Thursday, November 30, 2017

D. H. Selph and the Orphan Normal School

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

In 1866, Rev. Duncan Hyder Selph was trying to raise funds to establish an Orphan Normal School for orphan girls and the daughters of poor Baptist ministers. Given the loss of young fathers during the Civil War, this must have seemed like a logical plan. However, $25,000 may have been too much money to raise at that time, especially with so many in need. There is no indication that Rev. D. H. Selph's plan came to fruition.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Susan Jane (Mason) Cawthon

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Susan Jane Mason, daughter of William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason, like many of the Masons died young and little is known about her. She was born c. 1833 in Tennessee. She married Rutherford Porter Cawthon on 5 April 1854 in Cass County, Texas. He was born 26 February 1822 in Tennessee. Susan died in early 1860, probably at the birth of her last child, who also died.

After her death, Rutherford Porter Cawthon married Susan's younger sister Karen Rebecca Mason on 23 Dec. 1860. In 1861, Rutherford became the guardian of his and Susan's daughters Leona Gray and Mary Charlotte Cawthon, and represented their interests in the estate of their grandfather William Mason and their great-grandfather Joseph Mason.

According to family tradition, Karen Rebecca Mason become the loving mother of her sister's daughters and had many children of her own. In fact, she was so adored that the name of her sister was either not passed down or remembered by her sister's descendants. Her name was only recovered by the family through research.

Rutherford Cawthon Porter

 Children of Rutherford Porter and Susan Jane (Mason) Cawthon:

1. Leona Gray Cawthon b. 26 Jan 1855 married John Thomas Chapman
2. James Buchanan Cawthon b. 8 Oct 1856 [died young]
3. Mary Charlotte Cawthon b. 8 Mar 1858, d. 3 Mar 1918, married William Sargent
            Chapman, younger brother of John Thomas Chapman
4. Dick R. Cawthon b. 25 Jan 1860 [died young]

Early tax records of Rutherford Porter Cawthon:

1848 Bowie County, Texas tax list:
Cawthon, R. P., poll tax, state, county [age 26 - should be located somewhere on five previous tax years]

1849 Bowie County, Texas tax list:
Cawthorn, R. P., poll tax, state, county

1850 Bowie County, Texas tax list:
Cawthen, R. P. poll tax, state, county 

Not found on 1850 census

1853 Cass Co., TX tax list:
R.P. Cawthon, poll tax 

Tax records of Rutherford Porter Cawthon after his marriage to Susan Jane Mason.

1854, Cass County, Texas tax list:
Cauthron, R. P., poll tax, state tax, county tax
Marion County, Texas 1861 tax list:
Cauthron, R. P. poll tax, state, county
Cauthron, R. P. – Mason Estate  original grantee – Gillian tax on ½ acre

Rutherford Porter Cawthon and family have not been found on the 1860 census. Neither Susan Jane (Mason) Cawthon nor Dick R. Cawthon is on the 1860 mortality census.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy time with family and friends...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wiley C. Mason

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Wiley C. Mason, son of William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason, married Mrs. Phetney Bragg on Tues. 18 Jan 1859. Their marriage announcement appeared in the Northern Standard on 22 Jan 1859.

8 Sept. 1860, Clarksville, Red River Co., TX, p. 121:

828 - 828
W.C. Mason  30 M Brickmason     $75 b. AL
Phitney 26 F  b. GA
Mary J. 5 F b.TX

Notation: The census makes the notation that W.C. and Phitney had married within the year. Is Mary J. a daughter of W.C.’s or Phitney’s by a previous marriage? Since Phitney had been married previously, Mary J. may be her daughter.

Wiley C. Mason gave a power of attorney to R.P. Cawthorne on 29 April 1861 in Marion Co., Bk. B, p. 49

A Wiley C. Mason enlisted at Jefferson, TX on 27 Apr 1861. He gave his age as 33. He was discharged 31 Oct 1861 for disability.

Joseph J. M. Mason

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Joseph J.M. Mason was the son of William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason. He married Phebie Emly Brumley on 12 Dec., 1848, [Hopkins Co., TX marriages. Bk. 2, p. 20].

Census and tax records for Joseph J. M. and Phebe (Brumley) Mason:       

1849, Hopkins Co., TX - Joseph Mason pays poll list. No land.

1850, Hopkins Co., TX - Joseph Mason pays poll list. No land

1853, Hopkins Co., TX - J.J.M. Mason pays poll tax. No land.

