Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday's Mystery: The Parents Of Louisa Tyree Wallen

Louisa Tyree Wallen
(My paternal 3rd great grandmother, always known as "Grandma Wallen" in Oliver's Diary)
b. February 1830 - d. bet. 1813-1814

Kyles Ford, Hancock Co., Tennessee
Home of the Wallens pre 1852

NOTE: For this new blog I have created my own Monday theme: "Monday's Mystery". I have chosen Mondays to post clues and evidence collected in my research for various family members where I have not (yet) been able to provide certain proofs.

Who were the parents of Louisa Tyree?

For years cousin Charlie (Charles Homer Wallen) and I were sure Louisa was a daughter of David Tyree Sr. However, I have recently found clues in my great grandfather's diary (diary of Oliver Morton Wallen) that point to David's son William and wife Lucy Osborne as her parents. The 1840 census for both William and his father David show them living with females in their household that fit into this age slot. William actually has two 10 to 15 year old females in his household at that time.

Louisa Tyree married Jesse B. Wallen circa 1848/49. Jesse's family lived in Kyles Ford, Hancock Co., Tennessee just a couple of miles south of the Blackwater, Virginia area of Lee Co.  Jesse and Louisa are found in the 1850 Hancock Co. census (taken Dec. 7, 1850) with a 7 month old child.

Wabd, Rockcastle Co., Kentucky
The Wallens, Tyrees, Bloomers and other families from the same general area between Blackwater  and Kyles Ford, appear to have migrated together to Rockcastle Co., Kentucky in 1852.

After his wife Lucy Osborne died circa 1854, William Tyree married the widow Martha Kilgore Francisco. They lived very close to Jesse and Louisa's farm in Wabd, Rockcastle Co., Kentucky.
(Wabd, I found out, is pronounced "Webb" by the locals). 

In fact, the Wallens and Franciscos shared a small family burying ground

Martha left the Francisco farm in charge of her son-in-law and oldest daughter, Andrew D. & Mary Jane Francisco Baker, and went to live with William in his home just a short distance away.

My great grandfather Oliver, grandson of Louisa and Jesse, wrote in his diary: "Oct. 15 – Went to Mt. Vernon. Met grandma Wallen’s cousin Sam Tyree, wife and two little daughters at H. C. Gentry’s. They all promised to come to my house tomorrow." and "Oct. 16 – Jess staid with us last night. He and uncle Billy went to church. Grandma and Ola came over early. Sam Tyree, Wife and two daughters, George Gentry and wife and Rebeca Gentry came at ½ past 10 A.M. Uncle Billy and Jess came back for dinner. Papa came afternoon. We all had a real nice time." Sam was son of David Tyree Jr. and was living in Laurel Co., Kentucky at the time of that writing (1904). Laurel Co. borders Rockcastle Co., where Louisa and the rest of the family lived, on the southeast. While Sam was in Rockcastle Co. he and Louisa got together with Sarah Tyree Gentry and Rebecca Tyree Gentry - daughters of Jesse Tyree Sr. who married Gentry brothers. They all met at Oliver's home along with other family members and spent the day together. It is certainly fact that Sam, Sarah and Rebecca are all first cousins. Later on the same day of the cousin reunion at Oliver's: "Grandma went to Mt. Vernon with her cousin to be gone a few days."

On February 18, 2003 I was contacted by a distant cousin, Connie Borgren, who is also a 3rd great granddaughter of Louisa. Her mother and grandmother had done research on the family in the mid to late 1900s. Connie shared with me their notes and letters. These writings indicated that Louisa died in 1913 or 1914 in Cooke Co., Texas and indeed the last we find of her in the census is in 1910 when she is found living with her son D. T. "Uncle Tom" Wallen. These notes also state that Louisa told of having a sister Sarah who also married a Wallen and went to live in Arkansas. Bingo! Another clue pointing to Louisa as a daughter of William & Lucy Tyree. David Tyree Sr. did not have a daughter named Sarah. However, William and Lucy did have a daughter named Sarah and she married James Wallen, a cousin of Jesse's. James and Sarah Tyree Wallen left Kentucky and lived out their lives in Howell Co., Missouri, not Arkansas; however, Howell Co. is right on the border of upper Arkansas. Sarah also had a sister Elizabeth who married her husband's brother John Wallen. I think the reason this was not mentioned by Louisa is that John Wallen died early in the marriage and Elizabeth married John Sowder to whom she was married for 40 years before Louisa died.

With the diary entry and the statement of my cousin's grandmother combined with the rest of the evidence, I am quite convinced that Louisa is a first cousin to Sam, and Sarah and Rebecca and that she is the daughter of William and Lucy Osborne Tyree. If she were David Tyree Sr.'s daughter she would be their Aunt. My great grandfather called someone an Aunt only if she were actually an Aunt or a great Aunt. He never called a cousin an Aunt or vise versa. There were times he called an unrelated person a "brother" or a "sister" if they were a member of a congregation, but he was very distinct about actual family relationships.

UPDATE: This mystery has been resolved! See the story over at my other blog "Old Stones Undeciphered" by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. The question of Louisa's parentage has been resolved. See the answer here: