where my great grandfather probably crossed in 1863 while recruiting for the Union forces - photo take last year 2011 during our annual visit south

They apparently traveled through the Hollow Poplar Settlement, then through Indian Grave Gap, and descended into Tennessee into the "Greasy Cove" by means of Rock Creek.  There, they were spotted by a Confederate Cavalry command but Colonel Vincent Addison Witcher (34th Virginia Cavalry-CSA) who apparently was on the lookout for Union recruits that might take this well known route.  Colonel Witcher's command brought a bout the so-called "Bell Massacre" in the nearby Limestone Cove about three days later.

One of the many trails still intact up in the mountains where my great-grandfather rode to recruit of the Union forces in 1863

In the following skirmish, John Tipton was shot twice in the left side and immediately died.  Four others of the Union recruits were killed.  Archibald Bennett was wounded in the head, recuperated at the home of John Tipton's widow (Martha "Patty" Bailey - my great-great grandmother), and later jinxed the Union Army (3rd NC Mounted Infantry).  Curtis, Calvin and Dobson Bailey, along with their father Hiram, Sr., were also present at the skirmish.  (Note: John Tipton's young son Hiram was my great grandfather.)  Curtis (who had formerly served in the 39th KY Regiment, Union Army and deserted) was killed.  Calvin, Dobson and Hiram escaped, and the sons later joined the Union Army ) Dobson in the 13th Tenn.; Calvin, formerly in the 39th KY and deserted, joined the 13th Tenn. Regiment, Co. B.

Confederate Cavalry in the mountains 1863

I was told (by elderly Charles Hughes, now deceased) that Jason and Jim Hughes (brothers of Confederate soldier Jeremain Hughes) were shot and left for dead by Witcher's Cavalry.  Relatives came and carried them home.  Jim, shot in the throat, survived.  The cavalry commander had ordered that he be shot again but he response from one of this soldiers was "Ain't no use wasting shot on a dead man."  The wound never healed, and Jim would remove the bandage eat morning to let the wound "drain."  He is buried at the Hughes Cemetery "at the mouth of Big Creek."  As for the fatally wounded Jason, he was buried at Huntdale Memorial Cemetery.

ONe other person, taken alive by Witcher's Cavalry, was made to ride with them to the gap between Rock Creek and Poplar (Indian Grave Gap).  At that point, they decided to shoot him and ordered him to march ten paces ahead of them.  At the count of nine, he dived into a laurel thicket, amidst a hail of bullets and escaped.

John Tipton's body was taken to the home of Dr. Perry, some 13-14 miles from Tipton's home.  HIs wife was notified and the next day, she (along with Mrs. Eliza Presley and her son) went with a wagon to retrieve his body.  He and his brother-in-law Curtis Bailey were buried in a double-grave. "about a half mile from his house." [The cemetery, nmow known as the "Yellow Jacket" John Bailey cemetery, is located just above the bridge over Toe River at Relief, North Carolina, on the Yancey County (now Mitchell County) side.  

When widow Martha Bailey Tipton applied for a pension (see previous blog posting on this subject), she was initially denied on the grounds that John's name was not on the Company Muster Role.  On appeal, it was pointed out that no muster-forms were available at the time and John  was sent back to his home in the mountains of North Carolina to recruit before the forms arrived.  AS the result of several sworn statements, including by his commanding officer,  pension was finally approved in 1891 in the amount of $8.00 a month.

At the end of the War, the family apparently moved to Jonesboro Tennessee at which place Martha lists her address. Pension appellations were filed there in 1865 and1867.  She is listed in Yancey County, North Carolina, in the 1870 census.

John left his widow with ten children, nine of whom were under sixteen years of age.  

  1. Baxter Stephen Tipton - born 7/26/1849
  2. Sarah Ann Tipton - born 11/15/12850
  3. Hiram Tipton - born 3/5/1852 - my great-great grandfather
  4. Loucinda Tipton - born 3/24/1853
  5. Elizabeth Tipton - born 11/5/1854
  6. Temperance Ann "Tempe" Tipton - born 12/25/1855)
  7. Willian Nelson Tipton - born 7/27/1857
  8. Martha Tipton - born - 12/26/1858
  9. Curtis Tipton - born 7/29/1860
  10. Tricia Tipton - born 5/6/1862
Hiram Tipton, my great grandfather and son of John Tipton

Baxter Stephen Tipton, son of John Tipton - my great grand uncle
Curtis Tipton, son of John Tipton and my great grand uncle

There is much more to write about this interesting and fascinating period in the history of our county in which I am proud to say my great-great grandfather courageously played a part.