1854, Hopkins Co., TX - J.M. Mason pays poll tax. No land.

1855, Hopkins Co., TX - No J.M. Mason listed on tax list.

1856, Hopkins Co., TX - No J.M. Mason listed on tax list.

1859, Cass Co., TX - J.M. Mason pays poll tax. No land.

30 Sept 1850, 8th Jud. Dist., Hopkins Co., TX, p. 136:

Joseph Mason 23 M Farmer b. AL
Phebe  22 F b. AL

Joseph Mason petitions to be appointed admin. of his father, William Mason’s estate 31 May 1859, Bk C, p. 577, Cass Co., TX.  On 28 May 1860, Joseph J.M. Mason files annual report, Bk D, p. 89, #130.

17 July 1860, Beat #3, Marion Co., TX, P.O. Jefferson, p. ?

J.J. Mason 32 M Farmer $600 - $580 b. AL
C. 26 F b. OH
Saml P. 7 M b. TX
P.R. [K.R.?] 17 F b. TN
W. W. Mason 11 M b. TX
Jos. J. Mason   }
Guard Minor Heirs      }
of Wm. Mason dec’d}

Joseph’s wife “C.” seems to be a second wife. She is the wrong age and has the wrong birth place to be Phebe. Apparently, Phebe (Brumley) Mason is deceased. Samuel P. Mason is the only child of Joseph J.M. Mason and Phebe.

Joseph J. M. Mason died between 11 November 1860.  His death date is recorded in his probate packet in Marion County, Texas.

His death was also reported by Jefferson Masonic Lodge No. 38 before the proceedings of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Texas at its 25th annual convention held at the city of Houston, commencing on the second Monday in June A.D. 1861. At that time a list of deaths was reported by the several lodges in their annual returns to 27 Dec. 1860.
[Source: Texas Masonic Deaths With Selected Biographical Sketches by Michael Kelsey et al]

1862, Marion Co., TX: Mrs. C. Mason paid taxes on two acres of land in Thos. Gillespie [O.G.]

By 1870, Samuel P. Mason was living in the Brumley's - relatives on his mother's side of the family. After Joseph J. M. Mason's death his widow administered his estate. Initially, she attempted to administer the interests of two of Joseph Mason's children. Later, in June of 1861, she focused on only the interests of her daughter Mary Matilda Mason.  Presumably, Samuel was no longer her household at that time.

27 Aug 1870, PCT 2, Hopkins Co., TX, P.O. White Oak

208 - 206
Brumley, Talbot 39 M W Farmer $160 - $1545          b. AL
---Martha 28 F W   Keeps house b. TN
---Franklin 4 M W b. TX
---Mary 1 F W b. TX
Mason, Samuel 18 M W   Farm laborer b. TX
Thompson, Virginia 18 F B b. TX
Johnston, Sophia 20 F B Cook b. AL
---Samuel 1 M B b. TX
---Henderson   25 M B Day laborer    b. MS

Samuel P. Mason married M.L. Smith in Hopkins Co., TX--Bk 4, p. 200

William W. Mason of Brown Co., Texas

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

William W. Mason, son of William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason, was born 4 Jan 1848 in Hopkins Co., TX.

William married Eliza Jane, who seems to have been the daughter of Thomas and Jane Early. The date and location of William Mason and Eliza Jane’s marriage is unknown.

Census records for William W. and Eliza Jane (Early) Mason:

7 Sept 1870, Marion Twp., P.O. Jenny Lind, Sebastian Co., AR, p. 143:

Mason, William 21 M W Farmer - $100 b. TX
---Eliza Jane 24 F W Keeps house b. IL
---Matilda 1 F W b. ARK
Early, Thomas 52 M W Farmer $400 - $700   b. TN
---Jane 49 F W Keeps house b. IL
---Thomas 19 M W At home b. IL
---Margaret 16 F W b. TX
---Ada Mali 12 F W b. TX
---Sarah C. 9 F W b. TX

9 June 1880, Dist. 146, Pct 1, Somervell Co., TX, SD 3, ED 146, pg. 11, p. 349C:

Mason, W.W.  M W 32 Stone Mason b. TX fb. MS mb.TN
---Eliza J. F W 33 Keeps house b. IL fb. TN mb. TN
---Matilda F W 10 Dau b. ARK fb. TX mb. IL
---William H. M W 4 Son b. TX fb. TX  mb. IL
---Ellen F W 2 Dau b. TX fb. TX mb. IL

18 June 1880, Dist 146, Pct 1, Somervell Co., TX, SD 3, ED 146, p. 21 [p. 354A]:

Early, Thomas M W 66 Farmer b. TN fb. MD mb. NC
---Jane F W 62 Wife Keeps house b. TN fb. GA mb. NC
---Sarah C. F W 18 Dau b. TX   fb. TN  mb. TN
Collier, Margaret F W 20 Dau bm TX  fb. TN mb. TX
---Melvin M W 3 Grdson b. TX fb. IL mb. TX
Early, N.F. M W 40 Farmer b. IL fb. TN mb. TN
 ---Mary J. F W 30 Wife keeps house b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
---Ellen E. F W  13  Dau b. TX mb. IL fb. IL
 ---John F. M W 9 Son  b. AL fb. IL mb. IL

5 June 1900, Dist 7, Blanket, Brown Co., TX, SD 4, ED 7, sht 3:

Mason, William Head M W Jan 1848 52 M-31 b. TX fb. TN mb.  TX
---Eliza J. Wife F W May 1846 54 M-31 9-3   b. IL fb. TN mb. TN
---William H. Son M W July 1876 23 S b. TX fb. TX mb.  IL
---Ellen K. Dau F W Nov 1880  19 S b. TX fb. TX mb. IL

23 Apr 1910, Dist 95, 3- wd, Brownwood, Brown Co., TX, SD 14, ED 95, sht 18B:

Mason, William Head M W 62 M1-42 b. TX fb. TN mb. TN
---Eliza J. Wife F W 64 M1-42 b. IL mb. TN fb. TN
Harwell, Mitilda J. Head M W 40 Wd b. AR fb. TX mb. IL
-361  ---Walter W. Son M W 14 S b. TX fb. MS mb. AR
---Ola J. Dau F W 13 S  b. TX fb. MS mb. AR
---Lona M. Dau F W 9 S b. TX  fb. MS  mb. AR
---Sam W.  Son M W   6 S b. TX fb. MS mb. AR
---Josephine Dau F W 5 S b. TX fb. MS mb. AR

William W. Mason filed for a Confederate pension on 13 Feb 1917, and it was rejected on 24 Feb 1917. William’s pension application reveals that he was born in Hopkins Co., TX, 12 miles east of Sulpher Springs and that he had lived all his life in Texas except for six years from 1866 to 1872 when he lived in Arkansas. He moved to Brown Co. in 1898 and worked as a brick layer whenever he could get work.

He claimed that he enlisted in Black’s Co., Waterhouse’s Reg. and Cooper’s Brigade. He details how he was working at the Iron Foundry of Nash, Perry & Co., located 21 miles northwest of Jefferson in Marion Co., TX when the war began. When the Confederacy took over the foundry, the workers were all pressed into the Confederate service, so he volunteered to serve as a soldier in the field, but the officers in charge of enlistments detailed him work in the foundry as a molder. He worked in the foundry until six months before the end of the war, when he was transferred to the Hughes Ironworks Foundry, located five miles from Daingerfield, Texas. Once or twice he was sent back to Nash, Perry, & Co. for a few days.

William’s pension was rejected because his name does not appear on any muster lists. However, William’s version of events matches that of his uncle Rutherford Porter Cawthon’s. Presumably, they worked together in the same foundry since his uncle Rutherford P. Cawthon was administering the William Mason Sr. estate by the time the war started, and William W. Mason was most likely living in the Cawthon household.     
[Source: William W. Mason, Texas rejected CSA application]

According to the Handbook of Texas, Nash’s Iron Foundry was built by Jefferson S. Nash near the Mims Chapel community in 1847. Mims Chapel is on FM 729 by a tributary of Alley’s Creek a mile north of Lake O’ The Pines, sixteen miles northwest of Jefferson in northwestern Marion County, TX. A post office called Alley’s Mills was opened on the site in 1852 and in 1861 the name was changed Nash’s Foundry. Between 1841 and 1861 Nash experimented with methods of iron ore production. In 1858 the Clarksville Northern Standard claimed that Nash’s Foundry had produced more than 10,000 pounds of iron and shipped it to Jefferson. Nash’s Foundry was rechartered by the Confederate government during the Civil War, and both the foundry and the post office were renamed Texas Iron Works. Nash sold the foundry to the Kelly Plow Company around 1863. The new owners closed the plant and removed to Kellyville, near Jefferson.
[Source: Handbook of Texas Online]

William W. Mason’s death certificate #47199 states that he was born 4 Jan 1846 in Texas, an error that was repeated on his tombstone. Census records consistently report his birth as no earlier than 1848, and the 1900 census explicitly gives his birth as Jan 1848. Names of parents are listed as unknown. The informant was his grandson Walter Harwell. William W. Mason died in Brownwood, Brown Co., TX on 9 Oct 1930.

Burials in the Greenleaf Cemetery, Brownwood, Brown, Co., TX:
Mason, William G. [sic] 4 Jan 1846 - 9 Oct 1930
Mason, Eliza J. 8 May 1846 - 19 Jun 1928
Harwell, Walter C. 11 Oct 1895 - 9 Jul 1962
Harwell, Grace A. 2 May 1901 - 12 July 1925
Harwell, Matilda J. 15 Aug 1869 - 20 Apr 1949
Harwell, Samuel W.    [DMW] m. 23 Apr 1921
            5 Jan 1902 - 24 May 1978
Harwell, M. Pearl 4 Feb 1906 -
Lancaster, Jesse C. 22 Aug 1895 - 12 Jan 1962
Lancaster, Ola J. 12 Dec 1896 -
Lancaster, Ola J. 4 Apr 1924 - 1 July 1943
[Source: Greenleaf Cemetery, Brownwood, Texas by Bob Day]       

Wesley Randolph Mason

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Wesley Randolph Mason, son of William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason, was born 12 Mar 1829 in either Alabama or Tennessee or maybe even Mississippi. His connection to William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason is made by a Hopkins County, Texas road order and a letter written by my great-grandmother. These will be presented in the time frame in which the events occurred.

Wesley R. Randolph’s first appearance in the records is in a Hopkins County, Texas road order:

May Term 1849 - County Court of Hopkins Co., TX - William Mason is ordered to work as a hand on Road Precinct #2 under overseer Alfonzo Crowder. Along with William Mason and among others were Bailey Ashmore, Joseph M. Mason, Westley R. Mason, Wiley C. Mason, Melton Wardlow, and John Despain.
[Source: County Court Minutes Vol. I October 1846 - February 1852 by Hopkins County Genealogical Society]

This road order includes William Mason’s son Joseph M. Mason who is living in his own household along with two of William’s sons who are still living in the home: Westley R. Mason and Wiley C. Mason. Westley R. Mason must be Randolph Mason.

1850, Hopkins Co., TX, p. 137:

William Mason 46 M  Farmer $500 b. TN
Matilda 43 F b. KY
Randolph 21 M Farmer b. AL
Wiley 19 M Farmer b. AL
Susan 17 F b. TN
Charlotte 14 F b. TN
Caron 7 F b. TN
William W. 2 M b. TX

Wesley R. Mason married his first wife, Ann Kenney on 1 Mar 1854 in Williamson Co., TX.
[Source: Williamson County, Texas Marriage Records 1849 - 1860 by G. McLin]

Ann Kenney was the daughter of San Jacinto veteran Dr. Thomas Kenney, who built Kenny's Fort in 1839. The fort was located sixteen miles north of Austin, Texas near the present site of Round Rock, Texas. Thomas Kenney was killed there by the Caddo Indians in 1844.

In 1850 Ann Kenney was living at the fort with her sister Mary Jane (Kenney) and John C. Lee.
Census records for Wesley R. and Ann (Kenney) Mason:

4 July 1860, Williamson Co., TX, P.O.: Georgetown, p. 28:

W.R. Mason    31 M    Brickmason b. AL
Ann --- 21 F b.TX
Ema --- 5 F b. TX
Catherine --- 2 F b. TX
Ann Kenney died in 1865 and is buried in the Old Georgetown Cemetery in Williamson Co., TX

W.R. Mason married Mrs. Martha J. Harrison on 23 Sept 1866 [license #197] in Bell Co., TX.
[Source: Bell County, Texas Marriage Records 1850 - 1882 by Linda B. Allie and Weldon I. Hudson]

Martha was the widow of John Sobiesky Harrison, who died in 1864. Her maiden name was McCullough, and she was the daughter of William Garrison and Margery Lee Harrison.

13 July 1870, Beat No. 3, Bell Co., TX, P.O. Belton:

148 - 148
Mason, W.R. 39 M W Farmer b. TN
--- Martha 37 F W Keeps house $600 - $3,000 b. AL
--- Emma 15 F W b. TX
--- Jenny 6 F W b. TX
Groves, Mary  20 F W b. TX
Harrison, A.E.  14 F W b. TX
---Martha 9 F W b. TX
Mason, Georgia 2 F W b. TX
--- Nancy 1 F W b. TX
Harrison, T. 23 F B Servant b. TX
--- Hettie 3 F B b. TX
--- Liddie 1 F  B b. TX

Emma and Jenny Mason were the daughters of W.R. and Ann (Kenney) Mason. Their other daughter Catherine Mason is either deceased or elsewhere. Emma was with W.R. and Ann (Kenney) Mason on the 1850 census; she may be the same Matilda E. Mason who will be discussed in another. Mary Groves may be a daughter of Martha’s, possibly to a man named Groves, or Mary may be a widow. A.E. and Martha Harrison seem to be daughters of Martha’s by her previous husband. Georgia and Nancy Mason would be daughters of W.R. and Martha’s.

A “Matilda E. Mason” of Bell Co., TX may be Emma Mason, daughter of Wesley R. and Ann (Kenney) Mason. Matilda E. Mason married G.S. Roberts on 7 Apr 1877 in Bell Co., TX
[Source: Bell County, Texas Marriage Records 1850- 1882 by Linda B. Allie and Weldon I. Hudson]

Wesley R. Mason and wife Martha divorced between 1870 and 1880. All of the children by their marriage seem to be living with Martha in Lampasas County, Texas.

9 & 10 June 1880, Pct 6, Lampasas County, Texas:

Mason, Martha W R 52 D Keeping house b. AL fb. SC mb. SC
-----, Margery W F 11 Dau b. TX fb. MS mb. AL
-----, Nannie W F 10 dau b. TX fb. MS mb. AL
-----, Ran W M 9 son b. TX fb. MS mb. AL
-----, John W M 8 son b. TX fb. MS mb. AL
-----, Maud W F 5 dau b. TX fb. MS mb. AL
Harrison, Tennessee B F 30 servant b. TX fb. TN mb. AL
Roberts, Harriett B F 13 dau servant b. TX fb. MS mb. TX
Moore, Punch Mu M 6 son b. TX fb.  Mb. TX

Wesley Randolph Mason of Bosque Co., TX filed for a Confederate pension which was approved on 25 Nov 1899. He reported his age as 70 on his last birthday--12 Mar 1899. He gave his full name as Wesley Randolph Mason. He stated that he had resided in Morgan, Bosque Co., TX for 6 months. His further stated that his profession was farming, formerly a brick mason. He enlisted in Co. A 6 Texas Partisan Rangers, Col. L.M. Martin. He served for 3 years from 12 Mar 1862 to May 1865. He received no donation land certificate. He owned two ponies valued at about $45 and one wagon valued at $15. He owned no land. His application was signed on 31 Aug. 1899. J.R. Vaughan and H.M. Vaughan of Bosque Co. swore they knew W.R. Mason and that he was a soldier in the war. Their deposition was dated 21 Sept 1899.

W.K. Makemson, 63 years old of Georgetown, Williamson Co., TX swore that he had known W.R. Mason since about 1854 when Mason was living in  Williamson Co., TX. Mason lived there for several years after the war. He enlisted in Co. A, 5th Texas Partisan Rangers--Capt. Archy Hart of Georgetown. Mason enlisted in Williamson Co., Tx and was stationed at Fort McCullough, Indian Territory. Makemson became sheriff of Williamson Co., TX in 1863. Makemson served in the Indian Dept. of a sub-division of   the Trans-Mississippi commanded by Gen. Albert G. Pike who succeeded Gen. D.H. Cooper. Makemson’s deposition is dated 4 Sept 1899.

J.M. Page, age 66 yrs became acquainted with Mason in 1858 when Mason was living in Georgetown.
[Source: Wesley Randolph Mason, Texas Confederate Pension #4795]

Letter written my great-grandmother Maggie (Cawthon) Chapman, niece of Wesley Randolph Mason:

“Mrs. Maggie Chapman
                                     Wylie, Tex
Dear Madam
Bro. W.R. Mason resided here and near here for 6 years. in June 1892 he moved to Hillsboro Hill Co. Texas. I knew him personaly. Write Harry Beck Pm and tell him your Uncle was a mason and he can probably find out his where abouts
                    Will H. Harvey
W.R. Mason
Address is Hillsboro, Tex”

William H. Harvey was the postmaster of Belton, Bell. Co., TX from 18 Sept. 1897 to 1907, so this letter was written between those dates. Harry Beck was the postmaster of Hillsboro, TX from 1898 - 1907, which means this letter was written in 1898 or later but before 1907. In 1900 Maggie Chapman was living in Wylie, Collin Co., TX with her brother Will Cawthon. This letter links the W.R. Mason who was in Bell Co., TX in 1870 to the Wesley R. Mason who was in Hill Co., TX in 1900.

Wesley Randolph Mason filed for a Confederate pension from Bosque Co., TX in 1899.

A W.R. Mason married Mary Jane Mason in Bastrop County, on 15 October 1891.

21 June 1900, PCT #6, Hill Co., TX, p. 138:

197 - 198
Mason, Wesley R. Head M W Mar 1829 71 M-19 b. TN fb. Unk mb. Unk
--- Mary Wife F W Sept 1843  56 M-19 2-1 b. MS fb. GA mb. SC
--- Minnie Dau F W Sept 1887 12 S b. TX fb. TN mb. MS
Brasier, Sarah s-in-l F W Dec 1846 53 Wd  0 – 0 b. MS fb. GA mb. SC

Since the birth places of Wesley R. Mason’s parents is unknown on this census this may be an indication that someone other than Wesley provided the information to the census taker, especially since all the birth places of the other members of the household are provided. This points to Mary Mason being the provider of the information--she would know the birth places of her own parents, her sister, and her own children. She may have believed that Wesley was born in Tennessee and would probably not know where his parents were born.  This may indicate that Wesley’s birth place is reported in error. Since Minnie is the only surviving child ofthis marriage, she is most likely the wife of L.E. Spradling. 

Notice that William and Mary's marriage is listed as being of 19 years duration. That would put their marriage date at c. 1881 which is in conflict with the date Mary Mason reported in her Confederate Widow’s pension, but which may in fact be accurate.  A W.R. Mason married Mary Jane Mason in Bastrop County, on 15 October 1891.

Wesley Mason died on 23 Feb 1903 in Hill Co., TX. His ex-wife Martha (McCullough died on 8 November 1903 and is buried in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas.

Wesley R. Mason’s widow Mary filed for a pension from Hill Co., TX after his death.

2 May 1910, PCT #6, Hill Co., TX, p. 530:

Mason, Mary  Head 66 Wd b. MS fb. GA mb. SC
Vaughn, Henry M. Bro            71 S b. MS  fb. GA mb. SC
---James R. Bro 60 S b. MS fb. GA mb. SC
Brasher, Sarah Sis 63 Wd b. MS fb. GA mb. SC

Mary Mason’s sister Sarah Brasher is still living with her after 10 years. Additionally, the J.R. and H.M. Vaughan who provided depositions for Wesley Randolph Mason’s confederate pension in 1899 are Mary’s brothers; therefore, it is reasonable to assume that her maiden name was

The following Vaughn family appeared in Smith Co., TX and seems to be the family to which Mary, Henry M., James R. and Sarah Vaughn belong:

11 Nov 1850, Smith Co., TX, p. 142:

Vaughn, Thomas 52 Farmer $500 b. GA
--- Ann 40 b. SC
--- William R. 14 b. MS
--- Henry M. 12 b. MS
--- Thomas M. 8 b. MS
--- Mary Ann 6 b. MS
--- Sarah Jane 3 b. TX
--- James R. 2 b. TX



William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

William Mason, born c. 1804 in Tennessee, married Matilda Lewis on 18 Nov 1823 in Madison Co., AL. She was born about 1807 in Kentucky. Secondary sources indicate that she was the daughter of John and Susan (Daniel) Lewis; however, no primary documentation has been found yet to prove the connection. John Lewis is said to have died in Hardin County, Tennessee.

Madison County, Alabama

William Mason was the son of Joseph Mason who died in DeSoto County, Mississippi.

Known Children of William and Matilda (Lewis) Mason:

1.         Joseph J. M. Mason married Phebe E. Brumley
2.         Wesley Randolph Mason married Ann Kenney, 
                Mrs. Martha J. Harrison, and Mary Ann Vaughn
3.         Wiley C. Mason married Mrs. Phetney Bragg
4.         Susan Jane Mason married Rutherford P. Cawthon
5.         Charlotte Mason married Henry Buzan
6.         Keren Rebecca Mason married Rutherford P. Cawthon
7.         William W. Mason married Eliza Jane Early

What little is know about William and Matilda Mason is gleaned from a few census and tax records:

1840, 9th Civil Dist., Hardin Co., TN, p. 260:

William Mason            012001 – 220001

one male 5 – 9 = Wiley Mason
one male 10 – 14 = Randolph Mason
one male 10 – 14 = unknown
one male 30 – 39 =     William Mason
one female under 5 = unknown
one female under 5 = Charlotte Mason
one female 5 – 9 = Susan Jane Mason
one female 5 – 9 = unknown
one female 30 – 40 = Matilda Mason

By 1845, William Mason was insolvent and had removed from Hardin County, Tennessee:

William Mason appears on the list of insolvencies and removals for the year 1845, Bk. D, p. 165 for Hardin County, Tennessee. Hays makes the point that Hardin Co., TN sat above both Mississippi and Alabama so that there was frequent movement of people among these locations. The Mississippi area below Hardin Co., TN needs to be check for William Mason’s father. [Source: Hardin County, Tennessee Records 1820 - 1860 by Thomas A. Hays]

1846, Hopkins Co, TX – William Mason
[Republic of Texas: Poll Lists for 1846 by Marion Day Mullins]

    “James Ashmore, 1797 - 1858 ca., was an early settler in the Stout’s Creek Neighborhood. He, along with William O. Mathews, William Mason, Josiah Smith, and E.A. Merchant, was ordered by the commissioners court of Hopkins County at the October Term 1846 to “view and mark” a road leading east from Tarrant, county seat of Hopkins County, toward the county seat of Titus County.
   At the 1847 January Term, these men recommended a road leading east from Tarrant to the Bone’s farm north of where Weaver now stands…”
[Source: Alive and Good To Know by Gerald Virtrue Post]

1847, Hopkins Co., TX - Wm Mason pays poll tax.

1848, Hopkins Co., TX - Wm. Mason pays poll tax

Jan Term 1848 - Probate Court of Hopkins Co., TX - Ordered by the Court that an inventory and appraise bill be returned to the next Probate Court and that John Despain, Milton Wardlow, Mansel W. Matthews and William Mason be appointed appraisers of the property belonging to the estate of William O. Matthews, Decd, and that they order issue. 
[Source: Probate Court Minutes Vol. I Nov. 1846 - Sept 1853 by Hopkins County Genealogical Society]

1849, Hopkins Co., TX - Wm. Mason pays poll tax. Owns 540 acres of land. Joseph Mason also owns 540 acres of land.

May Term 1849 - County Court of Hopkins Co., TX - William Mason is ordered to work as a hand on Road Precinct #2 under overseer Alfonzo Crowder. Along with William Mason and among others were Bailey Ashmore, Joseph M. Mason, Westley R. Mason, Wiley C. Mason, Melton Wardlow, and John Despain.
[Source: County Court Minutes Vol. I October 1846 - February 1852 by Hopkins County Genealogical Society]

[Notation: This road order includes William Mason’s son Joseph M. Mason who is living in his own household along with two of William’s sons who are still living in the home: Westley R. Mason and Wiley C. Mason. Westley R. Mason is Randolph Mason.]

1850, Hopkins Co., TX - Wm. Mason pays poll tax.

1850, Hopkins Co., TX, p. 137:

William Mason 46 M  Farmer $500 b. TN
Matilda ----- 43 F b. KY
Randolph ----- 21 M Farmer b.  AL
Wiley ----- 19 M Farmer b. AL
Susan ----- 17 F b. TN
Charlotte ----- 14 F b. TN
Caron ----- 7 F b. TN
William W. 2 ----- M b. TX

1851, Hopkins Co., TX - Wm. Mason pays poll tax .

1852, Cass Co., TX – W. Mason paid tax on 8 acres, original grantee W. V. Hughes

1853, Cass Co., TX - No Wm. Mason

1854, Cass Co., TX - No Wm. Mason

1855, Cass Co., TX – William Mason paid tax on 8 acres located in the Thos Gillespie grant

1856, Cass Co., TX – Wm Mason paid tax on 8 acres in the Gillespie grant.

1857, Cass Co., TX, p. 18 - William Mason paid tax on 8 ½ acres in unknown [O.G.] on Black Creek and tax on one slave. He paid no poll tax [landowner or too old?]

1858, Cass Co., TX - William Mason pays tax on 8 ½ acres in the Gilespie [O.G.] on Black Creek and tax on one slave. He paid no poll tax. [Too old?]

1859, Cass Co., TX – J M Mason agt for the Est of W. Mason = paid tax on 120 acres, original grantee V Hughes, located on Black Creek.

William Mason died about 1858 and his estate settlement can be found in Marion County, Texas records. Matilda predeceased him. Their place of burial is unknown. 



Friday, November 17, 2017

William Mason's Father

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

The search for William Mason's father has occupied the better part of four decades for me. William Mason was my great-great-great grandfather. He married my great-great-great grandmother Matilda Lewis in Madison County, Alabama in 1823.

They moved to the Hardin County, Tennessee area prior to 1850. By 1850 they were in Hopkins County, Texas with a houseful of children. According to the 1850 census, William Mason was born in Tennessee. By the late 1850s, William Mason had removed to Cass County, Texas and then Marion County, Texas, where he died, intestate, about 1857. Matilda seems to have predeceased him since she is not mentioned in his probate records.

William Mason's son Joseph M. M. Mason became his administrator, but son Joseph died just a couple of years after his father. By 1861, William's son-in-law Rutherford Porter Cawthon (my great-great grandfather) was the administrator of the estate. Among the estate papers is a guardianship petition, naming Rutherford P. Cawthan as the guardian of his own daughters, Leona Gray Cawthon and Mary Charlott Cawthon. This document makes reference to William Mason's father being deceased with an unsettled estate in Mississippi. That has always been an intriguing piece of information. However, William's father was unnamed in the petition as was the whereabouts of the estate in Mississippi.

It's been like looking for a needle in a haystack.

One strategy that I tried years ago, was to put queries on Mason genealogy message boards, asking if any Mason researchers had come across a Mason estate in Mississippi that contained any reference to a Rutherford Porter Cawthon. I figured that Rutherford had at least attempted to contact the administrators of that Mason estate in Mississippi. I never received a response. That left me to guess that there was no reference to R.P. Cawthon, or that the estate records were in a burned county, or that no one was researching that particular Mason family.

What's a person to do? Read all the Mason probate estate settlements in Mississippi? Well, yes, now that digitalized records make that task easier. Through Heritage Quest, I was able this evening to read the probate settlements in Mississippi that have been digitalized so far. I almost overlooked the one I needed because I was looking for Mason estates that predated 1861 because I figured that phantom estate record would actually predate William Mason's death in 1857.

The estate I've been searching for turned out to be for Joseph Mason of DeSoto County, Mississippi, case 543, dated 20 April 1861. The first page in this case file was the very document that I hoped to see. A document with R.P. Cawthan's name on it.

The next thing I hoped to see was a reference to William Mason of Texas as an heir. 

In this final decree, William Mason is not mentioned as being in Texas, and his heirs are unknown, but I'll take it. 

In the next folder were copies of the Marion County, Texas guardianship papers that Rutherford P Cawthon had drawn up for his daughters Leona Gray Cawthon and Mary Charlotte Cawthon!! These are labeled as part of case 543.

On 21 May 1861, the heirs of Joseph Mason, who received legacies were John Mason; Jeptha Langston adm. of M.J. Mason dec'd; George W. Mason; James S. Nelson; Richard S Young and wife; Mary Mason, a minor; R.S. Drake (or Duke) and wife R.J. Drake; John E. Van Pelt and wife C.O. Van Pelt; Ruth Lusk; Robert Kelsey and wife Mary Kelsey; unknown heirs of William Mason; and the heirs of Elizabeth Robertson. 

Now I need to figure out how all of these people are related to each other. Mostly, they are probably siblings. So far, I have figured out that Elizabeth's surname is probably Robinson and that she is the wife of David Robinson. If Joseph Mason did in fact marry Isabel Peoples (or Peebles) as his findagrave memorial in DeSoto County, Mississippi indicates, then they married in Carter County, Tennessee.  If that is the case, then based on my google search so far, some of their children may have married Lusk, Van Pelt, and Kelsey cousins.

Lots of new information to search for and play with and verify. Finally!!

Mother, Merry Christmas a bit early.

Revised: December 19, 2017